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Full text of "The complete works of Thomas Manton, D.D. : with memoir of the author"









EASTER. 1906 


Shell No. 

ter No. 





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

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

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

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

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

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

General tf&itor. 













SERMONS UPON EOMANS vm. continued. 


SERMON XII. " Now if any Have not the Spirit of Christ, he is 

none of his," ver. 9, ... 1 

XIII. " And if Christ be -in you, the body is dead be 
cause of sin," &c., ver. 10, . . . 11 

XIV. " If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from 

the dead dwell in you," &c., ver. 11, . 18 

XV. " Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the 

flesh, to live after the flesh," ver. 12, . 27 

XVI. "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die/ 1 

ver. 13, . . . .36 

XVII. " If ye live after the flesh," &c., ver. 13, . , 45 

XVIII. " If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of 

the body, ye shall live," ver. 13, . 54 

XIX. " If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of 

the body," ver. 13, . . , . 72 

XX. "Ye shall live," ver. 13, ... 82 

XXI. " For as many as are led by the Spirit of God 

are the sons of God," ver. 14, . 91 

XXII. " For ye have not received the spirit of bondage 

again to fear," &c., ver. 15, . . . 101 

XXIII. " But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, 

whereby we cry, Abba, Father," ver. 15, . Ill 

XXIV. " The Spirit itself witnesseth to our spirit, that 

we are the children of God," ver. 16, . 121 



SERMON XXV. " If children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and 

joint heirs with Christ," &c., ver. 17, . 130 

XXVI. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this 

present time," &c., ver. 18, . . 139 

XXVII. " For the earnest expectation of the creature 

waiteth for," &c., ver. 19, . . 148 

" For the creature was made subject to vanity, 

not willingly," &c., ver. 20, . .157 

XXVIII. "Because the creature itself also shall be 

delivered," &c., ver. 21, . , . 166 

XXIX. " For we know that the whole creation groaneth 

and travaileth," &c., ver. 22, . . 177 

XXX. " And not only they, but ourselves also, who 

have the first-fruits," &c., ver. 23, . 186 

XXXI. " For we are saved by hope : but hope that is 

seen is not hope," &c., ver. 24, . . 196 

XXXII. " For we are saved by hope," &c., ver. 24, . 205 

XXXIII. " But if we hope for that we see not, then do 

we with patience wait," &c., ver. 25, . 216 

XXXIV. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our in 
firmities," &c., ver. 26, . . .225 

XXXV. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our in 
firmities," &c., ver. 26, . . . 233 

XXXVI. "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth 

what is the mind," &c., ver. 27, . . 243 

XXXVII. "And we know that all things work together 

for good to them," &c., ver. 28, . . 258 

XXXVIII. " To them that love God," ver. 28, . . 276 

XXXIX. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did 

predestinate," &c., ver. 29, . . 301 

XL. " Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them 

he also called," &c., ver. 30, . . 310 



SERMON XLI. "What shall we then say to these things? 

if God be for us," &c., ver. 31, . . 319 

XLII. " He that spared not his own Son, but delivered 

him up for us all," &c., ver. 32, . . 336 

XLIII. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of 

God's elect ? " &c., ver. 33, . . 348 

XLIV. "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ 

that died," ver. 34, . . 358 

XLV. "Who shall separate us from the love of 

Christ? shall tribulation," &c., ver. 35, . 374 

XLVI. " As it is written, For thy sake we are killed 

all the day long," &c., vers. 36, 37, . 384 

XLVJI. " For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor 

life, nor angels," &c., vers. 38, 39, . 410 


SERMON I. " For we know, that if our earthly house of this 

tabernacle were dissolved," ver. 1, . , . 423 

II. " For we know, that if our earthly house of this 

tabernacle were dissolved/' &c., ver. 1, . 431 

III. " For we know, that if our earthly house of this 

tabernacle were dissolved," &c., ver. 1, . 442 

IV. " For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be 

clothed upon with our house," &c., ver. 2, . 451 

V. "If so be that being clothed we shall not be 

found naked," ver. 3, . . .459 

VI. "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, 

being burdened," &c., ver. 4, . .467 

VII. " Now he that hath wrought us for this self-same 

thing is God," &c., ver. 5, . . . 476 

VIII. "Therefore we are always confident, knowing 

that while we are at home," &c., ver. 6, . 486 





Now if any have not the Spirit of Christ, lie is none of his. 
KOM. VIII. 9. 

IN the context, we have an assertion of a general truth, ' There is no 
condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the 
flesh, but after the spirit/ We have this application in the beginning 
of this verse, lest any should raise up a vain confidence that they were 
in Christ, and therefore freed from condemnation, without regarding 
what he had before said, expounding himself : ver. 1, * Who walk not 
after the flesh, but after the spirit' He here further adds as an 
application of the proposition, ' he who hath not the Spirit of Christ, 
is none of his ; ' which, because they were Christians in profession, was 
more accommodate to them. Here observe 

Doct. That all true Christians have the spirit of Christ. 

1. I suppose there are Christians, or Christ's disciples in name, and 
disciples indeed : John viii. 31. As an Israelite indeed : John i. 47 ; 
Rom. ii. 29. The apostle distinguished of a Jew in the letter, and a 
Jew in the spirit. So, by just analogy and proportion, there are 
Christians in the letter, that have the outside of Christians, but not the 
life and power. We are only Christians in name and profession till 
we have the Spirit. 

2. I assert, that which discriminateth the one from the other, is the 
having the Spirit. It is a mark both exclusive and inclusive ; some 
marks are exclusive, but not inclusive : John i. 47, ' He that is of God, 
heareth God's word : ye, therefore, hear them not, because ye are not 
of God ; ' that is exclusive. Acts xiii. 46, ' But seeing ye put away the 
word of God from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life ;' 
that is also exclusive. But if we depend upon these marks, we put a 
false reasoning upon our souls : James i. 22, ' But be ye doers of the 
word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own souls,' 7rapa\oy^6fievoi,. 
There are inclusive marks, but not exclusive, as : Rom. ix. 1, 2, 3, ' I 
say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me 
witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual 
sorrow in my heart ; for I could wish that myself were accursed from 
Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh/ They that 

VOL. xn; A 


can prefer a public good, before their own personal eternal interest, 
have an undoubted evidence of their love to Christ ; but we cannot say 
that none love Christ, but those which arrive at that height and degree : 
but this is both exclusive and inclusive. The text showeth it to be 
exclusive ; he that hath not the Spirit, is none of his ; that is, not 
grafted as a living member into Christ's mystical body for the present, 
nor will he be accepted or approved as a true Christian at last, at the 
day of Christ's appearing ; to be none of Christ's, is to be disowned and 
disclaimed by Christ , ' Depart from me, I know you not.' How 
grievous is the thought of it to any good Christian ! Secondly, It is 
inclusive : 1 John ii. 13, ' Hereby we know that we dwell in God, and 
he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.' These are magnificent 
words, and such as^we should not have used, if God had not used them 
before us. It is much nearness to dwell one with another, it is more 
nearness to dwell one in another ; this is mutual and reciprocal between 
God and a believer ; if we have his Spirit we may safely conclude it. 
To prove this, let us see, 

1. What it is to have the Spirit. 

2. Why this is the evidence that we are true Christians. 
First. For the first question take these explanations : 

1. By the Spirit of Christ is not meant any created habit and gift 
For the new nature is sometimes called the spirit : John iii. 6. But 
the third person in the Trinity, called the Holy Ghost, is here meant ; 
for he is spoken of as a person that dwelleth in believers, in the former 
part of the verse ; and dwelleth in them as in his temple, as one that 
leadeth, guideth, and sanctifieth them ; yea, as one that will at length 
quicken their mortal bodies, ver. 11, which no created habit and quality 
can do. Yea, he is called the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ : 
* If so be the Spirit of God dwell in you ; ' and in the words of the 
text, ' If any man have not the Spirit of Christ.' Because he proceedeth 
from the Father and the Son : John xv. 26, ' When the comforter is 
come, whom I will send you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, 
which proceedeth from the Father.' This is the Spirit which is 
spoken of in this place. 

2. This Spirit is had, or said to be in us. We have not only the 
fruit, but the tree. But how have we him ? We have a right to his 
person, he is given to us in the covenant of grace, as our sanctifier ; 
as God is ours by covenant, so is the Spirit ours, as well as the Father 
and the Son ; and he is present in our hearts, as the immediate agent 
of Christ, and worker of all grace. It is true, in respect of his essence, 
and some kind of operation, he is present in all creatures : Ps. cxxxix. 
7, ' Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? Whither shall I fly from 
thy presence ? ' God filleth all things with his Spirit and presence. 
And therefore when some are said to have him, and others not to have 
him, it is understood of his peculiar presence, with respect to those 
eminent operations and effects which he produceth in the hearts of the 
faithful, and nowhere else ; for he is such an agent nowhere, as he is 
in their hearts. Therefore, they are called temples of the Holy Ghost 
1 Cor. iii. 16 and 1 Cor. vi. 19 because he buildeth them up for a holy 
use, and also dwelleth and reside th there, maintaining God's interest 
in their souls. 


3. These eminent operations of the Holy Ghost are either in a way 
of common gifts, or special graces ; as to common gifts, reprobates and 
hypocrites may be said to be partakers of the Holy Ghost, Heb. vi. 4, 
Balaam had the gift of prophecy, and Judas the gift of miracles, as 
well as the rest of the apostles : 1 Cor. xii., the apostle discourseth at 
large of the gifts of the Spirit, and concludeth ; ' but I shew you a 
more excellent /way/ verse 31 ; and then taketh it up again : 1 Cor. 
xiii. 1, 2, ' Though I speak with the tongue of men and angels, and 
have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling 
cymbal ; and, though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all 
mysteries and all knowledge ; and though I have all faith, so that I 
could remove mountains, and have no charity, I am nothing.' 

There are dona ministrantia, gifts for the service of the church ; such 
as profound knowledge, utterance in preaching, or praying, or any other 
ministerial acts ; and dona sanctificantia, such as faith, hope, and love ; 
the former may render us useful to the church, but not acceptable to 
the Lord. The superficial Christianity is rewarded with common gifts, 
but the real Christianity with special graces ; all that profess the faith 
are visibly adopted by God into his family, and under a visible admini 
stration of the covenant of grace ; so far as they are adopted into 
God's family, so far are they made partakers of the Spirit. Christ 
giveth to common Christians those common gifts of the Spirit, which 
he giveth not to the heathen world ; as, knowledge of the mysteries of 
godliness, abilities of utterance and speech about heavenly things ; 
some affection also to spiritual and heavenly things, called a tasting of 
the good word ; the heavenly gift, and the powers of the world to 
come ; these will not prove us true Christians, or really in God's special 
favour, but only visible, professed Christians. 

4. The Spirit, as to sanctifying and saving effects, may be considered 
as spiritus assistens aut informans ; either as moving, warning, or excit 
ing, by transient motions ; so the wicked may be wrought upon by him, 
as to be convinced, warned, excited ; how else can they be said to resist 
the Holy Ghost? Acts vii. -51. And the Lord telleth the old world, 
Gen. vi. 3, that his Spirit should not always strive with them. Surely, 
besides the counsels and exhortations of the word, the Spirit doth 
rebuke, warn, and excite them, and moveth, and stirreth, and striveth 
in the hearts of all carnal creatures, or else these expressions could not 
be used. 

5. There are such effects of his sanctifying grace, as are wrought in 
us, per modum Jiabitus permanentis, to renew and change us, so as a 
man from carnal, doth become spiritual, the Spirit of God doth so 
dwell in us as to frame heart and life into holiness ; this work is some 
times called the new creature, 2 Cor. v. 17, and sometimes the divine 
nature, 2 Pet. i. 4. It differeth from gifts, because they are for out 
ward service ; but this conduceth to change the heart : it differeth from 
actual motions and inspirations, because they may vanish and die away, 
without any saving impression left upon the heart : it differeth from 
those slighter dispositions to godliness, which are many times in tem 
poraries ; because they are but a light tincture, soon worn off, and have 
no power and mastery over sensual affections ; if they restrain them a 
little, they do not mortify and subdue them. Good motions are as a 


dash of rain ; and those weak inclinations and good dispositions which 
are in temporaries, are as a pond, or pool, which may be dried up ; hut 
this saving and sanctifying work is as a spring: John iv. 14. Two 
things are considerable in it : 1. Its continuance and indication. 2. 
Its efficacy and predominancy. 

[1.] The radication is set forth by the notions of the Spirit's dwelling 
in us: John xiv. 17, 'He shall be in you, and dwell in you.' Its 
resting upon us : 1 Pet. iv. 14, ' The Spirit of God and of glory rest 
upon you/ He taketh up his abode with us : John xiv. 23, ' We will 
come to him, and make our abode with him/ It is not a visit and 
away, or a lodging for a night, but a constant residence ; he taketh up 
his mansion in our hearts. Some have fits and qualms of religion, 
motions of conviction and joy, but not a settled bent of heart towards 
God and heaven. 

[2.] Its pre valency and predominancy ; for where the Spirit dwelleth, 
there he must rule, and have the command of the house ; he dwelleth 
in the soul ; he dwelleth so as to govern, directing and inclining us 
so as to do things pleasing unto God, weaning us from the. world : 1 
Cor. ii. 12. This is called the receiving, not the spirit of the world, 
but that which is of God. Mastering and taming the flesh, both its 
gust and savour : Rom. viii. 5, ' For they that are after the flesh, do 
mind the things of the flesh/ Its deeds and motions : Rom. viii. 13, 
' If ye mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live/ The flesh will 
rebel, but the Spirit gets the upper hand, for the dominion and 
sovereignty of the flesh are not consistent with the having of the Spirit ; 
the flesh is subdued more and more ; where the Spirit cometh, he 
cometh to govern, to suit the heart to the will of God, and to give us 
greater liberty towards him : 2 Cor. iii. 17, ' Where the Spirit of the 
Lord is, there is liberty/ The objects of sense which feed the flesh 
make less impression upon us ; and the love of sin is more arid more 
conquered. Now take it thus explained, you may know what it is to 
have the Spirit, namely, the dwelling and working of the Spirit in our 
souls, mortifying the flesh, and causing us to live unto God. 

Secondly. Why is this an evidence that we are true Christians ? 
Here I shall prove two things. 

1. That all true Christians have this sanctifying Spirit. 

2. That it is the certain evidence and proof of their being Christians, 
or having an interest in Christ. 

1. That all that are true Christians have it. I prove it 
[1.] From the promise of God, who hath promised it to them ; and 
surely his love and faithfulness will see it made good : Zech. xii. 10, 
4 1 will pour upon them the Spirit of grace and supplications ; ' and Prov. 
i. 23, ' Turn unto me, and I will pour out an abundance of Spirit unto 
you ;' and Rev. xxii. 17,' Whosoever will, let him drink of the water of 
life freely/ By Hie water of life is meant the Spirit ; as appeareth, 
John vii. 38, 39 ; so in many other places. Now surely God's word 
will not fall to the ground, but must be accomplished. 

[2.] From the merit of Christ. Two things Christ purchased and 
bestowed upon all his people, his righteousness and his Spirit : 2 Cor. 
v. 21, ' He was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteous 
ness of God in him ' : Gal. iii. 14, ' That we might receive the promise 


of the Spirit through faith ; the rock was smitten by the rod of Moses 
twice,' 1 Cor. x. 4. And these two gifts are inseparable ; where he 
giveth the one, he giveth the other ; we have both, or none : 1 Cor. vi. 
11. ' But ye are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the 
Spirit of our God : ' and Tit. iii. 5, 6, 7, ' But according to his mercy he 
saved us by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy 
Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our 
Saviour, that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs 
according to the hope of eternal life.' He freeth us at the same time 
a malo morali, which is sin ; and a malo naturali, which is punishment. 

S3.] When we enter into the covenant of grace, we enter into covenant 
i Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; with God, and with the Kedeemer, 
and with the Sanctifier : Mat. xxviii. 19, * We are baptized in the 
name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.' What is our covenant 
with the Holy Ghost ? It implieth both our duty and our benefit ; 
our benefit is that we expect that the Holy Ghost should regenerate 
us, and renew us to the image of God, and plant us into Christ by 
faith, and then dwell in us, and maintain God's interest in our souls, 
and so make us saints and believers : and our duty is to consent to give 
up ourselves to him as our sanctifier, and to obey his powerful motions, 
before we are made partakers of the Holy Ghost. 

[4.] The necessity of having the Spirit appeareth, in that without 
him we can do nothing in Christianity from first to last ; it is the Spirit 
uniteth us to Christ, and planteth us into his mystical body : 1 Cor. 
xii. 13, ' By one Spirit we are baptized into one body ; ' it is by the Spirit 
we give up ourselves to God as our God and reconciled Father in Christ, 
and to Christ as our Redeemer and Saviour and so are planted into 
his mystical body : 1 Cor. vi. 17, * But he that is joined to the Lord is 
one spirit/ As a man and a harlot are one flesh, so we are one spirit ; 
the union is spiritual for kind, and the Spirit is the author of it. So 
for further sanctification, and consolation, and mortification ; take it 
either for the purging out lusts or suppressing the acts of sin ; for the 
purging out of lusts: 1 Pet. i. 22, * Seeing ye have purified your souls 
in obeying the truth through the Spirit.' Pride, worldliness, and 
sensuality, these are purged out more and more by the Spirit. Or 
suppressing the acts of sin : Rom. viii. 13, ' If ye through the Spirit do 
mortify the deeds of the body.' So for vivification, he infuseth life, and 
quickeneth and maintaineth it in our souls : Gal. v. 25, * If we live in 
the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.' Strengthening it: Eph. iii. 
16, ' That he would grant you according to the riches of his grace to be 
strengthened with might, by his Spirit.' He maketh it fruitful and 
excitethit: Ezek. xxxvi. 27, 'I will put my Spirit into you, and 
cause you to walk in my ways.' For consolation, to uphold our hearts 
in the midst of all trials and difficulties ; then we may go on cheerfully, 
and in a course of holiness : Acts ix. 31, ' They walked in the fear of 
God, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost.' To comfort us with the 
sense of God's love in all our tribulations : Rom. v. 5, * Because the love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given 
unto us.' To wait for eternal life : Gal. v. 5, ' But we through the Spirit 
do wait for the hope of righteousness by faith,' that is, which is built 
upon it. 


2. This Spirit is the evidence of men being true Christians, the only 
sure and proper evidence : this will appear, 

[1.] By the metaphors and terms by which the Spirit is set forth ; 
he is called a seal, a witness, and an earnest : ' Who hath sealed us, and 
given us the earnest of his Spirit in our hearts : ' 2 Cor. i. 22 ; and 
Eph. i. 13, 14, 'After ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit 
of promise.' Men used to set their mark and stamp upon their wares, 
that they might own them for theirs. God sealeth by his Spirit ; his 
stamp is his image: 2 Cor. iii. 18, 'We are changed into his image 
from glory to glory.' So he is also set forth under the notion of a 
witness : Rom. viii. 16, ' The Spirit itself beareth witness/ What is 
the witness of the Spirit ? Not an immediate revelation or oracle in 
your bosoms, to tell you that you are God's children, but the renovation 
of the soul, and the constant operation of the Holy Spirit, dwelling 
and working in you ; this testifieth to our consciences or spirits, that 
God hath adopted us into his family ; thus the Spirit is a witness to 
the scriptures. So he is set forth as an earnest : 2 Cor. v. 5, ' Now he 
that hath wrought us to this self-same thing is God, who hath also 
given us the earnest of his Spirit.' An earnest is part of the sum ; we 
have somewhat of the life, and peace, and joy of the Spirit now. which 
enableth us to wait with the more comfort and assurance for our future 

[2.] From the congruity of this evidence. 

(1.) The coming down of the Holy Ghost upon him as the evidence 
of God's love to Christ, and the visible dempnstration of his affiliation 
and sonship to the world. The evidence of God's love: John. iii. 34, 
1 The Father loved the Son, and gave him the Spirit without measure/ 
Now Christ prayed : John xvii. 26 ; ' That the love wherewith thou 
hast loved me may be in them ; ' and v. 23, ' That the world may know 
that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me/ 
None will think in degree, therefore in kind, that God would 
manifest his love to us, as he did to him, by the gift of the 
Holy Spirit, or his filiation. John knew Christ to be the Son 
of God, by the Spirit descending and abiding on him : John. i. 
32, * I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it abode on 
him ; ' yea, God himself owned this as a demonstration of his sonship : 
Mat. iii. 17, ' This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased/ 
So do we know ourselves to be the children of God, by the Spirit's 
inhabitation and sanctifying work upon our souls. 

(2.) The pouring out of the Spirit was the visible evidence given to 
the church of the sufficiency of Christ's satisfaction. When God was 
reconciled, then he shed forth the Spirit: Acts ii. 33, ' Therefore being 
at the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father 
the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now 
see and hear ; ' so John vii. 38, 39, ' He that believeth in me, (as the 
scripture saith) out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water : this 
he spake of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive ; 
for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet 
glorified/ Now this is true of God's love and reconciliation to us in 
particular ; when he is pacified, he giveth the Spirit, because the part 
followeth the reason of the whole ; and the atonement made, and the 


atonement received, Kom. v. 11, are evidenced the same way, even by 
this fountain of living water, which is given to all believers. 

(3.) This is the witness of the truth of the gospel, and therefore the 
best pledge of the love of God we can have in our hearts ; for the 
believer's hopes are confirmed in the same way the gospel is confirmed ; 
that which confirmeth Christianity, confirmeth the Christian ; the 
extract and original charter are confirmed by the same stamp and 
impression ; the Spirit confirmeth the love of God to sinners, and 
therefore the love of God to me : Act. v. 32, ' And we are witnesses of 
these things, and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them 
that obey him.' The word was confirmed by the great wonders wrought 
by the Holy Ghost : Heb. iii. 4, ' God bearing them witness, with signs 
and wonders, and divers gifts of the Holy Ghost.' The sanctifying 
Spirit: John xvii. 17, * Sanctify them through the truth, thy word is 
truth : ' 1 John v. 10, ' He that believeth on the Son, hath the witness 
in himself.' The Spirit comforting the conscience by the blood of Christ, 
and sanctifying the heart, and cleansing it as with pure water, this 
also is our evidence. 

[3.] From the qualities of this evidence, and so it is most apt to 
satisfy the doubting conscience concerning its interest in Christ and 
his benefits. 

(1.) It is a great benefit, becoming the love of God, to give us his 
Holy Spirit ; it is more than if he had given us all the world. Persons 
that have been at variance will not believe one another, unless their 
reconciliation be verified by some remarkable good turn and visible 
testimony of love. A great offender reconciled to Augustus, yet would 
not believe it, unless he put some notable mark of his favour upon him ; 
as David to Amasa, making him general of his army. Surely the 
breach hath been so great between us and God, that we shall have no 
peace and joy in believing, till we have some gift that may be a perfect 
demonstration that he is at peace with us : Kom. v. 11, ' We joy in God, 
as those that have received the atonement ; ' the pledge of it is in the 
gift of the Spirit. Most men's patience cometh from their stupidness, 
their confidence from their security, their quiet from their mindlessness 
of heavenly things ; but the soul that is in good earnest must have a 
witness of God's love, or a sufficient proof that he is reconciled and 
taken into God's family, made an heir according to the hope of eternal 
life, which is the spirit of adoption : Gal. iv. 6, ' And because ye are 
sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, 

(2.) It is most sensible, as being within our own hearts : the death 
of Christ was a demonstration of God's love, but that was done without 
us on the cross, and before we were born. Justification is a blessed 
privilege, but either that is God's act in heaven accepting us in Christ, 
or else, in the sentence of the law, by which we are constituted just ; 
but this cometh into our hearts ; Gal. iv. 6, ' God hath sent the Spirit 
of his Son into our hearts ; ' so 2 Cor. i. 22, ' He hath given us the 
earnest of the Spirit in our hearts ; ' so 1 John v. 11, ' He that believeth 
hath the witness in himself ; ' compare the eighth verse. 

(3.) It is a permanent and abiding testimony. By his constant opera 
tion we are acquainted with him, and know him ; what moveth and 


etirreth in us but now and then we understand not, but the Holy 
Ghost is familiar with us, resideth and dwelleth in our hearts ; we feel 
his pulse and motions : John xiv. 17, ' I will send you the Spirit of 
truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither 
knoweth him ; but ye know him, for he dwelleth in you, and shall be in 
you : ' therefore they know, QTI Trap vfuv pevet,. They that constantly 
feel his operations in comforting, quickening, instructing them, they 
may see how they are beloved of God, and minded by him upon all 
occasions. The effects of the Spirit are life, holiness, faith, strength, joy, 
comfort, and peace ; he enlighteneth our understanding, confirmeth our 
faith, and assures us of salvation ; exciteth us to prayer, stirreth up 
holy desires and motions, comforteth us in crosses, awakeneth us in 
groans after heaven. Now those that have such constant experience of 
the illuminating, sanctifying, quickening work of the Spirit on their 
souls, cannot but know what kind of spirit dwelleth and worketh in 

(4.) The sanctifying Spirit is the surest note of our reconciliation 
with God, as that which will not deceive us ; when he sanctifieth, he is 
pacified towards us : Heb. xiii. 20, 21, ' Now the God of peace, that 
brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the 
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect 
in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well 
pleasing in his sight ; ' and 1 Thes. v. 23, ' The very God of peace 
sanctify you wholly in body, soul, and spirit;' 2 Cor. v. 17, 18, 'If 
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature ; old things are passed 
away, behold all things are become new ; and all things are of God, 
who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ/ A man lieth open 
to delusions by other evidences, and may be long enough without true 
and solid comfort. 

[4.] From God's constant government. But there is a twofold way 
of providence by which he governeth the world, or else conducteth 
souls to glory ; there is an external sort of government, by prosperities, 
and adversities, and afflictions, and worldly blessings. Now these have 
their use, to invite us to obedience, and to caution us against sin ; but 
these things are not dispensed as sure evidences of God's love and 
hatred, Eccles. ix. 2. Worldly good things may be given in anger, 
lest men should be marked out by their outward condition, rather than 
the disposition of their souls. God would not distinguish the good by 
the blessings of his common providence, nor brand and mark out the 
bad by their afflictions. Therefore these mercies that run in the 
channel of common providence, are dispensed promiscuously. But God 
hath another way of internal government, carried on within the soul 
by troubles of conscience for sin, and the comforts of a good conscience 
as the reward of obedience. Now in this sort of government, the 
influence of the Spirit is mainly seen ; God showeth his anger or his 
love, his pleasure or displeasure, by giving and withholding the Spirit ; 
when he is pleased, we have the testimony of it in our consciences by 
the presence and comforts of the Spirit ; when displeased, he with- 
draweth the Spirit ; this is reward and punishment, the accesses and 
recesses of the Spirit, if we have sinned : Ps. li. 10, * Cast me not away 
from thy presence, and take not away thy Holy Spirit from me.' The 


retaining and witholding the Spirit is one of the greatest calamities in 
the world ; ver. 2, * Kenew a right spirit in me ; ' ver. 12, ' And uphold me 
by thy free Spirit. On the contrary the reward of obedience is the increase 
of the Spirit : Kom. xiv. 17, ' For the kingdom of God is not in meats 
and drinks, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.' 
Now this being God's constant way of internal government, whereby he 
manifesteth his pleasure or displeasure by witholding, or withdrawing, 
or giving out his Spirit ; and this is a surer way than the effects of his 
external providence. I cannot say God hateth me, because he denieth 
earthly blessings, or blasteth them when bestowed ; this may be for 
other reasons than to manifest his anger or hatred : I cannot say God 
loveth me because I enjoy outward prosperity; but if I have the Spirit, 
that is never given in anger. 

Use 1 is to persuade us to seek after the presence of the Spirit in 
our hearts. It is not enough to be baptized, to have the common faith 
and profession of Christians, no, we must also have the Spirit of Christ ; 
for, while we are carnal, we are Christians only in the letter. Two 
things I will press you to to receive and retain him ; to get him and 
keep him. 

[1.] Get him. See that he be entered into your hearts to recover your 
souls to God, John iii 5, see that you ' be born again of water, and of 
the Spirit ; ' and not only so, but get an increase and supply of the 
Spirit of Jesus Christ : Phil. i. 17, ' Through your prayers, and the 
supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.' Seek more of the Spirit, and lose 
him not in part, nor in whole : ' Quench not the Spirit/ Eph. iv. 30. 
To encourage you, consider, 

God is ready to give the Holy Spirit, Luke xi. 13, and Christ hath 
purchased it, that it might not be shed on us in a sparing manner, Tit. 
iii. 5. 6. It is applied to us by the word, or gospel- dispensation, 2 Cor. 
iii. 18. Baptism hath its use, Tit. iii. 5 ; it doth not signify so much 
the blood of Christ, as the sanctifying, cleansing Spirit purchased 
thereby. The promise of the Spirit is sometimes made absolutely : as 
Zech. xii. 10, ' I will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication.' As 
implying the first grace, you must take your lot ; if you miss of it, 
it is long of yourselves ; you resisted former warnings, motions, and 
strivings of the Spirit ; wait in the use of means. Sometimes, con 
ditionally, to faith : John vii. 39, ' This he spake of the Spirit, which 
they that believe on him, should receive.' Sometimes to repentance : 
Acts ii. 38, ' Kepent, and thou shalt receive the gift of the Holy Ghost/ 
Prov. i. 38. Now these must be often renewed, if we would get more 
of the Spirit into our hearts, for the Spirit is continued and increased 
to us by the same acts by which it is gotten at first, by faith and 
repentance; faith assenting, or consenting, or denying. (1.) Assenting 
with admiration of the infinite goodness and love of God shining forth 
to us in our redemption by Christ. The assent must be strong, that it 
may more effectually lead on other parts of faith, and because the actions 
of the three persons are a great mystery : 1 Pet. i. 2, ' Elect according 
to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of 
the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus/ Here 
is the eternal love of the Father, the infinite merit of Christ, and the 
all-powerful operation of the Spirit. An assent with wonder and 


astonishment, because so much wisdom, love, and grace was discovered 
in it, Eph. iii. 17-19. (2.) Consent must be often renewed to that 
covenant by which the Spirit is dispensed. Often enter into a resolution 
to take God for your God, for your sovereign lord, your portion and 
happiness; and Christ for your redeemer and saviour ; and the Holy 
Ghost for your guide, sanctifier and comforter. Every solemn consent 
renewed doth both confirm you in the benefit of the Spirit, and bind 
you and excite you to the duties required by God in all these relations. 
Your constant work is to love and seek after God as your happiness, and 
Jesus Christ as your saviour, and the Spirit for your guide and direc 
tion. (3.) Dependence upon the love of God, and the merits of Christ, 
and the power of the Spirit, that you may use Christ's appointed 
means with the mqre confidence. That soul that thus sets itself to 
believe, findeth a wonderful increase of the Spirit in this renewed 
exercise of faith, assenting, consenting, and depending : Kom. xv. 13, 
' The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you 
may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost/ 

[2.] Your repentance must be renewed by a hearty grief for sin, and 
resolutions and endeavours against it. The more sin is made odious, 
the more the Spirit hath obtained his effect in you ; and the more 
heartily you study to please God in the work of love and obedience, 
the more you are acquainted with the Spirit and his qtiickenings, the 
Spirit and his comforts : Acts ix. 31, ' They walked in the fear of the 
Lord, and the comforts of the Holy Ghost.' His business is to make 
you holy ; the more you obey his motions and follow his directions, 
the more he delighteth to dwell in your hearts. 

Use 2 is self-reflection. Let me put that question to you : Acts xix. 
3, ' Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? ' Is the first 
great change wrought ? are you called from darkness to light ? from 
sin to holiness ? turned from Satan to God ? Are you made partakers 
of the divine nature ? 2 Pet. i. 4. The change must be perfected more 
and more by the Spirit: 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' Beholding as in a glass the 
glory of the Lord, we are changed into his image from glory to glory, 
by the Spirit of the Lord/ Do you obey his sanctifying motions ? 
Rom. viii. 14, ' For as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the 
sons of God/ His motions all tend to quicken us to the heavenly life, 
inclining our hearts to things above : 2 Thes. ii. 13, ' But we are 
bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, beloved of the 
Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation 
through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth,' 



And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, and the 
Spirit is life because of righteousness. ROM. VIII. 10. 

THE text is manifestly a prolepsis, or a preoccupation of a secret 
objection against our redemption by Christ. If believers die as well as 
others, how are they freed from death ? Questionless, Christ was sent 
into the world to abolish the misery brought in by Adam's sin ; now 
death was the primary punishment of sin : Gen. ii. 17, * In the day 
thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die;' and this remaineth on 
believers. The apostle answereth in the words read, 

First, By supposition, ' if Christ be in you ; ' that he might fix the 
privilege on the persons to whom it properly belongeth. 

Secondly, By concession, ' The body is dead because of sin.' 

Thirdly, By" correction, 'And the Spirit is life because of righteous 

First, The supposition showeth that the comfort of the privilege is 
drawn from the spiritual union which believers have with Christ : 'If 
Christ be in you .' Secondly, the concession granteth what must be 
granted, that death befalleth believers ; their bodies return to the dust 
as others do. But, thirdly, the correction is, that they are certain to 
live for ever with Christ both in body and soul ; a-nd this upon a two 
fold ground; first, there is a life begun, which shall not be quenched, 
but perfected. ' The Spirit is life ; ' the ground and procuring cause is 
Christ's righteousness. Sin deprived them of the life of grace, and 
forfeited the life of glory ; but here the righteousness of Christ hath 
purchased this life for us, and the Spirit applieth it to us. 

Doct. That Christ in believers, notwithstanding death, is a sure 
pledge a-nd earnest to them of eternal life both in body and soul. 

This point will be best discussed with respect to the several clauses 
in the text the supposition, the concession, the correction, or contrary 

1. The supposition * If Christ be in you.' Here I will prove to 
you, that a true Christian is one that doth not only profess Christ, but 
hath Christ in him : 2 Cor. xiii. 5, ' Know ye not that Jesus Christ is 
in you, except ye are reprobates ? ' that is senseless, stupid wretches, not 
accepted of God: so Col. i. 27, * Christ in you the hope of glory.' Now 
Christ is in us two ways, objectively and effectively: objectively, as 
the object is in the faculty, or the things we think of and love are in 
our hearts and minds ; so Christ is in us, as he is apprehended and 
embraced by faith and love ; so he is said, Eph. iii. 17, * To dwelt in 
our hearts by faith ; ' and again, ' He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth 
in God, and God in him/ 1 John iv. 18. Which is not to be under 
stood of the acts only, but the habitual temper and dispositions of our 
souls ; for else by the ceasing of the acts, the union at least in our 
hearts would be broken off. Secondly, effectively, so Christ is in us by 
his Spirit and gracious influence. Now, the effects of his Spirit are 
first, life, he is become the principle of a new life in us : Gal. ii. 20, 
1 Christ liveth in me ; and the life that I live in the flesh, I live by 


the faith of the Son of God.' Where he is, he maketh us to live ; 
and we have another principle of our lives than ourselves or our own 
natural or renewed spirit. Secondly, Likeness or renovation of our 
natures : Gal. iv. 19, ' Until Christ be formed in you.' The image of 
Christ is impressed on the soul : 2 Cor. v. 17, ' if any man be in Christ, 
he is a new creature.' It is all to the same effect, our being in Christ, 
or Christ's being in us, for both imply union, and the effect of it a 
near conformity to Christ in holiness. Thirdly, Strength by the con 
tinued influence of his grace to overcome temptation : 1 John iv. 4, 
' Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome him, because greater 
is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.' The Spirit keepeth 
afoot God's interest in. the soul against all the assaults of the devil ; so 
for the variety of conditions we pass through : Phil. iv. 12, ' I know 
both how to be abased and how to abound ; everywhere, and in all 
things I am instructed both to be full, and to be hungry ; both to 
abound, and to suffer need ; ' so for all duties that we are called unto : 
1 Cor. xv. 10 : 'By the grace of God I am what I am ; and his grace 
which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, but I laboured more 
abundantly than they all, and yet not I, but the grace of God which 
was in me ; ' and Heb. xiii. 21, 'Working in you that which is pleas 
ing in his sight through Jesus Christ/ Now, you see what it is to 
have Christ in us ; none but these are real Christians. 

(1.) Because we must first be partakers of Christ before we can be 
partakers of any saving benefit purchased by him, as members are 
united to the head before they receive sense and motion from it. 
Christ giveth nothing of his purchase to any but to whom he giveth 
himself first, 1 John v. 12 k And to whom he giveth himself, to them 
he giveth all things needful to their salvation. 

(2.) Where Christ once entereth, there he taketh up his abode and 
lodging, not to depart thence ; dwelling noteth his constant and fami 
liar presence ; he doth not sojourn for a while, but dwelleth as a man 
in his own house and castle. There is a continued presence and influ 
ence, whereby they are supported in their Christianity ; ' He dwelleth 
in us, and we in him, and we know that he abideth in us by his 
Spirit : ' 1 John iii. 24, and John xiv. 23, ' If a man love me he will keep 
my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, 
and take up our abode with him/ Not a visit and away, but a con 
stant residence : John xv. 5, ' He that abideth in me, and I in him, the 
same bringeth forth much fruit/ 

(3.) Where Christ is, he ruleth and reigneth ; for we receive him as 
our Lord and Saviour : Col. ii. 6. ' As ye received Christ Jesus the 
Lord, so walk in him/ We received him, that he may perform the 
office of a mediator in our hearts, and teach us, and rule us, and guide 
us by his Spirit. All others know him by hearsay, but these know 
him by experience; the testimony of Christ is confirmed in them. 
Others talk of Christ, but these feel him ; others have him in their 
ears and tongues, but not in their hearts ; or if the heart be warm and 
heavenly for a fit, it quickly falleth to the earth again. Then here 
doth our true happiness begin, to find Christ within us ; this is 
that which giveth the seal to Christ without us, and all the mysteries 
of redemption by him; for you have experienced the power and 

VER, 10.] 



comfort of it in your own souls ; you find his image in your hearts, and 
his Spirit conforming you to what he commandeth in the word, and 
have a suitableness to the gospel in your souls ; you may look with an 
holy confidence for help to him in all your necessities, when others 
look at him with strange and doubtful thoughts, because nearness 
breedeth familiarity, and the sense of his continual love and presence 
begets a holy confidence to come to him for mercy and grace to help ; 
in short, when others have but the common offer, you have a propriety 
and interest in Christ. Christ without us is a perfect Saviour, but not 
to you ; the appropriation is by union ; he came down from heaven, 
took our nature, died for sinners, ascended up into heaven again to 
make intercession at the right hand of the Father ; all this is without 
us. Do not say only there is a Saviour in heaven ; is there one in thy 
heart ? There is an intercessor in heaven, is there one in thy heart ? 
Kom. viii. 26, ' But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with 
groanings which cannot be uttered.' He was born of the virgin, is 
he formed in thee ? Gal. iv. 19. He died, are you planted into the 
likeness of his death ? Kom. vi. 5. He is risen from the dead ; do you 
know the power of his resurrection ? Phil. iii. 10. Are you raised with 
him ? Col. iii. 1. He is ascended, are you ascended with him ? Eph, ii. 
6. Christ without us established the merit, but Christ within us assureth 
the application. 

Secondly, I come now to the concession, ' The body is dead, because 
of sin.' Here observe the emphasis of the expression, 'the body is 
dead ; ' not only shall die, or must die, but is dead. He expresseth 
himself thus for two reasons, first, because the sentence is passed : Gen. 
ii. 17, Heb. ix. 27, ' It is appointed for all men once to die.' Therefore, as 
we say of a condemned man, he is a dead man, by reason of the sentence 
passed upon him ; so by reason of this sentence, our body is a mortal 
body, liable to death, sentenced, doomed to death, and must one day 
undergo it. The union between it and the soul after a certain time 
shall be dissolved, a-nd our bodies corrupted. The execution is begun ; 
mortality hath already seized upon our bodies, by the many infirmities 
tending to, and ending in, the dissolution of nature. We now bear 
about the marks of sin in our bodies, the harbingers of death are already 
come, a-nd have taken up their lodging aforehand. The apostle saith, 
'in deaths often.' How many deaths do we suffer, before death cometh 
to relieve us, by several diseases, as colics, meagrims, catarrhs, gout, 
stone, a-nd the like ? All these prepare for it ; and therefore this body, 
though glorious in its structure, as it is the workmanship of God, is 
called a vile body, as it is the subject of so many diseases ; yea, and 
itself is continually dying : Heb. xi. 12, ' Therefore sprang there even 
of one, and him as good as dead.' We express it, a man hath one foot 
in the grave. 

[2.] The reason is assigned, ' Because of sin/ Death is the most 
ordinary thing in the world, but its cause and end are little thought of. 
This expression will give us occasion to speak of both its meritorious 
cause, and its use and end ; both are implied in the clause, ' Because 
of sin.' 

(1.) It implieth the meritorious cause. Death is not a natural 
accident, but a punishment ; we die not as the beasts die, or as the 


plants decay ; no, the scripture telleth us by what gate it entered into 
the world, namely, that it is an effect of the justice of God for man's 
sin : Horn. v. 12, 'By one man sin entered into the world, and death 
by sin.' And it is also by covenant, therefore called wages, Rom. 
vi. 23. Sin procured it, and the law ratifies it. Ay, but doth it so 
come upon the faithful? I answer, though their sins be forgiven, 
yet God would leave this mark of his displeasure on all mankind, that 
all Adam's children shall die, for a warning to the world. Well then, 
sin carries death in its bosom, and to some this death is but a step to 
hell, or death to come ; it is not so to the godly ; yet in their instance, 
God would teach the world the sure connexion between death and sin ; 
whosoever hath been once a sinner, must die. 

(2.) Its end and use, ' The body is dead because of sin : ' that is, 
the relics of sin are not abolished but by death ; there is a twofold end 
and use of death to them that are in Christ. 

First, To finish transgression and make an end of sin. We groan 
under the burden of it, while we are in our mortal bodies, Rom. vii. 
21. But when the believer dieth, death is the destruction of sin, rather 
than of the penitent sinner ; the veil of the sinful flesh is rent, and by 
the sight of God we are purified all in an instant ; and then sin shall 
gasp its last, and our physician will perfect the cure which he hath 
be:un in us, and we shall be presented faultless before the presence 
of God. 

Secondly, To free us from the natural infirmities which render us 
incapable of that happy life in heaven which is intended for us. The 
state of Adam in innocency was blessed, but terrene and earthly, a 
state that needed meat, drink, and sleep. If Christ would have restored 
us to this life, it may be death had not been necessary, and the present 
state of our bodies needed not to be destroyed, but only purified ; but 
our Lord Jesus had a higher aim : Eph. i. 3, ' Who hath blessed us 
with spiritual blessings in Christ.' Adam enjoyed God among the 
beasts in paradise ; we enjoy God among the angels in heaven ; it is a 
divine and heavenly life that he promiseth, a life like that of the 
blessed angels, where meat, and drink, and sleep hath no use. Now 
this nature that we now have, is not fitted for this life ; therefore Paul 
telleth us : 1 Cor. xv. 50. ' That flesh and blood cannot inherit the king 
dom of God ; that is. that animal life which we derived from Adam 
cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore we need to bear the 
image of the heavenly, which cannot be till this terrene and animal 
life be abolished. To this end God useth death. So that which was 
in itself a punishment, becometh a means of entrance into glory ; the 
corn is not quickened unless it die: 1 Cor. xv. 36, 37, 38. The 
believers that are alive at Christ's coming must be changed, ver. 51, 52. 
Christ himself by death entered into glory; therefore whatever is 
animal, vile, and earthly, and weak, must be put off, before we are 
capable of this blessed estate. 

(3.) The cause of this mortality is, ' Because of sin.' Had it not 
been for sin, we had never had cause to fear dissolution ; there had 
been no use for coffins and winding sheets ; nor had we been beholden 
to a grave, to hide our carcase from the sight and smell of the living ; 
there was a posse mom in innocency, else death could not be threatened 


as a penalty ; but there was a posse non mori, or else immortality 
could not be propounded as the reward of obedience ; therefore man 
is mortal, conditione corporis ; but immortal, beneficio conditori ; God 
could have supported him. Well then, death must make sin odious ; 
or else sin allowed will make death terrible. 

3. We come to the assertion or correction, ' The Spirit is life because 
of righteousness.' In which observe, 

[1.] That believers have a life, notwithstanding death. Though 
death be appointed by God, and inflicted upon believers as well as 
others, yet they live, notwithstanding this death : John xi. 25, ' He that 
belie veth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.' The fountain 
of life can raise him when he will ; no bands of death can hinder his 
quickening virtue. Though the union between body and soul be 
dissolved, yet not their union with God. 

[2.] This life is to be understood of body and soul. It is only indeed 
here said life, but he explaineth himself in the 2d ver. ' If the Spirit of 
him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up 
Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit 
that dwelleth in you/ Man is compounded of a body and soul ; death 
deprives him of his body for a time, only the body shall at last be 
reunited to partake of the happiness of the soul. 

(1) The soul, being the noblest part, is presently, and most happily 
provided for, being sanctified and purified from all her imperfections, 
and is brought into the sight and presence of God: Luke xx. 38, 
' They all live to God.' And they are gathered to the great council and 
assembly of souls, Heb. xii. 23. There they serve God day and night, 
and are under a happy necessity of never wandering from their duty, 
and no longer busied to maintain a war against sin, but we are always 
employed in lauding, praising, and blessing God, and delighting in him. 
Well then, this is the happiness of the faithful , that though they put 
off the body for a time, yet the soul hath an eternal house, to which it 
retireth, and remains not only in the hand of God, but enjoy eth the 
sight and love of God : 2 Cor. v. 1, ' For 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.' 

(2.) For the body. At the resurrection the soul shall assume its body 
again. We cannot easily believe that part shall be placed in heaven, 
which we see committed to the grave to rot there ; but there is no 
impediment to God's almighty power: Phil. iii. 21, 'Who shall 
change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious 
body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things 
unto himself.' This place doth prove that God hath provided for the 
happy estate of the body as well as the soul. The dead are God's 
subjects, put into the hands of Christ ; he must give an account of 
them : John vi. 40, ' And this is the will of him that sent me, that 
every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have ever 
lasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.' They are likewise 
members of Christ, 1 Cor. vi. 15. Now this mystical body will not be 
maimed ; they are temples of the Holy Ghost : 1 Cor. vi. 15 temples 
wherein we offer up to God reasonable service. Now since the Spirit 
possesseth both body and soul, he will repair his own dwelling-place 


which he hath once honoured with his presence, and not let corruption 
always abide on it. And we have the pattern of Christ; he is the 
first fruits of them that slept : 1 Cor. xv. 20. The soul hath an inclin 
ation to the body still ; therefore that our happiness may be complete, 
a glorified soul shall animate an immortal body. 

[3.] The grounds are, first, the Spirit's renewing ; secondly, Christ's 

(1.) The Spirit is life. He doth not draw his argument from the 
immortality of the soul, for that is common to good and bad ; the 
wicked have a soul that will survive the body, but little to their com 
fort ; their immortality is not a happy immortality ; but he taketh 
his argument from the new life wrought in us by the Spirit, which is 
the beginning, pledge, and earnest of a blessed immortality. The soul 
is an immortal being, but the new life is an eternal principle of happi 
ness ; as soon as Christ beginneth to dwell in us, eternal life is begun 
in our souls, 1 John iii. 15 ; the immortal seed, 1 Pet. i. 23. 

(2.) The meritorious cause is the righteousness of Christ ; or the 
pardon of our sins, and the justification of our persons by the blood 
and merits of Jesus Christ. When once forgiven, we are out of the 
reach of the second death : 1 Cor. xv. 56, ' The sting of death is sin.' 
We are freed from the damning stroke, not the killing stroke, of death ; 
Christ having freed us from the curse of the law, and merited and 
purchased for us a blessed resurrection, Heb. ii. 14, 15. 

Use. Is to enforce the great things of Christianity. 

There are but two things we need to regard, to live holily and die 
comfortably. These two have a mutual respect one to another ; those 
that live holily take the next course to die comfortably : ' the end of 
that man is peace ; ' and to know how to die well, is the best way to 
live well ; both are enforced by this place. 

1. To live holily ; there are several arguments from the text. 

[1.] The comforts of Christianity are not promiscuously dispensed, 
j>r common to all indifferently, but suspended on this condition, 'if 
Christ be in you,' by his sanctifying Spirit. If you be deceived in your 
foundation, all your life, hope, and comfort, are but delusive things ; 
but when quickened by the renewing grace of the Spirit of Christ, and 
made partakers of the divine nature, you have then the earnest of your 
inheritance: Eph. i. 4, 2 Cor. v. 5, ' He who hath wrought us to' this 
same thing is God, who hath given us the earnest of his Spirit/ 
Others die uncertain of comfort, or, it may be, most certain of con 

[2.] From the concession, the body is dead ; sentence is passed, and in 
part executed ; this awakeneth us to think of another world, and to 
make serious preparation ; when the walls of the house are shaken and 
are ready to drop down, is it not time to think of a removal ? The 
body is frail and mortal, and that is enough to check sin : Kom. vi. 12, 
1 Let not sin reign therefore in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey 
it in the lusts thereof.' But it is made more frail by actual sin : Gal. 
vi. 8, ' If we sow to the flesh, of the flesh we shall reap corruption/ 
Shall we sow to the flesh and pamper the flesh, which must soon be 
turned into stench and rottenness ? Man consulting with present sense 
carrieth himself as if he were a body only, not a soul ; and therefore out 


of love to sensual pleasures, he maketh no account of anything but 
sensual pleasures and satisfactions ; but shall we bestow all our time 
and care upon a body that was dust in its composition, and will shortly 
again be dust in its dissolution ? The body is not only dying, but dead ; 
you think not of it now, but this death cometh before it is looked for. 
Saul trembled when the spirit answered him : 1 Sam. xxviii. 19, 20, 
' To-morrow thou and thy sons shall be with me.' Would you sport 
and riot away your time, if you should receive such a message ? Surely 
the dust, and stench, and rottenness of the grave, if we thought of it, 
would take down our pride and check our voluptuousness, for we do 
but pamper worms' meat ; it would prevent our worldliness. All a 
man's labour is for the body, and usually in a body overcared for there 
dwelleth a neglected soul. The body is not only the instrument, but the 
incitement of it ; the soul is wholly taken up about the body, but doth 
the dead body deserve so much care ? Death doth disgrace all the 
seducing pleasures of the flesh, and the profits and honours of the world. 
Who is so mad as wilfully to sin with death in his eye ? Alas ! all the 
pleasures and honours of the world will be vanity and vexation of spirit 
to us when we come to die. 

[3.] We come now to the corrective assertion, and there is the life 
promised for body and soul; this breedeth the true spirit of faith : 2 
Cor. iv. 13, 14, ' We having the same spirit of faith, (according as it 
is written, I believed, therefore have I spoken), we also believe, 
therefore speak, knowing that he that raised up the Lord Jesus shall 
raise us up also.' The true diligence and godliness : 1 Cor. xv. 58. 
'Be stedfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the 
Lord, for your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord/ And patience : 
Rom. ii. 7, ' Who by patient continuing in well doing, seek for glory, 
immortality, eternal life/ Christians ! we that have souls to save or 
lose, and have an offer of happiness, shall we come short of it for want 
of diligence, and spend our time in eating and drinking, and sporting, 
or in the service of God ? 

[4.] It is the effect both of the Spirit's renewing, and the righteous 
ness of Christ. Beth call for holiness at our hands, as the effect of the 
renovation of the Spirit, and our title to the righteousness of Christ ; 
so that this life doth not belong to us unless we are in Christ, and walk 
not after the flesh, but after the Spirit : Rom. viii. 1. Which begun 
this discourse the double principle and ground of hope enforceth it. 

2. To die comfortably. Christianity affordeth the proper comfort 
against death, as it is a natural and penal evil ; a natural evil it is, as 
it puts an end to present comforts ; it is a penal evil too, as it maketh 
way for the final judgment, Heb. ix. 27. Heathens could only teach 
them to submit to it out of necessity, or as a debt they owed to nature, 
or an end of the present miseries ; but Christianity, as the sting of it is 
gone, 1 Cor. xv. 56. As the property is altered : 1 Cor. iii. 22, 
' Death is yours,' and that upon solid grounds ; as the life of grace is 
introduced and sin is forgiven, and the conclusions drawn from thence. 
First, The life of grace introduced. How bitter is the remembrance of 
death to the carnal man, much more the enduring of it. A dying 
body and a startling conscience maketh them afraid of everlasting 
death ; and so much sin as you bring to your death-bed, so much 


bitterness you will have ; so much holiness so far you have eternal life 
in you ; and the more it is acted in the fruits of holiness, the more 
comfort : Isa. xxxii. 17. A little without is grievous, when all is amiss 
within. Secondly, Sin is forgiven upon the account of the righteousness 
of Christ, for we shall then be soiled if found in no other righteousness 
than our own : Phil. iii. 8, 9, ' That I may be found in him, not having 
my own righteousness/ In short, the worst that can befal believers is, 
that it is the death but of a part, the worst and basest part, and that 
but for a season. The bodies of the saints shall not always lie in the 
grave : nor can it be imagined they shall perish as the beasts ; no, but 
be raised up from the grave, and their vile bodies be changed like unto 
the glorious body of their Redeemer. 


If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, 
he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your 
mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. ROM. VIII. 11. 

The Apostle is answering a doubt, How there is no condemnation to 
them that are in Christ, since death, which is the fruit of sin, yet 
remaineth on the godly ? Answer 

1. By concession, that sin is indeed the seed and original of mortality : 
' the body is dead because of sin/ Not only the carnal undergo it, but 
the justified; though the guilt of sin be taken away by a pardon, and 
the dominion and power of it be broken by the Spirit of Christ, yet the 
being of it is not quite abolished ; and as long as sin remaineth in us 
in the least degree, it rnaketh us subject to the power of death. 

2. By way of correction he opposeth a double comfort against it. 
Destruction by sin is neither total nor final. First, not total ; it is but 
a half death : ver. 10. * The Spirit is life because of righteousness/ 
Secondly, nor final ; it hath a limit of time set, which when it is expired, 
the body shall have a happy resurrection, and that by virtue of the 
same Spirit by which the soul is now quickened. So that mark both 
parts receive their happiness by the Spirit the soul and the body ; the 
soul though it be immortal, in itself, yet the blessed immortality it hath 
from the Spirit ; the * Spirit is life because of righteousness ; ' and the 
dead body shall not finally perish, but be sure to be raised again by the 
same Spirit : ' If the Spirit of him/ 

In the words we have 

1. The condition upon which the resurrection is promised, ' If the 

2. The certainty of performance set forth. [1.] By the author or 
efficient cause, ' He that raised up Jesus from the dead/ [2.] ' By his 
Spirit that dwelleth in you,' the way and manner of working. 

1. The condition. A resurrection is necessary, but a happy resurrec 
tion is limited by a condition: Phil. iii. 11, ' If by any means/ 


2. The certainty of performance. 

[1.] From the author God, described by his eminent and powerful 
work, ' He that raised up Jesus from the dead.' This is mentioned, 
partly as an instance of his power, and partly as an assurance of his 
will. First, An instance of his power : Eph. i. 18, 19, ' According to 
the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he 
raised him from the dead/ Our resurrection is a work of the same 
omnipoteucy with that which he first evidenced in raising Christ from 
the dead ; the same power is still employed to bring us to a glorious 
eternity. Secondly, It is an assurance of his will, for Christ's resurrec 
tion is a pattern of ours : 1 Cor. vi. 14, * God hath both raised the Lord, 
and will also raise up us by his own power ; ' 2 Cor. iv. 14, ' Knowing 
that he hath raised up Jesus, shall also raise us up by Jesus.' 

[2.] For the way and manner of bringing it about. ' By his Spirit 
that dwelleth in us.' Where take notice, first, of the relation of the 
Holy Spirit to God ; secondly, his interest in, and nearness to us. 

(1.) His relation to God. He is called his Spirit, and the Spirit of 
him that raised Jesus from the dead, that is, of God the Father. 

The Holy Spirit is sometimes called the Father's Spirit, and some 
times Christ's Spirit, because he proceedeth both from the Father and 
the Son ; the Father's Spirit, John xv. 26, ' When the Comforter is 
come, whom I will send to you from the Father ; even the Spirit of 
truth.' He is also called, Acts xi. 4, ' The promise of the Father ;' and 
Christ's Spirit, Rom. viii. 9, ' If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, 
he is none of his ; ' and Gal. iv. 6, ' God hath sent forth the Spirit of 
his Son into our hearts.' Now the Spirit being one in essence, and 
undivided in will and essence with the Father and the Son, surely the 
Father will by, or because of the Spirit dwelling in us, raise us again ; 
for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one and the same God. 

(2.) His interest in, and nearness to us ; ' He dwelleth in us/ All 
dependeth upon that mark ; he doth not say he worketh in us per 
modum actionis transeuntis; so he worketh in those that resist his work, 
and shall perish for ever ; but per modum liabittis permanentis, as we 
are regenerated and sanctified. And the effects of his powerful resurrec 
tion remain in those habits which contribute the new nature ; so the 
Spirit is said to dwell in us ; and in the former verse, Christ to be in 
us : 'If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin/ verse 10. 

Doct. That the bodies of believers shall be raised at the last day by 
the Spirit of holiness which now dwelleth in them. 

1. I shall a little open this inhabitation of the Spirit. 

2. Show you why it is the ground and cause of our happy resurrection. 
1. For the first, The inhabitation of the Spirit. Dwelling may relate 

to a double metaphor, either to the dwelling of a man in his house, or 
of God in his temple. Of a man in his house : 1 John iii. 24, ' And he 
that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him;' so 
it noteth his constant familiar presence. Or of God in his temple : 1 
Cor. vi. 16, ' Know ye not that you are the temple of God, and the Spirit 
of God dwelleth in you ? ' Which noteth a sacred presence, that pre 
sence as a God to bless and sanctify ; the Spirit buildeth us up for so 
holy a use, and then dwelleth in us as our sanctifier, guide, and com 
forter. The one uiaketh way for the other ; first a sanctifier, and then 


a guide ; as a ship is first well rigged, and then a pilot ; and by both 
he comforts us. He hath regenerated and guided us in the way of 
holiness. First, he sanctifieth and reneweth us : Tit. iii. 5, ' But according 
to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renew 
ing of the Holy Ghost;' and John iii. 6, ' That which is born of the 
Spirit is spirit/ First he buildeth his house or temple, and then cometh 
and dwelleth in it. Secondly, he guideth and leadeth us in the ways 
of holiness : Eom. xv. 14, ' And myself also am persuaded of you, my 
brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge;' 
' If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit : Gal. v. 25. 
Before, we were influenced by Satan : Eph. ii. 2. ' Wherein in times 
past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the 
prince of the power; of the air, that now worketh in the children of 
disobedience.' He put us upon anger, malice, envy, unclean lusts, and 
noisome and filthy ways, and we readily obeyed. 2 Tim. ii. 28. ' And 
that they may recover themselves out of the snares of the devil, who 
are taken captive at his will.' But the old inmate is cast out, and now 
we are guided and influenced by another lord. Thirdly, He comforts 
us with the sense of God's fatherly love, and our eternal inheritance : 
Kom. viii. 16. ' The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that 
we are the children of God.' 2 Cor. ii. 22, 'Who hath also sealed 
us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit into our hearts.' By both he 
leaveth upon the soul a sweet taste and relish of spiritual and heavenly 

2. Why this inhabitation is the ground of a blessed resurrection. 

[1.] To preserve the order of the personal operations. To make 
this evident, consider 

(1.) That rising from the dead is a work of divine power ; for to him 
it belongeth to restore life, who gave life at first : 2 Cor. i. 10. ' Who 
hath delivered us from so great a death,' etc., and is verified in plain 

(2.) That this divine power belongeth in common to Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost, who being one and the same God, concurred in the 
same work ; and whatever is done by the Father or Son, is done by 
the Spirit also ; and whatever is done by the Spirit, is done by the 
Father and Son also. As for instance, apply it to the resurrection of 
Christ, or our resurrection. To the resurrection of Christ, it is ascribed 
to the Father, ' and God the Father, who raised him from the dead/ 
To God the Son in other places ; Christ is said to rise again by his own 
virtue and power : Rom. iv. 25, ' He died for our offences, and rose 
again for our justification ;' not raised only, but rose again. So the 
Spirit is said to raise Christ : Rom. i. 4, ' And declared to be the Son 
of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrec 
tion from the dead. So 1 Pet. iii. 18, ' Crucified in the flesh, and 
quickened in the Spirit.' So our resurrection ; we are raised by the 
Father ; for in the text it is said, we are raised by the Spirit of him 
that raised Jesus from the dead. We are raised by Christ : John v. 
21, ' For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them, 
even so the Sou quickeneth whom he will.' So by the Spirit we are 
raised, as in the text, ' He shall quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit 
that dwelleth in you.' 


(3.) They all concur in a way proper to them. In all their personal 
operations it is ascribed to the Father as the first fountain of working, 
and spring and well-head of all grace, who doth all things from himself; 
and by the Son and Holy Ghost, as it refers to Christ's resurrection, 
and ours also. So Christ's resurrection ; it is ascribed to God the 
Father, who in the mystery of redemption hath the relation of 
supreme judge: Acts ii. 32, 'This Jesus hath God raised up;' and 
Acts x. 40, 'Him hath God raised up the third day.' And there is 
a special reason why it should be ascribed to God, as the Apostles 
when they stood upon their privilege, * Let them come and fetch us out/ 
Acts xii. 39 ; so, ' The God of peace that brought again from the dead 
the great shepherd,' etc., as referring it to his judicial power : Heb. 
xiii. 26. Though Christ had power to rise, yet no authority ; our 
surety was fetched out of prison by the judge. And then it is ascribed 
to Christ himself: John ii. 19, 'Destroy this temple, and in three 
days I will raise it up : which he spake of the temple of his body.' To 
prove the divinity of his person, it was necessary that he should thus 
speak ; or to prove himself to be God : John x. 18, * I have power to 
lay down my life, and to take it up again/ He could put a period to 
his sufferings when he pleased. So for the Holy Ghost, he raised 
Christ, because the Spirit sanctified his humanity, and by him the 
human nature of Christ was made partaker of created holiness, and so 
qualified to rise again when he had done his work. All the created 
gifts came from the Spirit, and therefore they are called the anointing 
of the Holy Ghost, with which he was anointed. So to our resurrection, 
God raiseth the dead, as it is usually said in scripture ; and Christ 
raiseth the dead, ' Every one that believeth on the Son hath everlasting 
life, and I will raise him up at the last day/ John vi. 40. The Spirit 
raiseth, and still in a way proper to each person ; to understand which, 
we must observe that there are three ways of subsistence in the divine 
nature, which carry a great correspondence with the prime attributes 
in God, which are power, wisdom, and goodness. Power we conceive 
eminently in God the Father, it being the most obvious by which the 
Godhead is apprehended, and so proper to him who is the beginning 
of being and working : Kom. i. 20, ' His eternal power and Godhead 
are seen by the things which are made.' Wisdom is appropriated to 
Christ, who is often represented in scripture as the wisdom of the 
Father : especially, Prov. viii. And goodness to the Spirit, therefore 
often called the good spirit : Neh. ix. 20 ; and Ps. cxliii. 10. Not but 
that all these agree to each person, for the Father is powerful, wise, 
and good ; so the Son, and so the Holy Ghost ; and love is sometimes 
appropriated to the Father ; namely, the fountain and original love ; 
but the evangelical, operative, and communicative love of God is more 
distinctly ascribed to the Spirit, because all benefits come to the creature 
this way ; we have our natural being from him : Job. xxxiii. 4, ' The 
Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath 
given me life.' ' The first clause relateth to the body, the Spirit of the 
Lord hath made me ; ' that is, framed the body ; the second to the soul, 
that spirit of life that God breathed into man when his body was 
framed and organised to receive it: The Spirit created and formed in 
man the reasonable soul ; so the new being which is communicated to 


us by the Kedeemer through the covenant of, grace : Tit. iii. 5, 6. Our 
glorious being, which is considered either as to soul or body ; as to 
soul, 'the Spirit is life because of righteousness;' as to body, the 
words of the text. Well then, the Holy Ghost is the operative love 
of God, working from the power of the Father, a-nd grace of the Son ; 
and whatever the Father or Son doth, you must still suppose it to be 
communicated to us by the Spirit. 

[2.J Because the Holy Ghost is vinculum unionis, the bond of union 
between us and Christ. We are united to him, because we have the 
same spirit which Christ had ; there is the same spirit in head and 
members, and therefore he will work like effects in you and him ; if 
the head rise, the members will follow after ; for this mystical body was 
appointed to be conformed to their head, as in obedience and suffering, 
so in happiness and glory : Rom. viii. 29, * Predestinated to be con 
formed to the image of his Son.' Christ was raised, therefore they 
shall be raised ; Christ was raised by the Spirit of holiness, so you are 
raised by the same power of the Holy Ghost. Christ is as tender of 
his mystical body as of his natural body, therefore will not lose one 
member or joint of it : John vi. 39, * I must lose nothing ; ' and the 
Spirit doth his office in you, as in him, for you are to be raised up with 
him, and as he was raised. We feel the power of our resurrection in 
our regeneration, and we feel the comfort of it in our being raised to 
glory ; head and members do not rise by a different power. How then, 
you will say, are the wicked raised by Christ ? They are raised ex 
qfficio judicis, but not beneficio mediatoris by him as a judge, not by 
him as a Redeemer. There will be a resurrection both of the wicked 
and the godly, the one by the power of Christ as judge, the other by 
the power of his Spirit as redeemer ; the one are forced to appear, the 
other go joyfully to meet the bridegroom ; the one, by Christ's power 
as judge, shall have the sentence of condemnation executed upon them ; 
the other, by virtue of Christ's life and resurrection, shall enter into the 
possession of the blessed ; a state of bliss and eternal life, wherein they 
shall enjoy God and Christ, and the company of saints and angels, and 
sing hallelujahs for ever. 

[3.] Because the Spirit of sanctification worketh in us that grace 
which giveth us a right and title to this glorious estate ; for by regener 
ation we are made children of God, and so children of the resurrection : 
Luke xx. 35, 36, 'But they which shall be counted worthy to obtain 
that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are 
given in marriage ; neither can they die any more, for they are equal 
to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the 
resurrection/ Being admitted into his family here, we may expect to 
be admitted into his presence hereafter. And then actual holiness, if 
we live to years of discretion, is necessarily required to a blessed and 
glorious resurrection : Gal. vi. 8. * If we sow to the flesh, we shall of 
our own flesh reap corruption ; but if we sow to the Spirit, we shall of 
the Spirit reap life everlasting.' There is no harvest without sowing ; 
and as the seed is, so will the harvest be ; they that lavish out their 
time, and care, and estates, in feeding their own carnal desires, must 
expect a crop accordingly, which is death and destruction ; but they 


that obey the Spirit, and sow to righteousness, shall obtain eternal life ; 
for till the cause of death be taken away, which is sin, we may fear a 
resurrection, but cannot expect a resurrection to our comfort. 

[4.] The Spirit doth not only regenerate and convert us, which 
giveth us a right, but abideth in us as an earnest : Eph. i. 14, ' We 
were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of 
our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession.' 
Where observe three things. First, How the heirs of promise are 
distinguished from others ; Secondly, The use of this mark and distinc 
tion ; Thirdly, The time how long this abideth with us ; and all this 
will fully prove the point in hand. 

(1.) The mark of all those whom God adrnitteth into the gospel 
state. They are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise; that is, 
secured, set apart, as those that have interest in the new covenant, by 
that Spirit of holiness which is promised to believers ; for the Spirit is 
called the promise of the Father ; the renewing and sanctifying work 
of the Spirit, or the image of Christ impressed upon the soul, is this seal ; 
and the comfort and joy that floweth thence, is an appendage to it. As 
the work of sanctification is more and more carried on, and is fruitful 
in holiness of life ; so we are more and more distinguished as a people 
set apart to serve, and please, and enjoy the holy and blessed God. 
Now you that are exercised with so many doubts and scruples about 
your interest in the promise, would it not be exceeding comfortable to 
you, if you had your seal and warrant for a secure claim to the 
privileges of the gospel, by the saving graces of the Spirit, or the 
impression of the image of Christ upon your hearts ? You may be 
abundantly satisfied ; for where these saving graces and fruits of 
holiness are found, your right and interest in the promise of eternal life 
is clear and manifest ; for this is the mark of the Holy Spirit, and the 
seed of life eternal. 

(2.) The use for which the Holy Spirit and saving graces bestowed 
on them serveth, is to be the earnest of the inheritance. An earnest is 
a pledge, or first part of a payment, which is an assurance or security 
that the rest of the whole price shall not fail to follow ; so the Spirit 
and his graces is the earnest given by God to confirm and assure the 
bargain, that at last he will bestow upon us our full portion, or salvation 
and eternal life itself. The presence and working of the Spirit in 
our hearts is this earnest ; as soon as you give up yourselves to God in 
covenant, you have a right ; but the possession is delayed for a season ; 
therefore he giveth us part in hand, to assure us he will bestow the 
whole in due time ; for we need to be satisfied, not only as to our pre 
sent right, but our future possession. The Spirit and his work of grace 
received here is glory begun ; a part it is, though but a small part in 
regard of what is to ensue. 

(3.) The time how long the use of this earnest is to continue : 
' until the redemption of the purchased possession/ The words 
are somewhat obscure. What is the purchased possession ? It is 
taken for the persons acquitted and purchased, that is to say, the 
church and people of God, holy and sincere Christians ; for they are 
Christ's possession whom he hath dearly bought, 1 Cor. vi. 10, and 
recovered out of the hands of Satan their old possessor and master : 


Col. i. 13. The redemption of them is^ till their full and final 
deliverance : Eph. iv. 30. ' Whereby ye are sealed to the day of 
redemption.' Their deliverance is but begun now, and their bonds but 
in part loosed ; but they are fully freed from the effects of sin at the 
last day, when death itself is abolished, and their bodies raised up in 
glory. The earnest is given ; the Holy Spirit with his graces to abide 
with us till then ; at that time there is no further use of an earnest, 
for there is no place left for doubts and fears. Till this day comes, 
God's earnest abideth with us, that is, in our souls, till our bodies be 
reunited to them ; and this fully proveth the matter in hand. 

[5.] His respect to his old dwelling place ; he once dwelt in cm- 
bodies as well as in our souls: 1 Cor. vi. 19, ' Know ye not that your 
bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost ? ' Our bodies were his temple, 
and honoured by his presence ; he sanctified our bodies as well as our 
souls: 1 Thes. v. 23. 'I pray God sanctify you wholly, your whole 
spirit, soul, and body.' He sanctifieth the body, as he maketh it 
obedient to his motions, and a ready instrument to the soul. Now 
when the body was given up to the Spirit to be sanctified, it was con 
secrated to immortality ; it is by the Spirit's sanctifying the soul that 
it was made capable of seeing and loving God ; so the body of serving 
the soul in our duties to God. Now shall a temple of God be utterly 
demolished? that body that was kept clean for the Holy Ghost to 
dwell in, and to be presented immaculate at the day of Christ, come to 
nothing ? Indeed for a while it rotteth in the grave, but his interest 
in it is not made void by death, and his affection ceaseth not ; this 
body was once his house and temple, and he had a property in it ; 
therefore he hath a love to our dust, and a care of our dust, and will 
raise it up again. 

[6.] Because the great work of the Spirit is to retrench our bodily 
pleasures, and to bring us to resolve by all means to save the soul, 
whatever becometh of the body in this world, and to use the body for 
the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the Spirit would not put 
us upon the labours of the body, and take no care for the happiness of 
the body; these two always go together: 1 Cor. vi. 13, 'The body is 
for the Lord, and the Lord for the body ; ' Christ expecteth service 
from the body, and gave up himself for the redemption of it, as well 
as the soul : 1 Cor. vi. 20. The body is his in a way of duty, and his 
in a way of charge ; this reason should the more sink into you, because 
spirit and flesh are so opposed in scripture. Flesh signifieth our incli 
nations to the bodily life, as spirit doth the bent and inclination of soul 
to God and heaven ; the great work of the Holy Spirit is to subdue the 
lusts of the flesh: Kom. viii. 13, 'If ye through the Spirit do mortify 
the deeds of the body, ye shall live ; ' if we obey him in his strivings 
against the flesh : Gal. v. 16, * Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not 
fulfil the lusts of the flesh/ Christ giveth us his Spirit to draw us off 
from bodily pleasures, that tasting manna, the diet of Egypt may have 
no more relish with us. So Gal. v. 24, ' They that are Christ's, have 
crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof ; ' they hold a 
severe hand over all the appetites and passions of the flesh : Kom. xiii. 
14, ' Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.' Do 
not addict yourselves to pamper and please the body. One great part 


of practical religion is to bring us to love the pleasures that are proper 
to the immortal soul, above the sottish and brutish pleasures of the 
body. Well then, was religion intended only to make a great part of 
us miserable, which part yet is the workmanship of God's hands, when 
there is so much hardship put upon the body, such labours and pains, 
such care and watchfulness? His very self-denial is an argument, 
that the Spirit in us thus commanding and governing us, is a pledge 
of glory. 

[7.] There is in the soul a desire of the happiness of the body ; not 
only a natural desire to live with it, as its loving mate and companion, 
which maketh us loath to part with it ; and if the will of God were 
so, the saints would * not be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mor 
tality might be swallowed up of life : ' 2 Cor. v. 4. They would desire 
not to put off these bodies, at least not to part with them finally. But a 
spiritual desire is kindled in us by the Holy Ghost that now dwelleth 
in us ; for the apostle addeth, ver. 5, ' He that wrought us for the self 
same thing is God.' God hath framed us to desire this impassible, 
eternal, and immutable life in our bodies as well as our souls. More 
plainly elsewhere : Rom. viii. 23, ' We that have the first fruits of 
the Spirit, groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemp 
tion of our bodies/ That is, the resurrection of the body ; to be redeemed 
from the hands of the grave. Mark, these groans are stirred up in 
them by the first fruits of the Spirit ; now, would the Holy Ghost stir 
up these groans and desires, if he never meant to satisfy them ? That 
were to mock us, and vex us. which cannot be imagined of the Holy 
Spirit. Well then, since these desires are of God's own framing, 
raised up in us by his Spirit, they will not be disappointed, but will in 
time be fulfilled. 

[8.] From the nature of death. Death is that power which God 
hath given the devil over men by reason of sin: Heb. ii. 14, 'That he 
might destroy him that had the power of death, even the Devil ; ' the 
power of separating soul and body, and keeping us from eternal life, 
God inflicteth it as a judge, but the devil as an executioner ; he is not 
dominus mortis, sx 1 minister mortis. The devil enticeth them to sin, 
by which they deserve death, and the sting of death is sin : 1 Cor. xv. 
56. The devil hath the power of death ; as carnal men are taken 
captive in his snares: 2 Tim. ii. 26 ; and when they die, he may have 
a hand in their torments. While men live, they are in the house of 
God, are under the protection of God, and have the offers of grace ; but 
if they harden their hearts, and despise these offers, they are cast forth 
with the devil and his angels ; the judge giveth them over to the jailor, 
and the jailor casts them into prison, from whence they come not forth, 
till they have paid the utmost farthing : Luke xii. 58. But Christ 
came to deliver us from this ; and all that embrace his salvation, the 
Spirit puts them into a state of freedom and liberty of the children of 
God. And as to them, Satan is put out of office, he cannot keep them 
from entering into eternal life ; the power of death is taken from him, 
and therefore, though their bodies be kept for a while under the state 
of death, yet at length the Spirit freeth them from the bondage of 
corruption, and bringeth them into the glorious liberty of the children 
of God. They shall at length rejoice and triumph in God ; ' death, 


where is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ? ' 1 Cor. xv. 55, 56, 
67. They die as well as others, but death is not the power of the 
devil over them, but one of those saving means by which God worketh 
their life and happiness ; it is the beginning of immortality, and the 
gate and entrance into life ; they are not in the custody and power of 
the devil, as the spirits in prison and the bodies of the wicked are ; 
but in the hand and custody of the Holy Ghost, ' Thy dead men shall 
live ; with my body shall they arise/ Isa. xxvi. 19. The key of the 
grave is in Christ's hand ; he is the guardian of their dust, keepeth their 
bones. Well then, if the Spirit of Christ hath freed you from the 
snares of sin, he hath freed you also from the bands of death ; or as 
it is said in the Eevelations, if you have part in the first resurrection, 
the second death <hath no power over you : Rev. x. 6 ; that is, you 
shall not be cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone ; 
the good Spirit hath prevailed over the evil spirit, and therefore your 
resurrection will be joyful. 

Use 1 . Let us give up ourselves to the Holy Spirit as our sanctifier ; 
set open your hearts, that he may come into them as his habitation; 
do not receive him guest- wise in a pang, or for a turn, or in some solemn 
duty ; but see that he dwelleth in you as an inhabitant in his house. 
A man is not said to dwell in an inn, where as a stranger or wayfaring 
man, he goeth aside to tarry for a night ; or in the house of a friend, 
where he resorteth ; no, use all Christ's holy means that he may fix his 
abode in your hearts ; that he may dwell there, as at home in his own 
house ; that he may be reverenced there as a God in his temple. 

Motives. 1. He richly requiteth us ; he keepeth up the house and 
temple where he dwelleth ; the Spirit is our seal and earnest : * The 
Spirit of God and of glory resteth upon you/ 1 Pet. iv. 14. 

2. The heart of man is not a waste ; you will have a worse guest 
there, if not the Holy Spirit ; Satan dwelleth and worketh in the 
children of disobedience : 1 Sam. xvi. 14, ' But the Spirit of the Lord 
departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him ;' 
and Eph. ii. 2, ' The spirit that now worketh in the children of 
disobedience ; ' and Eph. iv. 27, ' Neither give place to the devil/ That 
cursed inmate will enter, if we give place to him and hearken to his 
motions ; so that then he will make the body a sink of sin, and a dung 
hill of corruption ; he tempts you to scandalous sins, which do not only 
waste the body for the present, but are a pledge of eternal damnation. 

3. Consider how many deceive themselves with the hopes of a glorious 
resurrection. Alas ! they are strangers to the Spirit ; it may be not to 
his transient motions they resist the Holy Ghost, which will be their 
greater condemnation but to his constant residence ; for where he 
dwelleth, he maketh them more heavenly, acquainting them with God, 
Col. i. 6 ; more holy, that is his office to sanctify, 1 Pet. i. 22 ; to 
love God more, for he is the operative love of God, Rom. v. 5 ; 1 John 
iv. 8 ; to hate sin more, that bringeth death ; and his business is to 
come as a pledge of life. Alas ! in most, the spirit that dwelleth in 
them lusteth to envy; they are ruled by an unclean spirit, by the spirit 
of the world : 1 Cor. ii. 12 ; have no love to God, no real hatred of sin. 

Use 2. Live in obedience to his sanctifying motions : Rom. viii. 
14, 'As many as are led by the Spirit are' the sons of God/ The 


Spirit of God by which you are guided and led, is that divine and potent 
Spirit that raised up Christ's dead body out of the grave ; and if you 
be led and governed by him, you shall be raised by the power of the 
same Spirit that raised Christ's body ; his power is the cause, but your 
right is by his sanctification. 

Use 3. Use your bodies well ; possess your vessel in sanctification 
and honour : 1 Thes. iv. 4. 

[1.] Offer up yourselves to God. For every temple must be dedi 
cated : Kom. xii. 1, 'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies 
of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable 
unto God, which is your reasonable service;' Rom. vi. 13, 'Neither 
yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but 
yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead. ' 

[2.] When devoted to God, take heed you do not use them to 
sensuality and filthiness ; which wrong the body here and hereafter ; 
the pleasures of the body cannot recompense the pains of your surfeit 
or intemperance, much less eternal torments ; for what will be the 
issue ? * If you live after the flesh (Rom. viii. 13), you must die ; ' there 
fore you should daily keep the flesh in a subordination to the spirit : 
1 Pet. ii. 11, ' I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, that ye abstain 
from fleshly lusts/ To please and gratify the flesh, is to wrong 
the soul. 

[3.] We should deny ourselves even lawful pleasures, when they 
begin to exercise a dominion over us : 1 Cor. vi. 12, ' All things are 
lawful forme, but I will not be brought under the power" of any.' It 
is a miserable servitude to be brought under the power of any pleasure, 
either in meat, drink, or recreations ; enchanted with the witchery of 
gaming, though it grieve the Spirit, wrong the soul, defraud God of his 
time, rob the poor of what should feed charity, yet they are enslaved. 


Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 

Ron. VIII. 12. 

IN the words we have, 

1. A note of inference. 

2. The truth inferred. In this latter we find, 

!!.] A compellation Brethren. 
2.] An assertion that we are debtors. 

[3.] An instance or exemplification, to whom we are debtors. The 
negative is expressed, 'not to the flesh, to live after the flesh;' and 
the affirmative is implied, and must be supplied out of the context, 
' to the Spirit/ to live in obedience to the Holy Spirit. 

1. The inference, ' therefore' he reasoneth from their privileges ; the 
privilege is asserted ver. 1, ' There is no condemnation to them that are 
in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.' It is 


applied to the Christian : Rom. v. 9, ' But ye are not in the flesh, but 
in the Spirit/ These reasonings are pertinent and insinuative from 
the privilege asserted; exhortation must follow doctrine, for then it 
pierceth deeper, and sticketh longer. On the other side, doctrine 
becometh more lively, when there is an edge set upon it by exhortation, 
from the privilege implied ; certainly privileges infer duty, and there 
fore, having comforted them with the remembrance of their condition, 
he doth also mind them of their obligation, ' Ye are not in the flesh, 
but in the spirit ; ' * therefore we are not debtors to the flesh, to walk 
after the flesh ; ' but to walk after the Spirit. 

[1.] The truth inferred. Where first, observe the compellation, 
' Brethren/ a word of love and equality ; of love, to sweeten the exhor 
tation ; for men ar$ unwilling to displease the flesh ; of equality, for he 
taketh the same obligation upon himself ; this debt bindeth all, high 
and low, learned or unlearned, ministers or people ; greatness doth not 
exempt from this bond, nor meanness exclude it. 

[2.] The assertion, that we are debtors. Man would fain be sui juris, 
at his own disposal ; affecteth a supremacy and dominion over his own 
actions : Ps. xii. 4, ' Our tongues are our own, who is lord over us ? ' 
But this can never be; we were made by another, and for another, 
therefore we are debtors, ofaiXerai, eo-pev. 

[3.] The exemplification, to whom. (1.) Negatively, not to the flesh ; 
this is expressly denied for two reasons, because the flesh maketh a 
claim upon us. It hath a double claim, one by usurpation ; when God 
is laid aside, self interposeth as the next heir ; and that which we count 
ourself, is the flesh, which doth all in all with men. The other is in 
pretence ; it seemeth to challenge a right by God's allowance ; some 
thing is due to the body, and no man ever yet hated his own flesh. 
But we must distinguish of flesh, as it is taken for the body and natural 
substance ; so we are debtors to the body by necessity of nature, for 
we owe it food, and physic, and raiment. As it is taken for corrupt 
nature, which inclineth us to seek the happiness of the body and bodily 
life without God, and apart from God ; so we owe nothing to the flesh, 
so as to obey its lusts, or frame our lives according to the desires of it ; 
we owe it hatred, but not obedience ; the motions of corrupt nature 
tend to feed the habits of sin, sensuality, pride, worldliness ; thence 
come ignorance, unbelief. (2.) Positively, we are debtors to the Spirit, 
to be led by the Spirit, ver. 14. The Spirit mindeth us of our duty, 
externally, by the word ; internally, by his sacred motions and inspira 
tions, restraining us from sin : Rom. viii. 13, 'If ye through the Spirit 
do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live ; ' quickening us to 
holiness : Gal. v. 25, * If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the 

Doct. That believers are debtors, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. 

I shall prove it by considering them in a double capacity. 

1. With respect to the order of nature. 

2. Or the condition of their spiritual being. Take them as men or 
Christians. If you look upon them as men, they are debtors to God 
for all they have ; if you look upon them as Christians that have 
received the faith of Christ, they are much more debtors not to the 
flesh, but to the Spirit 


1. With respect to the order of nature ; man is a debtor, for he is a 
dependent creature ; not an owner or a lord, but a steward. I prove 
it by two arguments. We depend upon God for being and preserva 
tion, and therefore we are debtors to God for all that we have. 
Secondly, depending upon God, we are accountable to him. Or thus : 
God that is a creator and preserver, is therefore an owner ; and being 
an owner, is therefore a governor and ruler, and, by consequence, a 
judge; his being a creator goeth before his being an owner; and his 
being an owner goeth before his being; a ruler, and is the foundation of 
it ; for his absolute propriety in us giveth him a power and dominion 
over us ; and there are two parts of his governing power, legislation 
and execution, or judgment. 

[1.] His being a creator maketh him an owner. We have nothing 
but what we have from God ; nothing that we ourselves can keep one 
moment without God ; and therefore we have nothing but what is for 
God ; for we hold it at his will and pleasure : Ezek. xviii. 4. ' All 
souls are mine ; ' and Prov. xvi. 4, ' God hath made all things for 
himself ; ' and Kom. xi. 36, ' For of him, and to him, and through him 
are all things.' Among men, whosoever maketh anything by his 
own proper art and labour, and that of his own stuff, must needs have 
a full right to it, and a full power to dispose of it. No man ever made 
anything but of matter pre-existing, but God made all things out of 
nothing ; and therefore if he that planteth a vineyard hath right to 
eat of the fruit thereof, certainly he that gave us life and being, and 
made us after his own image to serve and worship him, hath a full 
right in man, to dispose of man and all the rest of his creatures, as 
being the work of his hands. He that gave them their being when 
they were not, and still supporteth them new they are, hath an un 
doubted just right to order them according to his own will and pleasure. 

[2.] His being an owner qualifieth him for being a ruler. For the 
dominion of jurisdiction is founded in the dominion of property ; we 
are his own, therefore we are his subjects : Mat. xx. 15, 'Is it not lawful 
for me to do what I will with my own ? ' Surely he that possesseth 
all things, hath full right to govern all things ; as parents have an 
authority over their children, who are a means under God to give them 
life and education. The most barbarous nations have acknowledged the 
authority of parents ; how much greater then is the authority of God, 
who hath given us life and breath, being and well-being, and all 
things ? He created us out of nothing ; and being created, he pre 
serve th us, and giveth us all the good things which we enjoy, and 
therefore we are obliged to him to be subject to him, and to obey all 
his holy laws, and to be accountable to him for the breach thereof. 
The supereminent excellency of his nature giveth him a sufficiency for 
the government of mankind ; and creation and preservation give him 
a full right to make what laws he pleaseth, and to call man to an 
account whether he hath kept them, yea or nay. The right of God is 
greater than the right of parents ; for in natural generation they are 
but instruments of his providence, acting only by the power which God 
giveth them ; and the parents propagate to the children nothing but 
the matter of the body, and such things as belong to the body, called 
therefore the ' fathers of our flesh : ' Heb, xii. 9. Yea, in framing the 


body, God hath a greater hand than they, for they cannot tell whether 
the child will be male or female, beautiful or deformed ; know not the 
number and posture of the bones, and nerves, and arteries and sinews ; 
God formeth these things in the womb: Zech. xii. 1, ' And formed 
the spirit of man within him.' All that they can do, cometh to nothing 
without God's blessing ; so that God is the governor of all creatures, 
visible and invisible, from whose empire and jurisdiction they neither 
can nor ought to exempt themselves. 

[3.] There are two parts of government or jurisdiction legislation 
and judgment as the Lord is called, Isa. xxxiii. 22, 'Our king, our 
lawgiver, our judge/ First, as the lawgiver, he by his precepts showeth 
what is due from man to God: Micah vi. 8, ' He hath showed thee, 
man, what is goocj, and what the Lord thy God requireth of thee.' 
The way of pleasing God is clearly revealed. Many things the light 
of natural conscience calleth for (Rom. ii. 14) ; but the light of the holy 
scripture much more : Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20, ' He hath showed his word to 
Jacob, his statutes and judgments to Israel ; he hath not dealt so with 
any nation.' " If we are contentious and obey not the truth, and against 
the light of scripture and reason gratify our brutish lusts, we disclaim 
God's authority, and do not carry ourselves as debtors to the Spirit, but 
the flesh. Secondly, judgment or execution. God's laws are not a vain 
scare-crow ; we are accountable for our obedience or disobedience to 
them. Two things come into the judgment ; the laws, the benefits and 
advantages given us to keep them. First, the laws : 2 Thes. i. 8, 
* In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and 
obey not the gospel ; ' and Rom. ii. 12, ' For as many as have sinned 
without law, shall also perish without law ; and as many as have sinned 
in the law, shall be judged by the law.' Secondly, benefits and abilities 
given us to keep them : Luke xix. 23, ' Wherefore then gavest not 
thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required 
my own with usury ? ' Every benefit we receive from God, increaseth 
the debt ; we are accountable for all these gifts of grace we have 
received from God ; they are bona, things good in their own nature ; 
they are dona, things freely given and delivered to us ; and talenta, a 
trust for which we are to be accountable ; not as money is given to a 
beggar, but as an estate put into the hands of a factor. As bona, we 
must esteem them according to their just value ; as dona, with thank 
fulness ; as talenta, with faithfulness. Well then, since we have received 
our whole being from God, with all the appendant benefits, and since 
we have it for his use and service, we have all that we have upon these 
terms, to use it for his glory ; it clearly followeth that we are debtors 
not to the flesh, which inclineth us to please ourselves, but to the Spirit, 
which inclineth us to please God. 

[4.] I shall add one proposition more, that this debt and obligation 
cannot be dissolved ; for as long as we depend upon God in being and 
operation, so long we are bound to God. Man \\3iihprmcipium elfinem, 
a principle upon which he dependeth, and an end to which he is 
appointed ; a superior to whom he is subject, and to whom he must 
give an account. 

(1.) This power and right cannot be alienated by us, or vacated and 
made void by our sin ; we indeed sold ourselves for nought, but that 


was to our own loss, not to God's : Isa. lii. 3. He hath a full right to 
command us to keep the law, whether we be faulty or innocent. A 
drunken servant is a servant, though disabled to do his master's work ; 
no man's right can be vacated without his consent ; for the default of 
another doth not make void our right, especially if inferiors ; as the 
rebellion of the subject doth not exempt him from the power of his 

(I.) God doth not make it away by bestowing his gifts on the 
creature ; for he hath given us only dispensationem, the employment 
of these things ; not dominium, the sovereign power over them ; man 
hath nothing that is his own, but as he hath it from God, so for God ; 
as to life, man is not dominus vitce, but citstos ; this is true not only of 
life, but of time, wealth, strength, parts, yea, of all that we have and 
are. There is a higher lord, to whom by the law of our creation we 
owe the debt of duty, love, and obedience ; and to whom we are account 
able for the mercies of his daily providence ; and who hath an absolute 
and uncontrollable right in all that we have and are ; all our owning 
is but a stewardship : Luke xvi. 2. We have a right to prevent the 
encroachment of our fellow creatures, but not a right to exclude our 
accountableness and obligation to God ; we have a right by way of 
charge and trust, as a steward in things committed to him, or a factor 
in the estate consigned to his hands, or a workman in his tools and 
instruments, which the master giveth him to do his work withal ; but 
not an absolute independent right ; they are not ours to use as we think 
meet. When God disposed his gifts, he did not dispossess himself; 
as the husbandman doth not intend to throw away his seed, when he 
scattereth it in the furrows of the earth, but soweth it to receive it 
again with increase. 

(3.) This right in us is so inherent in God, and proper to him, that 
God himself cannot communicate it to another ; for he hath told us 
that he will not give his glory to another; to make the creature 
independent, is to make it no creature. God is God still, and the 
creature is the creature still, obnoxious to the law of its creator, or else 
to his punishment for the breach of it. It implieth a contradiction 
that he should cut off the creature from dependence upon himself, and 
therefore from subjection to himself; while God is God, and we are 
creatures, there will be a debt due from us to him, because we depend 
upon him for our being and preservation ; our petty interests may be 
alienated, as a lord may make his vassal absolutely free, or a prince his 
subject ; as Saul proclaimed, that whosoever encountered Goliah, he 
would make his house free in Israel, 1 Sam. xvii. 25 ; that is, free 
from taxes, imposts, services in war, but not free from being a subject ; 
but no creature can be exempted from duty to God, or made free from 
his debt ; for dependence upon God, and our subjection to him, are so 
twisted together, that the one cannot be without the other ; we wholly 
depend upon him for being and all things else, and therefore we must 
be wholly subject to him. Well then, consider man in the order of 
creation, and he is a debtor to God, not to his own flesh ; bound to 
refer his service, strength, time, care, life, and love to him from whom 
he received them ; these are sound reasonings not to be reproved. 


2. By the condition of their spiritual being, so they are much more 
debtors to God : and therein consider, 

Jl.] The foundation on which this new estate is built, and that is our 
emption by Christ. This doth infer the debt mentioned in the text, 
whether we respect the state from whence we were redeemed, the price 
paid for us, or the end why we were redeemed. The state from whence 
we were redeemed, was a state of woful captivity ; from God's debtors 
we became Satan's slaves. Now if a captive were ransomed by another 
man's money, his life, service, and strength did belong to the buyer, 
' for he is his money : ' Exod. xxi. 21. Christ hath bought us from a 
worse slavery, therefore all that we have belongeth to him ; we are 
debtors. So for the price that was paid for our ransom ; as from the worst 
slavery, so with the greatest price : 1 Pet. i. 18, * We are not redeemed 
with corruptible tnings, such as silver and gold, but with the precious 
blood of Christ/ Now this maketh us debtors, and destroyeth all right 
and property in ourselves : 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20, ' Ye are not your own, 
ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God with your bodies and 
souls, which are God's.' Take in the end, and the argument is the 
more conclusive ; he hath redeemed us ' to God : ' Kev. v. S ; Kom. 
xiv. 4, * For to this end Christ both died, and rose again, and revived ; 
that he might be Lord both of dead and living/ Well then, we are 
not to live as we list, but to live unto God ; not debtors to the flesh, to 
live after the flesh, but debtors to the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit of 
God ; ex ordine justicice, justice requireth this, we are the Lord's. 

[2.] The benefit of this spiritual new being itself, or our regeneration, 
inferreth it ; for we are justified and sanctified, and by both obliged, 
and also inclined to live unto God. Obliged, for these benefits of 
Christ's righteousness and Spirit given to us, are such excellent benefits, 
that for them we owe our whole selves to God. If Paul could tell 
Philemon, ' thou owest thyself to me : ' Phil. i. 9, because he had 
been an instrument in converting him to God ; how much more is our 
obligation to Christ, who is the principal author and proper efficient 
cause of this grace ! Surely we owe our whole selves, and strength, and 
time, and service to him, jure beneficiario, as God's beneficiaries. We 
are in debt to him as our benefactor ; and not only obliged but inclined 
by the gift of Christ's righteousness and Spirit ; he hath formed us for 
this very thing, and fitted us to perform the more easily what we owe to 
God. Everything is fitted for its use, so we are prepared and fitted 
for the new life, and all the duties that belong thereunto : Eph. ii. 10, 
' We are his workmanship in Christ Jesus, created unto good works/ 
The new creature is put by its proper use, if we live after the flesh ; 
for all this cost and workmanship is bestowed upon us in vain, if it 
doth not fit us to live unto God. 

[3.] Our own vow and covenant sworn and entered into by baptism. 
Baptism doth infer this debt, for there we renounced the flesh, and 
gave up ourselves to God as our proper lord. Baptism is a vowed 
death to sin, and a solemn obligation to live unto God ; therefore every 
Christian must reckon himself dead to sin : Bom. vi. 11, ' Likewise 
reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God : ' 
and Col. iii. 3, 5, ' Ye are dead, therefore mortify your members ; ' and 


Korn. vi. 2, ' How shall ye that are dead unto sin, live any longer 
therein ? ' He argueth not ab impossibili, but ah incongruo ; for 
a baptized person, or one that is entered into the oath of God. And 
.being made servants of God, we are bound to live in all new obedience : 
1 Pet. iii. 21, ' The like figure whereunto, even baptism doth now save 
us ; not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a 
good conscience towards God/ The answer of a good conscience saveth. 

[4.] In regard of the benefits we do hereafter expect from Christ ; 
our resurrection and glorious estate in heaven. That is mentioned 
ver. 2, as binding us to the spiritual life. Certainly where we have 
received good, and expect more good things, we are the more obliged 
to obedience. From the flesh we can look for nothing but shame and 
death ; but from the spirit, life and peace. Therefore in prudence we 
are bound to make the best choice for ourselves, and to live not carnally, 
but spiritually. Sin never did us any good office ; nor can you expect 
anything from it for the future ; it hath never done you good, and will 
<lo you eternal hurt ; and are you so much in love with sin, as to 
displease your God, and lose your souls for it, which might otherwise 
be saved in a way of obedience to the Spirit's sanctifying motions ? 
This argument is again repeated in the 13th. ver, ' If ye live after the 
flesh, ye shall die,' that we might seriously consider it. Can the flesh 
give you a sufficient reward to recompense the pains you incur by 
satisfying it ? 

The first Use is information. It informeth us of divers truths. 

[1.] If your obedience be a debt, then there can be no merit in it ; 
for what is debitum is not meritorium : Luke xvii. 10, ' When ye have 
<lone all that is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants ; we 
have done that which was our duty to do/ We owe ourselves, and all 
that we have, are, and possibly can do, to God, by whom we live and 
are ; and therefore deserve no further benefit at his hands. Put case 
we should do all, yet in how many things are we come short ? There 
fore, surely God is not bound to reward us by any right or justice arising 
from the merit of the action itself, but only he is inclined so to do by 
his own goodness and bound so to do by his free promise. The 
creature oweth itself wholly to God, who made it ; and God standeth 
in such a degree of eminency, so far above us, that we can lay no obli 
gation upon him. Aristotle said well, 'That children could never 
merit of their parents ; ' and all their kindness and duty they perform 
towards them, is but a just recompence to them from whom they 
received their being. If no merit between children and parents, surely 
not between God and men. 

[2.] When a believer gratifieth the flesh, it is not of right, but 
tyrannous usurpation. For he is not a debtor to the flesh, he oweth it 
no obedience. * Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies : ' Kom. vi. 
11,14. Sin shall not reign; it may play the tyrant. Chrysostom 
saith, that a child of God may be overtaken through inadvertency, or 
overborne by the impetuous desires of the flesh, and do something which 
his heart alioweth not ; his sins are sins of passion rather than design ; 
and though the reign of sin be disturbed, yet it is not cast off. Our 
lives should declare whose servants and debtors we are ; for whom do 
you do most? Your lives must give sentence for you, whether you 
VOL. xn. c 


are debtors to the flesh, or to the spirit. If you spend your time io 
making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, Horn. xiii. 
14, you are debtors to the flesh. If you check the flesh, and tame it, 
cut off its provisions, though now and then it will break out, you are 
not debtors to the flesh, but the Spirit. ' The flesh may rebel for a 
time, but the grace of the Spirit reigneth. Some are wholly governed 
by their fancies and humours, or the passions, appetites, and desires of 
the flesh ; are carried on headlong by their own carnal and corrupt 
inclinations to every sense-pleasing object, are not masters of themselves- 
in anything, but serve divers lusts and pleasures, against the dictates 
of their own reason and conscience. Now, it is easy to pronounce 
sentence concerning them. Others are led by the Spirit of God 
to the earnest pursuit of heavenly things. Now these, though so often 
fomented to self-pleasing and compliance with their lusts and corrupt 
inclinations, yet the heavenly mind hath the mastery ; they complain of 
this tyranny, are grieved for it, troubled, and do by degrees overcome it. 

[3.] It informeth us what answer we should make when we are 
tempted to please the flesh. Say, ' We are not debtors/ When Satan 
tempteth, or sin enticeth, say, ' I owe thee nothing, I have all from 
God ; ' if the flesh tempteth to neglect your callings, to mis-spend your 
time, say, ' This time is the Lord's ; ' as the Apostle : 1 Cor. vi. 15, 
1 Shall I take the members of Christ, and make them the members of 
an harlot ? ' Luther speaketh of a virgin that would answer all tempt 
ations with this, ' Baptizata sum, I am baptized.' So the faithful hath 
but this to answer to every tempter and temptation, I am dedicated 
to God ; or, I am the Lord's. This soul, this body, this time, this- 
strength is his ; my business is not to please the flesh, but to please 
the Lord. Nothing will be such a help in defeating temptations, as 
to consider his full right and interest in us, and how justly he may 
expect fidelity from us, from whom we receive and expect all things. 

The second Use is, to. exhort us to pay the debt of obedience. 
Common honesty requireth that every man pay his debts. Now we are 
debtors unto God. 

[1.] Consider how reasonable this debt is, that creatures should serve 
their creator ; that those that cannot live of themselves, should not live 
to themselves ; and not do what they please, but what they ought. If 
God should put us to preserve ourselves, or keep ourselves but for one 
day, how soon should we disappear, and return into our original 
nothing ! As God sendeth his people to their idols for deliverance : 
Judges x. 14, ' Go and cry to the gods which you have chosen, let 
them deliver you in the time of tribulation/ This would make the 
case sensible ; if you can keep yourselves, please yourselves. As 
protection draweth allegiance, so doth dependence enforce subjection. 
Since therefore in him we live, and move, and have our being, let us 
live to him and for him. 

[2.] Consider how unavoidable it is. You are the Lord's whether 
you will or no. No creature is free from this debt. Not the angels, 
who have many immunities above us ; yet Ps. ciii. 20, 21, ' Bless the 
Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, 
hearkening to the voice of his word ; bless ye the Lord all ye his hosts, 
ye ministers of his that do his pleasure/ Not the human nature of 


Christ, Gal. iv. 4. The devil and wicked men are, but it is against 
their wills ; but his people are a voluntary people : Ps. ex. 3. They 
own God's right in them ; his they are, and him they will serve : Acts 
xxvii. 23. 

[3.] How comfortable the debt is made by God's new title of 
redemption. The former ceased not, but will continue whilst there is 
a relation between the creature and the creator. But this is a power 
cumulative, not destructive, but superadded to the former ; and it is 
more comfortable and beneficial to us, that Christ would set us in joint 
again, and restore the creature to a capacity of serving and pleasing 
God. what a blessed thing is it to take a law of duty out of the 
hand of a mediator ! A double advantage both to assistance and 
acceptance ; now God will help us, and will accept of it, as we can 
perform it ; from the Mediator we have his Spirit and his righteous 
ness. First, his Spirit to help us, and give us grace to serve God 
acceptably, to break the bondage of sin : Kom. viii. 2 ; to help us against 
it all along, ver. 13, And by his Spirit of grace we are enabled to love 
him, and serve him : ' Whom I serve in the Spirit ; ' and the more we 
use this grace, the more it is increased upon us ; and the more we pay 
this debt, the more we are enabled to pay : Prov. x. 29, ' The way of 
the Lord is strength to the upright/ We grow the richer for paying, 
for we pay God out of his own exchequer : 1 Chron. xxix. 14, 'Of thine 
own have we given thee.' 1 Cor. xv. 10, ' But by the grace of God I 
am what I am, and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in 
vain ; but I laboured more abundantly than they all ; yet not I, but the 
grace of God which was with me. ' The laborious, diligent soul hath 
more abundance of his Spirit. Secondly, As we have his righteousness. 
God accepts of our imperfect endeavours : Eph. i. 6, ' He hath made 
us accepted in the beloved : ' Mai. iii. 17, ' I will spare them as a man 
spareth his own son that serveth him.' This double comfort we have 
by the Mediator. 

[4.] The debt is increased by every benefit which we receive from 
God : Luke xii. 48, 'To whom much is given, of him shall much be 
required ; and to whom men have committed much, of him will they 
ask more/ As our gifts increase, so doth our debt ; as our debt, so 
doth our account ; they that have received most, are bound to love him 
more, and serve him better, because they are more in debt than others. 

[5.] How necessary it is for us to be debtors to God. If not debtors 
to God, we are debtors to the flesh ; there is no medium ; and if debtors 
to the flesh, servants to every base lust : Tit. iii. 3, ' Serving divers 
lusts ; ' quam multos habet dominos qui unum Jiabere nevult ! We are 
slaves to everything, if not debtors to God, and behave ourselves as 
such. Every fancy and humour captivateth us. 

[6.] By paying this debt, we receive more than we pay, in present 
comfort and peace, but certainly in future glory and blessedness : Kom. 
vi. 22. ' Ye have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life/ 
The fruit of holiness for the present is peace ; no greater comfort than 
in the discharge of our duty : Gal. vi. 16, 'As many as walk according 
to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them. 

7. If we pay not the debt of obedience, we incur the debt of punish 
ment : Mat. vi. 11, 'And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our 


debtors ; ' and Kom. vi. 23, ' The wages of sin is death.' A man by 
pleasing the flesh runneth himself further into debt than all the gain 
he gets by sin doth amount unto, be it ever so pleasing and profitable ; 
he runneth in debt to God's justice, which at length will take him by 
the throat, and say, Pay what thou owest ; it will cast you into the 
prison of hell, and you shall not depart thence till you have paid the 
utmost mite : Luke xii. 59. For the present it bringeth you trembling 
of conscience, and hereafter eternal vengeance ; these things should be 
minded ; because the devil gets into our hearts by the back-door of 
sensual affections ; he doth not bring the temptation to our reason. To 
consider it as a remedy, 

(1.) Own the debt by directing yourselves to God. Every one should 
have his own ; give unto Csesar the things that are Caesar's, and to 
God the things that are God's : Mat. xxii. 21. Nothing more reasonable 
than that God should have his own: 2 Cor. viii. 5, 'They first gave 
themselves to the Lord/ 

(2.) Keep a constant reckoning how you lay out yourselves for God : 
Phil. i. 21. ' To me to live is Christ/ Neh. i. 11 : ' The Lord show me 
favour in the sight of this man, for I have been the king's cupbearer.' 

(3.) Pray God to bless you, and ever keep in remembrance the 
former debt : 1 Cor. vi. 15, * Know ye not that your bodies are the 
members of Christ ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and 
make them the members of an harlot ? God forbid.' 

If ye live after the flesli ye shall die. BOM. VIII. 13. 

Here is another reason rendered why Christians should not live after 
the flesh ; before, a debito ; now a damno ; or if you will take the 
whole verse, you have the danger of the carnal life, and the benefit of 
the spiritual ; both propositions are hypothetical or conditional, both 
include perseverance in either course. The apostle saith not, ' If you 
have lived after the flesh, ye shall die.' All have lived after the flesh 
before they lived after the Spirit ; and in the other part, if ye go on 
to mortify in the one branch, the doom is heavy death, not only tem 
poral, but eternal ; in the other, the boon or benefit is as much as we 
can desire, and far more than we can ever deserve or requite ; both 
have their use, for man is apt to be moved by hope or fear ; if honesty 
and duty will not persuade us, yet danger and benefit may have an 
influence upon us. 

