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Full text of "The works of John Owen"

theological ^cminntu, 

A- /« -^ivkion , 

No. Shlf, Se>^n -... 

iVo. Boo/,-, 


"he Jolin :>J. Krebs Donation. 







VOL. X. 









And sold by J. Parker, Oxford ; Deighton and Sons, Cambridge ; D. Brown, 
Waugh and Innes, and H. S. Baynes and Co. Edinburgh ; Clialniers and 
Collins, and M. Ogle, Glasgow ; M. Keene, and R. M. Tims, Dublin. 





Preface • $ 


That the saints have communion with God. 1 John i. 3. considered to that pur- 
pose. Somewhat of the nature of communion in general* • • • 7" 


That the saints have this communion distinctly with the Father, Son, and Spi- 
rit. 1 John V. 7. opened to this purpose. Also, 1 Cor. xii. 4 — 6. Eph. ii. 
18. Father and Son mentioned jointly in this communion. The Father 
solely : the Son also and the Holy Ghost singly. The saints' respective re- 
gard in all worship to each person manifested. Faith in the Father; John 
V. 9, 10. and love towards him ; 1 John ii. 15. Mai. i. 6. So is prayer and 
praise. It is so likewise with the Son ; John xiv. 1. Of our communion with 
the Holy Ghost. The troth farther confirmed ■ 12 


Of the peculiar and distinct communion which the saints have with the Father. 
Observations for the clearing of the whole premised. Our peculiar commu- 
nion with the Father is in love. 1 John iv. 7, 8. 2 Cor. xiii. 13. John xvi. 
26, 27. Rom. v. 5. John iii. 16. xiv. 23. Tit. iii. 4. opened to this purpose. 
What is required of believers, to hold communion with the Father in love. 
His love received by faith. Returns of love to him. God's love to us, and 
ours to him, wherein they agree. Wherein they differ « 22 


Inferences on the former doctrine concerning communion with the Father in 
love • 39 



Of the fellowship which the saints have with Jesus Christ the Son of God. That 
they have such a fellowship proved. 1 Cor. i. 9. Rev. iii. 20. Cant. ii. 1 — 7 
opened. Prov. ix. 1— 5" • • 49 



What it is wherein we have peculiar fellowship with the Lord Christ. This is 
in grace. This proved ; John j. 14. 16, 17. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 2 Thess. iii. 
17, 18. Grace, of various acceptations. Personal grace in Christ proposed 
to consideration. The grace of Christ as Mediator intended ; Psal. xlv. 2. 
Cant. V. 9. Christ how white and ruddy. His fitness to save, from the grace 
of union. His fulness to save. His suitableness to endear. These conside- 
rations improved 57 


Of the way and manner whereby the saints hold communion with the Lord 
Christ, as to personal grace. The conjugal relation between Christ arid the 
saints. Cant. ii. 16. Isa. liv. 5, &c. Cant. iii. 11. opened. The way of com- 
munion in conjugal relation. Hos. iii. 3. Cant. i. 15- on the part of Christ; on 
the part of the saints. QS 


Some excellencies of Christ proposed to consideration, to endear our hearts unto 
him. His description. Cant. v. opened • 72 


All solid wisdom laid up in Christ. True wisdom wherein it consists. Know- 
ledge of God, in Christ only to be obtained. What of God may be known 
by his works. Some properties of God not discovered but in Christ only ; 
Jove, mercy : others not fully but in him ; as vindictive justice, patience, 
wisdom, all-sufficiency. No property of God savingly known but in Christ. 
What is required to a saving knowledge of tiie properties of God. No true 
knowledge of ourselves but in Christ. Knowledge of ourselves wherein it 
consisteth. Knowledge of sin how to he had in Christ. Also, of righteous- 
ness and of judgment. The wisdom of walking with God hid in Christ. 
What is required thereunto. Other pretenders to the title of wisdom, ex- 
amined and rejected. Christ alone exalted 90 


Of communion with Christ in a conjugal relation in respect of consequential af- 
fections. His delight in his saints first insisted on. Isa. Ixii. 5. Cant. iii. 11. 
Prov. viii. 21. Instance of Christ's delight in believers. He reveals his 
whole heart to them; John xv. 14, 15. Himself; 1 John xiv. 21. His king- 
dom. Enables them to communicate their mind to him, giving them assist- 
ance; a way ; boldness ; Rom. viii. 26, 27. The saints' delight in Christ ; 
this manifested. Cant. ii. 7. viii. 6. iii. 1 — 5. opened. Their delight in his 
servants and ordinances of worship for his sake 144 


Other consequential affections ; 1. On the part of Christ. He values liis 
saints. Evidences of (hat valuation. 1. His incarnation. 2. Exinanition. 


2 Cor. viii. 9. Phil. ii. 6, 7. 3. Obedience as a servant. 4. In his death. 
His valuation of them in comparison of others. Believers' estimation of 
Christ, t. They value him above all other things and persons. 2. Above 
their own lives. 3. All spiritual excellencies. The sum of all on the part of 
Christ. The sum on the part of believers. The third conjugal affection on 
the part of Christ, pity or compassion, wherein manifested. Suffering and 
supply, fruits of compassion. Several ways whereby Christ relieves the saints 
under temptations. His compassion in their afflictions. Chastity, the thiid 
conjugal affection in the saints. The fourth on the part of Christ, bounty ; 
on the part of the saints, duty 163 


Of communion with Christ in purchased grace. Purchased grace' considered 
in respect of its rise and fountain. The first rise of it, in the obedience of 
Christ. Obedience properly ascribed to Christ. Two ways considered. 
What it was, and wherein it did consist. Of his obedience to the law in ge- 
neral. Of the law of the Mediator. His habitual righteousness how neces- 
sary, as also his obedience to the law of the Mediator. Of his actual obe- 
dience or active righteousness. All Christ's obedience performed as he was 
Mediator. His active obedience for us. This proved at large ; Gal. iv. 4, 5. 
Rom. V. 19. Phil. iii. 19. Zech. iii. 3 — 5. One objection removed. Con- 
siderations of Christ's active righteousness closed. Of the death of Christ, 
and its influence into our acceptation with God ; a price ; redemption, what 
it is. A sacrifice ; atonement made thereby; a punishment; satisfaction 
thereby. The intercession of Christ; with its influence into our acceptation 
with God 189 


The nature of purchased grace, refer ed to three heads. 1. Of our accepta- 
tion with God. Two parts of it. Of the grace of sanctification. The seve- 
ral parts of it ^ 207 


How the saints hold communion with Christ as to their acceptation with God. 
What is required on the part of Christ, hereunto ; in his intention ; in the 
declaration thereof. The sum of our acceptation with God, wherein it con- 
sists. What is required on the partof believers to this communion ; and liow 
they hold it with Christ. Some objections proposed to consideration ; why 
tlie elect are not accepted immediately on the undertaking, and the death of 
Christ; in what sense they are so. Christ a common or public person. How 
he came to be so. The way of our acceptation with God on that account. 
The second objection. The necessity of our obedience stated ; Eph. ii. 8 — 
10. Tlie grounds, causes, and ends of it manifested. Its proper place in 
the new covenant. How the saints in particular hold communion with Christ 
in this purchased grace. They approve of this righteousness; the grounds 
thereof. Reject their own ; the grounds thereof. The commutation of sin 
and righteousness between Christ and believers. Some objections an- 
swered I'l;* 




Of communion with Christ in holiness. Tlie several acts ascribed unto the 
Lord Christ herein. 1. His intercession. 2. Sending of the Spirit. 3. 
Bestows habitual grace. What that is, and wherein it consists. This 
purchased by Christ ; bestowed by him. Of actual grace. How the saints 
hold communion with Christ in these things, manifested in sundry parti- 
culars 242 


Of communion with Christ in privileges: of adoption ; the nature of it; tlic 
consequences of it; peculiar privileges attending it; liberty, title, boldness, 
affliction, communion with Christ hereby • • 254 



The foundation of our communion with the Holy Ghost. John xvi. 1 — 7. opened 
at large. napaxXwro?, a comforter ; w ho he is. The Holy Ghost, his own 
will in his coming to us ; sent also by Christ. The Spirit sent as a sanclifier 
and as a comforter. The adjuncts of his mission considered. The foundation 
of his mission; Johnxv. 26. His procession from the Father twofold ; as to 
personality or to office. Things considerable in liis procession as to office. 
The manner of his collation. He is given freely ; sent authoritatively. The 
sin against the Holy Ghost, whence unpardonable. How we ask tlie Spirit 
of the Father. To grieve the Spirit, wliat. Poured out. How the Holy 
Ghost is received ; l)y faith. Faith's actings in receiving the Holy Ghost. 
His abode with us, how declared. How we may lose our comfort, whilst the 
Comforter abides with us 273 


Of the actings of the Holy Ghost in us being bestowed on us. He worketh ef- 
fectually, distributeth, giveth 287 


Of the things wherein we have communion with the Holy Ghost. He brings 
to remembrance tlie things spoken by Christ; John xiv. 26. The manner 
how he doth it. The Spirit glorifies Christ in the hearts of believers ; John 
xvi. 14. sheds abroad the love of God in them. The witness of tlie Spirit, 
what it is; Rom. viii. 16. The sealing of the Spirit ; Eph. i. 13. The Spirit, 
liow an earnest, on the part of God, on the part of the saints. Difference be- 
tween the earnest of the Spirit, and tasting of the powers of the world to 
come. Unction by the Spirit; Isa. xi. 2, 3. The various teachings of the 
Holy Ghost. How the Spirit of adoption ; and of supplication 289 




The general consequences in the hearts of believers, of the effects of the Holy 
Ghost before-mentioned. Consolation; its adjuncts, peace, joy; how it is 
wrought immediately, mediately 306 


Some observations and inferences from discourses foregoing concerning the 
Spirit. The contempt of the whole administration of the Spirit by some. 
The vain pretence of the Spirit by others. The false spirit discovered 312 


Of particular communion with the Holy Ghost. Of preparation thereunto. 
Valuation of the benefits we receive by him. What it is he comforts us in, 
and against ; wherewith ; how 318 

The general ways of the saints' acting in communion with the Holy Ghost • • • 324 

Particular directions for communion with the Holy Ghost 330 

A Vindication of the preceding Discourse 341 


Preface - . . . . 451 

The doctrine of the holy Trinity explained and vindicated 469 

Of the person of Christ • 512 

Of the satisfaction of Christ 518 

An Appendix 554 












God is love. 1 John iv. 8. 

Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest. Cant. i. 7. 

Make haste my beloved. Cant. viii. 14. 

Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption. 

Eph. iv. 30. 
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of 

administrations, but the same Lord, and there are diversities of operations, but it 

is the same God. 1 Cor. xii. 4 — 6. 

VOL. X. 


Christian Reader, 

It is now six years past, since I was brought under an 
engagement of promise for the publishing of some me- 
ditations on the subject which thou wilt find handled in 
the ensuing Treatise. The reasons of this delay, being 
not of public concernment, I shall not need to mention. 
Those who have been in expectation of this duty from 
me, have for the most part been so far acquainted with 
my condition and employments, as to be able to satisfy 
themselves, as to the deferring of their desires. That 
which I have to add at present is only this ; having had 
many opportunities, since the time I first delivered any 
thing in public on this subject (which was the means 
of bringing me under the engagements mentioned), to 
reassume the consideration of what I had first fixed on, 
I have been enabled to give it that improvement, and 
to make those additions to the main of the design and 
matter treated on, that my first debt, is come at length 
to be only the occasion of what is now tendered to the 
saints of God. I shall speak nothing of the subject 
here handled ; it may, I hope, speak for itself, in that 
spiritual savour and relish which it will yield to them, 
whose hearts are not so filled with other things, as to 
render the sweet things of the gospel bitter to them. 



The design of the whole treatise, thou wilt find, Chris- 
tian reader, in the first chapters of the first part : and 
I shall not detain thee here with the perusal of any- 
thing- which in its proper place will offer itself unto 
thee : know only, that the whole of it hath been re- 
commended to the grace of God in many supplications, 
for its usefulness unto them that are interested in the 
good things mentioned therein. 

J. O. 

Oxon. Ch. Ch. Coll. 
July 10, 1657. 


Alphonsus, king of Spain, is said to have found 
food and physic in reading Livy : and Ferdinand, king 
of Sicily, in reading Quintus Curtius. But thou hast 
here nobler entertainments, vastly richer dainties, in- 
comparably more sovereign medicines ; I had almost 
said, the very highest of angel's food is here set before 
thee. And, as Pliny speaks, ' permista deliciis auxilia :' 
things that minister unto grace and comfort ; to holy 
life and liveliness. 

Such is this treatise. This, which is the only one 
extant, upon its great and necessary subject; this, 
whose praise hath been long in the churches, and hath 
gone enamelled with the honourable reproaches of 
more than one English Bolsec ; this, whose great au- 
thor, like the sun, is well known to the world, by emi- 
nence of heavenly light and labours; this, which as 
his many other works, can be no other than manna 
unto sound Christians ; though no better than stone and 
serpent to Socinians and their fellow-commoners. 

Importunity hath drawn me to say thus much 
more than I could think needful to be said concerning 
any work of Dr. Owen's.- Needful in our day itself; 
a day wherein, ' pauci sacras scripturas, plures nomina 
rerum, plurimi nomina magistrorum sequuntur.' * Few 
do cleave to the Holy Scriptures ; many do rest in 
scholastic senseless sounds; and most men do hang 
their faith upon their rabbi's sleeves.' 

This only I add ; of the swarms every day rising, 
there are few books but do want their readers. Yet if 
I understand aright, there are not many readers but do 
want this book. 


In which censure I think, I am no tyrant, which 
the philosopher names the worst of wild beasts : and 
I am sure I atn no flatterer, which he calls, as justly, 

the worst of tame beasts. koI ravra fAv ^e ravra.^ 

Let the simple souls (the ' paucissimse lectionis 
mancipia') who take the doctrine of distinct commu- 
nion with the Divine Persons, to be a new fangled one, 
and uncouth ; observe the words of the Reverend Mr. 
Sam. Clark (the annotator on the Bible), in his sermon 
on 1 John i. 7. It is to be noted, that there is a dis- 
tinct fellowship with each of the persons of the blessed 
Trinity. Let them attend what is said by Mr. Lewis 
Stucley, in his preface to Mr. Polwheil's book of 
quenching the Spirit; it is a most glorious truth, 
though considered but by few, that, believers have, or 
may have, distinct communion with the three persons. 
Father, Son, and Spirit. This is attested by the finger 
of God, and solemnly owned by the first and best age 
of Christianity. To name no more, let them read heed- 
fully but the second chapter of this treatise, and it is 
hoped that then they shall no longer ' contra antidoturn 
insanire ;' no longer rage against God's holy medicinal 
truth, as St. Austin saith he did, while he was a Ma- 
nichee ; testifying in so many words his error was his 
very God. 

Reader, I am 

Thy servant in Christ Jesus, 





That the saints have communion with God. 1 John i. 3. considered to that 
purpose. Somewhat of the nature of communion in general. 

In the first epistle of John, chap. i. ver. 3. the apostle as- 
sures them to whom he wrote, that the fellowship of be- 
lievers 'is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ:'* 
and this he doth with such an unusual kind of expression as 
bears the force of an asseveration, whence we have rendered 
it, * Truly our fellowship,' &c. 

The outward appearance and condition of the saints in 
those days being very mean and contemptible, their leaders 
being accounted as the filth of this world, and as the ofF- 
scouring of all things,*" the inviting others unto fellowship 
with them, and a participation of the precious things which 
they did enjoy, seems to be exposed to many contrary rea- 
sonings and objections. What benefit is there in com- 
munion with them ? Is it any thing else but to be sharers in 
troubles, reproaches, scorns, and all manner of evils ? To 
prevent or remove these and tlue like exceptions, the apostle 
gives them to whom he wrote to know (and that with some 
earnestness of expression), that notwithstanding all the 
disadvantages their fellowship lay under, unto a carnal view, 
yet in truth it was and would be found to be (in reference 
to some with whom they held it), very honourable, glorious, 

* Kai h Koivwvi'a Se h hf^tri^tt, &c. 
b'ii? 'Brepmaba^ixara tou xoV/aou. 1 Cor. iv. 8 — 13. Rom. viii, 35, 36. Heb. x. 
32 — 34. Christianos ad leones. Et puto nos Deus apostolos novissimos elegit veiuti 
bestiaries. Tert. de Pud. Acts xvii. 18. Gal. vi. 12. Sempercasuris similes, nunquam- 
que cadentes. 


and desirable. ' For truly/ saith he, ' our fellowship is with 
the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.' 

This being so earnestly and directly asserted by the 
apostle, we may boldly follow him with our affirmation, viz. 
*That the saints of God have communion with him.' And 
a holy and spiritual communion it is, as shall be declared. 
How this is spoken distinctly in reference to the Father and 
the Son, must afterward be fully opened and carried on. 

By nature, since the entrance of sin, no man hath any 
communion with God. He is light,*' we darkness ; and 
what communion hath light with darkness? [He is life, we 
are dead. He is love, and we are enmity; and what agree- 
ment can there be between us ? Men in such a condition, 
have neither Christ,* nor hope, nor God in the world ; 
Eph. ii. 12. • being alienated from the life of God through 
the ignorance that is in them.' chap. iv. 18. Now, 'two 
cannot walk together unless they be agreed ;' Amos iii. 3. 
Whilst there is this distance between God and man, there 
is no walking together for them in any fellowship, or com- 
munion. Our first interest in God, was so lost by sin," as 
that there was left unto us (in ourselves) no possibility of a 
recovery. As we had deprived ourselves of all power for a 
returnal, so God had not revealed any way of access unto 
himself, or that he could under any consideration be ap- 
proached unto by sinners, in peace. Not any work that 
God had made, not any attribute that he had revealed, could 
give the least light into such a dispensation. 

The manifestation of grace and pardoning mercy, which 
is the only door of entrance into any such communion, is not 
committed unto any but unto him alone,^ in whom it is, by 
whom that grace and mercy was purchased, through whom 
it is dispensed, who reveals it from the bosom of the Father. 
Hence this communion and fellowship with God is not in 
express terms mentioned in the Old Testament. The thing 
itself is found there ; but the clear light of it, and the bold- 

f t John i. 5. 2 Cor. vi, 14. Eph. v. 8. John v. 16. Matt. xxii. 32. Eph. ii. 1. 
1 John iv. 8. Rom. viii. 7. 

•* Magna honiinis miseria est cum illo non esse, sine quo non potest esse. August. 

« Eccles. vii. 29. Jer. xiii. "23. Acts. iv. 12. Isa. xxxiii. 14, 15. 

'John i. 18. Heb. x. 19 — 21. Unus verusque Mediator per sacrificium pacis 
reconcilians nos Deo ; unum cum illo manebat cui offerebat, unum in se fecit, pro 
quibus offerebat, unus ipse fuit, qui offerebat : et quod offerebat. August de Trinit. 4. 


ness of faith in it, is discovered in the gospel, and by the 
Spirit administered therein. By that Spirit, we have this 
liberty ; 2 Cor. iii. 17, 18. Abraham was the friend of 
God ; Isa. xli. 8. David, a man after his own heart ; Enoch 
walked with him ; Gen. v. 24. all enjoying this communion 
and fellowship for the substance of it. But the way into 
the holiest was not yet made manifest, whilst the first taber- 
nacle was standing ; Heb. ix. 8. Though they had com- 
munion with God, yet they had not Trappnaiav , a boldness 
and confidence in that communion. This follows the en- 
trance of our high-priest into the most holy place ; Heb. iv. 
16. X. 9. The veil also was upon them, that they had not 
eXevOepiav, freedom and liberty in their access to God ; 2 Cor. 
iii. 15, 16, &.C. But now in Christ we have ^boldness and 
access with confidence to God ; Eph. iii. 12. This bold- 
ness and access with confidence, the saints of old were not 
acquainted with. By Jesus Christ alone, then, on all consi- 
derations as to being, and full manifestation, is this distance 
taken away. ' He hath consecrated for us a new and living 
way (the old being quite shut up) through the veil, that is 
to say, his flesh ;' Heb. x. 20. ' and through him we have 
an access by one Spirit unto the Father ;' Eph. ii. 18. 
* We who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the 
blood of Christ, for he is our peace,' &c. ver. 13, 14. Of 
this foundation of all our communion with God, more after- 
ward, and at large. Upon this new bottom and foundation, 
by this new and living way, are sinners admitted unto com- 
munion with God, and have fellowship with him. And 
truly for sinners to have fellowship with God, the infinitely 
holy God, is an astonishing dispensation.^ To speak a 
little of it in general ; communion relates to things and 
persons. A joint participation in any thing whatever, good 
or evil,' duty or enjoyment, nature or actions, gives this de- 
nomination to them so partaking of it, A common interest 
in the same nature gives all men a fellowship or com- 
munion therein. Of the elect it is said, ra TraiSia KeKoivwvrjKe 
ixapKog KOI aifxaTog. Heb. ii. 14. * those children partook of* 

S TTappno'lav Kal thv npoo'ctyoDyiiv h W£7roi&i5o-£i. 

'' 1 John iii. 1. <i>i'Kci>v fxiv ovtwv oiSsv Ssi" Sixaiss'i/j'i);, Stxctioi Jl ovte; ijrpos-JeevTai tpiXiaj. 
Arist. Eth. lib. 8. cap. 1. 

• Queniadraoduni nobis arrhabonem spiritus reliquit, ita et a nobis arrliabonem 
carnisaccepit, etvexitin coelum,pigi>.us totius sumniBC illucredigendae.Tertul. Ilesur. 

10 OF commu'nion with god. 

(or had fellowship in with the rest of the world) 'flesh and 
blood;' the same common nature with the rest of mankind; 
and therefore Christ also came into the same fellowship : 
KOI avTog TrapaTT\ri(Ti(s)Q fxeriaxe twv avru)v. There is also a 
communion as to state and condition, whether it be good or 
evil ; and this either in things internal and spiritual, such 
as is the communion of saints among themselves ; or in 
respect of outward things ; so was it with Christ and the 
two thieves, as to one condition, and to one of them in re- 
spect of another. They were tv ry avT<^ Kpifian, under the 
same sentence to the cross; Luke xxxii. 40. 'ejusdem do- 
loris socii.' They had communion as to that evil condition 
whereunto they were adjudged. And one of them requested, 
which he also obtained, a participation in that blessed con- 
dition whereupon our Saviour was immediately to enter. 
There is also a communion or fellowship in actions, whether 
good or evil. In good, is that communion and fellowship 
in the gospel, or in the performance and celebration of that 
worship of God, which in the gospel is instituted, which 
the saints do enjoy ; Phil. i. 5. which as to the general kind 
of it, David so rejoices in, Psal. xlii. 4. In evil, was that, 
wherein Simeon and Levi were brethren; Gen. xlix. 5. 
They had communion in that cruel act of revenge and mur- 
der. Our communion with God is not comprised in any 
one of these kinds; of some of them it is exclusive. It 
cannot be natural. It must be voluntary and by consent. 
It cannot be of state and conditions, but in actions. It 
cannot be in the same actions upon a third party, but in a 
return from one to another. The infinite disparity that is 
between God and man, made the great philosopher conclude, 
that there could be no friendship between them.'' Some 
distance in the persons holding friendship he could allow ; 
nor could exactly determine the bounds and extent thereof; 
but that between God and man, in his apprehension left no 
place for it. Another says, indeed, that there is ' commu- 
nitas homini cum Deo,' a certain fellowship between God 
and man ; but the general intercourse of providence is all 
he apprehended. Some arose to higher expressions, but they 

'' 'Axgi^i;? juEV dtiv Iv ToiouTui? oJx la-riv ofitr/xof, emg ti'vo? oi ifiXoi, maXhSv yap afat^Of^e- 
vw9,'irt /lAEVEi, TToXu Se jj^cDf is-flf vT»j oTov Tou QioZovKiti. Arjstot. Eth. lib. 8. c. 7. Cicer.de 
nat. D. lib. 1. 


understood nothing; whereof they spake. This knowledge 
is hid in Christ, as will afterward be made to appear. It 
is too wonderful for nature, as sinful and corrupted. Terror 
and apprehensions of death at the presence of God, is all 
that it guides unto. But we have, as was said, a new foun- 
dation, and a new discovery of this privilege. 
, Now communion is the mutual communication of such 
good things, as wherein the persons holding that communion 
are delighted, bottomed upon some union between them. 
So it was with Jonathan and David, their souls ' clave to 
one another,' 1 Sam. xx. 17. in love.^ There was the union 
of love between them ; and then they really communicated 
all issues of love mutually.™ In spiritual things this is more 
eminent: those who enjoy this communion have the most 
excellent union for the foundation of it ; and the issues of 
that union which they mutually communicate are the most 
precious and eminent. 

Of the union, which is the foundation of all that commu- 
nion we have with God, I have spoken largely elsewhere, 
and have nothing farther to add thereunto. 

Our communion then with God, consisteth in his com- 
munication of himself unto us, with our returnal unto him, 
of that which he requireth and accepteth, flowing from that 
union which in Jesus Christ we have with him. And it is 
twofold : (1.) Perfect and complete, in the full fruition of his 
glory, and total giving up of ourselves to him, resting in him, 
as our utmost end, which we shall enjoy, when we see him 
as he is :° and, (2.) Initial and incomplete, in the first-fruits 
and dawnings of that perfection, which we have here in grace, 
which only I shall handle. 

It is then, I say, of that mutual communicationo in giving 
and receiving, after a most holy and spiritual manner, which 
is between God and the saints while they walk together in 
a covenant of peace, ratified in the blood of Jesus, whereof 
we are to treat. And this we shall do, if God permit, in the 
meantime, praying the God and the Father of our Lord 

' riavTa Ta t£v (fiXoiv »otva. 

°» Ktti h 7ragoi/t*itt, »oiv* to, <pi\Sv, opSSi;, h xoivauvict yif h ^t'hia. Arist. Etii. 8. 

» Nostra quippe et ipsius conjunctio, nee miscet personas, necuit substantias, 
led alFectus consociat, et confaederat voluntates. Cyp. de Cffin. Dominic. 

• Magna est etiatn ilia communitas, quae conficitur ex beneficiis ultro citroque datis, 
acceptisque. Cic. Off. 1. 


and Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath of the riches of his 
grace, recovered us from a state of enmity, into a condition 
of communion and fellowship with himself, that both he that 
writes, and they that read the words of his mercy, may have 
such a taste of his sweetness and excellencies therein, as to 
be stirred up to a farther longing after the fulness of his 
salvation, and the eternal fruition of him in glory. ^ 


That the saints have tJiis communion distinctly with the Father, Son, and Spi- 
rit. 1 John V. 7. opened to this purpose. Also, 1 Ccr. xii. 4 — 6. Eph. 
ii. 18. Father and Son mentioned jointly in this communion. The Father 
soUly : the Son also and the Holy Ghost singly. The saints respective re- 
yard in all worship to each jiei'son manifested. Faith in the Father ; 
John V. 9, 10. and love towards him. 1 John ii. 15. Mai. i. 6. So is 
prayer and praise. It is so likewise with the Son; John xiv. 1. Of our 
communion with the Holy Ghost. The truth farther confirmed. 

That the saints have communion with God, and what com- 
munion in general is, was declared in the first chapter. The 
manner how this communion is carried on, and the matter 
wherein it doth consist, comes next under consideration. 
For the first, in respect of the distinct persons of the God- 
head, with whom they have this fellowship, it is either dis- 
tinct and peculiar, or else, obtained and exercised jointly and 
in common. That the saints have distinct communion with 
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (that is, dis- 
tinctly with the Father, and distinctly with the Son, and 
distinctly with the Holy Spirit), and in what the peculiar 
appropiation of this distinct communion unto the several 
persons, doth consist, must in the first place be made ma- 

1 John V. 7. the apostle tells us, ' there are three that 
bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spi- 
rit.' In heaven they are, and bear witness to us. And what 

* Ecce dico aliura esse patrem, et alium filiuin, non divisione aliaiu, sed distinc- 
tioiie. Tertul. adv. Prax. 

'Ou 4)&ova> TO I'v yonaai, Koi raiq Tjio-t 'jtl^i'ha.ixm/xai, oli <p^avii) ra Tgia JitXEiv, Kai £if 
TO iv ava<fi^ofAai, Greg. Naz. 


is it that they bear witness unto ? Unto the Sonship of 
Christ, and the salvation of believers in his blood. Of the 
carrying on of that, both by blood and water, justification 
and sanctification, is he there treating. Now how do they 
bear witness hereunto ? even as three, as three distinct wit- 
nesses. When God witnesseth concerning our salvation, 
surely it is incumbent on us to receive his testimony. And 
as he beareth witness, so are we to receive it. Now this is 
done distinctly. The Father beareth witness, the Son bear- 
eth witness, and the Holy Spirit beareth witness ; for they 
are three distinct witnesses. So then are we to receive their 
several testimonies, and in doing so, we have communion 
with them severally ; for in this giving and receiving of tes- 
timony, consists no small part of our fellowship with God : 
wherein their distinct witnessing consists, will be afterward 

1 Cor. xii. 4 — 6. the apostle, speaking of the distribu- 
tion of gifts and graces unto the saints, ascribe them dis- 
tinctly in respect of the fountain of their communication 
unto the distinct persons. * There are diversities of gifts, but 
the same Spirit :'^ the one and the selfsame Spirit, that is, 
the Holy Ghost ; ver. 12. * and there are differences of ad- 
ministrations, but the same Lord :' the same Lord Jesus ; ver. 
3. ' and there are diversities of operations, but it is the 
same God,' &c, even the Father; Eph. iv. 6. So graces and 
gifts are bestowed, and so are they received. 

And not only in the emanation of grace from God, and 
the elapses of the Spirit on us, but also in all our approaches 
unto God, is the same distinction observed.'' ' For through 
Christ, we have an access by one Spirit, unto the Father;' 
Eph. ii. 18. Our access unto God (wherein we have com- 
munion with him) is dia Xpiarov, ' through Christ,' ev Trvivfiari 
*in the Spirit,' and irpog tov Trarepa, '[unto the Father.' The 
persons being here considered, as engaged distinctly into 
the accomplishment of the counsel of the will of God, re- 
vealed in the gospel. 

Sometimes, indeed, there is express mention made only 

* X*fiVfi*Ttt, htiKoviai, hi^Y>if*ara. 
c Tlaffav SIflcriv itai itfoa-evx^v «*« evteu^iv, koI dxtf^a-rlttv ovawE/^WTeov tw Iw( -^aa-i 
Stem, Sia -rot) Iwt ffivTwv ayylXw afXiipi<»i if*ivxov hiyov Kal SiioZ. Orig. Cont. CeJf. 
lib'. 5. 


of the Father and the Son; 1 John i. 3. ' Our fellowship is 
with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.' The parti- 
cle ' and' is both distinguishing and uniting. Also, John 
xiv. 23. ' If a man love me, he will keep my words : and my 
Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make 
our abode with him.' It is in tliis communion, wherein 
Father and Son do make their abode with the soul. 

Sometimes the Son only is spoken of as to this purpose. 
1 Cor. i. 9. ' God is faithful by whom ye were called unto 
the fellowship of his only Son Jesus Christ our Lord.' And 
Rev. iii. 10. 'If any man hear my voice and open the door, 
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with 
me ;' of which place afterward. 

Sometimes the Spirit alone is mentioned; 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 
' The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all.' 
This distinct communion then of the saints with the Father, 
Son, and Spirit, is very plain in the Scripture ; but yet, it 
may admit of farther demonstration. Only this caution I 
must lay in before-hand. Whatever is affirmed in the pursuit 
of this truth, it is done with relation to the explanation en- 
suing, in the beginning of the next chapter. 

The way and means then on the part of the saints, where- 
by in Christ they enjoy communion with God, are all the 
spiritual and holy actings,'* and outgoings of their souls in 
those graces, and by those ways, wherein both the moral 
and instituted worship of God doth consist. Faith, love, 
trust, joy, &c. are the natural or moral worship of God, 
whereby those in whom they are, have communion with him. 
Now these are either immediately acted on God, and not 
tied to any ways or means outwardly manifesting themselves, 
or else they are farther drawn forth, in solemn prayer and 
praises, according unto that way which he hath appointed. 
That the Scripture doth distinctly assign all these unto the 
Father, Son, and Spirit : manifesting that the saints do, in 
all of them, both as they are purely and nakedly moral, and 
as farther clothed with instituted worship, respect each per- 
son respectively, is that, which to give light to the assertion 
in hand, I shall farther declare by particular instances. 

1. For the Father. Faith, love, obedience, &c. are peculi- 

^ Hie tibi praecipup sit pura mente colendus. 


arly, and distinctly yielded by the saints unto him, and he 
is peculiarly manifested in those ways as acting peculiarly 
towards them, which should draw them forth, and stir them 
up thereunto. He gives testimony unto, and beareth wit- 
ness of his Son ; 1 John v. 9. * This is the witness of God 
which he hath testified of his Son.' In his bearing witness 
he is an object of belief. When he gives testimony (which 
he doth as the Father, because he doth it of the Son) he is 
to be received in it by faith. And this is affirmed ver. 10, 
* He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in 
himself.' To believe on the Son of God in this place, is, to 
receive the Lord Christ as the Son, the Son given unto us,* 
for all the ends of the Father's love, upon the credit of the 
Father's testimony : and therefore, therein is faith immedi- 
ately acted on the Father. So it follows in the next words, 
' He that believeth not God (that is, the Father, who bears 
witness to the Son) makes him a liar. * Ye believe in God,' 
saith our Saviour, John xiv. 1. that is, the Father, as such ; 
for he adds, * believe also in me :' or, believe you in God ; be- 
lieve also in me. God as the pritJia Veritas, upon whose au- 
thority is founded, and whereinto all divine faith is ultimately 
resolved, is not to be considered vTroaraTiKwg, as peculiarly 
expressive of any person, but ovffiwSwc, comprehending the 
whole Deity, which undividedly is the prime object thereof. 
But in this particular it is the testimony and authority of 
the Father, as such, therein, of which we speak, and where- 
upon faith is distinctly fixed on him : which if it were not so, 
the Son could not add, * believe also on me.' 

The like also is said of love. 1 John ii. v. 15. ' If any 
man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.' 
That is, the love which we bear to him, not that which we 
receive from him. The Father is here placed, as the object 
of our love, in opposition to the world, which takes up our 
aflfections tj ayaTrnrov iraTpug ; the Father denotes the matter 
and object, not the efficient cause of the love inquired after. 
And this love of him as a Father, is that which he calls his 
'honour;' Mai. i. 6. 

Farther, These graces as acted in prayer and praises, and 

e Isa. ix. 6. 1 Cor. i. 30. Matt, v, 16. 45. vi. 1. 4. 68. vii. 21. xii. 50. Luke 
xxiv. 49. John iv. 23. vL 45. xii. 26. xiv. 6. 21. 23.xvr. 1. xvi.25. 27. xx, 17. Gal. 
i. 1. 3. Epb. ii. 18. V. 20. 1 Thess. i. 1. James i. 17. 1 Pet. i. 17. 1 John ii. 13, &c. 


as clothed with instituted worship, are peculiarly directed 
unto him. We call on the Father ; 1 Pet. i. 17. Eph. iii. 14, 
15. 'For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and 
earth is named.' Bowing the knee, compriseth the whole 
worship of God, both that which is moral, in the universal 
obedience he requireth, and those peculiar ways of carrying 
it on, which are by him appointed. Isa. xlv. 23. * Unto me,' 
saith the Lord, ' every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall 
swear.' Which, ver. 24, 25. he declareth to consist in their 
acknowledging of him, for righteousness and strength. 
Yea, it seems sometimes to comprehend the orderly subjec- 
tion of the whole creation unto his sovereignty.^ In this 
plac& of the apostle, it hath a far more restrained accepta- 
tion, and is but a figurative expression of prayer, taken from 
the most expressive bodily posture to be used in that duty. 
This he farther manifests, ver. 16, 17. declaring at large what 
his aim was, and whereabouts his thoughts were exercised 
in that bowing of his knees. The workings then of the Spi- 
rit of grace in that duty, are distinctly directed to the Fa- 
ther as such, as the fountain of the Deity, and of all good 
things in Christ ; as the ' Father of our' Lord Jesus Christ.' 
And therefore, the same apostle doth in another place ex- 
pressly conjoin, and yet as expressly distinguish the Father 
and the Son in directing his supplications ; 1 Thess. iii. 11. 
* God himself even our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, 
direct our way unto you.' The like president also have you 
of thanksgiving ; Eph. i. 3, 4. * Blessed be the Father of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,' &c. I shall not add those 
very many places, wherein the several parti cularss that do 
concur unto that whole divine worship (not to be communi- 
cated unto any, by nature not God without idolatry) wherein 
the saints do hold communion with God, are distinctly di- 
rected to the person of the Father. 

2. It is so also in reference unto the Son ; John xiv. L 
' Ye believe in God,' saith Christ, 'believe also in me.' Be- 
lieve also, act faith distinctly on me ; faith divine, superna- 
tural, that faith whereby you believe in God, that is the 
Father. There is a believing of Christ, viz, that he is the 
Son of God, the Saviour of the world. That is that whose 

f Rom. xiv. 10, 11. Phil. ii. 10, 8 Jer. x. 11. xvii. 5, 6. Gal. iv. 8. 


neglect our Saviour so threatened unto the Pharisees ; John 
viii. 24. ' If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in 
your sins.' In this sense faith is not immediately fixed on 
the Son, being only an owning of him, that is, the Christ to 
be the Son, by closing with the testimony of the Father con- 
cerning him. But there is also a believing on him, called 
' believing on the name of the Son of God ;' 1 John v. 13. so 
also John ix. 36. yea, the distinct affixing of faith, affiance, 
and confidence on the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God, as 
the Son of God, is most frequently pressed. John iii. 16. 
' God' (that is, the Father) ' so loved the world, that whoso- 
ever believeth on him' (that is, the Son) ' should not perish.' 
The Son, who is given of the Father is believed on. *He 
that believeth on him, is not condemned ;' ver. 18. \ He that 
believeth on the Son hath eternal life;' ver. 36. 'This is the 
work of God that ye believe on him, whom he hath sent ;' 
John vi. 29. 40. 1 John v. 10. The foundation of the whole 
is laid, John v. 23. ' That all men should honour the Son, 
even as they honour the Father ; he that honoureth not the 
Son, honoureth not the Father which sent him.' But of this 
honour and worship of the Son, I have treated at large else- 
where :'' and shall not in general insist upon it again. For 
love, I shall only add that solemn apostolical benediction, 
Eph. vi. 24. * Grace be with all them that love our Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity.' That is with divine^love, the love 
of religious worship ; which is the only incorrupt love of the 
Lord Jesus. 

Farther, That faith, hope, and love, acting themselves in 
all manner of obedience and appointed worship, are pecu- 
liarly due from the saints,' and distinctly directed unto the 
Son, is abundantly manifested from that solemn doxology, 
Rev. i. 5, 6. ' Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our 
sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests 
unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for 
ever, and ever.' Amen. Which yet is set forth with more 
glory, chap. v. 8. * The four living creatures, and the four- 
and-twenty elders fell dovy^n before the Lamb, having every 

•' Viu. Evan. cap. 10. 
' Psal. ii. 7. 12. Dan. iii. 2.5. Matt. iii. 17. xvii. 5. xxii. 45. John iii. 36. v. 19 — 
25. viii. 6. 1 Cor. i. 9. Gal. i. 16. iv. 6. 1 Jolin ii. 22—24. v. 10—12. Heb. i. 6. 
Phil. ii. 10. Johnv. 23. 

VOL. X. C 


one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which 
are the prayers of saints:' and ver. 13, 14. 'Every creature 
which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and 
such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I say- 
ing, blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that 
sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.' 
The Father, and the Son, he that sits upon the throne, and 
the Lamb, are'held out jointly, yet distinctly, as the adequate 
object of all divine worship and honour, forever and ever. 
And therefore, Stephen, in his solemn dying invocation, fixeth 
his faith and hope distinctly on him ; Acts vii. 59, 60. 'Lord 
Jesus, receive my spirit,' and, ' Lord, lay not this sin to their 
charge ;' for he knew, that the Son of man had power to 
forgive sins also. And this worship of the Lord Jesus, the 
apostle makes the discriminating character of the saints ; 
1 Cor. i. 2. 'With all, saithhe, 'that in every place call 
upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and 
ours ;' that is, with all the saints of God. And invocation 
generally comprises the whole worship of God.'' This then 
is the due of our Mediator, though as God, as the Son, not 
as Mediator. 

Thus also is it in reference unto the Holy Spirit of grace. 
The closing of the great sin of unbelief,^ is still described as 
an opposition unto, and a resisting of that Holy Spirit. And 
you have distinct mention of the love of the Spirit, Rom. 
XV. 13. The apostle also peculiarly directs his supplication 
to him, in that solemn benediction, 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 'The 
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the 
communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you.' And such be- 
nedictions are originally supplications. He is likewise en- 
titled unto all instituted worship, from the appointment of 
the administration of baptism in his name ; Matt, xxviii. 
18. Of which things more afterward. 

Now of the things which have been delivered, this is the 
sura : there is no grace whereby our souls go forth unto 
God, no act of divine worship yielded unto him, no duty or 
obedience performed, but they are distinctly directed unto 
Father, Son, and Spirit : now by these and such-like ways 
as these, do we hold communion with God ; and therefore, 
we have that communion distinctly, as hath been described. 

> ^ Isa. Ivi. 7. Rom. x. 12 — 14. Acts vii. 51. 


This also may farther appear, if we consider how dis- 
tinctly the persons of the Deity are revealed to act in the 
communication of those good things, wherein the saints 
have communion with God.'" As all the spiritual ascend- 
ings of their souls, are assigned unto them respectively, so 
all their internal receivings of the communications of God 
unto them, are held out in such a distribution, as points 
at distinct rises and fountains (though not of being in 
themselves, yet) of dispensations unto us. Now this is de- 
clared two ways. 

(1.) When the same thing, is at the same time, ascribed 
jointly, and yet distinctly to all the persons in the Deity, 
and respectively to each of them. So are grace and peace. 
Rev. i. 4, 5. 'Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which 
is, and which was, and which is to come, and from the seven 
spirits which are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, 
who is the faithful witness, &c.' The seven spirits before 
the throne, are the Holy Spirit of God, considered as the 
perfect fountain of every perfect gift and dispensation. All 
are here joined together, and yet all mentioned as distin- 
guished in their communication of grace and peace, unto 
the saints. * Grace and peace be unto you, from the Father, 
and from,' &c. 

(2.) When the same thing is attributed severally and 
singly unto each person. There is, indeed, no gracious in- 
fluence from above, no elapse of light, life, love, or grace 
upon our hearts, but proceedeth in such a dispensation. I 
shall give only one instance, which is very comprehensive, 
and may be thought to comprise all other particulars ; and 
this is teaching. The teaching of God-, is the real commu- 
nication of all and every particular emanation from himself 
unto the saints, whereof they are made partakers. That pro- 
mise, ' they shall be all taught of God,' enwraps in itself the 
whole mystery of grace, as to its actual dispensation unto us, 
so far as we may be made real possessors of it. Now this 
is assigned, 

[1.] Unto the Father. The accomplishment of that pro- 

•" Tametsi omnia unus idemque Deus efFicit, »t dicitur, opera trinitatis ad extra 
sunt indivisa, distinguuntur tamen persoiiae discrimine in istis operibus : Matt. iii. 
16. Acts, iii, 3. Gen. xix. 24. i. 26. Matt, xxviii. 19. 2 Cor. xiii. 13. 

c 2 


niise is peculiarly referred to him, John vi. 45. 'It is written 
in the prophets. And they shall be all taught of God. Every 
man therefore who hath heard and learned of the Father, 
cometh unto me.' This teaching, whereby we are translated 
from death unto life, brought unto Christ, unto a participa- 
tion of life and love in him, it is of, and from the Father : 
him we hear, of him we learn," by him are we brought unto 
imion and communion with the Lord Jesus. This is his 
drawing us, his begetting us anew of his own will, by his 
own Spirit, and in which work he employs the ministers 
of the gospel; Acts xxvi. 18. 

[2.] Unto the Son. The Father proclaims him from 
heaven to be the great Teacher in that solemn charge to hear 
him, which came once again from the excellent glory; 'This 
is my beloved Son, hear him.' The whole of his propheti- 
cal," and no small part of his kingly office consists in this 
teaching ; herein is he said to draw men unto him, as the 
Father is said to do in his teaching ; John xii. 32. which he 
doth with such efficacy that the ' dead hear his voice and 
live.' The teaching of the Son, is a life-giving, a spirit- 
breathing teaching : an effectual influence of light, whereby 
he shines into darkness ; communication of life, quickening 
the dead, an opening of blind eyes, and changing of hard 
hearts, a pouring out of the Spirit, with all the fruits thereof. 
Hence he claims it as his privilege to be the sole master; 
Matt, xxiii. 10. ' One is your Master which is Christ.' 

[3.] To the Spirit. John xiv. 26. ' The Comforter he 
shall teach you all things ;' and the ' anointing which ye 
have received,' saith the apostle, ' abideth in you, and you 
need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing 
teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and 
even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him ;' 1 John 
ii. 27. That teaching unction which is not only true, but 
truth itself, is only the Holy Spirit of God : so that he teach- 
eth also ; being ' given unto us, that we may know the things 
that are freely given to us of God;' 1 Cor. ii. 15. I have 
chosen this special instance, because, as I told you, it is 

n Matt. xi. 25. John i. 13. James i. 18. 
•> Matt.iii. 17. xvii.5. 2Pet.i. 17. Deut. xviii. 13—20, &c. Acts iii. 22, 23. John 
r, 25. Isa. Ixi. 1—3. Luke iv. 18, 19. 


comprehensive, and comprises in itself most of the particu- 
lars that might be annumerated; quickening, preserving, &,c. 

This, then, farther drives on the truth that lies under de- 
monstration ; there beino- such a distinct communion of 
grace from the several persons of the Deity, the saints must 
needs have distinct communion with them. 

It remaineth only to intimate in a word, wherein this 
distinction lies, and what is the ground thereof. Now this is 
that the Father doth it by the way of original authority ; the 
Son by the way of communicating from a purchased trea- 
sury; the Holy Spirit by the way of immediate efficacy. 

1st. The Father communicates all grace by the way of 
original authority. ' He quickeneth whom he will ;' John v. 
21. 'Of his own will, begat he us;' James i. 18. Life-giving 
power is in respect of original authority invested in the Fa- 
ther by the way of eminency ; and therefore, in sending of 
the quickening Spirit, Christ is said to do it from the Father, 
or the Father himself to do it. ' But the Comforter, the 
Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send ;' John xiv. 26. ' But 
when the Comforter is come, whom I will send from the Fa- 
ther;' John XV. 26. Though he be also said to send him 
himself, on another account; John xvi. 7. 

2dly. The Son, by the way of making out a purchased 
treasury. ' Of his fulness do we all receive and grace for 
grace;' John i. 16. And whence is this fulness? ' It pleased 
the Father that in him all fulness should dwell;' Col. i. 19. 
And upon what account he hath the dispensation of that 
fulness to him committed, you may see Phil. ii. 8 — 11. 
'When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall 
prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper 
in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul and be 
satisfied : by his knowledge shall my rigJiteous servant jus- 
tify many, for he shall bear their iniquities;' Isa. liii. 10, 11. 
And with this fulness he hath also authority for the com- 
munication of it; John v. 25, 26. Matt, xxviii. 18. 

3dly. The Spirit doth it by the way of immediate effi- 
cacy ; Rom. viii. 11. ' But if the Spirit of him that raised 
up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised 
up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal 
bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.' Here are all 
three comprised, with their distinct concurrence unto our 


quickening; Here is the Father's authoritative quickening, 
he raised Christ from the dead and he shall quicken you : 
and the Son's mediatory quickening, for it is done in the 
death of Christ : and the Spirit's immediate efficacy, he 
shall do it by the Spirit that dwelleth in you. He that de- 
sires to see this whole matter farther explained, may consult 
what I have elsewhere written on this subject. And thus is 
the distinct communion whereof we treat, both proved and 


Of the peculiar and distinct communion which the saints have tvith the Fa" 
ther. Observations for the clearing of the whole premised. Our peculiar 
communion with the Father is in love, iJobii iv. 7,8. 2 Cor. xiii. 13. 
John xvi. 26, 27. Kom. v. 5. John iii. 16. xiv. 23. Tit. iii. 4. opened to 
this purpose. What is required of believers, to hold communion tvith the 
Father in love. His love received by faith. Returns of love to him. 
God's love to us, and ours to him, wherein they agree. Wherein they differ. 

