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

Wgrliflfc Otolfoj* 



EASTER. 1906 


Shelf No. 


Reg^erNo. 16 J tf J 







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. 

General 4?bitor. 













Epistle Dedicatory, ...... 3 

Preface, ....... 5 

Sermon upon Matthew xxii. 11-13, . . . 11 

A Fast Sermon Preached before the Parliament, Amos iv. 12, 23 


Sermon I. " For the grace of God that bringeth salvation," &c., 73 

II. " Hath appeared unto all men, M ... 54 

III. " Teaching us that, denying ungodliness," &c., . 68 

IV. "That denying ungodliness," &c., . . . 78 
V. "And worldly lusts," &c., ... 90 

VI. " And worldly lusts," &c., .... 105 
VII. " We might live soberly," &c., . . .118 

VIII. "We might live soberly," &c., . 130 

IX. " Righteously," &c., .... 143 

X. "And godly," &c., .... 152 

XI. " In this present world," . . . .164 

XIL " Looking for that blessed hope," &c., . . 172 

XIIL " Looking for that blessed hope," &c., . . 181 

XIV. " That blessed hope," &c., .... 188 

XV. " That blessed hope," &c., ... 198 

XVI. " And the glorious appearing," &c., . . 207 



SERMONS UPON TITUS ii. 11-14 Continued. 

Sermon XVII. " And the glorious appearing," &c., . . 218 

XVIII. " Of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ," 230 

XIX. Who gave himself for us," &c., . . 240 
XX. "That he might redeem us from all iniquity," 

&c., . .... 250 
XXI. " And purifying unto himself a peculiar people," 

&c., 260 

XXIL "Zealous of good works," . . .275 


Sermon I. " That by two immutable things, in which it was 

impossible for God to lie," &c., . . 293 

II. " That by two immutable things," &c., . . 303 

III. " We might have strong consolation," &c., . 314 

IV. " We might have strong consolation," &c., . 325 
V. " Who have fled for refuge," &c., . . 334 


Sermon I. " Let not your heart be troubled," <fec., . . 345 

II. "Let not your heart be troubled/' &c., . . 352 


Sermon I. "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him 

shall be much required," &c., . . 363 

II. " For unto whomsoever," &c., . . . 374 

SERMON UPON DEUTERONOMY xxxii. 51, . . .387 

SERMON UPON ACTS xvii. 30, 31, .... 397 


Sermon I. "And when he was gone forth into the way, 
there came one running, and kneeled down to 
him, and asked him, saying, Good master, what 
shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ? " 409 



SERMONS UPON MAKK x. 17-27 Continued. 

Sermon II. " And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou 

megood?"&c., . . . .421 

III. " Thou knowest the commandments," &c., . 433 

IV. " And he answered and said unto him, Master," 

&c., 444 

V. " Now Jesus, beholding him, loved him," &c., . 456 

VI. One thing thou lackest," &c., . . .468 

VII. " And come, take up the cross, and follow me," . 482 






Wharton, in the County of Westmoreland. 

MY LORD, It is not from the common custom and reasons of dedica 
tions of books to persons eminent for greatness and piety, viz., to 
recommend an obscure author, or to set off a mean work, that your 
lordship's name is inscribed to these sermons. The author of them, the 
late Keverend Dr Thomas Manton, was a star of the first magnitude 
in our horizon, and his works praise him in the gate ; and though the 
ensuing sermons are far short of that politeness and exactness that they 
would have had if they had passed his own finishing hand, yet, such as 
they are, they plainly show their author. He was a workman that 
needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth ; he was 
a faithful labourer in God's vineyard ; and though his preaching was 
so constant, yet in all his sermons may be observed that solidness of 
judgment, exactness of method, fulness of matter, strength of argument, 
persuasive elegancy, together with such a serious vein of piety running 
through the whole, as few have come near him, but none have excelled 

Your lordship had the opportunity of an intimate acquaintance with 
him, and the advantage of sitting under his ministry for many years, in 
whose light you greatly rejoiced, while God continued him with us ; 
and when he was pleased to remove him by death, the afflictive sense 
you had of that great and public, as well as your own private loss, 
showed the high value and esteem you had of him. But your respects 
to him were riot buried in his grave, but have been upon all occasions 
ever since shown to his surviving relations, who desire hereby to make 
their public acknowledgments of your lordship's signal favours to 
them. And I beg your lordship, upon this occasion, to give me leave 
to make the like acknowledgments of that support, countenance and 
respects I have had from your lordship for above sixteen years I have 
been your chaplain ; since it was by the means of this author that I 
had the honour of being taken into your lordship's family. 

My Lord, God hath set your lordship in a very high and honourable 
station, in which you have shined as a light upon a hill. And as he hath 
given you great opportunities, so he hath also given you a large heart to 
serve him ; and this hath given you a large room in the hearts of those 
that fear God, and hath made your name to be truly great and honour 
able. How amiable a thing is it to see greatness and goodness in con- 


junction ! But alas ! how rare are the instances of it in this degenerate 
age ! How few great ones are there that countenance despised religion ! 
But still, when it hath been under the greatest discouragements, your 
lordship hath publicly owned the ways of God, your house hath been 
always open to his faithful ministers, and your interest hath always been 
improved for promoting the interest of the gospel. 

God hath lengthened out your life to a good old age ; and that he 
may yet prolong your life for further service to his name and interest, 
is the prayer of all those who know your steady and unshaken adherence 
to the principles you have owned. It hath pleased the wise God to 
exercise you with various troubles in your declining years, in the death 
of many of your nearest relations, especially in the late wide breach he 
hath made in your family by taking away your religious lady, whose 
extraordinary endowments of mind, exemplary piety, and singular use 
fulness, made her justly dear to you, and admired by all that knew her. 
Such a trial as this would shock an ordinary and common patience and 
constancy of mind ; yet God, by the supports of his grace, hath enabled 
you to bear it. This amazing stroke is a loud call from God to a recess 
from this world, now the less desirable, because so dear a part of your 
self is removed out of it ; and to a preparation for a better state, to 
which she is gone, and your lordship is hastening. How pleasant will 
the meeting be, when you shall again see each other, and know and 
love one another in a better manner than in this world you could ! when 
all those frailties and infirmities, which give sometimes a little inter 
ruption to the comfort of the nearest relations, in this state of weakness 
and mortality, shall be fully done away ! 

In the meantime, that God would strengthen your lordship's faith 
and patience, that he would increase and multiply his blessings, tem 
poral and spiritual, on your lordship, and all the branches of your noble 
family, and that he would reward all that labour of love that you have 
shown to his servant's name and interest, with an eternal weight of 
glory, is the daily prayer of, right honourable, your lordship's most 
obedient and faithful servant and chaplain, 


February 6, 169 J. 


CHRISTIAN KEADEII, It is a singular instance of the divine providence 
that he should call home the labourers to rest and reward, while yet 
their labours are employed in the vineyard. The Keverend Dr Manton 
now rests from his labours ; the comfort and conscience of his works 
follow him, but the usefulness of them yet abides with us. This 
mantle dropped from our prophet when he was taken up, and we hope 
the good Spirit will convey by it a double portion of grace to us who 
are left behind. 

Let it not affright thee, reader, to hear a dead saint speak, a dead 
minister preach ; for it is the same spirit of life and power which once 
breathed from the pulpit that now breathes from the press ; the same 
gospel which once dropped from his gracious lips flows now from his 
sanctified pen. 

Although the serious perusal of these spiritual discourses will more 
effectually commend them to thy acceptance than the most elaborate 
recommendation of the prefacer, yet I must not betray the truth in 
concealing what the observing reader will soon discern ; acquired 
learning humbly waiting upon divine revelation ; great ministerial 
gifts managed by greater grace ; warm affections guided by a solid 
judgment , fervent love to saints and sinners, kindled by a burning 
zeal for the interest of a Saviour ; and a plain elegancy of style adapted 
to the meanest capacity, yet far above the contempt of the highest pre 

I can sincerely aver that it is no part of the design of this epistle to 
conciliate a reputation to these writings from the acknowledged repute 
of their reverend author : divine truths need not those vulgar artifices ; 
they carry their own credentials themselves: nor yet to greaten the 
author by magnifying his works. Grace kept him above those temp 
tations when labouring at the footstool, and glory has advanced him 
beyond their reach, now triumphing at the throne. It was then his 
sufficient honour to be an earthen vessel filled with heavenly treasure, 
that he might fill and enrich others ; and he is now engaged, to his 
greater satisfaction, in blessing that ever-blessed God who served his 
gracious counsels of him in the honourable though despised work of 
the ministry. 

That which I have in my eye is to lead thee into the admiration of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, ' who, when he ascended up on high, gave gifts 
unto men, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry ' 
To all he has given some, to none has he given all, but wisely divided 


to every man severally as he will, 1 Cor. xii. 11, Where he has given 
least, they have a competency ; where he has bestowed most, there is 
no redundancy : none shall have cause to boast of his ten talents ; none 
reason to murmur that he has but one : but that which we must ever 
adore and admire, is, that where he has bestowed most liberally minis 
terial abilities, he has also bequeathed sanctifying grace to keep them 
humble, to secure them against pride, and preserve them in a meek 
dependence upon himself ; that he should give them a due proportion 
of ballast to keep them steady, lest they should overset with bearing 
too great a sail ; that he should make and keep them lowly in their 
own eyes, who are precious in the eyes of others, and gracious in his. 
And still further, to admire his power that has wrought such glorious 
things by weak instruments ; saved them that believe by (what the 
world accounts) the foolishness of preaching ; dismantled the strong 
holds of sin and Satan by the gentle breathing of the word and Spirit ; 
subdued proud, broken and softened hard hearts, not by mi<rht. not 
by power, not by the secular sword, but by the soft whispers of grace, 
by melting, bleeding, tender affections. 

I have yet a further reach in this address, both upon preachers and 
their hearers. 

1. To the former I would humbly offer, that they would so preach, 
so pray, so labour, as they that are convinced they are all this while a- 
dying, that are passing every moment from the improving of to the 
accounting for their talents. Dying ministers preach living sermons. 
It deserves our observation that God, who honoured his servant Ezekiel 
with abundance of glorious revelations and visions, enough to have 
swelled a bubble till it broke, to have lifted up a poor worm above its 
measure, should yet always use to him that abasing term, son of man ; 
warning him, and in him all his faithful ministers, to fulfil their min 
istry, to work while it is called to day, that ' whatever their hand findeth 
to do, they should do it with all their might, because there is no work, 
nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither they are 
going,' Eccles. ix. 10. How joyfully will a minister receive the sum 
mons to his audit, when a good conscience shall afford him this testi 
mony, ' I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have 
kept the faith ! ' 2 Tim. iv. 7. How edifying would their preaching 
be, could they carry these thoughts with them into the pulpit The eye 
that now sees me shall see me no more ; the ear that now hears me 
shall in a little while hear me no more ; there must be a last time that 
I must speak in Christ's name to this people, and this may be that last 
time ! Oh ! with what fervent prayer, with what earnestness of affec 
tion, with what yearning bowels to perishing sinners, with what zeal 
for their conversion, would they engage in their Master's service, were 
their souls impregnated with lively quick apprehensions, that the graves 
are ready to receive them ! 

2. Nor would it less affect the hearers, and awake their conscience 
to improve the labours of their ministers, could they maintain upon 
their hearts a vigorous sense, that they are dying apace from their faith 
ful ministers, and they from them ; to repent, pray, believe, work out 
their salvation, make their calling and election sure, at another rate of 
diligence than what is usually found amongst them. 


Header, I will engross thee no longer to myself. Be no more my 
reader, but the author's : there thou wilt find much better entertain 
ment. And yet, because I would not lose thy good company- 
First, It must be a ravishing sight to behold divine grace in all its 
dimensions : grace working in the heart of God towards lost man, and 
grace working in the heart of renewed man towards God. Let us there 
fore fix our meditations upon Titus ii. 11-14, where we shall meet 

1. The whole duty of man, viz., ' the grace of God teaching us that, 
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, right 
eously and godly in this present world.' A word suitable, seasonable 
to our present day, wherein the vigour of religion runs out into leaves ; 
when empty notions, too high for this world, and too low for the next, 
have eaten out the life and power of practical godliness : when we dis 
pute and quarrel ourselves out of our charity each to other, and our 
obediential love to our God ; when the name of grace is so abused to 
gracelessness, and professors can believe anything and practise nothing. 
But grace would teach us other lessons ; as, (1.) To live soberly and 
temperately to ourselves ; not perverting the ends of divine bounty and 
indulgence to make provision for the flesh, to be food for devouring 
lusts, fuel for the fire of raging corruptions ; but moderately to serve 
our bodies, that they may serve our souls, and both serve our God. 
(2 ) To live righteously towards all men, giving to all their due in all 
relations, superiors, inferiors and equals ; owing nothing to any man 
but love ; a debt which we must always pay, and always owe ; that ' we 
may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things/ ver. 10. 
This is that which recommends religion to the sons of men ; it is this 
well-doing, which puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men,' 
1 Peter ii. 15. For men are not much concerned what we are to God, 
if we be unjust, false, treacherous, unfaithful, and over-reaching towards 
our neighbour. And, (3.) That we demean ourselves, in all the turnings 
of our conversation, holily towards God. Let our conscientious dis 
charge of first-table duties be the test of our uprightness in those of the 
second ; let our honesty and sincerity in those of the second evidence 
our holiness in those of the first. 

[2.] Come we now to that pleasing view of the grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, ' Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from 
all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good 
works.' Where we find a twofold design of Christ in his death and 
sufferings (1.) He had a noble design/or us ; he dealt with God, gave 
himself for us to him. (2.) He had a design upon us too, that he 
might purify us to himself. He redeems us from this present world, as 
well, as from wrath to come, Gal. i. 4. Kedeems us from ourselves, as 
well as from sin and Satan ; takes us not only out of the hands of the 
law and justice, but out of our own ; * that they who live, should not 
henceforth live to themselves, but to him that died for them, and rose 
again/ 2 Cor. v. 15. 

Secondly, Because faith is a grace that has always the labouring 
oar, a grace that bears the heat and burden of the day, that has the 
world and the evil one to overcome ; and that it may be victorious over 
those, must first learn to lay hold on God's own strength, and over- 


come him too. And because this grace unites us to Christ, and then 
draws virtue from Christ to maintain that union, and support the spiri 
tual life ; and because it ventures far, flies high, and runs great risk, 
and has therefore great need of good security, let us again read our 
author's glorious discourses upon Heb. vi. 18, ' That by two immutable 
things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong 
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set 
before us,' A word from a God that cannot lie is a sufficient security 
for faith to rest upon. Upon this single security we might safely ven 
ture the weight of all our souls, the stress of all our concerns. It is 
upon this alone the apostle, Titus L 1, 2, encourages us to lay ' the hope 
of eternal life/ even upon the promise of him that cannot lie. But 
our gracious God, knowing the weakness of our faith, the fears and 
jealousies of guilty souls, has added his oath to his word, that from 
such double security we might have strong consolation. happy 
souls, for whose sakes God will vouchsafe to swear ! miserable 
sinners, who will not give credence to a swearing God ! a God 
that swears by himself, because he has no greater thing to swear by. 
Had he sworn by the heavens and earth, they shall perish, and with 
them the security had perished ; but he swears by himself, ' As I live, 
saith the Lord ! ' and faith, having got this ground to place its engine 
upon, is able to overturn the world, What has it not been able to 
suffer, when divine truth is its warrant ? What has it not been able 
to do when the same truth is its security ? It has ' subdued kingdoms, 
wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 
quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, grew 
strong out of weakness, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight 
the armies of aliens/ Heb. xi. 33, 34. I will add, it has routed legions 
of devils, triumphed over death, the grave and hell, challenged the 
whole world to come in, and ' lay anything to the charge of God's 
elect;' for it has a God to justify the believing sinner , a Christ that 
died for the sinner once, and ' lives for ever at the right hand of God, 
to make intercession for him/ Eom. viii. 33, 34. Now then, let faith 
know its security. The oath of man, when yet every man is a liar, 
puts an end to all controversies amongst men. Let the oath of God, 
who can no more lie than he can die, put an end to our slavish fears, 
perplexing doubts, all our suspicions of God and his word ; and let the 
soul return to its rest, for God has dealt graciously with it. 

But I have forgot myself, and wronged thee too, Christian reader, 
whilst we wander, and lose ourselves in these pleasing anticipations. 
For more abundant satisfaction in these and many important truths, 
I refer thee to the following discourses ; only have patience to be 
advertised of two or three smaller matters 

1. Kest fully assured that> though these pieces are posthumous births, 
they are not spurious, but the legitimate and genuine offspring of the 
same father with those that were first-born. They carry the lineaments, 
the signature, the image of their elder brother, and have been compared 
line by line, word by word, with the author's manuscripts, by an un 
questionable voucher. 

2. Let it not offend thee that the same truths, and perhaps in the 
same words, are repeated, which frequently happens in the course of 


any man's ministry, when the same subject has been formerly handled ; 
and yet care has been taken, as much as could possibly be, to prevent 
all nauseousness ; yet sometimes it could not be done, without dis 
jointing and mangling the sermons. 

3. Be so just as not to impute the crimes of the printer to the author 
or publisher, which yet are such as an ordinary charity may pardon or 
a small ingenuity correct. The rest is only to commit thee, reader, 
and these discourses, to the blessing of our gracious God, with whom 
remember thy unworthy servant in the service of the gospel, 


January 17, 169J. 

XXII. 11-13. 

And tvhen the king came in to see the guests, he saiv there a man ivliich 
had not a wedding-garment ; And lie, saith unto him, Friend, how 
earnest thou in hither, not having a ivedding- garment ? and he 
was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, bind him 
hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer 
darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. MAT. 
xxii. 11-13. 

THESE words are the conclusion of a parable, wherein the ample and 
rich provision which God hath made for poor sinners in the gospel is 
compared to a feast ; not an ordinary feast, but a marriage feast ; not 
an ordinary marriage, but the marriage of the king's son. In the 
structure of the parable there is a twofold invitation the former of 
the Jews, the latter of the gentiles. In that paragraph that concerns 
the Jews, observe three things the invitation itself, the success, and 
the issue. 

1. The invitation itself is in vers. 3, 4, 'And he sent forth his 
servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding ; and they 
would not come. Again he' sent other servants, saying, Tell them 
that are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner ; my oxen and 
fatlings are killed, and all things are ready : come to the marriage.' 
There is a double call the first call, ver. 3 ; the second call, ver. 4. 
God will take not the first repulse, but will try again before he will 
quit a people. He punisheth not the contempt of his grace suddenly, 
but sendeth once more to see if men will repent, and be sorry for their 
former negligence. 

More particularly, the first call was by the prophets foretelling the 
coming of Christ into the world. The second was by the apostles 
representing him as already -come. In the second call, more earnest 
words are used, ' I haye prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings 
are killed, all things are ready : come to the marriage/ God omitteth 
nothing that belongeth to the salvation of his people. He is ready to 
bless us, his Son to receive us, his Spirit to help us, All things are 


ready, if we are ready ; we need but conae and take what God hath 
provided for us. 

2. The success of this invitation or offer of grace. Some slighted 
it, others rejected it with malice. Some slighted it: ver. 5, 04 8e 
ajjieXrio-avTes, ' They made light of it, and went their way, one to his 
farm, another to his merchandise.' They had other business to mind 
than come to a marriage feast. In Luke it is said, ' They made excuse,' 
Luke xiv. 18, 19. But excusing is refusing. The sinner's plea is 
outwardly and formally, non vacat ; but the very intrinsic reason and 
reality is, non placet. They care not for these things, being biassed 
and prepossessed with other affections. Others rejected ' it with 
malice: ver, 6, 'And the remnant took his servants, and entreated 
them spitefully, and slew them.' This is the unworthy return which 
the unthankful world maketh to God for the tenders of gospel grace ; 
they do not only refuse his offers, but persecute his servants, that have 
no other design upon them but the promoting of their salvation, 

3. The issue : ver. 7, ' When the king heard thereof, he was wroth, 
and sent forth his servants, and destroyed those murderers, and burnt 
up their city/ So did God deal with the Jews ; he sent an army of 
Eomans against them, and destroyed them utterly. The Romans are 
called his army, for all creatures are at God's command. The pagans 
may be flagellum Dei, the rod and scourge whereby God will punish 
his people. Contempt of the gospel joined with persecution of the 
preachers of it bringeth utter ruin and devastation. 

The next part of the parable is God's inviting other guests, or his"- 
calling of the gentiles, vers. 9, 10. There is the charge to invite, and 
the success. 

1. The charge to invite : ' Go into the highways, and as many as 
you shall find, bid to the marriage.' The Jews are represented as 
living in a community and city society, because of their visible church 
relation to God ; but gentiles as dispersed up and down in lanes and 
highways ; and upon the Jews' refusal, they are called to the feast : 
' Go preach the gospel to every creature.' 

2. The servants' obedience, and their success : ' So these servants 
went out into the highways, and gathered together as many as they 
found, both bad and good; and the wedding was furnished with 
guests/ Observe, a people may want God, but God cannot want a 
people to serve him. Again, all that give their names to Christ are 
not found. Some coming to the gospel in truth, others entering into 
the visible church in hypocrisy : for there is a mixture of good and 
bad. So sometimes the church is full, but heaven never the fuller ; 
for though they receive the gospel, they do not receive it in full power 
arid efficacy. 

3. You have the carriage of the king towards the hypocritical 
guests : 'And when the king came to see his guests/ &c. 

In the words observe three things (1.) The discovery, ver. 11 ; (2.) 
The expostulation, ver. 12 ; (3.) The doom and sentence, ver. 13. 

1. The discovery: ver. 11, 'And when the king came to see the 
guests, he saw there a man that had not on a wedding-garment.' 
Christ is represented under the notion of a king, to show that whea 
God treateth us most familiarly and socially, yet still he retaineth his 


sovereignty, and will show the magnificence of a king, entertaining his 
subjects of all sorts, reduced now to his obedience ; and also keeps up 
the state and majesty of a king, will be honoured by all those that 
come to partake of his feast. The king cometh to see the guests ; 
that is, to discern whether they come to his feast in such manner as is 
required. All that receive the gospel must look to have their sincerity 
tried, for the king will visit and observe the guests. In this view and 
observation he saw there a man that had not on a wedding garment : 
among all the guests, there seemeth but one found out. You must 
not thence conclude that the unsound and insincere professors of the 
gospel are but few. No ; this is not spoken for that intent. This one 
impersonateth and representeth many ; for it is said, ver. 14, ' That 
many are called, but few are chosen.' But the meaning is, that in the 
throng and multitude of converts, if there were but one that is insincere, 
God can espy him and find him out. The fault of the person dis 
covered is, that he had not evSvpa ydfjiov, a better sort of array than 
those that were used or worn upon ordinary occasions. While they 
were in the lanes and highways, ordinary apparel would serve the 
turn ; but if they will come to the feast, the marriage feast of the 
king's son, they must have suitable array. It is a disgrace to a wedding 
feast not to come with a wedding garment ; to take the Christian pro 
fession, and continue in their pagan sins and practices. Kepentance 
and reformation of life is the new garment of the soul ; that only will 
become the gospel feast. 

2. The expostulation : ver. 12, ' He saith unto him, Friend, how 
earnest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? and the 
man was speechless ;' eralpe : Fellow, how earnest thou? God loveth 
to make the sinner convinced, and condemned in his own conscience, 
' that he may be clear when he judgeth, and justified in all his pro 
ceedings with him/ Ps. li. 4. The effect of this expostulation is that 
the man was speechless ; he had nothing to say ; saw it was unreason 
able to come without it. They that embrace the gospel, and live in an 
unmortified and impenitent manner, can have nothing to plead by way 
of excuse. This man was as confident before, and as bold as the other 
guests, but now is abashed, hath nothing to say, it being so necessary 
and reasonable to come to a wedding feast with a wedding garment. 

3. The doom and sentence : ver. 13, ' Then said the king to the ser 
vants, Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness ; 
where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth/ Mark, he is not only not 
permitted to taste of the feast, or remain among the guests, but falleth 
under a terrible sentence of the king and judge, which will certainly 
be executed upon him, and he for ever must remain in a most dismal 
and doleful condition. No vengeance so sore as that of the gospel. 
Besides the forfeiture of our hopes and the possibility of our recovery, 
there is that which the scripture calleth a ' sorer punishment/ Heb. 
x. 29. Conscience in hell will have a special kind of accusing and 
self- tormenting in our reflecting on the refusal of the remedy ; and 
Christ will pronounce a heavier doom if we obey not the gospel, to 
which we profess to submit. 

Doct. That it is dangerous to come to God's feast without a wedding 


First, I shall explain (1.) What is God's feast; (2.) What is 
coming to this feast ; (3.) What is the wedding garment. 

Secondly. I shall confirm it, and show why it is so dangerous. 

1. What is God's feast ? It is usual in scripture to set forth the 
grace of the gospel by the notion of a feast. These blessed privileges 
of remission of sins and eternal life, as dispensed by Christ, are fitly 
called so. See some places where those celestial dainties whereby God 
feedeth his people in the word and sacraments are called so : Isa. xxv, 6, 
' And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people 
a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of 
marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.' The entertainer is the 
Lord of hosts ; the place is this mountain* alluding to Mount Sion, a 
figure of the church ; the guests are all people, gentiles as well as 
Jews, Kev. vii. 9 ; the provision for meat are fat things, full of marrow, 
as the fatted calf was brought for the. entertaining of the returning 
prodigal, Luke xv. 23 ; for drink, wines not racked, but well refined 
on the lees, which are usually most generous and sprightly ; by 
all which is set forth those choice soul-refreshings which are the 
fruits of Christ's purchase, and dispensed in the word and sacraments 
to those who will come and take them. So Ps. xxxvi. 8, ' They shall 
be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house ; thou shalt make 
them drink of the rivers of thy pleasures.' They are provided for out 
of an unexhausted magazine, and continually supplied with a fluent 
stream of divine plenty. And Prov. ix. 2, ' Wisdom hath killed her 
beasts ; she hath mingled her wine ; she hath also furnished her table ; ' 
that is, in the gospel all kinds of comforts and spiritual gifts and 
graces are ready prepared, and offered freely to us. God hath made 
excellent provision for the entertainment of his own family. So here 
it is compared to a marriage feast of a king's son, wherein all kind of 
pomp and glory useth to be shown. This feast serveth for two uses 
(1.) The honour of God ; (2.) The comfort and refreshment of sinful 

[1.] For the honour of God, to show his magnificence and royalty, 
and the glory of his exceeding great grace and mercy in Jesus Christ. 
For thus we find feasts made by great kings and potentates ; as Esther, 
chap. i. 3, 4, * He made a feast unto all his princes and his servants, to 
show them the riches of his glorious kingdom, and the honour of his 
excellent majesty/ And so Belshazzar made a feast to a thousand of 
his lords, Dan. v. 1. And so the great God, to show the riches of his 
glorious grace, hath made a feast of fat things, and wines well refined 
upon the lees ; the choicest blessings. Love is gone to the utmost. 
Beyond God there is nothing. God reconciled and God enjoyed are 
the chiefest blessings we can enjoy. 

[2.] For the comfort and refreshment of sinful man. When man 
was banished out of paradise, he had no tree of life by which he might 
be refreshed, and would perish for need and hunger but that God had 
mercy on him and prepared a banquet, a rich banquet of grace. His 
fatlings are killed, his wines are mingled ; the crucified body of Christ, 
and his blood shed for the expiation of sins and procuring eternal life ; 
this is meat indeed, and drink indeed. There is in it all that we can 
expect in a feast. 


(1.) Ample satisfaction to every soul that is spiritually hungry and 
thirsty : Ps. xxxvi. 8, ' They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fat 
ness of thy house ; and Ps. xxii. 26, ' The meek shall eat, and be satis 
fied ; they shall praise the Lord that seek him ; your hearts shall live 
for ever.' The poor humble Christian shall be satisfied with this 
spiritual food, and feel the vital effects of it. It shall be to him an 
eucharist indeed : Ps. Ixv. 4, ' They shall be satisfied with the goodness 
of thy house/ There is no defect or want in God's feast. Here is 
remission of sins to allay our legal fears, eternal life to satisfy our de 
sires of happiness. But many prefer husks before the fatted calf, 
swinish pleasures before these chaste delights, one morsel of meat before 
the birthright. These besot the heart for a while, but they cannot 
satisfy it. 

(2) Joy, pleasure, and delight. What will cheer the heart and 
conscience, if reconciliation with God, and the favour of God, and the 
fruition of God will not cheer us? The pardon of sin is the true 
reviving thing ; Mat ix. 2, ' Be of good cheer ; thy sins are forgiven 
thee.' And so also the hopes of glory : Eom. v. 1, 2, * Being justified 
by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ ; by 
whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, 
and rejoice. in hope of the glory of God.' So that here is heavenly joy, 
and pleasure unspeakable and full of glory : Isa. Iv. 2, ' Let your soul 
delight itself in fatness ; ' and Ps. Ixiii. 5, ' My soul shall be satisfied 
as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee with 
joyful lips/ Did we once drink of this wine and taste of this fatness, 
how should we walk before the Lord with joy and cheerfulness all our 
days 1 

(3.) God useth us as friends. It is a great honour put upon us that 
we are invited to this wedding, that we may sit down at his table ; 
this is familiar fellowship. Haman boasted, Esther v. 12, ' The queen 
did let no man come into the banquet but myself ; and to-morrow I 
am invited also with the king/ But what an honour is it to sit down 
at the feast of the King of kings ! It is a token of our reconciliation 
with him ; for eating together is an act of friendship. Under the law, 
they were to bring their peace-offerings on the top of their burnt- 
offerings , and having offered them to the Lord, they were to eat of 
their part cheerfully among their friends ; for then they had, as it 
were, one dish sent them from God's table. This is the true notion of 
the Lord's supper ; it is a feast upon a sacrifice : Ps. 1. 5, ' Gather my 
saints together, which make a covenant with me by sacrifice/ 

2. What is coming to this feast ? It is to profess ourselves chris- 
tians, and using the ordinances which belong thereunto. When you, 
submit to be baptized, hear the word, and frequent the sacraments, 
you come to the feast of God. Every day is a festival with a Christian ; 
for the whole gospel-dispensation is a continual feast. Only some 
come to the feast (1.) Eeady and spiritually, they have constant 
cause of rejoicing : 1 Cor, v. 7, 8, ' Purge out therefore the old leaven, 
that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened ; for Christ, our 
passover, is sacrificed for us : therefore let us keep the feast not with 
old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the 
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth/ (2.) Others outwardly profess 


faith in Christ, and external obedience to him, but do not thoroughly 
and fully walk according to Christ's rules ; would be judged Christians, 
but retain nothing of the life and power of Christianity, are not dis 
ciples indeed, John viii. 31. And it is said, John ii. 23, 24, ' Many 
believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he 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.' Some were so far affected with Christ's miracles as they did 
profess faith in him, yet Christ would not trust them, because he 
knoweth the hidden secrets of the heart ; that is, not admit them into 
familiar converse, knowing the temper of their faith. 

3. What is the wedding garment ? To find out this, let me tell 
you (1.) That it is usual in scripture to set forth sin by nakedness, 
and grace by a garment. That one place which we have in Kev. iii. 
17, 18, showeth both : ' Thou art poor, and miserable, and blind, and 
naked ; therefore I counsel thee to buy of me raiment that thou mayest 
be clothed.' Graces are a beautiful ornament to the soul, as garments 
are to the body ; therefore we are said ' to put on the new man, which 
is created in holiness and righteousness,' Eph. iv. 24. And again, to 
' put on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of 
mind, meekness, long-suffering/ Col. iii. 12. (2.) It is such a garment 
as becometh the solemnit yof the marriage feast of the king's son. 
Christ's gospel feast is a royal feast and a spiritual feast, becoming the 
nature of God's kingdom ; therefore the evSvpa yd^ou, wedding gar 
ment, is that new array which becometh such a solemnity. As it is a 
royal feast, it must be something more than ordinary excellency that 
is required of us at a spiritual feast a spiritual excellency. Therefore 
the wedding garment is holiness, habitual and actual, which is the 
glory of God and the beauty of God and his people. Habitual holi 
ness : Kev, xix. 8, ' And to her was granted that she should be arrayed 
in fine linen, clean and white ; for the fine linen is the righteousness of 
saints/ AiKaitD^ara aytcov are those graces which constitute us as 
saints ; as faith, love, hope, meekness, sobriety, purity. And then 
actual holiness is an holy conversation: Phil. i. 27, 'Only let your 
conversation be such as becometh the gospel ; ' Eph. iv. 1, ' Walk 
worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.' We put on the 
wedding garment to honour the marriage ; therefore those that come 
to the wedding feast without a wedding garment, who take up a bare 
profession of the gospel without newness of heart and life, which may 
be an honour and ornament to it, are a dishonour and disgrace rather 
to it. 

I must now represent the danger of entering upon the profession of 
the gospel, or coming to this feast without such a wedding garment ; 
and that I shall do in this method (1.) To show the odiousness of 
the sin ; (2.) The certainty of discovery ; (3.) The dreadfulness of 
the doom and punishment. 

First, The odiousness of the sin, in these considerations 

1. Your profession is partial. There is a twofold profession in 
word, and deed. In word, when we own Christ, in whom we have be 
lieved ; in deed, when we walk answerably. 

[1.] In word the profession is necessary : Rom. x. 9, 10, ' If thou 


shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine 
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved : 
for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the 
mouth confession is made to salvation.' There was much weight laid 
in those days upon confession with the mouth, or a visible owning of 
the faith and doctrine of Christ. It was then a free spontaneous thing, 
without compulsion of outward power ; yea, forbidden by those powers ; 
yea, it exposed them to great difficulties and hardships. They ran the 
hazard of all by submitting to this hated name and profession ; and 
yet this was not enough to submit to the verbal profession .of Chris 
tianity ; nay, the visible and real acting of it in the assemblies of 
Christians in prayers, praises, hearing, sacraments, and joining in all 
the ordinances of the church, was not enough unless there were a life 

[2.] In deed, by walking suitably to the institutions of Christianity ; 
and so a Christian's life is a confession or hymn to God ; for our Lord 
telleth us, Mat. vii. 21-23, ' Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, 
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the 
will of my Father, which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that 
day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy 
name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works ? 
And then will I profess to them, I never knew you : depart from me, 
ye workers of iniquity.' Not every one that professeth Christ to be his 
Lord shall be saved. No ; the obedience of Christ's doctrine must be 
taken into the profession, or else it will not be accepted. We must 
believe in the Son of God, and show forth our faith by an holy conversa 
tion and godliness, or else we shall be disclaimed, or not approved for 
his true disciples. Let an unrenewed wretch preach or pray or cast out 
devils, yet he is a worker of iniquity. In Luke xiii. 26, it is said, ' We 
have eaten and drunken in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our 
streets.' Is not this coming to the gospel feast, to eat and drink in his 
presence, to be familiar with Christ, to come to him in gospel ordi 
nances ? But it is to come without a wedding garment, unless the 
heart and life be changed. But what if this profession be sealed by 
sufferings ? 1 Cor. xiii. 3, ' Though I give my body to be burned, and 
have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.' Swine's blood was not to 
be offered to the Lord ; nor would a scabby sacrifice be accepted for a 
burnt-offering. God requireth holiness of life, as well as zeal in suf 
fering for Christ. 

2. One part of the profession condemneth the other. If we own a 
God, a Christ, and a life to come, and do not live answerably in all 
holy conversation and godliness, our belief condemneth our practice ; 
and if we allow ourselves in those things which we condemn, our 
judgment is the more just; so that they profess themselves to be 
Christians only for self-condemnation, to be witnesses against them 
selves ; their faith condemneth their practice. They believe as chris- 
tians, yet live as pagans ; as the apostle saith, Titus i. 16, ' Professing 
to know God, but in their works they deny him.' So while they own 
Christ they do but mock him. They profess to honour Christ by 
coming to his feast, but they dishonour him and affront him while they 
come in their old or ordinary apparel ; as it is. an high contempt and 



scorn of a great man to pretend to honour him by our attendance, 
but in such an indecent and slovenly manner that our presence is a 
disgrace to him. Such a contempt of Christ it is while we entitle our 
selves Christians, and live in such ways as Christ doth condemn : Luke 
vi. 46, ' And why call you me lord, and do not the things that I say ? ' 
Cui res nomini subjecta negatur. Surely they that called him king of 
the Jews intended it for no honour to him, while they spit upon him 
and buffeted him. Dicimur cliristiani in opprobrium. The ungodly 
lives of Christians are a reproach to Christianity, You should adorn, 
but you disgrace the gospel, Titus ii. 10. Keligion, as visibly acted 
and expressed by you, should be found a beautiful thing. Therefore, 
while you usurp the name of Christians, and join in conjunction with 
the visible church of Christ without a new heart and life, one part of 
your profession condemneth the other, 

3. One part of your profession is abused to corrupt and destroy the 
other, and the Christian name is only taken on to patronise un 
christian practices : Jude 4, ' Turning the grace of God into lasci- 
viousness.' They come to the gospel feast that they may the more 
securely live in their sins, and so make Christ himself the minister of 
sin, Gal. ii. 17 ; which is a thought to be abhorred by all Christians. 
The heathens took notice of this. Celsus said, That the Christian 
religion was a sanctuary for flagitious persons. Origen answereth 
him, That it was not a sanctuary to shelter them, but an hospital to 
cure them. In the notion of the text, ' Go into the highways ; bid 
them to the marriage ; but yet they must come with a wedding 
garment, in a decent manner. Therefore they live loosely, either 
pervert the gospel, or at least do not admit the force of it to prevail 
upon their hearts : 2 Tim. iii. 5, ' Having a form of godliness, but 
denying the power thereof.' If you do really believe salvation by 
Christ, temptations would be of no force ; you would reject the baits 
of sin with abhorrence and detestation. You could not quiet your 
consciences with a common, careless course of life ; but you pervert 
its use or deny its force. 

Secondly, The certainty of discovery. 

1. When you come as guests to the marriage feast, your business 
lieth not with men but with God. The king cometh to see the 
guests ; you may have a garment to cover you before men, but not 
before God. But when the Lord looketh to the guests, he is the 
party with whom you have to do. How will you do to escape his eye 
and search ? Gal. vi. 7, ' Be not deceived ; God is not mocked/ 
You may deceive men, stop the mouths of men, colour your sin, veil 
and blind their eyes, and, for aught men can discover, may enjoy the 
pleasure and profit of your sins and yet escape the shame and imputa 
tion of them. Men may hold you innocent, know not how to fasten 
guilt upon you ; but the all- seeing eye of God will find you out : you 
cannot escape his accurate search. There is no casting a mist before 
the eyes of God: Heb. iv. 13, 'All things are naked and open unto 
the eyes of him with whom we have to do/ The prophets in the 
light of God could discern cheats ; certainly God himself much more : 
2 Kings v. 26, ' Went not my heart with thee, when the man turned 
again from his chariot to meet thee/ said Elisha to Gehazi. So the 


blind prophet could spy out Jereboam's wife under her disguise : 
1 Kings xiv. 6, ' Why feignest thou thyself to be another ? I am 
sent unto thee with heavy tidings/ Now, when God seeth things in 
his own light, surely he will pull the devil out of Samuel's mantle, 
the heathen out of the Christian disguise. The workers of iniquity 
cannot hide themselves from him : Job xxxiv. 22, ' There is no 
darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide 

2. God loveth to uncase hypocrites : Prov. xxvi. 26, ' His wicked 
ness shall be showed before the whole congregation.' His being and 
attributes are more questioned by them than others, for atheism lieth 
at the bottom of hypocrites. Tush ! he cannot see : Ps. xciv. 7, 
* They say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob 
regard it/ They are such a generation of men as crowd into his 
house out of custom, or to make his service lacquey upon their base 
ends. God suffereth more by them than by others. They put him 
off with an outside, as if he did like well enough of their superficial 
duties ; and they dishonour and disgrace religion ; therefore God will 
uncase them, and pull off their disguise, and set them forth in their 
own appearance. Though but one in the throng, he shall not escape. 
When Achan had stolen the wedge of gold, God taketh the tribe, the 
family, the person, Josh. xvii. 17, 18. His anger is more kindled 
against them because they profess such a nearness to him, and to 
be that and do that which it never came into their hearts to be 
and do. 

3. Hypocrisy is hateful to God in anything, but especially in 
coming to the gospel feast ; for that is a kind of daring of God, 
or a putting it to the trial whether he will discover you or no. 
Ananias and Sapphira's sin is called a lying to the Holy Ghost, 
Acts v. 3. Why a lie to the Holy Ghost ? Because of his presiding 
in church affairs. All acts of grace are of his operation. And because 
they pretended to do it by his motions. And afterwards it is said in 
the 9th verse, 'And how is it that you have agreed to tempt the Holy 
Ghost?' Namely, by their hypocrisy and dissimulation; putting it 
to the trial whether he would discover them in their sin, yea or no. 
They had endeavoured as much as in them lay to deceive the Spirit 
by keeping back a part of the price, and by that practice would put it 
to the trial whether the Holy Ghost could find out the cheat and 
fallacy. So when you obey the call and invitation, and solemnly 
dedicate yourselves to Christ, that you may partake of his heavenly 
dainties. Now if all this should be found a lie, surely it will be 
nothing for your comfort for the present ; and for your eternal con 
fusion hereafter. 

4. There are certain times when God cometh in a more especial 
manner to discover those that are unsound in the profession of the 
gospel. God doth always see their hearts, but there are certain seasons 
when they shall know that he seeth them. 

[1.] By trying judgments. When the tree is shaken the rotten 
apples fall. Sometimes God cometh to search for hypocrites, to pro 
duce and bring them forth in order to discovery or punishment ; as 
when Christ hatli his fan in his hand, and cometh thoroughly to purge 


his floor, Mat. iii. 12. So Zeph. i. 12, 'I will search Jerusalem with 
caudles ; ' look into every corner ; it is spoken after the manner of 
man. We light a candle when we would look for anything exactly 
in the dark ; as Luke xv. 8, ' What woman having ten pieces of silver, 
if she lose one, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek 
diligently till she find it ? ; 

[2.] Sometimes by offences, divisions, scandals, errors : Mat. xviii. 
7, ' Woe to the world because of offences, for it must needs be that 
offences come ; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh ; ' 
1 Cor. xi. 19, ' For there must be also heresies among you, that they 
that are approved may be made manifest/ How will light chaff then 
be discovered from solid grain ! 

J3.] At death ; a man should always be provided for that hour : 
or. v. 3, ' If so be we shall not be found naked/ We carry nothing 
out of the world but a winding sheet and a wedding garment the 
one for the soul, the other for the body. Then men see what a formal 
profession they have made in their horrors and anguish; when 
others have comfort in their sincerity : Isa. xxxviii. 3, ' Kemember 
now, Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth, 
and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy 

[4.] In the day of judgment. When all the world is arraigned 
before Christ, and he distinguisheth the sheep from the goats, then 
will he expostulate with you, Where is your wedding garment ? You 
believed the gospel, but did you obey the gospel ? 2 Thes. i. 8, ' He 
shall come in flaming fire to render vengeance unto all them that know 
not God, and obey not the gospel.' It standeth us much upon to have 
confidence in that day, that you may show your faces in the great 
congregation. Christ will not say to the honourable person, Where 
are the ensigns of thine honour ? to the rich man, Where are thy 
full barns or bags ? to the knowing man, Where are thy parts and 
expressions ? but to all, Where is your wedding garment ? When 
others are disclaimed, he will own them that have not defiled their 
garments : ' They shall walk with him in white, for they are worthy/ 
Kev. iii. 3. It will be comfortable then to be found clothed with 
the garments of grace and salvation. 

Thirdly, The doom and punishment. 

1. They are not permitted to taste of the feast. God denieth them 
grace, and so they have but an empty ordinance. Surely this is a great 
evil. Cain was sensible of this, and afflicted with it ; his countenance 
fell when God testified not of his gifts, Gen. iv. 4, 5. It is threatened, 
Hosea, v. 6, ' They shall go with their flocks and herds to seek the 
Lord, but shall not find him ; for he hath withdrawn himself from 
them/ They come to external duties, but God is not found in them : 
1 Sam. xxviii. 6, ' When Saul inquired of the Lord, he answered him 
not/ They have the shell of the gospel, but not the kernel. God 
will make them see they have no interest in him. 

2. They incur eternal wrath, the portion of hypocrites : Mat. xxiv. 
51, ' And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with 
hypocrites/ There is an eternal disappointment. When others go 
from feast to feast, from the gospel to heaven, the earthly banquet 


raaketh way for the heavenly ; they are excluded the feast, and cast 
into the dungeon. 

Use. To persuade us to get this wedding garment. 

1. Then you are welcome and acceptable to God ; you are not 
intruders, but welcome guests ; not only invited, but nobly enter 
tained : Ps. xlv. 14, * She shall be brought to the king in raiment of 
needle- work; the virgins, her companions, shall be brought with her/ 
When the church and all the members thereof shine in all the graces 
of holiness, purity, humility, charity, then they are acceptably brought 
to God ; the whole church, particular congregations, particular 
saints, all welcome to God; they shall live with him in eternal 

2. Then you may be bold, and will not be dashed out of coun 
tenance: Isa. Ixi. 10, ' I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in 
my God ; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation ; he 
hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom 
decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with 
her jewels.' 

3. This showeth you are real friends to the bridegroom ; that you 
mean to honour him with such a conversation as floweth from faith 
and love to Christ, Gal. v. 6, 2 Thes. i. 10, 11. Faith and love evi 
dencing itself in the fruits of holiness are the true glory of religion ; 
the badge and cognisance of the Lord Jesus, lessura hospitalis ; not 
riches, not honours, not parts, not bare profession. Alas ! without 
this we are but as tinkling cymbals ; of the faction of Christians, 
rather than of the religion of Christians. The question will not be 
whether you are of this or that party Presbyterian, Independent, 
Episcopal but whether we are really sanctified and do adorn the 
gospel, and walk worthy of the calling wherewith we are called, and 
do so know and love God in Christ as to live to him. Oh ! then look 
to this. 

4. Nothing doth more concern you. than that you should not be 
Christians in vain, and profess Christ to your loss. Haman boasted 
that he was invited to the queen's feast, but from that feast was he 
taken away to execution ; so many pride themselves with the name 
of Christians, and some external duties of Christianity, when their 
danger is the greater because they get so little by their Christianity. 
What if all your prayers and preaching should be in vain, and 
frequenting holy duties in vain ? ' Have you suffered so many things 
in vain ? ' saith the apostle, Gal. iii. 4. It is so when you are not 
changed, but remain still in the gall of bitterness and . the bond of 
iniquity. Dead faith that is not effectual to godliness, will not 
save you, James ii. 20. You must be exact, complete Christians, if 
any at all. 

What remaineth, then, but that we look after the wedding 


1. Determine what it is. It is that grace which inclineth us to order 
our whole conversation according to God's will, and for his glory. 
There are doctrinals in religion, and practicals : now it is not enough 
to be sound in the faith, but there must be a hearty love to Christ, and 


a sober, righteous, and godly life, Titus ii. 12. There are privileges in 
religion, and duties. Now it is not enough to trust in Christ for 
privileges, but we must frame our hearts to. the duties also : Ps. cxix. 
166, 'I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.' 
We must believe in Christ to bring us to everlasting glory, and must 
also love God, and live in obedience to him. Heaven must be our 
hope, and scope, and aim. Love to God is the very constitution, bent, 
and inclination of our hearts, and thankful obedience the business of 
our lives. There are externals in religion, and internals. Now to 
attend upon external duties, and not to look to the internal frame and 
change of the heart, is not enough. But a holy conversation coming 
out of a renewed heart, is this wedding garment required of us : Mat. 
xii. 34, ' A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth 
forth good things.' There are negatives in religion, and positives. 
Not an adulterer, not an extortioner, this would suit with the light of 
nature, which remaineth now to guide us in duties of the lower 
hemisphere, in our commerce with men, but gives us little help in the 
worship of God. And therefore to do no harm is too low and too little 
to prove you to be Christians. If men be civil and unblamable in their 
lives, yet destitute of the Spirit of God and his grace, it is not becoming 
the gospel, Rom. viii. 4. Again, there is a consent given and performed. 
Where feeble resolutions are not seconded with answerable endeavours, 
it produceth little effect : Acts xi. 23, ' He exhorteth them to cleave 
to the Lord with full purpose of heart.' Hopeful purposes must be 
verified and made good in the Christian life. 

2. Get this wedding garment out of the king's wardrobe ; as Esther : 
chap, xxix., ' Such things as belonged to her and her maids were given 
her out of the king's house;' and Isa. Ixi. 10, 'He hath clothed me 
with the garments of salvation.' God delights in the graces of his 
own Spirit ; no man is born clothed ; we have it from God, therefore 
go to him for it. 

3. Wear your wedding garment. Not only get grace, but exercise 
it in all duties towards God and man : Rev. xvi. 15, * Blessed is he 
that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they 
see his shame.' 

4. Keep your garments undefiled and unspotted from the world : 
Rev. iii. 4, ' Thou hast a few name's even in Sardis which have not 
defiled their garments/ Your sins are a great dishonour to Christ, 
because you are nearer to him, as well as a shame to yourselves, 
because you profess better. 

5. Wash your garments often in the blood of the Lamb : Rev. vii. 
14, * And have washed their robes, and have made them white in the 
blood of the Lamb.' The garments of the best need washing, and 
nothing will make them white but the blood of the Lamb. It is his 
merit and satisfaction hath procured this cleansing grace for us. 


Therefore thus tuill I do unto thee, Israel ; and because I ivill do 
this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, Israel. AMOS iv. 12. 

THE first word in this scripture is illative, and directeth our thoughts 
to the context. Therefore why ? Three things are especially charged 
upon them in this chapter. 

1. The first is oppression in their great ones : l Hear this, ye kine of 
Bashan, which are in the mountains of Samaria, which oppress the 
poor, and crush the needy, which say to their masters, Come let us 
drink.' This concerneth the governor and rulers, as his former 
expostulations were directed to the body of the people. And he 
calleth them ' kine of Bashan.' Amos the herdsman doth not bespeak 
them in courtly language, with soft and silken words, but in terms 
proper to his own function and ancient calling. He giveth them not 
the title of lords, the style of Your Honour and Excellency ; he was 
not skilled in this kind of language, neither would it consist with the 
freedom and duty of his office. God's messengers may use a liberty 
and freedom in slighting sinful greatness. ' Ye kine of Bashan ; ' men 
of brutish manners deserve no better compellation. They were 
impudent, wanton, refractory, impatient of the yoke, therefore he calleth 
them kine, with the addition of Bashan, which was a fertile hill full of 
rich pastures, and so apt to fatten cattle. Bulls of Bashan we read of 
elsewhere, /3oe? evrpo^oi, so Syrnmachus, kine full fed. But yet more 
plainly, lest they should lie hid in the metaphor, ' that are in the 
mountain of Samaria' the metropolis and royal city of Israel, as 
noting the chief of the nation. These are the persons. What is their 
crime ? ' They oppress the poor, and crush the needy ; ' that is, by 
burdensome levies and violent extortions to maintain their own great 
ness and luxury. When men make their lust their law, their will their 
reason, their belly their god, they are more like cows than men; 
' Which say to their masters, Come, and let us drink/ This, I suppose, 
is spoken to their clients and dependants that encourage them to poll 
the people to feed their riot and luxury. Now God threateneth that 
he would make these men like cattle out of their fat pastures, and to 
leave all their wealth, houses, and stately palaces behind. Well then, 


oppression in great persons accompanied with, luxury, is a sure 
forerunner of judgment. When men like ravenous harpies extort 
from the poor that they may minister to their lusts, and glut themselves 
and their dependants with the spoils of the poor ; and when others 
languish with want, they are secure, and drunk with worldly wealth 
and pleasures, God will go an-angling and a-hunting. Take these 
fishes out of the pond, and drive these beasts out of the pastures : he 
is the world's guardian, and the great one's judge, higher than 
the highest; they shall no longer sport in their fish-ponds and fat 

2. The next sin is corruption in worship : ver. 4, 5, ' Come to Bethel 
and transgress in Gilgal ; multiply transgressions, and bring your sacri 
fices every morning, and your tithes after three years. Offer a sacrifice 
of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offer 
ings : for this liketh you, ye children of Israel, saith the Lord.' 
This whole place must be understood as a sarcasm, as appeareth by 
that clause, * Go transgress at Gilgal.' The Lord doth not allow sin, 
much less command it The meaning is, since you love to fill up the 
measure of your iniquities, go do so, and see what will come of it. At 
Bethel there was one of Jeroboam's calves, therefore called Bethaven, 
the house of iniquity, instead of Bethel, the house of God. The pre 
tence was they thought it was better to worship there than at Jeru 
salem, because there he appeared to Jacob. Gilgal was another place 
of idolatry : Hosea ix. 15, * Their wickedness is in Gilgal ; for there I 
hated them, for the wickedness of their doings/ &c. There Joshua 
renewed the covenant. It was the chief seat of the idolatry of the ten 
tribes. They were punctual in observing all the ordinances of the 
temple, and rites of God's instituted worship ; as daily sacrifice, God 
instituted it : Num. xxviii. 4, ' The one lamb shalt thou offer in the 
morning, and the other lamb in the evening.' Daily we are to make 
use of Christ. The tithing, after three years, was instituted : Deut. 
xiv. 28, ' At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe 
of thine increase/ &c. For the peace-offerings, they were to be offered 
with leavened bread, Lev. vii. 13. In all these formalities they were 
very precise. Where was the fault then ? they had changed the place 
instituted from Jerusalem to Bethel and Gilgal ; they had changed the 
priesthood from the sons of Levi to the basest and vilest of the people ; 
and they had set up their calves as relative objects of worship. Well 
then, from the whole we learn that it is a very provoking sin when 
men set up new ways of worship out of their own brain without an 
express rule from the word. As these, though they kept the substance 
of worship, erected another temple, another altar, and another priest 
hood. Here was altar against altar, and threshold against threshold ; 
therefore God is angry, and giveth them up to do what they would : Go 
take your swing and course, and go on, and see what will come of it. 
A nation is not only to look to oppression, but corruption of worship, 
if they would provide for their own welfare. 

3. The next sin is incorrigibleness under judgments. Here the 
Lord taketh up a long plea against them, from the 6th to the end of 
the llth verse. Several judgments are mentioned, as famine, pesti 
lence, drought, blasting, mildew, the fury of war, great fires kindled in 


their cities; and still this corneth like a chime at the end of every peal, 
' yet ye have not returned unto me, saith the Lord.' To take notice of 
every expression would spend too much time. From the whole let me 
note a few things. 

[1.] That God hath various judgments wherewith to exercise a sinful 
land and nation. We have divers lusts, and God hath divers judg 
ments. He cannot want instruments of vengeance, for his artillery is 
never spent, nor our wickedness. If it be our custom to sin, it is his 
custom to punish. 

[2.] Judgments are not removed, but changed, till we return to the 
Lord. Every kind of physic doth not work on all humours, therefore 
God changeth his dispensation. Rich men may wear out a famine, 
but the pestilence maketh no distinction, and in a war they smart 
most ; as an oak laden with boughs is but fit for lopping. 

[3.] The Lord keepeth a catalogue of his dispensations. His book 
of remembrance standeth charged with all the methods of grace used 
for the reclaiming of a people : Isa. xi. 11, 'I will arise a second time to 
visit Israel ; ' the first is not forgotten. ' These ten times have they 
provoked me,' Num. xiv. 22. A malefactor that is often in prison, 
his offences are upon record, and will be aggravated to his condemna 
tion. When a judgment cometh, we look upon it as rain that will dry 
up of its own accord. But in God's book of remembrance there is a 
mark set upon every providence. 

[4.] Observe, God is very earnest after the creature's repentance. 
He trieth all kinds of methods, key after key, till he hath tried all the 
keys in the bunch. He threateneth, that he may not punish, and he 
punisheth, that he may not punish for ever; and if one punish 
ment worketh not,, he trieth another, and all to bring us to return to 

[5.] Moral means work not without special grace. Here was dis 
pensation upon dispensation, and yet ye returned not unto me. Judg 
ments in themselves do but stupefy, till the plague of the heart be 
cured. The bad thief had one foot in hell, and yet he scoffeth. It is 
not physic that wcrketh the expulsion of the disease, but the internal 
strength and vigour of nature ; physic is but an outward help. So here. 

[6.] Multiplied signs of anger should be noted, and make men be 
think themselves. It is sad when God spendeth rods in vain ; when 
we are often put into the fire and often pulled out, the next burning 
will be dreadful. Men cannot endure to have two things slighted, their 
love or their anger ; their love, as David to Nabal ; their anger, as 
Nebuchadnezzar heated the furnace seven times hotter. All this 
view of the context hath been occasioned by that note of inference, 
' Therefore.' 

I now come to the words, here is a threatening and an exhortation ; 
or, Israel's danger, and Israel's duty; the one inferred out of the other. 

1. The threatening Thus will I do unto thee. ' Thus,' how ? It 
is not specified what God will do ; and in the immediate context there 
is no threatening, but a charge and expostulation. How shall we ex 
pound it then ? Some expound it generally ; ' Thus,' that is, according 
to the merit of those actions, as thy sins deserve ; that which I will do 
hath a vengeance and wrath in it, a sour dispensation to be sure, for it 
is a threatening, though the particular kind be not mentioned. 


' Thus ; ' that is, this kind of dispensations will I continue. He 
had spoken all along of judicial dispensations, of cleanness of teeth, 
blasting, mildew, pestilence, stink of the camp, burning of cities. And 
then * thus/ that is, after this manner, will I continue till you be des 

' Thus ; ' ,the judgment was so great, that the prophet was loath to 
utter it, and therefore draweth a veil over it, and hideth it in a general 
expression ; as Timanthes drew a veil over Agamemnon's sorrow, 
concealing that grief which he could not sufficiently express. As if 
the Lord had said, I am loath to tell you what I will do ; but ' thus I 
will do.' There is terror enough in these words. 

The next are more comfortable. 

Because I will do thus unto thee. God threateneth evil, that he may 
not inflict it. To save sinners, mercy itself will speak in the dialect of 
justice, in a rough strain and rousing language. When the Lord 
threateneth most sadly and severely, he would still be understood as 
inviting to repentance : ' I will do thus unto you/ that if it were 
told, you would not believe it. And because ' I will do thus to you/ 
what then ? 

2. The counsel and duty thence inferred Prepare to meet thy God, 
Israel. Some understand these words as spoken in an irony, Now 
buckle on your harness, and see if you can meet with God, and grapple 
with him in the day of his wrath. But rather it is an exhortation, 
' Prepare to meet him ; ' that is, to come to God, and to take up the 
difference, to prevent and pacify him ; God is angry, to give him a day 
of compromise ; for the covenant relation is mentioned : Jer. iii. 22, 
' Behold we come to thee, for thou art the Lord our God.' The 
Septuagint renders it eroi^a^ov TOV eTntcdkeicrOai TOV @ebv crov, * Be 
prepared to call upon thy God.' 

The point is this, That the great duty of a nation in danger of 
judgment is to give the Lord a compromise, or to make up the breach, 
and take up the difference between him and them. 

Here he seemeth to have in store such judgments as would make 
any tremble to think of ; yet inviteth to repentance. 

Why ' prepare to meet thy God ' ? Either to reverse the judgment 
or to mitigate it. To reverse the judgment. We must distinguish 
between God's sentence and Gods decree ; Mutat sententiam, non 
decretum. God's threatenings do not always hold forth his irrevocable 
purpose. Or else a mitigation : Zeph. iii. 7, ; It may be ye shall be 
hid in the day of the Lord's fierce anger/ You put your eternal 
happiness out of doubt, it may be you shall have temporal mercies. I 
shall show 

[1.] What it is to give God a day of compromise. 

[2.] Why this is the most proper duty for a people in danger. 

First, What is it to give God a day of compromise ? Look to the 
wisdom of men in like cases : what kind of meeting they would give 
those whom they have offended, and whose power they are not able to 
resist ; even so do you deal with God. I shall only allude to such meet 
ings as are described in scripture. And there we shall first take 
notice of that interview that was between Jacob and Esau, described in 
Gen xxxii. 33. Jacob was afraid of Esau, coming with four hundred 
men against him, and therefore taketh the best course to provide for 


his safety : lie sendeth presents, and an humble submission to him, to 
pacify him. And when he was come, he boweth to him seven times. 
1 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced and fell on his neck and 
kissed him, and wept.' So when you hear of God's coming against 
you, put yourselves into a humble posture, and come bow yourselves 
before the Lord ; and in all probability it will be a gracious meeting 
and interview. Again, another instance is of the king of Assyria, when 
he was broken in pieces, and fallen under Ahab's power ; his trusty 
counsellors advised him thus, 1 Kings xx. 31, ' Behold now we have 
heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings ; let us 
1 pray thee, put sackcloth upon our loins, and ropes about our necks, 
and go out to the king of Israel/ &c. When we are fallen under 
the displeasure and power of God, let us put ropes about our necks, 
and humble ourselves. You have not only heard, but know, that the 
God of Israel is a merciful God ; go lie at his feet, acknowledging that 
in justice he might destroy you ; but you are willing to put yourselves 
into his hands, to do with you as it shall seem good in his sight. One 
instance more is the king spoken of, Luke xiv. 31, that had but ten 
thousand, but there was another coming against him with twenty 
thousand. * While he is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassy, 
and desireth conditions of peace/ We are no match for God ; what 
can worms do against him that cometh with mighty angels ? It is 
best to take up the matter, in humble way send to him, seek peace in 
Jesus Christ. Another instance is that of Tyre and Sidon : Acts xii. 
20, ' Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon ; but 
they came with one accord to him, and having made Blastus the king's 
chamberlain their friend, desired peace, because their country was 
nourished by the king's country/ The case is the same between us 
and God. He is highly displeased with a sinful people. Alas ! 
What shall we do ? our country is nourished by the king's country ; 
we cannot subsist without him, let us with one accord come and beg 
peace. Have we never a friend in heaven ? Yes, one that doth not 
forget us in all his exaltation, he that remembereth his alliance still, 
Heb. viii. 2, \LTovp<yb$ dytcov, Jesus Christ ; in his name let us come 
and beg peace. One instance more, because I will not weary you, and 
that is of Adonijah: 1 Kings i. 50-52, ' And Adonijah feared con 
cerning Solomon, and went and caught hold of the horns of the altar, 
raying, Let king Solomon swear unto me to-day that he will not slay 
his servant with the sword. And Solomon said, Let him show himself 
a worthy man, and there shall not a hair of his head fall to the earth.' 
So should we capitulate with God,- but at the horns of the altar, hold 
ing out Christ as a buckler against the strokes of his justice, till he 
saith, Go to your houses in peace. Thus you may learn wisdom from 
men. Only there is a vast difference in the case : God is more mighty 
to destroy, and yet more merciful to save, than any man is, or possibly 
can be. The one consideration quickeneth us to humiliation, the other 
to faith. 

1. To humiliation : Isa. xlv. 9, ' Let the potsherd strive with the pot 
sherds of the earth Woe to him that contendeth with his maker ! ' 
Poor man, if he will be contending, let him seek out his match ; let 
him cope with a man like himself. There, sometimes the weaker side 


may make their party good ; the battle is not always to the strong; 
but whenever we enter into the lists with God, he will be sure to have 
the best of it : Ezek. xxii. 14, ' Can thine heart endure, or thine hands 
be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee ? ' 

2. To faith ; for God, as he is matchless in point of power, so in point 
of mercy ; none is so able to punish, and yet none so willing to spare : 
Hosea xi. 9, ' I am God and not man, and therefore Ephraim shall 
not be destroyed.' It is well for poor Ephraim. Man's pity and 
mercy may be exhausted, though never so great. Many will not spare 
upon all the entreaty and submission that we can use. A pardon may 
be sought from them carefully and with tears, and not obtained ; but 
God's mercy must not be straitened to our size and scantling : 
Ps.. ciii. 11, 'As far as the heavens are above the earth, so great is 
his mercy towards them that fear him.' 

By this general view you may guess what this meeting with God 
imports. More distinctly to give it you, I shall, with respect to the 
former instances, show you the nature of the work, and the manner of 

[1.] The nature of the work. It implieth three things (1.) 
Humiliation ; (2.) Faith ; (3.) Keformation, or a resolution to walk 
with God in better obedience. 

(1.) An address to God in a way of humiliation ; we must creep to 
him upon our knees. Jacob meeteth Esau with soft language and 
submissive behaviour ; and the messengers of the king of Assyria came 
with ropes about their necks, and sackcloth upon their loins ; ' Thy ser 
vant Benhadad saith, I pray thee ? let me live.' Thus must we lie at 
God's feet, taking part with his justice against ourselves; though his 
justice be satisfied by Christ, yet it must be glorified and owned by us. 
This is the work of the day, to judge ourselves, if we would prevent 
God's judgment, 1 Cor. xi. 31. Sinners must be condemned in one court 
or another. In all our addresses to God, there is a use of both 
covenants. We must acknowledge the tenor of the first covenant just, 
if God should proceed according to it, though we hold him to the 
second : Ps. xxx. 2, 3, ( Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou 
hast healed me ; Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave, 
thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.' 
Acknowledge that it is just with God to destroy us ; but, Lord, let thy 
servants live. Every Christian must look upon himself under a two 
fold notion, as a faulty sinner, and a penitent supplicant, As a faulty 
sinner, he must receive his doom from the first covenant ; as a penitent 
supplicant, he must lay hold of mercy in the second. 

(2.) There is required faith in Jesus Christ. The men of Tyre 
made Blastus their friend. Look up to Christ's intercession. Adonijah 
took hold of the horns of the altar, and would not let go his hold till 
Solomon sware to him articles of peace. Here we come to get an 
answer of peace from God ; hold out Christ as the only means of pro 
pitiation. When Themistocles came to Admetus, whom he had 
formerly offended, he took in his arms rov TralSa, .he held up the young 
prince, and so begged acceptance. Lay hold upon Jesus Christ, keep 
him in the arms of your faith. When the destroying angel saw the 
blood of the lamb sprinkled upon the lintel, he forbore. We have no 


other security against the destroyer : look upon the blood of Christ, 
as if it were newly shed, that you may have confidence towards God. 
This man our peace, Micah v. 5. 

(3.) A resolution to walk with God in better obedience. The king 
of Assyria entered into bonds to restore the cities of Samaria. Kesolve 
that God shall have his honour, and the obedience you have kept from 
him. Solomon puts Adonijah to the question, will he show himself a 
worthy man ? Such conditions are we to make with God ; vows of 
reformation : Jer. iv. 1, ' If thou wilt return to me, saith the Lord, put 
away thy abominations out of my sight.' If a man's house be on fire, 
he will put away the flax and straw, and whatsoever is likely to 
augment the flame. Our sins are the combustible matter. We all 
declaim against the evil of the times, but every man continueth the 
practices. We deceive ourselves with general terms. Will you now 
give the hand to the Lord ? 2 Chron. xxx. 8, ' Now yield yourselves 
unto the Lord.' Give the hand ; is it a bargain ? Are you resolved 
to lay down the bucklers and weapons of defiance ? to cast sin out of 
your hearts, and out of your families and township, wherever you have 
an interest ? to lay aside your vanity, your oppression, your deserting 
of a godly ministry, and the simplicity of the gospel, your hatred of 
reformation, your slighting of church order, your heats and animosities ? 
This is matter to be done 

[2.] Now for the manner. This must be done 

(1.) Speedily. It is no time to dally. ' Whilst he is yet a great way 
off, he sendeth an embassy.' We must not tarry till the judgment 
tread upon our heels, or the storm break out upon us. A man cannot 
soon enough be in the arms of Christ. They that are in good earnest 
.are in haste : ' who have fled for refuge,' &c. Heb. vi. 18 ; the avenger 
of blood being at their heels. Sin and we cannot part soon enough. 
Many a time a brabble falleth out between a man and his lusts ; but 
he delayeth, and all cometh to nothing. In an heat, we bid the naughty 
servant be gone ; but he lingereth, and before the next morning all is 
cool and quiet again ; we are agreed again as much as ever. 

(2.) Seriously ; for God will not be mocked. In real danger it is 
no time to dally with God. The work of humiliation must be serious. 
God abhorreth mock fasts, hanging the head for a day like a bulrush, 
Isa. Iviii. 5. A little drooping, a few mournful postures for the present, 
and putting a natural fervency in our prayers, will not serve the turn ; 
it is but howling. Are you indeed sensible of the weight of God's dis 
pleasure, so that you make the seeking of his face in Christ to be your 
great work ? 2 Chron. vii. 14, ' If the people that is called by my name 
shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, &c., then will I 
pardon their sins, and heal their land/ God's favour and reconciliation 
by Christ, do you seek this above all things ? So your coming to God 
by Christ must be serious : Heb. x. 22, ' Let us draw near with a true 
heart/ Not like Judas, kiss to betray him ; or as Joab's embracing 
of Abner. Come with an unfeigned purpose of doing and being what 
God would have you to do and be. Your reformation must be serious : 
Jer. iii. 10, ' Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, 
but feignedly, saith the Lord/ There was an outward turn, for it was 
in the days of Josiab, ver. 7 ; and then the law was recovered, the 


worship of God restored, a covenant made with him, 2 Kings xxii. 23 ; 
but for all this pretended change the mischiefs continued, all was in 
pretence, as appeareth by their speedy revolt. Usually, in the changes 
of the world, the persons are changed, but not things. The men are 
cast out, but the corruptions live. Or else all is but pretence. In 
Josiah's time, many nasty corners were unswept : Zeph. i. 1, ' The word 
of the Lord that came to Zephaniah, in the days of Josiah' (A man 
would wonder, that he should come with such a thundering prophecy 
in the days of a reforming magistrate) ' I will utterly consume all 
things from the land ; I will consume man and beast.' A sad desola 
tion threatened. Why all this in Josiah's time ? See in ver. 4, ' I 
will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the 
Chemarims with the priests.' Some relics of the old superstition, 
which Josiah could not discover, and the people would not reform. 
The Chemarims were kept officers of the idols ; idolatrous Chemarims, 
wicked priests. So ver. 6, ' And them that are turned back from the 
Lord, and those that have not sought the Lord,' &c. 

God's anger is increased by mock turns. Hypocrites, if there be 
any hotter place in hell, it is their portion : Mat. xxiv. 51, ' And shall 
cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with hypocrites.' The 
land of darkness is their heritage and fee-simple. So an hypocritical 
nation : Isa. x. 6, ' I will send him against an hypocritical nation, to 
take the spoil and take the prey ; ' the Assyrian, a profane nation, 
and Judah, an hypocritical nation. They professed reformation, and 
dallied with God. God doth not stand upon the choice of a rod when 
his people mock him, as an angry father taketh what cometh next to 
hand. The basest people may be employed against them that mock 
God with vain pretences, feigned words, and empty shows. If, in a 
church, forms of worship be only changed, and not the manners of men : 
in a state, the instruments, but not the Corruptions, the Lord will no\ 
be put off so. 

(3.) If must be done earnestly, and with affection. Humiliation 
implieth an afflictive sorrow, and that the heart be melted and broken 
before the Lord ; ' a rending of the heart : ' Joel ii. 13, ' Kend your 
hearts and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord.' Stout hearts 
must be broken, and affected with the sense of God's displeasure. This 
is not a work to be lightly passed over. Our looking for mercy in 
Christ, it must be earnest. The messengers of the king of Assyria 
waited for the word, brother. With such earnestness should you look 
for the answers of grace. And your resolutions for God must be 
earnest, loathing our sins, and returning to the Lord with all the heart, 
seeking his face with diligence and seriousness. It may cost you much 
wrestling to get and keep his favour and communion with him. 

Secondly, Why is this the most seasonable duty ? 

1. Because the main party with whom we have to do is God. He 
is at the upper end of causes, and his hand and counsel is in all things ; 
and all the evil that befalleth us is the fruit of God's anger. Then, 
get his favour, and you stop danger at the fountain-head. If God be 
reconciled, and made a friend to us in Christ, you need not fear man's 
enmity. Either it shall be assuaged (Prov. xvi. 7, ' When a man's 
ways please the Lord, he maketh his enemies to be at peace with him.' 


God hath the hearts of men in his own hand. When two states are 
at war, the business is not to seek the favour of common soldiers, but 
those that do employ them. The next way to get in with men is to 
get in with God) or else, if it continue, it can do you no harm : you 
need not fear the sword when you do not fear him that weareth the 

2. It will either prevent the danger, or mitigate it, or get it sanctified. 
It may prevent the danger. When he is about to strike, he would 
fain be prevented. He often reverseth his sentence : Jer. xviii. 8, * If 
that nation against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I 
will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them/ Or mitigate 
the danger, especially to your own persons ; you may be hid. In tem 
poral things, God leaveth us at an uncertainty, and keepeth us in sus 
pense, that we may use the means more earnestly, referring the event 
to him. Mourners in Sion have a mark of preservation. Or else get 
it sanctified, which is a great comfort, either to better our hearts, or 
hasten our glory. He is at peace with God : Isa. iii. 10, ' Say to the 
righteous, It shall be well with them,' whatever falleth out in the world : 
Cant. iv. 16, ' Awake, north-wind, and come, thou south, and blow 
upon my garden,' &c. Out of what corner soever the wind bloweth, 
the cold north or sultry south. If we could make a good company of 
mourners, the judgment may be prevented : Zeph. ii. 1,2,' Gather 
yourselves together, yea, gather together, nation not desired, before 
the decree bring forth/ &c. God's decree is not taken for his secret 
counsel, but his public sentence : if the nation could be got to gather 
themselves together. Sincere humiliation in secret is not enough in 
God's account, but there must be a public profession of repentance, 
that all may concur to quench that fire which their sins have kindled, 
every one bringing their bucket. If only a few set about it, it will do 
no good. But if that cannot be, yet the judgment may be mitigated ; 
you may escape common judgment : Ezek. ix. 4, ' Set a mark on them 
that sigh.' God can make a distinction ; it is an art that he is versed 
in : 2 Peter ii. 9, ' The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of 
temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be 
punished.' If not so, yet the judgment may be sanctified to you, 
however things go, Isa. iii. 10, ' Say you to the righteous, It shall be 
well with him.' It is possible .a green stick may burn for company when 
the dry are kindled ; but it is sanctified to better your hearts, and hasten 
glory. It is possible they may perish in the common burning, but 
their eternal happiness is out of danger : Kom. viii. 28, * All things 
work together for good to them that love God.' 

3. If our mercies be continued to us, they are continued with a curse 
while God is angry. We may have government in God's anger, and 
governors and establishment in God's anger, evSov TO /carcbv. Though 
we should build walls up to heaven, sin in the bottom, that would 
undermine all ; sin within, as the voice told Phocas, in Cedrenus. 
Therefore, if we would not have our mercies cursed, let us first make 
peace with God: Job xxii. 21, { Acquaint thyself with God, and be at 
peace, and good shall come unto thee ; ' then good cometh to thee. 
God's wrath is sometimes compared to a moth, and sometimes to a lion. 
The moth noteth the eating of an insensible curse ; the lion, open and 


destroying judgments. If you would not have your mercies blasted 
and eaten out by a secret moth, begin with God. Until WQ flee to 
God by Christ for the pardon of sin, we cannot expect that the good 
and peace we have should be continued as a blessing. To have mercies 
in anger is one of the worst kind of judgments : Micah v. 5, ' Then 
this man shall be the peace, and when the Assyrian shall come into 
our land, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds and eight 
principal men.' 

4. Hasting and preparing to make peace with God, and take up the 
differences between us and him, prevents many sins which are the 
bane of a nation ; as security and creature confidence. 

[1.] Security, not fearing of deserved wrath; when we see a judgment 
in its causes, and a storm while the cloud is but a-gathering. The 
welfare of a nation is not to be measured by outward probabilities, but 
the sentence of the word. The face of providence speaketh not the 
intentions of God so much as the course of his justice according to the 
covenant : Heb. xi. 7, ' Noah being warned of God of things not seen,' 
c. To appearance there was no such thing as a flood coming ; ail 
things continued according to the stated course of nature ; but of a 
sudden the mouth of the great deep opened, and the windows of heaven ; 
and the merry world was overtaken and overwhelmed with a flood. 
And so it is usually in God's judicial proceedings. Men are secure, and 
feast themselves with hopes of temporal felicity, till God's wrath breaketh 
in of a sudden. We are not to look to the present face of things, but 
the word. Now, while God is a great way off, we should labour to 
make peace with him. As Josiah trembled when the law was read ; 
we do not read of any danger and actual disturbance to the nation. 

[2.] Carnal confidence. When our first and chief business is with 
God, it is a sign we little mind carnal props. Arms, ships, treasures, 
wise counsels, how soon can God blow upon them ! Trusting in the 
arm of flesh is much talked of in the world, and little understood by 
many. They have a gross notion of it, and only confine it to praise and 
idolising of instruments. The true notion of it is, when a people hope, 
by their own wisdom, power, and strength, to carry on their matters 
against God or without God. Against God, when they think their power 
shall bear them out in unjust actions ; without God, when they think 
to establish a nation by their own carnal shifts, and without taking up 
the controversy between God and them. The case is expressly spoken 
to in Jer. iv. 14. ' Jerusalem, wash thy heart from wickedness, that 
thou mayest be saved ; how long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within 
thee ? ' Vain thoughts are not taken in their full latitude, as imply 
ing all the corruption of the thoughts ; but hopes of succour and safety 
from their force of arms, or the wisdom of their counsels and mutual 
agreement, without humiliation, repentance, and reformation. So that, 
if we do not prepare and set ourselves to make all sure with God, we 
do but deceive ourselves. 

Use 1. To press you to consider England's danger, that you may 
more effectually mind England's duty. 

1. England's danger. Possibly you may think that the nation is 
upon the mending hand, and that we have wrestled out of many diffi 
culties. Now it is comfortable, if any have these hopes, to say as the 


prophet in a like case, Jer. xxviii. 5, ' Amen ; the Lord do so, the 
Lord perform thy words which thon hast prophesied/ However if the 
threatening be unseasonable, the duty is not. But alas ! the times do 
not look upon all with a like face. Surely there is a cause for God to 
be angry. We have had our judgments and our deliverances ; we are 
but as a brand plucked out of the burning ; but is not the Lord's hand 
stretched out still ? Are we not now under the rebukes of his provid 
ence, by the Lord's blasting our designs abroad, by our distractions 
at home, enemies arming against us, and the friends of Sion full of 
jealousies and fears? Are the foundations so well settled that we 
have no cause to think of preparing to meet the Lord ? Other prepara 
tions do well, but this should be regarded in the first place. Have we 
not many spiritual judgments upon us ; which of all are most dreadful ? 
The storm is not broken in upon us indeed, we do not hear the alarm 
of war, nor see garments rolled in blood ; but is not the moth of intes 
tine confusions and dissensions eating out the staff and the stay? 
Do not these shoals of libertines, that are every day increasing in 
numbers, power and malice, call upon us to inquire after the reasons 
of the Lord's wrath ? Lord, why art thou angry with thine heritage ? 
Surely to any discerning eye there is enough of danger. God seemeth 
to say, Thus will I do unto you ; though he doth not tell us from what 
corner the storm shall blow, nor what kind of vengeance he hath in store 
for us, nor whence it shall arise. We do not know what is in the 
womb of providence, or how far the prerogative of free grace may 
interpose in our behalf, whether England shall be made a theatre of 
mercy, or a field of blood, but though we do not know what God hath 
decreed, we may soon know what England hath deserved ; and that is 
enough to quicken us to humiliation. Shall I trouble you, 1 will not 
say with a few melancholy thoughts, but serious observations, to awaken 
us out of our security ? 

[1.]^ I observe, that after God hath laid in any spiritual comforts, 
there is a time to lay them out again ; and after great receipts we are 
put to^ great expenses. The disciples first enjoyed Christ's presence 
and ministry, and then were exposed to a dreadful persecution. John 
xi., he biddeth them make use of the light, because the darkness was 
coming upon them. There never was the gospel powerfully preached 
but trials came : 1 Thes. i. 5, 6, ' Ye received the word with much 
assurance and much affliction/ God will try how we can live upon 
the comforts of the gospel. Castles are first victualled, and then be 
sieged : Heb. x. 32, * Ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took 
joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing that in heaven ye have a 
better, and an enduring substance/ The churches of Asia underwent 
horrible desolation after a powerful ministry. Germany, after a suffi 
cient promulgation of the gospel, hath suffered many sad years. 

[2.] After trials and reformations, there come trials and probations, 
that, after we have submitted to the ways of God, we may honour them 
with suffering. The ten persecutions were after Christ had set up the 
ordinances of the gospel ; the Marian and bloody days after king 
Edward's reformation. God will have every truth honoured in its sea 
son. When the witnesses had finished the testimony of their prophecy, 
after a short time they were slain, Kev. xi. 7. 



[3.] When reformations stick in the birth, God will promote them 
by troubles. He laketh his own fan into his hand, Mat. iii, 12. When 
men cannot or will not effect it, God will purge his floor, and cleanse 
the church from profane mixtures. Christ came with his whip to 
cleanse the temple, John ii. 15. Grosthead prophesied that the church 
should not be reformed, but ore gladii cruentandi. God usually 
tendeth a reformation to the world with a judgment in his hand ; and 
if the reformation be obstructed, the judgment will proceed, Ezek. xxiv. 
13. When the pot is put over the fire, if the scum remaineth still, he 
overturneth all. 

[4.] When there are great differences among his own people, the 
end is bitter. We warp in the sunshine. The dog is let loose that 
the sheep may run together. A piece of wax when it is broken, put it 
together never so often, it will not close ; but put it into the candle, 
and the two ends stick close together. Ridley and Hooper could agree 
in a prison. A little before Dioclesian's persecution, fyikoveiiciai, 
dva<j)\eyovTo, the church was rent and torn with intestine broils, pastor 
against pastor, and people against people. Ease begets pride and wanton 
ness, and that maketh way for contention. God may solder you in your 
own blood, and effect union by making you objects of the same hatred 
and persecution. Nazianzen was wont to call the enemies of the 
church, KOivovs SiaXX^/n-a?, the common reconcilers; the turbulent 
enemies many times prove the best reconcilers, and the wolves 
bring the sheep together. 

[5.] Libertine and fanatical persons, when they increase into power 
and numbers, become cruel : Jude 11, ' These walked in the way of 
Cain.' The Donatists are of detestable and accursed memory, because 
of their insolent cruelties : Hos. v. 5, 'The pride of Israel doth testify 
to his face/ &c. Eevolters are found to make slaughters, viz., men 
that have cast off the holy faith after some profession ; the Lord keep 
us from their tender mercies ! Arians grew bloody. Naz. Orat. xxv., 
TTW? Be avOptoTTtov /JL\\OV fa&ecrOat, ol rr)$ 6et,OTr)TOS fjirj faiSojAevoi. 
Want of truth is usually made up by a supply of rage ; lees and dregs 
are usually very tart and sour. 

[6.] When religion hath received wounds in the house of her friends, 
and occasion is given to the world by scandals, to think evil of the ways 
of God, God taketh his scourge in his hand ; and when the devil hath 
an advantage, he stirreth up the malignant world against the children 
of God as a sort of monsters. The Gnostics, by their impure and 
libidinous courses, made Christianity odious, and then the heathens 
rose up against them as pests of mankind. Luminum extinctores. 
The devil is first a liar and then a murderer, John viii. 44. He lieth 
that his murders may carry some pretence. Xow, that his lies may 
carry some pretence, he taketh up the scandals of false Christians. 

[7.] The decay of the power of godliness, and formality and contempt 
of the word, which are the usual effects of prosperity. As soon as we 
come out of miseries, we run into disorders. Therefore God is wont 
to return us into our old chains again, that we may wanton it no 
more : Hos. v. ' In their afflictions they will seek me right early.' I 
will try them by adversity ; I will try what my rod will do : to better 
his people, as also to discover hypocrites. When the ways of God are 


a little owned, and the church, hath ease, many come and take up a form, 
and so religion is turned into a fashion and empty pretence. Salvian 
observeth, that the church, like a river, loseth in depth what it gaineth 
in breadth Multiplicatis quidem populis, fides diminuta est ; and 
1'^'equentibus filiis mater aegrotat a woman that hath borne many 
children is with every birth the weaker. Tantum copice accessit, 
quantum disciplines recessit ; as a large body is less active. Carnal 
men coming under a profession of religion weaken the power of it. 

[8.] When professors grow worldly, this awakeneth worldly rage 
and God's rods. The men of the world take mammon for God, and 
the conveniences of this life for their portion. Now, when the children 
of God put in for a share, and are all for worldly hopes and interests, 
it stirreth up their enmity. They cannot endure to be discountenanced ; 
it is their generation and sphere : Luke xvi. 8, ' The children of this 
world are in their generation wiser than the children of light ; ' full 
of watchful malice ; so God's rod. When the world gets into trie 
church, God whippeth it out again by the world. God will show us 
the vanity of our aspiring projects. The spirit of the world is breath 
ing in most Christians, prowling for greatness, as if they served the god 
of the world. Many dream now of a carnal pomp and dominion, fit for 
a worldly hope. The disciples had such a dream, and Christ cureth it 
by thoste threatenings : Mat. xxiv. 6, ' Ye shall hear of wars, and 
rumours of wars ; nation shall rise against nation/ &c. 

But enough of England's danger ; and to prove that it is in a great 
measure God's language to us, ' Thus will I do unto you.' 

2. England's duty : ' Prepare to meet thy God.' Which let us all 
set upon" 

[1 .] We are all concerned. God taketh it ill when we do not meet 
him in his wrath, and present him in his judgments : Ezek. xiii. 5, 
' Ye have not gone into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the 
house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.' God 
besiegeth the church with judgments,, to try the watchfulness and 
valour of his people. Our standing in the gap is by humiliation, 
invocation, and repentance. If you oppose the Lord, it must be with 
spiritual weapons of his own choosing and appointing. So Ezek. xxii, 
SO, ' I sought for a man to stand in the gap, and found none.' He 
threateneth, to prevent the execution. 

[2.] You are involved in the common guilt till you take this course : 
2 Cor. vii. 11, * You have approved yourselves clear in this matter/ 
The whole church was not guilty of incest. We contract a share and 
fellowship in the common guilt, unless we mourn for it and wrestle with 
God ; you enter your protest and dissent before the Lord. But especi 
ally this concerneth you. the representative body of this nation ; you 
that should be the repairers of the breaches.. Zech iii. 3. Joshua, the 
high priest, the public officer and ruler of the nation, stood before the 
Lord in filthy garments, as representing the people's iniquity. Magis 
trates and ministers are most concerned. The measures of "the 
sanctuary were double to other measures : * Prepare to meet your 

(1.) Get the sin stated, and the great cause of the breach between us 
and God. You had need advise about it. See where the business 


sticks ; otherwise we shall chop logic with God, as the carnal Jews 
did : Mai. iii. 7, ' Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away 
from mine ordinances, and have not kept them ; Eeturn unto me, and 
I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts : but ye said, Wherein 
shall we return ? ' Knowledge of a disease is a good step to the cure. 
It was Caesar's complaint of the Britons, It is harder to find them out 
than to vanquish them. There must be a searching and trying before 
returning : Lam. iii. 40, ' Let us search and try our ways, and turn 
unto the Lord.' It is a very critical business to us that are blinded with 
lusts and interests. I observe, in our humiliation either we fling dirt 
in one another's faces, and one party accuseth another ; what one is for, 
another condemns ; or else we take up customary terms and superficial 
acknowledgments, or pitch upon sins by the by : Amos ii. 4, ' For 
three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the 
punishment thereof, because they have despised the law of the Lord/ 
There be many sins, and yet one main one. The Corinthians were 
guilty of foul disorders, yet, ' For this cause many are weak and sickly 
among you, and many sleep/ 1 Cor. xi. 30. If the right cause of God's 
displeasure were truly and impartially stated, we should soon see where 
our business lieth. I doubt it is not the work of a private person ; he 
hath not skill, and his testimony would be more liable to suspicion ; 
if he should alone bear the burden of such a discovery, he would be 
made a reproach. If many of the most judicious and godly- wise were 
called together for such a work, it would be very acceptable to the Lord, 
and comfortable to the nation : Hos. v. 15, 'I will return to my place 
till they do acknowledge their offence/ Trouble will pursue till this be 
done, till we plead guilty, and humble ourselves as a people that have 
such a burden upon them. 

(2.) Make your own peace with God ; for till then you are never 
fit to pray or act for the public good of the nation with any hopes of 

(3.) Promote a sound well-tempered reformation in the land. Pro 
mote God's interest, protect his truth and servants against those that 
malign and hate them, and all endeavours to a thorough reformation. 



For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 
^teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we 
should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present 
world ; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing 
of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave him 
self for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify 
unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. TITUS ii. 

IN the immediate context the apostle had given direction to servants 
to walk amiably and faithfully in their relations ; and the argument 
which he urgeth to persuade them is, that by this means they would 
' adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things/ ver. 10 ; that is, 
represent it with advantage, and render it acceptable to the respects of 
others. Duties of relations are of so much use to the quiet and welfare 
of human society, that, when they are faithfully performed, they do 
much commend any way or doctrine, and induce others to speak well 
of it ; and therefore, saith he, Be faithful in your relations, that you 
may make the doctrine of God comely, and adorn the gospel. Now, 
this adorning the gospel, it is not only an act of policy, but duty ; it is 
but a doing right to the gospel, and giving it its proper lustre. Why? 
Because the same gospel which calls for duty to God as to his worship, 
doth also enforce the duties of our relations. A man may put a var 
nish upon an evil way by a plausible carriage ; and though his principle 
have no tendency to such a practice, he may do it because it is comely 
in the world. But it is otherwise here. The gospel, that hath ap 
peared to all sorts of men, presseth all sorts of duties. Yea, and which 
is more, it giveth grace to perform them ; for the apostle doth not only 
argue here, but direct ; he doth not only show them what they must 
do, but how they may come to do their duty in this kind ; for saith 
he, ' The grace of God which bringeth salvation,' &c. 

In the words you may observe the teacher, the lesson, the encourage 
ment and inducements to learn. 

1. The teacher is the grace of God, described, ver. 11. 

2. The lesson is the whole duty of our heavenly calling, set forth 
ver. 12, and there (1.) Negatively, in departing from evil, ' denying 
Tingodliness and worldly lusts.' (2.) Positively, in cleaving to that 


which is good, c We should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this 
present world.' Where you may observe that the duty of the 
creature is distributed into three ranks and parts, according to the 
several objects to which it is referred. Soberly we must walk as to 
ourselves ; righteously as to our neighbour ; and godly that the Lord 
himself may not be defrauded of his portion. There are, in a moral 
consideration, but three things in the world thyself, thy neighbour, 
and God; and suitably doth the apostle distribute and parcel out 
Christian offices and duties ; soberly as to ourselves, righteously as to 
our neighbour, and godly as to God. 

3. The encouragements to learn, and they are two. If we look for 
ward, there is hope ; if we look backward, there is gratitude, or an 
obligation arising from the death of Christ. In short the two great 
motives and inducements are the hope of eternal life, and the end of 
Christ's death. Hope of eternal life : ver. 13, ' Looking for the blessed 
hope,' &c. The end of Christ's death ; ver. 14, ' Who gave himself 
for us,' &c. 

The text being long, I shall forbear exposition till I come to handle 
the several branches. 

I shall first begin with the teacher, described ver. 11, 'The grace of 
God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men.' The grace of 
God is described by its property ; it is %a/w fj cr&>-n?/)fco9, a grace 
bringing salvation, or tending to salvation, as the word signifies; 
and by a special adjunct, its present manifestation, eire^avrj, 'it 
hath appeared ;' suddenly broken out, like the light of the morning 
after a dark night ; and then there is the extent of that manifestation, 
it hath appeared to all men. Some indeed refer this extent, not to 
the word 7re<f)dvr), * it hath appeared/ but to the word, O-WTT^O?, 
' bringing salvation ; ' and they read it as we do in the margin ; 'The 
grace of God, that bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared ; ' there 
is not much difference. To supersede all doubt and dispute about the 
matter, all men here signifies all sorts of men ; for the apostle had 
spoken of servants and bondmen, that they in their relations should 
glorify God ; aoid he proves it by this argument : ' The grace of God 
hath appeared to all men ; ' that is, to the bondman as well as to the 
lord and master ; therefore they in their places are to discharge their 
duties as well as others ; for the gospel, as I said, hath appeared to all 
men, and presseth all sorts of duties. 

First, I begin with the thing described, ' The grace of God.' It is 
a term that admits of divers acceptations. Sometimes it is put for 
God's eternal favour and good- will; sometimes for the effects of this 
favour, as grace infused and bestowed upon the creature : Eph. iv. 7, 
' To every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the 
gift of Christ/ Sometimes it is put for the gospel, which is the charter 
by which we hold this grace ; and so it is said, Kom. vi. ] 5, ' You are 
not under the law, but under grace ;' i. e., under the state of the gospel. 
Here I take it in the first sense, viz., for the gracious will and good 
pleasure of God to do good to men, or to show mercy to the creature ; 
for God's kindness and bounty to men is expressed by several terms. 
The most usual are two grace and mercy. I will show how they agree, 
and how they differ. They both agree in this, that they are attributes 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITTJS II. 13-14. ^ 

which merely respect the creature. The love and knowledge of God 
first falleth upon himself. God knows himself, and loves himself, and 
then the creature. But now the mercy and grace of God are merely 
transient, and pass out to and respect the creature only. God cannot 
be gracious to himself and merciful to himself, as he loves himself and 
knows himself; and therefore herein they agree. But now in some 
respects they differ. Grace properly signifies the freeness of God's 
love ; mercy relates to the misery of the creature. God's external 
motive is our misery, and his internal motive is his own grace. Mercy 
respects us as we are in ourselves worthy of condemnation : grace re 
spects us as we are compared with others that are not elected. As, for 
instance, if the question be, Why any are chosen to life ? it is out of 
mercy, because they are lost and undone creatures. But then if the 
question be, Why these are chosen above others ? then the ultimate 
reason is God's grace. Once more, the angels that never sinned are 
saved merely out of grace, and not out of mercy. It is not proper to 
say they are saved out of mercy, for they were never miserable; but 
men, that were once miserable, are saved, not only out of grace, but 
also out of mercy. In short, mercy signifies that love of God which 
helps the miserable, and grace signifies a property in God to give forth 
things freely and without desert Grace doth all gratis, freely, and 
without any merit or precedent obligation or debt. Note then 

Dock 1. That the original and first moving cause of all the blessings 
we have from God is grace. 

Survey all the blessings of the covenant, and from first to 
last you will see grace doth all. Election, vocation, justification, 
sanctification, glorification, all is from grace. There is a clue of 
scriptures which will lead us through all these steps, and direct us to 

1. For election : Kom. xi. 5, 6, ' There is a remnant according to 
the election of grace.' And then he adds presently (for Paul cannot 
mention grace, but he must run out into the praise or vindication of 
it), ' And if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is 
no more grace : but if it be of works, then it is no more grace, other 
wise work is no more work.' Mark the context. The apostle's drift 
in that place is to prove that all Israel are not cast away ; that though 
the nation of Israel were passed by, yet there was a remnant chosen 
according to the election of grace. Grace is spoken of by the by, but 
he takes every little occasion to digress into the commendation of grace. 
And what doth he say ? The foundation and ground of salvation is 
God's election, and the impulsive cause of election is God's grace. 
Why is there a remnant ? There is an election ; and why is there 
election ? It is according to grace. 

2. Our calling, when election breaketh out in time and becometh 
actual. Look, as the heirs of salvation are distinguished from others 
by election in the purpose and bosom of God, so are they actually 
distinguished from others by effectual calling : 2 Tim. i. 9, ' Who hath 
saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, 
but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in 
Christ Jesus before the world began/ Why doth God pick and choose, 
and cull here and there ? The only reason is his own grace and his 


own purpose. When we come to make choice, we cull and pick out 
those things that are worthy of our love and respect ; and we favour 
none but for something whereby we may be allured to love them ; but 
God saw nothing lovely in us, but yet calleth us with an holy calling 
according to his purpose and grace. The same gracious purpose that 
distinguished them from others before all time, doth in time make an 
actual choice and distinction between them and others by effectual calling. 

3. Justification : Horn. iii. 24, ' Being justified freely by his grace.' 
Mark, the apostle useth two words ; it is rfj avrov %a/om, ' by his 
grace ; ' and it is Scopeav, ' freely ' by his grace ; ' freely/ to note the 
readiness of his inclination ; and ' by his grace,' to exclude the merit of 
our works ; or the mere grace of God, not excited or quickened by any 
works of ours, but acting of its own accord. The scriptures do with 
such emphatical and redoubled expressions inculcate it, because there 
are deep prejudices in the proud heart of man, rooted in his nature, 
against the grace of God. 

4. Sanctification, all the parts whereof are called the graces of the 
Spirit ; because, Gratice gratis datce ; they are not only wrought by the 
Spirit, but freely given us of God. Thus faith is said to be God's gift : 
Eph. ii. 8, f By grace ye are saved through faith, and tha^ not of 
yourselves, it is the gift of God.' And it is giveri of mere grace ; Phil, 
i. 29, ' To you it is given to believe ; ' the word ^yapMhj signifies 
' graciously given ; ' it is the same word that is used, Kom. viii. 32, ' He 
that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall 
he not with him also freely give us all things ? ' xapLcrercu. The same 
grace that giveth Christ, giveth faith to believe in Christ, that we may 
be possessed of his grace. 

5. Glorification, which is the complement of all salvation. So Eph. 
ii. 8, ' By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves ; 
it is the gift of God.' Not only all the means and all the tendencies 
of salvation are of grace, but salvation itself ; from first to last it is 
all of grace. So that when we come to heaven, this will be our great 
work, to sing forth the praises of grace, and to admire and glorify the 
grace of God to all eternity. 

Secondly, To limit the point. Though it is of grace, yet not to 
exclude Christ, not to exclude the means of salvation. 

1. Not to exclude Christ. The merit of Christ stands well enough 
with the grace of God: Bom. iii. 24, ' Being justified freely by his 
grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus/ Freely ! you 
will say ; how so, when it was not without so great a price and satis 
faction as the blood of the Lord Jesus ? Yet, however, it is freely in 
respect of us, it is by no work of otirs ; it was the exceeding grace of 
God to appoint the merit of Christ, that it might be the greater ground 
of confidence to us. We do not look for things with such certainty 
which depend upon mere grace, and favour, and good-will, as we do 
when a thing is established by merit and desert. Now merit in us 
there could not be without wrong to grace ; and therefore the wisdom 
and love of God hath found out this way of merit in Christ, that we 
might be more confident of the standing of our privileges, they being 
bought at so great a price. There was grace in this, that God gave 
Christ, that the satisfaction is not required of us ; and therefore indeed 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS IT. 11-14. 41 

there is nothing doth so gloriously discover the grace of God as the 
free giving up of Jesus Christ. God might require satisfaction from 
the party offending, or the person that had so sinned might bear the 
blame and punishment ; but the Lord hath so loved the world that he 
gave his only-begotten Son, and that not to angels, but to us. Well, 
then, it is grace to find out the merit, and grace by which we are 
interested in it. Christ's merit is most free, both on the part of God 
the Father freely sending Christ, and on the part of Christ taking this 
office upon him. It was grace that moved God to give Christ, and 
grace that moved Christ to give himself, 'who loved me, and 
gave himself for me/ Gal. ii. 20. Nay, after all this, it is grace 
that gives us faith, that so we may be interested in the merit of 
Christ, that we which sinned with both hands earnestly, might take 
hold of God with both hands. And our salvation is carried ori in such 
a way that we may confidently expect his mercy without any violation 
of his justice and truth. So that it doth not derogate from the grace 
of God, but much amplify and enlarge it. This is a great part of the 
grace, that he freely sent Christ to make all sure between us and him. 

2. Not to exclude the means of salvation ; not faith, nor obedience 
also, if rightly understood. 

Not faith ; that may well enough stand with grace : Eph. ii. 8, ' By 
grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves ; it is the 
gift of God/ There is a condition required, and that is faith ; but God 
himself gives the condition that he requireth. Grace cannot stand with 
anything that is in man, and of man, as the condition of the covenant; 
yet it stands with faith, because it justifies, not as an inherent quality 
in us, or as a work done by us, but as it layeth hold of Jesus Christ ; 
and it is not of ourselves, but is the mere gift of grace. 

And then for obedience, that is also subordinate to faith, as a 
necessary fruit and effect of it. As faith is the instrument, so obedience 
is required as a fruit of faith. Though it come not into justification, 
yet it is an evidence of our interest in salvation. It is required as a 
testimony of faith, yet not as a condition, which is a cause of the thing 
promised. It is required, because though it be not of man, yet it is 
in man ; it is given of God, but it is our work. 

The papists, to excuse the grossness of merit, say that our works do 
not merit but as they come from the grace of God, and as they are 
sprinkled with the blood of Christ. But mark, it is not enough so to 
ascribe our works to the grace of God ; all self-justiciaries will do so, 
as the pharisee that pleaded his works: Luke xviii. 11, 'God, I thank 
thee I am not as other men are/ And you confound the covenants 
when you think that a man may merit of God by his own grace. Adam 
under the covenant of works might then be said to be saved by grace. 
Why ? because he could not persevere in the use of his own free-will, 
unless he had received it of God. Well then, grace doth not exclude 
faith, nor works ; not faith as the instrument of justification and as the 
condition of the covenant ; not works, as the fruit and testimony of 
faith. There is a concurrence of works, but not by way of causality, 
but order. God will first justify, then sanctify, then glorify, and all of 
grace. Obedience is the conditio sine qua non the condition without 
which we cannot be saved. The grace of God is the first moving 
cause ; Christ is the meritorious procuring cause ; faith is the instrii- 

42 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. I. 

ment ; and obedience is the fruit of faith. These are subordinate, not 

Thirdly, My next work shall be to give you some reasons why it 
must be so that grace is the original cause of all the blessings we 
receive from God ; because it is most for the glory of God, and most 
for the comfort of the creature. 

1. It is most convenient for the glory of God, to keep up the respects 
of the creature to him in a way suitable to his majesty. Mark, God 
would dispense blessings in such a way as might beat down despair 
and carnal confidence at the same time. Man had need of mercy, but 
deserveth none. Despair would keep us from returning to God, and 
carnal confidence from ascribing all to God. Therefore, as the Lord 
would not have flesh to glory, so neither to be cut off from all hope. 
It is of grace that we may hope, and keep up our respect to God ; for 
there is nothing that keeps up the devotion and respects of the crea 
ture to God so much as grace. The psalmist intimates this : ' There 
is forgiveness with thee, that thou rnayest be feared,' Ps. cxxx. 4. 
Mercy in God makes us fear, love, and respect him. And it is of 
grace, that flesh may not glory : Eph. ii. 9, ' Not of works, lest any 
man should boast ; ' but that God may have all the glory of his grace. 
If God did not deal with us upon terms of grace, despair would make 
us let go all sense of duly, and a guilty creature would stand at a dis 
tance, and fly from the sight of God. Some think that the only way 
to gain men to a sense of religion is by rubbing the conscience, and 
keeping it raw and sore with terror ; but the psalmist saith, ' There is 
forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.' This is the best 
way to keep up the creature's respects. False worships are merely sup 
ported by terror and fear ; but God, that hath the best title to the heart, 
will gain it by love and grace. But as despair standeth in the way of 
God's glory, so doth carnal confidence. Now grace taketh. off all 
boasting : 1 Cor. i. 31, 'He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord/ 
Here is nothing of pre-engagement, merit, and hire ; yea, it is for the 
glory of the supreme Majesty that he should act freely, and that his 
blessings should come to us not as a thing deserved but as a gift ; and 
that he should entertain us as a king, not as a host : ' He that hath 
no money, come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine and milk with 
out money, and without price/ Isa. Iv. 1. Nothing can be more dis 
honourable to God than the merit of the creature, for it takes off part 
of his royalty and supremacy. 

2. It is most for the comfort of the creature. Grace is the original 
cause of all the good we expect and receive from God, that we may 
seek the favour of God with hope, and retain it with certainty. 

(1.) That we may seek the favour of God with hope. If we had to 
do with justice there could be no hope, for justice giveth only what is 
due, and doth not consider what we need, but what we deserve. Now 
mark, the apostle, in the behalf of God, makes the challenge, Kom. xi. 
35, * Who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him 
again ? ' Coine, let me see that man that durst plead desert with God, 
and claim anything of him by way of merit. Who will enter that 
plea ? Lord ! give me what thou owest ; I desire no more than is due 
to me ; let me not have mercy till I deserve it. Merit-mongers are 
best confuted by experience. Let them use the same plea in their 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 43 

prayers which they do in their disputes, and plead the merit of their 
works, and say, Lord, give me not eternal life, and grace, and favour, 
till I deserve it at thy hand. Let them thus dispute with God or with 
their own consciences in the agonies of death, and under horrors of the 
Lord's wrath. Surely those that cry up the merits of works are men 
of little spiritual experience, and seldom look into their own consciences, 
Dare they thus plead with God ? Lord, never look upon me in mercy 
if I do not deserve it. You shall see the best plea that the eminentest 
of God's children could make is mere grace. The church speaks thus, 
Hosea xiv. 2, ' Keceive us graciously, so will we render the calves of 
our lips/ It is the form that is prescribed to returning Israel. If you 
would establish hope with God, this must be your only plea and 
claim : Grace, Lord ! mercy Lord ! And David saith, Ps. xiii. 5, ' I 
have trusted in thy mercy. There is the ground of my confidence. 
And Chrysostom hath a sweet gloss upon that place, ol pep ayyol, etrot 
KOI e^oiev, Xeyeraxrav ; eya> Se ev oi$a, ev XeXw, dec. If others have any 
thing to allege, let them plead it. Ah, Lord ! 1 have but one thing to say 
and plead, and upon which to cast all my hopes, and that is mercy and 
grace : ' Lord, I have trusted in thy mercy.' Thus Ambrose, when he 
was to die, saith, Etsi non sic vixi ut pudeat inter vos vivere, &c. 
Though I have not so lived as that I should be ashamed to live, I am 
not afraid to die. Why ? not that I have lived well, but quia bonum 
habeo Dominum, because I have a gracious Lord, and have made grace 
my confidence. So we read in the Life of Bernard, seeming to be cited 
before the tribunal of God, when Satan had spoken in his conscience, 
What ! thou look for any favour at God's hand ? thou art not worthy. 
He replies, I confess I am not worthy, nor can I by my own deserts 
obtain the kingdom of heaven ; but I have a double right, Hcereditate 
patris, et merito passionis by the grace of my father, and by the merit 
of Christ's passion ; hereby I can take hold of God with both hands, 
by grace and merit ; not my own, but Christ's. Thus God's best ser 
vants, their hopes have been established this way, by casting themselves 
upon mercy and grace. 

