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Full text of "The whole works of the Rev. Oliver Heywood : including some Tracts extremely scarce, and others from unpublished Manuscripts ; with memoirs of his life"

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Preface to this volume ---_-__ vii 


An Epistle to the members of the Author's congregation at 

Northowram, in Yorkshire ----- 3 

CHAP. I. Preliminary Observations - - . - 9 

II. The nature of a New Creatm*e - - - 20 

III. Reasons for the denomination. New Creature. 

A parallel between the old creature and the 
new _-_-___ 35 

IV. The importance of a New Creation on the 

souls of men ------ 46 

V. Some inferences drawn from the premises - 57 

VI. A review of the circumstances of many, in con- 

nectioii with the things which have been 
stated, shown to make reproof seasonable - 69 

VII. Correction of mistakes on this subject at- 

tempted, and their danger described - - 82 

VIII. Some objections of sinners answered, in re- 
ference to their becoming new creatures - 97 

IX. Instructions for the trial of our spirits whe- 

--' ther we be indeed new creatures - - 109 

X. A continued examination of the New Creature, 

as to the will and affections - - - 121 


CIIAP. XI. A new creation evidenced by its effects, con- 
sequences, and operations - - - 134 

XII. Directions relative to the use of means - 144 

XIII. Instructions for those who are indeed new 
creatures -____- 156 

XIV. Answers to some cases of conscience - - 169 


Author's Epistle - - - - - - - -17^ 

The Two Worlds 185 


Epistle to the Reader 233 

CHAP. I. Exposition of the text, and preliminary obser- 
vations - - - - - - - 241 

II. Distinctions about meetness for heaven — what 

habitual meetness is — both relative and real 246 

III. What actual meetness for heaven is, in the 

exercise of Chi'istian graces _ _ _ 254 

IV. iVIeetness for heaven, in clear evidences of 

title to it 260 

V. IMeetness for heaven consisting in the discharge 

of what is incumbent upon us - - - 267 

VI. This meetness considered as including mortifi- 

cation to sin, time, and earthly objects, and 
being elevated with heavenly contemplations 273 

VII. Some reasons stated why those must be made 

meet for heaven here, who hope to be saved 
hereafter 201 

VIII. Another reason ch-awn from the necessary 
adaptation of a Christian's meetness for so 
glorious an inheritance - - - - 290 

IX. The subject applied for conviction and lamen- 

tation over souls that are unmeet for heaven 297 

X. Answer to an objection of vain pretenders to a 

meetness for heaven - - - _ 304 


CHAP. XI. Exhortation to all, to obtain meetness for 

heaven - - - - - --311 

XII. Meetness for heaven is a blessing which 

merits gratitude to God - - - - 317 

XIII. Practical inferences from thia doctrine - 324 


Address to the Christian Reader - _ - . - 335 
CHAP. I. Introductory observations - - - - 341 

II. On the mode and period of the saints being 

gathered ------- 346 

III. What is implied in gathering this assembly - 357 

IV. For what end the saints are gathered together 362 

V. On the intercourse which the saints have at 

their meeting together _ - - - 369 

VI. In what circumstances the saints shall be ga- 

thered together unto Christ, and reasons why 
they must be gathered together - - - 377 

VII. Inferences drawn from the preceding discus- 

sion, on the subject of saints being gathered 
together 384 

VIII. Reprehension and conviction of careless, and 

also gracious souls ----- 389 

IX. On the question. Whether we shall be gather- 

ed with the saints .? - - - - - 398 

X. Counsel given to all, to seek after this blessed 

gathering at last ----- 409 

XI. Encouragement to God's children, in various 
cases, derived from this subject - - - 418 


SERMON I. Holiness the way of safety - - - - 437 

II. Ditto Ditto - - - - 446 

III. Ditto Ditto - - - _ 459 
VOL. V. b 



SERMON IV. Holiness the way of safety - - - 46a 

V. Nature of conversion ----- 481 

VI. Deliverance from the world - - - 492 

VII. A stimulus to duty ----- 501 

VIII. Believers safe and comfortable in death - .509 


Dedication --------- 519 

Introduction --------- 527 

Remembrance intended by Solomon defined - . - 533 

. assisted . - - 541 

Utility of remembrance ------- 546 

Remembrance enforced ------- 554 

Application --------- 564 

A List of the Rev. O. Heywood's Works, according to the 
arrangement of this Edition, with their dates, when affixed 
by the Author, and the years of their original publication 588 

General Index -- 589 



The venerable Oliver Heywood, whose Works 
are now published in a uniform and complete edition, 
was one of the most laborious and useful men of his 
age. He shone brilliantly among a numerous host of 
radiant stars, which then appeared in the firmament 
of the church. He suffered along with his brethren 
in what they regarded as a righteous cause ; he em- 
braced every opportunity of doing good, and has left 
behind him a name, which is still pronounced, not only 
with respect, but veneration. 

A period in which he passed his days, " not in the 
soft obscurities of retirement, nor under the shelter of 
academic bowers," but amidst the rage of persecution 
— a period, in which anxiety must often have preyed 
upon his heart feelingly alive to the interests of reli- 
gion — a period, in which he not unfrequently was 
driven from the tender charities of home, and hunted 
like a partridge upon the mountains, was the season 
in which, at intervals, whenever persecution had sus- 
pended its fury, he employed himself in writing his 
largest Treatises. The evil days on which he was 


cast, and which not rarely involved him in difficulties, 
embarrassments, and sufiferings, may serve to account 
for imperfections sometimes visible in the arrangement 
and style of his writings. But his "Works, notwith- 
standing that many of them were composed in such 
adverse circumstances, form a precious memorial of 
his singular piety, and his ardent zeal for the cause of 

Those Works were approaching the gulph of obli- 
vion, and have been arrested on their passage. Whe- 
ther, in preserving from oblivion the compositions of 
such a devoted, zealous, and eminent servant of the 
Redeemier, the Editor has exercised a sound discretion, 
he leaves the public to decide. In the mean time, he 
has learnt with pleasure, that the pious feelings of 
many have been excited by the perusal of the pre- 
ceding volumes ; and wherever piety has shed its 
heavenly influence, he doubts not, the whole of this 
publication Avill prove acceptable, and become a source 
of spiritual benefit. 

Several years ago, proposals were issued for the 
republication of Mr. Hf.ywood's Works ; but the 
patronage, which was at that time solicited and pro- 
mised, did not appear sufficient for giving encourage- 
ment to cany the design into execution. However, 
the present Editor ventured to propose again a New 
Edition, and, without reserve, to throw himself for in- 
demnification upon the liberality of the Public, which 
had never previously disappointed him when attempt- 


iiig to serve the interests of religion; and with feelings 
of gratitude he acknowledges, that his confidence has 
not been misplaced. The respectable List of Sub- 
scribers, who have favoured him with their names, 
has removed all apprehension of ultimately suffering 
any pecuniary loss, in consequence of his having under- 
taken to circulate a portion of the valuable, though 
unpolished productions of a former age. 

In this Volume, what has been lately selected from 
the Manuscripts of the Author is printed in a smaller 
character than the Treatises previously published by 
himself, partly to distinguish the one from the other, 
and partly to preserve uniformity in the size of the 

W. V. 


oa, A 





To my clear Friends and heloned Hearers at Northowram 
hi Yorkshire- 

My Dearly Beloved, 

X WO sorts of doctrine I have always judged necessary, and 
very seasonable : first, what concerns the person, natures, 
offices, and undertaking of our Lord Jesus Christ, in all their 
mediatorial latitude ; secondly, that which relates to a sav- 
ing internal work of grace upon the hearts of men, which is the 
spring of all external action. These are as standing dishes re- 
quisite in every feast, and to the obtainment of which, my 
heart hath been much disposed. The former I have largely 
treated, from 1 Tim. i. 15, " This is a faithful saying, and 
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world 
to save sinners, of whom I am chief,"*' — which contains the sum 
and substance of our christian faith, the marrow of the gospel, 
the quintessence of our happiness ; nor doth any minister need 
to be " ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of 
God to salvation, to every one that believeth," Rom. i. 16. 
And though this may seem to be out of fashion amongst some 
who would be esteemed rational preachers, and think that 
treating of Christ is but a conceited canting, though the great 
apostle of the Gentiles mentions the name of Christ nine se- 
veral times in his first ten verses in the first chapter of the first 
epistle to the Corinthians, and in his epistles some hundreds of 
times ; yea, and glories in it, expressing himself thus, 1 Cor. ii. 
2, " I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus 
Christ, and him crucified.'"' Eut I wave tins subject for the 

VOL. V. B 


present. Tl)at whidi hath respect to tlie inner man, especially 
the new man, or a saving work in the soul, is the subject before 
us, which has engaged my attention much ; and after my pil- 
grimage amongst you, above forty -four years, in many diffi- 
culties, not without some success of my poor labours, "knowing 
that shortly I must put oft' this my tabernacle,"^ 2 Pet. i. 14. 
I was willing to leave one legacy more behind me, as a stand- 
ing testimony to surviving posterity, of my long attachment to 
the concerns of your precious souls, and a means of your spiri- 
tual good, when my mouth is closed in the dust. And hav- 
ing lately treated on this subject, some of you desired me to 
publish it, which I was the more willing to do, for these rea- 
sons : 1. Because I am sure the subject is of daily, important, 
and universal use. 2. I have not seen any complete treatise 
upon it. 3. Its necessity is great. 4. Some were greatly 
alarmed on hearing it ; and who knows what good the present- 
ing of it to the eye, as well as to the ear, may do .'' It is true, 
it is simply and plainly drest, not with ornaments of art or 
rhetorical flourishes to set it off" to the learned, being adapted in 
intelligible language to ordinary capacities, and possibly it may 
prove more profitable to country bearers ; nor ought it to offend 
any, that much of this treatise is in scripture dialect, in words 
which "the Holy Ghost teacheth,"'' 1 Cor. ii. 13; which the 
spiritual man cannot but approve and love. 

And now, my dear neighbours and friends, God knows, and 
you know, " From the first day that I came to you, after what 
manner I have been with you at all seasons,"" Acts xx. 18; my 
tears, temptations, banishment, imprisonment, confiscations, 
night travels, and preachings, fastings, watchings, encourage- 
ments, and discoiu-agements, and appealing to the searcher 
of hearts for its truth, I may say, what the same apostle 
said to his Galatians, " ]\Iy little children, of whom I travail 
in birth again, until Christ be formed in you,'"" Gal. iv. 19- 
Alas, what are you better for having Christ revealed to you, 
unless he be revealed in you ? Gal. i. 16. Oh ! woe will be to 
you, if you prove Christless, after hearing so much of Christ. 
Words signify little without something more, and no profession 
or change will do, but v. hat is genuine, and accompanies salva- 


tion. I will say to ycm, as Dr. Harris to his children in his 
last will and testament, " Think how you and I shall endure 
the sight, and the thought of one another at the last day, if 
you appear in the old Adam ! much less shall you stand before 
Christ, unless you shew the image of Christ in you ; and there- 
fore never cease till you be made new creatures, and study well 
what that is." 

Alas ! sirs, you may make a shift to pass through this world 
unsuspected ; many moralists, yea. Christians may subscribe 
their names to your testimonial, and give you the right hand 
of fellowship in this world, when you must be set at the left in 
the next : things will not then go on as they do now. Deal 
faithfully with God and your own souls ; see you have the root 
of the matter, the life of grace. You may herd amongst the 
sheep now, and be found amongst goats at last. A king will 
give his subjects liberty to travel into another king''s dominions, 
reserving their loyalty to their own prince. Papists, in Queen 
Elizabeth's days, being commanded to go to church, or be 
punished, sent to the Pope for a solution of this case of con- 
science. His answer was. You may comply ; but, " my son, 
give me thy heart.""* Thus the devil will give you leave to 
read, pray, hear, and attend on ordinances ; but as long as he 
holds you fast by the heart-strings, you are still his slaves, you 
are none of God's servants : for the soul is the man. " As a 
man thinketh in his heart, so is he,"" Prov. xxiii. 7. As a man's 
principles are stated, so he receives his denomination, good or 
bad, a Jew or a heathen, a saint or a brute. If you have a 
brute's heart in the shape of a man, God will esteem you no 
better than a brute. It is the saying of a learned man, " Some 
make an image of the living God hewn out of the stock of a 
dead tree : but the new creature is not such a lifeless thing as 
many imagine." It is the spirit of " power, of love, and of a 
sound mind,"f 2 Tim. i. 7. This text, saith a good divine,| 
doth express the three parts of God''s image in the new crea- 
ture ; certainly this vital principle hath a strong and vigorous 

" Fili, da niihi cor. 

t UviVfxa ovva/JLehjg, ayaTri^g, Koi (TwcppovKTHov. 

X Baxter's Life of Faith, page 122. 

B 2 


movement God-wards, and against sin. It is a holy spark, 
rising upwards to God, and forwards straight for heaven. IVIost 
professors are mistaken here; though ministers are oft calhng 
on you to look about you, we tell you, there is a deception in 
the case. Counterfeit coin is common ; our warnings now will 
be thought of another day, these frequent summons will ring 
in your ears, our sermons will have a repetition in this, or in 
another world. Conscience will gall you, and you cannot plead 
ignorance, or say, non piifarcnn, I had not thought of such a 
day. How often do we tell you of the danger of dying in your 
natural state, and of that sulphureous lake, in which thousands 
are suffering, who once lived as securely as you now do, and 
who are in a hopeless, helpless eternity ? and how can you tell 
but this may be the last day, the last warning or overture of 
grace, the last knock at your door ? God may say, Away, 
begone out of my sight, take him, devil, I will no more be 
troubled with such a sinner. But if after all this, you be 
senseless and lie still, you are dead, twice dead. 

But let me rather persuade you from the advantage it will 
be to all sorts of persons, of every age and relation, to look 
after this change denominated in scripture, a new creation. 

Oh ! if you are advancing in years, going off the stage of the 
world, dropping into the grave and eternity, if you have been 
long here, and not yet spiritually alive, begin at last to turn 
over a new leaf; seek a new life, that you may have comfort, 
and not terror in your expiring moments : yet there is hope, 
God still waits to be gracious, and stands knocking at your 
door. Rise out of your bed of sloth, put back the bar, admit 
liim with all his graces ; make out with this change against 
your last change. 

Young people, that have lately stepped into tlie world, and 
gone thus far before you know where you are, it may be, young 
in years, but old in sin, you are entering into a wicked world, 
with wicked hearts. Oh! look after this blessed antidote, 
which may prevent infection ; be sure of a pilot tliat may row 
you through this boisterous sea safe to the haven. Without 


new hearts you will make this bad world worse, and become 
worse by it ; rather seek to amend it. 

You that are entering into callings, or on a change of con- 
dition, without this, you will be fit for nothing ; without this, 
you will bring a curse into every relation and vocation ; but 
this will make you fit for any thing, and in all you set about, 
you will be attended with God''s blessing. 

You, unmarried persons, I recommend it to you, that you be 
sure to marry in the Lord, then you will be heirs together of 
the grace of life : and pray and praise God together, you will 
have the sweet relation perfumed, and will meet in glory. 

You, rich persons, are beggars without this ; this will make 
you rich and honourable, the excellent in the earth, God\s 
jewels, the favourites of heaven. And you, poor, that cannot 
get daily bread, this will make you rich in faith, heirs of a 
kingdom. O what a treasure is this fear of the Lord ! 

You, poor Athenians, that are always inquiring after news, 
new opinions, new inventions, new fashions, here is a fine 
and blessed piece of novelty for you; this new creature will 
stand you in stead, not so much to please your itching ears, as 
to profit your languishirig souls. 

Well, I have done my poor endeavour, to effect this work 
upon your hearts. But when we have said and done all we 
can, we have done nothing at all, except the eternal Jehovah 
accompany our efforts with the power of his grace. O thou in- 
finite. Almighty God, who " hast made the earth by thy power, 
hast established the world by thy wisdom, and stretched out the 
heavens by thy discretion,'"' Jer. x. 12. Look into the hearts 
of sinners, see what a chaos of confusion is by sin brought into 
the whole soul ; go over thy work again, mend what sin hath 
marred, put light in the understanding, power into the will, 
rectitude into tlie affections, make conscience do its office. O 
that corruption may be mortified, Satan cast out, a sound prin- 
ciple introduced, the soul renewed and everlastingly saved. 


I commend these my poor labours into the hands of God, to 
use them as he sees good ; and to you who have heard these 
sermons, and to others that shall take the pains to read them, 
whether the effect answer my pains and aims, or not, having 
delivered my conscience, with some degree of iiprightness. In 
this labour of love, I am willing to take my leave of the world, 
and commend you, my brethren, to God, and " to the word of 
his grace, which is able to'' renew your hearts, and " build you 
up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are 
sanctified,''"' Acts xx. 32 ; which is the daily prayer of, 

A poor watchman for your souls, 


May 3vd. 1695. 



Galatiaks VI. 15. 

For in Christ Jesus tieither circutncision availeth any things 
nor uncircumeision, but a new creature. 



Some interpreters think that this text is not introduced 
as a proof of the immediately preceding assertion, of 
the apostle's " glorying in the cross of Christ, and his 
being crucified to the world," verse 14; but rather 
that it forms a conclusion of the main doctrine deliver- 
ed in this epistle, namely, " That a sinner is not justi- 
fied by the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ," as if he 
had said,— I urge this first and last with the greatest 
earnestness and importunity;* let Jews and Judaizing 
Christians say what they will or can, this I confidently 
affirm, that now in the gospel state, as settled by 
Christ, it is of no great moment whether a man be a 
Jew or a Gentile. It is true, under the law there was 
something of privilege in circumcision, as it was a 
badge of God's covenant with Abraham's seed, and the 
imcircumcised were strangers to the covenants of pro- 
* Hoc est quod dice et repeto, et extremis verbis contendo. 


mise and had no right to church membership: but 
now in the gospel, God is the God of the believing 
Gentiles, as well as of the Jews ; for there is not one 
God in the Old Testament, and another in the New, as 
the Manichees dreamed, but " it is one God, that shall 
justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision 
through faith," Rom. iii. 20, 30; that is, both one 
way, if only they be sincere believers, for God regards 
not any for being circumcised, nor rejects any for the 
want of it, but looks at real sanctification of heart and 

This is a sound and apposite connection of the 
words ; but Calvin subjoins them to the foregoing 
verse. The reason why the blessed apostle is crucified 
to the world, and the world to him, is because in Christ 
to whom he is united, the chief thing available is a 
new creature, other things are insignificant : the truth 
of this the apostle had before demonstrated, because 
the gospel truth makes void legal figures : * thus both 
interpretations come to the same thing. 

It is observable, that this phrase is three times used, 
with different conclusions. 1 Cor. vii. 19, " Circumci- 
sion is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the 
keeping of the commandments of God." Again, Gal. 
V. 6, " For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avail- 
eth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which 
worketh by love :" and in this passage, " but a new 
creature." They all combine in this one sense, that 
in the New Testament dispensation by Christ, no pri- 
vileges are efficacious to the salvation of the soul -udth- 
out an operative faith accompanied with a principle of 
grace in the heart, and a holy life agreeable to the rule 
of God's holy word. Thus there is a due consistency 

Quia scilicet, Veritas evangelii omnes legis figuras absorbeat, 
et exaniniat. 


in these necessary qualifications: for in spiritual means, 
marks, methods of salvation, there is a blessed com- 
bination, affinity, and concatenation; not a link of this 
golden chain can be wanting ; the true religion is of one 
piece, there is no loose joint, but all the parts make up 
one entire body and complete system of Christianity. 

But to come to the words, in which we have the ne- 
gative and positive parts of our religion, — wherein it 
doth not consist, and wherein it doth. Suppose men 
had excellent privileges, and choice advantages, these 
would not of themselves attain the important end, 
namely, God's glory and man's happiness. 

By this Avord, in Christ Jesus, some understand in 
the christian religion ; others, in the church or king- 
dom of Christ ; others, in the gospel dispensation, in 
the concern of obtaining salvation by the Lord Jesus 
Christ. * The doctrine of the gospel is called the 
faith of Jesus Christ, Rom. iii. 22, wherein and where- 
by the glorious design of saving sinners by Jesus 
Christ, doth eminently and e\idently appear ; it is 
called " tlie light of the knowledge of the glory of God 
in the face of Jesus Christ," 2 Cor. iv. 6. " And he 
hath brought life and immortality to light by the gos- 
pel," or through the gospel, 2 Tim. i. 10. 

Circumcision was to the Jews a seal of the righte- 
ousness of faith, Rom. iv. 11, a badge and criterion, 
whereby an Israelite was distinguished from other 
people, as belonging to God's peculiar heritage : it both 
engaged to duty, and entailed many privileges. See 
Rom. ix. 4. 

By its not availing any thing, is signified its ineffec- 

tualness to attain these two great objects : first, the 

justifying of a sinner before God; secondly, the eternal 

salvation of the soul. Not that I think the new creature 

* In negotio salutis obtinendae per Chiistum. 


justifies, as I shall shew h*ereafter, but it is in a justi- 
fied person, and these external privileges avail not to 
our justification, nor does the want of them hinder it ; 
but in this case, " there is neither Greek nor Jew, cir- 
cumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, 
bond nor free, but Christ is all and in ail," Col. iii. 11. 
Hence observe, 

First, That the richest privileges and most splendid 
profession avail no man, without being a new creature. 

The Jews boasted of their privileges, and by conse- 
quence, gospel professors are apt to pride themselves 
on what they think to be of great worth, but they all 
signify nothing in the sight of God, if they be not new 
creatures. Men may please themselves with external 
shows, professions, or privileges, as to be born of godly 
parents, to be baptized, living under pure and powerful 
ordinances, associating with the best people in the 
purest churches, sitting down at the Lord's supper, 
making credible profession, performing religious duties; 
yea, suflfering much for the religion of God : all these 
together will not avail a person, as it respects his eter- 
nal happiness, without being a new creature. Mistake 
me not, I do not say, but these are good in their places, 
and great mercies and duties. Here consider, 

1. Things that hinder or oppose the new creature, 
are hurtful in their own nature, and to be laid aside, 
as sin and the old man, Eph. iv. 22. 

2. Things that further not this new creature in our 
hearts, are comparatively useless, though lawful, as the 
profits, pleasures, and honours of this world. 

3. Things that do further the growth of the new 
creature by God's appointment, are not of themselves 
suflUcient to attain their end, without the concurrence 
of divine grace : as preaching, prayer, and seals — they 
are but means. 


4. Things good in themselves may, by man's abuse, 
prove rather snares and hindrances, than helps and 
fui'therances in heaven's road : circumcision was once 
good and God's ordinance, but when some Judaizers 
affirmed, that " except Christians were circumcised af- 
ter the manner of Moses, they could not be saved," 
Acts XV. 1, 9, 10, — the apostles come to this decision, 
*' that God puts no difference between Jews and Gen- 
tiles," and that this " was a yoke that neither they nor 
their fathers were able to bear :" and so it was not 
only laid aside as other legal ceremonies, which became 
not only dead, but deadly ; * so the apostle affirms, 
" that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you no- 
thing," Gal. V. 2. Nay, the best duties, ordinances, 
and privileges rested in, short of Christ, will rather 
ruin, than raise us ; undo us, than enrich us with 
grace here, or glory hereafter : see Rom. ix. 31, 32. 
X. 3. 

But this is a great truth, that all the privileges in 
the world, without this new creature, can never of 
themselves render a soul acceptable to God, or bring it 
to eternal happiness in the enjoyment of God, 

(1.) Because such a person may be, and is yet under 
the old covenant, which brings a curse : and being out 
of Christ, Gal. iii. 10 — 13, all that he hath, doth, or 
enjoyeth, is accursed to him ; for every man must 
either keep the law, and satisfy for the breach of it in 
his own person, — or another that is able, must do it for 
him, and that is none but Christ our surety ; and 
Christ doth it not for any but such as by faith have an 
interest in him. Now he that is not a new creature 
hath no interest in Christ, " for if any man be in 
Christ," that is, related to Christ, entitled to him, " he 
is a new creature," 2 Cor. v. 17. And he that is not 
* Mortuae sed mortiferse. 

14 A NEW CllEATUllE. 

grafted into this true vine, and doth not " partake of 
the root and fatness of this olive-tree, can bear no fruit, 
John XV. 1, 5. Rom. xi. 17, — can do nothing to any 
purpose, nor improve any privilege to his spiritual 
profit, for he is a dead branch cast forth and withered, 
and thrown into the fire, John xv. 6. Though he 
be in Christ by profession, yet because he is not 
planted in Christ, by possession of him, he is a woful 
cast-away, — he is grafted in a wrong stock, to be fruit- 
ful here, or to shoot up as high as heaven at last. 
Now, we cannot be accepted but in the Beloved, Eph. 
i. 6 : and without faith in Christ it is impossible to 
please God, Heb. xi. 6 ; for " the first man Adam was 
made a living soul," and by his fall, himself and his 
posterity are become dead, condemned sinners, " but 
the last Adam is made a quickening Spirit," that is, 
Christ becomes a principle of life to aH his spiritual 
offspring, and he will own none but such : see 1 Cor. 
XV. 45 — 49. 

(2.) Because such souls want the sanctifying opera- 
tions of the Holy Spirit : and we find that " the offer- 
ing up of the Gentiles is only acceptable, by being 
sanctified by the Holy Ghost, Rom. xv. 16. God will 
own nothing from men, but what hath the breathings 
of the Spirit in it ; " For God knoweth the mind of 
the Spirit," Rom. viii. 26, 27. The least indication 
thereof in his children, though but a groaning that 
cannot be uttered, is accepted of God ; but the most 
eloquent rhapsodies, and loudest vociferations of grace- 
less souls, are rejected by the Lord ; " For if any man 
have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his," Rom. 
viii. 9, 11, 14 : here we read of the Spirit of God 
dwelling in believers ; and " as many as are led by the 
Spirit of God, they," and indeed none else, " are the 
sons of God." God will own none for his, but those 


that have this stamp, this seal upon them ; so 2 Cor. 
i. 22, " Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest 
of the Spirit in our hearts ;" and this is the " earnest 
of our inheritance," Eph. i. 13, 14. Now all external 
ordinances, privileges, and performances, amount not to 
this : and the Scripture tells us, that " he is not a Jew 
(that is, a sincere Christian, for it is an Old Testament 
title given to a New Testament believer,) that is one 
outwardly ; neither is that circumcision which is out- 
ward in the flesh, but he is a Jew which is one in- 
wardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the 
spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men 
but of God," Rom. ii. 28, 29. Here we see the life of 
our religion ; the tree must first be good, or it can 
never bring forth good fruit : working results from the 
being of a thing.* If men be not good, they can never 
do good : now it is not any thing external that can 
make persons good, it must be " the hidden man of the 
heart " that constitutes a person good, 1 Pet. iii. 4. 
So reason makes a man, not jewels or outward orna- 
ments : thus grace constitutes a Christian, not outward 
privileges. As nothing that is " without a man, can 
defile a man," Mark vii. 15, so nothing without can 
cleanse him. 

Is this so, that the richest privileges, and most 
splendid profession, avail not any man, except he be a 
new creature ? Then it follows, 

1. That religion consists not in negatives, but posi- 
tives. It is false arguing to say, — I am not a Jew, nor a 
Turk, nor heathen, and therefore am a good Christian. 
Nay, it is not enough to say I am no swearer, drunk- 
ard, or whoremonger, and therefore am a saint good 
enough : this was the fallacy of the Pharisee, Luke 
xviii. 11, " God I thank thee, that I am not as other 
* Operari sequitur esse. 


men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this 
publican." Alas, this would not do ; God disowned 
him. Christianity consists in something positive : 
" Little children," saith the apostle, " let no man de- 
ceive you, he that doth righteousness is righteous, even 
as he is righteous," 1 John iii. 7. " Christ becomes 
the author of eternal salvation unto td\ them," and only 
them, " that obey him," Heb. v. 9- Alas ! persons 
may gull and beguile themselves with airy notions and 
speculations of free grace, Christ's merits, and trusting 
God, and so build castles in the air, which will drop 
with them into hell ; for without practical godliness, 
they will be deceived, and die with a lie in their right 
hand. Mistake not, I say not that free grace, or 
Christ's blood, is but a fancy, or that a soul can be 
saved without them, or he that believeth with a sincere 
gospel faith shall miss of heaven ; but many catch at 
these, and espouse a mere chimera, a fancy or airy no- 
tion, while they have not a principle of grace in their 
hearts, or the power of godliness in their lives. I may 
say with the apostle, " Can faith save thee ? No, no, 
such a faith without works is dead," James ii. 20, 26. 
And being lifeless, it is lost, thou must have something 
that hath existence. 

2. That Christianity doth not lie in mere externals. 
If men have no more religion than is visible to others, 
they have not that which will serve their purpose. 
True godliness is a hidden, mystical thing ; " Our life 
is hid with Christ in God," Col. iii. 3. It is a pearl in 
the shell ; it is a hidden spring that moves the visible 
hand. God's children are " hidden ones," Psalm 
Ixxxiii. 3 ; kings in disguise, " It appears not yet what 
they shall be," 1 John iii. 2. The best and M^orst of 
a real saint is not obvious to men's view : " The king's 
daughter is all glorious within," Psalm xlv. 13. If 


privileges and profession did constitute a saint, we 
might infallibly tell who should be saved ; but a child 
of God hath two sides, one God-wards, another men- 
wards. A merchant's wares are in back shops : the 
best goods are often out of sight. " In the hidden 
parts," saith David, " thou shalt make me to know 
wisdom," Psalm li. 6. Hypocrites are " painted sepul- 
chres, that outwardly appear beautiful, but within are 
full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness," Matt, 
xxiii. 27. You must look at internal principles, not at 
external professions or privileges. 

3. There is such a thing as nominal, without real 
Christianity ; some have " a name to live, but are 
dead," Rev. iii. 1 ; have high titles, but bad hearts, 
and vicious lives ; they " profess they know God, but 
in works they deny him," Tit. i. 16. They have 
heaven in their mouths, and hell in their minds ; they 
soar high, but design low ; there may be a real hea- 
then under a Christian name. All chiu'ch members 
are not members of Christ ;* they are not all Israel 
that are of Israel, Rom. ix. 6. A fine title may be on 
some boxes that have nothing within to correspond. 
Judah that was uncircumcised in heart, may be ranked 
with Egypt, Edom, Moab, Ammon; Jer. ix. 26. Some 
may cry out, " The temple of the Lord, the temple of 
the Lord," The church, the church, they are right 
church members, that yet do wickedly, and think their 
privileges will excuse them, as though thereby " they 
were delivered to do all manner of abominations," 
Jer. vii. 4. 10. They shall know one day, that an 
empty name without the thing, is but a great crime, 
that it will rather aggravate their condemnation than 
tend to their salvation. Alas ! how many are provi- 
dential, not principled Christians, that have nothing 
* Ad ecciesiam non pertinent omnes qui sunt intus. 

18 A NEW CKEATiniE. 

more to plead for their Christianity than that they 
were born in a christian country, and in their infancy 
were baptized, having since done as other people do, 
gone to church, and behaved civilly, and passed 
amongst others for downright honest men. But God 
judgeth not as man judgeth ; when persons stand 
before the awful tribunal of the righteous Judge, 
names, and titles, and privileges, will signify nothing ; 
such varnish will melt off before the fire of God's 
wrath ; nothing then will signify but the inner gar- 
ment of sanctification, and the upper garment of 
Christ's righteousness for our justification, to cover 
all defects of the former. This is " fine linen, clean 
and white ; this is the righteousness of saints," Rev. 
xix. 8. 

4. Yet privileges are not to be slighted, nor ordinances 
to be despised. As you are not to rest in circumcision 
or baptism, as though this were enough, so you are 
not to cast off God's institutions, as if they were of no 
worth, there is a medium betwixt an abuse and total 
neglect ; men may abuse meat and drink, yet must 
not lay them aside. Ordinances can do us no good 
without the concurrence of divine grace ; " man lives 
not by bread only, but by God's blessing therewith," 
Deut. viii. 3 ; must bread be thrown away on this pre- 
tence ? surely no, it becomes us to obey God in hear- 
ing, praying, reading, meditating and attending on 
God in his own ways ; the seals of the covenant are 
not insignificant ceremonies ; ordinances are channels, 
through wliich God conveys his grace to the soul;* 
these are "golden pipes through which the olive branches 
empty the golden oil out of themselves," Zech. iv. 12. 
Shall the bucket be thrown away because it hath not 
water in itself, without letting it down into the well, 
* Canales gratiae. 


by the chain of faith ? Shall the boat be slighted, be- 
cause of itself it cannot carry us over the river ? rather 
let us get into it and row, and wait for the gales of the 
Spirit to waft us over. Privileges are good, the fruits 
of Christ's purchase, the pledges of God's love ; they 
must be made use of, though not trusted or made our 
boast ; you should be very thankful and fruitful under 
pure and powerful ordinances ; let God have the glory, 
look you after the advantage of privileges, set them in 
their own place, not in God's room ; let none say, " the 
table of the Lord is contemptible," Mai. i. 7. Nor on 
the other hand, let not presuming souls say, " let us 
fetch the ark of the covenant, that it may save us," 1 
Sam. iv. 3. Alas, what can the ark of God avail us, 
if the God of the ark leave us ? Let our dependance be 
on God in the way of his appointments. Affect not to 
be above, but go beyond all ordinances ; God is present 
in all, that we may despise none, he withdraws in some, 
sometimes in all, that we may idolize none ; when you 
enter upon a duty, look up to the blessed Jesus, make 
it your business to get communion with God therein. 
If you miss of God in ordinances, you lose your end ; 
yea, you are in danger of losing your souls. If you 
find God, glory in the Lord, boast not of the duty or 
ordinances ; sit not down in the porch, but make for- 
ward to the holy of holies ; press to the city of refuge, 
lay your sacrifices at the door of the tabernacle, put 
your offering into the high priest's hand ; thank God 
for enlargements, but depend not on them. If you 
make your services your saviours, you will perish with 
them ; when you have done all, say, " I am still an 
unprofitable servant," Luke xvii. 10 ; I have but done 
my duty, nay, I have not done my duty, my best 
righteousnesses are not only too scant a covering, but 
also filthy rags, Isa. Ixiv. 6. ^yly very duties as well 
VOL. V. c 


as sins may undo me ; I may even find hell torments 
the upshot of privileges ; further advancement by pri- 
vileges, through a non-improvement of them sinks 
deeper in hell, as in the case of Chorazin and Capernaum, 
Matt. xi. 21 — 24. For privileges to graceless souls do 
take away the cloak that might cover the foulness of 
sin, and so do rather aggravate than extenuate it, John 
XV. 22, 24. I must therefore look for something else 
than privileges, that is, a new creature. 



The main point in the text, and which I have prin- 
cipally in view, is concerning the new creature, KTiaig 
Kuivi), new creation, it is a mode of speech peculiar and 
proper to the new testament dispensation ; 2 Cor. v. 
17, " If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," 
that is, if a man be a true Christian, formed to the 
gospel pattern and rule, he is, and must be, and cannot 
but be of a new frame and character. So it was pro- 
phesied of old concerning gospel times ; " Behold the 
former things are come to pass, and new things do I 
declare," Isa. xlii. 9; Ixv. 17, "Behold, I create new 
heavens, and new earth ; yea, all things new." So 
here he frames a work of saving grace in the hearts 
of all his saints. It signifies a new, noble, heavenly 
disposition, opposed to the antiquated, corrupt state of 
nature, derived from the first Adam, called the old man. 
But it may be asked, 

1. Why is this called a creature? I ans\ver, 


(1.) Because it is produced only by the almighty 
power of God, whose peculiar prerogative it is to create. 
(2.) Because as a creature, it hath a real existence as 
this visible frame of the universe hath. If there be a 
heaven and earth, there is a new creation in the soul of 
man; it is no fiction, chimera, or imagination of man's 

(3.) Creation makes a mighty change, so doth this 
work of conversion ; as creation changeth a thing from 
a non-existence to a real being, so by this work of grace, 
"Old things are past away, and all things become new." 
But of this more hereafter. You may ask, 

2. What is meant by new ? In reply I may say, 
(1.) New, in scripture language, signifies another, 
distinct and different from what was before ; so Exod. 
1. 8, " There arose a new king over Egypt," that is, 
another. Thus this new creature is distinct from the 
former, as Caleb is said to have another spirit, Numb, 
xiv. 24, that is, a different nature from the rest of the 
spies ; even from what he himself formerly had. Thus 
it is with the convert. 

(2.) New signifies strange, not heard of before. 
Numb. xvi. 30, " If the Lord make a new thing," if 
the earth open her mouth ; an unheard of wonder, a 
prodigy never known before. So it was said, " What 
new doctrine is this ? thou bringest strange things to 
our ears," Acts xvii. 19, 20. Thus the work of rege- 
neration was strange, even to a great doctor among the 
Jews, John iii. 3, 4. 

(3.) New, signifies something secret, hidden, not 
easily discerned, or not manifest to all, Isa. xlviii. 6, 
" I have shewed thee new things, from this time, even 
hidden things." And this work of the new creature 
is much hid from the eyes of others, and sometimes 
kept close from a man's own observation, Job xi. 6, 

c 2 


" That he would show thee the secrets of wisdom." 
And David saith, "In the hidden part thou shalt make 
me to know wisdom," Psal. li. 6. 

(4.) New, imports something excellent, transcendent, 
admirable, Isa. xlii. 10, " Sing unto the Lord a new 
song;" Psal. xxxiii. 3, "Sing unto him anewsong," that 
is, an excellent song, the very best to which you can 
attain. Even so this is the chief of God's works in 
the world, and renders " the righteous more excellent 
than his neighbour ; and a man of understanding is of 
an excellent spirit," Prov. xii. 26. xvii. 27. 

The text being thus opened, I shall deduce an ob- 
servation arising from the preceding words of the text; 
" circumcision avails nothing, nor uncircumcision," 
under this new testament dispensation. What is it 
then that avails? The answer is, the new creature ; 
this indeed is available. So this is set in contradis- 
tinction to the forementioned privileges comprehended 
under the word circumcision. I observe, then. 

Secondly, That a new creature only is ^ every way 
available to the souls of men. 

Nothing else can avail any thing to men's eternal 
salvation, but a new creature ; and this is very avail- 

Understand this of things of the same kind or na- 
ture ; for a new creature must not be set in compe- 
tition with the eternal love of God, or blood of Christ, 
or sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit, for appli- 
cation of Christ's purchase to us. A new creature is 
but a creature, and cannot do the work of the infinite 
God, who hath appropriated salvation work to him- 
self; "There is no Saviour besides me, where is any 
other that may save them?" Hos. xiii. 4, 10. It is 
not any thing done by man, or wrought in man, that 
can save him from divine wrath, or advance him to 

TTS NATUllE. 23 

heaven : No, the Lord justifies, sanctifies, and glo- 
rifies by Christ. All the causes of man's salvation 
are without him, Eph. i. 4 — 9- There is the effi- 
cient cause, God's choosing us — the material cause, 
Christ's redeeming us — the formal, the good pleasure 
of his will — the final, the praise of God's glorious 
grace. So then, we do not put this new creature in 
God's room, as any cause at all of our happiness, but 
a necessary qualification or disposition, to which sal- 
vation is annexed, or as the apostle phraseth it, that 
which accompanieth salvation. Heb. vi. 9, " Things 
that accompany salvation," £^o;u£va, that have salva- 
tion; that is, comprehend.it, are contiguous to it, have 
happiness annexed to it by the indissoluble connexion 
of grace and glory, in consequence of a covenant pro- 
mise. But more of this hereafter. 

In the prosecution of this subject, I shall speak to 
these four things in the doctrinal part of it : namely, 

I. Shew what this new creature is. 

II. Why it is so called. 

III. Wherein it is available. 

IV. Answer some queries about it, and then make 
an application. 

I. What is this new creature? Here the names 
given to it and the nature of it may be considered. 

1. The names or titles given to this new creature 
being synonymous expressions and holding forth the 
same thing for substance, are such as these : 

(1.) It is called the forming of Christ in the womb 
of a man's heart; Gal. iv. 19, " My little children of 
whom I travail in birth again, until Christ be formed 
in you," 

(2.) It is called quickening, Ephes. ii. 1, " And you 
hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and 
sins." Alas ! what dull stocks and masses of sin we 


are, till animated with the Spirit of grace, and quick- 
ened by a A'ital principle ! And this is done with 
Christ, ver. 5, by his resurrection. 

(3.) It is called parturition, or bringing forth by 
spiritual pangs of soul-travail ; it is a new birth. 
John iii. 3, " A'^erily, verily, I say unto thee, except a 
man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 
Convincing grace brings a lively and lovely offspring 
into the world, better than the product of nature. 

(4.) Such converts are compared to little children. 
Matt, xviii. 3, " Verily, I say unto you, except you be 
converted, and become as little children, you shall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven ;" that is, you must 
needs have the qualities and dispositions both of 
infants and larger children. 

(5.) This work of God on the soul, is called a dying 
with Christ, and a rising again with him: Rom. vi. 5, 
" For if we have been planted together in the likeness 
of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his 
resurrection." All real Christians are risen with Christ, 
Col. iii. 1 ; hence it is called the " first resurrection," 
Rev. XX. 6, as if they were newly brought out of 
their graves, when they had been long dead and use- 

(6.) It is called the image of God on the soul. Col. 
iii. 10, '• And have put on the new man, which is 
renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that 
created him." Eph. iv. 2-1, " The new man, which 
after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." 
This new creature is a blessed resemblance of the 
Ti'inity of persons, in the renewing of the mind, willj 
and affections, conformable to God. 

(7.) It is called a divine nature, 2 Pet. i. 4, " Where- 
by are given unto us exceeding great and precious 
promises, that by these you might be partakers of the 


divine nature;" that is, of those divine qualities, 
whereby the soul resembles God, not only as a picture 
doth a man in outward lineaments, but as a child doth 
his father, both in countenance and condition. As 
the noble qualities of an immortal soul show that 
there is a God, so the renewed faculties show what 
that God is. 

So much for the names of this new creature, most 
of which are figurative expressions, denoting the same 

2. For the nature of the new creature, take this 
description of it. 

The new creature is a supernatural work of gospel 
grace wrought in the soul of a sinner, by the word 
and Spirit of God, changing the whole man from its 
old state and course, and thereby transforming it into 
the divine likeness, and conforming the heart and life 
to the rule of the word, for the glory of God, and the 
soul's present and everlasting communion with him : 
this is the new creature. 

I confess this description is long, but I cannot leave 
out any of its parts. 

I shall very briefly discuss the branches of this de- 

(1.) With respect to the general nature of it, I call 
it a supernatural work, for it is above the power of 
nature to produce it, it comes from above ; so he that 
is " born again," John iii. 3, is avw^ev yivo^evog, "from 
above." This perfect gift " comes down from the 
Father of lights," James i. 17. The " Jerusalem 
that is above is the mother of us all," Gal. iv. 26. This 
new creature is no herb that grows in nature's garden ; 
it is a plant of paradise : " Flesh and blood cannot so 
much as reveal this to the sons of men," Matt. xvi. 17. 
Therefore it is no wonder if learned doctors, such as 


Nicodemiis, laugh at such doctrine, as whimsical fan- 
cies, and say, " How can these things be?" John iii. 9. 
Or, like Ezekiel's hearers, who saith, " Ah, Lord God, 
they say of me. Doth he not speak parables ?" Ezek. 
XX. 49. For "such wisdom is too high for a fool," Prov. 
xxiv. 7. In " God's light only shall we see light." Ex- 
perience is the best master in these cases. " We speak 
wisdom," saith the apostle, "among them that are 
perfect ; but the natural man receives not the things 
of the Spirit of God," 1 Cor. ii. 6, 14.. This new crea- 
ture is of a celestial origin, and must have a hea- 
venly interpreter. 

(2.) In this description, v.'e have the particular nature 
of this new creature ; I speak of it as originating in 
gospel grace. It is no branch or fruit of the old cove- 
nant of works, for the law maketh nothing perfect : 
" There was no law which could give life," Gal. iii. 2, 
21, 22, but the new testament dispensation, called 
the promise ; this only produceth the new creation. 

But you may say, had not old testament saints this 
new creature ? Doth not David say, " create in me a 
clean heart ?" Psal. li. 10. 

I ansv/er, Old testament saints had a new testament 
spirit; for " they without us could not be made perfect," 
Heb. xi. 40. The same gospel belonged to them and 
us, and was preached to both, Heb. iv. 2 ; Abraham 
saw Christ's day, they all partook of gospel grace, John 
viii. 56, both in justification and sanctification ; as 
having but a different edition of the same gospel cove- 
nant; they were as children in minority under tutors 
and governors. Gal. iv. 1, 2, 2.j ; but gospel saints are 
as children at age ; their state ^vas that of the bond 
woman of mount Sinai ; ours is of Jerusalem, which is 
free. However, that gospel promise, made known in 
the old testament, belongs both to them and us ; Ezek. 

ITS NATUllE. 27 

xxxvi. 26, " A new heart also will I give you, and a 
new spirit Mill I put within you." This is the uni- 
form, evangelical result under both dispensations ; and 
sincere believers of old had experience of it, though 
the veil was on the face of Moses, 2 Cor. iii. 14, 15 ; 
and on the hearts of carnal Jews, as it is on all un- 
believers to this day ; but gospel grace renews the 

(3.) Here is the subject, in which this new creature is 
foj'med, and that is the soul or heart of a sinner. 
Here is the seat and centre of this new creation ; it is 
not merely external in the eye, or foot, or hand, or 
tongue ; but it is an internal work in the soul, the 
Christian " is renewed in the spirit of his mind," Eph. 
iv. 23 ; "Behold," saith David, "thou desirest truth in 
the inward parts ; in the hidden part thou shalt make 
me to know wisdom," Psal li. 6 ; it is called, " the 
hidden man of the heart," 1 Pet. iii. 4. Not but that 
it discovers itself in lip and life ; but the root and 
spring lie under ground, out of the view of men, as 
the best treasures are locked up, not exposed to the 
open view of the world. " A Christian's life is hid 
with Christ in God," Col. iii. 3 : hence they are called, 
" God's hidden ones," Psal. Ixxxiii. 3 : and " the king's 
daughter is all glorious within," Psal. xlv. 13. These 
gracious souls are like kings in disguise, and it " doth 
not yet apppear what they shall be," 1 John iii. 2 ; but 
when the shell is broken, the pearl will appear ; all ex- 
ternal changes in men are but as the change of the 
clothes ; this is the change of the man and his manners ; 
for " he is not a Jew that is one outwardly, but in- 
wardly." Right " circumcision is that of the heart, in 
the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, 
but of God," Rom. ii. 28, 29. It is wrought by God, and 
known to God, who alone searches and sees the heart. 


(4.) The instrumental, or organical cause of this new 
man, is the word of God, Rom. i. 16, this is "the 
power of God to salvation." James i. 18, " Of his own 
will begat he us by the word of truth." 1 Pet. i. 23, 
" Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of in- 
corruptible, by the word of God, which liveth for ever.'' 
The word is the seed, which being sown in the heart, 
springeth up in obedience, which is the flower and 
visible product of the new creature. This is properly 
the gospel word ; Moses or the law may bring us to 
the borders, but Joshua leads us into Canaan ; the 
terrors of the law prepare the way, as John Baptist did, 
but the word of the gospel is the door of faith, which 
admits souls, and leads them into the chamber of pre- 
sence ; it is God's method, to form this new man by a 
powerful gospel ministry ; so saith blessed Paul, 1 Cor. 
iv. 15, "I have begotten you in Jesus Christ through 
the gospel ;" there is the instrument, Paul, / have he- 
gotten yon ; the means, btj the gospel; the author, Jesus 
Christ. " Faith comes by hearing," Rom. x. 17. Prov. 
viii. 34. Therefore let all continue at the gates of 
wisdom, expect not this new creation, if you turn your 
backs on God's institutions. 

(5.) The efficient cause is the Holy Ghost, " The love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, 
which is given unto us," Rom. v. 5. O what a gracious 
impression doth the Spirit leave upon our hearts! what a 
sweet perfume doth it breathe into them, causing our 
love to God and men ! How doth this new creature 
occupy all the faculties of the soul through the opera- 
tion of the Spirit ? This is both a seal and an earnest, 
"who hath also sealed us," Eph. i. 13, 14; "and 
given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts," 2 Cor. 
i. 22. All good is conveyed to us by the Holy Spirit 
from the Father and the Son, especially this saving good 


of conversion ; we are " born again of water and of 
the Spirit," John iii. 3, 8 ; " sanctified by the Spirit, 
and are temples of the Holy Ghost," 1 Cor. vi. 11, 19. 
Nothing can search or reach the heart but the Holy 
Ghost ; " The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep 
things of God," 1 Cor. ii. 10, "and deep things of men." 
An angel is too short-sighted to see into man's heart, 
too short-handed to reach the conscience, or make a 
new creation ; God alone turns stone into flesh ; "God 
shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents 
of Shem," Gen. ix. 27. It is an act of power to make 
people willing, Psal. ex. 3, or volunteers. " No man 
can come to Christ, except the Father which sent 
him, draw him," John vi. 44. And God exerts the 
power of his Spirit to attract hearts to himself. 

(6.) The proper, immediate effect of this work, is a 
change into a new frame or course, by which the sin- 
ner becomes new, or another than what he was before ; 
this is the genuine necessary attendant ; * yea, intrinsic 
nature of that which we call the new creature. 21 Cor. 
v. 17, " Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creature, old things are passed away, behold all things 
are become new." The faculties are the same, but 
new qualties are put in ; as in a lute^ the strings are 
the same, but it is set to a new tune ; in a river, the 
water is the same, but it is turned into a new channel, 
the ball hath got a new impulse ; so the convert said 
to the tempting harlot, I am not I ; f or as Paul said 
of himself, "who was before a blasphemer, a persecutor; 
but I obtained mercy," 1 Tim. i. 13, that is, convert- 
ing grace hath changed me. Thus the same apostle 
saith of the Corinthians, " Such were some of you, but 
ye are washed, but ye are sanctified," 1 Cor. vi. 11. O 
what a mighty change doth grace make ! from lying 
* Formalis ratio. + Ego non sum ego. 


to fearing an oatli ; from vain speaking, to holy dis- 
course ; from carelessness, to the greatest concerued- 
ness about soul affaii's ; yea, " from darkness to light," 
Eph. V. 8 ; " from death to life ; from Satan to God," 
Acts xxvi. 18. The man is now got into a new world, 
as one observes from Ezek. xi. 19, "I will give them 
one heart;" which that I may do, I will cast it anew, 
in order to this, I will melt and soften it, as one that 
hath many pieces of old silver by him, casts them into 
the fire, melts them, and molds them into one lump. 
Thus doth God with the divided heart in renewing it, 
and framing it for his use. 

7. Here is yet further the completeness of this 
change ; it is not merely some external acts, exercises, 
or conversation, not only internal cogitations, affections, 
or workings of the will and conscience ; but the des- 
cription goes further, even to the state, constitution, 
and relation of the man ; and therefore I add, chang- 
ing the whole man from an old state to a new ; for 
every man and woman hath a state before God ; there- 
fore Paul sends Timothy, " to know the state of the 
Philippians," Phil. ii. 19- This imports not a transient 
act, but a settled abiding frame, a continued relation ; 
sinners " are by natm*e children of wrath," Eph. ii. 3 : 
agents of Satan, heirs of hell. This new mold makes 
them children of God, members of Christ, heirs of hea- 
ven ; yea, it puts them into an habitual tendency to- 
wards heaven, and heavenly things, which is a kind of 
second nature in them ; this moves the holy soul, (act- 
ing like itself) as naturally upwards, as a stone moves 
downward, therefore it is called a divine nature, 2 Pet. 
i. 4 ; the acting follows the being of a thing ; " Make 
the tree good, and the fruit will be good." Matt. xii. 33. 
If a watch be not well made, it will never go well ; 
they say of the peacock, roast him as much as you will, 


yet when cold, his flesh will be raw again, so force a 
carnal heart to the highest strain of seeming piety, yet 
it will come to its old complexion, because there is not 
a new nature ; fill a pond full of water, it will abate if 
there be not a spring to supply it. The new creature 
is united to Christ, " and receives grace for grace," 
John i. 16. 

(8.) We have here also, the pattern, copy, or example, 
according to which this new creature is moulded, it is 
the sours heing transformed into the divine likeness. 
This image of God consists in knowledge in the in- 
tellectual faculties, righteousness in the will, holiness 
in the affections ; Col. iii. 10, " And have put on the 
new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the 
image of him that created him." Eph. iv. 24, " That 
you put on the new man, which after God is created in 
righteousness and true holiness ; or holiness of truth." 
As the work of grace in the heart is a true copy, or 
transcript of the divine image, they agree as the face 
in the glass doth, with the face of the man that looks 
in it, or as the image in the wax with the sculpture on 
the seal, from which it is derived. Godliness is god- 
likeness ; the sum and substance of our religion is to 
imitate him whom we worship;* not that it is possible 
to be like God with a perfection of degree, but in sin- 
cerity : " Be ye perfect, as your father in heaven is per- 
fect," Matt. V. 48. A child hath the parts of a man, 
though not the size ; for the new creature is in a daily 
increase, and tendeth to perfection, as a small seed hath 
virtually the bulk of a grown tree, though little in it- 
self; but the Christian is like God; man only can be- 
get a man like himself, so the Spirit only doth create 
the Christian like God. Now divines,f take notice of a 

* Summa religionis est imitari quern colis. 
t Journal Christian, Pai't 2. page 173. 


double likeness ; a bare similitude, snow and milk ar6 
both white alike, yet are not the image one of another. 
Again, representation given of another, and so the 
picture which is drawn every line from the face of 
a man, is properly the image of a man, after whose 
likeness it is made. Thus by holiness, the Christian 
becomes the image of Christ ; Rom. viii. 29, "Whom 
he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be con- 
formed to the image of his Son." 

(9.) Here is the rule of this new creature, which is 
expressed, by turning the heart and life to the rule of 
the word\ this either refers to the manner of framing 
the new creature, or the rule by which the new crea- 
ture acts and moves being once formed. As to the 
former, the new creature receives the stamp, signature, 
and impression of the word; Rom vi. 17, "But God 
be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin ; but ye 
have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which 
was delivered unto you ;" or as it is more properly in 

the Greek, liq ov TrapeSoS-rjre Tv-Kov lilayriq^ into whicll 

you were delivered ; that is, the soul is the metal, the 
word is the mould, into which the sinner is cast, there- 
by he receives a new stamp, is formed into a new shape, 
which naturally terminates in a new course of life, ac- 
cording to scripture rule. This immediately after my 
text, ver. 16, is called the canon, or rule of the new 
creature ; for it is added, " As many as walk according 
to this rule, or canon, rw Kavovi tovti^, peace be on them." 
This is that cynosure or square that architects have in 
their operations for levelling the stones and timber 
suitably, that all the parts of the edifice may agree in 
a just proportion ;* thus must, thus will the Christian 
do, his desire and design is to lie square to the word of 
God, to " have respect to all God's commandments," 
* Ut singulae partes justa symmetria cohaerent Calv. in he 


Psal. cxix. 6 ; " To walk in all the commandments and 
ordinances of the Lord blameless," Luke i. 6. 

Every child of God is taught by God to walk by 
rule. All callings have their proper rule ; the physi- 
cian studies Galen ; the lawyer his Littleton ; the 
philospher his Aristole and Plato ; yet in all profes- 
sions men may vary in their methods, in the same 
calling, because no rule is so perfect, to which another 
may not add something; but the standing rule of God's 
word is perfect, Psal. xix. 7 ; " able to make the man 
of God perfect," 2 Tim. iii. 17. Nothing must be added 
to it, or taken from it. The Christian is both drawn 
and determined by its authority, more than by a whole 
team of human arguments. 

(10.) And lastly, here is the end of this new creature, 
which is twofold, first, the glorij of God; and secondly, 
the soul's present and everlasting communion with him. 
Both these are wrapped up together, and are very con- 
sistent ; yea, cannot be separated. Now God's glory 
is promoted by the new creature, in this world, and in 
the other, 

[i.] In this world the new creature only is capable 
of glorifying God ; such a soul is planted in Christ the 
true vine, and " glorifies God by bringing forth much 
fruit," John xv. 8. " Being filled with the fruits of 
righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the 
glory and praise of God," Phil. i. 11. The chief 
design of the true Christian and the new creature, is 
to promote the glory of God, actively and passively ; 
this is the first petition in the Lord's prayer ; and the 
first right step the converted soul takes heaven-ward; 
he is content to be villified, so that God may be glo- 
rified ; and if God be glorified by others, whatever 
become of him, he rejoiceth, as Paul, in the preaching 


of Christ by others, to iireach down his credit, Phil, 
i. 18. 

[ii.] In the next world also, this new creature will 
form an illustrious monument to the glory of Jehovah, 
" When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and 
admired in all them that believe," 2 Thess. i. 10. The 
existence of this new creation will reflect more glory to 
the author than that of the old one. O what a glo- 
rious sight will it be to see so many bright stars in the 
firmament of glory, borrowing their light from, and 
reflecting light to the Sun of righteousness ! 

Besides, the new creature is the only person on 
earth that is qualified for communion with God ; he 
only can say, " Truly our fellowship is Avith the Father, 
and with his Son Jesus Christ," 1 John i. 3. It is this 
new creation that raiseth this clod of clay above the 
earth, and engageth the heart to approach to God, 
while others "worship afar off," Jer. xxx. 21. Exod. 
xxiv. 1. These holy souls are they that worship in the 
" temple of God, and at the altar," Rev. xi. 1. Psal. 
cxlviii. 14. God admits them into his presence, as a 
people near to him. The Christian is the man who 
sanctifies God's name in his worship, and is satisfied 
with the fatness of God's house. Here is the blessed 
merchant that trades in rich pearls, that goes from 
port to port, from ordinance to ordinance ; not to see 
places, but to take in his lading of communications, 
graces, privileges, assurance, and comfort from God. 



II. It is now my province briefly to assign reasons, 
why the Holy Ghost gives this saving conversion the 
title of a " new creature," or, as the word is, a " new 
creation." Now the answer is, because in many things 
it bears some analogy and resemblance to the first 
spacious universe of heaven and earth, this magnificent 
structure. I shall run the parallel between them in 
these twelve particulars : 

1. God is the first and only cause of the creation of 
the world, not angels nor created intelligences of any 
rank, who though they be mighty, yet are not Al- 
mighty. It is the peculiar prerogative of Elohim, the 
infinite God, to create. God orders the Jews in Ba- 
bylon to repeat that famous sentence in the Chaldee 
language, to confute their idolatry, Jer. x. 11, " Thus 
shall ye say luito them. The gods that have not made 
the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from 
the earth, and from under these heavens." The reason 
is given in the Hebrew language, ver. 12, "He hath 
made the earth by his power ; he hath established the 
world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the hea- 
vens by his discretion." In creation, divines say, God 
is the only cause simply, but in his other works, he is 
the cause of this creature being different from that.* 
So none but God can create this new man ; " Have we 
not all one Father ? hath not one great God created 
us ? We are God's workmanship, it is the same 

* Deus est causa simpliciter in creatione^ at essendi hoc in aliis. — 
Fide Weems's Image of God in Man, page 3. 
VOL. v. D 


mighty power that raised Christ from the dead that 
gives faith to the souls of men, and quickens the 

2. God made all things of nothing, that is, of things 
that had no existence before he made them. " He 
calleth those things which be not, as though they 
were."* Indeed we are told that nothing is taken in 
a threefold sense. 

(1.) It is taken privatively, so an idol is nothing; 
that is, it hath no divinity in it. 

(2.) Comparatively, so all the world is nothing be- 
fore God.f 

(3.) Nothing negatively or simply; so there was 
no fruit upon the fig-tree. :j: In this sense God made 
the world of nothing ; there was no pre-existent mat- 
ter for him to work upon. Just thus in the new 
creation, when God comes to operate upon a sin- 
ner, he finds no principle of grace or inclination to 
good in him. " I know," saith blessed Paul, " that 
in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing," 
Rom. vii. 18. Nay, there is much evil in us; even 
worse still, there is antipathy to what is good, within 
our depraved hearts. Thus, as in the first creation, 
God produceth a habit from the negation ; he works a 
principle of grace where there was no such thing. 

3. God made all things by Christ, his infinite and 
co-eternal Son. '• All things were made by him," that 
is, by the essential word, " and without him was not 
any thing made that was made," John i. 3. " By him 
were all things created, visible and invisible." By 
this Heir of all things he made the worlds, both ac- 
cording to the matter and form thereof, Col. i. 16. 
Heb. i. 2. And thus it is in the new creation, for " we 

* Mai. ii. 10. Eph. ii. 10. i. 20. Rom. iv. I7. 

t 1 Cor. viii. 4. Isa. xl. I7. + Mark xi. 13. 


r,re his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto 
good works," Eph, ii. 10. After him the new crea- 
ture is formed ; for God in his unveiled majesty is 
invisible, not obvious clearly either to corporeal eyes 
or human minds, but Christ is the express image of 
his person, Heb. i. 3 ; and manifests the glorious per- 
fections of the infinite God : that " as we have borne 
the image of the earthly Adam, we should bear the 
image of the heavenly," 1 Cor. xv. 45, 49, that is 
Christ ; thus in the incarnation, God became man ; 
in regeneration, man becomes like God. 

4. God created all things with a v/ord : so saith 
the apostle, " Through faith we understand, that the 
worlds were framed by the word of God," Heb. xi. 3. 
God's Jiaf, or let it be, produced the whole fabric of 
heaven and earth. " By the word of the Lord were 
the heavens made, and all the host of them, by the 
breath of his mouth," Psal. xxxiii. 6. Art needeth 
many helps ; nature needeth few ; God needeth none, 
nor doth use any instrument in the creation, for no- 
thing can intervene between the first cause and the 
first effect ; it is an immediate product of his sovereign 
will and pleasure. So it is in this new creation ; 
James i, 18, " Of his own will begat he us with the 
word of truth." God speaks the word, and the sinner 
is converted. If it be said, that ministers are instru- 
ments in conversion, I answer, but still they are no- 
thing, " neither is he that planteth any thing," 1 Cor. 
iii. 7. They need God ; God needs not them, he can 
do his work without them ; yea, in the first infusion 
of a principle of saving grace, there is nothing of in- 
strumentality, it is done immediately. 

5. God made all things good and perfect at first. 
Every creature of God is good ; and God saw every 

D 2 


thing that he had made, and hehold it was very good ;* 
nothing was made either unadvisedly or to no purpose.f 
A tiling may be said to be good, as it is correspondent 
to the idea of the divine wisdom, or as it is fit for that 
use to which it is designed, and for which it serves. 
It needs not be enquired, whether God could not have 
made the world, or its parts, better or more perfect ; 
for if we consider the world in respect of the whole, 
it is perfect both as to its degrees and parts. But 
as to its parts severally, God could have made them 
better ; as in a camp, there are captains, soldiers, and 
a general ; in some respect if a soldier were a captain, 
he would be better, but in respect of the whole army, 
v/hich consists of superiors and inferiors, he is better 
as a soldier. So in this new creature, it is perfect 
in its kind, in subserviency to God's great purposes, 
though defective in point of degree in this world ; 
hence God's children are said to be not perfect, as 
"having not attained," Phil. iii. 12. "yet they are 
perfect," ver. 15. 

6. Though God from eternity purposed to create 
the world, yet the world was created only in time, not 
from eternity ; Gen. i. 1, " In the beginning God 
created the heaven and the earth. God worketh all 
things according to the counsel of his own will," Eph. 
i. 11. It is tr .e, all things had a kind of being in 
God, as in the cause whence all things flow, in the 
eternal mind or idea according to which all things 
were framed ; but they had not their real or actual 
existence, till God in his wisdom thought good to pro- 
duce them. " In thy book," saith David, Psal. cxxxix. 
16, "were all my members written." Thus it is in 

* 1 Tim. iv. 4. Gen. i. 31. 

t Quia nee temere nee frustra factum. 


this new creation ; God hath a book of life, and such 
as are in the book of life, will in time be savingly 
converted, called, sanctified, justified, and glorified. 
Thus runs the golden chain, Rom. viii. 29, 30. " As 
many as were ordained to eternal life, believe." All 
such as " the Father gives to Christ, shall come to 
him," John vi. 37. " He hath chosen us in Christ 
before the foundation of the world, that we should be 
holy," Eph. i. 4. So then this new creation in time, is 
the result and effect of God's determination before all 
time. See 2 Thess. ii. 13. 

7. The creation of the world was gradual, both as 
to time, and as to manner. In point of time, God 
made the world in six days. Gen. i. Not but that 
God could have despatched all in a moment, but for 
sundry weighty reasons he took every day a moment 
to do the work of that day in. Thus God is perfect- 
ing this new creation all the time of a Christian's life; 
and for his manner or method of working, God pro- 
ceeded from imperfect to perfect : first, God made a 
confused chaos, then he formed the elements,* then 
what ariseth from them. First, he made things with- 
out life, then things having life. Man, that was the 
master-piece of the whole creation, he made the last. 
Even thus doth grace proceed in the new creation ; he 
first forms a chaos, having some confusion of spirit from 
a legal work, at the commencement " comes a spirit of 
bondage," to fear, " then a spirit of adoption,"! first, 
some glimmering light in the mind, then the day star 
ariseth in the soul ; and the " sun of righteousness 
comes with healing under his wings.":]: The grace of 
God grows till the Christian comes unto a perfect man, 

* Orta ex dementis. t Rom. viii. 15. 

+ 2Pet. i. 19. Mai. iv. 2. 


" unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of 

8. The first thing that God created was light, Gen. 
i. 3, 4, " God said, Let there be light, and there was 
light." In this he proceeds from total privation to 
habit ; it is hard to describe this light, possibly it was 
a bright lucid body, like the fiery cloud in the wilder- 
ness, giving imperfect light, successively moving over 
the several parts of the earth, and afterAvards con- 
densed, increased, perfected, and gathered together in 
the sun ; the apostle applies this to the workings of 
of God's Spirit in converting a sinner, 2 Cor. iv. 6, 
" For God who commanded the light to shine out of 
darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ." The first thing a limner draws in a 
picture is the eye ; the first lineament of this gracious 
new man, is saving knowledge. God will not dwell 
in a dark house, and therefore first he breaks out 
windows in his habitation ; " without knowledge the 
heart is not good."j The devil's kingdom is a king- 
dom of darkness ; Christ's of light ; converting grace 
delivers us " from the power of darkness, and trans- 
lates us into the kingdom of God's dear Son," which is a 
state of "marvellous light." t. 

9. God created some things actually, other things 
potentially, or virtually. Gen. i. 11, 12, "And God said. 
Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, 
the tree yielding fruit." Some things were made in 
their first principles, as from bees came honey ; fi'om 
the vine, grapes, and thence wine ; oil, from the olive, 
&c. Thus it is in the new creation, God plants a seed, 
a habit of spiritual life, \\'hich of its ov/n nature inclines 

* Eph. iv. 13. t Piov. xix. 2. ; Col. i. 13. 1 Ptt. ii. 9. 


the Christian to acts of holiness. In every habit there 
is a propensity to act ; so " faith worketh by love," 
Gal, V. 6. Repentance brings forth " fruits meet for 
such a principle," Matt. iii. 8. Heavenly acts are the 
genuine fruits of saving grace, yea, inseparable com- 

10. The same hand that created doth uphold the 
creature ; else it would crumble into its primitive no- 
thing ; so " God upholds all things by the word of his 
power," Heb. i. 3 ; he doth not as an artificer, who 
makes a clock, a watch, a ship, or other machine, and 
leaves it to others to wind it up, or maintain it ; but a 
divine maintenancy is vouchsafed to every creature, 
which God hath made ; creatures are but shadows to 
the body ; or as the reflection of the glass which 
vanisheth, when the face is turned away ; Psal. civ 29, 
" Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled ; thou takest 
away their breath, they die, and return to the dust." 
In the chain of second causes, God stands at the com- 
mencement, and actuates every part thereof by his in- 
fluence ; " I will hear the heavens, said he, and they 
shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, 
and wine, and oil, and they shall hear Jezreel."* Thus 
it is with the new creature, assisting grace supplies 
and actuates received grace in every duty and exercise, 
" without Christ we can do nothing ;" we must lean 
upon our beloved every step of the way, or we fall ; 
nothing will go forward without a daily supply of the 
Spirit of Jesus Christ, f 

11. God had glorious ends in the work of creation. 
" The Lord made all things for himself," Prov. xvi. 4 ; 
for his service and glory. This the four and twenty elders 
acknowledge, " Thou art worthy, () Lord, to receive 
glory, and honour, and power ; for thou hast created 

* Hos. ii. 21, 22. t John xv. 5. Cant. viii. 5. Phil. i. 19- 


all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were 
created," Rev. iv. 10, 11. All creatures have a ten- 
dency towards their origin, and thereby declare that 
God is their supreme cause and ultimate end ; as all 
rivers come from the sea, and run back into it, Eccl. i. 
5 — 7 ; every creature leads man to God ; " for," Rom. 
xi. 36, " of him," as the efficient cause, " through him," 
as the preserving cause, " and to him" as the final cause, 
" are all things, to whom be glory for ever, Amen ;" 
yea, further, " The heavens declare the glory of God, 
and the firmament sheweth his handy M^ork," Psal. xix. 
1. Every creature hath a legible character of God's 
power, wisdom, and goodness engraven upon it, and 
hath a mouth to preach something of the magnificence 
of its Creator ; the visible creature leads man to its in- 
visible Maker ; nay fm'ther, by that supply which the 
creature affords to man, it gives him abundant cause of 
glorifying God; hence saith the apostle, 1 Cor. x. 31, 
" Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatever ye 
do, do all to the glory of God." Much more doth the 
new creature work directly to the attaining of God's 
high and glorious purposes, as might be demonstrated, 
— by its accomplishing God's pleasure, for holiness is 
according to his will, 1 Thess. iv. 3. — By working the 
soul God-wards, it places the affections on things above, 
Col. iii. 1, 2. — As it evidently displays all God's glo- 
rious attributes, being the lively picture of the Deity 
engraven on the soul. — And doth contribute much to 
the soul's advancing the glory of God ; as we shewed 

12. The whole creation shall be burnt, 2 Pet. iii. 
10, 12, " The heavens shall pass away with a great 
noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the 
earth also, and the works that are therein shall be 
burnt up." Not that this glorious structure shall be 

reasoNkS for the title. 43 

annihilated, or turned into its original nothing, I can- 
not think so ; but it shall be purified, refined, and 
freed from the filthy dregs with which sin hath stained 
it. So I find Amesius say,* that the elements shall 
not be quite taken away, but changed, and purified ; 
that the substance shall remain, only the corrupt 
qualities introduced by sin, shall be purged away ;f for, 

(1.) In Peter it is said, the heavens and the earth are 
kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of 
judgment. Now, fire turns combustible matter into 
its ov/n nature, but doth not quite consume the matter 
it feeds on, but purifies things ; all melting of metals, 
is not annihilating of them. 

(2.) Scripture rather asserts a mutation or changing 
of these material heavens and earth, than a total abo- 
lition ; Psal. cii. 25, 26, " Yea, all of them shall wax 
old like a garment, as a vesture shalt thou change 
them, and they shall be changed." The seventy em- 
ploy kXi^HQ, thou shalt fold them ; and thus the apostle 
translates this text, Heb. i. 12, "As a vesture shalt 
fold thou them up, and they shall be changed ;" allud- 
ing to a garment, or a book, or scroll of parchment, 
when it is folded up, there are no letters or words 
visible ; thus it passeth away by a notable change. 

(3.) The whole creation lies under the curse and sad 
effects of sin, which by a kind of natural instinct, it 
longs to be delivered from ; see Rom. viii. 20 — 23, 
" The whole creation groaneth and travelleth in pain 
together until now," &c. Calvin saith, there is no 
element, or part of the world, but is touched with the 
sense of the creature's misery, and longs for the ex- 

* Elementa non erunt sublata, sed mutata et purgata. 

+ De mundi dementis hoc unum dicam, absumptum iri tantiim, 
ut novam qualitatem induant, maneute substantia. — Calv. 2 
Vder iii. 10. 

44 A NEW CllEATUltE. 

pected resurrection ; and surely God will not frustrate 
its expectation.* 

(4.) There is something in the following texts that 
look this way, Psal. xciii. 1, " The world also is 
established that it cannot be moved ;" Eccl. i. 4, " The 
earth abideth for ever ;" Eccl. iii. 14, " Whatsoever 
God doth, it shall be for ever ;" Psal. cxix. 90, " Thou 
hast established the earth, and it abideth." All these 
speak the world's continuance. 

But you may say, of what use will heavens and 
earth then be ? I answer. 

As an everlasting monument of God's power, wis- 
dom, and goodness, and possibly righteous men shall 
dwell in this new heaven and earth, and contemplate 
God in his glorious works ; 2 Pet. iii. 13. That new 
world shall be possessed only by saints, no sinners 
shall be with them. 

Now if we apply all this to this new creation where- 
of we are treating, it will exactly coincide. Grace 
shall continue, " He that doth the will of God, shall 
abide for ever." | This principle is an immortal seed ; 
and shall be cleansed from all dregs of sin, and its con- 
sequences ; and the spirits of just men " shall be made 
perfect ;" yea, their bodies " shall be made like unto 
the glorious body of our Lord Jesus ;" and though 
they may pass through the fire, not of Popish purga- 
tory, but of affliction, or of the Spirit's refining, yet 
they shall lose nothing but dross, and shall come forth 
as gold.i 

Thus I have run a parallel between the old creation 
and the new. 

* Hunc locum accipio, Nullum esse elementum, nullamve 
mundi partem, quag non velutl prassentis miserite agnitione tacta 
in spem resurrectionis intenta sit. 

t 1 John ii. 17. X Heb. xii. 23. Phil. iii. 21. 1 Cor. iii. 13. 


But this new creation is better, and more difficult 
than the old. 

1. It is better, though the first was perfect in its 
kind, yet this is more excellent workmanship, being of 
a more pure, refined, spiritual nature, and repairs 
w^hat was decayed in the old. It is also brought about 
with more transcendent love and good will, and hath 
a reference to the everlasting interests of precious souls 
in the other world. But of this more anon. 

2. This is a creation in some respects more difficult 
than the former was. It may seem a paradox, that 
the framing of this new creation in the heart of a sin- 
ner, is a greater work, and of more difficulty, than that 
of making this great universe, heaven and earth ; mis- 
take not, this difficulty is not in respect of God's omni- 
potency, to whom all things are possible and easy; but 
with respect to the thing itself, and our consideration 
of it, this appears to our apprehension in these four 
respects : — 

(1.) When God made the world, he met with no 
opposition ; he spake the word, and none uttered any 
contradiction ; but in this new creation, the world, the 
devil, internal depravity, and sometimes custom in sin 
oppose this work ; the " carnal mind is enmity itself 
against God," and fights against him, Rom. viii. 7. 

(2,) When God made the world, it cost him but the 
speaking of a word, as has been said ; but in order to 
this new creation, it cost him dear, even the giving of 
his own Son to become man, to live a life of sorrow, to 
endure the painful, ignominious, accursed death of the 
cross, that sinners might be reconciled to God, and be- 
come like God. 

(3.) When God made the world, he needed not, no, 
nor used any instruments, in order to the eflecting of 
that work ; but in this of the new creation, he sends 


ministers labouring, travelling, and long waiting on 
sinners, to persuade them ; he chooses men like them- 
selves, endows them with gifts, gives them compas- 
sionate hearts, to weep over others, and beseech them 
with earnest entreaties to repent ; yet that will not do, 
except the Spirit stri^'e and prevail. 

(4.) When God made the world, all was complete in 
six days ; " Heaven and earth were finished," Gen. ii. 
1, " and all the host of them ;" there needed not a se- 
cond hand ; but he is carrying on this work of the new 
creation many years, the whole life of the Christian ; 
if he live a hundred years, it will be still defective in 
point of degree, and never complete, till the soul be 
landed in heaven. 



HI. It was further proposed to demonstrate, wherein 
this new creature is of the first importance to the souls 
of men. 

And here, lest I be mistaken, I must premise two 
caveats by way of exception : the first refers to the 
kind ; the second, to the end of this availableness. 

1. As to the kind, we must beware how we put the 
new creature in the room of Christ. It is not so avail- 
able as our blessed Lord Jesus is, who is the only 
" foundation, on which the church is built," and " able 
to save to the uttermost :" no creature must be set up 

ITS nrpouTANCE, 47 

ill competition with hiiii, for " there is no salvation in 
any other,"* And herein I am afraid the quakers are 
guilty of a gross heresy, who call iis from a Christ 
without us, to a Christ within us ; yea, it hath been 
a dispute in the plantation, called Pensylvania, whether 
we must believe only in a Christ within us, or a Christ 
both within and without us, and it was carried mostly 
in the former sense. But let no man be drawn from 
placing his entire confidence in Christ, as both God 
and man in one person, who suffered death on the 
cross to make atonement for sinners, and now " sits on 
the right hand of God to make intercession for us." — 
If by a Christ within, they mean that called light 
within, either free will or natural conscience, or a 
power to help ourselves without special grace, it is an 
exploded error ; and it is to be feared, the Jesuits 
deliver their popish doctrine out of these men's 
mouths in refined language. — If by Christ within, be 
meant Christ's 2)erson in the believer, it is blasphemy. 
• — If intended to signify, " Christ within us, the hope of 
glory," Col. i. 27, or " Christ dwelling in our hearts by 
faith," Eph. iii. 17, it is as the sun is in the house, 
when the beams or rays thereof shine into it. So 
Christ dwells in souls by his Spirit, Rom. viii. 9, and 
its graces ; and this is what is called the new creature, 
which however is but a creature, and a weak one, 
full of imperfections : it is a vein of gold enveloped 
in earth and dross, not to be trusted to. The bride 
may highly prize her husband's picture, if like him, 
and drawn by his hand ; but it is ridiculous to dote 
on that, and slight her husband ; and when she wants 
money or clothes, to go not to her husband for them, 
but to his picture. Surely, our Lord will not take it 
well, if men honour his image to the dishonour of his 
* 1 Cor. iii. 11. Heb. vii. 25. Acts iv. 12. 


person : the original is one thing, the copy is another, 
Christ, the object of our faith, and the fruit of his 
Spirit are different : grace in the heart is not so avail- 
able as Christ in heaven. Let every thing have its 
due place. 

2. That which refers to the end, is this negative,, 
that the new creature is not ordained to have a direct 
tendency to the justification of a sinner : God did not 
appoint it for this purpose. The instrument appointed 
is faith in Christ, Rom. iii. 20 — 22, in his blood, 
merits, and satisfaction to divine justice, apprehended 
by faith alone. And this excludes not only man's 
merits, but any gracious habits wrought in man, or 
good works done by him ; nay, it also excludes faith 
itself, as the work of man, any otherwise than as 
laying hold on Christ's righteousness. This I affirm, 
that neither the new creature, nor the best inherent 
righteousness can justify a sinner before God's tri- 
bunal. For a " man is not justified by the works of 
the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ." And lest 
any should say, it was by the works only of the cere- 
monial law, it is apparent the apostle includes the 
moral law ; for the Gentiles were never bound to the 
ceremonial law, yet he proves both "Jews and Gentiles 
to be both under sin," and both alike justified by 
Christ in the way of believing ; but " where there is 
no law, there is no transgression." Besides, that law 
which shews sin, is the moral law ; " For by the law is 
the knowledge of sin."* And it is that law which 
drives us out of self to Christ, and therefore it can 
never justify us : God hath nailed up that door, so 
that none since the fall can enter into happiness by 
law-righteousness. This way to heaven is like the 
north west passage to the Indies, whoever attempts it, 
* Gal. ii. 16. Rom. iii. 9. ii. 26, 27- iv. 15. iii, 20. 


is sure to be frozen up before he gets half way thither. 
But it may be objected. 

If a legal righteousness, produced by our own 
strength, will not justify a sinner, yet this new crea- 
ture, or the habit, or exercise of evangelical righteous- 
ness will surely justify ? 

The apostle himself answers, no ; and he instancetli 
in two famous saints in the Old Testament, — the one 
is Abraham, the other David, Rom. iv. 1, 6. Faith- 
ful, holy Abraham, though no idolater, but circumcised, 
offering his son, must not glory in any habit or acts of 
grace. And David, though a man after God's own 
heart, yet saith, " Enter not into judgment with thy 
servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justi- 
fied :" " If the Lord mark inicjuity, who can stand ?" 
Holy Paul dares not stand in his own righteousness at 
God's bar, but " in the righteousness, which is of God 
by faith."* Indeed this imparted or inherent holiness, 
was communicated to the soul for other ends than to 
justify a sinner before God, from the guilt of any one 
sin ; and yet this new creature is very important to 
the souls of men in these twelve cases : 

1. This new creation rectifies the soul's faculties, 
which were marred by Adam's fall. The former 
structure, though once a famous edifice, was, in conse- 
quence of transgression, not only tottering, but a ruin- 
ous house, and lies in rubbish ; this new creation re- 
edifies it in a more stately, sumptuous manner : yea, 
it is richly adorned thereby : " They shall be an orna- 
ment of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy 
neck." Thereb)!' the Christian " is more excellent than 
his neighbour," " of an excellent spirit," more excellent 
than himself was : * he is thus become like the angels, 

* Psalm cxlili. 2. cxxx. 3. Phil. iii. 7 — 5^- 
t Prov. i. 9. xii. 26. xvii. 27- 


yea, like God himself: and though he he short of 
Adam in the degree of grace, j^et upon better ground, 
in point of duration : and now " great grace" is upon 
all true believers, Acts iv. 33. Man, by his fall, " be- 
came like the beasts that perish," Psalm xlix. 12 : but 
this new creature makes him better than other men. 
All men are on a level as to God, till this new creation 
sets a divine stamp on some. " The tongue of the 
just is as choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is 
little -worth," Prov. x. 20. God only hath sovereignty 
and authority to rate his creatures : this is the estimate 
he forms. 

2. This new creature is the fruit and evidence of 
everlasting love ; this is the legible print of God's pur- 
pose from eternity. " He hath chosen us, — that we 
should be holy," Eph. i. 4 : this is the proper result of 
free, undeserved grace. Gal. i. 15, God " calls by his 
grace :" this is the glorious display of his banner of love 
over the souls of men. In the old creation there was 
the strength of God's arm ; in this there is the working 
of God's bowels. God found all mankind alike in- 
volved in sin and misery, but " grace makes some to 
differ from others," 1 Cor. iv. 6, 7. As a curious land- 
holder seeing a forest spreading over his ground, marks 
some trees, designing to make of them some rare pieces 
of workmanship ; thus God carves his own image 
on a common log, and sets it apart for himself: this 
is an act of discriminating love, and when the sin- 
ner sees it, he must cry out, " Who am I, O Lord 
God, that thou hast brought me hitherto ?" " By the 
grace of God I am what I am :" this, this is a " shed- 
ding abroad of his love in my heart :" * I read love in 
every line and letter of this new impression ; and doth 
not this avail a person much ? 

* 2 Sam, vii. 18. 1 Cor. xv. 10. Rom. v. 5. 

ITS II\rP01lTAXCE. 51 

S. This new creation consecrates the soul to be a 
residence for God, and renders the person acceptable to 
him. God dwells in the humble and holy heart : there 
only he takes up his lodging, when he hath perfumed 
the heart with myrrh and frankincense : having built 
this mansion-house, it " becomes a habitation of God 
through the Spirit, a temple of the Holy Ghost." * God 
hath two thrones — one in heaven, and the other in a 
holy heart : the soul and body is a " sacrifice holy and 
acceptable to God," Rom. xii. 1. Happy sovil, that is 
thus owned by the great God : no matter should men 
reject you, if God receive you ; if men desert you, yet 
if God abide v/ith you, you are happy : God casts out 
the devil's furniture, and saith, " This is my rest for 
ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it," Psalm 
cxxxii. 14, 15. No bad house will be kept there where 
God dwells, for he makes all welcome ; this is impor- 

4. The first instant of this new creation, commences 
' a communion with God ; this is a consequence of the 
former, and the peculiar privilege of a saint : " Truly 
our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son." 
This conlmunion with God, is a mystery to most men: 
every one that hangs about the court, doth not speak 
with the king : many meddle with duties, but meet 
not with God. " It is good for me to draw nigh to 
God." How oft doth the Christian cry out, " Oh 
when shall I come and appear before God ?" f This 
new creature puts a bias in the soul God-wards, it na- 
turally carries the believer upwards, to engage " his 
heart in approaching to God ;" and the " Lord meets 
him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness." Birds 
cannot converse vrith men, there is not a suitableness 

* Isa. Ivii. 15. Cant. iii. 6. Ephes. ii. 22. ] Cor. vi. 17, 19. 
t 1 John i. 3. Psalm Ixxiii. 28. xlii. 2. 
VOL. V. E 

:j2 a new creature. 

of nature ; a " hypocrite cannot, dare not come ])efore 
God :" * but a saint can draw near with boldness 
through Christ ; for he is like God, and communion is 
founded in similitude, f 

5. This new creature evidenceth a soul's interest 
in Christ, and union to him ; yea, puts the poor be- 
liever in a capacity of deriving influence from him, as 
the child in the womb draws nourishment from the 
mother. It is this new creature that evidenceth our in- 
terest in Christ; "If any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creature." This was one end of our Lord's giving 
himself for us, to " purchase to himself a peculiar 
people." Christ's cross was both an altar and a laver, 
to expiate and to purify, to sanctify and justify ; you 
shall obtain continual supplies of grace from Christ, 
and of his fulness receive grace for grace, t The nev/ 
creature hath a constant spring to feed it, and to re- 
cruit it in its decays ; God still saith, " My grace shall 
be sufficient for thee ;" so he becomes indefectible, the 
new creature needs not to fear famishing, having such 
breasts of consolation to suck, and such a storehouse ; 
so saith the apostle, " The God of all grace, who hath 
called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after 
that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, 
strengthen, settle you ;" || surely then this new creature 
avails much. 

6. The new creature is the inlet or avenue to true 
joy, peace, and satisfaction ; though in its first infancy, 
there be a casting down, yet it is in order to a lifting 
up. Light is sown for the righteous ; it may for a 
season lie in tlie furrows of gospel sorrow ; " They 

* Jer. XXX. 21. Isa. Ixiv. 5. Job. xiii. 16. 
t Communio fundatur in similitudine. 
t 2 Cor. V. 17. Tit. ii. 14. John i. 16. 
II 2 Cor. xii. 9. Isaiah Ixvi. 11, 1 Pet. v. 10. 


that SOW in tears, shall reap in joy," just like the pangs 
of a child-bearing woman, that end in comfort. " The 
kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the 
Holy Ghost;* all joy comes in at this door; that is 
but a spurious, yea diabolical peace, which is not a 
companion of the new creature ; " when a strong man 
armed keepeth the palace, his goods are in peace ;" the 
palace is the heart, the goods are the sou.rs faculties ; 
the strong man is the devil ; the soul hath never a 
quiet hour in God's way, till Satan be dispossessed, and 
a rightful Lord introduced, that is, our Lord Jesus. 
It is true, there are oft furrows in the face of the new 
creature, but they are for sin, and for want of the sense 
of its in-being ; but in God's time, " he will rejoice Math 
joy unspeakable and full of glory ;" sorrowful suffer- 
ings will at last " yield the peaceable fruits of righteous- 
ness."! And is this worth nothing? 

7. This new creature hath all things profitable en- 
tailed upon it. " Godliness is profitable to all things ;" 
yea, "godliness with contentment, is great gain." All 
the good things of heaven and earth, are made sure by 
covenant title to this new creature ; " All things are 
yours," saith God ; every thing turns to advantage ; 
the Christian is the true chymist, to extract gold out of 
every thing ; " All things work together for good to 
him ;"1 though not singly, yet jointly, combined with 
other ingredients ; he gains for the improvement of this 
new man by outward losses. Every mercy, ordinance, 
providence, and affliction becomes a talent by which he 
is a gainer. Matt. xxv. 27. If he fight with Satan, 
he gets ground at last. In petty skirmishes and some 
battles the Carthaginians obtained victories, but the 

* Psalm xcvii. 11. cxxvi. [>, 6. John xvi. 21. Rom. xiv. 17- 
t Luke xi. 21, 22. 1 Pet. i. 8. Heb. xii. 11. 
t 1 Tim. iv. 8. vi. 0. 1 Cor. iii. 21. Rom. viii. 28. 

E 2 


Romans came oft' conquerors in the end. So the pious 
Christian may receive some foils, but " at last he shall 
be more than a conqueror," yea, "a triumpher" through 
the Captain of his salvation, Rom. viii. 37. 

8. The new creature renders the person that hath it, 
safe, in a safe condition. He " that dwelleth in the 
secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the 
shadow of the Almighty." The holy angels are a 
royal guard to these " new-born babes of salvation." 
Many are the dangers to which the new creature is ex- 
posed ; but one angel is as a whole camp, to encompass 
and deliver God-fearing souls. * The God of angels is 
also nigh them, and saves them ; he will secure them 
from seduction, and the evil of temptation. It is not 
possible that the elect should be finally and irrecovera- 
bly seduced ; for grace establisheth the heart, and 
they " that are of us, shall no doubt continue with us :" 
they shall be kej^t " by mighty power, through faith to 
salvation." f And we know that these souls that are 
born of God, are so kept, " that the wicked one touch- 
eth them not :" God will " keep them, that they shall 
not be tempted above what they are able." God will 
furnish his child with armour of proof against Satan's 
assaults ; his breastplate may be shot at, but never 
shot through ; the " Christian's bow abides in strength," 
and he stands as a rock in the midst of waves. | He 
can neither be stormed nor undermined, if the saints 
have but a little strength, yet it shall be lasting, yea, 

9. The new creature makes Christians that possess 
it useful and profitable to all about them. It is natu- 
ral for this new creature to propagate religion : as 

* Psalm xci. 1. Heb. i. 14. Psalm xxxiv. '], 18. 

+ Matt. xxlv. 24. Heb. xiii. 9. 1 John ii. 19. 1 Pet. i. 6. 

+ 1 John V. 18. 1 Cor. x. 13. Rev. iii. 8—10. 


sin, so grace is assimilating : how solicitous was the 
church for her " little sister that had no breasts, when 
she should be spoken for?" How did the blessed apos- 
tle Paul pant after the conversion of his countrymen, 
the Jews? The believer labours to do good to all about 
him, both good and bad. He would fain pluck sin- 
ners out of the fire of hell, and engage them for 
heaven ; * and he spurs on his brethren in heaven's 
road, by counsels, admonitions, prayers, example, and 
all holy exercises in christian communion. Such be- 
come the pillars of the place and nation where they 
live : ten righteous persons might have saved Sodom ; 
and Lot's presence there bound the angels' hands till 
he was gone. The Christian will never know while 
he lives what use he has been of in the world. Every 
pious soul is a fruitful tree, that " brings forth fruit 
in due season, yea, in old age." f 

10. This new creature prepares souls for gospel- 
privileges ; it is only the new creature that is a vessel 
proper to receive the new wine of the gospel. Matt, 
ix. 16, 17. In the gospel all things are new, Rev. xxi. 
5. There is a new name, Rev. iii. 12 ; new church, 
Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 2 ; new way, Heb. x. 20 ; new 
covenant, Heb. viii. 8 ; a new commandment, John 
xiii. 34; new sacraments. Matt. xxvi. 26. xxviii. 19; 
a new relation, 1 Pet. ii. 9 ; a new condition, 2 Pet. 
iii. 13; and a new song. Rev. xiv. 3 : yea, new heavens 
and a new earth. And surely it is very fit that Chris- 
tians should have new hearts, which God promiseth in 
the new covenant, Ezek. xxxvi. 26, "A new heart will 
I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." 
New qualifications prepare persons* for new dispensa- 
tions ; therefore God joins the new heavens, and " new 

* Cant. viii. 8. Rom. ix. 1—3. x. 1. Jude, 22. 
t Gen. xviii. 32. Psalm i. 3. xcii. 14, 


earth with the new seed," Isa. Ixvi. 22, else there 
would be a great inconsistency. 

11. The new creature prepares persons for death 
and heaven ; " To these to live is Christ, and to die 
gain ; living and dying, these are the Lord's ;" it is 
this that renders ^^ersons " meet for the heavenly in- 
heritance."* None can see God, but those that are 
pure in heart ; these, and only these, are " wrought for 
this self-same thing." Heaven is not like Noah's ark, 
that had clean and unclean creatures brought into it ; 
" Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." j 
Frogs came into Pharoah's court; but no unclean thing 
can enter heaven. A sensual palate could not taste 
the sweetness of that wine which is in our Father's 
kingdom, for it is new wine, and renewed souls only 
are capable of taking pleasure in it. Happy is the 
man that hath got Christ in the arms of his faith, and 
in his heart by this new nature, he may lift up his 
head, and say with Simeon, " Now, Lord, lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for 
mine eyes have seen thy salvation.":}: And is not this 
important to souls ? 

12. This new creature is heaven begun ; it is a con- 
siderable part of heaven ; holiness is happiness ; it 
is the seed and embryo of the heavenly state. Grace 
and glory form a blessed connexion, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11 ; 
they differ only in degree, not in kind ; grace is glory 
begun, glory is grace consummated ; grace is the bud, 
glory is the flower. This new creature is the key of 
paradise, the inlet into glory ; yea, it is salvation al- 
ready, 2 Tim. i. 9, " Who hath saved and called us." 
Tills blessed work of the new creature is a " quicken- 

* Phil, i. 21. Rom. xiv. 8. Col. i. 12. 

t IMatt. V. 8. 2 Cor. v. .'>. Heb. xii. 14. 

:;: Rev. xxi. 9. Matt. xxvi. 29. Luke ii-. 29 30. 


ing of us together with Christ, and raiseth us up to- 
gether, and makes us sit together in heavenly places 
in Christ Jesus ;" and thus we are saved in our repre- 
sentative, Eph. ii. 5 — 7. This divine principle is hea- 
ven begun, not only as a pledge, but part of it. The 
scriptures often tell us, that God's children have eternal 
life, John xvii. 2. And this is, in irretio, in price, for 
it is a purchased possession, Eph. i. 14. — In j)romisso, 
in promise, for God hath promised eternal life to all 
that obey him. — In semine, in the seed, the water 
within the believer, is a well springing up to eternal 
life, John iv. 14. — In p'igno7'e, in pledge, this is called 
sometimes the "seal of the Holy Spirit;" sometimes the 
earnest, which is part of the thing to be enjoyed; some- 
times the witness of the Spirit, who never bears his testi- 
mony to a lie ; " He that believeth in the Son of God, 
hath the witness in himself; for the Holy Spirit bear- 
€th witness with our spirits."* And in these respects 
the new creature is important in such a manner, as no 
external gospel privileges, or worldly enjoyments are 
to the children of men. 



IV. For the practical improvement of this important 
truth, I shall keep close to the method which the Holy 
Ghost prescribes for the discussion of ail truths ; 2 
Tim. iii. 16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of 
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor- 
* Heb. V. 9, Eph. i. 13, 14. 1 John v. 10. Rom. viii. l(j. 


rection, for i?istrucfiofi in righteousness. These are 
the uses I shall make of this subject : 

First, For doctrine, or information of the judgment, 
that our minds may be acquainted with points proper 
to be known. 

Now there may be an inquiry into seven things re- 
lative to the new creature, which I shall reduce to 
question and answer. 

1. Q«. Is the framiiig of this new creature in the 
soul miraculous ? The reason of this question is, be- 
cause we have compared it to, and even shewed its 
precedency above the first creation, which was a mir- 
acle, therefore it should seem that this also must be so. 
Ansiv. (1.) Some things are miracles, yet not a 
creation ; as Stephen seeing Jesus at God's right hand. 
Acts vii. 55 ; or barren Sarah's conceiving, Gen. xxi. 
2 ; or the sun's going back, or standing still, Isa. 
xxxviii. 8 : for then nature only proceeds beyond its 
ordinary course. 

(2.) Some things are both a miracle and a creation, 
as the virgin Mary's conceiving, and bearing a Son, 
yet remaining a virgin, Luke i. 35. The production 
of manna was both a miracle and a creation, Exod. 
xvi. 15. 

{?>.) Some things only seem miraculous to ignorant 
people, as an eclipse of the sun, but mathematicians 
know the cause. 

(4.) Some things are a creation, yet not a miracle, 
as the conversion of a soul, the subject is a rational 
soul, and so capable of a principle of grace, and had 
once God's image ; but it was lost, and is recovered by 
a spiritual creation, of that which man had lost by his 
fall and folly. 

2. Q^n. Is there any inclination in man towards 
this new creation ? Or, is there any spark of good 


left in man upon his fall, that being improved by his 
natural faculties and diligence, may grow up to a new 
creature ? For it may seem there is in man a natural 
conscience, prompting him to good, excusing him in 
doing it, drawing him from evil, and accusing him on 
committing it. See Rom. ii. 14, 15. 

Ansiv. (1.) Those common notices or anticipations 
of good, are not in the will, but in the mind ; not 
in the affections, but conscience. * It was not en- 
graven on their will to choose it, but the power of 
some truths flashed in their eyes, that they could not 
but know them, and have some general liking for 
them ; so that they could not but know that adultery 
and stealing are bad, and the contrary, good. 

(2.) But whether these were left in man's heart 
after the fall, as relics of God's image, or introduced 
by God's providence afterwards for the good of man- 
kind, and to maintain peace and intercourse in so- 
cieties, is much disputed ; Mr. Capel, on Temptation, 
thinks the latter. However, 

(3.) All our Protestant writers affirm, with the 
scriptures, that man's nature is universally depraved, 
against the Socinians, who hold that the nature of man 
is not corrupted ; but say, whatsoever spot or vice is 
in man, proceeds from frequent acts of sin, and custom 
in sinning, without the internal corruption of his 
nature. But the scriptures tell us of man's total de- 
generacy. " In me," saith Paul, that is, " in my flesh, 
dwells no good thing." Our " mind and conscience is 
defiled." " There is none righteous, no, not one," of 
all the race of mankind. f And therefore they need "a 
sanctification throughout, in soul, spirit, and body.":]: 

* Koivai evvoiai, or Trp6\r}\pEiQ. Nee vero coi'dis nomen pro 
sede afFectiium, sed tantum pro intellectu capitur — Calv. in loc 
t Tit. i. 15. Rom. iii. 9, 10. t 1 Thess. v. 23. 


(4.) There is an utter inability in man to renew 
himself ; for we are " all without strength, cannot 
think a good thought;" yea, are dead in trespasses 
and sins ; * and merely passive in the first infusion of 
spiritual life ; a subject capable of divine operations ; 
but " in the power of darkness, led captive by Satan at 
his pleasure." The " carnal mind is enmity to God ; 
and " God works both to will, and to do, of his good 

3. Qii. ^Vhy then do God and man call upon us 
to turn ourselves, yea, to make for ourselves " a new 
heart and a new spirit," Ezek. xviii. 31, if this be not 
in our power ? Doth he not mock us, when he calls 
us to do that which he knows it is impossible for us 
to do? 

Answ. No; for, (1.) It was once in our power to 
do good by his donation, and if we have lost it by our 
own folly, and cannot do what he requires, we must 
hereby know, that God hath not lost his authority to 
command, because we have lost our ability to obey : 
he will let us know his sovereignty. But 

(2.) God knows man is a proud creature, and thinks 
he can do what he cannot. And now God commands, 
to convince him of his insufficiency, that he may look 
up to him for help. Yet, 

(3.) Though man has lost the rectitude of his facul- 
ties, he hath not lost his faculties ; he hath a rational 
soul, if he have not spiritual grace. Though carnal 
persons be morally dead, yet they are naturally alive. 
Men have a self-reflecting conscience, which they may, 
and must use; " It is the candle of the Lord, searching 
all the inward parts of the belly," Prov. xx. 27. 

* Rom. V. 6. 2 Cor. iii. 5. Ejih. ii. 1. 

t Siibjectum Dei actionem suscipiens. Col. i. 13. 2 Tim. ii. 26. 
Rom. viii. 7- 


(4.) It was the saying of Augustine, twelve hundred 
years ago, " He that made thee without thyself, will 
not save thee without thyself." If thou be not an 
efficient in thy own conversion, thou mayest and must 
be an instrument in thy salvation : thou art bound to 
work out thy own salvation, Phil. ii. 12. 

4. Qu. What is a man better for his endeavours, 
unless God give him the grace of this new creature ? 
All that he can do, will be to no purpose, nothing can 
be pleasing to God, or available to himself in his na- 
tural state. " For without faith it is impossible to 
please God," Heb. xi. 6. 

Answ. (1.) Though carnal men cannot do what God 
requires in a due manner, yet God hath some respect 
to such as for the matter do something of their duty. 
God took notice of Ahab's humiliation, and " promised 
not to bring the evil in his days," 1 Kings xxi. 27, 29. 
Jehoahaz was none of the best kings, " Yet, when he 
besought the Lord, he hearkened to him," 2 Kings xiii. 
4. And upon Rehoboam's humiliation, the Lord con- 
siderably remitted his punishment, 2 Chron. xii. 6, 7. 
And is not a relaxation or removal of outward punish- 
ment of some worth with you? Yea, though the 
young gentleman's obedience was but poor stuif, and 
he in his natural state, yet Jesus beholding him, loved 
him ; see Mark x. 20, 21. Is this nothing? 

(2.) However, such as frame not their hearts and 
doings to turn to God, and through sloth or wilfulness, 
neglect God's appointed means of becoming new crea- 
tures, do evidently declare themselves to be causes of 
their own damnation ; — render themselves daily worse 
and worse, and grow more unable to repent, 2 Tim. 
iii. 13 ; — provoke God to give them up to their own 
hearts' lusts, Psal. Ixxxi. 11, 12; — make themselves 
manifold more the children of wrath, Matt, xxiii. 15 ; 


— and are more inexcusable, and sink themselves 
deeper in hell. And is this any way desirable ? 

(3.) But though such poor souls cannot with all 
their endeavom's make themselves new creatures, yet 
we may say of such, as our Lord said of the scribe, 
Mark xii. 33, 34, when "he saw that he answered 
discreetly, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." 
You are in a hopeful way to heaven, while you are 
endeavouring in the use of God's appointed means. 

(4.) And who can tell what these labours will pro- 
duce? It is true, thou canst not deserve grace to 
challenge it as debt for the work done ; nor can I say 
that grace is due to thee by any promise ; for all the 
" promises of God are made in Christ," 2 Cor. i. 20. 
But I have something yet to say for thy encourage- 
ment : for, in the first place, thou hast to deal with a 
God of infinite goodness, who hath " sworn he delights 
not in the death of a sinner," Exod. xxxiv. 6. Ezek. 
xxxiii. 11. And who knows what he may do for 
thee ? — then God hath yet spared thy life, and is send- 
ing terms of reconciliation to thee a vile sinner, 2 Cor. 
v. 20 ; he stands knocking at thy door, while thou 
knockest at his. A general pardon is proclaimed, 
Mark xvi. 15 ; thou hast no cause to despair. — Didst 
thou ever meet with any that came sad, and dis- 
appointed from his door ? Did he ever say to any, 
" Seek ye me in vain ?" nay, doth he not say, " Those 
that come unto me, I will in no wise cast off?" — And 
doth he not say, " Those that seek me early, shall find 
me ? Doth not the gospel promise what the law com- 
mands ? God doth graciously undertake to do what 
he requires us to do ; he bids you " make you a new 
heart ;" and the same God saith, " I will put a new 
spirit within them."* O put him to it, and try 

* Isa. xlv. 19. John vi. 37- Prov. viii. I7. Ezek. xi. 19. 


him what he will do. The means I shall suggest here- 

5. Qu. Is not the new creature produced in the 
ordinance of baptism, which is called the washing or 
laver of regeneration ? Tit. iii. 5 ; then we need no 

Ansiv. (1.) Baptism, as circumcision of old, is " a 
seal of the righteousness of faith :" and supports faith 
either in the parent, or in . the child, or party bap- 
tized, for the "promise is to you and to your children." 
The apostles baptized believers. Now the effect is not 
before the cause : if they were regenerated before, 
baptism could not be the cause of regeneration. 

(2.) Yet some have been baptized upon the profes- 
sion of their faith, that never were regenerated, as 
" Simon Magus, who was still in the gall of bitter- 
ness."* So it was but a sign, no proper cause, which 
would have had its certain effect. 

(3.) If baptism were the cause of regeneration, then 
no unbaptized children could be regenerate, and so 
could not be saved, if dying in infancy; but David, 
by virtue of the covenant, believed his child's salva- 
tion, 2 Sam. xii. 23, though not circumcised. 

(4.) It is a groundless popish doctrine, to think that 
sacraments confer grace, f merely because used, or that 
they stamp an indelible character on the party bap- 
tized ; it is but an external act, and cannot reach the 
heart or conscience, any more than old testament rites 
could do, Heb. x. 1 — 4. Nor is it in the power of the 
holiest minister on earth, or angel in heaven, it is 
God's prerogative, and he is a free agent, 1 Pet. i. 23, 
to work or suspend his grace according to his pleasure. 

But you may say, doth not baptism now save ? 

My reply is, yes; when there is the answer of a good 

Rom. iv. 11. Acts ii. 39. Acts viii. 13, 23. 
t Ex opere operato. 


conscience, and then it is by the resurrection of Jesus 
Christ, 1 Pet, iii. 21. Rom. x. 9- The gospel preaching is 
" the power of God to salvation ;" yet all are not saved 
by it; "faith comes by hearing," Rom. x. 17. Yet 
all that hear, do not believe ; " for who hath believed 
our report ? " Ordinances are but channels, not 
springs of grace ; the blessing upon them depends 
entirely on sovereign grace. How many thousands have 
gone to hell with baptismal water on their faces ! Ish- 
mael, Esau, and all the house of Israel, in Jeremiah's 
days, were uncircumcised in heart, chap. ix. 26. Rest 
not satisfied with this, but see you " be baptized with 
the Holy Ghost, and with fire," Matt. iii. 11. 

6. Qu. Wherein doth this new creatiu'e excel shining 
morality, or the splendid, common graces of hypocrites? 

Answ. (1.) In the root or principle, produced by a 
saving change from nature to grace : carnal men, 
though they have never so fair a flower, yet want the 
" root of the matter," Job xix. 28. This unsoundness 
of heart is the hair in the moralist's pen that blurs all 
his fair writing ; as it was said of a person, of such and 
such virtues, yet he is a leper, (as was said of Naaman 
the Syrian,) still graceless, unprincipled. 

(2.) In its universality : " Zacharias and Elizabeth 
walked in all the commandments of the Lord," Luke 
i. 6. But of the moralist and the hypocrite it may be 
said, " The legs of the lame are not equal :" they are 
addicted to halting and halving : they are always par- 
tial, seem excellent in one grace, but defective in an- 
other; yea, totally want what is essentially necessary to 
constitute a saint. The moralist is defective in com- 
pliance with the first table of the law, the hypocrite 
with the second ; but the new creature lies sc|uare to 
all commands and duties, at all times, Psalm cvi. 3. 

(3.) The new creature acts for a right end, — God's 
glory and communion with him ; but the moralist or 


hypocrite always, and in every action, secretly casts his 
eye upon himself, his own profit, pleasure, or honour, 
as Jehu and the Pharisees. 

(4.) The new creature always regards Jesus Christ, 
both for assistance and acceptance ; the moralist and 
hypocrite stand upon their own legs, and think their 
penny, current money with God ; but the gracious soul 
denies himself in all ; his " works are wrought in 
God :" " He is accepted in the Beloved :" " In the 
Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall 
glory." * 

7. Qti. Wherein lies the difference betwixt this new 
creature, which consists in sanctification, and the state 
of justification ? The reason of this query is, because 
Papists and some others confound them. 

Answ. (1.) The new creature in sanctification, is an 
inherent production within us. " A new spirit will I 
put within you ;" and " the kingdom of God is within 
you." And though at first it be immediately caused 
by the Spirit, yet the Christian is an agent in pro- 
moting his sanctification ; he may and must cleanse 
himself, f But now justification is in consequence 
of a work done without us, by the Lord Christ, 
by his satisfaction of divine justice on the cross, 
and by his intercession at God's right hand, we have 
" redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of 
sins." The red lines of Christ's blood, blot out the 
black lines of our sins from God's debt-book : he 
'• washeth us from our sins in his own blood :" " He 
was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our 
justification." \ No other person or thing is interpos- 
ed ; not faith itself, as a work, hath any causality in 

* John Hi. 21. Eph. i. 6. Isa. xlv. 25. 

t Ezek. xxxvi. 26. Luke xvii. 21. 2 Cor vii. 1 1 John iii. 3. 

X Ephes. i. 7. 1 John i. 7. Rev. i. .5. Rom. iv. 25. 


this work; it is only God's free act of grace for Christ^s 
sake, to forgive sins. 

(2.) The new creature in sanctification, is not pro- 
duced in the same measure or degree in all the saints 
of God ; some that are sincere, come far short of 
others ; there are " some babes, others strong men." 
It is said of some kings of Israel, " there was none like 
them :" " Hananiah feared God above many :" there 
was none like Job in the earth. So there were diffe- 
rent products of the seed, yet all in good ground. * 
Some Christians abound in faith, love, humility, pati- 
ence, knowledge, mortification, — others are defective. 
But justification is alike to all, " and upon all that be- 
lieve, for there is no difference." The meanest, weak- 
est believer hath as large a portion as the strongest. 
The apostle John saith, " I write unto you little chil- 
dren, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's 
sake." They are as much justified as fathers and 
young men : Mary IMagdalene and the penitent thief 
were as much justified as Peter : the reason is, be- 
cause they are all " partakers of like precious faith." f 
The least measiu'e whereof attains its end of receiving 
Christ, as well as the greater ; for it is Christ received 
by faith, that justifies : a weak hand may receive a 
gift as well as a stronger, though not so steadily ; but 
it is the gift that enricheth, not the strength of the 

(3.) The new creature comes on by degrees, it is 
not complete at the first instant ; it is first an embr3^o, 
Christ formed in the heart, and then " increaseth with 
the increase of God, till it come to a perfect man, to 
the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." 
The apostle thanks God for the. Thessalonians, that 

* Heb. V. 13, 14. Neh. vii. 2. Job i. 8. Matt. xiii. 23. 
t Rom. iii. 22. 1 John ii. 12. 2 Pet. i. 1. 


their " faith did grow exceedingly, and charity."* It is 
like the sun that " shineth more and more to the per- 
fect day ;" a good man grows stronger and stronger. 
But now justification is complete at first, every whit 
as much at first, when ingrafted into Christ, as 
afterwards ; all that " believe, are justified from all 
things; no charge can be brought against them."-|- 
God " forgiveth all trespasses, blotting out the hand- 
writing ;" he thoroughly " washeth away his chil- 
dren's blood ;" there is not a spot to be seen on them, 
no indictment can be drawn up against them."| But 
you may ask, 

Why then are Christ's disciples bound to pray daily 
for pardon? Matt. vi. 12. 

I answer. Because we are daily committing new sins, 
in " many things we offend all ;" we miss it in every 
thing; oh, how "many are our secret faults ;"|j — and be- 
cause God would have us daily lie under the sense of 
our former guilt, the desert of sin, and the worth of 
pardoning grace. David was assured of pardon by 
Nathan ; yet afterwards prays for it. The prodigal 
son confessed his fault, after his father had fallen on 
his neck.^ Pardoning grace may be clouded in the 
sense and assurance of it, and in this respect the righ- 
teousness "of God is revealed from faith to faith," 
Rom. i. 17 ; from a less to a stronger faith. — And be- 
sides, we may distinguish betwixt a justified state, and 
applications of pardon to the soul, " there is forgive- 
ness with God," which must be daily sued out by faith 
and prayer, Psal. cxxx. 4. 

* Col. ii. 19. Eph. iv. 13. 2 Thess. i. 3. 
+ Prov. iv. 18. Job xvii. 9. Acts xiii. 39. Rom. viii. 1. 
+ Col. ii. 13. Ezek. xvi. 9. Rom, viii. 33. 
II James iii. 2. Psal. xix. 12. 
§ 2 Sam. xii. 13.. Psal. Ii. 2. Luke xv. 20, 21. 
VOL. V. F 

6s A Nr.vr creatit.e. 