Let us now consider the first clause, where death is propounded as 
the necessary consequent of carnal living ; we need not only milk, but 
salt ; as milk to nourish the new creature, so salt to fret out the cor 
ruption of the old man. A sore penalty is threatened to them that 
fulfil the desires and inclinations of the flesh ; we buy carnal delights 
at too dear a rate, when we must die eternally to enjoy them. 


Doct. That God threateneth those that live after the flesh, with 
eternal death and destruction. 

I shall speak to this point. 

First. By way of explication. 

Second. By way of confirmation. 

In the explication I shall show you. 1. What is meant by flesh. 
2. What by living after the flesh. 3. What is the death threatened. 

By way of confirmation. 1. That this threatening is every way 
consistent with the wisdom, and goodness of God. 2. The certainty 
of its being accomplished and fulfilled. 

First. By way of explication. 

1. What is meant by flesh. 

[1.] The flesh is sometimes taken for the natural bodily substance, 
that corporal mass we carry about us : so it is said, ' No man ever 
hated his own flesh, but nourisheth it, and cherisheth it : ' Eph. v. 29. 
The body is a part of us, and deserveth due care, that it might be an 
holy temple for the Spirit to dwell in, and sanctify, and make use of 
it for God. 

[2.] For corruption of nature, which inclineth us wholly to things 
grateful to the body and bodily life, with the neglect of God and our 
precious immortal souls : John iii. 6, ' That which is born of flesh is 
flesh.' Now flesh in this latter sense is taken, 

(1.) Largely, For the whole dunghill of corruption, in whatever 
faculty it is seated, in the understanding, will, or rational appetite : so 
Gal. v. 17, ' The flesh lusteth against the spirit ; ' that is, corrupt 

(2.) Strictly, or in a limited sense, for the corruption of the sensual 
appetite : 1 John ii. 16, * All that is in the world is either the lust of 
the flesh, the lust of the eye, or pride of life.' Sensuality is expressed 
by the lust of the flesh ; and Eph. ii. 3, ' Fulfilling the wills of the 
flesh and of the mind.' As it is taken more generally for natural cor 
ruption, both in will, mind, and affections; so more particularly for 
the disorder of the sensual appetite, which carrieth us to meats, drinks, 
riches, pleasures, honours ; therefore there are two branches, Oekrujuara 
T?;? 0-aprcbs teal TWV Biavoiwv. Flesh must not be confined to this 
latter sense, but taken in the latitude of the former ; we read of (f>pov7]^a 
7-775 cra/3/co?, ' The wisdom of the flesh/ Eom. viii. 7 ; and of a * fleshly 
mind,' Col. ii. 18. Man is a corrupt, carnal creature in all the faculties of 
the soul, even those which are more noble, the understanding and will ; 
and when the apostle reckoneth up the works of the flesh (Gal. 
v. 19), he doth not only reckon up fornication and adultery, unclean- 
ness, wantonness, which belong to the sensual appetite ; but idolatry 
and heresy, which are the fruits of blind and corrupt reason ; and 
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedition, envy- 
ings, murder, which belong to the depraved will ; we must take flesh 
then in the largest sense. 

2. What it is to live after the flesh. Living doth not note 
one single action, but the trade, course, and strain of our conversa 
tions ; they are said to live after the flesh, where the flesh is their 
principle, their work, and their scope. 

[1.] Where it is the governing principle, or that spring which sets 


all the wheels a-going. Once it was thus with us all ; we were wholly 
actuated by the inclinations and desires of the flesh, and did nothing 
but what the flesh moved us unto, and therefore natural men are said 
to be in the flesh : Kom. viii. 8 ; and after the flesh, v. 5 ; and to serve 
divers lusts and pleasures : Tit. iii. 3. But when our cure is wrought, 
we are actuated by another principle, the spirit or new nature : Rom. 
viii. 1. ; and Gal. v. 16, Not that the old principle is quite abolished, 
it is in us still : Gal. v. 17, ' The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and 
the spirit lusteth against the flesh.' And it is in us not as dead, but 
as working and operative, and there is a mixture of the respective influ 
ence and efficacy of these two principles in every action ; yea, in some 
actions a prevalency of the one above the other. The worse part in a 
particular conflict may get the upper hand ; yet there is a sensible 
difference between the people of God and others ; the better principle 
is habitual and constant, and in predominancy, and doth not only check 
and thwart the other, but overcome it; and the interest of the flesh 
decreaseth, and that of the spirit prevaileth, and keepeth the carnal 
part in subjection; but when the flesh is the chief principle that 
beareth rule in our hearts, and we are actuated and guided by it in our 
course of life, we live after the flesh. 

[2.] Their work and trade, or the business of their lives. Men are 
said to live after the flesh, that wholly mind the things of the flesh : 
Eom. viii. 5 ; that take no other care, but to spend their time, wit, and 
estate upon the service of their own fleshly lusts ; their whole life, 
study, and labour is to please the flesh, and satisfy the flesh. If God 
gets any thing from them, it is but for fashion's sake, and it is only the 
flesh's leavings : so Gal. v. 8, ' To sow to the flesh ; ' there is their 
business, to ' make provision for the flesh : ' Eom. xiii. 14. Neglecting 
God, and the eternal welfare of their precious and immortal souls, be it 
in the way of sensuality, or be it in the way worldliness, all their 
toiling, and excessive care and pains, are for the worldly life ; in short, 
they follow after earthly things with greatest earnestness, and spiritual 
things in an overly, formal, and careless manner. A carnal man may 
do many things in religion, which are good and worthy. Man that 
hath an appetite, hath also a conscience ; though the flesh is importu 
nate to be pleased, and unwilling to be crossed, yet it giveth way to a 
little superficial duty, that conscience may be pacified, and so itself 
may be pleased with the less disturbance. Religion is but taken on as 
a matter by the by, as you give way to a servant to go upon his own 
errand. Nay, sometimes the flesh doth not only give leave, but it sets 
them a- work, to hide a lust, or feed a lust ; to hide a lust from the 
world, as in hypocrites ; as the Pharisees made their worship serve their 
rapine : Mat. xxiii. 14 ; or from their own consciences. Every man must 
have some religion ; therefore the flesh alloweth a few services, that it 
may the more securely possess the heart ; it is not for the interest of 
the flesh to have too much religion, or none at all ; the carnal life 
must have some devotion to cover it, that men may take courage in sin 
the more freely. Or feed a lust ; pride or vain-glory may put men on 
preaching or praying before others : Phil. i. 16. 17, ' The one preacheth 
Christ out of contention.' Or give alms: Mat. vi. 1, ' Take heed that 
you do not your alms before men, to be seen of men ; ' and a sacrifice 


may be brought with an evil mind : Prov. xxi. 27. The devil careth 
not what means we use, so he may have his ends ; that is, to keep men 
in a carnal condition. 

[3.] That make it their scope, end, and happiness. That is our 
scope and end that solaceth our minds, and sweeteneth our labours ; 
that which they aim at is to be rich and great in the world, or enjoy 
their pleasure without remorse: Phil. iii. 19, * Whose end is destruc 
tion, whose God is their belly, who mind earthly things.' That is our 
god which lieth next our hearts, to which we offer our actions, and 
from which we fetch our inward complacency, be it the pleasing of the 
flesh, or being accepted with God. All their delight and contentment 
is to have the flesh pleased in some worldly thing; this giveth them a 
joy and rest of mind, and quencheth all sentiments of religion and 
delight in God. They that aim at pardon, grace, and glory, no worldly 
thing will satisfy them ; God and heaven are preferred above all the 
pleasures, honours, and profits they can enjoy here : Psal. iv. 7, * Thou 
hast put gladness into my heart, more than at the time when their 
corn and wine increased.' But it is otherwise with the carnal ; for 
their hearts run out more pleasingly after some worldly thing ; and 
when they obtain it, it keepeth them quiet under the guilt of wilful 
sin, and all their soul-dangers ; and they forget eternity, because they 
have their heart's desire already : Luke xii. 19, 20, ' And I will say to 
my soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years ; take thine 
ease, eat, drink, and be merry ; but God said unto him, thou fool, 
this night thy soul shall be required of thee ; then whose Shall these 
things be thou hast provided ? ' And the peace and pleasure which they 
daily live upon, is fetched more from the world than from God, and 
Christ, and heaven ; the flesh is at ease, and hath nothing to disturb 
it; and they design the conveniences of the flesh in their whole 
lives ; this is their principle, their chief scope and aim ; whatsoever 
he doth, he still designeth the contentment of the flesh, or some temporal 
good that shall accrue to him. Thus you see who live after the flesh : 
where no contrary principle is set up to check it ; where it is our daily 
work to please the flesh, and our. great scope and solace to have it 

3. What is this death that is here threatened : ' ye shall die/ Surely 
the natural death is not intended, for that is common to all, both to 
those that please the flesh, and those that crucify the flesh : Heb. ix. 27, 
' It is appointed for all men once to die .' And besides to the godly it 
is matter of comfort, a thing which they should rather desire than fear, 
1 Cor. iii. 22, death is theirs ; therefore death is but a softer word for 
eternal damnation, yet used with good reason. The apostle saith, 
' Ye shall die,' rather than 'ye shall be damned.' 

[1.] Because death to the wicked is an inlet to their final and eternal 
misery ; it is dreadful to them, not only as a natural evil, as it puts an 
end to their worldly comforts, but as a penal evil: Heb. ii. 14, 15, 
' Who are all their life -time subject to bondage through fear of death/ 
because of the consequences of it ; then their torment beginneth. 

J2.] Because it is more liable to sense. We know hell by faith, 
death by sense ; now that notion that is more known, affects 
us more ; all abhor death as a fearful thing. Briefly, then, this death 


consists not in an extinction and abolition of the creature, but 
in a deprivation of the favour and presence of the blessed God, 
who is the fountain of all comfort; and in the everlasting pains 
and torments which the soul and body being cast out of God's 
presence feeleth in hell ; all that weeping and gnashing of teeth, 
that bitter remembrance of what is past, that acute sense of what 
is present, that despair and fearful looking for of the fiery indigna 
tion of the Lord ; what the scripture speaketh of, it is all included in 
this word, * ye shall die.' It is, in short, to be separated from God and 
Christ, and the saints and angels, and to have eternal fellowship with 
devils and damned spirits, together with those unknown pains inflicted 
on us by the wrath of God in the other world. 

[3.] It would not be sufficient to restrain men from sin, if God 
should only threaten temporal death, and not eternal. Every murderer 
would venture to execute his malice, every adulterer follow his lusts, 
and voluptuous man his swinish and brutish pleasure, if it were only 
to endure a short pain at death, and then be free from misery ever after. 
We see how offenders venture on man's punishment, and how many 
shorten their days for their vain pleasure ; therefore unless the death 
were everlasting, the world would be little awed by it, unless the 
bitterness be greater than the present sinful pleasure ; therefore eternal 
torment is that which God threateneth, and will surely execute on the- 
sensual and carnal ; so that the sinner hath no hope to escape, except 
by repentance, and breaking this course of living after the flesh. 

Secondly. Now, by way of confirmation, we must show the fit connec 
tion between these two things, the carnal living, and this terrible death ; 
and there we must show you, [1.] That this threatening is everyway 
consistent with the justice, and wisdom, and goodness of God. [2. J 
Since it is threatened, the certainty of its accomplishment. 

[1.] Its consistency with the justice, wisdom, and goodness of God. 

(1.) His justice : First, because those that live in the flesh, continue 
in the defection and apostasy of mankind ; and so the old sentence is 
in force against them, 'in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt die: * 
Gen. ii. 17. To shew you this, let me tell you, that by the creation 
man was to be subject to God, and by his own make and constitution 
was composed of a body and soul, which two parts were to be regarded 
according to the worth and dignity of each ; the body was subordinated 
to the soul, and both body and soul to God ; the flesh was a servant to 
the spirit, and both flesh and spirit unto the Lord. But sin entering, 
defaced the beauty, and disturbed the order and harmony of the creation,, 
for man withdrew his subordination and obedience unto God his maker, 
and set up himself instead of God, and the flesh is preferred before the 
soul ; reason and conscience are enslaved to sense and appetite ; and 
the beast doth ride the man, the flesh becoming our principle, rule, and 
end. Now it is horrible wickedness, if you consider either of these 
disorders ; our contempt of God, for it is great depreciation, and 
disesteem of his holy and blessed majesty, which is neglected and 
slighted for a little carnal satisfaction, and every perishing vanity is 
preferred before his favour. The heinousness of the sin is to be 
measured by the greatness of him who is offended by it : 1 Sam. ii. 
25. ' If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him ; but 


if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him ? ' Now for 
creatures to seek their happiness without God, and apart from God, in 
such base things, deserveth the greater punishment. The other disorder 
is, we love the happiness of the body above that of the soul ; man 
carrieth it as if he had not an immortal spirit in him : Ps. xlix. 12, 
' is as the beast that perisheth ; ' and is altogether flesh, his wisdom 
and spirit is sunk into flesh, and sin hath transformed him into a 
brutish nature. Well now, if men will continue in this apostasy, what 
then more just, than that God should stand to his old sentence, and 
deprive them of that happiness which they despise ; that those who 
dishonour their own souls, should never be acquainted with a blessed 
immortality ; and those that contemn their God, and banish him out 
their thoughts, and do in effect say to the Almighty, Job. xxi. 14, 
' Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge tby ways,' that they 
may spend their days in mirth that God should banish them out of 
his presence with a curse never to be reversed ? They do in effect bid 
God be gone, the very thoughts of him are an interruption to that sort 
of life they have chosen, that he should bid them ' depart ye cursed,' 
who bid him depart first ? In short, that the carnal life, which is but 
a spiritual death, should be punished with eternal death: 1 Tim. iii. 
6, ' She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth,' a kind of 
carcase, or rather a living creature dead, estranged from the life of 
God, and then deprived of eternal life ? 

Secondly. They refuse the remedy. The great business of the 
Christian religion, is to dispossess us of the brutish nature which is 
gotten into us. I say, this is the drift and tenure of Christianity, to 
recover us from the flesh to God ; to turn man into man again, that 
was become a beast ; to draw him off from the animal life, to life 
spiritual and eternal ; to drive out the spirit of the world, and intro 
duce a divine and heavenly Spirit purchased by Jesus Christ, and 
offered to us in the promises of the gospel. The world is mad and 
brutish, enslaved to lower things ; but this healing institution of Christ 
is to make us wise and heavenly ; to recover the immortal soul, that 
was embondaged to earthly things, and depressed and tainted by the 
objects of sense, into its former liberty and perfection, thaj; the spirit 
might command the flesh, and man might seek his happiness and 
blessedness in some higher and more transcending good, than the beasts 
are capable of. In short, as sin was the transforming of a man into a 
beast ; so Christianity is the transforming of beasts into man again ; to 
restore humanity, and elevate it from the state of subjection to the 
flesh. John iii. 6, * That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that 
which is born of the Spirit is spirit.' 2 Pet. i. 4, ' Whereby are given 
us great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers 
of the divine nature; having escaped the corruption that is in the 
world through lust/ 1 Cor. ii. 12, 'Now we have received, not the 
spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know 
the things that are freely given us of God.' Now, after this is done 
with such cost and care, if men will love their bondage, despise their 
remedy, surely they are worthy of the severest punishment : John iii. 
19, * And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, 
and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil/ 


If we refuse this Spirit that is offered to change our natures, arid lift 
us up from earth to heaven, and we will not be changed and healed, 
but wallow in this filth and puddle still, we are doubly culpable for 
not doing our duty, and refusing our remedy. 

But you will say, the punishment is eternal ; how will that stand 
with the justice of God, to inflict it for temporal offences ? 

(1.) Answer. Till the carnal life ceaseth, the full punishment doth 
not begin or take place ; as when men have done their work they receive 
their wages. It is not inflicted till after death, and in the other world 
there is no change of state ; our trial is over, our sentence is passed, the 
gulf is fixed between hell and heaven, that the inhabitants of the one 
cannot come into the other place, Luke xvi. 26. 

(2.) There was eternal life in the offer. Now if men will part with 
this for one morsel of meat, this is profaneness indeed : Heb. xii. 15, 16. 
The things propounded to their choice are eternal happiness and eternal 
misery; if they refuse the one, they in justice deserve the other. 

(3.) If they be Christians, they do not pay their great debt, or fulfil 
their covenant-vow; and so make the forfeiture. The apostle here 
inferreth the great danger out of the debt : ' Ye are debtors ; ' that if 
we live after the flesh, we shall die ; they are entered into the bond of 
the holy oath. So elsewhere : Gal. v. 24, ' They that are Christ's, 
have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof.' How 
are we Christ's ? As dedicated to him in baptism, they have renounced 
the devil, the world, and the flesh ; they are Christ's not only dejure, 
they ought to do so ; but de facto, they have crucified the flesh. It is 
hypocrisy and perjury that the carnal and brutish nature should reign 
in us. Baptism implieth a vow, we are ' baptized into the likeness of 
his death,' Kom. vi. 3. Christ bound himself to communicate the 
virtue of his death ; and we bind ourselves to die unto sin, and to use 
all Christ's instituted means to that end and purpose. Now, if after 
that we are washed, we still wallow in the mire, and affect that life 
which we have renounced, and gratify what we should crucify ; cherish 
the flesh, rather than use Christ's healing means to subdue it and 
purge it out, our very baptism will solicit the more severe vengeance, 
and be a swift witness against us. It were better scalding oil had been 
poured upon us, than the water of baptism ; and if there be any place 
in hell hotter than others, it is for hypocrites and perjured persons that 
have broken the vow of their God which is upon them ; this should 
the more sink into us, because every covenant hath a curse included in 
it, implicite, or explicite : Tra? opicy Oel&a /cardpa re\vrd rfjs eVtop/a'a?, 
as Plutarch. A consecration implieth an execration or imprecation of 
vengeance if we do contrary ; the scripture abhorreth not this notion ; 
it is said, Neh. x. 29, they entered into a curse and an oath to walk 
in God's law. So it is in the new covenant, for all Christians do con 
sent to the threats and punishments of the gospel in case of failing in 
their duty ; as the Israelites were to give their amen, Deut. xxvii. 15, 
to the curses of the law ; so we profess to submit to the law of grace, 
and tenor of it : in Mark xvi. 16, * He that believeth not, shall be 
damned.' We profess our consent to this law, not to a part only, but 
to the whole. Now whatever faith and baptism calleth for, that must 
be done; or if it be wilfully left undone, we approve the penalty as 



just, and that God may rightly inflict it upon us. Thus for the justice 
of God. 

[2.] Now for the wisdom. The punishment is the greater, to check 
the greatness of the temptation. Much of the fleshly life is pleasant, 
like the Eden of God, to the besotted soul; therefore God hath 
guarded it with a flaming sword, that fear may counterbalance our 
delight. It is a hard thing to bring a man to strive against his own 
flesh ; it is born and bred with us, and is importunate to be pleased, 
but the end is death. There must be a separation between the soul and 
sin, or between the soul and God; milder motives would do us no 
good against boisterous lusts, and are not powerful enough to wean us 
from accustomed delights ; therefore is the punishment threatened the 
more dreadful, and the sinful fear is checked by the severity of the 
intermination ; though sense-pleasing and flesh-pleasing be sweet to a 
carnal heart, it will cost him dear. The wisdom of God is seen in 
three things, 

(1.) In "punishing sin, which is a moral evil, with death and misery, 
which is a natural evil ; in appointing that it should be ill with them 
that do evil. These are fitly sorted : Deut. xxx. 15, ' See, I have set 
before thee life and good, death and evil.' The evil of sin is against 
our duty, and the evil of punishment against our interest and happi 
ness ; now if men will willingly do what they should not, it is equal 
they should suffer what they would not, what is against their wills ; 
these two are natural relatives, sin and misery, good and happiness ; 
we find some of this in ourselves, we have compassion of a miserable 
man, whom we esteem not deserving his misery; we think it* is ill 
placed there ; and we are also moved with indignation against one that 
is fortunate and successful, but unworthy the happiness he enjoys ; 
which showeth man hath an apprehension of a natural harmony and 
order between these things, sin and misery, goodness and felicity. 

(2.) The wisdom of God lieth in this, that the love of pleasure, 
which is the root of all sin, should end in a sense of pain. Man is a 
very slave to pleasure : Tit. iii. 3, ' Serving divers lusts and pleasures.' 
It is engrained in our natures ; therefore to check it, the Lord hath 
threatened the pains of the second death ; and this method our Lord 
upproveth as most useful to draw us from our beloved sin: Mat. v. 29, 
30, ' Better one member suffer, than the whole body to be cast into hell.' 
In short, God hath so proportioned the dispensation of joy and sorrow, 
pleasure and pain, that it is left to our choice, whether we will have it 
here or hereafter, whether we will have pleasure as the fruit of sin, or 
as the reward of well-doing ; both we cannot have, you must not expect 
to enjoy the pleasures of earth and heaven too, and think to pass from 
Delilah's lap into Abraham's bosom : Luke xvi. 25, ' Son, in thy life 
time thou receivedst thy good things ; ' and Jam. v. 5, ' Ye have lived 
in pleasure upon earth ; ' you have been merry and jocund ; but your 
time of howling and lamenting then cometh, i'ar beyond the degree of 

I your former rejoicing. 
(3.) By setting eternal pains against momentary pleasures, that ye 
may the better escape the temptation ; momentaneum est quod delectat, 
eternum quod crucial. ' The pleasures of sin are but for a season/ 
Heb. xi. 25 ; but the pains of sin are for evermore ; if the fearful end 


of this delightful course were soundly believed or seriously considered, 
it would not so easily prevail upon us. It is the wisdom of our law 
giver that things to come should have some advantage in the proposal 
above things present ; that the joy and pain of the other world should 
be greater than the comfort and pleasure of this world, which is a 
matter of sense ; for things at hand would certainly prevail with us, if 
things to come were not considerably greater ; therefore here the pain 
is short, and so is the pleasure, but there it is eternal. Those that will 
have their pleasure here, they shall have it, but to their bitter cost ; 
but those that will work out their salvation with fear and trembling, 
will by the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, will pass through the 
difficulties of religion, shall have pleasure at his right hand for ever 
more, Ps. xvi. 11. 

[3.] It is consistent with his love and goodness. This is necessary 
to be considered, 

(1.) Because we are apt to think hardly of God for his threatenings. 
It is for our profit to give warning, and to bring us to repentance, and 
that we may take heed and escape these things ; he threateneth that 
he may not punish ; and he punisheth in part, that he may not punish 
for ever. The first awakening is by fear, afterwards shame, sorrow, and 
indignation ; the curse driveth us to the promise ; first, we look upon 
sin as damning, then as defiling ; first, as it fits us for hell ; then, as it 
unfits us for heaven. 

(2.) It is a benefit to the world* Punishment among men, because 
of the degeneracy of the world, is a more powerful engine of government 
than reward ; we owe much of our safety to prisons and executions ; so 
in God's government, though love be the mighty gospel motive, yet 
fear hath its use, at least for those who will not serve God out of love ; 
slavish fear tieth their hands from mischief. 

(3.) For the converted, they find all help in this part of the Spirit's 
discipline, to guard their love. When their minds are in danger of 
being enchanted by carnal delights, or perverted by the terrors of sense ; 
when the flesh presents the bait, faith shows the hook, Mat. x. 28 ; or 
are apt to abuse their power, because none in the world can call them 
to an account : Job xxxi. 23, ' Destruction from God was a terror to me.' 
He stood in awe of God, who is a party against the oppressor, and will 
right the weak against the powerful. 

2. Since it is threatened, we may conclude the certainty of its 
accomplishment. The world will not easily believe that none shall be 
saved but the regenerate, and those that live not after the flesh but the 
Spirit, and love God in Christ above all the world, even their own 
lives ; that besides these few, all the rest shall be tormented in hell for 
ever ; flesh and blood cannot easily go down with this doctrine ; but 
God's threatenings are as sure as executions. 

[1.] Because of the holiness of his nature: Ps. xi. 6, 7, 'Upon the 
wicked he will rain snares, fire and brimstone, and horrible tempest ; 
this shall be the portion of their cup, for the righteous Lord loveth 
righteousness.' But men feign God as they would have him to be, 
and judge of God's holiness by their own interest : Ps. 1. 21, ' Thou 
thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself.' As if God 
were less mindful because he is so holy ; and will not be so indulgent 

VER. 13.] 



to their flesh and sin, as they are themselves, and would have him to be. 

[2.1 His unalterable truth. ' God cannot lie/ Tit. i. 2. Though 
the threatening in the present judgment doth not always show the 
event, but merit, yet it follows afterwards ; for the scripture must be 
fulfilled, or else all religion will fall to the ground. He cannot endure 
any should question it, it is not a vain scare-crow : Deut. xxx. 19, 20, 
* I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have 
set before you life and death, blessing and cursing ; therefore choose 
life, that thou and thy seed may live ; that thou mayest love the Lord 
thy God, that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave 
unto him, for he is thy life, and the length of thy days/ 

[3.] His all-sufficient power : 2 Thes. i. 9, ' Who shall be punished 
\vith everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and the 
glory of his power ; ' and Kom. ix. 22, ' What if God, willing to show 
his wrath, and to make his power known, endureth with much long- 
suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction ? ' If God will do 
so, surely he can, there is no let there: Heb. x. 29, 30, 'Vengeance 
belongeth to me, and I will recompense, saith the Lord ; and again, the 
Lord shall judge his people.' He liveth for ever to see vengeance 
executed ; if it seem to be so terrible to you, God knoweth it is with a 
resign of love, to awaken those that are carnal. What a case am I in 
then ! And to make the converted more cautious that they do not 
border on the carnal life. God maketh no great difference here 
between the righteous and the wicked ; hereafter he will. 

If ye live after the flesli ye shall die. ROM. VIII. 13. 

THE first Use is information. 

1. To show the lawful use of threatenings. 2. The folly of two sorts 
of people. [1.] Of those that will rather venture this death, than leave 
their sinful peasures. [2.] Those that would reconcile God and flesh, 
God and the world. 

1. The lawful use of threatenings. 

Threatenings are necessary during the law of grace. Two argu 
ments I shall give for the proof thereof: (1.) If threatenings were 
needful to Adam in the state of innocency and perfection, much more 
are they useful now, when there is such a corrupt inclination within, 
and so many temptations without ; in the best there is a double prin 
ciple and many inordinate lusts, that we need the strongest bridle and 
curb to suppress them. (2.) If Christ came to verify God's threatenings, 
surely God hath some use of them now ; but so it is, the devil would 
represent God as a liar in his comminations : Gen. iii. 4, ' Ye shall not 
surely die.' Christ came to confute the tempter, and would die rather 
than the devil's reproach of God's threatenings should be found true ; 
surely this is to check thoughts of iniquity. 


[1 1 The folly of two sorts of people. [1.] Of those that will rather 
venture this death than leave their sinful pleasures, and live a holy life. 
Carnal men think no life so happy as theirs, being escaped out ot f 
of religion and bonds of conscience, in the apostle's expression, '.bree 
from righteousness,' Kom. vi. 20. Whereas the truth is, none are more 
miserable ; for they carry it so, as if they were in love with their own 
death- Prov. viii. 36, 'He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own 
soul - and they that hate me, l6ve death.' You hazard soul and body, 
and all that is near and dear to you, for a little carnal satisfaction ; for 
the present you get nothing but the guilt of conscience, hardness of 
heart, and the displeasure of the eternal God ; and for the future, ever- 
lastin'o- destruction from the presence of the Lord, when the body 
and soul shall be cast into hell-fire. Consider this before it be too 
late ; there is no man goeth to hell or heaven, but with violence to 
conscience or lusts; those that go to hell offer violence to their 


[2.] Those that would reconcile God and flesh, God and the 
world, and secure their interest in both ; that hope to please the flesh, 
and yet to be happy hereafter for all that ; would keep up a profession of 
godliness, while they live in secret league with their lusts. God will 
not halve it with the world, nor part stakes with the flesh ; you cannot 
please the flesh, and enjoy God too ; for you have but one happiness ; 
if you place it in contenting the flesh, you cannot have it in the fruition 
of God : ' Their end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and who 
mind earthly things,' Phil. iii. 19. Worldly pleasures will end in 
eternal torments ; and so much delight, so much more will your torments 
be, for contraries are punished with contraries : Kev. viii. 7, ' How 
much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much sorrow 
give her.' Therefore, so much as you gratify the flesh, so much you 
endanger the soul. Will you, for a little temporal satisfaction, run the 
hazard of God's eternal wrath ? 

The second Use is to dissuade you from this course. To this end 
I shall lay down some motives, and some means. 

1. Motives are these. 

[1.] You think the flesh is your friend, do all that you can to please 
it ; whereas indeed it is your greatest enemy. That it is one of your 
enemies is clear, by that place where all our enemies appear abreast, 
Eph. ii. 2, 3. There is ' the course of this world, the prince of the power 
of the air,' and our own flesh. If there were never a devil to tempt, 
or example to follow, yet, * out of the heart proceed (Mat. xv. 19,) 
murder, adultery, theft, blasphemy.' Among other things he reckoneth 
up murder, which striketh at the life of man ; and blasphemy, which 
striketh at the being of God. If the devil should stand by and say 
nothing, there is enough within us to put us upon all manner of evil ; 
other enemies would do us no harm, without our own flesh. Corrup 
tion may be irritated by God's law, Rom. vii. 9 ; we may be tempted 
to sin by Satan, 1 Cor. vii. 5 ; encouraged to sin by the exam pie and 
the evil conversations of others, Isa. ix. 16 ; enticed to sin by the baits 
of the world, 2 Pet. i. 4 ; but only inclined to sin by our own flesh ; 
and at length no man is a sinner but by his own consent : Jam. i. 14, 
'He is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.' In vain do temptations 


knock at the door, if there were nothing within to make answer and 
admit them ; if we could keep ourselves from ourselves, there were no 
danger from what is without ; as Balaam hy all his curses and charms 
could do nothing against the Israelites till he found out a way to 
corrupt them by whoredom, and by whoredom to draw them to 
idolatry ; and so found a means to destroy them by themselves. So it 
is the domestic enemy, the flesh within us, which maketh us a prey to 
Satan, and doth us mischief upon all occasions ; it is the flesh distracts 
us in holy duties with vain thoughts, and abateth our fervours ; that 
maketh us idle in our callings ; that tempts to sensuality and inordinate 
delight when we are repairing nature ; and turneth our table into a 
snare, so that nature is rather oppressed than refreshed for God's 
service. It is the flesh maketh us forget our great end, and the eternal 
interests of our immortal souls. 

[2.] The more you indulge the flesh, the more it is your enemy, and 
the more your slavery and bondage is increased ; so that still you grow 
more brutish, forgetful of God, and unapt for any spiritual use. By 
using to please the flesh, you do increase its desires, and know not at 
length how to deny it, and displease it ; by being made a wanton, it 
groweth stubborn and contumacious. The more you gratify the flesh, 
the more inordinate it groweth, and the more unreasonable things it 
craveth at your hands ; therefore you must hold a hard hand upon it 
at first. Through too much indulgence the reins are loosened to sin, 
and the enemy is heartened, and our liberty is every day more and 
more lost. Solomon was fearfully corrupted when he withheld not his 
heart from any joy : Eccles. ii. 10. This brought him to a lawless 
excess, and to fall so foully as he did ; if you give corrupt nature its 
full scope, and use pleasures with too free a license, the heart is insen 
sibly corrupted, and our very diseases and distempers become our 
necessities. Solomon saith (Prov. xx-ix. 21), 'He that delicately 
bringeth up a servant, shall have him become a son at length ; ' he 
will no more know his condition, but grow bold and troublesome. 
We are all the worse for license ; therefore unless natural desires feel 
fetters and prudent restraints, they grow unruly ; therefore that the 
flesh may not grow masterly, it is good to bridle it. To deny ourselves 
nothing, bringeth a greater snare upon the soul, and distempers are 
more rooted : 1 Cor. vi. 12, ' I will not be brought under the power of 
any creature.' A man is brought into vassalage and bondage, and 
cannot help it. 

[3.] The engagement that is upon Christians to abhor carnal living. 
By their solemn baptismal vow, which obligeth us to take this yoke of 
Christ upon ourselves, even to tame and subdue the flesh: Col. iii. 3, 
5, ' Mortify your members which are upon earth.' All are strictly 
bound to mortify the deeds of the body, under pain of damnation ; 
kings as well as subjects, nobles and base ; for God is no accepter of 
persons ; no man of what degree soever can presume of an exemption 
from the duty, or hope for a dispensation. We are all debtors, and 
this duty taketh place as soon as we come to the use of reason ; we 
all then begin to feel the corruption and imperfection of nature ; and 
we are bound to look after the cure of it, and to use all Christ's healing 
means that it may be effected. Then we begin to perceive the 


enemies against whom we are to fight, and a necessity laid upon 
us of killing them, or being killed by them. It is our great fault 
that we made conscience of our solemn vow no sooner; surely we 
Bbould no longer dispute it now: 1 Pet. iv. 3 'For the time past of 
our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when 
we lived in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelling, banquetmgs, 
and abominable idolatries.' But set about the work, and undertake the 
battle against the devil, the world, and the flesh. Your first enemy is 
the oldman; and it is the last, for it is not extinguished in us till 
death ; therefore as soon as we pass out of infancy into youth, we must 
look upon ourselves under this obligation, not to live after the flesh, 
but after the Spirit ; to weaken the corruption of nature more and 
more. There was but one man and no more, who was first good and 
afterwards bad ; and that was the first Adam. Another there is, who 
was never bad, but always good'; and that was Christ Jesus, the second 
Adam, our Lord, blessed for ever. Of all the rest, none proved good 
that was not sometimes bad ; the apostle saith, ' first that which was 
natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual.' It is true, here first 
we put off a corrupt nature before we are renewed ; the duty lieth 
upon us by our baptismal engagement, though Christ supplieth the 

<T " ?"!('(' * 

[4.J The qualities of a Christian, or his condition in the world, 
engageth him not to live after the flesh. I shall mention two : as they 
are strangers and pilgrims, or as they are racers and wrestlers. First, 
Sometimes it is pressed upon them as they are strangers and pilgrims, 
who have no continued abode: 1 Pet. ii. 11, 'I beseech you ?> as pil 
grims and strangers, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the 
soul.' You are, or should be, travelling into another country, where 
are the spirits of just men made perfect, and where even this body of 
ours will become a spiritual body ; and for you to please the flesh is 
contrary to your Christian hopes. Nothing so unsuitable for them that 
ure going to Canaan as to hanker after the flesh-pots of Egypt ; nothing 
is so contrary to our profession, and breedeth such an unreadiness to 
depart out of the world, as these vain delights ; therefore if you be 
strangers and pilgrims, you should not lust after worldly things, lest 
you forget or forfeit your great hopes. Secondly, you are racers or 
wrestlers : 1 Cor. ix. 24, ' Know you not that they which run in a race 
run all, but one receiveth the prize ? so run that you may obtain.' 
They that exercised in the Isthmian games had a prescribed set diet 
both for quality and quantity, and had their rule chalked out to them ; 
they knew their work and their reward ; so v. 27, ' But I keep under 
my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I 
have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away ; ' that is, 
denied himself those liberties which otherwise he might enjoy, having 
prescribed to others the way of striving and getting the victory. They 
for an oaken or olive crown dieted themselves, kept themselves from 
all things which should hurt them, or disable them in the race or 
combat; and should we cocker every appetite, that have an eternal 
crown of glory in view and pursuit ? Our danger is greater if we should 
miscarry and miss of it ; theirs, the loss of a little vain glory ; ours, of 
eternal glory; therefore we should strive that we be not found 


unworthy to receive it. There the victory was uncertain ; here all that 
are runners may be sure of the crown. 

[5.] Consider the malignant influence of the flesh, and how pernici 
ous it is to the soul. If it were a small thing we spake to you about, 
you might refuse to give ear ; but it is in a case of life and death, and 
that not temporal but eternal. We can tell you of many present and 
temporal inconveniences that come by the flesh. The body, the part 
gratified, is in many oppressed by it : Prov. v. 11, ' Thou shalt mourn 
.at last, when thy flesh and body is consumed.' It betrayeth you to such 
sins as suck your bones and devour your strength, and give your years 
to the cruel ; to such enormities and scandalous practices as bring 
infamy and a blot upon your name. Pleasing the flesh maketh one turn 
a drunkard, and the very sin carrieth its own punishment with it ; a 
second, a wanton ; a third, a glutton ; a fourth, a hard-hearted world 
ling ; and all these sins waste the conscience, and debase the body, and 
spend our wit, time, strength, and estates. But we have a more 
powerful argument to present to you ; it will be the eternal loss and 
ruin of your souls. There will a day come when you shall be called 
to an account for all your vain delights and pleasures : Eccles. xi. 9, 
* Eejoice, young man, in thy youth, and let thine heart cheer thee in 
the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine own heart, and 
in the sight of thine own eyes ; but know that for all these things God 
will bring thee to judgment.' The young man is cited before the 
tribunal of God, and we think somewhat must be allowed to that age, 
before men have learned by experience to contemn pleasures, and the 
young man is spoken to in his own dialect. Let his wanton and wander 
ing eye inflame the lusts of his heart, and smother his conscience by 
all manner of sensual delight ; yet at length he will know the folly of 
this to his bitter cost. These things whiuh are now so pleasing to the 
senses shall gnaw and sting his conscience, when God, whom he now 
forgetteth, shall bring him to the judgment, and he shall have nothing 
to plead for his brutish folly. 

[6.] What vile unthankfulness it is, and a great abuse of that liberty 
which we have by Christ : Gal. v. 13, ' Ye are called to liberty, only 
use it not as an occasion to the flesh/ We have a great liberty to use 
our worldly comforts, with a respect to God's glory, and as encourage 
ments of God's service, and for the sweetening of our pilgrimage ; but 
it is strangely perverted when we use these things to please the flesh ; 
you turn it into a bondage, and offer a great abuse to Jesus Christ. 
Surely he never died to promote the power of sin, or gave us these 
comforts to defeat the ends of his death. Was he a man of sorrows 
that we might live in pleasure ? Did he suffer in the flesh to purchase 
us liberty to please the flesh ? or die for sin, to give sin the mastery ? 
Did the Lord vouchsafe these comforts that we might dishonour his 
name, or undo our own souls ? 

2. Means to come out of this estate and course of sin. I shall give 
you a few directions : 

[1.] To those that never pretended to the spiritual and heavenly life, 
and are as yet to be drawn out of the common apostasy and defection 
of mankind to God. All that I shall say to them is to observe checks 



of conscience and motions of the Spirit, and what help is given ta 
weaken the flesh. 

(1.) Checks of conscience, however occasioned, either by a lapse into 
some sin, which is wont to scourge the soul with some remorse: 
Mat. xxvii. 4, saying ' I have sinned in betraying innocent blood/ 
Conscience, working after the fact or by the conviction of the word : 
Acts xxiv. 25, ' And as he reasoned of righteousness, and temperance, 
and judgment to conic, Felix trembled.' I)o not smother these checks ; 
that breedeth atheism and hardness of heart. Suppose one, dissolutely 
bent, yet upon some loathsome concomitants which follow his riot and 
intemperance, beginneth to be troubled; God's providence is to be- 
observed as well as his own sin. This is a kind of softening his heart ; 
if he revert to his old frame, the man is the worse. No iron so hard 
as that which hath befcn often heated. Water, after it hath been heated 
by the fire, congealeth the sooner after it is taken off. If he doth not 
take notice of God's warnings, his soul is more unapt to be wrought 
to repentance ; yea, God injustice may deprive him of those common 
helps : Hos. iv. 17, ' Let him alone ; ' or give him up to his own heart's 
counsels. It is dangerous not to make use of those intervals of reason 
and sober thoughts which arise in our minds. 

(2.) The motions of the Holy Spirit, when he cometh to recover you 
from the flesh to God ; and you are troubled not only with remorse for 
actual and heinous sins, but about your eternal estate ; and are haunted 
with thoughts of the other world, -and urged to resolve upon the 
heavenly life. Surely, when the waters are stirred, we should put in for 
a cure, John v ; when he draweth, we should run, Cant. i. 4 ; when 
he knocketh, we should open, Rev. iii. 20, and not obstruct the work 
of godliness, but seriously employ our thoughts about it : Acts xvi. 14, 
' Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things that 
were spoken by Paul.' We should not rebel against the motions of the 
Spirit, lest we grieve our sanctifier, and he forsake us, because we for 
sook him first, and so our hearts be hardened in a carnal course. 
Briefly, God doth all in our first conversion ; yet these three things lie 
upon us ; first, to observe the touches of God's punishing and chastising 
hand reclaiming us from our wanderings : Ps. cxix. 59. ' Before I was 
afflicted I went astray/ Secondly, To reflect upon the motions of his 
Spirit to draw us out of this estate, that we may not resist the Holy 
Ghost, Acts vii. 51. Thirdly, To examine every day what advantage 
the Spirit hath gotten against the flesh ; how the interests of it are 
weakened, its lusts checked, its acts restrained, Gal. v. 16. Every 
one that doth seriously mind the business of his salvation cannot but 
see these things of great advantage to his spiritual estate ; and there is no 
great difficulty in them to the serious soul that hath a mind to be saved. 

[2.J To those that seem to be recovered, and to have a care of the 
spiritual life, that they may not revert to this bondage, and that the 
work may be more thoroughly wrought in them. 

(1.) Look to the mind ; take heed there be not flesh there, for the 
fleshly mind is a great enemy to godliness : Rom. viii. 7, ' The carnal 
mind is enmity to God ; ' and it is a low poor mind, blinded with the 
love of present things : James iil 15, ' The wisdom that descendeth not 


from above is earthly, sensual, devilish ;' it hindereth us from discern 
ing the reality of our hopes, and from having a true sense of our duty 
impressed upon our hearts : 1 Cor. ii. 14, ' But the natural man 
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness 
to him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually dis 
cerned;' and also from applying our rule to particular cases, either in 
judging of our estate or in guiding of our actions. It is strange to see 
how the world, or the delusion of the flesh, do blind very knowing 
men, and how unacquainted they are with their own hearts, or unable 
to discern their duty in plain cases, when the performance of it is likely 
to be displeasing to the flesh. What strange disguises it puts upon 
temptation, and how they wriggle and distinguish themselves out of 
their duty, when either God must be disobeyed or the flesh displeased. 
The flesh is always partial for itself ; therefore get a sound mind and 
this spiritual discerning. 

(2.) Look to the heart, that there be no flesh there. Sinful inclina 
tions must be observed and mortified. Satan doth observe them, and 
shall not we ? He seeth which way the tree leaneth, and what kind of 
diet their soul-distempers crave, and suiteth his temptations accordingly. 
As the skilful angler suiteth his bait as the fishes will take it, every 
month : 1 Cor. vii. 5, ' Lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.' 
He hath a bait of preferment for Absalom, for he is ambitious ; a bait 
of pleasure for Samson, for he is voluptuous; a bait of money for 
Judas, for he is covetous. Thus will he furnish them with temptations 
answerable to their inclinations. A man by temper voluptuous esteems 
not profit much, nor an earth-worm pleasure, nor an ambitious man 
much either of them, but honour, and reputation, and great place. 
Now, it is sad that our enemy should know our temper better than our 
selves. Your uprightness and faithfulness to God is seen in weakening 
your particular inclination to sin : Ps. xviii. 23, ' I was also upright 
before him, and kept myself from mine iniquity.' Observe the decay 
of your master-sin, and other things will come on the more easily ; 
fight not against small or great, but the king lust, the domineering sin. 
Satan is the more discouraged when we can deny our domineering lusts. 
As Samson's strength lay in his locks, so doth the strength of sin in 
one lust more than another. Every man knoweth his darling com 
monly ; but that which is our great care is to wean our hearts from it. 
Herod raged when John the Baptist touched his Herodias ; Felix 
trembled when Paul touched his bribery and intemperance ; and the 
young man goeth away sad when Christ discovereth his worldliness, 
Mark x. 22. We have all our tender parts, which we cannot endure 
should be touched. But now, when you are willing to part with this 
sin, pray, strive, and watch against it ; grow in the contrary grace ; it 
sheweth your self-denial and sincerity ; you will not spare your Isaac. 
Well then, see that no worldly thing be too near and dear to you, and 
that God hath a greater interest in your heart than the flesh, or any 
thing that belongeth to it. 

(3.) Let not the senses cast off the government of reason, and be 
the ruling power in your souls. They were not made to govern, but 
to be governed, and to be subjected to God and reason. Man by the 
fall is inverted : Tit. iii. 3, ' hateful and hating one another.' Man in 


his right constitution should be thus governed. The understanding 
and conscience prescribe to the will, the will according to right reason 
and conscience moveth the affections, the affections move the bodily 
spirits and the members of the body. But by corruption all is inverted 
and changed ; pleasure affects the senses, the senses corrupt the fancy, 
the fancy the bodily spirits ; they the affections ; and the affections by 
their violence and impetuous inclination to forbidden things, move the 
will ; and the will yielding, blindeth the mind ; and so man is carried 
headlong to his own destruction ; the feet are where the head should 
be, e contra. Well then, you must guide the senses, as Job made a 
covenant with his eyes : Job xxxi. 1. and David prayeth : Psal. cxix. 
37, ' Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity.' They let in objects, 
and objects stir up thoughts, and thoughts affections, Mat. v. 28. 
Now take heed the/ do not grow masterly ; if they transmit temptations 
and stir up evil motions crush the scorpion on the wound. 

(4.) Keep up a readiness for your work, which is to obey the will 
of God. It argueth some prevalency of the flesh, when our duty 
beginneth to grow troublesome and uneasy ; therefore the spirit or 
the better part cannot so readily produce its operation. The soul in 
the right temper doth willingly and cheerfully obey God : I .John v. 3, 
' This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments, and his 
commandments are not grievous.' Psal. xl. 8, 'I delight to do thy will, 
my God : thy law is in my heart ; ' and Psal. cxii. 1, ' Blessed is the 
man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his command 
ments.' Therefore it is time for you to check the flesh, and overcome 
it, lest further mischief increase upon you. 

(5.) Refer all things to your ultimate end ; and consider whether 
what you do doth hinder or further you therein ; for all things are to 
be regarded and valued as they conduce to God's service and your 
salvation : Eccles. ii. 2, ' What doth it ? ' 1 Cor. x. 31, ' Whether ye 
cat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, let all be done to the glory of God/ 
Be true to your scope. 

(6.) Take heed of the servitude and bondage which the flesh is wont 
to bring upon the soul where it reigneth. It maketh men very slaves ; 
the heart groweth weak, and lust strong, Ezek. xvi. 30. They are not 
under the government of the Spirit, but under the tyranny of their 
fleshly lusts, doing whatever it commandeth, be it never so base, foolish, 
and hurtful. If anger provoke them to revenge, they must fight, kill, 
and slay, and hazard their worldly interest for anger's sake, or at least 
cannot forgive injuries for God's sake ; if filthy lusts send them to the 
lewd woman, away they go like a fool to the correction of the stocks ; 
and though they dishonour God, ruin their estates, stain their fame, 
hazard their lives, yet lust will have it so, and they must obey. If 
covetousness say they must be rich, however they get it ; they rise early, 
go to bed late, eat the bread of sorrow, and pierce through themselves 
with many cares : yea, make no question of right or wrong, trample 
conscience under foot, cast the fear of God behind their backs, and all 
because their imperious mistress, ambition, urgeth them to it. If envy 
and malice bid Cain kill his brother, he will break all bonds of nature 
to do it ; if ambition bid Absalom rebel against his father, and kill 
him too, it shall be done, or he shall want his will. If covetousness 


bid Achan take a wedge of gold, he will do it, though he know it to be 
a cursed thing ; if it bid Judas betray his Lord and Master, though he 
knew if he should do it, it had been better he had never been born, 
yet he will do it. Thus they are not at their own command, to do 
what reason and conscience inclineth them to do. If, sensible of their 
bondage, they would think of God and the world to come, and the state 
of their souls, lust will not permit it ; if to break off this sensual 
course, they are not able ; they are servants of corruption. Some, God 
hangeth up in chains of darkness for a warning to the rest of the world 
of the power of drunkenness, gluttony, avarice and wretched world- 
liness ; yea, of every carnal man it is true : (John viii. 34,) ' Whoso 
ever committeth sin, is the servant of sin.' Therefore if the slavery 
and imperious disease begin to grow upon you, the flesh hath prevailed 
very far, and you need more to look to it, and that betimes. 

Third Use. Here is ground of trying your estate before God. It is 
a question you ought often seriously to put : * Shall I be saved, shall 
I be damned ? ' If you have any spark of conscience left you, when 
you are sick or dying, you will put it with anxiousness and trembling 
of heart : ' Poor soul, whither art thou now a-going ? ' It is better put 
it now, while you have opportunity to correct your error, if hitherto 
you have gone wrong. We see in worldly things, men would fain 
know their destiny ; the king of Babylon stood upon the head of the 
ways to make divination ; we would fain know what God hath hidden 
in the womb of futurity. No destiny deserves to be known so much 
as this ; not whether I shall be poor or rich, good success in this enter 
prise, or bad; it is not of so great moment; these distinctions do not 
outlive time, but cease at the grave's mouth ; but it is a question of 
greater moment, Whether eternally miserable, or eternally happy? 
It is foolish curiosity to enquire into other things, when we have a 
good God to trust to ; but it chiefly importeth us to consider whether 
we are in the way to salvation or damnation. Nothing will sooner 
determine this great question, than this text, ' If ye live after the flesh, 
ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the 
body, ye shall live.' The latter branch we shall examine afterwards ; 
now for the firbt clause. 

1. Some live in defiance of the Spirit; cherish the flesh, fulfil the 
works of the flesh : Gal. v. 19. It is no subtile matter to find them 
out ; they declare their sin as Sodom, while they are drinking, whoring, 
sporting, quarrelling, scoffing at godliness. 

2. Others please the flesh in a more cleanly manner ; but have no 
due regard to that spiritual and eternal happiness, which lieth in the 
enjoyment of God. Though their carriage be blameless and separated 
from the gross pollutions of the world, they care not whether God be 
pleased or displeased, honoured or dishonoured, angry or reconciled. 
And besides, the works of the flesh are not always interpreted in the 
gross sense, but according to the scale of the sanctuary. When he 
saith, adultery, fornication, murder, are works of the flesh; we must 
not only think of the gross acts, but the very first seeds of these sins, 
the secret inclinations and desires of the flesh in this kind, Mat. v. 27, 
28. So lasciviousness ; not the sinful attempt only, but every motion 
of tongue, heart, senses, by which the eyes and ears, the soul and con- 


sciences of ourselves and others may be polluted to idolatry, anger, 
inordinate affection of the heart to any creature, Eph. v. 5. So by 
murder, not only when it proceedeth to blood, but hatred, variance, 
strife, heresies, Mat. v. 21, 22. So in shoit, emulation, and affectation 
of applause, Gal. v. 26. 

3. The prevalence of the divine or carnal principle must determine 
our condition. Now its reign is known : 

[1.] By our savour, relish and taste, Rom. viii. 5. For every man's 
gust is according to his constitution, which breedeth oblectation, or 
pleasure of mind. Now when we savour only the things of the flesh, 
that if it be pleased, quiets us in the want of other things, contents us 
in the neglect of God and his service ; that we have no appetite after, 
or savour or relish any sweetness but in fleshly things ; this is an 
ill sign. 

[2.] By our course of walking ; which is often insisted on in this 
chapter. There may be some blemishes in God's children, some 
unevenness of obedience through the relics of the flesh ; but their main, 
constant course, for which they labour and strive, is to approve them 
selves to God, and to be accepted with God, and to live in obedience 
to the motions of his sanctifying Spirit. But where there is a care 
lessness in the heavenly life, the influence of the fleshly life is most 
discovered in all our actions. 

[3.] By our tendency and scope. When the heart is turned to, or 
alienated from God. The flesh reigneth if the world turn our hearts 
from him, and the flesh be pleased before him, and we mind our own 
things ; we are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. 


If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body. ye shall live. 

ROM. VIII. 13. 

WE come now to the second clause, wherein we have two things : 
(1.) The condition to be performed. (2.) The blessedness promised. 
First, In the condition we have, 

1. The parties interested. 

2. The duty required. 

1. The parties interested are justified believers, who are not in the 
flesh, or after the flesh. Yet two persons are mentioned : the principal 
author, and the subordinate agent. We are the principal parties in 
the obligation ; but in the operation, the Spirit is the principal. The 
particle through is usually the note of an instrument, yet the Spirit is 
not our instrument, but we are his ; he first worketh on us as objects 
then by us as instruments ; and therefore though the duty falleth upon 
us, and we are said to dp it by the Spirit ; yet it must be thus under 
stood : we are the principal parties as to obligation of duty ; but as to 
operation and influence of grace, the Spirit is the principal. 

VER. 13.] 


2. In the duty there is the act, ' mortify ; ' the object, ' the deeds of 
the body/ 

[1.] The act, 'mortify.' I shall open it more fully by and by ; only 
note for the present, 

(1.) Sin is alive in some degree in the justified; otherwise what 
need it to be mortified ? The exhortation were superfluous if sin were 
wholly dead. 

(2.) It noteth a continued act. We must not rest in a mortification 
.already wrought in us. He saith not, ' If ye have mortified/ but, ' If 
ye do mortify ; ' this must be our daily practice, not done now and then, 
or by fits ; if we always sincerely labour to mortify the deeds of the 
body, we are in the way of life. 

(3.) It showeth that this work must not be attended slightly, or by the 
by, but carried on to such a degree, that corruption may be weakened, 
or lie a-dying, or be upon the declining hand. The success and event 
is considerable, as well as the endeavour. Where the event- dependeth 
upon outward and foreign causes, a man hath comfort in doing his 
duty whatever the success be, but here where the event falleth within 
the compass of our duty itself, there it must be regarded. We must so 
oppose sin, that in some sort we may kill it or extinguish it, not only ' 
scratch the face of it, but seek to root it out ; at least that must be 
our aim. 

(4.) Mortifying noteth some pain or trouble. For nothing that hath 
life, will be put to death without some struggling ; and the flesh cannot 
be subdued without some trouble to ourselves, or violence offered to 
our carnal affections. Only let me tell you, if it be painful to mortify 
sin, you make it more painful by dealing negligently in the business, 
and drawing out your vexation to a greater length ; the longer you " 
suffer this Canaanite to live with you, the more will it prove as a thorn 
or goad in your sides. Here, if ever, it is true our affection procureth 
our affliction ; sin dieth when our love to it dieth ; your trouble endeth, 
your delight in it ceaseth, as you can bring your souls to a resolution 
to quit these things. Quam suave miki subito factum est, carere 
Quavitatibua iniquorum. No delight so sincere as the contempt of vain 

[1] The object, ' the deeds of the body/ that is, our sins. So called, 
(1.) Because sin is compared to a body: Kom. vii. 24, 'Who shall 
deliver me from this body of death?' and Col. ii. 11, 'In putting off 
the body of the sins of the flesh.' There is besides the natural body, 
a body of corruption, which doth wholly compass about the soul ; there 
is the head of wicked desires, the hands and feet of wicked executions, 
the eye of sinful lusts, the tongue of vain and evil words ; therefore it 
is said, (Col. iii. 5), 'Mortify your members which are upon earth; 1 
not of the natural body, but of the mass of corruption ; particular 
sinful lusts are as members of this body. (2.) Sins are called the deeds 
of the body, because they are executed by the body : Eom. vi. 22, ' Let 
not sin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should fulfil the lusts 
thereof ; ' and Kom. vi. 19, 'As ye have yielded up your members 
servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity/ All the mem 
bers of the body are employed as instruments to serve our sin ; now 
affections are manifested in action ; therefore by the deeds of the body, 


he meaneth not outward acts only, but lusts also. Well then, fight we 
must, but not with our own shadows ; sin is gotten within us ; by the 
soul it hath taken possession of the body ; the gates of the senses are 
always open to let in such objects and temptations as take part with 
the flesh ; and the flesh is ready to accomplish whatever the corrupt 
heart doth suggest arid require. 

Secondly, The life that is promised to them that mortify sm, Ye 
shall live/ a spiritual life of grace here, and an eternal life of glory 
hereafter. Heaven is worth the having, and therefore the reward should 
sweeten the duty. From this clause the points are three : 

1. That justified persons are bound to mortify sin. 

2. That in the mortifying of sin, we and the Spirit concur. The 
Spirit will not without us, and we cannot without the Spirit. 

3. That eternal life* is promised to them who seriously improve the 
assistance of the Holy Ghost for the mortifying of sin. 

1. Doct. That justified persons should mortify sin. It is their duty 
so to do. 

First. What is the mortification that lieth upon us ? 

1. Negatively, What it is not; we must distinguish between the 
mock mortification, the counterfeit resemblances of this duty, and 
the duty itself. 

[1.] There is a pagan mortification. I call it so, because such a 
thing was among the heathens, which is nothing else but a suppressing 
such sins as nature discovereth, upon such reasons and arguments as 
nature suggesteth : Rom. ii. 14, ' The Gentiles do by nature the things 
contained in the law : ' namely, as they abstained from gross sins and 
performed outward acts of duty. This was a kind of resemblance of 
mortification, and but a resemblance. We read of this in history ; the 
answer of Socrates to the physiognomist, olpai Trcu&epao-Tijv, when 
his scholars enraged at his character ilcu&epao-Trjs, eraipoi, elfju 
<t>va-i, dXV eVe^o). So of Palsemon, who coming in a drunken fit to 
scoff at the lecture of Xenocrates, with his head crowned with 
a garland of rosebuds, was by his grave and moral discourse, 
reduced from his riot and licentiousness, which was a kind of moral 
conversion ; but this we fault, because it is but a half turn from 
sins of the second table, or lower hemisphere of duty ; and because 
these sins were suppressed and hidden, rather than mortified and 
subdued ; Sapientia eorum abscondit vitia, non dbscindit. Lact. As 
Haman refrained himself, when his heart boiled with rancour and 
malice, Esther v. 10, their wisdom tended to hide sin, rather than to 
mortify it. And besides this kind of conversion was not a recovery of 
the soul from the flesh and the world to God ; but only an acquiring 
a fitness to live more plausibly, and with less scandal among men. 

[2.] There is a popish and superstitious mortification; which 
standeth in a mere neglect of the body , and in some outward absti 
nences and austerities, and such observances as are prescribed by men 
without any warrant from God ; as in abstaining from marriage, and 
some sort of meats or apparel, as unlawful ; yea, from the necessary 
functions of human life ; the apostle telleth us that these things have 
nva \6yuv cro^a?, Col. ii. 23. ' A show of wisdom/ have a specious 
show, and are highly cried up by the carnal world ; but have no real 


worth to commend us to God, as being not commanded by God, or 
warranted by the best example of the most holy and mortified men. 
Suppose abstinence from marriage : * Enoch (Gen. v. 22.) walked with 
God, and begat sons and daughters.' And we have more instances of 
true piety in married folks, than in monkery and cloistral devotions. 
Jesus Christ sanctified a free life, using all sorts of diet and company, 
not abstaining from feasts themselves : Mat. xi. 19, ' The Son of man 
came eating and drinking.' So when the vow of voluntary poverty is 
recommended by the papists as an estate of perfection. Certainly 
beggary, which is threatened as a punishment, is not to be wished or 
desired ; much less to be chosen or wilfully incurred ; least of all to be 
made the matter of a vow. Surely it is greater self-denial entirely to 
devote and faithfully to use our riches for God, than to cast them away 
and rid our hands of them ; as he is a better steward that improveth 
his master's stock, than he that casts off the employment, and lazily 
refuseth to meddle with it. So for penance and self-discipline ; they 
look more like the rites of Baal's priests, who gashed and lanced them 
selves to commend them to their idol, than the practices of Christ's 
votaries and believing penitents ; who hath indeed commanded us to 
mortify our lusts, but not to mangle our bodies ; to retrench the food 
and fuel of the flesh when need requireth ; but not to bind ourselves 
to a course of rigorous observances, which gratify the flesh in one way, 
as much as it seems to contradict it in another ; namely, as they breed 
in us pride and presumption of merit above other Christians. In short, 
these external rigours, though they are greatly admired by the world, 
which is wholly governed by sensual desires, yet they are not acceptable 
to God, as having more in them of ridiculous pageantry and theatrical 
stage-holiness, rather than serious devotion. 

[3.] There is the mortification of the hypocrite, which is an outward 
forbearing evil, though they do not inwardly hate it ; which proceedeth 
from divers causes : 

(1.) Because they have no inclination to some sins ; or rather, a 
greater inclination to other sins, which intercept the nourishment by 
which these sins should be fed. Though we are all gone astray from 
God, yet every one hath his way : Isa. liii. 6, ' All we like sheep have 
gone astray ; we have turned every one to his own way/ So Eccles. 
vii. 29, ' God made man upright, but he hath found out many inven 
tions.' As the channel is cut, corrupt nature in us findeth a vent and 
issue; some are sensual, but not greedy of worldly gain; shall we 
therefore call them mortified ? Some that are greedy of gain, are not 
proud and aspiring, or given to carnal pleasures ; do you think there 
fore sin is dead in them ? No, their corruption breaketh out another 
way, more suitable to their temper and constitution, or custom and 
course of life ; in some, nature is more sullen and rigid ; in others, 
more facile, and obvious to the grosser temptations. 

(2.) Sometimes it is because we make one lust give way to another. 
For certain weeds destroy one another, as wild beasts also prey upon 
one another. So when men abstain from pomp and pleasure, because 
of the cost, their covetousness starveth their riot ; so on the contrary, 
when men check their sensual inclination by their sparing humour. 
But mostly it is seen in those that run into extremes, and bend the 


crooked stick too far the other way, as the lunatic in the Gospel fell 
sometimes into the water, and sometimes into the fire, Mat. xvii. 15. 
Or as our ancestors to drive out the Picts or wild Britons, called in the 
Saxons, a worse enemy ; or as if there were no better physic for a dead 
palsy, than a burning fever. Sins take the throne by turns ; as the 
voluptuous in youth prove the most worldly and covetous in age ; but 
this is not to quit sin, but to exchange it. 

(3.) Sometimes because men have not strength and opportunity to 
act sin. They may seem weaned and mortified, when they are but 
spent and tired out with executing their lusts ; and it is not hatred of 
sin, but indisposition of nature to fulfil it : Job xxxiii. 20, ' His soul 
abhorreth dainty food.' No thanks to the glutton, but to his disease. 
Old age is described as ' days that have no pleasure in them/ Eccles. 
xii. 1. It is not th weakness of sin, but nature in them ; their lusts 
leave them, rather than they leave their lusts ; sin goeth out rather 
than is put out, rather dieth to us than we to it. 

(4.) It may come to pass through outward respects, of carnal fear 
and shame. A debauched creature, that walloweth in all filthy lusts, 
is an abhorring to all that wear the heart of a man ; therefore credit 
may keep some from running into excess of riot, for lewdness is odious 
and disgraceful ; their iniquities are found hateful, as the Psalmist 
saith. Mere shame and men-pleasing may restrain many within the 
compass of their duty. Joash was good all the days of Jehoiada, but 
afterwards hearkened to the lewd princes, 2 Chron. xxiv. 17. In such 
cases there is no true hatred of sin, no true gracious principle set up 
against it ; this abstinence is but for a while ; take away the restraint, 
and they soon return to their own bent and bias ; and besides, this 
keepeth them but from a few sins. 

(5.) Kestraining grace. God may restrain and bridle men by the 
power of his word on their consciences, when yet their hearts are not 
renewed ; or by common instincts of natural modesty and ingenuous 
ness ; or by the power of his providence, as God withheld Abimelech, 
Gen. xx. 6. Though the sin be not subdued, yet the act and exercise 
may be suspended. Balaam had a mind to curse Israel, but God 
suffered him not, though he strove by all means to please Balak. 

(6.) Terrors of conscience. A man that is under them, non proponit 
peccare ; a renewed man, proponit non peccare ; the one hath for the 
tune no actual will or purpose to sin ; the other a purpose not to sin ; 
no will to sin, yet have a great deal of sin in the will. Thus negatively 
I have showed you what is not mortification. 

2. Positively, What it is. Here again we must distinguish. Morti 
fication is twofold, passive and active ; passive, whereby we are morti 
fied ; and active, whereby we mortify ourselves ; the one is God's work, 
the other our own. 

[1.] Mortification passive, whereby God mortifieth sin in us ; which 
he doth either, (1.) At conversion, when a principle of grace, con 
trary to sin and destructive of it, is planted in our hearts :Ezek. xi. 19, 
' I will put a new spirit into them, and I will take away the heart of 
stone, and I will give them an heart of flesh, that they may walk in 
my statutes.' So Ezek. xxxvi. 26, ' I will put a new spirit into 
them/ In the work of regeneration God doth give a deadly wound to 


sin ; the reign of it is broken, that it cannot with such strength bring 
forth the deeds of the body. (2.) By the continual and renewed 
influence of his grace. He doth more and more weaken the power of 
sin : Mic. vii. 19, ' He will have compassion on us, and subdue our 
iniquities.' It is God's work ; alas ! without this, if we be left to 
ourselves, the more we resist sin, the more it is irritated and increased 
in us. (3.) God doth it by his word, which is the great instrument 
which he useth to convey the power of his grace, John xvii. 17. 
There we see the evil of sin, and the danger of it ; are stirred up to 
resolve, cry, and pray against it, and are told of the great remedy, 
which is Christ's death. (4.) He mortifieth us by his providence, as 
he taketh away the fuel and provision of our lusts, and awakeneth us 
to a more earnest conflict with sin. Out of love to our souls he crosseth 
our humours : John xv. 2, ' Every branch that beareth fruit, he 
purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit/ The vine-dresser 
cutteth and pareth off the luxuriant and superfluous branches : Isa. 
xxvii. 9, 'By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged ; 
and this is all the fruit, to take away his sin.' Now all this is passive 
mortification, necessary to be observed by us, that we may submit 
to God's work, and improve the impressions of his word, Spirit, and 

[2.] Active mortification is the constant endeavour of a renewed soul 
to subdue sin dwelling in us, that we may be more at liberty to serve, 
please, and glorify God. It is a constant endeavour ; for in a leaking 
ship there is a continual use of the pump. Sin is a continual burden 
and clog to the new nature, and it is every day's business to get rid of 
it ; we groan under it, Kom. vii. 24 ; and we must strive as well as 
groan. The spirit or new nature lusteth against the flesh, Gal. v. 17, 
not only by a disliking thought which may check actual motions of the 
flesh, but also by a constant use of all holy means, that we may get the 
rtfastery of it. They are bound to die unto sin, therefore will not let 
it reign, Kom. vi. 11, 12 ; and the end of mortification is vivification, 
or liberty towards God, which the soul aspireth after, more and more ; 
for we grow dead to sin, that we may be alive to righteousness. In 
short, this work must be continued till we have gotten some power 
against our corruption, and it be weakened, though not subdued totally. 

There is a general and particular mortification. The general morti 
fication is, ' The putting off the whole body of the sins of the flesh/ 
Col. ii. 11. The particular mortification is, when we subdue or weaken 
this or that particular lust : Ps. xviii. 23, ' I was also upright before 
him, and kept myself from mine iniquity/ Now the rule is, that the 
general mortification must go before the particular ; otherwise all that 
we do, is but stopping a hole in a ruinous fabric that is ready to drop 
down upon our heads ; or to make much ado about a cut finger, when 
we have a mortal disease upon us. Besides, particular mortification 
dependeth on the general ; for till we be renewed by God, how can we 
mortify sin ? Col. iii. 8, ' Put off all these, anger, wrath, malice, blas 
phemy, filthy communication out of your mouths, seeing ye have put 
off the old man with his deeds.' Seeing you have put off all corruption, 
allow yourselves to live in no one sin. Alas, to set against a particular 
sin, before we set upon the whole body of sin, it is but to put a new 


. > : - 



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'_. ,-. - . . :: r ; 


[2.] Our relation to him, both by external profession, and real 
implantation, both bind us to mortify sin. 

(1.) External profession obligeth us to die unto sin ; it was a part 
of our baptismal vow, and we quite nullify and frustrate the intent 
of that ordinance, unless we mortify the deeds of the body. The flesh 
was renounced in our answer to God's covenant-questions : 1 Pet. iii. 
21, Baptism is called ' the answer of a good conscience towards God/ 
It is an answer to the Lord's offers propounded in the gospel when 
we were first consecrated to this warfare ; and that dedication must 
never be forgottem : 2 Pet. i. 19, ' And hath forgotten that he was 
purged from his old sins.' To neglect, is to forget ; as * to distribute and 
communicate, forget not ; ' that is, neglect not. So here, ' hath forgotten 
that he was purged from his old sins.' While they please the flesh, 
they neglect their baptismal vow, and so make that ordinance of none 
effect to them. We are said (Col. ii. 13), to 'put off the body of the 
sins of the flesh.' That is, in vow and obligation, being buried with 
him in baptism. Now if we do not stand to our vow, our solemn 
admission into Christ's family was in vain. 

(2.) By real implantation. Surely they that are united to Christ 
cannot live in the servitude and slavery of sin ; for by this union with 
him they are assimilated and conformed to him : Gal. ii. 20, ' I am 
crucified with Christ ; ' and it was not his privilege alone, but all the 
justified : Gal. v. 24, 'And they that are Christ's have crucified the 
flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof.' This conformity is called 
by the apostle, a being 'planted into the likeness of his death/ Horn, 
vi. 5. Christ was crucified in his human nature, and we in our corrupt 
nature ; we crucified him by our sins, and we are crucified with him by 
the Spirit ; Christ died for sin, and a Christian dies unto sin. 

2. With respect to sin, which remaineth in us after we are justified. 
Here are three considerations demonstrating why we should mortify 

[1.] That sin still abideth in us after we are taken into the justified 
estate. While we dwell in flesh, this woful and sad companion dwelleth. 
with us ; we cannot get rid of this cursed inmate, till the house itself 
be pulled down ; we die struggling with it ; and when one of our feet 
is within the borders of eternity, yet it departeth not. As hair groweth 
after shaving, as long as the roots remain ; so is corruption sprouting ; 
therefore must be always mortifying ; always cleansing: 2 Cor. vii. 1, 
' Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of 
flesh and spirit ; ' always purifying, 1 John iii. 3, ' He that hath this 
hope in him, purifieth himself as Christ is pure ; ' always ' laying aside 
the weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us/ Heb. xii. 1. Since 
sin is not nullified, it therefore must be mortified ; the war must last 
as long as the enemy liveth, and hath any strength and force. 

[2.] It still worketh in us, is very active and restless, not as other 
things, which as they grow in age, grow more quiet and tame : James 
iv. 5, ' The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy.' The flesh is 
not a sleepy habit, but a working stirring principle : Rom. vii. 8, ' Sin 
wrought in me all manner of concupiscence ; ' that is, sinning nature ; 
it is always inclining us to evil, or hindering that which is good. (1.) 
Inclining us to that which is evil. It doth not only make us flexible 


and yielding to temptations; but doth urge us, and impel us thereunto : 
Rom. vii. 23, ' But I set) another law in my members, warring against 
the law of my mind.' We think and speak too gently of sin, when we 
think it a tame thing, that worketh not till it be irritated by the 
suggestions of Satan. No, it is like a living fountain that poureth out 
its waters, though nobody come to drink of them ; it is irritated by the 
law of God many times, and the motions of the Spirit ; these corrupt 
humours within us, are in a continual fermentation : Gen. vi. 5, ' And 
God saw that the wickedness of man was great upon earth, and that 
every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continu 
ally.' Temptations only make them more violent. (2.) Hindering us 
from that which is good. Either it draweth away the heart from duty, 
or distracteth the heart in duty. It draweth away the heart from duty : 
Rom. vii. 21, 'I find then a law, that- when I would do good, evil is 
present with me.' It abateth the edge of our affections, discourageth 
us by many unbelieving carnal thoughts, and so the heart is drawn 
away from God, that sin may the more domineer ; or distracting our 
minds in duty : Ezek. xxxiii. 31, ' Their hearts go after their covet- 
ousness ; ' filling our minds with thoughts of the world, vain pleasures ; 
revenge turneth our duties into sins. 

[3.] The sad consequence of letting sin alone. When sin is not 
mortified, it groweth outrageous, and never ceaseth acting till it hath 
exposed us to shame before God, men, and angels ; or hardeneth us in 
a carnal, careless course. Lusts let alone end in gross sins, and gross 
sins in a casting off all religion. Love of pleasures let alone, will end 
in drunkenness and uncleanness ; envy, in murder and violence. Judas 
allowed his covetousness, and that brought him to betray his master ; 
Gehazi was first blasted with covetousness, then with asking a bribe to 
God's dishonour, then with leprosy, and so became a shame and burden 
to himself; Ananias and Sapphira were taken off by a sudden judg 
ment. The devil loveth by lust to draw us into sin ; and by sin to 
shame ; and by shame to horror and despair. Sin is no tame thing. 
But do the people of God run into such notable excesses and disorders ? 
Yes, when they let sin alone, and discontinue the exercise of mortifica 
tion; witness David, that run into lust and blood; and Peter into 
curses and execrations; Solomon into sensuality and idolatry. Old 
sins long laid asleep may awaken again, and hurry us strangely into 
mischief and inconvenience. 

3. In regard of grace received. 

[1.] The grace of justification. Reliance upon the'righteousness of 
Christ for justification doth not shut out the work of mortification, but 
conduceth much towards it ; it doth not exclude it, for the justified 
must be mortified ; it pleadeth for it, ' Grace teacheth us to deny 
ungodliness/ Tit. ii. 11. That sin may be mortified and put to death 
for Christ's sake, Christ was crucified and put to death for our sakes. 
God doth not require it in point of sovereignty, but pleadeth with us 
upon terms of grace. Grace hath denied us nothing, it hath given us 
Christ and all things with him, and shall we stick at our lusts ? Grace 
thought nothing too good for us, not the blood of Christ, nor the favour 
of God, nor the joys of heaven ; and shall we count anything too dear 
to part with, for grace's sake? Mortification is an unpleasing task; 


but grace commands and calls for it, and that with such powerful 
oratory as cannot be withstood. 

[2.] In regard of the grace of sanctification : To exercise it, preserve 
it, and increase it. 

(1.) That we may exercise it to that end for which it was given to 
us. It was given to us to avoid sin : 1 John iii. 9, ' Whosoever is 
born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him, and 
he cannot sin, because he is born of God ; ' and 1 John v. 18, ' We 
know that whosoever is born of God, sinneth not ; but he that is begotten 
of God, keepeth himself, and the wicked one toucheth him not/ There 
is a seed and principle within us, to curb and restrain sin too, and keep 
us from falling into the power of the devil, or being brought back into 
our old bondage. This other principle was set up in us, on purpose to 
excite us unto what is good, so also to abate the power of sin ; as the 
way to destroy weeds is to plant the ground with good seed ; and it is 
given us as a bridle actually to restrain the exorbitances, and hold it 
in, when it flieth out. Now this grace of God will be in vain, unless 
it be used to such purpose ; and one of God's most precious gifts would 
lie idle ; therefore we should act it, or walk in the spirit, that we may 
not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. 

(2.) Preserve it in power and vigour. For the life of grace dependeth 
very much upon the dying of sin ; as health and strength in the body 
cometh on as the disease abateth : 1 Pet. ii. 24, ' That we being dead 
unto sin, might be alive unto righteousness.' But as the life of sin 
increaseth, grace languisheth and wither eth, and is ready to die, Kev. 
iii. 2. The flesh and the spirit are contrary, and always are encroaching 
upon one another ; and there is this advantage on the flesh's side, that 
it is a native, not a foreigner. Home-bred plants, which the soil yieldeth 
naturally without any tillage, as nettles, will sooner preserve them 
selves, and get ground upon better plants, because the earth bringeth 
them forth of its own accord ; or as water heated, the cold is natural 
to it, and will prevail against the heat, unless it be driven out by a 
constant fire. Whether the prevalency of sin doth weaken grace 
effective or meritorie, by its malignant influence, or as deserving such 
a punishment from God, I will not now dispute ; but weaken it, it doth ; 
that is clear by experience ; for though grace be planted in us by God, 
it is not settled in such an indivisible point, as that it cannot be more 
or less ; there is a remission of degrees : Mat. xxiv. 12, * The love of 
many shall wax cold.' Faith may grow sick and weak ; there are soul- 
distempers as well as bodily ; and then a man is altogether unfit for 
action, and performeth duties in a very heartless and uncomfortable 
fashion ; therefore still we must be mortifying sin. 

(3.) That we may increase it. Grace is not only donum, a gift to 
be preserved ; but tolentum, a talent to be improved and increased upon 
our hands, that we may be the more fit to glorify God. This appeareth 
by the many excitations in scripture to growth : 2 Pet. iii. 18, ' But 
grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ.' It is not enough to maintain that measure of grace which we 
have already received, but we must get more ; always look after the 
growth of it in ourselves ; and indeed the one cannot be done without 
the other ; there is no possibility to keep what we have, unless it be 


improved ; he that roweth against the stream, had need ply the oar ; 
and he that goeth up a sandy hill, must never stand still. And it is 
our own fault, if it doth not grow ; God loveth to multiply and increase 
his gifts ; * Grace be multiplied/ 2 Pet. ii. 2. There is more to be had, 
and more will be given, unless our sins obstruct the effusion of it ; if 
we get it not, we may blame ourselves, for God doth nothing to hinder 
the increase ; and indeed when grace is in any life and vigor, it will be 
growing : Prov. iv 18, ' The way of justice is as a shining light, which 
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.' The morning light 
increaseth ; a wicked man groweth worse and worse ; he sinneth away 
the light of his conscience, rejecteth the light of the word, till he 
stumbleth into utter darkness. It is like the coming on of the night ; 
the other like the coming on of the day. Now mortification of sin is 
the great means of growing in grace, removet qucd proliibet ; it inaketh 
room for grace in the soul, as it taketh away that which letteth, that 
it may diffuse its influence more plentifully. In heaven we are perfect, 
because there is no sin ; opposite principles are wholly gone ; so here, 
the more you weaken sin, the more is grace introduced with power and 
success : 1 Pet. ii. 1,2,' Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all 
guile, and hypocrisy, and envy, and evil-speaking, as new-born babes, 
desire the sincere milk of the world, that ye may grow thereby.' There 
is no way of growth, till evil frames of spirit be laid aside. 

The First use, is to enforce this duty upon all those that are called 
unto, or look for any hopes by Jesus Christ, to mortify the deeds of the 
body : ! do not think you are past mortification, because you are in. 
a state of grace ; there is need of it still ; yea, it concerneth you more 
than others. 

1. There is still need of it, if you consider the abundance of sin of all 
kinds that yet remaineth with us, and the marvellous activity of it in 
our souls, and the cursed influences of it ; or the mischief that will 
accrue to us, if it be let alone. Let me a little press you by all these 

[1.] The abundance of sin of all kinds that remaineth with the 
regenerate, or those that are called to grace. I shall evidence that by 
some scriptures : 1 Pet. ii. 1, ' Wherefore laying aside all malice, and 
all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and evil speaking ; ' to whom is 
this spoken ? The word ivherefore biddeth us look back ; when we 
look back, we find it was spoken to those that were called, effectually 
called, and born again ; yea, those that had made some progress in 
mortification, that had purified their hearts to the obedience of the 
truth, 1 Pet. i. 22. Who would think that the seeds of so much evil 
should lurk in their hearts ? but alas ! it is so. They are in part 
envious, malicious, hypocritical to the last ; and unless they shall keep 
mortifying, these sins will get the mastery of them, and bewray them 
selves to their loss and prejudice, and God's dishonour. See another 
place : Col. iii. 5, ' Mortify therefore your members which are upon 
earth ; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, 
and covetousness, which is idolatry.' You would think all this were 
spoken to loose and ungoverned men, that have not the least tincture 
and show of religion. No ; it is spoken of those whose life was hidden 
with God in Christ, men acquainted with spiritual things, and brought 



under the power of the life of Christ. We foolishly imagine that such 
should only be told of the remainders of unbelief, or spiritual pride, or 
such like evils as are very remote from public infamy and scandal ; but 
the Spirit of God is wiser than we ; and knoweth our hearts, and the 
secret workings of them, better than we do ourselves ; and it is better 
these sins should be laid open in the warnings of the word, and dis 
covered to us, rather than in us, by the prevalency of a temptation. An 
over-spiritual preaching, hath not refined but destroyed religion ; God 
thought it fit it should be said to them that are taken into the communion 
of the life of Christ, ' mortify ' what ? your spiritual pride ? no ; but 
fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection ; the root of the foulest 
sin is in our nature, and if we do not keep a severe hand over them, 
will sprout out in our practice : so Gal. v. 19, 20, ' Now the works of 
the flesh are manifest, which are these ; adultery, fornication, unclean- 
ness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, 
wrath, strife, sedition, heresy/ The apostle thought good to warn pro 
fessing Christians, who had given up themselves to the leading of the 
Spirit, of the works of the flesh ; he giveth a black catalogue of them, 
and he concludeth all, * of which I told you before, as I have also told 
you in times past, that they that do such things shall not inherit the 
kingdom of God.' The apostles, that were divinely inspired, and full of 
the wisdom of God, did not soar aloft in airy speculative strains, or 
refined spiritual notions ; but thought meet to condescend to these 
particulars, not only when they spake to Gentiles, but churches, and 
professing Christians, to give warning against fornication, and drunk 
enness, and other such gross sins ; and that not once, but often ; for they 
knew the nature of man, and that nice speculations are too fine to do 
the work of the gospel ; all that have corruption in them had need stand 
upon their guard to prevent sins of the blackest hue, and foulest note 
among them. I will give but one instance more, and that is of our Saviour 
Christ, who thought meet to warn his own disciples, who surely were 
good men : Luke xxi. 34, ' Take heed lest at any time your hearts be 
overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, 
and so that day come upon you unawares/ This is a lesson for Christ's 
own disciples ; a man would think it more proper for haunters of taverns, 
and boon companions, whose souls are sunk and lost in luxury and 
excess ; but Christ Jesus thought this caution needful for those that 
were taken into his own company, and bosom friends. Let not all this 
be interpreted as any excuse to them that swallow the greatest sins 
without fear, live in them without sense, and commit them without 
remorse. Cautions should not be turned into excuses ; there is some 
inclination in our nature to these things ; but these are not the practices 
of God's people ; it is spoken that they may not at any time be so. 

[2.] As there is abundance of sin, so it is active and stirring even 
after some progress in mortification. It is enticing, vexing the new 
nature, urging to evil, opposing that which is good ; it is warring, 
working, always present with us, that the best Christians grow weary of 
themselves : Korn. vii. 24. * Oh wretched man that I am, who shall 
deliver me from this body of death ? ' Was Paul an underling in 
grace ? Is not sin the same in all hearts ? Have not we as much need 
to keep humble and watchful, and make use of Christ's mercy and power, 


as he had ? Is sin grown more tame and quiet ? Or are we more 
fool-hardy and secure ? Surely we need to mortify corruption as much 
as others ; and whatever degree of grace we have attained unto, this 
must be our daily task and exercise. If sin be stirring, we must be 
stirring against it ; and when the enemy is active and warring against 
the soul, it is a folly for us to hold our hands. Especially since corruption 
is ever ready to renew the assault there, to return after it hath been 
foiled, and by several ways and kinds venteth itself ; when one branch 
of it is cut off, and one way of it stopped up, it breaketh out in 

One sin hath several ways of manifesting itself. Worldliness, take 
it off from greedy getting, showeth itself in sparing, or withholding 
more than is meet ; the folly of that sin is seen in its delight and carnal 
complacency : ' Soul, take thine ease, thou hast goods laid up for many 
years.' He had enough, now takes his fill of pleasure. So pride, if 
kept from vain conceit of ourselves, bewrays itself by detracting from 
others ; so envy, or vain ostentation, as some venomous humour in the 
body ; heal up one sore, and it breaketh out in another place ; there is 
' all malice, all guile/ etc. All sorts of it. 

[3.] The pestilent and mischievous influence of sin, if it be let alone. 
Sins prove mortal, if they be not mortified. Either sin must die, or 
the sinner. There is an evil in sin, and the evil after sin ; the evil in 
sin is the avo^'ia, or the violation of God's righteous law; the evil 
after sin is the just punishment of it ; eternal death and damnation. 
Now those that are not sensible of the evil in sin, shall feel the evil 
that cometh after sin ; all God's dispensations towards his people are 
to save the person, and destroy the sin : 1 Cor. xi. 32, * But when we 
are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be con 
demned with the world.' God took vengeance on the sin, to spare the 
sinner ; but the unmortified spareth the sin, and his life goeth for it ; 
the sin liveth, and he dieth ; as the apostle Paul speaketh of himself, 
when the power of the word came first upon him : Rom. vii. 9, ' Sin 
revived, and I died.' Sin exasperated, and he felt nothing but sin 
and condemnation. ! consider with yourselves, it is better sin should 
be condemned, than that you should be condemned ; sin should die, 
than that you should die ; his life shall go for its life, in the prophet's 
parable, 1 Kings xx. 39. 

Ay, but what is this to the justified person ? / There is no con 
demnation to them that are in Christ.' 

I answer, you must take in all ; because they are supposed to live 
not after the flesh but after the Spirit. But if it can be supposed that 
ye can live after the flesh, then ye die, as in the text; that is, ye 
justified persons. Pcena potest dupliciter timeri, ut est in constitutions 
Dei, vel ut malum nostrum, as Bernard. Eternal death may be con 
sidered as an evil which God hath appointed to be the fruit of sin, or 
as an evil that will certainly befal us. A justified person, one that is 
not so putatively only, but really so ; not in his own conceit only, but 
in deed and in truth, may fear it in the first sense. There is such 
a connection between continuance in sin, and eternal destruction, that 
he ought to reflect upon it, so as to represent to his soul the danger 
of yielding tamely to his sins ; and to fear it, so as to eschew it. For 


this is nothing but to make an holy use of threatenings, and to see the 
merit of our doings ; but as to the event, so not to allow perplexing 
doubts, but to quicken us to break off our sins, and to look up to God 
in Christ for pardon. 
Now to direct you, 

1. Strike at the root of all sin : ' they that are Christ's, have crucified 
the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof,' Gal. v. 24. The 
prophet, to cure the brackishness of the waters, did cast salt into the 
spring, 2 Kings ii. 21. We must begin with the heart, and then go 
on unto the life ; if the root of bitterness be not deadened, it will 
easily sprout forth and trouble us ; as inbred corruption is weakened, so 
actual sins flowing thence are weakened also. The root of corruption 
is carnal self-love, for it is at the bottom of other sins ; because men 
love themselves, and their flesh as themselves, more than God. Now 
this is weakened by the prevalency of the opposite principle, the love 
of God ; and the more we strengthen the love of God, the more is 
original sin weakened, and we get again into a good constitution and 
state of soul. Carnal men are self-lovers, and self-pleasers ; but spirit 
ual men love God, and please God, and seek to honour God. Love is 
the great principle that draweth us off from self to God ; such as a 
man's love, nature, and inclination is, such will the drift of his life be. 
Now men will not be frightened from self-love ; it must be another 
more powerful love which draweth them from it, as one nail driveth 
out another. Now what can be more powerful than the love of God, 
which is as strong as death, and will never be quenched or bribed ? 
Cant. viii. 7. This overcometh our self-love ; and then time, strength, 
care, and all is devoted to God; yea, life itself: Kev. xii. 11, 'They 
loved not their lives to the death.' Self-love is deeply rooted in us, 
especially love of life, so that it must be something very strong and 
powerful, which must overcome it ; for what is nearer and dearer to 
ns than ourselves ? Now the great means to overcome it, is Christ's 
love; when the soul is possessed with this, that nothmg deserveth its 
love so much as Christ, the natural inclination is altered. This is done 
by sound belief and deep consideration, as the means : 1 John iv. 19, 
' We love him because he loved us first ; ' 2 Cor. v. 14, 15, ' For the 
love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died 
for all, then were all dead ; and that he died for all, that they which 
live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which 
died for them, and rose again/ By the Spirit as the author of grace : 
Rom. v. 5, ' Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by 
the Holy Ghost given unto us/ Then the soul knoweth no happiness 
but to enjoy his love and favour,and so it prevaileth over their natural 
inclination, they live not to themselves but to God; not according to 
the wills of the flesh, but the will of, God. 

2. Consider the several ways how this root sprouteth forth. Two 
are mentioned by the apostle in the fore-cited place : Gal. v. 24, 'With 
the affections and lusts,' Tradtj/jLaai,, passions ; liriOvfiuu^ affections ; 
the first word noteth vexing passions, the next desirable lusts. There 
are two dispositions in the soul of man, of aversation and prosecution ; 
by the one we eschew evil, by the other we pursue good. Corruption 
hath invaded both, and therefore grace is necessary to rectify and 


govern both : 2 Cor. vi. 7, ' By the armour of righteousness both on 
the right hand, and on the left.' 

[1.] We must crucify our passions, which have to do with evil 
vexations to the flesh ; and we must subdue our lusts or affections, 
which have to do with those good things which are pleasing to the 
flesh. There are vexing evils in which the mind suffereth a kind of 
affliction ; but it is a disorder arising from self-love, and therefore it 
must be mortified ; as envy, which corrodeth and f retteth the heart of 
him that is surprised by it ; but yet self-love is the cause of it, for we 
are troubled that any water should pass by our mill ; or that others 
should enjoy any honour, or esteem, or trade, or profit which we covet 
for ourselves. So anger at anything done by man, which is displeasing 
to us, if given way to, is a short fury and madness ; and hindereth a 
clear discovering of what is right and equal, Jam. i. 20. So worldly- 
sorrow at any thing done by God displeasing to the flesh: 2 Cor. vii, 
* Worldly sorrow works death.' So inordinate fear, which betrayeth 
the succours which reason and grace oftereth to fortify us upon any 
sudden incursion of evil : ' The fear of man bringeth a snare/ Prov. 
xxix. 25. So worldly cares, which divert us from God and dependence 
on his providence , Phil. iv. 6, 7 ; yea, set up an anti-providence in 
our own hearts. The like may be said of malice and revenge, all 
which bring a torture with them ; and if allowed or indulged, would 
soon destroy our love to God or men ; as, if God withholdeth from 
us any good that we desire, or sendeth that which we desire not, but 
crosseth our humour; as sickness, want, reproach, or disrespect, or 
whatever the heart is carried to eschew ; or if men enjoy anything 
more than we would have them, or do anything contrary to the con- 
veniency of our flesh, we storm and fret, and justify our passions, think 
we do well to be angry. Though these are a sort of sins which are a 
punishment to themselves, and do destroy not only our duty, but our 
peace ; and disquiet and torment the soul that harbours them ; yea, 
will soon destroy that love we owe to God or man ; therefore they must 
be mortified. 

[2.] Not only our passions, but our affections must be mortified, 
our more pleasant lusts, to which we are carried by a sweeter inclination 
of nature ; such as are stirred up by carnal baits and pleasures, as to 
instance, in sins of the more sordid and brutish part of mankind, motions 
to intemperance, luxury, uncleanness, and brutish satisfactions ; or to 
instance, in the more refined part of the world, to worldly greatness, 
honour, and vain delights, to be distinguished from others by estate, 
rank, and outward dignity ; as every man is apt to be carried away by 
some inordinate lust or other. Now whatever the distemper be, it 
must be purged out of the heart, if we would have Christ have any 
interest there. And here we must not only restrain the act, but mortify 
the habits ; for otherwise we cannot be safe ; for every temptation falleth 
in with some or other of these sins, and giveth a new life to it; 
unless the lusts are weakened, the conversation cannot be Christian : 
1 Pet. ii. 4, 'Abstain from fleshy lusts; having your conversation honest;' 
and Jam. iv. 1, 'From whence come wars and fightings?' Come 
they not hence, even from your lusts that war in your members ? ; All 
their strifes and contentions come from their carnal hearts, or sensual 


inclinations, which first rebelled against the upper part of the soul, or 
the dictates of grace and reason, and then broke out into outrageous or 
misbecoming practices. And our Saviour telleth us that murders, 
thefts, adulteries, come first out of the heart, Mat. xv. 19. From the 
polluted fountain of the heart, floweth all the pollution of the life ; and 
if the act should be restrained, yet unless the heart be cleansed, all is 
loathsome to God, Mat. xxiii. 27. Therefore kill the lusts in your 
heart, and ye shall more easily curb the sins of the outward man, that 
they may not break out to God's dishonour. Many think to fashion 
the life, but neglect the heart ; and if they keep from scandal, yet they 
do not advance the authority and power of grace in the heart, but 
self-love securely beareth rule in the soul. Many die by inward bleed 
ing as well as by outward wounds ; therefore unless our irascible or 
concupiscible faculty be bridled, and made pliable to the conduct of the 
heavenly mind, we shall do nothing in Christianity to any good effect. 

3. As to actual temptations, when they stir indwelling sin, complain 
of the violence to God : Rom. vii. 24, ' Oh wretched man that I am ! 
Who shall deliver me from this body of death ? ' Bemoan yourselves 
to him who alone can help you, and is ready to do so, when you are 
afraid of doing anything contrary to your duty ; and an humble sense 
of your impotency is not only a good preparative to receive his graces, 
but also to defy and rebuke the temptation : Mat. iv. 10, 'Get thee 
behind me, Satan ; ' and Gen. xxxix. 9, * How shall I do this great 
wickedness and sin against God ? ' These are best smothered in the birth. 

4. Take heed of those sins which the people of God are most in 
danger of. It is hard to say what they are ; for all sins when they are 
near, and importune the flesh, by the easy and profitable practice of 
them without danger, or discovery, may tempt an unwary heart. 
Therefore we must have always our eyes in our head, and stand upon 
our guard ; the secure are next to a fall ; there is no cessation of arms 
in this warfare, or treaty and conclusion of peace to be made with our 
lusts. Sin is a bosom-friend, but yet the sorest enemy ; and if we be 
not resolute and vigilant, our appetites and senses, or our passions may 
betray us ; and if you be not daily deadening worldly inclinations, self- 
esteem, and conceit, you cannot stand out against the smallest tempta 
tion. But they are most in danger of those sins which the temperature 
of body and constitution do incline them unto ; though we must watch 
against all sins, for all are hateful to God, and contrary to his law, and 
incident to us ; yet we are inclined to one sin more than to another ; 
there is something that is our privy sore, and may be called the plague 
of our own hearts, 1 Kings viii. 38 Now this must be watched and 
striven against ; and here the victory is never cheap or easy. Many 
a groan, many a prayer, many a serious thought, many a hearty 
endeavour it will cost us ; these master-lusts (they never go alone, like 
great diseases that have petty ones attending them), must be chiefly 
attended by us, and we must not discontinue the work, till we have 
gotten some power against them, and they be considerably weakened. 
Be it lust or passion, or sloth and dulness, or worldliness, or pride, we 
must pray, and pray again, as Paul prayed. thrice; grace must watch 
over it and keep it under, and abate it by contrary actions, that we 
may the better govern this inclination, and reduce it to reason. 


5. Take heed of an unraortified frame of spirit. There are certain 
dispositions of heart which argue much unmortifiedness, and do loudly 
call for this remedy and cure, even the grace of the Spirit whereby we 
may be healed. 

[1.] As impotency of mind, whereby temptations to sin are very 
catching, and do easily make impression upon us. The heart, like tinder, 
soon taketh fire from every spark ; certainly there is great life in our 
lusts, when a little occasion awakeneth them. As it is said of the 
young fool in the Proverbs, ' he goeth after her suddenly/ Pro. vii. 22, 
that is, as soon as enticed. Upon the least provocation, we grow 
passionate ; the temptation findeth some prepared matter to work upon, 
as straw is more easily kindled than wood. Now this calleth upon us 
to weaken the inclination. 

[2.] When the temptation is small ; a little adversity puts us out of 
all courage and patience : Pro. xxiv. 10, * If thou faint in the day of 
adversity, thy strength is small.' If we be so touchy that we cannot 
bear the common accidents of the world, how shall we bear the most 
grievous persecutions, which we are to endure for Christ's sake ? For 
the other sort of corruptions, for handfuls of barley, or a piece of bread, 
will that man transgress. So ' selling the righteous for a pair of shoes/ 
' selling the birthright for one morsel of meat/ She is a common 
prostitute that will take any hire. A little thing makes a stone run 
down hill. Certainly the heart must be looked after ; the bias and 
inclination of it to God and heaven, more fixed. 

[3.] When lusts are touchy, storm at a reproof. If the word break 
in upon the heart with any evidence, carnal men cannot endure it : 1 
Kings, xxii. 8, ' He doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.' 
It is a bad crisis, and state of soul, when men would be soothed in their 
lusts, cannot endure close and searching truths ; but either affect 
general discourses, that they may creep away in the crowd without 
being attacked ; or loose garish strains that please the fancy, but do not 
reach the heart ; or must be honeyed and oiled with grace ; scarce can 
endure the doctrine of mortification ; none need it so much as they ; 
or love flattery more than reproof ; it is a sign sin and they are agreed, 
and they would sleep securely. Not only did Herod put John in prison, 
but an Asa put the prophet in the stocks, 2 Chron. xvi. 10. 

[4.] In case of great spiritual deadness. The heart hath too freely 
conversed with sin, and so groweth less apt for God: Ps. cxix. 37, 
* Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken me in thy 
ways;' and Heb. ix. 14, ' How much more shall the blood of Christ 
purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God ? ' 
Our vivification is according to the degree of our mortification, and 
therefore great deadness argueth the prevalency of some carnal dis 

6. Live much in doing good. The intermitting of the exercise of 
our love to God maketh concupiscence, or the carnal love, to gather 
strength ; and when men are not taken up with doing good, they are 
at leisure for temptations to entice them to evil ; our lusts have power 
indeed to disturb in holy duties, but it is when we are remiss and 
careless ; and usually it is the idle and negligent who are surprised by 
sin ; as David walking on the terrace, 2 Sam. xi. 2. Diabolus quern 


non invenit occupatum, etc. I will close all with these two remarks. 

1. That it is more sweet and pleasant to mortify your lusts than 
to gratify them. ' Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret 
is pleasant; but the dead are there :' Prov. ix. 16, 17. So Job. xx. 
12, 13, 14, 'Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though 
he hide it under his tongue, though he spare it, and forsake 
it not, but keep it still within his mouth, yet his meat is turned 
in his bowels, it is the gall of asps within him.' Sin is but 
a poisoned morsel; mortification is not pleasant in itself, yet in 
its fruits and effects it is rewarded with joy. And more occasions 
of thanksgivings we shall have : Rom. vii. 24, 25, ' Oh wretched man 
that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? I thank 
God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' 

2. If you enter not into a war with sin, you enter into a war with 
God. Shall sin be* your enemy, or God? The eternal living God? 
Ezek. xxii. 14, ' Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, 
in the days that I shall deal with thee ? I the Lord have spoken it, 
and will do it.' 


If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body. 
ROM. VIII. 13. 

DOCT. That in mortifying of sin, we and the Spfrit must concur. 
Here I shall handle, 

1. The manner of this co-operation. 

2. The necessity of it. 

First, To state the manner of this co-operation. 

1. We must know what is meant by the Spirit; it is put either for 
the person of the Holy Ghost, or for his gifts and graces, the new 
creature, or the divine nature wrought in us. The person of the Holy 
Ghost : Mat. xxviii. 19, ' Baptize all nations in the name of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost.' The new nature : John iii. 6, ' That which is 
born of the Spirit is spirit/ The former is here intended, the uncreated 
Spirit or author of grace, called the ' Spirit of Christ,' ver. 11. Which 
leadeth and guideth us in all our ways, ver. 14, which witnesseth to 
US, ver. 16. 'Avrb TO Trvevpa. 

2. The Spirit is the author or principal agent in this work ; for he 
doth renew and sanctify us. We are merely passive in the first infusion 
of grace : Ezek. xxxv. 25, 'I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and 
you shall be clean from all your filthiness.' Eph. ii. 1, 'You that 
were dead in trespasses and sins, yet now hath he quickened ; ' but after 
wards we cleanse ourselves; 1 Pet. i. 22, 'Seeing ye have purified 
your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit/ First he worketh 
upon us as objects ; then by us as instruments ; so that we concur not 


as co-ordinate causes, but as subordinate agents ; being first purified 
and sanctified by him, we purge out sin yet more and more. 

3. Though the Spirit be the principal author, yet we must charge 
ourselves with the duty. It is our work ; they destroy all human 
industry and endeavour, that make mortification to be nothing else but 
an apprehension that sin is already slain by Christ ; no, it is charged 
on us : Col. iii. 5, ' Mortify therefore your members which are upon 
earth/ And it is our act, or else we can have no comfort in it. Gal. 
v. 24, * They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affec 
tions and lusts thereof ; ' and 2 Cor. vii. 1 , ' Let us cleanse ourselves 
from all filthiness of flesh and spirit/ Under the law, the leper was 
first to be cleansed by the priest, and afterwards to wash himself in 
running water, and shave his hair, Levit. xiv. 8. After being sprinkled 
by the priest, the necessary ceremony, he himself was to wash. The 
ceremonies which the priest used are considerable, therefore I shall 
explain them a little. Two sparrows were to be taken, and one of 
them killed in an earthen vessel over running water ; the other after 
he was dipped in the blood of the sparrow that was killed, let loose in 
the open field, to fly up in the air as it were in the sight of God. 
There was a notable mystery couched under this type ; for the bird 
killed over the running water signified the death of Christ, accompanied 
with the sanctification of the Spirit, typed by the running water, the 
only means to cleanse us from our leprosy ; and the bird that was let 
go alive, having his wings sprinkled with blood, signifieth the inter 
cession of Christ, who is gone with blood to the mercy-seat ; and we 
are told that Christ came not by water only, but by water and blood. 
No other bath for spiritual leprosy but water and blood, the merit of 
Christ's sacrifice and intercession ; and the Spirit of grace to heal our 
natures. But after all this, the man was to wash himself ; which figured 
endeavours that God's people should use to cleanse themselves from all 
filthiness of flesh and spirit. 

4. It being our duty, we must use the means which tend to morti 
fication. For to dream of a mortification which shall be wrought in 
us without our consent or endeavours, as well whilst we are sleeping, 
as whilst we are waking, is to delude ourselves with a vain fancy. No, 
we must set a careful watch over our thoughts, affections, and works. 
The Spirit's operation doth license no man to be idle ; we must join 
with him, and obey him in his strivings against the flesh-; for the 
Spirit worketh not on a man as a dead thing, which hath no principle 
of activity in himself. Therefore those that, upon the Spirit's 
doing all, will lie idle, abuse the Spirit, who both urgeth us to the 
duty, and quickeneth us to the use of means, or stirreth us up to use 
our endeavours, that the end may be obtained. Otherwise we neither 
obey the Spirit, nor desire the benefit. We do not obey the Spirit ; 
for he doth first sanctify us, then quicken us to use the means, and 
blesseth the means so used ; and we do not desire the benefit ; it is but 
a wish, not a desire ; a velleity, not a volition : as Prov. xiii. 4, * The 
soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing, because his hands 
refuse to labour.' Many a man hath wishes that he could leave his 
sins, especially when he thinketh of the shame and punishment ; as 
many an incontinent person, adulterer, glutton, or drunkard, hath a 


wish to part with his sin, but not a will ; for he doth not seriously 
strive against it, his love to it remaineth unconquered and unbroken. 
Well then, let us see how far we have gained the point in hand: First, 
every Christian must determine that the flesh must be mortified ; 
secondly, mortified it must be by us, every man must mortify his own 
flesh ; thirdly, that mortified it cannot be by us without the Spirit ; 
the Spirit will not without us, and we cannot without the Spirit, 
neither when we are first to begin this work, nor can we carry it on 
without his assistance. 

5. The Spirit mortifieth sin in us, as a Spirit of light, life, and 

[1.] As a Spirit of light, affecting the soul with a sight and sense of 
sin, so as we groan under the burden of it. Nothing cometh to the 
heart but by the understanding ; conviction maketh way for compunc 
tion, and compunction for a detestation and hatred of sin ; and detes 
tation and hatred, for the destruction and expulsion of it. Sin is 
always loathsome, but we have not always eyes to see it. When we 
look upon it through Satan's spectacles, or the cloud of our own 
passions and corrupt affections, we make nothing of it ; it seemeth 
lovely, rather than loathsome to us. But when the Spirit anointeth 
our eyes with his eye-salve, it is the most hateful thing to the soul, 
that can be imagined. Jer. xxxi 18, ' After I was instructed, I smote 
upon the thigh, yea, I was ashamed, and confounded.' We see sin to 
be another manner of thing than ever we thought it before. Ps. cxix. 
108, ' Through thy precepts I get understanding, therefore I hate every 
false way/ When the heart is thoroughly possessed of the evil of sin, 
we dare not dandle and indulge, or pass it over as a thing of 
nought. Fear of punishment may suspend the act of sin, but the 
sight of the evil of it doth help to mortify the root. 

[2.] As a Spirit of life ; for Jesus Christ to all his seed is a quicken 
ing Spirit, 1 Cor. xv. 45. We have life natural from Adam, but life 
spiritual and eternal from Christ, and that by the Spirit ; for we are 
said to be born again of the Spirit, John iii. 5. The Spirit reneweth 
us, and maketh us partakers of the life and likeness of God, Titus, iii. 
5. Now when this life is infused, there is an opposite principle set 
up in us to subdue the lusts of the flesh, and also to prevent the power 
of the objects of sense, which serve and feed them ; for the flesh doth 
obstruct the operations of this new life, and cross the tendency of it. 
The operations of this new life are obstructed by the flesh ; ' for (Gal. 
v. 17.) the flesh lusteth against the Spirit;' and life is sensible of 
what annoyeth it. The operations of it are the serving and pleasing 
of God: Gal. v. 25, 'If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the 
Spirit.' And we see a weight hanging upon us, and sin doth easily 
beset us, that we cannot serve God with that liberty, purity, and delight, 
that we desire. And therefore this is an heavy grievance and burden 
to the new nature, that we desire to get rid of it by all means, and 
labour, and strive in it, and that with good effect A new life also 
hath a tendency; as soon as it is infused it discovereth itself by 
its tendency to its end and rest, which is God and heaven; so 
the objects of sense have the less force and power upon us. Well 
then, the flesh is an enemy to this new life, and this new life an enemy 


to it, as having contrary operations and tendencies. Now how doth 
this new life discover its enmity ? Partly by complaining of it, as a 
sore burden and annoyance: Rom. vii. 24, ' wretched man that I 
am ! who shall deliver me from this body of death ? ' Paul was 
whipped, scourged, imprisoned, exercised with many vexations and 
sorrows ; but the relics of the corruption were his greatest burden. 
Not, When shall I come out of these afflictions ? but, Who shall deliver 
me from this body of death? Partly, by endeavours and skiving 
against it. There may be some dislike of sin in a natural heart, for 
conscience will sometimes take God's part, and quarrel against our lusts ; 
otherwise a wicked man could not be self-condemned, and hold the 
truth in unrighteousness ; but checks of conscience are distinct things 
from the repugnancies of a renewed heart ; a wicked man's conscience 
telleth him he should do otherwise, when his heart inclineth him to do 
so still. But a renewed heart hateth sin, and therefore there is a con 
stant earnest endeavour to get it subdued ; and doth watch, pray, plead 
for God ; use means ; dare not rest in sin, or live in sin. Yea, algo 
prevail against it so far, that the heart is never turned away from 
God to sin: 1 John iii 9, 'Whosoever is born of God, doth not 
commit sin ; for his seed remaineth in him ; and he cannot sin, because 
he is born of God.' His heart cannot easily be brought to it ; he looketh 
upon it as a monstrous incongruity : Gen. xxxix. 9, ' How can I do 
this great wickedness, and sin against God ? ' 2 Cor. xiii. 8, ' For we 
can do nothing against the truth ; ' and Acts iv. 20, ' For we cannot 
but speak the things which we have seen and heard/ There is a 
natural cannot, and a moral cannot ; the natural cannot is an utter 
impossibility ; the moral cannot is a great absurdity ; the new life 
breedeth such an aversion of heart and mind from sin, such constant 
rebukes and dislikes of the new nature. A child of God is never in a 
right posture, till he doth look upon sin not only as contrary to his 
duty, but his nature ; they have no satisfaction in themselves till it be 
utterly destroyed. 

