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




EASTER, 1906 

Shelf No. 

Register 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 Broughton Place United Presby 
terian Church, Edinburgh. 

















SERMON IX. " Knowing that whilst we are at home in the 

body, we are absent," &c., ver. 6, . . 3 

X. " For we walk by faith, and not by sight," ver. 7, 11 

XI. " "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to 

be absent from the body," &c., ver. 8, . 22 

XII. " Wherefore we labour, that whether present or 

absent, we may be accepted," ver. 9, . 35 

XIII. " For we must all appear before the judgment- 
seat of Christ," &c., ver. 10, . .44 

XIV. " For we must all appear before the judgment- 
seat of Christ," &c., ver. 10, . . 51 

XV. " For we must all appear before the judgment- 
seat of Christ," &c., ver. 10, . .63 

XVI. " For we must all appear before the judgment- 
seat of Christ," &c., ver. 10, . . 72 

XVII. " That every man may receive the things done in 

the body, according to what/' &c., ver. 10, . 81 

XVHI. " Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we 

persuade men," &c., ver. 11, . . 90 

XIX. "But we are made manifest unto God; and I 

trust also are made," &c., vers. 11, 12, . 100 

XX. "For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to 

God ; or whether," &c., ver. 13, . .110 

XXI. "For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to 

God; or whether," &c., ver. 13, . . 121 



SERMON XXII. " For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to 

God; or whether," &c., ver. 13, . . 131 

XXIII. " For the love of Christ constraineth us, be 
cause we thus judge," &c., ver. 14, . 139 

XXIV. " For the love of Christ constraineth us, be 
cause we thus judge," &c., ver. 14, . 149 

XXV. " For the love of Christ constraineth us, be 

cause we thus judge," &c., ver. 14, . 159 

XXVI. " For the love of Christ constraineth us, be 
cause we thus judge," &c., ver. 14, . 169 

XXVII. "For we thus judge, that if one died for all, 

then were all dead," &c., ver. 14, . 179 

XXVIII. "Then were all dead," ver. 14, . . 189 

XXIX. " But to him that died and rose again." 

ver. 15, . . . . . /( 198 

XXX. " That they which live should not henceforth 

live to themselves," &c., ver. 15, . 210 

XXXI. " Wherefore henceforth know we no man after 

the flesh," &c., ver. 16, . . . 219 

XXXII. " Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a 

new creature," &c., ver. 17, . . 231 

XXXIII. " And all things are of God, who hath recon 
ciled us to himself," &c., ver. 18, . 241 

XXXIV. " To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling 

the world to himself," &c., ver. 19, . 252 

XXXV. "Not imputing their trespasses unto them," 

&c., ver. 19, . . .262 

XXXVI. "Not imputing their trespasses unto them," 

&c, ver. 19, . . . 271 

XXXVII. " And hath committed to us the word of re 
conciliation," ver. 19, . . 281 

XXXVIll. " Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as 

though God did," &c., ver. 20, . . 290 

XXXIX. " Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as 

though God did," &c., ver. 20, . . 295 

XL. " For he hath made him to be sin for us who 

knew no sin, that we might," &c., ver. 21, 305 


Epistle Dedicatory, . . . . . .318 

To the Eeader, . . . . . .321 

SERMON I. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped 

for," &c., ver. 1, . 323 

II. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped 

for,"&c., ver. 1, . . . 332 

III. " And the evidence of things not seen," ver. 1, . 345 
IV. " And the evidence of things not seen," ver. 1, . 353 
V. " And the evidence of things not seen," ver. 1, . 363 

VI. " For by it the elders obtained a good report," 

ver. 2, . . . . .373 

,, VII. " Through faith we understand that the worlds 

were framed by the word," &c., ver. 3, . 388 

VIII. " Through faith we understand that the worlds 

were framed by the word," &c., ver. 3, . 397 

IX. " Through faith we understand that the worlds 

were framed by the word," &c., ver. 3, . 406 

X. " Through faith we understand that the worlds 

were framed by the word," &c., ver. 3, . 415 

XI. " Through faith we understand that the worlds 

were framed by the word," &c., ver. 3, . 424 

XII. " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excel 
lent sacrifice than Cain," &c., ver. 4, . 435 

XIII. " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excel 
lent sacrifice than Cain," &c., ver. 4, . 445 

XIV. " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excel 
lent sacrifice than Cain," &c., ver. 4, . 452 

XV. " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excel 
lent sacrifice than Cain," &c., ver. 4, . 461 

,. XVI. " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excel 
lent sacrifice than Cain," &c., ver. 4, . 472 

XVII. " By faith Abel offered unto God a more excel 
lent sacrifice than Cain," &c., ver. 4, . 483 







Knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from 
the Lord. 2 COB. v. 6. 

FKOM the connection with the former branch, you see a Christian's 
condition in the world is mixed ; he is comforted, but not satisfied ; 
his faith is satisfied, for he is confident, but his love is not satisfied ; 
for ' while he is at home in the body he is absent from the Lord.' 
And that not for a little time only, but for his whole course, as long 
as his life shall last, all the while that he is at home in the body. 
This is added to show the reason, 1. Of groaning. 2. Of confidence. 
Of groaning, because we are absent from Christ's presence and full 
communion with him in glory. Of confidence ; we must be sometime 
present with the Lord. Now we are not ; therefore we have a certain 
persuasion, that there shall be granted to us a nearer access after death. 
Then we look cheerfully upon death, as that which bringeth us home 
to God, from whom these earthly bodies keep us as strangers. 
Two points offer themselves to us : 

1. That a Christian is not in his own proper home, while he sojourneth 
in the body, or liveth here in this present world in an earthly taber 

2. The main reason why a Christian counteth himself not at home, 
is because he is absent from the Lord. 

Doct. 1. That a Christian is not in his own proper home, while he 
sojourneth in the body, or liveth here in this present world in an 
earthly tabernacle. The Greek words run thus : We, indwelling in the 
body, dwell forth from the Lord ; that is, from the Lord Jesus, the 
beholding of whose glory and presence we must want so long, which is 
grievous to a Christian. Instances ; Abraham, who had best right by 
God's immediate donation : Heb. xi. 9, ' He sojourned in the land of 
promise, as in a strange country ; ' as in a place wherein he was to 
stay but a while, and to pass through it to a better country. David, 
who had most possession, an opulent and powerful king ; Abraham 
inherited or purchased nothing in the land of Canaan, but a burying- 
place ; but David counted himself a stranger too : Ps. xxxix. 12, ' I am 
a stranger and a pilgrim, as all my fathers were.' He that bore so full 
a sway in that land, did not look upon the world as a place of rest and 


stability. But it may be he spoke this when he was chased like a flea, 
or hunted like a partridge upon the mountains. No ; in the midst of 
all his wealth and opulency, when he had offered many cart-loads of 
gold and silver for the building of the temple. See 1 Chron. xxix. 15, 
' For we are strangers and sojourners before thee, as were all our 
fathers.' Nay, Jesus Christ, who was lord-paramount, telleth us, 
John xvii. 16, ' I am not of this world.' He that was Lord of all, had 
neither house nor home ; he passed through the world to sanctify it as 
a place of service, but he settled not his constant residence here as in a 
place of rest. We do not inhabit, only pass through to a better place. 

1. Our birth and parentage is from heaven. Everything tendeth to 
the place of its original : men love their native soil ; things bred in 
the water delight to return thither; inanimate things tend to their 
centre ; a stone will fall to the ground, though broken in pieces by 
the fall ; air imprisoned in the bowels and caverns of the earth causes 
terrible convulsions and earthquakes, till it get up to its own place. All 
things seek to return thither from whence they came ; grace that came 
from heaven carrieth the heart thither again. Jerusalem from above 
is the mother of us all. Heaven is our native country, but the world 
is a strange place ; and therefore, though the man be at home, yet the 
Christian is not ; he is out of his proper place. Contempt of the world 
is usually made the fruit of our regeneration : 1 John v. 4, ' Whosoever 
is born of God overcometh the world.' There is something in them 
that entitleth itself to God, and worketh towards him, and carrieth the 
soul thither where God showeth most of himself. So, 2 Peter i. 4, 
' We are made partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corrup 
tion which is in the world through lust.' The world will not satisfy 
the divine nature ; there is a strong inclination in us, which disposeth 
us to look after another world, 1 Peter i. 3. As soon as made children, 
we reckon upon a child's portion ; another nature hath another aim and 
tendency. There is a double reason why the new creature cannot be 
satisfied here. (1.) Here is not enough dispensed to answer God's love 
in the covenant. / will be your God, noteth the gift of some better 
thing than this world can afford unto us : Heb. xi. 16, ' God is not 
ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.' 
That title is not justified till he give us eternal rewards, for to be a 
God to any, is to be an infinite, eternal benefactor. Compare Mat. 
xxii. 32, with the fore-mentioned place. (2.) Here is not enough to 
satisfy the desire, expectation and inclination of the renewed heart. 
The aim of it is carried after two things perfect enjoyment of God, 
and perfect conformity to God. There is their home, where they may 
be with God, and where they may be free from sin. Their love to 
Christ is such, that where he is there they must be : Phil. i. 23, ' Having 
a desire to depart, and to be with Christ : ' Col. iii. 1, ' If ye be risen 
with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at 
the right hand of God.' And there is a final, perfect estate, to which 
the new creature is tending ; when it shall never dishonour God more, 
but be made like him, and completely subject to him ; when never 
troubled with sin more. 

2. There lieth their treasure and their inheritance. It is said, Eph. 


i. 3, that Christ hath ' blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly 
places/ He hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in earthly places, 
hath he not ? Here he hath adopted, justified, and sanctified us in 
part, but the full accomplishment is reserved for the world to come. 
God would not dispense the fulness of our blessedness in the present 
world ; that is an unquiet place ; we are not out of gunshot and harm's 
way, nor in an earthly paradise. There Adam enjoyed God among 
the beasts, but we shall enjoy him in heaven among the angels. In 
the world God would show his bounty to all his creatures a common 
inn for sons and bastards ; the place of trial, not of recompense ; the 
place where God hath set his footstool, not his throne, Isa. Ixvi. ; it is 
Satan's walk, the devil's circuit : ' Whence comest thou ? From 
compassing the earth to and fro,' Job ii. 2 ; a place defiled with sin, 
and beareth the marks of it, given to all mankind in common : Ps. 
cxv. 16, ' The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's, but the earth 
hath he given to the children of men ; ' the slaughter-house and 
shambles of the saints, for they are slain upon earth ; a receptacle for 
elect and reprobate. 

3. There are all our kindred. There is our home and country, 
where our Father is, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and all the holy ones 
of God : Ubi pater, ibi patria. We pray to him, ' Our father which 
art in heaven.' It is heaven that is our Father's house, and the ever 
lasting mansions of the blessed. There is our redeemer and elder 
brother, Col. iii. 1 ; ' the heaven of heavens doth contain him.' There 
are the best of the family, Mat viii. 12 ; there is Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob. It is a misery to be strangers to the commonwealth of Israel, 
to be shut out from the society of God's people ; but in heaven there 
are other manner of saints there. To be shut out from the company 
of the blessed is a dreadful excommunication indeed. 

4. There we abide longest. An inn cannot be called our home ; 
here we abide but for a night, but there for ever with the Lord. The 
world must be surely left ; if we had a certain term of years fixed, 
yet it is very short in comparison of eternity. Therefore since we 
live longest in the other world, there is our home : Mic. ii. 10, ' Arise, 
depart hence, this is not your rest.' God speaketh it of the land of 
Canaan, when they had polluted it with sin. It is true of all the 
world ; sin hath brought in death, and there must be a riddance. 
This life is but a passage to eternity. Israel first dwelt in a wandering 
camp, before they came to dwell in cities and walled towns ; and the 
mysteries of their religion were first seated in a tabernacle, and then 
in a temple; so 'here first in a mortal, frail condition, and then come 
to the place of our eternal rest. There is an appointed time for us 
all to remove : Job vii. 1, ' There is an appointed time for man upon 
earth ; his days are as the days of an hireling.' An hireling when he 
hath done his work, then he receiveth his wages, and is gone. Actors 
when they have finished their parts, they go within the curtain, and 
are seen no more. So when we have served our generation and finished 
our course, our place will know us no more, and God will furnish the 
world with a new scene, both of acts and actors. 

5. The necessary graces that belong to a Christian show that a 
Christian is not yet in his proper place ; as faith, hope, and love. 


[1.] Faith hath another world in prospect and view ; and our great 
aim is to come at it. Sense showeth us we have no abiding city upon 
earth, but faitli points at one to come, where Christ is, and we shall 
one day be. Now this faith were but a fancy, if we should always 
abide in this earthly tabernacle, and there were no other life to be 
expected when this is at an end. The salvation of- our souls is called 
the end of our faith ; 1 Peter i. 9, that is the main blessing we look 
for from Christ. So 1 Tim. i. 16, ' We believe on him to life ever 
lasting.' So Heb. x. 39, ' We are not of them who draw back to per 
dition, but of them that believe to the saving of their souls.' The 
great satisfaction that the immortal soul hath by faitli is, that it seeth 
a place of eternal abode, and therefore it cannot settle here, it must 
look higher than the present world. Faith persuadeth us that the end of 
our creation and regeneration was far more noble than a little miserable 
abode here. There is no man in the world, but if he follow the light 
of reason, much more if Tie be guided by the light of grace, will seek 
a place and an estate of rest, wherein he may finally quiet his mind. 
Therefore faith cannot be satisfied till we reach our heavenly mansion ; 
he is unworthy of an immortal soul that looketh no further than 
earthly things. 

[2.] Hope was made for things to come, especially for our full and 
final happiness. God fits us with grace as well as with happiness ; he 
doth not only make a grant of a glorious estate, but hath given us 
grace to expect it. Hope would be of no use, if it did not look out 
for another condition : Bom. viii. 24, ' Hope that is seen is not hope, 
for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it ? ' No ; there is 
something to come ; and therefore because we have it not in possession, 
we lift up the head, and look for it with a longing and desirous expec 
tation. It is said, Col. i. 5, ' That our hope is laid up for us in heaven.' 
A believer's portion is not given him in hand ; he hath it only in hope. 
He hath it not, but it is safely kept for his use, and that in a 
most sure place in heaven, where ' thieves cannot break through 
and steal.' 

[3.] Love. The saints have heard much of Christ, read much of 
Christ, tasted and felt much of Christ ; they would fain see him, and 
be with him : 1 Peter i. 8, ' Whom having not seen ye love.' Many 
love Jesus Christ, whom they have not seen in the flesh, or conversed 
with him bodily ; but though they have not seen him, they desire to see 
him ; for love is an affection of union, it desireth to be with the party 
loved. The ' Spirit and the bride saith, Come,' Kev. xxii. 17. The 
adulteress saith, Stay away ; but the loving spouse and the bride saith, 
Come. Carnal men will not give their vote this way, but the soul 
that loveth Christ would have him either come to them, or take 
them up to him ; their souls are not at ease till this be accomplished. 

Use 1. Let us give in our names among them that profess them 
selves to be strangers and sojourners here in the world. This confes 
sion must be made, not in word only, but in deed and in truth. We 
must carry ourselves as strangers and pilgrims. 

1. Let us be drawing home as fast as we can. A traveller would 
be passing over his journey as soon as may be ; so should we be 
hastening home in our desires and affections. It is but a sorry home 


to be at home in the body, when all that while we are absent from 
the Lord. There is a tendency in the new nature to God, a perfect 
enjoyment of God, and a perfect subjection to God; therefore our 
desires should still draw homewards: Heb. xi. 16, 'They desire a 
country, that is, an heavenly.' All that have gotten a new heart and 
nature from the Lord, their hearts run upon the expectation of what 
God hath promised ; they cannot be satisfied with anything they 
enjoy here. 

2. By making serious provision for the other world : Mat. vi. 33, 
' But first seek the. kingdom of heaven, and the righteousness thereof, 
and all these things shall be added unto you.' Men that bestow all 
their labour and travail about earthly things, and neglect their precious 
and immortal souls, they are contented to be at home in the body, 
and look no further ; but when you are furnishing the soul with grace, 
and grow more heavenly, strict and mortified, you are more meet: 
Col. i. 12, ' Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance 
of the saints in light.' They that wallow in the delights and content 
ments of the flesh, dislike strictness and holiness. What should they 
do with heaven ? they are not fit for it. Every degree of grace is a 
step nearer home : Ps. Ixxxiv. 7, ' They shall go on from strength to 
strength.' Get clearer evidences of your right to everlasting life : 
1 Tim. vi. 19, ' Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation 
against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.' The 
comfort of what you have done for God will abide with you ; therefore 
let it be your care and great business not so much to live well here, 
as to live well hereafter ; our wealth, and honours, and dignities do 
not follow us into the other world, but our works do. Consider the 
place you are bound for, and what commodities grow current there, 
what will stead you when other things fail. 

3. Mortify carnal desires : 1 Peter ii. 11, 'As strangers and pilgrims, 
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.' The flesh-pots 
of Egypt made Israel despise Canaan. Fleshly lusts do only gratify 
the body, as corrupted with sin ; and therefore they must be subdued 
and kept under by those who have higher and better things to care for. 
If we were to live here for ever, it were no such absurd thing to gratify 
the flesh, and please the body ; though even so it were not a practice 
so suitable to the rational life, yet not altogether so absurd, as when 
we must be gone, and shortly dislodge, and when we have great and 
precious promises of happiness in another world : 2 Cor. vii. 1, ' Having 
therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness both 
of flesh and spirit.' That bindeth it more upon us. These lusts blind 
the mind, besot the heart, burden us in our journey homeward, divert 
our thoughts and care ; yea, being indulged and allowed, they make 
us forfeit heaven, and will prove at length the ruin of our souls. 
Sowing to the flesh cuts off the hopes of happiness, Gal. vi. 8. Well 
then, bethink yourselves, if you look for heaven, will you cherish the 
flesh, which is the enemy of your salvation ? Do you expect a room 
among the angels, and will you live as those who are slaves of the 
devil ? The world is not your country, and will you wholly be occupied 
and taken up about worldly things, what you shall eat and drink, and 
what you shall put on ? 


4. Patiently endure the inconveniences of your pilgrimage. Strangers 
will meet with hard usage. It is no news that all things do not succeed 
with the heirs of promise according to their heart's desire here in the 
world : ' The world will love its own, but they are chosen out of the 
world,' John xv. 19. Christ died not for this, that we should be dandled 
upon the world's knees. As long as the end shall be happy, let us bear 
the inconveniences of the way with the more patience. A Christian, that 
is convinced of a life to come, should not be greatly dismayed at any 
temporal accident. The discourse between Modestus, a governor under 
Valence and Basil the Great, in Nazianzen's twentieth Oration, is very 
notable to this purpose. When he threatened him with banishment, 
' I know no banishment that know no abiding-place here in the 
world. I cannot say that this place is mine, nor can I say the other 
is not mine, wherever God shall cast me ; rather all is the Lord's, 
whose stranger and pilgrim I am. Every place is alike near to heaven, 
and thither I am tending.' This is to carry ourselves as strangers and 
pilgrims. Indeed, to be more indifferent as to the good things of this 
life, and to take them as God sendeth them ; but heaven will make 
amends for all. Many times the world proveth a step-mother. The 
ground that bringeth forth thistles and nettles of its own accord will 
not bear choicer plants. But it is your comfort you shall be trans 
planted, Heb. x. 34. From whence do you fetch your supports in 
any cross ? 1 John iii. 1. A prince that travelleth abroad in disguise, 
may be slighted and ill treated, but you have a glorious inheritance 
reserved for you; therefore this should be your comfort and sup 

5. Beg direction from God, that you may go the shortest way home : 
Ps. cxix. 19, ' I am a stranger upon earth, hide not thy commandments 
from me.' It concerneth a stranger to look after a better and a more 
durable estate ; there is no direction how to attain it but in the word 
of God, and there is no saving understanding of it but in the light of 
his Spirit. This we must earnestly seek, that in everything we may 
understand our duty, that we be not found in a false way : ' Saved as 
by fire,' 1 Cor. iii. 13. Make a hard shift to scramble to heaven. 

6. Get as much of home as you can in your pilgrimage, in the 
earnest and first fruits of the Spirit : Horn. 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.' In ordinances ; Mat. xxvi. 29, ' But I say 
unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine, until 
that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.' Medi 
tation, word, prayer and communion of saints. 

Doct. 2. The main reason why a good Christian counteth himself 
not at home, is, because he is absent from the Lord, while he is in the 

I shall here inquire, 

1. How believers are absent from the Lord. 

2. Why this maketh them look upon the world as a strange place, 
and heaven as their house. 

1. How are believers absent from the Lord, when he dwelleth in 
them, as in his temple, and there is a near and close union between 


him and them ? And he hath promised, that where two or three are 
gathered together in his name he is in the midst of them? 

I answer, Christ is with us indeed, but we are not with him. He 
dwelleth in us by his grace, and influenceth us with quickening and 
strength, but he is at a distance ; we can have no personal converse 
with him, though there be a spiritual commerce between us. But in 
heaven we shall be translated to Christ, and enjoy the fulness of his 
grace ; here ' we walk by faith, and not by sight,' as it is in the next 
verse. In short, our communion with Christ is (1.) not immediate; 
(2.) nor full ; (3.) often interrupted. 

[1.] It is not immediate. We see him now as covered and veiled in 
ordinances and providences, but then we shall see him face to face. 
In providences we enjoy him only at the second or third hand : Hos. 
ii. 21, 22, ' I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth ; and 
the earth shall hear the corn, and wine, and oil ; and they shall hear 
Jezreel.' The mercy and goodness of God passeth from creature to 
creature before it cometh to us. So in ordinances, all that we have 
from him is by the means of the word and sacraments ; there we shall 
enjoy him without means, and without these external helps, for there 
God will be all in all, 1 Cor. xv. 28. We shall then ever be before 
him, in his eye and presence ; and ' in his presence is fulness of joy,' 
Ps. xvi. 11. Our communion with him is not a fancy, but indeed: 
1 John i. 3, ' Truly our communion is with the Father, and with his 
Son Jesus Christ.' But this commerce is maintained at a distance ; 
he is in heaven, and we are upon earth ; it is maintained by faith, but 
then all is evident to sense. 

[2.] Now it is not full. There is a defect both in the pipe and the 
vessel ; we cannot contain all that he is able to give out, nor can the 
means convey it to us. The means are as narrow conduits from the 
fountain, or as creeks from the sea. The fountain could send forth 
more water, but the pipe or conduit can convey no more. The sea 
could pour a greater flood, but the creek can receive no more. When 
God dispenseth himself by means, either in a way of punishment or 
blessing, he doth not give out himself in that fulness and latitude as 
when he is all in all. In punishing the wicked here, he punisheth us 
by a creature. A giant striking with a. straw cannot put forth his 
strength with it. So in blessing, no creature nor ordinance can convey 
all the goodness of God to us. Therefore now we have an imperfect 
power against sin, imperfect peace and comfort in our consciences, an 
imperfect love to God ; but when our communion is immediate, then will 
it be full. We converse with Christ without let and impediment, and 
he maketh out himself to us in a greater latitude and fulness than now. 

[3.] Our communion with Christ is often interrupted ; but in glory 
we shall enjoy his company for ever, and shall have constant and near 
fellowship : 1 Thes. iv. 17, ' We shall be ever with the Lord.' That 
day is never darkened with cloud or night ; we shall meet, and never 
part more ; all distance is gone, and weakness is gone, and we shall 
everlastingly abide before his throne. 

2. Why God's children count themselves not at home till they are 
admitted into this perpetual society with Christ. 

[1.] Because this is the blessedness which is promised to them. 


And therefore they expect it, and thirst after it : John xii. 26, ' Where 
I am, there shall iny servant be.' It is our duty to follow him where- 
ever he leadeth us here, and it is our happiness to be with him for ever 
hereafter. We often look upon the happiness of heaven, as it freeth 
us from all pains and torments. No, the chiefest part is to be with 
Christ. Our glory and happiness consists much in being in his com 
pany. So when he maketh his last will and testament : John xvii. 24, 
' Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me may be where I 
am, and behold my glory.' That is it ; he prayeth they may be brought 
safe there, and be happy for evermore. 

[2.] This is that which is highly prized by them, to be where Christ 
is. Why is this so much prized by true Christians ? 

(1.) Out of thankfulness to Christ's delighting in our presence. 
Therefore much more should we delight in his. He longed for the 
society of men' before the creation of the world: Prov. viii. 31, ' I rejoiced 
in the habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were with the sons 
of men.' Christ delighted in all the creatures, as they were the effects 
of his wisdom, and goodness, and power ; but chiefly in men, as they 
were the objects of his grace, capable of Grod's image and favour. 
Thus he longed for the company of men before the world was. When 
the world was once made, he delighted to appear in human shape 
before his incarnation ; as Gen. xviii., a man appeared to Abraham, 
and he is called Jehovah ; and Zech. i. 10, 11, ' And the man that 
stood among the myrtle- trees, answered and said, These are they whom 
the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.' As if he 
would try how it would fit him to become bone of our bone, and flesh 
of our flesh. When the fulness of time was come, John i. 4, ' the 
Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us' as* long as it was necessary. 
When he departed, he had a mind of returning ; before he went away, 
and removed his bodily presence from us, his heart was upon meeting 
and fellowship again, and getting his people to him : John xiv. 2, ' In 
my Father's house are many mansions ; I go to prepare a place for you ; 
I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am you ma}' 
be also.' Until the time that the meeting cometh, he vouchsafeth his 
powerful presence to us : Mat. xxviii. 20, ' Lo, I am with you to the 
end of the world.' He would never have gone from us if our necessities 
did not require it ; it was necessary that he should die for our sins. 
That nothing might hinder our believing and coming to him, it was 
necessary that he should go to heaven. If our happiness had lain here, 
he would have been with us here ; but it doth not, it is reserved for us 
in the heavens; therefore he must go there to prepare a place for us. 
Before he went he desired we might be there where he is ; as if he 
could not take content in heaven till he hath his faithful with him. 
Now he is gone away, he will tarry no longer than our affairs require. 
To have our souls with him, that doth not content him, till he come 
and fetch our bodies also, that we may follow him in our whole 
person, and then we and he shall never part, when all the elect shall 
meet in one common rendezvous and congregation. Now shall not all 
this breed a reciprocal affection in us ? 

(2.) Out of love to Christ. We would fain get near him who is our 
great friend: Ps. Ixxiii. 25, 'Whom have I in heaven but thee?' 


And the saints are described to be those that ' love his appearing,' 2 
Tim. iv. 8. If we have heard him, if we be Christians indeed, if we 
loved him when we saw him not, and delighted in him, and tasted his 
grace in truth, and felt his power, we shall long to be near him, and 
see him, and converse with him intimately. 

(3.) Taste. Communion begun maketh us long for communion per 
fected: Ps. Ixiii. 1, 2, '0 God, thou art my God; early will I seek 
thee : my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry 
and thirsty land where no water is : to see thy power and thy glory, 
so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary/ 

(4.) Their complete happiness dependeth upon it : 1 John iii. 2, 
' We shall see him as he is, and be like him : ' John xvii. 24, ' That 
they may be where I am, and behold my glory.' Christ cannot be 
fully seen on this side time. 

Use 1. Is to condemn and disprove them from being true Christians 
that cannot abide the presence of Christ. The Gadarenes desired him to 
depart out of their coasts, Mat. viii. Yet carnal men have such a spirit, 
Job xxii. 17, ' which say unto God, Depart from us ; ' cannot abide Christ 
in their neighbourhood, that he should come near their consciences. 

Use 2. Is to press us to two things. 

1. To prize the communion and fellowship of Christ for the present. 
It is constant and habitual ; that ' he may dwell in your hearts by 
faith,' Eph. iii. 17. Where Christ taketh up his abode, there his 
Spirit is the fountain of life, Gal. ii. 20 ; our defence against tempta 
tions: 1 John iv. 4, 'Greater is he that is in us than he that is in 
the world ; ' ' The seed and hope of glory,' Col. i. 27. Solemn and 
actual in holy duties; there is heaven begun, there we 'behold his 
face in righteousness,' Ps. xvii. 15 ; ' And a day in his courts is better 
than a thousand elsewhere/ Ps. Ixxxiv. 10. 

2. Let us long to be with him, to get out of the pesthouse of the 
world, and the prison of corrupt nature. I allude to that, Gen. xxiv. 
57, 58, ' And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her 
mouth. And they called Eebekah, and said to her, Wilt thou go with 
this man ? And she said, I will go.' Wilt thou go to Jesus ? Lord, 
I will go with thee. Hindrances are these. 

[1.] A surfeit on the sinful pleasures and contentments of this world. 
This weakens your desires, and taketh off the edge of your affections. 
Lot lingered when he was to go out of Sodom, Gen. xix. 16. 

[2.] Do not darken your confidence by your sin and folly. Then 
you will as a malefactor fly from him as a judge, rather than rejoice 
to be with him as a saviour. 

For we loalk by faith, and not by sight. 2 COR. v. 7. 

IN this verse a reason is given why we are said to be absent from 
the Lord while we are at home in the body; because all things are 


transacted between him and us by faith, and not by sight or immediate 
vision ' For we walk/ &c. 

These words do notably set forth to us both the nature of faith, 
and the condition of believers here in the world. 

1. They set forth the nature of faith, which mainly goeth upon 
things unseen, or not obvious to present sense. 

2. The condition of a believer in the world : he doth not now see 
God face to face ; he hath only the promise of blessedness, not the 

But that I may draw forth the full scope and sense of the words, I 
shall give you six observations or propositions. 

1. That faith and sight are opposed and contra-distinguished the 
one from the other. 

2. That faith is for earth, and sight is for heaven ; the one is of use 
to us in this world, the other is reserved for the world to come. 

3. That till we have sight it is some advantage that we have faith. 

4. Those that have faith are not satisfied and contented till they 
have sight. For therefore the apostle groaneth and desireth. 

5. That if we have faith, we may be sure that hereafter we shall 
have sight, or hereafter enjoy the beatifical vision. 

6. That those that have faith must walk by it. 

Doct. 1. That faith and sight are opposed and contra-distinguished 
the one from the other. Faith is a grace that is conversant about 
things unseen, or a dependence upon God for something that lieth 
out of sight. That this is the essential property arid nature of faith 
appeareth by the definition of it, Heb. xi. 1, ' It is the substance of 
things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.' The objects 
of faith are things invisible and future. The Lord is absent from us, 
who maketh the promise; and heaven, which is the great promise 
which he hath promised us, is yet to come. The nature of faith and 
hope is destroyed if the object be seen and present, or ready at hand 
to be enjoyed : Rom. viii. 24, ' For hope that is seen is not hope ; 
for what a man seeth, why doth he hope for it ? ' Vision and posses 
sion exclude faith and hope ; there is a constant opposition, you see, 
between faith and sight ; so that we may know that we have faith, 
when we can believe those things which are promised, though we have 
little probability in sense or reason to expect them. And hereby we may 
know the measure as well as the nature of our faith, for the excellency 
and strength of it is in believing things upon God's word, to which 
sense giveth little encouragement, as appeareth by those words of 
Christ to Thomas : John xx. 29, ' Thomas, because thou hast seen, 
thou hast believed ; but blessed are they that have not seen and yet 
believed.' Thomas must have the object of faith under the view of 
his senses, which though it did not argue a nullity in his faith, yet a 
very great weakness and imbecility. Weak Christians must be 
carried in arms, dandled upon knees, fed with sensible pledges and 
ocular demonstrations, or else they are ready to faint; but strong 
Christians can believe above sense and against sense. As it is said of 
the father of the faithful that he believed in hope and against hope : 
Rom. iv. 18, 19, 'And considered not his own body, being dead, 
being an hundred years old, nor the deadness of Sarah's womb ; he 


staggered not at the promise of God, but was strong in faith, giving 
glory to God/ The more faith can live upon the word of God, the 
better, though the things believed be neither felt nor seen ; and the 
less of sensible demonstration we require, the stronger the faith ever. 
This is true in all the objects that faith is conversant about ; I shall 
instance in some. The person of Christ. Many believed on him 
though they had never seen him in the flesh, and therefore their 
faith is commended : 1 Peter i. 8, ' Whom having not seen ye 
love, and in whom ye believe, rejoicing with joy unspeakable and 
full of glory.' It was an advantage certainly to converse with 
Christ personally here upon earth, but faith can embrace him 
in the word though it never saw him in the flesh. So for the 
threatenings, when we can tremble at the word ; as Josiah did 
when he heard the curses of the law, though there were no dangers 
nigh ; we do not read of any actual disturbance and trouble at that 
time in the nation. So many times when an age is very corrupt, and 
things are ripe for judgment, and God giveth warning, alas ! few take 
it or lay it to heart ; they are not affected with things till they feel 
them. Few can see a storm when the clouds are a-gathering, they 
securely build upon their present ease and peace, though God be 
angry. But in the eye of faith a sinful estate is always dangerous, 
and they humble themselves while the judgment is but in its causes ; 
as it is said, Heb. xi. 7, ' By faith Noah, being warned of God of things 
not seen as yet, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by the 
which he condemned the world, and became the heir of righteousness 
which is by faith.' Mark, things not seen are still matter of faith ; 
he saw them in the warning of God, though he could not any way 
else see a flood a-coming. So for God's aid and succour in a time of 
danger : Heb. xi. 27, ' By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath 
of the king, for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.' To 
appearance he was like to be swallowed up, being pursued by a wrath 
ful and puissant king ; but the terrors of sense may be easily van 
quished by those invisible succours which faith relieth upon. So in 
all matters of practical experience. In prosperity we have but too 
much confidence ; but when we are lessened in the world, and cut short, 
we are full of diffidence and distrustful fears: Ps. xxx. 6, 'In my 
prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.' Even a child of God, when 
he gets a carnal pillow to rest upon, lieth down and sleepeth securely, 
and dreameth many a pleasant dream, and is full of confidence ; but 
when God taketh away his pillow from under his head, then he is as 
diffident as formerly confident. God is the same, his promises the 
same, his covenant the same, the mediator the same ; but we are much 
changed, because we look to things seen, and live upon things seen. 
In danger how are we troubled about protection, in deep poverty about 
provisions and maintenance ! If sick and nigh unto death, how little 
do the promises of pardon and eternal life prevail ! In perplexed affairs 
how little can we unravel ourselves, and refer the issue to God 1 Faith 
is staggered because we cannot believe in hope against hope. We 
must have something in view and sight ; faith yieldeth no relief to us. 
Let me instance in a case of spiritual sense in troubles of conscience, 
when God's law speaketh him an enemy, and conscience feeleth him 


an enemy. How long is it ere we can bring men to any kind of hope 
by Christ, notwithstanding the rich and free offers of his grace, or 
engage them, when the curse of the law cleaveth to their consciences, 
to take God's way for cure and remedy ? because they prefer sense 
before faith, and the feeling of God's law that cleaveth to them maketh 
them exclude all hope by the gospel: Isa. 1. 10, ' Who is there among 
you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that 
walketh in darkness, and hath no light ? Let him trust in the name of 
the Lord, and stay upon his God.' The recumbency of such a soul 
is a notable act of faith, loving God as a friend, trusting him as an 
enemy. So in outward trials and difficulties, to wait for so much as 
God hath promised. Many trust God no further than they can see 
him, or have probability to expect his help, which is a limiting the 
holy one of Israel, Ps. Ixxviii. 41, confining him to a circle of their 
own making. If sense be against the promise, the promise doth them 
no good. Now to comfort ourselves in God when all faileth : Hab. 
iii. 18, 'Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my 
salvation ;' and Ps. xxiii. 4, 'Yea, though I walk through the valley 
of the shadow of death, I will fear none evil, for thou art with me, 
thy rod and thy staff doth comfort me.' To make the promise yield 
us that which the creature cannot, health, strength, life, peace, house 
and home, and maintenance for ourselves and children. When we 
die, and have little or nothing to leave them, and all means of subsist 
ence are cut off and blasted, then to live, yea to grow rich by faith, 
as ' having nothing, yet possessing all things,' 2 Cor. vi. 10. It is 
enough that God carrieth the purse for us. Many talk of living by 
faith, but it is when they have something in the world to live upon ; 
as those, Isa. iv. 1, ' Only let us be called by thy name.' So in other 
cases, why do the vain delights, and dignities, and honours of the 
world so prevail with men, that all the promises of the gospel cannot 
reclaim them ? yea, sell their birthright for one morsel of meat ? ' Heb. 
xii. 16. The life of sense is lifted up above that of faith. The soul 
dwelleth in flesh, looketh out by the senses, and knoweth what is com 
fortable to sense, that God is unseen, our great hopes are to come, 
and the flesh is importunate to be pleased : 2 Peter i. 9, ' They that 
want these things (that is, faith and other graces) are blind, and can 
not see afar off.' 

Doct. 2. That faith is for earth, and sight is for heaven. 

So the apostle sorteth these two. Here we believe in God, and there 
we see him as he is. As soon as we are reconciled to him, God will 
not admit us into his immediate presence ; as Absalom, when he had 
leave to return, yet he could not see the king's face, 2 Sam. xiv. 24. 
So God causeth us to stay a while in the world ere we come before him 
in his heavenly temple. 

1. Because now we are in our minority, and all things are by degrees 
carried on towards their state of perfection ; as an infant doth not pre 
sently commence into the stature of a man. In the course of nature 
there is an orderly progress from an imperfect state to a perfect. The 
dispensations of God to the church, Gal. iv. And the apostle compareth 
our estate in glory and our estate by grace to childhood and manly 
age, 1 Cor. xiii. 11, 12. Our words, inclinations, affections, are quite 


changed in the compass of a few years, so as we neither say, nor desire, 
nor understand anything as some years before we did. So it is with 
this and the next life : now our vision is very dark and imperfect, 
looking upon things when they are showed us as through a glass, on 
purpose to give us a glimpse of them ; but when we come to heaven, 
we shall see perfectly, as we see a person or thing that is before our 

2. We are now upon our trial, but then we are in termino, in our final 
state ; now we are in our way, but then we are in our country. There 
fore now we walk by faith, but then by sight ; God would not give us 
our reward here. A trial cannot be made in a state of sense, but in 
a state of faith : we are justified by faith ; we live by faith ; we walk 
by faith. This state of faith requireth that the manner of that dispen 
sation by which God governeth the world should neither be too sen 
sible and clear, nor too obscure and dark, but a middle thing, as the 
daybreak or twilight is between the light of the day and the darkness 
of the night; that as the world is a middle place between heaven and 
hell, so it should have somewhat of either. If all things were too clear 
and liable to sense, we should not need faith ; if too obscure, we should 
wholly lose faith ; therefore it is neither night nor day, but towards 
the evening. If the godly should be presently admitted to their happi 
ness, and have all things according to heart's desire, it would make 
religion too sensible a thing, not fit for that kind of government which 
God will now exercise in the world : Heb. vi. 12, ' But followers of 
them who through faith and patience have inherited the promises;' 
and James i. 12, ' Blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for 
when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord 
hath promised to them that love him.' Every man must be tried, and 
approved faithful upon trial, and then God will admit him into his 

3. There is no congruity between our present state and the beatifi 
cal vision ; the place is not fit, nor the persons. 

[1.] The place is not fit, because it is full of changes. Here time 
and chance happeneth to all, and there is a continual succession of 
night and day, calm and tempest, winter and summer. There is neither 
all evil nor only evil, not all good nor all blessing, but a mixture of 
either. The world to come is either all evil or all good. This is a 
fit place for our exercise, but not for our enjoyments. Here is the 
patience of the saints, but there is the reward of the saints. It is a 
fit place to get an interest in, but not a possession. It is God's foot 
stool, but not his throne, Isa. Ixvi. 1. Now he will not immediately 
show himself to us till we come before the throne of his glory. He 
manifesteth himself to the blessed spirits as a king sitting in his royal 
robes upon his throne, but the church is but his foot-stool ; as he fill- 
eth the upper part of the world with his glorious presence, so the 
lower part with his powerful presence. This is a place wherein God 
will show his bounty to all his creatures, a common inn and receptacle 
for sons and bastards, a place given to the children of men, but the 
heaven of heavens he hath reserved for himself and his people, Ps. 
cxv. 16. 

[2.] The persons are not fit. Our souls are not yet enough purified 


to see God, Mat. v. 8 ; 1 John iii. 3. Till sin be done away, which 
will not be till death, we are unmeet for his presence. When Christ 
will present us to God, he will present us faultless before the presence 
of his glory, Jude 28. Our bodies also are not fit till we have passed 
the gulf of death. We are not able to bear eternal happiness. Old 
bottles will not hold the new wine of glory ; a mortal creature is not 
capable of the glorious presence of God, and cannot endure the splen 
dour of it : Mat. xii. 6, ' They fell on their faces, and were sore afraid.' 
Upon any manifestation of God the saints hide themselves: Elijah 
wrapt his face in a mantle ; Moses himself, when God gave the law, 
trembled exceedingly. 

Doct. 3. That till we have sight, it is some advantage that we have 
faith. There is no other way to live spiritually and in holy peace, joy, 
and the love of God, but by sight or faith, either by enjoyment or 
expectation. Therefore, sight being reserved for the other world, if we 
would live holily and comfortably, we must walk by faith ; for our life 
is not maintained so much by the things which we enjoy, as the things 
we look for from God. If a Christian had no more to look for from 
God than he enjoyeth here, he were of all men most miserable not 
only equal, but more miserable. God's children have fewer comforts, 
more afflictions, and their affections to heavenly things are stronger 
than others. Therefore that which we look for must be our solace. 

What relief will faith yield us ? 

1. Faith hath its sights, though not full and ravishing, as those 
which presence and immediate vision will yield to us. By the light 
of faith we see the good things which God hath promised and pro 
vided for us. We see them in the promise, though not in the per 
formance ; there is a spiritual sight which faith seeth by : John vi. 
40, 'He that seeth the Son, and believeth on him.' Faith is a 
sight of Christ, such a sight as affecteth and engageth the heart, such, 
a sight as niaketh us to count all things but dung and dross. Thus 
' Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and saw it, and was glad/ The 
Lord suspended the exhibition of Christ in the flesh till long after 
Abraham ; but he got that which was far better than a bodily sight, 
lie got a spiritual sight of him by faith. Faith hath an eagle's eye, 
and can see a very far off, and can draw comfort not only from what 
is visible for the present, but yet to come for a long time. Through 
all that distance of time could Abraham see Christ's day. This will 
in part satisfy us: Eph. i. 18, 'That the eyes of your mind being 
enlightened, ye may know what is the hope of his calling.' The eye 
of the soul or the mind is faith, without which we are blind, and 
cannot see afar off, 2 Peter i. 9. It seeth 'things past, present, and to 
come. Past : Gal. iii. 1, ' Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been 
evidently set forth, crucified among you.' Christ was not crucified in 
Oalatia, but in Jerusalem. It is not meant of a picture and crucifix, 
for in those early days they did not paint what they worshipped, but 
set forth to their faith. So plain and powerful is the apprehension of 
faith, as if he had acted his bloody passion before them, as if they had 
seen Christ crucified. So not only for present things, but in the other 
world. God : Heb. xi. 27, ' As seeing him that is invisible ; ' Christ 
at the right hand of God. Stephen saw it in vision and ecstasy, Acts 


vii. 51. But every believer seeth it by faith. Things to come, as 
the day of judgment : Kev. xx. 12, ' I saw the dead, small and great, 
stand before God.' A believer is certainly persuaded and suitably 
affected ; so Abraham saw Christ's day. 

2. Faith goeth not upon fallible, but certain and sure grounds. 
Enjoyment is more comfortable, but faith is sure ; sight is better than 
faith, yet faith is our present strength, comfort, and support. It is our 
unhappiness that we walk not by sight, but it is some piece of happi 
ness that we walk by faith ; so that a believer is comforted, but not 
satisfied. His faith is satisfied, though his love and desire be not. 
For faith goeth upon good security, the security of God's promise, 
who cannot lie ; nay, we have not only promises, but pledges which 
faith worketh. It is of faith, that it may be sure to all the seed. 
But the world thinketh nothing sure that is invisible. To carnal men, 
what they see not is as nothing ; that the promises are but like a night- 
dream of mountains of gold, that all the comforts thence deduced are 
but fanatical illusions. Nothing so ridiculous in the world's eye as 
trust and dependence upon unseen comforts : Ps. xxii. 7, 8, ' All they 
that see me laugh me to scorn, saying, He trusted in the Lord that he 
would deliver him.' Ungodly wits make the life of faith a sport, and 
a matter of laughter. They are all for the present world ; present 
delights and present temptations have the greatest influence upon 
them. One little thing in hand is more than the greatest promise of 
better things to come : 2 Tim. iv. 10, ' Demas hath forsaken us, and 
embraced the present world.' 

But are all things future and invisible to be questioned ? Surely 
we do not deal equally with God and man. Country people will obey 
a king whom they never saw. If a man promise, they reckon much of 
that ; they can tarry upon man's security, but count God's nothing 
worth. They can trade with a factor beyond seas, and trust all their 
estate in a man's hands whom they have never seen. And yet the 
word of the infallible God is of little regard and respect with them, 
even then when he is willing to give earnest. 

3. Faith hath some enjoyment. All is not kept for the world to 
come. We are ' partakers of Christ,' Heb. iii. 14 ; partakers of the 
benefit, 1 Tim. vi. 2, that is, of salvation by Christ. A Christian hath 
here by faith whatever he shall have hereafter by sight or full enjoy 
ment. They believe it now, they receive it then ; they have the 
beginnings now, the consummation then. 

Doct. 4. Those that have faith are not satisfied and contented till 
they have sight. For therefore the apostle groaneth after and desireth 
a better estate. The reasons of this : 

1. The excellency of that better estate which is to come. It is 
expressed in the text by sight. Now what sight shall we have ? The 
sight of God and Christ. Of God : 1 Cor. xiii. 12, ' We shall see him 
face to face, and we shall know as we are known.' And for Christ : 1 
John iii. 2, ' We shall see him as he is ; ' and John xvii. 20 : ' That they 
may be where I am, and behold my glory.' What is this glory ? The 
excellency of his person, the union of the two natures in the person of 
Christ : John xiv. 20, ' At that day ye shall know that I am in the 
Father, and the Father in me.' The clarity of his human nature. 



They shall see the Lamb's face, and -be eye-witnesses of the honour 
which the Father puts upon him as mediator. In what manner shall 
we behold it ? It is either ocular or mental. (1.) Ocular. Our senses 
have their happiness as well as our souls ; there is a glorified eye as 
well as a glorified mind ' With these eyes shall I behold him,' Job 
xix. 26. We shall see that person that redeemed us, that nature 
wherein he suffered so much for us. God intendeth good to the body, 
and hath intrusted it with the soul, and that soul with so much grace, 
that he will not lose the outward cask and vessel. (2.) There is a 
mental vision or contemplation. The angels that are not bodily are 
said to ' behold the face of our heavenly Father,' Mat. xviii. 10. And 
when we are said to see God, it is not meant of the bodily eye ; a 
spirit cannot be seen with bodily eyes ; so he is invisible, Col. i. 15. 
And seeing face to face is opposed to knowing in part. The mind is 
the noblest faculty, and therefore must have its satisfaction. Well 
then, this is our happiness, to see God and Christ with eye and mind ; 
ocular vision maketh way for mental, mental for fruition, and fruition 
for love and joy, and that accompanied with all manner of felicity. 
Alas ! now we have dull and low conceptions of God, are little trans 
formed by them, or weaned from fleshly and worldly lusts ; could we 
see God in all his glory, nothing would be dreadful, nothing would be 
snaringly or enticingly amiable to us any more : 1 John ii. 6, ' Who 
soever sinneth hath not seen God, nor known him.' We can hardly 
get such a sight of God now as to prevent heinous and wilful sins, but 
then shall see him, and grow more holy and God-like. 

2. The taste which we have by faith draweth on the soul to look 
and long for a full enjoyment. They are sweet and ravishing as 
apprehended by faith, but what will they be when enjoyed by sight ? 
Moses' first request was, Tell me thy name ; afterwards, Show me 
thy glory ; now we scarce know his name, but then we shall see his 
glory. A little Christ hath told us, who hath seen God, and is with 
God, and is God himself, Mat. xi. 27. This little doth not satisfy, 
but enkindle our thirst to know more, especially if this knowledge be 
joined with experience, 1 Peter ii. 3. ' If we have tasted that the 
Lord is gracious.' This sets the soul a-longing for a fuller draught, 
and we still follow on to know more of God, Hos. vi. 3. 

Doct. 5. If we have faith, we may be sure that hereafter we shall 
have sight. For God will not disappoint the soul that looketh and 
longeth for what he hath promised ; and not only looketh and longeth, 
but laboureth, and sufFereth all manner of inconveniency, and is 
willing to do anything and be anything that it may enjoy these 
blessed hopes. Would God court the creature into a vain hope, to 
his great loss and detriment ? More distinctly 

1. It is faith that maketh us mind sight, or regard the things 
of another world. When they were persuaded of things afar off, they 
embraced them. There is a twofold life commonly spoken of in 
scripture as being in man: the animal life and the spiritual life. 
The animal life is the life of the soul void of grace, accommodating 
itself to the interests of the body : Jude 19, ' Sensual, having not the 
Spirit/ as to the power and pomp of the world, height of rank and 
place, riches, pleasures, honours, or such things as are grateful to sense. 


Our spiritual life is a principle that enableth us to live unto God, to 
act towards him, to make his glory our chief scope, his favour as our 
felicity and happiness. These two lives are governed by sense and 
faith the animal by sense, the spiritual by faith ; so that reason is 
either debased by sense, or sublimated and raised by faith. Sense 
carrieth and inclineth the soul to the pleasures, honours, profits of the 
present world, faith directeth it to the concernments of the world to 
come ; hereunto all cometh, the distinction of the outward man and 
inward man. The animal life is cherished by the comforts of this life, 
the other by the life to come ; see 1 Cor. ii. 14 ; ' But the natural 
man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ; ' so 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.' Well then, it is faith 
that breedeth a heavenly spirit ; so that a man is made heavenly in 
his walkings, heavenly in his thoughts, heavenly in his supports, 
heavenly in his discourse, heavenly in his expectations. Faith doth 
not a little tincture a man, but he is deeply drenched by it, and 
baptized into a heavenly spirit. 

2. It is faith that prepareth us for sight ; for it is a kind of antici 
pation of blessedness, or fore-enjoyment of our everlasting estate. 
Therefore called, Heb. xi. 1, ' The substance of things hoped for/ God 
by faith traineth us up for sight ; first we live by faith, and then by 
sight. Faith now serveth instead of vision, and hope of fruition ; it 
maketh our happiness in a manner present ; though it doth not affect 
us in the same degree that the life of glory or vision will do, yet 
somewhat answerable it worketh. The life of glory is inconsistent 
with any misery : but the life of faith enableth us to rest quietly upon 
God and his gracious promises as if there were no misery. Where it 
hath any efficacy and vigour, no allurement and terror can turn us 
aside, but we follow the Lord in all conditions with delight and cheer 
fulness. The expectation cannot affect us as the enjoyment doth, but 
in some measure it doth : Eom. v. 3, ' We rejoice in hope of the glory 
of God.' The beatifical vision transformeth us : 1 John iii. 2, ' We 
shall see him as he is, and be like him.' So doth the sight of faith : 
2 Cor. iii. 18, ' Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are 
changed into his image and likeness.' The one nullifieth sin, the 
other mortifieth sin. 

3. It is faith giveth a right and title to the things expressed by 
sight ; there is a charter, or certain grant of eternal life, written with 
Christ's blood, sealed by the Spirit, offered by God, accepted by faith. 
Sealing, offered and accepted, standeth valid and ratified. The heirs 
of promise are described to be those who run for refuge to take hold 
of the hope that is before them, Heb. vi. 18, all that take sanctuary 
at his grace, and are resolved to pursue it in God's way ; that is, to 
continue patiently in well-doing, Kom. ii. 7. Faith giveth the first 
consent, which is after verified by a constant and unwearied pursuit 
after this happiness. Those who entertain a king make reckoning of 
his train. The winning of the field is ascribed to the general under 
whose conduct the battle was fought ; so the promises run upon faith, 
which beginneth and governeth the whole business. Well then, 
many catch at it by a fond presumption, but have no title till faith, 


and that faith no cold speculation and dead opinion about heaven, 
but a lively, working faith. Certainly we do but talk of eternal life, we 
do not believe it, if our most industrious care, and serious thoughts, 
and constant and active endeavours be not turned into this channel, or 
if we do not believe it so as to prize it, and prize it so as to seek after 
it, and seek after it in the first place, Mat. vi. 33. This must be our 
great scope do all things to eternal ends : 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/ 

Doct. 6. Those who have faith must walk by it ; for faith is here 
considered as working and putting forth itself. We walk, that is, 
we live, for in the dialect of the Hebrews this life is a walk ; vitam 
nostram componimus, we must govern and direct our lives by the 
power arid influence of faith. It is not enough to have faith, but we 
must walk by it ; our whole conversation is carried on and influenced 
by faith, and by the Spirit of God on Christ's part : Gal. ii. 20, ' I 
live by the faith of the Son of God ; ' a lively faith. There living by 
faith is spoken of as it respecteth the principle of the spiritual life ; 
here walking by faith as the scope and end of it : there, as we derive 
virtue from Christ ; here, as we press on to heaven, in the practice of 
holiness. In short, walking noteth a progress, and passing on from 
one place to another, through a straight and beaten way which lieth 
between both. So we pass on from the earthly state to the heavenly 
by the power and influence of our way ; our way is through all condi 
tions we are appointed unto, and through all duties required of us. 

1. Through all conditions. By honour and dishonour, evil report 
and good report, afflictions, prosperities, 2 Cor. vi. 4-8. Whether 
despised or countenanced, still minding our great journey to heaven. 
Faith is necessary for all, that the evil be not a discouragement, nor 
the good a snare. Evil: Horn. 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.' Good : 2 Tim. iv. 10, ' For Demas hath 
forsaken us, and loved the present world.' 

2. All duties required of us. That we still keep a good conscience 
towards God and towards man, Acts xxiv. 15, 16, in this faith and 


1. Walking by faith maketh a man sincere, because he expecteth 
his reward from God only, though no man observe him, no man com 
mend him : Mat. vi. 6, ' Thy Father which seeth in secret shall 
reward thee openly.' Yea, though all men hate him and condemn 
him : Mat. v. 11, 12, ' Blessed are you when men shall revile and per 
secute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my 
name's sake ; rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward 
in heaven.' Now this is true sincerity, when we make God alone our 
paymaster, and count his rewards enough to repair our losses and repay 
our cost. 

2. It maketh a man vigorous and lively. When we consider at 
the end of our work there is a life of endless joys to be possessed in 
heaven with God, that we shall never repent of the labour and pain 


that we have taken in the spiritual life : 1 Cor. xv. 58, ' Always 
abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour shall 
not be in vain in the Lord ;' Phil. iii. 14, ' I press towards the mark, 
because of the high prize of the calling of God in Jesus Christ/ The 
thoughts of the prize and worth of the reward do add spirits to the 

3. It maketh a man watchful, that he be not corrupted with the 
delights of sense, which are apt to call back our thoughts, to interrupt 
our affections, to divert us from our work, and quench our zeal. Now 
one that walks by faith can compare his eternal happiness with these 
transitory pleasures which will soon have an end, and everlastingly 
forsake those miserable souls who were deluded by them. As Moses : 
Heb. xi. 24, 25, 'By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused 
to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer 
affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for 
a season.' 

4. Walking by faith will make a man self-denying ; for, having 
heaven in his eye, he knoweth that he cannot be a loser by God : 
Mark x. 21, ' Forsake all that thou hast, and thou shalt have treasure 
in heaven ; ' so vers. 29, 30, ' Verily I say unto you, There is no man 
that hath left house, or brethren, or sister, or father, or mother, or 
children, or lands, for my name's sake, but he shall receive an 

5. Walking by faith maketh a man comfortable and confident ; a 
believer is encouraged in all his duty, emboldened in his conflicts, 
comforted in all his sufferings. The quieting or emboldening the soul 
is the great work of faith, or trust in God's fidelity. A promise to him 
is more than all the visible things on earth, or sensible objects in the 
world; it can do more with him to make him forsake all earthly 
pleasures, possessions, and hopes : Ps. Ivi. 4, ' In God I will praise his 
word, in God I have put my trust ; I will not fear what flesh can do 
unto me ; ' so Paul : Acts xx. 24, ' But none of those things move me, 
neither count I my life dear unto me, so I may fulfil my course with 
joy. Save the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds 
and afflictions abide me ' did wait for him everywhere. I make no 
reckoning of these things. It maketh us constant. Have ye fixed 
upon these hopes with so great deliberation, and will you draw back, 
and slack in the prosecution of them ? Have you gone so far in the 
way to heaven, and do you begin to look behind you, as if you were 
about to change your mind, Heb. x. 39. The apostle saith, Phil. iii. 
13, 'I forget the things which are behind, reaching forth unto the 
things which are before.' The world and the flesh are things behind 
us; we turned our backs upon them when we first looked after 
heavenly things. Heaven and remaining duties are the things before 
us ; if we lose our crown, we lose ourselves for ever. 

Use, Is to show the advantage the people of God have above the 
carnal and unregenerate. The people of God walk by faith, against 
the present want of sight. How do the world walk ? Not by faith, 
they have it not; nor by the sight of heaven, for they are not there, 
and so continuing never shall be there. So they have neither faith 
nor sight ; what do they live by, then ? They live by sense and by fancy : 


by sense as to the present world ; and they live by fancy and vain con 
ceit as to the world to come. Live in their sins and vain pleasures, 
and yet hope to be saved. Here they walk by sight, but not such a 
sight as the apostle meaneth ; they must have something in the view 
of sense lands, honours, pleasures ; and when these are out of sight, 
they are in darkness, and have nothing to live upon. But now a 
Christian is never at a loss, let his condition be what it will. Suppose 
God should bring him so low and bare that he hath no estate to live 
on, no house to dwell in, yet he hath an inheritance in the promises : 
Ps. cxix. Ill, ' Thy testimonies I have taken for an heritage for ever ; ' 
and ' God is his habitation,' Ps. xc. 1. A full heap in his own keeping 
is not such a supply to him as God's all- sufficiency, Gen. xvii. 1. 
That is his storehouse. But his great happiness is in the other world ; 
there is all his hope and his desire, and he looketh upon other promises 
only in order to that. 

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, 
and present with the Lord. 2 COR. v. 8. 

IN this verse the apostle repeateth what he had said verse 6, with 
some amplification. Here take notice of two things 

1. His confidence of sight, or of a blessed condition to come 
6appovfj,v, We are confident, I say. 

2. His preference or esteem of sight, or of that blessed condition 
before the present estate evSoxov/jiev /j,a\\ov, And willing rather 
to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. Where two 

[1.] What he was willing to quit 'the body.' We are willing 
(eicSr)/j.fj<rai) to travel- out of the body. 

[2.] What he did choose and prefer evfyfjifja-ai, to be at home with 
the Lord, to dwell in the same house with the Lord Christ j this he 
preferred before remaining in the body. 

Let us a little explain these circumstances. 

First, His confidence of sight to be had at length. 'We are con 
fident, I say.' There is a twofold confidence (1.) The confidence of 
faith ; (2.) The confidence of assurance, or of our own interest. Both 
are of regard here. (1.) Faith in part produceth this willingness to 
go out of the body, and enjoy the heavenly life, and comfortably to 
leave the time and means thereof to God. Faith, where it is in any 
vigour, begets in those that live by it a holy boldness, whereby we 
dare undertake anything for God, not fearing the power and greatness 
of any creature ; no, not death itself. (2.) assurance of our own inte 
rest doth much more heighten this confidence and holy boldness when 
we know assuredly that our end shall be glorious, and that when we 
depart out of the body, we shall be present with the Lord. The hope 
of our salvation is not uncertain. 


Secondly, His preferring and choosing the future estate before the 
present ; evSoxovpev pdXXov, we approve it, we like it better : Rom. 
xv. 26, ' It hath pleased them of Macedonia ; ' and ver. 27, ' It hath 
pleased them verily,' evbo/crjcre ; the same word also, Mat. xvii. 3. 
So here we make choice rather, and are infinitely better pleased to 
leave this body behind us here, and to go out and die, that by this 
means we may come to our home and bliss in heaven. So that faith 
doth not only shake off the fear of death, but enkindle in us a holy 
desire of it ; for what we render ' and willing/ is, are more pleased or 
better pleased. 

The points are four 

1. That our happiness in the world to come lieth in being present 
with the Lord. 

2. That we are present with the Lord as soon as the soul flitteth 
out of the body. 

3. That this state is chosen by the saints as more pleasing to them 
than to dwell in the body. 

4. This will, desire, and choice cometh from a confidence of the 
reality of a better estate, and our own interest in it. 

1. That our happiness in the world to come lieth in being present 
with the Lord. This hath been in part touched on in ver. 6 ; I 
shall only add a few considerations. Surely it must needs be so ; 
because this is the felicity denied to wicked men, but promised and 
granted to the godly. Denied to wicked men : John vii. 34, ' Where 
I am, thither ye cannot come ; ' that is, so living, and so dying, they 
have no leave, no grant to be there where Christ is ; paradise is closed 
up against them, but it is opened to God's faithful servants by the 
promises of the gospel : John xii. 26, ' There where I am, there shall 
my servant be.' Christ will not be ever in heaven without us. As 
Joseph brought his brethren to Pharaoh, so Christ will bring us to 
God. Wicked men desire not Christ's company in this life, and there 
fore they are justly secluded from coming where he is ; but the godly 
are trained up to look and long and wait for this when they shall 
come before God. 

Reasons. (1.) Because then we shall have sight and immediate 
communion with him, and our happiness floweth from him without 
the intervention of any means : Acts iii. 19, ' Days of refreshing shall 
come from the presence of the Lord ; ' compare it with 2 Thes. i. 9, 
' The wicked shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the 
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.' Eternal 
happiness is granted to the elect by the full revelation of Christ's face, 
Rev. xxii. 4. ' They shall see his face.' And the very look and face of 
Christ is the cause of vengeance on the wicked : Rev. vi. 16, ' They 
shall say unto the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from 
the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and the wrath of the 
Lamb.' Christ's face produceth powerful effects, either in a way of 
grace or punishment. In the days of his flesh we had a proof of it 
both ways. The Lord looked upon Peter, and that melted his heart, 
Luke xxii. 61. And when the high priest's servants came to attack 
him: John xviii. 6, 'He looked upon him, and said, I am he. And 
they went backward, and fell to the ground.' But surely in heaven 


we shall need no more to make us happy than once to see the face of 
Christ ' In thy presence' (or in thy face) ' is fulness of joy, and pleasure 
for evermore,' Ps. xvi. 11. The fruition of God's immediate presence 
is not like the joys of the world, which can neither feed nor fill a man; 
Jbut in seeing him we shall have full content and complete felicity. 
The children of God long to see God in his ordinances : Ps. xxvii. 4, 
' One thing have I desired of the Lord, 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.' There is but one 
thing David was solicitous about, and importunate for in his prayers ; 
what was this one thing ? Not that he might be settled in his regal 
throne, which he seemeth not yet to be when that psalm was penned 
(for the Septuagint in title add to what appeareth in our Bibles irpo 
rov 'xpiadffvai, before he was annointed), but that he might enjoy 
the sweet pleasures of daily and frequent converse with God, that he 
might behold the beauty of the Lord ; so Ps. xlii. 2, ' My soul thirst- 
eth for God, for the living God ; when shall I come and appear before 
God ? ' David was impatient of being debarred from the presence of 
God. Now, if there be so great and so longing a desire to see God in 
these glasses, wherein so little of his glory is seen with any comfort 
and satisfaction, how much more to see him immediately, and face to 
face ? If that glimpse which God now vouchsafeth be so glorious, 
what will it be when he shall fully show himself to his people face to 

(2.) Because then we shall converse with him without impediment 
and distraction. Here bodily necessities take up the far greatest part 
of our time: Luke x. 41, 'Thou art cumbered about many things, 
but one thing is necessary.' The present life requireth many ministries 
and services at our hands. Besides sinful distractions, there are many 
worldly occasions to divert us ; but then it is our work and our wages 
to see God, our business and blessedness to study divinity in the 
Lamb's face : John xvii. 24, ' That they may be where I am, and 
behold my glory.' It is our constant work in heaven to admire and 
adore God in Christ. The difficulties and distractions are removed, 
and that mass of flesh which we now carry about us will be then no 
clog to us : 1 Cor. vi. 13, ' Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, 
but God shall destroy both it and them.' Nature calleth for them, and 
in this life there is an absolute necessity of them, but the necessity and 
use shall cease ; the spiritual body will need no other supplies, and put 
us upon no other employments, than the loving, pleasing, and serving 
of God. All the things which we shall see will leave more sweet, 
enlivening, and powerful impressions on us than possibly now they 
can, because we shall understand them better, and have more leisure 
to attend upon them. 

(3.) Our presence with him shall be perpetual. We shall meet 
never to part more : 1 Thes. iv. 17, ' We shall be for ever present 
with the Lord/ Wicked men shall see Christ, for they must appear 
before his tribunal ; but they shall see him to their confusion : Rev. i. 
7, ' Every eye shall see him, and they that have pierced him shall wail 
because of him.' But the godly shall see hirn to their consolation : 
Job xix. 26, ' I know that my Redeemer liveth, and with these eyes 


I shall see him.' The one shall see him as their judge, the other as 
their saviour ; but the chiefest difference is, the one shall see him for 
a while, and then be banished out of his presence : Mat. xxv. 41, 
'Depart, ye cursed.' There is a dispute whither pcena damni or pcena 
scnsus be the greatest ; I cannot determine such nice points. The 
sense of pain is from the wrath of God ; conscience reflecteth upon our 
loss ; the agents are not to be compared. Yet on the other side the 
object is greater, the thing lost is God himself; it is the creature that 
is pained. But I am sure the loss will be much greater than now we 
apprehend it to be. For the present we do not value communion with 
Christ, we have other things wherewith to entertain our souls ; there 
are no pleasures of the flesh to abate and divert the sense of our loss ; 
nothing left but the vexing remembrance of our own folly and perverse 
choice, which will torment us for ever ; but now to be received into 
Christ's presence and ever abide with him, how great is the happiness ! 

(4.) The person whom we see, and with whom we be present, he is 
our best friend. It is with Jesus Christ, who is the life of our lives, 
and the whole felicity of his people ; as long as the church is without 
him, she cannot take full contentment. What doth the spouse esteem, 
when she seeth him not to whom she is espoused ? What can delight 
the wife when the husband is absent? What comfort when they 
want the presence of Christ, to whom their souls cleave ? When the 
church is here upon earth, she heareth much of Christ ; he is evidently 
set forth before their eyes in the word and sacraments, but we do not 
see him face to face, we do not enjoy his presence nor his immediate 
embraces. The church is left upon earth, but Christ is received into 
heaven with his Father ; we believe in him now, rejoice in him. now, 
when we see him not, 1 Peter i. 8. But how shall we love him when 
we see him, and see him glorious in our nature, and enjoy him by 
seeing ! Hearsay and report could not convey such a knowledge and 
report as this personal experience, as they said, John iv. 42, ' Now we 
believe, not because of thy saying, but we have seen him ourselves.' 
Here is but a sight at second hand, as the Queen of Sheba : 1 Kings 
x. 17, ' It was a true report which I heard in my own land of thine 
acts, and thy wisdom, but when I came, and mine eyes had seen it, 
the half was not told me.' We believe the report of Christ in the 
word ; but when we come to see him, we shall find that prophecy was 
but in part, the one half was not told us ; however sight is the more 
precious, because faith went before ; we believed him a saviour, and 
now we find him to be so. How glad was Simeon when he had 
Christ in his arms : Luke ii. 29, 30, ' Now lettest thou thy servant 
depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.' 

(5.) The place and the company, where we shall be present with 
him. The place is glorious; the heaven of heavens must contain him, 
Acts iii. 24. The earth is not a fit place for his glorified body, nor 
for us to converse with him in his glorified estate. We shall be there 
where God dwelleth, and where he hath designed to manifest himself 
to his people, and amongst the servants of the Lord shall we ever 
remain : Heb. xii. 22, 23, ' To an innumerable company of angels, to 
the general assembly and church of the first-born which are written 
in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and the spirits of just men 


made perfect.' A choice company, picked and chosen out of the world 
to be objects of his grace. In this council of souls we are to abide 
for ever. 

Use. Let us often think of this blessed estate; what it is to be 
present with the Lord, among his holy ones, to be called to heaven as 
witnesses of his glory. The Queen of Sheba said of Solomon, 1 Kings 
x. 8, ' Happy are the men that stand in thy presence/ They that 
stand before the Lord, and see his glory, are much more happy. 
Zaccheus, being a little man, pressed to see Christ upon earth, and got 
upon a sycamore tree. The wise men came from the east to see him 
in his cradle. It is our burden in the world that the veil of the flesh, 
and the clouds of heaven, interpose between us and Christ, that there 
is a great gulf between us and him, which cannot be passed but by 
death. That Christ is at a distance, therefore our enemies so often 
ask us, ' Where is your God ? ' But then when we are in his arms, 
then we can say, Here he is ; here is he whom we loved ; here is he in 
whom we trusted. Then our Redeemer shall be ever before our eyes, 
to remember us of the grace purchased for us ; and we are as near 
him as possibly we can be ; we dwell in his family, and abide in his 
house. David envied the swallows that had their nests about the 
tabernacle. He telleth us, Ps. Ixxxiv. 10, ' One day in thy courts is 
better than a thousand elsewhere.' Now you shall be always before 
the throne, and look upon Jesus so as to live on him. This sight 
shall ravish and content your hearts. The three children walked 
comfortably in the fiery furnace, because there was a fourth there, one 
that was as the Son of God. If a fiery furnace be a comfortable place 
when Christ is there, what will heaven be when Christ, and we shall 
be there to all eternity ? Again, this presence maketh way for enjoy 
ment. It is not a naked sight and speculation ; we are co-heirs with 
Christ, Rom. viii. 17. We shall be like him, live in the same state, 
participate of the same glory. Servants may stand in the presence of 
princes, but they do not make their followers their fellows and consorts 
with them in the same glory. Solomon could only show his glory to 
the Queen of Sheba, but Christ giveth it us to be enjoyed : Luke xxii. 
30, ' Ye shall eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.' The 
greatest love that David could show his friends, was to admit them to 
his table : 2 Sam. ix. 7, ' Thou shalt eat bread at my table con 
tinually,' said he to Mephibosheth ; and so to Barzillai. ' He put him 
upon his own mule, and caused him to sit upon his throne,' 1 Kings 
i. 33, 35. Thus Christ dealeth with us ; we sit upon his throne, we are 
feasted at his table with unmixed delights. In how much better 
condition are we than Adam ! Adam was in Paradise, we in heaven ; 
Adam was there among the beasts of the earth, we with God and his 
holy angels ; Adam was thrown out of Paradise, we never out of heaven. 
It is no matter if the world leave us not a room to live in among them ; 
they cast us out many times, but Christ will take us to himself. Again, 
if this presence of Christ be no small part of our happiness, let us more 
delight in it. We enjoy his presence in the ordinances ; this is to begin 
heaven upon earth. Therefore let us begin our familiarity here. 

Doct. 2. That we are presently with the Lord as soon as the soul 
flitteth out of the body. 


This is one of the plainest texts to prove that separated souls, as 
soon as they are out of the body, do enjoy bliss and glory. There are 
a sort of men in the world who are so drowned in sense that they 
cannot believe things to come, either questioning the immortality of 
the soul, or else, which is a step to it, asserting the sleep of it ; and 
all because they so fancy it to be tied to the body, as that it cannot 
exercise its functions and operations without it. Those that deny the 
being of the soul, or the abiding of it after the body is dissolved, I 
shall not handle that now ; but to those that grant the abiding of the 
soul, but in a deep sleep, without any sense and feeling of good or evil, 
I must show the falsehood of this opinion, or else all that I shall say 
will be to no purpose. Therefore I shall handle these three things 

1. That the soul is distinct from the body. 

2. That the soul can live and exercise its operations apart from the 

3. That the souls of the saints actually do so. 

1. That the soul is distinct from the body, and is not merely the 
vigour of the blood, appeareth by scripture, reason and experience. 
In scripture we read, that when man's body was organised and framed, 
' God breathed into him the spirit of life/ Gen. ii. 7. 

[1.] The life of man is a distinct thing from this mass of flesh ; that 
is proportioned into hands and feet, head and belly, arms and legs, bones 
and sinews. And this life of man, whatever it be, it is such a life as 
implieth reason, and a faculty of understanding, and willing or opposing : 
' In him was life, and that life was the light of men/ John i. 4. It doth 
not only enliven this flesh, but discourse and choose things at its own 
pleasure a life that hath light in it. It is distinct from the body in 
its nature, being a substance immaterial, and not capable of being 
divided into parts, as the body is, for it is a spirit, not created of 
matter, as the body was. The body was formed out of the dust of the 
ground, and therefore it can be resolved into its original, but the spirit 
was immediately created by God out of nothing. Therefore the 
scripture saith, Eccles. xii. 7, ' Then shall the dust return to the earth 
as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it/ Where 
the body is dust in its composition, it shall be dust in its dissolution. 
There is described the first and last condition of the body, in regard 
of its material cause, and the soul is described in the kind of its being. 
It is a spirit, or an immaterial substance ; its author, God, gave it ; 
he framed the body too, but not so immediately in ordinary generation. 
And our natural fathers are distinguished from the Father of our 
spirits, Heb. xii. 9. And by its disposal ; when the body returneth to 
dust, the soul returneth to God that gave it. When the material and 
passive part is separated from that inward and active principle of its 
motions, the scripture telleth you what becometh of the one and the 
other. The material part is resolved to dust again, but the spirit 
returneth to God. So the saints resign it : Acts vii. 59, ' And they 
stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my 

[2.] It is distinct in its supports. The body is supported by out 
ward means, and the help of the creature, but the soul is supported 
without means, by the immediate hand and power of God himself. 


The body is patched up with daily supplies from without. As it was 
made out of the earth, so is its food brought out of the earth, Ps. civ. 
14, and its clothing too ; but the soul needeth not these things. 

[3.] It is distinct in its operations. There are certain operations 
of the soul wholly independent on matter, as understanding and 
willing, for they agree to God and angels, who have no bodies ; and 
there is no proper instrument in the body by which they should be 
exercised, as sight by the eye, hearing by the ear ; nay, it understands 
not only corporeal things, which are received by the ministry of the 
senses, but spiritual things, as God and angels, who have no bodies. 
And it can reflect upon itself ; therefore it hath operations proper and 
peculiar to itself ; so that it doth not depend on the body. 

[4.] It is distinct from the body as to weakness and perfection, as 
to pleasure and pain. 

(1.) As to weakness and perfection. The soul perisheth and 
decayeth not with the body ; when the body droopeth and languisheth ; 
the soul is well and jocund yea, better than it was before. There 
are distinct periods of time, beyond which it is impossible to add a 
cubit or hair's-breadth to one's stature. But the soul is ever growing 
forward to its perfection ; and multitude of years, though they bring 
on much weakness, yet increase wisdom, Job xxxii. 7. Yea, the soul 
is strongest when weakest ; dying Christians have manifested the 
highest excellency under bodily infirmities, and when least of the life 
of nature, most glorious expressions of the life of grace : 2 Cor. iv. 16, 
' For though the outward man perish, the inner man is renewed day 
by day.' 

(2.) As to pleasure and pain, joy and comfort. When all the joys 
of the body are gone, the joys of the soul are enlarged ; as when the 
bodies of the martyrs were on the rack under torturings, their souls 
have been filled with inward triumphings, and their consolation, 2 
Cor. i. 5, ' Also aboundeth by Christ.' When their flesh is scorched, 
their souls are refreshed. 

[5.] They are distinct in the commands God hath given about it. 
Christ hath commanded us to take ' no thought for the body,' Mat. vi. 
25 ; but he never commanded us to take no thought for the soul : 
rather the contrary : Deut. iv. 9, ' Only take heed to thyself, and keep 
thy soul diligently.' The great miscarriage of men is because they 
pamper their bodies and neglect their souls, all their care is to keep 
their bodies in due plight, but never regard their souls, which were 
more immediately given them by God, and carry the most lively 
character of his image, and are capable of his happiness. 

2. The soul is not only distinct from the body, but can live and 
exercise its operations apart from the body. There are many argu 
ments from reason to prove it, but let us consider scripture, which 
should be reason enough to Christians. That it can do so appeareth 
by that expression of Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 2, 3, ' I knew a man in Christ, 
fourteen years ago, whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot 
tell, God knoweth, such an one carried up to the third heaven.' If 
Paul had been of this opinion, that the soul being separated from the 
body is void of all sense, he must then have known certainly that his 
soul remained in his body, during this rapture, because, according to 


this supposition, in that state alone could he see and hear those things 
which lie saw and heard. And that argument is not contemptible to 
prove the possibility, where among other things it is said, death 
cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ. Therefore the 
soul liveth in a state to enjoy him, in a sense of his love to us, and our 
love to him. 

3. That the souls of the saints not only can live apart from the 
body, but actually do so, and are presently with the Lord as soon as 
they flit out of the body. This I shall prove from these particulars 
taken from scripture. 

[1.] From Luke xxiii. 43, 'This day shalt thou be with me in 
paradise.' This was said to the penitent thief, and what was said to 
him, will be accomplished in all the faithful ; for what Christ promiseth 
to him, he promiseth it to him as a penitent believer, and what belongeth 
to one convert belongeth to all in a like case. Therefore if his soul in 
the very day of his death were translated into paradise, ours will be 
also. Now paradise is either the earthly or the heavenly ; not the 
first, which is nowhere extant, being defaced by the flood. If it were 
in being, what have separate souls to do there ? That was a fit place 
for Adam in innocency, who had a body and a soul, and was to eat of 
the fruit of the trees of the garden. By paradise is meant heaven, 
whither Paul was rapt in soul, which he called both paradise and 
the third heaven, 2 Cor. xii. 4. And there all the faithful are when 
once they have passed the pikes, and have overcome the temptations 
of the present world : Kev. ii. 7, ' To him that overcometh will I give 
to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.' 
Well then, there the thief was not in regard of his body, which was. 
disposed of as men pleased, but his soul. And when should he be 
there ? This day. It was not a blessedness to commence some fifteen 
hundred or two thousand years afterwards. It is an answer to his- 
quando. The penitent thief desired when he came into his kingdom 
he would remember him ; Christ showeth he would not defer his hope 
for so long a time, but his desire should be accomplished that day ; it 
is not adjourned to many days, months, or years, but this day. Thou 
shalt presently enjoy thy desire. 

[2.] The second place is : Phil. i. 23, ' I desire to be dissolved, and 
to be with Christ, which is far better.' To be with Christ is to be in 
heaven, for there ' Christ is at the right hand of God,' Col. iii. 1. The 
apostle speaketh not this in regard of his body, for that could not be 
presently upon his dissolution, till it was raised up at the last day, 
but in regard of his soul. This state that his soul was admitted into, 
was much more better if compared with the estate it enjoyed in this 
life, yea, though you take in the end and use of life ; yet his being with 
Christ upon his dissolution, was more eligible, and to be preferred 
before it. Is it not better, you will say, to remain here and serve God, 
than to depart hence ? It were so, if the soul were in a state wherein 
we neither know nor love Christ ; what profit would it be to be with 
the Lord, and not enjoy his company ? Present knowledge, services, 
tastes, experiences, are better than a stupid lethargy and sleepy estate, 
without all understanding and will. It is better to a gracious man to 
wake than to sleep, to be hard at work for God than to be idle and do 


nothing, to use our powers and faculties than to lie in a senseless con 
dition ; it would be far worse with Paul to have his body rotting in 
the grave, and his soul without all fruition of God, if this were true. 
What is that preponderating happiness which should sway his choice ? 
Is it to be eased of present labours and sufferings ? God's people, who 
have totally resigned themselves to God, are wont to prefer and value 
their present service and enjoyment of God, though accompanied with 
great labours and sufferings, before their own ease. Surely Paul would 
never be in a strait if he were to be reduced upon his dissolution into a 
condition of stupid sleep, without any capacity of glorifying or enjoy 
ing God. The most afflicted condition with God's presence is sweeter 
to his people than the greatest contentments with his absence ; if thou 
art not with us, carry us not hence. Better tarry with God in the 
wilderness than live in Canaan without him. Surely it were absurd to 
long for a dissolution of that estate where we feel the love of God 
and Christ in our souls, which is unspeakable and glorious, for a con 
dition wherein there is no taste nor sense. 

[3.] The next place is, 1 Peter iii. 19, ' By which also he went and 
preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometimes were disobedient, 
when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.' 
There are many souls of men and women who once slighted the Lord's 
grace, and are now in hell as in a prison. Their souls do not go to 
nothing, nor die as their bodies, but as soon as they are separated from 
the body, go to their place and state of torment, ev <j)v\aicfj, the place 
of their everlasting imprisonment. So Luke xvi. 23, 24, ' And in hell 
he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, 
and Lazarus in his bosom/ God is not more prone to punish than to 
reward ; if the wicked be in their final estate as soon as they die, the 
saints are in their happiness presently upon their dissolution. On the 
other side, Heb. xii, 22, ' The spirits of just men made perfect.' The 
souls of men, unclothed, and divested of their bodies, to these come. 
How could these things be said if they did lie only in a dull sleep, 
without any life, sight, joy, or any act of love to God ? Present sleep 
it is a burden to the saints, as it is an interruption to their service, 
though a necessary refreshment to their bodies. 

[4.] That argument also proves it, Col. i. 20, ' That Christ by the 
blood of his cross hath reconciled all things to God, both in heaven 
and in earth.' He meaneth the universality of the elect, whether 
already glorified or yet upon the earth. It cannot be said of the elect 
angels, who never sinned, and therefore were never reconciled, Se nun- 
quamcum matre in gratiam rediisse, &c., but only confirmed in grace, 
and put beyond all reach and possibility of sinning ; and so the things 
in heaven which are reconciled are the souls of the godly, who departed 
in the faith. 

[5.] That place also proveth it, Luke xx. 37, 38, ' Now that the 
dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the 
Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of 
Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living ; for all 
live to him.' The Sadducees denied the immortality of the soul as well 
as the resurrection of the body, and said that there was no state of life 
after this. Christ disproveth both by a notable argument ' I am the 


God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For 
he is not the God of the dead, but of the living ; for they all live to 
him.' The words were spoken by Moses after their deceasing ; not I 
was, but lam the God of Abraham. God said after their decease that 
he was still their God ; and therefore those that are departed out of 
the world live another life. The souls of the just are already in the 
hands of God, and their bodies are sure to be raised up and united to 
them by the power of God. 

[6.] My next place shall be, Luke xvi. 9, 'And I say unto you, 
Make to yourselves friends of the unrighteous Mammon, that when ye 
fail they may receive you into everlasting habitations.' What is that 
time of failing ? It is not meant of condemnation in the judgment, 
for there is no escaping or reversing that sentence ; therefore it is 
meant of the hour of death : then are we received into everlasting 
habitations, and our everlasting habitation is heaven. 

[7.] And lastly, from Luke xvi. 22, ' And it came to pass that the 
beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.' By 
the bosom of Abraham is meant heaven, and hell is opposed to it ; and it 
is explained, ' he is comforted, but thou art tormented.' Lying in the 
bosom is a feast gesture, as Mat. viii. 11, a greater expression of love, 
for the most beloved disciple lay in the bosom of the principal person 
at the feast ; and Mat. xiii. 43, ' Then shall the righteous shine forth 
as the sun in the kingdom of their father.' Basil telleth us of the forty 
martyrs exposed naked in a cold frosty night, and to be burned next 
day, that they comforted one another with this consideration : Cold 
is the night, but the bosom of Abraham is warm and comfortable ; it 
is but a night's enduring, and we shall feel no more cold, but be happy 
for evermore. Well then, here is proof such as is fit in the case. In 
things future we are doubtful, and of the state of the soul we are in a 
great measure ignorant ; therefore God hath discovered these things 
to us in his word. 

Use 1. Well then, here is great comfort for those that are now 
hard at work for God ; the time of your refreshing and ease is at hand. 

2. To support us against the terrors of death. In martyrdom, if 
you are slain, the sword is but a key to open the door, that you may 
presently be with Christ ; if strangled, the animal life is put out that 
the heavenly may begin ; if burnt, it is going to heaven in a fiery 
chariot. In the general, ' death cannot separate us from the love of 
God in Christ,' Eom. viii. 38, 39. Though we die, the soul is capable 
of loving God, and being beloved by him. 

3. To support us under the pains of sickness. It is but enduring 
pain a little longer, and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, you. 
shall be with God. Angels will bring you to Christ, and Christ present 
you to God, and then you shall enjoy an eternal rest. 

4. Here is comfort to the dying. Commend your souls to God ; as 
Stephen', Acts vii. 59, ' Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 3 There is a 
redeemer ready to receive you ; heaven will be your residence, and God 
will be your happiness and portion for ever. 

Doct. 3. This presence with the Lord is earnestly desired and chosen 
by the saints, as far more pleasing to them than remaining in the 


1. The thing itself is true, that presence with the Lord is infinitely 
much better than remaining in the body; and will abundantly recom 
pense the absence from it. God's gracious presence is better than life 
bodily: Ps. Ixiii. 3, ' Thy loving-kindness is better than life.' It is 
that which giveth a value to life itself, without which it were little 
worth. Alas ! what should we do with human nature, or a rational 
soul, if it were not capable of loving, knowing, and enjoying God? 
What ! employ it only to cater for the body ? That is to act but as 
an higher and wiser sort of beast. Life is no life without God ; then 
we do live when we live to him, enjoy him and his love. Now if his 
gracious presence is more worth than life, what then is his glorious 
presence ? Phil. i. 21, ' To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' A 
Christian loseth nothing by death, but he gaineth abundantly more by 
his being present with Christ. And ver. 23, ' I am in a strait betwixt 
two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far 
better.' There is no proportion between the choicest contentments 
which we attain unto here, even those which are spiritual, and that 
blessed estate which the saints enjoy hereafter. Now there being 
such a disproportion in the things themselves, there should be in our 
desires and our choice ; for we are to judge and be affected according 
to the nature or worth of things, otherwise we act not only irrationally, 
but feignedly and hypocritically, shunning that by all means which we 
profess to be our happiness. 

2. He is not a true Christian that doth not love Christ more than 
his own body, and his own life, or any worldly thing whatsoever. It 
is one of Christ's conditions, Luke xiv. 26, ' If any man come to me, 
and hate not father and mother, brothers and sisters, and wife, and 
children, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' All 
things must be trampled upon for Christ's sake, or else his heart is 
not sincere with him. A choosing earth before heaven, preferring 
present things before Christ, a fixing our happiness here, these things 
are contrary to the integrity of our covenanting with God. Our 
valuation of the presence of Christ should be so high, and our affection 
to it so great, that we should not exchange our title to it, or hopes of 
it, for any worldly good whatsoever. If God would give thee thy 
health and wealth upon earth, then thou wouldst look for no other 
happiness ; this is naught. 

3. As he cannot be a true and sound Christian, so neither discharge 
the duties of a Christian, who is not of this frame and constitution of 

[1.] Not venture his life for Christ : Heb. xii. 4, ' Ye have not yet 
resisted unto blood, striving against sin ; ' unless willing rather to be 
with the Lord than in the body. 

[2.] Not employ his life for Christ, nor live in order to eternity, 
unless he hath been kept looking and longing for this happy change : 
Gen. xlix. 19, ' Lord, 1 have waited for thy salvation.' As if all his 
lifetime he had been waiting for this. None live the heavenly life but 
those that look upon it as better than the worldly, and accordingly 
wait and prepare for it ; it is the end sweeteneth the means. 

[3.] Nor lay down nor yield up his life with comfort. The very 
fore-thoughts of their change are grievous to most men, because they 


are not willing rather to be with Christ than in the body ; and so they 
move from that which they speculatively call their blessedness, and 
count themselves undone when they come to enjoy. 

[4.] There are many things to invite us to desire presence with 
Christ, as there are many things to show us why we are not satisfied 
with remaining in the body. While we remain in the body we dwell 
in an evil world, Gal. i. 4, which is a place of sins, snares, and troubles. 
But of this, see ver. 4 of this chapter. 

Use. Let us all be of this temper and frame of spirit, willing rather 
to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Almost 
all will prefer the life to come, in words, when indeed they utterly 
neglect it, and prefer the fleshly pleasures of this life before it, cry out 
of the vanity and vexation of the world, and yet set their hearts upon 
it, and love it better than God and the world to come. God's children 
do not often enough compare the difference between being present 
with the body, and being present with the Lord ; they root here too 
much. The desire of this life is very natural to us ; but yet if it 
withdraweth us from these heavenly good things, and weakeneth our 
esteem of the true life, it should be curbed and mortified, and reduced 
into its due order and place. Therefore it is- very necessary that we 
should often revive these thoughts, and rightly judge of the present and 
future life, and use earthly good things piously, as long as it pleaseth 
God to keep us here ; but still to be mindful of home, and to keep our 
hearts in a constant breathing after heavenly things. 

Two things I shall press upon you 

1. Use the pleasures of the bodily life more sparingly. 

2. Let your love to Christ be more strong and more earnest. 

1. Use the pleasures of the bodily life more sparingly. They that 
have too great a care and love to the body, neglect their souls, and 
disable themselves for these heavenly desires and motions ; they cannot 
act them in prayer : 1 Peter iv. 7, ' Be sober, and watch unto prayer.' 
And they lie open to Satan's temptations : 1 Peter v. 8, ' For your 
adversary, the devil, goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he 
may devour/ Therefore, unless there be a great deal of moderation, 
and a spare meddling of earthly delights, they are indisposed for the 
Christian warfare : 1 Thes. v. 8, ' Let us who are of the day, be sober, 
putting on the breast-plate of faith and love.' We cannot exercise 
faith and love with any liveliness, nor expect the happiness of the 
world to come : 1 Peter i. 13, ' Wherefore gird up the loins of your 
mind, be sober, and hope to the end.' Whilst we hire out our reason 
to the service of lust and appetite, and glut ourselves with the delights 
of the flesh and worldly pomp, as dainty fare, costly apparel, sports, 
plays, and gaming, there is 'a strange oblivion and deadness growetli 
upon our hearts as to heavenly things. A Christian looketh for days 
of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; but these must have 
their refreshings here. The drunkard seeketh his refreshing in pleasing 
his palate ; the idle man is loth to be put to work, he would have his 
rest here ; the vain, they must have their senses tickled and pleased ; 
pomp and vanity, and sports and pastimes, are the great business and 
pleasure of most men's lives. 

2. Let your love to Christ be stronger and more earnest; for 



where love is, we desire union and presence. It is but a pretence of 
love where we aim not at the nearest conjunction that may be. If we 
love our friend, his presence is comfortable, his absence troublesome ; 
as Delilah said to Samson, ' How canst thou say thou lovest me, when 
thy spirit is not with me ? ' Judges xvi. 15. If we love one, we desire 
t<? be with him. 

Doct. 4. That this will and choice cometh from confidence of a 
better estate, and our own interest in it. 

For while the soul doubteth of the thing, or of our enjoying it, we 
shall desire the continuance of our earthly happiness, rather than to 
depart out of the body with fears of going to hell. 

1. It is faith that breedeth hope, which is a longing and desirous 
expectation. For it is the substance of things hoped for, Heb. xi. 1. 

2. It is assurance that doth increase it. It is easy to convince men 
that heaven is the only happiness ; but is it thy happiness ? Though 
the knowledge of excellency and suitableness may stir up that love 
which worketh by degrees, yet there must be the knowledge of our 
interest to set a-work our complacency and delight. We cannot so 
delightfully and cheerfully expect our change till our title be some 
what cleared. It is sad with a man that is uncertain whither he is 

Use. Let us labour for this confidence, a holy and well-built confi 
dence. For he is not in the best condition that hath least trouble 
about his everlasting estate, but he that hath least cause. Many that 
have been confident of their integrity and safety have miscarried for 
ever ; yea, that have had a great name in the church : Mat. vii. 22, 
' Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, we have prophesied 
in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name 
done wonderful things;' yet Christ saith, 'I know you not,' 
in the next verse. And Luke xiii. 25, 26, ' When once the 
master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, 
and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, 
Lord, Lord, open to us; and he shall say unto you, I know you 
not whence ye are : then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten 
and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught us in our streets.' 
So Prov. xiv. 12, ' There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but 
the end thereof are the ways of death.' The foolish virgins, Mat. 
xxv., made full account to enter into the nuptial chamber, but were 
shut out. Many now in hell little thought of coming thither, those 
not only of the brutish multitude, but of great note, that have lived in 
the light of the gospel, and heard the difference between the wicked 
and the godly. 

2. There is no true confidence but what groweth out of a constant, 
uniform, self-denying obedience: Mat. vii. 21, 'Not every one that 
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; 
but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven ; ' and 1 
John iii. 18, 'My- little -children, let us not love in word, neither in 
tongue, but in deed, and in truth;' and Kom. viii. 5 7. 



Wlierefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be 
accepted of the Lord. 2 COR. y. 9. 

THIS verse containeth a practical inference out of the whole foregoing 
discourse. That which was before spoken may be reduced to these 
three heads 

1. A certain knowledge and confidence of a blessed estate ; we know, 
and we are always confident. 

2. An earnest desire, expressed by groans and vehement longings 
after it. 

3. A willingness and holy boldness to venture upon death itself upon 
this hope. Now these do infer one another. Because we know, we 
desire ; because we desire this happy estate, we are willing rather, &c. 
So they all infer this effect mentioned in the text. We labour because 
we know, we labour because we desire, we labour because we are 
willing rather ; yea, this effect feedeth and maintaineth all the former 
dispositions in life and vigour, and also evidenceth the sincerity of 
them. Surely we know we desire ; we are willing rather if in life ; in 
death we study to approve ourselves to God ' Wherefore we labour, that 
whether present or absent/ &c. 

This verse containeth a Christian's scope and a Christian's work : 

1. His scope, To be accepted with God, 

2. His work, We labour, that whether present or absent. 

1. His scope. The scope of the Christian life is to approve our 
selves to God ; while we are present in the body to do things pleasing 
in his sight : Col. i. 10, ' That ye might walk worthy of the Lord, 
unto all pleasing;' and 1 Thes. iv. 1, 'As ye have learned how to 
walk, and how to please God, so abound therein more and more ;' when 
absent or gone out of the body, that we may be found in a state of 
well-pleasedness and acceptation : 2 Peter iii. 14, 'Be found of him in 
peace ; ' Heb. xi. 5, ' He had this testimony, that he pleased God.' 
Our great inquiry is whether our state be pleasing or displeasing to 
him, and our great aim is that it may be pleasing. 

2. A Christian's work, ' We labour, that whether present or absent.' 
There take notice of two things ; 

[1.] Their earnest and assiduous diligence. In the word, $H\OTI- 
fjiovfteQa, we are ambitious of this honour ; the word is used in two 
other scriptures : Horn. xv. 20, ' Striving to preach the gospel where 
Christ was not named;' and 1 Thes. iv. 11, 'Study to be quiet/ 
Affect this honour, or pursue after it, as men do after preferment, 
honours, and dignities in the world. So that this word is three ways 
rendered, labour, strive, study. Ambition mightily prevaileth with 
sensual men, and maketh them restless and unwearied in their pur 
suits, till they get at top. This is the holy and laudable ambition of 
a Christian, to stand right in the favour of God, and be accepted with 
him at the last. 

[2.] The several states in which this design must be carried on 
' Whether present or absent.' Whether we be at home, and continue 


in this earthly body of ours, or whether we be gone out of the body, 
the happiness of this world and the next lieth in our acceptance with 
God. Living and dying, a Christian must see that he be in a state of 
well-pleasing, Horn. xiv. 7, 8. Our hearts are pretty well at ease 
while we are in the body, if we may know that we are accepted of God. 
However, that must be our scope ; now it must be the design of our 
obedience, and hereafter it will be the grounds of our reward ; it will 
be our solace in our pilgrimage, and it will be our happiness when we 
die and go out of the body, if Christ will own us at the last. 

Doct. The great ambition, design and endeavour of a true Christian 
is, that, living and dying, he may be such as God may like and well 
approve of. 

1. I shall give you the emphasis of this point as it lieth in the text 

2. Some reasons of the point. 

First, Let me illustrate this point as it lieth in this scripture. Mark, 
this must be our great design and scope, we must not only do things 
which are Deo grata, acceptable to God for the matter, but this must 
be our fixed end and scope which we must propound to ourselves. 
Christianity and true godliness are set forth in scripture by three things. 
Sometimes by the internal principle of it the Spirit of God, or ' the 
divine nature,' 2 Peter i. 4, or the ' seed of God abiding in us/ 1 John 
iii. 9. Sometimes by the intention of the true end, which is the pleas 
ing of God, and the fruition of God with Christ and his blessed ones 
for ever in heaven, when the heart is set upon that: Mat. 'vi. 20, 21, 
' But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor 
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal, 
for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ;' and 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.' Sometimes by the 
reception of the true rule, when that is engrafted in our hearts, and so 
impressed upon our hearts that it cannot be defaced : Heb. viii. 10, 
' I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts ;' 
and Ps. xxxvii. 31, ' The law of God is in my heart.' I now am to 
speak of the second, which is the true aim, scope and tendency of the 
life of godliness, or of those who profess faith in Christ, namely, that 
we may be so approved of God that we may enjoy him for ever among 
his blessed ones. I shall prove it by three arguments, that this must 
be our constant scope, taken from the many advantages which redound 
to us thereby. 

1. We cannot be sincere unless this be our great aim and scope, 
that we may approve ourselves to God. One main difference between 
the sincere and the hypocrite is in the end and scope. The one seeketh 
the approbation of men, and the other the approbation of God ; the 
one is fleshly wisdom, the other godly simplicity and sincerity, 2 Cor. 
i. 12; the one acts to be seen of men, the other maketh God his 
witness, approver and judge. So elsewhere the spiritual life is nega 
tively a not living to ourselves, and positively a living to God, and 
both carried on by the power and influence of a holy and sincere love 
to God : 2 Cor. v; 14, 15, ' For the love of Christ constraineth us, 
because we thus judge, that if one died for all, theu 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.' Love acteth most purely for God whilst it designeth him as 
the end of all things ; our study to please, desire to enjoy him, keepeth 
us upright. The more fixed our end is, and the more we renew the 
intention of it, and daily prosecute it, the more sincere we are. If we 
keep the right mark in our eye it maketh us level right, but he that 
mistaketh his end, is out of the way in the first step he taketh, and all 
his acts are but acts of sin, error and folly, how splendid soever the 
matter or manner of the action may represent it to vulgar appearance ; 
suppose praying or preaching out of envy, or alms for vain.-glory : Phil, 
i. 15, ' Some preach Christ out of envy and strife, and some of good 
will.' They may preach to others, who are but hollow-hearted men 
themselves ; and a man's most excellent gifts, and the duties of God's 
own worship, may be prostituted to so base an end as to hide and feed 
our lusts. So Christ speaketh of the hypocrites giving alms ' to be 
seen of men/ Mat. vi. 1 ; and praying to be ' seen of men/ ver. 5. 
These things are incident to the corrupt heart of man, even sometimes 
when it is in part renewed ; by ends and motives interposing them 
selves ; but good Christians had need to resist the very first motions of 
these things, for where they are once rooted in the heart, and prevail, 
our duties are not a worship of God, but a service of sin, and we our 
selves will be found at length but insincere and rotten-hearted hypocrites. 
A Christian should content himself with God's approbation ; and needs 
no other theatre than his own conscience, nor other spectator than our 
Father who ' seeth in secret/ Mat. vi. 4, 6. Besides the sweet testi 
mony of the conscience following upon such actions; and in time 
this shall be laid open, and found to our praise and honour. It is God 
and glory the upright hea.rt aimeth at, and bendeth his study, heart, 
and life to seek. 

2. It maketh us serious and watchful, and to keep close to our duty. 
Finis est mensura mediorum the aptitude and fitness of means is 
judged of by the end. Let a man fix upon a right end and scope, and 
he will soon understand his way, and will address himself to such, 
means as are fitted to that end, and make straight towards it without 
miy circuits and wanderings. What is the reason that men fill up 
their lives with things that are impertinent to their great end, and 
sometimes altogether inconsistent with it? Because they have not 
fixed their scope, or do not regard their end. A man that hath resolv 
edly determined that this is his end, to be accepted of God and to enjoy 
God, he valueth God's favour as his happiness, the being reconciled 
to him, and his great care the pleasing of him, his utmost industrious 
employment of his life is nothing else but a seeking to please, honour, 
and enjoy God, And so by this means (1.) Impertinencies, (2.) 
Inconsistencies, are prevented and cut off. 

[1.] Do but consider how many impertinencies are cut off if I be true 
to my end and great scope ; for instance, when I remember that my busi 
ness is to be accepted of God at the last, and am resolved to seek after 
that and mind that, can I spend my time in ease and idleness, or carnal 
vanities and recreations ? Eccl. ii. 2. ' What doth it ? ' What good and 
profit cometh of this ? What respect hath it to my great end ? When 


I am gaming and sporting away my precious time, or it may be, but 
trifling it away in impertinent chatting and vain censures, is this the way 
to heaven ? Shall I get thither sooner by toying or praying ; by sow 
ing to the flesh, or the spirit ; by studying the word of God, and medit 
ating therein day and night, or by reading romances, filthy plays, and 
obscene and scurrilous writings ; by cards and, dice, or by holy con 
ference and praising God ? Alas ! if men would but sum up the 
employment of every day, they might write at the bottom of the account, 
Here is nothing but vanity, a great deal of time spent, and a pudder 
made, and little or nothing done to our great end. Christians, what 
do you ? Or what have you done ? Jer. viii. 6. That question is to 
be answered, not only by reflecting upon your rule, but by reflecting 
upon your end. 

[2.] It will not only cut off impertinencies, but a far greater mis 
chief, and that is, inconsistencies with our great end : Gen. xxxix. 9, 
' How can I do this wickedness, and sin against God ? ' Men do not 
only forget their end and happiness, but run quite from it, by doing 
actions directly contrary ; vanities are impertinent to our great end, 
but direct sins are inconsistent. Would men dishonour God, and dis 
obey his laws, and grieve his Spirit, if they did remember seriously 
that their misery and happiness did depend upon God's pleasure or 
displeasure ? Surely then they would avoid God's wrath and dis 
pleasure, and sin which is the cause of it, as the greatest misery and 
evil that can befall them, and seek after his favour as their great hap 

3. It would solace and comfort us under the difficulties of obedience, 
the hardships and inconveniences of our pilgrimage, and that mean 
and afflicted state of life wherein perhaps God will employ us and exer 
cise us for his jjlory. 

[1.] It would sweeten the difficulties of obedience, for the end doth 
sweeten the means. It is troublesome to the flesh to limit and confine 
our desires and actions within the compass of a strict rule, but it sat- 
isfieth a resolved heart to remember that either we must please the 
flesh or please the Lord. If now it be troublesome to us, hereafter it 
will be comfortable. Wicked men have comfort now when they want 
it not, and need it not, but in their greatest extremity they want it. 
Look, as in winter-time there are great land floods, when the rain and 
season of the year affordeth water enough, and no land needs them ; 
but in summer, when there is the greatest drought, then they appear 
not. Wicked men have comfort enough in the creature, and too much 
for them ; their hearts are merry now, and they are glutted with the 
delights of sense, and they are still seeking new comforts; but in 
the time of extremity, when they most need comfort, these comforts are 
spent, and leave them under anguish and torment. But on the other 
side, a child of God, that abridgeth himself of the contentments of the 
flesh, and roweth against the current and stream of carnal nature, and 
exposeth himself to great losses and inconveniences for Christ's sake, 
he had need of some solace to mitigate his sorrows and sweeten pre 
sent difficulties. Now, what greater encouragement can there be than 
to think how God will welcome us with a Well done, and Well 
suffered, good and faithful servant ? Mat. xxv. 21, 23. What comfort 


and joy and peace will it be unto us when we come to die ! Then we 
shall see the labour is not lost, the sufferings for righteousness' sake 
were not in vain ; the time we have spent in holy converse with God 
will be then sweet to us in the last review ; but the time spent in sin 
and vanity and idleness and fleshly designs will be very grievous and 
tormenting. And though it be difficult to live in an exact course of 
self-denying obedience, yet when we shall have the approbation of God 
and conscience, the fore-thought of which is a mighty solace to us now, 
carnal ists will then wish, Oh that I had pleased God as I have pleased 
men and my own sinful heart ! Oh, would to God I had lived better, 
served God and denied myself a little while, that I might have enjoyed 
myself and my God for ever ! 

[2.] It may be God seeth fit to exercise us with a mean or an 
afflicted estate ; either he will keep us low and bare, or else weak and 
sickly, or in disrepute and obscurity, rejected by the world, as Jesus 
Christ was rejected of men, or censured and traduced by men. And 
we have no means to help ourselves, and vindicate our innocency. Oh ! 
but if we may be accepted of the Lord at length, we have no reason 
to complain. Man's day is nothing to God's day : 1 Cor. iv. 3. ' But 
with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you,' &c. 
God will count me faithful, and reward my innocent and sincere, though 
imperfect, endeavours. God will be glorified by his servants, sometimes 
in a high, sometimes in a low and afflicted condition. Look, as in a choir 
or concert of voices he is commended that sings well, whether he sings 
the bass, or the mean, or the treble, that is nothing, so he singeth 
his part well, but he is despised and disallowed that sings amiss, what 
ever voice he useth ; so doth God approve, accept, and reward his 
people that serve and glorify him in any state, whether it be high or 
low, rich or poor, eminent or obscure. God puts us sometimes in one 
condition, sometimes in another ; but those that carry themselves ill 
in their estate are rejected by him, and punished. It is not riches or 
poverty, wealth or health, that God looketh after, but those that carry 
themselves well in either ; which is a great solace to a gracious heart, 
and helpeth us to an indifferency for all temporal things, so we may be 
approved by God at last ; as the apostle, Phil. i. 20, ' So Christ be 
magnified in my body, whether by life or death.' As a resolved tra 
veller taketh his way as he findeth it, fair or foul, so it will lead him 
to his journey's end. 