(4.) Another difference between this new creature 
and justification, is that the grace of the new creation 
is never perfect in this life ; the holiest saints have 
some spots and defects : who can say, " I have made 
my heart clean ; I am pure from my sin ?" " There is 
not a just man on earth, that doth good, and sinneth 
not." John Baptist needs a new baptism ; all the dis- 
ciples need their first washing; a Paul complains of a 
body of death ; * it is in heaven only that the "spirits of 
just men are made perfect." But justification is per- 
fect ; there is no spot in the justified ; " Fair as the 
moon," as to sanctification ; " clear as the sun," in res- 
pect of justification ; white as snow. God deals with 
them, as if they had never offended, " casting their sins 
behind his back, into the depths of the sea, he remem- 
bers them no more."f But it may be objected. 
Doth not God punish his people for sin ? 
I reply, What in this objection are called punish- 
ments, are not properly acts of vindictive justice, but 
fatherly chastisements, coming from God, not as a judge 
to punish a malefactor, but as an indulgent father to 
correct his wandering and wayward child. It is true, 
afflictions are materially a curse, but they are formally 
a blessing. With reference to this pardoning grace, it 
is worth noting what Dr. Ames observes, ^ that there 
is fourfold pardon : — In God's decree and purpose, Gal. 
iii. 8. — In Christ's undertaking, our sins being laid on 
him, Isa. liii. 6. — ^^irtually on the Christian's first re- 
lation to God, Rom. viii. 1. — Expressl)'^ applied on the 
believer's repentance, exercising faith, and having a 
sense of pardon, Rom. v. 1 ; and I may add there is a 
day for publicly proclaiming this pardon before the 

* Prov.xx. 9. Eccl. vii. 20. Matt. iii. 14. John xiii. 8. Rom. vii. 24. 
t Heb. xii. 23. Cant. vi. 10. Psal. li. 7. Isa. xxxviii. 1/. Mic 
vii. 19. Jer. xxxi. 34. t Araesii IMedul. page 139. 


whole world, Acts iii. 19, "Repent ye therefore, and 
be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when 
tlie times of refreshing shall come from the presence of 
the Lord. 



If a new creation be available, and important, and 
even of such absolute necessity to the souls of men, 
then what shall we say of non-pretenders to it, and of 
mere pretenders to it ? 

1. There are some in the world, that plainly say in 
words or deeds, that they are as they have been, and 
so will continue ; they trouble not themselves about 
these new things, but say, I am semper idem^ still the 
same : I thank God, I am no tiu*n-coat, nor will I 
meddle with them that are given to change, I love the 
old way. 

To this I answer. Take that text with you, Jer. vi. 
16, " Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the 
old paths, where is the good way, and walk there- 
in." Mark it, not simply the old way, except it be 
good ; for there are many old ways that are not good : 
Cain's way is old enough, so is Balaam's and Korah's, 
yet there is a woe unto them that walk in those ways, 
Jude, 11. The woman of Samaria boasted, that their 
father Jacob gave them the well, and that her ancestors 

2 f 


did worship in that mountain, John iv. 12, 20, 24: but 
our Lord teacheth her other doctrines. It was no 
good plea of the Jews, that they did as their fathers 
had done, " in burning incense to the queen of heaven," 
though they pleaded great success ; then, say they, 
" We had of plenty of victuals, and saw no evil," Jer. 
xliv. 17, 18, which may be compared with God's 
answer to them, ver. 21, 22. But let me say to 

(1.) That this plea is an aggravation of the fault. 
If it be not a good way, every step you take in it, is a 
new error, and brings new guilt : " the way of the 
wicked seduceth him."* Have you examined, whether 
this be God's way or not ? If you be wrong, the fur- 
ther you go, the further you are from God. 

(2.) This continuance in old customs without in- 
quiry will harden your hearts, and make you more in- 
capable, yea, more unwilling to return. " Can the 
Ethiopian change his skin, and the leopard his spots, 
then may ye also learn to do good, that are accustomed 
to do evil," Jer. xiii. 23. Custom in sin takes away 
conscience of sin ; the more men travel, the more 
brawny are their feet. 

(3.) But what think you, Adam went wrong, and do 
you delight to follow him ? or rather should not the 
old man be crucified ? Rom. vi. 6. You have no reason 
for being proud of the old man, " which is corrupt ac- 
cording to deceitful lusts, but rather put on this new 
man, which after God is created in righteousness, and 
true holiness," Eph. iv. 22, 24. See a parallel betwixt 
the first Adam and second, 1 Cor. xv. 45 — 49 ; and 
then make your choice. 

(4.) You will never walk in hea^-en's road, without 
a change ; deceive not yourselves, you must be turned 

* Vetustas erroris seductio errantis. 


from your vain conversation, received by tradition 
from your fathers, 1 Pet. i. 18. You will never walk 
in this new and living way, without a new heart ; 
you cannot serve God, but " it must be in newness 
of spirit, not in the oldness of the letter," Rom. vii. 6. 
You are undone, if you die as you are born ; you need 
not change your religion, for you profess the true reli- 
gion, only you must see that you be true to that reli- 
gion by a change of heart and life ; " Except you be 
born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God," John 
iii. 3 ; better never have been born, than not be new- 
born : but more of this anon. Tremble to think of 
appearing before God naked, or in your old rotten gar- 
ments. The Gibeonites might cheat Israel with their 
old bottles, clouts, and shoes, Josh. ix. 4 ; but you can- 
not cozen God so ; an old frame is not fit for a new 
state; or old hearts for new heavens ; " if you live after 
the flesh, you shall die," that is, perish for ever, Rom. 
viii. 13 ; but if you through the Spirit, mortify the 
deeds of the body, you shall live," that is, be saved. 

There are many more that are far from being new 
creatures, that have a black brand of impiety printed 
on their foreheads, and disclaim any pretence to this 
new creation. 

[i.] Such as have imbibed atheistical principles, and 
say with their tongues or in their hearts, " there is no 
God," Psal. xiv. 1 ; at least deists, that deny God's 
providence, and divine revelation. 

[ii.] Profane scoffers at true christian piety and the 
power of godliness, 2 Pet. iii. 3; ridiculing puritans, and 
loading strictness in religion, with names of obloquy, 
scorn, and derision. 

[iii.] Those who are profoundly ignorant of gospel 
mysteries, 1 Cor. xv. 34, and the essentials of religion, 


the knowledge whereof is of the highest importance 
and necessity, and yet do scorn to learn. 

[iv.] Voluptuous epicures, drunkards, adulterers, 
and such as wallow in all sensuality and immorality, 
without control or remorse, and glory in their shame, 
Phil. iii. 19. 

[v.] Proud, contentious, revengeful, hateful, hating 
all about them, Tit. iii. 3 ; that evidently manifest the 
fruits, or works of the flesh, Gal. v. 19, 20, in bitter 
revilings, suits at law, and variance about trifles. 

[vi.] Covetous, griping earth-worms, that make 
gain their godliness, gold their god, Col. iii. 5 ; these 
are idolaters, that are hard-hearted to the poor, but 
please themselves with worldly enjoyments, Luke xii. 19. 
[vii.] Swearers, profane takers of the name of God 
in vain, foolish talkers, jesters, liars, Eph. v. 4, 5, who 
think that their tongues are their own, and that they 
may say what they list. 

[viii.] Neglecters of God's worship, public, private, 
and secret, who never call on God except with horrid 
imprecations, yea, who even think it is in vain to serve 
God, Mai. iii. 14, and hate such as do. 

Such flagitious offenders there are in the world, yea, 
in England, that make a scoff at the name of the Spirit 
and gi'ace of Christ, and will own no regeneration, but 
what they imagine they receive in baptism, which yet 
they grossly contradict, as if they would scorn, and 
run counter to bible-religion and morality itself ; these 
profligates I remit to the righteous judgment of the 
great God, because I have little hopes they will read 
such a plain Treatise as this, or liear any powerful 
preacher ; and so are out of the road of ordinary means 
of grace, or hopes of good. 

2. But those I have at present to deal with, are pre- 


tenders, and but mere pretenders to this new creation, 
who have something- like it, which will not prove the 
new creature, but a dead carcase, a lifeless image of it ; 
many of our constant, diligent attenders on all ordi- 
nances, are apt to say, " I thank God, I hope I am a 
new creature." To which I answer, it is well if it 
prove so; but the apostle saith, '-Not he that com- 
mendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord com- 
mendeth," 2 Cor. x. 18. And Solomon saith, " There 
is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end 
thereof are the ways of death," Prov. xiv. 12. But 
persons had need to beware taking counters for gold, 
pebbles for pearls : there is much counterfeit ware 
passeth for cm-rent coin now a-days. May not an 
angel be put up for a sign when the devil is within ? 
Are not many professors like the Pharisees, painted 
sepulchres, " that appear fair, but v/ithin are full of 
rottenness, and dead men's bones," Matt, xxiii. 27, 28. 
Like a golden saddle stuffed with straw ; or apothe- 
caries' boxes, with specious titles, but empty of useful 
drugs ; so it is said, a specious title, but nothing with- 
in of what is promised.* Alas, how many professors 
have we known acting the part of kings on the stage, 
who were beggars in rags, when divested of their gilded 
robes of a splendid profession ? How many have the 
complexion, but not the constitution of saints? one 
calls them deaf nuts, another, apples of Sodom, a third, 
cockles and darnel, that make a fairer show than good 
wheat, but must be cast out. There were some of old, 
that desired to " make a fair show in the flesh," Gal. 
vi. 12 ; but are like vapouring tradesmen, that make a 
great show to gain credit, but if searched into, possibly 
not worth a groat, when their debts are paid; such there 
always have been, and it is well if the world be mended. 

* Aliud in titulo, aliud in pyxide. 


I shall briefly propound and answer the pleas, that 
many make for their pretence. 

1 Plea. I have heard that the new creatui'e consists 
in knowledge, and I thank God that he hath given 
me a large share of that. 

Answ. We know that we all have knowledge ; what 
kind of knowledge is yours ? devils have more know- 
ledge than you, yet are not, nor ever will be new crea- 
tures ; a toad it is said, hath a pearl in its head, but 
poison in its body ; thousands go knowingly to hell, 
and the more knowledge without grace, the more tor- 
ment. * 

2 Plea. But I believe the revelation of God, and 
give credit to the gospel, I am no heretic, I can say the 
creed, and am orthodox. 

Answ. That is well so far ; but read Rom. ii. 17 — 
25. "What canst thou say of thyself more than this 
professing Jew, that "rested in the law, made his 
boast of God, and approved of things more excellent," 
who yet was condemned as a perfidious, self-contra- 
dicting, God-dishonouring wretch ; but thou believest, 
so doth " the devil believe, and tremble," James ii. 19. 
Thou mayest have an orthodox head, and heterodox 

3 Plea. I am come of religious parents, who im- 
proved and pleaded the covenant for me, and trained 
me up in the fear of God. 

Answ. John the Baptist anticipates this plea, Matt. 
iii. 9, " Think not to say in your hearts, We have 
Abraham to our father," Matt. viii. 12, " The children 
of the kingdom may be sent to outer darkness." Alas, 
parental privileges, without parent's principles, signify 
nothing. Let our Lord Christ, who will be judge, 
answer this vain plea, John viii. 33 — 44. This may 
* 1 Cor. viii. 1. Tit. i. 16. Luke xii. 47- 


aggravate your sin, but never save your souls without 
personal piety. 

4 Plea. I have made a credible profession of my 
faith, am baptized, and have been admitted to the 
Lord's supper, to unite with God's people. 

Answ. So did Simon Magus believe, he professed 
his faith, and was baptized. Acts viii. 13, 20 — 23. He 
deceived the purest church on earth, for he proved a 
base hypocrite ; so did Judas, so did he that wanted 
the wedding garment. Matt. xxii. 12. And how easy 
it is to spread a mist before the eyes of fallible men, 
daily experience testifies. See an instance of some that 
partook of extraordinary privileges and ordinances, but 
yet rejected, 1 Cor. x. 5. 

5 Plea. I am not only admitted, but continue along 
with them, and keep up intercourse with them in public 
and private exercises of religion. 

Answ. So did the foolish virgins accompany the 
wise, till the last hour, with shining lamps, and when 
the bridegroom came, they all trimmed their lamps, 
but at last it was fo.und that they had no oil in their 
vessels, and so were shut out, see Matt. xxv. 1 — 12. 
And do you not read of some that pertinaciously main- 
tain their plea to the very last, even when the door is 
shut ? they begin to say, "We have eaten and drunk in 
thy presence," Luke xiii. 25 — 27. 

6 Plea. But I have had great convictions of con- 
science for the evil of sin, and strong apprehensions 
of the justice of God ; these surely were signs of a 

Answ. Cain had these legal terrors, yet was an ob- 
stinate transgressor ; so had Saul, so Judas ; yea, 
Felix trembled upon Paul's preaching, Acts xxiv. 25. 
And all these were but as prcBJudicium judicii, pre- 
libations of horrible vengeance in the other world. 
Some sinners have a " fearful looking for of judgment, 


and fiery indignation," Heb. x. 27. Oh! look to your 
coming out of your horrors of conscience; see you 
close with Christ. 

7 Plea. Yes, I have had strong persuasions in my 
breast to close with Christ, and do take him by faith 
to be my Saviour. 

Answ. An almost persuasion is one thing, and a 
thorough resolution is another. Acts xxvi. 27, 28. 
Some barter for, but buy not this pearl of price ; some 
are content with a Christ to pardon and save them, 
but like him not as a king to rule them, and subdue 
their lusts. Look to it, there are more sorts of faith 
than saving ; the apostle supposeth a man to have all 
faith, 1 Cor. xiii. 2 ; yet not that which worketh by 
love ; feigned faith is one thing, unfeigned is another, 
1 Tim. i. 5. 

8 Plea. But I confess all my sins, from the bottom 
of my heart, repent of them, and am heartily sorry I 
have done amiss. 

Answ. So have many hypocrites and reprobates ; 
so did Pharaoh, " I have sinned this time, the Lord 
is righteous, and I and my people are wicked."* 
Twice did Saul confess his folly; yea, lift up his voice 
and wept, and ingenuously said, " I have sinned." So 
did Ahab humble himself. And you find Judas re- 
penting himself ; yea, restoring, and saying, " I have 
sinned in betraying innocent blood." Oh see that 
yours be not a worldly sorrow ! + 

9 Plea. But I make strong resolutions of better 
and new obedience, and do actually reform : is not 
this evidence of a new creature ? 

Answ. No, the new creature always produceth re- 
formation, but reformation may be without the new 
creatui'e. *' Herod feared John the Baptist, and when 

* Exod. ix. 27. 1 Sam. xxiv. 16, 17- xxvi. 21. 

t 1 Kings xxi. 27- Matt, xxvii. 3, 4. 2 Cor. vii. 10. 


he heard him, he did many things, and heard him 
gladly." Partial reformation is no sound evidence of 
regeneration : the unclean spirit of scandalous sinning 
may go out of the devil's slave for a season. Men may 
escape gross pollutions, yet be entangled in the devil's 
fetters. * 

10 Plea. I do not only reform, but also conform 
to the vrill of God in keeping all his commands ; this 
surely discovers grace. 

Answ. Yes, if done from a right principle, accord- 
ing to rule, for a right end, with faith in Jesus Christ : 
but deceive not yourselves, outward compliance doth 
not always prove the existence of a new creature ; 
the young gentleman. Matt. xix. 20, said concerning 
the commandments, " All these things have I kept 
from my youth up, what lack I yet ? " Alas, poor 
man, he lacked the main thing : Paul, before conver- 
sion, saith of himself, " touching the righteousness of 
the law, blameless, Phil. iii. 6. 

11 Plea. Besides, I do not only reform and con- 
form, but perform many important duties ; I read, 
pray, fast, and am serious in God's worship. 

Answ. It is well so far ; all do not so : but remem- 
ber those hypocrites, " That sought God daily, and de- 
lighted to know his ways" — " yea, the Pharisees made 
long prayers ;" they even " fasted, and that twice a 
week."f They were famous for religious exercises, 
yet gross hypocrites. 

12 Plea. Those were only for things external in 
religion, but I am for internal also, that God may have 
my heart. 

Answ. Very well ; but it is one thing to be sound 
in doctrines, another to be sincere in what is practical 

* Mark vi. 20. Matt. xii. 43— 4d. 2 Pet. ii. 20—23. 
t Isa, Iviii. 2. Matt, xxiii. 14. Luke xviii. 11, 12. 


and experimental : it is one thing to say it, another 
thing to feel it, and do it. The scribe, Mark xii. 32, 
33, subscribed to the truth of the great doctrine of 
" loving the Lord with all the heart, understanding, 
soul, and strength, and repeats it," yet was not of, 
but only, " not far from the kingdom of God," ver. 34. 
Yea, you may take delight in approaching to God, yet 
be deficient, Isa. Iviii. 2. 

13 Plea. But I am upright in what I do; I know 
nothing of myself but integrity : conscience doth not 
accuse me of being a hypocrite. 

Answ. It may be so, conscience may be asleep, and 
saith nothing, or nothing to the purpose, being blinded 
with ignorance, or besotted with self-conceit and want 
of self-examination. But know, there may be a moral 
integrity in particular acts, when there is not a gospel- 
integrity in point of state, as in heathen Abimelech. 
See God's attestation to it. Gen. xx. 5, 6. 

14 Plea. I have a love to God, and Jesus Christ, 
and follow him out of a dear and tender regard for him. 

Answ. It is well if so ; but is it not self-love that 
engageth you to follow him? as those, John vi. 26, 
" Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but 
because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." 
Augustine complained 1200 years ago, Jesus is scarcely 
loved for Jesus' sake.* He pays well for his enter- 
tainment in the world's coin. Let Christ and carnal 
interest part, and then you will see which is the mas- 
ter you will follow ; then a discovery will be made. 

15 Plea. Well, but I have suffered much for Christ, 
his cause, and a good conscience, a trial hath been 
made of my integrity. 

Answ. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striv- 
ing against sin, Heb. xii. 4. Yea, the apostle seems 
* Vix diligitur Jesus propter Jesutn. 


to suppose a man may give his body to be burnt, and 
yet not have charity, 1 Cor. xiii. 3. And it may be as 
possil)le, some may suffer in a vicious humour for a 
good cause, as others pertinaciously in a bad cause ; 
the thorny-ground hearers passed the brunt of perse- 
cution, but were not right. Matt. xiii. 20, 22. And 
the apostle Paul supposes the Galatians to " have suf- 
fered many things in vain," Gal. iii. 4. Many things 
make up a Christian sufferer. Men may bear the cross, 
and not follow Christ. 

16 PlecL But I give liberally to the poor of my 
substance, and am much in the exercise of charity to 
persons in necessity. 

Answ. The apostle supposeth still, that a man may 
bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and yet not have 
charity, 1 Cor. xiii. 3. You will say, this is a strange 
paradox ; what is charity, but a free distribution ? but 
the apostle distinguisheth betwixt a hand-charity, and 
a heart-charity ; the poor widow with half a farthing, 
and a free heart, gave more than all the other rich 
men's large distributions ; some give for ostentation, 
others of necessity, yea, out of covetousness ; you give 
nothing, unless you give yourselves first to God. * 

17 Plea. I am forward for reformation in my place, 
appearing against profaneness, and sabbath breaking, 
and am of a public spirit. 

Answ. It is well done, but see you mistake not. 
How oft did the Jews find fault with our Lord for 
healing on the sabbath day, and his disciples, for pluck- 
ing ears of corn? Take care that blind zeal transport 
you not ; but suppose it be against sin, see whether 
self bear not sway, as it did in Jehu, who was partial 
in his reformation ; or at least that it be not temporary 

* Matt. vL 1, 2. Mark xii. 41—44. 2 Cor. ix. 5, 7- 
2 Cor. viii. 5. 


zeal, like that of Joash, who was very zealous for re- 
form whilst his good uncle Jehoiada lived.* 

18 Plea. I thank God, I have good gifts in con- 
versation and in prayer, and can edify others, who are 
disposed to commend me. 

Ansiv. Gifts are one thing, grace another ; all gifted 
men are not gracious men ; who more eminent than 
Judas the traitor, yet an apostle ? and some will say at 
the last day, " Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in 
thy name ?" Matt. vii. 22, 23 ; to whom he will say, 
" I never knew you, depart from me." The devil hath 
finer gifts than any of you all ; yet he is a damned 
fiend in hell. Gifts come upon another errand than 
grace, 1 Cor. xii. 7. Gifts are given to profit others, 
grace for a man's own soul. 

19 Plea. I am verily persuaded I am sound at 
heart, my conscience flies not in my face, yea, I have 
great peace, joy, and comfort within. 

Answ. God knows whether your peace be of the 
right stamp or not ; I have told you there is a peace 
of the devil's making, and that may arise from con- 
science's sleep security. I now tell you of a joy 
arising from the common workings of the Spirit, the 
"stony ground hearers anon with joy received the 
word," Matt. xiii. 20 ; " but had no root," Luke viii. 
13. It is not to tell what joy and triumph some may 
have upon a mistake ; some " taste of the good word, 
yea, of the heavenly gift ;" yet fall away totally and 
finally. Look to yourselves, thousands deceive them- 
selves in this weighty affair, f 

20 Plea. You are seeking to drive us to despair, 
but that you shall never do, I will hope well still, say 
what you choose. 

* Matt. xii. 1, 2. 2 Kings x. 28, 29. 2 Chron. xxiv. 2—18. 
t Gal. vi. 3. James i. 22. Heb. vi. 4—6. 


Answ. There is a double despair, (1.) Good and 
necessary ; a despair of ever being saved in the state of 
nature wherein we are born, and this God brings the 
sinner to, in order to the implantation of sound hope, 
and sincere faith in the soul. (2.) There is an evil, 
sinful despair of obtaining mercy at God's hands 
through Christ : God forbid we should drive sinners to 
this despair : no, no, it is the former at which we aim. 
Such as Paul felt, Rom. vii. 9, " I was alive without 
the law once, but when the commandment came, sin re- 
vived and I died;" that is, I saw myself in a lost state, 
having no hopes of salvation, while I continued in a 
state of nature : we are sure that till souls see them- 
selves condemned, they will never look after a pardon; 

it is this to which we would drive men. There is 

also a twofold hope : (1.) A bad, a false, vain hope, 
which is built upon men's fancy and imagination. 
This will be " swept away like a spider's web, will be 
as the giving up of the ghost ; what hath the hypocrite 
gained by his hope, when God taketh away his soul?"* 
It is the best office we can do the sinner, to break the 
heart of this groundless hope, that we may bring in a 
better hope: hence, (2.) There is a good " hope through 
grace ;" a hope " that will not make ashamed ;" a hope 
that rests upon tlie promises of grace in the gospel ; it 
is this that will do men good at the last : but men 
must be sure to observe and comply with the terms 
of the promise, else it is groundless presumption. A 
prince hath as much reason to be offended with him 
that keeps not close to his commission, as with another 
that acts without a commission. The Israelites of old, 
saith one, durst make God and his promise a leaning- 
stock for their foul elbows to rest on. " They call 
themselves the holy city, and stay themselves upon the 
* Job viii. 1 4. xi. 20. xxvii. 8. 


God of Israel." * See Micah iii. 11. Nothing more 
common, yet nothing more dangerous, for such are 
more bold than welcome : for though a prince may be 
so condescending as to let a poor, sick, or wounded 
man, especially in his service, fainting and unable to 
go alone, upon his humble request, make use of his 
arm rather than perish in the street, yet he would 
reject a reeling drunkard, if he desired to lean on him. 
Thus a poor, bleeding, humble penitent is entertained, 
when a presumptuous rebel is discarded with infinite 
abhorrence : we must encourage the former, and con- 
vince the latter, that their hope may be extinguished, 
and another hope, (" a lively hope," that teacheth per- 
sons to cleanse themselves) be planted in the soul : 
for " the wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but 
the righteous hath hope in his death." f 



My third use is Trpoc e-rravop^tjaiv, for correction, or 
castigation of what is amiss, in order to a restitution 
of the souls of sinners to their pristine rectitude, for 
that is the notion of the Greek tenn ; since it signifies 
not only correction of manners, but rectifying of in- 
ward faculties, as critics observe. I must confess, the 
work is arduous, and it is impossible for a finite crea- 
ture to effect this new creation : the best ministers are 

* 2 Thess. ii. 17- Rom. v. 5. Isa. xlviii. 2. 
t 1 Pet. i. 3. 1 John iu. 3. Prov. xiv. 32. 


but instruments ; and what can the axe do without the 
hand to move it, or the sword without the hand to 
wield it ? " Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, 
but ministers by whom ye believed ?" 1 Cor. iii. 5. " I 
am," said worthy Mr. Baxter, " but a pen for God to 
write with." Well, then, shall we do nothing, because 
we cannot do all ? He that set us a work, is able to 
second our work with his benediction : the world hath 
been formed anew by this blessed word of truth. 

I shall therefore make one experiment more, to see 
what the great God will do for a new creation upon the 
souls of men ; humbly imi)ioring the blessing of hea- 
ven upon my poor endeavours. In prosecuting my in- 
tention, I shall employ some persuasive arguments to 
prevail with poor sinners, to look after it in due time ; 
and then answer what objections they can make against 
it, and so come to the last thing mentioned by the 
apostle, — instruction in righteousness. 

For motives and arguments, I shall not repeat any 
thing drawn from the advantages thereof detailed in 
the doctrinal part, as — rectifying the soul's faculties — 
evidencing divine love — consecrating the soul to God 
— fitting it for communion with him — entitling to 
Christ — producing true joy — entailing all things pro- 
fitable — putting persons into a safe state — rendering 
them useful — fitting them for gospel privileges — pre- 
paring them for death and heaven — being even hea- 
ven begun. All these might be improved as strong 
arguments to persuade sinners to press after a change. 

But I shall at present bring some arguments from 
the danger sinners are in, till they become new crea- 

1. If you are not new creatures, you are not true 
Christians ; " For if any man be in Christ, he is a 
new creature," 2 Cor. v. 17, that is, whoever is worthy 

VOL. V. G 


the name of Christian, or fit to bear so high a cha- 
racter, he must necessarily be a new creature, or else 
he arrogates to himself a high title, not belonging to 
him. And alas, what will a bare name signify? ar- 
rogating such a high title, is a piece of high presump- 
tion ; nay, it is no less than blasphemy, " when men 
call themselves Jews, or Christians and are not," Rev. 
ii. 9 ; even as it is treason against the rightful sove- 
reign, for any subject to entitle himself king. "What 
horrid presumption are graceless sinners guilty of? 
for whatever you may account yourselves, God ac- 
counts you no better than heathens ; uncircumcised 
Judali is ranked with Egypt, Edom, Amnion, and 
Moab in scripture, Jer. ix. 26 ; " Are ye not as chil- 
dren of Ethiopians to me, O children of Israel, saith 
the Lord," Amos ix. 7 ; profane Saul is called a Cushite, 
Psal. vii ; and graceless Jews, though of the true 
religion, are accounted as strangers. God esteems 
wicked princes, rulers of Sodom, and speaks of his peo- 
ple by profession, as people of Gomorrah, Isa. i. 10. 
And what if God account you that boast of the chi'is- 
tian name, as no better than Jews, Mahometans, or 
heathens ? you ai'e like to fare no better than they. 

2. You will fare worse than they. God will judge 
you according to the helps and advantages you have 
had; it will be worse vrith you than Sodom and Gomor- 
rah, Tyre and Sidon, Matt. xi. 20 — 24 ; yea, the men 
of Nineveh, " and queen of the south, shall rise up in 
judgment" against graceless professors of true religion, 
Matt. xii. 41, 42. O how dreadful a rebiike will this 
occasion ! They may say, if we had heard so much 
of Christ, and gospel grace, we would have been more 
compliant, we knew not what state we were in, or 
what would be the awful consequence thereof, as you 
heard from day to day ; we never pi-etended such high 



things, nor were engaged by baptism to be God's ser- 
vants, subjects, or soldiers, as you were. Now we 
know that the soldier that hath taken bounty money, 
and is false, or fights none, or is a renegado, hath the 
heaviest doom, Matt. xxiv. 51 ; the hypocrites are 
free denizens of hell, it is their proper place. You had 
better been born in India, than in England, or in 
Turkey, than within the pale of the church, and not be 
new creatures ; yea, better have been no creatures, or 
the vilest creatures, than not be new creatures, as our 
Lord said of Judas, " It had been better if he had 
never been born," Mark xiv. 21, so say I, if not new 
born ; if you lived and died as brutes, there is an end 
of you, you would feel neither weal nor woe ; but it 
will be otherwise with you ; alas, alas foi' you that 
ever you had existence ! Lord, have mercy on you. 

3. If you be not new creatures, you are slaves to 
the devil, and bear his image ; " you are led captive 
by him at his pleasure," you are his willing slaves. 
It is converting grace only that brings out of the power 
of Satan ; his fetters are invisible, for he holds his 
black hand over the sinner's eye, and " worketh so 
effectually in his heart,"* that the poor slave will not 
believe his slavery, but thinks he is a freeman, "though 
he be holden with the cords of his sins," Prov. v. 22, 
and dragged apace hell-wards. O worse than Egyptian 
bondage, or Turkish slavery ! who would abide it ? 
Yea, without this new creation, you have the devil's 
image upon you, you are the very picture of that in- 
fernal fiend ; so that if it be asked, whose image and 
superscription is this ? it must be answered, Satan's. 
Our Lord tells the Jews, " You are of your father the 
devil," John viii. 44. Your envy is the devil's eye, 
your hypocrisy the devil's cloven foot, your lying the 

* 2 Tim. ii. 26. Acts xxvi. 18. 2 Cor. iv. 4. Eph. ii. 2. 
G a 


devil's tongue, your carnal policy the devil's head, your 
pride and self-conceit the devil's lofty countenance, and 
all these will end in the devil's despair. Oh tremble, 
to bear such a resemblance to God's enemy. It is re- 
lated, that when they brought Tamerlane a pot of 
gold, he asked what stamp was upon it ; when he un- 
derstood it had the Roman stamp, he utterly refused it: 
even so will God reject you, if the devil's stamp be on 
you, you will be no current money with God, though 
you have golden gifts. 

4. If you be not new creatures, God and you are at 
variance, there is an enmity and antipathy betwixt the 
holy God and your carnal hearts ; and this is the height 
of a creature's sin and misery. It is very observable that 
in the middle of the black roll of heathen's sins, Rom. i. 
29 — 31, that noxious root, "hatred of God," being in the 
midst, diffuseth its malignant influence backwards and 
forwards, to actuate all those sins ; not that the crea- 
ture can directly intend to be an enemy to God, but 
that a graceless person is virtually, and consequentially 
an enemy to God, the chief good ; as he is an enemy to 
holiness, justice, and truth, which are divine perfections; 
so God accounts them that are enemies to his sove- 
reignty. " The carnal mind is enmity itself against 
God ;" and sin turns God to be an enemy.* And there 
is no person that God hates and despises so much, as 
this hypocritical pretender, Psal. Ixxiii. 20, " O Lord, 
when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image ;" 
either it is spoken of wicked men's prosperity, which 
God slights, as but an imaginary thing, or else the 
image of temporary profession, with their fantastical 
faith, piety, and devotion, of which now the false-hearted 
hypocrite makes a parade, as a man in a dream, con- 
ceits himself a great prince; but a day is coming, when 
* Luke xix. 27. Rom. viii. 7- Zech. xi. 8. Isa. Ixiii. 10. 


this great idol shall be broken, and the worshippers of 
it hissed down to hell with the greatest shame and dis- 
dain ; for it is said of the ape, because he hath the 
face, but not the soul of a man, he is the most ridiculous 
and odious of all creatures : thus a hypocritical Judas 
is more abhorred of the Lord, than a bloody Pilate, for 
it is a high crime for an ignoble person to counterfeit 
himself to be a king's son, and a false friend is more 
detested than an open enemy. Such are those that 
pretend frendship to God, and are his real enemies. 

5. If you be not new creatures, you are not capable 
of getting good by any ordinances and providences : 
nothing will do you good, for you want a principle 
and capacity to improve any thing : you are spiritually 
dead, " dead in trespasses and sins," Eph. ii. 1. It is 
this new creation alone that puts life into you: preach- 
ing to you, is but as singing to a deaf man, speaking 
to a stone : that which is nourishing food to a living 
man, corrupts, and turns to putrefaction in a dead 
man's mouth. Though the sinner breathes, yet he 
lives not ; naturally alive, spiritually dead : this is the 
worst kind of death ; for " he is alienated from the 
life of God." As his works are but dead works, so 
his soul is but a dead, putrid carcass.* It is true, a 
poor, carnal, dead sinner, that is naturally alive, may 
hear a sound in the ministry of the word, but he receives 
not the sense, nor conceives aright the significancy of 
what he hears. It is worth your observing, that it is 
said of Saul's companions : Acts ix. 7, " They heard a 
voice ;" yet it is said. Acts xxii. 9, " They heard not 
the voice of him that spake to me." Are not these 
inconsistent ? No, they heard indeed a sound, but no- 
thing distinctly, or they might hear a voice, but not 
Christ's, as Saul did ; even so in an ordinance, men 
• Eph. iv. 18. Heb. ix. 14. 


may hear distiuctly the voice of a man, but not the 
voice of God, so as to " fall down and confess, that 
God is there of a truth," This is that which makes 
such a difference of hearers in the same auditory. 
Some " hear what the Spirit saith ;" others profit not 
from day to day, because the " word is not mixed with 
faith."* The chymist can do nothing without fire : 
the sinner will neither do, nor receive good by any 
thing without the Spirit, and this blessed new creation. 
6. Without the new creature, you will not be se- 
cured from the worst of sins ; for as you want a prin- 
ciple of obedience, so you have no reason to expect 
assistance from heaven : it is only " God's fear in your 
hearts, that keeps you from departing from him." 
Indeed the scripture saith, "Whosoever is born of 
God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in 
him." But alas, you want this seed ; there is in you 
the spring of all abominations, there wants nothing 
but a tap to give it vent. Satan will be ready enough 
to " fill your hearts to lie to the Holy Ghost ;" to 
betray Jesus, to run into all excess of riot ; if the un- 
clean spirit find his house empty of saving grace, 
though it be swept f from some gross sins by morality, 
and garnished with gifts and common graces, he will 
take to himself seven other spirits more wicked, and 
take faster possession ; as those that escaped some 
gross pollutions, 3/et " are again entangled, their latter 
end is worse than their beginning." These may, and 
likely will wallow in worse mire than ever before. 
Besides, God may in justice, give you up to your own 
hearts' lusts, or to " strong delusions, to believe a 
lie.":}: If God leave you, who knows whither you may 

• 1 Cor. xiv. 25. Rev. ii. 7, U, 17, &c. Heb. iv. 2. 

f Jer. xxxii. 40. 1 John iii. 9. Acts v. 3. IMatt. xii. 43 — 45. 

X 2 Pet. ii. 20—22. Psal, Ixxxi. 12. 2 Thess. ii. 10, 11. 


be huiTied? you will fall downwai'ds into sin, and 
grow worse and worse, till you be diabolized ; as de- 
mure as you seem to be, you may commence perse- 
cutors, blasphemers, or atheists, and reach that height 
of impiety that now you shrug and tremble at ; yea, 
you may commit the unpardonable sin against the 
Holy Ghost. You say now% God forbid, is thy ser- 
vant a dog ? So said Hazael ; but how canst thou be 
secured ? Thou hast no hold of God by faith, and 
God hath no hold of thee in a covenant relation, for 
thou wantest the graces of the covenant. Look to 
thyself, for God will not look to thee, till thou be his ; 
and thou canst not look so to thyself, but thou mayest 
prove a profane Esau, a scoffing Ishmael, a betraying 
Judas : who knows where thou wilt stop, whither 
thou wilt run ? 

7. If you be not new ^creatures, you will meet with 
a woful disappointment. Oh remember the case of 
the foolish virgins, that too late found they had no 
oil in their lamps, or grace in their hearts ; when the 
door was shut, and they were shut out, and cried, 
" Lord, open to us." Oh what an overwhelming word 
was that, " I know you not." It will not be loud cries, 
or heart-rending lamentations, that will pierce the ears 
of a righteous God. Oh think how dreadful it will be 
to go off the stage " with a lie in your right hand." 
To walk all your days by " sparks of your own kind- 
ling, and lie down in sorrow."* It would vex any man 
to be cheated with pebbles for pearls, flint for diamond. 
Men say, when they are deceived, they would rather 
have given three times as much, than to be thus over- 
reached : but thus it is with you, the devil imposeth 
on you, and lest you should see your mistake, he holds 
his black hand before your eyes, the god of this world 
* Matt. XXV. 8—12. Isa. xliv. 20. 1. 11. 


blindeth you, and carries you to hell in a golden 
dream, in a fool's paradise. It is a dreadful case, if 
your eyes be never opened till the flames of hell flash 
in your scorched faces. If there be no discovery till 
there be no remedy, as some diseases are past cure 
when they are known, a graceless life brings despair 
and death. O consider, poor sinner, what relief wilt 
thou have in thy dying groans ? When this king of 
terrors, this grim sergeant lays his cold hand of arrest 
upon thee ; oh what horror will seize upon thee ! 
"When thy fine spun hope must be as the spider's web, 
swept away with God's besom, or give up the ghost ; 
when thou breathest thy last, what a dreadful case 
will thy soul be in ? Alas ! what wilt thou be pro- 
fited shouldst thou gain the world, when God taketh 
away thy soul ? * . Thou hadst better die a dog, a 
toad, a serpent, or the vilest creature, than a man, if 
thou be not a new creature ; for the upshot of their 
misery is but an inlet to thine ; it is a sad case for a 
poor sinner to leave the world, and not know whither 
he is going ; he must not stay, and he dares not die. 
If his eyes be opened, and he sees hell flames flashing 
in his eyes, oh, with what a shriek must his poor con- 
founded soul descend into that infernal lake of fire and 
brimstone ! this will be a day of desperate sorrow ; 
Isa. viii. 22, when men shall " look to the earth, and 
behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish ; and 
they shall be driven to darkness." Who can conceive 
duly of the astonishing horrors of a despairing soul ! 

8. ^Vho can tell how quickly this anguish may seize 
upon you? you now live at ease, and fear not, because 
you feel no danger like Laish of old, and Rome at 
this day. But when you say, " Peace and safety, then 
sudden destruction cometh upon you, as travail upon 

• Job xviii. 14. viii. 14. xi.20. Matt.xvi.26. Job xxvii. 8, 9. 


a woman with child, and you shall not escape." It is 
a dreadful evil to be surprised. The poor, graceless 
sinner is not sure to be another night out of hell : such 
a voice may come to thee, as to that senseless, secure 
wretch, that reckoned upon years, " This night shall 
thy soul be required of thee." Poor sinner, thou art 
in continual danger, God is angry with thee every 
day,* and stands with his sword whet, and bow bent, 
and his arrows stringed, and directed to thy heart ; 
yea, it will come as a shower, suddenly, violently, in- 
evitably ; upon the wicked " he shall rain fire and 
brimstone, yea, snares, and a horrible tempest," Psal. xi. 
6. God, thine enemy, stands over thee as an enemy with 
a sword of vengeance in his hand, ready to cut thee in 
pieces ; and though thou sleepest, yet "thy judgment of 
a long time sleeps not, nor does thy damnation slumber," 
Q Pet. ii. 3. Oh, who would continue one hour in 
such a case, when thy life hangs in doubt, nay, thy 
immortal soul is hanging over hell by the small brittle 
thread of thy natural life. Surely if thou wert con- 
demned and to be executed to-morrow, thou wouldst 
be much concerned to prevent or prepare for death. 
Oh sinner, bethink thyself, the Judge standeth before 
the door, James v. 9. Heaven or hell may attend the 
next step thou takest, the next breath thou breathest : 
for any thing thou knowest, the commission may be 
gone out, " cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground," 
Luke xiii. 7, 9. At least, it may be the last year, week, 
day, or hour of indulgence ; madman that thou art, 
to stand in the place where all God's arrows fly : 
thou art the centre where all the curses of law and 
gospel meet. The Roman emperor wondered that a 
knight slept so securely, who was in great debt, and 
sent for his pillow. Surely thy pillow is very soft, or 
* 1 Thess. V. 3. Luke xii. 19, 20. Psal. vii. 11, 12. 


thy heart very hard, that can sleep under such debts 
to justice, and not fear an arrest to carry thee to the 
prison of hell. The plague is running on thee, and a 
" Lord have mercy on thee," is upon thy door, and will 
not this alarm thee to look about thee ? 

9. The possibility of this new creation will aggra- 
vate thy miser3\ Hadst thou lived in Turkey or 
India, and never heard of the first creation, or the fall, 
or means of recovery, or a possibility of being made 
new by the second Adam, thy case had been excusable, 
at least more tolerable ; so saith our Saviour, " If I 
had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had 
sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin," John 
XV. 22. The old sinner must go into old Tophet, Isa. 
XXX. 33. And the lost man will have nothing to ease 
his torments, not a drop of honey in his bitter gall ; 
there was to be no oil nor frankincense in the offering 
of jealousy, Numb. v. 15. Why so? because it was a 
memorial bringing iniquity to remembrance. Just so 
this dreadful memorial in hell will bring Iiome the sin- 
ner's slighting of grace, hardening of his heart against 
the reproofs of the word, suggestions of the Spirit, 
checks of conscience, counsels of ministers, and all these 
shall be as scorpions to sting him, as oil to the flame, 
to make it burn hotter. Oh woe is me, will he say, 
ministers warned me, and told me of my danger, but 
I heeded them not; I did not believe that things would 
ever come to this pass. Oh that I had regarded the 
things that belong to my peace, but now it is too late, 
my day is over, my sun is set, the door is shut, the 
gulf is fixed, and my soul shut up in everlasting dark- 
ness. If you remain impenitent, these will be your 
despairing groans another day. Oh take warning 
while it is called to-day ; for there will be nothing to 
mitigate, but much to aggravate your miseries, and 


thus those two scriptures are reconciled, Rev. xiv. 10, 
*' The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of 
God, which is poured out without mixture, into the 
cup of his indignation :" that is, without the least in- 
gredient of comfort, no sugar in that bitter cup of 
wormwood. But it is said, Psal. Ixxv. 8, " In the 
hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red, 
it is full of mixture :" that is, of dreadful ingredients, 
to aggravate the sorrows of the lost. Yea, these 
wicked souls shall drink the dregs thereof, and wring 
them out ; that is, their hearts shall meditate terror, 
and their consciences shall force out the tormenting 
circumstances of their past lives, and that worm shall 
never die, but be gnawing at their heart-strings for 

Lastly, You must undoubtedly be shut out of heaven, 
if you live and die without this new creation. I told 
you, that this new creature prepares for heaven, I will 
now assign some reasons, M^hy it is impossible any soul 
destitute of it, should go to heaven ; it is indeed as 
possible for a devil to be saved as a poor, finally un- 
regenerate sinner. Because, 

(1.) A soul without this new creation, hath no inter- 
est inChrist ; " for if any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creature," 2 Cor. v. 17. This is clear, and it is as clear 
that there is " no salvation in any other than in Christ," 
Acts iv. 12. You must mount to heaven alone; if you 
think to ascend any other way than upon the ladder of 
Jacob, as Constantine told Acesius long ago, it is a 
vain attempt, and mere folly not to say madness to 
divide asunder, what God hath joined so inviolably to- 
gether ; holiness and happiness, a new nature and a 
new state ; if you rend them, God will rend you. 

(2.) It is impossible you should walk in the way to 
heaven, without being new creatures, for the end can 


never be attained without the use of the means. Rea- 
son tells us, that he that would arrive at London, 
must go by land or water, in ships, or on horseback, 
by a coach, or on foot, or by some means or other ; or 
he can never come thither. So it is here, God hath 
prescribed means and methods for attaining eternal 
happiness, and bids us enter in at the strait gate, Matt, 
vii. 13, 14, " Yea, strive to enter in at the strait gate ;" 
and adds, " That many shall seek to enter in, and shall 
not be able," Luke xiii. 24. How shall they then 
enter, that neither strive, nor seek, nor make any essay 
to enter ? and how can they seek or strive, that have 
no strength ; nay, that have no life, as is the case with 
an unregenerate sinner, who is dead in trespasses and 
sins ? and till the grace of God infuse new life into 
hira, with this new creature, he can neither stir hand 
nor foot in a spiritual sense, heaven-wards. 

(3.) Nay, he that is not a new creature, hath no 
heart, mind, or will to be saved ; and God saves no 
man against his will, but his grace makes men truly 
willing ; and this change of the will is a considerable 
part of the new creation, and it is a sovereign act of 
free grace, " thy people shall be willing in the day of 
thy power." None follow the Captain of our salvation 
to heaven, but volunteers, and there is great need of a 
vigorous will, for heaven must be taken by storm, 
" The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the 
violent take it by force." No man will be obedient, 
except he be willing ; there must be the imprimis of a 
willing mind, before there be an active hand, a wor- 
shipping knee, or a walking foot ;* they whose spirits 
do not make them willing, will not remove from sin, 
or move one step heaven-wards ; and hence it is, that 
oiu' blessed Saviour chargeth men's rejection of him 
* Psal. ex. 3. Matt. xi. 12. 2 Cor. viii. 12. 


upon their wills, " You will not come to me that you 
may have life, and why will ye die, O house of Israel?" 
This is the true reason of sinners' undoing, they will 
not choose salvation, and so virtually and as a conse- 
quence, they destroy themselves. If a man will not 
eat, he cannot live ; if a man drink poison, he will 
die ; and he that will not use means of salvation, can- 
not be saved ; " how shall we escape, if we neglect" 
much more wilfully reject " so great salvation?"* And 
how should it be otherwise, if men be not converted, 
and become new creatures ? 

(4.) What should the old creature do in heaven? 
heaven would be no heaven to him ; the heavenly Jeru- 
salem is another kind of thing than most take it to be. 
What wild, grovelling conceptions have sensual men 
of heaven ? as though it were Mahomet's paradise, or 
the heathen's elysian fields, wherein men may gratify 
their senses, or wallow in pleasures. Alas, a man may 
say to these ignorant souls, as our Lord to Zebedee's 
children, " You know not what you ask ;" you would 
go to heaven; yes, you would fain be saved, but do you 
know what heaven is ? I will tell you briefly, heaven 
consists in a freedom from all sin, a perfection of grace, 
enjoyment of God, employment in divine praises, love, 
delight in God, meditation on him, together with th^ 
ecstacy and transport of all the soul's faculties in im- 
mediate communion with him. And what awkward 
conception hath a carnal, worldly man of these blessed 
privileges ? they would be no advantage to him at all, 
but rather a torment to him who hates God, who runs 
from him, and cannot abide to come near him in any 
duty, who likes not the society of God's saints, delights 
in sinful practices, and dallies with Satan's tempta- 
tions. Can men imagine they shall take cards and 
* John V. 40. Ezek. xviii. 31. Hos. xiii. 9. Heb. ii. 3. 


dice, cups and harlots with them to heaven ? Nay, can 
men take fair houses, full bags, or worldly business 
into another world ? Can they make great purchases, 
gather great rents, or break jests with their com- 
panions in a future state ? Alas, a poor carnal heart 
is soon weary of duties, much more would he be in hea- 
ven ; a sermon is too long, prayer is tedious, " when will 
the sabbath be gone ?" Can those who hold such lan- 
guage be fit to enjoy God in an eternal sabbath of rest? 
nay, the poor guilty sinner cares not for coming near 
to God, the sight of God is terrible to him, as it was 
to fallen Adam ; indeed without converting grace, in- 
troducing this new creature and divine nature, the 
soul would be altogether strange to God, or any con- 
verse with a holy and glorious God ; even the sancti- 
fied themselves, by reason of the remainders of corrup- 
tion in them, have often much ado to bring their 
hearts to converse with God, especially when they lie 
under a sense of guilt, even a Peter then cries out, 
"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord;" 
much more will a graceless soul not dare to come near 
to God ; " A hypocrite shall not come before him ;" 
he will not, and God will not suffer him. But a gra- 
cious heart can truly say, " It is good for me to draw 
nigh to God."* Communion with God is his heaven 
upon earth ; therefore this God will be his salvation, 
himself is his best heaven ; but a carnal heart knows 
not what this means, and is therefore incapable of 

* Luke V. 8. Job xiii. 16. Psahn Ixxiii. 28. 



It is much if a carnal mind, with the devil's help, have 
not something to say against the thing itself, or at- 
tempts after it, by way of excuse. 

1. Ohjection, Who can in this world be so qualified 
for heaven, the best come infinitely short. I have 
heard it said, that as the soul passeth out of the body, 
it is then perfected and qualified for its enjoyment of 
God ; no man can expect it before ; and though I can- 
not so delight in God, and his service now, yet I hope 
God will perfect my soul in the instant of its separa- 
tion from the body. I answer, 

(1.) There is a habitual and an actual adaptedness 
for heaven, as I have at large explained in a treatise 
on Col. i. 12, called "Meetness for Heaven,"* and every 
child of God, after the first impartation of grace to 
him, and change of his state and relation God-wards, 
is put into a capacity for communion with God, iu this 
and in the other world, but increase in gi'ace, and ex- 
ercise of grace do daily capacitate him for further 
communion with God. No man can expect he will 
be a perfect man, till he be a man : perfection of de- 
grees follows that of parts. You must first be in 
Christ, or else you will not arrive " at the measure of 
the stature of the fulness of Christ," Eph. iv. 12, 13. 

(3.) That man feeds himself with a vain, groundless 

hope of being saved, and perfected at death, who is 

careless and graceless in life, for he hath no promise to 

nourish such persuasion. Did God ever say, *' Live 

* Included in this Volvune.— jEf?. 


as thou listest, and at the instant of death I will infuse 
spiritual life into thy soul, trust me for that at thy ex- 
piring breath, I will give thee that then, which will 
qualify thee for heaven, and make thee then in love 
with me, though thou never caredst for me all thy life 
long." "SMiere do you find such a promise ? and who 
but a mad man will put all to a desperate venture at the 
last gasp ? You have more reason to fear he will not, 
than to hope he will give you grace ; nay, you have a 
dreadful threatening, that " because he called and you 
refused, you shall call and cry, and he will not answer," 
Prov. i. 24 — 28. And you have a terrible instance of 
the fruitless cries of the foolish virgins. Matt. xxv. 10. 
And who are you that the great God should be at 
your beck ? He can and will hear the least whimper 
of a child, but regards not the howling of a dog : he 
may and will say, " Go to the gods, the lusts you 
have served, I know you not, I own you not for mine." 
This is not a time for getting, but using grace ; yea, 
death is a time for perfecting the work of grace. 
Woe be to that wretched man that hangs his eternal 
state on the uncertain working of the principle of life, 
in the moment of death. 

2 OhJ. But if I be not yet a new creature, I may 
be ; there is time enough before me, I am young, and 
yet in my full strength, of a healthy coiistitution, and 
may live long : let old persons that are going off the 
stage, look after this new creation, I have other things 
to mind. 

Answ. (1.) Alas, man, art thou certain thou shalt 
live till the next year, the next month, M''eek, day, or 
hour ? Have not many as young as thou art, gone to 
the grave before thee, and what assurance hast thou of 
thy life another moment ? For " what is our life but 
a fleeting vapour ?" it is a bubble, a blast, a shadow, a 


, dream, smoke ; yea, every man in his " best estate is 
altogether vanity,"* as flourishing grass in the morn- 
ing, cut down before evening. If you fall not by some 
force of outward casualty, you carry your bane lurking 
in youi- bosoms. Have you a lease of your lives, as 
Hezekiah had ? You have little reason to boast your- 
selves of to-morrow, " for you little know what a preg- 
nant day may bring forth," Pro v. xxvii. 1. It may 
land thy soul in eternity ! therefore despatch this main 
work at present. 

(2.) The longer thou deferrest, the more difficulty 
wilt thou find ; thy heart will be daily more " harden- 
ed through the deceitfulness of sin." Custom in sin 
will make conscience more brawny. A sickness may 
easily be cured at first, but when it gets into the nerves, 
and bones, or strikes to the heart, it becomes incurable ; 
so it is with soul maladies. O what mischief may a 
thief do, if suffered to lodge one night in your house ! 
Besides, the life or death of the soul may hang upon 
this point of time ; it is often limited to a day, " Now 
is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."f 
Who can tell but God may say after this day, " My 
Spirit shall strive no more with them ?" Gen. vi. 3. 
You may provoke God to withdraw ; O, how many 
instances have we of thousands that have lost their 
day, and have been undone for ever. 

3 ObJ. If I become a new creature, there will be so 
much strictness and austerity in praying, reading, 
watching, and holy walking, that it will never be borne, 
it will make me melancholy and rob me of the joy and 
comfort of my life. 

Answ. (1.) Though the possessor of the new crea- 
ture lose sensual delights, which are madness, rather 

* James iv. 14. Job vii. 7- Psal. xxxix. 5. xc. 5, 6. 
t Heb. iii. 13. Jer. xiii. 23. Heb. iv. 7- 2 Cor. vi. 2. 
VOL. V, H 


than true joy, Eccl. ii. 2 : yet he may retain the law- 
ful comforts of life. It is true, that he must lay aside 
lascivious jests, wanton songs, unlawful gaming, ex- 
cessive drinking, blasphemous stage plays, and other 
things of a similiar description ; but there is no real 
content in these, to a generous spirit, but they bring guilt 
and wrath ; while the gi-acious soul may take as much, 
or more real pleasiu'e in relations and worldly enjoy- 
ments, paying due attention to circumstances of time, 
measure, and freedom from scandal, as another man ; 
nay, now he experiences the blessing of God in his en- 
joyments, as he hath a right to them in Christ, as they 
are freed from the curse, sweetened with God's love, 
helping him in God's service on his way towards hea- 
ven ; and the new creature puts wisdom into the 
Christian, to set every thing in its place and order, so 
that he enjoys himself with more pleasure in a mean 
condition, than many wicked men in their abundance. 
(2.) A man hath never true solid joy and peace till 
he be a new creature ; this, and this only forms the 
basis of strong consolation. Serious godliness is no 
such melancholy life, as the carnal world imagine. 
Suppose the Christian do labour, toil, and take pains 
in God's service ; love oils the wheels of his soul, and 
he takes as much pleasure therein, as Jacob did for 
Rachel. God spices every step of his way, " Wisdom's 
ways are pleasantness." " The severest commands of 
God are not grievous," but delightful, "the Spirit helps 
his infirmities,"* enlarges his heart, he mounts up with 
wings as eagles ; he is sure his profits will answer his 
pains ; he that digs in a golden mine, is paid for every 
stroke he strikes ; nay, there is a recompense at pre- 
sent, " in keeping thy commandments, there is great 
reward," Psal. xix. 11. You hear of the saint's sor- 
* Prov. iii. 17. I John v. 3. Rom, viii. 26. 


row for sill, grief for God's withdrawments, distress 
from Satan's assaults, but you see not his joy, " a 
stranger intermeddles not with it," Prov. xiv. 10 ; 
he hath comforts that none know, or can deprive 
him of; yea, he hath more comfort in his tears for sin, 
than a wicked man hath in gratifying his senses, and 
committing sin ; in the midst of the carnal man's joy 
his heart is sad ; in the midst of the Christian's sor- 
row for sin, his heart is. oft full of joy ; do but try a re- 
ligious course, and you would not exchange it for the 
wicked's rant. 

4 Ohj. But if I leave my old companions, they will 
laugh me to scorn, I shall be accounted a fool, a dotard, 
an enthusiast, or a fanatic, all that is bad ; and this I 
cannot brook, and indeed I know not how to discard 
and disoblige my old intimate comrades. 

Answ. (1.) If owning God and saving your precious 
souls be a disobliging of them, they are better lost than 
found. Our friends are dear, but God is dearer ; re- 
ligion binds you to forsake your own people, and your 
father's house, Psal. xlv. 10: to hate father and mother, 
in comparison of, or standing in competition with 
Christ, Luke xiv. 26. And it is the best match you can 
make ; you will not repent it, if to enjoy the society of 
genuine Christians you forego those syren songs of 
bewitching companions, which lead down to hell ; if 
you forsake such incarnate devils, for the ministry of 
blessed angels ; yea, if you renounce the devil for com- 
munion with a holy God, you will have little reason 
to be afraid or ashamed of such an exchange. 

(2.) As for their hatred, scorn or reproach, read Isa. 
11. 7, 8, " Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be 
ye afraid of their revilings;" the tongue of such wicked 
villains is no slander ; better be reviled than praised 
by some. Our Lord saith, " Woe be to you, when all 

2 H 


men speak well of you." When the Papists called 
Luther an apostate, he accounted himself a blessed 
apostate from the synagogue of Satan, to the church of 
God. And what if an Ishmael mock Isaac, or a Shimei 
rail at David, are they worse for lying tongues be- 
spattering them ? Bright stars may be called by ugly 
names, as bear, dragon, but they are bright still ; so 
may you be. A heathen Seneca could say, and glory 
in it, they speak of evil of me, but they are evil men.* 
And is it not better to be reproached by bad men for 
being good, than to be condemned by God for being 
wicked? Doth not Christ "bid you rejoice and be 
exceeding glad?" Matt. v. 12. Surely you may wear 
these as trophies and badges of honour ; so did Paul 
glory in Christ's cross, as an old soldier in his scars 
received in the wars for his prince ; the Christians of 
old rejoiced that " they were counted worthy to suffer 
shame for the name of Christ ;" they looked on that 
reproach as their greatest honour and ornament. You 
deserve not the name of Christian, if you will not bear 
a foul word from the foul mouths of men, for him v/ho 
despised the shame for your sakes. If men clip your 
credit, to make it good weight with God, and rub your 
crown with dust, to make it brighter, you will be no 
loser ; if you be " reproached for the name of Christ, 
happy are you, for the Spirit of gloiy and of God rest- 
eth upon you."f 

5 Ohj. I see no such beauty or excellency in these 
puritans and precisians, who pretend to be new crea- 
tures ; they are no better than their neighbours ; all 
are sinners, and so are they ; nay, I have seen them 
slip into scandalous sins, they are proud, and envious, 
and covetous ; they are but a pack of hypocrites. 

* Mala de me loquuntur, sed mali. 

t Gal. vi. 17. Acts v. 41. Heb. xii. 2. 1 Pet. iv. 14. 


Answ. (1.) Take heed of speaking evil of the per- 
sons and things that you know not : worldly people 
are not competent judges of God's children. These 
" are hidden ones," kings in disguise, " it doth not yet 
appear what they are or shall be." The king's daugh- 
ter is all glorious within." " The life of saints is hid 
with Christ in God." * You know not what they do 
alone, much less do you know their consciences. Be- 
ware of rash judgment ; you know neither their best 
nor their worst, there is a veil upon the face of their 
souls. There is a hidden man of the heart, which is 
invisible to the eyes of spectators ; and if these gra- 
cious souls should open their experience to you, you 
would judge it a paradox, or a riddle, or mere enthu- 
siasm. Wisdom is too high for a fool : the learned 
Nicodemus had odd and awkward conceptions of the 
new birth, John iii. 4. " The natural man knoweth 
not the things of the Spirit," 1 Cor. ii. 14. If you had 
new eyes, you would be fitter to judge of things that 
differ. Suspend your censures, call them not hypo- 
crites, whom God will own for children : a blind man 
is not fit to judge of colours. 

(2.) It is true, all are sinners, yet there is a vast 
difference of sinners. " Whosoever is born of God, 
doth not commit sin," afxaprlav 6v ttolh, doth not work 
sin, he makes not sinning his trade ; his business is to 
walk in the ways of God, and "if he be overtaken 
with a fault," he discovers it, mourns for it, riseth out 
of his falls by repentance, he hates sin more, becomes 
more watchful and jealous of himself, prays, and 
desires strength from Christ, " to crucify the flesh." 
"Sin hath not dominion over him;"f but he makes 
progress in mortification : and ordinarily this child of 

* Psal. Ixxxiii. 3. 1 John iii. 2. Psal. xlv. 13. Col. iii. 3. 
t ] John iii. 9. GaL vi. 1. v. 24. Rom. vi. 14. 


God doth not fall into any gross and scandalous sin, 
or if at any time God doth suffer him to fall foully, 
yet it costs him dear ; it may be broken bones, as it 
did David ; and God can heal his backslid ings, and 
make' him more humble after. However there is a 
vast difference betwixt a sheep stepping into the mire, 
and a swine wallowing in the mire. Some are, and 
some are not "the spots of God's children," Deut. 
xxxii. 5. You have more need to judge yourselves, 
than censure others for being hypocrites. Hear what 
the Reverend Mr. Hildersham saith in this case:* 
*' Let none say of professors, these gadders after ser- 
mons, these holy brethren, that stand so much upon 
sincerity, can abide nothing that savours of Popery ; 
these precise fools must be singular, forsooth ; they 
dare not swear — they are no better than hypocrites." 
And he adds, " though these things be found in some 
hypocrites, yet they are no signs to know a hypocrite 
by, nor are they hypocrites that do thus ; thou that 
scornest a man for this, bewrayest the profaneness of 
thy own heart, and openest thy mouth against hea- 
ven," Psal. Ixxiii, 9. 

6 Ohj. You told us this work is a creation. Can a 
man create himself? You said sinners are dead ; sui'ely 
it is not in the power of a dead man to make himself 
alive ? You said this is the work of omnipotency, God 
must do all. Alas, what can man do of himself? 

Answ. {1.) You are not naturally dead ; though spi- 
ritually dead, yet you are alive ; God hath given you 
rational souls, faculties capable of knowing, loving, 
and enjoying himself You are not senseless stocks or 
stones, nor mere brutes ; there is in you a remote apti- 
tude, if not a present promptness, to receive grace : 
you have the noble faculty of a self-reflecting con- 
* Hild. on Psal. li. page 699. 


science, that is " the candle of the Lord, searching all 
the inward parts of the belly," Prov. xx. 27- It can 
discover moral good and evil, yea, " it can excuse or 
accuse in what you do," right or wrong, Rom. ii. 14, 
15. You might be much better if you minded this 
light within you, the light of natural conscience. 
How can you expect more, till you improve what you 
have ? Nature can do little towards grace, yet moral 
principles cherished and improved, may be some fence 
against vicious inclinations, and prevent a custom in 
sinful practices ; however, it is dangerous to imprison 
the common notices of a Deity, Rom. i. 18, or moral 
duty : this is the road to obliterate them, this shuts 
the door against grace, and opens the sluices of vice. 
Nourish what is good in thee : who can tell wliat it 
may come to at last ? 

(2.) God commands the use of means; and though he 
hath not bound himself, yet he hath bound every man 
to the utmost of his power to be tending towards God. 
Divines say. That though no exercise of common grace 
can merit special grace, yet God is not wanting in his 
fiu-ther grace, to those that have made a due improve- 
ment of common grace, and done what in them lay 
towards their own salvation. Your business is to 
"work out your own salvation," Phil. ii. 12 ; for it is 
" God that worketh in you the will and the deed." 

It is an old saying of St. Augustine, " He that made 
thee without thyself, will not save thee without thy- 
self." God loves to second man's endeavours ; he is 
never wanting to the diligent. The precept com- 
mands, the gospel promise will assist.* God hath not 
lost his right to command, though we have no might 
to obey ; his authority must sway with us, though we 
have not ability to do his requirement :-{■ he bids us to be 

* Lex jubet, gratia juvat. t Praecipit Deus quod ipse praestat. 


up and doing, and he will take us by the hand and 
help us. Try, man, in so necessary a work as thy 
soul's eternal happiness ; thou hast lost much labour 
in other cases, thou mayest not lose it in this : there 
is a mmj he in it, and that is warrant enough for such 
a venture. Be laborious, and thou mayest possess 

7 Ohj. But I may as well sit still, as rise up to fall; 
I shall never hold out, I see so many temptations of 
a subtle devil, oppositions of a furious world, and 
strong corruptions of a treacherous heart, that I do 
foresee I shall not be able to stand ; I had better not 
begin at all, than begin in the spirit and . end in the 
flesh, and so sink my apostate soul deeper. 

Ansiv. (1.) Art thou in good earnest, when thou 
makest this objection ? or dost thou compliment God, 
and make it an excuse and evasion ? If the latter, and 
this be but to save thee the labour of being serious in 
religion, thy case is lamentable ; thou hast yet but slight 
thoughts of God, thy soul, or of heaven, that makest 
such frivolous excuses, to incur a certain damnation' 
But if thou be in good earnest, it will put thee upon the 
search of thy heart, whether thou be sincere, that thou 
mayest not build upon a sandy foundation ; and if indeed 
thou art jealous of thyself, and afraid of apostacy, this 
very fear is the best security against falling away : " I 
will," saith God, " put my fear in their hearts, and 
they shall not depart from me ; blessed is he that 
feareth always." This godly fear will make you avoid 
sin and all its occasions, improve talents, time, and 
means of grace, and put you upon all methods to grow in 
grace and gain assurance. A caution is necessary to 
the best.* But be sure yours is a godly jealousy, 
arising from a sense of the evil of sin, and your own 

* Jer. xxxii. 40. Prov. xxviii. 14. Heb. iii. \'2, 13. iv. 1. 


weakness, and not a mere conception of your hypocri- 
tical hearts. 

(2.) If once this new creature be truly formed in thy 
heart, it will be permanent and abiding ; not but that 
it is a creature, and so loseable of itself, but by virtue 
of God's covenant and promise, it is " an incorruptible 
seed, a well of living waters, springing up to ever- 
lasting life." If once this work be savingly wrought, 
though it be but a spark, an embryo of grace, the God 
of heaven will look after his own creature, you shall 
*' be kept by the power of God through faith to sal- 
vation." None shall pluck you out of the Father's 
hands.* Nothing can separate ; the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against you. Fear not, you have the Fa- 
ther's care, the Son's prayer, the Holy Ghost abiding 
in you for ever.f Hypocrites will be apostates; a 
rotten core will spread to the skin. It is very rare to 
see a hypocrite undiscovered till death ; though the 
foolish virgins held out long, yet it appeared at last 
they had no oil in their vessels. " 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," 
1 John ii. 19. Take thou care of thy sincerity, and 
God will take care of thy perseverance : God will not 
renounce his own image : Christ will not forsake his 
members. If thy state and standing were in thy own 
hands, thou wouldst as surely lose thy integrity, as 
Adam his innocency; but "we are kept by the power 
of God through faith unto salvation," 1 Pet. i. 5. 

There is one thing I fear more than all the rest, and 
that is a lazy, slothful, indifferent spirit, that will not 
take any pains in God's work, nor in the concerns of 
the soul, but think grace must drop into their gaping 

* 1 Pet. i. 23. John iv. 14. 1 Pet. i. 5. John x. 28, 29. 
+ Matt. xvi. 18. Rom. viii. 39. Phil. i. 6. IJohniLl. ii.27. 


mouths ; this sloth hath killed thousands of sinners; 
Oh, it will cost a man trouble, care, and pains, and this 
he cannot brook. And do men think to grow rich 
without labouring, careful endeavours, and travelling 
to markets ? And can they think to go to heaven, or 
get grace without taking pains ? It is true, it is not 
merely pains that will do it, but sloth will lose it ; and 
without pains-taking, nothing that is excellent will be 
obtained; for the more choice things are, the more 
hardly are they attained. * I am sure Christians of 
old " laboured hard, that they might be accepted of 
God," 2 Cor. v. 9. And the apostle tells the Hebrews, 
that " God doth not forget their work and labour of 
love :" and urges them " to shew the same diligence, 
and not be slothful, but followers of them, who through 
faith and patience inherit the promises," Heb. vi. 

Let the slothful person ask himself these questions: — 
Whether the pains of hell be not more intolerable, than 
the pains God requires to be taken to escape it ? — Or, 
whether heaven will not requite all his pains to obtain 
it ? — Or, whether he take not more pains to scrape to- 
gether a necessary supply of wants, or some thick 
clay usually called wealth ? — Or, whether thousands 
take not more pains to get to hell, than God requireth 
of him to travel to heaven? And let the unhappy 
sluggard know, that by the time he hath been an hour 
in the intolerable torments of a future state, he would 
be glad to be turned into the world again, though upon 
the hardest terms of obedience, mortification, and doing 
all things within the range of human capacity. But 
alas, men in the present state are made up so much of 
sense, and understand so little of invisible realities, that 
they choose rather to perish eternally, than to endeavour 
* Difficilia qa.se pulchra. 


to live holily : therefore " men's destruction is of them- 
selves," Hos. xiii. 9 : they " will not come to Christ, 
that they may have life," John v. 40. It is God's 
ordination, that men's own estimate, choice, and endea- 
vours shall be the necessary preparatives to fruition : j 
and hence it is, that the slothful servant, was a wicked 
servant, and fared and sped according to his sloth, 
Matt. XXV. 26. 



The fourth and last thing proposed, is what the apos- 
tle calls Trm^eiav rjjv iv BiKaioavvy, that is, instruction in 
righteousness ; and this I shall rank under these four 
divisions : I shall, 

I. State the nature, parts, and properties of the new 
creation, for our assistance in the examination of our 

II. Direct what those should do to obtain it, who 
feel or fear they are yet deficient. 

III. Show how such should act, live, and conduct 
themselves, as do find upon Scripture grounds, and 
good experience, that this change is savingly wrought 
within them. 

IV. Answer some queries or cases of conscience, for 
the satisfaction of such as are doubtful of their since- 
rity, or would be further informed on some points 
about this new creature. All these I must briefly 

* Nemo nolens bonus aut beatus est. 


I. It is of very great concernment for every rational 
soul to know and be sure on some certain grounds, 
whether he be a new creature. 

I might here refer the reader to the description I 
gave at first of this new creation. — It was called a 
supernatui'al grace, as to its general natui'e — for its 
particular property or natuie, it was styled a gospel 
gi«ace — as to its subject, it is in the soul of a sinner — 
the instrumental cause of it, is the word of God — the 
efficient cause, is the Holy Ghost — the proper imme- 
diate effect, is a great spiritual change — the complete- 
ness of this change, has a reference to state, constitu- 
tion and relation — the pattern is the divine image or 
likeness — the rule of it, is the word of God — the end, 
is the glory of God, and the soul's happiness in its 
communion with him. 

You see then this new creature is very comprehen- 
sive, it includes the whole encyclopaedia, as I may say, 
or compass of experimental and practical religion. 

It is a relation, not one quality, nor yet one single 
habit, neither one star, nor yet a constellation of 
graces, but a relation or rectitude, and orderly cor- 
respondence of the faculties proceeding from the im- 
partation of all those habits and qualifies to a person, 
(as a learned man observes,)* wherein the appetite is 
subject to the will, the will to reason, the rectified 
reason to God, and the conversation corresponding to 
this inward principle, not completely or perfectly in 
point of degree, as it was in Adam's soul, in the state 
of innocency, but by integrity of the parts, so far as 
the soul is sanctified in this life, till it become perfect 
in heaven. It is, say divines, TrvevnaTiKi) aXvmg, a spi- 
ritual chain, wherein all virtues and graces are linked, 
coucreated with Adam, and imparted to the Christian in 
* Dr. Arrow's Tract. Sacra, page 138. 


this new creation, whereby he hath a power to act as 
a Christian in this lower world, in all christian exer- 
cises, to which God in his word calls him. 

This examination of the new creature, I shall re- 
duce to the following particulars : 

Preparatives to if, parts of it, 'properties thereof, 
and its effects and fruits. 

Had I time and room, these might be largely insisted 
upon ; but I shall restrict myself to a short review of 

First, For the preparatives or antecedents that lead 
to the new creation ; not that a creature can prepare 
himself for it, but the same God who creates, doth 
something on the soul preliminary, as the chaos and 
darkness preceded the beautiful fabric of the world; 
so God produces, 

1. A sense of sin, wrath and the undone state of 
the soul, this is a new state of feeling; for formerly 
the sinner neither felt not feared evil, but thought his 
state as good as any one's ; nor doubted his own salva- 
tion ; now a spirit of bondage to fear hath seized on him ; 
" he is shut up as a sheep for the slaughter." " The 
law is a severe schoolmaster, and worketh wrath."* 
Now the sinner cries, " Woe is me, I am undone, I 
never thought I had been in this miserable state ; I see 
I am a condemned malefactor at the dreadful bar of a 
sin-avenging judge ; my mouth is stopped, I have not 
a word to say for myself, why sentence should not be 
executed upon me ; woe is me, I shall perish for ever." 

2. A discovery of his helpless state. He cannot 
help or deliver himself, the whole world cannot ; it is 
not within the power of men or angels to bring any 
relief to his forlorn, perishing soul. I am, saith the 
poor sinner, helpless, fatherless, Hos. xiv. 3, succour- 

* Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iii. 22—24. Rom. iv. 15. 


less ; I am " without strength, in me dwells no good 
thing." I could provoke God, but I cannot please him; 
heaven is shut against me, and I have no key to open 
it, hell gapes for me, and I know not how to escape it ; 
I hang over flames, I lie in chains, and all the world 
cannot break them, " silver and gold will not redeem 
me." " Great men are vanity, good men have no oil 
to spare." If I sat upon a prince's throne, I could 
not purchase or command a pardon, " The redemption 
of the soul is precious, it ceaseth for ever."* My case 
grows worse and worse. 

3. A serious inquiry after a remedy. WTien the 
poor sinner is thus puzzled and non-plust, and knows 
not which way to turn, himself, then he begins to ask 
new questions, not as he was wont, " Who will shew 
us any good" of worldly advantage ? Psal. iv. 6, no, 
but his tune is altered, now he cries, " Men and bre- 
thren what shall I do ?" Acts ii. 37. xvi. 30 ; O sirs, 
*' What shall I do to be saved ?" O you ministers, 
christian friends, did you ever know any case like mine? 
Is it possible that ever I should find mercy ? Is not 
the day of grace past ? I fear I have committed the 
sin against the Holy Ghost, woe is me, what course 
shall I take ? I see nothing but bai-e walls at home ; 
is there relief to be found for a poor pining soul ? tell 
me, O tell me, what door I must knock at, and how I 
must knock, that I may speed ? 

4. Sad thoughts of heart upon discovery of the 
remedy. Oh, saith the poor sinner, you tell me God 
is a " merciful God, forgiving iniquity, transgression 
and sin," Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7 ; but I spy one red letter 
in his name, that will hy no means clear the guilty. 
Now I am guilty, and I have read that the arms of 
justice and mercy are of equal length, both infinite ; 

* Rom. V. 6, 7- 1 Pet i. 18. Matt. xxv. 9. Psal. xlix. 7- 


how must justice be satisfied ? I am sure not by me, 
in my own person. "Well, the gospel tells the sinner, 
that the wards of the lock are fitted ; this chancery 
will relieve the condemned sinner ; Christ in our room 
hath suffered and satisfied justice for us ; yea, saith 
the penitent, but how shall I have interest therein ? 
It is answered, by faith. Alas, saith he, I am but 
where I was, I can no more believe, than I can keep 
the whole law ; O this unbelieving heart kills me, 
binds me over to wi'ath ; still I would believe, but I 
cannot, my faith is but unbelief ; I thought believing 
was the easiest thing in the world, now the Spirit 
hath convinced me, I neither do, nor can believe with- 
out divine influence.* I would give all the world, that 
I could believe. 

5. The removal of obstructions. A stubborn will is 
by grace made " willing in the day of God's power." 
Now prejudices are removed, though Nathaniel say, 
*' Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" 
yet if he come and see, he will believe ; this was the 
woman of Samaria's case.* Alas, saith the soul, I 
have been foolish, and ready to find fault with God's 
way of justifying and saving poor sinners, and said of 
the gospel dispensation, how can these things be ? but 
I am at last satisfied, that a revelation from God is not 
only authentic, but most rational ; still I have within 
me strange imaginations, and " high things that exalt 
themselves against the knowledge of God." "Well, God 
comes with his spiritual weapons, and pulls down these 
strong holds, dismounts the sinner's carnal confidence, 
and levels these high mountains of opposition, leading 
captivity captive, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. And now the sinner 
is content, that God should take his own method in 

* Isa. Iv. 4. 1 Pet. ii. 24. Mark ix. 24. John xvi. 9. Eph. i. 1 9. 
t Psal. ex. 3. John i. 46—49. iv. 9, 19. 


justifying and saving him, by the merits of Christ, 
witliout the least respect to any worthiness in himself; 
and there is much ado to bring the proud heart to this, 
to forego his own righteousness. 

6. Restlessness of spirit in its present state. The 
sinner is now heavy laden. Matt. xi. 28, and must have 
rest somewhere, but can enjoy no rest in a sinful state; 
" There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked," Isa. 
Ivii. 21. This is not a state to be rested in, saith the 
trembling soul, I am got off my former ground, I see 
my old unregenerate state hopeless and deplorable, yet 
I fear I am not centred and anchored on Christ. Woe 
is me, I am fluctuating on the waves betwixt hope and 
despair, I fear the issue ; sometimes I think I see the 
day break, but clouds and darkness overwhelm me 
again: however, I am not content with these poor 
husks of the world in my Christless state in a far 
country, " I will arise and go to my father," Luke xv. 
18. In this quagmire, I fiud no bottom for the sole of 
my foot, I must make to firm ground ; none but Christ, 
none but Christ, let me have him, though with " fight- 
ings from without, and fears within." I am shifting 
from post to pillar, let me be dissettled till my soul fix 
on Christ, " then shall not my heart be troubled, if be- 
lieving in God, I believe also in Christ," John xiv. 1. 
Let me never be at rest, till all ways are blocked up 
but this ; if I sit still, I die, 2 Kings vii. 4 ; if I go to 
the world, I pine ; I will venture upon God's promises, 
upon Christ's purchase ; if I must die, I will die thus ; 
but never did any die at this door. 

7. At last the troubled spirit utters its perplexed 
thoughts in complaints and prayers. God saith, " I 
have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself," Jer. 
xxxi. 18. So methinks I see the disquieted soul creep 
into a corner to unburden his spirit in this manner : 


Lord, here I am, as wicked a malefactor as ever stood 
at thy bar, and as miserable a beggar as ever lay at 
thy door ; I was condemned as soon as born, and have 
too, too wofully increased the stock of original sin, by 
thousands of actual transgressions ; I am twice dead, 
in danger of being " plucked up by the roots," Jude, 12^ 
and cast into the fire of hell ; many means hast thou 
used, but nothing does me good, yet now " thou hast 
brought me into the wilderness ; O speak to my heart." 
Every sin deserves damnation ; Oh, how many hells 
then do I deserve? Thou art righteous, if thou con- 
demn me ; my mouth is stopped, I am found guilty 
before God, I am self-condemned, thou wilt need no 
other witness or jury to find me guilty ; but Christ 
suffered and satisfied justice for poor sinners, and why 
not for me, the chief of sinners ? I find not one word 
in scripture against it, but a proclamation of a general 
pardon to all ; Christ with all his benefits is offered to 
me in the ministry of the word, upon the condition of 
faith and repentance. It is true, I can neither repent 
nor believe, but they are both included in the absolute 
grant of the gospel covenant, which gives what it re- 
quires. Lord, give me a gospel repentance unto life, 
and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ ; I hang on thee, 
blessed Jesus, who wast exalted on purpose " to give 
repentance and forgiveness of sins," with every grace 
and every blessing.* 

Secondly, The parts of this new creature lie in the 
renovation of the several faculties of the soul, which 
consists of — the mind and understanding — the con-, 
science — the will — the affections, which are the acts 
and tendencies of the will. 

1. The new creature consists much in the illumina- 
tion of the mind, which is called " a renewing in the 
* Hos. ii. 14. Rom. iii. 19. 1 Tim. i. 15. Acts v. 31. 

VOL. V. I 


spirit of the mind," Eph. iv. 23, Interpreters have 
been much perplexed to know what is meant by the 
sj^irit of the mind. Calvin saith, " The meaning is, 
we are renewed not only in our inferior appetites, and 
sensual desires, but in that part of the soul which is 
esteemed the most noble and excellent." * For the 
mind is accounted a queen, and almost adored by phi- 
losof)hers. Now the mind is renewed, when there are, 
(1.) New conceptions of things, such as it never had 
before, for a new light is set up in the soul, to see 
things after another manner, " the eyes of the under- 
standing are now enlightened," Eph. i. 18. Now a 
person sees more wickedness in his depraved heart, 
than ever he did, which makes him cry out like Job, 
*' Behold I am vile." " Lord, thou art heaven, I am 
hell," said Mr. Hooper. Now the soul sees more poi- 
son and malignity in sin, than it ever did before ; he 
sees it " exceedingly sinful," as striking at the majesty, 
and clouding the glory of the holy God, — as crucifying 
Christ, — as grieving the Holy Spirit. The new crea- 
ture forms other conceptions of Christ, as " the rose of 
Sharon, the chief of ten thousand." He looks on God's 
commands as " not at all grievous," f but pleasant, 
comfortable, and profitable. He looks on the saints as 
the " most excellent in the earth." He hath got eye- 
salve to judge of things as they are ; " the spiritual 
man judgeth all things." i 

(2.) The new nature brings a new memory ; the 
Christian forgets injuries, and remembers truths ; his 

* Ego simpliciter accipio, acsi clixisset^ Renovernini non tan- 
tum quod ad inferiores appetitus aut concupiscentias quae palam 
sunt vitiosae, sed etiam quod ad partem illam animae quae nobilis- 
sima et praestaiitissima habetiu*. — Calv. in loc. 

t Job xl. 4. Rom. vii. 9—17- Cant. v. 10. 1 John v. 3. 

t Psalm xvi. 3. Rev. iii. 18. 1 Cor. ii. 15. 


memory is sanctified and strengthened, he lays up things 
in his heart, as the pot of manna was laid up in the ark: 
he " can abundantly utter the memory of God's great 
goodness." The new creature is as a phylactery to 
prompt and put him in mind of God's law. If he hath 
not a great memory, yet he hath a good memory : 
God brings sins to remembrance committed many 
years ago, and the soul is humbled for them, as if but 
newly committed : and though sometimes the best of 
God's children are subject to slippery memories, and do 
need monitors, yet they have minds clarified, and apt 
to be tenacious of the things of God : " I stir up your 
pure minds by way of remembrance." A hint will 
bring God and good things into their thoughts again ; 
but wicked men are described by the character of " for- 
getting God." * Do you make it your business to re- 
ir imber God upon your beds, and in all places ? Psalm 
Ixiii. 6. 

(3.) The new creation introduces a new counsellor. 
Formerly the person who has experienced this change, 
consulted with carnal interest, even in things of reli- 
gion ; if the practice of religion did cross his low and 
selfish designs, he laid it down ; but as soon as this 
principle acts within him, he saith as Paul did, " imme- 
diately, I conferred not with flesh and blood ;" God's 
glory, and the good of his own soul and the souls of 
others lay uppermost. Now the Christian goes to the 
sanctuary in arduous cases, and makes the Scriptures 
(those divine oracles) " his chief counsellors " in his 
actions, natural, civil, and spiritual ;f and dare venture 
upon nothing but that for which he hath a warrant 
from God : not. What saith this friend, or the other 
relation ? but what saith God in the case, directly, or 

* Psalm cxlv. 7- Numb. xv. 39. 2 Pet. iii. 1. Psalm 1. 22. 
t Gal. i. 16. Psalm Ixxiii. 17- cxix. 24. 

I 2 


by good consequence? See the difference between 
good Jehoshapliat and Ahab : the former said, " In- 
quire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to-day ;" 
the other made nothing of it. " They soon forgat his 
works," saith the Psahnist ; " they waited not for his 
counsel :" and " God gives them up to walk in their 
own counsels." * 

(4.) The new creatvu-e hath new admiration ; the 
carnal heart wonders at trifling novelties. David 
prays, " Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold won- 
drous things out of thy law." There indeed he disco- 
vers wonders of power, wisdom, holiness, faithfulness, 
and a display of all God's attributes, but especially of 
free grace and love in the work of redemption : he sees 
no reason to admire any thing, but " things the angels 
desire to look into," and in admiration of which they 
are in continual ecstacy. O the love of God in sending 
Christ, — of Christ in becoming man, in taking any of 
the sons of men to be the children of God. f 'Q /3a^oc, 
*' Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God." There only, there is something 
to be admired : all the glories of the world are but 
mere contemptible pageantry ; the believer can tram- 
ple them under his feet with a better disdain, than 
Diogenes trampled on Plato's finery, for he is in a sort 
" crucified to the world ;" and can pass by things 
seen with a holy scorn, when compared with things 
unseen, which are eternal. ^ 

2. The new creation also affects the conscience, 
which though it be not a distinct faculty, but of a 
complex nature, yet it is of great use in the soul of 
man : and it is necessary that " the heart be sprinkled 

* 1 Kings xxii. 5 — 8. Psalm cvi. 13. Ixxxi. 12. 
t Psalm cxix. 18. 1 Pet. i. 12. 1 John iii. 1. 
J Rom. xi. 33. Gal. vi. 14. 2 Cor. iv. 18. 


from an evil conscience," which is done by the blood 
Christ, Heb. x. 22 ; and that " the conscience be pui-g- 
from dead works to serve the living God," and this is 
effected by the eternal Spirit, Heb. ix. 14. Now there 
are four offices of conscience, which the new creature 
doth in a good measure regulate. 

(1.) As it is a guide, a discoverer of duty, a bright 
star in a dark night, a hand in the margin, to shew us 
what is worth our observing, a schoolmaster to teach 
us, a monitor to shew our mistakes ; and it must be 
regulated by the word of God, for conscience is cor- 
rupted, and is apt to be deceived, and to deceive us : it 
is but an under officer, and must itself be subject to 
God's law. Hence the Christian seeks to regulate its 
dictates by the word of truth, and grace brings it to 
the rule, — What saith my supreme Lord and Master ? 
I must follow thee no further than God's law allows. 
Now the new creature brings conscience to the word, 
and saith, Thus far thou must go, and no further : 
the end of " the commandment is charity, out of a 
pure heart, and good conscience, and faith unfeigned," 
1 Tim. i. 5. These are always companions ; this is a 
good conscience. 

(2.) Conscience is a book, wherein are noted and 
written down all a man's actions and expressions, even 
his thoughts and imaginations : it is also a correct and 
faithful register, to produce them as a faithful witness 
for, or against a man another day. " The books were 
opened :" one of these is the book of conscience. Con- 
science is as a thousand witnesses ; if good, the Holy 
Ghost unites with it, " my conscience bearing me wit- 
ness in the Holy Ghost ;" and this " is our rejoicing, 
the testimony of our conscience." * If a person have 
done any thing amiss, conscience brings it to his re- 
* Rev. XX. 12. Rom. ix. 1. 2 Cor. i. 12. 


membrance, as the sin of Joseph's brethren made them 
say, " We are verily guilty." " Now a faithful wit- 
ness will not lie." A rectified conscience will give in 
a true testimony to promote repentance, which is there- 
fore called a " bethinking ourselves," or in the Hebrew, 
" a bringing back upon our hearts." Conscience hath 
a tenacious memory, and will speak truly in its excus- 
ings or accusings ; * which is proper to conscience, as 
conscience, but grace regulates it, and adds some force 
to it. 

(3.) Conscience is a judge to pass sentence upon a 
man, as the verdict is brought in. It is true, it is but 
a petty judge under the supreme Judge, yet the great 
God confirms its judicial sentence : 1 John iii. 20, " If 
our hearts," that is, our consciences, " condemn us, 
God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things." 
Every man may and must hold private sessions with- 
in, preparatory to the great assizes ; if he be but pas- 
sive, and is loath to hearken to the sentence, he is con- 
demned ; and this is but a sad prognostic of his being 
condemned at God's tribunal, which he seeks to escape, 
as Felix did, but cannot : but if he concur in this sen- 
tence, and condemn himself actively and voluntarily, 
" he shall not be judged or condemned," 1 Cor. xi. 31. 
Now grace in the heart makes a man do this. I am 
the man, saitli he, I confess both the fact and fault. 
Art thou so? saith conscience ; I must needs then pass 
sentence upon thee, according to God's righteous law. 
Well, I yield, saith the soul, I am convicted in this 
court, and cannot escape the judgment of God : I must 
fly to the city of refuge. 

(4.) Conscience is an avenger, a self-tormentor : a 
guilty person is one that punishes or afilicts himself ; 
some do this sinfully, by " worldly sorrow which caus- 

* Gen. xliii. 21. 1 Kings viii. 47- Rom. ii. 1-i^ 15. 


cth. death." The Christian must do it penitentially, 
either for his own sins, or other men's : so Lot " vex- 
ed his righteous soul with the sin of Sodom ;" the 
word is fj3a(Tov£^ev, he beat and bastinadoed his righteous 
soul. The godly man must take the whip of consci- 
ence with the hand of grace, and scourge himself for 
his sins : or God will take it with his hand, and chas- 
tise him with it, as he did David, whose " heart smote 
him for numbering the people." The worm of consci- 
ence gnawing at the heart, is an acute pain, and will 
be one of the torments of the wicked in hell. * But 
the pious man prevents that, when he approves of 
God's sentence by self-excruciating trouble for sin here : 
it is a profitable employment of conscience, with its se- 
vere lashes to promote godly sorrow. 



3. Another subject, wherein the new creature 
resides, is the will, and this is the hinge of the soul, 
the master wheel, all which having received a new and 
different impulse, moves quite another way than what 
it had done ; now the change of the will is the main 
work of converting grace. 

There are four departments of the will, wherein the 
new creature shews itself. 

(1.) In its designs, aims, and intentions. The world 
and self-interest were the main drift of the will in a 
* 2 Cor. vii. 10. 2 Pet. ii. 7, 8. 2 Sam. xxiv. 10. Mark ix. 44. 


natural state ; all seek their own, Phil. ii. 21, the grati- 
fying of the flesh, sensual appetite, and worldly gain ; 
the universal inquiry is, "Who will shew us any good?" 
Psal. iv. 6. O for a good bargain, a cheap purchase ! 
another is for strong drink, or dainties of the table, 
plays or i)leasures ; another for the smiles of a court, 
and titles of honour. But the new creatui'e discards 
and scorns all these, while his aim is the glorifying of 
God, and enjoyment of him, let " Christ be magnified, 
and my soul saved," and I can despise or slight all 
other things, God hath bound them together, and the 
soul cannot part them. God is the Christian's chief 
end, in his natural, civil, and spiritual acts ; the new 
man aims at the glory of God. O that my soul may 
obtain fellowship with God.* I will trample on sinful, 
worldly selfishness, and spurn this filthy dunghill, when 
set in competition with God's glory, and the salvation 
of my own soul ; all other things will neither please 
nor profit this high-bred creature formed within me. 

(2.) In the elective power of the will. The new 
creature chooseth the most proper means to attain the 
high ends he has in view ; as he chooseth God for his 
portion, so in the first place he chooseth Christ "as the 
only way, truth and life," John xiv. 6. i. 51 ; by whom, 
as the ladder of Jacob, he may ascend to God ; for 
there is no coming to the Father, but by the Son. 
The will therefore consents to have Christ upon his 
own terms, and chooseth him above the world ; may I 
have Christ, I will " cast all else as dross at my 
heels ;" away with them, away with them, I would re^ 
fuse crowns and sceptres in comparison of, or in com- 
petition with Christ ; the believer comes off freely in 
his choice of Christ, he is not forced to him as his last 
shift, to escape perdition, but by a sweet tendency and 

* Phil. i. 20. 1 Cor. x. 31. 1 John i. 3. Psal. Ixxiii. 25. 


propensity of the will, he is touched and attracted with 
the loadstone of divine grace, "To me to live is Christ," 
as well as to die with him is gain. The new creature 
also chooseth the precepts, the promises, and the pat- 
terns of the word;* the way of faith and holiness he like- 
wise chooses to walk in, in order to the attaining of 
happiness ; and he never repents this blessed choice. 

(3.) There is a cleaving act of the will, a peremptory, 
resolved adhering to God and his ways : the will is 
fixed and determined for God, whatever shall be said 
to the contrary ; he is not off and on like " a double 
minded man, unstable in all his ways," a/i^f/3(oc, hang- 
ing in suspense, " halting betwixt two opinions ;" but 
cleaves to the Lord with purpose of heart, as " Ruth 
was stedfastly minded to go with Naomi."f All men 
on earth, and all the devils in hell shall not alter this 
resolution ; " I will go and return to my father ; I 
am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress ;" let 
others do as they list, as they dare answer, " I and my 
house will serve the Lord ;" ^ I must not be guided by 
example or carnal reason, but by the word of God, and 
having made my choice by the grace of God, I will not 
change as long as I breathe, no sufferings shall daunt 
me, no allurements shall entice me from my God. 

(4.) There is a resigning act of the will, by which it 
gives up itself to the will of God. The new creation 
melts and moulds the will of man into the will of God ; 
as our Lord said, " Not my will, but thine be done," 
Luke xxii. 42 ; and those gracious souls. Acts xxi. 14, 
said, " The will of the Lord be done :" hence Luther 
durst pray, let my will be done ; 1| but came off thus, 

* John i. 12. Phil. iii. 7—9. i. 21. Psal. cxix. 30, 111. 
+ James i. 8. 1 Kings xviii. 21. Acts xi. 23. Ruth i. 16 — IS. 
X Luke XV. 18. Psalm xvii. 3. Josh. xxiv. 15. 
jl Fiat voluntas mea. 


mine, Lord, because my will shall be thine, there shall 
be but one will between us ; this hath been the lan- 
guage of all the holy men in scripture, Eli, David, 
Paul. Let the Lord do as seems good to him ;* this 
harmony of wills is a glorious fruit of the new crea- 
tion ; and a pleasing and certain character of the new 
creature ; this brings serenity to the soul in all states, 
when wind and tide gently go both one M^ay, there is 
no storm ; so when the Christian acquiesceth in God's 
will, there is great peace in the soul. 

4. The new creatm*e is formed in the affections : 
these are the movements of the will, the prhtitim mobile, 
or main wheel that carries the affections along with it; 
the affections are characterized either as disliking, or 
liking ; as discovering the aversion or approbation of 
the soul, and both of them are reduced to sweet order 
and harmony, according to scripture rule. 

(1.) The disliking or disapproving affections: the 
stream is quite turned into another channel, the soul 
loathes what it before loved, and bears an implacable 
hatred, yea, antipathy, not only to sin, but to all ap- 
pearances of it, 1 Thess. v. 22, and avenues that lead 
to it, or proceed from it, " hating even the garment 
spotted by the flesh," Jude, 23, as one detests a coat 
with the plague in it, as a man's heart riseth against 
some kind of meats, or a toad for its poisonful quality, 
or a serpent for its sting, or rather for its loathsome na- 
ture. David saith, " I hate, and abhor lying," Psal. 
cxix. 163 ; he cannot use words enough to express his 
antipathy to hypocrisy. And true hatred is Trpog to. 
yivih against all kinds of what we hate, " I hate every 
false way," ver. 104, saith the holy man. The new 
creature makes the Christian not only angry at sin, 
as against his interest, or as a man may be with his 
* 1 Sam. iii. 18. 2 Sam. xv. 26. 


wife or child, in a fit of passiou, who entertains good 
thoughts of them again, when the passion is over ; but 
there is an implacable enmity commenced in the heart 
against all sin, yea, there is even a hatred of wick- 
ed men's persons on account of their sin, which other- 
wise the soul would love, as he would not hate the 
devil but for sin. O, how weary am I of this body of 
death, I know not how to bear it, it is like a loathsome 
dead carcass, which at once both burdens me with its 
weight, and poisons me with its stench. It is this, and 
this alone that makes me send forth daily groans, and 
lamentations. O that I could put a bill of divorce into 
the hands of my dearest lust, never to have any con- 
nection with it again ; I will never be reconciled to sin 
more ; I will cut off my right hand sin, and force the 
knife of the law into the very heart of my sensuality 
and worldly-mindedness ; I will study their utter ex- 
tirpation ; I am " ashamed and blush to lift up my 
face to God," because of my spots of guilt and pollu- 
tion ; never did any thing so affect my heart, as my 
sin against God, " I will declare mine iniquity, and be 
very sorry for my sin ;"* for the future, I will "stand 
in awe that I may not sin," I will fear sin more than 
hell ; *' I cannot bear them that are evil ;" though I 
have patience to bear any affliction, " I behold trans- 
gressors, and am grieved," and shed many tears for 
the dishonour they bring to my God.-f O that sin were 
banished out of the world, or my soul withdrawn from 
this wicked world. 

(2.) As for the liking or kind affections, the renewed 
soul can truly say, with David, " I have set my affec- 
tions to the house of my God ;" as to inferior objects, 
"my soul is as a weaned child." _ New light creates new 

* Ps. cxxxix. 21, 22. Rom. vii. 24. Ezra ix. G. Ps. xxxviii. 18. 
t Psal. iv. 4. Rev. ii. 2. Psal. cxix. 136, lo8. 


love, new desires new delights. Truth in the under- 
standing, darting upon the affections, and made to 
converge by the glass of meditation, inflames the soul : 
did not " our hearts burn within us while he opened 
to us the scriptures ? " said the disciples travelling to 
Emmaus.* The sun in the firmament sheds his in- 
fluence into the bowels of the earth, and light and 
heat come together into the soul; knowledge affects 
the heart; the more the Christian knows God, the 
more he loves him. The soul risen with Christ, can- 
not but "set its affections on things above;" for "where 
the treasure is, there will the heart be also." Oh saith 
the Christian, how good is God, I love the Lord above 
every person and thing, "with all my heart, soul, 
mind, and might ; f with my soul have I desired him in 
the night :" even " as the hart panteth after the water 
brooks. When shall I come and appear before God ? " 
God, even God alone " is my exceeding joy." I will 
take pleasure in nothing but God ; this, this is both 
my duty and privilege: I hope I can "call the sabbath 
a delight:" I and he promiseth I shall delight myself 
in the Lord. My comfort and content is, in com- 
munion with God, and it is an anticipation of hea- 
venly joys. I love the word of God, " his testimonies 
are the rejoicing of my heart, and I have rejoiced in 
the ways thereof, more than in all riches ; and delight 
myself in the Lord's statutes," Psal. cxix. 14. O how 
the good soul is elevated, and transported in the gal- 
leries of love ! its pleasures are infinitely beyond the 
pleasures of sense. 

O then. Christian, feel how the pulse of thy soul 
beats usually: is thy heart working God-wards in 

* 1 Chron. xxix. 3. Psal. cxxxi. 1, 2. Luke xxiv. 32. 
t Col. iii. 2. Matt. vi. 21. Psal. xviii. 1. Matt. xxii. 37- 
Psal. xlii. 1. xliii. 4. Isa. Iviii. 13, 14. 


duties of his worship, or in daily converse? which 
way tends the bent of the soul ? Art thou sincerely 
troubled, that thou canst " not delight thyself in the 
Lord," as thou oughtest ? Wouldst thou give all the 
world that thou hadst but a heart to love God more ? 
Canst thou say as Peter did, " Lord, thou knowest all 
things, thou knowest that I love thee?" A flame 
may be painted, but a painted flame cannot be felt. 
I find the workings of love kindled in my bosom, if I 
know any thing of my heart. I have also searched 
the characters of true love in the scriptures, and I find 
my heart corresponding thereto, harmonizing there- 
with ; I am fui'ther told, that this love is the proper 
character of the new creature, connatural with, and 
engraven on the new nature, for " he that dwelleth in 
love, dwelleth in God, and God in him."* 

Thirdly, I proceed to consider the properties of this 
new creation ; and they are these seven : 

1. It is universal. It is not in a part of the soul, 
but runs through the whole man, " soul, body, and 
spirit." It is extensive and comprehensive, takes in 
all internal powers and external members, all acts in 
all faculties, at all times, and in all employments. As 
in the law, the whole sacrifice was to be offered to 
God ; so it is not acceptable to God if any part be 
withheld from him. This new creation " is as leaven 
that runs through the whole lump," j and puts a gra- 
cious tinctui'e into all the faculties. This is not a 
limb or member, but a whole new man ; yea, the 
Christian is a perfect man, having all the parts of a 
saint, though defective in point of degree. Our hea- 
venly Father has no blind, lame, deranged, or maimed 
children ; there are no idiots in his family. A Chris - 

* Psal. xxxvii. 4. John xxi. 15 — 17- 1 John iv. 16. 

t 1 Thess. V. 23. Exod. xxix. 18. Rom. xii. 1. Matt. xiii. 33. 


tian indeed hath all graces radically; but the hypo- 
crite is mainly defective in something of an essential 
nature, requisite to constitute a saint ; he is a cake 
half baked, dough on one side ; the legs of the lame 
are not equal. 

2. It is vital and self-moving ; " I live, yet not I, 
but Christ liveth in me." It is true, it is hid from 
outward observation, as the spring that moves the 
visible hand, for " our life is hid with Christ in God :" 
but a -sdtal principle it is. This gracious habit is to 
the soul as the soul is to the body ; it is a spark of 
divine life kindled by the holy Spirit ; a seed of God,* 
quickened within the womb of the earth by the influ- 
ence of heaven, jnitting forth gracious acts and pre- 
cious fruits, through excitations of assisting grace, 
after a nipping winter of temjDtations or cold autumn 
of spii-itual decays ; his Spirit makes us willing. Oh, 
saith the Christian, I am restless, as a bird out of the 
nest, or a fish out of its proper element of water, un- 
satisfied till I return to my God. But the hypocrite 
resembles a puppet dressed like a saint, moved by art, 
or a machine put in motion by something external, 
which the workman affixes to it ; such is the hypo- 
crite : as one saith, there is a vast difference betwixt 
wool on the sheep's back, which clipped, will grow 
again ; and the wool of the sheep's skin on the wolf's 
back, which grows no more. The living saint still 
works ujiwards, the graceless soul is dead, and puts 
forth no vital acts. 

3. It is sensible and susceptible of impressions ; it 
is not a dead, inanimate log, but of a tender, quick 
sensation, and can easily discern what profits or pre- 
judices it, what helps or hurts it; it groans under 
what it feels as making against its being or well-being: 

* Gal. ii, 20. Col. ill. 3. 1 John iii. 9. 


nothing doth it so much injury as sin, or what hath a 
tendency to it : any act of omission or commission lies 
heavy upon it, pierces and wounds it, and makes it 
bleed ; hence it is called a heart of flesh, which is a 
soft and sensible thing. Defects of grace, inroads of 
temiDtation, intermissions of duty, or worldliness, are 
more laid to heart by the new creature, than gross out- 
breakings of sin in the hypocrite. Whatsoever it per- 
ceives to be annoyance or disturbance, is a grievous 
affliction. Oh, saith the soul, I found at such a time 
God's withdrawing the assistance of his Spirit ; being 
puzzled, I bungled in a duty, and could make nothing 
of it : woe is me, what had I done to banish my God ? 
I find a weight on me, " and a sin that easily besets 
me." Did I not quench, grieve, or resist the Spirit ? 
Was I not sluggish, heartless, or formal ? Lord, for- 
give me that sin, and quicken me with thy grace. The 
hypocrite hath none of these experiences, soul-exercises, 
or agonies, but runs on in a heartless formality, and 
customary performance, knowing nothing of God's 
access, or his recess, coming or going. 

4. It is distinguished by its growth, it is never sta- 
tionary ; the pious man is compared to the sun, '• that 
shineth still brighter to the perfect day ;" and to "calves 
of the stall," that ?.'e still growing : as " new-born 
babes, believers desire the sincere milk of the word, 
that they may grow thereby;"* it is their duty, yea, 
their privilege to " grow stronger and stronger, to per- 
fect holiness in the fear of God ;" for the new creature 
helps, spurs on the child of God to improve his talents, 
to use God's appointed means for increase, and to de- 
rive communications from Jesus Christ, that " he may 
increase with the increase of God." This new crea- 
ture has a new appetite, which in this imperfect state, 
* Prov. iv. 18. ]\Ial. iv. 2. 1 Pet. ii. 2, 3. 


makes him desire and long after more ; and lie never 
saith he hath enough in this lower world. It is said 
of the crocodile, as long as he lives he grows ; so it is 
with the believer. O, saith the soul, I am short, still 
defective ; the greatest part of what I have attained, is 
the least part of what I want ; O that I could be more 
like God ! " be changed into his image from glory to 
glory."* I can never be enough like God ; this is the 
clearest evidence of the truth of grace ; a dead picture 
will not grow as a living child, a dead stake grows not 
as a living plant. Lord, make me more humble, holy^ 
heavenly, self-denying, watchful, fruitful. 

5. Consciousness of dependance characterizes the 
new creature, the soul becomes sensible of its own weak- 
ness, it feels not its own feet, it cannot stand alone, 
therefore leans on its beloved, every step through this 
wilderness state. Cant. viii. 5. Woe be to me, saith 
the Christian, if I be alone, I have long found by too 
dear bought experience, that I am like a staff, and can 
stand no longer than I am upheld by an Almighty 
hand ; if God bid me come upon the fluid waves, and 
reach out his hand, I will venture, as Peter did, my 
feet will not fail, if faith fail not ; Lord, " hold up my 
goings in thy path, that my footsteps slip not ;" alas, 
" without thee I can do nothing ;" but by thee I can 
"run through a troop," and by my God, "I can leap 
over a wall ;" I am able " to do all things through 
Christ that strengthens me."f I find by experience, 
that the least difficulty overmatcheth me without divine 
assistance, and the " greatest mountains become a plain 
before Zerubbabel," my Lord of hosts, who out of 
weakness can make strong ; if he say, " My grace is 
sufficient for thee," 2 Cor. xii. 9, I will encounter a 

* Job xvii. 9. 2 Cor. vii. 1. Col. ii. 19. 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
t Psal. xvii. ii. John xv. 5. Psal. xviii. 29. Phil. iv. 13. 


Goliali, and in the name of the Lord do wonders ; 
my only strength is thy all-sufficient grace ; " by the 
grace of God I am what I am," 1 Cor. xv. 10. 

6. The new creature is watchful ; the soul never 
sleeps. Grace in the soul is still waking : " I sleep, but 
ray heart wakes," Cant. v. 2. The wise virgins as 
well as the foolish may nod, Matt. xxv. 5, 6 ; but they 
are quickly awaked with the Bridegroom's coming. 
Grace may lie in the unexercised, passive habit, or 
as a spark of fire in the ashes, but it M^ill revive : there 
needs not the impartation of a new life, but the stirring 
up of the vital principle. It may seem a paradox that 
the Christian is distinguished from his heart : a suspen- 
sion of the actings of spiritual liveliness and vivacity 
there may be, whereby the senses are at present bound 
up by indisposition to duty, yet a principle of grace, 
inclining to action there may be also; thus there are two 
different natures in the child of God, like two distinct 
persons ; so Paul saith, Rom. vii. 20, " If I do that I 
would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that 
dwelleth in me." Such a distinction he often makes. 
These different natures have opposite actings ; in the 
worst state of a Christian's spiritual dulness, he is very 
apprehensive things are not right with him ; there are 
some convictions, challenges, purposes, j^rotestations of 
the inward man against this indolent frame, it dis- 
pleases him, and he hath some faint and languid strug- 
glings to raise himself. The new creature gives not 
full consent, though it can act little vigorously, but 
there is a " lusting against each other," Gal. v. 17. Pe- 
ter's faith did not act, yet did not totally fail, when he 
denied his Master ; for Christ's prayer was heard for 
him, Luke xxii. 32. There is some tendency in the 
heart God-wards, in the saint's lowest ebbs : he is not 
satisfied in his sleepiness. 

VOL. V. K 


7. The new creation will abide, it will remain and 
overcome all opposition, and continue as long as the 
soul continues, as was said before. It is an immortal 
seed ; " the world passeth away, and the lust thereof ; 
but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever," 
1 John ii. 17 : " This anointing abideth in believers," 
and causeth them to abide in him, verse 27 '. this prin- 
ciple will be as " a well of water springing up to ever- 
lasting life :" this " fear of the Lord endureth for 
ever :" his " righteousness endureth for ever." Mo- 
rality withers and decays, but sincerity will run paral- 
lel with the life of God, and line of eternity. If thou 
art an apostate, thou wast never such a new creature as 
I have described : " If you continue in my word," said 
Jesus, " then are you my disciples indeed." * Look 
you to your sincerity, and God will look to your perse- 
verance ; na}', that principle will be attended with a 
holy jealousy, which is the awe-band of the soul, and a 
special preservation against apostacy : Jer. xxxii. 40, 
" I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not 
depart from me." This fear will teach them to incline 
God-wards, and abhor what tends to departing from 
God. Scripture makes this a clear evidence of a state 
of grace, and interest in Christ : and the contrary, evi- 
dence of a soul going oft', f Try yourselves by this 
character : do you persevere ? 

Ohjection. How can I evidence myself to be a new 
creature ? I am not yet at the end of my journey, who 
knows what I may do, or be ? I have a backsliding 
heart, I may fall away before I die. 

Answ. It is true, thou canst not presage what may 
come ; but thou majTst form an opinion of time to 
come from what thou hast met with in times past ; 

* John iv. 14. Psalm xix. 9. cxii. 3. John viii. 31. 
t Col. i. 21—23. Heb. iii. 6—14. 1 John ii. 19. 


thou hast had experience of the operations of grace, 
the witnessings of God's Spirit, healing of backslidings, 
conquest of some strong lusts, victory over the world, 
and the vanquishing of Satan's assaults, so that thou 
canst set up thy " Ebenezer, and say, Hitherto hath 
the Lord helped," 1 Sam. vii. 12. And dost thou not 
find it upon record, Phil. i. 6, " Being confident of 
this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work 
in you, will perform it to the day of Jesus Christ ?" 
It is true, you are not absolute conquerors till the last 
enemy be destroyed, which is death ; but Scripture 
style reckons sincere combatants to be conquerors : 
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome 
them," 1 John iv. 4. v. 4. And " this is the victory 
that overcometh the world, even our faith ;" yea, we 
" are more than conquerors, through him that loved 
us," Rom. viii. 37. And it is often said, "To him 
that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life," 
Rev. ii. 7. Mark it, it is not said, to him that hath 
overcome, but rw vikwvti, to him that is overcoming ; 
dost thou keep thy ground, tight still, though some- 
times thou art foiled ? dost thou not even gain ground 
by thy falls, mourn for sin, and grow more watchful? 
As long as thou art in the field against sin, sin is not 
on the throne in thy heart ; " and if sin have not 
dominion over you, you are not under the law, but 
under grace," Rom. vi. 14. This victory may have 
acceptance with God, though not satisfactory to thy- 

K 2 



Fourthly, The last way of discovering the truth of 
the new creation in the soul, is by its proper fruits and 
effects, as " the tree is known by its fruits," and the 
quality of the spring by the streams which issue from 
it. I can but name these : 

1. The new creation produceth a new tongue, new 
speech, new expressions. The person that was wont 
to speak the language of Ashdod, now speaks the lan- 
guage of Canaan : his tongue was wont to swear, lie, 
curse, and rail at religion, or was engaged in vain 
jangling, idle tales, and impertinent stories, or at best 
but about weather, trading, and news : now he chang- 
eth his note ; " The mouth of the righteous speaketh 
wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment." Why 
so ? " the law of God is in his heart ; out of the abun- 
dance of the heart, his mouth speaks." What say you, 
sirs ? do you speak as becometh saints, not filthiness, 
foolish talking, or jesting ? Is your '* speech always 
with grace, seasoned with salt ?" * not " corrupt com- 
munication, but that which is good to the use of edify- 
ing ? Do you exhort, and " provoke one another to 
love and good works ?" Do you speak reverently of 
God, his word, and works ? Do you " with one mind 
and one mouth glorify God ?" f edify saints, and con- 
vince gainsayers? Ribaldry, obscenity, and railing 
are far from a pious man's mouth : rather you hear 
giving of thanks, asking and answering serious ques- 
tions with his tongue, which is his glory. 

* Psal. xxxvii. 30, 31. Matt. xii. 34. Eph. v. 3, 4. Col. iv.Q- 
t Eph. iv. 29, 31. Heb. x. 24, 25. Rom. xv. 6. 


2. New works : not only new expressions, but new 
actions. The new creation engageth men to a new 
course of life, to " cast off the works of darkness, and 
to put on the armour of light, to walk honestly as in 
the day." What a change doth it make in men's em- 
ployments ; their backs are now where their faces 
were, and their faces where their backs were. This 
grace of God " teacheth them to deny ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and god- 
ly ;" yea, " to be zealous of good works." They were 
wont to work hard for the world ; now they " work 
out their own salvation with fear and trembling." * 
They used to follow sports and stage-plays ; now they 
find other employments, reading, praying, meditating, 
examining their consciences, and mortifying their pas- 
sions : they find something else to do now, than to 
spend their time in idleness, and inventing pastimes, to 
pass away life : they have many graces to exercise, 
duties to perform, personal and relative ; they have no 
time to be idle, but must fill up their days with profit- 
able employment, to God's glory and their own good 
account. O how busy are the children of God, "striving 
to enter in at the strait gate,"—" taking the kingdom 
of heaven by violence," — and giving diligence "to 
make their calling and election sure;"f and that their 
Master may not find them idle, but that they may be 
found of him in peace. 