[3.] As a Spirit of love. The great work of the Spirit is to reveal 
the love of God to us, and to recover our love to God ; for the Spirit 
cometh to us as the Spirit of Christ, by virtue of his redemption. Now 
the infinite goodness and love of God doth shine most brightly to us 
in the face of our Redeemer ; in the great things which he hath done 
and purchased for us, and offered to us, we have the fullest expression 
and demonstration of the love of God, which we are capable of, and 
which is most apt to kindle love in us to God again : Rom. v. 8, ' God 
commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died 
for us;' and 1 John ii. 1, 2, 'My little children, these things write I 
unto you, that ye sin not ; and if any man sin, we have an advocate 
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitia 
tion for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the 
whole world.' And Eph iii. 18, 19, ' That you may be rooted and 
grounded in love, and comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, 
and length, and depth, and height ; and may know the love of Christ 
which passeth all knowledge.' Now the Spirit attending this dispen 
sation, surely his great work and office is to shed abroad the love of 
God in our hearts, Rom. v. 5 ; and Gal. iv. 6, ' Because ye are sons, 


God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, 
Abba, Father ; ' that being persuaded of God's fatherly love, we may 
love him again, and study to please him. Therefore nothing doth stir 
us up against sin, so much as the sense of God's love in Christ. Shall 
sin live, which is so contrary to God ? Shall I take delight in that 
which is a grief to his Holy" Spirit? cherish that which Christ came 
to destroy ? live to myself, who am so many ways obliged to God ? 
Displease my Father to gratify the flesh ? Alas ! how many read and 
hear of this, who are no way moved into an indignation against sin ! 
It is not the love of God called to mind by a few cold thoughts of ours, 
that worketh so, but the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the 
Spirit. That melts the heart, maketh us ashamed of our unkindness 
to God, and stirreth up an hatred against sin. 

6. After conversion, and the Spirit's becoming a spirit of light, life, 
and love to us ; after grace is put into our hearts to weaken sin, still 
we need the help of the Spirit. Partly, because habitual grace is a 
created thing; and the same grace that made us new creatures, is 
necessary to continue us so. For no creature can be good independ 
ently, without the influence of the prime good ; all things depend in 
esse, conserves, operari, on him that made them. ' In him we live, and 
move, and have our being,' Acts xvii. 28. If God suspend his influence, 
natural agents cannot work, as the fire cannot burn, as in the case of 
the three children ; much less voluntary. And if there be this depend 
ence in natural things, much more in supernatural, Phil ii. 12, 13. 
Will and deed are from God ; first principles of operation, and final 
accomplishment. Partly, because in the very heart there is great 
opposition against it ; there is flesh still, the warring law, Kom. vii. 
23, Gratia non totaliter satiat ; the cure is not total as yet, but partial ; 
therefore they need the Spirit to guide, and quicken, and strengthen 
them. Partly, as it meeteth with much opposition within, so it is 
exposed to temptations without. Satan watcheth all advantages against 
us ; and the soul is strangely deluded by the treachery of the senses, 
and the revolt of the passions, and our corrupt inclinations, when 
temptations assault us ; so that unless we have seasonable relief, how 
soon are we overtaken or overborne ! Adam had habitual grace, but 
gave out at the first assault. A city besieged, unless it be relieved, 
compoundeth and yieldeth ; so without the supply of the Spirit, we 
cannot stand out in the hour of trial: Eph. iii. 16, 'That he would 
grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with 
might by his Spirit in the inner man.' 

Secondly. The necessity of this concurrence and co-operation, 1. 
Of the Spirit with us. 2. We by the Spirit. 

1. Of the Spirit's work. We cannot, without the Spirit, mortify the 
deeds of the body. 

[1.] From the state of the person who is to be renewed and healed. 
A Dinner lying in a state of defection from God, one that hath lost 
original righteousness, averse from God ; yea, an enemy to him, prone 
to all evil, weak, and dead to all spiritual good ; how can such an one 
renew and convert himself ? There is no sound part left in us to mend 
the rest. It is true he hath reason left, and some confused notions and 
apprehensions of good and evil ; but the very apprehensions are maimed 


and imperfect ; and we often call evil good, and put good for evil, Isa. 
v. 20. However to choose the one and leave the other, that is not in 
our power. We may have some loose desires of spiritual favours, 
especially as apprehended under the quality of a felicity or natural 
good, and as separated from the means : Numb xxiii. 10, '0 that I 
might die the death of the righteous ! and my last end be like his.' 
They may long for the death of the righteous, though loath to live 
their life ; but these desires are neither truly spiritual, nor serious, nor 
constant, nor laborious; so that if we consider what man is in his 
natural estate, blind in his mind, perverse in his will, rebellious in his 
affections ; this work can only be wrought by the Spirit of God. Will 
a nature that is wholly carnal, ever resist and overcome the flesh ? 
But so we are by nature, John iii. 6. Can flesh destroy itself ? Can 
a man of himself be brought to abhor what he dearly loveth ; and he 
that drinketh in iniquity like water, be brought to loathe sin, and expel, 
and drive it from him ? On the other side, will he be brought to love 
what he abhorreth ? There is enmity to the law of God in a carnal 
heart, till grace remove it, Kom. viii. 7. Can we that are worldly, 
and wholly governed by sense, look for all our happiness in an unseen 
world, till we receive another spirit ? The scripture will tell you, No : 
1 Cor. ii. 12, 14, ' Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but 
the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are freely 
given us of God ; but the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know 
them, because they are spiritually discerned/ And 2 Pet. i. 9, * He that 
lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off.' What man of 
his own accord will deny present things, and lay up his hopes in heaven ? 
Can a stony heart of itself become tender, or a dead heart quicken 
itself, or a filthy heart cleanse itself, bring a clean thing out of an 
unclean ? It cannot be. 

[2.] The honour of our Eedeemer requireth that our whole and entire 
recovery to God should be ascribed to him. Not part only, as our 
freedom from guilt, while the power of sin is subdued and broken by 
ourselves. Kenewing grace is his gift, as well as reconciling grace ; 
and we can no more convert ourselves to God, than we can reconcile 
ourselves to him ; both go together ; both are obtained by the same 
merit ; and both are received from the same hand: Act v. 31, * Him hath 
God exalted with his right hand to be a prince and a saviour, for to 
give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins ; ' and 1 Cor. vi. 11, 
' And such were some of you ; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, 
but ye are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit 
of our God/ As by the virtue of his blood and sufferings he reconciled 
us to God ; so by the almighty power of his grace, he doth cure and 
heal our natures, and imprint God's image upon our souls. The work 
of redemption would have ceased for ever if Christ had not paid our 
ransom for us, Ps. xlix. 8. So the work of renovation : Job. xiv. 4, 
1 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one/ Surely 
Christ hath purchased this grace, and purchased it into his own hands, 
not into another's ; and sendeth forth his conquering and prevailing 
Spirit to bring back the souls of men to God. This work must not be 
disparaged, or looked upon as a low, natural, common thing ; for this 


is to lessen the benefit of the new creation, which is so much magnified 
in scripture. 

2. The necessity of our co-operation, ' If we by the Spirit.' [1.] We 
may : [2.] We must. 

[1.] We may. God hath given us gifts which are not in vain, the 

Christ is pure/ Love, which looketh backward or forward, ' teacheth 
us to deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts.' Tit. ii. 11-14. So 
that we may, or can, if we be not wanting to ourselves, do something 
to the crucifying of the flesh. Certainly after regeneration, we are or 
may be active ; otherwise there would be no difference between the 
renewed and the carnal, and some of God's best gifts would be in 
vain. You are to improve the death of Christ to embitter sin to you 
by his sufferings; to improve the grace received; to pray for the 
supply of the Spirit ; to retrench the provisions of the flesh ; to walk 
as in the sight of God, and prepare for a better world ; to maintain a 
constant conflict with sin, and watch over all your ways. There are 
means of grace appointed to weaken sin ; as the word, and sacraments, 
and many providences, which might be of great use to you if you did 
improve them. 

J.] We must. For two reasons, 

..) That God may apply himself to us in our way. 

(2.) That we may apply ourselves to God, and meet him in his way. 

(1.) That God may apply himself to us in our way. God being 
our creator, doth preserve the liberty of his workmanship ; he applieth 
himself to every creature according to the nature of it, so as to improve 
it, not destroy it ; he offereth no violence to our natural faculties, but 
super- addeth grace ; draweth, that we may run, Cant i. 4 ; not hoisteth 
up, as dead things by pulleys and engines. The will is not compelled, 
but overcome by the sweet efficacy of grace ; being actuated by God, we 
act under God ; that is, by our own voluntary motion, and in a way of 
operation proper to us. I say, God influenceth all things according to 
their natural inclination ; he enlighteneth by and with the sun, burneth 
by and with the fire ; reasoneth with man ; acts necessarily with 
necessary causes, and freely with free causes; draweth us with the 
cords of a man, Hos. xi. 4. Now we pervert this order, if we lie 
upon the bed of ease, and cry, ' Christ must do all.' Christ that doth 
all for you, doth all in you, and by you ; he propoundeth reasons which 
we must consider, and so betake ourselves to a godly course ; he show- 
eth^us our lost estate, the possibility of salvation by Christ, sweetly 
inviting us to accept of grace, that he may pardon our sins, sanctify 
our natures, and lead us in the way of holiness to eternal life. 

(2.) That we may meet with God in his way. He hath appointed 
certain duties to convey and apply this grace ; we are to lie at the 
pool, till the waters be stirred ; to continue our attendance upon God 
with all diligence and seriousness, till he giveth grace. Mar. iv. 24, 
' And he said unto them, Take heed what you hear ; with what measure 
ye mete, it shall be measured to you ; and unto you that hear, shall 
more be given.' God will have believers bestir and put forth them- 


selves, and lie will help them in and by their own endeavours. We 
must not idly think that grace will drop to us out of the clouds ; he 
was an evil and a slothful servant that did not improve his talent. 
To neglect duty is to resist grace, and to run away from our strength. 
God hath promised to be with us, while we are doing ; therefore we 
are to wait for this power in the use of all holy means, that our corrup 
tion may be subdued and mortified. 

The Use. Is to exhort, with all diligence, to set about the mortify 
ing the deeds of the body, by the Spirit. 

Two things I shall press you to ; 

1. Improve the deatn of Christ. 

2. A right carriage towards the Spirit. 

1. Improve the death of Christ. For the term, mortify, or crucify, 
often used in this matter, respects Christ's death ; and everywhere 
the scripture showeth that the death of Christ is of excellent use for 
the mortifying of sin. I shall single out a few places : Gal. ii. 20, ' I 
am crucified with Christ/ Three propositions included : 1. Christ 
crucified. 2. Paul crucified. 3. With Christ. It doth not imply any 
fellowship with him in the acts of his mediation ; there Christ was 
alone ; only that the effects of his death were accomplished in him, a 
participation of the benefits of his mediation. So Rom. vi. 6, ' Know 
ing this, that our old man is crucified with Christ, that the body of sin 
may be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin/ Then was 
there a foundation laid for the destruction of sin, when Christ died ; then 
was the merit interposed, or price paid, and the obligation laid upon us 
to mortify it. Something there was to be done on God's part ; the 
body of sin was to be destroyed, which intimateth the communicating 
of his Spirit of grace to weaken the power and life of sin ; and something 
done on our part, that henceforth we should not serve sin. There was 
a time when we served sin ; but being converted, we must change 
masters, and betake ourselves to another service, which will be more 
comfortable and profitable to us. One place more : 1 Pet. iv. 1, ' For 
asmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves 
likewise with the same mind ; for he that hath suffered in the flesh, 
hath ceased from sin/ That is, since Christ hath suffered for you, you 
must follow and imitate him in suffering also, or dying with him, 
namely, in dying to sin, as he died for sin ; or mortifying our lusts and 
passions. For 6 7ra6a)v eV cap/cl, l one that hath suffered in the flesh/ 
or is crucified in his carnal nature, it hath not respect to suffering 
afflictions, but mortifying sins ; for it is presently added, * He hath 
ceased from sin,' given over that course of life ; so * that he should no 
longer live the rest of his life in the flesh to the lusts of men, but the 
will of God/ He inferreth the obligation of this correspondence and 
conformity from Christ's dying. From all these places we collect : 

[L] It is an obligation. This was Christ's end, and we must not put 
our Redeemer to shame : 1 John iii. 8, ' For this purpose the Son of 
God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil ; ' 
that the interest of the devil might be destroyed in us, and the interest 
of God set up with glory and triumph. Shall I go about to frustrate 
his intention, or make void the end of his death ? cherish that which 
Christ came to destroy ? tie those cords the faster, which he came to 


unloose? By professing his name, we bind ourselves to die to sin: 
Kom. vi. 2, ' How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein ? ' 
not ab impossibili, but ab incongruo. 

[2.] That the death of Christ was a lively and effectual pattern of 
our dying to sin. For the glory of God, and our salvation, Christ died 
a painful, shameful, accursed death. Now we must crucify sin, Gal. 
v. 24 ; be crucified to the world, Gal. vi. 14. That is to say, Christ 
denied himself for us, and we must deny ourselves for him ; he suffered 
pain for us, that we should willingly digest the trouble of mortification, 
and suffer in the flesh, in our carnal nature, as he did in the human 

(1.) The death of Christ was an act of self-denial ; he pleased not 
himself, Eom. xv. 3 ; minded not the interest of that nature he had 
assumed ; parted with his life in the flower of his age, when he had 
most cause to love it. And will you part with nothing, make it your 
business to please the flesh, and gratify the flesh ? He loved you, and 
gave himself for you, and will not you give up your lusts ? 

(2.) The death of Christ was an act of pain and sorrow. Of all 
deaths, crucifixion is the most painful and shameful. Sinful nature is 
not extinguished in us without trouble ; as sin is rooted in self-love, 
self-denial is a check to it ; as this self-love is mainly a love of pleasure, 
or the delight we take in sin, so the pains of Christ's death check it. 
Shall we wallow in fleshly delights, when Christ was a man of sorrows ? 
Christ's sufferings are the best glass wherein to view sin. Will you 
take pleasure in that which cost him so dear ? He was mocked, spit 
upon, buffeted ; he bare the shame due to our vain conversation ; a 
malefactor was preferred before him. Therefore when you remember 
Christ's death, you learn how to deal with sin. The Jews would not 
hear of Christ's being king : * Away with him ; ' ' we have no king but 
Cresar/ Such an holy indignation should there be in a renewed soul : 
Kom. vi. 12, ' Let not sin reign therefore in your mortal bodies, that 
ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.' Let it not king it ; we have no 
king but Christ. 

(3.) It was a price paid, that we might have grace. Every true 
Christian is a partaker of the fruits of Christ's death ; and one fruit is, 
that we might die unto sin : 1 Pet. ii. 24, ' Who his own self, bare our 
sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead unto sin should 
live unto righteousness/ This is communicated to us by the Spirit ; 
he bought sanctification as well as other privileges : Eph. v. 25, 2, 
* As Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he 
might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word/ 
And Tit. ii. 14, ' Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us 
from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of 
good works.' 1 Pet. i. 18, * Kedeemed us from our vain conversations/ 
We are ready to say, ' I shall never get rid of this naughty heart, 
renounce these sensual and worldly affections ; ' our hearts are so wedded 
to the interests of the flesh ; but, Mat. xix. 26, ' With God all things 
are possible/ 

2. Carry it well to the Spirit. 

[1.] Believe that the Holy Ghost is your sanctifier, and resign up 
yourselves to him as such, that he may recover your souls to God. 


This is but fulfilling our baptismal vow : Mat. xxviii. 19, 'Go baptize 
all nations, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/ To God 
the Father as your lord and happiness ; to Christ as your redeemer 
and saviour ; to the Holy Ghost as your guide, comforter, and sanctifier. 
We renew this consent in the Lord's Supper, that we may bind our 
selves the faster to him, to submit to his spiritual discipline, that our 
cure may be wrought in us. 

[2.] You must obey his sanctifying motions, for otherwise this 
resignation was in vain ; therefore we must faithfully endeavour, by 
the power and help which he giveth us, to mortify sin. We must 
strive against sin, and we must strive with them. To strive against him 
and resist him, argueth great profaneness, Gen. vi. 3 ; Acts vii. 51 ; not 
to strive with him, much neglect and laziness. You must strive with 
your hearts, when the Spirit is striving with you ; and take the season 
of his special help. It is not at our command, for 'the wind bloweth 
as it listeth ; ' take it when you have it. It is an offence to the Spirit, 
when the flesh is obeyed before him ; men are easily entreated by sin, 
but deaf to his motions. 

[3.] Use the appointed means by which the Spirit worketh. There 
are means of obtaining the Spirit at first, by the word and prayer. 
The Spirit is conveyed by some doctrine ; for God's operative power is 
applied to man as a reasonable creature, not for necessity. For the 
word : Gal. iii. 2, ' Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or 
the hearing of faith ? ' So for prayer : If not for friendship's sake, Luke 
xi. 8, 13, yet because of his importunity. 'If ye, being evil, know 
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your 
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask it ? ' Beg it of 
God, upon the account of Christ, Titus iii. 5, 6. But we speak now of 
another thing, not the gift of the Spirit at first, but the supply of the 
Spirit. It is gotten the same way ; the Spirit joineth his power and 
efficacy with the proper instituted means, the word, which is the 
sword of the Spirit, Eph. vi. 17. This sword was made by the Spirit : 
* Holy men spake as moved by the Holy Ghost/ Used by the Spirit 
to vanquish Satan : 1 John ii. 14, ' And the word of God abideth in 
you, and ye have overcome the wicked one/ It is used for the defence 
of the better part ; the sword of the flesh is the excessive love of 
pleasures, some carnal bait. And by it the power of the Holy Ghost 
came upon us : Acts x. 44, ' While Peter yet spake these words, the 
Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word ; ' a spirit of sobriety, 
godliness, meekness, and the fear of the Lord. We cannot make use 
of this sword, without the Spirit : 1 Pet. i. 22, * Seeing ye have purified 
your souls, in obeying the truth through the Spirit/ So sacraments : 
1 Cor. xii. 13, 'And have been all made to drink into one Spirit/ 
Prayer ; looking up to God who helpeth us in our conflicts ; openeth 
their ears to discipline ; and commandeth that they return from 
iniquity, Job xxxvi. 10; and breaketh the yokeless disposition and 
opposition in our hearts. 

[4.] To forbear those wilful sins, which grieve the Spirit : Eph. iv. 

30, * Grieve not the Spirit;' 1 Thes. v. 19, 'Quench not the Spirit;' 

do not provoke him to withdraw his assistance from us ; as David was 

sensible of his misery : Ps. li. 10, 11, 12, ' Create in me a clean heart, 

VOL. xii. F 


God, and renew a right spirit within mo ; cast me not away from 
thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me ; restore unto me 
the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me by thy free Spirit.' 

Ye shall live. EON. VIII. 13. 

WE come now to the" promise, * ye shall live/ 

Doct. That life is promised to those that seriously improve the assist 
ances of the Spirit, for the mortifying of sin. 

First. What is the life here promised, the life of grace, or the life 
of glory ? I shall give my answer in three considerations. 

1. The more we die unto sin, the more fit we are to live that new 
life which becometh Christians, or new creatures ; for mortification and 
vivification do mutually help one another. So much sin as remaineth 
in us, so far is the spiritual life clogged and obstructed ; therefore it 
is called a weight that hangeth upon us, and retardeth and hindereth 
us in all our heavenly flights and motions, Heb. xii. 1. That weight 
is there explained to be sin, that doth easily beset us ; it is the great 
impediment to the heavenly life, and maketh our progress therein slow 
and .troublesome. Well then, the more these inordinate inclinations 
are broken and mortified, the more we are alive unto righteousness, 
as the scripture every where witnesseth ; and the more we tame and 
subdue the flesh, the more doth the spirit or better part thrive and 
prosper ; therefore it may be truly said, ' If ye through the Spirit do 
mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live/ that is, spiritually. 

2. The spiritual life is the pledge and beginning of the life of glory. 
Here it is begun by the Spirit, and there perfected ; the spirit of holi 
ness is the surest pledge of a resurrection to eternal life, as I proved, 
ver. 10. 11. The reasonable nature inferreth immortality, and the 
new nature a blessed immortality ; everywhere the new birth is made 
the seed of eternity, called therefore the immortal seed, 1 Pet. i. 23. 
And he that is born of God is said to have eternal life abiding in him ; 
he hath the pledge, and earnest, and first-fruits of it; the spiritual 
life consists in the knowledge, love, and contemplation of God, and 
perfect love and subjection to him ; so that if it were meant of the life 
of grace, the life of glory cannot be excluded. 

3. As it cannot be excluded, so it is principally intended; as is 
evident, partly, because it is put in opposition to death, which is the 
fruit of the carnal life ; ' if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die ; ' such a 
life is intended as is directly opposite to that death. And partly, 
because it is propounded by way of motive, and motives are seldom 
taken from things co-ordinate, such as are vivification and mortifica 
tion, a dying to sin ; but from things of a superior rank and order, as 
the glorious reward is to duty. And partly, because this suite th with 


the apostle's scope, that justified persons shall not tie condemned, but 
glorified, because of the life of the Spirit in them. 
Secondly. To confirm the point ; 

1. By Scripture. The offer of eternal life is every where propounded 
in scripture, as the great encouragement of all our endeavours, either 
in subduing sin, or perfecting holiness : as Prov. xii. 28, ' The way of 
righteousness is life, and in the path thereof is no death.' There is 
the hope of life asserted, and the fear of death removed. Death else 
where is propounded as the reward of sin, and life as the great motive 
to keep us in the true love and obedience of God : Gal. vi. 8, ' He that 
BOwetn to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting ; ' so Ezek. 
xviii. 18, 'Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his 
transgressions which he hath committed, he shall live and not die/ 
The one is removed, the other asserted ; the one is the wages of sin, 
the other the fruit of God's mercy and free gift ; death we naturally 
abhor ; and life we naturally love ; therefore the one is threatened, the 
other promised. 

2. To prove it by reasons. 

[1.] If we partake with Christ in one act, we shall share with him 
in all ; if dead with him, we shall live with him : Rom. vi. 8, ' If we 
be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live with him/ That is, 
if we imitate Christ in his death, then we have sure grounds of believing 
that after his example we shall have a joyful resurrection to eternal 
life. He had said before, ver. 5, ' If we be planted in the likeness of his 
death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection ; ' that is, be 
first raised from the death of sin to the life of grace ; and then the 
life of grace shall be swallowed up in the life of glory. 

[2.] The mortified soul is prepared to enjoy the heavenly life ; as 
being weaned from worldly and sensual delights : Col. i. 12, ' Who hath 
made us meet to be partakers of the saints in light/ There is a double 
meetness ; first, a meetness in point of right ; secondly, a meetness in 
point of congruity and preparation of heart; the one respects God's 
appointment, those who are qualified according to the covenant ; the 
other, the suitableness of our affections. 

(1) They are in respect of God deemed meet and worthy, whom God 
vouchsafe th to account worthy. Thus he doth the mortified, as we 
proved before ; he then that would live when he is dead, must die when 
he is alive. 

(2.) Preparation of heart. Heaven would be a burden to a carnal 
heart, that hath no delight in communion with God, or the company of 
the saints, or an holy life. What would he do with heaven ? A 
Turkish paradise would suit better with such sensual and brutish souls 
Now those who are dead to the flesh and the world, do the better relish 
those things which are heavenly; it is not their trouble, but their 
happiness ; they have the consummation of their hopes and aims. 

[3.] They desire this life, and groan and wait for it ; which desires, 
groans, and longings, being stirred up in them by God's Spirit, will 
not be in vain. They cannot be satisfied with the wealth, pleasures, 
and honours of the world ; they must enjoy something beyond all these 
things, and that is God ; and here they enjoy him but imperfectly. The 
more the flesh is mortified, our desires to love, know, and enjoy God. 


are more kindled in us. Now by this these are marked out as heirs 
of promise ; for God infuseth the desire, that they may be satisfied ; 
and where they are laborious, they will certainly be satisfied ; for 
otherwise God would entice us to the pursuit of a happiness, which he 
never meaneth to give. 

[4.] God promiseth it to the mortified, the more to sweeten the 
duty. Those that think it is easy to forsake sin, never .tried it. 
Mortification is of a harsh sound in a carnal ear ; to contradict our 
carnal desires, and displease the flesh, which is so near and dear to us, 
will not easily down with us. God might exact it out of sovereignty, 
but he propoundeth rewards ; if we must pass through a strait gate 
and narrow way, it leadeth unto life, Mat. 7. 14. Sin is such a disorderly 
thing, and doth so invert the course of a rational nature, that we should 
part with it by any 'means ; but especially when the case is so stated, 
that we must live or die for ever. This motive should work upon us, 
because of our desires and fears. 

(1.) Our desires. Corrupt nature will teach us to love ourselves, and 
so to desire happiness, which we cannot enjoy, if we live not ; for the. 
dead are neither capable of happiness nor misery. Though we are 
unwilling to deny the flesh, or renounce the credit, profit, or pleasure 
of sin, or grow dead to the world, or worldly things, yet we are willing 
enough for life and happiness ; therefore God promiseth that we desire, 
that we may submit to those things which we are against ; :as we 
sweeten bitter pills to children that they may swallow them down the 
better ; they love the sugar, though they loathe the aloes. So God 
would invite us to our duty by our interest ; if mortification be an 
unpleasing task, it conduceth to our life : Prov. viii. 35, 36, ' He that 
findeth rne, findeth life/ saith wisdom, c and he that sinneth against me, 
wrongeth his own soul ; and he that hateth me, loveth death.' Who 
would be so unnatural as to wrong his own soul ? to murder himself, 
to court his own death and destruction ? It is not only against the 
dictates of grace, but the desires of nature. There is nothing can be 
supposed to enfeeble this argument, but these two things, (1st.) 
Men's vehement addictedness to their carnal courses, that they will 
rather die than part with them. (2nd.) That this life, which the 
promises of the gospel offer, is an unknown thing, it being to be enjoyed 
in the other world. Both are truths, yet the motive is still forcible. 

(1st.) How addicted soever men are to any outward thing, yet to 
preserve life, they will deny themselves : Job. ii. 4, ' Skin for skin, and 
all that a man hath will he give for his life/ It was a truth, though 
it came out of the devil's mouth. Nothing is so dear to a man as his 
own life ; men will spend all that they have upon the physician to 
recover their health, Luke viii. 43. Yea, they will hazard the members 
of their own body, cut off a leg or an arm, for preserving life ; and 
shall not we part with a lust to get life ? Who would sell his precious 
life at such a cheap rate, as the pleasing of a vain and wanton humour ? 

(2d.) But this life, which is not a matter of sense, but of faith, is not 
likely to be much valued. 

Answer. There is some inclination in the heart of man to eternal 
life ; nature gropeth and feeleth about for an eternal good, and an 
eternal good in the enjoyment of God, (Acts. xvii. 27), as blind men 


do in the dark. Though man by nature lieth in gross ignorance of the 
true God, as our lord and happiness ; yet the sense of an immortality 
is not altogether a stranger to nature. Such a conceit hath been rooted 
in the minds of all nations and religions, not only Greeks and Komans, 
but barbarians, and people least civilized ; they have thought so, and 
been solicitous of a life after this life. Herodotus telleth us that the 
ancient Goths thought their souls perished not, but went to Zamblaxis, 
the captain of their colony, or founder of their nation ; and Diodorus 
Siculus, of the Egyptians, that their parents and friends when they died, 
went to some eternal habitation. Modern heathens, when they are 
asked about eternal life, and judgment to come, as to judgment to 
come, they know it not ; but this thing they know, that the condition 
of men and beasts is different ; but what their condition after this life 
is, they cannot tell ; whether they live above or below the earth, but 
that they subsist and have a being, is their firm persuasion ; and there 
fore are wont to assign to the dead part of the goods which they 
possessed ; if they lose anything, they think some of their friends in 
another world have taken it to supply their wants there. The Chinese 
are fully persuaded of a state of happiness and torment after this world. 
Acosta telleth us, in Peru they were wont to kill some of their slaves, 
to attend the dead in the world to come ; and so Mexico, and other 
places. It is enough for us that it is an inbred notion or tradition, 
received from hand to hand by their ancestors ; such a conception is 
not a stranger to human nature ; and the nearer any lived to the first 
original of mankind, the more clear and pressing hath been the opinion 
hereof; lapse of time, which ordinarily decayeth all things, hath not 
been able to deface it out of the minds of men ; who though they have 
been gradually depraved and degenerated, according to the distance by 
which they have been removed from their first originals, yet they could 
never wholly blot out the sense of an immortal condition after this life ; 
nor could any solid and undubitable reasons be brought against it, to 
convince it of falsity. Well then, this persuasion being spread through 
the universe, and with extreme forwardness received by all nations, has 
borne up against all encounters of time, and constantly maintained itself 
in the midst of so many revolutions of human affairs, even among them 
with whom other truths are lost, and who in a great degree have for 
gotten humanity itself. Certainly this motive hath its use, for the 
reducing of man to God, especially of those who have been bred in the 
bosom of the church. 

(2.) The argument is of great force in regard of our fears. We 
desire life, but guilt maketh us fear death. Sin impresseth this torment 
upon the consciences even of those who little know what sin meaneth : 
Rom. i. 32, ' They know the judgment of God, and that those who 
commit such things as they do, are worthy of death.' Natural con 
science looketh upon sin as mortal and baneful, and knows not how to 
be delivered from this fear. Nature owneth a distinction between good 
and evil ; and for evil, feareth a punishment ; because of those natural 
sentiments which we have of God, as a holy and just God. Therefore 
now this tender of life is made to them that not only desire happiness, 
but are in bondage through fear of death, and by the Christian doctrine 
involved in the curse of the law, and obnoxious to the flames of hell. 


Therefore for sinners to hear of life, must needs be an inviting motive. 
Mortify sin, and it shall not hurt you ; you shall live. The sting of sin, 
which so torments you, shall be plucked out : Ezek. xviii. 13, ' Repent, 
and iniquity shall not be your ruin.' We are all sinners ; but how 
shall we do that sin may not be baneful to us ? Deal gently with it, 
and it stingeth you to the death ; deal severely with it, and it shall do 
you no harm. When we are dead to sin, we shall not die by sin ; you 
have deserved death ; but life is offered, if you will use God's healing 
methods to get rid of so great a mischief. 

Thirdly, I will show you the expediency of the promise ; and that 
we may make use of such a motive as is drawn from the consequence, 
the death which followeth the carnal life, and that eternal life which 
by the merciful grant of God is the fruit of mortification. For many 
question whether it be a true mortification which looketh to the reward ; 
they say we must work from life, but not for life. 

I answer, 1. To be over-spiritual and nice above the word, which is 
the true instrument of sanctification, doth not cherish religion, but 
quench it. We may make use of God's motives, without sin ; why 
doth God plead with us so often upon the terms of life and death, but 
that we may plead with ourselves ? I know no reason to press men to 
a holiness abstracted from all respect to the reward. I confess it is a 
base self-seeking, to eye outward advantages in religious endeavours ; 
for then the end is far beneath the work, and the spirit is made to serve 
the flesh, not the flesh the spirit i and by-ends taint us, but do not 
refine us. 

2. The doubt proceedeth upon a mistake of the reward. What is 
this life propounded, but the seeing, loving, and enjoyment of God, and 
the adoring and praising of God ? And can it be -a fault to aim at 
these things ? Doth not the tendency of the new nature directly carry 
us to them, as the perfection of that estate unto which we are called by 
Christ, as naturally as the seed cast into the earth works through the 
clods to get up into stalk and flower ? Indeed the objection is fit for 
them that look for a carnal heaven, as the Jews did for a carnal Messiah, 
a heaven that consists in ease and fleshly delights. However, to deal 
throughly in this argument : In the life and happiness which we expect, 
two things may be considered : 

[l.J The nature of that life and happiness. 

[2.J The personal benefit and comfort that hence results to us. 

[1.] The nature of that happiness consisteth in seeing God, and being 
like him: 1 John iii. 2, ' When he shall appear, we shall be like him, 
for we shall see him as he is.' To aim at this is a fruit of the new 
nature, which aimeth at a perfect fruition of God, and conformity to 
him. Surely this cannot be in any reason questioned or scrupled at, 
as our great end. For it is a pure motive, and doth engage the soul 
to the greatest and best tempered strictness that is imaginable : 1 John 
iii. 3, * He that hath this hope,' the hope spoken of in the former 
verse, ' purifieth himself as Christ is pure ; ' is every day growing 
up into a nearer conformity to Christ, whom he hopeth to see, and to 
be more perfectly like him hereafter. He whose heart is set upon the 
vision of God, and that pure and sinless estate which he shall enjoy in 
heaven, that man hath not a light tincture of religion, but is deeply 


dyed into the spirit of it ; for such things cannot be seriously and really 
minded without grace ; yea, no act we do is religious, unless it be 
directed and influenced by this aim and end. It is a rooted thought ; 
or the impression of a powerful habit. 

[2.] There is a personal benefit and happiness which resulteth to us 
from the fruition of God ; as we are freed from the pain and sorrows 
of this life, in which respect it is often called a rest ; especially as we 
are freed from the misery of those that die in their sins, in which 
respect it is often called salvation ; and most especially, as the soul, 
fully sanctified, dwelleth in a glorified and immortal body, enjoying all 
the content and happiness belonging to such an estate. Now of this 
the objection may be supposed to speak ; namely, as we are without 
misery, in an endless state of blessedness both as to our souls and*, 
bodies. Now this is a matter of faith, and therefore cannot be the fuel 
of hypocrisy ; temporal convenience may be such ; as credit, reputation, 
and respect in the world are ; and therefore this we labour for, and 
aim at. 

3. We must distinguish between ratio formalis and ratio motiva ; 
our first motions and inducements, and the formal and proper reasons of 
our love to God ; we first love God for his benefits, and they are still 
motives to quicken and increase our love ; but afterwards we love and 
delight in him for his excellences, both essential and moral, the per 
fection of his being and holiness. That which first draweth our hearts 
to God, is his benignity and bounty, his offers of pardon and life ; and 
we must look at those, or we shall never begin with God ; but after 
wards we love him upon other reasons ; and holiness itself hath our 
heart and love. 

To bring it to the case in hands. That hatred is most pure, which 
is carried out against sin, as sin ; because of the contrariety that is in 
it against the pure and holy nature and law of God : Ps cxix. 140, 
* Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it.' And so by 
consequence to hate sin as it is avo^la a transgression of this pure and 
righteous law ; but this is not our first, or only motive of obedience and 
thankfulness to God. Surely what things were necessary to preserve 
man in his natural frame, are necessary to reduce and bring him back 
again into it, and to preserve him in it when once reduced ; such were 
penalties and rewards, life and death ; yea, much more now the enemy 
hath invaded us. Therefore besides the inclination of the new nature, 
which carrieth us to God, and holiness, and heaven, our happiness, 
well-being, and personal benefit, are good and powerful motives. 

4. There is a threefold use of the reward of life in this work of 

[1.] To quicken a backward heart, which hangeth off because we are 
loath to come under so severe a discipline. Sorrow for sin is trouble 
some to the flesh, but the reward sweeteneth it. A carnal man thinketh 
that if he should give up himself to this course, he shall never see a 
merry day more, but grow mopish and melancholy. Now when the 
flesh paints out the spiritual life in such a black and dark lineaments, 
it is good to reflect upon the glorious life that shall ensue. There is 
some difficulty at first, though not so much as the flesh imagineth ; 
but it will turn to eternal life and peace. Christ keepeth the best 


at last; Satan may set out his best commodities at first, but the 
worst come after. Christ may begin with you roughly; but the 
longer you are acquainted with him the better. When you come 
to die, you will not repent that you have not pleased the flesh, and 
satisfied your carnal desires. It is good to consider what things 
will be at the end, either of the carnal or spiritual life. The devil 
seeketh to glut men in their best days with the sweetest pleasures and 
contentments ; but at last, the misery, the shame, the horror t 
Therefore it is good to reflect upon the issue of things, that we may 
not stand off from God. Consider not what they are now, but what 
they will be hereafter : 2 Cor. vii. 10, * For godly sorrow worketh 
repentance to salvation, not to be repented of.' Many have repented 
of their carnal mirth ; never any of their godly sorrow. 

[2.] In your conflict, to baffle a temptation. Heaven and hell should 
always be before the eyes of a watchful Christian, but especially in< 
actual conflicts, that you may declare your higher esteem of your hopes, 
than all the baits that are presented to you in the temptation. God 
hath promised better things. Moses counterbalanced the pleasures of 
sin, with the recompence of reward, Heb. xi. 25, 26. The devil offer- 
eth you to your loss ; the glory set before you doth outweigh all. 

[3.] To put us upon a conformity, and greater suitableness to our 
hopes : 1 John iii. 3, ' He that hath this hope in him, purifieth him 
self as Christ himself is pure.' I hope for such a pure estate ; shall I 
allow either stains in my soul, or spots and blemishes in my conversa 
tion ? 2 Pet. iii. 14, ' Seeing ye look for such things, be diligent that 
you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless/ 
They do not look for such things, that are not careful to clarify and 
refine their souls for the present. 

Fourthly. I shall show the sufficiency and powerfulness of this 
motive. 1. Because of the certainty of this life promised. Surely 
there is a life after this life is ended ; nature guesseth at it, but Christ 
hath brought it to light, 2 Tim. i. 10. The Scripture revealeth it as 
the great benefit promised by Christ : 1 John ii. 25, ' And this is the 
promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life ; ' it argueth for 
it : 1 Cor. xv. 19, 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are 
of all men most miserable.' God would not proselyte us to a religion 
that should be our undoing, and make us more miserable than other 
men, by a voluntary denying of the pleasures of the flesh, and exposing 
us to sufferings from others. It giveth us a visible demonstration of 
it, by Christ's resurrection and ascension ; he is gone into that glory 
which he spake of : 1 Pet i. 2, ' Who by him do believe in God, that 
raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory.' God's expressions 
about it are strong and clear, but our persuasions of it are too weak, 
or else a small contentment would not so often persuade us from our 
duty. Surely we doubt of the reality of the world to come, or else we 
would be sooner persuaded to curb the flesh, and restrain its desires, 
and wean ourselves from a vain world, that we may be prepared for 
a better. 

2. The excellency of this life above all other lives that may be com 
pared with it. 

[1.] With life natural ; so it is a glorious life, and it is eternal. 


First, a glorious life ; for we live immediately upon God, who is all in 
all to us ; not only the soul, but the body, is incorruptible and spiritual. 
The contentments of the present life are base and low ; it is called 
' the life of our hands ; ' because with much labour we get the provisions 
necessary to supply it. It is a life patched up by the creatures ; we 
have our clothing from the sheep, and silk-worm ; our food out of the 
earth, or things nourished by the earth. We are forced to ransack all 
the store-houses of nature, that we may keep up a ruinous fabric, 
which is ready to drop down upon all occasions : 1 Cor. vi. 13, ' Meats 
for the belly, and the belly for meats, but God shall destroy both it 
and them.' But there the contentments are high and noble, and 
our faculties are more enlarged. Then, if ever, it is our meat 
and drink to do our Father's will. Secondly. The life is eternal ; 
we are never weary of it, and never deprived of it. The pre 
sent life is a kind of death; like a stream it floweth from us as 
fast as it cometh to us. It is called a vapour (Jam. iv. 14,) 
that appeareth, and disappeareth ; a flying shadow, Job. xiv. 2. We 
die as fast as we live ; it is no permanent thing ; but there our years 
shall have no end ; the pain and trouble of duty is short, but the 
reward is eternal. 

[2.] Compare it with life spiritual ; this is like it but differeth from 
it ; it is a blessed and perfect life. First, it is a blessed life, free from 
all miseries ; all tears are wiped from our eyes, and sorrow and pain 
shall be no more ; we shall always be before the throne ot God, and 
behold the glory of Christ, and live in the company of saints and angels ; 
but the spiritual life doth not exempt us from miseries, rather it exposeth 
us to them. To outward troubles it doth : 2 Tim. iii. 12, ' Yea, and 
all that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution.' And 
as to inward troubles, we are not freed from all doubts of God's love ; 
though the wounds are cured, the scars remain ; Absalom when 
pardoned, was not to see the king's face. Secondly, it is a perfect life. 
There is a perfect freedom, not only from misery, but from sin. 
There is no spot or wrinkle on the face of the glorified saints, Eph. v. 
27. Here the spiritual life is clogged with so many infirmities and 
corruptions, that the comfort of it is little perceived ; as a child in 
infancy, for all his reason, knoweth little of the delights of a man. 

Here we only get so much grace as will keep us alive, in the midst 
of defects and failings, and have much ado to mortify and master 
corruption ; but then it is nullified and quite abolished, that we shall 
never be in danger of sinning again. Oh, think then of this blessed 
estate ! believe it, for God hath revealed it ; hope for it, because Christ 
hath promised it ; and if you submit to the discipline of the Spirit, 
you shall be sure to find it,. Christ, when he went to heaven, sent the 
Spirit to lead us thither where he is ; and the great preparation he 
worketh in us, to make us capable of this blessed estate, is by mortifying 
the deeds of the body ; the sooner that is done, the more meet and 
ready you are. 

Use. Let all this that hath been spoken, quicken you to mortification. 
Many things are required of us but the blessing of all cometh from 
the Spirit. The two great means we have already handled ; but now 
some more. 


1. The heart must thoroughly be possessed of the evil of siri ; we 
think it no great matter, and so give way to it, and pass it over as a 
matter of nought. Oh, let it not seem a light thing to you ; do not 
dandle it, or indulge it, or stroke it with a gentle censure ; it is the 
creature's disobedience and rebellion against the absolute and universal 
sovereign : 1 Johu iii 4, ' He that commit teth sin, transgresseth also 
the law ; for sin is a transgression of the law.' It is a depreciation and 
contempt of God's authority : 2 Sam. xii. 9, ' Wherefore hast thou 
despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight ? ' 
It is the deformity of the noblest creature upon* earth, Rom. iii. 24. 
We have sinned, and are come short of the glory of God. A stain 
so deep, that nothing could wash it away but the blood of Christ, Heb. 
ix. 14 ; a flood that drowned a world of sinners, but did not wash 
away their sin : 2 Pet ii. 5, Bringing in the flood upon the world of 
the ungodly/ Hell itself can never end and purge it out ; therefore 
it hath no end. God loathed the creature for sin, and nothing else 
but sin ; his own people, Deut. xxxii. 19, 'he abhorred them because of 
the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters/ God doth not make 
little reckoning of sin ; he doth not overlook it ; why should we ? 

2. Watchfulness not only against less acts, but lusts ; not only lusts, 
but tendencies ; especially an ill habit of soul, pride, worldliness, or 
sensuality : Mark. iii. 37, ' What I say unto you, I say unto all, 

3. With watching must go prayer : Mat. xxvi. 41, ' Watch and 
pray, that ye enter not into temptation ; the spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak/ For God is our preserver ; we watch, that we 
may not be careless ; and we pray, that we may not be self-confident. 

4. Keep up heart government : Prov. xxv. 28, ' He that ruleth not 
his spirit is like a city whose wall is broken down,' a thoroughfare for 
temptations, open to every comer. Unbridled passions and affections 
will soon betray us to evil, if anger, envy, grief, (ear, be not under 
restraints. As in a town that is broken down and without walls, the 
inhabitants may go and come at pleasure, night and day; there is 
nothing to hinder, no gates, no bars, friend or foe ; there is nothing to 
hinder egress or regress ; so it is with an ungoverned soul. 

5. Live always as in the sight of God : 1 John iii. 6 ; Eph. v. 11, 'He 
that doth evil, hath not seen God/ Job xxxi. 4, ' Doth not he see my 
ways, and count all my steps ? ' A serious sight of God is a great 
check and awe to sin ; ' Will he force the queen before my face ? ' 
Shall we sin, when God looketh on ? 

6. Serious covenanting with God, or devoting ourselves to him : 
1 Pet. iv. 12, ' Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the 
flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind ; for he that hath 
suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin ; that he should no longer 
live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will 
of God ; ' and Rom. vi. 13, ' Neither yield ye your members as instru 
ments of unrighteousness unto sin ; but yield yourselves unto God, as 
those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments 
of righteousness unto God. 

7. ( Humiliation for sin. This checketh the pleasure we take in it ; 
this is begun in fear, continued in shame, and carried on further by 


sorrow, and ended in indignation ; we fear it as damning ; we are 
ashamed of it as defiling ; we sorrow for it, as it is an act of unkind- 
ness against God ; and we have indignation against it, as unsuitable to 
our glorious hopes, and present interest : Isa. xxx. 22, ' And thou shalt 
cast them away as a menstruous cloth ; thou shalt say unto it, get ye 
hence/ Hos. xiv. 8, ' Ephraim shall say, what have I any more to do 
with idols ? ' This is the soul's expulsive faculty. 

8. Thankfulness for the grace received : 1 Sam. xxv. 32, 33, ' Blessed 
be God, that kept me from shedding of innocent blood ; ' Gen. xx. 6, 
' I withheld thee from sinning against me.' Disappointments of provi 
dence, restraints of grace, the power of saving grace : Kom. vii. 25, 
' I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' 

9. Diligence in God's work. Standing pools are apt to putrify ; 
when men are not taken up for God, they are at leisure for evil : 
2 Sam. xi. 2, ' And it came to pass in the evening tide, that David arose 
from his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house, and from 
the roof he saw a woman washing herself ; and the woman was very 
beautiful to look upon, and the king sent for her/ etc. 

10. The remembrance of the other world, whither you are hastening : 
1 Pet. ii. 11, 'I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from 
fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.' "You need not long for the 
flesh-pots of Egypt, when you are going to a land that floweth with 
milk and honey. 


For as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. 

EOM. VIII. 14. 

THESE words are given as a reason of what went before ; that which 
immediately went before is a promise of eternal life to those who 
by the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body. The reason may 
be supposed to relate to the promise, or the qualification : first, to 
the reward promised. Thus ; they shall live in eternal happ iness 
and glory, for they are the sons of God; if we be children, God 
will deal with us as children, bestow the inheritance upon us, and therefore 
we shall live. Secondly, the qualification. They do by the Spirit 
mortify the deeds of the body ; the Spirit of God sustaineth a double 
relation, as our sanctifier, and our comforter. The former is proper to 
this place ; he is our sanctifier, either with respect to the first infusion 
of grace, or the continual direction and ordering of grace so infused. 
Now this must be interpreted with respect to the twofold work of a 
Christian, the mortifying of sin, or the perfecting of holiness ; his 
restraining or inviting motions. The first belongeth to the one, the 
second to the other ; if we obey the Spirit's motions in the curbing 
and restraining evil, and subduing our proneness thereunto, then we 
shall live; 'for as many as are led/ etc. He proveth it a signo 


notificativo ; this being led and guided by the Holy Ghost is an in 
fallible proof of our adoption, or being taken into God's family : ' for 
as many as are led by the Spirit of God/ etc. 
Observe here, 

1. A sure note and qualification, ' as many as are led by the Spirit/ 

2. A blessed privilege, * are the sons of God.' In the former, 
[1.1 The note itself, or the duty which evidences our claim, ' being 

led/ " 

[2.] The universality of it, 'as many/ It is to be understood 
inclusive and exclusive ; they, and none but they. There is in the 
proposition that which they call simplex conversio, all that are led are 
the sons of God ; and backward, all that are the sons of God are led 
by the Spirit of God. 

Doct. That all that are led by the Spirit of God may know and 
conclude themselves to be children of God. 

I shall first explain, (1.) The qualification ; (2.) The privilege. 

First, The qualification ; We are said to be led by the Spirit. 

It must be understood actively, with respect to his direction ; and 
passively on our parts, as we submit to that direction. The Spirit is 
our guide, and we must obey his motions. 

1. The Spirit performeth the office of a guide and leader to the godly. 

The Spirit giveth us life, motion, and direction these three things 
are inseparable in nature and grace ; life, motion, and conduct. The 
same causes which make us live, make us act. The creature dependeth 
upon God in his motion, as well as his being, Acts xvii. 28 ; and the 
regulation of our motions belongeth to the same power. It is so in 
nature, and it is much more so in grace, and they succeed in this 
order ; it is a work that followeth regeneration ; first, we are born of 
the Spirit, before we are moved and guided by the Spirit. The Spirit 
first infuseth the gracious habits : Ezek. xxxvi. 26, ' A new heart will 
I give you, and a new spirit will I put into you/ Secondly, He exciteth 
the soul to act, and assisteth the new creature in acting according to 
these habits and principles : Phil. ii. 13, ' He worketh in us both to 
will and to do according to his own pleasure ;' Gal. v. 25, * If we live 
in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit/ Thirdly, He directeth our 
actions by enlightening our understandings, and governing and guiding 
our inclinations, to do that which is pleasing to God. This is that 
which I am to speak of ; and here I shall show you, that. 

[1.] This direction is promised : Isa. xxx. 21, ' And thine ears shall 
hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when ye 
turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.' God guideth 
his people in ^ all their ways to heaven and happiness ; not only by 
general directions, but particular motions and excitations : Ps. xxv. 9, 
4 The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his 
way.' This is the privilege of poor, meek, and humble souls, that they 
shall not want a guide to direct them in the way to heaven ; so ver. 12, 
' What man is he that feareth God ? him will he teach in the way 
that he shall choose.' An humble believer, that would not displease 
God for all the world, and counts the least sin a greater evil than the 
greatest temporal loss, may be encouraged to expect light and direction 
from God, to order all his actions so as he may best please God : 


Isa. xlviii. 17, ' Thus saitli the Lord, thy Kedeemer, the Holy One of 
Israel, I am the Lord thy God, which teacheth thee to profit, that 
leadeth thee by the way thou shouldest go.' 

[2.] So it is begged by the saints, as a great and necessary blessing : 
Ps. xxv. 4, 5, ' Show me thy ways, God, teach me thy paths ; 
lead me in thy truth, and teach me ; for thou art the God of my 
salvation ; on thee do I wait all the day long.' Mark how earnest 
he is show me, teach me, lead me ; as if he could never enough express 
his desire and value of this benefit. Mark his argument, ' Thou art 
the God of my salvation/ in covenant with us, and the God of our 
salvation ; so he hath undertaken in the covenant to save us ; as God 
is our God, so he hath undertaken to be our guide, to teach and lead 
us ; and doth not lay aside this relation till our salvation be accom 
plished. And mark his continual necessity, ' on thee do I wait all the 
day long ; ' as if he would not be left for a moment in the hand of his 
own counsel. So, Ps. cxix. 33, ' Teach me, God, the way of thy 
statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end.' The way to heaven is a 
narrow way, hard to be found, hardly to be kept, and easily mistaken, 
except God teach us daily by his Spirit. There are innumerable by 
paths from terrors and allurements without, and we of ourselves are 
weak, and subject to errors within : so Ps. cxliii. 10, * Teach me to do 
thy will, for thou art my God ; thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land 
of uprightness/ They that would walk circumspectly, and incur no 
blame from God, and hazard to their souls, need ever to seek direction 
from God according to his covenant. We need such teaching, as hath 
with it leading ; and such direction, as hath with 'it strengthening unto 
obedience ; such as will not only help us to understand the general 
rule, but also how to apply it to particular actions, that no part of our 
duty may be left upon ourselves ; and this only can we have from the 
Spirit of God, who directeth and leadeth us in all our choices and 
actions. Well then, whosoever would walk in a regular course of life, 
in an exact obedience to all the commands of God, and do nothing but 
what is all perfectly good and acceptable in God's sight, must thus beg 
for the leading of his gracious and sanctifying Spirit, who is the only 
fountain of all goodness and holiness, to direct him and assist him in 
every turn and motion of his life. 

[3.] The necessity of it ; because we are unable to guide ourselves : 
'the way of man is not in himself/ Jer. x. 23 ; ' it is not in man that 
walketh to direct his steps.' The metaphor of leading is taken from 
the blind or the weak; the blind who cannot see their way, must 
have one to lead them ; and the lame, who though they can see, yet 
cannot walk of themselves, but must have one to help them. The 
ignorant traveller needs a guide, and the weak child a nurse to 
attend upon him. It is true, the children of God are light in the 
Lord ; besides their natural reason, they have some understanding of 
the way of godliness ; but yet to a steady, constant course of obedience, 
strict and righteous living, we need to be directed by the good Spirit, 
to make that light which we have both directive and persuasive. 

(1.) Directive : Though we have a general understanding of our duty, 
yet to make use of it in all particular cases needeth new grace from 
God. The heathens were wise in generals, Rom. i. 20 ; they became vain 


ev SiaXoyio-fjLols in their imaginations, and their practical inferences from 
these general truths ; their foolish heart was darkened, and professing 
themselves to be wise, they became fools. And though the people of 
God have greater advantages by that knowledge they have from the 
scripture, whereby they are made wise unto salvation, and get mor^ 
by God's putting his laws into their minds in regeneration, whereby they 
become light in the Lord ; yet being not impeccable, and having many 
mixtures of sin yet remaining in every faculty, in particular cases are 
apt to err, and turn out of the way, being in part ignorant and heedless, 
and too often blinded by their own rebellious lusts and passions ; 
therefore they desire that God would not leave them to themselves, but 
warn them of their snares and dangers, that they may still keep the 
path of life without defection or turning aside : Ps. cxix. 133, ' Order 
my steps in thy word ; and let not any one iniquity have dominion 
over me.' They would not only have their path right, but their steps 
ordered ; as not their general course wrong, as those who walk in 
the way of everlasting perdition, so not a step awry ; they would not 
miss the way to heaven, either in whole or in part. Men that have such 
a tenderness upon them, see a continual need of God's counsel, which 
careless and slight spirits do not; they would not be corrupted by 
their covetousness, or sensuality, or ambition ; these things blind them in 
particular cases, though they see their way, or know their duty in the 
general. Therefore they need the constant assistance of the Spirit, to 
rescue them from the power of every known sin, and to keep them in 
exact obedience. For all our general light, pride or passion, or sensual 
and worldly inclinations may make us err. 

(2.) That our light may be persuasive, and overcome temptations 
and inclinations to sin. Alas ! how weak are our arguings, and how 
easily are our considerations of our duty overborne, when a temptation 
set's our lusts to work, and comes on upon us with fresh strength ! We 
see what we should do, but, yet we are carried away by our rebellious 
affections to do the contrary ; or through sloth and negligence omit to 
do that which conscience calleth for at our hands. Poor truth is taken 
captive, and held prisoner, detained in unrighteousness, Kom. i. 18 ; 
it may talk, like a man in chains, but hath no power, can do nothing 
to break the force of the temptation. But now the Spirit's leading is 
lively and effectual ; to be led is to be excited, moved, stirred forward, 
yea, effectually inclined to do those things which please God ; he leadeth 
us not only monendo, by warning us of our duty, or enlightening our 
minds ; but movendo, by inclining our hearts. The Holy Ghost doth 
enlighten our minds, and warm our affections, and purge away their 
impurities ; we are moved, that we may move ; and we receive the 
impression of his grace, that we may act, and do the things he inclineth 
us unto. This powerful leading the saints beg : Ps. cxix. 34, 35, 
1 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law ; yea, I shall observe 
it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy com 
mandments, for therein do I delight.' God's teaching begets obedience ; 
he showeth us the path of life, and he maketh us to go in it It is such 
direction that giveth strength, that exciteth the sluggish will, and 
breaketh the force of corrupt inclinations; it removeth the darkness 
which corruption and sin have brought upon the mind, and maketh us 


pliable and ready to obey ; yea, it giveth not only the will, but the 
deed; in short, it engageth us in a watchful, careful, uniform, and 
constant obedience. 

[4.] The nature or manner how the Spirit performeth the office of 
a guide, or a leader to us. He guide thus, partly by his word ; and 
partly by his inspirations and motions, or the light of internal grace. 
By his word, that containeth the matter of his guidance and direction : 
Ps. cxix. 105, ' Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my 
path.' Mark, there is path, sand, feet; not only direction for our general 
choice and course, but our particular actions ; and mark also the notions 
by which the word is expressed, lamp, and light. We have the light 
of the sun by day, and we make use of a lamp or candle by night ; 
whether it be day or night, in all conditions, as well as in all actions, 
here is a sure direction ; therefore the word is called the sword of the 
Spirit ; now this is the light the Spirit maketh use of. Partly, the 
inward inspirations and motions of his grace, that we may have a 
spiritual discerning, 1 Cor. ii. 14. Besides the outward letter, there 
must be an inward light, that the understanding be opened, as well as 
the Scriptures ; as it is said of Christ, Luke xxiv. 45, that he first 
opened the scriptures, and then opened their understandings. Other 
wise our light is only literal and speculative, not operative and 

[5.] The parts and branches of this leading are two ; First, His 
restraining motions for the mortifying of sin, and his inviting motions 
for the perfecting of holiness. He teacheth us, as he leadeth us into 
all truth, what we are to reject, what to believe in religion. Again, 
what is to be left undone in the practice of our lives ; and he backeth 
both with what we ought to hope and fear after death in the other 

(1.) His leading consisteth in his restraining motions, for the mortify 
ing of sin, or the avoiding of sin. When we are running into the 
snare, he mindeth us of our danger ; as when any evil habit, or spiritual 
disease is growing upon our spirits, or when we are about to do some 
thing unseemly and offensive to God, the Spirit in effect saith, ' do 
not this abominable thing which I hate ! but cast out pride, worldliness, 
and sensuality ; do not give way to such and such lusts.' The Holy 
Ghost is in a singular manner familiar with God's people, taking up a 
place of abode in their hearts, and furnishing them with sweet and 
necessary counsel and advice from time to time ; therefore he is said to 
strive with us, when he opposeth himself to our corrupt inclinations : 
Gen, vi. 3, 'My Spirit shall not always strive with man.' He striveth 
by inward motions and checks of conscience, by which he seeketh to 
humble us for sin, and to reclaim us from sin ; if we struggle against 
these, we lose our advantage : Neh. ix. 20-30, ' Thou gavest them 
also thy good Spirit to instruct them. Thou testifiedst against them 
by the Spirit to bring them back to thy law/ In these and many 
places, we read of the Spirit's guidance : ' If ye through the Spirit 
mortify the deeds of the body.' We must avoid those things he 
dissuadeth us from. 

(2.) There are his inviting and quickening motions, to bring us on 
in a way of holiness, and to perfect the work of grace in us, and fit us 


more for God's use and service. He doth not only close us at first with. 
Christ, but is the agent and worker of the life of Christ within us, to 
do his work, and maintain his interest, and sanctify us throughout, as 
we have experience of his restraining motions, that we may be more 
and more conformed to God's blessed will, and seek our delight and 
happiness in communion with his blessed self: Ps. xxvii. 8, ' The Lord 
said, Seek ye my face : and my heart said, thy face, Lord, will I seek.' 
God speaketh to us by the injection of holy thoughts, and the secret 
inspirations of his grace, and we speak to God by the inclinations and 
resolutions of our own souls. This dialogue is carried on in soul 
language ; there need no audible words between God and the soul ; so 
in other places, how often doth he solicit us by his holy motions and 
inspirations ! The Spirit inclineth and presseth us to that which is 

2. As the office of the Spirit is to guide and lead, so it is our duty 
to submit to his direction; to be led by him. That maketh the 
evidence in the passive sense, if we suffer ourselves to be led and guided 
by him in all things ; for otherwise the Spirit worketh on many, but 
they will not hear ; they either neglect or resist his motions. There 
is a double voice within us, the flesh and the Spirit ; and men's spiritual 
estate is determined by submission and compliance with either : Rom. 
viii. 1, ' That walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ' The flesh 
is near and dear to us, and very imperious and importunate to be 
pleased. Now some men live in. a perfect obedience to the flesh, 
according to the fancies and appetites of corrupt nature, and deny it 
nothing which it craveth at their hands ; but there is another voice 
within us, saying, This is the way, walk in it ; thus you must do, if 
you mean to be happy. Now let us not hear and pass by, as if you 
heard not ; no, you must suffer yourselves to be led and governed by 
this voice, or this blessed Spirit in all ; you must improve his assist 
ance, wait for his approaches, obey his sanctifying motions, direct ali 
the actions of your lives according to his guidance and counsel ; that is 
your evidence. 

[1.] I shall urge it in conformity to Christ. There is a perfect like 
ness between Christians and Christ ; all the privileges which Christ had, 
are conveyed to us by the Spirit. If Jesus be the natural Son of the 
Father, the Christian is his adopted son, John xx. 17 ; if Jesus be the 
heir of all things, a Christian is a co-heir with Christ, Rom. viii. 17 ; 
if Jesus be innocent, the Christian is justified ; if Jesus be born of the 
Spirit, or framed by the Holy Ghost, the Christian is regenerated, born 
also of water, and the Holy Ghost, John iii. 5 ; if Jesus be evidenced 
to be the Son of God by the coming down of the Holy Ghost upon 
him, the Spirit beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the sons 
of God. Jesus was led by the Spirit continually, so we ; if he retire 
into the desert, if he come back again into Galilee, he is still led by 
tfce Spirit : Mat. iv., ' Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness/ 
the Holy Ghost aiding him in that conflict ; when it was ended, 
Luke iv. 14, ' Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee,' 
that is, to preach, or to execute his prophetical office ; if he cast out 
devils, Mat. xii. 14, ' I cast out devils by the Spirit of God.' Thus it 
was with Christ; certainly therefore whatever design we conceive, 


whatever resolution we take, whatever enterprize we would bring to 
pass, we are always bound to depend upon the Holy Ghost ; the Spirit 
must still lead us and move us in all our operations. 

[2.] The great mischief which will ensue, if we obey not his sanctify 
ing motions and inspirations. You will resist the Spirit and vex him : 
Isa. Ixiii. 10, * They rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit ; and therefore 
he turned to be their enemy.' The other expression, Eph. iv. 30, 'Grieve 
not the holy Spirit.' He is grieved when the flesh is obeyed before 
him ; the Spirit sustaineth a double relation, our sanctifier, and our 
comforter ; let us not resist our sanctifier, nor grieve our comforter. 
Surely we should not be ungrateful to this Holy Spirit; if we be 
holy, he sanctifieth us; if free, it ig he sets us at liberty; if wise, he 
enlighteneth us. If gratitude cannot prevail, yet our interest should ; 
he is our comforter, and we blot our evidence, darken his seal, and so 
deprive ourselves of that joy and peace which we might have in our 
souls, if he were obeyed. There is one great mischief above this, which 
God sets up as a dreadful warning for our caution, despiting the Spirit 
of grace, Heb. x. 29. To resist the Spirit is dangerous. To resist the 
Father speaking in the law ; to resist the Son speaking in the gospel, 
offering our remedy ; but to resist the Holy Ghost, who would help 
us to accept this remedy, there is no other relief for us, no other divine 
person to give it us. The mission of the Holy Ghost is the last offer 
for the recovery of mankind ; there is nothing more to be expected ; 
if we submit not to his inspirations, and wilfully refuse to give ear to 
his counsel, our salvation is hopeless. 

Secondly, let me now open the privilege, they are the sons of God. 
This privilege may be considered, 

1. As to the real grant on God's part. 

2. As to their own sense of their adoption on the believers' part. 

1. As to the real, grant on God's part. It was intended to the elect 
from all eternity : Eph. i. 5, ' Being predestinated to the adoption of 
children ; ' in time it is brought about by Christ's death, or the work 
of redemption, Gal. iv. 4, 5 ; But actually instated upon us, when we 
are regenerated, and do believe : John i. 12, 13, ' To as many as 
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even 
to them that believe in his name ; which were born, not of blood, nor 
of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' They are 
born of God, and so made the sons of God. Being called out of nature 
to grace, in their effectual calling, they are made sons and daughters 
to the most High God ; first he doth renew their natures, and make 
them holy, then reconciled to God as their Father in Christ ; this is 
the first grant. 

2. As to their own sense of their adoption, that is spoken of heres 
they show themselves to be God's children, and so may know themselve ; 
to be God's children. 

[1.] Because they have the certain evidence that they are received 
for children by God, through faith in Christ ; and that is holiness. If 
our carriage be suitable to our estate and privileges, why should we 
doubt ? Eph. i. 4, 5, ' Elected to be holy, without blame before him in 
love, having predestinated us to the adoption of children.' They have 

VOL. xii. G 


the true pledge of God's love, and that is the Spirit ; and they show the 
true fruit of their love to God, and that is obedience to his sanctifying 
motions ; they are led by the Spirit, and so without blame before him 
in love ; as they have a greater measure of the fruits, so it is every day 
more clear to them. 

[2.] The same Spirit that leadeth them, doth assure and ascertain 
them ; for our sanctifier is our comforter. And the more a sanctifier, 
the more a comforter; first in a darker way, leaving a child-like 
impression upon them, inclining them to go to God as a father ; though 
their adoption be not so explicit and clear: ver. 15, 'Ye have not 
received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption, 
whereby we cry, Abba, Father ; ' and Gal. iv. 6, ' And because ye are 
sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying 
Abba, Father.' The*children of God deal with God as a father, cry to 
him as a father, cannot keep away from him, when they dare not so 
expressly entitle themselves his children. Secondly, in a clearer way, 
when he manifests his presence by a supernatural and powerful change 
wrought in the heart, and discovered ; whereby they conclude their 
own gracious estate : ver. 1 6, ' The Spirit itself beareth witness with 
our spirits that we are the children of God/ The Spirit helps to 
discern his own work, or the image of Christ stamped upon them, in 
a fair and bright character. 

[3.] This is a great privilege ; that will appear if we consider our 
present relation to God, or our future inheritance. 

(1.) Our present relation to God: 1 John iii. 1, * Behold what love 
1he Father hath showed us, that we should be called the children of 
God.' We are his children ; and God is, as our father, pleased to own 
us as his children ; we are not born sons, but made so by grace ; by 
nature we are children of wrath, Eph. ii. 3 ; the very term adoption 
implieth it. A child by adoption is opposed to a child by nature ; for 
men are not said to adopt their own children, but strangers ; now 
that strangers and enemies should not only be reconciled, but also be 
called the sons of God, O what unspeakable mercy is it ! To have 
the blessed God, whom we had so often offended, to become our recon 
ciled father in Christ ! It is not an empty title that he assumeth ; but 
hath more abundant love and tenderness to our welfare than any title 
can make us understand. 

(2.) Our future inheritance. Our right floweth from our sonship : 
Rom. viii. 17, ' And if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint 
heirs with Christ ; ' Titus iii. 5, 6, 7, ' Not by works of righteousness 
which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the 
washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which 
he hath shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour ; 
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according 
to the hope of eternal life.' 1 Pet. i. 3, 4, ' Blessed be the God and 
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, to an inheritance incorruptible, and unde- 
filed, that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.' Luke xii. 
32, ' Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you 


a kingdom.' What may we 'not expect from the bounty of such a 
father ? Surely he that would pardon his enemies, will bless his 
children, and that for evermore. 
Use 1. Is to inform us, 

1. Of the nature of the Spirit's conduct. It is sweet, but powerful : 
it accomplished its effect without offering violence to the liberty of 
man ; we are not drawn, taken, or driven as beasts, but led, guided to 
happiness ; not forced thither against our wills, or without our consent. 
The inclinations of man are free ; there is not a violent impulsion, 
but a sweet guidance and direction ; yet he is subject to the leading, 
government, and drawing of the Spirit. 

2. It informeth us of the great condescension of God to new creatures. 
[1.] In his care over them. They are led by the Spirit during their 

pilgrimage ; well guided, and well guarded : Heb. i. 14, * Are they not 
all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be 
heirs of salvation ? ' They have the Spirit for direction, and the angels 
for defence ; their charge is not cura animarum, but custodia corporis. 

[2.] In the great honour he puts upon them, and reserveth for them. 
Now these are the children of God ; hereafter they shall have the 
inheritance ; then is adoption complete : Kom. viii. 23, ' Even we our 
selves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption 
of our bodies.' If annihilated after death, or their life drawn out to 
all eternity upon earth, allowing them so tolerable contentment, there 
had been a favour, comparing their estate with damned reprobates ; 
but he hath done better for them ; having after a short time of trial 
and service here, appointed endless joys and pleasures for them at his 
right hand for evermore. Now he taketh them into his family, then 
into his bosom. 

Use 2. Is to press us to put ourselves under the conduct and govern 
ment of the Holy Spirit. It is implied in our baptism : Mat. xxviii. 
19, 'Go therefore, teach and baptise all nations in the name of the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/ By our express consent, we take God 
for our lord and portion, and Christ for our redeemer and saviour ; 
and the Spirit for our guide, sanctifier, and comforter. There is all 
the reason to press us to it : First, From his excellency. He cannot 
deceive us, because he is the Spirit of truth ; he cannot engage us in 
evil, because he is the Spirit of holiness. From his readiness to do 
good : Ps. xxv. 9, ' Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he will 
teach sinners in the way,' the poor sinner that is weary of his wander 
ing, that is truly humble for his failings and wanderings, and comes 
to him for pardon and grace. Secondly, From our necessity. Our 
heedless headlong spirit will soon transport us to some inconveniency : 
Prov. iii. 5, 6, ' Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not on 
thine own understanding ; in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he 
shall direct thy path/ It is the greatest judgment to be given up to 
our own hearts' counsels. Thirdly, From the effects, the peace and 
comfort which followeth his guidance: Jer.. vi. 16, 'Stand ye on the 
ways and see, and ask for the good old paths, where is the good way, 
and walk therein, and you shall find rest to your souls; ' and Ps. cxliii., 
10, ' Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God ; thy Spirit is good, 
lead me into the land of uprightness.' But what must we do ? 


Answer, 1. Continually desire his assistance and powerful conduct : 
Luke xi. 13, ' If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your 
children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy 
Spirit to them that ask him ? ' It is pleasing to God : 1 Kings iii. 9, 
10, ' Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart, to judge thy 
people, that I may discern between good and bad ; and the speech 
pleased the Lord.' 

2. Let us co-operate with his motions, mortifying the wisdom and the 
desires of the flesh ; avoiding all those things he dissuadeth us from. 
You grieve him, when you disturb his comforting work, or disobey his 
sanctifying motions : Eph. iv. 30, ' And grieve not the Holy Spirit, 
whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption.' Do not break through 
when he would restrain you, or refuse or draw back when he would 
impel and invite ydu to good. The Spirit of God will not forsake 
you, unless you forsake him first; he is grieved when the wisdom 
of the flesh is obeyed before his counsel, and his holy inclinations 
smothered, and we yield easily to the requests of sin, but are deaf to 
his motions. 

3. Let us humble ourselves when we sin through frailty, and leave 
the directions of the Holy Ghost ; let us ever be more wary afterwards : 
Ps. li. 6, ' In the inward parts shalt thou make me to know wisdom.' 
We catch many a fall when we leave our guide ; as the child when 
without his nurse he will take to his own feet. 

Use 3. Is trial ; for it is propounded as a mark of the children of 
God. Now by whose counsel are you guided? Some follow their 
own spirit, not the Spirit of God ; are guided by the wisdom of the 
flesh, and their own. carnal affections; led away from God by the lusts 
of their own heart, and the temptations of the devil ; taken captive by 
him at his will and pleasure, 2 Tim. ii. 26. Our conversations will 
declare that which is prevalent. Principiata respondent suis principiis, 
the constant effects declare the prevailing principle. 

1. The effects of the Spirit's leading are an heavenly life : 1 Cor. ii. 
12, ' Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit 
of God, that we might know the things that are freely given us of 
God ; ' and Eph. i. 17, 18, ' That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and 
revelation in the knowledge of him ; the eyes of your understandings 
being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, 
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints/ The 
Spirit leadeth us to those tilings that are above ; the flesh leadeth us 
to those things here below ; to flesh-pleasing vanities, vain perishing 
delights, grateful only to sense. 

2. The Spirit leadeth to an holy life, and obedience to God : Eph. 
iv. 24, ' And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created 
in righteousness and true holiness/ 

3. To spiritual things : Kom. viii. 5, c They that are after the flesh, 
do mind the things of the flesh ; but they that are after the Spirit, the 
things of the Spirit ; ' and Gal. vi. 8, ' He that soweth to the flesh, shall 
of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of 
the Spirit reap life everlasting,' to excel in these things, though with 
the loss of carnal pleasures. 


4. To all duties to our neighbour : Eph. v. 9, ' For the fruit of the 
Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth ; ' Gal. v. 22, 23, 
' But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance ; against such there is no law.' 


For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear ; but ye 
have received the spirit of adoption, ivhereby we cry, Abba, 
Father. ROM. VIII. 15. 

THE words contain a reason why those who are led by the Spirit are 
the children of God. The reason is, because they have received the 
covenant of grace ; and the spirit which accompanieth the new covenant 
is not the spirit of bondage, but adoption. It is propounded, 1. 
? Negatively ; 2. Affirmatively. 

1. Negatively. They were freed from the servile fear of condemna 
tion, which the legal covenant wrought in them. 

2. Affirmatively. They were endowed with the spirit of adoption, 
or a persuasion of their Father's love, or of God's admitting them into 
his family, and the right of inheritance ; and so were drawn to obedi 
ence by noble motives, suitable to the covenant they were under. 

For the first clause in the text, ye have not received the spirit of 
bondage again to fear. 

In which words observe, 

1. The state of men under the law-covenant it is a state of bondage. 

2. The operation of the Spirit during that dispensation, it made 
men sensible of their bondage : * Ye have not received the spirit of 
bondage/ There is the Spirit mentioned, and, irdkiv, again, implying 
that during that dispensation they had it. 

3. The impression left upon the heart of man, et9 <o/3oy, unto fear. 
There is a twofold fear, filial and servile, child-like and slavish. The 
one is a lawful and necessary fear, which doth quicken us to our duty : 
Phil. ii. 12, 'Work out your salvation with fear and trembling;' and 
is either the fear of reverence, or the fear of caution. The fear of 
reverence is nothing but that awe which we, as creatures, are to have of 
the divine majesty, or an humble sense of the condition, place, and duty 
of a creature towards its creator. The fear of caution is a due sense 
of the importance and weight of the business we are engaged in, in 
order to our salvation. Certainly none can consider the danger we are to 
escape, and the blessedness we aim at, but will see a need to be serious ; 
and therefore this fear is good and holy. Secondly, There is besides 
this, a slavish fear, which doth not further, but extremely hinder out 
work ; for though we are to fear God, yet we are not to be afraid of God. 
This servile fear may be interpreted either with respect to the precept 
or the sanction of the law. First, with respect to the precept ; and so 
it showeth us how men stand naturally affected to the duty of the law ; 


whatever they do is merely for fear of being punished. Secondly, to 
the sanction, penalty, and curse. The fear of evil is more powerful upon 
us than the hope of good ; the greater the evil, the greater the fear, 
and the more tormenting. 

Doct. That men under the law-covenant are under a spirit of 

Here I shall enquire, 

1. What is the spirit of bondage ? 

2. How is it the fruit of the law-covenant ? 

3. Whether it is good or bad ? 

1. What is the Spirit of Bondage ? To open it, we must explain 
three things, (1.) The nature of the object ; (2.) The work of the 
Spirit ; (3.) The disposition of man. 

[1.] The nature othe object, the law requiring duty of the fallen 
creature, and threatening punishment in case of disobedience. For the 
law hath a twofold office ; to convince of sin, Kom. iii. 20, ' Now by the 
law only cometh the knowledge of sin ; ' and to bind over to punishment ; 
therefore it is said, ' The law worketh wrath/ Kom. iv, 15. In both 
respects the old covenant is called the law of sin and death, Rom. viii. 
2. The law as a covenant of works is called a law of sin, because it 
only showeth our sin ; and a law of death, because it bindeth us over 
to death. 

[2.] The work of the Spirit. Every truth is quickened by the Spirit, 
and made more powerful upon our hearts. The comfort which we have 
from the truth of the gospel is by the Spirit, and therefore it is called 
joy in the Holy Ghost. So law-truths are applied to the conscience by 
the Spirit: Jer. xxxi. 19, 'After I was instructed, I smote upon the 
thigh ; ' and ' when the commandment came/ that is, in the light and 
power of the Spirit, ' sin revived, and I died/ Bom. vii. 9, that is, was 
made sensible of his sinful and lost condition. And indeed the usual 
work wherewith the Spirit beginneth with men, is to show them their 
sin and misery, their alienation from God, arid enmity to him, and 
insufficiency to help themselves. 

[3.] The disposition of man, which is corrupted, under the workings 
of the spirit of bondage. And so this spirit of bondage, or servile fear, 
worketh several ways, according to the temper of men. 

(1.) In the profane it giveth occasion of further sinning, as conscience 
being awakened by the Spirit, urgeth either the precept or the curse. 
The precept, as a bullock at first yoking groweth more unruly, or a river 
swelleth when it meeteth with a dam and restraint : Eom. vii. 5, ' For 
when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin, which were by the law, 
did work in our members, to bring forth fruit unto death.' Sinful 
practices were more irritated by the prohibition ; and so our obligation 
to death increased. Or else by urging the curse, which produceth the 
sottish despair : Jer. xviii. 12, * And they said, there is no hope ; we 
will walk after our devices/ There is a double despair of pleasing, 
or being accepted ; there is a lazy, sottish despair, as well as ti 
raging and tormenting despair, by which men cast off all care of 
the soul's welfare : ' There is no hope/ (2.) In a middle sort of 
men, that have a legal conscience, it puts them upon some duty 
;ml course of service to God ; but it is not done comfortably, or 


upon any noble motives. That which is defective in it is this : 
First, it is constrained service. This bondage, which is a fruit 
of the law, doth force and compel men to some unpleasing task. A 
Christian serveth God out of love, but one under the spirit of bond 
age serveth God out of fear ; a love to God and true holiness prevaileth 
with the one, more than the fear of wrath and punishment ; for the 
spirit of adoption disposeth and inclineth him to God as a father ; but 
one under the spirit of bondage is forced to submit to some kind of 
religiousness, for fear of being damned. Indeed both are constrained, 
the one by love, the other by fear, 2 Cor. v. 14 ; only the constraint of 
love is durable, and kindly, and sweet ; the other, his task is grievous 
and wearisome, Mai. i. 11, and holdeth most in a fit ; when danger is 
nigh, they are frighted into some devotion, Ps. Ixxviii. 34-38. 
Secondly, That service which they are forced and compelled to yield to 
God, is outward service and obedience, Isa. Iviii. 7 ; hanging the head 
for a day, like a bulrush ; and as they do, Mic. vi. 7, offer thousands 
of rams and ten thousands of rivers of oil, or the firstborn of their 
body, for the sin of their souls. It is a sin-offering rather than a 
thank-offering ; more to appease conscience, than to please God ; con 
sists in rituals rather than substantiate ; and those invented by men, 
rather than commanded by God. Whereas the true Christian is other 
wise described : Phil. iii. 3, ' For we are the circumcision, which worship 
God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence 
in the flesh.' But the false Christian is one (Mat. xv. 8) that draweth 
nigh to God with the mouth, but their heart is far from him ; their 
heart is averse from God, though they must have an outward religion 
to rest in ; and so they serve God not as children do a father, but as 
slaves serve a hard and cruel master. 

(3.) In some the Lord may make use of it to bring on conversion ; 
for according to our sense of sin and misery, so is a saviour and redeemer 
welcome to us, and prized by us. There must be a sensible awakening 
knowledge of our great necessity, before we will make use of Christ for our 
cure and remedy. None but the sick will care for the physician, Mat. ix. 
12 ; the burdened for ease, Mat. xi. 28, 29 ; the pursued for a sanctuary 
and refuge, Heb. vi. 18 ; none but the condemned, to be justified and 
acquitted, Kom. viii. 33, 34 ; the lost and miserable to be saved, Luke 
xix. 10. 

2. How is it the fruit of the law-covenant ? The law-covenant is 
double : either the covenant of nature, which concerned both Jevy and 
Gentile ; or the first administration of the covenant of grace, made 
with the Jews only. [1.] The covenant of nature, which we are all 
under naturally, breedeth bondage and shyness of God ; we are sensible 
that we are his creatures, and so owe him duty and subjection ; that 
we have failed in our duty to him, and therefore lie obnoxious to his 
wrath and punishment. Heathens, that had but some obscure notions 
of God, felt somewhat of this bondage, Kom. i. 32 ; they ' knew the 
judgment of God, and that they which commit such things are worthy 
of death.' They stood in dread of angry justice ; and not only they, 
but all mankind are under it, Kom. ii. 15. According to that natural 
sense which men have of religion, so is their bondage more or less ; 
still under fear of death, and the consequence thereof. This sense or 


conscience of sin and wrath, which the breach of God's law hath made 
our due, is so engrained in the nature of man that he cannot dispossess 
himself of it. The apostle compareth it to the bond of marriage, 
which is indissoluble till one of the parties die, Kom. vii. 1-3. The 
conscience of man is either married to the law as its husband, or Christ 
as its husband ; not to the latter, till it be dead to the former : ver. 
4, ' Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye might 
be married to another, even to him that was raised from the dead/ 
Well then, this bondage is the effect of the law, or covenant of nature, 
impressed upon the heart of man, and ariseth from a consciousness of 

ilt, and obnoxiousness to God's wrath and displeasure, because of 

d's broken covenant. 

[2.] The first administration of the covenant of grace. That bred 
a spirit of bondage ; witness that allegory, Gal. iv. 22-26. Abraham's 
two wives did represent the two covenants ; the first and second admini 
stration of the covenant of grace. The first gendered to bondage, men 
of a servile spirit, doing what they did, not out of love, but slavish fear : 
2 Cor. iii. 9, * But if the ministration of death, written and engraven 
in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not sted- 
fastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which 
glory was to be done away ; ' 'for if the ministration of condemnation 
be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness excel in 
glory.' AidKovia KaraKpiaecos, their gospel was dark, and had little 
efficacy to change the heart of man ; it did little allay and vanquish 
this shyness of God ; rather increased it, as it conduced to revive the 
knowledge of God in their minds, and held forth the ransom and way 
of appeasing God's angry justice obscurely and darkly ; rather showed 
our distance from God. Israel was God's first-born, and so his heir, 
but an heir in non-age, Gal. iv. 1, 2 ; their ordinances were a bond, 
ours an acquittance ; but what is this to us? Answer. Much every 

(1.) That we may bless God for the greater advantages that we 
have to breed a child-like spirit in us by the new covenant ; where the 
Lord who is offended by sin, is propitiated by the death of Christ, and 
willing to admit man into his presence ; and bless him, that God as a 
judge driveth us by the spirit of bondage to Christ as mediator ; that 
Christ as mediator by the spirit of adoption may bring us back again 
to God as a father ; and then having God for our father, we may have 
Christ for our advocate, and the Spirit for our comforter and sanctifier, 
to enable us to observe the gospel precepts of repentance towards God, 
and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ ; and so be made capable of the 
promises of pardon and life. One covenant maketh us sensible of the 
grace of the other ; Christ dealeth with us as children of the family, 
requiring duty from us upon reasonable and comfortable terms. 

(2.) Because those that live under the gospel dispensation, and have 
not received the power of it, may be yet under a spirit of bondage, 
and cherish a legal way of religion. In every one that entertaineth 
thoughts of religion, law and gospel are at conflict in his heart, as well 
as flesh and corruption ; this is clear by Gal. v. 17, 18 ; ' For the flesh 
lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these 
are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that 


ye would ; but if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.' 
As spirit and flesh do lust against, and constantly oppose one another, 
and labour to suppress and diminish each other, so do law and grace. 
Those that are slaves to their sinful lusts, and are not enabled by the 
spirit of the new testament to do in some measure what the rule 
enjoin eth, have their comforts obstructed ; and while sin reigneth, the 
law reigneth : Eom. vi. 14, ' For sin shall not have dominion over you, 
for ye are not under the law, but grace.' Partly, by its irritating power ; 
and partly, by its condemning power ; leaving them under a fear of 
condemnation, and urging them to do what they cannot do. 

(3.) The children of God by regeneration and adoption, while sin 
remaineth, may have somewhat of bondage remaining in them. Look : 
as under the old testament, when the ingenuous and noble motives of 
the gospel were in a great measure unknown, there was somewhat of a 
free spirit in the eminent saints, Ps. li. 12, though but sparingly 
dispensed ; so under the gospel dispensation, there are many sad and 
drooping Christians who do not improve the comforts provided for 
them, and when they are called upon to rejoice in the Lord always, 
Phil, iv, 4, rather go mourning all the day long ; but it is their fault. 
The people under the law -dispensation were either the godly, or the 
wicked, or the middle sort ; the eminently godly then had a free spirit ; 
the wicked were either terrified, or stupified ; the middle sort, who 
were touching the righteousness of the law blameless, Phil. iii. 6, had 
a zeal for outward observances, but not according to knowledge, Kom. 
x. 2 ; were merely actuated by a legal spirit. So under the gospel 
there are the eminently godly, who evermore rejoice, 1 Thes. v. 16, or at 
least are swayed more with love, than fear ; the weak godly, who have 
much of their ancient fears, and the love of God in them is yet too weak 
to produce its effects ; though this love to God do prevail over sin, yet 
not ordinarily over fear of punishment ; but much of that influences 
their duties, more than their love to God. There is too great averse- 
ness in their hearts from God and holiness, and they seek to break it 
by the terrors of the Lord. Not sin, but fear is predominant. 

3. Is this spirit of bondage good, or bad ? I answer, 

[1.] We musi distinguish of the three agents in it. This bondage 
cometh partly from a good cause,' the Spirit of God breeding in us a 
knowledge of our duty, and a belief of the threatenings of God, from 
whence ariseth a sense of our sinful and miserable condition ; so far it 
is good and useful. Partly from an ill cause, the devil, who delighteth 
to vex us with unreasonable terrors : 1 Sam. xvi. 14, ' The Spirit of the 
Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord vexed him ; ' 
the devil both tempteth and troubleth ; as the huntsman hideth himself 
till the poor beast be gotten into the toils, then he appeareth with shouts 
and cries. Partly from the corruption of man's heart, which either 
turneth this work to an utter aversation from God, or some perfunctory 
and unwilling way of serving him. Some know the right use of the 
covenant, others not ; and therefore we must consider not only how it 
is wrought by the Spirit, but how it is entertained by man through our 
corruption ; our conviction of sin and misery by the Spirit turneth into 
bondage and servitude. 

[2.] The spirit of bondage is better than a profane spirit. Some 


cast off all thoughts of God and the world to come, and are not so 
serious and mindful of religion as to be much troubled with any 
fears about their eternal condition ; it were happy for them if they were 
come so far as a spirit of bondage ; they that are under it have a con 
science of their duty, but such as perplexeth them, and lasheth, and 
stingeth them with the dread and horror of that God whom they serve. 
Now this is better than the profane spirit that wholly forgets God : Ps. 
x. 4, ' God is not in all their thoughts ; ' whether he be pleased or dis 
pleased, honoured or dishonoured. This may tend to good ; the gradus 
ad rem, gradus in re; yea, it may in some degree be consistent with 
sincerity ; for though to have no love to God is inconsistent with a state 
of grace, or to have less love to God than sin ; yet to have more fear 
than love is consistent with some weak degree of grace, especially if 
the case be so, that ki act, love is less felt than fear ; and therefore, 
though men are conscious to much backwardness, yet keep up a serious 
ness ; though to their feeling it is more fear than love which moveth 
them, yet we dare not pronounce them graceless ; for there may be a 
love to God, and a complacency in his ways, though it be oppressed by 
fear, that the spirit of adoption is not so much discovered for the time. 

[3.] That it is an ill frame of spirit to be cherished or rested in. 
For while men are under the sole and predominant influence of it, they 
are never converted to God ; fear doth begin the work of conversion, but 
love maketh it sincere. The Spirit by fear doth awaken men to make 
them see their condition, terrifying them by the belief of God's threat 
ening, and the sense of his indignation, that they may flee from wrath 
to come, Mat. iii. 7 ; or cry out, ' What shall I do to be saved ? ' Acts 
ii. 37. But yet, though they have a sensible work, they have not a 
saving work. Some by these fears are but troubled and restrained a 
little, and so settle again in their sensual course, but to their great loss ; 
for God may never give them like advantages again. Others betake 
themselves to a kind of religiousness, and forsake the practice of those 
grosser sins which breed their fears ; and so resting here, continue in a 
state of hypocrisy and self-deceiving religiousness. 

Use 1. Is information and instruction, to teach^us how to carry it 
as to the spirit of bondage. 

[1.] It is not to be slighted ; partly, from the matter which breedeth 
the fear and bondage, which is the law of God, the supreme rule and 
reason of our duty, by which all debates of conscience are to be 
decided ; partly, from the author ; this sense of sin and misery is 
stirred up in us, and made more active by the operation of the Spirit 
of God ; partly, from the faculty wherein" it is seated, the conscience 
of a reasonable creature, the most lively and sensible power of man's 
soul, which cannot be pacified, but upon solid grounds and reasons ; 
partly, from the effect, the fear of eternal death, the greatest misery 
that can befall us ; for surely ' it is a dreadful thing to fall into the 
hands of the living God/ Heb. x. 31. To smother and stifle checks of 
conscience doth increase our misery, not remove it ; and produceth 
hardness of heart, and contempt of God ; therefore when our souls are 
at this pass, that we see we are in bondage to sin, and know not how 
to help it ; in bondage to wrath, and know not how to quench these 
fears which are awakened in us by the Spirit ; surely we should look 


after solid satisfaction and peace of soul, settled on us upon gospel 
terms ; run to the blood of sprinkling, Heb. x. 22. 

[2.] Yet it is not a thing to be chosen, prayed for, or rested in. 
Partly, because it is a judiciary impression, a spark of hell kindled in 
the conscience. A tender conscience we may and must pray for, but 
not a stormy conscience ; when we ask legal terrors, we know not what 
we ask ; a belief of the threatenings belongs to our duty, as well as a 
belief of the promises ; but we must not so reflect upon terrors, as to 
exclude the comfort and hope of the gospel. When under a spirit of 
bondage, we are in a most servile condition, far from all solid comfort, 
courage, and boldness. But is it not an help to conversion ? Answer, 
Let God take his own way ; we are not to look after the deepness of 
the wound, but the soundness of the cure ; not terrible representations 
of sin and wrath, but such an anxiousness as will make us serious and 
solicitous. Partly, because the law-covenant is an antiquated dispen 
sation, the law of nature bindeth not as a covenant ; for the promise 
of life ceased upon the incapacity of the subjects, when under a natural 
impossibility of keeping it ; the threatening and penalty lieth upon us 
indeed, till we flee to another court and covenant. The Jewish cove 
nant was abolished when Christ repealed the law of Moses ; that cove 
nant dealt with us a.s servants, the gospel dealeth with us as sons, in a 
more ingenuous way, and inviting us to God upon nobler motives. 
And partly, from the nature of that fear that doth accompany it ; it 
driveth us from God, not to God, Gen. iii. 8. Adam hid himself among 
the bushes ; and he gives us this reason, because he was afraid ; and 
still we all fly from a condemning God ; but to a pardoning God we 
are encouraged to come nigh : Ps. cxxx. 4,' There is forgiveness with 
thee, that thou mayest be feared.' In the wicked, the fear of God's 
wrath once begun, it increaseth daily, till it come to the desperate 
fear of the damned ; and the fault is not in the law, or in the Spirit, 
but in man, who runneth from his own happiness, and rnaketh an ill 
use of God's warnings. 

Use 2. Is to put us upon trial, and self-reflection. All that attend 
upon ordinances, receive some spirit or other a spirit of bondage, or a 
spirit of adoptk/n ; now what kind of spirit are we actuated withal ? 
God's children, who are adopted into his family, may have some degree 
of the spirit of bondage, great mixtures of fears and discouragements ; 
for only ' perfect love casteth out fear/ 1 John iv. 18 ; but these fears 
are overbalanced by the spirit of adoption ; they have some filial bold 
ness, a better spirit than a slave ; do not wholly sin away the love of 
a father, though the delight and comfort be much obstructed. It was 
n sad word for a child of God to speak : Ps. Ixxvii. 3, ' I thought of God, 
and I was troubled.' The remembrance of God may augment their 
grief, when conscience representeth his abused favours as the cause of 
his present wrath and displeasure with them ; but this is not their con 
stant temper, but only in great desertions. For a constancy, while sin 
remaineth, somewhat of bondage remaineth ; but there is a partial and a 
predominant legality. The partial maybe found in the regenerate, 
who do by degrees overcome the servile fear of condemnation, and 
grow up more and more into a gospel spirit; certainly where that 
prevaileth, there will be liberty: 2 Cor. iii. 17. Though for a while 


the heir differeth nothing, or nothing to speak of, from a servant, yet 
in time he hehaveth himself as a son, and is treated as a son ; and 
they get more comfort and joy in the service of God. But the pre 
dominant legality is in the carnal ; it may be known by the governing 
principle, fear or love; the inseparable companion of the spirit of 
bondage is fear; and love and sonship, the spirit of adoption, go 
together. Where slavish fear prevaileth and influenceth our religion, 
it may be known by these two things : 

[1.] By their unwillingness and reluctancy to what they do for God. 
The good they do, they would not ; and the evil they do not, they 
would do ; that is, they would fain live in a sinful life if they durst, 
and be excused from religious duties, except that little outward part 
which their custom and credit engages them to perform ; like birds that 
in a sunshine day sing in the cage, though they had rather be in the 
woods. They live not an holy life, though some of the duties which 
belong to it they observe, out of a fear to be damned ; if they had their 
freest choice, they had rather live in the love of the creature than in 
the love of God ; and the pleasures of the flesh than the heavenly life. 
But now they that have the spirit of adoption, and are inclined to the 
love of God and holiness, have hearts suited to their work : Ps. xl. 8, 
' Thy law is in my heart ; ' and Heb. viii. 10, ' I will put my law into 
their minds, and write them upon their hearts.' They obey, not from 
the urgings of the law from without, but from the poise and inclina 
tion of the new nature ; not barely as enjoined, but as inclined. They 
do not say, that this were no duty, or this sinful course lawful ! but, 
how I love thy law ! Ps. cxix. 97. ' that my ways were directed ! ' 
Ps. cxix. 5. They do not groan and complain of the strictness of the 
law, but of the remainders of corruption, Rom. vii. 24. Not, who will 
free me from the law ? but who will free me from this body of death ? 
Their will is to serve God more and better, not to be excused from the 
duties of holiness, or serving him at all. 

[2.] By the cause of their trouble about what they have done, or left 
undone. They are not troubled for the offence done to God, but their 
own danger ; not for sin, but merely the punishment ; as Esau sought 
the blessing with tears, when he had lost it, Heb. xii. 17. He was 
troubled, but why ? Non quia vendiderat, sed quia perdiderat. Not 
because he sold it, which was his sin ; but lost the privileges of the 
birthright, which was his misery. So many carnal men, whose hearts 
are in a secret love and league with their lusts, yet are troubled about 
their condition, not because they are afraid to sin, but afraid to be 
damned ; it is not God's displeasure they care for, but their own safety. 
The young man went away sad and grieved, Mark x. 22, because he 
had great possessions; because he could not reconcile his covetous 
mind with Christ's counsel and direction. Felix trembled, being con 
vinced of sins, which he was loath to discontinue and break off. Slavish 
fear, though it doth not divorce the heart from its lusts, yet it raiseth 
trouble about them. 

Use 3. Is to press you to get rid of this spirit of bondage, and to 
prevail upon it more and more. For motives, 

[1.] It is dishonourable to God, and supposeth strange prejudices 
and misrepresentations of God ; as if his government were a kind of 


tyranny, grievous and hurtful to man ; and we think him a hard master 
whom it is impossible to please ; as the evil and slothful servant, Mat. 
xxv. 24, 25, '1 knew that thou wert an hard man, reaping where thou 
hast not sowed, and gathering where thou hast not strawed ; and I was 
afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth.' His fear was the 
cause of his negligence and unfathfulness ; which fear is begotten in us 
by a false opinion of God, which rendereth him dreadful, rigorous, and 
terrible to the soul. While we look upon God through the glass of our 
guilty fears, we draw a strange picture of him in our minds, as if he 
were a rigid lawgiver, and a severe avenger, harsh, and hard to be 
pleased, and we are therefore unwilling to submit to him. 

[2.] It is prejudicial to us, in many regards. 

(1.) It hindereth our free and delightful converse with God. The 
legal spirit hath no boldness in his presence, but is filled with torment 
ing fear and horror at the thoughts of him; the spirit of adoption 
giveth us confidence and boldness in prayer, Heb. iv 16 ; and Eph. iii. 
1 2 ; but on the contrary, the spirit of bondage maketh us hang off from 
God. As Adam was afraid, and ran to the bushes, Gen. iii. 8 ; and 
David had a dark and uncomfortable spirit, and grew shy of God after 
his sin, Ps. xxxii. 3, 4, fain to issue forth an injunction or practical de 
cree in the soul to bring his backward heart into his presence, ver. 5. 
' And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord of Hosts/ Gen. iv. 
16, as unable to abide there, where the frequent ordinances of God 
might put him in remembrance of him. And Jam. ii. 19, ' The devils 
believe, and tremble ; ' they abhor their own thoughts of God, as reviv 
ing terror in them. The Papists think it boldness to go to God without 
the mediation and intercession of the saints ; the original of that prac 
tice was slavish fear, when God had opened a door of access to him 

[2.] It breaketh our courage in owning the ways of God, and truths 
of God. The apostle when he presseth Timothy not to be ashamed of 
the testimony of the Lord, nor his servants, and to be partakers of the 
afflictions of the gospel, urgeth this argument, 2 Tim. i. 7, 8, 
' For we have not received the spirit of fear, but the spirit of love, and 
power, and of a sound mind : irvevfia &ov\tas is Trvevpa Set/uW, a poor, 
cowardly, dastardly spirit, mated or overcome with every difficulty; 
but now a spirit confirmed in the love of God, and the faith and hope 
of the gospel, is a spiit of power and fortitude. ' The righteous is as 
bold as a lion/ Pro. xxviii. 1. Dan. iii. 17, 18, ' If it be so, our God 
whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and 
he will deliver us out of thine hand, king ! but if not, be it known 
unto thee, king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the 
golden image which thou hast set up.' And Kom. viii. 37, 38, ' I am 
persuaded, that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, 
nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor 
depth, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in 
Christ Jesus our Lord.' 

[3.] It hindereth the readiness and cheerfulness of our service, and 
crippleth our endeavours. The slothful servant was afraid, Luke xix. 
21, 22. When we do not know whether we shall please or be accepted 
or no, it is a very discouraging thing ; and we drive on heavily, when 


nothing appears to us but fear ; but love maketh a willing people : 
1 John v. 3, * For this is the love of God, that we keep his command 
ments ; and his commandments are not grievous. 

[4.] It resisteth sin unwillingly ; we had rather let it alone than go 
about it ; the mortifying of lust is like the cuting off of an arm with 
a rusty saw ; rather let go anything than sin ; but grace furnisheth us 
with the most powerful arguments. 

For means, 

1. -Cherish good thoughts of God. The spirit of bondage is increased 
upon us by unreasonable fears and jealousies of God ; ' The Lord is 
good, and doth good/ Ps. cxix. 68. His commands are not grievous : 
Mat. xi. 30, ' My yoke is easy and my burden is light.' The trials sent 
us by him are not above measure, nor beyond strength : 1 Cor. x. 13, 
' Who will not sufifer you to be tempted above what you are able ; ' 
nor his punishments above deserving : Neh. ix. 13, * Thou hast punished 
us less than we deserved.' He is not hard to be pleased, nor inexor 
able upon our infirmities: Mai. iii. 17, 'And I will spare them as 
a man spareth his own son that serveth him.' ' He is a rewarder of 
them that diligently seek him/ Heb. xi. 6. 

2. Study the nature and constitution of the gospel, which maketh 
rich preparation of grace, help, and comfort for you. This is God's 
act of oblivion, which easeth you of your troubles ; for here God pro- 
miseth to blot out your transgressions, and remember your sins no 
more ; this is a sanctuary and refuge for your distressed souls to fly 
unto, when pursued by the law's curse ; the charter of your hopes, or 
the word of salvation which secureth you against the law's curse, or 
the fears of the damnation of hell. The law is good, as a rule of duty, 
but the gospel is glorious, 1 Tim. i. 8, 11. In short, your souls will 
never sit easily within you, till you resolve not to seek for that in the 
law which is only to be found in the gospel, peace of conscience, and 
reconciliation with God ; the law can save only the innocent ; but the 
gospel pardoneth the penitent sinner. Look not for that in self, which 
is only to be found in Christ, a perfect righteousness and merit to 
appease God's justice, and propitiate him to us ; this is only by the 
blood and obedience of Christ ; never look for that on earth which is 
only to be had in heaven, which is exact and unspotted holiness, Jude 
21. ' Then we are presented faultless in his presence.' 

3. A hearty and sincere love to God : 1 John iv. 18, ' There is no 
fear in love, for perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment, 
and he that feareth is not made perfect in love/ He speaketh not of 
a child-like reverence of the divine majesty, or a carefulness not to 
displease him ; but of slavish fear of condemnation, which is the life 
and soul of many men's religion ; but they are never soundly converted 
till God hath their hearts, that is, their love. Now this strong and 
fervent love, arising from faith in Christ, driveth and forceth this 
tormenting fear out of the heart. Men will never be afraid of him 
whom they love ; and on the other side, will not love him whom they 
look upon as ready to condemn them, and cast them into hell. Surely 
God will never damn the soul that loveth him ; therefore if we would 
get rid of the fear of wrath or hell, let us love God with our highest 
and best affections. We have reason to love him, if we consider the 


wonder of his love and good will to sinners, manifested to us in and by 
Jesus Christ. 

4. Live holily, and obey the motions of the sanctifying Spirit. We 
deprive ourselves of comfort by falling into sin ; the more the Spirit 
is a sanctifier, the more a comforter. Holiness breedeth a generous 
confidence : 1 John iii. 2, ' Behold, now we are the sons of God/ 
Gal. v. 18, ' But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law/ 
If we are not watchful against sin, our bondage returneth ; therefore 
David saith, Ps. li. 12, * Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and 
uphold me by thy free Spirit/ The Holy Spirit withdraweth and 
suspendeth his comforts, when we walk vainly and loosely ; then we 
cannot serve God with any delight and readiness of mind ; it is not a 
free spirit, but a servile, that then governeth us, and influenceth our 


But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, 
Father. ROM. VIII. 15. 

IN the words we have, 

First, A privilege, ' Ye have received the spirit of adoption/ 

Second. One special fruit and effect of it, ' Whereby we cry, Abba, 

In setting down the effect, the change is emphatical ; ye received ; 
we cry ; he includeth himself, and puts in his own name together with 
theirs, to show that it is a privilege common to all that receive the new 
testament ; the meanest and least of God's children have an affectionate 
and child-like way of praying unto God. 

Doct. That the spirit which we receive under the new covenant dis 
pensation, is a spirit of adoption. 

I shall explain these five things : 

1. The state of adoption which we obtain under the new testament. 

2. The spirit of adoption consequent thereupon. 

3. Whether all that live under the new testament dispensation have 
the spirit of adoption. 

4. Whether all that have it, know it. 

5. The reasons why this is the fruit of the new covenant. dispensation. 
1. What is the state of adoption ? Our admission into God's family, 

that he will be a father to us, and we shall be his children : 2 Cor. vi. 
18, ' I will be a father unto you., and ye shall be my sons and daughters, 
saith the Lord Almighty/ Which is a great privilege, if we consider 
three things, (1.) His relation to mankind in the general ; (2.) His 
relation to the ancient church under the legal covenant ; (3.) The estate 
wherein his grace found us, when he was pleased to take us into his 

[1.] His relation to mankind in general. So he is the father of all 


the world, as he created them ; and Adam is called the son of God, 
Luke iii. 38. He is a father to any, who giveth them being, and hath 
a right to govern them ; so is God to us ; he made us, and is the sole 
cause of our being and not being, and so hath a right in us to dispose 
of us at his own pleasure. But the relation that we have to God by 
adoption is distinct from the natural being ; this is our new being, which 
we have from him as his redeemed ones ; our natural being flowed from 
his benignity and common bounty, but our spiritual being from his 
special grace and love to us in Christ. By creation we are his children, 
as he formed us in the womb, and created the soul within us ; called 
therefore the Father of spirits, Heb. xii. 9, in opposition to the fathers 
of our flesh ; but he is our father by adoption, as we are regenerated 
by the Holy Ghost : John i. 12, 13, ' To as many as received him, to 
them gave he powei; to become the sons of God ; being born not of 
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' 
Our new birth and spiritual being in Christ, is the next ground of our 
adoption, and so we come into a nearer relation to him, that we may be 
capable of receiving the fruits of his special love ; it is the benefit of 
our redemption applied by his sanctifying Spirit to all them that shall 
be heirs of life. By the common relation, God hath a title to our 
dearest love, but we have no title to his highest benefits ; and therefore 
he is our father in a more comfortable sense, as we are his workman 
ship in Christ. 

[2.] His relation to the ancient church through the legal covenant. 
So God was a father to them, and they were his children ; for Israel 
was called his first-born, Exod. iv. 22, in opposition to other nations, 
who were left to perish in their own ways ; and their descendants are 
called ' the children of the kingdom/ Mat. viii. 12, because they had the 
ordinances and means of grace. But the gospel-church is properly ' the 
church of the first-born/ Heb. xii. 23, as they have a clearer knowledge 
of the privileges belonging to God's children, and a larger participation, 
and more comfortable use of them ; and so are freed from that rigour 
and servitude which belonged to the first administration of the covenant 
of grace. They have that which answereth the privilege of primo 
geniture, jus sacerdotis, etjus licereditatis. The right of priesthood, 
as they are ' a royal priesthood/ 1 Pet. ii. 9 ; ' made kings and priests 
unto God/ Rev. i. 5, because they ' offer up spiritual sacrifices accept 
able to God by Jesus Christ/ 1 Pet. ii. 5. They are separated by the 
election of God from the rest of the world, and have an unction from 
his Holy Spirit, 1 John ii. 20 ; and so are qualified to offer up them 
selves, Rom. xii. 1, and prayers and praises, and alms unto God, Heb. 
xiii. 15, 16. The other privilege of the birth-right is, jus hcereditatis ; 
the first-born had a double portion, not only of possessions, but of 
dignity and honour, above their brethren. All God's children are heirs, 
and heirs of the heavenly inheritance ; the multitude of co-heirs doth 
not lessen the inheritance, nor make the privilege less glorious ; they 
are ' heirs of salvation/ Heb. i. 14. 