Secondly, That this must be our work as well as our scope ; and this 
design must be carried on with the greatest seriousness, as our great 
care and business ; and with unwearied industry, as the main thing 
which we attend upon, as a matter of unspeakable importance, which 
must not be forgotten and left undone, for it is in the text, 'We 
labour.' There is a double notion which is of great use to us in the 
spiritual life: making religion our business, and making religion our 
recreation. It must be our business in opposition to slightness ; it 
must be our recreation in opposition to tediousness and wearisomeness. 
The word in the text hath a special signification. We should with 
no less earnestness endeavour to please God than they that contend 
for honour in the world ; we should make it our constant employment 
that God may like us for the present and take us home to him at 


length into his blessed company and presence; What is all the world 
to this ? There are a sort of men, whose hearts are upon God and the 
life to come, that make it their first care and chiefest business to seek 
him and serve him, whose minds and hearts, whose life and love and 
cares and labours, are taken up about the everlasting world ; but there 
are others who are plotting for preferment, gaping for worldly great 
ness, gratifying the desires of the flesh, seeking the favour of great 
ones, raising their estate, name, and family ; they look no higher than 
this world, and think only of their settlement upon earth, or laying 
designs for rising here, arid perpetuating themselves and their names 
in their posterity by successive generations. ' The world, morally con 
sidered, is divided into two societies : the one of the devil, the other 
of God.' Augustine de Givitate Dei. Some seek their happienss upon 
earth, others an eternal abode in heaven. By nature we are all of the 
earthly society, by grace transplanted, and then we first ' seek the 
kingdom of God,' Mat. vi. 33 ; ' Have our conversation in heaven,' 
Phil. iii. 20 ; carry ourselves as of a heavenly extraction. All is known 
by our business, a constant fidelity to approve ourselves to God, and a 
ready obedience in all conditions of life, showeth which sort we are of. 
What is it that you have been doing in the world, and the end and 
business for and in which you have laboured until now ? What thing 
or prize have you had in view and chase ? Have you laboured for 
paltry vanities, or the meat that perisheth not ? John vi. 27. A man 
is known by his labour. Have you lived for the world, or God ? If 
you have spent so many years, and you know not why, or about what, 
you have been strangely careless and forgetful. What hath your great 
care been ? To please the flesh, or to please God, and be saved by 
him ? What have you made provision for, either for earth, or for 
heaven ? You do for both, but for which most ? 

Thirdly, We must not only take care that we be accepted of God at 
last, when we go out of the body, but whilst we are present in the 
body it concerneth us to know that we are well-pleasing to him. We 
must strive to be accepted of him now. It is a blessed thing at the 
close of our pilgrimage that God will receive us into his glory ; but 
while we continue in the body, the believing apprehensions of the 
favour of God are very comfortable, before we come to enjoy the fruits 
of it. 

1. How else can we long for the coming of Christ, and expect his 
appearance, if before we pass to our judgment we know not whether 
we shall be accepted, yea or no ? Now within time it concerneth us 
to know how we shall fare hereafter. Man hath a curiosity to know 
his destiny, as the king of Babylon stood at the beginning of the ways 
to make divination. The good and the evil of the world is of such 
light concernment, and of so short continuance, and God is so good, 
that we may trust him blindfold for worldly things ; and it-is a wicked, 
foolish, and needless curiosity to be so desirous to know our fortune. 
But it concerneth us much to know whether we shall be well or ill 
for ever how the case will be carried in the last judgment : if it be 
evil, that we may prevent it, and correct our error ; in death we 
cannot err twice : if good, that we may know our portion, and rejoice 
in it ; if it be our happiness, then it must needs be very desirable to 


know it aforeliand. In the next verse to the text, ver. 10, he speaketh 
of our judge ; our happiness and final doom dependeth upon his being 
pleased with us ; if we apprehend him as an angry judge, or an 
adversary, let us agree with him quickly by the way ; if he be a 
gracious father, let us have the solace and comfort of it during our 
pilgrimage, while we so much need it. 

2. Else we cannot comfortably enjoy communion with God for 
the present. How can we come before him, if we know not whether 
he will accept an offering at our hands ? They who, being in a state 
of faith and reconciliation, make it their endeavour to please God, 
have God ever with them : John viii. 24, ' He that sent me is with 
me. The Father hath not left me alone, for I do always the things 
that please him.' They that would have the comfort of God's presence 
and company in all conditions, they ought to set themselves to please 
God, and observe his will in all things ; and when we have any special 
business to do with God : 1 John iii. 22, ' And whatsoever we ask, 
we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those 
things that are pleasing in his sight.' So that while we are present, 
we are accepted of him. 

3. We cannot have a cheerful fruition of the creature and 
worldly enjoyments till God accepteth us; Eccles. ix. 7, 'Eat thy 
bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for God 
accepteth thy works.' Till we are in a reconciled estate, accepted by 
God, all our comforts are but as stolen waters, and bread eaten in 
secret, like Damocles' banquet, while a sharp sword hung over his 
head by a slender thread. But now when our persons and ways are 
pleasing unto God, then all these comforts are sweet and satisfactory ; 
we taste God's love in them, and can use them as his blessings, with 
cheerfulness and thankfulness. 

4. That which maketh us more lively and active in our course 
of pleasing God is (1.) The future judgment; (2.) The hope of our 
presence with him. 

[1.] The future judgment. That I gather from ver. 10, 'For we 
must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.' There will 
certainly come a day when every person that ever lived in this world 
shall be judged by God, and this day is sure and near. In this life 
we are always expecting an end, and carried in a boat that is swiftly 
wafting us towards eternity. Now whom should we please, and with 
whom should we seek to be accepted ? A vain world, or frail man, or 
the God to whom we must strictly give an account ? Surely this 
universal, impartial judgment bindeth us to carry it so that we may 
be accepted with God. 

[2.] The hope of our presence with him, and the beatifical vision 
and fruition of him ; for in the context he speaketh of presence and 
sight, and then he saith, ' Wherefore we labour.' We are so sluggish 
and backward, because we seldom think of the world to come ; earthly 
things are the great poise to an earthly mind, but heavenly things to 
a heart that is spiritual ; that is their motive. There are many such 
wherefores in the scripture : 1 Cor. xv. 58, ' Wherefore, my beloved 
brethren, let us be steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the 
work of the Lord ; ' arid Heb. xii. 28, ' Wherefore we, receiving a 


kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, wherehy we may 
serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear." There being 
sucli an eminent and excellent state of glory, and we being candidates 
and suitors for it, how should it quicken us to use all diligence, that 
we maybe accepted of God, and admitted into the fruition of it. The 
apostle telleth us, Phil. iii. 14, ' I press towards the mark, for the 
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' Paul had his eye 
still upon the mark, that he might steer his whole course in order to 
it ; the thoughts of the prize, and worth of the reward, made him press 
forward through difficulties and discouragements. The more we have 
this glory in our thoughts, the more shall we be heartened against 
faintings and failings, which we shall ever and anon be tempted unto. 
Secondly, Some reasons of the point. 

1. We were made and sent into the world for this end, that by a 
constant course of obedience we might approve ourselves to God, and 
finally be accepted of with him, and received into his glory. It is 
good to consider the end why we were born and sent into the world : 
John xviii. 37, ' To this end was I born, and for this cause came I 
into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.' Surely 
man was made for some end, for the wise God would make nothing in 
vain. Now what is man's end ? Not to fill up the number of things, 
as stones ; and not to wax bulky, and increase in growth and stature, 
as trees ; not to eat and drink, and serve appetite, as the beasts ; not 
for the earth ; the end is more noble than the means ; not dig for iron 
with mattocks of gold. The earth was made for us to be our habita 
tion for a while, not we for it. Surely God made all things for 
himself: Prov. xvi. 4; and Horn. xi. 36, 'For of him, and through 
him, and to him, are all things ; ' so we especially, who have the 
faculties of heart and mind to know him, and love him, and serve him, 
and enjoy him for ever. Now we seek after him, our whole life is a 
coming to God. We have not enough of God here to satisfy the soul, 
only enough to direct and incline us to seek more ; and every one that 
seriously mindeth his end, maketh it his trade and daily work : John 
vi. 38, ' I came from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of 
him that sent me.' 

2. We were redeemed to this end ; for we are redeemed unto 
God : Kev. v. 9, ' Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.' To 
be redeemed unto God is to be redeemed to his service, and admitted 
into his favour and friendship and communion with him, to restore 
God's right to us, and our happiness in the enjoyment of heaven. 
Christ first appeased God's wrath, and restored us to a course of 
service, which we should comfortably carry on till we have received 
our wages : Luke i. 74, 75, ' That he would grant unto us, 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 life.' 

3. Our entering into covenant with God implieth it. In every 
covenant there is ratio dati et accepti something given and something 
required : Isa. Ivi. 4, ' They choose the things that please me, and 
take hold of my covenant.' To take hold of his covenant there, is to 
lay claim to the privileges and benefits promised and offered therein. 
Now this cannot be done unless we choose the things that please him ; 


that is, voluntarily, deliberately, not by chance, but choice, enter into 
a course of obedience, wherein we may be pleasing or acceptable to 
him ; this is the fixed determination of our souls. Our faces must be 
set heavenward, and the drift, aim, and bent of our lives must be for 
God, to walk in his way: Horn. xii. 1, 'I beseech you, therefore, 
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living 
sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.' A man devoteth himself to God, 
out of the sense of his love, to serve him and please him in all things. 

4. The relations which result from our covenant interest. There 
is the relation between us and Christ of husband and spouse, Hos. ii. 
19. Now the duty of the wife is to please.the husband, 1 Cor. vii. 34. 
The relation of children and father, 2 Cor. vi. 18, ' I will be a father 
to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord.' Now 
the duty of children is to please the parents ; and that is said to be 
well-pleasing to the Lord, Col. iii. 20, and the rather because it is a 
pattern of our own duty to him. Masters and servants : Ezek. xvi. 8, 
' Thou enteredst into covenant with me, and becamest mine ; ' Acts 
xxvii. 23, 'Whose I am, and whom I serve/ They that please 
themselves carry themselves as if they were their own, not God's. All 
that we are, and all that we have and can do, must be his, and used 
for him in one way or another. 

Use 1. Is for reproof of those that study to please men. To approve 
themselves to the world, to be accepted in the world, that is their great 
end and scope. 

1. How can these comply with the great duty of Christians, which is 
to please the Lord ? Gal. i. 10, ' If I yet pleased men, I should not be 
the servant of Christ.' To hunt after the favour of men, and to gain 
the applause of the world, is contrary to the very essential disposition 
of the saints, whose great aim is to approve themselves to God, however 
men esteem of them. There is a pleasing men to their edification : 
Horn. xv. 2, ' Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good, to 
edification ; ' and 1 Cor. x. 33, ' Even as I please all men in all things, 
not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be 
saved.' But to please the sinful humours, dispositions, and affections 
of men, to make this our great scope, is contrary to sincerity and fidelity 
in Christ's service. Certainly a man ought not to disoblige others, 
much less irritate and stir up the corruptions of others, but his great 
care must be to approve himself to God. 

2. There is no such necessity of the approbation of men, as of God ; 
his acceptation, and the testimony of a good conscience concerning our 
fidelity in his service, is more than all the favour, countenance, applause, 
or any advantage that can come by men. Choose the approbation 
of Christ, and you are made for ever ; it is not so if you choose the 
approbation of men. Please God, and no matter who is your enemy, 
Prov. xvi. 9. Please men, and God may be angry with you, and blast 
all your carnal happiness, as well as deny you eternal happiness. 
Please the Lord, and that is the best way to be at peace with men. 

Use 2. By way of self-reflection. Is this your great scope and end ? 

1. Your end will be known by your work. If you labour to approve 
yourself to God in every relation, in every condition, in every business, 
in every employment, and are still using yourselves and all that you 


have for God, this is your trade, and this is your study ; you are still 
at his work, that if a man should ask you, What are you a-doing ? 
Whose work is it that you are employed about ? you may be able truly 
to say, it is the Lord's. For whom are you studying, preaching, con 
ferring, praying ? What guideth you in all your relations ? To whom 
do you approve yourselves ? For whom are you sick or well ? 2 Cor. 
v. 15, ' That they which live should not live to themselves, but unto 
him which died for them ; * and Rom. xiv. 7-9, ' For none of us liveth 
to himself, and no man dieth to himself ; for whether we live, we live 
unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord ; whether we 
live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.' What moveth you to go on 
with any business ? Who supporteth you in your business ? Can 
you say to God, What God would have me to do, I do it ? 

2. If this be your end, it will be known by your solace. So much 
as a man doth attain unto his end, so much doth he attain of content 
and satisfaction : 2 Cor. i. 12, ' For our rejoicing is this, the testimony 
of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, we have had 
our conversations in the world, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the 
grace of God, we have had our conversations in the world.' You will 
not rejoice so much in the effects of his common bounty as in his special 
love : so Ps. iv. 7, ' Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in 
the time when their corn and wine increased.' 

3. If God's glory be your scope, any condition will be tolerable to 
you, so as you may enjoy his favour. Man's displeasure may be the 
better borne ; yea, poverty and want. Your great cordial is your ac 
ceptation with God ; and losses are the better borne ; as David com 
forted himself in the Lord his God, when all was lost at Ziklag ; and 
Hab. ii. 1, ' I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower, 
and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall 
answer when I am reproved.' 


For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every 
one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he 
hath done, ivhethergood or bad. 2 COR. v. 10. 

PAUL'S motives to faithfulness in his ministry were three : hope, fear, 
and love. Hope of a blessed immortality ; fear, or an holy reverence 
wrought in him by the consideration of the last judgment ; love to 
Christ, ver. 14. We just now come to the second consideration ; it 
fitly falleth in with the close of the former branch, as a reason why it 
must be our chiefest care to approve heart and life to God. Not only 
the hope of the resurrection breedeth this care to please God, but also 
the consideration of the general judgment. We are so cold, careless, 
and backward, because we seldom think of these things ; but if we 
did oftener think of them, it would make us more aweful and serious ; 
we would soon see that though we can approve ourselves to the world, 


yet it will not profit us unless we approve ourselves to God, for all 
dependeth upon his doom and sentence, ' For we must all appear,' &c. 
In the words observe a description of the day of judgment. 

1. The necessity of this judgment 0,, We must. Judged we must 
be. willing or unwilling. 

2. The universality of this judgment ; who must be judged in the 
word Traz/ra?, All. 

3. The person by whom we shall be judged. The text speaketh of 
the judgment-seat of Christ. He is our rightful lord, to whom this 
judgment belongeth ; and he hath his judgment- seat and throne of 
glory, as it is called : Mat. xxv. 31, ' Then shall he sit upon the throne 
of his glory.' What that is, because it is wholly to come, and not 
elsewhere explained in .scripture, we know not ; we must rest in the 
general expression. The cloud in which he cometh shall possibly be 
his throne ; or, if you will have it farther explained, you may take 
that description of the prophet Daniel, chap. vii. 9, 10. Of this see 
more in sermon on Mat. xxv. 31. 

4. The manner We must appear before the judgment-seat of 
Christ, <j>avepa)6ijvai. The word signifieth two things 

[1.] To stand forth and make our appearance, Eom. xiv. 10. There 
it is Trapaa-Trjvcu. ' We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of 

[2.] Or else, to be made manifest. And so rendered, ver 11, 
' But we are made manifest before God, and I trust are made manifest- 
in your consciences.' So here our hearts and ways shall be laid open, 
as well as we ; every action of our lives shall be taken into consider 
ation. Well then, we must appear so as to be made manifest in our 
thoughts, words, and deeds ; we must not only appear in person, but be 
laid open, have our whole life ripped up, and have all our thoughts, 
words, and works disclosed before men and angels. 

5. The matter about which we shall be judged The things done in 
the ~body ; that is, during the bodily life. The body is the shop of 
action, wherein or whereby everything is done. Mechedius telleth us- 
it is (rv^iryov T?}? ^v^q^ the yokefellow or colleague of the soul. 
Now whatever is done by it, good or evil, is the cause to be tried. 

6. The end that every man may be punished or rewarded accord 
ing to his deserts ; the end is, that there may be sentence given, and 
after sentence execution, both as to reward and punishment. 

[1.] Mark the emphasis of the phrase ' The things done in the 
body.' We are said to receive them when we receive the fruits of 
them : so, Eph. vi. 8, ' Whatsoever good thing a man doth, the same 
shall he receive, whether bond or free.' So here, things done in the 
body are the just reward of those things. 

[2.] Observe the several kinds of retribution ' Good or bad ; ' both 
the godly and the wicked receive a full recompense at that time. 

[3.] The proportion according to their several ways ; only the 
reward of good is of grace, of evil of desert ; Horn. vi. 23, ' The wages 
of sin is death,' 

Doct. There will certainly come a day when every person that ever 
lived shall be judged by Christ according to his works. 


I shall examine this point by the circumstances of the text. 
First, The necessity. He might have said, We shall appear ; no, 
but he saith, We must appear. God hath so appointed. 
Here I shall speak 

1. Of the certainty of the thing ; there must be a judgment. 

2. The infallible certainty of the event: there shall be a judgment. 
1. It must be so ; for God hath decreed it, and reason enforceth 

it. But why is it necessary ? I answer, not to discover anything to 
God, (1.) But partly, that grace may be glorified in and by the 
righteous : 1 Peter i. 13, ' Hope unto the end for the grace which is to 
be brought unto you, at the revelation of Jesus Christ.' Then is the 
largest and fullest manifestation of God's love to his people. We see 
his grace now in the pardon of sins, and that measure of sanctification 
which now we attain unto, that he is pleased to pass by our offences, 
and take us into his family, and give us a taste of his love, and a right 
to his heavenly kingdom, and employ us in his service ; but then it 
will be another manner of grace and favour indeed, when pardon and 
approbation shall be pronounced and ratified by the judge's own mouth, 
Acts iii. 19, when he shall not only take us into his family, but into 
his immediate presence and palace : John xii. 26, ' Where I am, there 
shall my servant be ; ' when he giveth us not only a right, but the pos 
session, Mat. xxv. 34, ' Come ye blessed of my father, inherit the king 
dom prepared for you ; ' when we shall not only have some remote 
service and ministration, but be everlastingly employed in loving, 
delighting in, and praising of God, with all those heavenly creatures 
who are our eternal companions in the work. The grace of God, or 
his favour to his people, is never seen in all its glorious graciousness 
till we be glorified. (2.) That the wicked may be convinced of their 
sin and defect, they come upon a trial, and the fault of all their mis 
carriage is charged on themselves. It is hard to determine which is 
the greater torment to them, the righteousness or terribleness of the 
sentence. God leaveth them without excuse : Kom. i. 20 ; Ps. 1. 21, 
' I will set all thy sins in order before thee.' Sins forgotten, lost in 
the crowd by a secure sinner, in the day of God's reckoning shall be 
brought to remembrance, with time, place, and other circum stances, 
and so presented to conscience as if newly done. (3.) That God's 
justice maybe cleared: Ps. li. 4. 'That thou mayest be clear when 
thou judgest.' When he giveth to men according to their choice, and 
according to the merit of their own works, there lieth no just exception 
against God's proceeding. The justice of God requireth that there 
should be differing proceeding with them that differ among themselves, 
that it should be well with them that do well, and evil with them that 
do evil ; that every man should reap according to what he hath sown. 
Therefore those whom Christ will receive into everlasting life must 
appear faithful and obedient, for then God will judge the world in 
righteousness, Acts. xvii. 31 ; now in patience towards the wicked, 
now by way of exercise and trial of his people. 

2. The certainity of the event ' The hour is coming,' John v. 28. 
That there is such a time coming, he ill deserveth the name of a 
Christian who maketh any question of it. But because many live as if 


they shall never be called to an account, I shall evidence that certainly 
we shall appear, both by natural light and scripture. 

[1.] Let the evidence of reason be heard so far as it will go : reason 
slioweth that it may be, and argueth 

(1.) From the nature of God. There is a God; that God is just: 
and it is agreeable to his justice that it should be well with them that 
do well, and ill with them that do evil. These are principles out of 
dispute, and foundations in the structure and building of the Christian 
faith. Here the best suffer most, and are exercised with poverty, dis 
grace, scorn, and all manner of persecutions, and the wicked live a life 
of pomp and ease ; how shall we reconcile these things with the notions 
which we have of God and his providence ? No satisfactory account 
can be given but this : the wicked are reserved to future punishment, 
and the godly to future reward. Here the goodness of God towards 
the good, and the justice of God towards the wicked, is not enough 
manifested ; therefore there is a day when his judgment shall be brought 
to light, and his different respect to good and bad made more conspicuous. 

(2.) From the providence of God. There are many judgments 
which are pledges of the general judgment, that at length God will 
judge the whole world for sin : as the drowning of the old world, the 
burning of Sodom, the destruction of Jerusalem ; these are as a warn 
ing to all, for it is said, Jude 7, these are set forth as a ' warning to 
all that should live ungodly.' God is the same still : Gal. iii. 20, 
' God is one ; ' that is, in one mind of punishing the wicked, without 
variation and change. He hateth the sins of one, as well as of another ; 
if he would not put up the iniquities of the old world, he will not put 
up the iniquities of the new ; if he punished the iniquities of Sodom, he 
will punish the iniquities of others who sinned in like manner. God 
is not grown more indulgent to sin than he was before ; though it be 
not now, there will be a time when he will call them to a reckoning. 
In every age he keepeth a petty sessions, but then will be the general 
assizes. When man first sinned, God did not immediately execute the 
sentence of his law upon him, but giveth him time of repentance till 
he dieth. As he giveth every man time and space, so he giveth all the 
world ; for he would not have all the world to be born at once and die 
tit once, but to live in several successions of ages, from father to son 
throughout divers generations, till we come to that period which his 
providence hath fixed. Now, as he reckoneth with every man partic 
ularly at his death, so with all the world at the end of time. Particular 
judgments show that God is not asleep, or unmindful of human affairs, 
but the general judgment is deferred till then. 

(3.) From the feelings of conscience. After sin men are troubled, 
though there be none about them in the world to call them to an 
account, or though the fact be done so secretly that it is not liable to 
a human tribunal. Nature is sensible that there is a higher judgment, 
that divine justice must have a solemn triumph; conscience is afraid 
of it. Heathens are sensible of such a thing : Kom. i. 32, ' Who know 
ing the judgment of God. that they which commit such things are 
worthy of death.' Felix trembled at the mention of it, which showeth 
there is an easy reception of such a truth, Acts xxiv. 25. There is a 
hidden fear in the consciences of all men, which is soon revived and 


awakened by the thoughts of this truth. Every guilty person is more 
or less held in the chains of darkness, which showeth how easily this 
truth can insinuate itself into a rational mind. 

[2.] Faith showeth that it shall be. The light of faith is more cer 
tain and more distinct. It is more certain, for it buildeth upon a 
divine testimony, which is more infallible than the guesses of reason ; 
and it is more distinct, for nature could never find out the circumstances 
of that day as, by whom this judgment shall be managed, and in what 
manner, that God hath appointed one man by whom he will judge the 
world in righteousness, that he shall come in the glory of his father, 
and all the holy angels with him. Faith concludeth this certainty : 

(1.) From that revelation which God hath made in his word, Mat. 
xiii. 49, 50, ' So shall it be at the end of the world ; the angels shall 
come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast 
them into the furnace of fire ; there shall be weeping and gnashing of 
teeth ; ' John v. 28, 29, ' The hour is coming in the which all that are 
in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that 
have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done 
evil unto the resurrection of damnation ; ' Heb. ix. 27, ' And it is 
appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment;' Rom. 
xiv. 12. ' So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to 
God ; ' Mat. xii. 36, 37, ' But I say unto you, that every idle word that 
men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment ; 
for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt 
be condemned ;' Rev. xx. 12, 'And I saw the dead, small and great, 
stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was 
opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of 
those things which were written in the.books, according to their works ; ' 
and in many other places ; for this being a necessary truth is more 
plentifully revealed than others of lesser importance. This was the 
great promise ever kept afoot in the church. Scoffers took notice of it, 
saying, ' Where is the promise of his coming ? ' The apostle Jude inti- 
mateth the ancient promise of it : Jude 14, ' And Enoch also, the 
seventh son from Adam, prophesied of these things, saying, Behold 
the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.' And it hath been 
revived in all ages ; by Moses and David, and Daniel and Joel, Zechariah 
and Malachi, and more clearly by Christ himself, and his apostles 
everywhere. Now we may reason, that God, who hath been faithful in 
all things, he will not fail at last ; he hath ever stood to his word when 
more unlikely things have been promised. Were the believers of the 
Old Testament deceived, that expected his coming in the flesh ? Surely 
Christ never meant to deceive us when he said, John xiv. 2, 3, ' I will 
come again ; if it were not so, I would have told you.' See sermon 
on Mat. xxv. 6. 

(2.) The types show it. I shall instance in one, which is the high 
priest's entering with blood into the holy place within the vail ; and 
when he had finished his service and ministration there, he came forth 
to bless the people, which the apostle explaineth and applieth to 
Christ, Heb. ix. 24-28. 

(3.) There are ordinances appointed in the church to keep afoot 
the remembrance of his promise the Lord's supper : 1 Cor. xi. 26, 


' For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth 
the Lord's death till he come.' He hath left it as a monument of his 
faithfulness, that upon all occasions we may renew our hopes and 
expectations of it. 

(4.) We have an inward pledge his Spirit, and the visits of his 
grace. He hath taken our flesh, and left with us his Spirit. He 
went not from us in anger, but in love, to set all things at rights, and 
to bring us there where he is. 

(5.) Christ's interest is concerned in it 

(1st.) That the glory of his person may be seen. His first coming 
was obscure and without observation. Then he came in the form of 
a servant, but now he will come as the lord and heir, in power and 
glory. Then John Baptist was his forerunner, now an archangel. 
Then he came with twelve disciples, men of mean condition in the 
world, a few poor fishermen; now with legions of angels, Jude 14. 
Then as a minister of circumcision, now as the judge of all the 
world. Then he invited men to repentance, now he cometh to 
render vengeance to the neglecters and despisers of his grace. Then 
he offered himself as a mediator between God and man, as a high 
priest to God and an apostle to men, Heb. iii. 1, but veiled his 
divinity under the infirmities of his flesh ; now he cometh in God's 
name to judge men, and in all his glory. Then he wrought some 
miracles, which his enemies imputed to diabolical arts and magical 
impostures ; at the day of judgment there will be no need of miracles 
to assert the divinity of his person, because all will be obvious to sense. 
Then he prepared himself to suffer death, now he shall tread death 
under his feet. Then he stood before the tribunals of men, and was 
condemned to the cursed death of the cross ; now he shall sit upon a 
glorious throne, all kings and potentates expecting their doom and 
sentence from his mouth. Then he came not to judge, but to save, 
now to render unto every one according to their works. Then he was 
scorned, buffeted, spit upon, crowned with thorns, but now crowned 
with glory and honour. Then he came to bear the sins of many ; now 
without sin, not bearing our burden, but our discharge, not as a surety, 
but as a paymaster, not as a sufferer, but a conqueror, triumphing over 
death, hell, and the devil. He cometh no more to go from us, but to 
take us from all misery to himself. 

(2d.) That he may possess what he hath purchased. He bought us at 
a dear rate, and would he be at all this loss and preparation for nothing ? 
Surely he that came to suffer will come to triumph, and he that pur 
chased will possess, Heb. ii. 13. 

(3d.) With respect to the wicked. It is a part of his office to triumph 
over thena in their final overthrow. All things shall be put under his 
feet, Isa. xlv. 23, Bom. xiv. 10, 11, Phil. ii. 10. 

(4th.) To require an account of things during his absence ; what his 
servants have done with their talents, Mat. xxv. ; what his church have 
done with his ordinances ; how things have been carried during his 
absence in his house : 1 Tim. vi. 14, ' Keep this commandment without 
rebuke, unto the appearing of Jesus Christ ; ' whether men have 
carried themselves well, or beaten their fellow-servants, and eaten and 
drunk with the drunkard ; whether they have strengthened the hands 



of the wicked, oppressed with censures the most serious of his wor 
shippers, what disorders in the world, what violation of the law of 
nature, 2 Thes. i. 8. 

Secondly, The universality. Who must be judged? 'We must all.' 
All mankind which ever were, are, and shall be. No age, no sex, no nation, 
nor dignity, nor power, nor wealth, nor greatness, can excuse us. In the 
world some are too high to be questioned, others too low to be taken 
notice of ; but there all are taken notice of by head and poll ; not one of 
the godly shall be lost, but will meet in that general assembly. Nor shall 
any of the wicked shift the day of his appearance ; as we may obey in 
every state and sin in every state, so in every state we must give an 
account. All that have lived from the beginning of the world till that 
day shall without exception appear, from the least to the greatest, 
before the tribunal of Christ. 

This will be illustrated by considering the several distinctions of 

The first and most obvious distinction is into grown persons and 

The second distinction is those whom Christ shall find dead or alive 
at his coming. 

The third distinction is of good or bad. 

The fourth distinction of men whom Christ shall judge are believers 
and unbelievers. 

Fifth, Men of all conditions, high and low, rich and poor ; of these 
see Mat. xxv. 33, ser. iii. 

Sixth, Men of all callings in the church, apostles and private Christians, 
ministers and people ; for the apostle here in the text joineth himself 
with others, and saith, ' We must all appear before the judgment-seat 
of Christ.' Besides the law of Christianity, by which all shall be judged, 
the officers and guides of the church must give an account of their 
faithfulness in their ministration. There is much spoken in scripture 
of their account : 1 Cor. iv. 4, 5, ' I know nothing by myself, yet am I 
not thereby justified, but he that judgeth me is the Lord ; therefore 
judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will 
bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and shall make manifest 
the counsels of the heart, and then shall every man have praise of 
God.' He speaketh there of the execution of his apostolical office; 
though he was conscious to himself of no fault in it, yet this was not 
the clearing of him, only God that searcheth and seeth all must do 
this. It is a great matter to clear a man's fidelity, first as a minister, 
then as a private Christian. Paul would not venture it upon the single 
testimony of his own conscience ; so again, Heb. xiii. 17, ' They watch 
for your souls, as they that must give an account/ Their work is to 
watch over souls for their eternal salvation. If souls miscarry through 
their negligence, they are answerable to God for it ; but if they miscarry 
through their own wilfulness, the loss is the people's ; they have the 
crown of faithfulness, if not of fruitfulness. The crown of fruitmlness 
is spoken of, 1 Thes. iii. 19, 20, ' What is our hope, or joy, or crown of 
rejoicing ? Are not even ye in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ 
at his coming? for ye are our glory and joy/ The Thessalonians were 
a good people, famous for their proficiency in the faith, and endurance 


of persecutions ; and this was Paul's crown (who had begotten them 
to Christ) in the day of doom. Now when they give up their account, 
not with joy but grief, that is not unprofitable to the ministers ; but to 
the people it is unprofitable. It may be good unto the ministers, who 
have been faithful, but not to the people, who have been disobedient. 

Seventh, Every individual person, all and every one must appear ; 
see Mat. xxv. 33, ser. iii. Well then, since there is such a day, let it 
be our care to approve our hearts and lives to God. 


For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. 

2 COR. v. 10. 

THIRDLY, I come to speak of the judge. Who shall be the judge ? 
And there I shall prove that the judge of the world is the Lord Jesus 
Christ ; ' For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ.' 
For the evidencing of this, I shall inquire. 

1. Why this honour is devolved and put upon the second person. 

2. Show in what nature he shall judge the world, whether as God 
or man, or both. 

First, How Christ comes to be the world's judge, and with what 
conveniency and agreeableness to reason this honour is put upon him. 
To a judge there belong these four things wisdom, justice, power, 
and authority. 

1. Wisdom and understanding, by which he is able to judge of all 
persons and causes that come before him, according to 'the rules and 
laws by which the judgment is to proceed. No man can give sentence 
in a cause where he hath not skill as to matter of right, or sufficient 
evidence or knowledge as to matter of fact. And therefore, in ordinary^ 
judicatures, a prudent and discerning person is chosen for judge, one 
that knows what is right, and what is law, and that goes upon the 
evidence that is brought upon the matter of fact. 

2. Justice is required, or a constant and unbiassed will, to determine 
and pass sentence ex cequo et bono, according as right and truth shall 
require. He that gives wrong judgment because he does not accurately 
understand the matter, is imprudent, which in his station is a great 
fault ; but he that understands the matter, yet, being biassed by 
perverse affections and aims, gives wrong judgment in a cause brought 
before him, he is not only imprudent, but unjust, and that is the highest 
wickedness, the most impious and flagitious. 

3. Power is necessary, that he may compel the parties judged to 
stand to his judgment, and the offenders inay receive their due punish 
ment, for otherwise all is but precarious and arbitrary, and the judg 
ment given will be but a vain and solemn pageantry, a mere person* 
ating or acting of a part, if there be not power to back the sentence, and 
bring the persons to the tribunal, that accordingly it may be executed 
upon them. 


4. There is required authority; for otherwise, if a man should obtrude 
himself of his own accord, we may say to him as they to Lot, Who 
made thee a judge over us ? If by force he should assume this to 
himself, or have a pretence of right, I may decline and shift his 
tribunal, and appeal from him. Certainly he that rewards must be 
superior, and much more he that punisheth ; for he that punisheth 
another brings some notable evil, detriment, and damage upon him, 
but to do that to another, unless we have right to it, is a high degree 
of injustice. 

Now wisdom, and justice, and power, and authority, do all concur 
in the case ; for these things, as they are necessary in all judicial 
proceedings between man and man, much more in this great and 
solemn transaction of the last judgment, which will be the greatest 
that ever was, both in respect of the persons judged, high and low, 
rich and poor, prince and subject ; in respect of the causes to be 
judged, the whole business of the world for 6000 years, or thereabouts ; 
and in respect of the retributions that shall ensue, this judgment, the 
punishments and rewards in the highest degree, the highest punishment 
that ever was inflicted, and the highest reward that ever was 
distributed, and that infinite and everlasting. Therefore there must 
be a judge that hath an exact knowledge, knowing not only the laws, 
but all persons and causes that all things should be 'naked, and 
open, to him with whom we have to do,' Heb. iv. 13 ; such a judge 
who knows the thoughts of our hearts, 1 John iii. 20, and can proceed 
upon sufficient evidence against every one that comes before him. 
Again, he must be exceeding just, without the least spot and blemish 
of wrong-dealing, for otherwise he cannot sustain his office, if he be not 
immutably just. See how the judge of the world is described, Gen. 
xviii. 25, ' Shall not the judge of all the world do right ? ' So when 
something was spoken which seemed to blemish the justice of God, 
the apostle saith, Horn. iii. 5, 6, 'Is God unrighteous? How then 
shall he judge the world ? ' That were impossible. Judgment may 
be put into a person's hands that possibly may be unrighteous, but it 
cannot be that the universal and final judgment of all the world should 
be committed to him that hath, or can do, anything that is unlawful 
or amiss. Again, power is necessary to summon the offenders, to 
gather up the dead from all places of their dispersion, to give every 
dust its own body, and to make them appear and stand to the judg 
ment which he will award, without hope of escaping or resisting. 
That power is very necessary will easily appear, because the offenders 
are so many, and are scattered to and fro, some in the sea, some in the 
earth, some buried in the bodies of wild beasts, multitudes in the maws 
of fishes. It must be a mighty power that can give every one his own 
body again. If it were possible, they would fain decline the tribunal, 
and hide themselves from the throne of the Lamb, Kev. vi. 16 ; but it 
cannot be. And authority is necessary also, which is a right to govern 
and to dispose of the persons judged, which being all the world, it 
belongs only to the universal king ; it must be such a person that 
made all things, that preserves all things, that governs and disposes of 
all things to his own glory. Legislation and execution both belong to 
the same power. Judgment is part of government. Laws are but 


shadows, if no execution follow. And therefore let us come particularly, 
and see how all this belongs to Christ ; that he is the only wise God ; 
and he is the just God, that cannot err; that he is the mighty God, 
whose hand none can escape ; and he is the universal king, that hath 
an absolute and supreme authority ; therefore he must be the judge 
of the world. 

1. For wisdom and understanding, it is in Christ twofold divine 
and human (for each nature hath its proper wisdom belonging to it). 
As Christ is God, his wisdom and his understanding are infinite, as it 
is said in the Psalms ; and so by one act of understanding he knows 
all things that are, have been, yea, that shall be, or may be. He knows 
all things that shall be in his own decree, and all things that may be 
by his divine power and all-sufficiency ; they are all before him naked, 
as the apostle infers, Heb. iv. 13, cut down as it were by the chine-bone. 
As when we cut down a beast by the chine-bone, and divide his body, 
we may see all things within him ; so all things are naked and open, 
to God. We know things successively, God knows them all at once. 
If a man were to read a book, he must go from line to line, or from 
page to page ; but God's knowledge is just such a thing as if a man 
should see through a book by one act of his mind, by one view, could 
know all that was contained in that book by one glance of his eye. 
Well, this is his divine wisdom. For his human wisdom, that cannot 
be equal to this, for a finite nature is not capable of an infinite under 
standing. But yet his human wisdom is such as doth far exceed the 
knowledge of all men and angels. When Christ was upon earth, 
though the forms of things could not but successively come into his 
mind (as a man, he must understand as men do in understanding, 
because of the limited nature of the mind and understanding), yet then 
he could know whatever he would. To whatsoever thing he did apply 
his mind he did presently understand it, and that in a moment all 
things were presented to him ; so that he accurately knew the nature 
of things he had a mind to know. You find upon all occasions he 
was not ignorant of the thoughts and hearts of men, and when done 
ever so secretly, yet Christ knew them ; as when the woman came 
behind him, and touched the hem of his garment undiscernibly (as she 
thought) by a secret touch, then saith Christ, ' Who touched me ? for 
virtue is passed from me,' Luke viii. 45. Christ knew the touch of faith, 
knew the woman that came behind him, and would not be seen. And 
Mat. ix. 3, 4, ' When certain Pharisees said within themselves, This 
man blasphemes ; ' within their hearts, though they durst not say it 
publicly ; and Christ discovers their inward thoughts, and turns 
out the very inside of their souls ; so Mat. xii., Jesus knew their 
thoughts, when they imagined that by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, 
he cast out devils. But more fully see that notable place which will 
set forth that no subtle devices we can use are sufficient to escape his 
knowledge : John ii. 23-25, ' When he was at Jerusalem at the 
passover, on the feast-day, many believed in his name when they saw 
the miracles which tie did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto 
them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify 
of man ; for he knew what was in man/ Mark, they are said to believe 
in Christ. Certainly their faith was not pretended only, but real. 


though not a thorough faith, not rooted in their souls, though as yet 
they did not betray their insincerity. But ' Jesus knew what was in 
man.' We cannot infallibly discern the truth and falsehood of a profes 
sion before men discover themselves ; but all hypocrites are known to 
him long before they show their hypocrisy. And known, how ? Not 
by 'a conjectural, but by a certain knowledge, as being that knowledge 
that is from and by himself. As God he doth infallibly know what is 
most secret in man. Even then, when for the present we have but a 
moral sincerity, and do not dissemble, the Lord knows whether this is 
a true, real and supernatural work, for there may be a moral where 
there is not a supernatural sincerity. Now, if the Lord Jesus was 
endowed with such an admirable wisdom and understanding even in 
the days of his flesh, when he was capable of growing in wisdom as 
well as in stature, Luke ii, as his human capacity was enlarged by 
degrees (for he would in all things be like us except in sin), what shall 
we think of Christ glorified, when he comes in that state in which he 
is now glorious in heaven? When he comes to exercise this judg 
ment, certainly he shall bring an incomparable knowledge, so far 
exceeding the manner and measure of all creatures, men or angels, 
even as he is man. But his infinite knowledge as he is God, that 
chiefly shines forth in this work ; and therefore he is fit to judge ; . for 
he can bring forth the secret things of darkness, and the hidden 
counsels of the heart, 1 Cor. iv. 5, and shall despoil sinners of all their 
pretences and excuses, and plainly and undeniably pluck off their 
disguises from them. He knows all the springs, motions, hidden 
counsels of the heart, and secret things that move you and set you 

2. For justice and righteousness. An incorrupt judge he is that 
neither hath, doth, or can err in the judgment. As there is a double 
knowledge in Christ, so there is also a double righteousness ; the one 
that belongs to him as God, the other as man ; and both are exact 
and immutably perfect. His divine nature is holiness itself ' In him 
there is light, and no darkness at all,' 1 John i. 5. The least shadow 
of injustice cannot be imagined in God ; for God's holiness is his being, 
it is not a superadded quality, as it is in us ; the quality may be lost, 
yet the being remain ; as in angels, holiness was a superadded quality ; 
they had their angelical being, but lost their holiness ; and when Adam 
fell, he lost that holiness and righteousness in which he was created, 
but yet he had his being. But God's holiness is his very nature and 
essence. The holiness of God may be compared to a vessel that is all of 
pure gold ; but the holiness of the creature may be compared to a 
vessel of wood and earth, that is only gilded ; the outside is gold, but 
the substance of the vessel is another thing. Now, in a vessel of pure 
gold, there the lustre and the substance is the same. Our holiness is 
but gilding, it may be worn out ; but God's holiness is gold, he is 
holiness itself. We cannot call a wise man wisdom. We use the con 
crete when we speak of men we say they are wise, good, holy ; but we 
use the abstract of God God is love, light, holiness, purity and mercy 
itself, which notes the inseparability of the attribute from his nature. 
God is himself, and God cannot deny himself. Peter Martyr sets forth 
the holiness of God by this comparison ' Take a carpenter when he 


hath chalked and drawn his line, then he goes and chops the timber. 
Sometimes he chops right, and sometimes amiss. Why ? because he 
hath an outward rule without him a line according to which he cuts 
the timber. But if you could suppose a carpenter that could never 
chop amiss, but his hand should be his line and rule, if he had such 
an equal poise and touch of his hand, that his very stroke is a rule to 
itself, he cannot err.' By this plain and homely comparison he did set 
forth the holiness of God and the creature. The holiness of the 
creature is a rule without us, therefore sometimes we chop and miss ; 
but God's holiness is his rule, it is his nature, he can do nothing 

Now let us consider his human nature ; it was so sanctified since it 
dwelt with God in a personal union, that it was impossible that he 
could sin in the days of his flesh, much more now glorified in heaven ; 
and there will be use of both in the last judgment ; but chiefly the 
righteousness that belongs to the divine nature ; for all the operations 
of Christ, his mediatorial actions, they are all done by God-man, 
neither nature ceaseth in him. Look, as in the works of man, all the 
external actions he doth, they are done by the body and soul the 
body works, the soul works, according to their several natures, yet 
both conspire and concur in that way that is proper to either ; only in 
some actions there is more of the soul discovered, as in a brutish 
action, or action that requires strength, more of the body is discovered ; 
yet the body and the soul concurs, so the two natures all concur in 
Christ's actions, only in some works his human, in others his divine 
nature more appears. Look, as in the works of his humiliation his 
human nature did more appear, but still his divine nature manifested 
itself, also he offered up himself as God-man ; but in the works that 
belong to his exaltation and glorified estate his divine nature appeared 
most; so in this solemn transaction, wherein Christ is to discover 
himself to the world in the greatest majesty and glory, he acts as God- 
man, only the divine nature more appears and discovers itself, because 
it belongs to his exaltation. 

3. For power. A divine power is also plainly necessary, that 
none may withdraw themselves from this judgment, or resist and 
hinder the execution of his sentence, for otherwise it would be passed in 
vain, Titus ii. 13. Christ then comes to show himself as the great 
and powerful God. His power is seen in raising the dead, in bringing 
them into one place, in opening their consciences that they may have 
a review and sense of all their actions, and afterward in binding the 
wicked, hands and feet, and casting them into hell : Mat. xxiv. 13, 
* The Son of man shall come from heaven with power and great glory.' 

4. His authority. I shall the longer insist upon this, because the 
main hinge of all lieth here ; and this will bring the matter home to 
the second person, to prove that Jesus Christ, and no other but Christ, 
he is to be the world's judge, and it is his tribunal before whom ' we 
must all appear/ By the law of nature, the wronged party and the 
supreme power hath a right to require satisfaction for any wrong that 
is done. Let us consider Christ's authority a little, and weigh it in 
the balance of reason. I say, by the law of nature, where there is no 
power publicly constituted, where people live without law and govern- 


ment, possibly there the wronged party hath power to require it, he is 
the avenger ; but where things are better ordered, where there is law 
and government, lest the wronged party should indulge his revenge 
and passion for his own interest, therefore the supreme power takes 
vengeance to itself, and doth right, and will challenge the parties that 
offend, judge the matter that is in hand, will make amends to those 
that are wronged, either in body, goods, or good name. 

Well, both these things concur : God is the wronged party, and the 
supreme judge, and therefore the judgment is devolved upon the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

[1.] He is the wronged party, that is offended with the sins of men ; 
for it is his law that is broken, his authority that is despised, his glory 
that is trampled under foot. It is true, we cannot lessen God's happi 
ness by anything that we can do ; all that we do, it is but as a man 
that strikes at the light that shines upon a tree; he may cause his 
axe to fasten in the tree, but he hurts not the light. God is not really 
hurt, there is no loss or happiness by anything the creature can do ; 
our good and evil extends not to him ; his essential glory is still the 
same ; whether we obey or disobey, please or displease, honour or dis 
honour him that is eternally immutable ; he is neither lessened nor 
increased by anything that we can do ; he is out of the reach of all 
darts we cast at him. We may fling up darts to heaven; hurt us 
they may, not him. But how is sin a wrong to God ? It is a wrong 
to his declarative glory, as he is the sovereign lord and law-giver, as 
a breach to his law and contempt of his authority. Look, as David, 
when he sinned in the matter of Bathsheba, he wronged Uriah, but 
yet he says, Ps. li. 4, ' Against thee, thee only have I sinned/ The sin 
was properly against God. God is the author of the light of nature, 
and the order of things, which begets a sense of good and evil in our 
hearts ; and therefore, whoever sins against the light of nature is- 
responsible to God. Conscience within him tells him he hath done 
something against God. If a man be poor, or sick, his conscience is 
not troubled for that ; but if he hath done something disorderly, con 
science being God's deputy, his mind may be troubled about it ; if he 
hath committed adultery, or done anything that is contrary to the 
light of nature, his heart will be upon him, and summons him to- 
appear before God to answer for the wrong done to God. I speak 
this because of the Gentiles. But now for Christians. God certainly 
gave the law by Moses, and gave the law by Christ in the gospel ; and 
therefore every sin of ours is an offence to God, as being a breach of 
that order he hath established, and the way of government under which 
he hath put us : 1 John iii. 4, ' Sin is a transgression of the law/ 
Laws cannot be despised ; but the majesty of the law-giver is also 
violated, and therefore as God is the wronged party, God comes in to 
be our judge, to require satisfaction for the wrong we have done. 
There is something indeed in this, but God does not barely as an- 
offended party, or as a private man would revenge himself, where 
there is no public power constituted to do him right. No ; he properly 
judgeth us as the supreme and sovereign lord and governor of the 
world, to whom it belongs, as the universal king, to secure the ends of 
government for common good, to see that it be well with them that 


do well, and ill with them that do ill ; and there is no compassion, 
shown to any creature, but where the case is compassionable. 

Bat more plainly to show how this right accrues to God, how he 
comes to be the supreme governor of the world. Several ways : either 
because of the excellency of his being, or because of the relation 
wherein we stand to him for all the benefits he bestows upon us ; we 
have all from him. 

[I.] For the excellency of his being. This is according to the light 
of nature, that those that excel others should be chief and supreme, as- 
it is clear in man above brute-beasts. Man was made to have 
dominion over them, having a more excellent nature than they, as in 
the first of Genesis. When God said, ' Let us make man/ presently 
God puts the government upon him, and gives him dominion over the 
beasts of the field, the fowls in the air, and fish in the sea. So God 
being infinite, and far above all chief beings, hath power over all his 
creatures, angels and men, who are as nothing'to him, therefore to be 
governed by him. 

[2.] The title comes by virtue of- the benefits that he hath bestowed 
upon us ; we have life, being, and all things from God ; therefore, 
certainly, the power and authority is in him. Look, as parents have 
power and authority over their children, who are a means under God 
to give them life and education, and the most barbarous people would 
acknowledge this ; how much more then hath God, who gives us life, 
breath, being, and well-being, and all things ? He hath created us 
out of nothing, and being once created, he preserves us, and gives us 
all the good things we enjoy ; and therefore we are obliged to be 
subject to him, and obey his holy laws, and to be accountable to him; 
for the breach of them. And therefore let us state it thus : if that the 
excellency of his nature gives him a sufficiency for the government of 
mankind, his creation, preservation, and other benefits, they give him 
a full right to dispose of man, to make what laws he pleaseth, to call 
man to account whether he keep them, yea or no. Surely the right 
of God is greater than that which parents can have over their children ; 
for in natural generation parents are but only the instruments of his 
providence, acting only the power God gives them ; they propagate 
nothing to their children, but the matter of their being, and those 
things that belong to the body, Heb. xii. 9. Nay, God hath a greater 
hand in forming the child than the parents ; still they act as guided 
by God, and as influenced by his providence, for they cannot tell 
whether the child will be male or female, beautiful or deformed, they 
know not the number and posture of the bones, nerves, veins, sinews ; 
but God orders all these things by his own wisdom, and wonderfully 
frames us in the secret parts of the belly ; therefore the sovereignty 
certainly belongs to God, for it is he that forms the spirit of man 
within him, Zech. xii. 1. The soul is of God's immediate formation, 
and all the care and providence of our parents come to nothing, unless 
God direct it, and second it with his blessing. God is the judge of all 
creatures, visible and invisible, and from his empire and jurisdiction, 
they neither can nor ought to exempt themselves. So that to be 
God and judge of the world is one and the same thing, only expressed 
by divers terms. 


To gather up this argument. This is a certain rule : the owner of 
anything is necessarily a governor to it, if it be governable, if it be a 
creature that is capable of government, and hath an aptitude to be 
governed, for certainly an absolute propriety in a governable creature 
gives a plenary title. Now God made us out of nothing, and he made 
us capable of government, being rational and free agents, and there 
fore he must needs be our lord and governor. ' All souls are mine,' 
saith he, Ezek. xviii. 4. And it is devolved upon Christ our redeemer 
by a new right, for he died, rose again, and revived to this end ; he 
hath purchased this authority to be Lord of quick and dead. 

And it is as certain a rule that our governor must be our judge, 
for government consists of three parts : legislation, judgment, and exe 
cution giving laws, and j udging, and executing. God doth all these 
things by an authoritative constitution ; he makes laws for . man to 
oblige him to obedience. And in God's laws there is a precept and a 
sanction ; that is, there are rewards and penalties. The precept shows 
what we must do, the sanction shows what God will do ; the precept 
shows what is due from the creature, the sanction shows what is due 
to the creature that is, if he break this law, he shall be punished ; 
if he keep this law, he shall be rewarded. Thus you see, God, being 
our governor, may make laws for man that is capable of laws. Now 
this sanction would be but a shadow and vain scarecrow if there were 
no judgment; for would God say, Do, and thou shalt live, believe, 
and thou shalt be saved, and never look after this, whether we do or 
believe ? Therefore, as there is legislation, so there must be judging : 
but then this judgment must necessarily infer a thing, that is, the 
execution otherwise judgment would be but a solemn pageantry. But 
why is Christ judge of the world rather than the Father and Spirit, who 
also made us, and gave a law to us, and invested it with such a sanc 
tion, who are offended and grieved with our sins ? I answer 

(1.) Consider, we have gone a great step to prove that it is the 
peculiar right of God, common to the three persons, Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, and this in effect proves that Christ may execute it, for 
' they are one/ 1 John v. 7. They have one common nature ; and as 
to the operations that are without, the divine essence is common to 
them all. So that as the creation of all things is equally attributed 
to all, so also this act of judging the world. So that it belongs to all, 
for they are all equal in being, power, and glory. But as yet the thing 
is not explained enough, unless we grant it shall be exercised by all, 
or else prove out of scripture that one person is ordained by mutual 
consent, chosen out by the rest to exercise it for himself and for the 
other. But this I have proved already, God is the judge. And at 
first, when the doctrine of the Trinity was but sparingly revealed to 
the church, and not openly, it was not needful to inquire more nicely 
after it, but this general truth was sufficient. And Enoch, when he 
prophesied, doth not tell us of Christ the judge, but tells us, Jude 14, 
' Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute 
judgment upon all,' &c. And David speaks to God, Ps. xciv. 2, 'Lift 
up thyself, thou judge of the earth ; ' and Ps. 1. 6, ' God is judge him 
self.' It was enough to understand it so, without any distinction of 
the persons ; but when once this mystery was most certainly mani- 


festcd by God manifest in our flesh, now we must inquire a little 

(2.) I answer, There is an order in the persons of the blessed 
Trinity ; as in the manner of subsisting, so also there is a certain order 
and economy according to which all their operations are produced and 
brought forth to the creature, according to which order the power of 
judging doth belong partly to the Father and partly to the Son. 

(1st.) In the business of redemption. There the act of judging was 
exercised upon our surety, he was substituted into our room and place, 
and offered himself not only for our good, but in our room and stead, 
to bear our punishment, and to procure the favour of God to us. 
There the act of judging belonged to the Father, to whom the satis 
faction was tendered, and before whom our advocate and surety must 
plead and present himself ; therefore it is said, in 1 John ii. 1, ' We 
have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the righteous.' 
Thus our advocate pleads before the Father as before the judge. 

(2c%.) As to the judgment to be exercised upon us. Whoever 
partakes of that salvation which was purchased by the surety, or have 
lost it by their negligence, impenitency, and unbelief, there the second 
person is to be judge. In the former the Son could not be our judge, 
for then he would be our judge and party too, and then the plea of 
those heretics would have more countenance of reason. In the busi 
ness of redemption the Son could not judge, because he made himself 
a party for our good, and stood in our room and place, and the same 
party cannot give and take the satisfaction, that cannot be ; therefore 
this order is constituted in this glorious mystery of the Godhead, that 
the satisfaction is tendered to the Father, he pleads and represents 
himself to the Father in our behalf. And the Holy Ghost cannot be 
the judge, for in this mystery he hath another part and function and 
office, he being the third person in order of subsisting. 

(3c%.) In the Son there is a double relation or consideration ; one 
as he is God, and the other as he is mediator ; the one natural and 
eternal, which shall endure for ever, the other which he took upon 
himself in time, and which in the consummation of time he shall at 
length lay aside. In the former respect, as God, so Christ is judge 
with the Father and Spirit, as by original authority ; but in this latter 
respect, as Christ is mediator, he is judge by deputation. The prim 
itive sovereignty belongs to God as supreme king, and the judge by 
derivation and deputation is the Lord Jesus Christ, as mediator, in 
his manhood united to the second person of the godhead ; so the judg 
ment of the world is put upon him. In regard of the creature, as to 
us, his authority is absolute and supreme ; but in regard of God it is 
deputed ; so he is ordained and appointed to be judge. The scripture 
delights much in this notion, John v. 27. He hath power of life and 
death, to condemn and absolve ; the Father hath given him authority, 
as he is the Son of man, Acts x. 42. The apostles, when they were 
to preach, thought it not enough for them to say, God is judge ; no, 
but, ' He is ordained of God to be judge of quick and dead ;' so Acts 
xvii. 31, ' He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world 
in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.' In all which 
Christ acts as the Father's vicegerent. And after he hath thus judged 


the world, as the Father's deputy, then he shall give up the kingdom 
to God, even the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 25. So that the right Christ hath 
as mediator is not .merely by creation, nor his essential kingdom 
common to the Father ; but a derivative, subordinate right as mediator, 
by virtue of his purchase, as he died, rose again, and revived. 

(4thly.) This power which belongs to Christ as mediator, is given 
to him upon these accounts. Partly as a recompense of his hum 
iliation ; but chiefly, because it belongs to the fulness of his mediatory 
office ; it is tte last act. The kingdom of the mediator is subordinate 
to the kingdom of God. Now he being appointed by the Father, the 
last act of his kingly office was to judge the world. This mediator 
was not only to pay a price to divine justice, not only to separate the 
redeemed from the world by converting them to God, but he is also 
to judge devils, and those enemies of his that would riot submit to his 
mediatory kingdom, to judge those enemies out of whose hands he is 
to free the church. While the world lasts, he is to fight against our 
enemies, but then to judge them, and cast them into eternal torments, 
and so to deliver up the kingdom to the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 24. His 
office is not full till he hath executed and judged all his enemies. 

Secondly. In what nature doth he act and exercise the judgment, 
either as God, or man, or both ? I answer, In both. Christ is the 
person, not the Father nor the Spirit, and Christ acts it as God-man ; 
the judgment is acted visibly by him in the human nature, seated 
upon a visible throne, that he may be s.een of all and heard of all ; 
therefore Christ is so often, with respect to the judgment, called the 
Son of man, Mat. xvi. 27, Acts xvii. 31, Mat. xxvi. 64, John v. 27. 
The judgment must be visible, therefore the judge must be so; and 
that the world may see him. with these eyes, that we may see our 
Redeemer come in the last day, and see him to our comfort, he that 
is withdrawn into the curtain of the heavens, he that is gone about 
his ministration before God, must come out and bless the people ; and 
therefore, that he may be seen and heard of all, though the divine 
power be mightily seen, yet he is to act it in the human nature. 

Use of all. (1.) This speaks terror to the wicked. (2.) Comfort 
to the godly. 

1. Terror to the wicked. Here let us see 

[1.] Who are those wicked ones, to whom this terror belongeth. 

[2.] What is it that maketh it so terrible to them, and will breed 
horror and trembling in their hearts, if they repent not. 

(1.) AH those that have opposed his kingdom in the world: Luke 
xix. 27, ' Those mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over 
them, bring them forth, and slay them before me.' These oppose the 
great design of the gospel, which is to set up the Lord Jesus as king. 

(2.) All that set light by his person in the day of his grace : and 
though they do not oppose his government, yet refuse it : Ps. Ixxxi. 
11, 'My people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none 
of me.' 

(3.) All that despise his benefits, and neglect to seek after them : Heb. 
ii. 3, ' How shall we escape, if we neglect so grea't salvation ? ' Christ's 
benefits are God's favour and image. To have low thoughts of these 
is to have low thoughts of the blood of Christ : 1 Peter i. 18, ' Ye were 


not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your 
vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers ; but with 
the precious blood of Christ, as of a larnb without blemish and without 
spot ; ' and Heb. x. 29, ' Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, 
shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of 
God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was 
sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of 
grace ? ' 

(4.) All that abuse his grace, and turn it to wantonness : Jude 4, 
' For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old 
ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our 
God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord 
Jesus Christ/ Those that grow less humble, less holy, less careful, 
upon the account of grace. 

(5.) All that break his commandments : John xv. 10, ' If ye keep my 
commandments, ye shall abide in my love.' Others are reckoned for 
enemies : Col. i. 21, ' Enemies in your mind by wicked works;' and 
Ps. Ixviii. 21, ' God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy 
scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses.' 

(6.) Those that question the truth of his promises : 2 Peter iii. 3, 4, 
' Knowing this, first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, 
walking after their own lusts ; and saying, Where is the promise of 
his coming?' And they shall know the truth of them to their bitter 
cost ; that Christ will come, and come as judge. 

(7.) Those that have perverted his ordinances : Mat. xxiv. 48 51, 
' But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth 
his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat 
and drink with the drunken : the lord of that servant shall come in 
a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not 
aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion 
with the hypocrites : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 
He that maligneth, envieth, traduceth, and injureth, to his power, his 
most painful, faithful followers and servants, that strengtheneth the 
hands of the wicked, and encourageth them against the most serious, 
whom he seeketh to oppress, shall be most severely punished. 

[2.] What is it that is so terrible ? 

(1.) He is such a judge as the power of the most powerful cannot 
daunt; but they shall be all daunted by him: Rev. vi. 15, 16, 'The 
kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief 
captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman 
hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said 
to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of 
him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb : for 
the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ? ' 

(2.) Such a judge as the wealth of the wealthiest cannot bribe. 
What compensation can they bring Christ for the breach of his laws ? 
Mat, xvi. 26, ' What shall a man give in exchange for his soul ? ' 

(3.) He is such a judge as the wit and subtlety of the wisest and 
most subtle cannot delude : 1 Cor. iv. 5, ' Judge nothing before the 
time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden 
things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart,' 


&c. ; and Jade 15, ' To execute judgment upon all, and to convince 
all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which 
they have ungodlily committed, and of all their hard speeches which 
ungodly sinners have spoken against him ;' and Ps. 1. 21, ' These things 
hast thou done, and I kept silence ; thou thoughtest that I was alto 
gether such an one as thyself : But I will reprove thee, and set them 
in order before thine eyes.' 

(4.) Such a judge that there is no appealing from his sentence, or 
hope of repealing of it : his doom shall stand for ever. In the world 
there is liberty of appeal from one court to another, where there may 
be a violent perverting of judgment ; as Eccles. v. 8, ' If thou seest the 
oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice 
in a province, marvel not at the matter. For he that is higher than 
the highest regardeth, and there be higher than they.' But this 
sentence is definitive. 

(>.) He is a judge whose wrath is very terrible: Ps. ii. 12, ' Kiss 
the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath/ 
is kindled but a little : Blessed are all they that put their trust in 

Well then, the wicked that oppose his kingdom, and all that stand 
by as unconcerned, and do not enter into his covenant, they shall be 
judged by him, in whom they have not believed; by him, whom they 
have slighted ; by him, whose grace and mercy they have despised ; 
by him, of whom they have said in their hearts, We will not have this 
man to reign over us. 

2. Here is comfort to the godly. Here I shall show 

[1.] Who may take comfort. Or to whom this comfort belongeth. 

[2.] What comfort there is. 

(1.) Who ? Believers, that believe his doctrine : John xi. 25, ' He 
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live/ That 
receive his person : John i. 12, ' As many as received him, to them 
gave he power to become the sons of God : even to them that believe 
on his name/ That enter into covenant with him, and so become 
members of his mystical body, who, feeling their misery under sin 
and Satan and the wrath of God, and do believe what Christ hath 
done and suffered for man's restoration and salvation, thankfully 
accept him as their only Saviour and Lord, on the terms offered'in the 
gospel, and to those ends ; even to justify, sanctify, and bring them to 
everlasting glory, these are owned and accepted by him. 

(2.) As by their faith, so by their love : Eph. vi. 24, ' Grace be 
with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity : ' and 1 
Cor. xvi. 22, ' If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be 
Anathema Maranatha/ They love him above their lives ; he is the 
desire and delight of their souls : Ps. Ixxiii. 25, ' Whom have I in 
heaven but thee ? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides 
thee/ They have longed for this day, 2 Tim. iv. 8, They love his 
appearing. The thoughts of it was their solace in their afflictions. 

(3.) Those that war against his enemies, the devil, the world, and 
the flesh : Rev. iii. 21, ' To him that overcometh will I grant to sit 
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with 
my Father in his throne/ 


(4.) Those that obey his laws and imitate his example : 1 John ii. 
28, ' And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appeal', 
we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming.' 
And 1 John iv. 17, ' Herein is our love made perfect, that we may 
have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in 
this world.' 

[2.] What is the comfort that they have ? 

. (1.) The judge is their friend, their kinsman, their brother, their 
high priest, to make atonement for them, the propitiation for their 
sins, their advocate and intercessor, one that died for them. 

(2.) He cometh to lead them to their everlasting mansions. Christ 
is a pattern of what shall be done to them. He rose from the dead, 
and is become ' the first fruits of them that slept.' He now ' sitteth at 
the right hand of God, making intercession for them.' And ' he will 
come again, and receive them to himself. That they may be where 
he is, and behold his glory.' 


For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Cliyist. 

2 COR. v. 10. 

WE have handled 1. The necessity ; 2. The universality ; 3. 
The judge ; 4. The manner of judging. This last we are now upon. 
The word fyavepoidrjvai signifieth both to appear and to be made 
manifest. We may conjoin the senses ; we must so appear, as to be 
made manifest. 

First. To appear ; that we must all appear, every individual person. 
Four things evince that, 

1. The wisdom and the justice of the judge. 

2. The power, impartiality and faithfulness of his ministers. 

3. The nature of the business requireth an appearance. 

4. The ends of the judgment. 

1. The wisdom and justice of the judge. Such is his wisdom and 
perspicuity, that not one sinner or sin can escape him : Heb. iv. 13, 
' There is not any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all 
things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have 
to do.' This scripture informeth us of the perfect knowledge of God, 
as lie is a judge, without which his judgment cannot be just and 
perfect ; he knoweth all ' the persons and causes of men that are 
brought before him. All things in general, and every thing in 
particular, are manifest to him, fully, clearly, and evidently discovered 
to him : Ps. Ixix. 5, ' God, thou knowest my foolishness, and my 
sins are not hid from thee.' He is neither ignorant of man, nor any 
thing in- man, who must have to do with him, that is to be judged by 
him. So Jer. xvii. 10, ' I, the Lord, search the heart and try the reins, 
even to give every man according to his ways, and the fruit of his own 
doing.' The force of the reason is this: that seeing we must be 


judged by a most exact, impartial and all-knowing judge, there can 
be no hope of lying hid in the throng, or escaping and avoiding the 
judgment. It concerneth the judge of the "world to do right, which 
he cannot do, unless all sins and persons be manifest to him, that he 
may render to every one according to his deeds. 

2. The power, impartiality and faithfulness of his ministers, who 
are the holy angels. Much of the work of that day is despatched by 
the ministry of angels: Mat. xxiv. 31, 'They shall gather the elect 
from the four winds.' In the particular judgment they have a 
ministry ; they convey the souls of men to Christ : Luke xvi. 22, 
'Carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.' They that carried 
their souls to heaven, shall be employed in bringing their bodies out 
of their graves. Now this ministry is not confined to the elect only ; 
they do not only carry the corn into the barn, but the tares into the 
furnace: Mat. xiii. 39-41, 'And the reapers are the angels. As 
therefore the tares are gathered together, and burnt in the fire, so shall 
it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his 
angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that do 
offend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace 
of fire ; there shall be weeping and. gnashing of teeth.' It is the angels' 
work to separate the wicked from the godly, to bind up the tares in 
bundles, that they may be burnt in the fire. They force and present 
wicked men before the judge, be they never so unwilling and obstinate. 
So in the parable of the drag-net, Mat. xiii. 49, 50, ' So shall it be at 
the end of the world. The angels shall come forth, and sever the 
wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire, 
where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' There is a mixture 
unavoidable of good and bad in the church, but then a perfect separa 
tion by the ministry of angels. 

3. The nature of the business requireth our appearance. Partly, 
because in a regular judgment no man can be judged in his absence. 
Therefore in this great and solemn judgment we must stand as persons 
impleaded to hear what is alleged, and what we can say in our defence. 
David saith, Ps. cxxx. 3, 'If thou shouldest mark our iniquities, 
Lord, who shall stand?' that is, appear in the judgment, so as to be 
able to make a defence. So, Ps. i. 5, ' The ungodly shall not stand 
in the judgment ; ' that is, the wicked shall not be able to abide the 
trial, have nothing to plead for themselves in the day of their final 
-doom. And yet it is said, Horn. xiv. 10, ' We must all stand before 
the judgment-seat of Christ.' We shall stand and not stand; stand, 
that is, make an appearance ; and not stand, not able to make any 
just defence. Festus saith, Acts xxv. 16, 'It is not the manner of 
the Romans to deliver any man to die before that he which is accused 
have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself 
concerning the crime laid against him.' This was jus gentium, not to 
give sentence of capital punishment against any man till he were fully 
heard. Their rule was, they condemned no man unheard. Surely 
there is all right in this solemn judgment ; he that is to be judged is 
to be brought into the judgment. When God arraigned our first 
parents (which is a type of the general judgment), he called Adam 
coram ; Gen. iii. 9, 10, 'Adam, where art thou? ' He brought him 


out of his lurking-hole where he had hid himself ; he must come into 
his presence and answer. And partly, because we cannot appear by a 
proctor. The sentence is a sentence of life and death, and there is no 
reason or cause of absence: Rom. xiv. 12, 'Every one must give an 
account of himself to God.' Now in the day of God's patience we 
have an advocate who appeareth for us, Heb. ix. 21. He doth prevent 
wrath, represent our wants, and recommend our affairs. But now the 
judge cometh to deal with every one in person. 

4. The ends of the judgment require our appearance. They are 
two: (1.) The conviction of the parties judged. God will go upon 
clear evidence, and they shall have a fair hearing. When there was 
but one that came without a wedding garment, and he was examined, 
the man was speechless, Mat. xxii. 12. When every one is particularly 
observed and tried, there is nothing to reply, but glorifying God, Jude 
15. (2.) Satisfaction of the world in the righteousness and justice of 
God's proceeding. When every person is arraigned and every work 
is manifest, it cleareth God's justice in rewarding his own, and in 
punishing the wicked-and ungodly ; it cleareth his justice in reward 
ing the faithful ; they undergo the trial, and though they have failings, 
yet for the main their faith is found to ' praise, and honour, and glory 
at the appearing of Jesus Christ,' 1 Peter i. 7. When his people come 
to be judged, and have been found obedient to his commands, faithful 
under trials, patient under all sufferings and inconveniences, it is a 
faith that may be owned before men and angels. Christ will confess 
them before God, men and angels, Rev. iii. 5. So in punishing the 
wicked: Josh. vii. 19. God is glorified by the creature's conviction 
and acknowledgment : Ps. li. 4, ' I acknowledge mine iniquity, that 
thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, and clear when thou 
judgest.' God is justified when the creature is rewarded according to 
his own deservings. God overcometh, and we are cast in the plea 
and suit. 

Secondly. The word signifieth to be made manifest ; and so 
importeth that we must all be manifested or laid open before the 
judgment-seat of Christ ; our persons must not only appear, but our 
hearts and ways be tried. It is said, Luke xii. 2, ' There is nothing 
covered that shall not be revealed, nor hid, which shall not be made 
known.' It is brought as a reason against hypocrisy ; the innocency 
of God's servants is beclouded for a while, and the sin of men lieth 
hid for a while, but at length all shall be open, hypocrisy shall be 
disclosed, and sincerity shall be rewarded. So 1 Cor. iii. 13, ' Every 
man's work shall be manifested/ All the ways and works of wicked 
ness, though acted in ever so secret a manner, shall be laid open. The 
scripture telleth us, at the judgment, Eccles. xii. 14, ' God shall bring 
every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good 
or whether it be evil.' The final doom shall repeal all the judgments 
of this life, and repair them abundantly; many things that are 
varnished with a fair gloss and pretence here, shall then be found 
filthy and abominable ; and many things disguised with an ill appear 
ance to the world, shall be found to be of God, approved and allowed 
by him. So it is said, 1 Cor. iv. 5, ' That Christ will bring to light 
the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the 



heart ; and then shall every man have praise of God.' When every 
man's intentions and purposes, actions and spring of actions shall be 
displayed, then they that deserve blame shall be discovered, and the 
sincere and upright justified and commended. Well then, the 
scripture shows they shall be made manifest, and when made mani 
fest. In the general there are two places demonstrate it ; one is Ps. 1. 
21, ' I will reprove thee, and set thy sins in order before thine eyes.' 
All the ways and circumstances of sin shall be so represented to the 
conscience, that the sinner shall not be able to deny or excuse, evade 
or forget, but ever be vexed with the remembrance of his past folly, 
and ever see his sins before him as if fresh committed. The other 
place is Kev. xii. 12, ' And I saw the dead, small and great, stand 
before the Lord, and the books were opened, and another book was 
opened, which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged out of 
those things which were written in the books, according to their works/ 
There are books, and another book ; there is the book of conscience 
and the book of God's remembrance, Mai. iii. 16. In these books all 
things are written which belong to the government and judgment of 
the rational creature, our good and evil is all upon record, our means 
and mercies, and our unthankf ulness and unprofitableness under them : 
Jer. xvii. 1, ' The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron and the 
point of a diamond ; ' not only in their consciences, but before God : 
Isa. Ixv. 6, ' Behold it is written before me.' God doth not forget, or 
pass over, but note and remember. Now these books are opened at 
the last day ; there is not one book, but books ; the book of scripture 
is opened as a rule, the book of conscience as a witness, and the book 
of God's remembrance as the notice, or judge's knowing both persons 
and facts. But, more particularly, how are we manifested ? 

1. By the knowledge of the judge. We may hide our sins from 
men, but not from God ; from the world, arid from ourselves, but Christ 
shall perfectly discover them, and bring them forth unto the light, and 
show themselves to themselves, and to the world, and all their shifts 
will not serve the turn. God observeth men now, and observeth them 
in order to judgment : Ps. xxxiii. 13-16, ' The Lord looketh from 
heaven ; he beholdeth all the sons of men from the place of his habi 
tation ; he beholdeth all the inhabitants of the earth ; he fashioneth 
their hearts alike ; he considereth all their thoughts.' Though God 
resides in heaven, yet he beholdeth all and every of their actions, yea, 
their most secret thoughts ; he fashioneth their hearts alike (Sept., 
one by one) ; he is the former of their souls as well as their bodies, and 
knoweth the operations of their hearts as well as their outward actions. 
Men think otherwise : Ezek. ix. 9, ' They say, The Lord hath forsaken 
the earth ; the Lord seeth not.' When he came to mark the mourners, 
and to distinguish them from the sinners. Ps. xciv. 7, ' They say, the 
Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it/ These 
are men's brutish, atheistical thoughts, and so go on and are regardless 
of the judgment. But then your judge shall convince you upon his 
own knowledge. A judge is not disabled from being a witness. The 
woman of Samaria said, John. iv. 29, ' Come and see a man that told 
me all things that ever I did ; is not this the Christ ? ' Christ knoweth 
all that men do, and is able to produce their lives by tale and number, 


even those passages which were most secret ; there needeth no proof 
to our judge ; for all is open and naked before him. 

2. The good angels may be produced as witnesses ; they have an 
inspection over this lower world, are conversant about us in all our ways, 
and are conscious to our conversations : Ps. xci. 11, ' He shall give his 
angels charge over thee ; they shall keep thee in all thy ways.' 
Reverence is pressed upon -us in scripture in this respect: Eccles. v. 6, 
' Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin ; neither say thou before 
the angel, It was an error.' All the business is, what is meant by 
the angel. There, some understand it of the angel of the covenant, 
the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the searcher of hearts, who will not be 
mocked, who cannot be deceived. But why not of the angels in 
heaven, who are sent forth for the good of the elect, and observe 
our behaviour, and who stop us in our sins, as the angel did Balaam, 
who said, It is an error? See Numb. xxii. 34; so 1 Tim. v. 21, 'I 
charge thee before the elect angels.' Surely the angels observe our 
actions ; they are sent abroad in the world as the spies and intelli 
gencers of heaven. So they attend upon congregations : 1 Cor. xi. 10, 
' For this cause ought a woman to have power on her head, because 
of the angels.' In assemblies for worship more company meeteth 
than is visible. Devils and angels meet there : devils, to divert your 
minds as soon as you begin to be serious, to snatch the good word out 
of your hearts ; angels, to observe you ; therefore there should be 
no indecency. 

3. Devils may accuse men in that day. The devil is called the ac 
cuser of the brethren. The fathers bring him in pleading thus against 
the sinner, Domine, sit meus per culpam, qui tuus esse noluit per 
gratiam ; I never died for him, could promise him no heavenly king 
dom, but a little sensitive pleasure ; Ostende tuos tales numerarios, 
Christe, &c. 

4. Sometimes the word of God is made to be our accuser : John v. 
45, ' Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father ; there is one 
that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust ; ' that is, Moses' 
law would accuse and condemn them ; Christ needeth not to bring 
his complaint and indictment against them. And it teacheth us this 
truth, that where men remain in their impenitency and unbelief, both 
law and gospel, God's justice and mercy, our own consciences, the 
Spirit resisted by them in his moral suasions, messengers, means, pains 
taken on them, will all contribute to make up an accusation against a 
sinner before the tribunal of Christ. So John xii. 48, 'He that 
rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him ; 
the word that I have spoken shall judge him at the last day.' The 
word of the gospel delivered by Christ, that will judge them. Though 
there were no other witnesses, yet the grace of God in the word will 
show their condemnation to be just, because of their contempt and 
neglect. Believers or unbelievers may know their doom aforehand by 
the word. So Mat. xii. 41, 42, 'The men of Nineveh shall rise in 
judgment against this generation, and condemn it, because they re 
pented at the preaching of Jonas ; and behold a greater than Jonas 
is here. So, the queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment 
with this generation, and shall condemn it, for she came from the 


uttermost parts of the earth, to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and 
behold, a greater than Solomon is here.' The means that we have 
enjoyed shall be produced, and aggravate the judgment against the 
neglecters and despisers of the Lord's grace. There was a greater 
manifestation of God in Christ than Solomon ; a greater confirmation 
in Christ's resurrection and infusion of the Spirit, than in Jonah's 
being delivered out of the whale's belly. 

5. The ministers of the gospel. Their diligence and faithful incul 
cation of the doctrine of life maketh up a part of the evidence which 
is produced to convince sinners : Mat. xxiv. 14, ' And this gospel of 
the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all 
nations ; ' first to them, and then against them, compared with Mark, 
xiii. 9. The preaching of the word will be a witness that men had 
warning, enough, but that they unthankfully neglected their oppor 
tunity, and did cast away their own mercies : so Mark. vi. 11, ' Shake 
off the dust of your feet for a testimony against them.' That signified 
what a crying sin, and what a punishment, did attend them that con 
temned the messages of salvation sent them by God. It is not only 
a testimony before God for the present ; but compare Mat. x. 14, 15, 
'Shake off the dust of your feet/ and 'it shall be more tolerable 
for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment.' This showeth you 
are free of their blood, and if there be no other witnesses, this dust 
shall witness it. 

6. Conscience itself shall witness against them, and God will dis 
cover ourselves to ourselves, that we shall see the judgment is just. 
As long as men have any tenderness, conscience speaketh now, but by 
custom in sinning men stop the mouth of it. But when it speaketh 
not, it writeth many times ; for the present it is silent, and seemeth to 
take no notice of the sins we commit, but they are all registered, and 
they appear legible. The sad story of our lives is all engraven upon 
the heart, and when God awakeneth the conscience, it is all sin. God 
will open our eyes, not by a holy illumination, but by a forced con 
viction : Rev. xx. 12, ' The books were opened,' and one of these books 
is conscience, and though it be in the sinner's keeping, yet it cannot be 
so blurred and defaced, but our story will be legible enough, and for 
gotten sins will stare us in the face : Num. xxxii. 23, ' And be sure 
your sins shall find you out.' We forget them now, think we shall 
never hear of them more ; but God can make all occur to memory 
as fresh as if newly committed, and in an instant represent the story 
of an ill-spent life, and show us all the thoughts, words, and actions, 
that ever we have been guilty of. The paper goeth white into the 
printing-house, but within one instant it is marked within and without, 
and cometh forth stamped with words, and lines, and sentences, which 
were no way legible there before. 

7. It will be made evident by the confession of offenders themselves. 
As their consciences will convince them, so their own tongues will accuse 
them then ; as men now in the ravings of despair will vomit up their 
own shame : as Judas, Mat. xxvii. 4, ' I have sinned, in that I have 
betrayed the innocent blood ; ' arid Jer. xvii. 9, ' At his latter end he 
shall be a fool;' crying out, Oh, fool! Oh, madman! So much 
more then God can easily, and without other evidence, convince men 


by themselves, and make them accuse themselves ; he can judge them 
out of their own mouths, Luke. xix. 12 ; produce evidence against 
them out of their own thoughts, and pronounce sentence against them 
out of their own consciences, Rom. ii. 15 ; make men's tongues to fall 
upon them, Ps. Ixiv. 8. He can indeed make use of us, and all that is 
in us, for his own glory, as having power to do with us what he will ; 
and it is much for his honour when he maketh us witnesses against 

8. Wicked men shall accuse one another. In the arraignment of 
Adam and Eve, which I take for a notable presignification of the 
general judgment, they transfer it upon one another ; the man upon 
the woman : Gen. iii. 12, ' The woman whom thou gavest to be with 
me ; ' and the woman upon the serpent : ' The serpent beguiled me/ 
ver. 13. So those that draw one another into sin, or are drawn by 
4hem, will impeach one another. 

9. The godly will be brought in as one evidence, to make them, 
manifest, partly as they endeavoured to do them good : Heb. xi. 7, 
' Noah condemned the world ;' and 'the saints shall judge the world/ 
1 Cor. vi. 2 ; now by their conversations, hereafter by their vote and suf 
frage. And partly as they might receive good from them ; as the godly 
relieved ; Luke xvi. 9, and neglected, Mat. xxv. ; as they might have 
been visited, and clothed ; the loins of the poor blessed Job, chap. xxxi. 29. 

10. The circumstances of their evil actions : James v. 3, ' Your gold 
and silver is cankered ; the rust of them shall be a witness against 
you.' The circumstances of your sinful actions shall be brought forth 
as arguments of conviction : Hab. ii. 11, ' The stone shall cry out of 
the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it/ Though 
none durst complain of oppressors, yet the materials of their buildings 
shall witness against them kind of antiphony heard by God's justice. 
The stones of the wall shall cry, ' Lord, we were built by rapine and 
violence ;' the beam shall answer, ' True, Lord, even so it is ;' the stones 
shall cry, ' Vengeance, Lord, upon our ungodly owner ; ' and the beam, 
shall answer, ' Woe to him, because his house was built with blood ; ' 
though all should be silent, yet the stones will not hold their peace. 

Use 1. If we must appear so as to be made manifest, oh, then, let us 
take heed of secret sin, and make conscience of avoiding it, as well as 
that which is open, for in time it will be laid open. Achan was found 
out in his sacrilege, how secretly soever he carried it, Josh, viii.; Ananias 
and Sapphira's sacrilege in keeping back part of what was dedicated 
to God, Acts v ; Gehazi in affecting a bribe : 1 Kings v. 26, ' Went 
not my spirit with thee ? ' meaning his prophetic spirit. Doth not 
God see, and will not he require it? Alas, we many times make con 
science of acts, but not of thoughts ; and yet, according to Christ's 
theology, malice is heart-murder, lustful inclinations are heart- adultery, 
proud imaginations are heart-idolatry, and there may be a great deal 
of evil in discontented thoughts, and repinings against providence, Ps. 
Ixxiii. 22. Shall we repent of nothing but what man seeth ? Eph. v. 
12, ' It is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of 
them in secret/ A serious Christian is ashamed to speak of what 
secure persons are not ashamed to practise ; if they can hide it from 
men, the all seeing-eye of God layeth no restraint upon them ; unclean- 


iiess usually affecteth a veil of secresy, 'but whoremongers and 
adulterers God will judge,' Heb. xiii. 4. It is said God will judge 
them, because usually this sin is carried so closely and craftily, that 
none but God can find them out ; but certainly God will find them 
out ; none can escape God's discovery, all things are naked in his sight. 
Let no man then embolden himself to have his hand in any sin, in 
hopes to hide his ' counsel deep from the Lord, and his works in the 
dark/ Isa. xxix. 15. God knoweth the thoughts of the heart afar off; 
and Ps. cxxxix. 2, ' Whither shall I go from thy presence, and whither 
shall I fly from thy Spirit?' God knew what the king of Assyria 
spake in his secret chamber, 2 Kings vL 12 ; knew the secret thoughts 
of Herod's heart, which it is probable he never uttered to his nearest 
friends, concerning the murdering of Christ, Mat. ii. 13. But to end 
this, consider the aggravations of these sins that are secret and hidden, 
although to be an open and bold sinner is in some respects more than 
to be a close, private sinner, because of the dishonour done to God, 
and scandal to others, and impudency in the sinner himself, yet also 
in other respects secret sins have their aggravations. 

1. The man is conscious to himself that he doth evil ; therefore 
seeketh a veil and covering, would not have the world know it. If 
open sins be of greater infamy, yet secret sins are more against know 
ledge and conviction. To sin with a consciousness that we do sin is a 
dreadful thing, James iv. 17. You live in secret wickedness, envy, 
pride, sensuality, and would fain keep it close ; this is to rebel against 
the light, and to stop the mouth of conscience, which is awakened 
within thee. 

2. This secret sinning puts far more respect and fear upon men than 
God, and is palliated atheism. What, unjust in secret ! unclean in secret ! 
envious in secret ! disclaim against God's children in secret ! neglect 
duties in secret ! sensual in secret ! Oh, then, wicked wretch, thou art 
afraid men should know it, and art not afraid God should know it. 
What, afraid of the eyes of man ; and not afraid of the great God ? 
Thou wouldest not have a child see thee do that which God seeth thee 
to do. A thief is ashamed when he is found, Jer. ii. Can man damn 
thee ? can man fill thy conscience with terrors ? can man bid thee depart 
into everlasting burnings ? why then, art thou afraid of man, and not 
of God? 

3. The more secret any wickedness is, it argueth the heart is more 
studious and industrious about it, how to contrive it, and bring it 
about; as David plotted Uriah's death. And Joshua vii. 11, 'They 
have stolen and dissembled also, and even put it among their own stuff.' 
And, Acts v. 9, ' How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the 
Spirit of God ? ' In secret sins there is much premeditation and craft 
and dissimulation used. 

Use 2. Is to show the folly of them who rather take care to hide 
their sins than get them pardoned. 

1. God hath promised pardon to an open confession of sin: Prov. 
xxviii. 13, ' He that hideth his sin shall not prosper, but he that con- 
fesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find mercy.' He hath promised it 
in mercy, but bound himself to perform it in righteousness : 1 John i. 
9, ' If we confess and forsake our sins, he is just and faithful to forgive 


them.' David pleadeth it : Ps. li. 3, ' Cleanse me from my secret sin, 
for I acknowledge my transgression.' And God doth certainly perform 
it to his children. When David said, ' I have sinned/ 2 Sam. xii. 13, 
' against the Lord, Nathan said, the Lord hath put away thy sin, thou 
shalt not die/ And this he acknowledged with thankfulness: Ps. 
xxxii. 5, ' I said I would confess, and thou forgavest.' This is the 
right course which men should take, confess their sin with grief and 
shame and reformation ; we have not our quietus est till this be done. 

2. Notwithstanding all this, man naturally loveth to hide and cover 
his sin : Job xxxi. 33, ' If I have covered my transgression, as did 
Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom.' More hominum so 
Junius : Hos. vi. 7, ' They like men have transgressed the covenant.' 
It is in the Hebrew ' like Adam,' or Adam's name is mentioned, because 
we show ourselves to be like Adam's race by hiding and excusing our 
sin. First, from men we hide them, as Saul dealeth with Samuel, 
1 Sam. xv. 13-15, Gehazi with Elisha, Ananias and Sapphira with 
Peter, Acts v. 8. They heap up sin upon sin to hide former sins ; this 
cometh from their pride, joined with some degree of atheism ; they care 
not how deep they run into guilt, so they may avoid shame and infamy. 
Or else, secondly, from ourselves. A man seeketh to hide his sin from 
himself out of self-love, lest their carnal peace should be disturbed, and 
Satan letteth them alone that they may not discover the right way, how 
they may recover themselves out of his snares ; and out of love and 
affection to sin we ' roll it as a sweet morsel in our mouth, and hide it 
under our tongue,' Job xx. 12, 13. They are willing to retain it still ; 
as Abraham was unwilling to put away Ishmael, whom he loved, Gen. 
xxi. 11 ; and therefore see not what we do see, loath to find them 
selves in a state of wrath, or obnoxious to eternal death. Therefore 
we all need to pray, Ps. xix. 12, ' Keep back thy servant from pre 
sumptuous sins.' There are many secret sins through ignorance, 
inadvertency, partiality or self-love, not taken notice of. Thirdly, 
from God, which is worst of all. We all desire to hide our sins, and 
could wish they might be unknown unto him, yea, endeavour it. Thus 
Adam hid himself when God came into the garden ; when he could 
shift no longer he transferreth his fault upon Eve, and obliquely upon 
God himself, Gen. iii. ; and Cain, Gen. iv., beareth it out to God, first 
with a plain lie, afterwards with a bold answer, ' Am I my brother's 
keeper ? ' 

But is there any such disposition in the children of God ? Yes ; 
David kept silence, Ps. xxxii. 3. Moses pleadeth not the main till 
God toucheth his privy sore ; he pleadeth other excuses, but the fear 
of his life was the main thing. It is a hard thing to bring the soul 
to deal openly and ingenuously with God, to draw forth the sin with 
its circumstances, and lay it before the Lord, who knoweth it already. 

3. This is folly, and a degree of atheism. We can never hide our 
sins nor our persons, for we must be made manifest at the last day. 
God cannot be resisted, nor escaped, nor entreated, nor endured, nor 
resisted : Isa. xxvii. 4, ' Who would set the briers and thorns against me 
in battle ? I would go through them, and would burn them together,' 
no more than briers and thorns can resist a devouring flame. Nor 
escaped : Jer. xxv. 35, ' And the shepherd shall have no way to flee, 


nor the principal of the flock to escape : ' so Ps. cxxxix. 7, c Whither 
shall I flee from thy presence?' You flee from God as a friend, to 
God as an enemy. Nor entreat him : 1 Sam. ii. 25, ' If one man sin 
against another, the judge must judge him ; but if a man sin against 
God, who shall entreat for him ? ' Nor endured, Isa. xxxiii. 14, ' The 
sinners in Zion are afraid ; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites ; 
who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire, who among us shall 
dwell with everlasting burning?' And Ezek. xxii. 14, 'Can thine 
heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall 
deal with thee ? ' Well then, if men will not now draw nigh unto 
God, God will find them out in their sins, and bring them into judg 
ment before him. Since he cannot be blinded, nor resisted, our best 
way is to take hold of his strength, and make our peace with him, 
Isa. xxvii. 5. 'Agree with thine adversary while he is in the way.' 
Better come in voluntarily than be dragged by force come humbl}", 
as Benhadad's servants, with ropes about their necks, 1 Kings xx. 
32. David found more comfort in submission to God, than in stand 
ing out against him. 


For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of OJirist 
2 COR. v. 10. 

I COME now to the fifth circumstance in the text, and that is the cause 
or matter to be tried, and about which we must be judged. 

1. Generally expressed, TO, Bia TOV o-o>/zaro9 the things done in the 

2. Distributed into their several kinds ; whether we have done good 
or evil. 

Doct. That every man's judgment shall proceed according to what 
he hath done in the flesh, whether it be good or bad. 

This is confirmed by other scriptures : Mat. xvi. 27, ' The Son of 
man shall come in the glory of the Father, with his angels ; and men 
shall be rewarded every man according to his works ; ' so Kev. xx. 12, 
'And they were judged out of the things which were written in the 
books, according to their works.' 

Here I shall inquire 

1. Why works are produced. 

2. How they are considered in the sentence and doom that passetk 
upon every man. 

3. What room and place they have with respect to punishment and 

First, Why works are produced and whenever the judgment is 
spoken of some clause is inserted which mentioneth works, or relateth 
to them. 

I answer, this is the fittest way to glorify God, and convince the 
creature, which are the two ends of the judgment, and are most pro 
moted by giving them the fruit of their doings, whether good or evil. 


1. For the glory of God. At that day God will glorify his holiness, 
justice and truth, yea also his free love and mercy ; the veil is to be 
taken away, and all this at that day is to be made matter of sense. 

[1.] The holiness of God. The holy God delighteth in holiness and 
holy persons, and hateth sin and the workers of iniquity. Both parts of 
his holiness are spoken of in scripture, his delight in holy things and 
persons, Prov. ii. 20. The upright are his delight, and their services, 
Prov. x. 8. Can we imagine that God should bid the saints love one 
another, and count them the excellent ones upon earth, Ps. xvi. 3, how 
poor soever and despicable they be as to their outward condition, and 
that he himself should not love them the more, and delight in the reflect- 
tion of his own image upon them ? On the other side, his detestation 
of sin and sinners: Hab. i. 13, ' Thou art of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity ; ' and Ps. v. 4, ' Thou art not a God that hast pleasure in 
wickedness.' We that have but a drop of the divine nature, hate not 
only sin, but sinners : 2 Peter ii. 8, ' Lot, his righteous soul was vexed 
with their impure conversations.' Well then, can we imagine without a 
manifest reproach to the divine nature, that God should be indifferent 
to good and evil, and the saints should not be more lovely in his sight 
for their holiness, and the wicked hateful for their sins ? Therefore now, 
when all is to be discovered and made obvious to sense, it is a delight to 
him to reward the graces and services of his people, and to show how- 
pleasing and acceptable they are to him ; the more holy, the more 
lovely objects of his sight. And on the other side, he will show his 
hatred against sin and sinners, in their sentence and punishment ; and 
so by necessary consequence, their different works must come into con 
sideration, that the holy may have their due praise and commendation, 
and the wicked, their just reproof from the judge of the world. 

[2.] His remunerative justice. There is a threefold justice in Cod; 
his general justice, his strict justice, his justice of benignity or fidelity, 
according to his gospel-law. (1.) His general justice requireth that 
there should be a different proceeding among them that differ among 
themselves ; that every man should reap according to what he hath 
sown, whether he hath been sowing to the flesh or to the spirit, that 
the fruit of his doings should be given into his bosom. And therefore, 
though this be not evident in this life, where good and evil is promis 
cuously dispensed, because now is the time of God's patience and our 
trial, yet in the life to come, when God will 'judge the world in 
righteousness/ Acts xvii. 31, it is necessary that it should go well with 
the good, and ill with the bad. And as the apostle saith, 2 Thes. i. 6, 7, 
'It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them 
that trouble you, and to you that are troubled rest with us, when the 
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.' 
There is generalis ratio justi, in the difference of the recompenses, 
and therefore the different actions of the persons to be judged, must 
come into the discussion, whether good or evil. (2.) There is God's 
strict justice declared in the covenant of works, whereby he rewardeth 
man according to his perfect obedience, or else punisheth him for his 
failings and coming short. This also is in part to be declared at the 
day of judgment, on the wicked at least ; for the apostle declareth that 
there will be a different proceeding with men, according to the divers 


covenants which they are under; some shall be judged by the law of 
liberty, according to which God will accept their sincere though imper 
fect obedience; others shall have judgment, without any temperament 
of mercy, James ii. 12, 13 ; and justly, because they never changed 
copy and tenure. When God made man he gave him a law, suitable 
to that perfection and innocency wherein he made him. Our act did 
not make void his right to require the obedience due by that law, 
nor our obligation to perform it ; but yet because man '.vas incapable 
of performing this law or obtaining righteousness by it, having once 
broken it, he was pleased to cast out a plank to us after shipwreck, to 
offer us the remedy of a new law of grace, wherein he required of us 
' repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,' Acts xx. 
21 ; that we should return to our duty to our creator, depending 
upon the merit, satisfaction, and power of the mediator. Now we 
are all sinners, and have deserved death according to the law of nature, 
and woe and wrath a hundred times over ; and if through our impeni- 
tency and unbelief, we will not accept of God's remedy, we are justly 
left to the old covenant, under which we were born, and so undergo 
judgment without mercy. (3.) There is his justice of bounty and 
free beneficence, as judging according to his gospel-law, which accepteth 
of sincere obedience ; and so God is just, when he rewardeth a man 
capable of reward upon terms of grace ; so it is said, Heb. vi. 10, 
* God is not unrighteous to forget your work of faith, and labour of love, 
which ye have showed to his name.' His promises take notice of works, 
and the fruits of faith and love, as one part of our qualification, which 
make us capable of the blessings promised. 

[3.] His veracity and faithfulness. God hath promised life and 
glory to the penitent and obedient, and the faithful. And God will 
make good his promises, and reward all the labours, and patience, and 
faithfulness of his servants, according to his promises to them. To 
whom hath he promised salvation ? To the obedient, to the patient, to the 
pure in heart, to the diligent and studious, everywhere in the word of 
God: John xii. 26, 'There shall my servant be;' James i. 12, and 
Rom. ii. 6, 7, 'He will render to every one according to his deeds : to 
them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, 
immortality, eternal life.' On the contrary he hath interrninated and 
threatened : vers. 8, 9, ' To them that are contentious, and obey not the 
the truth,' who wrangle and dispute away duty. See promises mixed 
with threatenings, to the carnal and the mortified : Bom. 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 Gal, vi. 8, ' If ye sow 
to the flesh, of the flesh ye shall reap corruption ; but if ye sow to the 
spirit, ye shall reap life everlasting.' Now that God's truth may fully 
appear, men's works must be brought into the trial. 

[4.] His free grace. The business of that day is not only to glorify 
his justice, but to glorify his free love and mercy : 1 Peter i. 13, ' Hope 
unto the end for the grace that is to be brought to you, at the revel 
ation of our Lord Jesus Christ.' And this grace is no way infringed, 
but the rather exalted, when what we have done in the body, whether 
it be good or evil, is brought into the judgment. 

(1.) The evil works of the faithful show that every one is worthy of 


death for sinning, though we do not die and perish everlastingly for it 
as others do. God's best saints have need to deprecate his strict judg 
ment: Ps. cxliii. 2, 'Enter not into judgment with thy servant;' he 
doth not say with thine enemy, but thy servant. They that can con 
tinue with most patience in well-doing, have nothing to look for at last 
but mercy, Jude21. It is their best plea : Rev. ii. 10, ' Be thou faith 
ful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.' When we have 
done and suffered ever so much for God, we must at length take eternal 
life as a gift out of the hands of our Redeemer ; but for the grace of 
the new covenant, we might have perished as others do. In some 
measure we see grace here, but never so fully and perfectly as then. 
Partly, because now we have not so full a view of our unworthiness 
as when our actions are scanned and all brought to light. And partly, 
because there is not so full and large manifestation of God's favour 
now, as there is in our full and final reward. It is grace now, that he 
is pleased to pass by our offences, and to take us into his family, and 
give us some taste of his love, and a right to the heavenly kingdom ; 
but then it is another manner of grace and favour ; then our pardon 
shall be pronounced by our judge's own mouth, and he shall not only 
take us into his family, but into his immediate presence and heavenly 
palace ; not only give us right, but possession, ' Come, ye blessed of my 
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you ; ' and shall have not 
only some remote service and ministration, but be everlastingly employed 
in loving and delighting in, and praising of God ; this is grace indeed. 
The grace of God, or his free favour to sinners, is never seen in all its 
glory or graciousness till then. 

(2.) The good which the faithful do is very imperfect, and mixed 
with many weaknesses and infirmities ; it may endure the touchstone, 
but it cannot endure the balance, as we shall find then, when our right 
eous judge shall compare our best actions with his holy law. After 
we repented and believed, and returned to the obedience of God, the 
Lord knoweth our righteousness is as filthy rags, and our best robes 
need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Sin is our nakedness, 
and graces are our garments. 

(3.) Though it were never so perfect, yet it merits nothing by its 
own intrinsic worth at God's hands : ' When we have done all, we are 
but unprofitable servants,' Luke xvii. 10. And paying a due debt 
deserveth no reward ; it is a grace bestowed upon us, that we can do 
anything for God, 2 Cor. viii. 1 ; and services and sufferings bear no 
equality with the reward, Rom. viii. 18 ; and all is done by those that 
did once deserve eternal death, Rom. vi. 17, 18 ; and were redeemed 
and recovered out of that misery by an infinite grace, 1 Peter i. 18, 19 ; 
and already appointed heirs of eternal life before we serve him, Rom. 
viii. 17, by his precedent elective love. In short, they that continu 
ally need to implore the mercy of God for the pardon of sin, and can 
not oblige God by any work of theirs, must needs admire grace ; and 
the more grace is discovered to them, and they discovered to them 
selves, the more they will do so. 

2. The other end of the judgment is to convince the creature, and 
that is best done by bringing our works, whether good or evil, into 
the judgment. If only the purposes of God were manifested, the con- 


demned would bave a just exception, and their cavils would be justified, 
tbat it was long of God they were not saved. Man is apt to charge 
God wrongfully : Prov. ix. 3, ' The foolishness of man perverteth his 
way, and his heart fretteth against the Lord.' Whatever exceptions 
men have against God now, then all is clear, their works are produced, 
their own evil choice and course. If the grace of the Redeemer were 
only produced, those who are excluded from the benefit might seem 
to tax the proceeding as arbitrary, and the whole business would seem 
to be a matter of favour, and not of justice. But when their destruc 
tion is of themselves, there is no cause of complaint ; if only the good 
estate of men were considered, there would not be such an open vindica 
tion of God's righteous dealing. In any judgment, all things are 
rightly and convincingly carried, when the judge doth proceed secun- 
dum regulas juris, et secundum allegata et probata according to the 
law as a rule, and according to the things alleged and proved, as to 
the application of the rule to the parties j udged. Now the producing 
of the things done in the body, whether good or evil, suiteth with both 
these, and so in the day of judgment there is a right course taken for 
convincing the creature. 

[1.] The judge must keep close to the law as his rule, for the absolv 
ing or acquitting of the parties impleaded. So it belongeth to Christ, 
as a judge, to determine our case according to the law which we are 
under. We Christians are under a double law, of nature and grace. 
The law of nature bindeth us to love and serve our creator ; but because 
of man's apostasy, the law of grace findeth out a remedy, of repentance^ 
or returning to our duty after the breach, and faith, or suing out the 
mercy of God in the name of 'Jesus Christ. Now those who will not 
accept of the second covenant, remain under the bond of the first, 
which exacteth perfect obedience from them, and the judge doth them 
no wrong, if he judge them according to their works. But now those 
who have accepted the second covenant, and devoted themselves to 
God, taking sanctuary at the mercy of their Redeemer, they indeed 
have a plea against the first covenant ; they are sinners, but they are 
repenting sinners, and believing in Christ. Now their claim must be 
examined by the judge, whether this penitence and acceptance of grace 
be sincere and real, whether true penitents and sound believers ; that 
must be seen by our works ; and the judge must examine, whether our 
repentance, and returning to our duty, be verified by our after obedi 
ence, and our thankful acceptance of Christ, and doth engage us to 
constancy and cheerfulness in that obedience. A double accusation 
may be brought against man before the tribunal of God : that he is a 
sinner, and so guilty of the breach of the first covenant ; or that he 
is no sound believer, having not fulfilled the condition of the second. 
As to the first accusation we are justified by faith, as to the second 
by works ; and so James and Paul are reconciled : Rom. iii. 24, ' A 
man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law ;' James ii. 24, 
'A man is justified by works, and not by faith only.' Every one of us 
may be considered as a man that liveth in the world, or as a sinner 
in the state of nature, or as a man called to the grace of God in Christ, 
or as a Christian professing faith in the Redeemer. According to this 
double relation, there is a double judgment passed upon us, according 


to the law, so condemned already ; according to the gospel, so accept 
ed in the beloved. To this double judgment there answereth a double 
justification : of a sinner, by virtue of the satisfaction of Christ, appre 
hended by faith, without the works of the law ; of a believer, or one 
in the state of grace, so justified by works ; for here it is not inquired 
whether he have satisfied the law, that he may have life by, it but 
whether, professing himself to be a Christian, he be a true believer and 
that must be tried by his works ; for as God in the covenant of grace 
giveth us two benefits, remission of sins and sanctification by the Spirit, 
so he requireth two duties from us a thankful acceptance of his grace 
by faith, and also new obedience, as the fruit of love. Well then, this 
being so to wit, that Christ's commission and charge is to give eternal 
life to true believers, and them only, the only sound mark of true 
believers is their works of new obedience. These must be tried in 
the judgment. 

[2.] A judge must proceed secundum alligata et probata, not to 
give sentence by guess, but upon the evidence of the fact ; therefore 
Christ, to convince men that they are sinners by the first covenant, or 
hypocrites, or sincere, by the second, must consider their works. Men's 
profession must not be taken in the case, but their lives must be con 
sidered, for there are Christians in the letter, and Christians in the spirit, 
some that have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, 2 Tim. 
iii. 5 ; and God doth not respect the outward profession, 1 Peter i. 
17. There may be a carnal Christian, as well as a carnal heathen ; a 
man may talk well from his convictions, or a mere disciplinary know 
ledge; but to do well there needeth a living principle of grace. The 
scriptures still set forth graces by their operations, works, or fruits ; 
for a dead sleepy habit is worth nothing. The working faith car- 
rieth away the prize of justification, Gal. v. 6 ; honoureth Christ, 2 
Thes. i. 11, 12. The labouring love is that which God will regard 
and reward, Heb. vi. 10. The lively hope is the fruit of regeneration, 
1 Peter i. 5 ; that which sets a-doing, Acts xxiv. 15, 16 ; and Acts 
xxvi. 7, 8. Grace otherwise cannot appear in the view of conscience. 
The apples appear when the sap is not seen. It is the operative and 
lively graces that will discover themselves. A man may think well, 
or speak well, but that grace which governeth his conversation showeth 
itself. God knoweth what is in man, whether faith be sound in the 
first planting, before any fruit appear. But this judgment is to pro 
ceed, not only by the knowledge of the judge, but the evidence of our 
own consciences, the observation of others, and what openly appeareth 
in our lives. 

Secondly, How these works are considered, with respect to our sen 
tence and doom. 

1. Our actions are considered here with respect to the principle from 
whence they flow, a renewed heart ; God doth not look to the bare 
work, but to the spring, and motives, and ends, Prov. xvi. 2. He 
weigheth the spirits, quo animo, not only the matter and bulk of the 
action, but with what spirit, and from what principle it is done : Eph. 
v. 9, ' For the fruit of the Spirit is all goodness, righteousness and truth;' 
whether we act from a principle of grace in the heart. A violent 
motion differeth from that which floweth from an inward principle. 


Christ first giveth a disposition to obey, before there is an actual sin 
cere obedience. And living in the Spirit goeth before walking in the 
Spirit, Gal. v. 25. The principles are infused, and then the action 
follows. It is said, John iii. 21, 'He that doth truth cometh to the 
light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in 
God.' A godly man cannot satisfy himself in some external conform 
ity to the law, but he must know that the actions come from God, 
from his grace and Spirit in us, and tend to him, that is, to his glory 
and honour, and are directed according to his will. A little outside 
holiness will not content Christ. 