3. A new rule suitable for the new creature. Alas, 
in time past, the poor sinner " walked according to the 
course of this world." The old traditions and customs 
of men were wont to be his canon ; he followed the 
multitude in conformity to the world ; but now the 
rule of the new creature is the star he steers his course 

• Rom. xiii. 12—14. Tit. ii. 11, 12, 14. Phil. ii. 12. 
t Luke xiii. 24. Matt. xi. 12. 2 Pet. i. 10. 


by.* Bring me a warrant from the word in a plain 

text, or a direct unstrained consequence to ground my 

obedience upon, or you say nothing. God's will is my 

rule of obedience, that only binds conscience ; and the 

new creature lies square to every command. The 

authority of God sways it, because there is something 

in the soul that suits and is adapted to every precept : 

if he cannot keep any, yet he " hath respect to all 

God's commandments." He is, as it were, pliant to 

every thing God makes his duty ; but a hypocrite is 

like a round globe, v.^hich toucheth only in some 

corner, he omits all, except what his interest or fancy 

calls him to at that juncture : if he " should even 

keep all, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of 

all." A true Christian is of a catholic sjDirit, a uni- 

versalist, like Zacharias and Elizabeth, who " walked 

in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord 

blameless." These were indeed righteous ; if there be 

circumcision of heart, there will be circumspection in 

life. See then you walk circumspectly, aicjot/Bwcf 

according to command, and to the height of every 

command, balk none, abate nothing of what God 

makes duty. 

4. A new end, or design. Alas, self is the end and 
great idol of a carnal heart, till grace rectify and re- 
gulate it; all "seek their own," Phil. ii. 21. Matt. vi. 
2, self-ease, pleasure, self-profit, self-honour, or applause. 
The water will rise no higher than the spring : new 
grace changeth the bias of the soul, as a ship sailing 
westward, when there comes a strong gale of wind, 
and carries it directly to the east. Self-seeking is so 
natural, that till grace alter the constitution of the soul, 
the sinner will never be beaten off; self-denial is the 

* Eph. ii. 2. 1 Pet. i. 18. Rom. xii.2. Gal. vi. 16. 
t Psal. cxix. 6. James ii. 10. Luke i. 6. Eph. v. 15. 


first and last lesson our Lord teacheth his disciples, 
Matt. xvi. 24 ; this is the first step and highest round 
in Jacob's ladder ; hath thy soul so far learned it, as 
to make God's glory, and communion with him, the 
chief aim of thy duties, studies, endeavours ? canst 
thou, soul, throw thyself in the dust, that God may 
be on the throne ? disappear, that God may only be 
seen, as John Baptist said, " He must increase, but 
I must decrease," John iii. 30 ; if any good be done, 
** it is not I, but the grace of God with me," 1 Cor. 
XV. 10; let him alone have the glory; let the crown 
be set no where but on Christ's head, it becomes him 
best ; I will cast down my crown before the throne, 
and say, " Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive 
glory, and honour, and power." As all the lines 
tend to the centre, so shall all my actions tend only 
to thy glory; "Let God in all things be glorified," 
though I be vilified. This rent will I daily pay as a 
tribute to the crown of heaven ; I am resolved to glori- 
fy God in my body and soul, which are his ; * better 
lose my life, than lose the end of my life, God's glory. 

5. New worship is always a companion of the new 
creature. It is true, the carnal man might hear and 
read the word, pray, receive the sacrament, and per- 
form the external acts of religion before, but formally, 
heartlessly, hypocritically, God knows ; " having a 
form of godliness, but denying the power thereof," 2 
Tim. iii. 5. But as soon as the grace of God hath 
formed the new creature in the heart, then it is said, 
as of Paul, "Behold he prayeth," Acts ix. 11 ; why, 
did not Paul pray before ? Yes, doubtless, he was a 
Pharisee, and Pharisees made long prayers, it is likely 
he had a great gift of prayer ; aye, but now Paul had 
the grace of prayer, behold he prays, now he prays 
with a witness; his prayer hath all the requisites 

* Cant. iii. II. Rev. iv. 10, 11. 1 Pet. iv. 11. 1 Cor. vi. 20. 


essential to prayer. Oh now, if you could lay your 
ear to the closet of this new born saint ; what sighs 
and groans would you hear! Rom. viii. 26. What 
throbs and tears ; what self-loathing confessions ; what 
heart-rending complaints ; what heaven-piercing ex- 
postulations, would you witness ! What believing, 
pleading of promises ; what improvement of Christ's 
mediatorship ! this is not formal or heartless canting. 
As soon as ever this new creature was formed, the 
soul was turned from idols, " to serve the living and 
true God ;" that is, " in spirit and in truth." If the 
words be the same, the workings of heai't are as 
different as a living man's tone from dead organ pipes; 
the one hath breath, the other not. The gracious soul 
engageth his heart to approach unto God : yea, he 
also saith, " let us lift up our hearts with our hands ;"* 
that is, let us pray and use our utmost endeavour to 
obtain what we pray for. f The hypocrite's tongue 
may be employed ; but the new creature sets the heart 
a breathing, the hands on working, the feet on walk- 
ing. Oh how he is concerned in the performance of 

6. A new war is commenced by the new creature. 
As soon as this new creature becomes visible, Satan 
musters all the powers of darkness against it; and 
now begins this holy war, which never ceases while 
the soul is in the body : and oh, how many a sharp 
skirmish hath the Christian with Satan and his armed 
bands ! The carnal heart holds correspondence with 
the enemy, and the devil lets the sinner alone, and all 
his goods or soul's faculties are in peace ; he sleeps 
quietly in the devil's tents, little dreaming whither he 
is going : or rather he is carried in a golden dream 
into Satan's territories ; or as Solomon's young gal- 

• 1 Thess. i. 9. John iv. 24. Jer. xxx. 21. Lamen. iii. 41. 
t Oremus et laboremus. 


lant with the harlot, "As an ox goeth to the slaughter, 
or as a fool to the correction of the stocks." But the 
converted soul sees his danger, and struggles hard to 
extricate himself, and when he is at liberty, the devil 
pursues him with rage sometimes, other whiles with 
subtlety he seeks to overreach him ; he is aware of both 
and is not ignorant of his devices. * One while he 
fights with spiritual weapons, and so resists the devil, 
and he flees : another while the soul retires to his 
strong hold, by faith and prayer, and is secured. Thus 
the gi*acious soul is " warring a good warfare, fighting 
the fight of faith," which is a good fight ; he gets dis- 
entangled from the affairs of this life, and lays aside 
every weight, that he may militate more strenuously 
and more successfully : nor doth the good soul so fight 
as one that beats the air,f laying about him at adven- 
tures ; but he spies his enemies, takes a view of them 
in scripture light, lets fly at the faces of foreign and 
intestine adversaries, with spiritual, scriptural wea- 
pons, and never sounds a parley or makes a truce, but 
disputes every inch of his passage to heaven : thus 
this new creature is a christian champion. 

7. The new creature finds out new company. Alas, 
his old companions grow tiresome with the convert, he 
cannot take delight in his former comrades, who would 
jest and be merry, and seek to drive him out of his 
melancholy humours (as they consider them) with 
pleasant stories, this is but as singing songs to a 
heavy heart ; he is now sick of such vain company, 
and bids them begone, they are of no use to him. It 
is very observable, three times, upon such occasions, 
doth David require all wicked men to depart from 
him, Psal. vi. 8, " Depart from me, all ye workers of 

• Lukexi. 21. Pro v. vii. 22. 2 Cor. ii. 11. 

t 1 Tim. i. 18, vi. 12. 2 Tim. ii. 4. 1 Cor. ix. 26. 


iniquity, for the Lord hath heard the voice of my 
weeping ;" as if he had said, I have got better com- 
pany and comfort than you are. Psal. cxix. 115, " De- 
part from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the com- 
mandments of my God ;" as if he had said, I have 
taken up other resolutions, and must have other com- 
panions than you: the last is Psal. cxxxix. 19, " Surely 
thou shalt slay the wicked, O God ; depart therefore 
from me, ye bloody men ;" as if he had said, I am 
loth to fare as you fare, and will not be found in your 
company. This is christian policy as well as piety : 
it is impossible the new creature should take delight 
in his old companions ; " for what communion hath 
light with darkness ? what concord hath Clirist with 
Belial ?" There are in the world, persons more suit- 
able to his temper, even saints, not in heaven, but that 
are on the earth, " men excellent in whom is all his 
delight." These, these are his companions,* the delight 
of his soul, he loves them dearly, because they are so 
like his father in heaven ; these are they, he hopes to 
live with in the other world, and he must associate 
with them in this, he loves to discourse with them, 
join in prayer with them, no such content he hath on 
earth as in the communion of saints. 

8. The new creature needs and requires new cordials, 
new food and physic ; the world and all that it can 
afford, which wei*e wont to be so pleasant, are all but 
diy meat, have no more " savour than the white of an 
egg ;" the soul hath now a more delicate taste, than to 
be satisfied with such husks and trash ; he sues for the 
tender mercies of God, Psal. cxix. 77, " Let thy tender 
mercies come unto me, that I may live," as if he had 
said, I know not how to live a natural life, and I can- 
not live a spiritual life without these tender mercies ; 
* 2 Cor. vi. li, 15, I7. Psalm xvi. 3. cxix. 63. 


the Lord kiioweth my delicate appetite, *' and crowns 
me with loving-kindness and tender mercies," Psal. ciii. 
4. Luther called the whole Turkish empire but a 
crumb cast to dogs, and often protested to God, that 
he would not be put off with these low things, even 
when he had a silver mine offered him ; even a heathen 
Seneca could say, I am greater, and born to higher 
things, than terrene objects;* and will not a Christian 
much more say so ? The Christian hath meat to eat 
that men know not of; spiritual manna, angel's food, is 
the Christian's diet, " the fatness of God's house ; yea, 
marrow and fatness :" God's word, which is as " honey 
and honey comb ;" better " than necessary food ; yea, 
Jesus Christ himself, "the bread of life."f The new 
creature finds full contentment in Christ, through a pro- 
mise. It is worth observing, that spiritual delights 
are suited to all the spiritual senses, music in the ear, 
wine to the taste ; yea, " his love is better than wine, 
as ointment poured forth to the smell ;" yea, as spike- 
nard and myrrh ;j: his embraces to the touch and feeling, 
*' his left hand is under my head, and his right hand 
doth embrace me ;" as for the sight, " my beloved is 
white and ruddy," Cant. v. 10 — 16, " he is altogether 
lovely," and of proportion. You see the new creature 
hath its senses as well as the body, and spiritual good 
things gratify them, who by reason " of use, have 
their senses exercised to discern good and evil," Heb. 
v. 14. 

9. The new creature hath a new home : our being 
upon earth in these houses of clay, is our short home; 
our being under the earth, in the grave, is our long 
home ; hell is the sinner's last and everlasting home ; 

* Major sum et ad majora natus. 

t John iv. 32. Psal. xxxvi. 8. Ixiii. 5. xix. 10. John vi. 55- 

t Cant. V. 16. i. 2, 3. ii. 6, 8, 9. 


heaven is the saint's best eternal home : '* Knowing 
that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent 
from the Lord — but we are willing rather to be absent 
from the body, and to be present with the Lord."* A 
poor graceless wretch is well where he is, like that im- 
pious cardinal that would not change his part in Paris 
for his part in paradise : such as *' these are men of the 
world, whose portion is in this life ; these are written 
in the earth," possibly as recorded and renowned among 
the great ones of it. But there is a generation of the 
sons of men, that are not of this world, " whose names 
are written in heaven ; and are travelling towards the 
new Jerusalem, thence they came, and thither they are 
bound; "Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the 
mother of us all ;"f it is thither the new creature tend- 
eth, there it would gladly be : it is troubled at whatso- 
ever stops it in its motion homewards ; Rom. viii. 23, 
" Not only they," that is, the other creatures, " but our- 
selves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, 
even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for 
the adoption, to wit the redemption of our body ;" O 
blessed jubilee! when shall the dawning of that glo- 
rious day appear ? " how long must I dwell in Meshech, 
or in the tents of Kedar ?" how long shall I abide on 
this side Jordan ? O that once at last I might inhabit 
that goodly mount and Lebanon ! Why is his chariot 
so long in coming? why stay the wheels of his 
chariot? Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, break 
down the walls of this earthly tabernacle, and " clothe 
me with that house from heaven." How long shall I 
be tost on this tumultuous sea ? when shall I reach the 
haven? I long to be with Christ,; among "the spirits 

* Job iv. 19. Eccl. xii. 5, 7- Rom. vi. 23. 2 Cor. v. 6, 8. 
+ Psal. xvii. 14. Jer, xvii. 13. Luke x. 20. Gal. iv. 26. 
t Psal. cxx. 5. 2 Cor. v. 1, 2. Phil. i. 23. 


of just men made perfect ;" here I am a stranger and 
pilgrim, and am seeking another country, thither I am 
hasting ; there I would be, that this disguise may be 
plucked off, that " when he shall appear, I may be like 
him, and see him as he is :" my best life is yet hid, but 
when " Christ who is my life, shall appear, then shall 
I also appear with him in glory ;"* for this I hope 
and wait, and pray and long. 

10. The new creature obtains new apprehensions of 
himself in all this ; he was darkness, but " now he is 
light in the Lord," Eph. v. 8. The poor old creature 
thinks well of himself, and his doings ; he imagines 
he can pray, and perform duty, and when he hath by 
the strength of his gifts come off finely, then he ap- 
plauds himself, as Bernard said of himself,| well done, 
now God is indebted to thee, and owes thee a kindness ; 
so said the hypocritical Jews, Isa. Iviii. 3 ; and the Pha- 
risees, Luke xviii. 11. But this new creation will 
teach its possessor another lesson, " when he has done 
all," alas, " he is an unprofitable servant." My " righ- 
teousnesses are but as filthy rags :" still I am an un- 
clean thing : I deserve nothing but wrath, if I " justify 
myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me." My 
spiritual duties need spiritualizing ; my repentance 
needs repenting of; my exercise of grace needs a gra- 
cious pardon ; my Lord Jesus must take away the 
iniquity of my holy things, perfume my poor services, 
and offer my " prayers with his much incense, upon 
the golden altar, before the throne." | I dare not 
stand before God in my best suit of inherent righte- 
ousness. If " thou. Lord, shouldst mark iniquity ; 
O Lord, who can stand?" "In thy sight shall no 

* Heb. xii. 23. xi. 13—16. 1 John iii. 1, 2. Col. iii. 3, 4. 
t Bene fecisti, Bernarde. + Luke xvii. 10. Isa. Ixiv. 6. 

Job ix. 20. Exod. xxviu. 38. Rev. viii. 3. 

I'i-i A NEW CREATriiE. 

man living be justified." If I look at the new crea- 
ture, there are many defects therein : if I reflect on the 
purest actings of grace, alas, they are imperfect. I must 
" be found in Christ," or I am lost for ever ; " not 
having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, 
but that which is by the faith of Christ, the righteous- 
ness which is of God by faith." O my Lord, when 
I am standing before the angel of the Lord, " Satan 
stands at my right hand to resist me ;" and justly he 
may, "for I am clothed with filthy garments." Oh 
speak the word, that " mine iniquity may pass away 
from me," and " clothe me with change of raiment." * 
My change of principles will not do without an upper 
garment to cover all my defects and faults, in which 
I must stand as righteous before God at the great day. 
The sum of all this is contained in that excellent text, 
with which I conclude this head. Phil. iii. 3, " For 
we are the circumcision, which worship God in the 
spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no con- 
fidence in the flesh." 

CHAP. xn. 


I ajNI sensible I have insisted too long upon the first 
dii'ision in reference to instiiiction, concerning the evi- 
dences of this change in our souls, from its pre- 
paratives, parts, properties and effects, I shall be the 
briefer on the rest. 

IL The next is to give some instructions to those 
• Psal. cxxx. 3. cxliii. 2. Phil. iii. 9. Zech. iii. 1—4. 


that feel or fear they are not yet new creatures, how 
they are to conduct themselves, and what course they 
are to take that they may become new creatures. 

I am much anticipated in this by the worthy labours 
of those excellent men, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Joseph Allein, 
and many others in their directions about conversion, 
which are coincident with my design ; to which I 
refer the reader. 

Yet this must not be understood, as though it were 
in any man's power to change his own heart, any 
more than he can create himself, or put life into a dead 
carcass, but it becomes men — not to hinder or obstruct 
the strivings of the Spirit that may work this grace — 
and to improve their natural faculties to the utmost, 
in order to the attainment of this end. I shall but 
briefly lay before you what a natural man can do, by 
the help of common providence, and what he must do, 
as he will answer for the contrary another day, to that 
God that hath given him a command, and rational 
faculties capable of compliance. 

1. Own and improve natural principles, such are 
Koivtu evvoim, innate notions, common to man, as a 
being endowed with reason ; namely, that there is a 
God, that this God must needs be an excellent Being, 
the ultimate end of all things, the chief good, that all 
things depend upon him, and must bow to him ; that 
this God must be worshipped, that his will is the rule 
of man's obedience ; that there is moral good and evil, 
and that there will be a retribution in this or in ano- 
ther world. Natural conscience even of heathens dis- 
covers something of these grand principles ; for saitli 
the blessed apostle, Rom. ii. 14, 15, "Though the 
Gentiles have not the written law before their eyes," 
yet they have a transcript thereof in their hearts, 
which declares to them some good and evil, and con- 


science accordingly excuseth them if they do well, and 
" accuseth them if they do evil," Rom. i. 18 — 24. The 
imprisoning of these truths in unrighteousness, pro- 
duced a judicial hardening, and giving them up 
to uncleanness, and rendered them without excuse : 
and can we think that men now disclaiming and ob- 
literating these notices of religion will fare better ? 
Surely not. So on the contrary, the way to obtain 
more, is to improve what we have. I say not, that 
God is bound to give special grace to such as improve 
what is common, but an instance can hardly be pro- 
duced to the contrary ; and this is God's method in 
vouchsafing his grace, to engage men to cherish and 
excite moral principles by diligent endeavours, which 
he usually seconds with his blessing ; yea, this course 
doth naturally tend to weaken vicious inclinations. 
Set yourselves about this work, and you little know 
what it may come to at last. O that unconverted 
sinners had but the integrity of king Abimelech, 
Gen. XX. 6, to act according to the light which they 
have, and the restraining grace afforded them, which 
the Lord calls integrity, which is however only of a 
moral natiu-e, yet good, so far as it goes, and a means 
of more. 

2. Be jealous, lest you be mistaken in this point, 
lest you misapprehend the nature of the new creature, 
or lest your own hearts deceive you, for they are " de- 
ceitful and desperately wicked," Jer. xvii. 9- And 
Satan may attempt to substitute some production of 
his own in the room of this new creation. Counter- 
feit grace may look like saving grace : reformation 
looks like regeneration. How often is a Bristol stone 
taken for a pearl ? Painted grapes once cheated living 
birds. You must first get a scriptural definition of 
this new creature ; " To the law and to the testimony," 


Isa. viii. 20. Judge yourselves by that word which 
must judge you at the last day, Rom. ii. 16. Be 
afraid of self-deceit ; " blessed is he that feareth 
always." You live in the midst of deceptions, a 
deceitful heart, allurements of pleasure, an ensnaring 
world, and a tempting devil, all set against you, and 
we are apt to believe that to be true, we would have 
to be so : but put the case to thyself; What if I be 
mistaken? I read of some that "think themselves 
something, when they are nothing." Others put a 
false estimate upon themselves, " deceiving their own 
selves." What if this be my case ? What if I be in a 
delusive dream, imagining I am bound for heaven, 
when I am descending into the pit? "What if I be 
found without the oil of grace in the vessel of my 
heart ; a foolish virgin amongst the wise ? * What 
if I prove the only guest at the gospel feast, without 
a wedding garment, and be struck speechless ? Oh 
what an overwhelming disappointment will it be ! 
Hath none proved such ? Why may not I ? Some have 
gone off the stage with " a lie in their right hand," 
and have lain down in sorrow, notwithstanding the 
sparks of their own kindling. O what need have I to 
fear, lest " a promise being left of entering into rest, 
I should finally come short of it !"f 

3. Deal faithfully with your own souls, in self-exa- 
mination. Flatter not yourselves, examine not only 
your actions, but the internal state of your souls, how 
your principles are formed ; you may do it, for God 
hath given you a self-reflecting faculty, " The spirit of 
a man is the candle of the Lord, that searcheth the in- 
ward parts of the belly." You must do it, you are 
commanded "to commune with your own heart, to 

» Gal.vi. 3. James i. 22. Matt. xxv. 1—10. 
+ Matt. xxii. 12, 13. Isa. xliv. 20. 1. II. Heb. iv. I. 
VOL. V. L 


examine yourselves," prove your work, God's servants 
have made diligent search :* and will you continue 
strangers to your own hearts ? will you be such un- 
kind neighbours, as never to ask your hearts how they 
do ? or will you be put off with a frivolous or dilatory 
answer ? O, sirs, come to a point, drive yourselves to 
this dilemma, I am either a new creature or not, a 
child of God, or of the devil ; I am bound either for 
heaven or hell ; I had not need to remain in suspense 
about this weighty case ; I will now put this doubt out 
of doubt ; I cannot rest satisfied with uncertainties in 
so important a concern ; God forbid I should weigh it 
light, or be mistaken ; I must not take preparatives 
for parts of the new creature ; the porch for the house ; 
I will try and try again, and prove my evidences by 
scripture rule, and appeal to God for the sincerity of 
my heart; " Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, and 
try my reins and my heart," Psal. xxvi. 2. I must be 
a new man, or no man in Christ ; I will not be put 
off with morality or uncertainty; irresolvedness breeds 
disquietude ; 1 am determined to come to some con- 

4. Attend diligently on the most powerful ministry. 
Not such a dull, formal, heartless preaching, as will 
rock you asleep in security, or " sew pillows to your 
armJioles ;" preaching pleasing things, promising life 
in a sinful state, and crying, peace, peace, when God 
proclaims war against you ; thousands are undone by 
flatteries. Oh frequent a rousing, convincing ministry, 
which is the " power of God to salvation." The word 
is the proper medium of communicating divine grace; 
by which Christ is formed in the heart,f the glass in 
which you may behold a true representation of your- 

*Prov.xx.27. Psal. iv.4. 2 Cor. xiii. .5. Gal. vi. 4. Psal. Ixxvii. 6. 
t Ezek. xiii. 17—22. Rom. i. 16. Gal. iv. 19. 


Selves ; by which you may be *' changed into his 
image," — " beholding the glory of the Lord" therein. 
" I have begotten you," saith Paul, " through the gos- 
pel." This is God's workhouse, where he shapes and 
forms this new creature ; of how many an ordinance 
may it be said this and that man was boru there.* O 
therefore, be constantly waiting at the posts of wis- 
dom, hear the most warm, lively preachers, prepare for 
hearing, set yourselves as in the presence of God. Say 
thus with thyself, I am going to hear the word of the 
living God, " which is the ministration of the Spirit," 
apt and able to give life to dead souls. It is not so 
much the word of men, but of God. O that it may 
work effectually in my soul ! It is not man, but God, 
who is now treating with me ; " God himself is now 
beseeching me," and the minister " praying me in 
Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God.f" I perceive 
it rests with me, God hath declared himself reconciled, 
if my depraved heart were at last prevailed with to be 
reconciled to him. O that this may be the day when, 
and this the sermon whereby, thou wilt mould and 
form my soul for thyself : now. Lord, let thy words be 
spirit and life to me : O for renewing grace ! 

5. Let convictions by the word have their due effect. 
Strike while the iron is hot, let not impressions die 
or wear off, postponement lost both Felix and Agrippa 
their soids, stifled convictions leave the heart harder, 
heated water, cooled again, is sooner frozen: who 
knows how long the Spirit may strive ? "S^lien God 
is working, work then, put not off warnings ; when 
God convinceth thee of the evil of a sin, presently dis- 
card it ; when of a duty, without delay commence the 

* James i. 25. 2 Cor. iii. 18. 1 Cor. iv. 15. Psal. Ixxxvii. 5. 
t 2 Cor. iii. 8. 1 Thess. ii. 13. 2 Cor. v. 20. 

K 2 


practice of it ; when a wound is made, take heed lest 
the air get in and it begin to fester, and at last grow 
incurable : our " Lord is standing at the door, and 
knocking." He will not always wait thy leisure ; the 
Spirit will not always strive with thee. You must 
sail when the wind blows. There are {candida tern- 
pora) proper seasons for every thing. It is a dan- 
gerous thing for " a man not to know his time." * If 
you miss the opportunity, it may never return ; the 
market lasts not all the year. If the tide have brought 
you thus far, go with it, it may never return to fetch 
you off: " Now is the accepted time, now is the day 
of salvation," not to-morrow. O quench not the Spirit. 
Think thus, I have stood out many a day of grace, 
lost many a golden season, it is infinite mercy that 
God is still calling ; if I lose this, I may never have 
more ; yea, I may be in hell before another sermon, 
even before morning. O that I could " know the day 
of my visitation ! "f O that now at last, my soul 
were effectually changed ! 

6. Get thy heart affected with thy sin and misery, 
by nature and practice ; look on thyself as dead in 
trespasses and sins, and thus incapable of quickening 
thyself. Let your language be, alas, my praying, 
reading, hearing, reforming, will never attain the end; 
I am sunk far below the possibility of human or an- 
gelic help ; means must be used, but means must not be 
rested in, they cannot effect the purpose; nay, alas, 
" I am without strength," and can do nothing ; " in me, 
that is, in ray flesh dwells no good thing;" I am a 
miserable leper, full of " wounds, bruises, putrefying 
sores ;" woe is me, I am defiled in Adam, and actually 

* Acts xxiv. 25—27. Rev. iii. 20. Gen, vi. 3. Eccles. ix. 12. 
t 2 Cor. vi. 2. 1 Thess. v. 19. Luke xix. 9. 


polluted ; averse to all good, and prone to all evil ; " I 
am in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity."* 
Satan is leading me hell-wards, I must be changed or 
perish; for aught I know I stand tottering on the 
brink of eternal misery ; I hang by the slender thread 
of my natural life over everlasting burnings ; my case 
is worse than the brutes, that are not capable of moral 
evil. I am already condemned, and liable to the 
execution of the righteous sentence, " having a fearful 
looking for of judgment and fiery indignation ;" ano- 
ther step may set me past hope, for any thing that I 
know, "this night may devils require my soul,"t and 
hurry it into the infernal lake. O what will become 
of me ! whither am I going ? Lord, awake my sleepy 
conscience, to see my danger, that I may haste out of 
the Sodom of fire and brimstone to the mountain ; 
God forbid, I should stay another day in my unre- 
generate state. 

7. Learn to know and exercise faith on Jesus Christ: 
the life of holiness as well as righteousness is in him ; 
" I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet 
not I, but Christ liveth in me." There is no spiritual 
life, but what is derived from Christ, who saith, " Be- 
cause I live, you shall live also." Sinners are dead ; 
the nearer they come to Christ, the more hope of life ; 
as the nearer to the sun, the more light ; we only 
come to have the " light of the knowledge of the glory 
of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Nothing doth so 
transform a sinner, as looking on God through Christ ; 
the woman that did but touch the hem of Christ's gar- 
ment, derived virtue from him ; none are branches of 
this vine, but they have life and fruitfulness '4 all that 

* Rom. V. 6. vii. 18. Isa. i. 6. Acts viii. 23. 

+ Eccles. iii. 21. Heb. x. 27. Luke xii. 20. 

i Gal. ii. 20. John xiv. 19. 2 Cor. iv. 6. Joh^ xv. 5. 


are '■ grafted in the olive, partake of the root and fat- 
ness of that olive tree." Labour after faith and love ; 
faith unites the soul to Christ, for "he dwells in our 
hearts by faith." Love assimilates the soul to God, 
and the more we are like God, the more of meetness 
we have for heaven. Faith is the spiritual ligament 
which binds the soul to Christ, Love is a voluntary 
mover of the soul to Christ ; faith is the receiver, love 
the worker ; " faith worketh by love ;"* and both are 
absolutely necessary to the new creature. Christ is 
the image of God, and the new creature is the image 
of Christ, and so of God. Love sees all good in the 
enjoyment of God, and in conformity to him as the 
means to attain that end. Faith unites the soul to 
God mystically, love morally ; there can be no new 
creation without both these ; therefore to believe in 
God, and to love God, are the only means to be like 
God, and therein consists the new creature ; therefore 
study these. 

8. Rest not till you be divorced from sin and sinners. 
You may and " must amend your ways," Jer. vii. 3 ; if 
you cannot mend your hearts, " Cease to do evil, learn 
to do well ; let the wicked forsake his way, and the 
unrighteous man his thoughts, and retiu-n to the Lord ;" 
be no more slaves to your sensual appelites, which are 
as cords to hold you in the devil's service, and drag 
you down hell-wards. This day, bid an everlasting 
farewell to sin, say to every idol, " Get thee hence ; 
what have I any more to do with idols." f If you 
cannot cut up sin by the roots, yet be sure to lop off 
its branches ; it is true, this is not enough, but this is 
something, and who knows what maybe its tendency, 
and termination ? " Departing from iniquity," is one 

* Rom. xi. 17- Eph. iii. 17- Gal. v. 6. 

+ I^a. i. 16. Iv. 7. Piov. V. 22. Isa. xxx. 22. Hos. xiv. 8. . 


part of the new creature ; you cauiiot find " mercy, 
except you forsake as well as confess sin ;" spare but 
one sin, and God will not spare thee ; " turn from all 
sins, and you shall live." If you fall out with sin, 
there are some hopes ; and then away with sinners, 
"forsake the foolish and live;* but "a companion of 
fools shall be destroyed," Prov. xiii. 20. There is no 
hopes of that man who delights in vain company; 
how many have been laughed out of their serious pur- 
poses, or allured from hopeful beginnings by loose as- 
sociates ; if ever God begin this new work in you, this 
will be the first evidence of it ; and it is even a singu- 
lar help to it, to change your companions, and to run 
from the tents of the wicked into the society of the 
godly ; I recommend this in a special manner to all 
persons, young and old, and desire you to read and 
study, Prov. i. 10—18. ii. 12, 20. iv. 14, 18. 2 Cor. 
vi. 17. Be sure you join with christian society, open 
your cases to them ; beg their counsel and prayers ; 
company is assimilating, sin is infectious, holiness 
imitable. Let communion of saints be in your prac- 
tice as well as in your creed. New society, is a sign 
and means of new hearts ; I despair of your being new 
creatui'es in old company. 

9. Enter into a solemn covenant with the Lord, by 
taking God as your chief good, and by making a deed 
of gift of yourselves entirely to the Lord. I shall not 
much need to enlarge upon this, having treated on it 
fully elsewhere, only as it is subservient to this design. 
Enter into an oath, " and swear the Lord liveth," Jer. 
iv. 2; Deut. xxvi. 17, "and avouch him to be yours.". Do 
this understandingly, solemnly, resolutely, deliberately; 
set some time apart, place God before thine eyes, make 
him witness of the singleness of thy heart, that thou 
* 2 Tim. ii. 19. Prov. xxviii. 13. Ezek. xviii. 21. Prov. ix. 6. 


takest God the Father, to love him, trust in him, de- 
pend on him, and resign all to him : God the Son, as 
prophet, priest, king, to be led by him, justified, and 
ruled by his laws : God the Holy Ghost, to be en- 
lightened, to be sanctified, and comforted by him ; and 
when thou hast thus taken God for thy God, and de- 
voted thyself to him, soul and body, thou rnayest expect 
and hope that the Lord will dwell in thee, as in his 
temple, his house, cleanse thee from impurity, adorn 
thee with graces, and qualify thee for his service, that 
the persons of the sacred Trinity will take up their 
lodging and residence in thy soul, that you may hence- 
forth be an " habitation of God through the Spirit." 
Such is the new creation ; and the way to attain it, is 
" to give up yourselves to the Lord ;" to be ordered 
according to his pleasure, for his glory, that he may 
be "glorified both in soul and body which are his."* 
If thou voluntarily subscribest to the equity of his 
articles, taking him with all the sufferings attending 
the ways of religion, and yieldest up thy whole interests 
to his disposal, hating the sins that he forbids, prac- 
tising the duties that he commands, walking in all the 
ways of his appointment, in his worship and ordi- 
nances ; this, this is a coming up to the terms of the 
covenant of grace, and then thou shalt have the graces 
and privileges of that covenant, which comprehends 
this new creation. 

10. Down on thy knees, and beg this renewal of 
thy nature at the hands of God ; say as David did, 
" Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right 
spirit within me," Psal. li. 10. Say, Lord, I am quite 
ruined in the old Adam, and I cannot help myself, 
*' Who can bring a dean thing out of an unclean ?" 
not one ; but thou hast promised in the gospel, to 
* Eph. ii. 20—22. 2 Cor. viii. 5. 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20. 


" make all things new," and in the new covenant thou 
promisest "a new heart," Ezek. xxxvi. 26. This is the 
great mercy, O Lord, I want, and wait for, and I ask 
thee nothing but what I have under thine own hand in 
the promise ; O that I were partaker of it ! yea, thou 
hast promised " to give thy holy Spirit to them that 
ask it," Luke xi. 13. Now thy Spirit can sanctify 
hearts, as lightning cleanseth the air, as fire refines 
metals. Lord, seal my soul with the Holy Spirit of 
promise ; put on me thine own stamp, as the seal 
leaves its impress on the wax. Lord, I shall never be 
acceptable to thee, profitable to men, or comfortable to 
myself, except I be renewed and become a new crea- 
ture, I cannot without this live to any purpose, and 
I cannot die with any comfort. 

Obj. But God heareth not sinners, their prayers are 

Answ. If you be resolved to go on in a course of 
sinning, or pray to gratify a sensual appetite, as a thief 
for a prize, you and your prayers are abominable ; 
but if you be repenting, returning sinners, and pray 
for grace and pardon, God will pity you, and who 
knows but he may meet you in mercy, as he did the 
returning prodigal ? Luke xv. 20 ; " Repent then, and 
pray God, if perhaps the thoughts of thy heart may be 
forgiven thee," Acts viii. 22. Thou art undone, if 
thou give over praying ; many have sped well at his 
door, and so mayest thou ; still ask, seek, and knock. 



A THIRD class of directions may be given to sincere 
Christians (who find, on good evidence, that this change 
is wrought in them,) how they should live, walk, and 
conduct themselves in the world, both towards God 
and man. 

1. Use God's appointed means for ascertaining the 
reality of this new creation. It is one thing to be, 
another thing to know that we are, new creatures. 
Alas, some sincere souls walk at uncertainties. A 
letter may be wi'itten, saith one, though it be not 
sealed : so grace may be written in the soul, though 
the Spirit hath not set to his seal ; partly to keep the 
soul humble, partly to punish some sin. But I must 
not handle the common place of assurance, the possi- 
bility, the hindrances, helps, advantages, nature or 
kinds of assurance, but drop a word by the way. 
Are the figui'es of grace engraven upon the dial of 
your hearts ? pray and wait for the Sun of Righteous- 
ness to shine on it, that you may better see what time 
of day it is in your hearts ; yet, if you grope in the 
dark, you may feel some characters engraven : " give 
diligence to make first your calling, then your election 
sure." Your happiness consists in being, and youi* 
comfort in knowing, that you are new creatures ; "and 
we desire that every one of you do shew the same 
diligence, to the full assurance of hope to the end." 
One text calls for " a full assurance of faith in draw- 
ing nigh to God." Another speaks of " assurance of 
understanding ;" even full assurance, yea, " riches of 


full assurance."* Then indeed thy heart will be 
comforted to purpose. O labour after much grace, 
much comfort, for " the joy of the Lord is your 
strength," Neh. viii. 10, and will cheer up your hearts 
in every condition and affliction. O brethren, content 
not yourselves to live at uncertainties, or under doubts, 
but use all means to attain to the highest pitch of 
assurance that is attainable in this world. 

2. Thank God for the rich mercy displayed in the 
renovation of your souls. Will you bless God for the 
good creatures that nourish your bodies ? and will you 
not adore him for this new, and more excellent provi- 
sion for your inward man ? Say as the blessed apos- 
tle, 1 Pet. i. 3, " Blessed be God, the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant 
mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope, by the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Next to 
Christ's blessed undertakings for you, it is the greatest 
mercy God has vouchsafed to you, to form Christ in 
your souls. Alas, what were you better than the rest of 
the corrupt mass of mankind, that lay in the impurities 
of sin? What merit was there in you, that you 
should be raised up to sit with princes, even with the 
princes of his people, to be made like angels? Sui'ely 
you that are such patterns of mercy, must be tinimpets 
of God's praise ; you that were loathsome carcasses, 
incarnate devils, to be made by this new creation " a 
chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, 
a peculiar people; what is this for, but that you 
should shew forth the praises of him who hath called 
you out of darkness into his marvellous light ?" 1 Pet. 
ii. 9. O admire free grace, and say with David, 
" Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house that 
thou hast brought me hitherto?" 2 Sam. vii. 18. How 
* 2 Pet. i. 10. Hefe. vi. 11. x. 22. Col. ii. 2. 


many millions of pretending Christians know nothing 
of this great work, experimentally ? this is as life from 
the dead, infinitely better than natural life, and all the 
comforts thereof. 

3. Beware of declension or apostasy. The new 
creature is but a creature, it may fail, yea, it will fail, 
if not supported by an Almighty hand, and if God be 
provoked, he may justly withdraw, and leave us to 
om'selves ; then we fall as a staff unsupported by the 
hand. It is true, the covenant secures real saints from 
falling finally, but imperfect grace leaves them exposed 
to fall foully, as David, Peter. Be jealous of thy- 
self, " Blessed is he that feareth always." Be not 
secure, security exposeth to Satan's temptations. Sleep 
levels all, the wise man is no v/iser than a fool to 
devise his own safety, or the strong man better than 
the weak to defend himself. The best of saints in 
spiritual slumber, becomes as Samson, only like ano- 
ther man ; " watch that you enter not into temptation." 
It is worth watching to keep the house from robbing ; 
sleeping one night, may keep thee v/aking many 
nights in sorrow, as it did David. I'he unwatchful 
Christian oft looseth God's presence, as Christ with- 
drew from the sleepy spouse. A drowsy soul is not 
capable of improving Christ or grace : put the sweetest 
wine into a sleepy man's hand, it will be spilt. And 
if at any time you begin to nod, rouse up yourselves, 
gird on your armour, rally your routed forces ; "re- 
member whence you are fallen, repent, and do your first 
works." * Awake out of your lethargy, lest it end in 
apostasy : when thou hast fallen, shew that a change 
has taken place in thee by a rebound upwards, in 
renewed purposes against sin; recover thy spiritual 
strength, activity, and familiarity with God ; be rest- 
* Prov. xxviii. 14. Matt. xxvi. 41. Cant. v. 2, 6. Rev. ii. 5. 


less till matters be set right again ; like a bird from 
its nest, a stone from its centre, or as undigested meat 
on a sick stomach, having no ease till sin be rejected 
by a vomit of repentance, and renewed acts of faith. 
"Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things 
which we have wrought, but that we receive a full 
reward," 2 John, 8. 

4. Seek earnestly the growth of the new creature. 
Be not content with the habit ; if you say you have 
enough, you have no grace ; your business is to " per- 
fect holiness in the fear of God ;" to grow in grace, 
that " you may be strong in the Lord, and in the 
power of his might." Dead things grow not; chil- 
dren grow, and are fed by what first nourished them, 
as " new-jom babes, desire the sincere milk of the 
word, that you may grow thereby." * Be often using 
the means of nourishment, and you will grow up to 
further maturity. There is, saith one, much scurf on 
the face of this new-born babe of grace, which by de- 
grees will wear off as it grows up, and so it becomes 
distinguishable. Growth helps to see its truth : blow 
up this spark into a flame, and it will be visible. A 
hypocrite grows not any more than the hands, arms, 
legs of a pictured child on the wall, let it be there ever 
so long. Oh, strive to grow every day better, " to go 
from strength to strength," Psal. Ixxxiv. 7, reaching 
after perfection in grace ; to " run the race set before 
you;" to get daily more power against corruption. 
He is a careful and skilful physician that removes the 
disease, and corroborates or strengthens the body; you 
must do both. The old man and new creature, are 
like weights in balances, as the one ascends, the other 
descends ; as the earth and sea, where the one looseth, 
the other gaineth. Oh, be still on the gaining hand, 

* 2 Cor. vii. 1. 2 Pet. iii. 18. 2 Tim. ii. 1. 1 Pet. ii, 2. 


improve all mercies, afflictions, ordinances, and provi- 
dences, for nom'isliiug this new creature in your souls: 
when you are grown most, you will still be defective, 
something " will still be lacking in your faith," love, 
or humility, 1 Thess. iii. 10. You know but in part, 
you are not yet ripe. 

5. Live up to this change, live at the rate of persons 
so principled, " walk worthy of God, who hath called 
you unto his kingdom and glory, worthy of the voca- 
tion wherewith you are called ;" — " only let your con- 
versation be as becometh the gospel." Only is here 
a most comprehensive word : you must act above the 
style of carnal men, soberly, righteously, and godly. * 
If you be singled out to be new creatures, " what sin- 
gular thing do you?" Matt. v. 47. What do you 
more than others? Remember, sirs, you axe new 
creatures ; an old heart would have served well enough 
to have done the devil's drudgery withal ; you are 
new born to higher employment, now you " must serve 
not in the oldness of the letter, but in ne^vness of 
spirit," Rom. vii. 6. When the temple was built 
with such assiduous care, and costly materials, surely 
it was for holy use ; sincere Christians are God's 
" workmanship created in Christ Jesus to good works," 
Eph. ii. 10. Now it becomes you to act as you are; 
yours would be aggravated sin, if you sin, who have 
such a glorious work of the Spirit on your hearts, as 
none in the world have besides you : you are conse- 
crated persons, and by your sin you profane God's 
temple. Others' sins are theft, yours sacrilege, because 
you rob God of what was devoted to him. When 
God breathed such a noble soul into man's body, he 
designed him for higher acts than those of mere sense, 
a,s brutes. So, Christian, thou art of a higher ex*- 
* 1 Thess. ii. 12. Eph. iv. 1. Phil. i. 27^ Tit. ii. 12. 


traction, than to walk as men, as carnal men, 1 Cor. 
iii. 3 ; no, friend, as thou " hast received Christ, so 
thou must walk in him," Col. ii. 6. O take heed of 
sin, it is contrary to the divine nature which God hath 
planted in thee ; now we know the more unnatural 
any act is, the more horrid ; as for a woman to kill her 
own child, or a man to be cruel to his own flesh. Oh 
beware of killing the babe of grace in thy soul, by sin ; 
but live up to thy principles and privileges. 

6. Attend upon God in all his institutions, and in 
all aim at closer communion with him, in all duties and 
ordinances, as in hearing the word, prayer, seals of the 
covenant, christian conference, and communion of 
saints; this is the air in which the Christian breathes, 
the most wholesome for this new creature ; " Lord," 
saith the Psalmist, *' I have loved the habitation of thy 
house, and the place where thine honour dwells ;" and 
he often cries out for the living God ; " O when," saith 
he, " shall I come and appear before God ?" Nothing 
lay nearer David's heart, than God's presence in his 
ordinances.* It is or should be so with the new crea- 
ture; but O wait for the Spirit's wafting over thy soul 
to Jesus ; rest not in ordinances, they are but the boat 
or bridge to carry thy soul over to God ; the ordinance 
is lost, and thy labour is in vain, if thou do not enjoy 
God in ordinances. O labour to see Christ " walking 
in the midst of the golden candlesticks ;" be sure you 
" hold him in the galleries." Ordinances are " the 
golden pipes that empty the golden oil out of them- 
selves ;" be sure that " of his fulness you receive, and 
grace for grace." f The Holy Ghost sits in ordinances 
as a minister of state in his office, ready to distribute 
to every one's case as there is need : thou art at the 

* Psalm xxvi. 8. xlii. I. Ixiii. 1, 2. Ixxxiv, 1, 2. 
t Rev. ii. 1. Cant. vii. 5. Zech. iv. 12. John i. 16. 


right door, wait his leisure, and it shall not be in 

7. Endeavour to propagate religion, do what thou 
canst to make others new creatures, thy relations, 
neighbours, and all thou art acquainted with ; this is 
the duty, yea, the character of the new creature by 
prayer, advice, example, and procuring, the help of 
ministers, or christian friends ; it is true, no man can 
communicate grace to another, it is not in our own 
power to effect it, but we must endeavour after it. O 
how Paul was concerned for his countiymen, the wil- 
ful unbelieving Jews, Rom. x. 1 : his prayers, tears, 
and wishes, speak him to be their cordial friend, who 
were his bitter enemies. God commanded Abraham 
that all his house should be circumcised, to have him 
go as far as he could to draw them into affinity with 
God. True grace makes men love relations better 
than ever, and causeth natural affection to run in a 
spiritual channel, for the good of their souls. Be con- 
cerned to make a jointure of the promises, to thy wife, 
an entail of the covenant to thy children ; this is a 
thousand times better than leaving them thousands a 
year. Should not you desire that one heaven may 
hold those hereafter, whom one house holds now ? O 
tremble to think when your house breaks up, of one 
going to heaven, another to hell ; let your charity ex- 
tend itself to all you are acquainted with, and let your 
practice be convincing and winning to all about you. 
Alas, what multitudes are there, who are unacquainted 
with this mighty work, yet must feel it, or never be 
happy ; do what thou canst to call in all to this blessed 
feast, " yet there is room," Luke xiv. 22. Hast thou 
none thou lovest so well as to wish them thy happi- 
ness ? There is no envy in spiritual things, the more 
and happier, and no less cheer ; it will add some pearls 


to thy crown to win souls. If a neighbour locked 
himself in a room on design to murder himself, wouldst 
thou not break open the door and rescue him ? O 
happy souls that are employed and successful in this 
spiritual charity ! 

I have long ago, seen a book written by Mr. Reiner 
of Lincoln, called, " The Rule of the New Creature," 
to which I refer the reader that can procure it ; at 
present I shall sum up my thoughts in these twenty 
brief rules of direction. 

(1.) Reason justly, and reckon straight; let your 
reason be regulated by the word of God; it must 
follow faith, not give law and measure to it. Be sure 
your accounts be squared by the golden rule of scrip- 
ture ; set all straight against the reckoning day. * 

(2.) Demur at no sufferings for Christ, to avoid sin 
against Christ; be content to fill up Christ's suffer- 
ings ; nay, be glad to suffer, but tremble to sin. Sin- 
less sufferings are sweet, but sweet sins will be bitter- 
ness in the end.f Bear any thing but sin. 

(3.) Profess what you are, and be what you profess. 
Think not to dissemble among men, for worldly ends ; 
but upon a just cause and call, own godliness; be indeed 
Nathaniels ; pretend not more than truth ; God knows 
the heart. ^ 

(4.) Serve God for the service itself, not for wages ; 
or rather, let his service be your wages or rev/ard, for 
so it is, " God himself is the saint's reward." Hypo- 
crites make religion a step to ascend to some other 
end ; let God be thy all. i| 

(5.) Be most for God, when God seems most against 

* Luke V. 21. 1 Pet. iii. 15. 1 Cor. iv. 3. Rom. xiv. 12. 
t Gol. i. 24. Matt. v. 1]. Heb. xi. 26. Rev. ii. 22. 
X Rom. X. 10. Matt. x. 32, 33. John i. 47- Heb, iv. 13. 
II Psal. xix. 11. Gen. xv. 1. IMatt vi. 4 Psal. ixxiii. 25. 
VOX.. V. M 


thee. It is pure faitli and love to hang close to au 
angry God ; to conceive most hopes through Christ, 
when sense and reason make against you, this is a faith 
to be admired. 

(6.) Join pure precepts to precious promises ; look 
on precepts as pure, therefore lovely ; * dare not to 
divorce them ; see to the law within you, and before 
you, as well as plead the promises of the gospel for 

(7.) Be best when least in men's sight. God and 
souls have the most intimate intercourse when alone ;f 
make God your witness, not men only. Friends 
are most familiar when they are withdrawn from all 
other company. 

(8.) Sail low, but aim high ; conclude you have not 
attained to perfection ; but still be designing it, be not 
high-minded, yet mind highest things, aspire to be 
better than others, " yet esteem others better than 
you," Phil. ii. 3, 4. 

(9.) Do all you ought, not all j'^ou may 4 walk to 
the height of a command, not to the utmost bound of 
lawful liberty, go not near the pit's brink, stand fast 
in your christian liberty. Gal. v. 1, 13 ; but do not al- 
ways use it. 

(10.) Be best when others are worst : be as Noah 
in the old world. Lot in Sodom, Timothy in Ephesus, 
Joshua among the Israelites ; be hottest in the coldest 
weather, brightest in the darkest night, savour of hear 
ven in hell. || 

(11.) Be rational, when most spiritual ; do nothing 
at hap-hazard, or with a blind zeal, let all services be 

* Job xiii. 15. Hos. vi. .3. ?.Iatt. xv. 28. Psal. cxix. 140. 
t Heb. viii. 10. Rom. vii. 12, 14, 22. Psal. xvii. 3. Matt. vi. 6. 
+ Phil. iii. 13—15. Rom. xii. 3. Eph. v. 15. 1 Cor. x. 23. 
II Gen. vi. 9. Neh. v. 19. v. 15. Phil. ii. 15. 


reasonable. God's will is our rule, and his ways are 
equal ; the highest reason in man, is to comply with 
God's pleasure. 

(12.) Naturalize religion, and spiritualize the world; 
let godliness be as a second nature;* let common ob- 
jects and occurrences, mercies and afflictions, be well 
improved to good ends and purposes ; spiritual chy- 
mists turn all to gold, Rom. viii. 28. 

(13.) Be dead while living, and lively in thoughts 
of death. Col. iii. S. Gal. vi. 14. A child of God is a 
paradox, dead to the world, and crucified, yet the most 
active and vigorous person in the world : you must 
have the best death and best life, then fear not death. 

(14.) Suit grace to every case : in confessing sin, 
mourn ; in begging mercy, cherish desires ; in thanks- 
giving, joyfulness, yet "rejoice with trembling;" in 
prosperity, have humility ; in adversity, contentment ; 
your foot must still stand in an even place, f 

(15.) Let your life be a comment on your faith ; let 
your believing and living be harmonious ; let doctrine 
of faith, grace of faith, life of faith, sweetly correspond, 
" Doctrine being according to godliness, godliness ac- 
cording to truth ;" let not head and hands be at 
variance. X 

(16.) Eye God who eyes you in all you do; think 
the King of heaven sees thee, the omnipresent God is 
in the room with thee, the omniscient God knows thy 
heart ; approve thy heart to God, let thine eyes be ever 
towards him, Psal. xxxiv. 15. xxvi. 3. 

(17.) Answer to divine calls, when God hath a mouth 
to speak, have an ear to hear, and a tongue to say, 

• Rom. xii. 1. Ezek. xviii. 29. 2 Pet.i.4. Phil. ii. 20. 
f 1 Cor. xvi. 31, 55. Heb. ii. 15. Psal. xxxviii. 18. Matt. 
V. 4. Psal. ii. 11. Phil. i. 3, 4. Psal. xxvi- 12. 

t James ii. 18. 1 Tim. i. 5. Tit. i. 1. Rom. ii. 18, 23, 24. 

M 2 


here I am. Hear the word or rod, a call lo duty or 
from sin ; ask what is the meaning of this ? O that I 
could attain God's end, and not resist or " quench the 
Holy Spirit."* 

(18.) Observe and make up daily decays, keep on 
your watch that you sin not ; but if you sin, remain 
not in it, but rise, mourn, and act faith on Christ, 
your great advocate, let not an ill matter go on quick- 
ly, recover your first love, Rev. ii. 4, 5. 

(19-) Give no offence carelessly, and take no offence 
causelessly ; let there be " no occasion of stumbling in 
you ;" judge not uncharitably, take all that is said 
and done in good part; make no sinister constructions.! 

(20.) When you have done all, say, all this is as no- 
thing to appease God's wrath, or satisfy justice, in an ab- 
solute sense, or to do what is required in a compara- 
tive sense, " without Christ I can do nothing." i 



4. The last thing proposed under this division was 
to answer some cases of conscience which pious people 
are ready to introduce, when this subject is brought 

1 Case. Whether it is possible that a man be a new 
creatui'e, and not know it, since it is so remarkable a 
change ? 

* 1 Sam. iii. 10. Psal. xxvii. 8. ]\Iic. vi. 9. 1 Thess. v. 19. 

+ ]Matt. xxvi. 41. 1 John ii. 1, 10. Matt. vii. 1. 

X 1 Cor. X. 32. Luke xvii. 10. Phil. iii. 7, 8. John xv. 5. 


Answ. I have hinted at this before, but observe it, 
you must distinguish between a reflexive sense of a 
change in heart and life, and a due apprehension of 
this change morally considered as saving ; many a per- 
son can truly say, something hath been done, but I 
know not whether that which may be entitled a new 
creation, I am much in the dark about it; I cannot but 
say, I have had convictions, and something like con- 
version, though not consolation ; I am kept still in 
dependance upon a promise, though I cannot say I 
have assurance of my interest in the covenant. Pre- 
cious Mr. Paul Bains could say, " Sustentation I have, 
but suavities si)iritual I do not experience." So you 
may have the root, though not the flower ; water of 
sanctification, though not the oil of gladness ; wait on 
God, and in due time you may have this cleared up to 
you ; if " you follow on to know the Lord, his going 
forth is prepared as the morning," Hcs. vi. 3. Grace 
and peace shall not be long parted ; " Light is sown 
for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart," 
Psal. xcvii. 11. It is not lost, but laid up and hid in 
the furrows of the believer's bosom. 

2 Case. Is it possible that he who is a new creature, 
should have a self-accusing, self-condemning conscience? 

Answ. You must distinguish respecting the con- 
science of a man condemning himself. 

(1.) It may be passively, when our hearts censure 
us, and we stifle convictions, such a one indeed is self- 

(2.) If we be active in condemning ourselves, it is 
a good sign, and a great duty, as we shewed before ; 
but this query, refers to the state of a man, whether 
the conscience of a new creature may censure the real 
Christian, and condemn him as a hypocrite? To which 
I answer, If conscience act according to the rule of 


the word, it must be regarded as God's officer, speaking 
by his authority, but if it speak not in God's name, and 
by his order, we may appeal to the higher court of the 
holy scriptures, and it is certain that conscience may 
be corrupted, and is often used by Satan, to deceive 
good men as well as bad, and they shall at last have 
their action against Satan for false imprisonment, and 
disturbing their peace. Your safest way therefore is 
to have recourse to the word, for conscience is but an 
under officer, and must be accountable for its verdict. 
Remember, it is one thing to have hypocrisy in thy 
heart, another thing to be a hypocrite ; the best will 
find much guilt witliin them, which conscience rebukes 
them for, while they bewail it ; but they are not 
therefore hypocrites. 

3 Case. "Wli ether God mav conduct himself austere! v 
as if he were an enemy to a new creature, that should 
seem to be dear to him ? 

Answ. Thou art a stranger to scripture, and the 
experience of all God's children, if thou think God 
must always be dandling this new creature on his 
knee, or gi\'ing it his embraces ; no, no, he hath re- 
served the best things for the upper table in heaven ; 
there is great reason that thou shouldst have his 
frowns, as well as smiles, to hiunble thy heart, exercise 
thy graces, discover the necessity of Christ, and the 
desirableness of heaven. God can and may, without 
any impediment to his love, hide it for a season from 
his own dearest child. David indeed called in question 
God's love and faithfulness, when he hid his face ; but 
at last, he found that it was his infirmity, and doubt- 
less, lamented it as his sin. God hath given abundant 
security in his promises of his love without present 
sense ; you must not think much at him, if he do not 
come to visit you, and take you up in hi« arms as oft 


as you would have him. Thou needest some operative 
physic as well as cordials; a son may merit a frown, as 
well as a smile from his father. God is a free agent; but 
it is well thou art so sensible of his access and recess, 
his smiles and frowns ; it is a sign of some spiritual 
life in thy soul. 

4 Case. But you said the new creature grows ; I 
find it otherwise, I cannot see that I grow in grace, 
nay, I decline and go backwards, what think you of that? 

I answer, As the Christian grows in grace, so he 
grows in light to discover his state ; he sees m.ore de- 
pravity in himself, and is still more sensible of decays 
in grace, which keeps him humble, self-denying and 
vile in his own eyes ; that is growth too, bless God for 
it : but observe it, grains of allowance must be given 
to old age, when natural parts decay, and persons may 
not be so quick and lively as formerly, yet may be 
more solid and increasing in experience. Mr. Green- 
ham said, " It is a hard and rare thing to keep up 
young zeal with old discretion." Dost thou not keep 
up a more constant course of duty, and cherish more 
settled resolutions for God ? Is not thy heart more 
deadened to the world, and taken up with things un- 
seen ? art thou not more composed under afflictions ? 
dost thou not more clearly discover and bewail spiri- 
tual sins ? dost thou not long more after the good of 
relations, take more delight in God's word, breathe 
after more of God's presence in ordinances ? Speak 
out, man, deal faithfully, bear not false witness against 
thyself ; yet it is true, the growing tree meets with a 
fall of the leaf, and a sharp winter ; still doth a spring 
come, and it grows in the summer. Peter's fall be- 
came the means of recruiting him to greater boldness 
for God ; but I hope thou art " not a backslider in 


heart/' to dislike the ways of God; thou art but 
" overtaken with a sin," against tliy strong purposes. 
When thou " sleepest, doth not thy heart wake?" 
Thou art not pleased with this declining state ; " thy 
spirit is willing, but thy flesh is weak." * 

5 Case. But, alas, I have such strong, impetuous, 
yea, imperious workings of corruption in my heart, as 
never any had that hath a principle of grace ; none 
like me. Is it possible I should be a new creatui'e? 

I answer, The "heart knows its own bitterness," 
and wickedness, Prov. xiv. 10. Every gracious soul 
thinks his own heart the worst, because he knows it 
best. But who told thee that thy heart was so bad ? 
was it always thus v/ith thee ? was there not a time 
when thou thoughtest thy heart was as good as any 
one's ? is it not spiritual light that makes these un- 
usual discoveries ? " Whatsoever doth make manifest, 
is light." Did not sin "revive upon the coming of the 
commandment?" But friend, let me ask thee ; Dost 
thou think that upon the planting of this new prin- 
ciple in the soul, sin should be utterly extirpated, and 
that thou shouldst hear no more of it ? Dost thou not 
find even blessed Paul, " groaning still under a body 
of death?" Will not the flesh still " lust against the 
Spirit?" f Surely thou knowest little of a Christian 
state, if thou imaginest a total immunity from the 
body and indwelling of sin, in this world. It is well 
if sin be not upon the throne, though thou hast it in 
the field to fight with ; the gospel privilege is, " sin 
shall not have dominion over thee, because thou art 
under grace," Rom. vi. 14. 

G Case. But what will you say of a man that can- 

' Prov. xiv. 14. Gal. vi. 1. Cant v. 2. SlaU. xxvi. 41. 
+ Eph. v. 13. Rom. vii 9. Rom. vii. 24. Gal. v. I7. 


not give a precise account of the time and manner of 
this divine change taking place in his heart, that never 
had such terrors as some have ? 

I answer. Will any say that the river Nile is no 
river, because men never found out the head of it ? 
God is a free agent, and hath different seasons and 
manners of working. Some have been wrought upon 
in their younger days, they were religiously educated, 
and never stept aside into gross sins, and God steals in 
gently with them, he opens their hearts as he did 
Lydia's, Acts xvi. 14. and gently attracts them to him- 
self, picking the lock, as it were, without much noise ; 
whereas he breaks the wards in others, with over- 
whelming convictions, as he has dealt with Paul, and 
Luther, and others, among whom Mr, Bolton may be 
mentioned. Some are of mild and gentle natures, and 
God sees they cannot bear hard blows, which some 
others need, who are of sturdy and stubborn spirits. 
Do not murmur, but thank God that he hath come so 
sweetly into thy soul ; he knows thy frame and con- 
stitution. See the work be there, and a scriptural 
work, and leave God to his liberty. But this thou 
canst say through grace, it is not with thee now, as it 
hath been; as the blind man said, I maybe ignorant of 
some circumstances, " but one thing I know, that 
whereas I was blind, now I see," John ix. 25. Things 
are otherwise represented to me, and my spirit work- 
ing otherwise within than formerly ; so that I may 
say as Rebecca with her twins in her womb, " if it be 
so, or not so, why am I thus ? " 

7 Case. But alas, nobody knows what a frame of 
spirit I have in my prayers, such distractions and 
wanderings from God, as cannot be consistent with a 
spiritual change : what think you ? 

Ansiv. It is sad thing, that such vermin should 


crawl in God's sanctuary, especially when thou art in 
God's immediate worship. But dost thou approve of 
them, and make them welcome ? are they not trou- 
blesome guests ? do they not forcibly assault thee, as 
so many unmannerly visitants? Suppose in your 
family as you are kneeling in prayer, a noisy, boister- 
ous rabble stand under your window, roaring and hal- 
looing, though it distiu-b you, would you thence ques- 
tion your sincerity in the duty ? And it is all one, 
whether the disturbance be in the room or in the bo- 
som, since both are disliked as a burden to thee. I 
often reflect on a passage I read many years ago, * 
" The good Lord keep the hearts of his people under 
a due sense of their distractions, for they are never 
like to be rid of them while they live." Thou dost 
reckon thyself to be as in the belly of hell with Jonah, 
while thou art yoked with such thoughts and send est 
many a deep groan to heaven against them, and some- 
times dost obtain some help against them, and gettest 
near thy God in duty. 

I shall however add no more of these cases, but 
only two words as a close of this discourse, for if poor 
doubting souls would, instead of their complainings 
and objections, but do these things, it would tend more 
to their satisfaction, and the glory of God. 

(1.) That they would spend that time in examining 
their own consciences, which they take up in fruitless 
complaints. Alas, many professors have got a method 
of whining and complaining to ministers and christian 
friends, and think to be better thought of for such 
complaints ; but this is a sad judgment of God, for 
persons to "pine away in their iniquity, and yet mourn 
one towards another," Ezek. xxiv. 23. If persons would 
spend such time in searching their own consciences 
* Mr. Thomas Shepaxd Treat- on Distraction. 


and conversation, it would tend more to clear up 
the sincerity of their hearts, and a saving work of 
grace. Begin, sirs, enter into your closets, commune 
with your own hearts, deal faithfully and effec- 
tually ; put not off yourselves with unproved conceits 
and groundless imaginations, but go through with the 
work : ransack your hearts, they are your own ; be 
not put off with such mannerly excuses as Rachel's : 
take such an account as you must give to God: let no 
darling sin escape your view, or the least grace be de- 
nied with any scorn or disregard. When David 
" thought of God, he was troubled," and expresseth 
many discontented murmurings ; but when " he com- 
muned with his own heart," he clears God, and con- 
demns his unbelief, indicts the thief, and clears his 
conscience of that troublesome Jonah in his bosom. 
This plain dealing evidenceth a Christian's state sooner 
than wrangling; and yet if still thou art at a loss, 
appeal to God, and say as Job, " Thou knowest that 
I am not wicked ;" or, as Peter, " Thou knowest that 
I love thee ;" or, as David, " Do not I hate them that 
hate thee ? Search me, O God, and know my heart." * 
As wise physicians trust not their own judgment about 
their own health, so the saint knows God's line reach- 
eth lower than his own, and to his judgment he will 

(2.) Instead of complaining, commence vigorously 
the work of sanctification, to mortify the deeds of the 
body, " to cut off a right hand, and pluck out a right 
eye," Matt. v. 29. When you have searched out the 
leaven, purge it out, *' 1 Cor. v. 7. Lay aside " every 
weight, and the sin which doth most easily beset you," 
Heb. xii. 1. Run the sword of the Spirit to the 
heart of every lust ; " lay the axe to the root of the 
Psal Ixxvii. 3j 6. Job x. "J. John xxi. 1.5. Psal. cxxxix. 21^ 23. 


tree;'^ cut up sin by the roots. If a vain thought, 
a proud, sensual, worldly, passionate thought arise in 
your hearts, suppress it, militate against it, " crucify 
the flesh, with the affections and lusts," Gal. v. 24. 
So will you evidence yoiu'selves to be Christ's, 2 Cor. 
vii. 1 ; be daily " perfecting holiness in the fear of 
God." Observe wherein you missed it in such a duty, 
and be still improving, as Apelles, when he had drawn 
a picture, was ever and anon spying defects, and then 
altering with his pencil ; so do you. Observe when 
conscience speaks such language as the following: 
Oh my soul, in such a duty thou wast cold, distracted, 
unbelieving, hard, and vain ; in such an affliction thou 
wast froward, peevish, and discontented ; in such a 
company thou spakest idly, or wast guilty of sinful 
silence ; in the enjoyment of such a mercy, or in thy 
prosperous state, how proud wast thou, seciu'e, self- 
conceited, and slighting others ! Oh mourn for these 
faults, watch against them for the future ; walk more 
closely with God, maintain daily intercourse with him 
and your own consciences ; thereby you will be better 
acquainted with God and your own souls, and discern 
better how your principles operate ; " for if you walk 
according to this rule, peace shall be upon you," Gal. 
vi. 16. Hence the blessed apostle's words, 2 Cor. i. 12, 
" For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our con- 
science, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with 
fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had 
our conversation in the world." Dying Hezekiah 
could plead this with God in his appeal, Isa. xxxviii. 3. 
Oh sirs, learn to exercise every grace in every duty ; 
the exercise of grace is the clearest evidence of grace, 
both to ourselves and others ; as the man who con- 
futed his antagonist, that disputed against motion, 
by starting up and walking. So do you walk with 


God, " hereby do we know that we know him, if we 
keep his commandments," 1 John ii. 3, 6. If you 
walk as he walked, you evidence that you abide in him ; 
as he " which hath called you is holy," so be " ye holy 
in all manner of conversation," 1 Pet. i. 15. If you 
expect that God's Spirit will witness with your spirits, 
and so subscribe your certificate for heaven, you must be 
uniform and universal in your course of godliness, both 
in your worship and walking, walking before God, and 
with God, Gen. v. 24. xvii. 1. Then indeed will 
you be found upright or perfect ; but if thou hast any 
close drawer in the cabinet of thy heart, wherein thou 
secretest any beloved sin, or if thou delayest in thy 
journey along heaven's road, by idleness, sleeping, or 
backsliding, and losing thy first love, then no wonder if 
thou canst not discern the impress of God's image 
upon thy soul, but callest thy very state into question. 

Yet above all, I advise thee to shut the mouth of 
conscience, with that only which has satisfied the jus- 
tice of God. Nothing can reconcile a man to himself, 
but that which reconciled God and man. 

It was Dr. Sibbs' advice. When the water of sancti- 
fication runs muddy, betake yourselves to the blood of 
justification. There, there must lie your comfort, and 
confidence, by this only must you answer all the ob- 
jections raised by Satan and conscience, from justice, 
law, or whatsoever opposeth your peace, arising from 
the defects and imperfections of grace or this new 
creation within you : and indeed, the best of us must 
anchor and centre here, as to our justification, accept- 
ance with God, or composedness of conscience. 

Come then, let us go, in this gospel-way, to Jesus 
the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of 
sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of 
Abel, Heb. xii. 24. Amen, so be it. 







to my dear and lovixg nephews, and others of my 
natural relations in lancashire. 

Dear Friends, 

X HE providence of God hath separated me now forty-nine 
years from my native county, and from the vicinity of all my 
kindred in the flesh, into another county, where my lot hath 
been cast amongst a loving and a beloved people, where I have 
laboured long, and not without considerable success ; yet not- 
withstanding my mind hath not been alienated from my dear 
relations, but as my poor prayers have been daily to God for 
you, so I have frequently visited you, preached the word to 
you publicly and privately, as I had a call and opportunity, 
written letters to you, sent my printed books to be perused by 
you, and thought no labour too much to be useful to your souls. 
But it is now come to pass that I am superannuated, and 
much incapacitated for travelling into your parts, having out- 
lived all my brothers and sisters, and being within a few days of 
the age of man, seventy years, far longer than ever I expected 
to have sojourned in this weary world, having been under the 
sentence of death four times by repeated fevers ; and how long 
this frail life shall yet be prolonged, I cannot tell : but the 
providence of God brought to my thoughts a suitable word 
some months ago, which was mentioned as the subject of a 
funeral sermon, by a dying niece of mine, (my eldest sister's 
eldest daughter,) I formed a resolution to write it over, and to 
send it amongst you, and to the persons immediately concerned 
in that breach, as a testimony of my good-will to you. It is 
true, I had preached on the same text at home upon tlie like 

VOL. V. N 

180 author's eptstie. 

occasion : the subject is important ; I wish it had been better 
managed ; however I sliall follow it with my prayers, that it 
may be profitable to you and others. 

]My dear nephews and nieces, and beloved kindred, I 
can truly say with the blessed apostle, " My heart''s desire and 
prayer to God for you is, that you may be saved," Rom. x. 1. 
You cannot but know how many of our ancestors have died in 
the faith, and are gone to heaven, having " fought a good fight, 
finished their course, and kept the faith," 2 Tim. iv, 7 ; they 
have offered up many prayers which are recorded in God"'s 
book, and presented many petitions which are still upon the 
file for their surviving posterity, which will be brought to re- 
membrance either for your conversion, or the aggravation of 
your sin and condemnation. How dreadful will your case be, 
to be turned to the left hand with the goats, and hear that 
dreadful sentence, Matt. xxv. 41, " Go, ye cursed !" when you see 
your parents and progenitors stand on the right hand, addressed 
with that gi-acious word, " Come, ye blessed :" yea, when you 
shall see " many come from east and west, and sit down with 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven," and 
you, " the childi'en of the kingdom cast into outer darkness, 
where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth !" Matt. viii. 11, 
12. Oh what wounds will be left in your consciences, what 
stings and accusations, on considering parents'" prayers and 
tears, sighs and gi'oans, counsels and admonitions, their prudent 
carriage and pious examples set before you ! You will not 
perish at so easy a rate as others. The houses where you live, 
the chambers you frequent, where they maintained constant 
communion with God, will be as witnesses against you, if yet 
you know nothing what it means. If they kept private days of 
fasting and prayer among God's children, and you slight it ; if 
they were of a peaceable spirit, you contentious ; if they were 
industrious in their callings, you slothful ; if they walked with 
God in their families, and you walk at rovers ; if they were di- 
ligent in reading the Scriptures and good books, and you lay 
them by and mind toys and trifles — how can you look your 
pious relations in the face ? what can you say for yourselves ? 
God knows how matters are, he " will bring to light the hidden 
things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of your 

author's epistle. 181 

hearts," 1 Cor. iv. 5, which you would be loth any should know, 
much less relatives distinguished for their piety. O think of 
this day of revelation, this day of appearing, and make ready 
for it. 

Dear cousixs, though you have had religious ancestors and 
relations, yet remember, Adam after his fall begat a son in his 
own likeness, not in God's, which he had lost. Grace is not 
hereditary, to be propagated to natural offspring : many godly 
parents in Scripture history had wicked children, and David 
" was conceived in iniquity," Psalm li. 5. Remember you are 
all by nature children of wrath, and a regenerating work must 
pass upon you ; " except you be born again, you shall not see 
the kingdom of God," John iii. 3, so saith the Key-keeper, yea, 
sovereign disposer of heaven. Again, he asserts it with emphasis, 
" Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become 
as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of hea- 
ven," Matt, xviii. 3. Think not to be saved whether Christ 
will or not, or imagine you can find out some other way to hea- 
ven than the Scripture way ; whatever Satan or your hearts 
suggest of this nature, you would be miserably gulled and be- 
guiled by it at last ; or if you rest in a notion or form of reli- 
gion, you may die with a lie in your right hand, and never be 
undeceived till the flames of hell convince and confound you. 
Without mortification of our beloved sins, our blessed Lord 
tells us three several times, we must be cast into hell, that is, 
" into a fire that never shall be quenched ; where the worm 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched," Mark ix. 43 — 48. 
Truth itself hath said, " Without holiness no man shall see 
God," Heb. xii. 14; and it is the hell of hells, to be banished 
from God. As little as most men care for coming to God 
here, but are inclining rather to say to him, " Depart from 
us," Job xxi. 14; yet when God shall pronounce that dreadful 
sentence, " Depart from me," they shall have their eyes open, 
and be more affrighted with it than with fire and brimstone : for 
though the punishment of sense be intolerable, yet the punish- 
ment of loss is more formidable, because it is a loss of infinite 
good. There is an astonishing emphasis in that word, " Who 
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence 
of the Lord, and the glory of his power," 2 Thess. i. 9- This, 

N 2 


tliis is the second death, the death of deaths, wherein sinners 
would gladly choose to die and be annihilated, but must not. 

]My Dear Friexds, it may be, this is the last time that 
I shall address myself to you ; make sure of heaven, no- 
thing else can make you happy. Attend carefully on the 
means of salvation, hear the most powerful preachers, and 
stifle not convictions ; when you have heard awakening truths, 
descend into your own hearts, and ask your consciences, — is not 
this my case ? do not these things concern me ? are they not of 
importance, and not to be slighted .'* then fall down on your 
knees, desire the Lord to set them home, and give you the ex- 
perience and benefit of divine truths. They are not idle stories, 
or a sick man's dreams, but the eternal truths of Almighty God, 
according to which you must be judged at the last day ; and 
that day may be nearer than you are aware. " How can you 
escape if you neglect so great salvation ?'''' Heb. ii. 3, and 
expose yourselves to imavoidable perdition ? The longer you 
defer repentance the harder will your hearts grow, and the 
more difficult will the work be ; and God may justly give you 
up to yourselves, than which there is no greater judgment on 
this side hell : O tremble to think of that. Be afraid to be 
deceived, let no marks serve you for trial but Scripture charac- 
ters, and be faithful in the examination. Let no duty satisfy you 
without communion with God therein : in all you do, propound 
the glory of God as your chief end : study the terms of salva- 
tion, faith, repentance, and new obedience, and see you be 
sincere : lament your inability to perform these terms with- 
out assisting grace, beg it earnestly of God, in the name of 
Christ : lay aside all divertisements till this work be done : fear 
no discouragements, God is able to bring you through, and 
" keep you by his mighty power, through faith unto salvation." 
And you, my dear kindred in the flesh, that are of the 
spiritual kinship, members of the same body whereof Christ is the 
head, and that are travelling towards Zion, be much in praising 
God, because he hath remembered his holy covenant, and kept 
his promise to some generations ; spend your time with and for 
God ; do as much good as you can to relations and all about 
you ; live exemplary lives ; get your evidences cleared up for 
lieaten ; be watchful over your hearts and ways ; strive against 

author's epistle. 183 

Kin ; shake oft' sloth ; make ready for heaven, and long to be 
there. What can you see in this world worth fixing upon 
for your rest, in comparison of the immediate enjoyment of 
God .'' Mr. Caryl saith, " It is a piece of great self-denial in 
a Christian that hath grounded assurance of heaven, to be con- 
tent to live longer to do God service ori earth."" And truly 
it is no wonder when INIoses has got to the top of Pisgah, if 
he long to be in the goodly land. But we must stay God's 
time, and surely there will be an end, and your expectation 
shall not be cut off. 

" Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our 
Father, which hath saved us, and hath given us everlasting 
consolation, and good hope through gTace, comfort your hearts, 
and stablisli you in every good word and work," 2 Thess. 
ii. 16, 17. 

So prayeth your only surviving Uncle and Relation, 

Dec. 30, 1699. 



1 COK. XV. 19. 

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, ivc are of all 
tnen most miserable. 

These words contain an irrefragable argument to prove 
a life to come, and a resurrection. It is improbable, 
yea, morally impossible, that the best men should al- 
ways fare the worst, contrary to reason and scripture, 
Isa. iii. 10, 11. The words contain these two things : 
a supposition, and an assertion. 

1. If our hope in Christ be not stretched beyond the 
limits of this life :* for we are bound to fix our hopes 
upon Christ while we live ; and even for the things of 
this life, as well as for the other, according to 1 Tim. iv. 
8. But if we did not expect from Christ the good 
things of a future state in the world to come, then 

2. " We are of all men most miserable," Here 
is the comparative for the superlative, IXeavoTepoi, more 
miserable than worldly men, that have their portion in 
this life, Psal. xvii. 14. 

But whom doth the Apostle mean, when he saith 
" We ?" 

* Si spes nootia non porrigitur ultra termiuiim hujus vitre. 


(1.) We apostles, ministers of the gospel, that sell 
all for Christ, and preach the doctrine of eternal 
salvation by him. If this gospel be not true, we are 
the veriest arrant cheats among men, and shall fare 
accordingly ; but we know what we do and say, we 
are no fools to be deceived, nor knaves to deceive the 
world with a fiction of our own brain : no, no, we know 
what we believe, and whom we have believed;* we 
are sure of the reality, certainty, and excellency of what 
we preach, we have suffered great hardships already, 
and dare venture our souls upon his authority, and our 
Lord Christ's resm-rection gives us full assurance 
of it. 

(2.) We believers, who renounce the pleasures, profits, 
and honours of this world, who are daily obnoxious to 
the cross, and exposed to persecutions ; surely we are no 
better than madmen if we did not believe the immor- 
tality of the soul, and life to come : for the Sadducees 
that denied the resurrection, said, " there was neither 
angel nor spirit," Acts xxiii. 8, and indeed our hope 
depends on Christ's resurrection, 1 Pet. i. 3, for who 
would believe in a dead Christ, never to live and rise 
again ? 

Hence this doctrine, — That none are so miserable 
as real saints, if all their hopes and happiness were in 
this lower world. 

The Hebrew Rabbies divide the world into three 
parts : 

1. Inferior, the lowest world: this terrestrial globe 
consisting, (1.) of sea, lakes, and rivers ; (2.) deserts, 
and solitary, uninhabited places ; (3.) the inhabited part. 

2. Middle, or inmost world ; that is, the spheres, 
containing the aerial region and starry heavens, where 
the vast luminaries are placed in their orbits. 

* 2 Tim. i. 12. 


3. The superior world, where God himself manifests 
his immediate presence to his glorious angels and glo- 
rified spirits. This is called the heaven of heavens, 
paradise, the high and holy place, whither the glori- 
fied body of Jesus is advanced.* It is true that God's 
children centre their spirits and best affections there, of 
which state it is said, 2 Cor. iv. 18, " While we look 
not at the things which are seen, but at the things 
which are not seen: for the things which are seen 
are temporal, but the things which are not seen are 

In the prosecuting of this doctrine, I shall speak to 
it by way of explication, confirmation, vindication, and 

1. For explication, observe these four maxims : 
(1.) The expression in the text implies, that the 
church of Corinth was deluded with the imagination 
of an allegorical resurrection, such as Hymeneus fan- 
cied, saying, " that the resurrection is past already," 
2 Tim. ii. 17, 18, importing that it was to be under- 
stood, in a spiritual sense, of regeneration, which 
indeed is called a resurrection with Christ ; f but this 
is a preparative to the second, which the apostle here 
asserts and proves. 

(2.) The text doth not favour their unscriptural doc- 
trine, that think souls sleep with the bodies till the ge- 
neral resurrection ; or as though Paul dreamed of the 
heathen's Elysian fields, or Mahomet's paradise: but he 
takes it for granted, that the only hope of Christians 
refers to the last judgment, as completing the happi- 
ness of soul and body together ; for the thief on the 
cross was to be with Christ in paradise, the day of his 

* 1 Kings viii. 27- 2 Cor. xii. 4. Isa. Ivii. li). 
t John xi. 15. Col. iii. 1. 


deatli ; and Paul was to be with Christ at his disso- 

(3.) Possibly this expression was directly calculated 
for the apostle's days, wherein the christian name was 
most infamous amongst the grandees of the world ; so 
that none durst give up themselves to Christ, but such 
as reckoned upon death : for the apostles and their 
followers were as it were appointed to death, f In 
all public calamities, heathens laid the blame on Chris- 
tians, and cried out. Cast the Christians to the lions. | 
Doubtless it was a very calamitous time, and this sen- 
tence was best adapted to it. 

(4.) We must not think, that God's children have 
not in this life better things than wicked men have. 
They have God's favour, pardon of sin, peace of con- 
science : but these are not the things of this life, 
though enjoyed in this life. Faith in Christ fetcheth 
down precious treasures from heaven, and lifteth up 
the soul to heaven. Spiritual delights are transcen- 
dently better than sensual pleasures. 

The meaning of the text then is this : if we had 
trusted Christ for worldly riches, pleasiu'es, or honours, 
placing the advantage of our faith in worldly enjoyments; 
if our hope did not exceed the bounds of this mortal 
life, we should be very miserable: but we are not of the 
opinion of the Jews, or even some of Christ's disciples, 
who would erect a temporal kingdom in this world ; 
no, no, our expectation is of the enjoyments of a better 

2. For confirmation of this great truth, I shall de^ 
monstrate it by some particular instances, in an enume- 
ration of difficulties which good men pass through 

* Luke xxiii. 43. Phil. i. 23. t 1 Cor. iv. 9, 10. 

X Chi'istianos ad leones. 


in this life : yet I shall not mention what is common 
to men, bad as well as good, but what is peculiar to 
them as the children of God. Such as these : 

(1.) Pious persons have often the least share of the 
comforts of this life, in this world. They often re- 
ceive their evil things with Lazarus sitting at the rich 
man's gate : it is the poor that receive the gospel, or 
are evangelized. " Hearken, my beloved brethren," and 
mind it carefully, it is worth taking notice of, " Hath 
not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, 
and heirs of a kingdom?"* Ordinarily our Lord choos- 
eth not his disciples from the potentates, and grandees 
of the world ; not many mighty, not many noble are 
called : nor doth he promise to make them rich, when 
he hath chosen them. The apostles themselves were 
poor, yet making many rich. And Christ's sheep often 
feed on bare commons, while others live in pleasure on 
the earth, f This is what the world wonders and 
stumbles at, that our Lord keeps his servants no bet- 
ter : but they consider not that our Lord reserves the 
best wine for the last. 

(2.) Suppose religious persons be rich, yet they can- 
not take their fill of the world as carnal men do. The 
world is the element of sinners, they take content in it, 
they wallow in it as a swine in the mire ; their desires 
are after creatures, and they feast themselves without 
fear. There is a suitableness betwixt the faculty and 
the object ; they are loth to check themselves, or to be 
interrupted in their sensual delight. But now pious men 
are delivered from this present, evil world : a gracious 
soul hath a better principle, and looks on things below 
with scorn, and holy disdain ; he is as a weaned child, 
quite alienated from the best that the world can offer ; 

* Luke xvi. 20. INIatt. xi. 5. James ii. 5. 

t 1 Cor. i. 26—28. 2 Cor. vi. 10. James v. 5. 


yea, the Christian is crucified to the world, as the 
world is to him; he mortifies his attachment to things be- 
low, and dares not freely avail himself of lawful liberty, 
lest that liberty be an occasion to the flesh, and so gra- 
dually draw him to sin. In delicious meals he puts 
a knife to his throat, and he is jealous lest he be drawn 
aside to excess ; yea, he keeps down his body by fast- 
ing and mortifying exercises, lest he be miserably 
enticed to sinful acts. However, the devout soul can 
look through the best of the world, and finds all here 
below but vanity and vexation of spirit. * 

(3.) Religious persons meet with more opposition and 
persecution in this world than others do ; the world 
will love its own, but such as are chosen out of the 
world are hated by it, John xv. 18 — 20. No wonder if 
this strict sect be every where spoken against. Every 
Ishmael will mock Isaac, and such as are born after 
the flesh, will persecute such as are born after the 
Spirit : so it is now ; scarce any on this side the grave 
have endured such tortures as Christians have done.f 
A Christian is a cross-bearer : :j: yet there are strange, 
seeming contradictions, see 2 Cor. vi. 4 — 11. We 
must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom 
of God ; this is unavoidable ; all sincere professors 
must be sure to prepare for it. || 

(4.) Pious people have much more work upon their 
hearts and hands than others have : not but that all 
have the same to do ; even worldly persons have still 
more to do, but they shift it off*, and are not actually 
engaged therein. Alas ! they are not sensible of their 

* Jiide, 12. Gal. i. 4. Psal. cxxxi. 2. Gal. vi. 14. v. 13. 
Prov. xxiii. 2. 1 Cor. ix. 27- Eccles. ii. 17- 

t Acts xxviii. 22. Gen. xxi. 9. Gal. iv. 29. 

i Christianiis crucianus. || 2 Cor. xi. 23 — 27- Acts xiv. 22. 

2Tim. iii. 12. 


State, but believers lie under deep convictions of the ne- 
cessity and difficulty of spiritual duties, and especially 
of faith, love, and repentance, being stirred up and 
exercised ; they have privileges to improve, ordinances 
to prepare for, communion with God to maintain, 
many commands to obey, which are of great latitude; 
for " thy commandments," says David, " are exceeding 
broad :" they respect God immediately, men, relations, 
christian brethren, with reference to advice, comfort, 
and admonition ; there is an abundance of sins to be 
purged out, filthiness both of flesh and spirit. The 
gracious soul discerns raiore evil in, and danger by 
unbelief, pride, hardness of heart, and hypocrisy, than 
others do. 

(5.) Pious persons are more concerned for the church 
of God than others are : upon them, in some sort, lies 
the care of all the churches * They put their shoulders, 
though weak, under the interests of Christ. A good 
man, like David, is not quiet though in a cieled house, 
while the ark of God dwelleth under curtains ; yea, 
with old Eli, his heart trembles for the ark of God. 
When Nehemiah heard bad news of the church's 
affliction, he sat down and wept, and mourned certain 
days : so the city Shushan was perplexed when others 
rejoiced. And it cannot be otherwise ; for all the re- 
proaches belched out against God and his church, fall 
upon real saints ; they cannot but sympathize with the 
head and members of the body. Such are like-minded, 
and naturally care for the good of the church, -j 

(6.) Pious persons are more affected and afflicted with 
others' sins against God, than people generally are. Irre- 
ligious men rather exult over the sins of professors, 

* 2 Tim. i. 6. Psal. cxix. 96. 2 Cor. vii. 1. 2 Cor. xi. 28. 
+ 2 Sam. vii. 1, 2. 1 Sam. iv. 13. Neh. i. 4. Est. iii. \o. 
Psal. Ixix. 9. 


and please themselves that others are worse than them- 
selves, and say, " I am not as this publican." But, oh 
how the sins of others go to the heart of a believer I 
'* I beheld the transgressors," says David, " and was 
grieved;" yea, he shed rivers of tears for others' omis- 
sions and commissions. How was good Ezra vexed at 
the people's sins, and Jeremiah wept in secret for their 
pride. * Blessed Paul is humbled for, and gi-eatly be- 
wails the sins of the church of Corinth, 2 Cor. xii. 21. 

(7.) Genuine Christians reckon a greater number of 
sins and duties than others do : not that they make 
more of either than God hath made ; but their eyes are 
enlightened to see things more clearly and distinctly. 
Yet observe it, scrupulous consciences are apt to make 
more sins and duties than God makes ; and as this is 
their sin, so it is their great affliction, perplexing them 
with many doubts. But judicious Christians inquire 
first, whether it be lawful ? f by what warrant ? i 
have I a Scripture command to authorize such an 
action? Then, whether it become me under such 
circumstances ? And lastly, whether it be expedient? 
for many things are lawful, that yet are not expedient, 
because they edify not, or are an offence to others, or 
are occasions of sin. The Christian avoids every apj^ea- 
rance of evil, hates the garment spotted by the flesh : |j 
there is however some difficulty here. A tender con- 
science begets many scruples about recreations, voca- 
tions, and conversations with men ; see Dan. i. 8 : 
but a carnal heart ventures at all, makes no scruples, 
and censures those who do, as making more ado than 
needs, as being more precise than wise. 

(8.) Believers have more temptations from Satan 

• Liike xviii. II. Psal. cxix. 136, 158. Ezi-a ix. Jer. xiii. IJ- 
+ An liceat, an deceat, an expediat. t Quo warranto. 

II 1 Cor. x. 23. 1 Thess. v. 21, 22. Jude, 23. 


than sinners have. The devil blinds wicked men's eyes, 
rocks them asleep, locks them up in ignorance, and 
so they are led captive by Satan at his pleasure : he is 
sure of them, and lets them alone in security. But oh 
what dreadful assaults doth this fiend of hell make 
against real saints ! sometimes shaking and sifting 
them as wheat, that nothing but bran may remain ; 
at other times, laying snares and stratagems to cir- 
cumvent them with his devices. He sometimes trans- 
forms himself into an angel of light : sometimes 
lurks as a serpent, to gull and beguile them : oft- 
times he comes in his own colours, as a roaring lion 
to affright or devour them ;* and when he appears 
thus, though it be most terrible, yet it is less dangerous. 
Says Mr. Rutherford, I love a rumbling and roaring- 
devil : this drives the Christian from him to his strong 
hold. Sometimes Satan comes with hideous injections 
of atheism, blasphemy, black and dreadful thoughts of 
God ; as it is said of Luther, f " frightful things con- 
cerning God and religion :" so that the Christian is oft 
weary of his life, and could wish himself out of the 
world, Satan's walk. 

(9.) A real Christian hath more combats and conflicts 
in his own bosom, than unregenerate men have. 
Alas! carnal men glide down the stream ; the strong 
man armed keeps the palace, and the goods (the facul- 
ties) are in peace. They have no conflicts within, ex- 
cept it be between conscience and the will; but the 
wilful will soon quells the natural conscience, then the 
man is quiet in sin. But renewing grace hath a party 
in the same faculty. There are two armies in one man; 
Jacob and Esau, twins in the same womb. There is 
an I for God, and an I for the flesh ; " the good that I 

* 2 Tim. ii. 20. Luke xxii. 31 . 2 Cor. ii. 11. xi. 3, 14. 1 Pet. v. 8. 
t Terribilia de Deo, horribilia de fide. 


would, I do not." O what hard and irreconcileable 
striigglings are there in the Christian's breast ! "Flesh 
lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the 
flesh."* How hard to get to duty, how hard to keep 
with God in duty ? When the Christian would re- 
pent, believe, meditate, pray, obey, he is so fastened 
down with the sin that doth so easily beset him, that he 
knows not what to make of himself: he is weary of his 
life with this dead body tied to him, and cries out, "O 
wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me ?" 

(10.) Believers have more apprehensions of God than 
others have, and are more afraid of offending him. 
Carnal men are apt to think God is altogether such a 
one as themselves, and are ready to say, " The Lord 
shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it," 
he winks at small faults : God is merciful, these are 
venial sins and infirmities, God will take no notice of 
them: but the pious Christian looks on his sin through 
a magnifying glass, and sees the aggravations of that, 
which the world accounts a peccadillo. David cries 
out, after numbering the people, 2 Sam. xxiv. 10, " I 
have sinned g-i'eatlv in what I have done ; I have done 
very foolishly." Besides a good man hath awful ap- 
prehensions of God's justice, holiness, and truth, in exe- 
cuting his threatenings. Josiah's heart was tender, and 
he humbled himself upon hearing God's threatenings. 
David saith, " My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and 
I am afraid of thy judgments." f So did Habakkuk, 
chap. iii. 16. And had not the believer relief in Christ, 
such thoughts would swallow him up ; yet faith in 
Christ is not always at hand, and then he is exceedingly 

• Luke xi. 21. Caiit. vi. 13. Rom. vii. 15, 20, 24. Gal. v. 1/. 
+ Heb. xii. 1. Rom. vii. 24. Psal. 1. 21. xciv. 7- 2 Chron. 
xxxiv. 27. Psal. cxix 120. 


(11.) Yet further, pious men are greatly afflicted 
with God's withdrawings and the hiding of his face. 
Sinners know not what this means ; they think God 
loves them, though they know not what S2)ecial love 
signifies. Poor creatures, they have no qualms upon 
them, " no bands in life or death ; their strength is 
firm, they are not in trouble as other men." How 
often do God's childi-en experience sad eclipses ; God 
withdraws from them his quickening influence, their 
hearts are not enlarged God-wards at seasons, but 
they complain they are hardened from God's fear. 
How oft do we find God's dearest children cry out, 
" Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and countest me for 
thine enemy ?"* They complain they go forward seek- 
ing him, but cannot find him. Job xxiii. 8, 9. David, 
Heman, and even Christ himself have complained of 
God's forsaking them, not totally and finally, but in 
their present sense and feeling. And this is a doleful 
case, an insupportable burden, yea, a kind of death to 
them. This made the Psalmist cry, " While I suf- 
fer thy terrors I am distracted."! David complains of 
broken bones. None knows what this means but they 
that experience it. 

(12.) Once more, sincere Christians are much liable 
to fears and jealousies about their spiritual state. The 
ungodly seldom call this in question, they have always 
been of a good belief. Their maxim is, Hope while 
thou breathest. They have honest hearts ; and if at 
any time they dispute their condition, they quell their 
fears, and quiet their spirits with their good wishes, 
vows, prayers, attending on ordinances, and acts of 
charity. But believers have frequent retiu'ns of fears, 
not only respecting their duty, " to work out their 

* Psal. Ixxiii. 4, 5. Isa. Ixiii. 17- Job xiii. 24. 
t Psal. xxii. Ixxvii. Isa. 1. 10. Psal. Ixxxviii. 15. 
VOL. V. O 


own salvation with fear and trembling ;" but from the 
consideration of the treachery of their hearts, subtlety 
of Satan, paucity of sincere believers, and importance of 
religion ; they are ready to fear, lest a promise being 
left of entering: into rest, thev should seem to come 
short of it : nay, it is well if there be not oft too much 
slavish fear in the hearts even of the best. It is true, 
perfect love casteth out this fear ; but alas ! love is 
not yet perfect, no more than other graces, therefore 
returns of this fear may be consistent with sincerity, 
and fear hath torment. Hence it is in all these re- 
spects, that if pious men had all their hope and hap- 
piness in this life, they would be most miserable. 

You will say, All God's children are not thus exer- 
cised, many have a more easy passage to heaven. I an- 
swer, some have. But all may expect such troubles at 
one time or other of their lives. " What son is he 
whom the Father chasteneth not?"* As long as 
as there is malice in Satan, corruption in our hearts, 
or defects in our graces, we may reckon on such 
troubles as these. Our Lord hath said, " If any man 
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up 
his cross and follow me," Matt. xvi. 24. 

3. The next general consideration respects the vin- 
dication of the saints of God in this their choice. 
And this may seem necessary ; for if God's children be 
greater sufferers than others in this world, they may be 
in reason, and are by carnal men, esteemed the greatest 
fools in nature, who bring upon themselves such trou- 
bles in hopes of future happiness, which no man evei* 
saw, nor is capable of seeing in this world ; they how- 
ever cast the allurements of the world at their heels, 
and judge all men fools beside themselves. Who will 
believe them? 

• Phil. ii. 12. Heb. iv. 1. 1 John iv. 18. Heb. xii. 7. 


^ns. (1.) The eyes of converts are opened to see things 
otherwise than mdst do, or than they themselves for- 
merly did. Satan held his black hand over their eyes, 
but now God " hath shone in oui* hearts, to give the 
light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face 
of Jesus Christ," 2 Cor. iv. 4, 6. All the rest of the 
World have but one eye, Christians have each two eyes, 
of reason and grace. The scales of ignorance fall 
from their eyes : the black veil is taken away by the 
Spirit's illumination. " The eyes of their under- 
standings are enlighteiled to know the hope of his 
calling, and the riches of the glory of his inheritance 
in the saints," Eplies. i. 17, 18. They are placed a de- 
gree hi^er than others, and the higher they stand, the 
further they see. Our Lord accounts them friends, 
and courtiers know more of their king's counsels than 
others : '* His secrets are with them that fear him." 
The emerald helps failing eyes, so doth the Spirit, 

1 Cor. ii. 10—12. 

(2.) The graces of faith and hope look beyond time, 
at things invisible.* Hope that is seen is not hope, but 
that which we wait for with patience. Right hope is 
fixed beyond the veil. For we through the Spirit wait 
for the hope of righteousness by faith," Gal. v. 5. It 
is essential to the christian religion, to look not at 
things seen, but things not seen, that is, eternal, 

2 Cor. iv. 18. 

(3.) The new nature furnisheth the Christian with 
a holy impetus, and tendency to things beyond time 
and sense. Believers are renewed in knowledge, righ- 
teousness, and holiness, after the image of God, and 
thereby they are attracted to invisible objects : f being 

• 2Cor. iil. 16, John xv. 15. Psal. xxv. 14. Heb. xi. 1, 27- 
t Heb. vi. 19, 20. Rom. viii. 24, 25. 1 Thess. i. 3. Col. iii, 10. 
Eph. iv. 24. 

O 2 


" risen with Christ, they seek those things that are 
above." They are not satisfied with corporeal, pe- 
rishing objects : nothing pleaseth them but invisible 

(4.) Pious souls have a pledge and earnest of future 
things ; a foretaste, prelibation, and anticipation of 
heaven. God hath " given the earnest of his Spirit in 
our hearts," 2 Cor. i. 22. This is both a privilege 
and assurance of the bargain ; * a pledge is returned 
back, but an earnest is kept as part of the bargain, 
till all be consummated :f so that God is, in some sort, 
a debtor to make good his promise, and " the righteous 
hath hope in his death," Prov. xiv. 32. 

The subject may now be considered as affording 
scope for Instruction, Conviction and Lamentation, 
Examination, and Exhortation. 

1. Instruction. 1. It teaches us that there is a future 
state in another world, a world to come, besides this 
present evil world. God hath made more worlds 
than one. Things will not always continue in the 
same posture, as the profane scoffers of the last 
days affirm, saying, " Since the fathers fell asleep, all 
things continue as they were from the beginning of the 
creation;" which the apostle disproves, 2 Pet. iii. 3 — 10. 
All things are upon the wheel of change. Actors 
upon the stage are successively taken off, and at last 
the stage itself shall be taken down, 1 Cor. vii. 31. 
There is a " world without end." i 

2. There be some persons in this world, that shall 
be counted worthy to possess a better world : so our 
Lord saith. " But they which shall be counted wor- 
thy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the 

* Col. iii. 1,2. 2 Cor. v. 5. Eph. i. 13, 14. 

t Pi^nus redditur, arrhabo retinetur. 

+ Heb.ii. J. Eph.i.4. Heb.xi. 3. i. 2. Eph. iii. 21. 


dead, neither many nor are given in marriage ; nei- 
ther can they die any more, for they are equal unto 
the angels." There are mansions above, which Chris- 
tians shall enter and abide in ; there are heirs of the 
heavenly kingdom. 

3. A believer's best is reserved for the last. The 
Ruler of the feast said concerning the water turned into 
wine, "Thou hast kept the good wine vmtil now;"* 
so doth our Lord. Sinners have their best things in 
this life, saints in the other. Philosophers could say, 
that no man is happy before death. Solomon saith, 
" The end of a thing is better than the beginning." f 
I am sure it is so in this affair : heaven is better than 
the earth. The good things of the throne are better 
than the good things of the footstool. 

4. Real saints are the only happy men : none are 
truly happy but pious souls, " Mark the perfect 
man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man 
is peace," Psalm xxxvii. 37. Let their way be never 
so rugged, mountainous, and difficult, believers have 
the eternal God for their portion, Christ for their 
ransom, the eternal Spirit for their comforter : and 
though God in a little wrath hide his face from them 
for a moment, yet with everlasting kindness " will he 
have mercy on them," Isa. liv. 7 ; clouds will quickly 
blow over, and an everlasting sunshine shall comfort 
God's afflicted children ; when all the world is in an 
uproar, the saints shall lift up their heads and say, 
*' Our redemption draweth nigh," Luke xxi. 28. 

IL Conviction and lamentation over those poor souls 
who have no hope but in the present life. Woe, ten 
thousand woes, " to the inhabiters of the earth and 

* Luke XX. 35, 36. John xiv. 2. James ii. 5. John ii. 10. 
f Ante mortem nemo felix. Eccl. vii. 8. 

200 thp: two worlds, 

of the sea, that have their portion in this life," and 
not above. 

1. The things thou enjoyest here are but temporary, 
quickly gone ; " The world passeth away, and the 
lust thereof;" the lustre thereof, the use thereof; 
" Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, but 
God shall destroy both it and them,"* Your soulsi 
will outlive your goods and bodies ; and what will 
you do for a portion when these are gone ? You have 
neglected heaven and cannot keep earth.-f " O Lord, 
the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be 
ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be writ- 
ten in the earth," Jer. xvii. 13. Surely the fire that 
consumes the earth will blot out your names, your 
memorial shall perish for ever. 

2. Your lives are very uncertain. You little know, 
" what one day may bring forth." — " This night may 
thy soul be required of thee ;" and thou mayest 
launch forth into the vast ocean of eternity. You are 
but frail, mortal creatures, you *' dwell in houses of 
clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed 
before the moth." Your breath is in your nostrils, 
turned in and out every moment ; as many members, 
senses, and pores in your bodies, so many doors to let 
in death. When God " riseth up, no man is sure of his 
life;":f: then all your contrivances fail and vanish, 
Psal. cxlvi. 4. Study James iv. 13, 14. 

3. A boundless eternity comes in the rear of 
this short life ; an everlasting happiness or misery. 
"Wicked men go into everlasting punishment, but the 
righteous into life eternal," Matt. xxv. 46. O methinks, 

* Rev.xii. 12. Psa!. xvii. 14. 1 John ii. IJ. 1 Cor. vi. 13. 

+ Coehim negligimus, terrain non retinemus. 

i Prov. xvii. 1. Luke xii. 20. Job iv. 19. xxiv. 22. 


tliis word eternity should astonish and confound you ! 
What ailed Felix that he trembled, when Paul at the bar 
reasoned on righteousness, temperance, and judgment 
to come ? It is a wonder that an unconverted sin- 
ner abides in his senses, when he thinks of passing into 
a world of endless, restless, remediless eternity ! so 
that Dion, an atheist, would rather choose to endure 
the greatest torment than to die. 

4. When death hath struck his last stroke, there 
will be no remedy, no returning to life again, no mes- 
sage of reconciliation sent into the grave or hell. The 
door is shut, the gulf is fixed ; there is no reversing of 
things ; as sinners are found at death, so they must 
abide for ever. " It is appointed unto men once to 
die, and after that the judgment." Then will be the 
decision of their final state. The richest men may 
weep and howl for the miseries that come upon them.* 
Now farewell all their joys in this world, they must 
lodge with devils and damned spirits : better it had 
been for them that they had never been born. Crying 
at the door will avail nothing; pleading privileges 
will be rejected, " I know you not" will be the answer. 
O forlorn state of graceless souls ! You are like to 
abide by it " till you have paid the utmost farthing," 
which will never be ; after thousands, ten thousands, 
yea millions of ages, you will be no nearer an end, 
than the first moment you entered that infernal lake. 
O think on these things in time, consider the issue, 
you that " forget God, lest he tear you in pieces, and 
there be none to deliver." f 

III. Examination. What number are you of, 
saints or sinners ? Are you content with this present 
life, or expectants of a better ? As you love your 

* Acts xxiv. 25. Heb. ix. 27- James v. 1. 
t Matt. XXV. 11, 12. Luke xiii. 26. Psal. 1. 22. 


souls, and dread being lost, try your state ; be not 
put off with uncertainties, nor presume without Scrip- 
ture w^arrant. Judge yourselves by the same word 
that must judge you at the last day ; you have it in 
your hands. Oh ! be faithful to God and your own 
souls in this weighty case ; it is not a trifling matter, 
it is as much as yoiu* souls are worth. 

You will say. How shall we know our state for an- 
other world ? 

Answ. I shall briefly propound these ten questions, 
answer them faithfully as in the presence of the heart- 
searching God. 

(1.) Are you begotten " again to this lively hope 
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead?" 
1 Pet. i. 3. Know for certain, this hope is not 
born with you, you are without hope by nature ; yea, 
you live without hope till you be born again. I 
deny not, but most unregenerate sinners have a kind 
of presumptuous hope, but convincing grace breaks 
the neck of this, and drives them into woful despair, 
in order to bring in a better hope. Is thy former 
hope sunk, lost ? hath converting grace introduced a 
solid, scriptural, well grounded hope ? * it is only the 
poor that have hope. Hath God brought thee into 
the valley of Achor, and then opened for thee a, door 
of hope ? Do you turn to your strong hold as pri- 
soners of hope ? I despair of you till you despair of 
yourselves, f 

(2.) Are you very jealous of yourselves and willing 
to be tried ? You have heard so much of the nature 
of grace, that you grow very suspicious of yourselves, 
and fear you have it not, because so much goes to it ; 
you think and say, " God forbid I should die with a 

* John xii. 48. Eph. ii. 12. Job v. 16. 
+ Hos. ii. 15. Zech. ix. 12. 


lie in my right hand ;" I aril afraid lest I should 
think myself something when I am nothing;* therefore 

1 will prove my own work and heart, and desire the 
assistance of ministers and christian friends, and tell 
them my case ; I will observe their experience and com- 
pare myself with them, go to scripture characters, lay 
judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, 
that my treacherous heart may not beguile me about 
this important case, how I may come off at last. 

(3.) What are your thoughts most working upon, 
or taken up with, things seen or unseen ? " Where 
your treasure is, there will your hearts be also."f What 
are your morning and evening thoughts, your cares, 
fears, and anxieties? Do you purposely set time 
apart to study eternity? What occasional medita- 
tions have you about this weighty subject? Mr. 
Ward, that holy divine, sat silent in company a sea- 
son, at last out of a deep study cried out, " Oh ! for 
ever, for ever, for ever," for a quarter of an hour to- 
gether, being opprest with the solemn thoughts of an 
everlasting state ; so will you be deeply concerned, so 
as almost to forget all other things, as those mentioned 

2 Cor. iv. 18: little matter how things go with us in this 
world whether we be rich or poor, honourable or des- 
pised, if only it go well with us in the other world. 

(4.) Do you feel in yourselves some evidences of a 
better state, which makes you willing to endure any 
hardship for it ? Heb. x. 34, " Ye had compassion of 
me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your 
goods." Why so, were they mad or senseless ? no, 
but " knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a 
better and an enduring substance." It is strange that 
they despised worldly enjoyments, but they had better 
above ; as it is said of Alexander going to conquer the 
* Isa. xliv. 20. Gal. vi. 3. t Matt. vi. 21. 


Indies, that he threw his gold about him, living in 
hopes to have enough there ; so the believer is going to 
better riches. How knows he this? ^Vhy, he hath the 
counterpart thereof in his own bosom ; something in 
his heart which answers that above. This he knows not 
from books or discourses, but from the workings of 
his own heart, God hath drawn a bill of exchange for 
better things in the other world ; " And he knows 
whom he hath believed," and dares to venture his soul 
and all on his promise. Abraham and all his seed 
have something to build their strong confidence upon 
and from which to derive consolation, " when thay lay 
hold on this hope set before them." 

(5.) Are you disposed to communicate yom* expe- 
rience to others, for their benefit ? The primitive 
Christians loved to be talking of their heavenly coun- 
try, and declared plainly that they sought it ;* and 
indeed " out of the abundance of the heart the mouth 
speaks." Anatomists observe, that the heart and the 
tongue hang both upon one string, so that there is a 
sympathy and proximity between them. The speech 
is both the index and the interpreter of the mind. 
" Come all ye that fear God, and I will declare what 
he hath done for my soul. O taste and see that the 
Lord is good."f I cannot but impart to my christian 
friends something of God's love to me, that they may 
praise him and love him with me. This is the duty 
and character of a child of God, " to be ready always 
to give an account to every man that asketh him a 
reason of the hope that is in him, with meekness and 
fear," 1 Pet. iii. 15. This hope will discover itself. 

(6.) What is the tendency of your desires and 
prayers ? Do you " hunger and thirst after righteous- 

* 2 Tim. 1, 12. Heb. vi. 13—18. xi. 14. 
t Matt. xii. 34. P?al. Ixvi. lb', xxxiv. 8. 


ness ? If God would leave you to choose, the kingdom 
of heaven, or all the kingdoms of this world, which 
would you prefer deliberately ? Are you of David's 
mind, Psal. iv. 6, 7, " There be many that say, who 
will show us any good ? Lord, lift thou up the light 
of thy countenance upon us." It is thyself I have 
chosen to be my portion, my heritage for ever. " The 
desire of my soul is to thy name, and to the remem- 
brance of thee," day and night, public and secret; 
" with my spirit within me will I seek thee early. 
My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee 
in this dry and thirsty land, where no water is. Oh ! 
when shall I come and appear before God ? " The 
whole world is an insignificant cypher ; many a time 
I have opened my bosom to thee, and uttered se- 
riously the words of David, Psal. Ixxiii. 25, " Whom 
have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon 
earth that I desire beside thee." Heaven would not 
be heaven without thee, and earth, yea, hell itself 
would be heaven, if I may enjoy thee. 

(7.) Doth this hope of heaven purify your hearts, 
cleanse your hands, mortify your passions, and keep 
your souls at a distance from all occasions of sin? 
1 John iii. 3, "Every man that hath this hope in him, 
purifieth himself, even as he is pure." You will not be 
afraid to be called Puritans in this good sense, but will 
study purity in heart and life. "Blessed are the pure in 
heart, for they shall see God,"* and none else; "for there 
shall in no wise enter" the holy city " any thing that 
defileth ;" remember it, " none shall stand in his holy 
place, but he that hath clean hands and a pure heart." 
Deceive not yourselves, without holiness you shall 
never see God.f It is true, you find much pollution in 

* Isa. xxvi. 8, 9. Psal. Ixiii. 1, 2. xlii. 1, 2. IMatt. v. 8. 
t Rev. xxi. 27- Psal. xxiv. 3, 4. Heb. xii. 14. 


your hearts ; but do you bewail it, complain of it, 
hate it, and are you " cleansing yourselves from all 
filthiness, both of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness 
in the fear of God ? 

(8.) Do you make this your great case of conscience 
upon all occasions ? " Men and brethren, what shall 
we do ? what must I do to be saved ? how may I in- 
herit eternal life ? asking the way to Zion with your 
faces thitherwards."* Are you solicitous and full of 
care, and thoughtfulness, till this great question be 
put out of question, upon scripture grounds ? Some- 
times you have hopes, then your fears return. What 
must a soul do in this case? I answer, he must venture 
himself on the promise of God. Job saith, " Though 
he slay me, yet will I trust in him," and though 
he walk in darkness, he must stay himself on God ; 
and when all is done he must appeal to God, desire 
him to search him, as David frequently did;t and as 
Peter, •' Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest 
that I love thee," John xxi. 15, 17. The soul setteth 
itself as a glass in the sun, as Monsieur de Zenti said 
of himself, to be throughly viewed. 

(9.) What pains do you take for another world ? do 
you not only seek slightly to enter into heaven, but 
do you strive even to an agony ? do you frequent all 
ordinances, public, private, and secret ? do you fight the 
good fight of faith, run the race set before you with 
patience, watch over your own hearts ? Do you " seek 
first the kingdom of God, and labour hard for the 
meat that endures for ever." Do you give "all diligence 
to make your calling and election sure?"i are you 
never weary, is it your delight, your meat and drink 

* 2 Cor. vii. 1. Acts ii. 37. xvi. 30. IMatt. xix. 56. Jer. 1. 1. 
t Job xiii. 15 Isa. 1. 10. Psal. xxvi. 2. cxxxix. 23. 
+ Luke xiii. 24. IMatt. vi. 33. John vi. 27. 2 Pet. i. 5. 


to do God's will? his commands are not gi'ievous. 
When the hunters found Macedonius in his cave in 
the wilderness, and asked him what he did there ? he 
asked them, what do you here ? they said they hunt- 
ed their game ; he answered, " I also hunt after my 

(10.) What end do you propose to yourselves in la- 
bouring for the life to come ? Are your hearts taken off 
things below, to study the things of eternity ? You 
are not much taken up with the things of this life, good 
or bad, but make it your scope and business to pursue 
those of the life to come, 2 Cor. iv. 16 — 18, "We faint 
not," we are never weary, so as to desist our course. 
Why, what is the matter? jur) o-kottovvtwv, we look not at, 
we make not seen things our scope, or aim, but things 
not seen, spiritual, eternal things. The enjoyment of 
God is the main thing we aim at. This, this is both 
the end of the work and of the workman. This is 
the object of my aim ; " I press toward the mark for 
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 
Nothing short of heaven shall satisfy me. My rela- 
tions, creature-comforts, yea, ordinances themselves, I 
will own, and use as helps, in order to obtain a better 
state above. O that I may at last *' receive the end of 
my faith, the salvation of my soul !"f This is the 
frame and character of a candidate of immortality. 
Deal faithfully with your hearts herein. 