[3.] The estate wherein his grace found us, when he was pleased to 
take us into his family. We were by nature children of wrath, wretched 
children, Eph. ii. 3, that had deprived ourselves of the inheritance, 
wasted our patrimony, forfeited our right to the promises ; but our 


inheritance is redeemed, and the forfeiture taken off by Christ ; we are 
brought back again into the family, dignified with the privileges of the 
first-born, made priests unto God ; and above all his other creatures, 
do become his special portion : Jam. i. 18, 'Of his own will begat he 
us, to be a kind of first fruits of his creatures ; ' and made heirs of the 
kingdom, James ii. 5. Now for us to have the blessed God, whom we 
had so often offended, to become our reconciled father in Christ, 
what wonderful love is this ! That we should be admitted into the 
church of the first-born, have free liberty to worship God, and have a 
right to such a blessed and glorious inheritance ! 

2. What is the spirit of adoption ? First, We are made sons, and 
then we have the Spirit of his Son, Gal. iv. 6 ; being adopted into 
God's family, we have a spirit suitable. They that use to adopt children 
give them some kind of token to express their love ; so here is a gift 
answerable to the dignity of our estate, and the love of a father, and 
that is the gift of the Spirit ; the dignity is inward and spiritual ; and 
the gift answereth it : * He hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your 
hearts.' God would not distinguish the good from the bad, the heirs 
of promise from the children of wrath, by the blessings of his common 
providence ; but with what suiteth better with that intimate communion 
that we have with him as a father : 1 John iii. 24, ' Hereby we know 
that we dwell in God, and God dwelleth in us, by his Spirit that he 
hath given us.' Spiritual things are best manifested and discovered 
to us in a spiritual manner, and by the effects proper to them. 
Secondly, it is the highest demonstration of God's love to us. In giving 
us worldly things, he giveth something without himself; but in giving 
us the Spirit he giveth us himself ; for the Godhead is undivided, and 
God hath no greater thing to give us than himself ; as the apostle saith, 
Heb. vi. 13, that when God had no greater thing to swear by, he 
sware by himself, so we may say here, it was the evidence of God's 
love to Christ as mediator : John iii. 34, ' He loved him, and gave him. 
the Spirit without measure ; ' so those that are Christ's, because God 
loveth them, he giveth them the Spirit. Other things may be given 
in anger, but not the Spirit : Prov. iii. 32, * The f reward is an abomi 
nation to the Lord, but his secret is with the righteous ; ' implying, that 
those that are an abomination to the Lord may have other things, and 
perish for ever ; but if his secret be with us, his illuminating, sanctifying, 
comforting Spirit, we have a sure pledge of his love. The context 
showeth wicked men may have worldly felicity, even to envy, but they 
have not his secret, which the righteous have. Though their. condition 
be very mean and base in the world, he dealeth with them as with 
friends, yea, as children ; the one hath the visible blessings, the other 
hath his secret, the inward comforts and operations of his Spirit. 

But yet the business is not dispatched. The text speaketh not only 
of the gift of the Spirit, but of the spirit of adoption. What is that ? 
Answer. We must distinguish between the spirit of regeneration, and 
the spirit of adoption ; they are two acts of the same Spirit, and the 
one maketh way for the other ; yet the consideration of them is different. 
The Holy Ghost, as a Spirit of regeneration, doth close us first with 
Christ; and afterwards, as a Spirit of adoption, maketh his abode in 
our hearts. As a Spirit of regeneration, he worketh in us the first 

VOL. xn. n 


grace, and causeth us to believe unto justification and adoption r and 
having made his entry into our souls after believing, he is given to us 
in a more eminent manner than before, and doth possess us in the name 
of Christ, as his agent, and keepeth a-foot his interest in our souls. 
The spirit of regeneration is tied^ to no condition, but is dispensed 
according to the good pleasure of God ; only we are to use the means ; 
to attend" upon the word and pray, and our heavenly Father will give 
the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, Luke xi. 13. If any miss the 
gift, it is of themselves; if they have it, it is the mere grace of God. 
But the Spirit of adoption is tied to conditions, and is promised to those 
that with true faith and repentance do seek after the grace of God in 
Jesus Christ : Eph. i. 13, ' After ye believed, ye received the Holy Spirit 
of promise ; ' and Gal. iii. 14, ' Receive the promise of the Spirit by 
faith ; ' and Acts ii. 38, ' Repent, and be baptized for the remission of 
sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost ; ' and Prov. 
i. 23, ' Turn you at my reproof, and I will pour out my Spirit upon 
you ;' Acts xix. 2, ' Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? ' 
John vii. 39, ' This he spake of the Spirit, which they that believe on 
him should receive ; ' Acts v. 32, ' The Holy Ghost, which he hath 
given to them that obey him.' In these and many more places, the 
Spirit of adoption and further sanctification is spoken of. As a Spirit 
of regeneration, he buildeth an house for himself ; and then, as a Spirit 
of adoption, he dwelleth in the house so built and furnished ; as bees 
first make their cells, and then dwell in them. By repentance and 
faith there is a fit mansion prepared for him, and then he taketh up- 
his residence and abode in us. The first grace is given that we may 
believe ; the second upon believing ; the first is the Spirit's renewing ; 
the second is the Spirit's inhabiting. 

But yet the business is not finished. The Spirit is called the Spirit 
of adoption, from his use and effect ; and implieth that work of the 
Holy Spirit whereby the souls of believers are framed to a son-like 
disposition. One effect is mentioned in the text, his inclining us to 
have recourse to God as a Father : 'The spirit of adoption, whereby 
we cry, Abba, Father ; ' but other things are intended. They may be 
reduced to these three heads : 1. Child-like love. 2. Child-like obedi 
ence. And 3. Child-like hope and dependence. 

[1.] A child-like love to God. The design of the gospel is the 
revelation of God's love to us, and the recovery of our love to God ; 
therefore the work of the Spirit is to reveal the love and mercy of God 
to sinners^or the way of reconciliation to God by Christ; not God's 
love to us in particular at first. For we do not as yet see our own 
particular interest, but come afterward, when we are reconciled to God, 
and live in obedience to him. Then he becometh a witness to us, verse 
16 ; but at first he openeth a door of hope to us, by revealing God's 
love to sinners on gracious terms ; it is revealed in the gospel ; but it 
is 'shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost/ Horn. v. 5. 
That love spoken of there respects the offer of pardon and life founded 
on the death of Christ ; therefore a spirit of love bred in us by the 
wonderful grace discovered in the gospel, is the first effect of the spirit 
of adoption. It is great love that God will so freely pass by our many 
offences, and adopt and take us into his family ; that we do no longer 


fly from him as a condemning God, but have recourse to him as a 
pardoning God. This love is manifested by our desires after him, 
delight in him, and frequent recourse to him in prayer, representing 
all our grievances and wants to him. This crying to him as a father 
mentioned in the text, through the hope we have by Christ, is the 
instinct of the spirit of adoption. 

[2.] A child-like obedience. The great duty of children is to love, 
please, and honour their father ; and God standing in this relation to 
us, expecteth it from us : Mai. i. 6, ' If I be a father, where is mine 
honour ? If I be a master, where is my fear ? ' He will do all that 
can be expected from a father, a-nd therefore we must do all that 
belongeth to children : So 1 Pet. i. 14, ' As dear children, not fashioning 
yourselves to the former lusts of your ignorance ;' and verse 17, ' If ye 
call on the Father/ etc. ' Be ye followers of God, as dear children,' 
Eph. v. 1. Now the Spirit enableth and inclineth us to an affectionate 
and child-like way of serving God ; partly, as he reueweth and healeth 
our natures, and sanctifieth us unto God : ' I will put my Spirit into 
them, and they shall walk in my ways/ Ezek. xxxvi. 27 ; and partly, 
by gratitude and filial love he possesseth us with a desire and care to 
please him. For as the benefits we have from God's fatherly love are 
the best, and greatest, and surest ; so it calleth for the best returns of 
our thankfulness and obedience ; the privileges of our adoption being 
the sweetest and strongest bonds and obligations to duty that can be 
laid upon us ; therefore it must be done in. a free and child-like 

[3.] A child-like hope and dependence, not only for what we want 
in this world, but chiefly for the happiness of another and better 
world. What may we not expect from a father, and from an almighty 
father ? If God be your father, you can want no good thing, either 
for soul or body. Our Lord dissuaded anxiety and carefulness of mind 
upon this ground, because we have a father, and a father that careth 
for us, Mat. vi. 25, 32. But chiefly, he doth incline us to the blessed 
inheritance; being made children, we begin to look after a child's 
portion. He revealeth the truth and worth of it, Eph. i. 17, 18 ; and 
farther confirmeth us of the certainty of it, as a pledge and earnest, by 
working and dwelling in our hearts : 2 Cor. i. 22, ' Who hath sealed 
us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit ; ' prepareth us, fits us for it : 
2 Cor. v. 5, * He that hath wrought us to this selfsame thing, is God ; ' 
raised our hearts to long after it, and comforts our hearts with the 
hopes of it: Kom. viii. 23, 'And not only they, but ourselves 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 bodies ;' and so begetteth that free, noble, and princely spirit 
which upholdeth us with courage in the midst of all trials and difficul 
ties, and maketh us go on cheerfully in the work of holiness, waiting 
for the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. This in short, is 
the spirit of adoption, a spirit of love, holiness, and heavenly-minded- 
ness. Love inclineth us to God ; holiness suiteth us to our work, that 
we may have a complacency in it ; heavenliness giveth us a confidence, 
and a princely noble spirit, that is gotten above the hopes and fears 
of the world. 


3. Whether all that live under the new testament dispensation, have 
the spirit of adoption ? 

Answer. No ; Bat take these considerations : 
[1.] This showeth what the doctrine of the gospel can do, and 
should do : But it doth not always do it, because many come under 
the profession of the gospel, but not under the power of it. But this 
is the Spirit that came down to accompany the gospel, and the ministry 
of it ; and if it be not received and entertained by men, they may blame 
themselves. The gospel is serviceable to this end and purpose, to 
produce such a spirit. If men carry it as if they knew not whether 
there be a Spirit of adoption, yea or no, there is no fault or defect in 
the gospel, but they are wanting to themselves, strangers to the grace 
of the covenant under which they live, by their own negligence and 
folly. If manna faH about the tents of Israel, and the people will 
not go to gather it to fill their omer, they may starve, though the 
bread of heaven be dispensed by such a liberal provision. The Spirit 
is ready, but they are lazy ; the Spirit, by accident, is a cause of servile 
fear ; but these motions are his proper effects. 

[2.] A superficial Christianity is rewarded with common gifts, but 

the real Christianity with special graces. All that profess the faith, 

and are baptized into Christ, Gal. iii. 26, 27, are visibly adopted by 

God into his family, and are under a visible administration of the 

covenant of grace. So far as they are adopted into God's family, so far 

they are made partakers of the Spirit. Christ giveth to common 

Christians those common gifts which he giveth not to the heathen world ; 

knowledge of the mysteries of godliness; abilities of utterance and 

speech about spiritual and heavenly things ; some affection also to them, 

called ' tasting of the good word, the heavenly gift, and the powers of 

the world to come/ Heb. vi. These will not prove us true Christians, 

or really in God's special favour, but only visible professed Christians. 

[3.] Among the sincere, some have not the spirit of adoption at so 

full a rate as others have ; neither so pure and fervent a love to God ; 

nor such a respectful obedience and submission to him ; nor such an 

holy confidence and boldness, becoming that great happiness which they 

are called unto, who have the right and hope of the blessed inheritance ; 

and so not so much of that son-like disposition, which the Spirit worketh 

by revealing the love and mercy of God, contained in the gospel, in 

the hearts of his people. Some do more improve their privileges than 

others do ; now they cannot rationally expect the best and richest fruits 

of this gift, and to be enabled and enlarged by the Spirit, who do not 

give such ready entertainment and obedience to his motions, as the 

more serious and fruitful Christian doth. 

4. But do all that have it, know that they have it ? I answer, 
[1.] The spirit of adoption is in some weak, and therefore not so 
perceptible as it is in others; for 'small and weak things are hardly 
discerned. All God's children have the spirit of adoption in the 
effects, though not in the sense and feeling of it. They have the spirit 
of comfort, though not the comfort of it ; for ' if any have not the Spirit 
of Christ, they are none of his/ Kom. viii. 9. The witness of his Spirit 
is spoken of, as distinct from receiving the Spirit, ver. 16 ; there is a 
child-like inclination and impression left upon them, though they know 


it not, own it not. There is n difference between the thing itself, and 
the degree ; we cannot say we have not the spirit of adoption, because 
we have not so much of this spirit, calming our hearts, rebuking our 
['ears, and filling us with joy and peace in believing. The Spirit was 
given to Christ without measure, but to Christians in a different measure 
and proportion, as they yield up themselves more or less to the conduct 
of his grace, and overcome the enemies of their peace, the devil, the 
world, and the flesh. The impression is left upon some in a smaller, 
upon some in a larger character ; all are not of a growth and size ; 
some are more real Christians, others only eu ovofjiarl : eminent grace 
will more discover itself, than a little grace under a heap of imper 
fections ; a fervent love will be felt, and a lively hope of heaven demon 
strate itself, and an exact obedience less liable to dispute, as we increase 
in love, and heavenly mindedness ; so the Spirit discovereth his presence 
in us. 

[2.] Where the Spirit of adoption acteth at the lowest rate, there 
is something to difference it from the spirit of bondage. 

(1.) They are carried on to wait upon God upon gospel grounds, 
though they cannot apply the comforts, and enter themselves heirs to 
the privileges thereof ; some know they are of the truth, and can make 
out their title with clearness and satisfaction : 1 John iii. 14, * And 
hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts 
before him ; ' others depend on God's general offer, while their claim 
and sincerity is as yet questionable. God offereth to be a father in 
Christ to all penitent believers, and so we are encouraged to come 
to him by Christ ; the apostle telleth us, Heb. vii. 19, that the gospel 
brought in a better hope, by virtue of which we draw nigh to God. 
There is a child-like inclination, when there is not a child-like fami 
liarity and boldness ; the soul cannot keep away from God, but will 
come to him that he may pardon our sins, and heal our souls, and save 
our persons. Now this is the spirit of adoption in the lower, or more 
obscure way of addressing ourselves to God as a father. 

(2.) There are child-like groans, as well as child-like comforts ; com 
pare Kom. viii. 26, ' The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with 
sighs and groans, which cannot be uttered ; ' with 1 Pet. i. 8, 'In whom, 
though now yon see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeak 
able, and full of glory.' In some the Spirit only discovereth himself 
by hungering and thirsting after righteousness ; in others he worketh 
peace which passeth all understanding, and joy unspeakable and full 
of .glory. 

(3.) There is a child-like reverence, when there is not a child-like 
confidence. They are afraid to offend their heavenly Father, though 
they cannot challenge all the fruits and effects of his fatherly love as 
belonging to them ; when they cannot own him as a father with delight 
ful confidence, yet they dare not offend him ; for all God's children 
have a child-like love to him, when they have not a full sense and as 
surance of his paternal love to them ; for he hath a title to our dearest 
love, before we can make out a title to his benefits. Now they that love 
God, hate evil, Ps. xcvii. 10 ; are tender of omitting any duty, or com 
mitting any offence. Where there is this holy awe, there is a spirit of 
adoption; it is an owning of God as a father: 1 Pet. i. 17, 'If ve 


call on the Father,' &c., and therefore this reverence we call filial 

(4.) The heart is carried out to heavenly things, though we cannot 
call them ours ; all that are children,, do look after a child's portion. 
There is a twofold hope, First, a hope which is the effect of regeneration, 
1 Pet. i. 3 ; and a hope which is the effect of experience, Kom. v. 4. 
Now this puts a difference between the spirit of bondage, and the ser 
vile mercenary spirit, when the current of thine affections is carried 
out after the eternal inheritance ; servants and mercenaries must havo 
pay in hand ; they covenant with you from day to day, or from quarter 
to quarter, or from year to year ; a child in the family tarrieth for a 
child's portion: Mat. vi. 4, 'When thou dost thine alms, do not 
sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogue, 
and in the street ; they have their reward ; ' Aire-^ovai, TOV fiicrOov avr&v. 
Present wages they look for, discharge God from other things ; if he 
will give them the honour and pleasure of the world, they are satisfied, 
and look for no more. 

5. Why this is the fruit of the new covenant dispensation ? There 
are three things which must not be severed, [1.] The object. [2.] A 
powerful agent. [3.] The disposition of the subject thence resulting. 

[1.] There is an object, and that is the gospel, offering pardon and 
life, reconciliation with God, and the everlasting fruition of him in 
glory. In the gospel or new covenant, we have the highest discovery 
of God's fatherly goodness, that he might be more amiable and lovely 
to us, and be loved by us. The great end of reconciling and saving 
lost man by Christ, his wonderful condescension in his incarnation, life, 
sufferings and death, was to commend his love to us : Kom. v. 8, 
' Herein God commended his love to us, in that when we were yet 
sinners, Christ died for us/ To this end also tend his merciful cove 
nant and promises, that we might not look upon God as a condemning 
judge, but as a gracious and reconciled father, offering to be so to all 
that will accept Christ, and submit to him. God would not immedi 
ately beget this persuasion in our minds by his own secret power, but 
use this objective means, work upon our love by love, because he will 
work on man agreeably to the nature of man ; his covenant shall speak 
him a father, that we may apprehend him as a father. 

[2.] There is an internal powerful agent, and that is the Spirit. 
Besides the external objective means, there must be an internal effec 
tive cause ; for though God's fatherly love doth shine resplendently 
without us, in the person of the mediator, and the riches of the gospel ; 
yet the dead and dark heart of man is not affected with it : John i. 5, 
' And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it 
not/ till God shine into our hearts : 2 Cor. iv. 6, ' For God, who com 
manded 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 ; ' unless this doctrine of God's fatherly love and grace 
be accompanied with his illuminating, sanctifying, comforting Spirit, 
who sheds abroad this love in our hearts which is revealed in the 

[3.] The disposition thence resulting from the application of this 
object to us by the Spirit. Such as the object is, such are the affec- 


tions stirred up in us ; as by law-truths the Spirit worketh conviction 
terrors of conscience, legal contrition, Acts ii. 37, and thence, bondage 
ariseth ; so by the gospel, where God is represented as the Father of 
mercies, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in him 
our God and Father, the impression must be suitable. This Spirit that 
worketh by the gospel, must needs be the spirit of adoption, or such a 
spirit as worketh a child-like disposition in us, for the impression must 
always be according to the stamp. 

Use 1. To persuade us to look after the spirit of adoption. We 
never do seriously and closely christianize, till we get it ; but either 
have a literal Christianity, a form of knowledge in the gospel, without 
the life and power ; or a legal, old-testament spirit. To quicken you, 
consider these motives or privileges which you will have by it, 

[1.] Peace of conscience, a rest from those troubled and unquiet 
thoughts which otherwise would perplex us : Kom. xiv. 17, ' For the 
kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, 
and joy in the Holy Ghost ; ' and Kom. xv. 13, ' Now the God of hope 
fill you with all joy and peace in believing.' This calm of mind dif- 
fereth from the deadness and benumbedness of a stupid conscience ; 
that is a thing we never laboured for, groweth upon us we know not 
how ; it is maintained by idleness, rather than by watchfulness and 
diligence ; and is inconsistent with serious thoughts of God and our 
eternal condition ; but this is the fruit of our reconciliation with God, 
and those blessed privileges we enjoy in his family; it stirreth up 
admiration and thankfulness. 

[2.] Liberty in prayer. For the great help we have in prayer is 
from the spirit of adoption : Zech. xii. 10, ' I will pour out upon you 
the spirit of grace and supplication.' That Spirit which cometh from 
the grace and free favour of God, stirring up child-like addresses to 
God, Rom. viii. 26; Jude. 21, ' Building up yourselves on your most 
holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.' Without this, our prayers are 
but a vain babbling. 

[3.] Readiness in duty : 2 Cor. iii. 17, ' Where the Spirit of the Lord 
is, there is liberty.' They serve God with a free spirit ; the holy life is 
carried on with more sweetness and success ; riot by compulsion, but 
with ready mind : Ps. li. 12, ' Uphold me with thy free Spirit ; ' John 
viii. 32, ' If the truth shall make you free, then are you free indeed/ 
Men are under shackles and bondage if they have not the spirit of 
adoption ; they drive on heavily, have not largeness of heart, and love 
to God, heaven, and holiness : Ps. cxix. 32, ' I will run the ways of thy 
commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.' When the heart 
is suited to the work, there needs no other urgings ; but if we force a 
course of religion upon ourselves, contrary to our own inclination, all 
is harsh, and ingrate, and cannot hold long. 

[4.] Comfort in afflictions. Their true consolation and support in 
afflictions is the spirit of adoption : Heb. xii. 5, ' Have you forgotten 
the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children ? ' and 
therefore he pursueth it all along. They that enjoy the privileges of 
the family, must submit to the discipline of the family ; God will take 
his own course in bringing up his children ; ' he scourgeth every son 
whom he receiveth,' Heb. xii. 6, 7, 8. While we have flesh in us, 


there is use for the rod ; if God should suffer us to go on in our sins, 
we were not legitimate, but degenerate children ; children take it 
patiently if beaten by their parents for their faults. Parents may err 
through want of wisdom ; their chastisement is arbitrary and irregular ; 
there is more of compassion than passion in God. God's rod is regu 
lated with perfect wisdom, ordered by the highest love, and tends to the 
greatest end, our holiness here, and happiness for ever ; and we have 
Christ's example, John xviii. 11, ' The cup which my Father hath- 
given me, shall I not drink it ? ' The bitterest potions come not from 
God as a judge, but as a father ; are tempered by a father's hand. 

[5.] Hope of the benefits of the new covenant, pardon and life. 
First, Pardon. We often forget the duty of children, but God doth 
not forget the bowels of a father ; our adoption giveth us hope that he- 
will not deal severely with us, Mai. iii. 17 ; Ps. ciii. 13. The relation 
of a child is more durable, not so easily broken off, as that of a servant ; 
a child is a child still, and therefore allowed to remain in the famHy, 
when a servant must be gone. Secondly, For life everlasting and 
glory : Rom. viii. 17, ' And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and 
joint heirs with Christ ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may 
also be glorified with him.' 1 John iii. 1, 2, The spirit of adoption 
doth both encourage, and incline us to wait for it, Eom. viii. 25. But 
what shall we do to get this spirit of adoption ? 

(1.) It is certain that the gift of the Spirit is the fruit of our recon 
ciliation with God. The general reconciliation with mankind, was 
evidenced by pouring out the Spirit ; personal and particular reconcili 
ation with God, is the ground of giving the spirit of adoption to us : 
Rom. v. 11, ' We joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom 
we have received the atonement.' Therefore do what God requireth in 
order to reconciliation; enter into conditions of peace; enter into 
covenant with God ; abhor your former disobedience ; cast away the 
weapons of defiance ; and love God, and delight in him. 

(2.) Steep your minds in frequent thoughts of God's fatherly good 
ness : 1 John iii. 1, ' Behold what manner of love is this, that we should 
be called the sons of God ! ' Consider it, and admire it ! 

Use 2. Reflection. Have we the spirit of adoption ? It is known, 

[1.] By a kind of naturalness to come to God, and open our hearts 
to him ; in all our wants to go and cry, Abba, Father. The spirit of 
adoption much worketh and discovereth itself in prayer ; to cry to our 
Father is an act becoming the sons of God ; the manner is fervent, 
affectionate ; this cry is not by the tongue, but by the heart ; the Lord 
needeth no interpreter between him and the hearts of his children ; he 
that heareth without ears can interpret our desires, though not uttered 
by the tongue ; desires are strong cries : Ps. x. 17, ' Thou hast heard 
the desires of the humble ; Ps. xxxviii. 9, ' Lord ! all my desire is- 
before thee, and my groaning is not hid from thee.' This crying is 
opposite to that careless formality and deadness, which is in other 
men's prayers ; this crying to God, as one that is able and ready to 
help us, is a great fruit of the spirit of adoption ; it is a childlike 

[2.] A childlike ingenuousness in the course of obedience to him ; 
both in our abstaining from sin, as the Rechabites are an emblem: 


Jer. xxxv. 6, ' We dare not break the commands of our father/ and 
in a ready diligence in our obedience : 2 Cor. v. 14, ' The love of God 
constraineth us; for we thus judge, if one died for all, then were all 
dead/ &c. The will of our Father is instead of all reasons ; Christ ever 
urged this, ' This is the will of my Father/ John vi. 26, 38. So to 
Christians, 1 Thes. v. 18, ' This is the will of God in Christ concerning 
you : ' 1 Thes. iv. 3, ' This is the will of God, even your sanctification.' 
That is enough, beyond all enforcements. 

[3.] As to the inheritance, they are very chary of it, and will not 
hazard the hope and comfort of it upon easy terms : Heb. xii. 16, 'Let 
there not be found a profane person, as Esau, who sold his birth-right 
for a mess of pottage ; ' 1 Kings xxi. 3, * And Naboth said to Ahab, 
the Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my father 
to thee.' 

Use 3. Is direction to us in the Lord's supper. This is the seal of 
the new covenant ; the table which God keepeth for the entertainment 
of his family ; the feast for souls ; God's children are sure of welcome ; 
it is children's bread we eat ; we come hither both to remember the 
grounds of our adoption, and to receive the comfort of it ; we come to 
meditate on the fatherly love of God, and to get a new taste and 
experience of it in our own souls. Here we have special communion 
with him as children with a father ; we come for a further participation 
of the Spirit, 'for we all drink into one Spirit/ 1 Cor. xii. 13. Here 
we look up unto God, and in our hearts cry, Abba, Father. We bind 
ourselves also to perform the duty of children ; with new resolution to 
submit to his fatherly government, both in his laws and providences, 
to his commanding and disposing will ; and we lift up our hope for the 
eternal inheritance. 


The Spirit itself witnesseth to our spirits, that we are the children 

. ROM. VIIL16. 

IN the words we have, 1. The privilege assured : That we are the 
children of God. 2. The double testimony by which it is confirmed, 
The Spirit itself beareth witness to our spirits ; or if you will, here are 
testes, et testimonium ; the thing witnessed, that we are the children 
of God ; and the witnesses, they are two, the Spirit itself, and our 
spirits ; and in the mouth of two or three witnesses every thing is 
established. The Spirit itself is the Holy Ghost, and our spirits are 
our renewed consciences. 

Doct. That our adoption into God's family is evidenced by the 
testimony of the Spirit to our spirits. 

First, I shall show you the worth and value of the privilege ; 
Secondly, Speak something of this double testimony by which it is 
assured to us. 


First, It is certainly a great privilege, for we are excited to consider 
it with wonder and reverence : 1 John iii. 1, ' Behold what manner of 
love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the 
sons of God ! ' It is a blessed privilege, questionless, to have God for 
our father, and Christ for our elder brother, and heaven for our portion ; 
what can we desire more? And this will appear to you, if you 

1. The person adopting : the great and glorious God, who is so 
far above us, so happy within himself, and needeth not us, nor our 
choicest love and service ; who had a Son of his own, Jesus Christ the 
only begotten of the Father, who thought it no robbery to be equal 
with him in power and glory, Phil. ii. 6 ; a son that was ' the express 
image of his person,' Heb. i. 3 ; ' the son of his love,' Col. i. 13 ; in 
whom his soul founei full complacency : Prov. viii. 30, 'I was daily his 
delight, rejoicing always before him/ If men adopt, it is in orbitatis 
solatium, a remedy found out for the comfort of them that have no 
children. Seldom was it heard that a father who had a son should 
adopt a son ; therefore it heightens the privilege, that God should 
vouchsafe to poor creatures such a dear and honourable relation to 

2. The persons who were adopted ; miserable sinners, who were once 
strangers and enemies, Col. i. 21 ; ' children of wrath, even as others/ 
Eph. ii. 3 ; who had cast away the mercies of their creation, and involved 
themselves in the curse. Now that strangers should be taken into the 
family, and put in the place of children, and dealt with as children ; 
that enemies should riot only be reconciled, but have liberty to own 
the blessed God as their father in Christ ; that children of wrath should 
be called to inherit a blessing ; that those who had so often offended 
God, and were become slaves to Satan, should be called into the liberty 
of the children of God ; this is that which we may wonder at, and say, 
Behold what manner of love is this ! 

3. The dignity itself; compared, 

[1.] With the honours of the world. David saith, 1 Sam. xviii. 23, 
' Seemeth it a light thing to you to be a king's son-in-law ? ' We may 
with better reason say, Is it nothing to be taken into God's family, and 
to become sons and daughters of the Most High God ? All relations 
may blush and hide their faces in comparison of this ; all the splendid 
titles which are so ambitiously affected by the world, are but empty 
shows and gilded vanities, and do much come short of this privilege, 
both in honour and profit. Therefore it is a greater instance of the 
love of God, than if he had made us monarchs of the world ; or if a 
man could deduce his pedigree from an uninterrupted line of nobles 
and princes. Alas ! how much better is it to be born of the Spirit, 
than of the froth of the blood ? and to have a title that will be our 
honour and interest to all eternity, than to be distinguished from others 
by a title that will cease at the grave's mouth ? 

[2.] Compared with God's relation to other creatures. There is a 
relation between God and all his creatures; as he gave being to all, so 
he hath an interest and propriety in all. Sun, and moon, and stars are 
called his servants, Ps. cxix. 91 ; all creatures are subject to the law 
of his over-ruling providence ; but man is under his proper government. 


Adam, by the covenant of works, was rather God's subject, and hired 
servant, than his son. The people of Israel were his children ; but as 
children in their non-age; for 'an heir as long as he is a child ouSev 
Sta^spei, SovXov (Gal. iv. 1), differeth little from a servant, though he be 
lord of all' A servile spirit was upmost in that dispensation. With 
respect to the covenant of grace, we are most strictly said to be children 
of God ; Gal. iii. 26, ' For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ 
Jesus/ Some live only under the visible administration of the new 
covenant, but not under the efficacy and power ; and by the ordinances 
of the gospel have the badges of liberty, but they are not free indeed, 
sons indeed. There are among them others whom God hath begotten 
by his Spirit, and adopted and taken into his family ; he hath a paternal 
affection towards them, and they a filial disposition towards him ; he 
hath a paternal care and providence over them, and they have a filial 
confidence and dependence on him ; he expects the honour of a father, 
and they may expect the privileges of children. His special relation is 
distinct from his common relation to other men, for it proceedeth not 
from 'his common goodness, but his special and peculiar love. The 
whole commerce and communion that is between us and him, is on 
God's part, fatherly ; on our part, child-like ; he giveth us his choicest 
benefits, and we perform to him the best service we can. 

4. The manner how it is brought about. 

[1.] The first foundation of it was laid in the election of God. He 
is the bottom-stone in this building : Eph. i. 5, ' Predestinated to the 
adoption of children, according to the good pleasure of his will/ Now 
what are we, that the thoughts of God should be taken up about us, 
so long ago ? 

[2.] Before God's eternal purposes could be executed, and conveniently 
raade^known to the world, redemption by Christ was necessary. There 
fore it is said, Gal. iv. 4, 5, that he was ' made of a woman, made 
under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children.' Sin 
needed to be expiated by the Son of God in our nature, before God 
would bestow his honour upon us ; Christ was to be our brother, before 
God could be our father ; to take a mother upon earth, that we might 
have a father in heaven ; and to endure the law's curse, before we could 
be instated in the blessing. 

[3.] It is necessary that we should be regenerated and born of God, 
before it can be applied to us. For this new relation dependeth upon 
the new birth ; and none are adopted but those that are regenerated, 
and renewed to the image arid likeness of God. Nominal Christians 
are bastards, and not sons ; not illegitimate, but degenerate children. 
The relative change goeth before the real: John i. .12, 13, 'To as 
many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of 
God ; which are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the 
will of man, but of God.' And the next foundation of this relation is not 
our being, which we have from God as a creator, but our new. being, 
which we have from him as our father in Christ. As we are men, God 
is a governor to us, and we are his subjects; as we are new men, God 
is a father to us, and we are his children. 

[4.] The immediate issue of 'regeneration is faith : John i. 12, * To 
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of 


God, even to as many as believe in his name.' Receiving Christ is an 
hearty consent to take Christ to the ends for which God offereth him : 
namely, that he may be our lord and saviour, that we depending upon 
the merit of his obedience and sacrifice, and assurance of his covenant 
and promises, may obey his laws, and wait for our final reward. 

5. The benefits occurring to us thereby. I shall instance in three : 
[1] The gift of the Spirit, to be our sanctifier, guide, and comforter. 
This is a gift which he giveth to none but his children, and which he 
giveth to all his children ; a gift which suiteth with the greatness and 
love of our Father ; and is absolutely necessary for us as children. God 
as a creator giveth us our natural endowments ; but as a father in 
Christ he giveth us his Spirit : Gal. iv. 6, ' And because ye are sons, 
God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts/ If we have 
this high privilege of adoption, we have also the Spirit of adoption, to 
reside and dwell in our hearts as our sanctifier, guide, and comforter. 
As a sanctifier he doth first change our hearts, and transform us into 
the image of God in Christ : 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' But we all with open face, 
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into his 
image from glory to glory ; ' And Titus iii. 5, 6, * Not by works of 
righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved 
us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy 
Ghost, which he hath shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our 
Saviour ; ' and so he maketh us children. But as bees first frame their 
cells, and then dwell in them ; so he doth dwell in us, that he may 
further sanctify us, restraining us from sin : Rom. viii. 13, ' If ye live 
after the flesh, ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify 
the deeds of the body, ye shall live.' And quickening us to holiness : 
Gal. v. 25, ' If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.' As 
a guide, leading us into all truth : John xvi. 13, ' When the Spirit 
of truth is come, he shall guide us into all truth.' And regulating all 
the motions of the spiritual life : Rom. viii. 14, ' As many as are led 
by the Spirit ; ' especially our prayers : Jude 20, ' Praying in the Holy 
Ghost ; ' Rom. viii. 26,' ' We know not what we should pray for as we 
ought, but the Spirit maketh intercession for us/ As a comforter, 
confirming our present interest and future hopes : 2 Cor. v. 5, ' Now 
he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath 
given us the earnest of his Spirit/ Indeed, the Spirit is not so necess 
arily a comforter as a sanctifier ; yet a comforter he is ; and if not so 
explicitly and manifestly, we may blame ourselves. This is God's 
allowance, and we deprive ourselves of the benefit of it by our own folly. 
[2.] Such an allowance of temporal mercies as is convenient for us : 
Mat, vi. 32, ' For your heavenly Fatner knoweth that ye have need of 
all these things/ A Christian hath two things to relieve him against 
all his distrustful fears and cares, adoption, and particular providence. 
He hath a father in heaven, and his father is not ignorant of his con 
dition, nor mindless of it ; and therefore though he hath little or nothing 
in hand, it is enough that his father keepeth the purse for him, whose 
care extendeth to all things, and all persons, and hath the hearts of 
men in his own hands, and performeth all things according to his own 
will. He knoweth their persons, necessities, and temptations ; and if 
we trust him for our heavenly inheritance, we may trust him for our 


daily maintenance, which he vouchsafeth to the fowls of the air, and 
beasts of the field ; yea, to his enemies, while they are sinning against 
him, dishonouring his name, oppressing his servants, opposing his 
interest in the world. He that feedeth a kite, will he not feed a 
child ? He that supplieth his enemies, will he not take care of his 
friends ? those of his own family ? Indeed, he chooseth rather to 
profit us, than please us, in his dispensations ; but it is your duty to 
refer all to his wisdom and love. 

[3.] Eternal blessedness is also the fruit of this adoption : Kom. viii. 
17, ' If sons, then heirs, co-heirs with Christ/ As soon as we are taken 
into God's family, we have a right to the blessed inheritance ; and the 
right and hope that we have now, is -enough to counterbalance all 
temptations. Alas, what are all the carnal pleasures and delights of 
sin, which tempt us to disobey our Father, to those blessed things 
which he hath provided for us in heaven ! It was Esau's profaneness 
to sell his birth-right : Heb. xii. 16. So all the fears and sorrows of 
the present life : Luke xii 32, ' Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's 
good pleasure to give you a kingdom ; ' if we have the kingdom at the 
last, it is no great matter what we suffer by the way ; but hereafter 
we shall fully receive the fruits of our obedience : Rom. viii. 23, ' We 
ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the 
redemption of our bodies/ In heaven we have the fullest and largest 
demonstration of God's love and favour. It is love now, and grace 
now, that he will take us into his family, and employ us in his service ; 
but then it is another manner of love, when taken not only into his 
family, but presence and palace ; where we have not only a right, but 
possession ; not only some remote service and ministration, but ever 
lastingly enjoying, delighting, and praisifig God. 

Secondly. We now come to the proof and testimony of our interest 
in this privilege, ' The Spirit beareth witness with our spirit.' Here 
let us, 

1. Open the double testimony. 

2. What the one superaddeth above the other. 

3. The necessity of their conjunction to our full comfort. 
1. The nature of this double testimony ; and there, 

[I.] Let us begin with that which is more known to us, and under 
stood by us, and that is the testimony of a renewed conscience. Let 
us consider it, as conscience, and as renewed. 

(1.) As conscience. There is a secret spy within us, that observeth 
all that we think, or speak, or do, Rom. ii. 15, ' Their conscience bearing 
them witness, and their thoughts in the mean time accusing or excus 
ing/ Now this conscience must not be slighted. Partly, in respect 
of ourselves, because it is so intimate to us; it is a spy in our 
bosoms, and can give a better judgment of us and our actions, than 
anything else can. The judgment of the world by way of applause 
or censure, is foreign, and grounded upon appearance; therefore 
not so much to be valued : 1 Cor. ii. 11, ' The spirit of a man which 
is in him, knoweth the things of a man/ Who knoweth more of us 
than we do ourselves ? and this witness cannot be suspected of partia 
lity and ill will; for what is dearer to 'ourselves than ourselves? 
therefore if our hearts condemn us, what shall be said for us ? 1 John 


iii. 20, 21, 'For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our 
hearts, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, 
then have we confidence towards God.' And partly, because of its 
relation to God ; it is called ' the candle of the Lord/ Prov. xx. 27 ; 
it is God's deputy judge, and in the place of God to us ; and therefore 
if it doth accuse or excuse, it is to be regarded, for it is before God's 
tribunal that it doth condemn or acquit us. It is his sentence that we 
are to stand in fear and dread of ; to whom doth it accuse us, but to 
God ? Whose wrath doth it fear, but God's, even then when there is 
no outward cause of dread and fear ? Conscience is the vicegerent of 
the supreme judge; partly, because of the rule it goeth by, which is 
the will of God, by which good and evil are distinguished ; which is 
either revealed by the light of nature, or the light of Scripture. The 
light of nature ; Horn. ii. 14, 15, ' For when the Gentiles, who have 
not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law ; these having 
not the law, are a law to themselves, which show the work of the law 
upon their hearts; their consciences also bearing witness, and their 
thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another.' The 
apostle proveth the heathen had a law, because they had a conscience ; 
for conscience ever inferreth some rule and law by which good and evil 
are distinguished. The light of Scripture comprehendeth either the 
covenant of works, or the covenant of grace. Works, and so con 
science condemneth all the world as ' guilty before God/ Kom. iii. 19 ; 
and there is no escape from this sentence, but a regular appeal, and 
passage from court to court : Ps. cxxx. 3, 4, ' If thou shouldest mark 
iniquities, Lord, who shall stand ? But there is forgiveness with 
thee, that thou mayest be feared;' Ps. cxliii. 2, 'Enter not into judg 
ment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified/ 
where poor condemned sinners may take sanctuary of the Lord's grace, 
and humbly claim the benefit of the new covenant. Grace wherein 
the penitent believer, and those that sincerely obey the gospel, are 
accepted. The legal conscience condemneth all the world; but the 
evangelical conscience acquitteth \is if we sincerely and thankfully 
accept the new covenant ; that is, if we take the privileges offered for 
our happiness ; and the duties required for our work. Therefore it is 
said, 1 Pet. iii. 21, ' Baptism saveth, not the putting away of the filthi- 
ness of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God ;' 
not the bare ordinance, but the covenant which is sealed by it. And 
what doth the covenant require? Accepting the Lord's offers, and 
resolving to obey his commands. 

(2.) As renewed. By nature conscience is blind, partial, stupid ; but 
by grace it is made pure, tender, pliant, and more able to do its office. 
The Spirit is not said here to witness to our heart, but to our spirit ; 
that is, to conscience as renewed and sanctified. Now such a conscience 
implieth these things, First, Some knowledge of and consent to the 
new covenant ; for without knowledge the heart is not good, Prov. xix. 
2. It erreth in point of law and rule, and therefore cannot well witness 
in the case. And, secondly, consent there must be ; for we cannot claim 
privileges by a charter which we never accepted. Therefore, Isa. Ivi. 
4, ' And choose the things that please me, and take hold of my cove 
nant.' They thankfully accept the offered benefits, and resolve by the 

VER. 16.] SERMONS UPON ROMANS viii. 127 

strength of the Lord's grace to perform the required duties. Thirdly, 
That our hearts be set to fulfil our covenant vow ; for otherwise we 
double, and deal insincerely with God : Heb. xiii. 18, ' We trust we 
have a good conscience, willing in all things to live honestly.' The 
habit and bent of the heart is for God, and obedience to him. Fourthly, 
That there be some answerable endeavours, and pursuance of this 
resolution and care to please God in all things: Acts xxiv. 16, 'And 
herein do I .exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence 
towards God and towards men.' Fifthly, That these endeavour s be 
uniformly carried on, that our sincerity maybe evidenced to conscience. 
For then it is matter of rejoicing and assurance to us : 2 Cor. i. 12, 
' This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in simpli 
city and godly sincerity we have had our conversation in the world ; ' 
1 John iii. 19, ' And hereby we know we are of the truth, and shall 
assure our hearts before him.' Grace, constantly and self-denyingly 
exercised, hath an evidence in the conscience, and conduceth also to 
give liberty and boldness before God. 

[2.] The witness of the Spirit. Because this is often mistaken, I 
shall the more distinctly lay it before you. 

(1.) The Spirit layeth down marks in scripture which may decide 
this question, whether ye are the children of God, yea or no. As for 
instance : 1 John iii. 10, ' In this the children, of God are manifested, 
and the children of the devil ; whosoever doth not righteousness is not 
of God ; neither he that loveth not his brother/ And again, Horn. viii. 
14, ' As many as are led by the Spirit, are the sons of God.' So every 
where in the Scripture God expressly telleth us who shall go to heaven, 
and who shall go to hell ; and that there is no neutral and middle 
estate between the holy and carnal ; all are of one sort or other. Now 
if we should go no further, the text would bear a good sense. The 
Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, when our conscience can witness 
our sincerity in a course of obedience unto God. The Spirit's witness 
in Scripture, that this is a sound, so a true evidence; and the testimony 
of conscience confirmed by Scripture ; for whatever is spoken in scrip 
ture, is supposed to be the very voice and testimony of the Spirit : as 
Acts xxviii. 25, ' Well spake the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet 
unto our fathers ; ' so Heb. iii. 7, ' Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, 
to-day if ye will hear his voice.' So the Spirit speaketh or witnesseth 
to our spirits, namely, in the word ; supposing what is to be supposed, 
this must not be slighted. Yet this is not all ; for the context speaketh 
not of a witness without, but motion within, whereby we are restrained 
from sin, and inclined to cry, Abba, Father. 

(2.) He worketh such graces in us, as are peculiar to God's children, 
and evidences of our interest in the favour of God ; as when he doth 
renew and sanctify the soul. And so many oi the choicest divines take 
the word witness for evidence, or the objective testimony ; namely, that 
the presence, and dwelling, and working of the sanctifying Spirit in us 
is the argument and matter of the proof, upon which the whole cause 
or traverse dependeth. That it is so to be taken, is clear in that exclu 
sive mark : Kom. viii. 9, ' But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, 
if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the 
Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.' And in that positive mark: 1 


John iii. 24, ' And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, 
and he in him ; and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit 
which he hath given us ; ' and again, 1 John iv. 13, ' Hereby know we 
that we dwell in him, and ho in us, because he hath given us his Spirit.' 
That holy and charitable spirit ; the gracious operations of his presence, 
are the argument whence we conclude. 

(3.) He helpeth us to discern this work in our souls more clearly. 
Conscience doth its part to discover it ; and the Spirit of God doth his 
part ; namely, as he helpeth us to know and see that grace which he 
giveth and actuateth in us ; for he revealeth ' the things given us of 
God/ 1 Cor. ii. 12, not only in the gospel, though chiefly ; but also in 
our hearts. The workman that made a thing can best warrant it to 
the buyer. First he sanctifieth, and then he certifieth ; sometimes we 
overlook our evidences, through the darkness and confusion that is in 
our hearts. Hagar saw not the fountain that was near her, till God 
opened her eyes, Gen. xxi. 19. There is a misgiving in the conscience ; 
we cannot see grace in the midst of weakness and imperfections. Mary 
wept for the absence of Christ, when yet he stood by her, John xx. 14, 
15. The Spirit dwelleth and worketh in their hearts, but they know it 

(4.) He helpeth us not only to see grace, but to judge of the sincerity 
of grace. It is more easy to prove that we believe, than to know 
that our faith is saving; to love Christ, than to know that we 
love him in sincerity ; because of the deceitfulness of the heart, and 
the mixtures of unbelief, self-love, and other sins ; and some degrees 
may be in hypocrites, as temporary faith, tastes, imperfect love, partial 
obedience. And besides, grace where it is weak, is hardly perceived ; 
the air will show itself in a windy season ; the fire when it is blown up 
into a flame, it is no more hidden. Grace strengthened, increased, 
acted, is more evident to conscience ; habits are discerned by acts and 
exercise, and God is wont to reward the faithful soul with his assuring 
seal of light and comfort: 1 John iii. 18, 'Love not in word, or in 
tongue only, but in deed and in truth.' The less we are Christians in 
show, and the more in sincerity, the more joy and peace. 

(5.) He helpeth us with boldness to conclude from these evidences. 
Many times when the premises are clear, the conclusion is suspended. 
We find in case of condemnation, it is suspended out of self-love ; many 
know that they that live after the flesh shall die, yet they will not judge 
themselves ; and the same may be done in case of self-approbation, out 
of legal fear or jealousy ; for persons of great fancy, and large affections, 
are always full of scruples, or loathness to apply the comforts due to 
them. The Spirit concludeth for them, that they are the children of 
God: 1 John iii. 14, 'We know that we have passed from death to 
life ; ' 1 John ii. 3, * And hereby we know that we know him.' 

(6.) He causeth us to feel the comfort of this conclusion : Kom. xv. 
13, ' Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing ; ' 
it is an impression of the comforting Spirit ; and Acts ix. 31, ' They 
walked^in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.' The Spirit is necessary to this 
actual joy ; for it is possible a man may be persuaded of his sincerity, 
or have no doubting of it, and have too much deadness and dulness of 
soul; not so comforted. Well then, it is not an oracle, as to Christ. 


Mat. iii. 17 ; nor an internal suggestion, Thou art a child of God ; we 
have no warrant for that from scripture. It is not only to, but with 
conscience. Now conscience goeth upon rational evidence; and we 
reason and argue from what we feel, or find in ourselves ; and it is 
according to the covenant, where privileges are assigned the believer : 
John i. 12, ' To as many as received him, to them gave he power to 
become the sons of God ; ' to the penitent : Acts ii. 38, ' Kepent, and 
you shall receive the Holy Ghost ; ' to the obedient : ' He is become 
the author of salvation to all that obey him/ 

2. The one superaddeth to the other. Not the privilege without the 
qualification ; that is sufficiently done by the word ; not the conscience 
by discourse, and the Spirit immediately ; no, they concur to produce 
the same conclusion. The Spirit's testimony superaddeth certainty, 
authority, and overpowering light : 1 Cor. iv. 4, ' For I know nothing 
by myself, yet am I not hereby justified ; but he that judge th me is 
the Lord ;' and Kom. ix. 1, 'I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my 
conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost.' As the influ 
ences of the heavens work strongly, but imperceptibly, while they 
mingle themselves with the motions of the creatures ; so doth the Spirit 
with our spirit ; it fortifieth and strengthened the testimony of a man's 
own heart ; and so doth with more authority and power persuade us 
that we are the children of God. 

3. The necessity of this to our full comfort. 

[1.] We cannot pray without it. For the text is brought to prove 
that they have a spirit within them, which inclineth them to cry, Abba, 
Father. Surely it is a great advantage in prayer, to be able to say, 
Isa. Ixiii. 16, 'Doubtless thou art our father ;' and again, Isa. Ixiv. 8, 
' But now, Lord, thou art our father.' But how will you do, unless you 
be God's children ? And how will you know you be God's children, 
but by the Spirit bearing witness to, and with your spirits ? I know 
all God's children have not the comfort of the Spirit, but they have the 
Spirit of comfort, and in some measure can come to God as a father. 

[2] We cannot apply the promises without it, for the promises are 
children's bread. Unless we be the children of God, what comfort can 
we take in the promises, unless we have an interest in them ? Privileges 
have their conditions annexed : the right is suspended till the condition 
be performed ; that is, till we know ourselves to be true believers, the 
promises are in vain and of no effect. If to all, you deceive the most ; 
for though some are of God's family, the whole world lieth in wicked 
ness ; the most are the children of the devil. If to some, they have 
their characters, which occasioneth the restraint; and you are told 
here, this is known by the Spirit's bearing witness to our spirits. 

But what shall poor creatures do, that have not yet this clear testi 

(1.) Disclaim all other confidence. When you cannot, apply Hos. xiv. 
3, ' Asshur shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses : neither will 
we say any more to the works of our hands, ye are our gods : for in 
thee the fatherless findeth mercy/ 

(2.) Own God in the humbling way ; creep in at the back door of 
the promise, 1 Tim, i. 15, ' Jesus Christ came into the world to save 
sinners.' If Christ came to save sinners, I am sinner enough for Christ 



to save. Luke xv. 18, 19, ' I will arise and go to my father, and wilt 
say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee ; 
and am no more worthy to be called thy son ; make me as one of thy 
hired servants/ 

(3.) Come to him, as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ : 
Eph. iii. 14, ' For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ.' Certainly God will love and accept all those that 
come to him by Christ. 

(4.) There is a child-like inclination, when there is not a child-like 
familiarity and boldness. The soul cannot keep away from God, and 
that is an implicit owning of him as a father : Jer. iii. 19, ' Thou shalt 
call me father, and shalt not turn away from me/ We call him father, 
optando si non affirmando; unspeakable groans discover the spirit of 
adoption, as well aS unutterable joys ; we own him by way of option 
and choice, though not by actual assurance of our special relation to 
him, and interest in his fatherly love ; there may be a child-like love 
to God, when we have no assurance of his paternal love to us. 

(5.) There is a child-like reverence and awe, when not a child-like con 
fidence. Their heart standeth in awe of (as the Kechabites), their 
father's command, dare not displease him for all the world ; these in 
time will overcome. In short, God hath a title to our dearest love, 
when we cannot make out a title to the highest benefit. 


If children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if 
so be that we suffer ivith him, that we may also be glorified 
together. Ron. VIII. 17. 

THE Apostle had showed, ver. 13. That if we through the Spirit do 
mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. He proveth it by this 
medium and argument ; that as many as obey the sanctifying motions 
of the Spirit, are children of God ; and children may look for a child's 
portion. He proveth they are children, because the Spirit accompanieth 
the dispensation of the new covenant, whereby we are adopted into 
God's family ; and this Spirit acts suitably, as is evident by his 
impression, ver. 15, by his testimopy and witness, ver. 16. Now he 
goeth on further, and proveth, that if we be children, we are heirs ; 
and that we shall live, if we mortify the deeds of the body, is more 
abundantly proved, for our inheritance is eternal life and glory, * And 
if children then heirs/ &c. 
In the words observe, 

1. A dignity, inferred from our adoption. 

2. The amplification of it, from the excellent nature of this inherit 
ance, 'Heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.' 

3. It is applied as a comfort against adversities ; ' If so be that we 
suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together/ 


promises ; that is, the thing promised, spiritual and eternal blessings 
and rewards. 

1. The dignity inferred is, that we are heirs. The inheritance 
belonging to children, jure nascendi, all children are not necessarily 
heirs, but only males, and among them the first born ; but jure adop- 
tionis, they that are adopted, are adopted to some inheritance. So here, 
' if children, then heirs ; ' be they sons or daughters, begotten to God 
sooner or later, male or female ; are all one in Christ : Gal. iii. 18 ; 
they are not debarred from the inheritance. 

2. The amplification of it, or the greatness and excellency of this 
inheritance , in two expressions, ' Heirs of God, and joint heirs with 
Christ.' The first expression heightens the privilege in our thoughts ; 
as the party adopting is, so is the privilege more or less glorious in our 
thoughts. Adoption is in all free, and in some, glorious. If a mean 
man adopt another's child, it is an act of free favour ; but if adopted 
to a great inheritance, suppose many lordships, or to the succession of 
a crown, it doth enhance the benefit. So here, this giveth a right to 
the everlasting goods of the heavenly father. Secondly, The other 
expression, 'joint heirs with Christ/ This heritage giveth us a com 
munion with the only begotten Son of God ; what the Son of God by 
nature enjoyeth, that the children of God by adoption enjoy also, so 
far as they are capable ; we together with Christ enjoy God for ever 
more. He is his God and Father, and our God a,-nd Father : John xx. 
17 ; he is glorified, and we are glorified together with him. 

3. It is applied as a comfort against adversities and afflictions : ' If 
so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.' 
The latter clause we may look upon as propounded, 1. As a concession, 
2. As a condition, accordingly as we translate the particle elirep seeing 
that, or if so ~be. 

[1.] A concession; seeing that we suffer with him, that we may be 

glorified together. Though we shall hereafter have communion with 
hrist in glory, yet for the present we may have communion with him 
in afflictions. This doth not infringe our privilege, but confirm it 
rather : I Pet. iv. 13, ' Kejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's 
sufferings ; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad with 
exceeding joy. Those that suffer for Christ, do also suffer with Christ ; 
they are brought into a nearer conformity to him in his state of humili 
ation, that afterwards they may be conformed to him in glory. 

[2.] In the way of condition. We must submit to the condition of 
afflictions as necessary to obtain glory ; for there must be striving before 
crowning : 2 Tim. ii. 5, ' If a man strive for masteries, yet he is not 
crowned except he strive lawfully ; ' that is, if any man would enter 
into the lists in any of the Olympic games, he must observe the rules 
in running, cutting, 1 wrestling, &c. ; he must submit to the laws of the 
game, or exercise. He applieth this similitude, ver. 12, ' If we suffer 
with him, we shall reign with him ; ' that is, we must suffer for Christ, 
and we shall be rewarded with the participation of his glory ; so here, 
we would all have our privileges ; but before we enjoy the full of them, 
we must be conformed to him, suffer for him, and with him ; that in 

1 Qu. ' quoiting ' ? ED. 


imitation of our head and chief, we may come to glory the same way 
that Christ did, by sufferings : Heb. ii. 10. ' For it became him, for 
whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many 
sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through 
suffering.' But you will say, all are not called to the afflictions of the 
gospel ; is this condition indispensable ? Then none but martyrs are 

Answer, (1) All have not Abel's cross, do not run the hazard of their 
lives ; but usually they will have Isaac's cross : Gal. iv. 29, ' He that 
was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit ; ' 
meaning thereby those cruel mockings and scoffings which Isaac 
endured from Ishmael, Gen. xxi. The children of God living upon 
an unseen God, and an unseen world, sensual men mock at their interest 
in God, and labour te shame them from their confidence in promises 
yet to come. 

(2.) Though all suffer not, yet all must be prepared and contented to 
suffer : Mat. xvi. 24, * Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man 
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and 
follow me/ God knoweth at what rate our sincerity must be tried ; 
yet every one should make Christ a good allowance ; and our alienation 
from the world must be so great, and our resignation to God so full, 
that nothing we enjoy here, not life itself, may be an impediment to 
our fidelity to Christ. 

(3.) When God seeth it fit, we must actually suffer the loss of all 
tilings and obey God at the dearest rates : 1 Pet. iii. 17, ' If the will 
of God be so, that ye shall suffer for well doing ; ' affirmatwa prcecepta 
non ligant ad semper, affirmative precepts do not bind at all times, as 
negatives do. We must never do anything against the truth, but we 
are not always tied to suffering ; but when we come to a necessity of 
either suffering or sinning, then God manifesteth his will to his people, 
that they should suffer ; and then if we suffer with him, we shall also 
be glorified together. No creature could have brought us to this 
necessity, without God ; it is plainly God's will that we should suffer ; 
and remember it is his will that we should also reign with him. 

Doct. That all God's children are heirs of a blessed and glorious 
inheritance. I shall show you, 

1. The agreement between common heirs and them. 

2. The difference. 

3. Those properties which show the greatness of the inheritance. 
First, The agreement ; in these things : 

1. There is an inheritance provided. We have a right to all the 
good things God hath promised, especially eternal life ; therefore the 
people of God are called ' heirs of salvation,' Heb. i. 14 ; ' heirs of the 
kingdom,' Jam. ii. 5 ; and the heavenly estate is called ' the inheritance 
of the saints in light/ Col. i. 12. Those excellent things which are to 
be enjoyed by us in the other world are in the nature of an inheritance. 

2. The conveyance is by promise and covenant ; as other heritages 
are conveyed by formalities of law, so is this. The covenant is so 
offered by God, and so it must be accepted by us : Pe. cxix. Ill, ' Thy 
testimonies I have taken as an heritage for ever/ As we say a man's 
estate lieth in bills and bonds, so are God's testimonies our heritage ; 


not the promises, but the things promised. And so it is said, Heb. vi. 
12, that God's holy ones did through faith and patience inherit the 

3. Our tenure is by sonship. [1.] It is free ; for the inheritance is 
not purchased by us, but freely bestowed upon us. A child's tenure 
differeth from a servant's ; the one earneth his wages, and the other 
hath his estate from his father's bounty and free gift ; so is ours the 
gift of God, Kom. vi. 23, in opposition to works ; called therefore ' the 
reward of inheritance,' Col. iii. 24. Though servants earn what they 
receive from men, yet from the Lord Christ, whatever they receive for 
faithfulness in their calling, it is a free retribution ; though they are 
servants to men, yet they are sons to God, for all are children and heirs 
in heaven ; there is no distinction of servants and sons there. In short, 
whatever is promised to any work of ours, it is not from any worth in 
the work, but from God's free grace. [2.] It is full ; for the inherit 
ance is more than a legacy. God showeth his goodness to all his 
creatures, but to his children he giveth the inheritance. As Isaac had 
the inheritance from Abraham, but to his sons that he had by con 
cubines he gave gifts, and sent them away, Gen. xxv. 5, 6. All men 
taste of his common bounty, but his saints have their inheritance 
reserved for them ; which showeth that we should put a distinction 
between our heavenly inheritance, and those earthly enjoyments 
which flow in the channel of common providence. Alas ! That far 
exceedeth anything we enjoy here ; all things here are but mean and 
fading in themselves, and liable to spoil and devastation from others ; 
but this is our eternal and durable estate, which the wicked shall not 
partake of, whatever gifts God bestoweth on them now. 

4. There is a time between right and possession ; and in the mean 
time the heirs live by hope, till the inheritance fairly descendeth to 
them ; so here : Titus iii. 7, c Being justified by faith, we are made 
heirs according to the hope of eternal life/ We are heirs, but it is 
little that we enjoy now ; God's sons and heirs make no fair show in 
the flesh ; to outward appearance there is little difference between their 
condition, and the condition of the men of the world. For God will 
not distinguish the heirs of promise from others by their outward 
condition, but internally. There is hope of a better estate, and surely 
to expect such great things, and not be affected with them, argueth a 
dead and stupid heart. Is a right nothing before possession ? Or is 
the expectation so grounded, a vain fancy ? Surely a Christian is or 
will be a great man. Is the heir nothing better than a slave, because 
he doth not as yet come to the enjoyment of what is provided for him ? 
A right and a hope should give us more joy than usually we find in 
ourselves; if it were a vain expectation, and not grounded upon a 
right, it were less; but being it is so, we should be more affected 
with it. 

5. As an heir hath not only assurance of the inheritance, but present 
supply and maintenance, and other demonstrations of love to support 
his expectation from him that adopted him, that all the estate falleth 
to him ; so in the meantime God's children have the pledges of his 
love, the possession of the heavenly inheritance is begun here in the 
kingdom of grace ; and is afterwards completed in the kingdom of 
glory. The Spirit now with his comforts and graces is set forth under 


a double notion of earnest, and first fruits, Eph. i. 14, ' The earnest of 
inheritance/ ' First fruits,' Bom. viii. 23. There are two acts of a 
Christian, to look, and long for this estate : look for it, because it is 
sure ; and long for it, because it is good. God giveth us a pledge and 
earnest, to show how sure ; a taste, to show how good ; thus far they 

Secondly. Wherein they disagree. 

L It is an inheritance not lessened by the multitude of co-heirs : 
God is an infinite portion, that cannot be divided, and sufficeth the 
whole world. In other heritages many a fair stream is drawn dry, by 
being dispersed into several channels ; but here the more company, the 
greater the privilege ; what a happiness is it to enjoy God among all 
the saints ! The company is ever propounded as a blessing : Mat. viii. 
11, 'Ye shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the king 
dom of heaven ; ' and^Heb. xii. 22, 23, ' Ye are come to an innumerable 
company of angels,' &c. When God is all in all, he will fill up every 
vessel. As when the s&me light is seen by all, the same speech is 
heard by all, the one doth not see less, nor the other hears less, 
because another seeth and heareth with him. In the world we straiten 
others, the more we are enlarged ourselves ; but not then. 

2. In other inheritances the father must die, before the son can 
inherit. Hcereditas est successio in totumjus defuncti ; death taketh 
away the father, that the son may succeed him. God hath heirs, but 
no successors ; we do not possess after our Father's death, but with our 
Father ; he liveth for ever, and we live for ever with him ; we die that 
we may go to the living God ; * When strength faileth, and heart 
faileth, thou art my portion for ever/ Ps. Ixxiii. 26. When others 
must leave their inheritance, we go to ours, then it beginneth. 

3. In other heritages, the heirs are designed by name, but here by 
character. Men are contentious ; every one would say, he is meant in 
the description ; but here the heirs are not named, but described by 
certain qualifications, which must be tried by ourselves, warranted by 
the Spirit, judged and examined by Christ at the last day. Some 
times they are termed the called : Heb. ix. 15, ' That they that are 
called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance;' by which is 
meant those which are effectually called, and converted unto God. 
Sometimes this privilege is settled upon believers, John i. 12, such as 
do heartily and thankfully accept of Christ, and his grace ; and some 
times the sanctified, as Col. i. 12 ; arid Acts xx. 18 ; such as are 
dedicated to God, and live as a people set apart for him. All these are 
sons ; therefore made heirs, qualified, and made capable of this blessed 

Thirdly, The properties of this inheritance, which set forth the 
greatness of it. 

1. It is a glorious inheritance : Eph. i. 18, ' That ye may know what 
is the riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints.' That 
inheritance which is appointed for those who are renewed by the Spirit 
of God, is a glorious inheritance. There is nothing in heaven but what 
is glorious ; the object of it is the glorious God, whom we shall see, as 
we are seen : 1 Cor. xiii. 12, especially as he shineth forth in the 
glorious person of our Redeemer : John xvii. 24, ' Father, I will that 


those whom thou hast given me may be where I am, that they may 
behold my glory.' The state of our bodies and souls shall be glorious, 
Phil. iii. 21 ; the place shall be glorious, the upper paradise, 2 Cor. 
xii. 4 ; the company glorious, all the glorified saints and angels ; our 
employment glorious, Eev. vii. 12, blessing, and praising, and glorifying 
of God, for ever and ever. 

2. It is an eternal and undefiled inheritance : 1 Pet. i. 4, c To an 
inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved 
in heaven for you.' I gather from that place, that it is a celestial and 
incorruptible inheritance, and so doth exceed all worldly possessions 
which come from fathers to their children. The things of this world 
are both defiling and perishing ; they pollute us, omnis turpitudo est a 
mixtura ; when our hearts cleave to the things of this world, they are 
debased by them to something beneath themselves. But this celestial 
inheritance doth not corrupt, but purify affections ; these things below 
make us worse, but cannot make us better ; they are perishing as well 
as fading : for they decay in our hands ; like flowers they wither in 
our hands while we smell at them ; but this endureth for ever ; we 
shall not fail, and to be sure the ever-living God will not fail us. 

3. It is a blessed inheritance, the expression in the text, ' heirs of 
God, and joint heirs with Christ.' First, heirs of God. The inheri 
tance is the Lord himself, blessed for ever, to be enjoyed by the saints 
to all eternity. He is the inheritance of his people now : Ps. xvi. 5, 6, 
4 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, the lines are fallen to 
me in a pleasant place ; ' Ps. cxix. 57, * Thou art my portion, Lord ; ' 
and Lam. iii. 24, ' The Lord is my portion, saith my soul, therefore 
will I hope in him ; ' see what conclusions are drawn thence, duty, 
and hope. Much more then will God be our all-sufficient portion : Kev. 
xxi. 7, ' He that overcometh shall inherit all things ; and I will be his 
God, and he shall be my son ; ' all things equivalently, all things 
immediately in God ; God is instead of all, infinitely supplying and 
filling up the room of all, riches, honours, contentment, and comforts. 
If we have God, nothing shall be missed, nothing wanted to make the 
state of those that enjoy it completely happy. God is all immediately 
from himself : 1 Cor. xv. 28 ; God shall be all in all, who filleth all the 
desires, and perfecteth all the powers of our souls, of himself, without 
the intervention of means. Secondly, joint heirs with Christ, we enjoy 
it by him, and we enjoy it with him. 

[1.] By him, for Christ is the heir of all things ; and we can have no 
title but by and through him. He hath the whole inheritance in his 
power, and the absolute disposing of all the good things which belong 
to it : John xvii. 2, ' Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he 
should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given to him.' He 
hath power of condemning and absolving ; unless we sincerely and 
cordially come to him, and accept him upon God's offer, and obey him, 
we have no right. 

[2.] We enjoy it with him. Christ as mediator hath a double 
inheritance. (1.) Of life and glory. (2) Of dominion and power. 

(1.) Of life and glory. For we read, 1 Tim. iii. 16, that he is 
1 received up into glory/ and there he liveth for ever at the right hand 
of God. Now Christ will not be there alone ; he cannot satisfy himself 


unless he have his people with him ; for we do with Christ enjoy God, 
and live with him for evermore. Christ will have his people sharers 
in the same life and glory : John xii. 26, ' If any man will serve me, let 
him follow me, and where I am, there shall my servant be : if any man 
serve me, him will my Father honour.' His people shall fare as he 
doth, if they will serve him and follow him ; that is, not take it ill to 
be no better used than he was. He will be with them in trouble, and 
they shall be with him in glory ; in their eternal estate they shall have 
constant, intimate, and nearer fellowship with him. 

(2.) An inheritance of dominion and power: Eph. i. 21, ' God raised 
him far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, 
and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that 
which is to come.' Christ as mediator was exalted to the highest 
degree of glory, next to God in heaven ; far above that fading power 
of rulers and potentates by whom he was put to death; yea, above the 
highest degree of angelical power. But doth any of this fall to our 
share ? See what Christ saith : Kev. iii. 21, 'To him that overcometh, 
I will grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and 
am sat down with my Father in his throne.' He that perse vereth in 
spite of all temptations, shall partake of that honour to which my 
Father hath exalted me unto, after my sufferings. He shall reign 
with Christ, and sit down with Christ on the right hand of the majesty 
of God ; not the same methods used towards him, to bring him 'to a 
glorious eternity ; but invested in the same power as Christ the head : 
Ps. xlix. 14, 'The upright shall have dominion in the morning.' 

Use 1 . Is information of several truths. 

1. That our heavenly inheritance cometh to us not by our own 
purchase and procurement, or merit; but by virtue of our sonship. 
For so the apostle reasoneth, ' If sons, then heirs.' It is given by the 
mercy of God, or the bounty of our Father : Luke xii. 32, 'Fear not, 
little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you a kingdom.' 
It is purchased by Christ ; indeed the Scripture doth not expressly say 
in termims, that Christ purchased it for us, but the merit of his death 
reached that effect ; the immediate end of Christ's death was to expiate 
our transgressions ; Heb. ix. 15, ' For this cause is Christ the mediator 
of the new covenant, that by means of death, for the redemption of 
the transgressions under the first covenant, they which are called might 
receive the promise of eternal inheritance/ His death removed sin, 
and the eternal penalties due to it ; and the new covenant, which is so 
full of heavenly promises, is thereby introduced ; none but such whose 
sins are expiated, can be heirs ; and yours could not be expiated without 
the death of the mediator. Therefore take away this death, and there 
can be no new covenant, no inheritance ; this death satisfied the justice 
of God, and merited his favour. Again, we are purchased ; though it 
be not said heaven is purchased, Eph. ii. 14. Once more, it is said he 
gave himself, Eph. v. 25, 26, 27 ; all the benefits depend on the blood 
of Christ; and 1 Thes. v. 9, 10, 'For God hath not appointed us to 
wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for 
us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.' 
The price of this purchase then is Christ, is Christ's death and blood. 
Christ having purchased it, hath left it in legacy: John xvii. 24, 


* Father, I will that those thou hast given me may be where I am ; ' 
Luke xxii. 22, ' This is the new testament in my blood, which is shed 
for you/ What are the legacies ? Pardon and life, Mat. xxvi. 28, 29 ; 
and Christ liveth for ever to be executor of his own testament, Heb. 
vii. 25. We then adopted believers, are designed heirs of salvation 
and eternal glory, out of mere grace, not out of any merit of ours. 

2. It informeth us that it is a safe way upon the observation of the 
saving effects of God's Spirit in ourselves, to conclude that we are in 
an estate of grace, even the adopted children of God. For so doth the 
apostle reason in this place : They are children of God ; how is it 
known ? By the work and witness of the Spirit within us ; thence 
we conclude, ' if sons, then heirs; ' the like : Gal. iv. 6, ' Because ye are 
sons, he hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son, crying, Abba, Father. 
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son ; and if a son, then an 
heir of God through Christ/ Which teacheth us how to come to a 
conclusion in soul debates. Have I a child-like inclination, and sense 
and confidence that God hath adopted me into his favour, and have I the 
sanctifying of the Spirit upon my heart ? I may be bold then to enter 
my claim. 

3. It informeth us that the privileges of believers are so linked 
together, that where one of them is, there are all the rest. Therefore 
if we enjoy one, then we must collect and infer that the rest do belong 
to us also ; if sons, we must not rest there ; ' then heirs, heirs of God, 
and joint heirs with Christ/ One link of the golden chain draweth on 
another ; there is a great deal of profit in these collections and infer 
ences ; our minds are usually taken up with trifles and childish toys ; 
surely the privileges of a Christian are not so much considered as they 
should be. The benefit of it is this : partly, it keepeth our hearts in a 
way of praising God, and constant rejoicing in God ; if we did more 
consider the excellency of our inheritance : 1 Pet. i. 3, 4, ' Blessed be 
God, who hath begotten us to a lively hope, to an inheritance incor 
ruptible, undefiled.' Our thoughts are too dead and cold till we revive 
the memory of our excellent privileges by Christ. Partly, as it keepeth 
us in a constant and cheerful adherence to the truth, whatever it cost 
us ; we slight all temporal things, how grievous or troublesome soever 
they be : Kom. viii. 18, ' For I reckon that the sufferings of the present 
life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed 
in us/ Eom. v. 3, * We glory in tribulation, as knowing that tribula 
tion worketh patience/ Partly, To help us to despise the pleasures of 
sin which are but for a season, while eternal things are in view : 2 Cor. 
iv. 18, 'While we look not to the things which are seen, but to the 
things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal ; 
but the things which are not seen are eternal/ And partly, To digest 
the labours of duty and obedience, all the pains of the holy life, 2 Cor. 
v. 9. ' Wherefore we labour, whether present or absent, that we may 
be accepted of the Lord/ What shall we not do for such a father, 
that hath provided such an inheritance for us, that we may enjoy him 
and be accepted with him ? Therefore we should stock our minds with 
these thoughts. 

4. That we should not question our estate, because we are under 
grievous pressures and afflictions. For the words are an anticipation 


of an objection If sons of God, and heirs of glory, why are we then so 
afflicted ? He inverteth the argument, You are so afflicted, that you 
may have the inheritance. It is rather an evidence of our right than 
an infringement of it, especially if patiently endured for God's sake, 
seeing thereby you are conformed to the Son by nature : Kom. viii. 29, 
* He hath predestinated us to be conformed to the image of his Son/ 
We have communion with Christ and his sufferings ; and if we be like 
him in his estate of humiliation, we shall be like him in his estate of 
exaltation also. 

Use 2. Is exhortation. 

1. To believe this blessed inheritance which is reserved for the 
children of God. It is a great happiness, but let not us therefore 
suspect the truth of it ; for it is founded in the infinite mercy of the 
eternal God, and tlje everlasting merit of a blessed Redeemer ; and we 
are prepared and qualified for it by the almighty operation of the con 
quering Spirit ; it is an happiness that lieth in another world, and we 
cannot come at it but by death. But is there no life beyond this ? 
Where then shall the good be rewarded, and the wicked punished ? 
It is unseen, but it is set before us in the promises of the gospel, which 
God hath confirmed by miracles, and sanctified to the conversion and 
consolation of many souls throughout all successions of ages. And 
were the best and wisest of men that ever the world saw, deceived with 
a vain fancy ? Or can a lie or delusion be sanctified to such high and 
holy ends ? Therefore do you believe it ? John xi. 26, ' Whosoever 
liveth and believeth in me shall never die ; believest thou this ? ' If 
you believe your reconciliation with God by the death of Christ, why 
not your salvation by his life? If your adoption into his family, 
why not the inheritance ? Both privileges stand by the same 

2. Let us live always in the desire of it ; that desire that will quicken 
you to look after it, Phil. iii. 14, and to seek after it in the first place, 
Mat. vi. 33 ; that desire that will quicken you to long for the enjoyment 
of it, Phil. i. 23. 

3. To comfort yourselves with the hope of it: Rom. v. 2, 'And 
rejoice in hope of the glory of God/ It is the glory of God ; God 
giveth it, God is the solid part of it ; and can we expect shortly to live 
with God, and upon God, and not rejoice in the hope of it ? Is a deed 
of gift from God, the security of infallible promises, nothing ? Is the 
title nothing before possession ? When this estate is so sure and near, 
we should more lift up our heads, and revive our drooping spirits. 

4. Let us walk worthy of it : 

[1.] Despising Satan's offers, Heb. xii. 16. Be not a profane person, 
as was Esau ; 1 Kings xxi. 3, ' The Lord forbid that I should part 
with the inheritance of my father.' Be chary of your inheritance; 
keep the hopes clear, fresh, and lively. 

[2.] Wean your hearts from the world : Col. iii. 1,2. If ye be 
risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, set your affections 
above, and not on the earth.' There is your Father, your head, your 
Christ, your patrimony ; it is reserved for you in the heavens. 

[3.] Live in all holy conversation and godliness, 1 Pet. iii. 7 ; living 

heirs of the grace of life, in all duties to God, love to one another, 



fidelity in all our relations. We that shall live in the clear vision and 
full fruition of God in Christ, should be other manner of persons. 

[4.] In an heavenly manner : Phil. iii. 20, ' But our conversation is 
in heaven ; ' either acting for it, or living upon it, or solacing ourselves 
with it. With delightful thoughts of heaven sweeten your pilgrimage 
here ; be willing to suffer afflictions, if God call us thereunto, patiently. 
You suffer with Christ ; Christ takes it as done to himself : Acts ix. 
' Why persecutest thou me ? ' Fill up your share of the sufferings 
providence hath appointed for Christ mystical: Col. i. 24, 'Who now 
rejoice in my afflictions for you, and fill up that which is behind of the 
afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his body's sake, which is the church ; ' 
2 Cor. i. 6, ' And whether we be afflicted it is for your consolation and 
salvation ; ' and Phil. iii. 10, * That I may know him, and the power 
of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made 
conformable unto his death.' 


For I reckon that tlie sufferings of this present time are not ivorthy to 
be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. ROM. 
VIII. 18. 

IN this chapter the apostle speaketh first of bridling lusts, and then of 
bearing afflictions ; both are tedious to flesh and blood. The necessity 
of taming the flesh is deduced throughout that whole discourse, which 
is continued from ver. 1. to the end of ver. 17, where he maketh patient 
enduring afflictions a condition of our glory ; * if we suffer with him, 
we shall also be glorified together.' He now showeth us a reason, why 
we should not dislike this condition ; because the good which is promised 
is far greater than the evil which we fear. Two things nature teacheth 
all men ; the first is to submit to a lesser evil, to avoid a greater ; as 
men will cut off an arm or a leg to save the whole body ; the other is, 
to undergo a lesser evil to obtain a greater good than that evil depriveth 
us of. If this principle were not allowed, it would destroy all the 
industry in the world ; for good is not to be obtained unless we venture 
somewhat to get it ; upon this principle the apostle worketh in this 
place, ' For I reckon/ &c. 
In the words take notice of 

1. The things compared; The sufferings of the present life and the 
glory to be revealed in us. 

2. The inequality that is in them ; They are not worthy. 

3. The conclusion or judgment of the apostle upon the case; / 

1. The things compared. On the one side, ' the sufferings of the 
present time.' 

[1.] Mark that, sufferings plurally, to comprise all of the kind, 
reproaches, strifes, fines, spoiling of goods, imprisonment, banishment, 


death. Again of the present time, to distinguish them from the torments 
of hell, which maketh up a part of the argument ; for if to avoid tem 
poral evils we forsake Christ, we shall endure eternal torments ; but 
the apostle speaketh of temporal evils. 

[2.] On the other side, * The glory that shall be revealed in us.' 
Every word is emphatical. (1.) Our reward is called glory ; in our 
calamity we are depressed and put to shame ; but whatever honour we 
lose in this mortal life, shall be abundantly supplied and recompensed 
to us in heaven : ' If any man serve me, him shall my Father honour/ 
John xii. 26. An afflicted, persecuted people are usually misrepresented 
and scandalized in the world ; but there is a life and state of glory 
prepared for them in heaven ; men cannot put so much disgrace upon 
them, as God will put marks of honour and favour. (2.) It shall be 
revealed. This glory doth not appear for the present, it is not seen ; it 
is not conspicuous to the eyes of men ; therefore some believe it not, 
others regard it not ; ' it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; the 
world knoweth us not, as it knew him not : ' 1 John iii. 1,2,' Therefore 
the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Behold, now we 
are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but 
we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, and see him 
as he is.' But it shall be seen, because of God's decree and promise ; 
for the glory is prepared, though it be not revealed. (3.) In us, or 
upon us, 6*9 ^yu-a? when we shall be raised immortal, incorruptible, 
and we shall be so highly favoured and honoured by Christ, as we shall 
be at the day of judgment, then this glory is revealed upon us ; that 
is, we shall be possessors of it ; we have the right now, but then the 

2. The inequality between them : * They are not worthy to be com 
pared/ OVK afya Trpbs rrjv pe\\ovaav Sofai/ ; not worthy to future 
glory, not worthy to be set the one against the other, as bearing no 

3. The conclusion or judgment of the apostle in this case. The word 
AoyifyfjLcu is emphatical, and implieth, that he had weighed these 
things in his mind; after the case was well traversed, he did conclude 
and determine upon the whole debate ; rationibus bene subductis colligo 
et statuo. The apostle speaketh like a man that had cast up his 
accounts, well weighed the matter he speaketh of ; and then concludeth, 
resolveth, and determineth, that the sufferings which are to be under 
gone for Christ are nothing, considering the glory and blessedness 
which shall ensue. 

Dock That every good Christian, or considerate believer, should 
determine that the happiness of his glorified estate doth infinitely out 
weigh and exceed the misery of his present afflictions. I shall open 
the point by these considerations : 

1. That counterbalancing temporal things with eternal, is the way 
to clear our mistakes, or prevent the delusions of the flesh. The apostle 
observeth this method here and elsewhere : 2 Cor. iv. 17, ' This light 
affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceed 
ing and eternal weight of glory ; ' and it is necessary ; for all our 
mistakes come by reckoning by time, and not by eternity ; but looking 
to eternity sets us right again : 2 Cor. iv. 18, ' Looking not to the 


things which are temporal, but to the things which are eternal.' The 
flesh is importunate to be pleased with present satisfactions ; it must 
have something seen and at hand ; and this tainteth our minds, so that 
present things bear a big bulk in our eye, but things to come are as a 
vain fancy; therefore nothing will scatter this mist and cloud upon 
our understandings, but a due sight of eternal things, how real they 
are, and how much they exceed for greatness and duration. Then we 
shall find that time to eternity, is but as a drop lost or spilt in the 
ocean ; as a point to the circumference ; and that the honours and 
dignities of the world, which dazzle men's eyes, are vain and slippery ; 
that riches, which captivate their hearts, are uncertain and perishing ; 
that pleasures, which enchant their minds, are sordid and base, and 
pass away as the wind ; that nothing is great but what is eternal. If 
wicked men did but consider the shortness of their pleasures, and the 
length of their sorrows, they would not be so besotted as they are ; and 
if holy men did but consider the shortness of their afflictions, and the 
length of their joy and glory, it would animate and encourage them to 
carry it more patiently and cheerfully in all their tribulations. 

2. This may be done four ways : 

[1.] Comparing temporal good things with eternal good things, that 
we may wean and draw off our hearts from the one to the other, and 
so check the delights of sense ; as wealth with heavenly riches : Heb. 
x. 34, ' Ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, as knowing in your 
selves that ye have in heaven a better and a more enduring substance.' 
Eternal bliss in heaven is the most valuable and durable kind of wealth ; 
all other treasure cometh more infinitely short of it, than wampompeage, 
or the shells which the Indians use for money, doth of our coin and 
treasure. So to wean us from our sensual delights, the scripture pro- 
poundethto our consideration that eternal and solid joy which resulteth 
from the immediate fruition of God, Ps. xvi. 11. So to wean us from 
vain glory, and that we may be contented with the glory that comes 
from God only, it telleth us of the honour and glory of the saints, John 
v. 44. All the sensual good things we dote upon are but a may-game 
or painted show in comparison of what we shall enjoy there. 

[2.] Temporal bad things with eternal bad things ; so to defeat the 
terrors of sense. All the sufferings of the world are but as the scratch 
of a pin or a flea-biting, to that woe, wrath, and tribulation that abideth 
for every soul that doth evil ; no fire like the fire of hell, nor pains like 
the pains of the worm that never dieth : Luke xii. 4, 5, ' Fear not them 
that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do ; but 
I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear ; fear him, which after he hath 
killed, hath power to cast into hell/ Men threaten prisons, God 
threateneth hell ; they can mangle the body, but when they have cut 
it all in pieces, they cannot reach the soul ; if we sin to avoid trouble 
in the world, we escape at a dear rate. As a nail driveth out a nail, 
so doth one fear drive out another ; temporal sufferings are nothing 
to eternal : Heb. xi. 35. ' They accepted not deliverance, looking for 
a better resurrection ; ' the general resurrection is better than present 
remission of torments 

[3.] Temporal good with eternal evil. Many succeed well in a way 
of sinning here, live without any remarkable blast and stroke of God's 


judgment; but how is it with them in the other world? Momentum 
est quod delectat, eternum quod crucial Heb. xi. 25, ' The pleasures 
of sin are but for a season ; ' but the punishment of sin is for ever ; if 
we compare the pleasures of sin with the pains of hell, it may be a 
means to reclaim us from the sensual life. This short pleasure is dearly 

[4.] Temporal bad things, with eternal good things. This here, and 
2 Cor. iv. 17, ' For our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, 
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' A 
due sight of eternity will soon show us the smallness of all that we can 
suffer here ; and so our afflictions are not matters much to be stood 
upon, or accounted of; the comparison must be rightly stated, and 
weighed, and improved by proper considerations. 

3. In this last comparison these things are considerable 

[1.] Our sufferings come from men, but our glory cometh from God ; 
now as the agent is, so is the effect ; man afflicts as a finite creature, 
but God rewardeth us as an infinite and eternal being ; man showeth 
himself in his wrath, and God in his love ; man in his anger : Isa. li. 
12, 'Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall 
die, and of the son of man who shall be as grass ? ' Men soon perish 
and are gone, and the effects of their anger cease with them ; they can 
do no more than God pleaseth, and their time is limited ; they can 
rage no longer than God pleaseth. But as man showeth himself as 
man, God showeth himself as God. It is intimated in the genera] 
expression of the covenant, ' I will be your God,' be such a benefactor 
as a God should be ; do us good so as becometh an infinite eternal 
power ; thence are those reasonings : Mat. xxii. 32, ' I am the God of 
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ; God is not 
the God of the dead, but of the living ; ' Heb. xi. 16, ' But now they 
desire a better country, that is an heavenly; wherefore God is not 
ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city/ 
He will give us somewhat like himself ; now what comparison between 
the wrath of man and the bounty of God ? 

[2.] Our sufferings are earthly, but our glory is heavenly. As the 
place is, so is the estate ; here both the good and evil is partial, but 
there both are complete ; for here we are in the way, there in termino, 
in our final estate ; here a believer's spiritual condition will counter 
balance all his outward troubles ; his consolation exceed his afflictions : 
2 Cor i. 5, ' For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consola 
tion doth abound by Christ ; ' much more his eternal estate. For now 
we are but in part acquainted with God, but there he is all in all, 
1 Cor. x. 28 ; here we see him in a glass,, but there face to face, 1 Cor. 
xiii. 12. Here we have the earnest, there the whole bargain ; here a 
taste, there a full feast ; here the beginning, there the consummation. 

[3.] Our sufferings are but short, but our glory eternal : 1 Pet. i. 6, 
' For a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold tempta 
tions ; ' the trouble is but of short continuance ; so 1 Pet. v. 10. ' He 
hath called you to eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after you have suffered 
a while.' It is but a little time that we suffer ; for God knoweth our 
spirits are soon apt to fail ; he considereth we are but dust. Indeed 
the Lord useth a difference with his children ; some have shorter trials, 


some longer ; but they are all but for a season. If they should last 
for our whole lives, they are but momentary, if compared with eternity. 
But it is not credible that our lives should be altogether calamitous ; 
there is no instance either in scripture, or the records of time ; there 
are intervals of rest, and our enemies cannot trouble us, but when it is 
permitted of God. But if there were no intermission, yet this life itself 
is but for a moment, compared with eternity. If you consider that 
which in these afflictions we most dread, and beyond which the power 
of the most cruel adversaries cannot reach, death itself ; it is but for a 
moment ; in the twinkling of an eye we are in eternity ; death cometh 
in a moment, and it is gone in a moment ; after that, we enjoy eternal 
rest and peace. Therefore though in our way to heaven we should 
endure the most grievous calamities, yet since they are but short and 
momentary, we should submit to them, that we may enjoy so great a 
good as the vision and fruition of God. Toleramus brevia, expectamus 
eterna ; the sufferings are temporal, the glory is eternal, because it 
dependeth upon the will of an immutable God, and the everlasting 
merit of a glorious Kedeemer : when either of these foundations fail, 
your blessedness will be at an end. But these can never fail ; and 
therefore our glory will be everlasting. Well then, the pain and 
suffering will be short ; within a little while you will feel it no more 
than if it had never been ; if the pain be remembered, it will be but to 
increase your joy. 

[4.] As they are short, so they are light. Leves et breves. The scripture 
often joineth them together : 2 Cor. iv. 17, ' This light affliction which 
is but for a moment.' They are light, just so they are short in compari 
son of eternal glory ; as of short continuance if compared with eternity, 
so of small weight if compared with the reward ; eternity maketh them 
short ; and the greatness of the reward maketh them easy. There are 
degrees in our troubles ; some of the saints get to heaven at a cheaper 
rate than others do ; but yet the afflictions of all are light, if we consider 
the unspeakable glory of the world to come. Indeed we do but prattle 
when we presume fully to describe it ; for it doth not appear what we 
shall be, and it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive the 
great things which he hath prepared for them that love him. But the 
scripture expressions everywhere show it shall be exceeding great, and 
also by the beginnings of it. The world is ignorant and incredulous of 
futurity, therefore God giveth us the beginnings of heaven and hell in 
this world, in a wounded spirit and the comforts of a good conscience ; 
these things we have experience of ; we know not exactly what our 
future condition will be, but the hopes and fears of that estate are very 
affective ; the fears and horrors of eternal torment, which are found in 
a guilty conscience, do in part show what hell will be, or the nature of 
that woe and anguish which abideth for the impenitent : Prov. xviii. 14, 
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity ; but a wounded spirit 
who can bear ? ' The salve for this sore must come from heaven only. 
So the joys of a good conscience, which are unspeakalle and glorious, 
1 Pet. i. 8, show that the happiness appointed for the saints will be 
exceeding great ; for if the foretaste be so sweet, the hope and expecta 
tion be so ravishing, what will the enjoyment be ? Besides, God mod- 
erateth our sufferings, that they may not be over-long, or over-grievous : 


1 Cor. x. 13, 'But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be 
tempted above that you are able ; but will with the temptation also 
make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.' If the trial be 
heavy, he fortifieth us by the comfort and support of the Spirit, and so 
maketh it light and easy to us. To a strong back that burden is light 
which would crush the weak and faint, and cause them to shrink under 
it ; but though God moderateth our afflictions, he doth not abate our 
glory, that is given without measure : ' A far more exceeding weight 
of glory/ 

[5.] The sufferings are in our mortal bodies, but the glory is both 
in soul and body. It is but the flesh which is troubled and grieved by 
affliction ; the flesh which, if delicately used, soon becometh our enemy ; 
the soul is free, and not liable to the power of man. Now it becometh 
a man, much more a believer, to look after the soul : Heb. x. 39, * We 
are not of them who" draw back to perdition, but of them that believe 
to the saving of the soul ; ' OVK eo-jiev v7roarTO\r)s ei? aTreoXemz/, a\\a 
Trtcrreo)? ek TrepiTroirjo-iv ^1^*79, implying, that they that are tender of 
flesh are apostates in heart ; if not actually and indeed so, yet in the 
practice ; but those which will purchase the saving of the soul at any 
rates, are the true and sound believers. The world, which gratifieth 
the bodily life, may be bought at too dear a rate ; but not so the salvation 
of the soul ; they that are so thirsty of the comforts and interests of 
the bodily life, will certainly be prodigal of their salvation. But a 
believer is all for the saving of his soul ; that is the end of his faith, 
and labours, and sufferings, and his self-denial. The end of his faith 
is to save his soul, 1 Pet. i. 9. So much as God is to be preferred 
before the creature, heaven before the world, eternity before time, the 
soul before the body ; so much doth it concern us to have the better 
part safe. But yet this is not all ; that which is lost for a while, is 
preserved to us for ever ; if the body be lost temporally, it is secured 
to all eternity. If we lose it by the way, we are sure to have it at the 
end of the journey, when the body shall have many privileges bestowed 
upon it ; but this above all the rest, that it shall be united to a soul 
fully sanctified, from which it shall never any more be separated, but 
both together shall be the eternal temple of the Holy Ghost. 

[6.] Sufferings do mostly deprive us of those things which are without 
a man ; but this is a glory which shall be revealed in us. By sufferings 
we lose estate, liberty, comfortable abode in the world among our friends 
and relations. If life itself, which is within us, it is only as to its 
capacity of outward enjoyments; for as to the fruition of God and 
Christ, so it is true he that loseth his life shall save it, Mat. x. 39, 
and shall live though he die, John xi. 25 ; it is but deposited in Christ's 
hands. But this glory is revealed in us, in our bodies in their immor 
tality, agility, clarity, and brightness ; in our souls by the beatifical 
vision, the ardent love of God, the unconceivable joy and everlasting 
peace and rest which we shall have when we shall attain our end. Now 
if we be deprived of things without us; if we be denied to live in 
dependence on the creature, that we may immediately enjoy God, should 
we grudge and murmur ? 

[7.] Our sufferings dishonour us in the sight of the world, but this 
glory maketh us amiable in the sight of God. For having such a near 


relation to God, and being made like him, we are qualified for a perfect 
reception of his love to us ; we love God more in the glorified estate, 
and God loveth us more, as appeareth by the effects ; for he communi- 
cateth himself to us in a greater latitude than we are capable of here. 
Now is the hatred of the world worthy to be compared with the love 
of the Father ? Or should their frowns be a temptation to us, to divert 
us from that estate wherein we shall be presented ' holy, and unblamable, 
and irreprovable in his sight ? ' Col. i. 22. When perfectly sanctified, 
we love God more, and are more beloved by him. 

[8.] The order is to be considered. For look ; as to the wicked, 
God will turn their glory into shame ; so as to the godly, he will turn 
their shame into glory. It is good to have the best at last ; for it is a 
miserable thing to have been happy, and to have had experience of a 
better condition, and to become miserable : Luke vi. 24. ' Woe to you 
rich, for you have received your consolation ; ' and Luke xvi. 25, ' Son, 
in thy life time thou receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus evil 
things ; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.' The beggar 
had first temporal evils, and then eternal good things ; but the rich 
man had first temporal good things, and then eternal evil things ; as 
many that do well here in the world, fare ill in the world to come. 
But now it is otherwise with the godly : John xvi. 20, ' Your sorrow 
shall be turned into joy.' Our last and final portion is most to be 
regarded ; the Christian by temporal trouble goeth to eternal joy ; the 
worldling by temporal glory to eternal shame ; a Christian's end is 
better than his beginning, he is best at last ; a man would not have 
evil after experience of good. 

4. The comparison, though it be rightly stated and weighed by us, 
yet it will have no efficacy unless we have faith, or a deep sense of the 
world to come. For unless we believe these things, they seem too 
uncertain, and too far off to work upon us. It is easy to reason down 
our bodily and worldly choice, and to show how much eternal things 
exceed temporal ; but this taketh no hold of the heart, till there be a 
firm belief of the glory reserved for God's people : Heb. xi. 1, ' Faith 
is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not 
seen ;' and 2 Pet. i. 9, 'He that lacketh these things is blind, and can 
not see afar off.' To draw us from things that we see and feel, we need 
a clear light about things we see not ; men are sharp sighted enough 
in things that concern the present world, but beyond it we can see 
nothing, but by the perspective of faith ; and therefore reason as long 
as we will, yet the consideration of the other world doth nothing prevail 
with us, without a lively faith. 

5. This faith must be often exercised by serious meditations, or deep 
and ponderous thoughts. For the greatest truths work not, if we do 
not think of them. Faith showeth us a truth, but consideration is the 
means to improve it, that we may make a good choice, and our hearts 
may be fortified against all temptations ; we must often sit down, and 
count the charges with ourselves, what it will cost us, what we shall 
lose, and what we shall get : Luke xiv. 28, 29, 30. The Spirit of God 
will not help us without our thoughts ; for he dealeth not with us as 
birds do in feeding their young, bringing meat to them, and putting 
it into their mouths, while they lie still in their nest, and only gape to 



receive it ; but as God giveth corn while we plough, sow, weed, dress, 
and with patience expect his blessing. No, here the apostle was reason 
ing and weighing the case within himself. 

6. There is, besides sound belief and serious consideration, need of 
the influence and assistance of the holy Spirit. For besides his 
giving faith, and exciting and blessing meditation, to dispose and 
frame our hearts to bide by this conclusion, the influence of the Holy 
Ghost is necessary. For God is the chief disposer of hearts ; it is not 
enough notionally to know this, but we must be practically resolved, 
and the heart inclined ; it is a new enlightened mind and a renewed 
heart that is only capable of determining thus, that we may live by 
it ; and that is by another spirit than the spirit of the world, which 
naturally possesseth us, even the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. ii. 12, which is 
promised to his children, and inclineth us to place our happiness, not 
in worldly things, "but in Christ and his benefits. In short, sense is 
too strong for reason without faith ; and faith cannot do its office 
without the Spirit ; the flesh seeketh not reason, but ease ; unless the 
heart be changed, and otherwise biassed and bent, all is lost. 

Use. Now I must show you the use of this doctrine. 

first. Certainly it is useful for the afflicted in any sort, whatever 
their troubles and afflictions be. 

1. For common evils : 

[1.] Are you pained with sickness, and roll to and fro in your bed, 
like a door on the hinges, for the weariness of your flesh ? In heaven 
you shall have everlasting ease, for that is a state of rest, Heb. iv. 9. 
We are apprehensive of present pain, but not of the greatness of the 
ease, peace, and glory that shall succeed ; though the pains be acute, 
the sickness lingering, and hangeth long upon you, yet present time is 
quickly past ; but eternity shall have no end. 

[2.] Must you die, and the guest be turned out of the old house ? 
' You have a building with God, eternal in the heavens/ 2 Cor. v. 1, 
You do but leave a shed to live in a palace, and forsake an unquiet 
world for a place of everlasting repose. 

2. It is especially to be applied to those that suffer for righteousness' 
sake. Shall we shrink at sufferings for Christ, when we shall be in 
glory with him for evermore ? How short is the suffering ? how long 
the reward ? For a greater good, we should endure a lesser evil. A 
traveller endureth all the difficulties of the way, for the sake of the 
place where he is going unto; so should we. What is the evil 
threatened ? Are you cast out by man as unworthy to live in any civil 
society? You shall be received by the Lord into an everlasting abode 
with him : 1 Thes. v. 17, ' And so shall we be ever with the Lord/ 
Have you lost the love of all men, for your sincerity and faithfulness ? 
You shall everlastingly enjoy the love of God, Eom. viii. 39. Are you 
reproached, calumniated in the world? Then you shall be justified 
by Christ, and your faith found to honour, praise, and glory, 2 Pet. i. 7. 
Are you cast into prison ? you shall shortly be in your Father's house, 
where there are many mansions, John xiv. 2. Are you reduced to 
sordid poverty ? You may read in the scripture of the ' riches of the 
glory of the inheritance of the saints/ Eph. i. 18. In short, are you 
tempted, opposed, persecuted ? Consider, much of your journey is past 


away ; you are nearer eternity than you were when you first believed, 
Kom. xiii. 11. They that both tempt and persecute cannot give so 
much to you, or take so much from you, as is worthy to be compared 
with your great hopes. Immortal happiness is, most desirable, and end 
less misery most terrible ; therefore be you faithful to the death, and 
you shall have the crown of life, Kev. ii. 10. Is life itself likely to be 
forced out by the violence of man ? The sword is but the key to open 
heaven's door for you ; surely this hope will make the greatest suffer 
ings to become light, turn pain into pleasure, yea, and death itself into 

Secondly. It is useful for all, if only for the afflicted. None is 
exempted, and you must hear for the time to come ; but every good 
Christian should be of this temper and spirit, and wholly fetch his 
solaces from the world to come, else he is not possessed with a true 
spirit of Christianity, which warneth us all to prepare for sufferings, 
and calleth for self-denial. Besides, this is a great means to mortify 
worldly affections, which are the great impediment of the heavenly 
life. When we once learn to despise the afflictions of the world, our 
affections to the delights thereof die by consent ; both are rooted in the 
same disposition and frame of heart ; such a dead and mortified temper, 
as hath learned to contemn earthly things ; and they are both fed and 
maintained by the same considerations, a looking to the end of things, 
which maketh us wise, Deut. xxxii. 29. If our hearts be often in 
heaven, it will lessen all worldly things in our eyes ; and it will make 
us not only patient and contented in sufferings, but diligent in holy 
duties, fearful of sinning. For all those pleasures which tempt us to 
neglect duty, or to make bold with sin, are no more worthy to be com 
pared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, than our sufferings 
are ; yea, the argument holdeth stronger against them ; if the greater 
sufferings should not deter us from our duty, certainly vain pleasures 
should not. They that cast off" the profession and practice of godliness 
out of indulgence to carnal delights or some worldly hope, are less to 
be pitied, because they involve themselves in a more heinous sin than 
they that shrink from it out of some great fear. For torment and 
death, which are the chiefest things we fear, are destructive of our 
nature ; therefore we have a natural shunning and abhorrence of them ; 
but those other things are such things as nature may easily, and with 
out greater inconveniency, want ; such as preferment, splendor of life, 
sottish pleasures. They are enticed by their mere lust, which is not 
so pressing as fear. 



For the earnest expectation of the creature ivaitethfor the manifestation 
of the sons of God. ROM. VIII. 19. 

THE apostle's intent in this paragraph is to set forth the excellency of 
that glory which shall be revealed in the children of God. The argu 
ment is, because when this is brought to pass, there shall be a general 
renovation of all things. It is figuratively expressed ; all things are 
by a natural inclination carried to their most perfect estate ; so are the 
creatures to this renovation and restoration, as if they did wait and 
long for it ; ' for the earnest expectation/ &c. 

In the wordsr-(L) Who waiteth? The creature. (2.) How it 
waiteth ? With earnest expectation ; as it were looking attentively 
for the time. (3.) For what, or the term of its waiting ? For the 
manifestation of the sons of God : 

First. Let us explain these circumstances. Secondly. Consider how 
much they suit with the apostle's scope. 

First, For explication. 

1. Who waiteth? The creature : but what creature ? Some under 
stand man, designed elsewhere by this appellation, creature : Mark 
xvi. 15, ' Preach the gospel to every creature,' that is, to all mankind ; 
so here they understand man, because there are affections and disposi 
tions atributed to the creature here spoken of, which are only proper 
to such a creature as is reasonable ; but they are metaphorically to be 
understood ; they do, as it were, long for and expect. Well then, let us 
see what creature is intended. Not the good angels ; for they are not 
subject to vanity, and they are in possession of this glory: Mat. xviii. 
10, ' They always behold the face of our heavenly Father/ Not devils 
or evil angels ; they do not earnestly expect these things, but tremble 
at them : Mat viii. 29. Not men, not the wicked, the reprobate world, 
for they care not for these things, yea, they scoff at them : 2 Pet. iii. 
3, ' There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own 
lusts, saying, Where is the promise of his coming ? ' Not the saints 
and believers ; for they are distinctly spoken of by themselves, ver. 23, 
and are opposed to this expecting, groaning creature, ' And not only 
they, but we ourselves also/ Not the beasts, for they are incapable of 
a prospect of futurity, and are made to be taken and destroyed. 
Therefore it is meant of the whole frame of the universe, heaven, and 
earth, and the creatures in them ; they do, as it were, expect the time 
when they shall be restored to the primitive state of their creation. 
The whole frame of the universe was first made in a beautiful state 
for the glory of God, and the use of man ; it is subject to many 
changes, and at length to destruction. The earth and the elementary 
bodies shall be burnt up as a scroll, but they shall be renewed and 
restored when the children of God come to their glorious estate ; the 
deformation of the creature began with man's sin, and the reformation 
with his complete happiness. 

2. How it earnestly expecteth and waiteth? The word signifieth, 
it expecteth with head lifted up, and stretched out. The same word 


is used, Phil. i. 20, ' According to my earnest expectation.' When a 
man longingly expecteth anything, he lifts up the head, sendeth his 
eyes after it, that he may see it afar off : As Judges v. 28, * The mother 
of Sisera looked out of a window, and cried through the lattice, Why 
is his chariot so long a-coming ? ' But how can this be applied to the 
creature, which is without reason and sense ? I answer, By a metaphor 
it is translated from man to them ; because there is something ana 
logous, as they are directed and inclined to such an end ; as in the 
scripture the floods are said to clap their hands for joy, and the moun 
tains and hills leaping and skipping like rams. And in the desolation, 
the city of Jerusalem is said to ' weep sore in the nights ; her tears are 
on her cheeks ; ' and again, Lam. ii. 18, 19. The wall is said to ' cry 
in the night.' Yea, our Lord himself speaketh to the sea, as if it had 
ears : Mark iv. 39, 'He said to the sea, Peace be still ! ' So the apostle 
speaketh of the creature as if it had will, desire, hope, sorrow, and 

3. For what ? The manifestation of the sons of God. Manifesta 
tion is the discovery of something which before was obscure and 
hidden ; and by sons, the subject for the adjunct, is meant the 
right and privileges of God's children. That is, that the glory prepared 
for them may visibly appear, when they shall be set forth with 
splendour and majesty, becoming the sons of God ; for * the righteous 
shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father,' Mat. xiii. 43. 
And it is said ' sons,' comprehending all of that sort ; Christ is not 
excluded, and all believers are included ; your happiness dependeth on 
the glory of Christ : Col. iii. 4, * When Christ, who is our life, shall 
appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory ; ' 1 John iii. 2, 

* But we know, that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we 
shall see him as he is.' And the creature is said to expect it, because 
their perfect estate dependeth on our happiness : Acts iii. 21, ' Whom 
the heavens must receive until the time of the restitution of all things/ 

* We look for new heavens, and new earth, 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13, wherein 
dwelleth righteousness/ 

Secondly. How it suiteth with the apostle's scope ? I answer : The 
apostle intendeth. three things, 1. To set forth the excellency of our 
hopes. 2. To raise up expectation. 3. To persuade the necessity of 
patience in the meantime. The present argument is serviceable to all 
these uses. 

1. It showeth that there is an excellent state of happiness, far beyond 
what we do now enjoy, provided for the people of God. This is seen, 
partly because all things tend to it, as to their great end and state of 
perfection ; there is a tendency in the inanimate creatures. And 
partly, because the glory is so great that there must be a dissolution of 
the present world, and a pure estate of things, before we can have our 
happiness. We admire the splendour of the present world ; are taken 
with earthly things ; too apt to place our happiness in them ; but this 
world must be purged and refined by fire before it can be capable to 
suit with that blessed estate of things which God hath appointed for 
hi? people. God denieth not the splendour of the world, as too good 
for his people, but as too bad and base to be their portion ; the delights 
of wicked men shall be burnt up before their eyes, when he bestoweth 


their true happiness upon them. There would not be else a harmony 
in all the parts of the world to come, if there were not new heavens 
and a new earth. This polluted state is not consistent with that hap 
piness ; therefore when the saints are perfected, the world is restored. 

2. To quicken earnest expectation. All things are carried to their 
end ; the little seed will work through the dry clods, that it may come 
into stalk and flower. The whole universe is directed and inclined to 
a more happy estate ; so should we look after our most perfect state ; 
the creatures by inclination wait for it, and shall not we who are to 
have the chief part therein ? 

3. To persuade the necessity of patience, during our sufferings in the 
meantime. We live in a groaning world, and such as shall be first 
destroyed, and then restored. As the frame of the sublunary world 
being now in disorder, and at length to be dissolved, groaneth after a 
restoration ; so, though we be harassed with afflictions, and must at 
length die, and this animated body be turned into a rotten carcase, yet 
at length shall be raised up in glory. 

The points are three. (1.) 'That the glorious privileges of God's 
children are manifested at the last day. (2.) That the state of the 
creatures is renewed, when God's children come to be manifested in 
their glory. (3.) That this estate of things Bought earnestly to be 
desired and expected by us. 

For the first point, That the glorious privileges of God's children 
are manifested at the last day. It suppose th 

First, That their estate and happiness is hidden for the present 

Secondly. Then manifested. 