2. With respect to the state in which they are done. A justified 
estate, and a state of reconciliation to God ; for the sacrifices of the 
wicked are an abomination to the Lord : Gal. ii. 19, ' I through the 
law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God ; ' and Bom. vii. 
4, ' Married to Christ, that I may bring forth fruit unto God.' The 
children born before marriage are not legitimate: 2 Peter iii. 11, . 
' What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and 
godliness?' We ought to look to the qualification of our persons, 
that we be reconciled with God through Christ, daily renewing our 
friendship with him by sorrow for sin, by suing out our pardon and 
acceptance in the mediator. The apostle doth not say, How holy ought 
our conversation to be, but What manner of persons ought we to be. 

3. They are considered with respect to their correspondency. No 
man is judged by one single act ; we cannot pass judgment upon our 
estate before God, whether good or evil, by a few particulars, but by 
our way, or the ordinary strain of our life and conversation, and our 
course: Rom. viii. 1, 'Who walk not after the flesh, but after the 
Spirit/ A man may occasionally set his foot in a path which he 
meaneth not to walk in. God in reviewing his work considered every 
day's work ; apart it was good, and considered altogether, Gen. i. 31 ; 
the whole frame, and all very good ; all the work together was cor 
respondent, and .all suitable to the rest in a due proportion ; so should 
we endeavour to imitate God, that all our works, every one of them, 
and our whole course considered together, may all appear to be good, 
answerable to one another in order and proportion, that our whole 
conversations may be a perfect frame of unblamable holiness. There 
are some amongst men which do some things well, to which their 
order and carriage is not suitable. The difference between a godly 
man's work and a hypocrite's lieth in this, a hypocrite's work is best 
considered apart, a good man's works are best, and most approved, 
when they are laid together. 

4. These works are considered with respect to their aim and scope : 
Phil. i. 11, 12, ' That we may be sincere and without offence unto the 
day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are 
by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God.' As it is not the 
doing one good work, or some few, which will qualify a man for the 
day of judgment, but being filled with the fruits of righteousness ; so 
it is necessary also that our aim be every way as good as our action, 
and God's glory be propounded as our great scope. An action in 
itself good and lawful may be reckoned unto the worker as sin or duty, 
as the end is, and the scope which he propoundeth unto himself. 


5. That none of our actions are lost, but stand upon record, that we 
may hear of them another day, and tend to increase the general sum, 
whether good or evil. An impenitent man's account riseth : Bom. 
ii. 5, ' He treasureth up wrath against the day of wrath,' like Jehoiada's 
chest, the longer it stood the more treasure was in it. Sins that seem 
inconsiderable in themselvdfc, yet are the acts of one that hatli sinned 
greatly before. A cipher put to a sum that is fixed increaseth it, 
every drop helpeth to fill the cup. So in the sincere: Phil. iv. 17, 
'Fruit abounding to your account.' Every sincere action makes it 
abound more ; some actions are more inconsiderable than others, yet if 
done for Christ's sake, shall be taken notice of, though small in them 
selves : Mat. x. 42, ' And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of 
these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, 
verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.' 

Thirdly, What room and place these works have, with respect to 
punishment and reward. There is a plain difference, as appeareth, 
Horn. vi. 23, ' The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal 
life.' The works of the wicked have a proper, meritorious influence 
upon their ruin and destruction ; wicked men stand upon their own 
bottom, and are left to themselves. We do evil of our own accord, and 
by our own strength ; but the good we do is neither our own, nor is it 
purely good. Besides, there is this difference between sin and 
obedience, that the heinousness of sin is always aggravated and height 
ened by the proportion of its object, but the merit and value of 
obedience is still lessened ; thereby sin and offence is aggravated ; as, 
for an instance, to strike an officer is more than to strike a private 
man, a king more than an ordinary officer. Thence it cometh to pass 
that a sin committed against God doth deserve an infinite punishment, 
because the majesty of God is infinite, and therefore eternal death, 
is the wages of sin. But on the other side, the greater God is, and 
the more glorious, the greater obligation lieth upon us to love him, 
and serve him, and so that good which we do for his sake is the more 
due, and God is not bound by any right or justice from the merit of 
the action itself to reward it, for here the greatness of the object 
lesseneth the action ; for be the creature what he will, he oweth his 
whole self to God, who is placed in such a degree of eminence, that we 
can lay no obligation upon him ; so that he is not bound by his natural 
justice to reward us, but only inclined so to do by his own goodness, 
and bound so to do by his free promise and covenant of grace. 
Aristotle said well, that children could not merit of their parents, and 
all their kindness and duty they performed, is but a just recompense 
to them from whom under God they have received their being ; for 
right and merit, strictly taken, is only between those who in a manner 
are equals. If not between children and parents, certainly not between 
God and man. Well then, though sin deserveth punishment, yet our 
good works deserve not their reward. That grace which first accepted 
us with all our faults, doth still crown us, and bestow all that honour 
and glory which we expect at Christ's coming. 

But what respect then have our works to our reward ? 

Ansiuer 1. They render us a more capable object of God's delight 
and approbation. For surely the holy God delighteth in his faithful 


servants : Mat. xxv. 21, ' Eucje, bone serve.' Conformity to'liis nature 
and will siiiteth more with his holiness than sin and disobedience. 

2. They qualify us, and make us more capable of the rewards of his 
gospel covenant, which requireth that we should accept of our 
Redeemer's mercy, and return to our obedience,, and continue in that 
obedience, that the righteous judge may put the crown upon our heads 
in that day, 2 Tim. iv. 7. 8. 

3. Works are' produced as the undoubted evidence of a sound faith; 
they are a demonstration, a signis notioribus, as most conspicuous, 
and so fit to justify believers before all the world ; the sprinkling of 
the blood on the door-posts signifieth there dwell Israelites So such 
an uniform course of holiness shows that faith is rooted in them. 

4. They are a measure of the degree of the reward ; for, 2 Cor. ix. 
6, 'He that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly, and he that soweth 
bountifully, shall reap bountifully,' not only glory, but great glory 
with great measure. So far we may go safely, and less we cannot, 
unless we would infringe a care of holiness. 

Use. Oh then, let us take heed what we do in the body, whether we 
ow to the flesh or the spirit. Let us be sure that our seed be good, 
if we would expect a good crop. Now it is seed time, but then is the 
harvest, works will be inquired after. It is not our voice, but hands; 
like as Isaac, ' The voice is Jacob's, but the hands are the hands of 
ESHU.' Nothing will evidence our sincerity, but a uniform, constant 
course of self-denying obedience. 

1. An uniform course it must be. A man may force himself into 
an act, or two ; Saul in a rapture may be among the prophets. A 
man is judged by his course and walk. A child of God may be under 
a strange appearance for an act or so; you can no more judge of them 
l)y that, than you can judge of the glory of a street by a sink or 
kennel. Ou the other side, men may take on religion at set times, as 
men in an ague have their well days, the fit of lust or sin is not 
always upon them : Ps. cvi. 3, ' Blessed are they that keep judgment, 
and he that doth righteousness at all times.' When a man's conversa 
tion is all of a piece, his course is to please God in all places, and in 
all things, not by starts, and in good moods: 1 John iii. 9, 'Whoso 
ever is born of God, doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in 
him, and he cannot sin, for he is born of God.' 

An act of voluntary sin is as monstrous as a hen to lay the egg of 
a crow ; many men's lives speak contradictions. Saul at one time 
puts all the witches to death, at another time, hath recourse with a 
witch himself. Jehu showeth his zeal against Ahab's idolatry, but 
not against Jeroboam's. 

2. Constant. There is a strait gate, and a narrow way ; we must 
enter one, and walk in the other; there is making covenant, and 
keeping covenant: Ps. ciii. 18, 'To such as keep his covenant, and to 
those that remember his commandments to do them;' Gal. vi. 16, 
'As many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy shall be 
upon them, and upon the whole Israel of God.' Faith and obedience 
are conditions of pardon, and constant obedience is a condition of 

3. Seif-denyingly acted. Good works are not dear ; ' Be warmed, be 


clothed.' In 1 John iii. 16, the apostle speaketh of laying down our 
life for the brethren, of opening our hands and bowels for refreshing 
the hungry, and clothing the naked. So proportionably when we 
take pains to instruct the ignorant, exhort the obstinate, confirm the 
weak, comfort the afflicted. Do you think that religion lieth only in 
hearing sermons, in singing psalms, reading a chapter, or in a few 
drowsy prayers, or cursory devotions ? There are the means, but where 
is the fruit ? No ; it lieth in self-denying obedience. These are the 
acts about which we shall be questioned at the day of judgment, Mat. 
xxv., Have you visited, have you clothed, do you own the servants of 
God when the times frown upon them? Do you relieve them and 
comfort them in their distresses ? Lip-labour and tongue-service is a 
cheap thing, and that religion is worth nothing which costs nothing, 
1 Sam. xxiv. 24. When we deny ourselves, and apparently value 
God's interest above our own, then our sincerity is most evidenced, and 
every one of us is to consider what interest God calleth him to deny 
upon the hopes of glory, and, whatever it costeth us, to be faithful with 
God. A cheap course of serving God bringeth you none or little 
comfort. Certainly a man cannot be thorough in religion, but he will 
be put upon many occasions of denying himself, his ease, profit, honour, 
and acting contrary to his natural inclinations, or worldly interests. 
Those that regard only the safe, cheap and easy part, do not set up 
Christ's religion, but their own a Christianity of their own making : 
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 


That every man may receive the things done in the body, according to 
ivhat lie hath done, good or bad. 2 COR. v. 10. 

THIS receiving relateth either to the sentence or the execution, princi 
pally the latter. 

Doct. The end of the last judgment is, that every man, according 
to what he hath done, may receive reward and punishment. 

Without this, the whole process of that day would be but a solemn 
and useless pageantry, and therefore the end bindeth all upon us. 
And as we have considered the other circumstances we must consider 
this also. This receiving the things done in the body relateth either 
to the doom and sentence, or else to the execution. For the sentence, 
see Serm. Mat. xxv., vers. 34 and 41. I shall here speak of the 
execution ; it is set forth emphatically, Mat. xxv. 46, ' These shall go 
away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.' 
In which scripture, 

1. There is a distribution of the persons these and the righteous, 
the goats and the sheep, the workers of iniquity and the godly, the 
righteous and the wicked. This is the most material distinction, and 



an everlasting distinction. It is the most material and important dis 
tinction. There is a distinction of nations ; some lie nearer to the 
sun, others more remote or farther off ; some in a southerly, some in 
a northerly climate, but they are all alike near to the Sun of righteous 
ness. Jew, or Greek, or barbarian, are all one in Christ, Gal. iii. 28. 
There is a distinction of endowments ; some are learned and some 
unlearned. Yet the gospel looketh equally upon both, and Christ's 
disciples owe the equal debt of love to both, Rom. i. 14. There is a 
distinction of ranks and degrees in the world ; some are noble, and 
others ignoble, but before God omnis sanguis concolor all blood is of 
a colour ; and the true spiritual nobility is to be born of God, John i. 
13. The gospel puts the rich and poor on the same level, James i. 9, 
10. They differ in worldly estate ; but all have the same redeemer ; as 
under the law, the rich and the poor paid the same ransom, Exod. xxx. 
15. There is a distinction between bond and free, but the bond are 
Christ's freemen, 1 Cor. vii. 22 ; and the free is Christ's servant, 
Eph. vi. 7. All these are not material to our acceptance with God. 
There is a distinction between opinions, and petty sects and parties in 
the church, but this is not the grand distinction, which will hold 
weight at the day of doom. There were different parties at Corinth, 
and they were apt to band one against another, but yet they had but 
one common Christ : 1 Cor. i. 2, ' Jesus Christ, theirs and ours.' We 
inclose and impale the common salvation, unchristian and unminister 
one another, cast one another out of God's favour, but God's appro 
bation doth not go by our vote and suffrage ; there lieth an appeal 
from man's censure, lingua Petilliani non est ventilabrum" Ghristi. 
It is well that every angry brother's tongue is not Christ's fan where 
with he will purge his floor. God in his judgment taketh notice of 
another distinction, whether we be righteous or wicked, holy or unholy : 
' The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his face is against 
them that do evil/ 1 Peter iii. 12. That is the distinction which doth 
bear weight before Christ's tribunal. And this is the everlasting dis 
tinction. Other distinctions do not outlive time, they cease at the 
grave's mouth ; within a while it will not be a pin to choose what part 
we have acted in the world, whether we have been high or low, rich or 
poor ; but much will lie upon it, whether we have been godly or ungodly, 
whether we have sowed to the flesh or to the spirit. This distinction 
will last for ever, and the one of them will fill heaven and the other 
hell. The whole world is comprised in one of these two ranks ; there 
is no neutral or middle estate. 

2. As there are different persons, so there are different recompenses, 
and a different doom and sentence which is executed upon either ; the 
conclusion is dreadful to the wicked but comfortable to the godly, for 
everlasting life shall be the portion of the godly, and everlasting 
punishment the portion of the ungodly. This one scripture well 
improved should be enough to make us shun all sin, and embrace and 
pursue after all good. Wisdom lieth in considering the end of things, 
not what profit and pleasure it bringeth me now, and flattereth me 
with now, but what it will bring me in the end : Rom. vi. 21, ' What 
fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed ? For 
the end of those things is death ; but being made free from sin, and 


become the servants of God, ye have your fruit to holiness, and the 
end everlasting life.' Alas ! sin bringeth little pleasure or satisfaction 
in the time of enjoying it ; and in the remembrance of it, it bringeth 
shame ; and in the conclusion, where it is not repented of, it bringeth 
death. Whereas, on the other side, the service of Christ will be matter 
of joy and pleasure at the present ; matter of comfort and confidence 
afterward ; and in the end, salvation and eternal life. There is a 
curiosity in man ; he would fain know his own destiny, what shall 
become of him, or what lieth hid in the womb of futurity concerning 
his estate ; as the king of Babylon stood upon the parting of the ways 
to make divination. No destiny deserveth to be known so much as 
this, Shall I be saved, or shall I be damned ; live everlastingly in 
heaven or hell ? If the question were, Shall I be rich, or shall I be 
poor, happy or miserable in the present world ? shall I have a long 
life, or shall I have a short ? that is not of such great moment. We 
cannot meet with such troubles and difficulties here, but they will have 
a speedy end ; so will persecutions, and disgraces, and sorrows ; but 
this is a matter of greater moment than so, whether I shall be eternally 
miserable. It is foolish curiosity to inquire into other things ; they 
are not of such importance that we should know them aforehand ; and 
it may do us more hurt than' good to know our worldly estate, the 
misery of which cannot be prevented by any prudence and foresight of 
ours. And it is better to trust ourselves with the providence of God 
than to anticipate future cares ; but it concerneth us much to know 
whether we are in a damnable or a saveable condition, whether we are 
of the number of those that shall go into everlasting punishment, or 
of the righteous who shall go into everlasting life ; if we be in the way 
to everlasting punishment, it is good to know it whilst we have time to 
remedy it. If heirs of salvation, the assurance of our interest is a 
pre-occupation of everlasting blessedness. This is that about which we 
should busy our thoughts and spend our time. 

3. Observe the notions by which this different estate is expressed 
life and punishment. 

[1.] The happy condition of the godly is called life, and well 
deserveth it. This life is but a continued death, it runneth from us 
as fast as it floweth to us, and it is burdened with a thousand mis 
eries ; but that life which is the portion of the faithful, it is a good and 
happy life, and it is endless, it hath a beginning, but it hath no end. 
One moment of immortality is worth a full age of all the health and 
happiness that can be had upon earth. What will you call life ? the 
vegetative life, or the life of a plant ? Alas, if that may be called life, 
it is not a happy life, for the plants have no sense of that kind of life 
they have. The sensitive life, or the life of the beasts, will you call 
that life ? They are indeed capable of pain and pleasure, but this is 
beneath the dignity of man ; and those that affect this kind of happi 
ness, to enjoy sensual pleasure without remorse, degrade themselves 
from that dignity of nature wherein God hath placed them, and make 
themselves but a wiser sort of beasts, as they are able only to purvey 
for the flesh more than the brutes can. Wherein then will you place 
life ? Surely in reason ; man's life is a kind of light given us : John 
i. 4, ' In him was life, and the life was the light of men.' Reason and 


understanding was man's perfection. Well then, this is the life which 
we must inquire after. Now when is this life of light in its full per 
fection ? While the soul dwelleth in flesh, and looketh out by the 
senses to things near at hand,- the proper contentments of the body 
are the poor, paltry vanities of this deceitful world. Now, this is not 
the life which we were made for, but when it seeth God, and enjoyeth 
God in the highest manner that we are capable of. Our true life lieth 
in the vision of God, 1 Cor. xiii. 12 ; and Mat. v. 8, for he is only 
that universal and infinite object which can satiate the heart of man, 
and our proper and peculiar blessedness : ' Whom have I in heaven 
but thee?' Ps. Ixxiii. 25. This is our full and continued happiness. 
Alas ! the present life hath more gall than honey ; its enjoyments are 
low and base, and short and fading, and its troubles and miseries are 
many : Gen. xlix. 9, ' Few and evil are the days and years of my 
pilgrimage/ But in the other world, there is nothing but glory and 
blessedness. A glorified soul in a glorified body doth for ever behold 
God, and delight itself in God. 

[2.] The other notion is punishment, the word signifieth not only 
punishment, but torment ; so we render it, 1 John. iv. 18, ' Because 
fear hath torment.' Annihilation were a favour to the wicked ; they 
have a being, but it is a being under punishment and torment. 
Divines usually distinguish of pcena damni and pcena sensus ; the loss 
and the pain. Both are included, Mat. xxv. 41, in Christ's sentence, 
' Depart, and go into everlasting fire.' God doth not take away the 
being of a sinner, but he taketh away the comfort of his being ; he is 
banished out of his sight for evermore, and deprived of his favour, and 
all the joys and blessedness which are bestowed on the godly ; and 
that is enough to make him miserable. It is true a wicked man now 
careth not for the light of God's countenance, because looking to 
visible things he hath no sound faith of those things which are in 
visible ; but now he coineth to understand the reality of what he hath 
lost, and besides hath no natural comforts to divert his mind, no plays, 
or balls, or pleasures, or meat and drink, and company, which now do 
draw off his heart from better things, and solace him in the want of 
them. Secondly, the pain of sense, that is double, ' the worm that never 
dies, and the fire that shall never be quenched,' Mark. ix. 44. The 
worm is the worm of conscience, reflecting upon his evil choice and 
past folly, which hath brought him to this sad and doleful estate, When 
he considereth for what base things he sold his birthright, Heb. xii. 15 ; 
he parted with felicity and the life to come, this will be a continual 
torment and vexation to them ; and being under despair of ever coming 
out of this condition, his torment is the more increased. If there were 
no more than this conscience reflecting upon the sense of his loss, with 
the cause and consequences of it, surely this will fill him with anguish ; 
and the body, united to such a miserable, self-vexing and self- 
tormenting soul, can have no rest. Besides this, there is the ' fire that 
shall never be quenched,' which is the wrath which bringeth on un 
speakable torments on the body ; for, ' Woe, wrath, tribulation and 
anguish is the portion of every soul that doth evil,' Korn. ii. 9, 10. 
What kind of punishments they are we know not, but such as are 
grievous, and come not only from the reflection of their own consciences, 


but the power of God : Eom. ix. 22, ' God will show his wrath, and 
make his power known.' 

4. Eternity is affixed to both everlasting punishment and eternal life. 

[1.] The joys of the blessed are everlasting. There shall never be 
change of and intermission in. their happiness, but after millions and 
millions of imaginary years, they are to continue in this life, as if it 
were the first moment. Paul telleth you, 1 Thes. iv. 17, ' That we 
shall for ever be with the Lord.' And what can we desire more. In 
this life, if we had the confluence of all manner of comforts, yet the 
fear of losing them is some infringement of our happiness. But there, 
whatever glory we partake of, we shall never lose it ; it will be thy 
crown for ever, thy kingdom for ever, thy glory for ever, thy God and 
thy Christ for ever. Oh, why do we no more think of this ? This 
life, that scarce deserveth the name of a life, yet we would fain con 
tinue it, though in pain and misery : ' Skin for skin, all that a 
man hath, would he give for his life.' Oh, then, how welcome should 
eternal life be, which, compared with this life, is like the ocean to a 
drop ! When we lay both of these lives together, this fading moment 
and that enduring eternity, how much more valuable doth the one 
appear than the other ? Our sorrows will soon end, but these joys, 
when they once begin, will never end : 2 Cor. iv. 17, ' This light afflic 
tion, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory.' Cannot we suffer with him for one hour, 
deny ourselves a little contentment in the world ? Shall we begrudge 
the labours of a few duties, when, as soon as the veil and curtain of 
the flesh is drawn, we shall enter into eternal life and joy. 

[2.] The punishment is everlasting. The wicked are everlastingly 
deprived of the favour of God, and of the light of his countenance. 
When Absalom could not see his father's face, Kill me, saith he, rather 
than let it be always thus, 2 Sam. xiv. 32. The wicked are never more 
to be admitted into the presence of God, who is the fountain of all 
peace and joy. And therefore how miserable will their condition be ! 
Besides, the pain will be eternal, as well as the loss ; not one kind of 
misery only shall light upon wicked men. The scripture representeth 
it by everything which is terrible ; sometimes by death, which is so 
much feared ; sometimes by fire and brimstone, which are so terrible 
in burning ; sometimes by chains and darkness, and prisons and 
dungeons ; because men in extremity of pain and misery do use to 
weep and wail, and gnash their teeth, sometimes by that. All these 
dreadful expressions give us some crevice light into the state of the 
other world. Now these things shall be without ceasing, for neither 
heaven nor hell have any period ; there is no time set when the fire 
shall go out, or these chains be loosed, or these wailings cease. 

But how can it stand with the justice of God, for a momentary 
action to cast men into everlasting torment ? I answer 

1. God will govern the world by his own reasons, and not by our 
fancies ; for we are told, he giveth no account of his matters ; he hath 
made a holy law, and that law hath a sanction, it is established by 
penalties and rewards. Now if God make good his threatenings, and 
bring the misery upon the creature, which he hath foretold, where lieth 
the injustice ? What part of the punishment would you have relaxed ? 


the loss or the pain ? The loss is double, of God's favour, and of his 
natural comforts. Would you have God admit those to the sight and 
fruition of himself who never cared for him ? or to return to their 
natural comforts, that they may again run riot with them, and abuse 
them to an occasion of the flesh, and to quiet and beguile his conscience 
with the enjoyments of the world, that he may the better bear the loss 
of these, or to lessen the pain, when the sin and impenitency obsti 
nately doth still continue ? 

2. It is meet for the government of the world, that the penalties 
should be thus stated, to give us the more powerful argument against 
fleshly lusts, which, being more pleasing and suitable to corrupt nature, 
need to be checked by a severe commination. Man is a very slave to 
sensitive pleasure ; which, being born and bred with him, is not easily 
renounced ; therefore God hath told us aforehand, that if ' we live 
after the flesh, we shall die/ The pleasing of the flesh will cost us 
dear ; the sinner's paradise is guarded with a flaming sword, and 
delight balanced with fear, that by setting eternal pains against mo 
mentary pleasures, we may the better escape the temptation. ' The 
pleasures of sin, which are for a season,' Heb. xi. 25, bring torments 
which are everlasting. The fearful end of this delightful course may 
deter us from it : Kom. viii. 13, ' If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die/ 
God hath so proportioned the dispensation of joy and sorrow, pleasure 
and pain, that it is left to our own choice, whether we will have it 
here or hereafter ; whether we will enjoy pleasure as the fruit of sin, 
or as the reward of obedience ; both we cannot have. And it is agree 
able to 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, which is a matter of faith, should be greater 
than the joy and pain of this world, which is a matter of sense. Things 
at hand will certainly more prevail with us than things to come, if they 
be not considerably greater ; therefore here the pain is short, and so 
is the pleasure, but there it is eternal. Well then, it becometh the 
wisdom of God, that those who would have their pleasure here, should 
have their pain hereafter, and that eternally. And those that will 
work out their salvation with fear and trembling, and pass through 
the difficulties of religion, should have pleasures at his right hand for 
evermore : James, v. 5, ' Ye have lived in pleasure upon earth ; ' and 
Luke. xvi. 25, ' Kemember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy 
good things.' You must not think to pass from Delilah's lap to Abra 
ham's bosom. 

3. No law observeth this, that the mora pccnce, the continuance of 
the punishment, should be no longer than the mora culpce, than the 
time of acting the offence. Amongst all the punishments which human 
laws inflict, there is no punishment but is longer. Loss, shame, exile, 
bondage, imprisonment, may be for life, for a fact done in a day or 
hour ; punishment doth not repair so easily, as offence doth pervert, 
public right and good. Therefore the punishment may continue 
longer than the time wherein the crime was committed. 

There are many reasons in the cheap commission of sin which justify 
this appointment, as 

[1.] A majestate Dei, against whom the sin is committed, and who 


is depreciated, and contemned by the creature's offence. What base 
things are preferred before God, and the felicity we might have in 
the enjoyment of him ! at how vile a price is his favour sold! 

[2.] A natura peccati, which is a preference of a sensitive good 
before that which is spiritual and eternal. Men refuse an eternal 
kingdom offered to them, for a little carnal satisfaction, Heb. xi. 25 ; 
and if they be eternally miserable they have but their own choice. 

[3.] A voluntate peccatoris, he would continue his sin everlastingly 
if he could. They are never weary of sinning, nor ever would have 
been, if they had lived eternally upon earth ; they desire always to 
enjoy the delights and pleasures of this life, and are rather left by their 
sins than leave them. Well then, since they break the laws of the 
eternal God, and the very nature of the sin is a despising his favour 
for some temporal pleasure or profit, and this they would do everlast 
ingly, if they could subsist here so long, this doth sufficiently justify 
this appointment. 

5. Both are the result of a foregoing judgment, wherein the cause 
had been sufficiently tried and cleared, and sentence passed. In all 
regular judgment, after the trial of the cause, there is sentence, and 
upon sentence, execution. So it is here, there is a discussion of the 
cause, and .then a sentence of , absolution to the godly: Mat. xxv. 34, 
' Come, ye blessed of my Father ; inherit the kingdom prepared for 
you ' of condemnation on the wicked: ver. 41, ' Depart, ye cursed into 
everlasting fire.' Then what remaineth but that the sentence should 
be executed ? This being the final sentence which shall be given upon 
all men and all their works, the end of this judgment is to do justice, 
and to fulfil the will and truth of the law-giver. Now the execution 
is certain, speedy, and unavoidable. 

[1.] Certain ; when the matter is once tried, there will be sentence ; 
and sentence once past, there will be execution. We often break up 
court before things come to a full hearing, and so delay the sentence; 
if we cannot delay the sentence, we seek to delay the execution ; but 
sentence once past here, it must needs be executed. Partly, because 
there will be no change of mind in the judge; he is inflexible and 
inexorable, because there is no error in his sentence, but it is every 
way righteous, and the truth of God is now to be manifested. God 
would not affright us with that he never intended to do ; grant 
this judgment and execution is uncertain, and all his threatenings will 
be but a vain scarecrow. In the days of his patience and grace his 
sentence may be repealed : Mutat sententiam, sed non decretum ; as 
Jer. viii. 7, 8, ' At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and 
a kingdom, to pluck it up, and pull it down, and to destroy it, if that 
nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from the evil, I will 
repent of the evil, which I thought to do.' Here God revoketh the 
doom ; conviction now maketh way for conversion, but then for con 
fusion. And partly, because there is no change of state in the persons 
judged j they are in termino, as the apostate angels. While man is in 
the way, his case is compassionable ; God allowed a change of state 
to man after the fall, which must not last always, 2 Peter iii. 9. He 
waiteth long for our repentance, but he will not wait ever ; here we 
may get the sentence reversed, if we repent, but then it is final and 


peremptory, excluding all further hopes and possibility of remedy. 
And partly, because there can be no change of the heart, they may 
have some relentings, when matters of faith become matter of sense. 
For if they would not love God inviting by his mercies and offering 
pardon, then they will not love him condemning and punishing, and 
shutting them out from all hope. These three infer one another ; 
because no change of heart, no change of state ; because no change 
of state, no change of sentence. 

[2.] It is speedy. There was no delay, they were presently trans 
mitted, and put into their everlasting estate ; here is sententia lata, 
sed dilata sentence is past but not executed : Eccles. viii. 11,' Because 
sentence is not speedily executed upon an evil doer.' But here it is 
otherwise, they must depart, and be gone speedily out of God's 
presence : Esther vii. 8, ' As soon as the word was gone out of the 
king's mouth/ they had him away to execution. 

[3.] It is unavoidable. It is in vain to look about for help, all the 
world cannot rescue one such soul. In short, there is no avoiding by 
appeal, because this is the last judgment ; nor by rescue, they shall go 
away, not of their own accord, but compelled ; it is said, Mat. xiii. 42, 
' The angels shall gather them, and cast them into a furnace of fire.' 
So again cast them, they shall be dragged away. Not by flight, 
for there is no escaping ; nor entreaty, for the judge is inexorable. 

6. The sentence is executed upon the wicked first ; it beginneth with 
them, for it is said ' These shall go away into everlasting punishment, and 
the righteous into life eternal.' Now this is not merely because the 
order of the narration did so require it, the wicked being spoken of last ; 
but there is a material truth in it, sentence beginneth with the godly, 
and execution with the wicked. Sentence with the godly, because they 
are not only to be judged, but to judge the world together with Christ, 
1 Cor. vi. 2. Now they must be first acquitted and absolved themselves 
before that honour can be put upon them. But execution with the wicked : 
Mat. xiii. 30, ' Let both grow together until the harvest. I will say to 
the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles, 
to burn them, gather ye the wheat into my barn.' First the wicked are 
cast into hell-fire, Christ and all the godly with him looking on ; which 
worketh more upon the envy and grief of the wicked, that they are 
thrust out, while the godly remain with Christ, seeing execution done 
upon them. And the godly have the deeper sense of their own happi 
ness by seeing from what wrath they are delivered ; as the Israelites when 
they saw the Egyptians dead upon the shore, Exod. xiv. 30, 31, with xv. 1, 
4 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord.' 
So when the wicked in the sight of the godly are driven into their 
torments, they have a greater apprehension of their Redeemer's mercy. 

Use 1. To press us to believe these things. Most men's faith about 
the eternal recompenses is but pretended ; at best too cold, and a 
speculative opinion rather than a sound belief, as appeareth by the 
little fruit and effect that it hath upon us ; for if we had such a sight of 
them as we have of other things, we should be other manner of persons 
than we are, in ' all holy conversation and godliness.' We see how 
cautious man is in tasting meat in which he doth suspect harm, that 
it will breed in him the pain and torments of the stone and gout or 


colic ; I say, though it be but probable the things will do us any hurt. 
We know certainly that the wages of sin is death, yet we will be tast 
ing forbidden fruit. If a man did but suspect a house were falling, 
he would not stay in it an hour ; we know for certain that continuance 
in a carnal state will be our eternal ruin ; yet who doth flee from wrath 
to come ? If we have but a little hope of gain we will take pains to 
obtain it. We know that ' our labour is not in vain in the Lord.' 
Why do we not abound in his work ? 1 Cor. xv. 58. Surely we would 
do more to prevent this misery, to obtain this happiness, when we may 
do it upon such easy terms, and have so fair an opportunity in our 
hands ; if we were not so strangely stupified, we would not go to hell 
to save ourselves a labour. There are two things which are very 
wondrous ; that any man should reject the Christian faith, or that 
having embraced it, should live sinfully and carelessly. 

Use 2. Seriously consider of these things. The scripture everywhere 
calleth for consideration. 

Think of this double motive, that every man must be judged to ever 
lasting joy or everlasting torment. These things are propounded afore- 
hand for our benefit and instruction ; we are guarded on both sides ; we 
have the bridle of fear and the spur of hope. If God had only terrified 
us from sin, by mentioning inexpressible pains and horrors, we might 
be frighted and stand at a distance from it ; but when we have such 
encouragements to good, and God propoundeth such unspeakable joys, 
this should quicken our diligence. If he had only promised heaven, 
and threatened no hell, wicked men would count it no great matter to 
lose heaven, provided that they might be annihilated ; but when there- 
is both, and both for ever, shall we be cold and dead ? We are undone 
for ever if wicked, blessed for ever if godly ; let us hold the edge of this 
truth to our hearts ; what should we not do that we may be ever 
lastingly blessed, and avoid everlasting misery ? It is no matter what 
we suffer in time, and endure in time. 

Use 3. Improve it, first, to seek a reconciliation with God in the way 
of faith and repentance. A man that is under the sentence of death, 
and in danger to be executed every moment, would not be quiet till he 
get a pardon. All men by nature are children of wrath, as a son of 
death is one condemned to die ; so it is an Hebraism. Now ' run for 
refuge, to take hold of the hope that is set before you,' Heb. vi. 18 ; 
' Make peace upon earth,' Luke ii. 14 ; ' Agree with thine adversary 
quickly, while he is in the way,' Luke xii. 58, 59 ; ' Now God 
calleth to repentance/ Acts xvii. 30, 31 ; ' Oh, labour to be found of 
him in peace,' 2 Peter iii. 14. How can a man be at rest till his great 
work be over ? 

Improve it to holiness and watchfulness, and to bridle licentiousness 
and boldness in sinning : Eccl. xi. 9, ' Rejoice, O young man, in thy 
youth, and let thine heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth ; walk 
in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes, but know 
thou, for all these things God will bring thee to judgment,' as cold water 
cast into a boiling pot stops its fury; 1 Peter i. 17, ' And if ye call on the 
Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth every man, according 
to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.' 
Say as the town-clerk of Ephesus : Acts ix. 40, ' We are in danger to 


be called in question for this day's uproar.' I must give an account 
for idle words, careless praying, and unprofitable mis-spending of 

3. Improve it to patience under ignominy and reproaches. Thy 
innocency will appear on thy trial ; if in an abject condition, the upright 
shall have dominion in the morning ; afflictions and persecutions will 
then end, and thou shalt have thy reward : 1 Thes. i. 6, 7, ' And ye 
became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in 
much affliction, with joy in the Holy Ghost, so that ye were examples 
of all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia ; ' and, 1 Cor. xv. 58, 
'Wherefore, my beloved, be stedfast and unmoveable, always abounding 
in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know your labour shall not 
be in vain in the Lord.' 


Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men ; but we 
are made manifest unto God, and I trust also are made mani 
fest in your consciences 2 COR. v. 11. 

THE apostle is giving an account of his sincerity, zeal, and faithfulness 
in his ministry. Three things moved him to it ; hope, fear and love. 
Here he asserteth the influence of the second principle. 
In the words take notice of two things. 

1. The motive and reason of his fidelity in his ministry, knowing, 
therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. 

2. The witnesses to whom he appealeth for the proof of his fidelity 
and diligence, (1.) God the searcher of hearts ; (2.) The consciences 
of his auditors, who had felt the benefit and force of the word. 

[1.] To God, as the supreme witness, approver, and judge; but we 
are made manifest unto God, he seeth our principles and aims, and 
with what hearts we go about our work. 

[2.] To the Corinthians as secondary witnesses ; and I trust also 
are made manifest in your consciences. He was confident that he had 
a witness of his sincerity and uprightness in their consciences. The 
greatest approbation that we can have from men, is to have an appro 
bation in their consciences. Mark the order ; our first desire should 
be to approve ourselves to God, who is our judge, and then to men ; 
and in doing that, to approve ourselves to their consciences, which is 
the faculty which is most apt to take God's part, rather than to their 
humours, that we may gain their respect and applause ; next to God 
the testimony of conscience, next to our own conscience the consciences 
of others. 

1. I begin with the motive and reason of his fidelity : knowing the 
terror of the Lord we persuade men, rov <f>oftov TOV KvpLov the Vulgar, 
timorem Domini, knowing the fear of the Lord ; Erasmus, Beza and 
our translation, terrorem Domini; Grotius, according to the former 
reading, knowing the fear of the Lord, i.e., the true way of religion, 


we persuade men to embrace it. Rather, the apostle understandeth 
the terror of this judgment ; being certain that these things are so, 
and that such a terrible judgment of Christ will come, we persuade 
men to become Christians, or to live as such as shall speed well then, 
when others shall be destroyed. He saith plurally, 7rei#oyu,ei>, we per 
suade, as comprising his colleagues, suppose Timotheus and Sylvanus; 
he and they persuaded men to embrace the faith, and to live as those 
who are to be judged. For it is to be looked upon, 

[1.] As an argument and motive to persuade himself, and his 
colleagues, to sincerity in their ministry, who were to give an account 
of their dispensation. 

[2.] As an argument and motive to the people for their obedience 
to the faith. 

Doct. That the certain knowledge of the terrible judgment of God 
should move us to persuade, and you that hear to be persuaded, to a 
careful and serious preparation for it. In managing which point, 

1. I shall consider the object. Here is terror or matter of fear 
offered in the judgment mentioned. 

2. The subject, or persons fearing Paul and his colleagues, together 
with all the parties who are to be judged. 

3. The means. How this fear cometh to be raised in us, or to work 
on us : ' Knowing.' 

4. The effect. Here is persuasion grounded thereon ; ' Knowing the 
terror of the Lord, we persuade men.' 

First, That there is terror, and matter of fear offered in the day of 
judgment, upon several accounts. 

1. As it is an impartial judgment, that shall pass upon all, heathens, 
Christians, apostles, ministers, private persons. This ground is urged, 
1 Pet. i. 17, ' If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons 
judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning 
here in fear.' Those who take the Lord to be their father, and them 
selves for his children, must consider him also as an exact and an 
impartial judge of all their actions ; and therefore with the more care 
and solicitude carry on the work of holiness. What is respecting or 
accepting persons in the judgment? It is to esteem one person rather 
than another for outward advantages, not regarding the merits of the 
cause which cometh to discussion and trial, as in man's courts, when 
men are spared for their greatness, dignity, or worldly pre-eminence. 
But what person may God be supposed to respect, or accept in 
judgment ? Surely none can be so irrational as to think the great or 
rich can have any pretension to his favour, or merciful dealing, rather 
than others. No ; noble or ignoble, poor or rich, prince or beggar, they 
all stand upon the same level before God. Well then, the persons who 
may be supposed to presume upon the indulgence of that day, are such 
who make a fair profession, enjoy many outward privileges ; as suppose 
the Jew above the Gentile, the Christian above the Jew, the officer, or 
one employed in the church, above the common Christian. The 
privilege of the Jew was his circumcision, the knowledge of the law 
and outward obedience thereunto, or submission to the rituals of 
Moses ; because they were exact in these things, they hoped to be 
accepted with God, and to be more favourably dealt with than others. 


The privilege of the Christian is baptism, the knowledge of Christ, 
being of his party, and visibly owning' his interest in the world ; they 
have eaten and drunk in his presence, he hath taught in their streets, 
and tKey have frequented the assembly where he is ordinarily present, 
and more powerfully present, Luke xiii. 26. It is possible they have 
put themselves in a stricter garb of religion, forborne disgraceful sins, 
been much in external ways of duty, given God all the cheap and 
plausible obedience which the flesh can spare. But if all this be 
without solid godliness, or that sound constitution of heart or course 
of life which the principles of our profession would breed, and call for, 
these privileges will be no advantage to him. Well then, let the 
officer come, the apostle, prophet, pastor or teacher, by what names or 
titles soever they be distinguished, who have borne rule in the church, 
been much in exercising their gifts for his glory, have taught others 
the way of salvation ; this is their privilege : Mat. vii. 22, ' Lord, have 
we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and 
in thy name done many wondrous works ? Then will I profess unto 
them, 1 never knew you ; depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.' 
Well now, if no man's person shall be accepted, if not for his profession, 
if not for his office, if riot for his external ministrations, surely we ought 
to be strict and diligent, and seriously godly, as well as others. And 
if we shall all appear before this holy, just, and impartial judge, we 
should all pass the time of our sojourning here in fear. 

2. It is a strict and a just judgment : Acts xvii. 30, 31, ' He corn- 
mandeth now all men everywhere to repent : because he hath appointed 
a day, wherein he will judge the world in righteousness.' Now God 
winketh at every man's faults, and doth not take vengeance on them, 
judgeth the world in patience ; but then all men must give an account, 
those who have refused the remedy offered to lapsed mankind, shall 
have judgment without mercy. And how terrible will that judgment 
be, when the least sin rendereth us obnoxious to the severity of his 
revenging justice ! But those who have heard the gospel, and accepted 
the Redeemer's mercy, shall also be judged according to their works, 
in the manner formerly explained. There is a remunerative justice 
observed to them ; we must give an account of all our actions, thoughts, 
speeches, affections, and intentions, that it may be seen whether they 
will amount to sincerity, or a sound belief of the truths of the gospel, 
and therefore we should be the more careful to walk uprightly before 
him : Mat. xii. 36, 37. ' But I say unto you, that for every idle word that 
men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the judgment; 
for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words shalt thou 
be condemned.' Words must be accounted for, especially false, blas 
phemous words, and such as flow out of the evil treasure of the heart ; 
and sadly accounted for. For in conferring rewards and punishments, 
God taketh notice of words, as well as actions, they make up a part 
of the evidence ; certainly in this just judgment we shall find that it 
is a serious business to be a Christian. But those who have owned the 
Redeemer, must esteem him in their hearts above all worldly things, 
and value his grace above the allurements of sense, and count all things 
but dung and dross for the excellency of the knowledge of their Lord, 
PhiL iii. 7-9; and glorify him in their lives, 1 Thes. i. 11, 12; and 


pass through the pikes : ' To him that overcometh,' Eev. ii. 26 ; and 
resist the devil, and subdue the flesh, and vanquish the world. There 
must be doing, and there must be suffering ; there must be giving, and 
forgiving, giving out of our estates, and forgiving wrongs and injuries ; 
visiting the sick, and clothing the naked, and feeding the hungry ; 
there must be believing, and loving, mortifying sin and perfecting 
holiness. And this is the trial of those who come under the gospel- 
covenant ; which might be easily proved, if the thing were not evident 
of itself. Now judge you whether all this should not beget the fear 
of reverence, or caution at least ; which fear of God should always, 
reign in the hearts of the faithful. 

God's final sentence is to be passed upon us, upon which our eternal 
estate dependeth. Therefore the great weight and consequence of 
that day maketh it matter of terror to us. We are to be happy for 
ever, or undone for ever ; our estate will be then irrevocable. Where 
a man cannot err twice, there he cannot use too much solicitude. 
According to our last account, so shall the condition of every man be 
for ever. What is a matter of greater moment than to be judged to 
everlasting joy or everlasting torment ? Matters of profit or disprofit, 
credit or discredit, temporal life and death, are nothing to it. If a 
man lose in one bargain, he may recover himself in another; credit 
may be wounded by one action, and healed in another, though the 
scar remain, the wound may be cured. If a man die, there is hope of 
life in another world ; but if sentenced to eternal death, there is no 
reversing of it. Therefore, now, we, knowing the terror of the Lord,, 
sue out our own pardon, and persuade others to sue out their pardon, 
in the name of Christ, to make all sure for the present. 

4. The execution, in case of failing in our duty, is terrible beyond 
expression. Because this is the main circumstance, and is at the 
bottom of all, I shall a little dilate upon it, not to Affright you with 
needless perplexities, but in compassion to your souls, God knoweth. 
I shall take the rise thus : the object of all fear is some evil approach 
ing ; now the greater the evil is, the nearer it approacheth, the more 
certain and inevitable it is, and the more it concerneth ourselves, 
the more cause of fear there is ; all these concur in the business in- 

[1.] The execution bringeth on the greatest evil ; the evil of punish 
ment, and the greatest punishment, the wrath of God, the wrath of the 
eternal judge, who can and will cast body and soul into eternal fire. 
This was due to all by the first covenant, and will be the portion of 
impenitent sinners by the second: Heb. x. 31, ' It is a fearful thing to 
fall into the hands of the living God.' Mark, first, obstinate and 
impenitent sinners do immediately fall into the hands of, God ; a 
metaphor taken from one that is fallen into the hands of an enemy 
who lieth in wait for him, to take full revenge upon him ; if he catch 
him, he is sure to pay for it. Now we are let alone, but then we fall' 
into his hands, and he will be righted for all the wrongs which we 
have done him. Now, when God shall have an immediate hand in the 
punishment of the wicked, it will make it terrible indeed. When 
God punisheth by the creature, he can put a great deal of strength 
into the creature, to overwhelm us, by hail, locusts, flies, frogs ; if they 


come of God's errand they are terrible ; but a bucket cannot contain 
an ocean ; as a giant striking with a straw in his hand, he cannot put 
forth all his strength; when God punisheth by creatures, it is like a 
giant's striking with a straw in his hand. But now by himself, we 
fall into his own hands. Again observe, it is the living God. God 
liveth himself, and continueth the life of the creature. God liveth for 
ever to reward his friends, and punish his adversaries. A mortal man 
cannot extend punishment beyond death ; when they have killed the 
body they can do no more, Mat. x. 28. We are mortal, and they that 
persecute and hate us are mortal. But since he liveth to all eternity, 
he can punish to all eternity. So long as God is God, so long will hell 
be hell. It is tedious to think of a short fit of pain. In a feverish 
distemper we count not only hours but minutes ; when in such a dis 
temper we cannot sleep in the night, how tedious and grievous is it to 
us ! But what will it be to fall into the hands of the living God ? 
Thirdly, The apostle saith, et? %et/?a? Qeov. The wrath of God is 
no vain scare-crow, and if anything be matter of terror, the terror of 
the Lord is so. But, alas, who consider it, or mind this ? Ps. xc. 11, 
* Who knoweth the power of his anger ? According to his fear, so is 
his wrath.' Who layeth it to heart, so as to be sensible of his own 
danger, while he is permitted to live? We divert our thoughts by 
vain pleasures, as Saul cured the evil spirit by music. The delights 
of the flesh benumb the conscience, and exclude all thoughts of 
eternity. Again it is called wrath to come, Mat. iii. 7 ; and, 1 Thes. 
i. 10. It is so called to denote the certainty, and the terribleness of it. 
The certainty of it ; it will most certainly come upon the wicked ; the 
day is not foretold, but it is a-coming ; wrath hovereth over our heads, 
it is every day nearer, as the salvation of the elect is, Rom. xiii. 4. 
A pari, whether we sleep or wake, we are all a step nearer, a day 
nearer, a night nearer, to eternity. They that are in a ship are 
swiftly carried on to their port by the wind, though they know it not ; 
security showeth it is coming on apace : ' Whose judgment now of a 
long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not/ 2 Peter 
ii. 3. They sleep, but their damnation sleepeth not. But, secondly, 
it is called wrath to come in regard of the terribleness of it. There is 
a present wrath that men suffer, and there is a wrath to come ; this is 
such a wrath, as never was before ; present wrath may be slighted, but 
wrath to come will stick close: Jer. v. 3, 'I have stricken them, but 
they have not grieved.' There is a senseless stupidness under judg 
ments now, but then men cannot have hard or insensible hearts if they 
would. Present wrath may be reversed, but men are then in their 
final estate, and God will deal with them upon terms of grace no more. 
Present wrath seizeth not upon the whole man, the body suffereth that 
the soul may be saved, but there body and soul are cast into hell. 
Present wrath is executed by the creatures, but in the other world God 
is all in all. Present wrath is mixed with comforts, but there it is an 
evil, and only an evil, Ezek. vii. 5. There is no wicked man in the 
clay of God's patience but hath somewhat left him, but there they 
shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out with 
out mixture, Rev. xiv. 10. It is not allayed and tempered with any 
mercies. There is a difference in duration ; present wrath endeth 


with death. The drowning of the world, the burning of Sodom, was 
a sad thing, if a man had been by, and seen the poor miserable 
creatures running from valleys to hills, from hills to mountains, from 
the mountains to the tops of trees, and still the floods increasing upon 
them ; or had heard the screechings, when God rained hell out of 
heaven, and seen the scalded Sodomities wallowing up and down in a 
deluge of fire and brimstone ; but all ended with death. But this fire 
is never quenched, and the worm never dieth. Now should man know 
this, and not persuade, or be persuaded, and take warning to flee from 
wrath to come ? Surely the thoughts of falling into the hands of God 
should shake the stoutest heart, and awaken the dullest sinner, rouse 
up the most careless, to use all possible means to prevent it. 

[2.] The nearer it approacheth, it should the more affect us. It is 
but a short time to the general assizes; we live in that age of the 
world upon which the ends of the world are come, 1 Cor. x. 11 ; ' Little 
children, it is the last hour,' 1 John ii. 18. And let us stir up one 
another, so much the rather as ye see the day approacheth, Heb. x. 25. 
It cannot be long to the end of time, if we compare the remainder with 
what is past, or the whole with eternity ; but for our particular doom 
and judgment, every man must die, and be brought to his last account. 
Now the day of death approacheth apace ; the more of our life is past, 
the less is yet to come ; every week, day, hour, minute, we approach 
nearer to death, and death to us. But, alas ! we little think of- these 
things ; every soul of us within less than an hundred years, it may be 
but ten, or five, or one, shall be in heaven or hell. The judge is at 
the door, James v. 9. We shall quickly be in another world. Now 
should we hold our peace, and let men go on sleepily to their own 
destruction, or to suffer men to waste away more of their precious 
time, before they get ready ? It is said, Amos vi. 3, ' They put far 
away the evil day ; ' and therefore it did not work upon them that 
is, they put off the thoughts of it ; for as to the day itself, they can 
neither put it on, nor off. 

[3.] The more certain and unavoidable any evil is, the greater 
matter of terror. Now it is as certain as if it were begun, and there 
is no way to escape either trial, sentence, or execution. Solomon saith, 
Prov. xvi. 14, ' The wrath of a king is as the messengers of death ; ' 
because they have long hands, and power to reach us. The wrinkles 
of their angry brow are as graves and furrows ; yet some have escaped 
the wrath of kings and worldly potentates, as Elijah escaped the 
vengeance of Jezebel : 1 Kings xix. 2, 3, 'The gods do so to me, and 
more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them to-morrow 
by this time. And when he heard that, he rose and fled to Beersheba 
for his life.' But there is no escaping God's wrath, Kev. vi. 16 ; no 
avoiding his sight, or escaping the stroke of his justice, Ps. cxxxix. 7. 

[4.] If it particularly concern every one of us. A clap of thunder in our 
own zenith doth more affright us, than when it is at a distance. This did 
once belong to all, and it doth still belong to the impenitent ; and there 
fore we should take the more care, that we be not of that number ; and 
while we are in the state of trial, we cannot be over confident. I am 
sure it is a sinful confidence, that is joined with the neglect of the 
means to shun it. The dreadful consequence of that day to the wicked, 


it is in itself a matter of terror to all ; and to slight this terror is to 
turn the grace of God into wantonness ; and it cometh either from 
unbelief, or from a dull, stupid, senseless spirit. And if it produceth 
not caution and watchfulness, and serious and diligent preparation, it 
is not a fruit of the assurance of the love of God, but of the security 
of the flesh. I confess it is a case of conscience, how to make the day 
of judgment matter of joy and confidence, and matter of terror and 
caution ; sometimes we are bidden to reflect upon it with joy and con 
fidence, so as we may love his appearing, 2 Tim. iv. 8 ; to lift up our 
heads, because our redemption draweth nigh, Luke xvii. 28 ; to rejoice 
because we shall be partakers of the blessedness promised, 1 Peter iv. 
14 ; at other times matter of fear and terror. These are not contrary ; 
the one is to prevent slight thoughts, which are very familiar with us, 
the other future perplexities and dejection of spirit ; the strictness of 
our account, the dreadful consequence to those that shall be found 
faulty, should not discourage us in the way of duty ; eternal wrath 
should not be feared farther than to stir us up to renew our flight to 
Christ, and to quicken us in his service, who hath delivered us from 
wrath to come. 

Secondly, The persons fearing, Paul and his colleagues, together 
with all the parties who are to be judged. That the unspeakable terror 
of the Lord is a rational, just and equitable ground of fear, we have 
seen already ; but the doubt is how this could be so to Paul and his 
colleagues, especially if we consider it mainly, as we ought, with res 
pect to the execution of punishment, or the wrath of God, that shall 
abide on the impenitent. I answer, 

1. To be only moved with terror is slavish. The wicked may out 
of fear of hell be frighted into a little religiousness, but Paul was 
moved by other principles, hope and love as well as fear ; see the 14th 
ver., ' The love of Christ constraineth us/ But this among the rest 
is allowable ; it is one of the Spirit's motives to quicken us to fly to 
Christ, and to take sanctuary at his grace, Heb. vi. 18 ; to engage us 
to thankfulness for our deliverance, 1 Thes. i. 10 : yea, to stir us up 
to more holy diligence and solicitude in pleasing God. Heb. xiii. 28, 
29. The eternal wrath of God, among other things, doth rouse us 
up to serve him with godly fear. 

2. Though Paul and his colleagues had the love of God shed abroad 
in their hearts, and were assured of his favour, and their everlasting 
salvation, yet knowing the terror of the Lord, they had a deeper rever 
ence of his majesty, and so afraid to displease him, or to be unfaithful 
in their charge and trust, and could not endure that any others should 
do so. Reverence of God, as one able to destroy us and cast body and 
soul into hell-fire, is always necessary. The fear of reverence remaineth 
in heaven, in the glorified saints and angels, and Christ presseth us to 
this fear, Luke xii. 3, 4. 

3. We must distinguish between a perplexing, distrustful fear, and 
an aweful, preventive, eschewing fear. A distracting, tormenting fear 
of hell, or the wrath of God, would weaken our delight in God, and 
therefore the love of God casts out this fear, 1 John. iv. 18. But now 
the aweful fear, fleeing from wrath to come, this doth not destroy peace 
of conscience, or joy in the Holy Ghost, but guard it rather. This 


only quickeneth us to use those means by which we may avoid so 
great an evil. Instances we have in scripture. Job, that was sure 
that his Redeemer lived, Job xix., yet destruction from the Lord was a 
terror to him, chap. xxxi. ; that is, he thought himself obliged to use all 
those means by which he might shun so great an evil. So Paul ; 
1 We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, 
we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in 
the heavens ; ' yet, ' knowing the terror of the Lord.' 

4. There are great reasons why this terror should have an influence 
upon us, while we dwell in flesh. 

(1.) Because it was once our due, Eph. iii. 2. And though we are 
delivered from it by God's grace, yet still it is a fearful state, which 
we cannot sufficiently shun and avoid. (2.) We still deserve it, after 
grace hath made a change in our condition. There is no condemnation 
to them that are in Christ, Bom. viii. 1, yet many things are con- 
demnable. We now and then do those things for which the wrath of 
God cometh upon the children of disobedience ; we deserve that God 
should say to us, Depart, ye cursed. (3.) It is certainly a great and 
extreme difficulty to get free from so great an evil, 1 Peter iv. 18. 
We cannot get to the harbour but by encountering many a terrible 
storm ; and God is fain to discipline us, that we may not be condemned 
with the world, 1 Cor. xi. 32. I know I shall be saved, but it is a 
difficult thing to save me. 

Thirdly, The means ; how this fear cometh to be raised in us, ' know 
ing.' This implieth three things : (1.) A clear and explicit apprehen 
sion ; (2.) A firm assent ; (3.) Serious consideration. 

1. A distinct knowledge of this article of Christ's coming to judg 
ment : 1 Thes. v. 2, ' You yourselves know perfectly, that the day of 
the Lord so cometh, as a thief in the night.' It is good not only to 
know things, but to know them perfectly ; for though a man may be 
saved by an implicit faith, as he knoweth things in their common 
principle, yet explicit faith and plenitude of knowledge, or seeing 
round about the compass of any truth, conduceth much to the practical 
improvement of it ; instance in the creation of the world. To know 
the general truth may make me safe, but a distinct explication thereof 
maketh us more admire the wisdom, goodness, and power of God. So 
for providence ; it engageth my dependence to know there is a pro 
vidence, but it helpeth my dependence to know how it is managed for 
the good of God's children : ' They that know thy name, will put their 
trust in thee,' Ps. ix. 10. So the doctrine of justification by Christ. 
The thing is plain in all points. 

2. Firm assent : John xvii. 8, ' They have known surely,' aX^co?, 
indeed or in truth; and Acts ii. 36, do-^aX&i?, assuredly, safely, 
without danger of error. The certainty of faith mightily enlivens 
our apprehensions of any truth, and makes them more forcible and 
operative. But usually there is a defect in our assent ; hated truths 
are usually suspected ; ministers speak of it coldly, and in jest, as if not 
persuaded of what they say ; and we hearers learn it by rote. Yet this 
I must say, God hath not only warned the world of wrath in the Old 
Testament and the New ; but also natural light doth so far evidence 
this truth, that in their serious and sober moods, men cannot get rid 



of the apprehensions of immortality and punishment after death. Reason 
will tell us that God perfectly hateth sin, will terribly punish it ; we 
cannot easily lay aside these fears, nor stifle them in our bosoms, nor 
sport them away, nor jest them away ; when we are alone, or when 
we are serious, or when we come to die, they will revive and haunt us. 
But oh, that we were oftener alone, and would resuscitate and blow up 
these sentiments which lie hid in the heart, and revive our faith 
about them ! 

3. It implieth serious consideration ; knowing, that is, considering, 
acting our thoughts upon it ; for next to sound belief, to make truths 
active, there is required serious consideration. Thoughts of hell may 
keep many out of hell. It is a moral means, which God may bless : 
it will be no loss to Christians to think of their danger before they 
incur it. They that cannot endure to think of it, or hear of it, dis 
cover their guilt, and the security of their own hearts : presumption is 
a coward, and a run-away, but faith meeteth its enemy in open field : 
Ps. xxiii. 4, ' Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me/ It supposeth the 
worst : suppose God should reject me ; consider with thyself aforehand, 
as the unjust steward, Luke xvi., what to do when turned out of doors ; 
how shall I make my defence 'when God shall rise up, what shall I 
answer him ? ' Job xxxi. 14 ; what shall I then do ? 

Fourthly. Here is persuasion as to the effect 1 and fruit of all ; which 
implieth three things. 

1. The thing to which they were persuaded. That is not mentioned, 
but the matter in hand showeth it to be such things as would bear 
weight in the judgment, and exempt them from wrath to come ; such 
as faith, repentance, and new obedience. Faith in the Redeemer, 2 
Thes. i. 10, Heb. vi. 18 ; repentance, Mat. iii. 19, and Acts iii. 19 ; new 
obedience, Heb. v. 9, 2 Thes. i. 8 ; or a serious coming to Christ, and 
hearty subjection to him, is the only way to escape that wrath. To 
these we exhort and persuade you again and again ; without these you 
are obnoxious to the severity of his revenging justice. 

2. Earnest zeal and endeavours on the part of Paul and his col 
leagues, and all that are like-minded with them ; they must not only 
teach and instruct, but persuade : Col. i. 28, ' Warning every man, 
and teaching every man, in all wisdom, that we may present every man 
perfect in Christ Jesus.' He addeth, ver. 29, ' Whereunto I also labour, 
striving according to his working.' The understanding is dark and 
blind in the things of God, and needeth teaching. The will and affec 
tions are perverse and backward, and they need warning. And there 
fore we must warn, and teach ; warn, and that not in a cold or flaunting 
manner, as if we were in jest, and did not believe the things we speak 
of, but with such vigour, and labour, and striving, as becometh those 
who would present them to Christ, as the travail of our souls, at the 
last day, and as those who are sensible of the terror of the Lord our 

3. It implieth a being persuaded on the people's part. For all that 
mind their own welfare will take this warning, and since we must 
shortly appear before the bar of the dreadful God to give an account 

1 Qu. ' as the effect ' ? ED. 


what use we have made of these persuasions. When God giveth 
warning, and God giveth time, our condemnation is the more aggra 
vated : Kev. ii. 21, ' I gave her space to repent, and she repented not.' 
Warning and persuasion, as Reuben ; did not I warn you ? 2 Cor. vi. 
1, 'We beseech you receive not this grace in vain.' God keepeth an 
account of these warnings, Luke xiii. 7. And the importunity of 
these pressing convictions which we have had ; every request and 
exhortation made for God will be as a fiery dart in your souls. How 
fresh will every sermon come into your minds ! the melting words of 
exhortation which you were wont to hear, will be as so many hot 
burning coals in your hearts, to torment you. It will be easier for the 
people of Sodom and Gomorrah than for you, Mat. x. 15. 

Use is, to teach us all to apply this truth. What Paul had spoken 
in general concerning the last judgment, he applieth to himself. It 
is not enough to have a general knowledge of truth, but we must 
improve and apply them to our own use. Men of all ranks must do so. 

1. It presseth preachers to persuade men. Oh, how diligently 
should we study, how earnestly should we persuade, with, what love 
and tender compassion should we beseech men, to escape this wrath to 
come ! How unweariedly should we bear all opposition, and mocks, 
and scorns, and unthankful returns ! How plainly should we rip up 
men's sores, and open their very hearts to them ! How carefully 
should we watch over every particular soul ! How importunate should 
we be with all sinners, for their conversion, considering that shortly 
they must be judged! 'Cry aloud, spare not/ Isa. Iviii. 1. It is a 
notable help against a sleepy ministry to consider that those souls to 
whom we speak, must within a while receive their everlasting doom. 
When you find a deadness, rouse up yourselves by these thoughts, this 
will put a life into your exhortations ; a sense of what we speak, zeal 
for the glory of God, and compassion over souls, will not suffer us to 
do the work of the Lord negligently. 

2. To all Christians. 

[1.] Persuade yourselves, commune with your own souls, Do I know 
the terror of the Lord ? What have I done to escape it ? If you 
would not fall into the hands of a living God, cast yourselves into the 
arms of a dying Saviour. Hide yourselves before the storm cometh : 
' If his anger be but kindled a little, blessed are all those that put 
their trust in him,' Ps. ii. 12. Seek conditions of peace, while a great 
way off, Luke xiv. A powerful enemy marcheth against us, especially 
when you begin to grow negligent, dead-hearted, and apt to content 
yourselves with a sleepy profession. Paul counted this terror, or 
matter of fear, to be an help to him ; and should not we, who are so 
much beneath him in holiness? Will you, that must shortly be in 
another world, will you be careless, and please the flesh, and give up 
the boat to the stream ? 

[2.] Do you persuade your family, servants, friends, and neighbours, 
with your children about it ; tell them what a dreadful thing it is ; 
they have a conscience, apt to fear. Dives, in the parable, is repre 
sented as desirous of his -brethren's welfare, lest they should come into 
that place of torment: Luke xvi. 27, 28, 'Then he said, I pray thee 
therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house, for 


1 have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come 
into this place of torment.' Shall we be less charitable than a man in 
hell is represented to be ? If we have a friend or a child falling into 
the fire, we save him by violence, though we break an arm or a leg. 
Your children by nature are children of wrath ; pluck them as brands 
out of the burning. 


But we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest 
in your consciences. For ice commend not ourselves again to you, 
l)ut give you an occasion to glory on our behalf, that you may 
have somewhat to answer them who glory in appearance, and not 
in heart. 2 COR. v. 11, 12. 

THE apostle having proved his sincerity and fidelity in his ministry, 
now asserts it with confidence; (1.) By an appeal; (2.) An 

1. An appeal to God, as the supreme judge ; and to the Corinthians, 
as inferior witnesses. And he appealeth to the most impartial and 
discerning faculty in them, their consciences, who are most apt to 
give infallible judgment, and to take God's part, and own what is of 

2. By an apology, or answer to an objection, which might be framed 
against him, by his adversaries, ver. 12 ; where, first, the objections 
were intimated We commend not ourselves again to you. Secondly, 
His vindication, from the end, the reason why he spake so much of his 
fidelity and integrity But give you occasion to glory in our behalf, 
that you may have somewhat to answer them. Thirdly, A description 
of the false apostles at Corinth, or those vain-glorious teachers who 
went about to lessen the apostle's authority : They glory in appearance, 
and not in heart. Let me explain these passages. 

[1.] The intimation of the objection ; ' For we commend not our 
selves again to you.' The adversaries were wont to say upon all 
occasions, he runneth out into his own praises ; which doth not become 
a modest and a sober man, for boasting is the froth of pride ; and how 
can Paul be excused from pride? This was the objection against 
Paul, that he did commend himself too much. 

[2.] Paul's answer and vindication was from his end. It was not 
to set forth his own praise, but to arm them with an argument and an 
answer against the false teachers, whereby they might defend his 
ministry, and the doctrine they had heard from him ; it was not pride 
and ostentation in Paul, but a necessary defence of the credit of his 
ministry, their faith and obedience to the gospel depending thereupon. 

[3.] The false apostles are described by their hypocrisy and ambi 
tion : ' They glory in appearance, and not in heart/ For the opening 
of this clause, observe, First, That there were false apostles at Corinth, 
who sought to depreciate Paul, and to lessen the authority of his 


doctrine: 2 Cor. xi. 13-15, 'For such are false apostles, deceitful 
workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no 
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 
Therefore it is no great thing, if his ministers also be transformed as 
the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their 
works.' Secondly, These false apostles were great boasters, and apt 
to glory ; whenever they are spoken of, we hear of this glorying ; 
' that wherein they glory, we may be even as they.' Thirdly, Their 
glorying (as that of all hypocrites) was in some external thing. Called 
a glorying h a-aprd, 2 Cor. xi. 18, ' Seeing that many glory after the 
flesh, I will glory also ; ' and here ev irpocraiTro), OVK ev KapSla. But 
what fleshly and external thing they gloried in, is not expressly 
mentioned. Some leave it in the general, that they boasted before 
men, otherwise than their conscience, and the truth of the thing did 
permit: Omne id quod inter homines humana sapientes, maximi fieri 
solet, Grot. Others instance in particular, birth, wealth, abilities of 
speech, frothy eloquence, 1 Cor. ii ; in a coloured show of man's wisdom 
and eloquence, and not in true godliness. Some think in the multitude 
of their followers, or in the applause of their hearers ; some a show of 
zeal, holiness and fidelity, when they were destitute of the truth of 
godliness, and that sincerity which is truly a comfort ; some in their 
taking no maintenance, to gain credit and advantage ; that appeareth 
by 2 Cor. xi. 9. Of all the churches planted by the apostles, Corinth 
was the richest, and Macedonia the poorest, yet Paul's preaching at 
Corinth was maintained from Macedonia, 2 Cor. xi. 9. Wherefore ? 
as he himself puts the question , ' That I may cut off occasion from 
them that desire occasion, that wherein they glory, we may be found 
even as they,' 2 Cor. xi. 12. But what if it be such things as had a 
nearer connection with and respect to religion ; as their acquaintance 
with Christ, that they had known him in the flesh, and owned him, 
while yet alive, which is supposed to be intended in that expression ? 
1 Cor. i. 12, ' I am of Christ ; ' others received the doctrine of life from 
Peter, Paul, Apollos, they immediately from Christ himself. This 
boasting these Corinthian doctors used, to keep up their own fame 
among the people, and to weaken the credit and esteem of Paul's 
apostleship ; for this objection lay against him, that he had not, as 
other disciples, conversed with our Lord Jesus Christ, while he was 
upon earth. Now Paul, that he might give the Corinthians occasion 
to glory in his behalf, and furnish them with an answer to those 
that gloried, eV TrpoawTrq) KCU ov /capSia, in external privileges, when 
their consciences could give little testimony of their sincerity, Paul 
had more valuable things to boast of, namely, that he was much in 
spirit, much in labours, much in afflictions, for the honour of the 
gospel. To all which he was carried out by the hopes of eternal life, 
the terror of the Lord at the day of judgment, and the love of Christ; 
these were more valuable considerations, whereupon to esteem any one, 
than bare external privileges could possibly be ; nay, in their outward 
privileges, he could vie with them, for though he was none of Christ's 
followers, whilst he was here upon earth, yet herein he was equal to 
them, if not exceeded them, by having seen Christ, and being spoken 
to by him out 'of heaven ; therefore he saith, 1 Cor. ix. 1, ' Am not I 


an apostle ? Have not I seen Jesus Christ the Lord ? ' But Paul 
did not seek his esteem merely for his vision of Christ, and that 
ecstasy which befell' him at his first conversion, but for his faithful 
discharge of his work, on the grounds fore-mentioned, for he would 
not glory, ev TrpoacoTrw as others did, but eV icapBia. Mortified 
Christians, that have given up themselves to the Lord's use, should 
more mind that, and esteem themselves and others for true and real 
worth, more than the advantage of external privileges. I am con 
firmed in this exposition by what is said, ver. 6, 'Wherefore, hence 
forth know we no man after the flesh, yea, though we have known 
Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we him no more ; ' that is, 
we should not esteem and judge of persons by their conversing with 
him in the flesh, but by their loyalty and obedience to him. If they be 
zealous for his kingdom, and can upon the hopes which he hath 
offered, run all hazards and encounters of temptations, and upon the 
confidence of his coming to judgment be faithful to him, and out of 
love to his person, and gratitude for the work of redemption, deny 
themselves, and live to his glory, they have cause to glory in heart ; 
whereas others, who boast only of personal acquaintance with him, but 
are not sound in doctrine and the practice of religion, do only glory in 
a mere appearance, or outward show before men, but can have no true, 
solid confidence in their hearts. Well then, here lay the case between 
Paul and his opposites ; they gloried in some external thing, which 
could give no solid peace to the conscience ; but Paul could glory in 
his perseverance, diligence, patience, and self-denial for the gospel ; 
the sense of which made his heart rejoice. And by the way, the same 
glorying may be taken up by all the faithful, painful preachers of the 
gospel, against their opposites, who are the popish clergy ; who glory 
in their pomp and their great revenues, and that they are the suc 
cessors of the apostles, and can pretend an external title to this 
inheritance, and sit in their chair, as Pope Alexander VI., Hcec 
est bona persuasio, quia per lianc nos regnamus. Now you are to 
judge, who are they that glory in heart or in appearance. They that 
glory in their riches, or outward possession ? or they that glory in their 
labours, sufferings, and converting of souls to God? 

Doct. That then a man hath the full comfort of his sincerity, when 
he hath the approbation of God, and of his own conscience, and hath 
also a testimony in the consciences of others. 

First, All these had Paul. 

1. The approbation of God. For he saith, ' We are made manifest 
unto God.' God knew both his actions and his aims, for the Lord 
considereth both, Prov. xvi. 2. Now the Lord knew his labour, his 
patience, his travelling up and down to promote the kingdom of his 
Son, as also that he did this out of hope, fear and love. Paul's main 
care was to approve himself to God, and to be accepted with God. 

2. He had the testimony of a good conscience. Ho telleth them so 
now, and told them so before: 2 Cor. i. 12, 'This is our rejoicing, 
the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity, and godly sincerity, 
not in fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we had our conversa 
tion in the world, but more abundantly to you-ward.' Not by violent 
or fraudulent means did he seek to promote the gospel, not his self- 


opinions, not self-ends ; they had more experience than others, for 
whereas he was maintained by the poorer towns, yet with them he 
laboured with his hands, and still preached the gospel. As usually, 
it falleth out often that handicraft people are more liberal for the 
support of the ministry, than the gentry or nobles upon the account of 
the gospel ; nay, though he could speak of seeing Christ, by extra 
ordinary dispensation, yet he would glory rather in the real and general 
evidences of grace than in any external privilege and advantage what 
soever. If Paul had never seen Christ, yet he had wherein to glory. 

3. And he had a testimony in their consciences, as well as his own : 
' I trust also we are made manifest in your consciences.' He was con 
fident that he had a witness in their bosoms of his sincere and upright 
dealing. The greatest approbation that we can have from men, is to 
have an approbation in their consciences, for conscience is the faculty 
which is most apt to take God's part. We may easily gain their respect 
and applause by complying with their humours, but that is not lasting ; 
that will not do God's work and the gospel's. Our greatest advantage, 
if we be faithful servants to God, will be to have a witness in their 
consciences. Thus did Paul ; he wanted not opposers at Corinth ; 
some questioned his apostleship, some slighted his abilities, some saw 
no such evidence and excellency in his doctrine ; what should the poor 
man do ? He courted not their affections by arts of insinuation, but 
approved himself to their consciences. 

But how did Paul commend himself to the Corinthians? By 
three means. 

[1.] By the evidence of his doctrine, which he managed with such 
power and authority, that it was manifestly seen by all who had not a 
mind to lose their souls, and were not prejudiced by their worldly in 
terest, that it was not calculated for the lusts and interests of men, 
but their salvation : 1. Cor. iv. 2, ' By the manifestation of the truth, 
commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.' 
Paul preached such necessary truths, as, if men were not strangely 
perverted, they might see he aimed at their spiritual and eternal 

[2.] By the success of his doctrine : 2 Cor. iii. 1-3, ' Do we begin 
again to commend ourselves, or need we, as some others, epistles of 
commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you ? Ye are 
our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men, foras 
much as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, minis 
tered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God ; 
not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart.' The con 
versions which he had wrought among them, gave a sufficient testimony 
to their consciences, that he was not a vagrant self-seeker ; he had been 
the instrument of transcribing the doctrine of Christ upon their hearts. 
Paul prevailed with many at Corinth, and had converted many. God 
himself assured him of this success : Acts, xviii. 9, 10, ' Then spake 
the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, 
and hold not thy peace ; for I have much people in this city.' It was 
an opulent, but a wanton town, but God would be with him, and had 
much people ; therefore Paul ventured, and prevailed. 

[3.] By the purity, holiness and self-denial which were seen in his 


conversation : 2 Cor. vi. 4-6, ' But in all things approving ourselves 
as ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, 
in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in 
watchings, in fastings : By pureness, by knowledge, by long-sufferings-, 
by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, 
by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness, on the right hand 
and on the left,' &c. These were the evidences which he had in their 
consciences the faithful discharge of his office in all sort of pressures, 
wants, and exigencies ; as also by the constant study of the mind of 
God, and purity of life, and abundance of Spirit, and sincere charity 
and love to souls. By these things should a people choose a minister ; 
and by these things did Paul approve himself to their consciences. 

Secondly, All these may others have bating for the publicness of 
his office and the extraordinary assistance of the Holy Ghost. All 
ministers and all Christians may have an approbation of God, and the 
testimony of their own consciences, and a witness in the consciences 
of others. 

1. They may have the approbation of God ; who certainly will not 
be wanting to the comfort of his faithful servants. Partly, because he 
hath promised not only to reward their sincerity at last, but to give 
them the comfort of it for the present : John xiv. 21, ' He that hath 
my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he 
that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father : and I will love him, and 
will manifest myself to him/ Let a man but love Christ, and be 
faithful to him, and he is capable of this promise : God will love him, 
and Christ will love him, and in testimony thereof, he will manifest 
himself to him. Christ knoweth the burden of believers, and what 
it costs them in the world to be faithful to him, and what sad 
hours many times they have, who make conscience of obedience. 
Now, to encourage them, the more seriously they engage in it, the 
more evidences and confirmations they shall have of his love to them, 
yea, sensible manifestations, and comfortable proofs thereof, shall still 
be given out to them, in their course of a constant, uniform, diligent, 
and self-denying obedience. Hidden love is as no love : Prov. xxvii. 
5, ' Open rebuke is better than secret love.' As in our love to God, if 
it be not manifested, it is but a compliment and vain pretence ; so in 
God's love to us, though he hath not absolutely engaged for our com 
fort, yet he hath his times of allowing special manifestations of himself 
to his people, and lifting up the light of his countenance upon them. 
Surely God will not be 'altogether strange, reserved, and hidden to a 
loving, faithful, and obedient soul. They need more testimonies of his 
favour than others do, and they shall not be without them. Partly, 
because the Spirit of God is given us for this end, not only as a spirit 
of sanctification, but of revelation, to witness God's acceptance of our 
persons and services, and the great things which he hath promised for 
us : 1 Cor. ii. 11, 12, ' What man knoweth the things of a man, save the 
spirit of man which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth 
no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit 
of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the 
things that are freely given us of God.' None but the Holy Ghost 
can know God's secrets, and reveal thereof to believers as much as 


is needful for their salvation. For as man's own understanding can 
only know man's secrets, so none can know God's secret thoughts, but 
God's own Spirit. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, 
which only carrieth a proportion with worldly things, but the Spirit 
of God, which is given us to know the mind of God concerning us in 
Christ. He doth not only reveal the mysteries of salvation in general, 
but our own interest therein : Kom. viii. 16, ' The Spirit itself beareth 
witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.' The infinite 
mercies of God being bestowed on us, God would not have them con 
cealed from us ; thus we may have the approbation of God. 

2. We may have the testimony of conscience concerning our 
sincerity. For conscience is that secret spy which is privy to all our 
designs and actions, and taketh notice of all that we are and do ; 
therefore a man should or may know the acts of grace which he puts 
forth. It is hard to think that the soul should be a stranger to its own 
operations; the spirit in man knoweth the things of a man, much 
more acts of grace ; partly, because they are the most serious and 
important actions of our live. Many acts may escape us for want of 
advertency, they not being of such moment ; but things that concern 
our eternal interests, and done with the most advisedness and serious 
ness, surely the man that is thus conversant about them, he will mind 
what he doth, and how he doth it : 1 John ii. 3, ' Hereby we know 
that we know him, if we keep his commandments : ' 1 Cor. ix. 26, ' I 
therefore so run, not as uncertainly.' And partly, because acts of 
grace are put forth with difficulty, and with some strife and wrestling ; 
a man cannot believe, but he feeleth oppositions of unbelief : Mark 
ix. 24, ' Lord, I believe, help my unbelief/ A man cannot love God, 
and attend upon holy things, but he feeleth drowsiness and deadness 
in his heatt, which must be overcome, though with difficulty : Cant. 
v. 2, ' I sleep, but my heart waketh.' A man cannot obey God, or 
do any serious good action, but the flesh will be opposing : Gal. v. 17, 
' For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the 
flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other ; ' and Rom. vii. 21, 
' I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with 
me.' Now things difficult, and carried on with opposition, must needs 
leave a notice and impression of themselves upon the conscience. And 
partly, because there is a special delight which accompanieth acts of 
grace, by reason of the excellency of the object they are conversant 
about, and by reason of the greatness and excellency of the power they 
are assisted withal, and the excellency and nobleness of the faculties 
they are acted by. Faith can hardly be exercised about the pardon 
of sin, or the hopes of glory, but a man findeth some peace and joy 
in believing, Rom. xv. 13. Acts of love and hope are pleasant ; a 
prospect of eternity is delightful. Now any notable pleasure and 
delight of mind notifieth itself to the soul ; and therefore, upon the 
whole, we may have glorying if we love and fear God, and hope for 
eternal life from him, and thereupon study to approve ourselves to 
to him ; conscience, which is privy to these things, will witness them 
to us. 

3. We may leave a testimony in the consciences of others, if we keep 
up the majesty of our conversations ; for such is the excellency and honour 


of religion and godliness, that when it shineth in its strength it dazzleth 
the eyes of beholders, even of wicked men, and maketh them wonder 
at it, and stand in awe of it. And where it is evident and eminent 
it will do so indeed ; where Christians are Christians in a riddle, and 
show forth more of the flesh than of the spirit, there is no such thing ; 
but where religion is in life and vigour it will discover itself : as 
John's sanctity extorted reverence and regard from Herod, Mark vi. 
20, ' Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and strict man.' 
Holiness is the image of God, and so far cominendeth its reverence 
and esteem ; as the image of God in Adam was a terror to the beasts, 
and when nothing but the natural image was left, Gen. ix. 2, ' The 
fear and dread of you shall be upon every beast of the field;' so 
much more the spiritual image of God. Ahab stood in fear of Elijah. 
Certainly a godly life is convincing, and darts awe into the conscience. 
It is convincing either potentially or actually. Potentially, such as 
is apt to convince, and of its own nature tendeth thereunto, as Christ 
saith, John vii. 7, ' The world hateth me because I testify of it, that 
their works were evil.' Not only by reproofs, but conversation; 
the world would not acknowledge it, but they felt it ; so those that 
bear witness against the evil courses of the world, either by the holi 
ness of their doctrine or innocency of life, do convince others ; they 
have a testimony in their consciences, though they will not acknow 
ledge it. Or actually, which doth so convince, that it draweth out 
an acknowledgment. The former may be without the latter, as the 
sun is apt to enlighten, but it cannot make a blind man, or one that 
winketh hard, see. But, however, Christians should live convincing 
lives, as pure streams run, though none drink of them. They may 
convert others, for conversion is facilitated by good conversation; 
yet religion is honoured by the testimony in their consciences, though 
they will not acknowledge it, at least it will be a testimony at the 
day of judgment against impenitent sinners. 

Thirdly, All these we should look after the approbation of God, 
the testimony of conscience, and a testimony in the consciences of 
others. In a moral consideration there are three beings God, neigh 
bour, self ; and therefore we should approve ourselves to God, and 
look after this threefold approbation. 

1. The approbation of God must be chiefly sought after first. We 
cannot be sincere without it. For sincerity is a straight and right 
purpose to please God in all things ; and this should be our aim, to 
approve ourselves to God in all that we do, and therefore should do 
all things as in his eye and presence : Gen. xvii. 1, ' Walk before me, 
and be thou upright ; ' and Luke i. 75, ' In holiness and righteous 
ness before him, all the days of our lives.' This is it which maketh 
men conscientious in all their actions, when they remember that the)' 
are now acting a part before the great God, who looketh on, either to 
reward or punish ; it checketh sin, though never so secret, and though 
it might be carried on with security enough from men ; yea when 
we may sin not only securely, but with advantage and profit : Gen. 
xxxix. 9, ' How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God ? ' 
So, Job xxxi. 4, ' Doth he not see my ways, and count all my steps ? ' 
therefore he durst not give way to any sin. So, Ps. xliv. 21, 


' Shall not God search this out, for he knoweth the secrets of the 
heart ? ' Secondly, it maketh us faithful in all our duties and services, 
when we strive to approve ourselves to God, and do all as in his 
presence, to the praise and glory of his name, and can appeal for our 
fidelity to no other judge but the great searcher of hearts, from whom 
we cannot be concealed. The apostle instanceth in two callings; 
one of the highest, and one of the meanest. One of the highest and 
of most importance to the other world, that of a minister : 2 Cor. 
iv. 2, 'Commending ourselves to every man's conscience, as in the 
sight of God ; ' and 1 Thes. ii. 4, ' So we preach the gospel, not as 
pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.' A minister will 
never be faithful unless he first study to approve himself to God, and 
behaveth himself as in God's eye and presence, and one that is to 
give an account to God. So in the lowest, a Christian servant, Eph. 
vi. 6, 7, ' Not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of 
Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good-will doing 
service, as to the Lord, not to men.' So, Col. iii. 22, ' Not with eye- 
service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.' So, 
Titus ii. 10, ' Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity, that they 
may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.' A Christian 
servant useth all diligence in his master's business, whether he be 
absent or present, and fidelity in all things committed to his trust, 
though he might be false with secrecy enough ; because he fears God, 
and would approve himself to him. Well, then, we must study to 
approve ourselves to God, and be alike in all places and companies, 
for all things are manifest to him. 

2. The testimony of conscience must be regarded. First, because 
it is matter of true joy and comfort to a Christian : 2 Cor. i. 12, ' This 
is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience.' I prove it from the 
office of conscience; it is both judge, witness, and executioner. Con 
science is the judgment that every man maketh upon his actions, 
morally considered. As a man acteth or doth anything, so lie is a 
party ; as he loveth to view or censure it, so he is a judge ; the 
morality considered as to their good or evil, rectitude or obliquity, in 
them, with respect to praise or dispraise, reward or punishment. Now 
joy is one part of executing the sentence of conscience, as fear is the 
other. Conscience is usually more felt after the act is over, than 
before or in it. For during the action the judgment of reason is not 
so clear and strong, the affections raising mists and clouds to darken 
the mind. In the act we feel the difficulties, or the pleasure of sin ; 
but after the act, the violence of the affection ceaseth, and then reason 
taketh the throne, and doth affect the mind with joy or grief, according 
as a man hath done good or evil with grief and terror, if the sensual 
appetite have been obeyed before itself; with delight, if he hath denied 
himself, and been faithful with God. Rewards and punishments are 
not altogether kept for the life to come. Hell is begun in an ill 
conscience, and a good conscience is heaven upon earth. Secondly, 
this joy that cometh from the testimony of conscience is very strong ; 
it will fortify us against false imputations, when Christians can say, 
We are not the men you make us to be by your false reports. Job 
saith, ' You shall not take away mine integrity, nor will I let my 


innocency go till I die,' Job xxvii. 5. Paul would not pass for man's 
sentence, 1 Cor. iv. 3. Yea, it will fortify us against accusations 
internal, arising from defects and failings : ' I sleep, but my heart 
waketh,' Cant. v. 2. A gospel conscience will acquit us, yea, it com 
forts in sickness : Isa. xxxviii. 3, ' Kemember, Lord, I have walked 
before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart.' A sick man when his 
appetite is gone, then he can eat nothing; a good conscience is a 
continual feast. 

3. The latter testimony in the consciences of others is to be regarded. 
Here let me show you, (1.) That it is to be regarded ; (2.) How far. 

[1.] That it is to be regarded. 

(1.) Partly, because the safety and credit of our service dependeth 
upon it. When we have a testimony in the consciences of men, it is 
a restraint to violence: Mark vi. 19, 20, 'Herodias would have killed 
John, but she could not, for Herod feared John, because he was a 
just man.' So Paulinus was spared by Valens. Wicked men fear 
the good, but hate them. When their hatred is greater than their 
fear, then no mercy ; now it is grievous, when their fear is lessened 
by our scandals. 

(2.) This is not affectation of praise, but doing things praise-worthy. 
Our care must be to do our duty, and trust God with our credit. 
Most men do otherwise ; they would have honour from men, but 
neglect their duty to God : ' Yet honour me before the people,' 1 Sam. 
xv. 30. We are careless of service, and yet hunt for praise. Austin's 
rule is good : Laus humana non appeti debet, sed sequi it is not a 
thing to be desired, but it must follow of its own accord ; if it be the 
event of the action, let it not be the aim. So Aquinas : Gloria bene 
contemnitur, nihil male agenda propter ipsam, et bene appetitur, nihil 
male agenda contra ipsam a good fame is well contemned by doing 
nothing evil for it ; well desired by doing nothing evil against it. 

(3.) Complying with the humours of men is dangerous, but leaving 
a witness in their consciences is safe ; for conscience is God's deputy, 
the most serious faculty in us. Let us convince others, though we aim 
not at their applause : 1 Pet. iii. 16, ' Having a good conscience, that 
whereas they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers, they may be ashamed, 
that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.' 

[2.] How far it may be regarded. 

(1.) Surely so far as that we should not forfeit it by any sin, or 
imprudent action, or indiscretion of ours : 2 Cor. vi. 3, ' Giving no 
offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed ; ' so that the 
profession be not blamed, that the way of truth be not evil spoken of. 

(2) So far as to make a just apology, or vindication of our credit 
from aspersions. As Paul in the text, wherein he doth not intend his 
own apology, so much as the apology of the gospel. A holy life ia 
the best apology : 1 Peter ii. 15, ' With well-doing we put to silence 
the ignorance of foolish men.' Muzzle or stop the mouths of gain- 
sayers ; yet we may make apologies, that the truth suffer not. 

(3.) The utmost end must be the glory of God and the honour of 
the gospel : Mat. v. 16, ' Let your light so shine before men, that they 
may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven ;' 
1 Peter ii. 12, ' That they may by your good works which they shall 


behold, glorify God in the day of visitation/ They do not glorify you, 
but God, that entertain a good opinion of the Christian religion. 

(4.) That though this threefold approbation must be looked after, 
yet every branch of it in its proper place. The order is, that we should 
first look to God, and then our own consciences, and afterwards a 
testimony in the consciences of others ; for thus downward, the one 
succeeding the other, then a man hath the full comfort of his sincerity, 
but if upward, and singly, or apart, it will not hold ; as if a man had 
the approbation of others, but not of his own conscience ; or if of his 
own conscience, but not of God ; if of others, a man cannot rejoice in 
the testimony of another man's conscience, because another man saith 
I am a good man ; for another man knoweth not the springs and 
motives of my actions. Or if I had the bare testimony of mine own 
conscience, that would not be sufficient for my comfort : 1 Cor. iv. 4, 
' For I know nothing by myself, yet am I not hereby justified ; ' there 
is a higher judge, for I am blind, partial, and unadvised; till the 
Spirit concurreth with the witness of conscience, I cannot have a firm 
and solid peace : Horn. ix. 1, ' I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my 
conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost ;' and Kom. viii. 
16, 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the 
children of God.' There are two witnesses, God's Spirit and our 
conscience. But now descendendo, it holdeth good, and many times 
one inferreth all the rest. If I have the approbation of God, his 
Spirit beareth witness with my conscience, and he hath also the hearts 
and tongues of men in his own hand, or if that be not, the approbation 
of God is absolutely necessary for my salvation; the testimony of 
conscience is very comfortable, and the third conduceth much to our 
safety, and service in the world. My salvation dependeth upon the 
approbation of God ; my inward comfort upon the witness of his 
Spirit in my conscience ; my outward peace and service upon a 
testimony in the consciences of others. I observe this to a double 

(1st.) To direct us in point of duty. A good man should look more 
to God than to conscience ; and to conscience more than to fame and 
report ; to a good name in the last place. First he looketh to God, 
\vho is above conscience, and who is an infallible judge ; and then he 
looketh to conscience, which is God's deputy ; and then to good report 
among men. Invert this order, and great inconvenience will follow. 
Look to men above God, and it maketh a breach upon sincerity, John 
v. 44, and John xii. 42. Therefore it is not man, or glory and praise 
from him, but God alone, that the sincere heart is fixed upon ; as 
those that run in a race (as the Scripture often compareth our Christian 
course) did not regard the acclamations of the spectators, but the 
opinion of the qucestor palestrce, or the judge of the sports, who was 
to determine on whose side the victory was. So again, if the last be 
set before the second, it will be almost as bad. A Christian cannot be 
safe, if he doth not value and prize the witness of a good conscience 
before the opinion of men. for then by humouring men a man dis- 
pleaseth conscience, which is his best friend of all things, and above 
all persons ; next to God, a man should reverence his own conscience 
most So again, if the second be set in the first place, if the judgment 


of conscience be preferred before that of God, what will be the issue 
but the hardening of the wicked, whose blind conscience is set in the 
place of God ? Prov. xvi. 2, ' All the ways of a man are clean in his 
own eyes : but the Lord weigheth the spirit.' 

(2c%.) To fortify our patience. A man must be approved of God, 
though his own heart speaketh bitter things to him ; the sentence of 
God is to be sought in his word. If he mindeth his duty, seeketh after 
grace more than peace, is resolved to approve himself to God, though 
he cannot yet assure his heart -before him, let the general comforts of 
Christianity encourage him to wait. Duty thoroughly followed will 
bring peace in time. We must absolutely endeavour to seek the first. 
Again, if we have first and second, we must be thankful, though we 
want the third ; and well satisfied, if approved of God, though dis- 
esteemed of the world. We must submit to God's providence, and bear 
our burden of reproach, if we cannot overcome prejudices, however we 
must do nothing to feed it, nothing to procure it. 

Use of all. 

1. Let us study to approve ourselves to God, before whom we, and 
all that we do, are manifest ; sincerity beginneth there, seeketh the 
approbation of God: 'He is commended whom God commendeth,' 
1 Cor. x. 18. Our final sentence must come out of his mouth. Next 
let us look to this, that we glory not in appearance, but in heart, that 
we may have the solid rejoicing of conscience : Job xxvii. 6, ' My heart 
shall not reproach me till I die.' Faith, love and hope will only give 
us that ; not external privileges. Oh, then, let us keep up the majesty 
of our profession, that so we may have a testimony in the consciences 
of men : it will be our safety. In the primitive, times they invested 
Christians with bears' skins, and then baited them as bears. So Satan 
is first a liar, and then a murderer, 1 John ii. 4. 

Use 2. Here is something to defend the poor ministers of Christ 
Jesus. I trust you. desire to glorify God, and save souls, and that out 
of hope, fear and love. Some glory in outward advantages only, their 
church privileges ; but I trust we can glory in heart. They burden 
us with imputations. No enemies, next the devil, are like minister to 
minister : Ab implacabilibus odiis theologorum libera nos,Dominef We 
all own the same bible, believe the same creed, are baptized into the 
same profession ; if any be more serious in it than others, should they 
therefore be discountenanced ? If it be their desire to save souls, and 
guide them to their eternal rest, it is ours also. So far as they glory in 
heart, we do even as they. 


For whether ive be beside ourselves, it is to God ; or whether we be 
sober, it is for your cause 2 COR. v. 13. 

PAUL, glorying in his fidelity, was charged by the false apostles with 
two things : (1.) That he was proud ; (2.) Mad. The first objection 


is answered, ver. 12 ; the second in the text. As to the charge of 
emotion of mind, or madness, (1.) There is a seeming concession, or 
taking their charge for granted : if it be madness, it is for God. His 
reply is, that he had spoken these things for God's glory, and their 
salvation : if I extol my ministry, which you count madness, it is for 
the glory of God, that the gospel be not brought into contempt ; if I 
speak humbly of myself, as becometh sober men, it is for your profit. 
(2.) By way of correction, he showeth the true cause of it, which was 
a high constraining love to Christ, ver. 14. 
Observe in the text two points 

1. That carnal men count the holy servants of God to be a sort of 
mad folks. 

2. That a Christian in all postures of spirit aimeth at the glory of 

For the first point 

1. I shall show you, that it is so. 

2. I shall inquire what it is in Christianity that is usually counted 

3. The reasons of it. 

4. To show how justly this may be retorted to show that it is a 
perverse judgment and censure, which rather belongeth to themselves 
than those that fear God. 

First, That it is so, the scriptures evidence, 2 Kings ix. 11. When 
God sent a prophet to anoint Jehu, the captain said, ' Wherefore came 
this mad fellow to thee ? ' God's messengers have been so accounted 
from time to time. So Jeremiah by Shemaiah, ' This man is mad, and 
maketh himself a prophet, that thou shouldst put him in prison, and 
in the stocks/ The same thought Festus of Paul : Acts xxvi. 24, ' Too 
much learning hath made thee mad. I am not mad, most noble Festus, 
but speak the words of truth and soberness.' Yea, the Lord Jesus 
himself could not escape this imputation, no, not from his own kinsmen, 
for when he was abroad doing good, and promoting the affairs of his 
kingdom, and constituting apostles, it is said, Mark iii. 21, 'When 
his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold of him ; for they said, 
' He is beside himself/ e'^ecrr?;, as here the false teachers e^eo-r^/zey, ' if 
we be beside ourselves.' Another time his enemies : John x. 20, ' Many , 
of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad ; why hear ye him ? ' And 
still in all ages the zealous are counted frantic, fanatical, heady,' rash, 
furious, and men beside themselves, because they have entirely 
given up themselves to do the will of God, whatever it costs them. 

Secondly, What is that in Christianity which is usually counted mad 
ness ? What it was in Paul, interpreters agree not. Grotius thinketh his 
enemies did upbraid him with his ecstasies; he was converted by a trance 
and rapture, whereof he giveth an account, 2 Cor. xii. 1-4, &c. Others, 
his self- denial. Paul had no regard to himself ; his great purpose was 
to serve God and the church ; as here he professeth he was ready to 
be accounted mad or sober, so God might be glorified, and their profit 
promoted. Some, his acting or speaking in zeal, above that which. is 
ordinarily called temper and sobriety, which is indeed the dull pace of 
the world. Certainly Paul was an extraordinary person, and had a 
deep sense of the other world, and therefore the carnal will be no fit 


judges of bis spirit; but most simply and agreeable to the context, 
to speak thus largely of himself, seemed to them to be the work of a 
distracted, or foolish person. And so, 2 Cor. xi., ' 1 would to God you 
could bear with me ;' and vers. 16', 17, ' I say again, let no man think 
me a fool ; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast 
myself a little.' If it had been for his own honour, the objection would 
have force. But what he did herein, he meant for the glory of God 
and the gospel. 

But that which is counted madness ordinarily in Christians, is either 
seriousness in religion ; when men will not flaunt, and rant, and please 
the flesh, as others do, but take time for meditation, and prayer, and 
other holy duties, they that choose a larger sort of life, think them 
mopish and melancholy ; or else self-denial ; when they are upon the 
hopes of the world to come, dead to present interests, and can forsake 
all for a naked Christ, the world thinks this folly and madness. In 
the judgment of the flesh it seemeth to be a mad and foolish thing to 
do all things by the prescript of the word, and to live upon the hope of 
an unseen world. Or else zeal in a good cause. It is in itself a good 
thing : Gal. iv. 18, ' It is good to be zealously affected always in a good 
thing.' But the world is wont to call good evil ; as astronomers call 
the glorious stars by horrid names, as the serpent, the greater and 
lesser bear, and the dog-star, and the like. God will not be served in 
a cold and careless fashion : Horn. xii. 11, ' Fervent in spirit, 
serving the Lord/ This will not suit with that lazy pace which 
pleaseth the world, therefore they speak evil of it. Another is a holy 
singularity, as Noah was an upright man in a corrupt age, Gen. vi. 9. 
And we are bidden, Eom. xii. 2, not to conform ourselves to this 
world. Now to walk contrary to the course of this world, and the 
stream of common examples, and to draw hatred upon ourselves, and 
hazarding our interests, for cleaving close to God and his ways, is 
counted foolish by them who wholly accommodate themselves to their 
interests : John xv. 19, ' The world will love his own ; but because ye 
are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, there 
fore the world hateth you.' Once more, fervours of devotion, or an 
earnest conversing with God in humble prayer ; the world,- who are 
sunk in flesh and matter, are, little acquainted with the elevations, and 
enlargements of the spirit, think all to be imposture and enthusiasm. 
And though praying by the Spirit be a great privilege, Jude 20, Rom. 
viii. 26, Zee. xii. 10, yet it is not relished by them ; a flat, dead vra,y 
of praying suiteth their gust better. Christ compareth the gospel to 
new wine, which will break old bottles, Mat. ix. 17 ; as fasting in 
spirit, praying in spirit. A little dead, insipid taplash, or spiritless 
worship, is more for the world's turn. Missa non mordet. 

Thirdly, The reasons why it is so. 

1. Natural blindness: 2 Cor. ii. 14, ' 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.' 
They are incompetent judges : Prov. xxiv. 7, ' Wisdom is too high for 
a fool.' For though by nature we have lost our light, we have not lost 
our pride : Prov. xxvi. 16, ' The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit 
than seven men that can render a reason.' Though men's way be but 


a sluggish, lazy, dead way, yet they have an high conceit of it, and 
censure all that is contrary, or but a degree removed above it. And 
therefore is it that worldly and carnal men judge perversely and 
unrighteously of God's servants, and count zeal and forwardness in 
religious duties to be but madness ; which is a notable instance of the 
miserable blindness of our corrupt nature. 

2. Prejudicate malice, which keepeth them from a nearer inspection 
of the beauty of God's ways, and the reasons and motives which his 
children are governed by. Their eyes are blinded by the god of this 
world, 2 Cor iv. 4, and their own forestalled prejudices ; and then who 
is so blind as they that will not see ? In the ancient apologies of 
Christians, they complained that they were condemned unheard, and 
without any particular inquiry into their principles and practices: 
Nolentes audire, quod auditum damnare non possunt, Tertull. They 
would not inquire, because they had a mind to hate. And Ccelius 
Secundus Curio hath a notable passage in the Life of Galeacius 
Caracciolas, which was the occasion of his conversion. The story is 
thus. One John Francis Casarta, who was enlightened with the 
knowledge of the gospel, was very urgent with this nobleman, his 
cousin, to come and hear Peter Martyr, who then preached at Naples. 
One day, by much entreaty, he was drawn to hear him, not so much 
with a desire to learn and profit, as out of curiosity. Peter Martyr 
was then opening the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, and 
showing how blind and perverse the judgment of the natural under 
standing is in things spiritual ; and also the efficacy of the word of 
God on those in whom the Spirit worketh. Among other things he 
useth this similitude, that if a man riding in an open country should 
see afar off men and women dancing together, and should not hear 
the music according to which they dance and tread out their measures, 
he would think them to be fools and madmen, because they appear in 
such various motions, and antic gestures and postures-. But if he 
come nearer, so as to hear the musical notes, according to which they 
dance, and observe the regularity of the exercise, he will change his 
opinion of them, and will not only be delighted with the exactness 
thereof, but find a motion in his mind to stand still and behold them, 
and to join with them in the exercise. The same, saith he, happeneth to 
them who when they see a change of life, company, fashions, conver 
sation in others, at their first sight impute it to their folly and mad 
ness, but when they begin more intimately to weigh the thing, and to 
hear the harmony of the Spirit of God and his word, by which rule this 
change and strictness is directed and required, that which they judged 
to be madness and folly they see to be wisdom and reason, and are 
moved to join themselves with them, and imitate them in their course 
of life, and forsake the world and the vanities thereof, that they may 
be sanctified in order to a better life. This similitude stuck in the 
mind of this noble marquis (as he was wont to relate it to his familiar 
friends), that ever afterward he 'wholly applied his mind to the search 
of the truth and the practice of holiness, and left all his honours and 
vast possessions for a poor life, in the profession of the gospel at 
Geneva. Well then, it is because prejudice condemneth things at a 



distance, and men will not take a nearer view of the regularity of the 
ways of godliness. 

3. Because they live contrary to that life which they affect, and do by 
their practice condemn it. This reason is given by the apostle, 1 Peter 
iv. 4, ' Wherein they think it strange, that you run not with them into 
the same excess of riot : speaking evil of you.' Worldly men think 
there is a kind of happiness in their sort of life, which is so plausible 
and pleasing to the flesh, they cannot but wonder at it ; and as long 
as they are carnal, they cannot discern those spiritual reasons which 
make believers abhor their kinds of conversation, and therefore censure 
and judge them as a sort of crazy brains, that do not know what is 
good for them. Men that live in any sinful course are unwilling that 
any should part company with them in their way wherein they will 
go, that there may be none to make them ashamed, which testify that 
their deeds are evil, John vii. 7, or to condemn by their practice what 
they allow, Heb. xi. 7 ; and the sweetness of Christ's service is wholly 
hid from them, and therefore are never more furiously confident than 
when most deceived and most blind, and others appear in a real con 
tradiction to their humours. 

Fourthly, Let us see how justly this crimination may be retorted, 
and that their way is properly madness. And in this sense bedlam is 
everywhere : the whole world is a dreaming, distracted world, a mere 
incurable bedlam. 

1. If you will stand to the judgment of God, the case is determined, 
that every carnal man is a fool, and out of his wits. There is all the 
reason in the world, that he should be counted a fool, and one beside 
himself, whom God calleth fool, for he is best able to judge, because 
he is the fountain of wisdom: Ps. xlix. 13, the Holy Ghost hath 
determined the case, ' This their way is their folly.' Job's hypocrites, 
and Solomon's fools, and those whom John calleth the world, and 
Paul the carnal, they are all the same company, only diversified in 
the notion. 

2. We will give them as partial a judge as can be. First, In the 
judgment of their own hearts, they are fools and madmen when they 
are serious. As when a man is convinced by the Spirit of God, he 
cometh to himself; as it is said of the prodigal, Luke xv. 17, 'He 
came to himself.' The first thing that he is convinced of is the folly 
and madness of his carnal course. Therefore every one of us must 
become a fool that he may be wise, 1 Cor. iii. 18 ; a child of God, 
when he cometh out of a temptation, Ps. Ixxiii. 22, ' I was as a beast 
before thee;' Titus iii. 3, 'We were sometimes foolish," madmen, or 
men out of our wits, in regard of our perverse choice ; and till we 
repent, we are never ourselves ; then we are in our wits again. The 
prodigal grew in his folly, till he came to his father ; and he went not 
to his father, till he came to himself. We then come to ourselves when 
we know our folly, mourn for it, and seriously amend it. The first 
degree of wisdom is to know our folly ; the second to turn from it, and 
betake ourselves to a wiser course. Secondly, When he cometh to die : 
Luke xii. 20, ' Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.' 
Why fool ? Because everything was provided for but that which should 
be most provided for, his precious and immortal soul. He that pro- 


videth but for half, and that the worser half, and that but for a short 
time, is a fool. In his greatest extremity his eyes are opened : Jer. 
xvii. 11, 'At his latter end, he shall be a fool.' In the conviction of 
his own conscience, his heart will rave at him. fool ! vain mad 
man ! death bloweth away all vain conceits and fancies, when all our 
vain pursuits and projects will leave us in the dirt. Thirdly, Plain 
reason will evidence carnal men to be beside themselves. I prove it 
thus. There is in madness two things, amentia et furor, folly and 
fury. That there are both these in a carnal man, I shall prove by 
these demonstrations, for a taste. 

[1.] There is in them the folly of a distracted man, or one bereft of 
his senses, even in the wisest worldlings and sensualists. 

(1.) Though they acknowledge a God, by whom and for whom they 
were made, and from whom they are fallen by sin, and cannot be happy 
but in returning to him, yet the worldly man knoweth no misery but 
in bodily and worldly things, no happiness but in pleasing his senses. 
The beginning, progress, and end of his course is all from himself, in 
himself, and to himself, looking only to things near at hand ; every toy 
that pleaseth his humour is good to him, poureth out his heart upon 
it and loseth himself for it, and will neither admit information of his 
error, nor reformation of his practice, till death destroy him, and the 
God that made him is forgotten days without number : Horn. iii. 10, 
' There is none that understandeth, and seeketh after God.' 

(2.) They that neglect their main business, and leave it undone, 
and run up and down, they know not why, nor wherefore, surely they 
act like mad and distracted, not like wise and rational men. Now, 
alas ! worldly and carnal men spend their time and cares for nothing, 
like children and boys that follow a bubble blown out of a shell of soap, 
till it break and dissolve. This is the most serious business of worldly 
wise men, they court a vain world, which they seem to count religion ; 
and though they believe eternal life and death, yet they make no great 
matter of it. And though ail their life should be spent in fleeing from 
wrath to come, and seeking after heaven in the first place, yet they 
never seriously inquire whether they shall be in heaven or in hell. 
They know they must shortly die, and be in one of them, either endless 
joy or misery ; yet they have not the wit to avoid damnation, or to pre 
fer heaven above inconsiderable vanities ; but, like busy ants, run up 
and down their molehill, lay out their time and thoughts upon imper 
tinences ; and some of them are blaspheming of God, and scoffing at 
the religion they do profess ; others whoring and debauching ; others 
flying in the face of them that would curb their folly ; others running 
after preferment, and so eager in the pursuit of some worldly honour, 
which they know to be slippery ; but they run after it, as if it were 
their only felicity, over-running one another like boys at foot-ball, and 
contending so earnestly, as if it were some great, desirable prize ; others 
grasping after the world with both hands, though within a little while 
it must fall to they know not who, and be spent they know not how. 
Come to any of those and interpose a few sober and serious words 
about eternity, they will answer as Antigonus, when one presented him 
with a treatise of summum bonum, or true happiness, he answered ' I 
am not at leisure/ Or as Felix, when his conscience wambled, said to 


Paul, I will send for thee at a more convenient season. Now what 
are all these but a company of madmen ? Their great business lieth 
by, and trifles take up their time and care and thoughts. Men are sun 
dry ways out of their wits, and only one way in them, that is, when 
the true fear of God and the sense of the other world ruleth in their 
hearts. But every one is so wedded to his lusts, that they will not con 
sider and repent, or suffer admonition. Oh, the folly and madness of 
the world ! Oftentimes it is seen that men are counted mad, who are 
bound in fetters, when madder men are walking at liberty. 