Having proved that there is such a distinct communion in 
respect of Father, Son, and Spirit, as whereof we speak ; it 
remains that it be farther cleared up by an induction of in- 
stances, to manifest what and wherein the saints peculiarly 
hold this communion with the several persons respectively: 
which also I shall do after the premising some observations, 
necessary to be previously considered, as was promised, for 
the clearing of what hath been spoken. And they are these 
that follow. 

1. When I assign any thing as peculiar,'' wherein we dis- 
tinctly hold communion with any person, I do not exclude 
the other persons from communion with the soul in the very 
same thing. Only this, I say, principally, immediately and 
by the way of eminency, we have in such a thing, or in such a 
way, communion with some one person; and therein with the 
others, secondarily and by the way of consequence on that 
foundation : for the person, as the person of any one of them, 
is not the prime object of divine worship, but as it is iden- 

* Opera ad extra sunt indivisa. 


tified with the nature or essence of God. Now the works 
that outwardly are of God (called ' Trinitatis ad extra),' which 
are commonly said to be common and undivided, are either 
wholly so, and in all respects ; as all works of common provi- 
dence, or else being common in respect of their acts, they 
are distinguished in respect of that principle, or next and 
immediate rise in the manner of operation ; so creation is 
appropriated to the Father, redemption to the Son; in which 
sense we speak of these things. 

2. There is a concurrence of the actings and operations 
of the whole Deity,'' in that dispensation, wherein each per- 
son concurs to the work of our salvation, unto every act of 
our communion with each singular person. Look by what 
act soever, we hold communion with any person, there is an 
influence from every person to the putting forth of that act.*^ 
As suppose it to be the act of faith. It is bestowed on us 
by the Father ; ' It is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God ;' 
Eph. ii. 8. It is the Father that revealeth the gospel, and 
Christ therein ; Matt. xi. 25. And it is purchased for us 
by the Son : ' It is given unto you for Christ's sake to be- 
lieve on him ;' Phil. i. 29. In him are we ' blessed with 
spiritual blessings ;' Eph. i. 3. He bestows on us, and iii- 
creaseth faith in us ;' Luke xvii. 5. And it is wrought in us 
by the Spirit ; he administers that ' exceeding greatness of 
his power which he exerciseth towards them who believe, 
according to the working of his mighty power, which he 
wrought in God when he raised him up from the dead;' Eph. 
i. 19,20. Rom. viii. 11. 

3. When I assign any particular thing wherein we hold 
communion with any person, I do not do it exclusively unto 
other mediums of communion ; but only by the way of in- 
ducing a special and eminent instance, for the proof and 
manifestation of the former generation : otherwise there is 
no grace or duty wherein we have not communion with 
God in the way described. In every thing wherein we are 
made partakers of the divine nature, there is a communica- 

^ ITttTiip 0"i;v Vice Kai KcLvra ynoi TtvevfJiaTi 
Tgw? TTpoa-wVoic Eiixpiv^f, y,ovag <pva-li. 

mW av Seov (Tu ■TT^oo'X.uvm rlfj.riq <^vi7iv 

Mi'a Tgittj yag, Ei; ^£o; wavTojcpaTajp. — Greg. Naziau. Iamb. Car. 3. 
'^ n(oa-KvyZfji,iv tw jui'av Iv ro~g Tjurt Seo'THTtt. — Idem. orat. 24. See Tlioni, 22. q. 
81. A. 3. q. 84. a. 1. Alexan. Ales. Sum Theol. p. 3. q. 30. m. 1. a. 3, 


tion and receiving between God and us. So near are we 
unto him in Christ. 

4. By asserting this distinct communion, which merely 
respects that order in the dispensation of grace, which God 
is pleased to hold out in the gospel, I intend not in the 
least, to shut up all communion with God under these pre- 
cincts (his ways being exceeding broad, containing a per- 
fection whereof there is no end), nor to prejudice that holy 
fellowship we have with the whole Deity, in our walking 
before him in covenant obedience, which also (God assist- 
ing), I shall handle hereafter. 

These few observations being premised, I come now to 
declare what it is, wherein peculiarly and eminently the 
saints have communion with the Father : and this is love. 
Free, undeserved, and eternal love. This the Father pecu- 
liarly fixes upon the saints : this they are immediately to 
eye in him, to receive of him, and to make such returns 
thereof, as he is delighted withal. This is the great disco- 
very of the gospel ; for whereas, the Father as the foun- 
tain of the Deity, is not known any other way but as full of 
wrath, anger, and indignation against sin, nor can the sons 
of men have any other thoughts of him; Rom. i. 18. Isa. 
xxxiii. 15, 16. Hab. i. 13. Psal.v. 4 — 6. Eph. ii. 3. here he is 
now revealed peculiarly as love, as full of it unto us ; the 
manifestation whereof is the peculiar work of the gospel ; 
Tit. iii. 4. 

(1.) 1 John iv. 8. * God is love.' That the name of God 
is here taken personally,'' and for the person of the Father, 
not essentially, is evident from ver. 9. where he is distin- 
guished from his only-begotten Son whom he sends into 
the world. Now, saith he, the Father is love, that is, not 
only of an infinitely gracious, tender, compassionate, and 
loving nature, according as he hath proclaimed himself; 
Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. but also, one that eminently and peculi- 
arly dispenseth himself unto us in free love. So the apo- 
stle sets it forth in the following verses ; ' this is love,' 
ver. 9. this is that which I would have you take notice of in 
him, that he makes out love unto you, in ' sending his only- 

^ Deut. xxxiii. 3. Jer. xxxi. 3. John iii. 16. v. 42. xiv. 21. Rom. v. 5. viii. 39. 
Eph. ii. 4. 1 John ii. 15. iv. 10, 11. Heb. xii. 6. Multo efA.<pa.rixtirssov loquitur quern 
si Deum diceret summopere atque adeo infinite nos araare, cum Deum dicit erga nos 
jpsam charitatem esse, cujus latissimura T>w/*iijiov profert. Beza in loc. 


begotten Soninto the world, that we might live through him.' 
So also, ver. 10. * He loved us, and sent his Son to be the 
propitiation for our sins.' And that this is peculiarly to be 
eyed in him, the Holy Ghost plainly declares, in making it 
antecedent to the sending of Christ, and all mercies and be- 
nefits whatever by him received. This love, I say, in itself, 
is antecedent to the purchase of Christ, although the whole 
fruit thereof be made out alone thereby ; Eph. i. 4 — 6. 

(2.) So in that distribution made by the apostle in his 
solemn parting benediction, 2 Cor. xiii. 13. ' The grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship 
of the Holy Ghost be with you.' Ascribing sundry things 
unto the distinct persons, it is love that he peculiarly as- 
signs to the Father. And the fellowship of the Spirit is 
mentioned, with the grace of Christ, and the love of God, 
because it is by the Spirit alone that we have fellowship with 
Christ in grace, and with the Father in love ; although we have 
also peculiar fellowship with him, as shall be declared. 

(3.) John xvi. 26, 27. saith our Saviour, ' I say not unto 
you, that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father him- 
self loveth you.'® But how is this, that our Saviour saith, ' I 
say not that I will pray the Father for you,' when he saith 
plainly, chap. xiv. 16. * I will pray the Father for you V The 
disciples, with all the gracious words, comfortable and faith- 
ful promises of their Master, with most heavenly discoveries 
of his heart unto them, were even fully convinced of his 
dear and tender affections towards them ; as also of his 
continued care and kindness, that he would not forget them, 
when bodily he was gone from them, as he was now upon 
his departure ; but now all their tlioughts are concerning 
the Father, how they should be accepted with him, what 
respect he had towards them. Saith our Saviour, Take no 
care of that, nay, impose not that upon me, of procuring the 
Father's love for you ; but know, that this is his peculiar re- 
spect towards you, and which you are in him ; ' he himself 

® Qaoinodo igitur negat ? negat secundum quid ; hoc est, negat se ideo rogatu- 
rum patrem, ut patrem illis conciliet, et ad illos amandos flectat ; quasi non sit 
suapte sponte erga illos propensus. Voluit ergo Cliristus his verbis persuadere apo- 
stolis, non solum se, sed etiam ipsurti patrem iilos complecti amore maximo. Et ita 
patrem eos aniare, ac proraptum habere animum illis gratificandi, et benefaciendi, 
ut nullius.neque ipsius filii opus habettali intercessione, qua solent placari, et flecti 
homines non admodum erga aliquem bene afFecti, &c. Zanc. de trib. Elo. lib. 4. 
cap. 9. Vid. Hilar, de Trinit. lib. 6. p. 97. ed. Eras. 


loves you.' It is true, indeed (and as I told you), that ' I will 
pray the Father to send you the Spirit, the Comforter/ and 
with him all the gracious fruits of his love ; but yet in the 
point of love itself, free love, eternal love, there is no need 
of any intercession for that, for eminently the Father him- 
self loves you ; resolve of that, that you may hold commu- 
nion with him in it, and be no more troubled about it. Yea, 
as your great trouble is, about the Father's love, so you can 
no way more trouble or burden him, than by your unkind- 
ness in not believing of it. So it must needs be where sin- 
cere love is questioned. 

(4.) The apostle teaches the same, Rom. v. 5. ' The love 
of God is shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Ghost 
that is given unto you.' God, whose love this is, is plainly 
distinguished from the Holy Ghost, who sheds abroad that 
love of his. And, ver. 8. he is also distinguished from the 
Son ; for it is from that love of his, that the Son is sent ; and 
therefore it is the Father of whom the apostle here specially 
speaketh. And what is it that he ascribes to him? even 
love ; which also, ver. 8. he commendeth to us, sets it forth 
in such a signal and eminent expression, that we may take 
notice of it, and close with him in it. To carry this busi- 
ness to its height ; there is not only most frequent peculiar 
mention of the love of God, where the Father is eminently 
intended, and of the love of the Father expressly, but he is 
also called the ' God of love,' 2 Cor. xiii. 11. and is said to 
be love, so that whoever will know him, 1 John iv. 8. or 
dwell in him by fellowship or communion, ver. 16. must do 
it as he is love. 

(5.) Nay, whereas there is a twofold divine love, henepla- 
citi and amicitia, a love of good pleasure and destination, 
and a love of friendship and approbation, they are both pe- 
culiarly assigned to the Father in an eminent manner. 

1. Johniii. 16. ' God so loved the world, that he sent,' &c. 
that is, with the love of his purpose and good pleasure, his 
determinate will of doing good. This is distinctly ascribed 
to him, being laid down as the cause of sending his Son. So 
Rom. ix. 1 1, 12. Eph. i. 4, 5. 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. 1 John iv. 8, 9. 

2. John xiv. 23. there is*" mention of that other kind of 

f Diligl a patre, recipi in aujicitlam, sunimi Dei ; a Deo foveri, adeoque Deo esse 
iu dellciis. Bucerus. in loc. 


love whereof we speak. ' If any man love me,' saith Christ, 
* he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and 
we will come imto him, and make our abode with him.' The 
love of friendship and approbation is here eminently ascribed 
to him; says Christ, ' we will come,' even Father and Son to 
such a one, and dwell with him, that is, by the Spirit ; but 
yet he would have us take notice, that in point of love, the 
Father hath a peculiar prerogative : * My Father will love 

(6.) Yea, and as this love is peculiarly to be eyed in 
him, so it is to be looked on as the fountain of all following 
gracious dispensations. Christians walk oftentimes with 
exceedingly troubled hearts, concerning the thoughts of the 
Father towards them : they are well persuaded of the Lord 
Christ, and his good will : the difficulty lies, in what is 
their acceptance with the Father, what is his heart towards 
them ?s ' Shew us the Father and it shall suffice ;' John xiv. 
8. Now this ought to be so far away, that his love ought to 
be looked on as the fountain from whence all other sweet- 
nesses flow. Thus the apostle sets it out. Tit. iii. 4. ' After 
that the kindness and love of God our Saviour, toward man 
appeared.' It is of the Father of whom he speaks ; for, ver. 
6. he tells us, that he makes out unto us, or 'sheds that 
love upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.' 
And this love he makes the hinge, upon which the great al- 
teration, and translation, of the saints doth turn : for, saith 
he, ver. 3. * we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, diso- 
bedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living 
in malice, and envy, hateful, and hating one another.' All 
naught, all out of order, and vile. Whence then is our re- 
covery? The whole rise of it is from this love of God, flow- 
ing out by the ways there described. For when the kind- 
ness and love of God appeared, that is, in the fruits of it, 
then did this alteration ensue. To secure us hereof, there 
is not any thing that hath a loving and tender nature in the 
world, and doth act suitably thereunto, which God hath not 
compared himself unto. Separate all weakness and imper- 
fection which is in them, yet great impressions of love must 
abide. He is as a father, a mother, a shepherd, a hen over 

% Te quod attinet non sumus solliciti, — illud modo desideramus, ut patrem nobis 
vel seniel intueri concedatur. Cartwright Har. in John xiv. 8. 


chickens, and the like. Psal. ciii. 13. Isa. Ixi'ii. 16. MatL 
vi. 6. Isa. Ixvi. 13. Psal. xxiii. 1. Isa. xl. 11. Matt.xxiii. 37. 

I shall not need to add any more proofs ; this is that 
which is demonstrated. There is love in the person of the 
Father peculiarly held out unto the saints, as wherein, he 
will and doth hold communion with them. 

Now to complete communion with the Father in love, 
two things are required of believers ; 

(1.) That they receive it of him. 

(2.) That they make suitable returns unto him. 

(1.) That they do receive it. Communion consists in 
giving and receiving. Until the love of the Father be re- 
ceived, we have no communion with him therein. How 
then is this love of the Father to be received, so as to hold 
fellowship with him ? I answer, by faith. The receiving of 
it, is the believing of it. God hath so fully, so eminently 
revealed his love, that it may be received by faith. You 
believe in God, John xiv. 1. that is, the Father; and what 
is to be believed in him ? His love ; for, he is love ; 1 John 
viii. 8. 

It is true, there is not an immediate acting of faith upon 
the Father, but by the Son. * He is the way, the truth, and 
the life : no man cometh unto the Father, but by him ;' John 
xiv. G. He is the merciful high-priest over thehcu^e of God, 
by whom we have^ access to the throne of grace ; by him is 
our manuduction unto the Father. By him we believe in 
God; 1 Pet. i. 21. But this is that I say : When by and 
through Christ, we have an access unto the Father, we then 
behold his glory also, and see his love that he peculiarly 
bears unto us, and act faith thereon. We are then, I say, 
to eye it, to believe it, to receive it, as in him ; the issues 
and fruits thereof, being made out unto us, through Christ 
alone. Though there be no light for us, but in the beams, 
yet we may by beams see the sun, which is the fountain of 
it. Though all our refreshment actually lie in the streams, 
yet by them we are led up unto the fountain. Jesus Christ, 
in respect of the love of the Father, is but the beam, the 
stream, wherein though actually all our light, our refresh- 
ment lies, yet by him we are led to the fountain, the sun of 
eternal love itself. Would believers exercise themselves 

'' Eph, ii. 18. 


herein, they would find it a matter of no small spiritual im- 
provement in their walking with God. 

This is that which is aimed at. Many dark and disturb- 
ing thoughts are apt to arise in this thing. Few can carry 
up their hearts and minds to this height by faith, as to rest 
their souls in the love of the Father; they live below it, in 
the troublesome region of hopes and fears, storms and clouds. 
All here is serene and quiet. But how to attain to this 
pitch they know not. This is the will of God, that he may 
always be eyed as benign, kind, tender, loving, and un- 
changeable therein ; and that peculiarly as the Father, as 
the great fountain -and spring of all gracious comraunica- 
■ tions, and fruits of love. This is that which Christ came 
to reveal; God as a Father; John i. 18. that name which 
he declares to those who are given him out of the world ; 
John xvii. 6. And this is that which he effectually leads us 
to by himself, as he is the only way of going to God, as a 
Father ; John xiv. 5, 6. that is, as love ; and by doing so, 
gives us the rest which he promiseth ; for the love of the 
Father is the only rest of the soul. It is true, as was said, 
we do not this formally in the first instant of believing. We 
believe in God through Christ ; 1 Pet. i, 21. faith seeks out 
rest for the soul. This is presented to it by Christ, the 
Mediator, as the only procuring cause. Here it abides not, 
but by Christ it hath an access to the Father, Eph. ii. 18. 
into his love, finds out that he is love, as having a design, 
a purpose of love, a good pleasiire towards us from eternity ; 
a delight, a complacency, a good will in Christ ; all cause 
of anger, and aversation being taken away. The soul being 
thus by faith through Christ, and by him brought into the 
bosom of God, into a comfortable persuasion, and spiritual 
perception and sense of his love, there reposes and rests 
itself. And this is the first thing the saints do, in their 
communion with the Father, of the due improvement where- 
of, more afterward. 

(2.) For that suitable return which is required, this also 
(in a main part of it, beyond which I shall n£)t now extend 
it) consisteth in love.' God loves, that he may be beloved.'' 

' Deut. vi. 4 — 6. 
^ Amor superne descendens ad divinam pulcritudinem oinnia couvocat. Proclus 
lib. de Anima. et Dsm. 


When he comes to command the return of his received love 
to complete communion with him, he says, ' My son, give 
me thy heart;' Prov. xxiii. 26. thy affections, thy love. 
* Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all 
thy mind;' Luke x. 27. this is the return that he deraandeth. 
When the soul sees God in his dispensation of love, to be 
love, to be infinitely lovely and loving, rests upon, and de- 
lights in him as such, then hath it communion with him in 
love. This is love, that God loves us first, and then we love 
him again. I shall not now go forth into a description of 
divine love ; generally, love^ is an affection of union and 
nearness, with complacency therein. So long as the Father 
is looked on, under any other apprehension, but only as act- 
ing love upon the soul, it breeds in the soul a dread and 
aversation." Hence the flying and hiding of sinners, in the 
Scriptures. But when he who is the Father, is considered 
as a father, acting love on the soul, this" raises it to love 
again. This is in faith, the ground of all acceptable obedi- 
ence ; Deut. V. 10. Exod. xx. 6. Deut. x. 12. xi. 1. 13. 
xiii. 3. 

Thus is this whole business stated by the apostle ; Eph. 
i. 4. 'According as he hath chosen us in him before the foun- 
dation of the world, that we should be holy and without 
blame before him in love.' It begins in the love of God ; 
and ends in our love to him. That is it, which the eternal 
love of God, aims at in us, and works us up unto. It is true, 
our universal obedience falls within the compass of our 
communion with God ; but that is with him as God, our 
blessed sovereign lawgiver and rewarder ; as he is the Fa- 
ther, our Father in Christ, as revealed unto us to be love, 
above and contrary to all the expectations of the natural 
man, so it is in love that we have this intercourse with him. 
Nor do I intend only that love, which is as the life and 
form of all moral obedience ; but a peculiar delight and ac- 
quiescing in the Father revealed effectually as love unto 
the soul. 

' Unio substantialis est causa aruoris sui ipsius, similitudinis, est causa araoris 
alterius ; sed unio realis quam araans quajrit de re aniata, est effectus amorls. Th. 
12. q. 28. 1.3. ™ Josh. xxii. 5. xxiii. 11. Nehera. i. 5. 

° Psal. xviii. 1. xxxi. 23. xcvii. 10. cxvi. 1. 1 Cor. ii. 9. James i. 12. Isa. Iri. 6. 
Matt. xxii. 37. Rom. viii. 28. 


That this communiofi with the Father in love may be 
made the more clear and evident, I shall shew two things : 

[1.] Wherein this love of God unto us, and our love 
to him do agree, as to some manner of analogy and likeness. 

[2.] Wherein they" differ ; which will farther discover 
the nature of each of them. 

[1.] They agree in two things. 

1st. That they are each a love of rest and complacency. 

(1st.) The love of God is so ; Zeph. iii. 17. 'The Lord 
thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he 
will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he 
will joy over thee with singing. Both these things are here 
assigned unto God in his love ; Prest and delight. The 
words are maiiND wnn> he shall be 'silent because of his love.* 
To rest with contentment is expressed by being silent; that 
is without repining, without complaint. This God doth 
upon the account of his own love, so full, so every way com- 
plete and absolute, that it will not allow him to complain of 
any thing in them whom he loves, but is silent on the ac- 
count thereof. Or rest in his love, that is, he will not re- 
move it ; he will not seek farther for another object. It 
shall make its abode upon the soul where it is once fixed, 
for ever. And complacency or delight; ' he rejoiceth with 
singing,' as one that is fully satisfied in that object he hath 
fixed his love on. Here are two words used to express the de- 
light and joy that God hath in his love : \D>]V> and ^'j'. The 
first denotes the inward affection of the mind, joy of heart ; 
and to set out the intenseness hereof, it is said, he shall do 
it nnnti'n in gladness, or with joy; to have joy of heart in 
gladness is the highest expression of delight in love. The 
latter word denotes not the inward affection, but the out- 
ward^ demonstration of it: ayaWiav seems to be formed of 
it. It is to exult in outward demonstration of internal de- 
light and joy. 'Tripudiare:' to leap, as men overcome with 
some joyful surprisal. And therefore, God is said to do this 

" AvaXttyov S' Iv a'ora.a-aig rai( Ka&^ viri^o^ri)/ ovo-atg <})iXiai?, xai rhv <})iX»s-iv Sef yivttr^ai, 
&c. Arist. Eth. lib. 8. cap. 7. 

P Effectus amoris quaiido habetur amatum, est delectatio. Thorn. 12. q. 25. a. 2. 
1. Amor est coraplacentia aiuantis in amato. Amor est niotus cordis, delectantis se 
in aliquo. August. 

1 Externum magis gaudii gestum, quam internam animi Iffititiam significat, cum 
veluttripudiis et volutationibus gaudere se quis ostendit. Pagnin. "pia ; laetitia ges- 
tiit, animi Istitiam gestu corporis expressit, exilivit gaudio. Calas. 


n:i2, with a joyful sound, or singing ; to rejoice with glad- 
ness of heart, to exult with singing and praise, argues the 
greatest delight and complacency possible. When he would 
express the contrary of this love, he says, ouk ewSoKijat, he 
was not well pleased ; 1 Cor. x. 5. he fixed not his delight, 
nor rest on them. And 'if any man draw back, the Lord's 
soul hath no pleasure in him ;' Heb. x. 38. Jer. xxii. 28. 
Hos. viii. 8. Mark i. 10. He takes pleasure in those that 
abide with him. He sings to his church, a vineyard of red 
wine, I the Lord do keep it ;' Isa. xxvii. 3. Psal. cxlvii. 11. 
cxlix. 4. There is rest and complacency in his love. There 
is in the Hebrew, but a metathesis of a letter between the 
word that signifies a love of will and desire (3nx is so to love), 
and that which denotes a love of rest and acquiescency 
(which is, nix) and both are applied to God. He wills good 
to us, that he may rest in that will. Some say ayairqv, ' to 
love,' is from a.'^av Tr'S^ecrOai, perfectly to acquiesce in the 
thing loved. And when God calls his Son, ayairnTov, ' be- 
loved,' Matt. iii. 17. he adds as an exposition of it, Iv <u 
fwSoicrjffa, in whom I rest well pleased. 

2dly. The return that the saints make unto him to 
complete communion with him herein, holds some analogy 
with his love in this ; for it is a love also of^ rest and de- 
light. ' Return to thy rest, O my soul,' says David ; Psal. 
cxvi. 7. He makes God his rest; that is, he in whom his 
soul doth rest, without seeking farther, for a more suitable 
and desirable object; 'Whom have I,' saith he, 'in heaven 
but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides 
thee ;' Psal. Ixxiii. 25.^ Thus the soul gathers itself from all 
its wanderings, from all other beloved's, to rest in God alone, 
to satiate and content himself in him, choosing the Father 
for his present and eternal rest. And this also with de- 
light ; ' Thy lovingkindness,' saith the psalmist, ' is better 
than life, therefore, will I praise thee ;' Psal. Ixiii. 3. Than 
life, n>'nD before lives. I will not deny, but life in a single 
consideration sometimes is so expressed. But always em- 
phatically; so that the whole life, with all the concernments 
of it, which may render it considerable, are thereby intended. 

■■ Fecisti nos ad te, doraine, et irrequietum est cor nostrum donee veniat ad te. 
8 Psal. xxxvii. 7. Isa. xxviii. 12. Heb. iv. 9. 


Austin on this place, reading it' 'super vitas,' extends it to 
the several courses of life that men engage thenxselves in. 
Life in the whole continuance of it with all its advantages 
whatever, is at least intended. Supposing himself in the 
jaws of death, rolling into the grave through innumerable 
troubles, yet he found more sweetness in God, than in a 
long life, under its best and most noble considerations, at- 
tended with all enjoyments that make it pleasant and com- 
fortable. From both these, is that of the church in Hosea 
xiv. 3. ' Ashur shall not save us, we will not ride upon 
horses, neither will we &ay any more to the works of our 
hands. Ye are our gods ; for in thee the fatherless find mercy.' 
They reject the most goodly appearances of rest and con- 
tentment, to make up all in God, on wHom they cast them- 
selves as otherwise helpless orphans. 

The mutual love of God and the saints agree in this, that 
the way of communicating the issues and fruits of these 
loves, is only in Christ. The Father communicates no issue 
of his love unto us but through Christ ; and we make no 
return of love unto him but through Christ ; he is the trea- 
sure wherein the Father disposeth all the riches of his grace, 
taken from the bottomless mine of his eternal love, and he 
is the Priest into whose hand we put all the offerings, that 
we return unto the Father. Thence he is first, and by way 
of eminency, said to love the Son ; not only as his eternal 
Son, as he was the delight of his soul before the foundation 
of the world; Prov. viii. 30. but also as our Mediator, and 
the means of conveying his love to us; Matt. iii. 17. John 
iii. 33. V. 21. x. 17. xv.9. xvii. 24. And we are said through 
him to believe in, and to have access to God. 

1st. The Father loves us, and * chooseth us before the 
foundation of the world ;' but in the pursuit of that love, he 
' blesseth us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places 
in Christ;' Eph. i. 3, 4. From his love, he sheds or pours 
out the Holy Spirit richly upon us, through Jesus Christ 
our Saviour ; Tit. iii. 6. In the pouring out of his love, there 
is not one drop falls besides the Lord Christ. The holy 
anointing oil, was all poured on the head of Aaron ; Psal. 

t Super vitas: quas vitas? Quas sibi homines eligunt ; alius elegit sibi vitam ne- 
gociandi, alius vitam rusticandi ; alius vitam feneiandi, alius vitam militandi, alius 
illara alius illam. Diversje sunt vitar, scd raelior est misericordia tua super vitas nos' 
tras. Aug. Enarrat, in Psal, 62. 

VOL. X. D 


cxxxiii. 2. and thence went down to the skirts of his cloth- 
ing. Love is first poured out on Christ ; and from him it 
drops as the dew of Hermon upon the souls of his saints. 
The Father will have him to have the pre-eminence in all 
things ; Col. i. 18. 'it pleased him, that in him all fulness 
should dwell ;' ver. 19. * that of his fulness we might receive, 
and grace for grace;' John i. 16. Though the love of the 
Father's purpose and good pleasure, have its rise and foun- 
dation in his mere grace and will, yet the design of its ac- 
complishment is only in Christ. All the fruits of it, are 
first given to him ; and it is in him only that they are dis- 
pensed to us. So that though the saints may, nay, do see 
an infinite ocean of love unto them in the bosom of the Fa- 
ther, yet they are not to look for one drop from him, but 
what comes through Christ. He is the only means of com- 
munication. Love in the Father, is like honey in the flower; 
it must be in the comb, before it be for our use. ■ Christ 
must extract and prepare this honey for us. He draws this 
water from the fountain (through union and dispensation 
of fulness), we by faith, from the wells of salvation that are 
in him. This was in part before discovered. 

2dly. Our returns are all in him, andby him also. And 
well is it with us, that it is sO. What lame and blind sacri- 
fices, should we otherwise present unto God. He" bears 
the iniquity of our offerings, and he adds incense unto our 
prayers. Our love is fixed on the Father, but it is conveyed 
to him, through the Son of his love. He is the only way 
for our graces, as well as our persons to go unto God ; 
through him passeth all our desire, our delight, our compla- 
cency, our obedience. Of which more afterward. 

Now in these two things there is some resemblance, be- 
tween that mutual love of the Father and the saints, wherein 
they hold communion. 

2. There are sundry things wherein they differ. 

(1.) The love of God is a love of bounty, our love unto 
him is a love of duty. 

1st. The love of the Father is a love of bounty, a descend- 
ing love. Such a love as carries him out to do good things 
to us, great things for us. His love lies at the bottom pf all 
dispensations towards us : and we scarce any where find any 

" Exod. xxviii. 38. Rev, viii. 3. John xiv. 6. Heb. x. 20—22. 


mention of it, but it is held out as the cause and fountain 
of some free gift, flowing from it. He '^ loves us and sends 
his Son to die for us 5 he loves us, and blesseth us with all 
spiritual blessings. Loving is choosing: Rom. ix. 11, 12, 
He loves us and chastiseth us. A y love like that of the 
heavens to the earth, when being full of rain, they pour forth 
showers to make it fruitful ; as the sea communicates his 
waters to the rivers ; by the way of bounty, out of its own 
fulness : they return unto it only what they receive from it. 
It is the love of a spring, of a fountain, always communi- 
cating. ^A love from whence proceeds every thing that is 
lovely in its object. It infuseth into, and creates goodness 
in the persons beloved ;^ and this answers the description of 
love given by the philosopher. To love, saith he, eari (iov- 
Aea^ai tivI a oterat aya^a, koX Kara Svvafxiv irpaKTiKov uvai rov- 
T(i}v. He that loves, works out good to them he loveth, as 
he is able. God's power and will are comm.ensurate. What 
he willeth he worketh. 

2dly. Our love unto God, is a love of duty : the love of a 
child. His love descends upon us in bounty and fruitful- 
ness;* our love ascends unto him, in duty and thankfulness. 
He adds to us by his love, we nothing to him by ours. Our 
goodness extends not unto him. Though our love be fixed 
on him ''immediately, yet no fruit of our love reacheth him 
immediately ; though he requires our love, he is not benefited 
by it ; Job xxxv. 5 — 8. Rom. xi. 35. Job xxii. 2, 3. It is 
indeed made up of these four things : T. Rest. 2. Delight. 
3. Reverence. 4. Obedience. By these do we hold com- 
munion with the Father in his love. Hence God calls that 
love which is due to him as a Father, * honour ;' Mai. i. 6. 
nf I be a Father, where is mine honour ?' It is a deserved 
act of duty. 

(2.) They differ in this : The love of the Father unto us 
is an antecedent love, our love unto him is a consequent love. 
1st. The love of the Father unto us is an antecedent love, 
and that in two respects. 

X John iii. 16. Rom. v. 8. Eph. i. 3, 4. 1 John iv. 9, 10. Heb. xii. 6. Rev. iii, 19. 

y Egav Se (TEjUvov siigttvov TfXiipouf^EVov 0|U|3poLi, ■njEa-srv £('? yaTav. Eurip. 
^ Amor Dei est infundens et creans bonilatem in amatis. Th. p. p. q. 20. A. 2. C. 
» Amor Dei causat bonitatem in rebus, sed amor noster causatur ab ea. 
b Dilectio quae est appetativas virtutis actus, etiam in statum vias tendit in Deuim 
j>rimo et immediate. Th. 22. q. 27. a. 4. 



1st. It is antecedent in respect of our love : 1 John iv. 10. 
' Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.' 
His love goes before ours. The Father loves the child, when 
the child knows not the Father ; much less loves him. Yea, 
we are by nature ^eoaTvyng, Rom. i. 30. haters of God. He 
is in his own nature (j)i\av^p(07roQ, a lover of men : and 
surely all mutual love between him and us, must begin on 
his hand. 

2dly. In respect of all other causes of love whatever. It 
goes not only before our love, but also any thing in us, that 
is lovely.'^ Rom. v. 8. ' God commendeth his love towards 
us, in that whilst we were yet sinners Christ died for us.' 
Not only his love, but the eminent fruit thereof, is made out 
towards us, as sinners. Sin holds out all of unloveliness, 
aiid undesirableness, that can be in a creature. The very 
mention of that, removes all causes, all moving occasions of 
love whatever. Yet as such, have we the commendation of 
the Father's love unto us, by a most signal testimony. Not 
only when we have done no good, but when we are in_ our 
blood, doth he love us. Not because we are better than 
others ; but because himself is infinitely good. His kind- 
ness appears when we are foolish and disobedient. Hence 
he is said to love the world, that is, those who have no- 
thing but what is in and of the world, whose whole lies 
in evil. 

2dly. Our love is consequential in both these regards. 

(1st.) In respect of the love of God. Never did creature 
turn his affections towards God, if the heart of God were not 
first set upon him. 

(2dly.) In respect of sufficient causes of love. God 
must be revealed unto us as lovely and desirable, as a fit and 
suitable obj.ect unto the soul to set up its rest upon, before 
we can bear any love unto him. The saints (in this sense) 
do not love God for nothing, but for that excellency, love- 
liness, and desirableness that is in him. As the psalmist 
says in one particular, Psal. cxvi. 19. ' I love the Lord be- 
cause !' so may we in general, we love the Lord because ! 
Or, as David, in another case, * What have I now done, is there 

<: Ezek. xvi. 1—10, &c. Rom. ix. 11, 12. Tit. Hi. 3—6. Dcut. vii. 6—8. MaU. 
XI. 25, 26. John iii. 16. 


not a cause?' If anyman inquire about oui- love to God, we 
may say. What have we now done, is there not a cause? 

3dly. They differ in this also. The love of God is like 
himself, equal, constant, not capable of augmentation, or 
diminution : our love is like ourselves, unequal, increasing: 
waning, growing, declining. His, like the sun, always the 
same in its light, though a cloud may sometimes interpose, 
ours, as the moon, hath its enlargements and straitenings. 

(1st.) The love of the Father is equal, &c.'* whom he 
loves, he loves unto the end, and he loves them always alike. 

* The strength of Israel is not a man that he should repent.' 
On whom he fixes his love, it is immutable : it doth not grow 
to eternity, it is not diminished at any time. It is an eternal 
love,- that had no beginning, that shall have no ending; 
that cannot be heightened by any act of ours, that cannot 
be lessened by any thing in us ; I say, in itself it is thus, 
otherwise in a twofold regard it may admit of change. 

[1st.] In respect of its fruits ; it is, as I said, a'fruitful love, 
a love of bounty. In reference unto those fruits, it may 
sometimes be greater, sometimes less : its communications 
are various. Who among the saints, finds it not? What 
life, what light, what strength, sometimes ? and again, how 
dead, how dark, how weak, as God is pleased to let out, or 
to restrain the fruits of his love? All the graces of the Spi- 
rit in us, all sanctified enjoyments whatever, are fruits of his 
love. How variously these are dispensed, how differently at 
sundry seasons, to the same persons, experience will abun- 
dantly testify. 

[2dly.] In respect of its discoveries and manifestations. 

* He sheds abroad his love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost ;' 
Rom. V. 5, gives us a sense of it : manifests it unto us. Now 
this is ^various and changeable, sometimes more, sometimes 
less : now he shines, anon hides his face, as it may be for 
our profit. Our Father will not always chide, lest we be 
cast down ; he doth not always smile, lest we be full and 
neglect him : but yet still his love in itself is the same. 
When for a little moment he hides his face, yet he gathers 
us with everlasting kindness. 

d 1 Sam. XV. 29. Isa. xlvi. 70. Jer. xxxvii. 3. Mai. i. 6. Jaraes i. 17. 2 Tim, ii. 89. 
e Psal. xxxi. 16. Ixvii. 1. cxix. 135. xiii. 1. xxvii. 9. xxx. 7. Ixxxviii. 14. Isa- 
viii. 17. 


Oh. But you will say. This comes nigh to that blasphemy j 
that God loves his people in their sinning, as well as in their 
strictest obedience : and if" so, who will care to serve him 
more, or to walk with him unto well-pleasing? 

Ans. There are few truths of Christ, which from some or 
other, have not received like entertainment with this. Terms 
and appellations are at the v/ill of every imposer: things are 
not at all varied by them. The love of God in itself, is the 
eternal purpose and act of his will. This is no more change- 
able than God himself; if it were, no flesh could be saved : 
but it ''changeth not, and we are not consumed. What then ? 
Loves he his people in their sinning? Yes, his people, not 
their sinning. Alters ^he not his love towards them? Not 
ihe purpose of his will, but the dispensations of his grace. 
He rebukes thera, he chastens them, he hides his face from 
them, he smites them, he fills them with a sense of indigna- 
tion ; but woe, woe would it be to us, should he change in 
his love, or take away his kindness from us. Those very 
things which seem to be demonstrations of the change of 
his affections towards his, do as clearly proceed from love, 
as those which seem to be the most genuine issues thereof. 
But will not this encourage to sin? He never tasted of the 
love of God, that can seriously make this objection. The 
doctrine of grace may be turned into wantonness, the princi- 
ple cannot. I shall not wrong the saints, by giving other 
answer to this objection. Detestation of sin in any may 
well consist with the acceptation of their persons, and their 
designation to life eternal. 

But now our love to God is ebbing and flowing, waning 
and increasing. We lose our first love, and we grow again 
in love.** Scarce a day at a stand. What poor creatures 
are we? How unlike the Lord and his love? 'unstable as 
water, we cannot excel.' Now it is, 'though all men forsake 
thee, I will not ;' anon, ' I know not the man.' One day, • I. 
shall never be moved, my hill is so strong ;' the next, ' all 
men are liars, I shall perish.' Whenever was the time, 
wherever was the place, that our love was one day equal to- 
wards God? 

f Mai. iJi. G. 
5 Psal. xxxix. 11. Heb. xii. 7, 8. Rev. iii. 19. Isa. viii. 17. Ivii. 17. Job vi. 3. 
PscJ. vi. 6. xxxviii. 3 — 5, &c. 

*> Rev. ii. 5. iii. 2. Eph. iii. 16 — 19. 


And thus these agreements and discrepancies, do farther 
describe that mutual love of the Father and the saints, 
wherein they hold communion. Other instances, as to the 
person of the Father I shall not give, but endeavour to make 
some improvement of this, in the next chapter. 


Inferences on the former doctrine concerning communion with 
the Father in love. 

Having thus discovered the nature of that distinct commu- 
nion w^hich we have with the Father, it remaineth that we 
give some exhortations unto it, directions in it, and take 
some observations from it. 

1. First, then, this is a duty wherein it is most evident 
that Christians are but little exercised, namely, in holding 
immediate communion with the Father in love. Unac- 
quaintedness with our mercies, our privileges, is our sin, as 
well as our trouble. We hearken not to the voice of the 
Spirit,* * which is given unto us, that we may know the 
things, that are freely bestowed onus of God.' This makes 
us go heavily, when we might rejoice ; and to be weak, 
where we might be strong in the Lord. How few of the 
saints are experimentally acquainted with this privilege, of 
holding immediate communion with the Father in love ? With 
what anxious doubtful thoughts, do they look upon him ? 
What fears, what questionings are there, of his good will 
and kindness ? At the best, many think there is no sweet- 
ness af all in him towards us, but what is purchased at the 
high price of the blood of Jesus : it is true, that alone is the 
way of communication : but the free fountain and spring of 
all, is in the bosom of the Father \^ ' eternal life was with the 
Father, and is manifested unto us.' Let us then, 

(1.) Eye the Father as love; look not on him, as an 
always lowering Father, but as one mosf^ kind and tender. 

» 1 Cor. ii. 12. 

'' ZaMi, ^v TTgo? Tov TraTEpa, xoi lifavEgouflj) >i^iv. 1 John i. 2. 

<• Psal. ciii. 9. Mic. vii. 18. 


Let us look on him by faith, as one that hath had thoughts 
of kindness towards us from everlastmg. It is misappre- 
hension of God, that makes any run from him, who have the 
least breathing wrought in them after him. * They that know 
thee will put their trust in thee.' Men cannot abide with 
God in spiritual meditations. He loseth souls' company 
by their want of this insight into his love. They fix their 
thoughts only on his terrible majesty, severity, and greatness, 
and so their spirits are not endeared. Would a soul conti- 
nually eye his everlasting tenderness and compassion, his 
thoughts of kindness that have been from of old, his present 
gracious acceptance, it could not bear an hour's absence from 
him ; whereas now, perhaps, it cannot watch with him one 
hour. Let then this be the saints' first notion of the Father, 
as one full of eternal free love towards them : let their hearts 
and thoughts be filled with breaking through all discourage- 
ments that lie in the way. To raise them hereunto, let them 

[1.] Whose love it is? It is the love of him who is in 
himself all-sufficient, infinitely satiated with himself and his 
own glorious excellencies and perfections ; who hath no 
need to go forth with his love unto others, nor to seek an 
object of it without himself. There might he rest with de- 
light and complacency to eternity. He is sufficient unto 
his own love. He had his Son also, his eternal'^ wisdom to 
rejoice and delight himself in from all eternity ; Prov. viii. 30. 
This might take up and satiate the whole delight of the Fa- 
ther; but he will love his saints also. And it is such a love, 
as wherein he seeks not his own satisfaction only, but our 
good therein also. The love of a God, the love of a Father, 
whose proper outgoings are kindness and bounty. 
[2.] What kind of love it is ? And it is, 
1st. Eternal. It was fixed on us before the^ foundation 
of the world ; before we were, or had done the least good ; 
then were his thoughts upon us, then was his delight in us. 
Then did the Son rejoice in the thoughts of fulfilling his 
Father's delight in him ; Prov. viii. 30. Yea, the delight of 
the Father in the Son there mentioned, is not so much his 
absolute delight in him, as the express image of his person, 

^ QTi DV Q-yiWJ/ir optimc in Dei filiiini quadrat, patrisdelicias. Mercer in loc. 
e Rom ix. 11, 12. Acts \v. 18. 2 Tim. i. 9. ii. 1'.'. Prov. viii, 31. Jer. xxxi. 3. 


and the brightness of his glory, wherein he might behold all 
his own excellencies and perfections ; but with respect unto 
his love, and his delight in the sons of men. So the order 
of the words require us to understand it : * I was daily his 
delight;' and 'my delights were with the sons of men.' 
That is, in the thoughts of kindness and redemption for 
them : and in that respect also, was he his Father's delight. 
It was from eternity that he laid in his own bosom a design 
for our happiness. The very thoughts of this, is enough to 
make all that is within us, like the babe in the womb of 
Elizabeth, to leap for joy. A sense of it cannot but pros- 
trate our souls to the lowest abasement of a humble, holy 
reverence, and make us rejoice before him with tremblino-, 

2dly. Free. He^ loves us because he will; there was, 
there is, nothing in us, for which we should be beloved. Did 
we deserve his love, it must go less in its valuation. Things 
of due debt, are seldom the matter of thankfulness ; but 
that which is eternally antecedent to our being, must needs 
be absolutely free in its respects to our well-being. This 
gives it life and being, is the reason of it, and sets a price 
upon it ; Rom. ix. 12. Eph. i. 3, 4. Titus iii. 5. James i. 18. 

3dly. ^Unchangeable. Though we change every day, yet 
his love changeth not. Could any kind of provocation turn 
it away, it had long since ceased. Its unchangeableness 
is that which carrieth out the Father, unto that infiniteness 
of patience and forbearance, without which we die, we 
perish; 2 Pet. iii. 9. which he exerciseth towards us. And 
it is, 

4thly. '' Distinguishing. He hath not thus loved all the 
world. * Jacob have I loved, but I hated Esau ;' why should 
he fix his love on us, and pass by millions from whom we 
differ not by' nature : that he should make us sharers in that, 
and all the fruits of it, which most of the great and'' wise 
men of the world are excluded from : I name but the heads 
of things. Let them enlarge whose hearts are touched. 

Let, I say, the soul frequently eye the love of the Father, 

f Matt. xi. 25, 2(3. Hoc lanto et tain inefFabili bono, nemo inventus est dignus : 
sordet natura sine gratia. Pros, de lib. Arb. ad RufF. 

s Mai. iii. 6. James i. 17. Hos. xi. 9. 

'i Rom. ix. 12. Omnia diligit Deiis, quse fecit et inter ea niagis diliglt creaturas 
rationales, et de iliis eas aniplius (jum sunt membra unigeniti siii. Et multo luagis 
ipsum unigcnitum. August. 

i Eph. ii. 3. •< Mdtt. xi. 26, 27. 1 Cor. i. 20. 


and that under these considerations : they are all soul-con- 
quering and endearing. , 
(2.) So eye it, as to receive it; unless this be added, all 
is in vain as to any communion with God. We do not hold 
communion with him in any thing, until it be received by 
faith. This then is that which I would provoke the saints 
of God unto, even to^ believe this love of God for themselves, 
and their own part ; believe that such is the heart of the 
Father towards them, accept of his witness herein. His 
love is not oars in the sweetness of it, until it be so received. 
Continually then act thoughts of faith on God, as love to 
thee, as embracing thee with the eternal free love before de- 
scribed. When the Lord is by his word presented as such 
unto thee, let thy mind know it, and assent that it is so ; 
and thy will embrace it, in its being so ; and all thy affec- 
tions be filled with it. Set thy whole heart to it ; let it be 
bound with the cords of this love." If the king be bouiKl 
in the galleries with thy love, shouldest thou not be bound 
in heaven with his? 

(3.) Let it have its proper fruit and efficacy upon thy 
heart, in return of love to him again. So shall we walk in 
the light of God's countenance, and hold holy communion 
with our Father all the day long. Let us not deal unkindly 
with him, and return him slighting for his good will. Let 
there not be such a heart in us, as to deal so unthankfully 
with our God. 

Now to further us in this duty and the daily constant 
practice of it, I shall add one or two considerations that may 
be of importance thereunto. As, 

[1.] It is exceeding acceptable unto God even our Father, 
that we should thus hold communion with him in his love 5 
that he may be received into our souls, as one full of love, 
tenderness, and kindness, towards us. Flesh and blood is 
apt to have very hard thoughts of him : to think he is always 
angry, yea, implacable : that it is not for poor creatures to 
draw nigh to him: that nothing in the world is more desir- 
able than never to come into his presence, or, as they say, 
where he hath any thing to do. ' Who" amongst us shall 
dwell with that devouring fire, who amongst us shall inhabit 
with those everlasting burnings ?' say the sinners in Sion. 

' 1 John iv, 16. " Cant. vii. 5. " Isa. xxxiii. 15, 16. 


o * And I knew thou wast an austere man,' saith the evil ser- 
vant in the gospel. Now there is not anything more griev- 
ous to the Lord, nor more subservient to the design of 
Satan upon the soul, than such thoughts as these. Satan 
claps his hands (if I may so say) when he can take up the 
soul with such thoughts of God : he hath enough, all that 
he doth desire. This hath been his design and way from 
the beginning. TheP first blood that murderer shed, was 
by this means. He leads our first parents into hard thoughts 
of God ; ' hath God said so ?' hath he threatened you with 
death ? he knows well enough, it will be better with you : 
with this engine did he batter and overthrow all mankind 
in'' one : and being mindful of his ancient conquest, he 
readily useth the same weapons wherewith then he so suc- 
cessfully contended. Now it is exceeding grievous to the 
Spirit of God, to be so slandered in the hearts of those 
whom he dearly loves. How doth he expostulate this Vi^ith 
Sion? 'What iniquity "" have you seen in me?' saith he, 
* have I been a wilderness unto you, or a land of darkness ? ^ 
Sion hath said. The Lord hath forgotten me, and my God hath 
forsaken me ; but, can a mother V &c. The Lord takes 
nothing worse at the hands of his, than such hard thoughts 
of him, knowing full well what fruit this bitter root is like 
to bear : what alienations of heart, what drawings back, what 
unbelief, and tergiversations in our walking with him. How 
unwilling is a child to come into the presence of an angry 
father? Consider then this in the first place : receiving of 
the Father as he holds out love to the soul, gives him th e 
honour he aims at, and is exceeding acceptable unto him. 
He often sets it out in an eminent manner that it may be so 
received. ' He commendeth his love unto us ;' Rom. v. 8. 
' Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on 
us?' John iii. 1. Whence then is this folly ? men are afraid 
to have good thoughts of God. They think it a boldness 
to eye God, as good, gracious, tender, kind, loving : I speak 
of saints; but for the other side, they can judge him hard, 
austere, severe, almost implacable, and fierce (the very 
worst affections of the very worst of men, and most hated 

« Luke xix. 12. i' Gen. iii. '21. 