First. Here we must enquire. 1. How they are hidden? 2. 
From whom ? 3. Why they are hidden ? Secondly. How they are 
manifested then ; and so we shall the better understand how the word 
is used in opposition to the present estate. 

[1.] They are hidden as to their persons. [2.] Their life is hidden. 
[3.] As to their privileges and glorious estate. 

[1.] Hidden as .to their persons. Now, it is little known who are 
God's children ; Christ himself was not known in the world : 1 John 
iii. 1, ' The world knbweth us not, because it knew him not ;' much 
less are his people known ; for he did more to distinguish himself than 
they possibly can do. But it shall be in time manifested who are God's 
children : Mai. iii. 18, ' Then shall ye return, and discern between the 
righteous and the wicked ; between him that serveth God, and him 
that serveth him not.' Some pretend to be his children and servants ; 
others really are so. It is not exactly known in the winter, when 
the roots lie in the earth we cannot tell what will appear in the 
spring ; but when the sun shineth in its strength and warmth, the 
bosom of the earth, things hidden, then discover themselves. As 
Moses told the rebels in Num. xvi. 6, * To-morrow the Lord will show 
who are his;' so in the morning of the resurrection, the natural and 
only begotten Son is known ; Christ will appear in all his royalty and 
glory as the great God and Saviour of the world, Titus ii. 13. So all 
the children of God are known ; they now lie hid among multitudes 
and swarms of sinful men ; but then Christ shall ' gather all nations 


and he shall separate the one from the other, as a shepherd divideth 
his sheep from the goats/ Mat. xxv. 32. There shall be an eminent 
and sensible distinction of the one from the other, beyond all power of 

[2.] Their life is hidden : Col. iii 3, ' Our life is hidden with Christ 
in God/ Hidden not only in point of security, as maintained by an 
invisible power ; but in point of obscurity ; there is a veil upon it. How 
so ? Partly, because the spiritual life is hidden under the veil of the 
natural life ; it is a life within a life ; the spiritual life is nothing else 
but the natural life sublimated, and overruled to higher and nobler 
ends : Gal. ii. 20, * I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me ; and the 
life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of 
God.' They live in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. The 
children of God eat, and drink, and sleep, and marry, and give in mar 
riage, as others do ; for when they are converted they do not divest 
themselves of the interests and concernments of flesh and blood ; but 
all these things are governed by grace, and carried on to eternal ends ; 
the grace now, or vital principle that ruleth this life is not seen, though 
the effects appear. Partly, Because of the veil of afflictions, outward 
meanness, and abasement, Heb. xi. 37, 38. The world was not worthy 
of them ; yet they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, and 
the dens and caves of the earth. Who would think that so much 
worth should lie hid under a base outside? Would any judge that 
these lived in the highest favour of God, and constant communion with 
him, who had so little of his protection and common bounty ? That 
they should have so near a relation to God, and yet be so miserably 
poor and destitute ? That those that want bread should be heirs of a 
kingdom ? Jam. ii. 5. That they that feel the hand of God upon them 
so heavy and smart sometimes, should have so much of his heart? 
Partly under the veil of reproaches and calumnies : 1 Pet. iv. 6, ' They 
are judged according to men in the flesh, yet live to God in the spirit.' 
They are presented in the world as a company of dissemblers and 
hypocrites, and yet in the meanwhile are the sincere servants and 
children of God : 2 Cor. vi. 8, ' As deceivers, and yet true ; ' the world 
counteth them deceivers, but God counteth them faithful. By the 
reproach of the world, as husbandmen by soil and dung, God maketh 
his heritage the more fruitful ; those that have a mind to hate will take 
Tip every prejudice against the people of God, and will not easily be dis 
possessed of it. And partly, because there is another veil upon good 
Christians, and that is the veil of infirmities, by which they often 
quench the vigour arid obscure the glory of that life which they have, 
whilst they show forth too much of Adam and too little of Jesus. 
And so the spiritual life is carried on darkly, and in a riddle : Jam. 
iii. 2, ' In many things we offend all.' Certainly if our privileges be 
hidden, yet our graces should appear in their fruits and effects. Little 
of our happiness will be seen in this world, yet our holiness should be 
apparent and visible: 2 Thes. i. 11, 12, 'Wherefore also we pray 
always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, 
and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith 
with power ; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified 
in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God, and the Lord 


Jesus Christ. 5 If your condition be obscured and darkened by afflic 
tions, it should not be obscured and darkened by sins ; a perpetual 
tenor of happiness we cannot expect in a changeable world ; yet by a 
constant course of holiness, we should plainly distinguish ourselves 
from those that will perish in the common apostasy and defection of 
mankind. But alas ! God's children are not so cautious but that they 
border too near the world ; and though there should be such a broad 
difference that the children of God may be manifestly distinguished 
from the children of the devil, 1 John iii. 10, yet too much of the 
influence of the evil spirit remaineth with us, and is bewrayed by us 
upon all occasions. Yet there is a generation of men that row against 
the stream of flesh and blood: 1 Pet. iv. 4, 'Wherein they think 
it strange that you run not with them into the same excess of 

[3.] Hidden as to their privileges, and the glory of their estate. 
Many of God's children being mean, and low, and indigent, oppressed 
by the world, harassed with sundry calamities and afflictions, it doth 
not appear that we have such a great and glorious Father. Now we 
are stained with sin, blackened with sufferings, there is no visible 
appearance of our great dignity and prerogative. There must be a dis 
tinction between earth and heaven ; our filiation in the world to come 
is another thing to what it is in this world ; for then their glory shall 
be manifest : Col. iii. 4, * When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, 
then shall ye also appear with him in glory/ For the present, our 
glory is spiritual and future : First, it is spiritual, and maketh no fair 
show in the flesh, as the image of God is an internal thing; as 'the 
king's daughter is glorious within,' Ps. xlv. 13. It lieth not in great 
revenues and pomp of living, but a plentiful participation of gifts and 
graces ; their comforts are spiritual, known by feeling rather than by 
report : Phil. iv. 7, * The peace of God, which passeth all understand 
ing,' Rev. ii. 17, ' To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the 
hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new 
name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.' 
God's children are not utterly abandoned and left to the will of men ; 
the protection of God's providence is a mystery and riddle to the world, 
that must have all things under the view of sense : Ps. xxxi. 20, ' Thou 
shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man ; 
thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues ;' 
and Ps. xci. 1, ' He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, 
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty ; ' Job. xxix. 4, * As I 
was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my 
tabernacle.' God keepeth them, and maintaineth them, nobody 
knoweth how ; there is a secret and visible blessing goes along with 
them ; as others are blasted by an invisible curse. And secondly, it is 
future. The time of our perfection and blessedness is not yet come, and 
we cannot for the present judge of it, nor the world imagine what it 
shall be ; they do not consider the end of things, but look all to the 
present ; for the present they find the saints miserable ; and those 
that are dead, the world taketh them for lost: 1 Cor. xv. 19, 'If in 
this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable/ 
They that are worse used by other men, have little advantage by Christ 


now ; their sonship entitleth them to a miserable portion in the 
world's estimation, who know not, consider not things to come. 

2. From whom they are hidden. Not from God, who 'knoweth 
those that are his,' 2 Tim. ii. 19 ; not from Christ, who died for them, 
and hath their names graven upon his breast and shoulders, and is 
mindful of them upon every turn : John x. 14, 'I am the good 
shepherd, who know my sheep, and am known of mine.' Christ hath 
a particular and exact knowledge of all the elect, their individual per 
sons, who they are, where they are, and what they are, that* shall be 
saved ; he taketh special notice of them, that he may suitably apply 
himself to them. They are not altogether unknown to the good 
angels, for they are their charge : Heb. i. 14, ' Are they not all minister 
ing spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salva 
tion? ' And they shall gather them from the four winds at the last 
day, Mat. xxiv. 31. From whom then are they hidden ? 

[I:] From the world. The world knoweth us not, as they knew him 
not ; they are hid from the world, as colours from a blind man ; they 
have no eyes to see ; they are blinded by the delusions of the flesh, and 
cannot judge of spiritual things, because they are to be spiritually dis 
cerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14 ; as a beast cannot judge of the affairs of a man. 
It is a life above them ; these things are out of their sphere, for they 
value all things according to the interest of the flesh; and being 
blinded with malice and prejudice, they censure this estate perversely, 
and so malign and oppose it : 1 Pet. iv. 4, 5, * They think it strange 
you do not run with them into the same excess of riot, speaking evil 
of you ; who shall give an account to him who is ready to judge the 
quick and the dead.' They are unwilling any should put a disgrace 
upon their fleshly course of life ; therefore if they cannot draw others 
into a fellowship of their sins, they labour to blacken them with cen 
sures, or root them out with furious oppositions and persecutions. 
But their perverse judgment should be no discouragement to us ; let 
us rather pity their ignorance, than be troubled at their malice ; it is 
enough for us that we have the favour of God, and our hopes lie else 

[2.] In a great measure from ourselves. What with corruptions 
within, and temptations without, we have much ado to be persuaded 
that God is our father, and we his children ; our condition being so 
unsuitable, and our conversations so much beneath our rights and 
privileges ; so that it needeth to be cleared by the Spirit of adop 
tion ; no less agent or witness will serve the turn : Kom. viii. 16, 
* The Spirit itself beareth witness to our spirits that we are the 
children of God/ When that is done, yet the glory intended to be 
revealed in us is not sufficiently known; we have not now an 
heart to conceive of it, 1 Cor. ii. 9 ; and prophecy is but in part, 
1 Cor. xiii. 9 ; and the apostle when rapt up in paradise, heard 
appr)Ta pr}fj,ara, 2 Cor. xii. 4. Heavenly joys cannot be told us in an 
earthly dialect ; the scripture is fain to lisp to us, and to speak some 
thing of it, as we can understand and conceive of things to come by 
things present ; therefore our glory is in a great measure unknown, and 
will be till the day of manifestation ; and then there shall be a crown 
of glory prepared for us. 


3. Why this glory is hidden ? 

[1.] Because now is the time of trial, hereafter of recompense. There 
fore now is the hiding time ; hereafter is the day of the manifestation 
of the^sons of God ; if the glory were too sensible, there were no trial, 
neither of the world, nor of the people of God. Christ himself might 
be discerned by those who had a mind to see him ; yet there was 
obscurity enough in his person to harden those that were resolved to 
continue in their prejudices; therefore it is said, Luke ii. 39, 'This 
child was set for the rise and fall of many in Israel.' So if the whole 
excellency of a Christian's estate were laid open to the view of sense, 
there would be no trial ; Christ had his bright side and dark side ; a 
glory to be seen by those whose eyes were anointed with spiritual eye- 
salve : John i. 14, ' And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, 
and we beheld his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father ; ' 
and affliction and meanness enough to harden those who had no mind 
to see. So God hath his chosen ones in the world, who keep up his 
honour and interest ; and he hath his ways to express his love to them, 
but not openly ; they are called his c hidden ones/ Ps. Ixxxiii. 3. They 
are under his secret blessing and protection, but not visibly owned, but 
in such a way as may be best for their trial, and the trial of the world. 
The Lord Jesus came not with external appearance ; his divine nature 
was hidden under the veil of his flesh ; and his dignity and excellency 
under a base and mean outside ; in the outward estate there was nothing 
lovely to be seen by a carnal eye : Isa. liii. 2, ' He hath no form and 
comeliness ; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we 
should desire him ; yet in himself, he was ' the brightness of the divine 
glory, and the express image of his person,' Heb. i. 3. 

[2.] God hath chosen this way to advance his glory, that he may 
perfect his power in our weakness, 2 Cor. xii, 9. By wants and weak 
nesses his fatherly love appeareth to us, more than in an absolute and 
total exemption from them. God would not so often hear from us, nor 
would we have such renewed experiences to revive the sense of his 
fatherly love and grace, which would otherwise be dead and cold in 
our hearts, were it not for these wants and afflictions during our 
minority and nonage. 

[3.] To wean and draw us off from things present to things to come ; 
that we may be contented to be hidden from, and hated by the world, 
if the course of our service expose us to it. For we must not look upon 
things as' they are, or seem to be now, but what they will be hereafter. 
Now is the trouble, then the reward ; present time is quickly passed ; and 
therefore we should be dead to present profits, and present pleasures, 
and present honours ; and look to eternity, that is to come : 2 Cor. iv. 
18, ' While we look not to 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.' how glorious will the 
derided, vilified believer be then ! It should be our ambition to look 
after this honour ; it is the day of the manifestation of the sons of God. 
Though the wicked have a larger allowance by the bounty of God's 
common providence, yet you have his special love. We think God 
doth not place his hands aright; no! God doth not misplace his 
hands ; as Joseph thought of his father, Gen. xlviii, when he preferred 


Ephraim before Manasseh. What a poor condition was the only be 
gotten Son of God in when he lived in the world ! When you are 
poorer than Christ, then complain ; though you do not enjoy pleasures, 
honours, riches, esteem, yet if you enjoy the favour of God, it is enough ; 
though mean, yet if heirs of glory, Jam. ii. 5. God doth not esteem 
persons according to their outward lustre : 1 Sana. xvi. 7, * Look not 
on his countenance, or the height of his stature ; for the Lord seeth 
not as man seeth ; for man looketh upon the outward appearance, but 
the Lord looketh on the heart.' 

Secondly. How manifested? Their persons shall be known and 
owned : Rev. iii. 5, ' But I will confess his name before my Father, 
and before his angels/ It is no litigious debate then ; no more doubt 
when owned, not by character, but by name ; they shall be manifested 
to themselves, and their glory also revealed to the world by the visible 
marks of favour Christ will put upon them, when others are rejected : 
Isa. Ixvi. 5, ' But he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed/ 
Yea, the world shall stand wondering: 2 Thes. i. 10, ' When he shall 
come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that 

Doct. 2. That the state of the creatures shall be renewed, when God's 
children come to be manifested in their glory ; for he saith, ' the whole 
creation groaneth and waiteth/ 

1. This is clear, that heaven and earth, that is, the lower heavens 
and the elementary bodies, as well as the earth, shall suffer some kind 
of change at the last day ; for it is said : Ps. cii. 26, ' As a vesture shalt 
thou change them, and they shall be changed/ He will change them, 
quite from the condition wherein they now are. 

2. That this change of the world and the heavenly and elementary 
bodies shall be by fire : 2 Pet. iii. 7, * The heavens and the earth which 
are now are reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and the 
perdition of ungodly men.' 

3. That notwithstanding this fire and universal destruction, rational 
creatures shall subsist to all eternity, in their proper place assigned to 
each of them ; the godly in heaven, the wicked in hell : Mat. xxv. 46, 
1 These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous 
into eternal life/ 

4. It is probable that the brutes and plants, and all such corruptible 
bodies as are necessary to the animal life, but superfluous to life ever 
lasting, shall be utterly destroyed. 

5. That the world and elementary bodies shall be refined and purged 
by this fire, and not utterly destroyed. This is the design of the 
scripture, and therefore this general conflagration seemeth not to turn 
all things into nothing in regard of their substance, but change of 
qualities ; and to change them with a perfective, not a destructive 
change; to change the matter, not reduce it into nothing; for that 
which is made matter of desire or hope, cannot be simple and total 
destruction or annihilation, as it is by the apostle here ; and it is 
compared with the deluge, where the form of the world was destroyed, 
not the substance : 2 Pet. ii. 6, As the world that was overflowed by 
water, perished; so shall the world perish, which is consumed with 


fire ; not by annihilation, but a change of qualities ; only for the better, 
as that was for the worse. 

6. What use this restored world serveth for, we need not anxiously 
enquire ; whether to be a perpetual monument of the wisdom, power, 
and goodness of the creator (the creating of the world served for 
this end, so may the renewing of it) ; or whether it shall be an habita 
tion for the just during the judgment, which is by some conceived to 
last for a thousand years ; and at first consumed by a purging fire, and 
afterwards utterly destroyed by a consuming fire ; we shall enquire in 
the following verses. 

Doct. 3. That this estate of things ought earnestly to be desired and 
expected by us. For to this end the apostle mentioneth the earnest 
expectation of the creature, and the day principally concerneth us ; and 
therefore it is the duty of God's children to look for this day. There 
are two choice scriptures that describe the communion of the church 
with Christ, and the dispensations of Christ to the church ; and they 
both conclude with a desire of his coming. One is Cant. viii. 14 ; the 
other is Eev. xxii. 20. The first place, ' Make haste my beloved, and 
be like a young hart or roe upon the mountains of spices/ Christ is 
not slack, but the church's affections are strong ; "make haste," my be 
loved ; that is the bride's last and great suit to the bridegroom, his 
coming in glory to judge the world. The wanton prostitute would have 
her husband defer his coming ; but the chaste spouse thinketh he can 
never come soon enough; they that go a-whoring after the world, and 
are wholly taken up with the world, neither desire his coming, nor 
love his appearing : but the spouse would have all things hastened, that 
he may return ; either come down to them, or take them up to himself; 
it is that day only can perfect a believer's consolation; they do what 
they can to have the blessed and longed-for meeting hastened. In the 
other place Christ saith, ' Surely I come quickly ; ' and the church like 
a quick echo, saith, ' Even so, come Lord Jesus, come quickly.' It 
taketh the word out of Christ's mouth. There is the same Spirit in 
Christ and the church ; for it is Christ's Spirit which resideth in the 
church ; and therefore Chrst speaketh in a way proper to him, ' Behold 
I come quickly/ in a way of promise ; and the church, in a way proper 
to her, ' Even so come.' And Christ's voice and the Church's voice are 
unisons ; our acclamation answereth to his proclamation : Christ saith, 
' I come/ as desiring to meet with us ; ' even so come/ as desiring his 
fellowship and company. The saints look for his coming, Titus ii. 13, 
by faith and hope ; and long for his coming, love his appearing, 2 Tim. 
iv. 8, in a way of love. 

Now his coming must be desired by us : 

[1.] With earnestness and hearty groans : 2 Cor. v. 2, ' For this we 
groan earnestly/ 

[2.] With constancy, not for a fit. The Spirit in the bride saith, 
' Come/ Rev. xxii. 17. The new nature stirreth up these desires in us ; 
as soon and as long as he worketh in us, there is a bent this way ; we 
should always stand ready to meet him. 

[3.] With patience. Here is earnest desire and waiting in the text : 
1 Thes. i. 10, 'We wait for his Son from heaven/ 


Use 1. Is to reprove those that never look after this estate. 

[1.] That have nothing to incline them to look higher than the world ; 
that are under the power of a carnal nature, that wholly bendeth them 
to earthly things, Phil. iii. 19 ; that are well enough satisfied with the 
happiness of beasts, to enjoy pleasures without remorse ; have not sense 
and care of the world to come. Those whose happiness is terminated 
on things of the present life are so far from Christians, that they are 
scarce men. 

J2.] That have much to divert them from it ; namely, unpardoned 
unmodified sin. If thieves and malefactors might have liberty 
to choose whether there should be an assizes, would they give their vote 
that way ? Would they look and long for the time ? They are not 
fire-proof, or such as may abide the day of refining: 2 Pet. iii. 11, 
' Seeing all these things must be dissolved, what manner of persons 
ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness ? ' They are riot 
at peace with God, ver. 14. 

Use 2. To press believers to live in the constant expectation of 
this glorious day ; to make us heavenly : Phil. iii. 20, ' But our conver 
sation is in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour.' Live as if it 
were always present, which by faith we look for ; this will make us 
faithful, 2 Tim. iv. 7 ; persevere to the end, 1 John ii. 24 ; make us 
press forward, and make us long to be at home : 2 Cor. v. 8, ' For we 
are confident, I say, willing rather to be absent from the body, and to 
be present with the Lord. 


For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, lut "by 
reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. BOM. VIII. 

HERE is the reason why the creature waiteth with earnest expectation 
for the consummate state of the faithful : because it is for the present 
in a disordered estate, subject to vanity. 
In the words three things : 

1. The present state of the creature. 

2. The manner how it came into that estate. 

3. The hope of getting out of it. 

Doct. The creature is made subject to vanity for man's sin. 

Here I shall enquire, 

First, In what sense the creature is made subject to vanity. 

Secondly, The manner how it came into it. 

Thirdly, The reason why the innocent creature is punished for man's 

First. In what sense the creature is made subject to vanity. In 
several respects : 


1. It is put by the order of its natural estate, or much of that har 
monious and perfect condition wherein God disposed it. The perfection 
and harmony of the world is often now disturbed by tempests, inun 
dations, distempered weather, pestilential airs, and noxious fogs and 
vapours ; whence come plagues, and famine, and murrains, and other 
diseases. The world is a theatre whereon much sin and many changes 
have been acted for thousands of years ; not only among men, but much 
destructive enmity is to be found among elements themselves, and a 
mutual invasion of one another ; for the confederacies of nature tire in 
a great measure loosened, though not altogether dissettled. This is 
the vanity of disorder. It is very observable, that when God cometh 
to punish a people or a nation for their sins, the prophets express it as 
if the whole creation were to be put into a rout and disorder ; as when 
Babylon's destruction is threatened : Isa. xiii. 13, 14, 'I will shake the 
heavens, and the earth shall remove out of its place in the day of his 
fierce anger ; and it shall be as a chased roe, and a sheep whom no 
man taketh up ; ' so Isa. xxxiii. 9, ' The earth mourneth and lan- 
guisheth ; Lebanon is ashamed and hewed down ; Sharon is like a 
wilderness ; Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits ; ' so Isa. xxxiv. 
4, when God threateneth the Idumeans and other enemies of the 
church, it is said, ' All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the 
heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and all their host shall 
fall down as a leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling leaf from 
the fig-tree ; for my sword shall be bathed in heaven ; it shall come 
down upon Idumea, and upon the 'people of my curse, to judgment. 
It was but a particular judgment, yet the expressions carry it as if 
the whole universe were to be put into a disorder ; for by the sin of 
man came all those mutations which we see in the world. On the 
contrary, you shall see in the promises the scripture speak as if the 
whole creation were to be restored when man is reduced to God. I 
shall only instance in that : Isa. li. 16, ' I have put my words in thy 
mouth, that I may cover thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may 
plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto 
Zion, Thou art my people ; ' implying, that if mankind were better, 
the marks and prints of the curse would cease and be quite extinguished ; 
there would not be such disorder in the creature as now appeareth ; but 
it would seem to be planted again ; man's re-establishment in a state 
of obedience to the creator would be a re-establishment of the order 
of the world. 

2. There is the vanity of corruption. It is put into a corruptible 
condition ; the creature is now frail and fleeting, and still decaying : 
Eccles. i. 2, ' Vanity of vanities, all is vanity ; ' not only vain, but vanity 
itself ; and vanity of vanities, is extreme vanity ; thus not only some 
things, but all things are thus fluid and vain, because of their incon 
stancy and mutability: so Ps. xxxix. 5, 6, 'Verily every man in his 
best estate is altogether vanity ; surely every man walketh in a vain 
show ; surely they are disquieted in vain/ The uncertainty, weakness, 
and emptiness of all earthly things is soon discovered, and within a 
little while the most shining glory is burnt to a snuff. We vain 
creatures trouble ourselves about these transitory nothings, as if they 
would continue with us to all eternity, and had some solid, durable 


enjoyment and satisfaction in them ; whereas they wither like flowers 
while we smell at them. 

3. Vain in regard of its final dissolution and last change, when ' the 
heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt 
with fervent heat, and all the works that are therein shall be burnt up/ 
2 Pet. iii. 10. ' As a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall 
be changed/ Ps. cii. 26. Though this change be not an abolition, an 
annihilation, yet a great waste it will be, and an utter destruction of 
many things in the world. 

4. Vain in regard of its end and use. There is a double end and use : 
[1.] Nextly and immediately. This sublunary world was made to 

be a commodious habitation for man : Ps. cxv. 16, * The heaven, even 
the heavens, are the Lord's ; but the earth hath he given to the children 
of men.' By an original grant, God gave the use of all his creatures 
upon earth unto man ; indeed all things here below were either sub 
ject to our dominion, or created for our use. Some things are not 
subject to our dominion, as sun, moon, and stars, with their influences, 
yet created for our use ; therefore David in his night-meditation, Ps. 
viii. 3, 4, ' When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the 
moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained ; what is man, that thou 
art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?' 
That all this should be made for the comfort of man, it is God's great 
goodness to us : but other things were not only created for man's use, but 
also subject to man's dominion : Gen. i. 26, ' Let them have dominion 
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over the 
cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that 
creepeth upon the earth ; ' this was God's charter to man as a deputy- 
god and vice-king in this lower world. Man enjoy eth the benefit of 
those things which are not under his command, as sun, moon, stars, 
clouds, winds ; all in their course do us service, to give us light, heat, 
and influence, and rain, by which they drop down fatness on the earth ; 
but the other creatures we have a dominion over them, and they are 
to be subdued by us ; the earth by habitation and culture ; the sea by 
navigation and fishing ; but above all the rest, the cattle are most at 
our command, to afford us food and clothing, and do us a voluntary 
kind of homage, in their labours submitting to our direction and govern 
ment. Well then, the inferior globe of earth, and air, and sea, to have 
the dominion and use of the creatures that are therein, were all made 
and given for man's use and comfort. As God hath provided the 
highest heavens for his own place and court of residence, so he hath 
made the earth for a commodious habitation for man. But when was 
this given to man ? In innocency ; for by rebellion against God we 
forfeited this lordship of ours ; and till it be restored by Christ, we 
have no comfortable right to exercise it (as by and by). And in part, 
this was manifested in renewing this patent to Noah, saved out of the 
waters in the ark, which was a type of Christ : Gen. ix. 1, 2, ' God 
blessed Noah, and said unto him, The fear of you, and the dread of 
you, shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the 
air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes 
of the sea ; into your hand they are delivered.' This was the next end 
for which the creature was made. 


[2.] Ultimately and terrain atively they were made for God. For 
God ' made all things for himself,' Prov. xvi. 4 ; and the creatures are 
called his servants: Ps. cxix. 91, ' They continue to this day according 
to thy ordinance ; for all are thy servants/ Man was but a fellow- 
creature with the rest of the world, and could not challenge a lordship 
over them by his own right, without God's free gift. We could not 
claim a dominion over that which had no dependence on us, either by 
creation, or by present sustentation ; for dependence is the foundation 
of all subjection and sovereignty. Now that which necessarily de- 
pendeth upon the gift of another, must be used to the ends for which 
it is given ; God never gave the creatures so to man as to dispossess 
himself. The supreme right still remaineth in him ; and our grant 
was not a total alienation from God ; for that is impossible, unless the 
creature were put into an absolute state of independency. No, God 
reserved an interest still, that all these things should be used for his 
glory. To pass over this right any other way, is inconsistent with the 
wisdom of God, and the nature of the creature : Rom. xi. 36. * All 
things are of him, and through him, and to him ; to whom be glory 
for ever and ever.' This quit-rent God reserveth to himself for all his 
bounty, that we should honour him and acknowledge him in all that 
we are, have, and do : 1 Cor. x. 31, ' Whether ye eat and drink, or 
whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.' Well then, these things 
being premised, we shall the better state the vanity to which the 
creature is made subject for man's sin.: vanum est quod excidit fine suo ; 
that is vain which faileth in its use. Now the use is to serve man 
innocent, and to promote God's glory ; therefore the creatures, if they 
had reason, it would be a grief to serve God's enemies, and to such vile 
uses as they abuse them. 

(1.) It is a part of their vanity that they are made to serve man in a 
state of corruption, and the most wicked of the kind, that refuse to 
come out of the apostasy and defection from God. The creatures natu 
rally take the part of the creator, are to be accounted friends or 
enemies to us, as God is ; for the scripture speaketh of them as 
involved in his league and covenant ; yet they are forced to serve those 
whom they are appointed to punish. God causeth his sun to shine on 
the good and the evil ; and causeth his rain to fall upon the just and 
unjust ; to serve wicked men's turns with whom they are at no peace. 
It is an old and a vexed question, What right and interest wicked men 
have in the creatures ? As much as needeth to be now spoken to it 
may be comprised in these propositions : 

First, Man never had the right of an absolute and supreme lord, but 
only of a steward and a servant. The supreme original right was in 
the creator, but the subordinate and limited right was in man, who 
had nothing absolutely his own, but was to use all for God, to whom he 
was accountable. All things are ours for God ; nothing is properly and 
ultimately our own. 

Secondly, Upon the fall, man lost the right of a servant ; for when 
the first charter was broken, the rights that accrued thereby were lost, 
and by lapse forfeited into the hands of the true owner again. 

Thirdly, Though the right of a servant was forfeited and lost, yet 
God was pleased out of his patience and indulgence to continue fallen 

VER. 20.] 



man the use and benefit of the creature, and some kind of right to 
them, a civil right and providential right. First, acivil right ; as 
Nabal's sheep were said to be his sheep, 1 Sam. xxv n 4, and he is a 
thief that should have stolen them from him. A man is a thief before 
God and man that robbeth a wicked man ; still we have such a right 
to the creatures that our fellow-servants may not take from us without 
our Lord's consent. Secondly, a providential right ; as God puts them 
into our hands by the fair allowance and disposure of his providence : 
Ps. xvii. 14, ' They have their portion in this life : thou fillest their 
bellies with thy hid treasure.' So Jer. xxvii. 5, ' I have given it to 
whom it seemeth meet unto me ; ' corn, houses, lands, goods, cattle. 
He that hath an absolute right and interest in the creature may dispose 
it at his pleasure. 

Fourthly, Though they have a civil and providential right, yet they 
have not a filial and evangelical right ; for that is by Christ. In him 
all things are ours : 1 Cor. iii. 22, ' All things are yours, and you are 
Christ's, and Christ is God's;' and with him he hath given us all 
things, Kom. viii. 32 ; and it is said, 1 Tim. iv. 3, 4, that ( every 
creature of God is good,' and created c to be received with thanksgiving 
of them that believe, and know the truth/ These are heirs of promise 
who have right by Christ. 

Fifthly. The evangelical right is that which* sanctifieth the creature 
to us ; and so thereby the creature may more comfortably serve us, our 
right being restored by Christ : 1 Tim. iv. 4, ' The creature is sanctified 
by the word and prayer/ The more we believe and acknowledge God 
in Christ, the more comfortable use of the creature ; whereas unre- 
generate men, who have forfeited the right of a steward, use the 
creature as if they had the right of a lord ; use goods, lands, moneys, 
us their own, and given to them for themselves, and not for God ; and 
this is a part of the vanity the creature is subject unto. 

(2.) The creatures are often employed as instruments to fulfil our 
lusts, which in their original use were intended for God's glory ; and 
so God is dishonoured rather than glorified by them. Some abuse the 
creatures to pride in apparel, some to gluttony and drunkenness, some 
to base sparing ; whereas those that would be good stewards for God 
should use wholly what God hath put into their hands for God's glory ; 
that the creature may not be turned from the end and use for which it 
was first made, as it is when the provisions of this life are used, not for 
strength, but for surfeiting and drunkenness; our clothes not for 
warmth, but for pride and wantonness; and the remainder and overplus 
of our estates employed in pomp, not in charity. But now, when this 
is little minded, the creature is abused to our vain ends. 

Secondly. The manner how it came into this state of vanity. It is 
expressed negatively and positively. 

1. Negatively ; ou% e/covcra, not willingly, that is, by its own 
natural propension. Voluntariness is attributed to the senseless crea 
ture by translation from man ; and what is against the natural in 
clination of the creature, or the use for which it was ordained by 
God, it is said to be done unwillingly. The first institution of the 
creature was for God's glory and the benefit of man ; and all crea 
tures were fitted for the use for which they were made ; and if 


it be put by its natural use, it hath a resemblance of violence. There 
fore if you take vanity for the disorder or perishing of the creature ; you 
may say, not wittingly; for all things tend naturally to their own pre 
servation ; and so what tendeth to its destruction cannot be said to be 
done willingly. Or if you take it for falling from its end and use, as 
the service of wicked men in their lusts ; the creature is not subject to 
this bondage willingly, but forced to submit to it, as the world is now 

2. Positively ; Sia rov vTrordgavra. God by his judgment hath sub 
jected the creature to this curse for man's sin ; man as the meritorious, 
a.nd God the efficient cause of this vanity which is brought upon the 
creature ; so that it is brought upon them by man as a sinner, by God 
as a judge. 

[1.] First, by manias a sinner ; that brought the hereditary and old 
curse. As the lower Vorld was created for man's sake, so by the just 
judgment of God the curse came upon the whole earth for man's sake : 
Gen iii. 17, 18, ' Cursed is the ground for thy sake ; in sorrow shalt 
thou eat of it all the days of thy life ; thorns and thistles also shall it 
bring forth unto thee/ This was the original curse. So for the actual 
curse : Ps. cvii. 33, 34, ' He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the 
water springs into dry ground ; a fruitful land into barrenness, for the 
wickedness of them that dwell therein.' Barrenness or fertility is not 
a natural accident, but ordered by God for the punishment of man's sin. 
Therefore we should lift up our eyes above all natural causes, and fix 
them upon God, who chastiseth men for their unfruitfulness towards 
him, and punisheth countries whose plenty hath been infamously 
abused, and spent upon their lusts. 

[2.] Secondly, by the will and power of the creator ; he it is who 
hath the sovereign disposal of the creature, and to order it as he 
pleaseth with respect to his own glory. 

(1.) Herein we see God's justice, who by the vanity of the creature 
would give us a standing monument of his displeasure against sin. 
Creatures are not as they were made in their primitive institution ; the 
enmities and destructive influences of the several creatures had never 
been known, if we had not rebelled against God ; we should never 
have been acquainted with droughts, and famines, and pestilences, and 
earthquakes ; these are fruits of the fall, and introduced by our sin ; 
and by these God would show us what an evil thing sin is : Jer. ii. 19, 
' Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall 
reprove thee ; know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, 
that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in 
thee, saith the Lord of Hosts/ We being in a lower sphere of under 
standing, can only know causes by the effects ; here is an effect ; it hath 
brought misery upon us and upon the whole creation. When God 
looked upon the whole creation, all the creatures were good, Gen. i. 31, 
' very good ; ' but when Solomon had considered them, all was vanity, 
very vain. What is the reason of this alteration ? Sin had interposed. 

(2.) The power and sovereignty of God. All the creatures are sub 
ject to the will of God, even in those things which are contrary to their 
natural use and inclination ; for therefore he employeth them to destroy 
one another, and man who hath brought this disorder upon them. If 

VJSB. 20.] 



God bid the fire burn, however kindled, what can withstand its flames ? 
If he bid the earth cleave and swallow up those who had made a cleft 
in the congregation of the Lord, the earth presently obeyeth : Num. 
xvi. 31, 'As he had spoken these words, the ground clave asunder that 
was under them, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them 
up.' So if God bid the sea stand up like a mountain and wall of con 
gealed ice, it will do so, and afford passage for his people ; and return 
again to its wonted course and fluidness and drown the Egyptians, it 
will do it: Exod. xiv. 28, ' The waters returned, and covered the chariots.' 
So for other things : Job xxxvii. 6, ' He saith to the snow, Be thou 
upon the earth ; and likewise to the great rain, Be thou upon the 
earth.' Not a drop of rain falleth from the clouds but by God's per 
mission ; so verse the 12, ' The clouds are turned about by his counsels, 
to do whatever he commandeth them upon the face of the earth/ 
Nothing seemeth to be more casual than the motion of the clouds, or at 
least to arise from mere natural causes ; yet still are at the direction of 
God ; for it followeth, ver. 13, ' He causeth it to rain for the correction 
of a land, or for mercy/ Sometimes it is sent in mercy, and sometimes 
in judgment ; this bridle God keepeth upon the world, to check their 
licentiousness, and awe them into obedience to himself. 

(3.) His mercy during the day of his patience. In the midst of judg 
ment he remembereth mercy. Though there be much vanity in the 
creatures, yet there is still a usefulness in them to mankind. Though 
the air might poison us, and the earth swallow us up, and the mouth 
of the great deep vomit forth an inundation of waters, and the fire scorch 
up the earth, yet it is great mercy that God hath so bound up the 
creatures by a law and decree, that the earth is still a commodious 
habitation to man ; that many of the changes and commotions in the 
elementary and lower world conduce to our benefit, but especially the 
stated course of nature ; that the earth doth bring forth its fruits in 
due season, and the sun rejoiceth to run its course ; all this is goodness 
to poor creatures, while God offereth pardon of sin and restitution by 
Christ ; we still enjoy the blessings we have forfeited ; though with some 
diminution and abatement, we are restored to the use of the creatures ; 
but these arc subject to vanity. We have our lives, but not that 
perfect constitution of body which Adam enjoyed before his fall. 
Creatures are not so useful and serviceable to us as they were in their 
first creation. In the inward righteousness and holiness restored to 
man, there is a mixture of corruption. It was needful there should 
be some continual remembrance of sin, that we might be the more 
abased in ourselves, and more sensible of God's mercy ; and yet for 
the honour of God some monument should be left of his benignity 
and bounty to his creature. 

Thirdly, The reasons why the innocent creature is punished for 
man's sin. 

1. To destroy the image of jealousy, or the great idol that was set up 
against God. Man's great sin was his forsaking the creator, and 
seeking his happiness in the creature: Jer. ii. 13, ' For my people have 
committed two evils ; they have forsaken me the fountain of living 
water, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that will hold no 
water.' He forsook God by distrust, and betook himself to the 


creature out of necessity ; for man cannot subsist of himself, but 
must have somewhat to lean unto. The first temptation did entice 
man from God to some inferior good more pleasing to his fleshly 
mind. Man was made for God, to serve him, love him, and de 
light in him, and to use all the creatures in order to God, for his 
service and glory ; he was to use nothing but with this intention. But 
by sin, all that man was capable of using was abused to please his 
flesh. Now as Satan, the tempter, aimed at this, that by depending 
on the creature we might have no cause to look back upon God any 
more, as when they break off a treaty of marriage, they set another 
match a-foot ; or rather, as those that endeavour to draw away a man's 
heart from his own wife, entangle him in the love of a strange woman ; 
so God, to counterwork Satan, blasts the creature, and much of the beauty 
and virtue of it is losj}, that we may think of returning to him : Hos. 
ii. 7, ' I will return to my first husband ; for then it was better with 
me than now.' Disappointment in the creature sendeth many to God, 
who otherwise would never think of him ; for they are made the more 
sensible of their disadvantage in forsaking him. 

2. The creature is still made an instrument of sin, and therefore is 
involved in God's curse, as to the disorder, ruin, and destruction of 
many of the parts of it. For if we use these creatures contrary to 
their nature and end, and to the wrong of their proper lord and owner, 
no wonder if he blasted what is so abused. The creatures are some 
times abused as objects of worship and trust, to the alienating men's 
hearts from God, as in gross idolatry : ' They worshipped the. queen 
of heaven,' meaning the sun, whom they made a female, Jer. xliv. 18. 
And the Lord complaineth, Ezek. xvi. 16, 17, 18, 19, that they decked 
their high places with gold and silver, and did set oil and incense be 
fore them. So still we set up the creature for our end and happiness, 
as if it were more attractive and amiable than God, and fitter to con 
tent and delight the soul ; use so much of the world as is within our 
grasp and reach, against God and our true happiness. Besides brutish 
wickedness, how many sacrilegious morsels do men offer to an intem 
perate appetite, and abuse other things by their sinful desires, meat 
to surfeiting, drink to excess, apparel to pride ; wealth, power, and in 
terest to serve their revengful minds ? 

3. In the curse on the creature, man is punished. His blessings 
cursed, Mai. ii. 2. Those things which were made for our use and 
service, become first instruments of our sin, and then of our punish 
ment. It is just with God not only to punish us in our persons, but 
in the things belonging us ; as demolishing the houses and castles of 
a rebel is taken to be a part of his punishment among men. Pharaoh's 
house was smitten for Sarah's sake: Gen. xii. 17, 'And the Lord 
plagued Pharaoh and his house for Sarah's sake ; ' and Num. xvi. 32, 
* The earth swallowed them up, and their houses, and their goods/ 
So God brought vanity on the creature for man's sake ; murrain on 
the beasts and cattle ; blasts upon corn and vines, and other fruits of 
the earth. We have interest in them, and our subsistence is by them ; 
yea, the king himself is served by the field ; their destruction is our 
loss ; as mercy to the earth is mercy to men. 

Use 1. To teach us the evil of sin. Man by sin brought a curse upon 


himself, upon his posterity, and upon all the creatures ; that is it we 
are upon ; sin disordered the whole world ; therefore let us work our 
hearts to a detestation and abhorrence of it. We see how highly God 
is displeased with it ; the creator, who out of his overflowing bounty 
created all things, and delighted in them when he had made them, yet 
was provoked to curse what he had created, when once man had 
sinned ; and so sin hath made a great change in the world. But be 
cause these are ancient things, and do little move us, see the judgments 
of every age and time, which are the fruit of this vanity, which is 
brought upon the creature. If a nation sin : Deut. xxviii. 22, 23, 
* The Lord thy God shall smite thee with fevers, and with the sword, 
and with blasting, and mildew, and consume thee until thou perish. 
The heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth under 
thee, iron ; the Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust ; 
from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.' 
So ver. 38, 39, 40, ' Thou shalt carry much seed into the field, and 
shalt gather but little in, for the locusts shall consume it ; thou shalt 
plant vineyards and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine 
nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them; have olive 
trees, but the olive shall cast its fruits.' These are things often ful 
filled before our eyes ; so Isa. xxiv. 4, 5, 6, 'The earth mourneth and 
fadeth away ; the world languisheth and fadeth away ; the earth also 
is defiled under the inhabitants thereof ; they have transgressed the 
laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. There 
fore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are 
desolate ; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few 
men left.' So for our persons, it is our sin that bringeth the curse of 
God on all that we enjoy. Thus God by the vanity and perishing of 
the creature, would show how angry he is with man for sin. 

Use 2. Do not cast a greater burden upon the creature ; you have 
already brought in too much disorder and confusion upon the world. 
But how do we cast a greater burden upon the creature ? When you 
sin with and by the creature ; as by injustice, unmercifulness, oppres 
sion, because you have much filthy excess ; by these and such-like you 
make the creature the object and occasion of sin ; especially opposition 
to God, oppressing his servants, dealing cruelly and unmercifully with 
men, hoping your greatness should bear you out in any of these cases. 

1. Consider how the creature will cry to God for revenge : Hab. ii. 11, 
' For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the 
timber shall answer it ; ' the very materials of their buildings and 
unjust acquisitions shall witness against them ; James v. 3, ' The 
canker and rust of your gold and silver shall witness against you.' 

2. Those that put a burden upon the creature shall have the crea 
ture's burden put on them. By your sin they are subjected to vanity, 
and by their vanity you are subjected to wrath ; they are ready to 
revenge God's quarrel, if he do but hiss for them, Isa. vii. 18 ; he can 
make ' thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle for barley,' in herit 
ages gotten by oppression, Job xxxi. 40. 

3. The creature shall be delivered ; but those that abuse the crea 
ture shall not. It is subjected in hope, but their worm dieth not, their 
firo goeth not out. 


Use 3. Is to persuade us to turn our hearts from the creature to 
God ; for the creature is made subject to vanity. They change, but 
he changeth not. 1 John ii. 17, ' The world passeth away, and the 
lusts thereof.' There is no true happiness to be found under the sun. 
Surely they that can see no vanity, nothing but glory and goodness in 
outward things, Satan hath bewitched them, Mat. iv. 8. Shall we 
fix our minds on a reeling world, ever subject to changes ? Ps. Ixxxiii. 
13, ' my God, make them like a wheel, as the stubble before the 
wind ; ' those things are continually rolled and turned upside down, 
as a wheel is turned and turned, never standeth still in a declivity. 
The creature is vain, and made more vain by our confidence: Ps. 
xxx. 6, Mn my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved ;' therefore 
if we love the creature, let it be after God, and for God ; not in 
comparison with God* If the heart be set uponworldly things, it is 
stolen from better : Ps. Ixii. 10, ' Trust not in oppression, become 
not vain in robbery ; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them/ 
God is impatient of a corrival ; ' I am married to you/ Jer. iii. 14. 
Not in exclusion of God ; as when we rejoice in the creature apart 
from God, an heart divided from him, Luke xii. 19. Not in opposition 
to God ; as if by the creature we were able to make our party against 

Use 4. Let us seek after restitution by Christ. The covenant made 
with God in Christ doth secure us against the hurt of the creature : 
Job v. 23, ' For thou shalt be in a league with the stones of the field, 
and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee ; ' and Hosea 
ii. 18, ' And in that day I will make a covenant for them, with the 
beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creep 
ing things of the ground/ They are included in God's covenant, who 
concerneth himself in all our affairs ; the new creature suiteth with 
the new world : Rev. xxi. 5, ' And he that sat upon the throne said, 
Behold, I make all things new/ 2 Cor. v. 17, ' Whosoever is in Christ, 
is a new creature ; ' their mercies are sweet ; come not in anger, but 
purchased ; we have a covenant-right restored. 

Use 5. Is hope. If inanimate creatures are delivered from vanity, 
much more saints. Let us bear our burden with patience ; the crea 
ture was subject to vanity, but it was not their fault, but ours ; 
obedientially God subjected them ; but God would not leave the world 
under a perpetual curse. 


Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the 'bondage cf 
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 
ROM. VIII. 21. 

IN this verse the apostle showeth what hope was appointed by God 
for the creature, which for a while was subject to vanity ; ' Because 
the creature,' <fec. 


In the words observe 

1. The deliverance asserted : ' Because the creature itself also shall 
be delivered.' 

2. The terms of this deliverance explained : (1.) Terminus a quo. 
From the bondage of corruption. (2 ) Ad quern, Into the glorious 
liberty of the children of God. 

1. Asserted, 'On may be taken causally, as giving a reason of the 
hope mentioned ; so we render it because ; or specificative. as showing 
what kind of hope they have : * subjected the same in hope that the 
creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption ; ' 
for the word eXevdepcodija-erai, asserted into freedom; for it is now in 
bondage, as the following words declare. 

2. Explained. First, the terminus a quo ; that which he called vanity 
before, he now calleth ' bondage of corruption ; ; therefore this SovXeta 
<j)9opas must be explained as the vanity was, that signifieth either 
disorder or alteration, and corruption or dissolution, or perversion from 
its use, as it serveth wicked men, especially as it is abused by them to 
the fulfilling of their lusts ; all this vanity, and all this bondage is an 
heavy yoke to the creature, and from all this it shall be freed. The 
term to which : ' Into the glorious liberty of the children of God.' 
But here a doubt ariseth. Shall the senseless creatures be made par 
takers of the same glory with God's children ? That is absurd to be 
conceived. To solve this, Chrysostom thinketh els is put for Sta, as these 
particles are often exchanged; so els rrjv eKevOewav should be 
rendered ~by the glorious liberty. Others, to prevent this absurdity, 
make it not the term of the change, but the term of expectation, when 
the children of God are advanced into their glory ; then, and not till 
then, shall the creatures be freed from the bondage of corruption. 
But the apostle's words do signify not only time, but estate ; not at, 
but into ; it is no such absurdity to say that the creature shall in its 
kind and manner partake of the glorious estate of the saints ; for there 
is somewhat common to them both, and that is incorruption, 1 Cor. xv. 
42. So the meaning is, it shall be translated from a state of corruption 
to a state of incorruption, and such a measure of beauty and glory doth 
agree thereunto. 

Two points I shall observe from this verse : 

Doct. 1. That the creatures shall be freed from corruption, and be 
made partakers of a better estate than now they have. 

Doct. 2. That the liberty to which God's children are reserved is a 
glorious liberty. 

First, let me speak of the restoration of the creature, and then of the 
glorious liberty of the saints. 

Doct. 1. For the first, Let me state it, how far the creatures shall be 
delivered from the present vanity and misery, and for what reasons. 
We must keep to scripture generals, lest we run into curiosities ; that 
rule of Augustine is good, Melius dubitare de occultis, quam litigare 
de incertis; it is better to doubt of what is hidden, than to contend about 
what is uncertain. We may define things with danger, but we may 
be ignorant of them without danger; therefore as to creatures that 
shall be restored, and not restored, we must not be too nice and in 
quisitive. Possibly this is one of those difficulties mentioned by St. 


Peter, 2 Pet. iii. 16, that in his beloved brother Paul's epistles, there 
are Svcri/oTjra TWO,. I am sure these concern the matter there treated oL 
First, For things that are not to be restored. 

1. Whatever came in by sin, will be utterly destroyed ; as thorns, 
thistles, poisonous weeds : Gen. iii. 17, 18, * Cursed is the ground for 
thy sake, thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.' The reason 
is, when the cause is taken away the effect ceaseth. If the curse of 
God upon the earth be a part of man's punishment ; then upon man's 
deliverance the creature is delivered also. Now it continueth for a 
mark of God's displeasure, and our humiliation, because man is restored 
but in part ; but upon our full deliverance, no more of this is found. 

2. All creatures that arise out of corruption and putrefaction ; as 
toads, mice, flies, bats. As they were not in the first creation, so they 
shall not appear in thjs restitution of all things at the coming of the 

3. All living creatures which perish before, or at the end of the 
world. It is probable these shall not be renewed and restored again ; 
Partly, because these serve only for the use and the sustenance of the 
earthly life ; but in glory freed from this necessity : 1 Cor. vi. 13, 
' Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats ; but God shall destroy 
both it and them/ In this life the body hath an absolute necessity of 
them ; but in the next life the meat itself, as well as the eating or 
desiring of meat, shall be taken away. Partly, because, if these should 
be restored, there must be a resurrection of them, which is only 
promised to men. And the apostles when they speak, restrain it to 
mankind, who have reasonable souls living to God, while their bodies 
are rotting in the grave ; but the soul of the beasts goeth downward, 
Eccl. iii. 21 ; that is, perish with their bodies, which are buried in the- 

4. All artificial works done by the hand of man, as cities, castles, 
houses, gardens. They shall all be burnt up, and be extant no more ; 
for though these things are useful during the earthly life, yet then 
they are all consumed, as being defiled by the inhabitants thereof : 2 
Pet. iii. 10, ' The earth also, and the works which are therein, shall be 
burnt up ; ' that is, which men have made, and built thereupon ; which 
should turn our hearts from our affecting those things, or fixing upon 
the creature which is passing away, whilst we neglect God, who is the 
same, that passeth not. 

Secondly. That which shall be restored is the fabric of heaven 
and earth ; not the highest heavens ; they need no purifying fire, no 
unclean things entering there ; but the lower heavens and this earth ; 
the state of things after the dissolution is often called a ' world to come.' 
Now ivorld, in the sacred dialect, comprehendeth the Visible heavens 
and earth; meaning by heavens, the airy and starry heaven ; and by 
earth, dry land and waters. Well then, heaven and earth, sun, moon, 
and stars, which had a being in the creation, and undergo the purging- 
fire at the dissolution, shall be restored as gold that hath been melted 
and refined in the fire. If you ask for what use ? We must refer that 
to the event ; the scripture in the general, 2 Pet. iii. 13, "We expect, 
according to his promise, new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth 
righteousness ; ' wherein righteous men shall have a firm place, and 


always dwell therein, and exercise righteousness ; whereas this earth is 
full of wicked and unrighteous men, which then shall be all in hell. 
But the difficulty is about the use of this lower world. 

1. What if God restore it as a monument of his wisdom, goodness 
and power? an object wherein by the great beauty of the creature, 
the just shall see God by reflection ? 

2. What if for the exercise of our delight and gratitude ? To 
delight the eyes and minds of the saints, the creatures having a glory 
and brightness put upon them, somewhat proportionable to their own 
glorious estate ? God will make a proportion between the heir and the 
inheritance, the lord and the servants, the habitation and the inhabi 
tant ; as the church is altered, so must her dwelling ; there shall be 
nothing in nature displeasing to the eyes of God's children, but all 
delightful to all eternity. 

3. What if to be a trophy of the final abolition of death, the last 
enemy that shall be destroyed ? The world is now a monument of sin, 
and then of our redemption, that all the fruit of sin is done away 
both in us and the world. 

4. What if to complete the first grant of dominion to man over the 
creatures ? This grant must some time or other take place : Ps. viii. 
6, ' Thou madest him to have dominion over the work of thine hands ; 
thou hast put all things under his feet/ It is not done here ; therefore 
in the world to come, as the apostle speaketh : Heb. ii. 5, c For unto 
the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come ; ' which 
world to come concerneth the state of the church under Christ, and the 
state of glory after the resurrection. Now we have the right, then 
the possession ; an eternal kingdom over all creatures. For it is said 
of the saints, that they shall have dominion in the morning, and that 
they ' shall reign with Christ for ever and ever,' Rev. xxii. 5 ; and of 
the new heavens and the new earth, Rev. xxi. 7, ' He that overcometh 
shall inherit all things,' which beareth some sense. 

Use. It showeth us three things : 

1. The certainty of our hopes. There is hope that the creature at 
length shall be delivered into a state agreeing with the future glory of 
God's children. Therefore much more is their deliverance to be hoped 
for by the children of God themselves. For if these dumb insensible 
things be made partakers of a better estate than they have now, will 
not God take care for the recompence of his people ? 

2. The excellency of our hopes. It appeareth hence, what excel 
lency of glory is reserved for the children of God, since all the world 
shall be refined and restored for their sakes ; and seeing the glory of 
that state requireth the creature should be -changed before it can suit 
with it. 

3. It showeth us the manner of entering into our hopes. As the 
creature must be freed from the state of corruption, before it can par 
take with God's children in any degree of their glorious liberty, so 
must we be changed before we are capable of it. How changed ? 
First, By grace. Secondly, By death. We must be changed by grace, 
and freed from the corruption of sin : Eph. v. 5, ' For this we know, 
that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man who is an 
idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God/ 


Common knowledge will easily show us, that those that impenitently 
persist in gross sins, are incapable of any right unto, and never shall 
come to the possession of that blessed estateof eternal glory. We have 
a larger catalogue, Gal. v. 20, 21 ; and the apostle concludeth, that 
they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God ; there 
is no mixture of godly and ungodly in the kingdom of heaven. Nay, 
we may go further, not only exclude them who live in gross sin ; but 
every unregenerate person : John iii. 3, * Except a man be born again, 
he cannot see the kingdom of God ; ' and in the 5th verse it is ex- 

Elained, ' he cannot enter into it.' Every man in his natural estate, be 
e to appearance better or worse, is unmeet for glory ; and there must 
be a change wrought in him ; he must be delivered from the bondage 
of sinful corruption, or he cannot enjoy the glorious liberty of the 
children of God. Noj; only an epicure, or drunkard, or whoremonger 
is excluded ; but a painted pharisee, as long as his heart is corrupt 
and unrenewed, hath no right, and never shall have possession ; he 
must be changed from a state of corruption to a state of holiness ; and 
the image of God, in which he was created, must be restored in him. 

2. Changed by death. The saints being mortal, must be changed 
before they can inherit eternal life. All that we derived from old 
Adam must be laid and left in the grave : 1 Cor xv. 50, ' Flesh and 
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption 
inherit incorruption.' These earthly frail bodies of ours cannot be 
received into heaven, till they be changed and immortalized : ver. 53, 
* This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put 
on immortality.' As a man to build his house better, razeth it to the 
very bottom ; so God will have the body resolved into dust, before he will 
set it forth in this new fair edition. As the creature is dissolved, that 
is, delivered from the bondage of corruption ; first the creature is set 
free, and discharged from being obnoxious to change and alteration ; 
so we must first die, then be raised in incorruption ; which should 
make us the more ready and willing to submit to the appointed 
course, and not only even dare to die, but to be willing to die, since 
death puts an end to sin, and all our calamities, and is the gate and 
entrance by which we pass into glory. 

Dpct. 2. That the liberty to which God's people are reserved is a 
glorious liberty. 

Here I shall first speak of the liberty of God's children in this life ; 
secondly, the glorious liberty in the world to come. For the one is a 
step to the other. For it is called, ' a glorious liberty,' to distinguish 
it from the liberty of God's children here in this world, which is not 
glorious, but gracious, to show how it exceedeth this estate in glory. 
Therefore I must show 

First, What is the liberty of God's children in this world. 

Secondly, What in the world to come. 

First, What is the liberty of God's children in this world. There 
are three practical notions in which man is greatly mistaken, misery 
and happiness ; wisdom and folly ; liberty and bondage. Misery 
and happiness : men count none miserable but the afflicted ; none 
happy but the prosperous ; because they judge by the present ease 
and commodity of the flesh. Wisdom and folly : We all affect 


the repute of wisdom, Job xi. 12; please ourselves with a false 
show of wisdom, neglecting what is true and solid, which is to 
be wise to salvation. Liberty and bondage : man accepteth of a 
false liberty rather than none ; every man would be at his own dispose, 
] ive as he list ; whereas the true liberty must be determined by our 
condition as creatures ; by our end, as creatures that are in pursuit of 
true happiness. To think the only true liberty is to be at the com 
mand and control of none above ourselves, or to live at large according 
to our hearts' desire, is to affect a thraldom and bondage instead of 
liberty ; therefore it concerneth us to state exactly what is the liberty 
of God's children now. It either relateth to our duty, or to our 

1. To our duty ; and so our liberty must be stated by these four 

[1.] It must be such a liberty as becometh a creature who is in 
subjection to God. It is not a power to live as we list, but a power to 
live as we ought. To affect a power to live as we list, and to be 
accountable to none, is to revive the arrogancy of Adam, and to sup 
up again the poison of the old temptation, ' ye shall be as gods/ 
Gen. iii. 5. It was man's original ambition to be at his own dispose, 
and lord of his own actions ; to think, and speak, and do as he 
pleaseth : Ps. xii. 4, ' Our tongues are our own, who is lord over us ? ' 
And the rebellion of the libertine world is set forth by casting off the 
yokes and cords of duty : Ps. ii. 3, * Let us break their bands asunder, 
and cast away their cords from us,' meaning there, the laws of God 
and Christ, who are impatient of any restraint. 'But this is a liberty 
cannot be justified ; for since man hath principium et finem, a 
principle upon which he dependeth in his being and operations, and 
an end unto which he is appointed, he must wholly give up himself to 
the will of another, and his liberty lieth in a readiness to comply with 
God's commands, who is his proper lord, to whom he is to subject 
himself, and to give an account of all his actions. So that man's true 
liberty is God's service : Ps. cxix. 45, ' I will walk at liberty, for I seek 
thy precepts.' To will and do things pleasing to our creator is the 
only liberty pioper to us. 

[2.] It must be such a liberty as will leave us in a capacity to pursue 
our chief good, and last end. For all creatures are by natural instinct 
carried to their last end ; and, the more fettered and restrained from this, 
the more they are in bondage ; the less, the more free ; which holdeth 
good in all creatures ; but principally in the reasonable. Certainly the 
reasonable nature is dishonoured, and debased, and under a defect, as 
it is disabled from the fruition of God , or seeldng after it ; we are in 
bondage as we are captivated and entangled with the love of inferior 
things, and so perverted and diverted from the pursuit of true happi 
ness. The restraining of our irregular desires is not bondage, but the 
gratifying of them, for that is a snare to us. Men live in sin with as 
much delight as fishes in their own element ; yet they are in bonds still, 
as they are detained from God, and turned aside from him ; our 
liberty is our power over inferior things ; and our bondage is their power 
over us. 1 Cor. vi. 12. When we love God with all our hearts, and 
serve him with all our minds, we are free. Liberty in the root 


iruplieth an inclination to God, as the supreme object of our love. In 
the first act, in a power of choosing the means whereby we may enjoy 
him ; in the second act, in an exercise of this power, or in an actual 
pursuing the end by these means. The elective power, and a govern 
ing our actions in order to our great end, is our liberty ; the angels 
that immutably and indeclinably adhere to their last end are freer than 
us, who may err from it. Well then, none are such slaves as they 
that cannot use the means which should make them happy ; but 
employ their whole time in seeking after pleasures, and honours, and 
profits ; like dissolute servants, who being sent by their masters to a 
mart or fair to buy commodities, spend their time and money in some 
inn or house of entertainment by the way, and neglect their fair or 
mart, to which they were sent to employ their money to the best advan 
tage. So we are enslaved by the way, and neglect our main business. 

[3.] It must be such a liberty as will suit with the dignity of a 
rational creature, as man is. For that is the liberty of a man, when 
he acteth with a condecency to the reasonable nature. Man was at 
first made to be happy ; his happiness consisted in the fruition of God ; 
and his subjection to him was no captivity and restraint, but rather a 
part of that blessedness. But we became bondmen, not only by break 
ing the law of God, but by disordering the constitution of our souls ; 
by submitting conscience and reason to our lusts ; so suffering the beast 
to ride the man ; for the rule of the apostle is of immutable equity, 
Rom. vi. 11, ' His servants you are, to whom ye yield yourselves to 
obey.' Now man giving up reason to appetite becometh a very slave ; 
as a country is enthralled when the base prevail above the honourable, 
and beggars get on horseback, but the princes are on foot. Such a 
deordination there is, when reason is put out of dominion, and lusts 
prevail ; our bondage is described by the apostle, Tit. iii. 3, ' Serving 
divers lusts and pleasures.' Our lusts urge us to an eager pursuit of 
inferior things ; reason or the leading part of the soul reclaimeth, but it 
hath no force ; besides our dependence upon God, which cannot be shaken 
off. If since our apostasy from him, we had a perfect understanding to 
guide us, the danger would not be so great ; but in this corrupt estate, 
the mind is blinded by our passions and appetites ; and therefore to be 
left to the dispose of our brutish affections is the greatest judgment 
that can be : Ps. Ixxxi. 12, ' So I gave them up to their own hearts' 
lusts, and they walked in their own counsels.' This is the greatest 
thraldom that can befal such a creature as manis ; it leaveth us no power 
to dispose of ourselves ; men often see what they should do, but cannot 
dp it, being drawn away by their own lusts ; and though we have some 
kind of remorse from the remainders of reason, especially being assisted 
by the Holy Spirit, as to some common help ; yet we foully miscarry 
still, till it hath brought us to misery, as it did Samson the strongest, 
Solomon the wisest of men. Then therefore is a man at liberty, when 
reason and conscience are again put into dominion, and a man is 
fitted to please God, and seek after his true happiness, with the con 
tempt of all worldly things. 

[4.] It must be such a liberty as bringeth us nearest to the state of 
innocency, which is man's first estate ; and the state of glory, which is 
his last and most perfect state. Now this doth consist in a freedom 


from the power of sin ; the liberty of innocency was posse non peccare ; 
Adam might not have sinned ; the liberty of glory will be non 
posse peccare, they cannot sin ; as not with a moral cannot, it 
is absurd, that may be obtained here : 1 John iii. 9, ' He can 
not sin, because he is born of God;' but with a natural can 
not; it is impossible ; the soul doth indeclinably adhere to God as the 
chiefest good ; therefore now the nearer we come to this, the will of 
man is best disposed, and the more to be accounted as free. Divines 
usually consider man in a fourfold estate : In statu institute, in a state 
of integrity, and so man might not have sinned. In statu destitute, 
in a state of corruption, so he can do nothing else but sin ; that every 
imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually, 
Gen. vi. 5. In statu restituto; and so he hath an inclination partly to 
good by the Spirit of grace dwelling in him ; partly to evil, by reason 
of the relics of sin ; and is only so far freed from the bondage of cor 
ruption, as that it shall not reign in him, Kom. vi. 14. In statu prce- 
stituto, in the state to which he is appointed ; in the state of glory, in 
which he can will nothing but what is good ; a blessed necessity it is, 
and our highest liberty ; for liberty is not opposite to necessity, but 
obligation or impulsion ; we are never more free than when we are 
past all possibility of sinning. 

2. As it relateth to our felicity ; and so it implieth two things : (1.) 
Our immunities and privileges; (2.) Our rights and prerogatives. 

[1.] The immunities and privileges of God's children. We are de 
livered from much misery by Christ. First, From the slavery of sin : 
Bom. vi. 18, ' Being made free from sin, ye became the servants of right 
eousness.' Though sin still dwelleth in us, yet the guilt is remitted, 
the damning power gone : Rom. viii. 1, * There is no condemnation to 
them that are in Christ ; ' the reigning power broken : Rom. vi. 14, 
1 For sin shall not have dominion over you/ and so it is more and 
more mortified in us, by the grace of regeneration, till at length it be 
abolished by death. And so the being is gone, and our enthralled 
spirits are in some measure set free, to know, serve, and love God, and 
delight in him as our lord, and life, and end, and all. Secondly, From 
death, as the curse of the law ; and so from those everlasting torments 
which the wicked must endure. The second death hath no power over 
such ; and though we are obnoxious to the first death, yet the venom 
-and sting of it is gone : 1 Cor. xv. 56, 57, ' death, where is thy 
sting ? grave, where is thy victory ? ' And of an enemy it is 
made a friend : 1 Cor. iii. 22, ' Death is yours ; ' it is made the gate 
and entrance into eternal rest. Thirdly, From the bondage that did 
arise in us from the fear of eternal death. Where sin is entertained, 
it bringeth another inmate along with it, and that is the fear and 
terror of death and damnation, which arise th from the consciousness 
of sin. Now to be free from the accusations of a guilty conscience, 
and those self-tormentings which in the wicked are the foretastes of 
hell, is surely a great mercy ; and this is the privilege of God's people : 
Heb. ii. 14, 15, ' To deliver them who through fear of death are all 
their life-time subject to bondage/ And sinners are such bond-men, 
that they dare not call themselves to an account for the expense of 
their time, and course of their employments, which all wise men should 


do ; and think seriously of God, and the day of judgment, and the 
world to come ; therefore it is a great mercy to have a quiet well 
settled conscience. Fourthly, From the tyranny and power of Satan, 
as a deceiver, and enemy, and executioner of the wrath of God ; who 
thereby taketh wicked men captive at his will and pleasure. He can 
not totally prevail against the elect : Mat. xvi. 18, ' Upon this rock I 
build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ; ' 
though he vex and tempt them continually. He hath a kind of right 
to apostate souls : Eph. vi. 12, ' Ruler of the darkness of this world ; ' 
but his power is much broken as to the elect ; they are daily exercised 
by him, but they overcome, and stand stedfast in the faith. Fifthly, 
They are freed from the law and covenant of works, which requireth 
that which to us is become impossible ; and also from the burdensome 
task of useless ceremonies imposed on the church in the times of 
infancy and darkness. And the apostle biddeth us stand fast 
in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, Gal. v. 1. Tho. 
ceremonial law was a bondage, by reason of the great trouble, 
expense, and pain to the flesh which did attend the observation of it, 
especially in its use, a bond confessing the debt; and Christ hath 
purchased this freedom and liberty to the church, and we should stand 
to the defence of it. Sixthly, An immunity from such temporal judg 
ments as might hinder our salvation, and the service of God : 1 Cor. x. 
13, ' There hath no temptation taken hold of you, but such as is common 
to man. But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted 
above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way 
to escape, that ye may be able to bear it;' and Rom. viii. 28, 'All 
things shall work together for good to them that love God/ No ab 
solute immunity from troubles; God hath reserved a liberty to his 
wisdom and justice to afflict us as he shall see cause: Ps. Ixxxix. 32, 
* Then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity 
with stripes/ but will preserve us to his heavenly kingdom, 2 Tim. 
iv. 17, 18. 

[2.] Their rights and prerogatives. First, They have a right to 
serve God with a ready and free will, and on comfortable terms : Luke 
i. 74, 75, * That being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we 
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, 
all the days of our lives;' Ps. li. 12, 'Restore unto me the joy of thy 
salvation, and uphold me by thy free Spirit ; ' and Rom. viii. 15, ' For 
we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have 
received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father/ Second 
ly, A liberty of access to God. A large door is opened to us, for 
communion with him : Eph. iii. 12, ' To whom we have boldness and 
access with confidence;' Heb. iv. 16, 'Let us come with boldness to 
the throne of grace, that we may have grace, and find mercy in a time 
of need ; ' and Heb. x. 19, ' Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter 
into the holiest by the blood of Jesus ; ' 1 John iii. 21, ' Beloved, if our 
hearts condemn us not, then have we boldness toward God/ Thirdly, 
A free use of all the creatures which fall to our share and allowance 
by God's fatherly providence : 1 Tim. iv. 3, 4, ' Forbidding to marry, 
and commanding to abstain from meat, which God hath created to bo 
received with thanksgiving of them that believe and obey the truth. 

VEIL 21.] 



For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it bo 
received with thanksgiving;' 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23, 'Whether Paul, or 
Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or 
things to come ; all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's.' 
With good conscience we may use the creatures, and get them sancti 
fied to us by the word and prayer. Fourthly, A right to eternal life : 
Tit. iii. 7, ' That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs 
according to the hope of eternal life ; ' Rom. viii. 17, ' If children, then 
heirs, heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ ; if so be we suffer with 
him, that we may be also glorified together.' Though we have not the 
possession, yet a title sure and indefeasible ; so that you see (and yet 
I have told you little of it) it is valuable. But it is a glorious liberty 
we are to speak of : 

Secondly. Our glorious liberty in the world to come. That is a 
liberty which implieth the removal of all evil, and the affluence of all 
good ; and may be considered either as to the soul, or to the body. 

1. As to the soul. We are admitted into the blessed sight of God ; 
and the perfect fruition, a-nd pleasing of him in perfect love, joy, and 
praise, to all eternity : 1 Cor. xiii. 12, ' For now we see through a glass 
darkly, but then face to face ; now I know in part, but then shall I 
know even also as I am known ; ' 1 John iii. 2, ' But we know that 
when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he 
is;' Ps. xvi. 11, 'Thou wilt show me the path of life; for in thy 
presence is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand pleasures for ever 
more; ' Ps. xvii. 15, ' As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness, 
I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.' 

2. As to the body, it is in a state of immortality and incorruption, 
wholly freed from death, and all the frailties introduced by sin ; and 
because the body remaineth behind when the soul is in glory, our 
deliverance and redemption is said to be yet behind : Eph. i. 14, 
' Which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the 
purchased possession ; ' Eph. iv. 30, ' And grieve not the Holy Spirit, 
whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption ; ' and that in respect 
of the body : Rom. viii. 23, ' Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the 
redemption of our body.' In short, this glorious liberty may be some 
what understood by the liberty which we have now. 

[1.] Our liberty now is imperfect and incomplete, but then it is full 
and perfect. It is but begun now, and our bonds loosed in part ; but 
our complete deliverance is to come from sin at death, from all misery 
when our bodies are raised up in glory. Sin dwelleth in the saints now, 
but in death it will be utterly abolished ; therefore they groan and 
long for it : Rom. vii. 24, ' wretched man that I am, who shall deliver 
me from the body of death ? ' Yet with hope, ver. 25/ 1 thank God, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord ; so then, with the mind I myself serve 
the law of God ; but with the flesh the law of sin/ Our bodies now 
are subject to corruption and diseases, as others are ; but Phil. iii. 21 ; 
God will then perfectly glorify his children in body and soul. 

[2.] Spiritual liberty is consistent enough with corporal bondage. 
Paul was in prison when Nero was emperor of the world ; many that 
are taken into the liberty of God's children are not freed from outward 
servitude : 1 Cor. vii. 21, 22, ' Art thou called being a servant ? Care 



not for it ; but if thou canst be made free, use it rather/ The condi 
tion of a slave is not incompetent with Christianity ; Joseph was a slave 
in Egypt, but his mistress was the captive, as she was oyercome by her 
own lusts; servants may be the. Lord's freemen, and freemen may be 
Satan's slaves. 

[3.] All the parts of liberty are quite other than now. 

(1.) First, as to duty, we are not so free from the power of sin as to 
be able to govern our own actions in order to eternal happiness : Kom. 
vii. 25, ' With rny mind I serve the law of God, with my flesh the law 
of sin/ There is law against law, mutual conflicts and mutual opposi 
tion ; though grace gets the mastery, not absolute freedom. Our present 
estate is but a convalescency, a recovery out of sickness by degrees. 

(2.) As to felicity: 

1st. Immunity: First, from the curse of the law, and the wrath 
of God. We have alright, but the solemn and actual judgment 
is not passed, nor the case adjudged ; but at the last day, when 
the condemning sentence is passed upon the wicked, our sins shall 
be blotted out, Acts iii. 19. Secondly, death remaineth on the 
body, but then the last enemy shall be quite destroyed, 1 Cor. xv. 
26. Thirdly, Satan doth still trouble us, and vex us, winnow us as 
wheat ; but then he shall be trodden under our feet, Kom. xvi. 20. 
Fourthly, From the afflictions of the world ; they do not now endanger 
salvation, but then wholly gone : Rev. xxi. 4, ' Then God shall wipe all 
tears from our eyes ; then no more sorrow and crying ; ' that is, be 
cause of oppression and violence. 

2nd. For rights and prerogatives. Now we serve God at a distance by 
some service, then immediately minister before the throne ; here we 
come to God now and then, but then we shsll be ever with him ; we 
have now a right to use creatures, then we shall need none ; now a 
title to heaven, but then possession, made actual partakers of eternal 
blessedness ; therefore there cannot be a greater liberty than the children 
of God have at the last day. 

Use 1. Is to admire the goodness of God to poor afflicted creatures. 
We have this glorious liberty from God's bounty, Mat. xxv. 34 ; Christ's 
love, he purchased it ; it is the Son of God hath made us free, John viii. 
36 ; it is applied to us by the Spirit : Rom. viii. 2, ' The Spirit of life 
in Christ Jesus hath made us free from the law of sin and death/ The 
Roman captain said, ' With a great sum obtained I this freedom/ Acts 
xxii. 28 ; to us it cometh on mere favour. 

Use 2. Have you interest in this blessedness ? Is the liberty begun ? 
Hath he sealed you to the day of redemption ? Eph. iv. 30. You will 
find the comfort and benefit of his sealing. On that day God will own 
those whom he hath stamped and marked with his own seal ; that is, 
whom the Spirit hath formed for God, by impressing his image upon 
them in righteousness and true holiness. After that day no more 
place will be left for doubts and fears; but till that day this is our 
warrant and assurance, till full possession ; the seal of the Spirit is an 
holy frame of heart, fitted to serve, please, and enjoy God. 



For we, know that tlie ivliole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain 
together until now. ROM. VIII. 22. 

THE apostle had showed how the creature waiteth for its future perfect 
estate ; now, what sense it hath of its present condition. In the words 
we have, 

1. The certainty, ' We know.' 

2. The agony of the creature, ' It groanetli and travaileth in pain.' 

3. Their consort and agreement in this groaning, 'The whole crea 
tion groaneth,' etc. 

4. The duration and continuance, ' Until now/ 

1. The certainty of what is asserted, ' We know.' But how do we 
know ? First, We see by our sense, that the whole creation is under 
vanity and corruption. Secondly, We know by faith that it came by 
sin ; so that partly from sense, and partly by faith, we conclude that 
the creature is under a burden. 

2. The great agony of the creature ; it * groaneth and travaileth in 
pain ; ' groaneth as a man under an heavy burden ; travaileth in pain, 
as -a woman in child-bearing ; the creature would fain be disburdened 
of this estate. Some think that this last metaphor implieth that the 
issue will be comfortable, for the pain of travail ends in joy : John xvi. 
21, 'A woman when she is is in travail hath sorrow, for her hour is 
come ; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth 
no more the anguish, for joy that a man-child is born into the world.' 
It may be so here ; only I find this metaphor used for bitter pangs and 
sorrows, without any respect to the end and issue; as Mat. xxiv. 8, 
' All these are the beginning of sorrows/ 

3. The consort and harmonious agreement that is between all the 
parts of the world ; iraa-a 97 KTIO-IS ' the whole creation' collectively, or 
every creature distributively ; they all groan together, and travail in 
pain together. 

4. The duration and continuance, * until now ; ' that is, from the 
time that sin entered into the world unto this present time. 

Doct. That the whole creation groaneth under the burden of our 

First. What is this groaning of the creature ; or in what sense the 
creature is said to groan. 

Secondly. How we are concerned in these groans. 

Thirdly. How we know it; for who ever heard the groaning of the 
whole creation? 

First. What is this groaning of the creature ? Or how can that be 
ascribed to things without reason, sense, and life ? There are two 
causes of groaning in sensitive creatures, labour and pain ; that which 
answereth to labour is unwearied motion ; that which answereth to 
pain is corruption and decay. 

1. Labour and motion. So we may say the creature is worn out with 
hard labour to serve the uses of man ; because it is in continual motion. 
The sun moveth from east to west in the day, and in the night from 



west to east again : Eccles. i. 5, ' The sun also ariseth, and the sun 
goeth down, and hasteth to his place, where he arose;' the Hebrew, 
panteth, as pressing forward to be at his appointed place ; to give man 
light to go about his labour. How many thousands of miles hath it- 
travelled to come to us again, since we went to bed ? So Job xxxvii. 11, 
' ' By watering he wearieth the thick cloud, and scattereth the bright 
clouds ; it is turned about by his counsels/ He speaketh of the clouds 
as things that could be wearied, being hurried hither and thither, to 
serve the earth in divers places, and spendeth itself in that service. 
The earth is digged, and rent, and torn with the plough, seldom 
suffered to enjoy its sabbaths, that it may bring forth fruit to man ; 
the rivers flow, and the sea hath its ebbs and tides ; all things in the 
lower world are full of labour ; and so the creature is wearied and worn 
out to serve even rebel man, to whom God continueth this favour. 

2. That which answereth to pain, is their passing away by corrup 
tion; the four elements being contrary one to another, are still wasting 
one another, till all fail ; heat against cold, and moisture against dry- 
ness ; all things being compounded of these four elements do ia 
the end return to them again by dissolution and corruption. And 
besides, by God's judgment the creature is often blasted in its greatest 
glory and beauty. Look, as in a fruitful season the valleys are 
said to laugh with fatness, Ps. Ixv. 12, 13 ; and the flourishing of 
the spring is as it were nature's smile ; it is a pleasant sight to 
behold when the earth is blessed of God with increase and variety 
of fruits; the creatures do as it were rejoice in God's bounty, and 
invite us to rejoice with them ; so on the other side, when these 
things are taken away, it doth as it were mourn, and look sorrowful- 
like under the judgment ; as they laugh in their kind, so they mourn 
and groan in their kind : as Jer. xii. 4, ' How long shall the land mourn, 
and the herbs of the field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell 
therein ? ' Isa. xxiv. 4, ' The earth mourneth and fadeth away ; the 
world languisheth and fadeth away ; ' Isa. xxxiii. 9, ' The earth mourneth 
and languisheth, Lebanon is ashamed ; ' Jer. xxiii. 10, ' Because of swear 
ing the land mourneth;' Joel i. 10, ' The field is wasted, the land 
mourneth, for the corn is wasted, the new wine is dried up, the oil 
languisheth.' In all these places, and many more, the earth is said to 
mourn when it lieth waste, stripped and despoiled of its wonted verdure 
and bravery in grass, corn, plants, fruits, wherewith it was once clad 
and adorned. Now this may come to pass, partly, by external drought, 
as when the grass was burnt up, that there was no fodder for the beast, 
1 Kings xviii. 5. Partly, by storm and tempest, which maketh spoil 
and havoc of it : Prov. xxviii. 3, ' A sweeping rain leaveth no food.' 
Partly, by vermin : Joel i. 4, ' That which the palmer-worm hath left> 
the locust hath eaten ; that which the locust hath left, the canker-worm 
hath eaten ; that which the canker-worm hath left, the caterpillar hath 
eaten.' Sometimes by the irruption and invasion of an enemy : Isa. i. 
7, * Your country is desolate ; your cities are burnt with fire ; your 
land, strangers devour it in your presence ; and it is desolate, as over 
thrown by strangers.' Sometimes by murrains and pestilential diseases, 
which hinder all cultivation and tillage : Amos iv. 10, ' I have sent 
among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt ; your young men 


have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses ; I have 
made the stink of your camp to come up into your nostrils.' God hath 
variety of ways to punish man in blasting the creature ; and on all the 
occasions the land appeareth as in a mourning weed ; and the barren 
parched ground and withered fruits of the earth are, as it were, the 
groaning of the creature under man's sin. These things premised, we 
may see in what sense the creature is said to groan. 

[1.] In a way of supposition. If they had any life, sense, or reason, 
they would groan, or be thus affected; being wearied with labour, liable 
to destruction, and perverted from their natural use ; often blasted by 
God's judgment. If God should open the mouth of the creature, as he 
did that of Balaam's ass, it would rebuke our madness, groan under 
their hard servitude : 2 Pet. ii. 16, ' Balaam wa.s rebuked for his iniquity ; 
the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, rebuked the madness of the 
prophet.' So if the creature could speak with man's voice, and had 
man's affections, they would loudly groan in the ears of the Lord of 
Hosts, and blame us for our disobedience and unthankfulness to God. 

[2.] By analogy. There is some proportion and suitableness between 
our affections, and the inclinations of the creature ; there is something 
in them which is as it were sense and reason, that is, a shadow and 
resemblance of it. The grass groweth as if it grew by art, and knew 
how to grow ; and the corn sprouteth forth as regularly as if it were 
under direction ; every creature acteth by a rule from which it swerveth 
not ; a stone in descending, falleth by a straight line as if it had reason 
to pick it out ; all the art of man cannot draw a straighter line, than 
that by which a stone falleth down, when it is thrown up into the air. 
Every creature hath an obediential instinct to glorify God, as if it obeyed 
by reason. The creation did. as it were, mourn at the crucifying of 
Christ ; for nature seemed to be routed into a disorder ; the rocks were 
rent, the earth quaked, the sun was struck blind with astonishment. 
There is an intellective assistance, which runneth along with the creature ; 
that is, the wise and powerful providence of God leadeth them, and 
governeth them, and directeth them to a better estate ; so that they do 
in their kind groan under their present burden, till they be delivered 
from it. 

Secondly. How are we concerned in these groans ? Very much. 

1. They are upbraiding groans, as they upbraid us of our security 
and unthankfulness. We that have reason are more senseless than the 
creatures ; the creature groaneth, and we are stupid, neither affected 
with our sin or misery : Jer. xii. 14, ' The land mourneth ; yet they 
say, he shall not see our last end ; ' that is, no evil shall come unto us ; 
they thought all would be well enough. So, ' For swearing, and lying, 
and stealing, and adultery, the land mourneth,' Hos. iv. 2, 3 ; but doth 
the swearer mourn, the adulterer mourn ? ' The vines howl, and the 
fig tree languisheth/ Isa. xxiv. 7; but doth the drunkard mourn, be 
cause God is provoked by his filthy excess ? It is very observable that 
the prophets do often turn from men, and speak to creatures ; as Lam. 
ii. 18, * wall of the daughter of Zion, let thy tears run clown as a river 
day and night ; let not the apple of thine eye cease.' He calls on the 
wall, either because no men left to mourn, or no men had an heart to 
mourn, or for both reasons. So Micah vi. 1, 2, 'Hear, ye mountains, 


the Lord's controversy, and the strong foundations of the earth, hear 
the word of the Lord ;' so Jer. xxii. 29, ' earth, earth ! ' as if it were 
in vain to speak to men. Insensible creatures are more fit to be spoken 
to, than an incredulous, and self-willed, and obdurate people ; they keep 
still their obediential subjection to their creator, and do tremble when 
he threateneth, and groan when he afflicteth ; and therefore the creature 
is brought in groaning here, as in our stead ; the earth groaneth, which 
hath not sinned, but only suffercth for sin, to upbraid the hardness of 
our hearts, because we who are the criminal parties groan not. 

2. They are awakening groans. It is spoken hyperbolically to quicken 
our consideration, and to represent the more emphatically the great 
misery the creatures are in while they serve sinful man, especially in 
fulfilling his lusts. Carnal men do not think of these things, and so have 
no ear to hear these^groatis ; the creatures speak by our thoughts, and 
they groan by our affections ; namely, as they excite and stir us up to 
sigh and long for a better estate than is to be had in this reeling and un 
certain world, where sin hath introduced so many changes. Job saith, 
chap. xii. 7, 8, ' Ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee ; the 
fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee ; or speak unto the earth, and 
it shall teach thee ; and the fishes of the sea, and they shall declare 
unto thee.' What was the point he had then in hand? That by the 
providence of God wicked men may prosper ; not only as these things 
do most serve the wicked, but the strong keep under the weak, and 
the great devour the less. But how do the creatures speak, or tell, 
or declare ? even the mute fishes, that scarce make any sound or noise ? 
We ask them by our study and meditation, and they answer us by 
our own thoughts, Iby the convictions and conclusions we draw from 
them ; there is a great deal of morality in the bosom of nature, and 
much wisdom to be learned from the . creature, if we would pick it 
out, and seriously employ our thoughts that way. This is one lesson 
among the rest ; the creature hath something to say to us concern 
ing the vanity and decay of all things, and a better estate to come ; 
we hear the creature groaning, as it offereth matter to us to sigh, 
and groan, and long for a better estate, that we may be at home with 
God, and free from the miseries of the present world. 

3. They are instructive groans ; for they teach us many good lessons. 
[1.] They teach us the vanity of the creature, which is now often 

changed, and must at length be dissolved. To a common eye this 
world seemeth to be in its highest splendour and beauty, because 
worldly men judge of things by their carnal affections: Ps. xlix. 11, 
' Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and 
their dwelling places to all generations/ They think their heritages 
and honours shall for ever continue in their name and family, and 
carry themselves accordingly ; their carnal complacency possesseth them 
with vain conceits ; and when their posterity are swept away and shifted, 
new comers that are established in their room are as vain as they. 
But now, if we bring the word to the creature, and God by his Spirit 
giveth us an heart to observe these things, we shall see that all is 
passing and perishing, that the whole world hath a great evil that 
burdens it, and will at length prove its destruction ; namely, sin ; that 
the groaning universe doth in effect say to us, ' Arise, depart, this is 


not your rest/ Micah ii. 10. It is spoken to the Jews ; the land of 
Canaan was given for a rest at first, but by their sin it had lost much 
of that use ; the frequent changes of estate they met with there for 
their sins was a summons to remove and look higher. It is true of all 
the world, it is not our resting-place, since it was defiled by sin ; there 
fore the groaning creature should wean us from the world, and inflame 
us with a desire of heaven, where is perfect and eternal happiness. 

[2.] It teacheth us the evil of sin ; it is the burden of the whole 
creation, of which it would fain be eased. All the vanity that is upon 
the creature, and all annoyance which we have from the creature, is 
the fruit of our rebellion against God ; which should make us more 
humble for sin past, and more cautious for the time to come. So 
much sin as you introduce, so much you disturb the harmony of the 
creation, and are accessary to the many destructive changes wrought in 
the world. 

[3.] It readeth us a lecture of patience. We live in a groaning 
world, and must expect to bear our share in the common concert ; the 
world is a valley of tears. Now to seek for joy in a valley of tears, to 
affect an exemption from groaning, it is to be singular, and be out of 
tune from the rest of the creation. What is in Ps. Ixxxiv. 6, c the 
valley of JBacha* the Septuagint renders ' the valley of weeping ; ' it 
means the scorched weeping ground they passed through ; and because 
their going to Jerusalem to worship was a figure of our progress or 
journey towards heaven, therefore many apply it to the world, resembled 
by a valley, as heaven is by a mountain, like Mount Sion ; and a valley 
of tears, because we frequently meet with mourning occasions. Now 
it should not trouble us to be put upon groaning in a groaning world. 
We have company with us in our mourning ; . not only our fellow 
saints ; the apostle urgeth, 1 Pet. v. 9, ' These things are accomplished 
in your brethren which are in the world.' Every one of God's children 
have their share of hardships in the world ; we think no sorrow like 
to our sorrow, and that none are so hardly dealt with as we are ; others 
have their sorrows and hardships ; the measure and weight of others' 
sorrows we know by guess, but our own by feeling. All things con 
sidered, you will find j^our lot no harder than the saints of God who 
went to heaven before you. But here is more company offered ; the 
whole creation groaning for a burden brought upon them, not by their 
fault but ours ; yet submitting to that appointed service till it be the 
will of God to ease them. 

[4.] A lecture of long suffering ; which is patience extended. When 
we are oppressed with many persecutions and afflictions, and these 
continue long, and we see no end, we despond : ' The creature groaneth 
and travaileth in pain until now ; ' that is, from the time sin entered 
into the world until the whole be dissolved. The continuance of the 
universe is much longer than the continuance of our lives ; therefore 
let us not repine at so short a time, for the creature hath been in a 
groaning condition these six thousands years, or thereabout. Surely 
the softness and delicacy of our flesh is too great, if we must see the 
end of our troubles as soon as we enter into them. If the creature is 
obedient to the creator in bearing the burden he lays on it, though it 


groan under it, then surely we should submit to his disposing will, so 
long as he will have us in a suffering condition : Jam. i. 4, ' Let 
patience have its perfect work/ 

[5.] A lecture of repentance and solemn humiliation. If the creature 
groan under original vanity and corruption, brought upon it by the 
first sin, sin being wonderfully increased, the world is ready to sink 
under the weight of it ; therefore when sin increaseth, it is a groaning 
time ; the multitude of the wicked are a burden to the countries where 
they live. The heathens would call a wicked man, ' the burden of the 
earth ; ' the word of God showeth it more plainly ; therefore when the 
wicked increase and walk on every side, and they increase in wickedness, 
it is time to look about us, and seriously and heartily humble ourselves 
before God : Lev. xviii. 25, ' And the land is defiled, therefore I do 
visit the iniquities thereof upon it ; and the land itself vomiteth out 
her inhabitants ; ' Micah ii. 10, ' Because it is polluted, it shall destroy 
you with a sore destruction ; t and Jer. ix. 19, 'Our dwellings have 
cast us out.' The land doth as it were loathe to bear and feed them 
that so grossly dishonour God. 

[6.] A lesson of hope in long sorrow. We should keep up hope and 
expectation ; the creature groaneth till now ; yea, but still it expecteth 
its final deliverance. It is an expression of great rebellion, distrust, 
and contempt, to say, ' Why should I wait on the Lord any longer ? ' 
2 Kings vi. 33. God can bring the bitterest condition to a most comfort 
able issue. Consider how he dealeth with other creatures ; the creature 
groaneth and travaileth in pain, but the birth will ensue ; the groaning 
of the creature is like a travailing in birth, and so the calamities of 
the saints: John xvi. 21, 22, 'A woman when she is in travail hath 
sorrow, because her hour is come ; but as soon as she is delivered of 
the child, she is no more in anguish, for joy a man is born into the world ; 
and ye now are in sorrow, but I will see you again, and your hearts 
shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.' The throes of 
our sorrow may be very sharp and bitter ; but the birth will occasion 
joy enough to countervail the tediousness of it. 

4. They are complaining, accusing groans. The apostle saith, 
Jam. v. 4, ' Grudge not one against another ; ' groan not one 
against another ; that is, give not occasion to one another to com 
plain against you to God. It is sad when one Christian com- 
plaineth against another for his froward, and perverse, and unbrotherly 
carriage; much more of near relations, husbands and wives, minis 
ters and people. The apostle saith it is not profitable when they 
give their account with grief and not with joy, Heb. xiii. 17. This 
groaning of the creature must be interpreted by the standard of this 
notion : the creature groaneth not with us, but groaneth against us ; 
because of the slavery we put them unto they groan for vengeance 
and destruction ; not in fellow-feeling with thee, but in indignation 
against thee, if thou be a wicked man. There is a groaning by way 
of sympathy and compassion, as we are bidden, Horn. xii. 15, to 
1 rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep ; ' and 
there is a groaning by way of accusation and appeal, for revenge against 
those that have wronged us. We have abused the creature ; the groan 


of a worm in the ear of the Lord of Hosts will be heard ; so James v. 
2, 3, * Your riches are corrupted, your garments are moth-eaten, your 
gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness 
against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire ; you have heaped 
up treasure together for the last days.' In the day of judgment, the 
groans of the creature and the circumstances of our sinful actions shall 
be brought forth as witnesses against us ; the moth-eaten garments, the 
cankered silver shall be produced. So Hab. ii. 11, ' The stone shall cry 
out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it;' that 
is, the materials of the house built by oppression shall come as witnesses. 
There is a kind of antipathy between them therein represented. The 
stones of the wall shall cry, Lord we were built up by rapine and violence; 
and the beam shall answer. True, Lord, even so it is. The stones shall 
cry, Vengeance, Lord, upon our ungodly ones ; and the beam shall answer, 
Woe to him, because he built his house with blood ! Conscience is a 
terrible remembrancer ; the very creatures which sinners abused will 
be brought in testimony against them to their conviction and condem 
nation. You will say, What is this to the restoration of the universe, 
or those elementary bodies in this lower world, to which you seem to 
confine this restoration? These creatures shall be consumed in the 
last fire ; how then brought into the judgment? 


(1.) The elementary bodies do concur to the increase and preservation 
of these things. Lands gotten by violence are made fruitful by sun, 
air, and rain j the sun now shineth upon these wicked men, and the 
rain falleth upon their fields ; the creatures abused to excess come from 
both the sunshine and the earth's fertility, which is the mother of all 

(2.) Though many of these creatures shall be consumed in this last 
fire, yet they shall have an esse cognitum, in the memory and conscience 
of the sinner, though not an esse rei, an actual existence. And thus 
the wine abused to drunkenness may witness against the drunkard ; 
the sacrilegious morsels which the glutton alienated from the poor, 
and devoted to lust and appetite, shall witness against the glutton. 
Memoria prceteritorum is one of the punishments in hell : Luke xvi. 
25, 'Son, remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good 
things/ The very clothing by which they did manifest their pride, 
shall witness against the proud ; the lands, goods, and houses of 
worldlings, Isa. v. 8, shall witness against the worldling; the gold 
and silver which they preferred before everlasting riches, shall wit 
ness against the carnal ; the place, the room, the bed wherein men 
committed filthiness and lewdness, shall witness against the unclean ; 
when conscience shall be forced to the review, all these things shall 
come into his mind. To this also may be referred that passage j 
Josh. xxiv. 27, 'And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold this 
stone shall be a witness unto us, for it hath heard all the words of 
the Lord, which he spake unto us ; it shall be there for a witness 
to you, lest you deny your God.' How could the stone which he 
had placed under a great oak, which was very near the sanctuary 
of the Lord, hear or give witness ? Partly by God's appeal, and partly 
i>y their memory and conscience. It was a monument to put them in 


mind of this solemn covenant ; and so might serve to convince them of 
their sin. Thus hearing is ascribed to a senseless stone, because it was 
a circumstance that might be produced in the judgment. 

Thirdly, How we know it ? For who ever heard the groaning of 
the whole creation ? 

1. By sensible experience we know the vanity of the creature. Ocular 
demonstration is enough to tell us all that things are frail and perish 
ing : Ps. cxix. 96, 'I have seen an end of all perfection.' 

2. The word affirmeth, First, That this came in by man's sin ; and 
the common apprehension of mankind attesteth it, that wicked men 
are unprofitable burdens of the earth, and bring a judgment on the 
place where they live. Secondly, That God having repaired the woild 
by Christ, there is a better estate appointed for man ; and so by con 
sequence for the creatures, which are an appendage to him : Isa. xi. 6, 
7, 8, 9. The enmity of the creature shall cease there, as in Noah's 

3. The Spirit improveth it, both the vanity of the creature, and our 
mortality, and the hopes of restoration. God must teach us the plainest 
lessons: Ps. xc. 12, ' Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may 
apply our hearts unto wisdom.' Deut. xxix. 2, 3, 4, ' Ye have seen all 
that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, unto Pharoah, 
and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; the great temptations 
which thine eyes have seen, the signs and the great miracles , yet the 
Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears 
to hear, unto this day/ And the hopes of restoration: faith is his 
mere gift and production: Eph. ii. 8, 'For by grace ye are saved, 
through faith ; and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God.' 

From the whole take these corollaries : 

1. That sinful man is an enemy to all the creatures, as well as to 
himself. He hath brought misery upon himself, and all the world 
which was his place to dwell in. The creation was a well-tuned instru 
ment, upon which man might make music to the praise and honour of 
God; but the strings of the harp are 'broken; and there is nothing 
but jarring instead of harmony, and groans for praise. Yea, man him 
self, who is the mouth of the creation, is very dumb and tongue-tied 
in the praises of God. 

2. That every particular land fareth the worse for wicked men. Man 
hath brought a burden on the creation, and the increase of wicked 
men showeth the ruin of any people or country : Prov. xi. 10, 11, ' When 
it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth ; and when the wicked 
perish, there is shouting. By the blessing of the upright the city is 
exalted : but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.' The mean 
ing of these two proverbs is, that the godly bring on a blessing on the 
land where they live, and the wicked a curse. The godly bring on a 
blessing by their prayers and holy example, God's providence, and respect 
thereunto ; but the wicked a curse by their abuse of the creatures. 
The corrupt world think otherwise, that all their dishonour, their judg 
ments, come from suffering the godly to live amongst them. ' It is not 
for the king's profit to suffer them to live,' Esth. iii. 8. 

3. That we must not ascribe the alterations and changes of the creature 
to chance or fortune, but to God's providence punishing man's sin. Some 

VER. 22."] SERMONS UPON ROMANS viu. 185 

do not see the hand of God ; as ignorant, stupid, and careless persons : 
Ps. xxviii. 5, ' They regard not the work of the Lord, nor the operation 
of his hand/ And some care not to see : Isa. xxvi. 11, ' When thy 
hand is lifted up, they will not see ; ' they put all judgments upon the 
ordinary course of second causes ; either a chance, 1 Sam. xiv. 9 ; or 
attribute it to some natural thing : John xii. 29, they said it thundered, 
when God spake from heaven to own Christ. Some see, but are in 
part blinded with malice and prejudice ; which is to be seen by their 
making perverse interpretations of providence : 2 Sam. xvi. 8, ' The Lord 
hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul.' 

4. You see a reason why a righteous man should be merciful to his 
beast : Prov. xii. 10, ' A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast ; 
but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.' There is burden enough 
already upon the creature, under which he groaneth ; he would bring 
on no more than needeth ; he will not use them unmercifully, nor wear 
them out with too great and continual labours ; but giveth them that 
food, rest, and refection which is necessary. In the destruction of 
Nineveh God had respect to the beasts: Jonah iv. 11, 'There was 
much cattle in that city/ 

5. The wonderful dulness and dead-heartedness of man in case of 
sin and misery ; so that the creatures are fain to supply our room. 
Few are sensible of this burden ; we should all groan, but do not. 
Surely we ought to be excited to groan for sin and misery, and long for 
the happiness of the saints ; so ver. 23, 'And not only they, but we 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 bodies.' 

6. The great need there is to draw off our hearts from the inordinate 
love of the creature, and to lay up treasure in heaven. What can we 
expect from a groaning creature, which will soon come to an end, but 
that only we wholly trust sense, and judge according to present appear 
ance ? Otherwise we would say with the apostle, We know and look 
further than the compass of this world, to that place where all is firm 
and stable ; but we seldom improve these thoughts. 

7. How unsuitable sensual rejoicing is unto the state which we are 
now in. It is a groaning world, and here we seek all our pleasures 
and contentments. It is a charge against sensualists, Jam. v. 5, 
' Ye have lived in pleasure upon earth/ the place of our exile, the 
place defiled with man's sin, the place subjected to a curse for man's 
sake. Moderate contentment is allowed us during our pilgrimage, as 
appears both by the dispensation of God's providence and covenant ; 
but our full joy is reserved for hereafter ; his providence alloweth many 
natural comforts ; and his covenant many perpetual blessings. 



And not only they, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the 
Spirit, even tue ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the 
adoption, the redemption of our bodies. ROM. VIII. 23. 

IN these words the apostle pursueth his main scope, which is to direct 
believers patiently to wait for their final happiness. He doth it by 
comparing the disposition of the children of God with the inclination 
of the creatures, spoken of in the former verses: 'and not only they,' 

There is a comparison, 

1. Between persons and persons. 

2. Between actions and actions. 

1. Between persons and persons ; the whole creation, and those that 
have the first fruits of the Spirit. The one is a feigned, the other a 
real person ; therefore this groaning and expectation is attributed to 
the children of God, with greater propriety of speech. The creatures 
are said to groan and wait, upon supposition if they had sense and 
reason they would groan and wait ; we, by certain knowledge and true 
desire ; the creatures groan as they are assisted and directed by God 
to a better state ; we, by voluntary inclination; the creatures groan by 
others, as they excite our thoughts to consider their vanity and vicissi 
tudes ; the saints by themselves, and in themselves ; others cannot 
perform it for them ; they expect by God's direction, and groan by 
our meditation ; but we properly, and without a figure. 

2. Actions and actions. There are two ascribed to the creature : 
waiting, ver. 10, groaning, ver. 22. They groan, and we groan ; they 
wait, and we wait ; the groaning is amplified by the manner, and the 
waiting by the object. 

[1.] The groaning is amplified by the manner. It may be rendered, 
among ourselves ; the whole church of God groaneth, as well as the 
whole creation ; or rather, in ourselves, ex imo corde ; these groans came 
from the bottom of the heart. 

[2.] The waiting is amplified by the object or matter which they 
wait for : ' For the adoption, the redemption of our bodies/ The last 
expression explaineth the former, our full adoption and redemption, 
which shall be accomplished at the general resurrection. 

Doct. That those that have received the first fruits of the Spirit, do 
groan and wait for a better estate than they now enjoy. I shall speak 
of this point, First, By way of explication ; Secondly, By way of con 

First, For explication. 

1. The description of the persons, 'We that have the first fruits 
of the Spirit.' The expression alludeth to the customs of the law, 
where the offering of the first fruits sanctified the whole heap : Rom. 
xi. 16, : For if the first fruits be holy, the lump also is holy/ Thence 
it is applied to any such beginnings as are a pledge of more to ensue ; 
as here, the first fruits of the Spirit are the pledges and beginnings of 
eternal life. What are they ? The graces and comforts of the Spirit : 


First, the graces. Salvation is begun in our new birth : Titus iii. 5, 
' But according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regenera 
tion, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost;' and sanctifying grace is 
called an immortal and incorruptible seed, 1 Pet. i. 23 ; and they that 
are made partakers of it are implied to have eternal life abiding in 
them, 1 John iii. 13, because the life is now begun, which shall be per 
fected in heaven. For the present there is an eternal principle in them 
which carries them to eternal ends. Secondly, The comforts which are 
consequent upon the graces. For the Spirit is first a sanctifier, and then 
a comforter ; he worketh holiness ; and by holiness, peace, joy, and 
comfort, which are some foretastes of that sweetness which is in heaven. 
This peace and joy is raised in us, partly, by the life and exercise of 
faith and love ; 1 Pet. i. 8, ' Whom having not seen ye love ; in whom, 
though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeak 
able, and full of glory ;' and Kom. xv. 13, 'Now the God of hope fill 
you with all joy and peace in believing.' And partly, by the apprehen 
sion of God's love and favour to us: Ps. iv. 6, 7, ' Lord, lift up the light 
of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness into my heart, 
more than in the time when their corn and wine increased/ And also, 
by our approaches to him in the word and prayer, where God doth 
most familiarly manifest himself to his people : Isa. Ivi. 7, 'I will bring 
them into my holy mountain, and make them joyful in the house of 
prayer/ These comforts of the Spirit they meet with in God's sacred 
ordinances : Ps. Ixxxiv. 10, * For a day in thy courts is better than a 
thousand elsewhere.' Thus I have shown you what they are ; now for 
to what use they serve ? Answer, They are an earnest and a foretaste ; 
an earnest, to show how sure: Eph i. 13, 14, 'In whom also, after ye 
believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the 
earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased posses 
sion ; ' 2 Cor. v. 5, ' Now he that hath wrought us to the self-same thing 
is God, who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit,' a begun, 
possession. Secondly, a foretaste, to show how good : 1 Pet ii. 3, ' If 
so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious/ As the clusters of 
Canaan grapes were carried before them to animate the Israelites, and 
the Italian grapes the Gauls ; so the graces are pledges of our future 
perfection ; and the comforts, tastes of our future happiness. 

2. The acts mentioned are two, groan, and wait ; the one doth more 
directly respect our present, the other our future estate. We groan 
because of present miseries ; we wait because of our future happiness. 
Or rather both acts respect both estates compounded; as groaning, our 
present and future happiness ; for there are groans that come from 
sorrows ; and groans which come from hope and desire : 2 Cor. v. 2, 
'In this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house 
which is from heaven ; ' and ver 4, * We groan being burdened/ Grief 
at our present state, the burden of sin and misery, and desire of future 
deliverance : Prov. xiii. 12, ' Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but 
when the desire cometh, it is as a tree of life/ On the other side, 
waiting importeth two things, an earnest and desirous expectation of 
what is to come, and a patient submission to God for the present. 

[1.] An earnest and desirous expectation of what is to come ; there 
fore said to look and long for it : Tit. ii. 13, ' Looking for the blessed 


hope;' and Heb. ix. 28,'<To them that look for him;' 2 Tim. iv. 8, 
' And to them also that love his appearing/ 

[2.] A patient submission to God for what is present. 'Patience 
of hope/ 1 Thes. i. 3 ; and Ps. xxxvii. 7, ' Best on the Lord, and wait 
patiently for him/ Our happiness is delayed, and in the meantime we 
have many trials ; our estate to come is excellent and glorious, and our 
present estate is miserable and despicable. It is offered to us upon 
sure and gracious terms, therefore we wait ; but in the meantime we 
conflict with difficulties, and therefore we groan. So that as these two 
duties respect our different estate, so they chiefly express our apprehen 
sion and respect to our sinful estate : it is earnest, it is patient and 
submissive. First, It is earnest ; for we groan, as a woman with child 
doth exactly count her time ; or the Israelites in bondage did wait for 
the year of jubilee ; or the hireling when his covenanted time will 
expire. Secondly, With patience and submission to God's pleasure 
and leisure, possessing their souls in meekness. And observe the 
motive ; this waiting is earnest and desirous ; for the godly have not 
only a sense and feeling of the miseries and calamities of this life, but 
a fervent desire of the joys of heaven. The miseries and troubles of 
the present world are matters of sense ; we need not scripture to tell 
us that we are burdened, and pained, and conflict with diverse evils ; 
our flesh feeleth it ; and we know it to our grief, that here is little 
else but disquiet and vexation. Sense can discover what should drive 
us from the world ; but sense cannot discover what should draw our 
desires after a better estate ; that we learn by faith ; the joy is set 
before us in the promises of the gospel : Heb. vi. 18, ' That we might 
have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the 
hope that is set before us ; ' and Heb. xii. 2, ' Looking unto Jesus, the 
author and finisher of our faith, who endured the cross, despised the 
shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God/ The 
promises set it in our view, that we may eye it much, that we may 
often look upon it, press earnestly towards it. Groaning is stirred up 
by sense, waiting by faith. 

3. This better estate is called adoption, and the redemption of our 

[1/1 It is called adoption. We are now taken into God's family; 
but our present adoption is imperfect, and inconspicuous. First, It is 
imperfect, as all our privileges by Christ are. We have not yet our 
full liberty from the bondage of corruption, nor possession of our 
blessed inheritance ; then we shall be coheirs with Christ^ ver. 17 ; 
brought into 'the glorious liberty of the children of God/ ver. 21. 
Secondly, It is inconspicuous : 1 Joh. iii. 1,2,' Therefore the world 
knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Behold, now we are the 
sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but we 
know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him ; ' and Eom. 
viii. 19, ' waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God/ It then 
appeareth to all the world who are the children of God, and what 
happiness is provided for them. 