IV Use is of exhortation, and which may be ad- 
dressed to worldly minded and gracious persons. 

As to the former. It is the hardest thing in the 
world to divorce men's hearts from the present 
world, and raise them to the unseen things of another 
life. We come upon a very difficult errand, to per- 

* John iv. 34. 1 John v. 3. Ego etiam venor Deum meum. 
t Finis opevis et operantis. Phil. iii. 14. 1 Pet. i. 9. 


suade men against their own sense, and Ventnre all 
upon what they never saw. Most men are of the 
same mind practically, with that cardinal, who said, 
*' He would not exchange his part in Paris, for his 
part in paradise." O wretched creature. Is not God 
better than the world ? Is not the soul better than the 
body ? Dare you call the gospel a fable ? " What 
will it profit you to gain the whole world, and lose your 
own soul?" Suppose you had command of the universe^ 
and all creatures were at your beck, what can they 
do for you ? Can they rescue a soul from death, or 
save a soul from hell, or deliver it from God's wrath ? 
Shall not the kings of the earth, the great, and rich, 
call to rocks and mountains, to cover and secure them 
from the wrath of the Lamb, * but all in vain ? 
Let me pause and ask these four questions : 

1. Do you believe that you have an immortal 
spark within you, which will live when your bodies are 
turned to dust? The corruptible body and spiritual 
substance are two distinct things. " God breathed 
into man the breath of life, and he became a living 
soul." That is something distinct from the body ; 
and at last the body returns to dust, and the spirit 
returns to God who gave it. f Our Saviour asserts, 
that the soul will have its existence when separated 
from the body, Luke xii. 4, 5. And do you think it 
wisdom to provide only for the worst part, and neg- 
lect the better, which is of more value and lasting 
duration ? 

2. Do you verily believe that these worldly things 
will save or satisfy an immortal soul ? Do you think 
that these things are capable of making you happy? 
The creature is but the instrument, and can do us no 

* Matt. xvi. 26. Psal. xlix. 6, 7- Rev. vi. 15, 16. 
t Gen. ii. 7- Eccl. xii. 7- 


good of itself; it is limited to act in its sphere,, but 
the soul is above it. The creature is material, the 
soul, of a spiritual nature. The soul was made for God, 
immediately to love, serve, and enjoy him ; creatures 
formed of matter were made for inferior ends. The 
creature is of short continuance, David saw " an end 
of all perfection ;" but the soul runs parallel with 
the life of God, and line of eternity. Though the 
soul be finite, yet nothing less than an infinite God 
can content it. Solomon enjoyed the world in as 
ample a manner as ever man did, yet writes vanity 
upon all : and, what can the man do that comes after 
the king? Stop a little and see how others have sped 
in this case, before you venture too far. 

3. Do you really believe that the best and worst of 
man is in a future state ? that there is a heaven for the 
righteous, and a hell for the wicked, that the righteous 
go to heaven, the wicked to hell? and that though 
wicked men flourish in this world, " yet they are re- 
served to the day of destruction," and a blessed " inhe- 
ritance is reserved in heaven for the godly."* Do you 
really believe this ? If not, you contradict the God of 
truth in his promises and threatenings : and whose 
word shall stand, God's or yours ? Or if you do believe 
it, and do not act accordingly, you are condemned by 
your own consciences, and out of your own mouths* 
Consider the helps you have now ; it will aggravate 
your sin, and render your condemnation more intoler- 
able, when you shall see neighbours and strangers " sit 
down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom 
of heaven, and you church-members the children of 
the kingdom cast out into outer darkness, where shall 
be weeping and gnashing of teeth." f 

* Psal. cxix 96. Eccl. xii. 7. ii. 17. Matt. xxv. 33—46. 
+ Psal. ix. 17. Job xxi. 30. 1 Pet. i. 4. iMatt. viii. 11, 12. 


4. ^Vhat have you to say for yourselves? Will you 
plead privileges, as some did Luke xiii. 26, 27? Alas! 
that will but aggravate your sin and misery, for he 
will answer you, " I tell you, once for all, I know 
not whence you are, depart." Will you say you asso- 
ciated with wise virgins, and had oil in your lamps, 
crying at the door, " Lord, Lord, open to us ?" He 
will give you the same answer, " Verily, I say unto 
you, I know you not," I will not own you, begone out 
of my sight. Nay, if you could plead that you have 
prophesied in his name, cast out devils, done many 
marvellous works, still he will profess unto you, " I 
never knew you, depart from me, ye that work ini- 
quity." Still depart, depart, depart ; none of these 
pleas were valid without a principle of grace, an inte- 
rest in Jesus Christ : nay, we find that the mouths of 
guilty sinners will be stopped, whatever now they 
imagine they can plead then. They will be confuted 
and confounded, when the king shall say, " Friend, 
how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding- 
garment?" The text saith, " he was speechless," 
Matt. xxii. 11, 12. At that day sinners will be non- 
suited, and shall not have one word to say for them- 
selves. O look to it, better be silenced here by con- 
viction, than in that day by confusion : " Now every 
mouth must be stopped, and all the world must be- 
come guilty before God," f that by this means men 
may be driven out of themselves, and fly to the city 
of refuge. 

But you may ask, what would you have us to do? 
I answer, 

(1.) Study the vanity of sublunary good, the un- 
suitableness and uncertainty of all things in this lower 
world ; the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and 
* Matt. XXV. 11, 12. vii. 21. xxii. 46. Rom. iii. 19. 


pride of life; these are the best things below the moon; 
and scripture and experience testify that the world 
passeth away and the lust thereof. Solomon long 
since hath passed this sentence upon them, "That all 
is vanity." And, why " wilt thou set thine eyes upon 
that which is not?" Alas ! these things have a non- 
existence as to soul concerns : they have nothing to do 
in this main affair ; you cannot buy grace with silver, 
nor heaven with gold, nor soul-ease with sensual 
pleasures: "your gold and silver are cankered, yea, the 
rust of them will be a witness against you, and eat 
your flesh like fire."* However, there is a great snare 
in this world, when too hotly pursued, which excites 
" foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in de- 
struction." O how many have lost their souls by an 
eager pursuit of the world ! Judas and Demas stand 
as monuments and a warning to all posterity. O look 
through the grave at this world, then you will see 
how insignificant it is! "Whose shall these things 
be which thou hast provided ? " Can they advantage 
you in the grave, or in the other world, or shall you 
live for ever to enjoy these, or will their enjoyment 
make you happy ? Ponder a little on this head. 

(2.) Study the excellence and necessity of things 
above : consult the scriptures and the experience of all 
the saints. They will tell you, " that eye hath not 
seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart 
of man the things which God hath prepared for them 
that love him," 1 Cor. ii. 9- Heavenly things excel 
earthly, as far as heaven is above earth. O the glo- 
rious above! "In his presence is fulness of joy, at his 
right hand are pleasm'es for evermore."! The Gauls 
having tasted the sweet wines made of Italian grapes, 

* 1 John ii. 16, 17- EccL i. 2. Prov. xxiii. 5. James v. 3. 
t 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10. Luke xii. 20. Psalm xvi. 11. 
VOL. V. P 


never rested till they had conquered the country where 
tliey grew. If you had but a taste of heavenly 
delights, you would think no labour too much to 
obtain them ; and if you would study them, you could 
not but desire them, your eye would affect your heart. 
Heavenly objects are most suitable to your heaven- 
born spirits. Let dingy colliers of the world dig iu 
the earth ; let yoiu' souls study spiritual objects. See 
the majesty of God, the excellency of Christ, and the 
sweetness of God-enjoyment, and then you will be so 
transported, as to take the greatest pains to get pre- 
pared for heavenly mansions. 

(3.) Study the necessary qualifications for the enjoy- 
ment of God. " He that cometh to God must believe 
that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him," Heb. xi. 6 ; '•' whosoever believeth 
in him shall not perish, but have eternal life ; this is 
life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ" in a sincere 
and saving manner. " There is a repentance to sal- 
vation, not to be repented of; if you through the 
Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live," 
that is, be saved. " Christ is become the author of 
eternal salvation to all that obey him."* Self-denial, 
renouncing the world, dedicating yourselves to God, 
walking according to the rules of the word ; these 
and such like, " are things that accompany salvation."! 
O be concerned about these ; if you intend to be 
happy, you must go in God's way, accept his terms, 
else in vain do you think to be happy : God will not 
abate any thing of what he hath lined out in his word 
as the conditions of salvation ; you must therefore 
inquire with the convinced jailor. Acts xvi. 30, " What 
must I do to be saved ? " Consult the scriptures, pro- 

* John iii. 15. xvii. 3. 2 Cor. vii. 10. Rom. viii. 13. Heb. v. 9, 
t Heb. vi. 9. 


povmd your case to ministers, ask christian friends, 
and be very serious in this weighty case. 

(4.) Study the great end of your creation and re- 
demption. Learn the meaning of the first question in 
your catechism, and the answer : " Man's chief end is 
to glorify God, and enjoy him for ever." What have 
you else to do ? Do you think God sent you into the 
world to eat, and drink, and sleep, like the brutes ? O 
remember you have noble souls, capable of knowing, 
loving, and enjoying God ! Can you find in your hearts 
to neglect your chief good, and your highest end ? 
Will you be so brutish as to mind only objects of 
sense ? What did God put rational souls into your bo- 
dies for? Was it to contrive to be rich, or get estates, 
" or to make provision for the flesh," or to scheme 
and plod to maintain yourselves and families ? Did 
not God make them for himself to serve him according 
to their capacities? Must animals serve God better than 
you, and rise up as witnesses against you ? And can 
you effect any thing in your callings without God's 
blessing ? Do you not read, " that godliness is profit- 
able to all things?" Are not creatures unavailable 
without God's blessing? Yea, doth not God say, "He 
will curse your blessings if you lay it not to heart ?"* 
Alas! sirs, " Wherefore do you spend your money 
for that which is not bread?" Why do you despise 
the true riches ? Remember " one thing is needful ;"f 
earth will avail nothing, heaven will recompence all 
your pains. 

(5.) Duly weigh the ends of the righteous and wicked, 
the event of sin and holiness. Judge of these, not as you 
see at present, but as the issue will be. Judge not 
according to outward appearance, but judge righteous 

* Rom. xiii. 14. Prov. xvi. 4. 1 Tim. iv. 8. ^lal. ii. 2. 
t Isa. Iv. 2. Luke x. 40. 

P 2 


jiulgment. Read Job xxi. Psal. Ixxiii. and xxxvii, 
" Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, the 
end of that man is peace," all is well that ends 
well. If believers have a tossing sea, they have 
a quiet haven. Look not on persons through the 
world's spectacles, be not determined by the world's 
jury. Stay till the last scene, and conclude not too 
soon. A decisive day is coming, "judge nothing before 
the time." Stand at God's bar, let scripture be heard, 
by which you must be judged. See the exit, " The 
wicked are driven away in their wickedness, but the 
righteous hath hope in his death."* The angel fetched 
poor Lazarus's soul, and carried it into Abraham's 
bosom ; but the devil hurries away the souls of wicked 
men to hell-torments. Think with thyself, man, what 
number thou art of, and who is thy master; consider 
thus, how shall I come off at last, when the tables are 
turned, and all must appear in their proper colours ; 
not as they seemed to men, or in their self-delusions ; 
there will then be strange discoveries. 

(6.) Attend diligently vipon ordinances, divine insti- 
tutions. When God sets up a candle, turn not your 
backs on it, waste it not, sin it not away, every ser- 
mon is an alarm for eternity, an offer of Christ 
and eternal life, slight it at your peril. You must 
give account of opportunities. Remember, " Wis- 
dom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the 
streets." Read and study Prov. i. 20 — 32. Ministers 
treat with you in Christ's name, entreat you in Christ's 
stead to be reconciled to God. " Now is the accepted 
time, now is the day of salvation." Come now and 
you are welcome, yield to the calls of God, stand 
out no longer, let not the word of salvation return in 
vain. Alas ! why should " line be upon line, precept 
John viii. 15. Psal. xcii. 7, 8. 1 Cor. iv. 4, 5. Prov. xiv. 32. 



upon precept?" yet you will not hear, but go back- 
ward, and so be broken, and snared, and taken. Why 
should the dust of ministers' feet, the studies of 
their brains, and sweat of their brows rise up as wit- 
nesses against you ? Mind what you hear, and hear 
for the time to come. Apply what you hear, and live 
up to it. 

(7.) Associate with God's people. Let those be your 
companions here, whom you desire to be with in the 
other world. David saith, " I am a companion of all 
them that fear thee."* As this is a good sign of your 
lodging with them hereafter, so it is a great help 
heaven-wards. For, godly persons will be counselling, 
admonishing and "provoking you to love, and to good 
works," edifying " and building up yourselves in your 
most holy faith," keeping one another lively, and 
helping you up when you are fallen. It is not good 
to be alone. Improve christian society, desire them 
to be faithful to you, to pray for you, and with you. 
An humble Christian may prove of great use to help 
you heaven-wards. Improve from the gifts and graces 
of all, " Go your ways forth by the footsteps of the 
flock, and feed your kids besides the shepherds' 
tents," Cant. i. 8. 

(8.) "Redeem time." Upon this moment depends 
eternity; twice was this sentence written from the 
prison in Rome. Improve every inch of time; be 
diligent either in your general or particular calling, f 
Be like Christ and Mary, the former was still doing 
good, the latter still receiving good. Time is j^recious; 
cast it not at your heels. God gives us not time to 
be lavished out on trifles: possess not days, weeks, 
months, or years of vanity. Live every day as if it were 

* 2 Cor. V. 20. vi. 2. Isa. xxviii. 12, 13. Psal. cxix. 63. 
t Heb. X. 24. Jude, 20.. Eccl. iv. 9—12. Eph. v. 16. Col. iv. 5. 


the last day, so your last will be your best day. It is 
a dreadful thing for men to spend their days as a tale 
that is told, to lavish out their time, nihil agendo, in 
doing nothing, or male agendo, in doing evil, or aliud 
agendo, in doing something else than what they ought: 
trifling, sporting, jesting, and drinking when they 
should be about their master's business. As, sujDpose 
a factor beyond sea, after seven years, should bring in 
an account of so much time and money, spent in 
hawking, hunting, gaming, frequenting alehouses and 
taverns, but little or no time spent about his employer's 
affairs : how would this be taken ? Pray remember 
that text, Rom. xiv. 12, " So then, every one of us 
shall give account of himself to God." 

(9.) Fall presently on soul-work, defer not at your pe- 
ril. Observe and close in with the Spirit's suggestions. 
If you must not say to your neighbour, " go and come 
again, and to-morrow I will give, when thou hast it 
by thee ;" much less must you say so to God. Im- 
peratives have no future tense. Present despatch is 
essential to God's commands ; he will not be put off 
with delays ; the market lasts not all the year ; time 
and tide stay for no man ; what you do, do quickly, 
God will not always strive with you, nor wait your 
leisure ;* besides your good intentions will cool, your 
hearts will grow harder, Satan get faster hold of you. 
Hence saith the apostle, " Exhort one another daily, 
while it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened 
through the deceitfulness of sin," Heb. iii. 13 ; there- 
fore when you are convinced that any thing is your 
duty, fall close to the practice of it ; and what you 
see to be a sin, instantly renounce it; be quick at work, 
for God may be quicker tlian you are aware, and you 
can do nothing in the grave, Eccl. ix. 10. 
** Job vii. 3. Prov. iii. 28. Gen. vi. 3. 


(10.) Down on your knees before the Lord, confess 
your sins of omission and commission, your defects and 
imperfections in your best duties, your impotency and 
inability to help yourselves, earnestly beg converting- 
grace, as Ephraim, Jer. xxxi. 18, "Turn me, and I shall 
be turned ;" if thou dost this, the work will be done to 
purpose : and thou hast promised in the covenant of 
grace, to take away the heart of stone, and give a new 
heart, and put thy fear in our hearts, that we may not 
depart from thee ; this I want, this I must have ; I 
cannot be denied of it. A new heart is fit for new 
heavens; as for this world, it is too little for my aspir- 
ing soul, I cannot, I will not be put off with it ; let the 
world go, so I may have God ; let earth go, so I may 
have heaven. "Whom have I in heaven but thee, 
there is none," person or thing " I desire in comparison 
of thee." It is true, I am a beggar, and have nothing; 
but I find thou givest thy Spirit to such as ask him of 
thee.* I am a debtor, and cannnot pay one farthing ; 
but Christ hath discharged the debts of penitent, be- 
lieving souls. I am a great sinner and prodigal, not 
worthy to be called thy servant, much less thy son ; 
but Christ came into the world to save sinners, yea, 
some chief of sinners. It is true, I cannot work faith 
or repentance in my heart, but thou canst ; they are 
both the gift of God, they are covenant mercies ; 
though I cannot claim them, yet I beg them for 
Christ's sake. O pay not my portion in gold, silver? 
pleasures, or honours ; I cast away these things with a 
holy disdain, though I praise God for worldly conve- 
niences ; "What wait I for? my hope is in thee,"f 
thou art my portion in the land of the living ; give me 

* Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. Jer, xxxii. 40. Psal. Ixxiii. 25. John iv. 10. 
t Luke XV. 17—19. I Tim. i. 15. Psal. xxxix.7- 


pardon, peace, grace, glory, the God of heaven, God in 

The second sort are pious persons to whom this use 
belongs, by way of — caution — counsel — comfort and 

1. Caution. If this be true, that none are so miser- 
able as real saints, should all their hopes and happiness 
be in this lower world ; then first, be not weary of liv- 
ing in the world : life is a mercy, let no pressures make 
you discontented with it \ this is too common when 
in some straits ; and in an ill humour, some good 
men have wished for death. Moses saith, Numb. xi. 
15, " If thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, 
out of hand." " Elijah requested for himself, that he 
might die."! Jonah would needs die of pettishness; 
and tv/ice he said, " It is better for me to die than to 
live," Jonah iv. 3, 8; and God interprets this to be a fruit 
of his anger, or violent passion, verse 4 ; and indeed 
present pressures and disappointments are apt to breed 
discontent, because the holiest men have too much of 
sense, and too little of faith. But take heed of this, it 
is a fault : 

For consider (1.) When thus you are weary of life, 
and would needs die in this sullen humour, you are 
most unready and unfit to die ; you know not what 
you ask : when you come to yourselves, you will per- 
haps be of another mind : as the poor man under his 
bui'den, called for death, it came and asked what he 
would with it, he answered, only help me up with my 
burden. So it is a question, if death come indeed, and 
your eyes be opened, what mind you will be of. If 
you were yourselves, you would be loth to die in 
such a himiour. 

* 1 Kings xix. 4. 


(21.) Your lives are none of your own, but at God's 
disposal ; " to God the Lord belong the issues from 
death." Thus he holdeth our souls in life; our 
times are in his hands : it is a piece of arrogancy and 
presumption to dispose of ourselves, or imagine that 
any mortal man is sui juris, at his own disposal. 

(3.) You are to look upon natural life as a mercy, 
yea, the foundation of all outward mercies. David 
saith, " Thy loving kindness is better than life ;" as if 
he had said, if there were any thing better than life, 
God's love exceeds it. Hence it was, that in the midst 
of honest Baruch's sad complaints, and mixture of per- 
sonal and public calamities coming upon him, God pro- 
miseth for all that, "thy life will I give unto thee for a 
prey," Jer.xlv. 3,5. Surely that is worth accepting, thou 
hast no cause then to complain. 

(4.) The wheel of providence may turn ; you may 
outlive your present distresses, and see a fairer day, 
as many have done. Job cursed the day of his birth, 
but he lived to see a strange revolution, " God blessed 
the latter end of Job more than his beginning." So 
it may be with you. 

You will say. It is not merely affliction that creates 
my discontent and weariness of life ; no, no, it is sin, 
this body of death, I am even wearied out with it. 

I answer. It is well that this is your burden, but 
you must continue in the field till your Captain call 
you off, and give you a discharge. However, know that 
you must not absolutely, or impatiently desire death, 
merely to be rid of sin, but still with submission and 
under correction. You may perhaps be in a strait 
as Paul was, whether to choose life or death,* but still 
you must refer yourselves to God, let him use his 
pleasure. Should it be his pleasure that I should re- 
* Psal. Ixviii. 20. Ixiii. 3. Job iii. 1—3. xlii. 12. Phil. i. 23. 

220 THE TWO vroiiLDSs. 

main still longer here to conflict with spiritual ene- 
mies, if grace will support me, and God have any 
glory by me, I am content. 

Oh, but you say, Why should I continue to live, I 
do no good in my place, I do but cumber the ground, 
and do not honour God. 

Ans. (1.) No man doth know of what use he is while 
he lives. It is your humility to judge thus meanly 
of yom'selves ; that is good, only let not your modesty 
issue in discontent, but provoke you to more activity 
for God and usefulness in your generation. There 
is a medium between vain arrogance and base pusil- 
lanimity. Thank God if you be a stick in the hedge, 
though you be not a main post, or a pillar in the 
house of God. Be content to be dismissed, like old 
Simeon, Ijuke ii. 29, " Lord, said he, now lettest thou 
thy servant depart in peace according to thy word." 

(2.) Let Christians on the other hand take heed lest 
they too eagerly desire to live, and be unwilling to 
die. In this case also the best of God's children may 
be loth to die ; for death is an enemy to nature, 
though a friend to grace : it is " the king of terrors." 
Even good Jeremiah makes supplication that he might 
not " return to the house of Jonathan, lest," saith he, 
" I die there," Jer. xxxvii. 20. Christ tells Peter that 
even when he was old, they would carry him whither 
he would not, John xxi. 18. Alas ! the best persons 
may linger in this world, as Lot in Sodom, though 
vexed in it. We are in bondage in these bodies of 
cla}^ but too like Israel, loth to leave our slavery.* It 
is the grace of God that must help us to look beyond 
death, that can make us willing to die. But grace is 
not always in exercise, and we know that death is a 
parting of the dearest friends, body and soul, as Jona- 
• Job xviii. 14. Gen. xix. 16. Exod, xiv, 12. 


than and David. The best believe but in part, yet 
when faith prevails, unseen things are most desirable : 
and the believer can say with triumphant David, 
" Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, I will fear no evil ; for thou art with me, thy 
rod and thy staff they comfort me," Psal. xxiii. 4. 
But " the spirit is willing," though " the flesh be 
weak."* As assurance increaseth, holy confidence 
gains ground. And why are you short, after making 
so long a profession and enjoying so many privileges ? 
Dare you not trust God with your souls ? Do not chil- 
dren long to go to bed in their father's hand, though 
in the dark? What have you been doing all this 
while ? Are you in love with this polluted Avorld? 
Do not you long to throw off this burden of sin? 
Is not your case suspicious, when you are so loth to 
die ? Say to your dull souls as a good man did,f " Go 
forth my soul, go forth, to meet thy beloved bride- 

2. By way of instruction, counsel may be given to 
pious persons, in these ten particulars. 

(1.) Study contentment. Be content with God's 
allowance in the world, be it less or more.+ A little 
of the world will serve to bear your charges to heaven. 
Seek not to be rich, which may prove a burden to 
you. The text saith, " Abraham was very rich," valde 
gravis i very heavy ; so the Hebrew. It is that which 
will render your passage to heaven more difficult, as a 
camel going through the eye of a needle : and this 
will make your accounts greater and worse to settle, 
beside the temptation and snare to which riches would 
expose you. A middle state is most eligible, wise 
Agur desired neither poverty nor riches. || Your busi- 

" Matt. xxvi. 41. t Egredere, anima, egredere. % Heb. xiii. 5. 
II Gen. xiii. 2. Matt. xix. 24. 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10. Prov. xxx. 8, 9. 


ness is to derive your contentment from God's provi- 
dence. Paul learned this hard lesson, Phil. iv. 12 ; so 
must you. God's allowance with his blessing is an 
eligible dish ; let it not be patience perforce, because 
you cannot help it, but let it be your choice ; a little 
time will mend things. 

(2.) Take pains in heaven's road ; you are not to 
work long, work hard. Think no labour too much ; 
you know that it " shall not be in vain in the Lord." 
Your wages will abundantly compensate your work. 
These poor things of the world are not obtained with- 
out industry ; and do you think to get heaven without 
diligence? "Strive to enter in at the strait gate," saith 
our Lord, " for many, I say unto you, will seek to 
enter in, and shall not be able." Sluggish seekers are 
final losers. " Work out your own salvation : labour 
not for the meat that perish eth, but for that which en- 
dureth to everlasting life ;" not that you must earn 
heaven with all your labour, for eternal life is God's 
free gift ; but God hath determined, you shall not 
have it without :* in good earnest begin your work, 
watch and pray; ply hard at the throne of grace. "Give 
diligence to make your calling and election sure ; fight 
the good fight of faith ; lay hold on eternal life ; 
watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, 
be strong:"! live like saints, and you shall die as 

(3.) Draw forth your faith, and hope to better ob- 
jects than this world affords, or can be obtained here. 
Indeed the proper object of faith is things invisible ; 
and hope that is seen is not hope ; for what a man 
seeth, why doth he yet hope for ? :j: nothing attainable 

* 1 Cor. XV. 58. Luke xiii. 24. Phil. ii. 12. Rom. vi. 23. 
t 2 Pet. i. 10. 1 Tim. vi. 12. 1 Cor. xvi. 13. 
t Heb. xi. 26, 27- Rom. viii. 24. 


ill this world is either suitable or durable, and there- 
fore cannot be your happiness, I suffer hard things, sed 
meliora spero, but I hope for better : when the lease 
of my life is expired, I shall take possession of my 
inheritance. God is the hope of Israel; he hath helped 
me in straits ; I have rich experience of assistance ; 
these things I call to mind, therefore have I hope ; 
were it not for this my heart would sink and break : 
" I had fainted unless I had believed to see the good- 
ness of the Lord in the land of the living." In this 
land of life, a sojourner having to receive money, will 
remit large sums to his own country ; so do you take 
letters of credence to be paid above. 

(4.) Let your hearts go out to things above, study 
the excellence, certainty, necessity of these divine 
objects, that your hearts may be elated therewith. O 
how the thoughts thereof will sweeten your bitter pil- 
grimage ; " set your affections on things above, not on 
things on the earth." This is a sign you are risen 
with Christ, Col. iii. 12 ; where should your " hearts 
be but where your treasure is ? " * O what " riches 
of the glory of the inheritance of the saints !" This 
is transporting. A young heir hath his thoughts run- 
ning out upon his estate, which he is to enjoy when 
he comes to full age. Human art cannot take the 
dimensions of the third heavens, much less of those 
things, which " eye hath not seen, nor ear heard ; nor 
hath it entered in the heart of man, the things 
which God hath prepared for them that love him." -f 
But though you cannot comprehend them, yet you 
should admire them, and raise up your affections to 

(5.) Make haste through this evil world to heaven, 

• Jer. xiv. 8. Lam. iii. 21. Psal. xxvii. 13. Matt. vi. 21. 
•I Eph. i. 18. 1 Cor. ii. 9. 

224 THE TWO V\'011LDS. 

2 Pet. iii. 12, " Looking for, and hasting to this blessed 
day," and state. Do not j^ou see how fast the blessed 
society is hasting home into the arms of their beloved ? 

why do you lag behind ? Linger not like Lot in 
Sodom : lift up your feet and follow your leaders. It 
hath been said of old by some godly souls, Let us flee 
into the celebrated country above, there is our Father, 
there is rest, there is all.* You can have no rest here ; 
the only rest is above with God. How must we haste, 
say you? I answer, Get your work done, your cor- 
ruptions subdued, your graces perfected, read and prac- 
tise what you find Paul did, Phil. iii. 12 — 14. Study 
the emphasis of the expressions cuokw, "I follow after," 
with utmost eagerness, eTrjic-avo/jEvoc, stretching out 
head and hands like runners in a race. 

(6.) Be content to leave this world, and go home. 
Say as David, Psal. cxx. 5, 6, " Woe is me, that I 
dwell in Meshech," this tiresome world. When shall 

1 launch forth into that serene ocean of bliss? O that 
I may be delivered from this body of clay, and of 
death together ; " Come, Lord Jesus, com.e quickly."* 
Heaven is my home, I shall never be quiet till my 
soul land there; I am content to live, but willing 
to die, that I may be with Christ. " To me to live 
is Christ, and to die gain ; I groan earnestly, desir- 
ing to be clothed upon with this heavenly house."f 
Are you yet in love with your fetters ? Are you not 
weaned from this earth ? Is not your life labour and 
sorrow ? God will tire us out, by increasing our bur- 
dens, so that new troubles come daily upon us ; " suf- 
ficient unto the day is the evil thereof." f Never ex- 
pect that your tears should be fully wiped off here. 

* Fugiendi citb ad clarissimam patriam, ibi patei% ibi requies, 
ibi omnia. + Rev. xxii. 20. Phil. i. 21. 2 Cor. v. 2. 

± Psal. xc. 10. Matt. vi. 34 


The truth is, we are daily making new work for repent- 
ance and affliction : we cannot cease from our own 
work till we enter into that blessed rest. 

(7.) Persevere to the end of your days; hold fast till he 
come. " Be not weary of well doing, for in due time you 
shall reap, if you faint not : he that endureth to the 
end, the same shall be saved." The promise is per- 
formed to those who overcome. Hold on, hold out in 
God's work, or else you lose all : " Look to yourselves, 
that we lose not those things which we have wrought, 
but that we receive a full reward, 2 John, 8 ; there 
must be a " patient continuance in well-doing," or no 
" eternal life."* The husbandman doth not sow and 
reap in one day. It is true, the Hyperboreans sow 
shortly after sun-rising, and reap before sun-set, be- 
cause the half year or a portion of it, is one continual 
day with them. So it is in some sense to the saints 
after the day-star is risen in their hearts;* yet still 
they must have long patience, till reaping time come. 
Honour God, and do credit to religion by adhering 
close to God in the greatest difficulties. 

(8.) Put yourselves into God's hands by faith and 
prayer. God alone is able to " keep you from falling, 
and to present you faultless before the presence of his 
glory with exceeding joy, Jude, 24. You cannot keep 
yourselves, you are "kept by the power of God 
through faith unto salvation." He gives power to 
the faint ; but see that your hearts be sincere and 
sound in God's statutes, that you may not be ashamed.f 
If you have no root in yourselves, you will endure but 
for a time ; yea, you may have a taste of the powers 
of the world to come, yet may fall away, t Be up- 

• Ileb. iv. 10. Gal. vi. 9. IMatt. xxiv. 13. Rom. ii. 7. 
+ 2 Pet. i. 10. James v. 7, 8. 1 Pet. i. 5. Psal. cxlx. 80. 
t Mavk iv. 10, 17. Ileb. vi. 5, G. 


right and conscientious before God ; fear none of those 
things that may come on you : keep God's way, and 
God will keep you : though your beginning be small, 
your latter end shall increase. Small measures of grace 
shall be preserved and crowned, when great gifts 
wither. Be persuaded that God is " able to keep that 
which you have committed to him against that day," 
2 Tim. i. 12. 

(9-) Live as candidates for immortality. Live as ex- 
pectants of heaven, whither you are travelling, "let 
your conversation be in heaven."* Labour to do God's 
will here upon earth, with such faithfulness, cheerful- 
ness, zeal, and constancy, as it is done in heaven. Live 
by heaven's laws, act -with heavenly hearts, managing 
all your business in a heavenly manner for right ends, 
improving common objects for heavenly purposes. O 
discover a heavenly disposition in all you do ! The 
pearl grows in the sea, and shines in the light. Labour 
to increase, though covered with waves of persecution, 
and shine bright in the firmament of the church ; yea, 
so living below, and conversing with God above, that 
the " life of Jesus may be manifest in your bodies."f 
O beware of sin, which will obstruct your progress, 
obscvire your evidences, increase your present trouble, 
and render yoiu* journey to heaven more tedious. 

(10.) Do what you can to draw others with you 
heaven-wards. There is room enough, there are many 
mansions. The greater the number, the greater the joy. 
There is no envy in spiritual things. O that all my 
neighbours, friends, kindred may be saved ! Counsel, 
instruct, admonish, persuade sinners to come in: every 
soul you bring unto God, will be a new pearl in your 
crown of glory. It is not only the business of minis- 
ters, but of private Christians to endeavour after the 
* Phil. iii. 20. t 2 Cor. iv. 10. 



salvation of all about them. "O that Ishmael miglit 
live before thee," saith Abraham ! * Surely the ever- 
lasting welfare of men's souls should lie near your 
hearts. Study to do them good ; " Exhort one ano- 
ther daily, while it is called to-day, lest any of you 
be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Con- 
sider one another to provoke unto love ;t do what you 
can to save one another's souls : and know this, that 
" he which converteth a sinner from the error of his 
ways, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a 
multitude of sins," James v. 20. 

3. The last branch of this use, is for comfort and 
encouragement to God's children. Because, 

(1.) Nothing that befalls you here shall be able to 
separate you from the love of God ; tribulations, or 
distresses, or persecution, or whatever else you can 
name : nay, you shall be " more than conquerors," 
even triumphers, "through him that loved you," Rom. 
viii. 35, 37. It is true, we do not know what is before 
us, public or personal trials : but " fear none of those 
things that you may suffer ; be faithful unto death." t- 

(2.) This yields comfort to such as have buried their 
pious friends and relations. You need not mourn or 
sorrow as others which have no hope ; for they sleep 
in Jesus, and shall come again with him. H At pre- 
sent they are safely preserved from all the miseries of 
this wretched life ; they would be loth to be sent back 
into the body again, to miss one day those joys which 
now they possess. They may say as our Saviour, to 
the daughters of Jerusalem, "Weep not for us, but 
weep for yom'selves ;" t we are landed safe, but you 
are in the storm, weather-beaten, and in great hazard. 

(3.) The worst things by the favour of God shall 

* Gen.xvii.l8. t Heb. iii. 13. x. 24. 

X Rev. ii. 10. 11 1 Thess. iv. 13, 14. § Luke xxui. 28. 
VOL. V. <i 


prove beneficial : " All things work together for good 
to them that love God."* Temptations make you 
more cautions, and send you to the throne of grace. 
Persecutions quicken grace, afflictions are for your pro- 
fit ; yea, the out-breakings of corruptions humble you, 
make you jealous, send you into your own hearts; bless 
God if it be thus with you, and it will be so if you 
be God's children. 

(4.) Death itself will be an advantage to you, the 
sting of it is plucked out, the grave is sweetly per- 
fumed ; and though it be an enemy to nature, yet it is 
the best friend grace hath ; it is a trap-door to let you 
slip into heaven. A believer's motto, when dying, is 
" well for the present, and will be better shortly ;" it 
is but shutting the eyes and opening them in heaven. 
By death the real saint goes, — from absence, into God's 
immediate presence — from defects in grace, to perfec- 
tion — from deep sorrow, to the height of joy — from 
weary tossings, to perpetual rest — from busy working, 
to abundant reward f — from the shameful cross to a 
glorious crown — from conflicts of sin, to uninterrupted 
holiness — from persecution by men, to divine appro- 
bation and enjoyment — from human intercourse, to 
converse with angels — from deep disgrace, to highest 
dignity — from restraint in prison, to present liberty — 
from rending division, to complete unity — from lan- 
guishing famine, to a celestial feast — from having no- 
thing, to enjoying all things — ^from use of means, to 
the ultimate ead — from assaults of temptation, to con- 
solation and joy — from sad desertions, to perpetual 
fruition — from perplexing fears, to endless peace — 
from sad diseases, to complete cure — from midnight 

* Rom. viii. 28. 

t 1 Cor. xiii. 10. Heb. xii. 23. Matt. xxv. 21. Rev. xiv. 13. 
Luke vi. 35. 


ignorance, to glorious light — from shameful pollution, 
to white robes — from mournful prayers, to joyful 
praises — from a dark grave, to a celestial paradise — 
from comforts in time, to endless eternity. 

O what a change doth death make ! We mortals 
cannot conceive of it. Study that text, 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18, 
" For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, 
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight 
of glory." See what diminutives are in the one, and 
superlatives in the other ; affliction in the one, glory in 
the other ; lightness in the one, weight in the other ; 
for a moment in the one, eternal in the other, and a far 
more and exceeding weight of glory. O what an em- 
phasis there is in the expression ! the apostle seems in 
great want of words to set off the glories above ; so 
shall we be in our highest conceptions. We may 
quickly lose ourselves in this contemplation ; Christ and 
heaven admit no hyperbole. Let not your spirits 
droop, " He that shall come, will come, and will not 
tarry ; and when he comes, his reward is with him, and 
work oefore him." * " The dead in Christ shall rise 
first ; and they which are alive, and remain, shall be 
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet 
the Lord in the air ; and so shall we ever be with the 
Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these 
words." f — Amen. So be it. 

* Isa. xl. 10. t I Thess. iv. 16—18. 

Q 2 



(^ome Brief JHetiitationg 



AN ' 


To my dearly helmed Hearers, Friends and Neighbours, ami 
others that will be at the cost to buy, or take the pains to read this 
small Treatise. 

Dearly Beloved, 

A DESIRE after happiness is so engraven on the nature of 
man, that it was never made a question whether he was desirous of 
being happy or not. This needs no proof; all are agreed in this 
as the end of a rational agent ; and therefore at last, Felicity 
was accounted a goddess among the Romans, and St. Augus- 
tine tells us, that Lucullus built her a temple ; only he wonders 
that the Romans who were worshippers of so many gods, had 
not given divine honours to Felicity sooner ; which alone would 
have sufficed instead of aU the rest of their deities, which he 
reckons up, aud saith at last of Numa, that having chosen so 
many gods and goddesses, it is strange he neglected this. But 
though they at last had got a notion of fehcity, yet havmg no 
true piety, that veneration ended in the greatest misery and 
infelicity ; nothing but wars ensued.* 

This indeed is the case : all men would be happy, but few 
know the due object and true means leading to happiness. It 
is possible, (as the same Father saith there) to find a man that 
is unwiUing to be made king ; but none that is loth to be made 
happy, t Indeed most men blunder in the dark, and few find 
the thing they seek. The same Father tells us, X that Varro in 
his book on Philosophy, who had diUgently searched out the 
various opinions of men respecting the chief good, reduceth 

« Vid. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 4. cap. 23. 

-)- Nullus autem invenitur, qui se uolit esse felicem. 

+ DeCiv. Dei, lib. 19- cap. 1. 

234j epistle to the reader. 

them to two hundred and eighty-eight sects or conclusions ; and 
Augustine reduccth them to their several heads ; but I pass 
by heathens who are bewildered in the dark, and know no 
better. Even professing or pretended Christians either do not 
understand, or will not embrace the way of peace and rest. 
" The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of 
men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek 
God. They were all gone aside, they are altogether become 
filthy, there is none that doth good, no, not one,'' Psal. xiv. 2, 3. 
All mankind are originally degenerate; and few are regenerated. 
We set out for hell as soon as we are born ; and till convert- 
ing grace turn us heaven-wards, we go blindfold to the pit. 
*' The whole world lieth in ignorance and wickedness,'' 1 John 
V. 19 ; but there is no such ignorance as that which is wilful. 
" This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, 
and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds 
are evil," John iii. 19. No man perisheth but by his own will. 
]\Ien will sin, and love death rather than life. " You will not 
come to me, (saith Christ) that you may have life," John v. 
40. He that rejecteth the means, rejecteth the end. " All 
they that hate Christ, love death," Prov. viii. 36 ; they do 
both, not directly or designedly, but virtually and conse- 
quentially. jMost men " observe lying vanities, and so forsake 
their own mercies," Jonah ii. 8, as he leaves the east who goes 
to the west. " My people," saith God, " have committed two 
evils," observe it, it is but one act, yet there are two evils in it, 
what are they ? " they have forsaken me, the fountain of living 
waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can 
hold no water," Jer. ii. 13. Oh what evil is in the bowels of 
one sin ! but especially the sin of unbelief The evil of sin 
brings on the evil of punishment ; miss of heaven, and you 
arrive at hell. What madman will refuse this gift which is 
better th;ii} gold ? what beast will rush down a pit or precipice ? 
But some men make a jest of heaven ; as that bishop, who, 
when one said, I hope to see you at your diocess erelong, re- 
plied, " I fear I shall be in heaven before that time come ;" 
others, like ^Martha, " are so encumbered with the world, that 
they are pinned down to terrene objects ; and answer, as he 
that being asked, if he saw the eclipse, said, No, I have so 


much business on earth, that I have no leisure to look up to 
heaven : this is most men's case. Alas, the world eats out the 
religion of many, as the sun shining eats out the fire : so that 
men are as dead to religion, as if heaven were but a dream ; 
and as active in sin, as if hell had no fire, or were all vanished 
into smoke. Nay, it is well if some look not on heaven and 
hell, as if they were but a fable or romance, a scarecrow to 
frighten weak-headed people, or the mere invention of designing 
priests to keep men in awe ; but they shall know one day to their 
cost, that there is a heaven by the loss of it, and that there is 
a hell by its torments ; let these ask the rich man in torment, 
whether there is a hell or not ? The Targum saith, the dispute 
between Cain and Abel was, concerning a world to come ; and 
indeed this is the controversy between the faithful and unbe- 
lievers ; though the wicked say the creed, wherein they pro- 
fess a belief of the resurrection, last judgment, and eternal hfe; 
yet it is but notional, not experimental, or practical; they 
know nothing of it initially, or by feeling the beginnings of it 
here, and living accordingly. It is to be feared that the great- 
est part of mankind will fall to the devil's share. How little 
are men concerned about a future state ? how many put away 
from them the evil day ? Some have a foolish imagination that 
heaven is every where ; that there is neither heaven nor hell 
but in a man's own conscience, and then they can shift well 
enough ; for they can shut the mouth of a bawling conscience, 
and speak peace to themselves ; but how long will either of 
these last .'' When God arms a man against himself, he will be 
a m^gor-tnissahih, a fear round about. Witness Cain and Saul, 
and Judas too, who thought hell was easier than his own con- 
science, and therefore desperately leapt into it, to the crushing 
of his body, and the perdition of his soul. They shall find 
that there is a heaven and hell after this natural life is ended. 
It is recorded of Peter IMartyr, that he lying upon his death- 
bed discoursed sweetly on heaven]; Bullinger standing by, quoted 
Phil. iii. 20, " Our conversation is in heaven ;" true, said the 
sick man, it is in heaven, but not in the heaven of Brentius, * 
which is no where ; there is doubtless a caelum empyreum^ 
called a third heaven, or paradise, into which Paul was rapt 
* Sed non in coelo Brentii, fiuod misqiiam est. 


in liis extacy ; into which Christ was carried body and soul ; the 
habitation of God's holiness and glory.* It is true, God him- 
self is called heaven, " the heavens do rule f and it is as true, 
" God fills heaven and earth ;"'''-f- and it is true, where the king 
is there is the court ; but yet God manifests himself far diffe- 
rently in all places ; he is in hell by the execution of his justice, 
in heaven by the manifestation of his grace, on earth by dis- 
playing both, and his other glorious attributes, according to his 
infinite wisdom and pleasure. 

But let vain men please themselves with their fond conceits ; 
or desperately leap into the other world, it will be well for you 
and me duly to weigh the vast difference betwixt graceless and 
gracious souls in this and in the other world, and though men 
will not believe, because they see not any such difference, yet 
a time is coming, '' when they shall return and discern between 
the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God, 
and him that serveth him not," Mai. iii. 18; then all the world 
must be ranked into two regiments, sheep and goats ; the one 
at Christ's right hand, the other on his left ; to the one he will 
say, " Come ye blessed, to the other, go ye cursed," Matt. xxv. 
32 — 46. They that love not to hear discriminating truths 
here, shall meet with discriminating acts at that day : and can 
we think that there will be such a difference at that day, and 
none in this world .^ no, we cannot, for "though all things come 
alike to all," as to common providence in this world, Eccl. ix. 
2 ; yet grace makes a difference in persons' dispositions here, 
and there will be a vast difference in divine dispensations here- 
after, much greater than between a man and a brute ; yea, 
like that which is between an angel and a devil. O that 
men would study and understand this now ! Grace makes the 
difference now, and glory completes it. 

1. In point of assimilation. " God's children are like their 
Father now, but shall be more like him at the last day," 1 John 
iii. 2. Our former similitude is from faith, and so imperfect ; 
but the latter is from immediate vision, and thus perfect and 

2. In point of satisfaction. In this world the weary soul is 

• 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4. Luke xxiv. 51. Isa. Ixiii. 15. 
■f Dau. iv. 26. Matt. xxi. 25. Jer. xxiii. 24. 


working towards its rest, and doth by faith enter into this rest; 
yet there is another remaining. Some satisfaction there is in 
ordinances; but more on that blessed morning, when God's 
children awake in his likeness.* 

3. In point of particij>ation. For God's children are not 
tantalized, by beholding that to which they have no right ; no, 
they have heaven by appropriation of faith here, so Eph. ii. 6; 
and by complete possession in the other world, Rev. xxi. 3. 

4. In point of fruition. God's children do enjoy fellowship 
with him already in this world ; but alas, " it is only through 
a glass darkly, but then face to face," or immediately ; now it 
is but rarely, only now and then, but then constantly and per- 
petually, as " the angels that always behold the face of our Fa- 
ther."" Their eye is never off God, even when they are sent 
on any errands to earth about the saints. It is defective in de- 
gree here, but full and complete above. It is often obstructed 
and obscured here, but above " this glory shall be revealed in 
us,""-}- never to be darkened or eclipsed with clouds of interpos- 
ing guilt. 

O ye children of men, prove your Father's will, and your- 
selves children ; secure this inheritance, make no reckoning of 
the stuff of this world : for the good of the country above is 
before you, heaven will pay for all your losses, and counterba- 
lance all your disappointments. No matter how your names are 
written on earth, in dust or marble, if they be written in hea- 
ven. Some say this world is but a shadow of that above ; look 
you for the lineaments of that kingdom above, to be pourtrayed 
on you. Basil asserted one hundred and sixty-five heavens; 
you must pass by all the fancied heavens of men, " and look for 
a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God," 
Heb. xi. 10 ; take this kingdom of heaven by violence. Matt, 
xi. 12. Get a copy of your title out of scripture; records, the 
court rolls of heaven, that you may be sure of it, " and lay 
hold on eternal life," 1 Tim. vi. 19. Heaven must be begun 
here, or never enjoyed hereafter. Hohness of heart and life is 
like the old testament tabernacle, an example and shadow of 
heavenly things. Happiness is the enjoyment of good, com- 
mensiu'ate to our desires ; and our desires must be suited to 

" Psal. cxvi. 7. Heb. iv. 3, 9 Psal. xxxvi. 8. xvii. 15. 
t 1 Jolin i. y. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. Matt. »viii. 10. Rom. viii. 18, 


that happiness. Critics observe, that the word [i*1\L''K] ^vhich 
signifies happiness, is plural ; not only denoting a confluence 
of many good things to make one happy, but because there is 
a happiness in tliis life, preparing for and anticipating happi- 
ness in another. They differ not in kind but degree ; that 
above is the same state, but more elevated ; the same book but 
in a more correct edition, and a larger character. The saints 
above differ from us, as a man from a chUd, as the meridian sun 
from the morning light ; we are in the same house, only they 
have ascended into the upper room ; at the same feast, only 
they are at the upper end of the table ; let us make haste after 
them ; they were once as you are, grovelling on this dunghill, 
but are exalted to a throne ; aspire you to the same preferment : 
it may be had, it must be had or you are undone. Study the 
way of God, how this inheritance is made over to the sons of 
men, and that is — by regeneration — by adoption — ^by donation 
— by right of redemption ;* and they say, he that hath bought 
a slave may dispose of him as he please, by his will ; our Lord 
made his will thus, John xvii. 24, " Father, I will that where 
I am, these may be also."" Clear this and clear all, then you 
are safe ; fail in this and you are undone. 

But this is not all ; you are not only to get and clear up a 
title to this inheritance, but to press after a due meetness for it, 
and this is the design of this small Treatise, which was (for the 
substance of it) preached and written thirty five-years ago, and 
now revised and published on these considerations : 

1. For my own help and ftu-therance in preparation for hea- 
ven, having within a few days, passed to the sixtieth year of 
my life, the date of the life of Paul the aged ; and my Lord 
only knows how soon my sun may set, though I cannot say, my 
natural vigour either of body or mind is in the least abated ; 
but I am mortal, and am loth to be surprized unawares. 

2. I see a great failure in myself and other Christians who 
too frequently terminate our studies and endeavours in getting 
a title, and then think all is well, we need no more ; but siurely 
there is much behind ; we have abundance of work upon our 
hands for obtaining actual meetness, without which we cannot 
evidence our habitual meetness. 

3. I never yet met with any treatise upon this subject, 

• Matt. xix. 28. Rom. viii. 17. Luke xii. 32. Eph. i. 14. 


though it be of great importance for every Christian ; surely 
heaven is worth minding, and methinks Abraham's query in 
another case should be ours, Gen. xv. 8, " O Lord God, where- 
by shall I know that I shall inherit it ?''" 

4. I have observed a commendable practice of some Chris- 
tians, which is, to order some books to be distributed at their 
funerals ; the first that I knew of that nature, was Mr. R. A's 
Vindiciffi Pietatis, and some other practical pieces, which by 
God's blessing have done much good. Such a memorandum 
would I bequeath as my last legacy to you, my dear people, 
amongst whom I have laboured above thirty-nine years in pub- 
lic and private, serving the Lord in some measure of integrity 
and humility, with many tears and temptations, through a 
variety of dispensations, excommunications, banishments, con- 
fiscations and imprisonments ; but out of all these the Lord 
hath delivered me, and set my feet in a large place, and God 
that scarcheth the heart knows what hath been my design in 
studying, preaching, praying, and preparing for you a place to 
meet in, to worship God ; and what are the agonies and jealou- 
sies of my spirit to this day, lest I leave any of you uncon- 
verted, and so cashiered from God's presence at the great day ; 
and now at last I solemnly charge you before God, and the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you rest not in a 
graceless state another day, lest that be the last day, and you 
be found unready. And I solemnly require of you who have a 
principle of grace, gird up your loins, trim your lamps, and 
observe these few rules, and the dispositions mentioned in this 
small Treatise. I only hint further : be much in the love of 
God, daily exercise faith on Christ, walk in the Spirit, be so- 
licitous for God's glory, intermit not holy duties, be not content 
therein without communion with God, mingle religion with 
civil acts, increase every grace, redeem time, profitably converse 
with God's children, aim at perfection, maintain tender con- 
sciences, keep strict accounts, study the life of heaven, be still 
doing or getting good, set God before your eyes, trample on 
worldly things, live in daily view of death, be nothing in your 
own eyes, be much in heavenly praises ; say, " O Lord, who am 
I, and what is my father's house, that thou hast brought me 
hitherto.!^ What is man ? what am I ? the least and worst of the 
children of men, that the heart of God should be working for me, 


and towards me, in tlie infinite tenderness af eternal love ; that 
the Lord Jesus should shed his heart-blood for me ! that the 
Holy Spirit should take possession of me ! that God should 
provide such an inheritance for me ! Assure me of it by pre- 
cious promises, seal it to me in the holy supper ! What am I, 
that God should ever give me a heart to fear him, heal so many 
backslidings, prevent total apostacy, pardon all my iniquities, 
vouchsafe me such valuable privileges, supply my wants, hear 
my prayers, help me over so many dangerous places in my 
journey, bring me to the borders of Canaan, give me so many 
foretastes of the promised land, and tell me the Jordan of death 
shall be driven back, and that I shall have a safe passage to hea- 
ven; O blessed, blessed be God, all this is from sovereign grace; 
God doth what he pleaseth, I would not exchange this hope for 
the world's possessions; eternity will be little enough to be 
taken up in the praises of rich grace."" Thus the gracious soul 
may quickly lose itself in these divine praises and contempla- 
tions, as that zealous German martyr, Giles Tirleman, who in 
his prayers was so ardent, kneeling by himself in some secret 
place, that he seemed to forget himself; when called many 
times to meat, he neither heard nor saw them that stood by 
him, till he was lifted up by the arms, and then gently he 
would speak to them as one waked out of a deep sleep. O that 
there were such a spirit in God's children ! that our hearts 
were so intent on things above, as to pass through the world as 
if unconcerned in it. Then would you be content to leave all, 
and go to Christ ; then would you not be afraid of the king of 
terrors, though armed with halberts, racks, fires and gibbets ; 
then should you have a brighter crown, and higher degi-ees of 
glory, and should shine as the brightness of the firmament ; 
having had the largest capacities on earth, you should have the 
fullest joys in heaven. I will conclude with the blessed 
apostle's prayer, 1 Thess. iii. 12, 13, " The Lord make you to 
increase and abound in love one towards another, and towards 
all men, even as we do towards you ; to the end he may 
stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even 
our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all 
his saints." Amen and amen. Thus prayeth, 



CoLOSS. I. 12. 

Giving thanks unto the Father, ivldch hath made us m9ct to 
be partakers of t lie inheritance of the saints in light. 



Prayer and praise are the two wings on which a de- 
vout soul mounts heaven-wards. Prayer fetcheth 
down occasions of praise. These two form a medium 
like post-offices, to maintain intercourse between God 
and his children. Paul was a great man in both ; for, 
after the inscription, subscription, and benediction in 
this epistle, he begins to praise, ver. 3, then proceeds 
to prayer, ver. 9, and in the text he again introduces 
praise and thanksgiving : wherein observe 

The duty, praise ; and for what mercy. 

In the former, observe the act, giving thanks, and 
the object, the Father. 

The act, ''^v)(aQiaTovvTtQ ; it signifies a being of a 
good temper, having a very grateful disposition, and 
expressing it in words and actions. Col. iii. 15, " Be 
ye thankful," or be ye agreeable one to another, or 


grateful, both in conferring and receiving benefits : 
but here it refers to God. 

A few introductory observations may be made on 
the passage. 

Ohs. 1. That thankfuhiess is the duty and characte- 
ristic of a Christian. 

A thankful return for mercies is the study and in- 
quiry of gracious souls, Psalm cxvi. 12. Prayer and 
thanks are like the double niotion of the lungs ; the 
air of mercy that is drawn in by prayer, is breathed 
out again by the exercise of praise. O happy Chris- 
tian that can and must " in every thing give thanks !'* 
1 Thess. V. 18. This, saith Jerome, * is a practice 
proper for Christians, to be heartily thankful even for 
crosses, as Job was, chap. i. 21. 

Here is also the object of this thankfulness, that is, 
God, under the notion and relation of a Father : God 
expresses glory and majesty ; Father implies mercy, 
love, and clemency. 

Ohs. 2. That it becomes Christians to apj^roach to 
God as an indulgent Father. 

O how much sweetness and endearedness is in this 
word Father ! therefore Christ teacheth us to begin 
our prayers with Our Father. This relation quickens 
our faith, and engages God's love, his care, and his 
power, and all for his children. Matt. vi. 32. There 
is comfort in a father, much more in a heavenly Fa- 
ther : evil men may be good fathers. Matt. vii. 11. 
how much more will a good God be a good Father? 
None can be so good, and so much a father as he. f 

The matter and ground of thankfulness refer to 
God the Father's care and kindness to all his children. 
This is twofold : 

* Christianorum propria virtus. 

t Tarn Pater nerao; tarn pius nemo. 


Providing for them an inheritance, and preimring 
them for it. 

First, Providing for all his children an inheritance; 
wherein are four things to be considered : 

The nature of heaven, an inheritance ; — the quality 
of it, in light ; — the inhabitants, saints ; — their right 
to it, partakers. A word on each of these. 

Obs. 3. That God as a Father gives heaven as an 
inheritance to his children. 

Here is the nature of this celestial glory ; it is an 
inheritance, partly alluding to Israel's possessing the 
land of Canaan ; partly to signify that it is not given 
us for our merit, but of his free grace and mercy, 
therefore called the "reward of the inheritance," Col. iii. 
24, because it is conveyed as by a father to his child, 
of bounty, and not earned as wages by a servant, due 
from his master. 

All God's children are " heirs of God, and joint 
heirs with Christ," Rom. viii. 17. O happy souls that 
are heirs to such an inheritance ! 

Ohs. 4. That heaven is a place and state of inex- 
pressible light. 

The property or quality of this inheritance is, that 
it is in light : which is meant to describe the light of 
truth or faith, or that gospel light whereby God's 
children are savingly enlightened ; or else the light of 
glory, where there is a perfection of illumination and 
delight, joy and felicity, for God dwelleth in inaccessi- 
ble light, 1 Tim. vi. 16. " The city had no need of 
the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the 
glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light 
thereof," Rev. xxi. 23. 

Obs. 5. That only saints, or sanctified souls, are 
heirs of heaven. 

Here are the proprietors, the owners of this glorious 

VOL. V. R 


inheritance, that is, saints, sanctified souls ; it is pur- 
chased for them, vouchsafed to them only ; others 
have nothing to do with it ; no dirty dogs or filthy 
swine shall trample on this golden pavement ; 1 Cor. 
vi. 9. Rev. xxi. 27. *' Without holiness no man shall 
see God," Heh. xii. 14. No grace, no glory. The in- 
habitants of that city are called, yea, are really holy, 
Isa. Ixii. 12. But how come they by this high honour? 
have they a good title to it ? I answer. Yes, they are 
partakers of it; so saith the text, tig rriv fXBpida tov kMpov, 
either that which falls to them by lot — then it is the 
decision of lieaven, which is connected with having a 
part. Acts viii. 21 ; or else by a person's own choice, 
" which," our Lord saith, " shall not be taken away," 
Luke X. 42. This may suggest, 

Obs. 6. That every saint of God is already partaker 
of a heavenly inheritance. 

" The promise," or the mercy promised, " is sure to 
all the seed," Rom. iv. 16. Why so? Because it is 
by grace on God's part, and by faith on ours : and 
God will have it so of his good pleasure. 
A sincere Christian partakes of heaven, 
(1.) In pi^efio, in purchase. The price is laid down 
for it ; " it is a purchased possession," Eph. i. 14. 

(2.) /?^ promisso, it is theirs by promise, as Canaan 
was Israel's by promise ; and that land of promise was 
a type of this heavenly inheritance, James ii. 5. 

(3.) In cajjite ; saints partake of heaven by their 
union to their Head who is in heaven. " God hath 
made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Je- 
.sus," Eph. ii. 6. O happy souls ! 

(4.) 1)1 primitiis, in the first-fruits or earnest. 2 
Cor. V. 5, " Who hath also given unto us the earnest 
of his Spirit." A pledge is restored, but an earnest is 
retained, because it is part of the bargain. A faith- 


fill man will not run back from his bargain, nor lose 
Jiis earnest : nor will the covenant-keeping God ; he is 
faithful who hath promised, who will also do it. 

Secondly, The other branch of the text is not only 
the providing of an inheritance for his children, but 
also a preparing of them for that inheritance. Solo- 
mon saith, *' Wisdom is good with an inheritance," 
Eccles. vii. 11. Alas, what should a fool do with a 
great estate ? yet it often falls out so, that the worst 
men have most of the world : but, saith Mr. J. Dalleus 
on this text, " It is not so here as in worldly things, 
that fall into the hands of those that are most incapa- 
ble to improve them aright ; but God gives a suitable 
share of true wisdom with this inheritance," as when 
Saul was anointed king, he was " turned into another 
man," 1 Sam. x. 6. Alas, what is heaven to us unless 
we be fit for it? Our dear Lord Jesus who went to 
prepare a place for us, must also prepare us for that 
blessed place. In this second branch we have some- 
thing implied and something expressed. 

(1.) From that which is implied, may arise 

Obs. 7. That every soul by nature is altogether un- 
meet for heaven. 

2 Cor. iii. 5, " Not that we are Ikuvoi, sufficient or 
meet (for it is the same word) of ourselves to think 
any thing as of ourselves." Alas, what merit, either 
of congruity or condignity, can there be in man to ob- 
tain heaven ? If he cannot think well, surely he can- 
not will well, or act well, to deserve or fit himself for 
such a mercy ; especially since man by nature is a 
child of wrath, a slave of Satan, dead in sins, banished 
out of paradise, hath no heart to look that way, nay, 
hath enmity in his mind to what is good. God doth 
all : * the Sun of Righteousness shines on these de- 
* Dignatus est nos assuraere- 
R 2 


graded soiils ; he alone makes vessels of honour : he 
fills them with the treasures of grace, and fits them for 
glory : of unfit making them fit, * that is, meet for his 
glorious presence. 

(2.) Here is something expressed, which is held 
forth in these two observations : — 

Ohs. 8. That all those, and only those that shall 
eternally partake of the heavenly inheritance in the 
other world, are made meet for it in this world. 

Ohs. 9. That it is a transcendent mercy worth 
thanking God for, to be made meet for heaven. 

Of the two last in their order. 

First, That all those, and only those that shall jmr- 
fahe of the heavenly inheritance in the other world, 
must he made meet for it in this ivorld. 

All that I shall do in the doctrinal part is, 

I. To shew what this meetness is ; and then, 

II, I shall prove the necessity of it. 





I. For a more methodical proceeding in explaining 
this subject, I shall premise some Distinctions, by 
which you may understand what meetness for heaven is. 
1 Dist. There is a legal and evangelical meetness. | 
Since the fall of man, no mere man can fulfil all righ- 
teousness, or by his own power attain to any thing 
pleasing to God ; so a legal meetness is not attainable. 
* Inhabiles habiles faciens. t Aptitudo legalis et evangelica. 


" We have all sinned and come short of the glory of 
God." * 

2 Dlsf. There is a meetness of works, and of the 
person, f In the covenant of works, the person was 
accepted for the works' sake ; but in the covenant of 
grace, the work is accepted for the person's sake. If 
the person " be accepted in the Beloved," God owns 
both person and offering, as he did Abel. But what 
proportion can the best services of the best men bear 
to an eternal reward ? nor can human sufferings pur- 
chase this glory to be revealed. X 

3 Dist. There is a perfect, complete meetness for 
heaven. II This only is attained by "the spirits of just men 
made perfect :" for who upon earth can say " I have 
made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin ?" Alas, 
we know but in part, and so love but in part. Even 
Paul who was perfect in point of sincerity, yet was not 
already perfect in point of degree, but was pressing 
forward. ^ Christians here below are but hi via no7i 
in patria, on the road to perfection, singing the song 
of degrees, and not on the heights of Zion. Sincerity 
is gospel perfection, and the Christian's preparation, 
together with a progressive motion. 

4 Dist. There is an habitual and an actual meet- 
ness for heaven ;^ or, which may be thus distinguish- 
ed, there is a hereditary right, and an aptitude or 
actual fitness for this inheritance. My text includes 
both, and I shall explain both ; for they are both 
necessary in their place ; and in this sense God's chil- 
dren are said to be " counted worthy of the kingdom 

* Rom. iii. 23, 24. viii. 2, 3, 8. Gal. iii. 10—13. 

t Aptitudo operum et personae. 

X Eph. i. 6. Heb. xi. A, 6. Luke xvii. 10. Rom. viii. 18. 

II Aptitudo perfecta et progressiva. 

§ Heb. xii. 23. Prov. xx. 9. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. Thil. iii. 12—15. 

5r Aptitudo habitualis et actualis. 


of God," 2 Thess. i. 5 ; and saith Christ, " They shali 
walk with me in white, for they are worthy," Rev. iii. 
4 ; and therefore are we exhorted to " walk worthy of 
God, who hath called us into his kingdom and glory," 
1 Thess. ii. 12. It imports a conveniency, suitable- 
ness, or answerablenes in a limited gospel sense ; like 
children of such a father, as heirs of such an inherit- 
ance, as candidates for such an office and honour. 
There is a {rh irplirov) becomingness appertaining to 
every calling ; princes, magistrates, ministers, must 
have an adaptation and suitableness to their profes- 
sion; so here. 

Well then, I shall speak particularly of this twofold 
meetness. First, of an habitual meetness, which is in 
opposition to perfect unmeetness, that is, a state of 
nature, or unregeneracy ; and secondly, of an actual 
meetness, which is contra-distinct from imperfect meet- 
ness ; and both are necessary. 

If you inquire, what is that habitual meetness for 
the inheritance of the saints in light, without which 
men can never attain to it, or have eternal possession 
of it ? 

I answer. This habitual meetness consists in a two- 
fold change, relative and real. 

1. It consists in a relative change : this also is two- 
fold, namely in justification and adoption. 

(1.) The poor sinner is standing at God's bar as a 
guilty malefactor, under the dreadful sentence of a 
just condemnation, " for all the world is become guilty," 
vTTohKOQ su])ject to judgment before God," Rom. iii. 19. 
Not a son of Adam can plead innocence ; it is well if 
we be as the blushing rose, the lily- whiteness is lost. 
" He that believeth not is condemned already," John 
iii. 18, "and the vrrath of God abideth on him," ver. 
36 ; it was on him when he was born, and it abides 


still on him, if not taken off from him by justification. 
Who can think the prince will promote him to honour 
who is under an attainder for treason ? He must be 
cleared of that charge, or he is fitter for execution than 
promotion; pardon must precede preferment. You 
must be first in Christ Jesus, and then " there is no 
condemnation to you," Rom. viii. 1. You must be re- 
ceived into favour before you be promoted to honour. 
The sinner must be justified before he can be glorified, 
Rom. viii. 30. Never think of ascending to heavenly 
glory under a load of guilt; that guilt will shut 
heaven's gates against thee. The guilt of one sin will 
bear down a soul, yea, millions of souls to hell ; for 
" the wages of sin is death ;" O therefore, what need 
is there of justification as an introduction to salvation? 
*' You must be justified by his grace, if ever you be 
made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." 
Never think your sins will be blotted out in the day 
of refreshing, except you repent here and be converted ; 
you must be "justified by faith that you may have 
peace with God here, and so rejoice in hope of the 
glory of God."* You cannot think to leap from the 
bar to the throne ; but you must be cleared by order 
of justice, through Christ's satisfaction in the court of 
God. This, this is absolutely necessary to a meetness 
for this heavenly inheritance. 

(2.) Adoption. This is another relative change. 
Alas, by nature we have quite lost our relationship, 
and so forfeited our filial right to the heavenly inherit- 
ance. We are exules a regno, banished out of paradise, 
and there are placed cherubim, " and a flaming sword, 
which turns every way to keep the way of the tree of 
life," Gen. iii. 24. Yea, we are voluntarily gone into 
a far country, have wasted our substance, disowned 
* Rom. vi. 23. Tit. iii. 7- Acl^ iii. 19. Rom. v. 1, 2. 


our father's house, are feeding swinish appetites, and 
feeding ourselves with the poor husks of worldly things; 
and till we be adopted and admitted again into our 
father's house, we are not fit to eat the children's 
bread, or heir the child's inheritance. But God him- 
self hath contrived a way how to settle the best in- 
heritance on such as he finds strangers; Jer. iii. 19, 
*• I said, how shall I put thee among the children, and 
give thee a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts 
of nations ? then I said thou shalt call me, My father, 
and shalt not turn away from me." O blessed con- 
trivance ! and will any think to cross God's plan ? 
Shall men's folly challenge infinite wisdom ? is not the 
heavenly inheritance God's own to give ? and doth not 
our Lord, say, " such honour shall be given to them for 
whom it is prepared of my Father?" Matt. xx. 23. Can 
you think to wrest heaven out of God's hands whether 
he will or not ? and must he falsify his word to gratify 
you ? AVill he set the crown on a rebel's head ? or 
give this inheritance of saints to the devil's slaves ? 
No, doubtless you must be adopted sons, or no lawful 
heirs. Bastards heir no land. Jephtliah's brethren 
thrust him out, saying, " Thou shalt not inherit in our 
father's house, for thou art the son of a strange wo- 
man, Judg. xi. 2. And what bold intruder art thou, 
who darest expect to claim such an inheritance as hea- 
ven without the relation of a son ? Adam it is true, 
was God's son by creation ; but alas, he and we in him 
have quite lost that sweet relation ; and we must 
either be restored in Christ, God's Avell beloved Son, 
or we are like to be banished for ever. " God sent his 
own Son, that through him we might receive the adop- 
tion of sons ;" and have you the Spirit of his Son in 
your hearts, to cr}", Abba Father ? which elsewhere is 
called " the spirit of adoption." Tell me not tliat all 


are the sons of God ; so were the devils. God will 
make you know that this is a peculiar privilege, 
known to very few, enjoyed by fewer ; it is the fruit of 
special love, and is attended with this unparalleled 
advantage of seeing God as he is ; and a day is coming 
when these sons and heirs in disguise shall then be 
like their Father;* then atheists that will not believe 
that there is any such difference among men, and bold 
intruders, that dreamed of a right, without pretending 
or proving their adoption, shall be utterly confounded. 

2. But besides this relative change, there is also a 
real change upon those souls that God makes meet for 
heaven, and this consists in conversion to God, and 
covenanting with him. 

(1.) Conversion to God. This is expressed in the 
words immediately following my text, ver. 13, "Who 
hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath 
translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." This 
is a description of conversion, and a preparation for 
glory; compare this with Acts xxvi. 18; see there 
the privilege annexed. Observe it, conversion makes 
saints, and only saints are partakers of this inheritance. 
If all the men on earth, and angels in heaven, should 
join their energies together, they could not save one 
unconverted soul ; truth itself hath asserted it with a 
solemn asseveration. Matt, xviii. 3, " Verily I say unto 
you, except ye be converted, and become as little chil- 
dren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." 
The like doth the same infallible speaker assert with a 
fourfold asseveration, John iii. 3, 5. I wonder often 
how careless sinners who are conscious to themselves 
that never any such work has passed on them, can eat and 
drink, or sleep quietly, and never so much as ask this 
question, am I converted or am I not ? if I be, when or 
* Gal. iv. 5, 6. Rom. viii. 15. 1 John iii. 1, 2, 


how did my soul pass through the change of a new 
birth? What tears and apprehensions, what groans 
and agonies hath it cost me? What fruits hath it 
brought forth in me? Where is this new creature, 
the divine nature, the image and seed of God rising 
heaven-wards? What stamp, what sheep-mark can I 
shew, as evidence of God's being at work on my soul, and 
as an earnest of a glorious inheritance? But if there 
be no such change, (as I doubt there is not) how can I 
be at rest ? Siu*e my pillow is soft, or my heart hard, 
and my conscience seared, when I can quietly hear or 
read my own doom in such a scripture, from the mouth 
of the Judge himself, standing at heaven's gates and 
shutting me out, as if he named me, saying. Be gone, 
thou unconverted sinner, I know thee not ; converting 
grace never changed thy heart or life ; though I often 
siunmoned thee, and knocked at thy door, yet thou 
hadst no heart or desii'e to turn from thy sinful ways, 
nor so much as fall down on thy knees, and ask this 
grace of conversion of me, or use the means for it, or 
so much as examine whether thou hadst it or not, but 
wentest on in a golden dream, and now I must tell thee 
roundly to thy cost, depart, be gone from my presence, 
thou poor, wretched, undone sinner ; this state, this 
place is for none but sincere converts. 

(2.) Covenanting with God. When the glorious 
day of our Lord's appearing shall arrive, he calls forth 
his covenanted people, to crown his gracious promises 
with complete performance, Psal. 1. 5, "Gather my 
saints together, those that have made a covenant with 
me by sacrifice ;" as if he had said, I take little notice 
of common or outside worshippers, they shall be set 
on my left hand ; but there are amongst you some 
serious soids that look beyond the ordinance ; I have 
observed them, they have solemnly devoted themselves 


to me, and accepted me in a covenant way. These, 
these are the persons, and these only, that I have 
taken for the lot of my inheritance, and for whom I 
have laid up a safe and satisfying portion : but to the 
uncovenanted soul, or hypocritical pretender to a co- 
venant engagement, God will say, "What hast thou 
to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest 
take my covenant in thy mouth ? " Psal. 1. 16. What 
ground hast thou to own me ; or to claim any thing 
from me for this world or another? Man as a crea- 
ture can have no intercourse with God, but in a cove- 
nant way ; much less can a sinner expect any good 
from God, but by virtue of a covenant. But what 
canst thou say about this promised inheritance, who 
hast nothing to do with the promises ? " For all the 
promises of God, in Christ are yea and amen," 2 Cor. 
i. 20. But thou hast never spent one hour solemnly 
to review and renew thy baptismal covenant, and en- 
gage thy soul to God ; and since thou art an alien 
from the commonwealth of Israel, and a stranger from 
the covenant of promise, by consequence thou art with- 
out Christ, and without God in this world, and there- 
fore without hope of a better state in the other world, 
Eph. ii. 12. But strangers and foreigners, along with 
the saints, become fellow-citizens of the new Jerusa- 
lem, ver. 19. How is that? Doubtless by taking the 
sacred oath of fealty and allegiance to the king of 
heaven. By covenant you have a title to all the good 
things of earth and heaven. Sinner think of this, thou 
that lovest to be loose, and scornest the fetters of this 
holy league ; thou dost in effect say, I will have none 
of God, Christ, pardon, or heaven : if I must have 
them on no other terms than under such bonds and 
obligations, let them take this heavenly inheritance for 
me. And dost thou think this golden chain of honour 


worse than the devil's iron fetters of sin, and dismal 
rewards of flames and torments ? If you need not 
God and heaven, be it known to you, God needs not 
you ; but can distrain for a revenue of glory to his 
justice in your necessary confusion, because you would 
not voluntarily submit to his terms for so glorious an 



Secondly, The next general topic on which I am to 
treat, is to ascertain what is the soul's actual meetness 
for this glorious inheritance, supposing the existence of 
the aforesaid habitual meetness, both relative and real. 
For all a Christian's work is not done when his state 
is changed, and he becomes a convert or saint ; nay, 
his work doth but now begin as a saint, to obtain an 
actual meetness for glory. This, this is the business 
of a child of God : the former hath a remote meetness; 
this produces a proximate or nearer capacity for hea- 
ven. The former renders the Christian's state safe, 
this pleasant and comfortable. This is the man that 
hath set all things in order for another world, that hath 
nothing to do, but to pass over the Jordan of death 
into the Canaan of heaven ; this is the man that is in 
the best sense meet for heaven, fit to take his flight 
into another world. Interpreters think this word 
'iKavoc, sufficient, or meet, answers to the Hebrew 
word n, d(fi, Lev. xii. 8, " If she be not able to bring 
a lamb ;" in the Hebrew, thus, *' If her hand find not 



sufficiency of a lamb." The M^ord is attributed to God, 
who is, nu; bii, " God all-sufficient," Gen. xvii. 1. But 
as God is sufficient and adequate to the circumstances 
of all his creatures, so by the same almighty grace he 
will make creatures adapted to his mind and purposes. 
So then this word is rather to be rendered by idoneus, 
meet, than dignus, worthy ; yet worthy in a gospel, 
qualified sense. Observe it, those judge themselves 
most unworthy, whom God and man oft judge most 
fit and worthy, Luke vii. 4 ; they said, " he is worthy 
for whom he should do this;" but verse 6, himself 
saith, " I am not worthy thou shouldst enter under my 
roof." And thus it is with a gracious soul, looking 
up and seeing the holiness of God's infinite majesty ; 
looking forward and beholding the momentous dura- 
tion of eternity and purity of heaven ; looking inward 
and backward, and seeing his many iniquities and great 
deformity. Oh, cries the sensible Christian, Who is fit 
for heaven ? O how unmeet am I for this glorious 
state, this high honour ? It is true, but grace makes 
of rebels, subjects ; of subjects, servants ; of servants, 
sons; of sons, heirs; of heirs he so disposeth and 
qualifieth them, that nothing will content them be- 
neath this inheritance of the saints in light ; and their 
spirits shall be so adapted to it, that the great God 
will judge them "worthy to obtain that M^orld and the 
resurrection from the dead, and equal to angels, as being 
the children of God, and the children of the resurrec- 
tion :" see Luke xx. 35, 36. As the Christian by con- 
version is a man cut out for heaven, so while he lives 
he is and must be still squaring, hammering, planing, 
and increasing his meetness for it ; and as God is 
said to work us for the self-same thing, 2 Cor. v. 5, 
KUTipyaaan^voQ, by curious modes of efficacious grace, 
to put sinners into a capacity for glory; as goldsmiths 


who burnish gold ; and carvers or artificial engravers 
in wood and stone, who make one part of their work 
fit another. So also Christians themselves must "work 
out their own salvation," Phil. ii. 12, KcinoyaKeaBs, that 
is, leave nothing undone which God hath enjoined you 
to do in this world, in order to a due preparation for 
heaven. This in general is a meetness. 

More particularly, this actual meetness for heaven 
consists in these four things : — A lively exercise of 
suitable graces— A clear evidence of our spiritual state 
— A despatching of ^^ork from our hands — A being 
mortified to time, and longing to be in heaven. 

1. A lively exercise of suitable graces : that is, 
such graces as actually capacitate for glory ; it is true 
every grace doth qualify for glory, for grace is glory 
begim, and glory is grace consummated. But there 
are some graces that have a direct tendency to this 
point, and whereby a Christian doth, as it were, " lay 
hold on eternal life," as the word is, 1 Tim. vi. 12, 
19, for example, 

(1.) The grace of faith, which "is the substance of 
things hoped for, and evidence of things not seen/' 
Heb. xi. 1. It ventures all upon a promise; "sees 
him that is invisible," verse 27, and represents hea- 
venly objects as close at hand, " and embraceth them," 
verse 13, cKnraaaimvoi, drawing the objects to them, as 
the word signifies. Overlooking or overcoming all 
these worldly, visible things, faith spies something be- 
yond time or clouds, of more worth than all the 
world, and hazards all for the obtaining of it. When 
faith is upon the wing, it soars above the sun, and 
fetcheth down heavenly realities and incomes into the 
soul. It acts the part of the spies, and brings a clus- 
ter of the grapes of Canaan ; even "joy and peace in 
believing;" yea, "joy unspeakable and full of glory ;" 


even, when the actings of the faith of adherence are 
the very lowest the Christian dares commit the keep- 
ing of his soul into his Creator's hands ; and is per- 
suaded, that "God will keep that which he hath 
committed to him."* And this composedness is an 
antedating of heaven. Alas, saith he, I know not 
certainly how I stand for heaven ; I dare not yet say 
my faitli will end in the saving of my soul ; but this 
I dare say, God is merciful to souls ; Christ died for 
sinners ; he is faithful that hath promised ; the cove- 
nant is well ordered and sure, some souls shall be 
saved, and why not I ? I hang on his free grace, I 
come with tears in my eyes, confession in my mouth, 
grief in my heart for my sins ; I am weary of- my 
burden, and labour in my progress God-wards, who 
can tell but I may find rest ? He hath said, " those 
that thus come to him he will in no wise cast out ;" 
I will venture this way ; I have tried all other ways, 
but they are vain ; it is but losing my labour, which I 
am sure I shall not, if my faith be but sincere. This 
soul is on the confines of the promised land ; and is 
meet for this inheritance. 

(2.) Hope. As faith brought heaven down to the 
soul's eye, so hope carries out the soul to this future 
enjoyment. This anchor is cast into the vast ocean of 
eternity, but finds sure anchor-hold, for it " enters into 
that within the veil," Heb. vi. 19. The believer sees 
heaven opened, and himself in God's time advanced 
with Lazarus into Abraham's bosom, and is content 
at present to bear the roughness and affronts he meets 
with in his way, saying, these things will be mended 
when I get home. Nay, the scripture saith, " we are 
saved by hope," Rom. viii. 24. Hope anticipates 
what is in reversion, and like a young heir takes up 
* Rom. XV. 13. 1 Pet. i. 8. iv. 19. 2 Tim. i. 12. 


upon trust, and lives as an expectant of that inheri- 
tance to which he is heir. Thus the Christian gets 
everlasting consolation, because " he hath a good hope 
through grace," 2 Tliess. ii. 16. O, saith the believer, 
divine revelation hath so fully demonstrated the reality 
of future glory, that my faith no more doubts of it 
than of going to bed at night, and why should not 
"my flesh and spirit rest in hope ?" Psal. xvi. 9- Why 
should not then my heart be glad ? Why may not 
my glory rejoice? Yes, " I will rejoice in hope of the 
glory of God, for my hope will not make me ashamed," 
Rom. V. 2, 5. I dare venture my hopes and my all on 
this blessed covenant bottom. " My soul, hope thou 
in God, for I shall yet praise him, and that for ever," 
Psal. xlii. 11. 

(3.) Love. That is a grace that shines brightest 
in its proper sphere above ; but the more it is exer- 
cised here beloM% the more of heaven. Love assimi- 
lates the soul most to God, and raiseth it to a hea- 
I'enly life. " God is love, and he that dwelleth in love 
dwelleth in God, and God in him," 1 John iv. 16. 
The soul that is carried out to God in a pure flame of 
lioly love, hath mounted already into the highest 
region, and bathes itself in those pure streams which 
cheer and transport the spirit into a continued ec- 
stacy. The more love, the more preparedness for hea- 
ven. " If love be increased and abound, our hearts 
will be established unblameable — at his coming," 
1 Thess. iii. 12, 13. Yea, the more love, the more of 
heaven ; for what is our love, but a reflexion of God's 
love ? 1 John iv. 19- O, saith the Christian, I feel the 
sacred beams of the Sun of Righteousness warming my 
heart; methinks those heavenly emanations have set 
me in a flame, and while I am musing, the fire burns ; 
when I am praying or praising God, my soul mounts 


\\i> to my Lord as pillars of smoke ; I love to be near 
him, and to be acting for him. O how sweet is 
every intimation of his favour! How delightful are 
some tokens of love that come from the hand and heart 
of my beloved! Here is the soul that is meet for 

(4.) Humility and self-denial. Will you believe it ? 
The lower the Christian casts himself down, the nearer 
heaven ; but this is a truth. Matt. v. 3, " Blessed are 
the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." 
God makes his abode with the humble and contrite spi- 
rit, Isa. Ivii. 15. O, saith the Christian, this grace have 
I found in me, that duty is performed by me, this cor- 
ruption have I mortified, that burden have I borne ; 
what do I say ? I have done this or that ; O no, " by 
the grace of God, I am v/hat I am— I laboured, yet not 
I, but the grace of God," 1 Cor. xv. 10. I dare not 
say any thing is my own but sin ; and what is per- 
formed by me is mixt with imperfection. I tremble for 
fear, saith Luther, at any thing that is of myself.* I 
must not depend on mine own righteousness ; O that 
I may be found in Christ ! I am nothing, can do no- 
thing, deserve nothing but death and hell. If ever I 
be admitted into heaven, it must be on account of 
Christ, his merits upon the cross, and his intercession in 
heaven. That is an excellent text, Rev. xix. 7, 8, "Let 
us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the 
marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made 
herself ready ;" but how is she ready ? why, " to her 
was granted, that she should be arrayed in fine linen, 
clean and white ; for the fine linen is the righteousness 
of saints." Indeed it is no other than Christ's righte- 
ousness imputed ; this is the upper garment that must 
not only cover our nakedness, but the tattered rags of 
* Horreo quicquid de meo est. 
VOL. V. S 


our own righteousness. Whether that relate to a glo- 
rious state of the church on earth or in heaven, I dis- 
pute not ; but I am sure it is the finest suit that she 
can put on, she will look well in that only ; and woe 
to them that appear in their best inherent righteous- 
ness. Let the proud self-justiciary say, I will not 
have heaven gratis,* or for nothing, I will pay a pro- 
portionable rate for it ; then thou art like to go with- 
out it, for it is not saleable ware, Rom. ix. 31. But 
let a poor self-condemning publican come and beg par- 
don and heaven for Christ's sake, and God will not 
deny him: "for he resisteth the proud, but giveth grace 
and glory to the humble," James iv. 6. 



2. The next particular wherein a meetness for heaven 
doth consist, is assurance, or unquestionable evidence of 
our title to the happiness above; for none is ready to go 
out of this world, but he hath solid grounds of his safety 
with respect to another ; for doubts create fears, and 
those fears produce unwillingness to go hence: he dares 
not die who knows not whither he must go, and he is 
not meet for heaven, who hath not used God's appointed 
means to obtain assurance ; a thousand to one a soul 
at uncertainties hath been a slothful, negligent soul ; as 
in a usual way, diligence begets assurance : for so saith 
the apostle, Heb. vi. 11, 12, " We desire that every 
* Coelura gratis non accipiani. 


une of vou would shew the same diligence to the full 
assurance of hope to the end ; that ye be not slothful." 
So 2 Pet. i. 10, "Give diligence to make your call- 
ing and election sure ;" and what then ? why then, 
ver. 11, he adds, " For so an entrance shall be minis- 
tered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." A ship may 
make a hard ^hift to get disabled into the harbour, with 
anchors lost, cables rent, sails torn, masts broken; 
she gets safe in, but with much difficulty ; whereas, 
how gallantly, doth another ride in, to the credit of 
her master, for a good example to others, and comfort 
and satisfaction to all in the ship ; when she arrives 
with sails spread, streamers flying, trumpets sounding, 
and well victualled: surely these come in bravely. This 
is just the difference betweeen an indolent professor 
that wants assurance, and an active Christian in his 
voyage to the blessed haven. God requires this assur- 
ance ; means are appointed for attaining it; serious 
Christians have gained it, so mayest thou, and so must 
thou endeavour after it. You will say, how is it ob- 
tained ? By what means may a Christian come to 
the assurance of his title to this heavenly inheritance, 
that he may be meet or prepared to take possession of 
it at death ? 

I answer, in general it must be supposed that you 
have a title, which is your habitual meetness, or else 
how can you be assured of it ? You that are unre- 
generate, you have a greater change to pass through 
before you are capable of obtaining assurance. But 
supposing this, the following may be regarded as 
means : 

(1.) A holy diligence in increasing, and exercising 
graces, and in the performance of duty. This I hinted 
before : acts evidence habits ; improving grace is God's 

s 2 


way to clear up grace ; blowing up sparks will best 
discover tliem ; a flame is sooner discerned than a 
spark in the embers ; Christians by stirring up the 
gift of God become sensible of it, 2 Tim. i. 6. Motion 
is a good evidence of life ; activity for God, and ten- 
dency heaven-ward will put you out of doubt. All 
duties tend to assurance, or spring from it ; striving, 
running, and fighting will be crowned with clear evi- 
dence ; God loves to reward diligence. To him that 
hath, that is, usetli and improveth well what he hath, 
shall be given, and he shall have abundance, that is, 
more grace and the comfort of it ; as the collision of 
of flint and steel begets light, so the acting of grace 
produces this fruit, namely, assurance. " For the work 
of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness 
quietness and assurance for ever," Isa. xxxii. 17. Now, 
now, the Christian is ready for glory, when he is in 
duty, above duty, with God in the lively actings of 
grace, which is a part of, and a prologue to glory. 
He is going from strength to strength, till he appear 
before God in Zion. O happy soul that is thus upon 
the v/ing ! 

(2.) Reflection upon heart and life, and comparing 
both with the word of God. This is God's way to 
gain assurance: have I the conditions of gospel promises, 
faith and repentance ? Do those graces within me 
answer the characters of such in the scriptures ? Doth 
my soul feel what corresponds Vv^ith the experience of 
saints in the word of God ? Can I follow the rules 
and prescriptions that my Lord hath laid down, " To 
deny myself, take up my cross and follow him?" Have 
I the essential characteristics of a Christian ? I dare 
not believe Satan or my own treacherous heart ; I will 
exaixiine and prove myself, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. I will not 
spare myself in any thing, I will be impartial, and 


deal faitlifully by a severe trial now, as I would be 
found in the decisive trial at the last day ; it is a mat- 
ter of life and death ; I will lay judgment to the line ; 
I will go to the law and to the testimony ; the word 
must judge me at the great day, it shall be my judge 
now. No matter what the world saith of me, nor 
must I be determined by the votes of the best Chris- 
tians, or pious ministers : I must, and will, and do 
" prove mine own work, and then I shall have rejoic- 
ing in myself alone, and not in another," Gal. vi. 4. 

(3.) Ajjpealing and approving the heart to God. 
Alas, the best Christian is too apt to be partial in his 
own case, or blind at home ; our minds are placed as 
our eyes, neither of them apt to look inwards ; and 
when we do look, alas, we are apt to look through a 
false or flattering glass, or our eye is vitiated with bad 
humours ; and therefore must we with Job appeal to 
God, chap. x. 7, "Thou knowest that I am not wicked." 
And chap, xxiii. 10, "He knoweth the way that I 
take." And though David " had communed with his 
own heart, and his spirit had made diligent search," 
Psal. Ixxvii. 6 ; yet he requests God to make a further 
investigation : Psal. xxvi. 2, " Examine me, O Lord, 
and prove me ; try my reins, and my heart." And 
again, Psal. cxxxix. 23, " Search me, O God, and know 
my heart ; try me, and know my thoughts." Not as 
though God were ignorant of them till he had 
searched, but it is spoken after the manner of men ; 
and that God might further acquaint David' with the 
secrets of his heart. Thus the sincere Christian saith. 
Lord, I set myself before thee as a glass in the sun ; 
look upon me, look through me ; thou knowest all 
things, see hovv^ my heart is affected towards thee; 
discover to me the inmost workings of my soul ; if 
there be any secret guile wrapping itself up in the 


lurking places of my heart, bring it to light ; if there 
be any flaw in my evidences, let me see it before it be 
too late ; I am too apt, through self-love, to judge the 
best, but do thou declare my state and my frame as it 
is : thou that must be my judge shalt be my witness. 
" My witness is in heaven, and my record is on high," 
Job xvi. 19. Here is a soul usually comforted in his 
integrity, and such a one is meet for heaven. 

(4.) Praying to God for the illumination and seal- 
ing of his Spirit. For indeed let all these means be 
used, yet evidence will not appear unless God be 
pleased to shine upon his own grace in the soul. " My 
conscience," saith Paul, ''bearing me witness in the 
Holy Ghost," Rom. ix. 1, and Rom. viii. 16, " The 
Sjjirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we 
are the children of God." This indeed is sun-light 
assurance. This alone scatters all mists, answers all 
objections, banishes all doubts and fears ; and O what 
an honour and satisfaction is it to a child of God, that 
the third person of the sacred Trinity should come 
down and give his infallible testimony at the bar of a 
believer's conscience ! This is like the Son of God 
coming dov/n to assume our nature, and to die for us. 
O transcendent condescension ! O unparalleled privi- 
lege of God's children ! Yet this is i>urchased by 
Christ, and promised to believers, not only to be a 
witness, but a seal. * This is often, yea ordinarily 
given after believing ; and when it comes, it brings its 
ov/n evidence along with it ; so that the perplexed child 
of God, after many sore conflicts, strugglings, efforts, 
and sad thoughts of heart, comes at last to some sta- 
bility, so as to expel cares, fears, and doubts, and now 
at last is brought to this, that he no more questions 
God's love than his faithfulness ; 'and this usually 
* 2 Cor. i. 22. v. 5. Eph. i. 13. 


takes place after some extraordinary wrestlings at the 
throne of grace in prayer, according to that John xvi. 
24, " Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name :" 
that is, very little comparatively. " Ask and ye shall 
receive, that your joy may be full." God will have 
his children to beg when he designs to give, to exer- 
cise our obedience, and to honour his own ordinance. 
Then he gives assui-ance, and the joy of his salvation; 
and now the believer is meet to be translated into the 
joy of his Lord. 

But you will say, are none meet for heaven but such 
as have assurance? Then what shall a poor doubting 
soul say of itself, when dark, and much discouraged 
as many are ? 

Answ. (1.) A title to this inheritance is necessary, 
but knowledge of this title is not absolutely necessary. 
Many have died safely, though under clouds. Our 
Lord himself cried, in his dying moments, " My God, 
my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" There was 
relation, my God, yet in some sense he was forsaken. 

(2.) There are degrees of assurance; accordingly 
one said, " Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief." 
Few enjoy a full assurance, and those that have it, yet 
have it not at all times. Mr, Paul Bains said, dying, 
" Sustentation I have, but suavities spiritual I do not 

(3.) What God doth in a sovereign way, when he 
suspends the comforts of his Spirit from the best of his 
saints, is one thing; and what may be, and usually is, 
the effect of man's sloth and negligence, and which is 
too commonly our case, is another; as Mr. Dodd an- 
swered him that complained of want of assurance, 
" why, man, assurance may be had, and what have you 
been doing all this while ? " 

(4.) Yet this will hold good, that a clear evidence of 


our title is a great meetness and readiness for death ; 
for though assurance be not necessary \_ad essel to the 
being of a Christian ; yet it is necessary [^acl bene esse^ 
to his well-being, or comfortable passage through, or 
departiu'e out of this world ; for if we must draw 
near to God in duty with full assiu'ance of faith, Heb. 
X. 22, much more at death. 

O what a vast difference there is between a soul 
carried upon the wing of faith, in an ecstacy of joy, 
and the poor doubting, heartless, disconsolate soul ! 
The former is like some high momitains, that are 
above storms and clouds, as they say Olympus is clear 
and beautiful. O the calmness and serenity of the 
well assured Christian ! He hath a double heaven, 
well at present, better presently ; it is but shooting 
this gulf, crossing this Jordan, passing this stile, as 
Dr. Taylor said, "and I shall be in my Father's house." 
Death itself, as terrible as it is in itself and to others, 
is a stingless serpent, my friend and father's servant 
sent to fetch me home ; angels shall guard me, my 
Lord will bid me welcome, my christian friends gone 
before will make heaven ring with shouts of joy at my 
landing safe, and my soul shall ever be with the Lord. 
But alas, the poor doubting soul, whose evidences are 
not clear, cries out, alas, die I must, and die I dare not, 
I dare not say, God is my God, Christ is my Saviour, 
the Spirit my sanctifier, promises forming the charter 
that conveys an inheritance to others I cannot apply; 
whither I am going I know not ; God conducts himself 
strangely towards me ; I remember God and am 
troubled, guilt stares me in the face, I am conscious to 
myself of thousands of sins, and though I have been 
long trying to exercise faith and repentance, yet 
I am not sure they are sincere and saving, or whether 
God will receive my mournful departing soul : as a 


great man said, I have lived under fears, I die under 
doubts,* and God knows what will become of me, I 
may however thank myself; alas, this is the fruit of 
my sloth, my security, my slipping into sin, backslid- 
ings from God, intermissions of duty, careless and 
heartless performances ; woe is me, what will become 
of me! These are the overwhelming thoughts of a 
poor doubtful, dying soul. And is this man meet for 
heaven? He may be right for the main, but he cannot 
make death welcome. 



3. The next thing wherein our meetness for this 
blessed inheritance doth consist, is in despatching the 
main work which God sent us to do in the world ; 
whatever that is, God expects that we should be per- 
forming it, and get it done ; this we must all apply 
ourselves cheerfully to do, and be very diligent in 
doing it, Eccl. ix. 10, "Whatsoever thy hand find- 
eth to do, do it with thy might." This only is the 
time of working, the future, beyond the grave, is a 
day of retribution ; and when the child of God hath 
wrought his day's work, he goes to sleep in the dust: 
thus our dear Lord tells his father, John xvii. 4, 5, 
" I have finished the work that thou gavest me to do; 
and now O, Father, glorify me with thy own self" 
* Anxius vixi, diibius morior. 


But you may say, What work is it that God sets 
before men to perform ? 

I answer, There is a fourfold work upon a Chris- 
tian's hands in this world. 

(1.) Personal, spiritual work, soul work, wherein God 
is more immediately concerned ; which is the glorify- 
ing of God, and saving of the soul ; God hath combined 
these, they are inseparable, and it is a mighty business. 
Our Lord saith, " I have glorified thee on the earth ;" 
this in our measure is required of us, and the sincere 
Christian makes it his design. Thou knowest, O my 
dear Lord, what that is which hath lain nearest my 
heart ever since thou openedst mine eyes : the earnest 
desire of my soul hath been to be nothing in mine own 
eyes, that God alone may have all the glory ; I will 
confess and give glory to God ; I resolve to do this, 
and through grace have desired, to make it my business 
to give glory to God by believing, repenting, obeying, 
fruit-bearing ; yea, in eating, drinking, and whatsoever 
I do in natural, moral or civil actions. This, this is 
the mark I have in view, my highest aim, " that God 
in all things may be glorified, through Jesus Christ;" 
and my business is in order thereto, to study how to 
" please God, and to abound more and more ;" to obey 
God's commandments, and to do those things that are 
2)leasing in his sight;* and O that my person and 
prayers might be accepted in Christ ! The salvation 
of my soul is more dear and precious than this poor, 
perishing frame. My grand inquiry is, what must I 
do to be saved ? this is the one thing needful, other 
things are bye the bye. O that I could work out my 
own salvation ! I appeal to thee, Lord, how many 
griefs and groans, tears and prayers, pains and fears, 
this main concern hath cost me : I know there is much 
* 1 Pet. iv. 11. 1 Thess. iv. 1. 1 John iii. 22. 


of this work about my preciotis soul yet undone ; but 
thou knowest the chief is despatched. " I have fought 
a good fight, finished my course, kept the faith," 2 Tim. 
iv. 7 ; and now my land business is done, let me go 
to sea, and launch out into that boundless ocean of 
eternal happiness. 

(2.) Temporal work, the business of our callings 
and particular occasions. This also the dying Chris- 
tian is drawing into a narrower compass, that he may 
voluntarily leave the world, before the world leave 
him. The Christian having had his head and hands 
full of business in his younger days, when old age 
comes, is glad of a writ of ease, that he may be at more 
leisure for God in holy duties. Methinks, saith the 
believer, I have had my share, both of the employments 
and enjoyments of this lower world, and am well con- 
tent to shake hands therewith. I can behold with pity 
the laborious ants running upon this mole-hill, and 
busily scrambling for a little dust ; let them take it, 
God hath made my hands to be sufficient for me ; I 
have what will bear my charges to the grave ; let it go, 
I am glad I have so fairly parted with it ; I would not 
be called to enter again upon this busy stage, or put 
forth to this tumultuous sea ; I have now other things 
to mind; I have now the great work of setting straight 
my accounts for another world to engage my attention, 
my peace to make with God, an eternity to provide 
for, which the affairs of the world have thrust out, or 
distracted me in. This shall be my employment for 
the future ; " for what will it profit a man to gain the 
whole world, and lose his own soul ?" I leave all tem- 
poral things to others that succeed me. 

(3.) Relative work. This also may be in some res- 
pects despatched from our hands ; and the doing of it 
maketh more meet for heaven. This is not to be 


slighted, for it is needful in its place. When king 
Hezekiah was sick unto death, God sends him this 
message, " Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die 
and not live," Isa. xxxviii. 1, that is, make thy will, 
and dispose of thy domestic concerns, so as to prevent 
quarrels and contentions in thy family after thy decease ; 
and ver. 3, it is said, that Hezekiah wept sore ; why 
so ? was not Hezekiah a pious man ? was not his soul 
in readiness for death ? Yes, doubtless, for he dared 
appeal to God that he had walked before him in truth, 
and with a perfect heart. What then was the matter? 
Why, Hezekiah had yet no son, Manasseh being not 
born till three years after this, as if he had said, Lord, 
if it may be thy will, spare my life, and give me a son, 
for if I die at this time, I know not how to dispose of 
the cro^vn, I am likely to leave the church and state in 
miserable distraction and confusion, through the great 
uncertainty of a succession, and the proneness of the 
people to backslide to their false worship. God heard 
his prayer, gave him a lease of his life for fifteen years. 
This is the duty of all, though it be more necessary to 
some than to others. In every case it is useful to tran- 
quillize the mind, and to prevent outward ill conse- 
quences, and inward disturbances of spirit; but as 
that good man was loth to go off the stage heirless, so 
other circumstances may particularly call for the settle- 
ment of families by a last will and testament ; especially 
when children are left young, &c. Others also may say, 
now God hath lengthened out my days to see my chil- 
dren brought up, and hopeful for religion, settled in 
callings and families ; there was but this child, or that 
business that I desired to see well circumstanced, as to 
my family affairs ; as Jacob closed up his blessing of 
Dan, Gen. xlix. 18, "I have waited for thy salvation, 
O Lord ;" now at last, since God hath wrought on 


such a child, I will say with old Simeon, " Lord, now 
lettest thou thy servant depart in peace accordhig to 
thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation," 
Luke ii. 29, 30. 

(4.) Another work to be disposed of, may be of a pub- 
lic nature. This especially concerns men in a public 
capacity ; as when Moses had led Israel out of Egypt, 
and through the wilderness, he had despatched his 
work, and having been faithful in God's house he was 
prepared to die. So when Joshua had conquered many 
kings in Canaan, divided the land to Israel, he obtained 
a discharge and fell asleep. Thus David, " after he had 
served his own generation by the will of God, fell on 
sleep, and was laid unto his fathers," Acts xiii. 36. And 
so Aaron, Samuel, and the rest of the prophets, marched 
off the field by the order of our great Lord General, 
when they had despatched their warfare, and delivered 
their message. "Your fathers, where are they? and the 
prophets do they live for ever ?" Zech. i. 5. And in- 
deed to what purpose should they or we live, when our 
work is done ? especially when God's servants have 
not only despatched that work that concerns present, 
but future generations ; for this is also the work of 
our present day. Thus Solomon built God a house 
for future times : and the apostle Peter lays in for 
after ages, 2 Pet. i. 15, " Moreover, I will endeavour 
that you may be able after my decease, to have these 
things always in remembrance." It is the property of 
a good man to take care that religion may live when 
he is dead. Ambrose saith of Theodosius, I loved him 
exceedingly, who when he di^d was more solicitous for 
the church's than his own danger. Then indeed is 
the Christian meet for heaven when he hath despatched 
his work on earth, and laid a foundation for good in 
after times. 


But you will say, how can any man be said to des- 
patch his work till his life be done ? Surely work and 
life, as to their date, run parallel. 

Answ. (1.) What is active, may be oft at an end, 
when what is to suffer is but beginning ; for God often 
reserves suffering to the last, that patience may have 
her perfect work, that the Christian may be perfect 
and entire, wanting nothing, James i. 4. The Chris- 
tian then hath little to do, but patiently wait God's 
pleasure ; and this usually follows on doing God's will : 
see Heb. x. 36. It is indeed a gi*eat thing to bear our 
burden patiently, cheerfully, thankfully, and usefully ; 
and say, well for the present, and better shortly ; the 
greatest part is over. 

(2.) Though something be still to be done or suffer- 
ed, yet when the greatest part of a Christian's work is 
done, it may be said to be finished. So it was with 
our Savioiu*, John xvii. 4, " I have finished the work 
which thou gavest me to do." But was not dying 
upon the cross for the sins of men a principal part of 
Christ's work ? Yes, only it was so nigh, that he 
speaks of it as already done; so verse 11, "I am not 
in the world ;" for he was just going out of it. Be- 
sides, he had done most of his work, and was strait- 
ened to do fully the rest that was behind: "And 
when our Lord had tasted the vinegar, he said, it is 
finished," John xix. 30. This is a closing word, as 
giving up the ghost was a closing work. 

(3.) Sometimes divine providence takes off God's 
children from much of their work before their days be 
ended. It is obvious to a rational eye that then their 
work is done : sometimes it takes place by natural 
causes ; thus Isaac and Jacob could presage their own 
death by a certain prognostic, namely, old age : some 
are cut off by sickness or consumptions, which are 


usually mortal ; others are taken from most of their 
work by persecutions, prisons, &c. ; and others are 
removed from the stage of the world by violent death. 
As a dying minister said on the scaffold, " Isaac was 
old and knew not the day of his death, I am young, 
and know the day, manner, and instruments of my 
death : it is but a nodding the head, and death doth its 
office. Now my work is ended." 

(4.) Yet once more: some godly ministers and Chris- 
tians have had a kind of presentiment, that death was 
approaching even when enjoying the best health and in 
their younger days ; and so consequently of the despatch 
of their work ; as some creatures by natural instinct 
foresee a falling house. So we read of bishop Jewel, 
that long before his sickness he foretold it approach- 
ing, and in his sickness, the precise day of his death ; 
he died in the fiftieth year of his age. The like we 
have been informed of James Andreas, who foretold 
the year, yea, hour of his death. I shall add but 
another instance of a holy man of God, my dear friend, 
Mr. Isaac Ambrose : his surviving wife told me of the 
solemn farewell he gave to his daughter, and some 
other friends. Yea, the very day of his death several 
friends from Garstang visited him at Preston, with 
whom he discoursed piously and cheerfully, telling 
them he had finished his work, having the night 
before sent his discourse on "Angels" to the Press, he at- 
tended them to their horses, returned, and died that 
evening in his parlour, where he had shut himself up 
for meditation. Thus God's children are made meet for 
heaven by despatching their work on earth. 



4. The last thing wherein meetness for heaven doth 
consist, is a being dead or mortified to all things 
below, and alive and lively with respect to God and 
things above. It is true, converting grace deadens 
the heart to all sublunary objects, and lifts it up to 
divine things. Yea, sometimes the first convictions 
take off the sinner's spirit more than is meet, and quite 
damps the affections in reference to lawful comforts, 
and makes him think he must do nothing in worldly 
business, but give himself to reading, praying, and 
hearing ; but God's grace in a little time discovers 
this to be a temptation. Yet as grace gets the upper 
hand, and the Christian mellows and ripens for glory, 
so he is mortified and gradually transformed and ad- 

(1.) By further victory over his corruptions; for as 
the Christian perfects holiness in the fear of God, so he 
doth by degrees cleanse himself " from all filthiness 
both of flesh and spirit," 2 Cor. vii. 1. Sin and grace 
being like two buckets at one chain, as the one comes 
up the other goes down ; or as the ebbing and flowing 
of the sea, where it gaineth in one place it loseth in 
another ; the more holiness, the less sin. Now the 
Christian grows stronger and stronger ; " The inward 
man is renewed day by day," 2 Cor. iv. 16. So the 
body of sin is weakened, till at last his fleshly lusts 
are laid at his feet, and spiritual sins pay tribute to 
the grace of God in his soul. Pride, hardnesss, un- 

ACTi'Ai. :mf.etness. ^/^ 

belief and security, keep the Christian humble and 
watchful, jealous of himself, and maintaining spiritual 
conflicts against them, so occasionally he is a gainer by 
his losses, and rises by his falls ; however the Chris- 
tian grows more sensible of the burden of sin ; as Paul, 
he cries out, " Oh wretched man that I am, who shall 
deliver me from the body of this death?" Rom. vii. 
24. Oh, saith the Christian, what shall I do with this 
untoward heart ? I am weary of these daughters of 
Heth ; fain would I get rid of this indwelling corrup- 
tion. Sin I hope hath not dominion over me ; but O 
when sliall the time come that it shall have no in- 
dwelling within me ? But this is my grief and I must 
bear it, I am discontentedly contented with my burden, 
discontent with sin, content with God's pleasure. 
There is nothing makes me weary of the world but 
sin ; could I live without sin, I should live without 
sorrow ; the less sin, the more of heaven. Lord, set 
me at liberty. 

(2.) By loosening the affections from all worldly 
enjoyments. O how sapless and insipid doth the 
world grow to the soul that is a making meet for hea- 
ven ! " I am crucified to the world, and this world to 
me," Gal. vi. 14. In vain doth this harlot think to 
allure me by her attractions of profit and pleasure. 
" Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child 
that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a 
weaned child," Psal. cxxxi. 2. There is no more relish 
in these gaudy things to my palate, than in the white 
of an egg ; every things grows a burden to me, were 
it not my duty to follow my calling, and be thankful 
for my enjoyments. Methinks I have my wife, hus- 
band, and dearest relations, as if I had none ; I weep 
for outward losses, as if I wept not ; rejoice in comforts 
below as if I rejoiced not, 1 Cor. vii. 29—30 ; my 

VOL. V. T 


thoughts are taken up with other objects. The jnen 
of the world slight me, many seem to be weary of me, 
and I am as weary of them. It is none of these earthly 
things that ray heart is set upon ;* my soul is set on 
things above, my treasure is in heaven, and I would 
have my heart there also ; I have sent before me all 
my goods into another country, and am shortly for re- 
moving ; and when I look about me, I see a bare, 
empty house, and am ready to say with Monica, what 
do IherePf my father, husband, mother, (Jerusalem 
above.) my brethren, sisters, best friends are above. 
jMethinks, I grudge the world any portion of my heart, 
and think not these temporal visible things worth a 
cast of my eye compared with things invisible and 
eternal, 2 Cor. iv. 18. I do not only say with afflicted 
Job, chap. vii. 16, "I loath it, I would not live alway;" 
but even with Solomon on the summit of all earthly 
felicity, Eccl. ii. 17, 18, "Therefore I hated life, yea I 
hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun," 
that is, in comparison, or in competition with heavenly 

(3.) By spiritualizing worldly things, and using 
them as steps by which the soul mounts heavenwards. 
The believer considers that these things were made not 
for themselves, but for higher ends. All things are as 
talents to trade with for another world. Matt. xxv. 16; 
for an account must be given of them ; not only ordi- 
nances and gospel privileges, but providences both 
sweet and severe, yea, creature-comforts, and all visible 
objects. Thus our Lord who had grace in perfection, 
made notable, spiritual improvement of material water, 
bread, vines, for holy purposes; and the more heavenly 
the Christian is, the liker he is to his head, and so 
meeter for heaven. Whatever this golden hand of 
* Non est mortale quod opto. t Quid hie facio ? 


faith toucheth is turned into gold. The Christian 
fetcheth honey thus out of the hard rock ; out of 
the eater comes meat. O, saith the believing soul, if 
meat be so sweet to a hungry stomach, how much 
more excellent is God's loving-kindness ? If drink be 
so refreshing to the thirsty soul, O how sweet are the 
rivers of pleasures ? surely his love is better than wine* 
If it be so pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun, how 
lovely is the Sun of righteousness ? How sweet is home 
to the weary traveller ; and the haven to the weather- 
beaten mariner? but infinitely more sweet and con- 
tentful is heaven to the tempted, burdened, tried saint. 
Methinks all I see, and do, and have, reminds me of 
my home ; and saith, " Arise, depart, this is not thy 
rest." When I am abroad in a storm, I haste to a 
shelter. O think I then, that I were with my dear 
Lord, who is as the shadow of a great rock in a weary 
land ! When I consider my dim eyes, my decrepit 
feet, my palsied hands, my panting lungs ; O think I, 
when shall this silver cord be loosened, and the bowl 
broken at the cistern ? that my soul may return to God. 
This is a pitiful, ruinous cottage, when shall I be 
brought into the king's palace ? In this my earthly 
tabernacle methinks I find now a pin loosened, and a 
stake taken down, then I say and sigh with the blessed 
apostle, 2 Cor. v. 4, " We which are in this tabernacle 
do groan being burdened, not for that We would be un- 
clothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be 
swallowed up of life." Here is the soul taking wing 
to fly into another world. 

(4.) The Christian is made meet for heaven by 
intimate familiarity with the God of heaven. This in- 
deed is the height of a Christian's perfection on earth. 
The fitter for, and the freer the intercourse with God, 
the fitter is that soul for glory. What is heaven but 

T 2 


the enjoyment of God? the nearer God the nearer 
heaven ; for where the king is there is the court. 
Truly, saith the apostle, " our fellowship is with the 
Father, and witli his Son Jesus Christ," 1 John i. 3. 
Communion with God, and assimilation to God are the 
life and perfection of our religion ; and the former leads 
on to the latter, 2 Cor. iii. 18, " But we all with open 
face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are 
changed into the same image from glory to glory, as 
by the Spirit of the Lord." As grace increaseth, glory 
increaseth ; and the vision of God, though but through 
a glass, mightily increaseth grace, and fitteth for glory. 
Now it is said of some great persons, that they have 
spoken more with God than with man. O, saith the 
Christian, I could not tell how to spend my time if my 
soul had not frequently free access to, and intercourse 
with my best friend above : O that it were oftener and 
longer;* it were a fine resemblance of heaven to have 
fixed communion with him ; but however, I write that 
day as black and lost wherein God and my soul are 
not together. I cannot be content in a public ordi- 
nance when I miss my beloved ; I follow him into my 
closet, and there usually I find him whom my soul 
loveth. O then think I, that God would now stop 
my breath, and translate my soul into his immediate 
presence ! as it is said of Moses that he died in the 
embraces of God, Deut. xxxiv. 5 ; (so some read it, 
or overpowered with divine embraces) would to God 
it were thus with me ! Methinks, I am loth to part 
with these first-fruits without a full harvest ; now let 
me go over Jordan, and see that goodly mountain and 
Lebanon. O let me not return down into this tempt- 
ing world, to be banished again from thee ! O come 
thou down to me, or take me up to thee. It is a pity 
* Sed rara hora, brevis mora. 



my soul should be thus tantalized with the sight of 
that which I cannot at present enjoy ; well, since it is 
thy pleasure I am content to wait and descend to take 
my lot with my fellow men ; only I shall be stretch- 
ing out neck and arms, and be looking for, and hasting 
to the coming of my dear Lord. Come Lord Jesus, 
come quickly, make haste my beloved, and be thou 
like to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains 
of spices. 