(2.) That we may retain the favour of God with certainty : Horn, 
iv. 16, ' Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end 
that the promise might be sure to all the seed.' We should never else 
be secured against doubts and fears. Believers, that offend daily, would 
be left to a sad uncertainty ; but now we can the better expect glory 
when the foundation of it is laid in grace. I remember the great patron 
of the merit of works, Bellarmine, concludeth out of Bernard, propter 
inceriitudinem propricejustitice, etpericulum inanis glorice, tutissimumi 
est jiduclam totam in sold Dei misericordia et benignitate reponere 
Because of the uncertainty of our own righteousness, and the clanger 
of vain-glory, I confess it is the safest course to put our trust in the 
sole mercy and grace of God. 

Use 1. To persuade us, if grace be the cause of all the good we enjoy, 
not to wrong grace. Why ? For this is to close and stop up the 
fountain ; yea, to make grace our enemy ; and if grace be our enemy, 
who shall plead for us ? Angry justice must needs take up the quarrel 
of abused grace, and then there is no help ; yea, grace itself would com- 
plain of the wrong received to God, and will solicit our judgment and 


vengeance ; the advocate will become an accuser. But how do we 
wrong grace ? I answer five ways 

1. By neglecting the offers of grace. Such make God speak in vain, 
and to spend his best arguments to no purpose: 2 Cor. vi. 1, 'We 
then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive 
not the grace of God in vain.' By the grace of God is there meant the 
offers of grace in the gospel. Now, we receive it in vain when all the 
wooings and pleadings of grace do not move us to bethink ourselves 
and look after our salvation. It is a great affront you put upon God 
to despise him when he speaks in the still voice. Look, as when David 
had sent a courteous message to Nabal, and he returns a churlish answer, 
it put him in a fury : 1 Sam. xxv. 34, ' Surely there had not been left 
by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall/ So how angry 
will the Lord be against those that despise his grace, and all the re 
newed offers and messages of love, and prefer the profits and pleasures 
of the world before him ! It may be you do not return a rough and 
churlish answer, and are not scorners and opposers of the word, but 
you slight God's sweetest message, when he comes in the sweetest and 
mildest way. The complaint in the gospel was, Mat. xi. 17, ' We have 
piped unto you, and you have not danced/ It is not, We have thun 
dered unto you, and you were not startled ; but, We have piped, and 
ye have not danced. Not to take notice of these sweet allurements 
and blandishments of grace, that is very sad : Heb. ii. 3, ' How shall 
we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ? ' The greatness of the 
benefit aggravates the sin. It is great salvation that is offered ; there 
is an offer of pardon and eternal life, but it worketh not if you neglect 
it. There is a sort of men that do not openly deny, reject, or persecute 
the gospel, but they receive it carelessly, and are no more moved with 
it than with a story of golden mountains, or rubies or diamonds fallen 
from heaven in a night-dream. You make God spend his best argu 
ments in vain if you neglect this grace. Scourge conscience till it ache. 
What will you do ? ' How will you escape, if you neglect so great sal 
vation ? ' God sets himself a-work to gain the heart, and grace hath 
laid open all its treasures, as a man in a shop to draw in custom ; now 
it is grieved and wronged when it doth not meet with a chapman. 
This is the charge that is laid upon those, Mat. xxii. 6 ; when they 
were invited, ' They made light of it ; ' they did not take it into their 
care and thoughts, did not seriously think with themselves, Oh, that 
God should invite us to the marriage of his Son ! They do not abso 
lutely deny, but make excuse ; they do not say, non placet, but non 
vacant they are not at leisure ; and this made the king angry. When 
all things are ready, and God sets forth the treasures and riches of his 
grace, and men will not bethink themselves, their hearts are not ready. 
How will this make God angry ? Such kind of neglecters are said to 
* judge themselves unworthy of eternal life/ Acts xiii. 46. You will 
say, Is there any fault in that ? Who is worthy ? Should we not 
judge ourselves to be vile forlorn creatures, unworthy of a look from 
God, much more of eternal life ? I answer It is not spoken of self- 
humbling, or of a holy self-condemning, but of those that turn their 
back upon grace. Grace comes to save them, and God makes them 
an offer as though they were worthy ; and they judge themselves un- 

VER..H.] SERMONS UP01T TITUS II. 11-14. 45 

worthy, and plainly declare they were altogether not worthy of this 
grace. All men are unworthy enough of eternal life, and God hath 
cause enough to condemn them ; but they chiefly judge themselves 
unworthy, that is, in fact declare themselves to be so, that have received 
the honour and favour of a call. Grace hath spoken unto them, and 
made them an offer of pardon and salvation, and they turn the back 
upon it, as if it were not worth the taking up on God's terms ; and 
such are all ignorant sots and deaf worldlings. 

2. Another sort of men that wrong grace are those that refuse grace 
out of legal dejection. Many poor creatures are so vile in their own 
eyes that they think it impossible they should ever find favour in God's 
eyes. Oh ! but consider, cannot the riches of grace save ? When God 
shall set himself on purpose to glorify grace to the full, cannot it make 
thee accepted? Wherefore doth God bring creatures to see their 
un worthiness, but that grace might be the more glorious ? Grace would 
not be so much grace if the creature were not so unworthy ; therefore 
you should be glad you have your hearts at that advantage, to be 
sensible of your own vileness. It is a wrong to grace if you do not fly 
to it ; you straiten the riches and darken the glory of it. It is as if 
an emperor's revenue could not discharge a beggar's debt. Our ephah 
is full, brim-full, but God's mercy is over-full. You can speak of sins, 
and the scripture speaketh of mercy : ' Hast thou but one blessing, 
my father ? ' saith Esau, Gen. xxvii. 38. So, hath God but one mercy ? 
Grace is a treasure that cannot be spent, an ocean ever full, and ever 
flowing : ' Where sin hath abounded, grace did much more abound/ 
Kom. v. 20. There cannot be so much in sin but there is more in 
grace. The apostle makes new-coined words when he is to speak of the 
abundance of grace ; eVXe6rao-ez> and virepeTrepia-aevo'ev. The prodigal 
could say, There is bread enough in my father's house : Luke xv. 17, 
* How many hired servants in my father's house have bread enough 
and to spare ! ' There is grace enough in God. If we perish, it is riot 
for want of mercy, but for want of faith. Why should we then put 
away this grace that is revealed to us, yea, offered to us ? If it were 
to be procured by anything in us we might despair. Take heed of 
slighting the grace of God ; it is God's treasure : so far as you lessen 
grace, you make God a poor God. Mark that expression, Eph. ii. 4, 
' God, who is rich in mercy.' God is lord of all things, but he counts 
nothing to be his treasure but his goodness and mercy. He doth not 
say, rich in power, though he is able to do beyond what we can ask or 
think ; nor rich in justice, though he be righteous in all his ways and 
just in all his works ; nor doth he say rich in creatures, though his are 
the cattle of a thousand hills ; but rich in mercy. Therefore take 
heed of straitening mercy, for so far you lessen God's wealth and 

3. Grace is wronged by intercepting the glory of grace. It is the 
greatest sacrilege that can be to rob God of his glory, especially the 
glory of his grace. Above all things in the world, God's glory is the 
most dear to him ; he cannot endure to have a partner. Especially is 
the glory of his grace dear to him ; it is the whole aim of all his dis 
pensations to glorify grace : Eph. i. 6, ' To the praise of the glory of 
his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved/ You rob 


God of his chiefest honour when you take the crown of glory that is 
due to grace, and put it upon your own head. As, for instance, when 
you think he accepts you rather than others for some worth or good 
qualities that he seeth in you more than in others. Alas ! in the light 
of the gospel such thoughts are not expressed, but they lurk secretly 
in the heart : Deut. ix. 4, ' Speak not thou in thy heart, saying, For 
my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land. J 
A man's heart is very prone to these thoughts : God seeth that I would 
bring him more glory than another ; it is for my righteousness. Grace 
is wronged also when you are puffed up with anything you have done 
for God, as if it were done by your own power and strength. A Christian 
in this case should learn the policy of Joab ; when he was in a fair 
way of taking Kabbah, he sent for David to take the honour of winning 
it : 2 Sam. xii. 28, ' Now therefore, gather the rest of the people to 
gether, and encamp against the city, and take it ; lest I take it, and 
it be called after my name.' So, when we have done anything for the 
glory of God, let us send for God to take the honour. Thus the apostle, 
1 Cor. xv. 10, ' I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, 
but the grace of God which was with me.' If there be any excellency, 
still throw the crown at grace's feet. The industrious servant said, 
Luke xix. 16, ' Thy pound hath gained ten pounds ; ' not my industry, 
but thy pound. 

4. Grace is wronged by turning it into wantonness. It is a heavy 
charge, and a black note is set on them : Jude 4, * Ungodly men, turn 
ing the grace of God into lasciviousness ; ' when men sin freely that 
God may pardon freely ; when they presume upon grace, as if that 
should bear all, and use it as a dung-cart to carry away all their filth ; 
or, like riotous children who have a rich father, therefore spend freely ; 
their father's estate shall pay for all. It is a mighty wrong to grace 
when we make it pliable to such a vile purpose. You dishonour God 
and disparage grace when you would make it to father the bastards of 
your own carnal hearts. You are vile and sinful, and you are so under 
the encouragements of grace, and the rather because of the abundance 
of grace ; and, like the spider, suck poison out of the flower, and turn 
it into the nourishment of your lust ; or as the salt sea turns the sweet 
rivers and dews of heaven, and all that falls into it, into salt water ; so 
carnal hearts do assimilate all that they meet with, and turn it into 
fuel for their lusts. Men would fain sin securely and cum privilegio, 
with licence from heaven ; and therefore they take liberty even from 
the grace of God. This is a vile abuse ; a quite contrary way the 
grace of God teacheth us, * to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts ; ' and 
not to be more secure and careless because they have so much grace. 
But they hail it, and wrest it from its natural end and purpose, and sin 
freely, because God pardons freely. Grace giveth no such liberty to 
sin. This is done grievously by the Antinomians, who say grace gives 
them freedom from the moral law. It is true, grace makes us free, but 
to duty, -not to sin. There is a sad expression, Bom. vi. 20, ' When 
ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness ; ' it is a 
description of the carnal state; duty hath no awe upon his heart. 
When men think themselves free from the law rather than sin, and 
when they expect comfort though they walk in the way of their own 

VSR. 11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 47 

heart, they have abused grace, and taken hold of the devil's covenant, 
and not of God's. There is never any creature freed from the law ; 
God never made a creature to be absolutely sui juris, at his own dis 
posal. The angels themselves, though they have many immunities 
and privileges above us, as being exempted from troubles, diseases, and 
death, and from the clog of flesh which we carry about us, yet they are 
not exempted from duty or from a law : ' They do his commandments, 
and hearken to the voice of his word/ Ps. ciii. 20. Earthly kings may 
free some of their subjects from their homage ; as Saul made a pro 
clamation, He that doth thus and thus, ' his father's house shall be free 
in Israel,' 1 Sam. xvii. 25. But God never made any creature to be 
absolutely freed from a law. But if a man be right in doctrine, though 
he hold the obligation of the moral law on a believer, yet he may be 
an Antinomian in practice, and abuse and wrong grace ; as thus, if a 
man slacken any part of his duty for grace's sake, or lets loose the reins 
of vile affections with more freedom, and saith, God will not be so rigor 
ous, he wrongeth grace. If men be not so watchful and so strict, if men 
grow more careless, secure and negligent, if they be not so constant in 
duty, if they lessen aught of their humiliation for sin, or strictness and 
watchfulness in their conversation, they are as a spider that sucks 
poison out of grace. A man hath never the more carnal liberty for 
being acquainted with the gospel. This is the great thing which puts 
us upon duty and watchfulness, and melts the heart for sin, and awes 
it, and disposeth it to obedience. 

5. Grace is wronged by slighting it after a taste, as carnal professors 
do : 1 Peter 2. 3, ' If so be you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.' 
A man hath at first a taste, that he may have trial how sweet the ways 
of God are. Now, if after trial, you are not satisfied, but make choice 
of the world again, it is a mighty wrong and contempt you put upon 
grace ; for you do as it were declare and pronounce that you have made 
trial, and upon experience have found the pleasures and profits of the 
world are better than all the comforts that flowed from the grace of 
God. The whole aim of the word is to persuade men to make trial of 
the sweetness of grace : Ps. xxxiv. 8, ' taste and see that the Lord is 
good/ and that his grace is good. But now your experience is a flat 
negative and contradiction to the word, and you do as it were say, I 
have made trial, and I find no such sweetness in it. None wrong 
grace so much as they that have tasted of grace, and yet have turned 
aside to the profits and pleasures of the world again, and grow weary 
after some strictness of profession. 

Use 2. To press you to glorify grace. This is the glory God expects 
from you : Eph. i. 6, ' To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein 
he hath made you accepted in the beloved.' If an artificer show you 
a curious piece of workmanship, he expects to be praised for his skill. 
A wrestler that hath foiled his adversary expects to be praised for his 
strength, not for his beauty: that is not a proper praise. A king in 
his royal gifts expects to be praised for his magnificence. So suitably 
the Lord who doth all things freely, and according to the motion of 
his own will, expects to be praised for his grace ; therefore you should 
be always echoing out, ' Grace ! grace ! ' Zech. iv. 7, and admiring the 
dispensations of God's love. It is a sure sign a man hath received no 


benefit by grace if his heart be not stirred up to praise grace. Cer 
tainly he that is a partaker of it must needs be most affected with it. 
Let us see a little what cause we have to praise God, above the angels, 
and above other men. 

1. Above the angels. I do not mean the bad angels, with whom 
God entered not into treaty . he dealeth with them in justice, not in 
grace; but even the good angels. In some respects we have more 
cause to bless God than even the good angels. Thankfulness and 
gratitude looks to the freeness and graciousness of the gift rather than 
the greatness of it ; it looks not to the benefit so much as the good 
will of the giver. It is true God hath been exceeding good and bountiful 
to the angels, in creating them out of nothing, that they are the courtiers 
of heaven ; but mark how good and gracious he is to us above them. 
The angels never offended him, but he is bountiful and gracious to us, 
notwithstanding the demerits of our sin ; his wronged justice interposed 
and put in a bar, yet grace breaks out. and is manifested to us un 
worthy creatures. There was nothing that hindered God from doing 
good to the angels. A holy God hath a blessed, righteous, holy crea 
ture ; but justice must be satisfied as to us ; we are a generation of 
sinful men, the wretched children of apostatising Adam. We had 
forsaken God and cast him off, which the angels never did, that had a 
long experience of God's goodness and bounty. The very angels 
wonder at the grace showed to us, especially at that by which justice 
is satisfied : 1 Peter i. 12, ' Which things the angels desire to look 

2. Above other men. There is a common and inferior sort of grace, 
which is made known to all the world. The whole earth is full of 
his goodness, but this grace that bringeth salvation, that is peculiar to 
the elect, to a few poor base creatures in themselves, a little handful 
whom God hath chosen out of the world : John xiv. 22, * How is it 
that thou wouldst manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ? ' 
Free grace doth pick and choose ; and how ? It chooseth out things 
that are in themselves of no account. Look, as when God chose a sac 
rifice for himself, "the lion was not offered, but the lamb and the dove; 
so God hath chosen not those that are accounted gods, but a few des 
picable creatures. Free grace many times chooseth the worst, that all the 
glory might be of God. If a man might choose trees for building, he 
would not choose crooked ones, but those that are straight and fittest 
for his use and purpose. But when God comes to look among the 
sons of men, many times he chooseth the most crabbed pieces, and calls 
them with a holy calling, according to the purpose of his grace. It is 
a wonder sometimes to see how grace makes the difference between two 
persons involved in the same guilt. Justice can make no separation ; 
when men are in a like case, they must look for the same judgment ; 
but grace makes a great separation. Many of God's elect are as deep 
in sin as those now in hell, yet God makes a difference. Both the good 
and bad thief were involved in the same condemnation, yet one is 
taken into paradise, and the other went unto his own place. Thus 
praise and glorify grace. 

Hath appeared unto all men. The word eVe^a^, appeared, signifies 
it is broken out of a sudden, like a star, or like a light that was not 

VER. 11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 49 

seen before ; and so it refers to the late manifestation of the gospel in 
the apostle's days. Now on a sudden it broke out. So Luke i. 78, 79, 
' Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the day-spring from 
on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness, and 
in the shadow of death.' It is meant of the breaking out of the gospel, 
as the day doth after a dark night ; so here the word lire^dvrj implieth 
the same. 

Doct. 2. That grace in the discoveries of the gospel hath shined out 
in a greater brightness than ever it did before. 

This grace appeareth in the gospel ; there and there only is it clearly 

In the prosecution of this point I shall show 

1. What darkness there was as to the knowledge of grace before. 

2. How much of grace is now discovered. 

First, What a darkness there was before the eternal gospel was 
brought out of the bosom of God. There was a darkness both among 
Jews and Gentiles. In the greatest part of the world there was utter 
darkness as to the knowledge of grace, and in the church nothing but 
shadows and figures. 

1. This grace was not known in the world, only a little of it was : 
Ps. xxxiii. 5, ' The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord/ Some 
inferior grace was made known to them in the creation and in the course 
of providence, by showers of rain and fruitful seasons, grace on this side 
heaven ; but nothing of the secrets of God's bosom, of the incarnation 
of God, of the expiation of sin by his death, of salvation by faith in 
the Mediator. This depends not upon the connection of natural causes, 
but the free pleasure of God ; therefore the angels knew it not till it 
was revealed in the church : Eph. iii. 10, ' To the intent that now unto 
the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by 
the church the manifold wisdom of God/ The gentiles, by looking into 
the order of causes, could never find it out. They might find a first 
being, and the chiefest good, but not a Christ, not a saviour ; there they 
sat in the shadows of death, and did not understand nor desire eternal 
life : Acts xiv. 17, k Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, 
in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, 
filling our hearts with food and gladness/ Much of God may be seen 
in the known courses of nature, rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, 
but nothing of Christ. The apostle speaks it there to dissuade them 
from the worship of Jupiter and Mercury, and other of the vanities of 
the gentiles ; he argues from the grace of nature and common benefits 
which they had received : this were enough to make them acknowledge 
a divine power. Pray mark, the apostle saith, ' He left not himself 
without a witness ; ' yet he suffered them to walk in their own ways, 
because he did not reveal his gospel nor give them his Spirit : Ps. cxlvii. 
19, 20, 'He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments- 
unto Israel : he hath not dealt so with any nation ; and as for his 
judgments, they have not known them ; ' Kom. xvi. 25, 26, ' Accord 
ing to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the 
the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of 
the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting 
God, made known unto all nations for the obedience of faith/ 

VOL. xvi. D 


Eph. iii. 4, 5, ' Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my know 
ledge in the mystery of Christ ; which in other ages was not made 
known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles 
and prophets by the Spirit ; ' Col. i. 26, 27, ' Even the mystery which 
hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made mani 
fest to his saints ; to whom God would make known what is the riches 
of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ in them 
the hope of glory.' But God suffered them to serve their own lusts, 
and to carry on that religion which they had feigned to themselves. 
But then he left not himself without a witness, for they had many 
corporal blessings, from whence they might easily collect that they 
should not worship stocks and stones and dead men, but the living God, 
by whose providence those blessings were dispensed. Though he gave 
them not the gospel, yet he gave them the light of nature, and the 
looking-glass of the creatures. There is much ado whether this were 
auxilium sufficient gratice, a sufficient help to convert them, or to 
bring them to such a condition that they might gain the grace of God. 
It was enough to oblige them to seek after God, and to convince them 
that they did ill in worshipping the creatures, but it was not sufficient 
to find out the true God and enjoy him. Saving grace is not granted 
by any promise to the improvement of nature. Well, then, though 
the whole earth be full of the goodness of the Lord, that is, of the 
fruits and effects of his common bounty, yet nothing of his saving grace 
is known, till it appeared and broke out in the gospel. 

2. To the Jews this grace began to dawn, but it was veiled in figures 
and shadows, that they could not see clearly. The substance of their 
doctrine was the same with ours, but there is a great deal of difference 
in the manner of dispensation ; they had the dark text, and we the 
exposition. There was grace and shadow by Moses, but ' grace and 
truth came by Jesus Christ/ John i. 17; because here all the types 
were revealed, and we have the substance itself. Christ is the light of 
the world. The sun, the farther off it is from rising, the less light it 
gives. Christ was not then risen, therefore there was but twilight and 
full of shadows. Grace is opposed to the condemnation of the moral 
law, and truth to the shadows of the ceremonial law. Christ's offices, 
his benefices, his person, were but darkly propounded to them. Take 
but one place for all. Of all the ministers of the legal dispensation, 
John Baptist saw the clearest ; yet, saith Christ, the least of gospel 
ministers knows more than he : Mat. xi. 11, ' Verily I say unto you, 
Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater 
than John the Baptist ; notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom 
of heaven is greater than he.' John drawing nearer to Christ, had a 
clearer knowledge of the meaning and application of the types than 
others had ; but now those that have lived after the pouring out of the 
Spirit upon Christ's ascension under the gospel dispensation, have a 
clear insight into the doctrine of grace, far more clear than it was in 
the days of John. 

Secondly, What and how much of grace is now discovered? I 

1. The wisdom of grace. The gospel is a mere riddle to carnal 
reason, a great mystery : 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' Great is the mystery of god- 

TEE. 11.] SEKMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 51 

liness.' There we read of God and man brought together, and justice and 
mercy brought together by the contrivance of grace ; here only we see this 
mystery, that is without controversy great, for these things could not 
come into the heads of any creatures. If angels and men had been put 
to study, and set down their way of reconciliation to God, how it should 
be, they could never have thought of such a remedy as the bringing 
of God and man together in the person of Christ, and justice and 
mercy together by the blood and satisfaction of Christ ; this came out 
of no breast but God ; he brought the secret out of his own bosom. 
When the question was put in the council of the Trinity, how man that 
was fallen might be brought again to God, from the depth of misery to 
the height of happiness, grace interposed, and propounded Christ to be 
God-man in one person. Oh ! the strangeness and wonderfulness of 
this contrivance ! If you consider the weakness and vileness of human 
nature, the infiniteness and excellency of the divine nature, certainly 
such a plot could not enter into the head of any creature. Upon what 
grounds could any creature expect such a condescension, that mortal 
and immortal, infiniteness and finiteness, should come together? 
And as the person of Christ is wonderful, so also is his work and 
business, which was to bring justice and mercy to kiss each other, that 
justice might have full satisfaction for men's sins, and mercy have full 
content in procuring their salvation, that grace might be glorified, and 
yet justice be no loser. When God redeemed the world, he had a 
greater work to do than to make the world at first. The object of 
creation was pure nothing, but then, as there was no help, so no hind 
rance ; but now, in redemption, there was sin to be taken away, and 
that was worse than anything. We deserved ill, his justice and truth 
had a quarrel against us, and therefore this was the harder work, and 
needed more of his wisdom, which now is discovered fully to us in the 
gospel. When God was to make man, though he was to be his noblest 
creature next the angels, it was nothing to the divine power to make 
him of the dust of the earth. Now sin makes us worse than earth : 
Job xxx. 8, ' They were children of fools, children of base men, they 
were viler than the earth.' Our condition was worse; here God's 
justice opposed ; but grace found out the contrivance, and sent Christ 
in the form of a servant, who ' was in the form of God, thought it no 
robbery to be equal with God,' Phil. ii. 6, 7. 

2. We discern the freeness of grace in the gospel, both in giving and 
accepting. Whatever God doth is a gift, and what we do, it is 
accepted of grace. In giving there is a great deal of grace made known 
there. The Lord doth all freely : John i. 16, * And of his fulness have 
all we received, and grace for grace ; ' that is, for grace's sake he gives 
Christ, gives faith, gives pardon ; he gives the condition as well as the 
blessing. Certainly now we have to do with a God of grace, who sits 
upon a throne of grace, that he might bestow freely to all comers 
Out of Christ and in the law, there God is discovered as sitting upon a 
tribunal of justice, as he is described, Ps. xcvii. 2, ' Clouds and dark 
ness are round about him ; righteousness and judgment are the 
habitation of his throne.' But now, saith the apostle, Heb. iv. 16, 'Let 
us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
and grace to help in a time of need ; ' that we may have mercy for 

52 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. I. 

pardon and for acceptance of our persons, and grace to help us against 
our weaknesses. This was figured out in the law. Under the law it 
was figured out by the mercy-seat between the cherubims, from whence 
God was giving out answers ; but there the high priest could enter but 
once a year, and the way within the veil was not fully made manifest, 
Heb. ix. 8. There was a throne of grace then, but more God's tribunal 
of justice ; there was smoke and thundering about his throne ; but now 
let us draw near that we may obtain grace, take all freely out of God's 
hand. Then there is grace manifested in accepting as well as giving. 
God accepts of serious repentance for complete innocence, of sincerity 
for perfection, of the will for the deed, of a person for Christ's sake, 
and of the works for the person's sake. Thus God doth both give and 
accept freely. That we do is not brought to the balance, but touch 
stone. Many times a good work is not full weight. God doth not look 
to the measure, but to the truth of grace ; he requires truth in the 

3. The efficacy and power of grace is discovered in the gospel. 
Christ sendeth his Spirit to apply what he himself hath purchased. 
One person comes to merit, and the other to accomplish the fruit of 
his merit. Mark, to stop the course of grace, divine justice did not 
only put in an impediment, but there was our infidelity that hindered 
the application of that which Christ was^to merit ; and therefore, as 
the second person is to satisfy God, so the third person is to work upon 
us. There was a double hindrance against the business of our salva 
tion God's justice, for the glory of God was to be repaired, therefore 
Christ was to merit ; and there was our unbelief, therefore the Spirit 
must come and apply it. First, Christ suffered, and when he was 
ascended, then was the Spirit poured out. Had it not been for the 
gospel, we should never have known the efficacy and power of grace. 
The apostle puts the question : Gal. iii. 2, ' This only would 1 learn of 
you, Keceived ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing 
of faith ? ' How did you come to be acquainted with grace ? This is 
the seal which God would put upon the excellency and authority of 
the gospel, that he will associate and join in assistance with it the 
operation of the Spirit to accompany it. Look, as it is with the sun, 
light increaseth with heat ; the morning beams are faint and gentle, 
but at noon the sun shines out, not only with glory, but with strength ; 
so it is here ; the more the light of the gospel is increased, the more 
is the efficacy and power of it conveyed into the sons of men. The 
dispensation of the law is called the ' oldness of the letter/ and the 
dispensation of the gospel the * newness of the spirit : ' Kom. vii. 6, 
' But now ye are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we 
were held, that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the 
oldness of the letter.' In the mere law dispensation there was only a 
literal direction, but no strength and ability to perform what is sug 
gested. Lex jubet, gratia juvat The law commands, but all the 
commands of grace help. There is a Spirit that goeth along with the 
gospel to qualify us for the duties of it : 2 Cor. iii. 6, ' Who also hath 
made us able ministers of the new testament ; not of the letter, but of 
the spirit ; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life/ With the 
dispensation of the gospel God joins the virtue and power of the Holy 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 53 

Ghost. The letter convinceth, and so by consequence obligeth to death, 
for we cannot perform what it requireth of us ; but now there is a 
spirit goes along with the gospel, and so we are acquainted with the 
efficacy of grace. 

4. We are acquainted with the largeness and bounty of grace. The 
benefits that come by Christ were not so clearly revealed in the law ; 
there was no type that I know of which figured union with Christ. 
The blood of Christ was figured by the blood of bulls and goats, justi 
fication by the fleeing away of the scape-goat, sanctification by the water 
of purification. But now eternal life is rarely mentioned in express terms ; 
sometimes it is shadowed out in the promise of inheriting the land of 
Canaan, as hell is by going into captivity ; but otherwise it is seldom 
mentioned : 2 Tim. i. 10, ' But now it is made manifest ' (speaking of 
the grace of God) ' by the appearing of our Saviour Christ, who hath 
abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light 
through the gospel.' The gentiles had but glimmerings and gross 
fancies about the future state. Life and immortality was never known 
to the purpose till Christ came in the flesh ; and therefore heaven 
is as sparingly mentioned in the Old Testament as temporal blessings 
are in the new. In the New Testament we hear much of the cross, of 
sufferings, and afflictions. Why ? Because there is much of heaven 
discovered. The eternal reward is strong enough, but temporals are 
not of consideration. Carnal men are of a temper quite contrary to the 
gospel ; they could be content to be under the old dispensation, to have 
temporal blessings, and let God keep heaven to himself. But this is 
the great privilege of the gospel, that life and immortality, the blessed 
hope, the eternal recompenses are now mentioned so expressly, and pro 
pounded to our desires and hopes. 

5. In the gospel we learn the sureness of grace. God will no more 
be disappointed ; the whole business lies without us, in other hands. 
In the first covenant, our salvation was committed to the indetermin 
ate freedom of man's will ; but now Christ is both a redeemer and a 
surety. The former covenant depended upon something in ourselves, 
upon the mutability of our will ; but now it is put into the hands of 
Christ, not only to reconcile us to God, but to preserve and keep us in 
such an estate. Therefore, Heb. vii. 22, he is said to be ' the surety of 
a better testament.' Christ stands engaged to see the covenant kept 
on both sides. God hath Christ to challenge for obedience, and we to 
give us grace to perform that which God hath required of us ; so that 
now grace in all its glory is made known. The apostle saith, Kom. iv. 
16, ' Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end the 
promise might be sure to all the seed/ This is that which makes it 
sure to all the elect, because God deals with us upon such gracious and 
free terms. 


Hath appeared unto all men. TITUS ii. 11. 

USE 1. Let us prize these clays of grace. We are not apprehensive 
enough of the mercy that grace is so clearly revealed. The gospel is 
the light of the renewed world ; we can no more be without the gospel 
than the world can be without the sun. Ps. xix. David first speaks of 
the sun, then of the law, which signifies there the general doctrine of 
the scriptures. People would be in a miserable case, and all things 
would languish and surfer decay, if the sun were gone ; and such black 
ness there would be upon the new creation if we had not the light of 
the gospel. Oh ! how miserable were they that wanted the light of the 
sun for a few days, as in Egypt ! And how barbarous and miserable 
should we be, were it not that immortality and life is brought to light 
by the gospel ! Tertullian saith, Gemmce a sola raritate gratiam pos- 
sident Jewels are commended for their scarceness and rareness. Oh ! 
we should the more seriously regard the gospel, because God hath been 
so tender of revealing it. For four thousand years in a great measure 
the gospel lay hid. God kept it for a long time as a precious secret 
hid in his own bosom, and did not think the world worthy of it, till 
the Son of God came out from him to take our nature, then was the 
gospel discovered. Only as a king reveals his secrets to some of his 
intimates and privy counsellors, and hides from the rest of his subjects, 
so God revealed it to some prophets and some holy men, and yet they 
had but a glimpse, and saw Christ at a distance. As when we see a 
man afar off, we cannot tell his shape, nor colour of his clothes, nor 
other circumstances, but only we see the substance and bulk of a 
man, so they saw Christ, but it was at a distance, they could not tell 
the particular circumstances of his birth, incarnation, death, and resur 
rection so clearly as now we can ; therefore the prophets are forced to 
study their own prophecies : 1 Peter i. 10, ' Of which salvation the 
prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the 
grace that should come unto you.' They saw there was a glorious sal 
vation at hand, but fully what to make of it they could not tell ; there 
fore they studied their own writings and prophecies, that were brought 
to them by the Spirit of God. The very prophets of God would have 
thought themselves happy to see the things that we see: Mat. xiii. 16, 
17, ' But blessed are your eyes, for they see ; and your ears, for they 
hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and right 
eous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not 
seen them ; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard 
them.' We have a far more happy estate, since the manifestation of 
Christ in the flesh and pouring out of the Spirit, than Abraham and 
David and the prophets and righteous men had, for God hath dealt 
more mercifully and kindly with us ; they had but a glimpse, and how 
earnestly did they desire to see more ! and therefore were jnquiring 
after it more and more. The usefulness, necessity and rarity of the 
gospel should make it more dear to us, that we should prize these days 
of grace more than we do. 

. 11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 55 

Use 2. Let it put us upon trial. What are we the better for these 
clays of grace? Have we more knowledge and clearness of faith? 
Alas ! we are far inferior to those that obtained but the shadows ; 
their eagle-eye discerned more of Christ in a ceremony than we can in 
the substance. It is said, Zech. xii. 8, ' He that is feeble among them 
at that clay shall be as David, and the house of David shall be as God, 
as the angel of the Lord before them/ But we come short, not only 
of David, but of the meanest believer in the Old Testament, and have 
little knowledge of the covenant and blessings of it. We lose the 
benefit of the days of light wherein we live ; as good we had never 
heard of the gospel, nay, in some sense it had been better for us we had 
never enjoyed these days of plenty, if we do not profit by them. To 
stumble in the night is more venial and pardonable : but it is danger 
ous to stumble there where we have the benefit of the light to see our 
way. The grace of God hath appeared, breaking out like a clear light, 
yet we come short of grace offered to us. Trees in a fertile soil should 
be more fruitful, and cattle in better pasture should thrive more ; so 
we that are led forth by the pleasant streams, and refreshed with the 
tender grass of the earth, should thrive more. Wherefore hath God set 
up a candle, a light in the church, but that we should work by it ? 
Therefore have you improved these days of grace ? What of power 
have you got to subdue corruption ? Alas ! to some the gospel is but 
a dead letter still ; it gives them no strength to master their corrup 
tions ; at best it is a directive light, not persuasive ; it is only as light, 
not as fire to consume and burn up their lusts; therefore, what of 
strength can you speak of for subduing of corruption ? what of will 
ingness of heart to do duties? 'The love of Christ constraineth us/ 
2 Cor. v. 14. You who are not acquainted with God's love and grace 
have less constraint. It should not be so ; yet there is more recorded 
of the piety, zeal, and devotion of the saints of the Old Testament than 
we can imitate. And have we a greater measure of comfort to carry 
us out against discouragement ? Have we a more full joy, to bear us 
up against all the afflictions of this present life, now there is more 
grace discovered? John xv. 11, 'These things have I spoken to you, 
that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full/ Is 
there a greater measure of charity in doing good to them that need it, 
as more of the bounty of God is discovered to us in these days of 
grace ? Under the law all things were set down in so many positive 
precepts, the exact proportion what they should give and lay out ; the 
tenth part was the Lord's ; but under the gospel it may be there was 
no such precept (though that be a great question whether the tenth be 
not the Lord's still), but God knows love will not be backward, for it 
is trusted much in the days of the gospel. In short, are we more ac 
quainted with God's covenant? can we subdue corruptions more, bear 
afflictions better ? and have we a greater ability and willingness to 
good works ? 

Which bringeth salvation to all men. That is, to all that accept of 
grace, bond or free ; and that salvation is taken for our complete happi 
ness, for eternal life and salvation, is clear enough. The point then is 

Doct. 3. That the grace of God revealed in the gospel is the great 
means of salvation, or a grace that tends to salvation. 

56 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiB. II. 

The gospel is called the power of God unto salvation: Eom. i. 
16, c I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of 
God to salvation ; ' that is, a powerful instrument which God useth. 
Therefore it is called the arm of the Lord : Isa. liii. 1, ' Who hath be 
lieved our report ? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? ' Its 
force is not in letters and syllables, but it standeth in the co-operation 
of the Spirit, by which God owneth and honoureth it. It is said to 
Cornelius, when Peter came to preach the gospel to him, Acts xi. 14, 
that he should tell him words whereby he and all his house should be 
saved. There is no other way to bring men to God but this; this 
will teach you how you and your little ones should be saved. 

Now the gospel, or the grace of God in the gospel, is a means of salva 
tion, because it hath a moral tendency that way, and because it hath 
the promise of the Spirit's work and assistance. 

1. It hath a moral tendency that way; for there is the history of 
salvation, what God hath done on his part ; there are the counsels of 
salvation, what we must do on our part ; and there are excellent en 
forcements to encourage us to embrace this salvation. 

[1.] There is the history of salvation, what God hath done on his 
part ; there all things are ready ; there you hear of the love of God, 
that he hath given his only Son, and of the free election of those whom 
he means to save in Christ. There you hear of the person of the 
Mediator, his mission and sending into the world, his incarnation, his 
unction, or anointing to his office, his abasement, his obedience, his 
death, his burial, his satisfaction for sin, his purchase of life ; and then 
his exaltation, with all the fruits and effects of it, to wit, his interces 
sion at the right hand of God, his effusion and pouring out of the 
Spirit to be his deputy here on earth ; and there you read of his col 
lection and manner of gathering of a church by the institutions of the 
word and sacraments ; there we hear of the humiliation of Christ, by 
which salvation was purchased ; and of his exaltation, whereby the 
graces that accompany salvation are distributed and dispensed, and 
how Christ by his Spirit applies this salvation. 

[2.] There is the counsel of salvation, what man must do on his part 
that he may partake of the righteousness and Spirit of Christ, accord 
ing to the good pleasure of God, which Christ purchased by virtue of 
his humiliation, and dispenseth and distributeth by virtue of his ex 
altation. I call all this the counsel of God, because thus it is called 
in scripture: Luke vii. 30, 'The pharisees and lawyers rejected the 
counsel of God against themselves.' If you will be saved, here is God's 
counsel, thus you must do. It is dangerous for a sick man to alter 
the physician's method and receipt, to be tampering, to be taking out 
and putting in ; so it is very dangerous to alter the counsel of God 
which he hath set down how we may be brought to salvation. Do not, 
as the young man that came to Christ, and said, Mat xix. 16, ' Good 
master, what good thing shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ? ' 
and yet, when Christ puts him to the trial, it is said he went away sad. 
So a natural man his heart is raised up to hearken after salvation, but 
he goes away sorrowful when he cannot win heaven in his own way, 
to enjoy Christ and the world, Christ and carnal liberty, and Christ 
and his carnal pleasures ; therefore you must not only look to the his- 

VSR. 11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 57 

tory of salvation, what God hath done, but to the counsel of salvation, 
what you must do. And Peter sums it up, and gives an abridgment of 
the gospel : Acts ii. 37, 38, ' Men and brethren, what shall we do? and 
Peter said unto them, Kepent, and be baptized every one of you in the 
name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and ye shall re 
ceive the gift of the Holy Ghost/ Kepentance, that implies true and 
lively grief because of sin and misery, by which a man feeleth the wrath 
of God, grieveth because he hath offended God, acknowledgeth that he 
hath deserved condemnation, hungereth and thirsteth after Christ, and 
then waiteth till his heart be settled in the comfort of the gospel, and 
he possessed of the righteousness of Christ. Nay, repentance implies 
more,; you must lay down the weapons of defiance, and study thank 
fulness to God, and walk in new obedience, and love God, and love 
your neighbour, and bear the cross quietly, waiting for eternal life. 
This is the counsel of God to you if you would be saved. And then 
he saith, ' Be baptized/ by which Peter understands a religious use of 
the seals, and all the means of salvation in which God is wont to meet 
us, and give us the supplies of his grace by his Spirit. 

[3.] There are excellent enforcements to encourage us to embrace 
this salvation. God is very impatient of being denied, now he speaks 
in the gospel, and useth all kinds of methods. As a man who cannot 
undo a door, and having a bunch of keys in his hand, tries one after 
another, till the lock doth fly open, so the Lord tries all kind of 
methods, beseecheth, threateneth, promiseth, that the heart of the 
sinner might fly open. He beseecheth ; God falls a-begging to his 
own creature, and deals with us as importunately as if the benefit were 
his own; thus doth he pray us to be reconciled. And then God threa 
tens eternal death, to stir us up to take hold of eternal life ; he tells us 
of a pit without a bottom, and a worm that never dies. Sometimes he 
seeketh to work upon our hope, and sometimes upon our fear. He not 
only tells us of the loss of happiness, which is very grievous to an in 
genuous spirit : Heb. xii. 14, ' Follow holiness, without which no man 
shall see the Lord ; ' but he tells us of those eternal torments that are 
without end and ease, of a worm that never dies, and of a fire that shall 
never be quenched. Oh ! whose heart doth not tremble at the mention 
of these things ? Then, on the other side, we have promises as great 
as heart can wish for, and more : 2 Peter i. 4, ' Whereby are given 
unto us exceeding great and precious promises/ It hath not entered 
into the heart of man to conceive of these things. Who ever hired a man 
to be happy, or a thirsty man to drink, or a hungry man to eat ? Salva 
tion is so acceptable, and the heavenly and blessed hope so glorious, 
that we should purchase it at any rate ; but God taketh all methods to 
awaken man. Thus the gospel may well be said to be a powerful in 
strument of our salvation, because it hath a powerful tendency that 

2. Because it hath the promise of the Spirit's assistance. Kom. i. 16, 
the gospel is said to be ' the power of God unto salvation/ not only 
because it is a powerful instrument which God hath appropriated to 
this work, but this is the honour God puts upon the gospel, that he 
will join and associate the operation of his Spirit with no other doctrine 
but this. And therefore the apostle saith, Gal. iii. 2, ' Keceived you 


the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith ? ' How 
come you to receive the Spirit ? Either by endeavouring to get ac 
ceptance with God according to the terms of the law, or by the doctrine 
of the gospel. The assistance of the Spirit is joined with no other 
doctrine. This is the authentic proof of the excellency of that doctrine, 
that God hath reserved the power of his grace to go along with it ; he 
will not associate and join his Spirit with any other doctrine. The law, 
as it is contradistinguished from the gospel, it is called ' the ministra 
tion of condemnation,' 2 Cor. iii. 9, and 'the ministration of death' to 
fallen man, ver. 7. It is the office of the law to condemn a man, not 
to save him. Not as if preaching of the law did make us guilty, but 
shows us to be guilty. To him that is guilty of death, it puts the guilt 
before his eyes, that knowing it, and feeling it, he may be terrified, 
and despair in himself, and beg for deliverance. To this end the 
apostle gives us an account of his own experience : Bom. vii. 9, ' I was 
alive without the law once ; ' that is, I thought I was alive, and did not 
know myself, or feel myself guilty of death ; I thought myself to be in as 
good a condition towards God as any man ; ' but when the command 
ment came, sin revived, and I died;' then I counted myself to be lost 
and utterly undone. A sinner, before the law comes, is like a beggar, 
that dreams he is a king, and that he wallows in ease and plenty ; but 
when he awakes, his soul is empty, and he feeleth his poverty and his 
hungry belly, and his rags confute all his dreams and false surmises. 
So we thought ourselves to be alive, in a good condition towards God ; 
but when the law comes, then we see ourselves to be dead and lost. 
Therefore the law, as it is opposed to the gospel, is not the means of 
salvation, so it is only the law of sin and death : Korn. viii. 2, ' For the 
law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the 
law of sin and death.' 

Object. You will say, These seem to be hard expressions, to call it 
the law of sin and death ; but you must understand it aright. To 
man fallen the law only convinceth of sin, arid bindeth over to death ; 
it is nothing but a killing letter ; but the gospel, accompanied by the 
power of the Spirit, bringeth life. Again, Ps. xix. 7, it is said there, 
* The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul ; ' therefore it 
seems the law may also be a word of salvation to the creature. I 
answer By the law there is not meant only that part of the word 
which we call the covenant of works, but there it is put for the whole 
word, for the whole doctrine of the covenant of life and salvation ; as 
Ps. i. 2, ' His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he 
meditate day and night/ And if you take it in that stricter sense, then 
it converteth the soul but by accident, as it is joined with the gospel, 
which is the ministry of life and righteousness, but in itself it is the 
law of sin and death. Look, as a thing taken simply would be poison 
and deadly in itself, yet mixed with other wholesome medicines it is of 
great use, is an excellent physical ingredient ; so the law is of great 
use, as joined with the gospel, to awaken and startle the sinner, to show 
him his duty, to convince him of sin and judgment ; but it is the 
gospel properly that pulls in the heart. 

Use. To press you to regard the gospel more, as you would salvation 
itself, for it bringeth salvation. By way of motive and encouragement 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 59 

1. Consider the greatness of the salvation: Heb. ii. 3, * How shall 
we escape if we neglect so great salvation ? ' It is not a slight matter. 
In the gospel God doth not treat with you about trifles ; your eternal 
life lies upon it ; we preach to you a doctrine that tends to salvation. 
That so the argument may be more operative, consider what is salva 
tion. Salvation implieth a deliverance from danger and distress, and 
a preservation in a condition of safety. Sometimes he is called a 
saviour, qui quod semel factum est conserved, ne pereat, that keepeth a 
thing in a condition of safety, though it were never lost. In this sense 
God is said to save man and beast : Ps. xxxvi. 6, ' Lord, thou pre- 
servest man and beast ; ' as he doth preserve them from decay and 
ruin ; so he is ' the saviour of all men/ 1 Tim. iv. 10. There is not 
a creature but may call God saviour. But this salvation I speak of 
is a salvation proper but to a few creatures, not a general preservation 
or act of providence. Here is not only safety, but glory ; it is a trans 
lation to a place of happiness. Again, he is said to save that delivers 
out of danger and destruction, as the shepherd that snatcheth the lamb 
out of the teeth of the lion saveth him ; and in common speech we call 
him a saviour that delivers from evil. But mark, this salvation is not 
only f *privative, but positive. Christ doth not only deliver us from evil, 
from sin, from the wrath of God, the accusations of the law, and eternal 
death, but positively he gives us grace, and righteousness, and everlast 
ing life ; he is not only a saviour to defend us, but a saviour to bless us, 
' a sun and shield/ Ps. Ixxxiv. 11 ; not only a shield to keep from 
danger, but a sun who is the fountain and cause of vegetation and life ; 
it is not preservation merely, but preferment. If Christ had only 
delivered us from wrath to come, and been a saviour privatively, it had 
been more than we could expect ; or if he had procured some place 
where we might have been unacquainted with pain or trouble, yet then 
he had been a saviour ; but here is not only a ransom a>nd deliverance, 
but an inheritance, an exaltation ; heaven and everlasting glory are 
included in this salvation. Instead of horror and bowlings, here are 
everlasting joys, and we shall ever be with God, praising his grace in 
the midst of all his saints. The blessing is so excellent, that we can 
not neglect it without great danger : Heb. ii. 3, ' How shall we escape 
if we neglect so great salvation ? ' For what can we expect but that 
God's mercy and patience abused should be turned into wrath and 
fury ? And we cannot despise it without a great deal of sin and pro- 
faneness: Heb. xii. 16, 'Lest there be any profane person, as Esau, 
who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright/ The birthright was a 
pledge of the blessing, and a right of priesthood and ministration before 
the Lord depended upon it. This was Esau's by birth ; and he is called 
/3e/3^Xo9, ' a profane man/ for parting with it at so low a rate, and 
thinking so meanly of spiritual privileges. Oh ! but what profaneness 
is this, to despise the great salvation that will cause us ever to be before 
the Lord, and minister in his presence ! We count him a profane 
man that is guilty of murder, theft, adultery, perjury, because those 
sins bring public shame and contempt, and because these sins are 
most destructive to human society ; but he is a profane man indeed 
that despiseth the gospel, because it offereth such an excellent salva 
tion ; that is profaneness, to slight God's best provision, to scorn his 

60 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. II. 

bowels, and, when the Lord hath made the bait an allurement so 
strong to gain man's heart, yet to turn his back upon it. 

2. Consider the completeness of the Saviour. Jesus Christ is so by 
merit, and by efficacy and power, and so every way fitted to do us good. 
He doth something for us, and something in us. Look, as in the gospel 
there is the history of salvation, and there Christ doth all, he is a saviour 
by merit ; and there is the counsel of salvation, and there he is a saviour 
by power, he helps us to do the duty on our part. We have the merit 
of his humiliation and the power of his exaltation ; for us he prevails 
by the merit of his death, and in us by the efficacy of his Spirit. When 
Christ was to save us, there were several hindrances one on God's 
part, and another on ours ; there was hindrance put in by God's justice, 
and a hindrance by our unbelief. Justice requires merit, and unbelief 
power ; Christ was a saviour both ways. Again, there are different 
enemies to our salvation, which were of several qualities God and the 
law, and sin and death, and Satan and the world. Now God and the 
law are to be considered in a distinct rank from sin and death, from 
Satan and the world. God was an enemy that could not be overcome, 
therefore must be reconciled. The law was an enemy that was not to 
be disannulled and destroyed, but to be satisfied ; the precepts of it 
were not to be relaxed or repealed, but fulfilled ; the curses of it were 
not to fall to the ground ; some must be made a curse, that the autho 
rity of it might be kept up. Now Jesus Christ he is made a curse 
for us, and by his merit he satisfies the law and the justice of God. 
Then, among the other enemies, look to Satan ; he is not only a temp 
ter, but an accuser. As he is a tempter, so Christ is to overcome him 
by his power ; as he is an accuser, so Christ is to overcome him by his 
merit. Certainly so far as Satan is an enemy, so far must Christ be a 
saviour, that the plaster may be as broad as the sore ; and therefore 
against the accusations of Satan he interposeth as our advocate, by 
representing his merit, and by bringing his blood unto the mercy-seat. 
Onoe again, consider, that our comfort may be full, Christ saves us by 
merit and by power. By his obedience and merit he gives us jus ad 
rem, a right and title to salvation ; but by his efficacy and power he 
gives us possession, jus in re. He was first to buy our peace, our com 
fort, our grace, our glory of God, and then to see that we be possessed 
of it ; and therefore we are said to be reconciled by his death, and. 
saved by his life. He died that we might rely on his merit, and ran 
som, and blood, which was a price to reconcile us to God ; and he 
lives that we might wait for his power, and so be saved by his life. 

3. Consider, as the greatness of the salvation, and the completeness 
of the Saviour, so the excellency of the gospel ; how it manifests and 
sets out this saviour, not in shadows and types, but with clear and 
express explication. God bestowed many benefits upon the old church, 
which were great enforcements to godliness, but not so powerful and 
effectual, because they were but shadows of salvation. Things that 
grow in the shade come not to such perfection as things that grow in 
the sun. In the Old Testament they had many blessings, but they 
were typical ones, and lasted but for a while ; they had many saviours, that 
delivered them from the house of bondage, led them through the Red Sea, 
and through the desert into Canaan ; delivered them from their enemies, 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 61 

destroyed the nations round about them ; but now these were shadows 
of good things to come. The New Testament shows what is the mean 
ing of all these ; that we are delivered from the devil, and led into 
heaven, and brought to the possession of eternal life by Jesus Christ. 
The Old Testament speaketh of calling Abraham out of Ur of the 
Chaldees, and separating his seed as a people to God. We can speak 
of election, that we may obtain the adoption of sons. The Old Testa 
ment speaks of multiplying the seed of the Jews as the sand of the sea ; 
the New Testament speaks of the multitude of converts, a great num 
ber which none can number. The Old Testament speaks of the 
bringing out of Egypt ; the New, of bringing sinners out of the power 
of darkness. The Old Testament mentions the Red Sea ; the New, 
the grace of baptism, or Ked Sea of Christ's blood. The Old Testament 
speaks of God's providence in the wilderness, how the people of Israel 
were led up and down for forty years, and fed, and clothed, and de 
livered; the New Testament speaks of God's providence over his 
church during the whole state of the present world ; how he guides us 
by his counsel, till he brings us to his glory : Ps. Ixxiii. 14, ' Thou 
shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory/ 
They were led into the land of Canaan by Jordan, and we have en 
trance into heaven by death ; they could speak of judges and kings 
that were glorious, and did worthily in their generations, but the New 
Testament shows all that have an interest in Christ shall judge the 
world together with Christ at the last day : 2 Cor. vi. 2, ' Do ye not 
know that the saints shall judge the world ? ' and as kings shall reign 
with Christ for evermore, and be far more glorious than Solomon in all 
his glory. Their piety was like a plant that grows in the shade ; now 
the sun is risen, which scattereth his light, heat, and influences. 

4. Consider what should be God's aim in the designation of his 
providence, that he hath brought it and laid it before you : Acts xiii. 
26, 'To you is the word of this salvation seat.' The apostle doth not 
say, We have brought it to you, but, God sent it. God hath a special 
hand in bringing the gospel. If you accept it, it will be God's token 
Bent to you in love ; for the present it is God's message, sent for your 
trial. There is a mighty providence that accompanieth the preaching 
of the gospel. You will find the journeys of the apostles were ordered 
by the Spirit, as well as their doctrine ; as Acts viii. 26, ' The angel of 
the Lord said to Philip, Arise, go towards the south, unto the way 
that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.' If they 
went north or south, it was not by their own good affection, or by the 
inclination and judgment of their own reason, but by the direction of 
the Spirit. So Acts xvi. 7, ' They assayed to go into Bithynia, but the 
Spirit suffered them not/ They were not left to their own guidance 
and direction, but still they were carried up and down by the Spirit : 
' As prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men 
of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost/ 2 Peter i. 21. 
So also the delivery of it, to what people it should be disclosed, was not 
by the direction of men, but by the Holy Ghost. The apostles had 
not only their commission what they should do, but where they should 
preach it. If God send a minister to you to preach this grace that 
bringeth salvation, do not look upon it as a thing of chance. The 


gospel doth not run by chance, and merely according to the intention 
and designment of men, nor in an orderly stated course as the sun, but 
by the special direction of God. You would stand admiring, a-nd think 
it a special benefit in a time of drought if the rain should fall on 
your garden and upon none else, as it did upon Gideon's fleece ; or if 
the sun should be shut up to others and shine in your horizon, as it did 
in Goshen. Such a distinction hath God made in sending of the 
gospel ; it is darkness to others, but a sun to you. God hath a special 
hand in the progress of the gospel ; certainly the preaching of it in 
power, there is much of God in it. The word goes from place to place ; 
if you accept it not, God will go to another. When the Jews refused 
the salvation of God, it is sent to the gentiles : Acts xxviii. 28, ' The 
salvation of God is sent unto the gentiles, and they will hear it.' It is 
not tendered unto you out of necessity, but by way of trial, out of God's 
choice. God cannot want clients ; when you yourselves are thrust out, 
others may get in. You may want salvation, but God cannot want 
guests at the feast he hath prepared. 

5. Consider of the great judgment that will light upon them that 
, despise an offer of salvation. That which by its natural tendency is a 
grace bringing salvation, by your neglect may bring certain condem 
nation and ruin. Observe, God did never utterly cast off the people 
of the Jews for contempt of the law, but when once they came to 
despise the gospel, God would have no more to do with them. Indeed 
for the contempt of the law the Jews were punished ; they went into 
captivity, but still a stock did remain, and it budded again. But when 
those glorious appearances of grace were discovered to them, and they 
despised them, then the wrath of God came unto them, et? TO reXo?, 
'to the uttermost/ 1 Thes. ii. 16. When salvation itself cannot save 
them, condemnation must needs take place ; and so persons perish 
Upon a double ground as guilty sinners, and as despisers of the 
remedy ; as a man that is deadly sick, and will not take physic, perish- 
eth both as he is sick and as he will not take physic ; or as a man con 
demned by the law, and being reprieved for a short time, yet neglects 
to sue out his pardon. 

But you will say, Who are those contemners of this salvation 
offered in the gospel ? The gospel is the remedy, and contemning the 
gospel may be explained by refusing the counsels of physicians. You 
know some are utter enemies to physic, and cannot endure anything 
that is bitter and tart : and so carnal men, given up to pleasure, can 
not endure the severities of the gospel, which are God's counsels and 
receipts for sick souls. If a few good hopes and wishes will carry them 
to heaven, that is all they mind. Some see that the endeavours of phy 
sicians do not always succeed, and that there is great uncertainty in 
that art, therefore slight all. Thus do men slight the gospel out of pure 
unbelief. Every one that hears the word is not saved ; there are but 
few to whom it is manifested in power ; and so they contemn it, having 
no such high thoughts of the word of God. Some, out of pride, refuse 
physic ; they know as much as the physician ; and so they throw away 
themselves by depending upon their own counsel. So some, out of 
mere pride and conceit, slight the gospel ; they know as much as can be 
taught them ; they think themselves alive, and need nothing, when they 

. 11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 63 

are stark dead. Others, out of negligence, they are sick, but are not 
at leisure to take physic, do not mind the condition of their body till 
it proves deadly. Thus it is in the sickness of the soul ; some are 
slighters : Mat. xxii. 5, ' They made light of it/ apeluja-avTes ; others 
distrust, others cannot endure God's terms, others are self-conceited ; 
but all neglect this great salvation, and contemn the greatest gift God 
ever offered to men ; therefore they shall meet with the greatest judg 

6. Besides the wrong done to God and yourselves, consider the wrong 
you do to God's messengers. This is the spiritual honour God hath 
put upon them, that they are instrumental saviours: 1 Tim. iv. 16, 'In 
doing this, thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear th.ee/ 
We are employed in a subserviency to his grace, that so we might be 
saviours unto you. Oh ! do not rob us of the honour God hath put 
upon us, let not our employment be in vain. The apostle urgeth this 
argument, Phil. ii. 16, 'Holding forth the word of life, that I may 
rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured 
in vain.' Discover that it is a word of salvation in your lives. This 
would be the minister's crown and rejoicing, to see the fruits of the 
word of life, now in your conversation, and hereafter in your glorifica 
tion, when a minister shall present himself and all his converts to God, 
* Behold, I and the children which thou hast given me/ Heb. ii. 13. 
Therefore do not rob us of the honour God hath put upon us to be 
instrumental saviours. 

What shall we do ? Take these directions 

1. Get a sense of your dead a-nd lost condition by nature. The 
killing letter makes way for the word of life ; the law shows us that 
we are dead, and then we inquire after the way of life and salvation : 
1 The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost/ Luke 
xix. 10. We must be lost in our own sense and feeling before we 
can be saved. It is very notable that only those that were pricked in 
heart said, ' What shall we do to be saved ? ' Acts ii. 37, ' Now when 
they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and 
to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do ? ' So 
Paul : Acts ix. 6, 'And he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what 
wilt thou have me to do ? ' So the jailer : Acts xvi. 29, ' He came trem 
bling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and 
said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved ? ' Till we are pinched in con 
science we trouble ourselves with other questions: as the disciples had 
many superfluous questions : John ix. 2, ' Master, who did sin, this 
man or his parents, that he was born blind ? ' and nice disputes : Acts 
i. 6, ' Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ? ' 
they were taken up with terrene expectations. Such a question Peter 
propounded to Christ : John xxi. 21, ' Lord, and what shall this man 
do ? ' But when we are soundly humbled, we say, Lord, what must I 
do to be saved ? I see I am a lost creature ; an hunger- bitten beggar 
will seek relief. Such questions are rare now, because the law has not a 
kindly work. Men think the gate of heaven wide, and the way easy to 
find ; they never came to see how far off they were. But those that know 
themselves to be lost are inquisitive after a remedy, and move pliable 
to God's counsel. Oh ! where is the word of salvation ? what shall 
we do ? They are ready to submit to any terms God shall prescribe. 


Others make dry confessions of sin, and give in a narrative, but are 
not so solicitous about the remedies and redresses ; but poor wounded 
spirits, that are sensible of their misery by nature, say, Good sir, show 
us the way ; let God write down what articles he pleaseth, we would 
be glad to subscribe to them. Bonds of iniquity are much more sore 
than bonds of duty. 

2. Let us attend more conscionably both upon the reading and hear 
ing the word of the gospel, for both are instituted. Upon the reading of 
it ; we should often consult with it ; it is the counsel of God to poor 
lost souls, and the charter of our salvation. Do not think reading will 
be altogether unprofitable. The eunuch was reading, and wanted an 
interpreter, then God sent Philip, Acts viii. 33. He that sent Philip 
to the eunuch will send the Spirit to thee. Then attend more upon 
the hearing of the word, of this salvation. Hearing is necessary. He 
that refuseth God's ordinance refuseth life and salvation. When men 
think they can get as much good by reading at home as by hearing 
sermons, they set up their foolish judgment against God's wisdom, as 
if they could tell a better means of salvation than God himself. God's 
word read is an ordinance, and God's word taught is an ordinance. 
Are we so wise as to be above the help of church gifts ? yet we are not 
above God's ordinance. When God hath instituted two things, we 
should observe both. He hath instituted baptism and the Lord's supper. 
We must not, because we have been baptized, neglect the supper; 
so we must not neglect hearing because we have reading. As God hath 
instituted prophets and apostles to write scripture, so likewise pastors 
and teachers to open, explain, and apply scripture ; and therefore the 
ministry must not be contemned. 

Object. But you will say, God's blessing goeth with the gospel; and 
when we read the scriptures at home, we are sure of pure gospel ; but 
we cannot say so of the sermons of men, who are liable to miscar 
riage and error. 

Ans. The scripture is "pure gospel of itself and by itself, and the 
sermons of men for the scripture's sake, for they are but comparing 
one scripture with another ; they differ but as the cloth and garment ; 
scripture is the cloth, and sermons make it up into a garment for use ; 
or as corn and bread, the same substance remaineth in both. An apo 
thecary, when he tempers several ingredients to make a medicine, he 
doth not destroy the nature of the simples, but compounds them, to 
make the medicine more effectual; so by gifts in the church, the 
gospel is not destroyed, but ordered and compounded, that it may be 
more useful. Indeed you must look to it that there be no sophistica 
tion in the composition ; a spiritual man hath a distinguishing appetite ; 
therefore be much in reading, much in hearing. When the wind is 
laid, the mill stirs not, and a ship under sail goes the swifter for oars, 
so the hearing of the word moves the affections ; but when we cannot 
come to hear it, our affections are laid and stir not. 

3. In reading and hearing the word, receive all the parts of it : Acts 
xx. 27, ' I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God. 
The receipts of a physician must not be altered, neither by the apothe 
cary nor patient; so we must not alter God's receipts, nor you 
neither ; we must not shun to declare, nor you to receive, the 
whole counsel of God. For instance, there is the history of salva- 

VER, 11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 65 

tion ; the doctrinal and historical part must be kept pure, that is the 
foundation. You read, in Gen. xxvi. 20, there was a great strife 
between Isaac's herdsmen and the herdsmen of Gerar about wells. 
Oh ! certainly we should earnestly ' contend for the faith that was once 
delivered to the saints,' Jude 3 ; these are wells of salvation. Take 
away one of the natures of Christ, or destroy one of his offices, and you 
lose a fountain of comfort ; there is a well of salvation dammed and 
stopped up. So the promissory and hortatory part is necessary to 
quicken us, that we may not look for more than God hath promised, 
an earthly kingdom without the cross, or imperfect justification that 
needs our merit, or perfect sanctification without the relics of the flesh. 
But especially let us have regard to the mandatory part of the gospel ; 
there we are apt to flinch and start aside ; but we must hearken not 
only to what God hath done for us, but what he requires of us, that 
we may obey the counsels as well as believe the history of the gospel. 
The covenant is mutual; there is an obligation upon God, and 
an obligation upon us ; therefore we read, Exod. xxiv. 7-9, that half 
of the blood was sprinkled upon the altar, to note God took upon 
him his part of the obligation, and half upon the people, to note 
they must take upon them their part of the obligation. It is true 
that God in the covenant of grace gives the condition as well as 
the blessing promised, but our obligation is to be acknowledged; 
though it be wrought of God, yet it is to be done by us. And there 
must be a restipulation, ' the answer of a good conscience towards God/ 
1 Peter iii. 21. What answer do you make to God's proposals and 
articles ? It is an allusion to the manner of admitting persons to 
baptism in those days ; they were to answer -to questions. Credis $ 
dost thou believe ? The person to be baptized was to answer, Credo, 
I do believe. Alrenuncias f dost thou renounce the world? he 
answered, Abrenuncio, I do renounce. Spondes ? dost thou undertake 
to obey God ? Spondeo, I undertake, I promise so to do. We must 
not only regard what God and Christ have done, but there must be 
something in us before we can make use of what God and Christ have 
done for us. There is a mutual consent of both sides ; the gospel is 
as it were an indenture drawn between God and us ; therefore, as we 
look to God for eternal life and salvation, which is made over to us in 
the promises of the covenant, so God looks for obedience and faithful 
ness from us ; which is required of us in the precepts of the covenant. 

To all men. That is, to all sorts of men, bond or free, to servants 
as well as others; for in the context he doth discourse of servants. 
I shall only in brief observe this note 

Doct. 4. That this salvation which the grace of God bringeth is free 
for all that will accept of it. 

God excludes none but those that exclude themselves. It is said 
to appear to all men 

1. Because it is published to all sorts of men ; they all have a like 
favour in the general offer : John vi. 37, 'All that the Father giveth 
me, shall come unto me ; and him that corneth to me, I will in no 
wise cast out.' There are two things in that description there is the 
doctrine of election, and the offer of grace. It is certain the elect shall 
come ; but then, in the offer or tender of grace, they have all alike 

VOL. xvi. E 


favour. Therefore be not discouraged, for whoever comes shall be 
sure of welcome ; by this means the reprobate are left without excuse. 
The gospel is wisely contrived ; it gives no ground of despair to any ; 
one hath as fair ground to believe as the other ; there is no monopoly 
in the offer. God doth not say, Come you, and not others, and I will 
not cast you out ; but, Whosoever comes. The wicked have as fair a 
ground to believe as others ; in the general offer God speaks pro 

2. All that accept have a like privilege; therefore this grace is 
said to appear to all men. There is no difference of nations, nor of 
conditions of life, nor of lesser opinions in religion, nor of degrees of 
grace. See all summed up by the apostle : Col. iii. 11, ' There is neither 
Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, 
bond nor free, but Christ is all and in all/ We are taken with the 
admiration of outward privileges, and are altogether for empaling and 
enclosing ' the common salvation/ as it is called, Jude 3. The Lord 
accepts of all, be they Jew or Greek, &c. To go over these distinctions : 
The several conditions of life make no difference, bond or free, rich or 
poor. Servants or bondmen iri those times were in a miserable case ; 
they were but animata instrumenta, used as living instruments ; every 
master had potestatem vitce et necis, power over the life and death of 
his servants, as over his cattle. But now free grace doth overlook this dis 
tinction ; bond or free are all one in Christ. In the account of God there 
is none poor but he that wants the righteousness of Christ. Then, 
for other differences in moral excellences, some nations are more civil 
than others ; but, saith he, ' neither Scythian nor barbarian ; * that 
doth not vary the case. ' He doth not mention only the barbarian, but 
the Scythian, which were of all people most rude and savage, the very 
dross and dregs of barbarism itself ; they had little knowledge in the 
arts, letters, and civilities of other nations, yet all these are one in 
Christ. Then there is no difference of nation, Greek or Jew ; some 
may live in a colder, some in a warmer climate, as they are nearer or 
further off from the sun ; but all are alike near to the Sun of right 
eousness. God hath broken down the partition wall, and enlarged the 
pale of the church. Indeed, Kome would fain rear up a new partition 
wall, and confine God to their own precincts, as if out of their church 
there was no salvation. Envious nature cannot endure to hear that 
all nations should stand upon the same level. So again for some lesser 
differences in religion, that do not destroy the foundation ; circumcision 
and uncircumcision, all is one in Christ, provided they submit to the main 
duties of Christianity. They were the two known parties and factions 
in those times, but yet such as did not exclude from the benefit of the 
common salvation. When there was a schism at Corinth, 1 Cor. iii. 4, 
* One saith, I am of Paul, another, I am of Apollos ;' Christ is only 
ours, and not yours ; Paul writeth to them, 1 Cor. i. 2, 'To all that 
call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.' 
We anathematise one another, and impropriate Christ by sacrilegious 
censures. It is very natural to us to confine grace within the circuit of 
our own opinions ; and the worst sort of Christians for the most part 
do so, as if none should go to heaven but those of their party. Ter- 
tullian, speaking of the times in which he lived, It is holiness enough 

11.] SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. 67 

with some, saith he, to be of such a part} 7 , as if none could be saved 
but men of their own persuasion. Now, saith the apostle, ' neither 
circumcision nor uncircumcision ; ' all have the same common privi 
lege. Once more, though there be a difference in the degrees of grace, 
yet all have an interest in the common privileges of Christians. Some 
have a stronger, some a weaker faith ; but saith the apostle, Kom. iii. 
22, ' The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is 
unto all and upon all that believe ; for there is no difference ; ' they 
all take hold of the same righteousness. Look, as a jewel held by a 
man and by a child, though the man holds it more strongly than the 
child, yet it is the same jewel, and of the same worth and value ; so 
the righteousness of Christ is of the same worth before God ; the 
stronger believer holds it faster than the weaker believer ; but though 
he cannot be so high in faith as Abraham, and as other worthies of 
God, yet he hath his holdfast upon God. Differences of nations and 
outward condition do neither help nor hinder salvation, and different 
degrees of grace, though they occasion some accidental difference in 
the spiritual life, as some have more comfort than others, yet as to the 
main, all that accept have a like privilege. The reasons of it are 
partly because the same grace is the cause of all. Free grace acts for 
the good of all upon the same terms : Isa, xliii. 25, * I, even I, am he 
that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not 
remember thy sins.' God doth not take notice of differences in them 
whom he forgives. God may pardon the sin of Andrew and Thomas, 
as well as of Abraham and Paul ; grace's motives lie within itself. 
And partly, because -they have the same Kedeemer, Jesus Christ, theirs 
and ours. Under the law you shall find the rich and poor were to 
give the same ransom : 'The rich shall not give more, and the poor 
shall not give less than half a shekel/ Exod. xxx, 15, to signify the 
price of Christ's blood for all souls is equal ; they have not a nobler 
Kedeemer, nor a more worthy Christ than thou hast. And partly 
because your faith is as acceptable to God as theirs 2 Peter i. 1, s To 
them who have obtained like precious faith 'with us ; ' that is, for kind, 
though not for degree. It is of the same nature, worth, and property 
with the faith of the apostles, though every one cannot believe as 
strongly as Peter, nor come up to his height. 

Use 1. If the grace of God hath appeared to all men, then let us 
put in for a share. Why should we stand out ? Are we excepted 
and left out of the proclamation of pardon and free grace ? If persons 
be excepted by name when a pardon is offered to rebels, they stand off, 
and will not come within the verge of such power ; but if it be offered 
to all, why should we stand out ? We must not add nor detract. 
If God hath said, Christ died for sinners, believe him upon his word, 
and say, I am chief ; do not say, I am a reprobate ; God hath no 
favour for me. Will you leave that word and hazard your salvation 
for a groundless jealousy and scruple ? Therefore confute your fears, 
and put all out of question by a thorough believing. 

Use 2. For comfort to weak believers. Though your faith cannot 
keep time and pace with Abraham's, nor your obedience with the 
worthies of God, yet you are ' followers of them who, through faith 
and patience, inherit the promises,' Heb. vi. 12. A little faith is faith, 


as a drop is water, and a spark is fire ; it is free to all that have or 
will accept. Say, then, as he, Mark ix. 24, ' Lord, I believe ; help 
thou mine unbelief.' The least drachm of gospel faith gives a title 
and interest. Indeed, you must strive to make it more evident ; you 
cannot have comfort till then, and consider, endeavours of growth do 
better than idle complaints, therefore follow on still with hope. 

Teaching its that, denying ungodliness, <&c. TITUS ii. 12. 

THE next thing to be considered is the lesson that grace teacheth us r 
' Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should 
live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.' 

But before I enter upon the discussion of the particular branches, I 
shall observe some things in the general. 

Obs. 1. Grace teacheth us holiness. It teacheth by way of direc 
tion, by way of argument, and by way of encouragement. 

1. It teacheth by way of direction what duties we ought to perform, 
and so it maketh use of the moral law as a rule of life. The law is 
still our direction, otherwise what we do cannot be an act of obedience. 
Certainly the direction of the law is still in force ; for where there is no 
law there is no transgression, and duty without a rule is but will-wor 
ship. If the law were blotted out, the image of God would be blotted 
out ; for the external law is nothing but the copy of God's image, that 
holiness and righteousness which is impressed on the heart. Now grace 
doth not blot out the image of God, but perfects it. In the new cove 
nant God promiseth to make the law more legible : Heb. viii. 10, ' 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.' Well, then, we are not freed from the authority 
and directive power of the law. Grace adopts, it doth not abolish, the 
law. The commands of the law sway the conscience, and love inclineth 
the heart, and so it becometh an act of pure obedience. Obedience 
respects the command, as love doth the kindness and merit of the 

2. It teacheth by way of argument ; it argueth and reasoneth from 
the love of God : Gal. ii. 20, ' The life that I now live in the flesh, I 
live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for 
me.' There ie grace's argument ; Christ loved me. We should not, 
then, be so unkind as to deny God his honour or worship, or cherish 
his enemies : 2 Cor. v. 14, ' For the love of Christ constraineth us/ 
What will you do for God, that loved you in Christ ? The gospel 
contains melting commands and commanding entreaties. The law and 
the prophets do not beseech, but only command and threaten; but the 
grace of God useth a different method in the new testament. 

3. It teacheth by way of encouragement, as manifesting both help 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 69 

and reward. The gospel doth not only teach us what we ought to per 
form, but whence we may draw strength, and how kindly God will 
accept us in Christ. The law is a schoolmaster, and the gospel is a 
schoolmaster, but in the discipline and manner of teaching there is a 
great deal of difference. The law can only teach and command, but 
the gospel is a gentle schoolmaster ; it pointeth to Christ for help : 
Phil. iv. 13, ' I can do all things through Christ which strengthened 
me ; ; and to God for reward and acceptance : Heb. xi. 16, 'He that 
cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of 
them that diligently seek him.' I do but mention these things, because 
I shall handle the encouragements hereafter. 
Use 1. Of information. It showeth us 

1. What is true holiness, such as cometh from the teachings of grace, 
obliging conscience to the duty of the law, inclining the heart to obey 
out of the sense of God's love, and encouraging us by faith, drawing 
strength from Christ, and looking to God for our acceptance from him. 
Some works of the unregenerate are materially good, but it is not the 
matter maketh the work good, but the principle. The works of 
unregenerate men are done by God's enemies, out of the strength of a 
corrupt will for carnal ends, without any conscience of God's will, or 
respect to his glory ; but e^Opcov S&pa a&copa, they are giftless gifts. 
But now those done by persons in a gracious state are as good fruit 
growing on a good tree. Grace teacheth ; he speaketh not of the 
external direction of the gospel, but the internal working of grace in 
the heart ; it worketh by faith, love, and obedience. Obedience 
owneth the obligation, love inclineth to discharge the duty, and faith 
looketh up to God for help and acceptance, that we may do it in Christ, 
and for Christ's sake to God's glory. There is a free loving subjection 
of the whole man, inward and outward, to the whole will of God, with 
a desire to please him. 

2. That grace and corruption draw several inferences and conclu 
sions from the same premises. A bee gathereth honey from whence a 
spider sucketh poison. Corrupt nature is out in conclusions : Prov. 
xxvi. 9, ' As a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so is a 
parable in the mouth of fools.' Let us do evil that grace may abound, 
says a corrupt heart. Let us deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, says 
a gracious person. God doth all, says a corrupt heart, therefore we 
need but lie upon the bed of ease, and expect his help. No, says a 
gracious soul, Phil. ii. 12, 13, ' Work out your own salvation with fear 
and trembling ; for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of 
his good pleasure.' The epicure says, The time is short ; ' Let us eat 
and drink, for to morrow we shall die/ 1 Cor. xv. 32. The apostle 
argues otherwise : 1 Cor. vii. 29, ' Brethren, I say unto you, The time 
is short ; it remaineth that they that have wives be as though they 
had none,' &c. So 2 Sam. vii. 2, ' Then the king said unto Nathan 
the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God 
dwelleth within curtains ; ' compared with Hag. i. 2, * This people say, 
The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built/ 
EH said, 1 Sam. iii. 18, ' It is of the Lord ; let him do what seemeth 
him good.' The king of Israel said, 2 Kings vi. 33, ' Behold, this evil 
is of the Lord ; why should I wait for the Lord any longer ? ' We 


are apt to stumble in God's plainest ways. Carnal logic is one of our 
greatest corruptions. 

3. That it is the greatest wrong one can do to grace to slacken any 
part of our duty for grace's sake : Jude 4, ' Ungodly men, turning the 
grace of our God into lasciviousness,' ^TariOevre^ ; they hale it 
besides its purpose. There is no such teacher of holiness as grace ; it 
teacheth and giveth a heart to learn. They know not what grace 
meaneth that grow wanton, vain, and sensual. To make grace sin's 
lackey, is a vile abuse : Kom. vi. 15, ' What then ? shall we sin, because 
we are not under the law, but under grace ? God forbid.' You are under 
grace, therefore ' yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from 
the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God,' 
ver. 13. As Fulvius said to his son when he slew him, I begot thee not 
for Cataline, but for thy country. God justified us, not that we might 
live to Satan, but to himself. 

Use 2. Of trial. Whether we are made partakers of the grace of 
God in the gospel ? Have we these teachings and arguings ? Many 
can endure to hear that grace bringeth salvation, but that it teacheth 
us to deny ungodliness, there they flinch. Men would have us offer 
salvation, and preach promises ; but when we press duty, they cry out, 
This is a hard saying. The cities of refuge under the law were all 
cities of the Levites and schools of instruction, to note that whoever 
taketh sanctuary at grace meeteth instruction ; it is no benefit to thee 
else. In the general, doth it persuade you to make a willing resigna 
tion of yourselves to God? Kom. xii. 1, 'I beseech you therefore, 
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living 
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.' 
Every time you think of mercy, do ye find some constraint in this kind ? 
More particularly 

1. Doth it press you to deny lusts ? Ezra ix. 13, 14, ' Seeing thou 
hast given us such deliverance as this, should we again break thy com 
mandments ? ' Dbth it recoil upon you ? Gen. xxxix. 9, ' How can I 
do this great wickedness, and sin against God ? ' Is this your kindness 
to your friend ? 

2. Doth it press you to good ? 1 John v. 3, This is the love of God, 
that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not 
grievous.' When God maketh a motion by his word or the counsels of 
his Spirit, Well, I cannot deny it ; what a small service is this I owe 
to God ? as Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and 'they seemed unto 
him but a few days, for the love he had to her/ Gen. xxix. 20 ; and 
Shechem underwent the pain of circumcision for Dinah's sake. 

Obs. 2. Grace teacheth us, both to depart from evil, and also to do 
good: Ps. xxxiv. 15, 'Depart from evil, and do good;' Isa. i. 16, 17, 
* Cease to do evil, learn to do well.' We must do both, because God 
hates evil and delights in good ; we must hate what God hates, and love 
what God loves. That is true friendship, eadem velle et nolle, to will 
and nill the same thing. I durst not sin, God hates it ; I durst not 
omit this duty, God loves it. Again, our obedience must carry a pro 
portion with the divine mercy. Now God's mercy is not only privative, 
but positive. God not only spares and delivers us from hell, but saves 
and brings us to heaven: ' The Lord God is a sun 'and shield,' Ps. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 71 

Ixxxiv. 11 ; not only a shield to keep us from danger, but a sun to 
afford us comfort and blessing. Therefore it is fit our obedience should 
be both privative and positive ; not only cease to do evil, but learn to 
do well ; as the description of a godly man runs, Ps. i. 1, 2/ Blessed is 
the man that walketh not in the counsels of the ungodly, nor standeth 
in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful ; ' but that 
is not enough, ' but his delight is in the law of the Lord.' Again, we 
must have communion with Christ in all his acts, in his death, and in 
his resurrection ; and therefore we must not only mortify sin, but be 
quickened to holiness of conversation. He that hath communion with 
Christ in one act hath communion with him in all ; and therefore, * if 
we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be 
also in the likeness of his resurrection/ Kom. vi. 5. We shall be dead 
to sin and alive to God. The same divine power that kills the old man 
quickens the new. Again, I might argue from the word, which is our 
rule, for there we have not only restraints, but precepts; therefore 
we must not only escape from sin, but delight in communion with 
God ; we must eschew what God forbids, and practise what God 

Use. Let it press us not to rest in abstaining from sin merely. 
Many are not vicious, but they are not sanctified, they have no feeling 
of the power of the new life. The pharisee's religion ran upon nega 
tives : Luke xviii. 11, ' God, I thank thee I am not as other men are, 
extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican/ To enforce this, 
consider, both are contrary to the new nature ; it hates evil and loves 
good. Where there is regeneration, there is a putting on and a putting 
off: Eph. iv. 22-24, ' That ye put off, concerning the former conversa 
tion, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts ; and 
be renewed in the spirit of your mind ; and that ye put on the new man, 
which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness/ The new 
nature makes conscience of abstaining from sin and obeying God's pre 
cepts. And both are serviceable to the work of grace. Grace is 
obstructed by" sins of omission and commission, for sins increase as well 
as unfitness for duty. The motions of the Spirit are quenched, and 
lusts grow prevalent in the soul, and both are odious to God. A barren 
tree cumbers the ground, and is rooted up as well as the poisonous 

Obs. 3. We must first begin with renouncing evil ; that is the first 
thing grace teacheth. Since the fall, the method is analytical, to 
unravel and undo that which hath been done in the soul. So it is 
said of Christ, 1 John iii. 8, 'For this purpose the Son of God was 
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil/ Sin is the 
first occupant in the soul, and claimeth possession. Six thousand years 
ago it thrust out grace, which was the right owner ; therefore first there 
must be a writ of ejectment sealed against sin, that grace may take the 
throne ; Dagon must down, ere the ark be set up. It cannot be other 
wise, it must not be otherwise ; there must be mortifying and subduing 
of sin by acts of humiliation and godly sorrow before there will be 
experience of grace. 

1. It cannot be otherwise, for the devil hath a right in us as long as 
we remain in sin ; therefore there must be a rescue from his power : 


Col. i. 13, ' Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and 
hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.' Christ and 
Satan cannot reign in the same heart, nor God and the world. Joseph 
was taken out of prison, and then preferred to Pharaoh. This is the 
method : Luke i. 73, ' That he would grant unto us, 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 lives/ 
Deliverance hath the precedence ; first the thorns must be rooted out, 
and then the corn is sowed. 

2. It must not be otherwise. God will have nothing to do with us 
till we have renounced sin. A plausible life is but a counterfeit 
varnish, like gilding over a rotten post, or a moral integrity, till sin be 
renounced. The prodigal left his husks, and then returned to his 
father. This is the method at our first conversion. Indeed afterwards 
there is some difference ; when once grace is once planted in the heart, 
it hath the advantage of corruption, and worketn first. Thus it is 
said of Job, chap. i. 1, ' That man was perfect and upright, one that 
feared God and eschewed evil.' First fearing God, then eschewing 
evil. Grace having taken possession, and being seated in the heart, it 
works first. Like a man possessed and seated in his house, he seeketh 
to expel his enemy. So at first way is made for the operation of grace, 
and then all the work afterwards is the destruction of sin. 

Obs. 4. It is not enough to renounce one sin, but we must renounce 
all ; for when the apostle speaks of denying ungodliness, he intends 
all ungodliness. Compare this with 1 Peter ii. 1, 'Wherefore, laying 
aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies;' and James i. 21, 
' Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.' All 
sins must be renounced, little sins and great sins. Great sins, as 
adultery, drunkenness, and the like, are manifest. Gal. v. 19 : that is, 
nature doth abhor them, they stink and smell rank in nature's nostrils, 
even to a natural conscience. Then for little sins : Mat. v. 19, ' Who 
soever shall break one of these least commandments, and teach men so 
to do, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.' It is spoken 
of ministers principally ; whoever shall give license by the gospel to 
the least sin, either break it himself, or teach men so to do, shall have 
no place, no room among gospel ministers. No sin can be little that 
is committed against the great God. Sins are not to be measured by 
the smallness of the occasion, or by the suddenness of the act, but by 
the offence done to God, to an infinite majesty. The less the sin, the 
greater many times it is. It argues much malice to break with God 
upon every slight occasion ; there is more unkindness in it, and the 
more contempt of God ; and it argues the greater depravation of 
nature. As a little weight will make a stone move downward, because 
of its natural inclination, so it is a sign we have an inclination that way 
- when a small matter can draw us from God. Again, secret sins must 
be eschewed as well as public : Isa. Iv. 7, ' Let the wicked forsake his 
way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts ; ' the thought as well as 
the way is to be forsaken. By way is meant his outward Bourse of life ; 
by his thoughts is meant the hidden workings of his spirit. Nothing 
more transient and sudden than the thought ; therefore, as we must 
not do evil before men, so we must not think evil before God. God 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS 11. 11-14. 73 

seeth the thought, as well as man the actions, and infinitely more. The 
thoughts are visible to him, and these fall under a law as well as our 
actions. Again, sins of temper, to which we are more incident, as well 
as other sins to which we have less inclination, they must be mortified : 
Ps. xviii. 23, ' I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from 
mine iniquity.' That sin which we call ours should be most watched 
against, and most hated above all others. As a man should be afraid 
of the meat of which he hath once surfeited, so the sin that hath once 
prevailed over us we should be more cautious against. It is nothing 
for a sordid spirit to be less proud, or a proud man to be less covetous, 
or a covetous man to be less sensual, or a sensual man to be less pas 
sionate ; still a Christian is tried by the revenge he takes upon his own 
sin, his master-lust. Again, not only sins which lie at a distance from 
our interest, but sins that bring us most profit and advantage. In 
these things God tries us ; it is the offering up of our Isaac, our darling. 
In a corrupt world some things bring credit and profit ; but as for the 
right hand, the right eye, we must pluck out the one and cut off the 
other : Mat. v. 29, 30, ' If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, 
and cast it from thee ; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy 
members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast 
into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it 
from thee ; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should 
perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell/ Cannot 
we do so much for God and for grace's sake. 

I might give you several reasons. One sin is contrary to God as 
well as another. There is the same aversion from an eternal good in 
all things, though the manner of conversion to the creature be differ 
ent. Again, one sin is contrary to the law of God as well as another ; 
there is a contempt of the same authority in all sins. God's command 
binds, and it is of force in lesser sins as well as greater ; and therefore 
they that bear any respect to the law of God must hate all sin : Ps. 
cxix. 113, 'I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love.' God hath 
given a law to the thoughts, to the sudden workings of the spirit, as 
well as to actions that are more deliberate ; and therefore, if we love 
the law, we should hate every lesser contrariety to it, even a vain 
thought. And all sin proceedeth from the same corruption ; therefore, 
if we would subdue and mortify it, we must renounce all sin. He that 
hateth any sin as sin hates all sin, for there is the same reason to hate 
every sin. Hatred, philosophers say, is to the whole kind. A man 
that hates a toad as a toad hates every one of the kind ; with the same 
kind of hatred must we hate every sin. Again, one sin let alone is very 
dangerous. One leak in a ship, if unstopped and neglected, may 
endanger the^ vessel. One sin let alone, and allowed and indulged, 
may quite ruin the soul. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 
A man may ride right for a long time, but one turn in the end of his 
journey brings him quite out of the way. If you do many things, yet, 
if you commit any sin with leave and license from conscience, you are 
guilty of all sin : James i. 10, ' Whoever shall keep the whole law, and 
yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all/ as one condition not observed, 
forfeits the whole lease. There is an indenture drawn between us 
and God, and every article of this covenant must be observed. If we 


willingly give way and allowance to the least breach, we forfeit all the 
grace of the covenant. 

Use 1. Direction what to do in the business of mortification. We 
must deny all ungodliness, not a hoof must be left in Egypt. Grace 
will not stand with any allowed sin ; and in demolishing the old build 
ing, not one stone must be left upon another. 

1. In your purpose and resolution, you must make Satan no allow 
ance ; he standeth hucking, as Pharaoh did with Moses and Aaron ; 
first he would let them go three days into the wilderness ; then he per 
mitted them to take their little ones with them ; but they would not 
go without their cattle, their flocks and their herds also ; they would 
not leave anything, no not a hoof behind them. So the devil would 
have a part left as a pledge, that in time the whole man may fall to 
his share : 2 Kings v. 18,' In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, 
that when my master goeth into the house of Kimmon to worship there, 
and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Kimmon ; 
when I bow myself in the house of Kimmon, the Lord pardon thy 
servant in this thing/ We would grant Christ anything, so he would 
excuse us in our beloved sins. We complain of the times, and set up 
a toleration in our hearts ; some right hand or right eye that we are 
loath to part with. Something there is wherein we would be excused, 
and expect an allowance ; either outward, as in fashions, customs, 
ways of profit and advantage ; or inward, some passions and carnal 
affections that we would indulge. Grace will not stand with any 
allowed sin. Herod did many things, but he kept his Herodias stiil. 
He turneth from no sin that doth not in his purpose and resolution 
turn from all sin ; he doth not break off an acquaintance with sin, but 
rather make choice what sin he will keep, and what he will part with. 
The apostle speaks, Col. ii. 11, of ' putting off the body of the sins of the 
flesh/ We must not cut off one member or one joint, but the whole 
body, totum corpus, licet non totaliter, the whole body of sin, though 
we cannot wholly be rid of it. Dispense not there where Christ hath 
not dispensed. 

2. We should often examine our hearts, lest there lurk some vice 
whereof we think ourselves free : Lam. iii. 40, ' Let us search and try 
our ways, and turn again to the Lord/ Complete reformation is 
grounded upon a serious search and trial. As those that kept the pass- 
over were not to have a jot of leaven in their houses, and therefore they 
were to search their houses for leaven, such a narrow search should 
there be to discover whatever hath been amiss. Commune with your 
selves. Is there not a jot of leaven yet left ? somewhat that God 
hateth, some correspondence with God's enemies ? Is there nothing 
left that is displeasing to God ? Thus should we often bring our hearts 
and our ways and the word together. 

3. Desire God to show you if there be anything left that is grievous 
to his Spirit: Job xxxiv. 32, ' That which I see not, teach tliou me/ 
There are many sins I see, but more that I do not see ; Lord, show 
them to me. So David appealeth to God, who must judge and punish 
conscience : Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24,' Search me, God, and know my heart ; 
try me, and know my thoughts ; and see if there be any wicked way in 
me, and lead me in the way everlasting/ Can you thus appeal to God, 
and say, Lord, I desire not to continue in any known sin ? 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 75 

4. When any sins break out, set upon the mortification of them. 
Do not neglect the least sins ; they are of dangerous consequence ; 
but renew thy peace with God Judging thyself for them, and mourning 
for them, avoiding temptations, cutting off the provision for the flesh : 
1 Cor. ix. 27,' But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection/ 
The leper was to shave off his hair, and if it grew again, he was still 
to keep shaving. Corruption will recoil, but still we must use the 
razor of mortification, though it be such a sin as the world taketh no 
notice of, and others would not make conscience of. 

Use 2. Of trial. Do we renounce all sin ? But you will say,' Who 
can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin ? ' Prov. 
xx. 9. I answer 

1. It must be done in purpose and resolution. In conversion there 
is an entire surrender of the soul to God. To reserve any sin is to part 
stakes between him and Satan, not to leave sin, but to choose it. But 
now in vow and purpose we must forsake every sin : Ps. cxix. 57/1 
have said that I would keep thy word.' And this purpose must be 
entire, without exception and reservation; so that if they sin, it is 
beside their purpose. 

2. There must be a serious inclination of the will against it. Car 
nal men will profess a purpose and faint resolution, but there is no 
principle of grace to bear it, no bent of the will against it : Ps. cxix. 
104, ' I hate every false way.' A child of God doth not escape every 
false way, but he hateth it, the inclination of the new nature is against 
it, and therefore sin is not committed without resistance ; there are 
dislikes and denials in the renewed part ; there is a fear of sin before 
hand, and a present striving against it, and an after grief for it : the 
consent is extorted by the violence of a temptation, and retracted by 
remorse ; for remorse is as the withdrawing of the consent, so that it 
is besides the inclination of the will. 

3. There must be endeavours against it. The case 1 of obedience must 
be universal, though the success be not answerable : Ps. cxix. 6, ' Then 
shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy command 
ments ; ' not when I have kept them, but when I have a respect to 
them all. We should never be able to look God in the face if our 
acceptance lay upon keeping all his commandments ; but we must 
respect them all, and endeavour to keep them all, and dispense with 
ourselves in no known failing, and still the work of denying all sin must 
be carried on by degrees. 

Thus much for the general observations. 

Denying ungodliness. Having observed something from the general 
view of this verse, I come to handle the particular branches ; and here 
let me first speak of the privative part, 'Denying ungodliness and 
worldly lusts ; ' and the first thing to be denied is ' ungodliness/ 

First, I shall open the terms of the text ; and, secondly, the thing 

First, In the explication of the terms, I shall show (1.) What is 
meant by ' ungodliness ; ' (2.) What by ' denying ' it. 

1. What is meant by ' ungodliness,' a sin much spoken of, but little 
known. The word aaefteia in its native signification implies a denial of 
worship. Worship you know is the chiefest and most solemn respect 
of the creature to God ; and therefore, when we deny any part of that 

1 Qu. ' care ' ? ED. 


service, respect, honour, and obedience which we owe to God, it is 
called acrepeia, want of worship ; as vcre{3ei,a, right worship, is put for 
the whole subjection and obedience of the creature to God. 

[1.] Ungodliness is sometimes applied to pagans, and to men that 
never acknowledged the true God : 1 Peter iv. 18, 'If the righteous 
scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ? ' 
The ungodly, being there opposed to the righteous and to the house 
of God, must needs be those that live without the pale, pagans and 
"heathens that were never acquainted with the true God. 

[2.] Ungodliness is sometimes put to imply the unjustified estate, 
or our condition by nature. And thus the apostle, when he speaks of 
Abraham and David, gives God this title and appellation : Kom. iv. 5, 
'God, that justifieth the ungodly;' and Korn. v. 6, 'Christ died for 
the ungodly/ The reason why ungodliness is put for the natural state 
before conversion and justification, I suppose is because the Septuagint 
always renders D^ttfn by aaepeis. Now ytH signifies restless, tur 
bulent; but usually it is translated ungodly: Ps. i. 1. 'Blessed is 
the man that walketh not in the counsel D^ttf of the ungodly.' 
Now, because such kind of persons are usually brought forth to 
judgment and condemned, therefore it is put for condemned per 
sons ; as Ps. cix. 7, ' When he shall be judged, let him be con 
demned/ In the Hebrew it is ytT| K^, exeat impius : let him 
go out guilty or wicked, as in the margin of our bible. Certainly 
in that place, Kom. v. 6, ' Christ died for the ungodly/ the apostle, to 
amplify the love of Christ in dying for us, alludeth to the custom of 
the Jews, who were wont to divide the people into three parts, D'TEH 
00-101, or ayadoi, good and gracious men ; n^DX St'/eatot, just 
men; and Q^tiH, acre/Set?, wicked men. For the good men, a 
man would even dare to die ; by which are meant not only the just, 
but the bountiful soul, that did good in his place, and deserved love 
and respect. For a just man one would scarcely die : by the just men 
are meant those of a rigid innocency and strict justice as to matters 
external. But now, saith the apostle, we were neither good nor 
righteous men, but were of the other sort, ungodly, wicked, liable to 
the process of the law, and yet ' Christ died for the ungodly/ 

[3.] The word is yet more specially used for the transgressions of 
the first table : Kom. i. 18, ' The wrath of God is revealed from heaven 
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men/ There all sin is dis 
tinguished into two branches and kinds ungodliness and unrighteous 
ness. Ungodliness, that respects their carriage towards God ; and 
unrighteousness, their carriage towards men : and in this sense it is 
taken here. Ungodliness is put for that part of sin whereby we rob 
God of his honour, respect, and service established by the first table ; 
and worldly lusts for all those sins by which we wrong ourselves and 
others. Ungodliness, then, is not giving God his right and due honour; 
and therefore, that you may conceive of it aright, let me tell you that 
there are four particular notions ingrafted in the heart of man which 
are the ground and foundation of all religion (1.) That God is, and 
is one ; (2.) That God is none of those things which are seen, but 
something more excellent ; (3.) That God hath a care of human affairs, 
and judgeth with equity ; (4.) That this God is the maker of all things 

VEK. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n, 11-14. 77 

that are without himself. These are grafted in the heart of man by 
nature, and are the sum and foundation of all religion. Now to these 
four principles are suited the four commands of the first table. The 
first principle is, that God is, and is one ; and in the first command 
ment there is God's unity clearly established : ' Thou shalt have no other 
gods besides me.' The second principle is, that God is none of those 
things which are seen, but something more excellent ; and in the second 
commandment we have God's invisible nature ; for images are forbidden 
upon that ground, because God cannot be seen : Deut. iv. 12, ' You 
saw no similitude, only you heard a voice/ The third principle is, that 
God hath a care of human affairs, and judgeth with equity ; and in the 
third commandment you have the knowledge of human affairs, and 
even of a man's thoughts ascribed to God, for that is the foundation of 
an oath, ' Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.' 
The chief intent of that commandment is to forbid perjury; it also 
forbids rash swearing, and mentioning the name of God without 
reverence ; for in an oath God is invoked as a witness, as one that hath 
knowledge even of the heart ; there his omniscience is acknowledged ; 
and in an oath God is appealed to as a judge and avenger ; there his 
justice and power is acknowledged. For the fourth principle, that this 
God is the creator and governor of all things that are without himself, 
that is established in the fourth commandment by the law of the 
sabbath ; for the sabbath at first was instituted for this very purpose, 
to meditate upon God as a creator ; a day on purpose is instituted to 
keep up the memorial of the creation of the world. 

Well, then, you see what is the foundation of godliness. Now out 
of these speculative notions practicals flow of their own accord, to wit, 
that God alone is to be worshipped, obeyed, honoured, trusted ; and as 
far as we set up other confidences, or are ignorant of the excellency of 
the true God, or so far as we deny God his worship and service, or serve 
him after an unworthy manner, by superstitious or idolatrous worship, 
or carelessly and hypocritically, or so far as we have gross opinions of 
his essence, or exclude the dominion of his providence, or cease to call 
upon his name, so far we are guilty of ungodliness, as will appear more 
fully hereafter. 

2. What it is to deny ungodliness ? Denying is a word that pro 
perly belongs to propositions. We are said to deny when we contradict 
what is affirmed ; but by a metaphor it may be applied to things which 
the will refuseth ; as some are said ' to deny the power of godliness/ 
2 Tim. iii. 5, when they check and resist it and will not suffer godliness 
to work, though they take up a form of it. Now there is a great deal 
of reason for that phrase, whether we look to the inward workings of 
the heart, or to the outward profession which they made in those days. 

[1.] If you look to the inward workings of the heart, all things are 
managed in the heart of man by rational debates and suggestions ; and 
we deny when we refuse to give assent to ungodly thoughts, sugges 
tions, and counsels. Before sin be fastened upon the soul, there is some 
ungodly thought, some counsel, which, when we suppress, and will not 
hearken to those thoughts which sin stirs up, we are properly said to 
deny it. Every corruption hath a voice. If envy bids Cain, Go kill 
thy brother, he hearkens to it. Ambition speaks to Absalom thus, Go, 


rise up against thy father ; and covetousness speaks to Judas, Go, 
betray thy Lord. So ungodliness hath a voice. Carnal affection, 
urged by Satan, bids us neglect God, or serve him in a slight manner, 
mind thy own business, favour thyself. Corruption awakened by Satan 
will solicit to evil. Now suppressing and smothering such thoughts 
and suggestions with hatred and detestation is fitly expressed by 
refusing to hearken to sin's voice, or ' denying ungodliness.' 

[2.] Some ground there is for the expression, if we look to the 
custom of those times. In making an outward profession, probably 
here is some allusion to the ancient manner of stipulation. When 
any came to be admitted into the church, there were questions pro 
pounded to him, Abrenuncias? dost thou renounce ? Credis ? dost 
thou believe ? Spondes ? dost thou promise to walk before God in 
all holy obedience ? And the person answered, Abrenuncio, I do 
renounce ; Credo, I do believe ; and, Spondeo, I do undertake. This 
was that which Peter calls, ' the answer of a good conscience towards 
God,' 2 Peter iii. 21, when in the presence of God they can answer to 
all these demands. 

TJiat denying ungodliness, &c. TITUS ii. 12. 

Now let me open the thing itself. In ungodliness there is something 
negative, and that is denying God his due honour ; and something 
positive, and that is putting actual coutempt upon him. 

First, For the negative part, when God is denied his honour. $Tow 
to find out how this is done, let us a little inquire what is the special 
and peculiar honour which God challengeth to himself. It stands in 
four things to be the first cause, the chiefest good, the supreme 
authority and truth, and the last end. And therefore, when we do not 
acknowledge him to be the first cause, the chiefest good, the supreme 
authority and truth, and the last end, we rob him of the glory of his 
Godhead, and are guilty of this which, the apostle calls ungodliness. I 
shall go over these branches. 

First, God must be honoured as the first cause, which giveth being 
to all things, and hath his being from none ; and so we are bound to 
know him, to depend upon him, to observe his providence, and to 
acknowledge his dominion over all events or things which happen in 
the world ; and so far as any of these are neglected, so far are we guilty 
of ungodliness. Well, then, under this head 

1. Ignorance is a branch of ungodliness ; and I name it in the first 
place because it is the cause of all our disorder in worship and conver 
sation. This is the first cause of all wickedness, to be ignorant of God. 
The apostle seconds the observation: 3 John 11, 'He that doeth e,vil 
hath not seen God.' Certainly he that makes a trade of sin hath not 
a right sight and sense of God ; he knows not God. A true sight 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 79 

and sense of God keepeth the soul from sin. There is nothing that 
keeps in the fire of religion, nor maintains respect between man and 
man, nothing that preserves honesty and piety so much, as right 
thoughts and apprehensions of God. But now generally people are 
ignorant of God ; they know him as blind men do fire. A man that 
is born blind can tell there is such a thing as fire, because he feels it 
warm ; but what kind of thing it is he that never saw it cannot tell. So 
the whole world and conscience proclaim there is a God ; the blindest 
man may see that ; but little do they know of his nature and essence, 
what God is according as he hath revealed himself in the word. Look, 
as the Athenians built an altar, and the inscription was 'Ayvcoa-Tw e<, 
' To the unknown God,' Acts xvii. 23, so do most Christians worship 
an unknown God ; and as Christ taxed the Samaritans, John iv. 22, 
' Ye worship ye know not what,' so generally do people worship they 
know not what. Ask them what God is and whom they worship, they 
cannot tell ; they are carried on by custom and dark and blind super 
stition, and they mutter over their prayers to an unknown power ; such 
blind and wild conceits have they of the nature of God till they see 
him by the light of his own Spirit. This ignorance is sad, because it 
is a sign of no grace, and it is a pledge of future judgment. In these 
days of gospel light, it is a sign of no grace : Jer. xxxi 34, ' They shall 
all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, saith the 
Lord.' God hath no child so little but he knows his Father. In the 
days of the gospel, now it is so clearly preached, it is required of the 
meanest sort as well as those that have the advantages of better educa 
tion. And it is a pledge of future judgment : 2 Thes. i. 8, Christ will 
come * in flaming fire, to render vengeance on them that know not God, 
and that obey not the gospel.' We have low thoughts of the guilt of 
ignorance, and think God will not be severe against such. Many 
ignorant creatures are harmless, and do no wrong ; but to live and die 
in ignorance, is a matter of sad consequence. There is vengeance for 
pagans that know not God by showers of rain and fruitful seasons ; and 
indeed they principally are intended. Divide men into two sorts, those 
that have only the light of nature, sense, and reason to guide them, and 
those that have the light of the gospel: there is vengeance for pagans, that 
have no other apostles sent to them but those natural apostles of sun, 
moon, and stars. They had light shining to them in God's works, and 
they had sense and reason, eyes to see the light; and so they were 
bound to know the first cause, and might see God working and guid 
ing all things in the world ; but there is much more vengeance for 
Christians, for those that have God's word, the light of faith, and yet 
shut their eyes against the light. Usually come and talk with men, 
they will acknowledge they are poor ignorant creatures, and God that 
made them will save them, though the scripture speaks quite contrary : 
Isa. xxvii. 11, ' This is a people of no understanding; therefore he that 
made them will not have mercy upon them, and he that formed them 
will show them no favour/ God is exceeding angry when all advan 
tages of light are lost. A pagan is ignorant of God, but you are worse, 
being unteachable. He that hath only sun and moon to teach him 
shall be damned for his ignorance of God ; but if you do not profit by 
the light of the gospel, to conceive more worthily of the nature and 
glory of God, your judgment will be greater. 