[2.] The redemption of our bodies. By redemption is meant our 
full and final deliverance ; and it is applied to the body, because death 
remaineth upon that part until God redeemeth us from the hand of 


the grave, Ps. xlix. 15. But more distinctly, redemption is taken either 
for the impetration, or application. First, The impetration is by the 
merit of Christ, and so we were redeemed when the ransom and price 
was paid for us, Heb. ix. 12 ; not for the soul only, but for the body 
also, as appeareth, 1 Cor. vi. 20, ' For ye are bought with a price, 
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are 
God's.' Secondly, The application is our actual deliverance and freedom 
by virtue of that price, which is either begun or perfected. Begun, 
when our bonds are in part loosed : Eph. i. 7, ' In whom we have 
redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins ; ' and perfected 
in the other world. Therefore the day of judgment is called ' the day 
of our redemption/ Eph. iv. 30 ; when the last enemy is destroyed, 
namely, death, and our bodies are raised up in glory ; then we are 
actually free from all evil. And because this is done by virtue of that 
price and ransom which Christ paid for us, it is called redemption ; 
and the redemption of our bodies, because the body, which was sown 
in corruption, is raised in incorruption ; and that which was sown in 
dishonour is raised in glory ; and that which was sown in weakness 
is raised in power, 1 Cor. xv. 42, 43. Though the price was paid 
long ago, the full fruit is not enjoyed till then ; for then we have our 
final and complete deliverance from all sin and misery, vanity and 
corruption. In this life we are not free from those things which lead 
to corruption, that is, from sin, misery, and afflictions ; at death, the 
soul is made perfect, but the body is in the power of the grave ; but 
then the body enjoy eth a glorious resurrection. 

Secondly. By way of confirmation : Why we should groan and long 
for this estate. The reasons concern either this life, or the next. 

1. For this life: I shall prove, [1.] That there is cause or matter 
for groaning, and desiring a better estate. [2.] That those that have 
the first fruits of the Spirit are more apprehensive of this misery than 
others are or can be. 

[1.] The pressures and miseries of this life call for this groaning ; 
'being burdened/ saith the apcstle, 'we groan/ We have an heavy 
burden upon us, both of sin and misery. 

(1.) Of sin. To a gracious heart and waking conscience it is one of 
the heaviest burdens that can be felt : Kom. vii. 24, ' wretched man 
that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of death ? ' Paul was 
whipped, imprisoned, stoned, in perils by land and sea, persecuted by 
enemies, undermined by false brethren ; but afflictions did not sit so 
close to him as sins ; the body of death was his sorest burden, there 
fore did he long for deliverance. A beast will leave the place where 
he findeth neither food nor rest ; it is not the troubles of the world 
only, which set the saints a-groaning, but indwelling corruption ; this 
grieveth them, that they are not yet rid of sin ; that they serve God 
with such apparent weakness and manifold defects ; that they are so 
often distracted and oppressed with sensual and worldly affections; 
they cannot get rid of this cursed inmate, and therefore desire a change 
of states. By the grace of God they have got rid of the guilt of sin 
and reigning power of sin ; but the being of it is a trouble to them, 
which will still remain till this tabernacle be dissolved ; then sin shall 
gasp its last ; and the saints are groaning and longing for the parting 


day, when by putting off flesh they shall put off sin, and come and 
dwell with God. 

(2.) Of misery. This burden is a partial cause of the saints' groan 
ing, ' for they have not divested themselves of the feelings of nature, 
nor grown senseless as stocks and stones ; they are of like passions with 
others, and love their natural comforts as others do ; human nature is 
the same thing in all that are made of flesh and blood : Job vi. 12, ' Is 
my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh of brass ? ' They 
feel pain as every one doth, which will extort complaints from them. 
Now a Christian's misery may be reckoned from three things : 1. Temp 
tations from Satan. 2. Grievous persecutions from the world. 3. Sharp 
afflictions from God himself. All these concur to wean a Christian from 
the world. 

1st. Temptations from Satan ; who seeketh all advantages, either to 
withdraw us from God, or to distract us in his service, and make it 
tedious and wearisome to us : 1 Pet. v. 8, 9, * Your adversary the devil 
goeth about, seeking whom he may devour.' All these things are 
accomplished in your brethren in the flesh ; they are all haunted with 
a busy tempter, who is restless in his endeavours to ensnare their souls ; 
this world is Satan's walk, the devil's circuit, who goeth up and down 
to destroy unwary creatures ; and therefore his assiduous temptations 
are one of the Christian's burdens. 

2ndly. Bitter and grievous persecutions ; which sometimes make 
them weary of their lives, that they may be freed from their hard 
task- masters. As Elijah was weary of the trouble he had by Jezebel's 
pursuits, that he durst not trust himself in the land of Israel and 
Judea, but goeth a day's journey into the wilderness, and sat down 
under a juniper tree, and requested for himself that he might die; 
' for,' saith he, ' I am not better than my father's house,' 1 Kings xix. 
4, 5. Surely the troubled will long for rest. 

3dly. Sharp afflictions from God himself, who is jealous of our hearts, 
because we are not watchful over them. We are too apt to take up 
with a worldly happiness, and to root here ; looking no further, whilst 
we have all our comforts about us ; our hearts saying, it is best to be 
here, till God by his smart rod awaken us out of our drowsy fits. 
We are so pleased with our entertainment by the way, that we forget 
home ; therefore the Lord is fain to embitter our worldly portion, that 
we may think of a remove to some better place and state, where all 
tears shall be wiped from our eyes. We would sleep and rest here, if 
we did not sometimes meet with thorns in our bed ; ' All the days of 
my pilgrimage,' saith holy Jacob, Gen. xlvii. 7, 'are -few and evil.' 
Our days are evil, and it is well they are but few ; that in this ship 
wreck of man's felicity we can see banks and shores, and a landing 
place, where we may be safe at length. Here most of our days are 
sorrow, grief, and travail ; but there is our repose ; our heart would 
fail, were there not some hopes mingled with our tears. 

[2.] That those who have the first fruits of the Spirit are more appre 
hensive of this misery than others are or can be. 

(1.) Of misery and afflictions. Partly, because grace intendereth the 
heart ; they look upon afflictions with another eye than the stupid 
world doth ; they look upon them as coming from God, and as the fruit 


of sin, and they dare not slight any of God's corrective dispensations. 
There are two extremes, slighting, and fainting, Heb. xii. 5. Affliction 
cannot be improved if we have not a sense of it ; we owe so much rever 
ence to God, as to tremble at his anger, Num. xii. 14 ; when he crosseth 
and disappointeth us, it must not be slightly passed over. Look as in 
the flood, Gen vii. 11 ; when the windows of heaven were opened from 
above, and the fountains of the great deep were broken open from below, 
the flood increased ; so when nature and grace concur to heighten the 
afflictions, the children of God must needs have a greater and more 
tender sense of it than others have. As those that are of a delicate 
constitution are more capable of pain than the stubborn and robustious ; 
and the tender flesh of a child will sooner feel the lash than the thick 
skin of a slave ; so the children of God, who have a more serious appre 
hension of things, and a more tender spirit, soonest feel the burden of 
their Father's displeasure, and do more lay it to heart, than careless 
spirits, who laugh out their cross, and drink away their sorrows. And 
partly, because they are more exercised with afflictions ; the world hateth 
them because they are so good, and God chastens them because they 
are no better : ' Many are the troubles of the righteous,' Ps. xxxiv. 19. 
There is more squaring, and hewing, and cutting used about stones, 
which are to be set in a stately palace, than those which are placed in 
an ordinary building ; the vine is pruned, when the bramble in the 
hedge is not looked after ; the child is put under discipline when the 
bastard liveth more at large. God meaneth to destroy those, whom by 
a just judgment he permitteth to go on in their sins, to their eternal 

(2.) They are more sensible of sin as a burden : Ps. xxxviii. 4, * Mine 
iniquities are gone over my head ; they are a burden too heavy for me.' 
That sins are a burden to a wounded conscience is evident by their 
complaints ; if a millstone fall upon them, it is not so heavy and bruising, 
as one spark of God's wrath lighting upon the conscience for sin ; but 
they are also a burden to a tender conscience. And partly, because 
they have more light than others, and see more into the heinous nature 
and evil of sin: Jer. xviii. 31, 'After I was instructed, I smote upon 
the thigh ; ' and Kom. vii. 9, ' When the commandment came, sin revived, 
and I died.' And partly, because they have more love than others 
have ; and they that love much, will mourn most for sin, Luke vii. 47 ; 
she wept much, because she loved much. The more holy any are, the 
more they are troubled about offending 'God than others are, or them 
selves were before. What is the reason ? It is not from the increase 
of sin, but the increase of light and love ; they see more and more into 
sin than formerly they did, or could do ; as in a glass of pure water 
the least mote is soon espied. And partly, because they have more 
heartily renounced sin ; therefore the relics of it are a greater burden 
to them. Elements burden not in their own place ; wicked men are 
in their own element ; it is a sport to them to do evil ; for ' fools make 
a mock of sin.' But it is otherwise with the children of God ; sin is 
that they hate, and pray down, and strive against ; they are aspiring 
after a better estate ; and it is a trouble to them, they find so little of 
it while they are in the body. 

2. The other sort of reasons concern the other life. A Christian 


here is unsatisfied, and waiteth for a better and purer estate, a state 
of constant felicity, and exact conformity to God ; and that for four 

[1.] By the first fruits of the Spirit he is confirmed in the belief of 
the certainty of this estate ; for the Holy Ghost openeth his eyes to see 
the reality of the world to come : Eph. i. 17, 18, * That the God of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit 
of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him ; the eyes of your 
understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope 
of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of the inheritance of 
the saints in light.' 1 Cor. ii. 12, ' Now we have not received the 
spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that ye may know 
the things that are freely given us of God.' Faith is the eye of the 
soul, Heb. xi. 1 ; andean eagle-eye it is, that helpeth us to look above 
the mists and clouds of the lower world, and see eternity at the back 
of time, and glory following shame, and rest labour. Now affections 
follow persuasion : Heb. xi. 13, ' Being persuaded of these things, they 
embraced them/ They that see there is another world, a life infinitely 
more desirable than that which we now enjoy, will find their affections 
stirred towards it ; an estate so blessed, if it were soundly believed it 
would be earnestly desired ; and certainly men do not believe this 
blessedness, if they be coldly affected towards it. 

[2.] By the first fruits of the Spirit, they do in part know the excel 
lency of it. Surely it is no slight and vain thing which is so desired, 
groaned after, and waited for by all the saints. They find somewhat 
in themselves which makes them to value and esteem it ; if the first 
fruits be rich and glorious, what will the whole harvest be ? If the 
taste be so ravishing, what will the whole feast prove? Surely it will 
wholly swallow us up with joy. The joys of the Spirit are unspeak 
able things, 1 Pet. i. 8 ; but ' at his right hand there is fulness of joy 
for evermore/ Ps. xvi. 11. The refreshings we meet with by the way 
doth mightily support us ; what comfort shall we have when we come 
to our journey's end, and enjoy what we have heard of? And what 
we have heard is little to the enjoyment. The saints would not part 
with their communion with Christ here for all the world ; what will it 
be when our union and communion is full and perfect ? To get a 
glimpse of Christ, as he showeth himself through the lattice, doth much 
revive the drooping soul ; but there we shall see him with open face ; 
here we get a little from him in his ordinances, and that little is as 
much as we can hold ; but there he is all in all, and we are filled up 
with the fulness of God. Christ in us now is the hope of glory, Col. i. 
27 ; but Christ in us then is glory itself; the Spirit in us now is a well 
springing up, but then the water groweth not only into a stream, but 
into ocean ; holiness here is called the seed of God, but then it is the 
life of God ; grace tendeth to the place whence it cometh, as a spark 
of fire tendeth to the element of fire ; there it is in its perfect estate. 
In short, look what difference there is between the spring-head and 
the out-fall of the water into the sea ; such difference there is between 
our enjoyment of God now, and hereafter. 

[3.] By the first fruits of the Spirit, we are prepared and fitted for that 
blessed estate. We read in the scripture, that as heaven is prepared 


for the saints, so the saints are prepared for heaven : Kom. ix. 23, 
' Vessels of mercy, which he hath aforehand prepared unto glory ; Col. 
i. 12, ' Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of 
the saints in light.' Now we are prepared by the Spirit's sanctifying 
body and soul, and fitting us for the heavenly estate ; it is said, 2 Cor. 
iii. 18, ' We are changed into his image from glory to glory.' As grace 
increaseth, glory hasteneth on ; every degree is a step nearer ; we grow 
more meet to dwell with God, as we grow more like God. Now this 
argument holdeth good on God's part and ours. When God hath formed 
us and fitted us for any estate, he will bring us to it ; as the apostle 
telleth us, 2 Cor. v. 6, ' Now he that hath wrought us to this self 
same thing is God. who hath given us the earnest of the Spirit' 
This piece of workmanship was never designed to be left always here 
in the world, but suited to a better place, to which it shall be trans 
lated. It is the wisdom of God to bestow all things in apt places ; 
every creature hath its element, and a peculiar nature, which carrieth 
it thither ; as fishes desire to live in the water, and fowls in the air ;. 
it is answerable to the nature which God hath put into them. The 
new creature hath a suitableness to the glorious estate to come here 
after; therefore the New Jerusalem is the only convenient place to 
the new creature ; and they that have a divine nature, must live in the 
immediate presence of God. On their part, God's word telleth them 
of a better life than this, and their hearts incline them to it, they being 
formed and fitted for it ; for the more a thing is formed for the end, 
the more vehemently it tendeth towards it. God will not carry us to 
heaven against our will ; therefore there is not only a preparation, but 
an earnest expectation, which is the fruit of it ; they long to enjoy 
their God, to see their Eedeemer, to enter upon that blessed estate for 
which God hath prepared them, whereof in part he hath assured them. 
No man is unwilling to be happy, and to attain his end. Certainly a 
Christian out of heaven is out of his proper place ; we are like fish in 
a paddle-trunk, or small vessel of water, which will only keep us alive ; 
we would fain be in the ocean. 

[4.] By the first fruits of the Spirit our title and right is assured. 
For it is compared to a seal, to warrant our present interest: Eph. iv. 
3, ' Ye are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise ; ' to an earnest, to 
secure our future enjoyment : 2 Cor. iv. 22, ' Who hath also sealed us, 
and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.' This blessed state 
belongeth only to those who have the first fruits of the Spirit ; their 
title is clear ; for God will own his seal and impress, will never take 
back his earnest, but it remaineth with us till there be no place 
left for doubts and fears. Now who, being secured of a better estate, 
and for the present burdened with sorrow and temptations, would not 
groan and long after it ? 

Use. [1.] Is information. It informeth us of the certainty of blessed 
ness to come. If there were any perfect estate in this life nothing 
would sooner bring us to it than a participation of the Spirit ; but this 
doth not ; for they that are partakers of the Spirit groan, wait, and are 
not satisfied with their present estate, but long for a better, breathe 
after something greater, and beyond what they here enjoy. Therefore 
certainly God hath reserved for them a better estate in another world. 



We prove another life by the disposition and instinct of nature towards 
happiness in the general, yea, eternal happiness ; all would be happy ; 
they grope and feel about after eternal good, Acts xvii. 26. This being 
the universal desire of all mankind, it is an argument that there is such 
a thing as eternal good, for natural desires are not frustrate ; for nature 
doth nothing in vain. But the desires of the sanctified do much more 
prove it ; for these act more regularly, direct their desires and groans 
to a certain scope and end ; and those are excited by the Holy Spirit 
of God ; he imprinteth the firm persuasion of this happiness in them, 
and stirreth up these groans after it, and that usually in our gravest 
and severest moods, when we are solemnly conversing with God in his 
holy worship ; then he doth raise up these affections towards heavenly 
things, by the word, prayer, and sacraments, and leaveth this heavenly 
relish upon our hearty as the present reward of our duties. And the more 
serious and holy any are, the more do they feel of this. Now this is a 
greater argument ; for holiness was never designed for our torment ; and 
these desires being of God's own planting, they will not be disappointed. 

[2.] That none but those who have the first fruits of the Spirit 
will groan and hope for eternal life. Others have no warrant, for they 
have not God's earnest ; and God never giveth the whole bargain, but 
he first giveth earnest ; for * without holiness no man shall see God.' 
Others have no inclination ; for most men's thoughts are not busied 
about this, but rather go after worldly things ; they are for serving 
their lusts, and pleasing their fleshly appetites and fancies ; whereas 
the apostle biddeth us be sober, and truss up the loins of our minds, 
1 Pet. i. 13, if we would hope to the end, for the grace that is to be 
brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is true, death is 
the ordinary refuge for embittered spirits, and the back-door we seek 
to get out at in our discontent. In passion men will desire to die ; 
when beaten out of the world, heaven is their retreat ; but no serious 
groans, and desires of heaven. 

[3.] That we must so groan under the present misery, that we may 
wait for deliverance with patience. Hope is not only made up of look 
ing and longing, but waiting also : Heb. vi. 12, ' Be ye followers of 
them who through faith and patience inherit the promise/ 

[4.] That one great means to support our faith and patience is the 
hope of the redemption of our bodies. (1.) Because the man cannot 
be happy till the body be raised again ; for the soul alone doth not 
consummate the man, neither was it made to live eternally apart from 
the body, but is in a state of widowhood till it be united to it again, 
and live with its old mate and companion. The man is not happy till 
then. (2.) It is the body is most pained in obedience, and endured all 
the troubles and labours of Christianity; there it hath part in the 
reward as well as the work ; Heb. xi. 35, ' Not accepting deliverance, 
that they might obtain a better resurrection.' (3.) It is the body which 
peemed to be lost. Some of the bodies of the faithful were devoured 
by wild beasts, others consumed in the fire ; some swallowed up in 
the sea ; all resolved in dust. Therefore because here the temptation 
lays the smart or destruction and torture of the body, the cordial is 
suited ; Christians do not only desire the blessed immortality of the soul, 
but the resurrection of the body. The body is weak, frail, subject to 


aches and diseases, stone, gout, strangury, death itself, tumbled up and 
down, and tossed from prison to prison ; but then redeemed from all 
evil and misery. 

Use 2. Is exhortation. To rouse up our languid and cold affections, 
that we may more earnestly groan and long for heavenly things. If we 
look to this world, the pleasures of it are dreams and shadows ; the 
miseries of it many and real ; we find corruption within, temptations 
without, grievous afflictions, oppressing the bodily life ; but above all, 
we do too often displease and dishonour God. If to the other world, 
the pleasures of it are full, glorious, and eternal. God is fain to drive 
us out of this world, as he did Lot out of Sodom, yet loath to depart. 
Have we not smarted enough for our love to a vain world ? sinned 
enough to make us weary of the present state ? If heaven be not worth 
our desires and groans, it is little worth. There is the best estate, the 
best work, and the best company. 

Question. But how shall we do to get up our hearts from this world 
to a better ? These things are necessary : 

[1.] The illumination of the Spirit, that the mind be soundly per 
suaded : 2. Cor. v. 1, ' For 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.' 

[2.] Strong inclination, or an heart fixed on heavenly things : Mat. 
vi. 21, ' For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' Col. 
iii. 1, 'If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, 
where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affections upon 
things above, and not upon the earth.' 

[3.] Love to Christ : Phil. i. 23, ' For to me to live is Christ, and to 
die is gain.' They that love Christ will desire to be with him ; they 
delight in his presence, count it their honour to be miserable with him, 
rather than happy without him. 

[4.] Some competent assurance of our own interest : 2. Tim. iv. 8, 
* Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which 
the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day, and not unto 
me only, but unto all that love his appearing.' 

[5.] Some mortification, that the heart should be dead to the world, 
weaned from the pleasures and honour thereof : Gal. vi. 14, ' God for 
bid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by 
whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.' While 
our hearts are set upon worldly profits and pleasures, and gratify the 
vices and lusts of .the body, we are loath to depart : c They have their 
portion in this life/ Ps. xvii. 14. 

Use 3. Do we groan and wait ? If so 

[1.] There will be serious waiting, and diligent preparing : 2 Pet. 
iii. 14, ' Wherefore, beloved, if ye look for such things, be diligent that 
you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.' 

[2.] It will frame our lives : Phil. iii. 20, * For our conversation is in 

[3.] It will put us upon self-denial. That maketh the Christian 
labour and suffer trouble and reproach ; desire is the vigorous part of 
the soul : 1 Tim. iv. 10, ' For therefore we labour and suffer reproach, 
because we trust in the living God.' 



For ive are saved "by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope : for ivhat 
a man seeth, ivhy doth he yet hope for ? ROM. VIII. 24. 

IN this verse the apostle giveth a reason why believers do groaningly 
expect the adoption, the redemption of their bodies, and so, by conse 
quence, salvation because yet they had it not. And in this reason there 
is secretly couched a prolepsis, or an anticipation of an objection ; as 
if the apostle had said, If any shall object, We are adopted already, 
redeemed already, saved already, this I would answer him : We are 
not actually saved, but in right and expectation only ; salvation indeed 
is begun in the new <birth ; but is not complete till body and soul shall 
be glorified in the day of judgment ; then we are redeemed or saved 
from all evils, and then do presently enter into the actual possession 
of the supreme happiness or glory which we expect. He proveth it 
by the nature of hope, because hope is of a future thing : ' For we are 
saved by hope ; but hope,' &c. 

In the words two things : 1. An account of the present state of 
a believer; ' For we are saved by hope/ 

2. The proof of it by two reasons. The first is taken from the nature 
of hope : ' For hope that is seen is not hope.' The second from the 
absurdity of the contrary ; ' For what a man seeth, why doth he yet 
hope for?' 

1. An account of the present state of a believer, * We are saved by 
hope/ A Christian is already saved ; but he is only now saved by hope, 
spe, non re ; he hath complete salvation, not in actual possession, but 
earnest expectation ; that is the apostle's drift here. He doth not 
show for what we are accepted at the last day, but how saved now ; he 
doth not say we shall be saved by hope, but we are saved by hope, 
which expecteth the fulfilling of God's promises in our salvation. 

2. The proof. 

[1.] By a reason taken from the nature of hope ; it is conversant 
about things unseen : * Hope that is seen is not hope ; ' eXirk 
^\7rofjLvr] is the thing hoped for ; the act is put for the object ; as 
also Col. i. 5, ' The hope which is laid up for you in heaven/ Hope is 
wrought in our hearts, but the thing hoped for is reserved in heaven 
for us. ' Is not hope ; ' there it is taken for the act of hoping is not 
hoped for. The meaning is, things liable to hope are not visible and 
present, but future and unseen ; for vision and possession do exclude 

[2.] From the absurdity of the contrary supposition ; ' for what a 
man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it ; ' that is, things enjoyed are 
no longer looked for. To see is to enjoy ; as also 2 Cor. v. 7, * We 
walk by faith, and not by sight ; ' that is, we believe now, but do not 
enjoy. So here, where the thing hoped for is possessed already, it is 
said to be seen. Otherwise if you take seeing properly, a man may 
hope for that which he seeth, as the wrestler or racer hath the crown 
in view; but whilst he is wrestling and racing he hopeth to have it, but 
hath not yet obtained it. Well then, the apostle's meaning is, who 


would look for that which he hath in his hands ? It is foolish to say 
he hopeth for it, or looketh for it, when he doth already enjoy it. 

Dock Hope is one of the graces necessary to obtain the great salva 
tion promised by Christ. 

First. For explication : 

1. Hope is a desirous expectation of some promised good. The act 
is a desirous expectation ; the object is some promised good. Of the 
act I shall speak afterwards ; the object I shall consider now. It is 
some good ; for evil is not hoped for, but feared. And a good promised ; 
for hope, the grace, is grounded upon the word of God : Ps. cxxx. 5, 
' I have hoped in thy word/ And the apostle telleth us that the heirs 
of promise being secured by two immutable things, God's word and 
God's oath, do fly for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before them : 
Heb. vi. 18. The promise doth both declare and assure ; declare what 
we may hope for ; the apostle saith it is set before us ; not before our 
senses, or the eyes of the body, but before our faith, the eyes of our 
minds, in the gospel ; and withal doth assure us in hoping ; for we 
have the word of God, who is the supreme verity, that neither can 
deceive nor be deceived ; and the promises of the gospel are ratified 
by the solemnity of an oath ; the more to excite our drowsy minds to 
consider upon what sure grounds we go upon. Well then, there is 
some word of promise assented unto by faith, before we expect the 
good promised. Promises are the holdfast we have upon God, and 
the sure grounds of raising hope in ourselves, or pleading with God 
in prayer. We may plead them to ourselves if we would have strong 
and solid consolation : Ps. Ivi. 4, ' In God I will praise his word ; in 
God have I put my trust ; I will not fear what man can do unto me.' 
Thus did David rebuke his fears. The fidelity of God in his promises 
is matter of firm confidence and hope to us. Only we must not make 
promises to ourselves, lest we become false prophets to ourselves, and 
build up our own dreams. So in pleading with God we have free 
leave to challenge God upon his word : Ps. cxix. 45, ' Remember the 
word unto thy servant, wherein thou hast caused me to hope.' Our 
necessities lead us to the promises, and the promises to Christ, in 
whom they are yea and amen ; and Christ to God, as the fountain 
of grace ; there we put these bonds in suit, and turn promises into 

2. The promises do concern either this life or that which is to come : 
1 Tim. iv. 8, ' Godliness is profitable to all things, having the promise 
of the life that now is, and that which is come.' There are supplies 
necessary for us during our pilgrimage ; therefore God hath undertaken 
not only to give us heaven and happiness in the next world, but to carry 
us thither in a way best pleasing to himself, and conducible to our 
good ; that we may serve him with comfort and peace all the days of 
our lives. Therefore there is an hope in God's promises for what we 
stand in need of by the way ; and God delighteth to train us up in a 
way of faith and hope in expecting our present supplies, that by often 
trying and trusting him for these things, we may the better hope for 
the great salvation ; as men practise swimming in the shallow brooks 
before they venture in the deep ocean. But temporal things are only 
promised so far as it may be for God's glory and our good ; we must 


not set God a task to provide meat for our lusts, or imagine that his 
providence will lacquey upon our humours and vain fancies. It is the 
ordinary practice of his free grace and fatherly love to provide things 
comfortable and necessary for his children : Mat. vi. 3, ' For your heavenly 
Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.' There is a 
common bounty and goodness which reacheth to all his creatures, even 
to the preservation of the smallest worm ; how much more will he 
provide for us whom he hath adopted into his family, and to whom he 
hath made promises that he will never leave us to insupportable diffi 
culties ? You would count him an unnatural father that feedeth his 
dogs and hawks and lets his children die of hunger. Certainly we 
may hope in God that he will do what is best, all things considered. 

3. The great promise, and so the principal object of our hope, is 
salvation by Christ, or eternal life : 1 John ii. 25, * This is the promise/ 
and so the principal object, which he hath promised us, eternal life.' 
Christ hath promised other things too, but this is the promise. It is 
the great end of Christ's mediation to bring us to God : 1 Pet. iii. 18, 
1 For Christ also hath once suffered, the just for the unjust, that he 
might bring us to God ; ' and that is not fully done till we live with 
him in heaven ; this is the end of our faith, 1 Pet. i. 9 ; this is the 
prime benefit offered to us in the gospel, to which all others tend. By 
justification our incapacity is removed ; by sanctification eternal life 
is begun ; by the mercies of daily providence we are preserved in our 
duty and motion towards this happy estate ; ' Kept blameless to the 
heavenly kingdom,' 2 Tim. iv. 8. From hence we fetch our comfort 
during the whole course of our pilgrimage, this we look upon as the 
recompense of all our pains and losses ; and upon the hopes of it the 
life of grace is carried on, and the temptations of sense defeated ; and 
therefore hope is described in scripture by this object more than any 
other thing. Called thence, ' The hope of salvation ; ' and all other 
hopes are in order to this : Rom. xv. 4, ' Whatever things were written 
aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through the patience 
and comfort of the scriptures might have hope ; ' that is, by submit 
ting and waiting upon him in variety of providences here in the world 
we might still keep up the hope of eternal life. 

4. Eternal life must be expected in the way God promiseth it. 
We must not take that absolutely which God promiseth conditionally ; 
God promiseth it to them that believe in Christ : John vi. 40, ' This 
is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, 
and belieVeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him 
up at the last day/ Those that saw him with the eyes of the body, 
and were not offended at his despicable appearance, but could own him 
as the Messias, as Lord and Saviour : those that see him with the eyes 
of the mind, see such worth and excellency in him, as to be content 
to run all hazards with him, and count all things but dung and dross, 
that they may be found in him, that they may venture their souls and 
all their interests in his hands. Sometimes to the obedient, Heb. v. 8 ; 
sometimes to them that persevere notwithstanding temptations, Rom. 
ii. 7 ; sometimes to the mortified, Rom. viii. 13. No ; you must consider 
not only the grant or the benefit contained in the promise, but the 
precept, the condition required. The benefit or privilege offered, 


expresseth God's grace ; the condition required points out your duty, 
and by consequence your right ; for we are not duly qualified according 
to promise, and the gift is suspended till we fulfil the condition. But 
when you have done that which the promise requireth, then your title 
to heaven is incomparably more sure than any man's title to his posses 
sions, and the inheritance to which he was born ; and you will find the 
saints, in fixing and raising their hopes, do not only look upon what is 
promised, but their own qualification: Ps. cxix. 166, ' Lord, I have 
hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments ; ' so Ps. xxxiii. 
18, ' The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, that hope in his 
mercy ; ' so Ps. cxlvii. 13, ' The Lord taketh pleasure in them that 
fear him, that hope in his mercy.' They so believe in God, as they 
fear to offend him ; and the hope of salvation goeth hand in hand 
with a care of keeping the commandments; we must not look to 
one side of the covenant only, the privileges and benefits ; but also 
to the duties and qualifications of those that shall be saved the 
penitent believer, the mortified saint, the heavenly-minded, self-deny 
ing Christian. All this is shown, that it is not enough to expect 
eternal life, but it must be expected in God's way. 

5. The expectation is certain and desirous. It is certain ; for it 
goeth upon the promise of the eternal God ; it is desirous, because 
the thing promised is our chief happiness ; all the pomp and glory of 
the world is but a May-game to it. With respect to these two proper 
ties different effects are ascribed to hope : 

[1.] It is patient and earnest. Patient : 1 Thes. i. 3, ' Eemembering 
without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of 
hope ; ' and in the verse next the text : ' And if we hope for it, then 
do we with patience wait for it ; ' and earnest : ver. 39,' For the earnest 
expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of 
God/ The emblem in the resemblance of it is the earnest expectation 
of the creature ; and 2 Pet. iii. 12, ' Looking for and hasting unto the 
coming of the Lord.' It is patient, because it is sure ; it is earnest, 
because it is good. When the soul therefore is possessed with the 
truth and worth of these things which we hope for, it looketh and 
longeth, because they are such glorious blessings ; but tarrieth God's 
leisure, because his word is sure, though he doth delay our happiness, 
and how smart and heavy soever his hand be upon us for the present. 

[2.] There is another pair, rejoicing and groaning. Kejoicing : Kom. 
v. 2, ' Kejoicing in the hope of the glory of God ; ' and groaning : 
2 Cor. v. 2, * In this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon 
with our house which is from heaven.' We groan because of present 
burdens, and our desire is delayed ; but we rejoice that our affection 
may be somewhat answerable to the greatness of the thing hoped for, 
which is the vision and fruition of the ever-blessed God. When 
we seriously consider what we shall have to do hereafter, how can a 
Christian choose but rejoice ? It must needs possess his mind with a 
delight. It is, questionless, a comfortable thing to him to think that 
he shall see the glory of God, and be filled with his love, and be 
exercised in loving, lauding, and praising him for evermore. Where 
this is soundly believed and earnestly hoped for, it will breed such a 
joy as supports us under all discouragements, fears, cares, and sorrows ; 


and on the other side, weigheth down all the pleasures and riches of 
the world ; in short, sweeteneth our lives and maketh religion our 
chiefest delight. 

Secondly, Keasons to prove that hope is a necessary grace, I shall 

1. For the state of a believer in this world. We are not so saved by 
Christ as presently to be introduced into the heavenly inheritance, but 
are kept a while here upon earth to be exercised and tried. Now while 
we want our blessedness, and there is such a distance between us and 
it, in the meantime we encounter with many difficulties ; there is need 
of hope, since the believer's portion is not given him in hand ; he hath 
it only in hope ; things invisible and future cannot else be sought after. 
As our understandings are cleared by faith to see things to come, other 
wise invisible, our wifls are warmed by love, that we may be earnestly 
carried out after the supreme good ; so our resolutions and inclinations 
must be fortified by hope, that we may seek after it, and not be diverted 
either by the comfortable or troublesome things we meet with in the 
world. This is the difference between the children of God in their war 
fare and in their triumph ; in their way and in their home ; they that 
are at home are rejoicing in what we expect and are in possession of 
that supreme good which we hope for, they are entered into the joy 
of their Lord, and have neither miseries to fear nor blessings to desire 
beyond what they do enjoy ; they see what they love and possess what 
they see ; but the time of our advancement to these is not yet come, and 
therefore we can only look and long for it ; the glorified are distinguished 
from us by fruition, and we are distinguished from all others by hope. 
We are distinguished from pagans who have no hope : Eph. ii. 12. 
'Having mo hope and without God in the world ; ' 1 Thes. iv. 13, 'Sorrow 
not -as -others which have no hope.' We are distinguished from tem 
poraries : Heb. iii. 16, 'If we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of 
jiope firm to the end.' The temporary loseth his taste and comfort, 
and so either casteth off the profession of godliness or neglecteth the 
power and practice -of it ; the other is diligent, serious, patient, morti 
fied, heavenly, holy, because he keepeth the rejoicing of his hope ; the 
end sweeteneth his work. 

2. From the new nature, which is not entire without hope. This is 
one of the constitutive graces which are essential to a Christian : 1 Cor. 
xiii. 13, 'And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but 
the greatest of these is charity ; ' he opposeth the abiding things, the 
necessary graces, to the arbitrary gifts, and among these he reckoneth 
hope. It is the immediate fruit of the new birth : 1 Pet. i. 3, ' Begotten 
to a lively hope/ The new nature presently discovereth itself by a 
tendency to its end and rest ; which is the fruition of God in heaven ; 
now the new creature cannot be maimed and imperfect because it is 
the immediate production of God. 

3. From the use for which it serveth. 

[1.] It is necessary to quicken our duties. Hope sets the whole world 
a-work ; the husbandman plougheth in hope, and the soldier fighteth in 
hope, and the merchant tradeth in hope ; so doth the Christian labour 
and serve God in hope : Acts xxvi. 7, ' Unto which promise, our twelve 
tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.' Certainly 


a man that hopeth for anything will be engaged in the earnest pursuit 
of it, and follow his work close day and night ; but where they hope for 
no great matter they are sluggish and indisposed. The principle of 
obedience is love, but the life of it is hope : Acts xxiv. 15, 16, ' I have 
hope towards God, that there shall be a resurrection of the just and 
unjust ; ' 'Ev TOVTCO da/ca), ' and herein/ or thereupon, or in the meantime, 
' do I exercise myself to keep a conscience void of offence towards God 
and towards men/ 

[2.] To vanquish temptations, which are either on the right hand or 
on the left, but both are defeated by hope. On the right hand when 
some present delight is ready to invite us to sin ; on the left hand 
when some present bitterness is likely to draw us from the ways of 
God ; in both cases the hopes of future joys outweigh that pleasure 
and allay that bitterness. If the temptation be the comforts of the 
world, or the delights of sin, he that sincerely hopeth for heaven, dareth 
not think so slightly of it as to lose it, or put it to hazard for a little 
carnal satisfaction ; it is noted high profaneness in Esau to sell the 
birthright for a morsel of meat, Heb. xii. 16. Sin cannot offer him 
things so good, but he must forego better, and so the heart riseth in 
indignation against the temptation : ' Shall I leave iny fatness, my 
sweetness, to rule over the trees ? ' If the temptation be some grievous 
inconvenience or affliction : Eom. viii. 18, ' For I reckon that the suffer 
ings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory 
that shall be revealed in us ; ' and 2 Cor. iv. 17, ' For our light affliction, 
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory/ This is the language of one that hopes for 
salvation ; all is but a flea-biting to him that hath his heart in heaven. 

[3.] To comfort us in all our tribulations. There are many difficul 
ties that intervene and fall out between hope and having ; between our 
first right to eternal life and our full possession of it. In our journey 
to heaven, we meet with trials and sufferings by the way ; now it is 
hope carrieth us through, and therefore it is compared to an anchor, 
Heb. vi. 19 ; to an helmet, 1 Thes. v. 8. As we would not go to sea 
without an anchor, nor to war without an helmet ; so neither must we 
think of carrying on the spiritual life without hope. Nothing else will 
compose the mind or keep it stable in the floods of temptation ; there 
fore it is an anchor. Nothing else will cause us to hold up head 
in our daily conflicts and encounters with afflictions but this helmet. 
Without this anchor we are in danger of spiritual shipwreck ; without 
this helmet our heads are exposed to deadly blows from sin, Satan, 
and worldly discouragements. 

[4.] That we may die peaceably, and with comfort. We need hope 
while we live, but we most need it when we come to die, and shoot the 
gulf of death. They that are destitute of the hope of salvation are 
then in a dangerous, woful, and most lamentable case : Job xxvii. 8, 
'What is the hope of the hypocrite, if he hath gained, when God 
taketh away his soul ? ' They may be full of presumption and blind 
confidence while they live, but what hope have they when they come 
to die ? All their worldly advantages will then yield them no solid com 
fort. We live in a presumptuous dream that all shall be well ; but 
then they die stupid and senseless, or else despairing ; and their hopes 


fail when they have most need of them. But then a lively hope of 
eternal life sustaineth the hearts of the faithful; they are going to 
possess what they expected ; and when they resign their souls to Christ 
they can commit their bodies to the grave in hope : Ps. xvi. 9, 10, ' My 
flesh shall rest in hope, for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor 
suffer thine holy one to see corruption ; ' God will not utterly forsake 
that dust that is in covenant with him, nor suffer his servants totally 
to be extinguished, or finally to perish. 
Use 1 is Information. 

1. That the great reward of a Christian lieth not in things seen, but 
unseen ; not in the good of this world, but of another ; because hope 
is one of the graces requisite to his constitution, and hope is about future 
things. Much to blame then are they who place all their happiness 
in present things wbich are so transitory. God hath reserved us to a 
future estate, because he bestoweth graces that suit with it, and nothing 
so opposite to it as the spirit of the world : 1 Cor. ii. 12, ' For we have 
not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God.' 

2. The cognation and kin that is between faith and hope. The one 
is the evidence of things not seen, Heb. xi. 1 ; the other is the earnest 
desire and expectation of things not seen ; the one is an assent, the other 
an appetition. Faith differeth from hope 

[1.] In the order of nature. Faith goeth before, as the cause is be 
fore the effect ; first there is a firm persuasion of good things to come, 
and then a certain expectation of them in the way which God hath ap 
pointed. Faith assents to the truth of the promise, and hope looketh 
for the accomplishment of it. 

[2.] In the object there is some difference. First, In the latitude 
of the object. The object of faith is larger ; faith is of things past, 
present, and to come ; as by faith we believe the creation of the 
world, Heb. xi. 4 ; the present existence of God, Heb. xi. 6 ; and the 
truth of heavenly joys, Heb. xi. 1 ; hope is only of things to come. 
So again, we believe some things that we hope not for, as the tor 
ments of the damned; for hope is an expectation of good to come, 
and the pains of hell are matter of fear, not of hope. Secondly, In 
the formal consideration of the object. Faith looketh to the word 
promising, verbum rei, hope to the thing promised, rem verbi. Faith 
considereth the veracity or truth of God in making the promise ; hope 
the benignity and goodness of God in making so great a promise as 
eternal life and salvation by Christ. Faith respects the person giving, 
his fidelity ; hope, the persons receiving, their benefit. Faith per- 
suadeth us there is salvation ; hope, that we shall, or at least may, 
obtain it. 

[3.] There is a difference in the subject. Faith, as it is an assent, is 
in the mind ; hope is in the affections, as reflecting upon the goodness 
of the thing promised ; so that though there be some difference be 
tween faith and hope, yet they are much of a like nature. 

3. It informeth us of the excellency of hope. Faith saveth, Eph. 
ii. 8 ; and hope saveth, as in the text ; which is to be regarded, be 
cause our thoughts run so much upon faith that we overlook hope ; 
and we do so altogether regard our present reconciliation with God 
through the merits of Christ, that we forget our eternal fruition of him 


in glory, and what is necessary thereunto, as if the whole drift of the 
new covenant were only to comfort us against the guilt of sin. Now 
a Christian should mind both, not only his peace with God, but his 
going off from the world ; and must believe, not only to the pardon 
of sins, but also to eternal life: 1 Tim. i. 16, 'For this cause I ob 
tained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long- 
suffering, for a pattern to them that should afterwards believe on him 
to everlasting life/ There is the final and ultimate object of faith, 
which must be first thought of; for all things are influenced by the 
last end. When we are invited to Christ, we are invited by this 
motive, that sinners shall not only be pardoned, but glorified. There 
fore a true and well-grounded hope of eternal life is a more weighty point 
than we usually think of ; and a great part of religion lieth in drawing 
off the heart from things visible and temporal to those that are in 
visible and eternal. The great effects of faith, which are love to God 
and victory over the world, are more easily produced when faith hath 
the assistance of hope, or this lively expectation of the world to come. 
Therefore we must not only consider the death of Christ as it hath 
procured for us the pardon of sin, or the promise of pardon ; but as he 
died for us, that we might live for ever with him, 1 Thes. v. 9 ; that so 
the soul may more directly and expressly be carried to God and heaven. 

It informeth us that none can be saved without hope of salvation. 
A Christian, as soon as he is made a Christian, hath not the good things 
promised by Christ ; but as soon as he is made a Christian he expecteth 
them ; as an heir is rich in hope, though he hath little in possession. 
Take any notion of applying grace. As soon as we are justified, we are 
' made heirs according to the hope of eternal life/ Tit. iii. 7 ; as soon as 
we are converted and regenerated we are ' begotten to a lively hope/ 
1 Peter i. 3 ; and as soon as we are united to Christ : Col. i. 27, ' Christ 
in you the hope of glory.' And without hope how can a man act as a 
Christian ? Since the whole business of the world is done by hope, 
certainly the whole spiritual life is quickened by this grace : Tit. ii. 
12, 13, ' For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared 
unto all men, teaching us that, denying all ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, godly, in the present world ; 
looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great 
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;' and Phil. iii. 20, 21, 'For our 
conversation* is in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be 
fashioned like unto his glorious body/ 

But then here ariseth a great doubt, how far every man is bound to 
hope for salvation ? For those that have no assurance of their own 
sincerity, and cannot unquestionably make out their propriety and 
interest, how can they hope for salvation ? 

Answer, To solve this doubt, we must consider a little the several 
states of men as they stand concerned in everlasting life. Some have 
but a bare possibility ; others have a probability ; a third are gotten 
so far as a conditional certainty; others have an actual certainty, or 
firm persuasion of their own right and interest. 

(1.) To some the hope of heaven is but a bare possibility, as to the 
careless Christian who is yet entangled in his lusts ; but God con- 


tinueth to them the offer of salvation by Christ ; they may be saved if 
they will accept this offer ; it is brought home to their doors, and left 
to their choice. It is impossible indeed in the state in which they 
are, but their hearts may be changed by the Lord's grace : Mark x. 
27, ' With men it is impossible, but not with God ; for with God all 
things are possible ; ' he can make the filthy heart to become clean 
and holy, the sensual heart to become spiritual and heavenly ; there 
are many bars in the way, but grace can break through and remove 
them. This possibility checketh scruples, and aggravateth their evil 
choice ; for they ' forsake their own mercies/ Jonah ii. 8 ; by their 
vain course of life they deprive themselves of happiness which might 
be theirs. It is their own by offer, for God did not exclude them ; 
but not their own by choice, for they excluded themselves, judge 
themselves 'unworthy of eternal life,' Acts xiii. 46. This possibility 
is an encouragement to use the means : Acts viii. 22, ' Pray, if per 
haps,' or, if it be possible, * the thought of thine heart may be forgiven 

(2.) Others have a probability, or a probable hope of eternal life ; 
as when men begin to be serious, or in some measure to mind the 
things of God, but are conscious to some notorious defect in their 
duty, or have not such a soundness of heart as may warrant their 
claim to everlasting blessedness ; as we read of ' almost Christians/ 
Acts xxvi. 28 ; and * not far from the kingdom of heaven/ Mark x. 
24. And such are all those which have only the grace of the second 
or third ground ; they receive the word with joy, but know not what 
trials may do; they have good sentiments of religion, but they are 
much choked and obstructed by voluptuous living, or ' the cares of the 
world/ Luke viii. 14. Yea, some such thing may befall weak believers ; 
they dare not quit their hopes of heaven for all the world, but cannot 
actually lay claim to it, and say it is theirs. Now probabilities must 
encourage us till we get a greater certainty ; for we must not despise 
the day of small things; and it is better to be a seeker than a 

(3.) A conditional certainty, which is more than possible or probable. 
That is, when we adhere to God's covenant, and set ourselves in good 
earnest to perform the conditions required in the promises of the 
gospel, expecting this way the blessings offered. As for instance, the 
hope is described by Paul, Acts xxiv. 15, 16. ' And have hope to 
wards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a 
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust ; and herein 
do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence to 
wards God and towards men.' There is such a dependence upon the 
promise as breedeth an hope, and this hope puts upon strict and exact 
walking ; such a conditional certainty is described in Kom. ii. 7, ' Who 
by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory, honour, immor 
tality, and eternal life.' I am sure to find salvation and eternal life, 
if I self- deny ingly and patiently continue this way, and by the grace 
of God I am resolved so to continue. Now there is much of hope in 
this ; partly because this is the hope which is the immediate effect of 
regeneration, the hope that is the fruit of experience, and belougeth 
to the seasoned and tried Christian who hath approved himself; 


hearsay is another thing, Kom. v. 4. And partly because this suitetli 
with God's covenant, or the conditional offer of eternal life, according 
to the terms of the gospel, where the benefits are offered to invite us 
to walk in the way of life. Now here is faith believing, hope expect 
ing, and resolution to take God's way ; even to deny ourselves, sacrifice 
our interests, and heartily to exercise ourselves unto godliness. And 
partly because much of the life of Christianity lieth much in this 
conditional hope and certainty, it being absolutely necessary to all 
acts of grace. And partly that we may have much comfort by it, for 
we are making out our claim. I do not doubt, or considerably doubt, 
of the reward of godliness ex parte Dei; no, I know they are sure and 
steadfast by the promise ; but my own qualification is not so sensible 
and clear that I can positively determine my own right ; but I have 
support and comfort in this way : 1 Cor. ix. 26, ' Kun not as one 
uncertain ; ' for I have reward in my eye. 

(4.) There is actual certainty of our interest, as being qualified. 
Which admits of a latitude ; for it may be full or not full, firm or 
not firm : Heb. vi. 14, ' And we desire that every one of you do show 
the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope to the end ; ' it may 
be interrupted or continued ; the full hope removeth all doubts and 
fears ; that which is not full hath some doubts accompanying it ; but 
the certainty prevaileth, and is more than the doubting. This is 
comfortable, to sail to heaven with full sails, rather than make an 
hard shift to get thither by many doubts and fears ; and it is a blessed 
thing when we can say, 2 Cor. v. 1 , ' For 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 ; ' 2 Tim. iv. 8, 
'Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.' In 
short, the more we address ourselves to our duty, the more we put 
ourselves in the way to receive the promise. 


For ive are saved ly hope ; but hope that is seen is not hope ; for 
what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for ? KOM. viii. 24. 

2. WE must distinguish of hope. There are several kinds of hope. 
(1.) There is an hope in the creature, and (2.) an hope in God. 

First, All things besides God are false confidences. Carnal men 
hope for that in the creature which is only to be found in God ; dream 
of an uninterrupted tenor of worldly felicity in present enjoyments; 
therefore their hopes are compared to a spider's web, which is gone with 
the turn of a besom, Job xiii. 13, 14. They lay their designs in their 
minds as curiously as the spider's web is woven; but the besom of 
providence cometh, and spider and web are both swept away, and trodden 
under foot. By the prophet Isaiah it is compared to a dream : Isa. 
xxix. 8, ' As when an hungry man dreameth, and behold he eateth ; 


but he awaketh, and his soul is empty ; or as a thirsty man dreameth, 
and behold he drinketh ; but he awaketh, and behold he is faint, and 
his soul hath appetite/ A false hope is but a waking dream, which 
faileth in extremity, and giveth but an imaginary refreshment and 
satisfaction. This may befall God's children who fall asleep in the midst 
of worldly prosperity : Ps. xxx. 6, ' In my prosperity, I said, I shall never 
be moved/ It is hard to keep from sleep when we lean our heads upon 
a soft carnal pillow, and in our sleep we have many fantasies and dreams ; 
this is hope in the creature. 

Secondly, But then there is an hope in God, whose immutable mercy 
and truth maketh him a fit object for hope : Ps. cxxx. 7, ' Let Israel 
hope in the Lord ; ' so Ps. xlii. 5, ' Hope thou in God, for I shall yet 
praise him.' He hath the sovereign command of all things ; and in 
vain do we look for good apart from him ; if the creature say yea, and 
God no, all the promises of the creature prove but a lie. Hope in God 
is that which we press as our respect to him as God ; for faith, hope, 
and love are duties of the first commandment ; negatives include their 
positives ; if no other god is before him, then we own the true God for 
our God. The positive duties of the first commandment are cultus 
naturalis, non institutes, such as are our duty to God as God, though 
he give no direction about them ; if God be our God, then hope in him : 
Lam. iii. 24, ' The Lord is my portion, saith my soul ; therefore will I 
hope in him ; ' that is, expect all my happiness from him. 

Hope in God is twofold, either irrational and groundless, or a rational 
hope that is built upon solid grounds. 

1. There is a vain and groundless hope, which is irrational, such as 
is in carnal and careless sinners, who say they hope well ; but their hope 
will one day leave them ashamed, Kom. v. 5. For it is not an hope built 
on the word of God ; though they live in their sins, yet they hope they 
shall do well, enough, though they be not so strict and nice as others are. 
Like condemned men in bolts and irons, that dream of crowns and 
sceptres when they are near unto, and ready for their execution ; so they 
hope for heaven with as much confidence as the holiest of them all, 
though God hath told them, Heb. xii. 14, that ' without holiness, no 
man shall see the Lord. ' This hope is but a vain dream, and an awaken 
ing time will come; this hope is not only without faith, but against 
faith ; this hope is nothing else but a confidence that God will prove a 
liar ; so that it is a blasphemy, rather than an act of worship ; a believ 
ing Satan rather than God ; or hoping in God, who hath declared the 
flat contrary in his word : 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, * Know ye not that the 
unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived ; 
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor 
abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor 
drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of 

2. There is a rational hope, which is built upon solid grounds, pro 
babilities, or certainties. 

[1.] There is a rational probable hope. For hope is sometimes taken 
for a probable expectation : 1 Cor. xi. 7, ' Hopeth all things. ' It mean- 
eth there, not a divine, but a charitable, prudential hope ; we hope well 
of others whose hearts we know not, as long as nothing appeareth to 


the contrary; charity goeth upon probabilities, therefore hopeth all 
things : 2 Cor. i. 7, ' Our hope of you is steadfast, that as you have been 
partakers of the sufferings of the gospel, so shall ye be also of the con 
solation ; ' so towards God : 1 Cor. ix. 10, ' He that plougheth, plough- 
eth in hope ; ' a man hath no promise of a good crop ; but the ordinary 
providence of God giveth him a probable hope of success. In temporal 
things, when we know not what the event will be, such a kind of hope 
we have. There is no express promise ; but such is the Lord's power and 
goodness commonly exercised in his providential government, that we 
have no reason to despair, and say it shall not be ; yea, much reason to 
believe that God will give success to our endeavours, for his glory in 
the world, considering what hath usually befallen his servants in like 
cases ; though we cannot draw a firm and certain argument from thence, 
yet it is probable, for the most part it is so. But in matters that con 
cern eternal life, somewhat of this hope may be observed ; as before 
conversion, when we begin to be serious and seek after God, we cannot 
say certainly God will give us converting and saving grace ; we must 
follow God, though we know not what will come of it, as Abraham did, 
Heb. xi. 8. There the rule in such cases is, I must do what he hath 
commanded ; God may do what he pleaseth ; yet it is some comfort 
that we are in a probable way. Nay, after conversion, such hope men 
may have as to their own interest in eternal salvation ; they cannot say 
heaven is theirs, or that God will certainly keep them to his heavenly 
kingdom ; yet they dare not quit their hopes of heaven for all the world, 
nor cease to walk in the way of salvation ; it is probable they are God's 

[2.] There is a firm and certain hope, when we have assurance of things 
hoped for, by the promises and offers of the gospel : as Acts xxiv. 15, 
' I have hope towards God that there shall be a resurrection both of 
the just and unjust.' Without this hope a man cannot be a Christian. 

We must certainly expect the promised blessing to be given to those 
that are capable and duly qualified ; and all that are enlightened by 
the Spirit do see it and expect it, and positively conclude, that ' verily 
there is a reward for the righteous/ Ps. Iviii. This hope is the life of 
religion, and doth excite us to look after it by due and fit means ; their 
eyes are enlightened with spiritual eye-salve, that they get a sight of 
the world to come : Eph. i. 18, ' The eyes of your understanding being 
enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and the 
riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints ; ' and if they believe 
the gospel, it cannot be otherwise. I am certain there is such a thing : 
Col. i. 5, ' For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye 
heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel.' There this truth 
is made known ; all that close with the gospel receive it, and by it is 
this blessed hope of glory wrought in us. 

3. There is a twofold certain hope ; one sort necessary, the other 
very profitable, but not absolutely necessary to the life and being of a 
Christian ; the first sort is the fruit of faith, the second the consequent 
of assurance. The first grounded merely upon the offers of the gospel, 
propounding the chiefest good to men, to excite their desires and 
endeavours ; the other is grounded on the sight of our own qualification, 
as well as the offers of the gospel ; the one is antecedent to all acts of 


holiness, the other followeth after it. An antecedent hope there must 
needs be, before the effect of the holy life can be produced ; for since 
hope encourageth and animateth all human endeavours, no man will 
engage in a strict course displeasing to flesh and blood, but he must 
have some hope ; and this hope the conditional offers of the gospel doth 
beget in us, and all serious creatures have it that mind their proper 
happiness. Kejoicing in hope is the same with ap-^rjv viroa-rdcrew^ 
Heb. iii. 6, 14 ; it is the first taste we have of the pleasures of the 
world to come. Keep up this gust and taste, and you are safe. 

But then there is another hope, that is grounded upon the evidence 
of our sincerity, and is the fruit of assurance, when we can make out our 
own claim and title to eternal life, which is not usually done without (1.) 
Much diligence: Heb. vi. 11, 'And we desire that every one of you do 
show forth the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope, unto the 
end/ (2.) Much sobriety, and weanedness from the world, 1 Peter i. 13. 
(3.) Much watchfulness, that we be not moved away from the hope of 
the gospel, Col. i. 23 ; that our hopes of eternal life begotten in us by 
the gospel be not weakened and deadened in us; it is not enough 
thankfully at first to embrace the conditional offer, but we must keep 
up this hope in life and vigour. (4.) Much resolution in our conflicts 
with the devil, world, and flesh, 1 Thes. v. 8. Lastly, some experience, 
Kom. v. 4, of God's favour and help in troubles, and our sincerity 
therein. When we are seasoned and tried, our confidence increaseth ; 
the frequent experience of God's being nigh to us, and honouring us in 
sundry trials, is a ground for hope to rest upon, that he will not leave 
us till all be accomplished : Phil. i. 20, ' According to my earnest expec 
tation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed ; but that with 
all boldness, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my 
body, whether it be by life or death.' Paul gathereth his confidence 
for the future from former experience. Now these two sorts of hope 
must be distinguished ; for the first hope may be accompanied with 
some doubts of our own salvation, or the rewards of godliness ex parte 
nostri, at least ; not ex parte Dei, for there all is sure and steadfast, and 
to doubt there is a sin ; it would detract from the goodness, power, and 
truth of God ; but when our qualification is not evident, this doubting 
may do us good, as it may quicken us to more diligence to make our 
title more clear and explicate ; especially when we are conscious to 
ourselves of some notorious defect in our duty, and have a blot upon our 
evidences ; indeed the rather, when more godliness might be expected 
from us, as having more knowledge or helps, or obliged by calling 
and profession to greater integrity and holiness of life. Doubting is 
right when it ariseth from a right and true judgment of our actions 
according to the new covenant ; and we cannot truly say who hath the 
greatest interest in us, God or the world, sin or holiness. Would you 
have men muffle their consciences, and think that they have more grace 
than -they have, or judge their condition to be better than it is, abso 
lutely safe, when they are not persuaded of their sincerity ? Indeed, 
when conscience judgeth erroneously, and a man thinketh he hath not 
that godliness which is necessary to salvation, which indeed he hath, 
he overlooketh God's work, his judgment of himself is erroneous, and 
therefore culpable ; though it be not unbelief, or a distrust of Christ. 


Well then, as to these two hopes 

(1.) That hope which ariseth from faith must every day be more 
strengthened ; for though there be no fallibility in God's promise, yet 
our faith may be weak or strong according to our growth and improve 
ment ; and in some temptations God's children for a while may question 
articles of religion of great importance, and the eternal recompenses, 
not their own interest only; as David: Ps. Ixxiii. 13, 'Verily I have 
cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.' As if 
he had said, What reward is there of holiness, mortification, patience, 
arid self-denial? In the lower world, where God is unseen, our great 
hopes yet to come,' the flesh being importunate to be pleased, and the 
things of the world necessary for our use, and present to our embraces, 
Christians are not certain and past all doubts of the truth of their ever 
lasting hopes, else there would be no weak faith nor faint hope. Did 
not the disciples in a great temptation doubt of an article of faith ? 
Luke xxiv. 21, ' But we trusted that it had been he which should have 
redeemed Israel ; ' and ver. 25, ' ye fools, and slow of heart to believe 
all that the prophets have spoken ! ' To doubt of what the prophets 
spake was not to doubt of their own salvation, but of the constant 
state of their souls. All the godly are persuaded of the truth of the 
gospel, that ordinarily they have no considerable doubts about it, but 
that still they resolve to cleave to God and Christ, looking for their 
reward in another world, whatever it cost them here, and in some 
measure can sell all for the pearl of price. 

(2.) As to the hope which ariseth from your assurance. 

First, Make your sincerity more clear and unquestionable, and every 
day your hope and your confidence will increase upon you. To believe 
and hope that you yourselves shall be saved is very desirable and comfort 
able ; but then you must do that which assurance calleth for 'give dili 
gence to make your calling and election sure/ abound in the love and work 
of the Lord, grow more indifferent to temporal things, venture all in 
Christ's hands ; for while your faith and repentance is obscure, you will 
not have such full comfort, though you are confident of the truth of 
God's promise to all penitent believers. 

Secondly, This latter or consequent hope, which dependeth on the 
assurance of our interest, admits of a latitude it may be full or not 
full : Heb. vi. 11, ' To the full assurance of hope/ Th#t is full which 
casteth out all fear ; that is not full which is accompanied with doubts ; 
but the certainty prevaileth : Mark ix. 24, ' Lord, I believe, help thou 
mine unbelief ; ' Cant. v. 2, ' I sleep, but my heart waketh/ Now we 
should labour to go to heaven with full sails, or 'abound in hope/ 
Eoni. xv. 13 ; and 2 Peter i. 11, ' For so an entrance shall be ministered 
unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ/ with hearts full of comfort. 

Thirdly, When it is full, it may be interrupted, or continued to the 
end ; or at some times it may be full, or not full at another : 1 Peter i. 13, 
1 Hope to the end.' If we continue in our duty with diligence, affec 
tion, and zeal, our full hope may be continued ; if we abate our fervour, 
grow remiss and cold in the spiritual life, we lose much of the comfort 
of our hopes. 

Fourthly, The hope which followeth after experience and much 



exercise in the spiritual life may result from an act of ours, and from an 
impression of the comforting Spirit. (1st.) From an act of ours. From 
our considering the truth of God's promises, or his wonderful mercy in 
Christ, and his grace enabling us in some measure to fulfil the condi 
tions of the new covenant, when thereupon we put forth hope : Phil, 
iii. 20, 21, ' For our conversation is in heaven, from whence we look 
for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, 
that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. (2d.) Or some 
impression of the comforting Spirit supporting and relieving us in our 
distresses, or rewarding our self-denial and obedience ; as Rom. v. 5, 
* Hope leaveth not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in 
our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us.' The one is an act of 
godliness, the other one of God's internal rewards ; the one is a duty, 
the other a felicity. * 

Use 2. Is to press us to get, and act hope. Hope implieth two 

First, Certain persuasion. Secondly, An earnest expectation. The 
certainty is seen in the quiet and pleasure of the mind for the present ; 
the earnestness in the diligent pursuit after the thing hoped for by all 
holy means. Now we must look to both acts of hope. 

First, To strengthen the certain expectation. There we must often 
revive the grounds of hope, which are these 

1. The mercy of God, which hath made such rich preparation for 
our comfort in the gospel. T? he first ground of hope to the fallen 
creature is the undeserved grace, mercy, and goodness of God : 2 Thes. 
ii. 16, 'He hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through 
grace.' And therefore it is our great invitation to hope : Ps. cxxx. 7, 
' Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is mercy and plenteous 
redemption.' Apply yourselves to God as a God of mercy ; otherwise, 
such were our undeservings and our ill deservings, there were no hope 
for us ; so Ps. xiii. 5, ' I have trusted in thy mercy ; my soul shall 
rejoice in thy salvation ; ' let others trust in what they will, I will 
trust in thy mercy. The serious remembrance of God's mercy maketh 
hope lift up the head ; so Jude 21, ' Looking for the mercy of the 
Lord Jesus unto eternal life ; ' there is our best and strongest plea to 
the very last. Therefore the heirs of promise are called, Rom. ix. 23, 
' vessels of mercy ; ' because from first to last they are filled up with 

2. The promise of God, which cannot fail : Tit. i. 2, ' The hope of 
eternal life, which God that cannot lie hath promised before the world 
began.' He promised it to Christ in the covenant of redemption, and 
he hath promised it to us in the covenant of grace ; that before time, 
this in time. Now God will not fail to do what he hath promised ; 
when he made the promise, he meant to perform it. For what need 
had God to court his creature into a false hope, or to flatter him into 
a fool's paradise ? to tell them of a happiness he never meant to give 
them? And if he meant it, is he not able to perform it? Men break 
their word out of weakness ; they cannot do all that they would ; their 
will exceedeth their power : or out of imprudence ; they cannot foresee 
what may happen : or out of levity and inconstancy, for all men are 
liars ; but none of these things can be imagined of God. We have 


God's word and oath, Heb. vi. 18 ; we have his seal, the Spirit, who 
hath wrought miracles without, to confirm this hope and assure the 
world : Heb. ii. 4, ' God also bearing them witness, with signs arid 
wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost ; ' 
within, preparing the hearts of the faithful for this blessed estate : Eph. 
iv. 30, ' And grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed to the 
day of redemption ; ' and giving them some beginnings of it, as an 
earnest : 2 Cor. i. 22, ' Who hath sealed us, and given us the earnest 
of the Spirit.' Now since we go not upon guesses, but sure grounds, 
the promise of the eternal God thus sealed and confirmed, should not 
we hope? 

3. Our relation to God. He is our God and Father : John xx. 17, 
' I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your 
God/ As our God, he will give us something like to himself ; some 
thing better than the world yieldeth, something fit for a God to give ; 
or else he could not with honour take that title upon him : Heb. xi. . 
16, ' Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath 
prepared for them a city.' As our Father, he will give us the heavenly 
inheritance : Luke xii. 32, * Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's 
pleasure to give you the kingdom.' If God were a judge only, we 
might fear how it would go with us in the day of trial ; but if he will 
dignify us with the title of children, we may expect a child's portion : 
Rom. viii. 17, 'And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- 
heirs with Christ ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may be also 
glorified together.' Be sure that you be adopted, justified, taken into 
the family. 

4. Christ's merit and passion : Kom. v. 10, ' For if, when we were 
enemies, we were reconciled by the death of his Son, much more, being 
reconciled, we shall be saved by his life/ Surely the blood of God 
was given for some other thing than that little happiness and .sorry 
pittance of comfort which we enjoy here. Do men that understand 
themselves give vast sums for trifles? When wise men lay a broad and 
large foundation, we expect a building suitable; if Christ be abased, we 
may be exalted ; if he was apparelled with our flesh, we may be clothed 
with his glory. That which keepeth hope alive is the consideration 
of that ransom which Christ paid to reconcile us to God, that we 
might be capable of the highest fruits of Christ's death, an assurance 
of his love, even eternal life. 

5. His resurrection and ascension : 1 Peter i. 21, 'God hath raised 
him from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might 
be in God/ Christ confirmed his mediatorship, and herein he is a 
pattern to us ; taken possession of heaven in our name and nature ; he 
did in our nature rise from the dead and ascend into heaven, to give us 
a real and visible demonstration of a resurrection and a life to come, 
that we might look and long for it, whilst we follow him in obedience 
and sufferings. Christ is entered into his glory, and shall we be kept 
out ? Some saw him after he was risen, and some saw him ascending ; 
we have certain testimony of it, that he is gone to heaven before us ; 
he that came to be an example of duty is also a pattern of felicity. 

6. His potent intercession. He is sat down on the right hand of 
majesty, that he may apply his purchase, and bring us into possession of 


that happiness which he hath procured for us. We have a friend at 
God's right hand, who cannot satisfy himself to be there without us : 
John xvii. 24, * Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me may 
be where I am, and may behold my glory.' He is gone to heaven as 
our forerunner : Heb. vi. 19, 20, ' Which hope we have as an anchor 
of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within 
the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered ; even Jesus, made an 
high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec ; ' gone ashore, 
whither we seek to land : Micah ii. 13, ' The breaker is come up before 
them.' He hath taken all impediments out of the way, and prepared a 
safe landing-place for us. 

7. All our former experience of God. He hath ever borne us gcod 
will, never discovered any backwardness to our good ; he purposed it 
in Christ before the world was ; sent his Son to die for us before we 
were born or had a being in the world ; called us when we were 
unworthy ; warned us of our danger when we did not fear it ; offered 
this happiness to us when we had no thought of it ; and lest we should 
turn our backs upon it, followed us with an earnest and incessant impor 
tunity, till we came to have anxious thoughts about it, till we began to 
make it our business to seek after it ; by the secret drawings of his 
Spirit, inclined us to choose him for our portion. How many contra 
dictions and strugglings of heart were there ere we were brought to 
this. Ever since he hath been tender of us in the whole conduct of his 
providence, afflicted us when we needed it, delivered us when we were 
ready to sink ; he pardoned our failings, visited us in ordinances, sup 
ported us in troubles, helped us in temptations, and is still mindful of 
us at every turn, as if he would not lose our hearts. And shall we not 
hope in him to the last? Hath he forgotten to be gracious? As they 
said, Judges xiii. 23, ' If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not 
have received a burnt-offering and a meat offering at our hand, neither 
would he have showed us these things ; ' so if God had no mind to save 
us, he would not use such methods of grace about us. 

8. The greatness of the gospel covenant. For that allayeth a great 
many fears, to remember that we are to interpret our qualification 
according to the covenant of grace and the sweet terms thereof ; and 
though there be many failings, we may be accepted with the Lord, who 
will not impute to his people their frailties and sins of infirmity. Not 
perfection, but sincerity, is our claim ; we have indeed a faith too weak, 
and mingled with doubtings, too little love to God, and self-love too 
prevalent ; our desires of grace too cold, our thoughts often distracted ; 
but yet where the heart is set to seek the Lord, he will accept us, and 
our infirmities shall be forgiven us for Christ's sake. When he justi- 
fieth, who shall condemn? Rom. viii. 23. He will answer for the 
imperfection of our holy things ; every sin is not a sign of death, some 
are consistent with a state of grace and hopes of glory. There are 
some sins which every one that truly repenteth ceaseth to commit them : 
Prov. xxviii. 13, ' He that covereth his sins shall not prosper ; but 
whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy;' there are 
other sins which they that repent do hate, but they too frequently 
return : Rom. vii. 15, ' What I hate, that do I ; ' as, the imperfection 
of our graces, many vain thoughts and inordinate passions, too much 


deadness and coldness in holy duties; these are forgiven, and^ consist 
with life ; these are causes of child-like humiliation, but not of judging 
ourselves ungodly, or cast out of the favour of God. 
Secondly, To breed earnestness, and this desirous expectation. 

1. Think often of the sinfulness and misery of the present evil world, 
even the better part of it, that which is incident to the people of God, 
which are to be considered either singly or collectively. Singly ; each 
saint and servant of God findeth enough to drive him off from the 
world, and to make him long for heaven, a great deal of sin to make 
him long for his perfect estate. Here in many things we offend, all 
of us, and the best of us, James iii. 2 ; but above, there are the spirits 
of just men made perfect. A great deal of misery, unless we are in 
love with distress, and prefer vanity and vexation of spirit before our 
rest and quiet repose. Why should we not desire to be at home with 
the Lord, which is much better for us ? Phil. i. 23. We had been 
more in danger to forget heaven if all things had suited to our desires, 
and our way had been strewed with worldly flowers and delights ; but 
God hath more wisely ordered it, that our temptation to abide here 
should not be too strong; or when the world appears to us in too 
tempting a garb and posture, a valley of tears and snares, a world full 
of sins, crosses, and pains, should make us look out after a better estate. 
Consider them collectively as a church, here it is quite different from 
what it will be hereafter. Alas ! how often is it like a ship in the 
hands of a foolish guide, who knoweth not the right art of steering; 
spotted with calumnies of adversaries, or the stains and scandals of its 
own children ; sometimes rent and torn with sad divisions, every party 
impaling and enclosing the common salvation, and confining it to their 
own bounds, unchristianing and unministering all the rest, and many 
times, in the pursuit of these contentions, unmanning themselves, while 
they seek to bear down all that stand in their way, Though it is 
better to dwell in the courts of the Lord than in the tents of wicked 
ness, yet truly a tender spirit will groan under these disorders, and 
long to come to the great council of souls, to the spirits of just men 
made perfect, who with perfect harmony are lauding and praising God 
for evermore. 

2. Kemove impediments, which are sensuality and addictedness to 
worldly things. Some seek all their delights and happiness in the 
things of this world, and so set more by earth than heaven, and will do 
more for it. Certainly when we fall into the snare of worldly hopes, 
and are laying designs for greatness here, it is a troublesome interrup 
tion to think of a remove, and their great change cometh upon them 
unawares, unthought of and unlocked for : Luke xxi. 34, ' Take heed to 
yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting 
and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come 
upon you unawares/ See also Luke xii. 17-20, ' And he thought 
within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room to 
bestow all my fruits and goods? And he said, This I will do, I will pull 
down my barns, and build bigger ; and say to my soul, Thou hast 
much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be 
merry. But God said unto him, This night thy soul shall be required of 
thee ; ' Ps. cxlvi. 4, ' His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, 


in that very day his thoughts perish.' Certainly the cares and pleasures 
of this world steal away the heart from the life to come ; worldly 
delights make us unwilling to remove. 

3. Meditate often on the worth of this blessedness : Col. iii. 1, ' If ye 
be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ 
sitteth at the right hand of God.' Are you unwilling to come to God, 
the object of your everlasting joy and love ? to Christ, your blessed 
redeemer and saviour, who hath done so much for you, to bring you 
home to himself? to the innumerable company of saints and holy 
angels, and those peaceful regions that are above ? Surely if you 
hold your eye open upon the mark, you will press on with the more 
diligence, Phil. iii. 14. 

4. The more earnestly you look for these things, the more doth 
heaven come to yoiubefore you come to it: Phil. iii. 20, 'But our 
conversation is in heaven ; ' living for heaven, or upon heaven here, by 
earnest hope, the joy of the Lord entereth into you ; Rom. xv. 13, 
* Now the God of hope fill you will all joy in believing ; ' the more 
our hearts are exalted to look after it ; but usually we are taken up 
with toys and trifles. 

Usft 3. Have we this hope ? You may be contented with a pre 
sumptuous conceit or idle expectation, and call it hope ; it is not a 
slight thinking of heaven ; no, but a certain and desired expectation 
of the promised blessedness, according to the terms of the new 
covenant ; the true hope is neither groundless nor fruitless. 

1. A groundless hope is a false hope, which buildeth on false pro 
mises; you cannot render \oybv or an account of it, 2 Peter iii. 5. 
As David asked the reason of his doubts, so we of our hopes : Ps. xlii. 
15, 'Hope thou in God.' They think if they have confidence, though 
without holiness, they shall see God ; they hope to be saved without 
regeneration, and so hope for that which God never promised ; think 
to be saved while unsanctified ; these build on false evidences ; James 
i. 21 ; build on the sand, Mat. vii. 24 ; build on false experiences, 
God's patience, the blessings of this life, deliverance only : their cry 
from imminent danger, Ps. Ixxviii. 38 ; vanishing tastes, Heb. vi. 5. 

2. It is not fruitless. 

Use 4. Is direction in the Lord's Supper. This duty was appointed to 
raise and confirm our hope, for it is a seal of the covenant, and the 
principal covenant blessing is eternal life. Three things are consider 
able: the acting of hope, the receiving new pledges of God's love, 
the binding ourselves to pursue everlasting life. 

1. The acting of hope. We come to take Christ and all his 
benefits, which are pardon and life. He is drinking ' new wine in his 
Father's kingdom,' Mat. xxvi. 29. We come to think of the happiness 
of the blessed ; some are gotten to heaven already ; we are of the 
same family: Eph. iii. 15, 'Of whom the whole family of heaven and 
earth is named.' It is but one household ; some live in the upper, 
some in the lower room : those on earth are of the same society and 
community with them in heaven : Heb. xii. 23, ' To the general 
assembly and the church of the firstborn, which are written in 
heaven/ They have gotten the start of us, and are made perfect 
before us, that we may follow after ; we are reconciled to the same 


God, by the same Christ, Col. i. 20 ; we expect our portion from the 
bounty of the same Father, Luke xii. 32. He that hath been so good 
to that part of the family which is now in heaven, will he not be as 
good to the other part also that remain here upon earth ? Therefore 
they that are working out their salvation with fear and trembling may 
and should encourage themselves, and look upon this felicity as pre 
pared for them, though not enjoyed by them, and will one day be 
their portion, as well as of those others who have passed the pikes, 
and are now triumphing with God. The apostle telleth us, 1 Cor. xi. 
26, ' As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye show forth 
the Lord's death till he come ; ' and he cometh to bring us up to those 
blessed mansions which are in his Father's house. When we show 
forth the Lord's death, we are to think of those that are in our 
Father's house : John xiv. 3, ' I will come again, and receive you to 
myself, that where I am, there you may be also.' To keep afoot 
this promise in the church, and to keep it alive in our hearts, we 
come to the Lord's table. 

2. Our business is to receive new pledges of God's fatherly love 
and our blessed inheritance, which are represented under a double 
notion : as an earnest, to show how sure ; as first-fruits, to show how 

[1.] Earnest. Hope is not built upon promises alone, but we have 
earnest also ; the promise is given us in the word, the earnest is given 
in our hearts, 2 Cor. i. 22. Though God be truth itself, and pro- 
miseth nothing but what he meaneth to perform, yet he will give us 
earnest of his promises. The outward pledges are the elements ; the 
inward pledge is the earnest of the Spirit ; his comfort and graces are 
a part of the promised felicity. He would not weary and burden us 
altogether with expectation, but giveth us somewhat in hand, light, 
life, grace, joy, peace ; one drachm of these is more precious than all the 
world, yet these are but an earnest. This is the confirmation that we 
have in the midst of our doubts and fears ; they expect the full sum. 

[2.] First-fruits. We come to get a taste of these things to deaden 
our taste of other things, which would divert us from these hopes, 
which are vain delights of the flesh, 1 Peter i. 13. Bodily pleasures 
are put out of relish by these choice and chaste delights ; these are 
our songs in the house of our pilgrimage. 

3. To bind ourselves to the more earnest pursuit of these hopes. 
Our journey is not ended, nor our warfare and conflicts ; therefore 
here we bind ourselves to continue our race, and finish the good fight 
of faith ; as the Israelites in their first passover had their loins girt 
and their staves in their hands, as resolving on a journey to Canaan, 
the land of rest ; so we profess ourselves strangers and pilgrims ; let 
us therefore resolve on our journey towards heaven, and bind ourselves 
to the performance of it. 



But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for 

it. EOM. viii. 25. 

IN this verse the former doctrine is improved to the main end of 
this discourse, which is to persuade to a patient waiting for glory to 
come, in the midst of the sufferings and troubles of this life. The 
apostle goeth to work by way of supposition and inference. 

First, The supposition, ' If we hope for that we see not/ 

Secondly, The inference thence deduced, 'Then do we with 
patience wait for it/ 

From the first, observe that hope is conversant about what we see 
not. Hope may be taken for a natural affection, or for a spiritual 
grace ; the one will help to explain the other. 

1. The object of hope as it is a natural affection. It is a good, 
future, possible, and hard to be obtained. [1.] A good it must be, 
for hope is one of the affections of prosecution, not aversation ; man 
hath an irascible and concupiscible faculty, called by the apostle 
passions and lusts,; a desiring or eschewing faculty ; the one is con 
versant about good, the other about evil ; for evil is not hoped for, 
but feared ; herein the affections and the grace agree ; they both aim 
at good, but the object of the Christian hope is summum bonum, the 
best and chiefest good, which is the vision and fruition of God, in 
comparison of which all the good things of the earth are but trifles, 
and poor, inconsiderable vanities. [2.] A good future ; for when any 
thing is possessed, it ceaseth to be hoped for ; when the thing desired 
is seen and enjoyed, hope hath no more to do ; herein also the two 
hopes agree; the object of Christian hope is something future, not yet 
received or enjoyed. In this lower world our God is unseen, our 
blessedness is yet to come, and lieth in another world, which we 
cannot come at till we shoot the gulf of death; therefore the 
Christian hope needeth to be more strong and fixed. [3.] It is 
possible ; for the serious and regular desires of nature can never be 
carried to that which is impossible. A man may wish for mountains 
of gold, and please his fancy with chimeras of strange things ; but 
his reason and will is only affected with things feasible, and such as 
probably may be obtained, and lie within his grasp and reach ; the 
industrious hope is only of things possible. [4.] It is not only 
possible, but difficult, not to be procured without some industry and 
labour ; for things easy to be compassed are as if they were already 
enjoyed. These two last qualifications of the object of hope show that 
it is a middle thing between despair and presumption ; despair only 
looketh at the difficulty, and leaveth out the possibility, and so taketh 
off all endeavours; as Paul's companions (Acts xxvii. 20, 'When all 
hope they should be saved was taken away") ceased striving, and let 
the ship go whither it would. Men will not labour for that which 
they despair to obtain ; it holdeth good in spirituals ; when men de 
spair of mending their condition, they give over all care about it ; as 
those wretches, Jer. xviii. 12, ' And they said, There is no hope, but 


we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the 
imagination of his evil heart.' We have a saying, ' Past cure, past 
care.' On the other side, presumption never considereth the difficulty, 
but only pleaseth itself with a loose and slight reflection upon the 
possibility ; and therefore do unreasonably imagine to obtain their end 
without setting themselves to use the means, or bestowing that cost 
and pains by which all worldly good is obtained. Now presumption 
is most incident to young men, who are not acquainted with the world, 
and promise themselves great things without considering what may 
be said to the contrary, or what is needful to obtain them ; difficulty 
there is in every business ; if only considered, it breedeth despair ; if 
overlooked, it breedeth presumption ; but hope between both appre- 
hendeth such difficulty as calleth for diligence, and such possibility as 
every cross accident may not make us give over the attempt. It 
holdeth good in religion ; the difficulties must be sufficiently under 
stood, for Christ will have us sit down and count the charges ; and yet 
not so regarded as to discourage us in our duty ; we must stand all 
hardships as good soldiers of Jesus Christ ; and press towards the 
mark of our high calling in Jesus Christ, whatever it costs us. 

2. As it is a spiritual grace. There the object of hope is some good, 
future and unseen. But other qualifications are necessary beyond 
these already mentioned. 

[1.] It must be something promised by God. [2.] Believed by us, 
before we can hope for it. 

[1.] Such future things as God hath promised to bestow upon us. 
These are the matter and object of our faith and hope ; the promise 
giveth us notice, and the promise giveth us assurance. (1.) Notice. 
We can have no other certain knowledge of their futurity but by God's 
promise. The light of nature or reason giveth a shrewd guess at a 
future estate, but the certain knowledge we have by God's word ; there 
life and immortality is brought to light : 2 Tim. i. 10, ' He brought 
life and immortality to light through the gospel.' There we have the 
clear prospect of it. The heathen had nothing but the light of 
nature to guide them, spake doubtfully of a future estate ; like men 
travelling on the hills, and see the spire of a steeple at a distance, 
sometimes they have a sight of it, and presently they lose it, and so 
cannot certainly tell whether they saw it, yea or no ; but all is clear, 
full, and open in God's promise. (2.) Certainty and assurance ; for it 
conveyeth a right to us upon certain terms ; for he that believeth on 
the Son of God hath everlasting life, John iii. 36 ; hath it in the 
offer and promise of God, if he will fulfil the condition required ; not 
only shall have it at the close of their days, but they have the grant 
already, and therefore wait for the fruition. As we are fulfilling the 
conditions, we gain more security and confidence that we shall have 
it : 1 Tim. vi. 12, ' Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal 
life;' ver. 19, 'Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation, 
that they may lay hold on eternal life;' the meaning is, challenge it 
for theirs. In short, our expectation must be grounded on some 
promise, or else it is but a fancy and presumption. 

[2.] The thing hoped for must be believed by us, for there can be 
no expectation of things not seen till there be faith, which is 'the 


evidence of things not seen/ Heb. xi. 1. First, there is a firm assent 
by faith ; we are as confident in some measure of those things, as if 
we saw them with our eyes, or as we are of those things which we 
daily see. Then after this assent there followeth earnest expectation ; 
for hope maketh the assent practical. Though God promise never so 
much, yet if we believe him not, we expect nothing ; therefore faith is 
necessary. Look as to bodily sight, there needeth an object to be 
seen, and an eye by which we see ; so in spiritual sight, the promise 
sets the object before us : Heb. xii. 2, ' Looking unto Jesus ; ' and 
Heb. vi. 18, 'Lay hold of the hope set before us/ But the eye is 
faith, which, though it cannot give us sight, itgiveth us foresight ; we 
have heard of it, though yet we have not seen it, and see it by the eyes 
of the mind as it is contained in the promise of the everlasting God, 
though we do not, aad cannot see it with the eyes of the body. Com 
pare it with reason. By reason we apprehend more than we see, for we 
see effects in their causes, but that is but probable foresight, for many 
things intervene between the cause and the effect. By faith we foresee 
the blessing in the promise ; by reason we see things beyond sense, so 
far as natural probabilities will carry us ; by faith we see things 
beyond reason, so far as the promises of good invite us to a better 

But how can we surely hope for that we see not, which neither 
sense nor reason can inform us of? 

Anstver 1. This glory is not a fancy ; it is seen by many in our 
nature that now possess it, and by the word of God you are invited to 
follow them in the same course of holiness and godliness, that you 
may in time see it also : Heb. vi. 12, ' Be ye followers of them who 
through faith and patience have inherited the promises ; ' propound 
the same noble end and the same holy course, and matters of faith 
will in time become matters of sense. Now, though the end be 
unknown, the way is so good and holy and justifiable by reason, 
that we should venture the imitation of them, not their holiness only, 
but their faith, Heb. xi. 13 ; they lived and died in this faith ; their 
life was holy, and their death was happy, that are gone into the other 
world. But you will say, If we could talk with any of these that are 
gone into the other world: Luke xvi. 30, 31, 'And he said, Nay, 
Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they 
would repent : and he said unto him, They have Moses and the 
prophets, and if they will not hear them, neither will they be per 
suaded if one should come from the dead.' They are out of the 
sphere of our commerce; their testimony is not convenient for the 
government of God, who will not govern the world by sense, but by 
faith ; and besides, you have better hopes, Moses and the prophets ; 
there is more reason to persuade a man the scriptures are true, than 
to believe a message brought him from one among the dead. 

2. One that hath seen, and is an infallible witness, hath testified to 
us of the truth of these things we hope for : John i. 18, ' No man 
hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the 
bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.' Christ perfectly saw 
and knew all that he hath told us of God and the world to come : 
John iii. 11, ' Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that which we 


know, and testify that we have seen, and ye receive not our witness ;' 
so that our faith and hope goeth on sure grounds ; so yer. 32/ What 
he hath seen and heard he testifieth, and no man receiveth his testi 
mony.' A good man, whose testimony is valuable, that hath been in 
a strange country, and testifieth what he hath seen there of it, would 
not we believe him ? Christ, that came from the other world, and told 
us of the blessedness of it, deserveth the credit of a good man ; he used 
a faithful plainness : John xiv. 2, ' If it were not so, I would have told 
you.' But more of a teacher sent from God, who confirmed his mes 
sage by miracles, and laid down a doctrine holy and good ; and shall 
not we receive his testimony concerning these things he had perfect 
knowledge of, assured us of the truth of them ? shall we not receive 
his testimony ? 

3. Those that saw him and conversed with him were not only 
authorised by him to show us the way to eternal life, but saw so much 
of it themselves as the mortal state is capable of, yet enough to prove 
the reality of the thing : 1 John i. 1-3, * That which was from the 
beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, 
which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word 
of life (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear wit 
ness, and show unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, 
and manifested unto us) ; that which we have seen and heard declare 
we unto you ; ' Acts iv. 20, ' For we cannot but speak the things 
which we have seen and heard ;' they had it not by hearsay, but some 
kind of sight. There being fidelity in the witnesses, there should be 
faith in those that hear and read. The apostles had sensible confir 
mation of what they did declare. If they say that they heard, saw, 
and handled that which they never did, then they were deceivers ; if 
they only imagined they did see and hear those things, then they were 
deceived ; if what they saw and heard will not amount to a proof of eternal 
life, then their testimony is not sufficient. But their downright simple 
honesty and great holiness showeth that they had no mind to deceive, 
and the nature of the things they relate showeth that they could not 
be deceived ; for they were eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses, and always 
conversing with Christ : the proof is sufficient. If such miracles, 
such resurrection, ascension, such a voice from the excellent glory, will 
not prove another world, what will ? 

4. There is care taken that we also may have a sight of these 
things so far as is necessary to a lively and quickening hope ; for the 
Spirit is given to refine our reason and elevate our minds, and raise 
them above sensible things, that we may believe these supernatural 
truths, and hope to enjoy this blessedness in the way of Christianity : 
Gal. v. 5, c For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteous 
ness by faith.' Interpret it not only of the righteousness of faith, but 
the hope built thereupon ; it doth assure us of bliss and glory for all 
that are obedient to the faith, and believe those endless joys which are 
prepared for Christians, John i. 17, 18. 

5. If we see not these things by faith, it is because we are blinded 
by lusts and brutish affections, which misbecome the human nature : 
2 Cor. iv. 3, 4, ' If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, 
whose eyes the God of this world hath blinded/ It is because worldly 


advantages Lave seduced and perverted their affections, which enchain 
their minds, that these sublime truths make no impression upon them, 
nor have any influence upon their hearts ; so 2 Peter i. 9, * He that 
lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off.' They have not 
that purity of heart which should enable them to believe this doctrine, 
or see things that should contradict or check their lusts ; and being 
wedded to present things, have no prospect of things to come. 

Use 1. For confutation of those that will not believe or hope for any 
thing which they see not. They think Christians a company of 
credulous fools; that nothing is sure that is invisible; that the 
promises of the gospel are but like a dream of mountains of gold, or 
pearls dropt from the sky ; and all the comforts thence deduced are 
but fanatical illusions ; that nothing so ridiculous as to depend upon 
unseen hopes that4ie in another world ; they make the life of faith a 
matter of sport and jesting: Ps. xxii. 7, 8, 'All they that see me 
laugh me to scorn ; they shoot out the lip and shake the head, saying, 
He trusted in God that he would deliver him ; let him deliver* him, 
seeing he delighted in him ; ' 1 Tim. iv. 10, * We therefore labour and 
suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God.' Christians 
thought their reward sure, and endured all things; atheists and 
infidels therefore scoff at them, persecute them. To these I shall 
propose two things. 

1. Is nothing to be believed and hoped for that is not seen? 
Keason will show you the contrary. Country people obey a king 
whom they never saw, but only know his power by the effects in his 
laws and officers of justice; and doth not sense teach us the same 
concerning God ? If we transgress his laws by omitting a duty or 
committing a sin, we hear from him though we see him not : Horn. i. 
18, ' For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodli 
ness and unrighteousness of men ; ' and Heb. ii. 2, ' For if the word 
spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience 
received a just recompense of reward.' And for hope ; do not men 
venture their estates in foreign countries in the hands of persons whom 
they never saw nor knew? And shall we venture nothing on the 
promises of God ? It is true, God liveth in another world, and our 
hopes lie there also ; but doth he not manifest himself from thence, 
to be concerned in our actions, whether they be good or evil ? And 
if he be concerned in them, will he not punish the evil and reward 
the good ? Hath not natural conscience a sense of these things ? 
And therefore it is unreasonable to question these things. 

2. They think good people are credulous and easy of belief ; their 
own experience of these good people evidenceth the contrary, that 
they are too slow of heart to believe what God hath revealed con 
cerning the other world, and that by the use of all holy means it is 
with difficulty accomplished. But what if we prove that none so 
credulous as the atheist or infidel ? 

[1.] You are not sure there is no such life ; it is impossible they 
should ever know or prove the contrary ; it may be, questionless, the 
Lord that made this world can make a world to come, and the same 
persons to exist there in ignominy, contempt, and shame, that lived 
wicked here, and bestow honour on the godly and holy. The ques- 

VEB. 25.] SERMONS upotf ROMANS vm. 221 

tion between the downright infidel and the Christian is not so much 
whether there be a world to come, but whether we can prove there is 
none. The belief of the positive, that there is a God, that there is 
everlasting life, is necessary to our hope ; but to their conviction let 
them infallibly prove there is none ; they can never do that ; you 
cannot disprove the reality of the Christian hope, or by any sound 
argument evince that there is no heaven or hell. For aught you can 
say or know, there are both ; and if we should go on no further, 
it were best to take the surer side ; especially when you part with no 
more than a few base pleasures and carnal satisfactions that are not 
worth the keeping. In a lottery, where there is but a loose possibility 
of gaining, men will venture a shilling, or a small matter, for a prize 
of a hundred pounds ; so, be there no heaven or hell, or be there one, 
you part with no more than the vain pleasures of a fading life ; but if 
it should prove true, in what a woeful case are you then, when, to 
gratify a brutish mind, you run so great an hazard ? The heathens 
granted it an hypothesis conducing to virtue and goodness. 

[2.] To the atheist and infidel, bating all scripture, it may be 
proved that it is a thousand to one but it is so. Natural reason will 
persuade us of the immortality of the soul, and the fears of guilty 
conscience are shrewd presages of eternal punishment ; the tradition 
and consent of barbarous nations, as well as the civilised, doth attest 
it, desires of happiness are so natural. So that these bravadoes, that 
would outface the religion they are bred in, showeth; none so credulous 
as they that will hearken to every fond suggestion of their own carnal 
hearts or atheistical companions, and prefer the brutish conceits of 
their own frothy wit before the common reason of mankind, or that 
rational evidence wherewith the doctrine of eternal life is accompanied. 

Use 2. Is to reprove the sensual part of mankind, who are altogether 
for the present world : 2 Tim. iv. 10, ' Demas hath forsaken us, and 
embraced the present world/ They must have present delights, 
present fruition ; a little thing in hand is more than the promises of 
those great things which are to come. The worldling's comfort wholly 
lieth in those things that are seen ; they live by sense, as the Christian 
liveth by faith; tLey must have something in the view of sense, or have 
nothing to live upon lands, honours, pleasures ; when these are out of 
sight, they are in darkness ; but a Christian looketh to things future and 
unseen, secured to him by the promise of God. 

Use 2. is to exhort us to seek after the happiness we never saw. 
We shall see it in time, but now we hope for it ; and it is no vain and 
uncertain hope ; the things we hope for are sure and near. [1.] They 
are sure. God's truth is as certain as truth itself can be, and believers 
so account it in the holy word : Job xix. 25, 26, ' I know that my 
Kedeemer 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 I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall 
behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me ; ' 2 
Cor. v. 1, * For 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/ To a believer it should not be a con 
jecture, but a point of faith and certainty. [2.] It is near. Things at 


a distance move us not, though they be never so great ; it will not be 
long ere our great change come about, and therefore we should have 
more effectual thoughts about the world wherein we shall shortly live, 
and make what preparations are necessary thereunto ; as 2 Tim. iv. 6, 
* The time of my departure is at hand ; ' therefore we should watch, 
and be always ready ; we must be gone hence ere long ; therefore do 
not set objects of faith at a greater distance than God hath set them, 
lest your time be stolen from you, and you step into the other world 
before you thought of it, or prepared for it. 

Use 3. Do we hope for that which we see not ? [1 .] It may be known 
by the victory and overruling influence of these hopes, if they govern 
the design and business of our lives. If they do, then these things 
will take up more of our time and hearts and care than things sen 
sible and visible : 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 eternal/ If 
your hope be not powerful and effectual to overcome your inclinations 
to things seen, and break the force of them, it is but a slight hope. [2.] 
If we hope for things unseen, they will be the life and joy and solace 
of our actions. Some have no other joys and sorrows than what are 
fetched from fleshly and sensible things, and speak of nothing so com 
fortably and so seriously as of this worldly life ; the pleasures of the 
flesh revive them, but they take little comfort in the joys of the other 
world. But where the eye of the soul is opened to behold the glory 
of the world to come, it lets in an abundance of heavenly pleasure : Rom. 
v. 2, ' And rejoice in the hope of the glory of God/ [3.] More eager desires 
and diligent seeking after this blessedness. For hope is an industrious 
affection : Col. iii. 1, ' If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which 
are above ; ' Mat. vi. 33, ' First seek the kingdom of God and his right 
eousness/ His great business is to get what he hopeth for ; his endea 
vours are serious and constant, and the course of his life is for heaven. 

Secondly, The inference thence deduced, ' Then do we with patience 
wait for it/ 

Doct. They only hope for eternal life who continue in the pursuit of 
it with patience. As hope is bred by faith, so is patience bred by 
hope. It is sometimes made the fruit of faith, or a steadfast reliance on 
God's promises ; as Heb. vi. 12, ' But followers of them who through 
faith and patience inherit the promises ; ' sometimes of hope : Horn. xii. 
12, ' Kejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation/ The great work of hope 
is to provide us patience to endure the hardships which at present lie 
upon us. 

1. Let me speak of the kinds of patience. There is a threefold sort 
of patience. 

[1.] The bearing patience, which is a constancy in adversity, and 
worketh constancy and perseverance, notwithstanding the difficulties and 
trials that we meet with in our passage to heaven : Heb. x. 36, ' Ye have 
need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye may receive 
the promise/ A child of God cannot be without patience, because he 
cannot be without troubles and molestations in the flesh ; a man would 
think that he that hath done the will of God, and been careful in all 
things to keep a good conscience, should have nothing else to do but go 


and take possession of his blessed hopes ; but it is not enough to do good, 
but before we can go to heaven we must suffer evil ; God hath some 
thing to do by us, and something to do with us. Now we must be pre 
pared to do all things rather than fail of our duty, nor desert a good 
way because it is difficult to follow it ; but suffer the greatest evils, and 
suffer long and constantly, even to death, and that readily and willingly. 
And this is patience. 

[2.] There is the waiting patience, to tarry God's leisure. Evil is 
present, and good is absent, and to come ; a trouble may arise from the 
absence of the good we hope for, and the long delay of it, as well as from 
the evil that we endure ; in the meantime, therefore, the scriptures recom 
mend to us ' the patience of hope,' 1 Thes. i. 3, or waiting the good 
pleasure of God, till our final deliverance be accomplished: Lam. iii. 
36, 'It is good to hope and quietly wait for the salvation of God.' 
Time is certainly determined in God's purpose, and it will not be long 
ere it come about ; and it is not only decreed and determined, but pro 
mised. We must undergo death before we can have life ; and we are not 
lords of our own lives, but guardians to keep them for God, and he will 
in time deliver the soul into a state of light, life, and glory. This wait 
ing patience is delivered to us under the similitude of an husbandman, 
James v. 7, who ' waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long 
patience for it, till he receive the early and latter rain.' The husbandman 
cannot look for a present harvest ; but the seed that is cast into the 
ground must endure all weathers before it can spring up into a blade 
and ear ; so must we expect our season. 

[3.] The working patience, which is going on with our self-denying 
obedience, how tedious soever it be to the flesh. Thus we are told that 
the good ground ' bringeth forth fruit with patience,' Luke viii. 15. 
The others are hasty, must have present satisfaction, or else grow weary 
of religion. All evils come from impatiency ; they could not tarry till 
God gave crowns and pleasures, therefore they miscarried by their inclin 
ations to vain delight. So the heirs of promise are described to be those 
that continue with patience in well doing, Bom ii. 7. And to the church 
of Ephesus, God saith, Kev. ii. 2, ' I know thy works, and thy labour, 
and thy patience.' The business of religion is carried on with great 
diligence and painf ulness ; it is not an idle and sluggish profession ; lusts 
are not easily mortified, neither do graces produce their perfect work 
with a little perfunctory care ; no, but much labour is required. Now, 
to abound in the work of the Lord requireth a fervent hope to sweeten it. 

2. The qualification of that hope which produceth this patience : it 
is well grounded, and it is lively. [1.] It is a serious and well grounded 
hope. When we first gave up ourselves to Christ, we reckoned and 
allowed for labours and troubles ; the Lord telleth us aforehand, Mat. 
vii. 14, ' Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, 
and few there be that find it.' The entrance and the progress is dis 
pleasing to the flesh, or the carnal nature in us ; so Mat. xvi. 24, ' Then 
said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him 
deny himself and follow me ; ' and Luke xiv ; if we will make war with 
the old serpent, build for heaven. Your hope is groundless if you hope 
for eternal life and are unwilling to undertake any difficulty for Christ's 
sake ; you must reckon upon displeasing the flesh, offending the world, 


if you would enter into life. [2.] It is lively ; it is not the cold and 
superficial, but the earnest and effectual hope. The desires of a lively 
hope are vehement ; we long for enjoyment, and would fain attain the 
end ; but they are also submissive, and we will quietly wait GkxJ's leisure ; 
as Paul had a desire to depart, yet was willing to abide in the flesh if 
he might do God any service, Phil. i. 23, 24. Though the way be long, 
the difficulties great and many, yet we must be content to be without 
our reward till our work is finished, and without our crown till our war 
fare is ended, and suffer evil things, and not forsake good things, which 
are the way also to obtain better ; as long as God will prolong life, 
though it be to endure more troubles, we must submit. 

3. How this hope produceth patience ; with respect to the object, and 
the subject 

[1.] With respect to the object. This patience ariseth from the cer 
tainty and goodness of the things hoped for ; it is a sure and great 
reward. First, The certainty ; it is not a vain hope, such as is built upon 
the promise of a deceitful man, but the word of the ever-living God : 
Job xiii. 15, ' Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him.' The holy 
obstinacy of hope cometh from the certainty of the promise. Secondly, 
The greatness of the things promised. They are rare and excellent, 
worth the waiting for. It promiseth rest for labour, Kev. xiv. 13; your 
troublesome work will not last long, but be over in a little time, and you 
shall have joy and delight for pain and sorrow and all the sad things 
of the present life: 1 Peter iv. 13, 'But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are par 
takers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye 
may be glad with exceeding joy.' And glory for shame : Heb. xii. 2, 
* Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the 
joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.' 

[2.] The subject. First, It breedeth courage and fortitude, and strength- 
eneth our resolutions for God and heaven ; the spirit of power is hope, 
2 Tim. i. 7. Secondly, It breedeth joy and comfort. All the pleasures 
of the world doth not give that quiet content and rest to the soul, 
which the hope of glory doth to a believer: Mat. v. 12, 'Kejoice, and 
be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven/ 

Use 1. To persuade us to this patience of hope. The things hoped 
for are to come, at a great distance ; many things must be done, many 
things suffered, and we must make our way through the midst of dread 
ful enemies, if we would attain our end. It is with us as with David, 
he was promised a kingdom, and at length he had it, but in the mean 
time liable to many troubles. Kemember, David had his troubles ; so 
it is with you, many are the troubles of the righteous, but you must do 
nothing unworthy of our great hopes ; we expect great things, therefore 
we should contemn low things and endure hard things ; all the pleasures 
of the world are mean and low, and the hardships carry no comparison 
or proportion with our hopes. What great evils will men endure to 
obtain worldly gain, rise early go to bed late, eat the bread of sorrows, 
run from one end of the world to the other! Our hope is not sound 
unless it breedeth this patient waiting. If we have a true hope, we 
not only ought in point of duty, but shall; it is the property of hope so 
to do, to submit with patience to all things which God sendeth in the 
meantime, and comfort ourselves with the glory that shall ensue. 



Likewise the Spirit also lielpetli our infirmities ; for we know not 
what toe should pray for as we ought ; but the Spirit itself maJceth 
intercession for us with groanings ivhich cannot be lettered. 
BOM. viii. 26. 

IN the context you have several arguments to persuade to patience 
under affliction ; those two that are of chief consideration are, the hope 
of glory to come, and the help of the Spirit for the present. This latter 
is in the text. 

In this verse, 1. The help of the Spirit is generally asserted. 

2. The reason evidencing the necessity of that help. 

1. The Author. 2. The manner of the Spirit's assistance. 3. The 
particular assistance, where we have 

1. The help of the Spirit is generally asserted * Likewise the Spirit 
also helpeth our infirmities/ By infirmities he meaneth afflictions, and 
the perturbations occasioned thereby, as fretting or fainting ; or more 
generally any sinful infirmities, as ignorance, distrust, &c. For afflic 
tions, see 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10, ' And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient 
for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness ; most gladly 
therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of 
Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, 
in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's 
sake ; for when I am weak, then am I strong. 'For sins, see Heb. v. 2, 3, 
1 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out 
of the way, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmities ; and 
by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer 
for sins/ The word for help is notable, (rwavTikappdveTcu, helpeth our 
infirmities (a Mark ix. 24, ' Lord, I believe, help my unbelief/ help me 
against it) ; which we render, * he helpeth also/ joineth in relieving, 
helpeth us under our infirmities, goeth to the other end of the staff, and 
beareth a part of the burden with us ; the word signifieth to lift up 
a burden with another. In afflictions we are not alone, but we have 
the Holy Ghost as our auxiliary comforter, who strengtheneth and 
beareth us up when we are weak and ready to sink under our burden. 

2. The reason evincing the necessity of that help ; ' for we know not 
what we should pray for as we ought/ In which there is 

[1.] Something intimated and implied; that prayer is a great stay 
in afflictions. James v. 13, ' If any among you be afflicted, let them pray/ 
God doth afflict us not that we may swallow our griefs, but vent them in 
prayer. We have no other way to relieve ourselves in any distress, but 
by serious addresses to God ; this is the means appointed by God to 
procure comfort to the distressed mind, safety to those that are in 
danger, relief to them that are in want, strength to them that are in 
weakness ; in short, the only means for obtaining good and removing 
evil, whether temptations, dangers, enemies, sin, sorrows, fears, cares, 
poverty, shame, sickness. God is our only help against all these, and 
prayer is the means to obtain relief from him ; yea, all grace and strength, 
and the greatest mercies that we desire and stand in need of. 

VOL. xii. p 


[2.] That which is expressed, that we know not how to conceive our 
prayers aright, either as to matter or manner. It is said of Zebedee's 
children, ' Ye know not what ye ask/ Mat. xx. 22 ; and it is true of all 
others also ; we often beg a mischief to ourselves instead of a blessing. 
In those times they were subject to great persecutions, and therefore 
prayed for an exemption from them ; which not happening according 
to desire, they were troubled. Therefore the apostle telleth them, ' We 
know not what we should pray for as we ought ; ' we know not what is 
absolutely best for us tiU the Spirit enlighten and direct us. There is a 
darkness and confusion in our minds ; we consult with the flesh, and 
ask what is most easy, and what is most advantageous. The Spirit of 
God knoweth what we most stand in need of, and is best for our turn,, 
health, wealth, honour ; or sickness, poverty, and disgrace. There is need 
of great consideration when we pray, more than good men commonly 
think of ; that we may neither ask things unlawful, nor lawful things 
amiss, James iv. 3. We know not what spirit we are of, Luke ix. 
55 ; we count revenge, zeal ; therefore the Holy Ghost doth instruct 
and direct our motions in prayer, 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. 

[3.] The particular assistance ve have from him is mentioned ' But 
the Spirit maketh intercession for us with groans which cannot be 
uttered.' Where observe 

(1.) The author of this help and assistance ; ' The Spirit itself maketh 
intercession for us ; ' not that the Spirit prayeth, but sets us a-praying. 
As here the Spirit is said to pray in us, so elsewhere we are said to 
* pray in the Holy Ghost/ Jude 20. He prayeth, as Solomon is said to 
build the temple ; he did not do the carpenter's or mason's work, but 
he directed how to build, found out workmen, and furnished them with 
money and materials. Neither doth the Spirit make intercession for us 
as Christ doth, Kom. viii. 34, 'Who is at the right hand of God, and 
maketh intercession for us ; ' presenting himself to God for us. The 
drawing up of a petition is one thing, the presenting it in court is 
another ; the Spirit as a notary inditeth our requests, and, as an advo 
cate, presenteth them, and pleadeth them in court. 

(2.) The manner of his help and assistance. He stirreth up in us 
ardent groans in prayer, or worketh up our hearts to God with desires 
expressed by sighs and groans. ^rewpy/tofc aXaX^rofr, may be rendered 
unuttered groans, as well as unutterable, and so some take it here ; and 
indeed that way it beareth a good sense. That the virtue of true prayer 
doth not consist in the number and artifice of words, as those that 
thought they should be heard for their vain babblings and much speak 
ing, Mat. vi. 7. Alas ! the greatest command and flow of words is but 
babbling, without these secret sighs and groans which the lively motions 
of the Spirit stirreth up in us. There may be this without words ; as 
Moses cried unto the Lord though he uttered no words, Exod. xiv. 15. 
Or unutterable ; whatsoever proceedeth from a supernatural motion of 
the Spirit, its fervour and efficacy and force cannot be apprehended or 
expressed: 1 Peter i. 8, 'Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of 
glory/ and Phil. iv. 7, ' The peace of God which passeth all understand 
ing shall keep your hearts and minds/ In short, the sum of all is this : \v& 
have no reason to faint under afflictions, since there is help in prayer; 
and these prayers are not in vain, being excited by the Spirit dwelling 


in us ; we are ignorant, and he teach eth us what to pray for, and assisteth 
us by his holy inspirations ; we are cold and backward, and he inflameth 
us, and exciteth us to pray with fervour, and holy sighs and groans. 
The points from this verse are three 

1. That the Holy Spirit doth strengthen and bear us up in our 
weaknesses and troubles, that we may not faint under them. 