But you will say, such a height of meetness for the 
the heavenly inheritance as you have described is not 
practicable or attainable in this life ; if none be saved 
but such as you have described, woe be to all the 
world. I answer, 

[i.] Most part of men are not capable of this actual 
meetness, not having what is habitual : namely, a re- 
lation to God, and a principle of saving grace ; and no 
wonder if unexperienced persons call this enthusiasm, 
and unintelligible nonsense, for wisdom is too high for 
a fool ; it is not to be thought strange if some speak 
evil of what they know not, and turn real experience 
into ridicule. Alas, they have no grace, how then can 
they exercise it ? how can they evidence a title to hea- 
ven that have none? how can they despatch their 
work, that never have begun it to purpose? or be 
mortified to things below, who have their portion in 
this present life, who were never divorced from their 
lusts, and have no treasure above ? We may pity such 
souls, for salvation is far from the wicked. 

[ii.] Wisdom is however justified of her children. 
Sanctified souls know what these things mean, and 
though the best complain of their low attainments, yet 
the weakest, sincere Christian can set to his seal, that 
part of these things he hath found in his bosom as to 
sincerity, and is aiming at further degrees, and is not 


content to sit down short of perfection, but is " press- 
ing toward the mark for the price of the high calling 
of God in Christ Jesus," Phil. iii. 14. 

[iii.] Thei'e is a great difference in the attainments 
of Christians in this world. Some active, vigorous 
souls get nearer to God than others ; some are chil- 
dren, some fathers, others are young men, that are 
strong, and the word of God abides in them, and they 
have overcome the wicked one, 1 John ii. 12 — 14. 
The meanest child God hath in his family will own 
and follow his father, though some dare not say, he 
is my father ; but some are grown up to great intimacy 
with God, as that choice man of God, Mr. Holland, 
who said, on his death bed, " Speak it when I am gone, 
and preach it at my funeral, that God deals familiarly 
with man." 

[iv.] Yet it is every one's duty to endeavour after 
the highest pitch of meetness that is attainable in this 
life ; for as it is the nature of true grace, to become 
deeper and deeper, like the waters in Ezekiel's vision, 
and ascend higher and higher, as the flame or rising 
sun ; so the Christian dares not but obey God's com- 
mand to grow in grace, and he sees it necessary to 
comply with our Lord's direction. Matt. xxiv. 44, 
" Therefore be ye also ready ;" and this is one reason 
amongst the rest wliicli I shall next add, for what a 
a pious, dying minister of my acquaintance said, "That 
the best preparation of the best man, is all little enough 
when we come to die." But more of this anon. 



II. The next thing in tlie doctrinal part, is to assign 
reasons for this point, that all those and only those 
that are made meet for the heavenly inheritance in 
this world, shall eternally partake of it in the world to 
come. In handling this I shall endeavour, not only to 
evince the truth of it, but to convince conscience of 
its necessity, and persuade compliance with it. 

1. It is fit persons be made meet, because no man 
by nature is meet for heaven. Men are estranged from 
God, " even from the womb," Psal. Iviii. 3 ; and are 
those fit to live with God till brought nigh ? Man is 
shapen and conceived in sin, Psal. li. 5 ; and is he fit 
to dwell with a holy God till sanctified ? Man is dead 
" in trespasses and sins," Eph. ii. 1 ; and is such a 
dead block meet to converse with the living God ? Man 
" is darkness," Eph. v. 8 ; and " what fellowship hath 
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what com- 
munion hath light with darkness?" 2 Cor. vi. 14. 
Man by nature is a " child of wrath," Eph. ii. 3 ; and 
how can dried stubble dwell with consuming fire? 
Alas, we are all enemies to God in our minds, Col. i. 21. 
yea, " enmity itself," Rom. viii. 7 ; and " can two walk 
together except they be agreed ? " Amos iii. 3. Can 
the sin-avenging God and the guilty sinner hold inti- 
mate correspondence till they be reconciled ? O no, it 
will never be. Heaven and hell will as soon unite as 
God and an unregenerate sinner. Will the holy God 
take such vipers into his bosom ? Can you imagine 


God will deface or lay aside his immaculate holiness, to 
take you from the swine-stye into his holy sanctuary ? 
What cleanly person could endure to have a filthy hog 
with him in his parlour or bedchamber ? " Shall the 
throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee?" Psal. 
xciv. 20. No, no, "God is of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity," with pleasure and delight, Hab. i. 13. If 
God should take men from the dunghill into his palace, 
others would conclude that God is reconciled to sin, 
that it is a harmless thing, and not that abominable 
thing which his soul hates. No, it can never be ; 
gi'aceless sinners, so remaining cannot dwell with God, 
Psal. V. 4., 5. 

2. Because this is the divine ordination and appoint- 
ment, that there should be a connexion between grace 
and glory, holiness and happiness, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. 
As sin and hell are joined by divine commination, so 
grace and heaven are knit together by divine promise. 
So Rom. ii. 7, 10, "To them who by patient con- 
tinuance in well-doing, sec-k for glory, and honour, and 
immortality, God will render eternal life." This is a con- 
nexion of grace, not of merit ; of jiromise, not of debt ; 
yet inviolable, for God's justice and truth are engaged 
in it. It is fit the infinite God should distribute his 
mercies to whom, and u])on what terms he pleaseth ; 
now he hath said peremptorily, " without holiness no 
man shall see the Lord," Heb. xii. 14. All things are 
ordered and wrought after the counsel of his will, Eph. 
i. 11. First, he chose them "before the foundation 
of the world, that they should be holy," Eph. i. 4. 
They are redeemed to be holy, Tit. ii. 14; called with 
a holy calling, 2 Tim. i. 9 ; and therefore they are 
holy l)rethren that are partakers of this lieavenly 
calling, Heb. iii. 1. Let wicked scoffers mock on to 
their guilt and cost. Such there are in the world, and 


such miist they be if they think to inherit heaven. It 
is God's ordination ; you must be saints in this world, 
or never crowned as saints in the otlier ; though you 
might be canonized for saints by men when gone, 
consider, sinner, whose word shall stand? God's or 
thine ? Thou hopest to go to heaven without saint- 
ship, or meetness for it : God saith it, yea, swears it, 
Heb. iii. 18, that thou shalt never enter into his rest. 
This is God's counsel, that men must be brought 
through sanctification to salvation, 2 Thess. ii. 13 ; 
and can you think to overturn his appointed will, or 
counteract his counsels ? Must the earth be forsaken 
for thee ? Must the immutable God falsify his word 
to save thee against his will, yea, against thy will ? 
For thou wilt not come to him for life : God will not 
be merciful to any who wickedly continue transgres- 
sors. The eternal determination of heaven is recorded 
in that chain of salvation, Rom. viii. 30, and all the 
men on earth and devils in hell cannot break one link 
of it. Predestination, vocation, justification, salvation, 
or glorification. Go try to turn day into night, or 
winter into summer, or to stop the course of the sun, 
before thou thinkest of diverting the proceedings of 
grace in the salvation of souls ; but it is vain to at- 
tempt either ; for his counsel shall stand, and he will 
do all his pleasure. 

3. It is the design of God in all his ordinances to 
make souls meet for heaven. " It has pleased God by 
the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 
Ministers and ordinances were given for perfecting of 
the saints. This is the means of conversion, " the 
power of God to salvation ; * the means of edification, 
of resolution of doubts, consolation and confirmation ; 
so are the seals of the covenant given to this end, to 
* 1 Cor. i. 21. Eph. iv. 11—13. Rom. i. 10". 


bring souls onward to this glorious inheritance. Now, 
sirs, consider, shall you receive this grace of God in 
vain ? Shall all the ordinances be lost upon you ? 
You must give account of sabbaths, sermons, and sa- 
craments, shall they be the savour of death unto death 
to you, or the savour of life unto life ? Alas, how do 
poor ministers toil and travel, pray and watch, weep 
and sigh to the breaking of their loins, and spending 
of their spirits, to bring you to God and heaven, and 
you pretend kindness to us, but have no real kindness 
to your own souls ; we dare not but warn you in the 
name of Christ, lest you fail of the grace of God, and 
fall short of this inheritance ; " We watch for your souls 
as those that must give an account : O let us do it 
with joy and not with grief," Heb. xiii. 17. If it be 
uncomfortable to us, it will be unprofitable to you. 
Must our sweat and labour be in vain ? But it will 
not be in vain to us, for our work is with the Lord, we 
shall not lose our reward. God will pay the nurse, 
though the child die. Our crown will be given us, 
if we be faithful, though we be not successful, for that 
is in God's hands ; but woe be to those souls that have 
sat under powerful ordinances, and that miss of this 
inheritance ! O woe, woe to you, you cannot lose hea- 
ven, but be plunged into a deeper hell. Oh, ease our 
hearts, and save your own souls ; kill us, and destroy 
yourselves ; murder yourselves, and you again crucify 
Christ, whose person we represent. Rather give us 
leave to espouse you to one husband, //o/joctci/ujjv, I have 
fitted you, says the ajDostle, as things that are pieced 
together, glued or sodered, (let us do so with you,) 
"that we may present you as chaste virgins to Christ," 
2 Cor. xi. 2. Would to God this were the fruit of oiu* 
labours ! 

4. This is the design of all God's providential dis- 


pensatioiis : mercies, afflictions, smiles, and frowns 
come upon this errand to make souls meet for heaven. 
Cords of love draw, rods of wrath drive the poor 
sinner from hell to heaven. The sunshine of love 
comes to melt and thaw our frozen hearts that God 
may set a stamp upon us. The loving-kindness of 
God leads to repentance ; Rom. ii. 4. O what an in- 
fluence will God's unlimited goodness have upon an 
ingenuous spirit. As the sun attracts vapours from 
the earth, so this Sun of righteousness should and 
will, if our sturdy hearts hinder not, raise our hearts 
heaven-wards. It is pity we should stop here at the 
streams, and not be led up to the fountain. May 
this long-suffering of the Lord be your salvation ; 
2 Pet. iii. 15. May love constrain you to love God ; 
may these loadstones so attract you, and these grapes 
of Canaan enamour you, that you may never rest till 
you appear before God in Zion. And what are all 
God's rods and redoubled strokes for, but to awaken 
you out of security, beat your fingers off from the 
world, weaken your corruptions, and cleanse and 
furbish your souls, as vessels for the high shelf of 
glory ? " For our light affliction which is but for a 
moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory," 2 Cor. iv. 17. How is that? 
Surely by working the soul into a fitness for that glory. 
This furnace melts away the dross of our hearts. Sea- 
tossings clear the water of grace ; the dark night fits 
for a pleasant morning; these pangs prepare us for 
deliverance ; these blustering storms make us i)roduce 
the peaceable fruits of righteousness, being sanctified by 
the Spirit, and improved by faith. Affliction is God's 
physic, which produces sidoiess, but afterwards is the 
means of health ; and shall wc frustrate God's design in 
this also? Whatj are you content ^vith a heaA'en here, 


and a hell hereafter ? Nay, can you be content with a 
hell in both worlds ? IMiist these be preludes to ever- 
lasting burnings ? God forbid. Look at the Lord's 
end in these sufferings, and let it be yours. 

5. The time of this life is the only time men have 
given them to be made meet for heaven. This life is an 
introduction to an eternal state. It is a seminary for an- 
other world. Gal. vi. 7, 8, " Whatsoever a man soweth 
that shall he also reap : he that soweth to his flesh, 
shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth 
to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." 
Sowing seed is preparatory to reaping ; yet men must 
expect only to reap that kind of grain which is sown ; 
none can think to reap wheat ^vho sowed oats ; and 
you know there is more abundance in the reaping than 
in the sowing. So in this case, hell torments will be 
more exquisite and permanent, than the profit and plea- 
sure of the sinner in sinning. Heaven's joys will in- 
finitely surmount the Christian's labours and sorrows 
in this world ; and there is great equity in both cases, 
for the object sinned against is infinite, and satisfaction 
can never be made by a finite creature ; also the grace, 
from whence flows eternal life, is infinite, and will 
have an endless duration. But the point I am upon 
is to demonstrate the necessity of making meet for 
heaven in this world, or it will never be done : now or 
never. When the door is shut, the gulf fixed, and the 
soul loosed from the body, and has launched out into the 
vast ocean of eternity, there is no returning back to get 
the oil of grace, nor equipping the soul for another 
world. Eccles.ix.lO, " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to 
do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor de- 
vice, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither 
thou goest." Time lasts not, but floats away apace; but 
what is everlasting depends upon it, In this world we 


we either win or lose eternal felicity.* The great weight 
of eternity hangs on the small and brittle thread of 
life. " Now is the accepted time ; now is the day of 
salvation ;" 2 Cor. vi. 2. This is our working day, 
our market time ; surely it becomes us to lay that 
foundation well, which bears such a superstructure ; to 
cast that anchor safely which is entrusted with a vessel 
so richly laden. O sirs, sleep now, and awake in hell, 
whence there is no redemption. Suppose by misde- 
meanour you had forfeited your estate and life, and 
upon much intercession, the king should cause an hour- 
glass to be turned, and set you a work to do, or lesson to 
learn ; if you performed it you are pardoned and pro- 
moted, if not, tortured and executed : O how diligent 
would you be ! What pains would you take ? The 
case is your own, sirs; heaven and hell are before you; 
according to your improvement or non-improvement 
of this hour of life, so must you fare ; dream not of a 
purgatory ; " as the tree falls, so it lies. You enter 
by death into an unchangeable state, only the body at 
the resurrection will be joined to the soul to be partner 
with it in weal or woe, bliss or bane for ever. The 
state here is [tempus operis] the time of working ; 
hereafter \_mercedis~\ of reward. O look, before you 
leap into another world. 

6. The Christian must be made meet here for the 
inheritance above, because he hath abundance of 
work to do, and privileges to gain, in order to the 
full possession of this blessed inheritance above. We 
have many graces to exercise, duties to perform, cor- 
ruptions to subdue, temptations to resist, burdens to 
bear, mercies to improve, that will never be managed 
aright without a mind qualified for managing them. 
And observe it, the same disposition is requisite for 

* Hie aut accipimus, aut amittimus vitam aeternam. 


making a Christian meet for any duty, that is requi- 
site to make him meet for glory ; the same habitual 
principle, and drawing it forth into lively exercise. 
Not only must the man of God be perfect, " thoroughly 
furnished unto all good works," 2 Tim.iii.17; but eveiy 
Christian, that is " a vessel unto honour, must be sanc- 
tified and so meet for his master's use, and prepared 
unto every good work," 2 Tim. ii. 21. Alas, an un- 
sanctified heart is unfit for spiritual service. Solomon 
saith, " The legs of the lame are not equal," he halts 
and goes limping, " so is a parable in the mouth of 
fools," Prov. xxvi. 7- How awkwardly and bungling- 
ly doth he go to work in sacred things ; just as an 
unskilful person handles a lute, a viol, or instrument 
of music ; or as the men of Ephraim could not frame 
to pronounce Shibboleth aright, Judg. xii. 6. There 
must be a suitableness betwixt the agent and acts : no 
carnal heart can do any one good work well; materially 
he may do what is good, but not formally as good ; in 
a good manner, for a good end ; acceptably to God, or 
profitably to himself ; " For they that are in the flesh 
cannot please God ; and without faith it is impossible 
to please him." And can we think God will carry 
them to heaven that never struck a right stroke, or 
never did one hour's work for him, that he would 
accept ? A graceless sinner is like the fruitless vine- 
tree, that is not meet for any work, but is cast into the 
fire for fuel ; just so that branch which is profession- 
ally in Christ, which beareth not fruit, " is taken 
away, and cast into the fire and burned." * The di- 
vine wisdom is seen in suiting means to the end, object 
to the faculty, back to the burden ; now graceless sin- 
ners are not fit for God's work, and if they be not fit 
in this world, they will never be fit. 
* Rom. viii. 8. Heb. xi. 6, Ezek. xv. 3 — 5. John xv. 2—6. 


2. The Christian liath many privileges to enjoy 
which he must be meet for even in this world, as re- 
conciliation, justification, adoption, joy in the Holy 
Ghost, peace of conscience, communion with God, 
audience of prayers, &c. All these God hath promised, 
and Christ hath purchased for his children ; they are 
children's bread, and must not be given to dogs. God 
will not throw away his mercies on such as value them 
not, but scorn them ; they set light by precious deli- 
cacies of his table. The whole slight the physician ; 
the full soul loaths the honey-comb ; the carnal heart 
will not thank God for pardon and grace ; and can we 
think God will force his blessings on such ungrateful 
miscreants, that scorn both him and his kindness ? No, 
surely there are some that long for thes^ blessings, 
and will thankfully accept them.* Yea, he will make 
you prize them, and part with all for them, or you 
shall never have them. What think you, doth not the 
great God take care to secure his own glory, as well 
as man's felicity ? And would it not be dishonour- 
able to God to bestow his richest treasures and bless- 
ings of grace on such as despise them, and take 
more pleasure in rooting in the sordid dunghill of 
sensual delights, than in seeking first the kingdom of 
God, which consists in " righteousness, peace and joy 
in the Holy Ghost." Alas, " honour is not seemly for 
a fool." These silly fools are not meet to sit as princes 
with the king at his table, because they want a wedding 
garment of suitable disposition for so high a privilege.! 

* Matt. xxii. 5. ix. 12. Acts xiii. 46, 48. xxviii. 28. 
t Rom. xiv. 17. Prov, xxvi. 1. Matt. xxii. 12. 



7. The last reason why souls must be made meet 
for heaven is, because otherwise there would be no 
consistency or suitable adaptation of men to that holy 
place. If their natures be not changed, they will not 
have a suitableness of disposition to the glorious state 
above. The truth of this I shall demonstrate in these 
four particulars : — 

(1.) None but persons made meet for heaven will 
have any mind to leave the world, and go to God. 
Carnal, unconverted souls are totally unwilling to go 
hence ; they fancy to themselves an eternity below ; 
" Their inward thought is, that their houses shall en- 
dure for ever," Psal. xlix. 11, yea, themselves ; for 
they put far from them the evil day, and sing a requiem 
to themselves, as the fool in the gospel ; and no won- 
der, for they live by sense, and know what they have 
here, but know not what they must have hereafter : 
like the old doting monk, that shewed his fine accom- 
modations, saying, "These things make us unwilling 
to die." It was a usual saying among the heathens, 
*' that Christians only are contemners of death." * 
This is applicable to sincere Christians ; stoical apathy 
will not do it, but faith will. Julius Palmer, the 
martyr, said, " To them that have their souls linked to 
the flesh, like a rogue's foot to a pair of stocks, it is in- 
deed hard to die ; but for him who is able to separate 
soul and body by the help of God's Spirit, it is no 
* Soli Chvistiani sunt mortis contemptores. 


more hardsliip for such a one to die, than for me to 
to drink this cup of beer ;" nay, when the Christian is 
upon good terms with God, he desires to be loosed or 
dissolved, " and to be with Christ," Phil. i. 23. Yea, 
it is the disposition of a soul meet for heaven, that 
he loves and longs for Christ's appearing, 2 Tim. iv. 8; 
but the sincere Christian who is not actually meet for 
heaven, though through grace he be habitually meet, 
often shrinks at the approach of death, and is glad to 
chide himself out, and say as a holy man did, " Go out, 
my soul, go out, what art thou afraid of?"* And 
surely a man is more acceptable to God, and com- 
fortable in death, who hath set all things straight, and 
hath nothing to do, but surrender his soul into God's 
hands ; this man will make his Lord welcome any 
hour of the day, or watch of the night ; but the other 
is like a maid undrest and unready, though for the 
main she love her friend, and desire his coming, yet 
in the present juncture and under those circumstances, 
she is surprized and troubled that he should find her 
in such a state of dishabille. This is the case of the 
unmeet Christian. 

2. None but souls meet for heaven are fit for death, 
through which all must pass. It is true, the apostle 
doth discover to us this mystery, which among the rest 
he might learn in the third heavens,! "We shall not 
all sleep, but we shall all be changed ;" but this change' 
is a peculiar dispensation at the end of the world, and 
may be regarded as equivalent to death. This is 
certain, the fruit of the curse, the sting of death will 
fasten its fangs on the unconverted soul, which is 
under the covenant of works, and not in Christ. It 
is only the sincere Christian that can sing that ^^ttivXkiov 

* EgrederC; mea anima, egredei-e. t 1 Cor. xv. 51. 

VOL. V. U 


the song of triumph; or can make that brave challenge, 
*' O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy 
victory?" Only our Captain Jesus hath disarmed 
death, and it is only for his members ; others are left 
to its rage, "death feeds on them;" it hath a full 
morsel of them. The first death kills the body, and 
the second death destroys the soul ; but " blessed and 
holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on 
such the second death hath no power." * O happy 
state of real saints ! Christ, our David, hath con- 
quered this Goliah : the ark of the covenant hath 
driven back this swelling Jordan : this serpent may 
hiss and hit, not hurt ; f strike down it may, not 
strike home ; it may thrust God's children into the 
grave, not into hell : nay, our Lord sets his followers, 
who are thus meet for heaven, not only above danger 
by death, but fears of death, Heb. ii. 15 ; who can say 
as that gracious gentlewoman, a martyr. Written by 
me Ann Askew, that neither wisheth for death, nor 
feareth his might, and as cheerful as one that is bound 
for heaven. But oh the woful state of a graceless sin- 
ner ! who is in nature's state, and loves and lives in 
sin, lies and dies in the old Adam. The saddest word 
in all the Bible is that pronounced twice in a breath 
by our blessed Lord, John viii. 21, 24, " Ye shall die 
in your sins," that is, under the guilt of your sins and 
sentence of condemnation. This appears awful from 
what he adds in the first place, " whither I go you 
cannot come," that is, to heaven, M'here sinners can- 
not enter. You will say then, no man can enter into 
heaven, for all are sinners, even to the last breath. 
When men are regenerated, is it in articulo mortis^ 

* 1 Cor. XV. 5.^ — 57- Psal. xlix. 14. Rev. xx. C. 
•t" ToUitur mors, non ne sit, sed ne obsit. 


in the passage of the soul out of the body ? May not 
all be changed alike then ? * I answer. It is true all 
are sinning to the last gasp when breathing out their 
souls ; but, 

(1.) You must distinguish between a state of sin, and 
having sin. The best have relics of original depra- 
vity as long as they live : the death of the body only 
will annihilate the body of death : death is not pro- 
perly the punishment, but period of sin; it reigns not 
in God's children at present, it shall not remain in 
them when dead. The guilt of sin is already gone, 
*' for there is no condemnation to them that are in 
Christ Jesus," Rom. viii. 1 ; and the pollution, the very 
being of sin is taken away, as soon as death strikes 
the stroke. 

(2.) I see not but the mighty God can perfectly ex- 
pel sin out of the soul, and also perfect defective graces, 
at the moment of the soul's separation from the body, 
as well as he did infuse a principle of grace into the 
soul, in an instant, at the soul's first conversion ; for by 
death *' the spirits of just men are made perfect," Heb. 
xii. 23. Mind it, it is just men, not wicked ; God will 
not infuse grace into men ordinarily in their passage 
out of the world ; as men live, so they die ; f and if 
men imagine God will put another principle into their 
hearts just as they pass out of this world, as this is a 
daring presumption, so they will be mistaken ; for how 
is a departing soul capable of such exercises or reflec- 
tions as are necessary in the work of conversion ? Alas, 
the eyes, being set, the lips quivering, memory fail- 
ing, and the body in a cold sweat, is unfit for any thing ; 
their hopes giving up the ghost as their breath de- 

* In ansAver to this question, see three opinions in Dr. Tuckney, 
Theses et Prael. Theol. ubi videas pra?clare disputata, p. 269, 
—292. t Qualis vita, finis ita. 



X)arts : and it is a wonder that the souls of wicked men 
go quietly out of their bodies ; it is strange they depart 
not as the devils out of the demoniacs rending, raging, 
tearing, foaming ; but if conscience be asleep, death 
will aM'ake it. Could you follow their departing souls 
a minute out of their bodies, yon would hear the bowl- 
ings of despair. 

3. Heaven will not receive any souls but such as 
are made meet for it on earth. Rev. xxi. 27, " There 
shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, 
neither whatsoever worketh abomination — for without 
are dogs," Rev. xxii. 15. They say Ireland will not 
brook a toad, a snake, or venomous creature to live 
and like in it : I am sure heaven will not admit, but 
cast out an unsanctified heart. The legions of apostate 
angels knew this, who abode not one moment in that 
holy place after they left their innocency. It is said of 
the halcyon's nest, that it will hold nothing but its 
own bird ; the same may be said of heaven : the ser- 
pent could wind himself into the earthly paradise, but 
none of the serpentine brood shall once peep into this 
heavenly paradise. For, 

(1.) The text saith, " It is an inheritance ;" now an 
inheritance is for none but children ; it is true all 
God's children are heirs, Rom. viii. 17, and none shall 
inherit heaven except children ; by nature we are chil- 
dren of wrath ; by grace and adoption children of God. 
All God's children are begotten again, " to a lively 
hope for this incorruptible inheritance," 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. 
(2.) It is " the inheritance of saints," that is, of ho- 
ly, sanctified souls. Persons must not think that hea- 
ven is like Mahomet's paradise, where there is delicious 
fare, pleasant gardens, fair women, and all sensual de- 
lights, fit lettuce for an epicure's lips. No, no, heaven 
is a state of perfect, immediate, and perpetual enjoy- 


merit of God, suited to the matured faculties of a sanc- 
tified soul. 

(3.) It is " the inheritance of saints in light." It is a 
Ijright and lightsome state, suited to illuminated souls; 
blind sinners can see no beauty there ; such as are not 
changed from darkness to light are not fit for that 
state : see Acts xxvi. 18. Alas, a blind man can take 
no pleasure in beautiful objects, though the sun shine 
ever so gloriously. Heaven and light are synony- 
mous ; but light and darkness are directly contrary. 
" If we say that we have fellowship with him, and 
walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth," 1 John 
i. 6; and such dark sinners are far from a suitableness 
to this state and place of light. O therefore, poor sin- 
ners, consider this, the holy God hates all the workers 
of iniquity ; the holy heaven is no sanctuary for rebels 
and traitors ; God will not take such vipers into his 
bosom ; thou must either be renewed, or never receiv- 
ed into glory ; it is an undefiied inheritance, 1 Pet. i. 4>, 
a polluted sinner must not enter ; this would be incom- 
patible with all God's attributes, — as his justice, then 
God would give to the wicked according to the work 
of the righteous ; — it would blemish his holiness, as 
though the unclean were his delight equally with the 
clean ; — it would contradict his truth, as though God 
regarded not what he had said that no unclean thing 
shall enter there. Every attribute would have re- 
proach cast upon it, if God should save the unsanctified 
soul. Nay, it would counteract the undertaking of 
Christ, who came to save his people from their sins, 
not in their sins : it would oppose the ofliice and ope- 
rations of the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to sanctify 
sinners, and prepare souls for heaven. That sinner 
must surely be in a desperate case that must undeify 
the infinite Jehovah, God blessed for ever, or else he 
cannot be saved. 


4. The unsanctified sinner would not be in his element 
in heaven. Heaven would be a hell to him, except his 
nature were changed and renewed. IMost men mistake 
the nature of heaven ; they only look upon it as a place 
of happiness; it is so, but withal it is a state of perfect 
holiness. There are holj^ privileges, and the enjoyment 
of God, but what care wicked men for his company ? 
They say unto God, depart from us ; and their choice 
shall be their punishment. There are holy joys and de- 
lights; but how will they like that who were never pleas- 
ed except with senseless laughter, which is madness? 
Above there is the holy company of saints, but they 
cannot abide to be neai* them on earth ; how then can 
they like to be associated with them in heaven ? There 
is holy employment above, but alas, they are not at 
all qualified for, nor can they be delighted with the work 
of loving, praising, or glorifying God. Augustine hath 
a saying, '•' That the new song and the old man agree 
not Vv^ell together :* — no man could learn that new song, 
but the hundred, forty and four thousand, which were 
redeemed from the earth," Rev. xiv. 3. Alas,, they 
have not hearts nor harps tuned for it : suppose it 
were possible that our Lord should bring an unsancti- 
fied person to heaven, saith one, he could find no more 
felicity there, than an animal, should you bring him 
into a beautiful room, to the society of learned men, 
or a well furnished table; the poor thing would much 
rather be grazing with his fellow brutes : thus a poor 
graceless sinner would rather be with his cups or mis- 
tresses, at best in his markets, and counting his gold, 
but there are no such things in heaven ; therefore if he 
were there, he would be quite out of his element, as a 
fish in the air, or a bird in the water, or fire. Can 
you charm an ox with music ? or can you bring him 
to your melody, or make him keep time with your 
* Canticiim novum et vetus homo male concordant. 


skilful choir ? So the anthems of heaven, saith one, 
are not adapted to a carnal man's month, suit not his 
ear. Sinners now think sermons long, sabbaths long, 
prayers and praises long, and cry, what a weariness is 
it ; when will it be over ? And are these, think you, 
fit for this heavenly employment to all eternity ? where 
this noble company of celestial inhabitants, "serve 
God day and night in the temple," Rev. vii. 15. Alas, 
the poor unregenerate sinner hath no faculties suited to 
such a glorious state and exercise, as are above ; the 
mind, will, memory and conscience, are like a full 
stomach that loaths the honey-comb ; these old bottles 
cannot hold the new wine of glory. You may as well 
hew the marble without tools, or draw a picture with- 
out colours, or build without instruments or materials, 
as a soul not qualified with grace perform the work of 
God acceptably either on earth or in heaven. O sirs, 
think of this, you must be prepared, fitted, qualified 
for heaven here, or else heaven will be no heaven to you. 



I NOW proceed to application, and all the use I shall 
make of this point shall be for lamentation and ex- 

1. To produce conviction, humiliation, and lamenta- 
tion. If men would think on such plain demonstrations 
as are oft laid before sinners in the ministry of the 


word, they would at last reflect upon themselves, and 
say, am I thus or thus prepared ? upon what terms 
stand I for another world ? am I an adopted child of 
God ? am I justified ? am I converted to God, and 
brought through the passage of regeneration ? have I 
made a covenant with God, and taken God for my 
God, and given myself to him ? what saving change 
hath taken place upon my heart ? If I should come 
to you one by one, and propose to you such solemn 
questions as these, Friends, whither bound ? whither 
are you going ? are you for heaven or hell ? Oh no, 
you will say, God forbid, that we should not go to 
heaven ! God is a merciful God ; Christ died to save 
sinners ; we do not doubt but through the merits of 
Christ, we shall be saved as well as others. Alas, sirs, 
these are too general grounds, to build your hopes of 
salvation upon. God is merciful, but he is also just ; 
Christ died for sinners, but do you imagine all shall be 
saved by him ? Let me ask you a few sober questions, 
and answer them not according to your fancies, but 
according to scripture iiile : Do you believe that all 
men shall be saved ? what is hell then for, which is so 
oft mentioned in the Bible ? or do you think that the 
gates of heaven are as wide as the gates of hell, or that 
as many shall be saved as lost ? dare you so directly 
contradict our blessed Saviour, and give him the lie ? 
Matt. vii. 13, 14. Can you imagine that our Lord 
Jesus, who is the porter of heaven, will admit any but 
those whom he saith he will entertain? or do you 
think he will admit those whom he saith he will 
keep out? what think you, can any secretly steal 
in, unknown to him, or forcibly thrust in against 
his will ? Is the infinite all-seeing God grown so 
weak or ignorant that you can deceive or conquer him ? 
or x?an you bribe him to let you in with fair words 


or large gifts ? or dare you stand to plead in his face 
that you are qualified and meet for heaven, when he 
tells you, that you are not ? Do you think there is 
such a thing as a groundless presumption, or flattering 
hope that will give up the ghost ? Is not the devil a 
deceiver ? are not your hearts treacherous ? and are not 
they fools that trust these, and will not try by the 
word what they affirm ? And have you solemnly and 
faithfully tried your title to heaven? have you not 
taken all for granted without a serious proving of your 
state, merely because you would have it so ? are you 
content to do so in temporal things? and will you 
madly venture your immortal souls on such grounds 
as you dare not try ? or can you thinli to escape the 
strict scrutiny of the omniscient God ? Sirs, the busi- 
ness is important; heaven and hell depend upon it. 
Ministers who believe that there is an eternity, and 
certainly know upon what terms souls are saved, dare 
not but be faithful to you, and declare the whole 
counsel of God. 

I must first tell you. Who those are that are far off 
salvation, and are utterly unmeet for this inheritance, 
and can pretend no claim to it. Secondly, Such as 
pretend a claim, which is groundless, and but a pre- 
tended claim which cannot be made out on Scripture 

1. There are persons within the pale of the visible 
church, (for I here meddle not with heathens or Jews) 
who are evidently excluded. These are sinners that carry 
a blpck brand on their foreheads, of whom a man may 
say without breach of charity, these exhibit visibly 
the dolefuL tokens of eternal death and perdition. 
Of these we have one catalogue, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, 
" Know ye not," that is, methinks you cannot plead 
ignorance in so notorious a case so oft inculcated, that, 


(1.) *' The unrighteous shall not inherit the king- 
dom of God ;" that is, who grind the poor, and over- 
reach their brethren, when they have them at advan- 
tage, " God is the avenger of such," 1 Thess. iv. 6 ; 
therefore will not reward them with heaven. 

(2.) Nor shall fornicators inherit the kingdom of 
God. Such filthy goats must be set at God's left 
hand. This sin (as venial a sin as it is reckoned by 
some) is ruinous, and excludes men from heaven. Do 
you think that such polluted dogs shall ever trample 
on the golden pavement, when God would not suffer 
even the price of a harlot or dog to come into his 
house? Deut. xxiii. 18. 

(3.) Nor idolaters, gross, or more refined : for God 
will not permit his children to keep company, or fa- 
miliarly converse with such on earth ; and therefore 
they shall not be associated with them in the other 
world, for God is not well pleased with such. 

(4.) Nor shall adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers 
of themselves with mankind, inherit the kingdom of 
God ; such vile wretches shall rather have fire from 
heaven, than be admitted into that holy place. These 
horrible acts of lewdness are not fit to be named 
among saints ; and surely those who commit them can- 
not be received among saints. * 

(5.) Nor thieves. Not only open robbers on the 
high way, or breakers of houses, but gamesters that 
cheat others, or purloining, wasteful servants, deceit- 
ful tradesmen, or wilful bankrupts, who basely get 
others' estates into their hands, and never intend to 
pay their just debts. These men, without restitution, 
shall have their ill-gotten silver and gokl to torment 
them like burning metal in their bowels, James v. 

* 1 Cor. V. 11. X. 5, 7. Eph. v. 3, 4. Rom. i. 24. 


(6.) Nor covetous. These are fitly ranked with 
thieves, that run out with inordinate affection after the 
world, and share in her favours with great delight ; 
that enlarge their desires as hell. These shall be shut 
out of heaven, for they have their portion in the pre- 
sent life, and are real idolaters.* These must be 
banished heaven. 

(7.) Nor drunkards. Not only such as brutify them- 
selves, and drink away their reason, but such as sit- 
ting long, continue till wine inflame them: yea, 
though they be not intoxicated, yet those purchase a 
woe to -themselves, who are " mighty to drink wine, 
and men of strength to mingle strong drink," Isaiah 
V. 11, 22. 

(8.) Nor revilers. These are properly connected 
with drunkards ; for the godly are usually the drun- 
kards' song, that scoff and jeer at serious religion, and 
break their scurrilous jests npon the holiest saints : 
but there is no railing among angels or saints in hea- 
ven, Jude 9 ; nor shall such revilers come there : and 
one would think they do not desire to come to asso- 
ciate with those they so abuse, 

(9.) I may add backbiters, who love to take up and 
blaze abroad a false report against their neighbours. 
These are excluded from God's tabernacle, Psal. xv. 
1, 3 ; they forge all the calumnies they can against 
such as do them no hurt, wounding them secretly with 
a stab in the dark, or behind their backs ; God will 
shut the door of heaven against such. 

(10.) Swearers, that profane the glorious and tre- 
mendous name of the eternal God by horrible oaths, 
curses, and execrations : blasphemers of old were to be 
put to death, and if men now spare them, the flying- 
roll of curses shall go out against them, and cut them 
* Psal. xvii. 14. Col. iii. 5. Eph. v. 5. 


off, Zech. V. 2 — 4. " Those that swear fall into con- 
demnation," James v. 12. 

(11.) Liars, that invent or utter falsehoods on any 
account whatsoever. These carry their own doom in 
their consciences, and they may read the doleful sen- 
tence, Rev. xxi. 27, " There shall in no wise enter 
into it any thing that defileth, or maketh a lie."' The 
God of truth hateth liars, and will banish them from 
his court, as David did. 

(12.) Apostates, that once made a fair shew, but 
are renegadoes to the truth, way, people, and worship 
of God. They bring a great reproach on religion ; 
and our blessed Saviour pronounceth such as put their 
" hand to the plough and look back, to be unfit for the 
kingdom of God ; God's soul will have no pleasure in 
them." O the dreadful end of those that turn their 
backs on Christ.* 

Hearken, sinners, if any of you be of this number, 
read and tremble, there is no room for you in this 
glorious city above, you must be shut out. Living 
and dying in this state there is no more mercy for you 
than for the devils : heaven is shut against you, hell is 
open for you ; how can you escape the damnation of 
hell ? IMatt. xxiii. 33. Alas, you are daily filling up 
the measure of your sins ; the ephali is well nigh full, 
another sin, another neglect, and the next news you may 
hear, the talent of lead may be cast upon the mouth of 
the ephah, and thy soul carried into thine own place, 
Zech. V. 7, 8. One oath more, one lie more, one fit of 
drunkenness more, and thy iniquity is full, thy soul is 
gone. Who can tell but God may say to thee as to the 
rich man, Luke xii. 20, " This night thy soul shall be 
required of thee ?" or as the word awaLTovatv signifies, 
they, that is, the devils shall require thy soul. Oh 

* Psal. ci. 7. Luke. ix. 62. Heb. x. 38. 2 Pet. ii. 20, 21. 


how eagerly are infernal fiends watching for a com- 
mission to arrest thee with death on a journey, or to 
strangle thee in thy bed, and hurry thee headlong into 
hell with them ! Thy iniquity is filling up; the sunshine 
of prosperity ripens it apace ; the sweet rain of gospel 
ordinances brings weeds to perfection as well as corn. 
As God's children are making meet for heaven, thou 
art making meet for hell. Rom. ix. 22, " What if God, 
willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power 
known, endured with much long suffering the vessels 
of wrath fitted to destruction ;" KaTi]pTi(jf.iivu, made up, 
made ready, like sticks dried and bundled up to be 
cast into the fire. It is not said that God fits them for 
destruction, as it is said, verse 23, of the vessels of 
mercy which he had afore prepared imto glory. No, 
no, there needs no more to a sinner's fitness for hell, 
but leaving him to himself; he will fall apace down- 
wards to perdition with his own weight. Ah sinner, 
thou little knowest how soon thy foot may slide off 
this slippery battlement on which thou standest, to 
the precipice of eternal destruction ; little dost thou 
know how soon that flaming sword which hangs over 
thy head by the slender thread of thy natural life, may 
descend upon thee and separate soul and body, and 
follow this stroke of vengeance into the other world. 
Methinks thou wouldst not eat, nor drink, nor sleep 
quietly in this so dangerous, ruinous a state ; every 
sin thou committest is a " treasuring up unto thyself 
wrath against the day of wrath," Rom. ii. 5. Look to 
it, the Judge standeth before the door, death is ready 
to lay its cold hand of arrest upon thee ; there is but 
a step between fyou and death ; that door which 
lets you out of time ushers you into eternal torments ; 
and are you taking long strides to hell ? shall you not 
be there soon enough ? can you not sink yourselves 


low enough? must you needs add drunkenness to 
thirst ? impenitence to your sin ? Alas, you love to 
wander, you hate to be reformed ; yea, you hate in- 
struction, and cast God's words behind you, Psal. 1. 17- 
Ministers from the Lord follow you with tears, in- 
treaties, arguments to persuade, and means to direct, 
and willingness to assist you, in the best manner they 
can, in your preparations for a future state, but you 
are reluctant to converse with them ; you conceal your 
state from them ; they employ their time in studying 
to do you good ; they spend their lungs in speaking to 
God for you, but all doth no good, they cannot be 
heard till it be too late ; no warning will serve. Men 
say as that evil servant, " ]\Iy Lord delayeth his com- 
ing, so begin to eat and drink with the drunken ;" let 
them know, " the lord of that servant will come in a 
day when he looketh not for him, and in a hour that 
he is not aware of; and shall cut him asunder, and ap- 
point him his portion with the hypocrites, there shall 
be weeping and gnashing of teeth," Mattxxiv. 48 — 5L 



So:me may however say, you speak terrible things 
against the profane, but I bless God I am none of that 
class, my case is better than those you have described, 
I conduct myself fairly in my conversation, none can 
challenge me for gi'oss enormities, I go to church, hear 
sermons, pray as well as God gives me grace, none are 


perfect, I hope God for Christ's sake will pardon my 
defects ; I repent of my sins from the bottom of my 
heart, and believe in Christ, and do as well as I can ; 
God help us, we are all sinners ; God will not be so 
severe as you say ; I hope I shall go to heaven as well 
as others. 

My answer is. It is not as I say, or you say, but as 
God himself saith ; do I say any thing but what the 
holy God saith in the Bible ? Object against it and 
disprove it ; but must not the word of God judge 
you another day ? Hath he not told us in his infal- 
lible word who shall be saved, and who shall not ? and 
will you believe God or your own self-deluding hearts? 
Besides, I stand upon habitual meetness chiefly. What 
art thou, man, in point of state ? Art thou a child of 
God or a child of the devil ? Tell not me that thou 
hast done this or that good work, but art thou savingly 
converted from sin to God ? Hast thou that renova- 
tion which necessarily accompanies salvation ? This 
I have considered. 

But that which I shall briefly hint at, is to tell you 
that many go as far as Kadesh-barnea, who reach not 
Canaan : many go far, that die in the wilderness ; they 
set out fair, and hold on long, but yet never obtain 
this heavenly inheritance. " Strive to enter .in at the 
strait gate," saith our Lord, " for many, I say unto 
you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able," Luke 
xiii. 24. 

1. You say, you conduct yourself fairly and live 
civilly. Alas, civil or external righteousness, and ab- 
staining from gross sins will not do. Abimelech, a 
heathen, was an exact moralist; Paul, unconverted, 
was blameless. These were not saints nor meet for 

2. You say, you go to church, attend on ordinances. 


and hear the best preachers, so did those that heard 
Christ himself ; yet at last were rejected, with " I 
know you not;" and so many others have done,* 

3. You say, you pray and jDerform many religious 
duties ; so did the Jews of old, who were very wicked, 
and rejected ; so did the Pharisees : some have the 
form but want the power of godliness. These are 
lifeless blocks. | 

4. You say, you profess the orthodox faith, and are 
not guilty of heresy; so did those mentioned, Rom. ii.23, 
28 : creeds make not Christians. A sound head and un- 
sound heart may be companions. The Scribe answered 
discreetly and orthodoxly, Mark xii. 34, and was not 
far from the kingdom of God, but never came into it. 

5. You say, you have honest purposes and endea- 
vours ; even some attainments in growing better and 
mending what is amiss ; it is well ; but Saul said, 
1 Sam. xxvi. 21, " I will no more do thee harm ;" yea, 
Herod reformed and did many things, Mark vi. 20. 
All this is good, but not good enough for heaven. 

6. You say, but my reformation was begun and at- 
tended with strong convictions and troubles of con- 
science ; yet this will be no good evidence, for Cain had 
terrors ; Felix had his tremblings ; yea, " the devils 
believe and tremble."! 

7. But I repent of my sins, you will say, and mourn 
sore. I reply, hast thou considered well whether it be 
a worldly sorrow that worketh death, or a godly sorrow 
that worketh repentance to salvation ? Saul wept sore, 
Ahab humbled himself, Esau sought the blessing witli 
tears, Judas repented himself, || yet all come short. 

* Gen. XX. 6. Phil. iii. G. Luke xiii. 26. Ezek. xxxiii. 31, 32. 

t Isa. Iviii. 1, 2. Luke xviii. 11, 12. 2 Tim. iii. 5. 

J Gen. iv. 14. Acts xxiv. 25. James ii. 19. 

11 2 Cor. vii. 10. IKings xxi. 2/. Heb. xii. I7. Matt, xxvii. 3. 


8. You say, but I associate with God's people, am 
well accounted of, can have testimonials under the 
hands of eminent ministers and Christians. I answer, 
so high did the foolish virgins attain, they had lamps, 
and waited, and went out to meet the bridegroom, yet 
the door was barred upon them, Matt. xxv. 1 — 12. 
Some have a name to live, "but are dead," Rev. iii. 1. 

9- But God hath given me important gifts of memory, 
knowledge, and utterance in discoursing and praying, 
which surel}^ he will not reject. I answer, so those 
introduced. Matt. vii. 21 — 33, had gifts of preaching, 
and working miracles, yet even to them the Judge will 
say, " I never knew you." Gifts and grace are dif- 
ferent things ; see 1 Cor. xiii. 1 — 3. 

10. But I have grace, I have the grace of faith, love, 
and good desires. I answer, Simon Magus also believed, 
and was baptized, yet had neither part nor lot in this 
matter, for his heart was not right in the sight of God, 
Acts viii. 13, 21. There is a feigned as well as un- 
feigned faith, a dissembled love, unsound desire, and 
legal repentance. 

11. But I have been exercised in extraordinary acts 
of piety, in zeal for religion, in reformation, and suffer- 
ings for God ; I doubt not but this inheritance belongs 
to me. I answer, all this thou mayest do, and be no 
candidate for heaven ; Jehu was a great reformer, yet 
a false-hearted hypocrite ; young Joash was zealous 
for a season. What strict observers of the Sabbath 
were the Scribes and Pharisees ? * 

12. You will say further, O but I have assurance that 
my state is good, and not only so, but experience some 
joy and peace of conscience, which are as so many fore- 
tastes and prelibations of my future happiness. I an- 
swer. It is well, but see to it that they be of the right 
* 2 Kings X. 16, 28. 2 Chron. xxiv. 4, 18. Luke xi. 42. xiii. 14, 15. 

VOL. v. X 


stamp : the stony-ground hearers anon with joy receive 
the word, Matt. xiii. 20. Balaam had extraordinary 
raptures in hearing the words of God, seeing the vision 
of the Almighty, and beholding the glory of God's 
peojile Israel, when he fell into a trance, Numb. xxiv. 
4 — 6, 17; and there are that " taste of the word of God, 
and pov\rers of the world to come," Heb. vi. 5, 6, yet 
such may fall away irrecoverably. Oh how many 
catch at the promises, and are pleased with a sweet 
discourse on free grace ! Alas, these long for, and 
love gospel-delicacies, as children delight in sweet 
meats ; and as Dr. Ames saith, " Arminian grace may 
be but the effect of a good dinner." Nature works 
with something like the appearance of grace when 
affected by that which suits the fancy, but sound con- 
viction and deep humiliation have never in them pre- 
pared the soul for a judicious relish of divine things, nor 
produced such blessed consequences in heart and life, 
as in God's children. 

Oh how many poor sinners are flattering themselves 
in a golden dream, and fear no danger, till they be past 
hopes of recover}' ! Many think they are travelling 
towards heaven, and never question it, till as they are 
stepping out of this world, as they think, into heaven, 
they miss their footing, and drop down into hell ; they 
never see their error till it be too late to retrieve it. 
Oh that men were awakened in time ! If you stay till 
death have executed his commission, it will be too late. 
The day of judgment must needs find him unready, 
whom the day of death finds unready.* Roman 
Catholics have a conceit, that the interval between 
death and judgment may do great things to make 
them meet for heaven, but they are mistaken. Death 

* Imparatum ir.veniet dies judiciij quern imparatum invenerit 
dies mortis- 


launclieth you into the boundless ocean of eternity; 
" It is ajipointed unto men once to die, and after that 
the judgment," Heb. ix. 27. Ah, sirs, what think 
you ? Is there a heaven or hell after this life, or is 
there not ? and are you uncertain whether by death, 
you shall enter upon eternal happiness or misery, and 
yet can you be quiet ? If you were not wavering in 
youi' belief of future things, you would be restless as 
long as you are doubtful. You owe your calmness 
and repose to nothing but your lethargy ; if you were 
not infidels you would be distracted. What, man ! 
liable the next moment to be wailing in hell, and not 
repent on earth ? he is worse than a devil that trembles 
not under divine wrath. What, if it have not seized 
on you, as on devils, flames are at the door, wrath 
hangs over your heads ; the only reason you see it not, 
is because you are blind. The Lord open your eyes 
and then I shall not need to preach terror to you, 
your hearts will meditate terror ; fearfulness will sur- 
prize you, and make you say, " Who among us shall 
dwell with the devouring fire, with everlasting burn- 
ings ?" Isa. xxxiii. 14. It is a v/onder you do not run 
up and do^vn like men deranged; surely you have taken 
some opiate to cast you into a dead sleep, or intoxicate 
your spirits, as some malefactors do, that dare not die 
sober : even some wiser heathens took great draughts 
of wine, saying, " That no voluptuous person can go in 
his wits into an invisible state." But is this a making 
meet for heaven or hell ? Can rational persons think 
to escape a pitfall by shutting their eyes ? It is re- 
ported of Robert, Duke of Normandy, William the 
Conqueror's father, that when going on a pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem, and falling sick, he was carried in a litter 
on the shoulders of Saracens, he said, " He was borne 
to heaven on the devil's back ?" and will you adopt his 

X 2 


language ? Alas, will you trust the fiend of hell to 
bring you to heaven ? is he grown so full of charity 
to souls ? Oh forlorn case of miserable sinners ! have 
you no better friend than Satan ? that you can be con- 
tent to be rocked asleep in his cradle, and carried with 
ease to hell, rather than pass to heaven in our Lord's 
chariot paved with love ? is security your best fence 
against misery ? Can the poor fig-leaves of temporary 
righteousness seciu'e you from divine vengeance ? can 
you be content to depend on that another day, which 
you dare not jnit to the trial here ? 

Alas, I am afraid, 1. Some are very ignorant and 
know not what is necessary to a meetness for heaven. 
Most think if they have but time to say at death, 
Lo7'(], have mercy upon me ; God forgive me my sins; 
Lord Jesus, receive my soul ; they think they have 
made their peace with God, especially if they can say, 
they forgive all the world, and die in charity with all, 
and send for the minister to pray with them, and re- 
ceive absolution and the sacrament, when perhaps 
they are little fit for such a solemn ordinance ; then 
the minister commends their souls into God's hands, 
praises them at their funeral, and now they are cer- 
tainly gone to heaven ; these poor mistaken sinners 
blessed their souls whilst living, and men must com- 
mend them, and account them blessed when dead. 
Psalm xlix. 18. 

2. Most are inconsiderate ; they regard nothing 
but mere objects of sense, like the kine of Bashan, 
" which went out at their breaches, every one at that 
which was before her," Amos iv. 1 — 3. They never 
mind things out of their natural sight ; they " put far 
away the evil day," little thinking what will be the end 
of their careless ways ; either they say to-morrow shall 
be as this day, and much more abundant ; or else in 


atheistical scorn and mockery, " Let us eat and drink 
for to-morrow we die;"-'- let us be merry while we 
may ; we shall never be younger ; when we are gone 
all the world is gone with us ; as if there were no 
reckoning day, or retribution in the other world ; but 
let such study Eccl. xi. 9, 10. Rom. viii. 13. Luke 
xii. 19, 20. Psal. ix. 17. 2 Thess. i. 6—9- John iii. 
18. Psal. 1. 22. Oh sirs, disappointments are dreadful. 
It is sad, with a witness, to be confident of heaven, and 
yet doomed to hell; as Hamilcar dreamed he shovddthe 
next night sup in Syracuse, which indeed he did, not 
as a conqueror, as he hoped, but as a prisoner. O how 
will it double your final misery, to live in confident 
hopes of reigning with Christ, yet to be judged by 
him, and banished from him for ever ! If you say, 
" soul, take thine ease," and God say, " devil, take his 
soul ;" whether of these think you, will prevail ? 



Next, exhortation may be addressed first, to sin- 
ners : secondly, to saints, to attain a meetness for the 
heavenly inheritance : the former by habitual, the latter 
by actual meetness for this glorious state. 

1. I shall need to say the less to move the former 

class : having urged practical reasons from our natural 

unmeetness, divine ordination, the design of ordinances 

wnd providences, the season of life for it, the work and 

* Amos vi. 3. Jer. v. 31. Isa. Ivi. 12. 1 Cor. xv. 32. 


privileges here requiring it, and the inconsistency of a 
frame entirely unadapted to that glorioiis inheritance : 
most of these are directed to the state of vmsanctified, 
careless souls, therefore I shall say the less on that 
branch. O that I had here the tongue or pen of an 
angel ! or the bowels of blessed Paul to persuade sin- 
ners to look after a meetness for heaven. Consider, 

(1.) What else have you to do in the world? Your 
very children will tell you that man's chief end is to 
glorify God and enjoy him for ever. If you come 
short of these attainments you live in the world to no 
purpose, you are unprofitable cumber-grounds. 

(2.) You frustrate Christ's undertaking in the world, 
and do what you can to render his merits useless; you 
tread under foot the Son of God, coimt the blood of 
the covenant an unholy thing, and disregard, if not do 
despite to the Spirit of grace, Heb. x. 29 ; you say 
plainly I like not the purchase, I will have none of it ; 
you call heaven Cabul, a dirty thing, as Hiram called 
Solomon's twenty cities he gave him ; and can you 
think it much to be dealt without heaven, when you 
thus "judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life?" 
Acts xiii. 46. 

(3.) Every day brings you nearer heaven or hell. 
It is reported of the pious Lady Falkland, that going 
to bed at night, she usually said, " Now I am nearer 
heaven by one day than ever I was." One day added 
to your age is a day taken away from your life. O 
think when you have heard a sermon, or spent a sab- 
bath, I am now nearer heaven or hell ; the word hath 
been to me " the savour of life unto life, or of death 
unto death," 2 Cor. ii. 16. It can'ies me forward some 
way ; if I bring forth meet and suitable fruit, I shall 
receive a blessing from God ; if briars and thorns, I 
am rejected, '^nigh to a curse, whose end is to be 


bimied," Heb. vi. 7, 8. The word either hardens or 
softens. Woe to me, if all that God doth aggravates 
my condemnation. 

(4.) Eternity brings up the rear of time. If it were 
but making fit for a day's pageantry, there would be 
no such great need of diligence to get matters ready ; 
though it is said, Jer. ii. 32, " Can a maid forget her 
ornaments, or a bride her attire ;" though it is for the 
short exhibition of a marriage day ? Oh but this is 
for eternity. An eminent painter of antiquity being- 
asked why he bestowed so much labour on his picture, 
answered, " I paint for eternity." Indeed there is no- 
thing of value but what relates to eternity. Eternity 
gives weight and emphasis to all created beings. The 
a23ostle thought all visible sublunary things not worth 
a cast of his eye in comparison with this eternity.* 
Alas, sirs, is eternity nothing with you? O my 
friends, this, if any thing, is worth attention, to be for 
ever with the Lord, to enjoy God thousands and ten 
thousands of millions of years, or to be banished from 
his presence, and tormented with devils and lost souls 
for ever. Oh this word Jar ever is overwhelming. A 
pious man in company sat in a deep study, and being- 
demanded what he was thinking of? Answered, only 
with repeating "for ever, for ever, for ever," constantly 
for some time : this is indeed a solemn consideration. 
O that you would seriously lay to heart the great 
things of another world ! On the one hand, the enjoy- 
ment of God and Christ, the company of saints and 
angels, the perfection of your natures, a crown of 
glory, fulness of joy and pleasures at God's right hand 
for evermore, through the perpetual ages of a bound- 
less eternity; all this were worth praying, obeying, 
and suffering for a thousand years ! On the other 

* 2 Cor. iv. 18. Sec a book called '< Glimpse of Eternitj\" 


hand, think of the sting of conscience, the company 
of devils and damned spirits, the loss of God, Christ, 
heaven, and your precious souls, the burning lake, the 
bottomless pit, the scorching flames, and this for ever 
and ever — an endless duration ! O sirs, if you would 
but look down into that stupendous gulf, what a 
change would it work in your hearts ! You would 
banish your vain company, lay aside your worldly 
business, abandon your sensual pleasures, and mind 
nothing else till yom* souls be safe for eternity. This 
would be as the cry at midnight, " Behold the bride- 
groom Cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Matt. xxv. 6. 
As sleepy as they were, this startled them ; so it would 
you, as if you heard a voice out of the clouds saying ; 
sinner, thou art now summoned to appear before the 
di-ead tribunal of the all-seeing Judge, to receive thy 
final sentence, and to be sent to an everlasting state 
of weal or woe ; stay not one moment in thy state of 
unregeneracy ; haste, haste, make all haste out of it ; 
fall to the work of faith and repentance as for thy life; 
defer not one day ; now or never. 

You will say, can I make myself meet for heaven ? 
What can. I do? The work is God's. I answer, God 
is the efficient, but he will make you instruments in 
this work. God's grace and man's duty are very con- 
sistent. Study Phil. ii. 12, 13. Up and be doing, and 
God will be with you. Though God must turn, yet 
you should endeavour to turn yourselves, Ezek. xviii. 
30, 31. Though God make you a new heart, yet he 
will have you make yourselves a new heart. O sirs, 
without delay commence the work, examine, prove, tiy 
yoiu* state by the rule of the word ; attend the most 
piercing, powerful ministry ; search out all your ini- 
quities, and confess them before the Lord with grief, 
hatred, and shame ; beg converting grace as for your 


lives ; plead with God for pardon through the blood of 
Christ; solemnly renew your baptismal covenant in 
taking God for your God, and giving up yourselves to 
him, and then read, meditate, watch and pray, mortify 
your beloved lusts, obey the commands of God, and do 
these things speedily, seriously, and constantly, and 
see what the effect will be. If you will fall to it, well 
and good, if not, you are guilty of self-destruction ; 
and remember you are this day warned. 

2. I turn myself to truly gracious souls that are in a 
safe state for the main, as to habitual meetness, but I 
fear are far short of that actual meetness which is 
requisite, as to a lively exercise of suitable graces ; a 
clear evidence of being in a spiritual state ; despatching 
work off their hands, being mortified to time, and 
longing for heaven. Alas, the wise virgins slumbered 
and slept. I fear few of us are in that state of readi- 
ness in which we ought to be, or might have been, or 
to which others have attained ; nay, it is well if now 
our souls be in that frame in which sometimes we 
have been. What decays of love, zeal, and tender- 
ness of conscience? what backslid ings, deadness, hard- 
ness, worldliness, and formality do God's children fall 
into? What staggerings in our faith of the reality 
of unseen things ? How uncertain about our title to 
an inheritance above ? Doth not our slavish fear of 
death shew this ? Our instability and variable course 
in religion ; our distractions in holy duties ; our fre- 
quent closing with temptations, and too oft stepping 
aside into sin ; our intermitting duties of God's wor- 
ship, and estrangement growing between God and our 
souls; our unreadiness in our accounts; our unwilling- 
ness to go to God : all these too sadly demonstrate our 
immeetness for heaven. Alas, friends, are we not yet 
meet ? Let us be ashamed of our slackness ; what 


have we been doing all this time, with these helps and 
privileges we have had ? Have not many young peo- 
ple and others that set out after us out-stript us, and 
are got to heaven? Are we not ashamed of oiu* 
loitering and lagging behind ? "Wliat has become of 
the many warnings we have had in different ways ? 
Have we any greater matters to mind ? Do we not 
bring dishonour to God and discredit to our religion, 
by our backwardness ? And can we have that com- 
fort and confidence in meeting the bridegroom of our 
souls as is fit ? Alas, our Lord will be less welcome 
if he surprise us unawares, as I have told you. Ah, 
sirs, you little know how near death is, and therefore 
should be always ready to meet our Lord. It is 
matter of great lamentation that so few of God's chil- 
dren are meet for their home ; and like wayward chil- 
dren are loth to go to bed, though God hath taken a 
coiu'se to weary us out of the world. The Lord help 
us to lament and lay to heart our great unmeetness for 
heaven. When sin, security, or insensibility steals in 
upon thy spirit, search it out, mourn for it, confess it, 
beg pardon for it, and recover thyself quickly out of it; 
rest not satisfied with any distance from God ; recover 
thy wonted familiarity with thy best friend, and mend 
thy pace towards heaven, as a man in his journey that 
hath been hindered, hies the faster, to recover what he 
has lost by his stay; breathe after more likeness to God 
and fitness for every dispensation, and long to be with 
God in heaven. Alas, sirs, you little know how near 
you are to eternity. You see the sands that are run 
to the lower end of the glass, but the upper part, as 
one saith, is covered with a mantle, you know not how 
few sands are yet to run. God forbid that you should 
have your evidences to procm'e when you should have 
them to produce. If you be not sure of heaven, you 


are sure of nothing, all worldly things must leave you, 
or you must leave them. Despatch all but this off 
your hands, and be as the bird on the wing to her 
nest, or the traveller, whose mind is still on home, no- 
thing will please him but home. Say with Calvin, 
usqueqm Domine? " How long, Lord, shall my soul 
be at a distance from thee ? Come, Lord Jesus, come 



I TROCEED briefly to explain the second thing con- 
tained in the text ; which is. 

That it is a transcendent mercy worth thanking God 
for, to be made meet for the heavenly inheritance. 

If we must thank God for daily bread, for houses, 
health, estates, worldly comforts and accommodations 
for our bodies, how much more should we thank God 
for heaven, and a meetness for heaven ? without which 
we shall never come there. 

The truth of this I shall demonstrate in these seven 
particulars : 

1. Spiritual mercies are of most worth, and deserve 
from us most thanks to God. But this is a spiritual 
mercy, Eph. i. 3, " Blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all 
spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ ;" it is 
iv Toiq Inovpavioig and SO may signify spiritual things 
as well as places, that is, graces, privileges, comforts, 


or whatever hath a tendency to the good of the soul, 
or eternal salvation in heaven : these indeed are a 
Benjamin's portion, a goodly heritage, the quintessence 
and marrow of all blessings. If God should give you 
the whole world, and put you off therewith, you are ac- 
cursed and wretched ; if he give you grace and glory, 
you are happy, if you had nothing else. Our Lord 
thought that a plenary benediction, with which he be- 
gins his first sermon, Matt. v. 3, " Blessed are the poor 
in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God." There 
is the mercy j)romised, and the qualification for it, both 
choice blessings. 

2. That which is the purchase of Christ is worth 
our grateful acknowledgements ; but this is the fruit 
of Christ's piu'chase ; it is not only a purchased in- 
heritance, nor did Christ only purchase us to be heirs 
of this inheritance, but he hath purchased a meetness 
in believers for that inheritance; Tit. ii. 14, "Who 
gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zeal- 
ous of good works." How thankfully do men celebrate 
Christ's nativity! But that mercy of Christ's being 
born into the world, though transcendently great, will 
never advantage you, unless " Christ be in you, the 
hope of glory," Col, i. 27 ; his dwelling in your hearts 
by faith, Eph. iii. 17, entitles you to the inheritance 
he hath purchased. Look within thee, man, as well 
without thee, and above thee, for the fruits of Christ's 
purchase, and occasions of thankfulness to God. 

3. The operations and fruits of the Spirit are surely 
worth thanking God for ; but this is one of the most 
glorious fruits of the Spirit, to fit souls for heaven. 
Our Lord promiseth to send the Holy Ghost to supply 
the want of his bodily presence, and it is the richest 
gift that ever proceeded from Father and Son ; such 


as have it, " out of their belly flow rivers of living- 
water," John. vii. 38, 39- God is to be admired in all 
the saving" works and actings of the Spirit, the con- 
vincing, humbling, sanctifying, supporting, satisfying, 
sealing, comforting, quickening, enlarging, confirming, 
witnessing, and reviving operations of it. Alas, we 
had never looked after God, had not the Holy Spirit 
knocked at our doors ; we had been blind in the things 
of God, but that the Spirit enlightened us ; dead but 
that the Spirit enlivened us ; we had wandered for 
ever, but that the Holy Spirit restored us; our hearts 
had been for ever hardened from God's fear, had not 
God's Spirit softened us ; we should have been un- 
like God, but that the Holy Spirit stamped God's 
image upon us ; whatever hath been done upon our 
hearts to prepare us for heaven, the Holy Ghost hath 
been the agent ; yea, that Spirit that we have quenched, 
grieved, resisted, and vexed ; what cause then have 
we to be very thankful ? This is the golden oil, that 
runs through the golden pipes of ordinances into the 
candlestick of the church, Zech. iv. 11, 12. 

4. The gospel dispensation is great matter and 
ground of thankfulness ; " It is a mystery which in 
other ages was not made known to the sons of men," 
Eph. iii. 4, 5. But what is the marrow and main 
design of this gospel revelation ? why, ver. 6, " That 
the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same 
body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the 
gospel. O glorious design ! O blessed charter ! But 
what are we better unless we be partakers of this pri- 
vilege ? therefore the apostle saith, " Christians are 
fellow citizens with the saints." This is the gospel 
way of enfranchising and incorporating poor strangers 
into the immunities of heaven, and surely this is worth 
thanking God for. The charters of some cities cost 

320 :meetxkss von iieavex, 

them dear, and the chief captain said to Paul, " with a 
great sum obtained I this freedom ;" Paul said, and so 
may believers say in this sense, " but I was free born," 
Acts xxii. 28. Though it cost Christ dear, yet it costs 
us nothing, but reception. This new Jerusalem is 
built all of free stone, and shall not our shoutings echo, 
grace, grace to the head stone, Jesus Christ? Zech. 
iv. 7 : especially since our freedom rescues us from in- 
fernal tortures, as Paul's did him from scourging ; and 
makes us heirs of heaven. 

5. Peculiar advantages not afforded to all, create 
grounds of thankfulness. Our Lord said, Matt. xi. 
25, 26, " I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and 
earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise 
and pmdent, and hast revealed them unto babes." 
Alas, what have any of us, but what we have received? 
Discriminating kindnesses call for the most lively 
gi^atitude. What did God see in any of us, that might 
procure heaven for us ? or within us what preparation 
for heaven ? You and I are of the same polluted mass 
of mankind as others ; most unlikely to become heirs 
of such a glorious inheritance as heaven is. ^Vllat 
could God see in us to attract his heart to us ? Nay, 
what did he not see in us to produce aversion against 
us ? It was "the kindness and love of God our Saviour; 
not by works of righteousness which we had done, 
but according to his mercy he saved us," Tit. iii. 4, 5. 
Alas, what loveliness could God see or foresee in us 
to make us children, then heirs of God, and joint heirs 
with Christ ? We may say with honest Judas, John 
xiv. 22, " How is it that thou wilt manifest thyself to 
us, and not unto the world ?" It must be answered, 
" Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight." 
^Vhen thousands are left, why art thou taken ? How 
came it to pass that when philosophers and eminent 


sages of the world were so bewildered in the dark about 
felicity, that God should shew you the right way to true 
happiness, and lead you into it, and in it ? Surely all 
is of free grace. 

6. Fittedness for any duty or dispensation is a mercy 
worth thanking God for. Such is the christian frame 
that makes meet for heaven ; such a i)erson is pre- 
pared to do God's will, or suffer God's will; he is 
formed for a prosperous and adverse condition; his 
foot standeth in an even place; like a watch in a 
man's pocket, turn it this way or that way, it keeps its 
motion ; so the Christian in all conditions preserves 
his movements heaven-wards. " The righteous shall 
hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall 
be stronger and stronger," Job xvii. 9. He is ready 
for any thing to which God calls him. Like the man 
of God mentioned, 2 Tim. iii. 17, "who is perfect, 
throughly furnished unto all good works." O what a 
blessed thing it is to be in a disposition to embrace a sug- 
gestion to pray, read, confer, meditate, or receive the 
Lord's supper upon an invitation from men, or sum- 
mons from God ! The church in Cant. v. 2, found the 
want of this, when she saith, " I sleep, but my heart 
waketh ;" that is, I have the principle, but want the 
exercise of grace ; and, alas, how unready was she to 
entertain her beloved, though she liad given him a 
call ; and the sad consequences of this unfit frame are 
obvious, both as to her sin and suffering : but oh, 
what a mercy it is to have a heart ready pressed for 
God's service ! Give God the glory of it, and it is 
worth something to be in a readiness for mercy, afflic- 
tion, death, or judgment, as those are that are meet 
for heaven. The speech of Basil was noble, when 
Modestus, the praefect, threatened confiscation, tor- 
ments, and banishment ; he answered, " He need not 


fear confiscation that hath nothing to lose ; nor banish- 
ment, to whom heaven only is a country ; nor tor- 
ments, when his body would be crushed with one 
blow ; nor death, which is the only way to set him at 
liberty." Polycarp was ready for beasts, or any kind 
of death, because he was ready for heaven : for as the 
Christian is delivered from danger by death, so from 
the fear of death, Heb. ii. 15. Death itself is the day- 
break of eternal brightness to the child of God ; and is 
not this worth thanking God for ? 

7. God's promise of heaven surely merits gratitude. 
Could we get a glimpse of that state and place of 
glory, and the inheritance of saints in light, together 
with our title to it ; O how would it dazzle and trans- 
port us ! It is said that the temple of Diana was so 
bright, that the door keeper still cried to such as en- 
tered, " Take care of your eyes." Much more may we say 
so of the surprising glory of the heaven of heavens ; 
and therefore our Lord saith, " None can see his face 
and live." But death blows dust out of the eyes of 
glorified saints, and the morning of the resurrection 
doth so fortify the sight, that it can behold this inac- 
cessible light with admiration ; even as all the stars 
face the sun. "Fear not little flock," saith our Saviour, 
Luke xii. 32, " for it is your father's good pleasure to 
give you the kingdom." Is not a kingdom worth 
thanks, and such a kingdom ; and to have this freely 
of gift, not to wade to it through M^ars and blood, and 
all this by hereditary right, which is the clearest title? 
O sirs, do you know what heaven is ? It is the im- 
mediate enjoyment of God, an immunity from all evils, 
a possession of all good, the perfection of our natures, 
the maturity of our graces, the destruction of all sin, 
the banishment of Satan and his temptations, ful- 
ness of joy, and total death of all grief. Indeed it is 


such a state as can neither be expressed nor conceived. 
How vile and contemptible would all things below 
appear to one that with Paul, is rapt up into this 
paradise ! I have read of one Adrianus a heathen, 
who was present when some martyrs were examined 
and tormented, he asked, " What was the reason they 
suffered such tortures," it was answered in the words 
of that passage, 1 Cor. ii. 9, " Eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man 
the things which God hath prej^ared for them that 
love him :" the very rehearsal of which words con- 
verted this Adrianus, and he became a martyr also. 
O what a transcendent reward is there in those man- 
sions above ! and God doth not grudge us the know- 
ledge of those glorious things. Pie is not like some 
rich men that will not let their heirs know, what they 
will do for them, till they die ; no, the apostle saith, 
ver. 10, " that God revealeth them to us by his Spirit;" 
and ver. 12, " that we may know the things freely 
given to us of God." We may know them perceptive- 
ly, not comprehensively ; by faith, though not by 
sense. We know but yet in part, but then we shall 
know as we are known ; not as God knoweth us, for 
our knowledge and God's must not be so compared, 
but as holy spirits know us both now and for ever, we 
shall both know and be known by immediate intuition ; 
yet in this world God gives his children, though vari- 
ously, some glimpses and dark representations, as 
through a glass, by metaphors or parables, and this dis- 
covery is to raise up our hearts in thankfulness, and 
longing desires to be above with God. 

VOL. V. 



Four things may be inferred : — 

1. That there is undoubtedly such a future state of 
blessedness for God's children after this life : " There 
remaineth a rest to the people of God," Heb. iv. 9- I 
need not go about to prove this, it is sufficiently and 
abundantly confirmed by abler hands ; not only from 
scripture, but nature, reason, divine providence in the 
world, and the grace of God in the hearts of his people. 
Enough is said to silence infidelity in our hearts, and 
to stop the mouths of all deists on earth. Can any 
rationally imagine that God would endow man with 
such a noble soul, and furnish that soul with such 
noble faculties of mind, will, conscience, and affections,, 
capable of knowing, loving, and enjoying God, with 
fears and hopes of a future state, and all this in vain ? 
Can we think the holy, just, good, wise, and righteous- 
God will always make the wicked prosper and afflict 
believers, and not right these things in the next world? 
Hath Christ come into the world to no purpose? What 
would become of his birth, life, doctrine, death, resur- 
rection, ascension, intercession, and appearance at the. 
day of judgment, if there were no life of future retri- 
bution ? What would become of the precepts, promises, 
threatenings, motives, means and helps to a holy life 
here, and to attain eternal life hereafter, if there were 
no such thing ? Can we imagine that the great God 
governs the world by a falsehood ? Are heaven and 
hell bugbears, or mere imaginations of brain-sick fools? 
Is there not a reality in Satan s temptations, to draw 


there no devils or sjiirits, and so by consequence no 
God? Away with these wild conceits, contrary to 
the sentiments of all mankind. 

2. Then it follows that assurance is attainable ; not 
only objective assurance, that there is a glorious in- 
heritance, and that God will give it to some ; but 
subjective also, that this is mine, that it is for me. I 
have a title to it ; else how could persons thank God 
for making them meet for this inheritance? This as- 
surance ariseth from acting of faith, and produceth "re- 
joicing in hope of the glory of God," Rom. v. 2. The 
gospel is a gospel of peace, not of fears and doubts. 
Assurance may be had, not only by divine revelation, 
but in the use of ordinary means. " I know in whom 
I have believed," 2 Tim. i. 12; read on, and you will 
find not only his assurance of his present happy state, 
but his perseverance and future felicity ; and it was 
not his peculiar privilege, but is common to other be- 
lievers, 2 Cor. V. 1. It is true, God is a free agent, 
and may bestow it on whom, and when he pleaseth. 
Some have it most clearly at first conversion: as 
Bernard for a time after his conversion, remained as it 
were, deprived of his senses, by the superabundant 
consolations he had from God. Cyprian saith, " He 
thought before his conversion, it was impossible to 
find such raptures and transports as now he found in 
a christian course." Many a close walking Christian 
can set his seal to this truth ; only it ordinarily comes 
in after hard conflicts with temptation, wrestlings 
with God, much experience, and regular walking with 
God ; there is salvation and there are the joys of God's 
salvation, Psal. li. 12, " These," saith Mr. Latimer, 
** are the sweet-meats of the feast of a good conscience." 
There are many other grateful portions at the feast, 
but this is the banquet ; this is better felt than ex-. 

Y 2 


or drive us from God and future happiness ? or are 
pressed, and must be endeavoured after, and prayed for ; 
*' Ask," saitli our Lord, " and ye shall receive that your 
joy may be full," John xvi. 24. 

3. That the exercise of thankfulness is a Christian's 
important duty. This, this is the proper character 
and employment of a Christian : God commands it, 
privileges call for it, gracious souls have been much 
engaged in it ; it is comprehensive of man's whole 
duty. Ursin entitles the practical part of his cate- 
chism, de GratitucUne, on Gratitude. O that Chris- 
tians were more in it ! Praise is comely for the upright. 
This is the epitome of religion, the emblem of heaven, 
the proper air in which a Christian breathes; it is 
most acceptable to God, creditable to religion, and pro- 
fitable to the Christian. Mr. Fox tells us, the state of 
Zurich engraved the year of their deliverance from 
popery upon pillars, in letters of gold, for a lasting 
memorial ; and have not Christians cause to thank 
God for grace and glory ? The heathens could say, 
"Call a man ungrateful, and you cannot call him 
worse." Hezekiah brought wrath on himself, Judah, 
and Jerusalem, for not rendering to the Lord according 
to benefits done to him, 2 Chron. xxxii, 25. O sirs, you 
little know what an evil ingratitude is ; you fill your 
souls with guilt ; you too much resemble ^vicked men 
whose character is unthankful, 2 Tim. iii. 2. This 
sin makes hard times, yea, it makes you like the worst 
of heathen, for which sin God gave them up to un- 
bridled sensuality, Rom. i. 21, 24- : you act disingenu- 
ously, as those that have served themselves of God, 
and then disown him. How can you apply to God in 
the next strait, when you are so much in arrears ? 
will not your mouth be stopped, and conscience fly in 
your face ? do you not daily depend on God for new 


mercies ? and is not thankfulness a natural duty ? is 
not gratitude for spiritual mercies, a great evidence of 
your interest in them? and is not every mercy sweet- 
ened by thankfulness? nay, is not this a means to 
continue them ? The more thankful any have been, 
the more eminent they have been ; their graces have 
shone and glistered like pearls and diamonds. Yea, 
once more, the more thankful you are, and the more 
cause of thankfulness you will both have and see. 
Thankfulness for what you are sure you have, will 
produce a fuller evidence of that of which you are 
doubtful. The Lord humble us for our base ingrati- 
tude ; which is, as one saith, a monster in nature, a 
solecism in manners, a paradox in divinity, and a 
parching wind to dry up the fountain of divine fa- 

You will say, O sir, I could be thankful with all my 
heart, if I knew I were fit for heaven, and that my 
soul shall at death enter into peace ; but alas, as long 
as I am doubtful and at uncertainties, how can I be 
thankful ? Conscience would check and condemn me ; 
and indeed I have more cause to be humbled and 
ashamed for my unmeetness, than thankful for any 
meetness I find in me for heaven. 

Answ. (1.) There may be grounds both of humilia- 
tion and thankfulness in the same soul and subject. 
Let the best saints do the best they can, and attain to 
the highest pitch imaginable, they wiU have cause of 
humiliation for their defects. 

(2.) Holy jealousy, fears, and solicitude, do well in 
God's children to keep them humble ; and indeed, as 
grace increaseth, sight of imperfections increaseth, and 
sense of short coming : the more discoveries of God's 
holiness, the viler will the Christian be in his own 
eyes, as Job and Isaiah ; and the humbler the soul is 


the more acceptable with God.* Thank God for that 

(3.) You may and should be thankful for the mer- 
cies which you have, and which you cannot deny that 
God hath vouchsafed. You have your lives for a 
prey; you are out of hell, which is more than you 
deserve ; you have abundant outward mercies, do not 
these deserve thankfulness? Christ hath also pur- 
chased grace and glory for sinners, nay, further, he 
hath put thousands into possession of this inheritance, 
and should not this make you thankful? Besides, 
heaven is offered to you, and you are under the means 
of grace, and have a possibility of obtaining this hap- 
piness, which is not the case with devils and lost souls; 
and is not this ground of thankfulness? 

(4.) Be sure you keep in mind the distinction of 
habitual and actual meetness for heaven. If you have 
not the former, either relative or real, if you be not 
adopted or justified, and are neither converted, nor have 
entered into a covenant engagement with God, I say, the 
Lord have mercy on you, your case is doleful ; you have 
great cause of lamentation. O man, " Be afflicted and 
mourn, let your laughter be turned into mourning, 
your joy to heaviness," James iv. 9 ; you, graceless 
" rich men, weep and howl, for your miseries that shall 
come upon you," James v. 1. I have not a word of 
comfort from the Lord to you. Your earthly inheri- 
tance shall be taken from you, and you shall be thrust 
into the dungeon of hell. You may for a while kindle 
a fire, and warm yourselves at the sparks you have 
kindled, but, saith God, " this shall you have of mine 
hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow," Isa. 1. 11. Stand 
you by while the saints take comfort in their portion. 
Read Isa. Ixv. 13 — 15. 

* Job xlii. 5, 6. Isaiah vi, 5. Ivii. 15= Ixvi. 2. 


It is to you, the heirs of promise, to whom I am 
now speaking, and bear you this in mind, that it is one 
thing to have a right to this inheritance, another to know 
you have a right. Many a gracious person is much in 
the dark about his relation, yet his state may be safe 
for the main. What sayest thou ? hast thou not the 
things that accompany salvation? Heb. vi. 9. Hath 
not God been dealing with thy heart, as he useth to 
deal with such as he designs for heaven ? Hast thou 
not seen thy woful state by nature ? the necessity of 
Christ and grace ? Hast thou not experienced a change 
from nature to grace, from death to life ? Hath not 
this new birth cost thee griefs and groans, prayers and 
tears ? Dost thou not delight now in what thou didst 
disdain? Is not thy principle, rule, and end, other- 
wise than formerly ? Hast thou not changed thy com- 
pany, course, and manner of life ? Speak out, man, 
belie not thyself, deny not God's grace ; something like 
grace thou seest in thyself, and to be sure Satan and 
the world oppose it, and man and thyself could not 
produce it : it is of God, a seed sown by the hand of 
bmnipotency. " And he that hath begun a good work 
in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," 
Phil. i. 6. 

As to actual meetness for heaven, I refer you to 
what hath been laid down before ; look it over, deal 
impartially ; see if your experience do not answer 
those particulars ; hath not God helped you in the ex- 
ercise of the graces of faith, hope, love, and humility ? 
Hath not God given you some substantial evidence 
of sincerity, by diligence in duty, reflection on your 
state, appealing to God, and pleading with God for the 
Spirit's sealing ? Hath not God helped you to be des- 
patching your work off your hands, spiritual and tem- 
poral, relative and public ? Are you not much more 


mortified to corruption and worldly enjoyments, and 
have you not spiritualized earthly things, and got 
more intimate familiarity with God ? What say you 
to these things ? Do not your hearts echo back an af- 
firmative, setting your seal to these things ? I have 
not time nor room to enlarge further ; but I would 
have you diligently compare yourselves now with what 
you were some years ago. Is not your repentance 
more evangelical ? Doth not the sense of divine love 
extort from you more tears of godly sorrow, and more 
vehement hatred of all sin, purely as it is offensive to 
God ? Hath not your faith been more vigorous in its 
actings on your dear Lord ? in closing more fully with 
promises? Have you not been more frequent and 
serious in renewing your covenant with God ? and have 
not such days and duties been solemn heart-melting 
opportunities ? Have you not been more constant and 
enlarged in the duty of secret prayer, with shorter inter- 
missons and more enjoyment ? Do you not spend your 
time better than formerly? Are you not more concerned 
to fill up every vacancy v/ith some useful business rela- 
tive to earth or heaven ? Have you not more incomes 
of grace and assistance in duties both as to matter and 
m.anner, to unite your hearts, and raise your affections 
to God, and sometimes suggest words to you ? Do you 
not more concern yourselves for the souls of relations 
and others in prayer and discourse, being more weight- 
ed with the necessity of their conversion ? Are you 
not more endeared to saints as saints, though poor, or 
rough in their m^anners, or of a different persuasion ? 
Have you not got power over your passions, to regulate 
them ? and if you feel unruly emotions, can you pray 
them down, and through grace calm them ? Can you 
not put up with injuries and affronts, and not only so as 
not to revenge but forgive, and pray heartily for the 


repentance and remission of such as are most malicious 
against you? Is it not more the grief of thy heart 
when God is dishonoured, his Spirit grieved, and his 
gospel reproached by the sins of the profane or of pro- 
fessors ? If thou thinkest any are offended by thee, is 
it not more a real trouble to thee than formerly, and 
thou canst not rest till thou seekest reconciliation ? 
And if thou art conscious of giving them just occasion, 
thou acknowledgest thy fault and makest concession 
to them ? Hast thou not learned more faithfully and 
discreetly to manage the duty of privately admonishing 
an offending Christian, drawing out bowels of com- 
passion for such as are fallen ? Do not public con- 
cerns of the church or nation lie nearer thy heart daily? 
Canst thou not more rejoice in the gifts, graces, holi- 
ness, and usefulness of others, though they may obscure 
thine ? Art thou not more glad when corruptions 
are mortified than gratified, when occasions of sin- 
ning are removed, rather than afforded, though it cost 
thee dear ? Dost thou not more sensibly understand 
the sweet life of faith in temporal things, committing 
all to God, and finding provision has been strangely 
made ? Are not thy affections more spiritualized to- 
wards dearest relations ? Dost thou not love them in 
the Lord, and the Lord in them, so that thou canst 
freely part with them upon God's call ? Art thou not 
more taken up with God's mercies, to give him the 
glory of them, than any personal satisfaction thou hast 
in them ? Is not thy heart daily more weary of the 
world, and longing more for heaven ? Yet after all 
this, canst thou not say, thou art nothing, and deservest 
nothing but hell ? And if God glorify his justice in 
thy confusion, thy mouth is stopped, and thou must 
justify him for ever with flames about thine ears? 
Dost thou not account thyself the greatest of sinners, 


and least of saints, judging that by the grace of God 
thou art what thou art ? and this thou canst truly say, 
that God is more thy exceeding joy, and Chi'ist more 
precious to thy soul than ever ? 

If thou canst in thy sober, deliberate, settled frame, 
answer these questions, thy state is safe and happy, 
and thou art meet for heaven ; yet not so meet, but 
still breathing after more meetness, till the last breath 
of life ; for no man on this side death was ever meet 
enough, and all must be ascribed to grace, grace in 
the foundation, and grace in the topstone. 










JN EXT to the immediate enjoyment of God, which is the 
summit of a gracious soul's feHcity, it is no doubt an adven- 
titious comfort to the children of God, that they shall meet 
with all the holy souls in heaven, of whom they have heard, 
and with whom they have enjoyed sweet communion in this 
lower world. What a transport of love was there in the case of 
the affectionate Jonathan and his beloved David, on their 
mutual embraces when they " kissed one another, and wept one 
with another, until David exceeded !" 1 Sam. xx. 41. Who can 
read that passage without emotion ! But O, with what raptures of 
transcendent joy will those holy souls be filled, upon their meet- 
ing in heaven ! Where briny tears shall be wiped from their 
weeping eyes, and sin and sorrow shall flee away ! Such joy 
would swell their hearts and extinguish life, (as the father died 
for joy on his two sons coming off victors in the Olympic games) 
did not Almighty grace capacitate and strengthen them. 
When they told Jacob that Joseph was yet alive, " Jacob's 
heart fainted, for he believed them not," but when he saw the 
waggons sent to carry him, " the spirit of Jacob revived.""* 
O but what full demonstrations both of the certainty and ex- 
alted nature of the felicity of our pious friends, will there be 
in glory ! No hesitation will remain whether it be so, no bitter 
ingredients to allay this joy. How wiU these pure streams 
mingle and recur with ecstasy to all eternity ! The once tender- 
hearted mother will turn her desires into delight, and say, 
" What, my son ! and what, the son of my womb ! and what, 
the son ef my vows rf Thou art welcome hither, now my 
tormenting anxieties are turned into triumphant songs. What 
• Gen. xlv. 26, 27. f Prov. xxxi. 2. 


sweet solace will the godly husband and gracious wife find in 
each other ! Once " heirs together of the grace of life,''* now 
full possessors of the life of glory. The pious christian friends 
that " walked to the house of God in company, and took sweet 
counsel together,'' are now " abundantly satisfied with the fat- 
ness of God's house, and drink of the rivers of pleasures ^'-f 
yea, bathe themselves in an ocean of delights. Surely it will 
be no small accession to their joy to meet their old friends, rela- 
tions, and companions there, never to part more. If Archi- 
medes was so transported with finding out a mathematical con- 
clusion, that he cried out tvpjjfca, tuprj^a, I have found it, 
I have found it, much more will the glorified saint be exceed- 
ingly elated, when after all his pains and fears, he can say, I 
have found my beloved, and all my christian friends before 
the throne ! O happy day, O transporting sight .' To behold 
the Sun of Righteousness in all his glory, and those radiant 
stars glittering in that upper firmament ; this indeed will sur- 
prise the soul with astonishment. The reading of the incom- 
parable writings of eminent ministers, hath been often a great 
refreshment to studious and serious minds. Heinsius, the 
learned librarian of Leyden, professed, that when he had shut 
up himself among so many illustrious authors, he seemed 
to sit down there as in the very lap of eternity, and pitied 
rich worldlings who were strangers to his delights. But O how 
elevated in the scale of being are the spirits of just men made 
perfect ! What pleasure will they take in the graces and hap- 
piness of each other ! If David could say of Jonathan, " very 
pleasant hast thou been unto me ; thy love to me was won- 
derful, passing the love of women," :|: O what love and de- 
light will there be in heaven, the proper element of love, 
where souls will be filled with God, and delight in his image 
shining in all the saints ! 

It is ccrtaiji, that all the real saints that have died since the 
world began, are taken up into heaven and enjoy God and each 
other ; but whether the saints departed were previously partici- 
pants of that glory which they have had since Christ's ascension 
into heaven, is doubted by some, indeed the contrary asserted, |( 

• 1 Pet. iii. 7. t Psalm Iv. 14. xxxvi. a +2 Sam. i. 26. 

II Dr. Oweit'ft Christolog. p. 158. 


which I dispute not ; nay, I am apt to think, every glorified 
soul loosed from the flesh, will be some addition to the joy of 
the glorified above. O what acclamations of joy will every soul 
landing safely in glory, occasion to the celestial inhabitants I 
"Well met, brethren, after a tedious, dangerous voyage, in this 
haven of rest ; glad, full glad are we that you are got safe. 
And whether the saints successively going off the stage of this 
world, inform them above of the state of the church below, I 
have not to say ; but as there is no grief there, or causes of 
sorrow, so there are multitudes of objects and occasions of joy 
and triumph — the grand source of felicity, the place, the com- 
pany, the duration — all afford occasions of delightful enjoyment, 
matter of comfort : and why may we not think their reflections 
upon their former state in this lower world, will contribute some- 
thing to their happiness ; yea, and their communicating experi- 
ences one to another in that blessed state. If any doubt, 
whether, glorified souls will have such mutual, intelligible inter- 
course with each other, for satisfaction, let them read the ex- 
cellent discourse of that valuable man Mr. John Flavel, called, 

BviVfiaToXoyia, or a treatise " On the Soul of Man," 274 

281, where you will find an answer to the objection of their 
wanting the organs and instruments of speech and hearino- : 
" Surely," he saith, " the spirits of just men are not mutes ; 
such an august assembly of holy and excellent spirits, do not 
live together in their Father s house, without mutual converse 
and fellowship with each other as well as with God." The 
great question is, how their intercourse is conducted? and he 
affirms out of Zanchy, " that it is but turning the key of the 
will, and their thoughts and desires are presently seen and 
known by others to whom they would discover them, as a man's 
face is seen in a glass, when he pleaseth to turn his face to it. 
Would one spirit make known his mind to another? it is but to 
will he should know it, and it is immediately known ; and this 
internal way of speaking, is more noble, perfect, and excellent 
than by words and signs, both in respect of clearness, and also 
of despatch and speed." See both explained in the passage just 
now quoted. 

This is the language of spirits, called the tongue of angels, 
1 Cor. xiii. 1 ; but after the resurrection, when bodies are 


united to souls, possibly there may be the use of bodily organs, 
howbeit in a more excellent way than now there can ; yet in the 
glorified state, the joy of the soul shall be shared with the body. 
The best pleasure however is, that of the soul. Spiritual de- 
lights are far more refined and exalted than sensual ; im- 
mediately after a gracious soul is parted from the body, it attains 
to a perfection of knowledge with more ease than it could attain 
to a small degree of knowledge whilst in the body. Yet it is 
questioned whether the glorified soul shall have an increase 
of knowledge, which certainly would be an addition to its happi- 
ness ; for, the soul being a finite being, cannot at once attain a 
comprehensive knowledge of God, but what is enjoyed will 
be beatific. O what an emphasis is in that word, " seeing God 
face to face, and seeing him as he is ! ''''* who now can tell what it 
means ? It is true, the happiness of saints lies in " being ever 
with the Lord,'' and God's being " all in all" to themr-f* but 
their mutual delight in one another will be a blessed circum- 
stance of their felicity. 

Whilst I was musing on a great number of believers having 
breathed their last, ministers and Christians, formerly and lately, 
known and unknown, whom I shall now never see in this world, 
I began to consider what is become of them : surely they are not 
lost but preserved, when shall we meet again .'' where shall we 
meet ? in what place or condition .'' I am assured by divine 
revelation, that the souls of believers do immediately pass into 
glory, and as our Lord saith to the penitent dying thief, " to- 
day shalt thou be with me in paradise," so he saith of the soul 
of Lazarus, " that he was carried by the angels into Abraham's 
bosom ;"^ there only saints are, there all departed saints are, 
it is a place and state proper for saints only, yet common to all 
the saints, not one excluded, we need not fear want of good 
company, yet it is not the company of fellow saints that will 
make us happy, and as one saith, " Though the strings receive 
not their sound and virtues from each other, yet their con- 
ctirrence causeth that harmony which could not be by one alone ; 
for all the lines may be drawn from the centre, and not from 
each other, and yet their collocation make them more comely 

• 1 Cor. xiii. 12. I John iii. 2. f 1 Thess. iv. 17- 1 Cor. xv. 28. 
J Luke xxiii. 43. xvi, 22. 


than one alone could be.""* But in this, caution is necessary, 
that we give Christ his prerogative, and ascribe not too much to 
men, to expect that from them which is not in them ; survivors 
are too prone to this idolatry, as popery testifies : but in heaven 
our affections will be regular, God will have his due, and saints 
theirs ; we shall behold God in his saints. All the glory will 
redound to God, for what God's children have been and then 
are ; " when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be 
admired in all them that believe in that day."""!* O what a 
happy, honourable, triumphant assembly will that be ! The 
contemplation I have had on this day and state, hath extorted 
from me these meditations, which have been very delightful to 
me in transcribing ; and I shall pray that they may be profitable 
to the reader, and that we may land safe in that blessed haven, 
where so many of our pious friends and relations have arrived, 
that we may rejoice and sing together the song of Moses and 
the Lamb for ever ; which is the prayer and care of 

Thy faithful friend and monitor, 

Sept. 22nd, 1698. 0. HEYWOOD. 

• Mr. Baxter's Saints' Rest, Part, I. p. 97. f 2 Thess. i. 10. 

VOL. V. 


S Thess, II. 1. 

Noiv 7ve beseech you, brethren, by the coming of onr Lord 
Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. 



That Jesus Christ will come down from heaven to 
judge the world, is an article of our faith, commonly 
believed among professed Christians : but there have 
been useless, endless disputes about the time of his 
coming. One would think, however, that what our 
Lord saith Matt. xxiv. 36, should silence men's curious 
inquiries and presumptuous assertions concerning this 
secret, for he saith, " Of that day and hour knoweth 
no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father 
only ;" no, nor Christ himself as man.* No, say they, 
the day and hour cannot be known, but the year may. 
But that is a poor evasion, for by day and hour is 
meant the time ; and if Christ know not, no wonder if 
he foretold it not to his disciples : for wise reasons it 
is concealed, and especially that we may be always 
ready. Grotius indeed saith, that Paul thought the 
* Mark xiii. 32. 
z 2 


coming of Christ would be in his days, yet you see in 
the passage to which I have referred, and the context, 
and also in the chapter before us, that it would not be 
till certain signs foretold should come to pass, and after 
that, Christians were still to expect it as uncertain. 
Ignorance of it is needful, but error about it is hurtful; 
let us study what tends to practice. 

In the text, the blessed apostle doth earnestly beseech 
them by all that is dear unto them, that no pretence 
either of spirit, word, or apostolical letter, do persuade 
them that Christ's coming is near at hand, for fear of 
tormenting their minds, or staggering their faith when 
they should find it otherwise. What those preceding 
signs are, see Baxter's Paraphrase on this chapter. 

All that I shall do is, to take notice of this solemn 
appeal or obtestation in this text, wherein he adjures 
them : first, by the coming of our Lord ; secondly, by 
our gathering together unto him. 

It is a sacred and solemn oath, like that in 1 Cor. 
XV. .31, " I protest by your rejoicing which I have 
in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily :" so here, it is as 
if he should say, as you have a high and honourable 
regard for Jesus Christ himself, and as you have a 
great concern, and malce due preparation for the com- 
ing of Christ, by v/hich he will gather us all to himself, 
and actually perfect the unity of his mystical body, 
both which are represented as proper objects of faith, 
which we admire and expect and highly esteem ; I do 
again beseech you by these, be not too credulous of 
men's predictions, who assign that day to this or that 
time as they fancy ; sometimes preposterously hasten- 
ing it, other whiles procrastinating it, to a vast distance. 
I must tell you, saith Paul, these conceits are scattered 
by Satan's artifice; and it becomes a dangerous figment 
or invention of men's brains, for if it come not to pass, 


some languish in their faith, others grow presumptuous 
in their security. If the devil prevail thus far, he will 
so work, that he will leave nothing sure or fixed in 
matters of religion,* as Calvin saith on this text ; yea, 
by this means men loosen the cords, and break the 
bands that join together the articles of our faith, and 
even strike at the foundation article of the resurrection. 

Observation 1. Ministers must beseech. 

As they may command in their masters name, 
so as servants they must beseech all the faithful,! 
1 Thess. iv. 1, "We beseech you and exhort you;" 
IpwTwiniv, we humbly and earnestly desire you, as if we 
went down on our knees to you : hence 1 Thess. ii. 7, 
8, "We were gentle among you even as a nurse 
cherisheth her children." Our business is important, 
sinners are obdurate, we have great need to use the 
most obliging terms, as though God did beseech sin- 
ners by us, "to pray them in Christ's stead to be recon- 
ciled to God," 2 Cor. v. 20. 

Obs. 2. All God's servants are brethren. 

Be they high or low, rich or poor, the most eminent 
apostles or meanest, yen, weakest believers, they are 
brethren, they have all one father, God, one elder bro- 
ther, Christ, one holy Spirit that animates them all, 
one covenant of grace to include them, one heavenly 
inheritance of which they are heirs. Hence the apostle 
saith. Col. i. 2, " To the saints and faithful brethren in 
Christ." O what an endearing relation is this ! let us 
live up to it. 

Obs. 3. Christ will certainly come to judgment. 

It is certain this Nobleman is gone into a far country 
to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return to 
reckon with his servants, Luke xix. 12 — 27. Christ's 

* Ut nihil in religione certum aut fixum reliquerit. 
t 1 Thess. V. 12. 


coining to judge the Jews, was the image and earnest 
of his last coming,'^ described 1 Thess. iv. 15 — 17- 

Ohs. 4. The coming of Christ is a most endearing 
consideration to believers. 

This is to the Christian as the harvest is to the hus- 
bandman, James v. 7, 8, " Be ye also patient," saith the 
apostle, " stablish your hearts, for the coming of the 
Lord draweth nigh." O what a glorious morning will 
that be, when the Sun of Righteousness will shine once 
again with healing in his wings ! Then let the heirs 
of glory " lift up their heads, for the day of their re- 
demption draws nigh."f You cannot entreat them by 
more strong and obliging obtestations or arguments. 

Obs. 5. Though Christ's coming be sure to the saints 
and certain in itself, yet the time is uncertain to us. 

Our Lord saith to his inquisitive disciples. Acts i. 
6, 7, " It is not for you to know the times and the 
seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power:" 
hence he saith. Matt, xxiv, 42, 44, " Watch, therefore, 
be ye also ready ; for in such an hour as ye think 
not the Son of man cometli." This is a key that the 
wise God retains under his girdle ; he keeps this secret 
among the mysteries of his glorious empire ; let us be 
content with a wise ignorance here. 

Obs. 6. Bold comments upon dark prophecies are 
apt to shake men's minds. 

If sudden approach be foretold and it prove not so, 
men are tempted to believe nothing, though this is 
unreasonable that men will not believe what God saith, 
because what men say prove falsities ; but many con- 
fident expositors will needs thrust their comment into 
the text; yet, a judicious Christian must distinguish, 
there may be great commotions, yet no immediate pre- 
sages of a conclusion, Mark xiii. 7- 

* Imaffo et arrhabo adventus ultimi. t Luke xxi. 28. 


Ohs. 7. That at Christ's second coming, there will 
be a great gathering together of saints to him. 

All the elect shall be gathered into one 'Emawayojyrig, 
aggregation or congregation, a mighty solemn meeting. 
'Ett' avTov or TTpog avrbv, James ii. 2 ; which some in- 
terpret of free liberty to meeet to worship God in this 
world after their dispersion by persecution, which was 
forbidden by Pagan emperors, but granted by Constan- 
tine's edicts, thus Grotius and Hammond — but this is 
forced, there is a greater congregation at Christ's se- 
cond coming. 

The apostle, Heb. xii. 22, 23, mentions an "in- 
numerable company of angels, and a general assembly, 
and church of the firstborn, which are written in hea- 
ven." I shall say little of the angels, though God hath 
by Christ united them to the church, so the apostle 
tells us, Eph. i. 10, " That he hath gathered together 
in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, 
and which are on earth, even in him." The angels of 
themselves are but creatures, and therefore changeable, 
so the word j^*3\z;', employed to signify angels, signi- 
fies mutable, Psal. Ixviii. 17 ; but receive confirmation 
by Christ, though not reconciliation ; so that now they 
leave not their stations as did the apostate angels. But 
whether angels stand by Christ's mediation, or by 
God's election, (therefore called elect angels) I deter- 
mine not. But I am now to treat of converted souls, 
which then shall be united in one body ; that will be a 
wonderful amphitheatre, an astonishing sight when all 
the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and con- 
fessors shall be brought forth into open view, and shall 
be advanced to those celestial mansions with the highest 

In discoursing upon this pleasant subject, I shall 
consider the following things : — 


I. The mode and period of the saints being gathered. 

II. What is implied in gathering this assembly. 

III. For what pm*poses they are gathered. 

IV. In what light they are regarded when gathered 
to Christ, and the reasons of their being assembled. 

V. What improvement may be made of it. 



Before I proceed to the consideration of these parti- 
culars, I shall briefly explain the import of this term, 
and its allusions. 

1. It alludes to a hosj^itable person taking in wan- 
derers to lodge them, and kindly entertain them ; so 
the word is used. Matt. xxv. 35, "I was a stranger and 
ye took me in," K^vog rj/njv koI (TwriyayeTe fil, ye gathered 
me. Alas, God's children are strangers and pilgrims 
on the earth, Heb. xi. 13 ; as men oft cast them out, 
and " they wander about in sheep skins and goat skins, 
in deserts, mountains, dens, and caves of the earth," 
ver. 37, 38 ; but their gracious Father takes them in 
and provides them house and home, " a house not 
made with hands eternal in the heavens;"* Lazarus 
at the rich man's gates is taken up into Abraham's 
bosom, a better lodging than the rich man's stateliest 
chamber ; thus God gathers them. 

2. It alludes to a man's gathering a rich treasure 
together, gold, silver, or precious stones, as David 

* 2 Cor. V. 1. 


gathered a prodigious treasure for building the temple, 
" three thousand talents of gold, seven thousand talents 
of refined silver, all manner of precious stones," 1 Chron. 
xxix. 2 — 4. Solomon gathered silver and gold, and the 
peculiar treasures of kings. But what are all these 
to God's treasure? which too he calls his peculiar 
treasure, more worth than both the Indies.* These 
God hath his time and way to gather up, Matt. iii. 17, 
" They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in the day when 
I make up my jewels." God's jewels lie loose and 
scattered, but he will string them, and lay them up 
safe with himself in heaven. 

3. This word alludes to congregating together, as in 
a synagogue for religious acts, a holy religious meeting, 
" He hath built us a synagogue," said the Jews, that 
is, for religious worship, so the Hebrew word my im- 
ports a religious meeting. And we read of a syna- 
gogue of the Libertines,! but this assembly of saints 
may be called the synagogue or the congregation of 
licentiates, or highest graduates in divinity, that have 
in some sense commenced j}^r saltmn, and have as- 
cended out of the church below, into the church 
triumphant above, being highly preferred by their 
blessed master. 

4. The word imports a meeting in an honourable 
council, above an ordinary assembly. Matt. xxvi. 3, 
" Then assembled together the chief priests, and scribes, 
and elders," &c. these were the Sanhedrim and sat as 
judges upon causes criminal and capital, awaj^a^ai, it 
signifies not a vulgar, or a common meeting, but a 
convention of states, to sit upon life and death ; and 
though that was a wicked meeting to condemn the Son 
of God, yet this glorious assembly of saints shall be 

* Laying up in store, Isa. xxxix. 6. Eccl. ii. 8. Exod. xix. 5. 
t Luke vii. 5. Acts vi. 9. 


convened to be assessors with Chi-ist to judge their 
judges, 1 Cor. vi. 2, " Know ye not that the saints 
shall judge the world, yea, angels." All the saints of 
God are kings and princes in all the earth.* O what 
an honourable juiy will there be to applaud the sacred 
decisions of our Lord ! 

After having given the meaning of the word, I 

I. To show the mode in which, and the time when 
the saints are and shall be gathered ; how this gathering 
together is managed, or how the saints come to be ga- 
thered together, and when. 

1. Converting grace gathers sinners out of the world 
to God. This is initial and preparatory ; the word in 
Eph. i. 10, "Gathering together in one," avaKe<paXai<L<ja(T. 
^ai, is very emphatical, it signifies to recapitulate, or 
re-collect, or reduce all to a head; it implies that man- 
kind by sin are separated from God, disjointed one 
from another, the members scattered, just like an old 
ruinous house that is fallen ; all the pieces thereof are 
gone asunder, till the workman come and put them 
together, and rear up a stately fabric of the old mate- 
rials. Man hath not lost the faculties of his soul by 
the fall, but its rectitude. All the imaginations of 
man's heart are become evil ; he hath banished himself 
from God into a foreign country. In a natm*al sense, 
" God is not far from every one of us ;"f but in a 
moral sense, God and unconverted sinners are at a 
great distance, they are " far off, alienated from the 
life of God," but grace brings sinners from their wan- 
derings. The Spirit through the word unites them 
with a blessed cement in an efficacious manner, so that 

* Rev. i. 6. Psalm xlv. 16. 

t Gen. vi. 5. iii. 8. Luke xv. 13. Acts xvii. 27- 


"he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit:"* and 
the blood of Christ unites God and the soul meritori- 
ously. O blessed conjunction, O happy meeting ! God 
hath found out a way in the gospel, " to gather together 
the outcasts of Israel." Alas, we are all as sheep go- 
ing astray, but our " Lord gathers the lambs into his 
arms," and brings them into his fold; Jews and Gentiles 
make one fold;f for saith the apostle Paul, "ye are 
all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus," Gal. 
iii. 26. Faith makes a mystical, love a moral union ; 
Eph. iv. 15, "But speaking the truth in love," or 
teaching it in love, "may grow up into him in all 
things, which is the head even Christ." O this, this 
is the foundation of all the rest ; conversion is the first 

2. God gathers his saints by death to himself. It is 
said of Abraham, that he should " be gathered to his 
fathers in peace," Gen. xv. 15 ; and "he was gathered 
to his people," Gen. xxv. 8. Interpreters observe that 
this is usually applied in scripture to good men, with 
respect to the soul, that they go to their pious pro- 
genitors, and because this is applied to Ishmael, there- 
fore the Jews think he was a penitent ; but however, 
the phrase is applied most ordinarily to good men, as 
Jacob, and Aaron, and Moses ; of Josiah :j: it is said, 
2 Kings xxii, 20, " I will gather thee to thy fathers, 
and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace." 
It is true, he died in battle, but in peace with God, and 
was translated into everlasting peace along with the 
saints ; this is the way of divine providence to carry 
his children through a tempestuous sea into an haven 

* Eph. ii. 13. iv. 18 1 Cor. vi. IJ. 

t Eph. ii. 1.3, 22. Isa. Ivi. 8. xl. 11. John x. Ki 

X Gen. xxv. 17- xlix. 29. Numb. xx. 24. xxvii. 13. 


of rest ; they shall not always be tormented with 
Satan's temptations, the world's opposition, or their 
own corruptions, but when they have done their work 
here in this weary world, " they shall enter into peace, 
they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his 
uprightness," Isa. Ivii. 2. O blessed change, God gives 
them repose after the troubles of this weary pilgrimage, 
" they rest from their labours ;" their bodies sleep in 
Jesus, and are safe in a quiet repository, and their 
souls do enter into paradise, that is, the third heaven, 
the immediate presence of God.* As earth is the 
common mother of all, so heaven is the receptacle of 
all believers. 

3. God gathers them up out of their graves by the 
resurrection of their bodies, and the reunion of their 
souls to those self-same bodies. This was a doctrine 
believed and well digested under the old testament. 
Job xix. 25 — 27, " Though after my skin, worms 
destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God ; 
thy dead men shall live," saith Isaiah, chap. xxvi. 19, 
" together with my dead body shall they arise." The 
new testament doth abundantly confirm this great 
article of our faith, John v. 28, 29. 1 Cor. xv. 20, &c. O 
what an army of saints will start up out of the earth ! 
Thei^' scattered bones and dust shall be reared up, and 
re-organized, and our Lord will bring their glorified 
souls along with him to sing out the high praises of 
Jehovah. Roses die, sweetest flowers perish, and the 
beauteous complexion of the earth turns to a bleak and 
withered hue in winter, yet in summer there is a kind 
of resurrection ; if you say of them, life is remaining 
in the root and seed ; we say, the soul is the root of the 
body, and Clirist the root of the soul, and both are 
living. Col. iii. 3, 4 ; and though there be no physical 
* Rev. xiv. 13. 1 Thess. iv. 14. Luke xxiii. 43. 


contact, yet there is a relative union betwixt sonl and 
body, and the soul hath to it a deep-rooted love and 
inclination ; the silly snail with its natural life and 
power, can make for itself a habitation, yea the silk- 
worm becomes a winged fly, the warmth of the hen 
turns the egg into a chicken ; these are emblems of 
the resurrection.* And what cannot the power of 
God effect? If a skilful workman can turn a little 
sand and ashes into curious transparent glasses, why 
should we doubt whether the mighty power of God 
can communicate a glorious perfection to the flesh that 
is dissolved into its elements ? Luther saith, I love 
the noble art of chemistry, it is such a fine emblem of 
the resurrection. O what a blessed transporting sight 
will that be, to see the sanctified soul united to the 
glorified body, to receive their reward together ! 

4. By the same power of God some shall be changed, 
others raised from the dead, the souls of the glorified 
saints shall descend and be united to their own bodies, 
and then ascend to meet the Lord in the air, and the 
wicked are left behind on their dunghill, the earth, in 
fetters, to receive their sentence, and to be confined to 
their prisons; this is that mystery, which possibly the 
blessed apostle Paul heard from God when he was 
caught up into the third heaven, and heard " unspeak- 
able words," apf)i]Ta p{]juiaTa, wordless words, f 1 Cor. 
XV. 51, 521, " Behold," saith he, "I shew you a mystery, 
we shall not all sleep," that is, die, " but we shall all 
be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye ;" 
this is further confirmed and explained, 1 Thess. iv. 
15, "For this we say unto you by the word of the 
Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the 
coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are 
asleep ;" and ver. 16, and 17, " The dead in Christ 
* See Mr. Baxter on Self-denial, page 29S. t" 2 Cor. xii. 4. 


shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain, 
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to 
meet the Lord in the air." Calvin saith,* " He speaks 
here of the faithful only; the resurrection of the wicked, 
is also a kind of change, though they are not men- 
tioned : but with respect to such as shall bear the name 
of the heavenly or of Christ, it is equivalent to death, 
as there will be an abolishing of the former nature, 
and an introducing of a new one." This is a species or 
kind of death, but as it is not a separation of the soul 
from the body, so it is not a sleep, but a sudden transi- 
tion from corruptible nature to a blessed immortality. 
Here is the difference between those that die and such 
as are changed : the former put off the substance of the 
body, but they that are changed, put off nothing but 
the qualities of the body, the dead shall rise before the 
living are taken up. He sends the clouds for chariots, 
as Joseph his waggons for Jacob and his family. O 
what vast numbers will then mount up like a cloud 
and darken the heavens ! this is in order to their con- 
gregating above. 