1 E<f)* M TTttVTEJ »)/UafTOV. lloiU. V. 12. 

f Jer. iii. 5. 31.' • Isa. xi. 27— ^9. xlix. 15, 16. 


of him ; Rom. i. 31. 2 Tim. iii. 3.) and think herein they do 
well. Is not this soul-deceit from Satan ? Was it not his 
design from the beginning to inject such thoughts of God? 
Assure thyself then, there is nothing more accejDtable unto 
the Father, than for us to keep up our hearts unto him, as 
the eternal fountain of all that rich grace, which flows out 
to sinners in the blood of Jesus. And, 

[2.] This will be exceeding effectual to endear thy soul 
unto God, to cause thee to delight in him, and to make thy 
abode with him. Many saints have no greater burden in 
their lives, than that their hearts do not come clearly and 
fully up constantly to delight and rejoice in God : that there 
is still an indisposedness of spirit unto close walking with 
him. What is at the bottom of this distemper? Is it not 
their unskilfulness in, or neglect of this duty, even of hold- 
ing communion with the Father in love ? So much as we see 
of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no 
more. Every other discovery of God without this, will but 
make the soul fly from him. But if the heart be once much 
taken up with this, the eminency of the Father's love, it can- 
not choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared 
unto him. This, if any thing, will work upon us, to make 
our abode with him. If the love of a father will not make a 
child delight in him, what will ? Put then this to the venture ; 
exercise your thoughts upon this very thing, the eternal, 
free, and fruitful love of the Father, and see if your hearts 
be not wrought upon to delight in him. I dare boldly say, 
believers will find it as thriving a course, as ever they pitched 
on in their lives. Sit down a little at the fountain, and you 
will quickly have a farther discovery of the sweetness of the 
streams. You who have run from him, will not be able after 
awhile, to keep at a distance for a moment. 

Ob. But some may say, * Alas, how shall I hold com- 
munion with the Father in love ? I know not at all whether 
he loves me or no ; and shall I venture to cast myself upon 
it ? How if I should not be accepted ? should I not rather 
perish for my presumption, than find sweetness in his bosom? 
God seems to me, only as a consuming fire, and everlasting 
burnings, so that I dread to look up unto him.' 

A?2s. I know not what may be understood by knowing of 
the love of God : though it be carried on by spiritual sense 


and experience, yet it is received purely by believing. Our 
knowing of it, is our believing of it, as revealed. ' We have 
known and believed the love that God hath to us, God is 
love ;' 1 John iv. 16. This is the assurance which at the very 
entrance of walking with God thou mayest have of this love. 
He who is truth hath said it: and whatever thy heart says, 
or Satan says, unless thou wilt take it up on this account, 
thou doest thy endeavour to make him a liar, who hath spoken 
it; 1 John V. 10. 

Ob. 2. ' 1 can believe that God is love to others, for he 
hath said he is love ; but that he will be so to me, I see no 
ground of persuasion ; there is no cause, no reason in the 
world, why he should turn one thought of love or kindness 
towards me ; and therefore I dare not cast myself upon it, to 
hold communion with him in his special love.' 

Ans. He hath spoken it as particularly to thee, as to any 
one in the world. And for cause of love, he hath as much to 
fix it on thee, as on any of the children of men ; that is, none 
at all without himself. So that I shall make speedy work with 
this objection. Never any one from the foundation of the 
world, who believed such love in the Father, and made re- 
turns of love to him again, ^vas deceived, neither shall ever 
any to the world's end be so, in so doing. Thou art then in 
this upon a most sure bottom. If thou believest and re- 
ceivest the Father as love, he will infallibly be so to thee, 
though others may fall under his severity. But, 

Ob. 3. ' I cannot find my heart making returns of love 
unto God. Could I find ray squI set upon him, I could then 
believe his soul delighted in me.' 

Ans. This is the most preposterous course, that possibly 
thy thoughts can pitch upon, a most ready way to rob God 
of his glory. ' Herein is love (saith the Holy Ghost) not that 
we loved God, but that he loved us first;' 1 John iv. 10. 19. 
Now, thou wouldst invert this order, and say, ' herein is 
love, not that God loved me, but that I love him first.' This 
is to take the glory of God from him : that, whereas he loves 
us without a cause that is in ourselves, and we have all cause 
in the world to love him, thou wouldst have the contrary, viz. 
that something should be in thee, for which God should love 
thee, even thy love to him ; and that thou shouldst love God, 
before thou knowest any thing lovely in him, viz. whether 


he love thee or no.' This is a course of flesh's finding out, 
that will never bring glory to God, nor peace to thy own 
soul. Lay down then thy reasonings ; take up the love of 
the Father upon a pure act of believing, and that will open 
thy soul to let it out unto theLord in the communion of love. 

To make yet some farther improvement of this truth so 
opened, and exhorted unto as before ; it will discover unto 
us the eminency and privilege of the saints of God. What 
low thoughts soever the sons of men may have of them, it 
will appear that they have meat to eat that the world knows 
not of: they have close communion and fellowship with the 
Father. They deal with him in the interchange of love. Men 
are generally esteemed according to the company they keep. 
It is an honour to stand in the presence of princes, though 
but as servants. What honour then have all the saints, to 
stand with boldness in the presence of the Father, and 
there to enjoy his bosom love. What a blessing did the 
queen of Sheba pronounce on the servants of Solomon, who 
stood before him, and heard his wisdom. How much more 
blessed then are they, who stand continually before the God 
of Solomon, hearing his wisdom, enjoying his love? Whilst 
others have their fellowship with Satan, and their own lusts, 
making provision for them, and receiving perishing refresh- 
ments from them (* whose end is destruction, whose God is 
their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind 
earthly things'), they have this sweet communion with the 

Moreover ; what a safe and sweet retreat is here for the 
saints, in all the scorns, reproaches, scandals, misrepresenta- 
tions which they undergo in the world. When' a child is 
abused abroad in the streets by strangers, he runs with speed 
to the bosom of his father ; there he makes his complaint, 
and is comforted. In all the hard" censures, and tongue- 
persecutions which the saints meet withal in the streets of 
the world, they may run with their meanings unto their fa^ 
ther, and be comforted. ' As one whom his mother comfort- 
eth, so will I comfort you, saith the Lord;' Isa. Ixvi. 13. So 
that the soul may say, if I have hatred in the world, I will go 
where I am sure of love : though all others are hard to me, 

' Isa. xxvi. 20. 
" 'E[A,7raiyft,Zv Tr&ipav iXaffov. Heb. xi. 36, 'OniSttr/xoit ^sctTjifo/^Evot. Heb. x. S3. 


yet my father is tender and full of compassion ; I will go to 
him, and satisfy myself in him. Here I am accounted vile, 
frowned on, and rejected, but 1 have honour and love with 
him, whose kindness is better than life itself. There I shall 
have all things in the fountain, which others have but in the 
drops ; there is in my father's love, every thing desirable ; 
there is the sweetness of all mercies in the abstract itself, 
and that fully and durably. 

Evidently, then, the saints are the most mistaken men in 
the world. If they say," Come and have fellowship with us; 
are not men ready to sa}'^. Why, what are you ? a sorry com- 
pany of ^seditious, factious, persons : be it known unto you, 
that we despise your fellowship ; when we intend to leave 
fellowship with all honest men, and men of worth, then will 
we come to you. But alas ! how are men mistaken ? truly, 
their fellowship is with the Father: let men think of it as 
they please, they have close, spiritual, heavenly refreshings, 
in the mutual communication of love with the Father him- 
self. How they are generally misconceived, the apostle de- 
clares ; 2 Cor. vi. 8 — 10. * As deceivers, and yet true; as 
unknown, yet well known ; as dying, and behold we live ; as 
chastened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; 
as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet pos- 
sessing all things.' And as it is thus in general, so in no one 
thing more than this, that they are looked on as poor, low, 
despicable persons, when indeed they are the only great and 
noble personages in the world. Consider the company they 
keep, it is with the Father ; who so glorious ? the merchan- 
dise they trade in, it is love; what so precious ? Doubtless 
they are the excellent on the earth ; Psal. xvi. 3. 

Farther ; This will discover a main difference between 
the saints and empty professors. As to the performance of 
duties, and so the enjoyment of outward privileges, fruitless 
professors often walk hand in hand with them : but now 
come to their secret retirements, and what a difference is 
there ? there the saints hold communion with God ; hypo- 
crites, for the most part, with the world and their own lusts, 
with them they converse and communicate : they hearken 
what they will say to them, and make provision for them : 
when the saints are sweetly wrapt up in the bosom of their 

" 1 John i. 3. y Acts xrii. 6. xxviii. 22. 


Father's love. It is oftentimes even almost impossible that 
believers should, in outward appearance, go beyond them who 
have very rotten hearts : but this meat they have which others 
know not of ; this refreshment in the banqueting house 
wherein others have no share ; in the multitude of their 
thoughts, the comforts of God their Father refresheth their 

Now then (to draw towards a close of this discourse) if 
these things be so, 'what manner of men ought we to be, in 
all manner of holy conversation V even ' our God is a con- 
suming fire.' What communion is there between light and 
darkness ? Shall sin and lust dwell in those thoughts which 
receive in, and carry out love, from and unto the Father? 
Holiness becometh his presence for ever. An unclean Spirit 
cannot draw nigh unto him ; an unholy heart can make no 
abode with him. A lewd person will not desire to hold fel- 
lowship with a sober man : and will a man of vain and foolish 
imaginations, hold communion and dwell with the most holy 
God? There is not any consideration of this love but is a 
powerful motive unto holiness and leads thereunto. Ephraim 
says. What have I to do any more with idols? when in God 
he finds salvation. Communion with the Father is wholly 
inconsistent with loose walking. ' If we say that we have 
fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do 
not the truth ;' 1 John i. 6. ' He that saith I know him (I 
have communion with him), and keepeth not his command- 
ments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him ;' chap. ii. 4. The 
most specious and glorious pretence made to an acquaint- 
ance with the Father, without holiness and obedience to his 
commandments, serves only to prove the pretenders to be 
liars. The love of the world and of the Father, dwell not 

And if this be so (to shut up all), how many that go 
under the name of Christians come short of the truth of it? 
How unacquainted are the generality of professors, with the 
mystery of this communion, and the fruits of it? Do not 
many very evidently hold communion with their lusts and 
with the world, and yet would be thought to have a portion 
and inheritance among them that are sanctified ? They have 
neither new name nor white stone, and yet would be called 
the people of the Most High. May it not be said of many of 


them, rather that God is not in all their thoughts, than that 
they have communion with him ? The Lord open the eyes. 
of men that they may see and know that walking with God 
is a matter not of form, but power. And so far of peculiar 
communion with Father, in the instance of love which we 
have insisted on. He is * also faithful who hath called us 
to the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord ;' of which 
in the next place. 


Of the fellowship which the saints have with Jesus Christ the Son of God. 
That they have such a fellowship proved. 1 Cor. i. 9. Rev. iii. 20. 
Cant. ii. 1 — 7. opened. Prov. ix. 1 — 3. 

Of that distinct communion which we have with the person 
of the Father, we have treated in the foregoing chapters ; 
we now proceed to the consideration of that which we have 
with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now the fellowship 
we have with the second person, is with him as mediator, in 
that office whereunto by dispensation he submitted himself 
for our sakes, being ' made of a woman, made under the law, 
to redeem them that were under the law, that we might re- 
ceive the adoption of sons ;' Gal.iv. 4, 5. And herein I shall 
do these two things : 

1. Declare that we have slich fellowship with the Son 
of God. 

2. Shew wherein that fellowship or communion doth 

1. For the first, 1 shall only produce some few places of 
Scripture to confirm it, that it is so. 1 Cor. i. 9. ' God is 
faithful by whom ye were called to the fellowship of his 
Son Jesus Christ our Lord.' This is that whereunto all the 
saints are called, and wherein by the faithfulness of God 
they shall be preserved, even fellowship with Jesus Christ 
our Lord. We are called of God tlie Father, as the Father, 
in pursuit of his love, to communion with the Son, as our 

VOL. X. E 


Rev. iii. 20. * Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if 
any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to 
him, and sup with him, and he with me.'* Certainly this is 
fellowship, or I know not what is ; Christ will sup with be- 
lievers, he refreshes himself with his own graces in them, 
by his Spirit bestowed on them. The Lord Christ is ex- 
ceedingly delighted in tasting of the sweet fruits of the 
Spirit in the saints. Hence is that prayer of the spouse that 
she may have something for his entertainment when he 
cometh to her. Cant. iv. 16. ' Awake, O north-wind, and 
come thou south, blow upon my garden, that the spices 
thereof may flow out, let my beloved come into his garden, 
and eat his pleasant fruits.' The souls of the saints are the 
garden of Jesus Christ, the good ground ; Heb. vi. 7, 8. A 
garden for delight ; he rejoices in them ; ' his delights are with 
the sons of men;' Pro V. viii. 31. 'and he rejoices over them;' 
Zeph. iii. 17. And a garden for fruit, yea, pleasanj; fruit ; so 
he describes it. Cant. iv. 12 — 14. ' A garden inclosed is my 
sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed ; thy 
plants are an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits, 
camphire with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus 
and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh, and 
aloes; with all chief fruits.' Whatever is sweet and deli- 
cious for taste, whatever savoury and odoriferous, whatever 
is useful and medicinal, is in this garden. There is all 
manner of spiritual refreshments of all kinds whatever, in 
the souls of the saints for the Lord Jesus. On this account 
is the spouse so earnest in the prayer mentioned for an in- 
crease of these things, that "her beloved may sup with her 
as he hath promised. 'Awake, O north-wind,' &c. Oh that 
the breathings and workings of the Spirit of all grace, might 
stir up all his gifts and graces in me, that the Lord Jesus, 
the beloved of my soul, may have meet and acceptable en- 
tertainment from me. God complains of want of fruit in 
his vineyard, Isa. v. 3. Hos. x. 1. want of good food for 
Christ's entertainment, is that the spouse feared, and la- 
bours to prevent. A barren heart is not lit to receive him. 
And the delight he takes in the fruit of the Spirit is unspeak- 
able. This he expresses at large, Cant. v. 1 . ' I am come,* saith 
he, I have eat, I am refreshed. He calls it a>"t:iD ns the fruit of 

» John xiv. 23. 


his sweetnesses ; or most pleasant to him. Moreover, as 
Christ sups with his saints, so he hath promised they shall 
sup with him, to complete that fellowship they have with 
him. Christ provides for their entertainment in a most emi- 
nent manner. There are beasts killed, and wine is mingled, 
and a table furnished Prov. ix. 2. ; He calls the spiritual 
dainties that he hath for them a feast, a wedding, '^' A feast 
of fat things, wine upon the lees/ &c. The fatted calf is 
killed for their entertainment. Such is the communion, 
and such is the mutual entertainment of Christ and his 
saints in that communion. 

Cant. ii. 1 — 7. ' I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily 
of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns, so is my love 
among the daughters : as the apple-tree among the trees of 
the wood, so is ray beloved among the sons: in his shadow 
I delighted and sat down, and his fruit was sweet to my 
taste,' &c. 

In the two first verses, you have the description that 
Christ gives, first of himself, then of his church. Of him- 
self, ver. 1. that is, what he is to his spouse : ' I am the rose 
of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.' The Lord^ Christ is 
in the Scripture compared to all things of eminency in the 
whole creation. He is in the heavens the sun, and the 
bright morning star: as the lion among the beasts, the lion 
of the tribe of Judah. Among the flowers of the field here, 
he is the rose and the lily. The two eminencies of flowers, 
sweetness of savour, and beauty of colour, are divided be- 
tween these. The rose for sweetness, and the lily for beau- 
ty (Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of 
these), have the pre-eminence. Farther, he is ' the rose of 
Sharon,' a fruitful plain, where the choicest herds were fed ; 
1 Chron. xxvii. 29. so eminent that it is promised to the 
church, that there shall be given unto her the ^excellency of 
Sharon ; Isa. xxxv. 2. This fruitful place doubtless brought 
forth the most precious roses. Christ is the savour of his 
love, and in his righteousness (which is as the garment 
wherein Jacob received his blessing, giving forth a smell as 
the ' smell of a pleasant field ;' Gen. xxvii. 27.), is as this 
excellent rose, to draw and allure the hearts of his saints 

<: Isa. XXV. 6. Matt. xxii. 8. Rev. xix. 7. 
d Mai. iv. 2. Rev. xii. 1. Luke i. 78. amroXhi^ iJ^oyj. Nuiu. xxlv. 17. 2 Pet. i. 19. 
Rev. xxii. 16. Gen. xlix. 9. Mich, v, 8. Rev. v. .5. « Isa. xxxiii. 9. Ixv. 10. 

E 2 


unto him. As God smelled a sweet savour from the blood 
of his atonement, Eph. v. 2. so from the graces wherewith 
for them he is anointed, his saints receive a refreshing, che- 
rishing savour ; Cant. i. 2. A sweet savour expresses that 
which is acceptable and delightful; Gen. viii. 21. He is 
also the lily of the valleys, that of all flowers is the most 
eminent in beauty ; Matt. vi. 29. most desirable is he for the 
comeliness and perfection of his person ; incomparably 
fairer than the children of men, of which afterward. He 
then being thus unto them, abundantly satiating all their 
spiritual senses, their refreshment, their ornament, their de- 
light, their glory ; in the next verse he tells us what they 
are to him : ' As the lily among the thorns, so is my be- 
loved among the daughters.' That Christ and his church 
are likened unto, and termed the same thing (as here the 
lily), is, as from their union by the indwelling of the same 
Spirit, so from that '^conformity and likeness that is between 
them, and whereunto the saints are appointed. Now she is 
a lily, very beautiful unto Christ : as the lily among the 
thorns, 1. By the way of eminency : as the lily excelleth 
the thorns, so do the saints all others whatever in the eye of 
Christ. Lat comparison be made, so will it be found to be. 
And, 2. By the way of trial : the residue of the world, be- 
ing ' pricking briars and grieving thorns to the house of Is- 
rael ;' Ezek. xxviii. 24. ' The best of them is a briar, and the 
most upright of them sharper than a thorn hedge;' Mich, 
vii. 4. And thus are they among the daughters ; even the 
most eminent collections of the most improved professors, 
that are no more but so. There cannot be in any greater com- 
parison, a greater exaltation of the excellency of any thing. 
So then is Christ to them indeed, ver. 1. So are they in his 
esteem and indeed, ver. 2. How he is in their esteem and 
indeed, we have ver. 3. 

' As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my 
beloved among the sons, I sat down under his shadow with 
great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.' To carry 
on this intercourse, the spouse begins to speak her thoughts 
of, and to shew her delight in, the Lord Christ ; and, as he 
compares her to the lily among the thorns, so she him to the 
apple-tree among the trees of the wood. And she adds this 

f Rom. viii. 29. 


reason of it, even because he hath the two eminent things 
of trees, which the residue of them have not. 1. Fruit for 
food. 2. Shade for refreshment. Of the one she eateth, 
under the other she resteth, both with great delight. All 
other sons, either angels, the sons of God by creation, Job 
i. 6. xxxviii. 7. or the sons of Adam, the best of his off- 
spring, the leaders of those companies, which ver. 2. are 
called daughters ; or sons of the old creation, the top 
branches of all its desirable things, are to an hungry, weary 
soul (such alone seek for shade and fruit), but as the fruit- 
less, leafless trees of the forest, which will yield them nei- 
ther food nor refreshment. In Christ, saith she, there is 
fruit, fruit sweet to the taste. 'Yea, his flesh is meat indeed, 
and his blood is drink indeed ;' John Vi. 55. Moreover, he 
hath brought forth that everlasting righteousness, which 
will abundantly satisfy any hungry soul after it hath gone 
to many a barren tree for food, and hath found none. Be- 
sides, he aboundeth in precious and pleasant graces, whereof 
I may ^eat, yea, he calls me to do so, and that abundantly. 
These are the fruits that Christ beareth. They speak of a 
tree that bringeth forth all things needful for life in food 
and raiment. Christ is that tree of life, which hath broupht 
forth all things that are needful unto life eternal : in him is 
that righteousness which we ''hunger after; in him is that 
water of life, which whoso ^drinketh of, shall thirst no more. 
Oh how sweet are the fruits of Christ's mediation to the 
faith of his saints. He tliat can tind no relief in mercy, 
pardon, grace, acceptation with God,, holiness, sanctifica- 
tion, &.C. is an utter stranger to these things (''v/ine in the 
lees), that are prepared for believers. Also, he hath shades 
for refreshment and shelter. Shelter from wrath without, 
and refreshment because of weariness from within. The 
first use of the ' shade, is to keep us from the heat of the 
sun, as did Jonah's gourd. When the heat of wrath is ready 
to scorch the soul, Christ interposing bears it all ; under 
the shadow of his wings we sit down constantly, quietly, 
safely putting our trust in him : and all this with great de- 
light. Yea, who can express the joy of a soul safe sha- 

8 Cant. V. 1. •' Matt. v. 6. i Jolin vii. 38. 

'' Isa. XXV. 6. Prov. ix. 1. 
' Jonah iv. (3. Isa. xxv. 4. xxxii, 2. 2 Cor. v. 21. Gal.iii. 13. Mai. iv. 2. 


dowed from wrath, under the covert of the righteousness of 
the Lord Jesus ? There is also refreshment in a shade from 
weariness : 'he is as the shadow of a great rock in a weary 
land ;' Isa. xxxii. 2. From the power of corruptions, trou- 
ble of temptations, distress of persecutions, there is in him 
quiet, rest, and repose ; Matt. xi. 27, 28. 

Having thus mutually described each other, and so made 
it manifest, that they cannot but be delighted in fellowship 
and communion; in the next verses that communion of theirs 
is at large set forth and described. I shall briefly observe 
four things therein. 
(1.) Sweetness. 
(2.) Delight. 
(3.) Safety. 
(4.) Comfort. 

(1.) Sweetness. ' He broughtme to the banqueting house;' 
or ' house of wine.' It is all set forth under expressions of 
the greatest sweetness, and most delicious refreshment: fla- 
gons, apples, wine, &c. he entertains me, saith the spouse, 
as some great personage. Great personages, at great enter- 
tainments are had into the banqueting house, the house of 
wine, and dainties. These are the preparations of grace and 
mercy, love, kindness, supplies revealed in the gospel, de- 
clared in the assemblies of the saints, exhibited by the Spi- 
rit. This love is better than wine ; Cant. i. 1. it is 'not in 
meats and drinks, but righteousness, and™ peace, and joy in 
the Holy Ghost.' Gospel dainties are sweet refreshments ; 
whether these houses of wine be the Scriptures, the gospel, 
or the ordinances dispensed in the assemblies of the saints, 
or any eminent and signal manifestations of special love 
(as banqueting is not every day's work, nor used at ordinary 
entertainments), it is all one. Wine that cheereth the heart 
of man, that makes him forget his misery ; Prov. xxxi. 6, 7, 
that gives him a cheerful look and countenance; Gen. xlix. 
12. is that which is promised. The grace exhibited by 
Christ in his ordinances, is refreshing, strengthening, com- 
forting, and full of sweetness to the souls of the saints. 
Woe be to such full souls, as loathe these honeycombs. But 
thus Christ makes all his assemblies, to be banqueting 
houses, and there he gives his saints entertainment. 

™ Rom. xiv. 17. John vii. 37. Prov. xxvii. 7, 


(2.) Delight. The spouse is quite ravished with the 
sweetness of this entertainment, finding love, and care, and 
kindness, bestowed by Christ in the assemblies of the saints : 
hence she cries out, ver. 5. ' Stay me with flagons, comfort 
me with apples, for I am sick of love.' Upon the discovery 
of the excellency and sweetness of Christ in the banqueting 
house, the soul is instantly overpowered, and cries out to be 
made partaker of the fulness of it. She is sick of love : not 
(as some suppose) fainting for want of a sense of love, under 
the apprehension of wrath, but made sick, and faint, even 
overcome with the mighty actings of that divine affection, 
after she had once tasted of the sweetness of Christ in the 
banqueting house. Her desire deferred, makes her heartsick : 
therefore she cries, * stay me,' &,c. I have seen a glimpse of 
the ' king in his beauty ;' tasted of the fruit of his righteous- 
ness ; my soul melteth in longing after him. Oh support 
and sustain my spirit, with his presence in his ordinances, 
those ' flagons and apples of his banqueting house,' or I 
shall quite sink and faint. Oh what hast thou done blessed 
Jesus ? I have seen thee and my soul is become as the cha- 
riots of Ammi-nadib ; let me have something from thee to 
support me, or I die. When a person is fainting on any 
occasion, these two things are to be done, strength is to be 
used to support him, that he sink not to the ground ; and 
comfortable things are to be applied to refresh his spirits. 
These two, the soul overpowered, and fainting with the 
force of its own love, raised by a sense of Christ's, prayeth 
for : it would have strengthening grace to support it in that 
condition, that it may be able to attend its duty ; and con- 
solations of the Holy Ghost, to content, revive, and satiate 
it, until it come to a full enjoyment of Christ. And thus 
sweetly and with delight is this communion carried on. 

(3.) Safety. '^ His banner over me was love;' ver. 4. The 
banner is an emblem of safety and protection, a sign of the 
presence of an host. Persons belonging to an army, do 
encamp under their banner in security ; so did the children 
of Israel in the wilderness, every tribe kept their camps under 
their own standard. It is also a token of success and vic- 
tory ; Psal. XX. 6. Christ hath a banner for his saints; and 
that is love. All their protection is from his love ; and they 
shall have all the protection his love can give them. This 



safeguards them from hell, death, all their enemies. What- 
ever presses on them, it must pass through the banner of the 
love of the Lord Jesus. They have then great spiritual safe- 
ty, which is another ornament or excellency of their com- 
munion with him. 

(4.) Supportment and consolation ; ver. 6. * His left hand 
is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.' 
Christ here hath the posture of a most tender friend, towards 
any one in sickness and sadness. The soul faints with love ; 
spiritual longings after the enjoyment of his presence, and 
Christ comes in with his embraces. He nourisheth and 
cherisheth his church ; Eph. v. 29. Isa. Ixiii. 13. Now the 
hand under the head, is supportment, sustaining grace, in 
pressures and difficulties ; and the hand that doth embrace, 
the hand upon the heart, is joy and consolation ; in both, 
Christ rejoicing, as the * bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride.* 
Isa. Ixii. 5. Now th\is to lie in the arms of Christ's love, 
under a perpetual influence of supportment and refreshment, 
is certainly to hold communion with him. And hereupon 
ver. 1. the spouse is most earnest for the continuance of his 
fellowship, charging all so to demean themselves, that her 
beloved be not disquieted, or provoked to depart. 

In brief, this whole book is taken up in the description of 
the communion that is between the Lord Christ and his 
saints, and therefore, it is very needless to take from thence 
any more particular instances thereof. 

I shall only add that of Prov. ix. 1 — 5. ' Wisdom hath 
builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars, she 
hath killed her beasts, she hath mingled her wine, she hath 
also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens, 
she crieth upon the highest places of the city. Whoso is 
simple, let him turn in hither, as for him that wanteth un- 
standing she saith to him. Come, eat of my bread, and drink 
of the wine that I have mingled.' 

The Lord Christ, the eternal wisdom of the Father, and 
who of God is made unto us wisdom, erects a spiritual house, 
wherein he makes provision for the entertainment of those 
guests whom he so freely invites. His church is the house 
which he hath built on a perfect number of pillars that it 
might have a stable foundation : his slain beasts, and min- 
gled wine wherewith his table is furnished, are those spi- 


ritual fat things of the gospel, which he hath prepared for 
those that come in upon his invitation : surely to eat of this 
bread, and drink of this wine which he hath so graciously- 
prepared, is to hold fellowship with him ; for in what ways 
or things, is there nearer communion than in such. 

I might farther evince this truth, by a consideration of all 
the relations wherein Christ and his saints do stand, which 
necessarily require that there be a communion between them, 
if we do suppose they are faithful in those relations : but 
this is commonly treated on, and something will be spoken 
to it, in one signal instance afterward. 


What it is wherein we have peculiar fellowship ivith the Lord Christ. This 
isingrace. This proved; Johu i. 14. 16', 17. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 2 Tliess. 
jii. 17, 18. Grace, of various acceptations. Personal grace in Christ 
proposed to consideration. The grace of Christ as Mediator intended ; 
Psal. xlv. 2. Cant. v. 9. Christ how white and ruddy. His fitness to 
save, from the (/race of union. His fidness to save. His suitableness to 
endear. These considei-ations improved. 

Having manifested that the saints hold peculiar fellowship 
with the Lord Jesus, it nextly follows, that we shew wherein 
it is that they have this peculiar communion with him. 

Now this is in grace. This is every where ascribed to 
him by the way of erainency. John i. 14. 'He dwelt among 
us, full of grace and truth.' Grace in the truth and sub- 
stance of it. All that *vvent before was but typical and in 
representation; in the truth and substance, it comes only by 
Christ. 'Grace and truth is by Jesus Christ ;' ver. 17. and, 
'of his fulness we receive grace for grace;' ver. 16. that is, 
we have communion with him in grace ; we receive from him 
all manner of grace whatever, and therein have we fellowship 
with him. 

So likewise in that apostolical benediction, wherein the 
communication of spiritual blessings from the several Per- 
sons unto the saints, is so exactly distinguished ; it is grace 

' Acts XV. 11. Rom. xvi. 24. 1 Cor. xvi. 23. 2 Cor. xiii. 11. Gal. vi. 18. Eph. vi. 24. 


that is ascribed to our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 
' The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 
and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.' 

Yea, Paul is so delighted with this, that he makes it his 
motto, and the token whereby he would have his epistles 
known, 2 Thess. iii. 17, 18. 'The salutation of Paul with 
mine own hand.' So I write, 'The grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be with you all.' Yea, he makes these two, 'grace be 
with you,' and the ' Lord Jesus be with you,' to be equivalent 
expressions ; for whereas he affirmeth the one to be the token 
in all his epistles, yet sometimes he useth the one only, 
sometimes the other of these, and sometimes puts them both 
together. This then is that which we are peculiarly to eye 
in the Lord Jesus, to receive it from him, even grace, gos- 
pel-grace, revealed in, or exhibited by the gospel. He is 
the head-stone in the building of the temple of God, to whom 
' Grace, grace,' is to be cried ; Zech. iv. 7. 

Grace is a word of various acceptations. In its most 
eminent significations it may be referred unto one of these 
three headsj 

1. Grace of personal presence and comeliness. «>So we 
say a graceful and comely person, either from himself or his 
ornaments. This in Christ (upon the matter) is the subject 
of near one half of the book of Canticles : it is also men- 
tioned, Psal. xlv. 2. * Thou art fairer than the children of 
men ; grace is poured into thy lips.' And unto this first 
head, in respect of Christ, do I refer also that acceptation of 
grace, which in respect of us, I fix in the third place. Those 
inconceivable gifts and fruits of the Spirit which were be- 
stowed on him, and brought forth in him, concur to his per- 
sonal excellency, as will afterward appear. 

2. Grace of free favour and acceptance. '^By this grace 
we are saved : that is, the free favour and gracious accepta- 
tion of God in Christ. In this sense is it used in that fre- 
quent expression, 'if I have found grace in thy sight :' that is, 
if I be freely and favourably accepted before thee. So he 
' giveth grace (that is, favour) to the humble ;' James iv. 6. 

b Prov. i. 9. iii. 32, 34. Cant. iii. 6—11. v. 9—16, &c. 
<^ Ezra ix.8. Acts iv. 33. Luke ii. 40. Esther ii. 17. Psal. Ixxxi*. 11. Eph. ii. 5. 
Acts XV. 40. xviii, 27. Rom. i. 7. iv, 4. 16. v. 2. 20. xi. 5, 6- 2 Tiiess. ii. 16. 
Tit. iii. t. Rev. i. 4, &c. 


Gen. xxxix. 21. xli. 37. Acts vii. 10. 1 Sam. ii. 26. 2 Kings 
XXV. 27, 8tc. 

3. The fruits of the Spirit, sanctifying and renewing 
our natures, enabling unto good, and preventing from evil, 
are so termed. Thus the Lord tells Paul, his 'grace was 
sufficient for him ;' that is, the assistance against tempta- 
tion which he afforded him ; Col. iii. 16. 2 Cor. viii. 6, 7. 
Heb. xii. 28. 

These two latter, as relating unto Christ, in respect of us 
who receive them, I call purchased grace, being indeed pur- 
chased by him for us ; and our communion with him therein, 
is termed a 'fellowship in his sufferings, and the power of his 
resurrection ;' Phil. iii. 10. 

Let us begin with the first, which I call personal grace, 
and concerning that do these two things: 

(1.) Shew what it is, and wherein it consisteth, 1 mean 
the personal grace of Christ. And, 

(2.) Declare how the saints hold immediate communion 
with him therein. 

To the handling of the first, 1 shall only premise this 
observation. It is Christ as Mediator of whom we speak : 
and therefore, by the 'grace of his person,' I understand not 

[1.] The glorious excellencies of his Deity, considered in 
itself, abstracting from the office which for us, as God and 
man, he undertook. 

[2.] Nor the outward appearance of his human nature, 
neither when he conversed here on earth, bearing our infir- 
mities, (whereof, by reason of the charge that was laid upon 
him, the prophet gives quite another character, Isa. Iii. 14.) 
concerning which some of the ancients were very poetical in 
their expressions ; nor yet as now exalted in glory ; a vain 
imagination whereof, makes many bear a false, a corrupted 
respect unto Christ, even upon carnal apprehensions of the 
mighty exaltation of the human nature, which is but 'to 
know Christ after the flesh ;' 2 Cor. v. 19. a mischief much 
improved by the abomination of foolish imagery : but this 
is that which I intend ; the graces of the person of Christ, 
as he is vested with the office of mediation. His spiritual 
eminency, comeliness, and beauty, as appointed and 
anointed by the Father unto the great work of bringing home 
all his elect unto his bosom. 


Now in this respect the Scripture describes him as ex- 
ceeding excellent, comely, and desirable, far above compari- 
son with the chiefest, choicest, created good, or any endear- 
ment imaginable. 

Psal. xlv. 2. 'Thou art fairer than the children of men, 
grace is poured into thy lips.' '^He is beyond comparison, 
more beautiful and gracious than any here below, n*D>D' Ja- 
liliiaphita, the word is doubled to increase its significancy, 
and to exalt its subject beyond all comparison. ND^D "]lDVii' 
iW^ ♦inn ^nv NH't^ra says the Chaldee paraphrast : ' Thy 
fairness, O King Messiah, is moi'e excellent than the sons 
of men.' 'Pulcheradmodum pros filiis hominum/ exceeding 
desirable. Inward beauty and glory is here expressed by 
that of outward shape, form, and appearance ;*' because that 
was so much esteemed in those who were to rule or govern. 
Isa. iv. 2. the prophet terming of him ' the Branch of the 
Lord,' and 'the fruit of the earth,' affirms that he shall be beau- 
tiful and glorious, excellent and comely ; 'for in him dwelleth 
the fulness of the Godhead bodily;' Col. ii. 9. 

Cant, V. 9. the spouse is inquired of as to this very 
thing, even concerning the personal excellencies of the 
Lord Christ her beloved. 'What is thy beloved (say the 
daughters of Jerusalem) more than another beloved, Othou 
fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than an- 
other beloved?' and she returns this answer, ver. 10. ' My 
beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand ;' 
and so proceedeth to a particular description of him by his 
excellencies, to the end of the chapter, and there concludeth 
that ' he is altogether lovely ;' ver. 16. whereof at large af- 
terward. Particularly he is here affirmed to be white and 
ruddy, a due mixture of which colours, composes the most 
beautiful complexion. 

1st. He is white in the glory of his Deity, and ruddy in 
the preciousness of his humanity. * His teeth are white with 
milk, and his eyes are red with wine ;' Gen. xlix. 12. 
Whiteness (if I may so say) is the complexion of glory. 

*• Isa. xi. 1. Jer. xxiii. 5. xxxiii. 15. Zech. iii. 8. vi. 12. 

* ilt; nSh naXl^ oVav I'p^^Ei voUv iraJ<()pova, Tr^aJTOV /u-sv eiSo? a^»ov TM^avviSo?. Porpliyr. in 
Isag. inde Suetonius de Doniitiano : Commendari se verecundia oris adeo senticbat, 
ut apud senatum sic quondam jactavcrit; usque adhuc ccrte animum nieum probas- 
tiset vultum, Sucton. Domit. cap. 18. Forma- clegantia in rcge laudatur, non quod 
per se dccoris niagni ffistimari debeat, scd quia in ipso vullu sicpe rcluceat gencrosa 
iudoles. Calvin, in Loc. 


In that appearance of the Most High, the ' Ancient of days ;' 
Dan. vii. 9. it is said, his ' garment was white as snow, and 
the hair of his head as pure wool.' And of Christ in his 
transfiguration, when he had on him a mighty lustre of the 
Deity, ' his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was 
white as the light;' Matt. xvii. 2. which, in the phrase of an- 
other evangelist, is, ' as white as snow, so as no fuller on 
earth could white them ;' Mark ix. 3. It was a divine, hea- 
venly, surpassing glory, that was upon him ; Rev. i. 14. 
Hence the angels and glorified saints, that always behold 
him, and are fully translated into the image of the same 
glory, are still said to be in white robes.^ His whiteness is 
his Deity, and the glory thereof. And on this account, the 
Chaldee paraphrast ascribes this whole passage unto God. 
'They say,' saith he, ' to the house of Israel, Who is the God 
whom thou wilt serve? Sec. Then began the congregation 
of Israel to declare the praises of the ruler of the world, 
and said, I will serve that God who is clothed in a garment 
white as snow, the splendour of the glory of whose counte- 
nance is as fire.' He is also ruddy in the beauty of his hu- 
manity ; man was called Adam from the red earth whereof 
he was made. The word here ^used points him out as the 
second Adam, partaker of flesh and blood; because the 
children also partook of the same ; Heb. ii. 14. The beauty 
and comeliness of the Lord Jesus in the union of both these 
in one person, shall afterward be declared. 

2dly. He is white in the beauty of his innocency and 
holiness, and ruddy in the blood of his oblation. Whiteness 
is the badge of innocency and holiness. It is said of the 
Nazarites for their typical holiness, 'They were purer than 
snow, and whiter than milk ;' Lam. iv. 7. And the prophet 
shews us, that scarlet, red, and crimson, are the colours of 
sin and guilt, whiteness of innocency ;'' Isa. i. 18. 'Our be- 
loved was a lamb without spot or blemish ;' 1 Pet. i. 18. * He 
did no sin, neither was there any guile found in his mouth;' 
1 Pet. ii. 22. ' He is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate 
from sinners ;' Heb. vii. 24. as afterward will appear ; and 

*' Rev. iii. 4, 5. vi. 11. vii. 9. 13. xix. Ik S QnKT nv *T)T 

'• Alii candiduni expcnunt esse puris et probis, rubrum et cruentum reprobis ad cos 
puniendos ut Isa. Ixiii. dicitur. ■jcin'?'? mx ynti Cur rubent vestimenta tua, quod 
nostri minus rectede Christi passione exponunt. Merc, in Loc. 


yet he, who was so white in his innocency, was made ruddy 
in his own blood; and that two ways: Naturally, in the 
pouring out of his blood (his precious blood), in that agony of 
his soul, when thick drops of blood trickled to the ground ; 
Luke xxii. 24. as also when the whips and thorns, nails and 
spears, poured it out abundantly ; ' there came forth blood 
and water ;' John xix. 34. he was ruddy by being drenched 
all over in his own blood. And morally, by the imputation 
of sin, whose colour is red and crimson. 'God made him 
to be sin for us, who knew no sin ;' 2 Cor. v. 21. He who 
was white, became ruddy for our sakes, pouring out his 
blood, an oblation for sin. This also renders him graceful; 
by his whiteness, he fulfilled the law, by his redness he sa- 
tisfied justice : * this is our beloved, O ye daughters of Je- 

3dly. His endearing excellency in the administration of 
his kingdom, is hereby also expressed.' He is white in love 
and mercy unto his own; red with justice and revenge 
towards his enemies; Isa, Ixiii. 3. Rev. xix. 13. 

There are three things in general, wherein this personal 
excellency and grace of the Lord Christ doth consist. 

(1st.) His fitness to save, from the grace of union, and 
the proper necessary effects thereof. 

(2dly.) HisTulness to save, from the grace of communion : 
or the free consequences of the grace of union. 

(3dly.) His excellency to endear, from his complete 
suitableness to all the wants of the souls of men. 

(1st.) His fitness to save. His being iKuvog, a fit Saviour 
suited to' the work ; and this, I say, is from his grace of union. 
The uniting of the natures of God and man in one person, 
made him fit to be a Saviour to the uttermost. He lays his 
hand upon God by partaking of his nature; Zech. xiii. 7, 
and he lays his hand upon us, by being partaker of our 
nature; Heb. ii.'14. 16. and so becomes a days-man or um- 
pire between both. By this means, he fills up all the dis- 
tance that was made by sin, between God ancl us, and we 
who were far off, are made nigh in him. Upon this account 
it was, that he had room enough in his breast to receive, 
and power enough in his spirit to bear all the wrath that 

' Rev. vi. 2. 


was prepared for us. Sin was infinite only in respect of the 
object, and punishment was infinite in respect of the sub- 
ject. This ariseth from his union. 

Union is the conjunction of the two natures of God and 
man in one person; John i. 14. Isa. ix. 6. Rom. i. 3. ix. 5. 
the necessary consequences whereof are, 

[1st.] The subsistence of the human nature in the person 
of the Son of God, having no subsistence of its own; Luke 
i. 35. ITim. iii. 16. 

[2dly.] Koivwvia iStw/iarwv, that communication of attri- 
butes in the person, whereby the properties of either nature 
are promiscuously spoken of the person of Christ, under 
what name soever, of God or man, he be spoken of; Acts xx. 
28. iii. 21. 

[3dly.] The execution of his office of mediation in his 
single person, in respect of both natures : wherein is consi- 
derable 6 evepyiov, 'the agent,' Christ himself, God and man ; 
1st. He is the principmm quo, IvEpyriTiKov ; the principle that 
gives life and efficacy to the whole work. And then, 2c?/y. 
the principiitm quod; that which operates, which is both 
natures distinctly considered, ddl^. The Ivepyeia, or dpaaTiKri 
Tng (pv(T£(jjg Kivr}(ng ; the effectual working itself of each na- 
ture. And, lastly, the Ivipyrj/na or auoriXeafxa, the effect pro- 
duced, which ariseth from all, and relates to them all ; so 
resolving the excellency I speak of, into his personal union. 

(2dly.) His fulness to save, from the grace of com- 
munion, or the effects of his union which are free, and con- 
sequences of it ; which is all the furniture that he received 
from the Father by the unction of the Spirit, for the work 
of our salvation. ' He is able to save unto the uttermost them 
that come unto God by him ;' Heb. vii. 26. having all fulness 
unto this end communicated unto him : ' for it pleased the 
Father that in him all fulness should dwell;' Col. i. 19. 
'and 'he received not the Spirit by measure ;' John iii. 34. 
and from this fulness, he makes out a suitable supply unto 
all that are his: ' grace for grace;' John i. 16. Had it been 
given to him by measure we had exhausted it. 

(3dly.) His excellency to endear, from his complete suit- 
ableness to all the wants of the souls of men. There is no 
man whatever that hath any want in reference unto the 
thino-s of God, but Christ will be unto him that which he 


wants : I speak of those who are given him of his Father. 
Is he dead ? "Christ is life. Is he weak? Christ is the power 
of God, and the wisdom of God. Hath he the sense of guilt 
upon him? Christ is complete righteousness ; ' the Lord our 
righteousness.' Many poor creatures are sensible of their 
wants, but know not where their remedy lies. Indeed, whe- 
ther it be life or light, power or joy, all is wrapped up in 

This then for the present may suffice in general to be 
spoken of the personal grace of the Lord Christ. He hath 
a fitness to save, having pity and ability, tenderness and 
power to carry on that work to the uttermost ; and a fulness 
to save, of redemption and sanctification, of righteousness 
and the Spirit, and a suitableness to the wants of all our 
souls, whereby he becomes exceeding desirable, yea, alto- 
gether lovely, as afterward will appear in particular. And 
as to this in the first place, the saints have distinct fellow- 
ship with the Lord Christ, the manner whereof shall be de- 
clared in the ensuing chapter. 

Only from this entrance that hath been made into the 
description of him with whom the saints have communion, 
some motives might be taken to stir us up thereunto, as also 
considerations to lay open thp nakedness and insufficiency 
of all other wixya and things, unto which men engage their 
thoughts and desires ; something may be now proposed. 
The daughters of Jerusalem, ordinary common professors, 
having heard the spouse describing her beloved. Cant. v. 
4. 10, &c. instantly are stirred up to seek him, together 
with her ; chap. vi. 1. ' Whither is thy beloved turned aside, 
that we may seek him with thee V What Paul says of them 
that crucified him, may be spoken of all that reject him, or 
refuse communion with him; ' had they known him they would 
not have crucified the Lord of glory:' did men know him, 
were they acquainted in any measure with him, they would 
not so reject the Lord of glory. Himself calls them simple 
ones, fools and scorners, that despise his gracious invitation ; 
Prov. i. 24. There is none despise Christ, but only they that 
know him not; whose eyes the God of this world hath 
blinded that they should not behold his glory. The souls 
of men do naturally seek something to rest and repose them- 

^ Col. iii. 4. 1 Cor. i. 24. oO. Jer. xxiii. 6. 


selves upon ; something to satiate and delight themselves 
withal, with which they hold communion ; and there are 
two ways whereby men proceed in the pursuit of what they 
so aim at. Some set before them some certain end ; perhaps 
pleasure, profit, or, in religion itself, acceptance with God ; 
others seek after some end, but without any certainty, 
pleasing themselves now with one path, now with another ; 
with various thoughts and ways like them, Isa. Ivii. 10. 
because something comes in by the life of the hand, they 
give not over though weary ; in what condition soever you 
may be, either in greediness pursuing some certain end, be it 
secular or religious, or are wandering away in your own ima- 
ginations, wearying yourselves in the largeness of your ways, 
compare a little what you aim at, or what you do, with what 
you have already heard of Jesus Christ; if any thing you 
design be like to him, if any thing you desire be equal to 
him, let him be rejected as one that hath neither form nor 
comeliness in him ; but if indeed all your ways be but va- 
nity and vexation of spirit, in comparison of him, why do 
you spend your ' thoughts for that which is not bread, and 
your labour for that which satisfies not?' 

Use 1. You that are yet in the flower of your days, full 
of health and strength, and with all the vigour of your 
spirits, do pursue some one thing, some another, consider 
I pray, what are all your beloveds to this beloved? what 
have you gotten by them ? let us see the peace, quietness, 
assurance of everlasting blessedness that they have given 
you ? their paths are crooked paths, who ere goes in them 
shall not know peace. Behold here a fit object for your 
choicest affections ; one in whom you may find rest to your 
souls ; one in whom there is nothing will grieve and trouble 
you to eternity; behold he stands at the door of your souls 
and knocks : O reject him not, least you seek him and find 
him not ; pray study him a little ; you love him not because 
you know him not, why doth one of you spend his time 
in idleness and folly, and wasting of precious time, perhaps 
debauchedly ; why doth another associate and assemble 
himself with them that scoff at religion and the things 
of God ? merely because you know not our dear Lord Jesus. 
Oh when he shall reveal himself to you, and tell you he is 
Jesus whom you have slighted and refused, how will it break 

VOL. X. F 


your hearts, and make you mourn like a dove, that you have 
neglected him ; and if you never come to know him, it had 
been better you had never been : whilst it is called to-day 
then harden not your hearts. 

Use 2. You, that are perhaps seeking earnestly after arigh- 
teousness, and are religious persons, consider a little with 
yourselves, hath Christ his due place in your hearts ? is he 
your all ? does he dwell in your thoughts? do you know him 
in his excellency and desirableness? do you indeed account 
' all things loss and dung for his exceeding excellency ?' or 
rather do you prefer almost any thing in the world before it? 
But more of these things afterward. 