2. We do not honour God as the first cause when we do not depend 
upon him ; that is ungodliness. Trust and dependence is the ground 
of all commerce between us and God, and it is the greatest homage and 
respect which we yield to the Creator and first cause. Now, when 
men can trust any visible creature rather than God, their estates rather 
than God, they rob him of his peculiar honour. That there is such a 
sin as trusting in the creature, excluding God, is clear from Job xxxi. 
24, ' If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou 
art my confidence.' Job, to vindicate himself from hypocrisy, reckons 
up the usual sins of a hypocrite ; among the rest this is one, to make 
gold his confidence. Men are apt to think it the staff of their lives, 
and stay of their posterity, and ground of their welfare and happiness ; 
and so their hearts are diverted from God, and their trust is intercepted. 
It is a usual sin, though little thought of, for men to entrench them 
selves within a great estate, and then think they are safe and secure 
against all the changes and chances of the present life, and so God is 
laid aside. Let God offer to entrench us within the promises, and 
leave his name in pawn with us, yet we are full of fears and doubts : 
Prov. xviii. 10, ' The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous 
runneth into it, and is safe ; ' but ver. 11, ' The rich man's wealth is his 
strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit/ Such as think 
themselves safe in a great estate do not acknowledge God as the first 
cause, which gives being, and sustains all things; and therefore covet- 
ousness is called idolatry, Col. iii. 5, and a covetous man is called 
an idolater, Eph. v. 5, not so much because of his love of money, 
as because of his trust in it. The glutton counteth his belly his 
god : Phil. iii. 19, ' Whose god is their belly ; ' he mindeth the 
gratifications of his appetite, yet he doth not trust in his belly cheer ; 
he thinks not to be protected by it ; therefore he is not called an idol 
ater, as the covetous, who robbeth God of his trust. We are all apt 
to make an idol of the creature, and poor men think if they had wealth 
this were enough to make them happy ; they trust in those that have 
it, which is idolatry upon idolatry. Therefore it is said, Ps. Ixii. 9, 
' Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a 
lie/ To appearance men of low degree are nothing, and men of high 
degree are a lie, because we are apt to trust in them. But chiefly it is 
incident to the rich ; they that have riches are apt to trust in riches : 
Mark x. 23, ' How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the 
kingdom of God ! ' compared with ver. 24, ' Children, how hard is it 
for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God ! ' Now 
this is a secret sin. A man doth not think that he makes money his 
idol, if he doth not pray or offer sacrifices to it, or give it some per 
ceivable worship, and if he use it as familiarly as anything in a 
house ; but this idolatry lies within. Though a man doth not en 
tertain his gold with ceremony, yet there is his trust and confidence 
that he shall be safe and do well, because he hath such an estate, which 
he depends upon, and not upon God. We smile at the vanity of the 
heathens, that worshipped stocks and stones, and idols of gold and 
silver ; and we do worse, but more spiritually, when our trust is ter 
minated in the creature. Though we do not say to gold, Thou art my 
confidence, or, You shall deliver me, or, I will put my trust in you, or 
use any such gross language, yet this is the interpretation of our car- 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 81 

riage. A covetous man may speak as basely of wealth as another ; he 
may say, I know gold is but refined earth ; but his heart resteth on 
it as his only refuge and stay, and he thinks he and his children cannot 
be happy without it ; which is a great sin ; it sets up another god, 
chains the heart to the world, and keeps it from good works. 

3. We do not honour G|id.as the first cause when we do not observe 
his providence, either in good or evil, either in our crosses or blessings. 
The blind world sets up an idol called chance and fortune, and does not 
acknowledge God at the other end of causes, as swaying all things by 
his wisdom and power. If evil come to them, they think it is by 
chance and ill-luck ; as the Philistines said, 1 Sam. vi. 9, ' It is not his 
hand that smote us ; it was a chance that happened to us.' So pro 
fanely do most men judge of providence, and of the evil of the 
present life, that it is a chance: Isa. xxvi. 11, ' Lord ! when thy hand 
is lifted up they will not see.' Men look to instruments and second 
causes, and do not regard God. If things go ill, they snarl at the stone, 
but do not look at the hand of him that throws it ; as if all this while 
God were but an idle spectator and looker-on, and had no hand in all 
that befalls us. Job doth better : chap. i. 21, ' The Lord gave, and the 
Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord/ Chryso- 
stom hath a sweet gloss upon it ; he doth not say, o /cXeVrT;? afafaaro, 
6 XaXSaios afaiharo, the thief, the Chaldean, the Sabean, hath taken 
away, but the Lord. In all afflictions we should look beyond the creature, 
and not complain of ill-fortune, or chance, or stars, or constellations, or 
altogether of men, or instruments, or anything on this side God ; he is 
the first cause in any evil that befalls you, therefore see God's hand in 
it. So also in mercies and blessings, it is ungodliness when we do not 
see God in them. Wicked men receive blessings and never look up. 
They live upon God every moment ; they have life, breath, motion, 
health, and hourly maintenance from him, yet God is not in all their 
thoughts ; as swine raven upon the acorns, and never look to the oak 
from whence they fall, and so they may enjoy the comfort of the creature, 
they are content, but never look higher than the next hand. The 
spouse's eyes are compared to dove's eyes, Cant. iv. 1 ; and some make 
this gloss upon it (which is pious, though it doth not interpret the 
place), doves peck, and look upward. When we sip and peck upon 
every grain of mercy, we should look up and acknowledge God. The 
Lord complains of this ungodliness in his people : Hosea ii. 8, ' For she 
did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied 
her silver and gold.' There cannot be a greater sign of an ungodly 
spirit than this unthankful profaneness. We all live upon the mere 
alms of God, have all our comforts and blessings from him ; and all 
that^God expects is but acknowledgment, that we should take notice 
of him as the author of all the good we enjoy. Other creatures live 
upon God, but they are not capable of knowing the first cause ; but he 
hath given us a mind to know him, and capacities and abilities, there 
fore this is the rational worship which he expects from us. God hath 
leased out the world to the sons of men: Ps. cxv. 16, ' The heaven, 
even the heavens are the Lord's ; but the earth hath he given to the 
children of men ? ' But what is the rent God hath reserved to himself? 
Glory, praise, and acknowledgment. But too usual is that observation 
V OL. xvi. F 


true, Qui majores terras possident, minores census solvunt Those that 
hold the greatest lands usually pay the least rent ; so those that enjoy 
most mercies seldomest acknowledge God ; their hearts are full and at 
ease, and they forget God. Men are most led hy outward enjoyments ; 
they love their bodies best, and the comforts of the body most. Now, 
that we may not want arguments to lova afid praise God, God tries us 
by these worldly enjoyments which concern the body, to see if we will 
acknowledge him ; but usually we raven upon the sweet of comfort, but 
look not from whence it comes. This was the trial God used to the gen 
tiles, showers of rain and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food 
and gladness : Acts xiv. 17, ' Nevertheless he left not himself without a 
witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruit 
ful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.' Every time 
thou eatest and drinkest thou shouldst think of God. But alas! 
seldom do we give God the honour of his providence ; we forget God 
when he remembers us. None more unworthy of any good, and more 
unthankful to God for it, than man. 

4. Another piece of ungodliness is when we do not acknowledge his 
dominion over all events. If he be the first cause, he will have his 
government to be acknowledged. How so ? By using and under 
taking nothing in the course of our affairs till we have asked his leave 
and blessing. The apostle saith, 1 Tim. iv. 4, 5, ' Every creature of 
God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanks 
giving ; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer ; ' that is, 
by the word we know our liberty, and in prayer we ask God's leave and 
blessing in all things that we use. To use another man s goods with 
out his leave is robbery ; and so it is to use food, physic, or any 
creature till we have asked God's leave ; all should be sanctified by the 
word and prayer. When we go about any business, or undertake a 
journey, or fix our abode in the world, we ought to be inquiring of 
God ; for things that seem to be most trivial and casual, God hath the 
greatest hand in them, therefore we must still inquire at the oracle. 
It is a piece of religious manners first to inquire of God ; and therefore 
they are taxed : James iv. 13, ' Go to now, ye that say, To-day or 
to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and 
buy and sell, and get gain ; for that ye ought .to say, If the Lord will, 
we shall live, and do this or that/ ver. 15. You forget to bid yourselves 
good-morrow or good-day, or good-speed, when you forget to consult 
and advise with God in prayer. The heathens would begin nothing 
weighty but they would still consult with their gods ; for their prin 
ciple was, the gods regarded greater matters, but took no notice of 
those of a smaller consequence. Now by this means would the Lord 
preserve a constant remembrance of himself in the heart of the creature. 
It keeps up the memory of God in the world to acknowledge him as 
one that hath an overruling hand in all the businesses and affairs of 
this world : Prov. iii. 6, 'In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he 
shall direct thy paths.' The children of God dare not resolve upon any 
course till they have asked counsel of God. Thus God will be ac 
knowledged as the first cause ; and so men are guilty of ungodliness if 
they do not know him, depend upon him, observe his providence, and 
acknowledge his dominion over all events in the world. 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 83 

Secondly, God will be acknowledged as the chief est good ; and so, 
if we do not often think of him, and delight in communion with him, 
fear to offend him, and care to please him, all this is ungodliness. 

1. If we do not often think of him ; if we did not want hearts, we 
cannot want objects to put us in mind of God : ' He is not far from 
every one of us,' Acts xvii. 27. But though God be not far from us, 
yet we are far from God ; and though he be everywhere, where we walk, 
lie, and sit, yet he is seldom found in our hearts. We are not so near 
to ourselves as God is to us. Who can keep his breath in his body for 
a minute if God were not there ? But though he be present with us, 
we are not present with him. There is usually too great a distance 
between him and our thoughts. God is round about us in the effects 
of his power and goodness, yet afar off in regard of our hearts and the 
workings of our spirits : Ps. x. 4, ' Gk)d is not in all his thoughts/ 
Oh ! consider how many there are that live upon God, that have daily 
and hourly maintenance from him, yet regard him not. Wicked men 
abhor their own thoughts of God, and hate any savoury speech and 
mention of his name. Look, as the devils believe and tremble, the 
more they think there is a God, the more is their horror increased, thus 
do carnal hearts ; and therefore they do all they can to drive God out 
of their mind. How many trifles do occupy our mind ! We muse of 
nothing unless it be of vanity itself ; but God can seldom find any room 
there ; we would fain banish God out of our minds. When David beheld 
God's works, and looked upon the creation, he cried out, Ps. civ. 34, 
* My meditation of him shall be sweet.' Oh ! it is the spiritual feast 
and entertainment of a gracious soul to think of God. We cannot put 
our reason to a better use. None deserves our thoughts more than 
God, who thought of us before the world was, and still thinks of us. 
Saith David, Ps. cxxxix. 17, ' How precious also are thy thoughts unto 
me, God ! how great is the sum of them ! ' It is a great part there 
fore of ungodliness and ingratitude not to present God with so reason 
able a service as a few thoughts, not to turn the thoughts, and set the 
mind a- work upon the glory, excellency, and goodness of God, that is 
everywhere present to our eye. 

2. We do not honour him as the chiefest good, if we do not delight 
in communion with him. Friends love to be often in one another's 
company ; a-nd certainly if we did value and prize God, we would say, 
' It is good to draw nigh to God,' Ps. Ixxiii. 28. We would preserve a 
constant acquaintance between him and us. God hath appointed two 
ordinances to preserve acquaintance between him and the soul, the 
word and prayer, which are as it were a dialogue and interchangeable 
discourse between God and the creature. In the word he speaks to 
us, and in prayer we speak to him. He conveys his mind to us in 
the word, and we ask his grace in prayer. In prayer we make the 
request, and in the word we have God's answer. In prayer we come 
to inform God with our wants, and seek for his grace, and God answers 
by his word to salvation. Well, then, when men neglect public or 
private prayer, or fit and meet opportunities of hearing, they are guilty 
of ungodliness, for so far they break off communion with God. 
Especially if they neglect prayer ; that is a duty to be done at all 
times, a sweet diversion which the soul enjoys with God in private ; 


it is that which answers to the daily sacrifice ; and therefore it is said, 
Ps. xiv. 2, ' They seek not God ; ' and ver. 4, ' They do not call upon 
the Lord.' When men are loath to come into God's presence, whether 
it be out of love to ease or carnal pleasure ; when men care not though 
God and they grow strange, and seldom hear from one another, this is 
ungodliness. Our comfort and peace lies in access to God. So for 
family-worship ; when God is neglected in the family, it is a sign men 
do not delight in God as the chiefest good. Many families call not 
upon God's name : Jer. x. 25, ' Pour out thy fury upon the heathen 
that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name.' 
From one end of the week to another there is no prayer or worship in 
the family ; the house that should he a church is made a sty ; yea, there 
is not a swine about the house but is better regarded than God ; morn 
ing and evening they shall have their attendance, but God is neglected 
and not worshipped. 

3. If we do not fear to offend, God will be served with every affec 
tion. Love is of use in the spiritual life, so is fear : 2 Cor. vii. 1, 
' Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' They are both of great use. 
Love sweetens duties, and fear makes us watchful against sin ; love is 
the doing grace, and fear is the conserving or keeping grace ; and 
therefore this is the honour that God constantly expects from us, that 
we should always walk in his fear. Oh ! think of the pure eyes of his 
glory that are upon us : Eccles. xii. 13, ' Let us hear the conclusion of 
the whole matter ; Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is 
the whole duty of man ; ' that is, the sum of all practical godliness. 
The internal root of all duty and worship is a holy filial fear and rever 
ent awe of God, when as obedient children we dare not grieve God, nor 
affront him to his face ; as Ahasuerus said concerning Haman, Esther 
vii. 8, ' Will he force the queen also before me in the house ? ' God 
is always a looker-on ; and can we grieve our good God when he 
directly looks upon us ? But now, when you are secure and careless, 
and sin freely in thought and foully in act, and without any remorse, 
you deny God his fear. Fear is a grace of continual use ; we cannot 
be always praying or praising God, or employed in acts of solemn wor 
ship and special communion with him, but we must be always in the 
fear of God. You have not done with God when you have left your 
requests with him in the morning ; you must fear him all the day 
long : Prov. xxiii. 17, ' Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the clay 
long.' A man hath done with his devotion in the morning, but he 
hath not done with God. A man should think of him all the day 
long, in the shop, in the streets ; especially when corruptions arise, and 
we are tempted to folly and filthiness, or any unworthy act, remember 
God looks on. Thus must we be in the fear of God continually, rise 
in fear, walk in fear, feed in fear, and trade in fear ; it is a grace never 
out of season. 

4. If we do not care to please him, it is ungodliness. If we make 
it our work and the drift of our lives to find out what may be pleasing 
and acceptable to God in order to practice, and value our lives for this 
end only, that we may serve God, it is a sign grace is planted in the 
heart. But now ungodly men neither care to know the ways of God, 
nor to walk in them. They that are willingly ignorant, and do not 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 85 

searcli to know how God will be served and pleased, and make this 
their work, they do not count God their chief est good ; they search not, 
that they may not practise ; they err not in their mind only, but in 
their hearts : Ps. xcv. 10, ' It is a people that do err in their hearts ; 
they have not known my ways.' To err in the mind may be through 
invincible ignorance ; but a man errs in his heart when he doth not 
desire to know God, and to know his will, and what he must do in 
worship and conversation, but saith, I do not desire to know God : Job 
xxi. 14, ' Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us, for we desire 
not the knowledge of thy ways.' Therefore he that doth not make it 
his great work and the business of his life to find out what God would 
have him do, he is ungodly. Usually this is found in men half con 
vinced ; they have not a mind to know that which they have not a 
mind to do, and so they are willingly ignorant. But now a godly man 
makes it the business of his life still to follow God foot by foot, to know 
more of his mind and will : Kom. xii. 2, ' That you may prove what is 
that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God ; ' Eph. v. 12, ' Prov 
ing what is acceptable unto the Lord.' A true Christian always 
practiseth what he knows, and still searcheth that he may know more ; 
he would be always more useful for God, and more according to his 
heart; that is the study, the great business and project of his life, to 
find out God's will, and then practise it. What shall I do more for 

Thirdly, God must be acknowledged as the supreme truth and 
authority ; and there, if we be not moved with his promises, with his 
threatenings and counsels, as the words of the great God, as if he had 
spoken from heaven by an audible voice ; if we do not yield him rever 
ence in his worship, and subject our hearts and lives unto his laws, it 
is ungodliness. 

1. We must receive the counsels of his word with all reverence and 
veneration, as if God had spoke to us by a voice from heaven. This 
is to receive the word as the word of God : 2 Thes. ii. 10, ' They 
received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.' The 
heathens received the oracles of their gods with great reverence, and 
were much moved when they had an oracle ; but when the word comes 
with a mighty convincing power upon the heart, and you are not moved 
and affected, this argues your ungodliness. So when we can drowsily 
hear of the great things of heaven, and the death of Christ, and the 
covenant of grace, and the glorious salvation offered, and are no more 
moved than with a fable, or with a dream of rubies dropping down 
from heaven in the night, this is ungodliness. That there is a great 
deal of ungodliness in this kind is clear by our neglect of these precious 
things. If a man should proffer another a thousand pounds for a trifle, 
and he should not accept it, you would not say it was because he prized 
that trifle that is not profitable, but because he did not believe the 
offer. So when God offers heaven and Christ to us upon such easy 
terms as to part with nothing but our sins, which are better parted 
with than kept, we do not honour him as the eternal truth, if we do 
not accept it, but count him a liar ; and this is the greatest affront you 
can put upon God ; for 'lie that belie veth not, God hath made him a 
liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son/, 1 


John v. 10. He that doth not regard the offer of the gospel, certainly 
he believes it is not true, and so he dishonours God as the supreme 

2. If we would honour God as the supreme Lord of heaven and 
earth, we must reverence him in his worship. God is not only terrible 
in the high places of the field, and there where he executes his dread 
ful judgments ; and not only so in the depths of the sea, where the 
wonders of the Lord are seen ; but he is also terrible in his holy places : 
Ps. Ixviii. 35, * God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places.' Then 
are the hearts of his people filled with most aweful apprehensions of 
his glorious majesty and of his excellent holiness, and this makes them 
tremble. But now, when we do not come with these aweful apprehen 
sions, we do not own God as the supreme majesty ; and therefore when 
they brought him an unbeseeming sacrifice, saith the Lord, Mai. i. 14, 
' Cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, 
and sacrificeth to the Lord a corrupt thing ; for I am a great king, 
saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathens.' 
This is not becoming my majesty. And the saints of God never feel 
such self-abhorrency and loathing of themselves as when they are 
worshipping God. God is even dreadful then when he is most com 
fortable to his people : Deut. xxviii. 58, ' That thou mayst fear this 
glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God/ Thy God ! this is 
the comfortablest name in all the scripture ; this is the foundation of 
our hope, and this puts the saints upon a holy reverence. But now 
ungodly men come with slight, cold, and careless hearts ; their thoughts 
are upon the shop, and the cart, and the plough, and anywhere else 
than upon God : 'They draw nigh to him with their lips, but their 
hearts are removed far from him/ They do not come to him as a great 
king and supreme majesty and authority of all, and so they dishonour 
God exceedingly. Oar thoughts in worship should be more taken up 
with his glory. 

3. If we would honour God as supreme, there must be a willing sub 
jection of our hearts and lives to his laws. Usually here we stick in a 
want of conformity thereto. Men that love God as a creator naturally 
hate him as a lawgiver. Men love him as a giver of blessings, but 
they would fain live at large. Thoughts that strike at the being of 
God and doctrines of liberty are welcome to a carnal heart ; therefore 
it is tedious to them to hear of one to call them to account ; and it is 
pleasing to them to think (which is an argument of the highest hatred 
that can be) that there were no God to call them to a reckoning, that 
they might let loose the reins to vile affections. We would be absolute, 
and lords of our own actions. And this subjection must be in heart 
and life. There must be a subjection of the heart. God's authority 
is never more undermined than by a mere form of godliness : 2 Tim. 
iii. 5, ' Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof/ 
This is the greatest ungodliness that can be ; they will not own his 
authority in their hearts, nor suffer him to have any dominion in their 
conscience, nor own him without in their actions before men. The 
heart is his chair of state and chamber of presence ; but hypocrites and 
wicked men rob God of his dominion over the conscience, therefore 
hypocrisy is practical blasphemy : Rev. ii. 9, ' I know the blasphemy 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 87 

of them that say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of 
Satan.' Men pretend to obey God, yet blaspheme him in their heart, 
and refuse the power of that to which they pretend. And the life 
must be conformed to God's laws. God will be honoured in our con 
versation, as well as have his throne set up in the conscience ; his laws 
must be visibly obeyed in the sight of men. It is the glory of a com 
mander to be obeyed : Mat. viii. 9, ' I am a man under authority, hav 
ing soldiers under me ; and I say to one, Go, and he goeth ; and to 
another, Come, and he cometh ; and to my servant, Do this, and he 
doeth it.' So God will have all the world know that he hath his 
servants at a beck. If he bids them deny and abstain the flesh, oh I 
they durst not meddle with it ; or if he bids them practise holiness, 
they must do it. His honour is much promoted by your lives. God 
will have all the world see that he hath called you to his foot, and that 
he hath an absolute authority and power over the sons of men ; they 
are a people formed for his praise ; he looks for glory in this kind. 

Fourthly, God will be honoured as the last and utmost end, and so 
in all acts, natural, moral, and spiritual. If we do not aim at God's 
glory, we are guilty of ungodliness. This is the proper work of godli 
ness, to refer all we do to the glory of God ; and this is the distinction 
between godliness and holiness ; holiness minds the law of God, and 
implies only a conformity to the law ; godliness minds the glory of 
God, and is the aim of the soul to exalt God : 2 Peter iii. 11, ' What 
manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godli 
ness ? ' You see godliness is distinguished from holiness. Godliness 
refers all we do to God's glory. But more particularly 

1. In natural acts we must have a supernatural aim : 1 Cor. x. 31, 
1 Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the 
glory of God.' If we are to take a meal to sustain the body and refresh 
nature, it is that we may be more serviceable to God. And he that 
eats and drinks to himself, to his own pleasure, to satisfy his own appe 
tite, and hath no respect to God, he doth bat offer a meat-offering and 
a drink-offering to an idol. And he that traffics for himself, merely to 
get wealth, and doth not aim at usefulness and serviceableness to God, 
he is a priest consecrated to mammon, his eating is idolatry : Phil. iii. 
19, ' Whose God is his belly, and his trading is idolatry/ Mat. vi. 24, 
' Ye cannot serve God and mammon/ 

2. In your moral actions, Eph. vi., where all moral duties are recip 
rocally set down, as duties of husbands and wives, masters and servants, 
parents and children. The apostle presseth them ' to do all as in and 
to the Lord ; ' not merely that they may live together in contentment 
and peace, but they must walk in their relations so as God may have 
honour. A Christian by an excellent art turns his second-table duties 
into first-table duties, and makes his civil commerce a kind of religious 

3. So in all spiritual acts. The whole ordination of the spiritual 
life must be to God ; ' I through the law am dead to the law, that I 
might live unto God,' Gal. ii. 19. All the motions and tendencies of 
the soul are to advance God and glorify God. In the very spiritual 
internal actions and reach ings forth of the soul after God, why do I 
desire to have grace and pardon ? That God may be glorified, that 

88 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. IY. 

must be the last end. Our desires can never be regular in asking grace 
till they suit with God's end in giving grace. Now what are God's 
ends in giving grace ? Eph. i. 6, ' To the praise of the glory of his grace, 
wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved/' All that God aims 
at is to make grace glorious, and that grace may carry away all the 
praise. So in your desires of pardon, heaven, and salvation, you are to 
desire them that God may be glorified in your salvation, and in the 
pardon of your sins. So in our external actions, prayer, worship, 
preaching, whatever we do. In sacred things it is dangerous to look 
asquint, and to serve ourselves, our own lusts, our covetousness or pride, 
upon the worship of God ; this is to put dung in God's own cup. It 
were a mighty affront to a king to fill his cup full of excrements. 
Nothing alienates the heart from God so much as self-respect. God 
hath given us many things, but he hath reserved the glory of all to 
himself ; as Pharaoh said to Joseph, Gen. xli. 40, * Thou shalt be over 
my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled ; 
only in the throne will I be greater than thou/ This is the first branch 
of ungodliness, the negative part, when we deny God his due honour. 

Secondly, For the positive part. Positive ungodliness is more gross 
when we put an actual contempt and scorn upon God. We are guilty 
of this when we slight his providence and disobey his laws. 

1. When we slight his providence: Heb. xii. 5, 'My son, despise 
not thou the chastening of the Lord.' Men harden themselves against 
corrections, and count light of them. Men cannot endure to have their 
anger despised. When the three children despised Nebuchadnezzar's 
threatenings, it is said, Dan. iik 19, ' Then was Nebuchadnezzar full 
of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, 
Meshech, and Abednego ; therefore he spake and commanded that they 
should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be 
heated.' It is a mighty affront to God and a contempt of him when we 
provoke him while we are under his afflicting hand, if in despite of God 
we break out into sin when he hedgeth up our way with thorns : 
2 Chron. xxviii. 22, ' And in the time of his distress did he trespass 
yet more against the Lord ; this is that king Ahaz.' 

2. When we are disobedient to his laws. Open irreligion is a de 
spite to God, when we cast off his yoke. This is ungodliness in the 
height, when God is not only neglected, but rejected : Jer. ii. 31, ' We 
are lords ; we will come no more unto thee.' We would be absolute 
masters of our own wills. This was the first bait : Gen. iii. 5, ' Ye 
shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.' This endeth in open prc- 
faneness, which groweth upon men by degrees ; as Lactantius said of 
Lucian, Nee diis nee hominibus pepercit ; ad impietatem in deos in 
homines adjunxit injuriam He spared neither the gods nor men ; to 
his impiety against the gods he added injuries to men ; he was both 
ungodly and unrighteous. 

Use. Would we not then be counted ungodly, let us take heed of all 
these sins, deny them all. 

1. How else will you look God in the face at the day of judgment ? 
Ps. i. 5, ' The ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in 
the congregation of the righteous.' He shall not be able to lift up his 
head : 2 Peter iii. 11, ' Seeing then that all these things shall be dis- 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 89 

solved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation 
and godliness ? ' The day of judgment is to take vengeance of ungod 
liness : Jude 15, ' To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all 
that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they 
have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly 
sinners have spoken against him.' It is the day wherein God, that is 
now hidden behind the curtain of the heavens, cometh forth to vindi 
cate his honour. 

2. Great judgments shall befall them in this world : 2 Peter ii. 6, 
' And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned 
them with an overthrow, making them examples unto those that should 
live ungodly ; ' and 1 Peter iv. 18, ' And if the righteous scarcely be 
saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ? ' God's jealousy 
is great : Isa. lix. 17, ' For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, 
and a helmet of salvation upon his head ; and he put on the garments 
of vengeance for a clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.' God is 
not only jealous of his honour, but he will be known and plainly profess 
himself so to be ; the cloak of a man being his outward garment. No 
such visible providences as against ungodliness. So Exod. xxxiv. 13, 
' The Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God/ That is fit to 
make the name of a thing which distinguished it from all other things 
of the same kind. This distinguisheth the true God from all gods 
whatsoever. Others are so far from being jealous gods, that though 
their worshippers went to never so many gods, yet to them it was all 
one ; they were good-fellow gods, and would admit of partners ; when 
they brought their gifts, like common whores, they received them with 
out more ado. The true God will admit of no partners ; this he will 
severely punish, and do them as much harm as ever he did do them 

3. It is the great aim of the gospel to promote godliness : 1 Tim. 
iii. 6, ' And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness ; ' 
1 Tim. vi. 3, ' If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to whole 
some words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine 
that is according to godliness.' So far men are Christians as they are 
godly. Men might be ungodly at a cheaper rate when they had not 
so much means. As the angel said to Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 26, Let 
me go for the day breaketh.' Now grace appeareth, we should deny 

4. Ungodliness is the root of all irregular courses : Gen. xx. 11, ' I 
thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place, and they will slay 
me for my wife's sake/ Godliness is the bulwark of laws and of all 
honest discipline ; there can be no honesty without piety. The first 
part of the law provideth for respects to God, as being the proper 
foundation for respects to our neighbour. Without the knowledge of 
the true God the heart cannot be clean : Prov. xix. 2, ' Also that the 
soul be without knowledge is not good.' 

The means are these 

[1.] Purge the heart from all principles of ungodliness. There are 
many gross maxims, as, that it is folly to be precise ; that they have 
a good heart towards God ; that it were better when there was less- 
knowledge ; that it is an easy matter to repent, and have a good heart 


towards God ; that it is in vain to serve God ; that thoughts are free ; 
let us carry it fair before men, and all will be well ; when men have 
done their best, petty sins are not to be stood upon. These are the 
implicit thoughts and maxims of ungodly men, which are the ground 
of all sqttish practices. Purge your hearts from them. 

[2.] Suppress all ungodly thoughts and motions, all gross thoughts 
of God : Ps. xiv. 1, ' The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.' 
Shame may lay a restraint upon the tongue, but such thoughts and 
whispers do arise in the heart. Again, that God is not so harsh as he 
is represented Ps. 1. 21, ' These things hast thou done, and I kept 
silence ; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself.' 
That God cannot see through the dark cloud: Job xxii. 12, 13, 'Is 
not God in the height of heaven, and behold the height of the stars 
how high they are ? And thou sayest, How doth God know ? can he 
judge through the dark cloud ? ' These are the thoughts of carnal 
and ungodly men. Have a care of giving them the least entertainment ; 
suppress them when they first rise in the heart. 

[3.] Mortify vile affections. As the air in some countries is seldom 
clear, but dark and foggy, so it is with the minds of carnal men. Vile 
affections steaming in the heart cloud the understanding and judgment, 
and beget ungodly thoughts ; as a filthy stomach sends up fumes to 
the head. 

[4.] Keep close to God's institutions; these keep up his honour and 
preserve his memorial. Divine truths breed godliness. False worship 
and multitude of ceremonies darken the nature of God. Images beget 
a gross opinion of God, as if he were a poor senseless thing that could 
do little good or harm. God knows what is best, and how he will be 
worshipped ; do not presume to be wiser than God ; his own institutions 
keep up the repute of his nature and essence. 

[5.] Let us exercise ourselves unto godliness: 1 Tim. iv. 7, 'But 
refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto 
godliness.' Give God the honour due to him ; let him have j r our love, 
delight, trust, and fear ; do ail things with an aim to his glory ; and 
worship him not out of custom, but out of conscience. So should we 
exercise ourselves unto godliness. 

And worldly lusts, &c. TITUS ii. 12. 

GRACE, that teacheth us to deny ungodliness, doth also teach us to deny 
worldly lusts. These are fitly coupled. Ungodliness feedeth worldly 
lusts, and worldly lusts increase ungodliness. 

1. Ungodliness feedeth worldly lusts, because when we leave God, 
the chiefest good, then our hearts go a- whoring after every base com 
fort : Jer. ii. 13, ' My people have committed two evils ; they have 
forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewn them out 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 91 

cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.' If men are ignorant 
of God, or do not seek after God, the heart lies open to every object; 
as when a worthy match is refused upon some groundless dislike, in a 
fond humour the next suitor is entertained, how base and unworthy 
soever. It cometh to pass partly by man's wickedness. When God 
is refused, anything serves the turn instead of God, to put the greater 
affront and despite upon him. And partly by God's just judgment. 
To evidence our baseness and folly, God suffereth us to match our 
affections with anything that comes next to hand. 

2. On the other side, worldly lusts cause ungodliness, for they with 
draw our hearts from God, and deliver them up to the creature ; as a 
sensual man that loveth his pleasure maketh his belly his god : Phil, 
iii. 19, ' Whose god is his belly ; ' and a base-hearted worldling, who 
suffereth outward profits to intercept his care, his delight, and his trust, 
makes mammon his god ; and therefore he is fitly called ' an idolater/ 
Eph. v. 5 ; and a proud man makes himself his god, and so is both idol 
and idolater ; as the sea sendeth forth waves, and then sucketh them 
into itself. All their esteem, all their restless projects, are to exalt 
themselves and set up themselves ; and so ' they set their heart as the 
heart of God,' Ezek. xxviii. 2. All that they think, speak, and do, is 
to set up the idol of self, their own worthiness and esteem. So that if 
we would deny one, we must deny both ; not only ungodliness, but 
worldly lusts. A man that is given to worldly lusts will surely be 
ungodly ; and a man that is ungodly will be given to worldly lusts. 

I shall prosecute this second branch in this method. I shall 

1. What are worldly lusts. 

2. How they are to be denied. 

3. The difficulty of denying them. 

4. The grounds or encouragements so to do, or what course grace 
teacheth to draw us off from them. 

First, What are worldly lusts ? Two terms are to be explained 
lusts, and ivorldly. 

1. By lusts are meant carnal affections, or the risings of corrupt 
nature, or all sorts of evil desires ; for it is usual in the New Testament 
to express sins by lusts ; partly because lusts are more corrupted than 
the thoughts, or than the counsels are, as appears by constant exper 
ience. There is more light left in the heart of man concerning God 
than there is love to God ; and many are convinced of better that do 
worse; they see more than they are able to perform, because they 
are overset by their lusts. Keason giveth good counsel, but it is 
overmastered and disregarded ; as in a mutiny the gravest cannot be 
heard. And we see that, when we give counsel to another in a thing 
in which we have no interest, we give commonly good counsel ; but 
when the matter concerneth ourselves, we act otherwise, because our 
desires carry us another way. Therefore the scripture expresseth sin 
rather by lusts than by counsels and imaginations ; partly because lusts 
are the most vigorous commanding and swaying faculty of the soul. 
The desiring part of the soul is as the stern to the whole man ; it is 
either the best or the worst part of the man. A man is as his lusts are ; 
for it is desire that draws us to action. Wp do not act because we 


know, but because we desire ; as the eye doth not carry the body to a 
far country, but the feet. All affections have their rise from some 
inclination and tendency of the desire towards the object. Amor meus 
pondus meum It is love or desire that poiseth and inclineth the heart. 
We are directed by the judgment, but pressed and carried to a thing by 
the heart. So Austin, Nonfaciunt bonos vel malos mores, nisi bonivel 
mali a mores A man is not good or evil by his thoughts, but by his de 
sires. It is true, before man sinned his desires and appetites were under 
rule, and did net stir but at the command of reason ; but now since the 
fall desire doth all in the soul, and man consulteth with his desires rather 
than anything else, and there all action and pursuit beginneth. Thus 
you see the reasons why the word lusts is used in this case. 

2. The next term is, ' Worldly lusts/ Sometimes they are called 
fleshly lusts, and sometimes worldly lusts. Fleshly lusts : 1 Peter ii. 
11 , * Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.' They 
are so called because they are most of all manifested in those things 
that belong to the body or the flesh. But here they are called ' worldly 
lusts,' and that for three reasons. Partly because they are cherished 
by the greater sort of men, which greater sort of men is counted by 
the name of the world : 1 John v. 19, ' The whole world lies in wicked 
ness ; ' that is, the opposite malignant world. In this sense these lusts 
are called worldly, because they are most rife in the multitude, or 
greater part of the world, who only regard the present life. Partly 
because they are stirred up by worldly objects, by pleasures, honours, 
and profits : ' Having escaped the corruption that is in the world 
through lust/ 2 Peter i. 14. He doth not name the objects, but the 
lusts, because the world becometh hurtful only by our own lusts. 
The world affordeth the object, and we find the sin ; as the garden 
yieldeth the flower, and the spider sucketh the poison out of it. Partly 
because they serve only for a worldly use and purpose, to detain us in 
the employments of the present life ; so that we have no heart, no desire, 
no leisure to think of any other, or to apply ourselves to better things. 
Lusts depress the heart, and sink it down to the present world, and the 
contentments thereof, and therefore called ' worldly lusts.' 

You see now what is meant by the terms here used. But that you 
may conceive a little better of the thing itself, let me give you a dis 
tinction or two. 

First, These worldly lusts are sometimes carried out, either to things 
simply unlawful, or else to lawful things in an unknown 1 manner. 

1. There are some desires altogether evil, in what sense soever you 
take them ; as a desire of murder, theft, adultery, revenge : ' The works 
of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, 
uncleanness/ &c., Gal. v. 19 ; that is, these gross and brutish lusts 
are easily discerned, not only by grace, but by the light of nature ; 
therefore they must not be regulated, but extinguished, as a venomous 
plant must be plucked up by the roots. You cannot qualify them ; it 
is a sin to be moderate herein, to be a moderate adulterer, a moderate 
drunkard ; here the least is too much, these lusts must be wholly destroyed. 

2. There are other desires, that are natural and necessary for the 
preservation of mankind, as to eat and drink, lawfully to provide for 
our families and posterity. Here men do ordinarily sin by excess, by 

1 Qu. ' unlawful ' ? ED. 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS IT. 11-14. 93 

desiring these things otherwise than they should and more than they 
shoul(J, and not for the causes that they should. Now these natural 
and necessary desires are not to be extinguished, but governed, and to 
be kept under the coercion of prudence and honesty. Honesty must 
restrain them, that they may not exceed their bounds, and so degenerate, 
lest a desire be turned into a lust, and its vehemency withdraw the 
heart from God. As we know natural heat from unnatural ; it is so 
temperately dispersed that the constitution of nature is not disturbed 
or oppressed by it, but unnatural heats oppress nature ; so desires, as 
long as they do not disturb the soul, they are not hurtful ; but when 
they exceed their bounds, they are to be under the coercion of reason : 
1 Cor. vi. 12, ' All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought 
under the power of any/ He that will do all that he may will do more 
than he should. It is good to keep at a distance from the power of 
sin, not always to walk on the brink, lest we become slaves to lust. 

Secondly, Take one distinction more of these lusts. It is intimated 
by the apostle, 1 John ii. 16, ' All that is in the world, the lust of the 
flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life ; ' this is the sum and 
contents of the corrupt world. Let us see the meaning, and then make 
some observations on the place, ' All that is in the world.' 

You will say, How can the apostle speak thus ? There are sun, moon, 
and stars, and glorious creatures in the world ; why doth the apostle 
instance only in the sink and kennel of the world ? 

I answer The world is taken for the corrupt world ; all that is of 
price, all that is of account with carnal men, all that takes up their 
care and thoughts, is lust and vanity ; either the lusts of the flesh, the 
lusts of the eyes, or the pride of life. He doth not speak of the natural 
world, which is full of glorious creatures, but of the corrupt world, which 
is opposite to the kingdom of Christ, that is full of lusts and sins. 

But let us see a little particularly what are the contents of this 
world (1.) The lust of the flesh ; (2.) The lust of the eyes ; (3.) The 
pride of life. 

1, ' The lust of the flesh/ Flesh is sometimes taken in a large sense 
for corrupt nature, for the whole dunghill of corruption that we brought 
with us into the world ; and the lusts of the flesh for the workings of 
this corruption, the reeking of this dunghill, whether in the under 
standing by thoughts or carnal counsel, or in the will by carnal desires ; 
so it is taken at large. But here it is taken more strictly for the 
corruptions of the sensual appetite, or for the immoderate desire of 
soft and delicate living, and for sensuality, or the intemperate use of 
pleasures, meats and drinks, and such things as gratify the flesh. 

2. * The lusts of the eye/ some expound by curiosity, others by 
wantonness. Indeed the eye is the usual broker of temptations. The 
eye lets out the lust, and lets in the temptation ; all kind of lusts 
make use of it. But I suppose covetousness is here intended, or an 
inordinate desire of profit. When we look upon the bravery of the 
world, or upon money, or anything that pleaseth this kind of corruption, 
the eye seduceth the heart as soon as we look upon a thing. This is 
charged upon the eye : Eccles. i. 8, 'All things are full of labour ; man 
cannot utter it ; the eye is not satisfied with seeing ; ' Prov. xxvii. 20, 
' Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never 


satisfied/ All strong desires look out by the eye, especially insatiable 

3. The next part of the corrupt world is ' pride of life/ so called 
because it cannot be kept in, but is manifested in our lives ; or rather, 
because it is a sin of a diffusive nature, that spreads itself throughout 
the whole life of man. Whereas other sins are confined and limited, 
he ascribeth a universal and unlimited influence to pride. The lusts 
of the flesh, they are but for the flesh, to content the body ; the lusts of 
the eye, there he noteth the instrument, the eye purveyeth for the 
heart ; but pride of life, there he ascribes a universal and unlimited 
influence, and calls it 'pride of life/ because it taints every action, it 
serves itself of every enjoyment, it mingles with other lusts, the whole 
life is but sphere enough for pride to discover itself. Other vices 
destroy only their contraries ; covetousness destroys liberality ; drunk 
enness, sobriety ; but pride destroy eth all ; it runs through all enjoyments, 
wit, strength, beauty, riches, apparel, learning, grace. There is nothing 
so low but it yields fuel to pride ; the hair, which is but an excrement, 
is often hung out as a bush and ensign of vanity. And there is nothing 
so high and sacred but pride can abuse it ; like mistletoe, it groweth 
upon any tree, but most upon the best. Well, then, all worldly lusts 
are reduced to these three heads, for he says, ' All that is in the world/ 
Usually we understand by worldliness nothing but covetousness, or an 
inordinate desire of worldly profit ; but the corrupt world is of a larger 
extent. Pride is a worldly lust, and so is sensuality, or a love of 
pleasure. For look, as the ocean is but one, yet several parts of it have 
divers names, so worldliness is but one sin, yet, having divers kinds, it 
hath several names. Those that mind honours are guilty of worldly 
lusts, ' Pride of life/ Those that mind riches, are guilty of worldly 
lusts, ' The lusts of the eye/ Those that are voluptuous, and mind 
pleasure, are still guilty of worldly lusts, ' The lusts of the flesh/ This 
is, as one saith, the world's trinity, the roots of all other sins, against 
which we should bend the main endeavours of our souls. You do 
nothing in mortification till the axe be laid to the root of these sins, 
sensuality, covetousness, pride. 

[1.] ' The lusts of the flesh/ viz., sensuality, or an inordinate desire 
of pleasures. It is the happiness of beasts to enjoy pleasure with more 
liberty than man can, and without remorse of conscience ; and there 
fore a heathen could say, ' He is not worthy the name of a man (qui 
unum diem velit esse in voluptate) that would spend one day in pleasure. 
Other sins deprive us of the image of God, but the lusts of the flesh 
deprive us of our own image ; they unman us of all desires. These 
bring most shame, because it is the lowest, basest act of self-love, and 
the matter of them is gross and burthensome, and they do emasculate 
and quench the bravery of the spirit, and embase it, and keep the soul 
at the greatest distance from God and spiritual employments. How 
can they look after God and heaven whose hearts are sunk in their 
bellies ? The lusts of the flesh quench the vigour of nature, how much 
more do they hinder the powerful operations of the Spirit? Jude 19, 
' Sensual, not having the Spirit/ The Spirit is divine and active, and 
raises the soul to higher things ; but sensual persons have no radiancy 
of graces nor vigour of gifts. Nay, in some sense this is at the bottom, 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 95 

and is the root of every sin ; it is the devil's bait, and the sauce of 
every temptation. Men take a pleasure in their proud thoughts, in 
their worldly and carnal practices. Other sins are rooted in sensuality 
and love of pleasure. Again, it is a sin most opposite to the gravity 
and severity of religion. A garish frothy spirit, that is addicted to 
carnal delights, is not fit for such a grave thing as religion, which 
requires a solid grave frame of spirit ; and yet, as contrary as it is, it is 
very natural to us. We had but two common parents, Adam and 
Noah, and both fell by pleasure, they miscarried by appetite ; Adam by 
eating, and Noah by drinking. And when the apostle gives us a 
catalogue of the lusts of the flesh, Gal. v. 19-21, it is filled up in a 
great part with the fruits of sensuality, as adultery, fornication, unclean- 
ness, lasciviousness, drunkenness, revellings. We are mighty prone to 
this, because pleasures are tasted by the senses, and virtue is found 
out by searches of reason ; therefore we are very apt to be carried away 
by our senses. You must subdue this, or else you are utterly unfit for 
religion or any high work. The heart of man is melted and dissolved, 
and all vigour is quenched, and the soul doth grow gross and dreggy, 
not fit for the chaste consolations of the gospel, for the flagons of 
spiritual wine, for the fulness of the Spirit, and for the sweetness of the 
hidden manna. 

[2.] ' The lust of the eyes,' or an inordinate desire of riches, when 
we can see nothing but we must .wish for it ; as Ahab falleth sick for 
Naboth's vineyard. The heart of man naturally is all for a present 
good, and therefore nothing is more delightful and pleasing to our 
corruption than the glory and bravery of the world. Heaven, as it is 
set forth, is a fine place to a carnal heart, but it is to come ; so men 
look upon it but as a dream and notion, they shall have time enough to 
consider it hereafter ; but the world is at hand. This was Demas' 
bait, the present world : 2 Tim. iv. 10, ' Demas hath forsaken me, 
having loved the present world/ Things at a distance, though never 
so glorious, lose somewhat of their worth and esteem because they are 
so : 2 Peter i. 9, ' They are blind, and cannot see afar off/ All natural 
men are troubled with a short sight ; they can see nothing but what 
is before them ; they can see no excellency in things to come. With 
out the perspective of faith we cannot look within the vail, and there 
fore hunt after present interests with all earnestness and greediness. 
Covetousness is a radical evil : 1 Tim. vi. 10, * The love of money is 
the root of all evil.' A soul is fit for anything that is subdued and 
captivated with the love of tlie world, Look, what the root is to the 
tree, that is covetousness to all sin. All the branches are nourished 
with the sap which the root sucketh from the ground ; so this is that 
which maintains the carnal state. Covetousness is a sin more danger 
ous, because all other evils bewray themselves by some foul action, 
which bringeth shame and remorse of conscience, and therefore they 
are sooner wrought upon ; but this is close and reserved ; men are 
more serious than profane. Oh ! but this must be renounced. Lessen 
your esteem of worldly things ; they are not your portion. Christ gave 
the bag to the worst of the apostles, and it brought him to the halter. 

[3.] The next radical evil, or worldly lust, is ' pride of life.' This 
grows upon anything, gifts, graces, parts, estate. Paul's revelations 


were like to puff him up : 2 Cor. xii. 7, ' Lest I should be exalted 
above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was 
given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me, 
lest I should be exalted above measure.' It is a sin that sticks very 
close to us. It was the main ingredient in Adam's disobedience, and still 
it runs in the blood. Pride is natural ; we suck it in with our milk. 
There is pride in every sin, a lifting up of the creature against the crea 
tor : ' The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the 
law of God, neither indeed can be/ Kom. viii. 7 ; and therefore the great 
work of grace is to subdue the pride of the spirit, not only to sanctify, 
but to humble us. Look, as sensuality is the great corruption of the 
brutish part or appetite, so pride is of our understanding or the angel 
ical part. Man is in part an angel and in part a beast ; his appetite 
he hath in common with the beasts, but his understanding in common 
with angels. Now look, as inordinate love of pleasure is the corruption 
of the brutish part, so is pride the corruption of the angelical part. By 
being sensual we sink as low as the beasts ; and by being proud we 
lift up our hearts as the heart of God. Sensual men are called beasts : 
2 Peter ii. 12, 'These, as unnatural brute beasts, made to be taken 
and destroyed, speak evil of the things they understand not, and shall 
utterly perish in their own corruption.' And the worldly and covetous- 
are called mere men : 1 Cor. iii. 3, ' Are ye not carnal, and walk as 
men ? ' But by. pride we are made devils : 1 Tim. iii. 6, ' Not a novice, 
lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the 
devil ; ' when we are puffed up with self-conceit, and do all we do for 
self-esteem. This is one of the last sins we shake off ; we leave it not 
till we come to heaven ; and therefore it is mentioned in the last place. 
One of the heathens doth compare it to our shirt, which we put off 
last. In heaven only, when we are most holy, we are most humble. 
It is a sin that encroacheth upon God's prerogative, therefore mightily 
hated by God: Prov. vi. 16, 17, ' These six things doth the Lord hate ; 
yea, seven are an abomination to him : A proud look/ &c. ; Prov. viii. 
13, ' Pride and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the fro ward mouth do 
I hate/ Pride is as much hated by God as sensuality by us, and 
infinitely more. 

Secondly, What is it to deny these worldly lusts ? or how far they 
must be denied ? There are three degrees in this denial they must 
be prevented and kept from rising, suppressed and kept from growth, 
and, which is an inferior degree, they must not be accomplished, but 
kept from execution, if they do prevail .upon the heart and gain the 
consent. Suitable to these three degrees there are three duties required 
of a Christian mortification, that we may prevent them ; watchfulness, 
that we may suppress them ; and Christian resolution, that we may not 
accomplish them, and suffer them to break out into act. 

1. The top and highest degree of this denial, to deny worldly lusts, 
is to keep them from rising, and prevent the very workings of lust or 
pride. The scripture doth press us not only to abstain from the sin, 
but the lust : 1 Peter ii. 11,* Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war 
against the soul/ Many keep themselves free from the acts of sin 
when their hearts boil with lusts, and carnal desires, and thoughts of 
envy, and proud imaginations ; therefore we must deaden the very root, 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 97 

prevent the breaking out of the lust : Gal. v. 24, ' They that are Christ's 
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.' We are to 
mortify the inward affections, that, if it be possible, we may not so 
much as have a temptation or lust stirring ; as Luther said he had not 
a temptation to covetousness. Prevention is the life of policy, and 
better than deliverance. He deserves great praise that freeth a city 
from the enemies when they have beleaguered it ; but he deserveth 
greater that so fortifieth a place that the enemies dare not assault it. 
It is somewhat to keep off lusts, but it is more to keep them down, so 
to deaden the affections, and exercise ourselves unto godliness, that it 
cannot have room to work. She is chaste that doth check an unclean 
solicitation ; but she is more worthy of praise whose grave carriage 
hindereth all assaults. So should we be constantly mortified, and exer 
cise ourselves to godliness, and deaden the root of sin, that the devil 
may despair of entrance, and be discouraged from making his ap 
proaches. It is a step to victory to hope to prevail. Possunt, quia 
posse videntur. Kesistance is good, but yet utter abstinence is a duty, 
and falls under a gospel precept ; as much as we can we should prevent 
the rising of any carnal thought or disobedient desire. 

2. The next degree is timely to suppress them, to conquer lusts 
when we cannot curb and wholly keep them under. We must keep a 
watchful eye and a hard hand over our lusts, dash Babylon's brats 
against the wall, take the little foxes, smother sin in the conception, 
and disturb the birth ; as the apostle speaks of the conceiving of sin, 
James i. 15, ' When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin.' Look, 
as it is a great sin to quench the Spirit's motions, so it is also to be 
negligent in watching over your hearts, not to take notice of the first 
thoughts and risings of sin. The little sticks kindle first, and set the 
great ones a-fire ; so lusts kindle first, and then they break out into a 
flame, and make way for greater sins to come in upon the soul. When 
a country was infested with hurtful birds, and they consulted the oracle 
how to destroy them, it was answered, Nidos eorum ubique destruendos ; 
their nests were to be destroyed. We must crush the cockatrice's 
eggs, and not dwell upon sin in our thoughts. If there arise a wanton 
thought, a lustful glance, a distrustful or revengeful injection, it should 
be cast out with loathing and detestation. Every lust should have a 
check from the contrary principle : Gal. v. 17, 'The flesh lusteth 
against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.' We have often 
experience that the flesh lusteth against the spirit ; we should have 
experience also of the spirit's lusting against the flesh ; deny it harbour. 
We cannot hinder the bird from flying over our heads, but we must 
not suffer it to rest and nestle. So many times corruption will get the 
start, though we mortify it never so much ; but we must not suffer it 
to root in the heart, to increase and grow there. If carnal thoughts 
and desires arise in the heart, they must not rest there ; let it be only 
a motion, let it not gain consent. David chides away his distrustful 
thoughts : Ps. xi. 1 , ' In the Lord put I my trust ; how say ye to my 
soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain ? ' It is a rebuke to his own 
thoughts and fears; no other speaker is introduced. With such 
indignation should we rise up against every carnal suggestion, Avaunt 
evil thoughts, distrustful fears, fleshly counsels. Kemember these 



very intervening thoughts are sins before God , though no effect should 
follow ; therefore do not give them, harbour and entertainment. For 
a man to have thoughts to betray his country, or to have communica 
tion with the enemy, is a crime punishable with death, though it come 
not to execution. It is done in God's sight, if it be resolved on ; as 
God accounted Abraham to have offered up Isaac because he intended 
it : Heb. xi. 17, 'By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up 

3. Let not worldly lusts be put in execution. If thou hast neglected 
mortification and deadening thy affections, if sin hath got the start of 
thee, and gained the consent of thy soul, yet at least restrain the 
practice. If the conception be not disturbed the birth will follow : 
James i. 15, * Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin/ 
There are the works of the flesh that follow the lusts of the flesh : Gal. 
v 19, ' Now the works of the flesh are manifest/ &c. Therefore it is 
good to put a stop, at least not to suffer lusts to break out : Kom. viii. 
13, ' If ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall 
live/ We should mortify the lusts of the soul, but if that cannot be, 
then prevent the deeds of the body. Though lust grieves the Spirit 
of God, yet the work besides the grief brings dishonour to God, gives 
an ill example, brings scandal to religion, makes way for an habit and 
proneness to sin ; therefore to act it is the worst of all. See what the 
prophet saith : Micah ii. 1, 'Woe to them that devise iniquity, and 
work evil upon their beds ; when the morning is light, they practise it, 
because it is in the power of their hand/ Mark, it is naught to harbour 
the motion, to plot, to devise evil, to muse upon sin ; but it is worse 
to practise, because every act strengtheneth the inclination, as a brand 
that hath been once in the fire is more ready to burn again ; and we 
know not how far lust may carry us when we give it scope and leave 
to work. Therefore it is good to interpose by a strong resolution, and 
to cry out for strength, and to continue fighting, that we may not be 
utterly foiled. 

Thirdly, To show the difficulty of this denial of deadening, suppres 
sing, and hindering the execution of worldly lusts. There are many 
things which will solicit for lusts, and plead hard, so that we have 
need of a great deal of grace to give them the denial ; there is nature, 
custom, example, and Satan. 

1. Nature, that is strongly inclined to close with worldly lusts. A 
carnal and worldly disposition is very natural to us, as for a stone to 
move downward, or fire to move upward. Now the course of nature 
is not easily broken and diverted ; if it be hindered a while, it will 
return again. That these worldly lusts are rooted in our nature is clear 
from many scriptures. Ever since Adam turned from the creator to 
the creature, he hath left this disposition in all his children that come 
of his loins, that their hearts hang off from God towards the creature. 
The nature we have from Adam is a carnal nature, which favours and 
affects things that are here below ; and therefore it is the great work 
of grace to cure this disposition, to take us from the world ; first our 
hearts, then our bodies. It is made an effect of the new birth : 1 John 
v. 4, ' Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world ; ' and 2 Peter 
i. 4, ' By which we are made partakers of the divine nature, having 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 99 

escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.' Heavenli- 
ness follows grace ; there is something divine, a higher birth than that 
we receive from Adam, else we should live as other men do. There 
is the spirit of the world, and the Spirit of God. Now natural men 
are endowed with the spirit of the world ; they use their souls only as 
a purveyor for the body, to turn and wind in the world, to feed high, 
to shine in worldly pomp, to affect honours and great places ; these 
things we learn without a master ; we bring these dispositions into the 
world with us. Therefore to deny worldly lusts is to row against the 
stream, to roll the stone upward, to go quite contrary to the course and 
current of nature. When the apostle speaks of the new nature, he 
calls it ' a putting off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, 
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts/ Eph. iv. 22. 

2. Custom, which is another nature. Carnal affections are not only 
born with us, but bred up with us ; we are acquainted with them from 
our infancy, and so they plead prescription. Keligion comes afterward, 
and therefore very hard it must needs be to renounce our lusts, because 
they have the start of grace. The first years of human life are merely 
governed by the senses, which judge of what is sweet, and not of what 
is good ; whence it cometh to pass that when a man is come to that 
age wherein he beginneth to have the use of reason, he can hardly 
change his custom and alter his course of life, and therefore continueth. 
to live as he hath begun ; still the senses act in the first place. Earthly 
contentments are present to our sense, the other only to our faith ; 
these are before our eyes, and we still see the need and use of them. 
We know how hard it is to break a custom, especially if it yield any 
pleasure or profit : Jer. xiii. 23, ' How can ye do good that are accus 
tomed to do evil ? ' 

3. Example increaseth sin, though it doth not cause it. At first sin 
is natural ; it is not caused by imitation, but yet imitation doth much 
increase sin : Isa. vi. 5, ' I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean 
lips ; ' that is a snare certainly. So we are born worldly, and the 
greatest part of those men with whom we do converse they are all for 
present satisfaction : * There are many that say, Who will show to us 
any good ? ' Ps. iv, 6. The multitude are for worldly wealth and 
profit, A mortified man is rare ; one that renounces interests and 
contentments is a wonder in the world : 1 Peter iv. 4, * They think it 
strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot.' There 
fore this is a great snare to the soul ; we are in danger to miscarry by 
example as well as by lust ; for men will say, Why should not we do 
as others do ? There are but a few that are otherwise given, and the 
world thinks them to be mopish, precise, and singular. The greatest 
part seek worldly good. We easily contract contagion and taint one 
from another, and learn to be carnal and worldly. There are few 
heavenly and mortified Christians, and men think these do thus and 
thus, and hope to be saved. We that have the same nature learn 
the same manners. Surely there is somewhat in the world, or else 
these wise men would not follow it so earnestly. 

4. Satan, he joins issue with our lusts, and makes them more vio 
lent ; he finds the fire in us, and then blows up the flames. Therefore 
carnal men are said to walk after the prince of the power of the air, in 


fulfilling the will of the flesh and the mind : Eph. ii. 3, ' Wherein in 
time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according 
to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in 
the children of disobedience ; among whom also we all had our conver 
sation in times past, in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of 
the flesh and of the mind.' Satan hath a hand in it ; he presents 
objects, poisons the fancy, and stirs up those corrupt and carnal motions ; 
therefore the apostle saith, 1 Cor. vii. 5, ' Lest Satan tempt you for 
your incontinency/ He marks our temper, and to what we are flexible 
and pliable, what is our sin, and then he joins issue with it ; when 
Satan seeth our carnal affections run that way, he makes an advantage 
of it. As when the matter of a tempest, is prepared, the devil joins 
and makes it more terrible and violent, so he doth deal here with our 
corruptions ; when he seeth our hearts strongly carried out either to 
the delights, pleasures, or honours of the world, he blows up the fire 
he finds in us into a flame. Well, then, to deal with nature, custom, 
example, Satan, this is hard ; all these plead for worldly lusts. 

Fourthly, Upon what grounds and encouragements are we to deny 
worldly lusts ? How doth grace teach us to deny them ? Partly by 
way of diversion, partly by way of opposition ; and partly by way of 
argument, discourse, and persuasion. 

1. By diversion, acquainting us with a better portion in Christ. 
The mind of man must have some oblectation and delight. Love is a 
strong affection, and cannot remain idle in the soul ; it must run out 
one way or another. Look, as water in a pipe must have a vent, there 
fore, it runs out at the next leak, so we take up with the world because 
it is next at hand, and we know no better things. Well, then, grace 
for cure goes to work by diversion. Why should we look after these 
things when better are snowed to us in Christ ? Grace acquainteth us 
with pardon of sin, with the sweetness of God's love in Christ, with the 
comfort of forgiveness, with the spiritual delight that is in commu 
nion with God, with the hopes of glory. And look, as the woman of 
Samaria, John iv. 28, when she was acquainted with Christ, left her 
pitcher, so when grace acquainteth us with Christ, and draws out the 
stream of our affections that way, the course of them is diverted and 
turned from the world. Why should you look after these things, when 
you have a better portion? Kom. xiii. 14, there the apostle describes this 
diversion, or turning the stream another way: ' Put ye on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof/ 
If Christ be put on and take up the heart, if he be delighted in as the 
treasure of the soul, lusts will not engross so much of our care and 
esteem. Get Christ as near the heart as you can ; for those that are 
acquainted with him and his sweetness, with pardon, peace, and grace, 
they will lose their savour and relish of these things. It is an ill sign 
when we have not lost our savour and taste of carnal things ; it is 
a sign we are not much acquainted with Christ. It is no wonder for 
a man that knows no better fare to love coarse diet ; and so it is no 
wonder that one that never tasted of the sweetness of hidden manna 
should long for the garlic and flesh-pots of Egypt. 

2, Grace goes to work by way of opposition ; it planteth opposite 
principles in the heart and maketh use of an opposite power. It 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 101 

planteth opposite principles : we have a new divine nature, and so escape 
the corruptions of the world through lust : 2 Peter i. 4, ' Whereby 
are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these 
ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corrup 
tions that are in the world through lust/ Lusts follow the nature ; 
as the nature is, so are the desires. The old man is full of deceitful 
and carnal lusts, and the new man is full of spiritual and heavenly 
desires. Then it makes use of an opposite power, of the help and 
supply of the Spirit of God: Gal. v. 16, ' Walk in the {Spirit, and you 
shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh/ There are two principles, flesh 
and spirit, that are always warring one upon another, and that weaken 
one another. The Spirit, as a never-failing spring of holy thoughts, 
desires, and endeavours, doth dry up the contrary issue and spring of 
corruption. So Horn. viii. 13, 'If ye through the Spirit mortify the 
deeds of the body, ye shall live/ The mortifying of the body of sin must 
be done through the Spirit. A natural man may see better, but without 
the Spirit's help he can do nothing. All the reason in the world will not 
tame lust. We may declaim against it, but nothing in heaven or 
earth will change our dispositions, or work out our corruptions, but 
only the Spirit of God. We have by the Spirit not only direction, but 
a continued influence and supply of power. 

3. Grace goes to work by way of argument and persuasion. Grace 
out-reasons and out-pleads lust, and so it cannot obtain a grant from 
the soul, but is denied. The chief argument which grace urgeth is 
the unsuitableness of lust to our condition, that so it may shame the 
soul. Those things that become us while we are children, as toys and 
rattles, will not become us when we are men ; so certainly those things 
that suited well enough with us while we were mere men, become us 
not when we are Christians : 1 Peter iv. 1-3, ' He that hath suffered 
in the flesh hath ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the 
rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God : 
for the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will 
of the gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, 
revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries;' Eom. xiii. 11, 
' And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out 
of sleep/ It is high time to leave worldly lusts. For a man after 
grace to be addicted to lusts, it is a relapse into a spiritual disease ; and 
in all diseases, relapses you know are dangerous ; as a man that falls 
into a distempered heat, after he is recovered out of a fever : 1 Peter i. 
14, ' As obedient children not fashioning yourselves according to the 
former lusts in your ignorance/ These were your former lusts, when 
you were under spiritual distempers, and were only fit for you then. 

But how are they unseemly and unsuitable to our condition ? 

[1.] They are unsuitable to our privileges, and to our interest in 
the death of Christ : Kom. vi. 2, ' How shall we that are dead to sin, 
live any longer therein ? ' He argues not ab impossibili, but ab incon- 
gruo ; it is an unfit thing for such to live in sin. We disparage the 
death of Christ when we are not the better but the worse for it. Hath 
he redeemed us from sin that we might yet serve it ? Did he humble 
himself for our sakes that we should be proud ? Did he put such 
contempt on the world that we should loosen the reins to worldly lusts ? 


Was he at all this pains to make us worse ? You hereby put a con 
tumely and reproach upon Christ's death, and disparage his purchase. 

[2.] It is contrary to the example of his life. We do not worship 
the god of this world, nor mammon, but Christ. Christ by his own 
choice hath put a disgrace on the world. He chose a mean estate, not 
out of necessity, but design. He came not in worldly pomp : Mat. viii. 
20, * The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the 
Son of man hath not where to lay his head ; ' John xviii. 36, ' My 
kingdom is not of this world.' Who is more able to judge what is best, 
we or Christ ? John xvii. 14, * They are not of the world, even as I 
am not of the world/ Who is fitter to choose, or wiser to choose, Christ 
or we ? Who is in an error, Christ or we ? If there was so much in 
the world as we fancy, Christ was in an error to despise it. 

[3.] It is contrary to our hopes ; we look for better things. It is a most 
lamentable thing to see a Christian, that professeth the assurance of a 
better life, to lie digging like a mole in the earth: 1 Peter ii. 11, 
'Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain 
from fleshly lusts, that war against the soul.' Worldly men are fastened 
to things present, but the children of God do bend and tend to things 
to come. Worldly men do not look for better things, and therefore 
they are more to be excused. We have cause to blush every time we 
think of our condition. What are you ? whence came you ? whither 
are you going ? You are passengers to heaven ; why do you stick and 
linger by the way ? Something we may take for our refreshment as 
men that pass through a field of corn rub the ears as they go ; as the 
angel roused Elijah: 1 Kings xix. 7, c Arise and eat, for the journey 
is too great for thee/ You that affect to tarry in a foreign country, 
have you a Father in heaven ? Would a traveller hang his room in 
an inn? Will he buy such things as he cannot carry with, him? 
Such things as we can carry with us to heaven should take up our time 
and thoughts. Piety outlives the grave, but honour and wealth must 
be left behind us. 

[4.] It is contrary to our vows. We renounced them in baptism. 
In baptism there is eVe/scar^a, an answer to God's questions. Believest 
thou with all thy heart ? renouncest thou with all thy heart ? 1 Peter 
iii. 21, ' Baptism saves, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, 
lout the answer of a good conscience towards God.' You break your 
Baptismal vows if you do. not deny worldly lusts. Christ doth not only 
call us off from sin, but from the world; for he is to be accepted not 
only as our Lord and lawgiver, but as our chief est good, as an all- 
sufficient saviour. You are under a vow, and alienate things once 
consecrated when you withdraw your affections after you have once 
given them up to Christ. What have lusts to do in an heart that is 
once dedicated to God ? 

Use 1, Information. It informeth us 

1. How little interest in Christ they have who are still under the 
power of worldly lusts. The apostle giveth us this note, Gal. v. 24, 
' They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and 
lusts.' He doth not say that they are Christ's that believe that he was 
crucified, or that he died for sinners ; but they are Christ's that/eeZ that 
he was crucified ; that by the virtue of his cross do crucify their own lusts 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 103 

and sinful affections. What ! a Christian, and yet worldly ; a Christian, and 
yet sensual ; a Christian, and yet proud ! You that are given to pleasures., 
do you believe in Christ, that was a man of sorrows ? You that are 
carried out after the pomp and vanity of the world, do you believe in 
Christ, whose kingdom was not of this world ? You that are proud 
and lofty, do you profess an interest in the humble Christ ? It is in 
vain for those to talk of his dying for sinners, and boast of the excel 
lency of his cross, that never felt the virtue of it : Gal. vi. 14, ' God 
forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.' Your 
affections to the world are still strong ; how can you glory in his cross ? 
What experience have you of the goodness of it ? Have you gotten 
anything by the cross? Are you planted into the efficacy of it? 
Kom. vi. 5, ' For if we have been planted together in the likeness of 
his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.' Do you 
feel any weakening of lusts and decay of sin ? at least, doth it put you 
upon endeavours in this kind ? The roots of sin are in all, but do you 
seek to mortify them ? Do you deny them in the way prescribed ? do 
you seek to prevent them with diligence, to suppress them with watch 
fulness, to resist them with strength and resolution ? When there is 
not a constant course of mortification set up, but lust is let alone to 
reign without control, you have no interest in Christ. Mark, it is 
said, ' They crucify the flesh : ' there is a work on your part ; man is 
not wholly passive. 

2. It informeth us that true mortification is proper to grace. Grace 
teacheth us to deny worldly lusts ; mere reason cannot. Keason may 
sometimes convince us of lusts, but it cannot reform them ; in many 
things it is blind, but in all weak. The sublimest philosophy that ever 
was could never teach a man to go out of himself, to deny his lusts, to 
despise the world. Many of the heathens were to appearance temperate, 
just, sober, and liberal, but still the lusts remained ; and therefore some 
in despair have pulled out their eyes, because they could not prevail 
over a naughty heart. Sapientia eorum dbscondit vitia, non dbscindit ; 
they hid their sins, but did not cut them off. As an oven stopped up 
is the hotter within, so the excess and execution of lusts being pre 
vented, they grew more outrageous. The heart of man will not be kept 
in order by anything but by the power of grace. We may argue, fast, 
vow, pray, promise, and watch against sin ; these are good means, but 
not to be rested in, for they are too weak to master sin. God hath 
reserved this honour for his grace in Jesus Christ : Rom. vii. 24, 25, 
' wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of 
this death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' We can 
have deliverance nowhere else. Are not counsels of reason able to help 
me ? No, they cannot. Is not a moral course of mortification able to 
help me, as fasting, watching, prayer ? No ; these may restrain it 
somewhat, and lessen the violence of it. Satan may be ousted for a 
time, but yet he returneth with more violence ; as the jailer hangeth 
more irons on him that is caught again after an escape. It is only the 
grace of God that mortifies sin. 

Use 2. Of reproof of those that do not deny worldly lusts, but feed 
and serve them; they act for their sins rather than against them. 


Nature is bad of itself, and we need not make it worse ; these tempt 
temptations, and cater and purvey for sin. Therefore the apostle useth 
that phrase : Kom. xiii. 14, ' Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil 
the lusts thereof/ Men make it their business to satisfy their bound 
less desires, forecast to fulfil their sinful desires and affections. We 
must provide for the body, but not to fulfil every wanton lust and loose 
desire. This may be done by outward provocations, when men feed 
their distempers, and make nature more lustful and more wrathful : 
James v. 5, * Ye have lived in pleasure on earth, and been wanton ; ye 
have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter.' The heart is the 
seat of desires ; they reared up their concupiscence by excess and dainty 
morsels, and all those courses by which lust seemeth to be satisfied but 
is indeed inflamed. As salt water wets the palate but inflames the 
stomach, so they nourished lust by voluntary casting themselves on 
occasions of sin. He who truly desireth to shun sin will shun the 
occasions of it. Who would bring fire to a barrel of gunpowder ? 
Gen. xxxix. 10,.' And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by 
day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her/ 
As he would not yield to the sin, so not to the occasion. Or else it 
may be done by meditation and thoughts. By thoughts the heart and 
the temptation are brought together, as a match is first propounded 
before it is closed with. Thoughts are sin's spokesmen, and fasten the 
temptation on the heart, as worldly thoughts, admiring outward 
excellences : Ps. cxliv. 15, ' Happy is the people that is in such a case ! ' 
Wrathful thoughts debase men; every circumstance aggravates the 
injury and offence, and so inflames their spirits. Or else by a free and 
uncontrolled use of j the senses : Mat. v. 28, l Whosoever looketh upon 
a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already 
in his heart/ Death getteth in by the windows. Eve saw the fruit : 
Gen. iii. 6, ' And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, 
and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make 
one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat/ David saw Bath- 
sheba : 2 Sam. xi. 3, ' From the roof he saw a woman washing herself, 
and the woman was very beautiful to look upon ; ' and this inflamed his 
heart. Solomon bids us, Prov. xxiii. 31, ' Look not thou upon the wine 
when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth 
itself aright/ The senses must be bridled. Job made a covenant 
with his eyes, chap. xxxi. 1, ' I made a covenant with mine eyes ; why 
then should I think upon a maid ? ' No man is above these rules. 
The eyes transmit the object to the fancy, the fancy to the mind, the 
mind to the heart. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 105 

And worldly lusts, &c. TITUS ii. 12. 

USE 3. Exhortation. Let us deny these worldly lusts. I shall urge 
arguments both on grace's part, and then on the part of worldly lusts. 

1. On grace's part. Grace hath denied us nothing ; it hath given us 
Christ, and all things with him ; and shall we stick at our lusts, that 
are not worth the keeping ? Certainly God loved Christ with an inex 
pressible affection ; it was infinitely more than we can love the world. 
Though nature be much addicted to these lusts, and though we be 
carried out with great strength of affection to the world, yet we cannot 
love the world as much as God loved Christ, for his love to Christ is 
infinite and unlimited, like his essence ; and God found a full compla 
cency and satisfaction in Christ, yet God gave up the Son of his love. 
Grace counteth nothing too dear for us, not the blood of Christ, not 
the joys of heaven ; and shall we count anything too dear for grace ? 
A right eye or a right hand cannot be so dear to us as Christ was dear 
to God. At what cost is grace to redeem and save us ? And shall 
grace be at all this cost for nothing ? If God had commanded us a 
greater thing, ought we not to have done it ? If God had commanded 
thee to give thy body to be burnt, or to offer thy first-born for the sin 
of thy soul ; considering his absolute right over the creature, he might 
have required thy life, and thy children's lives ; but he only requires 
thy lusts, things not worth the keeping, things that will prove the bane 
of thy soul, and things that we are bound to part with to preserve the 
integrity and perfection of our natures. If God had never dealt with 
us in a way of grace, we should have parted with our lusts ; and shall 
grace plead in vain when it presseth to deny lusts ? It will be the 
shame and horror of the damned to all eternity that they have stood 
with God for a trifle, and that they would not part with dung for gold, 
with a stable for a palace, especially being so deeply pre-engaged by 
God's mercy in Christ. 

2. On the part of worldly lusts. There let me speak of them in 
general, then in particular. 

First, In general they are lusts, and they are worldly lusts ; both 
will yield us arguments why we should deny them. 

1. They are lusts, and therefore lusts should be checked, because it 
is lust. That we may see what victory we have over ourselves, it is a 
fit occasion to express our self-denial, and to show what we can do for 
God. There can be no considerable self-denial there but where the 
lust is great, and there we show how we can renounce our bosom desires 
for God's sake. Mat. vii. 13, it is said, ' Strait is the gate and narrow 
the way that leads to life.' If we desire to go to heaven, we must look 
to cross ourselves in those things we most affect and desire, and pass 
through a strait gate ; and therefore if you let lust have its scope, you 
mistake the way. Without self-denial there can be no good done in 
religion. Again, lust is the disease of the soul. Natural desire is like the 
calor vitalis, the vital heat which preserves nature ; but lust is like the 

106 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SER. 71. 

feverish heat that oppresseth nature. We should get rid of our immo 
derate desire as we would of a disease. Nature's desires are temperate 
and soon satisfied, but lust's are immoderate and ravenous. Content- 
tation is the soul's health, as lust is her sickness. If after much eating 
and drinking a man is unsatisfied, it is a sign he is sick, and hath 
more need of physic than of meat and drink, and to be purged rather 
than filled ; so when we are not contented with God's allowance in a 
moderate supply of nature, we need to be cured rather than satisfied. 
Drink is sweet to a man in a feverish distemper, but it is better to be 
without the appetite than to enjoy the pleasure of satisfaction. Who 
would desire a burning fever to relish his drink ? Better mortify the 
lust than satisfy it ; in the issue it will be sweeter ; for it is the disease 
of the soul though it seem sweet. I am sure the pains of mortification 
will not be half so bitter as the horrors of everlasting darkness. And 
lust let alone begins our bell ; it is the burning heat that at length 
breaks out into an everlasting flame. Again, lust is the disorder of 
nature ; and reason, that should be monarch and king in the soul, is 
enslaved, and under a base bondage by strength of desires ; and it is 
the greatest slavery for a man to be a slave to his own desires, and the 
truest freedom to command them. Consider what an odd sight it were 
if the feet should be there where the head is, and earth there where 
heaven should be : there is as great a monstrousness and disorder 
within when the soul is under the power of a ruling lust. All should 
be in subjection to the law of the mind, God made reason to have the 
sovereignty and dominion, and we give it to appetite and lust. A man 
is drawn away by his lusts : James i. 14, 'Every man is tempted when 
he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed.' The affections are 
like wild horses in a coach that have cast their driver ; they draw away 
the soul by violence, and reason hath no command. Again, lusts make 
us not only brutish like beasts, for beasts are led by appetite and man 
by reason, but worse than beasts ; for beasts can do no more, and 
ought to do no more ; they have not a higher rule ; appetite is made 
judge. Yea, and which is more, we exceed them in lusts. Beasts, 
which are wholly led by appetite, desire things only nigh at hand, and 
which are easy to be gotten ; but man's lusts rummage throughout the 
whole course of nature ; sometimes they desire things impossible. The 
lust of beasts is less inordinate than the lust of men ; for the beasts 
only desire to satisfy nature, which is contented with a little. You 
cannot force a beast to take more when nature hath its fill ; but our 
desires know no bounds ; and we desire not only necessary things, but 
superfluous, such as are burdensome and cumbersome to the soul; lust 
only inaketh them necessary. A horse, when he hath taken his mea 
sure, will take no more. Every other creature naturally is carried only 
to that which is helpful to its nature, and shuns that which is hurtful 
and offensive ; only man is in love with his own bane, and fights for 
those lusts that fight against the soul. Again, it is lust that makes 
our abode in the world dangerous ; and it would be a safe place were 
it not for lust : 2 Peter i. 4, ' The corruption that is in the world 
through lust.' The fault is not in the object, in gold, in wine, but in 
the heart of man ; not in the creature, whom we abuse to this excess, 
but in our own lusts. God made them to be creatures for our help, 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS u. 11-14. 107 

and lust turns them into snares for our ruin. As when a vessel is filled 
with filthy liquor, and it runs dreggy, the fault is not in the piercer 
that broacheth it and giveth it vent, but in the liquor itself. Lust is 
the cause of all the hurt that is done us in the world : the creature 
doth only broach the barrel, gives vent to our desires, and we run 
dreggy and filthy. Were it not for lust, nothing in the world could 
harm us. All other things are conquered with ease if a man could 
subdue his own affections ; and all temptations are so far under us as we 
are above ourselves. Again, it is lust that doth hinder our peace. How 
quietly and happily would men live if they were more mortified ! 
Men desire more than they have, and so are made poor, not by want, 
but by desire. He that expects little is soon satisfied ; and certainly 
he will never storm at injuries that have overcome his own passion; 
whereas a froward man is at the command of others, because he hath 
not the command of himself; he doth not storm at disgrace that hath 
not set too high a price upon himself. If a man be vile and little in 
his own eyes, when others contemn and slight him they do but ratify 
his private opinion of himself ; and who is angry with another because 
he is of the same judgment with himself ? But usually this is the 
cause of discontent and trouble ; we set too high a price upon ourselves ; 
and when others will not come up to it, we are troubled. Take away the 
lust, and trouble ceaseth. No man is hurt but by himself. It is a 
man's own affection and feeling that makes the misery ; always the 
fuller of lust, the fuller of discontent. What need Haman be troubled 
that Mordecai would not bow the knee, but that he looked for it, and 
set a value and esteem upon it. The inordinateness of affection causeth 
the greatness of the affliction ; and because lust is not mortified, the 
life is full of trouble. We would have more than God allows us, and so our 
trouble doth increase. Again, as lusts deny them, for lusts will end 
in gross sins, and gross sins in public shame ; and therefore, as Elisha 
cast salt into the spring to cure the brackishness of the water, so look 
to lusts ; they are the spring and rise of evil actions. Let any lust 
alone, either pride, or envy, or worldliness, if you do not destroy it, it 
will prove a bitter root to some gross sin, and it may be of final apos 
tasy and desperation. A man that is given to worldly lust, one time 
or other is put upon the trial; if we find the sin, providence will find 
the occasion, and then he comes off with visible shame and dishonour. 
There is the root within ; and to what an excess doth sin grow in those 
that deny themselves nothing, and will not be denied in anything I 
Lusts grow licentious and unruly ; and because they usurp God's place 
in the heart, therefore God suffers it ; always it ends ill, in shame and 
judgment. Judas at first was but a little worldly ; he allowed his covet- 
ousness, and it brought him to betray his master, and that brought 
him to the halter. Gehazi was first blasted with covetousness and 
then with leprosy. Ananias and Sapphira were taken off with sudden 
judgment. Nay, God sometimes arms their own hands and thoughts 
against themselves. Covetousness begins with inordinate desire, and 
ends in injustice ; and then that injustice must be professed and veiled 
with hypocrisy, as in Judas ; and that hypocrisy breeds hardness of 
heart, and then God bringeth them to shame, and that shame leads on 
to despair and ruin. And so I may instance in other lusts. Sensuality 


begins with, daintiness, and ends in adultery or some shameful act, or 
else with beggary or some shameful punishment, and both end with 
despair ; as Sodom began with fulness of bread, then went on to foul 
ness of lust, and that brought hell out of heaven. The lust of the flesh 
can also boast of its trophies and spoils ; it drowned the old world, 
burned Sodom, slew three thousand of God's own people in one day, 
Num. xxiii. compared with 1 Cor. x. Pride is not behindhand , proud 
men have their falls, and usually they are the more shameful, because 
God's honour is most sensibly usurped by pride. The great work of 
providence for these six thousand years hath been to pour shame and 
contempt upon pride. The first act of God's judicial providences was 
the casting the angels out of heaven, then Adam out of paradise. 
What ! shall I tell you of Nebuchadnezzar turned a-grazing, and Herod 
eaten up with lice ? Thus you see we had need to beware. Sin is an 
ill guest, that always sets its lodging on fire. Once more, why we are 
to deny these lusts. It is lust that blasts all your duties and services ; 
it either hinders or poisons them ; it either draws away the heart from 
duty or in duty ; Gal. v. 17, * The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the 
spirit against the flesh ; and these two are contrary one to the other ; 
so that you cannot do the things that you would ; ' and Kom. vii. 19, 
* For the good that I would, I do not ; and the evil that I would not, 
that I do.' Lust will not suffer God to have his due. The love of 
pleasures cannot brook constant exercise in religion, and the world is a 
great encroacher ; and pride is all for the public where it may be seen ; 
in private duties it is slight or nothing. As a mill stands still when 
the wind blows not, so, when the wind of popular applause ceaseth, a 
proud man cannot spread his sails, or do anything for God and con 
science. Thus it draweth away the heart from duty. Then it draws 
away the heart in duty. Observe it, and you will find it by constant 
experience. The main lust will surely be discovered by the working 
of the thoughts. When you come to pray, or in your solemn duties, 
that which your thought is most taken up with discovers the main lust : 
Ezek. xxxiii. 31, ' They come unto thee as the people cometh, and they 
sit before thee as my people ; and they hear thy words, but they will 
not do them ; for with their mouth they show much love, but their 
heart goeth after their covetousness.' The devil loveth to affront Christ 
to his face, and therefore takes advantage of the chief lust which occu 
pies and possesses the heart to cast up mire and dirt even in God's 
presence ; therefore lust hinders, poisons or perverts duty. All that 
men do in religion, if lusts remain in force, is either to promote lusts 
or to conceal a lust ; to hide other sins, or to feed a lust ; and therefore 
we had need to deny it as it is lust. 

2. You should deny them as worldly lusts ; so you must abstain 
from them, not serve them. As they are stirred up by worldly objects, 
they keep us from better employment ; and therefore grace teacheth 
us to deny them, as they tend only to such a vile purpose. 

Many arguments there are 

[1.] Whatever is for this world must be left on this side the grave. 
Pomp, pleasure, and estate must be left behind us : Job i. 21, 'Naked 
came I out of my mother's womb, and naked must I return thither/ 
There is no carnal pomp and pleasure in the next world. Here we 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 109 

bustle for greatness, but death ends the quarrel. Like foolish birds, 
we seek to build strong nests, when to-morrow we must begone. Open 
the grave, and look upon the relics of man s mortality ; thou canst not 
discern between the rich and the poor, the king and the peasant ; all 
are alike obnoxious to stench and rottenness. Those desires that carry 
you out to the world must be mortified. A mill-wheel runs round all 
the day, and at night it is in the same place. So whatever we gain 
and purchase in the world it must be left at night when we go to bed, 
when death finds us, and in the same place ; at death we are as naked 
as we came into the world : 1 Tim. vi. 7, ' For we brought nothing 
into the world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out/ A man's 
wealth doth not follow him, but his sins do ; his iniquity will find him 
out. Consider, at birth a man is contented with a cradle, and at death 
with a grave ; yet here we join house to house, and field to field, 
Isa. v. 8, as if the whole world could not contain us. 

[2.] As they are only for this world, so our abode here is but short 
and uncertain ; and therefore, if it be worldly lust, it should be less 
prized, for it lasts but for a time. Within a very little while those 
that are most potent, powerful, and shining in the splendour of the 
world shall be turned to dust and ashes. God hath made life short, 
for many wise and merciful reasons, that the time of our labour might 
not last too long. He hath made us to enj oy himself ; and because he 
loveth the saints, he would have them the sooner with himself, and 
would not be long without their company ; and that we might love 
eternal life, therefore this life is short ; and that he might gratify the 
saints (for he that hath a journey to go would pass it over as soon as 
he can) God makes their journey as short as is convenient for his glory ; 
and to shame wicked men, because they delight in that which is but 
of a short continuance, but their torment is eternal. The pleasure of 
sin is but for a season, but the torments of sin are for ever and ever ; 
therefore this should put a check to your desires ; it is only for a 
world that passeth away. Nay, the lusts of this world pass away : 
1 John ii. 17, ' The world passeth away, and the lusts thereof/ The 
time will come when we shall have no lusts to these things. It begins 
at sickness, but at the day of judgment we shall have no relish of these 
things ; and when the whole world is burnt up, it will be our torment 
that we have prostituted our affections to such low and unbeseeming 
things ; we shall see the vanity when it is too late ; men will have little 
love to the world then. 

[3.] If they be but worldly lusts, they should not be cherished were 
they never so durable. Why ? Because this is not our happiness and 
our rest. Carnal men have more of the world. Christ committed his 
purse to the worst of his disciples. Of the others he saith, ' They are 
not of the world, even as I am not of the world/ John xvii. 16. In 
this world God is most liberal to the worst, therefore here we should 
not set up our rest. Look, as it is said of Abraham, Gen. xxv. 6, that 
he gave gifts to Ishmael and to the sons of Keturah, but he gave the 
inheritance to Isaac ; wicked men have their portion, but not the 
inheritance. God will not be in their debt, therefore they have gifts. 
Therefore saith a Christian, Why should I cherish these worldly lusts ? 
this is not my portion, but the portion of others : ' From men of the 


world, which have their portion in this life/ Ps. xvii. 14. The world 
is Satan's circuit, he compasseth the earth. It is the saints' slaughter 
house ; they shed the blood of saints and prophets, Kev. xvi. 6. It is 
the place where God is dishonoured. They are favoured and loved 
most by the world whom Christ hath rejected and passed by. 

[4.] Worldly lusts do hinder us from our work. We were made 
for another world, and this life is lent us for a while to look after heaven. 
We cannot drive on those two cares at once, for the world and heaven 
too ; as a man cannot look with one eye to heaven and with another 
to the earth ; therefore why should we indulge worldly lusts ? Who 
would lose a crown to be owner of a dunghill ? And will you for 
feit heaven and the joys of God's presence for worldly conveniences ? 
Lust hinders your care of heaven. It is true a temperate and religious 
use of the world further eth it, but worldly lust doth take off your heart 
from God and heaven, and unfits it for it, so that your heavenly desires 
are hindered. 

[5.] In a sense, worldly lusts do hinder us of the comfort of this world. 
Want increaseth with enjoyment as the fire increaseth by laying on 
more fuel. The more we enjoy the more we desire, so we do not enjoy 
what we do possess. The more we have the more we want, so that a 
covetous man neither enjoys this world nor the world to come. 

[6.] If it be worldly lust, then take heed of it, for thou art as thy love 
is. If thou lovest this world, thou art a worldly man ; if thou lovest God, 
thou art a godly man ; if thou lovest heaven, thou art a heavenly man. 
A man is not as his opinion is, but as his affections are. A bad man 
may be of a good opinion, but a bad man can never have good affections. 
The soul, as wax, receives the impression from the object. Thou art 
a person of the world if thou lovest the world. Take a looking-glass 
and put it towards heaven, there you shall see the figure of heaven, the 
clouds and things above ; put it downward towards the earth, you shall 
see the figure of the earth, trees, meadows, fruits. So doth the soul 
receive a figure from the things to which it is set ; if the heart be set 
towards heaven, that puts thee into a heavenly frame \ if thou appliest 
it to earthly objects, thou art a man of the earth. 

[7.] The more we mortify these worldly lusts the more we prevent 
affliction. We might prevent the bitterness of the cross if we would 
subdue our own lusts ; but because we are negligent of that work. God 
is forced to lay on heavy crosses. 

Secondly, Let me now deal with these lusts in particular pride, sen 
suality, and covetousness ; these are immediate issues of corrupt nature ; 
the apostle calls them lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eye, and pride of 

1. Sensuality, or the lusts of the flesh. Let me begin there, because 
we live first by sense before we live by reason. These lusts are deeply 
rooted in the heart of man. Other sins defile a part ; covetousness 
and pride defile the soul, but sensual lusts defile soul and body too ; 
they leave guilt upon the soul, and dishonour upon the body. By glut 
tony and drunkenness, the body, which is God's temple, is only made a 
strainer for meats and drinks to pass through, and by adultery it is 
made the sink and channel of lust. In short, that you may know what 
these lusts of the flesh are, sensuality is an inordinate desire of soft and 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS 11. 11-14. Ill 

delicate living, an intemperate use of pleasures, of what kind or sort 
soever, an undue liberty of diet, sports, and other appurtenances of life. 
There is allowed a due care of the body, to keep it serviceable, and 
there is allowed a delight in the creature ; for he that created water 
for our necessity created wine for our comfort. The body must not be 
used too hardly, that it may be serviceable to the purposes of grace. 

But then, what is this inordinate desire, this intemperate use, this 
undue liberty ? How shall we trace and find out the sin ? Different 
natures and tempers make rules uncertain ; but the two general bounds 
which God hath set to our liberty in this kind are the health of our 
body and the welfare of the soul ; but when bodily health is overturned, 
and the soul clogged and perverted, then your lusts have carried you 
too far. 

[1.] When bodily health is overturned. Too much care for the 
body destroys it ; as the Komans were wont to have their funerals at 
the gates of Venus's temple, to show that lasts shorten life. When 
health is destroyed, or the vigour of nature is abated (as too much oil 
puts out the lamp), then you sin. Hosea iv. 11, it is said,' Whoredom, 
and wine, and new wine, take away the heart.' The heart, that is the 
generousness and sprightliness of man. When gallant and active 
spirits are effeminated, and brave hopes are drowned and quenched in 
excess of pleasures, and we lose our masculine agility and vivacity, all 
is melted away : then we sin against the bounds and limits God hath 
set us. Thus there is a restraint that ariseth from the body. 

[2.] When the soul is clogged or unfitted for duty or disposed for 
sin. (1.) Then we are unfitted for duty when there is less aptitude 
for God's service. The matter of carnal pleasure is burdensome and 
gross ; it oppresseth the soul, that it cannot lift up itself to God and 
divine things, because it is bowed down and humbled to pleasures, and 
the heart is overcharged : Luke xxi. 34, ' Take heed to yourselves, lest 
at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunken 
ness and cares of this life/ Men drive on heavily, and duty grows 
burthensome and irksome. By turning out our affections to present 
contentments and delights we cannot pray with that readiness. 
The strength of our delight should be reserved for communion with 
God, and for those chaste pleasures that flow in his house and are to be 
had in his presence. (2.) When there is more aptitude for sin : Titus 
iii. 3, ' We ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serv 
ing clivers lusts and pleasures.' Lusts and pleasures are fitly coupled 
and put together. The soul waxeth wanton when natural desires are 
too far indulged If we do not watch over our senses, but the heart 
grows wanton and libidinous, and restraints of grace grow weaker, and 
carnal motions are more urgent, then pleasure becomes a snare, grace 
is disturbed, and nature is distempered, and the heart is more free 
for sin. 

Deny these lusts of the flesh, do not indulge them, suffer them not 
to grow wanton. 

By way of argument consider 

(1.) Sensual men have little of God's Spirit : Jude 19, ' Sensual, having 
not the Spirit/ The Spirit is a free Spirit, and they are slaves to their 
lusts ; the Spirit is a pure Spirit, and their desires are unclean and 


gross ; the Spirit is active, and they are heavy and muddy, and of a 
nature dull and slow. Sensual men quench the vigour of nature, much 
more the efficacy and radiancy of the graces of the Spirit. The Spirit 
works intellectual delights, and they are all for sensual. They love 
pleasures more than God : 2 Tim. iii. 4, ' Lovers of pleasure more than 
lovers of God ' those dreggy delights. Whereas the comforts and con 
solations of the Spirit are masculine, and they are got by exercise. 
Look, as the manly heat gotten by exercise is better than that which is 
gotten by hovering over the fire, so the comforts of the Spirit, gained 
by much communion with God, by being instant and earnest in prayer, 
is better than that delight which is gotten by hovering over the creature. 
Well, then, which will you choose ? Will you live at large and ease, and 
wallow in earthly delights and contentments ? or would you be stirred 
up by the active motion of the Spirit of God ? Would you dissolve 
your precious hours and spirits in ease and pleasure, or else be employed 
in the solemn and grave exercises of religion ? Frogs delight in fens, 
and the worst natures are most sensual ; they are not fit for any worthy 
action or any great exploit. 

(2.) It is the first thing you must do, if you mean to do anything in 
religion, to renounce pleasure ; and therefore it is put in the first place, 
' The lusts of the flesh.' It is below reason to live in pleasure, there 
fore much more below grace. Alas ! you will do nothing if this be not 
done, but will lie open to every temptation. If a carnal motion arise 
that bids you neglect duty or practise sin, you lie open to it ; therefore 
it is said, Prov. xxv. 28, ' He that hath no rule over his own spirit is 
like a city that is broken down and without walls.' He that bridles 
not his appetite is like a city whose wall is broken down. When a 
town is dismantled, it lies open for every comer ; so where the appetite is 
unruly there is no room for the Spirit, but for every temptation : Ezek. 
xlvii. 11, ' But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall 
not be healed ; they shall be given to salt.' The waters of the sanc 
tuary could not heal the miry places, which is an emblem of a sensual 
heart. Pleasure brings a brawn and deadness upon the conscience, a 
cloud upon the understanding, and a damp upon the affections. Daniel, 
that had the high visions of God, lived by pulse ; he was a man tem 
perate. Those that mortify pleasure are of the clearest understanding ; 
and John the Baptist, which had most eminent revelations of the 
mysteries of the gospel (of all the prophets, there was not a greater 
than John the Baptist), he was fed with locusts and wild honey. 
Therefore mortify pleasure. 

(3.) By custom this sin is rooted, and so hardly left ; because it doth 
not only pervert the constitution of the soul, but the constitution of the 
body. Now, when the body is unruly as well as the affections, grace 
hath more to struggle with. A man that hath habituated himself to 
carnal pleasure, because his body is distempered and perverted, is not 
so soon healed. That is the reason that when the apostle speaks of 
meats and drinks, 1 Cor. vi. 12, he saith, ' He will not be brought un 
der the power of any.' So again, when men are given to wine, it is 
their custom and rooted disposition ; therefore avoid not only the gross 
act, but the very beginning, that it may not be a settled distemper. 
Whenever you take pleasures, they should be used with fear. It is 

YER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 113 

the charge of the Spirit of God commenceth against those, Jude 12, 
' Feeding themselves without fear.' Mark, it is not enough for 
your acquitment that you do not drink to drunkenness, or feed to 
actual excess and distemper, but suffer it not to be a rooted disposition 
in your hearts, for then it will be hardly left. Austin speaks of his 
own experience in this kind, Ebrietas longe a me est, crapula autem 
nonnunquam subrepit servo tuo Lord, I was never a drunkard, it is 
far from me ; but gluttony creeps upon me unawares, and so hinders 
me from the duties of the spiritual life. The throat is a slippery place, 
and needs to be guarded with much watchfulness and care, lest this 
distemper be rooted in the heart. Job sacrificed while his sons were 
feasting : Job i. 5, ' For Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, 
and cursed God in their hearts/ In all these things should we use 
much caution. 

2. The next particular the apostle mentions is the lusts of the eye, 
or covetousness. This is an evil very natural to us, and we cannot be 
watchful enough against the encroachments of the world. We need 
it in part, and we love it more than we need it. Worldliness is a 
branch of original sin ; it is a disease we are born with. The tenth 
commandment, that forbids original sin, saith, * Thou shalt not covet.' 
The best find temptations this way. We are daily conversant about the 
things of the world, and we receive a taint from those things with which 
usually we converse ; we find by experience that long converse is a be 
witching thing. Again, the world is a thing of present enjoyment ; we 
have the world in hand, and heaven in hope. The judgment of carnal 
men is quite different from the judgment of the word. The word of 
God counts the world to be but a fancy, and an apparition, and heaven 
to be the only substance : Prov. xxiii. 5, ' Wilt thou set thine eyes 
upon that which is not ? ' It is not in comparison of better things : 
' And the fashion of this world passeth away/ 2 Cor. vii. 31 ; but, 
Prov. viii. 21, ' That I may cause those that love me to inherit sub 
stance/ Heaven is the durable substance ; this is the judgment of the 
word, but wicked men think quite otherwise. We have sensible ex 
perience of the profits of the world, and therefore we judge thus per 
versely, and call it durable riches, and heaven but a mere fancy to make 
fools fond withal. Besides, worldliness is a serious thing ; it doth not 
break out into any foul act, therefore it is applauded by men : Ps. x. 3, 
' The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, 
whom the Lord abhorreth/ We think well of it, at least we stroke it 
with a gentle censure. A drunkard is more liable to reproach and 
shame than a worldling, Worldliness is consistent with the gravity 
and strictness of profession ; and therefore above all corruptions it is 
usually found amongst them that profess religion ; but dissoluteness of 
luxury will not stand with that external gravity and strictness which 
the profession of religion requires, Licentious persons procure shame 
to themselves, and are publicly odious ; but now, this being a serious 
sin, and possibly it may win the soul from other vices, therefore we in 
dulge it the more. Again, it is a cloaked sin ; the apostle speaks of 
' the cloak of covetousness,' 1 Thes. ii. 5. It is a hard matter to dis 
cover and find it out, there are so many evasions ; necessary providence, 
and provision for our families is a duty, and it is a duty enforced by 

VOL. xvi. H 


nature and grace. Here men evade the charge of covetousness ; they 
think their car king is justified, as being no more than the prudent 
management of their affairs. But consider, it is an evil which the 
Lord hates. Covetousness bewrays itself by an immoderate care after 
the things of this life, immoderate desire, and immoderate delight. 

[1.] By an immoderate care after worldly comforts. When we are 
so solicitous about outward supports, what we shall do, and what will 
become of us, that is a sure sign of a worldly heart. We dare not trust 
God's providence, but cark ourselves : Luke xii. 29, ' And seek ye not 
what ye shall eat, and what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful 
mind.' The word /JLTJ fjLerecopl^ecrOe signifies Do not hang like a 
meteor in the air, hovering between heaven and earth, between doubts 
and fears. This is to take God's work out of his hands, as the care of 
the son is a reproach of the father. It is a sign we dare not trust 
God's providence, but will be our own carvers ; we reprove and tax 
his providence as if he were not solicitous enough for us. 

Object. But must we not be careful and provident ? I answer 

(1.) Do your present work, and for the future leave it to God. God 
would have us look no further than the present day, provided we do 
not embezzle our estate by idle projects, or in carnal pleasures, or waste 
ful profusion, and provided we be not negligent in our calling ; let us 
do our work, and let God alone for future times. It is a mercy God 
would have our care look no further than the present day : Mat. vi. 34, 
' Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof/ God is very careful of 
man's welfare ; he hath made carking a sin, he might have left it as a 
punishment. Every day hath trouble enough for our exercise, and 
that is as much as God hath required. 

(2.) It is bewrayed by an immoderate desire. The temper of the 
heart is very much discovered by the current and stream of the desires. 
As the temper of the body is known by the beating of the pulses, so is 
the temper of the soul by the course of the desires ; or, as physicians 
judge of the patient by his appetite, so may you judge of your spirits 
by your desires, how they are carried out, whether to heavenly things 
and the enjoyment of God, or to the world. A carnal frame of spirit 
will be known by an unsatisfied thirst, and the ravenousness of the 
desires, when they still increase with the enjoyment, and men crave 
more and more. Such a dropsy as this is argues a distempered soul, 
especially when the desires are transported beyond all bounds of 
modesty and contentment : Isa. v. 8, 'Woe unto them that join house 
to house, and field to field, till there be no place, that they may be 
placed alone in the midst of the earth.' The inordinate inclinations 
still increaseth, and men never have enough, as if they would grasp 
all, that they might be blessed alone. Alas ! those that have a heavenly 
frame will stand wondering that God hath given them so much in their 
pilgrimage ; nay, that God hath given them anything. But more 
especially doth this bewray lust when these desires bring the soul to 
that determinate resolution that this shall be the project of their lives. 
He that is rich hath many temptations, however wealth be gotten, or 
given by God ; but he that will be rich is sure to miscarry : 1 Tim. vi. 
9, ' They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into 
many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 115 

perdition/ The bent and resolution of the soul argues the heart is 
naught ; he hath drowned himself already ; he falls into a snare, and 
into many temptations. 

(3.) By an immoderate delight in worldly comforts. A man may 
be worldly, that is, not carking and ravenous. Esau saith, ' I have 
enough, my brother/ Gen. xxxiii. 9. Your complacency in outward 
enjoyments is a great sin. When men are satiated with their present 
portion of the world, it is as great, if not a greater sin, than to desire 
more. When Christ would represent a covetous man, he doth it not 
by one that grasps at more, but by one that found a greater compla 
cency in what he had ; he blesseth himself as if he had happiness 
enough: Luke xii. 19, 'I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much 
goods laid up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry/ 
It is a question which is worse, a ravenous desire after more, or a car 
nal complacency in what we do enjoy. This last is worst ; there is 
discontent and distrust in the former, but God is robbed and wholly 
laid aside by the latter. Our delight, which is the choicest affection, 
is intercepted. Many will say, I desire no more ; but thy heart is set 
upon what thou hast, and so God is robbed, who is to be the soul's 
treasure; and- the poor are robbed; they are loath to part with what 
they delight in ; and the soul is robbed of eternal happiness, which it 
should look after, and of present comfort, in case God should blast all 
by his providence ; for a contented worldly man will be soonest dis 
contented. It is a breach of the matrimonial contract : James iv, 4, 
' Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the 
world is enmity with God ? ' There is a matrimonial contract between 
God and the soul, wherein God propoundeth himself as God all-suffi 
cient. Now, as if God were not good enough, men seek delight else 
where. Well, then, deny these lusts of the eyes. To this purpose 

(1st.) Your happiness doth not lie in these things : Luke xii. 15, 
'Take heed, and beware of covetousness; for a man's life consisteth not 
in the abundance of the things which he possesseth/ You may be 
happy without them. The saints have a candle that shall never be 
blown out. Neither your safety nor comfort lies in the world. Your 
safety doth not lie in it ; you do not live by ordinary supplies, but by 
God's providence. Your comfort doth not lie in it, it should be in God. 
We cannot see how we can be well without friends, wealth, present 
supports ; but consider, a man lives not by visible means, but by the 
providence of God. 

(2d) A little serves the turn to bring us to heaven. He is not poor 
that hath little ; but he that desires more, he is the poor man. En 
larged affections make us want more than the necessities of nature. 
We are not contented with God's allowance, but pitch upon such a 
state of life, and cannot live without such splendour and pomp, or with 
out such an estate. It is not want of estate that makes a man poor, 
but an unsatisfied mind. He that doth not submit to God's allowance 
is poor. 

(3d) God will provide for us if we do our duty. He that hath given 
us life will give us food that is less than life ; it is Christ's argument : 
Mat. vi. 25, * Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than 
raiment ? ' Nay, he that hath given us Christ, ' will he not with him 


also freely give us all things ? ' Rom. viii. 32. So a man may argue, 
God hath given me life, and that is better than food and raiment, as 
the body is better than the garment. Is any man so illogical, and of 
so little reason, as to argue thus, God hath given me Christ, and will 
he not give me support ? l l have trusted him with my soul, shall I 
not trust him with my estate ? God never sets any one to work but he 
gives them maintenance. He feeds the ravens, and will he not feed 
his children ? Certainly a father will not be more kind to a raven than 
to a child, to a flower than to a son, Mat. vi. 26-29. 

(4th.) Wealth doth not make us more acceptable with God. Grace 
puts the rich and the poor upon the same level : James i. 9, 10, ' Let 
the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted ; but the rich in 
that he is made low ; because as the flower of the grass he shall pass 
away.' The rich man is not too high for God if his heart be kept 
humble with his estate, and the poor man is not too low for God if he 
be preferred by grace ; so that grace still is the ground of acceptation : 
' Riches profit not in the day of wrath/ Prov. xi. 4 ; ' What is the hope 
of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God takes away his soul ?' 
Job xxvii. 8. These things will stand you in no stead. 

(5th.) The more estate you have, the more danger and the more 
trouble. A pirate doth not set upon empty vessels. None are so liable 
to such snares as those that have wealth and greatness. You can 
hardly discharge what you have already. If you had more, you would 
have the greater trust ; for ' to whom much is given, of them much 
shall be required/ Luke xii. 48. You must give account for more time, 
for more opportunities to do good, for more acts of mercy. A greater 
estate is incident to more cares and more duties. 

3. The third lust is pride of life. The most natural affection is self- 
love, and pride is nothing else but the excess of self-love. We suck 
it in with our milk. Our first parents fell by pride ; they soon catched 
at that bait, ' You shall be as gods/ Gen. iii. 5 ; and we see it takes 
with us, and surpriseth us upon every small occasion ; a fine garment, 
a lock of hair, a good horse, or a serviceable creature. There is no 
thing so high and nothing so low but pride can make use of it ; if we 
go back any degrees, it is to rise the higher. Yea, rather than not be 
proud, we can be proud of sin. The apostle speaks of some ' that glory 
in their shame/ Phil. iii. 19, as their revenge and glutting themselves 
with their unchaste pleasures. It is a sin that will put us upon much 
self-denial. How can men rack their spirits to promote their own 
praise and exaltation ? How can they pinch themselves of the con 
veniences of life to feed pride and to supply pomp and state ? Nay, a 
man may be proud after his death in funeral- pomp and in the glory of 
the sepulchre. Now pride is twofold in mind, and in desire. Pride 
in the mind is self-conceit, and pride in the desire is an inordinate 
affection of glory or high place. Pride in mind is when we ascribe to 
ourselves what we have not, or transfer upon ourselves the praise of 
what we have. To boast of what we have not is folly ; to boast of 
what we have is sacrilege, and we rob God ; this is like a man deeply 
in debt, who boasts of an estate he has borrowed. Pride in the desire 
is an inordinate affectation of our own glory : all that men do is to set 
up themselves. 