(3.) Another instance of their madness is their perverse choice. 
He is a wise merchant that selleth all for the pearl of price, Mat. xiii. 
46. A child will prefer an apple, or a nut, before a precious pearl ; 
and a madman will part with things of value for a trifle. Is that man 
wise that selleth his birthright for a morsel of meat? Heb. xii. 15 ; that 
damneth his soul, and selleth his salvation, for so small a pleasure as 
sin affordeth ? that to gratify a lump of flesh, that was dust in its 
composition, and will be dust again in its dissolution, with a little 
temporary vain pleasure, hazards his immortal soul, with all the interests 
and concernments thereof, and changes his part in God and glory for 
a little carnal satisfaction ? 

(4.) They that are the worst enemies to themselves, certainly they 
act as mad and distracted men ; as you would count those deservedly 
mad who are ready to cut their own throats, and gash and wound them 
selves, and rend and tear themselves, and do themselves a mischief. 
Now, who is a worse enemy to himself than a carnal person ? Prov. viii. 
36, ' He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul : and all they 
that hate me love death.' They are self-destroyers and self-murderers 
in the worst sense, for they destroy their own souls ; they make it their 
business to bar up the gates of heaven against themselves, and kindle 
and blow up the unquenchable fire, wherewith they shall be tormented 
for evermore ; and with a great deal of cost and stir and care, do labour 
for damnation ; it is not their intent, but is the necessary result of their 
actions ; it is finis operis, but not finis operantis ; it tends to this : 
Kom. vi. 21, ' The end of these things is death.' 

(5.) In their confidence and presumption. As the madman at 
Athens challenged all the ships that came into the harbour for his 
own ; so they believe they are running to heaven when they are post 
ing to hell ; like rowers in a boat, they look one way and go contrary. 
He is called a foolish builder who would raise a stately building upon 
a sandy foundation, Mat. vii. 24 ; so to lay on such a structure of con 
fidence upon such slender grounds as they have, to hope for anything 
from God, is an instance of their madness. 

(6.) In boasting of their folly and madness. Nature is much dis 
torted ; man fallen is but the anagram of man in innocency ; shame is 
translated ; we are confident where we should be ashamed, and are 
ashamed where we should be confident. We should own God and 
religion with an holy boldness, but we conceal it, and sneak pitifully ; 
but glory in our shame, Phil. iii. 19, as if a man besmeared with dung- 
should cry it up for an ornament. We are conceited of our carnal 
practices. ' The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,' saith Solomon, 
Prov. xii. 15 ; and so we glory in that which should be matter of 


mourning and confusion of face to us : Eccles. x. 3, ' When he also that 
is a fool, walketh in the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to 
every one that he is a fool.' If it be meant of the wicked fool, it is 
meant of his glorying in his shame, and his boasting of his sins as 

[2.] Now for the other property, fury. It is also the madness that 
is in carnal and worldly men : Eccles. ix. 3, ' The heart of the sons of 
men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart.' There is a violent, 
heady, pertinacious pressing to evil and sin. How fierce and furious 
are men in a way of sin, under the passionateness of any lust ! The 
slaves of sin are as a man possessed with a legion of devils in the 
Gospel, who rent and tore his clothes, and all the cords wherewith they 
bound him ; nay, they are worse than he, for in his fury he broke his 
bonds, but they double and strengthen theirs. When a man is given 
over to the rage and madness of his own nature, how is the soul over 
borne by boisterous and filthy lusts ! They go on furiously and fro- 
wardly, nothing can put a stop to their raging lusts, but they cast off 
all restraints of reason, and conscience and grace. The prophet said, 
Jer. 1. 38, ' They are mad upon their idols,' blind with fury against the 
ways of God, and the church : Ps. cii. 9, ' Mine enemies reproach me 
all the day, they are ms^d against me.' Now this madness of nature is 
seen in that all respects of danger and loss, fear of death, judgment, 
and hell, will not contain them within their duty; they run upon God 
himself, and the thick bosses of his buckler, Job. xvi. 21. Every sin 
is a contest with God, an holding war with the almighty, 1 Cor. x. 22 ; 
and wilful sin an open and a plain contest, as if we could make our 
party good against him ; and when we remain under the power of a 
carnal mind, we are in a state of enmity against God, Kom. viii. 7. 
And this is such a piece of madness as if a private man could by the 
help of his family, his private house, prevail against all the forces of 
the kingdom. This madness showeth itself too by raging at reproofs ; 
the mad world cannot endure those that would stop them in the way 
to hell. Therefore the seriously godly, whose lives are a standing re 
proof, are most hated by them : Prov. xxix. 27 ; and Isa. lix. 15, 'He 
that departeth from evil, maketh himself a prey.' Now you see where 
madness is to be charged ; either upon the servants of God, who make 
it their business to please him, or upon the worldly and the carnal. 
Let them wash themselves from this imputation as well as they can, 
it will stick to them ; and the only sober people in the world are the 
strict and religious. 

Use 1. Let us bear it with patience, if we be esteemed madmen for 
.God's service, and our strictness and fidelity to him. Think it not 
strange, nor be offended at the matter, though ye be thus censured of 
the carnal men of the world ; they can no more judge of these things 
than blind men of colours, and their dislike is many times a token of 
God's approbation. No wise man going into bedlam will be offended 
to be railed at and spit upon ; he looketh for no other, and so will not 
be moved at their madness. If we be not thus minded, the least 
offences will draw us from our duty. Let us not then forbear these 
practices, which are thought vanity and folly by carnal men, if they 
be for God's glory, and the good of our own and other souls ; nor be 


disheartened with them ; we must be contented to be accounted mad 
for God, in that which the world judgeth madness or discretion. 

2. Let us vindicate religion from this imputation. ' Wisdom is 
justified of her children,' Mat. xi. 19. Those who have received 
wisdom, true wisdom from God, and are obedient disciples of it, they 
will defend true wisdom as often as it is condemned by the world. 

But how shall wisdom be justified by us? 

Ans. 1. By disclaiming and renouncing them who adopt fooleries 
into their religion, and betray it to the scorn of all considering men. 
In this class and rank I put the Papists and the Quakers. The first, 
by a pageantry of many ridiculous ceremonies, have so disguised the 
Christian religion, that it is made contemptible. Therefore is it 
that where this religion hath most absolutely commanded, atheism 
aboundeth ; for the heart of a rational man can find no satisfaction in 
these things, nothing of the majesty of God and the power of his 
ordinances, where they are made so sense-pleasing, and accommodated 
with such worldly pomp and silly rudiments, which can only prevail 
upon the weaker sort of spirits. The more knowing and searching 
wits cannot but secretly scorn those things in their hearts ; and there 
fore no other religion being allowed and countenanced, they lie under 
a dangerous temptation to atheism and unbelief. The other sort are 
the Quakers, a sort of people, whose principles are not yet fixed, but 
in the forming; being of a vertiginous spirit, are a ready prey for 
Satan, and fit instruments for him to work by, to the great disturbance 
of religion, or to disgrace and shame it, and betray it to scorn. Now 
the main of what their religion hitherto hath been is to teach men to 
cast away their bands, and their cuffs, and the trimmings of their 
garments, and to deny civilities, and to teach men to say, Thou : these 
make religion ridiculous, and prostitute scripture phrase to scorn, and 
by them the way of truth is evil spoken of. 

2. By pleading for it. Surely godliness is not madness, but the 
highest wisdom. This argument will clear it : wisdom lieth in the 
fixing of a right end, and the choice of apt and good means, and a 
dexterous pursuit of these means. These things are evident to reason. 
Now in all these respects, there is not a wiser man than a godly man ; 
and the more godly he is, the more he excelleth in wisdom; and 
therefore folly and madness can no more be ascribed to godliness, than 
heat to the snow, or cold to the fire. 

[1.] He fixeth upon an higher end than all the rest of the world 
doth, which is the pleasing, glorifying and enjoying God. Alas ! what is 
the neaping up of wealth, the getting of a little honour, or designing 
to wallow in ease and pleasure as to these things ? He is wiser, that* 
is wise to salvation, 2 Tim. iii. 16; that chooseth God for his portion ; 
God hath given him counsel in his reins. All the wisdom of the world 
is earthly, sensual and devilish, James i. 3. Others are foolish and 
madmen. Who are wiser ? They that run after painted butterflies, 
or spend their time in making clay-pies, like children, or sucking at 
the dry breast of the creature ? or those who are able to govern com 
monwealths, or do things for public good ? Who are wiser ? They 
that can pass by their worldly designs, to carry on their heavenly ? 
or they that are wise for the present, and fools to all eternity ? 


[2.] He chooseth apt and fit means. He takes not an uncertain 
course in the world, but goeth by the certain rule of God's word : Deut. 
iv. 6, ' Keep them, and do them, for this is your wisdom ; ' Jer. viii. 9, 
' They have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in 
them ? ' ' And the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the- 
simple,' Ps. xix. 7. The more a man keepeth to the word of the 
Lord, the more wise ; and as far as he abateth, he showeth folly and 
madness, as others do. 

[3.] For diligent pursuit, being heedful ; Eph. v. 15, ' See then that 
ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.' Avoiding what may 
be a snare, they are true to their end by being serious and diligent : 
Eccles. x. 2, 'A wise man's heart is at his right hand/ By self-denial, 
spareth no cost, selleth all for the pearl of great price, Mat. xiii., 
though to despise the delights and honours and pleasures of the world 
seemeth the greatest folly and madness to carnal men nothing 
venture, nothing have : Horn. viii. 6, ' To be carnally minded is death, 
and to be spiritually minded is life, and peace ; ' he loseth something, 
but getteth much better. If a man should keep his money by him, 
and neglect a gainful purchase, that would yield him an hundred-fold, 
this would be accounted folly among worldly- wise men. What is their 
course who venture death and eternal destruction, rather than be at 
the pains to save their souls ? 

3. Let us wipe off this reproach by our conversations ; not by 
abating our zeal and diligence in the heavenly life, but by a prudent 
behaviour, giving no occasion, by any ridiculous actions of ours, to 
blemish the holy profession. I will urge but this one argument, that 
a Christian is to show forth the virtues of God, or the d/aera?, 
praises of God, 1 Peter ii. 9, as an image is to represent the party. 
Now the virtues of God are chiefly three wisdom, power, and good 
ness. A Christian is to show forth God's power, by his reverence and 
awefulness, not daring to do anything that God hath forbidden ; his 
goodness of benignity by his delight and readiness of obedience ; as 
his beneficial goodness, so his moral goodness by our holiness : 1 Peter 
i. 16, ' Be ye holy, for I am holy.' So also his wisdom ; we show he is 
wise by whose counsel we are guided, and wait on God for the 
direction of his word, and the Spirit will help you to do it : Jam. i. 5, 
' If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God, who giveth liberally, 
and upbraideth no man.' 

Use 3. Is caution to carnal men. Let them forbear the censures of 
the godly, and study their own case. We charge them with madness 
and folly, not to upbraid them, but to convince them ; not out of 
malice, as they do, but compassion, that they may repent, and grow 
wise to salvation. Repentance is called perdvoia, a returning to our 
wits again. What is that ? 

[1.] When you begin to be serious. When the conversion of the 
Gentiles to the Christian faith is prophesied of, it is said, Ps. xxii. 27, 
' All the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn to the Lord.' As 
long as men are thoughtless, and mindless of heavenly things, they 
know not what they do, but are as men sleeping and distracted, not 
making use of the common light of reason, or those principles which 
are ingrafted into the hearts of all men. What am I ? Who made 


me ? What do all these creatures proclaim, all that I can see and feel, 
but an eternal power ? Have I any interest in him ? Alas, they 
went on madly before, sleeping in the lap of carnal pleasures, when 
the Philistines were upon them ; or else plunging themselves in a gulf 
of business and worldly distractions, and there they lie in the deep 
waters, till they be ready to sink to the bottom. Oh, remember, and 
return; you are undone for ever, if you do not escape out of this 

[2.] When you make a business of it to seek God's favour by Christ. 
This must be TO epyov, your main work : John vi. 29, ' This is the 
work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent ; ' not a 
matter by the by, but your chief work, your first care, Mat. vi. 33. 
When our chiefest care is about our souls, and settling our eternal 
interests, then we begin to act like men again. Otherwise, when we 
only cleave to earthly things, we live like beasts, and madmen ; all 
his care is to maintain his animal life, so do the beasts. But when 
we begin to seek after spiritual and eternal things, immortal food, 
garments that shall never wax old, laying up treasure in heaven, then 
we act as those that have an immortal soul. Solomon putteth the 
question, Eccles. iii. 21, ' Who knoweth the spirit of a man that goeth 
upward, or the spirit of a beast that goeth downward to the earth ? ' 
The words may bear a double sense : Who knoweth ? That is, who 
can collect and gather from the courses and practices of men, that 
they have a soul distinct from the beasts ? they are as greedy upon 
bodily things, and the sustentation of the present life only, as the 
beasts are. Now who knoweth it ? Who doth acknowledge it, and 
consider it, so as to look out for food for the immortal soul, to get it 
adorned with saving grace, sanctified by the Spirit of God ? Who, 
till he be enlightened by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, and is 
soundly convinced of heavenly things? Eph. i. 17, 18. But now 
when a man rnaketh it his first and main care, then he doth know, or 
practically acknowledge, he hath a soul which doth go upward, distinct 
from the beast's, which doth go downward. The man is come to him 
self again, when he maketh it his business to obtain pardon and 
eternal life by Christ. 

[3.] When they stand in awe of God, and are afraid to disobey his 
laws : Job xx. 28, ' Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and 
to depart from evil is understanding ; ' and Prov. ix. 10, ' The fear of 
the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' It is the first point and the 
chiefest point, first both in time and dignity. Now what is the fear 
of God but to be sensible of God's majesty and presence, that we dare 
not sin against him and affront him to his face ? Wicked men, that 
can break through a commandment when it standeth full in their 
way, are simple and witless, for they enter into a plain contest with 
God, which none but a madman would do: Prov. xiii. 13, 'Whoso 
despiseth the word shall be destroyed ; but he that feareth the 
commandment shall be rewarded;' and Ps. cxix. 161, 'My heart 
standeth in awe of thy word.' A choice frame of heart ! more than if 
a thousand dangers stood in the way. He dareth not, whatever profit 
or pleasure might ensue upon the breach, or danger for not breaking 


[4.] When they delight to do his will and promote his glory. For 
they have entirely devoted themselves to God : Horn. xiv. 7, 8, ' For 
none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself; for whether 
we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the 
Lord : whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's ; ' and 1 Cor. 
vi. 19, 20, ' What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the 
Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God ? And ye are not 
your own, for ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify God in 
your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.' He owneth God's 
interests in him. Carnal policy and spiritual wisdom differ mainly in 
the end and scope ; the one hath a care to please and glorify God ; the 
other to advance himself and his own natural interests. 

[5.] When he is ever getting more fitness for heaven, and clearer 
evidences for heaven. Providing for the time to come is wisdom, Luke 
xvi. When he would die wisely, his heart is more taken up about his 
everlasting estate, what he shall do when his soul is turned out of 
doors. Thus have I showed you how carnal men may know when 
they are in their wits again. 


For ivhether we be beside ourselves, it is to God ; or whether we be 
sober, it is for your cause. 2 COB. v. 13. 

THE text containeth the answer to the second imputation : ' Thou art 
beside thyself/ Paul answers, 

1. By way of concession. He may be, as to appearance and to their 
judgment, sometimes mad, and sometimes sober. 

2. By way of exception and vindication. 

[1.] From his end : If mad, it is T> @ey ; if sober, it is vfuv. 

[2.] From his principle the love of God: and so bringeth in his 
third motive, ver. 14. Paul, whether beside himself (as they thought) 
or sober, he still sought the glory of God and the good of the church. 

Doct A Christian in all his speeches and actions, and all postures 
of spirit, should still aim at the glory of God. 

1. We shall consider this truth with some observations, as it lieth 
in this place. 

2. Some reasons of the point in general. 
First, The observations are these : 

1. Observe what a change and difference the power of the Lord's 
grace worketh in a man. Paul confesseth of himself, Acts xxvi. 11, 
that he was, when a Pharisee, mad against God : ' I was exceeding 
mad against this way.' And now the text representeth him as one 
(in the judgment of the Corinthians at least) beside himself; but he 
telleth you it was for God. As formerly he was an instance of the 
cursed vigour of nature, so now of the sacred power of grace. It is 
but reason that we should do as much for God as we did before for 
Satan: Kom. vi. 19, ' I speak after the manner of men, because of the 


infirmity of your flesh ; that, as you have yielded your members 
servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity : even so now 
yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness.' That is, 
this is a moderate proposal, and in condescension to their infirmity, 
requiring the least that in any reason could be required of them : that 
they should have the same care of holiness now, and be as diligent to 
obey the precepts of Christ, as before they were industrious, and 
earnest to serve their lusts and vile affections. In strict justice, he 
might require a greater care to secure their life and salvation, than 
ever they had expressed in ruining and damning themselves ; but he 
would deal with them in the modest and most easy and equitable 
manner, because the flesh cannot bear too much severity, or too high 
expressions of duty. 'Av0pa>7ri.vov Xeyeo signifieth, that which hath 
nothing extraordinary in it, or which is common among men a 
modest human proposal, that they should serve God as earnestly as 
they had served the devil ; that, at least, they should do as much for 
him, now they had better work, better wages, and the best master, as 
before they had done for sin. 

2. That the love of Christ is the root and principle of this sincere 
aim at the glory of God in all that we do ; for when the apostle giveth 
an account of it, he presently addeth, in the next verse, ' for the love of 
Christ constraineth us.' To seek God's glory and the good of the 
church is the fruit of love to God. There is a twofold love the love 
of desire and the love of delight. The love of desire is a seeking love ; 
it is ever running after God, that we may enjoy more of him. The 
love of delight is a pleasing love ; it maketh us study to honour and 
please God in all things. Once love God sincerely, and his honour will 
be dearer to you than your own interests ; then you will be referring 
anything to him and studying to advance his glory. Men's aims are 
as their affections are. Self-love maketh us mind ourselves and please 
ourselves ; and carnal lusts do pervert and crook and bend the soul 
to inferior things, which will bias and poise in every action. There 
is nothing but the difference of a notion between the chief good and 
last end ; what is apprehended as our chief good and felicity will cer 
tainly be our last end and aim. 

3. How nearly the glory of God and the good of the church are con 
joined ; for when the apostle asserteth the sincerity of his aims, he 
inentioneth both @eaj and V/MV for God, and for the good of the 
church. And in the method of the Lord's prayer, this is evident: 
next to the hallowing of God's name, we beg the coming of his kingdom. 
First we desire the glorifying and hallowing of the name of God, that 
he may be known, loved and honoured in the world, and well pleased 
in us, and we may delight in him as our ultimate end ; then that his 
kingdom of grace may be enlarged, that the kingdom of glory, as to 
the perfected church of the sanctified, may come ; that mankind may 
more perfectly submit themselves to God, and be saved by him. His 
glory is the great end, and the coming of his kingdom is the first and 
primary means ; for God's glory is more manifest in his kingdom than 
in any other of his works. His wisdom and power and goodness is 
more seen and acknowledged in you than in all the world besides. 
All God's providences tend first to God's glory, next to the good of the 

VER. 13.] SERMONS urox 2 CORINTHIANS v. 123 

church. In vain therefore do men think they seek the glory of God, 
if they do not seek the church's welfare : the lessening, troubling, dis 
ordering of the kingdom of God is the crossing his glory. If we would 
aim at God's glory, we must seek the good of his people, and to our 
power promote the church's welfare. 

4. Here are different actions mentioned if we be beside ourselves, 
or if we be sober ; but both designed by Paul for God's glory and their 
good. So it holdeth good in all other things : if sublime and profound 
in opening the deep mysteries of the gospel ; if perspicuous and plain 
in obvious truths, still for God ; if deep and profound, not to set up 
our worth, but to help the growth of the saints, that they may not 
always keep to their ABC in religion : Heb. v. 14, ' But strong meat 
belongeth unto them that are of full age, even those who by reason of 
use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.' If facile 
and plain, be sure it be not the fruit of our laziness, contenting our 
selves with obvious notions, because they cost us little labour and pains ; 
but a sincere aim at profit, and in condescension to the meanest : Rom. 
i. 14, ' I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both 
to the wise and unwise.' So in other actions civil or sacred ; whether 
we eat or drink, or pray, or worship, still to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 
x. 31. Look, as the lines of a circle come from the several parts of 
the circumference, but they all end in the centre ; so whatever we do, 
we must do it all for God. There may be different ways to the same 
scope ; Paul that circumcised Timothy, that he might not give scandal 
to the Jews, Gal. vi, 3, rebuketh Peter sorely for complying with the 
Jews, to the offence of the Gentiles, Gal. ii. 11-14 ; which reproof Peter 
took in good part, as being in an error. The use and unseasonable 
use of Christian liberty are distinct things ; so of different persons : 
Eom. xiv. 6, ' One eateth, and another eateth not : but both to the 
Lord.' An house that is on fire, some are for quenching, others are 
for pulling down ; here is difference in opinion, but an agreement in 
scope, that the fire do no further mischief ; so for reforming the church, 
some are for a total withdrawing, others hope to mend the cause, as 
not remediless. But for the same person, as Paul, in the different 
postures of spirit, if a man be sober for God, he will the better be 
beside himself for God, that is, in the judgment of the world; so, e con 
tra, the prophet proveth they did not fast for God, because they did 
not eat for God, Zech. vii. 5, 6. 

5. That when we are most in danger to seek our own glory and 
honour, then we must be most careful to fix our intention aright. 
Paul, when he spake modestly of himself and ministry, or did simply 
evangelise without any commendation of himself or his ministry, then 
it is vfjJlv we use all means to bring you to Christ ; if we be sober, 
it is for your sakes. But when he was forced to assert the sincerity of 
it against the calumnies of the false teachers, then it is TO> @ew. I 
speak not this for myself, but for God, for the credit of the gospel. 
Certain it is that in all things we should seek the glory of God, whether 
full or fasting, mad in the world's account, or sober ; but the question 
is, whether in every action a Christian is always bound to think of the 
glory of God ? 

I answer ; God's glory may be intended habitually and virtually, or 


else explicitly and actually ; that is, either by a formal, noted, observed 
thought, or by the impression of a powerful habit ; as a man that 
maketh it his scope to go to such a place, doth not always think of it, 
though he is travelling thither, and the end of his journey, though it 
be not always in his mind, yet it directeth his motions. This purpose 
must be rooted in our hearts to refer all that we do to the glory of 
God, though in every particular action we do not think of it. But 
then here a case of conscience ariseth : When the virtual intention 
sufficeth not without formal noted thoughts ? The answer to it is 

[1.] That the purpose of promoting God's glory should be often 
renewed, because it is the description of wicked men, that ' God is not 
in all their thoughts,' Ps. x. 4. They have a multitude of thoughts, 
but they have nothing of God in them. And the wicked are described 
by this, that they forget God, Ps. ix. 17 ; they seldom or never think 
with themselves, whether they please or displease, honour or dishonour 
him. But the godly will be often directing, fixing, elevating the 
intention of their minds : ' God, I lift my heart to thee/ Ps. xxv. 1. 
The end is our measure. Now an expert carpenter that worketh by 
line, though he doth not in every stroke, yet very often will be trying 
his work by the line and square. Besides the end is our motive, as 
well as our measure ; it addeth strength and vigour to the 'soul in act 
ing. Therefore to excite my drooping and languishing heart, I should 
often think for whom I am working, and for what end. 

[2.] In all momentous actions I must actually intend the glory of 
God. In lesser things the general frame and bent of my heart to 
please God in all things sufficeth. There are certain actions of moment, 
and such as we make a business of, we need there explicitly to call in 
the help of Christ, and expressly to aim at the glory of God. There 
are some actions to the performance of which we go forth in a general 
confidence ; others which are not undertaken without deliberation and 
invocation. There must be special direction of the intention of the 
soul. Suppose a minister in preaching the gospel : 2 Cor. i. 20, ' For 
all the promises of God in him, are yea, and in him amen, to the glory 
of God, by us.' Suppose any hazardous voyage, the disposing ourselves 
into any course of life, or abiding relation, we must be sure to aim at 
God's glory. 

[3.] Weak habits and inclinations need express, formal, observed 
thoughts, for without them Christians cannot do their work : but to 
powerful and strong habits, where men have in a manner naturalised 
themselves to a godly course, the strength of the general inclination 
sufficeth. A weak Christian needs often to consider, that he is acting 
for God, and approving himself to God, that he may keep more close 
and faithfully to his work, and be true to his end. Now the habits 
of grace being weak in most, they cannot easily keep afoot God's interest 
in their souls, if they should seldom think of him, and their obligation 
to him. 

[4.] And lastly, tempted Christians, and when they are in danger 
to seek themselves, must renew and revive the actual intention. As 
when we do any public action for God, which hath somewhat of pomp 
and glory in it, that our eyes may look right on, and we may not squint 
a little upon any by-motive ; or when we feel the ticklings of vain-glory. 



Divines suppose that double ' Not unto us, not unto us ' to be the re 
buke of a temptation, Ps. cxv. 1 . This is a re-enkindling of our purpose, 
when it seemeth to be quenched ; as Bernard, when the devil tempted 
him to vain-glory, propter te non ccepi, non finiam propter te I 
neither began for thee, nor will I make an end for thee. And this 
cometh home to the instance of the text. Paul was forced to commend 
himself, unless he would have the gospel trampled upon. Now to 
assure them it was not vain-glory, and to guard his own heart, he 
saith, ' If we be beside ourselves, it is to God ; or whether we be sober, 
it is for your cause.' 

6. Observe again, when actions are likely to be misinterpreted, and 
do tend to our dishonour, yet if the glory of God call for them, they 
should not be omitted ; for we must be contented to be nothing, so 
God be glorified. As here it seemed to be the act of an imprudent 
person, or of one beside himself, to speak so largely of himself, yet it 
was necessary, that the false apostles might not draw them from the 
gospel which he had preached. And therefore Paul would run the 
hazard of the imputation of folly and imprudence, rather than 
unfaithfulness to God and their souls ; thereby teaching us all fo 
value the honour of God above our own interest, and to approve our 
selves to men no farther than will stand with the approbation of God. 
There are some actions which our duty calleth for, which are 
disgustful to the world, and may seem to expose the reputation of 
our wisdom and reason ; yet better be counted a fool and a madman 
for God, than one of this world's wise men, with the neglect of our 
duty. Nay, there are some actions which are against the gust of the 
strictest professors, so that not only the reputation of our wisdom and 
reason, but of our conscience and integrity, is put to hazard. But he 
that is not contented with the glory which cometh from God only, 
will never be a thorough Christian, John v. 44. And we must be 
content not only to deny our own reason and reputation for wisdom, 
but also our reputation for sincerity in religion, our own everything, 
but our own God and our own Christ. 

7. Observe again from that, ' if we be sober, it is for your cause,' 
Paul's madness, in their eye, was his asserting the credit of his ministry, 
his sobriety, when he spake humbly of himself. Now he was as sincere 
in the one as in the other. In our most sober moods, we must be 
sure that we glorify God, as well as when we are apt to be misjudged 
by the world ; when we refuse praise, as well as when we own God's 
gifts and graces in us. For some men will beat back honour, when it 
cometh to them at the first hop, that they may catch it at the rebound ; 
and so seek that which they seem to deny ; as if they held the stealth 
and underhand receipt of it more lawful than the purchase in the open 
market. No, we must be sure to be as sincere in our professions of 
humility, where men are least apt to suspect our pride, as there where 
they are most ready to charge us with it ; as the apostle doth assert 
that he was beside himself for God, so sober for their sakes, for God's 
glory and their profit. 

8. The end is either ultimate or subordinate. The ultimate end 
is that which terminateth the action, and wherein our thoughts rest ; 
the subordinate end is that which we aim at, but yet look further ; as 


here the ultimate end is God's glory, the subordinate end was their 
profit. So, take that other place, 1 Cor. x. 31, ' Whether ye eat or 
drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' In eating and 
drinking, the subordinate end is health, strength, and cheerfulness ; 
the ultimate and supreme end, God's glory. It is a failing in our 
subordinate end, if we mind only carnal pleasure, and not service : 
Eccles. x. 7, ' Blessed art thou, land, when thy princes eat in due 
season, for strength and not for drunkenness.' When our meals are a 
meat-offering or a drink-offering to lust and appetite, it is a perversion 
of God's bounty. They were ordained to be a refection after business, 
and to repair that strength which hath been weakened in the work of 
our callings. But now the ultimate end is God's glory ; it is not 
strength for our lusts, strength for our worldly ends, but for the 
Lord's honour ; we must please appetite no farther than the pleasing 
of it fits us for the service to God. In many cases, nextly we may 
aim at some other thing beneath God, but ultimately and terminatively, 
all must be directed to God : as the apostle here considered them, 
their spiritual profit as his next aim, but, lastly and finally the glory 
of God. 

Secondly. The reasons of the general point. 

1. The interest God hath in us obligeth us to live to his glory : 
Rom. xiv. 8, ' For whether we live, we live unto the Lord: or whether 
we die, we die unto the Lord : for whether we live, or die, we are the 
Lord's.' The apostle's reasoning is built upon this supposition, that 
those who are the Lord's, should live as for the Lord : but the case is 
so with us, we are his, and therefore must live to him. How are we 
the Lord's ? 

[1.] By creation : Prov. xvi. 4, ' God made all things for himself.' 
In the creation of the world, God could have no higher end than 
himself, than his own glory; for the end is more noble than the 
means ; therefore when he made the world, made beasts, made man, 
made angels, he did all for himself. God is independent, and self- 
sufficient of himself and for himself. Self-seeking in the creature is 
absurd and unbeseeming, because we depend upon another for life, 
and breath, and all things. Therefore to seek our own glory, 
contentment, and satisfaction apart from God, it is to arrogate a 
self-being to ourselves apart from him ; we were made by God, and 
were not made for ourselves. 

[2.] By preservation : Rom. xi. 36, ' For of him, and through him, 
and to him, are all things.' As our being is from him, so our moving 
and doing is through him, through his providential influence and 
supportation ; therefore all must be for him and to him. The 
motion of all creatures is circular ; they end where they began, as the 
rivers return to the place from whence they came. All that issueth 
from God in a way of creation, and is sustained and preserved by 
God in a way of providence, must be to him in the tendency and 
final end of their motions. As we must deduce all things from God 
as their first cause, and continual conserving cause, so we must reduce 
all things to God as their last end. 

[3.] By redemption. That is pleaded, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20, ' Ye are 
not your own, ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify God with 


your bodies, and your souls, which are God's.' You are twice bound, 
as creatures and as redeemed ; and a double obligation will infer a 
double condemnation, if we answer it not. The bought belong to 
the buyer ; so we to Christ. 

[4.] By dedication. We are dedicated and set apart for the Lord's 
use: Rom. vi. 13, 'Yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive 
from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness 
unto God.' So Rom. xii. 1, ' I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the 
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, 
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.' Now to live to 
ourselves, and speak for ourselves, is practically to retract our own 
vows, and the dedication which we have made of ourselves to his use 
and service. 

2. We are above all creatures fitted for his glory ; as men, and as 
new creatures. 

[1.] As men. Man above all other creatures should glorify God. 
Partly, because by the design of his creation he is placed nearer God 
as the end than other creatures are. Man is both proxime et ultime, 
nextly and lastly, for God ; and so return immediately to the fountain 
of our being. There is nothing intervening between God and us, 
towards which our use and service should be directed. Other creatures, 
though they were made ultimately and terminatively for God, yet 
immediately for man ; lastly for God, nextly for us ; so that man 
standeth in the middle between God and all other creatures, to receive 
the benefit of them, that God may have the glory. Oh, then, how 
much is man, as man, obliged to glorify God. for whom this inferior 
world was made! All things are subjected to our dominion, or 
created for our use ; not only fowls, and fishes, and beasts of the 
field, to be enjoyed by him, but sun, moon, stars, rain, weather, and 
all the seasons of the year : Ps. viii. 3-6, ' When I consider thy 
heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars which thou hast 
ordained ; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of 
man, that thou visitest him ? Thou hast made him little lower than 
the angels; thou crownest him with glory, and honour ;^ thou hast 
made him to have dominion over the work of thine hands ; thou hast 
put all things under his feet.' When we look up and behold those 
glorious creatures, the out- work and visible parts of heaven, which 
display their radiant beauties to our wonder and astonishment ; and 
withal consider how much they serve for our comfort and use, and 
with them the sovereign power wherewith thou didst invest man over 
all sublunary and inferior creatures, beasts, fowls, fishes, plants, we 
cannot sufficiently admire that this vile clod of earth, man, should be 
so much in the eye of God, to take care of him above the whole 
creation. The sun doth not shine, nor winds blow, nor rain fall at 
our pleasure, but it is for our use. Heaven is for us, the airy heaven 
to give us breath and motion, the starry heaven to give us heat, light, 
and influence, the third heaven, or the heaven of heavens, to be our 
dwelling-place ; so that man is strangely stupid and oblivious, if he 
should forget the God by whose bounty he enjoys all these things. 
And partly, because man is more fitted, as being furnished with higher 
capacities ; ' he teacheth us more than the beasts of the field.' We 


have faculties suited to this purpose ; we have an understanding that 
we may know him. Surely such an understanding nature, such an 
immortal soul, was never made for corruptible things. God was 
pleased to stamp man with the character of his own image ; he 
beareth his superscription ; ' Now give unto Cassar the things that are 
Ceesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.' We may find out 
his track and foot-print in the creatures, but man had his image. 
Other creatures glorify God necessarily, we voluntarily and by 
choice ; they know not the first cause, but are over-ruled by the 
government of providence, but we have, or should have, an under 
standing to know him, and an heart to love him ; therefore the duty 
properly belongeth to us. Other creatures glorify God passively, we 
actively; they are the harp, man makes the music, Ps. cxlv. 18, 'All 
thy works praise thee, thy saints bless thee.' Man is the mouth of 
the creatures ; the creatures by us glorify God. 

[2.] As new creatures. The people of God are most bound of all 
men to seek the glory of God ; you are ' created again in Christ Jesus/ 
Eph. ii. 10. It concerns you to ask, Why am I made ? to what use 
and purpose do I serve, but to glorify God, and admire his grace, and 
to live answerable to his love, and in a thankful obedience to his pre 
cepts, and to promote his kingdom and interest in this world ? By 
regeneration we have new faculties and dispositions. The great effect 
of grace is to beget a tendency towards God, to restore and incline 
the heart of man to his proper end. To know the end distinguisheth 
a man from a beast, but to choose the end, and seek the end, distin 
guisheth one man from another ; to make. God's glory the chief scope 
and end of all our lives and actions is the great fruit and effect of 
grace. Naturally we are either ignorant or mindless of our great end, 
and the way that leadeth to it : ' All of us are gone astray like lost 
sheep,' Isa. liii. 6; and Ps. xiv. 2, 'They are all gone out of the 
way ; ' or that path which will lead us to the end for which we were 
created. And naturally we spend our time in serving our lusts, and 
are taken up with other business, have no heart or leisure to live unto 
God and for God, but employ our souls only to please our bodies, and 
to serve and please the senses, and are slaves to all the creatures, who 
by original institution were put under man's feet. But now ' Christ 
died to bring us to God/ 1 Peter iii. 18, and by his Spirit doth change 
the heart, that we may be to the praise of his glorious grace, Eph. i. 
13, not only as passive objects, but as active instruments. Indeed 
there is objectively a greater impression of God upon the new creature, 
than there is upon anything else, which hath passed God's hand. This 
work sets forth more of his attributes, of his goodness, wisdom, and 
power, than all things else. The very being of the new creature sets 
forth more of the praise of God to all beholders ; though the man 
himself were silent, yet the work would speak for itself. But we are 
not speaking of that now, how the new creature objectively and 
passively sets forth the praise of God, but how as active instruments 
they should glorify God both in word and deed ; not only as the praise 
of his glory is to be manifested in them, but as it is to be manifested 
and intended by them, having renewed faculties to enable them how 
they should live unto God and bring forth fruit unto God. Yea, 


besides the renewing of their natures, they have the actual influences 
of his grace ; and therefore since they have all from God, they should 
use all for him, and live to the glory of God, whose grace enableth 
them to do everything. It is by the grace of God they are what they 
are, and therefore it is for the glory of God that they do what they 
do :" ' All the fruits of righteousness wrought in them, are by Jesus 
Christ, to the praise and glory of God,' Phil. i. 11. God's glory, and 
not any by-respect, must be the main scope and end of the new 
creature; otherwise he perverts the influences of grace, and would 
serve himself of the supply of the Spirit. 

[3.] We by the providence of God are disposed in all our relations 
for this end, that we might have some sphere wherein to glorify God ; 
some as magistrates, some as ministers, some as masters, some as 
servants ; so that the glorifying of God concerneth every man in all 
that he doth, in all that relation wherein God hath placed him. Every 
man is sent into the world for some end ; for no wise agent worketh 
at random. God hath made nothing in vain, but hath assigned to 
every creature its own use and operation. To do a thing to no 
purpose will not agree with the wisdom of a considering man. There 
fore God, who is a God of judgment, hath certainly in every work of 
his some scope and end ; therefore every man hath his service and 
employment ; if he were made for nothing, then hath he nothing to do 
in the world. Surely life and reason was given us for something, not 
merely to furnish and fill up the number of things in the world, as 
stones and rubbish do ; nor merely to grow in stature, as life was given 
to the plants to grow bulky or increase in length and breadth ; nor 
merely to taste sensitive pleasures, as that is the happiness of the 
beasts, to enjoy pleasures without remorse. God gave man those 
higher faculties of reason and conscience, to manage some profitable 
work and business for the glory of his creator, and his own eternal 
happiness ; and by some honest labour and vocation, as instruments 
of God's providence, to serve their generation, Acts xiii. 26. The 
world was never made to be a hive for drones and idle ones ; if any 
man might be allowed to be idle and serve for no use, then God would 
make one rational creature in vain ; and one member would be useless 
in the body politic. We see in the body natural, there is no member 
but hath its function and use, whereby it becometh serviceable to the 
whole ; all have not the same office ; that would make confusion ; but 
all have their use, either as an eye, or as a hand, or as a foot, or as a 
sinew, or as a vein, or as an artery. So in human society, no member 
may be useless ; they must have one function or another wherein to 
employ themselves, otherwise they are unprofitable burdens of the 
earth. Every man more or less hath some relation, which he is to 
improve for the glory of God and the good of others. Every one hath 
his talent, which must not be hid in a napkin ; he is accountable to 
' God for that state of life wherein God hath set him. The Mediator 
hath his work, and he giveth up his account to God : John xvii. 4, 
' I have finished the work thou gavest me to do.' The courtier hath 
his work : Neh. i. 11, ' The Lord show me favour in the sight of this 
man ; for I was the king's cupbearer ; ' he useth this as an argument, 
that he had improved his place for God. The minister hath his work : 



2 Cor. i. 20, ' For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him 
amen, to the glory of God by us ; ' and Heb. xiii. 17, ' Obey them 
that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for 
your souls, as they that must give an account.' The master and 
parent his work, and he is to glorify God as a master and parent ; the 
parent is to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord, Eph. iv. 6 ; the master hath a master in heaven, Eph. vi. 9. 
The servant his work, Titus ii. 10. It was well said of Epictetus the 
heathen, If I were a nightingale, I would sing as a nightingale ; or 
if I were a lark, I would peer as a lark ; but now I am a man, 
I will glorify God as a man, and praise him without ceasing. 
If a poor man, I will glorify him by my patient, innocent content- 
edness and humble submission; if rich, by liberality and public 
usefulness; when well, I will glorify God by my health, being- 
hard at work for him ; when sick, by meekness and patience ; 
if a magistrate, by my zeal and activity ; if a minister, by diligence 
and faithfulness: if a tradesman, by my righteous and conscionable 
dealing. So that from Christ to the meanest Christian, from the king 
to the meanest scullion, all should be at work for God ; for every man 
is sent into the world for some cause, and born for some end or other, 
to act that patt upon the stage of the world which the great master 
of the scenes appointeth. 

[4.] All our sufficiencies, gifts and abilities were given us for this 
end. Every man hath some gift, more or less, as well as some relation, 
as Mat. xxv., every man received his talent ; and he that had but 
one talent, was to give an account of it. Now all these must be 
improved for God. As the husbandman, when he scattereth his seed 
on the earth, looketh for a crop and increase ; so when God scattered 
his gifts, it was not to dispossess himself, but that they might be used 
for his glory. Every gift and grace received is not barely donum, a 
gift, but talenfum, a talent. We are stewards, and not owners ; not 
to act for ourselves, but to honour our master. Therefore what honour 
and glory hath God by our gifts and graces ? God hath dominium, 
we have but dispensationem. It is ours for use, but not ours for 
enjoyment ; as a factor entrusted with his master's goods ; at length 
it will be seen how we have improved them. 

[5.] The end much varieth the nature of the action. It maketh an 
act to be of another kind ; an indifferent action by the end may 
become a duty ; a meal is an act of worship ; alms, a sacrifice, Heb. 
xiii. 18 ; trading for God an act of religion, as well as prayer. On 
the other side, a duty by the end may become a sin ; as prayer is 
howling, Hosea vii. 14, when it hath only a natural or a carnal end ; 
fasting, the bending of a bulrush, Isa. Iviii. 5 ; obedience, murder, 
Hosea i. 4. Jehu did not the Lord's work sincerely, but for his own 
base ends and interests. He was anointed at God's command to 
execute judgment on Ahab's house, 2 Kings ix. 6, 7, and was tem 
porally rewarded for it, 2 Kings x. 30 ; his children to the fourth 
generation should sit on the throne of Israel ; yet ' I will avenge the 
blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu.' Why ? Because he did it 
only to get a kingdom to himself; and though he executed God's 
quarrel on Ahab and his house, yet he clave to the idolatry of 


Jeroboam for securing his interest. So reformation may be a covetous 
design ; non pietate everterunt idola, sed avaritia. Indeed an act 
for the matter sinful is not altered by the end : for I must not do evil 
that good may come thereof ; nor use the devil to serve God. But 
how vile is it then to make God serve with our iniquities, and use his 
worship as a stale to our own ends ! 


For ivlieiher ive be beside ourselves, it is to God, or ivhether we be 
sober, it is for your cause. 2 COR. v. 13. 

USE is to press you to make this your great aim, to glorify God. You 
must take care, not only negatively, that God be not dishonoured, but 
positively, that he be honoured and glorified by you, and that in all 
states and conditions, and also in all businesses and employments. 
Some have wholly deviated from their great end, and are not yet come 
to themselves ; and live unprofitably in the world, and do nothing but 
eat, and drink, and play, and sleep ; they live to themselves, and to 
their own ease and carnal delights. Alas ! what are these men good 
for ? To what end have they reason and conscience ? Some things, 
if they be not good for one thing, yet are good for another ; but a 
man, if he doth not know God, and love God, and delight in God, and 
seek the glory of God, is like the wood of the vine, Ezek. xv. 2-4, good 
for nothing ; not so much as to make a pin whereon to hang anything ; 
good for nothing but to be cast into the fire, and to reflect upon the 
glory of his justice, to be fuel for the Lord's indignation. Another 
sort are those who are convinced they should live to God, and do 
now and then look after him, but are not so overcome by grace, as 
that this should be the overruling principle in their hearts. The last 
end is principium universalissimum ; it should have an universal in 
fluence upon us, and be minded and regarded in all our desires, pur 
poses, actions, enjoyments, relations. God's glory should be at the 
utmost end of every business ; nothing is good that is not directed to 
the last end ; it is done to the flesh, and not to God. It is impertinent 
to our great scope. First, In all our desires, if we desire increase and 
estate, it is to honour God with it, James iv. 3. Agur measures every 
estate by ends of religion, Prov. xxx. 8, 9. Nay, spiritual things must 
be desired, in order to God's glory, Eph. i. 6. We must not please 
ourselves merely, in the consideration of our own happiness and per 
sonal benefit, but as God's glory is promoted by it. Secondly, Our pur 
poses. Dependence is the proper notion of a created being ; man hath 
God for principium etfinem. It is no more lawful for a man to abstain 
from respecting or seeking his end than it is possible not to depend 
on his principle. The creature is from another, and for another. Man 
is for God's glory, and for no other end ; as he is from God's power, 


and no other cause ; and therefore in whatever we deliberately purpose 
and resolve upon, the glory of God must have the casting voice : 2 
Cor. i. 17, ' The things that I purpose, do I purpose according 
to the flesh ? ' that is, am I swayed by carnal motives ? A Christian 
should not lightly and rashly resolve upon any course, but con 
sider how it may conduce to the glory of God. Thirdly, Our actions 
civil and sacred, all the pots in Jerusalem, must have God's impress, 
Holiness to the Lord, as well as the utensils of the temple, Zech. xiv. 
21. In a king's house there are many officers, but all to serve the 
king ; so in a Christian's there are many duties, of several kinds, but 
all must have an aspect upon, and a tendency to, the glory of God ; I 
must mind it in the closet, mind it in the shop, mind it in the family. 
Fourthly ,For enjoyments : I must value them more or less, as they 
conduce to the glory of God. In every thing I must ask, What doth it ? 
Eccles. ii. 2. How doth it contribute to my great end ? The delight 
in an estate is not in the possession but use, for that hath a nearer 
connection with the glory of God ; the delight in an ordinance, as it 
giveth out more of God, enableth me more to honour him ; the delight 
in graces, as they incline me to God ; in Jesus Christ, as he bringeth 
me to him, and fits me for him. Now these things being so, I must 
rouse up both these, more to regard the glory of God, that it may 
influence and govern their actions. Consider these motives : 

1. God will have his glory upon you, if not from you, for he is 
resolved not to be a loser by the creation of man ; for, ' he made man 
for himself, and the wicked for the day of evil,' Prov. xvi. 4 ; and 
Levit. x. 3, ' And before all the people I will be glorified.' God will 
have his glory, that is certain ; he will have the glory of his justice in 
the day of wrath and evil, if not the glory of his grace and holiness 
in the day of his patience and mercy : therefore he will be glorified 
by you, or upon you. Some give him glory in an active, some in a 
passive way ; if he have not the glory due to his command, he will 
right himself in the course of his providence. How sad that will be, 
judge you. For then we shall serve for no other use, but to set forth 
the glory of his vindictive justice. 

2. He taketh notice of it, and is well pleased with it, when we 
glorify him here in the world. It is one of Christ's pleas for his dis 
ciples, John xvii. 10, ' Father, I am glorified in them.' He is an 
advocate in heaven for those who are factors for his kingdom here 
upon earth ; which is a comfort to all those who sincerely set them 
selves to promote the glory of God, and the good of the church. The 
more our endeavours are to glorify God and Christ, the more confident 
we may be of Christ's mediation, that he is negotiating our cause in 

3. We shall be called to an account, what we have done with our 
time and talents, and interests, and opportunities : Luke xix. 23, he will 
' require his own with usury ; ' what honour he hath by our gifts and 
graces, estate or esteem, relations and services ; how glorified, as magis 
trates, ministers, parents, masters, husbands, wives, children, servants. 
Beasts are liable to no account, because they have no reason and con 
science ; they are ruled by a rod of iron, to glorify God in their kind 
passively. We are left to our own choice ; therefore we should mind 


it seriously. If you do not ask yourselves why you came into the 
world, what will you answer at your appearance before God's tribunal ? 
Job xxxi. 10, ' When he shall rise up, what shall I answer him ? ' I 
beseech you consider what you will say, when the master returneth, 
and taketh an account of your dispensation ; you were sent into the 
world for this business, to serve the Lord. What will you say, when 
you cannot shift and lie ? Will this be an answer, I spent my time 
in serving my own lusts ; I was drowned in worldly cares, never 
thought of pleasing God, or glorifying God ? As if an ambassador that 
is sent abroad to serve his king and country should only return this 
account of his negotiation I was busied in courtships, and cards and 
dice, and could not mind the employment you sent me about. Or as 
if a factor that is sent to a mart or fair, should stay guzzling in an inn, 
or ale-house, and there spend all his money, which was to be em 
ployed in traffic. Oh, what a dreadful account will poor souls make, 
that have spent their time either in doing nothing, or nothing to 
purpose, or that which is worse than nothing, that will undo them 
for ever ! 

4. How comfortable it will be at death, when you have minded your 
business, and seriously made it your work to live to God ; and can say 
as our Lord, John xvii. 4, ' Father, I have glorified thee upon earth ; 
I have finished the work thou hast given me to do.' Oh ! the comfort 
of a well-spent life to a dying Christian : 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, 'I have 
fought a good fight ; I have finished my course ; I have kept the faith : 
henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the 
Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, 
but unto them also that love his appearing;' or as Hezekiah, Isaiah 
xxxviii. 3, ' Kemember, Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before 
thee in truth and with a perfect heart. 7 I have been careful for mat 
ter, manner and end, to glorify God by a constant obedience to his 
holy will. Now, on the other side, what thoughts will you have of a 
careless and mis-spent life, when you come to die ? Many beguile them 
selves, and do not think of the end of their lives, till their life comes to 
be ended, and then they howl and make their moan ; usually when they 
lie a-dying, they cry out of this world, how it hath deceived them, and 
how little they have fulfilled the ends of their creation. Partly, because 
their conscience puts off all disguises, and partly because present 
things are apt to work upon us ; and when the everlasting estate is at 
hand, the soul is troubled that it did no more think of it before. Oh, 
it is better to be prepared than to be surprised. Think of your 
last end betimes. It is lamentable to begin to learn to live when we 
must die. These end their life before they begin to live. You are 
in your health and strength now, but we are all hastening apace into 
the other world. But when God summoneth by sickness, and you are 
immediately to appear before God, what have you to say for your 
selves ? The devil will then be busy to tempt and trouble us, and all 
other comforts fail, and have spent their allowance, and are as unsavoury 
as the white of an egg. Will this comfort you, that you have sported 
and gamed away your precious time ? That you have fared of the best, 
and lived in pomp and honour ? Ah, no ; but this will be a cordial 
to your hearts, that you have made conscience of honouring and 


glorifying God, and have been faithful in your place in promoting 
the church's good. Therefore if hitherto you have been pleasing the 
flesh, idling and wantoning away your precious time, say, ' The time 
past is more than enough,' 1 Peter iv. 3; I have long, too long, 
walked contrary to my great end, been dishonouring God, and 
destroying mine own soul ; it is high time to remember and seek 
after God. 

5. Consider what a full reward abideth for those that live unto God, 
and in all things regard his glory : 1 Sam. ii. 30, ' Those that honour 
me, I will honour ;' and John xii. 26, ' If any man serve me, him will 
my Father honour.' In the issue you will find that self-denial is the 
truest self-seeking ; that those who are contented to be anything for 
the Lord's glory, need not seek another pay-master. God will glorify 
you, if you glorify him. God's glorifying is effective and creative ; 
ours is but declarative ; he calleth the things that are not as though 
they were. We do no more than call things to be what they are, and 
far below what they are ; we declare God to be what he is ; we are 
but a kind of witnesses to God's glory ; but he is an efficient in our 
glory ; he bestoweth upon us what was not before ; and the glory 
he bestoweth upon us answereth the greatness of his being : 2 Cor. iv. 
17, ' For our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for 
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' He will at length 
act like himself, as an infinite and eternal power. His gift shall answer 
his nature, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 

6. Gratitude bindeth us continually to live unto God. Every 
moment God is at work for us, and therefore every moment we should 
be at work for God : John v. 17, ' My Father worketh hitherto, and I 
work.' In everything we should be mindful of him ; you are upheld 
by him every moment, amJhave life and breath, and all things from him. 

7. Our great end must fix our minds, which otherwise will be tossed 
up and down in several and various uncertainties, and distracted by a 
multiplicity of ends and objects, that it cannot continue in any com 
posed and settled frame : Ps. Ixxxvi. 11, ' Unite my heart ; ' and 
James i. 8, 'A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.' An 
uncertain mind breedeth an uncertain life ; not one part of our lives 
will agree with another, because the whole is not firmly knit by the 
power of their last end running through them. Most men's lives 
are but a mere lottery, because they never minded in good earnest why 
they came into the world. The fancies they are governed by are 
jumbled together by chance; if right, it is but a good hit, a casual 
thing ; they live at peradventure, and then no wonder they walk at 

Means. 1. Rouse up thyself, and consider often the end for which 
you were created, and sent into the world. Our Lord saith, John xviii. 
37, ' For this cause was I born, and for this end sent into the world, 
that I might bear witness to the truth.' So should every one consider 
for what errand God sent him into the world. If these self-communings 
were more rife, they would do us a great deal of good. Why do I 
live here ? What have I done in pursuance of my great end ? Most 
men live as beasts, eat and drink, and trade and die ; and there is all 
that can be said of them. Little have they served God, or done good 


in their generation. Certainly you were not made to serve yourselves, 
nor any other creatures, but that other creatures might serve you, and 
ye serve God. Will ye once sit down in good earnest about this busi 
ness, and mind the work for which ye were born ? Many never asked 
yet in good earnest for what purpose they came into the world ; and 
then no wonder they wander and walk at random, since they have not 
as yet proposed any certain scope and aim to themselves. All that we 
have to know is, what is our end, and the right way to obtain it ; and 
all that we have to do is to seek the end, by those means. Now we 
should often consider, whether we do so yea, or no ; for comparing our 
ways with our rule, is the way to awake and come to wisdom : Ps. cxix. 
59, ' I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.' 
I labour, I take pains, I rise early, I go to bed late, but to what end is 
all this ? What is it that my soul doth principally aim at in all these 
things ? Oh, consider seriously and frequently, for whom are you at 
work, for whom are you speaking and spending your time ? For whom 
do you use your bodies, your souls, your time, your estate, your labours, 
and cares ? Oh, my soul what is thy end in all these things ? 

2. Remember thou art not thine own to dispose of. The sense of 
God's interest in us should be often renewed upon our hearts, 1 Cor. 
vi. 19. ' Ye are not your own ; therefore glorify God.' He hath a full 
right in all that we have and do : Rom. xiv. 8, ' For whether we live, 
we live unto the Lord ; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord : 
whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's/ He hath jus 
possidendi, disponendi et utendi a power to possess, dispose, and use 
the creature at his own pleasure. And if they alienate themselves from 
him, or use themselves to any other purpose than for his service and 
glory, they do as much as in them lieth to dispossess him of his right ; 
there is nothing doth so strongly bind us, absolutely to resign ourselves 
to the will, use and service of our creator, as his right and interest in 
us. It is meet that God should be served with his own. Every man 
expecteth to receive the fruit of his vineyard, the improvement of his 
own money and goods. We think we speak reasonably, when we say 
we demand but our own. All the disorder of the creature proceedeth 
from the denial, or forgetfulness, of God's propriety in us : Ps. xii. 4, 
' Our tongues are our own, who is lord over us ? ' Therefore if we 
would live unto God, we must often think of it, and revive it upon our 
souls, that we may not dispose of ourselves, or anything that is ours, 
but for the glory of God, and prefer his interest before our own. 

3. Consider how much we are bound in gratitude to devote ourselves 
to God's use and service, for the great mercies of creation, redemption 
and daily providence. Certainly if we have a due sense of the Lord's 
goodness to us, we will devote the whole man, our whole time and 
strength, to his service, will, and honour ; the glorifying of God is the 
fruit of love. The context showeth that love is but the reflex of God's? 
love, or the beating back of his beam upon himself. Because he hath 
loved us, we love him ; and because we love him, we live to him, and 
seek his glory and honour. It is gratitude keepeth this resolution afoot, 
of being and doing all things for God ; he showed love to us in creation, 
when we started out of nothing into the life and being of man. But 
he showed more love to us in redemption, when his own Son came to die 


for us ; and that is the greater engagement to bind us to live unto God. 
And so it is pressed everywhere in the scripture. But yet God re- 
neweth his mercies to us every day, that the variety and freshness of 
them, producing new delight, may revive the feelings of his love and 
goodness, and excite us to renewed zeal for his glory and delight in his 
service, and to employ our time and strength to his glory, with a 
thankful heart. In short, creation bindeth us ; for to whom should 
we live but to him from whom and by whom we live ? Having all 
from God, we should in gratitude bring back all to him. Redemption 
bindeth us, for we are purchased to God, not to ourselves ; and God 
carried it on, in such an astonishing way, the more to oblige us that 
we might readily and freely yield up ourselves to live to him ; daily 
mercies bind us to sweeten our service, God being so good a master. 

4. The new nature is requisite, that we may in all things mind 
God's glory. It is more easy to convince us of our obligations to live 
unto God, than to get a heart and a disposition to live to God. The 
new creature, which is created after God, ever bendeth and tendeth 
towards him. As the flower of the sun doth follow the sun, and 
openeth and shutteth according to the absence of the sun ; so doth 
the heart of a Christian move after God. We say, Aqua in tantum 
ascendit, &c.; nature 1 riseth no higher than its spring, head and centre ; 
self is our principle and end : Hosea x. 1, ' Israel is an empty vine ; he 
bringeth forth fruit to himself.' We live to ourselves, and seek after 
our own interests, till God give us another heart ; when the heart is 
changed, a man's felicity and last end is changed. And therein the 
new nature doth most bewray itself. 

5. The more our lusts are mortified, the more sincerely shall we 
aim at the glory of God. That which is lame is easily turned out of 
the way. And if we have not a command over our affections, they 
will be interposing and perverting all our actions ; and when God 
should be at the end of all our actions, the idol that our lust hath set 
up will be at the end of them. We will subordinate them to our 
pleasure, honour, and profit. Any lust is a great engrosser ; the belly 
will be God, and honour command us as a God, and mammon will be 
God ; our hearts are corrupted, and some created thing is set up instead 
of God. Therefore mortification is the guard of sincerity ; otherwise 
we shall love the creature for itself alone, or for ourselves alone, and so 
be turned from God, whom alone we should honour, please and obey. 

Use 2. Is this the temper and disposition of our souls ? do we 
make the glory of God our great end and scope ? If it be so, then 

1. We will prefer God's honour above our own interests, though 
never so dear to us. A notable instance we have in our Lord Jesus- 
Christ, who came as God's servant in the work of redemption ; and we 
read of him in the general, Rom. xv. 3, ' That he pleased not himself,' 
that is, he did not gratify his own natural and human will. More 
particularly, Phil. ii. 6-8, ' That he emptied himself, and made 
himself of no reputation, and humbled himself to the death of the 
cross/ To promote his Father's glory he willingly submitted to all 
manner of indignities ; for this end and purpose more expressly we 
have the workings of his heart set forth, John. xii. 27, 28, ' Father, 

1 Qu. ' water ' ? ED. 


save me from this hour, but for this cause came I to this hour. Father, 
glorify thy name. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, I have 
glorified it, and will glorify it again.' His desires of his own safety 
were moderated, and submitted to the conscience of his duty, and he 
preferreth the honour of God, and seeks to advance it above his own 
ease ; for Christ endeth all debates with this, ' Father, glorify thy name.' 
Now certainly all that have the spirit of Christ will be tender of God's 
glory, and account that dearer to them than anything else, and submit 
to the bitter cup, so God may have honour thereby. You will think 
Christ's example too high, who submitted the sensible consolations of 
the godhead to the respects of God's glory ; and this is not possibly 
practicable by any creature. It is true every ordinary Christian doth 
not come to this height, but the thing is imitable ; witness Paul, who 
valued the glory of God above that personal contentment and happi 
ness that should come to him by his own salvation : Kom. ix. 3, ' For 
I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ, for my brethren, 
my kinsmen according to the flesh.' It is not a hasty speech ; he 
calleth God to witness that this was the real disposition of his heart ; 
he speaketh advisedly and with good deliberation. But how then car* 
it be made good ? There is a holy part and a happy part in religion ; 
he did not wish less love to Christ, nor to be less beloved of him. But 
you will say, A regular love beginneth at home. True, but it is not 
his salvation and their salvation that cometh in competition, but his 
salvation and the glory of God ; and he was much more affected with 
God's glory than his own good. This should shame us that stand upon 
our petty interests. We are not called to such self-denial. Surely we 
should be contented to do anything, and be anything, so God may be 
glorified ; poor or rich, so God may be glorified by our poverty or riches ; 
as travellers take the way as they find it, so it will lead to their jour 
ney's end. Decline no service nor suffering for God's sake when he 
calleth us to it : Phil. i. 20, ' So also now Christ shall be magnified in 
my body, whether it be by life or by death ' ; so Christ be glorified in 
his body. That is a lower and more moderate interest, the suspension 
and delay of salvation, laying it at God's feet ; the glorifying of God 
in his calling was more welcome than his present entrance into glory. 
So Acts xx. 24, ' I count not my life dear to me, so I may finish my 
course with joy.' When they told him of dangers, he went bound in 
the spirit to Jerusalem. Well then, a heart that is truly affected 
with God's glory standeth upon no temporal interests and concern 
ments, and preferreth God's honour before its own ease, honour, 
pleasure, esteem, yea, life itself. 

2. If tender of receiving honour from men, to God's wrong. The 
apostles did not set up a trade for themselves : Acts xiv. 15, ' They 
rent their clothes, and said, What do ye do ? we are but men of like 
passions.' So Acts iii. 12, ' Why gaze ye upon us, as if by our power 
and holiness we had made this man to walk.' Herod received 
applauses, and was therefore blasted, Acts xii. The concealer is as 
bad as the stealer ; to affect or admit divine honour, or too much 
attributing to ourselves any good effected by us, as instruments, as 
we must not assume, so we must not receive honour when it is ascribed 
to us by others. The apostles would not suffer the admiration and 


praise of the people to rest upon themselves: ' Thy pound hath gained 
ten pounds,' Mat xxv. ; and, 1 Cor. xv. 10, ' Not I, but the grace of God 
that was with me ; ' ' And I live, but not I/ Gal. ii. 20. 

3. If affected deeply with God's dishonour, though done by others : 
Ps. Ixix. 9, ' The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the 
reproaches of them that have reproached thee have fallen upon me.' 
Vehement passions waste the body, affected more with God's dishonour 
than our own personal injuries. On the other side, when we rejoice in 
his glory, though we ourselves be lessened : Phil. i. 18, ' Whether in 
pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, 
and will rejoice;' John iii. 30, 'He must increase, but I must decrease.' 

4. If it be the principal design that your souls travail with, and 
you are still contriving how you may improve your relations, capacities 
and particular advantages, for God's honour and glory, Neh. i. 11. 
What a man loveth, he will strive to promote it. If a man love the 
flesh, he will strive to please it, Bom. viii. If a man love the Lord, he 
will contrive how he may honour him ; if a minister, ' study to show 
thyself a workman that needs not be ashamed ; ' if a master of a family, 
he will endeavour to glorify God in his family, and will consider what 
he hath there to do for God. 

5. If not solicitous about the opinions and censures of men, 1 Cor. 
iv. 3. Not to stand much upon man's day or what men think of us ; 
it is no great matter, my business is to approve myself to God ; the 
Christians in the spirit were discerned from the Christians in the letter : 
Horn. ii. 29, ' Whose praise is not of men, but God.' Sincerity is 
much known by considering whom we make our witness, judge, 
approver and pay-master ; and the truest magnanimity is a living 
above opinions, and slighting what men think and say of us, so we be 
found in the way of righteousness and in the discharge of our duty ; 
it is more easy to deny wealth and pleasure, than it is to deny 
esteem and reputation. 

6. When this is the great motive to all honest walking. For our 
end is known by our motives ; and the only way and means to glorify 
God is by an uniform and constant holiness: Mat. v. 16, 'Let your 
light so shine,' &c. ; 1 Peter i. 2 ; 2 Thes. i. 12. Not seeking any 
glory to ourselves from men, but honestly aiming at the glory of God, 
will bring sufficient encouragement. So John xv. 8, ' Herein is my 
Father glorified, if ye bring forth much fruit/ When we seek our 
father's glory in all that we do, it is argument enough. 

7. If we rejoice that God be glorified by others, and to the utmost 
of our power endeavour that it may be so. True grace is cumulative : 
Luke xxii. 32, ' When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' 
As fire turneth all into fire about it, so grace will diffuse itself. It is 
observed of mules and creatures of a mongrel race, that they never 
procreate and bring forth after their kind. There is an enmity goeth 
along with a carnal profession ; they would fain impale the common 
salvation, appropriate Christ to themselves, shine alone in the reputa 
tion of holiness ; but hearts zealously affected with the glory of God 
can delight in the gifts and graces of others, and in their actings for 
God, as they could do in their own : ' Would to God all the Lord's 
people were prophets,' Num. xi. 29. It is a sign we mind the 


end more than the instruments. Self-love and self-seekiug is much 
bewrayed by envy ; if at work for God, we should be glad of 
company. It is a sign God's glory is our aim, when we can rejoice 
that others are equal or superior to us. When a man would fain 
have a work despatched, he would be glad of fellow-labourers. 


For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if 
one died for all, then were all dead. 2 COR. v. 14. 

IN the context the apostle is rendering the reason of his fidelity in 
the ministry, which exposed him to hard labour, and sundry calami 
ties. His three grand inducements were First, the hope of a blessed 
immortality ; secondly, the terror of the judgment ; thirdly, the love 
of Christ. This threefold cord is not easily broken. His hopes are 
professed in the beginning of the chapter ; his sense of the terror of 
the Lord, and the weightiness of his account, vers. 10, 11. With an 
answer to objections, thou art proud, mad, or transported, ver. 13. 
Now the last from his end and principle, which bringeth in the third 
inducement, the love of God. All together is enough to set the most 
rusty wheels a-going ; motives strong enough to move the hardest 
heart. Here are the strongest arguments to persuade, the greatest 
terrors to affright, yet all will not work without the force of love. 
Rewards allure and encourage ; terrors keep aweful and serious, but it 
is love that must inwardly incline men and constrain the heart, For 
the love of Christ constraineth us, &c. 

In the words we have 

1. The force and operation of love. 

2 The reason why, and how it cometh to have such a force, and 
operation : Because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then are 
all dead. The reason of our love to Christ, is Christ's love to us ; 
which is described 

[1.] By the special act of his love ; he died for us, one for all. 

[2.] The end and aim of it ; ' then were all dead ; and that he died 
for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live to themselves, 
but to him that died for them,' ver. 15. Christ's end was 

(1.) Our dying to sin and worldly interests. 

(2.) Our living in a dedicated and consecrated way wholly to the 
service and glory of Christ. 

1. I begin with the force and operation of love ; ' The love of Christ 
constraineth us.' It was love which put bands upon him, and made 
him forget himself, and only speak and do those things which concern 
the glory of Christ, and the good of the church. 

Let us a little explain the words. 

The love of Christ. It may be taken passively or actively ; passively, 
for that love with which Christ loveth us ; actively, for that love which 
we bear to Christ. I take it for this latter. Our love to Christ, 


founded on bis to us, ' constraineth us,' a-we^ei, compresselh the spirit 
with a mighty force : as Paul, awei^ero, was ' pressed in spirit,' 
Acts xviii. 5, when the spirit within him constrained him to speak. 
The same word expresseth that passionateness of desire which Christ 
had to die for us : Luke xii. 50, ' I have a baptism to be baptized 
with, TTW? crvvexofiai, and how am I straitened till it be ? &c.,' as a 
woman in travail striveth to be delivered of her burden. The word is 
emphatical, and noteth the sweet violence and force of love, by which 
the heart is overswayed and overpowered, that it cannot say nay. 
Beza glosseth, totos nos possidet et regit. It doth wholly possess us, 
and ruleth us, and hath us in its power, to make us do what it would 
have us. Paul was wholly guided and ruled by love, that he forgot 
himself for Christ's sake. 

Doct. That the love of Christ hath such a great force and efficacy 
upon the soul, that it inclineth us to a willing performance of duties 
of the greatest difficulty and danger. 

To evidence this to you, this scripture sufficeth ; for this is the 
account which Paul giveth of his zeal and diligence in his apostleship. 
To preach the gospel was a work of much labour and hazard ; they 
went abroad to bait the devil and hunt him out of his territories ; 
they contended not only with the corruptions and lusts, but the pre 
judices of men. The gospel was then a novel doctrine, advancing 
itself against the bent of corrupt nature, and the false religion then 
received in the world. If they had met with a ready compliance, there 
was labour enough in it, to run up and down, and compass sea and 
land, to invite men into the kingdom of God ; but the world was their 
enemy. The gods of the nations had the countenance and assistance 
of worldly powers, and everywhere they kicked against the pricks ; yet 
Paul was as earnest in it, as if it were a pleasing and gainful 
employment. If you ask, What was the reason the love of Christ 
constrained him ? 

In the managing of this point I shall inquire, 

1. What love to Christ is.. 

2. What influence it hath upon our duties and actions. 

3. Whence it cometh to have such a force upon us. 

First, What is love to Christ? I shall consider the peculiar 
reference of it to this place. 

I must distinguish of the love of God. 

1. There is a love of God largely taken for all the duty of the upper 
hemisphere in religion, or of the first table, or where Christ divides 
the two tables into love to God and love to our neighbour, Mat. xxii. 
37-39. So it is confounded with, or compounded of, faith and repent 
ance and new obedience ; for all religion is in effect but love acted. 
Faith is a loving and thankful acceptance of Christ ; repentance is 
mourning love, because of the wrongs done to our beloved ; obedience 
is but pleasing love ; hope an earnest waiting for the full and final 
fruition of God, whom we love. 

2. Strictly, it is taken for our complacency and delight in God. 
Divines distinguish of a twofold love ; a love of benevolence and a 
love of complacency. The love of benevolence is the desiring of the 
felicity of another ; the love of complacency is the well-pleasedness of 


the soul in a suitable good. God loveth us both these ways ; with the 
love of benevolence : ' For so God loved the world/ &c., John iii. 16 ; 
with the love of complacency, and so ' The upright in the way are his 
delight.' But we love God with but one of these, not with the love of 
benevolence; for he is above our injuries and benefits, and needeth 
nothing from us to add to his felicity ; therefore we cannot be said to 
love him with the love of benevolence, unless very improperly, when 
we desire his glory; but we love him with a love of complacenc} r 
when the soul is well pleased in God, or delights in him, which is 
begun here, and perfected hereafter. This is spoken of, Ps. xxxvii. 4, 
' Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine 
heart.' And it is seen in this, when we count his favour and presence 
our chiefest happiness, and value an interest in him above all the 
world, Ps. xvi. 6. 7, and Ps. iv. 6, 7 ; and when we delight in other 
things, as they belong to God : Ps. cxix. 14, ' I will delight myself in 
thy commandments, which I have loved.' 

3. Love is sometimes put in scripture for that which is properly 
called a desiring, seeking love. Which is our great duty in this life, 
because now we are in via, in the way to home, in an estate of imper 
fect fruition, and therefore our love venteth itself most by desires and 
by an earnest seeking after God. The river is contented to flow within 
its banks till it come into the ocean, and there it expatiateth itself. 
It is described by the psalmist, Ps. Ixiii. 8, 'My soul followeth hard 
after thee ; ' and, Isa. xxvi. 9, ' With my soul have I desired thee in 
the night.' This love we show when the mercy of God is most desired, 
valued and sought after, and those mercies most of all which do show 
us most of God himself, and do most help up our love to him, as when 
we desire spiritual blessings above temporal, wisdom and grace 
rather than wealth and honour. For spiritual wisdom is the principal 
thing, Prov. iv. 7 ; for it revealeth most of God to us, and is a less 
impediment in the ascending of our minds and hearts to him than 
wealth, or honour, or secular learning, or whatsoever subserveth the 
interest of the flesh. The world is full of allurements to the flesh ; and 
since we have separated the creature from God, and love it apart from 
God, these temporal mercies, which should raise the mind to him, are 
ihe greatest means to keep it from him. Therefore the soul of one 
that loveth God, though it doth not despise the bounty of his daily 
providence, yet it is mainly bent after those mercies which are the 
distinguishing and peculiar testimonies of his favour, and do more 
especially direct the soul to him : ' Set your affections on things that 
are above, and not on things which are on earth,' Col. iii. 2. 

4. To omit other distinctions, the love which we are upon is the 
love of gratitude and thankfulness. Not the general love which com- 
priseth all religion, either in its own nature or in its means and fruits ; 
not the particular love of delight and complacency, by which we 
delight in God, and all the manifestations of himself to us. Nor, 
thirdly, not the seeking and desiring love, by which we seek to get 
more of God into our hearts, and above all do desire and seek the 
endless enjoyment of him in glory. These work not so expressly as 
this love of gratitude, concerning which observe three things 

{!.] The general nature of it. It is a gracious and holy love, which 


the soul returneih back to God again, upon the apprehension of his 
love to us. Gospel love is properly a returning love, a thankful love. 
Love is like a diamond that is not properly wrought upon but by its 
own dust. It is love that begetteth love : 1 John iv. 19, ' We love 
him because he loved us first ; ' as fire begets fire, or as an echo 
returneth what it receiveth. It is a reflection or a reverberation, or 
casting back, of God's beam upon himself. As a cold wall sendeth 
back a reflection of heat when the sun hath shone upon it, so our cold 
hearts, being warmed with a sense of God's love, return love to him 
again: Cant. i. 3, 'Thy name is an ointment poured forth; therefore 
the virgins love thee.' When the box of spikenard is broken, and the 
savour of his good ointments shed abroad, then the virgins love him ; 
hearts are attracted to him. The more God's love to us is known and 
felt, the more love we have to God. 

[2.] The special object of this love is God as revealed in Christ 
Partly, because thereby God, who is otherwise terrible to the guilty 
soul, is thereby made amiable and a fit object for our love. And 
therefore in studying Christ, it should be our principal end to see the 
goodness, love, and amiableness of God in him. A condemning God 
is not so easily loved as a gracious and reconciled God. Man's fall 
was from God unto himself, especially in the point of love ; he loved 
himself instead of God, and therefore his real recovery must be by the 
bringing up his soul to the love of God again. Now a guilty con 
demned sinner can hardly love the God who in justice will condemn 
and punish him, no more than a malefactor will love his judge, who 
corneth to pronounce sentence upon him. Tell him that he is a grave 
and comely person, a just and an upright man ; but the guilty wretch 
replieth, He is my judge. Well then, nothing can be more conducing 
and essential to man's recovery to God, than that God should be 
represented as most amiable, a father of mercies, a God of pardons, 
one that is willing to pardon and save him, in and by Jesus Christ: 
2 Cor. v. 19, 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.' 
So he is represented comfortably to us, and inviting the heart to close 
with him. And partly, because so we have the highest engagement 
to love him. We are bound to love God as a creator and as a pre 
server ; to love him as he is the strength of our lives and the length 
of our days, Deut. xxx. 20 ; to love him, because he heareth the voice 
of our supplications, Ps. cxvi. 1 ; as our deliverer, and the horn of our 
salvation, Ps. xviii. 2 ; to love him as one who daily loadeth us with 
his benefits. There is a gratitude due for these mercies. But chiefly 
as he is our God and Father in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the 
great instance of God's love : Horn. v. 8, ' God commended his love 
towards us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us ; ' and 
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.' That was 
the astonishing expression of it, a mystery, without controversy, great, 
that he was pleased to save us at so dear a rate, and by so blessed and 
glorious a person, that we might more admire the glory of his love to 
sinners, so wonderfully declared unto us. God made Christ's love so 
exemplary, that he might overcome us by kindness. 

[3.] The singular effects of this gratitude or returning love. It 


causeth us to devote tlie whole man to Christ's service, will, and 
honour, and to bring back all his mercies to him, as far as we are able, 
to his use and glory. God in Christ, being so great a benefactor, all 
that have received the benefit with a due sense and esteem of it, will 
resolve to love God again, and to serve him with all their powers, Rom. 
xii. 1. Who deserveth our love and obedience more than God ? and 
our thankful remembrance, more than Christ ? Therefore if we be 
affected with the mercy of our redemption, we will devote ourselves 
and our all to him, and use our all for him. Our whole lives will be 
employed for him, and all our actions will be but the effects of inward 
love streaming forth in thankfulness to God. So Paul here being in 
the bonds of love, and under lively apprehensions of this infinite love 
of Christ, utterly renounced himself, to dedicate himself wholly to the 
service of God and his church. And surely if we are thus affected, 
we will be like-minded, perfectly consecrating to him our life and 

Secondly. What influence it hath upon our duties and actions. 

1. Love is an ingenuous and thankful grace, that is, thinking of a 
recompense, or a return to God, or paying him in kind, love for love. 
The reasonableness of this will appear by what is done between man 
and man. We expect to be loved by those whom we love, if they 
have anything of good nature left in them. The most hard-hearted 
men are melted and wrought upon by kindness. Saul wept when 
David spared him, when he had him in his power ; and shall God not 
only spare us, but Christ come and make a plaster of his own blood to 
cure us, and heal us, and shall we have no sense of the Lord's kind 
ness ? Usually we are taken more with what men suffer for us than 
with what they do for us, and shall Christ do and suffer such great 
things, and we be no way affected ? See how men plead one with 
another. Consider the words of Jehu to Jonadab the son of Rechab : 
2 Kings x. 15, ' Is thy heart right, as my heart is with thy heart ? ' 
Dost thou in truth affect me, as I do thee ? And Paul to the Corin 
thians: 2 Cor. vi. 11-13, ' ye Corinthians, our mouth is open to you, 
our heart is enlarged ; ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened 
in your own bowels. Now for, a recompense in the same, be ye also 
enlarged ' that is, my kindness and affection are great, my whole 
soul is open to you and at your service. It would be a just return if 
you would be back again as kind and affectionate towards me, as I 
have been to you. And again, when we are not loved by those whom 
we love, we use to expostulate it with them ; as the same Paul to the 
Corinthians: 2 Cor. xii. 15, 'I will very gladly spend myself, and be 
spent for you : though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am 
beloved of you ; ' or as Joab to David : 2 Chron. xix. 6, ' Thou lovest 
thine enemies, and hatest thy friends.' Men think they reason well 
when they plead thus, for they presume it of love, that it will be 
ingenuous, and make suitable returns. Well then, the like we may 
with better reason expect from all those who have a due sense of their 
Redeemer's love, that they will return affection for affection, and 
accordingly honour and serve him who died for them. God's love 
hath more worth and merit in it than man's. No man's love is carried 
on in such an astonishing way, nor with such condescension. God 


had no reason to love us at so clear a rate : but we have all the reason 
in the world to love God and serve him. Therefore it' he hath pre 
vented us with his love, the thankful soul will think of a return and 
recompense, such as creatures can make to God. God's love of bounty 
will be requited by a love of duty on our part. 

2. Love is a principle that will manifest and show itself. Of all 
affections it can least be concealed ; it is a fire that will not be hidden. 
Men can concoct their malice, and hide their hatred, but they 
cannot hide their love. It will break out and express itself to the 
party loved, by the effects and testimony of due respects : Prov. xxv. 
5, 'Open rebuke is better than secret love/ When a man beareth 
another good-will, but doth nothing for him, how shall he know that 
he loveth him ? Can a man love God, and do nothing for him ? No ; 
it must show itself by some overt act ; love suffereth a kind of imper 
fection till it be discovered, till it break out into its proper fruits : 1 
John ii. 5, ' He that keepeth his word, in him is the love of God 
perfected ; ' as ' lust is perfected, when it bringeth forth sin/ Jam. i. 15. 
at hath produced its consummate act, and discovered itself to the full. 

3. It bendeth and inclineth the heart to the thing loved. Amor 
meus est pondus meum ; eo feror, quocunque, feror. It is the vigor 
ous bent of the soul, and it so bendeth and inclineth the soul to the 
thing loved, that it is fastened to it, and cannot easily be separated 
from it. We are brought under the power of what we love, as the 
apostle speaketh of the creatures : 1 Cor. vi. 12, ' But I will not be 
brought under the power of any/ It is deaf to counsel in its measure ; 
it is true of our love to Christ, if we love him, we will cleave to him. 
A man is dispossessed of himself that hath lost the dominion of him 
self, as Samson, like a child led by Delilah: so is a man ruled and 
governed by his love to Christ. 

4. It is a most kindly principle to do a thing for another out of love. 
What is done out of love is not done out of slavish compulsion, but 
good- will ; not an act of necessity, but choice : 1 John v. 3, * This is 
love, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not 
grievous/ That is bad ground that bringeth forth nothing, unless it 
be forced. Natural conscience worketh by fear, but faith by love. 
Love is not compelled, but it worketh of itself ; sweetly, kindly, it 
taketh off all irksomeness, lessens difficulties, facilitates all things, and 
maketh them light and easy, so as we serve God cheerfully. Where 
love prevaileth, let it be never so difficult, it seemeth light and easy. 
Seven years for Rachel seemed to Jacob as nothing, made him bear 
the heat of the day and cold of the night, Gen. xxix. 10. But where 
love is wanting, all that is done seemeth too much. 

5. It is a most forcible, compelling principle ; non persuadet sed 
cogit, one glosseth the text so. It cometh with commanding entreaties, 
reasoneth in such a powerful, prevailing manner, as it will have no 
denial : Titus ii. 11, 12, ' 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, and godly in the 
present world/ Nothing will hold your hearts to your work so much 
as love. Lay what bands you will upon yourselves, if a temptation 
ocometh, you will break them, as Samson did his cords, wherewith he 


was bound. Promises, vows, covenants, resolutions, former experiences 
of comfort, when put to trial, all is as nothing to love. But now let a 
man's love be gained to Christ, that is band enough : quis legem dat 
amantibus ? major lex amor sibi est. Love, so far as love, needeth no 
penalties, nor laws, nor enforcements, for it is a great law to itself, it 
hath within its bosom as deep obligations and engagements to any 
thing that may please God, as you can put upon it. Indeed if there 
were not an opposite principle of averseness, this were enough ; but I 
speak of love as love. Fear and terror are a kind of external impulse, 
that may drive a soul to a duty ; but the inward impulse is love ; that 
will influence and overrule the soul, and engage it to please Christ, if 
it beareth any mastery there. 

6. It is laborious ; it requireth great diligence to be faithful with 
Christ. Now love is that disposition which puts us upon labours : 
this, if anything, will keep a man to his work : Heb. vi. 10, ' God is 
not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love ; ' and 1 Thes. 
i. 3, ' Remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labour of 
love.' It is not an affection that can lie bashful and idle in the soul. 
So Rev. ii. 4, ' Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because 
thou hast left thy first love/ Till love be lost, our first works are 
never left. Our Lord when he had work for Peter to do, gauged his heart, 
John xxi. 15, ' Simon Peter, lovest thou me ? ' Love sets all a-going. 

7. It dilateth and enlargeth the heart, and so it is liberal to the 
thing loved. ' I will praise- him yet more and more ;' ' I will not serve 
the Lord with that which cost me nothing.' Other things will not go 
to the charge of obedience to God. It will be at seme cost for God 
and Christ, and maketh us obey God against our own interest, and 
carnal inclination. It was against the hair, but the young man deferred 
not to do the thing, because he delighted iu Jacob's daughter, Gen. 
xxxiv. 19. 

8. It is an invincible and unconquerable affection : Cant. viii. 6, 7, 
'Love is strong as death: jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals 
thereof are as the coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. 
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.' There is a vehemency and an unconquerable 
constancy in love, against and above all afflictions, and above all 
worldly baits and profits. The business is, of whose love this is to be 
interpreted ; of Christ's, or ours. If we understand it of Christ's love, 
then it is really verified. Christ's love was as strong as death, for he 
suffered death for us, and overcame death for us ; he debased himself 
from the height of all glory to the depth of all misery for our sakes, 
Phil. ii. 7, 8, and 2 Cor. viii. 9 ; overcame all difficulties by the 
fervency of his love, enduring the cross, and despising the shame, on 
the one hand, Heb. xii. 2 ; on the other, refusing the offers of prefer 
ment : Mat. iv. 9, 10, The devil maketh an offer of all the world to 
Christ. Of ease : Mat. xvi. 22, 23, ' And Peter began to rebuke him, 
saying, Be it far from thee, Lord.' Of honour ; Mat. xxvii. 40, 43, 
' Thou that destroyest the temple, and bulkiest it in three days, save 
thyself, if thou be the Son of God. He trusted in God : let him deliver 
him now, if he will have him ; for he said, I am the Son of God.' But 



it is also verified of Christians in their measure, who love not their 
lives to the death, and overcome all difficulties : Acts xxi. 13, ' Willing 
to die at Jerusalem ;' endure all afflictions ; Ps. xliv. 17, c All this is 
come upon us, yet we have not forsaken thee : ' and suffer the loss of 
all worldly comforts ; Mat. xix. 27, ' Behold we have forsaken all, and 
followed thee ; ' and Luke xiv. 26, 'If any man come to me, and hate 
not father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and 
sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' But rather I 
apply it to the latter, for it is rendered as a reason, why they beg a 
room in his heart ; the love that presseth us is of such a vehement 
nature, that it cannot be resisted, no more than death, or the grave, 
or fire can be resisted. Nothing else but Christ can quench it, and 
satisfy it; such a 1 constraining power it hath, that the persons that 
have it are led captive by it. An ardent affection and love to Christ is 
of this nature, and when it is strong and vigorous, it will make strong 
and mighty impressions upon the heart ; no opposition will extinguish 
it. Waters will quench fire, but nothing will quench this love : Rom. 
viii. 37, ' Nay, in all those things we are more than conquerors, through 
him that loved us.' There are two sorts of trials that ordinarily carry 
away souls from Christ ; the first is from the left hand, from crosses ; 
these carry away some, but not all ; though the stony ground could not, 
yet the thorny ground could abide the heat of the sun : yet the second 
sort of trials, the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and 
voluptuous living, which are the temptations of the right hand, will 
draw away unmortified souls and choke the word. Pleasures, honours, 
riches, are a more strong and subtile sort of temptations than the 
other ; but yet these are too weak to prevail with that heart which 
hath a sincere love to Christ planted in it. They will not be tempted 
and enticed away from Christ. If a man would give all the substance 
of his house, such a soul will be faithful to Christ, and these offers and 
treaties are in vain. If love be true and powerful, it is not easily 
ensnared, but rejects the allurements of the world and the flesh, with 
a holy disdain and indignation; all as dung and dross that would 
tempt it from Christ, Phil. iii. 9. And these essays to cool it, and 
divert it, and draw it away, are to no purpose. Well then, this warm 
love to Christ is the hold and bulwark that maintaineth Christ's 
interest in the soul. The devil, the world, and the flesh, batter it, and 
hope to throw it down, but they cannot ; nothing else will serve the 
turn in Christ's room. 

Thirdly, Whence love to Christ cometh to have such a force upon 
us ; or, which is all one, how so forcible a love is wrought in us ? 

I answer, (1.) Partly by the worth of the object ; and (2.) Partly by 
the manner how it is considered by us and applied to us. 

1. From the worth of the object. [1.] When we consider what Christ 
is, what he hath done for us, and what love he hath showed therein, 
how can we choose but love with such a constraining, unconquerable 
love, as to stick at no difficulty and danger for his sake ? The circum 
stances which do most affect our hearts are these, our condition and 
necessity. When he came to show this love to us, we were guilty 
sinners, in a lost and lapsed estate, and so altogether hopeless, unless 
some means were used for our recoverv. Kindness to them that are 


ready to perish doth most affect them. Oh, how should we love Christ, 
who are as men fetched up from the gates of hell, under sentence of 
condemnation, when we were in our blood ! Ezek. xvi. ; had sold our 
selves to Satan, Isa. Ivii. 3 ; cast away the mercies of our creation, and 
had all come short of the glory of God, Eom. iii. 23. When sentenced 
to death, John iii. 18, and ready for execution, Eph. ii. 3, then did 
Christ, by a wonderful act of love, step in to rescue and recover us ; 
not staying till we relented, and cried for mercy, but before we were 
sensible of our misery, or regarded any remedy, then the Son of God 
came to die for us. 

[2.] The astonishing way in which our deliverance was brought about 
by the incarnation, death, shame, blood and agonies of the Son of God 
who was set up in our natures, as a glass and pledge of God's great 
love to us : 1 John iii. 16, ' Hereby perceive we the love of God, because 
he laid down his life for us. 5 We had never known so much of the 
love of God, had it not been for this instance. He showed love to us 
in creation, in that he gave us a reasonable nature, when he might 
have made us toads and serpents. He showeth love to us in our daily 
sustentation, in that he keepeth us at his expense, though we do him 
so little service, and do so often offend him ; but herein was love, that 
the Son of God himself must hang upon a cross, and become a propiti 
ation for our sins. We now come to learn by this instance, that God 
is love, 1 John iv. 8. What was Jesus Christ but love incarnate, love 
born of a virgin, love hanging upon a cross, laid in the grave, love 
made sin, love made a curse for us ? 

3. The consequent benefits. I will name three, to which all the 
rest may be reduced. 

(1.) Justification of our persons: Kom. v. 1, 'Being justified by 
faith, we have peace with God ; ' and Eph. i. 7, ' In whom we have 
redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins ; ' and Kom. v. 9, 
'Being justified by his blood, we are saved from wrath through him ;' 
to be at present upon good terms with God and capable of communion 
with him, and access to him, with assurance of welcome and audience, 
to have all acts of hostility cease, this is to stop mischief at the fountain- 
head for if God be at peace with us, of whom should we be afraid ? 
then to have sin pardoned, which is the great ground of our bondage 
and terror, that which blasteth all our comforts, and maketh them 
unsavoury to us, and is the venom and sting of all our crosses and 
miseries, the great make-bate between God and us ; once more, to be 
freed from the fear of hell, and the wrath of God, which is so deservedly 
terrible to all serious persons that are mindful of their condition, so 
that we may live in a holy security and peace. Oh, how should we 
love the Lord Jesus, who hath procured these benefits for us ! 

(2.) To have our natures sanctified, and healed, and freed from the 
stain of sin, as well as the guilt of it, and to have God's impress 
imprinted upon our souls, this is also consequent of the death of Jesus 
Christ : Eph. v. 26, ' That he might sanctify, and cleanse it by the 
washing of water ; ' and Titus 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 ;' so that being delivered from 
the thraldom of sin, which is a great ease to a burdened soul, and fitted 


for the service of God, for Christ came to make a people ready for the 
Lord, to be cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and have a 
nature divine and heavenly. Let diseased souls desire worldly great 
ness, swine take pleasure in the mire, and ravenous beasts feed on dung 
and carrion, an enlarged soul must have those higher blessings, and 
looketh upon holiness not only as a duty, but a great privilege, to be 
made like God, and made serviceable to him. This is that which 
endears their hearts to Christ, ' He hath loved us, and washed us from 
our sins in his own blood, that we might be kings and priests unto 
God/ Rev. i. 5. 

(3.) Eternal life and glory : 1 John iii. 1, 2, ' Behold what manner of 
love the Father hath showed us, that we should be called the sons of 
God. 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.' 
This is the end of all ; for this Christ died, and for this we believe, 
and hope, and labour, even for that happy estate, when we shall be 
brought nigh God, and be companions of the holy angels, and for ever 
behold our glorified Redeemer, and see our own nature united to the 
Godhead, and have the greatest and nearest intuition and fruition 
of God that we are capable of, and live in the fullest love to him, and 
delight in him ; and the soul shall for ever dwell in a glorified body, that 
shall be no clog, but an help to it ; and be no more troubled with 
infirmities, necessities, and diseases, but for ever be at rest with the 
Lord, lauding his name to all eternity. Now shall all this be done 
for us ? and shall we not love Christ? Certainly if there be faith to 
believe this, there will be love ; and if there be love, there will be 
obedience, be it never so tedious and irksome to our natural hearts. 

2. The strength of love ariseth from the manner, how it is considered 
by us and applied to us. 

(1.) Partly, by faith ; (2.) Partly, by meditation ; and (3.) Partly, 
by the Spirit. 

[1.] Faith. Nothing else will enkindle, and blow up this holy fire 
of love in our hearts, for affection followeth persuasion. Till we believe 
these things, we cannot be affected with them. To a carnal, natural 
heart, the gospel is but as a fine speculation, or a well-contrived fable, 
or a dream of a shower of rubies falling out of the clouds in a night ; 
but faith, or a firm persuasion, that affecteth the heart, and therefore 
the apostle speaketh of faith working by love, Gal. v. 6. Faith reporteth 
to the soul, and filleth the soul with the apprehensions of God's love 
in Christ, and then maketh use of the strength and sweetness of it, to 
carry forth all acts of obedience to God. 

[2.] By meditation. The most excellent things do not work if they 
be not seriously thought of. Affections are stirred up in us by the 
inculcation of the thoughts, as by the beating of the steel upon the 
flint the sparks fly out : as the apostle persuadeth to this : Eph. iii. 
17, 18, ' That ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able with 
all saints to comprehend what is the height, and depth, and length of 
the love of God in Christ, and may know the love of Christ, which 
passeth knowledge ! ' This is the blessed employment of the saints, 
that they may live in the consideration and admiration of this wonder 
ful love, that so they may ever keep themselves in the love of Christ. 


Nothing exciteth us to our duty so much as this ; therefore we should 
not content ourselves with a superficial view of it, but dwell upon it 
in our thoughts. It is our narrow thoughts, our shallow apprehensions 
of God's love in Christ, our cold and unf requent meditation of it, which 
maketh us so barren and unfruitful as we are. 

[3.] The Spirit maketh all effectual. The gospel containeth the 
matter ; meditation is the means to improve it ; but if it be an act of 
the human spirit only, it affecteth us not ; the thoughts raised in us 
by bare and dry reason are not so lively as those raised in us by faith, 
that puts a life into all our notions. Now the acts of faith are not so 
forcible as when the Spirit of God sheddeth abroad this love in our 
souls, Kom. v. 5. We must use the gospel, must use reason, must use 
faith, in meditation on the love of Christ, but we must beg the 
effectual operation of the Holy Ghost, who giveth us a taste and feel 
ing of this love, and most thankfully to entertain it. 

Use. It showeth us how we should excite and rouse up ourselves in 
every duty, especially in those that are difficult and displeasing to the 
flesh. The apostle Paul endured prisons, stripes, reproaches, disgraces, 
yea, death itself, out of the unconquerable force of love. Therefore, if 
you have any great thing to do for God, and would work to the pur 
pose, let faith by the Spirit set love a-work. Faith is needful, the work 
of redemption being long since over, and our Lord is absent, and our 
rewards future ; and love is necessary because difficulties are great, 
and oppositions many. The flesh would fain be pleased ; but when 
faith telleth love, what great things God hath done for us in Christ, 
the soul is ashamed when it cannot deny a little ease, pleasure or 


.For the love of Christ constrainetli us, because we thus judge, that if 
one died for all, then were all dead. 2 COR. v. 14. 

I HAVE chosen this scripture to speak of the love of gratitude, or that 
thankful return of love which we make to God, because of his great 
love to us in Christ. Before I go on further in this discourse, I shall 
handle some cases of conscience. 

First, About the reason and cause of our love ; whether God be only 
to be loved for his beneficial goodness, and not also for his essential and 
moral perfections. The cause of doubting is this ; whether true love 
iloth not rather respect God as amiable in himself, than beneficial to 
us ? The ancient writers in the church seemed to be of this mind. 
Lombard, out of Austin, defineth love to be that grace by which 
we love God for himself, and our neighbour for God's sake. 

Ans. 1. There are several degrees of love. 

1. Some love Christ for what is to be had from him, and that he 
may be good to us ; there we begin. The first invitation to the 
creature is the offer of pardon and life : Mat xi. 28, 29, ' Come unto 


me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in 
heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls ; ' and Heb. xi. 6, ' He that 
cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a re warder of 
them that diligently seek him.' Self-love, and the natural sense of 
our own misery, and the sense of our burden, and the desires of our 
happiness, have a marvellous influence npon us, yea, wholly govern us 
in our first address to God by Christ. Now this is not altogether to 
be blamed and condemned. Partly, because there is mrother dealing 
with mankind. Tell a malefactor of the perfections of his judge, 
this will never induce him to love him. And partly, because we may 
and must love Christ as he hath revealed himself to our love. Now 
he hath revealed himself as a saviour, as a pardoner, as a rewarder, 
for surely we may make use of God's motives. He suffereth us to 
begin in the flesh, that we may end in the spirit ; there is some grace 
in this very seeking love. You are affected with the true cause of 
misery, not outward necessity, but sin ; you seek after the right 
remedy, which is in Christ, and there is some faith in that, in taking 
Christ at his word. The defect of this love is, that you mind your 
own personal benefit and safety, rather than the pleasing, obeying, and 
glorifying of God ; so far there is weakness in this act ; but this is the 
only way to bring in the creature ; as when a prince offereth pardon 
to his rebels, with a promise that he will restore them to their forfeited 
privileges in case they will lay down their arms, and submit to his 
mercy. Self-interest moveth them at first, but after love and duty to 
their prince holdeth them within the bounds of their duty and allegi 
ance. I will ease you, saith Christ, you shall find rest to your souls ; 
I will be a rewarder to you, and give you eternal life. As lost 
creatures we take him at his word, and afterwards love him and serve 
him upon purer motives. Or take the similitude thus ; in a treaty of 
marriage, the first proposals are grounded upon estate, suitableness of 
age, and parentage, and neighbourhood, and other conveniences of life ; 
conjugal affection to the person groweth by society and long converse. 
Fire at first kindling casts forth much smoke, but afterwards it is 
blown up into a purer flame. 

2. Some love him for the good which they have received from him. 
Not so much that he may be good, but because he hath been good ; and 
indeed the love of gratitude is a true Christian and gospel love, and 
hath a greater degree of excellency than the former, because thankful 
ness is the great respect of the creature to the creator, and because so 
few return to give God the glory of what they have received ; but one 
of the healed lepers returned back, and glorified God, Luke xvii. 15-18. 
And because gratitude hath in its nature something that is more noble 
than self-seeking, and bare expectation ; for common reason tells us 
that it is better to give than to receive ; and in this returning love, we 
seek to bestow something upon God, in that way we are capable of, of 
doing such a thing, or God of receiving it. This returning love is 
often spoken of in scripture, as a praiseworthy thing : Ps. cxvi. 1, ' I 
will love the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications : ' 
and Bom. xii. 1, ' I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of 
God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto 


Gocl, which is your reasonable service.' God hath the honour of a pre 
cedency, but we of a return : 1 John iv. 16, 'Herein is love, not that 
we loved God, but that he loved us.' There is the true spirit of the 
gospel in such a love, for gospel obedience and service is a life of love, 
and praise, and thankfulness. 

3. Some love God because he is good in himself. Not only that he 
may be good to us, or because he hath been good to us, but because he 
is good in himself. God's essential goodness, which is the perfection of 
his nature, his infinite and eternal being, and his moral goodness, which 
is the perfection of his will, or his holiness and purity, is the object of 
love, as Well as his beneficial goodness, or that goodness of his which 
promote th our interest. I prove it, partly because God is the object of 
love, though we receive no good by it. Love and goodness are as the 
iron and the load-stone ; nature hath made them so. Now God, con 
sidered in his infinite perfection, is good, as distinguished from his doing 
good, Ps. cxix. 68. And partly because God loveth himself first, and 
the creature for himself : Prov. xvi. 4, ' The Lord hath made all things 
for himself.' The first object of the divine complacency is his own 
being, and the last end of all things is his own glory and pleasure : Kev. 
iv. 11, ' For thy pleasure they are, and were created.' Now this is a 
reason to us, because the perfection of holiness standeth in an exact con 
formity to God, and by grace we are made partakers of a divine nature, 
2 Peter i. 4 ; which mainly discovereth itself in loving as God loveth, and 
hating as God hateth. And therefore we must love him in and for 
himself, and ourselves for him. And partly, because if God were only 
to be beloved for the effects of his benignity and beneficial goodness, 
this great absurdity would follow, that God is for the creature, and not 
the creature for Gocl ; for the supreme act of our love would terminate 
in our happiness as the highest end, and God would be only regarded in 
order thereunto. Now to make God a means is to degrade him from 
the dignity and pre-eminence of God. Partly, because we are bound 
to love the creatures as good in themselves, though not beneficial to 
us ; therefore much more God, as good in himself. If we are to love 
the saints as saints, not because kind and helpful to us, but because of 
the image of God in them, though they never did us any good turn : 
Ps. xvi. 3, ' But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excel 
lent, in whom is all my delight ; ' if we are to love the law of God, as 
it is pure, then we are to love God, because of the moral goodness of 
his nature, Ps. cxix. 140. These things are out of question clear and 
beyond all controversy. Why not God then, in whom is more purity 
and holiness, if indeed we are persuaded of the reality and excellency 
of his being ? Now in this last rank there are degrees also. 

[1.] Some love Christ above his benefits. They do not love pardon 
and salvation, so much as they love Christ : I Peter ii. 7, ' To them 
that believe Christ is precious.' To love the gifts more than the person, 
the jointure more than the husband, in a temporal cause, would not 
be counted a sincere love. The truth is, at first the benefits do first 
lead us to seek after God. Man usually beginneth at the lowest, and 
loveth God for his love to us, but he riseth higher upon acquaintance. 
First he loveth God for that taste of his goodness which we have in the 
creatures ; then for that goodness God exhibiteth in the ordinances, 


for that help he offereth us there for our greatest necessities ; then as 
in graces, justification and sanctification ; then as in Christ, as the 
fountain of all ; then God above Christ as mediator, as the ultimate 
object of love. 

[2.] Possibly some may come to such a degree as to love Christ 
without his benefits. The height of Moses and Paul is admirable, 
who loved God's glory above their own salvation : Exod. xxxii. 32, 
' Blot me out of thy book ; ' and Rom. ix. 3, ' I could even wish myself 
accursed from Christ for my brethren and kinsfolk in the flesh ; ' lay 
all his personal benefit, or the happy part of his portion at God's feet 
in Christ for a greater end, to promote his glory ; but this extra 
ordinary zeal is very rare, if attained by any other in this life. 

[3.] Some love the benefits for his sake ; heaven the better, because 
Christ is there ; pardon the better, because God is so much glorified in 
it ; holiness, as it is a conformity to God ; and the work, for the work's 
sake. Not but the other considerations tend to this, and have an 
influence upon this ; so much obliged to Christ that everything is sweet 
as it cometh from him, or relateth to him. 

2. Sinful respect to the benefits and rewards of religion bewray eth 
itself in four things. 

[1.] When Christ is loved for worldly advantages. We must 
always distinguish between our spiritual interests and our carnal. 
To respect Christ for our temporal advantage is that which God 
abhorreth, as those that followed Christ for the loaves, John vi. 28, 
to be fed with a miracle without labour and pains. So, vix diligiiur 
Jesus propter Jesum scarce is Jesus loved for Jesus' sake. And 
still Christ's name is reverenced ; but his office and saving grace are 
disregarded, and men are content with his common gifts, not seeking 
after his special benefits. It is no great matter to own that which is 
publicly esteemed, and now Christ is everywhere received, to make a 
general profession of being Christians. Saith Gilbert, Now the doctrine 
of Christ is handled in councils, disputed of in the schools, preached 
in assemblies, and his religion made the public profession of nations, 
it is no great matter of thanks to own the general belief of Christianity. 
There are many bastard motives of closing with Christ and his ways, 
as fame, and ease, and carnal honour, and the sunshine of worldly 
countenance. These are quite another thing than when a poor soul 
out of the sense of his lost estate would desire Christ, and would fain 
part with anything to gain Christ, Phil. iii. 7-9 ; and a sound convic 
tion of our misery, and a sense of his excellency, and our suitableness, 
maketh us to close with him. The other followed him for the loaves ; 
indeed because his bread was buttered with worldly conveniences. By 
a respect to such base motives religion is prostituted to secular interests. 

[2.] When we have a carnal notion of the true rewards of godliness. 
Carnal men look upon heaven as a place of ease and pleasure. When 
Christ had spoken of the bread that will make men live for ever : 
John vi. 34, they cried out, ' Evermore give us of this bread of life.' 
They thought no more than of an everlasting continuance in the 
present earthly estate. Such carnal notions have men of heaven, as of 
a Turkish paradise ; but to know God and love God, and have the 
soul filled up with God, to be with Christ and to be perfected in 


holiness, these things work little upon them. The heaven of Christians 
is to enjoy an everlasting communion with God. To live in the 
belief and hopes of such a heaven, and to delight our souls in the 
forethought of the endless sight and love of God, this is a true act of 
sincere love to Christ, seeking its full satisfaction. Here we see him 
but as in a glass, there face to face. We shall behold the glory of God 
in heaven, and the delights of love will then be perfect. But usually 
men have a carnal notion of heaven, by a voluptuous life, without 
labour, and pain, and trouble, and this tainteth their hearts ; their 
apprehensions of benefit by Christ are feculent, earthly, and drossy. 