Of the way and manner whereby the saints hold communion with the Lord 
Christ, as to personal grace. The conjugal relation hetiveen Christ and 
the saints, Cant. ii. 10. Isa. liv. 5, S,-c. Cant. iii. 11. opened. The way 
of communion in conjugal relation. Hos. iii. 3. Cant. i. 15. On the part 
of Christ ; on the part of the saints^ 

The next thing that comes under consideration, is, the way 
whereby we hold communion with the Lord Christ, in respect 
of that personal grace whereof we have spoken. Now this 
the Scripture manifests to be by the way of a conjugal re- 
lation. He is married unto us, and we unto him ; which 
spiritual relation is attended with suitable conjugal affec- 
tions. And this gives us fellowship with him, as to his per- 
sonal excellencies. 

This the spouse expresseth j Cant. ii. 16. ' My beloved 
is mine, and I am his.' He is mine, I possess him, I have 
interest in him, as my head, and my husband ; and I am 
his, possessed of him, owned by him, given up unto him, and 
that as to my beloved in a conjugal relation. 

So Isa. liv. 5. * Thy Maker is thine husband (the Lord 
of hosts is his name), and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Is- 
rael, the God of the whole earth shall he be called.' This 
is yielded as the reason, why the church shall not be ashamed 
nor confounded, in the midst of her troubles and trials, she 


is married unto her Maker, and her Redeemer is her husband. 
And, Isa. Ixi, 10. setting out the'mutiial glory of Christand 
his church in their walking together, he'saithjit is as a 
' bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride 
adorneth herself with jewels.' Such is their condition, be- 
cause such is their relation, which he also farther'express- 
eth, chap. Ixii. 5. ' As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the 
bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.' As it is with such 
persons in the day of their espousals, in the day of the glad- 
ness of their hearts, so is it with Christ and his saints in this 
relation. He is a husband to them, providing that it may be 
with them, according to the state and condition whereinto 
he hath taken them. 

To this purpose we have his faithful engagement ; Hos. 
ii. 19, 20. ' I will,' saith he, 'betroth thee unto me for ever, 
yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in 
judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies; I will even 
betroth thee unto me in faithfulness.' And it is the main 
design of the ministry of the gospel to prevail with men to 
give up themselves unto the Lord Christ, as he reveals his 
kindness in this engagement. Hence Paul tells the Corin- 
thians, 1 Epist. xi. 2. that he had espoused them unto one 
husband, that he might present them as a chaste virgin unto 
Christ. This he had prevailed upon them for, by the preach- 
ing of the gospel, that they should give up themselves as a 
virgin, unto him who had betrothed them to himself, as a 

And this is a relation wherein the Lord Jesus is exceed- 
ingly delighted ; and inviteth others to behold him in this 
his glory; Cant. iii. 11. * Go forth,' saith he, 'O ye daugh- 
ters of Jerusalem, and behold king Solomon with the crown 
wherewith his mother crowned him, in the day of his espou- 
sals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.' He calls 
forth the daughters of Jerusalem, all sorts of professors, to 
consider him in the condition of betrothing and espousing 
his church unto himself : moreover , he tells them that they 
shall find on him two things eminently upon this account. 
1. Honour. It is the day of his coronation, and his spouse 
is the crown, wherewith he is crowned. For as Christ is a 
diadem of beauty, and a crown of glory unto Sion, Isa. 
xviii. 5. so Sion also is a diadem, and a crown unto him ; 

F 2 


Isa. Ixii. 3. Christ makes this relation with his saints to be 
his glory and his honour. 2. Delight. The day of his es- 
pousals, of taking poor sinful souls into his bosom, is the 
day of the gladness of his heart. John was but the friend 
of the bridegroom, that stood and heard his voice, when he 
was taking his bride unto himself, and he rejoiced greatly, 
John iii. 29. how much more then must be the joy and glad- 
ness of the bridegroom himself, even that which is expressed, 
Zeph. iii. 14. ' He rejoiceth with joy, he joys with singing.' 

It is the gladness of the heart of Christ, the joy of his 
soul, to take poor sinners into this relation with himself. He 
rejoiced in the thoughts of it from eternity ; Prov. viii. 31. 
and always expresseth the greatest willingness to undergo 
the hard task required thereunto; Psal. xl. 7, 8. Heb. x. 7, 8. 
yea, he was pained as a woman in travail, until he had ac- 
complished it, Luke xii. 5. because he loved his church he 
gave himself for it, Eph. v. 26. despising the shame, and en- 
during the cross, Heb. xii. 2. that he might enjoy his bride, 
' that he might be for her, and she for him, and not for an- 
other;' Hos. iii. 3. This is joy, when he is thus crowned by 
his mother. It is believers that are mother and brother of 
this Solomon ; Matt. xii. 49, 50. ' They crown him in the 
day of his espousals, giving themselves to him, and becom- 
ing his glory ;' 2 Cor. viii. 23. 

Thus he sets out his whole communion with his church 
under this allusion, and that most frequently. The time of 
his taking the church unto himself, is the day of his marriage, 
and the church is his bride, his wife; Rev. xix. 7, 8. ' The 
entertainment he makes for his saints, is a wedding supper ;' 
Matt. xxii. 3. ' The graces of his church, are the ornaments 
of his queen;' Psal. xlv. 9 — 14. And the fellowship he hath 
with his saints, is as that which those who are mutually be- 
loved in a conjugal relation do hold ; Cant. i. Hence Paul, 
in describing these two, makes sudden and insensible tran- 
sitions from one to the other, Eph. v. from ver. 22. unto 
ver. 32. concluding the whole with an application unto Christ 
and the church. 

- It is now to be inquired in the next place, how it is that 
we hold communion with the person of Christ, in respect of 
conjugal relations and affections, and wherein this doth con- 
sist. Now herein there are some things that are common 


unto Christ and the saints, and some things that are pecu- 
har to each of them, as the nature of this relation doth re- 
quire. The whole may be reduced unto these two heads : 

1. A mutual resignation of themselves one to the other ; 

2. Mutual consequential conjugal affections. 

1 . There is a mutual resignation or making over of their 
persons one to another. This is the first act of communion, 
as to the personal grace of Christ. Christ makes himself 
over to the soul to be his, as to all the love, care, and ten- 
derness of a husband ; and the soul gives up itself wholly 
unto the Lord Christ, to be his, as to all loving, tender obe- 
dience. And herein is the main of Christ's and the saints' 
espousals. This in the prophet is set out under a parable 
of himself and a harlot; Hos. iii. 3. ' Thou shalt abide for 
me (saith he unto her), thou shalt not be for another, and I 
will be for thee.' Poor harlot, saith the Lord Christ, I have 
bought thee unto myself with the price of mine own blood, 
and now this is that which we will consent unto, ' I will be 
for thee, and thou shalt be for me, and not for another.' 

(1.) Christ gives himself to the soul with all his excel- 
lencies, righteousness, preciousness, graces, and eminencies, 
to be its Saviour, head, and husband, for ever to dwell with 
it, in this holy relation. He looks upon the souls of his 
saints, likes them well, counts them fair and beautiful, be- 
cause he hath made tliem so. Cant. i. 15. ' Behold thou art 
fair my companion, behold thou art fair, thou hast dove's eyes.' 
Let others think what they please, Christ redoubles it that 
the souls of his saints are very beautiful, even perfect through 
his comeliness which he puts upon them; Ezek.xvi. 14. 'Be- 
hold thou art fair, thou art fair ;^ particularly that their spi- 
ritual light is very excellent and glorious, like the eyes of a 
dove, tender, discerning, clear, and shining. Therefore he 
adds that pathetical wish of the enjoyment of this his spouse, 
chap. ii. 14. ' O my dove,' saith he, ' that art in the clefts of 
the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me hear thy 
voice, let me see thy countenance ; for sweet is thy voice, and 
thy countenance is comely.' Do not hide thyself as one 
that flies to the clefts of the rocks, be not dejected as one 
that hides herself behind the stairs, and is afraid to come 

a Reputit non citra ■wa&of en tu puchra es : Mercer. 


forth to the company that inquires for her ? Let not thy 
spirit be cast down at the weakness of thy supplications, let 
me yet hear thy sighs and groans, thy breathings and pantings 
to rae, they are very sweet, very delightful ; and thy spi- 
ritual countenance, thy appearance in heavenly things, is 
comely and delightful unto me. Neither doth he leave her 
thus, but, chap. iv. 8. presseth her hard to a closer [union] with 
him in this conjugal bond. ' Come with me from Lebanon (my 
spouse), with me from Lebanon, look from the top of Amana, 
from the top of Shenir and Hermon, froui the lions' dens, and 
the mountains of the leopards.' Thou art in a wandering 
condition (as the Israelites of old), among lions and leo- 
pards, sins and troubles ; come from thence unto me, and 
I will give thee refreshment ; Matt. xi. 27. Upon this invi- 
tation the spouse boldly concludes, chap. vii. 10. that the 
desire of Christ is towards her;' that he doth indeed love her, 
and aim at taking her unto this fellowship with himself. So 
in carrying on this union, Christ freely bestoweth himself 
upon the soul. Precious and excellent as he is, he becom- 
eth ours. He makes himself to be so, and with him, all his 
graces. Hence saith the spouse, 'My beloved is mine ;' in 
all that he is, he is mine. Because he is righteousness,'' he 
is the Lord ' our righteousness ;' Jer. xxiii. 6. Because he is 
the wisdom of God, and the power of God, he is made unto 
us wrisdom, 8cc. 1 Cor. i. 30. Thus the ' Branch of the Lord is 
beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth is excellent, 
and comely to them that are escaped of Israel ;' Isa. iv. 2. 
This is the first thing on the part of Christ, the free dona- 
tion and bestowing of himself upon us to be our Christ, our 
beloved, as to all the ends and purposes of love, mercy, grace, 
and glory, whereunto in his mediation he is designed, in a 
marriage covenant, never to be broken. This is the sum of 
what is intended. The Lord Jesus Christ fitted and pre- 
pared by the accomplishment and furniture of his person as 
Mediator, and the large purchase of grace and glory which 
he hath made, to be a hu.sband to his saints, his church, 
tenders himself in the promises of the gospel to them in all 
his desirableness, convinces them of his good-will towards 
them, and his all-sufficiency for a supply of their wants, and 

b Isa. liv. 24, 25. 


upon their consent to accept of him, which is all he requires 
or expects at their hands, he engageth himself in a marriage 
covenant to be theirs for ever. 

(2.) On the part of the saints. It is their free, willing 
consent to receive, embrace, and submit unto the Lord 
Jesus, as their husband. Lord and Saviour, to abide with 
him, subject their souls unto him; and to be ruled by him 
for ever. 

Now this in the soul is either initial, or the solemn con- 
sent at the first entrance of union, or consequential, in re- 
newed acts of consent all our days. I speak of it especially 
in this latter sense, wherein it is proper unto communion, 
not in the former, wherein it primarily intendeth union. 

There are two things that complete this self-resignation 
of the soul. 

[1.] The liking of Christ for his excellency, grace, and 
suitableness, far above all other beloveds whatever, prefer- 
ring him in the judgment and mind above them all. In the 
place above-mentioned. Cant. v. 9, 10. the spouse being 
earnestly pressed by professors at large, to give in her 
thoughts concerning the excellency of her beloved in com- 
parison of other endearments, answereth expressly, that he 
is the 'chiefest of ten thousand, yea,' ver. 16. 'altogether 
lovely,' infinitely beyond comparison with the choicest 
created good or endearment imaginable. The soul takes a 
view of all that is in this world, the * lust of the flesh, the 
lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,' and sees it all to be 
vanity, that the 'world passeth away and the lust thereof;' 
1 John ii. 16, 17. these beloveds are noway to be compared 
unto him. It views also legal righteousness, blamelessness 
before men, uprightness of conversation, duties upon con- 
viction, and concludes of all as Paul doth, Phil. iii. 8. ' Doubt- 
less, I count all these things loss for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.' So also doth the 
church, Hos. xiv. 3, 4. reject all appearing assistances 
whatever, as goodly as Ashur, as promising as idols, that 
God alone may be preferred. And this is the soul's entrance 
into conjugal communion with Jesus Christ as to personal 
grace, the constant preferring him above all pretenders to 
its affections, counting all loss and dung in comparison of 
him. Beloved peace, beloved natural relations, belove: 


wisdom and learning, beloved righteousness, beloved duties, 
all loss compared with Christ. 

[2.] The accepting of Christ by the will, as its only hus- 
band. Lord, and Saviour. This is called 'receiving' of Christ, 
John i. 12. and is not intended only for that solemn act 
whereby at first entrance we close with him, but also for 
the constant frame of the soul in abiding with him, and own- 
ing of him as such ; when the soul consents to take Christ 
on his own terms, to save him in his own way,'' and says. 
Lord, I would have had thee and salvation in my way, that 
it might have been partly of mine endeavours, and as it were 
by the works of the law, I am now willing to receive thee 
and to be saved in thy way, merely by grace ; and though I 
would have walked according to my own mind, yet now I 
wholly give up myself to be ruled by thy Spirit, for in thee 
have I righteousness and strength,*^ in thee am I justified and 
do glory ; then doth it carry on communion with Christ as 
to the grace of his person. This it is to receive the Lord 
Jesus in his comeliness and eminency. Let believers exer- 
cise their hearts abundantly unto this thing. This is choice 
communion with the Son Jesus Christ. Let us receive him 
in all his excellencies as he bestows himself upon us. Be 
frequent in thoughts of faith, comparing him with other be- 
loveds 5 sin, world, legal righteousness, and preferring him 
before them, counting them all loss and dung in comparison 
of him. And let our souls be persuaded of his sincerity and 
willingness in giving himself, in all that he is, as mediator 
unto us, to be ours; and let our hearts give up themselves 
unto him; let us tell him, that we will be for him and not 
for another ; let him know it from us, he delights to hear it, 
yea, he says, ' sweet is our voice, and our countenance is 
comely,' and we shall not fail in the issue of sweet refresh- 
ment with him. 


; Some excellencies of Christ proposed to consideration, to endear our 
hearts unto him. His description, Cant. v. opened. 

To streno;then our hearts in the resio;nation mentioned of 
ourselves unto the Lord Christ as our husband, as also to 

b Rom. ix. 31, 32. xx. 3, 4. « Isa. xJv. 24. 


make way for the stirring of us up to those consequential 
conjugal affections, of which mention shall afterward be 
made, I shall turn aside to a more full description of some 
of the personal excellencies of the Lord Christ, whereby the 
hearts of his saints are indeed endeared unto him. 

In the ' Lord our righteousness,' then, may these ensuing 
things be considered, which are exceeding suitable to pre- 
vail upon our hearts to give up themselves to be wholly 

1. He is exceeding excellent and desirable in his ^ Deity, 
and the glory thereof. He is 'Jehovah our righteousness;' 
Jer. xxiii. 6. In the rejoicing of Sion at his coming to her, this 
is the bottom, ' Behold thy God;' Isa. xl. 9. We have seen 
his glory (saith the apostle); what glory is that? The glory 
of the only-begotten Son of God ; John i. 14. The choicest 
saints have been afraid and amazed at the beauty of an an- 
gel ; and the stoutest sinners have trembled at the glory of 
one of those creatures in a low appearance, representing but 
the back parts of their glory, who yet themselves in their 
highest advancement do cover their faces at the presence of 
our beloved, as conscious to themselves of their utter dis- 
ability to bear the rays of his glory; Isa. vi. 2. John xii. 
39, 40. He is the fellow of the Lord of Hosts ; Zech. xiii. 7. 
And though he once appeared in the form of a servant, yet 
then 'he thought it no robbery to be equal unto God ;' Phil, 
ii. 8. In the glory of this majesty he dwells in light inacces- 
sible. We cannot by searching 'find out the Almighty to per- 
fection : it is as high as heaven, what can we do ? it is deeper 
than hell, what can we know ? the measure thereof is longer 
than the earth, and broader than the sea;' Job xi. 7 — 9. We 
may all say one to another of this ; ' Surely we are more 
brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a 
man ; we neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge 

d Numb. xxi. 5. 1 Cor. x. 9. Psal. Ixviii. 1 9. Eph. iv. 8. 10. Psal. xcvii. 7. Heb. ii.jlO. 
Psal. cii. ^26. Isa. viii. 13. Luke ii. 34. Rom. ix. 30. 1 Pet. ii. 6. Isa. xl. 3. xliv. 6. 
xlv. 22. xlviii. 12. Rora. xiv. 10. Rev. i.ll. Mai. iii. 1. Psal. ii. 12. Isa. xxxv. 4. lii. 
5, 6. xiv. 14, 15. Zech. ii. 8. 12. iii. 1. xii. 10. MaU. xvi. 17. Lulce i. 16, 17. 
John v. 18, 19. X. 30. i. 1. 3. 10. 14. vi. 62. viii. 23. 58. Col. i. 16. Heb. i. 2. 10— 
12. John iii. 13. 31. xvi. 28. Mich. v. 2. Prov. viii. 23. John xvii. 5. Jer. xxiii. 6. 
1 John v. 20. Rev. i. 18. 4. 8. Acts xx. 28. 1 John iii. 16. Phil. ii. 6—8. 1 Tiin. 
iii. 16. Heb. ii. 16. 1 John iv. 3. Heb. x. 5. John xx. 28. Rom, ix. 5. John x. 29 
— 31. Matt. xvi. 16. Rom. viii. 32. John iii. 16. 18. Col. i. 15. John xvii. 10. 
Isa. ix. 6. Col. ii. 9. 1 Cor. viii, 6. ii. 8. Psal. Ixviii. 17. 


of the holy. Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descend- 
ed ? who hath gathered the wind in his fist? who hath hound 
the waters in a garment? who hath established the ends of 
the earth? what is his name, andwhat is his Son's n ame, if 
ye can tell?' Prov. xxx.2 — 4. 

If any one should ask now, with them in the Canticles, 
what is in the Lord Jesus our beloved, more than in other 
beloveds, that should make him so desirable, and amiable, 
and worthy of acceptation ? What is he more than others ? 
I ask, what is a king more than a beggar? Much every way. 
Alas ! this is nothing ; they were born alike, must die alike, 
and after that is the judgment. What is an angel more than 
a worm ? A worm is a creature, and an angel is no more ; 
he hath made the one to creep in the earth, made also the 
other to dwell in heaven. There is still a proportion be- 
tween these, they agree in something; but what are all 
the nothings of the world, to the God infinitely blessed 
for evermore? Shall the dust of the balance, or the drop 
of the bucket be laid in the scale against him? This is he 
of whom the sinners in Sion are afraid and cry, 'Who 
amongst us shall dwell with that devouring fire, who amongst 
us shall inhabit with everlasting burnings?' 1 might now 
give you a glimpse of his excellency in many of those pro- 
perties and attributes, by which he discovers himself to the 
faith of poor sinners. But as he that goes into a garden 
where there are innumerable flowers in great variety, gathers 
not all he sees, but crops here and there one, and another; 
I shall endeavour to open a door, and give an inlet into the 
infinite excellency of the graces of the Lord Jesus, as be is 
'God blessed for evermore;' presenting the reader with one or 
two instances, leaving him to gather for his own use, what 
farther he pleaseth. Hence then observe, 

(1.) The endless, bottomless, boundless, grace and com- 
passion that is in him, who is thus our husband as he is the 
God of Sion. It is not the grace of a creature, nor all the 
grace that can possibly at once dwell in a created nature, 
that will serve our turn. We are too indigent to be suited 
with such a supply. There was a fulness of grace in the 
human nature of Christ : ' he received not the Spirit by mea- 
sure ;' John iii. 34. A fulness like that of light in the sun, 
or of water in the sea ; I speak not in respect of communi- 


cation, but sufficiency. A fulness incomparably above the 
measure of angels, yet it was not properly an infinite fulness ; 
it was a created, and therefore a limited fulness. If it could 
be conceived as separated from the Deity, surely so many 
thirsty, guilty souls, as every day drink deep and large 
draughts of grace and mercy from him, v^'ould (if I may so 
speak) sink him to the very bottom : nay, it could afford no 
supply at all, but only in a moral way. But when the conduit 
of his humanity, is inseparably united to the infinite inex- 
haustible fountain of the Deity, who can look into the depths 
thereof? If now there be grace enough for sinners in an all- 
sufficient God, it is in Christ, and indeed in any other there 
cannot be enough. The Lord gives this reason for the peace 
and confidence of sinners, Isa. liv. 4, 5. * Thou shalt not be 
afraid, nor confounded, thou shalt not be put to shame.' 
But how shall this be ? So much sin and not ashamed? So 
much guilt and not confounded? ' Thy Master,' saith he, 'is 
thine husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name, and thy Re- 
deemer, the Koly One of Israel, the God of the whole earth 
shall he be called ;' this is the bottom of all peace, confi- 
dence, and consolation; the grace and mercy of our Maker, 
of the God of the whole earth. So are kindness and power 
tempered in him ; he makes us and mars us ; he is our God, 
and our Goel, our Redeemer. ' Look unto me,' saith he, 
' and be saved, I am God and none else ;' Isa. xlv. 22. ' Surely, 
one shall say, in Jehovah have I strength and righteous- 
ness ;' ver. 24. 

And on this ground it is, that if all the world should (if 
I may so say), set themselves to drink free grace, mercy, 
and pardon; drawing * water continually from the wells of 
salvation ; if they should set themselves to draw from one 
single promise, an angel standing by, and crying, Drink, O 
my friends, yea, drink abundantly, take so much grace and 
pardon as shall be abundantly sufficient for the world of 
sin which is in every one of you ; they would not be able to 
sink the grace of the promise one hair's breadth. There is 
enough for millions of woi'lds if they were, because it flows 
into it from an infinite bottomless fountain. * Fear not, O 
worm Jacob, I am God and not man,' is the bottom of sin- 
ners' consolation. This is that head of gold mentioned 

•Cant.v. 1. Isa. Iv. 1. Rev. xxii. 17. John vii. 37,38. 


Cant. V. 11. that most precious fountain of grace and mercy. 
This infiniteness of grace in respect of its spring and foun- 
tain will answer all objections that might hinder our souls 
from drawing nigh to communion with him, and from a free 
embracing of him. Will not this suit us in all our dis- 
tresses ? What is our finite guilt before it? Shew me the 
sinner that can spread his iniquities to the dimensions (if I 
may so say) of this grace? Here is mercy enough for the 
greatest, the oldest, the stubbornest transgressor. 'Why 
will you die, O ye house of Israel V Take heed of them who 
would rob you of the Deity of Christ ; if there were no more 
grace for me than what can be treasured up in a mere man, 
I should rejoice my portion might be under rocks and 

. Consider hence his eternal, free, unchangeable love. 
Were the love of Christ unto us but the love of a mere man, 
though never so excellent, innocent, and glorious, it must 
have a beginning, it must have an ending, and perhaps be 
fruitless. The love of Christ in his human nature towards 
his, is exceeding, intense, tender, precious, compassionate, 
abundantly heightened by a sense of our miseries, feeling 
of our wants, experience of our temptations, all flowing 
from that rich stock of grace, pity, and compassion, which 
on purpose for our good and supply, was bestowed on him. 
But yet this love, as such, cannot be infinite, nor eternal, 
nor from itself absolutely unchangeable. Were it no more, 
though not to be paralleled, nor fathomed, yet our Saviour 
could not say of it, as he doth, ' as my Father loveth me, so 
have I loved you ;' John xv. 9. His love could not be com- 
pared with, and equalled unto the divine love of the Father, 
in those properties of eternity, fruitfulness, and unchange- 
ableness, which are the chief anchors of the soul, rolling 
itself on the bosom of Christ. But now, 

[1.] It is eternal. ' Come ye near unto me, hear you 
this ; I have not,' saith he, ' spoken from the beginning in 
secret ; from the time that it was, there am I : and now the 
Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me ;' Isa. xlviii. 16. He 
himself is ' yesterday, to-day, and for ever ;' Heb. xiii. 8. and 
so is his love, being his who is Alpha and Omega, the fij-st 
and the last, the beginning and the ending, which is, which 
was, and which is to come ; Rev. i. 11. 


[2.] Unchangeable. Our love is like ourselves ; as we are, 
so are all our affections : so is the love of Christ like himself: 
we love one one day, and hate him the next: he changeth, 
and we change also ; this day he is our right hand, our right 
eye, the next day cut him off, pluck him out/ Jesus Christ 
is still the same, and so is his love. ' In the beginning he 
laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the 
works of his hands, they shall perish, but he remaineth ; 
they shall all wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture 
shall he fold them up, and they shall be changed; but he is 
the same, and his years fail not;' Heb. i. 10 — 12. He is 
the Lord, and he changeth not, and therefore we are not 
consumed. Whom he loves he loves unto the end.^ His 
love is such as never had beginning, and never shall have 

[3.] It is also fruitful. Fruitful in all gracious issues 
and effects. A man may love another as his own soul, yet 
perhaps that love of his cannot help him. He may thereby 
pity him in prison, but not relieve him ; bemoan him in mi- 
sery, but not help him ; suffer with him in trouble, but not 
ease him. We cannot love grace into a child, nor mercy 
into a friend ; we cannot love them into heaven, though it 
may be the great desire of our soul. It was love that made 
Abraham cry. Oh that Ishmael might live before thee, but 
it might not be. But now the love of Christ, being the 
love of God, is effectual and fruitful in producing all the 
good things which he willeth unto his beloved. He loves 
life, grace, and holiness, into us ; he loves us also into co- 
venant, loves us into heaven. Love in him is properly to 
will good to any one : whatever good Christ by his love 
wills to any, that willing is operative of that good. 

These three qualifications of the love of Christ, make it 
exceedingly eminent, and him exceeding desirable. How 
many millions of sins, in every one of the elect, every one 
whereof were enough to condemn them all, hath this love 
overcome? what mountains of unbelief doth it remove? 
Look upon the conversation of any one saint, consider the 
frame of his heart, see the many stains and spots, the de- 
filements and infirmities, wherewith his life is contaminated, 
and tell me whether the love that bears with all this, be not 

'Gal. iv. 14,15. 8 Mai. iii. 6. John xiii. 1. 


to be admired. And is it not the same towards thousands 
every day ? what streams of grace, purging, pardoning, 
quickening, assisting, do flow from it every day ? This is our 
beloved, O ye daughters of Jerusalem. 

2. He is desirable and worthy our acceptation, as con- 
sidered in his humanity ; even therein also in reference to 
us, he is exceedingly desirable. I shall only in this note 
unto you two things : 

(1.) Its freedom from sin. 

(2.) Its fulness of grace ; in both which regards the 
Scripture sets him out as exceedingly lovely and amiable. 

(1.) He was free from sin; the*" Lamb of God, without 
spot, and without blemish. The male of the flock to be of- 
fered unto God, the curse falling on all other oblations, and 
them that offer them ; Mai. i. 14. The purity of the snow is 
not to be compared with the whiteness of this lily, of this 

* rose of Sharon, even from the womb. ' For such a high- 
priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate 
from sinners ;' Heb. vii. 26. Sanctified persons, whose 
stains are in any measure washed away, are exceeding fair 
in the eye of Christ himself. ' Thou*" art all fair,' saith he, 

* my beloved, thou hast no spot in thee.' How fair then is 
he, who never had the least spot or stain ? 

It is true, Adam at his creation had this spotless purity, 
so had the angels. But they came immediately from the 
'hand of God without concurrence of any secondary cause. 
Jesus Christ"" is a plant and root of a dry ground, a blossom 
from the stem of Jesse, a bud from the loins of sinful man, 
born of a sinner, after there had been no innocent flesh in 
the world for four thousand years, every one upon the roll 
of his genealogy being infected therewithal. To have a 
flower of wonderful rarity to grow in paradise, a garden of 
God's own planting, not sullied in the least, is not so 
strange ; but, as the psalmist speaks (in another kind), to 
hear of it in a wood, to find it in a forest, to have a spotless 
bud, brought forth in the wilderness of corrupted nature, is 
a thing which angels may desire to look into. Nay, more, 
this whole nature was not only defiled, but also accursed ; 
not only unclean, but also guilty ; guilty of Adam's trans- 

''iPet. i.l9. * Cant. ii. 1. '' Cant. i. 15, 16. iv, 1. 10. 

' Eccles. vii. 29. " Isa. liii. 2. 


gression in whom we have all sinned. That the human na- 
ture of Christ should be derived from hence, free from guilt, 
free from pollution, this is to be adored. 

Ob. But you will say, how can this be ? who can bring 
a clean thing from an unclean ? How could Christ take our 
name, and not the defilements of it, and the guilt of it ? If 
'"Levi paid tithes in the loins of Abraham, how is it that 
Christ did not sin in the loins of Adam ? 
Ans, There are two things in original sin. 
[1.] Guilt of the first sin, which is imputed to us, we all 
sinned in him, e^' w ttovtec vi-iaprov, Rom. v. 12. whether we 
render it relatively * in whom,' or illatively, being all have 
sinned, all is one : that 01^6 sin is the sin of us all, ' omnes 
eramus unus ille homo :' we were all in covenant with him; 
he was not only a natural head, but also a federal head unto 
us, as Christ is to believers, Rom. v. 17. 1 Cor. xv. 22. so 
was he to us all ; and his transgression of that covenant is 
reckoned to us. 

[2.] There is the derivation of a polluted, corrupted na- 
ture from him ; "' Who can bring a clean thing out of an un- 
clean?' ' that which is born of the flesh is flesh,' and nothing 
else ; whose wisdom and mind is corrupted also, a polluted 
fountain will have polluted streams. The first person cor- 
rupted nature, and that nature corrupts all persons follow- 
ing ; now from both these was Christ most free. 

1st. He was never federally in Adam ; and so not liable 
to the imputation of his sin on that account. It is true that 
sin was imputed to him, when he was made sin ;° thereby he 
took away the sin of the world ; John i. 29. but it was im- 
puted to him in the covenant of the Mediator, through his 
voluntary susception ; and not in the covenant of Adam by 
a legal imputation. Had it been reckoned to him as a de- 
scendant from Adam, he had not been a fit high-priest to 
have offered sacrifices for us, as not being ' separate from 
sinners ;' Heb. vii. 25. Had Adam stood in his innocency, 
Christ had not been incarnate, to have been a mediator for 
sinners, and therefore the counsel of his incarnation morally 
took not place p until after the fall ; though he was in Adam, 

" Heb. ix. 7. 10. 
"> Job xiv. 4. <})povt)jt*tt T«{ a-a^xoc' John ili. ft. vavi; t?j <rafxoj' Rom. viii. 7. 
Col. ii. 14. 2 Cor. v. 21. p Gen. iii. 15. 


in a natural sense from his first creation, in respect of the 
purpose of God; Luke iii. 23. 38. yet he was not in him, in 
a law sense, until after the fall ; so that as to his own per- 
son, he had no more to do with tlie first sin of Adam, than 
with any personal sin of one whose punishment he volunta- 
rily took upon him ; as we are not liable to the guilt of 
those progenitors who followed Adam, though naturally we 
were no less in them than in him. Therefore did he, all the 
days of his flesh serve God in a covenant of works ; and was 
therein accepted with him, having done nothing that should 
disannul the virtue of that covenant as to him ; this doth 
not then in the least take off from his perfection. 

2dly. For the pollution of our nature, it was prevented 
in him from the instant of conception ; Luke i. 35. ' The 
Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the 
Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also that holy 
thing that shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of 
God.' He was ' made of a woman,' Gal. iv. 4. but that por- 
tion whereof he was made, was sanctified by the Holy Ghost, 
that what was born thereof, should be a holy thing ; not 
only the conjunction and union of soul and body, whereby 
a man becomes partaker of his whole nature, and therein of 
the pollution of sin, being a son of Adam, was prevented by 
the sanctification of the Holy Ghost, but it also accompa- 
nied the very separation of his bodily substance in the 
womb, unto that sacred purpose whereunto it was set apart ; 
so that upon all accounts he is * holy, harmless, undefiled.' 
Add now hereunto, that he ' did no sin, neither was there 
any guilt found in him,' 1 Pet. ii. 22. that he fulfilled all 
righteousness, Matt. iii. 15. his Father being always well 
pleased with him, ver. 17. on the account of his perfect obe- 
dience; yea, even in that sense wherewith he chargeth his an- 
gels with folly, and those inhabitants of heaven, are not 
clear in his sight, and his excellency and desirableness in 
this regard will lie before us : such was he, such he is, and 
yet for our sakes, was he contented not only to be esteemed 
by the vilest of men, to be a transgressor, but to undergo 
from God, the punishment due to the vilest sinners. Of 
which afterward. 

(2.) The fulness of grace in Christ's human nature, sets 
forth the amiableness and desirableness thereof; should I 


make it my business to consider his perfections, as to this 
part of his excellency, what he had from the womb, Luke 
i. 35. what received growth and improvement, as to exercise 
in the days of his flesh, Luke ii. 52. with the complement 
of them all, in glory, the whole would tend to the purpose 
in hand. I am but taking a view of these things in tran^ 
situ. These two things lie in open sight to all at the first 
consideration; all grace was in him, for the kinds thereof; 
and all degrees of grace for its perfections; and both of 
them make up that fulness that was in him ; it is created 
grace that I intend, and therefore I speak of the kinds of it ; 
it is grace inherent in a created nature, not infinite, and 
therefore I speak of the degrees of it. 

For the fountain of grace the Holy Ghost, ' he received 
not him by measure ;' John iii. 34. and for the communica- 
tions of the Spirit, it pleased the Father that in him ' should 
all fulness dwell;' Col. i. 19. that in all things he might 
have the pre-eminence. But these things are commonly 
spoken unto. 

This is the beloved of our souls, holy, harmless, unde- 
filed ; full of grace and truth; Pfull to a sufficiency for every 
end of grace ; full for practice, to be an example to men and 
angels as to obedience ; full to a certainty of uninterrupted 
communion with God ; full to a readiness of giving supply 
to others ; full to suit him to all the occasions and necessi- 
ties of the souls of men ; full to a glory not unbecoming a 
subsistence in the person of the Son of God ; full to a per- 
fect victory in trials over all temptations ; full to an exact 
correspondency to the whole law, every righteous and holy 
law of God ; full to the utmost capacity of a limited, cre- 
ated, finite nature ; full to the greatest beauty and glory of 
a living temple of God ; full to the full pleasure and delight 
of the soul of his Father ; full to an everlasting monument 
of the glory of God, in giving such inconceivable excellen- 
cies to the son of man. 

And this is the second thing considerable, for the en- 
dearing of our souls to our beloved. 

3. Consider that he is all this in one person. We have 

p John i. 16. 1 Cor. xi. 1. Eph. v. 2. 1 Pet. ii. 21. Matt. iii. 17. John i. IS. 
Heb. ii. 15. vii. 25. .Tohu i. 14, 15. 

VOL. X. G 


not been treating of two, a God and a man ; but of '^ one who 
is God and man. That Word that was with God in the be- 
ginning, and was God, John i. 1. is also made flesh ; ver. 14. 
not by a conversion of itself into flesh, not by appearing in 
the outward shape and likeness of flesh, but by assuming 
that holy thing that was born of the virgin, Luke i. 55. into 
personal union with himself. So the 'mighty God,' Isa. 
ix. 6. is a child given to us ; that holy thing that was born 
of the virgin, is called ' the Son of God ;' Luke i. 35. That 
which made the man Christ Jesus to be a man, was the 
union of soul and body ; that which made him that man, 
and without which he was not that man, was the subsist- 
ence of both united in the person of the Son of God. As 
to the proof hereof, I have spoken of it "^elsewhere at large ; 
I now propose it only in general, to shew the amiableness 
of Christ on this account: here lies, hence arises, the grace, 
peace, life, and security of the church, of all believers ; as 
by some few considerations may be clearly evinced. 

(1.) Hence was he fit' to suff'er and able to bear, what- 
ever was due unto us ; in that very action, wherein the 'Son 
of man gave himself a ransom for many,' Matt. xx. 28. 
' God redeemed his church with his own blood,' Acts xx. 
28. and therein was the 'love of God seen that he gave his 
life for us ;' 1 Jolm iii. 16. on this account was there room 
enough in his breast to receive the points of all the *swords 
that were sharpened by the law against us, and strength 
enough in his shoulders, to bear the burden of that curse 
that was due to us. Thence was he so willing to undertake 
the work of our redemption, Heb. x. 7, 8. ' Lo I come to do 
thy will, O God ;' because he knew his ability to go through 
with it. Had he not been man, he could not have suflfered, 
had henotbeen God,his suff'ering could nothave availed either 

1 Qui propter homines liberandos ab aeterna morte homo factus est, et ita ad 
susceptionem humanitatis nostra;, sine suae raajestatis diminutione inchoans, ut ma- 
nens quod erat, assumensque quod non erat ; veram servi forniam, ei form.-e, in qua 
Deo patri est aequalis, aduniret, ut nee minorem absumeret glorificatio, nee superio- 
rem minueret assumptio ; salva enim proprietate utriusque substantiiK, et in unara 
coeunte personam, suscipitur a raajestate humilitas, a virtute infirmitas, a morfaiitate 
SBternitas, et ad rependendum nostrse conditionis debilum, natura inviolabilis, na- 
turae est unita passibili, &c. Leo. Serm. 1. de nat. "■ Vind. Evan. c. 7. 

' Deus verus, et homo verus in unitatem Domini temperatnr, ut quod nostris reme- 
dlis congruebat unus atque idem Dei horainumque mediator, ex raori possit et uno, 
resurgere possit ex altero. Leo. ubi Sup. ' Zech. xiii. 7. Psal. Ixxxix. 19. 


himself or us, he had not satisfied; the suffering of a mere 
man, could not bear any proportion to that which in any 
respect was infinite. Had the great and righteous God ga- 
thered together all the sins that had been committed by his 
elect from the foundation of the world, and searched the 
bosoms of all that were to come to the end of the world, 
and taken them all, from the sin of their nature, to the least 
deviation from the rectitude of his most holy law, and the 
highest provocation of their regenerate and unregenerate 
condition, and laid them on a mere holy, innocent, creature; 
O how would they have overwhelmed him, and buried him 
for ever out of the presence of God's love ? Therefore doth 
the apostle premise that glorious description of him to the 
purging of our sin ; ' He hath spoken to us by his Son, 
whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also 
he made the world ; who being the brightness of his glory, 
and the express image of his person, upholding all things 
by the word of his power, hath purged our sins;' Heb.i.2, 3. 
It was he that purged our sins, who was the Son and heir 
of all things, by whom the world was made, the brightness 
of his Father's glory, and express image of his person; he 
did~it,,he alone was able to do it. ' God was manifested in 
the flesh,' 1 Tim. iii. 16. for this work ; the sword awaked 
against him that was the fellow of the Lord of hosts ; Zech. 
xiii. 7. and by the wounds of that great shepherd, are the 
sheep healed ; 1 Pet. ii. 24, 25. 

(2.) Hence doth he become an endless, bottomless foun- 
tain of grace to all them that believe. The fulness, that it 
pleased the Father to commit to Christ, to be the great trea- 
sury and storehouse of the church, did not, doth not, lie in 
the human nature considered in itself; but in the person of 
the Mediator, God and man. Consider wherein his commu- 
nication of grace doth consist, and this will be evident. The 
foundation of all is laid in his satisfaction, merit, and pur- 
chase ; these are the morally procuring cause of all the grace 
we receive from Christ. Hence all grace becomes to be his ;" 
all the things of the new covenant, the promises of God, all 
the mercy, love, grace, glory promised, became, I say, to be 
his. Not as though they were all actually invested, or did 
reside and were in the human nature, and were from thence 

" John xvi. 14, 15. 
G 2 



really communicated to us, by a participation of a portion 
of what did so inhere ; but they are morally his by a" com- 
pact, to be bestowed by him, as he thinks good, as he is 
Mediator, God and man, that is, the only-begotten Son made 
flesh, John i. 14. 'from whose fulness we receive, and grace 
for grace.' The real communication of grace is by Christ 
sending the Holy Ghost to regenerate us ; and to create all 
the habitual grace, with the daily supplies thereof in our 
hearts, that we are made partakers of; now the Holy Ghost 
is thus sent by Christ as Mediator, God and man, as is at 
large declared, John xiv, 15, 16. of which more afterward. 
This then is that which I intend by this fulness of grace that 
IS in Christ; from whence we have both our beginning, and 
all our supplies, which makes him as he is the AJpiia and 
Omega of his church, the beginner and finisher of our faith, 
excellent and desirable to our souls.'' Upon the payment of 
the great price of his blood, and full acquitment on the sa- 
tisfaction he made, all grace whatever (of which at large 
afterward), becomes in a moral sense his, at his disposal ; 
and he bestows it on, or works it in, the hearts of his, by the 
Holy Ghost, according as in his infinite wisdom he sees it 
needful. How glorious is he to the soul on this considera- 
tion ? that is most excellent to us which suits us in a want- 
ing condition ; that which gives bread to the hungry, water 
to the thirsty, mercy to the perishing. All our reliefs are 
thus in our beloved. Here is the life of our souls, the joy 
of our hearts, our relief against sin, and deliverance from 
the wrath to come. 

(3.) Thus is he fitted for a mediator, a daysman, an um- 
pire, between God and us ; being one with him, and one 
with us, and one in himself in this oneness, in the unity of 
one person. His ability and universal fitness for his office 
of mediator are hence usually demonstrated. And herein 
is he 'Christy the wisdom of God and the power of God.' 
Herein shines out the infinitely glorious wisdom of God ; 
which we may better admire than express. What soul that 
hath any acquaintance with these things falls not down 
with reverence and astonishment? How glorious is he that 
is the beloved of our souls? What can be wanting that 

» Isa. liii. It, 12. John i. 16. Col. i. 19, 20. " Heb, xii. 2. Rev. i. 11. 

T 1 Cor. i. 24. 


should encourage us to take up our rest and peace in his 
bosom ? Unless ail ways of relief and refreshment be so ob- 
structed by unbelief, that no consideration can reach the 
heart to yield it the least assistance, it is impossible but 
that from hence, the soul may gather that which will endear 
it unto him with whom we have to do. Let us dwell on the 
thoughts of it. This is the hidden mystery, great, without 
controversy ; admirable to eternity. What poor, low, pe- 
rishing things, do we spend our contemplations on ? Were 
we to have no advantage by this astonishing dispensation, 
yet its excellency, glory, beauty, depths, deserve the flower 
of our inquiries, the vigour of our spirits, the substance of 
our time ; but when withal our life, our peac?, our joy, 
our inheritance, our eternity, our all lies herein, shall not 
the thoughts of it always dwell in our hearts, always re- 
fresh, and delight our souls ? 

(4.) He is excellent and glorious in this; in that he is 
exalted, and invested with all authority ; wlien^ Jacob heard 
of the exaltation of his son Joseph in Egypt, and saw the 
chariots that he had sent for him, his spirit fainted and re- 
covered again, through abundance of joy and other over- 
flowing aflections. Is our beloved lost, who for our sakes 
was upon the earth, poor and persecuted, reviled, killed ? 
No ! he was dead, but he is alive, and * Lo, he lives for ever 
and ever, and hath the keys of hell and death :'* our beloved 
is made a lord, and ruler ; Acts ii. 36. He is made a king; 
God sets him his king on his holy hill of Sion; Psal. ii. G."* 
and he is crowned with honour and dignity, after he had 
been made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of 
death; Heb. ii. 7 — 9. And what is he made king of; *all 
things are put in subjection under his feet ;' ver. 8. And what 
power over them hath our beloved? 'AH power in heaven 
and earth;' Matt, xxviii. 18. As for men, he hath power 
given him over all flesh ; John xvii. 2. And in what glory 
doth he exercise this power? He gives eternal life to his 
elect; ruling them in the power of God, Micah v. 3. until 
he bring them to himself; and for his enemies, his arrows 

» Gen. xlv. 26, 27. a Rev. i. 18. 

•> Gen.xlix. 10. Numb. xxiv. 17. 19- Psal. ii. 1 — 9. Ixxxix. 19—24. ex. 1—3. Isa. 
xi. l,a. xxxii. 1, 2. liii. 12. Ixiii. 1 — 3. Jer. xxiii. 5, 6. Dan.vii. 13, 14. Luke ii. 11. 
xix. 38. John v. 22, 23. Acts ii. 35, 36. v. 31. Phil, ii.9— 11. Eph.i. 20—22. Rev. 
V. 12 — 14. xix. 16. 


are sharp in their hearts ; Psal. xlv. 5. he dips his vesture 
in their blood.'' Oh, how glorious is he in his authority over 
his enemies? In this world he terrifies, frightens, awes, con- 
vinces, bruises their hearts and consciences, fills them with 
fear, terror, disquietment, until they yield him feigned obe- 
dience ; and sometimes with outward judgments, bruises, 
breaks, turns the wheel upon them ; stains all his vesture 
with their blood ; fills the earth with their carcases ; and 
at last will gather them altogether, beast, false prophet, na- 
tions, &c. and cast them into that lake that burns with fire 
and brirastone.** 

He is gloriously e?calted above angels in this his autho- 
rity, good and bad ; Eph. i. 20 — 22. ' far above principalities 
and powers, and might, and dominion, and every name that 
is named, not only in this world, but in that to come ;' they 
are all under his feet; at his command, and absolute dis- 
posal. He is at the right hand of God, in the highest exal- 
tation possible,' and in full possession of a kingdom over the 
whole creation ; having received a name ' above every name,' 
&c. Phil. ii. 9. Thus is he glorious in his throne, which is 
at the right hand of the ^Majesty on high; glorious in his 
commission which is all power in heaven and earth ; glorious 
in his name, a name above every name, the Lord of lords, 
and King of kings ; glorious in his sceptre, a sceptre of 
righteousness is the sceptre of his kingdom ; glorious in his 
attendants, his chariots are twenty thousand, even thousands 
of angels, among them he rideth on the heavens, and 
sendeth out the voice of his strength, attended with ten 
thousand times ten thousands of his holy ones ; glorious in 
his subjects, all creatures in heaven and in earth, nothing is 
left that is not put in subjection to him ; glorious in his 
way of rule, and the administration of his kingdom ; full of 
sweetness, eflicacy, power, serenity, holiness, righteousness, 
and grace, in and towards his elect ; of terror, vengeance, 
and certain destruction towards the rebellious angels and 
men ; glorious in the issue of his kingdom, when every knee 
shall bow before him, and all shall stand before his judg- 
ment seat. And what a little portion of his glory is it, that 

« Isa.lxiii. 3. ^ Psal. ex. Rev.ix. 20. 

• Heb. i. 3. Eph. i. 22. Matt, xxviii. 18. Phil.ii,7, 8. Rev. six. Psal. xlv.kviii. 
Dan. vii. 10. 


we have pointed to ? This is the beloved of the church ; its 
head, its husband ; this is he with whom we have communion : 
but of the whole exaltation of Jesus Christ, I am elsewhere 
to treat at large. 

Having insisted on these generals, for the farther car- 
rying on the motives to communion with Christ, in the re- 
lation mentioned, taken from his excellencies and perfections, 
I shall reflect on the description given of him by the spouse 
in the Canticles, to this very end and purpose ; Cant. v. 10 
— 16. 'My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest of ten 
thousand. His head is as 'the most fine gold; his locks are 
bushy and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of 
doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly 
set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices : his lips like lilies, 
dropping sweet smelling myrrh : his hands are as gold rings, 
set with the beryl : his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with 
sapphires : his legs are as pillars, set upon sockets of fine 
gold : his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the 
cedars: his mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether 
lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O ye 
daughters of Jerusalem.' 

The general description given of him, ver. 10. hath been 
before considered ; the ensuing particulars are instances to 
make good the assertion, that he is the ' chiefest of ten 

[1.] The spouse begins with his head and face ; ver. 11. 
— 13. In his head, she speaks first in general, unto the sub- 
stance of it, it is 'fine gold ;' and then in particular, as to its 
ornaments, ' his locks are bushy and black as a raven.' 

1st. ' His head is as the most fine gold ;' or his head gold, 
solid gold ; so some, made of pure gold ; so others, Kpvaiov 
KE^aXij say theLXX. retaining part of both the Hebrew words, 
ID nDHD * massa auri.' 

Two things are eminent in gold ; splendour or glory, and 
duration. This is that which the spouse speaks of the head 
of Christ. His head is his government, authority, and king- 
dom. Hence it is said, ' a crown of pure gold was on his 
head ;' Psal. xxi. 2. and his head is here said to be gold, 
because of the crown of gold that adorns it; as the mo- 
narchy in Daniel, that was most eminent for glory and du- 
ration, is termed a * head of gold ;' Dan. ii. 38. And these 


two things are eminent in the kingdom and authority of 

(1st.) It is a glorious kingdom ; he is full of glory and 
majesty, and in his majesty he rides prosperously; Psal. 
xlv. 3, 4. ' His glory is great in the salvation of God, honour 
and majesty are laid upon him, he is made blessed for ever 
and ever ;' Psal. xxi. 5, 6. I might insist on particulars, and 
shew that there is not any thing that may render a kingdom 
or government glorious, but it is in this of Christ in all its 
excellencies, it is a heavenly, a spiritual, a universal, 
and unshaken kingdom, all which render it glorious : but of 
this somewhat before. 