[1.] Against pride in the mind. Consider what little reason we have 

1 This appears to be the opposite of what the author designs to say. ED. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14, 117 

to be proud. Poor men ! in whose birth there is sin, in whose life there 
is misery, and in whose death there is sorrow and perplexity. What 
should we be proud of ? Not of strength, which is inferior to many 
beasts. Not of beauty ; many flowers are decked with a more glorious 
paintry. Beauty it is but skin-deep ; it is blasted with every sickness, 
it is the laughing-stock of every disease. And then he that is proud 
of his clothes is but proud of his rags wherewith his wounds are bound 
up. Clothes you know were occasioned by sin ; in innocency holiness 
was a garment for man, and men might have conversed naked without 
shame. And so for birth ; we have no reason to be proud of that. 
Omnis sanguis concolor all blood is of a colour : ' He hath made of 
one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth/ Acts 
xvii. 26. Not of estates ; they are but as trappings to a horse, things 
without us. We do not value a horse for his trappings, but by his 
courage, mettle, and strength. Not of learning ; there is none so 
learned but he hath ignorance enough to humble him. To be proud 
of learning shows our ignorance. A little river seems deep when it runs 
between narrow banks, but when there is a broad channel it is very 
shallow ; so men seem to be profound till their thoughts run out into 
the breadth of learning. Nor should we glory in preferment and in 
being advanced. When men are put into great places, they grow 
proud, but it is their folly : thy preferment may be in judgment ; God 
many times chooseth wicked men to rule. He gives kingdoms to the 
basest of men, Dan. iv. 17. God's providence is not only seen in pre 
ferring wise and godly governors, but in setting up the base for a 
judgment to the nation. Nebuchadnezzar is called God's servant, Jer. 
xxv. 9. The sins of Egypt and Judah did require such a servant. A 
devout man complained of a bloody prince, Lord ! why hast thou made 
him emperor ? He did seem to hear this answer, Because I could not 
find a worse for such a wicked people. So when such an one was chosen 
bishop, he grew proud upon it, and there was a voice heard, Thou art 
lifted up, not because thou art worthy of the priesthood, but because 
the city is worthy of no better a bishop. Some may be preferred, not 
because they are worthy, but because the sins of the nation deserved no 
better governors. So in any good actions, when they are done com 
mendable before men, remember, God makes another judgment : ' All 
the ways of man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the 
spirits/ Prov. xvi. 2. Man hath but a partial hatred of sin, but God 
hath an exact balance, and he weighs the spirits : Luke xvi. 15, 'Ye 
are they that justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your 
hearts ; for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination 
in the sight of God.' When men praise you, say, These men cannot 
see my heart. Usually after some eminency there afterward comes a 
blasting. Jacob wrestled with God, and then his thigh was broken. 
Paul was rapt up into the third heaven, then presently there was 
sent him a thorn in the flesh. Sometimes God blasts the creature 
before the work, as Moses's hand was made leprous before he 
wrought the miracle, Exod. iv. 6. Sometimes after the work, to show 
we are but vile instruments; there is something left to remember the 
creature of his own vileness. Then be not proud of thy holiness, for 
what is this to God's ? Ps. cxxx. 3, ' If thou, Lord, shouldst mark 


iniquities, Lord, who should stand ? ' And God hates this sin so 
much that he lets men fall into many scandalous sins when they grow 
proud of their holiness. The ornament of a high and honourable 
estate in the world is not outward splendour, but the humble mind 
James i. 10, ' Let the rich rejoice in that he is made low.' This is 
true nobleness and eminency, and an argument of a great mind, to be 
like a spire, least and low in our own account when most exalted by 

[2.] Against the other, pride in desires and inordinate affectation of 
greatness. Consider what God hath done for you already, and prize 
the opportunity of a private life, and improve it to frequency of duty 
and converse with God. It is better to be like a violet, known by our 
own smell rather than our greatness. The mountains are exposed to 
blasts and winds, and they are generally barren ; but the low valleys 
are watered and fruitful ; therefore men know not what they do when 
they seek great things. The true ambition is to seek the great things 
of heaven and the great things of Christ, and for other things, to refer 
ourselves to the fair invitation and allowance of God's providence, A 
vainglorious man is nothing in Christianity. Paul can count a man's 
judgment but a small thing : 1 Cor. iv. 3, ' With me it is a very small 
thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment/ God is 
our judge, and the business of our lives is to approve ourselves to God ; 
man's judgment must not be valued. And besides, it is a vain thing 
to affect that in which we may be soon crossed. One man's opinion 
may disturb our quiet ; one Mordecai can cross Haman in all his pomp. 
To doat upon that which is in the power of those whose humours are 
as inconstant as the waves, or their breath, or the wind, is a very great 
folly ; where one word may deject us and cast us into sorrow. And 
lastly ; consider, this is nothing to eternal glory. 

We might live soberly, dc. TITUS ii. 12. 

THE lesson which grace teacheth was propounded privatively and 
positively, Privatively, wherein I have showed what we must eschew 
and avoid, viz., ' Ungodliness and worldly lusts.' 

I now come to the positive part, where the duty of man is distributed 
into three kinds. Look, as in a moral consideration, there are but three 
beings, God, neighbours, and self, so here the apostle makes three parts 
and branches of our duty that we should live soberly as to ourselves ; 
righteously as to our neighbour; godly, that the Lord may not be 
defrauded of his portion. Sobriety respects the duties of our personal 
capacity ; righteousness the duties of our relation to others ; and piety 
the duties of immediate intercourse with God. 

I begin with the first of the apostle's adverbs, that we should live 
soberly. Sobriety is a grace very necessary ; we can neither be righteous 


nor pious without it ; for he that is not sober, he takes to himself more 
than is due, and so can neither give God nor man their portion. If 
he he unsober, he will be unjust ; he robs the church of his parts which 
are quenched in pleasure, the commonwealth of his service, the family 
of their maintenance and necessary provision ; and then the poor are 
robbed, because that which should be spent in their relief is wasted in 
luxury. And then he that is unsober cannot be godly, for he doth not 
give God his portion ; he robs God of his time, and, which is worse, of 
his heart ; for that, being carried out to pleasure, it is deprived of the 
fruition of God, and transported from better delights. So that if we 
would discharge our duty to God or man, if we would live righteously 
and piously, we must live soberly. Once more, that you may a little 
conceive of the weight and consequence of this discourse, sobriety is a 
part of virtue's armour : so much is intimated by the apostle, 2 Peter 
i. 5, 6, ' Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to 
knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience.' Virtue or strict 
ness of life is rooted in faith, directed by knowledge, defended and 
maintained by temperance and patience ; by temperance on the right 
hand, and patience on the left. As fortitude or patience is necessary 
to arm grace against dangers, so is temperance or sobriety to arm it 
against pleasures and worldly comforts. It is hard to say which we 
need most, temperance or patience. We must expect hardships, and 
still we live among snares, but only snares are more frequent than 
troubles ; as more birds are ensnared by the net than killed by the 
birding-piece. Persecution hath slain its thousands ; but pleasures 
their ten thousands. Therefore you see sobriety is of great use in the 
spiritual life. As we need to press faith as the root of virtue, and 
knowledge as the guide of virtue, so we need to press temperance and 
patience as the guard and defence of virtue ; patience against the 
troubles and hardships that we meet with, and sobriety against the 
comforts and allurements of the present world. 

Before I enter upon the discussion of the present argument, let me 
first remove some prejudices. 

1. Some men think that to discourse of sobriety will be to give you 
a moral lecture, not an. evangelical discourse ; they would have us to 
preach Christ, as if pressing the duties of religion were not a preaching 
Christ. Certainly we may preach that which grace teacheth ; now 
grace teacheth to live soberly. The truth is, men would be honeyed 
and oiled with grace, and cannot endure the strictness of moral duties. 
Here conviction is easy, and conscience maketh guilt fly in the face, and 
therefore men cannot endure this kind of preaching. I tell you, to 
preach sobriety and temperance is to preach Christ. It is said, Acts 
xxiv. 24, ' After certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, 
which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the 
faith in Christ.' Paul, let us hear somewhat of Christ. Now what 
doth Paul preach of? ver. 25, 'And as he reasoned of righteousness, 
temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled.' There is his 
preaching Christ. To preach Christ is to press whatever the Christian 
religion requireth, and in that manner and upon those terms. And 
when Paul saith, 1 Cor. ii. 2, ' I have determined not to know anything 
among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified,' it was because that 


was the controverted truth, the truth then in question, and most opposed ; 
for the doctrine of the cross was ( to the Jews a stumbling-block, and 
to the Greeks foolishness, ' 1 Cor. i. 23. Now saith the apostle, as 
foolish a doctrine as it is, ' I have determined to know nothing else 
among you/ Not to prescribe in other cases, and to confine our medita 
tions to the doctrine of the cross, there are other arguments necessary, 
and must take their turn and place. 

2. Some men think that they are above these directions, to be taught 
how to eat and drink, and that every man hath prudence enough to 
govern his appetite. But consider, Christ thought meet to warn his 
own disciples : Luke xxi. 34, ' Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time 
your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares 
of this life/ A man would think it a needless direction to such holy 
men ; yet saith Christ, * Take heed,' and certainly sin is not grown less 
dangerous, nor we more holy than the apostles. Besides, now if ever 
is there need of such kind of preaching. Some men profess to live to 
the height of the creature, and so make lust a wanton, as it is danger 
ous always to go near the pit's brink ; and he that doth all that he may 
will soon do more than he should. It is a character of profane men, 
Jude 12, ' Feeding themselves without fear.' The throat is a slippery 
place, and had need be watched and kept with fear. We find that an 
over-spiritual preaching hath made men loose and careless, and that 
moral duties need to be pressed. 

3. Another prejudice there is against this doctrine ; men shift it off 
to others. We conceive of gluttony, drunkenness and covetousness 
otherwise than Christ did, and therefore do not judge such discourses 
necessary. We conceive drunkenness and gluttony to be an outrageous 
excess ; when we hear of gluttons and drunkards, we think of them 
vomiting, staggering, reeling, not being able to speak, or able to go, 
faltering in speech and language ; but the scripture sets out other 
manner of drunkards ; these are the effects, the punishment, rather 
than the fault. And so, when we hear of covetousness, then we think 
of some sordid wretch, or else of some oppressor that gets wealth by 
rapine and extortion, or the apparent use of unlawful means ; and so 
we wipe our lips, and think we are clean. But now that which is 
counted surfeiting and drunkenness and covetousness before God is the 
overcharging the heart : Luke xxi. 34, ' Take heed to yourselves, lest 
your hearts be overcharged,' &c. A man's heart may be overcharged, 
though his stomach is not, when he cannot freely meditate upon 
heavenly things, though he doth not vomit and give up his luxurious 
morsels in loathsome ejections. And that is covetousness before God 
when the care of earthly things hinders us from heavenly-mindedness 
and heavenly desires ; the heart is then overcharged, and loseth the 
sense of spiritual things. 

These things premised, I come now to the doctrine. 

Doct. One of the lessons which grace teacheth us is sobriety. 

(1.) I shall show you what sobriety is in the general ; (2.) I shall 
open the particular branches of it. 

First, I shall show what sobriety is in the general. Sobriety is tho 
moderation of our affections in the pursuit and use of all earthly 

VER, 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 121 

To explain the description, it is the moderation. Grace doth not 
take away the affection, but governs it ; it bridles the excess, and then 
reduceth the affection itself to a just stint and temper. Now the rule 
according to which this moderation must be made must be either the 
word, or, where the word interposeth not, then spiritual prudence and 
conveniency is to be a judge. How the word judge th I shall show in 
the branches; but in matter of conveniency, what is most conven 
ient for ourselves, that we be not brought under the power of any 
creature, spiritual prudence must be the rule: 1 Cor. vi. 12, 'All 
things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient ; all things 
are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any/ 
A Christian is to see, while he makes use of one part of his liberty, that 
he doth not forfeit and lose another, yea, the better part. As men go 
to law for trifles, and spend a real and solid estate, so by an intemperate 
use of Christian liberty we forfeit that which is the best part, freedom 
from lusts, and from the bondage of sin. As, for instance, a promis 
cuous use of meats and drinks is a part of Christian liberty, but freedom 
from lusts is another part ; and therefore, while a man useth this 
liberty in the creature, and hereby brings himself in bondage to his 
lusts, or is enslaved to such a creature, how inconvenient soever the 
use of it be. he cannot leave it ; he disappoints the main end of Christ's 
blood, and forfeits the fairest part of that liberty Christ hath purchased 
for him. God hath given us a large liberty in Christ ; let us not go too 
far, lest we forfeit the spiritual part of it. Therefore it is a part of 
sobriety, if it be likely to prove a snare, to moderate and bridle the 
affections. Yea, in another case, which concerneth others, that may be 
lawful to one which is not lawful to another. If the thing affected be 
lawful, yet if it be likely to give offence, or to procure a blot upon 
ourselves, it is a part of sobriety to moderate ourselves, and abstain 
from it. In such a case we owe so much to one another's weakness, 
and to our own credit, which should be preferred before the satisfaction 
of any appetite whatsoever : Phil. iv. 8, ' Finally, brethren, whatsoever 
things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are 
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatso 
ever things are of good report ; if there be any virtue, and if there be 
any praise, think of these things ;' and again, 1 Cor. viii. 13, ' Wherefore, 
if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no meat while the world 
standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.' Rather wholly abstain 
from this liberty than give offence. So that this moderation is ' a 
reducing the affections to the limits of the word, and the rules of 
conveniency and charity. 

Of the affections. I mean such as are accompanied with pleasure in 
the exercise ; these are under the command of sobriety. There is a 
.moderation of our passions that belongeth to fortitude and patience, as 
sorrow and anger, the moderation of these belongeth to other graces. 
But now such affections as are accompanied with pleasure in the exer 
cise, as delight and desire ; desire in the pursuit, and delight in tho 
use of worldly things ; these belong to sobriety. It is indeed a 
question which is worst, not to bridle anger or not to restrain pleasures ? 
Anger is unruly and violent, but lusts work both ways ; e%e\Kopevos 
teal SeXeaoyu,ei/o9, James i. 14, ' Every man is tempted, when he is 
drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. ' The most generous natures 

122 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. VII. 

are subject to anger, and the basest to pleasures. Anger is stirred up 
by reason, though it runneth away without deliberation ; but lust 
prescribeth to reason ; there is more of plot and counsel in lust than in 
anger. Eeason sooner cleareth up when the storm of passion is over, 
and then men repent ; but in lust and pleasure there is a long bondage. 
So that not to restrain lust, or those affections that carry us out to 
corporal delights, seemeth worst. But then, again, it may be inquired 
which is harder, to endure griefs or renounce pleasures ? I shall answer 
To renounce pleasures, and sobriety is more put to it than fortitude. 
Many that have borne griefs with a stubborn mind yet have yielded to 
their own carnal affections ; as Sampson, that broke so many cords 
and bands, yet could not break the bonds of his own lusts. It is true 
nature flieth from grief, and therefore it is hard to take up our cross ; 
but nature flieth from grief because it is addicted to pleasures, and it 
is our lasts that make the cross so burdensome. Renounce the desire 
and the delight, and the lust will be more easily overcome. 

In the pursuit and use. I name both, because as we must use 
worldly things moderately, so we must desire them moderately. The 
sin is first in the affection, and there may be an immoderation in the 
desire when the practice is restrained by fear, or by difficulty, or by 
danger of compassing our lusts; and therefore the great work of 
sobriety is to moderate the lust. As a bird when its wing is broken 
is eager to fly, so a man that may abstain from excessive practice, yet 
he may have much inordinate affection : Col. iii. 5, ' Mortify therefore 
your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inor 
dinate affection.' 

Of all earthly tilings. Profits, pleasures, pomps, meats, drinks, 
apparel, recreations ; sobriety reacheth all those affections that are 
carried out to any of the good things of this natural life. There is a 
dry drunkenness, as the prophet saith in another case : Isa. xxix. 9, 
' They are drunken, but not with wine ; they stagger, but not with 
strong drink.' The cares of this world have an inebriating power, as 
well as voluptuous living ; and therefore Christ couples them together : 
1 Surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life,' Luke xxi. 34. 
Look, as wine disturbeth reason and oppresseth the senses, so do these 
worldly cares besot the mind and deprive us of the sense of spiritual 
things ; and therefore sobriety is necessary to moderate our cares, as 
well as to govern the use of meats and drinks. 

Secondly, I shall handle sobriety in these four branches 

1. As to pleasures and recreation, sleep and pastime. 

2. In meats and drinks, and the necessary supports of human life. 

3. In pomp and apparel. 

4 In the cares of this world. 

First branch, sobriety in recreation. 

The first branch of sobriety, in recreation, in sleep and pastime, and 
other delights of human life. 

For sleep I need say but little ; it is a soft enemy, that steals away 
half our time, and should be reckoned among our burdens, and not our 
pleasures, as a thing to be borne with patience rather than to be taken 
with delight. It is our unhappiness that so much of our lives should 
be spent, and not one act of love and kindness should be shown to God. 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 123 

The angels, that are wholly spiritual, are exempted from this necessity. 
Night and day they are always praising God, doing his will, and hearken 
ing to the voice of his word. Yea, we may see many other creatures 
are restless in their motions, and obey the law of their creation without 
weariness. The sun in a constant unwearied course moves from east 
to west and from west to east, and never ceaseth. When thou liesfc 
upon thy bed in the morning, thou mayest think of it, how many 
thousand miles the sun hath travelled since thou went to rest the last 
night, that he might come again this morning to give thee light to go 
about thy labour and exercise, and yet thou liest snorting upon thy bed, 
and turning hither and thither, as Solomon saith, like a door upon the 
hinges. David contended with the sun who should be up first ; as tl .*. 
sun to represent God to the world, so he to acknowledge God in bi.-t 
prayers and supplications : Ps. cxix. 147", ' I prevented the dawning of 
the morning, and cried.' But of this I will speak no more. Common 
prudence and the light of nature will give us sufficient direction. 

But now for sports, and the other delights of human life. Accept of 
God's indulgence with thankfulness, and use it with moderation. Adam, 
in innocency was placed in a garden of delight ; and since the fall God 
hath provided not only for necessity but pleasure. Certainly in Christ 
we have a great liberty, but we should not use it as an occasion to the 
flesh : ' To the pure all things are pure/ Titus i. 15. Only let us take 
heed that we are pure in the use of these outward comforts and refresh 
ments. Now we need not fear the uncleanness of meats and sports, but 
let us fear the uncleanness of lusts. There is a double exercise of 
sobriety in our sports and recreations and the delights of the human 
life to direct us in the choice of them, and in the use of them. 

1. In the choice of them, that they be lawful, not * the pleasures of 
gin,' Heb. xi. 25. There is a strange perverseness in man's nature ; 
those pleasures relish best that are seasoned with sin, as if we could not 
do nature right without wrong to God, and putting an affront upon his 
laws : ' He that breaks the hedge, a serpent shall bite him/ Eccles. x. 
8. Now, to prevent danger of this kind, and that we may not break 
through the hedge and the restraints which God hath set us, and so 
find remorse upon our deathbeds, conscience must be informed. Gen 
erally we may observe, that we offend God more in our recreations than 
in any other affairs of life, and are more guilty of unlawful recreations 
than of unlawful ways of gain and traffic ; and therefore it is good to 
be wary, and keep at a distance from sin. And because recreations are 
not among things absolutely necessary, but only convenient, if they be 
questionable, or of ill fame, it is better to forbear : Phil. iv. 8, ' What 
soever things are of good report, &c., think of these things ; ' that we 
may be sure not to be guilty of any contempt of God, and that we may 
not give offence to others. As, for instance, a lusory lot in cards or 
dice is very questionable, therefore better to be forborne than used, 
especially where they give offence. And again, because ' everything is 
sanctified by the word of God and prayer,' 1 Tim. iv. 4, therefore we 
should seek to understand our liberty by the word, and venture upon 
nothing in this kind but what we can commend to God in prayer, and 
upon which we can ask a blessing. Thus sobriety directs you in tho 
choice of recreations. 


2. In the use. Usually we offend in such things as are for the 
matter lawful ; there the soul is more secure : as in the Gospel, the 
excuse is put in the handsomest terms : Luke xiv, 20, ' I have married 
a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' For the understanding of it, 
note, Christ's parables do put the dispositions of men's hearts into words. 
Now the sensualist, or the man that is addicted to pleasures, is there 
represented ; and mark, he doth not urge dalliance with harlots, but 
1 1 have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come ; ' implying that 
excess in lawful pleasures keepeth many from Christ and from the 
things of grace ; and therefore here is the work of sobriety, to set bounds 
and limits to the use and exercise of our liberty, that it may not degen 
erate into licentiousness. 

Well, but what rules shall we observe ? In short, then, we offend 
in sports when they waste our estate, rob us of our time, cheat us of 
opportunity of privacy and retirement with God, and when they unfit 
the heart for the duties of religion. 

[1.] When they waste their estates. You may not do with your estates 
as you please ; you are stewards, and are to be accountable to God at 
the last day for every penny. Why should a prodigal have a greater 
liberty and dominion over his estate than a covetous man ? I will tell 
you for what reason I speak it ; prodigals that ' waste their substance 
with riotous living/ as he described in Luke xv. 13, when they are 
taxed for this, they say, It is my own, and I may do with my own as I 
please. We are not content to take such an answer from a rich and 
covetous man when you press him to charity ; if he should say, It is 
my own, and I shall give what I please, as Nabal said, 1 Sam. xxv. 11, 
' Shall I take my bread, and my water, and my flesh, that I have 
killed for my shearers, and give it unto men whom I know not ? ' The 
truth is, it is a mistake on both sides ; it is not theirs, but God's ; he is 
the great owner. Therefore when recreations are costly, and waste 
your estates, you cannot give an account of it to God at the great day ; 
you rob your families, at least the poor. Lust starves charity, and 
makes it a beggar. It is sad when a lust can command thee to do 
more than the love of God can. When you can lavish away thus much 
upon your pleasures, and account nothing too dear for them, and every 
penny be begrudged that is for a use truly good, you are guilty of sacri 
lege to God, you rob him of his tribute, and you rob the poor of their 
support, who are God's receivers. 

[2.] When they engross your time, which is the most precious com 
modity that can be, for it cannot be bought with gold and silver, and, 
when once lost, can never be repaired. God hath appointed pleasures 
after labour, and when we are grown dull with exercise ; but then 
they should be moderate, that as little time be wasted as may be. But 
now, when men make a calling of their recreation, and their life is 
nothing else but a diversion from one pleasure to another, and they 
spend more time than will serve to quicken them to their work, certainly 
this is a sin ; for then they alter the nature of them, and make it a 
work, and not a sport. They that spend their whole time in eating, 
drinking, and sporting, live like beasts rather than men ; for it is the 
beasts' happiness to take pleasure without remorse. Nay, they live 
rather like plants, which are a less noble sort of beings than beasts. 
Beasts have their labour, but plants have only life, and time given them 

VER. 12.J SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 125 

that they may grow bulky ; for it is the perfection of plants to grow 
bulky and increase in stature. And yet this is the life of many gallants 
and idle gentlemen, who live as if they were not born for business but 
recreation. Nay, though you do not make a trade of it, yet too much 
time is not to be spent for the measure ; only so much time as will 
serve to quicken you again to the labours of your general and particular 
calling. An eminent divine gives this rule concerning recreations, It 
is not lawful for a man in an ordinary course to spend more time in 
the day upon any pastime than in religious exercises. He means private 
religious exercises ; he limits him only thus, not constantly. Now, if 
we be tried by this rule, how many of us would be taken tardy and 
guilty of sin ? As one said, when he read Mat. v., Aut Jioc non est 
evangelium, aut nos non sumus evangelici Either this is not scrip 
ture, or we not Christians. So let us look upon this rule ; either it is not 
true, or we do not act aright. Therefore let us debate it a little, and 
see whether is defective. Either we come short of strictness and cir 
cumspection, or the rule comes short of truth and weight. Think of 
it. Certainly it is most equal that the most needful duties should have 
most time bestowed upon them. To get assurance and enjoy com 
munion with God, this should be first in your care : Mat. vi. 33, ' Seek 
ye first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, and all these 
things shall be added to you.' It is true we cannot spend so much 
time in private communion with God as in business, because of the 
urgency of bodily necessities ; yet this is but equal, that we should spend 
as much time in duties of religion as we do in recreation. Consider, 
the soul hath its delights, and repasts, and recreations, as well as tho 
body, and needs it as much ; and therefore, if our first care should be 
for the soul, it is but equal that at least as much recreation as we 
bestow upon the body, so much also should we allow to the soul. 
Especially when we consider this, that it is some refreshment to the 
body to go aside from manual labour and converse with God. Once 
more, that you may think charitably upon this rule, there is a sad 
character in scripture given of that sort of men, 2 Tim. iii. 4, that ' are 
lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God/ Now consider, will not 
this too much describe the temper of our hearts ? Will not this text 
stare in the face of conscience, when we are loath to give an equal time 
to God and to religion as to our carnal sports and delights ? If your 
expenses of time were written in your debt-books, you would blush to 
look over the accounts ; so much for pleasure, so much for sports, so 
much for business, and so little for duty and private converse with God. 
The rule is too true ; let conscience be judge. Certainly if we did 
prize heavenly comforts as much as carnal, we should not complain of 
the rule as too strict. What shall we think of them who grudge no 
time spent in pleasure, and yet grudge all time spent in God's service ? 
[3.] When they unfit the heart for any serious work, by putting the 
affections out of joint, then they become a snare, and it is high time to 
think of setting a restraint. All things are to be measured by their 
end. Now the end of pleasure is only this, to quicken the mind and 
revive the body, and fit it for work and service. The end of pleasure 
is not for pleasure, but work and service. Well, then, a thing is no 
longer good than it conduceth to its end. Now, when the heart is set 
back, and unfitted more for duty, and less able to pray and meditate, 


and labour in our callings, by reason of our sports and recreations, it 
is a sign we have too much let loose the reins to pleasure ; for pleasure 
was appointed to make us better, not worse, more cheerful in the duties 
of our callings ; but now it proveth a clog and a snare. 

[4.] Then is sobriety to interpose when our pleasure doth cheat us 
of opportunity of retirement and religious privacy with God and our 
selves. Certainly it is a duty to maintain a constant converse with 
God : Job xxii. 21, ' Acquaint thyself with him, and be at peace.' He 
delights to speak with his creatures, and be familiar with them. This 
is that which is called communion with God, a constant correspondency 
that is kept up between God and the soul. Now, will a man rob 
God ? This is strange and monstrous. Well, then, when ease and 
pleasure will not give way for communion with God, and stops the 
voice of conscience when it pleads for God, then it is naught. And so 
for privacy with ourselves ; it is a duty to commune with our own 
hearts : Ps. iv. 4, ' Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and 
be still.' We and our hearts should be often together. Now carnal 
men give themselves up to pleasure because they cannot endure soli 
tariness and self-conversing ; they are loath to look into themselves ; 
like a mill, when it wants corn, it will grind upon itself ; they shall be 
forced to speak to themselves, which they cannot endure. Now 
pleasures are unlawful when they use them against holy soliloquies, 
and as a remedy against conscience ; as Saul would drive away his 
evil spirit by David's music. This is a great sin : Amos vi. 3, ' They 
put far from them the evil day ; ' and ver. 6, ' They drink wine in 
bowls, but remember not the afflictions of Joseph.' Men beguile 
their consciences by turning from pleasure to pleasure, and so put off 
suing out a pardon, the sense of their sins, and humbling themselves 
before God, and making their peace with God. This is the work of 
your lives. Therefore when business, entertainments, sports, and 
pleasures take up your time, and will not allow you to be solitary, and 
you and your hearts be together, you sin against God : Job xxi. 13, 
* They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the 
grave.' It is dangerous to employ your whole time in mirth, and in 
visits, and in company, that should be spent in examining your hearts, 
humbling your souls and seeking the face of God ; so that your hearts 
grow dead and barren. 

Helps to sobriety are two to consider the preciousness of time, and 
the vileness and danger of pleasure. 

First, The preciousness of time; that will appear in sundry con 

1. Time is short. We have a great deal of work to do, and but 
little time ; therefore we should redeem it from pleasure, and rather 
encroach upon our recreation, and spend it in matters that most con 
cern us. All complain of the shortness of time, and yet every one hath 
more time than he usethwell. We should rather complain of the 
loss of time than of the shortness of time ; as Seneca said, Non 
occepimus brevem vitam, sedfecimus ; nee inopes temporis, sedprodigi 
sumus We make our lives far more short than otherwise they would 
be ; and we do not want time, but waste it. We spend it freely upon 
mirth and vain pleasures, as if we had more than we could well tell 

VER. 12.] SERMONS TTPON TITUS n. n-14. 127 

what to do withal Life is short, and yet we throw it away, as if we 
had not such great work to do as to mortify corruptions and to make 
our peace with God ; as if that eternity which cannot be exhausted in 
our thoughts did not depend upon this moment. When men are 
writing of a sermon, and have but little paper left, they write close, 
Oh ! consider, our work lies upon our hands, and therefore the acts of 
duty should be more close and thick. The sun is even going down ; 
we know not how soon day may be over. 

2. Too much time hath been spent already ; so will all the godly- 
wise judge : 1 Peter iv. 3, * For the time past of our life may suffice 
us to have wrought the will of the gentiles ; ' Kom. xiii. 12, ' The 
night is far spent, the day is at hand ; ' and there is but little left to 
express your love and thankfulness in glorifying God. Our infancy 
was spent in ease, and youth in sin, and age in business. Certainly 
that part of your lives was merely lost which was spent in an unre- 
generate condition. Saith Austin, Perdit quod vivit, qui te non 
diligit He loseth that time which he lives that doth not love the Lord. 
Properly we are not said to live till we live in Christ. A man may 
be long at sea, tossed to and fro upon the waves, and yet be but little 
from his port, and cannot be said to have made a long voyage ; so a 
man may abide long in the world, but cannot be said to live long, if 
he doth not live in Christ. Eeflect this truth upon thy heart. Alas ! 
my life hitherto hath been a death rather than a life, useless, and lost 
to all spiritual purposes ; and shall I still waste my time, and spend 
my days in ease and idleness ? Travellers that have tarried long in 
their inn mend their pace, and ride as much in an hour as before they 
did in many : so we have staid too long ; oh ! let us now mend our 
pace. Say, I have lived thus long vainly, sinfully, carnally, in an 
earthly manner ; I have little thought of God, and treasuring up for 
heaven, or providing for my latter end. Oh ! how rich might I have 
been if I had been a good merchant for my soul ! How am I now 
outstripped by many my equals, my youngers in age, but seniors in 
grace 1 They are in Christ before me. Oh ! why doth God spare 
me, but to recover that which is lost ? 

3. Consider, it is uncertain how long thou shalt enjoy the season. 
The present time is always best, and shall we waste it vainly ? We 
have not a lease of our lives. Ludovicus Capellus tells of a rabbin 
that, being asked when was the fittest time for a man to repent, he 
answered him, One day before he dies, meaning presently, for this may 
be your last day. We know not how soon God may call us to himself. 
In an orchard some fruits are plucked green, few are left to rot upon 
the tree. Mariners, that have not the wind in a bottle, are ready to 
tackle the first gale. We shall never have a better opportunity to con 
sider our . ways. In youth we want wisdom and zeal, and in age 
strength ; in the midst of business we want leisure, and in the midst 
of leisure we want a heart. There is not more efficacy in the latter 
season than in the former. Do riot think that sickness and old age will 
help you more in the work of repentance than youth. Moral arguments 
work not without evangelical grace. The bad thief had one foot in hell, 
and yet he blasphemed. There will be more difficulty in old age, but 
no help. Sickness and age needs a cordial, and not work \ and there 
fore no season like the present. 


4. They that have lost time know the worth of it. Oh ! if they 
might have the happiness to live again that are now in hell, would they 
waste their precious hours so wantonly and lavishly as you do ? Dying 
men that are affrighted in conscience, discover to us the passions of the 
damned ; they would give all the world for one year or one month to 
repent. He that so passionately begged for a drop to cool his tongue, 
how would he have indented -with God for a year's respite from tor 
ment ? In the day of death, all the wealth of the world will not pur 
chase one day longer. We never know what we lose in losing time, 
till it be too late. It is better to be sensible of the worth of time in 
earth than in hell Knowledge of things that are evil and bitter is 
more easily gained by teaching than by experience and feeling ; but 
we do not lay these things to heart. Christ mourned over Jerusalem 
because she lost her day : Luke xix. 42, ' If thou hadst known, even 
thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace ; 
but now they are hid from thine eyes.' 

5. We must give an account for time, a-nd therefore let not pleasure 
engross and take up too much of it. Whenever God comes to reckon 
with his people, the great thing for which he calls them to an account 
is their time. He keeps an exact reckoning of the years of his patience : 
Ps. xcv, 10, ' Forty years long was I grieved with this generation/ I 
have given them thirty, forty, fifty years respite to think of their sins, 
and apply their hearts to be wise for eternity. So of the times and 
seasons of grace, and methods and dispensations of mercy : Luke xiii. 7, 
' Behold, these three years came I seeking fruit of this fig-tree, and 
find none ; ' by which is meant the three years of Christ's ministry with 
the Jews, for he was then entering on his last half-year. When the 
scripture speaks in a round number, there is no mystery in it ; but when 
the numbers are uneven and odd, there is something to be noted ; these 
three years Christ had been labouring with them. And Jer. xxv. 3, 
' From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah 
(that is the three-and-twentieth year), the word of the Lord hath come 
unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early, and speaking/ &c. 
Such passages are but pledges of the great process of the day of judg 
ment. God will call to account then for the time of his patience, and 
the means and mercies you have had, Oh ! then, reflect this truth 
upon your hearts, and say, I must die and give an account for time, and 
alas ! I cannot give an account of one day among a thousand. My time 
hath been spent in foolish mirth, in troublesome cares, in idle company, 
in vain sports and revellings ; and how shall I be able to look God in 
the face, and answer him ? Do but pass the account with yourselves, 
and if you cannot answer conscience, you will never be able to answer 
God. So much time spent in meals and banquets, so much in visits, 
so much in sports, so much in sleep, so much in worldly employments, 
and then think how little a remainder there is for God ! Oh ! if we did 
but now and then cast up our accounts, it would extremely shame us. 
If you hire a labourer for the day, and he should come at night and 
demand pay, and the master should say, What hast thou done for me ? 
would he not be ashamed to say, Thus much time have I spent in 
meals, thus much in loitering and sporting with my companions, thus 
much in mending my own apparel, and an hour or half an hour in your 
work and service. Can this man expect a day's wages ? Christians. 

VEK. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 129 

do you believe that there is a God of recompenses, and that there will 
be a day of account, that you dare loiter thus, and waste away your 
time that should be spent in God's service ? 

Secondly, Consider the baseness and the danger of pleasures, in four 

1. The baser a man is the more he affects carnal delights and is 
addicted this way : Eccles. vii. 4, c The heart of the wise is in the house 
of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth/ That 
which wise men prefer certainly is better than that which fools make 
choice of. Now this is the choice of fools. Wise men know there is 
more to be gained by grave exercises and by spectacles of sorrow than 
in the places of carnal rejoicing ; they know there is nothing to be seen 
or heard there but snares or baits ; little wisdom to be gained, and little 
improvement of grace and reason to be made. 

2. All carnal pleasures are mixed with grief, and leave a sting and 
bitterness in the issue. You never came away from your sports with 
such a merry heart as you do from the throne of grace. If men would 
but consider their experiences after duty and after recreation ; there is 
a calm and serenity in the conscience after the saddest duties when 
they are ended. Who ever repented of his repentance ? They yield 
some cheering and reviving to the soul. As it is said of Hannah, 1 
Sam. i. 18, that she ' went away, and did eat, and her countenance was 
no more sad.' Prayer gives ease, as the opening of a vein in a fever. 
If all come not away alike cheerful from the throne of grace, and this 
be not a general rule, yet it is no addition to their grief that they have 
been with God ; rather it is some lessening of their trouble. As the 
pouring out of a complaint into a friend's bosom, though it do not help, 
it is some ease to the mind ; so though God do not come in with a 
high tide of comfort to the soul, yet it is some ease we have been with 
God, and presented the case to his pity ; there is some spiritual mirth 
and delight kindled, at least some lessening of grief. Butf now, not to 
speak of wicked men, when they come from their pleasures, even the 
children of God, to whom all things are pure, yet because of the ten 
derness of their hearts there is always some remorse after their plea 
sures ; and therefore Solomon propounds it as a general rule, Prov.' xiv. 
13, ' Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of that mirth 
is heaviness.' It is an allusion to outward laughter, which causeth 
pain by the too much dilation of the spirits and straining the body, 
which is a figure of that remorse which accompanies all worldly joy. 
All worldly joy begets a sudden damp upon the spirit in the departure. 
God will still remember us, that we are in our pilgrimage, and com 
plete joy is not to be had here ; that every rose in the world grows 
with a thorn, would teach us to look after more solid comforts. 

3. Pleasures, if they be not watched, will soon make us unfit for 
communion with God and for any solemn duty : Eccles. ii. 2, ' I have 
said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, What doth it ? ' Solomon 
in the former verse was resolved to make an experiment, and to let- 
loose his heart to carnal pleasures, that he might see what would come 
of it ; to loosen the reins, and turn his heart loose to carnal pleasures ; 
and what was the issue ? ' Oh ! it is mad ! ' It soon transports the 
mind, and puts reason out of frame ; it makes a wise man to be like a 



madman ; as madmen in their freaks of mirth have little use of rea 
son. And of laughter it is said, c What doth it ? ' that is, whither 
hast thou carried me ? whither art thou now going and carrying my 
soul ? Satan hath a greater advantage upon you in your sports than 
in your business ; therefore to affect them is but playing with the baits, 
and as the bird sings in the fowler's snare, so do we in the midst of 
temptation. If Christians would but consult with their experience, how 
often have we smarted when we fall into it. A poor beast fallen into 
a hole will not fall into the same hole again. Though we see the 
inconveniency of it, yet our hearts are addicted. 

4. It is a sign men have not received the power of grace when they 
are immoderately addicted to pleasures. It is a description of the 
carnal state : Titus iii. 3, ' We ourselves also were sometimes foolish, 
disobedient, serving divers lusts and pleasures.' So much grace as you 
have, so much victory and command over yourselves ; and therefore, 
when men are wholly led by sense, they are at a great distance from 
the life of grace. Therefore, as we would not be accounted carnal, we 
should be more sober in this kind. We may use pleasures, but should 
not serve pleasures ; but rejoice as if we rejoiced not. If we use a 
thing, it is for some other end ; we enjoy the end, and use the means. 
You may use pleasure io quicken the mind and revive the body, that 
it may be quick in the service of God, and not unfit the heart for duties 
of religion. 


* We might live soberly, dc.- TITUS ii. 12. 

SECOND branch, sobriety in meats and drinks. If you ask which 
is worst, excess in meat or drink, gluttony or drunkenness ? I 
answer Drunkenness is more odious, and doth more sensibly deprive 
a man of the use of reason, and put him upon actions unseemly, 
and is the cause of more diseases and disorders in the body. But 
then gluttony is very dangerous, partly because it is not of such a 
great disreputation among men as drunkenness, and shame is one 
of the restraints of sin ; partly because it insensibly creeps upon us, 
as Austin complained, Ebrietas longe a me est, crapula autem 
nonnunquam surrepit servo tuo Lord, I abhor drunkenness, but 
gluttony creeps unawares upon me. If it be inquired again, which sin 
is worst, he that is immoderate in the use of pleasure, or he that is 
immoderate in worldly cares ? I answer Gross intemperance brings 
more dishonour to God, and worldly cares more spiritual disadvantage 
to our souls. A worldling doth not dishonour God openly so much as 
a drunkard, but then he is more incapable of conviction and of 
heavenly things ; and by distracting his heart with cares he shrewdly 
endangereth his salvation. As for drunkards and sensualists, their 
face declareth their shame, and their crime is written in their foreheads ; 

VEK. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-11 131 

and so they have less of defence against the strokes of the word ; 
therefore our Saviour saith, Mat. xxi. 31, that ' the publicans and 
harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.' 

These things premised, I come to speak of sobriety in the use of 
meats and drinks. I join them both together, because grace is exer 
cised in the restraint of both. Christians, as we are your remembrancers 
to God, so we must be God's remembrancers to you, and every part of 
conversation falls under some rule of religion. The aposile saith, 
1 Peter i. 15, ' As he that hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all 
manner of conversation ; ' in every point, and every affair of life ; and 
therefore eating and drinking being one part of human conversation, it 
is necessary to give you some directions. It is very familiar with men 
to miscarry by appetite, more familiar with man than with beasts. 
There is no beast but swine will overeat themselves ; they know their 
stint and measure. But, Lord, how far is man fallen ! Nature is not 
only blind in point of worship, but weak in point of appetite. The 
relics of inordinancy are in the regenerate. The holiest men had need 
of caution, as Christ saith to his disciples, ' Take heed and beware that 
your hearts be not over-charged with surfeiting and drunkenness,' Luke 
xxi. 34. And the apostle bids Timothy to flee youthful lusts, to be 
chaste and pure as he was : 2 Tim. ii. 22, ' Flee also youthful lusts, but 
follow after righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on 
the Lord with a pure heart.' Yea, those that are wisest and most 
accomplished many times are swallowed up in this gulf. Who would 
have thought that Adam and Eve, endowed with the image of God, 
should have miscarried by appetite, by eating? or that Solomon, who 
had such large gifts and knowledge, from the cedar to the hyssop, 
should miscarry by women ? and that persons of excellent abilities are 
many times of a riotous conversation? Certainly we are weakest 
where we think ourselves strong. When the upper part of the soul is 
sufficiently fortified with counsel and knowledge, the devil dare not 
assault us in point of error, but then he draws us away by appetite, and 
the baits of the flesh ; and therefore we had need speak of sobriety in 
meats and drinks. 

Now sobriety becomes all persons, especially magistrates, ministers, 
women, and youth. Magistrates and ministers, because of the dignity 
of their office ; women, because of the imbecility of their sex ; and 
youth, because of the slipperiness of their ag. 

1. For magistrates : Prov. xxxi. 4, 5, ' It is not for kings, Lemue, 
it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink. Give 
strong drink to him that is ready to perish/ It is an allusion to the 
custom among the Jews ; if a man were condemned to die, it was their 
courtesy to give him spiced wine to attenuate and thin the blood, that 
it might sooner pass out of the body, and to inebriate the senses that he 
might be less sensible of his pain. Now ' it is not for kings to drink 
wine,' not for the judge, but for the condemned person. So Eccles. x. 
16, 17, ' Woe unto thee, land, when thy princes eat in the morning. 
Blessed art thou, land, when thy princes eat in clue season, for strength, 
and not for drunkenness.' Magistrates cannot be good or bad alone ; 
when they are given to sensual delights, it is more odious in them, for 
it unfits and diverts them from public business ; when they spend 
their time in excess, they are totally indisposed for counsel and wise 


debates, and weighty affairs ; therefore the Carthaginians forbade wine 
to magistrates during the time of their magistracy ; and by Solon's 
law a drunken prince was to be slain. 

2. For ministers, their work lies with God, therefore they had need 
live in constant sobriety. Under pain of death, neither Aaron nor 
his sons the priests were to drink wine or strong drink, when they 
went into the tabernacle of the congregation. Lev. x. 9, 'Do not 
drink wine or strong drink, thou nor thy sons with thee, when ye go 
into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die. It shall be a 
statute for ever, throughout your generations.' It is probable 
Nadab and Abihu's miscarriage in offering strange fire was occa 
sioned by fumes of strong drink ; for presently God makes that 
law for Aaron and his sons. So the apostle : 1 Tim. iii. 3, ' A bishop 
must be sober, not given to wine,' because of the excellency of his 
ministration, which requires meditation, and freedom of contempla 
tion, which is hindered by the fumes of wine and strong drink. 

3. For women, because of the weakness and modesty of their sex. 
In some nations it was death for women to be intemperate, because by 
this means they make shipwreck of that modesty which is the ornament 
of that feeble sex ; and therefore excess in them is more filthy and 

4. For youth, they need chiefly to be pressed to this sobriety, because 
of the slipperiness of their age. Their judgments are weak and green, 
and their affections are violent. Nature is strong in them, and Satan 
is diligent to seduce them ; he prizeth young affections ; and they are 
but newly come to the use of their reason, from living the life of sense ; 
and the natural heat of the stomach that is found in youth is a great 
provocation. Though all need to be fortified, yet especially these. 

But what is this sobriety that is required ? I answer You may 
know it by the sin that is contrary to it ; and we sin against sobriety 
when we offend by quantity, quality, and in the manner of usage. 

1. There must not be offence in quantity. Fulness of bread was one 
of Sodom's sins, Ezek. xvi. 49 ; that is, excess in the use of the creature. 
Now, how shall we state this excess ? Not merely by the custom of 
nations, for sins may be authorised by general practice, as Sodom's sin 
was fulness of bread. Not merely by the greatness of the estate; 
plenty doth not warrant excess. If a man have never so much cloth, 
yet he would not make fais garment too big for him. If the meat be 
too salt, it is no excuse to the cook to say he had good store of salt 
by him ; so will it be no plea that God hath given you plenty and a 
great estate to warrant you in your excess. The heart may be over 
charged when the purse is not. Neither must it be measured by the 
capacity of the stomach. Christ doth not say, Take heed you do not 
overcharge your stomach with surfeiting and drunkenness, but your 
heart, Luke xxi. 34. Some men are strong to drink wine ; they are 
tubs and hogsheads, as Ambrose calls them, rather than men. But 
it is not when the stomach is overcharged, but the conscience, when 
it grows secure and carnal ; or the heart, when it is not fit for duties, 
less apt to be lifted up to God in prayers and thanksgivings, and the 
inind cannot be lifted up to heavenly things. So that the measure in 
this kind must be our fitness to perform the duties of our general and 
particular calling ; and when that is exceeded, then we sin. 

YER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS ir. 11-14. 133 

2. For the quality. We must not hanker after quails, and desire 
dainty food ; that is a sign lust is made wanton ; and nature, being 
perverted, is grown delicate, which otherwise aimeth but at necessaries. 
Indeed it is God's great indulgence to us to give such things as are 
refreshments to nature, not only for support but delight. The substance 
of our food might suffice to nourish, but God hath created them with 
smell, taste and colours, for our greater delight. But we must not be 
too curious ; this is * nourishing your hearts as in a day of slaughter/ 
James v. 5. And still the disposition increaseth ; therefore it is good 
to check curiosity at first. Curiosity in diet God takes notice of: 
Deut. xiv. 21, ' Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk ; ' affect 
ing excessively the pleasing of the palate with too much curiosity. It 
is said of the rich glutton, ' He fared sumptuously every day/ Luke xvi. 
19. I know feasts are allowed, and sometimes a more liberal use of 
the creature ; Christ honoured a feast with a miracle of changing water 
into wine. But a constant delicacy brings a brawn upon the heart, and 
a wantonness upon the appetite. When men do nothing else but knit 
pleasure to pleasure, they nourish their hearts, that is, rear up their 
lusts, and are fond of the flesh. We are still to maintain and carry on 
the spiritual conflict, and therefore this curiosity and hunting after 
novelties is contrary to the intent of the Christian life, which is a war 
with the flesh, not to make it wanton. 

3. The manner of enjoying the creature ; it must be with caution 
and with piety. 

[1.] With caution. Job sacrificed while his sons feasted, Job i. 5. 
We are apt to forget God most when he is best to us ; and when our 
hearts are warmed and inflamed with high and good cheer, we are apt 
to sin ; therefore your heart should not be let loose to the fruition of 
outward comforts. It is ill to trust appetite without a guard, as it is 
to trust a child among a company of poisons : Prov. xxiii. 1, 2, 
' When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is be 
fore thee ; and put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to 
appetite ; ' that is Solomon's advice ; ' And rejoice as if you rejoiced not/ 
1 Cor. vii. 31. Consider you are in the midst of dangers and tempta 
tions. When these baits are before you, self-denial is put to the exer 
cise ; and here you are tried to see what command you have over your 
selves. Men lay aside all care when they go to festival meetings. It 
were well to lay aside worldly cares, that you might not eat the bread 
of sorrow ; but take heed of a secret snare ; you should not lay aside 
spiritual care. 

[2.] You must use them with piety. God must not be banished from 
our delights and refreshments ; we must receive them from God, enjoy 
them in God, and refer them to God. We must receive them from God, 
who is the author, the giver, the allower, and the sanctifier of them. You 
must take all your comforts out of God's hands with thanksgiving, then 
your table will not so easily be made a snare. How sweet is this when you 
can say in good conscience, Lord, thou hast provided this for me, this 
is the comfort thou hast allowed me. The apostle saith, 1 Tim. iv. 4, 5, 
' Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be 
received with thanksgiving, for it is sanctified by the word of God and 
prayer/ In the word God hath declared the use to be lawful ; there 
we understand our liberty and right by Christ ; and in prayer we ask 


God's leave and blessing, that so we may act faith upon his providence ; 
for man doth not live by bread alone, he must receive his strength and 
nourishment from God. All the creatures since the fall are armed 
with a curse, and therefore we had need take them as blessings out of 
God's hand in and through Jesus Christ ; and we must enjoy them 
in God ; God must not be forgotten when he remembers us. As you 
refresh the body with food, let the soul be refreshed too by meditation ; 
that is the soul's refreshment. Consider his liberality ; how many 
things doth God give at a feast ? It is God that gives wealth to 
furnish our table, health to use them, peace to meet together ; and 
Christ hath purchased liberty that we may make use of all these bless 
ings. The soul must have its refreshment ; and so may we meditate 
upon Christ's sweetness, the fatness of God's house. In Luke xiv., when 
Christ was eating bread in the pharisee's house, then he discoursed of 
the spiritual wedding supper, and of eating bread in his Father's king 
dom. Then you must use them to God, as the end and scope : 1 Cor. 
x. 31, ' Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all 
to the glory of God.' No pleasure should be its own end. The 
immediate end is the sustentation of the body, but the remote end 
should be service and God's glory. We do not eat to eat, but eat to 
live. Pleasure is the handmaid of nature, but not the guide. The 
en4 of eating is to repair the strength which hath been weakened in 
duty, and fit us to attend upon duty again : Eccles. x. 17, ' Thy 
princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness ; ' not 
for mere delight, but for service. Thus you see what it is to be sober 
in the use of meats and drinks. 

Third branch, sobriety in apparel. 

The third branch of sobriety is in apparel. That this is a part of 
sobriety appears by that scripture, 1 Tim. ii. 9, * That women adorn 
themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety/ We 
must be moderate as to apparel, as well as to other delights and com 
forts of life. 

In managing this part of the discourse, I shall first give you some 
rules, and then some helps. 

First, For the rules. The work of sobriety is to moderate the affec 
tion, and then the use. 

1. To moderate the affection to vain and immodest apparel ; there 
the disease begins : Col. iii. 5, ' Mortify therefore your members which 
are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection.' 
There may be even in those that are poor a desire and an envy at the 
bravery of others (which is grievous to the Spirit of God) when we 
want it ourselves. Pride in apparel is not only seen in the wearing 1 , 
but in the desire of it, when we can no sooner see a vain fashion but 
we are taken with it, as Ahaz was taken with the altar at Damascus, 
and we must have another of the like fashion. It is the duty of 
Christians ' to consider one another, to provoke to love and to good 
works,' Heb. x. 24, who should be most sober, most modest in their 
apparel ; but we often provoke one another to excess and pomp, and 
strive who shall excel ; therefore this desire, when we are taken with 
vain fashions, is sinful. And if our hand will not reach to it, then we 
envy and speak against others, not out of zeal, but emulation, because 
we cannot attain to the like ourselves . as Diogenes trode on Plato's rich 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 135 

garment with a greater pride, Calco Platonis fastum. Envy shows we 
value these things. Now, to moderate this secret envy, take a consid 
eration or two . 

[1.] If we have food, and raiment to cover our nakedness, why should 
we trouble ourselves about more ? 1 Tim. vi. 8, ' And having food 
and raiment, let us be therewith content/ When God first made 
Adam and Eve apparel, he made them coats of skins, plain and homely 
ware ; and they were greater persons than we are. And it is said of 
the children of God, those of whom the world was not worthy, Heb. xi. 
37, ' They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins.' Our condi 
tion is much better ; therefore let us not envy others when they shine 
and excel in pomp of the world ; it is enough God hath given us any 
thing for warmth and use. 

[2.] Consider how holy men have behaved themselves upon a like 
occasion. It is recorded in the life of Bernard, if he saw a poor man in 
coarse habit, he would say, It may be this poor man may be glorious 
within, and have a better soul than thou hast ; but if he saw a man 
with a fine garment, he would say, It may be he excels thee as much 
within as without. So Pambus, when he saw one very curious in dress 
ing herself, he wept, saying, Have I been as careful to please Christ, 
to deck my soul with grace in the sight of God, as she is to please a 
wanton lover ? Thus should we make a spiritual use of such a spec 
tacle, and strive to be as fine in God's sight as they are in bravery 

2. The work of sobriety is not only to moderate the affection, but 
to moderate the use of apparel and outward ornament, that we may 
not be pompous and excessive. That there is such a sin as excess in 
apparel appears by the frequent dissuasives of the word. The scripture 
takes notice of it chiefly in women, but men have their share. The 
Holy Ghost by the prophet Isaiah is pleased to give us an account of the 
fashions of those days, and to make an inventory of their wardrobe : 
chap. iii. 18-24, ' In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of 
their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their 
round tires like the moon, the chains and the bracelets, and the 
mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the head 
bands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, 
the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles and the wimpk-s, and 
the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and 
the veils ; ' and therefore threateneth a heavy judgment, ver. 24, 25, 
* And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be 
stink ; and instead of a girdle a rent ; and instead of well-set hair 
baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding with sackcloth ; and 
burning instead of beauty. Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy 
mighty in the war.' Mark the judgment; a scab, which meeteth with 
their aim, which was to set off their beauty ; and the violence, incivili 
ties and rudeness of the soldiers to meet with the matter of their 
sin, who shall strip them of their garments, that they should not have 
rags to cover their nakedness. So 1 Peter iii. 3, the Spirit of God 
takes notice of ' the outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of 
wearing of gold, and of putting on of apparel.' By which he reproves, 
not a decent dressing, but a. laying of it forth in curls and locks and 


wanton plaits. So Luke xvi. 19, there it is taken notice of as a luxury 
in the rich man that ' he was clothed in purple and fine linen, and 
fared sumptuously every day.' Curious clothing is made to be one of 
his crimes, as well as gluttony and neglect of the poor ; usually they go 
together. And the experience of all ages showeth that there is such 
a sin, and in these times more abundantly, when all distinctions of 
ranks and place and superiors and inferiors are taken away. 

But how shall we do to find out the sin, cases being so different, and 
the custom of ages and nations so various ? I answer in the general 
Such a modesty as is without exception doth best become the saints 
and Christians indeed, who are chiefly to regard the inward ornament, 
to adorn themselves in the sight of God rather than in the sight of 
men : 1 Peter iii. 4, ' Whose adorning let it be the hidden man of the 
heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek 
and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price/ And 
again, they are to stand at a distance from a snare, and to avoid all 
appearance of evil : 1 Thes. v. 22, ' Abstain from all appearance of 
evil.' And again, they are to 'give no offence, neither to Jew nor 
gentile, nor to the church of God,' 1 Cor. x. 32 ; neither to their fellow- 
members within, nor to observers without. Therefore, if we had to do 
with a gracious heart, the case would be soon decided ; they do not 
love to walk upon the brink, nor to come near a sin. An inoffensive 
modest habit is free from all exceptions ; and if men and women were 
wise, they would soon see that it would neither lessen their esteem with 
God or men, but increase it rather. But more particularly, persons 
guilty are clamorous, and say, Why do we abridge them of their liberty, 
and take upon us to condemn their garb? I confess it is a sin to con 
demn what God hath not condemned. There are two sorts of super 
stition positive, when we count that holy that God never made holy, 
and negative, when we condemn that for sinful which God never made 
sinful. Therefore what rules can be given to trace and find out the sin ? 
The abuse will be best discovered by considering the use. What are 
the ends of apparel ? They are diverse, either for necessity to defend 
the body against the injuries of the weather ; therefore they that dis 
cover their nakedness sin against that ; or else for honesty or modesty, 
to cover that deformity of the body which was the fruit of sin ; or else 
for profit, such apparel as suits with our callings and course of life ; or 
for frugality, according to the proportion of our estate, that we may not 
waste the good gifts of God, that should be kept either for family uses 
or for other good uses ; or for distinction of persons, of age, sex, and 
rank : Deut. xxii. 5, ' The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth 
unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment ; for all 
that do so are abomination to the Lord thy God.' By these ends the 
abuse may be conceived. 

[1.] It is a foul abuse of apparel and ornament when men and 
women disguise nature, and seek to mend that which God hath made, 
by patching, painting, and other varnishes of art. Jezebel is infamous 
in scripture for painting ; and dare any sober woman that pretends to 
be a Christian put herself into her garb and fashion ? They reprove 
God that seek to mend nature. Cyprian saith, It is a dislike of God's 
work. So Tertullian before him, They dislike God's workmanship in 

YEK. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-ii 137 

their own faces, and consult with the devil how to mend it. That 
which is natural is from God, and that which is artificial is from the 
devil. How shall God own them at the last day when they are ashamed 
of his workmanship ? Will thy maker own thy disguised face ? He 
will say, This is not the face that I made. We should appear before 
men with no other face than we would appear before God with at the 
day of judgment. Would I have God see me thus disguised, patched, 
and painted? Doth not conscience startle at the thought of it? When 
God shall come to take knowledge of all the works he hath made, 
wouldst thou appear then with these spots and artificial varnish ? 

[2.] Addictedness to fashions, certainly that argues such a levity that 
doth not suit with the gravity of religion. That there is a sin in fash 
ions is plain by Isa. iii., where the Holy Ghost is pleased to give us an 
inventory of the wardrobe of the women among the Jews ; for what 
reason, but to show they were vainly addicted to fashions. So Zeph. i. 8, 
' I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as 
are clothed with strange apparel/ God takes notice of pride in ap 
parel, though it be in courtiers, nobles, princes, and kings' children, 
their new and strange exotic garbs ; therefore much more is it evil in 
private persons and those that are of an inferior rank. But you will 
gay, If we must not follow the fashion, of what date should our habits 
be ? Should we go back as far as Adam, to clothe ourselves with skins 
and leaves, and run back to the rudeness of former ages ? I answer 
There may be as much vanity and affectation in being too much out of 
the fashions of the times and places in which we live, as in being too 
much in it ; therefore our liberty in this kind is to be determined by 
the general and received custom of the gravest and godly wise. It 
stands not with Christian gravity to be first in a fashion and affect that 
which is new, nor to take it up when it is only the fashion amon^ those 
that are light and vain ; they are not to be imitated, for that is con 
forming ourselves to the fashions of the world, which the apostle dis 
proves : Rom. xii. 2, * Be not conformed to this world/ The apostle 
speaks in the business of long hair ; and when he had spoken what an 
unseemly thing it was for a man, ruffian-like, to go with long hair ; 
1 Cor. xi. 14, ' Doth not nature itself teach you that if a man have long 
hair it is a shame to him ? ' he adds, ver. 16, ' But if any man seem to 
be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God ; ' 
which seems to carry this sense, that if women will come with their 
nakedness into the congregation, and if men will wear long hair, and if 
any man or woman will contend and say the thing is indifferent, and 
they have a liberty in this kind, this is the short answer, ' We have no 
such custom, neither the churches of God/ Therefore the general and 
received custom of the churches of God ought to be a law in all such 
cases. Mark, the vain world is not to give you a precedent, but the 
use of the churches, and the practice of godly Christians, and their 

[3.] When our apparel exceeds the proportion of our callings and 
abilities. There is more due to persons of a higher rank than to those 
of inferior place : Mat. xi. 8, ' They that wear soft clothing are in kings' 
houses/ It is more commendable in them that stand before princes 
than in others ; and therefore our rank and place and estate must be 
considered. It is a wrong to the family and the poor when our gar- 


ments exceed our abilities. Nay, but take them both together ; though 
they do not exceed our abilities, yet if they exceed our state, place, 
and calling, it is a sin. As for instance, for ministers, who should be 
mortified to the glory and pomp of the world, it is not fit for them to 
shine in bravery as others do. So for ministers' wives ; the scripture 
is pleased to take notice of women in that relation above all other 
women : 1 Tim. iii. 11, ' Their wives must be grave, sober/ And for 
servants, it is odious to see them strive to be in a garb exceeding their 
station, and to do as others of better rank and higher place. As habits 
were given for necessity, so for distinction of ranks and orders of men ; 
and as odd a sight it is to see an inferior exalting in pomp as to put 
the attire of the head upon the feet and shoes on the head. 

[4.] When it suits not with modesty and chastity. Garments were 
given to cover nakedness and the deformity that was introduced by sin ; 
therefore the apostle saith, * Let the women adorn themselves in modest 
apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or 
gold, or pearls, or costly array,' 1 Tim. ii. 9. And therefore the leav 
ing the breasts naked, in whole or in part, is a transgression of this 
rule ; they uncover their nakedness, which they should veil and hide, 
especially in God's presence ; as the apostle saith, 1 Cor. xi. 10, ' The 
woman ought to have power on her head, because of the angels.' In 
the assembly there you meet with angels and devils ; angels to observe 
your garb and carriage, and devils to tempt you ; therefore be covered 
because of the angels. Yet usually women come hither with a shame 
less impudence into the presence of God, men, and angels. This is a 
practice that neither suits with modesty nor conveniency ; nothing can 
be alleged for it but reasons of pride and wantonness ; it feeds your 
own pride, and provokes lust in others. You would think they were 
wicked women that should offer others poison to drink ; they do that 
which is worse, lay a snare for the soul ; uncover that which should be 
covered ; lest you provoke others of your rank to imitate your vanity, 
if they should not by the fear of God be guarded from unclean thoughts 
and filthy desires. Now Christians should be far from allowing sin in 
themselves, or provoking it in others. 

[5.] When dressing of the body takes up too much of our hearts and 
time, so as to cause us to neglect the inward adorning, and by it we are 
tempted to pride. Certainly there is a sin in fashions themselves, but 
the greatest sin is the pride of the heart. The garment falls under a 
rule; but apparel is not the offence, but pride: Isa. iii. 16, 'The 
daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-out necks and 
wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling 
with their feet/ Better never wear jewels or costly raiment more, than 
to be tempted by it to pride. Therefore the spiritual ornament you 
should still preserve is being humble in spirit : 1 Peter iii. 4, ' Let 
your adorning be the hidden man of the heart, even the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit.' When you forget that, it is a sad exchange. 
Outward adornment belongs to the pomp of the world, but the inward 
adornment is our spiritual glory and excellency. The outward adorn 
ing is to please men, but the inward adorning pleaseth God. Now we 
should rather please God than men ; better never please men than 
offend God. 

Secondly, To offer some helps. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 139 

1. Consider, curiosity in clothes argues deformity of mind ; a godly, 
serious, humble Christian is above these things. Therefore, how can 
we choose but think that a man or woman hath vanity in his heart, 
that is so clothed with it upon his back ? Look, as plasters argue a 
wound or sore, so do these exotic and vain attires argue a wound and 
blot in the soul ; that there is pride, vanity, and levity there. Clemens 
Alexandrinus observes that the Lacedemonians permitted only harlots 
and infamous women and common prostitutes to go in gorgeous attire. 
Clothes, then, are the flag and ensign which pride hangs out, and the 
nest of wantonness. 

2. To be proud of clothes is to be proud of our own shame. Before 
sin came in man did not need a garment. Look, as the sun is adorned 
with light, it needs no trimming and ornament, so man in innocency 
was adorned with grace, and needed no other robe ; but when he 
sinned, he needed garments. So then he that is proud of his clothes 
is but proud of the rags with which his wounds are bound up. Clothes 
are a memorial that we were once disobedient to God. Shall a thief 
be proud of his shackles, or a malefactor of his brand or mark in his 
forehead ? This is a time of mourning, not of triumph ; therefore 
God at first clothed Adam with skins, an habit that becomes mourning. 
We shall not need these things in heaven ; clothes are only there in 
use where sin is. 

3. Consider that habit makes not the man. A horse is not chosen 
by his trappings, but by his strength and swiftness ; the trappings are 
things external, that conduce nothing to his goodness ; so man is not 
to be valued by his habit, it is but the excrement of silk-worms ; not 
by the ornaments of the body, but the endowments of the mind. 
Imperatoria majestas, saith Seneca, virtute constat, non corporis cultu. 
And therefore, if you would excel others indeed, you should excel them 
in grace and virtue. Alas ! many are but dung finely dressed ; the 
hidden man of the heart, that is the man. Grace is the best dressing, 
and that which is never out of fashion ; by this men are valued. The 
more wise and excellent men are indeed, the less curious in their apparel. 
Cato, that had been consul at Kome, never wore apparel that exceeded 
an hundred pence. Let great ones be known by their modesty of 

4. Consider, when you are most gorgeous, the beasts excel you. 
Croesus, king of Lydia, being gorgeously arrayed, asked Solon if ever he 
had seen a more beautiful spectacle ? He answered, Yes, sir ; I have 
seen peacocks and pheasants and other birds. And Mat. vi. 29, Christ 
takes notice of this, that ' Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like 
one of the lilies/ The draughts and colours of nature are more 
beautiful than art. Therefore neither delight in bravery nor envy it ; 
when thou seest the bravery of others, thou hast a fairer flower in thy 

5. Think often of Jesus Christ hanging naked upon the cross, who 
was stripped of his garments to satisfy for thy excess. Oh ! shall we 
again put him to open shame, as if he died in vain? say, Shall 
pride live when Christ died to subdue it, and mortify it, and to expiate 
for it ? 

Fourth branch, sobriety in worldly cares. 


The next branch is sobriety of moderation in worldly cares. These 
also besot the mind, and deprive it of the sense of spiritual things. 
By a strange fascination and enchantment, our care becometh our 
pleasure, and men grow quite drunk with the world, so that they are 
always scraping and raking here as if their whole time were given for 
nothing but getting wealth. 

First, What this carking and worldly care is that must be moderated. 
The scripture doth not only allow but require an honest diligence. It 
is a command as well as a threatening : ' In the sweat of thy face thou 
shalt eat thy bread,' Gen. iii. 19. The grievousness and burdensome- 
ness of labour falls under the threatening ; but the labour itself is a 
command, as moral as any of the ten. The apostle saith, Phil. iv. 6, 
' Be careful for nothing ; ' but he doth not say, Do nothing. The 
scriptures would not have us to be idle and careless ; they commend 
the diligent hand. To let children and family shift for themselves 
were not only unchristian, but unmanly ; we see the very brute beasts 
provide for their young ones. Diligence is one of the means by which 
God provideth for us. But yet, though the scriptures do allow a diligent 
care, yet they forbid a carking distrust. There is trn-ovBrj, a care of dili 
gence, and pepifjiva, a care of diffidence ; the first is a duty laid upon 
us, the second is a sin. Faith is painful, but not distrustful. It is repre 
sented by the emblem of a pair of compasses ; while one foot is fast in the 
centre, the other wanders about in the circumference. So the heart is 
fixed in God by faith ; it depends upon him, and looks for the success 
and issue of all from his blessing, though the hand in the meantime be 
employed in the use of means. Certainly God allows us careful provi 
sion against all visible evils, though they be to come ; as Joseph stored 
the granaries of Egypt against the dear years. But not to distract 
ourselves with a supposal of future contingencies ; therefore our Saviour 
saith, Mat. vi. 34, * Take no thought for the morrow ; ; and ver. 31, 
1 Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat ? or what shall we drink ? 
and wherewithal shall we be clothed?' This is that the scripture 
forbids. You ought not to trouble yourselves with uncertain future 
events, but to refer yourselves to the disposal of God. Briefly, sinful 
cares may be thus discerned 

1. Distrustful care is troubled about the event, what shall be tho 
issue, but lawful care is employed in the use of means. The event is 
God's act, duty is ours ; and to trouble ourselves about it is to take 
God's work out of his hands. We set ourselves in God's stead when 
we think to accomplish our ends by our own industry. The Lord 
might lay this burden upon us as a punishment of sin, but he would 
have us cast it upon himself : 1 Peter v. 7, ' Casting all your care upon 
him, for he careth for you.' To neglect the means were to neglect 
providence ; but then to trouble ourselves about the event, what will 
be the issue, and how these means will succeed, that is to renounce pro 
vidence, to reproach God as if he were not solicitous for us. A Christian 
is not to trouble himself what will become of him and his posterity, 
that is God's care ; and it is altogether needless in us, for God is all- 
sufficient ; but he is to be diligent in a lawful calling, and then let God 
do what seemcth him good. 

2. Sinful care flieth to unlawful means, but religious care keepeth 

VEB. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS IL 11-14. 141 

within the bounds of duty : Prov. XVL 8, ' Better is a little with right 
eousness, than great revenues without right.' It useth no means that 
are indirect and. sinful. Men that will not trust God with success, will 
soon go out of God's way. The unbeliever looketh not to what is just, 
but to what is gainful ; as those that gathered manna on the sabbath 
day, and ' trode wine-presses, and brought in sheaves, and laded asses/ 
Neh. xiii. 15. 

3. Sinful care is immoderate in the use of lawful means : Eccles. ii. 23, 
* For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief ; yea, his heart 
taketh not rest in the night/ Those that have none else to trust to, 
no wonder if they make use of their own endeavours to the uttermost ; 
but he that hath an heavenly Father should not so cumber and distract 
his spirit : Eccles. iv. 8, ' There is one alone, and there is not a second ; 
yea, he hath neither child nor brother ; yet is there no end of all his 
labour ; neither is his eye satisfied with riches ; neither saith he, For 
whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good ? ' The world will not 
let them be quiet ; they toil and moil, and there is no end. When 
men multiply means, they have no trust in God. God is tender of all 
his creatures, much more of the reasonable creature. 

4. Sinful care increaseth upon good duties, but diligent care fairly 
complieth with them. Christ warns his disciples, Luke xxi. 34, ' Take 
heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with 
surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life/ Our care for eter 
nal things doth not carry any proportion to the excellency of them, but 
they are laid aside : Mat. xiii. 22, ' He heareth the word, and the care 
of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it 
becometh unfruitful/ They take up the room, travail, and affection 
which heavenly things should have, so that they have no time to con 
verse with God, or to look into their souls, so that the heart groweth 
poor, lean, distempered, and unfit for holy uses ; they are greedy of 
wealth, and prodigal of salvation. 

Secondly, Whence it ariseth. From a distrust of God, and dis 
content with our portion. 

1. From a distrust of God. Carking takes his work out of his hands, 
as the care of the son is a reproof to the father. You tax his being and 
providence. A child at school taketh no care for maintenance, because 
he hath a father : Mat. vi. 32, ' Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye 
have need of all these things/ 

2. From discontent with our portion. We have never enough, 
and expect more than God will allow : Heb. xiii. 5, ' Let your conver 
sation be without coretousness, and be content with such things as you 
have ; for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee/ It is 
not our necessities, but the enlargement of our desires, that causeth 
carking. We would have more and more worldly goods, which hind- 
ereth us from trusting God's promise, ' I will never leave thee nor forsake 
thee/ The sea hath banks and bottom, but not man's heart. We begin 
and end with nothing, and yet nothing will suffice us. There is a story 
of a discourse between Pyrrhus and Cynicus, when he told him of his 
designs. When thou hast vanquished the Komans, what wilt thou 
then do ? Conquer Sicily. What then ? Subdue Africa. When that 
is effected, what then ? Then we will sit down, and be quiet, and spend 


our time contentedly. And what hinders but thou mayest do so before, 
without all this labour and peril ? 

Thirdly, The cure of it. Cure it by Christ's arguments : Mat. vi. 
25, ' Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall 
drink ; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on : is not the life 
more than meat ? and the body than raiment ? ' &c. 

1. Life is more than meat, and the body than raiment, ver. 25. 
Deus donando debet ; God by giving is become a debtor. Life, without 
any aid of ours, is a pledge of more mercy. God provided us two bottles 
of milk when we were new-born : Ps. xxii. 9, 10, ' Thou art he that 
took me out of the womb ; thou didst make me hope, when I was upon 
my mother's breast. I was cast upon thee from the womb ; thou art 
my God from my mother's belly.' Who formed us, and suckled us, 
and continued us hitherto ? We are unthankful to God if we ascribe 
it to ourselves. 

2. Consider God's providence to other creatures. God feeds the 
fowls : Mat. vi. 26, ' Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, 
neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your heavenly Father 
feedeth them : are not ye better than they ? ' God paints the lilies : 
ver. 28, 29, ' Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil 
not, neither do they spin : and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all 
his glory was not arrayed like one of these.' Luke instances in the 
raven, which is animal cibi rapacissimum, a creature ravenous of food: 
chap. xii. 34, ' Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which 
neither have storehouse nor barn, and God feedeth them.' The raven 
is a bird of providence : Ps. cxlvii. 9, ' He giveth to the beast his food, 
and to the young ravens which cry/ The raven as soon as it is hatched 
it is left to prayer, for the crying of the ravens is their prayer. Now 
ask the beasts if there be not a providence : Job xii. 7, * But ask now 
the beasts, and they will teach thee ; and the fowls of the air, and they 
shall tell thee/ These creatures have no ordinary means, they neither 
sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns ; the lilies spin not ; and yet God 
feedeth and clotheth them ; ' And shall he not much more clothe you ? 
ye of little faith ! ' Mat. vi. 30. 

3. Consider the fruitlessness of our care unless God add a blessing ; 
ver. 27, ' Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his 
stature ? ' A man never gets anything of God by not trusting him. 
He that will not take God's word must look elsewhere. The way to 
obtain earthly things is to be less careful and distracted about them. 

4. Consider it is for them to distrust who know no providence, or no 
particular providence : ver. 32, ' For after all these things do the gentiles 
seek/ Distrust and carking become th none but those that will not 
grant a providence. Shall our profession be Christian, and our practice 
heathen ? 

5. Set your minds on a higher interest : ver. 33, ' But seek ye first 
the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall 
be added unto you/ You then promote both cares at once. Christi 
anity is a compendious way ; the body followeth the state of the soul. 
Man was made to contemplate and enjoy better things ; and when he 
doth so, these things shall be given in over and above. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-11 143 


Righteously, <&c. TITUS ii. 12. 

I NOW come to the second branch, wherein the duty of man is expressed, 
and that is justice or righteousness, which implies the duties of our 
public capacity and relation to others. Though the discourse be moral, 
yet it may conduce to spiritual ends. Therefore let us see what may 
be spoken concerning justice and righteousness. Justice is a grace by 
which we are inclined to perform our duty to our neighbour. There 
are many distinctions usual in this matter, which I shall omit, and only 
deliver you the nature of this grace in some general rules ; and then 
show you how much it concerns us to look after this grace, to be just 
and righteous in the course of our conversation. 

First, To give you the nature of this grace in some general rules, 
and they are such as these. To give every man his own ; to do injury 
to no man ; to make restitution ; to bear the injuries of others with 
patience ; in many cases not to demand our own extreme right ; to do as 
we would be done unto ; public good to be preferred before private ; 
and that according to our power we must be useful to others. 

First rule, To give every man his own. This is laid down, Rom. 
xiii. 7, ' Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute is 
due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour/ 
This due ariseth either by virtue of the law of God, or by virtue of a 
bargain and contract, or by virtue of a voluntary promise. 

1. There is a due that ariseth by virtue of the law of God ; such 
things cannot be dispensed with, therefore the obligation cannot be 
made void. As for instance, a child is to honour his parents by the 
law of God, and a father cannot discharge his child from obedience, as 
we may remit a duty or thing that is due by bargain and contract, 
because we have greater power over it. There is a due to every one, as 
reverence to parents, obedience and tribute to magistrates, double honour 
to ministers and the guides of the church. It is injustice to deny 
parents a respect ; it is theft and robbery to defraud magistrates of their 
tribute or ministers of their maintenance : it is not a gift, but a debt, 
the scripture saith, they are ' worthy of double honour,' 1 Tim. v. 17 ; 
* Let the elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour ; 
especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.' And it is not 
in a begging way, as a contribution, but as an honorary stipend. 
Things that are due by natural duty cannot be dispensed with, as things 
due by bargain and contract, because the obligation cannot be made 

2. There is a due that ariseth by way of bargain and contract : Rom. 
xiii. S/ Owe no man anything, but to love one another.' If money be 
borrowed but not restored, it is theft and injustice. If you bargain 
with another, the full bargain is due to him : 1 Thes. iv. 6, * Let no 
man go beyond or defraud his brother in any matter, because that the 
Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and 
testified/ He is to enjoy his full bargain. The apostle saw a need of 
enforcing this doctrine in the church to prevent the iniquity of traffic. 


The seller is not to work upon the simplicity of the buyer, nor the buyer 
upon the necessity of the seller, but all things must be done equally, else 
God will be offended. But chiefly is this iniquity committed, and that 
it is in an high degree, when the reward you are to give is not bought 
with money, but earned with labour. Defrauding the hireling and 
servants of their wages is a very crying sin, the greatest height of 
iniquity ; it cries in the ears of the Lord of hosts : James v. 4, ' Behold 
the hire of the labourers which have reaped down your fields, which is 
of you kept back by fraud, crieth ; and the cries of them which have 
reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.' God is their 
patron. This is a grievous sin, because it is their life and their sup 
port and solace : Deut. xxiv. 14, 15, ' Thou shalt not oppress an hired 
servant, that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of 
the strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. At his day thou 
shalt give him his hire ; neither shall the sun go down upon it : for he 
is poor, and setteth his heart upon it : lest he cry against thee unto the 
Lord, and it be sin unto thee.' It is often spoken of in scripture. 
There is a greater and more pressing inconvenience to defraud the 
labourer than to defraud others. 

3. Again, there is a due arise th by voluntary promise. We make 
ourselves debtors, and it is part of j ustice to make good our promise, 
though it be to our own hurt and loss : Ps. xv. 4, ' He that sweareth 
to his own hurt, and changeth not/ All promises must be kept but 
those that are evil, and those are void in making. Why ? Because 
they are bonds of iniquity ; so they must be broken, and not kept ; and 
again, because they are contrary to the former promise we have made 
to God to obey his laws. It is evil to make a sinful promise, and it is 
a greater sin to keep it. 

Second rule, Do injury to no man : Jer. xxii. 3, ' Do no wrong, do 
no violence/ Do no wrong to their persons, their names, or their 

1. Not to their persons ; that will not suit with the mildness of re 
ligion. The apostle saith, Phil. ii. 15, ' Be blameless and harmless, the 
sons of God without rebuke.' Man by nature is fierce, ' hateful, and 
hating one another,' Titus iii. 3 ; that is his disposition ; but now the 
children of God their nature is changed ; the Spirit of God is in all his 
members. Now Christ went about doing good ; he did no harm, neither 
was guile found in his mouth ; and if you would be the children of 
God, you must be like him, be harmless. That we may be mindful of 
this, the Lord hath given us an emblem of it almost in all things, 
among the birds, the beasts, the plants, the worms. Among the birds, 
natural men are compared to the eagle and the kite, birds that are 
ravenous ; and a Christian to the dove : Mat. x. 16, ' Be harmless as 
doves.' Among the beasts, natural men are compared to the wolf and 
the lion, and a Christian to the lamb. Among the plants, natural men 
are compared to briers and pricking thorns that cannot be touched. 
Saith the Spirit of God, ( The sons of Belial shall be as thorns thrust 
away, because they cannot be taken with hands/ 2 Sam. xxiii. 6. 
And the children of God are compared to the lily. And then among 
the worms ; wicked men are compared to vipers, Mat. iii. 7, ' gene 
ration of vipers ! ' And the children of God to an innocent worm apt 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS u. 11-14. 145 

to be trod upon, to receive injury, and do none : Ps. xxii. 6, ' I am a 
worm, and no man.' Usually in a well-ordered kingdom the fierceness 
of men is restrained by the severity of laws ; but yet it is bewrayed, and 
breaks out in fury against those that fall under the displeasure of tho 
magistrate, especially for matters of religion, out of blind zeal ; there 
civil men are fierce and cruel. And therefore it is notable that Paul, 
when he makes an acknowledgment of his natural condition, saith, 
1 Tim. i. 13, ' I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious.' That 
Paul was a blasphemer of God and a persecutor of the saints is clear ; 
but how doth he say he was injurious, since elsewhere he said he 
' walked in all good conscience to this day ? ' I suppose it relates to the 
violence of his persecution, to his haling and dragging the saints out 
of their houses, having a commission from the rulers, Acts viii. 3, and 
that he calls injury. Thus it falls out, men are transported by irregu 
larity, heats, and violence, and forget humanity. Now in such cases, 
though the cause be right, yet this violent dragging and insulting over 
those that are in their power is but natural rage let loose ; and this 
Paul confesseth to be his injuriousness, and a crime that kept the same 
pace with his blasphemy and persecution. True zeal is manifested by 
pity and compassion. The heights and fervours of zeal are only neces 
sary when evil men are countenanced, and when it is dangerous to 
appear against them, not when they fall under our power ; then there 
is some pity due to their humanity. 

2. Do no wrong to their names ; next to their persons this is to be 
valued. A slanderer is worse than a thief ; the one is publicly odious, 
but the other robs us of our. better treasure: Prov. xxii. 1, 'A good 
name is rather to be chosen than great riches/ and more conducible to 
our usefulness for God than wealth. A wrong done to the estate is 
sooner repaired than a wrong done to the name of others, for a reproach 
divulged is hardly recalled ; when the wound is cured, yet the scar 
remains ; and therefore this is a very great evil to do wrong to their 
names ; especially when you reproach the godly, and do wrong to them, 
because their discredit lights upon religion. God is much concerned 
in the credit and honour of his servants. You hinder their service, 
and lay them open to the rage of the world. A blemished instrument 
is of little use. Num. xii. 8, saith God, 'Were ye not afraid to 
speak against my servant Moses ? ' To speak against persons eminent 
and useful for God in their age is to render them suspected to the 
world ; and who would drink of a suspected fountain ? You hinder 
their use and serviceableness. And the wrong is greater when one 
Christian blemisheth another, for one scholar to speak against another, 
and one lawyer against another ; so for one Christian to speak against 
another, it aggravates the injury. Therefore, when there is cause to 
speak against a man, it should be with grief. 

3. There must be no wrong to their goods, no invading of right and 
property : Eph. iv. 28, ' Let him that stole steal no more.' Every one is 
against a gross thief ; but the more plausible and secret ways of wrong, 
and getting estates into your hands, or abusing trusts, is theft. The 
apostle there writes to the Ephesians that lived in the city, and by 
iniquity of traffic were likely to heap up an estate to themselves. 

I shall here take occasion to handle a question or two about property. 



[1.] Is there any property, yea or nay ? or must all goods lie in com 
mon ? This was Plato's fancy. Some men think that if all were levelled 
and reduced to a parity, and we did live as fishes in the sea, there 
would be less confusion in the world. But this is contrary to God's 
appointment, who by his wisdom hath cast the world into hills and 
valleys. God is the maker of rich and poor : Prov. xxii. 2, ' The rich 
and the poor meet together ; the Lord is the maker of them all/ And 
Christ saith, Mat. xxii. 11, 'Ye have the poor always with you.' A 
world of mischief would follow otherwise ; if there were no property, 
there would be no justice, whose chief property is to give every man his 
own. There could be no charity. How can we give, if we have no 
thing that we can call our own ? It would hinder diligence and prudent 
administration ; the idle would have as great a share as the i ndustrious 
and diligent ; rewards of special eminency and virtue would be taken 
away. Who would undertake the hardest labours and the condition 
of servants ? Superiority and inferiority is the bond of human society. 
It is God's wisdom to dispose of the conditions and estates of men that 
one should need another, and supply each other's wants and defects. 
The poor need the bounty of the rich, and the rich the labour and 
service of the poor. Object. But what shall we say to the example of 
the primitive times ? Acts iv. 32, ' And the multitude of them that 
believed were of one heart and of one soul ; neither said any of them 
that aught of the things which he possessed was his own, but they 
had all things common/ Ans. This was extraordinary, and it was 
done freely, and not by virtue of any precept, as appears by what 
Peter said to Ananias, chap. v. 4, ' Whilst it remained, was it not thy 
own ? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power ? ' still they 
kept a property to dispose of it as they saw cause. And pray mark, it 
is not said that they did equally divide among them all the things that 
were sold; but, Acts ii. 44, 45, 'All that believed were together, and 
had all things common ; and sold their possessions and goods, and 
parted them to all men, as every man had need/ Here was no level 
ling, but an orderly charity ; there was great necessity, and they believed 
the destruction and desolation of Judea, and therefore in wise foresight 
took this course. And therefore it is notable that it is not said that 
they sold all they had, but only their possessions and inheritances : 
Acts iv. 34, 35, ' As many as were possessors of lands or houses sold 
them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid 
them down at the apostles' feet/ &c. And still it was free ; yet it was 
not taken from them, but freely given by them ; it was not catch who 
catch can, but ' distribution was made unto every man according as ho 
had need/ ver. 35. Some good people kept their houses still, as Mary 
had her. house : Acts xii. 12, 'He came to the house of Mary/ 

[2.] Have wicked men any right in what they do possess ? or may 
they be spoiled as the Canaanites were, and ousted of all their posses 
sions ? I answer Wicked men have a civil right, and that is bank 
enough against violence and invasion of property ; or suppose there 
were no other title but grace, and a man that had not grace were an 
usurper, what a world of inconveniences and confusions would follow ! 
If one man were made judge of another man s grace, how should we 
know who had a right ? Give unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 147 

If it were so, we could not trade with, them ; but Abraham bought the 
field of Mamre. Wicked men have a civil right ; but that is not all, 
they have a right before God, a common right of providence, so that 
they are not usurpers of what they do possess ; it is their portion : Ps. 
xvii. 14, ' From men of the world, which have their portion in this life, 
and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure.' It is true they have 
made a forfeiture as to God, and deserve to lose all, but the sentence 
of the law is not executed upon them ; and therefore by the gift and 
indulgence of God they have a just and free use of such things as fall 
to their share and portion. There cannot be a better title than God's 
own gift. Now God in the general course of his providence giveth 
wicked men many things, as he gave Tyrus to Nebuchadnezzar. He 
that giveth them their lives giveth them meat and drink ; they do 
him common service, and God rewardeth them with common mercies. 
But they have not such a right as God's children, a right from the 
covenant of grace, from God's love, and for their good, but their bless 
ings are salted with a curse. 

Third rule, If wrong be done, restitution must be made. It is not 
enough to reconcile yourselves to God if you have thriven by unjust 
gain, but you must make restitution to men, else the sin remains. There 
is in all such acts the sin and the injury. Now many seek to take 
away the sin while the injury remains, but that cannot be ; and some may 
seek possibly to do away the injury while the sin remains ; they do 
not reconcile themselves to God. In the law of Moses, he that wronged 
his neighbour was to make restitution : Lev. vi. 5, ' He shall restore 
it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it 
unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass-offering/ 
That law speaks of wrong done against our will. The thief that 
wronged with set purpose was to restore fourfold ; but if a man did by 
chance, and against his will, wrong another, when he was convinced of 
it, he was to restore the principal and the fifth part in the day of his 
trespass-offering. Our Lord renews and repeats this sentence of the 
law : Mat. v. 24, * First be reconciled to thy brother, and then come 
and offer thy gift.' It is an allusion to this law, where, on the day of 
their offering, they were to make restitution. This is the only way to 
retract the wrong. As long as you retain the use and fruit of your 
fraudulent practices, the sin and the injury is continued, and there 
can be no true repentance. In the very counterfeit repentance of 
Judas there is a kind of restitution ; it is a necessary fruit of grace. 
When salvation was come to Zaccheus' house, and he was converted, 
he offers the restitution of the law : ' If I have taken anything from 
any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold,' Luke xix. 8. 
Therefore the continuance of gain gotten by fraud upbraideth the 
tender conscience with the sin. Non remittitur peccatum, nisi resti- 
tuatur ablatum ; and if you should be disabled from restitution, your 
acknowledgment must be very serious and humble, and take shame to 
yourself, and do what you can. And if servants have purloined from 
their masters, or if any have thriven by iniquity of traffic, restore as far 
as possibly you can. He that can rectify the injury and doth not, cloth 
not repent, and God will not accept him. If the party wronged be not 
living, it must be given to the next heir, if none of the line be found, 


it must be given to God ; for as long as it remains with you, it is an 
accursed thing, and will bring a curse on all the rest. If you have 
wronged others in their names, make them all the satisfaction you can. 
Christ drew from Peter a treble profession of his love, to answer his 
threefold denial. By all public vindications you should seek to heal the 
wound you have made. Take an instance of one that accused a bishop 
at Jerusalem falsely ; God touched his heart that he wept his eyes 

Fourth rule, You must bear the injuries of others with patience rather 
than revenge them. If patience be not a part of justice, I am sure 
private revenge is a part of injustice, because you take God's work out 
of his hands, and you make yourselves magistrates without a com 
mission : Kom. xii. 9, * Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather 
give place unto wrath ; for it is written, Vengeance is mine ; I will 
repay, saith the Lord.' You must leave it to God and his deputies. 
It is an usurpation and against all right to avenge yourselves, that a 
man should be an accuser, judge, and executioner, and all in his own 
cause, where self-love is apt to make us partial. If we are fit to 
be an accuser, certainly not to be judge and executioner. It crosseth 
the ends of just revenge, which are to right the party wronged, or 
mend the party offending, or to provide for public safety. He that 
avengeth his own quarrel doth but more and more enrage his adver 
sary, scandalise others and not right himself. In taking wrong we 
suffer evil, in returning wrong we do evil ; the one is our affliction, the 
other is our sin. It will be no excuse for you to say you were wronged 
first. See how the Spirit of God takes off these pleas : Prov. xxiv. 29, 
' Say not thou, I will do so to him as he hath done to me ; I will 
render to the man according to his work.' This is but a continuance 
and reciprocation of injustice. So Prov. xx. 29, ' Say not thou, I will 
recompense evil ; but wait on the Lord and he will save thee/ I 
remember Lactantius hath a pretty saying in this case, Qui par pari 
referre nititur, ipsum a quo Icesus est imiiatur Kevenge and injury 
differ only in order ; he that begins the injury goeth before in mischief ; 
and he that requites it comes as fast after as he can ; he doth but 
delight to follow that which he saw go before him. If you judge it 
evil in others, why do you fall into the like yourselves ? What care 
hath he of justice and goodness that imitateth that which he acknow- 
ledgeth to be evil ? It is no excuse to say he began ; his doing wrong 
to thee doth not dissolve the obligation of God's law, or the binding 
power it hath upon thy conscience. Nay, the return of injuries argues 
you to be the more malicious, because it is a more willing, a more 
knowing act. 

Fifth rule, We must be so far from wronging any man, that in many 
cases we must not demand our own extreme right : Phil. iv. 5, ' Let 
your moderation be known unto all men ; the Lord is at hand.' Your 
moderation, ewei/ceia ; it signifies the mitigating of the extremity of 
justice : James iii. 17, ' The wisdom that is from above is peaceable 
and gentle.' Extreme right is but an injury when you do not all you 
may do by the letter of the law out of lenity and Christian forbearance. 
Power stretched to the utmost is but tyranny ; and when the words of 
the law are urged contrary to the end, the law is made a pattern of sin 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14, 149 

and unjust dealing. In short, this equity and moderation lieth in not 
interpreting things doubtful to the worst sense : Eccles. vii. 16, 'Be not 
righteous overmuch; ' when we do not interpret things rigorously that are 
receptive, and capable of more plausible interpretations, when we depart 
from our own right for just and convenient reasons : Ps. Ixix. 4, * I 
restored that which I took not away.' For peace's sake much may bq 
done, that we may not dishonour God, nor vex others for every trifle ; 
the good of others is to be considered, that we may not undo them, 
though it be our right. Thus Paul departed from his own right, ' to 
cut off occasion from them that desire occasion,' 2 Cor. xi. 12. He 
would labour with his hands rather than lose an opportunity of spread 
ing the gospel : 2 Thes. iii. 8, ' Neither did we eat any man's bread for 
nought, but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we 
might not be chargeable to any of you.' Paul took no maintenance. 
The spiritual things we sow are above your best carnal things. Con* 
sidering our labour and pains, the bread we eat is bought at the dearest 
rate. We have a right, but for God's glory, and not to lay a stumbling- 
block in the way of young converts, we recede from it. You are not 
to exact all your labours, Isa. Iviii. 3. When you hold poor men to a 
bargain that is burdensome, it is injustice ; and thus our Lord Christ 
himself paid tribute to avoid scandal. 

Sixth rule, Do as you would be done unto : Mat. vii. 12, ' Therefore 
all things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye 
even so unto them ; for this is the law and the prophets ; ' this is the 
scope of scriptures. This saying the Koman Emperor Severus much 
admired, and wrote it upon many places of his palace ; for it is a rule 
serves in all cases. If we would do as we would be done unto, what 
lives might we lead ? We are very tender of our own interest, give a 
favourable sentence in our own case, and are very sensible of the wrong 
done to us ; we would not be circumvented by a fraudulent bargain, 
we would not be detracted in our own names, we would have our 
infirmities hidden and not divulged, we would be succoured in such 
distresses ; now do so to them. If in all cases we would do aright and 
judge aright, let us change the persons, and suppose ourselves in 
another's case, Would I have others thus do with me ? But how is 
this law to be understood ? Some lay violent hands upon themselves, 
others desire things sinful, as to be drunk and to commit adultery. I 
answer It is meant of what we wish to ourselves, by a regular self-love,, 
and a free and unperverted will. ' 

Again, it holdeth not in duties of relations ; it is not just that the. 
father should do that to the children which he would have the children- 
do to him, as to give honour and reverence and the like. So in all 
relations between inferiors and superiors, it is to be understood if we- 
were in their place and in the like condition ; as if I were a son, or if 
I were a servant. Still take the person of him with whom thou dealest 
upon thyself ; that right which you would have others do to you, as 
you would be kindly dealt with in buying and selling, in pardoning 
injuries, forgiving unadvised wrongs, do you the same to others. This 
will help us to keep a good conscience in all our dealings. 

Seventh rule, Public good is to be sought as well as private, and in 
many cases to be preferred before it. No man is born for himself, and 


therefore it is injustice when men mind only their own things, and are 
wholly taken up with fulfilling their own wills and desires. God hath 
commanded us to love one another ; he hath devolved upon one man 
the respects of all the world in effect ; for all men are bound to love 
thee and seek thy good. What is the reason of this but to engage and 
oblige us the more to seek the good one of another : Eom. xii. 5, ' We 
are all members one of another ; ' the members seek the good of the 
body. The stomach receives meat not for itself, but to disperse it for 
the use of the whole body. When men are of a narrow private spirit, 
and do not seek the welfare of others, they sin against nature and grace. 
Man is tyov TroXirtKov, a sociable creature ; if he could live by himself, 
then he might live to himself. Human society is founded upon com 
munion and commerce, and therefore we are bound to seek the good 
one of another. There is a great body to which all the members must 
have respect. As in a clock all the wheels move one another, and each 
part receiveth help one from another, so every one should mind the 
common good, and be sensible of the common evil : 1 Cor. x. 24, ' Let 
no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth ; ' not his own 
exclusively ; it is not to be understood in sensu conjuncto, not his own 
so as to neglect and exclude the care of the public. We are not to live 
as beasts, eyery one to shift for himself ; but human society is maintained 
by communion and converse. Yea, in many cases others' good is to be 
sought more than our own : Kom. xv. 3, ' For even Christ pleased not 
himself ; ; for the common good of the elect he regards not his own life. 
And this example we are to follow : 1 John iii. 16, ' Hereby perceive 
we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us ; and we ought 
to lay down our lives for the brethren ; ' that is, my single life to save 
the community ; 1 must promote their spiritual good with the loss of 
my temporals ; my interest must be exposed to hazard for a more pub 
lic good. 

Eighth rule, We must help others according to our power. This is 
a part of righteousness. In the law it is said, ' It shall be righteousness 
unto thee before the Lord thy God,' Deut. xxiv. 13 ,wheri it speaks of 
the poor's due. Carnal, wicked, covetous men stand upon property ; 
1 Sam. xxv. 11, 'Shall I take my bread and my water, and my flesh 
that I have killed for my shearers ? ' &c. Thy estate is not thy own, 
but God's ; it is ours in law, but God's in use, and you are but stewards 
for him. This will be no plea in the day of judgment to say, It was 
my own, and I did not rob others : thou art a thief before God, if thou 
givest not. He that useth not his estate as God would have him use 
it, is a spiritual thief : Prov. iii. 27, ' Withhold not good from them to 
whom it is due, when it is in the power of thy hand to do it.' When 
the poor are cast upon thee by God's providence, they are a kind of 
owners ; that which thou detainest from them is theirs ; it is not ours 
when Christ calleth for it, and his members need it. Ambrose saith, 
Non qui capit aliena, sed qui non dedit sua, &c. Though we have done 
no wrong, yet if we have not disposed our goods and estate for God's 
glory, it is injustice and sin ; as stewards must dispose of goods accord 
ing to the mind of the master. 

Secondly, What reason have we to look after this grace of righteous 
ness, and to be just ? 

VER. 12.J SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 151 

1. It is a piece of God's image : Eph. iv. 24, ' That ye put on the 
new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holi 
ness.' Nothing makes us so like God as righteousness ; we must be like 
God not only in holiness, but in righteousness. See the distinction 
between these two ; the one signifies purity of nature, and the other 
justice and equity in our dealing and conversation. For God is holy 
in all his ways, and righteous in all his works ; his essence is holy, and 
his administrations just. So the new man is created after God in 
righteousness and true holiness ; be like God in both. 

2. It is an evidence of the truth of grace to walk in all your relations 
righteously, amiably, and justly. We are bidden 'to bring forth fruits 
worthy of repentance/ Luke iii. 8 ; that is, such as are meet evidences 
that there is a change wrought. What are these ? Defraud no man ; 
* Exact no more than is appointed you,' ver. 13. And when the 
soldiers came to ask, What shall we do ? he said, ' Do violence to no 
man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages/ ver. 
14. And that is the reason the children of God so much stand upon 
their righteousness, because it is an evidence of their interest in grace : 
Job xxvii. 6, ' My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go ; ' 
Acts x. 35, ' In every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh right 
eousness, is accepted with him.' Still it is made to be the evidence that 
God hath taken us into his own grace, and that we are heirs of salvation. 

3. It is a delight and rejoicing to God to see his children just and 
righteous in all their dealings. God exceedingly hates iniquity in 
traffic and commerce : Deut. xxv. 15, 16, ' Thou shalt have a perfect 
and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have ; that thy 
days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth 
thee : for all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are 
an abomination to the Lord thy God/ And it is repeated again : Prov. 
xx. 10, ' Divers weights and divers measures both of them are alike 
abomination to the Lord/ But now it is said, Prov. xv. 9, 'Heloveth 
him that follows after righteousness/ So Ps. cvi. 3, ' Blessed are they 
that keep j udgment and he that doth righteousness at all times/ 

4. It is necessary for the honour of religion. Grace teacheth us to 
live soberly and righteously. Truants at school are a reproach and 
disgrace to the skill of the teacher ; and so carnal professors are a 
reproach to God. If men are unrighteous, they never learned it of 
grace. Hypocrites usually abound in acts of worship and duties of 
the first table, but they seldom make conscience of duties of the 
second table, here they bewray themselves. What is the cry of the 
world ? None so unjust and unrighteous in their dealings as those 
that profess religion ; this brings a reproach upon the ways of God : 
Neh. v. 9, ' It is not good that ye do : ought ye riot to walk in the fear 
of our God, because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?' 
It is high time to vindicate religion, and do it all the right we can, 
and make it comely : Horn. xii. 17, ' Provide things honest in the sight 
of all men/ The wicked world are apt to speak ill of the gospel of 
God. Now the Lord would have the world know that there is no such 
friend to human society as his grace. The ancient fathers were wont 
to make challenges, Dent imperator-es tales, tales consules, tales exac- 
toresfaci, talem exercitum, &c. Let all the world show such emperors, 

152 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14, [SfiR. X. 

princes, magistrates, such treasurers, such soldiers as the Christian 
religion can. But religion is mightily made a contempt when men 
make it to be the pretence of vile practices. 

5. It will be for your own comfort, whatever falls out in the world, 
good or evil. Samuel could say, 1 Sam. xii. 3, 'Whose ox have I 
taken ? or whose ass have I taken ? or whom have I defrauded ? whom 
have I oppressed ? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind 
mine eyes therewith ? ' If good come, Prov. xvi. 8, ' Better is a little 
with righteousness, than great revenues without right ; ' and in death 
you will die comfortably when you can wash your hands in innocency. 

6. Consider how just some of the heathens have been, and shall 
grace come short? What a disparagement is this, as if grace did 
teach thee to be unjust ! Kegulus when he had passed his word, though 
it were to endure an exquisite torment, yet he would not break it. 
Curius Dentatus, when he had been employed in the highest services 
of state, as general of an army, yet after he returns to the plough again, 
not enriched at all with public spoils. Of Aristides it was said, you 
may sooner pull the sun out of heaven than turn Aristides out of his 
course. Scsevola buying a piece of ground, and the seller setting too 
low a price, saith he, This is too little, and he gave a great deal more. 
Abimelech would not have taken Sarah if he had understood she was 
Abraham's wife. Now shall nature do more than grace ? 

And godly, &c. TITUS ii. 12. 

I COME to the third branch used by the apostle, wherein the duty of 
man is expressed, and that is godliness. Here we have a perfect dis 
tribution of the duty of the creature. The duties of our personal 
capacity are expressed by sobriety ; the duties of our public relation 
and commerce with others are expressed in the word righteously ; and 
then all those intercourses that are to pass between God and us, 
and the whole tendency of the soul towards God, is expressed by the 
word godly. The scripture speaks of godliness, and of the exercise of 
godliness : 1 Tim. iv. 7, * Exercise thyself unto godliness/ Therefore 
I shall inquire (1.) What godliness is ; (2.) How it must be exercised, 
or what it is to live godly, the phrase used here. 

1. What godliness is. It is a thing not only distinct from righteous 
ness and honesty, but also from holiness. It is the opposite part of the 
distinction to honesty : 1 Tim. vi. 11, ' Follow after righteousness, 
godliness, faith/ &c. By righteousness he meaneth the duties of the 
second table ; and by godliness the duties of the first. More expressly : 
1 Tim. ii. 2, ' That we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all god 
liness and honesty.' The apostle presseth Christians there to pray for the 
conversion of the magistrate, who is custos utriusque tdbulce, that so he 
may promote the duties of both the tables. If any difference should 
arise about godliness, or about the institutions of Christ, there the 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 153 

magistrate may interpose for the defence and safety of the first table ; 
and that we might live peaceably for the exercise of it; and so for 
honesty in the second table. But it is also to be distinguished from 
holiness : 2 Peter iii. 11, ' What manner of persons ought ye to be in all 
holy conversation and godliness ? ' Holiness notes purity of heart and 
life, and an abhorrence from evil ; but godliness denoteth. more dis 
tinctly a tendency of the heart and carriage towards God ; and there 
fore God is said to be holy, but not to be godly ; because it is a grace 
proper to the creature, and implies inferiority and subordination, a 
tendency towards God as the highest Lord and chiefest good, as holi 
ness denoteth excellency and perfection. Briefly, godliness may be thus 
described : It is a religious temper and frame of heart, by which we 
are inclined to look after the right worship, and to aim at the glory of 
the true God. To the constitution of godliness there are graces neces 
sary and ordinances; that which sway eth and inclineththe heart is grace; 
that about which it is conversant are the ordinances of worship. 

Therefore I shall inquire 

First, What graces are necessary to make up this religious temper 
and frame of heart. 

Secondly, What are the ordinances about which it is conversant. 

First, The principal graces that are necessary to this frame of heart 
are faith, fear, and love. 

1. Faith is necessary, partly that we may have a right apprehension 
of God, which by nature we cannot have. It is not godliness, but 
idolatry, superstition, and formality, until we have a right knowledge 
of God. The Samaritans worshipped the true God, and yet it is said, 
John iv. 22, ' Ye worship ye know not what.' To worship God out of 
form and blind custom, it is to make him an idol. But chiefly is faith 
required, because trust is the ground of all the other respect that pass- 
eth between God and us. Look, as unbelief is the ground of all 
disrespect and departure from God : Heb. iii. 12, ' Take heed lest there 
be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living 
God ;' ' so is faith and trust the ground of all true respect. You know 
our first parents fell by unbelief. First, Satan seeks to weaken their 
faith in the promise ; first he told them, ' Ye shall not surely die,' Gen. 
iii. 4 ; then ' Ye shall be as gods/ ver. 5. First he persuaded them to 
unbelief, before he persuaded them to ambition, and aspiring after the 
dignity of the divine nature. This is the root of all. Men care not 
for God, because they do not believe him upon his word. But now 
faith is the mother of all respect, of all devotion and obedience to God. 
When we believe that he is, and is a rewarder of those that come to 
him, this is that which makes us seek him diligently. To evidence 
this by the influence which faith hath upon the soul, there are two 
powerful affections by which the spiritual life is acted and carried on, 
and they are fear and love, and they both need the influence of faith. 
There can be no fear till we are persuaded of his being and power whom 
we cannot see with bodily eyes ; but put on the spectacles of faith, arid 
so we ' see him that is invisible,' Heb. xi. 27. God is within the cur 
tain of the heavens ; and carnal men say, Tush ! he cannot see : Job 
xxii. 12-14, ' Is not God in the height of heaven ? and behold the 
height of the stars, how high are they ? And thou sayest, How doth 

154: SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SEE. X. 