5. The angels of God are sent to gather up the 
scattered saints. Matt. xxiv. 31 ; " And he shall send 
his angels with a gTeat sound of a trumpet, and they 
shall gather together his elect from the four winds, 
from one end of heaven to the other." f It is true, 
some take this to refer to the destruction of Jenisalem, 
but most interpreters apply it to this last day. Paul 
saith, "the trumpet shall sound;":}: as of old, they 
called the congregation of Israel together by the sound 
of a trumpet ; so now, " the Lord shall descend from 
heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, 
and with the trump of God," 1 Thess. iv. 16. I con- 
fess here are hard points, which no mortal I believe 
* Calvin on 1 Cor. xv. 51. t Mark xiii. 27- t 1 Cor. xv. 52. 


can resolve, as (1.) Concerning this trumpet, what it is, 
Calvin saith, I leave to others to discourse subtilly on 
it.* (2.) What kind of shout this is, which must be a 
sort of magnificent accompaniment of the Judge, and 
summons for all to appear ; for the word in Greek 
Iv KcXevafiuTi doth also signify a command, alluding to 
mariners or soldiers summoned to be ready. (3.) "Who 
this archangel is, and what degrees there are among 
the angels, which schoolmen voluminously dispute, or 
whether it be not Christ himself, because it is said, 
" the dead that are in their graves shall hear his voice," 
John v. 28. And (4.) Whether this shall be an oral 
shout or voice from the mouth of Christ, or only an 
expression of his divine power, I am not able to deter- 
mine. But such a summons there will be, and all the 
sons and daughters of Adam shall appear, not one per- 
son gentle or simple can sculk or hide himself, the 
meanest shall not be looked on as inconsiderable, and 
the most potent princes will be on a level with their 
fellowmen; in vain shall the "kings of the earth, 
great men, rich men, the chief captains and mighty 
men, bond and free, hide themselves, or call to the 
mountains and rocks to fall on them," Rev. vi. 15, 16. 
No, no, the summons will reach all, and all must obey 
and appear, whether they will or not ; the mighty, 
almighty God can fetch them out, his all-seeing eye 

discover them. See the summons, Psal. 1. 1 6, " He 

shall call to the heavens from above and to the earth 
that he may judge his people ;" these are his words, 
"gather my saints together unto me, those that have 
made a covenant with me by sacrifice." O what a 
vast multitude will then appear ! " Thousand thou- 
sands minister to him, and ten thousand times ten 
thousand stand before him;" yea, a great multitude 
* Reliquo aliis subtilius disserendum. 


''which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, 
and people, and tongues will stand before the throne and 
the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their 
hands."* O what a glorious, splendid, shining com- 
pany will there be ! 

6. Yet fui'ther, these mu.ltitudes gathered together 
will have their spirits in perfect harmony, they shall 
all speak one language, as the whole earth did before 
the confusion at Babel ; there will be an agreement of 
minds, wills, affections, consciences, and conversation ; 
no clashing, no discord, they shall be fully united, 
cemented, and perfectly joined together, and all accord- 
ing to one rule and canon ; they all engage together in 
one celestial song, the heavenly choir of angels stand 
round about the throne, echoing to an innumerable 
company of believing glorified Jews and Gentiles, 
saying, " Amen : blessing, and glory, and wisdom, 
and thanksgiving be unto our God for ever and ever. 
Amen," Rev. vii. 10 — 12. It is worth observing, 
that upon Antichrist's ruin, " a great voice of much 
people in heaven was heard, saying, Hallelujah," Rev. 
xix. 1 ; " and again they said Hallelujah," ver. 3 ; then 
again, the four and twenty elders, and four beasts, still 
employ the same tune, Hallelujah; and still upon a new 
summons they add always Hallelujah, this was the 
Hosanna Rabba, as the Jews call it, or a Hallelu- 
jatica victo7'ia, as the old Britons called their victory 
over the Saxons. All but faint emblems of that great 
solemnity, in which the multitude of glorified souls 
are with one heart and voice unanimously adoring 
their Redeemer, acquiescing in his righteous sentence, 
not one dissenting, they neither contradict one ano- 
ther, nor oppose the will of God : there is not a jarring 
strinsr in this music : whatever dissensions or Ian- 
* Dan. vii. 10. Rev. vii. 9. 


guages may be here, they all speak the same things 
tliere. Yea, though they did not understand one ano- 
ther's dialect in this world, yet they shall all speak 
the language of Canaan ; whether it be Hebrew, as 
some conceive, who knows ? but it will be intelligible 
by all that then meet together. The scripture saith, 
" they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring 
again Zion," Isa. Hi. 8. Now if ever that text shall 
be fulfilled, that as two eyes look both on one object, 
so the eyes of all saints shall be towards the Lord : 
there will be a sweet agreement in principles, practice, 
professions, and affections, as the primitive Christians 
who were " of one heart and of one soul," Acts iv. 32; 
then shall " we all come to the imity of the faith," 
Eph. iv. 13. 

7. These congregated saints shall be admitted into 
one place and state of glory; that is, "before the 
throne of God, and he that sitteth on the throne shall 
dwell among them," Rev. vii. 15. These bright stars 
shall make a glorious constellation in the heavenly fir- 
mament : though possibly one star may differ from 
another star in glory, yet they shall all be irradiated 
with the Sun of Righteousness : though these vessels 
of grace be of various quantity, yet they shall all be 
full in that vast ocean ; not the weakest or feeblest 
shall be lost or left behind, " the feeble among them 
shall be as David, and the house of David shall be as 
God, as the angel of the Lord before them," Zecli. xii. 
8. Not a grace or duty ; not a mite given in charity 
shall be lost. Tears shall be found bottled, and a 
cup of cold water shall be rewarded ;* there is room 
enough in heaven for all the saints, " In my Father's 
house," saith Christ, " are many mansions," John xiv. 
2 ; many for number, large for extension. The city 
* Psal. Ivi. 8. Matt. x. 42. 
VOL. V. 2 A 


is four square, having twelve gates, filled from all 
quarters of the world ; " the gates of it continually 
open," never shut.* O the stupendous vastness of that 
upper region ! Earth is but a speck or point, com- 
pared to it ; though the text in Revelations speak but 
of twelve thousand furlongs, which, according to some, 
make but fifteen hundred miles, what is that to hea- 
ven? If the city of the great King be meant there 
by the New Jerusalem, as some think, doubtless it is 
exceedingly spacious, if indeed it be a place which can 
be circumscribed : but where the King is, there is the 
coui't ; as the angels do always behold the face of God, 
and therefore are still in heaven, though employed 
about saints on earth ;f so it may possibly be with 
the saints after the resurrection. \\Tio knows whether 
the purified earth may not be one place of their celes- 
tial happiness ? yet some think it will be wicked men's 
hell, and place of torments. But be that as it may, 
we are sure there is room enough for all the saints in 
heaven ; and our Lord will have them all with him, 
not a hoof left behind as slighted, for he purchased all 
at a dear rate, and prayed for them when he was 
leaving the world. A summary of his present inter- 
cession, we have John xvii. particularly verse 24, 
" Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given 
me, be with me where I am." This will be a blessed 
congregation indeed, a spacious temple, a large para- 
dise, not in corners, houses, or chaj)els, nor as in the 
present state where they ai*e often persecuted, fined, 
and imprisoned ; in that world they shall have liberty, 
yea, possibly every saint shall have his proper man- 
sion, yet in full communion with God, and the rest of 
glorified spirits. 

* Rev. xxi. 10, 12, 25. + Matt, xviii. 10. Heb. i. 14. 

CHAP. Ill, 


II. It is further proposed, to give a more particular 
account of the assembling of the saints, and this I shall 
do in these seven particulars : — 

1. That all the saints in the several ages, places, 
and conditions, wherein they have lived, shall be ga- 
thered into one general assembly, may seem strange, 
but it is true ; all the children of God that ever have 
lived for five thousand years and upwards, since man 
was placed on this earthly globe, all that ever have 
lived, do live, or shall live till the end of time, shall be 
assembled; such as have lived in far distant places, many 
thousand miles asunder, separated by vast tracts of 
ground, mountains, and seas, in Europe, Asia, Africa, 
and America ; such as have died many thousand years 
ago, and have been long singing the praises of God and 
enjoying his presence in the church triumphant, old 
testament saints, and new testament saints. The chil- 
dren of God in the church militant, yet fighting under 
the banner of Christ, shall meet with victors that 
have been long crowned : persons of all conditions, 
ages, sexes, qualities, rich and poor, old and young ; 
such as never saw each other's face in this world, no, 
nor ever heard of each other, yet then they shall meet 
together, Luke xiii. 29, " They shall come from the 
east and from the west, and from the north, and from 
the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God." 
It is said. Acts ii. 5, " There were dwelling at Jeru- 
salem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under 
heaven." But what were they compared with those 
who shall come out of all countries of the world ; O 

<^ A ^t 


wliat a vast number of souls shall be congregated I 
such as never appeared together in this lower region. 
'W'Tien there shall be a general collection of the human 
race far beyond what a])peared in the theatres, or 
amphitheatres of the ancient Romans, or armies of 
Mahometans; "multitudes, multitudes here," as Joel 
speaks, "in the valley of decision."* 

2. That all this congregation shall then be perfectly 
holy. So it may be traly said of this assembly, as 
the murmuring princes said of Israel, " All the con- 
gregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord 
is among them;"f there is not one feeble person 
among them, no infant of days, but they are grown up 
to be strong, have become giants in grace ; they stand 
in no need of ordinances ; ministerial gifts, and the ex- 
ercise thereof are " only for perfecting of the saints," 
Eph. iv. 12. But now they are above them, being 
perfected ; that city " hath no need of the sun, or of 
the moon to shine in it."i As soon as ever the breath 
departs out of the body of a child of God, he shakes off 
all sin, and puts on a new garment of perfect holiness; 
he takes his leave of the body of death and earth to- 
gether. Not one speck of pollution to be seen upon all 
this great multitude. Souls take their leave of sin, as 
they are taking their leave of this world. O what 
a glorious sight will that be of pure Avhite saints ! 
surely a lovely sight ; there v/ill be no pride, passion, or 
impatience, nor any thing to vex themselves or others. 
The dregs are left behind, and refined quintescence 
floats upwards. Consecrated souls are now elevated 
to the highest pitch, and purified from loathsome and 
defiling corruptions. O what a blessed day will that be ! 
3. That all troubles and temptations in this lower 
world shall then cease. Neither the devil nor wicked 
* Joel iii. 14. t Numb. xvi. 3. i Rev. xxi. 23. 


men can follow believers off this dungliill, although 
the devil be called, " the prince of the power of the 
air,"* yet he cannot stop or hurt the saints as they 
pass through his dominions ; nor shall he shoot a dart 
at them or after them. All troubles are at an end, 
death itself, the king of terrors is destroyed, he had 
no sting to wound the saints before, now he hath no 
being ; the fear of him was gone in some degrees in 
their lives, now the very thought of him is gone;f 
they are delivered from the first, as well as the second 
death ; they shall never receive a mortal wound, no, 
nor any wound ; the accuser and abuser of the brethren 
is cast out, not only cast down, but cjuite cast out, and 
all his artillery and his instruments. ± 

4. When saints are thus gathered together, they 
shall know one another. It is true, some kind of im- 
perfect knowledge shall cease, that knowledge which 
is only accjuired in the use of means shall vanish away, 
1 Cor. xiii. 8 ; or that which is seen through a glass 
darkly, then shall we see face to face, ver. 12. I must 
needs confess those two words are beyond my compre- 
hension, of " knowing even as we are known, and of 
seeing God as he is ;" || and I suspect that no mortal 
can understand what they mean ; but I think the 
faculties will be strangely enlarged, so that the saints 
will know all natural things, and pierce into the 
essence of the most intricate existences, the nature and 
powers of terrene creatures, the properties of angels, 
the mysteries of redemption, the counsels of God ; 
though they are not omniscient, their knowledge must 
be limited, yet I think they will know all the ancient 
patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, 
Paul, Peter, though they had never seen them in this 

* Eph. ii. 2. t 1 Cor. XV. 56. Heb. ii. 15. 

t Rev. xii. 10. II 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 1 John iii. 2. 


world; thus the rich man though lost, knew father 
Abraham, and Lazarus in his bosom,* Luther in his 
discourse the night before he died, said that saints 
shall know one another hereafter : as would appear 
from Adam's knowing who Eve was, though he had 
been asleep,f and the disciples knowing Moses and Elias 
in Christ's transfiguration. Matt. xvii. 3 ; indeed this 
mutual knowledge will not be the least part of the 
saint's heavenly delight. 

5. The souls of men live after they are separated 
from the body. For, what is it that is gathered with 
the saints ? It is not the body, for that is laid in the 
dust, but it is the soul, for the body and soul meet not 
till the great day of the resurrection ; nor doth the 
soul sleep in the dust till then, for our Lord said to 
the penitent thief, " to day shalt thou be with me in 
paradise ;" and Paul desired " to be loosed, that he 
might be with Christ ; nor doth the soul cease to be, 
it hath an existence in a separate state ; men may kill 
the body, not the soul. I Atomists and Epicureans will 
not admit an annihilation of any one atom in the 
universe, surely then not this excellent creature, the 
soul of man. Yea, the soul of man continues its in- 
dividuality, that is, its distinct being, and falls not into 
one common universal soul of the world, as some have 
imagined ; spirits have a numerical difference, a dis- 
tinct being. Nor are we to think that the soul returns 
into the essence of God, because the text saith, " The 
spirit returns to God who gave it," Eccl. xii. 7; it doth 
return to God to receive its sentence from him, not in- 
to his being, for then we should make God divisible, 
and consisting of parts, which is contrary to his in- 
finite, divine nature ; thus souls have a distinct being, 

* Luke xvi. 23. t Gen. ii. 23. 

X Luke xxiii. 43. Phil. i. 23. Matt. x. 28. 


yet depending on God the first being, as individuals, 
and must be accordingly judged. 

6. That the soul being gathered with the saints, 
enters immediately into glory. To know where La- 
zarus's soul was, while he was in the grave, requires 
more skill than I can pretend to; some think it 
hovered about the grave by Christ's order, as design- 
ing its re-entering the body ; but scripture assures us 
of the immediate salvation of gracious souls, " they 
enter into peace," when the body rests in its bed, Isa. 
Ivii. 2 ; they are pronounced " blessed that die in the 
Lord ;* when Christ who is our life shall appear, then 
shall we appear with him in glory," Col. iii. 4. Now 
they shall be glorious in their souls ; at the resurrec- 
tion, their bodies will be glorious, even like Christ's 
glorious body.f This answers that query, whether 
the saints shall have greater glory at the resurrection, 
than they had immediately after their death ? It is 
easy to determine, that so far as there is an addition 
of a glorified body to the glorified spirit, so far is the 
glory greater, what further, I know not. Though Dr. 
Hammond thinks the word avaTramg, translated resur- 
rection, when flesh is not joined to it, signifies, that 
life which the soul enters upon immediately after death, 
called resurrection, that is, glorification ; certainly the 
soul hath some intuitive knowledge in its separate 
state and felicity also, so far as it is capable. 

7- When these blessed souls are thus gathered to- 
gether, they shall never part, they shall live with God and 
each other for ever. Here we part and meet again, and 
meet and part again, and part so as that we shall never 
meet again in this world ; but in the other world we 
shall part no more through the ages of eternity ; after 
millions of years their joys are as fresh as at the first 
* Rev. xiv. 12. + Phil iii. 2L 


moment, they are never weary, nor interrupted, they 
are " before the throne of God, and serve him day and 
night in his temple ;" these waters have a perpetual 
spring, this day hath no night ;* they shall reign with 
Christ not a thousand years definitely, but for ever 
and ever. O what a lasting and everlasting enjoy- 
ment of God and saints will that be ! What can part 
them ? God will not, the devil and wicked men cannot, 
themselves shall not, for they have within them an in- 
corruptible seed, even of that word " that liveth and 
abideth for ever," 1 Pet. i. 23. It is not with saints 
in heaven, as with boon companions in playing, drink- 
ing, carousing, and matches of sport and vanity, who 
must part ; nor is it with saints there as with God's 
children here in the worship of God, who have their 
intermissions, cessations, and interruptions ; but where 
the work, praising God continues, the place continues, 
it hath foundations, the persons continue, " he that doth 
the will of God abideth for ever," 1 John ii. 17- 



III. The next division has a reference to the end or 
design of the saints gathering together. 

1. The primary and principal design is, the glorifying 
of God. The great God doth all things for this great 
end, 2 Thess. i. 10, "When he shall come to be glori- 
fied in his saints, and to be admired in all them that 
believe." The glory of the saints shall reflect glory to 
* Rev. vii. 15. xx. 6. xxii. 5. 


God. God considers himself honoured in his saints' 
honours, as the prince is magnified by the splendour 
of his court : if God be glorified in the bitterest suf- 
ferings of his saints, how much more in their exalta- 
tion ? * O what a lustre will they display, when they 
are all crowned as kings, when they shall shine as the 
firmament, as the stars, yea, as the sun in his meri- 
dian glory ; f O what a wonderful change is this, to be 
raised out of the dust and from the dunghill, to sit 
upon thrones ? How came this to pass, surely the au- 
thor of this glory will have the chief share therein, all 
God's perfections will be conspicuous. The saints' 
meeting together in the aforesaid manner, will tend to 
the glory of, 

(1.) God's sovereignty, wherein he chose such as 
were children of wi'ath even as others, to make them 
vessels of mercy, and left others as good as they to 
perish and be banished from God to all eternity ; then 
his eternal counsels will be unfolded, and that scrip- 
ture fully explained, Rom. ix. 15, 18, 22, 23. 

(2.) God's wisdom will be conspicuous in contriving 
a way for man's redemption and salvation. The wis- 
dom of God is a mystery, " even the hidden wisdom 
which God ordained before the world unto our glory," 
1 Cor. ii. 7. Then the secrets of this wisdom will be 
clearly laid open to angels and men, which now they 
desire to look into, and to learn more of which they 
become scholars in the church,! Eph. iii. 10. 

(3.) The power of God will be displayed bringing 
poor weak creatures through such a world of difficulties 
and oppositions, as sheep in the midst of wolves, lions, 
and bears, in a howling wilderness, even themselves 
shall wonder how they ever got hither, and shall re- 
flect with pleasiu-e and triumph, that they were " kept 
* 1 Pet. iv. 14. t Dan. xii. 3. Blatt. xiii. 43. t 1 Pet. i. 12. 


by the power of God tlirough faith unto salvation," 
1 Pet. i. 5. 

(4.) But no attribute of God will shine so bright in 
that day of the saints' meeting together, as that of his 
free grace, this orient pearl in the gold ring of glory 
will shine the brightest. That uphill city is built all of 
free-stone, none of them had mounted so high, had not 
the arms of love been under them. When this head- 
stone of glory is laid, it will be with " shoutings, grace, 
grace unto it," Zech. iv. 7; the celestial palace will 
ring with acclamations of grace: grace laid the fou.nda- 
tion, and grace lays the topstone in glory. The glori- 
fied soul will stand amazed, and say, " who am I, O 
Lord God, and what is my house that thou hast brought 
me hitherto?"* and saints and angels will stand gaz- 
ing at them, and at God in them, that of such polluted 
creatures hath made such a holy people, that of such 
lepers so disgusting in appearance he hath advanced 
many above the ordinary rate of men, " equal unto the 
angels."! Fellow saints will adore free grace, devils 
will fret, reprobates gnash their teeth with envy, 
angels will gladly admit them into their society, and 
God will be glorified in all. 

This is the first and chief end God hath in view in 
gathering the saints together. 

2. There is also a secondary, subordinate end of 
God's bringing his saints together, and that is for their 
mutual communion, converse, and society with each 

Negatively, it will not be, 

(1.) To trade, buy and sell, and have civil commerce 

together, to make great pm*chases, or to go to fairs and 

markets, or meet upon exchange for business ; there 

are no such things there ; " Nor shall they marry or 

» 2 Sam. vii. 18. t Luke xx. 36. 


he given in marriage ;" nor converse as husband and 
wives, Luke xx. 35. 

(2.) Nor shall they suffer together, or be thrown in- 
to prisons, or driven into dens and caves of the earth, 
to endure hardships, seeking relief, or begging their 
bread ; the devil and his instruments are there non- 
suited, " the accuser of the brethren is cast down," Rev. 
xii. 10 ; and all his angels and agents. 

(3.) Much less shall they sin together, by acts of 
immorality, or idle talk or chat, there shall not be 
uttered one vain word to all eternity ; nor shall they 
quarrel, or contend, and thereby grieve and fret or vex 
the spirits one of another, or sadden the hearts of each 
other. No, no, there shall be perfection of grace, and 
complete harmony of minds and affections. 

(4.) Nor shall there be one word of complaint as now 
there is ; Christians when they meet here, spend much 
of their time in mourning over themselves, in mourning 
over one another, in mutual compassion, confessing their 
faults to each other, acquainting christian friends with 
their grievances, begging their advice, and the help of 
their prayers.* Oh, saith one, I am ignorant, hard-heart- 
ed, unbelieving, have a treacherous memory, am very 
unprofitable. Oh, saith another,! am sore assaulted with 
Satan's suggestions, and hellish temptations ; another 
saith, I am in the dark, God hides his face, I know 
not what to make of my condition ; another complains 
of dark providences, and is afraid of missing his way, 
in such a case ; all have their peculiar distresses and 
grievances ; and one while raise their hearts to God, 
another while to christian friends; but there shall 
be no such thing as a whimper of complaint, when 
they meet together in that solemn day. 
* James v. 16. 


But more positively and affirmatively, the purposes 
for wliicli the saints shall come together are these two: 

To augment their personal felicity, and to enjoy 
mutual society and intercourse. 

With respect to their own personal felicity, they shall 

(1.) To rest together ; as their bodies shall rest in 
the grave, so shall their souls rest with God. This is 
the time of " refreshing that comes from the presence 
of the Lord," Acts iii. 19 ; " Now they rest from their 
labours,"* painful and marred with sin, never to be 
pestered any more with the hurries of a distempered 
world, temptations of a malicious devil, or corruptions 
of a treacherous heart. Rest is sweet, this rest is 
most sweet, " when they enter into peace they rest in 
their beds," Isa. Ivii. 2. 

(2.) To be rewarded ; " great is their reward in 
heaven," Matt. v. 12. This reward doth greatly 
animate God's saints amidst their labours and losses, 
they still " have respect to the recompence of reward," 
and they shall not be disappointed for it is a sure re- 
ward;! and their confidence " hath great recompence 
of reward," Heb. x. 35. Not from any thing we have 
done in point of commutative justice, yet by distribu- 
tive justice, by virtue of God's promise in the new co- 
venant, God will be as good as his word. 

(3.) They meet to rejoice together. At present, 
" they rejoice in hope of the glory of God," Rom. v. 2. 
But heaven is the true proper element of joy. If at a 
distance and unseen, the Christian " can rejoice with 
joy unspeakeable and full of glory," upon the exercise 
of a faith of adherence ; O what joy will the Chris- 
tian have above; this is an entering into our master's 
* Rev. xiv. 13. t Heb. xi. 26. Prov. xi. 18. 


joy, because our vessels are too narrow for this joy to 
enter into us.* O what a transport of joy at the 
saints' arrival ! 

(4.) They meet to reign. " The saints of the most 
high shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom 
for ever, even for ever and ever," Dan. vii. 18. Rev. 
xxii. 5. Not only shall godly ministers " receive a 
crown of glory that fadeth not away ;"t but suffering 
saints shall have a crown of life, " which God hath 
promised to all that love him," James i. 12. Earthly 
crowns are but gaudy trifles, compared with this crown 
that all saints shall receive. This is a high transcen- 
dent preferment. 

(5.) They meet together to receive their inheritance. 
At present they are only as children in their minority, 
but at death they take possession of their rightful in- 
heritance, and it is an " inheritance incorruptible, un- 
defiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven 
for them," 1 Pet. i. 4. All God's children are heirs, 
and " heirs according to promise," t and this glory they 
have hereafter is a " reward of inheritance," Col. iii. 
24. The kingdoms of the earth are not to be com- 
pared with this blessed inheritance above. 

(6.) They meet together to triumph on their blessed 
concjuest. What wonderful triumphers shall saints be 
hereafter, "who are more than conquerors here ?" || All 
the saints shall be clothed with " white robes and have 
palms in their hands," Rev. vii. 9. O the triumphant 
song they sing, Rev. xv. 3. It is unintelligible to 
others, and cannot be learned by any but such as over- 
come. O happy souls ! 

(7.) They meet to see the execution of God's 
vengeance upon the wicked, Jude, 14, 15, "Behold 

* Isa. XXXV. 10. 1 Pet. i. 8. Matt. xxv. 21 . 

t 1 Pet. V. 4. i Gal. iii. 29. || Rom. viii. 37- 


the Lord cometh to execute judgment upon all, and to 
convince all that are ungodly, of their ungodly deeds 
and hard speeches — the righteous shall rejoice when 
he seeth the vengeance," Psal. Iviii. 10. The more the 
saints' will is melted into God's will, the more satis- 
faction will they have in the executing of justice, not 
so much on the wicked considered as God's creatures, 
but as his enemies, see 2 Thess. i. 6 — 9. 

(8.) They meet for a clear manifestation of their in- 
ward principles and outward practices. Saints are 
called hidden ones,* their best part is most out of sight ; 
" their life is hid with Christ in God, but when Christ 
who is our life shall appear, then shall we appear with 
him in glory," Col. iii. 3, 4. Yea, and the " creature 
waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God," 
Rom. viii. 19. O what a display will there be at that 
day of men's inward states one to another, never before 
known, 1 John iii. 1, 2. 

(9). They meet to have their graces perfected. Then, 
and never till then, is the day when that is accomplished, 
Eph. iv. 12, 13, "The perfecting of the saints; till we 
all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge 
of the Son of God, unto a perfect man unto the mea- 
sure of the stature of the fulness of Christ ;" then will 
every corner of the soul be filled with grace. He that 
hath " begun a good work in believers here, will per- 
form it till the day of Jesus Christ," Phil. i. 6. Now 
they have gained what they were pressing after : O 
blessed day ! O hajipy attainment ! 

(10.) Yet, once more they meet to enjoy God im- 
mediately together. This crowns all the rest, this is 
the summit of all, the acme and highest felicity of a 
rational soul. This is what they have been long 
breathing after. Some glimpses of his blessed face 
* Psalm Ixxxiii. 3. 


they saw through the glass of ordinances, and were 
thereby " changed into the same image from glory to 
glory," 2 Cor. iii. 18: that sight of God was only 
" through a glass darkly, but then it will be face to 
face," 1 Cor. xiii. 12. "When he shall appear we shall 
be like him, for we shall see him as he is," 1 John iii. 
2. What man dwelling on this side the grave knows 
the meaning of that word ? God said to Moses, thou 
"canst not see my face ;"* it is well if we can see his 
back : but then the Lord will unveil his face to glo- 
rified souls. We cannot tell now how a finite soul is 
capable of seeing an infinite object ; but then as the 
faculties will be astonishingly enlarged and extended, 
so this vision will exceed our present low apprehen- 
sions. This is called the beatific vision, when ifc is 
promised " to the pure in heart that they shall see 
God ;"f and it is this that makes them completely 
happy. That is one of the sweetest words in the 
bible, 1 Thess. iv. 17, 18, "Then we which are alive 
and remain, shall be caught up together with them in 
the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we 
ever be with the Lord, wherefore comfort one another 
with these words." 



The former chapter referred to the principal design 

of the saints' meeting together, which was the glorify- 

* Exod. xxxiii. 20. t Matt. v. 8. 


ing of God, and enjoyment of him, in which consists 
their personal felicity. 

The latter concerns their mutual society, and fa- 
miliar intercourse one with another, which will be an 
addition to their joy and happiness in those heavenly 

Communion of saints is one article of our faith, and 
the great privilege of believers in this lower world ; 
both that which is catholic with all saints through the 
world, and that which is personal and immediate with 
members of the same society. As soon as any man 
commenceth Christian, he espouseth this . communion, 
Phil. i. 5, " For your fellowship in the gospel from 
the first day until now." Wicked men talk of their 
good fellowship in feasting, drinking, jesting, and 
gaming, alas, they are all but child's play, yea devil's 
sport to this, and leave the soul comfortless and guilty; 
but this fellowship of God's children is delightful, 
honourable and profitable, a distinctive character of a 
saint, an emblem of heaven, a step to communion with 

Yet that fellowship they have in glory far exceeds 
what they have below, for they are freed from the 
dregs of corruption and sinful passions, their souls are 
purified, their graces perfected, and though they be 
personally different, yet all centre in God. 

That the saints above have familiar intercourse one 
with another, is generally asserted, and very probable ; 
because such a communication must greatly heighten 
their pleasures and happiness. But how this is carried 
on, is not so evident ; whether it be by imprinting 
their conceptions on the minds of each of other, as 
Scotus saith ; or by arranging their conceptions in 
their own minds, and so in some peculiar way repre- 
senting them by certain forms to others, so Aquinas ; or 


by forming sounds, which after their way are intelli- 
gible. But we that are so much strangers to the 
nature of spirits, cannot conceive of these things. 

Yet after the resm-rection, when bodies are united 
to their souls, possibly they may hold discourse vocally. 
It must be said, even whilst in this v/orld, in a sound 
sense, that they " know no man after the flesh," 2 Cor. 
V. IG; how much less in heaven, when their bodies 
become spiritual, will they know each other, or confer 
together in a low sensual manner, as they do here in 
this world. 

Let the more learned read Dr. Tuckney's discourse in 
his Prael. Theol. page 152 — 157, upon this question : 
That the blessed in the state of glory shall know each 
other,* for which he brings proofs out of scripture, of 
Dives and Lazarus, and also Moses and Elias at 
Christ's transfiguration. 

But of this I shall say as he does, that this question 
contains in it a theological truth, not a fundamental 
article of faith ;f not necessary to our salvation, but 
useful to our edification and consolation. 

Now if it be asked, what subjects the saints glori- 
fied shall in all probability discourse upon, I confess 
it is a difficult question ; for I find 2 Cor. xii. 4, that 
when the apostle Paul was caught up into the third 
heavens, he heard appr^ra pi'^iiaTu, " wordless words, or 
words that could not be uttered," or which it is not 
laAvful or possible for a man to utter. God forbid that 
I should presume to express either the matter or the 
manner of these conferences above ; but words or things 
they are that are uttered, and we may lawfully con- 
jecture what the saints above converse about, by the 

* Beati in statu glorias se mutub sunt agnituri. 
t Quod questio ista in se contineat veritatem theologicam, noii 
fundamentalem fidei articulum. 
VOL. V. 2 B 


holy laudable discourse they have here ; and they may 
be such as these : — 

1. Concerning the work of creation. For though 
the visible heavens and earth shall be burnt up, yet 
nevertheless, according to his promise, they shall see 
new heavens and new earth, wherein dwells righteous- 
ness," 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13. Fire purifies, so the visible 
heavens which were defiled with men's sins, shall be 
purged with fire, and the " creature shall be delivered 
from the bondage of corruption.* And O what a fine 
show will that present ? far beyond golden mountains, 
rocks of pearl or diamonds, or crystal streams; a 
semblance of it we have in Rev. xxi, which is the 
wonderful workmanship of the great Creator, enough 
to emjjloy the eyes and tongues of those celestial in- 
habitants to the praise of Jehovah, Rev. iv. 9 — H i 
and though the first creation be past away, yet the 
mighty fabric of this vast universe will possess the 
thoughts of the saints, with admiration of God's 
power, wisdom, and holiness which shine therein, and 
they will review them in discourses one to ano- 
ther, with adoration of God, to the honoui* of his 

2. Concerning man's apostacy. How excellently 
God had placed man in the primitive state of perfection, 
formed after his own image, adorned with the beauties 
of holiness, and having " dominion over the works of 
God's hands."! Yet he unreasonably revolted from God, 
and rose up in rebellion against him, by violating the 
moral law engraven on his heart ; and the positive 
law of not eating the fniit of one tree ; whereby he 
utterly ruined all his posterity, made himself and his 
offspring subject to God's wrath and curse here and 
hereafter to all eternity. This will be made subser- 

* Rev. xviii. 5. Rom. viii. 21. t Psal. viii. 6. 


^ient to the advancement of free grace in our deliver- 
ance out of it. 

3. Especially the saints will discourse on the means 
of our redemption. The infinite wisdom, grace and 
love displayed in God's contrivance of it ; the trans- 
cendent love, care, and faithfulness of Christ in the 
management of it, the nature, birth, death, resurrec- 
tion, and ascension of the Son of God, his offices, suited 
to our state, and all his mediatorial undertakings. 
This will be a voluminous book for saints to read, 
fairly written in indelible characters ; and the glorious 
object before their eyes, at the right hand of God, in 
heavenly places, above principalities, to be a perpetual 
monitor of his glorious transactions.* This will be 
the subject of triumphant praise among the celestial 
inhabitants to all eternity. Rev. v. 8 — 14. 

4. The privileges of believers, the blessed fruits of 
Christ's purchase. Now they shall more fully vmder- 
stand and form a due estimate of the benefits of recon- 
ciliation, justification, and adoption, j^eace of con- 
science, and joy in the Holy Ghost ; these privileges 
will be the topics of discourse one to another; they 
will say, O what blessed effects of divine grace ! 
We enjoyed them, but did not duly conceive of them, 
now we see what it is to be the children of God, to be 
justified and sanctified ; these were greater mercies 
than we were aware of. Let us cast our eye back, and 
consider what we were once, what fools, what vile 
creatures, but how we " were washed, sanctified, jus- 
tified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit 
of our God," 1 Cor. vi. 11. Ah, what a pleasant theme 
is this ! 

5. The ordinances enjoyed. Oh, how many affect- 
ing sermons have we heard ! How often have we 

* Eph. i. 20, 21. 

B7^ gexehal xIssembly. 

been feasted together at the Lord's table! What 
sweet fellowship have we had with the saints in the 
lower world! Many a heart-melting fast, many a 
soul-refreshing thanksgiving, many an edifying, heart- 
warming conference ; I could then say, " it was good 
for me to draw nigh to God."* Those duties led us 
to this glory. God helped us to improve ordinances, 
and now we are got quite above ordinances. 

6. The difficulties of their pilgrimage. While the saints 
stand on the shore of eternity, and look back on the 
stormy tempestuous sea they have passed, the pirates, 
rocks, and sands they have escaped, by the conduct of 
the great Pilot, it fills them with admiration and 
astonishment. How many raging devils, and furious 
onsets of men, what temptations and persecutions they 
have passed through ? What hard duties they have 
performed, what corruptions they have mortified, what 
burdens they have borne? all these exalt their joy to 
a high pitch. 

7. Ministers and their hearers will communicate 
their former experiences. O, Mali the convert say, it 
was a blessed day that ever I saw such a minister's 
face, or heard his voice ; I remember the text, the 
doctrine, the particular, that first touched my heart ; 
" I sat under the shadow with great delight, the fruit 
was sweet to my soul,"f God healed me by the same 
hand that wounded me ; possibly the minister never 
knew till now all the souls he hath been an instrument 
to convert. Now they have a reciprocal joy, when 
*' sov/er and reaper rejoice together," John iv. 36. 

8. Pious relations will mutually reflect on days that 
are past, though now not as husband and wife, yet as 
formerly in that relation. They " were heirs together 
of the grace of life,t" pi'ayed, wept, suffered, and 

• Psal. Ixxiii. 28. t Cant. ii. 3. :{: 1 Pet. iii. 7- 


sweetly conversed together, the father wept over 
the miscarrying child and prevailed with God, his mis- 
carriages cost him dear, but his conversion was as life 
from the dead, that was a costly child. How the child 
makes his reflections, recounts the pious father's and 
mother's prayers and tears, counsels and admonitions. 

9. The distinction grace has made betwixt them and 
others. Such a one was as well born, bred, educated 
as we, was sometimes vmder convictions, and sat under 
the same means of grace, was of fine parts, made a 
profession, and was once as likely for heaven as I, but 
fell into gross sin, or kept on in a course of formality, 
and he is now consigned to eternal torments, why am 
not I in his case? "Who made us to differ?"* It 
was nothing but free grace that gave me a repenting 
heart : I was as likely to perish as he, and as unable 
to help myself as he. 

10. Christians will discourse on the various provi- 
dences of God in this world. I was sick, and the Lord 
raised me up ; had I died then, I had been undone, for 
I was in a graceless state. God " in faithfuhiess 
afflicted me," t I had perished, if I had not perished; 
I was wandering, and God brought me home by the 
painful cross ; I had not been thus happy, if I had not 
been miserable; all things did work for my good. 
The Lord supplied my wants, supported me in trou- 
bles, vouchsafed many mercies in my pilgrimage, 
whereby he rendered my condition comfortable : many 
a particular dispensation of providence will be then 
laid open to others. 

11. The seasons of special enlargement. They will 
then declare what God hath done for their souls. 
Many things that passed betwixt God and their souls, 
that were not fit to be divulged in this world, will then 

* ] Cor. iv. 7. t Psal. exix. 75. 


be laid open to the glory of God, and their own and 
others' joy and abundant content, as those two disci- 
ples said, Luke xxiv. 32, " Did not our hearts burn 
within us, while he talked with us by the way ?" O, 
what sweet intercoiu'se with God had my soul in such 
a chamber, closet; there did he give me his heart, 
and I gave him mine : * it was a little corner of hea- 
ven. Such an ordinance or opportunity, was as one of 
the days of heaven ; I could have been content there. 

12. Lastly, They will discom'se on the felicity to 
which they are now advanced, and the perpetuity of it. 
This state is beyond " what eye hath seen, ear heard, 
or could enter into the heart of man ;"f little, ah little 
did I then know of what I now enjoy ; one hour in 
this blissful state, compensates for all my days of ser- 
vice or suffering. O that I had done more for God ! 
I am, saitli Luther, ashamed that God should so 
abundantly reward so little work : but God acts like 
himself, I did but little for God, but God doth much 
for me. Wlio would not serve such a master ? My 
sufferings were but light and momentaiy, but this is a 
far more "exceeding and eternal weight of glory." i 
O what a bountiful master have we served. Nor is 
this for a short season, to have an end, but it is last- 
ing, everlasting ; it would damp our joy, if we were 
in danger of losing this felicity ; but let us take cou- 
rage, we shall never be expelled out of this our para- 
dise as Adam was out of his. This happiness shall 
run parallel with the life of God, and line of eternity. 

You will say, how do you know that this shall be 
their discourse, have you been there to hear it, or who 
told you? 

I answer, no ; but we may rationally infer so much, 
partly from some general hints in scripture, and jiartly 

* Caiit. vii. 12. t 1 Cor. ii. 9. t 2 Cor. iv. 17- 


from their profitable and comfortable discourse on 
earth, which will then be heightened ; and, indeed, 
because they shall speak and do such things as most 
tend to the glory of God, and their own greater joy 
and felicity. 



IV. Our attention may now be directed to the cir- 
cumstances in which the saints are gathered together 
unto Christ, and the reasons of their assembling. 
I must confess, interpreters greatly differ about the 

meaning of these words, i^j W^v Imfrwaywyrig Itt" avTov, 

which some interpret of meetings of Christians toge- 
ther in assemblies, Heb. x. 25. And so render £7r' 
avTbvy propter ipstmi, as James ii. 7, " that worthy 
n^me," to l7nK\r)0lv 69 v/iag, "which is called upon you." 
So they will have this to refer to the free liberty of Chris- 
tians, in uninterrupted meetings in countries and cities, 
after the scattering of the Jewish nation who censured 
Christians as a wicked sect ; but in the days of Ves- 
pasian and Titus, and especially in Constantine's time, 
they enjoyed liberty of meeting together for celebrating 
God's public worship. So indeed, aw^px^f^^^h and 
(TvvajELv, convenire, congregare, in a public edict sig- 
nify : but most take it for that general or rather uni- 
versal meeting at Christ's second coming in the air at 
the last day, 1 Thess. iv. 14, 17, when all the people 


of God shall be gathered to Christ. Now this gathering 
of saints to Christ doth comprehend these four things: — 
The state and qualijication of the object — The rea- 
son or relation betwixt them — The frame and dispo- 
sitio7i of the subject — The sight, vision, or fruition of 
Christ. I shall very briefly consider these. 

1. The state and qualification of the object, that is, 
Christ, under a double notion : namely, as God and 
man ; and, as advanced to the right hand of God. 

(1.) Tliey shall be gathered to him as God and 
man, v/hich is a state of the highest perfection. Com- 
pletely perfect man, as glorious a creature as Adam 
in innocence, and yet much more endeared to his 
saints, by their reflecting on what he hath done and 
suffered for them and the fruits thereof; this is he of 
whom it is said, when he " bringeth in his first begot- 
ten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of 
God worship him," Heb. i. 6. How admirable is his 
person, constituted of two natures, divine and human! 
never did created or uncreated existence present such 
a 2)erson, in whom all perfections meet, in whom all 
excellences are united. 

(2.) As exalted to the right hand of God. They 
are not now to be gathered to Christ, as he was in his 
state of humiliation, when multitudes flocked to his 
preaching, when he was but in the form of a servant, 
or going to suffer on the cross, no, nor yet in his state 
of transfigiu-ation, which was glorious, yet temporary: 
but now he " is set down on the right hand of the 
Majesty on high," Heb. i. 3. God hath now given 
him " a name above every name, far above all prin- 
cipalities and powers, and hath put all things under 
his feet, and given him to be the head over all things 
to the church," ^^ Eph. i. 20—22. It is this state of 
* Fhil. ii. 9, 10. 


glory in which Christ is enthroned, and now receiving 
homage from all ranks of creatures, attended with in- 
numerable angels ; it is Christ in this glorious state, 
to whom the saints are to be gathered. 

2. The reason thereof, which consists in the rela- 
tions between Christ and his saints, all which carry 
abundance of delight and sweetness in them. For, it 
is not as strangers or enemies that love him not, nor 
yet as malefactors brought to the bar, that dread him 
as judge: but they are gathered to Christ under these 
important relations : 

(1.) As sheep connected with their shepherd, whose 
voice they " know here, and whom they follow," John 
X. 3, 4 ; yea, they own him with a more than ordinary 
endearedness, because he laid down his life for the 
sheep, verse 15, and carries the " poor lambs in his 
arms,"* and leads them to quiet resting places, where 
" they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them 

{2.) As soldiers gathered to their captain, not to 
fight, but to take the spoil ; the Captain of our " salva- 
tion is made perfect through sufferings," he is now 
"crowned with glory and honour, and brings many sons 
unto glory," Heb. ii. 9, 10. He marks out a crovv-n 
for every soldier, and sets the victorious champion with 
him on his own throne. Rev. iii. 21. 

(3.) As scholars to their master, who sets them not 
in a low form, as under graduates, but they commence 
the highest degree of perfection in the university of 
glory, to know as much as creatures are capable of 
knowing, "they shall know as they are known," 1 Cor. 
xiii. 12. Now the believer is a vessel unto honour, 
meet for his master's use, set on the shelf of glory. ^ 

(4.) As subjects to their prince, to be introduced 
* Isa. xl. 11. t Ezek. xxxiv. 28. t 2 Tim. ii. 21. 


into the king's presence chamber. Not any longer to 
be banished into a foreign country ; no, nor yet to be 
retainers, hanging about the court at a distance, but 
approacliing into the king's presence. Jesus Christ is 
in the immediate presence of God, saints shall be with 
him;* in "whose presence is fulness of joy, at whose 
right hand are pleasures for evermore," Ps. xvi. 11. 

(5.) As friends to a feast. Our Lord called and ac- 
counted all his saints friends in this world, and he deals 
familiarly with them, providing for them a feast of fat 
things ; but there will come a day when he will 
" drink new wine with them in his father's kingdom." 
O blessed feast ! O happy society ! When he will say, 
" eat, O friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O 

(6.) As children are gathered to their father, not 
only to receive a blessing, but to take full possession of 
their inheritance, " knowing that of the Lord, ye shall 
receive the reward of the inheritance, for ye serve the 
Lord Christ." All God's sons are heirs, and then it 
will be manifest who are sons ; that is a blessed word, 
" He that overconieth shall inherit all things^ and I 
will he his God, and he shall he my son^X 

(7.) As members are united, Eph. v. 30, "for we 
are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." 
Now alas, the members are oft disjointed from each 
other, and too much distant from the head, but there 
will come a day when they shall be joined all in one ; 
there will then b# no discrepancy betwixt head and 
members, they being grown " up into him in all things, 
which is the head even Christ," Eph. iv. 15, 16. 

Thus much for the relation they have to Christ, 
which is the reason of this gathering together to him. 

* Heb. ix. 24. t John xv. 14, 15. IMatt. xxvi. 29. Cant. v. 1. 

:|: Col. iii. 24. Rom. viii. 17- 1 John iii. 2. Rev. xxi. 7- 


3. The frame and disposition of the subject. There 
is in every child of God, a kind of natural propensity, 
which inclines them in a peculiar manner towards 
Christ, as the needle towards the loadstone, by which 
they move and bend heaven-wards ; " Return unto 
thy rest, O my soul, saith David," Psal. cxvi. 7. As 
all creatures move to their centre, so doth the sincere 
soul God-wards ; and can never be at rest, till it be 
closely joined and adhere to him, and that God who 
hath fixed these innate principles in the soul, will pro- 
mote and.perfect them. Now this frame and disposi- 
tion of a child of God, proceeds first, from the convic- 
tions of conscience, and deficiency he finds in other 
things : secondly, from a sensible experience that the 
soul hath of satisfaction in Christ. 

(1.) The consciences of God's children are fully 
satisfied, that all the world cannot give the least solid 
satisfaction to their souls. This made Solomon cry 
out, " vanity of vanities, all is vanity ;"* the Christian 
cries out, away with these toys, worldly enjoyments 
are not commensurate to the desires of an immortal 
soul. Matt. xvi. 26. The judgment is convinced that 
the "world passeth away, and the lust thereof," 1 John 
ii. 1-7 ; all the splendor of the world fades, there is a 
vanity and emptiness in all sublunary things. That is 
the Christian's motto : " I wish not for, I am not con- 
tent with worldly perishable things ;"f I must look 
beyond the moon to heaven for felicity ; I have sucked 
the juice of every flower in this garden of the world, 
yet my soul is empty. 

(2.) Tue Christian hath tasted that the Lord is 
gracious, and this sets him a longing and hungering 
for more grace and incomes from above, 1 Pet. ii. 2, 3. 
The Gauls having tasted the delicious wine of the 
grapes that grew in Italy, were never at rest till they 
* Eccl. i. 2. t Non est mortiile quod optg. 


had conquered the coimtiy. So it is with the pious 
soul, sense brings the clearest evidence, especially 
spiritual senses, for some natural senses may be deceived, 
" this I pray," saith the apostle, " that your love may 
abound yet more and more in knowledge, and in all 
judgment," Phil. i. 9 ; ^j ^raay m^'ian, in all sense, for 
the soul hath its senses as well as the body, and being 
sanctified and duly exercised, they discern between 
good and evil ;* and indeed this is the proper genius 
of the new creature, to press forwards and aspire up- 
wards, Rom. viii. 23, " we which have the first fruits 
of the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the 
adoption, the redemption of our body." There are 
heaven-born principles implanted in believing souls, 
that make them soar aloft after the enjoyment of 

4. The gathering to Christ, includes the sight, vision 
and fruition of Christ, the full enjoyment of him ; 
beholding God is properly fruitive vision of him ; 
" Blessed are the pure in heai't, for they shall see God," 
Matt. V. 8. This is not in the way of mere specula- 
tion, but fruition ; if " we be dead with Christ, we 
believe that we shall also live with him," Rom. vi. 8. 
This is by the sight of him, and appearing with him 
in glory," Col. iii. 4. This blissful sight of Christ, is 
that which makes heaven, for where the king is, there 
is the court ; this glory consists in conformity to him, 
and communion with him. This is to be gathered to 
Christ, that is, to have Christ fully revealed to us, an 
apjjroach to him under the dearest relations, the soul 
disposed and duly qualified to enjoy him, and full vision 
and fruition of him. If any of these be wanting, we 
cannot in a scripture sense be gathered to Christ. 

Another consideration is, why our Lord will thus 
gather his saints at the last day. 
* Heb. V. 14. 


Though I have touched on some things ah'eady, that 
might be improved as reasons, yet I shall add, 

1. Because this is the good pleasure of God. "And 
this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of 
all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but 
should raise it up at the last day ;" how careful is God 
of his jewels, he will gather them and make them up 
carefully; to be sure he will neither keep them out, nor 
cast them out. " The foundation of God standeth sure, 
having this seal, the Lord knoweth, and will own them 
that are his," 2 Tim. ii. 19 *, "the election must obtain 
salvation ;"* it runs invisible, much under ground, but 
will appear at last in the mansions above. 

2. Because this is the fruit of Christ's purchase ; 
" For Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for 
the unjust that he might bring us to God ;" he is the 
ladder of Jacob, upon whom believers ascend to glory. 
This was the end of his reconciling us by his blood, to 
" present us holy, unblamable, and unreprovable in his 
sight ;" our Lord will not lose the fruits of his pur- 
chase : yea, he follows it with his prayer, " Father, I 
will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with 
me where I am ;"| God always hears him. 

3. Because of the sanctifying and sealing work of 
the Spirit. " God," saith the apostle, " hath chosen 
you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, 
and belief of the truth ;" observe it, sanctification and 
salvation, have an inseparable connexion. Saints in 
the old testament and in the new have the " same spirit 
of faith," this animates all the members of Christ, run- 
ning through the veins of his mystical body ; and this 
is the " seal and earnest of our future inheritance ;" ^ 

* John vi. 39. IMal. iii. 17- John vi. 37- Rom. xi. 7- 

t I Pet. iii. 18. Col. i. 20—22. John xvii. 24. 

t 2 Thess. ii. 13. 2 Cor. iv. 13. i. 22. Eph. i. 13, 14. 


to be sure God will not lose his earnest, or throw it 
into hell. 

4. Saints shall be gathered together to Christ, be- 
cause they are all included in the same bond of the 
everlasting covenant; it is called the "bond of the 
covenant ;" and by this covenant all the saints become 
*' one stick in the Lord's hand." Suppose abundance 
of twigs be bound up together, yet they all make up 
but one bundle, many stones make but one building, 
many inhabitants make but one city or kingdom. All 
saints are fellow citizens ; God^ will not part them 
either in this or in the other world. Sincere and 
persevering souls, shall all meet before the throne, to 
sing hallelujahs with harmonious melody. All the 
saints through the world are children of the same fa- 
ther, God ; yea, they that " are of faith, are children 
of Abraham,"* in a spiritual sense ; one " household 
of faith — fellow heirs of the same body — -fellow ser- 
vants — brethren in Christ, faithful brethren — fellow 
citizens with the saints — and of the household of God.f 
Such special relations call for this congregating : no- 
doubt they must be gathered together at last. 



The improvement I shall make of this subject shall 
be first, for information in these ten inferences: 

* Ezek. XX. 37. xxxvii. 17- Eph. ii. 19—22. Ga' ill. 7- 
t Gal. vi. 10. Eph. iii. 6. Col. i. 7- i. 2. Eph. ii. 19. 


1. That God is omniscient and omnipotent. Kno"v\Ti 
" unto God are all his works from the beginning of 
the world," Acts xv. 18. He is infinite in knowledge 
and wisdom, he takes account of the meanest creatures, 
and is of infinite power to gather them up ; these are 
the Lord's people, and his inheritance, which he hath 
redeemed by his " mighty power and stretched out 
arm," Deut. ix. 29. As God brought his Israel out of 
Egypt, so he exerted the same power in bringing them 
into Canaan, and the same power that converted sin- 
ners, will also save them ; for they are " kept by the 
power of God through faith unto salvation," 1 Pet. i. 5. 

2. That Jesus Christ is a complete Saviour. He 
" is able to save to the uttermost," Heb. vii. 25, ac t6 
iravTeXlg, every way, to all intents and purposes, soul 
and body, in all cases, difficulties, and conditions, and 
under all dispensations. Yet it hath a further mean- 
ing ; he is able to save totally, finally, perfectly, and 
perpetually, so as none shall need to come after him, 
to finish what he hath begun ; yet further, he saves, 
so as he shall never cease to be a Saviour to all eter- 
nity : for, though he finished his suffering on earth, 
and his crowning work will terminate at the great 
day of judgment, yet felicity will emanate from him, 
through the ages of eternity ; as he shall be looked on 
as the author, so he will be the medium of their hap- 
piness, and embrace them in the arms of his love for 

3. That death is not terrible to a gracious person. 
It is true, to nature it may well be called " the king of 
terrors ;"* it is a dissolving of this compound, man ; 
but it is. the shell and clothing of the soul that is laid 
by, an elementary composition that is dissolved, the 
soul is thereby set at liberty and takes its flight into 

* Job xviii. 14. 


another world, a world of spirits ; a better state than 
here : death is but a bridge, a porter that opens the 
door to heaven. Christ hath deprived death of his 
sting, jjerfiimed the grave, and made it a means of 
manumission into the blessed society of God, angels, 
and saints, thousands better than we are gone ; who 
are we to be exempted ? It is no untrodden path, our 
best friends are above, let us not be afraid to follow 

4. That heaven is a capacious place. All the saints 
in the old testament are gone thither, and millions, in 
new testament days, have ascended to glory, " a hun- 
dred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of Israel," 
and a " great multitude which no man could number," 
Rev. vii. 4, 9- Moses and Elias came from heaven at 
Christ's transfiguration ; Abraham in glory, and all his 
spiritual offspring, which makes a vast number; yet 
there is room enough left in those fair mansions above. 
How small a point is this habitable world compared with 
heaven, where there are an " innumerable company of 
angels and spirits of just men made perfect." Yet 
none refused or kept out that are written *•' in the 
" Lamb's book of life." Heaven is capable of enter- 
taining all the sons of God, it is a universal receptacle 
for all pilgrims and strangers here on the earth.* 

5. No unclean thing shall enter heaven ; nothing 
that defileth. No dogs shall tread on that golden pave- 
ment, " without are dogs ;" as large as it is, wicked, 
graceless sinners shall not creep or crowd into it : our 
Lord keeps the keys of paradise in his own hands, he 
cannot be guilty of an oversight, for his eyes are " like 
a flame of fire,"f none can give him the slip clan- 
destinely, he knows them that are his, and he disowns 
others; "for without holiness no man shall see the 

* Heb. xii. 22. xi. 13. t Rev. xxi. 27. xxii. 15. ii. 18. 



Lord," Heb. xii. 1 4. Grace and glory go hand in hand ; 
unconverted sinners cannot more easily enter heaven 
(continuing so) than devils or lost souls. Persons nitist 
be gathered by conversion, or not gathered by salvation. 

6. Saints glorified, shall retain their intelligence and 
some kind of sensation, as they shall intuitively see 
God, "know as they are known,"* discern spiritual 
mysteries more clearly than ever. So they shall have 
some kind of sense and feeling, from whence come 
love, joy, delight ; for the soul loses not the exercise 
of its essential faculties, for want of bodily organs. 
These operations of the soul in the flesh, are but imper- 
fect shadows of intelligence and volition above, and so 
of the excellent sense and affections of love and joy, which 
we now cannot clearly conceive of here below. See 
this fully treated in Mr. Baxter's " Dying Thoughts," 
page 201. 

7. The saints in heaven will know one another. 
The disciples knew Moses and Elias ; and those that 
never saw one another's faces in this world shall meet 
together with great content: and this shall be no small 
i)art of their happiness, when they shall say, there 
stand holy Enoch, righteous Noah, grieving Lot, be- 
lieving Abraham, upright David, patient Job, penitent 
Peter, zealous Paul, the beloved, amiable disciple John, 
victorious champions, and my glorious companions for 
ever ; and we together are perfected and glorified : O 
happy day ! blessed meeting ! 

8. The multitudes enjoying God in heaven, will be 
no diminution of their joy. Those thousands of eyes 
beholding the sun, do not diminish its light ; the king is 
not less dignified for his courtiers beholding him ; the 
King of heaven can give content to all the celestial in- 
habitants ; all the saints shall bathe in this delightful 

* Matt, V. 8. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 
VOL. V. 2 C 


river, and drink " abundantly of the fountain of life;"* 
nor will the different degrees of glory create discon- 
tent or envy in such as have less, for every vessel shall 
be as full as it can hold. The celestial courtiers want 
nothing, God shall be all in all ; f it is thought, that 
such as had more grace, and had done God more ser- 
vice here, shall shine brighter than others, from Dan. 
xii. o. 1 Cor. XV. 41. But yet there shall be no emu- 
lation, nay, they will rather rejoice in each other's 
graces and glory. 

9. That in heaven there will he a mutual and reci- 
procal exchange of gifts and graces. And this will be 
no small part of their comfort ; O what embraces ! 
what endearedness of affection ! what inlettings into 
each other's hearts ! As the sun shineth on the stars, 
so the stars shine on each other ; God doth abundantly 
irradiate their souls, and they comfort one another's ; 
not but that there is enough in God to delight them, 
but this is in some respect accumulative. The saints 
above will look on each other's grace as if it were 
their own ; yea, there will be a mutual aptitude and 
disposition to serve each other, and contribute to each 
other's felicity. 

10. The sweet harmony of spirits will be incon- 
ceivable melody in heaven, far beyond the music of 
the spheres. Those blessed inhabitants shall be filled 
with the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace,:}: then they 
shall indeed speak among themselves, in " psalms, and 
hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody 
in their hearts to the Lord," Eph. v. 18, 19. Then 
they shall with one mind and one mouth glorify God ; || 
not one jarring string in the heavenly concert ; their 
hearts will be centred on God, and their lines tending 

* Psal. xvi. 11. xxxvi. 9. t 1 Cor. xv. 28. 

X Gal. V. 22. 11 Rom. xv. 6. 

INt*EIlENCES. 389 

towards each other. O blessed day, when there will 
be no jars or wranglings, but Luther and Calvin will 
sweetly agree, when Melancthon and Zuinglius will 
eagerly unite to celebrate the praises of our common 
Lord. O delightful and blessed day ! 


Reprehension and conviction op careless 
and gracious souls. 

The subject tends to produce conviction in such as are 
regardless of religion, and in pious persons. 

First, Among those who are unconverted and re- 
gardless of religion. 

Must there be a gathering together of saints, and 
only saints, what then will become of the wicked ? they 
are not to be gathered with saints, they cared not for 
their company here, and they shall not have their so- 
ciety in the other world. 

1. Wicked men shall be banished from among the 
saints, this is no small punishment. " He shall set 
the sheep on the right hand, and the goats on the left," 
Matt. XXV. 32, 33 ; "He shall separate them one from 
another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the 
goats." In this world they were mingled together, in 
the same kingdom, city, house, assembly, and none was 
able to distinguish them ; mere professors of religion 
were taken to be as devout as the best, and they took 
themselves to be as good as any ; but now they shall 
be detected, and the rottenness of their hearts shall be 
laid open before themselves, angels, and men, "and 
they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh," so says the 



evangelical prophet, Isa. Ixvi. 24. This will be none 
of the least of wicked men's punishment to see those 
whom they had scorned, slighted, and censured, as not 
worthy of human society, to ascend, and sit down with 
"Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of hea- 
ven ; and the children of the kingdom," those church- 
members " to be cast out int j outer darlaiess," Matt. 
viii. 11, 12. O sad parting, never to meet again! 
How will the wicked wish they had lived in prisons, 
poverty, and wretched straits in this world, if only 
they might now go along with them into glory ! O 
that we had spent our time in prayer, reading, medita- 
tion, conference, and works of mortification, as these 
holy souls did, then had we been happy, as they are ; 
but now we see our loss ; we thought your life mad- 
ness, but now we are convinced of ovu* folly, and the 
wisdom of your choice. 

2. These poor graceless souls must be for ever 
banished from the eternal God, the fountain of all 
happiness. They bade God depart, " depart from us, 
for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways," Job 
xxi. 14. If not in so many words, yet virtually by 
their works ; and now God will say, " Depart from 
me, ye cursed," ]\Iatt. xxv. 41, — the most dreadful 
word in the bible, the most overwhelming sentence 
that can come out of the mouth of God, or can be 
heard by the ears of men. The enjoyment of God is 
the saints' heaven, banishment from God is the wicked's 
hell ; yea, the very hell of hells, the only venom, sting, 
and poison of that infernal lake. They that are not 
gathered to God, are separated from God ; and once 
banished, and for ever banished ; they cannot be re- 
moved from his avenging justice, but from his com- 
forting love ; " ^Vho shall be punished with everlast- 
ing destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and 


from the glory of his power," 2 Thess. i. 9- The pain 
of loss is greater than the pain of sense. O dreadful 
case ! Now poor sinners will be banished from the 
beatific presence, and shall never more see God or 
Christ to their comfort. O wretched state ! sinners 
shall then know what the loss of God meaneth. They 
gathered themselves together under ordinances, but 
desired not God's presence in ordinances ; they know 
not what communion with God means, but they shall 
know what separation from God means. Where love 
ended, wrath begins, fury comes in the room of mercy ; 
" Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest he tear 
you in pieces, and there be none to deliver," Psal. 1. 22. 
3. Wicked men shall be bound up together in bundles, 
and cast into the fire of hell ; so saitli the text. Matt, 
xiii. 30, " In the time of harvest, I will say to the 
reapers, gather ye together, first, the tares, and bind 
them in bundles to burn them." And why in bundles? 
will this be any ease to them in torments ? They are 
wont to say, here. Neighbours' fare is good fare ; but 
it will be otherwise there, the sight of each other will 
increase their torment, where they shall reflect upon 
their guilt together, how they tempted others, and 
were tempted by others to sin ; Thou wast one instru- 
ment to bring me into this place of torment. O that I 
had never known thee ! Now merry companions will 
be torturing company ; their sweet meat must have 
sour sauce. This, this is the dreadful consequence of 
their mad frolics. It is thought, that this was the rea- 
son why the rich man was loth that his five brethren 
should come to him in hell ; not from love to them, for 
there is no such charity in the realms of woe, but self- 
love, lest their presence should aggravate his torments. 
Hence is the " gnashing of teeth" also mentiojied,* for 
* Luke xvi. 28. Matt. xiii. 50. . 


spleen and spite both against themselves, and against 
each other ; as communion advanceth the saint's glory 
above, so the company of old sinners aggravates the 
misery of the wicked in hell. 

4. It will greatly aggravate wicked men's torment 
to consider, that this was their own doing. " Their 
destruction is of themselves;"* they can blame none 
but themselves though they had many incentives and 
temptations. Neither the devil nor wicked men could 
ever push them into hell against their will : God saith, 
" He wills not the death of a sinner." Jesus Christ 
expressed his earnest desire for their salvation by his 
death; the Spirit came with his kind suggestions and 
impulses ; pious ministers and christian friends prayed 
for them, and took pains with them to save them, so 
that our Lord himself saith, Matt, xxiii. 37, " O Jeru- 
salem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered 
thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her 
chickens under her wings, and ye would not?" There 
was God's gathering time of mercy, but that is past ; 
now there is a gathering time of wrath, when the 
" chaff must be burnt in unquenchable fire." They 
might have been happy, but would not. " They ob- 
served lying vanities, and forsook their own mercies ;"f 
now there is no remedy. They chose the things 
*' wherein he delighted not," and now " he will choose 
their delusions," Isa. Ixvi. 3, 4. Alas, poor sinners 
choose the devil's drudgery here, and God gives them 
up into his hands, to be tormented for ever ; and as 
Christ will gather up his saints, whom he jiurchased, 
so the devil will gather up all his slaves, not one shall 
escape him ; the wicked are gathered by death to their 
master, and to their proper place, as it is said of Judas, 
" That he went to his own place '"I that is, hell : "for 

• Hos. xiii. 9. t Matt. iii. 12. Jonah ii. 8. + Acts i. 25. 


the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the na- 
tions that forget God," Psal. ix. 17. O, what a vast 
assembly will that be ! millions, millions of souls de- 
scend down into that place of torment ! " Wide is the 
gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, 
and many there be that go in thereat," Matt. vii. 13. 
O tremble, lest you be found among the greater num- 
ber of the sons of men. 

Remember, all mankind have their faces hell-wards, 
when they are born : " The wicked are estranged from 
the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born, 
speaking lies — There is none righteous, no not one ; 
we are altogether become unprofitable,"* without a 
saving turn we are all marching hell-ward, and must 
be gathered together, and, like faggots, piled up in that 
infernal region, but especially such as have improved 
the stock of original corruiDtion in a course of profane 
swearing, rioting, drunkenness, mocking of religion, 
ridiculing j^reciseness, condemning the righteous, and 
justifying the wicked. How can such as these expect 
to be gathered with the saints in the other world, 
whom they cannot endure in this ? Surely the pious 
and wicked go contrary ways, when they go off the 
stage of this world into an eternal state. 

Secondly, As the state of wicked, graceless persons 
is sad and hopeless, if they continue such, so also pro- 
fessed Christians, yea, real saints are in some things 
faulty, and blame-worthy. 

1. Shall there be a gathering together at last, then 
how unaccountable are those distances, animosities, 
and heart-burnings among Christians ? There is ut- 
terly a fault among us. How contrary is this to 
Christian love, so often recommended by Christ and 
his apostles ? Yea, our Lord hath made it the cha- 
* Rom. iii. 10—12. 


racteristic of his disciples " to love one anotlier," John 
xiii. 35. It was wont to be said of the primitive 
Christians by heathens, see how they love one another! 
But alas, brotherly love doth not continue ! It hath 
been declared, to the scandal of our noble profession, 
" That there are contentions among us."* Further, it 
hath been said, that where strictest professors fall out, 
they are most implacable ; drunkards will sooner be 
friends than these puritans. God forbid it should be 
true ; God forbid that there should be " debates, envyr 
ings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, tumults, 
swellings."! Alas, that such unbecoming fruits of the 
flesh should be found among us ! There hath been too 
much of this evil spii'it ; O let us take heed, " lest if 
we bite and devour one another, we be consumed one 
by another," Gal. v. 15. These are the devil's artillery, 
whereby he fights, and too often prevails to do abun- 
dance of mischief, and hinder much good ; "For where 
envy and strife is, there is confusion, and every evil 
work." I How can you think of the day of meeting- 
one another in heaven with such peevish spirits ? 
AVill you perpetuate your quarrels into another world ? 
Are you children of peace that thus quarrel? For 
shame, lay aside your differences, or lay aside your pror 
fession of this gospel of peace. 

2, If the saints be gathered at last, why do they 
not keep close together in this world ? What unaccount- 
able separations do men make from each other upon 
small occasions? This duty of christian intercourse 
has been practised by all the saints in all ages ; the 
primitive Christians continued stedfastly in the " Apos- 
tles' doctrine and fellowship," Acts ii. 42. As soon as 
Paul was converted, he assayed " to join himself to 
the disciples," and others " consorted with Paul and 
* 1 Cor. i. ] L t 2 Cor. xii. 20. t James iii. 16. 


Silas." — " The Philippians were in tlie fellowship of 
the gospel from the first day of their conversion."* 
Like will adhere to like : it is natural for a child of 
God to hold close communion with his Father's chil- 
dren. How comes it to pass, then, that some that 
profess themselves Christians keep at a distance? Alas, 
have you the same name, nature, and divine image, 
and do you not care for their company? How will 
you like to live with them for ever in heaven, that 
love not their society on earth ? How comes it to pass 
that you keep off? It is possible some do it out of 
modesty, they may think they are not worthy to asso- 
ciate with them ; these are but few. Others out of 
singularity, retiredness ; they can find none good enough, 
to whom they think fit to vouchsafe intimate fami- 
liarity. * Others have a pique against such and such 
Christians, or against the whole party, and most hold 
off from supine negligence, carelessness, and oscilancy; 
most men are unconcerned about their edification. 
How unwilling are some Christians to be drawn to 
the communion of saints ? If it be an article in their 
creed, it is no part of their practice, as though they 
had never subscribed to it ; yea, there are some, that 
were once forward for embracing opportunities of 
christian communion, that are now fallen off", like 
those Hebrews that believed, of whom the apostle 
saith, " Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves to- 
gether, as the manner of some is," Heb. x. 25. The 
Donatists of old, and the sectaries of late, have made 
dreadful rents and schisms in the church ; the more 
holy Christians are, the more catholic spirits they have. 
They are most likely to be sensual, that needlessly 
" separate themselves, not having the Spirit," Jude, 19, 
however they may boast themselves to be more full of 
* Acts ix. 26. xvii. 4. Phil. i. 5. 


the Spirit than others they separate from. Well, sirs, 
consider what you do, how you injure yourselves, 
weaken your brethren's hands, sadden their hearts, yea, 
you weaken the interests of religion hereby. What, 
friends, shall one heaven hold you, and cannot one 
church hold you ? Do you look for comfort at Christ's 
second coming among his saints, and will you not keep 
" by the footsteps of the flock ? " The Lord awaken 

3. Some Christians make nothing of offending the 
saints of God, whom they should not offend ; that is 
an awful expression, Matt, xviii? 6, " Whoso shall of- 
fend one of these little ones, which believe in me, it 
were better for him that a millstone were hanged about 
his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of 
the sea." I confess this is spoken of open and violent 
persecutors, whom our Lord will banish among the 
pushing goats. But even Christians are too apt to of- 
fend one another ; sometimes by provoking words, 
sometimes by offensive behaviour, doing what in conse- 
quence of which, (however it seem indifferent to us,) a 
" brother stumbleth, or is offended, or made weak," 
Rom. xiv. 21. Unadvised walking may hinder much 
good, occasion much evil, at least may make sad the 
hearts of those whose hearts God would not have made 
sad. With what comfort or confidence will you look 
in the faces of those whom you have justly offended ? 
An eminent divine saith,* if it be my weakness, I have 
much ado to think but some shame with confusion will 
accompany me, when I first meet any there, that I 
have been unkind to, or wronged, or that will know 
my faults better than here they did, and that I shall 
ask them forgiveness, which will be soon granted, being 

* IMr. Baxter in a Letter prefixed to Mr. Burgess's book on 
Christian Comnieraoration. 


forgiven by Christ. However matters will go then, 
it becomes all the saints to be very cautious, lest they 
should encroach on the holiness and comfort of their 
fellow members on earth, and to say with Paul, 1 Cor. 
viii. 13, "Wherefore if meat make my brother to of- 
fend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, 
lest I make my brother to offend." Happy are they 
that neither give offence carelessly, nor take offence 

4. Yet still there is a great, if not greater fault, of 
good people, and that is, to be too familiar with wicked 
men, to comply too far with sinners, to the dishonour 
of God, scandal of religion, and wronging of their own 
consciences. Paul writes, and writes again, " not to 
keep company with fornicators;"* the word is very 
€mphatical, awavafxiywa^m, not to be mingled with them 
by intimate familiarity, as streams of water mix to- 
gether ; but Christians must be like oil, that will not 
mix with water ; especially they must not be familiar 
with scandalous professors of the true religion, or such 
as be disorderly persons, idle, busy-bodies, disobedient 
to the word; sound, close-walking Christians must 
" note a man of this description, and have no company 
with him, that he may be ashamed," 9, Thess. iii. 11, 
14. Brand such a one as infamous, discover a strange- 
ness in your carriage to him, fv« ivrpuTn], that he may 
turn into himself, and consider what in him may be 
the cause of this your alienation from him. Such a 
recognition may become a means of his repentance ; 
whereas if you still smile upon him, as if you saw no- 
thing amiss in him, you do but harden him in sin. Yet 
there is something worse in your sinful compliance, 
you contract guilt to your own souls, and are in danger 
of being infected by others, and so partake of their sins, 
* 1 Cor. V. 9, U. 


and of their plagues. How often doth God give this 
call, " Come out from among them, and be ye separate, 
saith the Lord — what fellowship hath righteousness 
with unrighteousness ? * Have no fellowship with 
the unfruitful works of darkness, but reprove them 
rather," Eph. v. 11. How often doth David bid 
wicked men depart from him ? and if they will not be 
gone, he will flee from them as from a pest house ; 
Psal. xxvi. 4, 5, " I have not sat with vain persons, 
neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated 
the congregation of evil doers, and will not sit with 
the wicked." And then he prays, ver. 9, " Gather not 
my soul with sinners." O friends, tremble to be found 
among wicked men in the gathering day. 



Another thing suggested, is to ascertain, whether 
we be the persons that shall be gathered to Christ 
with the rest of his saints in that solemn day of his 

1. You may know whether you be of that number 
or not ; assurance is possible, and attainable ; God's 
children have obtained it, 2 Cor. v. 1, "We know that 
if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, 
we have a building of God, an house not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens." We can be well con- 
tent to forego this tottering cottage, because we are 
* Rev. xviii. 4. 2 Cor. vi. 14, 17- 


"well assured of a celestial palace ; there we shall lodge 
with God, Christ, angels, and glorified spirits for ever, 

2. Nor is this assurance commimicated by divine 
revelation only, but may be obtained in the diligent 
use of God's appointed means, hearing the word, prayer, 
meditation, exciting and exercising of grace, holy war- 
fare, and victory over temptations and corruptions, 
walking close with God, and particularly by a practical 
syllogism, where the word of God is the major, con- 
science the minor, and the Spirit makes the conclusion. 
Thus, such whose eyes are opened, who are turned from 
" darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, 
shall have an inheritance among them that are sancti- 
fied," Acts xxvi. 18. Next, conscience brings in the 
minor, I have found my heart and life thus changed 
by conversion; then the Holy Spirit brings in the in- 
ference or conclusion, therefore I do groundedly hope, 
I shall obtain the inheritance of glory with the rest of 
the saints. This is called the witnessing of the Spirit 
" with our spirits that we are the children of God," 
Rom. viii. 16. 

3. Therefore it is the duty of all Christians to en- 
deavour after it, we are commanded to " give diligence 
to make our calling and election sure :" we " desire," 
saith the apostle, " that every one of you do shew the 
same diligence to the full assurance of hope to the end." 
Such as look not after assurance conscientiously, render 
their spiritual state suspicious ; for it is the nature of 
grace to put the possessor forwards to perfection. The 
sincere Christian will be " perfecting holiness in the 
fear of God," and press forward to enjoy more of God's 
presence. "Let us," saith the apostle, "draw near 
with a true heart in full assurance of faith."* 

4. And O the advantage and benefit that God's chil- 
* 2 Pet. i. 10. Heb. vi. 11. 2 Cor. vii. 1. Heb. x. 22. 

400 genehal assembly. 

dren have by a well-grounded assurance of their sal-^ 
vation ; it will raise your hearts in praise of God, and 
transport your spirits to love and delight in him. This 
drops sweetness into all worldly enjoyments ; it cheers 
up the heart in sufferings, Heb. x. 34 ; fortifies the 
soul against temptations ; excites the Christian to all 
acts of new obedience ; gives contentment in every 
condition ; strengthens against fears of death, and 
is a certain prelude and forerunner of heaven. O 
happy soul that can say, God is my father, saints my 
elder brothers, and I shall meet^them all in glory, and 
sing praises with them to God and the Lamb for ever- 

But how shall a person know that he shall be one 
of those that shall be gathered together to Christ, in 
that solemn day ? 

In reply, I desire that you will faithfully answer 
these seven questions : 

1. Have you been gathered to Christ by converting 
grace? "To him," that is, to Shiloh, " shall the gather- 
ing of the people be," Gen. xlix. 10. Hath the Spirit 
of God in the word convinced you of your distance from 
God, prevailed with you to enter into solemn covenant 
with him ? Alas, by nature we are as sheep going 
astray,* prodigals in a far country, have neither skill 
nor will to return to God, but Christ the good shep- 
herd calleth " his own sheep by name, and leadeth 
them out, they know his voice and follow him," John 
x. S, 4. Formerly, saith the returning sinner, I heard 
but the voice of man, now methinks I hear the voice 
of God rending my heart, discovering those concealed 
lusts which no mortal can know of, the very secrets 
of my heart are made manifest ; then you must "fall 
down on your face and worship God, and must report 
* Psalm cxix. 176. 


that God is there" in such an ordinance, " of a truth," 
1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. What concussions and shakings of 
soul have you found to unsettle you from your carnal 
peace and security ? Hath the Lord " hewed you by 
his prophets, and slain you with the words of his 
mouth?" What convictions of your lost condition? 
What tremblings, when the Lord roareth as a lion ? 
Are you of those that tremble at the word of the 
Lord,* yet it doth not drive you from him, but to 
him ? I can be safe no where but under the shadow 
of his wings. Come " let us join ourselves to the 
Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be for- 
gotten," Jer. 1. 5. I will bind this slippery heart to 
the Lord, with the strongest and straitest ties : I will 
not only say it with my mouth, but " subscribe it with 
my hand ; yea, and swear myself to be the Lord's, and 
his only." Some indeed swear by the name of the 
Lord, but " not in truth, nor in righteousness ;"f but 
the sincere Christian is most afraid of hypocrisy, longs 
after sincerity, approves his heart to God, resolves to 
resort to his standard, fight his battles, and be on his 
side for ever. Let flesh and blood, and all the devils 
in hell say what they can to the contrary, is this your 
peremptory resolution ? 

2. Have you separated from sinners, 2 Cor. vi. 17, 
" Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith 
the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will 
receive you :" for, " what communion hath light with 
darkness ? " As men cannot carry their vain compa- 
nions to heaven, so not into the church state. No un- 
clean thing or person can enter the gates of this holy 
city; for without are dogs.:]; Saints may not deny 

* Hos. vi. 5, xi. 10, 11. Isa. Ixvi. 5. 

t Isa. xliv. 5. xlv. 23. xlviii. 1. Ixv. 16. 

X 2 Cor. vi. 14. Rev. xxi. 27- xxii. 15. 


civil converse with the worst of men in a neighbour- 
hood or near relations, 1 Cor. v. 10. But in two 
respects, the apostle denies society with gross sinners : 
First, there should not be too much or needless fami- 
liarity with them, so as to be mingled with them ; as 
water and oil will not mix, Christians must not, will 
not be intimate as cronies with dissolute persons : and, 
secondly, in a special manner with such as are pre- 
tended Christians, and belie their profession by scan- 
dalous actions : these of all others we must keep at a 
distance from, as a part of their punishment to bring 
them to shame, and so to repentance.* If you act as 
Christians, you will let a person of this description see 
a strangeness in you towards him, that he may turn 
into himself by self-reflection, recognize his disorder, 
or seek where to hide himself. But that is not all, for 
a godly person hath a kind of aversion to wilful sin- 
ners, and avoids them as afraid of being infected by 
them, as Joseph kept himself from his mistress ; and 
as Solomon adviseth, Prov. v. 8, 9- By familiar con- 
verse you may encourage them in sin, and prejudice 
yourselves : hence all pious persons have been afraid 
to associate with sinners, so David, Psal. xxvi. 4, " I 
have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in 
with dissemblers ;" for, in their company I shall get 
either guilt or grief ; if I act as they, I shall be guilty, 
if not, I shall be grieved ; the best is, to meddle as 
little as I can with them, for God's honour, and my 
own peace. I will resolve with old Jacob, Gen, xlix. 
6, " O my soul come not into their secret ;" I dare not 
touch the rope, lest I hear the bell ; I will " abstain 
from the appearance of evil ;" and hate the garment 
spotted by the flesh." f 

3. Have you associated yourselves with them that 
* 2 Thess. iii. 14. t 1 Thess. v. 22. Jnde, 23. 


fear God ? Pious persons were holy David's intimate 
friends," Psal. xvi. 3 ; the saints v/ere in his account 
the " excellent of the earth, in whom was all his de- 
light ; a companion," saith he, " am I to all them that 
fear thee ;"* I have wise senators, and valiant soldiers, 
but what are these to me, if they be not truly religious ? 
one Jonathan is better than many Joabs, one Hushai 
better than a thousand Ahithophels ; I love them that 
fear God with a peculiar affection, yea, though they 
should be severe upon me if I offend, I will not only 
patiently bear it, but thankfully own them as my bene- 
factors. " Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a 
kindness — Faithful are the wounds of a friend. "f I 
will love Nathan the better whilst I live, for his faith- 
fulness : let my soul be united to saints. I will live 
with them on earth with whom I would sing praises 
in heaven. Communion of saints is not only an article 
in my creed, but a main point of practice, and next to 
communion with God, my highest privilege. These, 
these will I converse familiarly with ; I will confer 
with them about the things of God, pray and praise 
God with them, sit down with them at the holy sup- 
per, and walk hand in hand with them in my journey 
heaven-wards. There is a holy union of all saints, 
which yet is not natural or corporal, political or even 
personal, but yet it is real ; and this union is either 
mystical, as members of the same mystical body, 
Eph. V. 30, or ecclesiastical. Converts are said to be 
added to the church, and to have mutual external fel- 
lowship. Acts ii. 41, 42. Thus Paul when converted, 
"assayed to join himself to the disciples," Acts ix. 26; 
and others consorted with Paul and Silas, j: and in- 
deed it is natural for a child of God to desire, yea and 

* P&al. cxix. 6;J. t Psal. cxli. 5. Prov. xxvii. 6. 

X Acts xvii. 4. 
VOL. V. 2 D 


delight in the society of the saints ; hence the apostle 
mentions the Philippians' " fellowship in the gospel, 
from the first day until now,"* mark it, it was early 
and permanent. Good men know not how to go to 
heaven alone ; they must go forth by the footsteps of 
the flock, and are like a company of horses in Pharaoh's 
chariot :f so amiable, profitable, and pleasant is Chris- 
tian society. 

4. Do you lay to heart the scatterings of Christians? 
Zeph. iii. 18, "I will gather them that are sorrowful 
for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the 
reproach of it was a burden." This scattering is either 
by persecution or dissension. First, if enemies prevail 
and break up the saints' solemn meetings, God's poor 
children lay it deeply to heart ; hence such lamentable 
complaints and expostulations from them, Psal. Ixxiv. 
3, " Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations, 
even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the 
sanctuary," Isa. Ixiv. 9 — 12. This was one ingredient 
of Judah's lamentation, that the ways of Zion mourn, 
and God's people did mourn with her. Lam. i. 4 — 7. 
Such S3anpathy indicates the spirit of religion, and 
moves God's heart, and possibly in this world they 
may be gathered, at any rate in the other, Isa. Ixvi. 
10, " Rejoice ye with Jerusalem and be glad with her, 
all ye that love her, rejoice for joy with her all ye that 
mourn for her ;" Sion's friends shall partake of Sion's 
comforts. Secondly, Such as grieve for the divisions 
of the church within herself, Judg. v. 15, 16, " For the 
divisions of Reuben, there were great thoughts of heart, 
great searchings of heart." Oh, the sad contentions 
and animosities that have risen up in the church in all 
ages, with which the pious and peaceable members 
thereof have been grievously afflicted ! sometimes per- 
* Phil. i. 5. t Song. i. 8, 9. 


Ronal, sometimes doctrinal differences have rent the 
bowels thereof, and rent the hearts of public, uniting 
spirits, and they have almost despaired of seeing an 
end of them in this world, till they arrive in the place 
where Luther and Calvin are made perfect friends, 
and all the saints shall be of one mind. Mourners for 
these breaches shall be perfectly cured and comforted, 
Isa. li. 11, " Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall 
return and come with singing unto Zion, and everlast- 
ing joy shall be upon their head, they shall obtain 
gladness and joy, and sorrow and mourning shall flee 

5. Do you follow the army of martyrs in bearing 
your cross, and preparedness to suffer for Christ ? 
This way have all the saints gone to heaven, this is 
the established, enacted law of Christ. * " If any man 
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up 
his cross and follow me," Matt xvi. 24. " We must 
through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of 
God."f Heaven is taken by storm, and the gracious 
soul is resolved to go through storms ; for persecution 
is the common, constant lot of all the saints; "All 
that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer perse- 
cution." ^ But the Christian is not appalled with, nor 
ashamed of, the cross of Christ; nay, "he takes plea- 
sure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in per- 
secutions, in distresses for Christ's sake," 2 Cor. xii. 10; 
he even glories in the cross, and in the marks of the 
Lord Jesus, 1| as much as an old soldier in his wounds 
received in the w^ars ; as the poor woman in the book 
of martyrs thought it a piece of honour and happiness, 
that her foot was put in the same hole of the stocks 
wherein Mr. Philpot's had been before. So Christians 

* Hac itur ad asti-a. t Acts xiv. 22. X 2 Tim. iii. 12. 

11 Gal. vi. 14, 17. 



rejoice to follow that blessed army of martyrs to hea- 
ven, not merely by an apish imitation from a good con- 
ceit they have of them, but " having the same spirit of 
faith,"* they endure opposition ; whatever it may cost 
the believer, onwards he will proceed, though he die 
in the conflict ; he sees a crowTi awaiting him, and so 
gathers strength by every effort ; yea, by every foil, as 
it was said of Rome,! that every battle, even every 
slaughter of men made her more courageous. So it is 
with the conflicting soul, none of these things that 
startle others, move him, but animate him with more 
courage in his christian warfare, and voyage through 
this boisterous sea to the haven of rest4 Is it thus 
with you ? 

6. Do you daily make proficiency in grace ? Are 
)'ou marching on in your christian course, adding daily 
some cubits to your spiritual stature ? There is no 
standing still in heaven's road, not to go forward, is to 
go backward. Paul saith, " I press toward the mark 
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Je- 
sus." Nothing would satisfy him on this side perfec- 
tion : he longs after that degree of grace at which he 
shall attain in the resurrection. The sincere Christian 
grows brighter and better, as the shining light, " that 
shineth more and more unto the perfect day." ^Miere 
there is truth, there will be growth. Grace is like a 
grain of mustard-seed ; the Christian never thinks he 
hath grown enough, he is still " perfecting holiness in 
the fear of God," getting ground daily on the body of 
death. This is their duty, this is their property, this 
is what the apostle earnestly prays for, 1 Thess. iii. 
12, 13, "And the Lord make you to increase and 
abound in love one towards another, and towards all 
men," &c. I would, saith the saint, be lioiier than the 
* 2 Cor. iv. 13. t Roma cladibus animosior. | Acts xx. 24. 


holiest saint on earth, but judge myself less than the 
least of all saints.* O that I were perfectly free from 
sin ! O that my blossoms of grace were ripe fruit ! O 
that I could increase with the increase of God ! Let 
my faith grow exceedingly to full assurance ;f let my 
love rise to delight in God, my repentance be more 
evangelical, my hope more fixed, my fear more filial, 
my obedience more unreserved, and all my graces more 
lively, and my whole man more conformable to Christ, 
the perfect pattern of holiness. O that I could " go 
from strength to strength, till in Zion I appear before 
God," Psal. Ixxxiv. 7- 

7. What blessed instinct inclines you heaven-wards? 
Heavy things move downwards, light things upwards ; 
every thing moves towards its centre. The church is 
compared " to pillars of smoke," still mounting to- 
wards its proper element. So the Chrtstian is avioOev 
yijEvoij.(vog, " bom from above," and naturally inclines 
to things above, t Grace resembles God, it expands 
the soul's faculties, and makes it altogether unsatisfied 
with sublunary things. Even a heathen Seneca could 
say, "I am born to higher things than to these trifles; 1| 
my thoughts are carried quite above visible objects, 
mortal things cannot fill an immortal soul, especially 
touched with a coal from the altar, which raiseth 
sparks upwards to the fountain of light and love. Our 
Lord gives this as a certain, ro reKf^ajpiov, or token of a 
soul that is either prepared for this or for another 
world ; Matt. vi. 21, " Where your treasure is, there 
will your heart be also." The workings of the heart 
are an infallible demonstration of a Christian's state. 
Is the rational, habitual motion, and tendency of your 

* Phil. iii. 11, 14. Prov. iv. 18. 2 Cor. vii. 1. Eph. ili. 8. 
t Col. ii. 19. 2 Thess. i. 3. 1: Cant. iii. C. John iii. 3. 

II Major sum et ad majora natus. 


hearts God-wards, heaven-wards ? Have you a strong, 
impetuous movement and bent of soul towards things 
above ? Are you best pleased when your hearts are 
in a frame for devotion? Do you take it ill, and resent 
with some regret and indignation that which obstructs 
your soul's progress ? Have you a strong impulse hea- 
ven-wards, by the restless tendency of desire, and by the 
acquiescing affection of delight ? Are you never so well 
as when you are conversant about heavenly objects ? It 
is the blessed apostle's character of a saint. Col. iii. 
1, "If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things 
which are above." There, there is a Christian's life, 
his love, and delight ; thither he is mounting as on 
eagles' wings, and is never satisfied till he be swallowed 
up in the divine embraces.* He is glad of communion 
with saints below, more glad of communion with God 
in his ordinances, but still most restless till he be wrapt 
up in the full enjoyment of God above ; for our Lord 
liath said, Luke xvii, 37, " Wheresoever the body is, 
thither will the eagles be gathered together." The 
saints are united to Christ by faith, as members to the 
head, and have an innate tendency towards him, and 
cannot be satisfied without a full enjoyment of him, 
and that will never be, till the soul get above this 
drossy, reeling earth into the regions above. Is this 
your frame? are these your aims? are your movements 
heavenwards, though, alas, too often interrupted, to 
the grief of your hearts ? Your souls are now es- 
poused to Christ your husband, and you earnestly 
long for the completion of the nuptials, "that you 
may be presented to your heavenly liusband as chaste 

* Isaiah xl. 31. f 2 Cor. xi. 2. 



Exhortation may be addressed to sinners and to 

1. To sinners. A word or two to those who are 
yet in " the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity," 
secured with chains for the prince of darkness, " led 
captive by him at his pleasure."* Suffer yourselves to 
be gathered unto Christ ; what would poor ministers 
give that they might prevail with you ? How doth 
our Lord sjn-ead his arms to embrace you? After 
all your wanderings and extravagances, the Father of 
the prodigal would run towards the returning prodigal, 
fall on your neck, kiss you, and make you kindly wel- 
come ; and pious Christians would not envy your re- 
ception, but delight in your society, as not diminishing 
but increasing their felicity. " There is joy in heaven 
over one sinner that repenteth," saith our Lord ; again, 
there is "joy in the presence of the angels of God 
over one sinner that repenteth."f Glad are the saints 
of such consorts; glad are the holy angels of such 
babes to attend upon ; glad would poor ministers be, 
if your souls were savingly converted and gathered to 
Christ : but if you still stand out, you have neither 
part nor lot in this matter, but must be exiles, banish- 
ed and "punished with everlasting destruction from 
the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power," 
2 Thess. i. 7 — 9- As meanly as you think of God's 
children now, parting from them will be doleful in the 
great day. Now be wise for your precious souls. 

' Acts viii. 23. 2 Tim. ii. 2S. t Luke xv. 7, 10. 


(1.) There is yet a possibility that you may be con- 
verted and saved : " Now is the accepted time, now is 
the day of salvation ;"* to-morrow, it may be past, 
and never return again. You are yet alive, many are 
past hope, past help, thousands are dead and lost since 
you deserved to be in hell ; you are yet monuments of 

(2.) The spirit is yet striving with you, poor mi- 
nisters are studying for you, pouring out their souls 
to God for you, longing after you, crying out, Why 
will you die ? "Why will you refuse this blessed call 
of God ? Be it known to you, God will not always 
be insulted, " His spirit shall not always strive." f 

(3.) If ever your souls be converted and saved, while 
God is the efficient cause, you yourselves must be in- 
struments ; for God works morally, so as to preserve 
men's nature and the principles thereof; if ever you 
repent, the work is yours, though the power to work is 
from God, Phil. ii. 12, 13. Saith a great divine, " The 
duty is ours, the grace is his ; God is the efficient, man 
the agent."i 

(4.) Your duty is then to fall down on your knees, 
and beg of God a disposition suited to the grace of 
God, and fitted for this day of gathering ; Lord, I am 
now going to hear thy word, O come with power from 
on high, open my heart as thou didst the heart of 
Lydia : melt my heart like wax, then set thy stamp 
upon me : " Cast down my vain imaginations — and 
bring into captivity every thought to the obedience 
of Christ." II Square my soul to be a temple of the 
Holy Ghost. Put spiritual life into my soul, and let 

* 2 Cor. vi. 2. t Gen. vi. 3. 

t Omne opus liumaniim est vii'ium nostrarum opus, et vires 
nullae sunt nobis nisi a Deo libere donatee. — Baxter's Myih. Thcol. 
Pari 3, page 46'. || Acts xvi. 14. 2 Cor. x. 5. 


me be one of those lively stones which are built up a 
spiritual house. Put thy hand in " by the hole of the 
door of my heart, and make my bowels move towards 
thee."* Let the power of thy grace be such a hidden, 
prevailing, uncontrolable efficacy as may win my soul 
to thee : all I can do is nothing, unless the Spirit 
prevail. If thou wilt work who can let it ? if thou 
work not, all I do is in vain. O Lord, let me not 
perish with the infidel world, "Gather not my soul with 
sinners, nor my life with bloody men, but in the midst 
of thy congregation let me bless the Lord."| 

2. But the parties I have to deal with, more di- 
rectly are Christians, real saints, who are gathered to 
Christ, and hope to be gathered to him at last with 
the rest of God's people ; to such as these I will give 
these few instructions, and to all professors. 

(1.) Be sincere ; be really what you seem to be by 
profession. It will be a dreadful disappointment to 
pass for saints, and be found among them, and not be 
of them ; for it is said, Rom. ix. 6, " They are not all 
Israel, which are of Israel," that is, those that are of 
the stock of Israel are not all of the same spirit ; some 
goats may be found among the sheep till the separat- 
ing day; some may " have a name to live and be dead.".t 
All is not gold that glitters, shining lamps, and oil in 
the vessels, are diiferent things. It will be a dreadful 
thing when the master of the feast comes to view his 
guests, and finds one not having on a wedding gar- 
ment, and thus expostulates with him, " Friend, hoAV 
camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" 
Alas, he was speechless and cast into outer darkness. 
O what "weeping and gnashing of teeth !" Matt. xxii. 
11 — 13. O beware of a mere show and semblance of 
religion. Tremble, lest when you are weighed in the 

* 1 Pet. ii. 5. Song v. 4. t Psal. xxvi. 9, 12. .1: Rev. iii. 1. 


balances you be found wanting, lest your works be not 
perfect before God,* TrtTrXrjpw/uEya, filled up with the 
necessary essentials that constitute a Christian. Sirs, 
a day is coming when your inside will be turned out, 
to the open view of all; when God will bring to " light 
the hidden things of darkness and make manifest the 
counsels of the heart," 1 Cor. iv. 5. See then that 
your hearts be sound in God's statutes that you may 
not be ashamed. Be sincere, and then you " will be 
without offence in the day of Christ ;"-f be upright in 
heart and imiform in life ; keep a conscience void of 
offence : walk with God, and you shall rest with God. 
(2.) Gather yourselves together in solemn exercises 
of religion ; especially in cases of public calamity and 
common danger, so God calls to Israel, Zeph ii. 1, 2, 
"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather yourselves 
together, O nation not desired, before the decree bring 
forth." Be unanimous and harmonious in fasting and 
praying. How often doth God call his people of old, 
*' to sanctify a fast, to call a solemn assembly, to gather 
the elders;":}: there is great reason for it, all have 
sinned, all must be humbled, all are concerned. Per- 
sons may be helpful one to another, " a threefold cord 
is not easily broken." || God sometimes expects unani- 
mous votes, which make a great sound in his ears. 
Let Christians do as the children of Israel and Judah, 
go together "to God weeping and seeking the Lord 
their God, covenanting with God," as in Jer. 1. 4, 5. 
Yea, in ordinary duties of prayer, conference, and read- 
ing, let them strengthen one another's hands in God ; 
"Provoke each other to love and to good works. ^ Sing 
God's praises together. O what an emblem of heaven is 
this communion of saints ! Many combustibles kindled 

* Rev. iii. 2. t Psal. cxix. 80. Phil. i. 10. 

X Joel i. 14. ii. 16. || Eccl. iv. 9-^12. § Heb. x. 24. 


make a great blaze ; grapes put together ripen one ano- 
ther. Is communion of saints good in heaven, and is it 
not good here ? Are not some Christians ignorant, and 
want informing ? Are not some dead, and want quick- 
ening ; hard, and want softening; wandering, and 
want reclaiming? Are not some staggering, and want 
settling ? Are not some weak, and should not we lift 
"up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees?* 
Get together here as you hope to come together here- 

(3.) Agree affectionately. Let not Christians fall 
out by the way, when they Iiope to meet in the end. 
Away with discords and divisions, if any occasions of 
difference fall out, (as it is likely there will) rest not 
till you seek and obtain reconciliation. If thou hast 
any thing against thy brother, be thou faithful in ad- 
monishing, if it be his fault, to bring him to repentance, 
keep not malice burning in thy heart; avenge not 
yourselves, express brotherly kindness to him. " Be 
not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good," 
study Rom. xii. 18 — 21. "If thou remember that thy 
brother hath ought against thee, leave thy gift before 
the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy 
brother, and then come and offer thy gift," Matt. v. 
23, 24. God will rather tarry for his due than thou 
shouldst neglect thy duty; if thou be conscious 
to thyself that he hath just reason to be ofiended with 
thee, humble thyself, confess thy fault to God and him ; 
if thou be not conscious that thou hast done him wrong, 
go to him and know the reason of his strangeness to 
thee, and endeavour to pacify him ; do not fall out 
with any brother, but " live in peace, that the God of 
love and peace may be with you."f O bev/are of 
quarrels and animosities ; stud}' the wisdom which is 
* Ileb. xii. J 2. 12 Cor. xiii. 11. 


" from above, that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, 
easy to be entreated :"*" you must agree in the end, 
now affectionately agree ; for reproof to the world, for 
the credit of religion, for your own comfort live peace- 
ably; cut not asunder the veins and sinews of the 
mystical body of Christ; study 1 Cor. i. 10, Phil, 
ii. 1, 2. 

(4.) Travail over sinners for their conversion. Do 
your utmost, endeavour to bring in souls to God, that 
there may be more at that great day to be gathered 
together to Christ. This is your present duty, this 
will be your future joy ; this is ministers' proper work, 
and every Christian's concern. I have heard of a pri- 
vate Christian that used to follow persons to their shops, 
ploughs, and discourse with them about soul-affairs, 
and thereby was an instrument to convert forty souls 
to Christ. O what an honour would this be ! doubtless, 
private Christians if wise, serious, and zealous, might 
do much good this way, and yet keep their places, 
Jude, 22, 23, " Of some have compassion, making a 
difference, others save with fear, pulling them out of 
the fire." Alas, sirs, how can you find in your hearts 
to see relations or any miserable sinners dropping into 
the fire of hell, and not speak one word to stop them ? 
O dreadful cruelty ! are you not some way accessary 
to that man's death who is going to cut his own throat, 
when you neglect to lay hands on him ? Consider 
this, and be not merciless to souls ; advise, admonish, 
rebuke, entreat them for Christ's sake, for their own 
sakes to pity themselves, iind not leap into the pit of 
destruction; who knows what good you may do? if 
you be but instrumental in converting one poor sin- 
ner " from the error of his way, you save a soul from 
death, and shall hide a nuiltitude of sins," James v. 20. 
* James iii. 17- 


And O what joy on both sides will there be at your 
next meeting before the throne ! 

(5.) Moderately lament and profitably improve the 
death of christian friends. They are gathered to 
Christ and the rest of their brethren ; they are safely 
removed out of danger, they would be loth to be back 
again in this sinful, sorrowful world. You may law- 
fully mourn your loss, but envy not your friends' gain; 
"Sorrow not even as others who have no hope," 
1 Thess. iv. 13 ; as if they were lost, or as if you 
should never meet again, for the dead in Christ and 
survivors shall be ever with the Lord, ver. 15, 17; it 
is but a short absence, there shall be a joyful meet- 
ing; a little recess shall be followed with everlast- 
ing converse. David would not mourn for his dead 
child, for, saith he, " I shall go to him but he shall not 
return to me ;" but he lamented sore for Absalom, 
whom he was afraid he was never to see again with 
comfort.* Those that die in the Lord are not lost but 
reserved ; their bodies sleep in Jesus, and their souls 
rest in the bosom of their dear Lord ; they are with 
him in paradise, and say, " weep not for us but weep 
for yourselves;"! imitate our example, worship the same 
God that we do, live as citizens of heaven, let your af- 
fections be with ours, hold communion with us ; this I 
have treated of, in my book on " Heavenly Converse." 

(6.) Make ready to follow those crowned saints. They 
are gone above, we are below; they pray for the filling up 
of their num'ber, let us pray that we may be "made meet 
to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in lidit," 
Col. i. 12. The language of Jesus Christ and all the saints 
is, "be ye therefore ready also ;"t be dressing yourselves 
for that marriage day ; "Blessed are they that are called 
to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and have put on 
their fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteous- 
* 2 Sam. xii. 23. xviii. 33. t Luke xxiii. 28. :{; Luke xii. 40. 


ness of saints, Rev. xix, 7 — 9 ; ^iKauojuaTa, righteous- 
nesses both inherent and imputed. Both are necessary 
for their several ends and uses : whether this refer to 
the day of Antichrist's fall, or to the resurrection, it is 
true in both. There are great and good things " whicH 
God hath prepared for them that love him,"* freedom 
from sin and sorrows, perfection of peace and joy, im- 
mediate communion with God, fulness of grace and 
eternal happiness. "Wherefore, "beloved, seeing that 
you look for such things, be diligent that ye may be 
found of him in peace without spot and blameless," 
2 Pet. iii. 14 ; watching, warring, wrestling, working, 
well doing, waiting till your change come, with your 
loins girt, your lamps lighted, burning and shining 
with splendour, and you "yourselves like unto men 
that wait for your Lord."f 

(7.) Be longing for that blessed day, when your souls 
shall be gathered among them, with oiu' blessed Lord. 
Paul saith, " he desired to depart and be with Christ, 
which is far better." | It is good to be with saints 
here, but it is far better, infinitely better to be with 
them in heaven, where the king makes the court, and 
the courtiers are all crowned kings. Is there not 
great reason the saints should cry out M^th Monica, 
Austin's mother. What do I here? or with Calvin, 
How long, Lord ? 1| O when shall my poor imprisoned 
soul be set at liberty from this body of death ? When 
shall I mount up above the stars, into those celestial 
regions ? O the groanings of my soul under this body 
of death and distance from God ; yea, " I groan 
earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with a house 
which is ffom heaven."^ "\\1ien will my dear Lord 
break down these clay-v^^alls, demolish this cage, and 
let this soul fly up into the heavens, where it shall be 

* 1 Cor. ii. 9. t Luke xii. 35, 36. t Phil. i. 23. 

Ij Quid hie facio? Usque quo, Domine.'' § 2 Cor. v. 1 — 3. 


perfected ? Hoav " long shall I dwell in Mesliech, and 
sojourn in the tents of Kedar."* I am weary of sin, 
and distance from my dear Lord, most of my godly 
friends are gone, when shall I follow after ? " Why is 
his chariot so long in coming, why tarry the wheels of 
his chariot ? make haste my beloved, and be thou like 
to a roe, or to a young hart upon the mountains of 
spices."! Why doth my soul thus linger and lag be- 
hind my old companions ? Such, and such are gone 
with whom I took sweet counsel in familiar conference 
about the things of God, and our heavenly country ; 
many with whom I have prayed, and praised God, 
with whom I have sat down at the Lord's table, now 
they are drinking wine new in my Father's kingdom, 
and why am I left thus far behind, worshipping afar 
off? Lord, come thou down to me, or take me up to 
thee, reach out thy hand, pluck me out of this low 
dungeon, and set me, where thou hast promised such 
as have followed thee in the regeneration, upon thrones, 
yea thou hast promised " that such as overcome shall 
sit with thee in thy throne." i The preferment is too 
high for such a worthless worm, such a polluted sin- 
ner as I am, but thy promise is sure to be performed ; 
I depend upon it, I long for such a day; some, yea 
thousands have taken possession ; I am one of thy re- 
deemed ones, thou hast given me the earnest of thy 
Spirit, and some foretastes and prelibations of glory. 
O for a full harvest ! I reach out my arms towards 
thee, and hope at last to enjoy thy immediate presence; 
*' The Spirit and the bride say, come ; and let him that 
heareth say, come ; he which testifieth these things 
saitli, surely, I come quickly; my soul echoes. Amen, 
even so, come. Lord Jesus." || 

* Psal, cxx. .5. t Judg. v. 28. Cant. viii. 14. 

+ :\Iatt. ix. 25. Rev. iii. 21. || Rev. xxii. 17, 20. 



The last use is intended to convey consolation, or en- 
conragement to the people of God, because there shall 
be such a blessed gathering together. 

1. Because the saints of God, that have lived in all 
ages, shall then meet and know and enjoy each other 
with mutual content. It is worth observing, that 
Plato brings in Socrates comforting himself with the 
hopes that upon his removal hence, he should be with 
Orpheus and Musaeus, with Hesiod and Homer ; that 
lie should even be greatly pleased with the society of 
Palamedes and Ajax : but O how much more satisfac- 
tion shall translated saints find in the society of those 
celestial inhabitants, of whom they have so often read, 
and heard with delight ; when they shall say, there 
stands holy Enoch, that walked with God, and was 
translated body and soul to heaven; there stands Noah, 
that just and perfect man, the father and founder of a 
new world ; there stands Abraham, the father of the 
faithful, and friend of God ; there stands just Lot ; 
wrestling Jacob ; the beloved Joseph, more glorious 
now than in Pharaoh's court ; there stands meek 
Moses, the Jews' lawgiver, once king in Jeshurun, that 
conversed with God face to face ; there stands Aaron, 
the saint of God, far more glorious now than in his 
priestly garments in the holy of holies ; there appears 
pious Samuel, patient Job, zealous Josiah, David, the 
man after God's ovv^i heart. Behold a troop comes up of 
old and new testament saints, all the prophets, apostles, 
ministers, martyrs, confessors, and saints in all ages ; 


who will make a splendid show, next to the infinite 
God, and our glorious Redeemer. If Augustine judged 
it a fine sight, and worth wishing for, to see Rome 
flourishing, to hear Paul preaching, and to behold 
Christ in the flesh ;* much more will it be a trans- 
porting sight to behold our glorified Redeemer sur- 
rounded with myriads of blessed souls. This will be 
a delectable vision indeed. 

2. Saints that have enjoyed sweet communion toge- 
ther in this world, shall enjoy sweeter and perpetual 
communion above ; they that have kept days of fast- 
ing and prayer, days of thanksgiving and conference, 
that have sat under the same preaching, have sung 
psalms together, have sat down together at the holy 
supper, and feasted upon the fruits of Christ's merito- 
rious sacrifice, shall now drink this wine new with 
him, in his Father's kingdom. O what communi- 
cation of experience, of what they met in their passage 
through this wilderness into their celestial Canaan. 
How will they echo to each other and say, " We sat 
down under his shadow with great delight, and his 
fruit was sweet to my taste."| It was sweet then, it is 
sweeter now : O the peculiar goodness of distinguish- 
ing grace ! Why did God choose us rather than others 
to be objects of his transcendent love ! We were fed 
with manna in the wilderness, now we are come into 
the land of promise, we have royal dainties, and drink 
abundantly of these rivers of pleasures, and bathe 
our souls in this boundless sea of satisfying delights ; 
then they will individually sing with a louder note 
than ever, " Come, and hear, all ye that fear God, and 
I will declare what he hath done for my soul."t I 

* RomaiTi in flore^ Paulum in orej Christum in corpore. 
t Song ii. 3. t Psal. Ixvi 16. 

VOL. V. 2 E 


was with my dear Lord in sucli a secret place, now I 
declare his goodness in the heights of Zion. 

3. Saints that parted sorrowfully with their rela- 
tions by death, now meet them again to part no more. 
Death brought a cloud over our natural and christian 
friends. They disappeared, and we saw them no more; 
but now we are met again in a better place than in 
our houses, or temples made with hands. We once 
took mutual delight in each other, but that was only a 
shadow, a faint resemblance of what we now enjoy ; 
the husband and wife " were heirs together of the 
grace of life,"* now they are possessors together of the 
fulness of that grace in glory. We prayed, wept, dis- 
coursed together ; we loved each other in the flesh, 
but now our spark is become a flame ; we love at ano- 
ther rate. The godly child will say, this is my tender- 
hearted mother, my pi-udent, pious father, that shed 
many a tear for me. The parent will say, this, my 
child cost me many times a sad heart, many a bitter 
groan, he is the son of my vows ; then the child of my 
hopes, now the child of my joys ; his miscarriages cost 
me dear, liis happiness raises my spirits ; he caused 
me to make many an errand to the throne of grace, he 
now elevates my spirit into an ecstacy of joy. My 
prayers are fully heard, my happiness is comj^letcd in 
the enjoyment of God with my dear relations. 

4. Souls fully refined from the dregs of i)assiou and 
coiTuption, will then without such alloys enjoy each 
other. Alas, we cannot discourse together here, but 
some piece of vanity intei'poseth itself: our discourses 
are oft impertinent, sometimes unsavory, sometimes 
giving and often taking offence. Alas, what discords, 
distances, and dissensions are there among Christians ; 
even Paul and Barnabas may part in ill humour. Alas, 
* 1 Pet. iii. 7- 


what animosities and heart burnings are to be found 
here in this lower world even among the saints ! That 
we may heavily sigh and say, how comes it to pass 
that such angry, diabolical passions should rise in hea- 
venly hearts ^* But now those flames are quenched, 
now they all unite in harmonious melody, singing the 
song of Moses, and of the Lamb; now they are perfect, 
" of good comfort, of one mind, they live in peace, 
and the God of love and peace is with them,"| and 
they are with God ; they shall never quarrel more. 
O the delectable melody of this palm-bearing com- 
pany ! far beyond the music of the spheres ; not one 
jarring string in all that blessed concert ; they have 
left behind them all their cudgels at the entrance of 
this temple of peace ; their hearts are centred in God ; 
Luther and Calvin are here perfectly agreed, never to 
contend more. 

5. Saints shall be perfectly freed from converse with 
vile persons in this polluted world. Here the righte- 
ous and wicked are mixed ; it is impossible to avoid 
some civil converse with carnal neighbours, for " then 
must we needs go out of the world ;"^ even notorious 
blasjihemers, idolaters, covetous, who fret and vex the 
hearts of believers. But in heaven there are none such, 
no unclean thing enters there ; the pious soul shall 
never be vexed with unruly company more. There is 
a day when the saints and none but saints shall be ga- 
thered together. There shall "be no more the Ca- 
naanite," or hypocrite, " in the house of the Lord of 
hosts." II Not a profane Esau, or a scoffing Ishmael in 
that household of God, among all those innumerable 
saints. These have left the mad world on earth 
winning, or in hell suflfering for ever. 

* Tantfene aniniis coelestibus ii*a;. t 2 Cor. xiii. 11. 

t 1 Cor. V. 10. II Zech. xiv. 21. 

2 e2 


6. Godly ministers and their gi'acious converts shall 
meet together with joy. O what reciprocal joy, and 
transcendent satisfaction will they experience in each 
other, " when both he that sowetli and he that reapeth 
shall rejoice together."* O, saith the glorified saint, 
yonder is my spiritual father, under whose ministry I 
have many a time sat with trembling, alarmed by convic- 
tions piercing my conscience, when the law hath thun- 
dered wrath against me. The same hand. hath closed 
the wound and applied the plaister of a gospel-pro- 
mise to my bleeding soul. Many melting, heart- 
searching truths have these ears heard from his mouth 
that have come warm to my heart. Blessed be God 
that ever I saw his face or heard his voice : the mi- 
nister will be surprised with a transjwrt of joy when 
he shall see his spiritual children, begotten in the bonds 
of the gospel, over whom he hath wept many a tear, 
travailed with cares and fears, and for whom he hath 
put up manj' affectionate prayers. Now he shall see, 
and say his labour was not in vain in the Lord ; of 
these he will say, " what is our hope, or joy, or crown 
of rejoicing? are not even ye in the presence of our 
Lord Jesus Christ at his coming ; for ye are our glory 
and joy, 1 Thess. ii. 19, 20. 