(2dly.) It is durable, yea, eternal ; solid gold ; * his throne 
is for ever and ever;' Psal. xlv. 6. of 'the increase of his 
government there is no end, upon the throne of David, and 
upon his kingdom to order and establish it with judgment, 
and justice from henceforth even for ever;' Isa. ix. 7. 'his 
kingdom is an everlasting kingdom;' Dan. vii. 27. ' a king- 
dom that shall never be destroyed ;' chap, ii.44. for he must 
reign until all his enemies be subdued. This that head of 
gold, the splendour and eternity of his government. 

And if you take the head in a natural sense, either the 
glory of his Deity is here attended to ; or the fulness and 
excellency of his wisdom which the head is the seat of. 
The allegory is not to be straitened, v^hilst we keep to the 
analogy of faith. 

2dly. For the ornaments of his head, his locks, they are 
said to bushy or curled, black as a raven. His curled 
locks are black : 'as a raven,' is added by way of illustration 
of the blackness, not with any allusion to the nature of 
the raven. Take the head spoken of in a political sense ; his 
locks of hair, said to be curled, as seeming to be entangled, 
but really falling in perfect order and beauty, as bushy 
locks, are his thoughts, and counsels, and ways, in the ad- 
ministration of his kingdom. They are black or dark, be- 
cause of their depth, and unsearchableness ; as God is said 
to dwell in thick darkness ; and curled or bushy, because of 
their exact interweavings from his infinite wisdom ; his 
thoughts are many as the hairs of the head, seeming to be 
perplexed and entangled, but really set in all comely order, 
ds curled bushy hair; deep and unsearchable, and dreadful 


to his enemies, and full of beauty and comeliness to his be- 
loved. Such are, I say, the thoughts of his heart, the coun- 
sels of his wisdom, in reference to the administrations of 
his kingdom; dark, perplexed, involved, to a carnal eye; 
in themselves, and to his saints, deep, manifold, ordered in 
all things, comely, desirable. 

In a natural sense, black and curled locks, denote come- 
liness, and vigour of youth ; the strength and power of 
Christ, in the execution of his counsels, in all his ways, ap- 
pears glorious and lovely. 

[2.] The next thing described in him is his eyes; ver. 12. 
' his eyes are as the eyes of doves, by the rivers of waters, 
washed with milk, and fitly set.' The reason of this allusion 
is obvious; doves are tender birds, not birds of prey; and 
of all others they have the most bright, shining, and piercing 
eye ; their delight also in streams of v/ater is known. Their 
being washed in milk, or clear white crystal water, adds to 
their beauty; and they are here said to be 'fitly set,' that is, 
in due proportion for beauty and lustre ; as a precious stone 
in the foil or fulness of a ring ; as the word signifies. 

Eyes being for sights discerning, knowledge, and ac- 
quaintance with the things that are to be seen; the know- 
ledge, the understanding, the discerning Spirit of Christ 
Jesus, are here intended. In the allusion used, four things 
are ascribed to them : 1st. Tenderness, 2dly. Purity, 3dly. 
Discerning, and 4thly. Glory. 

1st. The tenderness and compassion of Christ towards 
his church is here intended. He looks on it with the eyes' 
of galless doves ; with tenderness and careful compassion ; 
without anger, fury, or thoughts of revenge. So is the eye 
interpreted, Deut. xi. 12. 'the eyes of the Lord thy God 
are upon that land.' Why so? It is a * land that the Lord 
thy God careth for ;' careth for it in mercy ; so are the eyes 
of Christ on us, as the eyes of one that in tenderness careth 
for us ; that lays out his wisdom, knowledge, and under- 
standing, in all tender love in our behalf. He is the stone, 
that foundation stone of the church whereon ' are seven 
eyes;' Zech. iii. 9. wherein is a perfection of wisdom, know- 
ledge, care and kindness for its guidance. 

2dly. Purity ; as washed doves eyes for purity. This 
may be taken either subjectively, for the excellency and 


immixed cleanness and purity of his sight, and knowledge in 
himself; or objectively, for his delighting to behold purity 
in others. * He is of purer eyes, than to behold iniquity ;' 
Hab. i. 15. 'he hath no pleasure in wickedness, the foolish 
shall not stand in his sight ;' Psal. v. 4, 5. If the righteous 
soul of Lot was vexed with seeing the filthy deeds of wicked 
men, 2 Pet. ii. 8. who yet had eyes of flesh, in which there 
was a mixture of impurity; how much more do the pure 
eyes of our dear Lord Jesus abominate all the filthiness of 
sinners ? But herein lies the excellency of his love to us, 
that he takes care to take away our filth and stains, that he 
may delight in us ; and seeing we are so defiled, that it 
could no otherwise be done, he will do it by his own blood ; 
Eph. V, 25 — 27, 'Even as Christ also loved the church, and 
gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it, 
with the washing of water by the word, 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.' The end of this undertaking is, that the church 
might be thus gloriously presented unto himself; because 
he is of purer eyes than to behold it with joy and delight, 
in any other condition. He leaves not his spouse, until he 
says of her, ' thou art all fair my love, there is no spot in 
thee;' Cant. iv. 7. partly he takes away our spots and stains 
by the ' renewing of the Holy Ghost, "^ and wholly adorns us 
with his own righteousness, and that because of the purity 
of his own eyes, which cannot 'behold iniquity, that he 
might present us to himself holy.' 

3dly. Discerning; he sees as doves, quickly, clearly, tho- 
roughly ; to the bottom of that which he looks upon. Hence 
in another place it is said, that his 'eyes are as a flame of 
fire ;' Rev. i. 14. and why so ? that the churches might know, 
that he is he, which ' searcheth the reins and heart ;' Rev. 
ii. 23. He hath discerning eyes, nothing is hid from him ; all 
things are open and naked before him, with whom we have 
to do. It is said of him whilst he was in this world, that 
* Jesus knew all men, and needed not that any should testify 
of man, for he knew what was in man ;' John ii. 24, 25. his 
piercing eyes look through all the thick coverings of hypo- 
crites, and the snow [show] of pretences that is on them. He 

f Tit. Hi. 4. 


sees the inside of all ; and what men are there, that they are 
to him ; he sees not as we see, but ponders the hidden man of 
the heart, no humble, broken, contrite soul, shall lose one 
sigh, or groan after him, and communion with him ; no pant 
of love, or desire is hid from him, he sees in secret ; no glo- 
rious performance of the most glorious hypocrite will avail 
with him; his eyes look through all, and the filth of their 
hearts lies naked before him. 

4thly. Beauty and glory are here intended also ; every 
thing of Christ is beautiful, for he is ' altogether lovely \ 
ver. 16. but most glorious in his sight and wisdom ; he is 
the wisdom of God's eternal wisdom itself; his understand- 
ing is infinite. What spots and stains are in all our know- 
ledge ? when it is made perfect, yet it will still be finite and 
limited; his is without spot of darkness, without foil of li- 

Thus then is he beautiful and glorious, his 'head is of 
gold, his eyes are dove's eyes, washed in milk and fitly set.' 

[3.] The next thing insisted on, is his cheeks, ver. 15. 
' His cheeks are as a bed of spices ;' as sweet flowers, or 
towers of perfumes, or well grown flowers. There are three 
things evidently pointed at in these words. 

1st. A sweet savour as from spices and flowers and 
towers of perfume. 

2dly. Beauty and order, as spices set in rows or beds, 
as the words import. 

3dly. Eminency in that word, as sweet or well grown, 
great flowers. 

These things are in the cheeks of Christ : the Chaldee 
paraphrast, who applies this whole song to God's dealings 
with the people of the Jews ; makes these cheeks of the 
church's husband to be the two tables of stone, with the va- 
rious lines drawn in them, but that allusion is strained ; as 
are most of the conjectures of that scholiast. 

The cheeks of a man are the seat of comeliness, and man- 
like courage. The comeliness of Christ, as hath in part been 
declared, is from his fulness of grace in himself for us. His 
manly courage respects the administration of his rule and 
government, from his fulness of authority, as was before de- 
clared. This comeliness and courage, the spouse describing 
Christ as a beautiful, desirable personage, to shew that spi- 


ritually he is so, calleth his cheeks ; so to make up his parts, 
and proportion. And to them doth she ascribe, 

1st. A sweet savour, order, and eminency ; a sweet sa- 
vour; as God is said to smell a sweet savour from the grace 
and obedience of his servants (Gen. viii. 2. 'The Lord 
smelled a savour of rest from the sacrifice of Noah'); so do the 
saints smell a sweet savour from his grace laid up in Christ; 
Cant. i. 3. It is that which they rest in, which they delight 
in, which they are refreshed with. As the smell of aroma- 
tical spices and flowers, please the natural sense, refresh 
the spirits, and delight the person, so do the graces of 
Christ to his saints. They please their spiritual sense, they 
refresh their drooping spirits, and give delight to their souls. 
If he be nigh them they smell his raiment, as Isaac the rai- 
ment of Jacob. They say it is as the * smell of a field that 
the Lord hath blessed ;' Gen. xxvii. 27. and their souls are 
refreshed with it. 

2dly. Order and beauty are as spices set in a garden bed. 
So are the graces of Christ. When spices are set in order, 
any one may know what is for his use, and take and gather 
it accordingly. Their answering also one to another makes 
them beautiful ; so are the graces of Christ in the gospel, 
they are distinctly and in order set forth that sinners by 
faith may view them, and take from him according to their 
necessity. They are ordered for the use of saints in the pro- 
mises of the gospel. There is light in him, and life in him, 
and power in him, and all consolation in him ; a constella- 
tion of graces, shining with glory and beauty. Believers 
take a view of them all; see their glory and excellency, but 
fix especially on that, which, in the condition wherein they 
are, is most useful to them. One takes light and joy; an- 
other life and power ; by faith and prayer do they gather 
these things, in this bed of spices. Not any that comes to 
him goes away unrefreshed. What may they not take, what 
may they not gather ? What is it that the poor soul wants ? 
behold, it is here provided, set out in order in the promises 
of the gospel ; which are as the beds wherein these spices 
are set for our use ; and on the account hereof, is the cove- 
nant said to be 'ordered in all things ;' 2 Sara, xxiii. 5. 

3dly. Eminency ; his cheeks are a tower of perfumes 
held up, made conspicuous, visible, eminent ; so it is with 


the graces of Christ, when held out, and lifted up in the 
preaching of the gospel. They are a tower of perfumes ; a 
sweet savour to God and man. 

The next clause of that verse is, ' His lips are like lilies, 
dropping sweet smelling myrrh.' Two perfections in things 
natural are here alluded unto. First, the glory of colour in 
the lilies, and the sweetness of savour in the myrrh. The 
glory and beauty of the lilies in those countries was such, 
as that our Saviour tells us, that ' Solomon in all his glory, 
was not arrayed like one of them;' Matt. vi. 29. and the 
savour of myrrh, such as when the Scripture would set forth 
any thing to be an excellent savour, it compares it there- 
unto ; Psal. xlv. 8. and thereof was the sweet ^nd holy oint- 
ment chiefly made ; Exod xxx. 26. mention is also made 
frequently of it in other places to the same purpose. It is 
said of Christ that 'grace was poured into his lips;' Psal. 
xlv. 2. whence men wondered or were amazed, rote \6yoig 
Trig ^apiTog, at the words of grace that proceeded out of his 
mouth ; so that by the lips of Christ, and their dropping 
sweet smelling myrrh, the word of Christ, its savour, excel- 
lency, and usefulness, is intended. Herein is he excellent 
and glorious indeed, surpassing the excellencies of those 
natural things which yet are most precious in their kind ; 
even in the glory, beauty, and usefulness of his word. Hence 
they that preach his word, to the saving of the souls of men, 
are said to be a 'sweet savour to God,' 2 Cor. ii. 15. and the 
savour of the knowledge of God, is said to be manifested by 
them, ver. 14. I might insist on the several properties of 
myrrh, whereto the word of Christ is here compared ; its 
bitterness in taste, its efficacy to preserve from putrefaction, 
its usefulness in perfumes and unctions, and press the alle- 
gory in setting out the excellencies of the word in allusions 
to them. But I only insist on generals ; tbis is that which 
the Holy Ghost here intends ; the word of Christ is sweet, 
savoury, precious unto believers, and they see him to be ex- 
cellent, desirable, beautiful, in the precepts, promises, ex- 
hortations, and the most bitter threats thereof. 

The spouse adds, * His hands are as gold rings set with 
beryl.' The word ' beryl' in the original is * tarshish,' which the 
Septuagint have retained, not restraining it to any peculiar 


precious stone; the onyx say some, the chrysolite say others ; 
any precious stone shining with a sea-green colour, for the 
word signifies the sea also. Gold rings set with precious, 
glittering stones are both valuable, and desirable for profit 
and ornament; so are the hands of Christ, that is, all his 
works ; the effects, by the cause : all his works are glorious, 
they are all fruits of wisdom, love, and bounty ; ' and his 
belly is as bright ivory, overlaid with sapphires : the smooth- 
ness and brightness of ivory, the preciousness and heavenly 
colour of the sapphires, are here called in, to give some lustre 
to the excellency of Christ ; to these is his belly, or rather 
his bowels, which takes in the heart also, compared. It is 
the inward bowels, and not the outward bulk that is signi- 
fied. Now to shew that by ' bowels' in the Scripture as- 
cribed either to God or man, affections are intended, is 
needless. The tender love, unspeakable affections, and kind- 
ness of Christ to his church and people, is thus set out. 
What a beautiful sight is it to the eye, to see pure polished 
ivory set up and down with heaps of precious sapphires ; 
how much more glorious are the tender affections, mercies, 
and compassion, of the Lord Jesus unto believers. 

Ver. 15. The strength of his kingdom, the faithfulness 
and stability of his promises, the height and glory of his 
person in his dominion, the sweetness and excellency of 
communion with him, is set forth in these words; ' His legs 
are pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his coun- 
tenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars : his mouth is 
most sweet.' 

When the spouse hath gone thus far in the description 
of him, she concludes all in this general assertion ; he is 
wholly desirable, altogether to be desired, or beloved. As 
if she should have said ; I have thus reckoned up some of 
the perfections of the creatures, things ofmost value, price, 
usefulness, beauty, glory, here below, and compared some of 
the excellencies of my beloved unto them. In this way of 
allegory I can carry things no higher ; I find nothing better, 
or more desirable to shadow out and to present his loveli- 
ness and desirableness ; but alas ! all this comes short of 
his perfections, beauty, and comeliness ; he is all wholly to 
be desired, to be beloved. 


Lovely in his person, in the glorious all-sufficiency of his 
Deity, gracious purity, and holiness of his humanity, autho- 
rity and majesty, love and power. 

Lovely in his birth and incarnation ; when he was rich, 
for our sakes becoming poor, taking part of flesh and 
blood because we partook of the same ; being made of a 
woman, that for us he might be made under the law, even 
for our sakes. 

Lovely in the whole course of his life, and the more than 
angelical holiness and obedience, which, in the depth of po- 
verty and perfection he exercised therein ; doing good, re- 
ceiving evil ; blessing and being cursed ; reviled, reproached, 
all his days. 

Lovely in his death ; yea, therein most lovely to sinners; 
never more glorious and desirable, than when he came 
broken, dead, from the cross ; then had he carried all our 
sins into a land of forgetfulness ; then had he made peace 
and reconciliation for us ; then had he procured life and im- 
mortality for us. 

Lovely in his whole employment, in his great undertaking, 
in his life, death, resurrection, ascension, being a mediator 
between God and us, to recover the glory of God's justice, 
and to save our souls ; to bring us to an enjoyment of God, 
who were set at such an infinite distance from him by sin. 

Lovely in the glory and majesty wherewith he is 
crowned, now he is set down at the right hand of Majesty 
on high ; where though he be terrible to his enemies, yet 
he is full of mercy, love, and compassion, towards his be- 
loved ones. 

Lovely in all those supplies of grace and consolations, in 
all the dispensations of his Holy Spirit, whereof his saints 
are made partakers. 

Lovely in all the tender care, power, and wisdom, which 
he exercises in the protection, safe-guarding, and delivery, 
of his chnrch and people, in the midst of all the oppositions 
and persecutions whereunto they are exposed. 

Lovely in all his ordinances, and the whole of that spi- 
ritually glorious worship which he hath appointed to his 
people, whereby they draw nigh, and ihave communion with 
him and his Father. 


Lovely and glorious in the vengeance he taketh, and 
will finally execute upon the stubborn enemies of himself 
and his people. 

Lovely in the pardon he hath purchased and doth dis- 
pense, in the reconciliation he hath established, in the grace 
he communicates, in the consolations he doth administer, in 
the peace and joy he gives his saints, in his assured preser- 
vation of them unto glory. 

What shall I say? there is no end of his excellencies, and 
desirableness; 'he is altogether lovely, this is our beloved, 
and this is our friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.' 


All solid wisdom laidup in Christ. True ivisdom wherein it consists. Know- 
ledge of God, in Christ only to be obtained. What of God may be known 
by his works. Some properties of God not discovered but in Christ only ; 
love, mercy ; others not fully but in him ; as vindictive justice, patience, 
wisdom, all-sufficiency. No property of God savingly known but in Christ. 
What is required to a saving knowledge of the properties of God. No true 
knowledge of ourselves but in Christ. Knowledge of ourselves wherein it 
consisteth. Knowledge of sin how to be had in Christ. Also, of righte- 
ousness, and of judgment. The wisdom of walking ivith God hid in Christ. 
What is required thereunto. Other pretenders to the title of wisdom, ex- 
amined and rejected. Christ alone exalted. 

A SECOND consideration of the excellencies 6f Christ serving 
to endear the hearts of them who stand with him in the re- 
lation insisted on, arises from that which in the mistaken ap- 
prehension of it, is the great darling of men, and in its true 
notion the great aim of the saints, which is wisdom and 
knowledge. Let it be evinced that all true and solid know- 
ledge is laid up in, and is only to be attained from and by, 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and the hearts of men, if they are but 
true to themselves, and their most predominate principles, 
must needs be engaged to him. This is the great design of 
all men taken off from professed slavery to the world, and the 
pursuit of sensual, licentious courses, that they may be wise: 
and what ways the generality of men engage in for the com- 
passing of that end, shall be afterward considered. To the 
glory and honour of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, and the es- 
tablishment of our hearts in communion with him, the de^ 


sign of this digression, is to evince, that all wi-sdom is laid 
up in him, and that from him alone it is to be obtained. 

1 Cor. i. 24. the Holy Ghost tells us that 'Christ is the 
power of God and the wisdom of God :' not the essential wis- 
dom of God, as he is his eternal Son of the Father, upon 
which account he is called * wisdom' in the Proverbs, chap, 
viii. 20 — 23. but as he is crucified ; ver. 23. As he is cru- 
cified, so he is the wisdom of God ; that is, all that wisdom, 
which God layeth forth for the discovery and manifestation 
of himself, and for the saving of sinners, which makes fool- 
ish all the wisdom of the world ; that is, all in Christ crucified, 
held out in him, by him, and to be obtained only from him. 
And thereby in him do we see the glory of God ; 2 Cor. iii. 
18. For he is not only said to be the 'wisdom of God,' but 
also to be made ' wisdom to us;' 1 Cor. i. 3D. he is made not by 
creation but ordination and appointment, wisdom unto us ; 
not only by teaching us wisdom (by a metonomy of the ef- 
fect for the cause), as he is the great prophet of his church, 
but also because by the knowing of him, we become ac- 
quainted with the wisdom of God, which is our wisdom ; 
which is a metonomy of the adjunct. This however verily 
promised, is thus only to be had. The sum of what is con- 
tended for, is asserted in terms. Col. ii. 3. ' in him dwell all 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge.' 

There are two things that might seem to have some co- 
lour in claiming a title and interestin this business. I. Civil 
wisdom and prudence, for the management of affairs. 2. Abi- 
lity of learning and literature; but God rejecteth both these 
as of no use at all to the end and intent of true wisdom in- 
deed. There is in the world that which is called ' under- 
standing,' but it comes to nothing. There is that which is 
called 'wisdom,' but it is turned into folly ; 1 Cor. i. 19, 20. 
' God brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent, 
and makes foolish the wisdom of the world.' And if there 
be neither wisdom nor knowledge (as doubtless there is not) 
without the knowledge of God, Jer. viii. 9. it is all shut up 
in the Lord Jesus Christ ; * no man hath seen God at any 
time, the only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the 
Father he hath revealed him.' He is not seen at another 
time, John v. 37. nor known upon any other account, but 
only the revelation of the Son. He hath manifested him 

VOL. X. H 


from his own bosom : and therefore, ver, 9. it is said that he 
is the ' true light that lighteneth every man that cometh into 
the world.' The true light which hath it in himself, and 
none hath any but from him, and all have it who come unto 
him. He who doth not so, is in darkness. 

1. The sum of all true wisdom and knowledge, may be 
reduced to these three heads : 

(1.) The knowledge of God, his nature, and his pro- 

(2.) The knowledge of ourselves in reference to the will 
of God concerning us. 

(3.) Skill to walk in communion with God. 
The knowledge of the works of God, and the chief end of 
all, doth necessarily attend these. In these three is summed 
up all true wisdom and knowledge ; and not any of them is 
to any purpose to be obtained, or is manifested, but only in 
and by the Lord Christ. 

God, by the work of the creation, by the creation itself, 
did reveal himself in many of his properties, mito his crea- 
tures capable of his knowledge; his power, his goodness, 
his wisdom, his all-sufficiency, are thereby known : this fhe 
apostle asserts, R,om. i. 19 — 21. ver. 19. he calls it rb yvwcrrov 
Tov ^eov ; ver. 20. that is, his eternal power and Godhead ; 
and ver. 21 . a knowing of God ; and ^all this by the creation. 
But yet there are some properties of God, which all the 
works of creation cannot in any measure reveal, or make 
known ; as his patience, longsuffering, and forbearance. 
For all things being-made "good, there could be no place 
for the exercise of any of these properties, or manifestation 
of them. The whole fabric of heaven and earth considered 
in itself, as at first created, will not discover any such thing as 
patience and forbearance in God;'^ which yet are eminent pro- 
perties of his nature, as himself proclaims and declares, 
Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. 

» 'Ettei ovv to yivofAiVov sioa-fJioQ la-Tiv o ^vfXirag, 6 rovrov SeaijaJv t^PC* «v duouc-ai 'Trap 
avrov, a>q hue TTiTroirmiva 6 Seoj. Plotin. 

b Gen. i. 31. 

c Quamvis speciali cura atque indulgentia Dei, populum Israeliticum constat 
electum, omnesque alias nationes suas vias ingredi, hoc est, secundum propriam per- 
misstB sunt vivere voluntatem, non ita tamen se a;terna Creatoris boiiitas ab illis ho- 
minibus avertit, ut eos ad cognoscendum atque nietuenduni nullis significationibus 
admoneret. Prosp. de Vocat.Gent. 2. 4. — Coelum et terra, et omnia qua3 in eis sunt, 
ecce vidique, mihi dicuntut te amen, nee cessant dicere, omnes ut sint inexcu'sabiles. 
August. Confessi. lib. 10. cap. 6. 


Wherefore, the Lord goes farther ; and by the works of 
his providence, in preserving and ruling the world which he 
made, discovers and reveals these properties also. For 
whereas by cursing the earth, and filling all the elements 
oftentimes with signs of his anger and indignation, he hath, 
as the apostle tells us, Rom. i. 18. ' revealed from heaven 
his wrath against all unoodliness and unrighteousness of 
men ;' yet not proceeding immediately to destroy all things, 
he hath manifested his patience and forbearance to all. 
This Paul, Acts xiv. 16, 17. tells us, ' he suffered all nations 
to walk in their own ways, yet he left not himself without 
witness, in that he did good, and gave rain from heaven and 
fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness.' 
A large account of his goodness and wisdom herein, the 
psalmist gives us, Psal. civ. throughout. By these ways he 
bare witness to his own goodness and patience ; and so it 
is said, ' he endures with much lono-suffering,' &.c. Rom. ix. 
22. But now here all the world is at a stand ; by all this 
they have but an obscure glimpse of God, and see not so 
much as his back parts. Moses saw not that until he was 
put into "^the rock, and that rock was Christ. There are 
some of the most eminent and glorious properties of God 
(I mean in the manifestation whereof he will be most glo- 
rious, otherwise his properties are not to be compared), 
that there is not the least glimpse to be attained of, out ol 
the Lord Christ, but only by, and in him ; and some that 
comparatively we have no light of, but in him, and of all 
the rest no true light, but by him. 

[1.] Of the first sort, whereof not the least guess and ima- 
gination can enter into the heart of man but only by Christ, 
are love, and pardoning mercy. 

1st. Love ; I rnean love unto sinners. Without this man 
is, of all creatures most miserable ; and there is not the least 
glimpse of it that can possibly be discovered but in Christ. 
The Holy Ghost says, 1 John iv. 8. 16. 'God is love ;' that 
is, not only of a loving and tender nature ; but one that will 
exercise himself in a dispensation of his love, eternal love, 
towards us ; one that hath purposes of love for us from of 
old, and will fulfil them all towards us in due season. But 
how is this demonstrated^ how may we attain an acquaint- 

•> Exod. xxxiii. 2'^. 1 Cor. x. 4. 

II 2 


ance with it? he tells us, ver. 9. 'in this was manifested 
the love of God, because God sent his only-begotten Son 
into the world that we might live through him.' This 
is the only discovery that God hath made of any such pro- 
perty in his nature, or of any thought of exercising it to- 
wards sinners, in that he hath sent Jesus Christ into the 
world that we might live by him. Where now is the wise, 
where is the scribe, where is the disputer of this world, with 
all their wisdom ? Their voice must be that of the hypocrites 
in Sion; Isa. xxxiii. 14, 15. That wisdom which cannot 
teach me that God is love, shall ever pass for folly. Let 
men go to the sun, moon, and stars, to showers of rain and 
fruitful seasons, and answer truly, what by them, they learn 
hereof. Let them not think themselves wiser or better than 
those that went before them, who, to a man, got nothing by 
them, but being left inexcusable. 

2dly. Pardoning mercy or grace ; without this even his 
love would be fruitless. What discovery may be made of 
this by a sinful man, may be seen in the father of us all ; 
who, when he had sfnned had no reserve for mercy, but hid 
himself; Gen. iii. 8. He did it ovn JDlb when the wind 
did but a little blow at the presence of God ; and he did it 
foolishly, thinking to ' hide himself among trees ;' Psal. 
cxxxix. 7, 8. ' The law was given by Moses, grace and truth 
came by Jesus Christ;' John i. 17. Grace in the truth and 
substance ; pardoning mercy that comes by Christ alone : 
that pardoning mercy which is manifested in the gospel, and 
wherein God will be glorified to all eternity ; Eph. i. 6. I 
mean not that general mercy, that velleity of acceptance 
which some put their hopes in,^ that Tra^og which, to ascribe 
unto God is the greatest dishonour that can be done him, 
shines not with one ray out of Christ; it is wholly treasured 
up in him, and revealed by him. Pardoning mercy is God's 
free gracious acceptance of a sinner upon satisfaction made 
to his justice in the blood of Jesus. Nor is any discovery 
of it, but as relating to the satisfaction of justice, consistent 
with the glory of God. It is a mercy of inconceivable con- 

* "Eo-tib iri eXeoc, XiJTrn ti? Itti <patvofA,BV(iJ xaxw (fSajTtXM xai XvTrn^S rev ava^lov rvy- 
p^avEiv. Arist. 2. Rhet. — Quid auteui raisericordia, nisi alienaj miseriae quadam,in 
nostro corde conipassio; qua alicui si, possumus subvenire compelliniur? August, de 
Civit. Dei, lib. 9. cap. 5. 


descension in forgiveness, tempered with exact justice and 
severity ; Rom. iii. 25. God is said, ' to set forth Christ to 
be a propitiation in his blood to declare his righteousness 
in the forgiveness of sin :' ^ his righteousness is also mani- 
fested in the business of forgiveness of sins ; and therefore 
it is every where said to be wholly in Christ; Eph. i. 7. So 
that this gospel grace, and pardoning mercy is alone pur- 
chased by him, and revealed in him. And this was the main 
end of all typical institutions, to manifest that remission 
and forgiveness is wholly wrapped up in the Lord Christ, 
and that out of him there is not the least conjecture to be 
made of it, nor the least morsel to be tasted. Had not God 
set forthe the Lord Christ, all the angels in heaven and men 
on earth could not have apprehended, that there had been 
any such thing in the nature of God, as this grace of par- 
doning mercy. The apostle asserts the full manifestation, 
as well as the exercise of this mercy to be in Christ only ; 
Tit. iii. 4, 5. ' After that the kindness and love of God our 
Saviour towards man appeared;' namely, in the sending of 
Christ, and the declaration of him in the gospel, then was 
this pardoning mercy, and salvation not by works dis- 

And these are of those properties of God, whereby he will 
be known, whereof there is not the least glimpse to be obtain- 
ed, but by and in Christ ; and whoever knows him not by these, 
knows him not at all. They know an idol, and not the only 
true God. ' He that hath not the Son, the same hath not the 
Father;' 1 John ii. 23. And not to have God, as a Father, 
is not to have him at all ; and he is known as a Father only, 
as he is love, and full of pardoning mercy in Christ. How 
this is to be had the Holy Ghost tells us, 1 John v. 20. *The 
Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding 
that we may know him that is true;' by him alone we have 
our understanding, to know him that is true. Now these pro- 
perties of God, Christ revealeth in his doctrine, in the revela- 
tion he makes of God and his will, as the great prophet of the 
church ; John xvii. 6. And on this account the knowledge 
of them is exposed to all, with an evidence unspeakably sur- 
mounting that which is given by the creation, to his eternal 

' K.araKav)(arai sXso? xjiVewf James ii. 13. 8 U^oi^ero. 


power and Godhead.' But the life of this knowledge lies in 
an acquaintance with his person, wherein the express image 
and beams of this glory of his Father do shine forth ; Heb. 
i. 3. of v/hich before. 

[2.] There are other properties of God, which though also 
otherwise discovered, yet are so clearly, eminently, and 
savingly, only in Jesus Christ. As, 

1st. His vindictive justice in punishing sin. 
2dly. His patience, forbearance, and longsufTering to- 
wards sinners. 

3dly. His wisdom, in managing things for his own glory. 

4thly. His all-sufficiency in himself and unto others. 

All these, though they may receive some lower and inferior 

manifestations outofClirist, yet they clearly shine only in him, 

so as that it may be our wisdom to be acquainted with them. 

1st, His vindictive justice. 

God hath indeed many ways manifested his indignation 
and anger against sin ; so that men cannot but know that 
it is the 'judgment of God, that they which commit such 
things are worthy of death ;' Rom. i. 32. He hath in the 
law threatened to kindle a fire in his anger, that shall burn 
to the very heart of hell. And even in many providential 
dispensations, * his wrath is revealed from heaven against all 
the ungodliness of men ;' Rom. i. 18. So that men must say 
that he is a God of judgment. And he that shall but con- 
sider that the angels for sin were cast from heaven, shut up 
under chains of everlasting darkness unto the judgment of 
the great day (the'' rumour whereof seems to have been 
spread among the Gentiles, whence the poet makes his Ju- 
piter threaten the inferior rebellious deities with^that punish- 
ment) ; and how Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned 
with an overthrow and burned into ashes, that they might 
be examples * unto tliose that should after live ungodly,' 
2 Pet. ii. 6. cannot but discover much of God's vindictive 
justice, and his anger against sin : but far more clear doth 
this shine into us in the Lord Christ. 

(1st.) In him God hath manifested the naturalness of this 

"EvSa iri^n^Biai te TTuKai Ka\ ^aXxiog oiSo?, 
TocTff-ov hi^y atrial, oVov ov^ava; Ictt' am j/ai'nc. — Homer, II. 6. 


righteousness unto him, in that it was impossible that it 
should be diverted from sinners, without the interposing of 
a propitiation. Those who lay the necessity of satisfaction 
merely upon the account of a free act and determination of 
the will of God, leave to my apprehension no just and indis- 
pensable' foundation for the death of Christ, but lay it upon 
a supposition of that which might have been otherwise. But 
plainly God, in that he*" spared not his only Son, but made 
his soul an offering for sin, and would admit of no atone- 
ment but in his blood, hath abundantly manifested that it is 
of necessity to him (his holiness and righteousness requir- 
ing it), to render indignation, wrath, tribulation, and an- 
guish unto sin. And the knowledge of this naturalness of 
vindictive justice, with the necessity of its execution on 
supposition of sin, is the only true and useful knowledge 
of it. To look upon it, as that which God may exercise 
or forbear, make his justice not a property of his nature, but 
a free act of his will ; and a will to punish, where one may 
do otherwise without injustice, israther ill-will, than justice. 
(2dly.) In the penalty inflicted on Christ for sin, this 
justice is far more gloriously manifested than otherwise. To 
see indeed a world made' good and beautiful, wrapt up in 
wrath and curses, clothed with thorns and briars ; to see 
the whole beautiful creation made subject to vanity, given 
up to the bondage of corruption, to hear it groan in pain 
under that burden; +o consider legions of angels most glo- 
rious and immortal creatures, cast down into hell, bound 
with chains of darkness, and reserved for a more dreadful 
judgment, for one sin ; to view the ocean of the^ blood of 
souls spilt to eternity on this account, will give some in- 
ligrht into this thino-. But what is all this to that view of 
it which may be had by a spiritual eye in the Lord Christ ? 
All these things are worms, and of no value in comparison 
of him. To see him, who is the"" wisdom of God, and the 
power of God, always" beloved of the Father ; to see him, I 
say, fear," and tremble, and bow, and sweat, and pray, and 

» Vid. Diatrib. de Just. Vind. 

k Roiu. viii. 32. Isa. liii. 10. Heb. x.7— 9. Rom. i. 32. 2Tliess. i. 5, 6. Psal. v. 
3, 6. Hab. i. 13. Psal. cxix. 133. 

1 Gen. ill. 17—19. viii. 21. Rom. viii. 21.22. 2 Pet. ii. 4—6. iii. 6. Judg. vi.7. 

•n 1 Cor. i. 20. " Matt. Hi. 17. « Matt. xxvi. 37, 38. Mark xiv. 33. 

Luke x\ii. 43, 44. Ucb. v. 7. Matt, xxvii. 51. Mark xv. 33, 34. Isa. liii. 6. 


die ; to see him lifted up upon the cross, the earth trem- 
bling under him, as if unable to bear his weight, and the 
heavens darkened over him, as if shut against his cry, and 
himself hanging between both, as if refused by both, and all 
this because our sins did meet upon him ; this of all things 
doth most abundantly manifest the severity of God's vindic- 
tive justice. Here, or nowhere, is it to be learned. 

2dly. His patience, forbearance, and longsuffering to- 
wards sinners ; there are many glimpses of the patience of 
God, shining out in the works of his providence ; but all 
exceedingly beneath that discovery of it, which we have in 
Christ ; especially in these three things. 

(1st.) The manner of its discovery; this indeed is evident 
to all, that God doth not ordinarily, immediately punish men 
upon their offences. It may be learned from his constant 
way in governing the world ; notwithstanding all provoca- 
tions, yet he doth Pgood to men, causing his sun to shine 
upon them, sending them rain and fruitful seasons, filling 
their hearts with food and gladness. Whence it was easy 
for them to conclude, that there was in him abundance of 
goodness and forbearance ; but all this is yet in much dark- 
ness, being the exurgency of men's reasonings from their 
observations ; yea, the management of it hath been such, as 
that it hath proved a snare almost universally unto them to- 
wards whom it hath been exercised, Eccles. viii. 11. as well 
as a temptation to them who have looked on ; Job xxi. 7. 
Psal. Ixxiii. 2 — 4, &c. Jer. xii. 1. Hab. i. 13. The discovery 
of it in Christ, is utterly of another nature. In him the 
very nature of God is discovered to be love and kindness, 
and that he will exercise the same to sinners, he hath pro- 
mised, sworn, and solemnly engaged himself by covenant. 
And that we may not hesitate about the aim which he hath 
herein, there is a stable bottom and foundation of acting 
suitably to those gracious properties of his nature, held 
forth ; viz. the reconciliation and atonement that is made in 
the blood of Christ. Whatever discovery were made of the 
patience and lenity of God unto us, yet if it were not withal 
revealed, that the other properties of God, as his justice and 
revenge for sin, had their actings also assigned to them to 
the full, there could be little consolation gathered from the 

P Matt. V, 45. Acts xiv. 17, 18. 


former. And therefore, though God may teach men his 
goodness and forbearance, by sending them rain and fruit- 
ful seasons, yet withal at the same time upon all occasions 
' revealing his wrath from heaven against the ungodliness of 
men,' Rom i. 18. it is impossible that they should do any 
thing, but miserably fluctuate and tremble at the event of 
these dispensations ; and yet this is the best that men can 
have out of Christ, the utmost they can attain unto ; with 
the present possession of good things administered in this 
patience, men might and did for a season take up their 
thoughts, and satiate themselves ; but yet they were not in 
the least delivered from the^ bondage they were in by rea- 
son of death, and the darkness attending it. The law re- 
veals no patience or forbearance in God ; it speaks, as to the 
issue of transgressions, nothing but sword and fire, had not 
God interposed by an act of sovereignty. But now, as was 
said, with that revelation of forbearance which we have in 
Christ, there is also a discovery of the satisfaction of his 
justice and wrath against sin, so that we need not fear any 
actings from th^m, to interfere with the works of his pa- 
tience, which are so sweet unto us. Hence God is said to be 
in ' Christ reconciling the world to himself;' 2 Cor. v. 19. 
manifesting himself in him, as one that hath now no more 
to do, for the manifestation of all his attributes, that is, for 
the glorifying of himself, but only to forbear, reconcile, and 
pardon sin in him. 

(2dly.) In the nature of it ; what is there in that forbear- 
ance which out of Christ is revealed ? merely a not immediate 
punishing upon the" offence ; and withal giving and conti- 
nuing temporal mercies ; such things as men are prone to 
abuse, and may perish, with their bosoms full of them, to 
eternity. That which lies hid in Christ, and is revealed 
from him, is full of love, sweetness, tenderness, kindness, 
o-race. It is the Lord's waiting to be gracious to sinners ; 
waiting for an advantage to shew love and kindness for the 
most eminent endearing of a soul unto himself; Isa. xxx. 18. 
* Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto 
you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have 

'1 Animula vagula, blandula, Ilospes comesque corporis, 

Quce nunc abibis in loca pallida, rigida, nudula? 
* Nccut soles dabis jocos.— Had. Imp. 
>■ Rom. ii. \ 5. ix. 22. 


mercy upon you.' Neither is there any revelation of God, 
that the soul finds more sweetness in, than this. When it is 
experimentally convinced, that God from time to time hath 
passed by many innumerable iniquities, he is astonished 
to think that God should do so ; and admires that he did 
not take the advantage of his provocations, to cast him out 
of his presence; he finds that with infinite wisdom in all 
long-suffering he hath managed all his dispensations towards 
him, to recover him from the power of the devil, to rebuke 
and chasten his spirit for sin, to endear him unto himself; 
there is, I say, nothing of greater sv/eetness to the soul than 
this, and therefore the apostle says, Rom. iii. 25. that all 
is through the forbearance 'of God; God makes way for 
complete forgiveness of sins, through this his forbearance ; 
which the other doth not. 

(3dly.) They differ in their ends and aims. What is the aim 
and design of God in the dispensation of that forbearance, 
which is manifested, and may be discovered out of Christ, 
the apostle tells us, E,om. ix. 22. * What if God, willing to 
shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with 
much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted for destruc- 
tion ?' It was but to leave them inexcusable, that his power 
and wrath against sin might be manifested in their destruc- 
tion. And therefore, he calls it, ' a suffering, of them to 
walk in their own ways ;' Acts. xiv. 16. which elsewhere 
he holds out as a most dreadful judgment, to wit, in respect 
of that issue whereto it will certainly come ; as Psal. Ixxxi. 
12. *I gave them up to their lusts, and they walked in their 
own counsels,' which is as dreadful a' condition as a creature 
is capable of falling into, In this world. And Acts xvii. 30. 
he calls it a ' winking £it the sins of their ignorance,' as it were 
taking no care nor tliought of them in their dark condition, 
as it appears by the antithesis, ' but now he commandeth all 
men every where to repent.' He did not take so much no- 
tice of them then, as to command them to repent, by any 
clear revelation of his mind and will. And therefore, the 
exhortation of the apostle, Rom. ii. 4. and ' despisest thou 
the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, andlongsuffer- 

^ Eos, quibus indulgere videtur, quibus parcere, molles Venturis malis Deiis fur- 
mat. Seneca curbon. vir. raalifiunt. cap. 4. — Pro dii ininiortales ! ciir interdum in 
hoMiinuni sccleribiis niaxiniis, atit connivetis, aut pra3sentis fraudis poeiias in diem 
rcservatis ■) Cic. pro Cwl. 


ing, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to 
repentance V is spoken to the Jews, who had advantages 
to learn the natural tendency of that goodness and forbear- 
ance which God exercises in Christ, which indeed leads to 
repentance, or else he doth in general intimate, that in very 
reason, men ought to make another use of those things, 
than usually they do, an,d which he chargeth them withal, 
ver. 5. * but after thy hardness and impenitent heart,' &c. 
At* best then the patience of God unto men out of Christ, 
by reason of their own incorrigible stubbornness, proves but 
like the waters of the river Phasis, that are sweet at the top, 
and bitter in the bottom ; they swim for a while in the sweet 
and good things of this life, Luke xvi. 25. wherewith being 
filled, they sink to the depth of all bitterness. 

But now evidently and directly, the end of that patience 
and forbearance of God, which is exercised in Christ, and 
discovered in him to us, is the saving and bringing unto 
God, those towards whom he is pleased to exercise them. 
And, therefore, Peter tells you, 2 Pet. iii. 9. that he ' is long- 
suffering to usward, not v/illing that any should perish, but 
that all should come to repentance ;' that is, all us towards 
whom he exercises forbearance, for that is the end of it, that 
hi^s will concerning our repentance and salvation, may be 
accomplished ; and the nature of it with its end is well ex- 
pressed, Isa. liv. 9. ' Tiiis is as the waters of Noah unto me : 
for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more 
cover the earth, so have I sworn, that I v/ould not be wroth,' 
&c. It is God's taking a course in his infinite wisdom and 
goodness, that we shall not be destroyed notwithstandino- 
our sins ; and therefore, Rom. xv. 5. these two things are 
laid together, in God, as coming together from him, the ' God 
of patience and consolation :' bis patience is a matter of the 
greatest consolation. And this is another property of God, 
which though it may break forth in some rays to some ends 
and purposes in other things, yet the treasures of it are hid 
in Christ, and none is acquainted with it unto any spiritual 
advantage, that learns it not in him. 

3dly. His wisdom, his infinite wisdom, in manacrino- 
things for his own glory, and the good of tliem towards whom 

&>ixEV Tt)V (tiTiTTiv, a.'Kfxv^ov. Ari'iaii. TTE^iTT. V.u^iivou vrivTOu. 


he hath thoughts of love. The Lord indeed hath laid out 
and manifested infinite wisdom," in his works of creation, 
providence, and governing of his world : in wisdom hath he 
made all his creatures ; ' how manifold are his works ? in 
wisdom hath he made them all ; the earth is full of his 
riches;' Psai. civ. 24. So in his providence, his support- 
ment and guidance of all things, in order to one another, and 
his own glory, unto the ends appointed for them ; for all 
these things come forth from the Lord of hosts, who is 'won- 
derful in counsel, and excellent in working ;' Isa. xxviii. 29. 
His law also is for ever to be admired, for the excellency of 
the wisdom therein ; Deut. iv. 7, 8. but yet there is that 
which Paul is astonished at, and wherein God will for ever 
be exalted, which he calls the * depth of the riches of the 
wisdom and knowledge of God,' Rom. xi. 33. that is only 
hid in, and revealed by Christ. Hence as he is said to be 
the" wisdom of God, and to be made unto us wisdom, so the 
design of God which is carried along in him, and revealed in 
the gospel, is called the wisdom of God, and a mystery, even 
the ' hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world 
was, which none of the princes of this world knew ;' 1 Cor. 
ii. 7, 8. Eph. iii. 10. It is called 'the manifold wisdom of God ;' 
and to discover the depth and riches of this wisdom, he tells 
us in that verse, that it is such, that principalities and pow- 
ers, that very angels themselves could not in the least mea- 
sure get any acquaintance with it, until God by gathering of 
a church of sinners, did actually discover it. Hence Peter in- 
forms us that they who are so well acquainted with all the 
works of God, do yet bow down and desire with earnestness 
to look into these things (the things of the wisdom of God 
in the gospel) ; 1 Pet. i. 12. It asks a man much wisdom to 
make a curious work, fabric, and building ; but if one shall 
come and deface it, to raise up the same building to more 
beauty and glory than ever, this is excellency of wisdom in- 
deed. God in the beginning made all things good, glorious, 
and beautiful. When all things had an innocency and 
beauty, the clear' impress of his wisdom and goodness upon 
them, they were very glorious. Especially man, who was 

" Si amabilis est sapientia cum cogiiitioiie rerum conditarum, quaiu aiuabilis cit 
sapieiitia, quec couilidit omnia ex iiihilo ? August, lib. Medifat. c. 18. 
" 1 Cor. i. 20. ;J0. y Gen. i. 31. 


made for his special glory ; now all this beauty was defaced 
by sin, and the whole^ creation rolled up in darkness, wrath, 
curses, confusion; and the great praise of God, buried in 
the heaps of it. Man especially was utterly lost, and came 
short of the glory of God, for which he was created ; Rom. iii. 
23. Here now doth the depth of the riches of the wisdom 
and knowledge of God open itself. A design in Christ 
shines out from his bosom, that was lodged there from eter- 
nity, to recover things to such an estate as shall be exceed- 
ingly to the advantage of his glory, infinitely above what at 
first appeared; and for the putting of sinners into inconceiv- 
ably a better condition than they were in, before the entrance 
of sin. He appears now glorious, he is known to be a God, 
''pardoning iniquity and sin, and advances the riches of his 
grace, which was his design ; Eph. i. 6. He hath infinitely 
vindicated his justice also, in the face of men, angels, and 
devils, in setting forth his Son for a ''propitiation. It is also 
to our advantage, we are more fully established in his favour, 
and are carried on towards a more exceeding •= weight of glory, 
than formerly was revealed. Hence was that ejaculation of 
one of the ancients, ' O fselix culpa, quae talem meruit re- 
demptorem!' Thus Paul tells us, 'great is themystery of god- 
liness ;' 1 Tim. iii. 16. and that ' without controversy.' We 
receive 'grace for grace;' '^forthat grace lost in Adam, better 
grace in Christ. Confessedly this is a depth of wisdom in- 
deed, and of the love of Christ to his church, and his union 
with it, to carry on this business; * this is a great mystery,' 
Eph. V. 32. says the apostle, great wisdom lies herein. 

So then, this also is hid in Christ, the great and un- 
speakable riches of the wisdom of God, in p<xrdoning sin, 
saving sinners, satisfying justice, fulfilling the lav/, repairing 
his own honour, and providing for us a more exceeding 
weight of glory ; and all this out of such a condition, as 
wherein it was impossible that it should enter into the hearts 
of angels or men, however the glory of God should be re- 
paired, and one sinning creature delivered from everlasting 
ruin. Hence it is said, that at the last day, * God shall be 
glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe;' 

^ Gen. iii. 17, 18. Rom, i. 18. 
=^ Exod. xxxiii. 18—29. xxxiv. 6—8. '' Rom. iii. 24, 25, 

•= 2 Cor. iv. 17. "^ Jolin i. 16. 


2 Thess. i. 10. it shall be an admirable thing, and God shall 
be for ever glorious in it, even in the bringing of believers 
to himself. To save sinners through believing shall be found 
to be a far more admirable v\^ork, than to create the world of 

4thly. His all-sufficiency is the last of this sort that I 
shall name. 