God know ? can he judge through the dark cloud ? Thick clouds are 
a covering to him, that he seeth not, and he walketh in the circuit of 
heaven/ They cannot see him, and think he cannot see them ; as the 
panther hideth his head in a bush, and then thinks the hunter doth 
not see him ; and that is the ground of all disobedience and carnal 
conversation. But now faith opens the eye, and carrieth us within the 
curtain and veil, and discovers the invisible God upon his throne of 
glory, without which sight we cannot fear him. So for love (the other 
powerful affection), that flows from faith, for our love is but a reflex 
of God's love, but a reverberation and beating back of God's beam upon 
himself: 1 John iv. 19, 'We love him because he loved us first/ 
There must be first a sense and persuasion of his love to us in Christ, 
and then we love him again. The more we feel the comfortable effects 
of God's love in the conscience, the more is the heart inflamed with 
desire of performing love and service and subjection to God again ; and 
therefore faith is said to ' work by love/ Gal. v. 6, and make use of the 
sweetness of God's love to carry on duty and obedience. Look, as the 
more directly the beams of the sun do fall upon any solid and smooth 
body, the more strong is the reflection of heat again. The less of 
jealousy and doubts of God's love, and the more God's love is darted 
and reflected upon the soul, there is the more service and care to glorify 
God, and to do him respect and honour. Thus faith, the radical grace, 
is necessary for this temper and frame of heart, which is called godli 
ness, and inclineth us to worship and glorify God. 

2. Fear and love are likewise necessary. I join them together, be 
cause they do best mixed ; love with fear, that it may not be servile ; 
and fear with love, that it may not be careless and secure ; both are 
gospel graces. In the Old Testament, when God's dispensations were 
more legal, and God is represented as a judge, fear is more spoken of ; but 
in the New Testament, where more of grace is discovered, love is more 
spoken of ; but both are necessary. Fear and love are indeed essential 
respects of the creature to God ; therefore both continue in heaven ; 
and they are of great use in the spiritual life to maintain piety. Fear 
is necessary, that we may keep God always in our eye ; and love, that 
we may keep him always in our hearts. Fear restrains from offence, 
and love urgeth to work and service. Fear thinks of God's eye, and 
represents him as a looker-on; and love remembers God's kindness. 
Fear makes us cautious and watchful, and stirs up aweful thoughts that 
we may not offend God and grieve his Spirit ; and love works a desire 
to enjoy him, and a care to glorify him, wherein indeed true godliness 
consists ; for godliness in its proper notion importeth a tendency of the 
heart towards God, either to enjoy him, which is our happiness, or to 
glorify him, which is our work and duty. And^ therefore love is of 
great use, it stirs up desires to enjoy God ; and fear, which stirs up 
care to glorify God. Fear makes us upright, because of God's eye ; 
and love makes us diligent and earnest, because we are about God's 
wqrk, who hath been gracious to us in Christ. The one makes us seri 
ous, the other active ; so that they are both of great use to constitute 
that frame and temper of heart wherein piety consists. Well, then, he 
is godly that feareth God, for he would not offend him ; and he is 
godly that loves God, because all his care and desire is to serve him, 
and enjoy him. 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 155 

Secondly, The ordinances about which godliness is conversant. 
Because particulars are most affective, let me speak a word of each. 
The ordinances which manifest, which nourish which increase godli 
ness, are these reading, hearing, meditating, prayer, the useof the 
seals, and keeping of the sabbath. 

1. Heading the word. The words of scripture have a proper efficacy. 
The Holy Ghost is the best preacher, therefore it is good now and then 
to go to the fountain ourselves, and not only to have the word brought 
to us by others, but to read it ourselves. As the eunuch, Acts viii. 
28, when he returned from public worship, he was reading the scrip 
ture, and God owned it by sending him an interpreter. Every ordi 
nance hath its proper blessing, and when we use it out of conscience, 
God will not be wanting. He that sent Philip to the eunuch will 
send his own Spirit to help thee, therefore read the word. Daniel the 
prophet, that had the highest visions from Gcd, yet he studies other 
prophecies, those of Jeremiah : Dan. ix. 2, * I Daniel understood by 
books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to 
Jeremiah the prophet.' Mark, the study of the scripture is a duty that 
lies upon those that are most gifted and most eminent for parts. Nay, 
the prophets and holy men of God read over again, and studied their 
own prophecies : 1 Peter i. 10, ' Of which salvation the prophets have 
inquired, and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that 
should come unto you.' And if they that were guided by an infallible 
Spirit, immediately inspired by the Holy Ghost, if they thought fit to 
read, and read again and again their own prophecies, and inquire dili 
gently into the salvation they spoke of, much more is it our duty to 
read the word. None is above the ordinance of reading ; that is one 
ordinance which nourisheth godliness. 

2. Hearing. One institution must not jostle out another. It is not 
enough to read at home, but you must also hear and attend upon pub 
lic preaching : Kom. x. 14, { How shall they believe in him of whom 
they have not heard ? ' It is God's ordinance. Seldom is grace got 
by reading. We have our confirmation by reading, but usually con 
version is by hearing ; therefore do not reason against this duty, and 
say, You can provide yourselves with books. You are not wiser than 
God ; his will should be reason enough, though the institution should 
be never so mean and despicable : 1 Cor. i. 21, ' It pleased God by the 
foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.' All God's institu 
tions are full of wisdom and full of reason. There is some help cer 
tainly in hearing, there is a ministerial excitation which is of some use. 
Look, as warmed milk is fitter to nourish than that which is cold, so 
the word of God delivered by a lively voice hath a greater congruity 
and suitableness to the work of grace. As the ear was the door by 
which death got into the soul, by hearkening to the temptation, so God 
would have the ear to be the sense of grace, and the door of life and 
peace. In the church hearing is exercised, as in heaven, seeing. Our 
happiness in heaven is expressed by vision and sight ; but in the church 
hearing is our duty, and our benefits and advantages corae in by 
attending upon the word ; therefore it is good to take all occasions, and 
to 'be swift to hear/ James i. 19. Though we know a great deal 
already, and have never so great parts, yet we need a monitor to represent 
the things of God to us, and to awaken our consideration, and lay them 

156 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. X. 

before our eyes ; and though we know many things, we are forgetful, 
and do not think of them. It is good to come to this duty, that we 
may be put in remembrance. 

3. Meditation, a neglected thing ; but it falleth under the care of 
godliness as well as others. It is not enough to exercise the eyes and 
the ears, but the thoughts. God deserves the best use, and the flower 
and strength of our reason ; and the things of God deserve considera 
tion, being so difficult and so excellent. Especially should we medi 
tate upon the word we hear, for then there is matter to work upon, 
and somewhat whereby to fix the thought: Ps. Ixii. 10, ' God hath 
spoken once, twice have I heard this/ That which God speaks we 
should go over again and again in our thoughts ; as when a man hath 
been hearing of bells, the sound hovereth in the brain when the bells 
cease. Thus and thus hath God spoken to-day, and what shall I say 
to these things ? This is like grinding of the corn ; it prepares and 
makes it fit nourishment for the soul. So meditate upon what you 
read : Josh. i. 8, ' The book of the law shall not depart out of thy 
mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night.' And this I 
suppose is that meditation which is required of the simpler sort of 
Christians. Certainly it is every one's duty to meditate, but every one 
hath not riches of invention, and cannot command their thoughts ; they 
are slow of conception : what then ? Shall they continually live in the 
neglect of a necessary duty ? No ; here is a help ; read, and ponder 
what thou readest ; urge thy soul ; do as the clean beasts, chew the 
cud ; go over and over it again. You have often seen the beasts, when 
they have done feeding, chew over their food again, and so prepare it 
for the stomach ; thus may the meanest Christians do, they may urge 
their hearts with what they read ; whereas their thoughts are not like 
a ball struck against a wall, that cometh to hand again, but as a ball 
struck into the open air, that returneth not. Certainly meditation is 
one of the exercises of godliness ; and they that delight in the law of 
God will be meditating, pressing and fixing it on their hearts : Ps. i. 
2, ' His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he medi 
tate day and night ; ' for we muse upon what we love. 

4. Prayer, that is another exercise of godliness. Here we have our 
constant commerce with God. If there were no other use of prayer 
but only to appear before God to do our homage, to profess our service 
and dependence upon him, it were enough ; but it is a means of spiri 
tual acquaintance ; by these private soliloquies God and the soul grow 
intimate, and we unbosom ourselves to God, as intimate friends are 
often together speaking one to another. Prayer is such a necessary 
duty and a part of godliness, that it is often put for the whole worship 
of God : Acts ii. 21, ' Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, 
shall be saved ; ' it is only expressed by that. On the other side, athe 
ism is expressed by not calling on God's name : Ps. xiv. 4, ' Who eat 
up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.' There 
is not a swine but is better regarded than God ; they are tended morn 
ing and evening, but God is forgotten. Oh ! what honour is put upon 
dust and ashes to speak to the great God ! Prayer is to be reckoned 
among our privileges. If we had such freedom of access to an earthly 
prince, we would not reckon it a burden. It is a part of our liberty by 
Christ, that was purchased at a dear rate ; therefore let us often call 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 157 

upon God with thankfulness. God hath been at a great deal of cost 
to erect a throne of grace that we may pray with confidence : ' Having 
boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus/ Heb. x. 19. 
If a charitable man should see a company of beggars wandering in the 
street in the time of worship, and their pretence is that there is no 
room for them in the public place of meeting, and he should build 
a chapel for them, they would be without excuse. God hath been at 
great cost to provide a throne of grace, that we might not neglect 

5. Singing of psalms, that is one of the exercises of godliness, and 
is of great use in the spiritual life, though usually it be performed per 
functorily and customarily. It is chiefly required as a solemn profes 
sion of worship. As far as the voice will extend, we proclaim it to all 
the world that we are not ashamed of God's worship. David calls 
upon the nations to make a joyful noise to God : Ps. Ixvi. 1,2,' Make a 
joyful noise unto God, all ye lands ; sing forth the honour of his name, 
make his praise glorious.' As it is the custom of nations to proclaim 
what they would have noted and observed, by sound of drum and trum 
pet, so by singing we manifestly own God's worship and service. But 
this is not all; it is an excellent way of instruction: Col. iii. 16, 
* Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and 
spiritual songs ; singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord.' It 
was one means of Austin's conversion, Quantum fluminis in liymnis et 
canticis suavi sonantis ecdesice ? How did he weep and mourn when 
he heard the psalms sung by the church, to think of the mercies and 
dispensations of God to the church. And it is a fruit and effect of 
spiritual delight, the vent we give to it. Look, as drunkards, when 
filled with carnal mirth, they howl out their wanton songs, so when the 
soul is filled with spiritual consolation, it breaks out into singing. The 
apostle alludes to it: Eph. v. 18, 19, ' Be not drunk with wine, wherein 
is excess, but be filled with the Spirit ; speaking to one another in psalms, 
and hymns, and spiritual songs ; singing and making melody in your 
heart to the Lord.' It gives vent to strong spiritual affections when 
the heart is ravished and overcome with the love of God. It is a more 
distinct and fixed reading, a reading with meditation. Singing and 
meditation are put for the same thing : Ps. civ. 33, 34, ' I will sing 
unto the Lord as long as I live ; I will sing praises to my God while I 
have my being ; my meditation of him shall be sweet.' Singing is but 
a more distinct pronunciation, that we may have more liberty for 
thought and meditation as we go over those portions of scripture that 
are sung in the church. 

6. A religious use of the seals. Baptism must not be forgotten, though 
not to be reiterated. Look, as Christ told Peter when he washed his 
feet, John xiii. 7, ' What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt 
know hereafter ; ' so you are to look after the fruits and effects of your 
baptism, and of your engagement to Christ in your infancy, and what 
benefit you have by virtue of your being baptized into Christ. But 
especially the use of the supper ; that is one of the exercises of godliness ; 
it is the seal of the covenant. It is called, ' The new testament in 
Christ's blood/ Luke xxii. 20 ; that is, it is a sign and seal of it. 
Sacramental speeches must be understood sacramentally. Now this is 
a high condenscension on God's part (with what reverence should wo 


come to such an ordinance !) as if his word did not suffice, but we 
must have all ways of ratification and assurance. The Lord's supper 
is the map of the gospel; all the mysteries of salvation are here 
abridged ; it is the epitome of the gospel, Christ's public monument to 
the church. Look, as kings will not only have their royal acts and 
deeds recorded in faithful chronicles, but also erect a public monument 
to keep up their' memory, so the Lord Christ would not only have 
his royal acts recorded in the chronicles of the scripture, but hath 
erected this public monument, that we may remember what he did for 
us, how he triumphed over principalities and powers, and made a spoil 
of them openly. It is a visible pledge of his second coming. Christ 
would have it celebrated in the church to awaken our hopes, our 
thoughts, and our desires, till he come again in person to convey 
us into his Father's bosom. It is a mysterious instrument and means 
God hath found out to convey comfort and grace to the soul, to work 
out a union between him and the creature. We do not only draw 
nigh to God, but are united to him. It is the beginning and antepast 
of glory ; so much Christ intimates, Mat. xxvi. 29, ' I will not hence 
forth drink of the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new 
with you in my Father's kingdom/ It is a taste of the new wine we 
shall drink with Christ, those spiritual consolations we shall receive 
from him in his kingdom. 

7. Keeping the Sabbath day holy. It is a sure mark of an ungodly 
person to be a Sabbath-breaker, as a conscionableness to celebrate it to 
God's glory is both a mark and a work of godliness. It is the 
description of the godly eunuch, Isa. Ivi. 4> "Thus saith the Lord 
to the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things 
that please me, and take hold of my covenant/ Mark, it is one of 
the chiefest things that is taken notice of there, the observation of 
God's own day. If you would exercise yourselves to godliness, this is 
a great means. Profaning the Lord's day is the cause of profaneness all 
the week after ; and so a careless keeping the Lord's day is the cause of 
the carelessness and formality you are guilty of in the business of 
religion. God hath appointed this day for a repose for the soul, that, 
by a long uninterrupted continuance in worship, it might be more 
seasoned, and fit to converse with God all the week after. Dost thou 
love Christ ? then observe his day. Ignatius calls it the queen of days. 
The primitive Christians were very careful of the Sabbath , they would 
run all hazards rather than not keep the Sabbath day. When they 
were accused as guilty of Sabbath-violation, they would answer, I am a 
Christian, how can I choose but love the Lord's day ? This is the day 
wherein we do most solemnly and publicly profess the worship of God ; 
therefore it is to be celebrated with all care. Thus much for the 
description of godliness from the disposition of the heart, and the 
duties about which it is conversant. 

II. I am to speak of the exercise of godliness: 1 Tim. iv. 7, 
' Exercise thyself to godliness/ It must 'be exercised both in worship 
and conversation: 2 Peter iii. 11, ' What manner of persons ought ye 
to be in all holy conversation and godliness ? ' 

First, In worship. What is the part and office of godliness in 
worship P 

1. There must be a care that it be right. God will not be at the 

VER. 12.] . SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-11 159 

creatures' carving ; his honour is best kept up by his own institutions, 
and therefore he will accept nothing but what he requires. The 
woman of Samaria, as soon as she was converted, inquired after the 
right worship. Christ had convinced her of lewdness, and living in 
adultery : John iv. 18, ' The man thou now hast is not thy husband.' The 
great thing that troubled her was her present standing, and the super 
stition she was nursed and brought up in : ver. 20, ' Our fathers 
worshipped in this mountain ; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the place 
where men ought to worship/ As soon as men are awakened, that is 
the question; they can no longer be content with their ignorant, 
senseless, careless, ceremonial worshipping of God, and say, Thus our 
fathers did ; this will not serve the conscience when it is a little stirred. 
It is said of the people of God, Jer. 1. 5, ' They shall ask the way to 
Sion with their faces thitherward/ Sion was the place of God's 
residence and solemn worship ; and it is the disposition of his people 
still to be inquisitive after the way to Sion, how God is worshipped. I 
speak not this to unsettle men, and to draw them to scepticism and 
irresolution, but partly that they might settle upon better grounds than 
tradition, public consent, and the example of men. Cyprian observes 
that this is the reason men are so fickle, so inconstant, so soon off and on, 
they do not practise those things upon good grounds. None so incon 
stant as they that practise things right and good, but not upon 
principles. And partly that men may not content themselves with a 
cheap worship, such as costs them nothing, as when they do not 
inquire about the grounds and reasons of what they do, or when they 
do but even as others do. We should be still searching ' and proving 
what is acceptable unto the Lord/ Eph. v. 10, and 'seek for knowledge 
as for silver, and search for her as for hid treasures,' Prov. iii. 4. It is 
a thing of great care and exactness to be a Christian, to be right in 
God's worship. Usually men serve God at random and at peradventure; 
and if they be right, it is but a happy mistake ; they do not inquire 
and search, and so miss of a great deal of comfort, settlement, and 
experience in the way of God. 

2. There is required constancy and zeal in the profession of God's 
worship. This is religion, to be zealous for "God's institutions, to 
contend for the faith of the saints, and hate what is contrary to right 
worship and sound doctrine : Ps. cxix. 104, ' Through thy precepts I get 
understanding, therefore I hate every false way ; ' and ver. 128, ' There 
fore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I 
hate every false way/ This is the effect of the knowledge of the truth, 
to hate all falsehood, idolatry, and superstition, as much as they love 
God's institutions, that they may not be entangled, and so either deceive 
others, or be deceived themselves, by the craft of them that lie in wait 
for such an enterprise. Whenever they hear or read any such doctrines, 
the heart nauseateth them ; there is a rising of heart not only against 
corruptions of manners, but falsehood of doctrine. But if men be 
indifferent, come what may come, Christ or antichrist, they care not 
greatly, their religion is worth nothing. If you do not hate heresy and 
corruption in worship, there is no true religion or godliness in you. 
Heretics and men in a false way seldom hate one another though they 
differ in principles Why ? Because ihqy have not a love to truth. 

160 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [$ER. X. 

But those that love the truth prize the institutions of God ; there is a 
displeasure in their hearts against any false way. 

3. There must be frequency in the practice of it. God and their souls 
must not grow strangers. Things that are not used contract rust, as a 
key seldom turned in the lock turns with difficulty. So it will not 
stand with your spiritual welfare to omit duty long. Much spiritual 
exercise keeps the soul in health and sweet ; as the oftener they drain 
the well, the sweeter the water is. By running and breathing your 
selves every day, you are the fitter to run in a race ; so the oftener you 
come into God's presence, the greater confidence and freedom and en 
largement it will bring. The way to be fervent in prayer or in any 
holy exercise is to be frequent. Eest breeds many distempers, which 
are prevented by exercise. The right arm is bigger and stronger than 
the left, and fuller of spirits. Why ? Because it is most agitated, and 
in exercise ; so the oftener you are with God, the more full of life, 
strength, and spiritual enlargement. The field of the sluggard is over 
grown with thistles. You grow barren, raw, sapless, and lose the 
choiceness of your spirits, and the savouriness of your thoughts, when 
you are seldom with God. The soul runs out of repair when you pray 
but now and then ; and therefore a Christian indeed cannot be long out 
of God's company ; there is a strong bent in his heart towards God. 
Can a man love God and be a stranger to him ? Is it possible ? 
Briefly, there are so many necessities, so many frequent impulses and 
excitations of grace, that it cannot be imaginable that a man be a 
Christian and neglect worship. Certainly if we did not want a heart 
we could never want an occasion to come to God, either for ourselves, 
children, friends, or relations. God hath left the more wants upon the 
creature that he may the oftener hear from him. The throne of grace 
was erected for ' a time of need,' Heb. iv. 16. Many needs are left 
upon us, that we may have continual recourse to God ; many doubts 
to be resolved, many graces to be strengthened, many corruptions to 
be mortified. A Christian in good earnest will be sensible of these 
things. It is true it is not expressly set down in scripture how often 
we should pray, meditate, read, or perform other duties. In these days 
of the gospel, God trusts love, which is a grace that is wont to keep 
the heart open and free. We are left to our liberty more than those 
under the law, not that we may come short of them, but that we may 
do more. However, there is no gap opened to looseness, because the 
terms wherein duty is enjoined are very large and comprehensive : 
1 Thes. v. 17, ' Pray without ceasing ; ' Eph. vi. 18, ' Praying always ; ' 
that is, upon all occasions. And we have high patterns ; we are referred 
to the angels that are never weary. David had his seven times a day : 
Ps. cxix. 164, 'Seven times a day do I praise thee, because of thy 
righteous judgments/ And Daniel thrice : chap. vi. 10, ' He kneeled 
upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before 
his God, as he did aforetime.' Certainly it must be done every day ; 
for Christ saith, Mat, vi. 11, ' Give us this day our daily Jbread.' 
Every day we stand in need of the blessings of providence, and it must 
be sought KCL& rjfjiepav, day by day. Every day we live as it were a 
new life ; it is but the lesser circle of time, and it should not pass with 
out some worship. From the morning and evening sacrifice we may 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 161 

plead for morning and evening prayer : Num. xxviii. 4, c The one lamb 
shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at 
even/ This is expounded, Ps. cxli. 2, ' Let my prayer be set forth be 
fore thee as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacri 
fice ; ' there is the exposition of the sacrifice. Certainly there is a stand 
ing occasion. Who dares venture on the temptations of the day without 
prayer, or the dangers of the night ? In the morning we are to beg 
direction ; in the evening, protection. Can God's children go to bed 
without leaving their hearts with him over-night, or awake without 
God in the morning ? It is an ill sign when men wrangle and dispute 
away duties rather than practise them. 

Secondly, There is godliness in conversation. In all you do, 
godliness must bear sway. Even in the actions of the civil life, they 
must be done from God, to God, and for God, with a sense of his eye, 
a dependence upon his strength, and an aim at his glory. All such 
actions as proceed from self-love, and tend only to self -welfare they 
cannot be godly, for godliness comes from God, and brings to God ; it 
hath another alpha and omega than nature hath. 

1. In the course of our conversation there must be a sense of God's 
eye. The world is a great stage, men are the actors, God and angels are 
the spectators and lookers-on ; therefore all must be done in God's 
presence. All actions and duties which lie between man and man 
must be done in and to the Lord. You must love your neighbour for 
God's sake. The swaying reason of all your actions must be the love 
and fear of God ; by this means you make your commerce to be a kind 
of worship, and turn duties of the second table into duties of the first 
table : Eph. v. 19, ' Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear 
of God/ Kemember he seeth thee ; it is done to him. Submission is 
the usual effect of fear of man. When men have power, they cast off 
the yoke. This is the fairest bond and tie. So to servants : Eph. vi. 
5, ' Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to 
the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ/ 
What would you do to God and Christ if they were present ? Use 
yourself thus often to think of God, for this is to walk with God, to 
keep always in his eye and presence. 

2. Dependence upon his strength. It is notable, when the apostle 
had laid down reciprocal duties of relations, between children and 
parents, husbands and wives, masters and servants, he concludes all, 
Eph. vi. 10, ' Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power 
of his might/ It is an error to think that the supplies of grace are 
only necessary for duties of worship ; they are necessary also for duties 
of your civil relation. We are like a glass without a bottom ; when it 
comes to stand of itself, it is broken in pieces ; so we shall surely mis 
carry, and walk unworthy of our relation, if God do not help us, but we 
be left to ourselves. It is a good part of godliness to look to God, and 
wait upon him all the day for counsel and strength. You give him 
the honour of a God when you acknowledge him in all your ways : 
Prov. iii. 6, ' In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy 
paths/ By a constant dependence you acknowledge him most ; and 
this preserves a constant intercourse between us and God, when we lift 



up the heart that we may receive grace and strength to walk in all our 
relations to his glory. 

3. An aim at God's glory ; that must be the supreme end of all our 
actions, be they of never so small a consequence: 1 Cor. x. 31, 
1 Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the 
glory of God.' Whatever we do, eating, drinking, trading, all must be 
done that God may be honoured by ourselves and others. This is to 
make every meal an act of worship, your trading a solemn praise. It 
is God's design that all our lifetime we may do him service ; this must 
be our fixed scope, that his honour and glory may be at the end of 
every natural and civil action. Look, as in all the works of creation, 
providence, and redemption, God made it his aim to glorify himself in 
all, so we should make it our fixed aim and scope to bring honour to 
God in all our work ; all other things are nothing to this. 

Use I. Examination. Art thou godly ? Hast thou been a diligent 
hearer and reader of the word ? a religious observer of the Lord's day ? 
an earnest worshipper of God ? zealous for his glory against those that 
profane his name, corrupt his doctrine, make void his institutions ? an 
enemy to idolatry and superstition ; a lover of God's ordinances ? It 
is an evidence of interest in grace to live godly. Only there is a form 
of godliness (2 Tim. iii. 5, * Having a form of godliness, but denying 
the power thereof) which is discovered by a pretence of worship and 
a neglect of honesty ; as the pharisees made long prayers, but devoured 
widows' houses ; or else by a disproportionate zeal against idolatry, but 
not against heresy, or such falsehoods as yield no gain. It is not zeal 
for God's institutions when you do not hate every false way : 2 Tim. ii. 
16, ' But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more 
ungodliness/ The apostle speaketh of some that suppose godliness is 
gain, 1 Tim. vi. 5, that make a merchandise of their zeal : Kom. ii. 22, 
'Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? ' He speaketh 
to the Jews that gloried in their privileges ; he had said before, * Dost 
thou steal ? dost thou commit adultery ? ' But here, ' Dost thou 
commit sacrilege ? ' That was their glory, that they did not serve idols, 
but they robbed the true God ; they would not endure a false god, 
or an idol to be set up, but in the meantime they defrauded the temple 
of its maintenance, and things consecrated. But the closest rebuke is, 
ver. 23, ' Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the 
law dishonourest thou God ? ' They were much in worship, but were 
not bettered by it ; they were not changed in heart. You do not feel 
the power of it if the heart be not new-fashioned, and put into a 
godly frame. 

Use 2. To press you to exercise yourself to godliness. 

1. It is the aim of the gospel. The gospel is called, 1 Tim. vi. 3, 
c The doctrine which is according to godliness/ invented on purpose to 
maintain and keep godliness alive. So Titus i. 1, * The truth which is 
after godliness/ which preserveth the true worship of the true God, 
and right thoughts of God. Here in the gospel the way to eternal life 
is discovered. 

2. It is the aim of providence. All God's dispensations seem to put 
us in mind of God, and to draw us the nearer to him ; afflictions to 
increase our reverence and watchfulness, and mercies to engage our 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 163 

love and trust. God complains of Israel that he had inflicted many 
judgments on them, and ' yet ye have not turned unto me, saith the 
Lord/ Amos iv. 8-11. So he complains of their abuse of mercies: 
Hosea ii. 8, ' She did not know that I gave her corn and wine and oil, 
and multiplied her silver and gold which she prepared for Baal.' The 
mercies of God should be cords and bands of love to draw us to God. 

3. Consider how God hath deserved it We are God's. You that 
have servants expect they should work for you, their strength and time 
is yours : Kom. xiv. 8, ' 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.' A Christian is not master of anything ; his 
affections, his interests, his time his care, his strength, all is the 

4. Consider God hath given us sufficient grace to live godly : 2 Peter 
i. 3, ' According as his divine wisdom hath given unto us all things 
that pertain unto life and godliness.' We cannot complain, as the 
Israelites did of Pharaoh, that he required brick where he gave no 
straw ; or as the servant did of his master, that he expected to reap 
where he never sowed : the divine power is engaged to help us. How 
much do we walk beneath that divine power which he is ready to 
afford us ! Do not say, I shall never be godly if this be to be godly ; 
I am but flesh and blood, what would you have me do ? 

5. Consider the worth of godliness : it is our chief duty. First we 
must show our respects to the first table, because there are the great 
commandments : Mat. xxii. 37, 38, * Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind : 
this is the first and great commandment/ De loco modum, de ordine 
statum, de confimo meritum cujusque prcecepti cognosces, says Tertul- 
lian. It is the first table, and therefore most worthy ; the object is 
greater ; God is greater than man ; by the breach hereof we do more 
immediately sin against God. He that wrongeth his neighbour sinneth 
against God : 1 Cor. viii. 12, ' But when ye sin against the brethren, 
and wound their weak consciences, ye sin against Christ : ' but not so 
immediately. Godliness directeth honesty, which is otherwise but a 
civil action, proceeding from interest and self-love. This is the great 
commandment ; without it all other graces are worth nothing : 2 Peter L 
5, 6, 'Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to 
knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience 
godliness/ Civility is nothing, temperance is nothing, abstinence from 
pleasures is nothing without godliness. Many virtues are reckoned up, 
as patience, knowledge, temperance ; all these things the Lord requires, 
not without godliness, therefore add godliness. God requires nothing 
but that which draweth the creature to himself; this bringeth us to 
the well-head. 

6. Consider the profit of godliness. I mention this to counterbalance 
the discouragements which you would meet with in the ways of godli 
ness. It will cost you trouble : 2 Tim. iii. 12, ' Yea, and all that will 
live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution/ Mark, if they will 
live godly, not civilly only ; if they are zealous for Christ's institutions. 
A Gallio will escape well enough ; but you have encouragements : 
1 Tim. iv. 8, * Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the pro 
mise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come/ They have 


an interest in both, but the promises of this life are subservient to that 
which is to come. If the things of this life hinder our progress to 
heaven, grace should be content to be without them. There is much 
comfort with a little : 1 Tim. vi. 6, ' Godliness with contentment is 
great gain.' 

In this present ivorld. TITUS ii. 12. 

HAVING shown you the substance of the lesson, let me now speak of 
the season of it, when this is to be performed ; and that is, in this pre 
sent world. 

Doct. That our abode in the present world is the only time wherein 
we are to discharge the duty of our heavenly calling. I shall (1.) 
Draw forth the force of the expression ; (2.) Give you the reasons of it. 

I. The force of the expression, ' In this present world.' It implies 
three things timely beginning, zealous discharge, and final persever 
ance. Whatever we are to do upon the teaching of grace, we are to 
do it speedily, earnestly, constantly. Speedily, now or never, take hold 
of the present occasion ; earnestly, it is the work of our lives, where 
fore we are sent into the world ; and constantly, that is, all the time 
of our living here. 

1. Speedily; now or never must it be done. We must set upon 
this work speedily upon two grounds because time to come is uncer 
tain, and it is not fit to neglect it. (1.) Time to come is uncertain. 
We have nothing to command but this instant ; that which is to come 
is not in our power. One being invited to a feast the next day made 
answer, Ego a multis annis crastinum non lidbui For these many 
years I never had a to-morrow. The present time is put into thy 
hands ; thou hast no security for the next day but thy own word ; 
and how is he the better assured that is security to himself ? When 
you promise yourselves many years, you are liberal upon another man's 
goods ; and it is the fashion of madmen to reckon other men's estates 
to be theirs. The Father hath reserved times and seasons in his own 
power, and taken them into his own hands. We are not masters of a 
day ; therefore now or never must we set upon this work of living 
soberly, righteously, godly. Oh ! how sad is it to be surprised, and 
death to find us unprovided I 2 Peter iii. 14, ' Wherefore, beloved, 
seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found 
of him in peace/ This is the great business of our lives, to be found in 
a condition pleasing to God. A man should live every day as he would 
be found of God, for usually death comes by way of surprise; it finds 
us before we look for it, and steals upon us ere we are aware. (2.) 
Because it is not fit to neglect it till death, and to provide work for 
that time when we need cordials ; the infirmities of age and sickness 
need supports, and not work. Oh ! how sad is this, that many times 
we are going out of the world before we begin to think why we came 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 165 

into it ! Our great business here is to save our souls ; and when time 
is gone, then we begin to think of it. He is a foolish traveller that 
would set out at night, and begin his journey when the sun is setting, 
and the darkness of the night is coming on ; so when time appointed is 
gone, then to think of saving our souls. It is too late to be sparing 
when we have spent all upon prodigality. The foolish virgins came 
to buy oil too late. Who would expect to conquer then when his 
enemy is strongest and himself weakest, or purposely delay it till such 
a time ? If you do not presently set about the work, you do but 
provide grief and sorrow for your last age, when you are least able to 
bear it. 

2. Earnestly. It is the reason why we are sent into the present 
world. It is the work of our lives. We were not put into the world 
as leviathan was put into the sea, to take our fill of pleasure ; but we 
were sent into the world for our trial a-nd for our exercise. For this 
end was life given us ; not to get wealth and honour, and great estates, 
or only to eat, drink, and sleep, and so live as if we were never to die, 
and then die as if we were never to live more ; such lose the end of 
their lives. God hath appointed a time for everything under the sun, 
and the time of life is appointed to work out our salvation ; and there 
fore it is but reason that our best business should have the greatest 
share of our time and strength, and that this work should go forward 
according to our years; still should you increase and be bettering 
yourselves in the great business of your lives. It is some work of 
grace to raise the soul to desire things within the veil ; it is more to 
hope for them ; it is more to seize upon them as our right and portion, 
and { lay hold of eternal life/ 1 Tim. vi. 19. This is the great work 
of our lives, first to raise up the soul and carry it within the veil, to 
be always increasing our assurance of heaven, and looking after a better 
life : John ix. 4, ' I must work the works of him that sent me 
while it is day; the night corneth, when no man can work/ 
Hereafter there is no prophecy, nor labour, nor faith, nor repent 
ance. We have a little time, and a great deal of work, and a 
great many temptations. It is a great work to get out of a 
state of nature into a state of grace, to fit ourselves for a better 
world. Now, because we have no long continuance here, we should 
be doing it with all our might ; therefore let us not forget the 
main thing, that which is the business and employment of our lives ; 
let not your time pass unfruitfully, for ' the night cometh, wherein no 
man can work.' 

3. Constantly. It is in the present world as long as we are here, 
without any limitation, and therefore it hints final perseverance, with 
out which as good we had never begun. It is notable that under the 
law the Nazarite, if he had made a vow, he should touch no wine or 
anything that was forbidden for so many days or months; but if he 
had defiled himself before the days of his purification were accomplished, 
he was to begin again : Num. vi. 12, ' The days that were before shall 
be lost, because his separation was defiled.' So when we have renounced 
the vanities and delights of the world, and given ourselves to God, all 
is lost when we turn apostates, and go off from a course of godliness ; 
Ezek. xviii. 24, ' But when the righteous turneth away from his right- 


eousness, and committeth iniquity, and cloth according to all the 
abominations that the wicked man doth, shall he live ? all his righteous 
ness that he hath done shall not be mentioned ; in his trespass that 
he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall 
he die.' As good never have begun if we fall off and tire before we 
come to the end ; nay, in some respect it would have been better if we 
had never begun than not to have continued; for it is said, ' The latter 
end is worse with them than the beginning,' 2 Peter ii. 20. A male 
factor who hath made an escape out of prison, if he be taken again, he 
is loaded with chains and irons ; so when any have made some show 
of escape out of the devil's clutches, by keeping a constant course of 
duty and communion with God, and then turns and breaks off again, 
none in such bondage and slavery as they. Nay, and this apostasy is 
a mighty dishonour to Christ, as well as a disadvantage to yourselves ; 
for a man that hath begun to be strict, and careful, and holy, and 
righteous, and profess himself to be taken out of the kingdom of dark 
ness, and made experience of the ways of Christ, yet if he falls off, he 
doth as it were after trial pronounce to the world that Satan's service 
is better than Christ's. As Jacob kept wrestling till daylight appeared, 
and would not let go his holdfast, so till the morning of glory come, 
still keep on and continue your courage. Or as Elisha would not leave 
his master till he was taken from him into heaven, so be constant to 
the last ; let the world know you see no cause to leave Christ or to be 
weary of his service, and to begrudge the strictness of religion. Mat. xx., 
you read some were called into the vineyard sooner, some later, but 
they all kept working to the end and close of the day. There is a 
different time of calling ; some begin with God in infancy, some in 
riper age, but none must be weary of well-doing. But how apt are we 
to turn aside from God ! Our righteousness must be as the morning 
light, that always increaseth till high-noon ; but our righteousness is 
like the morning dew, it is gone as soon as the sun breaks out in 
strength and power. We have a great many resolutions when we be 
gin a course of godliness, but soon grow weary. Look, as a tired horse 
is ready to turn in at every inn, so upon every occasion and temptation 
we are ready to turn away from God. But it is not enough to begin 
to live godly, strictly, righteously, but while life lasteth you must hold 
on in God's ways ; it must be during your whole present state and 
abode here in the world. 

II. The reasons why this duty of our heavenly calling must be in 
the present world. 

1. Because this is the time of grace. There is no other time to get 
the favour of God and an interest in heaven but here upon earth. Now 
we have the means, hereafter the recompenses. Now Christ sait.h, 
' Come unto me. all ye that labour and are heavy laden/ Mat. xi. 28 
Hereafter he will say, * Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the king 
dom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,' Mat. xxv. 34. 
Now he calls us to receive grace, hereafter we must receive either ven 
geance or glory. In the angels' song we find, Luke ii. 14, ' Peace 
upon earth.' Here God proclaims tidings of peace and reconciliation 
to the creature, if it will submit to God. Now the golden sceptre is 
held out, and you will have no more such a season. This is God the 

VER. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 167 

Father's, God the Son's, and God the Spirit's time, but after this life 
you shall have it no more ; it is the time of God the Father's patience, 
and these are the days of the gospel when God the Son is offered to us; 
and now we have the advantage of the Spirit's impulses, and his con 
victions upon our hearts : but after this life there is neither prophecy, 
nor gospel, nor conviction, nor means offered any more ; then comes 
recompense and retribution. Zanchy speaks of some which had a fancy 
that the gospel should be preached hereafter in the other world to those 
that never heard of Christ in this world ; as to children, to Turks and 
pagans. To justify this conceit, they allege that place : 1 Peter iii. 19, 
* By which he went and preached to the spirits in prison.' But that is 
a clear mistake. The apostle speaks there how the Spirit of God went 
forth by Noah's preaching in warm conviction upon the hearts of those 
that are now in prison, that were sometimes disobedient to the warn 
ings of Noah, and are now held with chains of darkness in the prison 
of hell But however there is nothing to this world. Now you have 
the means, and God's golden sceptre is held out. Now Christ saith, 
Come ; but if you refuse, hereafter he will say, Depart : ' Now is the 
accepted time, now is the day of salvation,' 2 Cor. vi. 1. 

2. This is the time of our exercise and trial. 

[1.] There must be this exercise before we come to heaven. We do 
not leap into heaven without any preparation. The vessels of glory 
must first be seasoned with grace : Col. i. 12, ' Who hath made us 
meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.' First 
we are qualified and seasoned, then filled brim-full. As when the 
virgins were chosen for Ahasuerus, they were to accomplish their 
months of purification, so we must have a time of purifying and clean 
sing from corruption before we can get to heaven. Balaam would die the 
death of the righteous, but not live his life : Num. xxiii. 10, ' Let me die 
the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.' As it is 
said of the snake, that when it is stricken with death, it stretcheth out 
itself straight, though crooked before; at oportuit sic vixisse, you 
should have go lived; you shoulcl be sober, righteous, and godly. 
' Enoch before his translation had this testimony, that he pleased God/ 
Heb. xi. 5. Something must be done here ; there is no triumph with 
out a warfare : 2 Tim. ii. 5, ' If a man strive for masteries, yet is he 
not crowned unless he strive lawfully ; ' that is, according to the laws 
of the race or exercise ; so we cannot expect to die in the Lord unless 
we live in the Lord : Eev. xiv. 13, ' Blessed are the dead that die in 
the Lord, from henceforth : yea, saitli the Spirit, that they may rest 
from their labours, and their works do follow them.' Your works die 
not when you die : Eccles. xi. 3, ' If the tree fall toward the south or 
toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth there it shall be/ 
In the time of the law there was nothing to be gathered upon the 
sabbath day, but a double portion to be gathered before ; those that 
provided nothing on the sixth day, had nothing on the sabbath day. 
The sabbath is a figure of heaven, of that eternal rest we shall have there. 
If we do not make provision during the time of life, there can be 
nothing done afterwards. 

[2.] It is only here ; this is the fittest place for exercise. Here are 
difficulties snares, and temptations, and these serve to discover the 


glory of grace ; and this makes it worthy of praise, that we can act for 
God in the present world, where so many miscarry : 2 Tim. iv. 10, 
* Demas hath forsaken us, having loved this present world.' Here is 
the fit place for our trial, where we have so many difficulties, snares, 
baits, avocations, and scandals, to take us off from performing the duty 
of our heavenly calling. As death leaves us so judgment finds us. 
Upon our behaviour in the present life both our everlasting woe or 
weal depends. Hereafter is not a time of labour, but of reward and 
punishment ; there is no room for exercise and trial there, no snares 
in the next world. Grace cannot be found worthy of praise there, for 
that is God's day, called the day of the Lord : 2 Peter iii. 10, ' The day 
of the Lord will come as a thief in the night/ Here is our day, because 
God affords time to us as a space and season of repentance and refor 
mation ; but the day of judgment, that is the Lord's day, the day of 
recompense, rewards, and punishments. 

Use 1. To reprove them that delay the work of repentance and their 
change of state. There is nothing more usual than delays and put-offs. 
Some are full of employment, and after their business is a little over, 
then they will think of saving their souls : Luke ix. 59, ' Suffer me 
first to go and bury my father ; ' still there is something in the way. 
Others, when they have arrived to such a degree of wealth, and made such 
provision for their families, then they will look after their souls. Others, 
when their youthful heats are spent, then they dream of a devout retire 
ment and a religious age; there is nothing more usual. The Lord 
knows these are our inward thoughts ; still there is something in the 
way when we should act holily, righteously, and godly. This is Satan's 
last shift to elude the importunity of a present conviction by a future 
promise. As a bad debtor promises payment for the future to be rid 
of the importunate creditor, though he means no such matter, so we 
make promises for the future. Felix, when his conscience boggled, 
dreams of a more convenient season : Acts xxiv. 25, ' Go thy way for 
this time; when I have a more convenient season, I will send for 
thee.' And Mat. xxii., when they were invited to the wedding, the 
answer is not scornful, but civil ; it is not non placet, but non vacat ; 
they do not deny, but make excuse ; they had present business, and were 
not at leisure to comply with God's will. Always God comes unsea 
sonably in the sinner's esteem, reckoning, and account : and Satan's 
usual clamour is, when we begin to be serious and mind our salva 
tion, ' Art thou come to torment us before our time? ' Mat. viii. 29. 
The devil would fain have a little longer possession, and therefore 
something is pleaded by way of bar and hesitancy. You find it in par 
ticular cases ; when you go to perform anything that is good, to pray, 
to meditate, to renew your communion with God, something is in the 
way. If such a business were over, then I were at leisure. Thus we 
dream of another time, a more convenient season, and we linger and 
draw back as Lot in Sodom. Oh ! consider, the work must be once 
done, or you are for ever miserable ; and you will never have a better 
season than now, when you are under conviction, and the warm impulses 
of the Spirit of God. David takes hold of the present season when his 
heart was engaged and he had a religious bent towards God : Ps. cxix. 
60, ' I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.' So 


YEK. 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS ir. 11-14. 169 

when there is such a strong bent in your souls, strike while the iron is 
hot ; you* may have more hindrances, but never more helps. Again, 
we owe more than we are worth already, and why should we run more 
in debt ? The longer you continue in sin, the higher will your accounts 
rise. A tenant that cannot pay the rent of one year, if he let it run 
on, how will he be able to discharge the rent of two years ? So if it 
be so troublesome now, do you think it will be more easy hereafter, 
when the heart is hardened by a constant resistance ? If there were a 
sound conviction you would not delay. A sensible sinner is always in 
haste : Heb. vi. 18, he flies for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set 
before him. It is an allusion to the man pursued by the avenger of 
blood ; he that hath wrath at his heels, he runs as for life to Jesus 
Christ. It is but a slender and insufficient touch upon the conscience. 
He that knows the danger can never make haste enough to come to 
Christ, as the pursued man could never make too much haste to get 
into the city of refuge that is before him. Nay, it argues little love 
to God, and a great deal of disingenuity of spirit, to continue in re 
bellion against God, and think to come in at last, when you can stand 
out no longer. This is merely self-love, when you care not how much 
God is dishonoured and his Spirit grieved, provided at length we be 
saved. The Lord did not so deal with us ; his whole duration and exist 
ence is for our sakes ; from eternity to eternity he is God, and from eter 
nity to eternity his loving- kindness is great to them that fear him : Ps. 
cm. 17, 'The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting to them 
that fear him.' If God thinks of us from one eternity to another, before 
the world and after the world, can we be content to thrust him into a 
narrow corner of our lives ? Can you satisfy your hearts when you 
have nothing to give God but the rottenness, weakness, and aches of 
old age and sickness ? Consider once more, sin leaves thee in sickness, 
thou dost not leave sin ; it is not a work of choice, but of necessity, as 
a merchant throws his goods overboard in a storm, though he loves 
them well enough. At least it is a very suspicious act, a natural aver- 
sation from our own misery, and a desire of our own happiness ; it is 
a yielding upon force when a man never yields to God, but when God 
hath him under, and he can sin no longer. And what assurance have 
we, that we shall have a heart to mind salvation at all, and turn to 
God hereafter ? When all our distractions are out of the way, is grace 
at our beck ? There is an offer of it to-day : Heb. iii. 15, ' While it is 
said, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.' Nay, 
there is a shrewd presumption to the contrary, that obduracy, hardness of 
heart, and despair will grow upon us. Long use makes the heart more 
obdurate, and long resistance grieves the Spirit of God, and makes him 
more offended with us. By putting off the change of your lives, you 
put your souls into Satan's hands by consent for a while. He that 
delays his conversion doth, as it were, pawn his soul into the devil's 
hands, and saith, If he do not fetch it again at such a day, it is his for 
ever. Again, it is a great honour to seek the Lord betimes. Mnason 
was an old disciple. Seniority in grace is a very great honour. The 
apostle saith, Rom. xvi. 7, * Salute Andronicus and Junia, who were in 
Christ before me.' And the Lord saith, Jer. ii. 2, ' I remember thee, 
the kindness of thy youth, and the love of thine espousals/ God 


prizeth these pure virgin affections, when, before our hearts be prosti 
tuted to the world, we apply ourselves to seek his face. You lose the 
advantage of much early communion with God, whenever you are called 
to grace ; and if ever you taste of the sweetness of grace, it will be your 
grief that you were acquainted with it no sooner, and all the time that 
remains will be little enough to repent the loss of that which is past. 
Consider, a man can never come soon enough into the arms of mercy, 
nor soon enough out of the power of Satan. Present necessity admits 
of no deliberation, therefore charge yourselves to be more solid and 
serious. Sin, if you let it alone, will gather more strength : Jer. xiii. 
23, ' Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots ? 
then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil.' When a 
stick hath been long bent, it will hardly ever be set right again. Some 
that have been late converted have much bewailed their disadvantage, 
their standing out so long, till their inclinations were fixed, and that 
they have got a stubborn nature so strong and ever apt to recoil upon 
them. Consider, we would not have God to put us off when we come 
for mercy, and are in present need, and shall we put off God ? We 
would count a delay to be as bad as a denial ; therefore take heed of 
delays in this kind, for if ever you be called to grace, you will smart for 
it soundly. Christ waited upon the spouse for entrance : Cant. v. 2, ' My 
head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night ; ' 
and then the spouse waited for comfort: ver. 6, 'I opened to my 
beloved, but my beloved had withdrawn himself and was gone; my 
soul failed when he spake ; I sought him, but I could not find him ; 
I called him, but he gave me no answer.' What is the reason, when 
the work is begun and the first stroke is given to sin, that Christians 
walk so mournfully for a great while ? Oh ! they have made God 
wait long, and stood out many a call, therefore the Lord exerciseth 
them with waiting. Let all this work thee to comply with the inipor^ 
tunity of the present conviction of the Holy Ghost. 

Use 2. Is to reclaim us when we are greedily set upon other busi 
nesses and projects than the great business of our lives, as to get wealth, 
honour, and great estates. Kemember what is thy duty and work in 
this present world. Consider 

1. The shortness of life. We have a great deal of work to do in a 
little time, therefore we should not waste it ; every day we are nearer 
to the grave. We are sensible of the decays of others, but not of our 
own ; thou seest others wax old and die, remember thou thyself art 
going that way. When two ships meet one another in the sea, the 
other ship seems to sail faster than yours, though both pass away alike, 
because you are not sensible, or do not observe your own motion. We 
see others are mortal, but do not number our own days. This is a 
point of prudence : Ps. xc. 12, ' So teach us to number our ^ days that 
we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.' A man would think of all 
points that were plainest and soonest learned, yet it is very hard to 
learn the lesson of our own frailty ; I mean, to learn it by heart, to 
learn it practically. 

2. The uncertainty of life. We know not when death will surprise 
us ; it is ill to be taken unprovided ; when death comes, to say, Hast 
thou found me, my enemy ? Every day we have cause to look to 

VER, 12.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 171 

it ; more are mistaken in reckoning upon life than upon death. Thou 
art asleep in the wolf's mouth ; there is no remedy but imploring the 
shepherd's help. A carnal man that goeth on in sin provoketh God 
to his face, and trieth whether he will cut him off, yea or nay. We 
are sure to live to enjoy what we provide for heaven, but we are not 
sure to live to enjoy what we provide for the world. A man may not 
roast what he took in hunting ; but when he cometh to enjoy his estate, 
God cutteth him off : Luke xii. 20, ' Thou fool 1 this night thy soul 
shall be required of thee ; then whose shall those things be which thou 
hast provided ? ' And shall my master come and find me idle ? 

3. After death followeth eternity, the great amazement of the soul. 
Now, if death find you at peace with God, eternity will be comfortable 
and death sweet ; body and soul part, but God and the soul meet. 
When we can see angels ready to do their office, and conscience be- 
cometh our compurgator, I bear you witness you have spent your time 
in this world in obeying and serving God ; and then body and soul 
take leave of one another, it is a blessed parting. But now ; when you 
have not regarded your work, you are then delivered up to Satan by 
such an excommunication as shall never be reversed, accursed till the 
Lord come ; and then body and soul meet to be tormented for ever. 
It is a sad parting when conscience falls a-raving, and we curse our 
selves and the day of our birth. Oh ! that ever such a creature were 
born ! Oh ! that I had been stifled in the womb, and never seen the 
light ! 

4. The necessity of working out our own salvation. God's stipula 
tion with mankind is not made up all of promises ; something is re 
quired : holiness is the way to salvation. Men that live as they list 
can claim nothing. The world is a common inn for sons and bastards ; 
in the time of God's patience he keeps open house for just and unjust ; 
but no unclean thing entereth into heaven. At the great rendezvous 
God maketh a separation : Ps. i. 5, ' The ungodly shall not stand in the 
judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous/ The wicked 
shall not be able to look Christ in the face, nor veil themselves in the 
glorious assembly : 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10, ' Know ye not that the unrighteous 
shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived ; neither 
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of 
themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, 
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.' Our 
desires settle into opinions ; we think God will not damn his own crea 
tures, and an universal hope is natural. 

5. The folly of not doing our business. To get bodily supports is 
but our errand by-the-by. These souls were not given us to scrape up 
wealth, and only to provide and purvey for the body ; Let us use them 
to the end that God gave them, to think of eternity: Luke x. 41, 42, 
c Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things ; 
but one thing is needful ; and Mary hath chosen that good part' which 
shall not be taken away from her.' Martha was careful to entertain 
Christ in her house, but Mary to entertain him in her heart. The one 
thing ^needf ul is the care which every one ought to have of his own 
salvation. ^ Everything is best that helpeth us on towards heaven, and 
that is evil that hindereth us in our pursuit of heaven. This will 


appear to be the greatest wisdom at length, and not to spend your lives 
in getting honours or pleasures, or screwing yourselves into the favour 
of great personages. It is commonly said of a man that hath gotten 
an estate, that he hath spent his time well ; but the apostle commands, 
Eph. v. 15, 16, ' See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as 
wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.' Those other are 
the worst fools, who make no provision for the future ; they part with 
jewels for trifles. 


Looking for that blessed hope, &c. TITUS ii. 13. 

I OBSERVED (1.) The teacher, 'The grace of God;' (2.) The lesson, 
the whole duty of our heavenly calling, ' To deny ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly,' &c. ; (3.) I 
come to the third general branch, the encouragements to learning ; 
here are two eternal life, and Christ's death. There are two great 
principles of obedience gratitude and hope. Gratitude, or thankful 
ness, because of the obligation that is left upon us from Christ's death ; 
and then hope, because of the glorious reward that is set before us. 
So that whether we look backward or forward, we meet with obligations 
to obedience. Backward, there is an excellent merit : ver. 14, ' Who 
gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity,' &c. Forward, 
there is a glorious hope : ' Looking for that blessed hope,' &c. There 
is nothing lost by God's service. The Lord might deal with us out of 
sovereignty, and rule us with a rod of iron, but he is pleased to ' draw 
us with the cords of a man, and with bands of love/ Hosea xi. 3 ; to 
indent with us and propound rewards, as if we were altogether free be 
fore the contract. Men do not use to covenant with their slaves ; we 
are bound to serve him whether there had been any reward or no ; but 
the Lord will not leave us without an encouragement. We are apt to 
have hard thoughts of God, and to think him harsh and austere, re 
quiring work but not giving wages. But consider, we have the highest 
motives as well as the noblest work ; we are not only ' to live soberly, 
righteously, and godly in the present world,' but ' to look to the blessed 
hope/ Life and immortality is brought to light by the gospel. There 
is no such encouragement to virtuous living anywhere as in the gospel. 
Lactantius saith of the heathens, Virtutis vim non sentiunt, cujus prce 
mium ignorant They do not feel the force and transforming power 
of virtue, because they are ignorant of the reward of virtue. The 
heathens had no such encouragement as immortality and eternal life, 
and the happy enjoyment of God and Christ for evermore. 

But to handle the words a little more distinctly. We have here 
(1.) The reward itself, called a 'blessed hope;' then (2.) The time 
when it shall be accomplished to the full, at the ' coming of the Lord/ 
Both these things you must look for. Christians, as often as you think 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 173 

of eternal life, you must also think of Christ's appearing. Before we 
enter into glory we must first give an account. Carnal men fancy a 
heaven without a day of judgment; they would be saved, but they 
would not be called to an audit and reckoning with God. Many can 
brook sitting upon the throne with Christ, but not coming before his 
tribunal ; but they that would live holily must look for both the blessed 
hope and the glorious appearing of Christ. Many points may be ob 
served out of this verse. 

Doct. 1. That looking for the blessed hope conduceth much to the 
advancement of the spiritual life. 

1. What this looking is. 

2. What influence and power it hath to work us to the spiritual life. 
I. What this looking is. It implies patience, but chiefly hope. 

1. Patience in waiting God's leisure. Patience is a grace very 
needful in our pilgrimage, where we are exercised with so many 
difficulties : Heb. x. 36, ' For ye have need of patience, that after ye 
have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise/ You do 
not only need holiness, but patience. It is long before we can bring 
our hearts to do the will of God ; but after that is done, you have 
need of patience, that you may wait God's leisure for your reward ; 
for the reward is not given till there be time for labour and exercise, 
and troubles coming on make time seem very long. Whatever grace 
we may spare, we cannot spare patience if we would persist in well 
doing, for we are to wait for the blessed hope. The good ground 
' bringeth forth fruit with patience/ Luke viii. 15. Look, as the ground 
endures the plough, the narrow, the cold, the frost, that in due time 
the seed may spring up, so we have need of patience that we may wait 
upon God for the blessed hope. And as patience is very needful in 
the present life, so it is inseparable from hope ; 1 Thes. i. 3, it is called 
* the patience of hope/ To every grace he gives a proper action ; there 
is ' the work of faith, the labour of love, and the patience of hope/ 
Faith propounds work, love makes us to labour and sweat at it, and 
hope makes us wait with patience for our reward and recompense : 
Kom. viii. 25, ' But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with 
patience wait for it/ What we hope for we wait with patience for ; 
between hope and having there is an intervening time to exercise patience. 
There is want of the thing desired, and delays are troublesome. Now 
to keep looking is a work of patience. 

2. It chiefly implies hope. This looking for is the formal act of hope, 
an actual expectation of blessedness to come. Now, because there is a 
bastard and blind hope, and there is a regular and good hope 2 Thes. 
ii. 16, 'Who hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope 
through grace 'therefore let me tell you (1.) What this expectation 
is not ; (2.) What it is. 

[1.] Negatively, what it is not. 

(1.) It is not a blind hope, such a hope as is found in men ignorant 
and presumptuous, that regard not what they do. Presumption is a 
child of darkness, as hope is a child of light ; presumption is the fruit 
of ignorance and inconsideration. When men are once serious, they 
find it the hardest matter in the world to hope ; for guilty nature in 
itself is more presageous of evil, more inclinable to fear and sorrow, than 


to joy and hope. But yet a blind confidence is very common, because 
men do not consider what they do, but hancl-over-head make a full 
account that they shall go to heaven, without warrant and without 
evidence. And therefore you shall find it is one of the first things God 
works by the word, to break down our former carnal hopes, and make 
men see they are out of the way, lost and undone creatures. Paul in 
his presumptuous state thought he had as much to show for heaven as 
any man in the world : Kom. vii. 9, ' I was alive without the law once ; 
but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died/ The com 
mandment coming in full conviction upon his heart, he began to be 
serious, and then he found himself lost and obnoxious to God's 
judgment. T-he excellency of hope doth not lie in the strength of con 
fidence, but in the clearness of your ground and warrant. In Mat. vii. 
latter end, the scripture takes notice of two builders, the foolish and the 
wise ; there was no difference in the building itself; both might raise 
a structure equally fair ; but the difference lay in the groundwork and 
foundation; the one built upon the sand, the other upon a rock: 
therefore you are not to look so much to the strength of your hope, as 
to the evidence, the ground, the foundation of it. Do you know what 
you do when you so confidently believe your salvation ? Presumption 
grows upon men they know not how ; it is not an act of advice and 
consideration, and therefore will leave us to shame. A man had need 
have good grounds for his hope. True hope is a serious act, arising from 
grace, longing after its perfection ; and therefore we are said ' to be 
begotten to a lively hope/ 1 Peter i. 3. Seed desireth growth ; every 
thing aimeth at perfection. When grace is infused, presently there is 
a tendency and motion this way. Others may have strength of confi 
dence, though a weak foundation whereon to build it, therefore their 
hope comes to nothing but shame and the greater confusion. Job viii. 
14, the hope of the hypocrite is compared to a spider's web. Oh ! what 
a curious web doth she spin out of her own bowels ! But as soon as 
the besom comes, down goes the spider and the web too ; both are 
swept away and trodden under foot. So it is with hypocrites ; they spin 
a fine web out of their own bowels, conceive rash but strong hope, a 
hope of their own forming and making ; but when death comes, the 
man dies, and his hopes die with him. So Prov. xi. 7, ' When a wicked 
man dies, his expectation shall perish ; and the hope of the unjust man 
perisheth/ It is not meant only of his worldly expectations, though that 
is true ; he that aspired to be great, and to feather his nest, and excel in 
the world, when he dies, all his plots and projects die with him ; but 
it is meant of his heavenly hopes ; when they come to enter upon their 
everlasting state, then they are sensible of their mistake. We are more 
sensible of what is near at hand than what is at a distance. Men grow 
wise when they come to die. Eternity is near at hand, and men begin 
to awake as out of their dream, and lose all their confidence ; and when 
they thought they were full, they find themselves hungry. Again, the 
hope of the hypocrite is compared to the giving up of the ghost : Job 
xi. 20, ' Their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost/ When the 
frame of nature is dissolved, it is done with bitter gripes and pain ; the 
soul in a moment takes an everlasting farewell of the body ; so all the 
hopes of the wicked vanish and are lost in an instant, and they are full 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 175 

of horror and sad despair. It is the greatest evil that can befall you, 
to lose all your hopes in an instant. Well, then, this looking for the 
blessed hope is not a slender imagination, an unadvised rash confidence, 
such as is lost whenever we begin to be serious, either by the conviction 
of the word or the approaches of death. 

(2.) It is not some glances upon heaven, such as are found in worldly 
and sensual persons. Sometimes worldly men have their lucida inter- 
valla, their good moods, and now and then have some sober thoughts 
of heaven that rush into their mind. Balaam had his wishes : Num. 
xxiii. 10, ' Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end 
be like his.' And the apostle speaks of some that had a taste, Heb. vi. 
4, snatch now and then some savour of the sweetness of heaven and 
spiritual comforts. A wretched worldling, in whose fancy the world 
plays all the day, riseth with him, goeth to bed with him, yet now and 
then hath his wishes, and some sudden raptures of soul, some flashes 
and motions ; but alas ! this is not the looking for the blessed hope, for 
that is a constant viewing of happiness to come. Sudden motions are 
not operative ; they come but now and then, and leave no warmth upon 
the soul, as fruit is not ripened that hath but a glance of the sun ; and 
you know a sudden light rather blinds a man than shows him his way ; 
so these sudden flashes, enlightenings, and heavenly thoughts vanish, 
arid leave a man never the better. 

(3.) It is not a loose hope, a possible salvation, that can have such 
an efficacy upon the soul to urge and incline it to the spiritual life : 
James i. 8, ' A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways/ When 
a man is double-minded, divided and distracted between hopes and fears, 
there will be much irregularity and unevenness in his conversation ; 
he will be off and on with God. As their hearts are up and down and 
divided, because the success is doubtful, so also is their care of strict 
ness weakened and broken : 1 Cor. ix. 26, 'I therefore so run, not as 
uncertainly ; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air/ He alludes to 
the Isthmian games. In an ordinary race a man might run and be out 
stripped ; the event was very uncertain, he might miss of the goal ; if 
the other sensibly got ground, then he was discouraged, and began to 
slack his pace out of hope ; but, saith the apostle, * I run not as one 
that is uncertain/ Here we are all sure to obtain, though we cannot 
keep pace with the foremost : and this is that which quickens industry, 
and stirs up those holy endeavours. The surer your hope is, the 
greater strength you find, and the greater power upon your conversa 
tion. Thus it is not a blind hope, or some glances upon heaven and 
the blessed things to come, that rush into the mind of a cursed world 
ling, nor a loose hope and bare conjecture ; a possible salvation hath 
not such efficacy and power upon the soul. 

[2.] Positively, what this expectation is of blessedness to come. It 
is an earnest and lively hope, a solid expectation of blessedness to 
come ; and it bewrays itself by three things serious thoughts, earnest 
groans, and lively tastes. 

(1.) By frequent and serious thoughts. Thoughts are the spies and 
messengers of hope sent into the promised land to bring the soul 
tidings of what is to come. It is impossible for a man to hope for any 
thing, but his mind will run upon it, and he will be thinking of it. We 


find it in all earthly matters, that hope sets the mind on work ; and so 
we preoccupy and forestall the contentments that we expect; we enjoy 
them before they come by serious contemplation, feasting the soul with 
images and suppositions of the happiness we shall have when we come 
to fruition. Contemplation of heaven is the feast of the soul. Hope 
brings in the image and suppositions of what is to come as if it were 
already present. Certainly wherever the treasure is, the heart, the 
thoughts will be there. Hope carries the mind above the clouds, in the 
midst of the glory of the world to come, as if we did see Christ upon 
his white throne, and Paul with his crown of righteousness, and all the 
faithful ones in Abraham's bosom. If a beggar were adopted into the 
succession of a crown, would he not please himself in forethinking of 
the happiness, honour, and pleasure of the kingly state ? So we vile 
creatures, that are adopted to be co-heirs with Christ, if we did hope to 
be heirs of the kingdom of heaven, heaven would have more of our 
thoughts, and take up more of the musings of our souls. We should 
still observe what we muse upon most. Carnal thoughts, and carnal 
projects discover a carnal heart ; when we are always thinking of pluck 
ing down barns and building greater, advancing our families and pro 
viding worldly increase ; when we are talking to ourselves, as Luke xii. 
18, ' He thought within himself, What shall I do, because I have no 
room where to bestow my fruits ? And he said, This will I do, I will 
pull down my barns, and build greater,' &c. The word BieXoyl^To 
signifies he was framing dialogues with himself of bestowing his goods ; 
this shows a carnal heart. So James iv. 13, ' To-day or to-morrow we 
will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and 
get gain.' It is usual with men to live upon the reversion of their 
hopes, and feed themselves with the pleasure thereof. As young heirs 
spend upon their hopes, and run out their estates ere they possess them, 
so doth the soul, either in matters carnal or heavenly, still feed upon 
its hopes. And therefore if there be such an earnest hope, you will be 
entertaining your spirits with suppositions of heaven, and framing 
images of the glory of the world to come. 

(2.) It bewrays itself by hearty sighs, and groanings, and longings 
after this happiness : Eom. viii. 23, ' And not only they, but ourselves 
also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan 
within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of our 
body.' They that have once tasted of the clusters of Canaan, that 
have the first-fruits of the Spirit, have tasted of the goodness and sweet 
ness of God in Christ, think they can never be soon enough with him 
in heaven. When shall it once be ? They are still looking out ; and 
the nearer they come to enjoyment, the more impatient they are of the 
want. As natural motions are swiftest in the end a stone, the nearer 
it is to the centre, it moves the faster so the longer a Christian lives 
in Christ, the more he sends forth his desires and heart after his happi 
ness, and therefore groans, Waiting for the revelation of the sons of God, 
and for this blessed hope. The apostle says, ' The earnest expectation 
of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God/ Kom. 
viii. 19. The word OTTO Kapaboicia signifies a lifting up of the head, 
as we are wont to put out our head to see if we can spy a thing a 
great way off; as Judges v. 28, Sisera's mother and the ladies ' looked 

YER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS u. 11-14. 177 

out at the window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot 
so long in coming ? ' as if they would spy him afar off. So the soul is 
still looking out : When will the change come ? when will it once be ? 
.They would have a fuller draught of the consolations of the Spirit, more 
freedom from sin, and a more entire love of God : they have had some 
taste already, therefore they long for the increase and full perfection 
of it. 

(3.) By lively tastes and feelings. It is said of a believer, ' He hath 
eternal life/ John iii. 36 ; that is, in tlie beginnings of it ; he hath some 
taste here upon earth. Hope is called not only living, but ' lively hope/ 
1 Peter i. 3, because it quickens the heart, and fills it with a solid 
spiritual joy ; and Kom. v. 2, ' We rejoice in hope of the glory of God/ 
It is a joy that is for enjoyment and possession. In worldly things there 
is pain and travail, and burdensome expectation till we come to enjoy 
a thing ; but a Christian rejoice th in his hopes. So 1 Peter i 8, ' In 
whom believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory,' It 
is true all feel it not in such a degree ; it depends on a sense of grace, 
which all believers have not always ; but all believers, whenever they 
meditate upon heaven, they find sweetness shed abroad in their hearts 
when they think what is provided for them by Christ. Worldly hope 
is only as a dream of a shadow ; there is pain and travail in expectation, 
and there is no satisfaction when we come to fruition ; but our hopes in 
Christ fill the soul with this lively joy t Look, as the patriarchs that 
waited for the coming of Christ, the consolation of Israel, they hugged 
the promises : oh ! here is a sweet promise that will yield a Messiah 
at length, that shall save the world 1 Thus they rejoiced in what they 
foresaw concerning Christ in vision, type, and figure. So Christians 
that wait for happiness and blessedness to come, how do they find a 
great deal of sweetness shed abroad in their hearts by meditating upon 
their hope. 

II. To show the influence it hath upon the spiritual life. 

1. It purgeth the heart from lusts and the filthiness of sin : 1 John 
iii. 3, * Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even 
as he is pure/ How doth this hope make him purify himself ? Thus ; 
the things we look for are all holy and pure ; it is a great part of our 
portion in heaven to be freed from sin, to be consorts of the immacu 
late Lamb. Now the soul will say thus, Do I look upon this as my 
happiness ? Do I hope to be like Christ hereafter, and be freed from 
the burden of corruption, and can indulge and allow these lusts in my 
heart ? A man hopes for nothing de future* which he would not pre 
sently compass were it in his power. We do not look for a sensual 
paradise, but for a pure and blissful estate, that is made up of sinless- 
ness and purity ; and therefore, whoever hath set his heart upon the 
hopes of Christianity, the vision of God, and fruition of Christ, he must 
needs begin here, especially since God hath required preparation ; here 
we are to be made meet, seasoned and qualified, to accomplish the 
months of our purification, to prepare ourselves more and more for these 
glorious hopes. 

2. It withdraws our hearts from present things : Phil. iii. 20, ' Our 
conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ.' A Christian lives in the earth as if he were in the 



midst of the angels. We are weaned from the world by looking for 
better things, and so the world is outshined. As a man that hath looked 
upon the sun, his eyes are dazzled, and cannot see an object less glorious, 
so when we look within the veil upon our blessed hopes, the glory of 
the world is obscured. The apostle renders this as a reason why 
Abraham was a stranger in the promised land, there where he had 
most right, yet he dwelt in tents : Heb. xi. 9, 10, ' For he looked for 
a city which hath foundations/ Abraham had other expectations ; he 
did not look upon the walled cities of the Amorites, but upon heaven 
that was founded by God himself ; he had other thoughts. They that 
live to the world and to the flesh never tasted what eternal life means. 
Look, as the Israelites longed for the flesh-pots of Egypt before they 
had tasted the clusters of Canaan, so here the heart is carried out 
after better things. The soul must have some oblectation and delight, 
for love cannot be idle ; it is carried out to present things if we know 
no better. See how fitly they are joined together in the text : ' Deny 
ing worldly lusts, and looking for the blessed hope ; ' thereby do we 
come to deny worldly lusts, by looking for the blessed hope. We 
should soon return to worldly lusts if we do not often look up and con 
sider what God hath provided for us in heaven. A man whose heart is 
much in heaven, his affections are pre-engaged, and /therefore the world 
doth him little hurt. Birds are seldom taken in tbeir flight, but when 
they pitch and rest. Oh 1 if we had more of these heavenly flights ; if 
the soul did mount upward more, it would better escape the snares of 
worldly things. 

3. It urgeth to care, diligence, and constancy in obedience. Hope is 
the great spring that sets the wheels a-going : Phil. iii. 13, 14, ' For 
getting those things that are behind, and reaching forward towards 
those things that are before, I press towards the mark, for the prize of the 
high calling of God in Christ.' What is the reason Paul was so 
earnest that a little grace would not content him, but he was striving 
for more so earnestly and zealously? He was called to enjoy a high 
prize, a glorious reward. There is an excellent glory set before us ; 
this race is not for trifles. Christians are the more cold and careless in 
the spiritual life because they do not oftener think of heaven. The 
end quickens to the use of means ; as it is the measure of the means, so 
it sweetens the means, notwithstanding all difficulty. Why ? Because 
it will bring us to such an end : 1 Cor. xv. 58, ' Be ye steadfast, immov 
able, always abounding in the work of the Lord ; forasmuch as you know 
your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.' You can never do enough 
for the Lord. Why ? ' Your labour is not in vain in the Lord.' This 
will make you to be instant and earnest, and to hold out to the end in 
the midst of difficulties ; heaven will pay for all. You have no cause 
to begrudge God any service ; though it put the body to pains and 
labours, do not spare it; Christ will honour it sufficiently. The 
apostle hath an expression, 2 Thes. i. 10, ' That Christ will be glori 
fied in his saints, and admired in all them that believe.' The soul 
will remember the body as Pharaoh's butler did Joseph. How ? In 
prayer and fasting and holy exercises. And when Christ comes to raise 
the body, he will put so much glory and clarity upon it that the angels 
shall stand wondering what Christ is about to do with a poor creature 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 179 

that is but newly crept out of dust and rottenness. Before a feast we use 
to take a walk. There is a world of glory provided for us in heaven. 
Though the work of God be painful, yet it is very fruitful. God will 
reward you as much as you can desire ; and this makes you to be 
earnest and zealous, and to labour in the spiritual life. We com 
pare the pains of duty with the pleasure of sin, but the comparison is 
not rightly made ; you should compare the pleasure of sin with the 
reward. I confess you may compare Christ's worst with the world's 
best, the pains of duty with the pleasure of sin ; the former is more sweet 
to a gracious heart ; but the comparison should rather be made thus : 
compare the base dreggy pleasures of sin with those pure pleasures 
that are at God's right hand, and with the happiness that is to come, 
which we expect in Christ. 

4. It maketh us upright and sincere in what we do. That is 
hypocrisy and guile of spirit to look asquint upon secular rewards. 
You know the hypocrites that Christ taxeth, when they pray, fast, 
and do other duties to be seen of men, ' they have their reward/ 
Mat. vi. 2. They have given God a discharge, they look for no more than 
they have already. As hired servants must have present wages and pay 
in hand, they wait not for the inheritance as children do. So carnal 
affections they look to the rewards here below. If they may have the world, 
and live in honour and pleasure here, they give God an acquittance for 
anything else. But now this is sincerity to make God our paymaster 
to do all we do upon the encouragement of the blessed hope : Col. iii. 
24, ' Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inher 
itance, for ye serve the Lord Christ.' You have a master good enough, 
you need not look elsewhere for your wages. And nothing on this side 
heaven will satisfy the soul, nothing but these glorious hopes. 

5. This blessed hope supports the soul under afflictions and difficul 
ties that do befall us in a course of godliness. We counterbalance 
what we feel with what we expect. We feel nothing but trouble, yet 
it is not in vain to serve God. I confess we are apt to think so. Saith 
David, Ps. Ixxiii. 13, 14, 'Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, 
and washed my hands in innocency ; for all the day long have I been 
plagued, and chastened every morning/ My innocency is to no purpose : 
Mai. iii. 14, ' Ye have said, It is in vain to serve God, and what profit 
is it that we have kept his ordinance ? ' It is a usual temptation, for 
we measure all things by sense and feeling, and sense makes lies of 
God. Ah 1 but consider, that which you feel is not worthy to be named 
the same day with that which you hope for : Eom. viii. 18, ' I reckon 
that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared 
with^the glory that shall be revealed in us/ Glory is revealed to our 
ears in^the gospel, but it will be revealed in us hereafter : 2 Cor. iv. 17, 
' Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far 
more exceeding and eternal weight of glory/ Alas ! this light afflic 
tion is but the scratch of a pin compared with the weighty massy crown 
of glory ; for, saith the apostle, ' we look not at the things which are 
seen, but at the things which are not seen/ Christians, what do you 
make your scope ? (for that is the word O-KOTTOVVTWV rjpwv). Is it to 
preserve your interest, to live delicately ? Then the blessed hope is 
not for your turn. But when you have fixed your hopes upon these 


things, you will see this is but a small matter in comparison of what 
God hath provided for you. A Christian's blessings are future, his 
crosses are present ; therefore we need some support. Now hope is 
of great use in affliction and temptations ; this appears by the compari 
sons that are used ; it is called an anchor in the stormy gusts of tempta 
tions, and a helmet in all spiritual conflicts. There are fightings 
without and fears within ; here is a helmet, here is an anchor ; hope 
is the anchor of the soul ; and the apostle reckons up all the properties 
of a good anchor ; it must be firm, sharp, and enter into good ground ; 
so saith he, Heb. vi. 19, ' Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, 
both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.' 
Here is a sure holdfast, upon good ground ; it is a weighty anchor, 
which will not bow nor break. Mariners when they have cast out a good 
anchor, which is fastened to the ship with a strong cable, they sleep 
quietly ; though the winds blow, and the storms and tempests arise, they 
know the anchor will keep them from floating and dashing upon the 
rocks ; so hope is a good anchor. Then it is a helmet : Eph. vi. 19, 
'And take the helmet of salvation/ that is, hope ; 1 Thes. v. 8, ' And 
for an helmet the hope of salvation.' The apostle reckons up all the 
pieces of the spiritual armour ; faith, that is a shield for the body ; 
but hope that is a helmet for the head. As long as we can lift up our 
heads, and look up to heaven, we are safe whatever befalls us ; it will 
hold out in the midst of all the fiery darts that are cast at us. 

6. This looking for the blessed hope is of use to resist temptations. 
Sin makes many promises, and so prevaileth by carnal hopes. Balaam 
was moved to curse God's people against his conscience ; but when 
he boggled and stuck at it, Come, saith Balak, I will give thee gold and 
silver ; this puts quickening into him. The fool in the gospel promised 
himself long life : Luke xii. 19, ' Soul, soul, thou hast goods laid up for 
many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry.' So Jer. xliv. 
17, ' We will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth out of our own mouth, 
to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, as we have done, we and our 
fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the 
streets of Jerusalem ; for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, 
and saw no evil.' And so the devil comes to Christ, and makes the 
temptation as strong as he can : Mat. iv. 8, 9, ' He showeth him all the 
kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them ; and saith unto him, All 
these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.' 
And Babylon's fornication was presented in a golden 'cup ; there are 
baits of honour and preferment to draw them to popery and heresy. 
Now faith sets promise against promise, and heaven against earth, and 
the pleasure at God's right hand against carnal delight. As one nail 
drives out another, so one hope and one promise drives out another. 
Carnal motions are defeated by spiritual promises, and those motions 
that are presented to the soul. 

VEB. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS u. 11-14. 181 

Looking for, &c. TITUS ii. 13. 

USE 1. Information. 

1. It informs us that we may look for the reward. Those men 
would be wiser than God that deny us a liberty to make use of the 
Spirit's motives ; they begrudge God's bounty. To what end should 
God propound rewards but that we should close with them by faith ? 
Graces may be exercised about their proper objects without sin. It re- 
quireth some faith to aim at things not seen. The world is drowned 
in sense and present satisfactions ; they are mercenaries that must have 
pay in hand ; their souls droop if they do not meet with credit^ ap 
plause, and profit ; they make man their paymaster ; they have the 
spirit of a servant, that prizes present wages above the inheritance ; 
but it is the work of grace to look for the blessed hope, and a great 
help to us in our work. It was the comfort of Christ's human soul : 
Heb. xii. 2, ' Who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the 
cross, despising the shame.' Christ as man was to have rational com 
forts and human encouragements. Nothing is sinful but coveting the 
reward whilst we neglect the work ; when we will be mercenarii, but 
not operarii ; we would receive the reward, but not do our work. We 
are all born libertines ; we would sever the reward from the duty : 
Hosea x. 11, ' Ephraim is an heifer that is taught, and loveth to tread 
out the corn,' but not to break the clods ; in treading out the corn 
there was pleasure and profit, but in breaking the clods pain and lab 
our. Or else we sin in having a carnal notion of heaven ; our looking 
for heaven is like their looking for Christ as the consolation of Israel. 
Some of the Jews look for a carnal Messiah ; so do many Christians for 
a carnal heaven, for base pleasures, fleshly delights. Such hopes de 
base the heart. It is the privilege of our profession that we have a 
sublime hope. Or else we sin in looking for the reward as the fruit of 
merit ; if we expect it as wages for work done, we are mercenaries. 
Sin and death are as work and wages: Horn. vi. 23, ' The wages of sin 
is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our 
Lord/ Eternal life is a donative. What is the reason of this differ 
ence ? Because wicked men stand upon their own bottom, but Christ 
hath obtained this privilege for us. Wicked works are ours, merely 
evil, but the good we do is by God's grace, as a servant tradeth with 
his master's estate. I am bound to do good, and am forbidden to sin ; 
when I do that which is forbidden, I deserve punishment ; but when I 
do that which is commanded, I do not deserve a reward, because I am 
bound to do it : Jude 21, ' Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus 
Christ unto eternal life.' It is mercy that we are called, mercy that 
we are glorified ; neither before conversion nor after conversion do we 
deserve anything. We serve a good master, he hath provided comforts 
for us, not only against our misery, but our unworthiness ; we have not 
only glory as a reward, but mercy as the cause of it, glory out of the 
hands of mercy. Thus must you look for the reward, and build your 


hopes of it. As you pray, so must you expect. Now you will not 
pray, Lord ! give me heaven, for I deserve it ; natural conscience 
would blush at the immodesty of such a request. Who would not 
have the title of inheritance rather than of hire? Again, our own 
happiness must not be our ultimate end. Man was made for a twofold 
end to glorify God, and enjoy him for ever ; they must both go to 
gether ; we must desire the enjoyment of God that we may glorify God 
to all eternity, otherwise interest swayeth us more than duty. First, 
we love God out of interest, and are drawn with the cords of a man ; 
as first the fire is kindled, and then it sendeth forth much smoke; 
afterwards we love God out of pure affection ; at length, as the new 
nature gathers strength and perfection, men rejoice in God's glory as 
much as in their own salvation; it is a simple act of adoration. In 
heaven it will be so, we shall rejoice in God's glory as much as in our 
our own interest and profit. 

2. It informs us of the reason why the world and sin have such a power 
over men, why they lie under the power of present things ; we do not 
awaken our hopes, and consider blessedness to come so much as we 
should. It is not only a difference between sinners and saints, but be 
tween Christian and Christian ; one is more heavenly than another. As 
there is a difference between ordinary subjects and courtiers ; those that 
are always in their prince's eye and company are more polite in their 
manners than others, so the oftener the soul is in God's court, the 
more holy ; our hopes will have an influence upon our practice. It is 
hope that carries the soul aloft out of the reach of temptation, as birds 
when flying on high in the air need not fear nets nor snares nor the 
craft of the fowler. Keep hope alive, and then a Christian cannot fail : 
Heb. iii. 6, ' Whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence, and 
the rejoicing of hope firm unto the end/ If a man had such a lively 
hope, and some taste and feeling of heaven and blessedness to come, 
and a constant groaning after them ; if we could but glory in our 
hopes as much as if we had present possession, then we need not fear 

3. It informs us that it is a false hope that doth not urge to practice 
and strictness of life. Some men make full account to go to heaven, 
but make no preparation for it ; their course is another way ; there is 
not only an unsuitableness to their hopes, but a contrariety. If there 
were only an unsuitableness, it were enough to discover the cheat, for 
we are ' to be made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the 
saints in light,' Col i. 12, and ' to walk worthy of God, who hath called 
us to his kingdom and glory,' 1 Thes. ii. 12, and ' to walk worthy of 
the vocation wherewith we are called/ Eph. iv, 1. There is a suitable 
ness between a man and his great hopes. When David was a shepherd, 
he spent his time in keeping his father's sheep, and had the heart of a 
shepherd ; but when he was called to be king, then he behaved himself 
like a king, like a shepherd of the people. So a Christian discovers his 
hopes in his disposition and in his practice, and doth walk as an heir 
of the grace of life. There may be a slight hope which hath no 
efficacy, but those serious sighs and hearty groans I speak of, certainly 
they will work a suitableness in the temper of our hearts and the con 
stitution of our souls, and we shall be more holy , there will be more 

VEE. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 183 

worthy walking, more detestation of sin, more contempt of the world, 
more diligence in the spiritual life. When you walk as if your hopes 
were altogether in this world, when princes in scarlet embrace a dung 
hill, when those that are called to great and glorious hopes live as if 
their happiness were only here below, heaping up wealth, treasure, and 
worldly conveniences to themselves, it is a lamentation. If you saw a 
man labouring in filthy ditches, and sullying himself as poor men do 
with mire and dirt, who would believe he were an heir-apparent to a 
crown, and called to inherit a kingdom ? So when we live as men of 
the world, when there is an unsuitableness between us and our hopes, 
how do we walk as the heirs of grace ? But now, when there is not 
only an unsuitableness, but an open contrariety in their practice, and 
yet they think to go to heaven, it is as if a man whose journey lay 
north should travel just south. Can that man look to be filled up with 
God when God is not in all his thoughts ? Can he long for the com 
pany of Christ that slights his ordinances ; Can he prize the com 
munion of saints to whom good company is a prison ? Can he look 
for an immaculate and sinless state to whom purity is an eye-sore, and 
who hates the power of godliness ? Yet many such deceive themselves 
with false hopes, when there is not only unsuitableness, but a plain 

4. It informs us that an assured interest in heaven is no ground of 
looseness or laziness. Comfort serves to quicken, but not to slacken our 
endeavours. The more we look for heaven, the more it engageth us to 
strictness of life. The apostle, after he had professed his assurance, 
' We are confident and willing rather to be absent from the body, and 
to be present with the Lord/ 2 Cor. v. 8. What then? ver. 9, 
* Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be ac 
cepted of him/ Here is a sure recompense ; our great care is that we 
may live and die in his grace, because we are confident we shall live 
with the Lord when we depart from the body: Jude 21, ' Keep your 
selves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus 
Christ unto eternal life/ When God is so gracious in Christ, providing 
such great things for such unworthy creatures as eternal life, and we 
come to receive glory out of the hands of mercy, what a mighty engage 
ment is this to make us watch against all decays and coolings of love. 

Use 2. To exhort us to this expectation or looking for the blessed 
hope. The method and way is first to believe, then to apply, then to 

1. Believe it, that there is such a happiness reserved for the children 
of God. Next to God's being we are bound to believe his bounty : 
Heb. xi. 6, ' He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that 
he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him/ These two principles, 
that God is, and that he is a rewarder, are the fundamental notions that 
keep up all religion. There is a mist upon eternity to a carnal heart ; 
they are led by sense, and believe no more than they see : Heb. xi. 1, 
' Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things 
not seen/ Fancy and nature cannot outsee time and look beyond death. 
Faith holdeth the candle to hope, and then we are able to look into the 
other world, and to see a happy state to come. Now because faith is 
weak in most, and we waver more in the belief of God's bounty than of 


his being, his Godhead is manifested by present sensible effects, but we 
scruple his rewards, which are wholly to come; therefore let us strengthen 
and help faith as much as we can. The word is clear in this point. 
Now God hath been true in all things : Fidelis in omnibus, in ultimo 
non deficiet He that hath been faithful in all things will not fail us 
at last. The calling of the gentiles, the rejection of the Jews, the 
sending of the Messiah, these were things as invisible and as much to 
come as heaven is to us ; now all these things have been fulfilled, 
and why should we not trust God to the last ? Experience is wont to 
beget hope : Rom. v. 4, ' And patience, experience ; and experience, 
hope.' Can God lie, or truth itself be false ? What need hath God to 
flatter thee or deceive thee ? If we did preach a God that needed the 
creatures, then you might suspect what we tell you in his name ; but he 
hath no interest to be gratified ; his vehement longings are for your 
good and profit : Deut. v. 29, ' Oh that there were such an heart in them 
that they would fear me and keep all my commandments always, that 
it may be well with them and with their children for ever/ God doth 
not say that it may be well with me, but with them. Again, let reason 
be heard to speak how suitable it is to God's nature. Consider, the 
being of God is infinite and eternal, and so is the reward ; the apostle 
calls it, 2 Cor. iv. 17, ' a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.' 
Araunah gave like a king. God's gifts are like himself, suitable to his 
infinite mercy and eternal duration ; how likely is it that God will once 
show himself like himself ! And they are suitable to the merit of Christ. 
Is God at such expense for trifles ? The comforts of this world may 
be bought with gold and silver, but the apostle saith, 1 Peter i. 18, 
19, 'Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and 
gold, &c., but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb 
without blemish and without spot.' Why would God give so 
great a price out of his own treasury, but to take a debt upon him 
self, and to oblige his justice to be our friend ? If Christ can be ia 
the womb and in the grave, why may not we be in heaven ? 
It is more credible to believe that a creature should be in heaven 
than a God should be in the grave ; and Christ's abasement (which is 
first) is more than our advancement. There is not so great a distance 
between us and happiness as between Christ and misery. Men naturally 
being made capable of a higher condition of mind and affections, to love 
and know God, godliness must have a better recompense than is to be 
had in the world. These are but the offals of providence, enjoyed by 
God's enemies ; they have the greatest share : Ps. xvii. 14, ' From men 
of the world, which have their portion in this life.' The wiser men 
are, the more they contemn these things ; children are taken with rattles. 
Grace cannot be satisfied with the world without a higher enjoyment 
of God. Pleasures are common to us with the beasts ; wicked men 
flow in ease and plenty. A reward there must be ; it is impossible a 
creature should rest in its own action. We see that natural actions 
that tend to maintain life have a sweetness and pleasure mingled with 
them, that we may not neglect them, or our own preservation, as eating 
and drinking, and the like ; therefore virtuous actions, much more such 
as are against the hair and bent of nature, must have a reward, a reward 
better than the work, or else it would be lost labour. There is a dis- 

VEE. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 185 

position and instinct of nature towards eternal happiness. Man's soul 
like a sponge is thirsty, and seeketh to be satisfied : Ps. iv. 6, * Who 
will show us any good ? ' And every good will not serve their turn. 
Men at first take up with the creature, because it is next at hand, but 
it satisfieth not ; their sore runneth till they come to enjoy God : Acts 
xvii. 27, * That they should seek the Lord, if haply they may feel after 
him, and find him/ When we have all outward blessings, the soul of 
man is not filled up ; there is something wanting to our peace and quiet. 
Solomon made experiments, but had no satisfaction. Thus you see 
there is no such reward so suitable to what is declared of God, of Christ, 
of the nature of man, of grace, as this blessed hope. 

2. Apply it. Besides the truth of the promises, look to the clearing 
up of your own interest and title. It is a poor comfortless meditation 
to think of a blessed hope, and the certainty of it, unless we have an 
interest in these things ; this will be but like the gaze of an hungry 
man upon a feast. The reprobates hereafter are lookers-on, and David 
speaks of a table spread for him ' in the presence of his enemies/ Ps. 
xxiii. 5. Hope hath never a more lively influence than when it is 
founded in property and a sense of our own interest : Job xix. 25, ' I 
know that my Kedeemer liveth ; ' and 2 Cor. v. 1, * We know that if 
our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building 
of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens ; ' 2 Tim. 
iv. 8, ' Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness 
which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day/ There 
is not only an heaven, but for me. Thus are the saints wont to profess 
their interest and assured hope. But is hope only the fruit of assurance ? 
I answer It is the fruit of faith, as well as of assurance or experience ; 
but certainly it is very comfortable when we can discern our own interest, 
and in some sort necessary. Before we can hope for ourselves, our 
qualification is to be supposed, for that is our evidence. Therefore I 
shall (1.) Press you to get this assurance ; (2.) Show what kind of 
application is absolutely required, that you may thus look for the 
blessed hope. 

[1.] Let me press you to get an assured title to heaven. In a matter 
of such moment, would a man be at an uncertainty ? Can he be quiet 
and not sure of heaven ? Not to look after it is a bad sign. A godly 
man may want it, but a godly man cannot slight it. A man may 
want it, he may creep to heaven ; some are ' scarcely saved/ 1 Peter 
iv. 18. Others have ' an abundant entrance ; ' 2 Peter i. 10, 11, { Give 
diligence to make your calling and election sure ; for if ye do these 
things, ye shall never fall : for so an entrance shall be ministered to you 
abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ/ For want of this you quite lose your heaven upon earth, which 
consisteth in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost ; and you lose much of 
the influence of hope. Uncertain wavering thoughts have little efficacy. 
But a good man cannot slight it ; it is a breach of a command which 
requireth diligence. It argueth spiritual security when men can be 
content to live long, and yet do not know what will become of them. 
How can you think of the coming of Christ without terror ? That 
which others look for and long for is your fear ; as Felix trembled as 
soon as he heard of judgment to come. 


[2.] I shall tell you what application there must be if we cannot 
attain to assurance. There are three degrees of application beneath 

(1.) Acceptation of God's offer, that is one degree of application: 
Job v. 27, ' Hear it, and know thou it for thy good/ Put in for these 
hopes ; and take God on his word ; stipulate with him, and undertake 
thy part of the covenant upon a confidence God will not fail thee. 
As Moses, when the book of the law was read, Exod. xxiv. 6, ' took 
half the blood and sprinkled it on the altar/ to show that God undertook 
to bless them ; and ver. 8, ' the other half he sprinkled on the people/ by 
which they were engaged to obey. There must be in all Christians 
' the answer of a good conscience/ 1 Peter iii. 21. 

(2.) Adherence. Stick close to this hope in a course of obedience. 
If we do God's work, we shall not fail of wages : 1 Cor. ix. 26, ' I 
therefore so run, not as uncertainly ; so fight I, not as one that beateth 
the air/ 

(3.) Affiance, resting, waiting upon God, though with some doubts 
and fears, for the revelation of this glory. Though you cannot say, It 
is yours, yet wait with hope till your change come, looking for the 
mercy of Christ, so that you durst venture your soul in that bottom. 
This is ' committing our souls to him in well-doing, as to a merciful 
and faithful Creator/ 1 Peter iv. 19. You put your souls into God's 
hands that made them. 

3. Expect it. This is the formal act of hope which is pressed in 
the text. This hope and expectation of blessedness is the strength of 
the inward man. The devils have a faith, but because it is without 
hope it yieldeth no refreshment : James ii. 19, ' Thou believest that 
there is one God, thou doest well ; the devils also believe and tremble/ 
The word signifies such a trembling as the raging of the sea ; it is a 
light that does not refresh, but scorch. There would be comfort in 
hell if there could be hope there. It is the duty now in season ; here 
we must expect : Kom. viii. 24, ' We are saved by hope/ In innocency 
there was little or no use of hope, and in heaven there will be none at 
all ; the object of man's happiness will be present and enjoyed ; but 
now all is to come ; we have only a taste and pledge to make us long 
for more and expect more. Faith by hope maketh them present sub 
stance : Heb. xi. 1, ' Faith is the substance of things hoped for/ Things 
of eternal life seem as a shadow and fiction to a carnal heart. This 
hope is an earnest elevation of the mind to look for what faith counteth 

Use 3. To direct us how to look for this blessed hope. 

1. Consider it. Hope is a temperate ecstasy, a survey of the land 
of promise. As God said to Abraham, Gen. xiii. 14, 15, ' Lift up now 
thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and 
southward, and eastward and westward ; for all the land which thou 
seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever ; ' so Ps. xlviii. 12, 
' Walk about Zion, and go round about her, tell the towers thereof/ 
It is a great advantage to think often of heaven, it maketh it present 
to us. Heaven deserveth our best thoughts. We should always do it ; 
in the morning it were a good preservative to keep us from being under 
the power of present things : Ps. xvii. 15/1 shall be satisfied when I 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 187 

awake with thy likeness.' In some special seasons doth hope set the 
mind a- work. In times of trouble and present sufferings we enjoy a 
happy dedolency ; the mind is untouched, whatever the body suffereth. 
When we are summoned to the grave, and bodily sicknesses put you in 
mind of death, when sense and speech fail, the love of God never fails; 
this pale horse is sent from Christ to carry us to glory ; and though 
we go down to the grave to converse with worms and skulls, this hope 
may comfort us, Job xix. 26, 27", ' And though after my skin worms de 
stroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God ; whom I shall see for 
myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins 
be consumed within me.' 

2: Long for it. Hope cannot be without groans. Every day wind 
up your affections, for here is nothing but conflicts and sorrows. Love 
to Christ cannot be without him, it will never be content. Nature 
desires perfection: Col. iii. 1, 2, ' If ye then be risen with Christ, seek 
those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand 
of God; set your affections on things above, not on things on the 
earth.' There is our God, our Christ, our rest : ' Where your treasure 
is, there will your heart be also/ Mat. vi. 22 ; not only the mind, but 
the heart ; what we are much thinking of, the desires will be working 
that way. The new nature cannot be without these desires ; every 
thing tendeth thither whence it came : Eph. i. 3, ' Who hath blessed 
us with all spiritual blessings ev rot? ovpaviols, in heavenly places.' God 
sits in heaven that dispenseth grace, Christ that conveyeth it ; thence 
come our mercies, comforts, and joys ; therefore it is against the ten 
dency of the new nature not to be tending thither, where Christ is, who 
is our greatest happiness. There is your father, your elder brother, 
the best of the family, and your spiritual relations, whom you most 
valued; the best company is in the other world. Here you have 
maintenance as in a foreign land, but there is your interest and estate. 
How unworthy soever we are, there is infinite mercy to give it, there 
it acts like itself ; infinite merit to purchase it, there we receive the 
full fruits of our redemption ; and the present fruits of the Spirit 
are the earnest of it, as an earnest is something in part of a greater 

3. Wait for it. There are groans of expectation as well as of desire. 
You have a fair charter granted by God the Father, written with the 
blood of Christ, sealed by the Spirit. To make your expectation more 
firm, consider 

[1.] Christ's goodness and mercy : ' Looking for the mercy of our 
Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,' Jude 21. He never discovered 
any backwardness to thy good, or inclination to thy ruin. 

[2.] God's faithfulness : Heb. ix. 18, 19, ' That by two immutable 
things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong 
consolation.' God stands more on his word than on heaven and earth. 
If an honest man has made a promise of anything, he will make it 
good ; much more may we depend on the faithful God. 

[3.] God's power. If our souls were in our own keeping, we might 
fear ; but ' we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salva 
tion,' 1 Peter i. 5. Abraham, being persuaded of God's power, ' against 
hope believed in hope,' Kom. iv. 18. 


[4.] Christ's merit and intercession : Eom. viii. 34, ' Who is he that 
condemneth ? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, 
who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession 
for us/ By his merit our right to heaven is purchased, and by his 
intercession it is maintained for us. 

That blessed hope, dc. TITUS ii. 13. 

DOCT. 2. The hope of Christians is a blessed hope. 

Hope is here put for the thing hoped for ; as Col. i. 5, l For the hope 
that is laid up for you in heaven/ where hope is put for the object 
of hope. Now this matter or object of our hope is sometimes called 
life, sometimes glory, sometimes joy and pleasure. It is a life that 
never shall be quenched or put out : Jude 21, ' Looking for the mercy 
of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.' It is a glory that is eternal 
for duration ; 2 Cor. iv. 17, it is called ' a far more exceeding and 
eternal weight of glory.' For the measure of it, it is above our conceit 
and expression, as much as a creature can bear. It is joy and pleasure 
without mixture and without end : Ps. xvi. 11, 'In thy presence is ful 
ness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' Now 
this hope is said to be blessed, because it puts us into the fruition of 
absolute blessedness. We cannot conceive of it now to the full ; when 
we come to enjoy it, we shall find it above all that ever we could conceive 
or hear of it. As much as we see and know of it showeth it is a blessed 
thing, but we shall understand it best when we hear the great voice 
calling us, Come up and see. 

But a little to set it before you. In blessedness there must be a 
removal of all evil, and a coacervation and complete presence of all that 
is good. As long as the least evil continueth, a man is not blessed, 
only he is less miserable. If a man had all things that heart could 
wish for, what would it avail him? as Haman, when he wanted 
Mordecai's knee, Esther v. 13, ' All this availeth me nothing, so long 
as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate/ Ahab had the 
kingdom of Israel, but yet he fell sick for want of Naboth's vineyard. 
If a man were never so well fitted for a journey, a little gravel in his 
shoe would founder him. As in carriages of war, though there be a 
great train, yet if one peg be missing or out of order, all stoppeth ; or 
in the body, if one humour be out of order, or one joint broken, it is 
enough to make us sick or ill at ease, though all the rest be sound and 
whole ; so if there be the least evil, a man cannot be a complete happy 
man ; complaining will not suit with blessedness. Now 

First, In the hope that we look for there is a removal of all evil. 
Evil is twofold either of sin or of punishment ; and in heaven there is 
neither sin nor misery. 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 189 

1. To begin with sin, that is the worst evil. Affliction is evil, but 
it is not evil in itself, but only in our sense and feeling ; if a man had 
a dedolency, it is no pain to a benumbed joint to be scourged. But 
sin is evil, whether we feel it or no, but it is worst when we feel it not. 
Certainly that is evil which separateth from the chiefest good. Afflic 
tion doth not separate from God, it is a means and an occasion to make 
us draw nigh to him ; many had never been acquainted with God but 
for their afflictions ; but sin separateth us from God : Isa. lix. 2, ' Your 
iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have 
Lid his face from you, that he will not hear.' Let a man be never so 
loathsome, yet, if he be in a state of grace, he is dear to God, the Lord 
taketh pleasure in him ; though rough-cast with ulcers and sores, 
and thrown into a prison, yet God will kiss him with the kisses 
of his mouth. There is nothing so loathsome and odious to God as 
sin ; this grieveth the saints most : Kom. vii. 21, ' wretched man that 
I am ! who shall deliver me from this body of death ? ' If any man 
had cause to complain of afflictions, Paul had ; he was often in perils, 
whipped, imprisoned, stoned ; but he doth not cry out, When shall I 
be delivered from these afflictions ? Oh ! but this body of death was 
worst of all ; lusts troubled him more than scourges, and his captivity 
to the law of sin more than chains and prisons. This is the disposi 
tion of the saints ; they are weary of the world, because they are sinning 
here whilst others are glorifying God, not only that they are suffering 
here whilst others are enjoying God. A beast will forsake the place 
where he hath neither meat nor rest. Carnal men, when they are 
beaten out of the world, have a fancy to heaven as a place of retreat ; 
but that which troubles godly men is their sin. Well, but in heaven 
there is no sin : Eph. v. 27, * 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.' There is neither spot nor 
wrinkle upon the face of the glorified saints. Their faces were once as 
black as yours, but now Christ presenteth them to God as a proof of 
the cleansing virtue of his blood. And how pure and clean they are, 
without spot or wrinkle, the apostle's words, ' that he might present it/ 
imply as if Christ did glory and rejoice in their purity as the fruits of 
his purchase. There you are freed from all sins. With much ado 
we mortify one lust, but nature recoileth ; as ivy in the wall, if you cut 
it down, it breaketh out again, It is much here if the dominion of sin 
be taken away ; there the being of it is abolished, in heaven it is not 
at all ; you will displease God no more, and are freed from all the 
immediate and inseparable consequences of original sin, distraction in 
duty, and the like. Here is no perfect love, and therefore the soul 
cannot be fixed in the contemplation of God ; that is the reason of 
wandering thoughts; but there the heart cleaves to God without 
straggling. In heaven we shall be freed from pride, which lasts as long 
as life, therefore called 'Pride of life/ 1 John ii. 16. We cannot have 
a revelation now but we grow proud of it : 2 Cor. xii. 7, ' And lest 
I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the 
revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger 
of Satan, to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.' Nor 


can there be an influence of grace but we are apt to be proud of it ; there 
is a worm in manna ; but then we are most high and most humble, 
because most holy. Christians ! is not this a blessed hope that telleth 
you of a sinless state, of being like Christ in purity and holiness ? 
1 John iii. 2, ' Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not 
yet appear what we shall be ; but we know that when he shall appear 
we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.' What is it that 
you have struggled with, and groaned under all your lives, but sin ? 
Now that is blotted out when the days of refreshing shall come. And 
as there is no sin, so there are no temptations. In paradise there was 
a tempter, but none in heaven ; Satan was long since cast out thence, 
and the saints fill up the vacant rooms of the apostate angels. The 
world is a place of snares, a valley of temptations ; it is the devil's cir 
cuit, where did he walk but to and fro in the earth ? but in heaven 
4 nothing entereth that defileth/ Kev. xxi. 27. No serpent can creep 
in there, though he could into paradise. Christians ! lift up your 
heads, you will get rid of sin, and displease God no more. Here we 
cry, Lord deliver us from evil ; and then our cries are heard to the full. 
Grace weakeneth sin, but glory abolisheth it, and the old Adam is left 
in the grave never to rise more. 

2. The next evil is the evil of affliction. Whatever is painful and 
burdensome to nature is a fruit of the fall, a brand and mark of our 
rebellion against God ; therefore affliction must be done away as well 
as sin if we be completely happy. As in hell there is evil, and only 
evil, a cup of wrath unmixed, without the least temperament of mercy, 
so in heaven there is happiness, and only happiness ; sorrow is done 
away as well as sin. It is said, Kev. xxi. 4, ' God shall wipe away all 
tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, 
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.' The afflictions of 
the soul are gone, there are no more doubts of God's love, nor sense of 
his displeasure ; here though we are pardoned, and the wound be cured, 
yet the scars remain. Absalom could not see the king's face when he 
was restored. In wise dispensation God sometimes hideth his face 
from us here upon earth. We need to be dieted, and to taste the vine 
gar and the gall sometimes, as well as the honey and sweetness, that 
we may the better relish our Christian comforts. The world is a 
middle place, standing between hell and heaven, and therefore hath 
something of both. The saints have their mixture of pleasure and 
sorrow : Job ii. 10, ' Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, 
and shall we not receive evil ? ' But there is fulness of joy, and plea 
sures for evermore : Ps. xvi. 11, ' Thou wilt show me the path of life; 
in thy presence there is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are plea 
sures for evermore ; ' there is no mixture of sorrow. Here we complain 
that the candle of the Lord doth not shine with a like brightness as in 
the months that are past ; there our sun remaineth in an eternal high 
noon, without clouds and overcasting ; Nox nulla secuta est, no night 
follows. The afflictions of the body are done away. Heaven is a happy 
air, where none are sick ; there is no such thing there as gouts and 
aches and the grinding pains of the stone. Here it is called ' a vile 
body,' Phil. iii. 21, as it is the instrument of sin and the subject of 
diseases. We have the root of diseases in the soul, and that is sin ; 

VER. 13,] SERMONS UPON TITUS IL 11-14. 191 

and the matter and fuel of them in the body, peccant humours and 
principles of corruption. As wood is eaten out with worms that breed 
within itself, so there are in our bodies principles of corruption that 
do at length destroy them ; but there we are wholly incorruptible. 
Yea, because deformity of the body is a monument of God's displeasure, 
one of the penal events of sin, introduced by Adam's fall, it is done 
away. The body riseth in due proportion ; whatever was monstrous 
or misshapen in the first edition is corrected in the second, like the 
erratas in a second edition. And for violence without, heaven is a 
quiet place ; when there are tumults in the world, God is introduced 
as sitting in the heavens, a quiet posture : Ps. ii. 4, ' He that sitteth 
in the heavens shall laugh.' There is nothing to discompose those 
blessed spirits ; wicked men cannot molest them nor abuse them. 
Here the very company of wicked men is a burden ; as Lot's righteous 
soul was ' vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked,' 2 Peter ii. 
7. David complains, Ps. cxxx. 5, ' Woe is me that I dwell in Mesech, 
and sojourn in the tents of Kedar.' But there ' the Son of man shall 
send forth his angels, and gather out of his kingdom all things that 
offend, and them which do iniquity,' Mat. xiii. 41. The wicked shall 
be bound hand and foot, and cast into utter darkness ; as when men 
will not be ruled, they are sent to prison. Here poor saints are sub 
ject to a number of infirmities, labour, thirst, hunger, cold, nakedness, 
and want, which all cease then. It is a rich inheritance, as well as a 
glorious one : Eph. i. 18, ' That ye may know what is the hope of his 
calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints/ 
These distinctions of poor and rich, as they are understood in the world, 
do not outlive time ; we shall have enough of true riches, which is 
eternal glory, and the full fruition of God. Labour ceaseth, though 
there be a continual exercise of grace. All things rest when they come 
to their proper place, so do they that die in the Lord. We still serve 
God, but without weariness ; yea, we are freed from the necessities of 
nature, eating and drinking and sleeping, to which the greatest po 
tentates are subject ; though they are exempted from hard bodily labour, 
yet they are not exempted from the necessities of nature. But there 
the use of meats and of the belly and stomach is abolished : 1 Cor. vi. 
12, ' Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, but God shall destroy 
both it and them.' It is a piece of our misery that our life is patched 
up of so many creatures ; as a torn garment is pieced and patched up 
with supplies from abroad. The sheep or silkworm supplies us with 
clothing, the beasts of the earth and fishes of the sea with food, and all 
to support a ruinous fabric, that is ever ready to drop about our ears. 
But there we are above meat and drink and apparel ; it will be our 
meat and drink to do our Father's will ; nakedness will be no shame, 
we shall have glory instead of a robe. And the body will not be a 
clog to the soul, but a help. This mass of flesh we carry about with 
us is now the prison of the soul, where it looketh out by the windows 
of the senses ; but there it is no longer the prison of the soul, but the 
temple of it. In short, all that I have to say upon this branch is com 
prised in Kev. xxi. 4, ' And God shall wipe away all tears from their 
eyes ; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain ; for the former things are passed 


away.' There is quite another kind of dispensation, no distraction of 
business ; our whole employment there will be to think of God, and 
study God, but without weariness, satiety or distraction. 