2. That prayer is one special means by which God's Holy Spirit 
helps God's children in their troubles and afflictions. 

3. That the prayers of the godly come from God's Spirit. 

Doct. For the first point, that the Holy Spirit doth strengthen and 
bear us up in our weaknesses and troubles, that we may not faint under 

The sense of this doctrine I shall give you in these four considera 

1. That it is a great infirmity and weakness if a Christian should 
faint in the day of trouble. The two extremes are slighting and faint 
ing : Heb. xii. 5, ' My son, despise riot the chastening of the Lord, nor 
faint under it ; ' so Prov. xxiv. 10, * If thou faintest in the day of trouble, 
thy strength is small/ Partly because there is so little reason for a 
Christian's fainting. Who should be more undisturbed in the world 
than he who hath God for his God, Christ for his saviour, and the Spirit 
for his comforter, and heaven for his portion ? Partly because there is so 
much help from God. Either he hath already obtained strength from 
God which he doth not improve, or may obtain strength from God which 
he doth not seek after. God, prayed unto, giveth deliverance or support : 
Ps. cxxxviii. ; . 3, ' In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and 
strengthenedst me with strength in my soul/ And partly because of 
the mischiefs which follow this fainting. There is a twofold fainting 
[1.] There is a fainting which cause th great trouble, perplexity, and 
dejection of spirit : Heb. xii. 3, ' Lest ye wax weary, and faint in your 
minds/ Weariness is a lesser, fainting an higher degree of deficiency ; 
in weariness the body requireth some rest or refreshment, when the 
active power is weakened, and the vital spirits and principles of motion 
dulled ; but in fainting the vital power is contracted, and retireth, and 
leaveth the oujjward parts lifeless and senseless. When a man is wearied, 
his strength is abated ; but when he fainteth, he is quite spent. These 
things, by a metaphor, are applied to the soul or mind. A man is 
wearied when the fortitude of his mind or his spiritual strength is 
broken or beginneth to abate, or his soul sits uneasy under sufferings ; 
but when he sinketh under the burden of grievous, tedious, and long 
afflictions, then he is said to faint; the reasons or grounds of his com 
fort are quite spent. Now this is a great evil in a child of God ; for 
the spirit of a man, or that natural courage that is in a reasonable 
creature, will go far as to the sustaining of foreign evils : Prov. xviii. 
14, ' The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity/ And it is supposed 
of a Christian that his spirit is sound and whole, being possessed of the 
love of God ; and therefore, though his natural courage be spent, which 
goeth on probabilities, yet his faith and hope should not be spent, which 
goeth on certainties, nor be overmuch perplexed about worldly troubles, 
as if his mercy were clean gone, or his promise would fail. Therefore 
a Christian should strive against this : Ps. Ixxvii. 7-10, ' Will the Lord 


cast off for ever ? Will he be favourable no more ? Is his mercy clean 
gone for ever ? Doth his promise fail for evermore ? Hath God forgotten 
to be gracious ? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies ? And I 
said, This is my infirmity ; but I will remember the years of the right 
hand of the Most High.' 

[2.] There is a fainting which causeth dejection and falling off from 
God. Surely this worse becometh the children of God : Kev. ii. 3, ' Thou 
hast borne and hast patience, and hast laboured and hast not fainted.' 
This maketh us cast off our profession and practice of godliness, and so 
cuts us- off from all hope of reward : Gal. vi. 9, ' Ye shall reap in due 
time, if ye faint not.' It is not taken there for some weariness, or remiss- 
ness, or perplexity, which may befall God's children, but a total defec 
tion. When troubles discourage us in our duty, it is a step towards it, 
and tendeth to apostasy, which Christians should prevent in time : Heb. 
xii. 12, 13, ' Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the 
feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is 
lame be turned out of the way.' We often begin to faint, and lag in 
heaven's way, being wearied and vexed with the oppositions of the car 
nal world, reproaching, threatening, and persecuting us ; but when we 
begin to waver, we should look to it betimes, and rouse up ourselves, 
that we may resolve to go on and finish our race, and not lose the 
benefit of our former labours and sufferings. 

2. Consideration, That in this weakness, if be we left to ourselves, 
we cannot support ourselves. This appeareth, partly because they that 
have but a light tincture of the Spirit give up at the first assault : 
Mat. xiii. 21, * When tribulation ariseth because of the word, by and 
by he is offended.' Offers of pardon of sins and eternal life affect them 
for a while, and engage them in the profession of godliness ; but when 
once it cometh to prove a costly business, they give it over presently. 
And partly because the most resolved, if not duly possessed with a 
sense of their own weakness, soon miscarry, if not in whole, yet in part ; 
witness Peter, Mat. xxvi. 33-35. Christ had warned them that such 
afflictions should come, as the stoutest should stumble at them, and fall 
for a time ; but Peter, being conscious to himself of his own sincerity, 
could not believe such weakness to be in him ; but God will soon con 
fute confidence in our own strength, as the event of his fearful fall did 
evidently declare. Partly because they that seem to be most fortified, 
not only by resolution, but strong reasons, may yet overlook them in a 
time of temptation. As Eliphaz told Job, chap. iv. 3-5, * Behold, 
thou hast instructed many, and hast strengthened the weak hands ; thy 
words have upholden him that was falling ; and thou hast strengthened 
the feeble knees. But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest ; it 
toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.' It is one thing to give counsel, 
and another to practise it; and there is a great deal of difference 
between trial apprehended by our judgment and felt by our sense : 
John xii. 27, ' Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I say ? Father, 
save me from this hour ; but for this cause came I to this hour.' When 
well, we easily give counsel to the sick ; they that stand on shore may 
direct others when struggling with a tempest. And besides, we know 
many things habitually which we cannot actually bring to remem 
brance, being overcome with the sense of present evils ; and grace that 


seemeth strong out of trial is found weak in trial, and faileth when we 
should most act it. And partly because those that do not wholly de 
spond, but are yet wrestling, are plainly convinced that they cannot con 
quer by their own strength: Jer. viii. 18, 'When I would comfort 
myself against my sorrow, my heart fainteth within me.' The tedious- 
ness of present pressures doth so invade their spirits, that they find 
themselves much too weak to grapple with their troubles ; they essay 
to do it, but find it too hard for them. Now after all these experiences 
of the saints, where is the man that will venture in his own strength to 
compose his spirit and overcome his own infirmities ? 

3. That when we cannot support ourselves through our weakness, 
the Spirit helpeth us. We speak not of the necessity of the Holy Spirit 
to our regeneration, but confirmation. After grace received, worldly 
things set near and close to us, and the love of them is not so quite 
extinct in us but that they have too great a command over our inclina 
tions and affections, that we cannot overcome our infirmities without 
the assistance of grace, which Christ dispenseth by his Spirit. And it 
is not enough for us to stand upon our guard and defend ourselves, 
but we must implore the divine assistance, which is engaged for us : 
Eph. iii. 16, ' That he would grant unto you, according to the riches of 
his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner 
man ; ' 1 Peter i. 5, ' Who are kept by the power of God through faith 
to salvation ;' 1 Cor. x. 13, * There hath no temptation taken you but 
such as is common to man ; but God is faithful, who will not suffer 
you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the tempta 
tion also make a way to escape/ The Spirit that enlighteneth a Christian 
fortifieth him, and the same grace which he sheddeth abroad in the 
soul filleth us both with light and strength, and as a spirit of strength 
and counsel doth enable us to bear all the afflictions which otherwise 
would shake and weaken our resolutions for God and heaven. 

4. They that rouse up themselves, and use all means, are in a nearer 
capacity to receive influences from the Spirit than others. For the 
apostle's word is, ' He helpeth also ; ' we have been at the work, reason 
ing and pleading, but he maketh our thoughts effectual : Ps. xxvii. 
14, ' Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen 
thy heart ; wait, I say, on the Lord.' If we do not exercise faith and 
hope, how can we look for the assistance of the Holy Ghost ? If we 
give way to discouragement, we quit our own comfort ; but when we 
strive to take courage from the grounds of faith, it is followed with 
strength from God to undergo the trouble ; so Ps. xxxi. 24, ' Be of 
good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in 
the Lord.' When we arm ourselves with constancy and fortitude, there 
is no doubt of God's seasonable relief ; but if you, out of love of the 
ease and contentment of the flesh, give way to difficulties, and despond, 
how can you expect God's assistance ? You banish it from you. 

Use 1. Is comfort to the children of God. For the Lord is not a 
spectator only of our troubles, but an helper in our conflicts We are 
set forth as a spectacle to God, men, and angels, 1 Cor. iv. 9 ; therefore 
we should see how we acquit ourselves. But our comfort is that he is 
the strength of our souls, that we are engaged in his cause, and by his 
power and strength. God will not desert us, or deny to support us, 


unless we give him cause by our negligence and grievous sins ; no, if 
you wait upon him, strength will be renewed to you : Isa. xl. 31, ' They 
that wait on the Lord shall not faint, but renew their strength.' In our 
weakness he maketh his strength and power to appear, and can enable 
his servants to do and endure anything rather than quit his cause ; they 
shall have a new supply of strength, when they seem to be clean spent, 
and overcome all difficulties in the way to heaven. 

Use 2. Is direction. To ascribe our standing to the Spirit. We are 
weak creatures of ourselves, able to do nothing ; but through the Spirit 
of Christ, all things, Phil. iv. 13 ; that is, go through all conditions. 
We owe all that we are and all that we do to the Holy Spirit ; we live 
by his presence, understand by his light, act by his power, suffer by the 
courage he inspireth into us. We are ungrateful to the Holy Spirit if 
we ascribe that to ourselves as authors, whereof we are scarce servants 
and ministers. Paul more humbly acknowledges, 1 Cor. xv. 10, ' But 
by the grace of God I am what I am.' 

Use 3. Is exhortation. Let us not faint under our troubles. There 
are many considerations. 

1. Sinners are not discouraged by every inconvenience occasioned by 
their sins, but can deny themselves for their lusts' sake. And shall we 
be discouraged in God's service ? Every lesser inconvenience that be- 
falleth us in the way of our duty is taken notice of, but the great evils 
of sin are not regarded. When you see sin's martyrs walk about the 
streets, or carried to their execution, it should be a shame to Christians. 
Some whose flesh is mangled by their sin, impoverished by their sin, 
brought to public shame by their sin, die for their sin ; and are we so 
weak when we suffer for Christ ? 

2. Others have borne far heavier burdens, and yet do not sink under 
them. The Lord Christ, Heb. xii. 3, 'endured the contradiction of 
sinners,' and many of his precious servants : Heb. xi. 35, ' They accepted 
not deliverance, looking for a better resurrection.' They might, upon 
certain conditions, have been free from their cruel pains and tortures, 
but these conditions were contrary to the law of God, therefore would 
not by indirect means get off their trouble. Now, shall we praise their 
courage and not imitate it? That is to be Christians in speculation. 

3. God promiseth to moderate the afflictions and sweeten the bitter 
ness of them, lest we should faint : Isa. Ivii. 16, ' I will not be wroth for 
ever, and contend always ; for so the spirit should faint, and the soul 
which I have made.' God hath great consideration of man's infirmity 
and weakness, and how unable they are to hold out under long and 
grievous troubles ; therefore he stayeth his hand, will not utterly dis 
hearten and discourage his people. A good man will not overburden 
his beast. If you be satisfied in the wisdom and faithfulness of 
God's providential government, you have no reason to faint, but keep 
up your dependence upon him. 

4. When reason is tired, faith should supply its place, and we should 
hope against hope, Horn. iv. 18. Faith can fetch water not only out of 
the fountain, but out of the rock ; when other helps fail, then is a time 
for God to work. 

5. Give vent to the ardour of your desires in prayer : Luke xviii. 1, 
Christ taught men to ' pray always, and not to faint.' Keep up the 


suit, and it will come to an hearing-day ere it be long : Jonah ii. 7, 
' When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the Lord, and my 
prayer came unto thee into thy holy temple/ When our infirmity 
cometh to a degree of faintness, then it is a time to be earnestly deal 
ing with God. 

6. What will you .get by your fainting, but the creature for God? 
Heb. iii. 12, ' Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil 
heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.' Murmuring for 
praver ? Lam. iii. 39, 40, ' Wherefore doth a living man complain,, a 
man for the punishment of his sins ? let us search and try our ways, 
and turn to the Lord.' Unlawful shifts for duty? Isa. xxviii. 15, ' For 
we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid our 
selves.' This is overmuch haste ; will you choose God for your enemy 
to escape the enmity of man ? and perdition for salvation ? Heb. x. 39, 
' But be not of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that 
believe to the saving of the soul/ Will you run into hell for fear of 
burning ? 

7. The Holy Spirit blesseth these considerations, and doth further 
comfort the saints, partly by shedding abroad the love of God in th'eir 
hearts, Kom. v. 3-5 ; God's smiles are infinitely able to counterbalance 
the world's frowns ; and partly by a clearer sight of their blessedness 
to come. Kemember your eternal blessings, and how far your afflic 
tions prepare you for them : 2 Cor. iv. 16, 17, 'For this cause we faint 
not ; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed 
day by day. For our light affliction, which id but for a moment, worketh 
f<?r us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory/ The greatest 
trouble cannot make void this hope ; yea, it doth prepare you for it ; 
your spiritual estate is bettered by them. 

Doct. 2. That prayer is one special means by which the Holy Spirit 
helpeth God's children in their troubles and afflictions. 

1. Troubles are sent for this end, not to drive us from God, butta 
draw us to him: Ps. 1. 15, 'And call upon me in the day of trouble, 
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Trouble in itself id a 
part of the curse introduced by sin. When God seemeth angry, We 
have a liberty tu apply ourselves to him. In trouble we are apt 'to 
think God an enemy, and that he putteth the old covenant in suit 
against us, but then God expects most to hear from us. 

2. Prayer is a special means to ease the heart of our burdensome 
caves and fears : Phil. iv. 6, ' Be careful for nothing, but in everything 
by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God/ 
When the wind is got into the caverns of the earth, it causeth earth 
quakes and terrible convulsions till it get a vent ; we give vent to our 
troublesome and unquiet thoughts by prayer, when we lay our burden 
at God's feet. 

3. It is a special means of acknowledging God as the fountain of our 
strength and the author of our blessings. First, As the fountain of our 
strength and support ; we have it not in ourselves, and therefore we seek 
it from God ; he is able to keep us from falling, therefore we pray to 
him : 1 Peter v. 10, ' But the God of all grace, who hath called us to his 
eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that ye have suffered a while, 
make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you/ Secondly, As the 


author of our deliverance : 2 Tim. iv. 18, ' He shall deliver me from 
every evil work/ 

Use 1. Is to exhort us to prayer. First, He delights to give out 
blessings this way : Jer. xxix. 11, 12, ' For I know the thoughts that I 
think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, 
to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and ye 
shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you;' and Ezek. 
xxxvi. 37, ' Thus saith the Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of 
by the house of Israel, to do them good.' And our Lord Christ, as 
mediator, was to ask of the Father : Ps. ii. 8, * Ask of me, and I will 
give thee the heathen for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the 
earth for a possession/ Secondly, All mercies come the sweeter to us 
as they increase our love to God and trust in him : Ps. cxvi. 1, 2, ' I 
love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplication ; 
because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon 
him as long as I live/ 

Use 2. Is information. If we would have the Spirit's help, let u 
pray. There we have most sensible feeling of his assistance ; our strength 
lieth most in asking ; and when we are at a loss what to do, your hearts 
are more eased in prayer than in any other work. Every condition is 
sanctified when it bringeth you nearer to God ; if crosses bring us to 
the throne of grace, they have done their work ; your trouble is eased. 

Doct. 3. That the prayers of the godly come from God's Spirit. 

That the Spirit hath a great stroke in the prayers of the saints, is 
evident by many other scriptures besides the text ; as Jude 20, ' Pray 
ing in the Holy Ghost ; ' that is, by his motion and inspiration. Look, 
as we breathe out that air which we first suck in, so the prayer is first 
breathed into us before breathed out by us; first inspired, before 
uttered ; so Zech. xii. 10, ' I will pour upon them a spirit of grace and 
supplications ; ' a spirit of grace will become a spirit of supplications. 
Where he dwelleth in the heart, he discovereth himself mostly in prayer ; 
so Gal. iv 6, ' Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his 
Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father/ The Spirit's gracious 
operations are manifested especially in fitting us for, and assisting us 
in, the duty of prayer. Affectionate and believing prayers are, ascribed 
unto him 'God hath put forth the Spirit of his Son, crying,' &c. 
Here I shall inquire 

First, In what manner the Spirit concurreth to the prayers of the 

Secondly, What necessity there is of this help and assistance. 

Thirdly, Caution against some abuses and mistakes of this doc 

For the first, these three things concur in prayer, as different causes 
of the same effect the spirit of a man, the new nature, and the Spirit 
of God. First, There is the spirit of a man, for the Holy Ghost makes 
use of our understandings for the actuating of our will and affections ; 
the Spirit bloweth up the fire, though it be our hearts that burn within 
us. Secondly, The new nature in a Christian is more immediately and 
vigorously operative in prayer than in most other duties; and the 
exercise of faith, love, and hope in prayer doth flow from the renewed 
soul, as the proper inward and vital principle of these actions ; so that 


we, and not the [Spirit of God, are said to repent, believe, and pray. 
Well then, there is the heart of man, and the heart renewed and sanc 
tified ; for the Spirit, as to his actual motions, doth not blow upon a 
dead coal. But then there is the Spirit of God, who createth and pre- 
serveth these gracious habits in the soul, and doth excite the soul to 
act, and doth assist it in acting according to them ; as, for instance, the 
natural spirit of man out of self-love willeth and desireth its own good, 
and its own felicity in general, and is unwilling of destruction and 
apparent misery, or whatever may occasion it. But then, as we are 
renewed, this will to good is sanctified, that God is chosen as our por 
tion and felicity, or as the principal good to be desired by us. Faith 
seeth that the favour and fruition of God in a blessed immortality is 
our true happiness, and love desireth it above all things, and on the 
contrary, shunneth damnation and the wrath of God, and sin as sin, 
and all the apparent dangers of the soul. Hope waiteth and expecteth 
the fruition of God, and the good things which leadeth to him. Accord 
ingly, we address ourselves to God, and put forth and act this faith, 
love, and hope in prayer this our renewed spirit doth ; but the Holy 
Ghost himself is the principal cause of all, who doth create this faith, 
love, and hope, and still preserve it, and order and actuate it. The 
soul worketh powerfully and sweetly by an earnest motion and inclina 
tion towards God. 


Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities ; for we know not 
what ive should pray for as we ought ; but the Spirit itself 
maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be 
uttered. KOM. viii. 26. 

WE now come more distinctly to show what the Holy Ghost doth in 

1. He directeth and ordereth our requests so as they may suit with 
our great end, which is the enjoyment of God. l?or of ourselves we 
should pray only after a natural and human affection, which sets up 
itself instead of God, and self considered as a body rather than a soul, 
and so asketh bodily things rather than spiritual, and the conveniences 
of the natural life rather than the enjoyment of the world to come. 
Let a man alone, and he will sooner ask baits and snares and temp 
tations, than graces and helps, a scorpion instead of fish, and a stone 
rather than bread. We take counsel of our lusts and interests when 
we are left to our own private spirit, and so would make God to serve 
with our sins, and employ him as a minister of our carnal desires ; as 
it is said of them in the wilderness, Ps. Ixxviii. 18, ' They tempted 
God in their hearts by asking meat for their lusts ; ' our natural will 
and carnal affections will make us pray ourselves into a snare. In the 
text it is said, ' We know not what to pray for as we ought ; ' and in 


ver. 27, 'He maketh intercession for the saints according to the 
will of God.' Kara &ebv, according to God; not only with respect to 
Lis will, but his glory and our eternal good ; so that human and carnal 
affection shall neither prescribe the matter nor fix the end. To pray 
in a holy manner is the product of the Spirit, and the fruit of his oper 
ation in us. Faith and love and hope are more at work in a serious 
prayer than human and carnal affection, which referreth all its desires 
and inclinations to the bodily life. 

2. He quickeneth and enliveneth our desires in prayer. There is a 
holy vehemency and fervour required in prayer, opposite to that care 
less formality and deadness which otherwise is found in us ; these are 
the ' groanings which cannot be uttered/ spoken of in the text. Groan 
ing noteth the strength and ardency of desire, when there is a warmth 
and a life and a Tgour in prayer. Oh I how flat and dead are our 
hearts oftentimes, when we want these quickening motions ! A flow of 
words may come from our natural temper, but these lively motions and 
strong desires from the Spirit of God. It is notable that the prayer 
which is produced in us by the Spirit is represented by the notion of 
a cry ; twice it is said, teaching us to cry, Abba, Father ; not with 
respect to the loudness of the voice, but the earnestness of affection. 
Crying for help is the most vehement way of asking, used only by 
persons in great necessity and danger. A prayer without life is as 
incense without fire, which sendeth forth no perfume or sweet savour. 
The firing of the sacrifices was a token of God's acceptance ; so when 
warmth of heart cometh from heaven, God testifieth of his gifts. 

3. He encourageth and emboldeneth us to come to God as a father. 
This is one main thing twice mentioned in scripture : Kom. viii. 
] 5, ' We have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, 
Father ; ' and Gal. iv. 6, ' Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the 
Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.' A great 
part of the life and comfort of prayer consisteth in coming to God as 
a reconciled father. Now this is seen in two things (1.) Child-like con 
fidence ; (2.) Child-like reverence. 

[1.] Child-like confidence, or a familiar owning of God in prayer, 
when we come to him as little children to their father, for help in their 
dangers and necessities. Christ hath taught us to say, ' Our Father,' and 
in every prayer we must be able to say so in one fashion or another ; 
not with our lips, but with our hearts ; by option and choice, if not by 
direct affirmation: Luke xi. 13, 'If ye, then, being evil, know how to 
give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly 
Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask it ?' We forget the duty of 
children, but God doth not forget the mercies of a father. Let it be the 
voice of our trust and hope rather than of our lips. 

[2.] With child-like reverence, in an humble and aweful way. God, 
that hath the title of a father, will have the honour and respect of a 
father, Mai. i. 6. If this should breed fear and reverence in us at 
other times, it should much more when we immediately converse with 
him : 1 Peter i. 17, ' If ye call on the Father, who without respect of 
persons judgeth every man/ God will be sanctified in all that draw 
nigh unto him, Heb. x. ; so Phil. iii. 11, ' Serve the Lord with fear, 
and rejoice with trembling.' Our familiarity with God must not mar 


our reverence, nor confidence and delight in him our humility ; and 
serious dealing with God in prayer is wrought in us by the Spirit, in 
whose light we see both God and ourselves, his majesty and our vile- 
ness, his purity and our sinfulness, his greatness and our nothingness. 
Secondly, The necessity of this help and assistance. 

1. The order and economy of the divine persons showeth it. In the 
mystery of redemption God is represented as our reconciled God and 
Father, to whom we come; Christ as the mediator, through whom 
we have liberty and access to God as our own God ; and the Spirit as 
our guide, sanctifier, and comforter, by whom we come to him. God is 
represented as the great prince and universal king, into whose presence- 
chamber poor petitioners are admitted ; Christ openeth the door by the 
merit of his sacrifice, and keepeth it open by his constant intercession, 
that wrath may be no hindrance on God's part, nor guilt on ours ; for 
otherwise, ' God is a consuming fire/ Heb. xii. 29, and sin divides, and 
separates between God and us, Isa. lix. 2. Then the Spirit doth create, 
preserve, and quicken and actuate these graces, in the exercise of which 
this access is managed and carried on ; otherwise, such is our impotency 
and averseness, that we should not make use of this offered benefit : 
Eph ii. 18, ' For through him we both have an access by one Spirit unto 
the Father/ The enjoyment of the fatherly love of God is the highest 
happiness, in which the soul doth rest content. Christ is the way by 
which we come to the Father, and the Spirit our guide, which causeth 
us to enter in this way, and goeth along with us in it. We cannot look 
aright to the blessed Father, but we mast look to him through the 
blessed Son, and we cannot look upon the Son but through the blessed 
Spirit, and so we come aright to God. 

2. That prayer may carry proportion with other duties. All the 
children of God are led by the Spirit of God, Kom. viii. 14 ; as in their 
whole conversation, so especially in this act of prayer. Look, as in com 
mon providence, no creature is exempted from the influence of it ; for in 
him they all live, move, and have their being. Exempt any creature 
from the dominion of providence, and then that creature would live of 
itself ; so as to gracious and special providence, you cannot exempt one 
action from the Spirit's influence ; for ' we live in the Spirit and walk in 
the Spirit/ Gal. v. 25 ; we sing with the Spirit, and hear in the Spirit, and 
serve God in the Spirit ; so we pray in the Spirit only. There is a 
special regard to this duty, because here we have experience of the 
motions of the renewed soul directly towards God, and so of the comforts 
and graces of the Spirit, more than in other duties. 

3. Because of our impotency. We cannot speak of God without the 
Spirit, much less to God : 1 Cor. xii. 3, ' No man can say that Jesus is the 
Lord, but by the Holy Ghost ; ' that is, believe on him as the Messiah 
and redeemer of the world. It was a deadly state the Redeemer found 
us in. To lessen man's misery was to lessen the grace of Christ ; so we 
must not extenuate the honour of our sanctifier ; we can neither live, 
nor work, nor walk, nor pray, without the Spirit. The help is not need 
less, if we consider what we are, and what prayer is ; what we are, who 
are enemies to our own happiness and holiness; and prayer, which 
requireth such serious work. Surely the setting of our hearts and all 
our hopes upon an invisible glory, and measuring all things thereunto, 


is a work too hard for a carnal, sensual creature that is wedded to 
present satisfactions. And without this there is no praying in a spiritual 
manner. They that love sin will never heartily pray against it ; 
and they that hate a holy, spiritual, heavenly life, can never seek 
the advancement of it. Now this is our case : we may babble and speak 
things by rote, or we may have a natural fervency when we pray for 
corn, wine, and oil, and justification and sanctification in order there 
unto ; we may have a wish, but not a serious volition of spiritual and 
heavenly things, which is the life and soul of prayer. 

4. With respect to acceptance: Ps. x. 17, 'When thou preparest 
the heart, thou bendest the ear ; ' Eom. viii. 27, ' He knoweth the mind 
of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to 
the will of God/ Qod knoweth what is a belch of the flesh, and what is 
a groan of the Spirit; every voice but that of his Spirit is strange 
and barbarous to him. He puts us upon holy and just requests ; he 
hath stirred them up in us, as a father teacheth a child to ask what 
he hath a mind to give him. 

Thirdly, Cautions against some abuses and mistakes in prayer. 

1. This is not so to be understood as if the matter and words of prayer 
were immediately to be inspired by the Holy Ghost, as he inspired the 
holy men of God in their prophesying and penning the holy scripture. 
We read, 2 Peter i. 21, that ' holy men spake as they were moved by the 
Holy Ghost ;' and we may say, holy men pray as they are moved by 
the Holy Ghost But yet there is a great deal of difference between 
both these ; partly because they were immediately moved and infallibly 
assisted by the Spirit, so moved and extraordinarily borne through, 
that they could not err and miscarry ; they were free from any fault, 
failing, or corruption in the matter, form, or words wherein this was 
expressed ; all was purely divine. But in our prayers we find the con 
trary by sad experience. Partly because it had been a sin in the 
prophets not to have delivered the same message which they received 
of the Lord, both for matter, manner, and method ; but it is no sin in 
a child of God against the guidance and governance of God's Spirit, 
to use another method than he used ; to contract and shorten, or to 
lengthen and enlarge his prayers, as opportunity serveth. And yet the 
prayer is the prayer of the Spirit, that that is directed, ordered, and 
quickened by the Spirit. 

2. This is not to be understood as if we should never pray till the Spirit 
moveth us. The prophets were not to prophesy till moved by an extra 
ordinary impulse ; for they were not bound by the common law of God's 
servants or children to see visions, or to prophesy. But we are not to 
stay from our duty till we see the Spirit moving ; but to make use of 
the power we have as reasonable creatures : Eccles. ix. 10, ' Whatever 
thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might ; ' and to stir up the 
gifts and graces that we have as believers : Isa. Ixiv. 7, ' And there is none 
that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of 
thee ; ' 2 Tim. i. 6, ' Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou 
stir up the gift of God which is in thee ;' and in the way of duty to 
wait and cry for the necessary influences of the Lord's Spirit : Cant. 
iv. 16, ' Awake, north wind ! and come, thou south wind ! blow upon 
my garden, that the spices thereof may flow forth ; let my beloved 


come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.' And to obey his 
sanctifying motions : Ps. xxvii. 8, ' When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, 
my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek/ 

3. We cannot say we have not the spirit of prayer, because we have 
not such freedom of words as may give vent to spiritual affections. 
If there be a sense of such things as we mainly want, that is, Christ 
and his graces, and an affectionate desire after them, and we address 
ourselves to God with these desires in the best fashion we can, that we 
may have help and relief from him, and you are resolved not to give 
him over till you have it, you have the spirit of grace and supplica 
tions, though it may be you cannot enlarge upon these things with 
such copiousness of expression as others do. Therefore let us consider 
what is the spirit of prayer, and how far doth he make use of our 
natural faculties. I conceive it thus. A man is convinced that his 
happiness lieth in the enjoyment of God; that there is no enjoy 
ment of God but by Christ, till he be justified and sanctified, and 
walk in holy obedience to him. The Spirit of God upon this 
changeth his heart, and it is set within him to seek after God 
in this way: 1 Chron. xxii. 19, 'Now set your heart and your 
soul to seek the Lord your God;' and Ps. cxix. 36, 'Incline my 
heart unto thy testimonies/ Now, because the will without the 
affections doth not work strongly, but is like a ship without sails 
affections are the vigorous and forcible motions of the will, without 
which it would lie sluggish and idle, or like a chariot without wheels 
and horses, or a bird when her wings are clipped therefore the Holy 
Ghost stirreth up these affections, and our heart within us makes us 
willing, and this bringeth the soul to God. For no other can give us 
satisfaction, but he alone ; and the difficulties of salvation are so many 
that we cannot overcome them but in his power and strength. Now 
sense of wants, and an earnest desire of a supply, will ordinarily put 
words into a man's mouth, and affections beget expressions ; yet 
because many accidental reasons may hinder it, the weight of prayer 
is not to be laid so much upon the expression as the affection. If there 
be a strong and an earnest desire after grace, it will make us express 
ourselves to God in the best manner that we can. As long as you 
pray for necessary graces, and other things in subordination thereunto, 
and can heartily groan and sigh to God for what you want with respect 
to your great end, the prayer is well performed. There may be a great 
petulancy and extravagance of words where there is not a good and an 
honest heart vain babblings, without faith, or feeling, or spiritual 

^ 4. It is not to be understood as if all that pray graciously had the 
Spirit in a like measure, or the same persons always in the same measure. 
No, the wind bloweth where it listeth, John iii. 7, and he giveth us to 
will and to do. We cannot find the assistance at our own pleasure ; 
somejhave it in a more plentiful, others in a scanty measure, though all 
have it. Jesus Christ himself, though he had not the Spirit by measure, 
yet he exercised and acted the spirit of prayer more at one time : Luke 
xxii. 44, 'And being in an agony, he prayed, e/creveo-repov, more earnestly ;' 
his love to God was always the same, but the expression of it different. 
So God's children seek heavenly things with a weaker degree of desire, 


and sometimes with a stronger ; at some times we have the directing work 
of the Spirit, and are not sensible of those earnest and unexpressible 
groans ; that is to say, we put up our requests for things lawful and use 
ful, and most necessary for us at the time, but not with that ardour and 
fervency that we do desire. We cannot say that the Holy Ghost doth 
not assist these prayers, as sometimes the assistance is given us 
more largely as to the groaning part, and men are all in a flame. 
Strong and passionate affections do most bewray themselves, some 
times as a spirit of confidence and holy liberty with our Father, and 
faith is clearly predominant in prayer; at other times repentance and 
child-like reverence and fear are altogether in action in the prayer, 
and there is a great seriousness, though not such life and vigour or 
strength of faith as grief for sin, bemoaning our failings. 

5. Gifts are more necessary when we join with others, and are their 
mouth to God ; but the spirit of prayer is of most use when we are 
alone, and we have nothing to do but to set ourselves before the 
searcher of hearts, and draw forth our desires after him ; when, with 
out taking in the necessities of others, we present our personal requests 
to God, and lament the defects of our own hearts and the plague of 
our own souls. When we pray alone, it is good to observe the work 
ings of our own hearts ; surely whatever prayer we make to God, we 
should find it in our hearts : 2 Sam. vii. 27, * Therefore hath thy 
servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.' Having 
a deep sense of our wants, a real desire of the blessing, we ask exer 
cising grace rather than memory and invention; pouring out our 
very souls to God, with sighs and groans rather than words ; we are 
at liberty there to use or not use the voice, to continue speech and 
break it off, and lift up the heart by strong desires to God. 
Use 1. It informeth us 

First, What kind of help we have from the Spirit of God in 
prayer ; his work is to guide and quicken you. 

First, to guide you in prayer, that you may pray to God in a 
holy manner ; we know not what to pray for as we ought, on a four 
fold reason; [1.] As blinded with self-love ; [2.] As discomposed by 
trouble ; [3.] As struck dumb by guilt ; [4.] As straitened by barren 
ness and leanness of soul. 

[1.] As blinded by self-love. Oh ! what strange prayers will men 
put up to God, if they take counsel of their lusts and interests ! as 
the disciples that called for fire from heaven; Christ told them, 'Ye 
know not of what manner of spirit ye are of/ Luke ix. 55. Self-love 
so blindeth us that if we be led by it, we shall rather beg our ruin 
than our salvation ; for we know not what is either profitable or 
prejudicial to us; so that it would be an argument of God's anger 
to grant our requests. The ambitious, if he should pray from the 
passion that possesseth him, would only ask honour and worldly 
greatness; the covetous, only that God would double his worldly 
portion, and enlarge his estate according to his vast desires; the 
sensual, the ability and opportunity of glutting his brutish inclina 
tions ; the vindictive, that he may interest God in his quarrels ; all 
sinners would serve him only to serve their carnal turns. Whatever 
words we use to God in. prayer, if we serve him to these ends, and 


hope that by praying they shall be the better gratified, our prayer is 
turned into sin ; but he that is guided by the Spirit entreateth nothing 
of God but what is pleasing to him, and suiteth with his glory. We 
come to our Father which is in heaven when we pray ; and our wel 
fare in the world must be subordinated to our eternal and heavenly 
estate. And we come in the name of Christ ; now to ask honours in 
his name who was born in a stable and died on a cross, pleasures in 
his name who was a man of sorrows, is utterly incongruous. No; 
God's glory, kingdom, will, must be preferred before our inclinations ; 
other things asked with reservation and submission. 

[2.] Our minds are discomposed by trouble, that we scarce know 
what to do or say : 2 Chron. xx. 12, ' Lord, we know not what to do, 
but our eyes are unto thee/ Our Lord Christ: John xii. 27, 'My 
soul is troubled, what shall I say ? ' In great grief, Christ himself 
was at a loss ; the great teacher of the church, who hath so much to 
say for our comfort and counsel in such cases, yet was amazed, and at 
a nonplus ; and David, Ps. Ixxvii. 4, ' I am sore troubled, I cannot 
speak.' Our words stoppeth the mouth. Now when our thoughts 
are thus confounded, we scarce know what to pray for; the Spirit 
teacheth us what to say. Look, as in the case of the fear of men : 
Luke xii. 12, ' For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour 
what you shall say ; ' so in our perplexities, when we are scarce able 
to open our mouths to God. 

[3.] When struck dumb by some newly contracted guilt, as David 
kept silence and grew shy of God, Ps. xxxii. 3. The Spirit urgeth 
us to penitent confession and humble suing out our pardon, ver. 5, 
with that brokenness of heart which becometh a sinner. 

[4.] When straitened by barrenness, and leanness of soul ; would 
fain pray, but are dry and barren of matter. It is because we use not 
meditation and serious recollection: Ps. xlv. 1, 'My heart is inditing 
a good matter, my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.' One that is 
well acquainted with God and himself cannot want matter. First, 
the Holy Ghost puts us upon the serious consideration of these things ; 
and then when we come to speak to God, a man will copiously enough 
be supplied out of the abundance of his heart : Mat. xii. 34, ' Out of 
the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.' If the mind be 
stocked and furnished with holy thoughts and meditation, it will 
break out in the lips. 

2. His next office is to quicken you, or raise your affections and 
holy desires, which are the life of prayer. The prayer continueth no 
longer than the desires do ; therefore groans are more prayer than 
words. Weeping hath a voice : Ps. vi. 8, ' The Lord hath heard the 
voice of my weeping.' Tears have a tongue, and a language which 
God well enough understandeth. Look, as babes have no other voice 
but crying for the mother's breast, that is intelligible enough to the 
tender parent; so when there are earnest and serious desires after 
grace, God knoweth our meaning. 

Secondly, It informeth us that the motions of the Spirit are a help 
in prayer, not the rule and reason of prayer. Many will say they will 
pray only when the Spirit moveth them ; now he helpeth in the per 
formance, not in the neglect of the duty. We are to make conscience 


of it. God giveth out influences of grace according to his will or good 
pleasure ; but we must pray according to his will of precept. The 
influence of grace is not the warrant of duty, but the help ; we are to 
do all acts in obedience to God's command, whatever cometh of it, 
Luke v. 5. God is sovereign ; disposed or indisposed, you are bound. 
Our impotency is our sin. Now our sin cannot excuse us from our 
duty, for then the creature were not culpable for his sinful defects and 
omissions. The outward act of a duty is commanded as well as the 
inward ; though we cannot come up to the nature of a perfect duty, 
yet we should do as we can. Tota actio, and totum actionis, falleth 
under the command of God : Hosea xiv. 2, ' Take with you words ; ' 
ay, and also take with you affections. Though I cannot do all, I 
must do as much as I can, bring such desires as I have. God's Spirit 
is more likely to help you in duty, than in the neglect of it. You 
quench the Spirit* that must assist you by neglecting the means; 
when the door is bolted, knocking is the only way to get it open. 
Present yourselves before God, and see what he will do for you. By 
tacking about, men get the wind, not by lying still ; there is many 
times a supply cometh ere we are aware : Cant. vi. 11, 12, " Or ever 
I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.' 
We begin with much deadness and straitness ; by striving against it, 
rather than yielding to it, we get enlargement afterwards ; God assists 
those that will be doing what he commandeth ; when we stir up our 
selves, he is the more ready to help us. 

Use 2. Is caution. See that your prayers come from the Spirit ; 
there are some prayers it is a reproach to the Holy Spirit to father 
them upon him. 

1. An idle and foolish loquacity. When men take a liberty to prattle 
anything in God's hearing, tind pour out raw, tumultuous, and in 
digested thoughts before him : Eccles. v. 2, ' Be not hasty to utter 
anything before God ; ' it is a great irreverence and contempt of his 
majesty. Surely the Spirit is not the author of ignorant, senseless, 
and dull praying ; nothing disorderly cometh from him. The heathen 
are charged with vain babbling and heartless repetitions : Mat. vi. 7, 
'They think to be heard for their much speaking.' Shortness or 
length are both culpable, according to the causes from whence they 
come ; shortness out of barrenness and straitness, or length out of 
affectation, or ingeminating the same thing, without savour or wisdom, 
or a mere filling up the time with words. 

2. A frothy eloquence and affected language ; as if the prayer were 
the more grateful to God, and he did accept men for their words 
rather than their graces, and were to be worshipped with fine 
phrases and quaint speeches. No, it is the humble exercise of faith, 
hope, and love, which he regardeth; and such art and curiosity is 
against God's sovereignty, and doth not suit with the gravity and 
seriousness of worship. If we would speak to God, we must speak 
with our hearts to him rather than our words ; and the more plain 
and bare they are, the better they suit with the nature of duty. Moses 
was bid to put off his shoes in holy ground, to teach us to lay aside 
our ornaments when we humble ourselves before God. It is not words, 
but spirit and life ; not a work of oratory, but filial affection. Too 


much care of verbal eloquence showeth our hearts are more conversant 
with signs than things, words than matter ; and it hath a smack of 
the man, and smelleth of the man, but savoureth not of the Spirit : 
Ps. cxix. 26, ' I declared my ways, and thou heardest me/ 

3. Outward vehemency and. loud speech. The heat which ariseth 
from the agitation of bodily spirits, and vehemency of speech, dif- 
fereth from an inward affection, which is accompanied with reverence 
and child-like dependence upon God. It is not the loud noise of 
words which is best heard in heaven ; the fervent affectionate cries of 
the saints are those of the heart, not of the tongue : Ps. x. 17, ' Lord, 
thou hast heard the desire of the humble;' and Ps. xxxviii. 9, 'O 
Lord, all my ways are before thee, and my groaning is not hid from thee/ 
The vehemency of the affection may sometimes cause the extension of 
the voice ; but without it, we are but as tinkling cymbals. 

4. Natural fervency, when instant and earnest for some kind of bless 
ings, especially when we are oppressed with grievous evils, and would 
fain get rid of them ; yet they cannot be looked upon as a motion of 
the Spirit ; partly because it is the temporal inconvenience they mind 
more than the removal of sin ; and cry more to get ease of their troubles 
than repentance for their sins which procured them ; and the supply of 
their necessities which they mind, and not the favour of God ; and 
therefore the Holy Ghost calleth it howling, Hos. vii. 14, like the moans 
of the beasts for ease. Partly because they have no more to do with 
God when their turns are served, and they are delivered from their 
troubles : Jer. ii. 27, ' In the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, 
and save us ; ' Exod. x. 17, ' Entreat the Lord, that he may take away 
this death only ; ' so that all cometh from mere self-love. Partly 
because those relentings which they have for sin go not deep enough to 
divorce their hearts from it : Ps. Ixxviii. 36, 37, ' Nevertheless, they did 
flatter with their mouth, and they lied to him with their tongues ; for 
their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his 
covenant.' Even then, when they sought God right early, and remem 
bered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer, 
the judgments of God had some slight effect upon them, reduced 
them to some degree of repentance and good behaviour and temper 
for a while ; but all this while they were but like ice in yielding weather, 
thawed above, and hard at bottom. Partly because, if they pray for 
spiritual things, it is but a dictate of conscience awakened for the 
time, not the desires of a renewed heart, seconded with constant en 
deavours to obtain what we ask of God; and so, 'The soul of the 
sluggard desireth and hath nothing/ Prov. xiii. 4 ; they are not urging 
desires that quicken to diligence. 

But what prayers, then, come from the Spirit ? 

[1.] When there is something divine in them, such as are suited to 
the object to whom we pray, and looketh like worship relating to God ; 
when it hath the stamp of his nature upon it. We apprehend in God 
two sort of attributes, some that belong to his mercy and goodness, 
some to his majesty and greatness. Now his mercy and goodness is 
seen in the joy of our faith and confidence, his majesty and greatness 
in our humility and reverence ; both prompt us to serious worship 



[2.] When there is something beyond the work of our natural 
faculties ; and prayer is not the fruit of memory and invention, but 
of faith, hope, and love. A man, by the help of memory and inven 
tion, may frame and utter a prayer which his heart disliketh. 

[3.] Whatever prayers are according to the will of God : ver. 27, 
' And he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the 
Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the 
will of God/ 

Use 3. Is to exhort you to get this spirit of prayer and supplication. 

1. Beg the Spirit of God from his fatherly love : Luke xi. 13, 'If ye 
then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how 
much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them 
that ask him ? 

2. Beg it as purchased by Christ; as one of his disciples, as one 
that hath consented to the covenant of grace, which is a dutiful and 
obediential acceptance of Christ Jesus as our alone remedy. So doth 
Paul pray for it : Eph. i. 17, 18, ' That the God of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom 
and revelation in the knowledge of him ; the eyes of your understand 
ing being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, 
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.' So 
doth God offer it. 

3. Obey the Spirit in other things, and then he will help you in 
prayer : Kom. viii. 14, ' For as many as are led by the Spirit of God 
are the sons of God.' That implieth that he not only directs, but we 
follow his direction ; therefore make it your business to obey his 
motions when he would restrain you from sin : Kom. viii. 13, 'If ye 
through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.' When 
he inviteth and leadeth you into communion with God, which is called 
by the apostle walking in the Spirit, Gal. v. 25, obey him speedily, for 
delay is a plausible denial ; thoroughly doing all that he requireth of 
you constantly, not sometimes only, when generally you neglect him. 
The Spirit is a stranger to you in prayer, when you neglect his other 
motions. There is a grieving the Spirit : Eph. iv. 30, ' And grieve 
not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption ; ' 
a resisting the Spirit : Acts vii. 51, ' Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised 
in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost ; ' and there is a 
quenching the Spirit : 1 Thes. v. 19, ' Quench not the Spirit.' 

4. Do not pride thyself with the assistance he giveth : Ps. xci. 15, ' He 
shall call upon me, and I will answer him, and will be with him in 
trouble, and I will deliver him.' Simon Magus would fain have the 
power to work miracles : Acts viii. 19, * And when Simon saw that 
through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was 
given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on, 
whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 1 



And lie that searcheth the hearts Icnoiueth what is the mind of the 
Spirit, because he maJceth intercession for the saints according 
to the luill of God. KOM. viii. 27. 

IN these words the former privilege is amplified. He had spoken of 
the assistance we have from the Spirit ; now, acceptance. Those sighs 
and groans which are stirred up in us by the Spirit are not without 
fruit and success, for they are taken notice of and accepted by the 
Lord. If they were confused and unintelligible groans or hasty sighs, 
that die away and are gone like a puff of wind, the privilege were not 
so much ; no, they are of greater regard than so ; they are observed and 
rewarded by God ' And he that searcheth,' &c. 

In the words we have 

First > A property of God mentioned, that he searcheth the hearts. 

Secondly, An inference thence, or an application to the matter in 
hand He knoweth the mind of the Spirit. 

Thirdly, A reason why those groans are not unprofitable Because 
he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 
God knoweth the meaning of them, and accepteth what is agreeable to 
his will. 

First, Let us consider the property of God which is here mentioned 
' He that searcheth the hearts/ God needeth no search, but knoweth 
all things by simple intuition ; but it is spoken after the manner of 
men, who inquire and search into those things which they would know 
more accurately and exactly ; and so it sets forth the infinite know 
ledge of God. 

Doct. They that come to worship God had need have their hearts 
deeply possessed with a sense of his omnisciency. 

I shall prove two things 

1. That God is omniscient, and in particular doth know the hearts 
of men. 

2. That those that would worship before the Lord must soundly 
believe and seriously consider this. 

1. That the hearts of men lie open to the view of God is a truth 
often inculcated in scripture, as in that speech of God to Samuel the 
prophet, 1 Sam. xvi. 7. When Eliab, Jesse's eldest son, was brought 
before Samuel, surely the. Lord's anointed is before him ; 'And the 
Lord said, Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature, 
for I have refused him. The Lord seeth not as man seeth ; for man 
looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.' 
Man seeth things slightly and superficially, and judges of all things 
according to the show and outside, for his sight can pierce no deeper ; 
but God searcheth the heart and reins, knoweth who is, and will con 
tinue to be, a faithful instrument of his glory : 1 Chron. xxviii. 9, 'And 
thou, Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him 
with a perfect heart and a willing mind : for the Lord searcheth all 
hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.' A man 
cannot sincerely frame himself to the service of God unless he doth 


first believe him to know all things, even our very thoughts, yea the 
imaginations of the thoughts ; the first motions of the soul which set on 
men to do what they do ; so Prov. xv. 11, ' Hell and destruction are 
before the Lord, how much more the hearts of the children of men ? ' 
He compareth two things which are most unknown to us, the state of 
the dead, and the hearts of men. God knoweth all those that are in 
Sheol, the state of the dead, though they are unknown or forgotten by 
the most of men. We know not what is become of the bodies or souls 
of men, the number of the damned or the blessed ; but God keepeth 
an exact account of all, he knoweth where their souls are, and their 
bodies also, what is become of their dust, and how to restore to every 
one their own flesh. And as he knoweth who are in the state ofthe 
dead, so what are the thoughts and hearts of men now alive. The 
thoughts of the heart are hidden from us till they be revealed by word 
or action. Who can know our thoughts? What more swift and 
sudden ? What more various, what more hidden, than our thoughts ? 
Yet he knoweth them, not by guess or interpretation, but by immediate 
inspection ; he seeth them before they are manifested by any overt act ; 
he knoweth with what hopes and confidences and aims we are carried 
on, in whose name we act, and upon what principles and ends. Again, 
Jer. xvii. 9, 10, ' The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked ; 
who can know it ? I the Lord search the heart, and try the reins, even 
to give every man according to his ways, and according to his doings/ 
The heart of man is altogether unknown to others, and very hard and 
difficult to be discovered by ourselves ; there are so many sleights and 
shifts and circuits and turnings to conceal and colour our actions. But 
there is no beguiling of God, who hath an eye to discover the most 
secret motions and inward intentions, and will accordingly deal with 
men according to their deserts. But the scripture doth not only assert, 
but argue this point 

[1.] From the immensity and greatness of God ; God is in all, and 
above all, and beyond all ; nowhere included, nowhere excluded. And 
so his omnipresence doth establish the belief of his ommsciency : 
Jer. xxiii. 23, 24, ' Am I a God at hand, and not a God afar off ? do not 
I fill heaven and earth ? can any hide himself where I shall not see 
him ? ' God is everywhere, here where you are ; nearer and more 
intrinsic to us than our very souls. Therefore all we think, speak, or 
do, is better known to him than it is to ourselves ; we do all as in his 
sight, speak all as in his hearing, think all as in his presence ; that 
which can be absent is not God ; you may be far from him, but he 
is not far from every one of you. 

[2.] From creation. He hath made our hearts, and therefore knoweth 
our hearts : Ps. xciv. 9, 10, ' He that planted the ear, shall not he hear ? 
He that formed the eye, shall not he see ? ' Surely he that made man 
knoweth what is in man, and observeth what they do. The same argu 
ment is urged, Ps. cxxxix. 13, ' Thou hast possessed my reins, for thoa 
hast covered me in my mother's womb ; ' and again, Ps. xxxiii. 15, 'He 
fashioneth their hearts alike, he considereth all their thoughts/ He 
that hath so much wisdom to give you the power to think, knoweth the 
acts ; if he hath given knowledge to the creatures, he himself hath it 
in a more eminent degree. Nothing can be concealed from him who 


hath creating power ; as he hath created all alike, he is able to discern 
them severally one by one, and to understand all the operations of their 
very hearts. 

[3.] From God's government, which is twofold. First, powerful, 
by his effectual providence, as he governeth all creatures ; secondly, 
moral, by his laws, as he governeth the reasonable creature. Both infer 
the point in hand. 

(1.) The government of his effectual providence, which is necessary 
to all our actions ; ' for in him we live, move, and have our being,' Acts 
xvii. 28. All things move as he rnoveth them, in their natural 
agency ; the creature can do nothing without him, and actually doth 
all things by him ; his wisdom guideth, his will intendeth, his power 
moveth and disposeth all. This is urged, Ps. cxxxix. 10, his hand leadeth 
us, his right hand holdeth us up wherever we go ; that is, we are still 
supported by his providential influence, and therefore we cannot be 
hidden from him. Doth God support a creature whom he knoweth not, 
in an action he understandeth not ? Therefore he is not regardless 
of thy thoughts, words, and ways. 

(2.) His moral government. He hath given a law to the reasonable 
creature, and he will take an account whether it be kept or broken. 
And therefore, since all persons and causes are to be judged by him, he 
doth perfectly understand them, and every one of us is clearly and fully 
known to God, both as to our hearts and actions, or else he were in 
capable to judge us. This is often urged : Ps. xciv. 10, ' He that chastiseth 
the nations, shall not he correct ? He that teacheth men knowledge, shall 
not he know ? ' He that giveth laws to men demandeth exact obedience 
to these precepts, and will chastise and punish men's disobedience.' So 
Heb. iv. 13, ' All things are naked to the eyes of him with whom we 
have to do ; ' that is, in the judgment. 

2. That they that would worship God aright had need be deeply 
possessed with this. 

[1.] From the nature of worship in general, which is a converse with 
God, or a setting ourselves immediately before the Lord. In solemn 
duties we come to act the part of angels, and to behold the face of our 
heavenly Father ; as in prayer we come to speak to God, and in the 
word we come to hear God speak to us, in the Lord's supper to be feasted 
at his table. God is everywhere with us, but we are not always and 
everywhere with God ; we profess to be with him when we come to 
worship, to turn back upon all other things, that we may stand before 
the throne of God. Prayer is the most familiar converse with God 
that we are capable of while we dwell in flesh, called therefore a visiting 
of God, and an acquainting ourselves with him, a drawing nigh to him, 
a calling upon God. It is unnecessary to cite places. Now none of 
this can be done unless we believe him to be present and conscious to 
all that we do or say, for all else is but an empty formality ; therefore, 
when we pray, we must remember that we converse with him that 
searcheth the heart, and knoweth what and how we ask ; as 1 Kings 
viii. 39, ' Hear thou in thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and do to every 
man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest ; for thou, even 
thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men.' All the faith, 
the seriousness, the comfort of prayer, dependeth upon the belief of this ; 



for who would call upon him of whom he is not persuaded that he 
heareth him, or be serious in a duty, that knoweth not whether God 
regardeth, yea or no ? Or what comfort can be taken in having prayed 
and made known his desires to God, unless he be persuaded those 
prayers come unto the ears of the Lord of Hosts. So for hearing the 
word, that which bindeth us to reverence is that we are in the sight 
of God : Acts x. 33, ' We are all here present before the Lord, to hear 
all things which are commanded thee of God ; ' otherwise men will 
come to see and be seen rather than to be taught and instructed. 
God is everywhere, but he is especially there where his ordinances are. 
And we are to be so seriously attentive as if God himself did speak to 
us by oracles, when his message is brought to us ; otherwise it will 
have no effect upon us : 1 Thes. ii. 13, ' Ye received it not as the word 
of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh 
also in you that belieVe ; ' 2 Cor. v. 20, ' As though God did beseech you 
by us.' We lift up our hearts to him, and set him before cur eyes, as 
having to do with God himself ; this only begets seriousness in hearing. 
So for the Lord's supper, which is a middle duty between the word and 
prayer, and compounded of both ; we hear God tendering his covenant, 
assuring us of his blessings promised, and commanding us to fulfil the 
requisite duties, that we may be capable of them. We, promising and 
praying, by resolving and promising testify our consent to the covenant 
thus stated ; by prayers and groans, our dependence. Now there is no 
covenanting with one that is absent. You will say he is present in his 
institution ; he is so, and that is a help to faith ; therefore visible signs 
are appointed to be an instance of God's presence with us, but all his 
internal work is immediately transacted between our souls and God 
himself. We look on him as present that seeth and heareth all, Deut. 
x. 12. It is to the soul God speaketh, I am thy God : Ps. xxxv. 3, ' Say 
unto my soul, I am thy salvation ; ' and the soul spake unto God, * Thou 
art my portion, saith my soul.' Either as to promise of obedience, Ps. 
cxix. ,57, or dependence, Lam. iii. 24. Two outward witnesses are 
conscious to what is done between God and our souls ; so Ps. xvi. 2, 
* my soul, thou hast said unto God, Thou art my God/ Upon this 
inward soul-covenanting do all our privileges depend; and if God 
knoweth not all things, nor engageth his heart to draw nigh unto him, 
how can this be ? 

[2.] From the danger of dissembling with God in acts of worship, 
or putting him off with feigned pretences. The scripture sets forth 
three phrases a mocking of God, a lying to God, and a tempting of God. 
A mocking of God : Gal. vi. 7, ' Be not deceived, God is not mocked ;' 
that is, impune, there is no escaping the accurate search of the all-seeing 
ra/wl Ananias and Sapphira's sin was hypocrisy in keeping back part 


of what was devoted ; they would seem liberal and pious as others who 
were joined to the church, and so, by a part of godliness, seek to be ex 
cused from the whole. And whilst they observe externals, neglect inter 
nals, own religion when profession is not costly, put on a garb of devotion 
at times, but lay it aside ordinarily ; do what is plausible to men, but 
neglect what is acceptable to God ; now this is called a lying to the 
Holy Ghost, Acts v. 3. Why to the Holy Ghost, rather than the 
Father and the Son ? Because of his special precedency and inspec- 


tion over church affairs: Acts xx. 28, 'Take heed therefore unto 
yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made 
you overseers ; ' Acts xv. 28, ' For it seemed good unto the Holy Ghost, 
and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.' 
They pretended to do it hy his instinct ; as all Christians that pray, 
profess or pretend to pray by the Holy Ghost. Oh ! observe this. Many 
make a false confession of faith, or promise of obedience ; this is called 
a lying, not to men, but to God, Acts v. 4. Oh ! then, we should be 
exceedingly fortified against hypocrisy in worship ; it is to think to 
deceive God, whom we profess to be omniscient ; nay, it is a tempting 
of the Spirit of the Lord : ver. 9, ' How is it that ye have agreed together 
to tempt the spirit of the Lord ? ' a putting it to the proof whether he 
will discover us or no. Now, rather than run this hazard, it con- 
cerneth us greatly and thoroughly to be possessed of this truth, that 
God searcheth the heart. 

[3.] There can be no true worship unless we be deeply possessed 
with a thorough sense of the infinite knowledge of God. 

(1.) There can be no faith unless the worship be performed and 
tendered to God as an all-seeing spirit : Heb. xi. 6, * Without faith it 
is impossible to please God ; for he that cometh to God must believe 
that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him/ 
If God know me not, nor in what manner I serve him, it is all one 
whether I serve him religiously, or with a cold, faint, formal worship ; 
for he seeth not with what heart I go about it. If we pray, and think 
to be never the better for praying, there can be no life in prayer ; for 
a persuasion to be heard and accepted must be at the bottom of all 
duties ; therefore all that would serve him diligently must believe that 
he is omniscient, and knoweth all things. 

(2.) There can be no reverence ; for it is all one to pray to an idol, 
and to a God that heareth not and seeth not ; yea, it is worse, for they 
were persuaded of a virtue or a divine power belonging to their idols ; 
therefore all your worship will be but a conformity to the common 
custom and fashion : Ezek. xxxiii. 31, ' They come before thee as thy 
people cometh, and sit before thee as thy people ; and they hear thy 
words, but they will not do them ; for with their mouth they show 
much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness ;' it is but a 
show of devotion. 

Use 1. Is comfort to sincere worshippers. 

1. God knoweth their persons ; that there is such a man in the world, 
the desires of whose soul are to the remembrance of his name. It is 
an usual temptation which haunteth the children of God, that in the 
throng of his creatures he forgetteth us : Isa. xl. 27, ' My way is hid 
from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over by my God ;' God 
looketh not after me, taketh no notice of those things which concern 
me, or regardeth not my cause and complaint. How doth God know 
all things, and not know you ? All things are under a providence, but 
his people are under a special providence. Christ saith of the sparrows, 
Luke xii. 6, ' Not one of them is forgotten before God ;' and are his 
children forgotten ? No, * Christ knoweth his sheep by name/ John x. 
3 ; and to Moses, Exod. xxxiii. 12, ' I know thee by name/ A father 


cannot forget how many children he hath, though his family be never 
so large and numerous. 

2. He knoweth their condition, and wants, and weaknesses : Mat. vi. 
32, ' Your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of these things; 7 
and ver. 8, 'Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of 
before you ask him/ Yet asking is necessary, solemnly to act your 
faith and dependence ; but he will not neglect or forget us ; his ornni- 
sciency giveth all that have interest in him that hope. 

3. Our prayers are heard, though never so secret : Mat. vi. 6, ' Thy 
Father which seeth thee in secret shall reward thee openly/ though 
confined within the closet of the heart : Acts ix. 11, ' And the Lord 
said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Strait, and 
inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, 
he prayeth.' 

4. Our prayers sfiall be rightly understood. There are many good 
motions known to God which we either will not or cannot take notice 
of in ourselves ; as many times large affection to God overlooketh that 
little good which is in us, but God doth not overlook it. It is well 
when we can say as Peter, John xxi. 17, ' And he said unto him, 
Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.' But he 
owneth sincerity where we can scarce own it ; and many a serious soul 
hath his condition safe before God, when he cannot count it so himself. 
This is implied in this place. 

Use 2. Caution. Let us take heed of all hypocrisy in prayer, or 
putting ourselves into a garb of devotion when the temper of our hearts 
suiteth not ; let not your lips pray without or against your hearts. 

[1.] Without } 7 our hearts. That may be done two ways 

(1.) When you pray words by rote, and all that while the tongue is 
an utter stranger to the heart ; as some birds will counterfeit the 
voice of a man, so many men do that of a saint, saying words pre 
scribed by others or invented by themselves, without life and affection; 
this is to personate and act a part before God, complaining of burdens 
we feel not, and expressing desires we have not. In these is verified 
that of our Saviour : Mat. xv. 8, ' This people draweth nigh unto me 
with their mouth, and honoureth 'me with their lips, but their heart 
is far from me ;' or that of the prophet : Jer. xii. 2, ' Thou art near in 
their mouth, and far from their reins ; ' they do but compliment God 
with empty formalities. 

(2.) When we pray cursorily, or use a few general words that serve 
all turns and persons alike, but are not suited and fitted to our case. 
Unless all your confessions and desires be particular, they do not affect 
the heart ; for generals are but notions, and pierce not very deep : 1 
Kings viii. 38, * What prayer and supplication shall be made for any 
man, or by all the people, which shall know every man the plague of 
his own heart ; ' that is the sin whereby his own conscience and heart 
is smitten, and thereby moved to pray. It is easy to spend invectives 
against sin in the general ; this doth not come close enough to stir up 
deep compunction and holy desires. We pray of course, but do not 
bemoan ourselves, and draw forth our earnest requests for the things 
we stand in need of. Names are prized when we hate the thing, and 
names are hated when we love the thing. 


[2.] Against the heart ; when you are loath to leave the sin which 
you seem to pray against ; or ask that grace which you have no mind 
to have : Ps. Ixvi. 18, ' If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will 
not hear me/ He that asketh for that grace he would not have, doth 
but lie to God. 

Now, to quicken you to this caution, take these considerations 

(1.) No wandering thought in prayer is hidden from God: Job xlii. 
2, ' No thought can be withh olden from thee ;' from his notice and 
knowledge : Ps. cxxxix. 2, ' Thou knowest my thoughts afar off;' your 
thoughts are as visible to God as your words are audible to men. 

(2.) God most abhorreth our prayers when we pray with an idol in 
our hearts : Ezek. xiv. 3, 'These men have set up idols in their hearts, 
should I be inquired of them ? saith the Lord/ They were resolved 
what to do, yet would ask counsel of God ; as many now would keep 
their lusts, yet pray against them ; as if the very complaining were a 
discharge of their duty, without detesting, without endeavouring. 

(3.) Above all things, God looketh to the spirit, what the poise and 
bent of the heart is: Prov. xvi. 2, 'God weigheth the spirit/ The 
Spirit puts us in the balance of the sanctuary ; therefore look to prin 
ciples, ends, and aims. 

(4.) That in covenanting with God there may be a moral sincerity 
where there is not a supernatural sincerity : Deut. v. 28, 29, ' I have 
heard the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee; 
they have well said all that they have spoken. Oh that there were 
such an heart in them that they would fear me, and keep all my com 
mandments always ! ' They dissembled not for the time, which may 
happen in two cases by some impendent or incumbent judgment, as 
when people are frightened into a little religiousness, or in a pang of 
devotion or solemn worship. Now this should make us cautelous. 
Bring to God the best desires and purposes that you have, but rest 
not in them, but get them strengthened yet more and more, that our 
sincerity may be verified and evidenced. 

Secondly, I come now to the second thing God 'knoweth the mind 
of the Spirit/ 

Doct. That it is a comfort to God's children that the Lord knoweth 
what kind of spirit is working in prayer. 

Here I shall do three things 

1. Show the different spirit that worketh in prayer. 

2. In what sense God is said to know the mind of the Spirit. 

3. Why this is such a comfort to God's children. 

1. The different spirit that may work in prayer. I shall take notice 
of a fourfold spirit 

[1.] The natural spirit of a man, seeking its own welfare, which is 
not a sin ; for God put it into us ; and such an inclination there was 
in Christ himself : Mat. xxvi. 39, ' my Father ! if it be possible, let 
this cup pass from me ; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt ; ' 
and John xii. 27, 28, ' Father, save me from this hour ; but for this 
cause came I to this hour/ There was the innocent desire of his 
human nature to be freed from the burden ; but his greater respect to 
God's glory and the public benefit of mankind made him submit to it. 
His human nature was to show a reasonable aversation from what was 


destructive to it; but his resolved will was to submit to God, and 
overcome all impediments. Take the instance lower. Nature 
prompted Paul to ask freedom from the thorn in the flesh; but 
grace taught him to submit to God's will. Paul sinned not in 
having or giving vent to the natural inclination; but the spiritual 
instinct must guide and overrule it. So when we ask natural con 
veniences we sin not, but yet this is not the spirit which God 
heareth in prayer. 'Christ was heard, in that he feared/ Heb. v. 
7 ; yet the cup did not pass away, but he was supported ; so Paul was 
heard, not for the removal of the thorn in the flesh, but for sufficient 
grace : 2 Cor. xii. 9, 'And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for 
thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' 

[2.] There is a carnal, sinful spirit, which may be working in prayer ; 
as when the disciples called for fire from heaven, Christ telleth them, 
Luke ix. 55, ' Ye know not of what spirit ye are of.' Men often mis 
carry in prayer, being blinded either by an erring judgment, or their 
carnal passions. 

(1.) By an erring judgment. They put their false conceits and opinions 
ink) their prayers, and so would engage God, as Balaam sought by 
building altars, against his own people. This kind of praying, it is 
a begging of God to do the devil's work, to destroy his own kingdom, 
and suppress his most serious worshippers to gratify the faction that 
opposeth them. Nothing is so cruel and bloody but false and partial 
zeal will put men upon, if their judgments be once tainted ; they think 
the killing of others is doing God good service, John xvi. 2. Their 
devotions will be soon tainted also ; for men that follow a blind con 
science will hallow and consecrate their rage and cruelty by prayer 
and solemn worship : Isa. Ixvi. 5, ' Your brethren that hate you, that 
cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified ; ' thence 
the old by- word, In nomine Domini incipit omne malum ; prayer is 
made a preface to cruelty. Now it is a comfort to the faithful that 
God will not hear these prayers ; he knows what is the mind of the 

(2.) By carnal passions and desires. Fleshly interest breedeth par 
tiality ; and men think God should hear them in their worldly requests. 
The motions of the flesh are very earnest, for corrupt nature would fain 
be pleased : James iv. 3, c Ye ask and have not, because ye ask amiss, 
that ye may consume it upon your lusts ; ' it is the flesh prayeth, and 
not the spirit ' You ask meat for your lusts,' Ps. Ixxviii. 18. When 
their wants were abundantly supplied, yet they remained querulous and 
unsatisfied ; they must have dainties as well as necessaries, as if God's 
providence must serve their carnal appetites. In these and such like 
cases the flesh prayeth, and not the spirit ; but Christ will not put 
this dross into his golden censer, nor perfume our lusts with his sweet 

J3.] The new nature, called also spirit, which inclineth us to God 
heaven : Zech, xii. 10, ' I will pour upon them the spirit of grace 
and supplication.' This prompteth and urgeth us to ask spiritual and 
heavenly things ; and such kind of requests are most pleasing to God, 
1 Kings iii. 10 ; those things which are necessary to God's glory and 
our salvation. There is what the flesh savoureth and what the spirit 


savoureth. The wisdom of the flesh perverteth and diverteth hearts/ 
from God and heaven to base, low things, such as the good things of 
this world pleasures, riches, honours. But the spirit, or the renewed 
part, savoureth other things. What is the savouring of the spirit? 
What the new nature would be at, or chiefly desireth. And it is a 
truth that the same spirit which is predominant at other times will 
work in prayer ; for the desires follow the constitution and frame of 
the heart : Kom. viii. 5, ' For they that are after the flesh do mind the 
things of the flesh ; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the 
spirit.' As their constitution is, so will their gust be ; and this taste 
and relish will show itself in all things, even in their prayers and 
devotions ; and whatever their words be, the working of their hearts 
are according to their universal bent and temper. 

[4.] The Holy Spirit of God : Jude 20, ' Praying in the Holy Ghost/ 
His assistance is necessary to prayer, not only to sanctify our hearts, 
but to excite our desires and direct our addresses to God ; so that we 
are enabled and raised to perform this duty with more ardency and 
regularity than we of ourselves could attain unto. A Christian hath 
both flesh and spirit in him, and they remain in him as active prin 
ciples, always lusting against each other, Gal. v. 17. In prayer we feel 
it ; for the saints speak sometimes in a mixed dialect, half the language 
of Ashdod and half of Canaan, both of the flesh and of the spirit, only 
the one overruleth the other by the power of the Holy Ghost. Take 
it in either property of prayer confidence, or fervency of desire. 

(1.) For confidence: Jonah ii. 4, 'I said, I am cast out of thy 
sight ; yet I will look again to thy holy temple.' There is a plain 
conflict between faith and unbelief ; unbelief's words are first out, as if 
we were utterly rejected out of God's care and favour ; yet faith will 
not suffer us to keep off from God, and therefore corrects and unsaith 
again what unbelief had said before ; ' Yet I will look again to thy 
holy temple,' try what God will do for me. So Ps. xciv. 18, ' When 
I said, My foot slippeth ; thy mercy, Lord, held me up ; ' yet there 
is relief in God when all their own confidence and courage faileth 

(2.) In point of fervency. The flesh valueth, esteemeth, earnestly 
craveth temporal mercies ; fancieth a condition of health, wealth, 
liberty, and worldly conveniencies, as best for us. We admire carnal 
happiness, Ps. cxliv; but the spirit corrects the judgment of the flesh. 
There is a higher and better happiness ; and that we should mainly 
seek after, and all our worldly interests should be subordinated there 
unto. Now it is not merely the spirit or new nature in us which doth 
hold out in these conflicts, but the new nature assisted by the Spirit of 
God, who helpeth us in all our infirmities, and to whom religious 
manners showeth we must ascribe all that we have and do. All our 
faith and fervency cometh from him ; and without his assistance we 
should either sink under the difficulties, or be cold and careless in our 

2. In what sense God is said to know the mind of the Spirit. 

1. By way of distinction. 

2. By way of approbation. 

[1.] By way of distinction. God perfectly knoweth the mind and 


intention of those groans which the Spirit exciteth in his own children ; 
he knoweth what cometh from the natural, what from the carnal, what 
from the divine Spirit ; to what principles these motions belong. For 
he ' weigheth the spirits,' Prov. xvi. 2 ; that is, he doth so exactly know 
them, as if they were put into a balance ; what principles, motives, and 
aims we are acted by ; and observe th not only the matter of the prayer, 
but the disposition of the petitioner ; whether the frame of his heart 
be Christian and gospel-like ; humble, holy, and heavenly ; or else it 
hath a carnal bias upon it. 

[2.] He knoweth by way of approbation, that he doth regard and 
accept the groans of the spirit ; for words of knowledge imply allow 
ance, respect, approbation ; as Ps. i. 6, ' God knoweth the way of the 
righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish ; ' approveth, favoureth, 
prospereth, as the opposite clause manifesteth. As Christ's not know 
ing the wicked implieth their rejection, Mat. vii. 23 : so he knoweth 
the mind of the Spirit, he doth regard and accept of what is of the 
Spirit in prayer. The groans of believers are more than the pompous 
petitions of hypocrites ; it is not luscious eloquence which God regardeth, 
but serious devotion ; if there be holy breathings after communion with 
him ; if your prayers be not senseless, without a due feeling of your 
necessities and wants ; nor heartless, without a desire of the graces and 
mercies you stand in need of, God will accept you. 

3. Why this is such a comfort and benefit to the children of God. 

[1.] God's knowledge by way of distinction between the moans of 
nature and the groans of the Spirit. 

(1.) Because sometimes they do not speak in prayer, but join with 
others ; you make it your prayer if you accompany it with your sighs 
and groans ; it is not the speaker only, but all that consent by the 
serious motions of their hearts. When the gifted prayed in the 
primitive church, the ZSwr???, the private person we translate it ' the 
unlearned * was to say amen, 1 Cor. xiv. 16 ; and then it was his prayer 
as much as the prayer of him that spake ; their hearty amen was 
signaculum fidei, et votum desiderii, a hearty assent to the prayer, 
or a hearty expression of their earnest desire. 

(2.) Sometimes they cannot speak and put their desires into a lan 
guage, as oppressed with troubles. God knoweth the secret groans of our 
hearts, when you cannot give them the vent of expression : Ps. xxxviii. 
9, ' Lord, all my desire is before thee ; my groaning is not hid from thee.' 
The soul is so confounded that we cannot put our desires into distinct 
thoughts and words ; but yet they are as formal speech before God, for 
he can interpret the most secret motions of our hearts : Exod. ii. 24 r 
' God heard their groans, and remembered his covenant ; ' Ps. xii. 5, 
f For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will 
I arise, saith the Lord ; ' Ps. vi. 8. * For the Lord hath heard the voice 
of my weeping. ' Such sighs, groans, tears, have an intelligible language 
in heaven. . 

(3.) Sometimes they dare not speak. For the prophet telleth us of 
an evil time when 'the prudent will keep silence/ Amos v. 13 ; and 
another prophet speaketh when a man cannot ' trust in a friend/ and 
must ' keep the door of his mouth from her that lieth in his bosom/ 
Micah vii. 5 ; when they dare not speak against that which they cannot 


mend, scarce dare peep or mutter or bemoan themselves, or plead with 
God. Such is the iniquity of the times, the guard is put upon them ; 
then God knoweth the desires of their hearts, and smothered griefs 
and concealed complaints. 

(4.) Sometimes they are slandered when they speak ^by the scoffing 
atheist or carnal world, who know not the Spirit and his holy motions, 
because their heart is wholly devoted to sensual and earthly things ; 
the best strains of devotion are mocked at, and all that suiteth not 
with their carnal way is counted folly : 1 Peter iv. 4, ' Speaking evil of 
you ; ' and ver. 14, ' On their part the Spirit is evil spoken of.' The 
world, when they hear of believers praying in the Spirit, they scoff at 
it ; as those, Acts ii. 13, when the Holy Ghost came upon the apostles, 
some ' mocked, saying, These men are full of new wine ; ' so when any 
thing of God more than ordinary appeareth in them, they deride it. 
They are not skilled in the motions of the Spirit when they are earnest. ' 
Festus thought Paul mad, and beside himself, Acts xxvi. 24. _ The wis 
dom of the flesh is emnity against God, and cannot judge aright of his 
ways and motions. But now it is a comfort that God will put 1 another 
kind of construction upon the Spirit's working than the world doth ; 
they call evil good, and good evil ; but God can distinguish ; they are 
incompetent judges, having no savour and relish of these things. Many 
things suit not with the corrupt sense of men, that are yet agreeable to 
God's holy will ; and that which is slandered in the world is owned by 
God ; and how much soever they are contradicted and scoffed at, yet 
they enjoy sweet and real communion with him. Though the world 
knoweth not this Spirit, yet God knoweth and owneth it, as the event 

(5.) Sometimes they themselves find it hard to interpret their duty, 
and judge what is flesh and what is spirit, but yet God knoweth the 
mind of the Spirit ; and when they set themselves to converse with God 
in the best fashion they can, the Lord granteth the desires of their hearts : 
Ps. Ixvi. 19, * Verily God hath heard, he hath attended to the voice of 
my prayer/ We find our prayers are not rejected by God ; he hath 
some doubt of it, as appeareth in the verses before and after ; and so 
took it as a token of his sincerity. God, who cannot patronise any sin, 
had been pleased to give him his approbation. 

(6.) The saints that are little satisfied in their work plead their 
desires: Nehem. i. 11, ' Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be 
attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy ser 
vants who desire to fear thy name ; ' and Isa. xxvi. 9, ' With my soul 
have I desired thee in the night ; yea, with my spirit will I seek thee 
right early.' 

(7.) The children of God may be the better satisfied in his provi 
dence and favours to them ; for God will hear so much of the prayer as 
cometh from the Spirit. We ask natural conveniences to a certain 
end; God will not always give the means, but the end shall be pro 
moted ; he knoweth whether the means will prove a mercy, yea or no, 
or the end be promoted by these means or other. Now they desire 
the spirit may be heard, not the flesh. Abraham would have the pro 
mise fulfilled, and pitcheth on Ishmael : Gen. xvii. 18, ' Oh that Ishmael 
might live before thee ! ' But God intended a better way by Isaac. If 


he give us our will, it is in anger ; that is our prayer ; but the Spirit's 
prayer is to glorify God, and according to the will of God. God's 
answer is according to the mind of the Spirit. 

[2.] God's knowing by way of approbation, that he will accept and 
regard the prayer stirred up in us by his Spirit. The reason is given 
in the text, ' because he maketh requests for the saints according to 
the will of God/ In which clause we have 

1. The work ' he maketh intercession/ 

2. The persons for whom * for the saints.' 

3. The rule, nature, or kind of intercession Kara Sebv, ' according 
to the will of God.' 

Let us, 1st, Open these things, 2dly, Consider why the prayer so 
made must needs be acceptable and pleasing to God. 

1. The work of ..the Spirit ' he maketh intercession ; * that is, 
exciteth and directeth us to pray ; he employeth and maketh use of our 
faculties, mind and heart and tongue ; yea, of our graces, faith, hope, 
and love. Of faith to believe God's being and providence, both as to his 
present government, internal or external, or as to the future and eternal 
recompenses. This faith is the life of prayer ; for ' how shall they call 
on him in whom they have not believed ? ' Eom. x. 14, and Heb. xi. 6 
Of our hope ; looking for these things, we ask of him according to his 
will ; otherwise prayer is but a wearisome, fruitless task : Mai. iii. 14, 
' It is in vain to serve God ; what profit is it to call upon him ? ' When 
we expect what we ask, there is more life in asking : Ps. cxxx. 5, * I 
wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope ; ' that 
is the posture of the soul in prayer. And for love ; for here we come 
to show our hearty groans after everything which will bring us nearer 
to God. Surely they that call upon God aright are they which ' delight 
themselves in the Almighty/ Job xxvii. 10. The duty is an act of 
love ; and the life of the duty cometh from the fervency of our love, for 
it is a solemn expression of our desires. If God be our portion, we will 
thirst after him, and express our desires after what conduceth to com 
munion with him. Thus the Spirit maketh use of our faculties and 
graces ; he strengtheneth our faith, quickeneth our love, and stirreth 
up our hope ; so that, as it is said, Mat. x. 20, c It is not ye speak, but 
the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you ; ' when he doth enable 
us to speak what is fit and proper before the tribunals of men. So he 
maketh intercession when he enableth understanding creatures to speak 
what is fit and proper before the throne of grace, what will become 
faith, hope, and love. 

2. The persons for whom he prayeth 'for the saints/ for two- 

[1.] Because the saints only are acquainted with these operations : 
1 Cor. ii. 14, ' The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit ; ' 
and John xiv. 17, | Whom the world cannot receive, because they know 
him not and see him not/ They do not regard his motions and opera 
tions, but have their eyes fixed upon this world, and the sins and 
vanities thereof ; they have no mind to employ him, though he offereth 
himself to them, but the saints cannot live without him. 

[2.] These are only fit to converse with God in prayer. The persons 
are qualified for audience and acceptance with God, and may obtain 


whatsoever in reason and righteousness we can ask of him : 1 John iii. 
22, ' And whatsoever we ask we receive, because we keep his command 
ments, and do what is pleasing in his sight.' None else are in grace 
and favour with God, and in a receiving posture, according to the terms 
of the promise ; none but such as are justified, sanctified, and live in 
obedience to him : Prov. xv. 8, ' The sacrifice of the wicked is an 
abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is his delight ; ' 
John ix. 31, ' God heareth not sinners ; but if any man be a worshipper 
of God, and doth his will, him he heareth ; ' and James v. 16, ' The 
fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much ;' and Ps. Ixvi. 
18, ' If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me ; ' so 
Prov. xxviii. 9, ' He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, 
even his prayer is an abomination ; ' these, and many more places, show 
who are they who have God's ear. The saints, and none but they ; 
who are careful to avoid all known sin, and make conscience of per 
forming all known duty. Then you will have a large share in his 
heart and love ; and he will be near you when you call upon him, to 
counsel, quicken, and direct you, and, give you answers of grace upon 
all occasions. 

3. The rule, nature, or kind of this intercession he puts us upon ; 
Kara Qebv is the same with /caOb Bel, ver. 26, ' according to the 
will of God,' for matter and manner, and ask lawful things, to a holy 
and lawful end. 

[!.] The matter of the prayer : 1 John v. 14, 15, 'And this is the 
confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to 
his will, he heareth us.' 

What is the meaning of that, ' According to his will ' ? 

Answer (1.) With conformity to his revealed will. (2.) With due 
submission to and reservation of his secret will. 

(1.) With conformity to his revealed and commanding will : that we 
ask nothing unjust and unholy, as if we would have God to bless us in 
some unlawful purpose, or, being biassed by envy, revenge, or any corrupt 
and carnal affection, ask anything contrary to piety, justice, charity, or 
that holy, meek spirit which should be in Christians. Unlawful desires 
vented in prayer are a double evil, as they are contrary to God's com 
manding will, and as they are presented to him in prayer to accomplish 
what we desire by his help, as we would have him accommodate his 
providence to fulfil our lusts. 

(2.) With a due reservation of and submission to his secret and de 
creeing will. The things we ask of God are of three sorts First, Barely 
lawful ; so is every indifferent thing, as when Moses would fain enter 
into Canaan. We cannot say God will give us such things ; God 
denied it to Moses ; ' Let it suffice thee, speak no more of this matter, 
Deut. iii. 22. God would only give him a Pisgah sight. Secondly, Not 
only lawful, but commanded, such a thing as may fall within the com 
pass of our duty ; as when parents ask the conversion of their children, 
or children beg the continuance of their parents' life, it is not only law 
ful, but commanded ; yet God disposeth of the event as it pleaseth him. 
Thirdly, Some things are absolutely good and necessary for us, as the 
gift of the Holy Spirit, Luke xi. 13. Such God will give. But in the two 
former things we must use the means, but refer the event to God, who 


can best dispose of us to his own glory ; for though the thing be lawful, 
though it be good, yet it beareth these exceptions First, If it be not 
contrary to any decree of God, and cross not the harmony of his pro 
vidence. Would we have God rescind and disorder his wise counsels 
for our sake ? Secondly, If it be not inconvenient and hurtful for us ; 
but of that God will be judge. Some present temporal good may be a 
cause of future inconvenience ; and something bitter now, may be after 
ward found wholesome. God knbweth whether life or death be best, a 
present riddance of troubles or a continuance of them ; therefore it 
followeth, ver. 28, 'All things shall work together for good to them that 
love God.' That which is apprehended as evil may turn to good; 
therefore these things should not be peremptorily asked, but with limi 
tation and exception of God's will ; as our Lord Christ, Mat. xxvi. 
39, ' And he went a little farther, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, 
my Father ! if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ; nevertheless, 
not as I will, but as thou wilt.' It is one thing to believe for certain that 
God will grant our petition with this condition, if the grant be for his 
glory and our good, and another thing to believe absolutely that he 
will not deny the particular thing we ask of him, without such exception 
and reservation. It is not for us to determine what is most conducing 
to God's glory and desirable for us; we must commit and submit to 
God, to our heavenly Father, who is never backward to our good, and 
will certainly guide all things for the best. 

[2.] The manner. 

(1.) With faith. What faith have we in prayer ? With respect to 
God, that he is able and willing to help his people ; that we need not 
run to other shifts, and be divided between God and carnal means, 
James i. 6-8. As to the acceptance of our persons, we must pray 
that we do not weaken our confidence by any allowed sin : 1 John iii. 
20, 21, 'For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, 
and knoweth all things ; if our hearts condemn us not, then have we 
confidence towards God ; ' we sin away our peace, and then cannot 
come cheerfully to God. As to the particular blessings asked, necessary, 
that are absolutely promised, must be absolutely expected. But the 
promise of the common blessings of this life is not absolute ; these 
things are dispensed as shall be for God's glory and our good. The 
saints themselves express themselves with some hesitancy about these 
things, though inclined to hope the best ; as David, 2 Sam. xii. 22, 
* Who can tell whether the Lord will not be gracious to me, that the 
child may live ? ' God knoweth what we most really want, and what 
is most agreeable to our desires, being able to choose for us better 
than we can for ourselves : Joel ii. 14, * Who knoweth if he will return 
and leave a blessing ? ' 

(2.) With fervency, or that life and seriousness which will become 
addresses to God : Mat. vii. 7, 'Ask, seek, knock ; ' we are not in good 
earnest unless we set ourselves to seek the Lord, Dan. ix. 3. Christ 
taught us to pray in two parables; one for the Spirit, Luke xi., by a 
man coming to his friend for loaves at midnight ; for right done to the 
church, Luke xviii. 1, in the parable of the widow and unjust judge. 
Persevere till prayer be answered, Mat. xv. 26, 27 ; keep wrestling and 
striving with God : Bom. xv. 30, < Now I beseech you, brethren, for 


the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye 
strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.' 

(3.) With humility ; we must come as 'less than the least of his 
mercies,' Gen. xxxii. 10; Ezra ix. 6, '0 my God, I am ashamed, and 
blush to lift up my face to thee my God ; ' as the publican, Luke xviii. 
13, 'God be merciful to me a sinner ;' as Abraham, Gen. xviii. 27, 
4 Behold now I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am 
but dust and ashes.' 

(4.) With holy ends, that God may be glorified : John xiv. 13, 
' And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the 
Father may be glorified in the Son ;' in the Spirit, John xvi. 14, ' He 
vshall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto 
you ;' Ps. cxv. 1, * Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy 
name give glory ;' Joel ii. 14, 'Who knoweth if he will return and 
repent, and leave a blessing behind him, even a meat offering and a 
drink offering unto the Lord our God ? ' 

2dly, The reasons why the prayers so made must be acceptable 
to God. 

1. Because here all the divine persons concur. We pray according to 
God's will, in Christ's name and mediation, by the motion and instinct 
of the Spirit. Every one is a ground of hope ; therefore it will not be 
lost labour, or breath poured out into the air : 2 Sam. xiv. 1, ' When 
Joab perceived that the king's heart was towards Absalom, ' he makes 
use of the advantage. Christ's merit breeds confidence : Heb. x. 19, 
' Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the 
blood of Jesus.' And then the Spirit's motion ; God accepteth what 
cometh from himself : Ps. x. 17, ' Lord, thou hast heard the desire of 
the humble, thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to 
hear/ what is excited and stirred up in us by his Spirit. 

2. On man's part, the person is qualified, the petition just, the end 
right, and the heart excited. 

Use. Is to show us what prayers are heard ; such as (1.) cometh 
from God, and (2.) are made to God. Certainly such shall be dealt 
with as friends ; God will bestow marks of abundant favour upon 
them, and reward their love and obedience by hearing their prayers ; he 
delights to do great things for their sakes, and will have it known that 
their supplication is acceptable to him. Oh ! pray thus by the Spirit. 

1. Is your prayer such a prayer as cometh from God? such a prayer 
as is inspired by the Spirit, holy and fervent ? Holy, for he is a holy 
and heavenly spirit, and puts us mainly upon holy and heavenly things ; 
things that always make us better, not worse ; and in other things 
referring our choices to God, what he liketh and thinketh best for us, 
not what we do for ourselves : * not my will, but thine be done.' Then 
fervent, Se^o-t? evepyovfievq : James v. 16, ' The fervent effectual prayer 
of a righteous man,' when it looketh like wrestling with God. 

2. To God. Like worship relating to God, it hath the stamp of his 
nature upon it. Some of his attributes relate to his mercy and goodness, 
some to his majesty and greatness; the one is seen in the joy of our 
faith and confidence, by our delight to converse with him ; the other 
in our humility and deep reverence of God, when we come to him as 
poor undone creatures without his grace. 




And toe know that all things work together for good to them that love 
God, to them ivho are the called according to his purpose. ROM. 
viii. 28. 

IN the former verse the apostle telleth us how the Spirit maketh. 
intercession for the saints, what God liketh and thinketh best for them, 
not what they like themselves most profitable, though not most pleasing. 
Green fruit is most pleasing to the appetite of the child, but the parent 
knoweth it is not so wholesome ; on the other side, medicinal potions are 
bitter, but they tend to health ; therefore, though the afflictions continue, 
God may hear ourr prayers, for we find this best for us in the issue, 
' And we know/ &c. 

In the words 

First, A privilege. Secondly, The persons qualified. 

In the privilege, observe First, The certainty of it And ive know. 
Secondly, The nature of it ; and there 

[1.] The extent of it All things; prosperity, adversity, all the 
varieties of conditions we pass through. 

[2.] The manner of working Work together, with the Spirit say 
some, cooperantur, nonper se operantur. This is a truth, but not of this 
place. The poisonous ingredients which are used in a medicine do good, 
not of themselves, but as ordered and tempered by the skill of the 
physician. Rather ' work together/ omnia semel adjumenta sunt, as 
Beza paraphrastically rendereth it ; singly they are against us, if we look 
upon providences by pieces, as there is no beauty in the scattered pieces 
that are framed for a building till they are all set together ; so men look 
upon God's work by halves. 

[3.] The end and issue ; for good. Sometimes for good temporal, for 
our greater preservation ; but rather for good spiritual, the increase of 
grace ; chiefly for eternal good, to fit us and prepare us for the blessedness 
of the everlasting estate : this is the privilege. 

Secondly, A description of the persons who enjoy it. 

1. By their act towards God To them that love God, believing his 
mercy and goodness in Christ. They love him above all things, and are 
willing to hazard and venture all things for him. 

2. God's act or work upon them ; they are effectually called To them 
ivho are the called according to purpose. There is a distinctive term 
by which God's purpose is intended ; they are called ; not obiter, by the 
by, as they live within the hearing and sound of the gospel, but accord 
ing to God's eternal purpose, and the good pleasure of his grace. 

I begin with the privilege. 

Doct. That all things that befall God's children in this life are directed 
by his providence to their eternal happiness. 

First, I shall explain this point with respect to the circumstances of 
the text. Secondly, Give a more general state of the case. The first 
will be done 

1. By opening the nature of the privilege. 

2. The certainty of it. 


1. The nature of it ; and there we begin with 

[1.] The extent ' All things.' It must be limited by the context, 
which speaketh of the afflictions of the saints. 

(1.) All manner of sufferings and trials for righteousness' sake, such 
as reproaches, stripes, spoiling of goods, imprisonment, banishment, 
death, all such kind of things. Keproaches are as dung cast upon the 
grass, which seemeth to stain it for a while, but afterwards it springeth 
up with a fresher verdure. Stripes are painful to the flesh, but occasion 
greater joy to the soul ; as Paul and Silas after they were scourged 
sung at midnight in the stocks, Acts xvi. Spoiling of goods stirreth 
up serious reflections on a more enduring substance ; the hopes whereof 
we have in ourselves, Heb. x. 34. Imprisonment doth but shut us up 
from temptations, that we may be at liberty for a more free converse 
with God ; as Tertullian telleth his martyrs ' You went out of prison 
when you went into prison, and were but sequestered from the world 
for more intimacy with the Holy Ghost.' So b.anishment ; every place 
is alike near to heaven, and the whole earth is the Lord's, and the ful 
ness thereof. They know no banishment that know no home here in 
the world ; but because we have an affection to our natural comforts, 
especially to the place of our service, God is wont to recompense his 
exiles with an increase of spiritual blessings ; as John had his revelations 
when banished to Patmos, Kev. i. 9. Death doth but hasten our glory ; 
if the guest be turned out of the old house, you ' have a building of 
God, eternal in the heavens,' 2 Cor. v. 1, and so do but leave a shed 
to live in a palace. Though your life be forced out by the violence of 
men, the sword is but the key to open heaven's doors for you, and you 
are freed from hard task-masters to go home to your gracious Lord. 

(2.) Ordinary afflictions incident to men. Are you pained with sick 
ness, and roll to and fro on your bed, like a door on the hinges, through 
the restless weariness of the flesh ? Many times we are best when we 
are weakest, and the pains of the body help to the invigorating and re 
newing the inward man, 2 Cor iv. 16. In heaven you shall have ever 
lasting ease, for that is a state of rest. Have you lost children ? If 
God give you a better name than sons and daughters, you have no cause 
to complain, Isa. Ivi. 5. It is honour enough to you that you are chil 
dren of God ; if poor and destitute, yet if rich in the gifts and graces of 
the Spirit, it is made up to you : Eev. ii. 9, ' I know thy poverty, but 
thou art rich/ But it is not expedient to name all cases ; whatever the 
calamity and affliction be, God knoweth how to turn it to good, so that 
though we restrain ' all things ' to the context, it is large enough for 
our consolation. 

But is there not more in it? for men are always given to over- 
gospeling and enlarging their privileges doth it not comprehend sin ? 

Answer, No, not in the intention of the apostle. God hath not made a 
promise that all the sins of believers shall work for their good. It is 
true God made advantage of the sins of the world for the honouring 
of the grace in Christ, Kom v. 16, 17. It should be our care that Satan 
may be a loser, and Christ have more honour by every sin we commit. 
True repentance can draw good out of sin itself, to be a means of our 
hatred and mortification of it ; so love and gratitude to our Redeemer : 
Luke vii. 47, ' Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved 


much ; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little/ Sin doth 
not do good as sin, but as repented of ; it is not the sin, but the repent 
ance. But for the proof of this 1. Then it would destroy the qualifi 
cation mentioned in the text ' Those that love God.' Our love is a love 
of duty ; none love God but those that obey him and keep his com 
mandments. 2. To assure us aforehand that our sins would turn to our 
good would open a gap to looseness, and is contrary to the usual 
methods of God in his word, who commands obedience, with a promise 
of increase of grace, and threateneth disobedience, and punisheth it 
also, by hardness of heart, and a tradition, or giving us up to vile 
affections. Now there would be no reconciling these passages if God 
assured us by promise that our sins should turn to good, and yet 
sins be punished with blindness of mind and hardness of heart. 
3. If any should object, they mean infirmities, not grievous and heinous 
sins ; yet even then they see a reason to limit this universal particle, 
irdvTa, and so have lost the advantage. But whether they limit it 
enough, let us see. It is one thing to say they shall not hurt us ; it is 
another to say they shall conduce to our good, or are means appointed 
to that end. 4. If God make use of our infirmities for our 
good, it is to be ascribed to his grace, who bringeth good out of so 
great an evil ; as David by his fall got wisdom, Ps. li. 6 ; it was the 
Lord's mercy that made him thereby more sensible of his duty, watch 
ful over a naughty heart. But this is no natural effect of sin ; and to 
say God hath promised it, it would tempt us to omit our caution, and 
so we should lose this benefit. God, of his wonderful grace, may 
do many things which he does not think fit to assure us of by 
promise. 5. We see many Christians fall from some degrees of grace 
which they never afterwards recover again, though preserved in the 
state of grace for the main. God will not vouchsafe to them such a 
liberal portion of his Spirit as they had before. Jehoshaphat is said, 
2 Chron. xvii. 3, to have ' walked in the first ways of his father 
David ; ' his first ways were his best ways, when he kept himself free 
from those scandalous crimes he fell into in his latter time. 

But doth it not imply that our prosperity shall turn to good, as well 
as adversity? 

Answer, Though it be not formally expressed in this place, which 
speaketh only of sufferings and afflictions, yet it is virtually included. 
For, 1. God keepeth off, or bringeth on the cross as it worketh for our 
good ; and all providences wherein the elect are concerned are over 
ruled by his grace for their good: Cant. iv. 16, ' Awake, north wind, 
and come, thou south, blow upon my garden, that the spices therein 
may flow out.' Out of what corner soever the wind bloweth, it blow- 
eth good to the saints, the sharp north wind or the sultry south wind. 
2. It is a threatening to them that do not love God, that their pros 
perity tendeth to their hurt: Ps. Ixix. 22, 'Let their table become 
a snare, and that which should be for their welfare become a trap/ 
Their worldly comforts serve to harden their hearts in sin. 3. The 
sanctifying of their prosperity is included in a Christian's charter : 1 
Cor. iii. 21-23, ' All things are yours , life or death, the present 
world and the future world, because you are Christ's, and Christ is 
God's ; ' their prosperity cometh from the love of God, and tendeth to 


their good. Therefore let this be included, though afflictions are 
chiefly spoken of in the context. 

[2.] The manner of bringing it about ' They work together/ Take 
anything single and apart, and it seemeth to be against us. We must 
distinguish between a part of God's work and the end of it. We 
cannot understand God's providence till he hath done his work ; he 
is an impatient spectator that cannot tarry till the last act, wherein 
all errors are reconciled ; as Christ told Peter, John xiii. 6, 7, ' What 
I dothou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' We are 
much in the dark ; we look only to present sense and appearance ; his 
purposes are hidden from us ; for the agent is ' wise in counsel and 
excellent in working.' His way of working is under a veil of con 
traries, and unperceivable to an ordinary eye ; he bringeth something 
out of nothing, light out of darkness, meat out of the eater. His 
end is not to satisfy our sense and curiosity, but try our faith, John vi. 
6, to exercise our submission and patience, as in the case of Job, and 
our dependence and prayer. God knoweth what he is a-doing with 
you, when you know not: Jer. xxix. 11, 'For I know the thoughts 
that I think towards you, saith the Lord ; thoughts of peace, and not 
of evil, to give you an expected end/ When we view providence by 
pieces, and see God rending and tearing all things in pieces, we are 
perplexed ; therefore we must not judge of God's providence by the be 
ginnings, till all work together. When we apprehend nothing but ruin, 
God may be designing to us the choicest mercies: Ps. xxxi. 22, 
' For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes ; never 
theless, thou heardest the voice- of my supplication;' so Ps. cxvi. 11, 
* I said in my haste, All men are liars/ Samuel, and all that had told 
him he should enjoy the kingdom. Haste never speaketh well of God 
and his promises, nor maketh any good comment on his dealings ; we 
must stay till all causes work. 

[3.] The end and issue ' For good/ 

1. Sometimes to good temporal, or our better preservation during 
our service : Gen. 1. 20, " But as for you, ye thought evil against me, 
but God meant it unto good, to bring it to pass as it is at this day, and 
to save much people alive/ Both the Egyptians and themselves had 
wanted a preserver, if he had not been sold and sent into Egypt. We 
often find by experience that God ordereth our disappointments for 
good. Suppose a man's heart were much set upon a voyage to sea, but 
he is hindered by many impediments, and before he cometh the ship 
is gone ; and afterwards he heareth that all that were in the vessel 
were drowned : this disappointment is for good. Crassus's rival in 
the Persian war, when he heard how that army was intercepted and 
cut off by the craft of the barbarians, had no reason to stomach his 
being refused. Many of us, whose hearts are set upon some worldly 
thing, have cause to say we had perished if we had not perished, and 
suffered more if we had suffered less. In the story of Joseph there is a 
notable scheme and draught of providence ; he is cast into a pit, there 
to perish ; thence, upon second thoughts, drawn forth to be sold to the 
Ishmaelites ; by them brought into Egypt ; sold for a slave again. 
What doth God mean to do with poor Joseph ? While a slave, he is 
tempted to adultery ; refusing the temptation, he is falsely accused, kept 


a long time in ward and duress ; all this is against him. Who would 
have thought that in the issue all should have turned to his good ? 
Who would have thought that the prison had been the way to pre 
ferment ? that by the pit he should come to the palace of the king of 
Egypt ? that he should exchange his party-coloured coat for the royal 
robes of a king's court ? Thus in temporal things we gain by our losses ; 
and God chooseth better for us than we could have chosen for ourselves. 

(2.) Spiritual good. So all affliction is made up and recompensed 
to the soul ; it afflicts the body, but bettereth the heart : Ps. cxix. 
71, ' It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn 
thy statutes.' There is more to be learned in affliction than in the 
vastest libraries ; no book will teach us so much as experience under 
God's discipline. Madmen are kept in the dark, and under hardship, 
to bring them to their wits again ; so God is forced to use us a little 
hardly to cure us of our spiritual frenzy. Thou darest not pray, Lord, 
let me have my worldly comforts, though they damn me ; let me not 
be afflicted, though it do me good ; and if thou darest not pray so, wilt 
thou murmur when God ordereth it so ? If a man break an arm or a 
leg in pulling us out of the water, wherein otherwise we should cer 
tainly be drowned, would we be angry with him ? And shall we fret 
against the Lord when he takes away the fuel of our lusts, which will 
certainly drown us in perdition and everlasting destruction ? Is it not 
a good exchange to part with outward comforts for inward holiness ? 
Certainly that will be of more gain to us than all the affliction, pain, and 
loss which we suffer will do us hurt. Certainly we lose nothing but 
our rust by scouring. If God will take away our peace, and give us 
peace of conscience our worldly goods, and give us true riches, have 
we any cause to complain ? If outward wants may be recompensed by 
an abundance of inward grace, and we have the less of the world that 
we may have more of God, and be kept poor and destitute that we 
may be rich in faith, James ii. 5, who is the loser ? If we have a 
healthy soul in a sick body, as Gaius had, 3 John 2, and an aching 
head maketh way for a better heart, doth not God deal graciously and 
lovingly with us? In short, afflictions are compared to fire, that 
purgeth away the dross, 1 Peter i. 7 ; to the fan that driveth away the 
chaff, Mat. iii. 12 ; to pruning, that cuts off the luxuriant branches, and 
maketh the other that remain the more fruitful, John xv. 2 ; to physic, 
that purgeth away the sick matter, Isa. xxvii. 9 ; to ploughing and 
harrowing the ground, that fitteth it to receive the good seed, Jer. iv. 3. 
And shall we be troubled when God cometh to make use of this fire to 
purge out our dross? this fan to winnow away our chaff? this prun 
ing to lop off the luxuriances of our souls ? this plough to break up 
our fallow ground, to destroy the weeds that are in our hearts ? this 
sharp medicine to cure our sick souls ? Should we not rather rejoice 
that he will not let us alone in our corruption, but refine us as metal is 
by tho fire ? and fan and winnow us, that we may be pure grain ? and 
prune us, that we may be fruitful in holiness ? and use medicine, to cure 
those distempers which otherwise would destroy us ? and suffer the 
ploughers to make long furrows upon our backs, that we may enjoy the 
richer crop ? This is for good. 

(3.) For our eternal good. Heaven will make us complete amends 


for all that we suffer here : 2 Cor. iv. 17, { Those light afflictions which 
are but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory ; ' these afflictions are so far from infringing our 
happiness, that they do promote it. How promote ? and how work ? 
Partly as the patient enduring doth secure our interest. God will 
not fail to reward them that patiently suffer for his sake, or submit to 
his discipline ; for these transitory light afflictions and sufferings are 
so accepted by him, that they are sure to be rewarded by him : Mat. 
v. 12, ' Great is your reward in heaven ;' and James i. 12, ' Blessed 
is the man that endureth temptations, for when he is tried he shall 
receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love 
him/ Partly as they are a means which God useth to draw us off 
from the love and esteem of the world, and to awaken in us an earnest 
desire and serious pursuit after heavenly things, Gal. vi. 14. They 
conduce to mortification, and kill the gust of the flesh ; so that our title 
is not only more secured, but our hearts prepared. Partly because 
here is the full recompense, the good that answers all objections ; 
if cast out by men, you are received by the Lord ; if calumniated by 
the world, approved by God ; if you have lost the love of all men for 
your faithfulness and sincerity, you shall enjoy the love of God ; if im 
prisoned, you shall shortly be in your Father's house. There all your 
fears and sorrows will be at an end, your desires accomplished, and 
your expectations satisfied ; it is heaven that turneth pain into pleasure, 
death into life. And partly because, though we fail in particular con 
flicts, yet God secureth our everlasting estate. Jftomani prcelio scepe 
victi, bello nusquam. So Christians. We cannot say that always 
there is such sensible benefits by afflictions ; but this is the sense of the 
place, as the following verses show, that the general issue of things is 
determined and put out of controversy by it. The infallibility of God's 
conduct cannot be discerned by every particular event ; for a Christian 
may not gain by every trouble he falleth into, but by all together his 
eternal estate is promoted ; they all are means to preserve us till we 
come to heaven. Thus you see how he that could turn stones into 
bread, water into wine, can extract a blessing out of our saddest 
miseries and afflictions, and make the bitterest herbs to yield honey to 
the saints. 

2. The certainty of this ' We know.' Not by an uncertain and 
fallible conjecture, but upon sure grounds. What are they ? 

[1.] The promise of God, by which he hath secured the salvation of 
his people, notwithstanding their troubles : Heb. vi. 17, 18, ' Wherein 
God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the 
immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two 
immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might 
have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the 
hope set before us.' God's resolved purpose declared in his covenant 
cannot be altered ; his promises in time are his eternal purpose before 
time ; he hath undertaken by promise and oath to be their God, the 
God of their salvation. 

[2.] By the experiences of the saints, who have found it so : Ps. 
cxix. 67, ' Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I learn thy 
statutes;' they have been persuaded of it: Phil. i. 19, 'I know that 


this shall turn to my salvation/ All the troubles he endured should 
be so ordered by God, as they at length turn to his eternal happiness. 

[3.] From the nature of the thing.: Two considerations enforce it 

(1.) All things are at God's disposal, and forced to serve him. 
Men, devils, crosses, and comforts, nothing can fall out against or with 
out his will. Angels, devils, men, have no power to null and frustrate 
his decrees, for he is the supreme and universal lord : Ps. xxxiii. 11, 
' The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever ; the thought of his heart to- 
all generations ;' and therefore he blasts and frustrateth all the devices- 
of the wicked, and what he decreeth shall immutably come to pass. 

(2.) His special care over his people. He hath carried them in the 
womb of his decrees before the foundation of the world ; he loveth 
them more than a mother loveth her tender infant : Isa. xlix. 15, ' Can 
a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion 
on the son of her womb ? yea, they may forget, but I will not forget 
thee.' If the mother be so tenderly affected to the child whom she 
carried in her womb for some few months, will not God much more ? 
He is as tender of them as the apple of his eye, Zech. ii. 8. He hath 
secured his covenant-love by promise : 1 Cor. x. 13, * But God is- 
faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are 
able ;' he will never leave you to insupportable difficulties. 

Secondly, To give a more general state of the case. 