God's all-sufficiency in himself, is his absolute and uni- 
versal perfection ; whereby nothing is wanting in him, no- 
thing to him ; no accession can be made to his fulness, no 
decrease or wasting can happen thereunto. There is also in 
him an all-sufficiency for others : which is his power to 
impart and communicate his goodness, and himself, so to 
them, as to satisfy and fill them in their utmost capacity, 
with whatever is good and desirable to them. For the first 
of these, his all-sufficiency for the communication of his 
goodness, that is in the outward effect of it, God abundantly 
manifested in the creation, in that he made all things good, 
all things perfect, that is to v/hom nothing was wanting in 
their ov/n kind; he put a stamp of his own goodness upon 
them all. But now for the latter, his giving himself as an 
all-sufficient God, to be enjoyed by the creatures, to hold 
out all that is in him for the satiating and making them 
blessed, that is alone discovered by and in Christ. In him 
he is a Father, a God in covenant, wherein he hath promised 
to lay out himself for them ; in him hath he promised to give 
himself into their everlasting fruition as their exceeding 
great reward. 

And so I have insisted on the second sort of properties 
in God, whereof, though we have some obscure glimpse in 
other things, yet the clear knowledge of them, and acquaint- 
ance with them, is only to be had in the Lord Christ. 

That which remaineth is briefly to declare, that not any 
of the properties of God whatever, can be known savingly 
and to consolation, but only in him, and so consequently, all 
the wisdom of the knowledge of God is hid in him alone, 
and from him to be obtained. 

3. There is no saving knowledge of any property of God, 
nor such as brings consolation, but what alone is to be had 
in Christ Jesus, being laid up in him, and manifested by 
him. Some eye tlie justice of God, and know that this is 


his righteousness, ' that they which do such tilings,' as sin, 
* are worthy of death ;' Rom. i. 32. But this is to no other 
end but to make them cry, ' Who amongst us shall dwell 
with that devouring fire?' Isa. xxxiii. 14. Others fix upon his 
patience, goodness, mercy, forbearance, but it doth not at 
all lead them to repentance. ' But they despise the riches 
of his goodness, and after their hardness and impenitent 
hearts, treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of 
wrath ;' Rom. ii. 3, 4. Others by the very worlds of creation 
and providence come to know 'his eternal power and God- 
head, but they glorify him not as God, nor are thankful, but 
become vain in their imagination and their foolish hearts 
are darkened ;' Rom. i, 20. Whatever discovery men have 
of truth out of Christ, they ' hold it captive under unrighte- 
ousness;' ver. 18. Hence Jude tells us, ver. 10. ' that in what 
they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they 
corrupt themselves.' 

That we may have a saving knowledge of the properties 
of God attended with consolation, these three things are 

(1.) That God hath manifested the glory of them all in a 
way of doing good unto us. 

(2.) That he will yet exercise and lay them out to the 
utmost in our behalf. 

(3.) That being so manifested and exercised, they are fit 
and powerful to bring us to the everlasting fruition of him- 
self, which is our blessedness. Now all these three lie hid 
in Christ, and the least glimpse of them out of him, is not 
to be attained. 

(1.) This is to be received, that God hath actually mani- 
fested the glory of all bis attributes in a way of doing us 
good. What will it avail our souls; what comfort will it 
bring unto' us ; what endearment will it put upon our hearts 
unto God, to know that he is infinitely righteous, just, and 
holy, unchangeably true and faithful, if we know not how 
he may preserve the glory of his justice and faithfulness, in 
his comminations and threatenings, but only in our ruin and 
destruction ? if we can from thence only say it is a rioh- 
teous thing with him to recompense tribulation unto us for 
our iniquities? What fruit of this consideration had Adam 
in the garden? Gen. iii. What sweetness, what encourage- 


raent is there in knowing that he is patient and full of for- 
bearance, if the glory of these is to be exalted in enduring 
the vessels of wrath fitted for destruction ? Nay, what will 
it avail us to hear him proclaim himself * The Lord, the Lord 
God,* merciful and gracious, abundant in goodness and 
truth,' yet withal, that he will ' by no means clear the guilty ;' 
so shutting up the exercise of all his other properties to- 
wards us, upon the account of our iniquity ? Doubtless not 
at all. tinder this naked consideration of the properties of 
God, justice will make men fly and hide. Gen. iii. Isa. ii. 21. 
xxxiii. 15, 16. patience render them obdurate, Eccles. 
viii. 11. holiness utterly deters them from all thoughts, of 
approach unto him ; Johnxxiv. 19. Whatrelief have we from 
thoughts of his immensity and omnipresence, if we have 
cause only to contrive how to fly from him ? Psal. cxxxix. 
11, 12, if we have no pledge of his gracious presence with 
us? This is that which brings salvation, when we shall see, 
that God hath glorified all his properties in a way of doing 
us good. Now this he hath done in Jesus Christ. In him 
hath he made his justice glorious, in making all our iniqui- 
ties to^ meet upon him, causing him to bear them all, as the 
scape-goat in the wilderness, not sparing him, but giving 
him up to death for us all ; so exalting his justice and in- 
dignation against sin, in a way of freeing us from the 
condemnation of it; Rom. iii. 25. viii. 33, 34. In him 
hath he made his truth glorious, and his faithfulness in the 
exact accomplishment of all his absolute threatenings and 
promises ; that fountain-threat and commination, whence all 
others flow. Gen. ii. 17. * In the day thou eatest thereof, 
thou shalt die the death/ seconded with a curse ; Deut. 
xxvii. 26. ' Cursed is every one that continueth not,' &c. is 
in him accomplished, fulfilled, and the truth of God in them 
laid in a way to our good. ' He by the grace of God tasted 
death for us ;' Heb. ii. 9. ' and so delivered us who were 
subject to death ;' ver. 14. ' and he hath fulfilled the curse, 
by being made a curse for us;' Gal. iii. 13. So that in his 
very threatenings, his truth is made glorious, in a way to our 
good. And for his promises ; * They are all yea, and in him 
amen, to the glory of God by us ;' 2 Cor. i. 20. And for 
his mercy, goodness, and the riches of his grace, how emi- 

^ Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7, ' Isa, liii. 5, 6. Lev. xvi. 21. Rom. viii, 32. 


nently are they made glorious in Christ, and advanced for 
our good ? God hath set him forth to declare his righteous- 
ness for the forgiveness of sin ; he hath made way in him 
for ever to exalt the glory. of his pardoning mercy towards 
sinners. To manifest this, is the great design of the gospel, 
as Paul admirably sets it out, Eph. i. 5 — 8. There must 
our souls come to an acquaintance with them, or for ever 
live in darkness. 

Now this is a saving knowledge, and full of consolation, 
when we can see all the properties of God made glorious 
and exalted in a way of doing us good. And this wisdom 
is hid only in Jesus Christ ; hence when he desired his Fa- 
ther to glorify his name, John xii. 24. to make in him his 
name, that is, his nature, his properties, his will, all glo- 
rious in that work of redemption he had in hand ; he was 
instantly answered from heaven, ' I have both glorified it 
and will glorify it again.' He will give it its utmost glory in 

(2.) That God will yet exercise and lay out those pro- 
perties of his to the utmost in our behalf. Though he hath 
made them all glorious in a way that may tend to our good, 
yet it doth not absolutely follow that he will use them for 
our good ; for do we not see innumerable persons perish- 
ing everlastingly, notwithstanding the manifestation of him- 
self which God hath made in Christ. Wherefore, farther, 
God hath committed ail his properties into the hand of 
Christ, if I may so say, to be managed in our behalf, and for 
our good. Hes 'is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, 
he is the Lord our righteousness, and is made unto us of 
God wisdom, and righteousness, sanctification, and redemp- 
tion.' Christ having glorified his Father in all his attributes, 
he hath now the exercise of them committed to him, that 
he might be the captain of salvation to them that do believe. 
So that if in the righteousness, the goodness, the love, the 
mercy, the all-sufficiency of God, there be any thing that 
will do us good, the Lord Jesus is fully interested with the 
dispensing of it in our behalf. Hence God is said to be 
*in him, reconciling the world unto himself;' 2 Cor. v. 18. 
Whatever is in him, he layeth it out for the reconciliation 
of the world, in and by the Lord Christ. And he becomes 

P 1 Cor. i. 20.30. Jer. xxiii. C. 
VOL. X. I 


' the Lord our righteousness ;' Isa. xlv. 24, 25. and this is the 
second thing required. 

(3.) There remaineth only, then, that these attributes of 
God, so manifested and exercised, are powerful and able to 
bring us to the everlasting fruition of hira. To evince this, 
the Lord wraps up the whole covenant of grace in one pro- 
mise signifying no less; ' I will be your God.' In the cove- 
nant, God becomes our God, and we are his people ; and 
thereby all his attributes are ours also ; and lest that we 
should doubt, when once our eyes are opened, to see in any 
measure the inconceivable difficulty that is in this thing, 
what imaginable obstacles on all hands there lie against us, 
that all is not enough to deliver and save us, God hath, I say, 
wrapt it up in this expression. Gen. xvii. 1. 'I am/ saith 
he,'' ' God Almighty, all-sufficient:' I am wholly able to per- 
form all my undertakings, and to be thy exceeding great re- 
ward. I can remove all difficulties, answer all objections, 
pardon all sins, conquer all opposition, I am God all-suffi- 
. cient. Now you know in whom this covenant and all the 
promises thereof are ratified, and in whose blood it is con- 
firmed ; to wit, in the Lord Christ alone ; in him only, is 
God an all-sufficient God to any, and an exceeding great re- 
ward. And hence Christ himself is said to 'save to the ut- 
most them that come to God by him ;' Heb. vii. And these 
three things, I say, are required to be known, that we may 
have a saving acquaintance, and such as is attended with 
consolation, with any of the properties of God ; and all 
these being hid only in Christ, from him alone it is to be' 

This then is the first part of our first demonstration, that 
all true and sound wisdom and knowledge, is laid up in the 
Lord Christ, and from him alone to be obtained ; because 
our wisdom, consisting in a main part of it, in the know- 
ledge of God, his nature, and his properties, this lies wholly 
hid in Christ, nor can possibly be obtained but by him. 

For the knowledge of ourselves, which is the second 
part of our' wisdom, this consists in these three things, 
which our Saviour sends his Spirit to convince the world of, 

^ Saddai, Aquila interpretatur aXKifA,ov, quod nos robustura et ad omnia perpe- 
tranda sufficientem possumus dicere. Hieron, Eplst. 136. 
• 'H o-o<{>iet ItTTi t£v TifAnmriTW. Arist. 


even ' sin, righteousness, and judgment ;' John xvi. 8. to know 
ourselves in reference unto these three, is a main part of true 
and sound wisdom, for they all respect the supernatural and 
immortal end whereuntowe are appointed, and there is none 
of these, that we can attain unto, but only in Christ. 

[1.] In respect of sin. There is a sense and knowledge of 
«in left in the consciences of all men by nature. To tell 
them what is good and evil, in many things to approve and 
disapprove of what they do in reference to a judgment to 
come, they need not go farther than themselves ; Rom. ii. 
14, 15. But this is obscure, and relates mostly to greater 
sins, and is in sum that which the apostle gives us, R,om. 
i. 32. ' they knew the judgment of God, that they which do 
such things are worthy of death.' This he placeth among 
the common presumptions and notions that are received by 
mankind, namely, that it is"" 'righteous with God, that they 
who do such things are worthy of death ;' and if that be 
true, which is commonly received, that no nation is so bar- 
barous or rude, but it retaineth some sense of a Deity, then 
this also is true, that there is no nation but hath a sense of 
sin, and the displeasure of God for it. For this is the very 
first' notion of God in the world, that he is the rewarder of 

^ To Smai'aj^tt rou Bbou iTTiyvivrBi; on ol -ra roiavra ts^a.(7<70Yriz a^ioi ^avarov Ei<7iv. 
Rom. i. 12. Perfecto deniuni scelere, niagiiitudo ejus intellecta est."— Tacit. 
Ofio'ra ■r>.r,fxov, tic a"' aTToKXvTai oo'oq; 
'H (TuVEiTf?, oTTi o-woiJa. SfiV il^yaj-fjiivoq. — Eui'lp. 
' Primus est deorura cultus, Deos credere : deinde rcddere illis niajestateiu suam, 
reddere boniiatem, sine qua nulla majestas est. Scire iilos esse qui president 
mundo : qui universa vi sua teniperant : qui humani generis tutelani gerunt. Senec. 
Epist. 96. — Neque honor ullus deberi potest Deo, si nihil prajstat colenti ; nee uHu^i 
metus, si non irascitur non colenti. — Lactan. 
Raro antecedentera scelestum 

Deseruit pede paena claudo. — Horat. Od. iii. 2. 241. 
Quo fugis Encclade? qiiascunque accesseris oras. 
Sub Jove semper eris, &c. 

Hos tu 

Evasisse putes, quos diri conscia facti, 

Mens liabet attonitos, et surdo verbere cffidit'! — Juvenal. Sat. xiii. 19:2. 
"Oiet (TV TOuc Bavovrag, ai NlxiipaTE, 
Tpuifijj a-srairo? jUETttXa^o'vraf Iv Bia>, 
nEcj)£uysva(, TO S'sTov coq XtXufioTa? ; 
"Eo'tiv SiK>); Oifj&aXiuoc, oj rk wavS'' o^a. 
Kai yk^ xaS' aSiiv 5i;o Tpi'^ou? WfjL.l^ofxev , 
Mi'av Swai'iDV, kripav S' aa-iQZv iiv' oSov 
K' £1 TOL)f Sua xttXu^Ei hyri, <paa-l, 'X^omm 
"ApTTO)^', aTTEX&aiv, vXiifr , iTTotrri^ei, itvita. 
MuSev wXctvnSjiV, Icrat xav aJoo xgiVij. 
' HvWej TToiniTEi &£o; TTavToov Seo-voTn?, 
oil Touvo/xa cfioSepJv, ouS' av ovoixacraiy.' 'eycii, kX. 
Philemon, juxta Clement, seu Diphil. juxta Justin. Martyr. 

I 2 


good and evil ; hence were all the sacrifices, purgings, ex- 
piations, which were so generally spread over the face of the 
earth ; but this was and is but very dark, in respect of that 
knowledge of sin with its appurtenances, which is to be 

A farther knowledge of sin upon all accounts whatever, 
is given by the law ; that law which was added because of 
transgressions. This*" revives doctrinally all that sense of 
good and evil which was at first implanted in man ; and it 
is a glass whereinto, whosoever is able spiritually to look, 
may see sin in all its ugliness and deformity. The truth is, 
look upon the law in its purity, holiness, compass, and per- 
fection, its manner of delivery with dread, terror, thunder, 
earthquakes, fire ; the sanction of it, in death, curse, wrath, 
and it makes a wonderful discovery of sin, upon every ac- 
count, its pollution, guilt, and exceeding sinfulness are seen 
by it. But yet all this doth not suffice to give a man a true 
and thorough conviction of sin. Not but that the glass is 
clear, but of ourselves we have not eyes to look into it; the 
rule is straight, but we cannot apply it, and therefore Christ 
sends his Spirit to convince the world of sin ; John xvi. 8. 
who, though as to some ends and purposes he makes use of 
the law, yet the work of conviction, which alone is a useful 
knowledge of sin, is his peculiar work. And so the dis- 
covery of sin, may also be said to be by Christ, to be part 
of the wisdom that is hid in him. But yet there is a two- 
fold regard besides this, of his sending his Spirit to con- 
vince us, wherein this wisdom appears to be hid in him. 

1st. Because there are some near concernments of sin, 
which are more clearly held out in the Lord Christ's being 
made sin for us, than any other way. 

2dly. In that there is no knowledge to be had of sin, so 
as to give it a spiritual and saving improvement, but only in 

1st. For the first, there are four things in sin, that 
<ilearly shine out in the cross of Christ. 

(1st.) The desert of it. 

(2dly.) Man's impotency by reason of it. 

(3dly.) The death of it. 

•" Gal. iii. 19. Kom. vii. 13. 

"Exod. xix. 18 — 20. Deut. iv. 11. Heb. xii. 18— 21. 


(4thly.) A new end put to it. 

(1st.) The desert of sin doth clearly shine in the cross of 
Christ, upon a twofold account. 

[1st.] Of the person suffering for it. 

[2dly.] Of the penalty he underwent. 

[1.] Of the person suffering for it. This the Scripture of- 
tentimes very emphatically sets forth, and lays great weight 
upon ; John iii. 16. * God so loved the world, as that he sent 
his only-begotten Son.' It was his only son that God sent 
into the world to suffer for sin ; Rom. viii. 32. ' He spared 
not his only Son, but gave him up to death for us all.' To 
see a slave beaten and corrected, it argues a fault committed, 
but yet perhaps the demerit of it was not very great. The 
correction of a son, argues a great provocation ; that of an 
only son, the greatest imaginable. Never was sin seen to 
be more abominably sinful and full of provocation, than when 
the burden of it was upon the shoulders of the Son of God. 
God having made his Son, the Son of his love, his only-be- 
gotten, full of grace and truth," sin for us, to manifest his 
indignation against it, and how utterly impossible it is, that 
he should let the least sin go unpunished, he lays'' hand on 
him, and spares him not. If'^ sin be imputed to the dear 
Son of his bosom, as upon his own voluntary assumption of 
it, it was (for he said to his Father, * Lo I come to do thy 
will,' and all our iniquities did meet on him), he will not 
spare him any thing of the due desert of it; is it not most 
clear from hence, even from the blood of the cross of Christ, 
that such is the demerit of sin, that it is altogether impos- 
sible that God should pass by any, the least unpunished ; if 
he would have done it for any, he would have done it in re- 
ference to his only Son ; but he spared him not. 

Moreover, God is not at all delighted with, nor desirous 
of the blood, the tears, the cries, the unexpressible torments 
and sufferings of the Son of his love (for he delights not in 
the anguish of any ; * he doth not'' afflict willingly, nor grieve 
the children of men ;' much less the Son of his bosom) only 
he required that his law be fulfilled, his justice satisfied, his 
wrath atoned for sin, and nothing less than all this, would 
bring it about. If the debt of sin might have been cora- 

p 2 Cor. V. 21. P Zech. xiii. 7. 

T Heb. X. 7. Isa. liii. 6. ^ Lam. iii. 33. 


pounded for, at a cheaper rate, it had never been held up at 
the price of the blood of Christ. Here then soul, take a view 
of the desert of sin ; behold it far more evident, than in all 
the threatenings a:;d curses of the law. I thought, indeed, 
may est thou say from thence, that sin, being found on such a 
poor worm as I am, was worthy of death, but that it should 
have this effect, if charged on the Son of God, that I never 
once imagined. 

[2dly.] Consider also farther, what he suffered. For 
though he was so excellent a one, yet perhaps it was but a 
light affliction, and trial that he underwent, especially con- 
sidering the strength he had to bear it. Why, whatever it 
were, it made this* * fellow of the Lord of hosts,' this' ' Lion 
of the tribe of Judah,' this" 'mighty one,' the'' wisdom and 
power of God, to tremble,^ sweat, cry, pray, wrestle, and 
that with strong supplications. Some of the Popish de- 
votionists, tell us that one drop, the least, of the blood of 
Christ, was abundantly enough to redeem all the world ; but 
they err, not knowing the desert of sin, nor the severity of 
the justice of God. If one drop less than was shed, one 
pang less than was laid on, would have done it ; those 
other drops had not been shed, nor tliose other pangs laid 
on. God did not cruciate the dearly beloved of his soul for 
nouoht. But there is more than all this. 

It pleased God to ^ ' bruise him, to put him to grief, to 
make his soul an offering for sin, and to pour out his life 
unto death. He ' hid himself from him, was far from the 
voice of his cry, until he cried out, ' My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me ?' He made him* sin, and a*^ curse 
for us, executed on him the sentence of the law, brought 
him into an agony, wherein he sweat thick drops of blood, 
was grievously troubled, and his soul was heavy unto death ; 
he that was the power of God, and the wisdom of God, went 
stooping under the burden, until the whole frame of nature 
seemed astonished at it. Now this, as I said before, that it 
discovered the indignation of God against sin, so it clearly 
holds out the desert of it. Would you then see the true 

9 Zach. xiii. 7. ' Rev. v. 5. 

" Psal. Ixxxix. 19. "^ Prov. viii, 22. 1 Cor. i. 24. 

y Matt. xxvi. 37, 38. Mark xiv. 30, 31. Luke xxii. 24. Heb. v.7. 

^ Isa. liii. 5, 6. ^ Psai. xxii. 1. 

b 2 Cor. V. 21. ^ Gal. !. 13. 


demerit of sin, take the measure of it from the mediation 
of Christ, especially his cross. It brought him who was 
the Son of God, equal unto God, God blessed for ever, into 
the form of a'* servant, who had not where to lay his head. 
It pursued him all his life, with afflictions and persecutions, 
and lastly brought him under the rod of God ; there bruised 
him, and brake him,^ slew the Lord of life. Hence is deep 
humiliation for it upon the account of him whom we ^ have 
pierced. And this is the first spiritual view of sin we have 
in Christ. 

(2dly.) The wisdonfi of understanding our impotency by 
reason of sin, is wrapped up in him. By our impotency I 
understand two things. 

fist.] Our disability to make any atonement with God 
for sin. 

[2dly.J Our disability to answer his mind and will, in all 
or any of the obedience, that he requireth by reason of sin. 

[1st.] For the first, that alone is discovered in Christ. 
Many inquiries have the sons of men made after an atone- 
ment, many ways have they entered into, to accomplish it. 
After this they inquire, Mich. vi. 6, 7. Will any manner of 
sacrifices, though appointed of God, as burnt-offerings, and 
calves of a year old, though very costly ; thousands of rams, 
and ten thousand rivers of oil, though dreadful and tre- 
mendous, offering violence to nature, as to give my children 
to the fire; will any of these things make an atonement? 
David doth positively indeed determine this business, Psal. 
xlix. 7, 8. none of them, of the best or richest of men, can 
by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom 
for him, for the redemption of their souls is precious, and it 
ceaseth for ever. It cannot be done, no atonement can be 
made. Yet men would still be doing, still attempting; 
hence did they heap up^ sacrifices, some costly, some bloody 
and inhuman. The Jews to this day, think that God was 
atoned for sin, by the sacrifices of bulls and goats, and the 
like ; and the Socinians acknowledge no atonement, but 
what consists in men's repentance and new obedience. In 
the cross of Christ, are the mouths of all stopped as to this 
thing. For, 

d 1 Phil. ii. 8. 8 1 Cor. ii. 8. 

f Zech. xii. 10. s Vid. Diatr. Just. Divin. cap. 3. 


1st. God hath there discovered that no sacrifices for sin, 
though of his own appointment, could ever make them per- 
fect that offered them; Heb. x. 11. Those sacrifices could 
never take away sin ;s those services could never make them 
perfect that performed them, as to the conscience ; Heb. ix. 
9. as the apostle proves, chap. x. 1. and thence the Lord 
rejects all sacrifices and offerings whatever, as to any such 
end and purpose, ver. 6 — 8. Christ, in their stead saying, *Lo 
I come ;' and by him we are justified, 'from all things, from 
which we could not be justified by the law ;' Acts xiii. 39. 
God, I say, in Christ, hath condemned all sacrifices, as wholly 
insufficient in the least to make an atonement for sin. And 
how great a thing it was, to instruct the sons of men in this 
wisdom, the event hath manifested. 

2dli/. He hath also written vanity on all other endeavours 
whatever that have been undertaken for that purpose, Rom. 
iii. 24 — 26. by setting forth his only 'Son to be a propiti- 
ation,' he leaves no doubt upon the spirits of men, that in 
themselves they could make no atonement. For 'if righte- 
ousness were by the law, then were Christ dead in vain.' To 
what purpose should he be made a propitiation, were not 
we ourselves weak and without strength to any such pur- 
pose? So the apostle argues, Rom. vi. 6. when we had no 
power, then did he by death make an atonement, as ver. 8, 9. 
This wisdom then is also hid in Christ; men may see by 
other helps perhaps far enough to fill them with dread and 
astonishment, as those in Isa. xxxiii. 14. but such a sight 
and view of it, as may lead a soul to any comfortable settle- 
ment about it ; that only is discovered in this treasury of 
heaven, the Lord Jesus. 

[2.] Our disability to answer the mind and will of God, in 
all or any of the obedience that he requireth, is in him only 
to be discovered. This indeed is a thing that many will 
not be acquainted with to this day. To teach a man that 
he cannot do what he ought to do, and for which he con- 
demns himself if he do it not, is no easy task. Man rises 
up with all his power, to plead against a conviction of impo- 
tency. Not to mention the proud'' conceits and expressions 

g Psal. xl. 6, 7. 
'' Quia unusquisque sibi virtutem acquirit ; nemo sapientuni de ea gratias Deo cgit. 


of the philosophers, how many that would be called Chris- 
tians, do yet creep by several degrees, in the persuasion of a 
power of fulfilling the law; and from whence indeed should 
men have this knowledge that we have not? Nature will not 
teach it, that is' proud and conceited ; and it is one part of 
its pride, weakness, and corruption, not to know it at all. 
The law will not teach it ; for though that will shew us 
what we have done amiss, yet it will not discover to us, that 
we could not do better ; yea, by requiring exact obedience 
of us, it takes for granted, that such power is in us for that 
purpose: it takes no notice that we have lost it, nor doth 
it concern it so to do : this then also lies hid in the Lord 
Jesus ;^ Rom. viii. 2 — 4. 'The law of the Spirit of life 
in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and 
death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak 
through the flesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness 
of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh ; that 
the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us :' the 
law can bring forth no righteousness, no obedience, it is 
weak to any such purpose, by reason of the flesh, and that 
corruption that is come on us. These two things are done in 
Christ, and by him. First, sin is condemned as to its guilt, 
and we set free from that, the righteousness of the law 
by his obedience, is fulfilled in us, who could never do it 
ourselves. And, secondly, that obedience which is required 
of us, his Spirit works it in us ; so that that perfection of 
obedience which we have in him is imputed to us, and the 
sincerity that we have in obedience, is from his Spirit be- 
stowed on us. And this is the most excellent glass wherein 
we see our impotency, for what need we his perfect obedi- 
ence to be made ours, but that we have not, cannot attain 
any? what need we his Spirit of life to quicken us, but that 
we are dead in trespasses and in sins ? 

(3dly.) The death of sin ; sin dying in us, now in some 
measure whilst we are alive. This is a third concernment of 
sin, which it is our wisdom to be acquainted with, and it is 
hid only in Christ. There is a twofold dying of sin ; as to 
the exercise of it in our mortal members; and as to the 
root, principle, and power of it in our souls. The first in- 
deed may be learned, in part, out of Christ. Christless men 

' Natura sic apparet vitiata, ut hoc niajorh vitii sit, non videre. Aug. 


may have sin dying in them, as to the outward exercise of 
it. Men's bodies may be disabled for the service of their lusts, 
or the practice of them may not consist with their interest. 
Sin is never more alive,'' than when it is thus dying. But 
there is a dying of it as to the root, the principle of it, the 
daily decaying of the strength, power, and life of it, and this 
is to be had alone in Christ. Sin is a thing that of itself, is 
not apt to die, or to decay, but to get ground, and strength, 
and life, in the subject wherein it is, to eternity ; prevent all 
its actual eruptions, yet its original enmity against God will 
still grow. la believers it is still dying and decaying, until 
it be utterly abolished. The opening of this treasury you 
have, Rom. vi. 3 — 7, Sec. * Know you not, that as many of 
us as were baptized in Jesus Christ, were baptized into his 
death ? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into 
death, that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the 
glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness 
of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness 
of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrec- 
tion ; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, 
that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we 
should not serve sin.' This is the design of the apostle in the 
beginning of that chapter, not only to manifest whence is the 
principle and rise of our mortification and the death of sin, 
even from the death and blood of Christ ; but also the man- 
ner of sin's continuance and dying in us, from the manner of 
Christ's dying for sin : he was crucified for us, and thereby 
sin was crucified in us ; he died for us, and the body of sin 
is destroyed, that we should not serve sin ; that as he was 
raised from the dead that death should not have dominion 
over him, so also are we raised from sin, that it should not 
have dominion over us. This wisdom is hid in Christ only. 
Moses at his dying day had all his strength and vigour, so 
have sin and the law to all out of Jesus ; at their dying day, 
sin is no way decayed. Now next to the receiving of the 
righteousness prepared for us, to know this is the chiefest 
part of our wisdom ; to be truly acquainted with the prin- 
ciple of the dying of sin, to feel virtue and power flowing 
from the cross of Christ to that purpose, to find sin crucified 

^ See Treatise of Mortification. [Works, vol. vii.] 


in us, as Christ was crucified for us, this is wisdom indeed, 
that is in him alone. 

(4thly .) There is a glorious end whereunto sin is appointed 
and ordained, and discovered in Christ, that others are un- 
acquainted withal. Sin in its own nature tends merely to the 
dishonour of God, the debasement of his Majesty, and the 
ruin of the creature in whom it is ; hell itself is but the fill- 
ing of wretched creatures, with the' fruit of their own devices. 
The comminations and threats of God in the law, do mani- 
fest one other end of it, even the demonstration of the vin- 
dictive justice of God in measuring out unto it a meet"' re- 
compense of reward. But here the law stays (and with it 
all other light) and discovers no other use or end of it at all. 
In the Lord Jesus there is the manifestation of another and 
more glorious end 5 to wit, the praise of God's glorious" 
grace, in the pardon and forgiveness of it. God having 
taken order in Christ, that that thing which tended merely 
to his dishonour, should be managed to his infinite glory ; 
and that which of all things he desireth to exalt, even that 
he may be knov/n and believed to be a° 'God pardoning ini- 
quity, transgression and sin.' To return then to this part of 
our demonstration. 

In the knowledge of ourselves in reference to our eternal 
c ondition,doth much of our wisdom consist. There is not 
any thing wherein (in this depraved condition of nature) we 
are more concerned, than sin; without a knowledge of that, 
we know not ourselves ; ' fools make a mock of sin.' A true 
saving knowledge of sin is to be had only in the Lord Christ ; 
in him may we see the desert of our iniquities, and their pol- 
kition which could not be borne, or expiated but by his blood, 
neither is there any wholesome view of these but in Christ : 
in him and his cross is discovered our universal impotency,. 
either of atoning God's justice or living up to his will; the 
death of sin is procured by, and discovered in, the death of 
Christ ; as also the manifestation of the riches of God's grace 
in the pardoning thereof, a real and experimental acquaint- 
ance as to ourselves, with all which, is our wisdom ; and 
it is that which is of more value, than all the wisdom of the 

[2.] Righteousness is a second thing whereof the Spirit 

» Prov. i.31. Jer. xvii. 10. "Thess. i. 6. " Epb. i. 6. " Heb. viii. 6—13. 


of Christ convinces the world, and the main thing that it i» 
our wisdom to be acquainted withal. This all men are per- 
suaded of; that God is a most righteous God; (that is a na- 
tural notion of God which Abraham insisted on, Gen. xviii. 
35. * Shall not the judge of all the world do right?') they 
'know that this is the judgment of God, that they who 
commit such things are worthy of death ;' Rom. i. 32. ' that 
it is a righteous thing with him to recompense tribulation 
unto offenders;' 2 Thess. i. 6. 'He is a God of purer eyes 
than to behold iniquity;' Hab. i. 13. and therefore ' the un- 
godly cannot stand in judgment;' Psal. i. 5. Hence the 
great inquiry of every one (who lies in any measure under 
the power of it), convinced of immortality, and the judg- 
ment to come, is, concerning the righteousness wherewith 
to appear in the presence of this righteous God. This more 
or less they are solicitous about all their days ; and so as 
the apostle speaks, Heb. ii. 15. 'through the fear of death 
they are subject to bondage all their life.' They are per- 
plexed with fears about the issue of their righteousness, lest 
it should end in death and destruction. 

1st. Unto men set upon this inquiry, that which first and 
naturally presents itself, for their direction and assistance, 
assuredly promising them a righteousness that will abide 
the trial of God, provided they will follow its direction, is 
the law. The law hath many fair pleas to prevail with a 
soul to close with it for a righteousness before God. It 
was given out from God himself for that end and purpose ; 
it contains the whole obedience that God requireth of any 
of the sons of men; it hath the promise of life annexed to 
it; 'do this and live;' the 'doers of the law are justified ;' 
and 'if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments;' 
yea, it is most certain that it must be wholly fulfilled, if we 
ever think to stand with boldness before God. This being 
some part of the plea of the law, there is no man that seeks 
after righteousness but doth one time or another attend to 
it, and attempt its direction ; many do it every day, who yet 
will not own that so they do. This then they set themselves 
about; labouring to correct their lives, amend their ways, 
perform the duties required, and so follow after a righteous- 
ness according to the prescript of the law. And in this 
course do marvy men continue long with much perplexity ; 


"sometimes hoping, oftener fearing, sometimes ready to give 
■quite over, sometimes vowing to continue (their consciences 
being no way satisfied ; nor righteousness in any measure 
attained) all their days. After they have wearied them- 
selves, perhaps for a long season, in the largeness of their 
ways, they come at length with fear, trembling, and disap- 
pointment, to that conclusion of the apostle, * by the works of 
the law no flesh is justified ;' and with dread cry, that if God 
mark what is done amiss, there is no standing before him. 
That they have this issue the apostle witnesseth ;P Rom. ix. 
31, 32. ' Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness, 
attained not to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because 
they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of 
the law.' It was not solely for want of endeavour in them- 
selves that they were disappointed, for they earnestly fol- 
lowed after the law of righteousness, but from the nature of 
the thing itself, it would not bear it; righteousness was not 
to be obtained that way ; ' for,' saith the apostle, * if they 
which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the 
promise made of none effect, because the law worketh wrath ;' 
Rom. iv. 14, 15. The law itself is now such as that it cannot 
give life. Gal. iii. 21. ' If there had been a law given which 
would have given life, verily righteousness should have been 
by the law ;' and he gives the reason in the next verse why 
it could not give life ; because ' the Scripture concludes all 
under sin,' that is, it is very true, and the Scripture affirms it, 
that all men are sinners, and the law speaks not one word 
to sinners but death and destruction ; therefore the apostle 
tells us plainly, that God himself found fault with this way 
of attaining righteousness ; Heb. viii. 7, 8. ""He complains 
of it, that is, he declares it insufficient for that end and pur- 

Now there are two considerations that discover unto 
men the vanity and hopelessness of seeking righteousness 
in this path. 

(1st.) That they have already sinned;"" 'for all have sinned 
and come short of the glory of God ;' Rom. iii. 23. This they 
are sufficiently sensible of; that although they could for the 
time to come, fulfil the whole law, yet there is a score, a 

P AiBuxtuv yofjLov Sixaios'Jvwj. Sixaioa-uvtiv ^moZv-nt; artja-ai. 1 Mef*<pif*tvos. 

■■ rittVTEc rtfjia^rav, Rom. iii. 23. wavTEj ii/uapTov. Rom. v. 12. 


reckoning, upon them already, that they know not how to 
answer for. Do they consult their guide, the ^law itself, 
how they may be eased of the account that is past; it liath 
not one word of direction or consolation, but bids them 
prepare to die ; the sentence is gone forth, and there is no 

(2dly.) That if all former debts should be blotted out, yet 
they are no way able for the future to fulfil the law ; they 
can as well move the earth with a finger, as answer the per- 
fection thereof; and therefore, as I said, on this twofold ac- 
count, they conclude that this labour is lost; '*by the works 
of the law shall no flesh be justified.' 

2dly. Wherefore, secondly, being thus disappointed by 
the severity and inexorableness of tiie law, men generally 
betake themselves to some other way, that may satisfy them 
as to those considerations, which took them off from their 
former hopes ; and this, for the most part, is by fixing them- 
selves upon some ways of atonement to satisfy God, and 
helping out the rest with hopes of mercy. Not to insist on 
the ways of atonement and expiation which the Gentiles had 
pitched on, nor on the many ways and inventions by works 
satisfactory of their own, supererogations of others, in- 
dulgences, and purgatory in the close, that the Papists have 
found out for this end and purpose, it is, I say, proper to all 
convinced persons, as above, to seek for a righteousness, 
partly by an endeavour to satisfy for what is past, and partly 
by hoping after general mercy. This the apostle calls a 
seeking for it, 'as it were by the works of the law ;' Rom. ix, 
32. "not directly, ' but as it were by the works of the law ;' 
making up one thing with another. And he tells us what 
issue they have in this business, chap. x. 3. * Being igno- 
rant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish 
their own righteousness, they were not subject to the righte- 
ousness of God.' They were by it enemies to the righteous- 
ness of God. The ground of this going about to establish 
their own righteousness, was, that they were ignorant of the 
righteousness of God ; had they known the righteousness of 
God, and what exact conformity to his will he requireth, 
they had never undertaken such a fruitless business, as to 

• Deut. xsvii. 26. Gal. iii. 10. ^ ^ < Gal. iii. 11, 12. 


have compassed it, 'as it were by the works of the law ;' yet 
this many will stick on a long time. Something they do, 
something they hope for ; some old faults they will buy off 
with new obedience. And this pacifies their consciences for 
a season; but when the Spirit comes to convince them of 
righteousness, neither will this hold : wherefore, 

3dly. The matter comes at length to this issue ; they look 
upon themselves under this twofold qualification ; as, 

(1st.) Sinners; obnoxious to the law of God, and the 
curse thereof; so that unless that be satisfied, that nothing 
from thence shall ever be laid to their charge, it is altoge- 
ther in vain, once to seek after an appearance in the presence 
of God. • 

(2dly.) As creatures, made to a supernatural and eternal 
end, and therefore bound to answer the whole mind and 
will of God in the obedience required at their hands. Now 
it being before discovered to them, that both these are be- 
yond the compass of their own endeavours, and the assist- 
ance which they have formerly rested on, if their eternal 
condition be of any concernment to them, their wisdom is, 
to find out a righteousness that may answer both these to 
the utmost. 

Now both these are to be had only in the Lord Christ, 
who is our righteousness. This wisdom, and all the trea- 
sures of it, are hid in him. 

(1.) He expiates former iniquities, he satisfies for sin, and 
procures remission of it; Rom. iii. 24, 25. ' Being justified 
freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus 
Christ: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through 
faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the re- 
mission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of 
God.' * All we like sheep,' &c. Isa. liii. 5, 6. ' In his blood, 
we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins;' Eph. i. 7. 
' God spared not him, but gave him,' &c. Rom. viii. 32. 
This, even this alone is our righteousness, as to that first 
part of it which consists in the removal of the whole guilt of 
sin, whereby we are come short of the glory of God. On 
this account it is, that we are assured, that none shall ever 
lay any thing to our charge, or condemn us; Rom. viii. 31. 
34. there being 'no condemnation to them that are in Christ 
Jesus;' ver. 1. we are purged by the sacrifice of Christ, so 


as to have ' no more conscience of sin ;' Heb. x. 2. that is, 
troubles in conscience about it. This wisdom is hid only 
in the Lord Jesus ; in him alone is there an atonement dis- 
covered : and give me the wisdom which shall cut all scores 
concerning sin, and let the world take what remains. But, 

(2.) There is yet something more required ; it is not 
enough that we are not guilty, we must also be actually 
righteous ; not only all sin is to be answered for, but all 
righteousness is to be fulfilled ; by taking away the guilt of 
sin, we are as persons innocent, but something more is re- 
quired to make us to be considered as persons obedient. I 
know nothing to teach me that an innocent person shall go 
to heaven, be rewarded, if he be no more but so. Adam 
was innocent at his first creation, but he was to *do this,' to 
' keep the commandments' before he entered into life; he had 
no title to life by innocency. This, then, moreover is re- 
quired, that the whole law be fulfilled, and all the obedience 
performed that God requires at our hands. This is the 
soul's second inquiry, and it finds a resolution only in the 
Lord Christ ; ' for if when we were enemies we were recon- 
ciled to God by the death of his Son ; much more being re- 
conciled, we shall be saved by his life ;' Rom. v. 10. his 
death reconciled us, then are we saved by his life. The ac- 
tual obedience which he yielded to the whole law of God, 
is that righteousness whereby we are saved ; ' If so be we 
are found in him, not having on our own righteousness 
which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God 
by faith ;' Phil. iii. 9. This I shall have occasion to handle 
more at large hereafter. 

To return then. It is not I suppose any difficult task to 
persuade men, convinced of immortality and judgment to 
come, that the main of their wisdom lies in this, even to 
find out such a righteousness as will accompany them for 
ever, and abide the severe trial of God himself. Now all 
the wisdom of the world is but folly, as to the discovery of 
this thing. The utmost that man's wisdom can do, is but 
to find out most wretched, burdensome, and vexatious ways 
of perishing eternally. All the treasures of this wisdom are 
hid in Christ ; he ' of God is made unto us wisdom and righ- 
teousness ;' 1 Cor. i. 30. 

£3.] Come we to the last thing which I shall but touch 


upon, and that is judgment. The true wisdom of this also is 
hid in the Lord Christ; I mean in particular that judgment 
that is for to come ; so at present I take the word in that 
place. Of what concernment this is to us to know, I shall 
not speak ; it is that, whose " influence upon the sons of 
men, is the principle of their discriminating themselves from 
the beasts that perish. Neither shall 1 insist on the ^ ob- 
scure intimations of it, which are given by the present pro- 
ceedings of Providence in governing the world, nor that 
greater light of it, which shines in the thi'eats and promises 
of the law. The wisdom of it, is in two regards hid in the 
Lord Jesus. 

1st. As to the truth of it. 
2dly. As to the manner of it. 

1st. For the truth of it ; and so in and by him it is con- 
firmed, and that two ways. 
(1st.) By his death. 
(2dly.) By his resurrection. 

(1st.) By his death. God, in the death of Christ, pu- 
nishing and condemning sin in the flesh of his own Son, in 
the sight of men, angels, and devils, hath given an abundant 
assurance of a righteous and universal judgment to come ; 
wherefore, or upon what account imaginable, could he be 
induced to lay such load on him, but that he will certainly 
reckon one day with the sons of men for all their works, 
ways, and walkings, before him ? The death of Christ is a 
most solemn exemplar of the last judgment. Those who 
own him to be the Son of God, will not deny a judgment to 

(2dly.) By his resurrection, Acts^xvii. 31. tticttiv Trapa(T)(u)v 
iramv, he hath given faith and assurance of this thing to all, 
by raising Christ from the dead, having appointed him to 
be the judge of all, in whom, and by whom, he will judge 
the v/orld in righteousness. And then, 

Lastly, for the manner of it ; that it shall be by him who 

^ CzEsar htecdisseiit, credo falsa existinians ea quzc de inferis meinoraiitur, diver- 
se itinerc malos a bonis loca tetra, inculta faeUa atque forinidolosa habere. Cafo. 
apud. Salust. Bell. Catil. 

Kcti TO aVtt/3iia-H£a-9ai, jcai l>t. tZv riQn-jncuV -rou? ^ouvrac >"'yv£c"9tt(, nal ra; tSi\i T£9vsa'r*v 
■J/up^a? eTvsi, Jtai 'Tcu(; fj-h a/ya^aif a/jieivov Mat, raT( naKaXi; xAntov . Plat, in Phred. 
y Devenere locos Icetos, et amoena vireta ' 

Fortunatorum nemorum, sedesque beatas,&c. — Virg. ^n. vi. 648. 

VOL. X. K 


hath loved us, and given himself for us, who is himself the 
righteousness that he requires at our hands ; and on the 
other side by him who hath been, in his person, grace, ways, 
worship, servants ; reviled, despised, contemned by the men 
of the world, which holds out unspeakable consolation on 
the one hand, and terror on the other ; so that the wisdom 
of this also is hid in Christ. 

And this is the second part of our first demonstration. 
Thus the knowledge of ourselves, in reference to our super- 
natural end, is no small portion of our wisdom. The things 
of the greatest concernment hereunto, are sin, righteous- 
ness, and judgment; the wisdom of all which, is alone hid 
in the Lord Jesus ; which was to be proved. 

3. The third part of our wisdom is to walk with God ; 
now that one may walk with another, five things are re- 

[1.] Agreement. 
[2.] Acquaintance. 
[3.] Strength. 
[4.] Boldness. 

[5.] An aiming at the same end. All these, with the 
wisdom of them, are hid in the Lord Jesus. 

[1.] Agreement. The prophet tells us that* two cannot 
walk together unless they be agreed ;' Amos iii. 3. Until 
agreement be made, there is no communion, no walking to- 
gether. God and man, by nature (or whilst man is in the 
state of nature), are at the greatest enmity ; ^ he declares 
nothing to us but wrath, whence we are said to be children 
of it, that is, born obnoxious to it; Eph. ii. 3. and whilst 
we remain in that condition, ' the wrath of God abideth on 
us ;' John iii. 36. All the discovery that God makes of 
himself unto us, is that he is inexpressibly provoked, and 
therefore preparing wrath against the day of wrath, and the 
revelation of his righteous judgments ; the day of his and 
sinners meeting, is called' the day of wrath ;' Rom. ii. 5, 6. 
Neither do we come short in our enmity against him, yea, 
we first began it, and we continue longest in it. To express 
this enmity, the apostle tells us, that our very minds, the 
best part of us, are * enmity against God;' Rom. viii. 7, 8. and 
that we neither are, nor will, nor can be, subject to him ; our 

» Kom.i. 18. 


enmity manifesting itself by universal rebellion against him, 
whatever we do that seems otherwise, is but hypocrisy or 
flattery, yea, it is a part of this enmity to lessen it. In this 
state the wisdom of" walking with God must needs be most 
remote from the soul ; he is ''' light, and in him is no darkness 
at all ;' we are darkness, and in us there is no light at all. 
He is life, a living God; we are dead, dead sinners, dead in 
trespasses and sin; he is holiness and glorious in it; we 
wholly defiled, an abominable thing ; he is love, we full of 
hatred, hating, and being hatred. Surely this is no founda- 
tion for agreement, or upon that, of walking together, no- 
thino; can be more remote than this frame from such a con- 
dition. The foundation then of this, I say, is laid in Christ, 
hid in Christ ; ' he,' saith the apostle, ' is our peace, he hath 
made peace for us;' Eph. ii. 14, 15. he slew the enmity, in 
his own body on the cross; v. 16. 

1st. He takes out of the way the cause of the enmity 
that was between God and us ; sin and the curse of the law ; 
Dan. ix. 24. He makes an end of sin, and that by making 
atonement for iniquity ; and he blotteth out the hand- 
writing of ordinances; Col. ii. 14. redeeming us * from the 
curse, by being made a curse for us;' Gal. iii. 13. 

2dly. He destroys him who would continue the enmity, 
and make the breach wider ; Heb. ii. 14. ' through death 
he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, 
the devil ;' and Col. ii. 14. ' spoiled principalities and 

Sdly.He made * reconciliation for the sins of the people ;' 
Heb. ii. 17. he made by his blood at atonement with God, to 
to turn away that wrath which was due to us, so making 
peace : hereupon God is said to be in Christ, ' reconciling 
the world unto himself;' 2 Cor. v. 19. being reconciled him- 
self, ver. 18. he lays down the enmity on his part and pro- 
ceeds to what remains, to slay the enmity on our part, that 
we also may be reconciled. And this also, 

4thly. He doth; for Rom. v. 11. 'by our Lord Jesus 
Christ we do receive the atonement,' accept of the peace 
made and tendered, laying down our enmity to God, and so 

b 1 John i. 5. (TKOTia h avrm ouh. eVtiv ovhf*ia. John i. 5. Eph. v. 8. il. 3. Exod. 
XV. 11. 1 John iv. 8. Tit. iii. 3. 

K 2 


confirmino- an asveement betwixt us ia his blood. So that 
' through him we have an access unto the Father ;' Eph. ii. 18. 
Now the whole wisdom of this agreement, without which, 
tliere is no walking with God, is hid in Christ ; out of him, 
God on his part is a consuming fire; we are as stubble fully 
dry, yet setting ourselves in battle array against that fire ; 
if we are brought together we are consumed. All our ap- 
proachings to him out of Christ, are but to our detriment; 
in his blood alone have we this agreement ; and let not any 
of us once suppose that we have taken any step in the paths 
of God with him, that any one duty is accepted, that all is 
not lost as to eternity, if we have not done it upon the ac- 
count hereof. 