Secondly, In blessedness there is a confluence of all good. To the 
happiness of the creature it is necessary that his comforts should be full 
and eternal : Ps. xvi. 11, ' In thy presence is fulness of joy, and at thy 
right hand are pleasures for evermore ; ' 2 Cor. iv. 18, ' The things 
which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are 
eternal/ That they may be full for parts, full for the degrees and the 
manner of enjoyment, and that they should continue for ever ; that he 
may possess this happiness without fear of losing it, let us examine 
these things. 

1. He must enjoy all good for the parts of it ; the whole man in all 
his relations must be blessed ; for man being MOV TTO\LTLKOI>, a sociable 
creature, is to be happy not only in his person, but in his company and 
relations ; so we hope for an estate when our persons shall be happy, 
both in body and soul conformed to Christ, and we shall be blessed 
in our company and relations ; we are brought into the presence of 
God, which is blessedness itself, and into the sight and fellowship 
of his blessed Son, and into the company of blessed angels and 

[1.] The happiness of his person, and there both of his body and 
his soul. 

(1.) Of his body. It is good to consider that. It is now a temple 
of the Holy Ghost, and he cannot leave his mansion, and quit his 
ancient dwelling-place, and therefore he raiseth it up, and formeth it 
again into a complete fashion, like to Christ's glorious body : Phil. iii. 
21, ' Who shall change our vile body, that it may be like to his glori 
ous body,' for clarity, agility, strength and incorruption. Solomon's 
temple was destroyed, but the latter temple was nothing so glorious as 
the former. Men wept when they saw it : Ezra iii. 12, ' But many of 
the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men 
which had seen the first house, when the foundations of this house was 
laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice.' But it is not so here ; 
what is raised shall be quite another body. For the present there is 
to be seen a beautiful fabric, wherein God hath showed his workman 
ship ; every member, if 'it were not so common, would be a miracle, all 
is so ordered for the service and comeliness of the whole ; but now it 
is a vile body, subject to diseases, fed with meat, humbled with wants, 
many times mangled with violence, dissolved by death, and crumbled 
to dust in the grave, like a dry clod of earth. This is the body that we 
carry about with us, a mass of flesh, dressed up to be a dish for the 
worms. Men labour with a great deal of do by embalming it with 
spices to keep it from putrefaction, but all will not serve the turn ; it 
moulders at last. But this vile body shall rise in another manner, like 
to Christ's glorious body. When the sun appeareth tbfe stars vanish, 
their lustre is eclipsed and darkened ; but the Sun of righteousness, 
when he appears at the last day, doth not obscure but perfect our glory. 
But wherein shall our bodies be like to Christ's glorious body ? The 
apostle will tell us that in another place : 1 Cor. xv. 42-44, ' It is sown 
in corruption, it is raised in incorruption ; it is sown in dishonour, 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 193 

it is raised in glory ; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power ; it 
is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body/ Let me single 
out three expressions ; it is raised in incorruption, it is raised in glory, 
it is raised a spiritual body. 

(1st.) It is an incorruptible body. Now it yieldeth to the decays of 
nature, and is exercised with pains and aches, till at length it droppeth 
down like ripe fruit into the grave ; but hereafter it shall , be clothed 
with immortality, wholly impassible. What a comfort is this to 
them that are racked with stone and gout, humbled with diseases, or 
withered with age, to think they shall have a body without aches and 
without decays, that shall be always in the spring of youth ! The trees 
of paradise are always green. 

(2d) It is a glorious body. Here it is many times deformed, at 
least beauty, like a flower, is lost in sickness, withered with age, defaced 
by the several accidents of life; but then we shall be glorious like 
Christ's body. The naked body of. man at first was so beautiful that 
the beasts of the field admired it, and thereupon did homage to Adam ; 
but we shall not be conformed to the first Adam, but the second Adam. 
When CJirist was transfigured in the Mount, it is said, Mat. xvii. 2, 
1 His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the 
light.' There was such strong emissions of the beams of glory that 
they could not endure the shining of his garments, but it astonished 
the disciples ; his garments could not veil, nor their eyes endure those 
beams of glory. Paul could not endure that light that shined on him 
when Christ appeared to him from heaven, but was utterly confounded 
and struck blind : Acts ix. 3, 4, * And as he journeyed, he came near 
Damascus ; and suddenly there shined round about him a light from 
heaven ; and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, 
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ? ' By this you may guess a little 
what the glory of our bodies shall be, for we shall be like him. Moses, 
by conversing with God forty days, the complexion of his face was 
altered, so that he was forced to put a veil upon it. In this low estate 
in which we are, we must make use of these hints. If we lose a limb 
or a joint, he that healed Malchus' ear will restore it again. 

(3d) It is a spiritual body, either for agility, caught up into the air 
to meet the Lord, not clogged as now ; or rather, because more disposed 
for spiritual uses, for the enjoyments and employments of grace. Here 
it is a natural body, a great clog to us ; it is not a dexterous instrument 
to the soul ; we are not in a capacity to bear the new wine of glory ; there 
it is made more capacious, as wide vessels, to contain all that God will 
give out. The disciples fainted at Christ's transfiguration : Mat. xvii. 6, 
' And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were 
sore afraid/ We cannot receive such large diffusions and overflowings 
of glory as we shall then have ; every strong affection and raised 
thought doth overset us, and causeth ecstasy and ravishment ; eminent 
objects overwhelm the faculty. But there it is otherwise ; God maketh 
out himself to us in a greater latitude, and we are more able to 
bear it. 

(2.) For the blessedness of the soul, which is the heaven of heaven. 
Our happiness is called ' The inheritance of the saints in light ; ' Col. 
i. 12, ' Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to be 



partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.' It is not for a 
man that knows no other heaven but to eat, drink, sleep, and wallow 
in filthy and gross pleasures ; it is an inheritance in light, and for saints, 
that know how to value intellectual and spiritual delights. But wherein 
doth the happiness of the soul consist, in knowledge or in love ? Divines 
are divided, but certainly it is in both ; our happiness consists in the love 
and knowledge of God, from whence resulteth union with God and 
fruition of God. But now, which is to be preferred, to know God, or 
to love God ? that is a question. In one place it is said, John xvii. 
3, ' This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom thou hast sent ; ' so that it seemeth to be the heaven of 
heaven to have the understanding satisfied with the knowledge of God. 
And Ps. xvii. 15, ' As for me I shall behold thy face in righteousness ; 
I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.' That is our 
happiness, we go to heaven to know more of God, and the acts of the 
understanding are most noble. On the other side, 1 John iv. 16, ' God 
is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him/ 
It is not sight merely that makes us happy, the embrace of the soul is 
by love, the possession of the soul is by acts of love. One saith, though 
not modestly enough, Libentius sine aspectu te diligerem, quam te vid- 
endo non amarem stella de amore Dei I had rather not see thee than 
not love thee. Here in the world the hatred of God is worse than the 
ignorance of him, and therefore it should seem love should have the 
pre-eminence. But we need not make a fraction between these graces ; 
by knowing, we come to love ; and by loving, we come to know God ; 
as light is, so is love, and so is enjoyment. Here we love little, because 
we know little : John iv. 10, * If thou knewest the gift of God, and 
who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked, 
and he would have given thee living water.' And the more we love, 
the more we know ; this is a fire that casts light. But to speak more 

(1st.) There is the perfection of knowledge. All the faculties must 
be satisfied before we can be happy, especially the mind, which is the 
noblest faculty, and that which maketh us men. There is a natural 
inclination to knowledge, and the soul taketh a great deal of content 
ment in the contemplation of any truth : Prov. xxiv. 13, 14, 'My son, 
eat thou honey because it is good, and the honeycomb, which is sweet 
to thy taste ; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul, when 
thou hast found it/ Bight and clear thoughts of God breed a rejoicing : 
Ps. xix. 10, ' More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much 
fine gold ; sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb/ A man 
given to pleasures hath no such choiceness of delight ; therefore this is 
no small part of our happiness in heaven to have more light and know 
ledge of God and of his ways. We shall know many mysteries of salva 
tion, that now we are ignorant of ; as the nature of God : Ps. xvii. 15, 
' As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness ; I shall be satisfied 
when I awake with thy likeness/ The union of the two natures in the 
person of Christ: John xvii. 24, 'Father, I will that they also whom 
thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my 
glory which thou hast given me/ Our union with Christ, and by 
Christ with God : John xiv. 20, ' At that day ye shall know that I 

VEIL 13.] sERiioNS UPON TIT [is ii. n-14. 195 

am in my Father, and you in rne, and I in you.' The course of God's 
decrees and providences Tor our good : 1 Cor. xiii. 12, ' Now I know 
in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known ; ' that is, we 
shall be able to see how the unchangeable counsels of God for our sal 
vation have been carried on, through all the passages of the present 
life, to bring us safe to the heavenly state. These are the deeps of 
God, and now there is a darkness on the face of these deeps. The 
church is but a grammar school ; heaven is an university. We shall 
have better eyes and other light ; here prophecy is but in part, but 
there our intuition is immediate : 1 John iii. 2, ' We know that when 
he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.' 
Now it is sicut vult, as he is pleased to reveal himself ; then sicut est, 
as he is. Now we see what he is not, not corruptible, not mortal, not 
changeable, rather than what he is. Now we see him as he is in us, 
and as he is in other creatures ; we track him by the effects of his 
power, and wisdom, and goodness ; but then we shall see him as he is 
in himself ; ipsum cognoscemus per ipsum, we shall know him by him 
self : 1 Cor. xiii. 12, ' Now we see through a glass darkly, then face to 
face.' In the creatures there are vestigium, the tract and foot-print of 
God ; in the law there is umbra, the shadow of God ; in the gospel 
there is imago, the image of God, a fair draught of God, as in a pic 
ture ; but in heaven there is fades Dei, the face of God. We shall 
have excellent books to study, the large manifestations of glory, the 
majesty of Christ's person, the Lamb's face, who is the bride ; we shall 
be always sitting about the throne, and the Lamb in the midst. There 
God maketh out himself in the highest manifestations we are capable of. 

(2d) There is complete love. There is a constant cleaving of heart 
to God, without change and weariness, a love that never ceaseth work 
ing without weakness and distractions. If we delight in anything 
here, we soon grow weary, and have a change of objects; but God in 
heavenly communion is always fresh and new. Here are distractions 
arid star tings aside to the creature ; but there is an eternal solace and 
complacency, a continual sabbath that never groweth weary and bur 
densome. All the heart and bowels run out after Christ ; we shall 
never want the actual breathings of the Spirit. The Spirit came upon 
Sampson at times, so it doth upon us here ; we have several motions 
and fleetings, but there Jesus Christ is a more lovely object, and the 
delights of the soul are carried out to him without satiety ; we shall 
have a sweet complacency in and liking of him. Also outward things 
clog the appetite ; as soon as we have them we despise them, because 
our desires are restless ; we sip of them as the bee doth of the flower, 
and then we must have change, and go to a new flower ; but here is an 
eternal complacency in Christ. Here we are troubled when we want 
outward comforts, and cloyed when we have them. Curiosity is soon 
satisfied, and fruition discovereth their imperfection; still the more 
they are enjoyed the less they are beloved ; as Amnon hated Tamar 
when his lust was satisfied. Imperfections that before lay hid then 
appear to view, and so our affections are confuted by experience. But 
there the more we enjoy God, the more his infinite perfections are 
manifested, and our pleasure is augmented by our enjoyment. 

(3d) There is a complete union with God and fruition of him : 

196 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. XIV. 

2 Cor. v. 6, ' Knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are 
absent from the Lord ; ' Phil. i. 23, ' I am in a strait between two, 
having a desire to depart and to be with Christ.' Here we are united 
to Christ by faith, but that is nothing to sight and immediate intui 
tion ; we lay hold upon Christ, but have not such an absolute possession 
of him. He is a head that gives out himself, not by necessity, but 
choice and pleasure, therefore our communion with Christ is not so 
perpetual and familiar as it shall be then. As an iron that lieth long 
in the fire seemeth to be changed into the nature of it, so we are then 
more conformed and changed into the likeness of Christ: Ps. xvi. 11, 
' In thy presence is fulness of joy ; at thy right hand there are pleasures 
for evermore/ All comforts in this life we enjoy in God's absence, and 
have them at the second, third, and fourth hand, by the ministration 
of the creatures, sun, moon, and stars, or by the ministry of men. 
Now these are not vessels capacious enough to convey so much of God 
to us as we shall receive when God is all in all immediately : 1 Cor. 
xv. 28, ' And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall 
the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under 
him, that God may be all in all/ There is no temple nor ordinances 
in heaven, but the Lamb is the light thereof. We shall enjoy God 
without means or intervention of ordinances. , We are fed among the 
lilies, but it is but till the day break and the shadows flee away : Cant. 
ii. 16, 17, 'My beloved is mine, and I am his ; he feedeth among the 
lilies, until the day break and the shadows flee away: turn my 
beloved, and be thou like a roe, or young hart upon the mountains of 

[2.] The happiness of his relations and society. In our company 
we shall be blessed, God and Christ, and saints and angels : Heb. xii. 
22-24, 'But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and to the city of the 
living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and 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 to the spirits 
of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new cove 
nant/ &c. We shall see God in Christ. The bodily eye, that cannot 
look upon the sun, shall be perfectly glorified and strengthened ; though 
it cannot see the essence of God, yet it shall see greater manifestations 
of his glory than it is able to behold here. How will the Father wel 
come us as he welcomed Christ ! Ps. ii. 8, ' Ask of me, and I will give 
thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the 
earth for thy possession/ So he will say to us, as Mat. xxv. 21, 'Well 
done, thou good and faithful servant ; thou hast been faithful over a 
few things, I will make thee ruler over many things ; enter thou into 
the joy of thy Lord/ We shall not come into his presence with shame. 
Sin causeth shame, and maketh us shy of God ; but as the ey cannot 
endure the light if it be wronged, so a wronged conscience makes us 
afraid of the presence of God ; but when we shall be perfectly sancti 
fied, and sin shall be done away, we shall be able to stand in the pre 
sence of God. So as to Christ ; he cannot be contented without your 
company, and you should not be satisfied without his : John xiv. 3, 
' And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take 
you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also/ Oh ! what a 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 197 

joyful meeting will there be between us and our Kedeemer ! it will be 
much sweeter than the interview between Jacob and Joseph. Christ 
longeth for the blessed hour as you do. The wise men came from far 
to see him in a manger ; Zaccheus climbed up the tree to see him riding 
to Jerusalem. There will be another manner of sight of Christ in 
heaven than there was of him in the days of his flesh. When Joseph 
discovered himself to his brethren, and said, Gen. xlv. 4, ' I am Joseph, 
your brother,' what rejoicing was there ? Much more will there be 
joy in heaven when Christ shall say, I am Jesus, your brother, your 
Saviour, your Kedeemer ; when he shall lead us to God in a full troop 
and goodly company, and say, ' Behold, I and the children which thou 
hast given me/ Heb. ii. 13. What a blessed sight will that be ! Then 
as to the angels, what welcome will there be between you and them ! 
When Christ entered into heaven, they entertained him with their 
applauses and acclamations: Ps. xxiv. 11, 'Lift up your heads, ye 
gates ; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory 
shall come in ; ' so will they welcome the saints to heaven with acclaim- 
tions. They delight in the good of men, in their creation, redemption, 
conversion, so surely will they delight in the glorification of a sinner. 
And as to the saints your acquaintance, with whom ye have prayed, 
suffered, and familiarly conversed, memory is not abolished in heaven, 
but perfected ; those whom we knew here, we shall know again. A 
minister shall see his crown, and the fruit of his labours : 1 Thes. ii. 
19, ' You are our crown and our joy. 5 And those which have been 
relieved by us shall welcome us into heaven, who therefore are said to 
* receive us into everlasting habitations/ Luke xvi. 9. Yea, we shall 
know those that we never saw ; why else is it made a part of our 
privilege ' to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the 
kingdom of heaven? ' Mat. viii. 11. As Adam knew Eve as soon as 
he saw her, and in the transfiguration Peter knew Moses and Elias, 
who were dead many hundred years before, so shall we know one 
another ; certainly we shall not go to a strange people where we know 
nobody. As men at a feast are free and familiar with one another, 
we shall be discoursing of God's wisdom, mercy, and justice in the 
work of redemption. So did Moses and Elias talk with Christ : Luke 
ix. 30, 31, 'Behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses 
and Elias, who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease, which he 
should accomplish at Jerusalem.' Of the wonderful providence of God 
in conducting us to glory, as travellers in their inn take pleasure in 
discoursing with one another of the dirtiness and dangers of the way. 
The saints are clothed with majesty and glory, more lovely object 
than ever they were upon earth; and here is an innumerable company 
of them. With what joy were the disciples rapt when they saw 
but these two prophets, Moses and Eiias ! Mat. xvii. 4. Heaven is 
called not only a palace, but a city, a world to come, where there is 
a multitude which no man can number. This for the parts of this 

'2. For the manner and degree of enjoying, it is full. We are filled 
with the fulness of God, and shall eternally lose ourselves in an ocean 
of sweetness ; the soul is more capable, stretched out to the greatest 
capacity of a creature, yet God filleth it. Here we have but a few 


drops, there we shall be filled up to the brim, and have as much as we 
can hold : Ps. xvii. 15, ' I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy 
likeness.' There shall be complete joy and satisfaction ; all want, 
sorrow, and sin shall be done away ; we shall enter into our master's 
joy. We do not say the sea entereth into a bucket or cup, or a river 
into a man. In heaven the soul is so full of joy and glory as is inex 

3. For the duration of it, it is eternal. Our happiness is immortal, 
we can never lose it, which doubleth the joy and contentment of that 
state. God's love is everlasting, and so shall our happiness be ; there 
will be no fear of losing it : Eev. xxii. 5, ' They shall reign for ever 
and ever.' We shall never lay aside our diadem of glory, it is a 
garland that shall not wither. It is not only a certain and eternal 
state, but a state of actual delights. Christ's manifestations are not 
lessened by enjoyment, but they are like the widow's barrel of meal 
and cruse of oil, never spent ; but we shall always have the actual 
comfort of his presence. 

That blessed hope, &c. TITUS ii. 13. 

USE 1. For information in seven particulars 

1. That the children of God are not so miserable* as they appear ; 
they have other hopes and enjoyments than are seen, a large estate that 
lies in an invisible country ; it is not terra incognita, a land unknown, 
but it is a land unseen. Pearls and precious things lie out of sight, so doth 
the glory and blessedness of a Christian. Our happiness is a mystery 
to a carnal heart ; it lieth in another world : 1 John iii. 2, ' It doth not 
yet appear what we shall be.' Here we have a right, but the children 
of God are subject to the chances and accidents of the present world 
as well as others. Our happiness is only to be seen with a spiritual 
eye and with spiritual light : Eph. i. 18, ' The eyes of your understand 
ing being opened, that ye may know what is the hope of your calling, 
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.' 
However Christians seem in the eye of the world, mean, afflicted, 
despicable, yet they are blessed creatures. Look, as beasts know not 
the excellency of a man, so carnal men know not the excellency of the 
saints. The whore of Babylon, the corrupt church, is set out in her 
glorious outside with a golden cup, so carnal men, saith the apostle, ' make 
a fair show in the flesh,' Gal. vi. 12 ; that is, excel in pomp and worldly 
splendour ; but a Christian's glory and blessedness is under a veil and 
disguise, which shall not be fully taken off till the day of judgment : 
Col. iii. 3, 4, ' Your life is hid with Christ in God : when Christ who 
is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory.' 
Look, as in a dark lantern the light is hid, till the cover be removed 
little of the brightness of the light is seen, so there is an eclipse upon 

VEK. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 199 

the Christian's glory ; now it is covered and veiled, and therefore now 
the Christian passeth under censures and reproaches ; thus was Christ 
In the world and we must be like him, but then all shall be discovered. 
A garden and a field differ little in winter, so doth a Christian and other 
men till the great imperial day of Christ, then shall we put on our 
best robes. Yea, this happiness in a great part is hidden from ourselves. 
If we hearken to sense and present experience, there is not such a 
miserable sort of people in the world as God's dearest servants are . 1 
Cor. xv. 19, 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all 
men most miserable/ It is true by the perspective of faith we may 
have a glimpse now and then. Holy meditation strikes out and opens 
a window into the new Jerusalem, and we have some sight of it. A 
young heir doth not know the particulars of his estate, neither do we 
exactly know the happiness of our portion and inheritance in light. 

2. It informs us what cause we have, not only to be patient, but to 
be thankful during the time of our pilgrimage here, while we are liable 
to sin and sorrow ; we may bless God aforehand. That is one reason 
why God hath revealed these things before we come to enjoy them, that 
we may give thanks for our hopes. Abraham, when he had only a grant 
and- a promise of Canaan, not a foot of land actually possessed, there he 
built an altar, and offered sacrifice and praise, Gen. xiii. 17, 18 ; so this 
is one effect of the certainty of faith, it beginneth the life and work of 
heaven, and can praise God before enjoyment. Though we be subject 
to sin and misery here, 3 T et, in despite of sense, faith will praise God 
and rejoice in him before we enjoy him. Thus the apostle blesseth 
God for his hopes : 1 Peter i. 3, 4, * Blessed be the God and Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath 
begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ 
from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and 
that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.' Certainly we may 
bless God where God blesseth us ; our blessing is but the echo of his : 
Eph. i. 3, ' Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in 
Christ.' And therefore we have cause to bless him for our hopes as 
well as our enjoyments, for the best of our portion is to come ; therefore, 
whenever we think of eternity, we should presently fall a blessing of God r 
however it be with us for the present. 

To this end let me show you how much we expect, and how much 
we are engaged to every person of the Godhead. 

[1.] How much we do expect. There is freedom from eternal tor 
ments, and possession of eternal glory : 2 Thes. i. 10, ' Even Jesus, 
who hath delivered us from wrath to come.' Wrath present is nothing 
to wrath to come. Now God manageth all things by creatures, and no 
creature is sufficient to manifest all God's wrath. Those everlasting 
flames that are the portion of the damned, this is that from which we 
are delivered. We tremble at the name of hell ; what should we do 
at^the sense of these torments that are without end and ease ? The 
grips of conscience for an hour, how terrible are they. Then what is 
it to lie under the wrath of God for ever and ever ? We were involved 
in the same guilt, in the same polluted mass with others, therefore we 
might be bound up in the same bundle, to be cast into hell as well as 

200 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [S ER . XV. 

they. ^ Why are we taken and others left to perish ? Oh ! bless God 
for this, that we are as brands plucked out of the burning ; we are 
bound up in the same guilt and misery : Zech. iii. 2, ' Is not this a brand 
plucked out of the fire ? ' Though you feel the smart of the rod upon 
your backs, remember this is nothing to hell, damnation, and wrath to 
come ; and this is given to prevent that : 1 Cor. xi. 32, ' When we are 
judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned 
with the world/ What cause have we to bless God, that we may think 
of hell as a danger that we have escaped by Christ. But then for hea 
ven, the positive part of this blessedness, you have a right, though not 
an actual enjoyment. Sometimes heaven is said to be kept for us, and 
sometimes we are said to be kept for heaven : 1 Peter i. 5, * Who are 
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.' Christ holds 
heaven in our right, in our stead, and in our names, and we are kept by 
the power of God for heaven. Again, heaven is prepared for us: Mat. xxv. 
34, ' Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit a kingdom prepared for 
you from the foundation of the world/ And we are prepared for 
heaven : Horn. ix. 23, ' And that he might make known the riches of 
his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had afore prepared unto 

[2.] The greatness of your engagement to all the persons of the 

(1.) To God the Father. Admire the love of God, that poor worms 
should be so exalted, that a clod of earth should shine as the sun, that 
those dark and impure souls of ours should be purified and glorified. 
God could not satisfy himself with temporal kindness, with loving us 
for a while, but he must love us for ever : Ps. ciii. 17, 'The mercy of 
the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting to them that fear him.' 
From eternity to eternity God is God and our God. Nay, and small 
things would not content him, but we must be interested in a complete 
blessedness : 1 John iii. 1, 2, ' Behold what manner of love the Father 
hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God ! 
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, but it doth not yet appear what 
we shall be ; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like 
him, for we shall see him as he is.' Oh ! we should often work this 
upon our hearts, the great love of God in predestinating us to such a 
glory. There is a great deal of mercy laid out upon us during our 
pilgrimage, but more laid up for us : Ps. xxxi. 19, * Oh ! how great is 
thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee ! ' Oh ! 
the greatness of love. Infinite mercy sets itself a- work, to see what it 
can do for man, a poor wretched creature, a thing of yesterday, a rebel, 
an enemy to God. Think of it we may, but we cannot express it to the 
full. The least of God's mercies is more than we can acknowledge, and 
deserves praise ; much more this full portion, for here God sets himself 
to make a creature as happy as it is capable. The Lord hath gone to 
the utmost in nothing but his love ; he never showed so much of his 
wisdom and power, but he could show more ; but he hath no greater 
thing to give us than himself and his Christ, he cannot love us more ; 
there can be no more done, there can be no higher happiness than the 
eternal enjoyment of himself. All the promises of the word come short 
of what you shall enjoy. That which Paul saw and heard in heaven 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TIT us n. n-u. 201 

in his ecstasy, were apprjra p^ara, l words that could not be uttered/ 
2 Cor. xii. 4. The scriptures, that are sufficient to make the man of 
God perfect here, profess an insufficiency, weakness, and imperfec 
tion when they come to speak of heaven and the glory of it : 1 Cor. 
xiii. 9, * For we know in part, and we prophesy in part/ is spoken with 
respect to heaven and happiness to come ; there the scripture can speak 
but in part, there are no words nor notions in the world sufficient to 
express what God hath provided, and we have not ears to hear it. All 
the notions now we have of things must be taken from what is obvious 
to sense and present apprehension ; and therefore certainly, because 
heaven surpasseth all that hath been, we cannot apprehend the glory 
of it. The scripture leaves it rather to be admired in silence ; there 
are joys unspeakable ; there is no language intelligible to us that is fit 
to represent heaven. Oh ! then, admire the love of God the Father, 
that hath provided such great things for us. 

(2.) Consider how deeply we are engaged to Jesus Christ. To deliver 
us from wrath to come, he himself ^was made a curse, and tasted the 
vinegar and gall : Gal. iii. 13, ' Christ hath redeemed us from the curse 
of the law, being made a curse for us/ Something he suffered that 
answered wrath to come. In hell there is poena damni, and pcena 
sensus, the loss, the pain and sense of God's wrath. The Lord Christ 
had for a while the suspension of the joys and actual consolation of his 
divine nature, a loss that cannot be imagined : Mat. xxiii. 46, * My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? ' there is his loss. Then 
he had an actual feeling of the wrath of God ; therefore he saith, Mat. 
xxvii. 38, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death;' there 
was his sense of pain. He was forsaken that we might not be separated 
from God for ever, and his soul was heavy to the death that we might 
not be cast into eternal burnings. Then for the positive part, that we 
might have everlasting glory, Christ left his heaven that we might enjoy 
ours ; he came from heaven, and is gone to heaven again, and will come 
from heaven the second time, and all to bring us thither with the more 
triumph ; so that going and coming, coming and going, he is still ours. 
He came at first out of the bosom of God, to establish the merit, and 
pay the price for our glory. God sold it not at an easy rate ; the blood 
and agonies and shame of the Son of God must go for our glory ; it 
was no easy matter to bring sinful creatures so near to God. The Lord 
would not so much as treat with apostate angels ; when once they were 
sinners, they were no more to remain in his presence, nor to come near 
him, but they were cast out of heaven. The door was shut against 
sinning creatures, but Christ came to open it. Christ came to open 
paradise that was guarded with a flaming sword ; he caught the blow, 
that we might have communion with God, and therefore he sueth it 
out as the fruit of his sufferings. When Christ was about to die, he 
made his last will and testament. Heaven was his by purchase, to 
bestow upon all his heirs. He had bought it at a dear rate, therefore 
now he shows what he would do with it : John xvii. 24, ' Father, I will 
that those whom thou hast given me may be where I am, that they 
may behold my glory.' And then he is gone to heaven again as our 
harbinger, to prepare a place for us : John xiv. 2, ' I go to prepare a 
place for you,' to take up mansions and rooms for us in his Father's 

202 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiB. XV, 

palace. He is gone as a guardian or feoffee in trust, to seize upon 
heaven in our right, to keep it during our nonage, and he will come 
again in person, as the husband of the church, to bring us into his 
Father's house with triumph ; therefore it is said, Rev,, iv. 10, that the 
elders did ' cast their crowns before the throne/ not as despising their 
glory, but as professing their homage and dependence ; and Rev. v. 8, 
9, * The four beasts and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the 
Lamb, &c., saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the 
seals thereof ; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy 
blood.' His abasement was for our preferment ; and therefore even 
here upon earth may we bless God (for the elders represent the church 
upon earth) for his great mercy to us in Christ. 

(3.) Consider how much we are engaged to God the Spirit, who fits 
and prepares us for this happy state, and seals up our interest to us ; 
therefore it is called ' the earnest of the Spirit : ' ' Now he that hath 
wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given to us 
the earnest of the Spirit,' 2 Cor. v. 5. The Holy Ghost shapes and 
fashions all the vessels of glory, fits and prepares them for heaven. It 
is the Spirit of God dwelling in us that wrought us and fits us for this 
great and blessed hope ; therefore whenever you think of it, your hearts 
should be raised in thanksgiving. It is not only their duty to praise 
God that are in actual possession of glory, but ours also to whom these 
hopes are revealed. Eev. v. 8, there was a mixture of ' harps and 
vials full of odours, which are the prayers of all saints.' Compare 
this with ver. 11, 'And I beheld, and heard the voice of many angels 
round about the throne, and the beasts and elders.' Not only angels 
and blessed spirits, but saints on earth ; all join in concert, praising the 
Lamb. We must praise the Lord in the time of our pilgrimage, for 
this great estate reserved for us in heaven. 

3. It informs us how desperately wicked the hearts of sinful men are, 
that can run the hazard of eternal death, and forfeit this blessed hope 
of eternal life, for a little carnal satisfaction. Survey all the tempta 
tions of the world, how much they come short of it 1 If the heart were 
not desperately wicked we would not be carried out to these things. 
What is vainglory to eternal glory ? What are a few dreggy delights 
to those pleasures which are at God's right hand for evermore ? What 
are the riches of the world to our glorious inheritance ? You would 
count him a mad gamester that would throw away whole lordships and 
manors at every cast. A sinner forfeits a blessed hope that is above 
all the kingdoms and possessions of the world. It is for this you will 
be the scorn of angels at the last day : Ps. lii. 7, ' Lo, this is the man 
that made not God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his 
riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.' This will make 
you ashamed in the great congregation, that you were so foolishly bent 
to your own ruin. Nay, this will torment you for ever. Nothing tor 
ments men more than their foolish choice. Conscience will for ever 
tell them with what disadvantage they have forsaken God for a thing 
of nought. Disappointment to a reasonable creature is the worst 
vexation ; and what disappointment is more than to be disappointed of 
our glorious hopes, and that for trifles and a little carnal satisfaction ? 
This will be our shame and torment to all eternity, We may guess at 

VEB. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 203 

the gnawings of conscience in the damned by the horrors of carnal men 
when they come to die. Oh ! then how do they bewail the folly of 
their choice. Oh ! that they had been as mindful to serve God as to 
provide for the world, as careful to satisfy the motions of the Holy 
Ghost as to satisfy a lust and carnal desire ! When they are on a 
deathbed and upon the confines of eternity, then all worldly comforts 
cease, and there is a real confutation of the folly of their choice, a sting 
then begins that never ceaseth : Jer. xvii. 11, ' At his end he shall be 
a fool.' When he comes to die, his conscience will rage and call 
him fool, beast, and madman, for hazarding such eternal joys for a 

4. It informs us of the excellency of the gospel or Christian profes 
sion. Wisdom should be justified by her children. And all that do 
profess religion should see the excellency of it, what there is in their 
beloved more than in another beloved, Cant. v. 9. This there is in the 
Christian religion ; there are purity of precepts : Ps. xix. 7, 8, ' The 
law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul ; the testimony of the 
Lord is sure, making wise the simple ; the statutes of the Lord are 
right, rejoicing the heart ; the commandment of the Lord is pure, 
enlightening the eyes.' Then there is sureness of principles, of trust 
and dependence established between us and God, that we may depend 
upon God with comfort and satisfaction ; there do you find rest for the 
soul : Jer. vi. 16, ' Stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old 
paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest 
for your souls/ Then there are no such rewards anywhere as in the 
Christian profession : 2 Tim. i. 10, ' Life and immortality are brought 
to light by the gospel.' The heathens had dreams of Elysian fields, 
and Mahomet tells his followers of a sensual paradise ; but life and 
immortality is a revelation proper and peculiar only to the gospel. The 
heathens were at a loss for the reward of virtue. Austin out of Varro 
gives us an account of two hundred and eighty-eight opinions concern 
ing happiness and the chief good of man ; but now here is all brought 
to light ; we may look beyond the grave now, and there is not such a 
mist and darkness upon things to come, God having acquainted us with 
the gospel. Nay, there is more revealed than was in the time of the 
law. If God had still kept this secret in his own bosom, what a support 
should we have wanted in our trouble, what encouragement to the 
practice of holiness ! Oh 1 therefore prize the gospel, it is the charter 
of your blessed hope. 

5. It informs us what little cause we have to be slack in God's work, 
or to begrudge the pains of his service : 1 Cor. xv. 58, c Be ye steadfast, 
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as 
ye know that your labour will not be in vain in the Lord/ The children 
of God are wont to think they can never do enough for God, that hath 
found out such a reward for them in Christ. A thousand years' service 
will not deserve one hour's enjoyment of this blessed hope, much less 
eternal happiness. When we come to see what shall be bestowed upon 
us, we shall be ashamed that we have done no more work for God, 
having so much wages, and such excellent encouragement. Mat. xxv. 
37, the saints are brought in there saying, ' Lord, when saw we thee 
an hungered, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink ? ' being 


ashamed. Ah ! Lord, this is nothing ; what have we done ? At the 
day of judgment there will be the highest exaltation of the saints, and 
yet the lowest self-abasement ; they will wonder even to admiration of 
angels. There will be Christ's owning them, and they disclaiming 
their own services and all their works, and Christ rewarding them. 
And therefore grudge not if you have the strictest precepts of any reli 
gion ; remember you have the noblest and highest reward. 

6. It informs us what cause we have to contemn all earthly things, 
though they be never so great and glorious, because of this blessed 
hope. There are two considerations that will make us contemn the 
world, and they are suited to the two essential parts of man, and we 
should ever think of them. We carry about us a mortal body and an 
immortal soul ; the body lasts but for a while, and the soul survives 
and outlives the body's happiness. Now we toil ourselves in gather 
ing sticks to our nest, when to-morrow we must be gone. Alas ! here 
' we dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are 
crushed before the moth/ Job iv. 19. Our estate in this world is repre 
sented by a tabernacle, which is a movable habitation ; but our estate 
in heaven is represented by a temple. Here it is but a tabernacle, and 
that of clay, that will be crumbled into dust ; nay, we are said to be 
crushed before the moth, and a moth is but a little enlivened dust, and 
so is man. The world is but a house of potters' vessels, that will be 
soon broken ; and shall we, for the conveniences of a temporal life, 
prejudice and run the hazard and loss of our eternal hopes ? Shall we 
injure the soul to gratify the body ? that is the way to destroy both for 
ever. Our great care should be for that place where we live longest ; in 
the other world we have the longest life and the most glorious posses 
sion, therefore our great care should be for that. 

7. It informs us what little cause we have to envy carnal men ; the 
hope of your profession is a blessed hope. This was David's preserva 
tive ; he was daily in danger of his life, and his enemies were fat, and 
shining in the pomp of the world, and how doth he comfort himself ? 
Ps. xvii. 15, ' When I awake, I shall be satisfied with thy likeness ; ' as 
if he had said, Alas ! their felicity is but a sorry thing ; they are filled, 
and I shall be filled too. David sums up their happiness under two 
heads. Whatever here we have, it is either for personal use or for our 
posterity. A worldly state is only valuable upon these two grounds, 
what we may use for the present, and what we may transmit to our 
children. Now, what a sorry happiness is this to what I expect ? 

[1.] For personal use, ver. 14, * Their bellies are filled with thy hid 
treasure ; ' that is, with the rarest dishes and best meats which God's 
storehouse doth afford. By ' hidden treasures/ is meant food and other 
worldly comforts, therefore called ' hidden treasures' because it doth not lie 
within every one's grasp and reach ; they are not vulgar and common 
delights. The meaner sort their hand will not attain to it. Lo ! here 
is all that which God allows them for their portion, the filling^ of the 
belly ; and alas ! this is but the happiness of beasts, who eat with less 
remorse : yet all their happiness is to fill their belly with better food 
than the poorer sort, which Meed is a misery rather than a happiness, 
for what doth this but nourish sensual lusts, and strengthen and hearten 
our enemy. And gorgeous apparel is but a supply from creatures 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 205 

beneath us; it is but stercus in volutum, dung neatly wrapped up. 
Here is the sum of all a carnal man's happiness, that which God allows 
him for his portion. But a Christian hath better fare ; if he goes into 
the sanctuary, there is enough ; but if he goes into heaven, there is a 
great deal more. David defeats the temptation by this, Ps. Ixxiii. 16, 
17, ' When I sought to know this, it was too hard for me, until I went 
into the sanctuary of God/ to enjoy God in his ordinances, and the 
present glimpses of God's face. Present communion with God is far 
to be preferred above all the dainties in the world. But that is not 
all ; we shall be satisfied for ever. We may go into heaven as well as 
into the sanctuary and behold God's righteousness : ' When I awake/ 
that is, out of the dust, ' I shall be satisfied with thy likeness.' A 
child of God hath his content and happiness to the full when he comes 
to die. A carnal man's back hath been richly clothed and his belly 
filled, but when he comes to die he hath a sad doom : * Son, remember 
thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus 
his evil things ; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented/ Luke 
xvi. 25 ; it was said to Dives, who fared deliciously every day, and was 
clothed in purple and fine linen. Well, you have your portion, and 
must look for no more ; you give God a discharge for aught else. But 
for God's children, then their happiness begins , they are going down, 
to sleep in the grave, and when they awake they shall be filled ; they 
have not only God's favour here, but eternal felicity hereafter. They 
that are called to a feast will not fill themselves at home with coarser 
fare. The rich glutton, who had his belly full of hid treasure here,, 
was shut out, but Lazarus is carried into Abraham's bosom and feasted 
there ; for this was their table-gesture to lie in one another's bosoms. 
Christians, reserve your appetite a little ; you will be satisfied ; it is 
but staying a little longer for a better meal. We expect to be like 
angels, let others be like beasts whose happiness lieth in feeding. 

[2.] Then, for the other part, the transmission of honour and ample 
revenues to posterity. It is true, man is much carried out this way ;. 
he would fain advance his house, and live gloriously in his posterity. 
Posterity is a shadow of eternity ; children are but the father multi 
plied ; when the father's thread is spun out, then the knot is knit : his 
name and memory is continued in the world by his children ; therefore 
men would live in their posterity, and have their families great. But 
this is a sad exchange to forfeit heaven that our children may enjoy 
the world ; as many times it falls out that the father goes to hell for 
getting an estate, and the son goes to hell for spending it. Though 
they have an ample patrimony, yet they know not who shall enjoy it ; 
* Who knows whether he shall be a wise man or a fool ? ' Eccles. ii. 19. 
A man hath no knowledge of future events, nor no power of them. So 
that you see still we have no cause to envy worldly men even in this 
happiness. We are better provided for, having a covenant interest 
that countervails all : 'I am thy God, and the God of thy seed/ 
Though we cannot leave them gold, land, and ample estate, yet you 
leave them a God in covenant, who hath undertaken for you and yours. 
And many times they have temporal blessings for their father's sake, 
the blessings of Ishmael, if not of Isaac. 

Use 2. Direction, that we may not seek blessedness elsewhere. Some 

206 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. f SlR. XV. 

seek it in a wrong way. Carnal men think that there is no such 
happiness as in letting loose the reins to carnal lusts, and living as 
they list. This is the basest bondage that can be : 2 Peter ii. 19, 
' While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of 
corruption ; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought 
into bondage/ The work is drudgery, and the reward is death ; they 
are entangled in snares and held in chains ; and is this an happy life ? 
This doth but increase our misery, and make way for more shame. 
Yet carnal men are much taken with this kind of life ; they wonder 
how men can abjure the pleasure and contentment which they fancy : 
1 Peter iv, 4, ( Wherein they think it strange that you r*un not with 
them to the same excess of riot/ They think themselves very wise in 
following the counsels of their own hearts, and doing as others do that 
are like themselves. You do but make yourselves more responsible to 
God's justice. Worldly comforts cannot make us happy ; it appeareth. 
by our many inventions : Eccles. vii. 29, ' God made man upright, but 
he hath sought out many inventions.' Every sinner hath his wander 
ings. Man, being off from God, never cometh on again of himself, 
but wandereth infinitely, and beats out himself with his own inventions. 
As a wayfaring man, who hath once lost his direction, turneth up 
and down, and knoweth not where to pitch, so are all endeavours fruit 
less till God direct us. We are to follow God's counsel, not the 
counsel of the ungodly : Ps. Ixxiii. 24, ' Thou shalt guide me with thy 
counsel, and after receive me to glory ; ' as a clock runs at random 
when the balance is once out. The Lord is willing to direct us : Ps. 
xxv. 8, ' Good and upright is the Lord ; therefore will he teach sinners 
in the way/ He is too wise to be deceived, and too good to deceive. 
O sinners ! learn the upright way. When we are weary of wandering, 
and willing to be directed, such as submit themselves to God shall 
never want a guide. Creatures cannot make us happy ; such is the 
restlessness of the soul, that we must have shift and change. Envying 
one another showeth the narrowness of our comforts. Gripes of con 
science spoil all ; as Belshazzar in his cups was affrighted with an 
handwriting upon the wall. Says the young man in the gospel, Mat. 
xix. 16, * Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have 
eternal life ? ' What lack I yet ? saith the moralist. In false worship 
men are unsatisfied : Micah vi. 6, ' Wherewithal shall I come before 
the Lord ? and bow myself before the high God ? ' It is not a loose 
profession of the gospel that will make us happy : Mat. xi. 29, * Take 
my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, 
and ye shall find rest for your souls/ Nothing can make us happy 
but what is a full relief from sin and misery. Here is rest for our 
souls ; the foundation is laid in justification and sanctification. Here 
is our reconciliation with God, hereafter is our advancement. 

Use 3. It is an invitation to the practice of holiness. Blessedness 
is a great motive ; David begins the book of Psalms with it, and Christ 
his sermons ; there is enough in it to allay the sorrows of the present 
life, and fill up the desires of the life to come. All would be blessed 
and happy, but we must take the right course ; say, as Christ's hearers, 
John vi. 34, ' Lord, evermore give us this bread ; ' as Balaam, Num. 
xxiii. 10, ' Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-11 207 

be like bis.' Be not content, as Balaam, with a vision of Jacob's happy 
seats : Num. xxiv. 5, ' How goodly are thy tents, Jacob, and thy 
tabernacles, Israel ! ' As the nobleman that saw the plenty of Israel 
but did not eat thereof : 2 Kings vii. 20, * And so it fell out unto him, 
for the people trod upon him in the gate, and he died.' The damned 
at the last day are lookers-on, but not partakers of the blessedness of 
the righteous : Luke xiii. 28, ' There shall be weeping and gnashing 
of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all 
the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.' 

Use 4. Exhortation to those that have an interest in this blessed 
hope. Behave yourselves as those that are called thereunto ; think of 
it often, discourse of it often, and live suitably to it. 

1. Often meditate of the happiness that is laid up for you, and warm, 
yourselves with the thoughts of it. The mind ruminateth on happiness. 
Your minds should be there : Col. iii. 2, ' Set your affections on things 
above, not on things of the earth.' 

2. Confer of it often : 1 Thes. iv. 18, ' Comfort one another with 
these words,' against all the changes and dangers of this life. Alas ! 
how carnal and flat is our discourse ! ' He that is of the earth is 
earthy, and speaketh of the earth/ John iii. 31. 

3. Live more suitably to it : 1 Thes. ii. 11, 12, ' As you know how 
we exhorted, and comforted, and charged you, as a father doth his 
children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto 
his kingdom and glory/ Make eternity your scope: 2 Cor. iv. 18, 
' Looking not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are 
not seen,' O-KOTTOVVTMV TJJJLWV. There should be a greater proportion 
between your hopes and your lives. Behave yourselves as those that 
are interested in this blessed hope. Be not dejected with every cross, 
nor overcome with every bait and temptation, nor live in a base and 
low manner ; this is not becoming your hopes. Show your interest 
herein by the heavenliness and courage of your spirits. 

And the glorious appearing, &c.- TITUS ii. 13. 

IN the encouragement to the duty of our heavenly calling we have the 
substance of our hopes, and the seasons when we shall come to enjoy 
them to the full. 

1. The substance of our hopes, ' Looking for the blessed hope/ 

2. The time when our enjoyment shall be full, when body and soul 
shall be glorified, that is, at the time of Christ's appearing, ' At the 
glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ/ 
Every one would have the blessed hope, but first there is a glorious 

^ In this second branch there is the person that must appear, and the 
kind or manner of his appearing. 

208 SERMONS UPON TITUS II. 11-14. [SfiR. XVT. 

1. The person who must appear, Jesus Christ, described by a 
name of power, ' the great God/ and a name of mercy, ' and our 
Saviour ; ' as usually such kind of attributes are mingled in scripture, 
power and goodness. 

2. The kind or manner of his appearing, it is glorious ; eTrifyaveiav 
rfjs S6f/7? TOV fjieyaXov 0eoi),the appearance of the glory of the great God. 
The apostle opposed the second coming of Christ to the first ; then it 
was an humble mean appearance, now it is full of glory. But what 
is meant by this glorious appearing? Some dream of his personal 
reign before his coming to judgment, but that is a fancy. The scrip 
ture only acknowledged two comings of Christ : Heb. ix. 28, ' He 
shall appear the second time without sin to salvation.' There is only 
his first and his second appearing. After he had once offered himself, 
and ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God, there 
is no more corporal presence of Christ upon earth. But will there not 
be at least a glimpse ? Will he not come in the clouds for a while to 
convert the Jews, and set things to rights in the world ? Will he not 
appear for a very little while, and so vanish again as he appeared to 
Paul at his conversion, Acts ix. 3. So some think, and therefore dis 
tinguish between his appearing and his coming, but without warrant 
from scripture ; for these two, appearing and coming, are all one ; and 
the expressions are promiscuously used in scripture : Col. iii. 4, ' When 
Christ, who is our life shall appear ; ' 1 John iii. 2, ' When he shall 
appear we shall be like him.' So that this appearing is his coming to 
judgment ; this is that we must look for. And therefore the point I 
shall first observe is this 

Dpct. That it is the duty and property of God's children to look for 
Christ's second coming to judgment. 

There are two choice scriptures that do describe the communion of 

the church with Christ, and the dispensations of Christ to the church, 

and they both conclude with a desire of his coming. In the Canticles, 

where the church's communion with Christ is described, this is the last, 

the swan-like note which the church sings, ' Come, Lord ! ' And so in 

the Revelations, where God's providences to the church are described, 

this is the last note, the swan-like song, ' Even so, come Lord Jesus/ 

Compare Cant. viii. 14 with Eev. xxii. 20. In the former it is said, 

Cant. viii. 14, * Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe, or 

to a 'young hart upon the mountains of spices.' Christ is not slack, 

but the church's affections are very strong and vehement ; all the 

seeming delay is occasioned by the earnestness of our desire. A harlot 

would have her husband defer his coming ; but the church, like a 

v chaste spouse, thinks he can never come soon enough. Those that go 

a-whoring after the world neither desire Christ's coming nor love his 

appearing ; but those that are faithful (as the spouse is to Christ) this 

is the desire of their souls, ' Make haste, my beloved.' So Rev. xxii. 

20, Christ saith, ' Surely I come quickly ; ' and the church, like a 

quick echo, takes the words out of Christ's mouth, c Even so, come 

Lord Jesus.' There is the same spirit in the church that was in 

Christ ; the spirit of the head is in all his members, and therefore they 

speak the same thing, and long for the same thing. Christ speaks in a 

way proper to himself, ' Surely I come ; ' and the church speaks in a 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 209 

way proper to herself, ' Even so, come Lord Jesus.' He by way of 
promise, and we by way of supplication. Christ's voice and the church's 
voice are unisons. Here is his proclamation, ' Sorely, I come ; ' and 
here is the church's acclamation, ' Even so, come Lord Jesus.' Christ 
says, ' I come,' as desiring our company ; the church says, ' Lord, come/ 
as desiring his company. And thus we are taught to pray in the Lord's 
prayer, ' Thy kingdom come/ that we may always keep those desires 
afoot, that Christ's kingdom, in the whole flux, from the beginning to 
the last period, may come. The day of judgment is the most imperial 
act of Christ's kingly office, and therefore we do not only pray for the 
beginnings here, but also for the consummation hereafter. And mart'; 
we that live in the latter ages of the world have an advantage of the 
church in the primitive time. It was the solemn prayer of the church 
heretofore (as Tertullian showeth us), pro mora finis, for the delay of 
Christ's coming, that his designs and decrees might be accomplished 
in the world, that the kingdom of grace might be spread far and near. 
And we that live in the dregs of time pray for the hastening of Christ's 
coming, for the embracing of our great and glorious hopes, that the 
name of God may be no longer dishonoured, that the kingdom of sin, 
Satan, and antichrist, may have an end. They expected the revela 
tion of antichrist, and we has destruction. Thus the saints are 
described to be those that look for a Saviour : Phil. iii. 20, ' For our 
conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for a Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ.' Paul speaks in his own name, and in the name 
of all that were like himself, ' We look/ &c. The saints here are a 
company of expectants, always waiting for the good hour of their pre 
ferment when Christ will come, that he may conduct them to everlast 
ing glory. And they not only looked for it, but longed for it ; and 
therefore it is said, 'they love his appearing/ 2 Tim. iv. 8. It is 
notable Paul doth not mention there other marks and characters ; not 
for me only, but all that believe and faithfully serve and obey Christ ; 
but he describes them by this, which is an essential character of the 
saints, for it notes the disposition of their hearts, ' Not for me only, but 
for all those that love his appearing.' 

There are several reasons may be given why this is the duty and 
property of the children of God still to look for Christ's glorious appear 
ing. Look upon their temper, their relation, their privileges, and the 
profit they gain by this expectation. 

] . Look upon the temper of the saints. Within them there is the 
Spirit, faith, love and hope, and all these put them upon this desire. 
There is the Spirit : Kev. xxii. 17, ' The Spirit and the bride' (that 
is, the Spirit in the bride) ' say, Come/ The Holy Ghost breeds and 
stirs up desires, and begets those holy motions in their hearts, and the 
church answereth his motions. This is a disposition above nature, 
carnal nature saith, Stay ; but the Spirit saith, Come. If it might 
go by voices in the world, whether Christ should come or no, do you 
think carnal men would give their vote this way for Christ's coming ? 
The voice of corrupt nature is, Depart : Job xxii. 14, ' Therefore they 
say unto God, Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy 
ways ; ' that is the language of their hearts. Carnal men are of the 
mind of the devil. When Christ wrought a miracle in casting out a 



devil, and discovered somewhat of his divine power, the devils were 
afraid, as if he were coming to judgment already : Mat. viii. 29, ' Art 
thou come hither to torment us before the time ? ' The devil cannot 
endure to hear of Christ's coming ; no more can carnal men, for they 
are of his mind. If thieves and malefactors might have the liberty to 
choose whether there should be assizes, yea or nay, do you think they 
would look for and long for the judge's coming and the day of his 
approach ? So corrupt nature hath no desire of this day. It is the 
Spirit in the bride that says, Come ; as soon as the Spirit of grace works 
in us, there is a bent and inclination this way ; 1 Peter i. 3, ' Who 
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope.' Spiritual desires come 
from heaven, and thither they tend. As soon as the Spirit works grace 
in the heart, it looks out this way ; the heart is bent thither from 
whence it receives all it hath, as all creatures love the place of their 
original. The great work of the Spirit is to bring us and Christ to 
gether. The Spirit comes from the Father and the Son, to bring 
us to the Father by the Son ; and therefore the Spirit stirs up 
those holy groans in us, When will he come ? They look upon the 
graces of a Christian ; there is faith, love, and hope. (1.) Faith : 
The ground of this looking is the promise ; now faith stands waiting 
for the promise as if it were already begun to be accomplished. Look, 
as Kebecca espied Isaac afar off, so faith espies Christ afar off. Faith 
is the evidence of things not seen, and looks upon Christ as if he were 
already on his way, and so makes the soul stand ready to meet and 
receive him. As a loving wife stands upon the shore, and looks for the re 
turn of her husband, and the sight of every ship makes her to realise by 
an active and loving fancy the sweetness of an interview, so faith stands 
waiting for the coming of Christ and the approaches he makes towards 
the church. (2.) Love : 1 Peter i. 8, ' Whom having not seen ye love.' The 
saints love Christ whom they never saw. We know Christ by hear 
say here in the church, not by sight ; he woos us, as princes use to do, by 
picture ; therefore they long for his appearing. Whosoever is a friend 
to Christ will find his heart long for Christ, of whom he had so often 
heard in the word, and so often tasted in the supper. Love is an 
affection of union ; it desires to meet the party loved ; so is love to 
Christ ; it is not satisfied with the present state, but it cries out, Come, 
come ; why is his chariot so long a coming ? It longs to see him 
whom it hath heard of so often and so much, and of whose sweetness 
it hath already tasted ; for this love is not only kindled by the know 
ledge we have of him by hearsay, but by experience. Christ first comes 
in the heart by grace, and then the soul, having tasted the sweetness 
of it, longs for another coming. When will he come in the clouds, 
that we may see him as he is ? And as love to Christ, so also love to 
the saints enkindles this desire. We have not all our company here 
in the world ; and till we all meet together we shall never be satisfied. 
(3.) Hope, that is another grace, God fitteth us with graces as well as 
happiness. The Lord doth not only provide a glorious estate for us, but 
grace to expect it, and stirs up affections in us suitable thereunto. As 
in the privative part of salvation, Christ doth not only deliver us from 
the hurt of death, but from the bondage and fear of death. Despair is 
the beginning of hell. So in the positive part of salvation, the Lord doth 

VEE. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 211 

not only provide heaven and happiness for us, but hope that we may 
look for this happiness : * We are begotten again to a lively hope/ 
1 Peter i. 3 ; < And to wait for his Son from heaven/ 1 Thes. i. 10. Hope 
was made on purpose for this thing, that we may expect our full and 
future happiness. When the affection of hope is elsewhere placed, 
and turned to carnal things, it is like a member out of joint. It was 
made and framed on purpose that we might look for this glorious 
appearing of Jesus Christ. 

2. Look upon their relation to Christ. There are two relations the 
scripture usually takes notice of with respect unto the day of judgment 
Christ is our master and our husband. As he is our master, we must 
look for him. It is the property of a good servant to wait for his master's 
coming : Mat. xxiv. 46, ' Blessed is that servant whom his lord when 
he cometh shall find so doing/ Here we have only present main 
tenance, but hereafter we shall receive our wages : Rev. xxii. 12, 
' Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me.' A servant of God 
should remember that when Christ comes he will not come empty- 
handed ; he is your good and bounteous master. Here you have but 
an earnest, as when you hire a man, you give him earnest. But now, 
because God would not have our affections to be servile, therefore there 
is a sweeter relation ; we are to look for him not only as a lord and 
master, but as an husband ; and therefore it is the * bride that saith, 
Come,' Kev. xxii. 17. Here we are only contracted to Christ, he hath 
passed his promise to us, but the day of judgment is the day of solemn 
espousals : Hosea ii. 19, ' I will betroth thee unto' me for ever.' Here 
in the covenant of grace Christ doth pass a promise to the church ; here 
he comes to give us a pledge and take a pledge from us. As Tertul- 
lian saith, Christ took from us the token and pledge of our flesh, and 
is gone to heaven to make all things ready ; and he hath left with us 
the token of his own Spirit, that so we might long for the time when he 
shall come again for the consummation of this happy and glorious 
marriage that is between him and us. We are to wait for glory, as a 
servant for his master, and as a bride or virgin betrothed doth wait for 
the coming of him that hath promised marriage to her. 

3. Look upon a Christian's privileges which we shall then enjoy, and 
certainly Christians must needs desire Christ's coming. The day of 
judgment is the day of manifestation, the day of perfection, the day of 
congregation, and the day of glorification. 

[1.] .It is called a day of manifestation of the sons of God : Rom. 
viii. 19, ' The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the mani 
festation of the sons of God.' All now is under a veil; your Christ, 
your life, your glory is hid. Our persons are hid under obscurity and 
abasement : Col. iii. 3, 4, ' Your life is hid with Christ in God ; but 
when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear 
with him in glory.' Look, as Moses told those rebels, when they would 
level the officers of the church, Num. xvi. 5, ' To-morrow the Lord 
will show who are his,' so when once the night of death is passed over, 
to-morrow, when we awake out of the dust of the grave, then Christ the 
natural Son will appear in all his royalty and glory, as the great God 
and Saviour of the world, and then also the adopted sons shall be mani 
fested ; we shall put on our best robes, and be apparelled with glory, 


even as Christ is. In winter the tree appears not what it is, the life and 
sap is hid in the root ; but when summer comes, all is discovered ; so now 
a Christian, he is under a veil, but in this great day all shall be manifested. 
[2.] It is a day of perfection. Everything tends to its perfect state, 
and so doth grace. We see the little seed that lies under ground breaks 
through the clods and works its way farther, because it is not come to the 
flower and perfection ; so grace still tends and longs for perfection ; 
then we shall have perfect holiness and perfect freedom ; Christ to the 
glorified saints will be a perfect Saviour. Death, which is a fruit of sin, is 
still continued upon the body, therefore Christ is but a Saviour in part 
to the spirits of just men made perfect ; but then the body and soul 
shall be united and perfectly glorified, that we might praise God in the 
heavens. Christ's coming is to make an end of his redemption, of what 
he hath begun. At first he came to redeem our souls and break the 
power of sin, but then he comes to redeem our bodies from the hand 
of the grave and from the power of corruption ; the one is done by 
humiliation and abasement, the other by power. The scripture speaks 
as if all our privileges in Christ were imperfect till that day. Kegene- 
ration, adoption, union with Christ, they suffer a kind of imperfection 
till then. ^Regeneration, the day of judgment is called by that name : 
Mat. xix. 28, ' In the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on 
the throne of his glory/ Then all things are made new ; heaven and 
earth is new, bodies new, souls new. Then adoption is perfect : Kom. 
viii. 23, ' Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our bodies/ 
What is the meaning of the apostle's expression ? As soon as we are 
planted into Christ are we not the sons of God ? Yes ; now we are 
sons, but the heir is handled as a servant during his nonage : 1 John 
iii. 2, * Beloved, now we are the sons of God, but it doth not yet appear 
what we shall be ; ' we wait for the adoption. Justification that is per 
fect then : Acts iii. 19, ' Kepent therefore and be converted, that your 
sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from 
the presence of the Lord/ Then our pardon shall be proclaimed in the 
ears of all the world, and we shall have absolution out of Christ's own 
mouth ; then shall we come to understand what it is that the Lord 
saith, ' I will remember your sins no more, and your iniquity shall be 
blotted out/ Then for redemption : Eph. iv. 30, ' Grieve not the Holy 
Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption ; ' Luke 
xxi. 28, ' Look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth 
nigh/ Oh ! how doth the captive long for his liberty ; so should we 
long for that day, for it is the day of our redemption. Now the body 
is a captive, and when the soul is set at liberty the body is held under 
the chains of death. Ay ! but then Christ comes to loosen the bands 
and shackles of the grave, and free the bodies of the saints. Look, as 
the butler was not afraid when he was sent for by Pharaoh, because 
Joseph had assured him he should be set at liberty, so Christ comes to 
set you fully at liberty, not only the soul, but the body ; therefore to 
think and speak of that day with horror doth ill become them that 
expect such perfection of privileges, to be acquitted before all the world, 
and to be crowned with Christ's own hands. 

[3.] It is a day of congregation or gathering together. The saints 
are now scattered, they live in divers countries, towns, and houses, and 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-11 213 

cannot have the comfort of one another's society. But then all shall 
meet in one assembly and congregation. It is said, Ps. i. 5, ' The 
ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the congregation 
of the righteous.' There will be a time when Christ's church shall be 
gathered all together into one place. As the stars do not shine in a 
cluster, but are dispersed throughout the firmament for the comfort and 
light of the world, so are the saints scattered up and down in the world 
according as they may be useful for God ; but then, when the four 
winds shall give up their dead, and the saints shall be gathered from 
all the corners of the world, this shall be the great rendezvous. Look, 
as the wicked shall be herded together, as straw and sticks are bound 
in a bundle, that they may set one another a-fire, drunkards with 
drunkards, adultererers with adulterers, and thieves with thieves : Mat. 
xiii. 40-42, ' As therefore the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, 
so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth 
his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, 
and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire, 
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth/ The wicked shall be sorted 
with men like themselves, and so increase one another's torment ; so shall 
all the world of the godly meet in one assembly and congregation, and 
never separate more. In this life we cannot enjoy one another's fellow 
ship for divers reasons ; God hath service for us in divers countries ; 
but such a happy time shall come when we shall all make but one body ; 
therefore the saints are still groaning and longing for that happy day, 
we for them, and they for us ; not only the saints upon earth that are 
left to conflict with sin and misery, but the saints in heaven are still 
groaning, as the souls under the altar : Kev. vi. 9, 10, ' How long, 
Lord ! holy and true.' Look as those in a shipwreck that have gotten 
to the shore stand longing and looking for their companions, so glori 
fied saints that have gotten safe to shore, still they are longing and 
looking when the body of Christ shall be made perfect, and all the saints 
shall meet in one solemn assembly. This is the communion between. 
us and the saints departed, they long for our company, as we do for 
theirs. Here the tares are mingled with the wheat ; and besides the 
persecutions of the wicked, their very company is a burden. Jacob's 
cattle and Laban's are together, but then they shall be separated, and 
the saints shall be gathered together, and sit as judges of them, giving 
their vote with Christ in their condemnation. 

[4.] It is a day of glorification to Christ, and therefore the saints 
long for it ; a day when Christ shall be honoured, and get to himself a 
glorious name. God got himself a great name when he drowned 
Pharaoh and the Egyptians in the sea ; oh ! what will it be when he 
shall cast all the wicked into hell ! Now Christ will come to show the 
fulness of his majesty, the terror of his wrath, and to glorify his justice 
upon wicked men. Christ showeth his majesty every day, but we have 
not eyes to see it ; our eyes are dazzled with worldly splendour, but then 
all mists shall vanish. The saints, that love the glory of God, must 
needs long for that time when Christ shall be seen in all his glory, when 
God shall be dishonoured no more, and the kingdom of sin and Satan 
have an end, and wicked men shut up under their everlasting state. 
And then from the saints, God hath perfect glory in them and from 


them : here God hath not his perfect glory from us nor in us. This is 
the comfort of God's children, that God is glorified in their glory, that 
they may live to praise him for ever, without weakness and distraction : 
and that is the reason of those expressions, ' To whom be glory for ever 
and ever.' They delight in their own glorious estate, because they 
shall ever be in a capacity to bring glory to God. Nay, then, God shall 
be glorified in all his counsels and decrees, in the wisdom of his pro 
vidence, and in the course of his judgments ; for in the day of judgment 
the full history of the world shall be brought before the saints, whereas 
now we see it but by pieces. 

4. Why the saints look for Christ's appearing, is the profit of this 
expectation which they shall receive ; partly as it engageth to a heavenly 
conversation : Phil. iii. 20, ' Our conversation is in heaven, from whence 
we look for a saviour/ Where should we converse most but where 
Christ is ? Now where is Christ but in heaven ? And therefore our 
minds should be ever running upon it, our eyes ever looking that way, 
and our hearts ever longing for him. Partly as it engageth us to 
faithfulness in our relations ; there is a day coming when we shall give 
an account for the duties of our relations, because that is the particular 
sphere of our activity : 2 Tim. iv. 1, ' I charge thee before God, and 
the Lord Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appear 
ing, and his kingdom.' Paul there presseth Timothy to discharge the 
duty of a minister, and so for a master of a family, and for a servant, 
Your relations are not things of chance, but they fall under the special 
care of God's providence, and therefore you must be accountable for 
them. Here God hath confined you by the wisdom of his providence 
to serve the great ends of your creation ; therefore, whatever is omitted, 
you are to give an account of your relations; magistrates, ministers, 
masters, servants, all of their several relations. Partly as it calms the 
heart against the injuries and molestations of the present life : 1 Peter 
ii. 23, our Lord Christ ' when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when 
he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that 
judgeth righteously;' so you must learn of him ; when you meet with 
trouble and hard usage, and unworthy dealing in the world, commit 
yourselves to God ; the judge is at the door, and he will review all 
things again. Look, as Paschalis, a minister of the Albigenses, when 
he was burnt at Kome, cited the pope and his cardinals before the 
tribunal of the Lamb, thus do you. Partly as it engageth to persever 
ance. If a man hath followed a distressed and afflicted party for a 
long time, if nothing comes of it, he tires ; but remember, if we follow 
Christ here, all our pains will be recompensed to us : 1 John ii. 28, 
' Abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, 
and not be ashamed before him at his coming.' Christ will come, and 
that with salvation to them that look for him ; therefore let me be faith 
ful in my duty. 

Object. 1. But how can we look for it, when weknow there are some 
signs that precede the coming of Christ ? Therefore certainly he is not 
like to come in our days. Will he alter the prefixed time of his approach, 
and change the jacets of that great journey. 

Ans. (1.) Though Christ keepeth his pace, yet it is good for us to 
alter ours ; though we cannot hasten his coming, yet let us be always 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-i& 215 

ready : 2 Peter iii. 12, * Looking for and hastening unto the coming of 
the day of God.' It is good for us to get ground upon our fears and 
our sins, and to declare our readiness to meet with Christ Every day 
we live in the world is a day lost in heaven, (2.) If any age had cause 
to think Christ would come, certainly we have. It was not far off in 
the apostles' days ; they were called the last days ; but ours are the very 
dregs of time. When we see an old man weak and feeble, aches and 
diseases of the present life increase upon him, we say, Certainly he 
cannot live long ; so if we look upon the temper of the world, sure it 
cannot endure long ; Christ will come to set all things at rights. One 
forerunner of Christ's coming are the dreams and delusions that are 
abroad. Mundus senescens patitur phantasms As the world grows 
old, it is much given to fancies, as old men are to dotage and dreams. 
(3.) If Christ come not in our days, yet death is at hand : Heb. ix. 
27, ' It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment.' 
Every man's particular judgment follows upon his departure out of the 
world, and then the general judgment follows, as death finds him, either 
among the sheep or goats. Judas died sixteen hundred years ago, yet 
as he died so shall he be found. After death there is no change of 
state ; therefore your business is always to be ready to depart in peace, 
and hasten to an eternal state. 

Object. 2. How can this be the property of God's children to desire his 
coming ? Are they always in this temper and frame ? Many weak 
ones tremble at the thought of it for want of assurance of God's love ; 
it is the terror and bondage of their lives to think of Christ's coming ; 
and sometimes the saints do not actually feel such an inclination and 
strength of desire. 

Ans. (I.) The meanest saint hath some inclination this way. Can 
a man desire that Christ may come into his heart, and will there not 
be such desires that he may come to judgment, since comfort and re 
ward is more naturally embraced than duty ? The very first work of 
grace is to raise and beget this hope : 1 Peter i. 3, ' Who hath begotten 
us again unto a lively hope.' (2.) There may be sometimes a drowsi 
ness and indisposition when their lamps are not kept burning : Luke 
xii. 36, ' And be ye always ready, as those that wait for their Lord.' 
When they are fallen asleep, they may for the present wish that Christ 
may not come and take them in this condition ; as the wise virgins 
slept as well as the foolish ; so God's own children many times find 
themselves indisposed for his coming. Careless carriage weakens their 
hope and the remissness of their watch, yet in all there is a spirit this 
way, which beginneth with the new birth. A wife desires her husband's 
coming home, but it may be all things are not ready and in so good 
order as they should ; so all Christians desire the coming of Christ, but 
sometimes they are not so exact and watchful, and therefore their af 
fections are not so lively. Drowsiness creeps upon their hearts, and 
then God rouseth them by afflictions. 

Object. 3. But is this the property of God's children, when we see 
carnal men, sometimes out of weariness of the present life and trouble 
of the world, will even long for his coming, and wish for death ? 

Ans. That is an offer of nature after ease, this is a desire stirred up 
by the Spirit. Sometimes God's children in their passions desire to be 


taken out of the world ; as Jonah : chap. iv. 8, ' He fainted, and wished 
in himself to die, and said, It is better for nie to die than to live ; ' and 
Elijah : 1 Kings xix. 4, ' He requested for himself that he might die, 
and said, It is enough, now, Lord, take away my life ; for I am not 
better than my fathers/ But this is but a shameful retreat from duty, 
and the heat and burden of the day, and the labours of the present 
life; these are fro ward thoughts, not sanctified desires, words of a 
feverish distemper, not of affection, but it comes from the sickness and 
weakness of their souls. But this I speak of is a solid looking for, 
desire, and longing for the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. 

Use 1. It showeth what they are who wish that it may never come. 
Some would be glad in their hearts to hear such news, that Christ's 
coming would never be ; it is their burden and torment to think of it ; 
as Felix trembled when he heard of judgment to come. These men 
have the spirit of the devil in them ; if they had the Spirit of God in 
them, would it be so ? surely no. A carnal man cannot say the Lord's 
prayer, for he is afraid he shall be heard. Optas ut veniat, quern times 
ne adveniat ? saith Austin. How canst thou say, Thy Kingdom come, 
when thou art afraid lest God should come ? 

Use 2. To press us to this earnest looking. Christ looketh, he is 
not slack : 2 Peter iii. 9, ' The Lord is not slack concerning his pro 
mise/ If all things were ready, he would come presently. Before he 
came in the flesh, his delights were with us : Prov. viii. 31, 'Kejoicing 
in the habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were with the sons 
of men/ And he longeth now he is in heaven : Eev. xxii. 12, * Behold, 
I come quickly, and my reward is with me/ The angels expect it ; 
they would not be found liars, they told us of it : Acts i. 11, * This same 
Jesus that is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like 
manner as ye have seen him go into heaven/ The saints groan, ' How 
long, Lord ? how long ? ' Devils tremble at the thought of it : Mat. 
viii. 29, ' Art thou come hither to torment us before the time ? ' The 
creatures expect it in their kind : Kom. viii. 19, 'For the earnest ex 
pectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of 
God/ All things by a natural instinct are carried to their perfection. 
Evil men cannot endure to think of it, as Felix trembled at the thoughts 
of judgment to come. Let not the saints stand out, but expect it 
earnestly. How much was the first coming of Christ wished for and 
desired ! Abraham rejoiced at the thoughts of it : John viii. 56, 

* Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was 
glad/ Kings and prophets desired to see these things : Luke x. 24, 

* For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see 
those things which ye see, and have not seen them ; and to hear those 
things which ye hear, and have not heard them/ Old Simeon, 
Luke ii. 25, ' was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel ;' 
yet then he was a child in the cradle, now in glory riding on the clouds, 
then he came in the similitude of sinful flesh : Kom. viii. 3, ' God sent 
.his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh ; ' but now he shall appear 
without sin : Heb. ix. 28, ' Unto them that look for him shall he ap 
pear the second time, without sin, unto salvation/ This earnest look 
ing implieth strong faith, longing desires, frequent thoughts. 

1. Strong faith. Eeason saith it may be, faith saith it shall be. 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 217 

Divine justice must have a solemn triumph ; conscience is afraid of it 
Our reward may be delayed, but it cannot stand with the justice of 
God that it should, be abolished and taken away. There is confusion 
in the world. Dives flowed with ease and plenty when Lazarus was 
rough- cast with sores. We need to be awed with shame as well as 
fear. Faith saith he will come ; we have his word for it ; as unlikely 
things have come to pass that have been foretold. Were the old 
believers deceived that expected his coming in the flesh ? That a few 
fishermen should preach the gospel to all nations ? this is already done. 
Christ is contracted with us now, he will come to marry us ; he went 
not away upon discontent. He that loved us so as to come from 
heaven to earth to take our nature, will he not come in glory ? We 
have of his Spirit, and we enjoy his ordinances as a memorial till he 
comes, and we have many love-tokens sent us as a pledge that he will 

2. Longing desires. Our hearts should even spring and leap within 
us when we hear of Christ's coming. Thus the believers of the old 
testament, how did they rejoice to hear of a Messiah to come : John 
viii. 56, { Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, 
and was glad.' Abraham rejoiced to think that a son should come of 
his loins in whom all the world should be blessed : Heb. xi. 13, * These 
all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen 
them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them.' How 
did the patriarchs hug the promises 1 Oh, sweet promise ! this will 
yield a Messiah, a Christ to the world. 

3. There should be frequent thoughts of his coming, as if you always 
heard the trumpet. Every time thou lookest to heaven, think, I have 
a Christ there, a rich jewel kept safe ; and whenever you see the clouds, 
think of Christ's coming and going. These clouds were chariots by 
which Christ went triumphing into heaven, and in like manner he will 
come again : Dan. vi. 10, ' Daniel went into his house, and his windows 
being opened towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times 
a day, and prayed and gave thanks unto his God.' Daniel had reason 
to look towards the temple, though ruined, because of the promise of 
God to his people that prayed towards the temple ; so now and then 
we should look up to heaven ; there is Christ above within the heavens. 
We are called often to lift up our hearts to God, and our eyes to heaven, 
from whence we look for a saviour ; there is our treasure and our 

Use 3. Of trial. It is good to see how we stand affected towards 

this appearing. Nothing can content true Christians in the world. 
Do we look beyond it ? Whither is the bent of our hearts ? How is 
it with them ? 

1. If there were this looking, there would be preparing. A man 
that expecteth the coming of a king to his house, he will furnish his 
house accordingly, and make all things ready. Surely you look for no 
body when you dp not suit and prepare yourselves to entertain them. 
When the house is sluttish, and the kitchen cold, do you look for great 
guests ? What are we to do to prepare ourselves for Christ's coming ? 

[1.] Judge yourselves : 2 Cor. xiii. 5, ' Examine yourselves whether 
ye be in the faith ; prove your own selves : know ye not your own- 


selves how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates.' By 
judging yourselves God's act is anticipated. 

[2.] Get into Christ : Kom. viii. 1, ' There is no condemnation to 
them that are in Christ Jesus/ They that are in Christ need not fear 
God's judgment ; you may set Christ's righteousness against Christ's 
judgment. Guilty felons desire not the judge's presence. Art thou in 
the case wherein thou wouldst be found of him ? 2 Peter iii. 14, l Be 
diligent, that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and 

[3.] Walk strictly. We are between the two comings of Christ, his 
first and his second coming ; let us live soberly, righteously, and godly. 
When a man is providing matter of condemnation for himself, can he 
be said to look for Christ's coming ? 

2. How do you entertain Christ for the present in your hearts and 
in his ordinances ? Can a man slight ordinances, and expect Christ's 
second coming ? A woman that never careth to hear from her husband 
cannot be said to desire his coming ; so if Christ has often knocked at 
the door of our hearts, and we will not give him entrance, how can we 
be said to look for his appearing ? 


And the glorious appearing, <&c. TITUS ii. 13. 

I PROCEED to the manner of his appearance the glorious appearing. 
The note is 

Dpct 2. That Christ's second coming to judgment will be very 

Here I shall show (1.) How glorious it will be ; (2.) Why it will 
be so glorious. 

I. How glorious it will be. You may conceive of it if you consider 
the preparation for his approach, the appearance itself, and the conse 
quences of it. 

First, It will be glorious in regard of the preparation for his approach. 
The scripture mentions two the trumpet of the archangel, and the 
sign of the Son of man. 

1. There is that great noise of the voice of the Lord, that begets a 
terror in the world, which is ministerially managed by an archangel, 
though the power and success be of God. That great noise startles 
the dead in their graves, and summons all the world to appear before 
Christ's tribunal. There is much spoken of this. in scripture : 1 Thes, 
iv. 16, 'For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, 
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God ; ' Mat. 
xxiv. 31, 'He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, 
and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one 
end of heaven to the other.' Some expound this trumpet analogically, 
some literally. Analogically ; some think it only signifies the power 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 219 

and virtue of Christ, by which all the dead are awakened out of their 
sleep, and forced to appear before his tribunal ; and they say it is there 
fore expressed by a trumpet, because the solemn assemblies of Israel 
were wont to be summoned by the sound of a trumpet. But why 
may we not take it literally for the audible sound of a trumpet? 
Look, as at the giving the law, the voice of the trumpet was exceed 
ing loud, so such an audible voice, like the voice of a trumpet, is there 
when Christ comes to judgment, to require an account of the perfor 
mance of the law, which is, as it were, a terrible summons to all the 
world, and a near sign of his coming. Look, as at his first coming 
Christ had his forerunner and harbinger, John the Baptist, the voice 
of one crying in the wilderness, ' The kingdom of God is at hand,' so 
at his second coming Christ hath his forerunner, an archangel, that 
shall sound a trumpet, which maketh his coming glorious, because it 
shall awaken and startle all the world. This sound shall be heard all 
the world over by the dead ; as the prophet speaks, Ezek. xxxvii. 7, 8, 
of a noise and clattering among the bones, and bone ran to bone, and 
then they were clothed with flesh and sinews, so such a noise shall 
there be among the bones when Christ comes to judgment. Here in 
the church God speaks in a stiller voice, but it is not regarded ; he 
speaks by his angels and messengers ; they sound the trumpet to the 
spiritual battle ; they pipe, but few dance, till by his mighty power he 
raise th sinners from the dead. So at the last day God hath his mes 
sengers; there is the archangel that is to manage the ministerial 
excitation, and the mighty power of God accompanies it to make the 
dead live and awaken out of sleep. 

2. There is a sign of the Son of man ; that is spoken of Mat. xxiv. 
30, ' Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven ; and 
then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the 
Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great 
glory.' What it is we cannot certainly tell, until experience manifests ; 
sure we are it must be such a sign as shall make the world sensible of 
his approach. Some think it shall be some strange star, such as there 
was at his first coming ; the wise men were conducted to Christ by a 
star : this is but a mere conjecture. Others suppose it shall be the 
sign of the cross which shall appear in the heavens, because that is 
Christ's badge, by which he was known here in the world. The great 
subject of the gospel is Christ crucified, therefore it is called the ' word 
of the cross ; ' and so they think the sign of the cross shall be impressed 
upon the heavens in the sight of all the world. To confirm the conjec 
ture, they urge the appearance that was made to Constantine in his war 
against Maxentius, the tyrant and persecutor of the church ; he saw 
the sign of the cross, say they, with this inscription, eV TOVTW VM^O-CI,? 
By this shalt thou overcome. Bat Eusebius describes it otherwise, as 
an X, the first initial letter of Christ's name. Bat many of the ancient 
writers went this way, they thought that this way the scandal of Christ 
is best taken away ; the cross, which is now the scandal and offence the 
world takes at Christ, then shall be his ensign and royal standard, which 
shall be impressed upon the heavens. Look, as kings when they make a 
triumphant approach, have their banner carried before them, so Jesus 
Christ shall have his cross, which is the sign of the Son of man ; but in 


such a point I dare not thus peremptorily dogmatise. Others more 
probably (and to which I incline) interpret it of some forerunning 
beams of majesty and glory, which shall darken the great luminaries 
of the world, the sun and moon, and so strike terror into the hearts of 
men. The glory of Christ, which is described to pass through the 
heavens like lightning, shall be like those morning beams and streaks 
of light before the body of the sun be risen; as Paul was struck 
blind with the sight of Christ, ' he saw a light from heaven, above the 
brightness of the sun, shining round about him/ Acts xxvi. 13. 
Certainly some sign there shall be that shall make the world fall 
a-mourning. And it is notable that these preparations and beams of 
majesty are sometimes expressed by light, and sometimes by fire ; by 
light, to note the comfortableness of it to the godly ; it is as the light 
of the sun, which doth not scorch, but refresh and revive, and cheer 
the heart : light is comfortable. But then at other times it is repre 
sented by fire : 2 Thes. i. 8, it is said, ' The Son of man shall come in 
flaming fire,' or, as the apostle s word is, kv irvpl 0X0709, in fire all 
a-flame, to show the dreadfulness of his appearance to the wicked. 
Look, as Joseph told the butler and the baker what Pharaoh would do 
to them, hang the one and exalt the other, therefore when the messenger 
comes for them, the butler's heart leaps for joy he was to be preferred, 
but the baker thought of nothing but dreadful execution that was pre- 
signified ; just thus shall it be with the wicked and the godly; the 
sign of the Son of man shall be comfortable to the godly, but it shall 
be as a flame of fire and devouring burnings, dreadful and formidable 
to the wicked, whose execution and final judgment now draws near. 
So much for the preparation. 

Secondly, The appearance itself. And there you must consider 
Christ's personal glory, his attendance, and his work. 

1. His personal glory. Certainly that must be exceeding great, if 
you consider the dignity both of his person and employment. 

[1.] The dignity of his person. Mat. xxiv. 30, it is said, he shall 
come ' in great glory ; ' at other times, ' in the glory of his Father,' 
Mat. xvi. 27 ; that is, he shall come as God's own natural Son, with 
such a glory as cannot be communicated to any creature. His first 
coming is like the carpenter's son, mean and despicable ; but his second 
coming is like God's Son. Now, that you may conceive of this glory, 
you must guess at it by several hints. There shall be great glory put 
upon the saints : ' Then shall the righteous shine forth like the sun in 
the kingdom of the Father/ Mat. xiii. 43 ; and Christ will be ' glorified 
in his saints, and admired in all them that believe/ 2 Thes. i. 10. But 
we do not come in the glory of the Father ; when we are glorified, we 
are not deified ; yet our glory shall be so great that men and angels 
shall stand wondering what God hath done to us. But now Christ is 
God-man in one person, and that mystery is now to be discovered to 
the uttermost, the union of the two natures in his person ; and therefore 
he must have such a glory as never creature was capable of, nor can be. 
He doth not only appear in the text as ' our Saviour/ but as 'the great 
God.' Guess at it again we may by other appearances of God. When 
Christ came to give the law, his voice shook Mount Sinai, that Moses 
trembled and quaked at the hearing of it : Heb. xii. 21, 'So terrible 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 221 

was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.' Guess 
at it by the light at Christ's birth, that came from heaven, and shone 
round about the shepherds, so that they were exceedingly afraid : 
Luke ii. 9, ' The glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they 
were sore afraid.' Guess at it by the glimpse of his divine glory which 
Christ gave us in his transfiguration : Mat. xvii. 2, ' His face did shine 
as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light/ when his disciples 
fell upon their faces, and could not endure the shining of his garments. 
So by the appearance of Christ to Paul that was struck blind for three 
days : Acts ix. 3, * And suddenly there shined round about him a light 
from heaven.' And by the terror the prophet Isaiah felt when he saw 
God in vision : Isa. vi. 5, ' Woe is me, I am undone ; because I am a 
man of unclean lips, and mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of 
hosts.' Because of some relics of corruption, therefore was it terrible 
and formidable to him. But this glory, though it shall be very great, 
yet it shall be comfortable to the saints, for sin arid weakness shall be 
done away. 

[2.] Especially if you consider his office. He is a judge of all the 
world, and therefore he shall come with all things that are becoming 
such a judge. He shall sit upon a visible throne, where he may be 
seen and heard of all. You know, in earthly judicatories, when great 
malefactors are brought to trial, the whole majesty and glory of the 
nation is brought forth ; the judge comes in gorgeous apparel, accom 
panied with the flower of the country, nobles and gentlemen, and a 
great conflux of people, to make it the more magnificent. So here 
Christ, the judge of all the world, comes becoming the judge of the 
world that sits upon a throne of glory and majesty: Mat. xxv. 31, 
32, * When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all his holy 
angels with them, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and 
before him shall be gathered all nations.' All the world shall be 
summoned before him. Thus for his personal glory. 

2. In regard of his attendants, who are angels and saints, this 
appearance must needs be very glorious. 

[1.] There are angels, multitudes of them, that come with Christ, 
and with such a glory as cannot be conceived of : Mat. xxv. 31, ' When 
the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with 
him.' Mark the emphasis of the expression, 'All the holy angels shall 
come with him.' When a prince removes, the whole court removes 
with him ; so when Christ removes out of heaven, the whole court of 
heaven removes with him. As Chrysostom saith, Heaven now shall 
be left void ; all the angels shall come out with Christ, that they may 
be present at this great act. Those blessed mansions shall be forsaken 
for a while, that they may be present with the judge of the world. 
Look, as the angels were present at the giving of the law, so also will 
they be present when the sentence of the law comes to be executed. 
Thrones, principalities, powers, and dominions, angels, however dis 
tinguished, were all made by Christ ; he is their head, and they are 
given to Christ by his Father, as he is Mediator, to be his servants in 
the mediatory office. And therefore Christ always useth angels. In 
his conception the angel Gabriel came to Mary. At his nativity, an 
host of angels came down to acquaint us with the glad tidings of 


salvation. In his passion, he was comforted by an angel ; at his resur 
rection, there were angels at his grave ; at his ascension, he was carried 
to heaven by angels ; and in the government of the church, in tho 
present dispensation, Christ useth angels more than we are aware of. 
These principalities and powers are conversant about and in the church ; 
and in the last day's act he shall come with his holy angels. Whether 
these angels shall then visibly appear, I dispute not ; certainly their 
attendance upon Christ is partly as a train, to make his appearance 
more full of majesty, and partly because Christ hath a ministry and 
service for them. Partly as a train to Christ, and to make his appear 
ance more full of majesty. They that waited upon Christ at his 
ascension will now come to wait upon him at his coming to judgment. 
Public ministers of justice are made, formidable by their attendance 
and officers. Christ will come like a royal king in the midst of his 
nobles ; and partly because they have also a ministry and service at 
that day ; they are to ' gather the elect from the four winds/ Mat. xxiv. 
31. The angels love to be conversant about the saints. They that 
carried their souls to heaven shall now be employed to bring their 
bodies out of the grave. The holy angels shall conduct the souls of 
those that die in the Lord to heaven : Luke xvi. 22, ' The beggar died, 
and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.' So also those 
angels shall now be employed in bringing their bodies out of the grave. 
They are still serviceable to the saints, and this is the last office of love 
they can perform to them, therefore they do it cheerfully. And to the 
wicked, their office is to force them into Christ's presence, and to bind 
them up in bundles, as tares for the fire, Mat. xiii. 40, 41. Also, the 
angels have this ministry and service, to be employed as witnesses ; 
they attend now upon the congregation, to observe your behaviour ; 
therefore the apostle disputes concerning unseemly gestures: 1 Cor. 
xi. 10, ' For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, 
because of the angels.' They are privy to our conversations, and able 
to give an account of our lives. In the assemblies there are more meet 
than are visible ; devils meet, and good angels likewise, to observe your 
carriage, that they may give account to God. And no sooner shall the 
sentence be pronounced, but it shall be executed. In a condescension 
to our capacity, God is pleased to represent the work as done by the 
ministry of angels. We can understand better the operations of an 
angel than the operations of Almighty God, because they are nearer to 
us in being, and are of an essence finite and limited. 

[2.] The saints, they are his attendants too. Some shall come from 
heaven with Christ, others shall be ' caught up in the air to meet the 
Lord,' 1 Thes. iv. 17. Certainly the wicked shall be left still to tread 
upon the earth. And this contributes much to the glory of the day, 
because when Christ appears we appear with him in glory ; we shall 
ibe like him, we shall suddenly attain to that fulness of glory that their 
hearts could never conceive of. Oh ! what a glorious day must that 
needs be when so many suns shall meet together ! Every one of the 
elect shall shine more than the sun. Then our spiritual empire and 
dominion begins ; we come to share with Christ in the glory of his 
kingdom, to be associated with him in judging of the world. Do not 
then please yourselves with lancies of temporal happiness. ' The 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 223 

upright shall have dominion over them in the morning/ Ps. xlix. 14. 
When is that ? After they have slept their sleep of death, then God's 
saints and servants, that are now scorned, censured, and persecuted, in 
the morning of the resurrection, when they awake to meet with Christ, 
then doth our glory begin. We are all for a while to stand before the 
judgment-seat of Christ. But look upon all the draughts of the last 
judgment, and you shall find this method ; sentence begins with the 
godly, but execution begins with the wicked. The books are opened, 
the godly are called, and they are first acquitted, that afterwards they 
may join with Christ to judge the world: 1 Cor. vi. 2, 'Do you not 
know that the saints shall judge the world.' The first process is with 
the godly, that their faith may be found to praise ; but first the wicked 
shall go into everlasting punishment : Mat. xxv. 46, ' These shall go 
away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal ; ' 
that by others' misery they may be more 'apprehensive of their own 

3. Another thing that makes the day glorious is his work and 
powerful executing the work of the day. Jesus Christ is to gather 
the wicked together, dragging them out of their graves with horror ; 
then to extend and enlarge their consciences, that all their doings may 
come to remembrance ; and then to cast them into eternal darkness, to 
chase them with the glory of his presence into hell, dragging them out 
of their graves with terror: Eev. vi. 16, 'They said to the mountains 
and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that 
sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.' They are 
ashamed to look Christ in the face, whom they have slighted, despised, 
neglected in the world. Then they shall be ashamed to see the godly 
preferred; as Hainan did fret to see Mordecai put upon the king's 
horse, and led through the city with triumph, so they are envious to 
see the preferment of God's children. Then they are cursed out of 
Christ's presence, and go away yelling and howling, and are led away 
to their final state, as Hainan's face was covered, and then led away to 
execution. Now Christ hath the most glorious conquest over his 
enemies that ever he had ; now he shows himself like a king, in punishing 
his enemies and rewarding his friends. In punishing his enemies, 
stubborn knees shall bow to him ; it is not done fully till now. Isa. 
xlv. 23, there is a decree, ' I have sworn by myself, the word has gone 
out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me 
every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear/ It is a predic 
tion of Christ's sovereignty, and it is ratified with an oath ; all God's 
holiness and glory is laid at stake that it shall be accomplished. Now 
this prophecy is twice alleged in the New Testament: Phil. ii. 10, 11, 
* At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and 
things in earth, and things under the earth ; and every tongue shall 
confess/ There it is made the fruit of Christ's ascension ; what is swear 
in the prophet, there is confess ; they are both acts of worship, and 
given to Christ. Presently God gave him this power upon his ascen 
sion, for his ascension was his solemn inauguration into the kingly 
office. Christ was a chosen king, and anointed from all eternity. 
While he was here in the world he was a king, but when he ascended 
up on high, then he was a crowned king, and God undertook to make 


good this prophecy, ' That every knee should bow to him ; ' as David 
was anointed by Samuel, but crowned at Hebron. But some will say, 
We do not see that all things are put under him ; there are damned 
spirits that resist his counsels, and there are wicked men that rebel 
against his laws ; every knee doth not bow, and every tongue doth not 
call him Lord. But wait a little, the work is a-doing. Christ's royal 
office receiveth several accessions of glory and degrees of perfection, 
till the day of judgment, and then it is discovered in a most imperial 
manner. The apostle quoteth this place to prove the day of judgment : 
Eom. xiv. 10, 11, 'Why dost thou judge thy brother? and why dost 
thou set at nought thy brother? We must all stand before the 
judgment-seat of Christ/ How doth he prove that? ' For it is written, 
As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue 
shall confess to God ; ' implying that at the day of judgment this promise 
shall be fully made good. This is the consummate act of his regal 
office ; then devils and wicked men shall all be made to stoop to Christ. 
Christ's kingdom is a growing kingdom : Isa, ix. 7, ' Of the increase of 
his government and peace there shall be no end/ Not only of his 
government, but of the increase of his government ; then it is at its full 
strength. Therefore it is called ' the day of the Lord ; ' 2 Peter iii. 10, 
' The day of the Lord corneth as a thief in the night/ Then Christ 
disco vereth himself as Lord in all his royalties and greatness, and 
makes his enemies shake before him. Then also he shows himself to 
be a king to his people : Mat. xxv. 34, ' Then shall the King say unto 
them on his right hand/ Mark the special title that is given to 
Christ when he invites the saints into his bosom ; then we come to 
receive from Christ the most royal donative and highest fruit of his 
kingly office. 

Thirdly, The consequents of that day. I shall name three sending 
of persons judged to their everlasting state, giving up the kingdom to 
his Father, and burning the world. 

1. The sending of persons judged to their everlasting state, the 
elect into glory, and the wicked into torments. For the elect : Mat. 
xxv. 34, ' Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared 
for you from the foundation of the world/ Oh ! you have been too 
long absent ; Come, blessed children, come into my bosom ; come, pos 
sess that which was prepared for you before you had a being in the 
world. And then for the wicked, by a terrible ban and proscription 
they are excommunicated and cast out of the presence of the Lord : 
ver. 31, 'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared 
for the devil and his angels/ A terrible ban and proscription ! As 
Haman's face was covered when the king was angry, and so he was led 
away to execution, so the wicked banished from Christ's presence are 
accursed to all eternity, and so enter into their eternal state. Now from 
this sentence, either of absolution or condemnation, there is no appeal ; 
it is pronounced by Christ as God-man. On earth many times God's 
sentence is repealed. God may speak of the ruin of a nation, but free 
grace may interpose : Jer. xviii 7, 8, ' At what instant I shall speak 
concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to 
pull down, and to destroy it ; if that nation against whom I have pro 
nounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS u. 11-14. 225 

do unto them.' Deus mutat sententiam, non decretum In the world, 
though God doth not change his decrees, yet he changeth his sentence 
many times; the sentence shows what might be, the decree shows 
what shall be. But now this sentence shall never be reversed. Now 
is the day of patience, then of recompense ; the day of patience is past. 
It is said, Luke ii. 14, 'Peace upon earth.' God may proclaim war 
against a soul or people, that he may awaken them to look after their 
peace ; but this is a sentence that shall never be changed. The execu 
tion is speedy. Here many times the sentence is passed, but ' not 
speedily executed against an evil work/ Eccles. viii. 11 ; but here 
Christ's sentence presently begins, and the wicked in the very sight of 
the godly are thrust into hell : Mat. xiii. 30, ' Gather ye together first 
the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them ; but gather the 
wheat into my barn ; ' which doth awaken the grief and envy of the 
wicked, when they shall see others gathered into the great congregation, 
and themselves thrust out. And then the godly have a deeper sense 
of their own condition. When contraries are put together, they do 
mutually illustrate one another; so when we see the misery of the 
wicked, this matures our apprehensions, and makes us have larger 
thoughts of our deliverance by Christ. And then the sentence is 
accomplished upon the whole person, and that for ever. Upon the 
whole man, ' Go ye cursed,' and, ' Come, ye blessed ; } both body and 
soul share in the reward and punishment. And then the sentence is 
eternal ; it remains for ever. Why ? For the reward is built upon 
an infinite merit. The Lord Christ's blood is of an infinite value ; 
the virtue of it lasts to all eternity to secure heaven to us. And the 
punishment is eternal, because an infinite majesty is offended. In 
short, God is never weary of blessing the godly, and never weary of 
cursing the wicked, and accomplishing his judgment and displeasure 
against them. 

2. The next consequent is the resigning and giving up of the king 
dom to the Father. You have it described, 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. I suppose 
this giving up of the kingdom is not taken for the resigning of his 
kingly office; for Christ still holds the government, and wears the 
crown of honour to be the head of the church. But kingdom here is 
put for 'the subjects of the kingdom/ He shall finish the present 
manner of dispensation, and present all the elect to God, and give them 
up as a prey snatched out of the mouth of the lion ; and this is called 
presenting his spouse to God : Eph. v. 27, ' That he might present it 
to himself a glorious church.' Christ hath shed his blood, and washed 
her clean, and decked her with all the jewels of the covenant ; and then 
he shall present her to God ; and the form of surrender you have, Heb. 
ii. 13, ' Behold I and the children God hath given me/ Behold, here 
I am, and all thou hast given me ; there is not one wanting. Oh t 
what a glorious sight will this be to see the great shepherd of the sheep 
leading his flock into their everlasting folds, and all the elect follow 
ing ^Christ with their crowns of glory upon their heads, singing to the 
praise of the Lamb, ' death, where is thy sting ? grave, where is 
thy victory ? ' &c. To see them with harps in their hands, triumphing 
thus in the salvation of God, all enemies gone, and the church lodged 
in everlasting habitations ! Besides, consider the acclamation and 

VOL. xvi. p 


applause of the angels. Oh ! how should we strive to be one of this 
number ! 

3. The next consequent is the burning of the world ; that is 
described at large, 2 Peter iii. 10-12, how that fire shall come out from 
God, and burn and devour all things, and melt the very firmament. 
Certainly that fire is to be taken literally, for it is opposed to water, 
the first water by which the world was destroyed. Now by this fire I 
conceive the world shall not l>e consumed, but renewed and purged, 
because in the everlasting state God will have all things new. He will 
not only have the bodies and souls of the saints new, but will have new 
heavens and new earth ; for it is ' a deliverance from the bondage of 
corruption,' Kom. viii. 21. If the world shall be no more the habita 
tion of the saints, yet God will renew the world, that it may be a 
continual monument of his power. Now this burning of the world 
some place it in preparation before the day of judgment ; but I conceive 
it is a consequent, for it seemeth to be an instrument of vengeance on 
the wicked. I will not say, with the schoolmen, the feculent and drossy 
part of this fire is reserved for the torment of the wicked in hell, but 
in general it shall be the instrument of God's vengeance upon them ; 
so much is asserted, 2 Peter iii. 7, ' The heavens and earth that now are, 
by the same word are kept in store, and reserved unto fire against the 
day of judgment and the perdition of ungodly men.' There are some 
that say this fire shall begin the day of judgment. Et causam dicent 
inflammis The wicked shall plead their cause in flames ; but this 
were to execute before the sentence. Sodom's fire was dreadful, but 
nothing to this burning. It was a dreadful sight when God rained hell 
out of heaven, and the poor tormented creatures ran screeching and 
yelling to and fro because of those flakes of fire and brimstone ; but 
this fire shall come out of the throne of the Lord : Dan. vii. 10, ' A 
fiery stream issued and came out from before him/ to consume his 
adversaries, and to remain in hell with them for evermore, which will 
be much more dreadful. God hath diluvium ignis, as well as aquce, a 
deluge of fire as well as of water. As one saith very wittily, As at the 
first he drowned the world propter ardor em libidinis, because of the heat 
of lust, so in the end he will kindle a fire to burn the world propter 
teporem charitatis, because of the coldness of love. The object of your 
adulteries will be burnt; God will have nothing impure in the everlasting 
state, the world shall be purged with fire. Thus you have seen how 
the appearance of Christ will be glorious. 

II. Why the appearance of Christ will be so glorious. 

1. To recompense his own abasement. His first coming was in 
humility ; he came riding upon the foal of an ass, but now on the 
clouds ; they are as it were his royal chariot. Then he came with 
fishermen, a few apostles to be his messengers, but now he comes with 
angels. Then he came in the form of a servant to be judged ; now he 
comes as the Son of God, to be the judge of all the world. When the 
day of judgment is spoken of, Christ is called the Son of man: Mai 
xxv. 31, ' When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all his 
holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory ; ' 
Mat. xxvi. 64, ' Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the 
right hand of- power, and coming in the clouds of heaven ; ' and Dan. 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 227 

vii. 13, ' Behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of 
heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near 
before him.' Why so ? He that was the Son of man, that came in 
such a mean condition at first, shall then be glorious, and so it taketh 
off the scandal of his present estate. He that appeared in so low a 
condition, that was betrayed, crucified, spat upon, pierced, dead, buried, 
then shall be crowned with glory and honour. When he came to teach, 
us righteousness, he came as the Son of man : but when he comes to 
reward righteousness, then he comes as the Son of God. 

2. That he might show himself to be fully discharged of sin. The 
glory bestowed upon his human nature by God the Father noteth his 
plenary absolution as our surety. We hear that he is taken up into 
glory, that God hath acquitted him, that ' he was taken from prison 
and from judgment,' Isa. liii. 8 ; but then we shall see it with our eyes, 
when the Father sends him from heaven with power and great glory. 
At the first Christ came like a man, charged with sin, in the garb of a 
sinner ; therefore it is said, Kom. viii. 3, ' God sent his own Son in the 
likeness of sinful flesh ; ' but then, Heb. ix. 28, 'He shall appear the 
second time without sin/ The first time the world looked upon him 
as one that was forsaken, stricken, and smitten of God ; but then he 
conies as one that is honoured of God : his second coming shall make 
it evident that he is discharged of the debt which he took upon himself. 
The apostle doth not say, Those that look for him shall be without sin, 
but he shall be without sin. The discharge of our surety is enough ; 
it is a sign the debt is paid. 

3. He comes in great glory, that he may be as a pledge and pattern 
and cause of our glory. Christ's coming is still suited to his work. 
There is his first coming, and that is in humility, for we fell by pride ; 
he came to redeem us, therefore he comes humbly and lowly, in the 
form of a servant, as one -that came to suffer, not to ruffle it in the 
world, and tread upon the necks of kings. Then there is his spiritual 
coming into the heart to sanctify it ; this coming is invisible ; it is with 
great power, but hidden. But when he comes to glorify us, his coming 
is suitable to his work, that is visible in power and great glory ; there 
fore it is said, Col. iii. 3, ' When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, 
then shall we also appear with him in glory/ Christ is to have all first, 
and we at secondhand, when he comes in grace : John xvii. 10, ' For 
their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through 
the truth.' So we must be glorified at secondhand ; first Christ, and 
then we. 

4. Christ comes not simply to glorify us, but to bring the saints to 
heaven with the more state. Christians ! remember Christ thinks 
he can never do you honour enough. Christ doth not send for us, but 
he will come in person : John xiv. 3, ' I will come again, and receive 
you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.' Look, as the 
bridegroom comes with the youth and flower of the city, to bring in> 
his bride in state, so Christ brings the flower of heaven, all his holy 
angels, to conduct us in state to our everlasting mansions. 

5. He comes in glory, that all creatures might see his glory to the 
full. Men and angels were made for this spectacle, that they might 
behold the glory of Christ. It was evidenced in part at the resurrection : 


Rom. i. 4, 4 * And declared to be the Son of God with power, according 
to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.' But that 
was but a private and more covert declaration to the Jews ; and when 
it was published to the world in the gospel, many believed not. We 
have the spiritual evidences of it to faith, but not to sense and sight. 
But now the personal union shall fully and undeniably appear, which 
before appeared but in part ; he is now declared to be the great God. 

6. His appearing shall be glorious, because then Christ shall have 
the full conquest over all his enemies. Some of his enemies are still let 
alone for our exercise ; Satan is not destroyed. The infernal spirits are 
held with the chains of an irresistible providence, and shall then be 
brought trembling into the presence of Christ : Jude 16, ' The angels 
which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath 
reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, to the judgment of the 
great day.' They are now in expectation of greater doom and terror : 
Mat. viii. 29, ' Art thou come hither to torment us before the time ? ' 
The good angels come forth as Christ's companions, the evil angels as 
his prisoners. The saints shall judge angels as well as -men : 1 Cor. 
vi. 3, 'Know ye not that we shall judge angels ? ' Christ will have 
his people come and set their feet upon the necks of their enemies ; for 
the present God hath a ministry for them ; but though the devils now 
tempt, trouble, and molest the saints for their exercise, yet then the 
saints shall trimph over them, when they, shall be brought like captives 
into Christ's presence. 