[3.] When our respects to benefits are disorderly, not in the frame 
wherein God hath set them. As, for instance, when we desire some 
benefits, and not others, or hate his ways and love his benefits : Num. 
xxiii. 10, ' Oh that I might die the death of the righteous.' They 
love him as a redeemer, but hate him as a law-giver. A carnal man 
would sever the benefits from the duties ; as Ephraim is as a heifer 
not taught, which would tread out the corn, but not. break the clods, 
Hos. x. 11. Their threshing was by the feet of oxen shod with iron. 
Now the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn was not to be 
muzzled. But harrowing, and breaking the clods, was a mere labour, 
and no privilege ; they would do the one, but not the other. If you 
love Christ's benefits, you must love them altogether ; not taking one, 
and leaving out another ; you shall not have pardon without sanctifi- 
cation, nor the comforts of his Spirit without his quickening and 
purifying influence ; nor freedom from hell, without freedom from sin. 
Christ must guide you and rule you, dwell in you, and bless you, and 
justify you, and whatever he is made of God, that he must be to 
you, 1 Cor. i. 30. He will not give you any such grace as shall 
discharge you from duty, and be a kind of license and privilege to 

[4.] When we rest in the lowest acts of love, and do not go on to 
perfection. The first acts have more of self-love in them than love to 
God ; you must go on from them to gratitude, and from gratitude to 
adoration, an humble adoration of the divine excellences ; for the 
divine excellences are lovely in themselves, as well as his benefits are 
comfortable to us ; and by an acquaintance with God in Christ, we 
must settle into a more entire friendship with him, and delight as 
much in praising him for his excellences, as we do in blessing him 
for his benefits. The angels and blessed spirits that are above do 
admire and adore God, because of the excellences of his nature ; not 
only for the benefits they have received from him. They are represented 
as crying out, Isa. vi. 3, ' Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts,' by 
admiring, and being affected with his holy nature and sovereign 
majesty and dominion ; and are we no way concerned in this ? Surely 
God must be lauded and served on earth as he is in heaven, and 
though we cannot reach to their degree, yet some kind of this respect 
belongeth unto us. In the Revelation the four living wights, and 
twenty-four elders, are brought in : Rev. iv. 8, ' Saying, Holy, holy, 
holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.' Now 
by the four beasts, or four living wights, and the twenty-four elders, 
the interpreters generally understand the gospel church, who are 


continually praising God for the unity of his essence, the trinity of 
persons, together with his eternity, omnipotency and holiness, to show 
we should love these things, and be affected with these things, as well 
as his bounty and goodness to us. Indeed a Christian is like a river ; 
when it first boileth up out of the fountain, it contenteth itself with a 
little hole, but afterwards it seeketh for a larger channel, but is still 
pent within banks and bounds ; but when it emptieth itself into the 
ocean, it expatiateth and enlargeth itself, and is wholly mingled with 
the ocean. 

Second case is about the actual persuasion of God's love to us. For 
since this love of gratitude ariseth from a sense or apprehension of 
God's love to us in Christ ; therefore God's children are troubled when 
they cannot make particular application, as Paul, and say, ' He loved 
me, and gave himself for me,' Gal. ii. 20. 

Ans. 1. A particular persuasion of God's love to us is very com 
fortable. Things that do most concern us do most affect us ; as a 
man is more pleased with legacies bequeathed to him by name, than 
left indefinitely to those who can make friends. If I can discern my 
name in God's testament, it is unquestionably more satisfactory and 
more engaging than when with much ado I must make out my title, 
and enter myself an heir : Eph. i. 13, ' After that ye heard the word 
of truth, the gospel of your salvation.' It is not sufficient to know 
that the gospel is a doctrine of salvation in general, or to others only, 
but every one should labour, by a due application of the promises of 
the gospel unto themselves, to find it a doctrine of salvation unto 
themselves. Salvation by Christ is a benefit which we need as much 
as others, and therefore should give all diligence to understand our 
part and interest in it. God's love to us is the great reason of our 
love to God ; ours a reflection ; the more direct the beam, the stronger 
the reflection. It is the quickening motive to the spiritual life, Gal. 
ii. 20. Certainly they are much to blame who can so contentedly sit 
down with the want thereof, so they may be well in the world ; if 
God will love them with a common love, so as they may live in peace, 
and credit, and mirth, and wealth among men. Our joy, comfort, and 
peace, much dependeth on the sense of our particular interest : Luke 
i. 46, ' My soul doth rejoice in God my saviour ;' and Rom. v. 11, ' We 
rejoice in God, as those that have received the atonement.' It is 
uncomfortable to live in doubts and fears, or else to live by guess and 
uncertain conjectures. Well then, if we would maintain the joy 
of faith, the vigour of holiness, we should get our interest more 

2. It is not absolutely necessary ; because love is the fruit of faith, 
not of assurance only : Gal. v. 6, ' Faith working by love.' Love is 
not so grown indeed where there are fears and doubts of our condi 
tion : 1 John iv. 18, ' He that feareth is not made perfect in love ; ' 
yet a love he hath to God. If love did wholly depend upon an actual 
persuasion of God's special love to us, it could never be rooted and 
grounded, for this actual persuasion is an uncertain thing, often 
interrupted by the failings of God's children, and spiritual desertions, 
and frequent temptations. We do not sail to heaven with a like tide 
of comforts. Our evidences are many times dark, doubtful, and 


litigious, but the grounds of faith are always clear, fixed, and stable ; 
and therefore the serious Christian may make a shift to love Christ, 
though he doth not know that he loveth him with a special love, so as 
to be absolutely assured of it ; he is not so necessarily a comforter, as 
a sanctifier. And though he doth not fill us with joy, yet he may 
work a strong and earnest love in our hearts, which is as much seen 
in unutterable groans as in unspeakable joys. Love is one of our 
greatest evidences, and therefore goeth before assurance, rather than 
followeth after it : and assurance is rather the fruit of love, than love 
of assurance : see John xiv. 21-23, ' He that hath my commandments, 
and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ; and he that loveth me 
shall be loved of my Father ; and I will love him, and manifest myself 
unto him. If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father 
will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with 
him.' It is because we love God so little that we want the fruits of 
his manifested love. So that you must not cease to love God, before 
you are assured of his love to you ; but you must love him sincerely 
and strongly, and then you will know God loveth you. In the love 
of benevolence, God beginneth ; but as to complacency, the object 
must be qualified. We must have a good measure of grace before we 
can so clearly discern it as to be certain of it. 

3. There are many considerations which are proper to our state. 
Every one of us have cause enough to love God, if we have but hearts 
to love him, not only as he created us out of nothing, but as he 
redeemed us by Christ. Cannot I bless God for Christ, without reflec 
tion on my own particular benefit; his general love in sending a 
saviour for mankind ? John iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, that he 
sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believed in 
him, should not perish, but have everlasting life : ' as they reasoned, 
Luke vii. 5, ' He loved our nation, and hath built us a synagogue ; ' few 
did enjoy the benefit of it, but it was love to the nation of the Jews. 
So his philanthropy, his man-kindness, should put that home upon us, 
that there is a sufficient foundation for the truth of this proposition, 
that whosoever believeth shall be saved ; that Christ is an all-sufficient 
saviour, to deliver me from wrath, and to bring me to everlasting life ; 
that such a doctrine is published in our borders, wherein God declareth 
his pleasure, that he is willing all men should be saved, and come to 
the knowledge of the truth, 1 Tim. ii. 3 ; that the door is wide enough, 
if you will get in ; and if you have no interest, you may have an interest, 
We must not think that general grace is no grace. The life of Chris 
tianity lieth in the consideration of these things. In the free offers of 
grace all have a like favour ; and none have cause to murmur, but all 
to give thanks. All that God looketh for is a thankful acceptance of 
the grace made for us in Christ. Surely when we think of God's good 
ness and kind-heartedness to miserable and unworthy sinners, and do 
often and seriously think what he is in himself, and what he is to you, 
what he hath done for you, and what he will more do for you, if you. 
will but consent, and accept of his grace, such serious thoughts cannot 
but warm your hearts, and through the Lord's blessing, awaken in you 
a great love to God. In short, the love of God shed abroad in the 
gospel is the great and powerful object that must be meditated upon ; 


and the love of God shed abroad in your hearts, the most effectual 
means to keep these objects close to the heart ; and then doubts 
will vanish. 

4. The mercies of daily providence declare much of the goodness of 
God to you, and to make him more amiable. Christians are much 
wanting to themselves and to their duty to God, when they do not 
increase their sense of God's goodness by their ordinary comforts : Deut. 
xxx. 20, ' Thou shalt love him, for he is thy life, and the length of thy 
days ;' 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, it is * the living God, who giveth us richly to 
enjoy all things' in this present world ; and Ps. Ixviii. 19, ' The God of 
our salvation, who daily loadeth us with his benefits.' Every day's and 
hour's experience should endear God to us. It is his sun that shineth 
to give thee heat, and influence, and cherishing. It is out of his store 
house that provisions are sent to thy table. He furnisheth thy dishes 
with meat, and filleth thy cup for thee. He did not only clothe man 
at first : Gen. iii. 21, ' Unto Adam and his wife did the Lord God make 
coats of skins, and clothed them ; ' when he turned unthankful man 
out of paradise, he would not send them away without a garment. 
As he performed that office then, so still he causeth the silkworm to 
spin for thee, and the sheep to send thee their fleeces ; only there is a 
wretched disposition in man, we do not take notice of that invisible 
hand, which reacheth out our comforts to us. Acts of kindness in our 
fellow-creatures affect us more than all those benefits we receive from 
God. What should be the reason ? Water is not sweeter in the dish 
than in the fountain. Man needeth himself, never giveth so freely and 
purely as God doth, but out of some self-respect. No kindness de- 
serveth to be noted but the Lord's, who is so high and glorious, so 
much above us, that he should take notice of us. Nothing but our un- 
thankfulness is the cause of this disrespect, and forgetting the goodness 
of his daily providence, and our looking to the next hand, and to the 
ministry of the creature, and not to the supreme cause. 

Third case of conscience about love, is about the intenseness and degree 
of it. The soul will say, God is to be loved above all things, and to 
have the preferment in our affections, choice, and endeavours ; for he 
is to be loved with all the heart, and all the soul, Deut. vi. 5 ; and 
earthly things are to be loved, as if we loved them not. Now to find 
my heart to be more stirred towards the creatures than to God, and 
seem to grieve more for a worldly loss than for an offence done to God 
by sin ; to be carried out with greater violence and sensible commotion 
of spirit to carnal objects than to Jesus Christ, I cannot find these 
vigorous motions, or this constraining efficacy of love overruling my 

Ans. 1. Comparison is the best way to discover love, comparing 
affection with affection ; our affections to Christ with our affections to 
other matters ; for we cannot judge of any affection aright by its single 
exercise, what it doth alone as to one object, but by observing the dif 
ference and disproportion of our respects to several objects. The scrip 
ture doth often put us upon this kind of trial : 2 Tim. iii. 4, ' Lovers 
of pleasure more than lovers of God.' Singly and apart a man cannot 
be so well tried, either by his love to God or his love to pleasure ; there 
being in all some kind of love to God, and a lawful allowance of creature 


delights, provided they do not most take us ; but when the strength of 
a man's spirit is carried out to present delights, and God is neglected 
or little thought of, the case is clear, that the interest of the flesh pre- 
vaileth in his heart above the interests of God ; so Luke xii. 21, 'So 
is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God ; ' 
mindeth the one and neglecteth the other ; namely, to enrich his soul 
with spiritual and heavenly treasure ; that followeth after spiritual 
things in a formal and careless manner, and earthly things with the 
greatest earnestness. The objection proceedeth then upon a right 
supposition, that a respect to the world, accompanied with a neglect of 
Christ, showeth that the love of Christ is not in us, or doth not bear 
rule in us. 

2. That God in Christ Jesus is to have the highest measure of our 
affections, and such a transcendent superlative degree as is not given 
to other things : Luke xiv. 26, ' If any man come to me, and hate not 
his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and 
sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' He that loveth 
any contentment above Christ, or equal with him, will soon hate Christ ; 
so Mat. x. 37, ' He that loveth father, or mother, son, or daughter, more 
than me, is not worthy of me.' And the sincere are described, Phil, 
iii. 7-10 ; the nearest and dearest relations, and choicest contentments 
all trampled upon, all is dung and dross in comparison of the excellency 
of the knowledge of our Lord. 

3. Love is not to be measured so much by the lively act, or the 
sensitive stirring of the affection, as the solid esteem, and the settled 
constitution. A thing may be loved intensively, as to the sensitive 
discovery of the affection, or appreciated by our deliberate choice, and 
constant care to please God. Partly, because the vigorous motion is 
hasty and indeliberate, is the fruit of fancy rather than faith. Some 
by constitution have a more moveable temper, and are like the sea, 
easily stirred. The reading the story of Christ's passions will draw tears 
from us, though we regard not God's design in it, nor how far our sins 
were accessory to these passions and sufferings. This qualm is stirred 
in us by fancy rather than faith ; the story of Joseph in the pit will 
work the like effect, as of Jesus on the cross ; yea, the fable of Dido 
and ./Eneas. In all passions the settled constitution of the heart 
showeth the man more than the sudden stirrings of any of them. 
Men laugh most when they are not always best pleased ; we laugh at 
a toy, but we joy in some solid benefit. True joy is a secure * thing,' 
and is seen in the judgment and estimation, choice and complacency, 
rather than in the lively act. So love is not to be measured by these 
earnest motions, but by the deliberate purpose of the heart to please 
God. And partly, because the act may be more lively where the af 
fection is less firm and rooted in the heart. The passions of suitors 
are greater than the love of husbands, yet not so deeply rooted, and do 
not so intimately affect the heart. Straw is soon enkindled, but fire 
is furnished with fit materials, and burneth better, and with an even 
and more constant heat. These raptures and transports of soul, fan 
atical men feel them oftener than serious Christians, who yet for all the 
world would not offend God. And partly, because sensible things do 

1 Qu. 'severe,' or 'serious'? ED 


more affect us, and urge us in the present state. While we carry a mass 
of flesh about with us, our affections will be more sensibly stirred by 
things which agree with our fleshly nature ; our senses, which transmit 
all knowledge to us, will be affected with sensible things rather than 
spiritual. I confess it is good to keep up a tenderness, and we should 
be affected with God's dishonour more than if we had suffered loss : 
Ps. cxix. 136, ' Kivers of tears run down mine eyes, because men keep 
not thy law ; ' but in some tempers grief cannot always keep the road 
and vent itself by the eye. Certainly the constant disposition of the 
soul is a surer note to judge by ; sensible stirrings of affection are more 
liable to suspicion, and not so certain signs of grace, as the acts of the 
understanding and will ; there is a possibility of a greater decay in 
them ; you cannot weep for sin, but you would give all that you have 
to be rid of sin ; a man may groan more sorely under the pains of the 
toothache, which is not mortal, than under the languishings of a con 

4. The effects of solid esteem are these 

[1.] When Christ is counted more precious than all the world, no 
affections to the creature can draw us to offend him, 1 Peter ii. 7. 
But all our love to them is still in subordination to a higher love. 
Love was principally made for God, and it is many ways due to him. 
Those excesses and heights which are in the affections will become no 
other object: the genius or nature of it showeth for whom it was 
made. However, as God hath placed some love and holiness in the 
creature, so some allowance of affection there is to them. Worldly 
comforts are valuable as they come from God, and lead to him, as 
effects of his bounty, and instruments of his glory and service. All 
the value we put upon them should be this, that we have something 
of value to esteem as nothing for Christ. And when God trieth us, 
when Christ and worldly matters come in competition, then to be found 
faithful, and despise the riches, pleasures, and honours of the world, 
this is a sensible occasion to show the sincerity of our love. Which do 
you choose ? the favour of God, or earthly friends ? the light of his 
countenance, or the prosperity of the world ? 

[2.] When you can for God's sake incur the frowns and displeasure 
of the creature : Luke xiv. 26, ' If any man come to me, and hate not 
his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and 
sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' 

[3.] When a man maketh it his main care rather to please God 
than to gratify the flesh and promote his carnal interests. Your 
great business is to walk worthy of God to all pleasing, Col. i. 10 ; 
you labour to get Christ above all, and to live in his love. All cares 
and businesses give way to this, and are guided and directed by this. 
His favour is the life of thy life, and his love is thy greatest happiness. 
And thou darest not put it to hazard, nor obscure the sense of it by 
any indulgence to carnal satisfactions ; and the greatest misery is his 
displeasure, and thereupon sin, which is the cause of it, is most hateful 
to thee. This is our constant trial, and certainly showeth how the 
pulse of the soul beateth. 



For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if 
one died for all, then were all dead. 2 COR. v. 14. 

THE fourth case of conscience is about the decay of love. The heart 
is not so deeply affected as it was wont to be with the love of God in 
Christ, nor is there such a strong bent of heart towards him, nor delight 
in him, and we grow more remiss in our work, feeble in the resistance 
of sin. Some that thus decay in love, are not sensible of it ; others 
from the decay infer a nullity of love. Therefore because this is a 
disease incident to the new creature, something must be said to this 
case, both to warn men, and to direct them in the judging of it. In 
answering this doubt, take these propositions 

1 . Leaving our first love is a disease not only incident to hypocrites, 
but God's own children. To hypocrites : Mat. xxiv. 12, ' The love of 
many shall wax cold ; ' to God's own children : Kev. ii. 4, ' Neverthe 
less I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.' 
They were commended for their labour in the Lord's work, zeal against 
hypocrites, patience in adversity, yet I have somewhat against thee ; 
what is that ? "On rrjv dyd'Tr'rjv aov rrjv jrpcorrjv a<r):a9. Only 
here is this difference, though the disease be common to both, yet with 
some difference as to the event and issue. Hypocrites may make a 
total defection, and there may be in them an utter extinction of love : 
in others there is not a total failing, but only some degrees of their 
love abated. The love of hypocrites may utterly miscarry and vanish. 
Many seem to be carried on with great fervour and affection in the 
ways of God for awhile, yet afterwards fall quite away ; partly, because 
it was a love built upon foreign motives, as the favour of the times, 
the air of education, the advantage of good company. Christ might 
be the object, but the world the ground and reason of all this love. 
Jesus is not loved for Jesus ' sake. He must be both object and reason ; 
otherwise when the reasons of our love alter, the object will not hold 
us. When times grow bad we grow bad with them. It is no wonder 
to see hirelings prove changelings; and many that loved a Christ 
triumphing, to forsake and hate a Christ crucified. When the grounds 
alter, their affections are removed ; their affections to Christ's cause and 
servants will cease also ; as artificial motions cease, when the poise 
is down by which they are moved. Flying meteors, when the matter 
that feedeth them is spent, will vanish and disappear, or fall from 
heaven like lightning, when the stars, those constant fires of heaven, 
shine forth with a durable light and brightness. What is in one 
evangelist, ' take from him that which he hath,' is ' take from him that 
which he seemeth to have,' in another, Luke viii. 18. Partly, because 
if Jesus were loved for Jesus' sake, yet not with such a prevalent, 
radicated love, as could subdue contrary affections. There is a love 
of God, and a delight in his ways, which is cherished in us upon right 
motives and reasons, such as the offer of pardon, and eternal life by 
Christ ; but this did but lightly affect the heart, not change it a 
taste of the good word, Heb. vi. 4-6. At first men find a marvellous 




sweetness in the way of godliness, hugely pleased with the possibility 
of pardon and happiness ; but these sentiments of religion are after 
wards choked by the cares of this world and voluptuous living ; ahd all 
that delight and savour which they had is lost, and comes to nothing, 
when temptations rise up in any considerable strength. Therefore we 
are warned to keep up the confidence and rejoicing of hope, Heb. 
iii. 6, 14, that well-pleasedness of mind, that liking, that comfortable 
savour which we had in the serious attending upon the business of 

2. God's own children may find their love cold and languishing, 
and that they go backward some degrees, and suffer loss in the heat 
and vigour of grace ; but though grace do decay, it is not utterly 
abolished. The church of Ephesus left her first love, but not utterly 
lost it ; the seed of God remaineth in them, 1 John iii. 9 ; there 
is some vital grace communicated in regeneration which cannot be lost. 
This is more radicated than the former ; it is a deeper sense of God's 
love, and doth more affect the heart, that it is not so easily controlled 
by contrary affections ; but chiefly because it is preserved by the 
influence of God's grace, with respect to his covenant, wherein he hath 
undertaken not to depart from us, so to keep afoot that love and fear 
in our hearts, that we shall not depart from him, Jer. xxxii. 40. In 
the new covenant God giveth what he requireth, donum perseverantice, 
as well as pr&ceptum. Well then, though this love may suffer a 
shrewd abatement, yet it is not totally extinguished. Gradus remit- 
titur, actus intermittitur, sed habitus non amittitur. Not only may 
the acts and fruits be few, but the measure of their inward love toward 
Christ may be abated, and yet not the habit lost or totally fail. 

Secondly, That we may understand this disease the better, let us 
consider what is not it. 

1. Not every lighter distemper, which the gracious heart observeth 
and rectifieth. There are failings and infirmities during the present 
state, and nothing is so uncertain as to judge of ourselves by particular 
actions ; in every act love doth not put forth itself so strongly as at 
other times, but a coldness and deadness seizeth upon us, which we 
cannot shake off. Or there may be failings, and we walk in darkness, 
Isa. Ixiv. 7, for one act or so, and yet cannot be called a decay of 
love ; every act of known sin is not apostasy and defection, nor a degree 
of it, as every feverish heat after a meal in the spring is not a fever. 
Alas, for the generation of the just, if every vain thought, or idle word, 
or distempered passion, were a decay of love ! Some obstruction of love 
there may be for the present, which the soul taketh notice of, and 
retracts with sorrow and remorse, but still we hold on our course ; yet 
it is a stopping in our course : Gal. v. 7, ' Ye did run well ; who did 
hinder you ? ' 

2. Every loss and abatement of those ravishments, and transports 
of soul, or love-qualms, which we feel sometimes, is not this decay. 
There are some raised operations of love which cannot be constant ; in 
two cases especially we find them : 

[1.] At first conversion. There are then strong joys and liftings up 
of soul upon our first acquaintance with God. Partly, from the new 
ness of the thing ; new things strangely affect and transport us, and 


no doubt there are greater and more express admirations of grace, when 
first called out of darkness into light. And that is the reason why it is 
called ' marvellous light/ 1 Peter ii. 9. The change is more admired by 
them who are newly plucked out of that woeful condition they were in 
before, and possessed of such excellent privileges as they have in their 
estate ; it makes them wonder the more at their own happiness ; as a 
man in deep thirst hath a more sensible pleasure when he first cometh 
to meet with drink ; his taste is more lively then, though he be thankful 
to God for the comfort of ordinary meals. Partly, because then our 
love wholly showeth itself in sensitive expressions, whilst as yet love 
is not dispersed and diffused into the several channels of obedience. 
The tide may be high and strong, our only work at first being the 
thankful entertainment and welcome of grace ; but when a man cometh 
to see how many ways he is to express his love to God, he may have a 
true zeal and affection 'to God in his Christian course, a more rooted 
and grounded love, though he have not those ravishments and trans 
ports of soul, Eph. iii. 17. And partly, because the first edge of our 
affections is not yet blunted by change of cases. A young Christian 
may be dandled upon the knee, have a more plentiful measure of God's 
sensible presence than afterwards is afforded to him, not yet tried with 
smiles and frowns, and variety of conditions, and things prosperous 
and adverse. And do you think that the seasoned Christian doth not 
love God as well as he, who hath been faithful to him in all estates, 
and not only passed the pangs of the new birth, but sundry encounters 
of temptations ? Surely the tried man hath the stronger love, though 
it may be not such stirrings of affections, as he who is under God's 
special indulgence, and from whom God for a while restraineth the 
violent assaults of furious temptations, till he be a little more confirmed 
and engaged in the profession of godliness. 

[2.] After great comforts and enlargements. In the days of God's 
royalty and magnificence, sometimes a Christian hath high affections 
to God, and joys in the sense of his love, when God hath feasted him, 
and manifested himself to him : Ps. Ixiii. 6, ' My soul is filled as with 
marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.' 
There are rich experiences of the love of God in his ordinances, which 
are vouchsafed to us, to which all the pleasures of the creature are no 
way comparable. Now these are very great mercies, but very doubtful 
evidences to try our estate by ; for these overflowings of love are acci 
dental things possunt adesse et abesse. They are fitted for special 
spiritual occasions. We cannot always bear up under them. A 
settled calm, and the peace of the soul, is a greater mercy than these 
spiritual suavities or passionate joys; if we have our taste kept 
up, and our relish of heaven and spiritual things, or a fixed bent of 
heart towards them, it is a more constant and less deceiving experience. 
Paul had his raptures, but withal his thorn in the flesh, to keep him 
humble, 2 Cor. xii. 7. We cannot expect that God should entertain 
us always with a feast ; if he give us the constant diet and allowance 
of his family, let us be thankful. And though we are not to rest in a 
dull quietness, but raise our hearts often to delight in God in more 
than an ordinary manner, yet no wise man can expect this should be 
our constant frame. 



[3.] Though we should not lightly judge ourselves guilty of a decay 
of love, yet we should not lightly acquit ourselves of it. For it is a, 
great evil, and a common evil, and many that are surprised with it are 
little sensible of it. 

(1.) It is a great evil. Partly, because the highest degree of love 
does not answer to the worthiness of Christ, nor to the duty of the 
regenerate, who are called by him from such a depth of misery to 
such a height of happiness. And therefore when a man falleth from 
his first love, and that measure which he had attained unto, and doth 
come short not only of the rule, but of his own practice, it is the more 
grievous. To come short of the rule is matter of continual humiliation 
to us ; but to come short of our own attainments is matter of double 
humiliation ; and the rather, because he that pleaseth himself in such 
an estate doth in effect judge the first love to be too much, as if he 
had been too hot and earnest, and done more than he needed, when 
he had such a strong love to Christ. His former love is really con 
demned, and thereby Christ is disesteemed, as if not worthy to be 
beloved with all the soul, and all the might, and all the strength. 
And partly, because as our love decayeth, so doth our work ; either it is 
wholly omitted, or else we put off God with a little constrained, com 
pulsory service, which we had rather leave undone than do ; our delight 
in our work is lessened. As when the root of a tree perisheth, the 
leaves keep t green for a while, but within a while they wither and fall 
off; so love, which is the root and heart of all other duties, when that 
decayeth, other things decay with it. The first works go off with the 
first love, at least, are not carried on with that care, and delight, and 
complacency, as they should be. And partly, because of the punishment 
which attendeth it. Christ is jealous of his people's affection, and 
cannot endure that he should not be loved again by those whom he so 
much loveth, and therefore hasteneth to the correction of this dis 
temper, and those that allow themselves in it : Kev. ii. 5, ' Behold I 
will come against thee quickly/ He threateneth to that church a 
removal of their candlestick, when their zeal of Christianity was abated. 
When a people grow weary of Christ, they shall know the worth of 
him by the want of him. So when particular Christians grow weary 
of God, and suffer a coldness and indifferency to creep upon their 
hearts, he cometh by some smart judgment to awaken them, and 
will make them feel to their bitter cost, what it is to despise or neglect 
a loving Saviour, 2 Chron. xii. 8. 

(2.) It is a common evil. For it is a hard matter to keep up the 
fervency of our love, therefore are there so many exhortations even to 
the best. The commended Thessalonians are thus prayed for, 2 Thes. 
iii. 5, ' And the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God ; ' and 
Jude 21, ' Keep yourselves in the love of God.' The best are apt to 
remit something of their delight in God, and their constant study to 
please him ; and our watchfulness is mainly to preserve this grace. 
There is so much self-love in us, love of our own ease and carnal 
satisfaction, so much love of the world, and such a constant working, 
warring principle to draw us off from God and heavenly things, that 
we cannot sufficiently stand upon our guard, and take heed to ourselves, 
that we do not quench this heavenly fire that should always burn in 


our bosoms. The generality of professors have no such care ; if they 
do not wholly cast off religion, they are satisfied, though their love to 
God be exceeding cold ; and as the hen as long as she hath one or two 
of her brood to follow her, doth not mind the loss of the rest, so they, 
as long as they do a few things for God, mind not the loss of many 
degrees of grace. 

(3.) Many that are surprised with it, are little sensible of it ; because 
spiritual distempers are not laid to heart, till they openly appear in 
their effects and fruits. A man may be much in external duties, and 
yet his love may be cold ; the life of his duties may be decayed, though 
the duties themselves be not left off; as the Pharisees tithed mint and 
cumin, and all manner of herbs, but passed over judgment, and the 
love of God, Luke xi. 42. Some small thing the flesh may spare to 
God, when as yet the heart is in a great measure withdrawn from 
him. There may be a decay in the degree of love, when there is no 
total falling from former acts : he may continue his course of outward 
duty, though he doth not act so vigorously from love as he was wont 
to do ; he is colder in obedience, and his delight in God is not so great 
as formerly ; his work is carried on with more difficulty and regret, 
and it is more grievous to obey ; the acts and fruits are fewer, though 
they do not wholly cease, and are not animated with such a working, 
active love ; therefore many times men are so insensible, that they 
throw off all ere they mind their distemper. As the glory of God, in 
Ezekiel, removed from the temple by degrees, first from the holy place, 
then to the altar of burnt-offerings, then to the outer court, then the 
city, then rested on one of the hills which encompassed the city, to see 
if they would bring him back again ; so in this case men grow cold 
towards God. God is first cast out of the heart, then out of the closet, 
then out of the family, then more indifferent as to public duties ; then 
sin beginneth to hurry us to practices inconvenient ; first we sin freely 
in thought, then foully in act, and all because we did not observe the 
first declinings. 

[4.] The decay of love is seen in two things ; the Remission of 
degrees, or the intermission of acts. 

(1.) The remission of degrees of our love to Christ, or to God in Christ. 
To understand this we must know what is the essential disposition of love. 
It is an esteeming, valuing, and prizing God above all things, which is 
manifested to us by a constant car-e to please him, a fear to offend him, 
a desire to enjoy him, and a constant delight in him. Now when any 
of these are abated, or fail, as to any considerable degree, your love is 
a-chilling or growing cold. First, Our constant care to please him. 
They that love God, and prize his favour, and have a sense of his mercy 
in Christ deeply impressed upon their hearts, they are always studying 
how they shall appear thankful for so great a benefit : Ps. cxvi, 12, 
' What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits towards me ? ' 
Therefore their business and work is to please God : Col. i. 10, ' Walk 
worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing ; ' and Isa. Ivi. 4, ' That choose 
the things that please thee, and take hold of thy covenant ; ' and 1 
Thes. iv. 1, 'As you have learned how to walk, and how to please God, 
so abound therein more and more.' A study to please is the true 
fruit of thankfulness. Whilst love is in vigour and strength, this 


disposition beareth sway in the heart; but now when it is a more 
indifferent thing, whether God be pleased or displeased, or not so 
greatly minded, when a man beginueth to please his flesh or men, 
and can dispense with his duty to God, and our intention is less 
sincere, not so much to please and honour God, as to gratify ourselves, 
then love is decayed. Secondly, The next is like it, a fear to offend. 
If you can be content to do anything and suffer anything, rather than 
displease .God, and lose his favour, God's love is dearer than life, his 
displeasure more formidable than death itself, love is strong : Gen. 
xxxix. 9, ' How can I do this wickedness and sin against God ? ' But 
when this fear to offend is weakened, your love decayeth. Thirdly, 
A desire to enjoy him in Christ. A strong bent and tendency of heart 
towards God argueth a strong love. When we cannot apprehend 
ourselves happy without him, count all things dung and dross, Phil, 
iii. 7-9, when we desire a sense of his love, or our reconciliation by 
Christ, this vehement desire after Christ cannot endure to want him, 
if we are deeply affected with that want, and make hard pursuit after 
him : Ps. Ixiii. 8, ' My soul followeth hard after thee/ We desire his 
grace, or sanctifying Spirit, are here hungering and thirsting after 
righteousness, and the perpetual vision of him hereafter. As our desires 
abate, so there is some abatement of the degree of our love. Fourthly, 
Delighting in him, or in the testimonies of his favour, more than in 
any worldly thing : Ps. iv. 6, ' Thou hast put more gladness into my 
heart, than in the time when their corn and wine is increased ; ' and 
Ps. cxix. 14, ' I delight in the way of thy testimonies more than in all 
riches.' Accordingly there is an observing of his coming and going, 
his presence or absence ; we mourn for the one, Mat. ix. 15 ; we rejoice 
in the other, when God is favourable and propitious, either manifesting 
his love to us, or helping us in our obedience to him. 

(2.) Intermission of acts, or effects of love. These more sensibly 
declare the former ; for the weakness or strength of the decree l is seen 
by the effects ; when the heart grows cold and listless, and loose in our 
love to God, the soul is not made fruitful by it. Now the effects of 
love do either concern God, sin, or the duties of obedience. 

(1st.) With respect to God. Love as to the effects of it is often des 
cribed First, By thinking and speaking often of him : Ps. Ixiii. 6, ' I 
remember thee on my bed, and meditate of thee in the night watches ; ' 
and, Ps. civ. 24, ' My meditation of him shall be sweet.' The wicked 
are described to be those that forget God, Ps. ix. 17 ; and seldom or 
never think of his name : Ps. x. 4, ' God is not in all their thoughts.' It 
is the pleasure of the soul to set the thoughts on work upon the object of 
our love. Now when our hearts and minds swarm with vain thoughts 
and idle imaginations, and thoughts of God are utter strangers to us, if 
they rush into our minds, they are entertained as unwelcome guests, 
you have no delight in them ; it is to be feared your love is decayed. 
For surely a man that loveth him will think often upon him, and speak 
reverently of him, and be remembering God both in company and 
alone ; upon all occasions his main business lieth with God. He is 
still to do his will, to seek his glory, and to live as in his sight and 
presence, and subsists by the constant supports he receiveth from him. 

^u.' degree'? ED. 


Secondly, As love implieth a desire of nearer communion with him' 
so we will be often in his company in duties. Frequency and fervency ' 
of converse with God in prayer, and other holy duties, is an effect of 
love. There cannot a day pass, but they will find some errand or 
occasion to confer with God, to implore his help, to ask his leave, 
counsel, and blessing, to praise his name : Ps. cxix. 164, ' Seven times 
a day will I praise thee.' Now when men can pass over whole days 
and weeks, and never give God a visit, it argueth little love : Jer. ii. 
32, ' My people have forgotten me days without number.' There is 
little love where there is a constant strangeness : Ps. xxvi. 8, ' I have 
loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour 
dvvelleth ; ' they love ordinances, because there they meet with God ; 
and Ps. Ixiii. 2, ' That I may see thee as I have seen thee/ They 
cannot let a day pass, nor a duty pass. God is object and end ; they 
seek him and serve him. Love is at least cold, if not stark dead, when 
God is neglected, when we have no mind to duties, or God is neglected 
in them. 

(2d.) With respect to sin. When the sense of our obligation to 
Christ is warm upon the heart, sin doth not escape so freely ; love will 
riot endure it to live and act in the heart. Grace will teach us to war 
and strive against it, Titus ii. 12. ' Do we thus requite the Lord ? ' 
Or is this thy kindness to thy friend ? Sin is more bewailed : as she 
wept much, because she loved much,. Luke vii. 47. Now when you 
wallow in sin without remorse, have lost your conscientious tenderness, 
can sin freely in thought, and sometimes foully in act, spend time vainly, 
have not such a lively hatred of evil, Ps. xcvii. 10, let loose the reins 
to wrath and anger, the heart is not watched, the tongue is not bridled, 
speeches are idle, yea, rotten and profane ; wrath and envy tyrannise 
over the soul ; you are become vain and careless, more bold and 
.venturous upon temptations and snares, less complaining of sin, or 
groaning under the relics of corruption ; surely love decayeth. 

(3d.) With respect to the duties of obedience. Love where it re- 
maineth in its strength, 

First, Breedeth self-denial, so that the impediments of obedience are 
more easily overcome, and so we are the more undaunted, notwith 
standing dangers ; as Daniel more unwearied in the work of the Lord, 
patient under labours, difficulties, and sufferings. Love will be at some 
expense for the party beloved, and will serve God whatever it costs us ; 
nay, counts that duty worth nothing that costs nothing, 2 Sam. xxiv. 
24. Now when every lesser thing is pleaded by way of bar and 
hesitancy, and all seemeth too much, and too long, and too grievous 
to be borne, love is not kept in vigour ; an unwilling heart is soon 
turned out of the way, and everything is hard and toilsome to it. 
Secondly, It maketh us act with sweetness and complacency : 1 John 
v. 3, ' His commandments are not grievous.' Acts of love are sweet 
and pleasing ; therefore when you have left the sweetness and com 
placency of your obedience, the fervour of your love is decayed ; other 
wise it would be no burden to you to be employed for a good God. 
Thirdly, It puts a life into duties, Horn. xii. 11, 'Not slothful in 
business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.' Otherwise the worship 
of God is performed perfunctorily, and in a careless, stupid manner; 


sin is confessed without remorse, or sense of the wrong done to God ; 
prayer for spiritual blessings without any such ardent desire to obtain 
them ; returning thanks without any esteem of the benefits, or 
affection to God in the remembrance of them ; singing without any 
life, or affection, or delight in God, or spiritual melody in our hearts ; 
conference of God and heavenly things, either none or very slight, and 
careless hearing without attention ; reading, without a desire of profit ; 
our whole service like a carcase without a soul. As faith enliveneth 
our opinions, so doth love our practices ; and as dry reason is a dead 
thing to faith, so without love everything done txod-ward, is done 
slightly ; why do we find more life in our recreations, than in our 
solemn duties, but because our love is decayed ? 

[5.] Having now found the sin, let us consider the causes of it. 

(1.) One cause or occasion may be the badness of the times. The 
best Christians may decay in bad times. The reason is given, Mat. 
xxiv. 12, ' Because iniquity doth abound, the love of many shall wax 
cold.' Iniquity beareth a double sense ; either a general or a more 
limited sense. When there is a deluge of wickedness, sin by being 
common groweth less odious. The limited sense is, taking iniquity 
for persecution ; because of the sharpness of persecution many shall fall 
off from Christianity. This should not be so ; Christians should shine, 
like stars, brightest in the darkest night, Phil. ii. 15, 16 ; or like fire, 
or a fountain, hottest in coldest weather; as David, in Ps. cxix. 126, 
127, ' It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for they have made void thy 
law ; therefore I love thy commandments above gold, above fine gold.' 
But it is hard to maintain the fire, when the world keepeth pouring 
on water. There is a certain liberty which we are apt to take in 
evil times, or a damp and deadness of spirit, which groweth upon us. 

(2.) It cometh from a cursed satiety and fulness. Our affections are 
deadened to things to which we are accustomed, and we are soon cloyed 
with the best things. The Israelites cried out, Nothing but this 
manna ! ' A full stomach loatheth a honey-comb.' When first 
acquainted with the things of the Spirit, communion with God, and 
intercourses with heaven, we are affected with them, but afterwards 
glutted ; but this should not be, because in spiritual things there is a 
new inviting sweetness to keep our affections fresh and lively, as in 
heaven God is always to the blessed spirits new and fresh every moment ; 
anti-proportionable in the church, where there is more to be had, still 
greater things than these. In carnal things this satiety is justifiable, 
because the imperfections of the creature which formerly lay hid are 
discovered upon fruition, and all earthly things are less in enjoyment 
than they were in expectation ; but it is not so in spiritual things ; 
every taste provoketh new appetite, 1 Peter ii. 3. 

(3.) From a negligence or sluggish carelessness. We do not take 
pains to keep our graces alive ; we do not ava&Trvpeiv, 2 Tim. i. 6, 
' rouse up the gift,' that is in us. As the priests in the temple were to 
keep in the holy fire, so we by prayer and diligent meditation, con 
stantly keeping love a- work, watchfulness against the encroachments of 
wordly and fleshly lusts ; and when we neglect these things love 

(4.) Sometimes it cometh from freeness in sinning. Neglect is like 


not blowing the fire hid in the ashes ; sinning is like pouring on water : 
1 Thes. v. 19, ' Quench not the Spirit.' Secure dalliance with the 
pleasures of sin brings a brawn and deadness upon the heart, and God 
is neglected, and our love to him very cold. 

[6.] There remaineth nothing more, but the cure and remedy 
against this evil ; and that concerneth prevention or recovery. 

(1.) The remedy, by way of prevention is, 

(1st.) That we should labour to get love more fixed and rooted : Eph. 
iii. 17, ' That ye may be rooted and grounded in love.' At first our 
affection may hastily put forth itself, like the hasty blossoms of the 
spring, which are soon nipped ; but a Christian's business is to get a 
solid affection and bent of heart towards God, that love may be as it 
were the very constitution of our souls, and the frame of our hearts 
may be changed into an addictedness and devotedness to God. Many 
content themselves with flashes, and good moods, and meltings at a 
sermon, which soon vanish and come to nothing, because they have no 
root. The word of grace, which revealeth the love of God, is not 
ingrafted in their souls, so as that it may be the very frame and temper 
of their hearts. Many receive this wprd with joy : Mat. xiii. 21, ' But 
he hath no root in himself.' They were once affected with the offers 
of remission of sins and eternal life ; but this affection is not so great, 
so deep, as to control contrary affections. Christ doth not dwell in the 
heart by faith ; a visit there is, but not an abode ; a transient motion . 
of the Spirit, but not a constant habitation : a draught of the running 
stream, but they have not the fountain within them, John iv. 14. 

(2d.) You must increase and grow in love, if you mean to keep it: 
Phil. i. 9, 'I pray, that your love may abound more and more;' 1 
Thes. iv. 1, 'As ye learned how to walk and to please God, so abound 
in it more and more.' At first love is but weak, but progress of it is 
to be endeavoured, otherwise a small measure of it raeeteth with so 
many things to extinguish it, that it cannot maintain itself. Nothing 
conduceth to a decay more than a contentment with what we have 
received ; and there is no such way to keep what we have, as to go on 
to perfection. They that row against the stream, if they do not ply 
the oar, will be driven back by the force of the tide ; therefore every 
day you should hate sin more, and love self less ; the world less, yet 
Christ more and more. Love being as it were the heart of the new 
creature, he that hath most love hath most grace, and is the best and 
strongest Christian. 

(3d.) Leve must still be excited, and kept in act or exercise ; not lie 
as a sleepy, useless habit in the soul. It must be the principle and 
end in every duty that is, we must work from love, and for love ; 
from love, for it is not an act of thankful obedience, if love be not acted 
in it. Oh, beg that this grace may be more increased in us ! All 
graces, ordinances, word, sacraments, tend to keep in this love-fire, and 
keep it a-burning. All these institutions serve but till love is perfect, 
and then they cease, but love remaineth. Besides all this, if love be 
not excited and kept a- work, carnal love will prevail. A corrupt and 
base treacherous heart had need be watched and kept from starting 
back. The back-bias of corruption will again recover strength, for 
love cannot lie idle in the soul ; either it must be directed and carried 


forth to God, or it will look out to worldly things. If our love ceaseth, 
concupiscence ceaseth not ; and within a while the world will become 
superior in the heart, and mammon be placed in God's room and stead 
be respected as our end and happiness for man cannot live, but he 
must have some last end of his actions. Nor can he long cease from 
owning and respecting that end, but the soul will set up another in 
its stead ; therefore the more we desist from loving God, the more we 
entangle ourselves with other tilings, which get strength and secure 
their interest in our souls, as they are confirmed by multiplied acts. 
Therefore the love of God must still be kept a-foot, that no other thing 
be practically preferred before him, John iv. 14. It must always be 
springing up and flowing forth. 

(4th.) Observe the first declinings, for these are the cause of all the 
rest : evil is best stopped in the beginning. If when first we began 
to grow careless, we had taken heed, it would never have come to that 
sad issue it doth afterwards ; a heavy body running downwards gathers 
strength by running, and still moveth faster. Look then to your first 
breaking off from God, and remitting your watch and spiritual fervour. 
It is easier to crush the egg, than kill the serpent : he that keepeth a 
house in constant repair prevents the fall and ruin of it. When first 
the evil heart beginneth to draw us off from God, and to be hardened 
through the deceitfulness of sin, then we must, Heb. iii. 12, 13, humble 
our souls betime, that we may stick close to Christ. 

(2.) By way of recovery, where there hath been a decay. Take the 
advice of the Holy Ghost : Kev. ii. 5, ' Kemember from whence thon 
art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works.' 

(1st.) A serious consideration of our condition, in those words, ' Re 
member from whence thou art fallen/ Recollect and sadly consider, what 
a difference there is between thee and thyself; thyself living and acting 
in the sense and power of the love of God, and thyself now under the 
power of some worldly and fleshly lust. Consider what an advantage 
thou hadst against temptations of the devil, the world, and the flesh, 
when love was in strength, and how much the case is altered with thee 
now ; how feeble and impotent in the resistance of any sin. Say, as 
Job, chap. xxix. 2, 3, ' Oh that it were as in the months past, in the 
day when God preserved me, when his candle shined upon my head/ 
or as the church : Hos. ii. 7, ' It wa's better with me then than now/ 
In our returning we^ should have such thoughts as these ; I was wont 
to spend some time every day with God ; it was a delight to me to 
think of him, or speak of him, or to him ; now I have no heart to pray 
or meditate. It was the joy of my soul to wait upon his ordinances ; 
the returns of the Sabbath were welcome unto me : but now what a 
weariness is it ! Time was when rny heart did rise up in arms against 
sin, when a vain thought was a grief to my soul ; why is it thus with 
me now ? Is sin grown less odious, or God less lovely ? 

(2d.) The next advice is, Repent ; that is, humble yourselves before 
God for your defection. It is not enough to feel yourselves fallen ; many 
are convinced of their fallen and lapsed estate, but do not humble and 
judge themselves for it in God's presence, bewailing their case, smiting 
on the thigh, praying for pardon. It is a great sin to grow weary of 
God : Isa. xliii. 22, ' Thou hast not called upon me, Jacob ; thou 


hast been weary of me, Israel ;' and Micah. vi. 3, ' my people, what 
have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify 
against me.' His honour is concerned in it ; therefore you must the 
more feelingly bewail it. 

('3d.) Do thy first works. We must not spend the time in idle com 
plaints. Many are sensible that do not repent ; many repent, i. e., seena 
to bewail their case, but languish in idle complaints for want of love, 
but do not recover this loss by serious endeavours. You must not rest 
till you recover your former seriousness, and mindfulness of God : it is 
one of the deceits of our hearts to complain of negligence, and not redress 
it. The Nazarite who had broken his vow, he was to begin all again, 
Num. vi. 12. So you that have broken with God, you must do what you 
did at first conversion ; let your work be sin-abhorring every day, and 
engaging your heart anew to God ; and make no reservation, but so 
give up yourselves to the Lord, that his interests may prevail in your 
hearts again above all sinful and vile inclinations, or whatever hath 
been the cause of the withdrawing your hearts from God, and the decay 
of your love to him. 


For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if 
one died for all, then were all dead. 2 COR. v. 14. 

WE come now to theffth case of conscience, about loving God with 
all the heart, a thing often required in scripture. The original place is, 
Deut. vi. 5, ' And thou shalt love the Lo'rd thy God, with all thy 
heart, and all thy soul, and all thy might.' It is repeated by our 
Lord, Mat. xxii. 37, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy 
heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy mind ;' but in Mark x. 30, and 
Luke x. 27, ' With all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind, 
and all thy strength.' This sentence was famous ; it was one of the 
four paragraphs, which the Jews were wont to write upon their phy 
lacteries, and fastened to their door-posts, and read in their houses 
twice a-day. Mark, here is variety of words, sometimes three words 
are used, and sometimes four. Some go about accurately to distinguish 
them by the heart interpreting the will ; by the soul, the appetite and 
affections : by the mind, the understanding ; and by might, bodily 
strength ; all put together with that intensive particle ' all ' imply great 
love to God. Now a doubt ariseth hereupon, how this is reconcilable 
with the defects of God's children, and the weaknesses of the present 
state. Yea, it seemeth to confine our affections, that there will be love 
left for no other things ; for if God have all the heart, and all the soul, 
and all the mind, and all the strength, what is there left for husband, 
wife, children, Christian friends, and other relations, without which 
respect human society cannot be upheld and preserved ? The doubt 
may be referred to two heads. 

1. The irreconcilableness of the rule with present defects. 


2. The confinement intimated is destructive of our respect to our 
natural comforts and relations. 

First, Concerning the first, how it is reconcilable with those many 
partibilities and defects of God's children: 

I answer First, by distinguishing. This sentence may be considered 
as an exaction of the law, or as a rule of the gospel. 

1. As an exaction of the law. And so it serveth to show us, what 
duty the perfect law of God requireth ; complete love without the least 
defect all the heart, all the soul, and all the might ; a grain wanting 
maketh the whole unacceptable, as one condition not observed forfeiteth 
the whole lease, though all the rest be kept. That this reference is not 
to be altogether slighted, appeareth by the occasion ; a lawyer asked 
him a question, tempting him, saying, ' Master, which is the great com 
mandment of the law ? ' Mat. xxii. 35. Now Christ's aim was to beat 
down his confidence by proposing the rigour of the law : Luke x. 28, 
' This do, and thou shalt live ; ' the best course to convince self- 
justiciaries, such as this lawyer was, thereby to rebate their confidence 
and to show the necessity of a better righteousness ; and so it is of use 
this way for a double end. 

[1.] To convince us of the necessity of looking after the grace of the 

[2.] To prepare us to entertain it with the more thankfulness. 

[1.] Of the impossibility of keeping the law, and so the necessity of 
the use of the Redeemer. For to fallen man the duty of the law is 
impossible, and the penalty of it intolerable ; therefore all men by this 
covenant, according to this covenant, are enclosed within a curse, shut 
up, and necessitated to seek the grace of the gospel : Gal. iii. 23, ' But 
before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, 
which should afterwards be revealed.' The law cannot be satisfied, 
unless the whole man obey wholly in all things, which to corrupt 
nature is impossible, and so it inevitably driveth us to Christ, who 
accepteth us upon more equitable terms. 

[2.] To make us thankful for our deliverance by Christ. When 
you read these words, all the heart, all the soul, all the might, all the 
strength, bless the Lord Jesus in thy heart, that God doth not deal 
with us upon these terms ; that we are rid of this hard bondage, exact 
obedience or eternal ruin : ' That the law of the Spirit of life in Christ 
Jesus hath made us free from the law of sin and death/ Eom. viii. 2, 
i.e., of that rigorous covenant, which to man fallen serveth only to 
convince of sin, and to bind over to death. If God should sue us 
upon the old bond, a straggling thought, a wandering glance, might 
make us liable to the curse. 

2. As a rule of the gospel. ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, 
&c. ' With all,' this is not wholly antiquated, and out of date in 
the gospel ; we must distinguish what is required by way of precept, 
and what is accepted by way of covenant ; for the rule is as strict as 
ever, but the covenant is not so strict to wit, that we must 
necessarily perish if we break it in the least jot or tittle. The rule is 
as strict as ever, and admitteth of no imperfection, either of parts or 
degrees ; but the covenant is not so strict, but accepteth of a perfec 
tion of parts, and of such a degree, as is dominating and prevailing, 


or doth infer truth of God's image, or a single-hearted disposition to 
love and serve God to the uttermost of our power. Let me prove both 
these : 

[1.] That the rule is as strict as ever : that is necessary ; partly, 
with respect to the lawgiver, for no imperfect thing must come from 
God ; and partly, with respect to the time when it was given us, in 
innocency ; and partly, with respect to us, who are under the rule of 
the law ; for if the rule did not require a perfect love, our defects 
were no sins, for ' where there is no law there is no transgression,' 
Horn. iv. 15. And that this particular law is still in force appeareth by 
that of Christ, Mat. xxii. 37-40, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself ; on these two hang 
the law and the prophets/ Surely that law and prophets include all 
known scripture that is binding to us. 

[2.] But the covenant is not so strict. For where weaknesses are 
bewailed, striven against, and in some measure overcome, they shall 
not be prejudicial and hurtful to our salvation ; for in the new cove 
nant God requireth perfection, but accepteth sincerity ; and though we 
cannot bring our graces to the balance, it is enough that we can bring 
them to the touchstone : Gen. xvii. 1, ' Walk before me, and be thou 
upright ; ' though not perfect, yet if upright, though there be a double 
principle, flesh and spirit, yet if not a double heart. A sincere love, 
in the language of the Holy Ghost, is loving God with all the heart 
and all the soul ; so it is said of David, 1 Kings xiv. 8, ' He kept 
my commandments, and followed me with all his heart, to do only that 
which was right in mine eyes.' David had shrewd failings, yet because 
of his habitual purpose, so the Lord speaketh of him ; so of Josiah, 
2 Kings xxiii. 25, ' Like unto him there was no king, that turned to 
the Lord with all his heart, and all his soul, and all his might, accord 
ing to all the law of Moses.' Josiah also had his blots and imperfec 
tions, yet his heart was prevalently set towards God ; so that all the 
heart and all the soul may be reconciled with the saint's infirmities, 
though not with a vicious life. 

Secondly, I shall show you how far we are obliged to love God with 
all the heart, and all the soul, and all the mind, and all the strength, 
if we would not forfeit our covenant claim of sincerity. 

1. We are bound to strive after perfection, and, as much as may 
be, to come up to the exactness of the rule. The endeavour is required, 
though as to success, God dealeth graciously with us: Phil. iii. 12, 'Not 
as though I were already perfect, or had already attained, but I follow 
after, that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of 
Christ.' The perfection of our love to God is part of our reward in 
lieavea ; but we are striving after it, we cannot arrive to the perfect- 
ness of the glorified estate, but we are pressing towards it. Allowed 
failings cannot stand with sincerity, for he that is contented with a 
little grace hath no grace that is to say, he that careth not how little 
God be loved, provided he may be saved, doth not sincerely love God. 
A true Christian will endeavour a constant progress, and aim at no less 
than perfection. Christians, this is still your rule, all the heart and all 
the soul, and all the might. The Lord hath such a full right to your 
love, that coldness is a kind of a hatred, and the grace which we 


received in conversion will urge us to it ; for tendentia mentis in 
Deum is the fruit of conversion, and God is not respected as a 
means, but as an end. We do more unlimitedly desire the end 
than the means. The whole latitude of understanding, will, and 
affections is due to him, without division or derivation to other 

2. We are so far obliged as to bewail defects and failings ;. as 
Paul groaneth under the relics of corruption: Bom. vii. 24, 'Oh 
wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from this body of death? ' 
A true Christian would love God more perfectly, delight in him more 
abundantly, bring every thought and practice into subjection to his 
will ; if not, they are kept humble ; it is a burden and trouble ; they 
cannot allow themselves in this imperfect estate ; the same new nature 
which checketh sin before it is committed, mourneth for it after it 
hath got the start of us. Resistance is the former dislike of the new 
nature, and remorse the latter dislike after we are overcome. None 
have such cause to bewail failing as the children of God ; they sin 
against more light and love; and if conscience be in a right frame, they 
will bemoan themselves, and loathe themselves for their sins ; and their 
love, which is seen in a care to please, is also seen in sorrow for 
offences when they break out, and a trouble at the lower degrees of 

3. We are so far obliged as in some measure to get ground upon 
them, for a Christian is to grow in grace. There are some sins which 
are not so easily or altogether avoidable by the ordinary assistances of 
grace vouchsafed, as sins of ignorance, sudden surreption, and daily 
incursion ; and there are other sins which may be and are avoided so 
far by God's children, so as that they do not frequently, easily, and 
constantly lapse into them. There are other grievous evils which 
Christians do not ordinarily fall into, unless in some rare cases. A 
Christian may lapse into them, as being overborne by the violence of 
a temptation, as Noah's drunkenness, Lot's incest, David's adultery ; 
foul sins, but there was no habitual aversation from God ; but yet a 
foul fall cuts the strength of a Christian resolution, being overborne by 
some violent temptations. Now against the first of these, striving 
against unavoidable infirmities is conquering ; the second must be 
mortified and weakened. In the other it is not enough to strive against 
them, but forsake them and grow wiser for the future. 

Secondly, As to the second part of the case, the confinement. 

Ans. God doth not require that we should love nothing, think of 
nothing, but himself. The state of this life will not permit that ; but 
God must have all the heart so far (1.) That nothing be loved against 
God. A prohibited object is forbidden ; sin must not be loved, as they 
loved darkness more than light, John iii. 19. (2.) Nothing above God 
with a superior love : Mat. x. 37, ' He that loveth father, or mother, 
more than me, is not worthy of me/ (3.) Not equally with God. 
Other things are excluded from an equal love, for then our love to God 
is but a partial and half love, divided between God and the creature. 
No ; Luke xiv. 26, ' We must hate father and mother, and wife and 
children,' &c. ; God above all, and our neighbour as ourself. God can 
endure no rival ; this love to man is but the second commandment, 


and must give way to the first. (4.) Nothing apart from God, but as 
subordinate to him : Ps. Ixxiii. 25, ' Whom have I in heaven but thee ? 
and there is none on earth I desire besides thee.' I must love my friends 
in him, and my foes for him, his people because of his image, all 
because of his command ; God in his creatures, Christ in his members ; 
myself, wife, children, natural comforts, in God and for God. To set 
up anything as a divided end from God is a great evil, as well as to set 
up anything as an opposite end to him. It may be a damnable sin to 
love any worldly comfort without subordinating it to God : James iv. 
4, ' Ye adulterers, and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of 
the world is enmity to God ? whosoever therefore will be a friend of 
the world is the enemy of God ; ' 1 John ii. 15, ' Love not the world, 
neither the things that are in the world ; if any man love the world, 
the love of the Father is not in him.' Apart from God is spiritual 

How shall I do in short to know that I have the love of God in me ? 
What is the undoubted evidence, by which I may judge of my state, 
or know that my love to God is sincere ? 

Ans. 1. It concerneth us more to act grace, than to know that we 
have it. Do you set yourselves with all your hearts, and with all 
your souls to love God, and you shall soon know that you love him. 
Things will discover themselves, when in any good degree of predomi 
nancy ; and love, when it is in any strength, cannot well be hidden from 
the party that hath it ; as a man burning hot will soon feel himself 
warm. But small things are hardly discerned ; a weak pulse seemeth to 
be as none at all. Many languish after comforts, and spend their time 
in idle complaints, and so continue the mischief they complain of. 
Up and be doing ; and bestow more time in getting and increasing, 
and acting grace, than in anxious doubtings whether you have any ; 
comfort cometh sooner by looking to precepts, which tell us what we 
should do, than signs, which tell us what we are, and the acting of love 
is the best way to have it manifested ; so Christ telleth us, John xiv. 
21, ' He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that 
loveth me, and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I 
will love him, and manifest myself to him.' There is the way to get 
the manifestation of grace, and of Christ's owning us. Give God his 
due obedience, and you shall not want comfort ; it is a purer respect 
that we show to God by minding his interest rather than our own ; 
and to love him, and wait for the time when we shall know that we 
love him. 

2. Yet it is our duty to try seriously the sincerity and soundness of 
our respects to Christ ; partly, because the heart is very deceitful, and 
we must search warily. Christ putteth Peter to the question thrice : 
John xxi. 15-19, ' Lovest thou me ? ' It is some conviction to a liar to 
make him repeat his tale. A deceitful heart will be apt to reply, that 
he is not worthy to live who doth not love Christ ; but urge it again 
and again, Do I indeed love Christ ? Yea, leave not till you can appeal 
to God himself for the sincerity of your love : ' Lord, thou knowest all 
things, and thou knowest that I love thee.' And partly also, because 
there is a great deal of counterfeit love ; therefore the apostle saith, 
Eph. vi. 24, ' Grace be with all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ 


iu sincerity.' Many profess love, whose love when it cometh to be 
t ried will be found counterfeit and insincere. Our Lord Jesus telleth 
the Pharisees, who were quarrelling with him for healing a man upon 
the sabbath day, John v. 42, ' But I know you, that you have not the 
love of God in you/ They pretended great love and zeal for the sab 
bath, and therefore opposed the working of that miracle. Men may 
pretend zeal for God's glory and his ordinances, who yet have no true 
love to God ; as many pretend great esteem of the memory of Christ, 
yet hate his servants and slight his ways. 

3. The great standing evidence of love is obedience, or a universal 
resolution, and care to please God in all things. I shall prove to you 
from scripture first that it is so, then from reason. 

[1.] From scripture : John xiv. 15, ' If ye love me, keep my com 
mandments.' None truly love Christ but those that make conscience 
of obedience; so verse 21, 'He that hath my commandments and 
keepeth them, he it is that loveth me;' so verse 23, ' If a man love me, 
he will keep my words ; ' so John xv. 14, ' Ye are my friends, if ye do 
whatsoever I command you.' Friendship consisteth in a harmony of 
mind and will ; there is such a real friendship between Christ and 
believers, which maketh them cordial, cheerful, zealous, and constant 
in their obedience to him : 1 John ii. 5, ' But whoso keepeth his word, 
in him verily is the love of God perfected ; ' that is, hath produced its 
consummate effect ; so 1 John v. 3, ' This is love, to keep his command 
ments.' Love implieth the doing of those things which are most 
grateful and acceptable to the party beloved ; and this is the prime, if 
not the only way, of demonstrating our love to God, which the scripture 
so much insisteth upon ; so Exod. xx. 6, ' That love me, and keep my 

[2.] Now for the reasons. Our love to God is not the love of courtesy 
that passeth between equals, but a love of dutiful subjection, such as is 
due from an inferior to a superior ; such as is that of servants to their 
master, subjects to their prince and governor, creatures to their creator ; 
and therefore is not discovered by a fellow-like familiarity, so much as 
by obedience. God's love to us is an act of bounty, our love to him 
is an act of duty ; and therefore he will see 'that the trial of this love 
of gratitude or this returning love be sincere, if it produce an uniform 
and constant obedience, or an universal care to please God in all 
things ; faith is known by love, and love by obedience, Gal. vi. 15, and 

4. This obedience which love produceth must be active, constant, 
and pleasant. 

[1.] Active and laborious. Love will not rest in word and profession 
only, or lie lurking in the heart as an idle habit, but will break out in 
sensible proofs and endeavours, and keep us hard at work for God : 
Bom. xii. 11, 'Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the 
Lord.' So it is where there is love; but for others everything is 
tedious to flesh and blood ; and where love is cold, men cannot over 
come a little ease and sloth of the flesh. Now how can they know the 
love of God, who will do nothing for him, or no great thing for him ? 
Till you abound in the work of the Lord, love doth not discover itself ; 
love will be working and labouring, and ever bringing forth fruit ; 


and that is not real and sincere which is not such, which will not be 
at the pains and charge of obedience. 

[2.] Constant ; for one act or two will not manifest our love to God, 
but a course of holiness : John xv. 10, ' If ye keep my commandments, 
ye shall abide in my love ; even as I have kept the Father's command 
ments, and abide in his love.' And love must show itself, as by obe 
dience, so by a constant obedience ; and therefore it requireth some 
competent space of time before we can be fully assured of the sincerity 
of it. When we find it growing, it is very comfortable, and when we 
have rode out so many temptations, it is an encouragement still to go 
on with God. 

[3.] It must be pleasant : 1 John v. 3, ' For this is the love of God, 
that we keep his commamdments, and his commandments are not 
grievous ; ' and Ps. cxii. 1, ' Blessed is the man that delighteth greatly 
in his commandments.' When we cheerfully practise all that he 
requireth of us, love sweeteneth all things ; it is meat and drink to do 
his will ; the thing commanded is excellent, but it is sweeter as com 
manded by him. A man is never thoroughly converted till he delighteth 
in God and his service, and his heart is overpowered by the sweetness 
of his love. A slavish kind of religiousness, when we had rather not 
do than do our work, is no fruit of grace, and cannot evidence a sincere 

5. In the course of our obedience, God ordereth some special seasons 
for the discovery of our sincere love to him. As Abraham had his 
trial, so we : Heb. xi. 17, ' By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered 
up Isaac/ And God trieth, non ut ipse hominem inveniat, sed ut homo 
se inveniat ; Gen. xxii. 12, ' For now I know thou fearest God.' That 
is a document, a sensible proof of the reality and sincerity of grace, as 
under sore trials, God doth most manifest himself to us : upon these 
occasions, when put upon great self-denial, we have a sensible occasion 
to see which we love most ; it was a nice case before. When faithful 
ness to God's interest is dearer to us than our own credit, liberty, life, 
then is a special sensible occasion to improve the sincerity of our love. 
Such things are pleaded, Ps. xliv. 17, ' All this is come upon us, yet 
have we not forsaken thee, nor dealt falsely in thy covenant.' God's 
choicest comforts are for them that overcome temptations. 

Sixth case of conscience. But how shall we do to get or increase 
this love to Christ ? Is there anything that man can do towards it, 
since love is of God, and a fruit of his Spirit ? 

Ans. 1. It is true that a man in his natural estate cannot by his 
own power bring his heart to love God. Partly, because men naturally 
are lovers of themselves, that is, of their carnal selves, and so lovers 
of pleasure more than God, 2 Tim. iii. 4. So addicted to vain and 
sensual delights, the flesh and world have intercepted their love and 
delight : John iii. 6, ' That which is born of flesh is flesh.' Will a 
nature that is carnal resist and overcome the flesh ? and can men be 
brought by their own inclination to abhor the sin they dearly love, and 
a worldly mind overcome the world ? Therefore till grace heal our 
natures, we cannot love God or Christ. First, the carnal love must be 
mortified : Deut. xxx. 6, ' The Lord thy God shall circumcise thy 
heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy 


heart, and all thy soul, that thou mayest live.' Till God pare away 
our foreskin, and mortify our carnal love and inordinate passions, there 
can be no love to God or Christ raised or enkindled in our hearts. 
And partly, because men are haters of God, Rom. i. 30, enemies to 
him, as standing in the way of their desires, and keeping them by his 
laws from things which they affect, as forbidden fruit: Col. i. 21, 
' And you that were sometimes alienated, and enemies in your minds 
by evil works ; ' and Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity 
to God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be ;' 
and James iv. 4, ' Know ye not that the friendship of the world 
is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the 
world is the enemy of God.' There is a mixture of love, palpable 
and evident by nature, * and though men might be imagined to have 
some kind of love to God as a creator, and preserver, and benefactor, 
yet they hate him as a law-giver and a judge. Therefore till this 
enmity be broken, there is no hope of bringing the heart to love God. 

2. Since God worketh it, it must be in the first place begged of him. 
As the apostle prayeth for others, so do you for yourselves : Eph. iii. 
17, 18, ' That ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to 
comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, 
and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, 
and be filled with all the fulness of God.' We have but light appre 
hension of the love of God in Christ ; it leaveth no impression upon 
us : 2 Thes. iii. 5, ' And the Lord direct your hearts to the love of 
God,' set straight your hearts, Karopdvvai ; they are fluttered abroad 
to all manner of vanities, and therefore the psalmist prayeth, Ps. 
Ixxxvi. 11, ' Unite my heart to thy fear.' 

3. Though we pray to God, yet we must not neglect to use the 
means. For God will meet with us in our way, in a way proportion 
able to our reason, and we are to meet with him in his way, in a way 
of duty and means. God doth not overrule us by a brutish force, nor 
raise an inclination in our wills, but in the way of understanding ; the 
ordinary way of working upon man is by the understanding, and so 
upon the will. What are the means of raising our love ? 

[1.] A knowledge of our necessity, and the excellency and worth of 
Christ and his beneficial ness to us : John iv. 10, ' If thou knewest the 
gift.' We love little, because we know little ; saints and angels, who 
know him most, love him best ; in heaven there is complete love because 
there is perfect knowledge ; that the apostle's prayer showeth, how we 
are rooted and grounded in love, Eph. iii. 17-19. 

[2.] Serious consideration ; the more you lay out your thoughts in 
the serious consideration of these things which most tend to feed and 
breed love. Objects and moving reasons, kept much upon the mind 
by serious thoughts, are the great means and instruments appointed 
both by nature and grace to turn about and move the soul of man. 
Consideration, frequent and serious, is God's great instrument to con 
vert the soul : Ps. cxix. 59, ' I thought on my ways, and turned my 
feet unto thy testimonies ;' and to get, keep, and increase grace: witness 
this text, ' For we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all 
dead.' Therefore the total want of love, or the weakness of love, comes 
for want of consideration. Oh then, think often of God's goodness, 


amiableness, and kindheartedncss to miserable and unworthy sinners, 
what he is in himself, a pardoning God ; none like him, Mic. vii. 18 ; 
what he hath done for you from your youth upward. Every one should 
be his own historian : Ps. cxxxix. 17, ' How precious are thy thoughts 
to me, God ! how great is the sum of them ! ' Every morning come 
to a new account and audit- what he is willing yet to do for you in 
Christ, to pardon all your sins, to sanctify you by his Spirit, and to 
give you eternal life, and a portion among his people. 

[3.] You must increase love by a constant familiarity and communion 
with God. Strangeness dissolveth friendship, but our hearts settle to 
wards them with whom we frequently converse : Job xxii. 21, ' Acquaint 
thyself now with him, and be at peace.' When men neglect prayer, 
their hearts set loose from God. Therefore upon all occasions main 
tain a constant commerce between God and you. 

[4.] If there be a breach, be soon reconciled again. If a man was 
unclean, he was to wash his clothes before even : Eph. iv. 26, ' Let 
not the sun go down upon thy wrath.' As between man and man, so be 
tween God and man ; ' forgive us this day,' as well as ' give us this day.' 
When discontents settle they are hardly removed : Jer. viii. 4, ' Shall 
they fall, and not arise ? turn away, and not return ? ' It is spoken to 
backsliding Israel. A candle newly put out sucketh light again, if you 
kindle it before it stiffeneth and groweth cold ; so the sooner we recover 
ourselves, the less breach is made by it. 

[5.] Mortify love to the world. This is baneful to the love of the 
Father : 1 John ii. 15, ' Love not the world, neither the things that 
are in the world ; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is 
not in him.' When the soul is filled with one object, it cannot attend 
upon another, though more excellent. The love of the world is that 
which first kept us from God, and still it dulleth the edge of our 
affections, and diverteth us from him ; therefore watch against the 
enticements of the flattering world, and love the creature in subordi 
nation to God. 

Now let me exhort you to the love of Christ. 

1. The genius and disposition of love showeth it is fit for nothing 
but God. As he that looketh upon an axe will say it is fit to cut, so 
he that looketh upon love will say it was made for God. Love is for 
that which is good ; it is the motion of the soul to what is good for us ; 
good is the object of love. The more good anything is, the more it 
must be loved ; this is the disposition of nature, and grace doth direct 
it and set it aright. Now who is so good as God, who hath all good 
ness in himself ? All that goodness which is in the creature is derived 
from him, and dependeth on him ; he hath given us all the good which 
we have received, and that out of mere love ; yea, he hath given us love 
itself. Now whom will you love, if he that is love itself seem not 
lovely to you ? All loveliness is in him and from him ; the creature 
hath none of itself nor for itself. Is sin such a thing, that for the love 
of it you will fly from God and goodness ? 

2. Love is but for one object. The affection is weakened by dis 
persion, as a river divided into many channels. In conjugal society, 
which is the highest instance of love : Mai. ii. 15, ' And did not he 
make one ? Yet had he the residue of the Spirit. And wherefore one ? 



That he might seek a godly seed.' God in the beginning made but one 
man for one woman, and one woman for one man, yet he could, if he 
would, have created more persons at once ; it was not out of defect of 
power, but wise choice, that their affections might be the stronger. 
Conjugal affection would be weakened, if, as they are in the brutes, 
they were scattered promiscuously to several objects. The true object 
indeed of love is but one, and that is God ; he is loved for himself, and 
other things for his sake. All lines end in the centre ; so all the 
inclinations of the creature should terminate in God. Love was 
planted in us for this purpose, that other things might be loved in 
God and for God. 

3. The force and vehemency of love showeth it was made for God. 
[1.] It is a vehement affection, that swayeth the whole soul. God 

only deserveth these heights and excesses which are in love. We 
make gods of other things, when we love them without subordination 
to him. Samson was led about like a child by Delilah. Men con 
temn all things, honour, name, credit, riches, for their love, ease, 
pleasure. Turn this to money, covetousness is idolatry, Eph. v. 5 ; to 
pleasure, and the belly becometh a god, Phil. iii. 1 9. 

[2.] It is love maketh us good or bad men. Men are as their love 
is. We are not determined from our knowledge, but our affections ; 
a man may know evil, and yet not be evil ; he is a carnal man that 
hath carnal desires ; love is the inclination and bias of the will. Such 
as a man is, so is his love. A man's heart is where his love is, rather 
than where his fear is. It is love transformeth the heart ; it changeth 
us into the nature of what is loved. This is the difference between 
mind and will ; the mind draweth things to itself, and refineth and 
purifieth them ; but the will followeth the things it chooseth, and is 
drawn after them, made like them, as the wax receiveth the stamp and 
impression of the seal. Carnal objects make it carnal, and earthly 
things earthly, and heavenly things heavenly, the love of God godly : 
Ps. cxv. 8, ' They that make them are like unto them ; so are all 
they that put their trust in them/ stupid, senseless as their idols. Love 
transformeth into the things we love; therefore without love all is 
nothing, 1 Cor. xiii. 1. 

[3.J So much of the Spirit of God as you have, so much love ; for love 
to God is the proper gift of the Spirit to all the adopted sons of God, 
to cause them with filial affection and dependence to cry, Abba, Father, 
Gal. iv. 6 ; not always seen in challenging an interest in him, as 
coming in a childlike affection and a spirit of love. 

4. The sad consequence of not loving Christ. It is no arbitrary 
matter ; the apostle suiteth his threatening to the form of the highest 
curse among the Jews : 1 Cor. xvi. 22, ' If any man love not the Lord 
Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,' cursed till the Lord 
come ; suspension from the congregation, casting out, giving over all 
hopes of the party offending, and leaving them till the Lord's coming. 
There is no hope for you. Though you do not hate, yet if you love 
not, there is a curse that will never be repealed. God made Christ's 
love so exemplary, to astonish us with kindness. Anathema is too 
good for him, the apostle cannot express it under a double curse ; you 
will be cast out of the assembly of the first-born if you repent not. 


5. Consider what advantages we have by love. An interest in all 
the promises : Eph. vi. 24, ' Grace be with all them that love our Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity ; ' and Kom. viii. 28, ' All things shall work 
together for good to them that love God ;' and James i. 12, 'Blessed 
is the man that endureth temptations, for when he is tried, he shall 
receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that 
love him ; ' James ii. 5, ' Hath not God chosen the poor of the world, 
to be rich in faith, arid heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised 
to them that love him ? ' Faith giveth a right, but love a sensible 
interest. We cannot take comfort in the sense, till sure of the con 
dition and qualification ; our faith is not right, till it beget love. 

6. It is not only among the graces, but the rewards. Entire love is 
a part of our happiness in heaven ; it is our only employment there to 
love God, to love what we see, and possess what we love ; so that love 
is the end and final happiness of man. Love is the final act, as God 
is the final object. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and 
love is the perfection of it. 


For we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. 
2 COR. v. 14. 

IN the words observe two things: the force and operation of 
love ; the reason of it ; ' For we thus judge,' &c. In which two 

1. The instance of Christ's love to us ; one died for all. 

2. The means of improving it ; ive thus judge. 

In the instance or argument which love worketh upon, you have 
The act of Christ's love ; he died. 


The peculiarity of it to him ; he alone died. 
The benefit that redounds to others; one for all. 

2. The means of improving ; ' We thus judge/ to wit, after due de 
liberation and thinking upon the matter. It implieth First, con 
sideration ; and secondly, determination. 

[1.] Consideration, 'if one,' if one or since one. It is a suppositional 
concession, if. one appointed to die, and accepted in the name of all 
the rest. 

[2.] Determination ; we so far conclude thence. The determination 
of the judgment maketh way for the resolution of the will; the one is 
formally expressed, the other implied. 

Doct. That Christ's dying one for all is the great instance and argu 
ment that should be improved by us to breed and feed love. 

Here let me inquire 

1. What dying one for all signifieth. 

2. How the great love of God therein appeareth. 

3. How suited this argument is to breed that love which God 
expecteth a thankful return of obedience. 


4. In what way this must be improved ; ' we thus judge/ by consider 
ing and judging upon the case. 

First. What dying one for all signifieth, vnep iravrav. It is not 
only in bonum omnium, for the good of all ; but loco et vice omnium, in 
the room and stead of all, as appeareth by the double notion by winch 
Christ's death is set forth, as a ransom and a sacrifice. A ransom : Mat. 
xx. 28, \vrpov avTi TroXAeoy, ' and to give his life a ransom for many/ 1 
Tim. ii. 6, avri\vTpov VTrep TTUVTCOV, 'who gave himself a ransom for all.' 
The ransom was paid in the captive's stead ; therefore if Christ did die 
as a ransom for us, it was not only for our good, but in our stead. 
The other notion is that of a sacrifice : Eph. v. 2, ' He gave himself as 
a sacrifice and an offering to God, a sweet-smelling savour ; ' so Heb. 
ix. 26, ' He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself-/ Now 
the sacrifice was offered instead of the worshippers ; and therefore if 
Christ were our sin-offering, he died not only for our good, but in our 
stead. When the ram was taken, Isaac was let go ; so the sinner 
escapeth, and Christ was substituted into our room and place ; he 
suffered what we should have suffered, and died that we may live : 
' Deliver him from going down to the pit, for I have found a ransom/ 
Job xxxiii. 24. This dying one for all proveth two things 

1. The verity of his satisfaction. 

2. The sufficiency of his satisfaction. 

1. The verity and truth of his satisfaction ; for when all should 
have died, Christ died one for all. We were all dead with respect to 
the merit of our sins, and the righteous constitution of God's law ; and 
Christ came to die one for all, he represented our persons, and took 
our burden upon himself, and did enough to ease us. 

[1.] He represented our persons as a surety, and so took the person 
of a debtor : Heb. vii. .22, ' By so much was Jesus made a surety of a 
better testament ; ' or as a common person appeareth in the name of 
all that are represented in him. That Christ was a common person 
appeareth by Kom. v. 14 ; where Adam is said to be, TUTTO? rov 
/ieXXoi>ro9, namely, as Adam was a common person representing all his 
posterity, and as his act had a public influence o*n all descended from 
him ; one was enough to ruin, and one enough to save ; and Christ 
was as powerful to save, as Adam to destroy. Yea, there is a 7roXX&> 
[*,a\\ov on Christ. The value of Adam's act depended upon mere- 
institution ; and Christ was not only instituted, but had an intrinsic 
worth in his person as God ; therefore the apostle saith, ' Not as the 
offence, so also is the free gift : ' ver. 15, ' For if through the offence of 
one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by 
grace, which is by one man Christ Jesus, hath abounded unto many ; ' 
and ver. 16, 'As the judgment was by one to condemnation; so the 
free gift is of many offences unto justification ; ' and ver. 18, ' As 
by the offence of one the judgment came upon all men to condem 
nation ; so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men 
to justification of life ; ' and ver. 19, ' As by one man's disobedience 
many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one many were made 
righteous/ So also, 1 Cor. xv., Adam and Christ are compared, repre 
senting both their seeds ; and we read there of the first Adam and the 
last Adam, ver. 45, and the first man and the second man, ver. 47 ; 

VER. 14.] SERMONS urox 2 CORINTHIANS v. 181 

those two men were all mankind in representation. Well then, we 
see Christ, sustained our persons, and stood in our place and room as 
mediator. We must look upon him as a father carrying all his children 
on his back, or lapped up in his garment, through a deep river, through 
which they must needs pass, and, as it were, saying to them, Fear not, 
I will set you safe on land. So are you to look upon Christ with all 
his children wading through the floods of death and hell, and saying, 
Fear not, worm Jacob ; fear not, poor souls, I will set you safe. 

[2.] As he took our persons, so he took our burden upon himself ; 
for we read that he was made sin, and made a curse for us. 

(1.) Made sin : 2 Cor. v. 21, ' He who knew no sin was made sin for 
us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' To be 
made is to be ordained or appointed, as Christ made twelve disciples, 
Mark iii. 14, eTroirjcre, appointed, and Jesus Christ is said to be 
made Lord and Christ, Acts ii. 38 ; so Christ was made sin that is, 
ordered and appointed to bear the punishment of sin, or to be a 
sacrifice for sin. Sometimes the punishment of sin is called sin ; as 
Gen. iv. 13, ' My sin is greater than can be borne,' that is, the 
punishment ; so ver. 7, ' Sin lieth at the door,' that is, the punishment 
is at hand ; so Christ cometh without sin : Heb. ix. 28, 'To bear the 
sins of many ; and to them that look for him he shall appear the 
second time without sin unto salvation ; ' not liable any more to bear 
the punishment of it. Sometimes it is put for a sacrifice for sin ; so 
the priests are said to eat the sins of the people, Hos. iv. 8, that is, 
the sacrifices ; and Paul saith, Eom. viii. 3, ' That by sin, he con 
demned sin in the flesh ; ' that is, by a sin-offering. Well then 
Christ, who knew no sin, had no inherent guilt, was made sin, that is, 
liable and responsible to God's justice for our sakes. As we are made 
the righteousness of God in him, so was he made sin for us ; not by 
inhesion, which ariseth from inherent guilt, but by imputation or 
voluntary susception ; that is, took upon himself an obligation to 
satisfy the demands of justice for our sakes, as if he had said, What 
they owe, I will pay. 

(2.) Made a curse for us, Gal. iii. 13. Christ as a surety did suffer 
our punishment, and endured what we have deserved : Isa. liii. 4, 
'Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.' The 
sorrows of the sinner were the sorrows of Christ. The law had said,. 
' Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written 
in the book of the law to do them,' Gal. iii. 10. Now the sentence or 
curse of the law must not fall to the ground, for then the end of God's 
governing of the world could not be secured ; his law would seem to 
be given in jest, and his threatenings would be interpreted to be a 
vain scare-crow, and the sin of the creature would not seem so odious 
a thing, if the law might be transgressed and broken, and there were 
no more ado about it ; therefore Christ must come and bear this curse. 
But you will say then, that Christ should have suffered eternal death 
and the pains of hell, which were due to us. 

Ans. 1. He suffered what was equivalent to the pains of hell ; so 
much of the pains of hell as his holy person was capable of. In the 
curse of the law we must distinguish the essentials from the accidentals. 
The essentials consist in two things, pcena damni and pcena sensus; 


the pana damni is the loss of God's presence, and the comfortable and 
happy fruition of him ; the pcena sensus lieth in falling into the hands 
of the living God, or being tormented with his wrath. Now both 
these Christ endured in some measure. He was deserted, Mat. xxvii. 
26 ; there was a suspension of all sensible and actual comforts flowing 
from the Godhead, and his soul was filled with a bitter sense of wrath ; 
and there he was made heavy unto death, Mat. xxvi. 39, and Isa. liii. 
10, ' It pleased the Lord to bruise him ; he hath put him to grief,' 
which occasioned great agonies. Now for the accidentals the place 
we should for ever have suffered in hell, the prison of the damned ; 
but that circumstance was abated to Christ ; he suffered upon earth. 
One that is bound as a surety for another needeth not go to prison, 
provided that he pay the debt ; all that law and justice requireth is, 
that the surety pay the debt, which, if he doth not or cannot do, then 
he must go to prison ; so here the justice and holiness of God must 
be satisfied ; but Christ needed not to go into the place of torment. 

2. The time of continuance. The damned must bear the wrath 
of God to all eternity, because they can never satisfy the justice 
of God, and therefore they must lie by it world without end ; as one 
that payeth a thousand pounds by a shilling or a penny a- week, is a 
long time in paying the debt ; whereas a rich and able man layeth it 
down in cumulo, in one heap all at once : or as a payment in gold 
taketh up less room than a payment in pence or brass farthings, yet 
the sum is the same. Christ made an infinite satisfaction in a finite 
time, and bore that wrath of God in a few hours which would have 
overwhelmed the creatures. The eternity of wrath is abundantly 
recompensed in the infiniteness of the person, and the greatness of the 
sufferings ; his blood was the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. 

3. Another circumstance accompanying the pains of the second 
death, and unavoidably attending it in reprobates, is desperation, 
and a fearful looking for of the fiery indignation of God, Heb. x. 
7 ; but this is accidental to the punishment itself, and only occasioned 
by the sinner's view of their woful and remediless condition ; but 
this neither did nor could possibly befal the Lord Jesus, for he was 
able by his divine power both to suffer and satisfy, ~to undergo and 
overcome, this dreadful brunt of the wrath of God, and therefore 
expected a good issue in his conflict : Ps. xvi. 9, 10, ' My flesh shall 
rest in hope, for thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thy 
holy one to see corruption ; ' it is applied to Christ, Acts ii. A shallow 
stream may easily drown a child, whereas a grown man may hope to 
escape out of a far deeper place ; yea, a skilful swimmer out of the 
ocean. Christ passed through that sea of wrath which would have 
drowned all the world ; yea, came safe to shore. Well then, it showeth 
the reality and truth of his satisfaction. 

2. It showeth the fulness and sufficiency of his satisfaction, and 
that Christ undertook no more than he was able to perform ; for, 
though but one, yet he is accepted for all, as one sacrifice offered by 
the high priest was enough for all the congregation. The burnt- 
offering for private men, and for the whole congregation, was the 
same a young bullock without blemish. All had but one sacrifice ; 
only for private men the burnt-offering was offered by common priests, 


and for the congregation by the high priest; or as the same sun 
serveth for every one, and also for all the world, so the same Christ, 
the sun of righteousness, serveth for all ; or as one Adam was enough 
to ruin all, so one Christ was enough to save all ; yea, much more, as 
in Christ the divine power is more effectual. The scripture often 
insisteth upon the oneness of the person, and the oneness of the sacri 
fice ; as in that oracle which dropped from the mouth of Caiaphas ' It 
is expedient for one to die for all the people/ John xi. 51, 52, which 
is interpreted of the redemption of the elect, 'He prophesied that 
Jesus should die for that nation ; and not for that nation only, but that 
he should gather together in one the children of God which were 
scattered abroad/ This one Christ is accepted for all ; for it is more 
than if all the world had died. God was more pleased with this 
sacrifice than he was displeased with -Adam's sin, or the sins of all the 
world. 1 Tim. ii. 6, ' There is one mediator between God and man, 
the man Christ Jesus ; ' as one mediator, so one sacrifice : Heb. x. 10, 
' We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ 
once for all ; ' and ver. 14, ' For by one offering he hath perfected for 
ever them that are sanctified ; ' and Heb. ix. 26, ' He once in the end 
of the world appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself ; ' 
and ver. 28, ' So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.' 
The scripture doth so emphatically insist upon this circumstance, to 
show that there needeth no more to be done to satisfy God's justice ; 
that is sufficiently done already, which is a great comfort to us ; for 
you are not left under the care of making satisfaction for your own 
sins, but only of accepting the Redeemer who hath satisfied; and if 
you perish, it will be for want of faith in you, not for want of satis 
faction in Christ : the business is even brought to your doors, and left 
upon your hands, whether you will accept of the grace offered. 
Secondly. How the great love of God appeareth in this. 

1. In that he would not prosecute his right against us, who were 
fallen in law and unable to recover ourselves. Noxa sequitur caput 
' The soul that sinneth shall die,' Exod. xxxii. 33. He might have 
refused any mediation, and all our necks might have gone for it. It was 
great love that God would think of a surety ; he might have exacted 
the whole debt of us : Thou hast sinned, and thou shalt pay. It is 
some relaxing of the rigour of the law that he would take person for 
person. Moses was rejected when he interposed as a mediator, but so 
was not Christ. 

2. That he would take one for all. Justice would not let go the 
sinner without a ransom, but it is the wonderful grace of God that 
he would take satisfaction from one man in the name of all those for 
whom he offered to satisfy, that God would accept of Christ ; Heb. ii. 
9, it is said that ' by the grace of God he should taste death for 
every man ; ' that which moved God to transfer the punishment of 
our sins upon Christ, was his mere grace, and the special favour of 

3. This one so dear to him his own son, the son of his love, his 
only begotten Son he is the person that must be our surety : John 
iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, that he sent his only-begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlast- 


ing life ; ' and Rom viii. 32, ' He spared not his own Son, but 
delivered him up for us all.' Oh, the unspeakable love of God ! We 
are fond ; Eli would not let fall one rough word to his children ; God 
had but one son, and he was made a sacrifice for sin. 

4. This one so worthy in himself : person for person is the hardest 
bargain. In some wars captives are redeemed with money, but ' we 
are not redeemed with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of 
the Son of God,' 1 Peter i. 18, 19. If there be man for man, propor 
tion is observed, and men of like quality are exchanged. You never 
heard of such a demand, that a king should be given to ransom a 
servant. We were slaves, and Christ was the heir of all things ; the 
prince was given for slaves, the just for the unjust ; the Lord God 
Almighty, who filleth heaven and earth with his glory, was given for 
poor worms ; the king of all the 'earth ' came not to be ministered 
unto but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many/ Mat. 
xx. 28. 

5. And he given unto death : one died for all. If Christ had come 
on earth to take a view of our misery, it had been another matter. 
Captive princes have kingly entertainment, but he came to be sold for 
the price of a slave thirty pieces, Exod. xxi, 31 ; the ransomer is not 
bound to suffer, and be ruined, if the party be so ; but our redeemer 
must die: 1 Peter iii. 18, 'But Christ hath suffered for sin, the just 
for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.' Till death there was 
no full satisfaction. If ever any had cause to love his life, Christ 
had ; his soul dwelt with God in a personal union. It is no great 
matter to quench and put out such glimmering candles as we are ; we 
are often a burden to our own selves ; Christ had more to lose than 
all angels and men. They said of David, 2 Sam. xvii. 3, ' Thou art 
better than ten thousand of us/ Every man's life is valuable ; it is the 
creature's best inheritance. What was Christ's life, which was 
enriched with the continual presence of God ! 

6. This one to die so willingly : Ps. xl. 7, ' Lo, I come to do thy 
will.' You cannot meditate enough on these places: Prov. viii. 31, 
' Eejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were 
with the sons of men;' and Isa. liii. 11, 'He shall see of the travail 
of his soul, and be satisfied/ He hath contentment enough in the 
Father, right enough to the creatures, rich in all the glory of the 
Godhead ; what need had he to become man and die for sinners, but 
only that he loved us, and gave himself for us for me and thee ? 
Gal. ii. 20. 

7. That he should die such a painful and accursed death : ' He 
bore the iniquities of us all,' Isa. liii. 6. The little finger of sin is 
heavier than the loins of any other trouble. David, that bore his own 
sins, cried out, Ps. xxxviii. 4, ' They are a burden too heavy for me.' 
What was it for him to bear the iniquities of us all ? This made his 
soul heavy to death, filled up with such bitter agonies that he did 
sweat drops of blood. Alas ! sometimes we feel what it is to bear one 
sin, what is it to bear many, to bear all ? He did not only bear them 
in his body, but in his soul ; this put him upon tears, and fears, and 
amazement ' Now is my soul troubled, what shall I say ? ' John xii. 
27. As to bodily pains, many of the martyrs suffered more and with 


cheerful minds ; but Christ stood in the place of sinners before God's 
tribunal. Well then, you see what a powerful argument this is to breed 
and feed love. 

Thirdly, How this argument is suited to breed that love which 
God expects, even a thankful return of obedience. It is proper for 
that purpose. 

1. From the end of Christ's death, which was to sanctify us : Eph. 
v. 25-27, ' Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, that he 
might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water through the 
word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not 
having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be 
holy and without blemish ; ' and Titus ii. 14, ' Who gave himself for 
us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a 
peculiar people ; ' not only redeem us from wrath, but redeem us from 
sin, to restore the image of God which we had lost, as well as his 
favour. Now unless we would have Christ to be frustrate of his end 
and die in vain, we should endeavour to be holy. Did he die for sin 
that we might take liberty to practise it ? come to unloose our cords, 
that we might tie them the faster ? pay our debt, that we might run 
on upon a new score ? make us whole, that presently we might fall 
sick ? or give us an antidote, that we might the more freely venture 
to poison ourselves ? No ; this is to play the wanton with his 

2. The right which accrueth to our Kedeemer by virtue of the price 
paid for us. When a slave was bought with silver and gold, his strength 
and life and all belonged to the buyer : Exod. xxi. 21, 'He is his 
money.' So we are purchased by Christ, redeemed to God, Rev. v. 9, 
and we are bound to him that bought us, to serve him in righteousness 
and holiness all our days, Luke i. 74 ; to glorify him in our bodies and 
souls, which are his, 1 Cor. vi. 20. 

3. The pardon ensuing and depending on his death. It is that God 
may be more loved, reverenced, feared, and obeyed : Ps. cxxx. 4, ' But 
there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared ; ' Luke vii. 
47, ' She loved much, because much was forgiven to her.' They are 
bound to love most to whom most is forgiven : Ps. Ixxxv. 8, ' For he 
will speak peace to his people, but let them not return to folly.' The 
remission of sins past is not for a permission of sin to come, but a great 
bridle and restraint to it. His mercy in remitting should not make 
us more licentious in committing, otherwise we build again the things 
we have destroyed. When we sought for pardon, sin was the greatest 
burden which lay upon our consciences, the wound that pained us at 
heart, the disease our souls were sick of ; and shall that which we 
complained of as a burden become our delight ? shall we tear open 
our wounds, which are in a fair way of healing, and run into bonds 
and chains again, after we are freed of them ? 

4. The greatness of Christ's sufferings showeth the heinousness 
and filthiness of sin. It was God's design to make sin hateful to 
us by Christ's agonies, blood, shame, and death : Rom. viii. 3, ' By sin 
he condemned sin in the flesh,' that is, by a sin-offering. God showed a 
great example of his wrath by that punishment which lighted upon our 
surety, or the flesh of Christ ; his design was for ever to leave a brand 


upon it by his sin-offering or ransom for souls. Now shall we make 
light of that which cost Christ so dear, and cherish those sins which 
put our Redeemer to grief and shame ? It' the stain and filthiness of 
sin could not be washed out but by the blood of Christ, shall we think 
it no great matter to pollute and defile ourselves therewith ? This 
were to crucify Christ afresh, Heb. vi. and to trample the blood of the 
covenant under foot, Heb. x. 24*. 

5. The terribleness of God's wrath, which can be appeased by no 
other sacrifice. And shall not we reverence this wrath, so as not to 
dare to kindle it again by our sins ? For ' it is a dreadful thing to fall 
into the hands of the living God,' Heb. x. 31 ; Christ's instance 
showeth that ; for ' if this be done in the green tree, what shall be done 
in the dry ? ' 

6. But the great argument of all is a grateful sense of our 
obligation to God and Christ ; for God so loved the world, that when 
nothing else was fit for our turn, he sent his Son, and his Son loved us, 
and gave himself to die for us ; where we see the love of God putting 
forth itself for our help in the most astonishing way that can be 
imagined ; this is such an engaging instance, so much surpassing our 
thoughts, that we cannot sufficiently admire it, a mystery without 
controversy great. We may find out words to paint out anything that 
man can do to us or for us. The garment may be wider than the 
body, but things truly great strike us dumb. God, being the chiefest 
good, would act in a way suitable to the greatness of his love ; there 
fore, let us love him and delight in him, who hath called together all 
the depths of his wisdom and counsel to save a company of forlorn 
sinners, in such a way whereby his wrath may be appeased, his law 
satisfied, and full contentment given to his justice; that his mercy 
may have the freer scope, the sinner saved, and the sin branded and 
condemned. Oh, what shall we render to the Lord for so great a 
benefit ? Let us unboundedly give up ourselves to be governed and 
ordered by him at his will and pleasure, not loving our lives to the 
death, Rev. xii. 11 ; life must not be excepted out of this resignation, 
Luke. xiv. 26. 

Fourthly, How this must be improved. First, by consideration ; 
secondly, by determination ; for it is said, 'We thus judge/ 

1. Consideration ; whereby spiritual truths are laid close to the 
heart ; the soul and the object are brought together by serious thoughts. 
God will not govern us as brutes, and rule us with a rod of iron, by 
mere power and force. The heart of man is overpowered by the weight 
of reason and serious inculcative thoughts, which God blesseth to the 
beginning and increase in our souls ; therefore cast in weight after 
weight till the judgment be poised, and you begin to judge and deter 
mine how just and equal it is, that you should give up yourselves to 
God and to Christ, who have done those great things for you. God 
often complaineth for want of consideration : Isa. i. 3, ' But my people 
will not consider ; ' and, Deut. xxxii. 29, ' Oh that my people would 
be wise, and consider their latter end; ' and, Ps. Ix. 22, '-Consider this, 
ye that forget God.' Most of our sin and folly is to be charged upon 
our inconsideration ; so also our want of grace. It is God doth renew 
and quicken the soul, yet consideration is the means. The greatest 


things in the world do not work upon them that do not think of them ; 
therefore how shall the power of the word be set on work, but by 
serious and pressing thoughts ? The truth lieth by ; reason is asleep 
till consideration quicken it. The fault of the highway ground is, 
' they hear the word but understand it not.' 

The first help of grace is attention : Acts xvi. 14, ' She attended to 
the things that were spoken by Paul.' What is this attending but a 
deliberate weighing in order to choice, minding, esteem, and pursuit ? 
Those invited to the wedding, Mat. xxii. 5, 'They made light of it.' 
JSTon-attendency is the bane of the greatest part of the world ; they 
will not suffer their minds to dwell upon these things. 

2. There is determination, or a practical decree. We thus judge in 
all reason; when we have considered of it, we cannot judge otherwise. 
The scripture often speaketh of this: Acts xi. 23, ' He exhorted them 
all with full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord ; ' 2 Tim. iii. 

This, like a bias in a bowl, carrieth the authority of a principle in 
the heart. These decrees enacted in the heart are frequently mentioned 
in scripture in the case of religion in general ; as Ps. cxix. 57, ' Thou 
art my portion, Lord ; I have said I would keep thy words.' Some 
times some particular duty, when the heart is backward : Ps. xxxii. 
5, c I said I will confess my transgression unto the Lord ; ' sometimes 
in compliance with some divine motion ; Ps. xxvii. 8, ' I said, thy face, 
Lord, will I seek ; ' sometimes after a doubtful traverse or conflict with 
temptations : Ps. Ixxiii. 28, ' It is good for me to draw near to God ; 
I have put my trust in the Lord God ; ' generally it is a great help 
against a sluggish and remiss will. Christians are so weak and fickle 
and inconstant, because they do not use this help of decreeing or 
determining for God, and binding and engaging their souls to live to 

Use. It exhorts us 

1. To affect our hearts and ravish our thoughts with this great 
instance of the love of God. It is the commending circumstance to 
set it forth : John xv. 13, ' Greater love hath no man than this, that 
a man lay down his life for his friends ; ' and, Rom. v. 8, ' God com 
mended his love towards us, that while we were yet sinners Christ died 
for us.' God hath not another son to bestow upon us a better Christ 
to die for us. Love is gone to the utmost ; nor can we be redeemed 
at a dearer rate, that we may be affected with it. 

[1.] Let us not look upon it only as an act of heroical friendship, but 
in the mediatory notion ; for so it is most penetrating and sinketh into 
the very soul and that is the way to draw solid comfort ; whereas 
the other only begetteth a little fond admiration. We look upon it 
as an act of generosity and gallantry, and that begets an ill impression 
in our minds ; but to look upon it as a mediatorial act, breedeth the 
true, broken-hearted sense and thankfulness which God expecteth. 
We all stood guilty before the tribunal of divine justice, and he was 
surrogated by the covenant of 'redemption, and made sin and a curse 
for us ; he was to be responsible for our sins, according to the pact 
and agreement between him and his Father, Isa. liii. 10. There is 
the covenant of redemption described 'When thou shalt make his 
soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, 


and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.' It is not to 
be looked upon as a strange history, and so to stir up a little wonder 
or a little fond pity, as at a tragical story, but to fill us with a broken 
hearted sense and deep thankfulness, that the Son of God should come 
to recover our forfeited mercies. When we were sentenced to death 
by a righteous law, and had sold ourselves to Satan, and cast away 
the mercies of our creation, and by our multiplied rebellions made 
ourselves ready for execution, then the Son of God pitied our case, 
undertook our ransom, and paid it to the utmost farthing. 

[2.] Consider the consequent benefits, both here and hereafter : Isa. 
liii. 5, ' But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised 
for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon him, 
and with his stripes we are healed ; ' and, Rev. i. 5, 6, ' Who hath 
loved us, and washed us in his blood, and made us kings and priests 
unto God.' In the heavenly priesthood nothing will appear in us dis 
pleasing to God ; the love and praise of God will be our whole employ 
ment. In expectation of this happy hour we must begin our sacrifices 

[3.] Let us not by affected scruples blunt the edge of our comfort. 
Christians would know too soon their peculiar interest in God's love, 
whether intended to us, and so disoblige ourselves from our duty. 
These affected scruples are a sin, because secret things do not belong 
to us, but the open declarations of God concerning our duty, Deut. 
xxix. 29. It is the part of a deceitful heart to betray a known duty 
by a scruple. We would not do so in case of temporal danger. If a. 
boat be overturned, we will not make scruples. When any come to 
our help, whether they shall be accepted or not, do not refuse your 
help and cure, but improve the offer : 1 Tim. i 15, ' This is a true and 
faithful saying, Jesus Christ came to save sinners, of whom I am 
chief/ If Christ came to save sinners, I am sinner enough for Christ 
to save, creeping in at the back-door of a promise. God hath opened 
the way for all ; if they perish it is through tlieir own default. He 
hath sent messengers into the world : Mark xvi. 1C, ' He that believeth 
and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be 
damned ;' and if you are within hearing of the gospel, you have more 
cause to hope than to scruple : Acts xiii. 26, ' To you is the word of 
salvation sent ; ' not brought but sent ; ' Know it for thy good,' Job v. 
27 ; and rouse up yourselves. ' What shall we say to these things ? ' 
Horn. viii. 39, ' If God be for us, who can be against us ? ' 

[4.] Though weak in faith and love to God, yet Christ died one for all. 
The best have not a more worthy redeemer than the worst of sinners. 
'Go, preach the gospel to every creature.' Exod. xxx. 15, the rich 
and poor have the same ransom ; 1 Cor. i. 2, ' Jesus Christ, theirs and 
ours ; ' and, Rom. iii. 22, ' Even the righteousness of God, which is by 
faith in Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all that believe ; for there is 
no difference ; ' and, 2 Peter i. 1, ' To them who have obtained like 
precious faith with us.' A jewel received by a child and a giant, it is 
the same jewel ; so strong and weak faith are built upon one and the 
same righteousness of Christ. 

2. Let us devote ourselves to God in the sense of this love, to walk 
before him in all thankful obedience. Christ hath borne our burden, 


and instead thereof offered his burden, which is light and easy ; he 
took the curse upon him, but we take his yoke, Mat. xi. 29. He freely 
accepted the work of mediator, Heb. x. 7 ; will you as freely return to 
his service ? 

Then were all dead. 2 COR. v. 14. 

WE have handled the intensiveness of Christ's love he died ; the 
extent how ' for all ' is to be interpreted ; now the fruit, dying to sin 
and living to righteousness. 

1. The first in this last clause ' Then were all dead,' not carnally 
in sin, but mysticallyin Christ ; dead in Christ to sin. In the original the 
words run thus on, el? uvrep TTUVTCOV djredavev apa ol Trdvres cnreOavov, 
not dead in regard of the merits of sin, but dead in the merits of Christ ; 
for the apostle speaketh here of death and life, with reference and cor 
respondence to Christ's death and resurrection, as the original pattern 
of them ; in which sense we are said to die when Christ died for us, 
and to live when he rose again. 

2. He speaketh of such a death as is the foundation of the spiritual 
life : He died for them, then were all dead ; and he died for them, 
that they might live to him that died for them and rose again. Our 
translation seemeth to create a prejudice to this exposition, ' were dead' 
in the Greek ; it is ol Trdvres aTreQavov, ' all died,' or all are 
dead that is, to sin, the world, and self-interests ; and besides, it 
seemeth to be difficult to understand how all believers were dead when 
Christ died, since most were not then born, and had no actual existence 
in the world; and after they are converted, they feel much of the 
power of sin in themselves. 

Ans. They are comprised in Christ's act done in their name, as if 
they were actually in being, and consenting to what he did in short, 
they are dead mystically in Christ, because he undertook it ; sacra- 
mentally in themselves, because by submitting to baptism they bind 
themselves and profess themselves engaged to mortify sin : actually 
they are dead, because the work at first conversion is begun, which 
will be carried on by degrees, till sin be utterly extinguished. 

Doct. That when Christ died, all believers were dead in him to sin 
and to the world. 

It is the apostle's inference, ' then were all dead.' The expression 
should not seem strange to us, for there are like passages scattered 
everywhere throughout the word. Therefore I shall show you, 

1. That this truth is asserted in scripture. 

2. How all can be said to be dead, since all were not then born, and 
had no actual existence in the world. 

3. How they can be said to be dead to sin and the world, since 
after conversion they feel so many carnal motions. 

4. What use the death of Christ hath to this effect, to make us die to 
sin and the world. 


First, That this truth is asserted in scripture. To this end I shall 
propound and explain some places. The first is : Kom. vi. 6, ' Know 
ing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin 
might be destroyed, that henceforth we should no longer serve sin.' 
In that place observe 

1. The notions by which sin is set forth. It is called by the names 
of the old man, and the body of sin, and simply and nakedly. Possibly 
by the old man natural corruption may be intended ; by the body of 
sin, the whole mass of our acquired evil customs ; by sin actual trans 
gressions ; or, take them for one and the same thing, diversely expressed, 
indwelling sin is called an old man. A man it is, because it spreadeth 
itself throughout the whole man. The soul ; for Gen. vi. 5, it is said, 
' Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually.' 
The body : Kom. vi. 19, ' As you have yielded up your members 
servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity ;' and it is called 
an old man, as grace is called a new man and a new creature, and it 
is so called because it is of long standing ; it had its rise at Adam's 
fall : Kom. v. 12, ' Whereas by one man sin entered into the world, 
and death by sin ; so that death passed upon all, because all had 
sinned.' And it hath ever been conveyed since from father to son, 
unto all descending from Adam : Ps. li. 5, ' Behold I was shapen in 
iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me ; ' so that it is born 
and bred with us. And partly, because in the godly it is upon the 
declining hand, and draweth towards its final ruin and expiration. 
Dejure, it is an old antiquated thing, not to be cherished but subdued ; 
de facto, it is upon declining and weakening more and more. And 
this old man is afterwards called the body of sin the whole mass of 
habitual sins, composed of divers evil qualities, as the body of divers 
members ; this is our enemy. 

2. Observe in the place, the privilege that we have by Christ's 
death, ' That our old man was crucified with him ; ' that is, when 
Christ was crucified ; and the apostle would have us know this, and 
lay it up as a sure principle in our hearts. The meaning is then, 
there was a foundation laid for the destruction of sin when Christ 
died ; namely, as there was a merit and a price paid, and if ever our 
old man be crucified, it must be by virtue of Christ's death. 