[2.] There is required acquaintance also to walking to- 
gether. Two may meet together in the same way, and have 
no quarrel between them, no enmity, but if they are mere 
strangers one to another, they pass by without the least 
communion together. It doth not suffice that the enmity 
betwixt God and us be taken away, we must also have ac- 
quaintance given us with him. Our not knowing of him is a 
great cause and a great part of our enmity. Our under- 
standings are/ darkened, and we are alienated from the life 
of God,' &c. Eph. iv. 18. This also then must be added, if 
we ever come to walk with God, which is our wisdom. And 
this also is hid in the Lord Christ, and comes forth from him. 
It is true there are sundry other means, as his word and 
his works, that God hath given the sons of men, to make a 
discovery of himself unto them, and to give them some ac- 
quaintance with him, that as the apostle speaks. Acts xvii. 
27. 'they shouldseek the Lord, if haply they might find him ;' 
but yet as that knowledge of God, which we have by his 
works, is but very weak and imperfect, so that which we 
have by the word, the letter of it, by reason of our blind- 
ness, is not saving to us if we have no other help ; for 
though that be light as the sun in the firmament, yet if we have 
no eyes in our heads, what can it avail us ? No saving ac- 
quaintance with him, that may direct us to walk with him 
can be obtained. This also is hid in the Lord Jesus, and 
comes forth from him ; 1 John v. 20. ' He hath given us this 
understanding, that we should know him that is true ;' all 


other light whatever without his giving us an undeistand- 
ing, will not do it. He is the true light, which lighteth 
every one that is enlightened; John i. 9. Luke xxiv. 45. he 
opens our understandings that we may understand the Scrip- 
tures; none hath known God at any time, ' but he hath re- 
vealed him;' John i. 18. God dwells in that ' light which 
no man can approach unto ;' 1 Tim. vi. 16. None hath ever 
had any sucli acquaintance with him, as to be said to have 
seen him, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Hence he 
tells the Pharisees, that, notwithstanding all their great 
knowledge which they pretended, indeed they had ' neither 
heard the voice of God at any time, nor seen his shape ;' 
John v. 37. They had no manner of spiritual acquaintance 
with God, but he was unto them as a man whom they had 
never heard nor seen. There is no acquaintance with God, 
as love, and full of kindness, patience, grace, and pardoning 
mercy, on which knowledge of him alone we can walk with 
him, but only in Christ ; but of this fully before. This then 
also is hid in him. 

[3.] There must moreover be a way wherein we must 
walk with God ; God did at the beginning assign us a 
path to walk in with him, even the path of innocency and 
exact holiness in a covenant of works. This path by sin, is 
so filled with thorns and briars, so stopped up by curses and 
wrath, that no flesh living can take one step in that path ; a 
new way for us to walk in, must be found out, if ever we 
think to hold communion with God. And this also lies 
upon the former account. It is hid in Christ ; all the world 
cannot, but by and in him, discover a path, that a man may 
walk one step with God in. And therefore the Holy Ghost 
tells us, that Christ hath consecrated, dedicated, and set 
apart for that purpose, a new and living way into the holiest 
of all ; Heb. x. 20. a new one, for the first old one was use- 
less, a living one, for the other is dead ; therefore, saith he, 
ver. 22. ' let us draw near ;' having a way to walk in, let us 
draw near. And this way that he hath prepared is no other 
but himself; John xiv. 5. in answer to" them, who would go 
to the Father, and hold communion with him, he tells them, 
' I am the way, and no man cometh to the Father, but by me.' 
He is the medium of all communication between God and 
us ; in him we meet, in him we walk ; all influences of love. 


kindness, mercy, from God to us, are through him ; all our 
returns of love, delight, faith, obedience unto God, are all 
through him ; he being that ' one way,' God so often pro- 
miseth his people ; and it is a glorious way, Isa. xxxv. 8. 
a high way, a way of holiness, a way that none can err in, 
that once enter it; which is farther set out, Isa. xlii. 16. All 
other ways, all paths but this, go down to the chambers of 
death ; they all lead to walk contrary to God. 

[4.] But suppose all this, that agreement be made, ac- 
quaintance given, and a way provided, yet if we have no 
strength to walk in that way, what will all this avail us ; this 
also then must be added, of ourselves we are of no strength ; 
Rom. V. 6. poor weaklings, notable to go a step in the ways 
of God ; when we are set in the way, either we throw our- 
selves down, or temptations cast us down, and we make no 
progress ; and the Lord Jesus tells us plainly, that 'without 
him we can do nothing ;' John xv. 5. not any thing at all, 
that shall have the least acceptation with God. Neither 
can all the creatures in heaven and earth, yield us the least 
assistance. Men's contending to do it in their own power, 
comes to nothing ; this part of this wisdoni also is hid in 
Christ. All strength to walk with God, is from him ; * I 
can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me,' 
saith Saint Paul, Phil. iv. 12. who denies that of ourselves 
we have any suflSciency, 2 Cor. iii. 5. We that can do no- 
thing in ourselves, we are such weaklings, can do all things 
in Jesus Christ, as giants ; and therefore in him, we are 
against all oppositions in our way, more than conquerers ; 
Rom. viii. 37. and that because 'from his fulness, we receive 
grace for grace ;' John i. 16. From him have we the Spirit 
of life and power, whereby he bears, as on eagles' wings 
swiftly, safely, in the paths of walking with God. Any step 
that is taken in any way, by strength that is not immediately 
from Christ, is one step towards hell. He first takes us by 
the arm and teaches us to go, until he lead us on to perfec- 
tion. He hath milk and strong meat to feed us, he strength- 
ens us with all might, and is with us in our running the race 
that is set before us. But yet, 

[5.] Whence should we take this confidence as to walk 
with God ; even " our God, who is 'a consuming fire?' Was 

« Heb. xii. 31. 


there not such a dread upon his people of old, that it was 
taken for granted among them, that if they saw God, at any- 
time, it was not to be endured, they must die ? Can any but 
with extreme horror, think of that dreadful appearance, that 
he made unto them of old upon mount Sinai ; until Moses 
himself, who was their mediator, said, ' I exceedingly fear, 
and quake?' Heb. xii. 21. and all the people said, 'Let not 
God speak with us, lest we die ?' Exod. xx. 19. Nay, though 
men have apprehensions of the goodness and kindness of 
God, yet upon any discovery of his glory, how do they trem- 
ble, and are filled with dread and astonishment ? Hath it not 
been so with the ' choicest of his saints?' Hab. iii. 16. Isa. 
vi. 5. Job xlii. 5, 6. Whence, then, should we take to our- 
selves this boldness to walk with God ? This the apostle 
will inform us in Heb. x. 19. it is 'by the blood of Jesus ;' 
so Eph. iii. 12. 'in him we have boldness, and access with 
confidence ;' not standing afar off, like the people at the 
giving of the law, but drawing nigh to God with boldness ; 
and that upon this account. The dread and terror of God, 
entered by sin. Adam had not the least thought of hiding 
himself until he had sinned. The guilt of sin being on the 
conscience, and this being a common notion left in the hearts 
of all, that God is a most righteous revenger thereof; this 
fills men with dread and horror at an apprehension of his 
presence, fearing that he is come to call their sins to re- 
membrance. Now the Lord Jesus, by the sacrifice and the 
atonement that he hath made, hath taken away this con- 
science of sin; that is, a dread of revenge from God, upon the 
account of the guilt thereof. He hath removed the slaying 
sword of the law, and on that account gives us great bold- 
ness with God ; discovering him unto us now, no longer as 
a revenging judge, but as a tender, merciful, and reconciled 
Father ; moreover, whereas there is on us by nature a spirit 
of bondage, filling us with innumerable tormenting fears, he 
takes it away, and gives us the spirit of adoption, whereby 
we cry Abba Father, and behave ourselves with confidence 
and gracious boldness as children : for ' where the Spirit of 
God is, there is liberty ;' 2 Cor. iii. 17. That is, a freedom 
from all that dread and terror, which the administration of 
the law brought with it. Now as there is no sin that God 
will more severely revenge than any boldness that man takes 


with him out of Christ, so there is no grace more acceptable 
to him than that boldness, which he is pleased to afford us 
in the blood of Jesus. There is then, 

[6.] But one thing more to add, and that is, that two 
cannot walk together, unless they have the same design in 
hand, and aim at the same end ; this also in a word, is given 
us in the Lord Jesus. The end of God is the advancement 
of his own glory ; none can aim at this end, but only in the 
Lord Jesus. The sum of all is, that the whole wisdom of 
our walking with God, is hid in Christ, and from him only 
to be obtained, as hath been manifest by an enumeration of 

And so have I brought my first demonstration of what I 
intended unto a close, and manifested that all true wisdom 
and knowledge is laid up in, and laid out by the Lord Jesus; 
and this by an induction of the chief particular heads of 
those things, wherein confessedly our wisdom doth consist. 
I have but one more to add, and therein I shall be brief. 

(2.) Secondly, then I say, this truth will be farther mani- 
fested by the consideration of the insufficiency and vanity of 
any thing else, that may lay claim, or pretend to a title to 

There be two things in the world, that do pass under this 
account : the one is learning or literature ; 1 . Skill and know- 
ledge of arts, sciences, tongues, with the knowledge of the 
things that are past. 2. Prudence and skill for the manage- 
ment of ourselves in reference to others, in civil affairs, for 
public good, which is much the fairest flower, within the 
border of nature's garden. Now concerning both these, I 
shall briefly evince, 

[1.] That they are utterly insufficient for the compassing 
and obtaining of those particular ends, whereunto they are 

[2.] That both of them in conjunction, with their utmost 
improvement, cannot reach the true general end of wisdom ; 
both which considerations will set the crown in the issue 
upon the head of Jesus Christ. / 

[1 .] Begin we with the first of these, and that as to the first 
particular. Learning itself, if it were all in one man, is not 
able to compass the particular end whereto it is designed, 
which writes vanity and vexation upon the forehead thereof. 


The particular end of literature (though not observed by 
many, men's eyes being fixed on false ends, which compels 
them in their progress 'aberrare a scopo') is none other, but 
to remove some part of that curse which is come upon us by 
sin. Learning, is the product of the soul's struggling with 
the curse for sin. Adam, at his first creation, was com- 
pletely furnished with all that knowledge (excepting only 
things not then in being, neither in themselves, nor any na- 
tural causes, as that which we now call tongues, and those 
things that are the subject of story) as far as it lies in a need- 
ful tendency to the utmost end of man, which we now press 
after. There was no straitness, much less darkness upon 
his understanding, that should make him sweat for a way to 
improve, and make out those general conceptions of things 
which he had. For his knowledge of nature, it is manifest 
from his imposition of suitable ''names to all the creatures 
(the particular reasons of the most of which to us are lost), 
wherein from the approbation given of his nomination of 
things in the Scripture, and the significancy of what yet re- 
mains evident, it is most apparent, it was done upon a clear 
acquaintance with their natures. Hence Plato could ob- 
serve that he was most wise that first imposed names on 
things, yea, had more than human wisdom. Were the wisest 
man living, yea, a general collection of all the wise men in 
the world, to make an experiment of their skill and learning, 
in giving names to all living creatures suitable to their na- 
tures, and expressive of their qualities, they would quickly 
perceive the loss they have incurred. Adam was made per- 
fect, for the whole end of rulinp; the creatures, and livins; to 
God for which he was made ; which, without the knowledge 
of the nature of the one, and the will of the other, he could 
not be. All this being lost by sin, a multiplication of 
tongues also being brought in as a curse for an after rebel- 
lion, ^ the whole design of learning is but to disentangle the 
soul from this issue of sin. Ignorance, darkness, and blind- 
ness is come upon the understanding ; acquaintance with the 
works of God, spiritual and natural, is lost; strangeness of 
communication is given by multiplication of tongues. Tu- 

<^ OlfA.a.1 [ji.h iya) Tov aXM&E<rTaTov Xoyov TTSpi iovxmv Eivai, lii iMXpani; , fJ-ii^c nvi Suvafxm 
ilvai S avbfcemiav , rhv O'E/XEVtiv ra irfcira ovofxara. toi"; TrfayfAaa-iv. Plato in Crat^lo. 
e Gen. xi. 3, &c. 


multuating of passions and affections, with innumerable 
darkening prejudices, are also come upon us. To remove 
and take tliis away, to disentangle the mind in its reason- 
ings, to recover an acquaintance witli the works of God, to 
subduct the soul from under the effects of the curse of di- 
vision of tongues, is the aim and tendance of literature. 
This is the ' aliquid quo tendit.' And he that hath any other 
aim in it ; ' passim sequitur corvum testaque lutoque.' Now 
not to insist upon that vanity and vexation of Spirit, with 
the innumerable evils wherewith this enterprise is attended, 
this is that I only say, it is in itself, no way sufficient for 
the attainment of its end, which writes vanity upon its fore- 
head with characters not to be obliterated. To this purpose, 
I desire to observe these two things. 

1st. That the knowledge aimed at to be recovered, was 
given unto man in order to his walking with God, unto that 
supernatural endwhereunto he was appointed. For after he 
was furnished with all his endowments, the law of life and 
death was given to him, that he might know wherefore he 
received them. Therefore knowledge in him was spiritual- 
ized and sanctified, even that knowledge which he had by 
nature, in respect of its principle and end, was spiritual. 

2dly. That the loss of it, is part of that curse which was 
inflicted on us for sin. Whatever we come short in of the 
state of the first man in innocency, whether in loss of good, 
or addition of evil, it is all of the curse for sin. Besides, 
that blindness, ignorance, darkness, deadness, which is 
every where ascribed to us in the state of nature, doth fully 
comprise that also whereof we speak. 

On these two considerations it is most apparent, that 
learning can no way of itself attain the end it aimeth at. 

(1st.) That light which by it is discovered (which the 
Lord knows is very little, v/eak, obscure, imperfect, uncer- 
tain, conjectural, for a great part only enabling men to quar- 
rel with, and oppose one another, to the reproach of reason, 
y et I say, that which is attained by it), is not in the least 
measure by it spiritualized, or brought into that order of 
living to God, and with God, wherein at first it lay. This 
is wholly beyond its reach. As to this end, the apostle as- 
sures us, that the utmost issue that men come to, is darkness 


and folly; Rom. i. 21, 22. ^Who knows not the profound 
inquiries, the subtle disputations, the acute reasonings, the 
admirable discoveries of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and 
others ? What, as to the purpose in hand did they attain by 
all their studies and endeavours ?Jjuwpav3'r)(7av, says the apo- 
stle, ' they became fools.' He that by general consent bears 
the crown of reputation for wisdom, from them all, with 
whom to have lived was counted an inestimable happiness, 
died like a fool, sacrificing a cock to ^sculapius. And an- 
other, that ' Jesus Christ alone is the true light that lighteth 
us ;' John i. 9. And there is not any that hath any true 
light but what is immediately from him. After all the learn - 
ing of men, if they have nothing else, they are still natural 
men and perceive not the things of God. Their light is still 
but darkness, and how great is that darkness? It is the 
Lord Jesus alone who is anointed to open the eyes of the 
blind. Men cannot spiritualize a notion, nor lay it in any 
order, to the glorifying of God. After all their endeavours 
they are still blind and dark, yea, darkness itself, knowing 
nothing as they should. I know how the men of these at- 
tainments are apt to say, ' Are we blind also ?' with great 
contempt of others ; but God hath blasted all their pride ;S 
'Where,' saith he, 'is the wise ? where the Scribes,' &c. 
1 Cor. i. 20. I shall not add what Paul hath farther cau- 
tioned us to the seeming condemning of philosophy as being 
fitted to make spoil of souls ; nor what ''Tertullian, with some 

f 'Ei Js ti; t?? apET^f I'^ny-iyut ij<^BXifjiU]ripci) rm ^MX-^arovg crvviyiViTo, liteTVov Eyw roT 
avSga. a^tofxaKafia-rorarov vofAi^a}. Zenoph. apol. pro Socrat. 

s O Sapientia superba irridens Christum crucifixum ! August. Expos, in Joh. Trac. 
2. de cap. 1. 

^ Haereses a philosophia subornantur; inde .il^^ones, forniEe, et nescio quae, trinitas 
homiiiuni apud Valentinum, Platonicns fuerat ; inde Marcionis Deus raelior de tran^ 
quilitate ; a stoicis venerat: et ubi aniina interire dicatur, ab epicureis observatur, et 

ut carnis restitutio negetur, de una omnium philosophorum schola suniitur : 

quid ergo Athenis et Hierosolomis ? quid academite et ecclesiae? quid ha?reticis et 
Christianis ? nostra institutio de porticu Solomonis est ; nobis curiositate non opus est 
post Jesum Christum; nee inquisitione post evangelium ; cum credimus, nihil deside- 
ramus ultra credere ; hoc enim prius credimus, non esse quod ultra credere debemus* 
Tertul. de prescript, ad Hseret. 

'ETrEiSiJTrsp 'iKMwg Ix tuiv 'TrpoiipnfJ.ivcDV ra tZv <f)iXoo-o<f>4)v l/xSv iXriMynrai i(oa.y~ 

fAATa tlao'nt; ayvoiag x.al a.na.rr)g <pavivra, TrXiipu. >iX. Just. Mart, ad Greec. Cohort. 
Mouvov sy,oi <})iXov £a-«E Xoycuv xXeoj ; oi; a-uvayetpav 
AVToXi'n TE, Jua-i? TE, xai EXXaSoc Eyp^o? A&waj, 
To"; ETTi TToXX' lfjt,6yria-a TToXw p^povov, a'K'Ka na] alrovg 

rrpHVEttJ Iv SaTTElJil p^pitTTOU 'Tt^OTtcL^aSiM iSixa, 

"Ei^aVTttj (jtByaT^ato &£ou Xoyw of pa KctXyTTTEt 
Udvra <f>pevo{ Bfuring s-rpETTTov 7roAt;£iJ£a (av^ov. — 

Gresr • Naz. Car. 1. de reb. suis. 


Other of the ancients have spoken of it ; being very confi- 
dent, that it was the abuse and not the true use and advan- 
tage of it, that they opposed. But, 

2dly. The darkness and ignorance that it strives to re- 
move, being come upon us as a curse, it is not in the least 
measure, as it is a curse, able to remove it or take it away. 
He that hath attained to the greatest height of literature, 
yet if he hath nothing else, if he have not Christ, is as much 
under the curse of blindness, ignorance, stupidity, dulness, 
as the poorest, silliest soul in the world. The curse is only 
removed in him who was made a curse for us. Every thing 
that is penal is taken away only by him, on whom all our 
sins did meet in a way of punishment, yea, upon this account. 
The more abilities the mind is furnished withal, the more it 
closes with the curse, and strengthens itself to act its enmity 
against God. All that it receives doth but help it to set up 
high thoughts and imaginations, against the Lord Christ. 
So that this knowledge comes short of what in particular it 
is designed unto, and therefore cannot be that solid wisdom 
we are inquiring after. 

There be sundry other things whereby it were easy to blur 
the countenance of this wisdom, and from its intricacy, dif- 
ficulty, uncertainty, unsatisfactoriness, betraying its follow- 
ers into that which they most profess to avoid, blindness and 
folly, to write upon it vanity and vexation of spirit. I hope 
I shall not need to add any thing to clear myself for not 
giving a due esteem and respect unto literature, my intend- 
ment being only to cast it down at the feet of Jesus Christ, 
and to set the crown upon his head. 

2. Neither can the second part of the choicest wisdom 
out of Christ attain the peculiar end whereunto it is ap- 
pointed ; and that is prudence in the management of civil 
affairs, than which no perishing thing is more glorious, 
nothing more useful, for the common good of human kind. 
Nov/ the immediate end of this prudence is to keep the ra- 
tional world in bounds and order, to draw circles about the 
sons of men, and to keep them from passing their allotted 
bounds and limits, to the mutual disturbance and destruc- 
tion of each other. All manner of trouble and disturbance 
ariseth from irregularity; one man breaking in upon the 
rights, usages, interests, relations of another, sets this world 


at variance. The sum and aim of all wisdom below is, to 
cause all things to move in their proper sphere, whereby it 
would be impossible there should be any more interfering, 
than is in the celestial orbs, notwithstanding all their divers 
and various motions ; to keep all to their own allotments, 
within the compass of the lines that are fallen unto them, is 
the special end of this wisdom. 

Now it will be a very easy task to demonstrate, that all 
civil prudence whatever' (besides the vexation of its attain- 
ment, and loss being attained), is no way able to compass 
this end. The present condition of affairs throughout the 
world, as also that of former ages, will abundantly testify it, 
but I shall farther discover the vanity of it for this end, in 
some few observations. And the 

(1.) First is, That through the righteous judgment of God 
lopping off the top flowers of the pride of men, it frequently 
comes to pass, that those who are furnished with the greatest 
abilities in this kind, do lay them out to a direct contrary 
end, unto that which is their natural tendency and aim. 
From whom (for the most part) are all the commotions in 
the world ; the breaking up of bounds, setting the whole 
frame of nature on 'fire ; is it not from such men as these ? 
Were not men so wise, the world perhaps would be more 
quiet, when the end of wisdom is to keep it in quietness. 
This seems to be a curse that God hath spread upon the 
wisdom of the world in the most in whom it is, that it shall 
be employed in direct opposition to its proper end. 

(2.) That God hath made this a constant path towards 
the advancement of his own glory ; even to leaven the wis- 
dom and the counsels of the wisest of the sons of men, with 
folly and madness, that they shall in the depth of their 
policy,'' advise things for the compassing of the ends they 
do propose, as unsuitable as any thing that could proceed 
out of the mouth of a child or a fool, and as directly tending 
to their own disappointment and ruin as any thing that could 
be invented against them. ' He destroys the wisdom of the 
wise, and brings to nothing the understanding of the prudent;' 

' 'il yrlpa; iit; iTrapj&a; av&paTToia-iv eT, nai tra,vra.y(ri }\.v7rnpov, ol xa&' tV fAovov, Iv w yap 
oiJav SwdfAid^ oiiS' la-^uo/xiv, iru Tuvmay^' hfjiag SiJa^-XEi; Eu <f!povE~v. Excern. ex Nicoslrat. 

'' Isthuc est sapere, noii quod ante pedes modo^est, videre, sed etiain ilia qua; 
futura sunt, prospicere. Teren. Adelp. 


1 Cor. i. 19. This he largely describes, Isa. xix. 11 — 14. 
drunkenness and staggering is the issue of all their wisdom ; 
and that upon this account, the Lord gives them the spirit 
of giddiness. So also. Job. v. 12 — 14. They meet with 
darkness in the day-time -^ when all things seem clear about 
them, and a man would wonder how men should miss their 
way, then will God make it darkness to such as these ; so 
Psal. xxxiii. 10. Hence God as it were sets them at work, 
and undertakes their disappointment ; Isa. viii. 9, 10. Go 
about your counsels, saith the Lord, and I will take order 
that it shall come to nought ; and, Psal. ii. 3, 4. when men 
are deep at their plots and contrivances, God is said to have 
them in derision, to laugh them to scorn ; seeing the poor 
worms industriously working out their own ruin. Never 
was this made more clear, than in the days wherein we live ; 
scarcely have any wise men been brought to destruction but 
it hath evidently been through their own folly ; neither hath 
the wisest counsel of most, been one jot better than madness. 

(3.) That this wisdom which should tend to universal 
quietness, hath almost constantly given universal disquiet- 
ness unto themselves, in whom it hath been most eminent. 
In much wisdom is much grief; Eccles. i. 18. And in the 
issue, some of them have made away with themselves, as 
Ahithophel, and the most of them have been violently dis- 
patched by others. There is indeed no end of the folly of 
this wisdom.™ The great men of the world carry away the 
reputation of it ; really it is found in few of them. They 
are for the most part common events, whereunto they con- 
tribute not the least mite, which are ascribed to their care, 
vigilancy, and foresight. Mean men that have learned to 
adore what is above them, reverence the meetings and con- 
ferences of those who are in greatness and esteem. Their 
weakness and folly is little known ; where this wisdom hath 
been most eminent, it hath dwelt so close upon the borders 
of atheism, been attended with such falseness and injustice, 
that it hath made its possessors wicked and infamous. 

I shall not need to give any more instances to manifest 

' Isa. xxix. 14. xlvii. 10. Jer. xlix. 7, Obad. viii. 
"• Prudens futuri temporis exituin 
Caliginosa nocte premit Deus : 
nidetque, si mortalis ultra 

Fas trepidat.— Horat. Od. 3. 29. 29, ' 


the insufficiency of this wisdom for the attaining of its own 
peculiar and immediate end. This is the vanity of any thing 
whatever, that it comes short of the mark it is directed unto. 
It is far then from being true and solid wisdom, seeing on 
the forehead thereof you may read disappointment. 

And this is the first reason why true wisdom cannot con- 
sist in either of these, because they come short even of che 
particular and immediate ends they aim at. But, 

[2.] Both these, in conjunction with their utmost im- 
provement, are not able to reach the true general end of 
wisdom. This assertion also falleth under an easy demon- 
stration ; and it were a facile thing to discover their dis- 
ability and unsuitableness for the true end of wisdom; but 
it is so professedly done by him who had the largest portion 
of both, of any of the sons of men (Solomon in his Preacher), 
that I shall not any farther insist upon it. 

To draw then unto a close. If true arid solid wisdom is 
not in the least to be found amongst these, if the pearl be 
not hid in this field, if these two are but vanity and disap- 
pointment, it cannot but be to no purpose to seek for it in 
any thing else below ; these being amongst them incompa- 
rably the most excellent, and therefore with one accord let 
us set the crown of this wisdom on the head of the Lord 

Let the reader then in a few words take a view of the 
tendency of this whole digression. To draw our hearts to 
the more cheerful entertainment of, and delight in, the Lord 
Jesus, is the aim thereof. If all wisdom be laid up in him, 
and by an interest in him only to be attained ; if all things 
beside him and without him, that lay claim thereto are folly 
and vanity, let them that would be wise learn where to re- 
pose their souls. 



Of communion with Christ in a conjugal relation in respect of consequential 
affections. His delight in his saints first insisted on. Isa. Ixii. 5. Cant, 
iii. 11. Prov. viii. 21. Instance of Christ's delight in believers. Here- 
veals his whole heart to them; John xv. 14, 15. Himself; 1 Joliii xiv. 
21. His kingdom. Enables them to communicate their mind to him, 
giving them, assistance ; away; boldness; Rom. viii. 26, 27. The saints 
delight in Christ ; this manifested. Cant. ii. 7. viii. 6. iii. 1 — 5. opened. 
Their delight in his servants and ordinances of worship for his sake. 

The communion begun, as before declared, between Christ 
and the soul, is in the next place carried on by suitable con- 
sequential affections ; affections suiting such a relation. 
Christ having given himself to the soul, loves the soul ; and 
the soul having given itself unto Christ, loveth him also. 
Christ loves his own, yea, loves them to the end ; John xiii. 
1. and the saints they love Christ, 'they love the Lord 
Jesus Christ in sincerity;' Eph. vi. 24. 

Now the love of Christ, wherewith he follows his saints, 
consists in these four things. 

1. Delight. 

2. Valuation. 

3. Pity or compassion. 

4. Bounty. 

The love also of the saints unto Christ may be referred 
to these four heads. 

1. Delight. 

2. Valuation. 

3. Chastity .- 

4. Duty. 

Two of these are of the same kind, and two distinct; 
as is required in this relation, wherein all things stand not 
on equal terms. 

1. The first thing on the part of Christ is delight. De- 
light is the flowing of love and joy ; the" rest and compla- 
cence of the mind, in a suitable, desirable good enjoyed. 
Now Christ delights exceedingly in his saints ; ' as the 

'^ 'alovh (iaSXXov Iv ripEjuia Itrriv, ft |v mvria-a. Arisf. Eth. lib. 7. cap. 14. TsXsioi Se 
TW IvEpyEiav h hSovt). Id. I. 10. c. 4. 


bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God re- 
joice over thee ;' Isa. Ixii. 5. hence he calleth the day of 
his espousals, the day of the 'gladness of his heart;' Cant. 
iii. 11. It is known that usually this is the most immixed 
delight, that the sons of men are in their pilgrimage made 
partakers of. The delight of the bridegroom in the day of 
his espousals is the height of what an expression of delight 
can be carried unto. This is in Christ answerable to the 
relation he takes us into. His heart is glad in us, without 
sorrow. And every day whilst we live is his wedding-day. 
It is said of him, Zech. iii. 17. 'The Lord thy God in the 
midst of thee' (that is dwelling amongst us, taking our na- 
ture ; John i. 14.) ' is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice 
over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over 
thee with singing ;' which is a full description of delight in 
all the parts of it; joy and exaltation, rest and complacence. 
*I rejoiced,' saith he, 'in the habitable parts of the earth, 
and my delights were with the sons of men ;' Prov. viii. 31. 
The thoughtsof communion with the saints, were the joy of 
his heart from eternity. On the compact and agreement 
that was between his Father and him, that he should divide 
a portion with the strong, and save a remnant for his inhe- 
ritance, his soul rejoiced in the thoughts of that pleasure 
and delight, which he would take in them, when he should 
actually take them into communion with himself. There- 
fore, in the preceding verse it is said, he was by him as pON ; 
say we, as one brought up with him : ' alumnus ;' the LXX 
render it apixo^ovaa ; and the Latin, with mostother transla- 
tions, * cuncta componens,' or ' disponens.' The word taken 
actively, signifies him whom another takes into his care to 
breed up, and disposeth of things for his advantage ; so did 
Christ take us then into his care, and rejoiced in the thoughts 
of the execution of his trust. Concerning them he saith. 
Here will I dwell, and here will I make my habitation for 
ever. For them hath he chosen for his temple and his dwell- 
ing place, because he delighteth in them. This makes him 
take them so nigh himself in every relation. As he is God, 
they are his temple; as he is aking, they are his subjects; 
he is the king of saints; as he is a head, they are his body, 
he is the head of the church ; as he is a first-born he makes 
them his brethren ; * he is not ashamed to call them brethren.' 

VOL. X. L 


I shall choose out one particular from among many as an 
instance for the proof of this thing, and that is this; Christ 
reveals his secrets, his mind unto his saints, and enables 
them to reveal the secrets of their hearts to him. An evi- 
dent demonstration of great delight. It was Sampson's car- 
nal delight in Delilah, that prevailed with him to reveal unto 
her those things which were of greatest concernment unto 
him; he will not hide his mind from her, though it cost 
him his life. It is only a bosom friend unto whom we will 
unbosom ourselves. Neither is there possibly a greater evi- 
dence of delight in close communion, than this, that one 
will reveal his heart unto him whom he takes into society, 
and not entertain him with things common and vulgarly 
known. And therefore, have I chose this instance from 
amongst a thousand that might be given of this delight of 
Christ in his saints. 

He then communicates his mind unto his saints, and 
unto them only ; his mind, the counsel of his love, the 
thoughts of his heart, the purposes of his bosom for our 
eternal good. His mind, the ways of his grace, the work- 
ings of his Spirit, the rule of his sceptre, and the obedience 
of his gospel.'' All spiritual revelation is by Christ. * He 
is the true light that enlighteneth every man that cometh 
into the world ;' John i. 9. He is the day spring, the day 
star, and the sun. So that it is impossible any light should 
be but by him ; from him it is, that ' the secret of the Lord is 
with them that fear him, and he shews them his covenant ;' 
Psal. XV. 14. as he expresses it at large, John xv. 14, 15." 
'Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you ; 
henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth 
not what his lord doth, but I have called you friends, for** 
all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made 
known unto you.' He makes them as his friends and useth 
them as friends, as bosom friends, in whom he is delighted. 
He makes known all his mind unto them ; every thing that 
his Father hath committed to him as Mediator, to be re- 

b Mai. iv. 2. Luke i. 78. 2 Pet. i. 19. 

<^ Voluntatem Dei nossequisquam desiderat? fiat amicus Deo, quia si voluiitateni 
hoininis nosse vellet, cujus amicus nou esset, omnes ejus impudentiam et stultitiam 
deriderent. August de Geu. Cont. Man. lib. 1. cap. 2. 

<• Vox •aravra ex subjecta materia, restrictionem ad doctrinam salutis requirit. 
Tarnov. in loc. 


vealed ; Acts xx. 24. And the apostle declares how this is 
done, 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. ' He hath revealed these things to 
us by his Spirit, for we have received him that we might 
know the things that are freely given us of God.' He sends 
us his Spirit, as he promised, to make known his mind unto 
his saints, and to lead them into all truth; and thence the 
apostle concludes, ' we have known the mind of Christ,' ver. 
16. for he useth us as friends and declareth it unto us ; John 
i. 18. There is not any thing in the heart of Christ wherein 
these his friends are concerned, that he doth not reveal to 
them. All his love, his good-will, the secrets of his cove- 
nant, the paths of obedience, the mystery of faith, is told 

And all this is spoken in opposition to unbelievers, with 
whom he hath no communion. These know nothing of the 
mind of Christ as they ought; * the natural man receiveth 
not the things that are of God ;' 1 Cor. ii. 14. There is a 
wide difference between understanding the doctrine of the 
Scripture as in the letter, and a true knowing the mind of 
Christ. This we have by special unction from Christ; 
1 John ii. 27. ' we have an unction from the Holy One, and 
we know all things ;' 1 John ii.20. 

Now the things which in this communion Christ reveals 
to them that he delights in, may be referred to these two 

(1.) Himself. 

(2.) His kingdom. 

(1.) Himself. John xiv. 21. 'He that loveth me shall be 
loved of my Father ; and I will love him and will manifest 
myself unto him;' manifest myself in all my graces, desira- 
bleness and loveliness ; he shall know me as 1 am, and such 
I will be unto him, a Saviour, a Redeemer, the chiefest of 
ten thousand. He shall be acquainted with the true worth 
and value of the pearl of price ; let others look upon him as 
having neither form nor comeliness, as no way desirable, he 
will manifest himself and his excellencies unto them in whom 
he is delighted, that they shall see him altogether lovely. 
He will veil himself to all the world, but the saints with 
open face shall behold his beauty and his glory, and so be 
translated to the ' image of the same glory, as by the Spirit 
of the Lord ;' 2 Cor. iii. 14. 



(2.) His kingdom. They shall be acquainted with the 
government of his Spirit in their hearts, as also with his rule 
and the administration of authority in his word, and among 
his churches. 

[1.] Thus, in the first place doth he manifest his delight 
in his saints, he communicates his secrets unto them. He 
gives them to know his person, his excellencies, his grace, 
his love, his kingdom, his will, the riches of his goodness, 
and the bowels of his mercy more and more, when the world 
shall neither see, nor know any such thing. 

[2,] He enables his saints to communicate their mind, to 
reveal their souls unto him, that so they may walk together 
as intimate friends ; Christ knows the minds of all. ' He 
knows what is in man, and needs not that any man testify 
of him ;' John ii. 25. ' He searcheth the hearts and trieth 
the reins of all ;' Rev. ii. 23. But all know not how to com- 
municate their mind to Christ. It will not avail a man at all, 
that Christ knows his mind ; for so he doth of every one 
whether he will or no ; but that a man can make his heart 
known unto Christ, this is consolation. Hence the prayers 
of the saints are^ incense, odours, and those of others are^ 
howling, cutting off a dog's neck, offering of swine's blood, 
an abomination unto the Lord. Now three things are re- 
quired to enable a man to communicate his heart unto the 
Lord Jesus. 

1st. Assistance for the work, for of ourselves we cannot 
do it. And this the saints have by the Spirit of Jesus ; Rom, 
viii. 26, 27. * Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, for 
we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the 
Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that 
cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts know- 
eth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh inter- 
cession for the saints according to the will of God.' All en- 
deavours, all attempts for communion with God, without the 
supplies of the Spirit of supplications, without his effectual 
working in the heart, is of no value nor to any purpose. And 
this opening of our hearts and bosoms to the Lord Jesus is 
that wherein he is exceedingly delighted. Hence is that 
affectionate call of his unto us, to be treating with him on 
this account, chap. ii. 14. * O my dove, that art in the secret 

* Rev. viii. 3. f Hos. vii. 1-1. Isa. Ixvi, 3. Prov. xxviii. 9. 


places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear 
thy voice, for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is 
comely.' When the soul on any account, is driven to hide 
itself, in any neglected condition, in the most unlikely place 
of abode, then doth he call for this communication of itself 
by prayer to him, for which he gives the assistance of the 
Spirit mentioned. 

2dly. A way whereby to approach unto God with our 
desires. This also we have by him provided for us ; John 
xiv. 5, 6. * Thomas saith unto Jesus, Lord we know not 
whither thou goest, and how can we know the way ? Jesus 
saith unto him, I am thes way, no man cometh unto the Fa- 
ther but by me.' That way which we had of going unto God 
at our creation, is quite shut up by sin. The sword of the 
law which hath fire put into it by sin, turns every way to 
stop all passages unto communion with God. Jesus Christ 
hath ' consecrated a** new and living way' (for the saints) 
* through the veil, that is to say the flesh ;' Heb. x. 20. He 
hath consecrated and set it apart for believers, and for them 
alone. Others pretend to go to God with their prayers, but 
they come not nigh him. How can they possibly come to the 
end, who go not in the way ? Christ only is the way to the 
throne of grace, none comes to God but by him. ' By him 
we have an access in one Spirit unto the Father ;' Eph. ii. 
18. These two things then the saints have for the opening 
of their hearts at the throne of grace, assistance and a way. 
The assistance of the Spirit, without which they are nothing, 
and the way of Christ's mediation, without which God is not 
to be approached unto. 

3dly. Boldness to go unto God, The voice of sinners in 
themselves, if once acquainted with the terror of the Lord, is, 
' Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire ? who 
among us shall inhabit the everlasting burnings V Isa. xxxiii. 
14. And no marvel ;' shame and trembling before God are 
the proper issues of sin. God will revenge that carnal, athe- 
istical boldness which sinners out of Christ do use towards 
him. But we have now, ' boldness to enter into the holiest 

s Vera via vite. Bez. 
•' Via uullius ante trita solo. Trpo'trtpaTov nal l^Zs-av, recens interfectam ; tamen vi- 
ventem. ' Gen. ill. 8, 9. 


by the blood of Jesus : by a new and living way which he 
hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say his 
flesh, and having a high-priest over the house of God, we 
may draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith ;' 
Heb. X. 9. 20. The truth is, such is the glory and terror of 
the Lord, such the infinite perfection of his holiness, that on 
clear sight of it, it will make the soul conclude, that of itself, 
it ^ cannot serve him, nor will it be to any advantage, but 
add to the fierceness of his destruction, once to draw nigh 
to him. It is in Christ alone, and on the account alone of 
his oblation and intercession, that we have any boldness to 
approach unto him. And these three advantages have the 
saints of communicating their minds unto the Lord Christ, 
which he hath provided for them because he delights in 

To touch a little by the way, because this is of great im- 
portance, I will instance in one of these, as I might in every 
one, that you may see the difference between a spiritual re- 
vealing of our minds unto Christ, in this acceptable manner, 
and that praying upon conviction which others practise : 
and this shall be from the first, viz. the assistance we have 
by the Spirit. 

(1st.) The Spirit of Christ reveals to us our own wants, 
that we may reveal them unto him: *we know not what to pray 
for as we ought ;' Rom. viii. 26. no teachings under those of 
the Spirit of God are able to make our souls acquainted with 
their own wants, its burdens, its temptations. For a soul to 
know its wants, its infirmities, is a heavenly discovery. He 
that hath this '"assistance, his prayer is more than half made 
before he begins to pray. His conscience is affected with what 
he hath to do ; his mind and Spirit contend within him, there 
especially where he finds himself most straitened. He brings 
his burden on his shoulders, and unloads himself on the 
Lord -Christ. He finds (not by a perplexing conviction, but 
a holy sense and weariness of sin) where he is dead, where 
dull and cold, wherein unbelieving, wherein tempted above 
all his strength, where the light of God's countenance is 

•* Josh. xxiv. 19. Exod. xx. 19. Deut. v. 24. xviii, 3 6. Isa. xxxiii. 14. Mich. 
VI. 6, 7. ' Lsa. xxxviii. 14. 

"• 'Xme^ivrvyxamv, est advocatorum qui clicntibus dosideria dictant. 


wanting. And all these the soul hath a sense of by the 
Spirit, an inexpressible sense and experience. Without 
this, prayer is not prayer ; "men's voices may be heard but 
they speak not in their hearts. Sense of want, is the spring 
of desire; natural of natural, spiritual of spiritual. With- 
out this sense given by the Holy Ghost, there is neither de- 
sire nor prayer. 

(2dly). The expressions,- or the words of such persons, 
come exceeding short of the labouring of their hearts ; and 
therefore in (and after) their supplications, ' the Spirit makes 
intercession with sighs and groans that cannot be° uttered.' 
Some men's words go exceedingly beyond their hearts. Did 
their spirits come up to their expressions, it were well. He 
that hath this assistance, can provide no clothing that is 
large and broad enough to set forth the desires of his heart ; 
and therefore, in the close of his best and most fervent sup- 
plications, such a person finds a double dissatisfaction in 
them. 1. That they are not a righteousness to be rested 
on ; that if God should? mark what is in them amiss, they 
could not abide the trial. 2. That his heart in them is not 
poured out, nor delivered in any proportion to the holy de- 
sires and labourings that were conceived therein ; though 
they may in Christ have great refreshment by them. The 
more they speak, the more they find they have left un- 

(3dly.) The intercession of the saints thus assisted, is ac- 
cording to the mind of God ; that is, they are guided by the 
Spirit to make requests for those things unto God, which 
it is his will they should desire ; which he knows to be good 
for them, useful and suitable to them, in the condition 
wherein they were. There are many ways, whereby we may 
know when we make our supplications according to the will 
of God. I shall instance only in one ; that is, when we do it 
according to the promise. When our prayers are regulated 
by the promise, we make them according to the will of God. 
So David, Psal. cxix. 49. * Remember the words wherein 
thou hast caused me to put my trust.' He prays and re- 
gulates his desire by the word of promise, wherein he had 
trusted. But yet, men may ask that which is in the promise, 

» 1 Sara. i. 13. " Isa. xxxviii. 14. Exod. xiv. 15. 

P Isa. Ixiv. 6. Psal. cxxx. 3. 


and yet not have their prayers regulated by the promise. 
They may pray for what is in the promise, but not as it is in 
the promise, so James says, some * ask and receive not, be- ■ 
cause they ask amiss, to spend it on their lusts;' chap. iv.3. 
Though the things which God would have us ask, be re- 
quested, yet if not according as he would have us do it, we 
ask amiss. 

Two things are required, that we may pray for the things 
in the promise, as they are in the promise. 

[1st.] That we look upon them as promised, and promised 
in Christ ; that is, that all the reason we have, whence we 
hope for attaining the things we ask for, is from the medi- 
ation and purchase of Christ, in whom all the promises are 
yea and amen. This it is, to ask the Father in Christ's 
name ; God as a Father, the fountain, and Christ as the pro- 
curer of them. 

[2dly.] That we ask for them for the end of the promise, 
not to spend on our lust. When we ask pardon for sin, with 
secret^ reserves in our hearts to continue in sin, we ask the 
choicest mercy of the covenant, to spend it on our lusts. 
The end of the promise the apostle tells us, 2 Cor. vii. 1. 
* Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all 
pollution of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear 
of God.' When we ask what is in the promise, as it is in the 
promise, to this end of the promise, our supplications are 
according to the will of God, And this is the first conjugal 
affection that Christ exerciseth towards believers ; he de- 
lights in them ; which, that he doth is evident, as upon other 
considerations innumerable, so from the instance given. 

In return hereunto, for the carrying on of the commu- 
nion between them, the saints delight in Christ; he is their 
ioy, their crown, their rejoicing, their life, food, health, 
strength, desire, righteousness, salvation, blessedness ; with- 
out him they have nothing, in him they shall find all things ; 
Gal. vi. 14. * God forbid that I should rejoice, save in the 
cross of Christ.' He hath from the foundation of the world, 
been the hopes, expectation, desire, and delight of all be- 
lievers. The promise of him was all (and it was enough), 
that God gave Adam in his inexpressible distress, to relieve 
and comfort him ; Gen. iii. 15. Eve perhaps supposed that 

1 Psal. Ixxviii. 35 — 37. 


the promised seed had been born in her first-born, when she 
said, ' I have gotten a man from the Lord/ so most properly 
JIK denoting the fourth case ; and this was the matter of her 
joy ; Gen. iv. 1. Lamech having Noah given to him as a 
type of Christ, and salvation by him, cries out, * This same 
shall comfort us concerning our work, and the toil of our 
hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed ;' 
Gen. v. 29. he rejoices in him who was to take away the 
curse, by being made a curse for us. When Abraham was 
in the height of his glory, returning from the conquest of 
the kings of the east, that came against the confederate kings 
of the vale of Sodom, God appears to him with a glorious 
promise. Gen. xv. L ' Fear not Abraham : I am thy shield, and 
thy exceeding great reward.' What now could his soul more 
desire ? alas, he cries (as Reuben afterward upon the loss of 
Joseph) the child is not and whither shall I go ? ver. 2. 
* Lord God what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless?' 
Thou hast promised, that in my seed shall all the earth be 
blessed, if I have not that seed, ah what will all other things 
do me good? Thence it is said that he ' rejoiced to see the 
day of Christ ; he saw it and was glad,' John viii. 56. the 
thoughts of the coming of Christ, which he looked on at the 
distance of two thousand years, was the joy and delight of his 
heart. Jacob blessing his sons, lifted up his spirit when he 
comes to Judah, in whom he considered the Shiloh to come. 
Gen. xlix, 8, 9. and a little after, wearied with the foresight 
and consideration of the distresses of his posterity, this he 
diverts to for his relief, as that great delight of his soul ; * I 
have waited for thy salvation, O God :' for him who was to 
be the salvation of his people. But it would be endless to 
instance in particulars. Old Simeon sums up the whole : 
Christ, is God's salvation, and Israel's glory; Luke ii. 30, 31. 
and whatever was called the glory of old, it was either him- 
self, or a type of him. ' The glory of man is their delight.' 
Hence Haggai ii. 7. he is called the ' desire of all nations.' 
Him whom their soul loves and delights in, desire, and long 
after. So is the saints' delight in him made a description of 
him by way of eminence, Mai. iii. 1. ' The Lord whom ye 
seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger 
of the covenant whom ye delight in.' He whom ye seek, 
whom ye delight in, is the description of Christ, He is 


their delight and desirable one, the person of their desire. 
To fix on something in particular. 

In that pattern of communion with Jesus Christ, which 
we have in the Canticles, this is abundantly insisted on. The 
spouse tells us, that she sits down under his shadow with 
great delight; chap. ii. 3. And this delight to be vigorous 
and active, she manifests several ways, wherein we should 
labour to find our hearts in like manner towards him. 

1st. By her exceeding great care to keep his company 
and society, when once she had obtained it; chap. ii. 7. ' I 
charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and 
by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my 
beloved until he please.' Having obtained sweet communion 
with Christ, described in the verses foregoing, of which be- 
fore, here she expresseth her delight in it, and desire of the 
continuance of it ; and therefore, following on the allusion 
formerly insisted on, she speaks as one would do to her 
companion, that had rest with one she loved. I charge you 
by all that is dear to you, by the things you most delight in, 
which among the creatures are most lovely, all the pleasant 
and desirable things that you can think of, that you disturb 
him not. The sum of her aim and desire is, that nothing may 
fall out, nothing of sin or provocation happen that may oc- 
casion Christ to depart from her, or to remove from that 
dispensation wherein he seemed to take that rest in her. O 
stir him not up until he please, thaf is, never, n^riNn, love 
itself: in the abstract to express a ira^og, or earnest affec- 
tion, for so that word is often used. When once the soul of 
a believer hath obtained sweet and real communion with 
Christ, it looks about him, watcheth all temptations, all 
ways whereby sin might approach, to disturb him in his en- 
joyment of his dear Lord and Saviour, his rest and desire. 
How doth it charge itself, not to omit any thing, nor to do 
any thing, that may interrupt the communion obtained. And 
because the common entrance of temptations, which tend to 
the disturbance of that rest and complacency which Christ 
takes in the soul, is from delightful diversions from actual 
communion with him ; therefore is desire strong and active, 
that the companions of such a soul, those with whom it doth 

■■ yEternitateni teinporis juxla sensum luysticum in se includit, ut alias in Scriptura ; 
quicEiiunquaraa talisomno, idest, conjunctionecum sponso, excitari velit. Mor.inloc- 


converse, would not by their proposals or allurements, divert 
it into any such frame, as Christ cannot delight, nor rest in. 
A believer that hath gotten Christ in his arms, is like one 
that hath found great spoils, or a pearl of price. He looks 
about him every way, and fears every thing, that may de- 
prive him of it. Riches make men watchful ; and the ac- 
tual sensible possession of him, in whom are all the riches 
and treasure of God, will make men look about them for the 
keeping of him. The line of choicest communion, is a line 
of the greatest spiritual solicitousness : carelessness in the 
enjoyment of Christ pretended, is a manifest evidence of a 
false heart. 