Use 1. For information in two things 

1. That humility is the way to glory. This lesson we learn from 
the two comings of Christ, first in an humble manner, and then in a 
glorious manner. The devils aspired after greatness ; they would be 
great and not good. The fallen angels set us an ill copy, but Christ 
came to set us a better. He came not from heaven to teach us to make 
worlds and work miracles, but to teach us to be humble and lowly : 
Mat. xi. 29, ' Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek 
and lowly in heart/ The way to spiritual preferment is to be low 
and vile in our own eyes ; as the ball that is beaten down riseth the 

2. We learn what cause we have to be patient under present 
abasement. Jesus Christ is contented for a while to lie hid, and not 
to show himself in all his glory till the end 'of the world. In the days 
of his flesh he was trampled upon by wicked men ; and now he is 
in heaven, he is despised in his gospel, in his cause, and in his ser 
vants, though his person be above abuse ; but he is content to tarry 
till the day of manifestation, when he will appear in all his glory ; so 
should we. 

Use 2. 

1. Here is comfort to the godly. To you Christ's appearance is 
glorious, but not terrible ; it is as light, but not as fire ; the trumpet 
sounds, but it summons you to be crowned. The sign of the Son of 
man shows your Lord is come ; it is as the shadow of the husband 
before his person appeareth : this is your Jesus. Certainly they that 
have an interest in him will not be afraid of him ; for his angels are 
your guardians, his saints your companions ; his appearance is to pro- 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 229 

nounce your pardon ; a crown shall be set upon your heads in the face 
of all the world. That which is so formidable and dreadful to our 
thoughts in itself is all comfortable to a child of God. Christ comes as 
God, but still in the human nature, as your brother. If he be glorious 
it is for your sakes, that you might be like him ; he comes as a pattern 
of your glory. 

2. Here is terror to them that lie in their sins. How can they 
hear of these things without astonishment ? You that despise the still 
voice when God speaks to you by the angel of the church, what will 
you do when you hear the great trump which will be an alarm to 
death and execution ? Your avenger is come. Christ's sign is not 
light, but terror to you. If you tremble not, you are worse than Felix, 
an heathen, for Felix's heart trembled when he heard of judgment to 
come, Acts xxiv. 25 ; he had a more tender conscience. Nay, such as 
do not, they are worse than Satan ; for the devils fear and tremble, 
James ii. 19. Loose and carnal persons scoff at that at which devils 
tremble. It is storied of a king that wept when his brother came to him : 
being asked the reason, Oh ! saith he, I that judge others must be 
judged myself ! Shall not I tremble at the great trumpet that shall 
awaken the dead ? Oh ! take sanctuary in grace. 

3. Here is advice to all. It is a good check to sin ; it stays the 
boiling of the pot. Eemember, when thou art in the career and heat 
of thy lusts, 'for all these things God will bring thee to judgment/ 
Eccles. xi. 9. Whenever thou sinnest, thou art entering into the lists 
with Christ, as if thou wert stronger than he. But man, canst thou 
grapple with him ? Then it is an engagement to repentance. When 
Jacob heard Esau was coming with a great power and force against 
him, he sends to makepeace with him. You have heard that Christ 
comes in a glorious manner, and will be terrible to his enemies. Let 
us compromise all difference between us and God. Oh ! go and make 
peace with him. It is Christ's own advice : Luke xiv. 32, ' Or else 
while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassador, and 
desireth conditions of peace.' And repent, saith the apostle, ' that 
your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come 
from the presence of the Lord,' Acts iii. 19. Then it is of use to make 
you constant in walking in the fear of the Lord : Eccles. xii. 13, 14, 
6 Fear God, and keep his commandments ; for this is the whole duty 
of man : for God shall bring every work into judgment, with every 
secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil/ Especially it 
is an engagement to faithfulness in your calling, especially ministers : 
2 Cor. v. 9, ' Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we 
may be accepted of him.' Again, it urgeth you to keep the command 
ments ; Christ will bear you out : ' Keep this commandment without 
spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,' 1 
Tim. vi. 14. And then he presseth to diligence ; he comes with crowns 
in his hands to reward all that are faithful to him : 1 Peter v. 4, 
* And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown 
of glory, that fadeth not away ;' 2 Tim. iv. 1, 'I charge thee therefore 
before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and 
the dead, at his appearance, and his kingdom ; ' 1 Thes. ii. 19, ' For 
what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing ? are not even ye in 


the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming ? ' The day of 
judgment respects our callings, especially as ministers; Christ's officers 
must give an account ; and in whatever condition God hath set us in, 
wherein he expects a trial of our faithfulness, we are to consider what 
we must do. 

Of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ. TITUS ii. 13. 

I COME to the description of the person who shall appear, who is de 
scribed hy a title of power and a title of mercy and love, because in 
Christ's person there is greatness and goodness mixed ; for he is called 
' the great God ; ' there is his attribute of power and majesty ; and 
then there is a comfortable name and title, ' Our Saviour.' That both 
these titles do belong to the same person, the fathers have abundantly, 
proved against the Arians. In the original there is but one article, 
rov /jiejd\ov Qeo& Kai crear^o? rj/jL&v, ' that great God and our Saviour/ 
We have just such another expression, 1 Cor. xv. 24, 'He shall deliver 
up the kingdom to that God and Father,' TW @eo3 ical liar pi ; that is, 
to God even the Father. So here ' the great God and Saviour/ that 
is, the God that is the Saviour. Besides, there is another argument 
that the words must be referred to the same person, because it is never 
said anywhere the Father doth appear, but only Jesus Christ, and 
therefore the appearance of the great God must needs be applied to 
Jesus Christ. 

I shall handle these titles conjunctly and severally. 

I. Look upon them conjunctly and together, and there you may 
observe the mingling of words of power and words of goodness and 
mercy in Christ's style and title. I observe it the rather because it is 
often found in scripture. But for what reasons are these titles of 
mercy and power thus mingled and coupled together ? 

1. For the comfort of the saints, to show that Christ in all his glory 
will not forget himself to be a Saviour. At the day of judgment, when 
he comes forth like the great God with all his heavenly train, then he 
will own us, and will be as tender of us as he was upon the cross. The 
butler in his advancement, when he was at court and well at ease, for 
got Joseph in prison ; but Christ in his advancement doth not grow 
shy and stately. We may have boldness in the great day, for he will 
not only come as ' the great God,' but also as ' our Saviour/ We have 
the like expression, Heb. viii. 1, 2, * We have such an high priest who 
is set on the right hand of the throne of majesty in the heavens/ And 
what follows ? ' A minister of the sanctuary.' Jesus Christ certainly 
had a gracious welcome into heaven, and was exalted by the Father ; 
but even now he is our faithful agent in heaven. This is made ^ to be 
the excellency and height of his condescension, that he came in the 
form of a servant, in the fashion of an ordinary man, poor and clespic- 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 231 

able. Then he came to do the church service, and now he is gone to ' 
heaven in all his glory ; still he is there as a servant, as one that is to 
negotiate with God for holy things, to tender our prayers to the Lord, 
and to pass our blessings to us ; this is Christ's employment in heaven. 
2. To show the mystery of Christ's person, in whom the two natures 
meet ; there is not only the majesty of the Godhead, but also the 
human nature by which he claims kin of us. I observe it because the 
scripture takes notice of it : Isa. ix. 6, ' To us a child is born, to us a 
son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder ; and his 
name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the 
everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.' What a mixture of titles is 
here I He is called ' a child/ yet ' the everlasting Father ; ' ' Wonder 
ful/ yet the ' Counsellor ; ' one that is intimate with his people, he gives 
sweet counsel to them. He is called 'the mighty God,' and then 
presently ' the Prince of Peace.' Christ's person is the greatest mystery 
and riddle in the world ; he is God and yet man. He is, as the 
apostle saith, Heb. vii. 3, ' Without father and without mother/ as 
Melchizedec ; yet he had Tooth father and mother, a father in heaven, 
and a mother upon earth. He was without mother as to his divinity, 
and without father as to his manhood. Another place where the same 
method is observed : Zech. xiii. 7, ' Awake, sword, against my 
Shepherd, and against the Man that is my fellow/ He is called * the 
Man/ but yet God calls him ' his fellow ; ' our brother, and God's son. 
There are so many mysteries that meet in Christ's person, that under 
the law he could not be figured and represented by one sacrifice, Lev. 
xvi. 15, 21. There were two sacrifices chosen to represent Christ; 
there was the goat to be slain for the sin-offering, and then the scape 
goat ; one was not enough, because there are in Christ two natures 
a God that could not die, and a man that could not overcome death. 
The goat that was slain showed he was crucified in the flesh, and the 
goat that was let go showed that he did yet live by the power of God : 
2 Cor. xiii. 4, ' For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he 
iivetli by the power of God.' Or as another apostle hath it : 1 Peter 
iii. 18, ' Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.' 
There was his human nature as he was man, that he might die to 
answer the goat that was slain ; then his divine nature that he might 
live and overcome death. 

3. To compare his two comings, and to show that Christ doth not 
forget his old work. His first coming was in humility, to save, not to 
judge : John xii. 4.7, ' I came not to judge the world, but to save the 
world/ So 1 John iv. 14, ' We have seen and do testify that the 
Father sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world/ But then his 
second coming is in more majesty ; then he comes as a God to judge. 
To consider him as a severe judge, that would make our heart tremble ; 
but to consider him as a Saviour, that is comfortable ; then he remem 
bers his old relation for the elect's sake. In short, he is ' the great 
God, and our Saviour/ to show his double work and office at the last 
day ; he is ' a Saviour ' to his own people when he comes to show himself 
to be ' the great God/ to punish the wicked that would not accept of 
grace and salvation. 

4. To give us a taste and pledge both of his willingness and ability 
to do us good. He is a mighty God, and yet a Saviour : certainly 


there is a difference between God and man. If we pardon and do good, 
it is out of need, because we dare not do otherwise ; but Jesus Christ 
is the mighty God, strong enough to revenge, yet our Saviour, gracious 
enough to save and pardon. The coupling of these words shows that 
Christ is not a Saviour out of necessity, but good-will. Men forbear 
their enemies out of policy, not pity : 2 Sam. iii. 19, 'These men the 
sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me.' Power makes us cruel. Who 
finds his enemy, and slays him not ? ' If a man find his enemy, will 
he let him go well away ? ' 1 Sam. xxiv. 19. Among men observe it, 
and you will find the weakest are most pitiful and merciful. Why? 
Because they need pity and commiseration themselves from others. 
But now Jesus Christ, that hath the greatest power, hath also the 
greatest mercy and the greatest love. He is the mighty God, but yet 
the Prince of Peace. He will be a mighty God rather in saving than 
in destroying ; though he hath all power in his hands, yet he will exer 
cise it in acts of mercy. We abuse our power to acts of oppression 
and violence. Oh ! when shall we learn of Christ to be mighty and yet 
saving ; there cannot be a happier conjunction than when greatness and 
goodness, power and good-will, are met together. Remember, power 
is only given us to do good with it ; and to do good is some resemblance 
of Christ. What a comfort is this to the faithful, that Christ is ' the 
great God,' and also ' a Saviour,' both able and willing to do them good, 
and to bestow abundance of grace upon them ! 

5. To show what Christ is to the saints. Whenever he shows himself 
a Saviour, there he doth also show himself to be a mighty God. 
Together with acts of grace* and favour there are issued out acts of 
power and strength ; there is a concomitant operation of power, together 
with an act of pardon and grace. I find the scripture speaking of this ; 
he pardoneth as a strong God : Micah vii. 18, ' Who is a God like 
unto thee, pardoning iniquity ? ' &c. In the original, who is ^N which 
signifies a strong God like unto thee : and so Junius renders it. So 
Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7, ' The Lord, the Lord God,' *?N, the strong God, 
' merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and 
truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and 
sin.' Moses plainly alludes to it : Num. xiv. 17, 18, ' Now I beseech 
thee let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, 
saying, The Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving 
iniquity and transgression/ Whenever God shows grace in pardoning 
sin, he shows power also in subduing sin. So Ps. Ixii. 11, 'God hath 
spoken once ; twice have I heard this, that power belongs to God.' And 
presently, ver. 12, * Also unto thee, Lord, belongeth mercy.' Both 
these are dispensed together. Those that come to God for relief are 
under a double trouble distempered affections as well as a guilty 
conscience ; therefore know for your comfort, mercy and power belong 
to God, and in the dispensation they usually go together : 2 Peter i. 
3, ' According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that 
pertain to life and godliness/ Christians, if you go to God aright, you 
go to him not only for life, that you may be respited from destruction, 
but for godliness ; not only for acts of grace, but for acts of power ; as 
wrath and power are suited to the reprobate, so mercy and power to the 

6. To show that Christ is not only a desirable friend, but a dreadful 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 233 

adversary. You must close with him as a Saviour, or else you shall 
find him to your cost to be a mighty God. You must submit to him 
or be destroyed ; you must accept of mercy or feel the power of his 
wrath. And thus in scripture Christ is represented with a golden 
sceptre and with an iron mace, to dash his enemies in pieces like a 
potter's vessel. You must touch his golden sceptre, or feel the weight 
of his iron rod. He that saveth can punish, and crush as well as com 
fort. Again, we read of a banner of love and of a flying roll of curses ; 
and therefore, as there is mercy and sweetness in Christ, so he is 
represented as a dreadful adversary. Usually we presume on God's 
mercy and fear man's power, but this should not be so. Oh ! observe 
the counsel the Lord gives : Isa. xxvii. 5, ' Let him take hold of rny 
strength, that he may make peace with me.' Blessed God ! who is 
able to grapple and deal with thee in thy strength ? but we overcome 
by yielding. Let us humble ourselves betimes ; that is taking hold of 
his strength, and making power our friend. It is an allusion, not to a 
wrestler, for so how can our hands be strong and our hearts endure in 
the day he shall deal with us ? but to a suppliant ; when a parent or 
master is ready to strike, the child takes hold of his arm, and seeks 
terms of peace, and entreats him to pacify his wrath ; so saith the Lord, 
Make strength your friend, then his power, which otherwise would be 
your enemy is engaged to you. 

7. To preserve that mixed affection which best becomes the present 
state we are in. Our state is mixed, and we act best under a mixed 
affection. God would have us not only love him, but fear, him ; and 
therefore he is represented as a mighty God as well as a gracious 
Saviour, that we may come to him with reverence, and yet with confi 
dence. That is the proper temper of a gracious spirit in all our addresses 
to God : Ps. ii. 10, ' Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.' 
Fear mixed and tempered with love is most regular, so is love that is 
guided with fear ; therefore, when you pray to him, and worship him, 
and serve him, remember he is the ' great God ; ' but lest that should 
breed bondage and dejection in your 'spirits, remember he is also ' our 
Saviour.' How sweet would this be, if we could but make use of both 
these titles whenever we have to do with him ! Our affections should be 
mixed as Christ's titles are. It is said of the church, Acts ix. 31, ' They 
walked in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost/ 
This doth well together fear God and rejoice in God. Do not dally 
with a Saviour, and please yourselves in cherishing a loose comfort, 
when you neglect duty, and are touched with no awe of God ; and then 
do not indulge a legal dejection ;' the 'great God,' whom you dread 
and reverence is your ' Saviour.' Therefore are the titles of Christ 
mixed, to beget a sweet temperature of fear and love. So much for the 
conjunct consideration of the words. 

II. Let us come to handle them apart particularly, but briefly 

First, Of the style of his power, ' The great God.' Here is a preg 
nant testimony of the deity of Christ. 

Doct. That Jesus Christ, together with the Father and the Holy 
Ghost, is the great God. 

He is called ' the great God,' partly in opposition to those \ej6fjievoi, 
faol, that are only called gods, the vanities of the gentiles. There are 


many that are called gods : 1 Cor. viii. 5, 6, ' For though there be that 
are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, 
and lords many), but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom 
are all things, and we in him ; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom 
are all things, and we by him/ And partly in opposition to the gods 
of man's making ; so the devil is gotten to be a god : ' The god of this 
world hath blinded the eyes of them which believe not,' 2 Cor. iv. 4. 
So we read of those ' whose god is their belly,' Phil. iii. 19. As the 
strength of men's desires run out, so they set up many gods, either 
Mammon or Bacchus. And partly in opposition to those representative 
gods, magistrates, who are called gods : Ps. Ixxxii. 6, ' I said ye are 
gods.' They resemble God in their power and sovereignty, and admini 
stration of justice, and large opportunity of doing good. But the 
chief reason why Christ is called 'the great God' is to show that 
he is not inferior to the Father ; to remove the scandal of his abasement ; 
he is not a God by courtesy or grant, but by nature, equal in power, and 
majesty, and glory, to God the Father. 

To confirm this I shall prove (1.) That considering his work, he 
ought to be God ; no inferior mediator could serve the turn ; (2.) That 
he is God, and able to perform this work. 

First, Consider his work, and so he ought to be God. The work of 
the Mediator could be despatched by no inferior agent. Consider the 
Mediator in all his offices, as prophet, priest, and king. 

1. For his prophetical office. As a prophet, he was to be greater 
than all prophets and apostles. It is above man's capacity to be the 
great doctor of the church. In regard of his outward work, the dis 
covery of the gospel, and of the riches of God's grace, it could be made 
by none but he that was in the bosom of the Father : John i. 18, ; No 
man hath seen God at any time ; the only-begotten Son, which is in 
the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.' None could tell us 
what bowels, what affections, what purposes of grace the Father had 
concerning sinners, but Christ that was in his bosom : Mat. xi. 27, ' No 
man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son 
will reveal him/ As an external lawgiver in the gospel, Christ, the 
great doctor of the church, ought to be authentic, a lawgiver from whose 
sentence there is no appeal, a lord in his own house : Heb. iii. 46, 
1 For every house is builded by some man, but he that built all things 
is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, 
for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after ; but 
Christ as a son over his own house/ Moses was but a servant, who 
received the external law from Christ upon Mount Sinai ; it was Christ 
whose voice shook the mount, Heb. xii. 26.. But chiefly in regard of 
his inward work, as he is to be a fountain of wisdom to all the elect : 
1 Cor. i. 30, ' Bat of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made 
unto us wisdom/ Men may teach the ear, but Christ must teach the 
heart. Blind men cannot see the sun though it shine ever so clearly. 
Light has come into the world, but darkness comprehends it not ; we 
must have eyes as well as light, now it is only divine power can open 
the eye of our understanding, and give us spiritual illumination. 

2. As for his kingly office a finite power would never suffice for 
that. Christ is to break the force of enemies, to raise the dead, to pour 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 235 

out tlie Spirit, to bestow grace and glory ; all these are Christ's donatives 
as king of the church. As a king he is to be an original fountain of 
life to all the elect : ' As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by 
the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me/ John vi. 
57. All these things are the glory of God, which he will not give to 
another, and they cannot be performed by any but God. The creatures 
are limited ; they have not such a vastness in them, that out of their 
fulness we might receive grace for grace, as we do from Christ : John 
i. 16, ' Of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace/ 

3. For his priestly office, this shows he ought to be God. Of this 
there be two acts his oblation and intercession. 

[1.] For his oblation and sacrifice, he must offer up himself, one for 
all, and that but once, and that to expiate sin, and procure the favour 
of God for ever ; now who could do this but God ? He must offer up 
himself ; he must be priest as well as sacrifice, therefore must have a 
power over his own life, to lay it down> and take it up ; and that no 
creature hath ; for whether we live or die. we are the Lord's. And 
thus had Jesus Christ an absolute power of life and death over that 
nature he assumed ; therefore it is said, Heb, ix. 14, ' Who through the 
eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God/ Then one must be 
offered for all : 2 Cor. v. 14, ' If one died for all, then were all dead.' 
Therefore that person which suffered was to be virtually all those for 
whom he suffered, that is, infinitely as good and better than all. Look, 
as they said to David, Thou art better than ten thousand of us, so 
Jesus Christ, that was given one for all, must be such a person as is 
better than all men. A general given in ransom will redeem thousands 
of private soldiers ; so the worth of Christ's person made him equiva 
lent in dignity to the worth of all those whose persons he sustained. 
In all ages his death is a standing remedy ; God had more satisfaction 
than if angels and men had been made a sacrifice. And mark, it was 
done but once. The wages of sin was eternal death ; now something 
there must be to recompense and countervail the eternity of the punish 
ment, and nothing could counterpoise this but the infiniteness and 
excellency of Christ's person ; therefore we are said to be redeemed by 
the blood of God : Acts xx. 28, ' Feed the church of God, which he 
hath purchased with his own blood ; ' that is, with the blood of that 
person that was God. It was necessary he should come out of his 
sufferings, for if he were always suffering we could have no assurance 
that God was satisfied. If our surety were not taken from prison and 
judgment, how should we know the debt was paid ? Isa. liii. 8. How 
shall this be reconciled, that he is to suffer but once, and but a while, 
and yet to do that which should countervail eternity ? It was because 
of the value of his person, as a payment in gold takes up lesser room 
than if paid in silver. Then his aim in all was to expiate sin, and 
nothing but an infinite good could remedy an infinite evil. The person 
wronged is infinite, so is the person suffering ; and then he was not 
only avTiKvrpov, a ransom to redeem us from hell, but avraXkay/jia, a 
price given to God, to purchase for us heaven and eternal glory. An 
ordinary surety, if he pays the debt, he frees the debtor from bonds, 
and hath done his work ; but Jesus Christ was no ordinary surety ; he 
was to bring us to grace and favour with God, and to merit heaven for 


us ; now such a person as could lay an obligation upon God must needs 
be infinite. 

[2.] Then for intercession, the other act of his priesthood. He that 
intercedes with God must be God, to know our wants and necessities. 
As the high priest had the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast 
and shoulders, Exod. xxxix. 8-14, so Jesus Christ hath the names of all 
the elect ; he knows their desires, wants, conflicts ; he is to negotiate 
with God in behalf of all believers, that he may despatch blessings 
suitable to their state. Now who can do this but God, who knows the 
hearts and tries the reins ? Who could know our needs, our wants, our 
thoughts, sins, prayers, groans, desires, purposes, throughout all the 
world ? Who can wait upon our business day and night, and continually 
interpose, that wrath do not break out upon us, but such an all-suffi 
cient Saviour as he is ? 

Secondly, That he is God, and so fitted for this work. In times of 
delusion it is good to settle foundations, and give you grounds of faith. 
It may be a discourse upon the godhead of Christ men may think 
unnecessary : 1 John v. 20, ' This is the true God and eternal life ; ' 
Isa. ix. 6, 'The mighty God ; ' and here in the text he is called ' the 
great God ; ' Eom. ix. 5, ' God blessed for ever.' These proofs are so 
pregnant that they need no illustration. And certainly he is not God 
by grant or courtesy, but it doth unavoidably follow, if he be God, he 
must be so by nature, for the Lord will not give his glory to another. 
Nay, Col. ii. 9, ' In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily/ 
that is, essentially ; not only divine qualities, such as are infused into 
us, but the whole essence of the Godhead was in him as in its proper 
residence. Again, Phil. ii. 6, ' Who being in the form of God, thought 
it not robbery to be equal with God.' It was not a usurpation of 
another's right. And you know this doctrine Christ himself preached : 
John v. 18, * Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because 
he said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God/ 
Certainly when Christ said God was his Father, he did not mean it in 
an ordinary sense, as he is our God and Father, but as his eternal ever 
lasting Son. Thus Christ is the great God. 

Use 1. Let us observe the love of Christ in becoming man, and let 
us improve it. 

1. Observe it. Men show love when they have another's picture 
about their necks. What love did Christ show when he took our 
natures I To see the great God in the form of a servant, hanging upon 
the cross, this is wonderful condescension. Christ's incarnation was a 
glorious contrivance : 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' Great is the mystery of godliness, 
God manifest in the flesh/ If God had not revealed it, it would have 
been blasphemy for us to think it. Angels stoop to see it, the prophets 
studied it again, how should the saints admire it ! Among the friars 
they count it a mighty honour done to their order if a great prince, 
when he is weary of the world, cometh and taketh their habit, and 
dieth in their habit. Certainly it is a mighty honour to mankind that 
the Son of God should take upon him the nature of man, and die in 
our nature, and that the Word should not only be made flesh, but be 
made sin, and made a curse for us. 

2. Improve it. 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 237 

[1.] Let us be desirous to be made partakers of his nature, as he is 
of our nature : 2 Peter i. 4, ' Whereby are given unto us exceeding great 
and precious promises, that by these ye may be partakers of the divine 
nature.' Christ's partaking of our nature was his abasement ; the sun 
of righteousness went backward ; but our partaking of the divine nature 
is our preferment. 

[2.] Let us use ourselves more honourably for Christ's sake. The 
Philistines would no more tread on that threshold on which their idol 
Dagon fell, 1 Sam. v. 5. Shall we defile that nature which the Son 
of God assumed ? Certainly ' every one of you should know how to 
possess his vessel in sanctification and honour/ 1 Thes. iv. 4. 

Use 2. Here is an invitation to press us to come to Christ, or by 
Christ to God, Christ is worth a thousand of us. We are to seek a 
match for our master's Son. Our way to win you is to tell you what 
he is, that those who have given up their names to him may keep 
themselves as pure virgins till his coming : 2 Cor. xi. 2, ' I am jealous 
over you with godly jealousy ; for I have espoused you to one husband, 
that I may present you as a chaste virgin unto Christ.' Now, that you 
may be wrought upon, I will tell you what he is. He is God-man 
in one person ; he is man, that you may not be afraid of him ; and God, 
that he may do you good. He is the Lord of lords, the King of kings, 
the heir of all things, the Saviour of the world, a proper object for your 
faith : 1 Peter i. 21, ' Who by him do believe in God, who raised him 
up from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might 
be in God.' He knows your wants, and is able to supply them ; yea, 
' he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him ; 
Heb. vii. 25. Though we are unworthy, yet he needeth no portion 
with us ; we can bring nothing to him, but he hath enough in himself, 
I am God all-sufficient ; as Esther had all things for her purification 
given her at the king's cost. Nay, it is danger to neglect him : Heb. 
xii. 25, ' See that ye refuse not him that speaketh; fqa* if they escaped 
not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we 
escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven.' It is 
God wooeth you; he will take you with nothing; you bring him 
nothing but necessity, but he will pay all your debts. Nay, nothing 
can hurt you as long as he is on your side : Kom. viii. 31, 'If God be 
for us, who can be against us ? ' Do not leave, then, till you can say 
'as Thomas, John xx. 28, 'My Lord and my God.' Take him, but 
give him the honour of a God, adoration, invocation, faith, and love. 

Use 3. Direction. 

1. If we would see God, let us look on Christ as we look on the sun 
in a bason of water. Christ is the character of his Father's person : 
Heb. i. 3, ' Who is the brightness of his glory, and the express image 
of his person.' 

2. If we would see sin without horror and despair, let us look on 
Christ ; all the heavenly powers could not bring us into favour with 
God again. * 

Secondly, For the title of mercy and love. Christ is a Saviour as 
well as the great God. How is Christ the Saviour? Take it thus, 
positively as well as privatively ; he doth not only free us from misery, 
but gives us all spiritual blessings : Eph. i. 3, 'Blessed be the God and 


Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual 
blessings in heavenly places in Christ.' As he frees us from misery, 
so he gives us everlasting life: John iii. 16, ' That whosoever believeth 
in him should not perish, but have everlasting life/ Then he is a 
saviour, not only by way of deliverance, but by way of prevention ; he 
doth not only break the snare, but keeps our feet from falling ; he not 
only cures our diseases, as a physician when we are sick, but he leads, 
guides, and keeps us as a shepherd. We do not take notice of preven 
tive mercy. How many times might we fall if we had not a saviour ? 
Prevention is better than escape ; better never meet with danger than 
be delivered out of danger. There is an invisible guard ; we are not 
sensible of it, but the devil knows and is sensible of it : Job i. 10, 
'Thou hast made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about 
all that he hath on every side.' Again, he is a saviour by way of merit 
and by way of power ; not only to rescue us from Satan, but to redeem 
us to God. If a man would deliver a condemned person, it is not 
enough to take him by force out of the executioner's hands, but he 
must satisfy the judge. Thus hath Christ done, not only delivered us 
from the power of darkness, but God in Christ is well-pleased ; he hath 
satisfied his Father's wrath. Again, before his exaltation he redeemed 
us, then he deserved our salvation, and afterwards he works our 
salvation. When he was upon earth he was a saviour by merit, 
therefore it is said we have salvation by his death : 1 Thes. v. 9, ' God 
hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who died for us.' And after his exaltation he works out 
our salvation, and so we are saved by his life : Rom. v. 10, ' Much 
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.' Living and 
dying he is ours, that so living and dying we might be his. Again, 
he saves not only for a while, so as we might be lost afterwards, but 
for ever ; therefore it is called eternal salvation : Heb. v. 9, ' And being 
made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them 
tbat obey him/ He saves us not only from temporal misery, but from 
hell and damnation ; he saves not only the body, but the soul. Nay, 
he saves not only from hell, but the very fear of it ; Heb. ii. 15, ' And 
deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject 
to bondage.' He not only delivers us from the hurt of death, but the 
fear of it. He doth not only give us heaven, but hope, and frees us 
from bondage and despair. He not only saves us from the evils after 
sin, but from the evil of sin. So Mat. i. 21, ' Thou shalt call his name 
Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins ; ' and there is the 
chief point of his salvation. In short, he not only saves us in part, but 
to the utmost : Heb. vii. 25, ' Wherefore he is able also to save to the 
uttermost all that come unto God through him.' He not only gives 
us grace at first, but all things that are necessary to life and godliness. 
Use 1. Bless God for Christ, that he hath taken the care of our 
salvation into his own hands. He would not trust an angel with it, 
nne was fit for it but him: Isa. lix. 16, 'He saw, and there was no 
man, and wondered that there was no intercessor ; therefore his arm 
brought salvation unto him, and his righteousness it sustained him.' 
Christ did as it were look down from heaven, and say, Alas ! there are 
poor creatures like to perish for want of a saviour ; I will go down and 

VER. 13.] SERMONS UPON TITUS 11. 11-14. 239 

help them myself. Look, as when Jonah saw the storm, he said, 
' Take me up, and cast me into the sea, and then shall the sea be calm 
to you/ Jonah i. 12 ; so when the Lord Christ saw the tempest raised, 
he said, Cast me into the sea. ' Lo, I come to do thy will, God/ 
Heb. x. 9. The storm was raised for Jonah's sake, but we raised the 
storm, and yet Christ would be cast in to appease it; therefore bless 
God for Christ. 

Use 2. Get an interest in him. Oh ! be not quiet till you are able 
to say, Our Saviour. You can take no comfort in the great God until 
the next title follows, and you can call Christ your Saviour ; but that 
is matter of joy and comfort i Luke i. 46, 47, ' My soul doth magnify 
the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour/ 

But what shall we do that we may apply this ? 

1. Keject all other saviours: 'Neither is there salvation in any 
other ; for there is none other name under heaven given among men 
whereby we must be saved,' Acts iv. 12. Mark, when God threatened 
a deluge to sweep away the old world, there was no safety but in the 
ark ; if the world had devised other ships, yet they would not hold 
out against the flood ; so whatever you do, unless you close with Christ, 
and are grafted and implanted into Christ, as members of his body (for 
he is only the saviour of his body), you are not safe. But especially 
take heed of making a saviour of self, that we are wont to set up instead 
of Christ, of setting up the merit of thy works, and the power of thy 
nature ; the one renounceth the humiliation of Christ, the other his 
exaltation. Be at a loss till you close with Christ, for Christ came to 
seek and to save that which was lost. The sinking disciples cried, 
' Lord, save us, we perish/ Mat. viii. 25. It is long ere God bringeth 
us to this. We never look after Christ till we are ready to perish and 
be undone. Why should we make choice of a saviour but in case of 
danger ? Faith necessarily implies this, a renouncing ourselves, not in 
words, but in the temper and frame of our hearts. You cannot practise 
swimming on shore or on the firm land, but then we strive to swim 
when we are ready to perish in the flood ; so when you are utterly lost 
in yourselves, then you will look after Christ. 

2. Be earnest with God for an interest in Christ, and for the mani 
festation of it. Cry out with David, Ps. xxxv. 3, ' Say to my soul, I am 
thy salvation.' You must choose Christ as a Saviour. Faith is a 
consent to take Christ a& God 'offers him ; you must consent to the 
articles of the covenant of grace, that you will have no other Saviour 
but Christ : Lam. iii. 24, ' The Lord is my portion, saith my soul/ 
And go to God that he would ratify your choice by his consent ; desire 
God that he would say, Amen, that Christ might be thy Saviour. You 
had better be a beast than a man if you have not an interest in this 
salvation. The death of a beast is the end of his woe and labour, but 
then yours begins. The greatest part of salvation is to be delivered 
from evil to come ; therefore be earnest with God, that your interest in 
this salvation might be cleared up. 


Wlio gave himself for us, &c. TITUS ii. 14. 

IN this paragraph I have observed (1.) The teacher; (2.) The lesson; 
(3.) The encouragements to learning. The teacher is the grace of 
God. The lesson is the whole duty of our heavenly calling. The 
encouragements to learning are twofold some taken from the hope of 
eternal life, and some from the end and effect of Christ's death. I have 
finished the former, and now come to the latter sort, taken from the 
end and effect of Christ's death. So that, whether we look forward or 
backward, we still meet with obligations to obedience. Forward, there 
is a glorious and blessed hope ; backward, there is a great obligation 
established upon the creature, ' The Lord Christ gave himself for us, 
to redeem us from all iniquity/ Certainly there is a lawful use of hope 
that hath a great influence upon grace, but the great principle of the 
gospel is gratitude and thankfulness to Christ ; therefore let us look 
upon this second encouragement. We enter upon other services out 
of hopes, but we enter upon Christ's service out of thankfulness and 
gratitude ; it is an ingenuous service. 
In this verse you have 

1. Christ's act ' He gave himself for us.' 

2. His aim, ' To redeem us/ &c ; and this is expressed partly by the 
privative part, ' To redeem us from all iniquity ; ' and partly by the 
positive part of it, ' And purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous 
of good works/ Here is redemption and sanctification. I observe it 
the rather because both parts are suited to the exhortation. There 
was the privative part, ' Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts ; ' and 
suitably hereunto we are ' Redeemed from all iniquity ; ' then the 
positive part, ' Living soberly, righteously, godly/ So Christ did not 
only die to free us from hell, but to make us holy ; where we have the 
inward constitution, ' To purify unto himself a peculiar people ; ' and 
the outward conversation, or the sign and manifestation of it, ' Zealous 
of good works/ All these things are arguments to enforce the matter 
in hand. There is the act of Christ. Shall Christ die for us, and we 
cherish his enemy ? Shall he be our Saviour, and we hug and cherish 
that which is contrary to him, worldly lusts and ungodliness in the 
heart ? Then his aim, he died to free us from the bondage of sin ; 
therefore they that would have their sins live are said to put their 
Redeemer to shame, and make his kindness void. Then Christ died to 
make us a peculiar people, and shall we live as the rest of the multi 
tude do ? We expect great benefit from him, therefore certainly we 
must be holy, and not pick and choose how we would have him a 
Saviour unto us. 

I begin with the first thing, Christ's act, ' He gave himself for us ; ' 
that is, to be an expiatory sacrifice. He gave himself to die for us : 
John xvii. 19, ' I sanctify myself for their sakes ; ' that is, set apart 
myself as a sacrifice ; ' 1 Tim. ii. 6, ' Who gave himself a ransom for 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. H~14, 241 

The point is, Christ's willingness to suffer for the fallen and lost 

1. I shall demonstrate it by some expressions by which it is dis 

2. Give the grounds why Christ gave himself by such a willing 
resignation to be our propitiatory sacrifice, to be a ransom to God. 

1. For the expressions of his willingness ; and there I shall begin 
with his eternal longings to be with the sons of men before ever there 
was hill or mountain in the world : Prov. viii. 31, 'Kejoicing in the 
habitable parts of the earth, and my delights were with the sons of 
men/ Mark, long before ever the world was, Jesus Christ was feast 
ing himself with the thoughts of his own grace, and what he would do 
for men. He desired the making of the world, and fixing the bounds 
of our habitation, that he might be with us ; there was his end. Angels 
were the workmanship of his hands as well as men ; nay, in their frame 
and constitution they were more noble creatures than man ; yet Christ 
doth not say, My delight was to be with angels, but with the sons of 
men. I was thinking of the day I should come into the world, and die 
for men, and purchase exceeding grace for them. The next expression 
is Ps. xl. 7, 8, when God's decree came to be expressed and made known 
to the church, see what Christ saith, c Lo, I come ; in the volume of 
the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, my God ; yea, 
thy law is within my heart/ For the understanding of this place, you 
must know the divine justice is there introduced as proposing its 
demands ; God in his justice, as it were, speaking thus to Christ, Son, 
I am weary of sacrifice and burnt-offerings : hitherto I have showed 
myself gracious to the world, whilst burnt-offerings stood ; now I resolve 
to show myself just; as the apostle explains this, Kom. iii. 26, 'To 
declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just/ 
As long as God accepted of burnt-offerings, he was a God of patience 
and forbearance, and not willing to execute his wrath upon creatures ; 
burnt-offerings served the turn. But, saith God, the world shall know, 
though I pardon, yet I will be just; therefore now you must take a 
body, man's blood is tainted, and you must be formed in fashion like 
one of them, and stand in the sinner's stead. I shall expect from you 
satisfaction for every elect person ; you must give your cheeks to the 
nippers, and your back to the smiters ; you must be tempted by the 
devil, hunted and baited by men, to be responsible to my just wrath. 
The decree is passed, a body is prepared, you must take it, and go down 
to the sons of men ; you are the sinner in the law if you take this body. 
These were the demands of God to Christ. Now, saith Christ, ' Lo I 
come to do thy will/ Father, I am willing to stand in their stead, to 
accept of all, to be responsible to thy justice. So when Christ was come 
in the flesh : John iv. 34, ' My meat is to do the will of him that sent 
me, and to finish his work/ What was the work for which God sent 
Christ ? Sad work, to make reconciliation for sinners, to die in their 
stead ; and yet, saith Christ, ' This is my meat/ Look, as a hungry 
man prizeth his food, so doth the Lord Christ value and prize his work, 
nay, infinitely more. Christ himself was then hungry, and had sent to 
the market to buy provision, but he had now met with other meat to 
eat, he was dealing with a poor lost soul. Nay, we have not yet the 



full of the expression, for Christ seems to speak there by way of excel 
lency ; this was his choice dish, the diet that suited with his appetite. 
God hath vouchsafed us great store of creatures, but some meats we 
relish better than others ; as Isaac loved his venison, that was meat for 
his tooth. And when we come to a feast, every one saith of the dish 
he most affects, This is my meat ; so Christ seems to speak, ' My meat/ 
by way of eminency ; that is the dish I affect, that my soul longs to 
taste of ; it is to do my Father's work, and to be employed for the 
salvation of sinners. Nay, yet further ; Christ seems to speak by way 
of appropriation, ' My meat ; J that is, mine alone ; he alone tasted of 
this cup. At this table none eat but he, none was to taste of his Father's 
wrath but he, none was to drink of this bitter cup but he. Again, 
Luke xii. 50, ' I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I 
straitened till it be accomplished ! ' The baptism Christ speaks of there 
was the baptism of blood, to make a laver of his own blood. He was 
about to make a bath for sinners, to wash our garments white ; and he 
thought he never could soon enough empty his veins, and go to the last 
work wherewith our redemption was to be accomplished, to close up all 
with his death : I am straitened and troubled in spirit till the time 
come. Another emphatical expression we have, Luke xxii. 15, ' With 
desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.' 
Why was Christ so earnest to eat that passover ? Because it was the 
last ; it was a passover that was sauced with gall and vinegar, much 
more sharp than that which the Jews offered him upon the cross ; it 
was the immediate forerunner of his agonies and bitter sorrows in the 
garden ; yet ' With desire have I desired it.' It is a Hebraism : Oh ! 
my soul vehemently and earnestly hath longed for this time. Another 
expression we have, Mat. xvi. 22, 23. Peter had dissuaded Christ from 
suffering : * Be it far from thee, Lord ; this shall not be unto thee.' 
Christ rebuked him, ' Get thee behind me, Satan ; ' compared with 
Mark iv. 10. With the same indignation that he rebukes the devil 
tempting him to idolatry, he rebukes Peter dissuading him from suffer 
ing. His heart was set upon the work of our redemption, therefore 
Peter is thus rebuked. Another expression of his willingness is his 
bidding Judas hasten his work : John xiii. 27, ' What thou dost, do 
quickly/ Certainly it was not out of an approbation of his sin, but a 
testimony of his love ; the sooner the better. Christ, when he con 
sidered that poor creatures had souls to save, and all was not finished ; 
thought the traitor was too slow, for he desired to get his body upon the 
cross, and finish all his work for our salvation. Again, his behaviour 
at his death showed his willingness. Christ had the command of 
legions of angels, but would not suffer one disciple to draw his sword. 
He might have prevented all, and have withdrawn himself from their 
fury, for he foreknew what would befall him. He had been discoursing 
with his disciples, and encouraging them to bear the trial patiently, yet 
doth not forsake the place of his usual resort ; he goes to the garden 
where he knew Judas would betray him, being willing to despatch all. 
One expression more we have, which gives you an account of his patience 
in suffering : Isa. liii. 7, ' He was oppressed, he was afflicted, yet he 
opened not his mouth ; he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and 
as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth/ 

VEE. 14.] SEKMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 243 

The poor sheep when under the shearer's hands is meek and dumb, 
and the lamb goes to the slaughter without howling and crying ; so 
doth the Lord Christ go to the altar quietly without struggling. 

II. For the grounds of this willingness. They ave his own love and 
his obedience to his Father's will. Sometimes it is said that Christ 
gave himself, and sometimes it is said that God the Father gave Christ. 
Christ gave himself : Gal. i. 4, ' Who gave himself for our sins.' God 
the Father is said to give him : John iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only-begotten Son/ In some places it is made an act 
of his own personal love : Gal. ii. 20, 'Who loved me, and gave himself 
for me ; and Eph. v 25, ' Christ loved the church, and gave himself 
for it.' At other times it is made to be an act of obedience : Phil. ii. 
8, 'He became obedient to death, even the death of the cross ;' and 
John x. 18, ' This commandment I received of my Father.' Indeed 
there was a concurrence of both, of love in Christ, and obedience to 
his Father. 

1. There was a love to us. Christ was drawn to this work with no 
other cords but his own bowels. It was love that brought him out of 
heaven, and love nailed him to the cross, and love laid him in the grave, 
and made him. free among the dead. If you ask, Upon what errand 
came the Son of God out of the bosom of the Father ? I answer Upon 
a design of love. Of what sickness he died ? I answer Of love ; not 
by constraint certainly ; though he died a violent death, it was merely 
by consent : John x. 18, ' No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down 
of myself ; ' Kev. i. 5, ' To him that loved us, and washed us from our 
sins in his own blood.' 

2. There was his obedience to God. As Jesus Christ was God, so 
by one and the same will doth the Father give Christ, and the Son give 
himself ; for the Father's will is his will : they are one in essence, there 
fore one in will, and one in operation ; and what the Father doth, the 
Son doth, because of the unity of essence : John v. 19, ' What things 
soever the Father doth these also doth the Son likewise.' But this is 
not all ; consider Jesus Christ is mediator ; so there is a consent of 
obedience to the Father, and so as the Father appoints he presents him 
self as the price and sacrifice for sin. Homines, non propter homines, 
sed propter Deum dilexit He loved men, not for men's sake but God's. 
The meaning is, the goodness of the creature is not the cause of Christ's 
love, but his love to God ; and that gives us sure ground of hope. 
Christ loves us not for our own sakes, but for his Father's sake. 

Now give me leave to show why it was necessary that Christ should 
give up himself ; partly out of love, and partly out of obedience. 

1. It was necessary that he should give up himself out of obedience, 
partly that his love might be rational. The Lord is a God of judgment, 
a wise God, and all he doth is with reason. Now the only supreme 
reason why Christ loves us is the will of God and the command of his 
Father. Solomon saith, Prov. xvii. 18, ' A man void of understanding 
striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend/ 
How is that ? That is. before his friend asks or desires it : it is a 
fault to be over-forward and prodigal of favours. It is a rational love 
that is in Christ, and partly he doth it out of obedience, to preserve a 
respect to God the Father. Christ loves us for his sake, and therefore 


we should love God in Christ the more. And partly it is the wisdom 
of God that the reasons of love should lie without man himself, and 
be found among the divine persons, because of the Father's good-will 
and command. 

2. It was convenient that Christ should give himself out of his own 
love, partly that Christ might be a fit mediator. It cannot stand with 
God's justice to punish an innocent person for a nocent, unless he him 
self be willing ; therefore, that Christ might be a mediator, he had a 
will of his own, otherwise God could not in honour exact the debt of 
Christ, but that there was a voluntary susception ; he took it upon 
himself. The Lord Christ, when he condescended to the Father's 
motion, when by his own will he gave up himself, and set himself 
wholly apart to be our Kedeemer, God might justly require the debt of 
him. When Paul would take Onesimus' debt upon himself, Phil 
emon might justly require it of him : Philem. 18, 19, ' If he have 
wronged thee, or oweth thee aught, put that on mine account. I Paul 
have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it.' Or I may illus 
trate it thus : In the case of Jonah, the mariners were loath to throw 
him overboard ; but when he saw the tempest, and said, ' Cast me into 
the sea, and there shall be a calm/ then they took him up and cast him 
in. So when the Lord Christ saw the tempest of his Father's wrath 
that was rising against sinners, he saith, Cast me into the sea. Indeed 
there was a difference ; the tempest there was for Jonah's sake, but 
this was for our sakes : ' I saw there was no intercessor, therefore my 
own arm brought salvation.' The Father's ordination had no place or 
room without Christ's voluntary susception and undertaking. And 
partly too to set off the worth of his love. Willingness and freeness 
commends a kindness, and makes it great. What more free than a 
gift ? Therefore his passion was voluntary. Extorted courtesies lose 
their value, therefore Jesus Christ gave up himself to be a sacrifice for 
us. But the chiefest reason is this, Christ willingly offered up himself, 
that all things might come freely and sweetly from his Father to us, 
that so God might * rejoice over us to do us good/ as the expression is, 
Jer. xxxii. 41. All a wicked man's blessings seem to be extorted from 
providence ; they have them not from the heart of God ,but from God's 
anger, as the murmuring Israelites had quails. But now, that we 
might have mercies from God's heart, and not from his hand only, 
that mercy might come from love, and all run in a free channel to us, 
and as a gift, therefore did Christ give himself. 

Object But did not Christ pray that the cup might pass from him ? 
And did not he fear, and his human nature stagger and recoil at the 
greatness of his sufferings ? We read of ' prayers, tears, and strong 
cries/ Heb. v. 7 ; and therefore how was Christ so willing ? 

Ans. Christ's prayers were rather for our example and comfort than 
to decline the suffering : Heb. iv. 15, ' He was in all points tempted 
like as we are, yet without sin.' He was to show himself true man, 
and therefore was to have human love, human abhorrences, and 
human aversations. He was to put on all the innocent passions of our 
nature ; it was not convenient Christ should suffer as a stock and dead 
lump of flesh. In short, in his sufferings Christ was to discover a 
double relation he was to act the part of a private person and of a 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 245 

public person. Of a private person, to show the verity of his human 
nature ; and of a public person, to discover his willingness to die for 
the elect. Now he doth both these. It is the nature of man to shun 
that which is grievous and painful to him ; he was to look upon his 
sufferings as contrary to the perfection and liberty of his human nature, 
and so he was to pray, ' Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from 
me.' But now, as a public person and as mediator, so he was extremely 
willing to do this office of love for us. The innocent passions of his 
human nature discover the greatness of his sufferings, they made his 
manhood recoil and stagger, as being amazed at the dreadfulness of 
that he was to suffer. And though his private human nature be 
allowed to speak, ' Father, let this cup pass,' yet his public relation 
hath a casting voice, and his submission as a public person showeth 
his willingness to endure these sufferings ; therefore he saith, ' Not 
my will, but thine be done/ and freely yields up himself. These fears 
of Christ certainly were no shrinking from the work, but only a natural 
consternation and retirement from what is dreadful. Christ's fears 
were a part of that fire whereon our sin-offering was to be burnt and 
roasted ; and therein he showed his willingness, that he freely gave up 
himself to be scorched with those dreadful apprehensions of God's 
wrath. For it is very notable his agonies came not upon him before 
he pleased ; for it is said, Mat. xxvi. 38, he went into the garden, and 
then began to be sorrowful. Christ could have kept it off longer, and 
brought it on sooner. And then his tears were but the overflowing of 
his love ; he had an ocean in his heart, and suffered it to flow out in 
his eyes ; it was part of the deluge wherein he would drown the world 
of sin ; therefore these do not disparage, but increase his willingness. 

Use 1. To press us to thankfulness. Here are many circumstances 
the giver, the gift, the manner of giving, the end of giving and the 
persons to whom. 

1. The giver, and that is Jesus Christ, who is God over all, blessed 
for ever. Usually men make a market of their courtesies, they give to 
them that can give again and make them recompense ; but he is that 
blessed Lord to whom nothing could accrue from us. In short, the Father 
gave him, and he gave himself. There is infinite love in that God the 
Father gave him : John iii. 16, ' God so loved the world, that he gave 
his only-begotten Son/ It tells you not how, but leaves you to wonder 
and admire at it. I would represent it a little to you, and therefore let 
us measure it by created affections. The affections of the Virgin Mary 
to Christ is the fittest glass I can represent it by. From her he took 
his substance, that had the interest of an earthly mother. Now, how 
was she troubled ! What commotion was in her bowels ! The Holy 
Ghost expresseth it : Luke ii. 35, ' Yea, a sword shall pierce through 
thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.' 
She was like one wounded to the heart when she saw Christ hung upon 
the cross, yet he took but his human body from her. If there was 
such a commotion in the bowels of the Virgin Mary, the mother of the 
Lord, what then was it for God the Father to give up his only Son ? 
His love was infinite, yet he gave up Christ. We read of some fathers 
who have much denied themselves. Abraham offereth Isaac, Jephthah 
offereth his daughter, Lot would have given his daughters to save his 


guests. These are but obscure shadows of the Father's giving up of 
Christ, in whom he took infinite complacency and contentment. And 
then bless God for this willing condescension of the Lord Christ, that 
his heart was so taken with the motion the Father makes to him : Son, 
you must be responsible to my justice, and take a body. Christ replied, 
'Lo, I come ; ' and Isa. liii. 11, * He shall see of the travail of his soul 
and be satisfied/ To bring sons to glory cost the Lord Christ much 
travail of soul ; but, he saith, All this is well enough ; if he shall see 
the fruit of it, It is enough, I am satisfied ; this is enough for all the 
temptations in the wilderness, enough for all the agonies in the garden, 
enough for all the sorrows on the cross, if a few creatures might be saved 
and brought to God. And consider, the Father's giving, and the Son's 
giving, they are not contrary, and do not destroy one another. The 
Father's love doth not lessen Christ's, but commend it, that he hath 
the same good-will to us as the Father hath. Jesus Christ as mediator 
is the servant of God's decrees. Many times the servant hath not the 
same affection to the work as the master hath. But it is otherwise 
here ; God's heart and Christ's heart is set upon the work. God sets 
him apart to be a mediator, and Christ sets himself apart to see what 
he can do to save creatures. Oh ! bless the Lord. Thus for the 

2. The gift, ' He gave himself/ not an angel. Among all the trea 
sures of heaven and earth, there was nothing more excellent and precious 
than the Lord Christ. He doth not give gold and silver, but himself to 
die for us: 1 Peter i. 18, 19, ' Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not 
redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, &c., but with the 
precious blood of Christ/ And how doth he give himself ? Certainly 
his whole self, body and soul. His godhead was engaged in this work, 
though that could not suffer ; ' He shall make his soul an offering for 
sin,' Isa. liii. 10. Christ's soul was to stand in our souls' stead. His 
soul was heavy to the death, as well as his body abused, mangled with 
whips, and exposed to sufferings. And the Godhead itself assisted ; 
all was interested in it. So that look, as when the sun shines upon 
a tree, though you cut the tree you do not cut the sun, so the Godhead 
stood by but suffered nothing. Christ suffered not only death but deser 
tion. The soul's forsaking of the body at death was nothing so heavy as 
God's forsaking of the soul, when he cries out, ' My God, My God, why 
hast thou forsaken me ? ' Mat. xxvii. 46. Many forsook him ; his disciples 
left him ; they all fled ; but Christ complains not of this ; but there 
was the suspension of the wonted joys of the Godhead, and that troubled 
him ; this was the passion of his passion. The moon loseth no bright 
ness when it suffereth an eclipse by the interposition of the earth, but 
shines as bright as ever ; so the Lord Christ lost nothing, but only 
there was an eclipse of God's countenance, and this was the terror and 
anguish of his soul. 

3. Consider the manner of giving, it was free and voluntary, without 
reluctancy, which was the great argument of his love ; freely and 
willingly he gave up himself : Gal. ii. 20, ' The life that I live in the 
flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave 
himself for me/ Faith pitcheth upon this circumstance, ' Who loved 
me, and gave himself for me/ to urge us to the spiritual life. 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 247 

4. Consider for what end it was : Eph. i. 2, ' He gave jiimself for 
us an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling savour.' 
The sacrifice that was offered for the whole congregation was to be 
killed without the camp, and the blood to be brought with sweet per 
fume to the mercy-seat ; so the Lord Christ comes out of heaven to be 
killed on earth, and then is gone to heaven to present his sacrifice to 
God as a sweet perfume. He gave himself to be a ransom for us, to 
die a shameful and accursed death on the cross ; he gave himself to be 
substituted in our room and stead. The sadness of every loss is accord 
ing to the measure of enjoyment. Life died, righteousness was made 
sin ; oh, blessed exchange ! 

5. Consider for whom he doth it. The apostle saith it was for us, 
not for angels. Though they did far exceed man in excellency of 
nature^ yet God would not treat with the lost angels ; they were never 
recovered ; but he gave himself for us men. Nay, not only for us that 
were his creatures, but that were his enemies, vile and unworthy 
sinners : Kom. v. 8, ' God commendeth his love towards us, in that 
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us/ A man would even die 
for a good man, though there be but a few such persons in the world ; 
but here the just dies for the unjust : 1 Peter iii. 18, ' For Christ 
also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us to God/ Now this commends his love indeed, in that it was 
for us vile miscreants, dust and ashes. Adam sold us for a thing of 
nought, an apple, and so the Lord might have condemned us, cast us 
off/ and created another world of nobler creatures than the present 
race of men, or might have redeemed us at a cheaper rate. Let all this 
quicken us to thanksgiving. 

Use 2. Exhortation. If Christ hath given himself it presseth us 
1. To accept Christ, and entertain him in our hearts. Shall Christ 
give himself, and will not we accept the gift ? It is true, when he 
gave himself for us, he gave himself to God the Father; as you 
know the price must be paid to the creditor. Satisfaction is made 
to the judge. But as he gave himself for us, so he gives himself 
to us, and thus he is offered in the gospel. Therefore it is said, 
Kom. iii. 25, 'Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation for 
our sins/ In the gospel God holds out Christ, and makes an offer. 
Sinners, will you take him? Shall Christ offer himself thus, and 
shall not we esteem and value this gift, and entertain it in our hearts 
with all thankfulness ? Certainly we do not know what a gift Christ 
is, and therefore we do not prize it : John iv. 10, ' If thou knewest 
the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, 
thou wouldst have asked, and he would have given thee living water/ 
Here is the best gift ever God can give. If we knew Christ, our 
affections would not be so cold. God is represented in scripture 
with two hands, and he hath gifts in his right hand, and gifts in 
his left hand. There is Jesus Christ, grace, pardon, and salvation, 
and all that is dear and precious ; these are the blessings of his right 
hand. In his left hand there are riches and honour, estate, lands, 
houses, supplies of the present life. Now, art thou a goat or a 
sheep ? one that shall stand at God's left or right hand ? Thou art 
known by thy choice. All that are for the world run for a worldly 
portion and neglect Christ. We count those children foolish who 


prefer an apple before a jewel. So here the Lord sets out to us Christ 
and the things of this life, and men prefer the base contentments of 
the world before Christ. Therefore let us accept of Christ if he hath 
given himself for us. 

2. It exhorteth and presseth us to a spiritual consecration, to give 
up ourselves to .Christ : Kom. xii. 1, ' I beseech you, brethren, by the 
mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, 
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.' Jesus Christ gave 
himself as a sin-offering, and we must give up ourselves as a thank- 
offering unto God. Now, let me tell you your giving up yourselves is 
a far other manner of giving up than Christ gave up himself. You 
never keep yourselves so much as when you give up yourselves to God. 
All the receiving is on our part. God would have us give up our 
hearts to him. How ? That we might be made better. Better be 
given up to God than left to ourselves. Christ gave up himself to be 
crucified, but we give up ourselves to be glorified. And Jesus Christ 
gave up himself voluntarily, there was no necessity lay upon him ; but 
woe unto us if we give not up ourselves to God, there is a necessity 
laid upon us ; we do but give God his due and his own, but Jesus 
Christ had power over his life, to lay it down, and take it up, for he was 
an absolute master of his life ; but we are dependent, under an obliga 
tion ; therefore our giving is but to make our relation to God more 
explicit. And again, Jesus Christ could sanctify himself ; he was priest, 
altar, and sacrifice, and brings all out of his own store ; but all we have 
is from God. It goeth under the name of our deed, but the sacri 
fice, fire, and altar all come down from heaven ; yet the act must be 
done by us. 

And here take these two cautions 

[1.] You must do as Christ did, give up your all, body, soul, estate, 
goods, good name, life, parts, interest, relations ; write upon all, Holi 
ness to the Lord ; there must not be a hoof reserved ; for these things 
are but trifles in comparison of what Christ parted withal for us. 
Some stick at one thing, some at another ; some divide the body and 
the soul. In times of safety, when the public profession of religion is 
honourable, then men will give up their bodies to Christ ; their eyes 
shall be lifted up in prayer, and their tongues shall speak well of Christ, 
but their heart is not given him. In times of trouble, then they could 
give God their souls ; but profession is suspended, the body must be 
spared and excused. And then in the soul, some make an untoward 
division between conscience and affections ; fain they would have Christ 
to pacify and satisfy their conscience, but they give their hearts and 
affections to the world. Some could give up their parts for Christ. 
Oh ! they could plead for him, and do some good act of kindness, but 
not a penny of their estates. Christians, you must not thus stand huck- 
ing with God, and play Pharaoh's trick, but all must be given up. 
The devil knows, when we divide, the whole will fall to his share. It 
would be sad if God should deal with you as you deal with him, and 
glorify no more than you give him, take the body into heaven, and 
leave the soul in hell. 

[2.] You must not retract your vows. It is dangerous to alienate 
things once consecrated, to say with him, ' I go, sir, and went not,' Mat 
xxi. 30 ; or as Ananias, to keep back part of the money for which he 

VEB. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 249 

sold his possession, and yet the thing was in his own power. But you 
are not in your own power ; it is not indifferent whether you will give 
up yourselves to Christ or no, but it is a duty ; and therefore live as if 
thou wert not thine own master, but act for Christ, think for Christ, 
and do for Christ ; it is not an hard law. Consider what Christ did : 
* Christ pleased not himself/ Eom. xv. 3. He had a private will as 
well as you, but he denied it, and yielded to the public will. Christ 
did not obey his private will to the prejudice of his public, therefore 
let it not be grievous to renounce your will : 2 Cor. v. 14, 15, ' For the 
love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if Christ 
died for all, then were all dead ; and that he died for all, that they 
which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him 
which died for them, and rose again.' 

3. It presseth you again to a like readiness in Christ's service as the 
Lord Christ showed in the service of our souls. Why should we be so 
backward to come to the throne of grace, when Jesus Christ was not 
backward to go to the cross ? We go grudgingly when he went so 
willingly to suffer for us. When the business was propounded to him, 
he said, Ps. xl. 7, 8, ' Lo, I come ; in the volume of the book it is 
written of me, I delight to do thy will, my God.' So when there is 
a warm suggestion upon your hearts : Ps. xxvii. 8, ' Thou saidst, Seek 
my face ; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek/ ' Lord, 
what wilt thou have me to do ? ' said Paul when he surrendered him 
self up to God, Acts ix. 6. If Christ was longing, When will the 
world be made, and the bounds of their habitation fixed, that I might 
dwell with them ? Oh ! we do not long for heaven as Christ longed 
for earth. He could expect nothing but hard usage, grief, and death ; 
he came to taste the vinegar and gall, and we do not long to taste of 
the feast of love. If love brought down Christ to us, why cannot it 
carry us up to God ? When you are backward to believe and pray,, 
let it shame you that Christ was so willing. And in the Lord's supper, 
let it shame us that we have less appetite to feast our souls with the 
benefits of the cross than Christ had to endure the death of the cross. 
Can we say with Christ, ' With desire have I desired to eat this pass- 
over ? ' Here is a cup of consolation tempered with Christ's hand, and 
we have no earnest groans after it. Christ could say, ' It is my meat 
to do the will of God ; ' and certainly it should be so to us. In the 
Lord's prayer, ' Thy will be done/ immediately goes before a petition 
for daily bread, to show it should be more desirous 'for us to do God's 
will than to eat our daily bread. Christians, when will you learn of 
Christ ? We plead and stand disputing every inch with God. When 
you feel any reluctancy and regret of spirit, remember Christ offered 
up himself willingly. Christ's work was sad work, but he did not say, 
It is a hard work, and is like to cost me dear, and I shall meet with 
an unthankful world, and my doctrine is like to be despised among the 
nations ; he pleaded none of these discouragements. Oh ! when shall 
we learn to do as Christ, not to reason, but run the ways of God's com 
mandments ? Ps. cxix. 10, ' With my whole heart have I sought thee/ 
It is not obedience if it be not willing : Ps. ex. 3, ' Thy people shall be 
willing in the day of thy power/ When difficulties arise, consider 
Christ's torment and suffering abated nothing of his love : John xiii. 1, 
1 That is, ' desirable.' ED. 


' Having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto 
the end.' In the rnidst of his agonies he still said, Luke xxii. 42, ' Not 
my will, but thine be done.' Let us be content not only to do but to 
suffer : 2 Sam. xv. 26, ' Behold, here I am ; let him do to me what 
seemeth good unto him.' 

Use 3. Here is encouragement in believing. 

1. In troubles of conscience. Christ willingly offered up himself ; 
he went as a lamb to the slaughter, therefore he is ' the Lamb of God 
that taketh away the sins of the world/ John i. 29. Willing sacrifices 
are acceptable to the Lord ; he loveth a cheerful giver. God had no 
respect to Cain because he offered with a grudging mind. The sacri 
fice that came to the altar struggling was counted unlucky ; if the beast 
did roar, or bleat much, or showed much reluctation, it was an omin 
ous sign. More particularly the great aggravation of sin is the will 
ingness of it ; not the grossness of the act so much as the propension 
and bent of the will. If thou hast been a willing sinner, and art now 
troubled about it, here is a willing saviour ; he suffered as earnestly, 
and with as much strength of desire, as ever you committed sin : Luke 
xxii. 15, ' With desire have I desired to eat this passover with you be 
fore I suffer.' Stop the mouth of conscience by considering the burn 
ing desires of his hearty good-will, with what desire, haste and speed, 
with what vehemency he did long to suffer. 

2. In your prayers and addresses for mercy. He that gave himself 
for us will he not give us anything ? He that was ready to die, will 
be ready to help ; * Lo, I come,' Ps. xl. 7. So when we call upon him : 
Isa. Iviii. 9, * Thou shalt call, and the Lord shall answer ; thou shalt 
cry, and he shall say, Here I am ; ' Kev. xxii. 12, ' Behold, I come 
quickly.' He giveth the same answer to our requests as to the Father's 
commands. Wait with hope. Christ, that gave himself for us, will 
give himself to us, 


That "he might redeem us from all iniquity, &c. TITUS ii. 14. 

I COME to handle the second encouragement, namely, that which is 
taken from the merit of Christ's death. And therein 

1. Here is Christ's act, * He gave himself for us,' to be an expiatory 
sacrifice and ransom for souls. 

2. I come to the second branch, and that is Christ's aim, ' He gave 
himself ; ' but why ? ' To redeem us from all iniquity,' &c. Here is the 
privative and positive part of this deliverance ; first redemption, then 

The privative part we must first take notice of, and that is redemp 
tion, a phrase which the apostle useth here to enforce us to a denial of 
ungodliness and worldly lusts. 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS IL n-14. 251 

Here I shall first handle the nature of redemption in general, and 
then particularly show how we are redeemed from iniquity. 

I. For the nature of redemption ; it is the great gospel privilege, 
and therefore needs to be explained. 

To redeem another, it signifies to free them from any distress, espe 
cially from captivity and bondage. The word will be best explained 
with respect to the customs and the figures of the law of Moses, for cer 
tainly from thence it was taken. Now under the law there was a two 
fold redemption such as was immediately made to God, or else to man. 

1. To God. I observe that there was a kind of ransom that every man 
was to give for his soul : Exod. xxx. 12-15, ' When thoti takest the sum 
of the children of Israel, after their number, then they shall give every 
man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them ; 
that there be no plague amongst them, when thou numberest them. This 
they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, 
half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary ; an half shekel shall be 
the offering of the Lord. Every one that passeth among them that 
are numbered, from twenty years old and upward, shall give an offering 
to the Lord. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give 
less, than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to 
make an atonement for your souls.' Whenever they were numbered 
by head and by poll, that the plague might not break out among them, 
they were to give a ransom for their souls, which showed that all our 
souls were forfeited by sin to God, and it was in God's power to take 
them when he pleased ; therefore every man was to give this acknow 
ledgment. And some conceive the plague which fell out in David's time 
for numbering the people was for want of giving this ransom to God. 
Now the poor and rich were both to give equally the same ransom, the 
poor to give no less, and the rich no more, viz., half a shekel, to show 
that all souls before God are equal ; the debt was equal, and that the 
price of Christ's blood was equal. We were all forfeited to God, but 
all the elect have an interest in the same redeemer. This will some 
what explain the mystery. 

2. In that law there was another redemption that was to be made 
to man, and so there was a twofold redemption figured in the legal 

[1.] There was a redemption of the inheritance, or of the person of 
the brother that was waxen poor, and so through poverty had sold him 
self or sold his land : Lev. xxv. 25, ' If thy brother be waxen poor, and 
hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to 
redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold ; ' and vers. 
47, 48, c And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy 
brother that dwelleth by thee wax poor, and sell himself unto the 
stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family, 
after that he is sold he may be redeemed again, one of his brethren 
may redeem him/ The Goel, or the next of kin, was to redeem both 
the land and person so sold. All this noteth our state by nature. We 
forfeited our inheritance, and sold ourselves to work iniquity ; there was 
a voluntary forfeiture on our part, and we could not redeem ourselves, 
for we were waxen poor ; and when we had sold ourselves, all of the 
kindred were altogether waxen poor, and could not redeem us : Ps. 


xlix. 7, 8, ' None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor 
give to God a ransom for him ; for the redemption of their soul is 
precious, and it ceaseth for ever.' Therefore Jesus Christ comes from 
heaven, and takes flesh, that he might be of our blood and kin, and so 
jure propinquitatis, as being next of blood, he had a right to redeem 
and help us, when we had forfeited ourselves, and were become slaves 
and vassals of sin and Satan. 

[2.] There was the redemption of captives. I confess I do not find 
express mention in the law of this kind of redemption, though some 
types of this captivity there were, and therefore here we must allude to 
the customs of all nations. Therefore I shall show (1.) To whom we 
were captives ; (2.) The manner of redeeming captives both among the 
Jews and all nations. 

First, To whom we were captives ; to God, to Satan, to sin. 

1. To God. We were the prisoners of his justice and wrath, and 
therefore called ' Prisoners in the pit in which there is no water/ Zech. 
ix. 11. It is a description of our natural bondage. In our original 
state we were God's creatures, but in our degenerate and fallen estate we 
are God's prisoners. 

2. We were captives to Satan as God's executioner, given up to his 
power, that he might blind, harden, and lead us to all manner of sin 
by a just tradition : 2 Tim. ii. 26, * That they may recover themselves 
out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.' 
Natural men are at the will of another. As Christ told Peter, John xxi. 
18, ' Another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldst not/ 
so Satan leads and carries us up and down, but it is there where we 
would ourselves be ; we consent to this bondage, and are acted by the 
spirit of the devil, and are at his beck. Nay, that is not all ; but we 
are also given up captives to Satan, that we might be tormented by 
him ; therefore he is said ' to have the power of death/ Heb. ii. 14. The 
devil, as God's executioner, hath a great power over carnal men, to stir 
up bondage, and fear, and horrors of wrath, and to take them away to 
torment, though not as he will, but as God willeth. Satan is our keeper, 
as God is our judge ; and conscience, which was made to be God's 
deputy, is as it were Satan's underkeeper, stirs up fear, and holds us in 
chains of darkness. 

3. We are captives to sin. Every natural man is a slave to his own 
lusts : Titus iii. 3, ' Serving divers lusts and pleasures.' Man in his 
natural state is a slave to his own affections. For the explaining of 
which let me tell you, while man was in his original state and condition, 
his actions were to be thus governed ; the understanding and conscience 
were to prescribe to the will, and the will according to right reason, 
and conscience was to stir up the affections, and the affections according 
to the counsel and command of the will were to move the spirits and the 
members of the body. This was the order settled in man's nature 
before the fall. But now by corruption there is a woful change and 
disorder, and the head is where the feet should be. The bodily spirits 
move the affections, the law in the members prescribes many times to 
the law of the mind, carnal pleasures move the affections, and the affec 
tions carry away the will by violence, and the corrupt bent of the will 
blinds the understanding, and so man is led headlong to his own destruc- 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 253 

tion ; and therefore the apostle saith that carnal men are sold under sin : 
Kom. vii. 14, ' I am carnal, sold under sin.' As captives in war were I 
sold to be drudges to those that bought them, so man by nature is sold/ 
to be a drudge to his own lusts, and to be at the beck of every carnal' 
and unclean suggestion. Here is the captivity of man by nature, there 
is the judge, and that is God, to whose wrath we are subject ; there is 
the prison, that is hell ; there is the keeper of the prison, that is Satan ; 
and there are the ropes and chains by which we are bound, and they 
are partly our sins : Prov. v. 22, ' His own iniquities shall take the 
wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins/ And 
partly the terrors of conscience, for the devils are said ' to be reserved 
in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great 
day/ Jude 6, which signifies the horror that is upon the damned spirits, 
expecting more judgment from the wrath of the Lord, and at the 
judgment of the great day. The devils, that are most sensible of their 
estate, as being actually in torment, are said to be held in those chains of 
darkness ; and we as their fellow-prisoners are held in the same chains, 
though in the time of God's patience we do not feel it. 

Secondly, Let us come to the way of redeeming these captives. 
Among the nations there is a fourfold way of redeeming captives 
either gratuita manumissione, by free deliverance, or else permutatione, 
by way of exchange, or else violenta ablatione, by way of force and 
arms, or else soluto lutro, by paying the price or ransom. The two last 
are most proper to this case, taking away by force or paying a ransom, 
though to me the former also have their place. 

1. By free dismission on God's part, that holdeth in the present case ; 
we are freely dismissed, namely, as there is nothing done on the captive's 
part to free himself. It is said, Kom. iii. 24, ' Being justified freely by 
his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus/ Mark there 
is a redemption in Christ, a price paid, but no human satisfaction made. 
Free grace found out the remedy not excited by any works of ours, 

2. For deliverance by way of exchange, that seems to have some 
place here, for Christ was substituted into our room and place so far 
as would stand with the dignity of his person, and he was made a 
captive that we might go free from the wrath of God, though he was 
never in bondage to sin ; so it is said, 2 Cor. v. 21, ' He was made sin 
for us/ that is, a sin-offering ; and he was made a curse for us : Gal. 
iii. 13, ' Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made 
a curse for us/ He was substituted into our room and place. Saith 
Austin, Suscepit sine malis meritis pcenam, ut nos sine bonis conse- 
queremur gratiam He did not deserve the punishment, as we do not 
deserve the glory ; only he took our chains and our bonds upon him 
self. In ecclesiastical story mention is made of one Pambo, a monk, a 
charitable man, after he had given all his goods for the redemption of 
captives, and had nothing left but his bible ; Nay, says he, I will give 
this away also that hath taught me to give other things ; and when 
that was gone, Socrates reports of him that he gave himself, he went 
in their stead to stay as a pledge for them. This I have brought as a 
shadow, and some kind of weak adumbration of Christ's love to men ; 
he himself would become the ransom, and be put in our place and room, 
that we might go free. 


3. Another way of deliverance is by force and powerful rescue, and 
thus Christ hath redeemed us, as we were under Satan's power and 
held under sin. As Abraham rescued Lot when he was taken captive, 
Gen. xiv., so did Christ make a rescue of us when we were led captive 
by our own lusts, or rather (for this was the type of it) as God by a 
mighty hand recovered Israel out of Egypt. Egypt signified the king 
dom and power of darkness ; so we are said to be snatched and recovered 
out of the kingdom of darkness : Col. i. 13, * Who hath delivered us from 
the power of darkness/ By a powerful rescue hath God snatched and 
taken us out of our spiritual Egypt, out of our natural bondage. The 
blood of the passover was sprinkled on the door-posts, as the blood of 
Christ on our hearts, which is a mark of preservation. On the devil's 
part our captivity was a mere tyranny and oppression ; for when God 
was once satisfied, Satan had no more power by right over us ; and 
therefore Christ redeems us from the devil by force and violence, he 
needs not make satisfaction to him. Therefore it is notable that in 
the sufferings of Christ there was not only the Lord's own hand and 
counsel, but also the powers of darkness had a hand in them ; there 
fore it is said, Luke xxii. 53, ' This is your hour, and the power of 
darkness.' Though the devil did not immediately afflict Christ, as 
some divines hold, though I dare not positively assert it, yet by his 
instruments, the Jews, he crucified him, and therefore justly for this 
injury done to Christ was his power made void. When Christ did 
something to God, he was doing something to the devil ; he triumphed 
over principalities and powers by his cross : Col. ii. 15, ' Having spoiled 
principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing 
over them in it/ Thus the elect, the prisoners of hope, are called out 
and set free. 

4. Another way is by paying a price and ransom : 1 Tim. ii. 6, ' Who 
gave himself a ransom for us ; ' Eph. i. 7, * In whom we have redemption 
through his blood/ His blood was the price paid to God. Though Satan 
held us captive, yet the satisfaction must be made to God, because man 
had not sinned against the devil, but against God ; and therefore to him 
it belonged either to condemn or absolve us, and let us go free ; there 
fore Christ gives satisfaction to God, and by that means he dissolves 
the power of Satan ; for God being satisfied, Satan hath no power over 
us. Thus you see we are several ways redeemed, freely as to ourselves, by 
way of price and satisfaction a3 to God ; Christ being substituted in 
our room and place, but by way of power and force as to Satan. Thus 
I have discovered our redemption by Christ with allusion to the figures 
of the law and custom of nations. 

II. I shall more particularly show you how we are redeemed from 
iniquity. We were under a double bondage of sin the guilt of sin 
and the power of sin, both which made our condition slavish. The 
latter is chiefly understood, yet I shall speak a little of both. We are 
redeemed from the guilt of sin by Christ's satisfaction, from the power 
of sin by his Spirit. 

First, From the guilt of sin. Kedemption is made mainly to consist 
in remission of sins : Col. i. 14, ' In whom we have redemption through 
his blood, even the forgiveness of sin. So Eph. i. 7. The apostle in 
both places explaineth wherein it mainly consists. Now concerning 
this part I note 

VEB. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS 11. n-14. 255 

1. That it is the ground and pledge of all the rest. Sin being 
pardoned, the power of the devil is abolished, the wrath of God 
removed, the guilt of eternal death is taken away: Acts v. 31, 'Him 
hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a prince and a saviour, 
for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sin ; ' so Luke xxiv. 
47, ' And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in 
his name.' Kepentance is the beginning of all new obedience, and 
remission of sins is the seed of eternal life ; all duties are included in 
repentance, and all blessings in pardon. The gospel is nothing else 
but a doctrine of repentance and remission, so that the devil cannot 
hold us as his captives, nor sin rule in us as in slaves. This is the 
ground and pledge of the rest. 

2. Sin being pardoned, we are freed from the penalties of sin, viz., 
the evils after sin. Sin hath a long train of judgments, all which are 
done away when sin is pardoned. It will not stand with the honour 
of his mercy to forgive the debt and yet to require payment ; it is a 
mocking to say, I forgive the whole debt, and yet to expect part of 
payment. Certainly God forgiveth us our debts, as we are bound to 
forgive others , so we are bid to pray, Mat. vi. 12, ' Forgive us our debts, 
as we forgive our debtors/ Now we are bound to forgive them wholly, 
and not in part. It would not stand with God's justice to exact the 
debt twice of us and of our surety : Isa. liii. 4, ' Surely he hath borne 
our griefs, and carried our sorrows/ 

Object. But we are still subject to corruption and misery, the miseries 
of the present life, and death hereafter. 

Am. 1. As to miseries. The afflictions of God's people seem to 
be punishments, but are not, and differ as much as a punishment and 
a medicine. God acts the part of physician, not of a judge ; he burneth 
us, cutteth us, puts us to pain, but not to do us hurt ; not to satisfy 
vengeance, but to better our hearts. Hie ure, hie seca, Domine ! modo 
parcas in eternum. Our afflictions are troublesome to the flesh, as pun 
ishments are ; we cannot expect full security or total exemption from 
them. Again, they come not by chance. Affliction doth not spring 
out of the dust, but they come by special dispensation. As punishments 
also they do not come by chance ; sin is for the most part the occasion 
of them. God chasteneth them because they have sinned, as we quench 
a brand plucked out of the burning ; or he warneth them that they 
may not sin again. The chastisements of the godly serve for examples, 
as well as the punishments of the wicked. But they are not properly 
judicial acts to satisfy the law ; as a judge taketh no notice of the 
repentance of the delinquent, but of his fault. They are acts of love, 
and a part of God's family discipline. Brambles are not pruned, but 
vines: Heb. xii. 6, 'For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and 
scourgeth every son whom he receiveth/ Bastards are left to live more 
at large. Again, they are for the exercise of grace, not for the destruc 
tion of our persons. A judge doth not punish offenders because he 
loveth them, but because the law requireth it. If corrections were 
punishments, wicked men should have the greatest share : Heb. xii. 
10, ' He chasteneth us for our profit, that we might be partakers of 
his holiness.' A judge looketh to the good of the commonwealth, to 
keep authority, and the majesty of government, not the benefit of the 


malefactor: 1 Cor. xi. 32, 'When we are judged, we are chastened of 
the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.' The godly 
are punished here, that they may not be condemned hereafter. The 
scripture everywhere maketh it a part of our blessedness : James i. 12, 
' Blessed is the man that endureth temptation ; ' Phil. i. 29, ' Unto 
you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, 
but also to suffer for his sake/ e%apio-0r). They are dispensations of 

Ans. 2. For death. This was the primary effect of sin, yet it re- 
maineth : Gen. ii. 17, 'In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely 
die.' But the curse of the law is become a blessing of the gospel; 
death is ours : 1 Cor. iii. 22, 'Whether Paul, or Apollos,or Cephas, or 
the world, or life, or death, &c., all are yours.' Adam might have 
lived here happily for ever, but Christ hath provided a better place for 
us ; there is a deep gulf, which cannot be passed but by death ; our 
present earthly nature is not fit for that happy state : 1 Cor. xv. 50, 
'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth 
corruption inherit incorruption.' If Christ could have contented him 
self with giving us an earthly paradise, death had not been necessary. 
That state in the garden was an innocent and happy, but an earthly 
state ; these bodies of ours, that need meat and sleep, would have 
sufficed for the earthly garden ; but we expect a greater benefit, and 
therefore we must be contented with the way and passage. Sense and 
reason telleth us that these bodies which we now carry up and down 
are not fit for that state ; we must lay what we received from Adam 
in the grave, that when it is purged and renewed, we may be like to 
Christ. The grain liveth not except it die ; the shed and old house 
is pulled down that God may raise a more glorious structure. If 
all believers should be rapt up into heaven and changed, miracles 
"would be multiplied without need. It is no punishment to lose our 
corruption and mortality. 

3. The next proposition is this, that the fairest part of this redemp 
tion is hereafter, then our happiness in Christ is perfect. Luke xxi. 
28, ' When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift 
up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh ; ' Eph. iv. 30, 
' Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day 
of redemption' Then we are past gunshot, and out of harm's way. 
We are fully redeemed from the guilt of sin when there is no monu 
ment of God's displeasure left. We must be like our head in all con 
ditions. We are not fully freed from the relics of sin till the resurrec 
tion, that we may have new matter to glorify God when we come to 
heaven. Old Adam is not quite abolished till God be all in all. 

Secondly, He hath delivered us from the power of sin. He paid the 
price on the cross ; therefore it is said, Kom. vi. 6, ' Our old man is 
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that 
henceforth we should not serve sin/ When Christ lay a-dying, sin lay 
a-dying, and bled with him on the cross ; then was grace purchased ; 
and therefore faith should look upon sin as dead and actually crucified ; 
it is done in the mystery. And then he ascended, and poured out the 
Spirit now to accomplish this work. God is satisfied, and Christ's work 
lieth now with Satan and our own hearts. 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 257 

1. For Satan. He is dispossessed and cast out at conversion : Luke 
xi. 21, 22, ' When a strong man armed keepeth bis palace, his goods 
are in safety ; but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and 
overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour, wherein he trusted, 
and divideth his spoils/ Then Christ taketh away the prey. The 
devil may trouble us, but he is but a tyrant cast out, he can no more 
reign. And by preserving grace he keepeth. possession. Christ will 
not lose ground when once he hath got footing : Kom. xvi. 20, ' The 
God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly ; ' as Joshua 
called unto his companions, chap. x. 24, ' Come near, put your feet upon 
the necks of these kings.' 

2. As for our own hearts. He breaketh the yoke and sets the will 
at liberty, and maketh us free for God : Kom. vi. 17, ' But God be 
thanked, ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart 
that form of doctrine which was delivered to you.' It was a willing 
bondage, but now we are made a willing people ; then our consent was 
voluntary, now our resignation is so too. There are indeed some relics 
of corruption and opposition left ; there are inward monuments of the 
fall as well as outward, as there are some grudgings of a disease after 
a cure ; but in heaven all is perfect, and even now there is not a will 
ing subjection, but a resistance made to sin. 

Use 1. To exhort us to thankfulness to our Kedeemer. Kemember 
your former bondage ; it is a woful captivity to be under sin. Those 
that are under sin are under the curse of the law and the tyranny of 
the devil ; we could have no boldness with God as a father, nor look 
him in the face ; the law is against us, God is the judge, Satan the 
jailer, our own consciences an underkeeper. Our fears of death, 
judgment, and hell are a part of our bondage ; but now what cause 
have we to bless God ! Kom. viii. 1, c There is no condemnation to them 
that are in Christ Jesus/ Then to be under the power of sin is a 
woful bondage, to be at the beck of every lust and carnal suggestion. 
Men rejoice in their bondage ; they think there is no such life as to 
live at large and to do as we list ; but the more liberty we take in sin, 
the greater slavery : the work is drudgery, and the reward is death : 
' Sin hath reigned unto death/ Kom. v. 21 ; 2 Peter, ii. 19, ' While 
they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corrup 
tion ; for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into 
bondage/ It is the saddest judgment to be given up to our own will, 
to be given up to Satan, to be given up to self. What a slavery is this, 
when we see mischief and know not how to avoid it ! Conscience is 
held a prisoner ; we cannot see a vanity, but the heart lingereth after 
it, and groweth sick, as Ahab for Naboth's vineyard. Duties of godli 
ness are esteemed an heavy task ; the law of God is impelling to duty, 
and the law of sin impelling to evil. What thanks is due to God for 
delivering us from so great a bondage ! 

Use 2. To press us to avoid sin. Mortify the lust and prevent the 
action ; let it not reign in the heart, nor be discovered in the life and 
conversation. Christ died ' that the body of sin might be destroyed,' 
Kom. vi. 6 ; and he died ' to redeem us from our vain conversation/ 
1 Peter i. 18. Consider, when sin remains in its power, and while 

VOL. xvi. B 


you serve sin, what dishonour you do to God, and what disadvantage 
it is to yourselves. 

1. The dishonour you do to God, to all the persons in the Godhead. 
To the Father, by making void the whole plot of redemption. This 
was the eternal project and design, as it were, of God the Father, the 
wise counsel his wisdom found out to remedy the fall of man. Jesus 
Christ was ordained before all worlds to redeem us from our vain con 
versation : 1 Peter i. 20, ' Who verily was foreordained before the 
foundation of the world/ The Lord projected this way of restitution, 
from all eternity, that this course should be taken to destroy sin. Now 
will you go about to make all this void ? Then you wrong God the 
Son, and that many ways. You disparage the worth of his price, as 
if it was not sufficient to purchase grace, and so seek to put your 
Kedeemer to shame. Nay, you disparage the purity of his person, for 
you were redeemed with the blood of Christ as a lamb without spot 
and blemish. Nay, you disparage the greatness and extremity of his 
sufferings. It cost him dear to purchase grace and deliverance from 
sin, and you slight it, and make nothing of it. Then you rob him of 
the greatness of his purchase ; he bought us with this great price that 
we might not be our own and live to our lusts. Such as are bought 
with money are theirs who bought them: 1 Cor. vi. 20, ' For ye are 
bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your 
spirit, which are his.' Did Christ pay our debts, and shall we, like 
desperate prodigals, do nothing but increase them by our sin ? Then 
you disparage the Holy Ghost, the Spirit whom Christ doth shed abroad 
to accomplish his work : 2 Cor. iii. 17, ' Where the Spirit of the Lord 
is, there is liberty.' The great work of the Holy Ghost is to free us 
from the bondage of sin. Have you the assistance of such a Spirit, 
and can you not resist carnal motions ? and are you taken with every 
vain delight, a fashion, a sensual bait ? Thus consider what a dis 
honour it is to God to let sin live if Christ died to redeem us. You 
do as much as in you lieth to defeat the project of God the Father, the 
purchase of the Son, and the work of the Spirit. 

2. It is a disadvantage to yourselves. You cut off your own claim, 
and declare you have no interest and share in Christ if sin live, for he 
came to redeem us from iniquity. We cannot have an interest in any 
part of Christ's redemption till this be, for all these go together. God's 
anger is not appeased, the devil's power is not restrained ; the law's 
curse is still in force as long as sin lives. You can have no comfort if 
you be not freed from sin ; the wrath of God is against you, and hell 
is your portion ; nay, if you are not redeemed from all sin, for he 
redeems us from all iniquity. A bird that is tied by the leg may make 
a show of escape, but it is fast enough ; so though many may abstain 
from gross sins (for they that commit such show plainly they are 
acted by the spirit of the devil), yet if one sin remains unmortified, it 
enthralleth as well as many ; but if it reigns in the soul, you have no 
interest in Christ. 

Object. You will say, Why should we mortify? why should we 
trouble ourselves about this ? Christ hath done all this. 

Ans. No; Christ hath redeemed us from all iniquity, but his 
redemption doth not make void, but oblige our endeavours; for he 

VEK. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 259 

undertook as God's surety that sin should be destroyed, and as our 
surety that we should not serve sin : Kom. vi. 6, ' Our old man is 
crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that 
henceforth we should not serve sin/ There is a work on God's part ; 
he undertook for the pouring out of grace ; and on our part, that we 
should be watchful, and strive against sin, and watch against all 
occasions of it ; and he hath given us encouragement so to do. Non 
pugna sublata est, sed victoria It is not the conflict against sin that 
is taken away by Christ, but the victory of sin. Look, as when the 
Israelites had a promise that God would give their enemies into their 
hands, the meaning was not that they should not strike a stroke, but 
they were to fight the battles of the Lord ; so when Christ hath 
redeemed us from iniquity, yet we are to use all spiritual means of 
mortification, to subdue the lusts, and to prevent the act of sin. It 
will be our great condemnation, when we have so much help, that still 
sin should remain. Certainly he is very lazy that will not ply the oar 
that hath both wind and tide on his side ; and when the Lord Christ 
hath purchased grace and the Spirit, yet we will not endeavour against 
sin : ' Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made 
us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage/ Gal. v. 1. 

Use 3. Direction. Whenever you are troubled with your sins, and 
lusts are too hard for you, go to Christ It is his office to redeem 
you from your iniquity and the tyranny of sin ; therefore when you 
feel any corruption stir^ go and complain to him, as Paul did, ' I cannot 
do the things I would,' Gal. v. 17. Go to Christ for help ; he was 
sent for this purpose to redeem you from iniquity and dissolve the 
devil's work : 1 John iii. 8, * For this purpose the Son of God was 
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil/ It is his 
office to purge the church, to set us at liberty, to destroy Satan's power, 
to free us from our passions and corruptions ; therefore go, complain 
to him of the strength of your sins, for he will help you. 

Use 4. Comfort in our conflicts. You are sure of a final ' victory 
before you enter into the combat : erelong we shall be out of the reach 
of temptation, and the Spirit shall be all in all. 

Use 5. Examination. 

1. Art thou sensible of thy natural bondage so as to grieve under it ? 
As the apostle, Bom. vii. 23, 24, ' I see another law in my members, 
warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to 
the law of sin, which is in my members. wretched man that I am ! 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? ' If it be not thus with 
thee, redemption by Christ will never be precious. There is sighing 
and weariness, they lay their sad estate to heart, as the church hung 
their harps upon the willows ; it is the grief of their souls that their 
lusts held them in captivity. The children of God complain more of 
the relics of sin than wicked men do of the full power of it. 

2. Hast thou any freedom ? Sense of bondage is a good preparative, 
but it is not enough. All Christ's subjects are kings ; they rule over 
their own lusts ; though not freed from them altogether, they strive 
against them, and keep them under. And there is not only a freedom 
from ill, but a freedom to good : Ps. ex. 3, ' Thy people shall be will 
ing in the day of thy power/ They do not serve God by constraint, 


but are free to good, and serve God with as great cheerfulness as before 
they served their lusts : Kom. vii. 22, ' I delight in the law of God 
after the inward man.' They consult with the word of God, which 
was before their bondage and terror ; they have an ability and strength 
to do that which is good ; there is a new life in them, yet so as they 
are still excited by the Spirit. 

Use 6. It informeth us what is true liberty, not to live at large : 
John viii. 36, ' If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be 
free indeed/ Not to have power and sovereignty over others, not to 
exercise command and authority over others, but to subdue our lusts ; 
not to be left to ourselves to do what we please, that is the greatest 
bondage : Eom. vi. 20, c When ye were the servants of sin, ye were 
free from righteousness ; ' but to do the will of God : 1 John iii. 5, 
* And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins, and in 
him is no sin.' He died to take away sin, and to make us like himself, 
that the world might know that he was a pure and holy Saviour. 

And purify unto himself a peculiar people, &c. TITUS, ii. 14. 

IN this latter branch I observed Christ's act and then his aim. His 
act, 'He gave himself His aim and intention; and here is the 
privative part of deliverance, ' To redeem us from all iniquity/ This 
I have finished. 

I come to the positive part, ' And purify to himself a peculiar people, 
zealous of good works.' He never communicates his blessings where he 
doth not bestow his grace. He did not only free us from hell, but 
from sin. It is well for the godly that Christ came to take away the 
proud and carnal heart, to take away corruption and iniquity, which 
is their greatest eyesore. But this is not all ; there is a positive bless 
ing. Christ did not only come to deliver us from sin, but communicate 
grace, ' That he might purify to himself a peculiar people.' 

Two points I shall open to you 

1. That whomsoever Christ maketh his people, he first purifieth 
them, or by purifying them maketh them his people. 

2. Those that are purified are reckoned his treasure or peculiar 

Doct. 1. That whomsoever Christ maketh his people, he first purifieth 
them, or by purifying maketh them his people. 

Here I shall show you (1.) The necessity ; (2.) The manner of it 
;. First, The necessity of this purification. 

1. In regard of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Every person 
in the ^ Godhead, in the dispensation of grace, hath a distinct personal 
operation. Election is ascribed to the Father, redemption to the Son, 
and effectual application to the Holy Ghost. Now every one of these 
operations respects holiness. Election : Eph. i. 4, ' According as he 

VER. 14.] SEKMONS UPON TITUS ii. 11-14. 261 

hath chosen us in him hefore the foundation of the world, that we might 
be holy, and without blame before him in love.' Kedemption : 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.' Sancti- 
fication : 2 Thes. ii. 13, ' God hath from the beginning chosen you to 
salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.' 
It is for the honour of every person that their intention may not be 
frustrate ; and chiefly upon this ground, because by this means they 
would justify and honour their personal operation to the world. Those 
that are chosen by the Father must be of a choice spirit. Christ will 
not be the head of an ulcerous body ; he will not be like Nebuchad 
nezzar's image, ' whose head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms 
of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet 
part of iron and part of clay,' Dan. ii. 32, 33. A beautiful head 
upon a negro's body is monstrous. We are vessels formed and set 
apart for the master's use. Those that are under his forming come 
new out of the forge. Unclean vessels can never be used to any good 
purpose unless they be washed and sweetened. They are to be looked 
upon as God's choice, Christ's purchase, and the Spirit's charge. Or 
if you will have it in other relations, they are God's children, Christ's 
members, and the Spirit's temples. God's children must resemble their 
Father; Christ's members must be like their head; and the Holy 
Ghost will not dwell in a denied temple. 

2. With respect to themselves, and their relation to one another, 
they must be purified : 1 Peter i. 22, ' Seeing that ye have purified 
yourselves in obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love 
of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fer 
vently.' The purification of our own souls maketh us to love purity in 
others, for similitude is the ground of delight and complacency. No 
man can delight in the purity of others unless he be in some measure 
purified himself. Holy men are only fit for this communion and 
society ; others ' go in the way of Cain,' Jude 11, 'Who was of that 
wicked one, and slew his brother : and wherefore slew he him ? because 
his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous/ 1 John iii. 12. 
Carnal professors, that creep into the church unawares, are full of envy, 
strife, and wrath. How can we edify one another in the holy faith 
unless we be first holy ? A man would think they should be purified to the 
love of God ; nay, but they must be purified to the love of the brethren. 

3. With respect to the world. A distinct body should have a dis 
tinct excellency. They are a people distinct from the world, they are 
set apart for God : Ps. iv. 3, ' Know that the Lord hath set apart him 
that is godly for himself.' They are a chosen generation. Many other 
societies excel the church for strength, policy, and worldly pomp ; but 
holiness and purity is the church's badge : Ps. xciii. 5, ' Holiness 
becometh thy house, Lord, for ever.' God's peculiar people must 
have a peculiar excellency upon a double ground 

[1.] Because of likeness to God : Exod. xv. 11, ' Who is like thee, 
Lord, among the gods ? who is like thee, glorious in holiness.' It 
is God's glory, and therefore the church's. God is rich in mercy, but 
glorious in holiness : his treasure is his goodness, but his honour is 
his holiness and immaculate purity ; as among men, their wealth is 
distinguished from their honour. 


[2.] Because all the ordinances hold it forth, especially the ordinance 
of initiation. So that it is the greatest hypocrisy in the world to pretend 
to be God's people and not to be holy, because they wear the badges 
of holiness ; they all come in by the washing of water. Men forget 
their baptism : 2 Peter i. 9, 'He hath forgotten that he was purged 
from his old sins/ Men that are only whited over with the name of 
Christians, and sin is still new and fresh, as an old thing they forget 
the effect of their baptism ; that a washed man should be so foul and 
noisome still, sure they forget, or do not know what it is to be baptized 
into Christ. 

Secondly, The manner how he purifieth them. There is on Christ's 
part the Spirit and ordinances, and his merit reacheth to both ; and on 
our part faith. 

1. On Christ's part. 

[1.] The Spirit is necessary: Titus iii. 5, ' He saved us by the wash 
ing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' The Holy Ghost 
applieth all the grace which the Father intendeth and Christ hath 
purchased. We are usually said to be saved by the blood of Christ ; 
that was the merit and price. There was a grant on God the Father's 
part : Eev. xix. 8, ' To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen 
clean and white/ An authentic act passeth in the court of heaven that 
we shall have fine linen, as Esther had garments out of the king's 
wardrobe. But this is founded on Christ's merits. The stream in 
which we are washed flowed out of Christ's heart : 1 John i. 7, ' The 
blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin/ Bat then the 
Holy Ghost, as the executor of Christ's will and testament, worketh 
and applieth all. The merit of the creature is excluded by Christ's 
merit and the Father's grant ; the power of the creature is excluded 
by the work of the Spirit ; he worketh with a respect to Christ's blood. 
As in the cleansing of the leper, the bird was to be killed over running 
water, Lev. xiv. 5, so in the cleansing of the sinner there is the merit 
of Christ and the work of the Spirit : 1 Cor. vi. 11, ' 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/ If we come to the Father, the Father 
sends us to the Son, otherwise he could not look upon us ; the Son sends 
us to the Spirit ; the Spirit sends us to Moses and the prophets. 

[2.] The ordinances ; Eph. v. 26, * That he might sanctify and 
cleanse it with the washing of water by the word/ These are the 
ordinances that are specially consecrated, and to which Christ's merit 
reacheth; he hath not only procured the gift of the Spirit, but a 
blessing on the means, that we may use them with confidence. The 
word helpeth us by way of declaration and offer, and baptism concurreth 
sacramentally by way of signing and sealing, and so it is a means to 
confirm and provoke the faith of a receiver to lay hold on this grace. 
The ordinances are an help to call to mind baptism. It is not good to 
balk the known and ordinary means of grace. Christ hath purchased 
a treasure that cannot be wasted: John xvii. 19, 'And for their sakes 
I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth/ 
When you come to hear, you come to receive the fruits of Christ's 

2. On our part there is required faith, which also purifieth : Acts 
xv. 9, ' Purifying their hearts by faith/ Christ's blood cleanseth, the 

VEB. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 263 

gospel cleanseth, baptism cleanseth, the Spirit cleanseth, faith cleanseth; 
all these are not contrary, but subordinate. Neither Christ nor the 
word nor the Spirit worketh without an act on our parts ; as under the 
law the priest was not only to wash and cleanse the leper, who herein 
represented God, but also after the sprinkling of the priest he was to 
wash himself: Lev. xiv. 8, ' And he that is to be cleansed shall wash 
his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that 
he may be clean ; ' to show that some work is required on our part. 
The work of faith is to apply, to wait, to work by reflection, and to 
stir up love. 

[1.] To apply the promises of God, the offers of grace in the word, 
and the blood of Christ, and all these to purge out corruption. It 
applieth the blood of Christ, urgeth the soul with it ; he died to pur 
chase that grace which thou wantest. The water and soap cleanseth, 
but the hand of the laundress must apply it, and rub the clothes that 
are washed. This is called sprinkling the conscience with the blood 
of Christ : 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/ We should thus argue with 
ourselves : Surely Christ died to sanctify sinners ; his death cannot be 
in vain. Grace is bought at a dear rate ; in the offers of the word, 
God maketh a tender; why should I not accept of it? Heb. iv. 2, 
'For unto us was the word preached as well as unto them, but the 
word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them 
that heard it.' But we do not say, What shall we say to these things ? 
By faith the plaster is laid on the sore. 

[2.] In the use of means it waiteth for the sanctifying virtue of the 
blood of Christ, and looketh upon them as ordinances under a blessing: 
Isa. xlv. 24, ' Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness 
and strength.' It casts out the net at Christ's commandment : Micah 
vii. 19, 'He will turn again, he will have compassion on us, he will 
subdue our iniquities, and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depth of 
the sea.' They see an all-sufficient mercy and power, and they wait 
till God manifests himself. 

[3.] It worketh by reflection, and so stirs up love : Gal. v. 6, 'Faith 
worketh by love.' It sets love on work, and by little and little drieth 
up the fountain of sin. Shall I love that which God hateth ? Jer. xliv. 
4, ' Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early, 
and sending them, saying, do not this abominable thing that I hate/ 
Faith representeth God pleading with us, and beseeching us by all his 
bowels in Christ. Is this thy kindness to thy friend? Do I thus 
requite the Lord for all his kindness to me ? There is an exasperation 
against lusts; the soul saith, Get ye hence: Hosea xiv. 8, 'Ephraim 
shall say, What have I to do any more with idols ? ' The soul hath 
its expulsive faculty, it is at the beck of love, and love is stirred up by 
faith ; and when it cannot expel sin, it mourneth and groaneth under 
it as its burden. 

Use 1. Are you thus purified ? Have you passed this laver ? The 
priests under the law, before they went to the attar, they first washed 
in the great laver. You are not his people till you are sanctified. 
Esther was purified before she was brought to Ahasuerus, Esther ii. 


Christ telleth Peter, John xiii. 8, ' If I wash thee not, thou hast no 
part in me/ Though he took human nature, yet he owneth no relation 
to any but the sanctified : Heb. ii. 11, ' For both he that sanctifieth 
and they that are sanctified are all of one ; for which cause he is not 
ashamed to call them brethren/ The devils cannot say, He is bone of 
our bone. But what though he took your natures? This is not 
enough ; he will disclaim you if you be not sanctified, I took flesh, 
but not for you ; I died, but not for you. There is a double notion of 
purification in this place ; it noteth cleansing and dedication. There 
is a difference between them and others, and between them and them 
selves. Whereas I was blind, now I see. I could before discourse and 
hear sermons for notions, but now my conscience is more serious, I am 
more freed from bondage, I have a more distinct hope towards God in 
Christ; my will is not obstinate and unpliable to the counsels and 
motions of the Holy Ghost; my affections are reduced to a better 
temper as to earthly things. Thus examine yourself. Is anything 
washed off ? 

Use 2. Information. It informeth us that we are all polluted by 
nature, for we need to be purified ere we are Christ's people. Nay, 
it sticketh to us ; we change our skin, our outward conversation, but 
no other laver will wash our hearts but Christ's blood. If we had eyes 
to see our natural filth, we should loathe ourselves more than we do. 
We are all infected with self-love and fleshly natures: Titus iii. 3, 
' For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, 
serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, 
and hating one another.' But we are partial to ourselves, we have no 
spiritual eyesight. Sin is of a defiling nature. You abhor dirty nasty 
creatures ; all of us are polluted with sin. God that is a Spirit hath 
other affections ; he doth not abhor a creature because of his sores, but 
because of his sins. We judge by the senses: Ps. xiv. 3, 'They are 
all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy, there is none that 
doeth good, no not one.' So we are in the eyes of God, who is a pure 
Spirit. Sin maketh us odious and loathsome to him ; but we that have 
bodies abominate things that are sensibly unclean, 

Use 3. Let it stir us up to purify ourselves yet more and more. 

1. See yourselves in the glass of the word. They that have most 
light do most complain of the filthiness and impurity of their hearts ; 
not because there is more defilement, but more light. Sluttish corners 
are not seen in the dark. Carnal men are loath to see their own faces, 
they will not come to the light. We love a flattering glass, but a 
searching ministry is hated. You have not looked in the glass enough 
till it hath stirred up shame, sorrow, and self-abhorrence. Kaging 
against conviction argueth the heart is bad. When men cannot 
endure to see themselves, but think all is clean and well, it is a sign of 
a secure careless spirit. If we keep ourselves from foul sins, we do not 
think of our odious natures. 

2. Desire cleansing ; as Peter, John xiii. 9, ' Simon Peter saith unto 
him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head ; ' or 
Pavid, Ps. li. 2, ' Wash me throughly from my iniquity, and cleanse 
me from my sin.' Sin is a deep stain, hardly got out ; let it keep us 
humble. God carrieth on his work by degrees. 

VEB. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 265 

3. Use God's means : Zech. xiii. 1 , ' In that day there shall be a 
fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of 
Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness;' Kev. vii. 14, ' These are they 
which came out of great tribulation, which have washed their robes, 
a-nd made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' The church 
knoweth no other laver, and the effect of it you receive in the 

4. Keep yourselves clean by a constant watchfulness : James i. 27, 
'Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit 
the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep yourselves 
unspotted from the world.' The world is a dirty place ; you will soil 
your garments ; therefore you must avoid all appearance of evil. Hate 
the garment spotted with the flesh. We cannot keep at too great a 
distance from sin ; a bold use of our liberty showeth the heart han- 
kereth after sin, as a raven hovereth within the scent of the carrion. 

Doct. 2. Those that are purified are reckoned to be God's treasure 
and peculiar people. 

The word in the original which we translate peculiar people, is 
Xab? Treptoucrto?, the Vulgate renders it populus acceptabilis, an ac 
ceptable people, but not emphatical enough. Tlepiovaia signifies 
wealth, plenty, treasure, that which we have above our necessary sub 
stance ; yea, not only treasure, but the principal part of it, that which 
is locked up in the cabinet, and takes up but a little room, as jewels. 
The expression is taken out of the Septuagint, and alludes to those 
places in the Old Testament where God calls his people his jewels or 
special treasure : Exod. xix. 5, ' Ye shall be a peculiar treasure to 
me above all people ; ' which is rendered by the Septuagint, Xao? 
Treptovaios CLTTO Trawrwv Wvwv. And you have another expression, 
1 Peter ii. 9, ' Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy 
nation, a peculiar (or purchased) people:' Xao? et? TrepiTroirjo-iv, pop 
ulus acquisitions, or possessionis ; a people of possession, such as 
God counts his heritage, his jewels : Mai. iii. 17, ' They shall be mine, 
saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels/ 
The word imports any choice and precious thing ; that God loves those 
that are purified as a covetous man loves his treasure or a proud man 
his jewels and honours. 