7. Christians that have been scattered by persecu- 
tion, shall now quietly meet and part no more. IIow 
will the)^ with comfort reflect on the solemn assemblies 
sorrowfully broken up by officers and unruly bailiffs, 
their names taken, their persons dragged before magis- 
trates, their houses rifled, and themselves hurried to 
prison ; now those days are over and gone, no danger 
of conventicles or unlawful assemblies in that upper 
region, they shall worship God on a hill, in the moun- 
tain of the height of Israel : they shall no more be 
prosecuted by murdering or scattering acts, these shall 

* John iv. 3(3. 


now be out of date, they shall no more hear the voice 
of the oppressor ; there were many such days as those 
in the apostles' times, great persecutions against the 
church, so " that they were all scattered abroad"* 
through foreign regions. But now the storms are 
blown over, the clouds scattered, and the glorified 
saints shall never be disturbed by the sons of violence 
any more. They shall recount those past troubles 
with songs of praise. 

8. The saints of God that have been confined to 
prisons, shall be set at liberty and enjoy sv/eet content 
together. The Lord made their very jjrisons sweet 
by mutual communion, but heaven will be sweeter. 
The imprisoned bird never sings so sweetly in the cage 
as at liberty. O blessed enlargement ! Now they are 
delivered, with the rest of the creation, " into the glo- 
rious liberty of the children of God." They walk 
abroad at liberty at another rate than ever before. 
How will they with joy and triumph recount their 
wandering about in deserts and mountains, in dens 
and caves of the earth ?f Sometimes thrust into dark 
and filthy dungeons, with felons and malefactors, yea, 
condemned, tortured, and executed, but now they have 
obtained a better resurrection. O happy deliverance ! 
These shall have their proper mansions in their Fa- 
ther's house, and the celestial palace will resound 
sweet echoes of their triumphant praises, they shall 
not now, with Paul and Silas, sing in the stocks, but 
above where they shall be advanced together.:}: 

9. The saints that have providentially parted one 
from another upon any occasion, shall meet again and 
part no more. AVhen Paul was to be bound at Jeru- 
salem, and the disciples understood it, they were dis- 
tressed and lamented ; but Paul said, " what mean ye 
* Acts viii. 1. t Horn. viii. 21. Heb. xi. 38. ^ Acts xvi. 24, 25. 


to weep and to break my heart?" Their weeping 
breaks his heart ; but especially, saith the text, they 
sorrowed most of all, for the words that he spake, 
" that they should see his face no more."* And this is 
the case of many christian friends, but the relief is, 
they shall see each other's faces again in the mansions 
above ; their faces will then shine as the sun, and their 
enjoyment will exceed the botmds of any capacity in 
this lower world. They parted but for a season, that 
they should " receive each other for ever,"f when the 
gracious God hath received them into everlasting ha- 

10. The saints that divided and could not agree to 
walk together in one church upon earth, shall be per- 
fectly reconciled above, and then shall mutually em- 
brace each other ; they shall all speak the same thing, 
and never have the least reflecting speech or thought 
against one another. Possibly in this world the con- 
tention or paroxym between a " Paul and Barnabas 
may be so sharp, that they may depart asunder one 
from another." :{: As all God's people are necessarily 
scattered into distinct societies; though uniting in spirit 
in the bonds of peace, yet good persons of various 
persuasions, some being for greater latitude, others for 
stricter bonds, or being of different principles in smaller 
matters, or through prejudice, may in some cases re- 
fuse to hold communion occasionally one with ano- 
ther ; but in heaven they shall be all of one mind and 
one heart, and all dissensions and divisions will be laid 
aside ; O what perfect love, sweet harmony, and joy- 
ful delight will there be in the persons and graces of 
eacli other ! there will be no saying then, I am of this 
opinion, or of this party, or a member of this church 
and not of another ; but they shall attain the unity of 
* Acts xxi. II, 13. XX. 38. + Philemon, 15. .t Acts xv. 30. 


the faith, and be cordially associated, members of the 
church triumphant. 

11. Christians that had their natural infirmities, shall 
leave them behind them, and their united spirits shall 
be made perfect. What rough-hewn natures have 
some pious souls ? How unsociable are some which 
proves a great affliction to themselves and all about 
them, still quarrelsome and discontented, nothing 
pleaseth them, and sometimes they cannot help it, 
though they strive and fight and pray against it, it 
still recurs and returns, and creates much vexation ; 
but upon this blessed gathering together, " the crooked 
shall be made straight, and the rough places plain, 
when the glory of the Lord shall, be revealed."* O 
happy day, when there will be no envy or discontent, 
but the saints shall rejoice in each others' graces and 
comfort as their own, and be accordant with each 
other's spirits. Though some stars shall outshine 
others in lustre and glory, yet every vessel shall be 
full both of grace and comfort, and not an angry look 
or peevish word shall be found there to all eternity. 

12. The saints that here consoled themselves and 
one another in their personal afflictions, shall leave 
their sorrows behind them, and all the occasions and 
grounds thereof, and unanimously thank God for com- 
plete immunity from all; some are sick, some are pained, 
some are pinched with poverty, others are tormented 
with wicked children and bad relations; some have 
troubles of conscience under darkness, and hidings of 
God's face, some assaulted with hellish suggestions, 
and satanical temptations, some are deeply melanchol}', 
and making sad complaints. Now we are required " to 
bear one another's burdens ;" and Paul saith, " ^Vho 
is weak and I am not weali ? who is offended and I 

* Isaiah xl. i, j. 


burn not ?"* Grace in the heart commands sympathy 
with others ; but that perfect state dischargeth all 
compassion. They that mourned together shall re- 
joice together, not a sigh or groan shall ever proceed 
from a glorified spirit. 

13. The saints shall have no more to do with 
difficult and self-denying duties. There are many per- 
sonal duties that occasion some cost, and it becomes a 
Christian before hand "to sit down and count the cost,"f 
to mortify some particular lusts, to maintain a strict 
watch over heart and life, to worship God in the spirit, 
exercise every grace, maintain constant communion 
with God ; these will cause a soul much attention and 
industry, and though these are sweet when practised, 
*' for wisdom's ways are pleasantness," ^ yet because of 
the corruption of our hearts, and averseness to any 
thing that is good, they become difficult ; then the 
duties of relations are difficult, of parents to children, 
of masters to servants, and of Christians one to ano- 
ther, mutual inspection, admonition, giving and taking 
reproofs faithfully and humbly. Christians find these 
duties hard and grievous to flesh and blood. But the 
more spiritual any man grows, the more easy they 
grow ; the more love is in our hearts to God, the less 
are his commandments grievous. || Now in heaven 
love v\'ill be perfected ; and holy sovds will be in their 
element while they are serving God and doing the 
work of that place ; but the more " you can sing in 
the ways of the Lord," the more loudly will you sing 
in the height of Zion. ^ 

14. The saints that have attended ordinances with 
many defects and imperfections will leave them all be- 
hind them, and attend the Lord without the least de- 

* Gal. vi. 2. 2 Cor. xi. 29. t Luke xiv. 28. t Prov. iii. 17- 

xxxi. 12. 


feet, distraction or imperfection. The best of God's 
children have a weight hanging on them, and a " sin 
that too easily besets them,"* and impedes their motion 
and obstructs their ascent upwards ; but these shackles 
shall be removed with the body, never a wandering 
thought more to all eternity. Here we not unfrequently 
weaken, rather than strengthen the hands one of ano- 
ther ;-f bodily infirmities often render the best services 
wearisome, because the holiest believers have but a 
measure of affection; hence it was that three of Christ's 
choicest disciples slept while he was in his agony, for 
though the "spirit was willing, yet the flesh was 
weak."t Alas, Aaron and Hur must hold up Moses's 
hands here, the best at some seasons may be out of 
frame for duty ; but in heaven the saints shall join 
hearts and hands without weariness or distraction in 
singing the high praises of God in that heavenly choir, 
and none shall fail his brother, or fall short of duty. 

15. Saints of the meanest stature and standing here, 
shall be complete, and commence the highest degree of 
grace in glory. I say not, that all the saints shall have 
equal degrees of glory ; the scripture saith, at the resur- 
rection, "one star differeth from another star in glory." || 
It is true, all these heavenly luminaries shall be per- 
fectly arranged in one constellation. But good divines 
think, that as there will be degrees of torment in hell, 
so also of joys in heaven : as the vessels are larger to 
contain more, or as men have honoured God more here 
below, yet the humblest saints will be completely hap- 
py ; " For they that are wise shall shine as the bright- 
ness of the firmament, and they that turn many unto 
righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever," Dan. xii. 
3. Weak Christians shall no more complain of defects, 

* Heb. xii. 1. + Heb. xii. 12. t Matt. xxvi. 36, 40, -11. 
!| 1 Cor. XV. 41, 42. 


but " he that is feeble in that day shall be as David, 
and the house of David as God, as the angel of the 
Lord before them ;" there will no more be thence an 
infant of days. The meanest Christian will in some 
res^Jects be equal with the angels in heaven. Children 
in grace shall be grown up to be perfect men, " to the 
measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."* 

16. Saints at that day shall be raised above the re- 
vilings, calumnies, and slanders of a malicious world, 
and be advanced to the highest honour. In this world 
every one can throw dirt on God's children, and ac- 
count them the vilest of men, not worthy to live upon 
earth, and cry as the Jews against Paul, " away with 
such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he 
should live ;" but what saith God of such ; " Of whom 
the world was not worthy."! No nicknames shall 
follow them to heaven, they shall not be there called 
puritans, fanatics, schismatics, or fools, possibly they 
may ev^en be honoured among men when dead and 
raised to glory ; " The memory of the just is blessed."^ 
The inhabitants of the world above shall honour them, 
though sometimes they thought and spoke slightly of 
them, even the wicked who ai'e shut up in hell shall 
think honourably of them, as the rich man who con- 
sidered once poor Lazarus a fit ambassador to send to 
his rich brethren on earth ; it may also be that wretched 
hypocrites on earth will build " the tombs of deceased 
prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous," || 
in honour of those whom they, or such as they were, 
did once abuse and revile on earth ; they will call the 
dead, saints and canonize them. Thus God often turns 
the scales and rolls away the reproach of his servants. 

* Zech. xu. 8. Isa. Ixv. 20. Matt. xxii. 30. Eph. iv. 13. 
t Acts xxii. 22. Heb. xi. 38. X Prov. x. 7, 14. 

II Luke xvi. 27, 28. Matt, xxiii. 29. 


17. Saints that have exercised charity and hospi- 
tality, and such as received their bounty, will embrace 
each other with mutual pleasure. Our Lord saith, 
" Whosoever gives but a cup of cold water to a little 
one in the name of a disciple," though he may be mis- 
taken, *' verily I say unto you he shall in no wise lose 
his reward," Matt. x. 42. O ! will the poor beggar say, 
there is my kind benefactor ; the debtor will there own 
his creditor, who " forgave him all when he had no- 
thing to pay;"* well, saith the free hearted disburser, 
I do not repent it, since I am so richly rewarded, this 
recompence is above my expectations, and contrary to 
my deserts ; strange that I should receive so much for 
laying out so little, this is above Isaac's reaping an 
hundred fold. How comfortable will that language of 
our Lord be, when he shall say as in Matt. xxv. 34 — 
40, " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the king- 
dom prepared for you," &c. Behold my representa- 
tives, in relieving of whom you relieved me ; I took as 
done to my person what you did to my members, and 
you shall be glorified together. 

18. Saints that have wanted many things in this world, 
when they meet above shall want nothing. In this world 
the body is full of wants, we want necessaries to supply 
nature, we want food to nourish us, clothes to cover us, 
physic to cure us, houses to shelter us, sleep to refresh 
us, yet these only supply particular wants, and men 
ordinarily have dependance one upon another for sup- 
plies ; but when God's children ascend above, though 
they shall have sweet communion with one another, 
yet their happiness will chiefly depend on the vision 
and fruition of God. " With him is the fountain of 
life, in his light they see light, in his presence is ful- 
* Matt, xviii. 20, 2/. 


nessof joy."* The sun doth dart its beams through 
the whole universe; God's presence, not the saints', 
makes heaven; the king makes the court, not courtiers; 
nothing can satisfy the capacious soul but God. " I 
shall be satisfied," saith David, " when I awake with 
thy likeness :"f that and nothing else gives content. 
Angels and glorified spirits, as creatures, must say, 
it is not in us to satisfy you ; God alone can : now, 
and never till now, the soul saith, I have enough, I 
need no more : I have not only tasted, but drunk deep 
of this river of pleasures, yea, bathed my soul in this 
blessed ocean of delights : nor do I become sated with 
these, but fresh springs of joy yield me perpetual con- 

19. All saints pass through the valley of the shadow 
of death to the glory that shall be revealed : none ex- 
empted but Enoch and Elias, and those that shall be 
found alive at the last day. It is no strange thing, 
*' for it is appointed to men once to die."i It is the 
common lot of mankind, even of the best. The sting 
of death is gone, it is but a trap-door to let us into 
heaven. Thousands are gone before us ; they are not 
lost, but reserved ; we shall meet them again. O who 
would be afraid of death, when Jesus Christ hath per- 
fumed the grave for us ? Well may a graceless soul 
be afraid to die, because he knows not what com- 
pany he shall have in the other world ; suspecting, 
however, that he may have to fare with devils and lost 
souls; but the "righteous hath hope in his death," || 
and sees Jesus Christ standing with a crown on his 
head, and another in his hand, saying, " Be thou faith- 
ful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."J 

* Psal. xxxvi. 9. xvi. 11. t Psal. xvii. 15. t Heb. ix. 27. 
11 Prov. xiv. 32. § Rev. ii. 10. 


Why should we then fear the king of terrors, who is 
disarmed, he may hiss, but cannot sting us ; he may 
kill us, but cannot hurt us.* See, yonder glorified 
assembly of the spirits of just men made perfect have 
conquered death, and are set upon splendid thrones. 

20. This blessed society of departed souls shall con- 
tinue through the ages of eternity. In this world 
they met and parted again, there were many inter- 
missions in their sweet communion : but now they 
shall for ever dwell in the house of the Lord, " and 
sing praises to the Lamb for ever ; such as overcome 
shall be pillars in the temple of God, and shall go no 
more out."-f They shall never be banished out of this 
heavenly paradise. This word ever, evermore, ever- 
lasting, puts new life into the glorious songs of praise, 
and daily revives their spirits. After ten thousands 
of millions of ages, the joy shall be as fresh as at their 
first entrance. That river is still running, "in thy 
presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are 
pleasures for evermore.":j: Mortality is written upon 
all sublunary things ; eternity gives weight to what is 
spiritual ; there " shall be no night there," no clouds, 
no eclipses of that glory, " for the Lord God giveth 
thenn light, and they shall reign for ever and ever."|| 
It is recorded of Diagoras, that when he saw his three 
sons crowned in one day, as victors, at the Olympic 
games, he died away while he was embracing them 
for joy. But though the saints shall be in a continual 
ecstacy and transport of joy, in beholding their chil- 
dren in Christ, and their godly christian friends, yet 
their hearts shall not break, but be enlarged with joy, 
and their joy perpetuated for evermore. 

O what a day will that be, when all the sons of the 

second Adam shall meet together, and so many spirits 

* 1 Cor. XV. 56, 57. t Rev. iii. 12. X Psal.xvi. 11. |1 Rev.xxii. 5. 

genehal assembly. 

purified from the sordid dregs of sin and suffering, sliall 
combine their harmonious music and melody in prais- 
ing our dear Lord, whose glorious perfections we could 
never sufficiently extol ! ^Vhat a brave choir will 
that make ! not a discordant string among them all ; 
but as one eye moves, the other corresponds; when one 
string is touched, the other sounds ; such a blending 
harmony will there be of well-tuned praises in that 
heavenly chorus. Ignatius thinks the sun, moon, and 
stars made a choir about the star that appeared at 
Christ's incarnation : O then what a halcyon day will 
that be, " when the morning stars shall sing together, 
and the sons of God shall shout for joy!"* O what a 
harmonious melody in perfect symphony ! \Vliat 
mutual love and delight in each other ! Yea, they 
shall love one another the better, for the perfect love 
they have to God : and bathing their souls in that 
fathomless ocean of divine love. 

It is true, the infinite God is ultimately and objec- 
tively the saints' proper delight both here and in hea- 
ven ; but glorified bodies united to those blessed souls, 
and the blissful society of angels and saints, will be no 
small accessions to the saint's happiness. As there 
will be no hypocrite there to cool their charity, so 
there will not be missing the humblest member of 
Christ. The weak Christian that cried out, " my lame- 
ness, my lameness," shall then be strong. The dark 
soul that rarely had a glimpse of God, or a sealing of 
the Spirit, shall walk for ever in the light of God's 
countenance. The grieved saint shall be now in an 
ecstacy of joy : not a gracious soul shall be missing, 
not the least grace wanting, not a duty lost, all secret 
prayers, tears, groans, shall come to light and be re- 
warded, their tears were bottled, their prayers record- 
* Job xxxviii. 7- 


ed, and shall now be produced.* Not an act of cha- 
rity, though the left hand knew not what the right 
hand did, much less others, but it shall be brought to 
light before angels and men, with high approbation 
and commendation. 

O who would not be preparing for such a day? 
Who would not long for it, breathe after it, and freely 
welcome it ? Let all the children of the " bride- 
chamber make themselves ready, let your loins be 
girded about, and your lights burning."! ^^ waking 
and watchfid, attend his movements, be glad of his 
approaches, and joyfully welcome the bridegroom's 
coming with all his holy angels and glorified spirits, 
descending in the clouds to fetch you home into those 
celestial mansions to be for ever with the Lord. Be 
not afraid, when he saith, surely I come quickly ; let 
the redeemed of the Lord echo. Amen, even so, come. 
Lord Jesus, Amen, so be it. 

* Psal. Ivi. 8. t Luke xii. 35. 





VOL. V. 2 F 




1 Peter hi. 13. * 

jiiid who is he that will harm you, if ye he followers 
of that which is good ? 

You are not wholly ignorant, my friends, of those distracting 
hurries and confusions, which at this day do fill the world : you 
have heard once and again, of these rumours of wars that are 
amongst us. Though we ourselves feel but little, compared 
with what others do, and meet with few pressing perplexities, 
in comparison of some that are daily groaning and mourning, 
being almost crushed with their heavy burdens ; yet so much 
we know by undoubted reports, as, one would think, should be 
sufficient to alarm our fears and quicken us to our duty, were 
not our hearts as hard as they really are. 

The great and all-wise governor of the world, is alarming the 
inhabitants who are in it by his stupendous and amazing provi- 
dences ; the dispensations we are under, are very awful and majes- 
tic. The spurious brood of Babylon, is contending by all possible 
methods to enlarge their antichristian territories, and deluge 
the world by a flood of popery ; the beast that hath many heads 
and horns, hath them all at work. Behold a confederacy be- 
twixt hell. Home, and France ; these, with their accomplices, 
are joined in a league to extirpate the precious sons of Zion, 

• The substance of •(\hat was preached at Pontefract on two Lord's days, 
liamely, Feb. 5th, aad^ 19, 1092-3. 

2 F 2 


who are comparable to fine gold, and to extend the dominions 
of Beelzchub, the prhicc of darkness. Troops of infernal forces, 
headed and commanded by the hellish Abaddon, are ranging 
up and down the earth to dethrone, if it were possible, the King 
of heaven. However, ho stone will be unturned, no means 
unattempted, to destroy his subjects that are upon the earth ; 
for those that have got to glory, are removed safe out of the 
reach and gim-shot of the deviFs imps. The enemies of the 
Lord and of his Christ, being filled with satanical rage, are 
unwearied in their endeavours to pull down God"'s sanctuary, to 
lay waste his heritage, to root out his people and interest, to 
turn his church, that pleasant Eden, into a howhng and 
desolate wilderness. 

These things, ringing in our ears, speak loudly to us to look 
about us. Surely it is the duty, and will be the care of all those 
that would not prove themselves fools at last, to seek out for 
shelter and security, when there is ground to fear that the 
furious storms of divine wrath are approaching. None, surely, 
will be so stupid and sottish as to charge us with folly, if we do 
industriously consult our own safety at such a time. We 
should be concerned to take the best course for our own preser- 
vation ; and, what that is, the words of the text will inform 
you, namely, to follow that which is good. To be walking in 
tlie way of duty, which the Lord hath chalked out for us, is 
the most likely way to have protection, amidst outward conci- 
sions and threatening calamities. A\'hen there is a calm within, 
storms without will not be so likely to unhinge us. Outward 
enemies, with all their diabolical stratagems, will not be so 
frightful, when our lusts and corruptions, that are oiu- inward 
and therefore our greatest enemies, have lost their power. Our 
holiness will be the l^est defence that we can make, as will be 
evident in the prosecution of the words we have read to you, 
to which now we shall gradually approach. 

The penman of this epistle had to do with the Jews ; the 
charge of those of the circumcision was committed to him, and 
he was accordingly concerned for them. He could not visit 
them all in person, because they were dispersed into so many 
and such remote regions ; his tongue could not reach them, but 
his pen must ; therefore he writes this epistle, that it might 
find them out in their several places of abode, chap. i. 1. The 
apostle's design here is, partly to confirm those saints in the 
belief of the gospel, and to testify that the doctrine of the 
grace of God through Christ, which they had embraced and 
did profess, was indeed infallibly true, being the same that had 
been preached by the prophets to the fathers of the old tes- 


tament ; and partly to exhort them to the practice of godliness, 
and a conversation suitable to the gospel. 

1. This he doth more generally, as to sundry duties in- 
cumbent on all believers, which we need not now insist on, 
chap. ii. 13. 

2. More particularly, as to some duties that concerned them 
in their special relations, caUings, and conditions ; as of sub- 
jects to magistrates, servants to masters, husbands and wives 
mutually to each other, of sufferers to their oppressors and 
persecutors, ministers towards their people, of the younger sort 
towards their elders, intermixing several duties of concernment 
to all. We shall only take notice of what lies before us in the 
former part of this third chapter. 

The subject matter, about which the apostle treats in the 
beginning of this chapter, is the duties of husbands and wives 
to each other ; for such is our weakness, if not wickedness, that 
we need direction in every condition. Wives, first, must see 
to discharge their duties. Two are here particularized. 

I. Wives are to be in subjection to their own husbands, yea, 
though they were unbelievers, that so they might be won here- 
by ; that when they saw such fruits and effects of the word in 
their wives, they might be induced to a liking of it. This is 
instructive to us. Hast thou a careless husband, that does not 
regard the great business of religion ? Look to thy own duty ; 
it may be, by thy regular and conscientious walking thou may- 
est gain him. Copy over the sermon in thy life, that he may 
read it there, if he will not hear it : words will not do, thou 
hast tried ; let thy gospel-becoming conversation read him a 
lecture ; let thy religious actions speak so much the louder ; 
thou knowest not what works may do. 

II. Here is a particidar direction to teach them how they 
must be adorned. And that — 

1. Negatively ; ver. 3, " Whose adorning, let it not be," &c. 
He doth not absolutely condemn all kinds of ornaments, but 
that which is excessive, (say commentators,) and above persons'" 
rank and condition in the world, and which they spend too 
much time about; he taxes that which springs from pride, 
vanity, &c. or tends to the provoking or cherishing of it ; that 
which doth bespeak an unchaste heart, or may cause scandal to 
others, especially when this is accompanied with the neglect of 
inward beauty and spiritual ornaments. 

If the gallants of our day would look more into this glass, 
and less into others, it is probable, the frame of their soids 
would be more conformable to the rule of the word ; yea, and 
their bodies too ; but it may be, many never look at it, or but 


very seldom, for they seem to miss it very strangely. It is 
true, it is ordinary in this case, rather to observe what others 
do than what the word of God says ; and if some persons' in- 
ward man had been more strictly looked after, and the outward 
man less, their souls had been more clean and pure ; yea, if 
they had spent that time about them, which they might very 
well have spared as to the body. Well look to it, however, 
that there be not thread-bare souls under silken garments. Be 
careful lest external, gaudy dresses, be only marks to cover un- 
clean, polluted hearts. It avails not to have the outside 
curiously adorned and decked, so as nothing can be espied 
amiss, if the inside be odious in the sight of God. 

2. Positively : " But let it be the hidden man of the heart," 
ver. 4. Would you be curious and critical in adorning any 
thing ? Let it be the inward man ; spiritual ornaments are to 
be preferred. Let none say, these are low, mean things, and 
will not set them off; they are mistaken, this would be to con- 
tradict the apostle, for he tells us, that a meek and quiet spirit 
is an ornament ; yea, and what is more, it " is, in the sight of 
God, of great price." Divine graces, will make you more truly 
amiable, than outward, adventitious finery. 

But some, we do not say all, seek more to please themselves 
and a vain world than God ; who had rather be the objects of 
others' admiration, than have divine approbation : hence it is, 
that they take more pains on a Lord's day morning about their 
bodies, and that needlessly, than they do upon their knees for 
their souls. But say some, what .'' would you have us out of 
fashion ? No. This inward adorning was the old fashion, and 
the best, see ver. 5. And, it is probable, that antiquity here, 
is an argument for the excellency of it ; it is a fasliion which 
new modes will scarcely amend. 

He comiCs then to acquaint husbands with something of their 
duty ; " Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to 
knowledge," &c. ver. 7, either, say some upon the place, ac- 
cording to the knowledge of the divine will which by the gospel 
they had obtained ; or, prudently and wisely, as becometh 
those that understand their duty. They must give their wives 
honour, because the weaker vessels, and joint heirs of the grace 
of life. Before, wives were to be subject in another sense, but 
here, they stand upon a level with their husbands, there being 
neither male nor female in Christ, one being accepted by him 
as vfeM as another ; also, that their " prayers be not hindered." 

Having dismissed that subject, he comes in ver. 8, to acquaint 
them, that, as brethren, they were to maintain and nourish 
mutual love and regard for one another : " Finally, be ye all 


of one mind," &c. An excellent lesson for church members. 
*' Be of one mind,*''' as to essentials at least, in the great and 
fundamental articles of faith; and, as much as can be, in ac- 
cidentals, and circumstantials too. Work goes on a great deal 
better, when persons are like minded, in the circumstantials of 
religion ; yet it is not absolutely, and indispensably necessary, 
neither is it to be expected that it will be so, in minute punc- 
tilios ; but there should be a mutual forbearance, for all that 
love as brethren. Though there be some different apprehen- 
sions and various sentiments, in those matters that are eccentric 
from fundamental truths, let not this alienate one anothers'' af- 
fections ; for then nothing will go on to purj^ose. We have 
seen what a flame hath been kindled in the world, by an over- 
heated zeal for the apj^endages of religion ; many have been so 
eager about fringes and phylacteries, that they have neglected 
the substance, which hath been no little support to Satan"'s 
kingdom, and no little hindrance to the building of God's 
house. O that the enemy of souls might be no longer success- 
ful this way amongst us ! Let us endeavour to avoid every 
thing that might hinder an amicable accommodation amongst 
christian brethren. 

In the next place, the apostle comes to shew them, how, as dis- 
tressed and afflicted ones, they should demean themselves towards 
oppressors and persecutors ; ver. 9, " Not rendering evil," kc. 
And hereof he renders sundry reasons : namely, because 
hereto " they were called," and hereby they " should inherit a 
blessing ;" which he confirms by a testimony of David, pro- 
mising life and good days, to those that " eschew evil and do 
good," and threatening them that do contrary, ver. 10, 1], 12, 
cited out of Psalm xxxiv. Another reason or motive, to pro- 
voke them to such conduct towards their persecutors, is, because 
this would be for their security, as in the words of the text. 
*' And who is he that will harm yovi, if," &c. The interroga- 
tion implies a vehement negation. " Who is he .''" None will 
do it, nay, indeed none can do it ; either they will be overcome 
and convinced by your good deeds, or, if not, should they go on 
doing their worst, it will be but some outward prejudice ; they 
may do much against you, but it will be no real detriment 
when all things are cast up. You may meet with difficulties 
and discouragements, with disturbances and divertisemcnts ; 
yet, when all is summed up together, in the conclusion it will 
appear that you are no losers. Let your persecutors do what 
they will, mind you your work ; it will be the best course that 
you can take to keep on in the path of piety, for there will be 
your security. 

Doctri7ie. — The way of real sanctity is really a way of safety. 


Or, you may add, as being somewhat more agreeable to the 
coherence; in suffering times, the way of real sanctity is really 
a way of safety. 

We shall endeavour to prosecute the observation. 
First, By way of explication. And here ovir province will be, 
to open the nature of this real sanctity, or holiness, which 
is the same. And observe there are two descriptions of holi- 
ness, both of which are requisite. The one in the principle, 
this is in the heart. The other in the practice, this is in the life. 
There is holiness in the root, and holiness in the fruit. * The 
first is necessary to the second ; for that which is not, cannot 
act ; there must be a principle, else how should there be any 
operations.'* and the second is necessary, as a proof and dis- 
covery of the former. 

1. There must be holiness in the principle. 

There must be a real thorough change, wrought in the soul 
by divine grace. The understanding must be enlightened, the 
will renewed, and a peace concluded between God and the soul; 
no less will serve your turn. If a man be not alive, how can he 
walk '^ It is not to be expected. There must be spiritual life, 
or else how should there be spiritual acts : for every ti*ee brings 
forth fruit after its kind, both in a natural and spiritual sense. 
Can any one imagine, that they who are spiritually asleep, yea, 
dead in trespasses and sins, should run in the ways of God's 
commands, and that with an enlargedness of heart .'' Whilst a 
perscm is in his old frame, a captive to Satan, a stranger to God, 
he has not got into this way, and how then should he walk in it.'' 

2. There must be holiness in the practice. 

This is the exercise of the former principle in the life and 
conversation, this springs from the other, and is a manifesta- 
tion of it, and these , must go together. Those things which 
we own, believe, and possess, must appear to the world for the 
conviction of beholders. We must do works which may be seen, 
though not that they may be seen. Christianity is more thair 
a notion, or a nice speculation. 

A^^e are far from decrying practical godliness ; though our 
hohness be not that for which we are justified, yet it is that 
without which we shall not be saved. This is the way both to 
glorify God, and to be glorified by him : and he that is en- 
deavouring to find out a nearer way to heaven, is but labouring 
in vain ; yea, he is industriously at work to destroy himself. 
It is necessary that thou have the root of the matter in thee, 
and this manifested by the fruits of new obedience. A prin- 
ciple of holiness there must be in the heart, and the practice of 
it in thy life ; these the Lord hath joined together in those 
• In actii primo, el iii actu seciuxdo. 


that belong to him, and he is no good man that puts them 
asunder. So that you may take this account of our sanctity, 
that hoHness, (as it is in us) consists in our complete conformity 
to the Holy One. Godliness is God-likeness. 

This conformity unto God is two-fold. 

First, Our hohness includes a conformity to the nature of 
God. AVe must be holy as God is holy ; though we cannot be 
equally so, according to our sphere and finite capacity ; an 
equal degree of purity is beyond our reach, and therefore not 
enjoined. God is the Holy One by way of eminency, far sur- 
passing both men and angels. He is essentially holy, we but 
participatively so ; it is but a quahty in us, it is essence in 
him. He is holy effectively, for he makes others so ; now this, 
as to us, is impossible ; men may be made instrumental to con- 
vey holiness, but they cannot bestow it by a proper efficiency : 
this appertains not to a created, but a creating power ; yet we 
must have the same kind of holiness. A copy may have the 
likeness of the original, though there be not the same per- 
fection ; so, though believers have not an equal degree of holi- 
ness with God, yet they may be like him. 

Behevers are said to be partakers of the divine nature; 
namely, as they resemble God in his attributes. When we 
are patient, merciful, just, fixithfid, true, loving as .God is, we 
shew forth the divine attributes unto the world. Hereby God 
becomes, (as it were) visible in man, when we show forth the 
virtues of him, " who hath called us out of darkness into his 
marvellous light." We must resemble him in his affections. 
AVhen we love what God loves, when we hate what God hates, 
when what pleaseth God pleaseth us also, when what provokes 
his Spirit provokes ours : this is holiness in us, as it is in con- 
formity to his nature. 

Secondly, Our holiness requires that there be a conformity to 
the will of God. The will of God is the rule of holiness, as 
his nature is the pattern of it ; and there is no more of hohness 
in any work, than there is of the will of God in it. David as 
a holy man, is described by both these in Acts xiii. 22, " A 
man after my own heart ;"" there is conformity to the nature of 
God : " who shall fulfil all my will C there is conformity to 
his will. The result of both is holiness. So our conformity to 
God, is our imitation of him, and by our walking with him we 
make him our pattern, and his will our rule. If we walk in the 
way of holiness, we regulate ourselves, and all that we do ac- 
cording to the divine laws, not consulting secular interest or 
what carnal reason wotdd suggest, but what says the Lord in 
such and such a case ? how runs the will of the Great King ? 
what say the statutes of heaven, in this and the other matter ? 


When others inquire what says such a neighbour, and such a 
friend? the good man goes and consults the sacred oracles : his 
question is, what says God ? 

Tliis conformity to the wiU of God is, 

1. To what God wills not to be done, respecting what is sin- 
ful in conduct. 

We must maintain the power of holiness in combating with 
sin ; we must not meddle with it on any account, either 
greater or less ; we must abstain from all appearance of evil. 
Thou dost not spend thy time in gratifying the sensitive part, 
in " making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof," 
as some do ; thou dost not run with them to their excess of 
riot ; thou art no drunkard, no adulterer, no reviler, no ex- 
tortioner, nor unjust, &c. kc. it may be, no saint either for 
all that : it is possible it may be so, look to it, that it be not 
really so. It is not enough to be free from gross pollutions, we 
must labour to keep conscience clear, that the bird in the breast 
may be always singing. The foolisli pleasure of a vain world 
must not charm and alliu:e us ; we must keep ourselves un- 
spotted, having nothing to do with the unfruitful works of 
darkness ; for our unholiness arises from oiu* conformity, or 
adhesion to those things which are unclean, and unholy. We 
should consider whether such a thing we are about to meddle 
with, be lawful or not ; and whether it be expedient or not, at 
such a time, in such a place, with such company, for such a 
one, Sec. Sec. and rather deny ourselves than offend others. We 
must maintain our ground in a vigorous resistance, and be 
waging war with sin every day, endeavouring by all possible 
methods and prescribed means to get rid of it. Be laying at 
the root of sin every day, not only now and then, when corrup- 
tions stir somewhat more than ordinary ; for if they get strength 
again, thou hast new w^ork. The heart must be cleansed from 
sin, and filled with grace, and this exercised and evidenced in 
the life ; that will be the way to maintain the power of holiness. 

2. Our holiness includes a conformity to the will of God, in 
what he wills to be done : and this respects our performance of 
duties. These duties are, 

(1.) Such as belong to God. 

Public duties of religion ; holiness is inclusive of these : they 
that would be found walking in the way of real sanctity, must 
be careful to attend upon God in the public ordinances of his 
appointment, and institution. Surely tliis is one part of a 
holy life, to seek God where he may be found ; we must wait 
on him in tlie solemn assembly, there doth he usually meet his 
people and bless them ; those that go to meet him there do not 


usually lose their labour, unless it be through their own negli- 
gence and inadvertency. 

Private duties of religion belong to the way of real sanctity : 
we mean those which are kept up in families. Our holiness 
must appear, not only in God's house, but also in our own ; 
those that live together, should serve God together. Our 
houses should be houses for God, nurseries of religion. There, 
those that are heads and governors are concerned mostly, 
though not only. Alas ! it is matter of lamentation, that so 
many families are schools for Satan, where nothing is to be 
heard but wickedness, that there are so many families where 
God is not called upon. 

Secret duties of religion must be performed by those who 
woidd walk in the way of holiness. There are prayer, medi- 
tation, and heart examination, which must be looked after in 
secret. Many duties a pious person has to perform, that none 
must be privy to but God and his own soul. He has much 
■work alone ; there he must look into his own heart, there he 
must look up to God to fetch down blessings from above. 

And here take notice of one thing, these duties must all be 
performed, one as well as another ; we must not pick and choose 
those only that are suited to our humours ; we need all the 
help heaven-ward that we can get : we often need refreshing 
and strengthening in our journey, and if we neglect to draw 
near to God in some duties, no wonder if he withdraw from us 
in others. It may be, sometimes, thou wantest God's company 
in the solemn assembly ; public ordinances are empty cisterns, 
thou dost find little or no advantage from them, there is little 
savour in the word, it doth not come warmly to thy heart ; it 
may be, God had not thy company in the morning ; thou want- 
est his presence in public, he did not find thee seeking him in 
secret upon thy knees, and therefore v/ithdraws. So again in 
the evening, thou hast been negligent in thy pviblic attendances, 
and when thou waitest on him in thy secret addresses, thou art 
left to thyself. If we would have God to meet us in one duty, 
we must wait on him in all, or else it will be more than we 
have any ground to expect if he meet us in any appointment. 

(2.) Such as belong to man. 

The duties of our relations, belong to the way of sanctity. 

Much of the power of God lies within doors ; the noise and 
stir we may make about religion amongst others, will signify 
little, if those that are with us every day, and have opportunity 
to know us best, speak least of our holiness. He that is really 
holy, is concerned conscientiously to discharge relative duties. 
There are some who talk at a great rate abi'oad about religion, 
but they do not walk regidarly at home. Tlicy that arc more 


sincere and industrious, seldom make a great noise about what 
they do ; it is not usual for them to sound the trumpet of their 
own praise. Relative duties must be regarded, as well as those 
that relate to God, more immediately. 

In the duties of our particular callings and dealings in the 
world, our hoUness must appear. We must be " holy in all 
manner of conversation,'" for nothing is well done, that is not 
done rehgiously : we must not trade, and deal, and traffic in the 
world as men, but as Christians. We must be found in our 
particular callings, for idleness is against both reason and reli- 
gion ; neither must we suffer oiu: particular callings to interfere 
with what is general. Our religion must not be confined to oiur 
knees, it must be brought into our shops ; it must appear in 
our bargaining, buying and selling, and conversing with others. 
Our holiness must appear in every thing we do, in sacred things, 
in civil, yea, and natural too. Our eating and drinking must 
be according to divine direction ; we must do all things by 
rule. Our dressing and adorning come under scripture regu- 
lation, yea, onr sleeping too ; we should be careful lest God 
find us in our bed, when he expects us on our knees. We 
might have branched these things into more particulars, but 
you may easily multiply them in your mechtation, for our hoh- 
ness must be universal. O how large and extensive is the work 
of a Christian ! We have but touched upon these things last 
mentioned, designing to press them in the apphcation. 



1 Peter hi. 13. 

And who is he thai will harm you, if ye be followers of 
that which is good ? 

We shall proceed in a few things further, which may serve, 
partly, by way of explication, giving us to understand the na- 
ture of true holiness a httle better, and partly instead of appli- 
cation. We hope it may not be altogether unprofitable, nor 


do very much injustice to the rules of method. From what has 
been said, it appears, that hoHness is more than, 

1. An enlightened head. 

There must be an inward principle ; so that there is some- 
thing more required than an orthodox judgment, to constitute 
a real saint. A learned head, with an unholy heart and un- 
godly life, will not do. Many make a noise about rehgion, 
who, if they were really sounded to the bottom, would be found 
very shallow. If talking might pass for doing, if pretending 
to religion might go current for the practice of it, then we 
might find sundry who have their faces Zion-ward ; but, alas ! 
many have light in their heads, but no heat ni their hearts. 
Some think they are far enough, if they can talk of the church, 
and discourse of religion in company ; they have a glib tongue, 
and an extemporaneous wit, and they can hold an argument 
almost on any point in doctrine or discipline ; they can plead 
for such a mode of administration, such a form of church- 
government, &c. and here you have the sum total of their evi- 
dences for heaven ; though they never felt the power of divine 
grace overcoming their wills. Inquire of such persons about 
the things of nature ; yea, or of scripture, as to the notional 
part, their answer is quick and ready : but ask them any thing 
of religion, where experience is concerned, to give an answer, and 
then they are nonplussed ; you talk as strangely as Nicodemus 
thought Christ did, when discoursing about the great mystery 
of regeneration ; you are got out of their element, and they are 
ready to say with those in Ezekiel, " Doth he not speak para- 
bles ?'''' Or, it may be worse, with the Epicurean and Stoic 
philosophers, "What will this babbler say .?'"* How will some 
poor, yet sincere Christians in their rustic coats, who in many 
things can scarcely speak sense, when they come to the ex- 
perimental part of Christianity, puzzle and confound the pro- 
foundest doctors and rabbles of the day, notwithstanding all 
their sublimated notions. 

Sirs, parts are not piety, whatever you may fancy ; there are 
many learned heads in hell, and others going thither. Thou 
mayest dive into the intricacies of nature, and be able to give 
a philosophical account of most difficxdties that occur; thou 
mayest be acquainted with the notional part of the gospel, and 
be able to unriddle the mysteries of salvation ; thou mayest 
have the bible in thy head, so as to command every verse almost 
at thy finger's end ; thou mayest be admired for thy acquire- 
ments and attainments, the trumpet of thy fame may be sounded 
through the country where thou livest, and yet thou mayest be 
a learned ignoramus, and go with a lighted candle in thy hand 


to hell. IMany can discourse long ami learnedly on tlie heavens, 
but know nothing of God in the heavens ; thqj^ are quiclt- 
sighted in natural things, but in spiritual, fools. Holiness is 
more than, 

2. Faint and feeble wishes. 

There is a great deal of difference between wishings and 
wouldings, and doing. If some cold, faint desires, without 
suitable and sincere endeavours, would carry us to heaven, it 
would not be long before some persons were there ; if a few 
good wishes would storm the kingdom above, we should talk no 
more of a holy life. But let none dream away their days with 
this groundless imagination, that a sick-bed's " Lord have 
mercy upon me V^ Or a Balaam's " O that I might die the 
death of the righteous !? will carry their souls into eternal 
bliss. Oh ! how dull and stupid are many in the great busi- 
ness of eternitv, and loth to stir ; yet they can wish as well 
as any, and if that would suffice, they would not be sparing ; 
words are cheap, and we might have enow of them. Their 
usual language is, * O that this were working ! O that they 
had grace ! O that they could live as such, or such ! Whereas 
they never endeavour to do it. Sometimes upon their miscar- 
riages you shall hear a heartless petition, God forgive me ! 
u])on some surprising and unexpected news of danger, then, 
God bless us ! But according to their usage it is so far from 
being prevalent, that it is really a taking God's name in vain. 
I'aint and feeble desires, without any impression of holiness 
upon the heart and expression of it in the life, will leave the 
soul in horror at last : those that are cold wishers and woulders, 
but will not be workers, must burn in a hot hell. The way to 
heaven is up hill, and requires pains ; there must be active and 
unwearied diligence, or else we fall short : whereas it is an easy 
matter to tumble down into perdition. Holiness is more than, 

3. Mere morality. 

Holiness and harmlessness are really two distinct things. 
jMorality is of use, as far as it goes, and it is to be desired that 
there were more of it in the world, yet it is not sufficient. It is 
to be feared this will be the bane of many souls, they have 
lived soberlv and honestly in the world, they mean nobody any 
harm, and yet are going but a more smooth and unsuspected 
way to everlasting misery. Thou must get further than thy 
good meanings, or else thou art as near to heaven as ever thou 
art like to be. Thou sayest thou meanest well ; but I say, 
good meaners are but meanly good. Thou dost not shew much 
in thy life, but thou hast a good honest heart thou sayest : alas ! 
" O utinam hoc esset laborare i 


thou sayest thou knowest not what, thou speakest an impos- 
sibility. It is an unjustifiable notion, yea, nothing but contra- 
dictory nonsense, to plead for the regularity of thy heart, whilst 
there is nothing of it in thy life ; it will be as near truth to 
call black, v/hite : doubtless tiiere are many good meaners in 
liell, wlio pretended their hearts were good when on earth, 
however it fell out that their lives were ill. The religion of 
some persons runs all upon nots ; they are not such and such ; 
like their predecessor the boasting Pharisee, who for all that 
was disowned by Christ. Not only the unruly servant, that 
beat his fellow-servants, is cast into hell, but the false servant 
too that did not improve his talent ; he did not make his talent 
away, he gave the Lord his own, and yet, because he did not 
improve it, he is called an unprofitable servant, and sentenced 
to depart as such. A negative righteousness will not do ; it 
will not be enough at the last day, to say, Lord, we have done 
no hurt in the world, for he expects that we should do some 
good. Holiness is more than, 

4. Flourishing formality. 

This is something moie than the former, yet short still. All 
are not saints that seem to be so ; there may be, and too often 
is, the form of godliness where persons deny the power of it ; 
yea, all the religion of too many, is but a formal, lifeless thing. 
A little they do for fashion's sake; but they are far from 
making it their main business, and the grand concern of their 
lives. Some persons"' holiness is only a little knack they have 
got, not that they matter it at all, only they would not be 
branded by their neighbours, with the black ignominious mark 
of being irreligious. Some are Christians because Christianity 
hath been handed to them from their ancestors, and they can 
give no reason why they are so, but because they were brought 
up so. Ask them why they are of such a religion ; well, be- 
cause their father was of that persuasion, and so was their 
grandff^ther, and all their ancestors, as far as they can remem- 
ber. They are heirs to their father's religion, as they are to his 
estate, and so it descends to posterity, and passes from one ge- 
neration to another, being handed down by tradition; this 
comes far short of what the Lord requires. These mere for- 
malists are usually for the religion of the state, that which is up- 
permost and most in vogue, having a desire to be in the fashion 
in one thing as well as another : thus are the times, and there- 
fore thus are we. Others do thus, and we are resolved we will 
not be branded for schismatics, they shall never have that to 
cast in our teeth ; we will keep our church, and mind our 
prayers, and we do not question but that we shall do as well as 


any precise zealots tliat make such a stir about religion. " Tlie 
temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we ;" our church 
hath appointed such and such things, and they inquire no fur- 
ther. It is indeed a dismal consideration to think how many 
there are who go under the name of Protestants, who think them- 
selves good Christians and you shall undergo the lash of their 
censures if you do not think so too, who get not a jot further 
than a little flourish in rehgion, a little painted holiness they 
have to entertain the eyes of the beholders, that they may not 
see their deformity ; and that is all they have, but not all that 
is required. Holiness is more than, 

5. Hypocritical pretences. 

Hj^ocrites pretend to greater strictness in religion than 
those last mentioned, but they miss it in their aims and de- 
signs ; they do not what they do from a right principle and 
for right ends. It is real sanctity we have been speaking about; 
now that of the hypocrite is but counterfeit, and observe,* 
counterfeit piety is double iniquity. Great is the difference 
between a real saint and a hypocrite ; though outwardly you 
can scarcely distinguish them, nay, it may be, the hypocritical 
pretender in some external performances, shall outdo him who 
is a real worshipper. See him in his holiday "'s dress, and you 
would really think he is a saint, and yet it is but a more cun- 
ning artifice he has in duties than his neighbour : it may be 
the devil hath faster hold on such than many others. How many 
of us belong to this number, and who they are^ the Lord only 
knows. There are many who are willingly brought to the out- 
works of religion, that take little pains with their hearts ; most 
they do is to be seen of men, and, " verily they have their 
reward."' Many who will read and pray, and hear and perform 
many duties, especially such as come under others'' observation, 
whose hearts are not right with God ; they bow to Christ in 
compliment, with cap and knee, but are not ready to do what 
he commands. A hypocrite may pray neatly, orderly, and 
fluently, and yet not believingly and experimentally ; yea, it is 
possible he may pray himself into hell. Holiness is more than, 

6. An intermitting zeal in religion. 

This is that which is opposite to a uniform, regular, steady 
walking. Some will needs be religionists, and walk in the way 
of holiness, but they are not orderly in their steps ; sometimes 
they run, sometimes they stand, they have many and long in- 
termissions, as persons in some distempers, they have their hot 
and cold fits ; sometimes a feverish heat, sometimes an aguish 
coldness. O ! what a fever-burning zeal for religion sorae- 

" Simulata sanctitas est duplex iiiiciuitas. 

Holiness the way of safety. 451 

times, at other times, they can scarcely afford it a good word. 
Holiness, in the power of it, doth not consist of such ups and 
downs. It is true, an honest, sincere heart may be out of frame ; 
but though the stream be muddy, yet there is a spring that 
will cleanse it in due time. If we would walk holily, we must 
walk regularly ; it is not sufficient to keep up a round of reli- 
gious duties, and think we may do what we please betwixt 
times, as though when we had been on our knees begging par- 
don for our sins, we had paid off the old score and might boldly 
run on a new one. What, pray against sin, and go imme- 
diately and sin against our prayers ! O daring hypocrisy ! 
Oh, to see a person on God's day, in the solemn assembly, with 
his hands and eyes up to heaven, wrestling with God for a 
blessing ; another while his eyes fixed on, and, as it were, 
chained to the minister, catching at every word as it is delivered, 
and, within a few minutes, to hear the same person, as soon as 
he is got out of the door, talking idly and vainly, as though 
he had not been at ease for the want of such an opportunity ; 
yea, and within a few days to see him drinking with the 
drunken, dishonouring God's name by his notorious sinful 
practice along with Satan's agents ; — this is very sad ! Oh, that 
those eyes which are one while reading God's book, inquiring 
into the words of eternal life, then trickling down tears in weep- 
ing for sin; that they should be another while employed in read- 
ing the devil's books, and such as were contrived by hellish policy, 
and after that gazing on vanity ; — this is grievous ! Oh, that 
those tongues, which are heard confessing sin, speaking of it 
with sighs and emphatical groans, as though the heart were 
almost ready to break with such depressing, debasing, soul- 
humbling expressions, as if they would not sin for a world, and 
another time melodiously singing forth the divine praises ; that 
these should be the week following, blaspheming God's name 
by their full-mouthed oaths and horrid execrations ; that these 
instruments should be employed to contemn God's ordinances, 
and vilify his servants, — this is matter of lamentation ! Oh, to 
seem serious on God's day, im,portunately begging for their 
soul's salvation, and soon after imprecating their own damna- 
tion ; raking in the vt'ounds of Christ, enough to make one's 
ears tingle ; — this is exceedingly dreadful ! This is not walk- 
ing in the way of holiness. Holiness is more than, 
7. A temporary profession of Christianity. 
]\lore might easily have been added, as federal holiness, being 
baptized in infancy, godly education, church pri^'ileges, convic- 
tions for, and confessions of sin, a partial reformation, Sec. Real 
sanctity is more than these; but we cannot stay to insist upon them. 
VOL. V. 2 G 


Our holy walking doth imply constancy. Some flourish 
a little while, and not having root, they wither away, es- 
pecially when they meet with the scorching days of perse- 
cution. One while, " IMaster, I will follow thee whither- 
soever thou goest C the next news, it may be, we hear of 
them is, tliey have turned their backs upon the ways of God, 
and side with the ungodly multitude. One while, " Hosannah 
to the Son of David ;'' within a very little while, by the louder 
cry of their lives and conversation, " Let him be crucified, let 
him be crucified."" One while, own Christ ; another while, 
" Away with him, away with him, we will not have this man, 
but Barabbas;"' not those duties and ordinances, but these 
lusts, follies, and vanities. This is a going backward, not 
walking on, for that implies progress and continuation ; they 
that would be said to walk holily, must be " perfecting holiness 
in the fear of God."' It is not enough to begin, go on a little, 
and then give up ; they that are holy must be ho'ly still, not 
begin in the .spirit and end in the flesh, for no grace will be 
saving, but that which is persevering. A temporary flash and 
no more, like a vapour that is soon in and soon out, is not the 
way to be found in the path of safety, and to be preserved when 
sufferings and afflictions come ; no, it is the readiest way to 
bring these upon us. There is no putting our hands to the 
plough, no engaging in Christianity and then giving up, that 
will carry us to glory ; he that expects the prize must run to 
tiie end ; he that would be crowned must fight on till he hath 
gained the victory ; no cowards that turn again wlien they meet 
witli difficulties, have any groimd to expect the reward which 
is promised, to all those who overcome. 

Our holiness must appear at all times, in all places, in all 
cases and companies ; nothing can be a sufficient plea for verg- 
ing to a compliance with sin. Every duty should be looked 
after in its place, and we have work enough to fill up all our 
time, for the commandment is exceeding broad." It is not 
enough that thou servest God on his own day, if thou dost 
gratify thyself all the week after ; it is not enough that thou 
prayest in thy family, or in thy closet in the morning, or in both, 
if thou keepest the devifs company all the day following. Some 
on a Lord's day evening put oft' all their religion Avith their, 
better clothes, and think what they have done will serve for the 
next week, though what they did was very meanly too ; whereas 
they should but learn on God's day how to serve him afterwards. 
Our holiness is walking with God, as Enoch did ; a following 
him fully, as did Caleb; yea, with Zacharias and Elizabeth, "a 
walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord 
blameless :" it is serving God uprightly, orderly, regularly, 


uniformly, constantly, in a diligent discharge and faithful per- 
formance of every appointed duty. 

Having explained holiness, another thing in the explication is 
to shew, what that safety is, to which holiness is the way. 
] . It is the way to temporal safety. 

This is the way to be freed from outward sufferings, or to be 
preserved under them. Sometimes God's people are not free 
from a day of trouble, yet they are preserved under the troubles 
of the day. When the sea of the world hath been tossed with 
waves by tempestuous storms, when all things have been un- 
hinged-and unsettled, both in church and state, when affairs 
have been involved and miserably confused in this lower region, 
though the righteous did not wholly escape such tumultuous 
distractions, yet they have been kept under them ; yea, and in- 
wardly supported so as many did not suppose. Sometimes 
saints are under sufferings from God, sometimes from men. 
The Lord doth sometimes lay his hand upon his people and 
visit them with the rod, yet the other hand is underneatli them 
to bear them up ; in this he designs their advantage, to reclaim 
them from their wanderings, and prevent their going astray for 
the future. The Lord knows what his poor servants are, and 
what they can bear, and he treats them accordingly. He that 
made us, knows our mould, that w^e are but dust, and cannot 
bear the stroke of his arm without the auxiliary assistance of his 
Holy Spirit ; therefore when he doth debate, it is in measure, and 
though the body may suffer, yet if the soul be bettered, what 
reason is there to find fault ? If he do empty us from vessel 
to vessel, yet if he fill us with his grace ; tliough he do remove 
comforts, yet if he come in himself and take up his abode with 
us, we are safe still, and have no reason to repent our waiting 
on him. Sometimes they are under sufferings from men, it is 
a day of trouble and rebuke, as in Hezekiah's time, " a day of 
darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness." 
It is sometimes a stormy day of persecution, and the instru- 
ments of Satan are a little let loose by God's permissive provi- 
dence, and his servants are hunted as partridges upon the 
mountains ; yet even then the Lord doth wonderfully preserve 
them ; and though they may suffer and lose something for him, 
they shall lose nothing by him ; the sons of violence may so far 
prevail as to take them off the stage of mortality, yet then there is, 
2. Eternal safety. 

The Lord lodges them in heaven, and doubtless that, if any, 
is a place of safety. When the Lord removes them hence, 
and houses them with himself they are out of danger, and then 
there is no ground of fear ; for who shall scale the walls of the 

2 G 2 

454 ouiGiXAL sEinroxs. 

New Jerusalem, to disturb those that have ascended thither ? 
Yet do not mistake here, though hoHness be the way to eternal 
safety, the path appointed by the Lord for liis people by which to 
reach heaven, yet it is not for your holiness, as the procuring 
cause, that you must go thither. Alas ! when we have done 
all, we are but unprolitable servants, and it is not possible for 
us to merit any thing at the hand of God. We must not over- 
look the righteousness of Christ, he is said to be the way, and 
none come to the Father but by the Son ; and holiness is said 
to be the way too, for without it none shall see the Lord, yet in 
different respects ; Christ is the way of merit, purchase, and 
procurement, and holiness the way of means, preparatory meet- 
ness, and iitness for heaven ; Christ''s righteousness and ours 
have their distinct ofliccs, and both the way in some respects. 
We have our reconciliation with God, and security from his 
wrath, by the blood of Christ, and inward peace of conscience 
from the evidence of our sanctitication ; yet some, though they 
pretend to have renounced popery, talk of earning heaven. 
Ask them how they expect to be saved ? Well, by their good 
works. They think that those who do so and so, shall not 
surely fall short of heaven at last; if they do, what will become 
of others more loose and careless than themselves.'' And so 
they forget the merits of the Lord Jesus, never considering 
his procurement of our acceptance with God. 

Secondly, The confirmation of the doctrine, and here we 
shall endeavour to prove, 

I. That the Avay of real sanctity is a way of safety. 

1. From scripture assertions and expressions. "He that 
walketh uprightly, walketh surely,'' Prov. x. 9. Many politi- 
cians can invent ways, as they imagine, to secure themselves, 
yet when they have done all, honesty will be found to be 
the best policy. " Let integrity and uprightness preserve me," 
Psal. XXV. 21. Righteousness is called a breast-plate, for its 
security. A breast-plate preserves the principal part of the 
body. A man may lose a leg or an arm, and not lose his life ; 
but a stab at the heart is mortal : so righteousness and holiness 
preserve the principal part of a Christian, his soul and con- 

2. From scriptural instances. IMany such we find upon re- 
cord in holy writ, that let us see how the Lord hath signally 
and seasonably appeared for his people, Avhen in great straits 
and amidst threatening difficulties. ^Ve shall mention a few 
among many that might be named. Such was the wickedness 
of the old world, that the Lord deluged it with a flood of water, 
and there Noah, a preacher of righteousness, is preserved in 


the ark when others are swept away. Such was the abounding 
sin of Sodom, tliat the Lord destroyed it with fire and brimstone 
from heaven ; but righteous Lot must be first fetched out and 
set without the city ; destruction must not come upon it so long 
as he remained there. 

Famous are those two instances in Daniel, and very pertinent 
to our purpose. See that in the third chapter. A decree goes 
forth from the king, that whoever did not fall down and wor- 
ship the golden image which he had set up, should be cast into the 
burning hery furnace. Hard measure indeed, it was come to this 
— they must either turn or burn ; yea, and says proud, blasphe- 
mous Nebuchadnezzar, " Who is that God that shall deliver 
you out of my hands ?''"' Oh what insulting arrogance ! as though 
he had been the great controller and commander of the world. 
What ! out of his hands ? as if man, a worm, was able to 
grapple with divine vengeance ! Yet notwithstanding his 
great words and daring insolence, Shadrach, Meshech, and 
Abednego, are not affrighted. Blessed nonconformists ! they 
are partly as bold as he, though in a better sense ; the goodness 
of their cause helps them to courage. They firmly believe the 
Most High was above him, and they do not much demur or 
dispute the point, but are resolved, come what will, they will 
obey God rather than man: " Be it known unto thee, O king, 
that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image 
which thou hast set up."" O heroic, and generous faith ! triumph- 
ing in the face of danger, yea, what was most likely, in the face 
of death ! The king's command is executed ; these three Dis- 
senters are thrown in, and not only so, but the furnace is heated 
seven times hotter too ! The enemies of God would burn his 
people in hell, if they coidd, yet the Lord doth preserve them 
safe in such burnings. 

The other is that of Daniel himself, chap. vi. We have an 
account of a desperate plot that was on foot against Daniel, 
when he was advanced to a high place, being preferred above 
the presidents and princes, because "an excellent spirit was 
found in him." They envy him and would gladly throw him 
out of place and favour, and they have their diabolical devices 
and cabals to bring this about. They first seek occasion 
against Daniel concerning the kingdom, thinking to find some 
misdemeanor or irregular management of matters there ; then 
they would have a plausible plea to endeavour his ejectment : 
but all their expectations are frustrated, forasmuch as he was 
conscientiously faithful, " neither was there any error or fault 
found in him." Their hopes being blasted this way, another 


project comes into their heads ; for what will not the devil help 
his agents to do ? They now despair of accomplishing their 
designs, unless they find occasion against him concerning the 
law of his God. This seeming to be the most likely expedient, 
they contrived, as one says, an act of uniformity, forbidding 
by an unalterable law, to ask a petition of any god or man, but 
of the king, for the space of thirty days, upon pain of death ; 
no less penalty would serve them, designing to be rid of such a 
factious, obstinate fellow, as they accounted Daniel to be. This 
was agreed upon, according to the law of the ]\Iedes and Persians, 
which altercth not, so that there is no dispensing with it ; now 
he that will dare to be disobedient must die for it. They 
thought that he who prayed so often, would not refrain seeking 
God for thirty days, and they were not mistaken ; for though he 
knew that the writing was signed against him, yet he kneeled 
upon his knees, three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks 
to his God, as he did aforetime; as he did before, so he doth still, 
he keeps on his course, not baulking his devotion though his life 
was at stake. They watch him, and found him praying and mak- 
ing supplication to his God. They throw him into the den of 
lions according to their established law, yet the lions' mouths are 
stopped by an angel sent from God, and Daniel is as safe there 
as he was before. — See hence how safe it is to be found waiting: 
on God m a way of duty, not turning aside for fear of men, 
notwithstanding their big looks and swelling words. We should 
not decline duty, though the performance of it should be at- 
tended with hazard. Some, it may be, are ready to think that 
there is more danger in our day, DanieFs being an extraordinary 
case, and that now no such miracles are to be expected. It is 
true, that was a signal and extraordinary appearance of God in 
his providence, yet we have seen the point proved also, 

i}. From our own experience. God is the same that he was 
formerly, and he has the wonted love for his people that he had 
heretofore ; his hand is not shortened that he cannot save ; 
his wisdom is not yet nonplussed, and never shall be ; omni- 
potence has not acted to the very uttermost. A variety of 
instances might be given, that show how God has been pleased 
to step in for the relief of his servants ; how he has appeared in 
the mount of difficulty and extremity since old testament times, 
yea, in our day. Have not some of us seen a copy written after 
that original in the case of Daniel ? It may be not so terrible, 
yet some can very well remember how the servants of God, who 
durst not sin against him, nor chsown what they judged to be his 
■will, have been thrown into dungeons and prisons, for acting ac*^ 


cording to their light; they were shut up in dismal cells of dark- 
ness, in years not long since past ; though, by earnest prayer 
and diligent searching into those things, they endeavoured to 
get the best information they could. In some things the case 
was not much unlike. ]\Ien in power found fault with them, 
as with Daniel, relative to their God, proposing, yea, imposmg 
what in conscience they could not comply with, and because 
they would not, or rather could not conform to those things 
which they set up, they must be liable to the lash of anti- 
scriptural penalties. We grant they did not bind them, as the 
other did Daniel, not to petition God at all, yet it must be ac- 
cording to their mode : worship God any way else, and they 
were railed at as schismatics, and prosecuted as rioters, when 
those that were really so escaped without condign punishment. 
But, blessed be the name of our God, it is not so now, those 
storms are blown over, being succeeded by a sunshine calm ! 
and though some have said, they would either starve them or 
damn them ; yet we find, through the goodness of God, that 
they were under a mistake, and we have lived to see that their 
laws were not like those of the Medes and Persians which altered 
not. We find it proved by scripture and backed by experience, 
that it is best to be, and do, and suffer what God would have 
us : and though his servants and subjects may meet with hard- 
ships, yet in due time he will clear up their innocence, and the 
names of noble patriots that have stood up for the cause of God, 
and the interest of Christ, in a degenerate age, shall not always 
be followed with the nicknames of traitor and rebel. Consider, 

II. Wherefore holiness is the way of safety. 

1. Because real saints have God for their guardian. 

The Lord is with his people as long as they are with him. 
Of whom then should they be afraid that have such a one to 
protect them ? If he be for them, who shall be against them ? 
*' The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run 
into it and are safe," Prov. xviii. 10. The great God, the God 
of the armies of Israel, is able to defend them, and he will do it; 
hence it is that he hath bid them not to be afraid : " Fear not, 
O Jacob, though thou passest through the waters and through 
the fire, I will be with thee ;" and his presence with any, surely 
doth bespeak their safety ; none need question but that he will 
be as good as his word, for " he is faithful who hath promised." 
God's people are safe, so long as he reigns in heaven, and rules 
all their enemies, both in hell and on earth ; though they may 
meet with storms and tempests, yet there is shelter for them in 
the chamber of his attributes. Infinite wisdom shall be at work 
to counsel and direct them. The Lord governs the world, and 


orders all things by his providence, and will so dispose of matters, 
you may be sure, as shall not be to the real detriment of those 
that belong to him. The Lord will overmatch all his enemies, 
and make their oracles to speak but folly. His power also 
shall be employed to protect and defend his people, and who- 
ever destroys them must ask God leave ; he will baffle all 
the attempts of his enemies in his due time. All the malicious 
combinations of the hellish fraternity shall be frustrated ; all 
their daring enterprizes shall be labour in vain; it is not possible 
that they should ever enervate omnipotence. God is greater 
than all, and none shall ever pluck his people out of his hand. 
The Lord hath taken charge of them, he hath bound himself to 
them by promise, and rather than fail he will work wonders for 
them. His angels he employs for their safety ; they are all 
*' ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall 
be heirs of salvation ; — and the angel of the Lord encampeth 
round about them that fear him.'" Though saints be the ob- 
jects of helfs envy, and earth's malice, yet they are God's dar- 
lings, and angels'* charge. The believer may argue from all 
God's relations to him. He is my God, my King, my Father, 
my Husband, therefore he will take care of me ; this may well 
be the inference from such premises ; certainly believers may be 
well assured, that so long as God keeps the throne, so long 
they shall not want what may be for their good. 

2. Because all harm shall turn to the saints'* good. 

" And we know, that all things shall work together for good," 
Sec. Rom. viii. 28 : it is not some uncertain and improbable re- 
port, no, we know it ; so the apostle saith elsewhere, " All is 
yours C a large and comfortable word indeed, all, whatever they 
be, all afflictions, trials, adverse providences, shall end well ; so 
that whatsoever a saint meets with, he will he no loser in the 
end. " All things work together for good ;''' take a wicked man 
and all things are against him : but it is not so here, they work 
for good, not some only, but a^J, comforts and crosses, mercies and 
judgments. Some may think their troubles and persecutions will 
not, and are ready to say, can any good come out of these.'' yes, 
these also come into the number. In such times and by such means 
their corruptions are mortified, and their graces are brightened; 
their trouble will be introductive of their triumph. We are 
short-sighted creatures, we cannot oftentimes understand the 
design of di\ane providences, and therefore are prone to misin- 
terpret them ; when things go not as we would have them, we are 
ready to say, all these are against us, when God is intending 
us great spiritual advantage. 

Thou dost nut now see the reason of such shaqi and severe 


dealings, thou canst not spell out the meaning of such variety 
of afflictions and dark providences, but thou shalt be able. 
Thou art ready to repine and be uneasy, bvit in heaven, how- 
ever, thou shalt see what it was for ; thou shalt then understand 
wherefore such a rod was sent, such an ache, such a pain, such 
a distemper ; and why at such a time, and why it continued so 
long, and why in such a degree ; yea, and that thou couldest 
not have been well without it ; that it was better ordered, than if 
it had been at thy disposal, yea better than if all the angels in 
heaven had had the ordering of it. Set this down with thyself, 
that nothing but sin can really hurt thee ; other things may 
bring some outward disadvantage, but no real detriment. So 
much may be implied in that, " fear not them that can kill the 
body, but have no more that they can do ;" if that be all, if 
then they have done their worst, fear them not. 

We might have insisted here much more largely, and shown 
that those things cannot hurt us which are most likely to do it, 
as assaults of Satan, persecutions of wicked men, afflictions, 
death, hell, &c. but we shall reserve them to another place. 



1 Peter hi. 13. 

And who is he that will harm you, if ye he followers of 
that ichich is good? 

We shall now pass on to the application, which will consist, 

First, Of sundry inferences and uses. 

1 Inference, If the way of holiness be really a way of safety, 
then there is such a thing as real sanctity. 

It is true, it is that which by many is laughed at and derided ; 
and some look upon real holiness as no more than a melancholy 
imagination, or the fantastic delusion of men in a dream. 
Hence it is that they ridicule it almost in every company, and 
make it the subject of their merriment, by this means proclaim- 


ing their own folly ; yea, some can boast tliat at last they are 
got from imder the bondage of that tyrant conscience, as if they 
had had many struggles and conflicts, and at last with much 
ado had got the victory. Atheism is at a great height in this 
our day. Some there are that have attained such a prodigious 
height in wickedness, that they search diligently into the law of 
the land, to know how far they may venture in sin, and not 
come within the lash of it. An unseen world, a state of im- 
mortality beyond the grave, are what they laugh at ; and those 
that thus believe, think that they shall cease to be when they 
cease to breathe ; they cannot remember any thing they did 
before they came into this world, and they think it shall be so 
when they take their leave of it. O how far is the human race 
gone ! How is man sunk by his apostacy ! The present age 
affords too many instances of those that live, as if there were 
no God to punish, no hell to torment, no heaven to reward ; 
as if they expected no life after this, saying that religion is only 
a political clieat, which men of parts have invented to affright 
persons and keep the world in awe. But the time is coming 
when such will be convinced of their folly, when they shall see 
clearly how they have been deceived, for in liell there will be no 
atheists, then they will believe there is a God, because of find- 
ing themselves under the sad effects of his justice : but dread- 
ful will it be, not to believe the being of hell but by being in it. 

2 Infer. Then it is not in vain to serve the Lord. 

Some are ready to reproach and vilify religion, and say there 
is nothing got by it ; why should we wait on the Lord any 
longer .'' " \\'hat is the Almighty that we should serve him t 
and what profit, if we should pray to him.'''' Job xxi. 15. 
They reckon they may as well give it up ; what hath it pro- 
fited them to have walked mournfully before the Lord? others 
that regard no such thing, prosper as well every whit as they, 
and it may be better. Whereas the fault is not in religion, but 
because they are not more religious ; it is for want of sincerity 
and integrity, that careless pretenders find no more advantage 
by waiting on God. Though a blind man do not see the sun, 
it doth not thence follow that there is no such thing in the 
firmament ; others see it and feel its warming, reviving influ- 
ences. Though formal, hypocritical pretenders to Christianity 
find little or no savoiu' in the things of God, though tliey do 
not taste and experience that sweetness, which is to be foimd in 
wisdom's ways ; yet it is not safe to conclude tliat none do, for 
some can say, there is no such pleasure to be found in all the 
world, as there is in communion with God. 

Thou hast beived God, thou saye&t so many years, thou hast 


attended on ordinances and canst not tell that thou art any 
better than thou wast ; more shame for thee, the fault is thine 
own, it is because of tliy negligence, carelessness, and hypo- 
crisy; thou hast not been .sincere and in good earnest, but 
halving it in religion, serving God one while and the world 
another, and then no wonder thou hast found so little good. 
Others have sought the Lord and found him ; they can say, 
silence all your censures, ye that are so free in charging reli- 
gion ; speak not so atheistically, ye wicked ones, for I can tell 
you from good and sufficient grounds, that God doth deal fami- 
liarly with men ; his comforts have many a time delighted my 
sold ; I have sought him in times of difficulty, he has appeared 
for me and set my feet in a large place ; I have no reason to 
repent my waiting on him, nay, I have abundant reason for 
thankfulness that ever I did so. 

It is true, sometimes, saints are in the dark and are ready to 
say, they " have cleansed their hands in vain :" yet the sun 
shines again when the storm is blown over. Is it in vain to 
serve the Lord ? Let the three children speak, who experienced 
such a wonderful preservation whilst they kept in his way. Let 
Daniel speak, who was kept in the lion's den : and many others 
we read of in holy writ. Those triumphant songs of joy and 
praise, that shall be eternally warbled out in the regions above, 
by that celestial choir, are proofs of this, that it is not in vain 
to serve the Lord : those that have gone by holiness to happi- 
ness, wlio shall be trumpeting forth their hallelujahs with God 
in glory, do clearly shew what we have in hand. Surely none 
serve God in vain, but those that serve him vainly. Indeed 
sucli is the degeneracy of the present age, that to be accounted 
a holy person is almost a reproach. Persons may be as loose, 
profane, debauched as they will ; drunkards, sabbath breakers, 
and what not, and this is no disgrace ; nay, these are they that 
are admired and cried up as good fellows, and the only good 
company. But if one pray in his family, dai-e not sin so as 
others do, he is ridiculed ; and what needs so much stir ? Do 
they think that nobody must go to heaven but such precise 
zealots ? Seriousness they account sourness ; godly sorrow is 
but melancholy sighing ; faith is but a fancy : and with such 
harangues, sometimes they divert their brethren in iniquity, 
declaiming against religion and the professors of it. The day 
is coming, and it is not far off, which will convince such per- 
sons of their fatal mistake, when they will find that strictness in 
religion was not more ado than needs. 

3 Infer. Then the way of impiety is really unsafe. 

This follows by the ride of contraries. The way of sin is 


the most dangerous path in the world ; no such peril as in 
ser\ang the devil. Sinners have more reason to be afraid than 
others : for what can they expect who have God for their 
enemy ? his face is set against them that do wickedly. The 
imgodly part of the world are ever in danger of temporal judg- 
ments, yea, and eternal too. Whilst they remain in that state, 
they are obnoxious to the wrath of God, it hangs over their 
heads continually, and they have nothing to shield them from 
his fiery indignation. Ungodly men are walking upon the very 
brink of the pit of destruction, and, if they look not well about 
them, they will erelong fall in; there are but a few steps between 
them and death ; a little further, and they are swallowed up in 
everlasting perdition : and if this be safe, judge ye. Alas ! 
how many are dreaming in their fooFs paradise, who reckon all 
is well, act as though nothing ailed them, and yet their case is 
extremely dangerous : they are safe neither for this life nor the 
next ; of which afterwards. 

4 Infer. Then for real saints to be immoderately depressed 
with the slavish fear of men, is groundless and unaccountable. 

We find that tliose who have waited on the Lord, and kept 
close to him, have been preserved wlien their enemies have most 
vehemently raged against them, and this is some encourage- 
ment, that what hath been may be again : that God, who hath 
often delivered, can do so again. Thy enemies are high, and 
therefore thy spirit, it may be, is low ; they are threatening and 
telling what they will do " they will pursue, overtake, and di- 
vide the spoil.'"' But it must be, whether the Most High, who 
rules the Avorld, will or not ; for he can easily break their power, 
infatuate their counsels, overtiun all their hellish policies, and 
scatter their diabolical contrivances. Cheer up, then, thy 
drooping and desponding spirit ; the Lord, whose throne is in 
heaven, will " preserve the souls of his saints," and he " will 
be with them in trouble.*" 

It is a dishonour to God, and a disparagement to his attri- 
butes, to be unreasonably afraid of men, Isa. li. 12, 13. — See 
the place. To fear man is to forget God. We should not be 
careless and secure, fancying that God will deliver us, when we 
are no way concerned about our duty. We should have such 
regvdated fears as may quicken us to our work ; we should have 
wakeful and awful apprehensions of things ; but not be so cast 
down, as thereby to be unfit for the duty of our day and place : 
it is the Lord that comforteth, as in the text last mentioned. 
What then if men speak proudly ? The Lord hath dealt with 
as great enemies as are engaged against us at this day : he 
humbled an exalted Pharaoh, and drowned the Egyptian host 


in the midst of the waters ; he weakened the forces of blas- 
phemous Sennacherib, destroying many thousands in one night 
by one angel ; he brought down the high looks of imperious 
and insulting Nebuchadnezzar, who arrogantly challenged the 
living God, when he said, " Who is that God who shall deliver 
you out of my hands?"" he made proud Belshazzar tremble, 
and he can as easily confound the Assyrian of our day. Where 
are all the great and puissant enemies of the church, that in 
former ages have made the world ring with their cruel barba- 
rities ? They are gone, and others shall follow in due time. 
Though thou mayest meet with some sufferings from the enemy, 
yet so long as they cannot Lake away thy God, for they cannot 
part him and thee, thou art safe. Endeavour to get matters 
clear for eternity, to have things straight between God and thy 
soul, and some sense of this; then thou mayest say, now world 
do thy worst. Indeed, an over-timorousness is very prejudicial 
to religion, and hardening to the wicked. When they see 
those that pretend to more than themselves, drooping and de- 
jected, will they not say, where is now their living by faith ? 
Where are now those joys and supporting assistances of the 
Spirit they were wont to talk of? Whatever they pretended, 
yet when it comes to the trial, they are but like their neigh- 
bours. What signfies their religion, which will not now bear 
them up in a time of hazard and calamity? This is their way 
of arguing, judging and concluding from the practice, not 
from the principle. 

5 loifer. Then to promote reformation, and the practice of 
serious godliness is the safest and wisest course, both for na- 
tions in general, and every one in particular, when enemies are 
high and insulting, and judgments seem to be impending. 

If any thing ruin us, it will be sin ; so that reformation is the 
most likely means for preservation. The more righteous per- 
sons there are in any kingdom, the more likely it is to stand; 
for righteous ones are the pillars of the nation : this is evident 
from the instance of Sodom. It is for the sake of the saints 
that judgments are kept off; though they be hated and ma- 
ligned by an unbelieving world. Our enemies are threatening, 
and God seems to be threatening too ; there is no likeliness of 
his turning away his wrath, if we do not turn from our sins. 
IMany and great are our provocations, the cry of them is 
loud and gone up to heaven ; the power of holiness is sunk 
low among us ; yea, and all this when we are under such strong 
engagements to be the Lord's. O what hath the Lord been 
pleased to do for us ! He hath considered us in our low estate; 
he hath rescued us, even when at the brink of destruction ; his 


own arm hath brought about our salvation. But a few years 
ago we were fearing a flood of Popery, which seemed to be 
coming with a mighty force. Often hath the Lord disap- 
pointed our enemies, and yet how little have we, who pretend 
to be his friends, been won over to him ! Doth holiness appear 
more in us now, when the Lord hath so obliged us, than it did 
before '•( Are there any more praying families, more praying in 
secret, more giving up themselves to Christ, and endeavouring 
to walk so as becomes the gospel .'* It is to be feared things 
are not so. Doth not this bespeak our present state to be 
very unsafe .'' Did holiness thrive and flourish more among us, 
could we see more real and practical godliness, not only coun- 
tenanced, but vigorously promoted, we should have better 
grounds to hope for England's preservation and prosperity. 
Could we see the spirit of holiness reviving, of profaneness 
perishing, more zeal for God, and more love to his ways, we 
should be hoping to hear of the downfall of the man of sin. 
Reformation is the safest way for a nation, if they expect secu- 
rity , and so it is for particular persons. If we would not suffer 
witli others, we must not sin with them : we must look to our 
duty, and tlien we shall deliver our own souls. AVhilst we 
keep our way, the angels, yea, the God of angels, will keep us ; 
fear losing your way more than any thing ; for it is sin that ex- 
poses to misery. 

C Infer. Then it greatly concerns every sovd, closely and 
seriously to inquire, whether or not they be of the number of 
real saints.^ 

Shall we liear so much of tlie saint's safety, and not be con- 
cerned to know whether we are like to partake of it or not ? 
There are some in the world, that are really the people of God, 
whom the Lord will protect against all the rage and malice both 
of hell and earth ; but are we of this number ? One would 
think, that it should be every one'^s immediate care to turn in 
upon himself, and consider how it is with him? Am I under 
God's special care ; or, am I one of his enemies ? What 
evidence have I to prove that I belong unto the Lord ? Look 
into thy heart ; turn over the book of thy life, and the book of 
God ; see how the case stands. These are matters of eternal 
importance ; a mistake is more than possible, and exceedingly 
dangerous. Labour to vmderstand whether or not you are sin- 
cere ; whether vour pretences to piety are any more than mere 
pretences. Doth your holiness appear in every thing you do.'' 
Is the holy and good will of God acceptable to your souls, 
though you cannot rise up with like readiness to the perform- 
ance of all duties ? Are you for the precepts as well as the 


promises ? Some are only for the advantages of religion, for 
that which is mostly for the advancement of their secular in- 
terest and worldly grandeur ; but are you for those duties that 
have most of self-denial in them ? To perform public duties, 
by which you may get some reputation and come off' with 
applause, is no great matter ; to come and shew yourselves in 
the assembly, and seem attentive an hour or two, is no great 
piece of difficulty; but how stand your hearts aifected to those 
duties, which you must perform in secret, and men never know 
of? Some have no religion, but what every one sees or hears : 
these will be self-deceivers at last. If thy heart be right with 
God, thou wilt have frequent business with him in secret, that 
thou wouldest not have the dearest friend thou hast in the 
world privy to. 

Are you for holiness at all times, whatever may be the aspect 
of providence "^ Or, are you cautious and wary, and will ven- 
ture no further than may be consistent with your worldly ad- 
vantage, and so as you may easily retreat? We had need be 
very critical and exact ; we cannot be upon too sure grounds 
for eternity. It will not repent thee when thou comest to die, 
that thou hast employed thy strength to this end. Set time 
apart on purpose for this work ; away with the triffing imper- 
tinences of time and sense, and let thy thoughts dwell upon the 
great concerns thou camest into the world chiefly to secure. 
Art thou renewed and sanctified, or rotten at heart ? Art 
thou really holy, or an old creature in a new creature's dress ? 
Let not thy questions be so much, " what shall I eat and drink, 
and wherewithal shall I be clothed 'f but, " what must I do to 
be saved ?" How may I get my sins pardoned, and my peace 
made with God ? Not what clothes shall I put on ? how shall 
I follow such a fashion ? but how shall I follow the I^ord Jesus 
Christ, who hath left me an example how I ought to walk ? 
Be not too confident of thy state : we read of some professors 
famous in their day, who dropt into hell at last ! May it be 
the lot of none here. 

Secondly, The subject of the text authorizes us to reprove 

1. Such as are quietly satisfied in their unrenewed state. 

Those that are not yet in the way of holiness, neither are 
concerned about it, but are under the dominion of sin, and the 
power of their lusts, cannot be expected to maintain the power 
of godliness in their lives. Where sin reigns it makes sad 
work ; for however it may be varnished and coloured over, it 
will be bitterness in the end ; for wickedness and wretchedness 
must meet: where sin goes before, punishment will follow. 


How many are there in the world, in tlie same state they were 
when they first came upon the stage ; and yet are very well 
content ? They are busily following the world, loading them- 
selves with thick clay, providing for themselves and those that 
shall come after them ; but the durable riches and righteousness 
of Christ, never come under consideration : their rehgion is 
only on God's day, and but a very little then either ; and so 
they go dreaming through the world, till at last they drop 
down into the grave, yea, and what is worse, into hell. 

2. It reproves the close, self-deluding hypocrite. 

It is real sanctity, and not a counterfeit show, which is the 
way to safety : so that the hypocrite is here justly reproved. 
Let not any be deceived, God is not mocked ; the hypocrite 
though he pass long unsuspected, yea, and be well thought of, 
vet at last will be found out. Now he can personate a saint, 
and can be much in the performance of duties ; we see him 
every Lord's day at the public assembly, and there is none 
more devout, there is not a more serious person in all the con- 
gregation, to look upon, than he is ; and yet, take off the mask 
which covers his deformity, and you would not think that it was 
the same person. You cannot escape the accurate search of 
God ; " there is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the 
workers of iniquity may hide themselves : for all things are 
naked and opened to him, with whom we have to do :"" and it is 
prodigious folly once to imagine, that thou shalt ever escape the 
righteous judgment of God ; he will bring to light " every se- 
cret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." The 
Lord taketh special notice of what we do out of the sight of our 
fellow-creatures ; this will be for the comfort of his own people, 
and the terror of all rotten-hearted professors. 

Art thou really serious and sincere .'' The Lord observes 
and remembers all thy secret devotion, those many duties which 
the world never knew any thing of; and tlie I^ord who sees in 
secret, will reward thee openly. It may be, thou canst some- 
times get into a corner, when those of the same family know not 
where thou art, nor what thou art doing ; there thou canst 
humble thyself before the Lord ; there thou canst plead with 
him for quickening and strengthening grace ; thou canst tell 
God what a heart thou hast, and that tliou dost need his grace, 
and the help of his Spirit to soften it ; there thou canst lament 
thy barrenness and unprofitableness under the means of grace, 
and acknowledge thy ingratitude and unkindness to the Lord 
Jesus Christ; there thou canst beg that God would shed 
abroad his love in thy heart, thou canst open thy burdened soul, 
and get help against thy corruptions : though men know not of 


it so cas to commend tlicc for it, yet it shall not be lost Itabour ; 
the Lord sees and he will reward thee. But it is terrible to the 
hypocritical pretender ; for the Lord knows that when he draws 
near him with his mouth, and honours him with his lips, his 
heart is far from him ; he knows what spiritual impurities are 
within, and at last, if repentance do not take place, he will lay 
them open before angels and men. 

3. This reproves scoffers at holiness, holy things, and holy 

If holiness be the way to safety, then surely it is not safe to 
laugh at it, or those that follow it. There are some who are so 
far from being holy themselves, that they deride and reproach 
those they take to be so : these are far from being in the way of 
sanctity. Some cannot be merry, but it must be with scripture; 
if they want a little diversion, the saints must be the subject of 
their discourse ; they can vent their profane jests upon the word 
of God, this is their pastime over their cups upon the ale-bench. 
How ready they are with their contumelious reflections ; they 
have learnt their father's dialect, they are accusers of the bre- 
thren, their speech bewrays them to be Hellians. You know, 
that in ordinary, we can tell what countryman a person is by 
his speech, every country having almost a peculiar idiom : so it 
is here, these scoffers at religion by speaking the language of 
hell, let us understand whence they are. They have, it may 
be, a little wit, which they set off' with a sort of an air in rheto- 
rical raillery ; and O how quick and sharp when they are upon 
this subject ! These scoffing Ishmaelites are seated in the de- 
viFs chair, somewhat above their brethren in iniquity, as most 
deserving the place ; and there is less ground to hope that such 
persons will be savingly wrought upon, who arrive at such a 
height in sin as to make a mock of it, and to sport with holi- 
ness, than others. Persons are got a great way towards hell, 
when they mock at what is serious, and that with delight. 
This the Lord will visit for in his due time ; for he knows 
who they are that so dishonour him by reproaching those that 
are his. 

4. This reproves such, as out of a design to be safe in times 
of danger, have left the ways of holiness. 

There are abundance that follow Christ only for loaves, as 
he himself speaks. AVhen there is something to be had, reli- 
gion then hath many courtiers ; but few will turn to, yea, few 
that have owned it will cleave to persecuted Christianity. There 
are many summer Christians, who seem to be forward and zea- 
lous, when backed with abundance of outward encouragements, 
but when these are removed, they turn their backs and you see 
VOL. V. 2 H 


them no more ; in the warm sun they flourish a little, but when 
nipped with the winter of persecution, they wither and die. 
AVhere is the person that dares to be holy in spite of men and 
devils ? 

If holiness be the way to safety, surely they are out of their 
way, that leave it with an expectation to find safety somewhere 
else. Some are afraid of losing their worldly substance in 
times of hazard and sufferings, and rather than part with that, 
they will venture their souls for eternity : Demas-like, they for- 
sake the Lord, " having loved this present world." Sometimes 
it is a day of trial, and the Lord doth (as it were) say. Who is 
on my side ? AVhen the tree is shaken, rotten fruit falls. We 
are told by our Lord himself in the parable of the sovrer, that 
such as " receive the seed into stony places, receive the word 
with joy, but not having root, they endure for a while, for when 
tribulation and persecution arise because of the word, by and by 
they are ofl'ended." Is it likely to get out of the way of danger, 
by going out of the way of God f^ When we meet with suffer- 
ings in the way of duty, they arc more easily borne, and it is 
some support to think, that we were acting according to the 
will of God, as far as we could miderstand it ; but when we run 
out of the way and afflictions overtake us, and we smart for our 
folly, this is more close and pressing. Surely it cannot be, that 
they choose wisely, who incur the displeasure of the infinite God, 
who is a consuming fire, to avoid the consequence of man's dis- 
pleasure ? Is it not folly to run upon the point of a sword to 
avoid the scratch of a pin .'' That is the case here. 



1 Peter hi. 13. 

And ivho is he that icill harm you, if ye he followers of 
that which is good 9 

We now come, thirdly, to the exhortation. And here I shall 
address myself, 


First, To sinners. 

Labour for this holiness both in heart and life ; exert your 
Utmost endeavours to get into this way of safety ; and content 
not yourselves in your present state and condition. Did you 
but really know, and thoroughly believe it, you would begin to 
look about : that you are not sensible of your danger, doth not 
at all make it less than it is ; it is exceedingly great whether 
you believe it or not. 

We shall propose and press home some awakening motives, 

1. Consider, unholy ones whilst such have no ground to ex- 
pect either temporal or eternal safety. 

Judgments, even in this life, do perpetually hang over their 
heads ; they want nothing but divine commission, and then 
they fall on them and seize them immediately. There is no 
outward calamity, be it ever so ill, but thou art obnoxious to it 
every moment, so long as in an unrenewed state ; and when it 
is a day of trouble and distress, what ground hast thou to hope 
that it shall be well with thee, so long as thou art siich ? Is 
it any wonder if thou fall into the enemy's hand, seeing thou 
thyself art an enemy to God ? In a time of public calamities, 
and national distractions, the wicked are in the most dangerous 
circumstances ; when the world fails, what can they seek to for 
comfort, who have not a God to go unto ? And it will be no 
easy matter to bear up under the weight of sin, and the weiglit 
of judgment too : " What will ye do in the day of visitation, 
and in the desolation which shall come from far ? to whom will 
ye flee for help ? and where will ye leave your glory T Though 
saints may stand undaunted, yet sinners have reason to tremble 
when they hear the sound of the trumpet, and the alarm of war. 

Sinners must not expect eternal safety. It is the established 
decree of heaven, that " without holiness, none shall see the 
Lord ;" it is the unalterable resolve of the immutable God ; 
the unchangeable law of him who cannot lie. There is not the 
least door of hope for us to escape the torments of hell, unless 
we be changed by renewing grace : none but " the pure in 
heart shall see God ;" no salvation from hell for any, but those 
who are saved from sin ; the wicked must " be turned into hell, 
and all the nations that forget God." Christ came not to save 
his people in, but from their sins- He is " the author of eternal 
salvation ;" but it is to those that believe ; and if thou art not 
of that number, thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter. 
This is the concurrent stream of the whole scripture ; nothing 
is more plain and more acknowledged, and yet many live as if 
they did not believe it ; it may be, we own that the wicked 
must be separated from God, but we have good thoughts of 

2 H 2 


ourselves, and do not closely weigh whether we be of that num- 
ber or not. Sinners must either be brought off their old stock 
and ingrafted into Christ, or else have their lot assigned with 
those, who are weeping, and wailing, and gnashing their teeth. 
There is no neutrality here, no middle place for dislodged 
souls; either ever with the Lord, or never there. Holiness is 
the only way to happiness, and we must go by gi-ace to glory if 
ever we reach it. 

2. Consider, unholy souls remaining such are not fit for hav- 
ing communion with God, either in grace or glory. 

Wliere there is no union, there can be no communion ; now 
that tliere is no union between Christ and unbelievers is without 
doubt : and as long as it is so, there can be no communion in 
duties. U'hilst you are strangers to God, you can have no fel- 
lowship with him ; how can they walk together that are not 
agreed .'' " What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighte- 
ousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness '( and 
what concord hath Christ with Belial 'f 2 Cor. vi. l-i, 15. We 
may attend with others in the most sacred ordinances, and yet 
have no communion with God there. An unholy heart hath no 
dealing with God in his appointments ; lie comes and goes, and 
meets with no spiritual refreshments ; he finds nothing of the 
sweet, soul-transporting communications of divine grace, that 
some others enjoy. Thus it is with many a soul I verily fear; they 
come and hear with some seeming delight, and go away fancy- 
ing tliey liave received advantage ; but if they come to examine 
afterwards, they either find they got no good, or else they have 
lost it : they fancy they tasted Avhcn they did not ; they liked 
the sermon well in hearing, but what was in it they do not well 
remember, and some there are to whom you must allow a consi- 
derable time, before tliey can tell you where the text was. Thy 
heart must be changed, and thou brought over to God, or else 
thou wilt find duties and ordinances to be but barren and 
empty cisterns ; thou missest that soul-satisfyir.g communion, 
and those solacing delights, which saints experience, when the 
Lord takes them into " his banqueting-house, and his banner 
over them is love." 

Such are not fit for communion with God in glory. Alas ! 
what delight would a wicked man take in heaven were he there.'' 
His nature is not suited to the place, so that he would not be 
pleased with the work of it. V<\\at would be those melodious 
notes, sounded by the triumphant choir above ; what would be 
those lofty, charming strains, where there are no jarrings or 
untuna])le voices, to a vain sensualist, who is more taken with 
the harsh and unpleasant notes of sensual pleasure .? What 


would they be, more than music to a brute? The wicked would 
find no company in heaven fit for them. What would you do 
without new hearts in the New Jerusalem? Without clean 
hands and pure hearts, what would you do on God's holy hill ? 
Set aside the decree of God, and yet the very nature of the 
thing doth require them to be holy, who have to do with such 
a holy God, in such a holy place. 

Is it likely, that those who have no delight in serving God 
now, to whom duties are a burden, and sabbaths tedious, 
should have delight in spending an eternal sabbath with him in 
glory ? Now, sermon-time is long, and prayer-time is long, 
and they are wishing the mhiister had come to an end before 
he hath half finished ; they are glad when they are come to 
their worldly employment again. Could these be delighted to 
sing the praises of God through a long eternity ? How can 
we reasonably suppose it ? How could they be continually ad- 
miring and adoring the perfections of God, who are now bespat- 
tering them in his saints ? How should they admire what they 
hate ? It is impossible for thee, O sinner, to reach heaven in 
thy old frame, in thy natural and unregcnerate state ; and if 
thou couldst, heaven would be no heaven for thee ; thou couldst 
never be delighted with what thou dost disaflt'ect, for thou art 
not in a capacity to have communion with a holy God. 

3. Consider, a reckoning day draws near, when unholy 
ones shall receive that sentence, which will determine and unal- 
terably fix their everlasting abode. 

" The coming of the Lord draws nigh; the Judge standeth 
at the door;'' the great day of general judgment is not far off, 
and a particular judgment to every person at death is nearer ; 
if thou live fifty or sixty years, which is more than can be 
supposed as to many, yet they will soon be over. O that we 
could a little in our calm and sedate thoughts, imagine the ju- 
diciary process at the solemn day of accounts ! O that we 
could in our minds paint out what will be the proceedings, when 
the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open to the view of the 
world, when Christ comes to judgment ! AVhat if we saw the 
world dissolving; the glorious appearance of the supreme 
Judge, coming in flames of fire, surrounded with his royal 
guards, the angels, those heavenly courtiers ! What if we saw 
all the sons and daughters of Adam about to receive their eter- 
nal doom ! AVhere then would you desire to stand ? at the 
right or left hand ? And who can tell, how soon we may see 
these things ? yea, for any thing I know, the next time sundry 
of us here may meet, will be at the bar of God. The Lord 
will summon you and me, with the rest of the world, to appear 


before him ; and woe then to the Christless, graceless sinner. 
INIinistcrs shall be brought, as cli\anes usually represent it, to 
Antness for the Lord against those ungodly ones they had to do 
with and could not gain. Amongst others, he will say, come, 
all you my messengers and ambassadors that have been em- 
ployed in my work at Pontefract, amongst those sinners of the 
Gentiles there. Did not you warn them, and treat with them, 
and tell them of their danger ? Did not you offer grace and 
salvation to them by a Redeemer ? 

Yes, Lord. According to our capacity and ability, as thou 
gavest in to us, we gave out to them. We have v>-ooed, and 
entreated, and beseeched in thy name, many a time, that they 
would be reconciled unto God ; but for all that we could say or 
do, we could not get them to move. We have often had many 
a perplexing thought in oiu- closets, not knowing what to say 
to those we had to address ; we would gladly have taken any 
way that m.ight have won them. Lord, thou knowest ; we have 
sat poring and pondering, and considering what words to choose, 
that were most likely to be successful and to reach their hearts, 
and set them a seeking thee : we tried every way we could think 
of, sometimes speaking from mount Ebal, sometimes from 
mount Gcrizim ; sometimes we endeavoured to draw and allure 
them, to win them with mercies and inviting promises ; we en- 
deavoured to paint before them the beauties of holiness as well 
as we could, and set before them the feast of fat things, and the 
never fading glory of the New Jerusalem ; we held forth the 
Lord Jesus Christ on gospel terms, spoke for him in the most 
taking words that we could think of; we told them of his 
comparable amiableness and divine attractions, how that he 
was " the chief among ten thousand, yea altogether lovely C 
but the pleasing charms of gospel grace did not affect their 
stupid hearts. 

Another while we endeavoured to affright and drive them 
from sin, by telling them what would be the miseries of the 
heirs of hell ; we told them how impossible it was to have Christ 
and their lusts too ; that unless they were sanctified they could 
not be saved. IMany alarms were sounded to rouse the secure, 
many a dreadful peal of sin's punishment rung in the ears of care- 
less and unconcerned souls, and many an awakening anathema 
awfully denounced. We endeavoured to set forth the hor- 
rors of the place of misery, to represent the terrors of the lost 
crew, to decipher the dismal state of the infernal society ; we 
told them of the day of judgment, and of those things which 
are now come to pass; but they did not prepare for it, they 
acted as though they scarce believed what we said ; though we 


made known the terrors of the Lord, they would not be per- 
suaded. AVe prayed with them and for them, and preached to 
them with all the earnestness we could; but when our eyes were 
wet, theirs were dry, and they, almost as imconcerned as the 
seats they sat on. It would have been our joy and our crown 
could we have brought Christ and their souls together, and to 
have seen the Lord Jesus formed in them. O how glad should 
we have been, if, by our instrumentality, they had been turned 
to righteousness ; if after we had called and cried, after we had 
tendered thy grace, spoken of thy love, acquainted them with 
tlieir danger, we coidd have heard them sensibly cry out, " what 
must we do to be saved ?'" This would even have made our 
hearts to leap within us. We have waited long for this takmg 
place, but after all we left them as we found them; those 
that were filthy, were so still ; the wicked, were so still ; those 
that we found imholy, when we had done our best, were unholy 
still : and if they be so till now, Lord, we cannot help it. 
What sentence will follow hereupon, your own reason and con- 
sciences will easily suggest ; surely then will the Lord say, 
" Those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign 
over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me." How 
sad will it be, to go from hearing and reading, and praying and 
singing together, to howl with devils and damned spirits ! O 
that these things may never witness against any soul in this 
assembly ! May all be persuaded to look after the things of 
their peace, before they be hid from their eyes. 

4. Yoiu- distinguishing names, numerous train of duties, and 
multitude of rehgious performances, will not be sufficient and 
prevalent pleas, if you should be unholy at the day of 
reckoning. . . 

It will signify little what passed in this life, if you die in a 
state of estrangement to God. We are not for tying religion 
to a party, however some may please to brand us ; we are far 
from saying or thinking that none are really Christians, but 
such as are for our modes and way of profession : we would own 
those that profess faith in Christ and live up to it, and believe 
that the Lord hath children having various sentiments and 
apprehensions. Let none please themselves with this, that they 
belong to such a church, and they are true sons of it ; thou 
mayest be a member of the best constituted church in the world, 
and yet be a hypocrite. If at the great day it appear, that thou 
art unrenewed, it will signify nothing what men called thee 
here ; whether conformist, dissenter, episcopalian, presbyterian, 
independent, &c. (names that we would have buried) if thy 
name be not written in the Lamb's book of life. The name thou 


didst pass under here, will not give thee admission into the 
church triumphant above. 

Your many duties and religious performances will not excuse 
you. Your light may be great here, and your darkness so too 
hereafter ; you may be advanced now in privileges and at last 
tlirust down to hell for the non-improvement of them. We 
read of some who will say, " Lord, Lord, open to us, have we 
not eaten and drunk in thy presence, prophesied in thy name,'"' 
&c. They seem very confident, they seem almost to demand 
it, " Open to us ;" we have done so and so ; yes, as if our 
Lord should say, you have waited on me as you plead, yet de- 
part, for you " are workers of iniquity."" They never dreamed 
of meeting with such a repulse ; what ! we shut out that have 
attended on thee so long in ordinances ! we, that have taken so 
much pains, and gone so many miles to sermons on Sabbath 
days and lecture days, and sometimes with much hazard ! what ! 
we shut out after all this ! We have opened our doors to thine, 
and wilt not thou open heaven's door to us ? V^e that have 
been so near thee, must we depart from thee ? Yes, I am not 
mistaken, notwithstanding all your pretences, I know you 
well enough who you are : I was never yet entertained in your 
hearts for all your fair show, and whatsoever you might make 
others believe. ]\Iy ministers, it is true, took you into their 
communion, they admitted you into their societies, for they 
could but judge according to outward appearance, and the direc- 
tion of charity ; you seemed saints, and they were bound to 
think you such ; but for all that, you cannot deceive me, " I 
search the heart and try the reins," and can tell how you have 
harboured your lusts, mine enemies, whilst I have been shut 
out; therefore begone, "depart, ye workers of iniquity, I know 
you not f"* a cutting sentence from the great Judge. It will 
not do to plead that you sat under such a one's ministry, that 
you were a member of such a society ; no, were you so, it is so 
much worse, it aggravates your case, that vou were false-heart- 
ed and hypocritical under such great privileges. 

Ohjectioii. But it may be, some are ready to say, you would 
persuade us that the way of holiness is safe, and that it is danger- 
ous to miss it : but we do not see the way so clear. Doth 
not scripture say, that " judgment begins at the house of God," 
and they " that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer per- 
secution,"" and "through much tribulation we must enter into the 
kingdom of God ?"" This is the language of scripture, and it 
hath the language of experience to back it. Have we not seen 
how such have sufl'ered, and been depriv(jd of their comfortable 
enjoyments .'' some have parted with their lives, being burnt at 


Stakes, some " stoned,"''' some " sawn asunder," some " slain 
with the sword," and what ! would you persuade vis out of our 
senses ? For any thing we see, such as you call saints and be- 
lievers, who make such a stir about religion, fare worse than any 

Solution. This was in part answered before : but now we 
shall return a few things more directly, to blunt the edge of this 
frightful objection, and that briefly in some particulars. 

1. 13y way of concession. We own it hath been so, and it is 
possible it may be so again, and these things are somewhat 
starting to sense ; yet this doth not hinder but that it is a way 
of safety : temporal, if the Lord see it good for us, if not, how- 
ever, eternal safety. Some indeed have met with hard usage in 
the world from Satan's instruments, and it need not be thought 
strange, for the seed of the serpent will be warring against the 
seed of the woman ; it hath been so, since enmity hath been 
put between them, and it will be so still. 

2. Instances are not far to seek, which let us see how the 
righteous have been preserved in time of danger, by keeping 
close to God in a way of duty. Thovigh they have been set at 
on every side, the attempts of the enemy have been altogether 
unsuccessful ; they have watched to apprehend them, and the 
Lord hath watched too, for their preservation ; we might easily 
prove it by sundry examples. Many times when the servants 
of God have been in danger, and they knew it not, they have 
had some secret intimations one way or other, some more than 
ordinary impression upon their spirits, or something hath fallen 
out providentially, which hath occasioned their removal from 
such a place, which before they did not design, and it hath 
afterwards appeared, that if they had staid but till the next day, 
their lives had been in danger. God hath sometimes delivered 
his people, before they knew that there was any evil intended 
against them; he hath signally and seasonably stept in and 
preserved them from the mischievous designs of malicious men. 
Sometimes the wicked have been cut off for their sin, and in 
their sin, which is dismal indeed ; and the righteous have been 
made to dwell in safety. Some in the commission of their 
wickedness have been struck down dead upon the place, some 
in their return home, as might be shewn both from sacred and 
profane history. It is much more sad for sinners to be cut 
off, for they pass straight to hell. If saints were only in dan- 
ger, and not the wicked, then there might seem to be ground 
for the objection, but seeing it is not so, it seems to have no 
great force. 

3. As for the loss of the world, thou art ready to allege. This 


will be the ready way to undo myself. It may be thou may est 
not suffer much this way, nor part with much of thy estate, all 
do not ; but suppose the worst ; what if it should be so ? Is it 
more necessary to be rich in gold than in gi-ace? Are the 
things of the world so indispensably necessary, that it is impos- 
sible for thee to be happy without them ? Siu*ely, thou canst 
not say so ; and we can say, that holiness is so necessary, that 
thou canst never arrive at happiness without it : so that the 
case lies here, the one is necessary, and the other is not ; then 
surely it may be determined without much ado, what is most 
eligible : that which is of greatest necessity should be first 
looked after and secured. Heaven is worth having, though 
thou shovddst go poorly and meanly to it ; and a dear bargain 
doubtless do they make, who turn their backs upon the way of 
God, to secure a little of the world, which they must shortly 
part with, at the furthest. 

4. You hear of the sufferings of the saints, but you know not 
what inward and invisible supports they experience from above ; 
indeed, if they had nothing but what others see, their case would 
be unpleasant and undesirable : but their heavenly Father gives 
them many a friendly, refreshing visit that few or none know of. 
Though the servants of God be sometimes low in the world, 
yet they have such converse and communion with him, such 
tastes of his love, as great ones that are wicked are strangers to, 
and such as they would not part with for their abundance ; and 
so, though they have not such affluence and confluence of crea- 
ture enjoyments as some have, yet the Lord makes it up in 
another and a better way. You see their crosses sometimes, 
but you do not see their comforts, which will abundantly com- 
pensate ; you hear of their outward temporal losses, but you 
are not acquainted with their inward spiritual gain ; you hear 
of their sufferings, but not of their supports ; you hear of their 
harsher fare, and this affrights you, but you know not their 
sweetmeats, and delicate, exhilarating dainties ; you hear of 
their sorrows, but not of their exalted joys in divine embraces, 
when the Lord Jesus doth clasp them in the arms of love : 
they have bread to eat that others know not of; joys such as 
strangers intermeddle not with ; these make up abundantly the 
scarcity of outward things, especially if we look upon thera as 
pledges and earnests of more and better. 

5. To consider the issue of the saints'* troubles and afflictions, 
and to compare it with that of the wicked's, would afford 
much support in this case. The prosperity of the wicked, hath 
a been puzzling point to God's own children for a long time. It 
was 50 with the Psahnist once ; when he saw the ungodly pros- 


per, he was ready to say, he had " cleansed his heart in vain ;"" 
but when he went into the sanctuary of God, he understood 
their end ; he saw they were set in shppery places, and cast 
down into destruction, Psal. Ixxiii. 12 — 20. Those that are in 
the way of impiety, may please themselves for a time with their 
vain, sensual delights ; it may be, joy displays its colours in 
their faces, matters go as they would have them ; they have 
little to disturb and disquiet them, but alas ! it is as the crack- 
ling of thorns under a pot, it is soon over and gone, and then 
it leaves a sting behind. Now the saints have not only inward 
comforts, under outward troubles, but after them too ; their 
afflictions end well, their trials liave a comfortable conclusion, 
they oftentimes reap a great deal of benefit, even in this life, 
and by them they are fitted for the next. " Our light affliction, 
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory;*" 2 Cor. iv. 17. It is but light 
affliction, and yet there is a weight of glory, it is but for a mo- 
ment, and yet worketh an eternal weight of glory, which in the 
original is very emphatical, and we scarce know how to express 
it in English. 

6. Suppose saints should be taken off by a violent death, 
which is the worst that can be thought of, and most frightful to 
nature ; yet for them to die is gain : and if thou wilt be a disci- 
ple of Christ, thou must either lay down thy life for him actu- 
ally, or in piu-pose and design, if called to it : Christ will own 
none that ])refer their lives before him. If the enemies of God's 
people did but know what a good turn tliey do them by taking 
them ofl', it is highly probable they wovild spare them to be af- 
flicted and punished a little longer. By suffering martyrdom, 
the saints have a pearl added to their crown, and are sooner 
possessed of it too. Thou art thinking, it may be, that thou 
couldst never lay down thy life to suflf'er for Christ, thou couldst 
not go through the fire to him ; but thou canst not tell, for if 
the Lord call thee to it, he would vouchsafe suitable help. 
Some, that before were very timorous and dejected, have been 
enabled to bear up with christian courage and undaunted mag- 
nanimity, not being afraid to look the king of terrors in the face. 
O with what cheerfulness have some gone to the stake, saying, 
" Come, it is but a quarter of an hour, and then we shall be in 
heaven ;" with many more expressions, evidencing the like ex- 
ultation of spirit. Others have gone off the stage of the world 
with triumph, being about to enter into their master's joy ; let 
us gird up the loins of our minds and say, let us go after as 
fast as we can ; resolving, through grace, that nothing shall be 


able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Cluist 
Jesus our Lord. 

7. The objection was partly raised from those words: "Judg- 
ment must begin at the house of God,'' and thence was inferred 
that saints suffer first, therefore they are in most danger ; but 
read the verse through, and then the case is fully determined, that 
holiness is the safer path ; it is 1 Pet. iv. 17, " If it first begin 
at us, what shall the end be of them, that obey not the gospel 
of God ?''' He argues thence, to shew the doleful condition of 
impenitent sinners ; if it be so with us, what will be their lot ? 
surely that must needs be amazingly dreadful ! If the righteous 
suffer something, what then will become of the wicked .'* Here 
is an argument to make us quit the way of impiety, and not to 
plead for it. It is true, saints may suffer ; but this is for their 
good ; God may correct his children, and doth so, but it is to 
drive folly out of them, not to hurt them. Judgment may he- 
gin at the house of God, but it is to make way for mercy ; 
those judgments prepare for deliverances here, and glory here- 
after ; and though they are not secured from affliction, yet they 
are from hell. 

Secondly, To saints. — Which is the second branch of the 

Be you perfecting holiness in the fear of God ; be ye holy 
in all manner of conversation, yea, be holy as God is holy. 
The Lord hath been pleased to deal with your hearts, bless 
him for it, and shew it forth in your lives ; let holiness appear 
in all you do ; maintain the power of it ; start not back for fear 
of men ; be resolved upon a holy course, come what will. 

1. iNIaintain a high and reverend esteem for the public ap 
pointments of Christ, and manifest it by a constant and de- 
vout attendance on them. 

Beware of having slight thoughts of your spiritual food, (if 
they be really the truths of God that are delivered to you,) 
lest the Lord take it away. The gospel is a moveable commo- 
dity ; Christ stands at the door and knocks ; standing is the 
next posture to going, and it may well be expected that he will 
take his leave, if he be not welcome ; he is not beholden to us 
for our religion. 

Let us manifest that we have such an esteem, by our constant 
attendance on these ordinances. We should be waiting daily 
at the posts of Avisdom's gates. Where can you expect to meet 
with God, but where he hath said he will be found ? You may 
find him where he is wont to take his walks, and that is in his 
ordinances ; for " the king is held in the galleries ;'' thither do 


ye come to liave communion with him. We should not suffer 
every little thing to divert us ; it may be, that day thou wast ab- 
sent, something was spoken which would have been of special 
and peculiar use to thy soul ; at such a time the devil is busy 
to obstruct thee and throw impediments in thy way. We 
should break through difficulties, and it will be so in some mea- 
sure, if there be a real spiritual hungering after the bread of life. 

Let us be attentive in our attendance on them. We must 
not only be present, but dihgent when we are there ; careful so 
to hear that our souls may live, we should take in food which 
may be for our spiritual nourishment and growth in grace. No 
wonder if persons be crying out, " O my leanness, my leanness,"^' 
if they will not come to taste of those provisions which the Lord 
hath made ready. Do you expect a person to be lively and 
look well that will not eat ? Many would be sorry to have 
such meals for their bodies, as they put off their souls with. 
We must not only be careful to come, but mind what we come 
for, and mind what we are about ; it is work enough at once to 
do it as we ought. Our thoughts are apt to wander, we should 
endeavour to call them in, and awe tliem with a sense of an 
omniscient eye. We should not be plotting and contriving our 
secular concerns, when about the great and momentous busi- 
ness of eternity ; but be wakeful and watchful, else we shall 
attend but sorrily. God hath not appointed ordinances to 
sleep at, we have beds for that purpose, and should not choose 
the assembly for a place to sleep in, as some seem to do by 
consulting easy postures : it is well if some do not place them- 
selves conveniently for this end, and when they awake, are glad 
that the glass is run so far. 

If there be a due esteem for ordinances, there will be a care 
to prepare for them. We should take pains with our hearts in 
secret, and endeavour to get them into a right frame. The 
Lord knows who of us here, prayed this morning in secret, be- 
fore we came to seek him with others, and if we did, how we 
managed it. 