3. Observe the way how this merit cometh to be applied to us. 
Something there must be done on God's part, in that expression that 
1 the body of sin may be destroyed,' which intimateth the communicating 
of the Spirit of grace, for weakening the power, love, 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 
changed masters, as the apostle saith, Kom. vi. 18, ' Being made free 
from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.' Now he that hath 
been servant to a hard and cruel master is the better trained up to be 
diligent and faithful in the service of a gentle, loving, and bountiful 
master. Before regeneration every one of us pleased the flesh; but 
when our eyes are opened by grace we see the folly, mischief, and 
unprofitableness of such a course, and therefore can the better brook 
another service which will be more comfortable and profitable to us. 
And in this new estate we do as little service for sin as formerly we 


did for righteousness : Kom. vi. 20', ' When you were the servants of 
sin, ye were free from righteousness;' when righteousness had no 
power, and dominion over you, had no share in your time, strength, 
thoughts, affections, endeavours, you took no care, made no conscience 
of doing that which was truly good. You must now as strictly ahstain 
from sin as then you did from righteousness; yea, you must do as 
much for grace as formerly you did for sin ; ver. 19, 'As you have 
yielded your members servants unto uncleanness, and to iniquity unto 
iniquity ; so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto 
holiness ; ' as watchful, as earnest, as industrious to perfect holiness. 

The next place is that, 1 Peter iv. 1, '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.' In that place there are three things notable 

(1.) The ground and foundation of the apostle's argument ; (2.) The 
exhortation built thereon; (3.) The reason connecting and joining 

1. The foundation of his argument is, that Christ hath suffered 
for us in the flesh, that is, hath in our name and nature suffered the 
wrath due to us for sin. 

2. The inference of duty built thereon, as that we should 'arm 
yourselves with the same mind,' that is, we must follow and imitate 
Christ also in suffering in the flesh ; or, which is all one, a dying unto 
sin. This should be armour of proof to us against all temptations. 
If we had the same mind that he had, or could put on the same 
resolution, to wit, to suffer in the flesh, or crucify our carnal nature, 
lusts and passions. Strongly resolve to desist from sin, for which 
Christ hath suffered, how pleasant soever it be to our flesh. 

3. The reason which joineth both the argument and inference of 
duty together, ' For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased 
from sin/ This last clause cannot be understood of Christ, who never 
sinned, but of the believer. How shall we understand it of him ? how 
hath he suffered in the flesh, and so ceased from sin ? There are two 
expositions of it: 

[1.] Thus, one ' that hath suffered in the flesh,' that is, is crucified 
in his carnal nature, hath mortified his flesh ; it hath not respect to 
suffering afflictions, but mortifying of sin, Treiravrai apaprias ' hath 
ceased from sin,' no more to serve it henceforward ; that ' he should 
no longer live the rest of his time in the lusts of the flesh, but accord 
ing to the will of God/ This exposition inferreth it from Christ's 
sufferings for us, that our mortification is in correspondence and con 
formity to Christ's death, and as necessarily flowing from the virtue of 
his cross, and the obligation left thereby on all believers ; but the 
second exposition maketh it clearer ; thus 

[2.] The believer is reckoned a sufferer in Christ: he hath 
1 suffered in the flesh ' when Christ suffered judicially, in his surety. 
Whatever sufferings were inflicted on Christ, the same are reckoned 
as inflicted on believers ; and so to have ceased from sin, in regard of 
Christ's undertaking to make him cease from it, and the obligation 
which Christ suffering in his room, putteth upon him to mortify it, 
the matter is as certain as if it were already done. 


Another place is that, Gal. ii. 20, ' I am crucified with Christ.' There 
are three propositions included in that short speech: that Christ is cruci 
fied ; that we are crucified ; that we are crucified with Christ. It doth 
not imply any fellowship with him in the act of his mediation : there 
he was only taken, but we are spared, as Isaac was dismissed when the 
ram was taken for an offering, Gen. xxii. ; and God saith, Job. xxxiii. 
24, 'Deliver him from going down to the pit, for I have found a 
ransom ; ' or, as Christ told his persecutors, John xviii. 8, ' If there 
fore ye seek me, let these go their way.' His offering himself in that 
sort was a pledge of his offering himself to the curse of the law and 
punishment due to sin, to exempt us from it. What then, doth our 
being crucified with Christ signify ? It implieth our participation of 
the benefits of his mediation, as if we were crucified in our own 

Four considerations will clear it to you. 

[1.] That Christ in dying did not stand as a private, but public 
person, in the place and room of all the elect ; for he is their surety. 

[2.] That the benefits which are purchased in his cross and 
passion are thereby made ours, as if we had been crucified in our own 
.persons. We are really made partakers of the fruits of Christ's 

[3.] The great benefit of his cross or sacrifice of himself was to put 
away sin, Heb. ix. 26. 

[4.] Sin is put away, either as to the removal of the guilt of it : 
Mat. xxvi. 28, ' This is the blood of the new testament, which was shed 
for many, for the remission of sins ; ' or for subduing the strength of 
it : 1 Peter ii. 24, ' He bore our sins in his own body upon the tree, 
that we, being dead unto sin, might live unto righteousness/ He 
died not only to obtain forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with 
God, but that we might die unto sin ; so that his redeemed ones are 
strictly urged to mortify sin, because the old man of indwelling corrup 
tion did receive the stroke of death by his death ; so that either in 
point of justification, when justice challengeth us for sins, we may 
send it to Christ, who died one for all, and may plead, I am crucified 
in Christ, he hath satisfied for me ; or, in point of sanctification, we 
may, in the way which God hath appointed, expect the subduing of 
sin, as if we had merited this grace ourselves. It is a great advantage 
when we can say, ' I am crucified with Christ/ 

The next place is that ; Col. iii. 3-5, ' Ye are dead, therefore mortify/ 
It is spoken as a thing done already ; ye are dead ; yet there is a thjng to 
be further done, therefore mortify. But how are we dead ? partly in 
regard of the certainty, to assure us it shall be done, and partly to oblige 
us the more strongly to endeavour it, and partly, because we have con 
sented to this obligation in baptism. All the members of the church 
have engaged themselves to employ the death and strength of Christ for 
the subduing of sin ; they are dead, as they have upon this encourage 
ment undertaken its death, and in part already begun it. 

Secondly, How all can be said to be dead when Christ died, since 
most of the elect were not then born, or yet in being. 

Ans. 1. When Christ was upon the cross he sustained the relation of 
our head or common person. It was not in his own name that he 


appeared before God's tribunal, but in ours, not as a private, but as a 
public person ; so that when he was crucified all believers were crucified 
in him ; for the act of a common person is the act of every particular 
person represented by him, as a knight or burgess in parliament serveth 
for his whole borough and county. Now that Christ was such a 
common person appeareth plainly by this, that Christ was that to us 
in grace what Adam was to us in nature or sin. The first Adam was 
said to be TUTTO? rov //AAoz/To?, Bom. v. 14, 'The figure of him 
that was to come ; ' and Christ is called the second Adam, 1 Cor. xv. 
45, the second common person ; so that as we had a death in sin 
from the first Adam, so a death to sin from the second ; as we stood 
in Adam in paradise, so we stood in Christ upon the cross. Adam's 
act in paradise was in effect ours : in Adam, we all died, 1 Cor. xv. 
21 ; so Christ's act was in effect ours ; in Christ we all died spiritually, 
and mystically. Adam did, as it were, lend his body in paradise : we 
saw the forbidden fruit with his eyes, gathered it with his hands, ate 
it with his mouth that is, we were ruined by these things, as if we 
had been by and actually consented to his sin. So in Christ's repre 
sentation on the cross, all believers are concerned as if they had been 
by and actually present, and had been crucified in their own persons, 
and borne the punishment of their own sins ; for all this was done in 
their name and stead, that they might have the benefit. 

2. Christ was on the cross, not only as a common person, but as a 
surety and undertaker. I say, in his death there was not only a satis 
faction for sin, but an obligation to destroy it ; there was an undergoing 
and an undertaking. As he is set out in the scripture under the notion 
of a second Adam ; so also of a surety : Heb. vii. 22, Christ is called 
' the surety of a better testament.' Now he was a surety mutually, on 
God's part and ours. First, He was to engage for us to God, and in the 
name of God engaged himself to us. The tenor of both engagements 
is in Kom. vi. 6, ' That the body of death should be destroyed, that 
we should from thenceforth no longer serve sin.' As soon as we con 
sent to this stipulation, this taketh effect. On God's part, Christ 
undertook to destroy the body of sin by the power of his Spirit, which 
should be given to us, to become a principle of life in us, and of death 
to our old man, Titus iii. 5. More particularly, we mortify the deeds 
of the body by the help of the Spirit, Kom. viii. 13. The Holy Ghost, 
when he reneweth the heart, puts into it a principle and seed of enmity 
against sin : 1 John iii. 9, ' He cannot sin, because the seed abideth in 
him ; ' and as that is cherished and obeyed, sin is resisted and morti 
fied ; and he actuateth and quickeneth it yet more and more, that it 
may prevail against the sin which dwelleth in us. Secondly, As our 
surety he undertook that we should no longer serve sin, that we should 
not willingly indulge any presumptuous acts, nor slavishly lie down 
in any habit or course of sin, or under the power of any carnal dis 
temper, but also should use all godly endeavours for the preventing, 
weakening, or subduing it. Christ's act being the act of a surety, he 
did oblige all the parties interested ; he purchased grace at God's hands, 
and bound us to use all holy means of watching, striving, humiliation, cut 
ting off the provisions of the flesh, avoiding occasions, weaning the heart 
from earthly things, which are the bait and fuel of sin that keep it alive. 



3. Our consent to this engagement is actually given when we are 
converted, and solemnly ratified in baptism. 

[1.] It is actually given when we are converted: Rom. vi. 13. 'As 
those that are alive from the dead, yield yourselves to God, and your 
members as instruments of righteousness to God ; ' oVXa, weapons ; 
we then give up ourselves to work, and first as to do his work, so to 
war in his warfare against the devil, the world, and the flesh. Till 
the merit of Christ's death be applied by faith to the hearts of sinners, 
they are alive to sin, but dead to righteousness ; but then they are dead 
to sin, and alive to righteousness, and as alive from the dead, and then 
yield up themselves to serve and please God in all things. 

[2.] That this is solemnly done or implied in baptism ; for when we 
were baptized into Christ we were baptized into his death, Rom. vi. 
3-5. In baptism we did, by solemn vow and profession, bind ourselves 
to look after the effects of Christ's death, to mortify the deeds of the 
body, or, which is all one, renounce the devil, the world, and the flesh ; 
the devil, as the great architect and principle of all wickedness ; the 
world, as the great bait and snare ; the flesh, as the rebelling principle. 
Our baptism is certainly an avowed death to sin ; it implieth a renun 
ciation by way of vow, for it is the answer of a good conscience towards 
God : and the ancient covenants were made by way of question and 
answer, 1 Peter iii. 21. The very washing implieth it ; washing is a 
purifying, and after purifying we must not return to this mire again ; 
2 Peter i. 19, ' He hath forgotten he was purged from his old sins.' 
We promised to give over our old sins ; or as it is our first engrafting 
and implanting into Christ and his death, if when we are baptized, 
we are reckoned to be dead. The death of Christ was mainly to put 
away sin, and to take away sin, 1 John iii. 5 ; and Heb. ix. 26. Now 
sins were not taken away, that men may resume and take them up 
again. The great condemnation of the Christian world is, that when 
Christ would take away their sins, they will not part with their sins. 

[3.] How they can be dead to sin and the world, since after conver 
sion they feel so many carnal motions. 

Am. 1. By consenting to Christ's engagement they have bound 
themselves to die unto sin. When we gave up our names to Christ, 
we promised to cast off sin, and therefore we are to reckon ourselves as 
dead to sin by our own vow and obligation, and accordingly to behave 
ourselves ; Rom. vi. 2, ' How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any 
longer therein ?' It is an argument not so much ab impossibili as ab 
incongruo ; ' and ye are dead, therefore mortify your members that are 
upon earth/ Col. iii. 3-5. If dead already, why should they mortify ? 
Dead, that is, bound to be dead. So a sinner, when he giveth up him 
self to God, doth honestly resolve and firmly bind himself to subdue 
corruption, root and branch, and to depart from all known sin. 

2. When the work is begun, corruption is wounded to the very 
heart. And the dominion and reign of sin being shaken off, Rom. 
vi. 14, ' Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the 
law, but under grace.' Sin is dead where it doth not extinguish the 
life of grace, but the life of grace doth more and more extinguish sin ; 
there its dominion is taken away, though its life be prolonged for a 


[3.] The work is carried on by degrees, and the strength of sin is 
weakened by the power of grace, though not totally subdued : Gal. v. 
17, ' Ye cannot do the things ye would.' They are not so active in 
sin, nor delighted in it ; sin dieth when the love of it dieth, and the 
pleasure of it is gone. Now the love of sin is weakened in their hearts ; 
they hate it, though sometimes they fall into it : Rom. vii. 15, ' What 
I hate that I do ; ' it is enabling a Christian to die to sin and the world 
every day. 

[4.] Christ hath undertaken to subdue it wholly in them ; and at 
length the soul shall be without spot, blemish, or wrinkle, Eph. v. 27. 
We and corruption die together ; when Christ removeth the veil of the 
flesh, and taketh home the soul to heaven, it is without spot ; the 
glorified saints have not one fleshly thought or carnal motion, but are 
wholly swallowed up in the love of God. Therefore let Christ alone 
with his work ; he will not cease till sin be wholly abolished. The 
foolish builder began, but was not able to make an end. It cannot 
be said so of our Redeemer ; ' He that hath begun a good work will per 
fect it,' Phil. i. 6 ; and 1 Thes. v. 23, 24, ' The very God of peace sanctify 
you wholly : and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be 
preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' When 
we come to heaven we shall not complain of hard hearts, or carnal 
affections, or. unruly desires ; as Naomi said to Ruth, ' Sit still, my 
daughter ; the man will not rest till he have finished.' This thing, 
God's work, now is but half done; continue with patience in well 
doing, and in time it will come to perfection ; Christ will not cease till 
all be tfone. 

4. What use the death of Christ hath to this effect, to make us die 
unto sin and the world. 

[1.] This was Christ's end. He died not only to expiate the guilt 
of sin, but also to take away its strength and power, 1 John iii. 8, that 
the interest of the devil may be destroyed in us, and the interest of 
God set up with more glory and triumph. Now shall we make void 
the end of Christ's death, and go about to frustrate his intention, 
which was to oppose, weaken, and resist sin ? shall we cherish that 
which he came to destroy ? God forbid. There are some that abuse 
the death and merits of Christ for a quite contrary end than he 
intended, namely, to feed lusts, not to suppress them ; Christ died for 
sinners, they say, and they resolve to be sinners still ; these crucify 
Christ afresh, Heb. vi. 6 ; they are not crucified with him, that was 
his end. Nothing maketh the devil such a triumph, as when he 
supposeth God is beaten with his own weapon ; and that which should 
prove the destruction of sin proveth the great promotion of it, and the 
great hindrance of Christ and the gospel, when poison is conveyed by 
this perfume. The apostle never mentioneth this abuse of grace 
without abhorrence : Rom. vi. 1, ' Shall we continue in sin that grace 
may abound? /u,?; yevoiro ;' and, Rom. vi. 15, ' Shall we sin because 
we are not under the law, but under grace ? //,?) yevoiTo : ' and Gal. 
ii. 17, 'Shall I make Christ the minister of sin? fiy 7/otTo;' dbsit 
a vobis hcec cogitatio, Calvin. Christians should abominate the 
thought of it, as blasphemy and absurd. But again others reflect 
upon Christ's death only for the comfort of it; that is but half the 


end ; you should prize the virtue, as well as the comfort. Paul desired 
not his righteousness only, but his power, Phil. iii. 9, 10. Lusts 
trouble us as much as guilty fears. This being Christ's end, we 
should comply with it. Paul gloried in the cross, as by it crucified 
to the world, Gal. vi. 14. 

[2.] By way of representation, the death and agonies of Christ do 
set forth the heinousness and hatefulness of sin. It is the best glass 
to discover it to us ; in its own colours it smileth upon the soul with a 
pleasing aspect ; but if you would know the right complexion of it, go 
to Golgotha, and as you like the agonies of the garden, and the sorrows 
of his cross, so you may continue your dalliance with sin, and indul 
gence to carnal pleasures. It is a sport to us to do evil, but it was no 
sport to Christ to surfer for it, it made his soul heavy unto death. 
Never believe the enticing blandishments whereby it would inveigle 
you ; think of the drops of blood, the tears and fears and strong cries 
of Jesus Christ, the rending of the rocks, the darkening of the sun, 
the frowns of an angry God, Christ's desertion, the burden he felt 
when he bore our sins. Christ was the Son of God, knew his sufferings 
short, and a prospect of the glory which was to ensue, had no inherent 
guilt, knew not what it w r as to commit sin. ' He knew no sin,' 2 Cor. 
iv. 21, though he knew what it was to suffer for sin. Cast in the dear 
affection that was between God and Christ, and it will make you 
tremble, to consider what he endured ; ' it pleased the Father to bruise 
him/ Oh ! know what an evil and bitter thing it is, what it will bring 
upon you, if you allow it. 

[3.] It worketh on love. It should make sin hateful, to consider 
what it did to Christ, our dearest Lord and Redeemer. Surely we 
should not think it fit to go on in that course which brought such 
sufferings upon Christ. By his love manifested in his sufferings, he 
hath powerfully constrained us, not to take pleasure in what put him 
to such pain and grief. We gush at the sight of one that hath 
murdered a friend of ours. When the prophet saw Hazael, he wept, 
and said, Thou art the murderer. We hate the Jews, and detest the 
memory of Judas ; the worst enemy is in our own bosoms ; it is sin 
hath slain the Lord of glory ; the Jews were the instruments, but sin 
was the meritorious cause. In this sense we made him serve with our 
sins, Isa. xliii. 24. 

[4.] By way of merit. Christ shed his blood not only to redeem us 
from the displeasure of God and the rigour of the law, but from all 
iniquity, Titus ii. 14 ; from a vain conversation, 1 Peter i. 18 ; from 
this present evil world, Gal. i. 4. Our dying to sin is a part of 
Christ's purchase, as well as pardon ; he purchased a virtue and a 
power to mortify sin, bought sanctification as well as other privileges, 
paid down a full price to provoked justice, to deliver us from the slavery 
of sin, and that the word and sacraments might be sanctified to 
convey and apply this grace to us, Eph. v. 26, that we might be 

[5.] By way of pattern. Christ hath taught us how to die to sin 
by the example of his own death, that is, he denied himself for us, 
that we might deny ourselves for him, and suffered pain for us, that 
we might the more willingly digest the trouble of mortification. 


When Christ pleased not himself, will you make it your business to 
please the flesh and gratify the flesh ? When he loved you, and gave 
himself for you, will not you give up your lusts, which are not worth 
the keeping ? It is true our sinful nature is not extinguished without 
grief, and pain, and trouble ; but was not Christ's death a death of 
sorrow and trouble, of all deaths most painful and shameful ? Shall 
we wallow in fleshly delights, when Christ was a man of sorrows ? 
The world must be crucified, Gal. vi. 14 ; a-nd the flesh crucified, 
Gal. v. 24 that is, it is to be put to death. It implieth crucifixion 
with grief and shame ; as sin is rooted in self-love, and a love of 
pleasure, so it must be mortified by self-denial and godly sorrow. If 
nature shrink and cannot brook this discipline, remember Christ's 

Use 1. To press us to make use of Christ's death for the mortifying 
of sin. It is useful two ways especially. 

1. By way of obligation and engagement. As Christ dying 
bound all those that profess union with him to die also ; to die to sin, 
as he died for sin ; which obligation we consented to in baptism ; 
therefore unless we mean to disclaim all union with Christ, to rescind 
and disannul our baptismal vow, or make it a mere mockery, we are 
strongly engaged to oppose, resist, and set about the mortification of 
sin, in which the spectacle of Christ's hanging and dying upon a cross 
will be a great help to us, and his love showed therein strengthen the 
obligation, and his self-denial and not pleasing himself, a notable 
pattern for us to write after him. Christ undertook that serious 
worshippers should serve him ; it was a part of his stipulation on the 
cross. We that are baptized into Christ have put on Christ, consented 
to his engagement, and count ourselves dead in his death ; therefore 
we should cast away sin with indignation : Hos. xiv. 8, ' What have I 
any more to do with idols ? ' But because it is not done in act, as 
soon as it is done in vow and resolution, therefore let us every day 
grow more sensible of the evil of it, Jer. xxxi. 18 ; more careful to 
eschew the occasions of it: Job xxxi. 1, 'I made a covenant with 
mine eyes,' Let us use all the means which tend to the subduing of 
it by prayer. ' For this I sought the Lord thrice,' 2 Cor. xii. 8 ; and, 
Col. iii. 5, 'Mortify your members which are upon earth.' Let us 
weaken the root of it, which is an inordinate love of the world, and 
hear the word with this end, that sin may be laid aside, and we grow 
in mortification, as well as vivification, 1 Peter ii. 1, 2. Let us deal 
with it as the Jews served Christ, and let this be our daily task. 

2. By way of encouragement. Depend on the virtue and grace 
purchased by his blood and sufferings. There is a double encourage 
ment in this work. 

[1.] Because of the great virtue purchased ; and strength and 
assistance vouchsafed : Phil. iv. 13, ' I can do all things through 
Christ that strengthens me.' 

[2.] The certainty of the event. It is secured to the serious 
Christian, and therefore the scripture speaketh of it as done already : 
' We are dead, your old man is crucified with Christ.' ' I am crucified 
with Christ/ which giveth great strength and courage in our conflicts 
with sin ; we may triumph before the victory. 


But to him that died, and rose again. 2 COR. v. 15. 

FROM these words we have the second fruit of Christ's death and 
purchase, he died that we might die in conformity unto his death, and 
he died that we might live with a respect to his resurrection ; and 
therefore, as I have spoken of our dying by the death of Christ, so 
must I speak now of our living in the life and in the resurrection of 
Christ. His death is the merit of it, but his resurrection is the pattern 
and fountain of it. His death is the merit of it, for it is repeated here 
again. He did not only die that we might die, but he died that we 
might live ' He died for all, that they which live should not hence 
forth live unto themselves,' <fcc. But then his resurrection is the 
pattern and the fountain of it ; for therefore is the clause inserted, 
That they might live to him that died for them, and rose again.' 
Now in this verse there are two things. 

1. The fruit itself the new life, with respect to the resurrection of 
Christ : And he died for all, that they might live. 

2. The aim, tendency, and ordination of that life, which is to refer 
all our actions to God's glory, and to guide them by God's will: That 
they should from henceforth live not to themselves, &c. 

Now this end, aim, and tendency of the new life, it is propounded 
negatively : ' Not unto themselves.' This is mentioned because a man 
cannot live to God till he hath denied himself. Spiritual life is but a 
recovery out of self-love. Before the fall there was no such thing as 
self, contrary to, or distinct from God, set up either in an opposite or 
divided sense from God ; but when man fell from God, self interposed 
as the next heir, as an idol, not God ; therefore the great work and 
care of religion is to draw us from self to God. ' Not to themselves/ 
that is, not to their own wills, ends, and interests. But it is positively 
expressed too, that they should live according to the will, and for the 
glory of God. 

For the first of these, the fruit itself. I shall speak of the life itself, 
that we have by virtue of Christ's resurrection ; ' That they which 
live,' that is, spiritually. Some, indeed, expound it judicially ; they 
that live in a law sense, they are freed from death, to which they were 
obliged by Adam, and which they deserved by the merit of their own 
sins. But though that be included, it is not the full and formal 
meaning of the clause ; for as the death mentioned in the former verse 
is to be interpreted of the mystical death, so by consequence this living 
is to be interpreted of the spiritual life, by bestowing of the Holy 
Ghost upon us. Of this I shall speak under this point, namely,' 

Doct. That by virtue of Christ's death and resurrection Christians 
obtain the grace of a new life. 

In opening of this, I shall 

1. Show that there is a spiritual life, and what it is. 

2. The respect that it hath to the resurrection of Christ, as the 
spiritual death hath to his death. 

First, That there is a spiritual life. There is a natural and human 


life, and there is a spiritual and heavenly life. The natural and human 
life is nothing but the civil and orderly use of sense and reason ; and 
there is a spiritual and heavenly life, which is nothing but supernatural 
grace, framing and disposing the whole man to live unto God. It is 
supernatural grace, because we have it by virtue of our union with Christ: 
John vl 57, ' As I live by the Father, so he that eateth me shall live by 
me.' Mark, when we have eaten Christ, when we are united to Christ 
(that is, take it out of the metaphor), as our food becomes one with our 
substance ; so when we are united to Christ so as to become one spirit, 
then we live by the influence and virtue of his Spirit. In the life of 
nature we live by the influence of his general providence, but in the 
life of grace by the power of the Holy Ghost ; therefore it is called, 
' The life of God,' Eph. iv. 18 : ' Being alienated from the life of God ; ' 
that is to say, that life which God worketh in us by the communica 
tion of his Spirit. Now by this supernatural grace, this gift of the 
Spirit, we are framed to live unto God. For this life, as it hath 
another principle distinct from that of the natural life, so it hath 
another end ; the operations of the creature are sublimated and raised 
to a higher end. Here, in the text, the apostle shows ! the ordination 
and tendency of this life, that it is ' not to ourselves/ but it is ' to him 
that died for us, and rose again ; ' and Gal. ii. 19, 'I am dead to the 
law, that I might live unto God.' It is a life whereby a man is 
enabled to act and move towards God, and for God, as his utmost end 
and his chief good. The natural life is to itself, as water riseth not 
beyond its fountain ; and that which is born of the flesh can go no 
higher than as fleshly inclinations carry it. But the spiritual life is a 
power enabling us to live unto God : Bom. xiv. 8, ' Whether we live 
\ve live unto God,' &c. When we only mind self-interest, and act for 
the conveniences, and interests, and supports of the outward life, then 
we do but 'walk as men,' 1 Cor. iii. 3; this is, but according to the 
motions and to the bent of a natural principle. But if we would live 
as Christians, or as new men, then we must live at a higher rate ; God 
must be at the end of every action. Thus you see what it is. 
Now because of the term life, I shall show 

1. The correspondence, 

2. The difference, between it and the common life. 

1. The correspondence and likeness that is between the common life 
that other men live and this life of grace, that Christ died for us that we 
might live, and is wrought in us in conformity to his resurrection, for 
therefore they go under the same name. They are alike in many things. 

[1.] The natural life supposes generation, so does the spiritual, 
which is therefore expressed by regeneration, or by being 'born again,' 
John iii. 3, and 1 John ii. 27. Now look, as in natural generation we 
are first begotten and then born, so here there is an act qua regene- 
ramur, by which we are begotten again, and qua renascimur, by which 
we are born again. There is an act of God, by which we are begotten 
again viz., by the powerful influence of grace upon our hearts ; 
accompanying the word, James i. 18; and there is an act of God, by 
which we are born again viz., when the new creature is formed in us, 
and begins to discover itself ' Being born again, not of corruptible 
seed, but of incorruptible.' Effectual calling and sanctification are 


these two acts ; by the one we are begotten, by the other born ; the 
one may be called our passive, the other our active regeneration. And 
as in generation, that which begets produces the same life that is in 
himself a beast communicates the life of a beast, and a man of a 
man ; so it is the life of God that we receive when we are formed for 
his use by the power of his grace. It is called the life of God and the 
divine nature, spiritual qualities being infused, whereby we resemble 
God. And herein, again, it agrees with common life. Life consists 
in the union of the matter with the principle of life ; as when there is 
union between the body and soul, then there is life, without which the 
body is but a dead and an inactive lump. As Adam's body, when it 
was organised and framed, until God infused the breath of life in it, 
lay as a dead lump ; so this life is begun by a union between us and 
Christ: he lives in us by his Spirit, and we live in him by faith, Gal. 
ii. 20. The Spirit is the principle of life, and faith is the means to 
receive it ; and therefore we are said, Rom. vi. 5, ' to be planted into 
the likeness of Christ's resurrection.' Planting notes a union ; as a 
bud that is put into a stock becomes one with the stock, and bears 
fruit by virtue of the life of the stock ; we no sooner are planted into 
Christ but we feel the power of his life and virtue of his resurrection ; 
he begins to live in us, and we in him, as the graft in the stock, and 
as the stock in the graft. 

[2.] Where there is life, there is Sense and feeling, especially if 
wrong and violence be offered to it. A living member is sensible of 
the smallest prick and pain ; and so is the spiritual life bewrayed by 
the tenderness of the heart, and the sense that we have of the interest 
of God. Stupid and insensible spirits show they have no life ; and 
therefore those that are ' alienated from the life of God,' are said to 
be ' past feeling,' Eph. iv. 18, 19. As long as there is life there is 
feeling. We may lose other senses, yet there may be life. The eye 
may be closed up, and sight lost ; and the ear may be deaf, and lose 
its use, but yet life may remain still. But feeling is dispersed through 
out the whole body, and we do not lose our feeling till we are quite 
dead ; therefore this is the character of them that are alienated from 
the life of God, that they have no feeling. Now the children of God, 
the regenerate, are sensible of the injuries done to the spiritual life by 
sin, and of the decays of that life they have, and of the comforts of it. 
What consciences have they that can live in carnal pleasures, and sin 
freely in thought, and foully in act, and yet never groan under it, never 
be sensible of it ? Paul was sensible of the first stirrings and risings 
of sin : Kom. vii. 24, ' wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver 
me from this body of death ? ' Now where there is no sense of this, 
it shows such have no life, who are neither sensible of the injuries done 
to the life they have, nor of the decays of it by God's absence. When 
the bridegroom is gone, sensible hearts will mourn, Mat. ix. 15 ; when 
they have lost Christ, when they feel any abatements of the influences 
of his grace. Carnal men that sleep in their filthiness, have no sense 
of God's favours or frowns, of his absence or presence, because they 
are quite dead ; they do not take notice of God's dealings with them 
either in mercy or judgment, therefore are touched with no remorse 
for the one or thankfulness for the other, but are careless and stupid, 


and past feeling. And can a man be alive and not feel it ? And can 
you have the life of grace, and not feel the decays and interruptions 
pf it, and neither be sensible of comforts or injuries? 

[3.] Where there is life there is an appetite joined with it, an earnest 
desire after that which may feed, maintain, and support this life. 
What makes the brute-creatures to run to the teats of the dam as 
soon as they are born, but instinct of nature ? Appetite is the immediate 
effect of life. Where there is life it must have some supports ; it hath 
its tastes and relishes ; as 1 Peter ii. 2, ' As new-born babes, desire 
the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.' I say, where 
there is a new birth there will be an appetite after spiritual unmixed 
milk. The new nature hath its proper supports ; and there will be 
something relished and savoured besides meats, drinks, and bodily 
pleasures, and such things as gratify the animal life. As Jesus Christ 
said, John iv. 32, ' I have meat to eat that ye know not of ; ' so spiritual 
life hath inward consolations, it hath hidden manna, whereby it is 
supported and maintained 'Meat that perisheth not,' John vi. 27. 
Painted fire needs no fuel ; those that do not live they have no appetite, 
there is no need of nourishment. But where there is life there will 
be a desire, an appetite that carrieth us to that which is food to the 
soul, to Christ Jesus especially, and to the ordinances in which he is 
exhibited to us. And therefore, where there is no desire to meet with 
God in these ordinances, where Christ may be food to our souls, it is 
to be feared there is no life. Wicked men may desire ordinances some 
times, but not to strengthen the spiritual life, but out of carnal ends 
and reasons. They are loth to be left out of the worship that is in 
esteem in the place where they live ; as the Pharisees submitted to 
John's baptism, though they hated the Lord Christ ; it was then in 
esteem ; therefore he calls them ' a generation of vipers,' Mat. iii. 7. 
And partly because they trust in the work wrought. There is some 
what to pacify natural conscience by the bare external performance of 
a duty; and carnal men rest in the sacraments or visible ordinances. 
It is natural to us to be led by sensible things ; and the external action 
being easy, they choke their consciences with these things. How usual 
is it in this sense to see many that tear the bond, yet prize the seal : 
that is to say, they contemn the bond of the covenant, and the duty of 
the covenant, yet dote upon the Lord's supper, which is a seal oif it. 
But a true appetite desires these ordinances, that we may meet with 
God in them. This is a sign of life. 

[4.] Where there is life there will be growth; especially in vegetables, 
there life is always growing and increasing till they come to their full 
stature ; so do the children of God grow in grace. Our Lord himself, 
though he had the Spirit without measure, yet ' he grew in wisdom 
and favour with God,' Luke ii. 40 ; not in show, but in reality ; he grew 
in wisdom as he grew in stature. Though his human nature in his 
infancy was taken into the unity of his divine person, yet the capacity 
of his human nature was enlarged by degrees, for his human nature 
was still to carry a proportion with ours ; and therefore he grew in 
wisdom and in favour with God. And so all that are Christ's, they 
grow. ' The trees planted in the courts of God flourish there/ Ps. xcii. 
13. There is more room made for the new nature by degrees to exert 
and put forth itself. Corruption is still a-dying, and they grow more 


humble, more holy, more solid, more rational, more wise in the spiritual 
life, more resolved for God, more heavenly-minded, that they may be 
at more liberty for God. They may lose somewhat in liveliness of gifts 
and vigour of affections (for these things come and go), but they are 
more spiritual, and more steadfast, and more solid, and seriously set 
to seek after God ; as an old tree, that puts forth fewer leaves and 
blossoms, but is more deeply rooted. But now hypocrites do not grow 
beyond their first blaze ; yea, they wither every day, lose their zeal and 
their forwardness, out of carnal ease or affection to'pleasures, honours, or 
greatness of the world ; they lose the seeming grace that they had before. 

[5.] Where there is life there are vital operations, for life is active 
and stirring. So spiritual life hath its operations ; it cannot well be 
hid, it will bewray itself in a zealous and in a constant and uniform 
practice of godliness. They are idols that have feet, and walk not : 
Kev. iii. 1, Some only ' have a name to live, and are dead.' They that 
make a naked profession, but are not excited to live, and bring forth 
fruit to God, ' they have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof; ' 
2 Tim. iii. 5, that is, the power that should change their hearts, and 
direct and order all their actions. They that are governed by the Spirit, 
they feel this power ; they are enabled to bring forth the fruits of 
righteousness to the praise and glory of God. Look, as a worldly man, 
by virtue of the worldly spirit that is in him, is dexterous in all his 
affairs his worldly principle puts a life into him, Luke xvi. 9 ; their 
employment is suitable to their life ; so a spiritual man, that hath not 
the spirit of the world, or a disposition that makes him eager upon 
worldly things, but the Spirit of God dwelling and working in him, 
here is not the sphere of his activity ; his cares, thoughts, and endeavours 
are turned into another channel ; he is quickened and raised to new 
ness of life, Rom. vi. 4. The man is more earnest, more thoroughly 
set for heaven, and the worldly life is more overruled and mastered in 
him, and the heavenly and divine life prevails in him, and sets him a- 
work more and more. Thus I have, by comparing these two lives, a 
little showed you what is that life that we have by Christ ; it is a life 
that flows from regeneration ; that is begun by union with Christ ; that 
begets a sense, so that a Christian feels the annoyances of those 
things that are inconvenient and contrary to this life ; and begets an 
appetite after the supports that should maintain it, and discovers itself 
by growth ; this life is increased in them more and more ; and also it 
discovers itself by its activity, by making them fruitful towards God. 
Thus you see wherein they agree. 

2. Let us a little see wherein they differ. 

[1.] They differ in the state of them both ; for this spiritual life is 
a life that is consistent with some degree of death. Even then when 
we live, we are troubled with a body of death. Paul complains of it, 
though grace hath the upper hand in the soul, yet corruption cleaves 
to us still. Outwardly a man cannot be .said to be dead and alive 
together ; but a Christian yet hath sin dwelling in him, and is dying 
to sin every day, that he may live unto God. And as sin decays, so 
the spiritual life takes place ; for mortification makes way for vivifica- 
tion ; and according to the degrees of the one, so are the degrees of 
the other. The more we die to sin, the more we are alive to righteous 
ness, 1 Peter ii. 24. 


[2.] There is a difference in the dignity of this life. Natural life, 
what is it ? A benefit vouchsafed to us by God, that we may have 
time for repentance ; but yet it is but a ' wind ' that is soon blown over, 
and passeth away, Job vii. 7 ; and a suitable expression you have, 
James iv. 14, for this life is but as a ' vapour.' This life is a little 
warm breath turned in and out by the nostrils, soon gone. It is indeed 
a continued sicjmess; and our food is as it were constant medicine 
to repair and remedy the decays of the natural life. Oh, but this is a 
life that flows from God himself, and is a more worthy thing, it is the 
life of God ; and as Christ liveth in. the Father, so we in him by the 
Spirit. This was a life bought at a dearer rate than the life of nature : 
John vi. 51, ' My flesh which I give for the life of the world.' Nothing 
less than the death of the Son of God would serve the turn; and 
therefore it is more noble than the other life, which is called ' the 
life of our hands,' Isa. Ivii. 10, because it costs us hard labour to 
maintain it. 

[3.] As it differs in the dignity and value, so in the original. The 
natural life is traduced and brought down unto us by many successions 
of generations from the ' first Adam ; ' he was ' a living soul,' but the 
' last Adam was a quickening spirit,' 1 Cor. xv. 45. We have a living 
soul by virtue of our .descending from the first Adam ; all that our 
parents could do was to make way for the union of soul and body 
together. But by this life we and Christ are united together, and he 
becomes a life-making spirit unto us. 

[4.] There is a difference in the duration. Grace is an immortal 
flame, a spark that cannot be quenched. All our labour and toil here 
in the world is to maintain a dying life, a lamp that soon goes out, or 
to prop up a tabernacle that is always falling ; when we have made 
the best provision for it, it is taken away ' Thou fool, this night,' &c. 
This life is in the power of every ruffian and assassinate that values 
not his own. Oh, but the spiritual life is a life that begins in grace 
and ends in glory; the foundation of it was laid in justification, that 
took off the sentence of death ; sanctification is the beginning of it, the 
which by degrees is carried on till it end in glory, where we shall be 
never weary of living it. The outward life, though short, yet we soon 
grow weary of it ; the shortest life is long enough to be numbered 
with a thousand miseries. If we live to old age, age is a burthen to 
itself, Eccles. xii. 1. Life itself may become a burthen, for some have 
wished and requested for themselves that they might die. But no 
man ever wished for the end of this spiritual life. Who ever cursed 
the day of his new birth ? This is life indeed ; then we begin to live 
in good earnest, we may reckon from that day forward that we live. 
The seed of eternal life was laid as soon as grace was infused into the 
soul, and you may ' take hold of eternal life,' 1 Tim. iv. 20, before you 
enter into it. Maintain this life, and it will end in eternal glory. 
Thus I have despatched my first question, namely, What is this life 
that Christ hath purchased for us? A spiritual death, that we 
might die to sin, and also a spiritual life, that we might live unto God. 

Secondly, We come to speak of the respect that is between this 
life and Christ's resurrection. 

I Answer, Christ's resurrection is (1.) An example and pattern 
of it ; (2.) a pledge of it ; (3.) a cause of it 


1. An example of it. There is great likeness and correspondence be 
tween Christ's rising from the grave, and a Christian's resurrection from 
the death of sin. 

[1.] Christ died before he rose, and usually God killeth us before he 
maketh us alive. First we find the word a killing letter before we find 
it a word of life. This is God's method. Paul saith, Bom. vii. 9, 
' The commandment came, and sin revived, and I died.' A man is 
broken in heart with an apprehension of sin and God's eternal wrath, 
before he is made alive by Christ : Gal. ii. 19, ' I through the law am 
dead to the law, that I might live unto God/ He must be himself a 
dead man. The law must do the law work before the gospel doth the 
the gospel work ; so Rom. viii. 2, ' But the spirit of life in Christ Jesus 
hath made me free from the law of sin and death.' He is under the 
law of death and sin, as it convinceth of sin and bindeth over to 

[2.] The same Spirit of holiness, or power of God, that quickened 
Christ, quickeneth us. It is said, Rom. vi. 4, ' That as Christ was raised 
from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so should we be raised 
to newness of life ; ' that is, by his glorious power : 2 Cor. xiii. 4, ' For 
though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power 
of God.' What is there said to be done by the power of God is said 
elsewhere to be done by the Spirit of sanctification : Rom. i. 4, ' And 
declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of 
holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.' So are believers quickened 
by the same Spirit : Rom. viii. 11, ' If the Spirit of him that raised 
up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Jesus from 
the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that 
dwelleth in you.' Christ will quicken us by his grace, as he did his 
own dead body. The same quickening Spirit that is in Jesus Christ 
doth also quicken us. 

[3.] Again ; Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more ; as the 
apostle telleth you : Rom. vi. 9, ' Knowing that Christ, being raised 
from the dead, dieth no more ; death hath no more dominion over 
him.' His resurrrection instated him in an eternal life, never more 
to come under the power of death again. He might have been said 
to be alive after death if he had performed but one single act of life, 
or lived only for a while ; but he rose to an immortal, endless life, a 
life co-eternal with the Father. So is a Christian put into an 
unchangeable state : sin hath no more dominion over him, should 
not, shall not, as the apostle proveth there, applying it to the Christian. 
When Christ telleth he is the resurrection and the life, he asserts two 
things : John xi. 25, 26, ' That he that believeth on him, though he 
were dead, yet shall he live, and shall never die ! ' Though formerly 
dead in sin, he shall live the life of grace, and when he liveth it once, 
shall never die spiritually and eternally ; otherwise how shall we make 
good Christ's speech ? 

Christ, in that he liveth, he liveth with God, and liveth unto God, 
Rom. vi 10, that is, with God, at his right hand ; and to God, that 
is, referring all things to his glory ; for, Phil. ii. 10, 11, all that Jesus 
Christ doth as mediator is to the glory of God the Father. So a 
Christian liveth with God and unto God ; with God, not at his right 
hand now, but vet in a state of communion with him : 1 John i. 3. 


'And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and his Son Josus 
Christ.' And he liveth to God, as in the text 'Not to our 
selves, but to him that died for us, and rose again;' that is, no 
longer to our own lusts and desires, nor for our own ease, profit and 
honour, but according to the will and for the service and honour of 
God ; as more fully hereafter. Well then, that new state, into which 
Christ was inaugurated at his resurrection, is a pattern and example 
of our new spiritual life. 

2. How it is a pledge of it. Christ was our common person, and we 
make one mystical body with him ; and therefore his resurrection and 
life was not for his own person and single self alone, but for all those 
that have interest in him. As he died, so he rose again in our name 
and in our stead, as one that had satisfied the justice of God, and pro 
cured all manner of grace for us, and as a conqueror over all our 
spiritual enemies. And therefore he is called the first-fruits from the 
dead, 1 Cor. xv. 20 : as a little handful of the first-fruits blessed the 
whole harvest, and sanctified it unto God ; it blessed not the darnel 
and the cockle, but blessed and sanctified the corn. Christ's quicken 
ing after death was a sure pledge that every one who in time belongeth 
to him shall in his time be quickened also ; first Christ, and then they 
that are Christ's, every one in their own order. We must not think 
that when Christ was raised it was no more than if Lazarus or 
any other single person was raised. No ; his resurrection was in our 
name ; therefore we are said to be raised with Christ, Col. iii. 1 ; 
and not only so, but quickened together with Christ, Col. ii. 13, and 
Eph. ii. 4, 5. Though we were quickened a long time after Christ's 
resurrection, yet then was the pledge of it. It was agreed between 
God and Christ that his resurrection should be in effect ours, and in 
the moment of our regeneration the virtue of it should be communi 
cated to us. The right was before faith to all the elect ; but when 
faith is wrought, the right is applied by virtue of the covenant of 
redemption. He rose in the name of all the redeemed, and they are 
counted to rise in him, and we are actually instated in this benefit, 
when converted to God. 

3. It is a cause of it. That Spirit of power by which Christ was 
raised out of the grave, is the very efficient cause of our being raised 
and quickened, or of our new birth ; for the virtue purchased by 
Christ's death is then applied to us by him who is now alive, and 
liveth for evermore for that end and purpose. Therefore it is said, 
1 Peter i. 3, ' That God hath begotten us to a lively hope, by the 
resurrection of Christ ' by virtue of that power which he now hath, as 
risen from the dead ; and Eph i. 19 , 20, ' And what is the exceeding 
greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the 
working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he 
raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in 
heavenly places.' The same power worketh in believers, which 
wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead. The same 
power which wrought in and towards Christ's exaltation, is engaged 
for believers to work grace, and carry on the work of grace in them. 
Christ risen and living in heaven is the fountain of life in all new 
creatures. He is the great receptacle of grace, and sendeth it out by 
his Spirit, a vital influence to all such as belong to him. And there- 


fore our life is made dependent upon his : John xiv. 19, ' Because I live, 
ye shall live also.' The life of believers is derived from Christ's life, 
who is our quickening head, communicating virtue to all his members. 
There is a virtue in his life to quicken us ; so that we do not live so 
much as Christ liveth in us : Gal. ii. 20, ' I live, yet not I, but Christ 
liveth in me;' as the root in the branches, and the head in the 

Use 1. Information. It teacheth us three things in point of 

1. The suitableness between Christ and believers. Consider him as 
God, or mediator. As God, Christ hath life communicated to him 
by eternal generation ; so by regeneration we are made partakers of 
the divine nature. As mediator, he subsists in his life as man, by 
virtue of the personal union with the Godhead. So do we live by 
virtue of the mystical inhabitation or union with Christ by his Spirit ; 
for our spiritual life floweth from the gracious presence of God in us 
by his Spirit. Christ as man had first a frail life, subject to hunger, 
cold, and sufferings ; so have believers a spiritual life, consistent with 
many weaknesses and infirmities. But now Christ liveth gloriously 
at the Father's right hand ; so we shall one day bear the image of 
the heavenly, and be one day freed from all weaknesses. Thus 
are we conformed unto Christ, and partake of the same life he 

2. It informeth us in what way this life is conveyed and continued to 
us. By virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, by the Spirit 
through faith ; his death is at the bottom of it, for he died that we 
should live together with him ; 1 Thes. vi. 10, ' Who died for us, that 
whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.' His 
resurrection is the pattern, pledge, and cause of it ; for, Rom. vi. 10, 
'If we were reconciled by his death, much more, being reconciled, 
shall we be saved by his life.' After he had rescued us from the power 
and danger of our sins by his rising from the dead, he is in a greater 
capacity to send out that Spirit by which he was raised to raise us up 
to a new life. Then the Spirit is the immediate worker of it, for 
Christ maketh his first entry, and dwelleth in the hearts of believers, 
by his Spirit; for we are renewed and born again by the Spirit: 
John iii. 5. ' That which is born of flesh is flesh ; and that which is 
born of the Spirit is spirit,' without which we are not capable of it. 
The Spirit worketh faith, and then there is a habitation fit for Christ 
in the soul : Eph. iii. 17, ' That he may dwell in your hearts by faith.' 
Then he liveth in us, as the head in the members, Col. ii 19 ; and the 
root in the branches, John xv. 1. It is by faith that the union is 
completed : John i. 12, ' To as many as received him, to them gave 
he power to become the sons of God.' And then a virtue and power 
floweth from this union, to enable us to do those things which are 
spiritually good and acceptable to God, which is nothing but that 
which we call life. Without him we can do nothing, John xv. 5 ; 
with him, and by him, all things: Phil. iv. 13, 'I can do all things 
through Christ which .strengthened me,' namely by the influence of 
his Spirit received by faith. 

3. It informeth us, it is not enough to believe that Christ died for 
you, unless also you permit Christ to live in you. It is not enough 


for your faith, it is not enough for your love ; the apostle mentions 
both, and we must look after both. As to have our old offences 
expiated, so to live a new life in Christ : Rom. vi. 5, ' For if we have 
been planted together into the likeness of his death, we shall be also 
in the likeness of his resurrection.' We are branches of that tree 
whereof Christ is the root. We must have communion with Christ 
living, as well as with Christ dying, and not only freed from the 
damning power of sin, but quickened to a new life. 

Use 2. Is exhortation ; to press you to several duties. 

1. To believe that there is such a life. It is matter of faith ; for 
when Christ had said, John xi. 26, ' Whosoever liveth, and believeth 
in me, shall never die,' he presently addeth, 'Belie vest thou this?' 
Few mind and regard it. The general faith concerning life by Christ 
must go before the special application. Besides, it is a hidden thing : 
' your life is hidden with Christ in God/ Col. iii. 3. It is not visible to 
sense ; and invisible things are only seen by faith. It is hidden from 
sense, and therefore it must be believed. It is hidden from the carnal 
world, as colours are from a blind man, because they have no eyes to 
see it. The natural man cannot see things that must be spiritually 
discerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14. Besides, the spiritual life' is hidden under 
the natural : Gal. ii. 20, ' The life that I 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. 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. Spiritual men eat, and drink, and sleep, and trade, and 
marry, and give in marriage, as others do, for they have not divested 
themselves of the interests and concernments of flesh and blood ; but 
all these things are governed by grace, and are carried on to holy and 
eternal ends. Besides, it is hidden, because there is upon it the veil 
and covering of afflictions and outward meanness and abasement ; as 
it was said of some, ' of whom tlie world was not worthy, that they 
wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins/ Heb. xi. 37, 38. Who 
would think so much worth should lie under such a base outside ? 
Their glory is darkened and obscured by their condition. Besides, too, 
this life is often hidden by reproaches, and censures, and calumnies. 
The people of God are represented as strange sort of people unto the 
world : 2 Cor. VL 8, ' As deceivers, and yet true.' They are reputed 
as a company of hypocrites and dissemblers; all their experiences 
questioned and scoffed at. Profane and wanton wits will be spitting 
out their venom in every age, and God's people will be judged 
according to men in the flesh, though they live to God in the spirit, 
1 Peter iv. 6. God permitteth it ; reproach is the soil and dung 
whereby he maketh, his heritage fruitful. But yet this is a hiding 
and disguising the spiritual life. Lastly, it is hidden under manifold 
weaknesses and infirmities. The best have their blemishes, and the 
most of Christians show forth too much of Adam and too little of 
Jesus ; and so the spiritual life is carried on darkly, and in a riddle. 
Though the old man of corruption doth not bear sway in their hearts, 
to command, direct, and order all their actions, as formerly it did, 
yet sin is not wholly gone ; they feel a law warring in their members, 
Rom. vii. 33. And it is not only warring, but sometimes prevailing, 


that they themselves can feel little of the holy life. There are some 
question the life of grace, others scorn and scoff at it. Yet believe it, 
for it is the great truth revealed in the scriptures, and it is in some 
measure felt by sense ; yea, the rays of this hidden and rejected life 
are often discovered to the world. For there are some who by their 
practices condemn the world, live in counter-motion to the corrupt sort 
of men, walk as those that have another spirit than the spirit of the 
world, 1 Cor. ii. 12, and as those that look for a happiness elsewhere. 
Therefore believe that there is such a life. 

2. Value and esteem it according to its worth and excellency ; I 
mean, with a practical esteem, as Paul doth, counting all things but 
dung and dross in comparison of the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ. What would he know in him ? Phil. iii. 10, ' That I may 
know him, and the power of his resurrection ; ' or the virtue of raising 
him out of sin to the life of grace. Oh! that is an excellent thing 
indeed. It is more to be advanced to this life than to the highest 
honour in the world. This is to live in God, to God ; to have miracles 
of grace wrought in us every day. It is the divine power that giveth 
us ' all things that pertain to life and godliness,' 2 Peter i. 3 ; not 
begun nor carried on without a daily miracle, or a work exceeding the 
power of nature or the force of the creature. Life ennobleth all 
things : a living dog is better than a dead lion ; to be alive to God, 
when others are dead in sin, what a great privilege is that ? 

3. Deal with Christ about it. Come to him, he purchased it by his 
death : John vL 51, ' This is my flesh, which I have given for the life 
of the world ' to God in sacrifice, to us for food. Look upon him as 
one that is possessed of the fulness of the Spirit, to work it in all those 
that come to God by him : Heb. vii. 25, ' He is able to save to the 
uttermost all those that come to God by him, for he liveth for ever to 
make intercession for them ; ' that is, penitent believers, for by faith 
and repentance we come to God by Christ. He is angry that we will 
not come to him for this benefit : John v. 40, ' Ye will not come to 
me, that ye may have life/ If you have a pressing need, why should 
you keep away from him ? That is his quarrel against us, that we 
will not make use of him for this benefit. He is best pleased when 
we have most of it : John x. 10, ' I am come that they might have 
life, and have it more abundantly.' He would have us not only living 
Christians, but lively. He hath appointed ordinances to convey it to 
us. The word : Isa. Iv. 3, ' Hear, and your souls shall live.' The 
sacraments : Ps. xxii. 26, ' The meek shall eat and be satisfied : they 
shall praise the Lord that seek him : your heart shall live for ever.' 
Prayer : that we cry earnestly, and express our desires of this benefit : 
Ps. xxxvi. 9, * For with thee is the fountain of life : in thy light shall 
we see light.' David often called upon God as the God of his life. 
Well, when we go to God, he remitteth us to Christ, Christ to the 
Spirit, and the Spirit to the ordinances ; there we should observe his 
drawings, and obey his sanctifying motions, when he saith, ' Arise from 
the dead, and Christ shall give thee light/ Eph. v. 14. When more 
awakened than at another time. 

4. When we have this life, let us improve it, and act grace in all 
holy obedience unto God : Eph. v. 25, ' If we live in the Spirit, let us 


walk in the Spirit.' If partakers of the new life of grace, we must show 
it in our conversations, for newness of heart is seen in newness of life. 

Use 3 is to put us upon self-reflection and self-examination. Have 
we a new life communicated to us ? 

1. If it be so, then there is a great change wrought in us. It is 
said of Christ, ' he was dead, and is alive,' Rev. i. 18. To him we are 
conformed : Luke xv. 24, ' This my son was dead, and is alive again ; 
he was lost, and is found ; ' so Eph. ii. 1, ' You that were sometimes dead 
in trespasses and sins, yet now hath he quickened/ Surely when a man 
is translated from death to life, that should be a sensible change, as if 
another soul dwelt in the same body ; he is another man to God, hath 
holy breathings after him, delights frequently to converse with him in 
prayer : Acts ix. 11, 'Arise, and go into the street called Straight, and 
inquire in the house of Judas for one Saul of Tarsus, for behold he 
prayeth ; ' and Zech. xii. 10, ' I will pour upon the house of David and 
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication.' 
He hath a childlike love to God as a father : Gal. iv. 6, ' And because 
ye are sons, he hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your heart, 
crying, Abba, Father.' Have a childlike reverence to him : Eph. v. 
1, ' Be ye followers of God, as dear children.' Illustrate it by that, 
Jer. xxxv. 6, when they set pots of wine before them to drink, ' We 
dare not ; Jonadab, our father, commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink 
no wine.' And a childlike dependence upon him : Mat. vi. 32, ' Your 
heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.' A 
childlike hope from him : 1 Peter i. 3, ' Who hath begotten us to a 
lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.' Zeal 
for him : 2 Cor. v. 10, ' Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade 
men.' He is another man to his neighbour ; he carrieth it justly and 
righteously to all, both as to person, name, and estate ; and this not 
by compulsion of conscience, but inclination of heart, which the 
scripture expresseth by loving our neighbour as ourselves, seeking 
their good as our own, rejoicing in their good as our own, mourning 
for their evil as our own. Such a justice as groweth out of love : 
Eom. xiii. 8, ' Owe no man anything, but to love one another ; for he 
that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.' But to our fellow-saints 
and everlasting companions a Christ-like love : 2 Pet. i. 7, ' Add to 
godliness brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly-kindness charity.' 
Another man in his special relations : Philem. 11, ' Which in times 
past was unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and me.' That is 
the sphere of our activity. In the government of himself he doth 
exercise a greater command over his passions and affections : Gal. v. 
24, ' They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections 
and lusts thereof ; ' alloweth no bosom sin : Ps. xviii. 23, ' I was 
upright before thee, and kept myself from mine iniquity ; ' and still 
a constant carefulness to please God : Heb. xiii. 18, 'For we trust we 
have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.' 

2. If so, there will be a solemn dedication of ourselves to God : 
Rom. vi. 13, 'But yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive 
from the dead.' The reason is, because the great effect of grace is a 
tendency towards God, and that tendency produceth a setting apart of 



ourselves for God's use and service ; and the reality of this is seen in 
using ourselves for God. 

3. Where there is life there will be vital operations. For life is 
active and stirring ; it cannot be hidden, but will bewray itself in all 
that we do, though not at all times in a like measure. Our prayers 
will be the prayers of a living man ; our conferences and discourses 
such as come from those that have life in them ; our whole service of 
God such as hath warmth and zeal in it: James v. 16, ' The fervent, 
effectual prayer of a righteous man;' and Kom. xii. 11, 'Not slothful 
in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord ; ' our addresses to God, 
such as become feeling of wants, an appetite after and savour of 
spiritual things. And if Christians do not feel this life (for sometimes 
it is weak and obstructed), they cannot be satisfied, nor rest in this 
frame. When dull of hearing, or cold in prayer, they rouse up and 
stir up themselves : Isa. Ixiv. 7, ' There is none that calleth upon thy 
name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee.' What is wanting 
in fervour is made up in sense and feeling and bemoaning their con 
dition ; so that the heart is alive, because it is sensible of its deadness, 
living though not lively. But the chief note is a sincere desire to 
please, honour, and glorify God; and that by virtue of Christ's 
resurrection Christians obtain the grace of a new life. 


That they which live should not henceforth live to themselves, but to 
him that died for them, and rose again. 2 COR. v. 15. 

WE are still upon the second fruit of Christ's purchase he died 
that we might die in a conformity to his death, and he died that we 
might live with a respect to his resurrection. His death is the merit 
of it, but his resurrection is the pattern, pledge, and fountain of this 
new life. I propounded to speak 

1. Of the fruit itself ; the grace of the new life wrought in us, in 
conformity to Christ's resurrection. 

2. The aim and tendency of that life; which is to refer all our 
actions to God, ' that they which live should not henceforth live to 
themselves, but to him that died for them, and rose again.' The aim 
is propounded 

[1.] Negatively Not to themselves. 

[2.] Affirmatively But to him that died for them, and rose again. 

[1.] Negatively ' Not to themselves :' to their own ease, honour, 
and profit, their own wills, own interests, and own ends. 

[2.] Positively 'To him:' according to his will, for his honour 
and glory. 

Doct. The duty and property of the spiritual life is to refer all our 
actions, not to self, but to God. 

1. For proof of the point, take one place for both : Rom. xiv. 7, 8, 
' For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For 
whether we live, we live unto God ; or whether we die, we die unto the 


Lord ; for whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.' A Christian is 
not his own man, and therefore liveth not to himself, but he is the 
Lord's in his person, all his relations, enjoyments, conditions, interests ; 
he is the Lord's by every kind of right and title, and hath not power 
over the least action that he doth, or comfort he enjoyeth : if health, 
wealth, uses it for God ; if children, loves them in order to God ; and 
therefore referreth all to God. In the text the apostle saith, None of us 
none of those that are in Christ. The apostle speaketh of weak and 
strong Christians, they all agree in this ; and he shrewdly implieth that 
he that liveth to himself is none of Christ's. Now 

[1.] Not to self, for self-denial is required as our first lesson : 
Mat. xvi. 24, ' If any man will come after me, let him deny 
himself.' Christ telleth us the worst at first. So see how per 
emptory Christ is : Luke xiv. 26, ' If any man come to me, and 
hate not father and mother, wife and children, brethren and 
sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.' It 
is too late for the vote of man and foolish reason to interpose, 
out of hope to get this law repealed. No, it is unalterably 
stated that no interest of ours, no, not life itself, which maketh us 
capable of enjoying all other worldly interests, can be pleaded in bar 
to our duty, or by way of exception or reservation in our subjection to 
Christ. Now, if self mast be denied, and all the interests of it renounced, 
certainly we must not live to ourselves. God taxeth his people for their 
self-seeking and self-aiming : Hos. x. 1, ' Israel is an empty vine, that 
bringeth forth fruit to himself ; ' as a vine that only maketh a shift to 
live, and to draw sap to itself, but bringeth forth no fruit to the owner. 
Certainly, as in the spiritual we receive all from Christ, we use all for 
him ; as rivers run into the sea, from whence their channels are filled. 
They do not live in Christ that do not live to Christ. Visible, nominal 
Christians are as the ivy that closeth about the bark, but bringeth forth 
no berries by virtue of its own root ; but these really engrafted into 
Christ do bring forth fruit to Christ. 

[2.] To God : Gal. ii. 19, ' I through the law am dead to the law, 
that I may live to God.' There the apostle showeth the ordination of 
the spiritual life. As soon as we are alive by grace, we are alive unto 
God, and the stream of our affections, respects, and endeavours, is 
turned into a new channel ; so Rom. vii. 4, ' Married to Christ, that we 
may bring forth fruit unto God.' This ' unto God,' is explained, Col. 
i. 10, ' That we may walk worthy of God unto all pleasing ; ' that is, 
agreeable to his will or word, wherein he hath declared his pleasure, 
and stated the rule of our actions. So 1 Cor. x. 31, ' Whether ye eat or 
drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.' That is the 
end and aim of all our actions, sacred or civil, spiritual or natural. 
God is the beginning, and must be the end of all things ; he is the ab 
solute Lord, and the infinite and inestimable good, in the enjoyment 
of whom our happiness lieth. 

I shall observe something from the text, and as the point is delivered 
in this place. 

1. I observe, that this end of the new life is propounded disjunc 
tively, for a man cannot do both : he cannot live to himself and God 
too. A man cannot live to God till he has denied himself. Before 


the fall there was no such thing as self, opposite to God and separate 
from him. But when man forsook God as his chief good and last end, 
then self was set up as an idol in the place of God ; for, lay aside God, 
and self interposeth as the next heir. And what kind of self do we set 
up hut carnal self the pleasing of the flesh, or the advancement of a 
kind of carnal felicity to ourselves, in opposition to God, and in disjunction 
from him ? Thence we are bidden to deny ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, before we can give up ourselves to the service of God, Titus ii. 
12. Mark the two things to be denied ' ungodliness and worldly lust/ 
For when we fall from God, we fall to the world, or some inferior good 
thing, wherewith we please the flesh, and so make the earthly life, and 
the pleasure we expect therein, to be our chief good and ultimate end, 
and bestow all our time and care upon it. Thence that dissuasive, Horn, 
xiii. 14, ' Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." 
The unrenewedpart of mankind do altogether spend their time in provid 
ing for the flesh, and seeking the happiness of the animal and earthly 
life, apart from God, or in opposition to him. Now this disposition 
must be mortified and cured before we can live unto God. We must 
not live to ourselves ; self is only to be regarded in a pure subordina 
tion to God, not as opposite to him, not as separated and divided from 
him only, as self-respects would tempt us not only to disobey God, but 
also to forget and neglect God. Most will grant that we are not to 
mind self in opposition to God, but few consider that we are not to 
mind self apart from him, but God must be at the end of all our 
desires, motions, actions, enjoyments ; though this latter be as evident a 
truth as the former. Natural self is to be denied as well as corrupt 
self, as appeareth by the example of Christ, who had no corrupt self 
to deny, and yet it is said, Kom. xv. 3, ' He pleased not himself.' 
Christ had an innocent natural will, by which he loved his natural life 
and peace ' Father, let this cup pass ; ' but he submitted it to God 
' Not my will, but thine be done,' Mat. xxvi. 39. Therefore we also 
must not only deny self as corrupted by sin, but self as separate from 
God. How else shall we submit to God in these things wherein he 
may lay a restraint upon us, or put us to trial about them, whether we 
love them in order to him, they being things which otherwise we may 
affect ? And besides, to love anything apart from God, and to seek it 
apart from God, and rejoice in it apart from God, without any reverence 
and respect to God, is to make the creature the last end in which the 
action terminateth, which is an invading of God's prerogative. But if 
these things be so, who then can be saved ? For do not all love them 
selves, and please themselves, and seek their own things ? If they do not 
love the creature so as to fall into gluttony, drunkenness, adultery, 
oppression, and the like, yet in the temperate and lawful use of the 
creature, who looks to God ? I answer, All the godly should, or else 
they are not godly ; for there is no living to God and ourselves in an 
equal or violent degree, as a man cannot go two ways at once. But yet 
there is self in the faithful in a remiss degree, even self inordinately 
affected, that is either in opposition to God or apart from him in some 
particular acts, but the main drift and course of their lives is to God 
and for God. Living to God or self must be determined by what the 
man is principally set to maintain, promote, and gratify ; the end which 


lie doth principally design and endeavour after ; what his heart is most 
set upon, what he seeketh in the first place, Mat vi. 33 ; the pleasing or 
glorifying of God, or the pleasing and glorifying of the flesh, in some 
inferior good thing. What is it they live for ? So nothing in the 
world is so dear to you but you can leave it for God ; nothing you love so 
well but you love God better, and can part with it for his sake, and lay 
it at his feet ; nothing you would use and do but in order to God. But 
on the other side you give God a little respect, such as the flesh can 
spare, with the fragments and scraps of the table, when the flesh is full 
and is satisfied ; some crumbs of your estate, time, strength, but your 
life and love is employed about other things ; not careful to live to God. 
to serve him in all your affairs, to eat, and drink, and trade to his glory, 
and to redeem your time to attend upon him : this they understand 
not, mind not, and therefore still live to themselves. 

2. I observe that which is spoken of is living to self and living to 
God. Living doth not note one single action, but the trade, course, 
and strain of our conversations, whether it be referred to self or God. 
Every single act of inordinate self-love is a sin, but living to ourselves 
is a state of sin. A man lives to self when self is his principle, his 
rule, and his end, the governing principle that sets him on work, or 
the spring that sets all the wheels a-going the great end they aim 
at, and the rule by which they are guided and measure all things. If 
it be for themselves, they have a life in the work ; so the apostle : 
Phil. ii. 21, ' All seek their own things, and not the things of Jesus 
Christ.' ' Their own things ' are their worldly ease, and profit, and 
credit ; when the things wherein Christ's honour and kingdom are 
concerned are neglected. Any interest of their own maketh them 
ready, industrious, zealous, it may be, for Christ, when there are out 
ward encouragements to a duty ; but when no encouragements, rather 
the contrary ; then cold and slack. So, on the other side, we live to God 
when his grace, or the new nature in us. is our principle, his service 
our work, or the business of our lives, and his glory our great end and 
scope; when we have nothing, and can do nothing, but as from 
God, and by him, and for him: Phil. i. 11, 'Being filled with the 
fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the praise and 
glory of God.' 

3. That love to God is the great principle that draweth us off 
from self to God ; for it is said, ' The love of Christ constraineth us.' 
That is the beginning of all this discourse: such as a man's love, 
inclination, and nature is, such will be the drift of his life. And 
therefore self-denial is never powerful and thorough unless it be 
caused by the love of God. But when a man once heartily loveth 
God, he can lay all things at God's feet, and suffer all things and 
endure all things for God's sake. Men will not be frightened from 
self-love ; it must be another more powerful love which must draw 
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 ? 
Many waters cannot quench it, nor will it be bribed, Cant. viii. 7. 
This overcometh our natural self-love ; so that not only time, and 
strength, and estate, but life and all shall go for his glory : Rev. xii. 
11, ' They loved not their lives to the death.' Self-love is so deeply 


rooted in us, especially love of life, that it must be something strong 
and powerful that must overcome it. What is nearer to us than 
ourselves ? This is Christ's love. None deserveth their love so much 
as Christ. I know no happiness but to enjoy his love and glory ; this 
prevaileth beyond their natural inclination. 

4. The great thing which breedeth and feedeth this love is 
Christ's dying, that we might be dead to sin and the world, and might 
also be alive to God. The object of love is goodness. Now such 
goodness as this should beget love to Christ. This may be con 

[1.] As to the intention of the Kedeemer. Surely if he aimed at 
this the love and service of his redeemed ones it is fit that he 
should obtain this end. Now this was Christ's end : Rom. xiv. 9, 
' For this end Christ died, and rose again, and revived, that he might 
be lord of dead and living.' Christ had this in his eye, a power and 
dominion over us all, that he might rule us and govern us, and bring 
us into a perfect obedience of his will ; that none of us might do what 
liketh him best, but what is most acceptable to Christ. 

[2.] The grace and help merited. He obtained a new life for us, 
that we might be made capable to live, not to ourselves, but unto 
him. If he had obliged us only in point of duty to live unto God, 
and not obtained necessary grace to enable us to perform it, the love 
had not been so great. No, he hath obtained for us the gift of the 
Spirit, and the great work of the Holy Ghost is, by sanctifying grace, 
to bring off the soul from self to God : John xvi. 14, ' He shall take of 
mine, and glorify me.' This grace is not given us to exalt or extol 
any other thing but Christ alone, as Christ his Father, John xv. 8. 
That grace we have from Christ, and the Spirit inclineth us to make 
God our end and scope. 

[3.] The obligation left on the creature by this great and won 
derful act of mercy and kindness doth persuade us to surrender and 
give up ourselves to the Lord's use : Horn. xii. 1, ' I beseech you there 
fore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a 
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable ser 
vice/ Take the argument either from the greatness of his sufferings, 
or the greatness of the benefits purchased ; still the argument and 
motive is exceeding strong and prevailing. Shall the Son of God 
come and die such a painful, shameful death for us, and shall not \ve 
give up ourselves to him, and love him and serve him all our days ? t 

2. I shall prove it by reasons. 

[1.] The title that God hath to us. We are not our own, and 
therefore we must not live to ourselves ; but we are God's, and there 
fore we must live unto God. This reason is urged : 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20, 
' What ! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, 
which is in you, which ye have of God ; and ye are not your own, for 
ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify God in your body, and 
in your spirit, which are God's.' How are we God's ? By creation, 
redemption, regeneration, and consecration ; in all which respects God is 
more truly owner of you than you are of anything you have in the world. 

(1.) We are his by creation 'It is he that made us, not we our 
selves/ Ps. c. 3. What one member was made at our direction or 


request, much less by our help and assistance ? No, God framed us 
in the secret parts of the belly. Now if the husbandman may call the 
vine his own which he hath planted, God may much more call the 
creature his own which he hath made. God made us out of nothing. 
The husbandman cannot make a vine, he doth only set it and dress it ; 
but God made us, and not we ourselves. The creature is wholly and 
solely of him and from him, and nothing else ; therefore it should be 
wholly and solely to him and for him. Self-love is God's prerogative ; 
he alone can love himself and seek himself, because he alone is from 
himself, and without dependence on any other ; but we that are 
creatures, and depend upon God every moment for his providential 
assistance and supportation, are under the dominion and rule of him 
upon whom we do depend. And every motion and inclination of ours 
is under a rule. If we could any moment be exempt from the influ 
ence of his providence, we might be supposed to be exempted in that 
moment from his jurisdiction and government; but man wholly 
depending upon God for being and preservation, cannot lay claim or 
title to himself, or anything that is his, no, not for a moment. They 
were rebels against God's government who said, Ps. xii. 4, 'Our 
tongues are our own ; who is lord over us ? ' By what right can we 
call our tongue our own ? We neither made it nor can keep it longer 
than God will ; he is the maker of all things, and therefore should be 
the governor and end of all things. It is robbery and usurpation of 
God's right when you divert your respects from him, and set up self 
in his place. 

(2.) By redemption. That right is pleaded : 1 Cor. vi. 20, ' Ye 
are bought with a price, therefore glorify God with your bodies and 
souls, which are God's.' By creation we owe ourselves to God ; but 
by redemption we owe ourselves to him by a double and a more com 
fortable right and title. A man bought with another's money, if he 
died by his stripes, if he continued a day or two, his friends had no 
plea against his master. The law giveth this reason, for he is his 
money, Exod. xxi. 21 ; that is, his own purchase by money. But God 
hath bought us at a higher rate with the blood of his Son : 1 Peter 
i. 18, ' The precious blood of Christ/ Therefore the redeemed are 
bound to serve him that ransomed them. If a man had bought 
another out of captivity, or he had sold himself, all his strength, and 
time, and service, belonged to the buyer. Christ hath bought us from 
the worst slavery, and with the greatest price. No thraldom so bad as 
the bondage of sin and Satan ; no prison so black as hell ; and no 
ransom so precious as the blood of the Son of God. And he bought 
us to this end, that we might live to God, not to ourselves. And 
therefore, unless we mean to defraud Christ of his purchase, we should 
mind this more than we do. 

(3.) By regeneration. Whereby we are brought actually into 
Christ's possession, and fitted for his use ; taken into his possession, for 
there is a spiritual union and conjunction between us and Christ ; see 
1 Cor. vi. 15-17, ' Know ye not that your bodies are the members of 
Christ ? Shall I take the members of Christ and make them the 
members of a harlot ? God forbid ! Know ye not that ho that is 
joined to a harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be 


one flesh. What! but he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.' 
Mark there the grounds of the apostle's reasoning : he that is joined 
to a harlot is one flesh, and he that is joined to the Lord is one 
spirit. What shall we conclude thence ? That all that is ours 
is Christ's: ver. 15, 'Shall I take the members of Christ, and make 
them the members of an harlot ? God forbid !' Christ hath a right in 
all and everything that is a Christian's. Members belong more to their 
head than slaves to their master, because of their near conjunction; 
and from thence they receive life, strength, and motion. Being 
engrafted into Christ, we must submit to be guided and quickened by 
his spirit ; as fitted for his use, the new creature is fitted for the opera 
tions which belong to it ; the withered branch is again quickened, that 
it may bring forth fruit unto God. God's best gifts would lie idle if 
this were not : Kom. vii. 4, ' Married to Christ, that we may bring forth 
fruit to God.' 

(4.) By voluntary contract and resignation. When we first enter 
into covenant with God, God giveth Christ, and all things with him, 
and we give up ourselves, and every interest of ours, unto God : Cant, 
ii. 16, ' I am my beloved's, and he is mine.' So that to alienate our 
selves, and use ourselves for ourselves, it is not only robbery, but 
treachery and breach of covenant, because by our own solemn consent 
we owned and acknowledged God's right in us, and yielded up our 
selves to the Lord, to be employed, ordered, and disposed by him at 
his own will and pleasure: Rom. vi. 13, 'But yield yourselves unto 
God, as those that are alive from the dead.' 

[2.] The danger which will come by it, if we should live to our 
selves, and not to God. 

(1.) The creature doth not only withdraw itself from God. but sets 
up another god ; and so the crown is taken from God's head, and set 
upon the object of our own lust. The world is god, Mat. vi. 24 ; or 
the belly is god, Phil. iii. 19. We leave the true God but a name, and 
set up ourselves as our own end, and the pleasing of ourselves as our 
chief good, and use all creatures to this end, and love the present life 
and prosperity more than God, and set up our own will in contradic 
tion to God's ; all our labour and travail is to please ourselves and 
satisfy ourselves, and to break the bonds and cast off the yoke, and 
would be lords of ourselves and our own actions, and enjoy honours, 
and riches, and pleasures to ourselves. 

(2.) There cannot a worse mischief befal us than to l;e given over 
to our own selves ; or, this is the sorest plague : Ps. Ixxxi. 12. ' So I 
gave them over to their hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own 
counsels.' There is nothing maketh us more miserable than to be 
given over to our own choices. And he said well that made this 
prayer to God Libera me a malo homine, a me ipso. For pride, 
sensuality, and worldliness will necessarily bear rule where a man is 
given over to himself ; we have not a worse enemy than ourselves. It 
is self that depriveth us of heaven, that maketh us neglect and slight 
the grace of our Redeemer. Man's own will is the cause of his own 
misery, and thou offendest thyself more than all the world can do 
besides. Therefore a man hath more cause to hate himself than other 


Use of all is to press us to this weighty duty of living to God, and 
not to ourselves. Not to our own will and interest, but according to 
the will and for the glory of God. 


1. Christ's self-denial, who came from heaven, not only to expiate 
our offences, but to give us an example. And wherein was the example ? 
He telleth us he came not to do his own will, but the will of him that 
sent him, John vi. 38 ; and to promote his Father's glory: John viii. 
50, ' I seek not my own glory.' He was still guided by his Father's will, 
and had his orders from heaven, for all that he did. Now how did he 
do the will of God, and seek the glory of God ? He did it with delight ; 
John iv. 34, ' It was meat and drink to him to do his Father's will.' A 
will wedded to itself, and his own honour, and ease, and credit, is most 
unlike Christ. And he did it with much patience and self-denial : Bom. 
xv. 3, ' He pleased not himself ; ' thatjs, sought not the interests of that 
life he had assumed, but contradicted them by his fastings, temptations, 
sufferings, through the reproaches and ingratitude of men, and outward 
meanness and poverty of his condition. And especially by his death 
and passion, there he humbled himself, and made himself of no reputa 
tion, Phil. ii. 4-8 ; that the same mind might be in us ; that we might 
learn that life, and all the comforts of life, should not be so dear to us 
as the love of God and everlasting life ; for Christ loved not his life in 
comparison of love to his Father and his church. He preferred the 
pleasing of his Father in the work of redemption before his own life. 
Christ emptied himself that God might be glorified. How unwilling 
are ye to go back two or three degrees in your pomp, or pleasure, or 
profit, for God's sake, when the sun of righteousness went back ten 
degrees ! 

2. We cannot be miserable while we are wholly his, and devote our 
selves to his service : Ps. cxix. 94, ' I am thine, save me.' Paul's 
speech : Acts xxvii. 23,' The God whose I am, and whom I serve.' 
Paul was confident of his help, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. There is no truer 
self-seeking than to deny all for God ; if the happiness of man were in 
himself or any other creature, he needed not to have to do with God. 

3. What a poor account can men make to God at the last day, that 
spend their lives in carnal pursuits ! There is a time coming when 
God will take an account : Luke xix. 23, ' That at my coming I might 
have required mine own with usury.' A factor that hath embezzled 
his estate, what account can he give of it? A workman that hath 
loitered all diiy, how can he demand his wages at night ? An ambass 
ador that hath neglected his public business, and spent his time in 
play or courtships, what account can he give to his prince that sent 
him ? How comfortable will it be when you can say, as Christ]: John 
xvii. 4, ' I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work 
thou gavest me to do.' 

4. We have lived to ourselves too long already. In the text it is 
'henceforth ;' and 1 Peter iv. 3, ' That he should no longer live the 
rest of his time to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.' Too 
much of our time already is employed in the service of our lusts ; we 
may with grief look back upon the time we have spent as very long 
too long in pleasing the flesh. We have been long enough dishon- 


curing God and destroying our own souls, having so little time left, 
and so small strength and vigour left, to bestow upon God. 

1. Entirely and unreservedly devote yourselves to God. You must 
not reserve so much as your very lives, but resolve to resign up all to 
God. We have no interest of our own but what is derived from him, 
and subservient to him ; own his right by your own consent and free 
resignation. If hitherto you have walked contrary to God, and oppo 
site to him, come, lay down the bucklers ; say as Paul, Acts ix. 6, 
' Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? ' Deliver up the keys of your 
heart, that he may come and take possession. If formerly you have 
given up yourselves to God, confirm the grant, Horn. xii. 1. Enter 
anew into the bond of the holy oath. 

2. Being devoted to God in the whole course of your conversations, 
you must prefer his interest before your own. And when any interest 
of your own riseth up against the interest and will of God, care not 
for yourselves ; set light by it, as if it were nothing worth ; and let no 
self-respects tempt you to disobey God, though never so powerful. 
Let no hire tempt you to the smallest sin, no danger fright you from 
your duty : Dan. iii. 17, 18, ' We are not careful to answer thee in 
this matter. Our God is able to deliver us ; if not, we will not wor 
ship the golden image which thou hast set up ; ' so Acts xx. 24, ' I 
count not my life dear to me.' If we can but forget ourselves and 
remember God, he will remember us better than if we had remem 
bered ourselves. Take care of your duty, and God will take care of 
your safety ; we secure our stock by putting it all into God's hands, 
and vending it in his service. 

3. We are to use all the creatures, and all our enjoyments for 
God. Naturally a man useth and loveth the creature only for him 
self, but then he liveth to himself ; but when he loves it and useth it 
for God, he liveth to God, 1 Cor. x. 31, and 1 Tim. iv. 4, 5. Though 
men are speculatively convinced all is God's, yet they love it and use 
it as their own. 

4. Being given up to God, we must study God's will : Horn. xii. 2, 
' That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect 
will of God ; ' Ps. i. 2, ' But his delight is in the law of God.' We 
must practise what we know, and still search that we may know more. 
Gross negligence and willing ignorance showeth we have a mind to 
excuse and exempt ourselves in some kind of subjection from God ; 
and his will should be reason enough to persuade us to what he hath 
required : 1 Thes. iv. 3, ' This is the will of God, even your sanctifica- 
tion ; ' 1 Thes. v. 18, ' For this is the will of God concerning you ; ' 
1 Peter, ii. 15, ' For this is the will of God, that with well-doing ye 
put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.' 

5. We must take heed of carnal motives. Many such services we 
perform to God. There may be such as they that followed Christ for 
the loaves, John vi. 26. Some preached the gospel out of envy, as 
others out of good-will, Phil. i. 15. A man may seek himself carnally 
in a religious way ; for a selfish man loves God, and all things else, 
for his carnal pleasure, and is serving himself in serving of God an 
argument of a base and unworthy spirit. This was the devil's allega- 


tion against Job, chaps, i. 9-11, and ii. 4, 5 ; it is not thee they seek, but 
themselves ; their own commodity rather than thy glory. There is no 
man to seek this accusation, but to be faithful with God when he 
crosseth his self-interest, and to be as zealous for him when secular 
motives are gone as he was before. 

6. In every duty we must come farther home to God ; for all Chris 
tianity is a coming to God by Christ. Now we get farther home to 
God as the divine nature doth prevail in us, and the carnal, self- 
seeking nature is subdued : 2 Cor. v. 16, ' Wherefore henceforth 
know we no man after the flesh ; yea, though we have known Christ 
after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.' 


Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh ; yea, though we 
have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth ice know 
him no more. 2 COR. v. 16. 

THERE were false apostles at Corinth, who gloried much in outward 
things : not only birth, wealth, abilities of speech, but such outward 
things as had a nearer connection with and respect to religion ; as their 
acquaintance with Christ, that they had known him in the flesh, and 
owned him when yet alive, and therefore are supposed to be intended 
in that expression, 'I am of Christ,' 1 Cor. i. 12. As others received 
the doctrine of life from Peter, Paul, Apollos, they immediately from 
Christ himself. Now this boasting these Corinthian doctors used, as to 
keep up their own fame among the people, so to lessen and weaken the 
credit of Paul's apostleship; for this objection lay against him, that he 
had not, as other disciples, conversed with our Lord Jesus Christ on 
earth. Now Paul, that he might give the Corinthians occasion to 
glory in his behalf, and furnish them with an answer that gloried, eV 
Trpoa-aiTra) Kav^ofievov^, ver. 12, in external privileges, though they 
knew in their consciences they had little reason so to do, he had more 
valuable things to boast of namely, that he was much in spirit, much 
in labours, much in afflictions for the honour of the gospel, and to all 
which he was carried out by the hopes of eternal life, the terror of 
the Lord at the day of judgment, 'and the love of Christ constraining 
him/ This was the threefold cord : hope of reward, fear of punishment, 
and the love of Christ; and these were more valuable considerations 
whereupon to esteem of any one than external privileges could be. In 
their outward privileges he could vie with them; for though he was 
none of Christ's followers here upon earth, yet he was equal to them, 
by seeing and having been spoken to by Christ out of heaven : 1 Cor. 
ix. 1. ' Am not I an apostle ? have not I seen Jesus Christ the Lord ? ' 
But Paul did not seek his esteem merely for his vision of Christ, and 
that ecstasy which befell him at his first conversion, but for the faithful 
discharge of his work, upon the ground afore-mentioned, that he would 


not glory ev Trpoa-wTrw, as those others did. Mortified Christians, or 
those that have seriously given up themselves to the Lord's use, should 
more mind that, and esteem themselves and others for true and real 
worth, rather than such an external privilege ' Wherefore know we no 
man after the flesh,' &c. 
In the words we have 

1. A general conclusion inferred against the boasting of the Corin 
thian doctors Henceforth we know no man after the flesh: we own 
no carnal respect to any man living, and do not value any by outward 
acquaintance with Christ, but according to the spiritual power that is 
in him, and taught by him. 

2. The conclusion restrained unto the instance of Christ Tea, 
though ive have known Christ after the flesh. Where there is 

[1.] A supposition ' Though we have known Christ after the flesh.' 

[2.] An assertion 'Yet henceforth know we him no more;' that 
is, as a friend conversing with us upon earth in an outward way; but 
as a king and law-giver of the church, that is ascended up to heaven, 
there to govern the church by his Spirit and laws, offering and design 
ing to us eternal life upon our obedience and fidelity to him. Well 
then, to know Christ after the flesh is not forbidden with intent to 
deny his humanity, or to exclude the comfort thence resulting, so we 
must still know him after the flesh ; his human nature is the ground 
of our comfort ; but that we should not esteem and judge of persons by 
their outward conversing with him, but their loyalty and obedience to 
him. This I think to be the most proper meaning of the words, though 
some, with probability, carry them another way, thus ' Henceforth 
know we know no man after the flesh ; ' that is, we do not value men for 
their wealth, honour, nobility ; and though we have known Christ after 
the flesh, alluding to his esteem, when a Pharisee. According to the 
humour of that sect, he looked for a pompous Messiah, but now owned 
him as a glorified Saviour, sitting at the right hand of God in the 

First, The general truth ' Henceforth know we no man after the 
flesh.' This knowledge is a knowledge of approbation : to know is to 
admire and esteem; as we ourselves should not seek our own esteem 
thereby, so not esteem others, Kara adptca, for some external thing, 
which seemeth glorious in the judgment of the flesh. 

Doct. I. A Christian should not religiously value others for external 
and carnal things. 

Let us state it a little, how far we are to know no man after the 

1. Negatively; and there 

[1.] It is not to deny civil respect and honour to the wicked and 
carnal; for that would destroy all government and order in the world: 
Horn. xiii. 7, ' Render therefore to all their dues : tribute to whom 
tribute is du<?; and custom to whom custom ; fear to whom fear ; and 
honour to whom honour.' We are to own parents, magistrates, persons 
of rank and eminency, with that respect which is due to their rank and 
quality, though they should be carnal ; for the wickedness of the 
person doth not discharge us of our duty, or make void civil or natural 
differences and respects due to them. 


[2.] Not to deny the gifts bestowed upon them, though common, 
gifts ; for your eye should not be evil, because God's is good, Mat. xx. 

[3.] You may love them the better when religion is accompanied 
with these external advantages : Eccl. vii. 11, ' Wisdom with an inher 
itance is good.' Religious and noble, religious and beautiful, religious 
and learned, religious and rich ; when grace and outward excellency 
meet, it maketh the person more lovely and amiable. 

2. Positively. 

[1.] We must not gild a potsherd, or esteem them to be the servants 
of Christ because of their carnal excellences, and value them religiously, 
and prefer them before others who are more useful, and who have the 
image of God impressed upon them. This is to know men after the flesh, 
and to value men upon carnal respects. We do not judge so of a 
horse, by the saddle and trappings, but by his strength and swiftness. 
Solomon telleth us, Prov. xii. 26, ' That the righteous is more excel 
lent than his neighbour;' and explaineth himself, Prov. xix. 1, ' Bet 
ter is the poor that walketh ' in his integrity, than he that is perverse 
in his lips, and is a fool.' Grace should make persons more lovely in. 
our eyes than carnal honour and glory. 

[2.] The cause of God must not be burdened or abandoned because 
those of the other side have more outward advantages. This was the 
case between the apostle and the Desp. 1 And this is clearly to know 
men after the flesh, and such a course will justify the Pharisee's plea, 
John vii. 48, 49, 'Have any of the rulers and Pharisees believed 
on him ? but this people which knoweth not the law are cursed.' The 
truth is not to be forsaken because there is eminency, pomp, worldly 
countenance, repute for learning, on the other side. To this head may 
be referred the plea between the protestants and the papists about 
succession. Suppose it true that there were no gaps in their succes 
sion, that ours as to a series of persons cannot be justified, yet the plea 
is naught ; for this is to know men after the flesh, and to determine of 
truth by external advantages. So if we should contemn the truths of 
God because of the persons that bring them to us ; as usually we 
regard the man more than the matter, and not the golden treasure so 
much as the earthen vessel ; it was the prejudice cast upon Christ, 
'Was not this the carpenter's son?' Matheo Langi, Archbishop of 
Salzburg, told every one that the reformation of the mass was need 
ful, the liberty of meats convenient, to be disburdened of so many 
commands of man concerning days just ; but that a poor monk should 
reform all was not to be endured meaning Luther. 

[3.] We should not prefer these, to the despising and wrong of others : 
1 Cor. xi. 22, every one took his own supper, but despised the church of 
God, that is, excluded the poor, who were of the church as well as they. 

[4.] To value others for carnal advantages, so as it should be a snare 
or matter of envy to us : Prov. iii. 31, 32, ' Envy not the oppressor, 
and choose none of his ways ; for the froward is an abomination to the 
Lord, but his secret is with the righteous.' 

[5.] Know no man after the flesh, so as to forbear Christian duties 
to them, of admonition or reproof, or to accommodate God's truths to 
their liking : Mark xii. 14, ' Master, we know that thou art true, and 

1 So in original edition. Probably for 'clesputers.' ED. 


carcut for no man? for tliou regardest not the person of men, but 
teachest the way of God in truth.' 

[6.] Not to comply with carnal men for our own gain and advantage, 
Jude 16, ' Having men's persons in admiration, because of advan 
tage ; ' to soothe people in their errors or sins. 

The reason is taken from the posture of the words in the context ; 
this disposition, whatever it be, is an effect of the new nature, of the 
love of Christ, and a branch of not living to ourselves. 

(1.) The new nature: ver. 17, 'If any man be in Christ, he is a 
new creature.' A new creature hath a new judgment of things ; when 
a man is changed, his judgment of things is altered. 

(2.) Of the love of Christ, ver. 14. He that loveth Christ as Christ, 
will love Christ in any dress of doctrine, plain and comely, or learned 
or eloquent, in any condition of life in the world, high or low ; is not 
swayed by external advantages. 

(3.) A branch of the spiritual life, ver. 15. The faithful, being born 
again of the Spirit, do live a new and spiritual life. Now this is one 
part of this life, not to know any man after the flesh ; to be dead to 
things of a carnal interest, not moved with what is external and pleas 
ing to the flesh. Let the carnal part of the world please themselves 
with these vain things pomp of living, external rank, possession of 
the power of the church, &c. 

Use is that of the apostle ; James iv. 1, 'My brethren, have not the 
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of 
persons ; ' that is, do not esteem things that are religious for those 
things which have no affinity with or pertinency to religion. His 
reason is couched in the exhortation. Christ is the Lord of glory, and 
puts an honour upon all things which do belong to him, how despic 
able soever otherwise in the world's eye ; not external things, but 
religion, should be the reason and ground of our affection. 

Secondly, We come to the conclusion restrained to the instance of 
Christ ' Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now 
henceforth know we him no more.' 

Doct. 2. A mere knowing of Christ after the flesh ought to cease 
among Christians that have given up themselves to live to him, as 
dying and rising again for their sakes. 

1. I shall prove to you that knowing Christ after the flesh was not 
that respect that he looked for when he was most capable of receiving 
love in this kind, namely, during his personal abode in the world. 
Even then an outward, ceremonious respect to his person was not so 
pleasing to him as a serious attention to his doctrine and counsel, and 
ever met with a correction and reproof from Christ, rather than appro 
bation and acceptance with him ; at least, Christ aimed at some higher 
thing, which was of more value and esteem with him. Search all his 
life. You read of some that desired to see him, John xii. 20-23 ; 
some Greeks that had a curiosity to see his person, and be more 
familiarly acquainted with him. Now Christ teacheth that the true 
means to know him to salvation was not to see with the eyes of the 
body, but by faith, in the spirit, as lifted up to glory. They impar 
tially propound the matter to Philip, and he consults with Andrew, 
and both of them present their request to Christ ; but he diverts to 


the doctrine of the cross, and the glory that should ensue, to teach them 
to lay aside doting on his bodily presence, and to think of communion 
with him in his sufferings, and the duty that belonged to his exalta 
tion. They came to see a man lately cried up by popular applause, and 
to gaze on him who was made so famous in the late triumph. So when 
some depended upon their hearing of him, and resort to his doctrine, 
he telleth them this would not do without other things : Luke xiii. 26, 
' Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, 
and thou hast taught in our streets/ Yet if there be no more but 
kind converse, or an outward resort to his ministry as to an ordinary 
man ' I know you not ; ' this acquaintance is disclaimed. Some that 
not only heard, but commended him, as that forward woman : Luke 
xi. 27, 28, ' And a certain woman lift up her voice, and said unto him, 
Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast 
sucked. But he said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word 
of God, and keep it.' Yea, rather ; it is a reproof. Oh no, woman ; 
that is a blesssd thing to hear the word of God, and keep it ; that is 
not the use to applaud the person, but obey the doctrine. Still he 
calleth for a more spiritual respect. When they told him that his 
kindred, his mother and brethren, stood without to speak with him, Mat. 
xii. 47-50, Christ saith, ' Whosoever doth the will of my Father which 
is in heaven, the same is my brother, sister, and mother.' Believing 
in Christ, and obeying God's will, rendereth us more acceptable than 
if we did touch him in blood and kindred. Augustine saith of the 
Virgin Mary, Beatior Maria percipiendo fidem Christi quam concipi- 
endo carnem Christi ; Materna propinquitas, &c. that she was more 
happy in carrying Christ in her heart than conceiving of him in her 
womb. So Mark v. 18, 19, when Christ had cured a man that was pos 
sessed of a whole legion of devils, ' he prayed him that he might be 
with him. Howbeit, Jesus suffered him not, but bid him go home to 
his friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for 
thee, and hath had compassion on thee.' Our love to Christ is better 
shown, not in our human and passionate affections to his bodily pre 
sence, but in performance of those religious services he requireth of us ; 
he lingered after his bodily presence, but Christ expected not the offices 
of human conversation, but duty and obedience to his commands from 
him. So there is a famous instance of Christ's entertainment at 
Bethany, Mark x. 38-52. There were two sisters, severally employed ; 
Martha busied in the ministries and services of the outward entertain 
ment, ' but Mary sat at Christ's feet (the posture of disciples) and 
heard his word ; ' the one careful to entertain Christ in her heart, the 
other into her house. Christ, wherever he came, was willing to 
improve the opportunity, and to leave some spiritual blessing behind 
him. He came not to be feasted, but to refresh souls. Martha com- 
plaineth of Mary, as if her devotion had been unseasonable, to leave 
the burden of the household affairs to her alone ; but Christ showeth 
Mary's respect was more pleasing to him than Martha's, hearkening to 
his word rather than making provisions for his person. Many would 
seem to gratify Christ with an outward and carnal respect, but do not 
hearken to his gracious words. So in other things ; weeping for him 
when he went to suffer : Luke xxiii. 28, ' Weep not for me, ye daughters 


of Jerusalem, but weep for yourselves and children.' That would nob 
comport with the end of the death of Christ, which was not to be 
looked upon as a spectacle of human calamity, but as a mystery of 
higher consideration, and God looked for more noble and spiritual 
motions than this passionate condoling. So to fight for him ; Peter 
was in a rage when they came to attack Christ, and therefore draweth 
on a whole troop: John xviii. 11, 'Put up thy sword in thy sheath, 
Peter. The cup which my Father hath put into my hand, shall I not 
drink of it ? ' Peter's act seemed to express much zeal and affection 
to Christ's person, but Christ showeth that he was appointed for a 
higher purpose, and checketh Peter for his rashness. Nay, the disciples 
languishing for the comforts of his bodily presence, then Christ told 
them, John xiv. 15, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' When 
a man is ready at our command, and willing to do what we would have 
him to do, it is a sign of his love ; to be up and be doing is a sure 
manifestation of obedience ; so John xx. 27, ' Touch me not, for I am 
not yet ascended to my Father ; but go to my brethren, and say unto 
them, I ascend.' Mary Magdalene was now fallen at Christ's feet, and 
embraced them, Mat. xxviii. 9. They came and held him by the feet, 
and worshipped him. In a humble and affectionate devotion, she 
hangeth about our Saviour ; but Christ forbids this embracing ' Touch 
me not ; ' it comes of human affection, out of a compliment ; but Christ 
rejects this testimony of her love, and directs her to a more acceptable 
service, to carry tidings to his brethren of his resurrection. And it 
is more acceptable and pleasing to him to be about our service, and 
doing good in our station, than to be performing these offices of human, 
love, and kindness to his person, entertaining him, seeing, hearing him, 
weeping for him, defending him. Otherwhiles he bids them come to 
him : Luke xxiv. 39, ' Handle, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and 
bones, as ye see me have ; ' for a confirmation of their faith. 

2. There is a knowing Christ after the flesh since his ascension into 

[1.] By a naked profession of his name, without conformity to his 
laws. There are disciples in name, and disciples in deed : John viii. 
31, 'If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed/ 
Christ hath some disciples who are so in reality, and others who are 
so in show only ; there is no true ground of solid comfort but in being 
real disciples. Others are but Christians in the letter, not in tho 
spirit. Those that are in the letter have notions of God and Christ, 
and heaven and hell ; but they have but names and notions of these 
things, but feel nothing of the power and life that accompanieth these 
things. A man may profess himself a Christian, and yet perish with 
unbelievers ; yea, be as great an enemy to Christ as the Jews that 
crucified him, and the heathens that worshipped other gods. A 
grieving of his Spirit, a despising the fruits of his purchase, a refusal 
of his holy ordinances, and a hatred of his servants, is no less offensive 
to him, and may argue as little affection in us, as either the spite of 
the Jews or idolatry of the heathens did in them to Christ. I call 
this profession of careless, lawless Christians, a knowing Christ after 
the flesh, because it is a mere carnal, human, natural respect to Christ's 
memory, such as a man beareth to his famous ancestors, or the 


deceased heroes of his country, not befitting him who is our mediator, 
and lord of all things, who is best remembered when our hearts are 
converted to him, and when his laws are obeyed ; such as the Jews 
did bear to Abraham, the founder of their nation, or Moses the law 
giver of their country. Surely Abraham and Moses were as dear to 
the carnal Jews as Christ can be to us ; but Christ telleth them, ' It' 
you were Abraham's seed, you would do the works of Abraham,' John 
viii. 39 ; and John v. 46, ' If ye had believed Moses, ye would have 
believed me/ They were Abraham's seed after the flesh, not after 
the spirit; they were Abraham's seed after the flesh, but that did 
avail them nothing, since they did not follow his example, but sought 
to kill him, which was far from Abraham's spirit and temper. A 
little of men's practice is a surer rule to try by than all their fair 
language and complimental respect : John ix. 28, 29, ' Then they 
reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple ; we are Moses' disciples. 
We know that God spake to Moses : but as for this fellow, we know 
not whence he is.' However he, or such as he, were so fully resolved 
to become disciples to Christ, yet they would cleave to Moses, John 
ix. 28. Thus are the best of men mistaken and abused by their carnal 
successors : they made use of Moses' name to excuse their disobedience 
to Christ. It is an old trick of degenerate men to cry up the names 
of pious ancestors, and externally to adore the memory of saints 
departed ; but such motives of love are but carnal, when there is an 
apparent inconformity between you and the persons whom you would 
magnify. We detest the memory of Annas and Caiaphas, Judas, and 
such others as conspired to take away the life of Christ; so did they 
of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Ahab was accounted as wicked by 
them as Pilate by us; therefore to rest in a naked, historical belief, 
and mere profession of the name of Christ, when there is such an 
apparent insubjection to his laws, it is but a knowing Christ after the 
flesh, owning him as the God of the country upon custom and tradition. 
Well then, Christ is never rightly entertained but when his doctrine 
is received and entertained by faith ; though there should be a hatred 
of his persecutors, a quarrelling for his religion, you put him to more 
shame in your conversations, and crucify him afresh every day : Heb. 
vi. 6, ' Seeing they have crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, 
and put him to open shame/ A quarrelling ruffian may be ready to 
fly in the face of him that shall speak a disgraceful word against his 
father, when his own dissolute and ungracious wicked courses grieve his 
father's spirit, and shame him more than all their reproaches; so 
many will pretend much love to Christ, and in a heat and quarrel 
be ready to venture their lives for their religion. No man would have 
his religion despised ; but yet he shameth and bringeth it most into 
contempt that matcheth it with disproportionate practices; as those 
are called enemies to the cross of Christ that preached Christ, but yet 
lived in a sensual and earthly manner, Phil. iii. 19. 

[2.] By acts of sensitive affection in the reading or meditating on 
the story of Christ's sufferings, or when you hear his passion laid open 
in a rhetorical fashion. Men, at such occasions, find that there is 
stirred up in themselves some fond pity at his sufferings, and indigna 
tion at the Jews, and are ready to fly in the face of Judas that betrayed 

VOL. XIII. 1' 


him, and the rulers and those that put him to death. All this is hut 
a human natural respect, such as we will find in ourselves at any 
tragical representation, true or false. Let a man but read the sad 
preparation of Abraham, when he went to sacrifice his son Isaac ; or 
the pitiful words and moans of Jacob, when they told him that some 
beast had devoured Joseph, and showed him his coat ; the sacking of 
Jerusalem by the Babylonians, or how they handled that miserable 
king Zedekiah, when they had first slain his children before his face, 
and then put out his eyes ; or the lamentations of Dido for .ZEneas, 
when she slew herself. These stories will draw as many tears from our 
eyes as the story of Christ's sufferings ; things of small importance, 
well represented to the fancy, may thus affect us. And besides, these 
light affections do not comply with God's end in the mystery of 
redemption. We are not to reflect upon the death of Christ as a 
tragical accident or sad story, but as a well-spring of salvation ; and 
God looketh for more noble and spiritual motions namely, that we 
should be affected with the horror of our sins that crucified the Lord 
of glory, and the terror of that dreadful severity which God manifested 
on his own Son when he took our burden upon him, and the admira 
tion of his incomparable wisdom, which could join his mercy with his 
justice, the unspeakable joy of salvation, which is derived thence to 
us, and the ardent love which we should bear to the Father, who hath 
given his Son to die for us. These are the true resentments of the 
death of Christ ; even that we may raise our hopes of mercy upon the 
foundation of his merit and satisfaction as the price of our blessings, 
and engage ourselves to God in a way of thankfulness for his great 
love and mercy, and increase our hatred of sin, having such a glass 
wherein to view our hatefulness. Now these are spiritual respects ; the 
other are but carnal, such as we would show to man pitifully handled. 

[3.] By expressing our respects more in the pomp and pageantry of 
outward compliments, rather than serious devotion, or a hearty, 
obedience to his laws, or worshipping him in spirit and in truth. This 
is also a knowing Christ after the flesh, or a carving out a respect to 
him that rather suiteth with our carnal minds than his glorious estate 
now in heaven. The whole genius of the popish religion runneth this 
way, where the worship of Christ is turned into a theatrical pomp, and 
the simplicity of the gospel is changed into weak and silly observances 
and beggarly rudiments, which betray it to the contempt and scorn of 
all considering men, and is no more pleasing to Christ than the 
mockage of the Jews and soldiers that put a purple robe upon Christ, 
and cried, Hail, king of the Jews ! when they spit upon him, and 
buffeted him. In Christians it is but to compliment Christ, to feast and 
make mirth for his memory, and deck our bodies and houses, whilst 
we look not after rejoicing in the spirit; to be all for sumptuous 
temples, and costly furniture, and rich altar-cloths and vestments, 
while bis laws are trampled underfoot; and those that would sincerely 
worship Christ, and make it their business to go to heaven, are despised 
and maligned, and it may be condemned to the fires. It is not the 
pomp of ceremonies, but faith and brokeuness of heart, and diligence 
in his service, and living in the Spirit, that Christ mainly looketh after. 
Religion looketh more like a worldly thing in a carnal dress, but the 


king's daughter is glorious within, Ps. xlv. 13. The glory of the true 
church, and every member thereof, is in things spiritual, as knowledge, 
faith, love, hope, courage, zeal, sobriety, patience, humility ; these are 
the true glories of the saints, not golden images, and rich accommoda 
tions, and outward triumph, and carnal revellings. And the great thing 
Christ hath commended to us in his doctrine is a holy heart and a holy 
life : Ps. xciii. 5, ' Holiness become th thy house, Lord, for ever ; ' 
not pomp and gaudry of worship, but purity and holiness, that is a 
standing ornament. 

[4 ] By herding with a stricter party, whilst yet our hearts are not, 
subdued to God. There are three places prove this : Gal. vi. 15, ' For 
in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth any 
thing, but a new creature ; ' Gal. v. 6, ' For in Christ Jesus neither cir 
cumcision nor uncircomcision availeth anything, but faith that worketh 
by love;' and 1 Cor. vii. 19, 'Circumcision is nothing, and uncir 
cumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God.' Men 
hug others because they are of their party and fellowship ; it is religion 
enough to be one of them, of such a party and denomination as obtains 
the vogue, and is of most esteem among Christians in that age. Yet 
how strict soever our party be, if our hearts be not subdued to Christ, 
all is as nothing in the sight of God ; till a man be a new creature, it 
is but a fleshly knowing of Christ. A man may change his party, as 
a piece of lead will receive any impression, either angel or devil, or 
what you stamp upon it. 

3. This knowing Christ after the flesh will do us no good, be of no 
comfort and use to us as to the salvation of our souls. 

[1.] Because God is no respecter of persons : 1 Peter i. 17, ' If you 
call him father, who without respect of persons judgeth every man 
according to his works.' The TrpoacoTroX.Tj-^ria is the outward 
appearance, but God is dTrpoatoXT/TTTO)? icpivovTa, one that doth 
not judge by outward respects. The prosopon of the Jew was 
his knowledge of the law, and enjoying the ordinances of God ; the 
prosopon of the Christian is his profession of respect to Christ and 
esteem of him. But God judgeth not by the appearance, but by the 
internal habit and constitution of the heart, manifested by an uniform 
obedience to his whole will ; otherwise circumcision may become 
uncircumcision, or Christianity as paganism. Therefore it is not 
enough to profess you are for Christ, of his faction and party ; for 
there is a faction of cbrustians as well as a religion. They are of the 
faction of Christians, whose interest and education leadeth them to 
profess love to Christ, without any change of heart, or serious bent of 
soul towards him. Now this is the prosopon according to which God 
may be supposed to judge ; for you do not think riches or poverty, fear 
or love, can so much as be supposed to be in God, but profession or 
not profession is that he looks to. 