1. This good is not to be determined by our fancies and conceits, 
but by the wisdom of God ; for God knoweth what is better for us 
than we do for ourselves. We judge according to present appearance,, 
but he hath a sight or inspection of our hearts, and a prospect or fore 
sight of all future events ; and therefore his divine choices are to be 
preferred before our foolish fancies ; what he sendeth or permitteth to 
fall out is fitter for our turn than anything else. Could we once be 
persuaded of this, a Christian would be prepared for a cheerful enter 
tainment of all that should come upon him. Besides, he is a God of 
bowels, and loveth us more dearly than we do ourselves ; therefore we 
should be satisfied with his dispensations, whatever they are. Should 
the shepherd or the sheep choose his pastures ? the child be governed by 
his own fancy or the father's discretion ? the sick man by his own 
appetite or the physician's skill ? It is necessary sometimes that God 
should displease his people for their advantage : John xvi. 6, 7,. 
' Because I have said these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart ; 
nevertheless, I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away/ 
We are too much addicted to our own conceits ; Christ's dealing is 
expedient and useful, yet very unsatisfactory to his people. He is 
to be judge of what is good for us, his going or tarrying, not we 
ourselves, who are short-sighted, distempered with passions, whose 
requests many times are but ravings, and ask of God we know not 
what. Peter said, Mat. xvii. 4, ' Master, it is good for us to be here ;' 
he was well pleased to be upon Mount Tabor, but little thought what 
work God had to do by him elsewhere. So Jer. xxiv. 5, the basket- 
of good iigs was sent * into the land of the Chaldeans for their good/ 
What good in a dispersion ! but God foresaw worse evil would befall 
the place where they then lived. The selling of Joseph for a slave 
was to appearance evil, but God meant it for good, Gen. 1. 20. God 


may keep us low and bare, expose us to difficulties, prejudices, 
reproaches, bitter sufferings, yet all is for good. 

2. Good is to be determined by its respect to the chief good or true 
happiness. Now what is our chief happiness but the vision and frui 
tion of God ? It consists not in outward comforts riches, liberty, 
health, honour, or comfortable relations, but our acceptance with God ; 
other things are but appendages to our felicity : Mat. vi. 33, Trpoo-reOrjore- 
rai, ' But first seek the kingdom of God, and these things shall be 
added unto you.' Affliction taketh nothing from our solid and essential 
happiness, rather helpeth us to the enjoyment of it as we increase in 
grace and holiness. That is evil that separateth us from God, that is 
good which bringeth us nearer to him ; sin separateth us from God, 
therefore always evil, Isa. lix. 2. But afflictions are not always evil, 
but make us more earnestly to seek after him, Hos. v. 15 ; and so to be 
trained up under the cross, in a constant course of obedience and sub 
jection to God, is good: Lam. iii. 27, ' It is good that a man bear the 
yoke from his youth/ because it keepeth him modest, humble, and sober. 

3. This good is not always the good of the body, or of outward 
prosperity ; and therefore our condition is not to be determined by the 
interest of the flesh, but the welfare of our soul. If we had the world 
at will, we cannot be said to be in a good condition if the Lord should 
deny us spiritual blessings ; we are more concerned as a soul than a 
body : Heb. xii. 10, ' He verily for our profit, that we may be par 
takers of his holiness.' He doth not call the good things of this world, 
that pelf which all desire, profit, but the participation of the divine 
nature. Affliction is good if it be sanctified ; holiness wrought by 
affliction should be more to us than all our outward comforts. 

4. It is not good presently enjoyed and felt, but waited for ; and 
therefore our condition must not be determined by sense, but faith, 
H&b. xii. 11. Affliction for the present is not pleasing to natural 
sense, nor is the fruit for the present evident to spiritual sense ; but it 
is good because in the issue it turneth to spiritual good. While 
under the affliction, we feel the smart, but do not presently find the 
benefit ; physic must have time to work ; that which is not good may 
be good ; though it be not good in its nature, it is good in its use ; 
faith should determine so, though we feel it not : Ps. Ixxiii. 1, ' Yet 
God is good to Israel.' 

5. A particular good must give way to a general good, and our 
personal benefit to the glory of God and the advancement of Christ's 
kingdom. It was good, yea, much better, for Paul to be in heaven ; 
yet if it was needful for the saints to continue in the flesh, he submitteth, 
Phil. i. 24. We must not so desire good to ourselves as to hinder the 
good of others ; all elements will act contrary to their particular nature 
for the conservation of the universe ; that may be good for the glory 
of God which is not good for our personal contentment and ease: 
John xii. 27, 28. The sense of our duty, and the desire of glorifying 
God, should overcome our natural inclination. 

6. In bringing about this good we must not be idle spectators, but 
assist under God. When we are diligent to exercise ourselves unto 
godliness, then evil is turned into good, and all crosses and afflictions 
into means of salvation. Besides the elective love of God at the bot- 


torn of all, there is the actual power and influence of the Spirit, and 
prayer on our part : Phil. i. 19, ' Through your prayer, and the supply 
of the Spirit of Christ Jesus ;' and Heb. xii. 11, ' Now no chastening 
for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous ; nevertheless, after 
wards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that 
are exercised thereby/ It is not the bare nature of the cross doth it ; 
we must labour for that we look for ; the saints are not only passive 
objects, but active instruments, of providence ; there is an exercise on 
our parts ; we are to make use of all things, then God will bless us. 

7. If it be true of particular persons, it is much more true of the 
church ; all is for good : Ps. Ixxvi. 10, ' Surely the wrath of man shall 
praise thee, and the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain/ Christ 
many times gets up on the devil's shoulders ; all providence is for the 
elect's sake : 2 Tim. ii. 10, ' Therefore I endure all things for the 
elect's sake, that they may obtain salvation by Christ, with eternal 
glory/ The sufferings of the apostles conduced to the good of true 
Christians ; God considered the good of the whole church. 

Use 1. Is information. 

1. That the exception against God's providence from the evils that 
abound in the world is vain and frivolous. It was an old doubting 
question, If there be a God, how are there evils ? If there were not a 
God, how is there good? One part answereth the other; the text 
more fully ; he turneth evil unto good. That there are devils : God 
knoweth how to make use of them, to punish the wicked and exercise 
the godly. That there is sin : if there had been no sin, no Christ. That 
there are miseries : if no miseries, many graces would be lost ; there 
would be no fortitude, no patience, no earnestness in prayer. That 
there are wicked men : it showeth God's distinguishing mercy, that 
when so many are drowned in the common shipwreck of mankind, it 
is the greater mercy that we escape ; if others are bad, let us bless 
God that made us better. Lastly, that there is death, that there might 
be a passage out of this world, and a period to our labours and sorrows. 

2. It teacheth us how to interpret prayers. We have prayed for the 
continuance of a blessing, and lost it ; for the riddance of a trouble, yet 
it continueth upon us. This is the very case here ; if God heareth them, 
how come they to suffer such hard things ? The Spirit teacheth us to 
pray. Now the denial of either suit turneth to good. We often come 
to God with carnal requests, which being interpreted, sound but 
thus, Give me that wherewith I may offend thee, or have my flesh 
pleased, or lusts fed. God findeth us doting on the creature, and we 
take it ill to be interrupted in our whoredoms. We must distinguish 
between what is really best for us and what we judge best ; other diet 
is more wholesome for our souls than what our sick appetites craveth ; 
we are best many times when weakest, worst when strongest. 

3. It giveth us a reason of waiting. Though we do not presently 
know why everything is done, let us wait. Providence doth not work 
without a cause ; we see it not now, but we shall see it when God 
turneth it to good. We must not judge of God's work by the begin 
ning ; God seemeth an adversary for a while to them that indeed 
enjoy his eternal love. Let patience have its perfect work, and when 
providence is come to a period, you will know more. 


4. What reason to trust God with events. Some things fall under 
our duty, others are a mere event. Our care is about events rather than 
duty, and so we take God's work out of his hands ; and so it is not 
care, so much as carking ; we inquire what shall become of us, rather 
than what we shall do. Do lyou do your duty, and God knoweth how 
to turn all things for good, Phil. iv. 6, 7. Nothing can go amiss to 
him that is found in the way of duty. 

5. It informeth us of the happiness of God's children. We may put 
in for a share; when we are sanctified to God, all things are sanctified 
to us ; and things that otherwise would be snares prove helps, and dis 
couragements prove furtherances. The creature is as if it were another 
thing to the saints ; if they are advanced, their hearts are enlarged to 
God : 2 Sam. vii. 2, ' And the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See, 
now I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within cur 
tains; ' Nehem. i. 11, '0 Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be atten 
tive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants who 
desire to fear thy name ; and prosper, I pray thee, this day thy servant, 
and grant him mercy in the sight of this man ; for I was the king's cup 
bearer ; ' meaning he had improved this place for God. When they 
are afflicted, they do not fret or faint, but humble themselves under the 
mighty hand of God, and so meet him at every turn. Oh ! what a 
blessed thing is it to be under the special care of God, and to have all 
things about us ordered with respect to our eternal welfare ! It is not 
so with the wicked ; if God make Saul a king, Judas an apostle, 
Balaam a prophet, their preferment will be their ruin; Haman's 
honour, Achitophel's wit, Herod's applause, turned to their hurt. If 
in prosperity they contemn God, in adversity they deny and blaspheme 
God ' This evil is from the Lord, why should I wait on him any 
longer ? ' As the salt sea turneth all into salt water, so a man is as 
the constitution of his heart is. 

Use 2. Is caution. 1. Against misconstruction of providence ; 2. 
Against non-improvement. 

1. Against misconstruction of providence. There may be a seeming 
harshness in some of God's dealings, but, all things considered, you will 
find them full of mercy and truth, Ps. xxv. 10. If there be a seeming 
contradiction between his word and providence, you must not always in 
terpret the word by providence, but providence by the word : Ps. Ixxiii. 
17, ' Until I went into the sanctuary of God, then I understood their 

2. Against non-improvement. Let us not lose the benefit by our 
negligence and folly ; let us observe how we may profit of everything ; 
God would not send this affliction, did he not know how it would be 
good for me. Therefore to this end 

[1.] Take these motives. 

[2.] Consider what profit is to be gotten by afflictions. 

[l.J Motives. 

(1.) It is not enough to be good in the affliction, but we must get good 
by the affliction. Carnal men are somewhat good in the affliction ; more 
modest when God's hand is heavy upon them, and they are somewhat 
disabled or discouraged from following their lusts ; yea, and may make 
great promises of reformation when God hath them under ; but as soon 


as they are delivered, they encourage themselves in the practice of their 
old sins ; as metals are melted while they are in the furnace, but as soon 
as they are taken out they return to their natural hardness again. But 
the godly are the better afterwards ; they cannot forget their old smart 
by sin : Josh. xxii. 17, 'Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from 
which we are not cleansed unto this day ? ' They remember what was- . 
the great burden in their troubles, and what was the great comfort 
and support under them, and are the better all their lives. But others 
are of another temper : Ps. Ixxviii. 34, ' When he slew them, then 
they sought him, and inquired early after God/ The sense of pre 
sent smart, and the terror of an angry God, may frighten them into a 
little religiousness for the present, or drive them into a temporary 
repentance and seeking friendship and favour with God, and they 
leave off their sins for a time ; but as soon as they are delivered, are 
as bad as ever. When^affliction produceth temporary repentance, we 
are good in it ; but when it produceth constancy of obedience, then we 
get good by it ; it hath but some weak effect on us when we are good 
in it, but a saving effect when good by it. 

(2.) The affliction cometh as a blessing where it is improved to 
good. It is a great advantage to observe whether our afflictions come 
as a cross only, or as a curse. Where they leave us worse rather than 
better, they are the beginnings of sorrows either in this life or the next ; 
sometimes in this life, the cross goeth with a mind to return, or else 
some worse thing cometh in its place : John v. 14, ' Sin no more, lest 
a worse thing come unto thee.' God, that letteth a sinner escape one 
trouble, can easily reach him again, if he neglect God and his soul's 
good. If when the smart of the rod is gone, we return again to our old 
vanity, the Lord can easily put us into a worse condition than before ; 
he can heat the furnace seven times hotter, and that which cometh 
after is the most grievous. But especially in the next world, when 
God sendeth eternal punishments instead of temporal ; as sometimes 
God breaketh up the course of his medicinal discipline, letteth a people 
go uncorrected and unreclaimed for their greater condemnation : Isa. 
i. 5, ' Why should you be stricken any more ? ye will revolt more and 
more ;' that is, it is in vain to seek to amend you by chastise 
ments. When men wax the worse for all their afflictions, and will 
riot be brought home to God, they are given over as incorrigible ; a 
brand is put upon Ahaz : 2 Chron. xxviii. 22, * In the time of his dis 
tress did he trespass yet more against the Lord; this is that king 
Ahaz ' mark him for an obstinate and obdurate sinner. Now such 
God leaveth to themselves : Hosea iv. 17, ' Ephraim is joined to idols, 
let him alone.' They are desperate and irrecoverable, and reserved 
for eternal torments ; this is the sorest judgment, to be given up to 
our own ways, without any check from divine providence. On the 
other side, God doth correct us in love, not in anger, when he doth 
bring good out of it and by it ; if it produce a thorough repentance and 
change, it is a pledge of God's love, and our eternal glory. God's faith 
fulness may be then observed : Ps. cxix. 75, * I know, Lord, that thy 
judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me ; * 
that he is pursuing his covenant-love, and carrying on your salvation, 
though by a way not so pleasing to the flesh. 


(3.) That it is your part to get benefit by the affliction, but God's 
to remove it. For the getting benefit by the affliction falleth within 
the compass of our duty, but the removing the affliction is a bare 
event belonging to God's providence. We must do what is our part, 
and then God will do what is his ; not but that God helpeth us in the 
improvement, for we obtain this grace by prayer, and the supply of the 
Spirit of Christ ; but the removal is wholly God's work, and must be 
referred to him. Therefore your inquiry should be, What am I obliged 
unto in such a condition ? and charge yourselves with you own proper 
work. Elihu telleth you what reflections you should have : Job xxxiv. 
31, 32, ' Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastise 
ment, I will not offend any more ; that which I see not teach thou 
me : if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.' This is work proper 
for us : what sins will God have to be mortified ? what vanities left ? 
what duties more effectually performed ? what graces strengthened ? 
and then let God alone to take off the trouble when it hath done its 
errand ; for surely he delights not to grieve and displease his people 
further than is for their profit, and he would not continue the afflic 
tion if he had not more work to do ; his pity moveth him to spare the 
wicked when they relent under his strokes, much more to deliver the 
godly when they seriously profit by it. 

(4.) If the constitution of our hearts were right, we would desire 
to profit by the affliction rather than to get rid of it. This is every 
where represented as the temper of the godly: 2 Cor. iv. 16, 'For 
which cause we faint not ; but though our outward man perish, yet 
the inward man is renewed day by day ;' 2 Cor. xii. 10, * I will rejoice 
in infirmities.' Surely spiritual and heavenly things should be valued 
above earthly and carnal, not by a bare speculative approbation, but 
by a practical esteem. Now a practical esteem is manifested by three 
solid effects : by our caring or seeking for the one rather than the 
other : Mat. vi. 33, ' But first seek the kingdom of God and his right 
eousness, and all these things shall be added unto you ;' by quit 
ting the one for the other when necessity so requireth : Mat. xiii. 45, 
46, ' Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant-man seek 
ing goodly pearls , who, when he hath found one pearl of great price, 
he went and sold all that he had and bought it ; ' by our submission 
to God's dispensation, when he blasteth and taketh away the one, to 
promote the other. We should be glad that it goeth well with the 
inward man, by the loss and decay of the outward ; the lowest degree 
of sincerity is that the loss of outward concernments should trouble us 
the less ; but surely if grace be in any good degree of strength, we 
should rejoice and be abundantly satisfied that God thinketh fit to 
take away earthly things, that thereby he may make us more mindful 
of that which is heavenly, and doth lessen us in the world, that he 
may thereby excite us to a more lively exercise of grace, and retrench 
the interests of the flesh, that the spirit may be enlarged and kept in 
good plight. Therefore to a child of God an exemption from troubles 
is not so good as an improvement of them. Our Lord, when he taught 
us to pray, would have us indeed deprecate the temptation ; but our 
chief request by way of reserve : Mat. vi. 13, ' And lead us not into 
temptation, but deliver us from evil ;' so in his prayer : John xvii. 15, 


' I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that 
thou shouldest keep them from the evil ;' teaching us our desires should 
be not so much to be delivered from the world as the evil of the 
world, from sins rather than afflictions, and that we should seek 
grace rather than deliverance. The deliverance is a common mercy, 
the improvement a special mercy ; carnal men may escape out of 
affliction, but carnal men have no experience of grace in sanctifying 
afflictions ; and bare deliverance is no sign of special love, but improve 
ment is. Paul rejoiced in this, that God would deliver him from every 
evil work, 2 Tim. iv. 18. Therefore we should submit to endure the 
evil of chastisement that we may escape the evil of the sin ; it is 
worse to be sinful than miserable, to be unclean than to be sick, to 
be voluptuous than to be poor ; and so the affliction bringeth greater 
good than it taketl} from you. Therefore Christians should be careful 
that they murmur not against God's dispensations, for there are two 
evils that we bewray thereby (1.) A despising of God ; (2.) A despis 
ing of holiness ; and a Christian should be tender of either. 

First, A despising of God, as if he knew not what was fittest and 
best for you, and would send any trouble upon you that he knoweth 
not how to turn to good : Job xxxiv. 33, ' Should it be according to 
thy mind ? He will recompense it, whether thou refuse or whether 
thou choose/ Should our condition be at our own disposal ? and should 
God ask of us whether we like it or no ? Is it not better to be satisfied 
in his will, and say, Surely God would not send this affliction if he did 
not know how it should be good for me ? We would carve out our own 
condition, and have our will in everything ; but is this wise or just ? 
must God be subject to our passions and affections ? No, whether we 
will or no, he will take his own way. 

Secondly, It is a lessening the value of holiness, as if this profit did 
not countervail our loss. We profess we esteem grace more than 
wealth, and spiritual things more than carnal ; but when we are put 
to the trial, we little regard holiness, but only mind the ease of the 
flesh, and therefore are so hardly reconciled to the cross. Surely that 
which doth us good should not be entertained with such impatient 
resentment ; it is worse in Christians, who are more obliged to count 
all things dung and dross : Phil. iii. 7-10, * But 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 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 ; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrec 
tion, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to 
his death.' But we may say as Moses to God, 'Behold, the chil 
dren of Israel have not hearkened unto me, how then shall Pharaoh 
hear me ? ' We cannot hope to convince a worldly man of this, that 
loss of estate or poverty is good ; the ambitious man, that it is good 
to be despised and contemned ; and the voluptuous man, that pain is 
sometimes better than ease, and sickness, that checketh the desires 
of the flesh, is better than health, that gratifieth them. Alas ! the 


children of God are hardly convinced that mortifying affliction is 
better than carnal prosperity ; how then will the world believe it ? 

[2.] What profit is there to be gotten by afflictions ? It is hard to 
instance in all particulars, because God hath several ends in our afflic 
tions, according to the distempers that need cure ; but the usual profit 
of afflictions is seen in these things 

(1.) That the time of affliction is a serious thinking time : 1 Kings 
viii. 47, ' If they shall bethink themselves in the land of their captivity.' 
We have more liberty to retire into ourselves, being freed from the 
attractive allurements of worldly vanities ; and for the present there 
is some restraint on the delights of the flesh, which use to besot the 
mind, and hinder better thoughts. Adversity maketh men serious; 
the prodigal came to himself when he began to be in want, Luke xv. 
17. Sad objects make a deeper impression on our souls than delight 
ful do ; they help us to consider our ways, and God's righteous dealings, 
that we may behave ourselves wisely, and suitable to the dispensation 
we are under : Eccles. vii. 14, ' In the day of adversity consider/ See 
from what hand it cometh, to what issue it tendeth, what is thy duty 
under it, how little thou canst mend thyself without submitting to 
God, that to hope to escape by ill means is but like an attempt to break 
prison. It is better to make supplications to our judge ; these provi 
dences are not to be lightly passed over ; the author of them is God, 
the occasion sin, the end repentance. 

(2.) It is an awakening, quickening time. Some are awakened out 
of the sleep of death, and are first wrought upon by afflictions. This is 
one powerful means to bring in souls to God, and opening their ears to 
discipline, Job xxxvi. 10 ; they had still slept in their sins if God had 
not awakened them by the smart discipline of the cross. But others 
are quickened and awakened to more carefulness of their duty, more 
watchfulness against sin ; and the graces of the Spirit, which lay 
dormant in us through neglect, are more set a-work. Sense-pleasing 
objects deaden the heart ; God's best children sleep when they have 
a carnal pillow under their heads : Ps. xxx. 6, ' And in my prosperity 
I said, I shall never be moved.' But now, because they do not stir 
up themselves, God stirreth them up by a smart rod, that faith may be 
working, love fervent, hope lively, prayers carried on with warmth and 
zeal ; prayers otherwise are dead, thoughts of heaven cold, or none ; 
wherein all these graces are acted : Isa. xxvi. 16, ' Lord, in trouble they 
have visited thee ; they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was 
upon them;' and Hos. v. 15, ' I will go and return to my place till 
they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face ; in their affliction 
they will seek me early.' When our gust and taste of spiritual and 
heavenly things is recovered, then we are awakened and in good earnest. 

(3.) It is a learning time. This the scripture witnesseth everywhere : 
Ps. cxix. 71, * It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might 
learn thy statutes ; ' Ps. xciv. 12, ' Blessed is the man whom thou 
chastenest, Lord, and teachest him out of thy law/ God teacheth 
us, though he teach us as Gideon did the men of Succoth, with briars 
and thorns ; and we read of Christ Jesus himself, Heb. v. 8, ' He 
learned obedience from the things which he suffered ; ' he did experi 
mentally understand what obedience was in hard and difficult cases, 



and so could the better pity and help sinners when they ohey God at a 
dear rate. In affliction we have an experimental knowledge of that of 
which but a notional knowledge before. We come by experience to see 
how false and changeable the world is, what a burden sin is, what 
sweetness there is in the promises, what a reality in the world to come, 
how comfortable an interest in God is. Luther said, Qui tribulantur 
sacras scripturas melius intelligunt securi et fortunati eas legunt 
sicut Ovidii carmen ' The afflicted see more in the scriptures than 
others do ; the secure and fortunate read them as they do Ovid's verses.' 
Certainly, when the soul is humble, and we are refined and purified from 
the dregs of sense, we are more tractable and teachable, our understand 
ings are clearer, and our affections more melting. Now spiritual learn 
ing is a blessing that cannot be valued enough. If God write his law 
on our hearts by his stripes on our backs, we have no reason to complain. 

(4.) It is a repenting time, to stir up the hatred of sin by the bitter 
effects of it : Jer. ii. 19, ' Now know what an evil and bitter thing it is 
that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in 
thee.' Weigh with thyself what hath brought all these evils upon thee. 
Experience teacheth fools : so Lam. iii. 39, ' Wherefore doth a living 
man complain, a man for the punishment of his sin?' He hath no 
reason to murmur against God, when he considereth his own deserts, 
and that he suffereth nothing but what he hath produced to himself by 
his sins ; and therefore we ought to have deep shame and sorrow for 
our former miscarriages. It conduceth to breed true remorse to con 
sider our folly, and the misery brought upon us thereby : Jer. xxxi. 18, 
' Surely I have heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus, Thou hast chas 
tised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke : 
turn thou me, and I shall be turned ; thou art the Lord my God. Surely 
after that I was turned, I repented ; and after that I was instructed, I 
smote upon my thigh ; I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because 
I did bear the reproach of my youth.' 

(5.) It is a .weaning time, from the pleasures and conveniences of 
the present world. First, The pleasures of the world. Pleasure is the 
great sorceress that hath enchanted all mankind ; they all court plea 
sure, though in different shapes ; it is deeply engrained in our nature, 
and the cause of our many miscarriages : Titus iii. 3, ' Serving divers 
lusts and pleasures ; ' and because we have divers pleasures, God sendeth 
divers afflictions. The soul is almost so sunk in flesh that it ceaseth 
to be spirit, John iii. 6. Pleasure is that which draweth us off from 
God, and engageth us in the creature : James i. 14, ' But every man is 
tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed/ Now, 
among the divers afflictions, diseases are natural penances which God 
hath put upon us to reclaim us from vain pleasures. The gust of the 
flesh would be too strong, if God did not check it by embittering our 
portion in the world. Secondly, The conveniences of the present life- 
riches, honours, friendships. Afflictions are sent to cure our carnal 
complacency, and increase the heavenly mind. Kiches : Heb. x. 34, 
' And took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves 
that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.' Kelations, 
possessions: 1 Cor. vii. 29-31, '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.' Friendship, John xvi. 32. Doting on the 
creature is spiritual adultery : James iv. 4, ' Ye adulterers and adul 
teresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with 
God ? Whoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy 
of God/ If an image of jealousy be set up, God will blast it ; he turn- 
eth the world loose upon us, so that friends prove as broken reeds. 
It is easy for God to prosper his people in the world, and suit all things 
to their own desires ; but he knoweth our proneness to carnal love, and 
how easily our heart is enticed from himself. Our temptations would 
be too strong if the world did appear in an over-amiable, tempting dress ; 
therefore he doth exercise us sometimes with the malicious, envious 
world ; sometimes with the cares, griefs, pains, disappointments, which 
are incident to the present life ; and will show us what a restless, empty 
world we have here, that we may the more earnestly look after those 
peaceful regions which are above. 

(6.) It is a time of increasing our love to God, upon a twofold 

First, Affliction showeth us that nothing is worthy of our love but 
God ; whatsoever robbeth God of it soon proveth matter of trouble and 
distress to us. Our hearts are the more averse from God because tLey 
are inclined to the creature:. Jer. ii. 13, 'For my people have com 
mitted two evils : they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, 
and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that will hold no water.' 
Men bestow their hearts on something beneath the chief good, which 
becometh an idol and false god to them, and which they respect and love 
more than God. Now the love of God cannot reign in that soul where 
the love of the world and fleshly lusts reigneth : 1 John ii. 15, ' If any 
man loveth the world, how dwelleth the love of the Father in him ? ' 
It is not in him. Now the great work of grace is to cast out the usurper, 
and to give God the possession of what is his own ; and therefore the 
heart must be circumcised before it be true to God : Deut. xxx. 6, 'The 
Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou 
mayest live.' First the foreskin and fleshliness that sticketh so close to 
us must be taken off, before we can adhere to God as our proper and 
chief happiness. Now this is God's own work by his internal grace ; 
but yet he useth external means, and amongst the rest sharp afflictions, 
to wean us from the creature, and to show us that we do but court our 
own trouble and infelicity when we bestow our affections elsewhere ; 
for hereby God plainly demonstrateth that he is our all-sufficient and 
indeficient God. All-sufficient, as answering all our necessities and de 
sires ; indeficient, our never-failing good, when all things fail about us : 
Hab. iii. 18, ' Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of my 
salvation/ And thus, by desolating the creature, doth he drive our 
foolish hearts to himself, that we may have the solid delights of his love. 

Secondly, This love of God is the comfort by which we are supported 
in all our distresses. The servants of God have never so much of the 
joy in the Holy Ghost as in their great sufferings; their delight in God is 



then purest and unmixed. God comforteth them when they have noth 
ing else to take comfort in : Job. xvi. 20, ' My friends scorn me, but 
mine eye poureth out tears to God.' When all friends forsake us but 
one, that one is sweeter to us than ever. Humble moans to God giveth 
us ease and comfort, notwithstanding the neglect and contempt of man ; 
and when the world undervalueth, it is enough that God approveth. 
Our delights in God are often corrupted by a mixture of sensual delights, 
so that we cannot tell what supporteth us, God or the creature, our 
remaining comforts, the help or pity of friends, or God alone. There 
fore, that the affliction may pierce the spirit, the Lord causeth it to be 
sharpened and pointed by the scorn and neglect of men, and their 
strange carriage towards us, that we may fetch our supports from him 
alone. That still we are not barred from access to the throne of grace, 
there is our cordiaj. ; that we have a God to go to, to whom we may 
make our moan, and from whose love we may derive all our comforts ; 
so David speaketh feelingly in deep afflictions : Ps. Ixiii. 3, ' Thy loving- 
kindness^is better than life/ This supplieth all his wants, and sweeteneth 
all his troubles, and giveth more comfort than what is most precious 
and desirable in the creature. I will show you how it helpeth to raise 
our love to God. There are two acts of love desire after him, and de 
light in him ; for we love a thing when we desire to enjoy it, and find 
contentment in it, being enjoyed. 

1st. Desire is the pursuit of the soul after God, desiderium unionis. 
The great act of love is an affecting of union with the thing beloved. 
Now, because of our imperfect fruition of him in this life, love mainly 
bewrayeth itself by desires of the nearest conjunction with God that 
we are capable of; and the motions of grace tend to this end, to 
conjoin us to God, or to bring God and us together ; and to this end 
tend faith and hope, and ordinances and means, the word and prayer ; 
and so sacraments, that we may get more of God. When a house is 
a-building, there are scaffolds and poles and instruments of architec 
ture used ; but when the house is finished, all these are taken away. 
So here are many means to bring us to God there is faith and hope 
and ordinances ; but when we come to the vision and fruition of him, 
all these cease, and love only remaineth. In the heavenly Jerusalem 
love is perfect, because there God is all in all. But while the distance 
pontinueth, see how the hearts of the saints worketh : Ps. Ixiii. 8, ' My 
soul followeth hard after thee ! ' All acts of the spiritual life are a 
further pursuit after God, that we may meet him here and there, and 
.we may find more of him in every duty, and be united to him in the 
nearest way of communion that we are capable of : Ps. xxvii. 4, ' One 
thing have I desired of the Lord, and that will I seek after ; that I may 
dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the 
beauty of the Lord, and inquire in his temple.' This was David's 
great desire, above all earthly desires whatsoever. But have the saints 
always this ardent and burning desire ? No, it is mightily quenched by 
the prosperity of the flesh ; when they have something on this side God 
to detain their hearts, they forget him, suck on the breasts of worldly 
consolation. You will find their desires are most earnest in affliction ; 
as David, when in a wandering condition : Ps. xlii. 1, 2, ' As the hart 
panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, God ; 


my soul thirsteth for God, yea for the living God ; when shall I come 
and appear before thee ? ; Naturalists tell us that the hart is a thirsty 
creature, especially when it hath eaten vipers ; they are inflamed thereby, 
and vehemently desire water. This emblem David chooseth to express 
his affection thereby, and his longings after God, and the means to enjoy 
God when he was in his troubles ; so the prophet Isaiah, Isa. xxvi. 9, 

* With my soul have I desired thee in the night ; yea, with my spirit 
will I seek thee right early.' He speaketh this in the person of the 
church during the time of their troubles. When God's judgments are 
abroad in the earth, then they had continual thoughts of God, and 
their endeavours were early and earnest. At other times you will find 
the church flat, cold, and more indifferent as to the testimonies of his 
favour : Jer. ii. 31, 32, 1 generation, see ye the word of the Lord ; 
have I been a wilderness unto Israel ? a land of darkness ? Wherefore 
say my people, We are lords, we will come no more unto thee ? Can a 
maid forget her ornaments ? or a bride her attire ? yet my people have 
forgotten me days without number/ They had something whereon to 
live apart from God ; therefore afflictions are necessary to quicken these 

2ndly. The other affection whereby love bewrayeth itself is by a 
delight in God ; the cream of it is reserved for heaven, but now it is 
pleasing to think of God, if the soul be in good plight : Ps. civ. 34, 

* My meditation of him shall be sweet, I will be glad in the Lord.' 
It is the solace of their hearts to entertain thoughts of God ; to speak 
of him and his gracious and wondrous works, is the contentment and 
pleasure of their souls : Eph. v. 4, ' Neither filthiness, nor foolish talk 
ing, nor jesting, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks/ 
There is their jesting, to draw nigh to him : Ps. cxxii. 1, ' I was glad 
when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord ! ' This 
is their heaven upon earth, to obey him and serve him: Ps. cxii. 
1, 'Praise ye the Lord: blessed is the man that feareth the Lord> 
that delighteth greatly in his commandments ! ' Now this delight 
is flagged, and we even grow weary of God and weary of well 
doing. We dote upon the world, and grow estranged from God 
and cold in his service, till we are quickened by sharp afflictions ; 
then we begin to mind God again, and a serious religiousness is 
revived in us. The hypocrites never mind God but in their troubles ; 
Job xxvii. 10, ' Will he always call upon God ? ' But the best saints 
need this help, and would grow dead and careless of God were it 
not for sharp corrosives. Well now, seeking after God and delighting 
in God being our great duties, we should observe how these are pro 
moted by all the troubles that befall us. 


To them that love God. ROM. viii. 28. 

Now we come to the character and notification of the persons to whom 
this great privilege doth belong. First, Their carriage towards God 
To them that love God. 

Doct. The elect are specified by this character, that they love God. 
Here I shall show you 

First, What is love to God. 

Secondly, Why this is made the evidence of our interest. 

1. What is love to God ? Love in the general is the complacency of 
the will in that whifch is apprehended to be good. The object is good, 
and love is a complacency in it. The object must be good, for evil is 
the object of our displicency and aversation. And apprehended as 
good, for otherwise we may turn from good, as evil to us. Now love 
to God is the complacency of the will in God, as apprehended to be 
good. And therefore we must consider 

~1.] The object. 

2.] The act. 

3.] The properties. 

jl.] The object. We consider God as good. There is a double 
motive in the object to excite us to love God : because he is good, and 
doth good, Ps. cxix. 68, from his nature, and from his work. 

1st. The excellency of his nature he is good. There is a threefold 
goodness in God 

[1st.] His essential goodness, which is the infinite perfection of his 

[2dly.] His moral goodness and holiness, which is the infinite per 
fection of his will. 

[3dly.] His beneficial goodness, which is the infinite propension 
that is in him to do good to the creature. All these are the object of 
our love. 

[1st.] His essential goodness should make him amiable to us ; partly 
because the glorious perfections of his nature are the object of our 
esteem, and esteem is the ground of love we affect what we prize and 
value, or else we do not really esteem, prize, and value it ; and partly 
because they are the object of our praise now we praise God for his 
excellences, to increase our love to him and delight in him; other 
wise our praise is but an empty compliment ; and partly because the 
angels and blessed spirits do admire and adore God for the excellences 
of his nature, not only for the benefits they have received by him, but 
as he is an infinite and eternal being, of glorious and incomprehensible 
majesty ; they are represented as crying out, Isa. vi. 3, ' Holy ! holy ! 
holy I Lord God of Hosts ! ' Now God must in some measure be served 
on earth as he is in heaven. Surely we should not speak, or think, 
or worship the infinite eternal God, without some act of love, holy 
delight, and pleasure : Ps. cxlvii. 1, ' Praise ye the Lord ; for it is good 
to sing praises to our God, for it is pleasant, and praise is comely ; ' so 
Ps. xcv. 1, ' Come let us sing unto the Lord, let us make a joyful noise 


to the rock of our salvation ' (and all this is the acting of love), ' for 
the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods ' (there are 
the motives) ; Ps. v. 10, ' Let them that love thy name be joyful in 
thee/ So that you see it is a great duty to delight ourselves in God's 
essential perfections. 

[2dly.] His moral goodness, or his righteousness and holiness. Surely 
this is an amiable thing, and therefore the object of our delectation. I 
prove it thus First, If holiness be lovely and pleasant in the creature, 
why not in God ? In the saints holiness doth attract our love : Ps. 
xvi. 3, ' My delight is in the saints, the excellent ones of the earth ; ' 
and Ps. xv. 4, ' In whose eyes a vile person is contemned ; but he 
honoureth them that fear the Lord/ We are to love saints as saints, 
reduplicative ; why not God as holy and righteous ? We are to love 
the law of God as it is pure, Ps. cxix. 140 ; therefore we are to love 
God, a copy of whose holiness the law is ; the same reason that doth 
enforce the one doth enforce the other. Secondly, I argue, We are to 
imitate his holiness and righteousness, therefore we are to love and 
delight in it : Eph. v. 1 , ' Be ye followers of God, as dear children ;' and 
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.' 
Now love begetteth likeness ; it is the greatest demonstration of God's 
love to us to make us like himself, and the greatest expression of 
our love to God to desire it, to endeavour after it, to value and prize 
it as our happiness ; see Ps. xvii. 15, ' As for me, I will behold thy 
face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy 

[3dly.] His beneficial goodness or benignity : Ps. c. 5, ' For the Lord 
is good ; for his mercy is everlasting ; ' therefore all his saints should 
love him. We are first led to the Lord by our own interest, and the 
benefits we have, or may have, by him : Ps. Ixxxvi. 5, ' Thou, Lord, art 
good, ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all that call upon 
thee/ This doth first attract the heart of guilty sinners to seek after 
God, but afterwards we look upon him as a lovely object in himself. 
While we look upon benignity as a moral perfection in God, without 
the fruits which flow thence to us, it is an engaging thing ; as it was 
observed heretofore that Caesar's virtues were more amiable than Cato's 
virtues. Ceesar's virtues were clemency, affability, liberality ; Cato's 
virtues, rigid justice and fidelity in his dealings : both were amiable, 
but the one more taking than the other. There is somewhat a like 
observation, Kom. v. 7, ' Scarcely for a righteous man would one die, 
but for a good man one would even dare to die/ By the righteous man 
is meant one of a severe and rigid innocency ; by a good man, a man 
bountiful and useful. To apply it : God's benignity is a thing amiable, 
though it be considered but as an attribute in God, not exercised and 
acted on us. Because this most suiteth the necessities of the indigent 
and fallen creature, therefore the scripture doth much insist upon it, 
to move us to return and seek reconciliation with him. 

2dly. He doth good, or hath been good to us. 

[1st] As in creation ; he made us out of nothing, after his own image, 
we must remember him as a creator, so as to consider the obligations 
which lie upon us to love, please, and serve him : Eccles. xii. 1, ' Ee- 


member thy creator in the days of thy youth.' All that we are and have, 
we have it from God and for God. 

[2dly.] In redemption, where we have the greatest representation of 
the goodness of God ; 1 John iv. 10, ' Herein is love, not that we loved 
God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our 
sins ; ' it is the signal instance ; and Kom. v. 8, ' Herein God commended 
his love, that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly ;' 
the fullest discovery. 

[3dly.] In the mercies of daily providence : Deut. xxx. 10, ' Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God ; for he is thy life, and the length of thy 
days/ Especially in his tender care about his people : Ps. xxxi. 33, 
' Oh ! love the Lord, all ye his saints, for the Lord preserveth his saints, 
and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer/ His hearing prayer is one 
instance : Ps. cxvi. 1, 'I will love the Lord, because he hath heard my 
voice and my supplications/ 

[4thly.] In the rewards of the other world, which are provided 
especially for them that love him : 1 Cor. ii. 9, ' Eye hath not seen, nor 
ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which 
God hath prepared for them that love him ; ' and 1 John iii. 1, 2, 
' Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that 
we should be called the sons of God. Behold now we are the sons of 
God, and it doth not 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/ 
Thus God is an object of our love. 

[2.] The act. It is the complacency and well-pleasedness of the soul 
in God as an all-sufficient portion. This implieth 

(1.) A desire or earnest seeking after God in the highest way of 
enjoyment we are capable of here ; and so those mercies are most 
valued which are nearest to himself, and show us most of God, and do 
least detain us from him, his favour, and image ; or to mention but one, 
his sanctifying grace and Spirit ; and therefore his saints are described 
to be those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, Mat. v. 6 ; they 
earnestly desire to be like God in purity and holiness. And his sanctify 
ing Spirit is the surest pledge of God's love : Kom. v. 5, ' Because the love 
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit given us ; ' and 
doth most help us to love him again : Kom. viii. 15, ' And have received 
the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father/ Other gifts, that 
conduce to please the flesh may keep us from him, as wealth, honour, 
and pleasures ; but saving grace, as it cometh from God, so it carrieth 
us to him. 

(2.) A delight in him. So far as they enjoy God, they delight in him : 
Ps. iv. 6, 7, ' Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon us ; thou 
hast put gladness in my heart more than in the time when their corn 
and wine increased/ His favour is life, his displeasure as death to 
their soul c Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled/ Ps. xxx. 7. 
They look upon God reconciled as the best friend, and God displeased 
as the most dreadful adversary. 

(3.) It is their comfort and solace that they shall more perfectly see 
him and be like him in the other world to which they are tending, 
when they shall behold their glorified Kedeemer, and their own nature 
united to the Godhead, and their persons admitted into the nearest 


intuition and fruition of God they are capable of, and live in the fullest 
love to him and delight in him : Kom. v. 2, ' We rejoice in hope of the 
glory of God.' 

(4.) They are so satisfied with this that their great business is to please 
God and be accepted with him : 2 Cor. v. 9, ' Wherefore we labour, 
that whether present or absent, we may be accepted with him.' 

[3.] The properties of this love. 

(1.) It is not a speculative, but a practical love. Some please them 
selves with fancies and airy religion, that consist in lofty strains of devo 
tion, and fellow-like familiarity with God ; but the true love is seen in 
obedience : John xiv. 15, ' If ye love me, keep my commandments ; ' 
and 1 John v. 3, ' For this is the love of God, that we keep his com 
mandments.' Our love is a love of duty ; we have such a deep sense 
of the majesty of God, such an esteem of his favour, that we dare not 
hazard it by doing anything which may be a breach of our duty, or a 
grief to his Spirit, or a dishonour to his name. 

(2.) It is not a transient, but a fixed love ; not a pang of zeal for 
the present, but a radicated inclination towards God, or a deep impres 
sion left upon the heart, which disposeth it to seek his glory and do 
his will ; the bent of the mind is to God and heaven. They do not 
choose him for their portion only, but cleave to him ; all their desire 
and endeavour is to please, glorify, and enjoy God. Some have good 
inclinations, but they are as unstable as water, being divided between 
God and the world, James i. 8 ; but these allow no rival and com 
petitor with God in the soul : Ps. Ixxiii. 25, ' Whom have I in heaven 
but thee ? and there is none on earth that I desire besides thee/ 

(3.) It is not a cold, but a fervent love. We are not to love God after 
any sort, remissly, coldly, but with the greatest vigour and intension 
of affection ; so it runneth, Mat. xxii. 37, ' Thou shalt love the Lord 
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
might/ Many words are heaped together to increase the sense that our 
love may be a growing love, quickened and heightened to a further 

1st It is God that is loved, not the creature. Thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thyself, but God with all thy heart. In a moral considera 
tion there are three beings God, neighbour, self. There is a law 
that you should love God, and a law that you should love your neigh 
bour ; but where is the positive law that you should love yourselves ? 
Turn over the scriptures, and you will find nothing of this. There 
are laws to restrain self-love, none to excite it ; in this we need no 
teacher ; there is something in our bosoms to prompt us to love our 
selves, therefore it is rather supposed than enforced. Paul's adverbs 
are emphatical, Titus ii. 12, ' that we should live soberly, righteously, 
and godly.' What is it to live godly, but to esteem, love, reverence, and 
serve God with all our heart and all our strength ? And to live justly 
as to our neighbour, what is it but to love our neighbour as ourself ? 
* What ye would that men should do unto you, do ye the same to them/ 
What is it to live soberly as to ourselves, but that our self-love should 
be moderated, that we should abstain from all unlawful and superfluous 
pleasures, and use the lawful ones sparingly, as meat, drink, clothing, 
recreation, unless we would have our souls choked or snared ? Self- 



love hath so filled the hearts of men that there is no room, or little 
room, left for the love of God or our neighbour ; but yet there is a 
measure set how we should love our neighbour, but we cannot over-love 
God ; there all the heart, all the soul, all the might ; it is modus sine 
modo, mensura sine mensura, et terminus sine termino ; here no excess 
or hyperbole hath any place. 

Idly. The nature of the object loved. God is infinitely and eternally 
good, therefore we must love God without any exceptions and restric 
tions. As the object of love is goodness, so the measure of the 
goodness is the measure of the love : a greater good must be loved 
more, and a lesser good must be loved less. Somewhat besides God 
may be good, but it is finite and limited ; the creature is a particular 
good, and our love to it is a particular limited love. God only is a sea 
of goodness without banks and without bottom ; therefore our love to 
God is not limited 'by the object, but the narrowness of the faculty. 
God in this life is seen darkly, and so also loved, for our love doth 
not exceed our knowledge. That is our defect : God deserveth more. 

3c%. God is loved ut finis, as the last end, and all other things ut 
media ad finem. Now common reason will tell us that the end is 
desired without measure, and the means in a certain respect and 
proportion to the end. As, for instance, when you are sick you send 
for the physician, the end is health ; the medicaments and prescrip 
tions are the means ; the end you intend absolutely, but the means 
you would have used in a just measure, and with respect to the end. 
Fasting is prescribed in measure, and blood-letting in measure ; the 
potions neither too bitter nor too strong, nor in too great quantity. 
You do not fear to be made too well, or too healthy, or too strong ; this 
is your end. A man that giveth up himself to a scholar's life, his end 
is learning, he doth not fear to be too learned ; yet too much reading 
is a weariness to the flesh, and dulleth the mind. There is a greater 
largeness about the end than about the means. Now God is the chief 
good, and so the last end ; therefore all the heart and all the soul and 
all the mind. Surely not a cold, but a high and strong love is due 
to him. 

Stilly. Because of the wonders of his love towards us. The highest 
angel doth not love God with such a love as he loveth the meanest 
saints ; and shall we love him coldly and faintly who hath loved us at 
eo high a rate ? I will not speak of his love which he showed us in 
creation, when as yet we had no being: he made us after his own 
image, and lords of the visible world, with bodies so exactly contrived, 
and souls endowed with such excellent faculties ; but I will speak of 
the wonders of his love in our redemption, that when we were enemies 
he sent his Son to die for us. I urge this, I press this ; this is enough 
for my purpose : God so loved the world, so much above the concep 
tion or thought of men and angels, that his Son came in the similitude 
of sinful flesh, and died for us. Now, as one fire kindleth another, so 
should this love beget a like love in us ' We love him, because he 
loved us first/ 1 John iv. 19. 

(4.) I need scarce add that it must be a superlative love that God 
must be loved above all other things ; above the creature, above our 
selves ; not to be respected as an inferior good, nor merely as equal 


unto any, but above all, or else we do not at all love him. We cannot 
love him so much as he deserveth to be loved, for so God only loveth 
himself ; we cannot love him so much as the glorified saints and 
angels love him, for we are not yet perfect ; we do not love him as 
some eminent saints in flesh, because we, it may be, are novices, or 
because of our negligence ; but we must love him more than any other 
thing is loved ; we must love him above all, and all in and for God, 
or else we are not sincere: Mat. x. 37, 'He that loveth father or 
mother more than me is not worthy of me.' Some have a partial 
half-love to God when they have a greater love to other things ; then 
religion will be an underling, and God's interest least minded. If 
anything be nearer and dearer to us than God, and the advantages we 
expect from men are preferred before the conscience of our duty to 
him, we cannot be upright and faithful to Christ. 

Secondly, Why is this made the evidence of our interest in this 
privilege ? Why those that love God, rather than those that believe 
in him, especially since faith is the immediate fruit of effectual 
calling ? 

I answer, 1. The apostle speaketh of the children of God, and 
children will love their father. What more natural ? what more 
kindly ? They are regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit for this 
end : Gal. iv. 6, ' Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit 
of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.' An heart inclined 
to God cannot keep away from him. 

2. Of children that belong to the gospel dispensation. Now they 
that love God are the only gospel Christians, being deeply possessed 
with that love which God hath showed to us in Christ : 1 John iv. 
19, 'We love him because he loved us first/ Now we see greater 
reasons of loving God, and are taught a more perfect way of loving 
God. We know God more, and feel more and taste more of his 
love : Luke vii. 47, ' Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are 
many, are forgiven, for she loved much ; but to whom little is forgiven, 
the same loveth little/ 

3. This gospel estate we enter into by faith. Now faith is such a 
believing of God's love to us in Christ as giveth us a lively sense of it 
in our souls. It is not a bare apprehension, a hearsay-knowledge, but 
a taste that we have by faith: 1 John iv. 16, 'And we have known 
and believed the love that God hath to us ; ' and 1 Peter ii. 3, ' If so be 
ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.' Whatever of the love of 
God faith apprehendeth and feeleth, begetteth love again, Gal. v. 6. 
Knowledge and faith and hope are but the bellows to keep in this 
holy fire, to work our hearts to love God. 

4. This faith is the fruit of effectual calling, which is a great expres 
sion of God's love to us who were so unworthy, 2 Tim. i. 9, and 
passing by thousands and ten thousands who were all as good as we, 
and we as deep in the common pollution as they, and in outward 
respects were far better and more considerable, great, wise, and learned : 
1 Cor. i. 26, ' Ye see your calling, brethren, that not many wise men 
after the flesh, not many noble, are called.' And called us to such 
dignity and honour and blessedness : 1 Peter iii. 9, ' Knowing that ye 
are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing;' 1 Thes.ii. 12, 


' That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called us to his king 
dom and glory/ It was not our will nor our worth that moved him, 
but his own love. Now this love calleth for love again: God loveth 
first, best, and most ; but yet we should love as we can, love to our 
utmost ; that which was begun in love on God's part should be accom 
panied with love on ours. 

5. This effectual calling is the fruit of God's eternal purpose, which 
he purposed in himself, to save us by Christ. Vocation is actual 
election, the first eruption and breaking out of his eternal purpose. 
For as God distinguished us from others who lay in the same polluted 
mass of mankind by the purpose of his grace before time, so he 
actually calleth us out from others in time, to be a people to himself ; 
therefore vocation is called election, John xv. 19. Now in God's free 
election we have the* clearest view of his love and our great obligations 
to God. And therefore what should more excite our love and grati 
tude ? This was ancient love before we or the world had a being ; it 
was the design God travailed with from all eternity. And who are we, 
that the thoughts of God should be taken up about us so long ago ? It 
is love purposed and designed ; his heart is set upon it to do us good ; 
it was not a thing of chance, but forelied and fore-ordained. If one 
doth us a kindness that lieth in his way, and when opportunity doth 
fairfy invite him, he is friendly to us ; but when he studieth to do us 
good, it is more obliging. This is a feast long in preparing, to make 
all things ready for our acceptance, therefore this calleth for love. 

6. This purpose is followed with his watchful and powerful provi 
dence, guiding and ordering all things, that it may not miscarry and 
lose its effect, which is as great and sensible an argument of the love 
of God as can be propounded to us : Job vii. 17, 18, ' What is man, 
that thou shouldest magnify him ? and that thou shouldest set thine 
heart upon him ? and that thou shouldest visit him every morning, 
and try him every moment ? ' If a prince should form the manners 
of a beggar's child, and watch him at every turn, it would be a great 
condescension. When others are spilt on the great common of the 
world by a looser providence, they are a peculiar people, who have a 
special interest in his love and care, and his charge. Now the scrip 
ture delighteth to suit qualifications and privileges : Ps. xxxi. 14, * I 
trusted in thee, Lord ; I said, Thou art my God ; ' Isa. Iviii. 13, 14, 
' If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure 
on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, 
honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, not 
finding thine own pleasure, not speaking thine own words ; then shalt 
thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon 
the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob 
thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it ; ' Ps. xci. 1, 
* He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide 
under the shadow of the Almighty.' So here, God's love, expressed in 
his mindfulness and vigilancy over our affairs, should excite our love 
to him again, and our love will be highly recompensed by his care and 
mindfulness of us. 

^ 7. These believers and called ones are considered as afflicted, and 
his purpose is to arm them against the bitterness of the cross. Nothing 


so fit for this use as love ; if we did love God, the burden of afflictions 
would be light and easy to be borne, because it is from God it cometh, 
John xviii. 11. Love is the fittest grace to bring the heart to submit to 
God. Love God once, and nothing that he saith or doth will be 
unacceptable to you ; his commands will not be grievous, nor his pro 
vidences grievous ; our desires will be after him when his hand is most 
smart and heavy upon us ; and when sense representeth him as an 
enemy, yet we cannot keep off from him : Isa. xxvi. 8, 'In the way of 
thy judgments, Lord, we have waited for thee : the desire of our 
soul is unto thee, and to the remembrance of thy name.' 

8. Not only with ordinary afflictions, but troubles for their fidelity 
to Christ ; love will endure much for God, as well as receive much 
from him: James i. 12, 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptations; 
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which he hath 
promised to them that love him.' Mark, it is not said to them that 
fear him or trust in him, but them that love him ; because it is love 
that maketh us hold out in temptations, love that engageth us to zeal 
and constancy, that overcometh all difficulties and oppositions for God's 
sake. Nihil est quod non tolerat, qui perfecte diligit ; he that loveth 
much, will suffer much. He cordially adhereth to God with courage 
and resolution of mind, and is not daunted with sufferings : Cant. viii. 
7, ' Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it ; 
if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would 
utterly be contemned/ Love is not bribed nor quenched. Where love 
prevaileth upon the heart, we shall esteem nothing too much or too 
dear to be parted with for God's sake. As in these troubles God's love 
is best known and discovered to us, so our love to God is best known 
and discovered also ; the more we love God, the more sensible do we 
find it, and are persuaded that all things shall work together for good; 
your title is clearer, experience greater : 1 Cor. viii. 3, ' If any man 
love God, the same is known of him ; ' that is, owned by him in the 
course of his providence. If we are sanctified to God, all things would 
be sanctified to us. It is otherwise with hypocrites : if God endow 
them with gifts, they prove a snare to them ; but if you love God 
above all, count his favour your happiness, and make pleasing of God 
your constant work, and resolve to obey him at the dearest rates, you 
will soon find this testimony of God's love ; then all the influences of 
his eternal love and grace shall be made out to you, and his external 
providence doth help you on in the way to heaven ; for a man that 
loveth God as his chief good shall never be a loser by him. 

9. This is a sure and sensible note of effectual calling; for as sincere 
faith is the immediate fruit of it, so true faith cannot be severed from 
love. This is that which maketh us saints indeed ; but without it, what 
ever gifts and parts we have, whatever knowledge and utterance, we are 
nothing, 1 Cor. xiii. 1-3. There may be many convictions, and pur 
poses, and wishes, and good meanings in those who are yet but under 
a common work; but till there be a thorough fixed bent of heart 
towards God, as our last end and chief good, we have not a sure 
evidence of grace, or that our calling home to God is accomplished. 
Many a thought there is of the goodness of God, the necessity of a saviour, 
the love of Christ, and the joys of heaven ; yet after all this, the heart 


may be unrenewed and unsanctified till this addictedness and devoted- 
ness to God ; for it is not every wish or minding of Christ, but a 
hearty, sincere affection, which is required of us as to our title : Eph. 
vi. 24, * Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in 
sincerity ; ' not for a time, not with an ineffectual love, or upon some 
foreign motives, but have this habitual love which constituteth the 
new heart. Well then, this is a sure mark of one that hath interest 
in the love of God, and one of those marks which is best known to the 
person that hath it ; for love to Christ cannot be well hidden, but will 
be easily discerned. 

Use, To inform us that these are for the present excepted out of this 
privilege that do not sincerely love God, and love him above all. 

They are of two sorts 

1. Some have a weak and imperfect motion of their wills a wish, a 
faint desire to please God in all, and above all things ; but being over 
come by their own lusts, they do not simply and absolutely desire it, ' 
and had rather please their fleshly lusts than please God ; at least the 
event doth so declare it. You give God nothing, if you do not give 
him all the heart. We are so to love God and seek his glory and do his 
will when it is cross to our carnal interest ; his favour must be valued 
as our happiness, and the pleasing of him made our greatest work ; 
and for his sake we must be content to suffer anything, though nover 
BO hard and difficult and contrary to our nature. Let not such say 
they love God that cannot deny a lust for him, nor will not for his sake 
venture the loss of anything that is dear to them, either goods, or 
liberty, or favour of men, or preferment, or credit. Pilate was loth 
to venture the Jews' displeasure ; the Gadarenes would part with Christ 
rather than their swine ; surely if we put the love of God to hazard upon 
light occasions, we do not love him, nor count his favour our supreme- 

2. Others have a deliberate resolution, and seem for the present 
absolutely and seriously to please God in all things, and keep his com 
mandments ; but they do not verify it in their conversations. Their 
purposes and resolutions are not dissembled for the present, but yet 
soon changed ; they neither keep the commandments of God nor study 
to please him ; there is a moral sincerity in them, but not a super 
natural sincerity. Wherein differ they ? The moral sincerity is a 
dictate of conscience, but the supernatural sincerity is a fruit of heart- 
changing grace. What shall we do, then ? Beg such a heart of God : 
Deut. v. 29, ' Oh that there were such a heart within them, that they 
would fear me, and keep my commandments always/ God showeth 
what we should do ; convinced conscience showeth what purposes and 
resolutions we should make, but a converted heart is only able to keep- 
them. That must be sought of God, and all good means must be used 
that these purposes that we conceive to be sincere may be found to be 
so. And God will not fail the striving and endeavouring soul, that 
seeketh to persevere in its holy will and purpose to obey and please 
God ; but by internal grace and external providence will help us onward 
in our course to heaven. But if we depend upon our purposes and 
resolutions made in solemn duties, with a clear conscience, and with 
a deliberate and seemingly resolved will, without those subsequent 


endeavours which evidence they come from a renewed heart, alas ! they 
will soon come to nothing. 

Use 2. To exhort us to the love of God. The more you love him 
your title is the clearer, experience greater, hopes of eternal life stronger. 

1. Consider these two things God is lovely in himself, and hath 
loved us. 

[1.] That God is lovely in himself, because of his wisdom and great 
ness, as well as because of his benignity. We are, or may be, soon per 
suaded that we ought to love him as the fountain of all goodness ; but the 
other attributes should attract and draw our hearts also. I shall add this 
argument to all the rest : Whatever engageth us to adhere to God as an 
all-sufficient portion, that is certainly a motive of our love ; for love is 
nothing else but a delightful adhesion to God. Now his infinitely glorious 
essence, dominion, and power, engage us to adhere to him ; therefore we 
must press you to consider the excellency of his nature, evidenced in 
the absolute dominion of his providence and holiness of his laws. We 
would have you consider neither with the exclusion of the other ; not his 
greatness without his goodness, nor his benignity and goodness without 
his greatness, neither of both without his holiness ; all maketh our love 
more strong and regular. 

[2.] He hath loved us in what he hath done already, in what he hath 
prepared for us. 

(1.) In what he hath done already in Christ, which showeth that 
God is love : John iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, that he gave his 
only-begotten Son ; ' 1 John iv. 10, ' Herein is love, not that we loved 
God, but he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our 

(2.) In what he will do. He hath greater benefits to give us than 
what he hath already given : James ii. 5, ' God hath chosen the poor 
of the world, rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom which he hath pro 
mised to them that love him ; ' not to learned, rich benefactors, but to 
them that love him, and are willing to do and suffer anything for his 
sake : 1 Peter ii. 9, * But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, 
a holy nation, a peculiar people ; that you should show forth the praise 
of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light/ 

2. That love runneth a- wasting on the creature. That is ruinous and 
destructive, this conduces to our good ; if we suffer loss here, it will 
be recompensed by a greater benefit. 

I come now to the last clause Who are called according to purpose. 
Doct. The effectually called are those that love God, and are 
beloved by him. 
Let me speak 

1. Of the several kinds of calling. 

2. The properties of effectual calling- 

3. The ends of it. 

First, Let us distinguish the several kinds of calling 
1. There is a twofold calling proper and improper. 
[1.] The improper call is the general and common invitation of all 
men in the world, by the works of creation and providence, by all 
which God inviteth men to seek after him. The work of creation, 
Acts xvii. 27. All God's works have a tongue, and a voice proclaiming 


and crying up an infinite and eternal power, who is the fountain of 
our being and happiness ; so Bom. i. 20, ' The invisible things of 
God, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood 
from the things which are made; ' Ps. xix. 1, 'The heavens declare 
the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.' !NV 
man can look seriously upon the works of creation, but this thought 
will arise in his mind, that all this was made by a powerful, wise, and 
good God. He telleth us, ver. 3, ' There is no speech and language 
where their voice is not heard ; ' though it be not an articulate, yet it 
is a very intelligible voice. They in effect speak to every nation in 
their own language, that there is an eternal God, who must be sought 
after and worshipped and served. And as the works of creation, so 
the works of providence, whether for good or evil. Good : Acts xiv. 17, 
' Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, in that he did good/ 
The comfortable passages of providence are a pregnant, full, and clear 
testimony that the government of the world is in the hands of a good 
God. So afflictive providences ; some of God's works have a louder 
and more distinct voice than others : Micah vi. 9, ' The Lord's voice 
crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name ; hear 
ye the rod, and who hath appointed it ; ' or if you suppose that con- 
cerneth the church, take Rom. i. 18, 'For the wrath of God is 
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of 
men.' God doth discipline and instruct the world by his judgments, 
that he is holy, just, and true. God's works speak to us, only we must 
take heed of a deaf ear ; non-attentiveness to God's providence made 
way for the prevalency of atheism and idolatry in the world. There 
are two propositions, that, if well minded and improved, would preserve 
a lively remembrance of God in the hearts of men that all good 
cometh from God : James i. 17, ' Every good and perfect gift is from 
above, and cometh down from the Father of lights ; ' and all evil 
from God : Amos iii. 6, ' Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord 
hath not done it ? ' and that any notable effect in either kind is a 
sign and witness of an invisible power. If men would not look upon 
all things that befall them as mere chances, they could not sleep so 
securely in their sins ; but God would have a greater testimony in 
every man's bosom that he hath a care of human affairs, and is a 
rewarder of such as please him, and an avenger of such as do offend 
him. The question about this improper calling is, What is the use of 
it ? or whether it be sufficient to salvation ? 

(1.) Though the works of creation and providence reveal a God, 
yet these natural apostles, sun, moon, and stars, say nothing of Christ, 
and there is salvation in no other, Acts iv. 12. They did teach the 
world that there is a God, and that this God must be served, and will 
be terrible to those that serve him not ; and possibly that God was 
placable, or willing to be appeased, because of the continuance of the 
creation, and the manifold mercies we lost or forfeited by our apostasy 
and defection from htm. The apostle saith it is an invitation to 
repentance, Rom. ii. 4. Yet the knowledge of Jesus Christ the Son of 
God, and of redemption purchased to lost sinners through him, is a 
mystery which the greatest wits in the world could not understand 
but by God's reveahng it in his word. 


(2.) The use of this call to those that have no other, but barely it, 
is to leave men without excuse, Kom. i. 20 ; and that it might pre 
vail to work some restraint of sin, and to promote some external 
reformation in the world, for the good of mankind, Rom. ii. 14. 

(3.) Those who have a louder call in the word are the more obliged 
to regard this call and invitation by the works of God's creation and 
providence. The call by the word is more perfect and more pressing, 
and suited more to work upon our thoughts, the object being more 
clearly and fully propounded to us. Yet this latter call is not privative, 
but accumulative; it doth not null the duty of the former call, or 
make it wholly useless to us, but helps us to interpret it the better, 
and we need all helps. Faith doth not withdraw itself from natural 
knowledge, and make it useless to us. Though we are to exercise 
ourselves in the law of God day and night, yet we must not overlook 
the works of creation and providence, and whilst we study his word, 
neglect God's works ; for they are a confirmation of our faith, and a 
great occasional help to our love, as appeareth by the instructions 
which the holy men of God gather thence ; witness David's night medi 
tation, Ps. viii., ' Thy moon and thy stars ; ' and his morning meditation, 
Ps. xix., ' The heavens declare the glory of God/ The glories of God 
which we read of in the word are visible in the creation ; and though 
David preferreth the book of scripture, yet he doth not lay aside the 
book of nature. We must use the world as a glass, wherein to see the 
glory of God. He hath not the heart of a man in him who is not 
stricken with admiration at the sight of these things the glory of the 
heavenly bodies, and the wonderful variety of all creatures; and 
besides, there is none so good, but he needeth the mercy and direction 
of God to invite him to a more frequent remembrance of him. How 
happy are they that have such a God for their God 1 How miserable 
they that make him their judge and avenger ! 

[2.] The proper calling is the voice of God in the word of his grace 
inviting sinners to Christ. This is called distinctly his calling : Eph. 
i. 18, ' That ye may know what is the hope of his calling ; ' and the 
' high calling of God in Jesus Christ/ Phil. iii. 14 ; and again, c That 
our God would count you worthy of his calling/ 2 Thes. i. 11 ; and 
explained, 1 Cor. i. 9, ' Faithful is he which hath called you into the 
fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord/ Now this is a more 
close and full discovery of God than is to be found elsewhere ; God 
calleth and inviteth some by the creatures only, others by his grace in 

But this being calling most properly taken, why is it not vouchsafed 
to all ? I answer- 

(1.) God is not obliged to send the gospel to any; it is his free 
dispensation : Eom. xi. 35, ( Or who hath first given to him, and it 
shall be recompensed to him again ? ' God doth not send the gospel 
by necessity of nature, or any pre-obligation on the creature's part, but 
merely of his own grace, which worketh most freely, and sendeth it 
where it pleaseth him. 

(2.) All have more knowledge of God by nature than they make 
good use of: Rom. i, 21, 'When they knew God, they glorified him 
not as God/ And till men improve a lower dispensation, why should 


they be trusted with a higher ? If a vessel will not hold water, you 
will not trust wine, or any more precious liquor in it. 

2. God's gracious invitation of lost sinners to Christ, which properly 
is his calling them, is either external or internal ; external by the word, 
internal by his Spirit. 

[1.] External, by the commands and promises of the word, requiring 
euch duties from them, and assuring them of such blessings upon 
obedience. Thus Wisdom's maidens are sent forth to invite guests to 
her palace, Prov. iv. 2 ; and the king's servants to call them to the 
marriage-feast, Mat. xxii. 9 ; and so far they prevail in their message, 
that many present themselves. God would not leave us to a book, 
but hath appointed a living ministry, 2 Cor. vi. 10. 

[2.] Internal, not only by the word, but by his Spirit, and the 
checks of their ownxonscience, which is a nearer approach of his grace 
and power to us. By the motions of his Spirit ; how else could it be 
said, Gen. vi. 3, ' My Spirit shall not always strive with man ' ? and 
Acts vii. 51, ' Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost ' ? And also by their 
consciences soliciting them to the performance of their duty, and 
challenging them for the neglect of it. It is natural duty : Kom. ii. 
14, 15, * The Gentiles do by nature the things contained in the law ; 
these, having not the law, are a law to themselves, which show the 
works of the law written in their hearts ; their consciences also bearing 
witness, and their thoughts in the meanwhile accusing or excusing 
one another.' And for acceptance of the gospel-covenant : 1 John iii. 
20, 21, ' If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and 
knoweth all things ; if our heart condemn us not, then have we con 
fidence towards God/ 

3. This external and internal calling may be ineffectual or effectual. 
[1.] The ineffectual call consists in the bare tender and offer of 

grace, but is not entertained. God may knock at the door of the heart 
that doth not open to him ; knock by the word, knock by the motions 
of the Spirit and checks of conscience ; so, c many are called, but few 
are chosen/ Mat. xxii. 14. There is not the fruit of election, nor are 
these the called according to purpose. 

[2.] The effectual call is when God changeth the heart, and bringeth 
it home to himself by Jesus Christ. We are not only invited to Christ, 
but come to him by the strength and power of his own grace : John 
vi. 44, * No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent 
me, draw him/ When we yield to the call ; as Paul, who was extra 
ordinarily called, saith, Acts xxvi. 19, ' I was not disobedient to the 
heavenly vision;' we have his .consent and resignation recorded : Acts 
ix. 6, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' He yieldeth up the 
keys of his heart, that Christ may come and take possession. In an 
ordinary call : 2 Cor. viii. 5, ' They first gave themselves to the Lord ;' 
it is in other places expressed by our receiving or embracing Christ, 
John i. 12, both are implied our thankful accepting of Christ, and 
our giving up ourselves to him ; they both go together, and where the 
one is, the other is also. In every covenant there is ratio dati, et ac- 
cepti, something given and something required : Christ and his bene 
fits, and what we have, are, and do, both are an answer to God's call. 

Secondly, The properties of effectual calling. 


1. It is a holy calling : 2 Tim. i. 9, ' Who hath called us with an 
holy calling ;' and it is also a heavenly calling : Heb. iii. 1, ' Partakers 
of the heavenly calling:' because we are called to duties and privileges, 
these must not be severed ; some are forward to the privileges of the 
calling, but backward to the duties thereof. A good Christian must 
mind both, the privileges to take him off from the false happiness, and 
the duties that he may return to his obedience to God ; the one is the 
way and means to come to the other ; for it is said, he hath ' called us 
to glory and virtue,' 2 Peter i. 3 ; meaning by glory, eternal life, and by 
virtue, grace and holiness. In the way that God offereth it we embrace 
it ; we heartily consent to seek after eternal glory in the way of faith 
and holiness ; and so by it the heart is turned by Christ from the 
creature to God, from sin to holiness. 

Thirdly, The ends of effectual calling, both on God's part and the 

1. On God's part, that God may show his wisdom, power, and 

[1.] His wisdom is seen partly in the way and means that God 
taketh to convert sinners to himself. There is a sweet contemperation 
and mixture of wisdom and power ; there is no violence offered to the 
will of the creatures, nor the liberty of second causes taken away, and 
yet the effect is obtained. The proposal of good to the understanding 
and will, by the secret power of the Lord's grace, is made effectual ; 
and at the same time we are taught and drawn : John vi. 44, 45, ' No 
man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw 
him; as it is written in the prophets, They shall all be taught of 
God ; every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, 
cometh to me.' There is opening blind eyes, and turning a hard 
heart, Acts xxvi. 18. He worketh strongly like himself, sweetly with 
respect to us, that he may not oppress the liberty of our faculties ; and 
the convert, at the same time, is made willing by his own choice, and 
effectually cured by God's grace ; so that Christ cometh conqueringly 
into the heart, and yet not by force, but by consent. We are trans 
formed, but so as we prove what the good and acceptable will of the 
Lord is, Kom. xii. 2. The power of God and the liberty of man do 
sweetly consist together ; and we have at the same time a new heart 
and a free spirit, and the powerful efficacy of his grace doth not destroy 
the consent and good liking of the sinner. The will is moved, and 
also changed and renewed. In the persuasive and moral way of 
working, God taketh the most likely course to gain the heart of man, 
discovering himself to us as a God of kindness and mercy, ready to 
pardon and forgive : Ps. cxxx. 4, ' But there is forgiveness with thee, 
that thou mayest be feared ;' for guilty creatures would stand aloof 
off from a condemning God. No, God hath laid the foundation of the 
offer of his grace in the highest demonstration of his love and good 
ness that ever could come into the ears of man to hear, or could enter 
into the heart of man to conceive viz., in giving his Son to die for a 
sinful world : 2 Cor. v. 19, 20, ' To wit, that God was in Christ, recon 
ciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, 
and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we 
are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us ; we 




pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God/ And not only in 
the offers of pardon, but eternal life and blessedness, eo infinitely be 
yond the false happiness that our carnal self-love inclineth us unto, 
that it is a shame and disgrace to our reason to think that these things 
are worthy to be compared in any serious debate, or that all the plea 
sures and honours and profits we dote upon should come in competition 
with that blessed immortality and life which is brought to light in the 
gospel, 2 Tim. i. 10. And powerful grace goeth along with all this, 
to make it effectual, partly in the time of conversion, taking us in our 
month, and that season which is fittest for the glory of his grace. 
Some are called in the morning, some at noon, some in the evening of 
their age ; as Mat. xx. 3-6, &c., some were hired to go into the vine 
yard at the third, some the ninth, some the eleventh hour. That any 
believe in Christ at all is mercy ; that some believe in him sooner, 
some later, is the Lord's wise ordering. He that is called betimes may 
consider God's goodness, which broke out so early, before he longer 
provoked him, and contracted a habit of evil customs, and that God 
instructed him betimes to take heed of sin, and spending his fresh and 
flowery youth in the service of the devil ; whereas, otherwise, lost days 
and months and years would have been a perpetual grief to him. He 
that is called at the latter end of his days, having so many sins upon 
him, may be quickened to glorify God, that he would not refuse him 
at last, nor despise him for all his rebellions, nor remember against 
him the sins of his youth, that a long and an old enemy should be 
taken into favour. God knoweth how best to gain upon every heart. 
And partly in the means and occasions which God useth to convert us. 
It is many times dispensed in a contrary way to human expectation : 
Paul when pursuing the people of God, some when scoffing and mock 
ing, at least when they dreamt of no such matter. But of that here 

[2.] In this effectual calling God showeth forth his love and grace. 

(1.) That the rise of all was his elective love. None are in time 
effectually called but those that before all time were chosen to life ; 
for it is said here, * called according to purpose/ From all eternity he 
had a purpose to be thus gracious to us. Those that were in the cor 
rupt mass of mankind are distinguished from others in his eternal 
purpose before the foundations of the world, and were in time called 
out from others ; and vocation is but election broken out, therefore 
called election. Trace the stream till you find the well-head, and you 
will discern that you can ascribe your calling to nothing else, but 
1 even so, Father, because it pleased thee,' Mat. xi. 26. God before 
time elected us; in the fulness of time Christ gave a ransom to provoked 
justice for us ; and in due time the effects of God's eternal love and 
Christ's purchase are applied, and so we come to have a right to the 
blessedness we were chosen unto and was purchased for us. Oh! 
admire this grace ! 

(2.) God needed us not ; he had an only Son to delight in, Prov. 
viii. 31 ; millions of angels to serve him, Dan. vii. 10. What loss 
would it be to him if the world of mankind had been destroyed ? Acts 
xvii. 25, ' God is not worshipped with men's hands, as if he needed 
anything/ No, to the fulness of his happiness nothing can be added. 


(3.) He was highly provoked and offended by us, for we had cast 
off the mercies of our creation, and from his creatures were become 
his rebels. And then, ' in due time Christ died for the ungodly/ Rom. 
v. 6 ; and upon his death and propitiation is the offer grounded. 
Sinners are called to repentance, Mat. ix. 13. 

(4.) Great was our misery we fell into by reason of sin : Eph. ii. 3, 
' Children of wrath/ Indeed we were senseless of our misery, careless 
of our remedy, loth to come out of that wretched estate into which 
we had plunged ourselves : John iii. 19, ' And this is the condemna 
tion, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather 
than light, because their deeds were evil/ Oh ! what mercy was this ! 
that God had such pityvand compassion upon us, when we had none 
upon ourselves. How freely then did he love us ! How powerful did 
he work upon us ! calling and conquering, ruling and overruling all 
matters wherein we were concerned, that he might convert us to 

(5.) That he should call us who were so inconsiderable, when others 
were left to perish in sins : 1 Cor. i. 26, * Ye see your calling, brethren, 
how that not many wise men after the flesh are called/ When so 
many were passed by who are before us in outward respects, learned, 
great, and wise, and God showed mercy to us, we were as deep in the 
common pollution as they, and for many natural abilities and perfec 
tions came far short of them, surely this is merely the love and good 
pleasure of God. 

(6.) This calling bringeth us into such an estate as intituleth us to 
the peculiar and special protection of God. We are his charge, that 
he may guide all things about us for his own glory and our good. 
This is intimated in the text. When once you believe God's offers, 
and yield hearty obedience to them, you are a peculiar people. Why ? 
Because called out of darkness into his marvellous light, 1 Peter ii. 9. 
All his creatures are the work of his hands, and under the disposal 
of his providence; but you have -a special propriety and peculiar 
interest in his love and care, whom he will maintain, and never 

(7.) By this calling you are interested in his kingdom and glory to 
be had hereafter ; for it is said, 1 Peter iii. 9, ' You are called to inherit 
a blessing ;' that is, a blessedness, which consists in the clear vision 
and full fruition of God. Surely they that were naturally under the 
curse should be more apprehensive of this great privilege. 

[3.] It is an act of power : Rom. iv. 17, ' Even God, who quickeneth 
the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were/ 
God only can work so great a change by his creating power, which 
spake all things out of nothing. Certainly, he that can do what he 
will both in heaven and in earth, Ps. cxxxv. 3, can subdue the heart 
of man when he pleaseth. The will of man, though never so deeply 
engaged in a course of sin and wickedness, cannot resist it, but yieldeth 
to it : Ps. ex. 3, ' They shall be a willing people in the day of thy 
power ;' of graceless they become gracious, of unwilling, willing. And 
God showeth more power in this than in his other works, for here is a 
principle of resistance ; as to break a skittish horse is more than to roll 
a stone. 


2. The ends with respect to man. It is a great mercy, this external, 
internal, and effectual calling, take it all together. 

[1.] It giveth us notice of the remedy provided for us by the pro 
pitiation of Christ, and the covenant founded thereupon. Light is come 
into the world, John iii. 19 a sure way to direct us to true happi 
ness ; without it the world had been a dark dungeon, wherein guilty 
malefactors are for a while permitted to live. 

[2.] This calling bringeth home this grace to us, and layeth it at 
our doors, and leaves it upon our choice ; if we will accept it, well and 
good : Acts xiii. 26, ' To you is the word of salvation sent.' What say 
you to it ? God hath sent a gracious message to you in particular, 
will you accept or refuse ? And Acts iii. 20; ' And he shall send 
Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.' It doth excite us 
in particular to look after the remedy of our lapsed estate. 

[3.] This calling is our warrant, plea, and claim, which giveth us 
leave to apply these privileges, if we consent to the duties required ; as 
the apostle saith of an office, so it is true of the dignity of being chris- 
tians, which is a spiritual priesthood : Heb. v. 4, ' And no man taketh 
this honour upon himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron/ 
For a man to take or receive to himself honour and privilege which 
doth not belong to him, is usurpation, which will succeed ill with him ; 
but by calling we have God's consent ; or as those, Mat. xx. 7, ' Why 
stand ye here idle all the day ? No man hath hired us.' Before we 
can with any tolerable satisfaction to conscience assume such great 
privileges, we must produce our warrant. It was encouragement to 
the blind man to come near to Christ, ' Arise, the Master calleth thee/ 
Mark x. 49. The same hath the trembling sinner : the Master calleth 
thee, and wilt thou draw back ? 

[4.] The internal effectual call giveth us a heart to come to Christ ; 
for the power of God disposeth us to accept of his offer, and not only 
encourageth, but inclineth us to come to him, for his calling is sancti 
fying and changing the heart: Kom. ix. 25, 'I will call them my 
people which were not my people ; ' that is, make them to be so. 

Use 1. Hearken to this calling. 

1. From the benefit. Doth God call thee to thy loss ? or do thee 
any wrong when he disturbeth thy sleep in sin, and invites thee to 
partake of the riches of his grace in Christ ? No, he calls thee to the 
greatest happiness thou art capable of : 2 Thes. ii. 14, ' He hath called 
you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus 
Christ.' God seeketh to advance you to the greatest honour can be 
put upon mankind ; it is a blessed estate : 1 Peter v. 10, ' He hath 
called you to his eternal glory by Jesus Christ ; ' that glorious happi 
ness for ever. 

2. The great misery, if we refuse this call. ' None of those that 
were bidden shall taste of my supper/ Luke xiv. 24. They are not 
only excluded from happiness, but are under extreme wrath and 
misery : Prov. i. 24-26, * Because I have called, and ye refused, I have 
stretched out my hand, and no man regarded, but ye have set at nought 
all my counsel, and would none of my reproof, I will also laugh at your 
calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh/ 

Use 2. Is to press you to make your calling and election sure, 2 Peter 


i. 10. It cannot be more sure than it is in itself, but it may be more 
sure to us. This may be known by these signs 

1. Doth the word of God come to you with power, so as to produce 
its effect ? It is a sign of election when the gospel cometh to us not 
in word only, 2 Thes. i. 4, 5. The Spirit accompanieth it, that this 
calling may have its effect, and convert you to God. 

2. By your obedience to this call ; attendancy, choice, and pursuit. 
[1.] A deliberate weighing, in order to choice : Acts xvi. 14, * The 
Lord opened the heart of Lydia, so that she attended unto the things 
which were spoken of Paul/ A deep and serious consideration of the 
offers of pardon and life by Christ, this maketh way for other things : 
Mat. xiii. 19, ' When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and 
understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away 
that which was sown in his heart/ &c. ; Mat. xxii. 5, ' But they made 
light of it,' &c. Non-attendancy is the bane of the far greatest part 
of the world ; a flash of lightning cometh into their minds, and is soon 
gone. [2.] A thorough choice ; as Lydia is commended for attending, 
so Mary for choosing : Luke x. 42, ' But one thing is needful, and 
Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from 
her.' [3.] A constant and earnest pursuit. A choice made in a sudden 
pang and humour may be as soon retracted : Phil. iii. 12, * Not as 
though I had already attained, or were already perfect ; but I follow 
after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended 
of Christ Jesus.' Seeking these things in the first place, Mat. vi. 33. 
That pursuit which is the fruit of calling must be speedy : Gal. i. 15, 
16, ' But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's 
womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I 
might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not 
with flesh and blood/ &c. The call of God must be obeyed without 
delay : Heb. iii. 7, 8, ' Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day, if 
ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in 
the day of temptation in the wilderness/ The case is uncertain, we 
know not whether we shall ever get again such an offer; and our 
indisposition is the greater. And then it must be earnest : Phil. iii. 
14, ' I press towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God 
in Christ Jesus.' It must be our scope and business, and accompanied 
with self-denial and dependence on God: Heb. xi. 8, 'By faith 
Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should 
after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and he went out, not knowing 
whither he went. [4.] By walking worthy of it : Eph. iv. 1, c I, there 
fore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of 
the vocation wherewith ye are called ;' 1 Thes. ii. 12, ' That ye walk 
worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.' 
That ye behave yourselves so as may beseem the duties and hopes of 
Christians more holy, more heavenly. God is a holy God, and the 
happiness he hath called you unto a glorious estate ; labour to get the 
heavenly mind and holy conversation ; be deeply possessed with God's 
love in calling you, that you may love him again ; it is not our will 
nor our worth, therefore it could not begin with us. (1.) Not our will. 
Besides a simple want of good-will, there is in us a carelessness yea, an' 
averseness, in closing with his gracious offers, Mat. xxiii. 37. If it did 


depend on the choice of our will, we would refuse to be gathered, and 
would live and die estranged from God ; when all things are ready, we 
are not ready. (2.) Not our worth. There is nothing in the elect more 
than in the reprobate to move God to bestow this blessing on us yea, 
much why he should abhor us, Ezek. xvi. 6. Only, where sin abounded 
grace did much more abound, Kom. v. 20. The worthiest have no claim 
but grace. 

We come now to the last clause To them who are the called accord 
ing to his purpose. The limiting term of this calling must be now 
considered ' According to purpose/ Surely it is not meant of our good 
purpose and resolution to turn to God, which is none at all, till God 
work it in us ; and calling is God's act, and therefore it is meant of 
his purpose. And presently his foreknowledge and predestination is 
spoken of: nothing^plainer can be said to signify God's purpose, which 
he purposed in himself. But if God's purpose be meant, some think 
it is only his purpose concerning the way of salvation, or the saving of 
mankind by Christ, or the gospel-way : Eph. i. 9, ' Having made known 
the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he pur 
posed in himself ;' and Eph. iii. 11, ' According to the eternal purpose 
which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.' The gospel was firmly 
resolved upon by God according to his eternal purpose. But this is not 
all, the word relateth to a degree concerning those persons in particular 
whom he intended to save by Christ. His revealed will holdeth forth 
the way of our duty, or the course agreed upon and purposed by him ; 
but there are some persons whom he determineth to call to grace and 
glory. The word is often elsewhere applied to persons : 2 Tim. i. 9, 
1 Who hath called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, 
but according to his own purpose and grace ;' and Kom. ix. 11, ' That 
the purpose of God according to election might stand ;' and Eph. i. 11, 
' In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated 
according to the counsel of his own will ; ' and so it suiteth with the text, 
which applieth this to persons. Three words are here used purpose, 
foreknowledge, and predestination. Because there is wisdom in this 
decree, therefore it is called foreknowledge ; because there is an ordi 
nation of means to a certain end, therefore it is called predestination ; 
because it is fixed and unchangeable, therefore it is called purpose. 

Many notes might be observed in this clause. 

1. We are beholding to God's eternal election and purpose for all 
the good that we get by affliction and other providences ; for God's 
purpose is the supreme reason assigned in the description of the per 
sons who have an interest in this privilege. We love God because we 
believe his goodness in Christ; we believe his goodness in Christ 
because he hath called us ; and he hath called us because of his eternal 
purpose ; and thence it is that all this good cometh to us. 

2. The purpose of God concerning our eternal salvation is mani 
fested in our being called : that is the first eruption of God's elective 
love ; we are in the dark before. 

3. Those that continue in their final unbelief and impenitency are 
called only by the bye ; the elect, with a purpose to save them. God 
raineth on the rocks as well as on the new-mown grass. 

But I will content myself with one point 


That there are certain persons before all time elected of God accord 
ing to his mere good pleasure and grace, that in time they may be 
effectually called and saved. 

For some persons here are said to be the called according to pur 
pose. Let me explain, and then confirm it. 

1. The object of this purpose are certain definite and individual 
persons ; Jacob, not Esau ; Peter, not Judas ; man by man, or by head 
and poll they are known to God, 2 Tim. ii. 19. Put into the hands 
of Christ, that he may redeem them, and give an account of them at 
the last day : John xvii. 6, ' I have manifested thy name unto the 
men which thou gavest me out of the world ; thine they were, and 
thou gavest them me, and they have kept thy word ; ' John vi. 40, 
* And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the 
Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise 
him up at the last day/ And they do all believe, and are infallibly 
converted : John vi. 37, ' All that the Father giveth me shall come to 
me ; and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast off.' 

2. The reason of this purpose is only the Lord's grace and good 
pleasure. Christ, debating the matter, giveth no other account of the 
gospel's being hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes, 
but this only : Mat xi. 25, ' Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good 
in thy sight.' The cause is only God's pleasure ; the reason of this can 
be found nowhere else, but only in the bosom of God himself. There 
is nothing before, or above, or without his purpose, as the first cause 
of all that good which cometh to us ; he doth not foresee any merit or 
motive in us ; as Christ telleth his disciples, John xv. 10, ' I have 
chosen you, you have not chosen me ; ' his choice is antecedent to 
ours. The persons that are singled out to be objects of this special 
grace were a part of lost mankind, by nature the same that others are, 
some of the world that lay in wickedness ; but when God had all 
Adam's posterity under the prospect of his all-seeing eye, he chose 
some, and passed by others ; he found all guilty, but doth not punish 
all, but spare some ; and found nothing in the creature to cast the 
balance of his choice, or to determine it to one more than to another. 
Others were as eligible as they, God created them all ; all were alike 
obnoxious to him. The prophet argueth, Mai. i. 2, ' Was not Esau 
Jacob's brother ? ' It was grace alone did put the difference. 

3. This purpose noteth the sure and powerful efficacy of this grace. 
God will not be disappointed in his purpose, for there is nothing that 
can be imagined that should occasion the alteration of it. Men are 
forced to alter their purposes, either out of a natural levity that is in 
them, or some impediment falleth out which they foresaw not, or 
through defect of power they cannot do what they intend to do ; but 
none of these things are in God, no levity and unstability, for he is 
Jehovah that changeth not, Mai. iii. 6. And the apostle speaketh of 
the immutability of his counsel. God's purpose is both an act of his 
understanding, and therefore called counsel, and also his will, there 
fore called his decree ; and therefore being once set, it cannot be altered 
or revoked ; no cause of revocation can be imagined either in God or 
out of God ; not in God, nothing can fall out but what God foresaw at 
first ; nor can be frustrated for any defect of power, for he is almighty, 


angels, devils, and men being subject to him as the supreme and uni 
versal Lord. 

4. This grace is brought about in a way most convenient for the 
honour of God and the good of the creature : in a way of faith and 
holiness. Faith : John iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, that he gave 
his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not 
perish, but have everlasting life/ Holiness : Eph. i. 4, c According as 
he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we 
should be holy and without blame before him in love/ Now faith is 
his gift : Eph. ii. 8, ' We are saved by grace through faith ; and that 
not of ourselves, it is the gift of God/ And holiness is wrought in us 
by the Spirit of sanctification, and that with a respect to his election : 
2 Thes. ii. 13, 'He hath chosen you to salvation through the sanctifi 
cation of the Spirit, and belief of the truth/ God did not choose us 
because he did foresee that we should be believers, or would be holy,, 
but that we might believe, and might be holy ; he could not foresee 
any faith or holiness in us but what was the fruit of his own grace- 
and elective love to us ; all is still according to his purpose and grace, 
which was given us in Christ before the world began. Faith and 
holiness is the way and means of bringing about his purpose, not the 
foreseen cause and reason, or the end ; the fruit of it, not the motive 
to induce God to show us mercy. 

5. To promote this faith and holiness, and to preserve them till 
their glorified estate, God's providence about them is very remark 

[1.] He contriveth means to bring them into the world. Many of 
their parents may be wicked, and deserve to be cut off for their sins, 
but because there is a blessing in some of the clusters, they are not 
destroyed. Many times a slip may be taken from an ill stock, and 
grafted into the tree of life ; though the grace of the covenant runneth 
most kindly in the channel of the covenant ' How much more shall 
these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive- 
tree ? ' Horn. xi. 24. But yet God will show the liberty of his counsels, 
and choose some out of families very opposite to his ways ; and there 
fore many wicked men are spared, that they may be a means to bring 
into the world those that afterwards shall believe : Ahaz is let alone 
to beget Hezekiah, and a wicked Ammon Josiah ; and there was one 
in the house of Jeroboam who made Israel to sin, one child only, in 
whom was found some good thing towards the Lord God of Israel, 
1 Kings xiv. 13, a godly young man, that had in his heart the true- 
seeds of religion. 

[2.] When they are born, God hath a special care of them, that they 
may not die in their unregenerate condition ; from the womb the- 
decree beginneth to take place and be put in act : Gal. i. 15, ' It 
pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called 
me by his grace ;' Jer. i. 5, ' When thou earnest out of the womb, I 
knew thee/ He took special notice that that child was a vessel of 
mercy, and to be employed for his glory, and used for such and such 
purposes as he had designed themselves unto ; to fit them with such a 
constitution of body and mind, as might best serve for that use. If a 
man would trace the progress of providence, he would plainly see that 

VER. 28. j SERMONS UPON ROMANS vnr. 297 

God still hath been pursuing his choice ; and that that antecedent love, 
which is the fountain of all our mercies, is it which rocked you in your 
cradles, suckled you at your mother's breast, trained you up, and took 
care of your non-age, visited you with his early mercies, disposed of 
several providences for your safety and preservation. It is said in 
heaven * We shall know as we are known/ 1 Cor. xiii. 12 ; compare 
Gal. iv. 9, * But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known 
of God.' Then we shall understand how many several circumstances 
concurred to bring us home to God, and how the goodness of God hath 
gone along with you from time to time, to preserve you till the time of 
grace was come, rescued you in imminent dangers, when the thread of 
your life was likely to be fretted asunder. 

[3.] The dispensation of means, and the directing of means to such a 
place and people, where, and among whom, the course of your life fell. 
Not only the doctrine, but the journeys of the apostles were ordered by 
the Spirit : Acts xvi. 7, ' They assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit 
suffered them not ; ' Acts xiii. 26, ' To you is this word of salvation sent;' 
not brought by us, but sent by God ; not only in regard of his institution, 
but providential direction. Certainly there is a special providence goeth 
along with ordinances, and they are ordered and directed with respect 
to God's elective love ; he sendeth, furnisheth, continueth able instru 
ments : Acts xviii. 10, ' I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee 
to hurt thee, for I have much people in this city/ Wherever God 
lighteth a candle, he hath some lost groat to seek. He had much 
people belonging to his election in Corinth. God doth not say, Because 
there are much people (though it is good casting out the net where 
there is store of fish), but, / have much people. He understandeth not 
the Corinthians which were converted already ; so there were few or 
none at that time in Corinth, but to be converted. They were God's 
people, elected and redeemed by him, though as yet wallowing in their 
sins. Therefore the first moving-cause of all this business was the 
election of God, or his purpose to call them ; the persons never thought 
of seeking means for themselves, and have not a heart to entertain 
them for a long time ; but God is at work for their good, when they 
intended no good to themselves. We read of saints in Nero's house 
hold, Phil. iv. 22. Who would look for saints in the family of so 
bloody a persecutor ? yet the gospel could find its way thither, and 
seize on some of his menial servants ; for God had strange ways and 
methods to convert those that belong to his grace. I cannot say to 
them, but to some others, Christ was made known to them by Paul's 
defence : 2 Tim. iv. 17, ' Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, 
and strengthened me, that by me the preaching might be fully known, 
and that all the Gentiles might hear.' 

[4.] In blessing the means, quite besides the purpose and intention 
of the parties that receive benefit by them, as appeareth by the circum 
stances of their conversion and first acceptance of Christ ; many times 
they come where they may hear of God and Christ, with careless and 
slight spirits, or drop in by chance, as Paul's infidel : 1 Cor. xv. 24, 25, 
' There cometh in one that believeth not/ How many do thus stumble 
upon grace unawares to themselves, not minding or desiring any such 
matter ; but God directeth a serious word that pierceth into their very 


hearts. Sometimes God calleth them, when opposing and persecuting, as 
Paul, Acts ix., Vergerius. Many, when they came to scoff, have felt the 
mighty power and majesty of God in his ordinances ; and what begun 
with scoffing ended in a more serious work : Isa. Ivii. 18, ' He went on 
f rowardly in the way of his own heart : I have seen his ways, and I 
will heal him/ The officers that came to attack Christ, John vii. 46, 
said, ' Never man spake like this man/ Sometimes men have been 
loth to come, drawn with much importunity against their inclination 
and prejudices : John i. 46, ' Can any good come out of Nazareth ? ' saith 
Nathanael to Philip. ' Come and see ; ' and there he met with Christ. 
The Galileans were a ruder part of the Jews, a gross and blockish 
sort of people. It was generally conceived no prophet was of that 
country where Jonah was ; thus Nathanael held off out of a prejudicate 
opinion. Many of these things which come as it were by chance to 
us, and without ouf foresight, are well foreseen and wisely ordered by 
God ; as Augustine was carried besides his purpose, that God's purpose 
might come to pass in the conversion of Firmus a Manichee. 

[5.] In suiting all his dealings with them, so after conversion, that 
they may be kept blameless to his heavenly kingdom, John x. 3. Christ 
calleth his sheep by name ; knoweth all his flock particularly ; taketh 
notice of all their persons and conditions ; hath a special affection to 
them and care of them ; so Ps. i. 6, ' The Lord knoweth the way of 
the righteous ; ' knoweth their necessities, straits, hopes, burdens, and 
temptations. His business in heaven is to order his providence for 
their good, 2 Chron. xvi. 9 ; sometimes giveth seasonable correction: 
Ps. cxix. 75, ' I know, Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that 
thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me ; ' 1 Peter i. 6, ' Now for a season, 
if need be, ye are in heaviness ; ' sometimes to lessen the affliction or 
remove it : Ps. cxxv. 3, ' For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon 
the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hands to 
iniquity ; ' and 1 Cor. x. 13, ' But God is faithful, who will not suffer 
you to be tempted above that you are able, but will also with the tempta 
tion make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it/ God con- 
sidereth who needeth chastening, and who needeth protection and 
deliverance : thus I have stated it. 

Secondly, I shall give you an argument or two to confirm it 
1. That there is a difference between man and man is plain and 
obvious to sense ; some are good and holy, others are naught and 
wicked ; some understand the gospel, others are ignorant of it ; some 
scoff, others believe ; some have a dead faith, others a lively and deep 
sense of the world to come, and make preparation accordingly. Ask 
the reason of this difference, whence is it ? You will say their choice 
and inclination : some choose the better part, others abandon them 
selves to their lusts and brutish satisfactions. True ; but whence cometh 
this different choice and inclination ? Experience showeth us that man 
from his infancy and childhood is very corrupt, and more inclinable to 
evil than to good, to things earthly than heavenly, carnal than spiritual ; 
and you may as well expect to gather grapes from thorns, and figs from 
thistles, as that man of his own accord should become good and holy, 
and that we should be able to bring our own hearts to love God and 
delight in God : Job xiv. 4, * Who can bring a clean thing out of an 


unclean ? not one.' Well, then, since all are not good, but some are, 
whence cometh the difference ? Is it from a better temper and consti 
tution of body ? that is a benefit and gift of God ; but this is not the 
whole cause. Many besot brave wits, and spoil an excellent temper and 
constitution of body, by their intemperance and incontinency ; and, on 
the other side, many of crabbed and depraved tempers master their 
natural inclination by grace ; and God doth often choose beams and 
rafters for the sanctuary of the most crooked timber. Is it education, 
and setting their inclinations right from their infancy ? It is, I confess, 
a great advantage to be brought up in the nurture and information of 
the Lord, in a course of virtue and religion : Prov. xxii. 6, ' Train up 
a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not 
depart from it.' The first infusions stick by us, and conduce, if not to 
conversion, yet to conviction ; but many wrest themselves out of the 
arms of the best education, and turn the back upon all those godly 
counsels and instructions which are instilled into them. Is it the ordi 
nances and means of grace ? These certainly have great force and efficacy 
this way. God knoweth what keys will fit the wards of the lock ; if any 
thing, the doctrine of the gospel will do it. But they have not all 
believed : Eom. x. 16, ' For Isaiah saith, Who hath believed our report ?' 
We see the same seed that thriveth in the good and honest heart is lost 
in highway, stony, thorny ground ; the difference is not in seed, but 
soil ; whatever means and helps you can imagine, all is nothing till 
God puts a new heart into us. Is it a good temper and disposition of 
mind, so that grace is represented to us congruously, so that it findeth 
us fitly prepared ? Certainly seasons should not be over-slipped, but 
yet this is not the adequate cause of conversion, that some believe, others 
not, because we are so happy to find them in a disposition of mind to 
obey the word. We see that many that come with an ill disposition and 
temper of soul to hear the word of God, yet God taketh them by the 
heart. People should bring a prepared mind, free from distractions 
and prejudices. But that is not all that is necessary : we are to use the 
means, but the success is from God, who will take his own time. Chris 
tians, when they think themselves best prepared, find not that efficacy 
in the word they could desire. 

2. All good is of God : 1 Cor. iv. 7, ' Who maketh thee to differ ? 
and what hast thou, that thou hast not received ? ' and Jer. xxiv. 7, ' I 
will give them a heart to know me.' It is his grace maketh the differ 
ence : Mat. xiii. 11, * It is given you to know the mystery of the kingdom 
of heaven, but to them it is not given.' The cause of putting a difference 
between the one and the other is in the will of God the giver ; the 
advantages in the means of better temper, better ministry, somewhat 
there is in that : Acts xiv. 1, ' They so spake, that a great multitude of 
Jews and Greeks believed.' All this is to be imputed to God's external 
providence. One way of preaching may be more apt to convert souls 
than another ; a dart, headed and feathered, and sent out of a strong 
bow will pierce deeper than falling of its own weight ; pure solid doc 
trine, rationally enforced, is more likely to do the deed ; but yet the 
thorough cause of the difference is internal grace changing the heart, 
and powerfully inclining it to God : Acts xi. 21, ' The hand of the Lord 


was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.' 
It is God's mighty power maketh the difference. 

3. Whatever God doth in time, he purposed to do before all time ; 
for God doth nothing rashly and by chance, but all by counsel and 
predestination. It is according to his purpose, especially in man's 
salvation ; nothing is done but what he decreed to be done ; even the 
least circumstance, time, means, and occasion, it is all according to 
purpose, not of yesterday, but from all eternity : Acts ix. 11, God's 
sending Ananias to Paul, and was not that foreknown and deter 
mined ? 

Use. Is to press us to admire grace. Nothing moved God to let put 
his love upon us but his free, eternal, distinguishing love ; nothing 
keepeth the heart so right with God as a due sense of his free grace 
and love ; for the gjpry of his grace was the great thing God. aimed at 
in all his dealings with us : Eph. i. 6, 12, ' To the praise of the glory 
of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved ; that 
we should be to the praise of his glory who first trusted in Christ ; ' 
Kom. ix. 23, 'And that he might make known the riches of his glory 
on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.' This 
is the study of the saints : Eph. iii. 18, 19, ' May be able with all saints 
to comprehend what is the breadth and length, and depth and height, 
and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.' It is the 
great excitement to duty : 2 Cor. v. 14, ' The love of Christ constraineth 
us ; ' Eom. xii. 1, ' I beseech you by the mercies of God ; ' 1 John iv. 
19 ; Titus ii. 11, 12. It breedeth a good spirit if love is at the bottom 
of all our duties. 

2. We have the truest view of our obligations to God in his elec 
tive love ; dulcius est ipso fonte. Nothing will so much excite our 
love and gratitude as to consider 

1. That God all-sufficient, who needeth nothing, should choose us. 
He might have possessed himself if he had never created anything 
without himself. If you remove all creatures from him, you detract 
nothing from God ; if you add all to him, you increase nothing in God. 
It is the creature's indigent condition that maketh him go without his 
own compass for the happiness of his being. Man cannot be happy in 
loving himself, nor be satisfied in his own intrinsic perfections, there 
fore seeketh supplies from abroad ; but God's happiness is to love him 
self and delight in himself. 

2. That when God would look abroad among the creatures, he would 
choose us whom he found in the polluted mass of mankind, and make 
us objects of his grace, and when he came to call us, found us entangled 
in other sins, as Abraham, the father of the faithful, an idolater, 
Joshua xxiv. 2 ; every one that looketh into himself will find they 
were in temper to choose anything rather than Christ, unless the Lord 
had prevented us by his goodness, and turned our crooked wills. And 
if we consider why we taken and others left : Jer. iii. 14, ' I will take 
you one of a city, and^two of a family.' And lastly, if we consider 
this powerful prosecution of his eternal purpose, this certainly will 
excite our love and gratitude. 



For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed 
to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among 
many brethren. BOM. viii. 29. 

HERE is a reason why all afflictions work together for good to the 
called according to purpose, because they were predestinated to be 
like Christ in all manner of likeness in sufferings, holiness, felicity. 
In sufferings ; they must be afflicted as Christ was ; he had his share, 
and they have their share : Col. i. 24, ' I rejoice in my sufferings, that 
I may fill up what is behind of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh/ 
Christ mystical is to suffer so much ; he was appointed, and they are 
appointed : 1 Thes. iii. 3, ' That no man should be moved by these 
afflictions ; for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto/ 
Holiness : we are to be holy as he is holy, as well as afflicted as he was 
afflicted, 1 Peter i. 15. And again for felicity : his sufferings had a good 
end, so shall ours ; he bore afflictions, and passed through them to eternal 
glory ' The captain of our salvation was made perfect by sufferings,' 
Heb. ii. 20 ; so in us, the cross maketh way to the crown ; we can go 
no other way to heaven than Christ did. Therefore the conclusion 
out of all is, that afflictions work for good ; they do not infringe our 
holiness, but promote it rather, if we be humble, meek, and patient as 
Christ was ; they do not infringe our happiness, for still it fareth with 
us as it did with Christ. As he was a pattern in bearing afflictions 
holily and courageously, so in the crown of glory to be obtained 
after the victory ; he was the leader of a patient and obedient people 
to everlasting happiness. So that here is a double argument why all 
afflictions must turn to good : because our afflictions fall not out 
besides the purpose of God ; as not in Christ, so not in us ; the head 
was to bear his share, and the members their share : and because the 
cross and sufferings are a means conducing to conformity to Christ 
in holiness and happiness c For whom he did foreknow/ &c. 
In the words observe 

1. The way God took in bringing his children unto glory, by con 
formity to Christ, in these words To be]conformed to the image of 
his Son. 

2. The grounds of this conformity, set forth by two words, fore 
knowledge and predestination Whom he did foreknow, he also did 

3. The reason of this conformity to Christ That he might be the 
first-born among many brethren ; that is, that he might have the pri 
vilege of the elder son, or the true and proper heir. The elder son was 
to be the head of the family, and lord of all the rest of the brethren. 
Let us explain these things. 

[1.] The way and end aimed at : to conform us to the image of his 
son ; that is, in resemblance to Christ, that we might enter into glory 
the way by which Christ entered, by a life of sufferings and hardness. 

[2.] The grounds of this conformity God's foreknowledge and pre 
destination. The first of these terms implieth his gracious purpose 


to save us ; foreknowing here is choosing, or taking them for his own 
from all eternity : 1 Peter i. 2, ' Elect according to the foreknowledge 
of God ;' that is, according to the eternal purpose of his love to them. 
For having all Adam's posterity in his eye and view, he freely chose 
them ; they were in a sort present to God, and in his eye, before the 
foundation of the world ; so that his foreknowledge is his purpose to 
do them good. The other word, predestination, is his appointing them 
to come to glory by the way of faith and holiness ; for to destinate is 
to appoint, or order means to a certain end, and to predestinate is to 
appoint aforehand. And this predestinating is used of God's act, 
because when man willeth, or chooseth, or ordereth anything, it pre- 
supposeth an antecedent goodness in the things which he willeth or 
chooseth, or an antecedent conveniency in the thing ordered to the 
end to which it is appointed, which is prudent destination ; but when 
God chooseth, or willeth, or ordereth anything, he causeth this good 
ness or conveniency to be in it ; and therefore it is properly called pre 
destination. Well then, observe, not things but persons are here spoken 
of ' Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate.' His foreknow 
ledge implieth his favour and his choice : John x. 14, ' I am the good 
shepherd, that know my sheep, and am known of mine ; ' and ver. 27, 
' I know them, and they follow me.' And his predestination is his 
appointing them to come to such an end by convenient means ; some 
times it is applied to privileges, sometimes to duties. To privileges ; 
because of the conveniency of antecedent and subsequent privileges, 
so Eph. i. 5, ' He hath predestinated us to the adoption of children.' 
It is fit we should be made children before we have a right to a child's 
portion ; therefore God, by predestinating us to the adoption of children, 
maketh us fit to obtain the inheritance. Sometimes to duties ; as to- 
faith : Acts xiii. 48, ' As many as were ordained to eternal life believed ;' 
and in the text, to holiness ' He did predestinate us to be conformed to 
the image of his Son ; ' that is, by predestination he bringeth it to pass 
that in time they do resemble Christ. The order and course of God's 
saving the elect must not be broken ; he hath decreed, and forecasted 
by what means he will bring them to glory. In short, foreknowledge 
and predestination agree in that both are eternal, but they differ in 
the formality of the notion; foreknowledge noteth his choice, or the 
purpose of his love, predestination his decree to bring things to a cer 
tain end by certain appointed means ; and so he did fore-ordain and 
design them, by conformity to Christ in life and suffering, to come 
to celestial glory ; and thus by foreknowing he did predestinate, and 
by predestinating he did foreknow. 

[3.] The reason of this conformity to Christ 'That he might be the first 
born among many brethren ;' that is, that he might have the honour due 
to the first-born. The first-born was lord of the rest of the family: Gen. 
xxviL 31, ' I have made him thy lord, and the rest of his brethren have 
I given to him for servants.' The first-born gave to the rest of his 
brethren a share of his father's goods, reserving to himself a double 
portion, Deut. xxi. 17. Now this is applied to Christ, who is Lord of 
the church, or head of the body, Col. i. 18, 'and heir of all things/ 
Heb. L 2. And by virtue of this relation to the church, he must 
7rpa)Tvei,v, first it in all things ; or, as we translate it, he must in all- 


things have the pre-eminence, Col. i. 18 ; in our conflicts and trials he 
is the captain of our salvation, Heb. ii. 10 ; in ho