2. Conscientiously keep up family devotion. 

O that every householder here would say with Joshua: '• As 
for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,'' whatever others 
do ; and like David : " I will walk within my house with a 
perfect heart." O that a few things upon this head may be of 
use, and be followed with success ! I fear we have many prayer- 
less families amongst us, many that live year after year, and yet 
never call upon God together. That family, surely, is in a 
miserable condition, where prayer is not kept up : " Pour out 
thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the 


families that call not on thy name," Jer. x. 25 : a dreadful text. 
Is it a desirable thing to be under the wrath of God ? What, 
have you so many family wants, family sins, family mercies, and 
not family prayer ? This is not " praying with all prayer and 
supplication/' Know, that you have the care of souls under 
your roof committed to you ; and to be negligent herein will he 
of dismal consequence. Have you no pity or compassion for 
those that are flesh of your flesh ? Your praying would teach 
your children to pray. What is the reason of so many prayer- 
. less families .'' Surely one is, says IVlr. Gurnall, " persons were 
not brought up in praying families, and therefore do not per- 
form this duty ; if you pray, it is likely your children would, 
when they have families, and so religion would be propa- 

But, say some, I pray alone, will not that do ? No, it will 
not, one duty will not excuse another ; besides, I doubt dost, 
thou speakest more in that word alojie than thou thinkest ; 
thou prayest alone, that is, without God, thou dost not meet 
with him in secret. — But 1 have no time. What, no time to 
serve God ? All thy time is to serve him, and must none be 
spared for this duty ? — But my business will not allow me. 
^Vill it not ? Thy heart is unwilling, that is the chief reason. 
How unreasonable is this objection, that thy business will not 
give leave ! Man, this is thy great business. Wilt thou tell 
God at the great day, that thou hadst other work.'* Why not 
drive on a trade both for heaven and earth ? — But I am asham- 
ed to pray before others. What, ashamed of thy duty .'* Thou 
needest shame with nothing but sin. See these, with many 
more, answered by Mr. Doolittle in his sermon about Family 
Prayer, Morn. Exer. Thou wantest expressions, thou sayest ; 
nay, it may be, impressions rather. Study thy wants, sins, 
mercies, this will help thee. Do as well as thou canst, and the 
Lord will be with thee. He looks not so much at the expression, 
as at the sincerity of the heart. 

I will repeat a passage I lately read, in the life of an emi- 
nent minister : he said, " he did not know how a person could 
be saved, that did not pray in his family."" Whether that be 
absolutely so or not, I cannot tell; but I hesitate not to say, that 
if a person hath been told again and again that it was his duty, 
and had it closely urged ; to live then in the neglect of it, is a 
black mark : if Christ be in tlie heart, he will be in the house. 
Another passage I met with concerning a town in Switzerland, 
consisting of ninety houses, which was destroyed by an earth- 
quake, except the half of one house, where the master of the fa- 
mily was earnestly praying with his wife and children upon their 


bended knees to God. It is, you see, sometimes of use for tem- 
poral salvation. 

We might easily enlarge here, but must not run too far. 
Let me exhort, entreat, beseech you to set about this necessary 
duty ; that your families may be no longer prayerless families. 
O that you may not be found to have lived all your lives in the 
neglect of this duty, when death comes to drag you out of your 
houses ! The day is coming apace, and is not far off, when you 
wiU, when you must be serious. And you that have been care- 
ful and conscientious in performing this duty, go on, it is not 
long before your praying shall be turned into praising, your ho- 
sannahs into hallelujahs. 



Matt, xviii. 3. 

Verily I say unto you, except ye he converted and become as 
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

In the first verse of this chapter the disciples were inquiring, 
who .should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven ? But our 
Lord was resolved to put a stop to their vain curiosity. This he 
did, first, by a visible sermon : " Jesus called a little cliild unto 
him, and set him in the midst,'' that he might teach them the 
doctrine of humihty. Secondly, by an audible sermon in these 
words : " Except ye be converted, and become as httle chil- 
dren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." We are 
here taught not to be childish, but child-like in several 
dispositions. Children are not without their faults; though 
they may be so young as to be without actual transgression, 
yet they have the seeds of all the sins in the world in their 
nature. Little children are generally praised as being without 
covetousness and ambition. In the text, our Saviour shows us 
the nature of true conversion, it makes men become as little 
" Preached at Little Lever, AprU 29th, 1C86. 


children ; and the necessity of it, without it we cannot enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. From the text we may observe, 
1. The truth of the assertion, " I say unto youf — I, tliat 
am truth itself — that know the terms of salvation — that shall 
be the judge of quick and dead — that have all power in hea- 
ven and in earth, so that none can enter heaven but those 
whom I let in — I tell you, that except ye be converted, and 
become as little children, &zc. 2. He not only asserts this 
truth, but confirms it ; he that never spake an idle word sanc- 
tions it with an asseveration: "Verily I say unto you,"" &:c. 3. 
See here the positiveness of Christ in what he said : " You 
shall not enter ;" without this change you shall not enter into 
the kingdom : as if he had said, I have the keys of heaven and 
keep the door, none can come into that state without my leave, 
and I tell you plainly, that except ye be converted, ye shall not 
enter into the kingdom of heaven. Holiness must go before 

The doctrine we shall raise, and at this time insist upon from 
these words is, that converting grace makes persons become like 
little children. 

The text and context may have relation to two descriptions 
of children, those just born, or those who are a little grown. 
AVe shall endeavour to shew wherein converts resemble both 
these. Converts resemble little children newly born : 

1. Children enter the world with much difficulty and hazard. 
So God's children have a difficult entrance into a state of grace ; 
" Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of 
God,'' John iii. 3. He must be renewed by the influences of the 
Holy Spirit, accompanying the word of God to his heart. And 
Oh ! what pangs and sorrows the poor Christian undergoes, when 
God first lays hold on him. Many bitter sighs, and tears, and 
groans are produced ere he is born again. In his fears he is 
ready to crj', shall I not die before the change take place ? 
" Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, 
and few there be that find it,"' IVIatt. vii. 14. The entrance into 
the way of holiness is so narrow, that if ever you be converted, 
you will experience trouble of soul, that you have been so long 
in sin, and so long an enemy to God and yourself There are 
two descriptions of persons, whose entrance into a state of grace 
is more difficult than ordinary, namely, rich men, and old 
men. As for rich men our Saviour says : " It is easier for a 
a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man 
to enter into the kingdom of God,"' jNIatt. xix. 24. By a camel, 
some understand a cable rope ; now it is impossible for a cable 
rope to go through the eye of a needle, yet it may be so untwined 


as that in time it may be made to pass : so rich men, though it be 
hard for them to be converted, may be brought to see themselves 
so vile and little in their own eyes, that by the grace of God, 
tiiey may yet be brought through. I have also said it is pecu- 
liarly difficult for old sinners to be born again ; " Can the 
Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? then may 
ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil," Jer. xiii. 23. 
The longer men live in sin, the more difficult is it for them to 
be brought to God. All sinners have not the same measure of 
sorrow and trouble at their conversion, yet all have some ex- 
perience of it, in some degree. 

2. An infant has always a principle of life and motion ; so 
converts have a principle of spiritual life infused into their souls. 
In God's family there are no abortions ; all his children are 
brought forth into a state of grace ; " You hath he quickened 
who where dead in trespasses and sins," Eph. ii. 1. The poor 
sinner, when first quickened, is ashamed to tell any body his 
state ; he dares not tell good Christians how it is with him, lest 
he should prove a hypocrite ; he dares not tell the wicked, lest 
they should laugh him to scorn : notwithstanding this degree of 
shame, there is life in the soul. Let me ask you now, if you 
have ever seen your miserable state by nature ? Have you 
ever seen yourself ready to be dragged down to hell torments 
for your sins ? If you are true converts, you have experienced 
something of this, and have been made alive to God : " To be 
carnally minded is death ; but to be spiritually minded is life 
and peace," Rom. viii. 6. The carnal mind is dead to God 
and all holy duties, but is alive to the world and worldly affiiirs. 
On the other hand, a gracious soul is dead to sin and the world, 
but alive to God, delights in holy duties, and can discern a dif- 
ference between what he was, and the state in which he now is. 
3. The child bears the image of the father : so converts bear 
a likeness to God, they have his image. The image of our 
heavenly Father consists in " knowledge, righteousness, and 
true holiness." " Be ye renewed in the spirit of your mind ; 
and put on the new man, which after God is created in righte- 
ousness and true holiness," Eph. iv. 23, 24. Now, has God 
given you to understand his will more experimentally than for- 
merly ? Has he given you the knowledge of himself " in the 
face of Jesus Christ.^" Are your wills rectified, and made 
conformable to the will and law of God in true holiness? God's 
children are made partakers of a divine nature. Religion is 
not only an outward conformity of the outward man to the law 
of God, but an inward conformity of the soul and all its facul- 
ties thereunto, and a Christian's actings in religion proceed from 

VOL. V. 2 I 4 


grace in the heart. AVhat say you ? Hath the seed of Gods 
word been sown in your hearts, and formed your natures into 
the nature of Christ ? Saints are " begotten ao-ain unto a 
lively hope by the resurrection of Christ from the dead ; by the 
word of God which liveth and abideth for ever/'' You cannot 
own God to be your Father, unless you are followers of him as 
dear children : " As he tliat hath called you is holy, so be ye 
holy in all manner of conversation,""' 1 Pet. i. 15. 

4. A child comes weeping into the world; so God's children 
are crying children. As soon as they are born, they cry, 
"Abba, Father."'' "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth 
the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father," 
Gal. iv. 6. O the tears, groans, and cries of a young convert ! 
He could willingly give himself unto prayer. It was said of 
Paul when he was converted, " Behold he prayeth.'' Did you 
but see the Christian in his closet, you would hnd him grieving 
for his sins, praying unto the Lord for grace and acceptance. 
As a new-born child has no way of expressing his wants, but 
by crying; so the Christian has no way to express his de- 
sires, but by prayer : " For this shall every one that is godly 
pray unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found,'*' Psal. 
xxxii. 6. Every one that is truly godly will pray. " The 
righteous cry, and the Lord heareth ;"' they wrestle like Jacob, 
who " had power over the angel and prevailed : he wept and 
made suppUcation unto him.'"' Hos. xii. 4. 

5. There is a natural instinct in children, as soon as born, to 
seek the mother's breast ; so a gracious soul, when newly con- 
verted, desires " the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow 
therebv."' There is nothing more nourishing to an infant, or 
more desired by it, than its mother's breast ; so panteth the 
true convert after God . " ^ly soul thirstetli for God, for the 
living God ; when shall I come and appear before God 'f 
Psal. xlii. 2. If you attempt to put a little child off with toys 
and line things, it will not be pleased long, it will cry for its 
mother's breast ; so let a man come into the pulpit with pretty 
Latin and Greek sentences, and fine stories, these will not con- 
tent a hungry soul, he must have the sincere milk of the word 
to feed upon : " I have esteemed the woixls of his mouth more 
than my necessary food," Job xxiii. 12 ; as if he should say, 
I love it more than my meal whai I am hungry ; I know not 
how to live witliout it. A poor good woman said, in time of 
persecution, when they took away the Christians' bibles, " I 
cannot part with my bible, I know not how to live without it." 
When a gracious soul has heard a profitable sermon, he says, 
methinks it does me good at my heart ; it is the greatest nou- 


tislirfleht I have : " I have rejoiced in the way of thy testi- 
monies as much as in all riches. The law of thy mouth is bet- 
ter unto me than thousands of gold and silver," Psal. cxix. 14, 
and 12. 

6. Converts resemble little children in their weakness and 
dependance. Nothing is so weak as an infant when it comes 
into the world ; it is so helpless, that unless some careful nurse 
take care of it, it is in great danger of being lost. A young 
convert is so feeble in his own apprehension, that he is now sen- 
sible he can do nothing as he ought to do — can neither stand, 
walk, nor move one step in the way of God^s commandments. 
It is well, saith he, I have a father in heaven to take care of 
me and help me. I once thought I could have shifted pretty 
well for myself, have prayed well, and performed duties well, 
but I see I cannot pray of myself; never surely was a poor 
creature so weak as I ! " We are not sufficient of ourselves to 
think any thing as of ourselves ; but our sufficiency is of God," 
2 Cor. iii. 5. " When I am weak then am I strong,'"' saith 
Paul ; we may, therefore, be glad when we are weak in our 
own sight, then we look for strength from God. We cannot 
go a step but when we lean on our God, and if we have any 
strength to do any thing that is good, we must receive it from 
God ; " I can do all things through Christ which strengthen- 
eth me," Phil. iv. 13. 

7. There is a resemblance between little children and con- 
verts in their harmlessness. Infants are just emblems of inno- 
cence and harmlessness ; none could dash them against the 
stones but those who are hardened in barbarity and cruelty ; so 
a child of God, by converting grace becomes harmless. " We 
ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, 
serving divers lust and pleasures, living in malice and envy, 
hateful and hating one another; but after that the kindness and 
love of God our Saviour toward man appeared " — this quite 
altered us ; instead of being hateful and hating one another, we 
could not lift up a hand or a foot to hurt any body. " The 
wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie 
down with the kid ; and the calf and the young lion and the 
fatling together ; and a little child shall lead them. — They 
shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain," Isa. xi. 
6 & 9. Those very persons that formerly were like wolves, 
leopards, and lions for fierceness and cruelty, become like lambs 
for meekness ; though they are the same persons, yet their na- 
ture is so changed that they seem as if they were not the same 
men, they now are " blameless and harmless, the sons of God 
without rebuke." 

2 I2 


Thus we have shewn wherein converts do resemhle little in- 
fants, we shall now show wherein they represent children a 
little grown. To such-like our Saviour seems particvilarly to 
refer, in the connexion of our text ; for it is said, he " called a 
little child unto him." Converts resemble such, 

1. In their guileless disposition. Little children are gene- 
rally plain and downright -nhat they seem to be, and do not 
dissemble. A child is known by his doings, and will express 
his disposition. " Esau was a cunning man,'"' and could hide 
his intent of killing his brother, but " Jacob was a plain man." 
David says : " Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imput- 
eth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile," Psalm 
xxxii. 2; that is, no predominant or approved guile: if a convert 
finds guile in his heart, he hates, abhors, and strives against it. 
" I hate and abhor lying, but thy law do I love," Psalm cxix. 1 63. 
" Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile," John i. 47; 
he is an honest, harmless, gracious man ; what he seems to be. 
" These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he go- 
eth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first- 
fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was no 
guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God," 
Rev. xiv. 4, 5. Not so liars and dissemblers, that profess 
something of religion, but make no conscience of secret duties 
and of truth ; they are none of God's children. 

2. Little children are of a gall-less disposition ; they may be 
angry, but bear no malice. " Brethren, be not children in luider- 
standing ; howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understand- 
ing be men," 1 Cor. xiv. 20. Children are sometimes angry 
and fall out, but soon become friends again ; so God's children 
are " gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good 
fruits." If a man be implacable, it is not the property or dispo- 
sition of God's children. " Put on therefore, as the elect of 
God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humble- 
ness of mind, meekness, long-suffering ; forbearing one another, 
and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against 
any : even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye," Col. iii. 12, 
13. Some have no gentleness towards those that have angered 
them, but God's children should not let the " the sun go down 
upon their wrath." " Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, 
and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all 
malice, ; and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiv- 
ing one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven 
you," Eph. iv. 31, 32. So also the apostle Peter : " Love as 
brethren, be pitiful, be courteous ; not rendering e\'il for evil, 
or railing for railing ;" not threatening, they shall have as hot as 


they bring : if any of God's children have a rugged temper, 
they will pray and strive against it, and if at any time they 
have been overcome by it, they will be more watchful. 

3. Little children are submissive to correction. When a 
child has committed a fault and is made sensible of it, he sub- 
mits to his father's correction. " We have had fathers of our 
flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence : shall we 
not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and 
live .?" Heb. xii. 9. The converted soul is so meekened by 
grace, that he does not attempt to contend with God, and 
therefore submits. " It is meet to be said unto God, I have 
borne chastisement, I will not offend any more : that which I 
see not, teach thou me ; if I have done iniqviity, I will do no 
more," Job xxxiv. 31, 32. " I have surely heard Ephraim be- 
moaning himself thus : Thou hast chastised me, and I was 
chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke C that is, I 
think I was the most stubborn and unruly wretch that ever was 
yoked: but now, he saith, "turn thou me and I shall be 
turned ; for thou art the Lord my God ;" I would lay me down 
at God's feet, there I would lie, there I would cry, and there I 
would die ; if I must perish for my sins, I will submit and 
say, " The Lord is righteous." When such conduct as this is 
shown, then God is heard saying, " Is Ephraim my dear son ? 
Is he a pleasant child ? for since I spake against him, I do ear- 
nestly remember him still ; therefore my bowels are troubled 
for him : I will surely have mercy upon him," Jer. xxxi. 18, 20. 
The converted soul is then ready to say, I bless God who has 
taken down my stubborn and unruly spirit ; the strokes of God 
did me no good, till the grace of God brought me to this sub- 
missive frame and temper of heart. — Has it been thus with you.? 
4. Little children are frill of jealousies and fears. A child 
fears his father's displeasure, and when he sees him angry is 
grieved ; so a child of God is more grieved to see his heavenly 
Father offended, than himself afflicted. It is said, Ps. cxxx. 4, 
" There is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared." 
A carnal heart would take encouragement from this to sin 
against God , but a gracious soul will say, if God be so tender- 
hearted as to forgive my sin, I will be so tender-spirited as to 
fear sinning against him : I dare never offend so gracious a God; 
for " they shall fear the Lord and his goodness," Hosea iii. 5. 

5. Little children are very affectionate. They will maintain 
an affection for their parents, companions, and sometimes for 
strangers who treat them kindly ; so God's children love their 
heavenly Father, the love of God is shed abroad in their 
hearts : they love their feUow-christians, by this we " know 


that we are passed from death unto life, because we love the 
brethren f these are the companions in whom is all their de- 
light, those " that fear thee, and keep thy precepts/' It is a 
common saying, birds of a feather flock together : God's chil- 
dren cannot well be alone : when Paul was converted, " he as- 
sayed to join himself to the disciples," and when the apostles 
were " let go, they went to their own company."" Heaven-born 
souls will talk with those that are like them, and love them, but 
cannot love wicked men : " As touching brotherly love, ye 
need not that I write unto you : for ye yourselves are taught of 
God to love one another," 1 Thess. iv. 9- Heathens were ac- 
customed to say of the primitive Christians, " See how they 
love one another."" 

6. Little children are very inquisitive. If a child walk out 
with his father into the fields, he will ask perhaps twenty ques- 
tions before they come home again ; he will be inquiring, Fa- 
ther, what is tliis for ? Who is that yonder 'i &c. Thus it is 
with God's children also ; those whose fiices are turned towards 
Zion will inquire : " Wliat must we do to be saved .''" They 
will have something to say to a godly minister ; some case of 
conscience to propose ; it is said of God's people — " they shall 
ask the way to Zion ;" — they wiU be inquiring which way they 
may get to heaven. The gi-ace of God will make men inquitii- 
tive persons. 

7. Little children are generally tractable. Children are apt 
to learn from, and imitate their parents ; it is much easier to 
teach some children Latin and Greek, than it is to instruct 
grown up persons to read English : " Train up a child in the way 
he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," 
Prov. xxii. 6. A new vessel is soon seasoned ; so converts are 
apt to learn. There is one great lesson they must all learn : 
" No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent 
me draw him ; and I wiU raise him up at the last day. It is 
written in the prophets, and they sliall be aU taught of God, 
Every man therefore tliat hath heard, and hath learned of the 
Father, cometh unto me," John vi. 44, 45. They are taught 
by God to pray and believe, to lay hold on Christ ; they are 
taught " the truth as it is in Jesus ;" that is, experimentally 
and savingly. 

8. Little children do all for their parents, and acknowledge 
them in all they have ; so the child of God does nothing for 
himself but for God's glory. Let me be for the Lord, says a 
gracious soul, I am content to be his, and acknowledge all I 
have is from God : "By the grace of God I am what I am ; — 
I laboured more abundantly than they all : yet not I, but the 


grace of God which was with me,'' 1 Cor. xv. 10. If you ask 
a little child, " Who was it brought you over that dirty place?" 
He will say, " INIy father." " Who bought you those new 
clothes ?'" " Why my father ; — my father does all for me." A 
child of God will give his heavenly Father all the glory : " Not 
unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory," 
Psalm cxv. 1. "Who maketh thee to differ from another ?'" is 
it thyself.? O no ! I can do nothing of myself, it is God that 
does all : " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in hea- 
venly places in Christ," Eph. i. 3. All our care and concern 
in religion will come to nothing without God's help and grace : 
*' For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things : to 
whom be glory for ever. Amen." Rom. xi. 36. 

9. Converts resemble little children in their growth. The 
longer children live, the stronger they grow ; so believers grow 
in grace : " Ye,shall go forth and grow up as calves of the 
stall." Christians, are you not ashamed of yourselves that you 
are no taller, after so long standing, than you were the first 
year of your spiritual life ? Shall we have ordinances and the 
various means of grace, and grow no better ? " The path of 
the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more 
unto the perfect day," Prov. iv. 18. If you grow not, per-- 
haps it Ls because you are not a living member of Christ's 

10. Little children are mostly of an humble and condescend- 
ing disposition. " Whosoever shall humble himself," saith 
Christ, " as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom 
of heaven," Matt, xviii. 4. The child of a prince will play with 
the child of a peasant, and will not mind high things such as 
crowns and sceptres. Thus it is with the children of God, they 
are content with their stations, and can say, " IVIy heart is not 
haughty, nor mine eyes lofty : neither do I exercise myself in 
great matters, or in things too high for me," Psalm cxxxi. 1. 
A child of God will not make so much stir for the riches and 
honours of the world as other people ; he is content with ordi- 
nary food and raiment : " Godliness with contentment is great 
gain :" and St. Paul says, " I have learned, in whatsoever 
state I am, therewith to be content." — I have learned this les- 
son, that if God take all, I am content. A Christian will be of 
a condescending temper : he will " condescend to men of low 
estate," and " esteem other better than himself" He is not 
seeking after the dignities of this world, he is looking for a 
greater object, even the kingdom of heaven. 

We now come to the use and application of our subject. If 


converting grace makes persons become like little children, we 
may learn these four things : — 

1. That the power of God is unlimited. He that can change 
man's nature, so that old sinners, who have lived so long in 
sin, should be born again ; that they who have scorned the 
saints and counted them a company of fools, should be made 
like them, praying and regarding other spiritual duties more 
than others ; that they who have formerly pursued the world 
with such eagerness, should now cast it at their heels, be- 
come meek and patient in spirit, and, it may be, outstrip others 
in holiness that set out long before them : — he that can produce 
such wonderful changes, must indeed be unlimited in power. 
The Almighty, by his grace, can of a grey-headed man raise 
up a son to call him blessed, nothing is impossible with him ; 
he can renew the heart, unite the soul to himself, and cleanse 
it from the filthiness of sin : " Such were some of you,"" that is, 
as tilthy and polluted sinners as those before-mentioned, " but 
ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the 
name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God," 1 Cor. 
vi. 11. 

2. We may learn, that the work of the ministry is very great. 
Nobody knows what we have to do, or the difficulty of that 
work in which we are engaged. A pious husband, that strives 
with an unconverted wife to do her soul good, may perceive 
something of the difficulty when he cannot by any means pre- 
vail. Gehazi, when sent to lay the prophet's staff upon the 
dead child's face, returned to his master, saying, " the child is 
not awakened :" so we go out and preach the word to poor, dead 
sinners, and are many times obliged to return to God and com- 
plain, " the child is not awaked," we can do no good, souls are 
not converted : but, however, God will pay the nurse though 
the child die, and if we are faithful to our work we shall not 
lose our reward, but receive it to the full another day : yet it 
is a great burden to labour for souls when they are not con- 
verted. You think it hard, when for preaching God's word we 
are imprisoned with thieves and rogues, as if we were not fit to 
go loose ; but we have greater trials than these, when we labour 
to do good to souls, and see no good effects. You have great 
occasion to " pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have 
free course, and be glorified," 2 Thess. iii. 1. 

3. If converting grace makes persons become like little chil- 
dren, then conversion is no half Avork. As a child has the same 
number of members as his father, so a cliild of God is renewed 
throughout, in body, soul, and spirit. A half persuasion to be 
good, God camiot abide ; therefore, saith the apostle, " I pray 


God sanctify you wholly.'"' As the soul is in every part of the 
man, sees in the eye, hears in the ear, so converting grace 
Ciianges the whole man. It makes a change not only in the 
mind, but also in the will and affections ; it is not merely a 
moral change from profaneness to civility, or an external change 
to a form of godliness, but it changes men's dispositions and 
inclinations ; " All things become new."" Do you think heaven 
will be peopled with profane sinners, idle neglecters of duties, 
and vain talkers ? O no ! men must be fitted for heaven, or 
they will never arrive thither. 

4. If true conversion makes men become like little children, 
*' then there is reason to fear few people go to heaven."" We 
may see young persons when they grow up a little, become 
proud and stubborn, and oftentimes the older they grow the 
worse ; but Christ says, " Except ye be converted, and become 
as little children, ye shaU not enter into the kingdom of hea- 
ven."'"' Look to yourselves, for few find the way to heaven ; 
because " strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which lead- 
eth unto life, and few there be that find it,'"" Matt. vii. 14. 
" The righteous scarcely are saved C that is, with much diffi- 
culty, they endure many a bitter pang ere they come to heaven. 
Most men go in the broad road ; they may easily go to hell ; 
may sleep themselves there, and by forgetfulness of God and 
their souls may bring themselves to it ; but the way to heaven 
is hard. You had need be jealous lest you should not be the 
Lord's. If times of calamity come, God will take care of his 
children, but he regards not others. If you profess to be Chris- 
tians, and are not like God, he will not accept you, nor any 
thing you do, but will at last cast you into hell ; if you resemble 
him, he will look after you and preserve you at all times, and 
in all conditions, so that persecutions shall not daunt nor hurt 
you. Examine, therefore, whether you be the children of God 
by conversion : for " except ye be converted and become as 
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."" 



Galatiaxs I. 4. 

Who gave himself for our si7is, thai he might deliver us from 
this present evil world, according to the will of God 
and our Father. 

All have but a time to live in this world, and when we have 
acted our part, must enter a state of happiness or woe to all 
eternity. ^lan being by nature in a sinful and miserable con- 
dition, by reason of the fall, is an enemy to God and holiness ; 
but God hath given Christ, and Christ hath given himself to 
be our Saviour and Redeemer. There are several things from 
which Christ came to redeem us ; from the wrath to come, the 
captivity of Satan, the curse of the law, the dominion of sin, the 
condemnation of sin, the sting of death, the fear of death, the 
legal and ceremonial law, and from this present evil world. 

To explain the words of our text a little, we may notice. 
First, The meritorious cause of our deliverance, — the under- 
taking of Christ, " he ijave himself for our sins — the blood of 
Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin," and " he is the Lamb of 
God which taketh away the sins of the world." Secondly, He 
redeems us from this present evil world. It is not evil of itself 
originally, but accidentally. It is an evil world, as it respects 
both sin and suffering. It is in this world all the sins of men 
are committed ; and O how great and cursed are the sins here 
committed ! On earth it is men's pleasure to sin, but in hell is 
their torment. There will be no meat nor drink, no houses nor 
lands, no silver nor gold to delight men ; it will be the time of 
their sorrow and misery. In this evil world, believers them- 
selves are often overcome and borne down by sin. The present 
world is also a state of suffering. It is the saint's purgatory; all 
their hell is in this world, and they may despair of finding true 
happiness here, for one trouble comes after another. Thirdly, 
It is called this present world ; and it is well for good men it 
is only a present world. " I would not live always." While 
God is building his church, he keeps up the stage of this world, 
but when the number of his elect shall be finished, he will then 


take it down ; it is but for a little while and the righteous shall 
be delivered, and have a joyful entrance into glory and happi- 
ness : it will be but a little longer, and the pleasures, profits, 
and honours of this world will be at an end. 

The doctrine contained in the text is, that Christ himself, 
and Christ alone, doth deliver all his people, and only his, from 
this present evil world. 

In the discussion of this doctrine, we shall endeavour to shew, 

I. What this world is from which our Lord delivers his 
people ? The world is sometimes taken for the whole frame of 
heaven and earth ; sometimes figuratively for the men of the 
world, either all mankind, or the unregenerate part of the world. 
By the world, sometimes, the things of the world are meant ; 
these may be either good or evil in their natiu-e. Some of the 
things of the world are evil occasionally, as abused by men. 
Now Christians are delivered from all these, " they are crucified 
to the world," and the world to them. We shall inquire, 

II. Who they are that are thus delivered.? The apostle 
says, us ; this may signify the church and people of God col- 
lectively, that are called out of the world and set apart for God 
and his service. These are redeemed by Christ, he hath loved 
them and washed them from their sins in his own blood ; they 
shall abide through all ages in spite of all opposition and perse- 
cution. It may also refer to every particular person in the 
church of Christ, every true Christian, who shall be kept from 
this present evil world. 

III. Let us shew, what it is in the world from which Christ 
delivers his people. 1. He delivers them from the state of 
the world. Every man and woman is born in a state of sin and 
misery, of wrath and condemnation ; " for the whole world lieth 
in wickedness,'' 1 John v. 19. The people of God have a new 
nature given them, and are not in the same condition as the 
world; they who were afar off from God and holiness, are 
" made nigh by the blood of Christ ;" they are taken out of the 
deviFs family and are " made fellow-citizens of the saints and of 
the household of God." " This I say therefore, and testify in 
the Lord, that ve henceforth walk, not as other Gentiles walk, 
in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, 
being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance 
that is in them ; because of the blindness of their heart," Eph. 
iv. 17, 18. And again, " The scripture hath concluded all 
under sin," but when the promise by faith is given to them that 
believe, they all become "the children of God by faith in Christ 
Jesus," Gal. iii. 22, 26. Though the righteous may be chastened 
in this world for their offences, they shall not be condemned 
with the world ; for they are not of the world. 


2. They are delivered from the snares of the world. The 
true Christian is, by converting grace brought out of the snare 
of the devil, who hath the wicked in chains and keeps them in 
his circuit. Believers are set at liberty and shall never be 
entangled as the wicked are ; their eyes are opened to discover 
the snare in every thing ; " Surely in vain the net is spread in 
the sight of any bird ;"" and " we know that whosoever is born 
of God sinneth not ; but he that is begotten of God keepeth 
himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not," 1 John v. 18; 
that is, not so as to get him within his dominion. 

3. True Christians are delivered from the spirit of the world. 
The men of the world are of a base and low spirit, they are all 
for themselves ; but the people of God are of a brave, noble 
disposition. " The righteous is more excellent than his neigh- 
bour."" " The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then 
peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and 
good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy,"" James 
iii. 17. Being partakers of this wisdom they mind the things 
of God, and of Christ, and of the world to come ; but the men 
of the world being influenced by the spirit of the world, seek 
those things which are " earthly, sensual, and devilish.''"' 

4. They are delivered from the course of this evil world. 
They formerly " walked according to the course of this world,"" 
and were like other folks ; they could talk vainly and profanely, 
they could swear, lie, and act as others did ; but now the case 
is altered, and men " think it strange that ye run not with 
them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you,"'"' 1 Peter 
iv. 4. Let me beseech you, " brethren, by the mercies of God 
— that ye be not conformed to this world; but be transformed 
by the renewing of your mind,"" Rom. xii. 1, 2. " Many walk 
of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, 
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ ; whose end is 
destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their 
shame, who mind earthly things,"" Phil. iii. 18, 19; that is, 
there are many among you, pretended Christians, that thus 
walk : " but our conversation is in heaven from whence also we 
look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."'"' Christians have 
a peculiar course contrary to that of the world. 

IV. Let us consider, when Christians are delivered from 
this present evil world.'* 1. They may be said to be deli- 
vered from this present evil world at their conversion. The 
Spirit of God does then convince them of their sin and misery ; 
that they are amongst the crowd of those that perish, and bids 
them save themselves from this untoward generation. It may 
be, poor graceless souls sit out many a strong conviction, but 
at last the word of the Lord comes with power, and they are 


plucked as brands out of the fire ; then the soul is ready to 
say, this world hath bewitched me. His former companions 
come and say, go with us ; what, must all be lost but a few 
precise people .? But they cannot prevail ; for he thinks, 
" What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, 
and lose his own soul ?"" Matt. xvi. 26. He has now learned to 
say, with Asaph, " Whom have I in heaven but thee "^ and 
there is none upon earth 1 desire beside thee," Psal. Ixiii. 25. 

1 will not be put off with the world, it is only a morsel, and 
will not be a satisfying portion for the soul. Having tasted 
the grace of God, and of Christ, and true religion, having 
once enjoyed this heavenly water, he will not thirst after worldly 
things, but pant for the living God. 

2. We are delivered from this evil world, when we make 
progress in sanctification. The more a soul mounts heaven- 
ward, the less all other things appear. He thinks within him- 
self, the world is not the New Jerusalem, nor worth taking any 
notice of. " We look not at the things which are seen, but at 
the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen 
are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal,"''* 

2 Cor. iv. 18. The believing soul can say, " What things 
were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ : yea, doubtless, 
and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the know- 
ledge of Christ Jesus my Lord," Phil. iii. 7, 8. A Christian, 
as he grows in sanctification, becomes more indifferent to the 
world ; he is willing to part with houses, and lands, and wife, 
and children, and even with his own life, for Christ's sake and 
the gospel's, if called to it ; for he knows that his Lord and 
Saviour can be better to him than all these things. If even a 
prison be his lot, his soul can sing praises when God is with 
him, and he rises above the world. 

3. A Christian is delivered from this present evil world, 
when he departs into the world of spirits. God will not suffer 
his people to be always tossed on the sea of life, but will in due 
time take them out of it, and their souls shall not see destruc- 
tion ; death sets the souls of God's people at liberty. God 
does not love to have his people long from him, therefore he 
sends death to fetch them home to himself; then they are deli- 
vered from all afflictions, temptations, and corruptions, and are 
conducted to that place, " where the wicked cease from trou- 
bling, and the weary are at rest," where the devil can never 
throw a dart at them more. 

4. The righteous will be completely delivered from this pre- 
sent evil world, on the morning of the resurrection. At death, 
the body is left for a while in the grave ; but at the last day, 

4^6 ORIGINAL sEinroxs. 

the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall arise ; the eartli 
and the sea shall give up the dead that are in them, and the 
bodies of the saints shall then be glorified like the body of Jesus 
Christ. " For the Lord himseli' shall descend from heaven 
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the 
trump of God ; and the dead in Christ shall rise first : then we 
which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with 
them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall 
we ever be with the Lord,'' 1 Thess. iv. IC, 17. The devil 
shall then be quite cast out and reign no more; for Christ 
" must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet.'' Job 
saith, " I know that my Iledeemer liveth, and that he shall 
stand at the latter day upon the earth : and though after my 
skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see 
God," Job xix. 25, 26. We leave the bodies of our pious 
friends in the grave, but they shall rise again ; they wiU be 
"' accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection 
from the dead," where they " neither marry nor are given in 
marriage ; neither can they die any more ; for they are equal 
unto the angels ; and are the children of God, being the chil- 
dren of the resurrection," Luke xx. 35, 36. 

V. Let us proceed to notice what Christ has done, whereby 
his people are delivered from this present evil world ? He has 
delivered them, 

1. By his meritorious life and death. " He who was rich, 
for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might 
be made rich." He might have come in power, pomp, and 
glory ; but he choose to come in a poor, mean, and despised 
condition. Why therefore should we make account of these 
things which he cast at his feet .'' Christ is now become our 
atonement ; the bonds are cancelled between the world and us ; 
he hath set us at liberty, and we are now dead to the world and 
married to Christ ; so also let your affections and thoughts be. 

2. Christ hath delivered us by his victorious resurrection and 
ascension. By rising again from the dead, raising the spirits 
of his people above the world, and his ascension on high, the 
souls of believers are advanced to sit with Christ " in heavenly- 
places," and thereby become heavenly-minded. Christ is gone 
into heaven and has taken possession for his saints. 

3. He delivers his people by his prevailing intercession for 
them. " I pray for them ; I pray not for the world, but for 
them which thou hast given me," John xvii. 9. When on 
earth, he prayed for their deliverance from the evil in the 
world, and that they might be with him where he is, to beliold 
his glory. Now he is in heaven, he takes care of tliem ; he is 


*' a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to 
God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in 
that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to suc- 
cour them that are tempted," Heb. ii. 17, 18. Such is his con- 
cern for them, "that he will not suffer them to be tempted above 
what they are able to bear, but will with the temptation make 
a way to escape." 

4. His people are delivered from this present evil world, by 
the Holy Spirit''s efficacious working. The Spirit convinces 
the soul, that all the favours of the world are of no value ; that 
its threatenings are not to be dreaded, nay, that we should 
" glory in tribulation." Assisted by the Spirit, his people can 
trample on worldly things ; they are of a different spirit 
from the men of the world, they are not busied about trifles, 
but are " in the Spirit on the Lord's day." 

VI. We shall mention the reasons, why our Lord delivers 
his people from this present evil world ? 

1. Because none else can. The redemption of the soul is 
precious, " Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as 
silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradi- 
tion from yoiu- fathers ; but with the precious blood of Christ, 
as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," 1 Pet. i 18, 19- 
2. Christ delivers his people from this present evil world, 
because there is no proportion between a soul and the whole 
world ; it is not all worth one soul, neither can it satisfy the 
immortal part. 3. Christ was purposely fitted for this work. 
He was both God and man, and therefore is " able to save 
them to the uttermost that come to God by him ; seeing he 
ever liveth to make intercession for them," Heb. vii. 25. 4. It 
is one principal part of his undertaking, that he should deliver 
his people from this present evil world. Let us now inquire, 

VII. Why Christ delivers /ii^, and only his .f* L Because 
those, and those only, were given him by the Father : " Ye 
believe not," saith Christ, " because ye are not of my sheep : — 
aU that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that 
Cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out," John. x. 26. & vi. 
37. 2. These and only these, are partakers of the glorious 
privileges of the gospel : " 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," John xiv. 23. These 
people are a chosen generation. 3. They are redeemed by 
Christ to bring forth different fruits from those produced by the 
world : he " gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from 
all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous 
of good works," Titus ii. 14. 4. Christ hath preparetl a king- 


dom of glory, for those who are not of this world, and prepares 
them for that state : " Giving thanks unto the Father, which 
hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the 
saints in light : who hath delivered us fi'om the power of dark- 
ness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son," 
Col. i. 12, 13. Let us shew, 

VIII. How it can be said God's people are already delivered 
from this present e\\\. world ? We answer, because the price is 
aheady paid. They may be said to be delivered, because the 
ransom is laid down for their freedom. They have also the 
promise of deliverance while in the world, and at last deliver- 
ance from it. They may be said to have the first-fruits of it, 
being sealed by the Holy Spirit, which is the earnest of their 
inheritance. They already experience less deliverances, which 
are the pledges of further and greater. We shall now proceed to 
the application. 

This doctrine may be useful by way of information. 

1. If Christ delivers his, and only his, then learn that Chris- 
tians are very highly favoured : they are not like other men, 
who are of this world, but are from above. The Christian"'s re- 
lations are above ; his father, who is the Lord Jehovah ; his 
elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ ; his mother, which is the 
church ; his kindred, which are the angels and glorified spirits 
— are all above. Christians are kings in disguise, they are not 
known in this world, they have a prepared kingdom, and now 
and then they have secret intercourse with the God of that 
state. This doctrine may inform us, 

2. '\A'hy the people of God are hated, despised, and persecut- 
ed in this world. It is because they are not of it, but chosen 
out of it ; therefore carnal men are ready to say of a Christian, 
" Away with such a fellow from the earth : for it is not fit that 
he should live,'"' Acts xxii. 22. It is said in Heb. xi. 38, con- 
cerning the people of God, that they are they " of whom the 
world was not worthy ;"'"' and yet " they wandered in deserts, 
and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth."" If then 
you desire to be different in sentiment and practice from the men 
of this world, you must expect tribulation here. 

3. We may learn, that the Christian's religion is not suited 
to the world's interests. " ]My kingdom," saith Christ, " is not 
of this world :" — it is a spiritual kingdom, which he sets up in 
the hearts of his people ; " the kingdom of God is within you."""* 

4. We are taught by this doctrine, that the world is not so 
excellent a thing as men are apt to esteem it. Christ redeems 
his people out of it ; and all its enjoyments, which men so 
eagerly pursue, are only vanity and vexation of spirit. What 


Jill men that they are so concerned about what cannot satisfy, 
but so indifferent to spiritual things which are far better ? God 
gives the earth to the children of men, but reserves better 
tilings for his people : " Man walketh in a vain show : surely 
they are disquieted in vain : he heapeth up riches, and knoweth 
not who shall gather them," Psalm xxxix. 6. " They that will 
be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish 
iand hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdi- 
tion," 1 Tim. vi. 9. 

We may make use of this doctrine, by way of conviction to tlie 
carnal world If Christ delivers his, and only his, then what 
will become of you that have your portion in this world, that are 
wise only for time, that have the world in your mind the last 
at night and first in the morning, and thus shew it is the chief 
thing you seek ? Now consider, 

1. Does not the world stiile the convictions of God's word 
many times ? Do not the cares of this world, and the deceitful- 
ness of riches, choke the good seed of the word so that it becomes 
unfruitful? Men lose their convictions, and deface the im- 
pressions of the Spirit of God, which they had under the mi- 
nistry of the word, by their business and worldly concerns. One 
says, " I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go 
and see it." Another says, " I have bought five yoke of oxen, 
and I go to prove them." Another replies, " I have married 
a wife, and therefore cannot come." Thus this present evil 
world is doted upon by carnal men, to the loss of the soul. 

2. Does not the world forbid the banns of marriage between 
the sold and Christ ? Does it not break the treaty, and tell 
you it is too dear a bargain to forsake all for his sake .'' IVlany 
will follow Christ and religion in the time of prosperity, but 
when Christ and the world part, and his followers are exposed 
to persecution, they show which side they love most. 

3. Does not the world distract and hinder men in the ser- 
vice and worship of God ? Thovigh you draw nigh to God in 
ordinances with your bodies and lips, are not your hearts going 
after covetousness ? One is thinking of yesterday's business, 
and another of what he is to do to-morrow. Worldly affairs 
must be attended to, but let it be at proper times, and mind 
that first which is of most importance. Consider, 

4. Can you take content in the world ? If so, you are not of 
God. When your outward comforts abound, you may be ready 
to say, with the rich man in the gospel, " Soul, take thine ease, 
eat, drink, and be merry ;" then it proves, you " are adulterers 
and adultresses : for know ye not that the friendship of the 

VOL. V. 2 K 


world is enmity with God?"' The world will fail you in your 
greatest need, and what will you do with all your riches in the 
hour of death, when your soul must be separated from your 
body ? Yet you venture to swim over the sea of God's wrath 
for this world, which, after all, proves but like a mouthful of 
water that cannot satisfy your thirst. Fools that men are, to 
venture on eternal misery for a little pleasure ! 

Let us use this doctrine by way of trial. God hath " set 
apart him that is godly for himself." 

1. The main care of those who are delivered from this 
present evil world is, to please God and serve him. They take 
no thought what they shall eat, or what they shall drink, or 
wherewithal they shall be clothed ; but seek first the kingdom 
of God and his righteousness, knowing that all these things 
shall be added unto them. " Cast your care upon God, for he 
careth for you."" 

2. They are delivered from the fear of the world. A Chris- 
tian does not fear the men of the world, neither is he afraid of 
losing the world ; but can say, if God call for it, let it go. 
*' Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, 
and let him be your dread,"' Isa. viii. 13. Mind your souls and 
serve God, then fear not the world. 

3. They are delivered from the love of the world. " If any 
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him,"" 
1 John ii. 15. Inquire, is your love set on the world above? 
Are you troubled that you lose the favour of this world ? Do 
you delight most in the company of God t To conclude, try 
yourselves by these things. (1.) Do you like the world so as to 
forego heaven for it ; and would you prefer prosperous profane- 
ness before persecuted godliness .'' (2.) Are you weaned from 
the world and weary of it.'* (3.) Is there any thing that pleases 
you in the world, except what drops from heaven, and comes as 
a love-token from your heavenly Father ? If you are delivered 
from this present evil world, you will pity those who have their 
portion hce, and prize communion with God above all other 
enjoyments. (4.) When worldly thoughts disturb you in reli- 
gious duties, is it a great burden to you ? If you are delivered 
from the world, then, when your hands are in the world, you 
will labour to have your heart in heaven. Amen. 



Heb. X. 25. 
A)id so inuch the move, as ye see the day approaching. 

The text is an argument to press us to four duties, set down in 
the foregoing verses. First, to " draw near with a true heart." 
&c. Nearness to God is a Christian's happiness ; but distance 
from him, the misery of the lost, who are to be " banished 
from the presence of the Lord."" It is good being near to God, 
both as it respects state and duty ; but our care in drawing 
near to God must be, to see it is with " a true heart f' for God 
cannot endure a false one. We should also see that we draw 
near to him in " faith ;'" for faith unites the soul to God, and 
the " fvill assurance of faith"" renders it comfortable. It must 
also be, with " hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience ;" for 
God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. And it must be, 
with " bodies washed with pure water ;" not only with the wa- 
ter of baptism, but a holy conversation. Thus we must study 
to approach God, because he will approach us ere long to judg- 
ment. The second duty is expressed in these words, " Let us 
hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering," ver. 23. 
Here we are exhorted to be sure and " hold fast" our faith ; by 
no means to make " shipwreck of faith and a good conscience." 
We must also maintain " the profession of our faith." We 
must not think of keeping religion to ourselves, but own Christ 
in an evil day and amongst an evil generation, or he will dis- 
own us. The third duty is contained in ver. 24 ; "Let us con- 
sider one another to provoke unto love and to good works ;" 
let us not carp at one another, but provoke to love, to love God 
and each other, and to maintain good works. Let each one 
strive to go before another in these commendable duties, to 
quicken one another, " and so much the more as ye see the 
day approaching." The fourth duty is, " not to forsake the as- 
sembling of ourselves together," ver. 25. That is, not scat- 
tering one sheep from another, for then you will be the sooner 
destroyed ; but joining together in the work and worship of 
God , " and so much the more" earnestly and sincerely as ye 

• Preached at Radcliffe Bridge, April 24th, IfiSG. 


see, by the signs of providence, we are drawing near to the day 
of Christ. 

Doctrine. That the due sight and sense of the approaching of 
the day of the Lord, should be a spur to quicken us to our duty. 

In the consideration of this truth we shall, 

I. Show what that day is which is here spoken of. There 
are four remarkable days mentioned in scripture, and of which 
we should take notice. 

1. The day of grace. It is called a day by way of eminence, 
and may be considered either as to the rising or setting of the 
gospel sun. 

(1.) As it respects the rising of the gospel sun. When per- 
sons have been in ignorance and darkness, and the sun of the 
gospel appears, it is time for men to bestir themselves ; " It is 
now high time to awake out of sleep ; the night is far spent, 
the day is at hand ; let us therefore cast off the works of dark- 
ness, and let us put on the armour of light," Rom. xiii. 11, 12, 
You have had a day of light and gospel grace ; for shame ! get 
you out of the bed of sloth and security, and set yourselves to 
the work of God in good earnest ; " Let us not sleep as do 
others ; but let us watch and be sober ; for they that sleep, 
sleep in the night,'' 1 Thess. v. 6, 7. It is very unbecoming 
persons professing the name of God to be secure and sinful ; 
" The times of this ignorance God winked at ; but now com- 
mandeth all men every where to repent,"' Acts xvii. 30. Betake 
yourselves to work while the day of grace continues, lest you 
miss the benefit of it, which will be a dreadful loss. Hast thou 
been twenty, or thirty years, under the means of grace and no 
better for it 'i God may justly let thee alone in darkness, and 
never suffer the light of conviction to dart on thee any more ; 
and then, how sad will thy case be ! 

(2). Consider the day of grace in reference to the setting of 
the gospel sun. How ought we to be quickened to our duty 
at such a time ! There are as great signs of a gospel eclipse 
now as ever. Good ministers die, others are in danger of 
banishment and imprisonment, and perhaps you may never 
have a call at your door any more ; then so much the more as 
you see this day approaching you should be quickened to your 
duty ; " Yet a little while is the light with you ; walk while ye 
have the light, lest darkness come upon vou," John xii. 35- 
Little do you know how soon the sun of the gospel may set, 
and God may snatch his ordinances from you, take the king- 
dom of God from you, and give it to a nation bringing forth 
the fi'uits thereof. The gospel does not tarry long in one place, 
and if it leave you, it will leave you in worse darkness than 
ever. Do you think that if a man come to a town or market, 


and the men of the place will neither buy any of his precious 
wares, nor let him alone, but throw stones at him — do you 
think, he will stay amongst them ? So if we will ill-treat God's 
ministers, persecute those ambassadors of peace, and are gene- 
rally unprofitable under ordinances, is God likely to continue 
with us ? Will he not pack up and be gone ? It is said of 
Christ concerning Jerusalem, '• When he was come near, he 
beheld the city and wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known, 
even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong 
unto thy peace ! but now they are hid from thine eyes,'' Luke 
xix. 41, 42. God is threatening to depart from us, then so much 
the more be quickened to your duty, " As ye see the day ap- 
proaching." The scriptures mention, 

2. A day of vengeance. If the day of gospel light and 
grace be not improved, it will be followed by a day of vengeance. 
If " the acceptable year of the Lord" be not regarded, it will 
be followed by the "day of vengeance of our God," Isa. Ixi. 2. 
When Christ was foretelling the punishment about to be brought 
on the Jews, for rejecting the gospel, he says, " These be the 
days of vengeance." " Thus saith the Lord' God unto the land 
of Israel, an end, the end is come upon the four corners of the 
land ; now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine 
anger upon thee," Ezek. vii. 2, 3. A day of trouble is coming 
upon us, after what manner it will be I cannot tell ; but the 
nearer it approaches, the more should we be quickened in 
our duties. " Hear ye, and give ear ; be not proud, for the 
Lord hath spoken : give glory to the Lord your God, before 
he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark 
mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the 
shadow of death, and make it gross darkness ; but if ye will 
not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride," 
Jer. xiii. ]5 — 17. How often have ministers warned people to 
return to God and confess their sins, but they say, " We have 
made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement." 
One thinks to save himself by his riches, and another by turn- 
ing, but God saith, " The hail shall sweep away the refuge of 
lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place ; and your 
covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement 
with hell shall not stand, when the overflowing scourge shall 
pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it," Isa. xxviii. 
17, 18. The only way is to get into your chambers, draw near 
to God, " and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." 
Those who trust and fear the Lord, will be safe under his pro- 
tection, and there only, when the storm cometh. The scrip- 
tures tell us, 

3. Of the day of death. This will be either the best or 


worst day we ever had ; " The day of one's death is betK^r,"" 
says Solomon, " than the day of one's birth.'" It is so to the 
pious man; for then he takes lea\e of all sins, sorrows, and 
temptations, and that for ever. He then enters into the pre- 
sence of God to enjoy him and all good perpetually ; but a 
graceless soul goes from misery to misery, from a state of sin, 
to a place of suffering for evermore. This day is hastening upon 
every wicked man, however he may brag and boast of his riches, 
*' The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is 
coming." You have seen some of your acquaintance in your 
assemblies and markets one day, and on the next, laid on a bed 
of sickness, and soon in the grave, This should remind you of 
your own death which is approaching ; every grey hair on your 
head, and every stitch of pain in your body, should put you in 
mind that your day is approaching. The apostle could say, 
" I die daily ;" but alas ! most men put far from them the evil 
day. Few have present apprehensions of death, or regard due 
preparations for it ; yet die you must ; and if even you were to 
live twenty or thirty years, but still be unprepared for death, 
you Avill be more unfit for it then, than now. " If a man die, 
shall he live again ?'''' says Job. Will life come again after 
death to mend matters .'' The Jewish Rabbi said to the man 
that asked him when he should repent, " Why, the day before 
you die.'"' You know not but you may die to-morrow, there- 
fore repentance should be the work of tliis day ; for if you be 
found in yoiu- sins you are sure to perish ; therefore " so 
much the more as you see the day" of death approaching, be 
concerned to be prepared for it, and consider every day of your 
life is a day taken from it. 

4. The scriptures remind us of the day of judgment. This 
day approaches and draws near. The day hastens wherein 
Antichrist shall be destroyed, the Jews called, and the fulness 
of the Gentiles brouglit in ; and we knoAv not how soon the day 
of judgment will succeed. The heavens will then flame over 
us, the graves be opened, and Christ come with the sound of a 
trumpet, in great power and glory to judge the vrorld : this day 
will come, for " he hath appointed a day in which he will judge 
the world in righteousness," but it is unknown to any except 
God. It is called the last day, the great and notable day, Sec. 
the day of Christ. Such a day is coming in which all your 
thoughts, words, and actions will be examined, and you must 
give an account before God ; therefore, as this day approaches, 
be careful that things are in readiness, and consider when death 
comes, then your particular judgment will take place ; your 
soul will then go to God that gave it, to receive a sentence 
of absolution or condemnation- Let us, 


II. Show what those duties are, to which our attention is 
called by these approaching days. 

1. Be sure that you have evidence of your conversion to God. 
Union to Christ, and faith in him, will alone stand when the days 
we have mentioned approach. No privileges nor gifts will avail us 
in the great day of judgment ; if we have wrought miracles in 
the name of Christ, but are not converted to him, he will say to 
VIS, " I never knew you ; depart from me ye that work iniquity." 
The day is coming that will discover what you are ; you will 
carry nothing but grace or guilt with you out of this world. 
If we should then be found out of Christ, not all the angels in 
heaven, and saints on earth can save us ; for God hath said, 
" Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye 
shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven," Matt, xviii. 3. 
The scriptures inform us, that Christ will come in " flaming 
fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that 
obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus," 2 Thess. i. 8. '' Where- 
fore, beloved, seeing ye look for such things, be diligent that 
ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless," 
2 Pet. iii. 14. Think not to chmb up to heaven by any other 
way than the way of holiness. Plead with God for converting 
grace, and say, " Lord, turn me and I shall be turned ; let me 
not be condemned with cursers and swearers, and profane sinners. 
Christ will not plead the cause of that man who has not retained 
him as an advocate. See then that you are Christians indeed, 
for to appear before the tribunal of God without a work of grace 
in the heart will be very terrible. 

2. As the great day of judgment approaches, endeavour to 
obtain assurance of a real change of heart. How dare you go 
with uncertainties before the tribunal of heaven ? If you can 
rest satisfied when you have no solid evidence of a work of grace 
in the heart, I fear you have none. There is a degree of as- 
surance to be had, such as the assurance of the understanding, 
the assurance of faith, the assurance of hope ; be not content 
without this assurance. How comfortable will it be for the 
soul at Christ's coming to say, Lo ! yonder is my Lord and 
Saviour, whom I love with all my heart, in whom I have hoped, 
trusted, and believed. The Psalmist could say, " Our God 
shall come ;" so a gracious soul may say, my God is coming ; 
but if you have no hope that God is your God, you have cause 
to fear. True sincerity hath safety, but assurance hath bold- 
ness in meeting the Lord. 

3. As the day is approaching, be sincere in all your graces 
and actions. That day is coming which will declare what kind 
of work yours is ; " Every man's work shall be made mani- 
fest ; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed 


by fire,"^ 1 Cor. iii. 13. It will then appear whether your faith 
be unfeigned, your love sincere, and all your graces of the 
right stamp. You cannot cheat God ; for he " will both bring 
to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest 
the counsels of the hearts,'' 1 Cor. iv. 5. Approve your hearts 
to God ; for " a h\'}iocrite cannot stand before him." Do all 
in sincerity ; for what does it signify to have a name to live 
and be dead, to have lamps of profession, but want the oil of 
grace ? As you love God and yoirr own souls be sincere ; pray 
with sincerity, confess your sins with sincerity, and repent of 
sin Avith sincerity ; " and so much the more as ye see the day 

4. IVIortify your lusts. It is equally dangerous to have a 
lust in our heart, as a lie in our right hand. If you allow any 
lust in your sovd, Christ will send you to the place of torment. 
"AMien Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also 
appear with him in glory. ^Mortify therefore your members 
which are upon the earth," Col. iii. 4, 5. Cut oft' right hand 
sins, and pluck out right eye lusts ; for it is better to be wel- 
comed by Christ into heaven maimed, or having one eye, than 
to be cast into hell having both hands and eyes. " It doth not 
yet appear what we shall be ; but we know, that when he shall 
appear, we shall be like him ; for we shall see him as he is. And 
every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he 
is pure," 1 John iii. 2, 3. Hence learn, you must be Puritans, 
if you would go to heaven : therefore be serious in the morti- 
fication of your sins, and hold no correspondence with any lusts, 
for they are Christ's enemies. If any of your souls be found 
embracing those lusts which wounded Christ, how sad will your 
case be ! 

5. As this day approaches, so much the more should you be 
careftil to have your hearts withdrawn from the world. What 
an insignificant thing will this world appear, when Christ 
comes to judgment ! Then all tliis world's goods, for which 
men have laboured so earnestly, will be consumed with fire. 
Strive to get above the world, for the higher you ascend to- 
wards God and Christ, the min-e will the world dwindle in your 
affection : " What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole 
world, and lose his own soul.''" Matt. xvi. 26. When the "Son 
of ]\Ian shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels ; 
then h.e shall reward every man according to his works ;" not 
according to his silver and gold. O sirs ! " The time is short ; 
it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they 
had none ; and they that weep, as though they wept not ; and 
they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not ; and they that 
buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this 


world, as not abusing it ; for the fashion of this world passeth 
away,"" 1 Co:', vii. 29 — 31. If you be Christians, then live as 
such, and say as Paul, " God forbid that I should glory save in 
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is cru- 
cified to me, and I unto the world :" the world cares nothing 
for me, nor I for it. 

6. Endeavour to be valiant in your actings for God, in the 
way of duty, notwithstanding the difficulties you may meet 
with. Thus St. Paul exclaims, " None of these things move 
me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I may 
finish my course with joy." — " I am ready not to be bound 
only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord 
Jesus," Acts XX. 24, and xxi. 13. O blessed, heroic spirit ! 
The apostle James says, " Be ye also patient, establish your 
hearts ; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh," James v. 8. 
Be resolute in the work of God, and fear not 'men; they are 
not to be masters of your conscience now, because they are not 
to be your judges hereafter. God''s will must be your rule, act 
in reverence to him in all you do, and seeing the Lord is 
coming, " by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory 
and honour and innnortality," R.om. ii. 7. 

7. As the day approaches wherein the Lord will come to 
judge the world, meet him by the actings of faith and love. 
Faith beholds him that is invisible, sees Christ coming in the 
clouds to judgment, and excites love to him ; " Whom having 
not seen, ye love ; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet 
believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory," 
1 Pet. i. 8. Labour to live more by faith in Christ, and " to 
love his appearing." — " The just shall live by faith," and can 
say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded, that 
he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him 
against that day," 2 Tim. i. 12. 

8. As the day of the Lord approaches, seek after progress 
in sanctification and grace, This was the desire of the apostle 
Paul, "If by any means I might attain imto the resurrection 
of the dead ;" that is, I desire by any means, whether ordi- 
nances or providences, to possess so much holiness as I must 
have at the resurrection of the dead. I wish to grow every day 
better, " Not as though I had already attained, either were 
already perfect ; but I follow after ; — I count not myself to 
have apprehended : but this one thing I do, forgetting those 
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things 
which are before, I press towards the mark," Phil. iii. 11 — 14. 

9- Be careful to improve your talents and prepare your ac- 
counts, and so much the more as the reckoning " day ap- 
proaches." We all have our talents, and Christ saith, " Occupy 


till I come/"' To one, he has given health and strength ; to 
another, wealth and estate ; to another, wit and knowledge ; 
to another, ordinances and means of grace : these are to be 
improved for the good of our own souls and those of others. 
He will soon say, " Give an account of thy stewardship ; for 
thou mayest be no longer steward,"' Luke xvi. 2. How will 
you give your account of all the sermons you have heard, 
and the various talents you have enjoyed ? It is said, " every 
one of us shall give account of himself to God," and " every 
man shall bear his own burden." Be serious therefore in 
making up your accounts. When at the Lord's supper re- 
member, this ordinance shows the Lord will come, and that 
you should be prepared. 

10 As the day approaches, so much the more do you stand 
upon your watch. " Watch therefore ; for ye know not what 
hour yoiu- Lord doth come," ]Matt. xxiv. 42. " The end of 
all things is at hand : be ye therefore sober, and watch unto 
prayer," 1 Pet. iv. 7. Suppose the heavens were all on flame, 
the graves opening, the earth tremblbig, and Christ coming to 
judgment, would you not then fall a praying? Do it now then, 
before it be too late. Watch against the world, the flesh, and 
the devil, lest you be deceived and ruined by them. 

11. ^Maintain christian communion one with another. " For- 
sake not the assembling of yourselves together," through world- 
ly business, fear of scorn, or contempt from men. You would 
not be thought Puritans, and through fear of persecution would 
be careless of these duties, but forsake them not whatever you 
may sufl'er here. Christ is coming and will repay ; he will not 
let you lose any thing by what you are called to endure, espe- 
cially when labouring to do good to men's souls. 

Finally, Deny yourselves, and act faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Were you to do all that is required of you, you are but 
" unprofitable servants, and have done that which was your du- 
ty to do." All our righteousness is but as dung, and dross, and 
filthy rags ; and our iniquities like the wind would take us 
away. We should say with Paul, " I count all things but loss 
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : 
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count 
them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, 
not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that 
which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is 
of God by faith," Phil. iii. 8, 9. I am conscious, saith a gra- 
cious soul, that I have missed it in every thing ; that I must 
put on the garment of Christ's righteousness ; for it must appear 
for me at the tribunal of God, or I cannot be justified. Let it 
be your prayer then, that Christ may be to you, " wisdom, and 


righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."" " If thou. 
Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand ?" 
And again, " Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O 
Lord, for in thy sight, shall no man living be justified." We 
can be justified only by faith in Christ Jesus : therefore let us 
get out of ourselves and rely wholly upon Christ. It is true we 
must be judged according to our works ; but are not accepted with 
God or saved for our works. When we have done all, we must 
deny ourselves, and act faith on our Lord Jesus Christ. If we 
have been quickened and enlarged in any duty, we must be 
thankful and bless God ; though we must not trust in it, but in 
Christ Jesus our Lord. 



Job XIX. 25—27. 

/ know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at 
the latter day upon the earth; and though, after my skin, 
worms destroy this body, yet in my Jlesh shall I see God; 
whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, 
and not a}wther, though my reins be consumed ivithin me. 

It was the desire of our loving neighbour and dear brother, J\lr. 
Eaton, whose wearisome pilgrimage God hath graciously finish- 
ed, that he might be buried amongst us, and that I would 
preach a sermon to the living : this his desire he expressed to me 
some years ago, but did not mention any particular portion of 
scripture which was in his thoughts as the subject of the sermon 
requested. I understand that he continued in this desire to his 

* This sermon was preached on the death of the Rev. Samuel Eaton, and is 
extracted from Dr. Rippon's Baptist Annual Register, vol. iv. page 559. I\Ir. 
Eaton was a Nonconformist ^Minister, ejected from Dukinfield, in Cheshiie. 
" He was," says the Nonconformist ]\Iemorial, " a very holy man, a person of 
great learning and judgment, and an incomparable preacher." The following- 
memorandum is prefixed to the sermon — "Denton, Jan. 22, 1694. Upon occa- 
sion of the death of I\Ir. Samuel Eaton, who died Jan. the 9th, and was buried 
Jan. the 12th; he desired this office of love from mc, and appointed this text." 
The Nonconformist iMemorial mentions Dukinfield as I^ing in Lancashire, and 
31r. Eaton as having died in 1064. 


dying day, and of late singled out, and mentioned these memora- 
ble words of Job ; those words which Job, in the midst of his af- 
fliction, so earnestly desired might be transmitted to posterity, 
that they might be written, and graven with a pen and lead in a 
rock, that they might abide for ever ; in which he doth fully clear 
his own uprightness, and has left a legacy to the church. This 
portion of scripture he fitly pitched upon as a believer, one that 
had drank of Job's cup of affliction and consolation. He drank 
in large measure of Job''s cup of affliction : he was much afflicted 
in his estate in the time of the former bishops ; he was so afflicted 
in his body, liberty, friends, good name, oft times and many 
ways troubled and grieved in his spirit. Among his many af- 
flictions, I observed that two especially affected his spirits. 

One, the great wrong that was done him in his good name, 
not by enemies but friends ; he might truly say with Job, verse 
19 of this chapter, " They whom I loved are turned against 
me ;"" and with the best of men, and our Saviour, " False wit- 
nesses did rise up, they laid to my charge things that I knew 
not," Psalm xxxv. 11. 

The other was the loss of his speech, whereby he was unfitted 
to serve God and his church as formerly ; yet when the Lord 
had humbled him and proved him, he cleared his innocency, 
and restored to him some measure of usefulness. Blessed be 
his name, he drunk of Job*'s cup of consolation, he had the tes- 
timony of his conscience on his side, when he was afflicted, and 
accused, and reproached ; he knew the grounds of his comfort, 
and had grace given him to apply the same, and therewith to 
comfort himself, as Job did, in the midst of, and above all his 
afflictions, as appears in the most full and comfortable profession 
of his faith : he did fitly pitch upon this portion of scripture to 
be spoken of to the church after his decease. If we consider 
him as a minister of the gospel, hereby he took a course that the 
church miglit be put in mind of the doctrine he preached, which 
he believed, professed, lived and died in, that they might be 
encouraged in their faith, profession, and practice of it. There 
are several articles of our faith included in these words, which I 
cannot speak of particularly in a sermon ; but that which I shall 
propose in the general, is, to explain two main things held out 
in these verses. 

I. Job's safe state in the midst of his afflictions. 

II. His comfortable state amidst his sorrows and vexations 
of spirit. 

1. Job's state was safe for the present, notwithstanding his 
sins ; he was afflicted in his estate, friends, body, name ; yet a 
safe man, for he had a Redeemer, a kinsman, an elder brother, 
the Lord Jesus Christ, who had right and power to redeem him 


from sin and affliction, Psalm cxxx. 7 ; therefore he shall be 
saved. See Job xiii. 15, 16. 

2. His safe state for after time ; his Redeemer liveth as God, 
in his essence, God blessed for ever ; and as man, though he 
died, yet he rose again, and dieth no more, Rev. i. 18, therefore 
he is ever a Redeemer to him. 

(1.) He would be safe though death should separate soul and 
body, and he could live no longer than his appointed time on 
earth, to behold men and worship God, yet his Redeemer liveth, 
death could not separate him from the love of Christ, Rom. viii. 
88 ; it could not dissolve this union ; Christ would take care that 
his soul should enter into peace, and his body rest in the most 
soft, sweet, and safe bed of the grave. Isa. Ivii. 1, 2. 

(2.) He is safe in the grave ; his Redeemer liveth to preserve 
the precious dust of his body, that none of it be lost. Not the 
least particle of the dust of his redeemed, sanctified body, (a 
member of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Ghost) shall be 
lost. 1 Cor. vi. 19. 

(3.) He will be safe at the resurrection ; his Redeemer liveth 
to raise his body out of the dust, to unite it to his own soul, and 
make it like to his glorious body. John vi. 39. Phil. iii. 21. 

(4.) He will be safe in the day of judgment, safe from con- 
demnation ; his Redeemer liveth, he shall be his Judge, as God 
hath appointed. Acts x. 36, 42. 

II. As his safe state in all his afflictions is here manifest, so 
his comfortable state in all his sorrows ; for he knew by faith, 

1. That he had a living Redeemer; he did not only know by 
a historical faith that there was a Messiah, (a promised seed, in 
whom all nations were to be blessed, typified in sacrifices, promis- 
ed to Adam and Abraham, Gal. iii. 7, 8.) but he knew by a 
justifying faith that he was his Redeemer. As Abraham be- 
lieved. Gen. XV. 6. Job believed the same promise. Job xiii. 18, 
his conscience told him he had accepted Christ for his Redeem- 
er, and trusted in him, though he should slay him, ver. 15, and 
he knew it was sincere trust, not presumption, by the uprightness 
of his heart, i'. 15, 16, and by the effects of it, as, (1 .) It worked 
by love ; he served God for love, and not for wages. (2.) It pu- 
rified his heart, and cleansed his way. Job iii. 4; he feared God, 
eschewed evil. (3.) It made him the pattern of patience. (4.) It 
strengthened him in temptations from Satan, the world, friends ; 
so that he kept the way of God, and was not discouraged, but 
held on till God finished his temptations. — Though he himself 
was in a dying condition, and did expect death daily, yet his 
comfort was, that his Redeemer did live, and should live for 

2. He knew by faith that his Redeemer should stand in the 


latter days upon the earth ; in the days of the gospel, he should 
assume the nature of man, and live upon the earth, that he 
might obey and suffer, die and rise again, and ascend to heaven 
for his redemption ; and at the last day he should come from 
heaven to judgment, when he should be justly judged, and 
cleared, though he was now unjustly accused, and judged to be 
a hypocrite, a deceiver, a wicked man, and so afflicted by God. 
This last judgment was prophesied of by Enoch, before Christ's 
time, Jude, 14, 15. Abraham also believed God to be the 
Judge of all the world, Gen. xviii. 25, even God the Son, who 
appeared to him and others in a human shape, as a forerunner 
of his incarnation. This was Job's comfort, that after all mis- 
judgings and censurings were past, there shoxild be a last judg- 
ment, and all by his Redeemer. 

3. He knew by faith, that though his body at present was 
much worn and wasted with affliction, and nothing left but skin 
and bone, though after death his body should be wholly consumed 
within and without, yet he should be restored ; his skin, flesh, 
bones, eyes, the self-same body that had so suffered, laid in the 
grave, consvnned, though erelong he should be seen, censured 
no more, yet, when Christ comes, he should appear with him in 
a glorious body, in perfect health, strength, and beauty ; this 
corruption will put on incorruption. Col. iii. 4. 

4. He knew by faith, that in his body, restored and glorified, 
he should see his Redeemer's glorified body, even with those 
eyes that had seen so much affliction. What a glorious, transport- 
ing siglit will that be ! to see the body of his Redeemer, which 
suffered so much, so painful a death for him ; and that with the 
eyes of his understanding he should see God, God the Father, 
God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost : he shall see him face 
to face, know him as he is known, have perfect knowledge of 
him. 1 Cor. xiii. 12. " Be blessed, and be like him," Matt. v. 8. 
1 John iii. 2. 

Job was confirmed in his faith by God's translating Enoch, 
Gen. V. 24, and by God's preparing an ark, and shutting up 
Noah in it, a figui'c of the eternal salvation of believers signi- 
fied and sealed by baptism, 1 Pet. iii. 21. This most comfort- 
able truth of seeing God in glory, and enjoying him, the saints 
of old were acquainted with ; the patriarchs were pilgrims here, 
and sought a heavenly country, Heb. xi. 9, 10, 14. jNIoses de- 
sired by fiiith to see God's glory, Exod. xxxiii.18; but God told 
him, that mercy was reserved for another life. 

David, Psalm xv. and xxiv. describeth the man that shall 
ascend into God's hill, read also Ps. xvi. and xvii. This is the 
completion of our happiness. 1 Thess. iv. 17. 

Application. — We have seen the safety and comfortableness 


of Job's state, in the midst of his afflictions and sorrows, clearly- 
deduced from these verses, in which he makes a confession of 
his faith, which is also a profession of his integrity, and an en- 
couragement against the false jvidging of his friends. Our dear 
brother deceased made the same profession of the same faith, in 
his afflictions, and desired it might be made known to the church 
after his decease, and by it he being dead, yet speaketh, with 
believing Abel, to his neighbours, friends, all in civil and spiri- 
tual relation to him, in this manner : — 

1. I leave you in this my last sermon, for a memorial, the 
sum of that doctrine I have been taught in the church of God, 
have believed, professed, practised, and many years preached to 
you, in which I have lived and died, that ye may remember it, 
hold it fast, live and die in it : some articles of it are these fol- 
lowing: (1.) That all men, even the best of men, are sinful and 
miserable, and cannot redeem themselves, but need a Redeemer. 
(2.) That God, passing by fallen angels, hath provided a Re- 
deemer for mankind, his own Son, God and man, one that is 
willing, for he is a Redeemer in name and office ; able also, a 
living Redeemer, life itself, able to overcome death and bestow 
happiness. (3.) This Redeemer is not for all men, but for parti- 
cular persons, such as have grace given them to believe, to accept 
of Christ, and appropriate him, conscious that they need a Re- 
deemer. (4.) That particular believers may, in the use of God's 
means, in an ordinary way, attain to assurance that Christ is their 
Redeemer, not only to a good hope, but certainty of faith. — 
(5.) That though the redeemed die, yet they do not perish ; 
there is a resurrection ; the same bodies which they lay down 
shall rise again. (6.) That Christ, the Redeemer of his people, 
shall come at last to judge the world. (7.) That after the resur- 
rection, and day of judgment, the redeemed shall have a glori- 
ous and blessed sight of their Redeemer, both in body and soul. 

2. You have been all baptized into this one faith ; you have 
been taught it, have embraced it, professed it; you all agree in the 
substantial and saving doctrines of faith, having been partakers of 
the holy supper, whereby you have been confirmed in faith ; see 
that you live in love, that you bear one another's burdens and 
infirmities, and fulfil the law of Christ. 

3. I have gone before you in a way of patience as well as of 
obedience ; my afflictions, with holy Job, have been many and 
great, some of long continuance. I have been afflicted in my 
estate, body, spirit, friends, name ; that which hath been my 
support and comfort in all my afflictions, is faith in a Redeemer, 
that my sins are forgiven through his blood, that he hath re- 
deemed me from the evil of all afflictions ; that by him I shall 
be redeemed out of all sin and misery, from death and the 


grave ; and he will not leave me till he bring me to the blessed 
sight of God in glory : and this faith will be your comfort in 
like afflictions. 

4. I have, as you know, been dying many years, and, at my 
appointed time, departed from among you, as well as others. 
I, your neighbour, friend, pastor, can speak no more to you, 
can pray no more for you, can converse no more with you, can 
walk no more amongst you ; but my Redeemer and your Re- 
deemer liveth, to do all these offices of love for you ; he liveth 
to bring to your remembrance my doctrine, examples, counsels, 
admonitions ; to bless the word I have preached to you, to 
answer the prayers I have put up to God for you; he will raise 
up living instruments for your instruction, support, and comfort ; 
his Spirit liveth to be an instructor and comforter ; the word 
liveth to be the food of your spiritual life ; there shall be living 
ordinances, living and life-cherishing societies of redeemed ones, 
with which, if you hold communion, both in public and private, 
you shall find your spiritual life maintained and increased. 

5. I die in an evil time, and leave you and the church of 
God in great and general affliction — I, by the goodness of God, 
notwithstanding all my enemies, die in my own house and bed, 
and come to my grave in peace, according to my heart's desire. 
I have lived to see evils come upon the church I expected not: 
but what you may live to see, I know not. You may drink 
deeper of the cup of affliction than I have done. Be of good 
comfort ; I leave you this living comfort — your Redeemer 
liveth, and will redeem you out of all, as he hath done me. — 
He gives life and being to all afflictions, and instruments of 
them, even the greatest, and takes it away at his pleasure. 
He outlives them all ; " and because he lives, ye shall live also," 
and outlive them, John xiv. 19. 

6. Some of you, to whom I have preached, and with whom I 
have walked, have greatly distressed my heart, with your errors 
in doctrine, and disorderly walking, your scandals and divisions. 
Some of you have retvirned me evil for good, and hatred for my 
good will ; have filled me with reproaches ; some of you have 
remained under censures, and have not repented. — These things 
have grieved me, and sent me often to heaven with a sad heart; 
even to my living Redeemer, that he would redeem you from 
sin, and me from sorrow. It may be, when I am at rest in my 
grave, and turned to dust, you may remember these things, 
and be grieved for yoiu* sins against God, and wrongs done to 
me. If you repent, and believe in your Redeemer, whom I 
have preached to you, and to whom I have poured out my 
grieved heart, he will redeem you from all your sins, and from 
the harm of all the smarting afflictions you may meet with, and 


I shall give up my accounts concerning you with joy. But be 
sure, I say be sure of this, that you do not meet me before the 
living Redeemer at the last day, in a state of impenitency : 
how sad, O how sad will it be, if my merciful Redeemer be 
your severe judge ! 

2. We may collect hence, from Job's confession of faith, and 
the safety and comfortableness of his state, included therein, the 
great loss sustained when those die who are like Job, eminent in 
station and grace, who have such faith in Christ, and upon just 
occasions profess it : for, (1 .) They do greatly honour God in 
the world ; what an honour was this to God, that in a time of 
hardest trials, when Satan was let loose upon Job, and he was 
under all sorts of affliction, when God dealt with him as an 
enemy, and all his comforters judged him to be a hypocrite in 
religion, and a notorious sinner, that then he should believe 
God to be his Redeemer, comfort himself in him, boldly profess 
his faith in him, and not be drawn to speak evil of him, or de- 
cline his way, but should keep his hold of God though beaten of!'. 
(2.) They have interest in Christ as a Redeemer, therefore 
he hath a special care of them in evil times; there is more hope, 
therefore, in dangerous times, sinful times, while they are living ; 
God hath respect to their persons, prayers, presence; in any place 
w^e know not of what use one of them may be, to continue 
mercies, keep off evils: much more many ; the hope is less, and 
danger is greater when they are removed. 

(3.) They are understanding and knowing persons, conversant 
with the mysteries of religion, able to instruct others concerning 
Christ the Redeemer, his divine and human nature, concerning 
the resurrection, day of judgment, vision of God in glory; there 
is a loss of spiritual instructors, and the greater loss of these that 
have been authorized by God and richly qualified for the work. 
(4.) Having access to the sources of consolation they are enabled 
by grace to comfort themselves and others, in many, and great 
afflictions : they are acquainted with God's promises of comfort, 
they have had experience of the power of them in their own 
souls, and can comfort others from their own experience of the 
power of them in themselves ; there is a loss of comforters. 

Let us all be stirred up after the example of holy Job, to 
give diligence to attain the assurance of faith, that we may be 
able to say, particularly, My Redeemer liveth. We are sure of 
sin, guilt, and affliction more or less ; of death and judgment, and 
shall we not get assurance of a Redeemer ? give diligence for 
assurance, take a right course : 1 . Be convinced of your sin and 
misery that you need a Redeemer. 2. Labour to know this 
Redeemer God hath provided, in his person, nature, offices. — 

VOL. V. . S L 


3. Consider and meditate upon the general offer of the gospel ; 
Christ is wilhng to be thy Redeemer, he offers himself to thee, 
if thou wilt accept of him. 4. Accept him therefore, be willing 
lie should redeem thee from the law of sin, service of it, guilt 
and condemnation of it. 5. Pray earnestly for assurance ; search 
thyself narrowly, whether thou hast not accepted of Christ. 
Where Christ is a Redeemer, the effects of his redemption will 
appear; for instance, 1. Thou wilt love Christ as a Redeemer, 
thy soul will be endeared to him ; heretofore thou lovedst sin, 
now Christ that loved thee and gave himself for thee. 2. Thou 
praisest Christ as a Redeemer, art gi-eatly thankful to him, Oh ! 
what a kindness hath he done thee ; what a tyrant was sin, a 
slave thou wast to it. 3. Thou dost earnestly desire more of 
the power of Christ's redemption, more power against sin, it 
grieves thy soul when sin puts up its head ; thou complainest 
to thy Redeemer. 4. Thou wilt assuredly love and long for 
perfect redemption, Rom. vii. 24. 2 Tim. iv. 8. 

Where Christ is accepted there is the seal of the Spirit, the 
gTaces of the Spirit, Eph. i. 13. 

Where the soul bears fruit to God it is undoubtedly married 
to Christ, Rom. vii. 4. 

It will necessarily follow, from tlie example of JoFs safe and 
comfortable condition, when having this knowledge of a Re- 
deemer, that the state of all those that have not this faith in a 
Redeemer must be dangerous and uncomfortable : they see no 
need, they have not sought after him, have no interest in him ; 
sin hath power over them, to command them : afflictions do them 
hurt . hence many that were troubled about tlieir sins in afflic- 
tions, are worse after ; death will have power over them, as 
God's executioner to force their souls out of their bodies ; the 
grave shall have power over them, as God's prison to hold them 
in prison-chains till the great assize; the resurrection shall have 
power over them, to raise them, against their wills, as God"s jailor, 
to bring them before the judge ; and then he that would have 
been their gracious Redeemer, shall be their terrible judge ; 
their own consciences, witnesses ; and God's redeemed ones, 
whose hearts were grieved with their sins, also witnesses against 
them ; ministers who have proclaimed a Redeemer shall testify 
against them ; and God himself shall acknowledge their witness 
to be true ; and they having nothing to say for themselves, shall 
be cast and condemned. This shall aggravate their misery, 
that a Redeem.er was offered — they refused him ; loved sin and 
perdition more than Christ and redemption. They shall see 
the redeemed go with Christ into glorv, while themselves are 
thrust with Satan, into everlasting fire. 




2 L 2 




Grace, mercy, and peace he vmltiplied from God the Father, our 
Lord Jesus, and the blessed Spirit of truth. 

Worthy Sir, 

The many obligations I have been under to promote the 
welfare of your worshipful family, did extort from me, some 
time ago, a promise to write something for your private use, 
comprising admonition to youth, of which, since then, I have 
in some measure repented, and could rather have wished I had 
totally waved. First, Because I now perceive there are many 
far more excellent treatises extant upon this subject, to which I 
might have referred you, better than to have troubled you with 
my jejune scribbling. Secondly, Because my various avocations 
have so long protracted my finishing and sending it to you, 
that you are almost past it and have grown up, not only to 
maturity in age, but have given such proofs of your unparalleled 
dihgence in your studies, and proficiency in learning, yea, and 
also of your exemplary piety, that it may seem needless to write 
what you so well know, and so well digest and practise. Yet, 
notwithstanding, upon second thoughts, I have at last per- 
suaded myself to set apart a little time to prefix this Epistle to 
it and send it to you. First, Because I am frequently called 
upon by such as are concerned for you, to do this, reminding 
me of my promise : and a promise is a debt which I am con- 
scientious in discharging, though in the smallest cases. Se- 
condly, Because you are not yet past all danger of miscarrying. 
As long as you are at sea you may suffer shipwreck : corrupt 
nature will be working, Satan will be tempting, a wicked world 
seducing, and the heart is very deceitful ; who knows how God 


may leave young men of good education, great hopes, and 
mighty progress in religion. Hazael would not believe that so 
gentle a lamb as he thought himself, should be transformed into 
such a mad-dog as the prophet predicts he would be, and did 
prove. But what saith he ? " Is thy servant a dog, that he 
should do this great thing?"''* Ah, little do we know what is 
in these corrupt hearts of ours ! How many remarkable instances 
doth this age afford, of very hopeful young gentlemen, whose 
surprising civility and tractableness in religious families have 
given gi-eat indications of internal sanctity and saving con- 
version, but who have so far degenerated as to prove a scandal 
to religion, a reproach to their friends, and a ruin to their fa- 
miHes. A swine in a fair meadow gets not many spots ; and a 
lion chained up neither roars nor ravens ; sed solve leonem et 
senties.-f- The viper on Paul's hand appeared not till it was 
heated ; gunpowder lies as harmless as sugar till sparks fly upon 
it ; occasio facit furem ; ^ and without regeneration there will 
be a degeneracy. Forced motions are of no long continuance ; 
the stone ascending only by the strength of the hand, soon falls ; 
but that which moves naturally stops not till it come to the 

Sa\-ing grace is a second nature, yea, a divine nature; at 
first it is infused, but afterwards, being much exercised, it be- 
comes as a settled habit. Besides, the man savingly converted 
and sanctified, comes under the promises of God relative to 
perseverance ; being a member of Christ, he receives^ daily in- 
fluence from him, and being in covenant with God hath omni- 
potence for his support, and God's fidelity for his sure auxiliary. 
But the most specious hypocrite, or the demurest formalist, 
hath not hold of God, nor hath God such hold of him, but lie 
may and will fall foully, finally, totally, and so that sad verse is 
verified in him: Angelicus juvenis senibus satanizat in anms.|| 
It is not to tell what a height of prodigious villany persons 
well educated may attain, and how they may willingly choose 
and prefer vain company to religious society, the ale bench 
before the church, impure songs b?fore sacred hymns, yea, and 
em.ploy their Avickcd wit in defending it : as Florus siuig on the 

* 2 Kings vVu. 13. -f- Unloose tl'.e lion, and he will t^hew you what he is. 

* Opportunii y makes a thief. || The young an;,'el becomes a devil in old ag?^ 


ale bench : Nolo ego Caesar esse, ambulare per Britannos, 
rigidas pati pruinas, &c. The witty emperor Adrian, hearing 
of it, answered extempore : Nolo ego Florus esse, ambulare 
j)er tabernas, latitare per propinas, pulices pati rotundas. The 
sensualist feels nothing of the sweetness of heavenly pleasures, 
and being accustomed to objects of sense only, sits down con- 
tented with that in which brutes can take as much pleasure, 
and freely sells his birthright for a mess of pottage : and the vo- 
luptuous cardinal will part with his portion in paradise for 
his portion in Paris. Not that I suspect you, dear sir, of 
such sad things ; I hope " better things of you, even things 
that accompany salvation,'" Heb. vi. 9 ; but caution is needful 
to the best ; and to you, to see to it, that your principles be 
well grounded, your nature changed, and your soul interested 
in Christ, else you may prove as bad as the worst, though, for 
the present, you seem better than the best. It is very easy for 
the subtile fox to change his skin, and not his nature. Oh, 
how many like chameleons are coloured according to the de- 
scription of things near them, conforming to the company they 
converse with ! But the sincere Christian hath his principles 
Hxed both in head and heart, and his spirit is fixed on God his 
centre ; his motto is, (like queen Elizabeth's) semper idem. 
His foot standeth in an even place, * lying square to every com- 
mand, not as the hypocrite, who is a globular body, touching 
only in a point, and so tumbles from one side to another, as 
occasion serves. O what an excellent thing it is to be holy, 
iv vacTij ava(TTpo(j)ij, in every turn of place, company, condition, 
station, and relation If None will be truly so, but he that is 
firmly centred upon the rock of ages, whose heart is set right 
for God ; this grace of God is the Christian''s bias, that in- 
clines him to keep the right course ; it is as the little stone 
that the bee is poised with, that the wind blows her not away. 
Alas ! you meet with many a dreadful blast in passing over the 
sea of the world, and unless your ship be well ballasted, it will 
split or be sunk : but be sure you engage our blessed Lord to 
be your pilot, and he will bring you safe to the haven. I know 
you are to pass a more critical hour than ever yet you have 
seen, when you are passing from your puerile years into a more 

• Psal. xxvi. 12. t 1 Pet. i. 15. 


adult state, and exclianging your juvenile studies for maturer 
law speculations, amidst the flower of the nation, in the inns 
of court. There, there will your Shibboleth be tried, when 
brisk and airy youth shall meet with a course of life, removed 
from tlie bondage of a slavish pupilage, and company suited to 
a liberal genius, where you will find right hand temptations 
adcipted to seduce your flexible nature, and have a plentiful 
allowance capacitating for enjoying what the senses crave. In 
such a case, there is great hazard; this will be Satan's hour, 
and the power of darkness. O what need have you then to 
pray, as Augustine, that the heart and the temptation may not 
meet together ? That you may be helped in the shooting of 
this gulf, I beseech you suffer the words of exhortation, and 
take the advice of one who hath passed a long voyage of al- 
most sixty years, who hath spied Sylla and Charybdis, and dis- 
covered some land-marks and sea-marks, of which I am bound 
to give you warning, and doubt not, but you will take some 
notice of them. 

1. Daily read some portion of the scriptures, not only in their 
original language, but in your mother-tongue also ; not for spe- 
culation or controversy, but for exciting your affections, and 
directing your ordinary conversation. 

2. Frequently attend a plain and awakening ministry. In- 
quire and find out pure and powerful ordinances ; where Christ 
is, there be you. Be not content with jingling rhetoric, or 
moral lectures, or empty formalities ; sit by pure Vaters of the 

3. Get unquestionable evidence of your effectual vocation 
and savmg regeneration. Be not content without a principle 

' of saving gTace, faith unfeigned, a repentance to salvation, love 
without dissimvilation, hope tliat will not make ashamed, and 
sincerity in all. 

4. Observe, and obstruct betimes, the bent of natural cor- 
ruption ; take special notice of your own iniquity, the pecidiar 
plague cf your own heart: be sure to obviate that with a 
mortifying process of means, watching, fasting, fencing, and 

.5. Lie not down under guilt. Oh, when you are stung, 
look up by faith and prayer to the brazen serpent; let the 


day"'s offences be the evening''s recollection and humiliation, 
and to-morrow's caution and circumspection. 

6. Always set yourself in God's presence : " Cave, spectat 
Cato,*" But you have a better watchword, there is an eye that 
sees, an ear that hears, a hand that writes down your words 
and works ; nothing is hid from him. 

7. Make conscience of thoughts. Heart sins and heart du- 
ties are not to be slighted. Springs and roots must be care- 
fully looked to. Examine every passenger and its errand ; if 
a bad thought assault thee, raise upwards a thought against it, 
for strength and pardon. 

8. Give gracious admission to the Spirit's influence. This 
is a kind messenger from Father and Son. Send him not back 
without his errand; make him welcome when he comes to in- 
struct in what is truth, to prompt to duty, or to keep back 
from sin. 

9. Study your talents, and improve them for God. You are 
not master, but steward of health, riches, time, and faculties, 
and must give account. Keep straight reckoning, run not in 
arrears, think this the last day of your stewardship. 

10. Think no sin nor duty little. A small duty omitted, 
leads to a great sin, and little sins are great in their tendency ; 
a small wedge makes way for a greater ; choose the greatest 
misery, rather than the least transgression. 

11. Judge no mercy small ; but look on it as worth the most 
sincere gratitude. It cost dear, even Christ's blood, and will cost 
you dear, if slighted — even the loss of it here, and eternal re- 
morse hereafter. O study the claims of gratitude ! 

12. Be careful in selecting, and improve well your company. 
Make not the great, but the good your familiars. Countenance 
piety in the meanest, and bless not the profane, if rich, whom 
God abhors. Always make use of the wise, to improve your- 
self as a Christian or as a scholar. 

13. Set every thing in its proper place and station. Let 
God be highest to you, as he is in himself. Love him above 
all, love other things for his sake, sit loose to the creature. 
Let religion be as your meat, recreation as the salt to other 

* Take care, Cato is observing. 


14. Engage the whole man in God's worship. Make con- 
science of inward sincerity, and upright aims in God's imme- 
diate service. Do nothing without warrant from the word of 
God, and have a spirit suited to the word, and God's glory as 
the end. 

15. Look to yourself amidst unforbidden liberty. The rank- 
est poison is conveyed in sweetest perfumes ; we suspect least 
when we are in most danger ; a calm precedes a storm ; descent 
into a whirlpool is easiest. 

16. Look to principles as well as privileges. Mind dispo- 
sitions, as well as God's dispensations about you. Wait on 
God in the way of his judgments as well as mercies. Evi- 
dence your title to the legacy you expect from God's love or 
Christ's purchase. 

17. Let every one be better, none worse for you. Do good 
to every one's soul or body. A good report makes the bones 
fat. Have some savour of goodness in all companies. Exem- 
pla movent, monent, trahunt. * INIake not others' sins yours. 

18. Be of a public spirit, and of public utility. A private 
Christian is of both if he act as a Christian, but a magistrate 
(as you may come to be) much more. In both capacities, a 
selfish person is an empty vine and hateful. 

19. Study perfection ; rest not satisfied with attainments. 
Be holily covetous, and ambitious. Si dixisti. Satis est, per- 
iisti.-f- You will not be so good here, but you may and must 
be better. Grow in knowledge, holiness, acquaintance with 
God, and heavenliness. 

20. Deny yoiu-self in all. Get out of self into Christ in 
every duty. Be clothed with humility ; that is the comeliest 
ornament. You can scarce have too mean thoughts of your- 
self, supposing you do not deny the grace of God in you, or 
unjustly detain from men the use of it, or from yourself the com- 
fort you may have by it. But boast of, or trust in no good you 
have or do, for it is not yours, and it is mixed with your in- 

I am loth to weary you with rules which I cannot practise 
myself, but am reaching after. We all have a place in this 

• Examples influence, admonish, and excite imitation. 
•f If thou sayest, It is enough, thou art undone. 


school. Death only advances us to commence perfect graduates. 
It is above, that the spirits of just men are made perfect. O 
that we might endeavour to do God's will here on earth as it is 
done in heaven, with at least similar sincerity, zeal, universality, 
and constancy ! It would be a happy thing if, when we are 
alone, we behave ourselves as if we were in heaven with God; 
and when we are with others, as if we were come down from 
heaven, to shew men what a life is led above. 

But lest I should discourage you, I must put you in mind of 
Jacob's ladder, Jesus Christ, from whom you will have strength 
for your progress, pardon of failures, and a sure hold with his 
right hand to keep you from falling. If you have Christ you 
have all, if you want Christ you want all ; according to that 
useful distich : — 

Si Christum discis satis est, si caetera nescis, 
Si Christum nescis, nihil est si caetera discis. 

Oh for Christ at God's right hand for your justification, recon- 
ciliation, and acceptance in duties ! Oh for Christ in your heart, 
for sanctification, mortification, and consolation ! Study Christ, 
whom you can never know too well, or love too much. Christus 
et coelum non patiuntur hyperbolem.* Christ is the sim of 
righteousness ; the sun was ever admired and deified by the 
heathens, but we cannot overprize Christ ; they called the sun 
vXiog, from ]vbv, the most high God, but we are sure our 
Jesus thought it no robbery to be equal with God. The sun 
is in constant motion. As the Father works in daily provi- 
dence, so our dear Lord does in us and for us in his constant 
influence. The sun shoots his rays downwards, so doth our 
Lord convey his mercy to the sons of men, that our fire of love 
may mount upwards. O the benefits of this glorious sun ! 
Eudoxus said, he was made for no other purpose than to be- 
hold the sun ; yea, he could be content to be burnt up by the 
lieat of it, so that by that near approach he might learn its 
nature. This, this indeed, is that noble and necessary study, 
without which we arc dunces, and shall be swallowed up in 
eternal darkness. O sir, amongst all the varieties in this world, 
admire nothing but Christ. Time would fail to tell of his ex- 

* Christ and heaven do not admit any hyperbole. 


cellencies, he is the chief of ten thousand. Study him in a four- 
fold respect : — 

1 . As propounded nobis, to our eyes and ears in the word and 

2. PrcB 7iobis, before us, as our pattern for imitation. 

3. Pro nobis, for us in the sacrifice of his death, as an ex- 
piation of our sins. 

4. I?i nobis, in us by the habitation of his Spirit, that Christ 
may dwell in our hearts by faith, without which all the former 
are insignificant to our sovds. 

And in order to your prizing, admiring, and improving dis- 
coveries of the blessed Jesus, be sure you study original cor- 
ruption, natural inability, and the abominable nature of sin, 
which is worse than the basest creature, the misery of hell, or 
the devil himself, inasmuch as the cause hath more malignity 
than the effect. This also is an endless, fathomless subject ; 
never any sounded to the bottom of it, as Augustine saith of 
original sin: Traducta culpa, nihil ad praedicandum notius, 
nihil ad intelligendum secretins. It cannot be told how cun- 
ningly sin steals upon men, and how insinuatingly it works 
within them, and how notoriously it breaks out in many ! and 
this comes on gradually, for, nemo repente fit turpissimus.* Sin 
carries men down to hell by winding stairs. Obsta principiis ; 
stop this disease betimes ; flee from youthfiil lusts. Joseph 
would not breathe in the same air with his lascivious mistress. 
Be very scrupulous about tampering with occasions of sin. 

Ne pecces, Deus ipse videt, tuus angelus astat, 
Accusat Satanas et lex, mens conscia culpae : 
IMors incerta furit, cruciat te luridus Orcus, 
Et manet aeternum tristi damnatio pcena. 

But if you have sinned despair not of pardon, repent and be- 
lieve. Remember there is no sin so little but without repent- 
ance it is damnable ; and there is no sin so great, but upon re- 
pentance and faith in Christ it is pardonable. Thus ends 

Your cordial friend, 


" None becomes wicked all at once. 

AuiT. ZStlu 1G89. 




Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while 
the evil days come not, 7ior the years draw nigh when thou 
shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. 

It is of great importance to the health of a place to have clear 
air and pure water ; strong winds clear the air, pure springs 
produce wholesome streams : the former proceeds from the im- 
mediate hand of God, and the latter derives advantage from 
the sedulous hand of man. How careful are men to keep their 
springs from pollution or putrefaction ! Much more care should 
all men take to prevent the seduction or depravation of youth, 
and to season their minds with salutary truths, and to have 
their hearts furnished with saving grace. O what influence 
may a rising generation have upon the future ! Education and 
examples are propagating. God saith of Abraham, " I know 
him, that he will command his children and his household after 
him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord.'f Observe it, 
how can Abraham command his successors when himself is 
dead and gone ? The virtue of his commands survives his 
person ; though he be gone, his pattern and instructions live 
and flourish to many generations : as many copies are taken 
after the original of the king s picture, or as one circle occasioned 
by a stone cast into water multiplies to a hundred. What need 
then have parents, tutors, ministers, and magistrates, to mould 
the spirits of young persons for God, to be a seminary for the 
church and the commonwealth ! that such fresh and refreshing 
streams may make glad the city of our God. There is nothing 
in which young persons are more faulty than in their forgetting 
God, and there is nothing produces more mournful eftects m 

• The following Treatise is taken from a IManuscript Volume belonging to 
the descendants of jMr. Hewood, which has been written with gi-eat accuracy 
by the Author, and apparently finished with more care than several of the 
Works published by himself. 

■j- Gen. xviii. 19. 

528 youth's monitok. 

the world, it brings botli sin and misery ; and tliere is nothing 
that God inculcates as a caution to Israel of old, so much as to 
guard against this : " Beware lest thou forget the Lord thy 
God — only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, 
lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen ;'' there- 
fore it is said, " The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all 
the nations that forget God ;'" * this is the character of grace- 
less souls. 

No wonder then if the royal preacher affix this memento on 
the doors and before the eyes of all young persons, of both sexes 
and of all degrees, nobility, gentry, ministers, and people, " Re- 
member now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." It is now 
as seasonable an admonition as it was in his days ; for as the 
world grows old, so young persons presently arrive at sharae- 
lessness, and to the highest degree of profligacy ; though young 
in yeaVs, they grow old in sensual indulgences and profaneness. 

The text presents to us two things ; namely, a dtcti/, " Re- 
member thy Creator ;" and an argument, " Before evil days 

In the duty we have for consideration, the agents^ yoimg 
persons ; the act, remember ; the object, thy Creator ; and 
the season, now, in the days of thy youth. 

1. Why calls he on young persons .'' 

(1.) Because the old will not hearken, but grow obstinate. 

(2.) Because the young are most apt to forget God, chap, 
xi. 10 ; this is an aiitidote against their sin. 

(3.) The word ni"inzi is feminine, this denotes tenderness of 
spirit ; they are now most soft and phable, soon receive im- 
pressions. The word is significant, rarely used, for other words 
that signify age are masculine. 

(4.) The word may be translated choice of days. Saul is 
called, "a choice young man, and. a goodly :" and any thing 
that is most excellent and the very best, is called choice, as 
" choice sepulchres," " choice gold and silver," " choice fir- 
trees ;" and so this time of youth is the flower of man's age.-f 
In these passages the same word is used. 

2. Why doth he bid them remember ? why not rather fear, 
love, serve God ? 

(1.) Because as forgetting God is the root of all sins of 
omission and commission ; so remembering God is the principle 
of graces, holiness, and obedience. Men never commit a sin 
but they forget God ; Heb. xii. 5, " Ye have forgotten the ex- 
hortation ;" so holiness is mindfulness of God and his word. 

• Dent. vi. 12. iv. 9. Ps. ix. 17. 

■f- 1 Sam- ix. 2. Gen. xxiii. 6. xlix. 11. Prov. viii. 19. Isa. zxxvii. 24. 


(2.) Words of knowledge usually denote affection and prac- 
tice in scripture ; * " This is life eternal to know God,'" John 
xvii. 3; so this word signifies, acknowledge, fear, love, serve God. 
3. Why doth he say thy Creator ? why not Jehovah, God, 
the Almighty ? 

(1.) The word Crestor is very emphatical, and shows God's 
right and man s duty ; his relation to, and dependance on God, 
and his great mgratitude if he disregard his Creator, -f- 

(2.) It is yet more significant if we consider that it is in the 
plural number, TN'-inTiK, creatorum tuorum. First, To shew 
the plurality of persons in the divine unity, which is frequent 
in the scripture. Gen. i. 26. l Secondly, Because preserva- 
tion is a sort of continued creation, and lays multiplied obliga- 
tions on the creature : and it is t/ty Creator. 
4. What is the import of this word — now ? 
The word is copulative, n^n, and remember ; the Hebrew 
word n, signifies a hook, or crooked nail to join things together: 
so it is used Exod. xxvi. 37, " Their hooks shall be of goldf'|| 
so the meaning is, either, (1.) that it is a conjunction copula- 
tive, joining this to the former two verses, which in the Hebrew 
bible are part of this chapter, (for division of chapters is a mo- 
dern thing and human.) Or, (2.) an additional clause and sig- 
nifies — moreover ; as if he had said, I do not only give the 
young man negative rules, but positive commands ; thou must 
not only remove anger, or grounds of sorrow from thy heart, 
but be sincerely and seriously religious. A negative holiness 
must not serve thy turn, but be truly as well as timely pious. 
Or, (3.) if it be translated — now, it adds further emphasis to 
the exhortation ; as if it were said, childhood and youth are 
vanity, therefore now while thy years are green, and thy bones 
moistened with marrow, even now, in this dark age, get thine 
eye enlightened with the knowledge of God ; and in this slip- 
pery age, get thy soul duly stayed and settled with the remem- 
brance of God thy Creator, and the ends of thy creation : pass 
not this flowery season of thy age in vanity, but get thy 
thoughts fixed upon God. 

Doctrine, It well becomes young persons to remember 
their Creator. 

The days of youth are a proper time for souls to be mindful 
of their Creator ; it is never unseasonable, but it is then most 
suitable. Youthful piety is lovely and commendable, pleasant 
and advantageous, excellent and honourable ; it is a jewel in 
a gold ring, a pearl or precious stone curiously enchased, that 
doth make the possessor appear rich and highly respected. 

• A'^erba notitiae affectum et praxin connotant. + Dent, xxxil. 6. 

J PttaLii cxlix. 2. Isa. liv. 5. II Exod. xxvii. 10. 

530 yox'Th's monitor. 

1. This is typified in tlie first-fruits to be dedicated to God. 
Exod. xxiii. 19, " The first of tlie first-fruits of thy land thou 
shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God."" ]\Ir. Ains- 
worth observes out of ]Maimonidcs upon Exod. xxii. 29, that 
the Hebrews were to bring the first-fruits of seven things, 
namely, of wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and 
dates. And if one bring other besides these seven kinds, they 
are not sanctified ; only observe, the passage saith, " thou shalt 
not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits."" Again, " The first- 
born of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.'' This is of import- 
ance to us, and the paschal lamb must be a lamb " of the first 
year," Exod. xii. 5, which also hath its significancy, for the 
Jews thus expound it : that a lamb after it was eight days old 
and forward, was allowable to be offered in sacrifice for the 
passover, and if it was but an hour older than the year, it was 
unlawful. This typifies not only the perfection of Christ, but that 
youth must be devoted to God. 

2. It is commanded, ]Matt. vi. 33, " Seek first the kingdom 
of God, and his righteousness."''' First, in order of time ; the 
first thing in the day, begin every morning with God ; the first 
in the day of natural life, begin your lives with godliness. 
Some think this precept refers to the account of Solomon's 
asking wisdom, 1 Kings iii. 6 — 11. True grace or wisdom, is 
the first link in the golden chain that draws all things neces- 
sary and desirable after it. God commands, that all ages 
should praise him ; " young men and maidens ; old men and 
children," Psal. cxlviii. 12. Aged DaWd leaves this legacy 
with his son Solomon, 1 Chron. xxviii. 9, " And thou Solomon, 
my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with 
a perfect heart, and with a willing mind,"' &c. Paul the aged 
thus charges his son Timothy, 1 Tim. iv. 12 — 16, " Let no 
man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers 
in v.ord, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in pu- 
rity," kc. So Titus, ii. 6, " Young men likewise exhort to be 
sober-minded," or discreet ; that is, seriously religious. 

3. It is commended and rewarded: Josiah is praised, because 
in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he 
began to seek after the God of Da\-id, his father ; and in the 
twelfth year, he began to clear Judah and Jerusalem from the 
high places. What a fine character is left upon record of 
young Abijah, the son of Jeroboam, 1 Kings xiv. 13, " The 
child shall die, and all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury 
him ; for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because 
in him there is found some good thing towards the Lord God 
of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam." Something grateful or 
acceptable was found in him ; God takes well a small good in 

iNTRODUC'riON. 531 

iiopeful youth. Jesus, beholding the towardly young man, 
loved him, Mark x. 21, though it was not sincere or saving 
good that was in him, God reckons it both as a great orna- 
ment to young men, and an inestimable privilege to his peo- 
ple. Amos ii. 11, " And I raised up of your sons for prophets, 
and of your young men, for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O 
ye children of Israel, saith the Lord.?" As if he should say, 
you may well think I had a great respect for you, when I not 
only received you into covenant, but your children ; yea, into 
the covenant of Levi ; and not only when they were grown up, 
but even while children, as Samviel and Jeremiah. Strange 
and rare it is, that young men, who are most addicted to plea- 
sures and wine, become so abstemious, grave, and seriously 
religious ; this reflects honour on the persons and people, where 
such singular devotedness to God is found. 

For more profitably discussing this important subject, I shall 
propose these inquiries : 

I. What is implied and intended in this word, remember ? 

II. How young persons may use their memories, so as to 
promote religion ? 

III. Wherein their remembering their Creator may have an 
influence on practical godliness ? 

IV. Why it becomes young persons to remember their 
Creator, or be seriously religious ? 

And so to apply the whole. 

I. What is the meaning and import of this word, remember, 
which may discover the reason why the Holy Ghost lays so 
much stress upon it ? 

I answer, the word, remember, is very extensive and compre- 
hensive in its import, for it intends four things : 
; 1. To call to mind things past. This is the proper import 
of the word remember. Psal. Ixxvii. 10, " I will remember the 
years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember 
the works of the Lord, thy wonders of old." Even so young 
men must remember, 

(1.) What they are made of: Gen. ii. 7, "And the Lord 
God formed man of the dust of the ground." So the wise man 
informs us in this chapter, ver. 7, " Then shall the dust return 
to the earth as it was." O young man, forget not thy origin, 
thou art nothing but a little mean clay clotted together with 
blood, as mortar tempered with water, and animated with subtile 
breath, wh.ereby thou art wrought up to a walking statue. A 
consideration of this would pluck down thy peacock's p3umes, 
and lay thy honour in the du.-t, when thou beginnest to advance 
thyself as if thou wert not a mortal creature ; it is a wonder to 

VOL. V. 2 M 

532 youth's monitor. 

tliink how men"'s spirits are elevated with riches and honours, 
as if they were not mortals. 

jVIen's great sin and misery proceed from their forgetfulness 
of themselves, whence they are, and whither they are going. 
Hence Philip king of INIacedon, employed a page every morn- 
ing to call to him, " Remember, sir, you are a mortal."^ Would 
to God, young persons would consider, *' that they dwell in 
houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust ; which are 
crushed before the moth.''* You are brittle glasses, soon 
broken ; crazy tabernacles, at best, quickly dissolved. 

(2.) Reflect on your sinful state and acts. You were alto- 
gether born in sin ; estranged from God even from the womb, 
going astray as soon as you were born, speaking lics.-f- You 
come into the world with a sad stock of sin, and set up that 
wretched trade as soon as you exercise reason ; while you were 
children, you soon learned to lie, swear, mock at godliness, be 
disobedient to parents. Augustine, obser\ang two children 
sucking at a mother's breast, the one cast a peevish, morose look 
at the other, envying that it should suck at the other breast, 
cried out, () I^ord, when was the time, where was the place, 
that I was free from the buddings forth of this accursed root ? 
Young persons should be often saying, " I remember my faults 
this day ;" this is the true nature of genuine repentance, for 
men to bethink themselves, or bring back to their heart. J Sin 
came from the heart in commission, and must be brought back 
upon the heart as a burden, if ever there be repentance. O re- 
member the sins of childhood and youtli, that God may not 
remember thern. I| Alas ! when I was a child, I thought, 
spake, and acted as a child ; I was childish in my conceits, 
senseless in my imaginations, wild in my notions, and brutish 
in my affections and actions : poor vain man, I would needs be 
wise, though I was born like a wild ass's colt. § I was empty 
of good, and soon filled with trash and pollution, and was still 
generating more, till at last my soul was loaded with guilt and 
impurities. O that they were a pressing load upon me ! 

(3.) Remember the rebukes of Providence under which you 
have lain ; these are worth recollecting, not only correction by 
parents, but chastisements of God's hand. If you reverenced 
fathers of your flesh, will you not subject yourselves to the 
Father of spirits, that you may live "^ Have not some of you 
borne the yoke in your youth, sicknesses, small pox, fevers, 
agues, and other weaknesses .'' Yea, liave you not been scourg- 
ed with your own rod 'i Just as fond children eat fruit till they 

• Job iv. If). + Psalm Iviii. 3. % Gen. xli. 9. 1 Kings viii. 47- 

II Psalm XXV. 7- § J"'-' xi. 12. 


become disordered, even so men''s own wickedness doth oft cor- 
rect tliem, and their backslidings do reprove them : * so that 
they may thank themselves for what they suffer. Oh that you 
could say as the church, Lam. iii. 19 — 21, " Remembering 
mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall , my 
soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 
This I recall to mind, therefore have I hope." You may learn 
so much good from reflecting on what you met with in your 
younger days, as may prove beneficial all the days of your life ; 
both to keep you low in humility, and raise up your hearts in 
hopeful encouragement. 

(4.) You must remember the many obligations laid upon you 
in your younger days to be the Lord's ; how early you -w^re 
dedicated to God in baptism ; you were given up to Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost, and his name put upon you ; you were 
washed in the laver of baptism, and are engaged to put on 
Christ, to furnish the answer of a good conscience to God. 
You must remember your parents' examples and instructions ; 
their counsels, admonitions, and prayers : for the vows of God 
are upon you. The kindness of God should lead you to repen- 
tance, and it becomes you to be often saying as David, Psalm 
cxvi. 16, " O Lord, truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant, 
and the son of thy handmaid : thou hast loosed my bonds." 
O young persons, think and think again upon the various and 
gracious acts of Providence, these will engage you to gratitude 
and obedience. Psalm cv. 5, 6, " Remember his marvellous 
•works that he hath done. — O ye seed of Abraham his servant, 
ye children of Jacob his chosen." O be ashamed to be un- 
fruitfid under all these genial showers from God and man. 
Tremble to break through all these bonds. How dreadful will 
your case be, if all these be lost upon you, if sin supplant these 
methods of grace. 

2. The word signifies, a representing of things absent, as if 
they were present before our eyes ; or things distant, just at 
hand. God was much withdrawn from David's soul, but yet 
he could think of an absent God. Psalm Ixxvii. S, " I remem- 
bered God and was troubled." This remem.bering is believing 
meditation and heavenly contemplation upon unseen objects, 
•which is a heavenly life. The natural eye only beholds things 
present as objects of sense ; but faith Ijeholds things not seen.-|- 
This is called by Augustine, :!: " a kind of mathematical me- 
mory containing dimensions, which the sense of the body does 

• Jer. ii. 19. t Heb. xi. 1. 

:{: Mathematicorum memoria, qua; dimensionum rationes continet, quarum 
nullam corporis sensus impressit. 


534) youth's monitor. 

not impress upon the mind."'' ]\Iuch more doth the soul con- 
ceive of obj