[2.] Because Christ hath put us upon another trial than a fond 
affection to his outward person and memory, namely, by our respect to 
his commandments: John xiv. 21, 'He that hath my commandments, 
and keepeth. them, he it is that loveth me/ There is the main ; other 
things will not pass for love, though they be taken for such in the 
world. And John xv. 14, 'Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I 


command you.' Perfect friendship consists in harmony, or an 
agreement in mind and will. If you have any true love to Christ, it 
will make the soul hate everything which it knoweth to be contrary 
to his nature and will : Ps. xcvii. 10, ' Ye that love the Lord, hate 
evil ; ' and constraineth the soul to set about everything which it 
knoweth will please and honour him : 2 Cor. v. 14, ' The love of Christ 
constraineth us ; ' if we do but love him, and be sensible of the obliga 
tion he hath left upon us. So it will be in a real spiritual love. 

[3.] Because they cannot truly challenge the name of Christians 
that do only know Christ after the flesh. Christ, being now exalted, 
requireth a spiritual converse with him. When Christ hath laid 
aside his mortal life, we should lay aside our carnal conceits 
and affections. There were some Jewish imposters that Eusebius 
writeth of, mongrel Christians, Chocabites and Nazarites, who called 
themselves the Lord's kinsmen ; a sort of cozening and heretical 
companions they were, who, for their own purposes, foraged the 
country up and down, as the gipsies now do, amusing the world 
with genealogies, and drawing the vulgar after them, with many vain 
fancies, denied the resurrection, interpreting all said about it of the 
new creature, pretending belief in Christ, but observing the law of 
Moses, against whom the Epistle to the Galatians is supposed to be 
written. And there were some that knew Moses after the flesh, and 
seemed to pretend much zeal to the law of Moses. Now the apostle 
saith they deserved to be called the concision rather than the circum 
cision, whereof they gave out themselves to be patrons and defenders. 
The true believers had right to that title, because they had the thing 
signified by circumcision, worshipping God with the inward and spiritual 
affection of a renewed heart, and trusting in Christ alone for salvation, 
who was the substance of the shadows, and renouncing confidence in 
fleshly privileges, worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus. 
So for Christians glorying in externals is scarce worthy the name of 
Christianity, if they have the name, not the reality. 

[4.] Because this knowing Christ after the flesh is inconsistent with 
his glorious estate in heaven. It pleased him not in the days of his 
Hesh. A divine spiritual affection doth only befit the state of glory 
to which he is exalted. Now he is ascended into heaven, he is to be 
known in faith and worshipped in spirit ; his body is above all kind 
ness, and his memory is to be respected not as the memory of an hon 
ourable man, but as one who is Lord of the church, and governeth it 
by his Spirit to the end of the world, Phil. ii. 10, 11 ; not, ' Lord, 
Lord,' but obedience, Mat. vii. 22. 

Use 1. Is reproof of those that please themselves with that deceit of 
heart, that if they had lived in the days of Christ, conversed with our 
Saviour, and heard his doctrine, and seen his miracles and holy life, 
they would not have used him as the Jews did, but expressed kindness 
and love to his person. Now to these let me say 

1. That it is an old deceit of heart. We usually translate the scene of 
our duty to former times, and lay aside at the present that work and 
expression of love which God hath called us to. God knoweth in what 
age to cast you, and what means and dispensations are fittest for you ; 
he that doth not improve present meang will not improve any : 


1 Peter, i. 8, ' Whom having not seen, we love ; in whom, though 
now you see him not, yet, believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and 
full of glory.' If ye receive his doctrine, obey his laws, believe in him, 
love him, rejoice in the midst of afflictions, you express your love to 

2. It is not likely you would do otherwise, having the same temper 
and constitution of soul which they had that opposed Christ, the same 
root of bitterness in you. You hate those in whom there is the image 
of Christ, and some representation of his holiness and meekness. We 
read of those, Mat. xxiii. 29, 30, ' Who build the tombs of the prophets, 
and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in 
the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in 
the blood of the prophets,' who yet persecuted Christ ; as many will 
condemn the former adversaries of the martyrs, Bonner and Gardiner. 
Christ taught no other doctrine than that which the prophets and 
martyrs had done ; but dead saints do not exasperate. And what 
entertainment would a rude, dissolute sort of people give to such a mean 
but holy person as Christ was, that was so free in his reproofs ? ' Ye 
are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do/ 
John viii. 44. He that now showeth a spiteful and malicious mind 
against the truth and servants of God shall never make me think other 
wise, but if he had lived in Christ's da) 7 s he would have been as ready 
and forward to persecute him as the worst. Certainly a Herod and a 
Herodias to John Baptist would have been an Ahab and a Jezebel to 
Elijah ; ask them what they thought of Ahab and Jezebel, they would 
have made many great protestations that they would have done far other 
wise, but they did the same things to him that came in the spirit and 
power of Elias. No miscreant but will cry out on the treachery of 
Judas, the envy and malice of the high priests, the fury of Jews ; yet 
the same thing is done by them whilst godliness is persecuted ; they are 
still desirous to break this vessel where this treasure lieth ; dead saints 
are out of sight, no eyesore to them, no way offensive to their ears. 

3. If you should, this would not save you, without conversion to 
God. The same laws were in force then that are now; knowing Christ 
after the flesh would do you no good, but a spiritual and true affection 
to him. The reward was still promised to true disciples : John xii. 
26, ' If any man serve me, let him follow me ; and where I am, there 
shall also my servant be. If any man serve me, him will my Father 
honour.' When some came to see him, he exhorted to imitation of his 
example and subjection to his laws. It is but an outside appearance, 
unless we humbly engage in his service, and have a desire to please him. 
in all things. Oh ! therefore let us make this use of the love of Christ, 
and the sense of our engagements to him, as to know Christ, not after 
the flesh, but so as to love him and serve him, and subject ourselves to 
his laws. , . 

Use 2. Have we a better knowledge of Christ ? Do we know him 
after the flesh, or after the spirit? 

1. The ground of our knowledge, what is it? common tradition, 
human credulity, or the illumination of the Holy Ghost ? The same 
truths work differently, as represented in a different light. Common 
report begets a cold Christianity, Mat. xvi. 16, 17; 1 John v. 4,5; 


1 Cor. ii. 4. Hearsay is an advantage, yet not to be rested in. We 
stand upon higher ground than heathens, yet are not taller men : 
John iv. 42, ' Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have 
heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the 
saviour of the world.' We ourselves should be acquainted with Christ ; 
then we know the truth with more efficacy : John viii. 32, ' Ye shall 
know the truth, and the truth shall make you free ;' with more clearness 
and certainty : John xvii. 8, 'They have known surely aX^^w? that 
I came out from thee'; Acts ii. 36, ' Therefore let all the house of Israel 
know assuredly aX^&w? that God hath made that same Jesus, whom 
ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.' You may venture safely upon 
it, build on it as a sure foundation ; the other is but a dead and 
weak thing, it vanquisheth no temptations, subdueth no carnal affec 

2. The fruits and effects of our knowledge. 

[1.] It is a transforming knowledge: 2 Cor. iii. 18, 'We all, with 
open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed 
into the same image from glory to gloiy.' Such a knowledge as begets 
union with Christ, and a thorough change, so as to be converted to 
him ; for it follows in the next verse to the text ' Therefore, if any 
man be in Christ, he is a new creature.' Christ liveth a new kind of 
life in heaven, so should we upon earth ; he hath laid aside his mortal 
life, so should we our carnal life, live to God in the spirit ' Know 
him, and the power of his resurrection,' Phil. iii. 10. Christians are 
to be esteemed by their profiting in godliness ; that is, knowing him 
after the spirit. When we know that spiritual power which is in 
him, and feel it in ourselves, renewing and changing the heart, we find 
the power of his resurrection raising us from the death of sin to the 
life of grace, if we are planted into Christ as living members of his 
mystical body. 

[2.] It is a knowledge that obscureth the splendour of all outward 
excellences in our opinion, estimation, and affecaon : 1 Cor. ii. 2, ' For 
I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and 
him crucified ; ' Phil. iii. 8, '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.' All is nothing to this. 

[3.] It weaneth the heart from outward observances and bodily 
exercises to solid godliness, or looking after the life and power of them. 
The ordinances of the law, though of God's own institution, are called 
carnal : Heb. vii. 16, ' Not after the law of a carnal commandment ; ' the 
worship of the gospel, spirit and truth : John iv. 23, 24. ' The hour is 
coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father 
in spirit and in truth ; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 
God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit 
and in truth.' The more true knowledge of the gospel the more of 
this. As the apostle distinguisheth the "rrepiro^r) from the /caraTo//.?), 
Phil. iii. 2, 3 ; and the apostle speaketh of the Jew, Rom. ii. 28, 29, ' For 
he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision 
which is outward in the flesh ; but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, 
and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter. 


whose praise is not of men but of God.' So it is with better reason 
true of the Christian, the worship of the gospel consisting little of 
externals, but being rational spiritual worship: 1 Peter iii. 21, 'The 
like figure whereuuto even baptism doth also now save us (not the 
putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good con 
science towards God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ ;' Col. ii. 6, 
' As ye have received the Lord Jesus Christ, so walk ye in him ' we 
receive his Spirit. That is a sorry zeal, and hath little of a Christian 
spirit, that runneth altogether upon outward things. Christianity first 
degenerated by this means, and the life and power of it was extinguished 
when it began to run out altogether in form, and men out of a natural 
devotion grew excessive that way. A Christian, in obedience to God, 
is to use his instituted externals, but his heart is upon the spirit and 
soul of duties. Multiplying rites and ceremonies has eaten out the 
life and heart of religion. The more spiritual and substantial worship 
is the better, if there be humble and affectionate reverence, a ready 
subjection and submission to him flowing from grace, engaging the 
heart to God, and animated by the influence and breathing of his Spirit. 


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature ; old things 
are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
2 COR. v. 17. 

THIS is an inference out of the former doctrine. Two things the 
apostle had said ' Henceforth we no more live to ourselves/ ver. 15, 
and, ' Henceforth know we him no more/ ver. 16. There is a change 
wrought in us a change of life, and a change of judgment ; a new 
life, because there is a new judgment. Now in the text he showeth a 
reason why he changed his judgment and life, and lived and judged 
otherwise than he did before, because there is such a change wrought 
in all that belong to Christ, that they are, as it were, other persons than 
they were. As when Saul prophesied : 1 Kings x. 6, ' The Spirit of 
the Lord shall come upon thee, and thou shalt be turned into another 
man/ not in respect of person, or in regard of substance, but some 
gifts and graces. So these should be as other creatures, as new 
creatures. Now these things should only be in esteem with Christians 
which belong to the new creature or regeneration. ' Therefore if any 
man be in Christ/ &c. 

In the words we have a proposition (1.) Asserted ; (2) Explained. 

1. The proposition asserted is hypothetical, in which there is (1.) 
An hypothesis or proposition If any man be in Christ ; (2.) The 
assertion built thereon He is a new weature xaivrj KTIO-K;, a new 
creation. The act of creation is signified by this form of speech, as 
well as the thing created. 

2. The proposition explained ; for there is (1.) A destructive work, 
or a pulling down of the old house Old things are passed away ; 


(2.) An adstructive work, or raising of the new fabric All things are 
become new. The words are originally taken out of Isa. Ixv. 17, and 
Isa. Ixvi. 22, where God promiseth a new heaven and a new earth ; 
that is, a new world or a new state of things. Which promises had a 
threefold accomplishment. 

[1.] These promises should have some accomplishment at their 
return from Babylon, which was a new world to the ruined and exiled 
state of the church of the Jews. 

[2.] These promises were fulfilled to all believers in their regenera 
tion, which is as a new world to sinners. 

[3.] They shall be accomplished most fully in the life to come, for 
the apostle telleth us, 2 Peter iii. 19, ' We look for new heavens and 
a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.' Here it signifieth then 
that all things which belong to the old man shall be abolished, and 
the new man, and its interests and inclinations, cherished. 

Doct. All those that are united to Christ are, and ought to be, new 

Here I shall inquire (1.) What it is to be new creatures. (2.) In 
what sense we are said to be united to Christ. (3.) How the new 
creation floweth from our union with Christ. 

First. What it is to be new creatures, It implieth 

1. That there must be a change wrought in us, so that we are as it 
were other men and women than we were before ; as if another soul 
came to dwell in our body. This change is represented in such terms 
in scripture as do imply such a broad and sensible difference as is 
between light and darkness, Eph. v. 8; life and death, 1 John. iii. 14; 
the new man and the old, Eph. iv. 22-24. The vicious qualities must 
be subdued and mortified, and contrary qualities and graces planted in 
their stead. A man is so changed in his nature as if a lion were turned 
into a lamb, as the prophet says when he sets forth the strange effects 
of Christ's powerful government over the souls of those who by the 
ministry of the word are subdued to him : Isa. xi. 6. 8, ' The wolf also 
shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the 
kid ; and the calf and the young lion and the falling together ; and a 
young child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed ; 
their young ones shall lie down together : and the lion shall eat straw 
with the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, 
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.' They 
shall be so inwardly and thoroughly changed that they shall seem new 
creatures, transformed out of beasts into men; and instead of a hurtful, 
they should have an innocent and harmless disposition. Without a 
metaphor this is represented: 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 the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.' An instance 
we have, Philem. 11, in Onesimus, ' which in time past was unprofitable, 
now profitable both to thee and me.' 

2. This change must be such as may amount to a new creation. 
There are some changes which do not go so far ; as 

[1.] A moral change : from profaneness to a more sober course of 
life. There are some sins which nature discovereth, which may be pre 
vented by such reasons and arguments as nature suggesteth : Rom. ii. 


14, ' For the Gentiles which have not the law do by nature the things 
contained in the law ; these having not the law, are a law unto them 
selves.' This may be done by philosophical institution, without an 
interest in Christ, or the power of the Holy Ghost, or knowledge of the 
scriptures. Men may a little fashion their outward behaviour into an 
handsomer mode and dress ; but the new creature signifieth such a 
change that not only of vicious he becometh virtuous, but of carnal he 
becometh spiritual. I gather that from John iii. 6, ' That which is 
born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is spirit/ A 
man by nature is carnal, yea, very flesh itself. He is so when he 
inclineth to things pleasing to the flesh, seeketh them only, favoureth 
them only, affecteth them only, inclineth to them only. They that are 
guided by sense, and not by faith, by the interests and inclinations of 
the flesh, and not the spirit, are natural men, whatever change is 
wrought in them: Jude 19, 'Sensual, having not the Spirit ; ' and 
1 Cor. ii. 14, ' The natural man discerneth not the things of God ; ' he 
acteth but as a nobler and better-natured animal or living creature. 
The flesh may be pleased in a cleanly as well as in a grosser manner ; 
and though men live plausibly, yet still they may live to themselves, and 
only live the animal life, not only common to us and other men, but 
us and beasts ; their thoughts, ends, cares run that way ; and being 
void of spiritual life, are ignorant, mindless of another world, or the 
way that leadeth thither, and desire it not. Now these, though they 
are not profane, do not wallow in gross sins and wickedness, whereby 
others dishonour human nature, yet because they do not look after a 
better life, have no desire of better things fixed upon their minds, they 
are carnal. That is the true change, and they only are new creatures 
who before sought carnal things with the greatest earnestness, breathed 
after carnal delights, contented themselves with this lower happiness, 
but afterwards desire spiritual and heavenly things, and really en 
deavour to get them, which mere human nature can never bring them, 
unto ; for flesh riseth no higher than a fleshy inclination can move it. 
Others are but as a sow washed ; a sow washed is a sow still. So is a 
carnal man well fashioned. 

[2.] Not some sudden turn into a religious frame, and as soon worn 
off. A man may have some devout pangs and fits, such as Ahab had 
in his humiliations, when he went mournfully and softly, 1 Kings xxi. 
27 ; or as those that howled upon their beds for corn and wine and oil, 
and were frightened into a little religiousness in their straits and neces 
sities, Hos. vii. 14 ; or those whom the prophet speaketh of : Jer. xxxiv. 

15, ' And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight ; but 
ye returned again, and polluted my name/ A people may be changed 
from evil to good, but then they may change again from good to evil. 
This change doth not amount to the new creature, for that is a durable 
thing: 1 John iii. 9, cnrepua pevov, '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/ To be good for a day, a week, or month, 
is but a violent enforcing themselves into a religious frame, on some 
great judgment, distress, powerful conviction, or solemn covenanting 
with God : Deut. v. 29, ' Oh that there were an heart in them, that they 
would fear me, and keep my commandments/ 


[3.] A change of outward form without a change of heart ; as when 
a man changeth parties in religion, and from an opposer becometh a 
professor of a stricter way. No, the scripture opposeth this to the new 
cre.-iture : Gal. vi. 15, ' For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth 
anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.' A Christian 
is not to be esteemed by any prerogative in the flesh, but by a real 
regeneration ; if we have not the effect and power of our profession, it 
will do us no good to come under the form of it. The new creature 
lieth more in a new mind, new will, and new affections, than in a new 
tongue, or a new form, or a new name. And usually in the regenerate 
there is a change, as from profaneness to profession, so from profes 
sion and formality to a deep reality and godly sincerity. Sometimes 
they may go together, but that is in those that are religiously bred up. 
Commonly it is otherwise; and therefore when converted there is a new 
faith and a new repentance, and they serve God after a new manner, 
and pray and hear otherwise than they were wont to do. Therefore 
certainly it is not being of this or that party or opinion, though some more 
strict than others, or doing this or that particular thing, or submitting 
to this or that particular ordinance, nor a bare praying or hearing, or 
some kind of repenting or believing, that will evidence our being in 
Christ, but the doing all these things in a new state and nature, and 
with that life and seriousness which becometh new creatures. 

[4] Not a partial change. It is not enough to be altered in this or 
that particular, but the whole nature must be turned. Men from pas 
sionate may grow meek, from negligent they may be more frequent in 
duties of religion ; but the old nature still continueth. There may be 
some transient acts of holiness which the Holy Ghost worketh in us 
as a passenger, not as an inhabitant ; some good inclinations in some 
few things, like a new piece in an old garment, there is no suitableness; 
and so their returning to sinning is worse than their first sinning, and 
for the present one part of their lives is a contradiction and a reproach 
to another. In the text ' all old things are passed away, and all things 
are become new ; ' not a few only. There are new thoughts, new 
affections, new desires, new hopes, new loves, new delights, new pas 
sions, new discourses, new conversations. This work new mouldeth 
the heart, and stampeth all our actions, so that we drive a new trade 
for another world, and set up another work to which we were utter 
strangers before, and have new solaces, new comforts, new motives. 
The new creature is entire, not half new and half old. This is the 
difference between the new birth and the old: in the natural birth a 
creature may come forth maimed, wanting an arm, a leg or a hand ; 
but in the new creation there is a perfection of parts, though not of 
degrees, for a defect of parts cannot be supplied by an after-growth. 
A new creature is made all new ; there is a universality in the change. 
God worketh not his work by halves ; no man had ever his heart half 
new and half old. No, though his work be not perfect, yet it is growing 
to its perfection. If any one corruption remain unmortified, or unbroken 
or allowed in the soul, it keepeth afoot the devil's interest, and will in 
time spoil all the good qualities we have. 

3. No change amounteth to the new creature but what introduceth 
the life of God and likeness to God. 


[1.] Where the new creation obtaineth, there is life, called sometimes 
the life of God, Eph. iv. 18, because it came from God, and tendeth to 
him ; sometimes spiritual life, Gal. v. 25, and 1 Peter, iv. 6, because 
the Spirit is the author of this change ; sometimes a scriptural life, be 
cause the word of God is the rule and food of it, Phil ii. 16, ' Holding 
forth the word of life;' sometimes a heavenly life, because of its end 
and tendency : Phil. iii. 20, ' But our conversation is in heaven.' But 
call it what you will, a life there is : the soul that was dead in sin be- 
cometh alive to God, yea, the Spirit itself becometh a principle of life 
in us; so that they are really alive to God, and dead to sin and the world. 
Now would you know whether a man be alive or dead ? Observe him 
in his desires and endeavours after God, and there you shall see by his 
actions and earnestness that he is alive. But if you would try whether 
a carnal man be alive or dead, you must see by his desires and endea 
vours after the flesh that he is alive, for by any that he hath after God 
you cannot see it. Sense, motion, and affection are the fruits of life. 
Stirrings, and activity, and sensible feelings are uncertain things to 
judge by ; but the scope, tendency, and drift of our endeavours will more 
certainly discover it. He that is regenerated by the power and Spirit of 
Christ doth no more seek his happiness in carnal things , but the bent, 
drift and stream of his life and love doth carry his love another way. 

[2.] Where the new creation obtaineth there is likeness ; and to be 
new creatures is to be made like God, or to have the soul renewed to 
God's image : 2 Cor. iii. 18, ' Beholding as in a glass the glory of the 
Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory;' 
' Christ is formed in you,' Gal. iv. 19 ; made ' partakers of the divine 
nature,' 2 Peter, i. 4. It is for the honour of Christ that his people 
should bear his image and superscription, that he should do as much for 
the renovation of the soul, and the restitution of God's image, as Adam, 
did for the deformation of the soul, and the forfeiture of it ; therefore 
in the new creation his great work is to make us holy, as God is holy. 
The Spirit is sent by him from the Father to stamp God's image upon 
the heirs of promise, whereby they are sealed and marked out for God's 
peculiar ones ; they are sanctified and cleansed, and made more like 
God and Christ, and are in the world such as he was in the world. 
Nothing under heaven so like God as a holy soul. 

4. This new state of life and likeness to God is fitly called a new 
creature ; partly to show that it is God's work, for he only can create, 
and therefore in scripture always ascribed to him : Eph. ii. 10, 'We 
are his workmanship in Christ Jesus, created unto good works ; ' so, 
Eph. iv. 24, 'Put on the new man, which is created after God;' so, 
James i. 18, ' He hath begotten us by the word of truth, that we should 
be a kind of first-fruits among his creatures.' We are so far dead in 
trespasses and sins, that only an almighty, creating power is requisite 
to work this change in us , nothing less will serve the turn. And 
partly because this change thus wrought in us doth reach the whole 
man, the soul and all the faculties thereof, the body and all the 
members thereof are also renewed and changed: 1 Thes. v. 23, 'I pray 
God sanctify your whole body, spirit and soul.' A man hath a new 
judgment, esteeming all things as they tend to promote God's glory 
and our eternal happiness ; a new will and affections, inclining to and 


desiring all things to this end, that we may please, glorify, and enjoy 
God ; and the body is more ready to be employed to a gracious use 
and purpose. There is a change wrought in our whole man, and the 
inclination and bent of our lives is turned another way; so that the 
good we once hated we now love, and the sin that we loved we now 
hate, the duty that was tedious is now delightful. 

Secondly. How are we united to Christ ? ' If a man be in Christ/ it 
is said in the text. In the scripture Christ is sometimes said to be in 
us : Col. i. 27, ' Christ in you, the hope of glory/ Sometimes we are 
said to be in him, as here, as he is also said to live in us, and we in 
him, Gal. ii. 20. Being in Christ noteth our union with him, and 
interest in him. Now a man is united to Christ two ways 

1. Externally. 

2. Internally. 

1. Externally, by baptism and profession: John xv. 2, 'Every 
branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away/ These branches 
are in him only by external covenanting, and professing relation to 
him, and visible communion with him in the ordinances. 

2. Internally ; when we are ingrafted into the mystical body of 
Christ by his Spirit, and have the real effect of our baptism and pro 
fession : 1 Cor. xii. 13, ' By one Spirit we are all baptized into one 
body.' These two unions may be resembled by the ivy, that adhereth 
to the oak, and the branches of the oak itself, which live in their root ; 
the ivy hath a kind of life from the oak by external adhesion, but 
bringeth forth fruit of its own ; the branches grow out of the root, and 
bear fruit proper to the tree. All that are in Christ by external 
adhesion are bound de jure to be new creatures ; but those that are 
in Christ by mystical implantation, not only ought to be, but are, new 

Thirdly. How the new creation floweth from our union with Christ. 

1. They that are ingrafted into Christ are made partakers of his 
Spirit. And therefore by that Spirit they are renewed, and have 
another nature put into them : Titus iii. 5, 6, 'Not by works of right 
eousness 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 shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour ; ' are 
fitted to live a new life. It is not meet the Spirit of Christ should 
work no otherwise than the bare spirit of a man. If one had power 
to put the spirit of man into a brute beast, that brute beast would 
discourse rationally. All that are united to Christ partake of his 
divine Spirit, who doth sanctify the souls of his people, and doth mor 
tify and master the strongest corruptions, and raise them to those 
inclinations and affections to which nature is an utter stranger. The 
impressions left upon the soul by the Spirit may be seen in the three 
theological graces which constitute the new creature, mentioned 1 Cor. 
xiii. 13, ' But now abideth faith, hope, and charity ; ' and 1 Thes. 
v. 8, ' Putting on the breast-plate of faith and love, and for an helmet 
the hope of salvation ; ' and elsewhere, ' Faith, love, and hope.' Now 
the operations of all these graces imply a new and strange nature put 
into us. 

[1.] Faith, which convinceth us of things unseen, and to live in the 


delightful forethought of a world to come : 2 Cor. iv. 16-18, ' For this 
cause we faint not ; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward 
man is renewed day by day. For our light afflictions, which are but 
for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory ; 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.' Now will there not be a 
manifest difference between a man that is governed by sense, and one 
guided and influenced by faith ? Certainly, more than there is in a 
man that delighteth in ordering the affairs of commonwealths, and a 
child that delighteth in moulding clay pies. So for love : a child of 
God is so affected with the goodness that is in God, and the goodness, 
that floweth from God in the wonders of his love by Christ, and the 
goodness we hope for when all the promises are fulfilled, that all their 
delights, desires, and endeavours are after God ; not to be great in the 
world, but to enjoy God : Ps. Ixxiii. 25, ' Whom have I in heaven but 
thee ? And there is none upon earth I desire besides thee ; ' and 
therefore can easily overcome fleshly and worldly lusts, and such in 
clinations as the rest of the world are mastered with. Well then, a 
Christian ingrafted into Christ loseth all property in himself, and is 
freed from self-love, and that carnal vanity to which it is addicted. Then 
for hope, the strong and constant hope of a glorious estate in the other 
world will make us deny the flesh, go through all sufferings and 
difficulties to attain it : Acts. xxvi. 6, 7, ' And now I stand and am 
judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers, 
unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and 
night, hope to come.' And so by consequence a man acteth like 
another kind of creature than the rest of men are, or than he himself 
was before. 

2. The state of the gospel calleth for it ; for it is a change of 
everything from what it was before. All things are new in the 
kingdom of Christ, and therefore we should be new creatures also. In 
the gospel there is a new Adam, which is Jesus Christ, a new covenant, 
a new paradise (not that where Adam enjoyed God among the beasts, 
but where the blessed enjoy God among the angels ), a new ministry, 
new ordinances ; and therefore we also should be new creatures, and 
serve God, ' not in the oldness of the letter, but the newness of the 
spirit,' Rom. vii. 6. We are both obliged and fitted by this new state. 
Since we have a new lord, a new law, all is new, there must be also a 
new creation ; for as the general state of the church is renewed by 
Christ, so every particular believer ought to participate of this new 

3. The third argument shall be taken from the necessity of the 
new creation : 

[1.] In order to our present communion with God. The new crea 
ture is necessary to converse with a holy and invisible God, earnestly, 
frequently, reverently, and delightfully ; for the effects of the new crea 
ture are life and likeness. Those that do not live the life of God are 
estranged from him, Eph. iv. 18. Adam was alone, though compassed 
about with multitude of creatures, beasts, and plants ; there was none 
to converse with him, because they did not live his life. Trees cannot 


converse with beasts, nor beasts with men, nor men with God, till they 
have somewhat of the same nature and life. Sense fits the plants, 
reason the beasts, so grace fits men. So for likeness, conformity is the 
ground of communion : Amos iii. 3, ' How can two walk together, 
except they are agreed ?' Our old course made the breach between 
God and us : Isa. lix. 2, ' But your iniquities have separated between 
you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he 
will not hear.' And our new life and likeness qualifieth for communion 
with him: 1 John. i. 6, 7, 'If we say we have fellowship with him, 
and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth ; but it' we walk in 
the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.' 
A holy creature may sweetly come and converse with a holy God. 

[2.] In order to our service and obedience to God. Man is unfit for 
God's use till he be new-moulded and framed again. Observe two 
places : Eph. ii. 10, ' We are his workmanship in Christ Jesus, created 
unto good works.' Every creature hath faculties suitable to those opera 
tions which belong to that creature. So man must be new created and 
new formed, that he may be prepared, fitted, and made ready for the 
Lord. You cannot expect new operations till there be a new life. 
The other place is, 2 Tim. ii. 21, ' If a man purge himself from these, 
he shall be a vessel of honour, sanctified and meet for the master's use, 
and prepared unto every good work.' There is a mass of corruption 
which remaineth as a clog upon us, which maketh us averse and indis 
posed for the work of God ; and the soul must be purged from these 
lusts and inclinations to the vanities of the world, before it is meet, 
prepared, and made ready for the acts of holiness. Here must be our 
first care, to get the heart renewed. Many are troubled about this or 
that duty, or particular branches of the spiritual life : first get life it 
self, for there must be principles before there can be operations, and in 
vain do we expect strengthening grace before we have received renew 
ing grace. This is like little children, who attempt to run before they 
can go. Many complain of this and that corruption, but they do not 
groan under the burden of a corrupt nature, as suppose wandering 
thoughts in prayer, when at the same time the heart is habitually 
averse and estranged from God ; as if a man should complain of an 
aching tooth, when a mortal disease hath seized upon his vitals ; of a 
cut finger, when at the same time he is wounded at the heart ; of 
deadness in duty, and want of quickening grace, when they want 
converting grace, as if we would have the Spirit blow to a dead 
coal ; complain of infirmities and incident weaknesses, when our 
habitual aversation from God is not yet cured, and of our unpre- 
paredness for service, when we have not the general and most 
necessary preparation, are not yet come out of the carnal estate. 

[3.] In order to our future enjoyment of God, and that glory and 
blessedness which we expect in his heavenly kingdom. None but new 
creatures are fit to enter into the new Jerusalem. It is said, John iii. 
3, ' Except a man be born again, he shall not see the kingdom of God.' 
Seeing is put for enjoying. He shall not be suffered to look within 
the veil, much less to enter. Man neither knoweth his true happi 
ness nor careth for it, but followeth after his old lusts till he be new 
moulded and framed. By nature men are opposite to the kingdom of 


God, it being invisible, future, spiritual, mostly for the soul. Now 
men are for things seen, present, and bodily ; the interest of the flesh 
governeth them in all their choices and inclinations; and how unmeet 
are those for heaven ! In short, our frail bodies must be changed 
before they can be brought to heaven ' We shall not all die, but we 
shall all be changed/ saith the apostle. If thy body must be changed, 
how much more thy soul ? if that which is frail, much more that 
which is filthy. If bare flesh and blood cannot enter into heaven till 
it be freed from its corruptible qualities, certainly a guilty soul cannot 
enter into heaven till it be freed from its sinful qualities. 
Use 1. To inform us 

1. How ill they can make out their interest in Christ that are not 
sensible of any change wrought in them. They have the old thoughts 
and old discourses, and the old passions, and the old affections, and old 
conversations still ; the old darkness and blindness which was upon 
their minds ; the old stupidity, dullness, deadness, carelessness upon 
their hearts, knowing nothing, regarding nothing of God ; the old end 
and scope governeth them, to which they formerly referred all things ; 
if there be a change there is some hope the Kedeemer hath been 
at work in our hearts. You can remember how little favour you 
had once for the things of the Spirit ; how little mind to Christ or 
holiness ; how wholly given up to the pleasures of the flesh or profits 
of the world. What a mastery your lusts had then over you, and 
what a hard servitude you then were in : Titus iii. 3, ' Serving divers 
lusts and pleasures.' Is the case altered with you now ? If it be, your 
gust to fleshly delights is deadened, and your soul will be more taken 
up with the affairs of another world. The drift, aim, and bent of your 
lives is now for God and your salvation ; and your great business is 
now the pleasing of God and the saving of your souls, and now you 
are not servants to your fleshly appetites and senses, or things here 
below, but masters, lords, and conquerors over them. But in most 
that profess and pretend to an interest in Christ, there 1 is no such 
change to be seen ; you may find their old sins and their old lusts, 
and the old things of ungodliness, are not yet cast off. Such rubbish 
and rotten building should not be left standing with the new ; old 
leaves in autumn fall off in the spring. 

2. It informeth us in what manner we should check sin ; by remem 
bering it is an old thing to be done away, and how ill it becometh our 
new state by Christ : 2 Peter i. 9, ' Hath forgotten that he was purged 
from his old sins.' Former sins ought to be esteemed as rags that are 
cast off, or vomit never to be licked up again. If we are and do pro 
fess or esteem ourselves to be pardoned, we should never build again 
what we have destroyed, and tear open our old wounds ; so 1 Peter i. 
14. ' Not fashioning yourselves to the former lusts of your ignorance.' 
We should not return to our old bondage and slavery : so 1 Cor. v. 7, 
; Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump.' The 
unsuitableness of it to our present state stirreth up our indignation : 
' What have I any more to do with idols ? ' Hosea xiv. 8. Worldly 
things are pleasing to the old man. 

Use 2. Have we this evidence of eur being in Christ, that we are 
made new creatures ? 


1. Have we a new mind ? A new creature hath a new sight of 
things, looketh upon all things with a new eye, seeth more odiousness 
in sin, more excellency in Christ, more beauty in holiness, more vanity 
in the world than ever before. Knowing things after the flesh bringeth 
in this discourse about the new creature in the text. A new value 
and esteem of things doth much discover the temper of the heart : if 
thou esteemest the reproach of Christ, Heb. xi. 26 ; esteemest the 
decay of the outward man, to be abundantly recompensed by the 
renewing of the inward, 2 Cor. iv. 16. A new creature is not only 
changed himself, but all things about him are changed ; heaven is 
another thing, and earth is another thing than it was before; he 
looketh upon his body and soul with another eye. 

2. As he hath a new mind and judgment, so the heart is new 
moulded. The great blessing of the covenant is a new heart. Now 
the heart is new when we are inclined to the ways of God, and 
enabled to walk in them. There is 

[1.] A new inclination, poise or weight upon the soul, bending it 
to holy and heavenly things. This David prayeth for: Ps. cxix. 36, 
'Incline my heart to thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.' And 
is that preparedness and readiness for every good work which the 
scripture speaketh of. 

[2.] The heart is enabled : Ezek. xxxvi. 27, ' I will put a new spirit 
into you, and cause you to walk in my ways.' Wherefore is a new heart 
and a new strength of grace given, but to serve God acceptably, with 
reverence and godly fear ? Heb. xii. 28, ' For the kingdom of God 
standeth not in word, but power.' 

[3.] New actions or a new conversation, called ' walking in newness 
of life,' Bom. vii. 4. A Christian is another man. There is not only a 
difference between him and others, but him and himself. He must 
needs be so ; for he hath (1.) A new principle the Spirit of God. 
As their own flesh before, John iii. 6, now his heart is suited to the 
law of God : Heb. viii. 10, ' I will put my law into their minds, and 
write them on their hearts ; ' and Eph. iv. '24, ' And that ye put on the 
new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true 
holiness.' (2.) A new rule; and therefore there must be a new way 
and course : Gal. vi. 15, 16, ' For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision 
availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as 
many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, 
and upon the Israel of God ; ' and Ps. i. 2, ' But his delight is in the 
law of God ; and in that law doth he meditate day and night.' As 
their internal principle of operation is different, so the external rule of 
their conversations is different. Others walk according to the course 
of this world, or their own lusts : Bom xii. 2, ' And be not conformed 
to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.' 
(3.) A new design and end : are taken off from carnal and earthly 
things to spiritual and heavenly things, to seek after God and their 
own salvation. The renewed, being called to the hope of eternal 
life, look after God and heaven, to serve, please and glorify God. 



And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus 
Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. 
2 COR. v. 18. 

IN this verse the doctrine of the new creature is further prosecuted 
with respect to the apostle's scope, which is to assert his fidelity in the 
ministry. For here are three things laid down 

1. The efficient cause of all is God. 

2. The meritorious cause is Jesus Christ. 

3. The instrumental cause is the word. 

[1.] The original author of all gospel grace ' And all things are of 
God ; ' ra Se Trdvra, all these things. He doth not speak of universal 
creation, but of the peculiar grace of regeneration. It is God that 
maketh all things new in the church, and formeth his people after his 
own image. 

[2.] The meritorious cause ; how cometh God to be so kind to us ? 
We were his enemies. The apostle telleth us here, as elsewhere, he 
hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ : Rom. v. 10, ' When we 
were enemies, we were reconciled by the death of his Son.' So 
that we have the new creature by virtue of our reconciliation with God, 
as pacified in Christ towards the elect, when our cause was desperate,- 
there was no other way to recover us. 

[3.] The instrumental cause, or means of application, is the ministry 
of reconciliation, which was given to the apostles and other preachers 
of the gospel. God is the author of grace, and Christ is the means to 
bring us and God together, and the ministers have an office, power, 
and commission to bring us and Christ together. And so Paul had 
a double obligation to constancy and fidelity in his office : his 
personal reconciliation, which was common to him with other 
Christians ; and a ministerial delegation and trust to reconcile others 
to Christ. 

Two points will be discoursed in this verse 

1. That God is the original author of the new creature, and all 
things which belong thereunto. 

2. That God is the author of the new creature, as reconciled to us 
by Christ. 

First, Let me insist upon the first point, and prove to you that 
renovation is the proper work of God, and the sole effect of his Spirit. 
That will appear 

1. From the state of the person who is to be reconciled and 
renewed. The object of this renovation is a sinner lying in a state of 
defection from God, and under a loss of original righteousness, averse 
from God, yea, an enemy to him, prone to all evil, weak, yea, dead to 
all spiritual good ; and how can such an one renew and convert him 
self to God ? It is true man hath some reason left, and may have 
some confused notions and general apprehensions of things good and 
evil, pleasing and displeasing to God, but the very apprehensions are 
maimed and imperfect, and they often call good evil, and evil good, 



and put light for darkness, and darkness for light, Isa. v. 10. However, 
to choose the one and leave the other, that is not in their power. 
They may have loose desires of spiritual favours, especially as appre 
hended under the quality of a natural good, or as separate from the 
means: Num. xxiii. 10, ' Oh that I may die the death of the righteous ! ' 
They may long for the death of the righteous, though loath to live their 
life. That excellency which they discover in spiritual things is appre 
hended in a natural way : John vi. 36, ' And they said unto him, Lord, 
evermore give us this bread.' But these desires are neither truly 
spiritual, nor serious, nor constant, nor laborious. So that to appre 
hend or seek after spiritual things in a spiritual manner is above their 
reach and power. Neither if we consider what man is in his natural 
estate ; this work must needs come of God. Man is blind in his mind, 
perverse in his will, rebellious in his affections ; what sound part is 
there in us left to mend the rest ? Will a nature that is carnal resist 
and overcome flesh ? No ; our Lord telleth you, John iii. 6, ' That 
which is born of flesh is flesh ; ' and his apostle, Rom. viii. 5, ' They 
that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh/ Can a man 
by his own mere strength be brought to abhor what he dearly loveth ? 
and he that ' drinketh in iniquity like water,' Job xv. 16, of his own 
accord be brought to loathe sin, and expel and drive it from him ? On 
the other side, will he be ever brought to love what he abhorreth ? 
Rom. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity to God, and is not 
subject to the law, neither indeed can be.' There is enmity in an unre- 
newed heart, till grace remove it. Can we that are worldly, wholly led 
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. 14, ' But 
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit ; ' and 2 Peter 
i. 9, ' He that lacketh these things (viz., faith and other graces) is blind, 
and cannot see afar off.' What man of his own accord will deny 
present things, and lay up his hopes in heaven ? Let that rare 
phoenix be once produced; and then we may think of changing our 
opinion, and lay aside the doctrine of supernatural grace. Can a stony 
heart of itself become tender ? Ezek. xxxvi. 26 ; or a dead heart 
quicken itself ? Eph. ii. 5. Then there were no need of putting our 
selves to the pains and trouble of seeking all from above, and waiting 
upon God with such seriousness and care. 

2: From the nature of this work. It is called a new creation in the 
17th verse, and Eph. ii. 10, and elsewhere. Now, creation is a work 
of omnipotency, and proper to God. There is a. twofold creation. 
In the beginning God made some things out of nothing, and some 
things ex mhabiii materia out of foregoing matter ; but such as was 
wholly unfit and indisposed for those things which were made of it ; 
as when God made Adam out of the dust of the ground, and Eve out 
of the rib of man. Now take the notion in the former and latter 
sense, and you will see that God only can create. If in the former 
sense, something and nothing have an infinite distance, and he only 
that calleth the things that are not as though they were, can only 
raise the one out of the other, he indeed can speak light out of dark- 
n&ss, 2 Cor. iv. 6 ; life out of death, something out of nothing, 
2 Peter i. 3. By the divine power all things are given to us, which 


are necessary to life and godliness. He challeugeth this work as his 
own, as belonging to his infinite power, to give grace to a graceless 
soul. Or, if you will take the latter notion, creation out of unfit 
matter ; he maketh those that were wholly indisposed to good, averse 
from it, perverse resisters of what would bring them to it, tx_ be lovers 
of holiness and godliness, and followers of it. God that made man at 
first must renew him, and restore him to that image he lost : Col. iii. 
10, ' Eestored to the image of him that created him,' and Eph. iv. 24, 
' Created after God/ His work must be acknowledged in it, and 
looked upon as a great work, not as a low, natural, or common 
thing, otherwise you disparage the great benefit of the new creation. 

3. From its connection with reconciliation. We can no more con 
vert ourselves than reconcile ourselves to God. Kenewing and recon 
ciling grace are often spoken of together, as in the text, and often 
folded up in the same expression, as going pari passu : 1 Peter iii. 18. 
' Bring us to God/ as being obtained both together ; Acts v. 31, ' Him 
hath God exalted with his right hand to be a prince and a saviour, 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 the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit 
of our God.' And both are received from the same hand by virtue of 
the same merit. Well then, there must be a supernatural work upon 
us, to cure our unholiness, as well as a supernatural work without us, 
to overcome our guiltiness. The same person that merited the one by 
the value of his blood and sufferings, must apply the other by the 
almighty power of his grace. And we needed the Son of God to be a 
fountain of life, as well as the ransom for our souls ; and it is for the 
honour of our Kedeemer that our whole and entire recovery should be 
ascribed to him, not part only, as the freedom from guilt, but the 
whole freedom from the power of sin ; and that he might be a complete 
saviour to us. It is not sufficient only that he be a prophet or a 
lawgiver, to give sufficient precepts, directions, and rules for the 
sanctification and renovation of our natures, and propound sufficient 
encouragements and motives in the promise of eternal life ; nor that 
he should be priest only to offer a sacrifice for the expiation of our 
sin ; but also be a fountain of light and grace, to renew God's image 
upon the soul. As none but Christ is able to satisfy God's justice for 
us, so none but Christ is able to change the heart of man : Job xiv. 4, 
' Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one/ This 
work would cease for ever, as well as the other part of the ransom and 
redemption of our souls. He had this in his eye when he died for us : 
Eph. v. 25, 26, ' Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it, that 
he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the 
word ;' and Titus 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.' And he purchased this power 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. And 
therefore, if this part of our salvation be not ascribed to Christ, 
you rob him of his choicest glory ; for to sanctify is more than to 


4. From the effect of this renovation, which is the implantation of 
the three graces, faith, hope, and love, which are our light, life, and 
power. In the new nature faith is our light, because by it we see 
things otherwise than we did before. We see God : Heb. xi. 26, ' By 
faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king ; he endured 
as seeing him who is invisible.' We see Christ: John vi. 40, 'That 
every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him/ They see such 
an excellency in him that all other things are but dung and dross in 
comparison of him. They see heaven and spiritual things, and things 
to come : Heb. xi. 1, ' Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, 
the evidence of things not seen ;' and Eph. i. 18, ' 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 his inheritance in 
the saints.' Faith is the eye of the new creature that giveth us 
another sight of things than we had before. Without it we can 
not see these things, 2 Peter i. 9. We understand what is good 
for back and belly ; we see things at hand, but cannot see things afar 
off. Then love is as it were the heart of the new creature, the seat of 
life, or wherein the new bent and inclination to what is good and 
holy doth most discover itself. We are never converted till God hath 
our love ; for grace is a victorious suavity or complacency. God in 
conversion acteth so powerfully, that his purpose is accomplished. He 
nets upon the will of man with so much energy that he mastereth it, 
and yet with so much sweetness that his power maketh us a willing 
people, Ps. ex. 3. That is, he gaineth our love, and then nothing he 
doth or saith is grievous, 1 John v. 3. Healing grace worketh mainly 
by shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts, and causing us to 
love him again. The sensitive delectation, which formerly captivated 
the will, is subdued, and the soul is brought to delight in God as our 
chief good ; so that grace, which is light in the understanding, is plea 
sure in the will. There is a powerful love which maketh our duty 
easy and agreeable to us. Then hope that is our strength, for the sense 
of the other world, where we shall have what we believe and desire at 
the fullest rate of enjoyment, doth fortify the heart against present temp 
tations, the sorrows of the world, and the delights of sense. The soul 
is weak when our expectation is cold and languid ; strong, when the 
heart is most in heaven ; our moral and spiritual strength lieth in the 
heavenly mind. It is our anchor and helmet. Now all these graces 
are of God. The scripture is express both for faith, which giveth us a 
new sight of things : Eph. ii. 8, ' By grace ye are saved, through faith ; 
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ; ' and love, which 
giveth us a new bent and inclination, or that victorious suavity which 
gently mastereth the will by its affectionate allurements, or pleasingly 
ravisheth the heart : 1 John iv. 7, ' Let us love one another, for love is 
of God.' This holy fire is only kindled by a sunbeam ; and hope is 
of the same extract and original : Horn. 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.' That heavenly frame that 
maintaineth comfort in our souls in the midst of the tumults and con 
fusions of the present world, it is wrought in us by the Spirit : these 
graces, as they are created after God, so created by God. After God ; 


after his image. Wisdom, power and goodness are the three great 
attributes to which answer light, life and power, or, which is all one, 
faith, hope and love ; faith as the eye, and love as the heart. This 
life is received by faith, and acted in love. Hope as the strength ; and 
reason showeth it as well as scripture. Faith we cannot have of our 
selves, for by sense we only see things that are before us. By reason 
things future, as they are contained in their causes, may be seen, if 
nothing hinder, but things spiritual, invisible, and wholly future, can 
not be seen with any certainty, but in God's light, as he revealeth the 
object and openeth the faculty. Love we cannot have of ourselves, 
for man being a fleshly creature, his love accommodateth itself to the 
interests of his flesh. Suppose it to be placed like a needle between 
two loadstones, between God and the world, surely it will be drawn 
away by what is strongest and nearest. Self-love, being guided by 
concupiscence, tendeth towards the creature, till it be mastered by 
grace. Those pleasures which enter into the soul by the gate of the 
senses will corrupt our love, till an higher pleasure, let in by the un 
derstanding divinely enlightened, and into the will, draw it another 
way ; for before the understanding is dazzled with false light, or ob 
scured by real darkness, that it can hardly discern good from evil. 
Such is the treachery of the senses, and revolt of the passions ; and the 
will, perverted by concupiscence, hath no inclination but to what is 
evil. Hope which floweth from love that cannot be ; for till God be 
our chiefest good, how shall we seek and long for the time when we 
shall fully enjoy him, with any life, seriousness and comfort ? 

5. All things belonging to the new creature the scripture ascribeth 
to God. Take that noted place, Phil. ii. 13, ' For God worketh in us 
both to will and to do of his good pleasure ; ' all that we will and all 
that we do in the spiritual life is of God. Mark here 

[1.] He did not only give us the natural faculties at first. God, as 
the author of nature, must be distinguished from God as the author of 
grace ; that is another sphere and order of beings ; it is one thing to 
make us men, another thing to make us saints or Christians. We have 
understanding, will, and affections, and senses, as men, but we are 
sanctified as Christians : 1 John v. 20, ' He hath given us an under 
standing, that we may know him that is true.' 

[2.] God doth not only concur to the exercise of these faculties, as a 
general cause, as he doth to all the creatures, Acts xvii. 28. We cannot 
stir nor move without him ; general providential assistance is necessary 
to all things, or else they could not subsist ; as the fire could not burn 
the three children, though he did not destroy the being or property of 
it, only suspend his influence. So God is said to give the seeing eye 
and the hearing ear ; not only the rational faculty, but the exercise ; 
but this is not enough ; as the act is from God, so the graciousness of 
the act. 

[3.] To come more closely to the thing in hand. God doth not 
only work merely by helping the will, but giving us the will, not by 
curing the weakness of it, but by sanctifying it, and taking away the 
sinfulness of it, and sweetly drawing it to himself. If the will were 
only in a swoon and languishment, a little excitation, outward or in 
ward, would serve the turn ; but it is stark dead ; they do but flatter 


nature that say of it as Christ of the damsel ' She is not dead but 
sleepeth/ God s grace is not only necessary for facilitation, that we 
may more easily choose and pursue that which is good ; as a horse is 
requisite, that a man may pass over his journey more easily, which 
otherwise he might do on foot with difficulty. No, it is impossible, as 
well as difficult, till God giveth us the will and the deed. 

[4.] God doth not only give a power to will if we please, or a power 
to do if we please, but he giveth to will and to do, the act of willing 
and doing. Adam had posse quod vellei, but we have velle quod pos- 
simus he had a power to avoid sin if he would, but we have the will 
itself ; but he worketh powerfully and efficaciously, that is to say, the 
effect succeedeth : Ezek. xxxvi. 27, ' A new heart will I give to you, 
and a new spirit will I put into you, and cause you to walk in my 
ways.' If this were all the grace given to us for Christ's sake, that 
we might be converted if we would, divers absurdities would follow. 

(1.) That Christ died at uncertainties, and it is in the power and 
pleasure of man's will to ratify and frustrate the end of his death ; for 
it is a contingent thing whether a man will turn to God, yea or no. 
No, it is not so left ; it doth not depend upon man's mutable will : 
John vi. 37, ' All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.' 

(2.) Man would be the principal cause of his own conversion, and 
so would rob God of the glory of his free grace, and put the honour of 
it on the liberty of man's will ; for grace giveth an indifferency, he 
may or he may not ; but free will hath the casting voice. A power to 
repent or believe he hath from God, but the determining act is from 
himself, which is more noble ; for he doth more that doth will and 
work, than he that giveth a power to will and work ; as it is a more 
perfect thing to understand than to be able to understand ; the act is 
more perfect than the power ; actus secundus est nobilior quam primus. 
We should then expect from God no other grace but a power to repent 
and believe ; but it is left to our wills to make it effectual or frustrate ; 
is this all ? No ; God doth not only give a power to believe, but faith ; 
a power to repent, but repentance itself ; not such grace as is effectual 
only as man's will is pleased to use it, or not to use it, but victorious 
grace, such as conquereth the heart of man, and sweetly subdueth it 
to God. 

(3.) Look to the prayers of the faithful dispersed everywhere in the 
holy scriptures, and they understand this of effectual grace : ' Create 
in me a clean heart,' saith David, Ps. li. 10 ; and Paul prayed, Heb. 
xiii. 21, ' The Lord make you perfect in every good work, to do his 
will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight.' Grace effectual 
by itself is prayed for, not a grace that giveth the possibility only, but 
the effect ; not only such as doth invite and solicit us to good, but 
such as doth incline and determine us to good. 

(4.) This grace we give thanks for ; not for a power to repent and 
believe, but for repentance and faith itself to be wrought in us. Put 
it into the instance of Peter and Judas. For otherwise God would do no 
more for Peter than for Judas, if God did only give a power to will, if 
we please to do it, so man would difference himself, 1 Cor. iv. 7. 
Then Peter no more than Judas, and Judas as much as Peter ; Lord, 
I thank thee that thou hast given me some supernatural help, namely, 


a power to return to thee, if I will. And the like help thou hast given 
to my fellow disciple Judas, but this I have added of mine own accord, 
a will to return and be converted. And though I have received no 
more than he, yet I have done more than he, since I have accepted 
grace, and he remaineth in sin. I owe no more to thy grace than Judas 
did ; but I have done more for thy glory than Judas did. 

(5.) Our first choice and willing the things of God, is not only given 
us, but our willing and working when we are converted. Grace is no 
less necessary to finish than to begin ; and the new state dependeth 
absolutely on its influence from first to last 'He worketh all our 
works for us.' 

There is not one individual act of grace but God is interested in it, 
as the soul is in every member ; there is not only a constant union by 
virtue of their subsistence in the body, but there is a constant anima 
tion and influence, and the members of the body have no power to 
move, but as they are moved and acted by the soul. So grace is two 
fold ; habitual, which giveth the Christian his supernatural being: 
2 Peter i. 4, ' Who hath made us partakers of the divine nature ; ' and 
actual, which raiseth and quickeneth them in their operations. To 
this sense must these places be interpreted: John xv. 5, ' He that 
abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for 
without me ye can do nothing ; ' and 2 Cor. iii. 5, ' Not that we are 
sufficient of ourselves to think anything, but our sufficiency is of God.' 
You will say then, What difference is there between the regenerate 
and unregenerate. a natural man and a new creature ? 

I answer, there is somewhat in them which may be called a new life, 
and a new nature, somewhat distinct from Christ, or the Spirit of Christ 
that worketh in them ; there is the habits of grace, or the seed of God, 
1 John iii. 9 ; which cannot be Christ, or the Spirit, for it is a created 
gift : Ps. li. 10, ' Create in me a clean heart.' This is called some 
times the divine nature, sometimes the new creature, sometimes the 
inward man, sometimes the good treasure, Mat. xii. 35 ; a stock of 
grace which may be increased : 2 Peter iii. 18, ' But grow in grace, 
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' All 
which are not compatible to the Spirit, so that when the Spirit 
worketh on us, it is in another manner than on the regenerate. At 
first conversion we are mere objects of grace, but afterwards instru 
ments of grace ; first upon us, and then by us. He worketh in the 
regenerate and unregenerate in a different manner ; he works on the 
unregenerate while they do nothing that is good, yea the contrary ; 
the regenerate he helpeth not unless working, striving, labouring; 
there is an inclination towards God and holy things which he 
quickeneth and raiseth up. 

(6.) In the same action, unless God continueth his assistance, we 
fail and wax faint, for God doth not only give us the will, that is, the 
desire and purpose, but the grace by which we do that good which we 
will and purpose to do; these two are distinct, to will and to do. 
And we may have assistance in one kind, and not in another; willing 
and doing are different ; for Paul saith, Eom. vii. 18, ' To will is 
present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not' 
There needeth grace for that also. To will is more than to think, and 


to exert our will into action is more than both ; in all we need God's 
help. We cannot think a good thought, nor conceive a holy purpose, 
much less perform a good action; so that we need renewed strength 
every moment. The heart of man is very mutable in the same duty, 
and we can keep up our affections no longer than God is pleased to 
hold them up. While the influence of grace is strong upon us, the 
heart is kept in a warm, holy frame ; but as that abateth, the heart 
swerveth, and returneth to sin and vanity ; instance in Peter, se posse 
putabat quod se velle sentiebat. 

Use 1. Let us apply this. 

1. Take heed of an abuse of this doctrine. Let it not lull us asleep 
in idleness, because God must do all, we must do nothing ; this is an 
abuse ; the Spirit of God reasoneth otherwise: Phil. ii. 12, 13, 'Work 
out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which 
worketh in you both to will and to do.' Work, for God worketh ; 
it cannot be a ground of looseness or laziness to the regenerate or 

[l.j Not to the unregenerate ; their impotency doth not dissolve 
their obligation. A drunken servant is a servant, and bound to do his 
work, though he hath disabled himself; it is no reason the master 
should lose his right by the servant's default. Again, God's doing all 
is an engagement to us to wait upon him in the use of means, that we 
meet with God in his way, and he may meet with us in our way. 

(1.) That we may meet with God in his way, God hath appointed 
certain duties to convey and apply his grace. We are to lie at the 
pool till the waters be stirred, to continue our attendance till God 
giveth grace : Mark iv. 24, ' Take heed what ye hear. With what 
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.' As you measure to 
God in duties, so will God measure to you in blessings. 

(2.) That God may meet with us in our way, God influenceth all 
things according to their natural inclination. God enlighteneth with 
the sun, burneth with the fire, reasoneth with man, acts necessarily 
with necessary causes, and freely with free causes ; he doth not oppress 
the liberty of the creature, but preserveth the nature and interest of 
his workmanship, draweth men with the cords of a man, Hos. xi. 4. 
He propoundeth reasons, which we consider, and so betake ourselves to 
a godly course. The object of regeneration is a reasonable creature, 
upon whom he worketh not as upon a stock or a stone, and maketh 
use of the faculties which they have, showing us our lost estate, and 
the possibility of salvation by Christ, sweetly inviting us to accept of 
Christ's grace, that he may pardon our sins, sanctify our natures, and 
lead us in the way of holiness unto eternal life. Now these means we 
are to attend upon. 

[2.] Not to the regenerate. Partly because they have some princi 
ples of operation, there is life in them ; and where there is life, there is 
a principle and power to act, or else God's most precious gifts would 
be in vain ; and therefore it is their duty to rouse and quicken 
themselves: 2 Tim. i. 6. ' That thou stir up the gift of God which is 
in thee ;' and Isa. Ixiv. 7, 'No man stirreth up himself to seek after 
God.' We have understanding and memory sanctified and planted 
with a stock of divine knowledge, to revive truths upon the conscience. 


And partly, because God's children are never so deserted but that there 
is some help from God. There are auxilia necessaria. Some liberal 
and plentiful aids of grace which may be suspended. But that grace 
which is simply and absolutely necessary is still vouchsafed. Therefore 
they are more inexcusable. If the wicked man that had but one 
talent be taxed for being a lazy and slothful servant, Mat. xxv, much 
more the regenerate that hath three talents a reasonable nature, 
grace habitual, and such actual help as is absolutely necessary. And 
partly, because to neglect duty is to resist grace, and run away from 
our strength. God hath promised to be with us whilst we are doing : 
1 Chron. xxii. 6, ' Up and be doing, and the Lord be with you.' 
David's silence, and keeping off from God, did him no good. When 
the eunuch was reading, and knew not what to make of it, God sent 
him an interpreter, Acts viii. 

2. It is an abuse to think the exhortation in vain, to press people 
to become new creatures. It is not in vain : 

[1.] That man may own his duty, and be sensible of the necessity 
of the change of his estate, who would otherwise be altogether careless 
and mindless of such a thing, a duty which must be speedily and 
earnestly gone about, if they mean to be saved. The exhortation is a 
demanding of God's right, and maketh the creature sensible of his own 
obligation, that he may take care of this work as well as he can ; at 
least, that he may acknowledge the debt, and confessing our impotency, 
beg grace. 

[2.] God requireth it of us, that he may work it in us ; he worketb 
by requiring, for evangelical exhortations carry their own blessing with 
them : John xi. 43, ' Lazarus, come forth ; ' there went a power and 
efficacy with the words to raise him from the dead. So Mat. xii. 13, 
' Stretch forth thine hand ; ' there was the difficulty, but the man 
found help in stretching forth his hand. 

[3.] The exhortation is not in vain, because there are some things 
to be done before this ; renovation is in order thereunto, as wood is 
dried before it is kindled. There are some preparations to conversion, 
and we are to be active about them, as that we should rouse up our 
selves : Ps. xxii. 27, ' The ends of the world shall remember, and turn 
to the Lord ; ' and Ps. cxix. 59, ' I thought on my ways, and turned 
my feet unto thy testimonies.' Man is very inconsiderate, his soul is 
asleep till consideration awakens it, he is to try his own estate whether 
good or bad : Lam. iii. 40, ' Search and try your ways, and turn unto 
the Lord.' To set himself to seek after God in the best fashion he 
can, Hos. v. 4. They will not frame their doings, nor think of recover 
ing themselves, nor bending their course that way. 

[4.] The exhortation is not in vain, that men may not hinder God's 
work, and obstruct their own mercies, and render themselves more 
unapt to be changed. God taketh notice they would not observe his 
checks : Prov. i. 23, ' They set at nought my counsel, and would not 
turn at my reproofs.' Sometimes conscience boggleth, either as excited 
by the word ' Felix trembled,' Acts xxiv. 25 ; or some notable afflic 
tion or strait, Gen. xlii. 21. By one means or other the waters are 
stirred ; great helps are vouchsafed to us ; not to observe these seasons 
is a great loss. 


Use 2. What is the true use to be made of this doctrine ? 

1. To make us sensible that it is a hard task to get the change of 
the new creature. If you have mean thoughts of this work, you lessen 
your obligation to God for your cure by the grace of your Redeemer ; 
believing your disease light, you think your remedy easy, and so 
cannot be thankful for your recovery, if you lessen your sickness. And 
besides, it will lessen your care, and make you vain and negligent ; you 
will not beg it of God so heartily, if you do not think this work to.be 
what it is. Therefore, in the first place, you must be convinced of the 
difficulty of it. 

2. To check despair. Many when they hear they must be new men 
in all things, conceit they shall never be able to reach it. Surely 
Christ can change thy heart, Mat. xix. 26 ; he can make thee a new 
creature ; he that can turn water into wine can also turn lions into 

3. To keep us humble ' For all things are of God. What have 
we that we have not received ? ' 1 Cor. iv. 7. We have all by gift, 
and if we be proud, it is that we are more in debt than others. Let us 
not intercept God's honour. 

4. To make us thankful. Give God the praise of changing thy 
nature, if from a bad man thou art become good. He looketh for it, 
for his great end is to exalt the glory of his grace. Now let us 
ascribe all to him ; it was he at first that gave us those permanent 
and fixed habits which constitute the new nature, he fnrnisheth us 
with those daily supplies by which the spiritual life is maintained in 
us. It is he that exciteth and perfecteth our actions ; therefore put 
the crown still upon grace's head : Luke xix. 16, ' Thy pound hath 
gained ten pounds ; ' Gal. ii. 20, ' Not I, but Christ that Hveth in me ;' 
1 Cor. xv. 10, ' Not I, but the grace of God which was in me/ When 
we have done and suffered most, we must say, Of thine own have we 
given thee. 

5. If all things are from God, let us love God in Christ the more, 
and live to him ; it worketh upon our love, when we see how much we 
are beholden to him, and our love should direct all things to his glory : 
Rom. xi. 36, ' For all things are of him, and through him, and to 
him.' What is from him must be used for him. Our new being 
should be to the praise of his glorious grace, Eph. i. 12. Glorify 
him in deed as well as word. 

6. Live in a cheerful and continual dependence upon God for that 
grace which is necessary, for our continual dependence doth engage us 
to constant communion with God. If we did keep the stock ourselves, 
God and we would soon grow strange ; as the prodigal, when he had 
his portion in his own hands, goeth away from his father ; the throne 
of grace would lie neglected and unfrequented, and God wQuld seldom 
hear from us. Therefore God would keep grace in his own hands, to 
oblige us to a continual intercourse with him. A cheerful dependence ; 
for God is able and ready to help the waiting soul, and hath engaged 
his faithfulness to give us necessary and effectual grace to preserve 
the new life : 1 Cor. i. 9, ' God is faithful, by whom ye are called to 
the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord ; ' 1 Thes. v. 24. I 
will conclude with the words of Austin Job in stercore, &c. Job was 


more happy in his miser} 7 than Adam in his innocency ; he was victori 
ous on the dunghill, when the other was defeated on the throne ; he 
gave no ear to the evil counsel of his wife, when the woman seduced 
Adam. He despised the assaults of Satan, when the other suffered 
himself to be worsted at the first temptation. He preserved his 
righteousness in the midst of his sorrows, when the other lost his inno 
cence in the midst of paradise. Therefore let us comfort ourselves in 
the grace we have by Christ in the new covenant. 

Secondly, That God is the author of the new creature, as reconciled 
to us in Christ. 

1. He would not give this benefit till justice be satisfied ; not set up 
man with a new stock till there was satisfaction made for the breach 
of the old. Christ hath pacified God for us, and all grace floweth 
from this, that God is become a God of peace to us : Heb. xiii. 20, 
' The God of peace make you perfect ; ' so 1 Thes. v. 23, ' The God of 
peace sanctify you throughout.' While God is angry, there is no hope 
to receive any gift of grace from him. The Holy Spirit is the gift of 
his love, the fruit of his peace and reconciliation ; God is only the God 
of peace, as satisfied by Christ's death ' The chastisement of our peace 
was upon him,' Isa. liii. 5. 

2. God is never actually reconciled to us, nor we to him, till he give 
us the regenerating Spirit ; that is receiving the atonement, Rom. v. 
11. Nothing but the new creature will evidence his special favour. 
Therefore it is said, Rom. v. 5, ' Because the love of God is shed abroad 
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us.' Other things may 
be given us during his anger, yea, they may be given in anger, but the 
regenerating Spirit is never given in anger. 

3. We are so far renewed by this reconciliation, that in some respects 
we are upon better terms than we were in innocency, before the breach ; 
namely, as God giveth us effectual grace, not only such grace to stand 
if we will, or obey if we will, but whereby we are effectually enabled 
to obey and persevere. 

Use. 1. Let us seek after this reconciliation with God by Christ ; 
then we may comfortably look to obtain every good thing at his hands. 
Sense of guilt is our first motive on our parts, and reconciliation 
beginneth all on God's part. Surely God is willing to be reconciled, 
because he hath laid such a foundation for it in the death of Christ ; 
why else hath he appointed a ministry of reconciliation, but to call 
upon us to cast away the weapons of our defiance, and to enter into 
his peace? 

2. It showeth us how much we are obliged to Jesus Christ, who by 
his death hath satisfied God's justice, and merited all the mercies 
promised ; the promises themselves ; for he is given for a covenant, 
that is, the foundation of it, the terms and conditions, the power to 
perform them, the ministry by which this peace is conveyed to us ; he 
first preached peace : Eph. ii. 7, ' Having slain enmity by his cross.' 

3. Let no breach fall out between God and you, lest it stop grace ; 
the continual sanctification and perfection of man once regenerate, 
cometh from the God of peace, dependeth upon this reconciliation, as 
well as the first renovation, God's sanctifying power, and the abode of 
his Spirit, is still necessary to renew us more and more. 



To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not 
imputing their trespasses to them, and hath committed to us the 
word of reconciliation. 2 COR. v. 19. 

THE apostle, having mentioned reconciliation in the former verse, 
doth now enforce, amplify, and explain it, and insist upon it in this 
and the following verses. Here you have three things 

1. The sum and substance of the gospel, or the way on God's part 
God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. 

2. The fruit of this reconciliation Not imputing their trespasses 
to them. 

3. The means of application, or bringing it about on man's part 

s ev rjfjiiv, 'placed in us.' 

For the first clause, ' God was in Christ reconciling the world to 
himself ; ' this is the sum of the whole gospel. There is more glory in 
this one line, than in the great volume of the whole creation ; there we 
may read God infinite and glorious in his majesty and power, but here 
in his wisdom and grace. A God reconciled should be welcome news 
to the fallen creature. Reconciliation is good in any case. The 
misery of the world cometh from the differences and disappointments 
which are in the world. How happy were we, if all differences were 
taken up between man and man, much more between God and man ; 
if heaven and earth were once at an agreement. We are at a loss 
how to make up our breaches with one another ; it is easy to open the 
flood-gates, and let out the waters of strife ; but to set things at rights 
again, and to reduce every stream into its proper channel, who hath 
the skill to do that ? If we could once compose our own differences 
by compromise, yet to take up the quarrel between us and God is not 
so easy ; though men and angels had joined in consultation about a 
way and project how to bring it to pass, we had still been to seek ; but 
when man was at an utter loss, ' God was in Christ reconciling the 
world to himself.' 

In the words observe 

[1.] A privilege Reconciliation, which is a returning to grace and 
favour after a breach. 

[2.] The author of the design God the Father, who in the mystery 
of redemption is the highest judge and wronged party. ' God was iu 
Christ reconciling the world to himself.' 

[3.] The means In Christ. Reconciliation is considerable either 
as to the purchase or application of it. As to the purchase, ' God 
was in Christ reconciling ; ' God hath used Christ as a means to make 
peace between him and us, Col. i. 20. The application, God is in 
Christ reconciling by virtue of our union with him ; in Christ, God 
that was formerly far from us is come nigh to us, and in Christ we 
draw nigh to God ; in him we meet, and we in him, and he is in us. 

[4.] The parties interested on the one hand, the world ; on the 
other To himself. 

(1.) ' The world.' The expression is used indefinitely, though not 


universally First, the world, to show that men, and not angels, 2 Peter 
ii. 4 ; the sinning angels had no mediator nor reconciler. Secondly, to 
note which is the ground of the gospel tendry ; John iii. 16, ' God so 
loved the world, that whosoever believ f eth in him should not perish, 
but have eternal life.' Thirdly, to represent the freeness of God's grace : 
1 John v. 19, ' And, we know that we are of God, and the whole world 
lieth in wickedness ; ' this world, that lay in sin was, God reconciling. 
In themselves, God's elect differ nothing from the rest of the world till 
grace prevent them ; they were as bad as any in the world, of the same 
race of cursed mankind, not only living in the world, but after the 
fashions of the world ; ' dead in trespasses and sins/ and obnoxious to 
the curse and wrath of God. Fourthly, to show the amplitude of 
God's grace, the greater and worse part of the world, the Gentiles as 
well as the Jews : Rom. xi. 15, 'If the casting away of them be the 
reconciling the world ; ' so 1 John ii. 2, ' And he is the propitiation for 
our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.' 
Fifthly, to awaken all that are concerned to look after this privilege, 
which is common to all nations ; the offer is made indifferently to all 
sorts of persons where the gospel cometh ; and this grace is effectually 
applied to all the elect of all nations, and all sorts and conditions and 
ranks of persons in the world. If thou art a member of the world, 
thou shouldst not receive this grace in vain. 

(2.) The other party concerned is the great God, ' to himself.' To 
be reconciled to one another, when we have smarted sufficiently under 
the fruits of our differences, will be found an especial blessing, much 
more to be reconciled to God. This is the comfort here propounded, 
'to himself/ of whom we stand so much in dread, 1 Sam. ii. 15 : ' If 
one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him; but if a man 
sin against God, who shall plead for him ? ' A fit umpire and mediator 
may be found out in matters of difference and plea between man and 
man, but who shall arbitrate and take up the difference between us and 
God ? Here, first, the greatness of the privilege, That God will recon 
cile us to himself. 

Doct. There is a reconciliation made in and by Jesus Christ between 
God and man. 

First. I shall premise three things in general 

First. That to reconcile is to bring into favour and friendship after 
some breach made and offence taken ; as Luke xxiii. 12, 'The same 
day Herod and Pilate were made friends, for before they were at enmity 
between themselves/ So Joseph and his brethren were made friends ; 
and the woman faulty is said to be reconciled to her husband, 1 Cor. 
vii. 11 ; so Mat. v. 23, 24, ' If thou bringest thy gift to the altar, and 
there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, go thy 
way and be reconciled to thy brother/ All which places prove the 
natural notion of the word ; and so it is fitly used for our recovery and 
returning into grace and favour with God after a breach. 

Secondly. That the reconciliation is mutual ; God is reconciled to 
us, and we to God. Many will not hear that God is reconciled to us, 
but only that we are reconciled to God ; but certainly there roust be 
both ; God was angry with us, and we hated God ; the alienation was 
mutual, and therefore the reconciliation must be so. The scripture 


speaketh not only of an enmity and hatred on man's part : Rom. v. 10, 
' For when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death 
of his Son ; ' but also of wrath on God's part, not only against sin but the 
sinner : Eph. ii. 3, ' Being children of wrath by nature.' Certainly 
God doth not only hate sin, but is angry with the wicked because of it : 
Ps vii. 11, ' God is angry with the wicked every day.' And we must 
distinguish between the work of Christ in order to God, and the work 
of the minister, and Christ by the ministry, in order to men. The 
work of Christ in order to God, which is to appease the wrath of God ; 
therefore it is said ; Heb. ii. 17, ' That he is a merciful and faithful high 
priest, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people,' i\ua-/cea6ai. 
Surely there God's being reconciled to us is intended by Christ's sacrifice 
and intercession ; for Christ as an high priest hath to deal with us as 
God's apostle with men : Heb. iii. 1, ' We in Christ's stead pray you to 
be reconciled,' ver. 20; besides, our reconciliation is made the fruit of 
Christ's death, in contradiction to his life, Rom. v. 10. The death of 
Christ mainly respected the appeasing of the wrath of God ; whereas, 
if it only implied the changing of our natures, it might as well be 
ascribed to his life in heaven as his death upon earth. Again, the 
scripture maketh this reconciliation to be a great instance of God's love 
to us. Now, if it did only consist in laying aside our enmity to God, 
it would rather be an instance of our love to God than his love to us. 
Once more, the text is plain that God's reconciling the world to him. 
self did consist in not imputing our trespasses to us, his laying aside 
his suit and just plea he had against us ; so that it relateth to him. 
Therefore upon the whole we may pronounce that God is recon 
ciled to us, as well as we to God. Indeed, the scriptures do more 
generally insist upon our being reconciled to God than God's 
being reconciled to us ; for two reasons 1. Because we are in a 
fault. It is the usual way of speaking amongst men ; he that 
offendeth is said to be reconciled, because he was the cause of the 
breach ; he needeth to reconcile himself and to appease him whom 
he hath offended, which the innocent party needeth not he needeth 
only to forgive, and to lay aside his just anger. We offended God, 
not he us; therefore the scripture usually saith, We are reconciled 
to God. 2. We have the benefit. It is no profit to God that 
the creature enters into his peace ; he is happy within himself with 
out our love or service, only we are undone if we are not upon good 
terms with him. If any believe not, 'the wrath of God abidelh 
upon him/ John iii. 36 ; and that is enough to make us eternally 

Thirdly, That reconciliation in scripture is sometimes ascribed to 
God the Father, sometimes to Christ as mediator, sometimes to 
believers themselves 

1. To God the Father, as in the text, ' God was in Christ, reconcil 
ing the world to himself ;' and in the verse before the text, ' Who hath 
reconciled us to himself ; ' and Col. i. 20, ' Having made peace by the 
blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself,' to God 
the Father, as the primary cause of our reconciliation. He found out 
and appointed the means, as he decreed from everlasting to restore 
the elect fallen into sin unto grace and favour, and prepared whatever 


was necessary to compose and take up the difference between him and 

2. Christ is said to reconcile, Eph. ii. 16 : ' That he might reconcile 
both unto God in one body by the cross;' and Col. i. 21, 'Yet now 
hath he reconciled ; ' not as the primary, but meritorious cause of 
reconciliation, which respects both God and us ; chiefly God, as he was 
appeased by the merit of his sacrifice, as he procured the Spirit, that 
same Spirit whereby our enmity might be overcome, and we might yield 
up ourselves to God, to love and serve and please him, for we by his 
blood ' are purged from dead works, that we might serve the living 
God/ Heb. ix. 14. 

3. Believers are said to reconcile themselves to God : 2 Cor. v. 20, 
' We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God ; ' as they 
do embrace the offered benefit, and lay aside their enmity, and 
love God that loveth them, and devote themselves to his use and 

Secondly, More particularly, I shall do three things (1.) State the 
foregoing breach. (2.) Show you the nature of this reconciliation. 
(3.) Show you how Christ is concerned in it. 

1, To state the foregoing breach, take these propositions. 

[1.] God and man were once near friends. Adam was the Lord's 
favourite. You know till man was made, it is said of every rank and 
species of the creature, ' God saw that it was good.' But when man 
was made in his day: Gen. i. 31, ' God saw what he had made, and 
behold, it was very good.' An object of special love, God expressed 
more of his favour to him than to any other creature, except the 
angels ' Man was made after his image,' Gen. i. 26. When you 
make the image or picture of a man, you do not draw his feet or his 
hands, but his face ; his tract or footprint may be found among the 
creatures, but his image and express resemblance with man ; and so 
he was fitted to live in delightful communion with his creator. Man 
was his viceroy, Gen. i. 27. God entrusted him with the care, charge, 
and dominion over all the creatures ; yea, he was capable of loving, 
knowing, or enjoying God. Other creatures were capable of glorifying 
God, of setting forth his power, wisdom, and goodness, objectively 
and passively ; but man, of glorifying God actively, as being appointed 
to be the mouth of the creation. 

[2.] Man gets out of God's favour by conspiring with God's grand 
enemy. His condition was happy but mutable, before Satan by 
insinuating with him draweth him into rebellion against God ; and 
upon this rebellion he forfeiteth all his privileges, God's image, favour, 
and fellowship. God would deal with him in the way of a covenant: 
Gen. ii. 17, ' In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die ; ' 
do and live, sin and die. The comminatory part is only expressed, 
because that only took place ; so that by this rebellion he lost the 
integrity of his nature, and all his happiness; he first ran away from 
God, and then God drove him away ; he was first a fugitive, and then 
an exile. 

[3.] Man fallen draweth all his posterity along with him ; for God 
dealt not with him as a single but as a public person : Rom. v. 13, 
' Whereas by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin , 


and so death passed upon all, for that all have sinned ; ' and 1 Cor. 
xv. 47, ' The first man is of the earth, earthly ; the second man is the 
Lord from heaven.' There is a first man and a second man, nos omnes 
eramus in illo unus homo. Adam and Jesus are the two great 
institutions, the one consistent with the wisdom and justice of God, as 
the other with the wisdom and grace of God ; so that Adtim begets 
enemies to God : Gen. v. 3, ' Adam begat a son in his own likeness ; ' 
and 1 Cor. xv. 49, we read of the image of ' the earthly one.' Every 
man is born an enemy to God his nature opposite, his ways contrary 
to God ; and so is eternally lost and undone, unless God make some 
other provision for him. 

[4.] The condition of every man by nature is to be a stranger and an 
enemy to God : Col. i. 21, ' And you that were sometimes alienated, 
and enemies in your minds/ That double notion is to be considered. 
Strangers, there is no communion between God and us, we cannot 
delight in God nor God in us, till there be a greater suitableness, or a 
divine nature put into us. If that be too soft a notion, the next will 
help it we are enemies. There is a perfect contrariety, we are perfectly 
opposite to God in nature and ways ; we are enemies directly or for 
mally, and in effect or by interpretation. Formally men are enemies, 
open or secret ; open are those that bid open defiance to him, as pagans 
and infidels, and idolaters ; secret, so are all sinners ; their hopes and 
desires are ' that there were no God ; ' they would fain have God out 
of their way ; rather than part with their lusts, they would part with 
their God : Ps. xiv. 1, ' The fool hath said in his heart, There is no 
God.' It is a pleasing thought and supposition that there were no 
God. In effect and by interpretation, they do things or leave things 
undone, contrary to God's will, and take part with their sins against 
him ; as love is a love of duty and subjection, so hatred is a refusal of 
obedience 'Love me and keep my commandments/ Exod. xx. 6. 
They are angry with those who would plead God's interests with 
them. But how can men hate God, who is summum bonum et fons 
boni ? The schoolmen put the question. We hate him not as a creator 
and preserver, but as a law-giver and judge : as a law-giver, because 
we cannot enjoy our lusts with that freedom and security by reason of 
his restraint. God hath interposed by his law against our desires: 
Horn. viii. 7, ' Because the carnal mind is enmity to God, for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be/ As a judge and 
avenger of sin ; not only desire of carnal liberty, but slavish fear is the 
oause of this enmity. Men hate those whom they fear. We have 
wronged God exceedingly, and we know that he will call us to an 
account ; we are his debtors, and cannot answer the demands of his 
justice, and therefore we hate him. What comfort is it to a guilty 
prisoner to tell him that his judge is a discreet person, or of a staid 
judgment? he is one that will condemn him. A condemning God can 
never be loved by a guilty creature, as barely apprehended under that 

[5.] God hateth sinners as they hate him ; for we are children of 
wrath from the womb, Eph. ii. 3 ; and that wrath abideth on us till we 
enter into God's peace, John iii. 36 ; and the more wicked we are, the 
more we incur God's wrath : Fs. vii. 11, ' He is angry with the wicked 


every day ; ' ' They are under his curse/ Gal. iii. 10. Whatever be the 
secret purposes of his grace, yet so they are by the sentence of his law, 
and according to that we must judge of our condition. 
Secondly, The nature of this reconciliation. 

1. As the enmity is mutual, so is the reconciliation ; God is recon 
ciled to us, and we to God. On God's part, his wrath is appeased ; and 
our wicked disposition is taken away by regeneration, for there are the 
causes of the difference between him and us, his justice and our sin. 
His justice is satisfied in Christ, so that he is willing to offer us a new 
covenant: Mat. iii. 17, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well 
pleased.' He is satisfied in Christ, that he is willing to forgive the 
offences done to him ; for the text saith, ' God was in Christ recon 
ciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them.' 
And our wicked disposition is done away, and our hearts are converted 
and turned to the Lord : Acts ix. 6, ' And he, trembling and astonished, 
said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? ' and 2 Chron. xxx. 8, 
'But yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, 
which he hath sanctified for ever, and serve the Lord your God, that 
the fierceness of his wrath may be turned from you.' And we are 
drawn to enter into covenant with the Lord, even that new covenant 
which is called the covenant of his peace, Isa. liv. 10 ; and so of enemies 
we are made friends, as Abraham, because of his covenant relation, is 
called ' The friend of God,' James ii. 23. In the new covenant God 
offereth pardon, and requireth repentance. When we accept the offer, 
the pardon procured for us by Christ, and submit to the conditions, lay 
down the weapons of our defiance, and give the hand to the Lord, to 
walk with him in all new obedience, then are we reconciled. 

2. This reconciliation is as firm and strong as our estate in inno- 
cency, as if there had been no foregoing breach ; and in some consider 
ations better, especially when we look to the full effect of it ; as good 
as if the first covenant had never been broken ; for God doth not only 
put away his anger, but loveth us as if we never had been in hatred ; 
he doth not only pardon sinners, but delight in them when they repent. 
Men may forgive a fault, but they do not forget it ; the person liveth 
in umbrage and suspicion with them still. Absalom was pardoned 
' But not to see the king's face,' 2 Sam. xiv. 28. Shimei had a lease 
of his life, but lived always as a hated and a suspected man, 1 Kings 
ii. 8. But now it is otherwise here ; we find not only mercy with God, 
but are as firmly instated into his love as ever ' Our sins are cast 
into the depths of the sea,' Hosea vii. 19 ; and Hosea xiv. 4, ' I will 
love them freely ; ' and Horn. ix. 25, ' And her beloved, which was not 
beloved.' He not only passeth by the injury, but calls her beloved. 
Breaches between man and man are like deep wounds ; though healed 
the scars remain, something sticketh, or like a vessel soldered, weak in 
the crack ; but here, beloved, delighted in ' The Lord delighteth in 
thee/ Isa. Ixii. 4, and ' he will rest in his love.' In some sort it is more 
sure ; it is not committed to us and the freedom of our wills A bone 
well set is strongest where broken. Adam was happy, but not 

3. This active reconciliation draweth many blessings along with it. 
[1.] Peace with God: Horn. v. 1, ' Being justified by faith, we have 



peace with God.' To have God an enemy is to have a sharp sword 
always hanging over our heads hy a slender thread. How can we look 
him in the face, lift up our heads to heaven, think of him without 
trembling ? There is a God, but he is our enemy ; how can we eat, 
drink, or sleep, while God is our enemy ? Did we know what it is to 
have God our enemy, we should soon know that he cannot want instru 
ments of revenge ; death may waylay us in every place. If we eat, 
our meat may poison or choke us ; if we go abroad, God may cast us 
into hell before we come home again ; if we sleep, his wrath may take 
us napping ' For our damnation slumbereth not,' 2 Peter ii. 3. 
Surely it is such a dreadful thing to be at enmity with God, that we 
should not continue in that estate for a moment ; but when once you 
are at peace with God, you stop all evil at the fountain-head. 

[2.] Access to God with boldness and free trade into heaven: Eom. 
v. 2, ' By whom we have access by faith ; ' and Eph. ii. 18, ' For through 
him we have both access by one Spirit unto the Father.' When a 
peace is made between two warring nations, trading is revived ; when 
you have occasion to make use of God, you may go to him as your 
reconciled Father; there is no flaming sword to keep you out of 

[3.] Acceptance both of your persons and performances. Your 
persons are accepted : Eph. i. 6, ' He hath accepted us in the beloved, 
to the praise of his glorious grace.* You are looked upon as members 
of Christ, favourites of heaven ; your duties and actions are accepted : 
Heb. xi. 4, ' By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.' 
The sinful failings of our best actions are hid and covered ; they are 
not examined by a severe judge, but accepted by a loving Father. 

[4.] All the graces of the Spirit are fruits of our reconciliation with 
God : Eom. v. 11, ' We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by 
whom we have received the atonement ; ' jewels of the covenant, 
wherewith the spouse of Christ is decked. Christ prayed, that we 
might be loved as he was loved, John xvii., not for degree, but kind, 
John iii. 34. These are given as tokens and evidences of his love. 
The privilege is so great, that we cannot believe it without some real 
demonstration of God's heart towards us. When Jacob heard that 
Joseph was alive and governor of Egypt, he would not believe it ; but 
when he saw the waggons which Joseph sent to carry him, Gen. xlv. 
27, 28, ' Then his spirit revived within him ; ' so here, 1 Thes. i. 5, 
' For our gospel came not to you in word only, but in power, and in 
the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.' 

[5.] All outward blessings are sanctified, especially the enjoyment 
of them, which we have by another right and tenure. Surely one that 
is reconciled to God cannot be miserable, 'for all things are his,' 1 
Cor. iii. 23. Whatsoever falleth to his share, comfort and cross cometh 
with a blessing ' And all worketh for good,' Horn. viii. 28. God's 
enmity is declared by raining snares, Ps. xi. 6. There is a secret war 
against the soul ; but his love, that always worketh for good. Out of 
what corner soever the wind bloweth, it always bloweth for good to 
his people. 

[6.] It is a pledge of heaven : Bom. v. 10, ' For if, when we were 
enemies, we were reconciled by his death, much more, being reconciled, 


we shall be saved by his life.' The glorifying of a saint is a more easy 
thing than the reconciling of a sinner ; suppose the one, and you may 
suppose the other. If God would pardon us and take us with all our 
faults, he will much more glorify us when we are reconciled and 

[7.] Our right to this privilege beginneth as soon as we do believe 
in Christ, for upon these terms God hath set forth Christ : Rom. iii. 
24, ' Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is 
in Jesus Christ.' When our hearts are drawn to receive Christ upon, 
these terms, we are legally capable of his favour. Now faith is nothing 
else but a broken-hearted and thankful acceptance of Christ, with 
a resolution to give up ourselves to God by him. The true notion 
of Christ's death is the sacrifice of atonement. Now in the sacrifices 
of atonement, they were to come with brokenness of heart, confessing 
sin over the head of the beast, Ps. li. 17, owning the Messiah to come, 
and a stipulation of obedience : Ps. 1. 5, ' Gather my saints together, 
that make a covenant with me by sacrifice.' Well then, when in a 
broken-hearted manner we make our claim by Christ, thankfully 
acknowledging our Redeemer's grace, and sue out our release and dis 
charge in his name, and devote ourselves to God, then our right is 
begun. The evidence of this right is when faith is made fruitful in 
holiness. God is a holy God, and Christ came not to make God less 
holy. He may be reconciled to our persons, but never to our sins. Sin 
ever was, and ever, will be, the make-bate between God and us : Isa. 
lix. 2, ' Your sins have separated between you and me.' There must 
be a zealous renouncing of all things that have bred estrangement 
between us and God. Everything in this reconciliation implieth holi 
ness ; the party with whom we do reconcile, God ; and he must not 
lightly be offended, but pleased : Col. i. 10, ' That ye might walk worthy 
of the Lord unto all pleasing ' tender of offending God. The nature 
of the reconciliation is mutual ; we with God, as well as God with us. 
A real change goeth along with the relative, or else we are taken for 
enemies still, Ps. Ixviii. 21. The covenant is a league offensive and 
defensive. Pax noslra 'helium . contra Satanam. We cannot be at 
peace with God, till, fallen out with sin, we resolve to war against the 
devil, the world, and the flesh ; you must not make him a patron and 
panderer to your lusts : Exod. xxiii. 20-22, ' Behold, I send an angel be 
fore thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which 
I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not ; 
for he will not pardon your transgressions : for my name is in him. 
But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak ; then 
I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine 
adversaries.' We must carry ourselves with great reverence to the 
angel of the covenant, 1 Cor. x. 9. The sanctifying grace of the Spirit ; 
for the application of the merit of Christ, and the gift of the Spirit, 
are inseparable. God will not pardon our sins while we remain in 
them ; we must be sanctified and justified, and then we shall have 
peace and comfort. ' What ! peace as long as the whoredom of thy 
mother Jezebel remaineth ? ' Men that sin freely know not what peace 
with God meaneth. This holy friendship, which resulteth from the 
covenant, implieth an indignation against sin : Hosea xiv. 8, ' What 


have I any more to do with idols ? ' and Isa. xxx. 22, ' Thou shalt cast 
them away as a menstruous cloth ; thou shalt say unto it, Get ye hence.' 
Thirdly, How far Christ is concerned in it, and why. 

1. God was resolved to lose no honour by the fall of man, but to keep 
up a sense of his justice, goodness, and truth. 

[1.] His justice. It was not fit that anypf his attributes should fall 
to the ground, especially his justice, the sense of which is so necessary 
for the government of the world : Horn. iii. 5, 6, ' Is God unrighteous 
that taketh vengeance ? God forbid. How then shall God judge the 
world?' If God be not known for a just God, we cannot know him 
for the governor of the world. Well then, there was a condescendency 
in it, that mercy should be dispensed, so that justice should be no loser. 
Now, God saw that men could not keep up the honour of his justice ; 
our prayers, tears, repentance, will not do the deed without something 
else. If the devils were supposed to be sorrowful for their sins, they 
would not be reconciled, because they had no surety to die for them and 
repair the honour of God's justice. In pity, God would not destroy 
all mankind, therefore findeth out a surety ; if they had suffered, they 
would only be satisfying, rather than to satisfy and have satisfied. 
' But now Christ hath declared his righteousness/ Horn. iii. 24, 25, ' for 
the remission of sins/ 

[2.] His holiness, which is the pattern of the creature's perfection. 
Such was God's hatred of sin that he would not let it go without a 
mark or brand ; he would be known to be an holy God, and that it is 
not an easy thing to regain his favour if we yield to sin. People are 
apt to look upon it as a matter of nothing. It is an easy matter to sin ; 
every fool can do that ; but when the breach is made, it is not easy to 
reconcile again ; none but the Son of God can do that. God stood 
upon a valuable compensation : 1 Peter, i. 18, 'We are not redeemed 
with corruptible things, such as silver and gold ; but by the precious 
blood of the Son of God.' The Son of God, by the highest act of obedi 
ence and self-denial, must bring it about for a caution to us, that we might 
not lightly break the law, or have favourable thoughts of sin any more. 

[3.] His truth. God made a covenant with Adam 'In the day 
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die/ Adam's sin was mainly the 
sin of unbelief, and presumption of impunity is very natural to us all ; 
therefore the law must have death to keep up its authority, lest the 
threatening should seem a vain scarecrow, either from the sinner him 
self, or from his surety. 

2. Christ was a fit mediator. 

[1.] Because of his mutual interest in God and us, Job ix. 33. He is 
beloved of the Father, and hath a brotherly compassion to us. He 
did partake of the nature of both parties ; he was man to undertake 
it in our name, God to perform it in his own strength. 

[2.] He is able to satisfy. All the angels in heaven could not lay 
down a valuable consideration, but ' he is able to save to the uttermost/ 
Heb. vii. 26. Christ undertaketh to pacify God's wrath, and to take 
away our enmity also, and so to bring us to God. 

Use 1. Let us admire the mercy and grace of God ' God was in 
Christ reconciling the world to himself/ To this end consider 

1. This is an ancient mercy of an old standing: Eph. i. 4, ' He hath 


chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world ; ' and 1 Peter 
i. 20, ' Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, 
but manifested in these last times for you/ And who are we, that the 
thoughts of God should be taken up about us so long ago ? Nothing 
went before creation, but mere and naked eternity ; then was this busi 
ness transacted between the Father and the Son, the result of God's 
eternal thoughts. 

2. God is first in the design, he who is the wronged party, the 
highest judge, of whose vengeance we stand in dread, of whom we beg 
pardon; we were first in the breach, but God in the design of love. 
The motion of sending a saviour and redeemer into the world was first 
bred in God's heart : 1 John iv. 19, ' We love him, because he loved us 

3. This love is the more amplified by the worthlessness of the persons 
for whom all this is done ; the world that lay in wickedness and rebel 
lion against God, the sinful race of apostatised Adam. At our best, how 
little service and honour can we bring to him. But he considered us 
as lying in the corrupt mass of polluted mankind ; yet this world would 
God reconcile to himself, and not angels. God would not so much as 
enter into a parley with them ; as if a king should take rustics and 
scullions into his favour, and pass by nobles and princes. There lay no 
bond at all to show mercy to us, more than to them ; we had cast him off 
and rebelled against him as well as they. 

4. And this done by Jesus Christ, that so costly a remedy should be 
provided for us : Rom viii. 32, ' God spared not his own Son, but 
delivered him up for us all/ God may be said to spare, either in a way 
of impartial justice, or in a way of bountiful and condescending love ; 
the first hath its use, this latter is the case there. We are sparing of 
what is precious, of what we value ; but though Christ was his dear 
Son, yet he spared not him : it is the folly of man to part with things of 
worth and value for trifles. 

5. The benefit itself, that he would reconcile us to himself. (1.) In 
laying aside his own just wrath, which is our great terror : Isa. xxvii. 4, 
' Fury is not in me,' he being pacified in Christ. (2.) That he would 
take away the enmity that is in the hearts of men, by his converting and 
healing grace, which is our great burden : Ps. ex. 3, ' Thy people 
shall be a willing people in the day of thy power/ (3.) That he will enter 
into league and covenant with us, God with us and we with God : 
Heb. viii. 10, ' I will put my laws into their minds, and write them upon 
their hearts ; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a 
people/ (4.) That from hence there floweth an entire friendship : John 
xv. 15, ' Henceforth I call you not servants, but friends ; for all that I 
have heard of my Father I have made known unto you/ (5.) This 
friendship produceth most gracious fruits and effects, especially free 
commerce with him here, till we are admitted into his immediate pre 
sence : Heb. x. 22, ' Let us draw nigh with a true heart, in full assur 
ance .of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and 
our bodies washed with pure water/ 

Use 2. Let us consider seriously the mystery of Christ's death, which 
is the sacrifice of our atonement ; it is full of riddles, it is a spectacle 
which represents to you the highest mercy in God's sparing sinners, and 


calling out his own Son to die in our stead ; and the highest justice in 
punishing sin, though transacted upon Christ. ' If this be done to the 
green tree, what shall be done to the dry ? ' Here you have Christ made 
sin, and yet at the same time the fountain of holiness, 2 Cor. v. 21, and 
John i. 16, ' Out of his fulness we receive grace for grace ; ' so again, the 
fountain of blessedness made a curse for all the world, Gal. iii. 13. In 
man's account, never more weakness and foolishness shown, yet never 
more wisdom and power : 1 Cor. i. 25, ' The foolishness of God is wiser 
than men, and the weakness of God stronger than men.' He had said 
before that Christ was the ' wisdom of God, and the power of God.' The 
devil never seemed to triumph more, yet never more foiled, Luke xxii. 
53 (compare with Col. ii. 15 ;) Christ is the true Samson, destroyed 
more at his death than in all his life. The cross was not a gibbet of 
shame and infamy, but a chariot of triumph. This was the holiest 
work and the greatest act of obedience that ever was, or can, or will be, 
performed, and yet the wickedest work that ever the sun beheld ; on 
Christ's part, an high act of obedience and self-denial, Phil. ii. 7 ; on 
man's part, the greatest act of villany and wickedness': Acts ii. 23, 
' Who by wicked hands have crucified and slain,' the highest act of 
meekness and violence ; the truest glass wherein we see the greatness 
and smallness of sin. The heinousness of sin is seen in his agonies and 
bloody sufferings ; the nothingness of it in the merit of them. Christ's 
death is the reason of the great judgment fallen upon the Jews, 1 Thes. 
ii. 15, 16, and yet the ground upon which we expect mercy, both for 
ourselves and them, Eph. ii. 16. In short, here is life rising out of death, 
glory out of ignominy, blessedness out of the curse ; from the abasement 
of the Son of God, joy, liberty, and confidence to us. 

Not imputing their trespasses to them. 2 COR. v. 19. 

Docl. One great branch or fruit of our reconciliation with God 
through Christ is the pardon or non-imputation of sin. 

Here I shall show (1.) The nature and worth of the privilege ; 
(2.) The manner, how it is brought about ; (3.) That it is a branch 
or fruit of our reconciliation with God. 

First. The nature and worth of the privilege, not imputing. The 
phrase is elsewhere used : Rom. iv. 8, ' Blessed is the man to whom 
the Lord will not impute sin ; ' so 2 Tim. iv. 16, /*r; \oyiaOeir), ' All 
men forsook me ; I pray God it be not laid to their charge,' or reck 
oned to their account. It is a metaphor taken from those who cast 
up their accounts ; and so 

1. It supposeth that sin is a debt, Mat. vi. 12, !^<e? rjiuv ra 
ofaiXrHia-ra rjjjLwv, ' and forgive us our debts.' 

2. That God will one day call sinners to an account, and charge such 
and such debts upon them : Mat. xxv. 19, ' After a long time the lord 


of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.' For a while men 
live jollily and in great security, care for nothing ; but a day of reck 
oning will come. 

3. In this day of accounts, God will not impute the trespasses of 
those who are reconciled to him by Christ, and have taken sanctuary 
at the grace of the new covenant, to their condemnation, nor use them 
as they deserve. Every one deserves wrath and eternal death, and sin 
obligeth us thereunto, but God will not lay it to our charge ; and so it 
is said : Ps. xxxii. 2, ' Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth 
not iniquity.' Now this is an act of great grace on God's part, and of 
great privilege and blessedness to the creature. 

[1.] An act of great grace and favour on God's part. (1.) Partly 
because every one is become ' guilty before God,' and obnoxious to the 
process of his righteous judgment : Rom. iii. 19 vTroSucos rS> @e<, 
' and all the world may become guilty before God.' There is sin 
enough to impute ; and the reason of this non-imputation is not our 
innocency, but God's mercy. Among men imputations are often unjust 
and slanderous, as David complaineth that they imputed and 'laid 
things to his charge that he was not guilty of,' or never did ; but we 
are all guilty. (2.) Partly that he would not prosecute his right 
against us as a revenging and just judge, calling us to a strict account, 
and punishing us according to our demerits, which would have been 
our utter undoing : Ps. cxxx. 3, ' If thou shouldest mark iniquity, O 
Lord, who could stand ? ' Ps. cxliii. 2, ' Enter not into judgment with 
thy servant, for in thy sight shall no flesh be justified.' There is not 
a man found which hath not faults and failings enough, and if God 
should proceed with him in his just severity, he would be utterly 
incapable of any favour. (3.) Partly, because he found out the way 
how to recompense the wrong done by sin unto his majesty, and sent 
his Son to make this recompense for us, ' who was made sin for us, that 
we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' ' Our iniquities 
were laid on him,' Isa, liii. 4 ; ' and his righteousness imputed to us,' 
Rom. iv. 11. (4.) And partly, that he did this out of his mere love, 
which seta-work all the causes which concurred in the business of our 
redemption : John iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, that he gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life.' The external moving cause was only our 
misery; the internal moving cause was his own grace and mercy. 
And this love was not excited by any love on our parts : Rom. iii. 24. 
' Justified freely by his grace ; ' that is, by his grace working of its 
own accord. (5.) And partly, that this negative or non-imputation is 
heightened by the positive imputation there is a non-imputing of sin 
and an acceptance of us as righteous in Christ ; his merits are reck 
oned and adjudged to us ; that is, we have the effect of his sufferings 
as if we had suffered in person : Christ is become to us ' the end of the 
law for righteousness,' Rom. x. 4. 

[2.] It is matter of great privilege and blessedness to the creature, 
if so be the Lord will not impute our sins to us, and account them to 
our score.' This will appear, 

(1.) If we consider the evil we are freed from ; guilt is an obligation 
to punishment, and pardon is the dissolving and loosening this obliga- 


tion. Now the punishment of sin is exceeding great ; what maketh 
hell and damnation, but not-forgiveness ? Hell is not a mere scarecrow, 
nor heaven a May-game ; it is eternity maketh everything truly groat, 
an everlasting exile and separation from the comfortable presence of 
the Lord, which is the pcrna damni: Mat. xxv. 41, ' Go, ye cursed;' 
and Luke xiii. 27, ' Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity ; ' they are 
shut out, and thrust out from the presence of the Lord. When God 
turned Adam out of paradise, his case was very sad, but nothing com 
parable to this ; God took care of him in his exile, and made coats of 
skins for him. God gave him a day of patience afterwards, promised 
the seed of the woman, intimated hopes of a better paradise ; but 
instead of all comforts, how sad is it to be sent into an endless state of 
misery ! which is the pcena sensus : Mark ix. 44, ' The worm that 
never dieth, and the fire that shall never be quenched ' the worm of 
conscience, when we think of our folly, imprudence, disobedience to 
God. A man may run away from his conscience now, by sleeping, 
running, riding, walking, working, drinking, distract his mind by a 
clatter of business, but then not a thought free. The soul will be 
always thinking of slighted means, abused comforts, wasted time, and 
of the course wherein we have involved ourselves. Then our repen 
tance will be fruitless. Our sorrows now are curing, then tormenting, 
when under the wrath of God ; you coldly now entertain the offer of 
a pardon ; then, oh for a little mitigation, a drop to cool your tongue ! 

(2.) Because of the good depending upon it in this life and the 

(1st.) In this life Partly, because~we are not fitted to serve God till 
sin be pardoned : Heb. ix. 14, ' How much more shall the blood of 
Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to 
God, purge your consciences from dead works, to serve the living 
God ? ' God pardoneth, that he may further sanctify us and fit us for 
his own use. The end of forgiveness is, that God may have his own 
again which was lost, and we might be engaged to love him and live 
to him. Forgiveness tends to holiness, as the means to the end ; and 
so there is way made for our thankfulness and love to our Kedeemer, 
which is the predominant ruling affection in the kingdom of grace, 
and the main motive of obedience. Partly, because we cannot please 
God till sin be pardoned ; for God will not accept our actual service, 
till our guilt be removed till pardoning grace cover our defects. 
Whence should we hope for acceptance? From the worth of our 
persons ? that is none at all. From the integrity of the work ? Alas, 
after grace received, we are maimed in our principles and operations ; 
much more before : Heb. xi. 6, ' Without faith no man can please 
God : ' Horn. viii. 8, ' They that are in the flesh cannot please God.' 
Till we are adopted, reconciled, absolved, neither our persons nor our 
actions can find acceptance with him. And partly, because we have no 
sound comfort and rejoicing in ourselves till we obtain the pardon of 
our sins, and be in such an estate that God will not impute our tres 
passes to us ; for while sin remaineth unpardoned, and the sentence of 
the law not reversed, the soul is still in doubt or fear ; if riot, it pro- 
ceedeth from our security and forgetfulness, -which will do us no good ; 
for we do but put off the evil, rather than put it away, and deal as a 


malefactor that keepeth himself drunk till he cometh to execution. 
In scripture a pardon is made the solid ground of comfort : Isa, xl. 1, 
2, ' Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God ; speak ye com 
fortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accom 
plished, that her iniquity is pardoned.' When God's wrath is pacified 
and appeased, then there is ground of comfort indeed ; when God for 
Christ's sake hath forgiven and forgotten all our transgressions, and 
accepted a ransom for us ; so Mat. ix. 2, ' Son, be of good cheer ; thy 
sins be forgiven thee.' Aye, then misery is stopped at the fountain- 
head, our great trouble is over; but till then all our comforts are 
soured by our fears : when the sun by its bright beams appeareth, it 
dispel leth. mists and clouds. 

(2c%.) In the next life we are not capable of enjoying God, and being 
made happy for evermore in his love, till we be in such an estate that 
God will not impute our trespasses to us ; for till we escape wrath we 
cannot enjoy happiness, nor till his anger be pacified can we have any 
interest in his love : Horn. v. 18, ' The free gift came upon all men 
unto justification of life.' Now our right beginneth when sin is taken 
out of the way ; and hereafter our impunity in heaven is a means to 
our perfect enjoying, pleasing, and glorifying of God, Acts xxvi. 18, 
when we are made capable of the blessed inheritance. 

Secondly. The manner how this privilege is brought about and 
applied to us by these steps. 