Give me leave to illustrate it by a few scriptures, where the world 
and the saints are compared. The world are said to be ' not a people,' 1 
Peter ii. 10. How so ? Not for want of prowess, or policy, or pomp, or 
worldly splendour, or civil arts or crafts ; many times in these things 
they excel the church ; but they are said to be ' not a people/ that is, 
in God's account and esteem they are but a confused heap of nations 
spilt upon the earth by a general and looser providence. In Isa. 
Iv. 5, there is another emphatical expression ; ' Behold, thou shalt call 
nations that thou knovvest not, and nations that know not thee shall 
run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God/ It is spoken to Christ ; 
it is a strange expression. Is there any terra incognita, any land that 
is unknown to him ? The meaning is. which thou hast no more taken 
notice of, nor taken care of, than a man doth of those whom he never 
knew ; a people of no esteem a-nd respect with God, as if he had taken 
no notice that there were any such in the world So Acts xvii, 30, 
' The times of this ignorance God winked at/ In the original it is 


he overlooked them. The Vulgate reads it despiciens, he 
did despise them ; and our old translation is better than the new, 
' God regarded them not/ It is usually taken to signify God's indul 
gence, that he did not deal so strictly with the world, because they had 
so little means to keep them from sin j whereas the scope carrieth it 
quite otherwise in another sense. God overlooked, or lightly passed 
over those times, not caring what became of them that then lived before 
they were his peculiar people ; he overlooked and regarded them not, 
but let them go on in their sins, though not unpunished. Thus you 
see foreigners to the church are strangers to God, and wicked men are 
as if they were not ; not in regard of God's general providence, so they 
are sustained and regarded : he preserves man and beast; not in regard 
of calling them to an account for their sins; they that are some 
times called * no people/ are at other times called ' the people of his 
curse ; ' but in regard of value and esteem ; as to special communion 
with him, they are not at all. 

But now look upon the terms that are bestowed upon the church and 
godly. Those that are purified, James i. 18, they are called ' the first- 
fruits of his creatures/ Under the law the first-fruits were the Lord's 
portion ; so all that are regenerated and called to grace are the Lord's 
portion. (Ecumenius glosseth upon the place. The world is but 
Knapa, his creature, but the church is KT7JfMa, his possession ; the 
world are his goods, and they are his treasure. The vast territories of 
the blind world are but as a common and heath, which God doth not 
look after, but the church is as a garden enclosed, in regard of his love 
and special dispensation. Heretofore this was the privilege of Israel, 
to be God's portion ; it was confined to them ; and that is the reason 
of that expression, Isa. xix. 25, * Assyria the work of my hands, and 
Israel mine inheritance/ or portion. God made all people, but he chose 
these for his delight and habitation. It was confined to them here 
tofore, but it is not confined now ; the people of any nation may be 
preferred to this estate. Those that are purified, wherever they are, 
they are the Lord's treasure and people. 

But why doth the Lord esteem them as his peculiar people ? I shall 
give reasons with respect to every person of the Godhead. 

1. Because of God the Father's choice ; he hath picked and culled 
them out of the world, and therefore he esteemeth them above all others. 
See what the apostle saith, 1 Peter ii. 9, ' Ye are a chosen generation, 
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people/ Therefore a 
peculiar people, because a chosen generation ; they are set apart, singled 
out of the world for himself. So Ps. cxxxv, 4, ' The Lord hath chosen 
Jacob for himself, and Israel to be his peculiar treasure/ He hath 
culled them out, and left all the world besides; God's choice puts 
a value upon things. Common gold and silver is not of such value as 
that which was consecrated and dedicated to God ; nay, gold and silver 
was not. so good as goafs-hair that was consecrated to the uses of the 
tabernacle. The dedication of a thing to a holy use enhanceth the 
price of it. Now those that are chosen are consecrated and set apart 
by God for himself : ' The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for 
himself/ Ps. iv. 3 ; and therefore of greater value than all the world, 
because designed by God to be his portion. 

2. Because of Christ's purchase ; they are bought at a dear price : 

VEE. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS IL 11-14. 267 

1 Peter ii. 9, ' A purchased people ; ' that is the marginal reading. The 
saints are valued, not from themselves so much as in Christ ; he hath 
put honour upon us, as Adam put a disgrace upon us. Adam sold us 
for a trifle, but Christ did not redeem us at so cheap a rate : ' Ye are 
redeemed not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, &c., but with 
the precious blood of Christ,' 1 Peter i. 18, 19. We prize that which 
cost dear. Christ was given in ransom for us, therefore doth God 
prize us. 

3. Because they are vessels of the Spirit's forming. God delighted 
in all his creatures ; they were all good, the product of the Spirit's 
incubation : Gen. i. 2, ' The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the 
water.' But much more doth he delight in the new creature, his work 
manship in Christ, Eph. ii. 10; partly because there is more goes 
to form the new creature than the old, and partly because their being 
is more noble than the beings of all other creatures in this lower 

[1.] There is more goes to form them ; there is discovered more 
wisdom, more power, more goodness. The new creature discovers more 
of his power than the old. It was a wonderful thing the making of 
the world, and disposing of the creatures into so many several forms 
and ranks, a mighty effect of God's power ; but as there was no help, 
so there was no let or hindrance ; nothing to oppose God's work, as 
nothing to facilitate it. But when God comes to frame a new creature, 
there is a spirit of rebellion and opposition. Then more of his wisdom. 
The gospel is a better theatre whereupon to see God than the world. 
In the world there is much of his wisdom, but much more in the 
mystery of grace, and in all his transactions to bring man to a purified 
state ; therefore here is his special delight. Then for his mercy, good 
ness, and love. A great deal of love God showed in making angels out 
of nothing, but in some sense there is more love shown in sanctifying 
man ; for in the former there was no hindrance to his goodness, but 
here wronged justice interposed, and put in something by way of bar 
against us; yet notwithstanding the demerit of our sins, he would 
take us into his favour. In the creation God showed himself to be 
<tXa77e\o9, a lover of angels; but in redemption fa\dv6pa)7ro<;, a 
lover of man : Titus iii. 4, ' After that the kindness and love of God 
our Saviour towards man appeared/ 

[2.] Chiefly because of the life they live. The new creature hath a 
more noble being than all the creatures in the world, and lives a more 
noble life. Put the whole world in the balance, and it is not worthy 
to be compared with the new creature. Those that are purified and 
sanctified, the world is not worthy of them : Heb. xi. 38, ' Of whom 
the world was not worthy.' Look, as the life of reason excels that of 
sense, and the life of sense that of vegetation, the life of beasts is better 
than the life of plants, and the life of man better than the life of beasts, 
so doth grace excel reason, and the life of saints is a more noble being 
than that of men. I confess if you go upward, we cannot say the life 
of glory as much excels the life of grace as the life of grace excels the 
life of reason ; there is a greater difference between the life of reason 
and the life of grace than between the life of grace and the life of glory, 
or between a carnal man and a child of God than between the most 

268 SERMONS UPON TITUS II, 11-14. [SfiR. XXI. 

glorified saint in heaven and the weakest believer on earth. The 
difference between glory and grace is gradual, but the difference between 
the carnal life and the spiritual life is essential. Glorified saints, and 
saints here living the life of grace differ only in degrees, but the life of 
grace and the life of nature differ in kind. There is more difference 
between a toad or beast and a man than between a child and a man. 
Grace and glory differ but as a child and a man, only in degree ; but 
grace and sense, and grace and reason, differ as the life of a toad and 
the life of a beast from the life of a man. 
Use 1. Information. 

1. That we should not value men by their secular interests, but by 
their relation to God. The Lord doth not call the potentates of the earth 
his treasure, as he doth his holy ones : Prov. xii. 26, * The righteous is 
more excellent than his neighbour.' Men may be mighty in the world, 
yet base and vile in God's esteem, Dan. iv. 17. He gives kingdoms to 
the basest of men. It is notable, in the prophetical visions of the great 
monarchs of the world, they are compared to wild beasts. Alexander 
the mighty yet is called the goat of Graecia. Paul calls Nero a lion. 
They that brave it in the world as if they were gods upon earth, yet 
in the Lord's account they are but beasts. But now the saints are the 
precious ' excellent ones of the earth/ Ps. xvi. 3 ; therefore we should 
not value men by their outward greatness : James ii. 1, ' Have not the 
faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of 
persons/ If you have relation to Christ, he puts a glory and excel 
lency upon you ; you are his treasure. Saith Tertullian, Non ex per- 
sonis fidem, sed ex fide personas We must not measure the faith by 
the person, but the person by his faith. They are fools that despise 
and vilify those upon whom God sets the greatest price, and admire 
those that are of lowest esteem with God. 

2. It informeth us that the judgment of God and the judgment of the 
world are very contrary. The world counts the saints the filth, the scurf, 
and off-scouring of all things, and God calls them jewels and treasure. 
Alas ! with God carnal men are nothing, worse than nothing. It had 
been better for them, saith the Spirit of God, that they had never been 
born ; and they are viler than the earth. The blind world knows not 
how to value the stamp and seal of the Spirit. When God hath im 
pressed his own image, the world knows not how to value them ; but 
God values them ; these are coins and medals God will keep in his own 
treasure. Certainly they are worthless souls that despise them, that 
count purity a disgrace. It hath always been the world's fashion to 
crucify God in effigy, in his picture : to despise, oppress, and scoff at 
them that bear his image and resemble him, and malign and scorn 
the lustre of holiness. 

3. It informs us how much it concerns us to be holy and purified, 
for those he counts to be his treasure. God's church is his heritage, 
but every one that lives in the church God doth not count them to be 
his jewels. Many claim acquaintance of him by virtue of offices and 
ministration in the church, yet they are disclaimed and disowned by 
God : Mat. vii. 22, 23, ' Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, 
have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name have cast out 
devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works ? And then will 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 269 

I profess unto them, I never knew you ; depart from me, ye that work 
iniquity/ The Holy Ghost brings in some that had great gifts and 
employments in the church ; and as when a man entertaineth another 
with strangeness, we use to put him in mind by some tokens, so carnal 
professors put Christ in mind as it were by some kind of tokens. Do 
you not remember that we prophesied in your name, &c., and we were 
employed in special offices in the church ? No ; verily, I know you not : 
he disclaims and disowns them. 

4. It informs us that it is dangerous to molest, oppress, and persecute 
the godly, those that are purified, because they are God's peculiar ones ; 
you meddle with the apple of his eye, and to destroy them is sacrilege. 
Israel is a holy thing : Jer. ii. 3, ' Israel is holiness unto the Lord, and 
the first-fruits of his increase : all that devour him shall offend ; evil 
shall come upon them saith the Lord.' Sacrilege hath been always 
deadly; robbing of temples among the heathen hath been always 
observed to be fatal to those that attempted it ; the Lord by his wise 
providence was pleased to suffer the devif to follow them with tempests 
and punishments, to keep up the notion of a divine power, which is the 
fundamental principle and ground of all religion. So when you oppress 
and destroy the people of God, and malign them, you devour that which 
is holy, which will prove fatal and deadly. Look, as he told the governor, 
Acts xxii. 26, ' Take heed what thou doest, for this man is a Koman ; ' 
so God is very tender of these kind of men ; they are his jewels, his 
treasure ; take heed how you use them. 

Use 2. Exhortation, and that both to carnal men and to God's people, 
who are his peculiar ones. 

First, It exhorts carnal men to put in for a share in this great privi 
lege, to be one of God's peculiar ones, those that he counts his treasures 
and his jewels. Let me first exhort, then direct. 

1. I shall exhort you by these considerations, how God will own his 
peculiar people above all the world besides, and how he doth value 
them above all the world. 

[1.] How he owns them; privately in their own consciences; he 
owns them in his ordinances; he owns them publicly in his provi 
dence ; and most publicly he will own them in the day of judgment. 

(1.) He owns them privately in their own consciences. God's holy 
ones are said to be sealed by the Spirit : Eph. iv. 30, ' Grieve not the 
holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.' 
God sets his own seal upon them, to signify his right and property in 
them. ^ As a man marks his sheep, or a merchant seals his wares to de 
clare his right and property, so all that are God's they are sealed by his 
Spirit and they bear his mark. As the worshippers of the beast have 
the mark of the beast, so the people of God have the Lord's seal ; he 
owns them. There is the Spirit's witness to tell them God is theirs, 
and there is the Spirit's work to cause to become God's. The Spirit 
witnesseth to them by impressions, and tells them, God is your salva 
tion, and seals them by expressions, and makes them choose God. 
There is a mutual appropriation : Cant. vi. 3, ' I am my Beloved's, arid 
my Beloved is mine.' He chooseth them for his peculiar people, and 
they choose him for the peculiar treasure of their souls. Whom have 
they in heaven but God ? and who doth God regard in the world but 
they ? They have his privy-seal in their own consciences. 


(2.) He owns them in his ordinances, so as to maintain communion 
with them, as he doth not with others. When others pray, God takes 
no notice that such a prayer is made ; they hear, but cannot say God 
owns them. But now he owns his people in their approaches : Isa. 
Iviii. 9, ' Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer ; thou shalt 
cry, and he shall say, Here I am/ God doth as it were say, It is the 
voice of my people ; what would you have ? here I am, ready to help 
you, and to give you grace. No king will do so much for his favourites 
as God will do for his people : Zeph. iii. 10, he calls them ' his sup 
pliants/ This is not a peculiar privilege for some peculiar saints that 
they are thus honoured of God and answered by him in prayer, but all 
are a peculiar people, and God hath affections and blessings enough 
for them all. When the wicked come and pray, God takes no notice 
of them, as if no such men were in the congregation : Isa. i. 15, ' When 
you spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you ; yea, when 
you make many prayers, I will not hear/ They have no visits from 
the Spirit, nor sensible returns of prayer. It is sad to come to ordin 
ances, and God to take no notice of us ; when the Spirit of God comes 
into the congregation to bless the worshippers by head and poll, and 
you are left out of the account, and passed over. You know what is said 
in the law, Exod. xxix. 42, 43, ' At the door of the tabernacle of the 
congregation, before the Lord ; where I will meet you, to speak there 
unto you ; and there I will meet with the children of Israel/ God did 
not only promise to meet with Moses, but with all the congregation; 
and certainly the services of the church now are not less fruitful than 
the services of the tabernacle. When God's people come together, 
God meets with them, and talks with them, and sends them away with 
gifts of grace and spiritual increase, for they are his jsuppliants, and his 
peculiar people. 

(3.) God owns them in the course of his providence sometimes with 
outward blessings. Thus God set up Abraham as a mark of envy to 
the nations about him. As Benjamin's mess was five times as much 
as the rest, so many times in outward blessings God owns his people. 
But I cannot much press this ; but the aim of providence principally 
concerns them : Kom. viii. 28, ' All things work together for good to 
them that love God/ All things may seem to work against them, but 
they work for them. It is a mercy that God takes notice of them, and 
visits them day by day : Job vii. 18, 'That thou shouldst visit him 
every morning, and try him every moment/ Brambles are not pruned 
and pared as vines are. Wicked men, they are as sheep whom no 
man taketh up, God doth not look after them. But God's children 
may take notice how the special care of providence serves their special 
necessities ; and particularly as to their afflictions ; they do not spring 
out of the dust, but every day God is mindful of them, and ordereth 
such dispensations to keep them in order ; whereas wicked men are 
only under the general care of providence ; they cannot discern such 
particular love and aim at their good and spiritual welfare. 

(4.) He will own them before all the world at the last day, ' I will 
confess them,' saith Christ, ' before my Father which is in heaven/ 
Luke xii. 8. These are the fruits of my purchase ; he will present 
them to God : Heb. ii. 13, ' Behold, I and the children which God hath 
given me/ But wicked men are disclaimed : then will I * profess unto 

YER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS IT. 11-14. 271 

them, I never knew you/ Mat. vii. 23. Oh ! how will their faces gather 
blackness when Christ shall disclaim all acquaintance with them. I never 
had any real and familiar converse with you, in public or private worship. 
[2.] How he values them. He doth not stand upon other nations for 
their safety, either to preserve them or to divert the destroyer from 
them ; as for instance, when God, raiseth up some furious instrument, 
that is flagellus Dei, the scourge of God to pull down and waste ; God 
finds work for them abroad to save his people ; and therefore he saith, 
Isa. xliii. 3, 4, * I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy 
saviour : I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 
Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and 
I have loved thee ; therefore will I give men for thee, and people for 
thy life/ He let the sword go into other countries to save Judah, that 
was his heritage ; if the sword must drink blood and eat flesh, let it 
go to Egypt, Ethiopia, Seba, into idolatrous countries. He puts 
other nations in their stead, and counts them as a little chaff, to save 
the Jews. And then the highest among the nations (which is another 
argument) are rebuked for their sakes. God plucked the sceptre out 
of the hands of kings, and the diadems off from their heads : Ps. cv. 14, 
15, ' He suffered no man to do them wrong ; yea, he reproved kings 
for their sakes, saying, Touch not my anointed ; ' meaning those that are 
anointed with his grace. God will rebuke the mightiest potentates. 
Again, though they are never so despicable, yet countries whom God 
hath doomed to destruction hath he saved for their sakes. It is a 
notable expression of God to Lot, Gen. xix. 22, ' Haste thee, escape 
thither ; for I cannot do anything till thou be come thither/ These 
are the blessings in the cluster that keeps the vine alive, which 
otherwise would be destroyed ; the chariots and horsemen of Israel ; 
nay, they are the pillars of the whole world ; the creation would not 
continue a jot longer if God had not a peculiar people. As the ship 
tarries till all the passengers be entered, then they hoist up sails, God's 
providence only tarries till all the elect be gathered and his jewels shall 
be made up, then the world shall be no more. There are some few 
hidden ones that keep up the world, and preserve the course and frame 
of nature. Now, will you not put in for this privilege to be of that 
number ? You must pass the great river and be washed before you 
can come to serve and minister in holy things to God. 
2. For direction. 

[1.] You must earnestly desire this privilege : Ps. cvi. 4, 5,* Re 
member rne, Lord, with the favour that thou bearest to thy people : 
O visit me with thy salvation ; that I may see the good of thy chosen, 
that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory 
with thine inheritance/ This should be the greatest ambition of your 
souls, that you might be one of God peculiar ones ; as Theodosius coun 
ted it a greater honour to be a member of the church than to be em 
peror of the world ; and Moses, Heb. xi. 24, 25, ' when he came to years/ 
/LteXa? 7ez^oyLtei/o9, when he was grown great, that is, when he had 
ability to judge, ' he 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/ The honour of Pharaoh's court 
was nothing so lovely to him as to be a member of God's people, and 


to enjoy communion with, the saints, though, with great affliction and 

[2.] Whenever you are brought in to be one of that number, you 
must take an oath of allegiance to God, for so do all his people ; they 
take hold of the covenant of God. See Deut. xxvi. 17, 18, 'Thou hast 
avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and 
to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to 
hearken unto his voice ; and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be 
his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldst keep 
all his commandments.' God will bind you fast when you come to par 
take of this privilege ; it must be by solemn consecration, and by coven 
ant to walk in all his ways and in all his statutes. So Deut. xxix. 12, 13, 
' That thou shouldst enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and 
into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day : that 
he .may establish thee to-day for a people unto himself, and that he 
may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath 
sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob/ There is 
a covenant by which God and the church do own one another. If you 
expect protection and provision for this life and for a better, give God 
the hand and take hold of his covenant. Jesus Christ hath all manner 
of relations to the church. All titles you know to a crown are either 
by purchase, conquest, or by covenant, or consent of nations, thus Christ 
will be king of the church by covenant and by consent ; you must 
take an oath to him of allegiance to him, to be faithful to him, to 
observe all his ways and statutes, that so you may become his people. 

Secondly, The other branch of exhortation is to God's people, to 
walk as his peculiar ones, and to carry yourselves as becometh the 
people of God. 

1. Praise him for enrolling you in this company : Ps. cxxxv. 3, 4, 
' Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good ; sing praises unto his name, 
for it is pleasant : for he hath chosen Jacob to himself, and Israel to 
be his peculiar treasure/ To quicken you, consider what you were ; 
you were not a people, God raised you up from the very dunghill to 
this preferment ; remember your past estate. Look, as old Jacob con 
sidered what he had been when God preferred him, Gen. xxxii. 10, 
' With my staff I. passed over this Jordan, and now I am become 
two bands ; ' so do you say, I am a worthless creature, it is God that 
hath taken me into grace, praised be the Lord that hath chosen me. 
Then consider how many are left to perish in the wide world. Some 
live out of the church's pale that never heard of Christ, and many 
others have only a loose general form of Christianity. Oh ! blessed be 
God that hath chosen me to be of the number of his peculiar people. 
It is said, Zech. xiii. 8, ' And it shall come to pass in all the land, saith 
the Lord, that two parts shall be cut off and die, but the third shall be 
left therein/ We pass through many bolters before we come to be 
God's peculiar people, as the corn is ground, bolted, searched before 
it comes to be fine flour. There are many nations have not the know 
ledge of God, and others live in the church but are carnal ; and I to 
be one of his peculiar people, an invisible member of Christ's mystical 
body, oh ! what a privilege is this ! And then what moved him to 
all this ? Nothing but his own free grace. Thus Moses debates the 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 273 

case with Israel : Dent. vii. 6-8, ' For them art an holy people unto the 
Lord thy God : the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special 
people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 
The Lord hath not set his love upon you, or chose you, because ye were 
more in number than any people (for ye were the fewest of all people) ; 
but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath 
which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you 
out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bond 
men, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.' Therefore praise 
the Lord. 

2. Improve it for confidence : Zech. xiii. 9, c And I will bring a third 
part of them through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, 
and will try them as gold is tried : they shall call on my name, and I 
will hear them : I will say, It is my people ; and they shall say, The 
Lord is my God.' In time of great affliction, then it is time to plead 
our peculiar interest in God, as the church doth, Isa. Ixiv. 9, ' Behold, 
see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.' It is a ground of audience 
and confidence. Interest is the sweetest argument that we can use in 
prayer : Ps. cxix. 94, ' I am thine, save me/ He is worse than an 
infidel that doth not provide for his own family. Now what ground 
of confidence is this, Lord, we are thine ; therefore cast yourselves 
upon God. 

3. Carry yourselves as a peculiar people to him. Wherein ? 

[1.] You must not be contented with common mercies. Every 
distinct society hath distinct privileges. Now the elect are a peculiar 
people, and therefore should look after peculiar privileges. A man 
may have outward things ; and here is nothing peculiar, no argument 
of God's special love. Castaways may have these things : Ps. cxix. 
132, ' Look then upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do 
unto them that love thy name.' Look not upon me as thou usest to do 
on the world in general, but as thou dost on thy own people. You 
must have renewing mercies, and sanctifying mercies, a holy heart, be 
kept from sin, and conformed to God. Other mercies a man may have 
and go to hell ; therefore be not satisfied with them. Luther protested 
to God he would not be put off with estate and the favour of the world, 
and with increase of honour and esteem. Alas ! the multitude may 
have these things, it is their happiness : Ps. iv. 6, ' There be many 
that say, Who will show us any good ? Lord lift thou up the light 
of thy countenance upon us.' 

[2.] Be not contented with common graces. Thus far a man may 
go, and not be saved. As, for instance, there are moral inclinations 
in heathens, and they make conscience of gross sins. It is not enough 
to keep from theft, drunkenness, adultery ; a heathen would discover 
those sins by the light of nature, and by such arguments and reasons 
as nature suggests would avoid them. And then hypocrites may have 
flashes of comfort, glances, wishes, and good moods ; though they have 
no constant delight in communion with God, yet they have superficial 
hopes, and are much taken with evangelical strains and tenders of the 
gospel ; they have a desire to keep their consciences quiet and peace 
able ; but you should labour for uprightness and special graces. Carnal 
men desire to be secure rather than sincere, that they may have some 

VOL. xvi. s 


delectations and superficial tastes ; but you are to look after ' things 
that accompany salvation/ Heb. vi. 9. In the original it is ra e^o^eva 
er&>T?7pta9, things that have salvation in them ; you should be contented 
with no grace but that which is an undoubted pledge and evidence of 
heaven, not a loose hope of the gospel. 

[3.] Be not satisfied with a common conversation. How is that ? 
Partly thus : You must not live according to ordinary privileges and 
ordinary hopes : you must discover self-denial, as one trained up in 
the school of Christ. It is an accusation the apostle brings against 
the Corinthians, 1 Cor. iii. 3, ' Are ye not carnal, and walk as men ? ' 
When men pretend to be God's peculiar people, and have nothing 
singular, but are given to worldly cares, vile passions, and corrupt 
affections, as other men are, this hardens carnal men. A Christian 
should live like a wonder in his place, by discovering much self-denial 
and mortification in his conversation : Mat. v. 46, ' For if ye love them 
which love you, what reward have you? do not the publicans the same ? ' 
It is the greatest hypocrisy that can be in the world to profess to be a 
peculiar people, and to deny yourselves in nothing, but do as others 
do ; we should live at another rate, and be more holy, more charitable, 
more heavenly. 

[4.] Do not live according to ordinary examples. We may not frame 
and fashion ourselves to the guise of the world, because we are the 
Lord's peculiar people: Deut. xiv. 1, 2, 'Ye are the children of the 
Lord your God : ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness 
between your eyes for the dead ; for thou art an holy people unto the 
Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people 
unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.' Dead 
fishes swim with the stream ; a Christian should live in a counter motion 
to the world. You cannot do as others do, for you profess yourselves to 
be distinct. Especially we should consider this in times of general 
defection, not to run away from God : Micah iv. 5, * For all people will 
walk, every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name 
of the Lord our God for ever and ever/ When every man sets up a 
distinct religion (that is the meaning of it), then the peculiar people of 
God should hold together, and show forth special zeal, and special strict 
ness in the ways of God, in times of coldness, indifferency, and neutrality 
in religion : Josh. xxiv. 15, ' And if it seem evil unto you to serve 
the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods 
which your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood, or 
the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell ; but as for me and 
my house, we will serve the Lord/ 

VER. 14.J SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-ii 275 

Zealous of good works. TITUS ii. 14. 

I COME to the last circumstance, the outward manifestation of Christ's 
purifying, that he might make us ' Zealous of good works.' 

I shall consider it partly as the note of evidence of God's peculiar 
people, and partly as it falls under the aim of Christ's death. 

Doct Zeal for or in good works is a note of God's people and a fruit 
of Christ's purchase. 

Here I shall inquire (1.) What good works are; (2.) What it is 
to he zealous of good works ; (3.) In what respect and place we are to 
put this zeal, or how it stands in order to the death of Christ. 

I. What good works are. I shall show the kinds of them, and the 
requisites to them. 

Fir sty The kinds of good works. Good works, for the matter of them, 
may be distributed into four sorts or ranks opera cultus, acts of 
worship ; opera vocationis, works of our own particular function and 
calling ; opera justitice, works of righteousness ; opera charitatis, works 
of mercy. 

1. Opera cultus, acts of worship, both internal and external ; external, 
to pray, hear, read, meditate, to be much in communion with God. So 
for internal acts, as faith, and repentance, and love. All these are good 
works, and fitly placed in the first rank ; of these we must be chiefly 
zealous, because our happiness lies in communion with God. It is not 
able Daniel would not omit prayer for one day, though he was forbidden 
by the king, and in danger of death : Dan. VL 10, ' Now when Daniel 
knew that the writing was signed, he went to his house; and his 
windows being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, he kneeled upon 
his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his 
God, as he did aforetime.' Certainly they have little zeal in them that 
care not to be frequent in communion with God, and call not upon his 
name. These are the chief est parts of those good works we must press 
and exhort you to, where we are to be the more punctual, because the 
offence is immediately done to God. If we do not works of mercy and 
justice, there the offence is done to men ; but neglecting the works of 
piety and godliness, the offence is done immediately to God, who is very 
jealous of being defrauded of his worship ; and a failing in the least 
circumstance is a sin of a high nature ; witness Uzzah slam for touch 
ing of the ark, and the fifty thousand slain at Bethshemesh for looking 
into the ark. And there is a notable instance of Daniel, as he would 
not omit prayer, so neither the opening of his casement. A man would 
have thought, being in imminent danger of his life, he might have 
dispensed with that circumstance. Why would he open his casement ? 
I answer Because Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, required 
this ceremony as an act of faith ; they were to pray towards the place 
where the house of God was, which was a type of Christ, to show their 
eye and heart should be to Christ whenever they call on God ; there 
fore would he not dispense with opening his casement. Danger of life 
should not diminish our zeal here. These good works must be done 


with all exactness and care ; God very precisely requires them. It is 
notable that will-worship is only in the duties of the first table ; in love 
to our neighbours there is no place for superstition and will-worship. 
That may be done at one time that is not to be done at another. But 
in the expressions of our love to God, there precepts are immutable, we 
are to be exact. God here would not leave us at liberty, and be at the 
creature's finding ; he knows his own institutions are the best means 
to keep up and preserve a respect and honour to himself, therefore here 
we must be punctual. 

2. There are opera vocationis, the works of our calling. Every man 
should labour in that work to which he is called. Though such works 
be for our own support, yet God is pleased to interpret it as an act of 
obedience, by which he is glorified. Thus Christians may honour God 
in the meanest calling. Servants in their relation are said to make the 
doctrine of God comely : Titus ii. 10, ' That they may adorn the doc 
trine of God our Saviour in all things.' Though they be in the condi 
tion of slaves, as then they were, bought and sold like beasts in the 
market, yet the apostle speaks to them, You may adorn the gospel of God. 
It is good to be profitable to human society in your way and place ; for 
that is the account Paul gives of Onesimus, speaking of his former and 
present estate : Philem. 11, * Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, 
but now profitable to thee and me/ It is a great honour to God when 
we are faithful in the work of our relations. God tries us by the duties 
of our personal calling, what honour we will bring to him there. Public 
acts of worship may be counterfeit, as prayer, hearing, receiving ; but 
here is a constant and daily trial, whether we have grace or no, whether 
we have only our good moods, or a constant spring of grace in our 
hearts ; and therefore he that is not good in his relation and calling is 
nowhere good, for that is the sphere of his activity ; there he is to 
glorify God, and to discover the power of godliness. It is notable, 
when John had preached a sermon of repentance, his hearers came to 
him, and said, ' What shall we do ? ' Luke iii. 10 ; as possibly you 
may say, What are these good works ? And he presseth them to duties 
proper to their relations. To the publicans : ( Exact no more than that 
which is appointed you/ ver. 14. To the soldiers : ' Do violence to no 
man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages/ ver. 15, 

3. There are opera justitice, works of righteousness ; as to give every 
man his due, to hurt none, to live without wrong to any, or wreck of 
or breach upon our own consciences : Acts xxiv. 16, ' Herein do I 
exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence towards 
God and towards man.' These are good and profitable to human 
society, and the credit of religion is much concerned in them ; hypocrites, 
that abound in worship, and are zealous for the institutions of Christ, 
most commonly are here defective; they are not just, righteous, and 
conscionable in their dealings ; therefore they are strictly required : 
Micah vi. 8, * He hath showed thee, man, what is good ; and what 
doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy?' 
God requires it of all, but especially of men professing piety, because 
making conscience of justice and equity in their dealing is both an 
Argument of their sincerity and an ornament of their profession. God 
frill have the world know that religion is a friend to human society. 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS u. n-14. 277 

Indeed there are some that would be accounted religious persons, 
yet live as if the whole second table were to be blotted out, and 
so they prove a stain and blot to their religion. Men judge by 
what is visible, and therefore, when you break all restraints of 
honesty and conscience, you disparage your profession : Neh. v. 9, 
* Ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach 
of the heathen our enemies ? ' Our adversaries are watchful, therefore 
keep up the credit and renown of religion, do justice, deal righteously, 
for that is the case in hand. Austin asserts, and so do the fathers 
generally, the primitive glory of the Christian religion, that none were 
so just, so good in their relations, so true and faithful to their trust, 
as the Christians were. Dent exercilum talem, tales imperatores, &c. 
Let them show such magistrates, such people, such merchants, such 
soldiers, as the Christian religion affords. 

4. There are opera cliaritatis et misericordice, works of charity and 
mercy ; as to relieve the poor, to do good to all, to help others by their 
purse, estate, counsel, admonition but especially to do good to them 
that are good : Gal. vi. 10, ' As we have therefore opportunity, let us 
do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household 
of faith/ These are usually, and by a proper term, called ' good works/ 
Therefore Dorcas is said to be 'full of good works and alms-deeds, 1 
Acts ix. 36 ; and 1 Tim. vi. 16, ' Charge them that they do good, 
that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to com 
municate/ It is not a thing left arbitrary to you, but laid upon 
you as a part of your charge and duty. It is a due debt you owe to 
God, if not to the poor ; and we are thieves, not only in robbing and 
taking from others, but in not giving to others ; and therefore the Holy 
Ghost useth that expression, Prov. iii. 27, 'Withhold not good from them 
to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it/ It 
is due by the law of God to those that are in distress. When God 
casts us upon objects of pity and Christian commiseration, there is 
something due. By virtue of God's command the poor are a kind of 
owners, and charity is a part of righteousness. Christians, you are 
stewards, and to dispense the estate you have according to the master's 
command. An unfaithful steward, that keeps all to himself, is a thief. 
A nobleman hath need of money, and sendeth to his steward ; Go to 
my steward, and demand such a sum : will he deny him his own when 
his lord hath need of it ? God hath commanded to give when he 
sendeth to you. How doth God send to us but in the course of his 
providence ? We are one day to give an account, and what a sorry 
account shall we make ! So much for pomp, so much for pleasure, so 
much for gorgeous apparel, so much for riot and luxury, and so little 
for the master's use. If a man to whom the care of children is com 
mitted should feed dogs and whelps, and neglect the children, what a 
sorry account would he give of his trust ! God hath demanded his 
right by our poor brethren ; he hath made them his proxies. Our bounty 
reacheth not to God himself, therefore he offereth them to our pity ; 
what we do for them he accounteth as done to himself. Acts of mercy 
are required, that we may acknowledge God's property; it is our rent 
to the great landlord of the world. It is an honour put upon you ; you 
are as gods to them to relieve them and comfort them. He could give 


without thee, but he trieth thee, and will have thee interested in the 
act. It is a great honour to religion ; the world is taken with bounty : 
Kom. v. 7, ' Peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die;' 
Titus iii. 14, 'And let ours also learn to maintain good works for neces 
sary uses, that they be not unfruitful/ Let not others, that have not 
such high motives, or such glorious advantages, be more forward than 

Secondly, There are the requisites to a good work ; there is the state 
of the person, and the uprightness of our principle, and the end and 
rule of our actions. 

1. The state of the person ; the person must be in Christ. Do we 
gather grapes off thorns and figs off thistles ? We expect good fruit 
from a good tree. The person must first be in Christ, as the apostle 
saith : Titus iii. 8, ' These things I will that thou affirm constantly, 
that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain 
good works/ When the foundation of faith is first laid, and that is 
the root, then good works flow kindly, as the fruit that grows upon this 
tree. So in the text, first ' a peculiar people/ and then ' zealous of 
good works ; ' the leper under the law, till he was cleansed, all that he 
touched and all he went about was unclean ; so till you are purified 
and cleansed by the work of grace passing upon your hearts, all that 
you do is abominable and filthy in God's eye. A natural man cannot 
be acceptable to God, nor perform an act of pure obedience, for he is an 
enemy : and therefore his gifts are gif tless gifts, %0pti)v %u>pa aScopa. 
This method the apostle lays down: Eph. ii. 10, 'For we are his 
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works/ First his 
workmanship created in Christ ; there is the fitness and preparation 
for good works. Works materially good may be done by God's enemies 
out of the strength of an unrenewed will, for carnal ends, without any 
respect and love to God ; therefore first we must be reconciled to God; 
first we stir up men to love God, and then serve him. Will you have 
the graft or scion bear fruit till it be set in the stock ? So can we 
bear fruit to God until we are planted in Christ ? All the issue that 
is born before marriage is illegitimate ; the acts are but bastard acts, 
and our graces are but bastard graces, till we are contracted to Christ. 

2. The principles of operation must be right for the constitution of 
good works. These principles are faith, love, and obedience. Faith 
receives help from Christ, love inclines the heart, and obedience sways 
the conscience. In every good work these are the true gospel prin 
ciples. Obedience sways the conscience by virtue of God's law, love 
inclines the heart out of gratitude and thankfulness to God, and faith 
expects help and supply from Christ. In short, every good work is an 
action commanded by the law, but arising from faith in the gospel ; it 
is done out of conscience and because of God's command, but yet will 
ingly, because God is so good in Christ, and faith gives both help and 
encouragement. Without faith whatever is done is but sin ; without 
obedience, it is but customary ; and without love, it is but legal, and 
no evangelical work. 

3. As the principle and operation, so the end must be right, to 
glorify God in whatever we do ; not to gratify interest, that is carnal ; 
not barely to promote the welfare of nature, that is but an act of natural 

VEK. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. n-14. 279 

self-love, aiming at his own preservation ; not to pacify God, that is 
legal, and so a renouncing of the merit of Christ. So that every act of 
duty must be made a branch of gospel obedience arising from gratitude, 
that God may be glorified. 

4. Those are good works which are commanded by God and con 
formable to the rule laid down in scripture. As sin is avopia, a 
transgression of the law of God, so a good work is a conformity to the 
law of God. That is a good work which is agreeable to that rule that 
is the proper measure of good and evil : Ps. cxix. 6, * Then shall I not 
be ashamed when I have respect unto all thy commandments.' A 
strictness beyond the word, or besides the word, is a bastard and an 
apocryphal holiness, and but counterfeit coin, which is not current in 
the kingdom of grace. 

II. What is it to be zealous of good works ? 

1. We should be forward and cheerful in well-doing. Zeal is fer- 
ventior amoris gradus, a higher degree of love ; the more love, the more 
forward in acting. Certainly zeal will readily set us a-work to do all 
we do willingly, freely, and cheerfully, as the apostle intimates, 2 Cor. 
ix. 2, ' For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of 
you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago ; and your 
zeal hath provoked very many.' It is not zeal to stand hucking and 
disputing every inch with the Spirit of God. You are not only called 
to the bare practice of good works, but you must be first and most for 
ward, and leaders of others ; watch opportunities to do good, and take 
hold of them when they are offered. We should be glad of an oppor 
tunity offered, wherein to discover our affection to God and our hatred 
to sin. This is zeal to be willing and forward. 

2. To be zealous is to be self-denying and resolute notwithstanding 
discouragements. Zeal is a mixed affection ; it consists partly of love 
and partly of indignation ; and so when I am zealous of a thing, I love 
that thing, and shake off and hate all that lets and hinders it. Zeal 
sets us a-work, and holds us to it notwithstanding discouragements. 
Zeal will not stick at a little labour and charge ; the more resistance, 
the more glory. God's children are glad that they may not serve God 
with that which cost them nothing ; as David professeth, 2 Sam. xxiv. 
24, ' I will not offer a burnt-offering unto the Lord my God of that 
which did cost me nothing.' Certainly men are not zealous, and their 
hearts are not set upon the ways of God, when every slight excuse will 
serve the turn, and every little profit draws them away, and every 
petty business doth hinder them, and break off communion with God, 
and every slender temptation doth interrupt and break off all their 
purposes and resolutions to duty and obedience, be it prayer, charity, 
or acts of righteousness. We must be resolute, for Gal. iv. 18, ' It is 
good to be zealously affected always in a good thing/ 

3. To be zealous of good works imports diligence and earnestness to 
advance piety to the highest pitch when we are not contented with any 
low degrees of obedience, but would fain carry out a godly conversation 
to the uttermost, to do it with all our heart. Is he zealous that is con 
tented with a little charity, with a little worship only ? Sloth and idle 
ness will not stand with zeal : Horn. xii. 11, * Not slothful in business, 
fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.' Thus it will be when we are 


seething hot in spirit, as the word TW nrv^v^aii eoz/T69 signifies. A 
large affection cannot be contented with mean things and low degrees 
of holiness ; nor lay a dead child in the room of a living one. This 
the apostle calls 'being rich in good works/ 1 Tim. vi. 18. One or 
two acts will not serve the turn. Thus Dorcas is said to be ' full of 
good works/ Acts ix. 36. How full ? It is not an allusion to the 
fulness of a vessel that is full of water, or a chest full of clothes, but to 
the fulness of a tree laden with fruit : James iii. 17, l Full of mercy 
and good works/ Those that are planted into this noble vine, Jesus 
Christ, are full of good works. 

4. To be zealous of good works is to be constant to the end. The 
fire on the altar never went out, but it was always maintained and kept 
in ; so we must never let the fire of zeal go out. Zeal is not like fire 
in straw. Alas ! sudden fervours are soon spent ; they are but free 
will pangs, the birth of an unrenewed will ; but it is like fire in wood, 
that casts a lasting heat : Gal. iv. 18, ' It is good to be zealously affected 
always/ Not at first only for a fit or pang ; that doth not come from, 
sanctification ; therefore you should keep up your fervour. Watch 
against all decays, especially in age. The motions of youth are very 
vehement, for youth is full of eager spirits, and seems to be all on fire ; 
but many times these motions are not so sincere ; but the actions of age 
are more solid, though many times they want vigour and heat. There 
fore strive to keep up your zeal : Gal. v. 7, ' Ye did run well, who did 
hinder you ?' Carnal men, when their first heats are spent, give over ; 
they grow cold, careless, and indifferent in matters of religion. But 
shall all these heats and desires of reformation be in vain, arid shall 
we give over at length ? In worldly things we will not give over when 
we have been at great cost ; but shall all that is past in religion be in 
vain ? Gal. iii. 4, ' Have you suffered so many things in vain, if it be yet 
in vain ? ' His meaning is, It is not like to be in vain, it will but tend 
to your greater condemnation. An adulteress is punished more than 
an harlot. It is more dishonour and ingratitude to God to tire at 

III. The respect and place of zeal in good works ; it is a note of 
God's people, and a fruit of Christ's death. 

1. It is a note of God's people. Unumquodque operatur secundum 
suam formam. There is in the new creature a propensity and inclina 
tion to good works. As all creatures are created with an inclination 
to their proper operations, such a willing tendency is there in the new 
creature to those actions which are heavenly. As sparks fly upward 
and a stone moves downward, so the new creature is carried to obedience 
and holiness from a free principle within. The nature of everything 
is the principle of its motion. Faith will discover itself ; therefore we 
read of ' God's fulfilling the work of faith with power/ 2 Thes. i. 11, 
Hope is called lively, from the effect : 1 Peter i. 3, ' He hath begotten 
us to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead/ 
Love constraineth : 2 Cor. v. 14, ' The love of Christ constraineth us/ 
Good works are a note of the new creature : ' We are the workmanship 
of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works/ Eph. ii. 10. As an 
artificer sets a mark upon his workmanship that he might know it, so 
God sets a visible mark upon his servants ; he doth not make a new 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 281 

creature for old works. Good works are cliristiance fidei quasi testes, 
witnesses that you can bring to evidence the truth and power of grace. 
Luther saith, Good works are faith incarnate; that is, faith is manifested 
by them, as the Son of God was manifested in the flesh. They are 
witnesses to the world, to yourselves, and unto God that you are his. 
They are signs and witnesses to the world. This is the badge by which 
God would have his peculiar children known ; not by pomp and worldly 
splendour, not by any outward excellency, riches, greatness, and estate, 
but by zeal to good works. There are no barren trees in Christ's 
garden ; it is not for the honour of God, for our heavenly Father would 
be glorified in his servants' bringing forth much fruit : John xv. 8, 
c Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit ; so shall ye be 
my disciples.' God standeth much upon his honour. Now it is for 
the honour of God that all which are planted and grafted into Christ 
should be full of good works. And they are testimonies to ourselves : 
2 Peter i. 10, ' Give diligence to make your calling and election sure/ 
Some copies add Sia rwv epy&v, make your calling and election sure by 
good works ; certainly it may be collected from the context. He bids 
them, ver. 5, 'add to their faith, virtue ; to virtue, knowledge,' &c., and 
so they might come to make their calling and election sure. Graces 
are not discerned by their habits, but by their acts and exercise. Look, 
as in a tree, the sap and life is hid, but the fruit and apples do appear, 
so zeal of good. works is that which appears, and so it manifests and 
clears up your condition. This is the great note of difference between 
us and the profane ; they are zealous for the devil's kingdom, factors 
for hell : John viii. 44, ' Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts 
of your father you will do.' They are known by their works ; they are 
earnest for Satan, zealous for the devil, follow sin with earnestness, 
' and do evil with both hands earnestly/ Micah vii. 3. It is the differ 
ence between us and civil men, but unregenerate ; they are like cypress- 
trees, fair and tall, but fruitless, of a comely life, but none of these 
good works are to be found in them. It is the difference between us 
and hypocrites ; a hypocrite, like a carbuncle, seems to be all on a fire, 
but when you touch it, it is quite cold ; so they pretend to religion, 
talk much, but have no true regular zeal, no spiritual warmth. It is 
notable our Lord himself proves his divine original by his works : John 
x. 38, ' Though ye believe not me, believe the works, that ye may know 
and believe that the Father is in me, and I in him.' So is this the 
sensible evidence you are in Christ and Christ in you. Graces are not 
always evident in feeling, but in fruit ; the effects cannot be hid. Then 
they are signs and evidences to God himself ; the Lord will look upon 
them as marks and evidences of his people. Look, as the destroying- 
angel was to be guided by a sign, Exod. xii. 12, 13, by the sprinkling 
of the door-posts, not that he needed it, but because God would have 
it to be so, so the Lord suits his dispensations, and guides them by a 
sign. It is true God in his gifts is arbitrary, but in his judgments 
he proceeds by rule, according to our works. At the last day God will 
judge you not by your profession, but by your practice, what you 
have done ; he will not say, You have prophesied in my name, you 
have eaten and drunk in my presence ; but, You have fed me, clothed 
me, visited me. That the faith of the elect might be found to praise 


and honour, he will have works produced. Not that God wants evi 
dences of our sincerity, but he will have all the world know we have not 
been unfruitful. A man that expecteth to be posed is preparing to 
answer, and would give something to know the questions aforehand. 
Christ hath told us what are the questions upon which we shall be 
examined and taxed at the day of judgment ; he will say, Have you. 
fed and clothed my people ? have you ministered to their necessities ? 
have you relieved them with spiritual counsel and admonition ? have 
you been good, holy, and just ? Therefore let us provide to give an 
answer, that we might not be ashamed at the last day. Thus this 
zeal for good works hath the place and room of a witness ; to God, as 
the rule and measure of his process ; to ourselves, as the ground of our 
assurance ; and to the world, as the great vindication of the honour of 
our profession. 

2. It is a fruit of Christ's death ; partly by way of obligation, for 
certainly God hath not been at all this cost and labour for nothing ; he 
did not project the sending of Christ, and Jesus Christ did not so give 
up himself in the work of redemption for nothing, but to inflame us to 
a great height of piety. They that live at a low rate of holiness cross 
and disgrace the whole design of the gospel ; they are not apprehensive 
of the love of God in giving Christ, nor the love of Christ in giving 
himself. Oar redemption was carried on in such a way, not only that 
the comfort, but also the duty of the creature might be raised to the 
highest. Partly, again, as Christ hath purchased the gift of the Spirit 
to fit us for good works, yea, to make us zealous in them : Titus iii. 5, 
6, ' According to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, 
and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly 
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.' Now the Spirit dwelleth in our 
hearts to set our graces a working : John iv. 14, ' The water that I shall 
give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting 
life.' So John vii. 38, 39, 'He that believeth on me, as the scripture 
saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water : this spake he 
of the Spirit, which they that believe on him shall receive.' The Spirit 
is not a fountain sealed up, but flowing forth. The Spirit of God is a 
mighty Spirit, and comes in upon the soul not only as a gentle blast, but 
as a mighty rushing wind ; he comes not only in the appearance of a 
dove, but of cloven tongues of fire, Acts ii. He comes as a Spirit of 
power to quicken and awaken the soul to great heights and fervours in 
obedience. Look, as men acted by Satan, the unclean spirit, are 
restless in evil, and carried headlong as the herd of swine into the sea, 
so those that are acted by the Spirit of God are much more carried on 
with great earnestness in the ways of God. The devil hath not such 
advantages to work upon his instruments as the Spirit of God hath upon 
us. The devil works and operates in all the children of disobedience : 
Eph. ii. 3, ' The Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobed 
ience.' But the devil cannot work but by man's consent, neither can he 
work immediately upon the soul, but only by the senses and by the fancy, 
but the Spirit of God can work immediately upon them in whom he acts. 
Therefore being acted by him, they must needs be zealous and earnest; 
for the Spirit of God nescit tarda molimina, knows no slow motions. 
The soul in itself is dead and slothful, and apt to yield to laziness and 

VEE. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 283 

delays ; but when we are acted and quickened by the mighty Spirit, 
then ' draw us, and we will run after thee/ Cant. i. 4. When the 
Spirit puts forth its force upon the soul, such as are drawn by the Holy 
Ghost, they are not in jest, as carnal men are, but in earnest ; they do 
not dally with religion, but make it their great business to surprise 
heaven, and carry on constant communion with God : Mat. xi. 12, * The 
kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.' 
Use 1. Information. 

1. That grace is no enemy to good works. Libertinism is ancient 
and natural. Christ died to improve piety, not to lessen it, but to raise 
it to the highest, to make us zealous of good works, that we might be 
carried on to heaven with full sails ; therefore he that grows looser, less 
watchful against sin, less diligent in the exercise of holiness, less frequent 
in communion with God, less humble and penitent after committing of 
sin, offers the greatest abuse to grace that may be, and perverts its 3 
natural use. There is no freezing by the fire ; we may freeze indeed 
by painted fire, that may make us contract chilliness and drowsiness, 
but true grace is a fire that warms and inflames our affections. Christ 
came to make us more cheerful and lively, but not slack, careless, and 

2. It informs us what little reason the world hath to cry out upon 
zealots, for Christ died to make us f^Xwra?, ' zealous of good works/ 
Men that are only contented with a brain religion, speculative notions, 
they cannot endure heats and fervours ; they would have a religion to 
talk of, but not to live by ; therefore they are cold and indifferent ; and 
when the children of God offer a holy violence to the kingdom of heaven, 
they become a matter of scorn and opposition to them. And besides, 
formal men cannot endure to be outstripped, and therefore malign 
what they will not imitate ; as those that are at the bottom of the hill 
fret at those that are at the top ; and men of a lazy and slow pace envy 
them that are more zealous, strict, and holy : but they have little causo 
to envy them, for Christ died to make us zealous of good works. 

3. It informs us, if we would expect any benefit by Christ's death, 
we must be zealous of good works, and more warm in the service of 
God. A cold Christian will have but cold comfort. For whom did 
Christ die ? For those that are zealous of good works : Mat. xi. 12, 
' The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by 
force/ It is an allusion to Exod. xix. 23, 24, where there was a rail about 
the mount of God, that the people might not break through ; but when 
John the Baptist began to discover the grace of God, and pointed to 
the Lamb of God, then the kingdom of God suffered violence, men began 
to break through and press upon God ; there is a free access to God, 
and men are earnest and will not be denied entrance : Mat. v. 20, 
* Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and 
pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven/ It is 
not cold prayers, and yawning devotions, and drowsy wishes, when 
men are half asleep, that will serve in this case ; heaven is gotten by 
force, and surprised by onset and storm ; it signifies breaking through 
the rail, and all restraints that are set to keep us off from God. 

Use 2. To stir us up to this zeal of good works. In a dead and 
drowsy age we need an alarum. Knowledge hath now devoured 


practice in these decaying times. Seneca complains men are altogether 
studious for filling their brains, not warming their hearts ; and when 
once men became more learned, they were less good. The world is 
altogether for storing the head with notions, empty and airy strains ; 
so that if Christ should come amongst us, he would find few zealous, 
but a company of lazy Christians that live at a low cheap rate of 
Christianity. High-flown we are indeed in our fancies, in notions and 
pretences, but low and flat in practice and conversation. Usually thus 
it is in the time of the church's prosperity ; like a river, it loseth in 
depth what it gains in breadth. Then it hath many friends, but their 
love is not so strong nor so hot as at other times. Salvian complains, 
Multiplicatiis fidei populis, fides diminuta est ; et crescentibus filiis, 
mater cegrotat, &c. When professors were multiplied, their faith was 
lessened ; and as a mother grows the weaker the more children she 
bears, so doth religion grow weaker and weaker ; when every one takes 
up a cold profession, they learn formality one of another. And he goes 
on, Quantum copice accessit, tantum disciplines recessit ; as a large 
body is less active. In audito genere processus et recessus, crescens 
simul et decrescens When the church increaseth in multitude, and 
decreaseth in vigour and strength, it loseth in spirit what it enjoyeth 
in temporal felicity. Thus it often falls out with the church of God 
that, when religion is fair, many take up the profession ; but alas ! it 
is but weak and spiritless, without any life and vigour. Therefore, in 
such a drowsy age and dead times, we need alarums and quickening 
excitations to awaken our zeal again for solid piety, for those good 
works that are commended to us in the scripture. Therefore let us 
inquire what kind of enforcements and considerations are likely to be 
most operative to press us to this zeal and care of good works. 

1. Consider how violent and earnest carnal men are in the ways of 
sin, and shall they serve Satan better than you serve God ? Oh ! con 
sider, you have a better master, better work, and better wages ; their 
master is the devil, their work is the basest drudgery, being slaves to 
their own lusts ; and their wages are suitable, their reward is ever 
lasting damnation, and a separation from the presence of the Lord. 
How active are wicked men for the kingdom of darkness ! how zeal 
ous and earnest to ruin themselves, as if they could not be damned 
soon enough ! Isa. v. 19, ' They draw iniquity with cords of vanity, 
and sin as it were with a cart-rope.' The meaning is, they would sin 
though it cost them a great deal of pains and sorrow, and though 
they could not sin at a cheap rate. The prophet doth not say they 
were drawn into sin as into a gin and snare, but they themselves did 
draw on sin; it is horrid work, yet they delight in it, toiling and tiring 
themselves as beasts at a plough ; they were sinful, though it cost them 
sorrow and pain. There is no corruption but it puts you to some self- 
denial. Luxury is costly, and he that loves wine and oil, saith 
Solomon, will be poor. Pride, we say, will endure the cold, and vain 
glory will expose a man to danger and ruin. Worldliness encroacheth 
upon pleasantness and the comforts of life ; a worldling will ' rise early, 
sit up late, and eat the bread of sorrows/ Ps. cxxvii. 2. With what 
earnestness and unwearied diligence do carnal men pursue after a few 
trifles ! How do they lay out all their wisdom and all their sagacity 

YER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 285 

about worldly things : Luke xvi. 8, ' The children of this world are 
wiser in their generation than the children of light.' As children are 
busy about toys and puppets, so they cumber themselves about much 
serving, and all their life is but care and disquiet, and a constant self- 
denial : Ps. xxxix. 6, ' Surely every man walketh in a vain show, surely 
they disquiet themselves in vain/ They make a great deal of stir and 
bustle, and many times, when all is got, what is it ? A sorry comfort, 
and that which must be left on this side the grave. Thus wicked men 
are active and restless in their way. So for idolatry ; with what cost 
and diligence do men promote false worship, and compass sea and land 
to make a proselyte ; they will give rivers of oil and thousands of rams ; 
they do not stand at pains and cost. God bids the prophet look upon 
this sight (as indeed it is worthy of a Christian consideration) : Jer. vii. 
17, 18, * Seest thou what they do in the cities of Judah and in the 
streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers 
kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes to the 
queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto other gods/ 
What a busy diligence is here to promote their false worship ! Fathers, 
children, husbands, wives, they all put their helping hands to the 
work, and find some employment or other. Where will you have a 
family so earnest and zealous to set up the work of God ? Oh ! how 
can you look upon such a spectacle as this without shame, that a lust 
should have more power with them than the love of God with you ? 
Is it not a shame that Amnon can be sick for Tamar, and yet you 
cannot be sick for Christ, as the spouse was for her beloved ? You 
have high motives, nobler employment ; your work is the perfection of 
the creature ; the noblest faculties are exercised in the noblest way of 
operation; your rewards are more excellent, and you have greater 
advantages and helps. Shall' they take more pains to undo their souls 
than you do to save your souls? We read in ecclesiastical story, 
when Pambus saw a harlot curiously dressed, he wept, partly to see 
one take so much pains for her own eternal ruin, and partly because 
he had not been so careful to please Christ, and to dress up his soul 
for Christ, as she was to please her wanton lover. Christians, when 
ever you are cast upon such a sight or spectacle, when you come by a 
shop, and see men labour and toiling out their hearts, and all this for 
temporal gain, doth it not make you blush and be ashamed that you 
are so negligent and careless in the work of God ? 

2. Consider you yourselves have been violent and earnest in the 
ways of sin, and will you not do as much for God ? How may every 
one say, When I was a wicked and carnal man, I followed it with all 
my heart, and shall I do less now in a state of grace ? The apostle 
hath a notable expression, Kom. vi. 19, ' I speak after the manner of 
men, because of the infirmity of your flesh ; for as ye have yielded your 
members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, even 
so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness/ 
Mark how the apostle brings it in with a preface, avOpuTrivov Xey&>, 
1 1 speak after the manner of men ; ' that is, men in common sense and 
reason judge it equal that they should be as diligent to come up to the 
height of sanctification, and as zealous of good works, as ever you were 
to come up to the height of sin and were zealous for hell. Should you 


not have as much care to save yourselves as to ruin and damn your 
selves ? You made haste to do evil, as if you could not be damned 
goon enough ; now in reason you should be as zealous for God as for 
Satan. Heretofore we could riot away the day, and card away the 
night ; and shall not some days be spent in fasting and prayer? Shall 
every hour be begrudged that is bestowed upon God ? You will say, 
It is good reason God should be served as well as the devil ; but the 
flesh is weak, and how shall we be able to serve God ? But, says the 
apostle, ' I speak according to the weakness of your flesh.' It is an 
equitable, modest, and just proposal that I make, and with condescen 
sion to your infirmities, that you should be as earnest and zealous for 
God, and to grow in grace, as ever you were zealous to increase your 
guilt and sin. Formerly I never ceased till I got to the top, till I was 
go wicked that I could hardly be more wicked ; why should I not now 
labour to grow in grace ? Can conversion be right when sin had more 
of our thoughts than ever God had ? The apostle's rule holds thus, so 
much time, so much cost and care, so much love and delight as hath 
been spent in sin, so much must be spent in the service of God. Oh ! 
gay then, Why should I not be as earnest to grow in grace, to be as 
zealous and holy as I can ? It is observed of Paul that in his natural 
condition he was mad against Christ: Acts xxvi. 11, 'I punished 
them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme, and 
being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto 
gtrange cities.' Look upon him converted, and see, is he not as earnest 
and mad for Christ as ever he was against him? 2 Cor. v. 13, 'For 
whether we be beside ourselves, it is for God/ Do but look back and 
gee what a drudge you have been to sin! with what zeal and self-denial 
you hazarded your souls ! Oh ! your pace was swift and furious, like 
Jehu's march, and will you be cold and slow in the work of God ? 
Nay, it may be this is your case to this very day, you are very busy 
and painful to undo your souls. Oh ! this active industry that is mis 
placed and misemployed, if the object were but changed, would do 
well for heaven. Who would pay as dear for hell as for heaven? 
Who would pay as dear for glass as for jewels ? What a stir is there 
to serve a lust ? Half of this, through the blessing of God, might 
nave conduced to save a soul. 

3. It may be you have set out late, and then it is but reason you 
ghould mend your pace, and be earnest and zealous for God : 1 Peter 
iv. 3, ' The time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the 
will of the gentiles, whilst you lived in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of 
wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.' Oh ! it is 
enough, enough ! Travellers that tarry long in their inn ride faster in 
an hour when they set forth than in two before. You have tarried 
long, therefore put forward. We see that slow plants bring forth the 
most fruit, as if nature would recompense the slowness with the plenty ; 
BO you that were long ere you were called to God, what reason have 
you to be diligent and earnest, and zealous in the work of the Lord ? 
You will think this concerns some that are called in the doting time 
of their age, but all men set forth too late. If we consider God's 
eternal love, we should be ashamed that we began no sooner. God 
loved us before we were : * The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting 

VEB. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 287 

to everlasting to them that fear him,' Ps. ciii. 17; from one eternity 
to another. God loved us before we had a being, before we were 
lovely ; and when we had a being, he loved us when we knew not that 
he loved us. We were transgressors from the womb, defiled and 
polluted creatures in our birth and original ; and afterwards we knew 
how to offend and grieve him before we knew how to serve and love 
him. If we have any gratitude to God, we should be ashamed that 
we began so late. God began early with us ; from all eternity he was 
our God ; as long as God is God, he is our God ; therefore now we 
should mend our pace, and double our diligence, and be more earnest 
and zealous in the ways of God. 

4. Consider what Christ hath done in purchasing our salvation. It 
was no play and sport to redeem the world. Christ was not in jest 
when he yielded up himself to be tempted, to be persecuted, to be 
crucified, to be exercised with bitter agonies ; and is all this expense 
and cost for nothing ? The temptations of Christ and the sorrows of 
his cross they all show that it is no easy matter to bring a soul to 
heaven ; and therefore shall not we be zealous ? Carnal and careless 
Christians do lessen Christ's sufferings interpretatively, as if they were 
not so great ; they trifle and dally, and compliment in religion, and so 
do not make it so weighty a matter to save their souls : Luke xxiv. 26, 
'Ought not Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory?' 
and ver. 46, ' Thus it behoved Christ to suffer/ As matters were laid 
in God's decree, nothing else would serve the turn ; Christ ought to 
suffer, it was fore-ordained. 

But you will say, How do you force this zealousness and earnestness 
for .good works out of what Christ hath done ; for if he hath done so 
much, what need we do any more ! 

I answer He is gone to heaven as the captain of our salvation, and 
we must follow him in the same way ; he is gone to seize upon heaven 
in our right, but we must force our way thither. Canaan was given to 
Israel, but they were to take possession by the sword ; or as Caleb was 
to drive out the giants out of Hebron, though it was given him. So 
though heaven be given, and Christ hath seized upon it in our right, 
yet we have our conflicts. Indeed the power of Satan is broken, his 
head bruised, yet there are some relics of the battle left for our exercise; 
and therefore be earnest, be zealous. 

5. Consider, to quicken you to this zeal, the enemies of religion are 
violent and earnest. The devil is busy, always compassing the earth 
to and fro, therefore we had need stand upon our guard : 1 Peter v. 8, 
'Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring 
lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.' In your duties, in 
your shops, in your closets, in the congregation, the devil is still at 
hand. Oh! how should we bestir ourselves ! The enemy watcheth, 
and dost thou sleep ? The devil makes an advantage of our careless 
ness and security : ' While men slept, the enemy came and sowed 
tares/ Mat. xiii. 25. While we are cold and careless the devil doth 
prevail over us, he doth but watch to make an advantage of our care 
lessness and security. Birds are seldom taken in their flight, but when 
they rest and pitch ; so Satan hath no advantage against us when we 
are upon our course and wing, when we make speed to heaven, and 


are zealous and earnest in our flight. Satan hath busy agents in the 
world, that are watchful and zealous factors for hell ; they ever shame 
the church: Luke xvi. 8, ' The children of this world are wiser in their 
generation than the children of light/ They do more against God 
than we do for God. Satan's cause is most befriended in the world, 
and it is sure to be followed diligently and earnestly, as a stone runs 
down-hill of its own accord. The children of this world in their 
employments, in their sports, are wise, active, and diligent, and follow 
it earnestly. While the disciples were asleep, Judas and his company 
were watchful and plotting. Usually Satan's instruments get the start 
of us ; we are cold and frigid in the cause of Christ ; therefore shall 
we not be earnest and zealous for God ? 

6. Consider, a small measure of grace will not become you that pro 
fess Christ and Christianity, because you are to exceed others ; there 
must be something more than ordinary in your conversation : Mat. v. 
20, * Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes 
and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven ; ' 
and ver. 47, ' What do you more than others ? ' A peculiar people must 
live in a peculiar manner. There must be something over and above 
in. you of what is found in others. The pharisees were very strict ; 
the apostle calleth them afcpi^ea-dr^v aipecriv, ' the most straitest sect/ 
Acts xxvi. 5 ; they did excel all others : Luke xviii. 11, * The pharisee 
stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee I am not 
as other men.' There were washings, tithings, fastings, alms-giving, 
and corporal mortifications. Oh ! how did the pharisees profess 
irepia-aeveLv, to increase the law, and supererogate ; they exceeded 
all others. Now, saith Christ, you must exceed their exceedings. It 
were wondrous to tell you what a painful and costly profession of holi 
ness they made, insomuch that the Jews thought that if but two men 
were to be saved, one should be a scribe and the other a pharisee ; such 
were their long devotions, their sad looks, their hard penances, their 
bountiful alms ; they did excel in all these things. Therefore do not 
tell me merely of hearing much and praying much ; except your right 
eousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, Christ 
will shut you out of the kingdom of heaven. Christians, it would make 
a man's heart to tremble to consider how far a natural man may go by 
the strength of an unrenewed will ; how just, and patient, and temperate, 
and meek some of the heathens were, how much they could overcome their 
passions, and deny their worldly concernments ; to tell you how far a 
hypocrite ; a temporary believer, or a convinced man may go, and yet 
there must T\ irepiacrov, be something over and above in you, some 
thing more than a heathen can do, or a hypocrite can do, or a temporary 
believer, or a convinced hypocrite can do ; you need to carry piety to 
greater heights, and endeavour after a greater degree of sanctification, 
for there must be something excellent and exceeding both in your hearts 
and lives. 

7. Consider that all things in the Christian religion are transcending 
and high, and call for somewhat more than ordinary. There are great 
obligations, holy precepts, rich advantages, glorious hopes. Great obli- 
gations : God was devising what he should give us, and in the covenant 
he hath given us himself, and could give us no greater thing ; he gave 


us his Son to die for us, and his Spirit, and with Christ he hath given 
us all things. It should constrain and urge us more than it doth : 
2 Cor. v. li, 15, ' For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we 
thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead ; and that he 
died for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live unto them 
selves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.' What a 
poor requital is the best that we can do ! We have too many mercies, 
as too much wood puts out the fire. God's love is gone to the utter 
most, therefore we should not be cold and careless, but double our 
diligence in the work of God. Then we have rich advantages, the 
supplies of the Spirit. A poor heathen may torture and rack his 
brain how to find out a remedy for sin ; some of them, because they 
could not mortify a lust, hanged themselves, and some put out 
their eyes, and offered violence to nature. Oh ! but we have a mighty 
Spirit. Mark I there is not only a person of the godhead to merit our 
salvation, but a person of the godhead to work it out. Next to the 
gift of Christ, we have the gift of the Spirit. Oh ! it should be a shame, 
that when we have such a keen sword to cut the throat of our lusts, 
that we act so faintly, use it so feebly, and are no more valiant. And 
then what pure and excellent precepts have we in the Christian religion, 
reaching not only to the act, but the very aim, to the intents and thoughts 
and secret workings of the heart : Ps. xix. 7, ' The law of the Lord is 
perfect, converting the soul.' And not only to the sin, but to the lust : 
1 Thy commandment is exceeding broad/ Ps. cxix. 96. Then we have 
glorious hopes. The scriptures, that are a perfect rule in all other 
cases, yet herein they profess their imperfection : 1 Cor. xiii. 9, ' We 
prophesy but in part,' words not fit and great enough to tell us of our 
hopes : 2 Cor. iv. 17, ' Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, 
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,' KCL& 
V7repfio\)fv et9 V7rep/3o\r]v. It is the highest strain and reach of fancy. 
In all other things the garment of fancy is too great for the body where 
with it is to be clothed. Fancy never takes a right measure of things ; 
but the highest suppositions are too short to express the greatness of 
those hopes that are provided for you. And then for the dreadful 
punishments ; we are told of a worm that never dies, of a fire that shall 
never be quenched, of a pit without a bottom, of torments that are 
without end, and without ease. Our hearts are filled with horror when 
we do but think of these things : and shall we not burn now with zeal 
for God, when we are in danger of burning in hell-fire for ever hereafter ? 
If now we are cold and slow in good works, it were the most incon 
gruous thing in the world, where there is such a high elevation of duty 
and comfort. The whole scriptures are formed to elevate these things 
to the highest pitch, that we may not be backward and slow in the 
Christian religion. All things are sublime, and therefore call for some 
thing more than ordinary. 

8. Consider the great danger of coldness both to ourselves and others. 
To ourselves ; where there is no zeal, there will be decay : Prov. xviii. 
9, ' He also that is slothful in work is brother to him that is a great 
waster.' Not to go forward is to go backward. Standing pools cor 
rupt ; as a man that rows against the tide and stream, if he doth not 
ply the oar, he will lose ground, and be carried away apace ; so if we 

VOL. xvr. T 


be not zealous we cannot stand and keep our ground, there will be a 
decay. Bernard observes to this purpose, that all the angels in Jacob's 
ladder were either ascending or descending ; there is no stay, but either 
going up or going down. When they lose their first love, their zeal is 
gone : Rev. ii. 4, 5, ' Thou hast left thy first love. Remember there 
fore whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works.' What 
is the reason men grow weary of truth, weary of holiness, weary of prayer, 
ordinances ? They do not keep up a constant diligence. First they 
lost their zeal, they became indifferent, cold, and careless, then off goes 
the service of God ; first their love, and then their works. So consider 
the danger of it to others. Men grow formal by imitation. When 
Christians high in profession grow formal, cold and careless, this makes 
their neighbours so. There is nothing hardens more than a cold pro 
fessor ; it makes men sit upon their lees. Mortified and strict Christians 
upbraid others by their example. A man cannot come into the company 
of a mortified strict Christian but his heart will upbraid and shame him. 
And therefore if in. this general decay we have learned deadness and 
formality one of another, let us strive now who shall be most forward 
in the ways of grace : Heb. x. 24, * Let us Consider one another, to 
provoke to love and good works.' You shall see, in the times when 
idolatry was like to go down, Isa. xli. 6, 7, ' They helped every one his 
neighbour, and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage ; so 
the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with 
the hammer him that smote the anvil/ &c. They were strengthening 
one another to plead for their shrines, and to get up their pictures and 
idols again, that their trade might not go down. Thus idolaters hold 
in a string. Oh I what a religious correspondency should there be in 
the children of God. When the power of godliness is like to decay 
and go down, how should we strengthen and encourage one another and 
provoke one another by holy example to be more zealous, that we may 
not contract the guilt of their deadness and formality ! 

9. Consider, there is no danger in zeal ; we cannot do too much in 
solid piety. The least is more than enough in sin, because everything 
is too much there ; but in grace there is never enough. In external 
worship indeed there may be too much, as in pomp and ceremonies ; 
when men will be decking God's ordinances with gawdery, it is not 
proportionable to the end of worship, therefore there may be too much. 
And in particular exercises there may be too much ; it is good to keep 
a decorum in praying and hearing. But now, in the love of God, and 
zeal for God, and the service of God, and solid piety, there can be no 
excess ; you cannot be too heavenly or too holy. There is a great deal 
of danger of doing too little. Many * come short of the glory of God/ 
Rom. iii. 23. Christians ! you cannot be too busy for saving your 
souls, nor too earnest. 2 Peter i. 11, we are pressed to labour after 
* an abundant entrance.' There are some that are afar off, that do not 
enter at all, that neither strive nor seek to enter, that are as swine, 
filthy, abominable, unprofitable, good for nothing but to ruin themselves, 
as profane persons and heathens ; and some are very nigh to the king 
dom of God, as the moral man upon the brink and border, and as he 
that was ' almost persuaded to be a Christian/ Acts xxvi. 28. Others 
again make a hard shift to get to heaven ; they are scarcely saved, or 

VER. 14.] SERMONS UPON TITUS n. 11-14. 291 

saved as by fire. But others are carried on with full sails, their hearts 
are enlarged to God. This is our duty, to labour to get this abundant 
entrance. Some seek to enter, and are not able ; they go far, and 
yet perish : Luke xiii. 24, ' Many shall seek to enter, but shall not be 

10. Consider, if your hearts be dead and cold, you lose the comfort 
of all your Christian privileges. A dead Christian is as bad as none 
at all. You cannot take comfort in your conversion. A change with 
out life and zeal is but a moral reformation, not a regeneration, for 
regeneration is a quickening, and a begetting to life : Eph. ii. 5,. ' Even 
when we were dead in trespasses and sins, he hath quickened us 
together with Christ/ That is true conversion, where they are not 
only changed, but quickened. Heathens have been changed from 
profaneness to a moral course. If you pretend to close with Christ, 
and find no life, you can take no comfort in your faith ; it is but a 
cloud, a fancy : John x. 10, ' I am come that they might have life, and 
that they might have it more abundantly.' So for repentance and 
trouble for sin ; if no zeal follows it, it is naught : Kev. iii. 19, 'Be 
zealous therefore, and repent/ So for being members of the church ; 
you cannot take comfort of being Christ's members without zeal, for all 
the true members of Christ's mystical body are living stones : 1 Peter 
ii. 5, ' Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house/ It is true 
in the outward building there are some carved stones, so in the visible 
church there are many polished with gifts which may serve in their 
place to hold up the building ; but they are not living stones, for they 
want life. And then for hope, it is but a fancy and dream if we be dead 
and sluggish. It is called ' a lively hope/ 1 Peter L 3 ; and if thou art 
drowsy still, and neglectful of God, surely thou art but in a dream. Canst 
thou take comfort in this, that thou art a constant hearer of the word, 
if thou art as backward to holiness and good works as ever ? Phil ii. 
16, ' Holding forth the word of life;' The word is the word of life ; it 
doth not leave us dull, slow, and backward. If there be not life and 
zeal, all is nothing. 

11. Consider how odious want of zeal is to God. He will not own a 
cold, careless, neutral spirit: Kev. iii. 16, 'So then because thou art 
lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spue thee out of my mouth/ 
Cold lazy professors, that have nothing but a dead form, are as luke 
warm water to the stomach ; and there is nothing the stomach nauseates 
so much as that which is lukewarm. So will God cast them out with 
much loathing ; he will uncase and pluck off their masks, and reveal 
them to the congregation, and make them odious ; this is worse than 
stark cold. It is not enoujrh that we are not violent against the ways 
of God, but are you zealous for God ? otherwise you are odious to God : 
Mat. xxv. 30, * Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness ; ' 
and not only the grossly wicked, but the unprofitable servant. Though 
he did not abuse his talent, nor embezzle it away, yet he hid it in a 
napkin. If you hide your talent, be it parts, estate, or authority, are 
you then zealous for God ? Useless, sapless, lifeless Christians incur 
the penalty of damnation as well as the openly wicked ; they are cast 
into hell ; therefore rest not in a dead form. 

12. Consider how dishonourable it is to the living God to serve him 


\vith a dead heart arid cold affections, when he hath indented with you 
upon such glorious and noble terms. Heathens, that worship the sun, 
offer to him a flying horse, because of the swiftness of his motion : 
2 Kings xxiii. 11, ' He took away the horses that the kings of Judah 
had given to the sun.' So our worshipping of the living God must not 
be dead and cold : 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, that is a living God, must have lively service ; but men worship 
him as a dead idol. In an earthly matter we would not be so cold arid 
careless in our treaties and transactions : Mai. i. 8, * Offer it to thy 
governor ; will he be pleased with you, or accept your person, saith the 
Lord ? ' What you do, it must be done with all the heart and all the 
might. Consider, religion is not a fancy. You do not worship the 
vanities of the gentiles, therefore be not dead, cold, and careless. You 
worship the living God, and he will be served with life, zeal, and 
strength of affection. 



Tliat ~by two immutable tilings, in which it was impossible for God to 
lie, we might have a strong consolation, ivho have fled for refuge 
to lay hold upon the hope set before us. HEB. vi. 18. 

To give you the occasion of these words, we must look back into the 
context. The apostle proveth the firmness of the promises, and yet 
the great need of faith and patience ere they be accomplished. He 
proveth both by the instance of Abraham, who was long exercised in 
waiting, and had God's promise ratified with the most solemn assurance 
that can be conceived under heaven, with an oath, which is held sacred 
and inviolable among all nations. But here some might object, that if 
Abraham had such a special assurance from God, what is that to us ? 
To this the apostle replies, that though God's oath were given to 
Abraham, yet it concerns all the heirs of promise, every believer hath 
the same ground of certainty that Abraham had ; so it is asserted, ver. 
17, 'Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of 
promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath/ 
There is an emphasis in the phrase, ' more abundantly.' God's oath 
was not given out of necessity, but out of condescension. Not out of 
necessity, as if his word was not valid and authentic without an oath, 
but he would give his oath that, over and above and by all solemn 
ways of assurance, the Lord would provide for our certainty and assur 
ance, that we might have strong consolation upon solid grounds, ' That 
by two immutable things/ &c. 

In the words we have the purport and the aim of God's oath, which 
is to give believers more solemn assurance. Take notice of three 

1. The ground of this assurance, ' That by two immutable things, 
in which it is impossible for God to lie/ 

2. The fruit of this assurance, * That we might have strong consola 

3. The persons to whom God hath given this assurance^ we ' who 
have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope that is set before us/ 

Suitable to the three parts there are three main points 


[1.] God's word and oath are the immutable grounds of a believer's 
certainty and confidence. 

[2.] That the fruit of this confidence and certainty is strong con 

[3.] That the persons to. whom God hath deposited his oath, and by 
it administereth so strong a comfort and consolation, are those who fly 
for refuge to take hold of the hope that is set before them. 

Doct. 1. That God's word and God's oath are the immutable grounds 
of a believer's confidence and certainty ; for these are the two immut 
able things spoken of. I shall speak of each distinctly. 

First, God's single word is an immutable ground ; having this, you 
have enough. And so it will appear if you consider the power and the 
certainty of it. 

1. The power of God's word. His word is nothing else but the 
declaration of his powerful will ; the force of it was discovered in 
creating the world. God created all things by his word : Ps. xxxiii. 
9, ' He spake and it was done ; he commanded, and it stood fast.' 
This whole fabric of heaven and earth, which we now behold with 
wonder, was made with a word. And mark, God's creating word and 
word of promise do not differ, they are both the word of God ; and there 
is as much force and power in this word ' I will take away the heart of 
stone/ as there was in this word, ' Let there be light.' There is as 
much power in this sentence, ' I will make your vile bodies to be like 
to Christ's glorious body/ as there was in that word, ' Let there be a 
firmament.' God's word was powerful enough to make a world when 
it was nothing before. All the works of God subsist by the force of 
his word : Heb. i. 3, ' Upholding all things by the word of his power.' 
It is but for God to say, Let it continue, let it be, and either are accord 
ingly. One word is enough to undo the world, and one word is enough 
to uphold and preserve it. God's word is the declaration of his almighty 
and powerful will ; whatever he did in the world, he did it by his word. 
Therefore if you have this immutable ground, if God hath deposited 
and plighted his word, you have enough to establish strong consolation, 
for it is powerful to all purposes and intents whatsoever. 

2. Consider the certainty of it. When the word is gone out of God's 
mouth, it shall not be recalled. The Lord prizeth his faithfulness above 
all things. The scripture must be fulfilled whatever inconveniences 
come of it. Mark the whole course of providence, and you will find 
that God is very tender of his word ; he valueth it above all his works : 
Luke xxt 33, ' Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall 
not pass away.' God is not so tender of heaven and earth but that he 
will break it all to pieces rather than not make good his word ; though 
it be a curious frame and fabric, in which he hath displayed much of 
his glory, yet that shall be dissolved. Heaven and earth do only con 
tinue till all that is prophesied of in the word be fulfilled. We shall 
enjoy the comfort of his word in heaven, when all these things are 
melted away with a fervent heat. Nay, which is more, God valueth 
his word above the human life of Christ his own Son. If God passed 
his word for it, his Son, who was the delight of his soul, equal to him 
in glory, must come from heaven, take a body, and suffer a cruel death : 
* Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to 


do thy will, God/ Ps. xl. 7. God had passed his word to the church 
that it should be so ; therefore, rather than he would go back from 
his word, he sent Christ to die for a sinful world. There was no pro 
mise of more difficulty for God to grant nor for us to believe, than this 
of the incarnation and death of Christ ; yet rather than go back from 
his word Christ must come and die an accursed and shameful death. 

Secondly, The main thing is, what ground of consolation we have in 
God's oath. And there I shall (1.) Show the reasons why God gives 
us his oath over and above his word ; (2.) The several advantages 
which we have by his oath in believing. 

1. For the reasons why God should give this oath. An oath you 
know is given in matters doubtful. Philo saith, An oath is given for 
the manifestation of a matter which is secret and doubtful, and which 
cannot otherwise be determined. To swear in things apparent and 
matters clear is to take the name of God in vain. All matters which 
are clear are otherwise decided ; matters of opinion, by argument ; 
matters of fact, by testimony ; matters of promise, by the single word 
of the party that promises, if he be a person of honour and credit ; but 
always an oath supposes some doubt and controversy that cannot other 
wise be determined. And so much the apostle intimates when he 
says, Heb. vi. 16, 'It is the end of all strife' or controversy. Well, 
then, God's promises being of such absolute certainty, why doth the 
Lord deposit his oath with the creature, since his single and bare word 
is enough. 

I answer The matter itself needs it not, but only in regard of us, 
We look upon the promises with doubtful thoughts ; there is a con 
troversy between God and us ; we have hard thoughts of God, as if he 
would not be so good as his word ; therefore his oath is given, not to 
show the doubtfulness of the thing that is sworn, but the greatness of 
our unbelief. Austin saith, Est exprobatio qucedam infidelitaiis nostrce 
God hereby upbraids us with our unbelief, when he gives us an oath for 
the confirmation of any matter. Briefly, God's oath is given us for two 
reasons to show us the certainty, and to show us the excellency of 
our privileges in Christ. 

Reason 1. To show us the certainty of our privileges in Christ. 
The world makes it a controversy and doubtful matter whether Christ 
came to die for sinners, yea or nay ? whether God will save those that 
take sanctuary at Christ ? God saith, Ay, and we say, No ; and how 
shall the matter be decided ? Observe it, and you will find that there 
are two things which we are apt to suspect in God his good affection 
in making the promise, and his truth in keeping the promise. We 
suspect his good affection, especially when we are in pangs and gripes 
of conscience ; and we suspect his truth in straits and difficulties, 
whenever in the course of God's providence we are cast into such a 
condition that we think he hath forgotten his promise. Now the Lord 
might be highly offended with us for those wicked thoughts we enter 
tain of his majesty, but in a gracious condescension he is pleased to 
put an end to the controversy by an oath. As if the Lord had said, 
Do you doubt of this ? Will you put me to my oath ? Here I am 
ready to take it ; and that the matter may no longer remain in suspense, 
I swear by my life, by my holiness, by whatever you count sacred and 


excellent in me, that whoever among you, whatever he be, that is 
touched with a sense of his sin and misery by nature, if he will run to 
Christ for refuge, take sanctuary in Christ, if he doth belong to my 
unchangeable purposes of grace, I will surely without miscarrying 
bring him to a sure and eternal possession of glory ; and for the 'pre 
sent I will be a father to him, and guide him and keep him as the 
apple of mine eye ; I will be his present help, his guardian, his 
counsellor, during the whole time of his abode in the world, where he 
is only liable to dangers. This was the matter in controversy, and 
this is the substance of God's oath. And I shall show you how apt 
we are to distrust God in all this. We suspect, as I said, either his 
good affection in making the promise, or his truth in keeping the 
promise, so that we need this solemn way of assurance. Therefore 
First, I shall speak to this, that we distrust his good affection, and 
will not believe God upon his single word. What should be the reason 
that nature is so abhorrent from this certainty and assurance, which so 
much concerneth our own peace and comfort ? Take six reasons 

1. Partly because guilt is full of suspicion. We hate those whom 
we have wronged. Proprium est liumani ingenii odisse quos Iccserit. 
First we hurt a person, then we hate him ; so out of fear of revenge 
we suspect all that he doth, all acts of kindness, all tenders and offers 
of reconciliation which come from him. Let me exemplify it in men. 
Thus David speaks of his enemies : Fs. cxx. 7, ' I am for peace, but 
when I speak, they are for war.' David was the wronged party, and 
Dpeg and Saul's courtiers had slandered him, and done him wrong. 
David was willing to forget all this injury, and he comes with an offer 
of peace, but all treaties of peace are in vain. This you will find to 
be the fashion of the world, when they have wronged a person, never 
to trust him any more, lest they should give him opportunity of revenge. 
Thus do we deal with God ; conscience knows we have wronged him, 
slighted his love, and put affronts upon his grace, and therefore, though 
he makes the first offer, we believe it not. Kevengeful man cannot 
think God will be so gracious and merciful, therefore we cannot believe 
those ample purposes of reconciliation. It breaks the back of patience 
to think of forgiving seven times : ' Must I forgive seven times ? ' saith 
Peter. And therefore how can we believe true Lord will pardon so 
many thousand affronts we put upon him day by day? Thus we 
wrong God and sin away our faith, and therefore are not capable of so 
rich a comfort. 

2. Partly because the way of salvation is so rare and wonderful, that 
a man can find no faith for it. The gospel is a mystery, so called by 
the apostle, 1 Tim. iii. 16, ' Great is the mystery of godliness/ Nature 
affords no help here. Theology is natural, but not christology. Nature 
believes there is a God, but not that there is a Christ. The sun and 
moon preach up a God, their sound is gone out into all lands, and pro 
claim everywhere that there is one infinite and eternal power ; and 
conscience preacheth up a judge. But all these natural preachers are 
dumb and silent concerning Christ, not a word concerning a saviour 
and mediator. It could not enter into the thought of an angel to pitch 
upon such a remedy if God had not revealed it to them by the church : 
Eph. iii. 10, ' To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers 
in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom 


of God.' The angels did conceive of this great mystery by observing 
God's dispensations to the church. Well, then, the way of salvation 
being so rare and wonderful, we should never acquiesce and rest 
satisfied with bare declarations, but we need God's oath that the con 
troversy may be determined. When an angel came to bring tidings 
of it to the Virgin Mary, though she were a holy woman, and had 
such an extraordinary way of assurance, yet you find her unbelief 
outstarts her obedience and submission to the will of God : ' How shall 
this be ? ' Luke i. 34. The incarnation of God, the conception of a 
virgin, the death of life itself, all these things are riddles and golden 
dreams to reason ; and without a higher assurance than a bare word, 
we should not be easily satisfied. 

3. Partly because the blessings and privileges we have in Christ 
are so great, and the persons which enjoy them so unworthy, as being 
nothing and deserving nothing, that they exceed all thought and belief : 

1 Cor. ii. 9, ' Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered 
into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that 
love him.' Mark, all the ways by which we can gain any knowledge 
of a thing, they come short ; sense, fancy, reason, eye, ear, heart, of 
man cannot conceive arid cannot tell what to make of these excellent 
privileges we have in Christ ; they cannot furnish him with fit notions 
and apprehensions of such excellent glory as is revealed to us in him. 
To illustrate it by the creatures : If a man had been by when God made 
the world, as the angels were, if he had seen God laying the founda 
tions of all things, he would have wondered what God was about to do, 
for what rare creature the Lord was about to frame this stupendous 
and wonderful fabric, arched with heaven, floored with earth, interlaced 
with waters, decked with fruits and plants, stored with creatures, and 
glazed, if I may so speak, with stars ; who would ever have thought that 
all this furniture and provision was for man, a handful of dust, a poor 
worm not six feet long, that he might be lord of all things, vice-king 
and deputy under God ? Now, if a man would wonder at the honour and 
glory God put upon man at his creation, much more at the privileges 
of our redemption by Christ ; they are matters to be wondered at indeed: 

2 Thes. i. 10, ' Christ shall be glorified in his saints, and admired in all 
them that believe.' This place chiefly concerns the angels, when God 
puts such clarity and splendour upon the body that they shall wonder 
what Christ is about to do with such a contemptible creature as man, that 
newly came out of the grave of rottenness and dust. This text I am 
upon speaks of ' a hope set before us.' If this were but a little opened, 
as our ear hath received a little thereof, if we should tell you what pre 
paration Christ hath made to bring the saints to glory, with what a 
glorious train of angels he will come from heaven, what mansions he 
hath prepared for us in his Father's house, and all this for those that 
have nothing and deserve nothing, unless it be extremity of misery -, 
if a man should tell you Christ would come in such a state, and enter 
tain the saints with such dearness of affection, and receive sinners into 
his bosom, that he would make them his fellow-judges, liken their 
bodies to his own glorious body for brightness and splendour, that such 
pieces of worms, and clods of earth shall be many times brighter than 
the sun, I tell you this would require a strong faith to believe it, and 


we had need of all the averment and assurance that can be given us 
under heaven. If an angel admires at the saints, certainly inferior 
creatures will suspect it. Alas ! what a valuable price can we bring 
and pay to God for all this glory ! We that judge all things by the 
laws of reason and commutative justice, for we give nothing but upon 
valuable consideration, what valuable price can we bring to God? 
What consideration can we give him for so great a glory, and how 
shall we think ever to be partakers of an estate so disproportionate to our 
merit and condition ? Therefore, because our privileges in Christ are so 
great and wonderful, we need not only God's word, but also his oath. 

4. Partly because we ourselves are so false and fickle in all our con 
tracts with one another, especially in our dealings with God, that we 
need to be bound with promise upon promise, and oath upon oath, and 
all little enough to restrain and hold us within the bounds of duty. 
Man is changeable, and breaks vows and covenants and promises, and 
snaps them asunder as a thread and tow is burnt asunder with fire, and 
will not be held with any obligation. It is a Greek proverb, Children 
play with nuts, and men with oaths. It is too often so. Perjury, 
though it be monstrous and barbarous, and dissolves the bonds of 
human societies and confederacies, yet it is no rare thing in the world, 
especially in the latter times. They are said among other sins to be 
infamous for covenant-breaking : 2 Tim. iii. 3, ' Truce-breakers,' &c. 
Thus we deal with one another. But if we should be more faithful to 
men for the safety of our interest, yet how often do we break with God, 
and compass him about with lies : 2 Sam. xxiii. 5, ' He hath made 
with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.' We 
are false and fickle when God is sure. To-day we promise, to-morrow 
we fail. What vow did we ever make to God and kept it ? Now we 
are apt to judge of God's promises by our own. It is usual with man 
to transform God into his own likeness, and to muse of him as we use 
ourselves. The heathens did it grossly, and by a sensible picture ; the 
apostle chargeth it upon them : Horn. i. 23, ' They changed the glory 
of God into an image made like to corruptible man.' They shaped 
God into the picture of man, and still according to the particular genius 
and fancy of each nation. The Spartans, being a warlike people, painted 
their gods in armour, suiting most with their disposition ; the Ethiopians 
painted their gods black and their devils white, because they were a 
black people. But now we do it all spiritually : Ps. 1. 23, ' Thou 
thoughtest I was altogether such an one as thyself.' We judge of God by 
ourselves, and draw a monstrous misshapen picture of him in our minds, 
as if he were revengeful, fierce, fallacious, fickle, and changeable as we 
are. Therefore, to meet with this sin doth the Lord so often disclaim 
the dispositions of a man, that we should not fancy him according to 
the lineaments of a man : Hosea xi. 9, ' I will not execute the fierceness 
of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim ; for I am God, 
and not man/ As if he had said, Do not measure me according to 
your model ; I am not revengeful as you are, and changeable as 
you are ; this is riot my fashion. So Isa. Iv. 8, 9, ' For my thoughts 
are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the 
Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my 
ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' 


You see the distance between earth and heaven is so wondrous great 
that the earth cannot reach it with its mountains, cedars, turrets, smoke, 
and vapours ; it is so great that a star of the heavens, as big as the earth, 
seems to be but a spangle : so infinitely more are the workings of my 
thoughts, and my heart different from your thoughts and your heart. 
More particularly and suitable to the present case : Num. xxiii. 19, 
' God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he 
should repent : hath he said, and shall he not do it ? or hath he spoken 
it, and shall he not make it good ? ' Man is as unstable as water ; his 
point varieth according to the different posture of the times and situa 
tion of his own interest and advantage ; but it is not so with me, saith 
the Lord. Men say and do not, but God's Yea is always yea, and his 
No is always no. This was the speech of Balaam, who was called a 
false prophet, not from the matter of his prophecy, but only from his 
aims. But if you will have it from a more authentic hand, you have 
it out of the mouth of Samuel : 1 Sam. xv. 29, 'The strength of Israel 
will not lie, nor repent ; for he is not a man that he should repent.' 
Mark the reason, for he is not a man. To be a man and to be change 
able is all one. Certainly the frequent inculcation of such passages 
in scripture showeth that we are apt to measure infiniteness by our own 
scantling and size. And therefore, this being man's natural thought, 
God in a condescension, and by way of check, is pleased to give the 
creature this assurance, we have his word and his oath ; so that if we 
would but afford him the favour we use to show to an honest man, we 
have no ground of diffidence and distrust. 

5. Another cause of this unbelief is enmity to the gospel. There is 
a natural contrariety in our hearts both to the privileges and duties of 
the gospel, and because we hate it, we do not easily believe it. The 
pride of man's heart sets him against the privileges of the gospel, and 
carnal liberty against the obedience of it. Man is a proud creature, 
and would be self-sufficient ; he is loath to be beholden to God, as a 
proud man loves a russet coat of his own better than a silken garment 
that is borrowed of another. Thus the apostle complains of the Jews : 
Kom. x. 3, ' They being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going 
about to establish a righteousness of their own, have not submitted 
themselves to the righteousness of God.' There needs some submis 
sion and bearing down of the pride of man, all is borrowed ; here Christ 
is all, and doth all, he hath merited for all, and suffered for all. Now 
this suits not with the pride of man's heart, who would be sufficient 
to himself, and establish a personal merit in himself. And then 
especially is this pride bewrayed when a man hath anything to trust 
to and rest in, as civil righteousness or a formal profession ; it is a hard 
matter then to bring men to submit to the righteousness of God, to 
come hungry and thirsty for Christ's righteousness. There is no pride 
so deadly and mischievous, and opposite to the gospel, as the pride of 
self-conceit and self-sufficiency ; yet this is natural to us ; therefore 
God doth not only say, but swear, that we shall never enter into his 
rest unless we take this course, and run to this hope that is before us. 
And as pride opposeth the privileges of the gospel, so carnal liberty 
opposeth the obedience of the gospel. Men are loath to stoop and 
submit to God's terms. Christ is to be Lord as well as Saviour. Now 
the world will not hear of laws and restraints. You know the nations 


were all for casting away the bonds and cords : Ps. ii. 3, c Let us break 
their bonds asunder, and cast away their cords from us/ In the latter 
ages of the world, it is foretold in the prophecies of scripture, that the 
church is in danger of turning to libertinism : we cast away yoke after 
yoke, till we have left Christ nothing but an empty title. How busy 
are men now to find out a north-east-passage, a nearer cut to heaven ; 
and therefore the Lord swears, and ratifies the whole tenor of the gospel 
by an oath, to meet with our enmity and natural contrariety, which 
makes us so apt to misbelieve. 

6. Another cause why those that are touched with a sense of sin 
suspect God's good affection is a jealousy of assurance, or a secret fear 
of presuming. All the doubts and scruples of a troubled conscience 
come to this issue, and may all be referred to this head, a fear of pre 
suming. Many will plead the number of their sins, and how many 
affronts they have put upon the grace of God. Some will plead the 
greatness and the aggravations of their sins, relapses into sin, sins 
against light, against the advantages of grace ; but they all end in this 
one thing, a fear of being too bold with the comforts of the gospel, and 
that comfort doth not belong to persons in their case. This is the 
cable-rope which keeps them from floating out amain upon the ocean 
of God's mercy, as if the Lord delighted in their grief rather than in 
their assurance and satisfaction. Usually thus it ia with disturbed 
consciences. Trouble that is once swallowed is hardly got up again ; 
and men think sadness is more pleasing to God than comfort, and that 
doubts suit with a Christian frame rather than confidence, and so they 
hug a distemper instead of a duty. Therefore the Lord is fain to swear 
that certain it is. Nay, it is not for nothing that this makes the heart 
of Christ so jo} 7 ful, that we live upon the provision he hath made for 
us: John xv. 11, 'These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy 
might remain in you, and that your joy might be full/ This is the 
very aim of God's oath ; he would show, as I shall further clear by and 
by, that our assurance is more pleasing to him than our doubting ; that 
he is better pleased with our comfort, nay, though it rise up to strong 
comfort, than with our sorrow. Thus you see that diffidence and incre 
dulity is deeply rooted in our nature ; yea, believers themselves are 
liable to many doubts, out of the relics of atheism and unbelief that yet 
remain in them. 

Secondly, I am to show that we are apt to suspect his truth in keep 
ing his promise. When straits and difficulties come, and things go 
cross to our expectation, we had need of more than God's single word 
There is not one of an hundred that lives by faith, and can bottom his 
comfort on a single promise, and can rejoice in the Lord his God when 
outward supports fail. We are led altogether by sense, and therefore 
in cross providences we look upon promises as words of course, and are 
apt to say, Where are his promises, and the soundings of his bowels? 
and where is the ready help which God hath promised in the time of 
trouble ? And therefore, as a prop to the soul, he hath backed his pro 
mise with an oath. Mark it, Christians, it is very usual, even with 
God's dearest children, to unravel their hopes, and to question all upon 
a cross providence; as David: Ps. cxvi. 11, 'I said in my haste, All 
men are liars/ Why doth David retract that charge, and impute it to 
his haste ? The apostle saith, Bom. iii. 4, ' Let God be true, and every 

VER. 18.] SERMONS UPON HEBREWS vi. is. 301 

man a liar.' We are changeable creatures, our beings are a lie ; to 
day we are, and to-morrow we are not ; and so our promises are a lie ; 
we say, and do not ; and therefore why doth David impute it to his 
haste, as if he had spoken something that were untrue ? Certainly, 
there was some blame in the expression, for he acknowledgeth it was 
spoken in haste. The speech hath respect to those messages and 
assurances which were brought to him from the mouth of God by 
Samuel, Nathan, and other prophets. They comforted him with God's 
promises, and now he was thunderstruck, blasted with some sore afflic 
tion, far enough from the case of a man that had many assurances from 
heaven ; now 'all men are liars,' prophets. and all. Once more, Ps. 
xxxi. 22, ' I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes ; 
nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications, when I cried 
unto thee.' God hath cast off all care of David ; he doth not look 
after a poor banished man, which wandereth up and down in the wil 
derness, a poor flea that is chased and hunted to and fro. Such pets 
and passions of distrust, such irregular and unbelieving thoughts usually 
have we upon any cross providence, when sense contradicts the pro 
mise. Always we find sense and distrust making lies of God ; there 
fore a single promise will not serve the turn, but we need an oath. 
Surely if God hath sworn, we may wait upon him. Doubts, now God 
hath passed his oath, do but accuse him of perjury. And therefore 
you shall see the oath of God hath always been the refuge of the saints 
even in the worst of times, when they seemed most of all to lour upon 
their hopes and expectations, Hab. iii. 9. The affairs of the church 
were at that time desperate ; but saith the prophet, ' Thy bow was 
made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. 
Selah.' God for his covenant and oath's sake revived the affairs of the 
church when they were at a desperate pass. It is there expressed in 
the plural number, oaths, because they were often renewed with the 
church ; and they are called ' the oaths of the tribes,' because this was 
the church's treasure, because of the oath God made with the tribes, 
for it is not meant of the oaths the church made with God. Look, as 
the covenant of Abraham is God's covenant made with Abraham, and 
the mercies of David were God's mercies bestowed upon David, so the 
oaths of the tribes are not taken actively for the oaths which the tribes 
deposited with God, but passively for the oath God deposited with the 
tribes, that is, the church. God took this bow out of the case, and 
bestows the arrows of his vengeance upon the adversaries of the church. 
That this exposition is true, it appeareth in what follows, ' Even thy 
word. Selah/ There is his word, and that confirmed by an oath, the 
two immutable things ; these relieve the sinking state of the church. 
It goes ill with the church a long time, that we might have experience 
what God can do. Look what Floras said of the state of Rome, 
Romani prcelio scepe victi, bello nunquam The Romans were often 
overcome in battle, but never in war. So of the church ; they go by the 
worst in some particular cases, and in some particular times, that we 
might try God, and God may try us: but we are safe; Go'd will re 
member the oaths of the tribes ; the oath of God will relieve the most 
desperate case. It is rude blasphemy to say God will not make good 
his oath. Thus you see why God would deposit his oath. 


Reason 2. God sweareth, as for the confirmation of his grace in 
Christ, and to show the certainty of our privileges in Christ, so for the 
commendation and excellency of them. An oath is not lawful but in 
weighty matters ; it must be taken in judgment, as well as in right 
eousness and truth, Jer. iv. 2. In judgment, that is, considerately, upon 
weighty occasions. It is a profaning the name of God, and of such a 
solemn ordinance and part of worship, to make an oath to lacquey upon 
trifles, and upon every small matter ; it must be in matters of weighty 
concernment. There is a severe penalty and sanction annexed to the 
taking of God's name in vain, either rashly or falsely : 'The Lord will 
not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.' So whatever is 
established by God's oath must needs be great and excellent. Certainly 
God would not swear but in weighty matters ; therefore one of his aims 
was that we might the more regard our privileges in Christ. The 
apostle pro veth the excellency of Christ's priesthood by the oath where 
with it was ratified : Heb. vii. 20, 21, 'And inasmuch as not without 
an oath he was made priest ; for those priests were made without an 
oath, but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware, 
and will not repent,' &c. He alludes to Ps. ex. 4, where God is brought 
in, saying to Christ, ' The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou 
art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedeck/ Such administra 
tions as are confirmed with an oath have upon them a seal and mark 
of special excellency. The Lord foresaw that as we were apt to dis 
believe the gospel, so also to despise it ; and therefore, to shame us for 
our neglect as well as our unbelief, to awaken our attention and quicken 
our speed and earnest pursuit, the Lord swears ; his word should be 
regarded, much more his oath. When we are busy about the world ; 
and neglect the great salvation, we put a scorn upon God, as if the 
things he hath confirmed by oath were not worth the looking after. 
When we prefer worldly comforts as more certain, oh I what an injury 
is this to the oath of God ! We read of the sure mercies of David, 
but you are all for lying vanities. We are naturally for the comforts 
that are before us, and look upon it as a riddle to grow rich in promises 
and to live by faith. Are uncertain riches more to be trusted, and a 
better refuge and sanctuary for your souls than God's oath ? It is a 
sign you slight his confirmation and commendation, and so count him 
false and foolish in all the things he proposeth to you. God forbid, 
say you, that we should be guilty of such a blasphemy. You do it not 
in word, but this is the necessary interpretation of your actions. If a 
man should offer you a good bargain upon very easy terms, that would 
bring you a thousand pounds profit, and should confirm it by oath, 
though you did not tell him that he did deceive you with words, yet if 
you go away never heeding it, but should run after smaller matters 
which you purchase with great hazard, would not this argue you 
counted him but false and foolish ; or the thing not worth the taking 
and looking after ? So when God hath pawned his oath, that his 
grace and immutable counsel for salvation belonged to you if you 
would but take sanctuary in Christ, do you not count him false and 
foolish in the proposal when you run after carnal satisfactions, which 
are purchased with the loss of your souls ? 



Tliat ~by two immutable things, in whicJi it was impossible for God to 
lie, &c. HEB. vi. 18. 

II. THE advantages we have by God's oath. What greater assurance 
can we have ? 

1. Consider the sacredness oi an oath in general. You know among 
all nations an oath is accounted a sacred and most solemn way of 
engagement among the sons of men. The apostle saith it is Trepas 
avrCko^ias the end. of strife: Heh. vi. 16, 'An oath for confirma 
tion is to men an end of all strife/ When men solemnly call God to 
witness, though the matter were never so doubtful and controverted 
before, when they take an oath we have no more to say, but believe every 
honest man upon his oath. The heathens have spoken much of an oath. 
One saith, this is the final assurance ; we are bound up, and contented 
when men swear. Another that it is the highest faith that men can 
expect. We owe so much to humanity. All nations by the light of 
nature have found out this remedy and way to end differences. So 
among the Jews ; if there were a strife between Israelite and Israelite, 
Exod. xxii. 11, ' Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, 
and he shall accept thereof.' There was no more stir to be about the 
matter. Perjured persons are the scorn of men, and they have for 
feited the privilege of humanity. Well, then, if the oath of man be so 
sacred and valuable, how much more is the oath of God ! It is impos 
sible for God to lie. He can do all things which argue power, but 
nothing which argueth im potency and weakness, for this were to deny 

2. This oath is so sacred, because the name of God is invoked in it. 
It is the name of God that giveth credit to all other oaths. When men 
swear, saith the apostle, ' They swear by a greater,' Heb. vi. 16, by a 
higher power. Men by sin have lost their credit, and therefore they 
pawn the credit of God. Every oath is an appeal to God as witness 
and judge. For want of other sufficient proof we appeal to God as a 
witness ; so we acknowledge his omnisciency, that he is the searcher of 
the heart and reins. And indeed herein an oath differeth from a vow ; 
in a vow we deal with God as a party, but in an oath we appeal to God 
as a witness. Nay, and in case of forswearing, we appeal to him as a 
judge, and challenge and imprecate his vengeance, wherein we acknow 
ledge his justice and power to avenge the wrong that is done to his 
name. For mark, if a man violate his oath, and forswear himself, the 
wrong is directly done to God ; his truth is falsified, his witness is 
abused, his name is blasphemed ; therefore there is an implicit appeal 
to him for vengeance, if not expressed. Sometimes the execration and 
imprecation is expressed in an oath ; as 1 Kings ii. 23, ' Then King 
Solomon sware by the Lord, saying, God do so to me, and more also, 
&c. So Ruth i. 17, ' The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but 
death part thee and me.' Sometimes it is suppressed, as Ps. xcv. 11, 
' Unto whom I sware in my wrath, If they enter into my rest.' If ! 
What then ? Then count me not a God. The imprecation is sup-