1. The first stone in this building was laid in God's eternal decree 
and purpose to reconcile sinners to himself by Christ, not imputing 
their trespasses to them. I cannot pass over this consideration, 
because it is of principal importance in this place : ' God was in Christ 
reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to 
them.' Then he was thinking of a sufficient sacrifice, ransom, and 
satisfaction for all the world of sinners, and that he would not deal 
with them according to the desert of their sin, but in mercy, and 
provided a sufficient remedy for the pardon of sin for all those who 
would or should accept of it in time. The covenant of grace is 
founded upon the covenant of redemption, Isa. liii. 10, 11 ; and the 
plot and design for our reconciliation, pardon, and adoption, was then 
laid according to the terms agreed upon between the Father and the 
Son what the Redeemer should do for the satisfying of his wrath, what 
sinners should do that they may have pardon in the method which 
God - hath appointed ; and so God should be actually reconciled to us, 
and sinners actually pardoned in time when we submit to the terms 

2. The second step towards this blessed effect was, when Christ was 
actually exhibited in the flesh, and paid our ransom for us ; for then 
he came to take away sin : 1 John iii. 5, ' The Son of God was mani 
fested to take away sin, and in him was no sin ; ' so John i. 29, ' Behold 
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world ; ' and it is 
said, Heb. i. 3, ' When he had by himself purged our sins, he sat 
down on the right hand of majesty ; ' and Heb. x. 14, ' By one offering 
he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' There needed no 
more to be done by way of merit, and satisfaction, and sacrifice. We 
must carefully distinguish between impetration and application, 
Christ's acquiring and our applying ; as also between God's purposing 


and our enjoying pardon, or actual interest in it. God purposed it 
from all eternity, but we are not actually reconciled and pardoned 
from all eternity, no more than we were actually created, sanctified, 
and glorified from all eternity. So Christ purchased it, when he died ; 
and therefore the apostle saith, ' we were reconciled by the death of 
his Son/ Horn. v. 10 ; then all was done on Christ's part which was 
necessary to our reconciliation and pardon ; by virtue of the satisfac 
tion made by Christ, he was pleased to profess to us free and easy 
conditions of mercy in the gospel, by which it might be actually 
applied to us. 

3. The next step was, when Christ rose from the dead ; for then we 
had a visible evidence of the sufficiency of the ransom, sacrifice, and 
satisfaction which he made for us ; therefore it is said, Kom. v. 25, 
4 That he died for our offences, and rose again for our justification.' 
As he died for our release and pardon, and to make expiation for our 
sins, so he rose again to convince the unbelieving world by that 
supreme act of his power, that all was finished which was necessary to 
our pardon and reconciliation with God ; for Christ's resurrection was 
the acquittance of our surety, Kom. viii. 34, ' Yea rather that is risen 
again.' God hath received a sufficient ransom for sins, and all that 
believe in him shall find the benefit and comfort of it. 

4. We are actually justified, pardoned, and reconciled, when we 
repent and believe. Whatever thoughts and purposes of grace God 
in Christ may have towards us from all eternity, yet we are under the 
fruits of sin, till we become penitent believers ; for we must distinguish 
between God's looking upon the elect in the purposes of his grace, and 
in the sentence of his law ; in the purposes of his grace, so he loved 
the elect with the love of good- will ; in the sentence of his law, so we 
were under wrath, Eph. ii. 3, and John iii. 18, ' Condemned already,' 
and wrath remaineth on us, till believing and repenting. That these 
are conditions which only make us capable of pardon is evident. 

[1.] Kepentance: Acts v. 31, 'Him hath God exalted with his 
right hand to be a prince and a saviour, to give repentance and 
remission of sins.' Christ purchased pardon and absolution into his 
own hands, as king and judge, or head of the renewed state, to be 
dispensed according to the laws of his mediatorial kingdom ; and so 
he giveth both these together. So he grants pardon by his new law, 
by which he requireth and giveth repentance and remission of sin ; so 
he sent forth his messengers into the world : Luke xxiv. 47, ' And that 
repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name 
among all nations.' Well then, none but the penitent are capable. 

[2.] Faith : Acts x. 43, ' To him gave all the prophets witness, that 
through his name whosoever believeth on him shall receive remission 
of sins ; ' and Acts xiii. 38, 39, 'Be it known unto you, therefore, men 
and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the for 
giveness of sins ; ' and, 'by him all that believe are justified from all 
things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.' 
It belongeth to the power and office of our Lord Jesus to forgive sin ; 
and it must be forgiven according to the terms of his new covenant or 
law; and that is, when men obediently receive his doctrine, and by 
their prayers offered in his name, do in a broken-hearted manner sue 


out their pardon, and remission of their sins, they are justified and 
accepted with God, and freed from his wrath and punishment which 
attend sin in another world. Well then, none are actually and per 
sonally pardoned, but penitent believers. This benefit is bestowed 
upon sinners, but sinners repenting and believing ; a person abiding 
in his sins and persisting in his rebellion, cannot be made partaker of 
this privilege ; repentance qualifieth the subject, faith immediately 
receiveth it, as having a special aptitude that way. That I may not 
nakedly assert this truth, but explain it for your edification, I shall 
suggest two things. 

(1.) As to the nature of these graces, that the reference of repentance 
is towards God, and faith doth especially respect the mediator ; so I 
find them distinguished : Acts xx. 21, ' Eepentance towards God, 
and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.' All Christianity is a coming to 
God by him, Heb. vii. 25. Eepentance towards God noteth a willing 
ness to return to the duty, love, and service, which we owe to our 
Creator, from whence we have fallen by our folly and sin. This must 
be, for Christ died not to reconcile God to our sins, or, which is all 
one, to pardon our sins while we remain in them ; but to bring us back 
again to the service, love, and enjoyment of God. Faith respects the 
Redeemer ; for by dependence upon his merit, and the sufficiency of 
his sacrifice, and the power of his Spirit, we come to God, and by a 
thankful sense of his love, we are encouraged and enabled to do our 
duty. Well then, when in a broken-hearted manner we confess our 
sins, and own our Redeemer, and devote ourselves to God, and resolve 
to walk in Christ's prescribed way, then are sins pardoned, and we 
accepted with God. 

(2.) This faith and repentance is wrought in us by the word, and 
mainly acted in prayer. First, It is wrought in us by the word, 
wherein God is pleased to propound free and easy conditions of pardon 
and mercy, praying us to be reconciled, and to cast away the weapons 
of our rebellion, and submit to the law of grace ; for here in verses 
18-20, he doth not only reveal the mystery, but beseecheth us to enter 
into covenant with him, and to yield up ourselves to his service. 
Secondly, Prayer, by which in the name of Christ we sue out this 
benefit. This is the means appointed both for regenerate and unre- 
generate; the'unregenerate : Acts viii. 22, 'Repent therefore of thy 
wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart be 
forgiven thee ; ' the regenerate : 1 John i. 9, ' If we confess our sins, 
he is just and faithful to forgive us our sins.' Believing, broken 
hearted prayer doth notably prevail ; the publican had no other suit 
but, 'Lord, be merciful to me a sinner,' Luke xviii. 13. The Lord 
describeth the poor sinners that came to him for pardon, Jer. xxxi. 9, 
' They shall come with weeping and supplications.' 

5. We are sensibly pardoned, as well as actually, when the Lord 
giveth peace and joy in believing, ' and sheddeth abroad his love in our 
hearts by the Spirit/ We must distinguish between the grant and the 
sense ; sometimes a pardon may be granted, when we have not the 
sense and comfort of it. We may hold a precious jewel with a 
trembling hand, as the waves roll after a storm when the wind is 
ceased. God may keep his people humble, a's a prince may grant a 


pardon to a condemned malefactor, but he will not have him know so 
much till he come even to the place of execution. David's heart was 
to Absalom, yet he would not let him see his face. There are two 
courts, the court of heaven and the court of conscience. The pardon 
may be passed in the one, and not in the other ; and a man may have 
peace with God, when he hath not peace of conscience. To assure 
our hearts before him, and know our sincerity, 1 John iii. 9, is a thing 
distinct from being sincere ; and a man may be safe, though not com 
fortable. Every one that believeth cannot make the bold challenge of 
faith, and say, ' Who shall condemn ? ' Horn. viii. 33. 

6. The last step is when we have a complete and full absolution of 
sin that is, at the day of judgment : Acts iii. 19, ' Your sins shall be 
blotted out when days of refreshment shall come from the presence of 
the Lord ;' when the judge, pro tribunali, shall sententionally, and in 
the audience of all the world, pronounce our pardon. To make title 
to pardon by law is comfortable, but then we shall have it from our 
Judge's own mouth. Here we are continually subject to new guilt, 
and so to new sins, whereby arise new fears ; so till our final absolution 
we are not fully perfect, not till the day of redemption, Eph. iv. 30. 
When the evils of sin do fully cease, then is our adoption full, Rom. 
viii. 23 ; then will our regeneration be full, Mat. xix. 28 ; then all 
the effects of sin will cease. Death upon the body will be no inter 
ruption of pardon ; we shall be fully acquitted, and never sin more. 

Thirdly. That it is a branch and fruit of our reconciliation with 
God ; the other is the gift of the Spirit, or all things that belong to 
the new nature ; for God giveth sanctifying grace as the God of peace. 
But this also is a notable branch and fruit of reconciliation. 

1. Because when God releaseth us from the punishment of sin, it is 
a sign his anger and wrath is appeased and now over : Isa. xxiv. 7, 
' Fury is jiot in me.' God hath been angry for a little moment, but 
when he pardoneth sin then he is pacified, for sin is the make-bate 
between us and God. 

2. That which is the ground of reconciliation is the ground of 
pardon of sin : Eph. i. 7, ' In whom we have redemption through his 
blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace ; ' viz. 
the price paid by the mediator to his father's justice ; and therefore a 
principal part of our reconciliation and redemption is remission of sins 
in justification. 

3. That which is the fruit of reconciliation is obtained and promoted 
by pardon of sin, and that is fellowship with God and delightful com 
munion with him in a course of obedience and subjection to him: 
Heb. x. 22, 'Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of 
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our 
bodies washed with pure water.' Our general pardon at first is to put 
us into a state of new obedience, our particular pardon engageth us to 
continue in a course of acceptable obedience, that we may maintain a 
holy commerce with God : 1 John i. 7, ' If we walk in the light as he 
is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of 
Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.' 

Use 1. Is to inform us, that all those that seek after reconciliation 
with God, or would take themselves to be reconciled to him, should be 


dealing with God about the pardon of sins, and suing out this privi 
lege, which is of such use in their commerce with God. 

But here ariseth a doubt ; what need have those that are reconciled 
to God to beg pardon ? 

Ans. Very great, Mat. vi. 12. Our Lord hath taught us so ; we 
pray for daily pardon and daily grace against temptations, as well as 
for daily bread. I prove it, 

1. From the condition of God's people here in the world. We are 
not so fully sanctified here .in the world, but there is some sin found in 
us ; original sin remaineth with us to the last, and we have our actual 
slips. Paul complaineth of the body of death, Rom. vii. 23 ; and the 
apostle telleth us : 1 John i. 8, ' If we say we have no sin, we deceive 
ourselves, and the truth is not in us ; ' and ver. 10, ' If we say, 
that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in 
us ; ' and Eccl. vii. 20, ' There is not a just man upon earth, that 
doeth good, and sinnethnot ;' either omitting good or committing evil. 
They do not love God with that purity and fervency, nor serve him 
with that liberty, delight, and reverence, that he hath required. It is 
the happiness of the church triumphant, that they have no sin ; of the 
church militant, that their sin is forgiven. Sometimes we sin out of 
ignorance ; sometimes out of imprudence and inconsideration ; some 
times we are overtaken, and sometimes overborne ; now these things 
must be heartily bewailed to God. While a ship is leaking water we 
must use the pump ; and the room that is continually gathering soil 
must be daily swept; the stomach that is still breeding ill humours 
must have new physic. We still make work for pardoning mercy, 
and therefore for repentance and faith. 

2. From the several things which we ask in asking a pardon. 

[1.] For the grant, that God would accept of the satisfaction of 
Christ for our sins, and of us for his sake. Christ was to ask and sue 
out the fruits of his mediation, Ps. ii. 8. And we are humbly to sue 
out our right ; for notwithstanding the condescensions of his grace, 
God dealeth with us as a sovereign, and doth require submission on 
our part : Jer. iii. 13, ' Only acknowledge thine iniquities, that thou 
hast transgressed against the Lord thy God.' The debt is humbly to 
be acknowledged by the creature, though God hath found out a means 
to pardon it. 

[2.] We beg the continuance of a pardon ; as in daily bread, though 
we have it by us, we beg the continuance and use of it ; so in 
sanctification, we beg the continuance of sanctification, as well as the 
increase, because of the relics of corruption. God may for our exercise 
make us feel the smart of old sins, as an old bruise, though it be 
healed, yet ever and anon we feel it upon change of weather ; accusa 
tions of conscience may return for sins already pardoned : Job. xiii. 26, 
* Thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me possess the 
sins of my youth.' Sins of youth may trouble a man that is reconciled 
to God, and hath obtained pardon of them. God's children may have 
their guilt raked out of its grave, and the appearance of it may be as 
frightful, as a ghost or one risen from the dead ; the wounds of an 
healed conscience may bleed afresh. Therefore we need beg as David : 
Ps. xxv. 6, 7, ' Remember thy mercies which have been of old ; re- 


member not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions.' When we 
are unthankful, unwatchful, or negligent, God may permit it for our 

[3.] The sense and manifestation. Few believers have assurance of 
their own sincerity ; God may blot sins out of his book, when he doth 
not blot them out of our consciences ; God blotteth them out of the 
book of his remembrance, as soon as we repent and believe ; but he 
blotteth them out of our consciences, when the worm of conscience is 
killed by the application of the blood of Christ through the Spirit : 
Heb. x. 22, ' Sprinkled from an evil conscience.' David beggeth the 
sense, when Nathan had told him of the grant: Ps. li. 12, .'Restore 
unto me the joy of thy salvation,' forgive it in our sense and feeling. 

[4.] The increase of our sense ; for it is not given out in such a 
degree, as to shut out all fear and doubt : 1 John iv. 18, ' There is no 
fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath tor 
ment ; he that feareth is not made perfect in love.' 

[5.] The effects of pardon, or freedom from those evils, which are 
the fruits of sin. We would have God to pardon us, as we pardon 
others, fully and entirely ; forgive, and forget ; that he would not 
execute upon us the temporal punishment, farther than is necessary for 
our good ; compare 2 Kings xxiii. 26, with Ezek. xxxiii. 12-14. Either 
he will not chastise us, or, if he doth, he will sanctify our afflictions. 
When God remits the eternal punishment, yet he inflicteth temporal 
evil, not to complete our justification, but to further our sanctification. 
If we knew only the sweetness of sin and not the bitterness, we would 
not be so shy of it : Jer. ii. 19, ' Know therefore and see that it is an 
evil and bitter thing, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and 
that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts ; ' 1 Cor. xi. 32, 
' Chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned.' 

[6.] A renewed pardon for every renewed sin which we commit , 
1 John ii. 1, ' 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 1 John i. 9, ' If we confess our sins, 
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from 
all unrighteousness.' As soon as we repent and believe there is a 
general pardon, the state of the person is changed, he is made a child 
of God : 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 ; ' John xiii. 10, ' He that is washed needeth not to wash, save 
his feet;' because by going up and down in the world we contract 
new defilement. He is translated from a state of wrath to a state of 
grace ; all sins past are remitted. God doth not pardon some, and 
leave others, though God's pardon be not antedated; Rom. iii. 25, 
' Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his 
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are 
past.' And such an one hath free leave to sue out pardon for future 
sins, and so have a greater holdfast upon God ; they have a present 
certain effectual remedy at hand for their pardon, that is, the merit of 
Christ's blood, the covenant of grace in which they have an interest, 
Christ's intercession and the Spirit to excite them to faith and repent 
ance. Well then, let us fly to Christ for daily pardon; as under the 


law there were daily sacrifices to be offered up, Num. xxviii. 3. 
God came to Adam in the cool of the day, Gen. iii. 8. Reconciliation 
with man is to be sought speedily : Eph. iv. 26, ' Let not the sun go 
down on your wrath.' The unclean person was to wash his clothes 
before the evening. Our hearts should be humbled within us to think 
that God is displeased. 

[7.] We pray for our pardon and acceptance with Christ at the 
last day of general judgment: Luke xxi. 36, 'Watch and pray, that 
ye may be accounted worthy to stand before the Son of man.' Some 
effect of sin remaineth till then, as death on the body ; so that whilst 
any penal evil introduced by sin remaineth, .we pray that God will 
not repent of his mercy. 

Use 2. It showeth how much we should prize pardon, as a special 
fruit of the love of God and Christ : Kev. i. 5, ' To him that loved us, 
and washed us from our sins in his blood ; ' 1 John iv. 9, 10, ' In this 
was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his 
only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent 
his Son to be the propitiation for our sins/ If we be serious we will 
do so. Those that have felt anything of the burden of sin will enter 
tain the offer of pardon with great thankfulness; it is a privilege 
welcome to distressed consciences. What man in chains would not 
be glad of liberty ? what debtor would not be discharged ? how glad is 
an honest man to be out of debt ? what guilty malefactor would not 
be acquitted ? Oh, let it not seem a light thing in your eye ! we have 
lost our spiritual relish if it do. Oh, prize a pardon, apprehend it as 
a great benefit, sweeter than the honey and honeycomb. 

Use 3. It should engage us to love God : Luke vii. 47, ' Her sins, 
which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much ; but to whom little 
is forgiven, the same loveth little.' 


Not imputing their trespasses unto them ; and hath committed to us 
the word of reconciliation. 2 COR. v. 19. 

Doct. One great branch and fruit of our reconciliation with God is the 
pardon of sins. 


First. Because reconciliation implieth in its own nature a release of 
the punishment of sin, or, on God's part, a laying aside of his wrath 
and anger ; as on ours a laying aside of our enmity and disobedience : 
Isa. xxvii. 4, ' Fury is not in me.' Anger in God is nothing else but 
his justice appointing the punishment of sin ; and he is said to be 
reconciled or pacified, when he hath no will to punish, or doth not 
purpose to punish, and therefore fitly is this part of the reconciliation 
expressed by not imputing our trespasses; especially because our 


reconciliation with God is not the reconciliation of private persons or 
of equals, but such as is between superiors and inferiors, a prince and 
his rebellious subjects, parents and their disobedient children, the 
governor and judge of the world and sinning mankind, and therefore 
not to be ended by way of agreement and composition, but by way of 
satisfaction, humiliation, and pardon ; satisfaction on Christ's part, 
humiliation on our part, pardon on God's. When persons fall out that 
are in a private capacity, the difference may be ended by composition ; 
they may quit the sense of the wrong done to them, but the case is 
different here ; God is not reconciled to us merely as the party offended, 
but as the governor of the world. A private man, as the party 
offended, may easily remit a wrong done to him without requiring 
satisfaction or submission, according to his own pleasure, as Joseph 
was reconciled to his brethren ; but here God is not considered as the 
party offended merely, but as the supreme judge, who is to proceed 
according to law. When the magistrate forgiveth, there must be a 
stated pardon ; and so God is to find out a way how the law is to be 
satisfied, and the offender saved, by releasing the punishment in such 
a way as the law may not fall to the ground, and that is not without 
the satisfaction of Christ, and the submission of the sinner, and the 
solemn grant of a pardon. A private man may do in his own case as 
pleaseth him,but there is a difference in a public person. The right of 
passing by a wrong, and the right of releasing a punishment, are dif 
ferent things, because punishment is a common interest, and is referred 
to the common good, to preserve order and for an example to others. 

Secondly. This branch is mentioned, because this was the most 
inviting motive to bring the creature to submission, and to comply 
with God's other ends. To understand this reason, consider 

1. Among the benefits which we have by Christ, some concern our 
felicity, others our duty; some concern our privileges, others our 
service, qualities, rights. The internal qualities and graces are con 
veyed and wrought in us by the sanctifying Spirit ; the rights and 
privileges are conveyed to us by deed of gift, by the covenant of 
grace, or new testament charter or gospel grant. As the one frees us 
from a moral evil, which is sin ; the other from a natural evil, which is 
misery. Of the one sort is holiness, and all those divine qualities which 
constitute the new nature, inherent graces ; of the other sort are pardon 
of sins, adoption, right to glory, adherent rights and privileges. Now God 
offereth the one to invite us to the other by the gospel as a deed of gift, 
or special act of grace ; God offereth the one upon condition we will 
seek after the other, which deed of gift cannot take effect till we fulfil the 
condition ; we cannot have remission of sins till we have repentance. It 
is true he giveth the qualification as well as the privilege, repentance 
as well as remission of sins, Acts v. 31 ; but he giveth it this way ; he 
giveth repentance offering remission ; that is the natural way of 
God's working, the appointed means to draw man's heart to the per 
formance of the condition. As the Spirit doth work powerfully within, 
so he useth the word without. Well then, if we would have the 
benefits by Christ, we must have all or none repentance as well as 
remission, faith as well as adoption, and justification and holiness as 
well as a right to glory; for Christ in all the dispensations of his grace 


iooketh at God's glory, as well as our interest ; therefore if we come 
rightly to the covenant, and expect grace by our Redeemer, we must 
' come with a true heart, in full assurance of faith,' Heb. x. 22. 

2. The one is the first inviting and powerful motive to the other. 
Partly, our desires of happiness, which even corrupt nature is not 
against, are made use of, and apt to gain upon us to a desire of happi 
ness. God would leave some inclination and desires to happiness in 
the heart of man, that might direct us in some sort to seek after him 
self: Acts xvii. 27, 'That they should seek the Lord, if haply they 
might feel after him, and find him.' Nature catcheth at felicity ; we 
would have impunity, peace, comfort, glory ; we are willing as to our 
own benefit to be pardoned and freed from the curse of the law, and 
the flames of hell ; we are naturally willing of justification, but 
naturally unwilling to deny the flesh, and to renounce the credit, 
profit, or pleasure of sin, and to grow dead to the world and worldly 
things ; but these other suit with our desires of happiness ; therefore 
God would, in reconciling the creature, go to work this way ; promise 
that which we desire, on condition that we will submit to those things 
which we are against. As we sweeten pills to children, that they may 
swallow them down the better; they love the sugar, though they 
loathe the aloes ; so here, God would invite us to our duty by our 
interest, and therefore in reconciling the world to himself, he would 
first be discovered as not imputing their trespasses to them. Partly, 
because of our fears, as well as our desires of happiness, God taketh 
this way. The grand scruple which haunteth, the creature is, how 
God shall be appeased, and quit his controversy against us by reason 
of sin : Micah v. 6, ' Wherewith will he be appeased, and what shall 
I give for the sin of my soul ? ' There is a fear of death and punish 
ment, which ariseth from these natural sentiments which we have of 
God: Rom. i. 32, 'Knowing the judgment of God, that they which 
commit such things are worthy of death.' The dread of a God angry 
for sin is natural to us, and the ground of all our trouble. Man is 
afraid of death, and some misery after death which is likely to come 
upon him, Heb. ii. 14; and till the forgiveness of sin be procured 
for us, this bondage sticketh close to us, and we know not how to get 
off it. God is an holy God, and cannot endure iniquity, and by his law 
will not suffer the guilty to go free. The justice of the supreme 
governor of all the world requireth that sin should be punished ; all 
mankind have a general presumption that death is penal ; these fears 
make pardon a very inviting motive to them. These fears may be a 
while stifled in men, but they easily return arid can no way be 
appeased, but by pardon and reconciliation with God, carried on in 
such a way, as they may bo exempted from these fears; therefore 
'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing 
their trespasses to them.' 

3. Pardon of sins is very necessary to the end of reconciliation, which 
is living in a course of holy amity and state of friendship with God 
till we live with him for ever in heavenly glory. Here I am to prove 
three things : (1.) That the end of reconciliation is walking in a 
course of holiness; (2.) That this holiness is carried on in a state of 



love and friendship between God and us ; (3.) That pardon is the fittest 
way to breed this holiness and increase it. 

[1.] That the end of reconciliation is walking in a course of holiness ; 
for Christ died not to reconcile God to our sins, but that, reconciling 
our persons, we might quit our sins, and walk as those that are at 
good accord with him : Amos iii. 3, ' Can two walk together, except 
they be agreed ? ' and 1 John ii. 7, ' If we walk in the light, as he is in the 
light, we have fellowship one with another.' Now pardon of sin hath 
a mighty influence upon holy walking ; justification and sanctification 
are distinct privileges, but they always go together, and the one doth 
exceedingly suit with the other. These two privileges, pardon and 
holiness, the one freeth us from the guilt, the other from the stain of 
sin. The one concerneth God's interest, our subjection to him; the 
other our own comfort. The one is the end, the other the means ; 
pardon is the means to holiness, and holiness is the end of pardon ; 
our general pardon is to put us into a state of acceptable obedience, 
our particular pardon to encourage us in it, and quicken us and excite 
us anew. The conditional and offered pardon is the means to work 
regeneration, and regeneration qualifieth for actual pardon : Titus iii. 
7, ' That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs accord 
ing to the hope of eternal life ; ' and Heb. viii. 10-12, ' For this is the 
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, 
saith the Lord ; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them 
in their hearts ; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me 
a people ; and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every 
man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know me from 
the least to the greatest ; for I will be merciful to their unrighteous 
ness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more ; ' 
and Acts xxvi. 18, 'To open their eyes, and to turn them from dark 
ness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may 
receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them which are 
sanctified by faith.' And then actual pardon quickeneth us by love, 
to carry on that holiness of heart and life which God requireth ; for 
this mercy is the powerful motive to persuade us to obedience. Because 
he hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood, therefore 
we must love him and serve him all our days ; Luke i. 74, 75, ' That 
we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him 
without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of 
our life ; ' 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, 
that they which live should not henceforth live to themselves, but to- 
him that died for them ; ' Titus ii. 11 12, ' 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, right 
eously, and godly in this present world ; ' Korn. xii. 1, ' I beseech you, 
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living 
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.' 
His pardoning mercy and justification by Christ is the great enforc 
ing argument. Those who are fetched up even from the gates of hell, 
and delivered from under the sentence of the law, and called into the 
state of God's children, should thankfully accept the benefit, acknow- 


ledge the benefactor, live in love to God and holiness, hate that sin they 
have repented of, and which hath been pardoned to them, and still hold 
on their course in a way of obedience, till their full recovery in the 
everlasting estate. 

[2.] That this holiness is carried on in a state of love and friendship 
between God and us. Love beareth rule in the spiritual life, and 
pardon is the great ground of love : Luke vii. 47, ' She loved much, 
because much was forgiven her.' The great business of religion is to 
love God above all ; and a man that is uncertain whether there be any 
such thing as pardon, how can he love God above himself and all 
other things ? Self-love is very hardly cured, for what is nearer to us 
than ourselves ? Therefore self-love is very deeply rooted in us, especially 
love of life, that it must be some very strong and powerful thing which 
can subdue it. Now nothing will do it, but the love of God. Propound 
the terrors of the Lord ; that will not do it, men will not be frightened 
out of self-love. It must be a powerful love that must divert us from 
it ; as one nail driveth out another, so doth one love drive out another. 
Now what can be more powerful than the love of God ? ' It is as strong 
as death ; many waters cannot quench it/ Cant. viii. 7. This prevail- 
eth over our natural inclination, so that we shall not only forsake the 
sins and vanities which we now love, but also life itself: Rev. xii. 11, 
' They loved not their lives unto the death.' This prevaileth over our 
natural inclination, so that we can lay all things at God's feet, and 
suffer all things, and endure all things for God's sake, yea, even life 
itself for his glory. 

[3.] Pardoning mercy in Christ is the great argument which 
breedeth and feedeth this love. How can I love a God which I think 
will damn me, and may propably do it ? Our turning to God must 
be by love, and our living to God and for God is carried on by love ; 
but how can I come to him who seemeth so unlovely to me ? Therefore 
God, to draw us into this amity and holy friendship, will be represented 
as willing to pardon and save us, and that in such an astonishing way, 
that more cannot be done to express his love : Eom. v. 8, ' Herein God 
commended his love to us, that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died 
for the ungodly.' See at what an high rate he is content to pardon 
and save us, that he may draw our love and attract our hearts, which, 
under the terrors of guilt and condemning justice, would never have 
been brought to love him. 

4. The forgiveness of sins is that which is most expressly, directly, 
and formally eyed in the death of Christ : Eph. i. 7, ' In whom we 
have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins ; ' so 
Mat. xxvi. 28, ' This is my blood which was shed for the remission of 
sins ; ' so Heb. ix. 22, 'Without the shedding of blood there is no remis 
sion of sins.' Why is not sanctification mentioned ? it was purchased by 
his blood as well as remission. It was guilt made his blood necessary 
for our recovery, and the depravation of the heart of man is part of 
the punishment, spiritual death as well as temporal and eternal. And 
to be polluted is our punishment as well as our sin, and the guilt of 
sin stoppeth our mercies, cuts off the intercourse between God and us : 
Isa. lix 2, ' Your iniquities have separated between you and your God ; ' 
and Eom. iii. 23, ' For all have sinned, and are come short of the glory 


of God.' And when the obstruction is removed, and the offence given 
by our sins pardoned, the sanctifying of our nature followeth. If 
there had been nothing to do but to renew us by repentance and 
sanctification, that might have been done without the blood of the Son 
of God, as God at first gave his image freely ; but his governing justice 
required, that before man was set up with a new stock of grace, there 
should be so great a price paid. Well then, this is mentioned as the 
great way of our reconciliation, ' God was in Christ reconciling the 
world to himself.' 

5. This was the great difficulty, how, when sin was once entered, 
it might be remitted. Sin was the great make-bate between God and 
us ; and it is not so slightly done away as most do imagine. The great 
mystery and design of grace was, how lapsed man, who was under the 
guilt of sin and the desert of punishment, should be restored to favour, 
the honour of God be safe, and the government of the world secured ; 
or to make the pardon of man's sin, a thing convenient for the righteous 
and holy God to bestow without any impeachment of the honour of 
his wisdom, holiness, and justice ; for there being a sentence of the 
law against us, by which we are condemned, John iii. 18, it would not 
seem to become the wisdom of God, that he should wholly quit his 
law, as if it were made in vain. His servant was loath to be found in 
a double mind, that his word should be yea and nay, 2 Cor. i. 18. 
Levity is an imputation which he seeketh earnestly to avoid there. 
Nor the holiness of God to be too favourable to sinners, Hab. i. 13, 
' He is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.' Nor his justice ; laws 
must not seem a vain, scarecrow. In short, there must not be yea and 
nay with God ; he must be demonstrated to us in his own divine per 
fections, and must not permit his laws and government to be despised 
or broken by a rebel world, without being executed upon them accord 
ing to their true intent and meaning, or some equivalent demonstration 
of his justice, such as might vindicate both law and lawgiver from 
contempt. Well then, this was the great mystery and wonder of grace, 
' that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing 
their trespasses to them ; ' that his wisdom found out a way to exer 
cise pardoning, saving mercy, without any injury to his governing 
justice and truth, or giving any leave to sinners to flatter and embolden 
themselves in their sins with the thoughts of impunity, which are so 
natural to us. Therefore well might the apostle mention this privilege, 
as a special branch of our reconciliation with God. 

6. This is the proper privilege of the new covenant, or covenant of 
grace, and the difference between it and the law ; the law knew no 
way but saving the innocent, but the gospel discovered a way of saving 
the penitent. The law was fitted only to our innocency, and required 
us to continue as God left us, but the offer of pardon of sins suiteth 
with our lapsed, guilty estate; there God revealeth himself to the 
apostate world in that way which was fit for their recovery. The law 
knew no such thing as the forgiveness of sin ; the fallen creature had 
thereby no hope, for the tenor there was, Do, and live ; sin, and die ; 
here a way is found out how our trespasses may not be imputed to us, 
and the edge of the curse abated, and God represented as pacified ; 
and so this privilege was fitly mentioned by the apostle. 


Use 1. Is to press us to enter into God's peace by looking after the 
pardon of sins. I shall only urge three things (1.) The necessity; 
(2.) The readiness of God to bestow this benefit; (3.) The excellency 
of the privilege. 

1. The necessity of obtaining this benefit. There are three notions, 
which press it upon sleepy sinners law, judge, conscience : there is the 
law broken, the judge to whom we are responsible, conscience which 
raiseth fears in us because of the breach. 

[1.] Kemember there is a righteous law broken, and the sentence of 
it standeth unrepealed against you, till, in a broken-hearted manner, 
you sue out your pardon in the name of your mediator ; condemned, 
though not executed, John iii. 18; and condemned to what? Bom. 
ii. 9, ' Tribulation and anguish, and wrath upon every soul of man that 
doth evil ; ' and this will be executed, James ii. 13. The law is in 
force against those that refuse the gospel ; therefore you must change 
copy, get this sentence reversed, or you are undone for ever. You 
have but a little time wherein to make your peace ; there is but the 
slender thread of a frail life between you and execution ; it is peace 
upon earth, Luke ii. 14. You are but reprieved during pleasure ; that 
is the true notion of the present life : better never born, if you do not 
get off this curse. Christians, do you know what it is to have God 
an enemy ? to be liable to his righteous wrath, to bear the burden of 
your own sins, to be answerable for his violated law ? 

[2.] The second awakening notion is that of a judge. I observe in 
scripture it is usually mentioned to quicken us to seek after repentance, 
and the pardon of sins. It is said, Acts x. 42, 43, ' He hath commanded 
us to testify and preach to the people, that he it is who was ordained 
of God to be the judge of the quick and the dead ; to him gave all the 
prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him 
shall receive remission of sins ; ' and, Acts xvii. 30, ' He commandeth 
all men to repent, because he hath appointed a day wherein he will 
judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; ' 
and Acts iii. 19-21. ' Eepent therefore and be converted, that your sins 
may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the 
presence of the Lord ; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was 
preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive until the times of 
restitution of all things.' Why doth the scripture suggest this medi 
tation ? Partly, because our pardon is not complete till that day ; now 
we have it under his hand in the word, under his seal by the Spirit, 
then from his mouth. And partly, because of the strictness of that day, 
now to consider that our case must be reviewed, that by our works 
and words we must be justified or condemned, Mat. xii. 36, 37. 
Surely we should make our peace, and be more watchful and serious 
for the future. And partly, considering who is judge, it is a strong 
motive to press us to receive his person, embrace his doctrine, and to 
put ourselves under the conduct of his Spirit ; and depending upon the 
merit of his sacrifice, to use the appointed means in order to our full 
recovery and return to God. 

[3.] The third working consideration is conscience, which anticipateth 
the judgment, and taketh God's part within us, rebuking us for sin 
a secret spy that is in our bosoms, which handleth us as we handle it, 


Kom. ii. 14, 15. Before the action, conscience showeth us what is to 
be done ; in the act, it correcteth ; after, alloweth or disalloweth. As 
a man acts, so he is a party; as he censureth the action, so a judge. 
After the act, the force of conscience is most usually seen, more than 
before the fact, or in the fact ; because, before, or in the action, the 
judgment of reason is not so clear and strong, the affections raising 
mists and clouds to darken the mind, and trouble it, and draw it on 
their side by their pleasing violence ; but after the action, the violence 
of these things ceaseth, and is by little and little allayed. Guilt flusheth 
in the face of conscience ; Judas, Mat. xxvii. 4, said, ' I have sinned 
in betraying innocent blood.' Keason hath the greater force, doth 
more affect the mind with grief and fear. When a man hath sinned 
against his conscience, when the act is over, and the affection satisfied, 
and giveth place to reason, that was before contemned, when it recov 
ereth the throne, it striketh through the heart of man with a sharp 
reproof for obeying appetite before itself, bringeth in terror and contest 
unto the mind, and the soul sits uneasy. Now then, because of this 
conscience of sin, let us sue out our pardon and discharge. Conscience 
may be choked and smothered, but the flame will break forth again ; 
it is not quietly settled but by reconciliation with Jesus Christ ; they 
shun it all that they can, but cannot get rid of it : 1 John iii. 20, ' For 
if our hearts condemn us,' &c. There is a hidden fear in the heart of 
man not always felt, but soon awakened ; usually it spftaketh out men's 
condition to them, when their hearts are unsound with God: Job 
xxvii. 6, ' My heart shall not reproach me all my days.' The heart 
hath a reproaching, condemning power against a man when he goeth 
wrong. None of us but feel these heart-smitings and checks ; there 
fore we should consider of them. Now these should be noted, partly, 
because to smother and stifle checks of conscience produceth hardness 
of heart, if not downright atheism ; and partly, because conscience, if 
it speaketh not, it writeth ; and where it is not a witness, it is a regi 
ster : and partly, because it is God's deputy, 1 John iii. 20, 21 ; and 
partly, because heaven and hell is often begun in conscience ; heaven, 
in our peace and joy, which is unspeakable and glorious, 1 Peter i. 8, 
and 2 Cor. i. 12, ' This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience.' 
Sometimes hell, in our grief and fears as appeareth in Judas : Mat. 
xxvi., 4, 5, ' I have sinned in betraying innocent blood ; and he went 
forth and hanged himself.' A good conscience is sweet company, as a 
bad is a great wound and burden. Well then, be settled upon sound 
terms, if you. will not have your consciences upbraid you. Thus to the 
sleepy sinner. 

2. To the broken-hearted I shall speak of God's readiness to pardon 
and to forgive. It is his name, Neh. ix. 17, ' But thou art a God 
ready to pardon/ It is his glory, Exod. xxxiii. 18, compared with 
Exod. xxxiv. 7. It is his delight, Micah vii. 18. The case of any sin 
ner is not desperate ; a pardon may be had, Isa. Iv. 7, 8, ' Let the 
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and 
let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and 
to our God, for he will abundantly pardon ; for my thoughts are not 
as your thoughts, nor my ways as your ways, saith the Lord.' A 
sensible sinner, his condition is hopeful, Mat. ix. 13, with 28, ' Christ 


came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance ; ' and, ' Come 
unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest.' To a repenting sinner it is conditionally certain, 1 John i. 9, 
' If we confess and forsake our sins, he is just and faithful to forgive 
us our sins.' To those who seriously address themselves to this work, 
God sometimes vouchsafeth notable experiences, Ps. xxxii. 5. To those 
who have verified the sincerity of their faith and repentance, it is act 
ually certain, evident and comfortable : Prov. xxviii. 13, ' He that 
confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall have mercy.' If they fulfil 
their covenant consent, confess sin so as to hate it and leave it, it is 
certain to them in foro cceli, and in foro conscientice ; and the more 
they come to God by Christ, and acquaint themselves with him, it 
groweth more firm : Job. xxii. 1, ' For I know that my redeemer 
liveth; ' and Rom. v. 1, ' Being justified by faith, we have peace with 
God.' Then their reconciliation is secured to them by renewed evi 
dences and assurances ; habitual and familiar converse with him, as 
one friend doth with another, maketh it grow up into an holy security 
and peace ; for the good and advantage of waiting upon God is better 
discerned when men have persevered in it, than when they first began. 

3. The excellency of the privilege. Let me speak to the actually par 
doned to admire the privilege, and get their hearts more affected with it. 

[1.] In the general : This way of reconciling us by Christ that our 
trespasses may not be imputed to us, was the product of God's eternal 
wisdom and goodness. As when there was a search for wisdom, ' The 
depth saith, It is not in me ; the sea saith, It is not with me,' Job 
xxviii. 14 ; so when there is an inquiry for a satisfactory way of recon 
ciling the creatures to God, so as may suit with G -I's honour, and 
appease our guilty fears, go to the light of nature : i' u ~aith, It is not in 
me ; to the law, It is not in me ; only the gospel revealeth it, and there 
it is learned and discovered. The light of nature apprehendeth God 
placable, for he doth continue many forfeited mercies to us, and doth 
not presently put us into our final estate, as the fallen angels are in 
termino presently, upon the fall. It apprehendeth that God is to be 
appeased by some satisfaction ; hence those many inventions of lancing 
and cutting themselves, and offering their children, et solo sanguine 
humano iram deorum immorialium placari posse. The law that 
discovered our misery, but not our remedy, it showeth us our sin, but 
no way of deliverance from sin and acceptance with God. The law 
can do nothing for sinners, but only for the innocent ; it doth only 
discover sin, but exact obedience, and drive and compel men to seek 
after some other thing, that may save them from sin, and afford them 
a righteousness unto salvation ; when man was once a sinner, the law 
became insufficient for those ends: Eom. viii. 3, 'It became weak 
through our flesh/ It was able to continue our acceptance with God 
in that condition in which we were first created, but after that man by 
sin became flesh, and had a principle of enmity in him against God, 
the law stood aside as weakened, and insufficient to help and save such 
an one. But then, the gospel yieldeth full relief, propounding such a 
way wherein God is glorified and the creature humbled, and due 
provision made for our comfort without infringing our duty, that we 
might be in a capacity comfortably to serve and enjoy God, who 


otherwise had neither had a mind to serve him, nor a heart to love 
him. Thus mercy and justice shine with an equal glory; so do also 
his wisdom and holiness. Our necessity is thoroughly remedied, and 
God's love fully expressed. When we were lost children of wrath, 
under the curse, and no hand that could help us, then he set his hand 
to that work which none could touch, and put his shoulders under that 
burden which none else could bear. If John mourned when none was 
found worthy in heaven or earth to open the book of visions, and 
unloose the seals thereof, how justly might the whole creation mourn, 
because none was found worthy in heaven or in earth to repair this 
disorder, till the Son of God undertook it, and made himself an offer 
ing for sin. Oh ! Let us give due acceptance and entertainment to 
this wonderful love and blessed privilege.- 

[2.] The happiness of being actually pardoned is exceeding great. 
This is notably set forth by the psalmist : Ps. xxxii. 1, ' Blessed is he 
whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered ; blessed is the 
man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, in whose spirit there is 
no guile.' The privilege of the pardoned sinner is here set forth by 
three expressions : forgiving iniquity, covering sin, and not imputing 
transgression ; and the manner of delivery is vehement and full of 
vigour oh, the blessedness of the man ! And it is repeated over and 
over again. Let us a little view the phrase ; the Hebrew is, who is 
eased of his transgression. Junius ; qui levatur a defectione. It 
compareth sin to a burden too heavy for us to bear. The same meta 
phor is used, Mat. xi. 28, ' Come to me, all ye that are weary and 
heavy laden.' The second expression relateth to the covering of filth, 
or the removing that which is offensive out of sight ; as the Israelites 
were to march \villi a paddle tied to their arms, that when they went 
to ease themselves, they might dig and cover that that came from 
them. Deut. xxiii. 14, you have the law, and the reason of it : ' For 
the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of the camp, therefore shall 
thy camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee.' The third 
expression is, ' To whom the Lord imputeth not sin,' that is, doth not 
put sin to their account ; where sin is compared to a debt, as it is also : 
Mat. vi. 12, ' Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.' So 
that sin is a burden, of which we should seek to be eased ; filthiness, 
which we should get to be covered ; debts, which we should get to be 
discharged. Oh, blessed we when it is so, when God lifts off from our 
shoulders the burden of the guilt of sin, covereth this noisome filthi 
ness which maketh us so loathsome to him, and quits the debt and 
plea which he had in law against us. This forgiving or lifting of the 
burden is with respect to Christ's merit, on whom God laid the 
iniquities of us all, Isa. liii. 6 ; this covering is with respect to the 
adjudication of Christ's righteousness to us, which is a covering which 
is not too short ; this not imputing is with respect to Christ's media 
tion or intercession, which in effect speaketh thus, What they owe, I 
have paid. Oh, the blessedness of the man ! You will apprehend it 
to be so. What a burden sin is when it is not pardoned ! Carnal men 
feel it not for the present, but they shall hereafter feel it. Now two 
sorts of conscience feel the burden of sin, a tender conscience, and a 
wounded conscience. It is grievous to a tender heart, that valueth 


the love of God, to lie under the guilt of sin: Ps. xxxviii. 4, 'Mine 
iniquities are gone over my head, as a burden too heavy for me.' 
Broken bones are sensible of the least weight : so Ps. xl. 12, ' Innum 
erable evils have compassed me about ; mine iniquities have taken 
hold of me.' What kind of hearts have they who can sin freely and 
without remorse ? Is it nothing to have grieved the Spirit of God, 
and violated his law, and rendered ourselves obnoxious to his wrath ? 
A wounded conscience feeleth it also. There is a domestic tribunal 
which we carry about with us wherever we go, as the devils carry 
their own hell about with them, though not now in the place of 
torments : Prov. xviii. 14, ' The spirit of a man will sustain his 
infirmity ; but a wounded spirit who can bear ? ' Natural courage 
will bear up under common distresses which lie more without us, but 
when the spirit itself is wounded, what support under so great a 
burden ? Ask Cain and Judas what it is to feel the burden of sin. 
All sinners are subject to this, and this bondage may be easily revived 
in them ; a close touch of the word will do it, a sad thought, a pressing 
misery, a scandalous sin, a grievous sickness, a disappointment in the 
world. There needs not much ado to put a sinner in the stocks of 
conscience ; as Belshazzar, that saw but a few words written on the 
wall, and ' his countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled 
him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote 
one against the other.' Again, it is filthiness which rendereth you 
odious in the sight of God ; we ourselves cannot endure ourselves, 
when serious, John iii. 20 ; it maketh us shy of God's presence. Once 
more, it is a debt which bindeth us over to everlasting punishment ; 
and if we be not pardoned, the judge will give order to the jailer, and 
the jailer will cast us into the prison, ' till we have paid the utmost 
farthing,' Luke xii., last verse ; and that will never be. How doleful 
is their case who are bound hand and foot and cast into hell, there to 
remain for ever and ever ! Now put all together : certainly if you had 
ever been in bondage, and felt the sting of death, the curse of the law, 
or been acquainted with the fiery darts of Satan, or scorched with the 
wrath of God, or known the terrors of those, of whom God hath 
exacted this debt in hell, surely you would say, Blessed is the man ! 
happy are those whose sins are pardoned ! Those that mind their 
work, that know what it is to look God in the face with comfort, that 
have this chain broken, the judge turned into a father, the tribunal of 
justice into a throne of grace, and punishment into a pardon, will say, 
Blessed is the man ! 

And hath committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 COR. v. 19. 

WE come now to the third thing, the means of application or bringing 
about this reconciliation on man's part : 0e/i>o5 eV f]fuv hath placed 
in us. In which observe two things 


1. The matter of the charge, trust or thing entrusted The word 
of reconciliation ; called also, ver. 18, the ministry of reconciliation, 
that is, the gospel which revealeth the way of making peace with 
God, and is the charter and grant of Christ, and all his benefits from 
God, unto every one that will receive him. Now the gospel may be 
considered as written or preached ; as written, so it is properly called 
the word of reconciliation ; as preached, so, the ministry of reconcilia 
tion. The one serveth to inform, the other to excite ; by the one the door 
of mercy is set open by discovering the admirable methods of grace in 
reclaiming the world ; by the other, men are called upon, persuaded, 
and exhorted, to accept of the remedy offered. 

2. The persons to whom he hath committed He hatJi put in us, 
the apostles and their successors. (1.) The apostles are of chief 
consideration, for these, as master-builders, were to lay the foundation, 
1 Cor. iii. 10 ; and Eph. ii. 20, ' And are built upon the foundation of 
the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the corner-stone.' They 
were infallibly assisted and to be absolutely trusted in what they 
wrote : had the power of miracles, to evidence their mission and call ; 
they were confined to no certain charge and country ; therefore, this 
trust did belong to the apostles in all respects, chiefly in some respects 
to them only. (2.) Ordinary ministers are not to be excluded because 
they agree with the apostles as to the substance of their commission, 
which is to reconcile men to God, or to preach the gospel. The 
ordinary ministerial teaching is Christ's institution, as well as that of 
the apostles: Bph. iv. 11, ' He gave some apostles, and some prophets, 
and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.' He that 
appointed prophets and apostles to write scripture, hath also appointed 
pastors and teachers to explain and apply scripture. This is done 
plenojure: Mat. xxviii. 19,20, 'All power is given me in heaven and 
earth ; go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching 
them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you ; and lo ! 
I am with you to the end of the world.' By virtue of that authority 
given him by God, they are in the same commission, and have a 
promise of the same presence and Spirit. So also 1 Cor. iii. 5, ' Who 
then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed ?' 
As to the substance of the work, they do the same thing ; as to the 
substance of the blessing, they are accompanied with the same Spirit. 
In both, as their ministry, for the matter of it, is the ministry of 
reconciliation, so for the power of it, it is the ministration of the Spirit 
unto life ; only the one are immediately called, miraculously gifted, 
infallibly assisted, sent out to all the world ; the other have an ordinary 
call, a limited place, but yet do the same work, in the same name, and 
are assisted by the same Spirit. 

Doct. That much of the wisdom and goodness of God is seen in the 
course he hath taken for the applying of reconciliation. 

In the merit, or way of^ procuring, in the branches, the restitution of 
his favour and image, we have seen already ; now the way of applying 
that will appear. 

1. God would not do us good without our knowledge, and therefore 
first or last he must give us notice ; it is everywhere made as an act of 


God's goodness to reveal the way of reconciliation. When the psalmist 
had discoursed of the pardon of sins, he presently addeth, Ps. ciii., ' He 
made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel ; ' 
and Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20, 'He hath showed his word unto Jacob, and his 
judgments unto Israel ; he hath not dealt so with every nation ; as for his 
judgments, they have not known him ;' and Micah vi. 8, ' He hath showed 
thee, man, what is good ; ' but especially in the new administration of 
the covenant, Heb. viii. 10, 11, ' I will put my laws in their minds, and 
write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be 
to me a people, and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, nor 
every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know me from 
the least to the greatest ; ' and Isa. liii. 2, ' By his knowledge shall my 
righteous servant justify many.' Those places show, that as it is a great 
favour, that the way of reconciliation was found out, so this is a new 
favour, that the way is so clearly revealed, that it is not left to our blind 
guesses. If God had intended to do us good, but would not tell us how, 
there would not have been due provision made for the comfort and duty 
of the creature : not for our comfort, for an unknown benefit intended 
to us can yield us no comfort. Christ's prophetical office is as neces 
sary for our comfort as his sacerdotal : Heb. iii. 1, ' Consider the 
apostle and high-priest of our profession, Jesus Christ.' We could take 
little comfort in him as an high priest, if he had not been also an apostle. 
The highest office in both the testaments was necessary to our comfort 
and peace. In the old testament, all the business of that dispensation 
was to represent him an high priest ; so in the new, as an apostle, that 
was to open the mind and heart of God to us, and show us how to be 
happy in the love and enjoyment of God. Nor could we understand our 
duty : all parties interested in the reconciliation must be acquainted 
with the way of it ; and therefore man must understand, what course 
God would take to bring about this peace. How else should he give his 
consent, or seek after the benefit, in such a solemn and humble manner, 
as is necessary ? And how else can we be sensible of our obligation, and 
be thankful, and live in the sense of so great a love ? John iv. 10, ' If 
thou knewest the gift,' &c. 

2. As God will not do us good without our knowledge, so 
not against our will and consent, and force us to be reconciled and saved, 
whether we will or no. Man is a reasonable creature, a free agent, and 
God governeth all his creatures according to their receptivity. With 
necessary agents, he worketh necessarily; with free agents, freely; a will 
is required on our parts : Kev. xxii. 17, ' Whosoever will ; ' and Ps. ex. 3, 
' His people shall be a willing people in the day of his power.' Their 
hearts are effectually inclined to accept of what God offereth. All that 
receive the faith of Christ, receive it most willingly, and forsake all to 
follow him : Acts ii. 41, ' They gladly received his word ;' then was that 
prophecy in part verified. 

3. God will not work this will and consent by an imposing force, but 
by persuasion, because he will draw us ' with the cords of a man,' Hosea 
iv. 14 ; that is, in such a way and upon such terms as are proper and fit 
ting for men. God dealeth with beasts by a strong hand of absolute 
power, but with man in the way of counsel, entreaties and persuasions, 
as he acted the tongue of Balaam's ass, to strike the sound of those words 


in the air, not infusing discourse and reason : therefore it is said, Num. 
xxii. 28, ' He opened the mouth of the ass ; ' but when he dealeth with 
man he is said ' to open the heart,' Acts xvi. 14 ; as inwardly by a 
secret power, so outwardly by the word so offered, that they attended. 
That is a rational way of proceeding, so to mind as to choose, so to 
choose as to pursue ; men is drawn to God in a way suitable to his 
nature : 

.4. To gain this consent the word is a most accommodate instrument. 
I prove it by two arguments. 

[1.] From the way of God's working, physically, morally, powerfully, 
sapientially. The physical operation is by the infusion of life ; the 
moral operation is by reason and argument. Both these ways are 
necessary in a condescension to our capacities ; fortiter pro te, Domine, 
suaviter pro me; God worketh strongly, like himself, and sweetly, that 
he may attemper his work to our natures and suit the key to the wards 
of the lock. Both these ways are often spoken of in scripture : John vi. 
44, 45, ' No man can come unto me except the Father draw him ; as it 
is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God.' They 
are taught and drawn, so taught that they are also drawn and 
inclined ; and so drawn, as also taught, as it becometh God to deal with 
men. Therefore sometimes God is said to create in us a new heart, 
making it a work of power ; Ps. li. 10, ' And we are his workmanship 
created to good works,' Eph. ii. 10. Sometimes to persuade and allure ; 
Hosea ii. 15, ' I will allure her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably 
unto her;' Gen. ix. 27,' The Lord shall persuade Japhet,' by fair and kind 
entreaties, draw them to a liking of his ways. The soul of man is deter 
mined to God, by an object without and a quality within. The object 
is propounded by all its qualifications, that the understanding may be 
informed and convinced, and the will and affections persuaded in a 
potent and high way of reasoning ; but this is not enough to determine 
man's heart without an internal quality or grace infused, which is his 
physical work upon the soul. There is not only a propounding of reason 
and arguments, but a powerful inclination of the heart, and so we are 
by strong hand plucked out of the snares of death. Both are necessary ; 
the power, without the word or persuasion, would be a brutish force, and 
so offer violence to our faculties. Now God doth not oppress the liberty 
of the creature, but preserve the nature and interest of his workmanship; 
on the other side, the persuasion, offers of a blessed estate without power, 
will not work ; for if the word of God cometh to us in word only, but 
not in power, the creature remaineth, as it was, dead and stupid. 

[2.] If we consider the impediments on man's part. The word is 
suited as a proper cure for the diseases of men's souls. Now these are 
ignorance, slightness, and impotency. 

(1.) Ignorance is the first disease set forth by the notions of darkness 
and blindness, Eph. v. 8 ; 2 Peter, i. 9. We are so to spiritual and 
heavenly things. Though men have the natural power of understand 
ing, yet no spiritual discerning, so as to be affected with, or transformed 
by, what they know, 1 Cor. ii. 14 ; no saving knowledge of the things 
which pertain to the kingdom of God, or their everlasting happiness. 
This is the great disease of human nature; worse than bodily blindness, 
because they are not sensible of it : Kev. iii. 17, ' Thou thoughtest that 
thou wast rich, and increased with goods, and knowest not that thou art 


wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked ; ' because they 
seek not fit guides to lead them. 

(2.) Slightiness. They will not mind these things, nor exercise their 
thoughts about them : Mat. xxii. 5, 'And they made light of it/ would not 
let it enter into their care and thoughts ; Heb. ii. 3, ' How shall we 
escape if we neglect so great salvation ? ' Non-attendency is the great 
bane of men's souls ; it is a long time to bring them to ask, ' What shall 
I do to be saved ? ' 

(3.) Impotency and weakness, which lieth in the wilfulness and hard 
ness of their hearts ; our non posse is non velle ; Ps. Iviii. 4, 5, ' They 
arejlike the deaf adder which stoppeth her ear, and will not hearken to the 
voice of the charmer, charm he never 'so wisely;' and Mat. xxiii. 37, 
' How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen 
gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not ? ' and 
Luke xix. 14, ' We will not have this man to rule over us ; ' John v. 40, 
' They will not come unto me that they may have life; ' Ps. Ixxxi. 11, 
' Israel would have none of me ; ' Prov. i. 29, ' But they hated knowledge, 
and did not choose the fear of the Lord.' You cannot, because you will 
not, the will and affections being engaged to other things. You have 
the grant and offer of mercy from God, but you have not an heart to 
make a right choice. If you could say, I am willing but cannot, that 
were another matter ; but I cannot apply myself to seek reconciliation 
with God by Christ, is, in true interpretation, ' I will not,' because your 
blinded minds and sensual inclinations have misled and perverted your 
will ; your obstinate and carnal wilfulness is your true impotency. 

Now what proper cure is there for all these evils but the word of 
God ? Teaching is the proper means to cure ignorance, for men have 
a natural understanding. Warning us of our danger, and minding us 
of our duty, is the proper means to cure slightness, and to remove their 
impotency, which lieth in their obstinacy and wilfulness. There is no 
such means as to besiege them with constant persuasion, and the 
renewed offers of a better estate by Christ, for the impotency is 
rather moral than natural ; we do not use to reason men out of their 
natural impotency, to bid a lame man walk, or a blind man see, or a 
dead man live ; but to make men willing of the good they have neglected 
or rejected, we must persuade them to a better choice. In short, to 
inform the judgment, to awaken the conscience, to persuade the will, 
this is the work and office of the word by its precepts, promises, and 
rewards. It is true the bare means will not do it without God's con 
currence, the influence and power of his Spirit ; but it is an encourage 
ment to use the means, because they are fitted to the end, and God 
would not appoint us means which should be altogether vain. 

5. That it is not enough that the word be written, but preached by 
those who are deputed thereunto for several reason's 

[1.] Partly because scripture may possibly lie by, as a neglected 
thing. The Lord complaineth, Hos. viii. 12, ' I have written to them 
the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.' 
Men slighted the word written, as of little importance or concernment 
to them, are little conversant in it ; therefore some are appointed that 
shall be sure to call upon us, and put us in mind of our eternal con 
dition ; that may bring the word nigh to us, lay it at our doors, bring 
a special message of God to our souls : Acts xiii. 26, ' To you is the 


word of salvation sent.' lie speaketb to all the world by his word, to 
you in particular by the special messages his servants bring you. It 
is sent to you, there is much of God in it ; the word written hath its 
use to prevent delusions and mistakes, and the word preached hath 
also its use to excite and stir up every man to look after the remedy 
offered, as he will answer it to God another day, 

[2.] Partly because the word written may not be so clearly under 
stood, therefore God hath left gifts in the church, authorised some to 
interpret : as the eunuch was rea ding, and God sent him an inter 
preter : ' Philip said unto him, Understandest thou what thou readest ? 
And he said, How can I, except somebody guide me ? ' Acts viii. 30, 31. 
The scripture is clear in itself, but there is a covering of natural blind 
ness upon our eyes, which the guides of the church are appointed and 
qualified to remove : Job xxxiii. 23, ' If there be a messenger with 
him, an interpreter, one of a thousand, to show a man his uprightness.' 
There are messengers from God authorised to speak in his name, to 
relieve poor souls, that they may soundly explain, forcibly express, and 
closely apply the truths of the word, that what is briefly expressed 
there by earnest and copious exhortations may be inculcated upon 
them, and the arrow may be drawn to the head, and they may more 
effectually deal with sinners, and convince them of their duty, and 
rouse them up to seek after the favour of God in Christ. Look, as darts 
that are cast forth out of engines by art, and fitted with feathers, are 
more apt to fly faster, and pierce deeper, than those that are thrown 
casually, and fall by their own weight ; so, though the word of God is 
still the word of God, and hath its proper power and force, whether 
read or preached, yet when it is well and properly enforced with dis 
tinctness of language, vehemency and vigour of spirit, and with prudent 
application, it is more conducible to its end. 

[3.] Because God would observe a congruity and decency. As death 
entered by the ear, so doth life and peace : Horn. x. 14, 15, ' How shall 
they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they 
believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear 
without a preacher ? and how shall they preach except they be sent ? ' 
By the same sense by which we received our venom and poison, God 
will send in our blessings, work faith and repentance in us by the 
ministry of reconciliation. Besides, as vision and seeing are exercised 
in heaven, so hearing in the church ; it is a more imperfect way of 
apprehension, but such as is competent to the present state : Job xlii. 
5, ' I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye 
seeth thee,' speaking of his extraordinary vision of God, which is a 
glimpse of heaven. Now we have a report of God, and his grace ; 
satisfying ocular inspection is reserved for heaven ; but now we must 
be contented with the one without the other. 

G. That to preach the word to us, God hath appointed men of the 
same mould with ourselves, and entrusted them with the ministry of 
reconciliation. As the fowler catcheth many birds by one decoy, a bird 
of the same feather ; so God dealeth with us by men of the same nature 
and affections, and subject to the law of the same duties, who are con 
cerned in the message they bring to us as much as we are men that 
know the heart of man by experience, our prejudices and temptations, 


for the heart of man answereth to heart as the face in the waters, Prov. 
xxvii. 19 ; and so know all the wards of the lock, and what key will 
fit them. Now the love and wisdom of God appeareth herein, 

[1.] Because God will try the world by his ordinary messengers : 
Col. i. 21, ' It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save 
them that believe.' We now live by faith and not by sight, and there 
fore he will not discover his own majesty, and send us nuncios and 
messengers out of the other world, or deal with us in an extraordinary 
way to lead us to faith and repentance, but send mean creatures like 
ourselves, in his name, who, by the manifestation of the truth, shall 
commend themselves to every man's conscience, to see if they will sub 
mit to this ordinary stated course. We would have visions, oracles, 
miracles, apparitions, one come from the dead, but Christ referreth us 
to ordinary means ; if they work not, extraordinary means will do us 
no good : Luke xvi. 30, 31, 'And he said, Nay, father Abraham, but 
if one went from the dead, they will repent ; and he said unto him, If 
they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, 
though one rose from the dead.' When God used extraordinary ways, 
man was man still : Ps. Ixxviii. 22-24, ' Because they believed not in 
God, and trusted not in his salvation, though he had commanded the 
clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, and had rained 
down manna upon them to eat, and had given them the corn of 
heaven.' They had their meat and drink from heaven, and yet they 
were rebels against God and unbelievers. Their victuals came out of 
the clouds, their water out of the rock ; so that miracles will not con 
vert, nor beget saving faith in them with whom ordinary means do 
not prevail. An oracle ; Samuel thought Eli called him, when it was 
the Lord : 2 Peter i. 19. fiefiaiorepov \6yov, ' We have a more sure 
word of prophecy.' Or one from the dead. Christianity is the tes 
timony of one that came from the dead, Jesus Christ. There can be 
no better doctrine, no more powerful persuasion, nor stronger confirm 
ation, or greater cooperation. God trieth us now ; but we would have 
all things subjected to the view of sense. 

[2.] He magnifieth his own power, and useth a weaker instrument, 
that we might not look to the next hand, and gaze upon them, as if 
they, by their own power and holiness did make the dead live, or the 
deaf hear, or convert the sinner to God : 2 Cor. iv. 7, ' We haye this 
treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of 
God, and not of us ; ' that the efficacy of the gospel may be known to 
be from God alone, and not of men. He can blow down the walls of 
Jericho by a ram's-horn, by weak men bring mighty things to pass. 
Treasure in an earthen vessel is supposed to allude to Gideon's strata 
gem of a lamp in a pitcher, Judges vii. 16. What was that to fight 
against the numerous host of Midian ? They brake their pitchers, and 
cried, ' The sword of the Lord and Gideon ! ' So we have this light in 
an earthen vessel ; ' the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but 
mighty through God," 2 Cor. x. 4. God chose TO, yJt] ovra, 1 Cor, i. 
28, ' foolish things to confound the wise, and weak things to confound 
the mighty, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that 
are.' God's ordinances are simple in appearance, but full of power. 

[3.] God dealeth more familiarly with us in this way, conveying his 


niind to us by our brethren, who are flesh of our flesh and bone of our 
bone ; such with whom we have ordinary and visible commerce. We 
read, Exod. xx. 18, 19, that the people when they heard the thunder- 
ings, they stood afar off, and said unto Moses, ' Speak thou unto us and 
we will hear ; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.' It is a great 
mercy to man, that seeing he cannot endure that God should in glori 
ous majesty speak to him, that he will depute men in his stead : Deut. 
xviii. 15, ' The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from 
the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me ; unto him shall ye 
hearken ; according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in 
Horeb, in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the 
voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, 
that I die not ; ' that is, Christ principally, and all those sent in his 
name, and come in his stead. Nay, we are not able to bear the glori 
ous ministry of the angels ; they would affright us, rather than draw 
to God. As Elihu saith to Job, chap, xxxiii. 6, 7, ' I that am formed 
out of the clay, am come to thee in God's stead ; my terror shall not 
make thee afraid ; ' so may the ministers of the gospel say, We that are 
of the same mould and making, we are ambassadors in God's stead, 
come to pray you to be reconciled to God. You need not be afraid of 
us nor shy of us. 

[4.] There is more certainty this way, because by those whose 
fidelity in other things is approved to us, who cannot deceive us but 
they must deceive their own souls ; they know the desert of sin, and 
the danger by reason of it; those who have had experience of the 
grace they preach ; as Paul was an instance of the gospel, as well as a 
preacher of it, 1 Tim. i. 17 ; and he saith, ' He did comfort others 
with the comforts wherewith he himself was comforted of God,' 2 Cor. 
i. 4 ; spake from a sense and taste, commended his apostleship from 
his own knowledge ; who come not with a report of a report, who con 
firm their doctrines by their practice ; for they are to be examples to 
the flock ; and sometimes by their blood and sufferings, if need be, it 
is their duty at least would these deceive us? There are more 
rational, inducing grounds of probability in this way, than any extra 
ordinary course that can be taken. 

Use 1. Let us respect God's institution the more. We see the 
reason of it, and the love and wisdom which God hath showed in it, 
and especially regard the way of reconciliation. Peace and life are 
tendered in his name to self-condemning and penitent sinners, through 
the mediation of Jesus Christ. This circumstance of the means 
teacheth us several things. 

1. That it is not enough to look to the purchase, price, and ransom, 
that was given for our peace, but also the application of it ; for the 
apostle doth not only insist upon the giving of Christ, but also on the 
word of reconciliation by which it is offered to us. In the 18th ver., 
this text and the 20 ver., ' God may be in Christ reconciling the world 
to himself,' and yet we perish for ever, unless we be reconciled to God ; 
and therefore the means of application must be regarded, as well as 
the means of impetration ; and as we bless God for Christ, so also 
for the ministry and ordinances. 

2. It showeth that God hath not only a good will to us, but this 


good will is carried on with great care and solicitude, that it may not 
miscarry at last. Here is wisdom mixed with love. As God was 
careful in laying a foundation of it by Christ, so you see with what 
wisdom the means are appointed, that this peace may be dispensed to 
us in the most taking way. Now God hath travailed so much in this 
matter, shall the gospel be cast away upon you ? He hath set up an 
ordinance on purpose to treat with sinners. 

3. That those things which God hath joined must not be separated, 
nor any part dispersed Christ, Spirit, ministry. Christ purchaseth 
all, the Spirit applieth all, the ministry offereth all by the word. If 
we go to God for grace, if it were not for Christ, he would not look 
towards us ; he sendeth us therefore to Christ, who is the golden pipe 
through which all the fatherly goodness of God passeth out unto us. If 
we go to Christ, he accomplisheth all by his Spirit ; it is the Spirit that 
by his powerful illumination must enlighten our minds, and open our 
hearts, and effectually renew and change the soul, Tit. iii. 5, 6. If we 
look to the Spirit, he sendeth us to the ordinances ; there we shall 
hear of him in the word written and preached. Despise that course, 
and all stoppeth ; therefore you must be meditating on his word, which 
is the seed of life ; ' be swift to hear ; ' make more conscience to attend 
seriously to the dispensation of it. This last is most likely to be de 
spised ; men will pretend a love to Christ and the Spirit, a reverence 
to the word written, but despise the ministry, because they are men 
of like passions with ourselves. No ; it is God's condescension to our 
weakness, which cannot admit of other messengers, to employ such ; 
therefore receive them as messengers of Christ : they work together 
with God, 1 Cor. iii. 9, they are labourers together with God : 2 Cor. 
vi. 1, ' As workers together with God, we beseech you, receive not this 
grace in vain ; ' and Christ saith, ' he that despiseth you despiseth me, 
and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me,' Luke x. 16. 
What is done to a man's apostle is done to himself; and Mat. x. 40, 
* He that receiveth you receiveth me.' Christ meant not to stay upon 
earth visibly and personally to teach men himself ; therefore he com 
mitted this dispensation to others, left it with faithful men, who are to 
manage it in his name. 

4. Those who are enemies of the ministry of the word are enemies 
to the glory of God, and the comfort and salvation of God's people. 
The glory of God : 2 Cor. i. 20, ' For all the promises of God in him 
are yea and amen, unto the glory of God by us ; ' and the comfort of 
God's people, ver. 24, ' Not for that we have dominion over your faith, 
but are helpers of your joy.' And their too much preaching is their 
too much converting souls to God, and reconciling souls to God. 

You hear not the word aright, unless it be a word of reconciliation to 
you, a means of bringing God and you nearer together, to humble you 
for sin, which is the cause of breach and distance : or to revive thy 
wounded spirit, or to make you prize and esteem the grace of the 
Redeemer, or more earnestly to seek after God by a uniform and 
constant obedience. 




Noio then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseecJi 
you by us ; we pray you in Christ's stead, be reconciled to God. 
2 COR. v. 20. 

IN these words you have the practical use and inference of the fore 
going clause. Observe here 

1. An office put on those to whom the word of reconciliation is 

2. The value and authority of this office As if God did beseech 
you by us. 

3. The manner how this office is to be executed Pray you in 
Christ's stead. 

4. The matter or message about which they are sent Be ye recon 
ciled to God. 

Doct. God hath authorised the ministers of the gospel in his own 
name and stead affectionately to invite sinners to a reconciliation with 

First, The office ' We are ambassadors for Christ ; ' that is the 
nature of our employment ; and sent by God on purpose for this end, 
Eph. vi. 20, ' For which I am an ambassador in bonds.' 

1. Ambassadors are messengers ; so are the ministry sent : John xvii. 
18, 'As thou hast sent me into the world, so also have I sent them 
into the world.' 'How can they preach except they be sent?' Kom. 
x. 15. 

2. There is not only a mission, but a commission ; they are not only 
posts, and letter-carriers, but authorised messengers. Ambassadors do 
in a singular manner represent the person of the prince who sendeth 
them, and are clothed with authority from him ; and so we have an 
authority for edification, and not for destruction, 2 Cor. x. 8. They 
are sent with great power to bind or loose out of the word, to pass 
sentence upon men's eternal condition of damnation on the impenitent, 
of life and salvation on them that repent and believe the gospel. 

3. They are sent from princes to other princes. On the one side, 
it holdeth good ; they come from the greatest prince that ever was, 
even from the prince of all the kings of the earth, Eev. i. 3. But to 
us poor worms they are sent, unworthy that God should look upon us, 
or think a thought of us ; we were revolted from our obedience to him, 
but he treateth not, and dealeth not with us as traitors and rebels, but 
as persons of dignity and respect, that thereby we may be more in 
duced to accept his offers. Ambassadors to obscure and private persons 
were never heard of, but such honour would he put upon us. 

4. Ambassadors are not sent about trifles, but about matters of the 
highest concernment ; so they are sent to treat about the greatest 
matters upon earth the making up peace and friendship between God 
and sinners : Isa. lii. 7. ' How beautiful are the feet of those that bring 
glad tidings of peace ! ' We are to publish the glad tidings of recon 
ciliation with God. God might have sent heralds to proclaim war, 
but he hath sent ambassadors of peace. He might have sent them as 


he sent Noah to the old world, to warn them of their destruction, or 
Jonah to Nineveh, but they came with an olive-branch in their mouths, 
to tell the world of God reconciled. Well then, we must regard the 
weight of the message ; God's love and hatred are not such inconsider 
able things, as that we should not trouble ourselves about them ; it is 
his wrath maketh us miserable, and his love happy. Oh, how welcome 
to us should a message of love and peace with God be ! 

5. As to their duty : an ambassador and messenger must be faith 
ful, keeping close to their commission as to the matter of their message, 
and be sincere and true as to the end of it : 2 Cor. ii. 17, ' For we are 
not as many which corrupt the word of God ; but as of sincerity, as of 
God, in the sight of God, speak we in Christ.' We are for another, 
not for ourselves ; our employment is to be proxies and negotiators for 
Christ, and this with all diligence, courage, and boldness : Eph. vi. 20, 
' For which I am an ambassador in bonds, that I may speak boldly as 
I ought to speak ; ' as becometh a zeal for Christ's honour and the 
good of souls, the excellency of the message, and the gravity of our 
office, owning the truth in the face of dangers. 

6. As to their reception and entertainment. Negatively 

[1.] They must not be wronged. Ambassadors are inviolable by the 
law of nations ; but such is the ingratitude of the world, who are 
enemies to their own mercies, that they slight his message, use his 
ambassadors disgracefully, as Abner did David's, contrary to the law 
and the practice of all nations ; as Paul was an ambassador in bonds, 
eV aXycret, in a chain by which he was tied to his keeper ; but God 
will not endure this, Ps. cv. 15. He hath given charge, ' Do my 
prophets no harm ; ' his judgments in his providence come for wrong 
done to his ministers, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. They misused his prophets, 
and the wrath of the Lord arose against the people, till there was no 
remedy. But the negative is not enough, not to wrong them ; you 
ought to respect them, and receive them in the name of the Lord : 
1 Cor. iv. 1, ' Let a man so account of us as the ministers of Christ, 
and stewards of the mysteries of God ; ' and Gal. iv. 14, ' They received 
him as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.' Surely it is meant 
with respect to the truth he preached ; they received it with as much 
reverence and obedience as if delivered by Christ himself in person ; 
otherwise he would not have mentioned that respect without detesta 
tion. Acts xiv. 14, the apostles rent their clothes when they would 
have given them divine honour. Well then, attention, credit, and 
obedience, is due to their message. 

Secondly, The value and authority of this office. They sustain the 
person of God, and supply the place of Christ upon earth ' As though 
God did beseech you by us, and in Christ's stead.' This is added to 
bespeak credit and respect to their message. 

1. Credit. Salvation is a weighty thing, and .we had need be upon 
sure grounds, and not only have man's word but God's for it. Man's 
word breedeth but human credulity, and that is a cold thing ; it is faith 
actuateth, and enliveneth our notions and opinions in religion, and 
maketh them operative : 1 Thes. ii. 13, ' The word of God which ye 
heard of us, 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/ 


The apostles' word, as it concerned them, was evidenced to be of God. 
Partly, by the evidence of the doctrine itself, which had God's impress 
and stamp upon it ; and to minds unprejudiced did commend itself to 
their consciences, 2 Cor. iv. 2-4 ; and partly, by the power and presence 
of God with them, Acts v. 31, 32, and 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5 ; per modum effi- 
cientis causes et per modum argumenti, enlightening the mind, per 
suading the heart, outwardly by miracles, inwardly by the operation 
of the Holy Ghost. The objective testimony was made up of both, 
the internal sanctifying work and the external confirmation by mir 
acles ; for it is said, 2 Cor. iii. 3, ' They were the epistle of Christ 
prepared by their ministry, written not with ink, but the Spirit of the 
living God.' He writeth the law upon the heart, Heb. viii. 10, and 
Jer. xxxi. 33 ; as it was the ministration of the Spirit, and carried a 
sanctifying virtue along with it, that their faith might be grounded 
upon the authority of God, opening their heart to receive the word, 
Acts xvi. 14. Now the ordinary ministers, the truth of their doctrine 
is evidenced by its conformity to the direction of the prophets and 
apostles : Isa. viii. 20, ' To the law and to the testimony, if they speak 
not according to this word, there is no light in them.' That is the 
standard and measure by which all doctrines must be tried to prevent 
the obstructions of error. Well then, though other doctrine be brought 
to us by men, yet our faith standeth not in the wisdom of men, but in 
the power of God ; it must be resolved into a divine testimony ; 
though men bring it, yet God is the author ; what the ambassador 
saith, the king saith, if he be true to his commission ; and therefore 
this word of reconciliation must be received as the word of God. 
When you come to an ordinance, the awe of God must be upon your 
hearts : Acts x. 33, ' We are all here before thee, to hear all things 
commanded thee of God.' 

2. Eespect. They speak in God's name, and in God's stead, as if 
God were beseeching, and Christ calling upon you : Luke x. 16, ' He 
that despiseth you despiseth me ; and he that despiseth me despiseth 
him that sent me ; ' it is Christ maketh the request for your hearts ; 
the Father sent him, and he us. It is a wonder, that after so much 
evidence of the Christian faith, and the world hath had such sufficient 
trial of its goodness, efficacy, and power, any should suspect the voice 
of God speaking in the scriptures ; but it is a greater wonder, that 
believing the scriptures to be the voice of God, and the testimony of 
God, we should so slight it, and carry ourselves so neglectfully in a 
business of such importance ; as if either we suspected what we profess 
to believe, or the hatred and love of God were such inconsiderable 
things, that we did not much consider the one nor the other. If an 
oracle from heaven should warn you of danger, bid you seek the peace 
of God, or you are undone for ever, would not you seriously address 
yourselves to this business? God doth by us beseech you, we in 
Christ's stead pray you to be reconciled. It is God's word that we 
hear and God's message that is sent to you. As Peter prescribeth 
ministers to speak as the oracles of God, 1 Peter iv. 11 ; so you must 
hear as the word of God ought to be heard, with reverence, and atten 
tion, and serious regard, as if God and Christ himself had spoken to 
you to press you to it. This word which you hear slightly, as it is 


the testimony of God to you, so one day it will be the testimony of 
God against you ; this word shall judge you, John xii. 48. It doth 
not fall to the ground, but will be produced as a witness against your 
negligence and carelessness. 

Thirdly, The manner. Here is beseeching and praying in and by 
his ministry which God hath instituted ; God cometh down from the 
throne of his sovereignty, and speaketh supplications. We must treat 
with men after the manner of Christ, when he was here upon earth, 
calling sinners to repentance with all the affectionate importunity 

1. With love and sweetness ; the manner must suit with the matter. 
We have an authority to exhort, yet in regard of the rich grace we 
offer, we must beseech and entreat with all gentleness and importunity. 
Paul in a like case doth the like elsewhere : Rom. xii. 1, ' I beseech you, 
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living 
sacrifice.' Church power and civil power differ much. They go 
altogether by way of injunction and command, we must beseech ; they 
compel, we must persuade. The power of Christ's ambassadors is a 
ministry not a domination ; we are to deal with the will and the affec 
tions of men, which may be moved and inclined, but not constrained. 
Again, there is a difference between the law and the gospel ; the law 
doth not beseech, but only command and threaten : ' You shall have 
no other gods before me : ' Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven 
image, &c.' ; but we, as in Christ's stead, pray you to be reconciled. The 
law is peremptory, ' I am the Lord ; ' the gospel wooeth before it 
winneth, and reasoneth with us. The gospel being a charter of God's 
love, we must use a dispensation suitable, invite men to God in a loving 
sweet way ; and surely, if men despise God's still voice, their condem 
nation will be very just. When Nabal slighted David's kind message, 
he marched against him in fury, 1 Sam. xxv. 13, 14, to cut off all that 
belonged to him. If we despise the still voice, we must expect the 
whirlwind, ' I stretched out my hands, and no man regarded,' Prov. i. 
24, ' I will laugh at their calamity.' How can we expect that God 
should hear our prayers, if we be deaf to his requests ; and when we in 
his stead pray you to be reconciled, and still you refuse to hear ? 

2. Meekness and patience. Praying and beseeching doth not only 
note meekness in the proposal, but perseverance also, notwithstanding 
the many delays and repulses, yea rough entertainment, that we meet 
with at the hands of sinners : 2 Tim. ii. 25, ' In meekness instructing 
those that oppose themselves, if peradventure God will give them re 
pentance to the acknowledgment of the truth, that they may recover 
themselves out of the snare of the devil.' One reason why God will 
make use of the ministry of men is because they know the heart of 
man, how much he is wedded to his folly, how angry he is to be put 
out of his fool's paradise, and to be disturbed in his carnal happiness : 
Titus iii. 2, 3, ' Showing meekness to all men, for we ourselves were 
sometimes foolish and disobedient, serving divers lusts and pleasures.' 
And therefore we must wait, exhort, warn, and still behave ourselves 
with much love and gentleness, that compassion to souls may bear the 
chief rule in our dealing with them. 

Fourthly, The matter: 'Be reconciled to God.' We have heard 


much of the way of God's reconciliation with us ; now let us speak of 
our reconciliation with God, what is to be done on man's part. 

1. Let us accept of the reconciliation offered by God. Our great 
business is to receive this grace so freely tendered to us : 2 Cor. vi. 1, 
' We, as workers together with him, beseech you not to receive this 
grace in vain,' that is, by a firm assent, believing the truth of it ; 1 
Tim. i. 15, ' This is a true and faithful saying, and worthy of all 
acceptation/ and Eph. i. 13 ; ' For God hath sent forth Christ to be a 
propitiation through faith in his blood/ Rom. iii. 25. And thankfully 
esteeming and prizing the benefit, for our acceptance is an election and 
choice : Phil. iii. 8, 9, ' I count all things to be dung and dross for the 
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ; ' Mat. xiii. 45, 
46, ' And having found one goodly pearl of great price, he sold all and 
bought it/ depending upon the merit, worth, and value of it ; 2 Tim. i. 
12, ' I know in whom I have believed/ And venturing our souls and 
our eternal interests in this bottom, sue out this grace with this con 
fidence, Ps. xxvii. 3, ' One thing have I desired of the Lord, and that 
I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of God for ever.' 

2. We must accept it in the way God hath appointed, by performing 
the duties required on our part. What are they ? Repentance is the 
general word, as faith is our acceptance. In it there is included 

[1.] An humble confession of our former sinfulness and rebellion 
against God. I have been a grievous sinner, a rebel, and an enemy to 
God, and this to the grief and shame of his heart : Jer. iii. 13, ' I am 
merciful, and will not keep anger for ever ; only acknowledge thine 
iniquity which thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and 
disobeyed my voice, saith the Lord ; ' and 1 John i. 9, ' If we confess 
nnd forsake our sins, he is just and faithful to forgive us our sins.' 
When they begged the favour of the king of Israel, they came with 
ropes about their necks, 1 Kings xx. 31. The creature must return 
to his duty to God, in a posture of humiliation and unfeigned sorrow 
for former offences. 

[2.] We must lay aside our enmity, and resolve to abstain from all 
offences which may alienate God from us. If we have any reserve, we 
draw nigh to God with a treacherous heart, to live like rebels under a 
pretence of a friendship : Heb. x. 22, ' Let us draw nigh with a true 
heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an 
evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water ; ' and Job 
xxxiv. 31, 32, ' Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne 
chastisement, I will not offend any more. That which I see not teach 
thou me ; if I have done iniquity, I will do so no more.' Unless you 
put away the evil of your doings, the anger continueth ; and it is in 
consistent with a gracious estate to continue in any known sin without 
serious endeavours against it. ' What peace as long as the whoredoms 
of thy mother Jezebel remaineth ? ' 

[3.] We must enter into covenant with God, and devote ourselves to 
become his : 2 Chron. xxx. 8, ' Yield yourselves unto the Lord ; ' and 
Rom. vi. 13, ' But yield yourselves unto God.' There must be an 
entire resignation and giving up ourselves to be governed and ordered 
by him at his will and pleasure : Acts ix. 6, ' Lord, what wilt thou 
have me to do ? ' Give up the keys of the heart, renouncing all 


beloved sins. We then, depending upon the merit of his sacrifice, put 
ourselves under the conduct of his word and Spirit, and resolve to use 
all the appointed means in order to our full recovery and return to 

3. Our being reconciled to God implieth our loving God, who loved 
us first, 1 John iv. 19. For the reconciliation is never perfect, till 
there be a hearty love to God ; there is a grudge still remaining with 
us ; faith begets love, Gal. v. 6. Eepentance is the first expression of 
our love ; the sorrowing, humbling part of it is mourning love ; the 
covenanting part, either in renouncing, is love, abhorring that which is 
contrary to our friendship, into which we are entered with God ; the 
devoting part is love, aiming at the glory of him who hath been so 
good. All our after-carriage is love, endeavouring to please. You 
will never have rest for your souls till you submit to this course, and 
be in this manner at peace with God: Mat. xi. 28, 29, ' Take my yoke 
upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly, and you shall 
find rest for your souls ; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' 
God complaineth of his people by the prophet, that ' they forget their 
resting-place,' Jer. 1. 6. Men seek peace where it is not to be found, 
try this creature and that, but still meet with vanity and vexation of 
spirit ; like feverish persons, who seek ease in the change of their 


Noiu then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as iliougli God did beseecJi 
you by us : we pi-ay you in Christ's stead, be reconciled to God. 
2 COR. v. 20. 

Doct. The great business of the ministers of the gospel is to persuade 
men to reconciliation with God. 

Use. Let me enter upon this work now (1.) To sinners. (2.) To 
those reconciled already, as these were to whom he wrote ; he presseth 
them further to reconcile themselves to God. 

First, To sinners. 

Will you be reconciled to God, sinners ? Here I shall show you 
(1.) The necessity of reconciliation. (2.) God's condescension in this 
business. (3.) The value and worth of the privilege. (4.) The great 
dishonour we do to God in refusing it. 

1. The first motive is the necessity of being reconciled, by reason of 
the enmity between God and us : Col. i. 21, ' And you that were some 
times alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now 
hath he reconciled.' We are enemies to God, and God is an enemy to 
us. I shall prove both : the one to convince, the other to excite and 
rouse us up. By sin man is an enemy to God, and hateth him. As to 
the punishment, God is an enemy to man, and will avenge himself upon 
him. What greater sin than to be enemies to God ? What greater 
misery than that God should be an enemy to us ? Surely where both 


these are joined, it should awaken us, and we should get out of this 
condition as fast as we can. 

[1.] We are enemies and rebels to God. In our natural estate, we 
are all so ; we will not own this, and are ready to defy any that should 
say we are God's enemies or haters of God ; we count him to be a 
most profligate and forlorn wretch, that should profess himself to be 
so. That little spark of conscience, that is left in corrupt nature, will 
not suffer men openly to own themselves to be so ; they are ready to 
say as Hazael, ' Is thy servant a dog, that I should do this thing ? ' 
Yet the matter is clear ; we are in our natural estate enemies to God. 

(1.) It is possible that human nature may be so far forsaken, as that 
among men there should be found haters of God and enemies to him : 
Bom. i. 30, OeoaTvyeis, ' Haters of God ; ' and Ps. cxxxix. 21, 
' Do not I hate them, Lord, that hate thee ? ' There are an opposite 
party to God in the world, some that hate him, as well as some that 
love him ; some that walk contrary to him, that oppose his interest, 
oppress his servants : Ps. Ixxxiii. 2, ' They that hate thee are risen 
up against us without a cause.' The thing is possible then ; all the 
business is to find who they are. 

(2.) There are open enemies to God, and secret enemies. The open 
enemies are such as bid defiance to him, blaspheming his name and 
breaking his laws, opposing his interests and oppressing his servants. 
The open enmity is declared ; the secret is carried on under a pretence 
of friendship, by their living in the church, and having a form of 
godliness, and a blind zeal, John xvi. 2. Not only Turks, and infidels, 
and apostates, but also profane wretches, though they live within the 
verge of the church, yet if they go on still in their trespasses, Ps. Ixviii. 
21, ' But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp 
of all those that go on in their trespasses ; ' if they oppose whatsoever 
of God is set a-foot in their days, they are Oeopaxpi, Acts v, 39, 
* Fighters against God ; ' and Acts xxiii. 9, ' Let us not fight against 
God/ Or if they oppose his servants, if they be not lovers of those 
which are good, 2 Tim. iii. 3, a^Ouiyadot,, 'despisers of thoso 
which are good.' God and his people have one common interest. 
Those that malign his servants hate him ; for they hate his image, 
Prov. xxix. 27, ' The upright in his way is an abomination to the 
wicked/ There is a secret rising of heart against those that are 
stricter, and have more of the image of God, than they ; there is an old 
enmity between the seeds, as between the raven and the dove, the 
wolf and the lamb ; now this is enmity against God. 

(3.) There are enemies to God directly and formally ; and implicitly 
and by interpretation. Directly and formally, where there is a positive 
enmity against God, whether secret or open. The expressions of the 
open enmity against God have been already mentioned, a hatred of his 
ways and a rage against his servants ; the secret positive enmity is 
seen in the effect of slavish fear, which only apprehended God as an 
avenger of sin ; and so men hate those whom they fear. We have 
wronged God exceedingly, and know that he will call us to an account ; 
and being sensible of a revenge, we hate him. All that are afraid of 
God, with such a fear as hath torment in it, aut extinction Deum 
cupiunt, aut cxarmatum ; it is a pleasing thought to them if no God, 


Ps. xiv. 1, 'The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.' As the 
devils tremble at their own thoughts of God, it would be welcome 
news to them, if there were none ; these are enemies directly and for 
mally. But now by interpretation, that will make us more work ; 
certainly there is such a thing as hatred by interpretation, as appeareth,. 
Prov. viii. 36, ' He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul : 
all that hate me love death.' So where it is said, ' He that spareth 
the rod hateth his son,' Prov. xiii. 24. His fault is fond indulgence r 
but a wrong love is an interpretative hatred. Now apply it to the case 
between us and God ; and those that pretend no such thing can be 
charged upon them, may yet hate God. Three ways we may be guilty 
of this interpretative hatred and enmity. 

(1st.) If we love not God at all ; for not to love is to hate. In things 
worthy to be loved there is no medium ; for he that is not with God 
is against him, Mat. xii. 30 ; and he that loveth him not hateth him. 
To be a neuter is to be a rebel ; and you speak all manner of misery 
to that man of whom you may say, ' that he loveth not God.' So 
Christ brandeth his enemies : John v. 42, ' But I know you, that ye 
have not the love of God in you.' They pleaded zeal for the sabbath r 
and opposed Christ for working a miracle on that day. Men are in a 
woful condition if they be void of the true love of God, love being the 
fountain of desiring communion with God, and the root of all sound 
obedience to him ; and certainly if men love not God, being so deeply 
engaged, and God so deserving their love, they hate him and are 
enemies to him, there being no neutral or middle estate : 1 Cor. xvi. 
22, ' If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema 
Maranatha.' It is danger enough not to love him, though we break 
not out into open opposition against his ways. 

(2c%.) If we love him not so much as we ought to do, or not so much 
as we love some other thing ; for a lesser love is hatred in the sacred 
dialect, as we see in the law of the hated wife, not that the one was 
not loved at all or absolutely hated, but not loved so much as the others, 
Deut. xxi. 15, 16 ; so in that proverb, Prov. xiv. 20, ' The poor is 
hated even of his own neighbour, but the rich hath many friends.' 
There hatred is taken for slighting, or a less degree of love; so in this 
case between us and God, Mat. x. 37, ' He that loveth father or mother 
more than me is not worthy of me ; ' in Luke it is said, Luke xiv. 26, 
' If any man hate not father and mother, and brother and sisters, he 
cannot be my disciple.' Here to love less is to hate ; so Mat. vi. 24, 
' No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and 
love the other, or he will hold to the one, and despise the other ; ye 
cannot serve God and mammon/ God is of that excellent nature, that 
to esteem anything above him or equal with him is to hate him. Now 
because men love the world, and the things of the world as well, yea 
more than God, they hate him, and are enemies to him. Now all car 
nal men are guilty of this, 2 Tim. iii. 4, ' Lovers of pleasure more than 
lovers of God,' <j>t\r)Sovat, pa\\ov rj <f>t\60eoi ; and therefore it is 
positively said, James iv. 4, ' That the friendship of the world is enmity 
with God ; and whosoever is a friend of the world is an enemy to God.' 
Oh ! that men would look upon things as the scripture expresseth 
them ; that the love of the world is the highest contempt and affront 


which can be offered to God. In comparison of our love to him, all the 
pleasures and contentments of the world should be hated, rather than 
loved. So far as we set our hearts upon these things, so far they are 
deadened and estranged from God, and God is easily parted with for 
the world's sake. If a father should come to a child and say, If you 
love such a young man or woman, you cannot love me, and I shall take 
you for my utter enemy, would not any ingenuous child, rather than 
be an enemy to his father, part with his vain and enticing company ? 

(3c%.) By interpretation still we are said to hate God and to be 
enemies to him, if we rebel against his laws, and love what God hateth : 
so, ' The carnal mind is said to be enmity to God, because it is not sub 
ject to the law of God,' Rom. viii. 7. Love is determined by obedience, 
1 John v. 3, and hatred by disobedience : ' That hate me, and keep not 
my commandments.' We apprehend God standeth in the way of our 
desires, because we cannot enjoy our lusts with that freedom and 
security, as we might otherwise, were it not for his law ; we hate God, 
because he commandeth that which we cannot and will not do ; there 
fore an impenitent^ person and an enemy to God are equivalent 

(4.) There is a twofold hatred: Odium abominationis and odium 
inimicitice, the hatred of abomination and the hatred of enmity ; the 
one is opposite to the love of goodwill, the other to the love of com 
placency : Prov. xxix. 27, ' The wicked is an abomination to the 
righteous.' He hateth not his neighbour with the hatred of enmity, so 
as to seek his destruction, but with the hatred of offence, so as not to 
delight in him as wicked. In opposition to the love of complacency, 
we may hate our sinful neighbour, as we must ourselves much more ; 
but in opposition to the love of benevolence, we must neither hate our 
neighbour, nor our enemy, nor ourselves. Apply this now to the case 
between God and us : it will be hard to excuse any carnal men from 
either hatred, certainly not from the hatred of offence or abomination, 
there being such an unsuitableness and dissimilitude between God and 
them. In pure nature we were created after his image, and then we 
delighted in him, but when we lost our first nature, we lost our first 
love, for love is grounded upon likeness : $i\ov KaXov^ev OJJLOIOV o/Wo> 
/car' aperrjv ; we love those that have like affections, especially in a 
good thing. Now there being such a dissimilitude between God and 
us, we love what he hateth, and hate what he loveth ; therefore how 
can there choose but be hatred between us ? How can we delight in 
a holy God, and a God of pure eyes delight in filthy creatures ? What 
can carnal man see lovely in God ? Zech. xi. 8, ' My soul loathed them, 
and their soul abhorred me.' And therefore from this hatred of loath 
ing, offence, and abomination, none can excuse them. Till they come 
to hate what God hateth, and love what God loveth, there is still the 
hatred of offence : Prov. viii. 13, ' The fear of the Lord is to hate evil,' 
<fec. And for the hatred of enmity, which is an endeavour to do mis 
chief, and seeketh the destruction of the thing hated, we cannot excuse 
the wicked from that neither, for there is a secret positive enmity, as 
you have heard before. 

(5.) God's enemies carry on a twofold war against God, offensive 
and defensive. 


(1st.) The offensive war is when men rebel against God's laws, and 
seek to beat down his interest in the world, and employ their faculties, 
mercies, and comforts as weapons of unrighteousness against God : 
Kom. vi. 13, ' Yield not your members as instruments of unrighteous 
ness unto sin, oVXa, or weapons, but yield yourselves unto God, as 
those that are alive from the dead, and your members as weapons of 
righteousness unto God,' Our faculties, talents, interests, are employed 
either as armour of light for God, or as weapons of unrighteousness 
against God. And warring Satan's warfare I call the offensive war 
against God. 

(2dly.) The defensive war is when we slight his word, and resist the 
motions of his Spirit, Acts vii. 51 . When God bringeth his spiritual 
artillery to batter down all that lifteth up itself against the obedience 
of Christ, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5, he layeth siege to their hearts, and battereth 
them daily by the rebukes, and the motions of his Spirit ; yet men will 
not yield the fortress, but stand it out to the last, and delight to go on 
in their natural corruption, and will not have Christ to reign over 
them ; and so they increase their enmity, and double their misery, by 
a resistance of grace. So that they are rebels not only against the law, 
but the gospel, and stand out against their own mercies ; as they are 
enemies to an earthly prince, that not only molest him with continual 
inroads and incursions, but those also that keep his towns against him. 
Well then, all this that is said showeth; that though men do not break 
out into open acts of hostility against God, yet they may hate him, be 
enemies to him. Though they may not be professed infidels, yet secret 
enemies, under a show of respect to his religion, enemies by interpre 
tation, as they love him not, or love him less, or impenitently continue 
in a course of disobedience. If they seek not the destruction of God's 
interest in the world, yet their soul loatheth God ; the thoughts of his 
being are a trouble to them ; and they do not walk in his ways, nor will 
not be reclaimed from their folly by any of his entreaties. 

[2.] Now let me prove, that God is an enemy to a carnal man or 
man defiled with sin. He is so, though he doth not stir up all his 
wrath, though he bestoweth many favours upon us in the blessings of 
this life ; he is so, though he useth much patience towards us ; he is 
so, though he vouchsafeth us many tenders of grace to reclaim us. 
All these things may consist with the wrath of God ; he is so, what 
ever purposes of grace, or secret good-will he may bear to any of us 
from everlasting ; for our condition is to be determined by the sentence 
of his law, and there we are children of wrath even as others, Eph. vi. 
3 ; liable to the stroke of his eternal vengeance : Ps. v. 5, ' Thou hatest 
all the workers of iniquity.' They can look upon themselves as only 
objects of his wrath and hatred. Now this hatred and enmity of God 
is seen, partly as all commerce is cut off between God and them ; 
Isa. lix. 2, ' Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, 
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear ; ' so 
that he will not hold communion with us in the Spirit. Partly, in 
that he doth often declare his displeasure against our sins : Rom. i. 18, 
' For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness 
and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness ; ' 
and Heb. ii. 2, ' Every transgression, and every disobedience received 


a just recompense of reward.' Every commandment hath its trophies, 
to show that God hath gotten the best of sinners ; some are smitten 
because they love not God, and put not their trust in him ; some, for 
false worship ; some, for blaspheming his name, and profaning his 
day. Sometimes he maketh inquisition for blood, sometimes for 
disobedience to parents and governors ; by these instances God 
showeth, that he is at war with sinners. It may be the greatest 
expression of God's auger, if he doth not check us and suffer us to go 
on in our sins : Hosea iv. 17, ' Ephraim is joined to idols, let him 
alone ; ' word, providence, conscience, let him alone : Ps. Ixxxi. 12, ' So 
I gave them up to their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their 
own counsels.' It is the greatest misery of all to be left to our own 
choices ; but however it be, whether God strike or forbear, the Lord 
is already in battle array, proclaiming the war against us : Ps. vii. 
11, 12, 'God is angry with the wicked every day; if he turn not, he 
will whet his sword ; he hath bent his bow, and will make it ready : 
He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death. He hath 
ordained his arrows against the persecutors.' God's justice, though it 
doth for a while spare the wicked, yet it doth not lie idle; every day 
they are a-preparing and a-fatting. As all things work together for 
good to them that love God ; so all things are working for the final 
perdition of the obstinately impenitent: God can deal with them 
eminus, at a distance, he hath his arrows ; cominus, hand to hand, 
he hath his sword ; he is bending his bow, whetting his sword. Now 
when God falleth upon us, what shall we do ? Can we come and 
make good our party against him ? Alas, how soon is a poor creature 
overwhelmed, if the Lord of hosts arm the humours of our own 
bodies, or our thoughts against us ? If a spark of his wrath light 
into the conscience, how soon is a man made a burden and a terror 
to himself ? God will surely be too hard for us : Job ix. 4, ' Who 
ever hardened his heart against God and prospered ? ' What can we 
get by contending with the Lord ? One frown of his is enough to 
undo us to all eternity. Can Satan benefit you? The devil that 
giveth you counsel against God, can he secure you against the 
strokes of his vengeance ? No, he himself is fallen under the weight 
of God's displeasure and holden in chains of darkness unto the 
judgment of the great day; therefore think of it while God is but 
bending his bow, and whetting his sword. The arrows are not yet 
shot out of the terrible bow, the sword is but yet a-whetting, it is 
not brandished against us ; after these fair and treatable warnings 
we are undone for ever, if we turn not speedily ; it is no time to dally 
with God. We read, Luke xiv. 31, of a king that had but ten 
thousand, and another coming against him with twenty thousand : 
what doth he do ? ' While he is yet a great way off, he sendeth an 
embassy, and desireth conditions of peace.' You are no match for 
God ; it is no time to dally or tarry, till the judgment tread upon our 
heels, or the storm and tempest of his wrath break out upon us. The 
time of his patience will not always last, and we are every day a step 
nearer to eternity. How can a man sleep in his sins, that is upon the 
very brink of hell and everlasting destruction ? Certainly a change 
must come, and in the ordinary course of nature we have but a little 


time to spend in the world ; therefore since the avenger of blood is at 
our heels, let us take sanctuary at the Lord's grace, and run for refuge 
to the hope of the gospel, Heb. vi. 18, and make our peace ere it be too 
late. Cry, Quarter, as to one that is ready to strike : Isa. xxvii. 5, 
' Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me, 
and he shall make peace with me.' This is the first motive. 
2. God's condescension in this business. 

[1.] That he being so glorious, the person offended, who hath no 
need of us, should seek reconciliation : it is such a wonder for God to 
offer, that it should be the more shame for us to deny. For us to sue 
for reconciliation, or ask conditions of peace, that is no wonder, no 
more than it is for a condemned malefactor to beg a pardon ; but for 
God to begin, there is the wonder. If God hath been in Christ recon 
ciling the world to himself, then we may pray you to be reconciled. 
And surely you should not refuse the motion ; we did the wrong, and 
God is our superior, and hath no need of us. Men will submit, when 
their interest leadeth them to it, Acts xii. 20, ' They desired peace, 
because their country was nourished by the king's country.' We 
should make the motion, for we cannot subsist without him. What 
is there in man, that God should regard his enmity, or seek his 
friendship? He suffereth no loss by the fallen creature, angels, or 
men ; why then is there so much ado about us ? He was happy 
enough before there was any creature, and would still be happy with 
out them. Surely thy enmity or amity is nothing to God ; surely for 
us to be cross, and not to mind this, is a strange obstinacy. Men treat 
when their force is broken, when they can carry out their opposition 
no longer, but God, who is so powerful, so little concerned in what 
we do, he prayeth you to be reconciled. 

[2.] In that he would lay the foundation of this treaty in the death 
of his Son: Col. i. 21, 'lie hath reconciled us in the body of his 
flesh through death ; ' therefore, ' we pray you to be reconciled/ God, 
to secure his own honour, to make it more comfortable to us, would 
not be appeased without satisfaction. Though his nature inclined him 
to mercy, yet he would not hear of it till his justice were answered, 
that we might have nothing to perplex our consolation, and that we 
might have an incomparable demonstration of his hatred against sin, 
and so an help to sanctification. He would have our satisfaction and 
debt paid by him who could not but pay it with overplus. Since he 
hath not spared his only Son, we know how much he loveth us, and 
hateth sin. Oh ! woe unto us if now, after God hath been at such a 
great deal of cost, we should slight the motion ; angels wonder at what 
you slight, 1 Peter i. 12. Shall the blood of Christ run a-wasting ? 
Mind the business I pray you. God hath laid out all his wisdom 
upon it, and will not you take it into your thoughts ? God's heart was 
much set upon it, or else he would never have given his Son to bring 
it about. It is the folly of man to part with things of worth for 
trifles ; as Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, Lysimachus 
his kingdom for a draught of water. Surely we cannot imagine this 
of the wise God ; when he hath been at such expense, it is not for a 
matter of nothing ; therefore we should the more regard it. 

[3.] In that he hath appointed a ministry of reconciliation, and 


authorised some as solemn messengers to tender this grace to us in 
his name ; therefore, ' as ambassadors for Christ, we pray you in 
Christ's stead, he ye reconciled to God.' God might have contented 
himself with putting his thoughts into scripture, and given us the 
word and doctrine of reconciliation only ; and truly that is a great 
mercy. Heathens are left to the puzzle and distraction of their own 
thoughts, and know not how God shall be appeased ; but because that 
blessed book may possibly lie by as a neglected thing, he will have 
some that shall put us in mind daily of his design of saving the world 
by Christ. If he would send messengers, he might have sent heralds 
to proclaim war, but he hath sent ambassadors of peace. Surely upon 
this account we should be welcome to you : Isa. Hi. 7, ' How beautiful 
upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, 
that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good, that pub- 
lisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth ; ' how dirty 
soever their feet be with the journey. Our message is not to require 
satisfaction for the wrongs done to the crown of heaven or to denounce 
war, but a matter of peace ; not only to beg a correspondency of traffic, 
but a treaty about marriage, and so to enter into the strictest amity 
with God ; ' Even that you may be married unto Christ, to bring 
forth fruit unto God/ Bom. vii. 4. Yet farther, 

[4.] These messengers are under a charge to manage God's message 
with all wisdom and faithfulness, and diligence, Mark xvi. 15, 16, to 
preach the gospel to every creature, to rich and poor, learned and un 
learned. And woe be to them if they be not diligent, warning every man, 
and teaching every man, that they may present every man perfect in 
Christ Jesus, Col. i. 28. Christ hath conjured them by all their love to his 
person to do it, John xxi. 15, 16, ' Feed my sheep, feed my lambs.' If 
we have any respect to our Lord, we must be diligent in offering peace to 
all that are willing to repent and believe. This work is seriously 
commended to us ; ye profess to be my servants, and therefore by all 
the love you have to me, I conjure you, I shall not take it that you 
love me, if you have not a care of my sheep and my lambs. You 
know the temptations, prejudices, and hatred of those you have to do 
with ; therefore pray them to be reconciled. And 

[5.] Consider the terms which God requireth, which are only that we 
we should render ourselves capable of his favour, by entering into cove 
nant with him. On God's part all things are ready ; now we pray you to 
be reconciled ; that is, do you enter into covenant with him. God in the 
covenant is our friend. Abraham is called the friend of God, James ii. 
23 ; 2 Chron. xx. 7, ' Thou gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend 
for ever ; ' Isa. xli. 8, ' The seed of Abraham my friend.' Abraham was 
God's confederate, and they loved entirely, as one friend doth another. 
In the covenant you take God for your God, and God taketh you for 
his people ; you enter into a league offensive and defensive, to hate 
what God hateth, and to love what God loveth ; God promiseth and 
engageth to bless, and you to obey. 

3. The value of this privilege ; it is worth the having. What do we 
plead with you about, but the favour of God and reconciliation with 
him by Christ? God found out the way ; Christ purchased it ; the 
angels first published it, Luke ii. 14. There are many privileges 


depend upon it, as ; (1.) Sanctifying grace. God, being propitiated in 
Christ, giveth us the first grace, and causeth us to repent and believe 
in Christ ; for on the behalf of Christ, it is given us to believe, Phil, 
i. 29, and the regenerating Spirit is shed upon us by Christ. Now 
when we repent and believe, we are made capable of more of the 
sanctifying Spirit, Acts ii. 38. The Holy Ghost is given to them that