2dly. The spouse manifests her delight in him, by her 
utmost impatience of his absence, with* desires still of nearer 
communion with him, chap. viii. 6. ' Set me as a seal upon 
thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm, for love is strong as 
death, jealousy is cruel as the grave, the coals thereof are 
coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.' The al- 
lusion is doubtless from the high-priest of the Jews, in his 
spiritual representation of the church before God. He had 
a breastplate which he is said to wear on his heart, Exod. 
xxviii. 29. wherein the names of the children of Israel were 
eno;raven after the manner of seals or sio;nets, and he bare 
them for a memorial before the Lord. He had the like also 
upon his shoulder, or on his arms, ver. 11, 12. both repre- 
senting the priesthood of Christ, who bears the names of all 
his, before his Father, in the ' holiest of holies ;' Heb. ix. 24. 
Now the seal on the heart is near, inward, tender love, and 
care, which gives an impression and image on the heart of 
the thing so loved. ' Set me,' saith the spouse,* as a seal upon 
thine heart ;' let me be constantly fixed in thy most tender 
and affectionate love ; let me always have a place in thine 
heart ; let me have an engraving, a mighty impression of 
love upon thine heart, that shall never be obliterated. The 
soul is never satisfied with thoughts of Christ's love to it. 
Oh that it were more, that it were more, that I were as a 
' seal on his heart !' is its language. The soul knows indeed 
on serious thoughts, that the love of Christ is inconceivable, 
and cannot be increased, but it would fain work up itself to 
an apprehension of it ; and therefore she adds here, * set me 

' Hag. ii. 24. Jer. xxii. 24. 


as a seal upon thine arm ;' the heart is the fountain, but 
close and hidden ; the arm is manifestation and power. Let, 
saith the spouse, thy love be manifested to me in thy tender 
and powerful persuasion of me. Two things are evident in 
this request ; the continual mindfulness of Christ of the 
soul, as having its condition still in his eye, engraven on his 
arm; Isa. xlix. 15, 16. with the exalting of his power for 
the preservation of it, suitable to the love of his heart unto 
it, and the manifestation of the hidden love and care of the 
heart of Christ unto the soul, being made visible on his arm, 
or evident by the fruit of it. This is that which she would 
be assured of; and without a sense whereof, there is no rest 
to be obtained. 

The reason she gives of this earnestness in her supplica- 
tions, is that which principally evinces her delight in him. 
*Love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave, or 
hard as hell.' This is the intendment of what is so loftily 
set out by so many metaphors in this and the following verse. 
I am not able to bear the workings of my love to thee, un- 
less I may always have society and fellowship with thee; 
there is no satisfying of my love without it, it is as the* grave 
that still says give, give. Death is not satisfied without 
its prey ; if it have not all, it hath nothing ; let what will 
happen, if death hath not its whole desire it hath nothing at 
all. Nor can it be withstood in its appointed season ; no 
ransom will be taken. So is my love, if I have thee not 
wholly, I have nothing, nor can all the world bribe it to a 
diversion ; it will be no more turned aside than death in its 
time. Also, I am not able to bear my jealous thoughts ; I 
fear thou dost not love me, that thou hast forsaken me, be- 
cause I know I deserve not to be beloved. These thoughts 
are hard as hell ; they give no rest to my soul ; if I find 
not myself on thy heart and arm, I am as one that lies down 
in a bed of coals. This also argues a holy greediness of 

3dly. She farther manifests this by her solicitousness, 
trouble, and perplexity, in his loss and withdrawings. Men 
bewail the loss of that whose whole enjoyment they delight 
in ; we easily bear the absence of that, whose presence is 
not delightful. This state of the spouse is discovered chap^ 

' Prov, XXX, 16. 


iii. 1 — 3. * By" night on my bed I sought him whom" my 
soul loved : I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise 
now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad 
ways : I will seek him whom my soul loveth : I sought him, 
but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city 
found me : to whom I said. Saw you him whom my soul 
loveth?' It is night now with the sovd, a time of darkness 
and trouble, or affliction. Whenever Christ is absent it is 
night with a believer. He is the^ sun ; if he go down upon 
them, if his beams be eclipsed, if in his light they see no 
light, it is all darkness with them. Here, whether the com- 
ing of the night of any trouble on 'her, made her discover 
Christ's absence, or the absence of Christ made it night with 
her, is not expressed. I rather think the latter; because 
setting that aside, all things seem to be well with her. The 
absence of Christ will indeed make it night, dark as dark- 
ness itself in the midst of all other glowing consolations. 
But is the spouse contented with this dispensation? She is 
upon her bed; that is, of ease; the bed indeed sometimes 
signifies tribulation ; Rev. ii. 22. but in this book every 
where rest and contentment : here is not the least intima- 
tion of any tribulation but what is in the want of Christ; but 
in the greatest peace and opportunity of ease and rest, a be- 
liever finds none in the absence of Christ'; though he be 
on his bed, having nothing to disquiet him, he rests not, if 
Christ his rest be not there. She sought him ; seeking of 
Christ by night, on the bed, that is, alone, in immediate in- 
quest, and in the dark, hath two parts ; searching of our own 
souls for the cause of his absence ; secondly, searching the 
promises for his presence. 

(1.) The soul finding not Christ present in his wonted 
manner, warming, cherishing, reviving it with love, nigh to 
it, supping with it, always filling its thoughts with himself, 
dropping myrrh and sweet tastes of love into it, but on the 
contrary that other thoughts crowd in and perplex the heart, 
and Christ is not nigh when inquired after ; it presently in- 
quiresinto the cause of all this,^ calls itself to an account, 

" Isa. 1. 10. 
* Eleganter periphrasi utitur loco nominis proprii, ut vim amoris sui exprimat. Merc. 
Ista repetitio assensum indicat et studium quo eum quarebat, et moerorem quo au- 
gebatur, quodoc currere non posset, idem. 

y Mai. iv. 3. ^ 3 Cor, xiii. 5. 


what it hath done, how it hath behaved itself, that it is not 
with it, as at other times ; that Christ hath withdrawn himself, 
and is not nigh to it, in the wonted manner. Here it ac- 
complisheth a diligent search ; it considers the love, ten- 
derness, and kindness of the Lord Jesus ; what delight he 
takes in abiding with his saints; so that his departure is not 
without cause and provocation. How, saith it, have I de- 
meaned myself, that I have lost my beloved? where have 
I been wandering after other lovers ? and when the miscar- 
riage is found out, it abounds in revenge and indignation. 

(2.) Having driven this to some issue, the soul applieth 
itself to the promises of the covenant wherein Christ is most 
graciously exhibited unto it ; considers one, ponders another, 
to find a taste of him ; it considers diligently if it can see 
the delightful countenance and favour of Christ in them or 
no. But now, if (as it often falls out) the soul finds nothing 
but the carcase, but the bare letter in the promise ; if it come 
to it as to the grave of Christ, of which it may be said (not 
in itself, but in respect of the seeking soul), ' he is risen, he 
is not here,' this amazes the soul, and it knows not what to 
do. As a man that hath a jewel of great price having no 
occasion to use it, lays it aside as he supposes in a safe 
place ; in an agony and extremity of want going to seek for 
his jewel, he finds it not in the place he expected, and is 
filled with amazement, and knows not what to do ; so is it 
with this pearl of the gospel ; after a man hath sold all that 
he hath for it, and enjoyed it for a season, then to have it 
missing at a time of need, it must needs perplex him. So 
was it with the spouse here, ' I sought him,' saith she, 'but 
I found him not ;' a thing which not seldom befalls us in our 
communion with Christ. 

But what doth she now do? doth she give over and 
search no more ? nay, but says she, ver. 2. ' I will arise ;' I 
will not so give over, I must have Christ or die, ' I will now 
arise/ or * let me arise,' and go about this business. 

[1.] She resolves to put herself upon another course, a 
more vigorous inquest; I will arise and make use of other 
means besides those of private prayer, meditation, self- 
searching, and inquiring into the promises, which she had 
insisted on before. It carries 

(1st.) Resolution, and a zealous, violent casting off that 


frame wherein she had lost her love. ' P will arise,' I will 
not rest in this frame ; I am undone if I do. So sometimes 
God calls his church to arise and shake itself out of the 
dust : abide not ia that condition. 

(2dly.) Diligence. 1 will now take another course, I will 
leave no way unattempted, no means untried, whereby I may 
possibly recover communion with my beloved. 

This is the condition of a soul that finds not the wonted 
presence of Christ in its private and more retired inquiries. 
Dull in prayer, wandering in meditations, rare in thoughts 
of him ; I will not bear this frame, whatever way God hath 
appointed, I will in his strength vigorously pursue until this 
frame be altered, and I find my beloved. 

[2.] Then, the way she puts herself upon, is to go about 
the city. Not to insist upon particulars, nor to strain the 
parts of the allegory too far, the city here intended is the 
city of God, the church ; and the passing through the broad 
and narrow streets, is the diligent inquiry, that the spouse 
makes in all the paths and ordinances given unto it. This 
then is the next thing the soul addresses itself unto, in the 
want of Christ ; when it finds him not in any private endea- 
vours, it makes vigorous application to the ordinances of 
public worship ; in prayer, in preaching, in administration 
of the seals doth it look after Christ. Indeed the great in- 
quiry the souls of believers make in every ordinance is after 
Christ; so much as they find of him, so much sweetness 
and refreshment have they, and no more. Especially when 
under any desertion they rise up to this inquiry ; they 
listen to every word, to every prayer, to find if any thing of 
Christ, any light from him, any life, any love, appears to 
them. Oh that Christ would at length meet me in this or 
that sermon, and recover my poor heart to some sight of his 
love, to some taste of kindness ! The solicitousness of a 
believer in his inquest after Christ, when he finds not his 
presence, either for grace or consolation as in former days, 
is indeed inexpressible. Much of the frame of such a heart 
is couched in the redoubling of the expression, ' I sought 
him, I sought him ;' setting out an inconceivabie passion, 
and suitably industrious desire. Thus being disappointed 
at home, the spouse proceeds. 

» Isa. lii. 2. Ix. 1. 


But yet see the event of this also ; she sought him, but 
found him not. It doth sometimes so fall out, all will not 
do, ' they shall seek him and not find him ;' they shall not 
come nigh him : let them that enjoy any thing of the pre- 
sence of Christ, take heed what they do ; if they provoke 
him to depart, if they lose him, it may cost them many a 
bitter inquiry before they find him again. When a soul 
prays and meditates, searches the promises in private, when 
it with earnestness and diligence attends all ordinances in 
public, and all to get one glimpse of the face of Jesus Christ, 
and all in vain, it is a sad condition. 

What now follows in this estate ? ver. 3. * The watchmen 
found me,' &c. That these watchmen of the city of God 
are the watchmen and officers of the church, is confessed ; 
and it is of sad consideration that the Holy Ghost doth 
sometimes in this book take notice of them on no good ac- 
count ; plainly, chap. v. 7. they turn persecutors. It was 
Luther's saying, * nunquam periclitatur religio nisi inter re- 
verendissimos.' Here they are of a more gentle temper, and 
seeing the poor disconsolate soul, they seem to take notice 
of her condition. 

It is the duty indeed of faithful watchmen to take notice 
of poor, troubled, deserted souls ; not to keep at a distance, 
but to be willing to assist. And a truly pressed soul on the 
account of Christ's absence cannot cover its love, but must 
be inquiring after him ; ' saw you him whom my soul loveth?' 
This is my condition, I have had sweet enjoyment of my 
blessed Jesus, he is now withdrawn from me ; can you help 
me ? can you guide me to my consolation ? what acquaint- 
ance have you with him ? when saw you him ? how did he 
manifest himself to you, and wherein ? All these labour- 
ings in his absence sufficiently discover the soul's delight in 
the presence of Christ. Go one step farther to the discovery 
that it made of him once again, and it will yet be more evi- 
dent ; ver. 4, 5. ' It was but a little while that I passed from 
them, but I found him whom my soul loveth : I held him, and 
would not let him go, until I had brought him into my 
mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived 
me : I charge ye, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,' &c. 

1st. She tells you how she came to him ; she found him: 
what ways and by what means is not expressed. It often so 


falls out in our communion with Christ ; when private and 
public means fail, and the soul hath nothing left but wait- 
ing silently and walking humbly, Christ appears, that his so 
doing may be evidently of grace. Let us not at any time 
give over in this condition. When all ways are past, the 
summer and harvest are gone without relief, when neither 
bed nor watchmen can assist, let us wait a little, and we 
shall see the salvation of God. Christ honours his imme- 
diate absolute actings sometimes ; though ordinarily he 
crowns his ordinances. Christ often manifests himself im- 
mediately, and out of ordinances, to them that wait for him 
in them ; that he will do so to them that despise them, I 
know not. Though he will meet men unexpectedly in his 
way, yet he will not meet them at all out of it. Let us 
wait as he hath appointed ; let him appear as he pleaseth. 
How she deals with him when found, is nextly declared ; 
* She held him, and would not let him go,' &c. They are all 
expressions of the greatest joy and delight imaginable. The 
sum is, having at length come once more to an enjoyment 
of sweet communion with Christ, the soul lays fast hold on 
him by faith (KoaTHv, ' to hold fast,' is an act of faith), refuses 
to part with him any more in vehemency of love, tries to 
keep him in ordinances, in the house of its mother, the 
church of God, and so uses all means for the confirming of 
the mutual love between Christ and her : all the expressions, 
all the allusions used, evidencing dehght to the utmost ca- 
pacity of the soul. Should I pursue all the instances and 
testimonies that are given hereunto in that one book of the 
Song of Solomon, I must enter upon an exposition of the 
greatest part of it, which is not my present business. Let 
the hearts of the saints that are acquainted with these 
things, be allowed to make the close. What is it they 
long for, they rejoice in ? What is it that satisfies them to 
the utmost, and gives sweet complacency to their spirits iii 
every condition ? What is it whose loss they fear, whose 
absence they cannot bear ? Is it not this their beloved, and 
he alone ? 

This also they farther manifest by their delight in every 
thino- that peculiarly belongs to Christ, as his, in this world. 
This is an evidence of delight, when for his sake whom we 
delight in, we also delight in every thing that belongs to 

VOL. X. M 


him. Christ's great interest in this world, lies in his people, 
and his ordinances ; his household, and their provision. 
JNTow in both these do the saints exceedingly delight for his 
sake. Take an instance in both kinds in one man, viz. 
David, Psal. xvi. 3. in the saints and the excellent, or the 
noble of the earth, is all my delight ; my delight in them. 
Christ says of his church, that she is Hephzibah ; Isa. Ixii. 
' my delight in her;' here says David of the same, Hephzibam, 
* my delight in them.' As Christ delights in his saints, so do 
they in one another on his account. Here, says David, is all 
my delight. Whatever contentment he took in any other 
persons, it was nothing in comparison of the delight he took 
in them. Hence mention is made, of Maying down our lives 
for the brethren,' or any common cause wherein the interest 
of the community of the brethren does lie. 

2dly. For the ordinances, consider the same person ; 
Psal. xlii. Ixxxiv. and xlviii. are such plentiful testimonies 
throughout, as we need no farther inquiring ; nor shall I go 
forth to a new discourse on this particular. 

And this is the first mutual consequential act of conju- 
gal affection in this communion between Christ and be- 
lievers. He delights in them and they delight in him ; he 
vdelights in their prosperity, hath pleasure in it ; they delight 
in his honour and glory, and in his presence with them : for 
his sake they delight in his servants (though by the world 
contemned) as the most excellent in the world ; and in his 
ordinances, as the wisdom of God, which are foolishness to 
the world. 



Other consequential affections ; 1 . On tlie part of Christ. He values his 
saints. Evidences of that valuation. 1. His incarnation. 2. Exinani- 
tion. 2 Cor. viii. 9. Phil. ii. 6, 7. 3. Obedience as a servant. 4. In his 
death. His valuation of them in comparison of others. Believers' eslijna- 
tion of Christ. 1. The>/ value him above all other things and persons . 
2. Above their own lives. 3. All spiritual excellencies. The sum of all on 
the part of Christ. The sum on the part of believers. The third conju- 
fjal affection on the part of Christ, pity or compassion, wherein manifested. 
Suffering- and supply, fruits of compassion. Several toai/s tvhereby Christ 
relieves the saints under temptations. His compassion in their afflictions. 
Chastity the third conjugal affection in the saints. The fourth on the 
part of Christ, bounty ; on the part of the saints, duty. 

Christ values his saints, values believers ; which is the 
second branch of that conjugal affection he bears towards 
them, having taken them into the relation whereof we speak. 
I shall not need to insist long on the demonstration hereof; 
heaven and earth are full of evidences of it. Some few con- 
siderations will give life to the assertion. Consider them 

1. Absolutely ; 2. In respect of others : and you will 
see what a valuation he puts upon them. 

1. All that ever he did or doth, all that ever he under- 
went, or suffered as mediator, was for their sakes. Now 
these things were so great and grievous that had he not es- 
teemed them above all that can be expressed, he had never 
engaged to their performance and undergoing. Take a few 

(1.) For their sakes was he made ^flesh ; 'manifested in 
the flesh,' Heb. ii. 14. 'Whereas therefore the children par- 
took of flesh and blood, even he in like manner partook of 
the same :' and the height of this valuation of them the apo- 
stle aggravates, ver. 16. 'Verily he took not on him the na- 
ture of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham,' he 
had no such esteem of angels. Whether you take £7rtXajLf/3av6- 
(T^ai properly to ' take,' or to ' take hold of,' as our translators, 
and so supply the word 'nature,' and refer the whole unto 
Christ's incarnation, who therein took our nature on him, 

» John i. 14. iTim. iii. 16. 
M 2 


and not the nature of angels ; ov for ava\afji(5av^(T^ai, to 
' help,' he did not help nor succour fallen angels ; but he did 
help and ""succour the seed of Abraham, and so consider it 
as the fruit of Christ's incarnation, it is all one as to our pre- 
sent business ; his preferring the seed of Abraham before 
angels, his valuing them above the other is plainly ex- 
pressed. And observe that he came to help the seed of 
Abraham, that is, "^believers ; his esteem and valuation is of 
them only. 

(2.) For their sakes he was so made flesh, as that there 
vi^as an emptying, an examination of himself, and an eclips- 
ing of his glory, and a becoming poor for them, 2 Cor. viii. 
9. * Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being 
rich, for us he became poor.' Being rich in eternal glory 
with his Father ; John xvii. 5. he became poor for believers ; 
the same person that was rich, was also poor. That the 
riches here meant can be none but those of the Deity, is 
evident by its opposition to the poverty which as man he 
undertook. This is also more fully expressed, Phil. ii. 6,7. 
* Who being in the form of God, counted it no robbery to 
be equal to God, but he emptied himself, taking the form of 
a servant, and being made in the fashion of a man, and found 
in form as a man,' &c. That the ' form of God' is here the es- 
sence of the Deity, sundry things inevitably evince. As, 

[1.] That he was therein'^ equal to God, that is, his Fa- 
ther. Now nothing but God, is equal to God, not "Christ 
as he is mediator, in his greatest glory : nothing but that 
which is infinite, is equal to that which is infinite. 

[2.] The form of God is opposed to the form of a servant, 
and that form of a servant, is called the * fashion of a man ;' 
ver. 8. that fashion wherein he was found when he gave him- 
self to death, wherein as a man he poured out his blood and 
died : juop^?]v SovXou XojSwv (he took the form of a servant), 
is expounded in the next words, Iv ofioiiLfiaTi av^pwTrwv yevo- 
Hevoc, an expression used to set out his incarnation; Rom. 
viii. 3. God sent him tv ofjLoiwfiaTi aapKog afxapriag, in taking 
true flesh, he was in the ' likeness of sinful flesh.' Now in 
thus doing, it is said kavrbv ekIvwcte, he humbled, emptied 
himself, made himself of no reputation. In the very taking 

b Vide Vind. Evan. cap. 13. « Horn. iv. 17. Gal. iii. 7. 

'' See Vind. Evan. cap. 13. '^ John xiv. 28. 


of flesh, there was a condescension, a debasing of the person 
of the Son of God ; it could not be without it. If God 
humbled himself to ' behold the things that are in heaven 
and earth ;' Psal. cxiii. 6. then certainly it was an incon- 
ceivable condescension and abasement not only to behold, 
but take upon him, into personal union, our nature with 
himself. And though nothing could possibly be taken off 
from the essential glory of the Deity, yet that person ap- 
pearing in the fashion of a man, and form of a servant, the 
glory of it as to the manifestation was eclipsed ; and he ap- 
peared "^quite another thing, than what indeed he was, and 
had been from eternity. Hence he prays, ' that his Father 
would glorify him, with the glory he had with him before 
the world was ;' John xvii. 3. as to the manifestation of it. 
And so though the divine nature was not abased, the per- 
son was. 

(3.) For their sakes he so humbled and emptied himself 
in taking flesh, as to become therein a servant, in the eyes 
of the world of no esteem nor account, and a true and real 
servant^ unto the Father; for their sakes he humbled him- 
self and became obedient ; all that he did and suffered in 
his life, comes under this consideration ; all which may be 
referred to these three heads: ''[1.] Fulfilling all righteous- 
ness. [2.] Enduring all manner of persecutions and hard- 
ships. [3.] Doing all manner of good to men. He took on 
him for their sakes a life, and course pointed to, Heb. v. 7, 8. 
a life of prayers, tears, fears, obedience, suffering ; and all 
this with cheerfulness and delight, calling his employment 
his meat and drink, and still professing that the law of this 
obedience was in his 'heart, that he was content to do this 
will of God. He that will sorely revenge the least oppo- 
sition that is or shall be made to him by others, was content 
to undergo any thing, all things for believers. 

(4.) He stays not here, but for the consummation of all 
that went before, for their sakes he becom.es obedient to 
death, the death of the cross ; so he professeth to his Father, 
John xvii. 19. 'For their sakes I sanctify myself;' I dedicate 
myself as an offering, as a sacrifice to he killed and slain. 
This was his aim in all the former, that he might die ; he 

f Isa. liii. 1. ^ Isa. xlii. 1. 19. John xiv. 51. 

. h Matt. Hi. 15. *Heb. X. 7,8. 


wai% born and ''lived that he micyht die. He valued them 
above his life. And if we might stay to consider a little 
what was in this death, that he underwent for them, we 
should perceive what a price indeed he put upon them. The 
curse^ of the law was in it, the ™wrath of God v.'as in it, the 
loss of God's "presence was in it. It was a "fearful cup that 
he tasted of, and drank of, that they might never taste of it. 
A man would not for ten thousand worlds be willing to un- 
dergo, that which Christ underwent for us in that one thing 
of desertion from God, were it attended with no more dis- 
tress, but what a mere creature might possibly emerge from 
under. And what thoughts v/e should have of this, himself 
tells us, John xv. 13. ' Greater love hath none than this, that 
one lay down his life for his friends.' It is impossible there 
should be any greater demonstration or evidence of love 
than this ; what can any one do more ? And yet he tells us 
in another place, that it hath another aggravation and height- 
ening, Rom. V. 8. * God commendeth his love to us, in that, 
whilst we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' When he 
did this for us we were sinners, and enemies whom he might 
justly have destroyed. What can more be done? to die for 
us when we were sinners ? such a death, in such a manner, 
with such attendances of wrath and curse ; a death accom- 
panied with the worst that God had ever threatened to sin- 
ners, argues as high a valuation of us, as the heart of Christ 
himself was capable of. 

For one to part with his glory, his riches, his ease, his life, 
his love from God, to undergo loss, shame, wrath, curse, 
death, for another, is an evidence of a dear valuation, and 
that it was all on this account we are informed, Heb. xii.2. 
Certainly Christ had a dear esteem of them, that rather than 
they should perish, that they should not be his, and be made 
partakers of his glory, he would part with all he had for 
their sakes ; Eph. v. 25, 26. 

There would be no end should I go through all the in- 
stances of Christ's valuation of believers in all their deli- 
verances, afHictions, in all conditions of sinning and suffer- 
ing, what he hath done, what he doth in his intercession, 
what he delivers them from, what he procures for them ; all 

'' Heb. ii. 14, 15. ' Gal. iii . 13. ^ 2Cor. v. 21. 

» Psal. xxii. 1 . o Matt. xxvi. 39. 


telling out this one thing, they are the apple of his eye, his 
jewel, his diadem, his crown. 

2. In comparison of others. All the world is nothing to 
him in comparison of them. They are his garden ; the rest 
of the world a wilderness ; Cant. iv. 12. ' A garden inclosed 
is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.' 
They are his inheritance, the rest, his enemies of no regard 
with him. So Isa. xliii. 3, 4. * I am the Lord thy God, the 
Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ran- 
som, 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.' The reason of this dealing of Christ with his church 
in parting with all others for them, is because he loves her ; 
she is precious and honourable in his sight, thence he puts 
this great esteem upon her. Indeed he disposeth of all na- 
tions, and their interest according as is for the good of 
believers ; Amos ix. 9. in all the siftings of the nations, 
the eye of God is upon the house of Israel, not a grain 
of them shall perish. Look to heaven, angels are ap- 
pointed to minister for them; Heb. i. 14. Look into the 
world, the nations in general are either '' blessed for their 
sakes, or 'destroyed on their account; preserved to try 
them, or rejected for their cruelty towards them; and will 
receive from Christ their ^ final doom according to their de- 
portment towards these despised ones : on this account are 
the pillars of the earth borne up, and patience is exercised 
towards the perishing world. In a word, there is not the 
meanest, the weakest, the poorest believer on the earth, but 
Christ prizeth him more than all the world besides; were 
our hearts filled much with thoughts hereof, it would tend 
much to our consolation. 

To answer this, believers also value Jesus Christ; they 
have an esteem of him above all the world, and all things in 
the world. You have been in part acquainted with this be- 
fore, in the account that was given of their delight in him, 
and inquiry after him. They say of him in their hearts con- 
tinually as David, ' Whom have I in heaven but thee, and 

P Amorem istum iion esse vulgarem ostendit, tluiii nos preliosos esse elicit. Calv. 
in loc. 

1 Gen. xii. 3. Micli. v. 7, 8. "■ Isa. xxxiv. 8. Ixiii. 4. Ixxxiv. 15. 

s Matt. xxiv. ,S5 — 38. 


whom on earth that I desire besides thee V Psal. Ixxiii. 25. 
Neither heaven nor earth will yield them an object anyway 
comparable to him, that they can delight in. 

1. They value him above all other things and persons; 
' Mallera,' said one,* * mere cum Christo, quam regnare cum 
Cassare. Pulchra terra, pulchrum coelum, sed pulcherrimus 
dominus Jesus.' Christ and a dungeon, Christ and a cross 
is infinitely sweeter than a crown, a sceptre without him to 
their souls. So was it with Moses, Heb. xi. 26. ' He es- 
teemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the trea- 
sures of Egypt.' The reproach of Christ is the worst conse- 
quent that the wickedness of the world or the malice of Sa- 
tan can bring upon the followers of him. The treasures of 
Egypt were in those days the greatest in the world ; Moses 
despised the very best of the world, for the worst of the 
cross of Christ. Indeed himself hath told believers, that if 
they love any thing better than him, father or mother, they 
are not worthy of him. A despising of all things for Christ, 
is the very first lesson of the gospel. Give away all, take 
up the cross and follow me, was the way whereby he tried 
his disciples of old, and if there be not the same mind and 
heart in us, we are none of his. 

2. They value him above their lives. Acts xx. 24. ' My 
life is not dear that I may perfect my course with joy, and 
the ministry I have received of the Lord Jesus.' Let life and 
all go, so that I may serve him, and when all is done, enjoy 
hira, and be made like to him. It is known what is report- 
ed of "Ignatius when he was led to martyrdom, 'Let what 
will,' said he, 'come upon me, only so I may obtain Jesus 
Christ.' Hence they of old rejoiced when wliipped, scourg- 
ed, put to shame for his sake ; Acts v. 41. Heb. xi. all is 
welcome that comes from him, or for him. The lives they 
have to live, the death they have to die, is little, is light 
upon the thoughts of him who is the stay of their lives and 
the end of their death. Were it not for the refreshment 
which daily they receive by thoughts of him, they could not 
live ; their lives would be a burden to them, and the thoughts 

' Luther. 
" NSv Sif^ofjtai /tta&riT«? ^ivai, oiiSev Toureev TaJv opa}fxivti>v l7rt^vy,Z, iVa tov 'iricroZv Xf lo-- 
ToK Eypai. riup, a-ravsoq, ^n^ia, crvynT^airit; ocnkcov, nal rZv xeXSv Siatrmaa-fjioi, xal ataVTot; 
ToS trdifxaror o-yvxpi^ij Hat Bag-avoi toS 5ia/3oAoi; e'( I/as lA&ajff-iy, iVa Urouv Xfia-rov aTro- 
Xowtf-M. Vit. Ignat. 


of enjoyment of him made them cry with Paul, Oh that they 
were dissolved. The stories of the martyrs of old, and of late, 
the sufferers in giving witness to him, under the dragon, 
and under the false prophet, the neglect of life in women 
and children on his account, contempt of torments whilst 
his name sweetened all, have rendered this truth clear to 
men and angels. 

3. They value him above all spiritual excellencies and 
all other righteousness whatever; Phil. iii. 7, 8. 'Those 
things which were advantage to me, I esteemed loss for 
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ; 
for whose sake I have lost all things, and do esteem them' 
common that I may gain Christ, and be found in him.' 
Having recounted the excellencies which he had, and the 
privileges which he enjoyed in his Judaism, which were all 
of a spiritual nature, and a participation wherein, made the 
rest of his countrymen despise all the world, and look upon 
themselves as the only acceptable persons with God, resting 
on them for righteousness, the apostle tells us what is his 
esteem of them in comparison of the Lord Jesus ; they are 
loss and dung, things that for his sake, he had really suf- 
fered the loss of ; that is, whereas he had for many years 
been a zealot of the law, seeking after a righteousness as it 
were by the works of it; Rom. ix. 31. instantly serving God 
day and night to obtain the promise ; Acts xxvi. 7. living 
in all good conscience from his youth ; Acts xxii. all the 
while very zealous for God and his institutions, now wil- 
lingly casts away all these things, looks upon them as loss 
and dung, and could not only be contented to be without 
them, but as for that end for which he sought after them, he 
abhorred them all. When men have been strongly con- 
vinced of their duty, and have laboured many years to keep 
a "good conscience, have prayed, and heard, and done good, 
and denied themselves, and been ^ zealous for God, and la- 
boured with all their might to ^please him, and so at length 
to come to enjoy him; they had rather ^ part with all the 
world, life, and all, than with this they have wrought. You 
know how unwilling we are to part with any thing we have 
laboured, and beaten our heads about ? How much more 

» Acts xxiii. 1. y Rom. x. 2 — 4. 

'^ Acts xxvi. 7. * Johnix. 40. Rom. ix. 30, 31. 


when the things are so excellent, as our duty to God, blame* 
lessness of conversation, hope of heaven, and the like, which 
we have beaten our hearts about. But now when once 
Christ appears to the soul, when he is known in bis excel- 
lency, all these things as without him, have their paint 
washed ofl', their beauty fades, their desirableness vanish- 
eth, and the soul is not only contented to part with them all, 
but puts them away as a defiled thing ; and cries, in the 
Lord Jesus only is my righteousness"^ and glory. Prov. iii. 
13 — 15. among innumerable testimonies maybe admitted to 
give witness hereunto, ' Happy is the man that findeth wis- 
dom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the mer- 
chandize of it, is better than the merchandize of silver, and 
the gain thereof than fine gold : she is more precious than 
rubies, and all the things that thou canst desire, are not to 
be compared to her.' It is of Jesus Christ, the wisdom of 
God, the eternal wisdom of the Father, that the Holy Ghost 
speaks, as is evident from the description which is given 
hereof, chap. viii. He and his ways are better than silver and 
gold, rubies, and all desirable things ; as in the gospel he 
likens himself to the * ' pearl in the field,' which when the 
merchantman finds, he sells all that he hath to purchase. 
All goes for Christ, all righteousness without him, all ways 
of religion, all goes for that one pearl. The glory of his 
Deity, the excellency of his person, his all-conquering de- 
sirableness, ineifable love, wonderful undertaking, unspeak- 
able condescensions, effectual mediation, complete righte- 
ousness, lie in their eyes, ravish their hearts, fill their affec- 
tions, and possess their souls. And this is the second mu- 
tual conjugal affection between Christ and believers, all 
which on the part of Christ, may be referred unto two heads. 
(1.) Ail that he parted withal, all that he did, all that he 
suffered, all that he doth as mediator, he parted withal, did, 
suffered, doth, on the account of his **love to, and esteem of 
believers. He parted with the greatest glory, he underwent 
the greatest misery, he doth the greatest works that ever 
were, because he loves his spouse ; because he values be- 
lievers. What can more, what can farther be spoken ? how 

^ Isa. xlv. 24. 
« Matt. xiii. 45, 46. Principium culraenque omnium rerum prctii, margaritae 
tenent. Pliii. 

d Gal, ii. 80. 1 John iii. 2. Rev. i.5, 6. Eph. v. 25, 26. Heb. x. 9, 10. 


little is the depth of that which is spoken fathomed ? how 
unable are we to look into the mysterious recesses of it? 
He so loves, so values his saints, as that having from eter- 
nity undertaken to bring them to God, he rejoices his soul 
in the thoughts of it; and pursues his design through hea- 
ven and hell, life and death, by suffering and doing, in mi- 
sery and with power, and ceaseth not until he bring it to 
perfection. For, 

(2.) He doth so value them, as that he will not lose any 
of them to eternity, though all the world should combine to 
take them out of his hand. When in the days of his flesh 
he foresaw what opposition, what danger, what rocks, they 
should meet withal, he cried out ' Holy Father keep them,* 
John xvii. 11. let not one of them be lost; and tells us 
plainly, John x. 28. 'that no man shall take his sheep out 
of his hand.' And because he was then in the form of a 
servant, and it might be supposed that he might not be able 
to hold them, he tells them true, as to his present condition 
of carrying on the work of mediation, his * Father was 
greater than he,''' and therefore to him he co mmittedthem, 
and none should take them out of his Father's hands ; John 
X. 29. and whereas the world, afflictions, and persecutions, 
which are without, may be conquered, and yet no security 
given, but that sin from within, by the assistance of Satan 
may prevail against them to their ruin ; as he hath provided 
against Satan in his promise, that the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against them, so he hath taken care that sin it- 
self shall not destroy them. Herein indeed is the depth of 
his love to be contemplated, that whereas his holy soul 
hates every sin, it is a burden, an abomination, a new wound 
to him, and his poor spouse is sinful, believers are full of 
sins, failings^ and infirmities, he hides all, covers all, bears 
with all, rather than he will lose them ; by his power pre- 
serving them from such sins as a remedy is not provided for 
in the covenant of grace. Oh the world of sinful follies, 
that our dear Lord Jesus bears withal on this account ! are 
not our own souls astonished with the thoughts of it ? Infi- 
nite patience, infinite forbearance, infinite love, infinite 
grace, infinite mercy, are all set on work for this end, to 
answer this his valuation of us. 

« John xiv. 28. 


2. On our part it may also be referred to two heads. 

(1.) That upon the discovery of him to our souls, they 
rejoice to *^part with all things wherein they have delighted, 
or reposed their confidence for him and his sake, that they 
may enjoy him. Sin and lust, pleasure and profit, righteous- 
ness and duty, in their several conditions, all shall go so 
they may have Christ. 

(2.) That they are willing to part with all things rather 
than with ^ him, when they do enjoy him. To think of part- 
ing with peace, health, liberty, relations, wives, children, it 
is offensive, heavy, and grievous to the best of the saints. 
But their souls cannot bear the thoughts of parting with Jesus 
Christ ; such a thought is cruel as the grave. The worst 
thoughts that in any fear '' in desertions that they have of* 
hell, is that they shall not enjoy Jesus Christ. So they may 
enjoy him, here, hereafter, be like him, be ever with him, 
stand in his presence, they can part with all things freely, 
cheerfully, be they never so beautiful in reference to this 
life, or that which is to come. 

3. The third conjugal affection on the part of Christ is 
pity and compassion. As a man ' nourisheth and cherish- 
eth his kown flesh, so doth the Lord his church ;' Eph. v. 29. 
Christ hath a fellow-feeling with his saints in all their trou- 
bles as a man hath with his own flesh. This act of the con- 
jugal love of Christ, relates to the many trials and pressures 
of afflictions that his saints meet withal here below. He 
doth not deal with believers as the Samaritans with the 
Jews, that fawned on them in their prosperity, but de- 
spised them in their trouble ; he is as a tender ' Father, who 
though perhaps he love all his children alike, yet he will 
take most pains with, and give most of his presence unto, 
one that is sick and weak, though therein and thereby, he 
may be made most forward, and as it should seem hardest 
to be borne with. And, which is more than the pity of any 
father can extend to, he himself suffers with them, and takes 
share in all their troubles. 

Now all the sufferings of the saints in this world, wherein 

f Matt. xiii. 45, 46. Phil. iii. 8. . s Matt. x. 37. 

** Cant. viii. 6. ■ Kai touto fA.oi rwv h SJod noXaa-ecuv Qapinpov av el'o. Easil. 

'' Fateor insitam nobis esse corporis nostri charitateni. Senec. Epist. 14. — Ge- 
neri animantium orani a natura tributum ut se vitani corpusque tueatur. Clcer. 
Off. 1. I Psal. ciii. 13. 


their head and husband exerciseth pity, tenderness, care, 
and compassion towards them are of two sorts, or may be re- 
ferred to two heads. 

(1.) Temptations. 

(2.) Afflictions. 

(1.) Temptations (under which head, I comprise sin also, 
whereto they tend); as in, from, and by their own infirmities, 
as also from their adversaries without. The frame of the 
heart of Christ, and his deportment towards them in this 
condition you have, Heb. iv. 15. 'We have not an high- 
priest which cannot be touched with our infirmities.' We 
have not such a one, as cannot. The two negations do 
vehemently affirm that we have such an high-priest as can 
be, or is touched; the word, 'touched,' comes exceedingly 
short of expressing the original word ; it is ^(TVfxira^riaat to 
' suffer together.' We have, saitli the apostle, such an high- 
priest as can, and consequently doth suffer with us, endure 
our infirmities ; and in what respect he suffers with us, in 
regard of our infirmities, or hath a fellow-feeling with us in 
them, he declares in the next words, for he was ' tempted 
like unto us ;' ver. 16. it is as our "'infirmities, our tempta- 
tions, spiritual weakness ; therein, in particular hath he a 
compassionate sympathy and fellow-feeling with us. What- 
ever be our infirmities, so far as they are our temptations, he 
doth suffer with us under them, and compassionates us. 
Hence at the last " day he saith ' I was hungry' 8cc. There 
are two ways of expressing a fellow-feeling and suffering 
with another. 

[1.] Per benevolam condolentiam ; a 'friendly grieving.' 

[2.] Per gratiosam opitulationem ; a * gracious supply :' 
both are eminent in Christ. 

[1.] He "grieves and labours with us ; Zech. i. 12. * The 
angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how 
long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem. He speaks 

' Hoc quidem certum est, hoc vocabulo, suiiiraum ilium consensum menibrorum et 
capitis, significari, de quo toties Paulus disserit. Deinde ut cum de Deo loquitur, 
ita, etiam de Christo glorioso disserens seriptura, ad nostrum captum se demittit. 
Gloriosum autem ad dextrara patris Christum sedere credimus ; ubi dicitur nostris 
malis affici, quod sibi facturum ducat quicquid nobis sit injuriae ; altiorcs speculatio- 
nes scrutari, nee utile nee tutum existimo. Bez. in loc. 

m Rora. viii. 26. 1 Cor. xi. 32. 2 Cor. xi. 30. xii. 9, 10. Gal. iv. 13. 
n Matt. XXV. 34. « Acts ix, 4. Isa. Ixiii. 9. 


as one intimately affected with the state and condition of 
poor Jerusalem, and therefore he hath bid all the world 
take notice, that what is done to them is done to him ; chap, 
ii. 8, 9. yea, to the p apple of his eye. 

[2.] In the second he abounds; Isa. xl. 11. ' He shall 
feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs 
with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead 
them that are with young.' Yea, we have both here together, 
tender compassionateness and assistance. The whole frame 
wherein he is here described, is a "^ frame of the greatest 
•"tenderness, compassion, condescension that can be ima- 
gined. His people are set forth under many infirmities ; 
some are lambs, some great with young, some very tender, 
some burdened with temptations, nothing in any of them all 
strong or comely. To them all, Christ is ' a shepherd, that 
feeds his own sheep, and drives them out to pleasant pasture 5 
where if he sees a poor weak lamb, doth not thrust it on, but 
takes him into his bosom, where he both easeth and refresh- 
eth him ; he leads him gently and tenderly. As did Jacob 
them that were burdened witl\ * young, so doth our dear 
Lord Jesus with his flock in the several ways and paths 
wherein he leads them. When he sees a poor soul weak, 
tender, halting, ready to sink and perish, he takes him into 
his arms by some gracious promise administered to him, 
carries him, bears him up when he is not able to go one 
step forward. Hence is his great quarrel with those shep- 
herds, Ezek. xxxiv. 4. 'Woe be to you shepherds, the dis- 
eased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that 
which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was 
broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven 
away, neither have ye sought that which was lost.' This is 
that which our careful, tender husband would have done. 

So mention being made of his compassionateness and 
fellow-sufFerino; with us, Heb. iv. 15, it is added, ver. 16. 

P Deut. xxxii. 10. Psal.xvii. 8. 
1 En ipse capellas protinus seger ago ; banc etiara vixTylire duco, &c. — Virg. 
•■ Quod frequenter in scriptura. Pastoris nonien Deus usurpat, personamque 
induit, non vulgare est teneri in nos araoris siguum ; nam quum humilis et abjecta 
sit loquendi forma, singuiariter erga nos afFectus sit opportet, qui se nostri causa ita 
demittere non gravatur : rairum itaque nisi tarn blanda et farailiaris imitatio ad cum 
nos alliciat — Calvin in Psal. xxiii. 1. 

' Heb. xiii. 20. 1 Pet. ii. 25. v. 4. Psal. xxiii. 1. Zech. xiii. 7. Isa. xliv. 18. 
Ezek. xxxiv. 23. John x. 11, 12. 16. ' Gen. xsxiii. 13. 


that he administers, xagiv ug tvKaiQov ^or)^tiav, seasonable 
grace, grace for help in a time of need. This is an evidence 
of compassion, when like the Samaritan, we afford seasonable 
help ; to lament our troubles, or miseries without affording 
help, is to no purpose. Now this Christ doth, he gives 
evKaipov [3o{i^£iav seasonable help. Help being a thing that 
regards want, is always excellent ; but its coming in season, 
puts a crown upon it. A pardon to a malefactor when he is 
ready to be executed, is sweet and welcome. Such is the 
assistance given by Christ ; all his saints may take this as 
a sure rule, both in their temptations and afflictions ; when: 
they can want them, they shall not want relief; and when 
they can bear no longer, they shall bc'relieved ; 1 Cor. x. 13. 

So it is said emphatically of him, Heb. ii. 13. *In that 
he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour 
them that are tempted.' It is true, there is something in all 
our temptations more than was in the temptation of Christ. 
There is something in ourselves to take part with every temp- 
tation; and there is enough in ourselves to "tempt us, 
though nothing else should appear against us. With Christ 
it was not so ; John xiv. 30. but this is so far from taking 
off his compassion tovvards us, that on all accounts what- 
ever it doth increase it ; for if he will give us succour be- 
cause we are tempted, the sorer our temptations are, the 
more ready will he be to succour us. Take some instances 
of Christ's giving evKaipov (5o{]^eiav, seasonable help in and 
under temptations unto sin ; now this he doth several 

[1.] By keeping the soul which is liable to temptation 
and exposed to it, in a strong habitual bent against that sin 
that he. is obnoxious to the assaults of. So it was in the 
case of Joseph ; Christ knew that Joseph's great trial, and 
that whereon if he had been conquered he had been undone, 
would lie upon the hand of his mistress tempting him to 
lewdness ; whereupon he kept his heart in a steady frame 
against that sin, as his answer without the least delibera- 
tion argues ; Gen. xxxix. 9. In other things wherein he was 
not so deeply concerned, Joseph's heart was not so fortified 
by habitual grace ; as it appears by his swearing by the 
^life of Pharaoh. This is one way whereby Christ gives 

" James i. 14, 15. " Gen. xlii. 15. 


suitable help to his, in tenderness and compassion. The 
saints in the course of their lives, by the company, society, 
business, they are cast upon, are liable and exposed to 
temptations, great and violent ; some in one kind, some in 
another. Herein is Christ exceedingly kind and tender to 
them in fortifying their hearts with abundance of grace, as 
to that sin, unto temptations whereunto they are most ex- 
posed, when perhaps in other things they are very weak, 
and are often surprised. 

[2.] Christ sometimes, by some strong impulse of actual 
grace, recovers the soul from the very borders of sin. So it 
was in the case of David, 1 Sam. xxiv. 4 — 6. He was almost 
gone, as he speaks himself, his feethad well nigh slipped. The 
temptation was at the door of prevalency when a mighty 
impulse of grace recovers him. To shew his saints what they 
are, their own weakness and infirmity, he sometimes suffers 
them to go to the very edge and brow of the hill, and then 
causeththem to hear a word behind them saying. This is the 
right way, walk in it ; and that with power and efficacy, and 
so recovers them to himself. 

[3.] By taking away the temptation itself, when it grows 
so strong and violent that the poor soul knows not what to 
do. This is called 'delivering the godly out of temptation,' 
2 Pet. ii. 9. as a man is plucked out of the snare, and the 
snare left behind to hold another. This have I known to 
be the case of many in sundry perplexing temptations. 
When they have been quite weary, have tried all means of 
help and assistance, and have not been able to come to a 
comfortable issue, on a sudden, unexpectedly the Lord 
Christ, in his tenderness and compassion, rebukes Satan, 
that they hear not one word more of him as to their temp- 
tation. Christ comes in in the storm, and saith. Peace, be 


[4.] By giving in fresh supplies of grace according as 
temptations do grow or increase. So was it in the case of 
Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 9. ' My grace is sufficient for thee.' The 
temptation, whatever it were, grew high, Paul was earnest 
for its removal, and receives only this answer of the suf- 
ficiency of the grace of God for his supportment, notwith- 
standing all the growth and increase of the temptation. 

[5.] By giving them wisdom, to make a right, holy, and 


Spiritual improvement of all temptations. James bids us '[count 
it all joy, when we fall into manifold temptations ;' James i. 
2. which could not be done, were there not a holy and spi- 
ritual use to be made of them, which also himself mani- 
fests in the words following. There are manifold uses of 
temptations, which experienced Christians, with assistance 
suitable from Christ, may make of them. This is not the 
least that by them we are brought to know ourselves. So 
Hezekiah was left, to be tried to know what was in him. 
By temptation, some bosom, hidden corruption is often- 
times discovered that the soul knew not of before. As it 
was withy Hazael in respect of enormous crimes ; so in les- 
ser things with the saints. They would never have believed 
there had been such lusts and corruptions in them as they 
have discovered upon their temptations. Yea, divers having 
been tempted to one sin, have discovered another that they 
thought not of. As some being tempted to pride, or world- 
liness, or looseness of conversation, have been startled by it 
and led to a discovery of neglect of many duties, and much 
communion with God, which before they thought not of. 
And this is from the tender care of Jesus Christ, giving them 
in suitable help, without which no man can possibly make 
use of, or improve a temptation. And this is a suitable 
help indeed, whereby a temptation which otherwise, or to 
other persons, might be a deadly wound, proves the lanc- 
ing of a festered sore, and the letting out of corruption that 
otherwise might have endangered the life itself. So 1 Pet. 
i. 6. 'If need be ye are in heaviness through manifold temp- 

[6.] ' When the soul is at any time more or less over- 
come by temptations, Christ in his tenderness relieves it with 
mercy and pardon.' So that his shall not sink utterly under 
their burden ; 1 John ii. 1, 2. By one more, or all of these 
ways doth the Lord J^sus manifest his conjugal tenderness 
and compassion towards the saints, in and under their temp- 

(2.) Christ is compassionate towards them in their af- 
flictions ; ' in all their afflictions he is afflicted ;' Isa. Ixiii. 9. 
yea, it seems that all our afflictions (at least those of one 
sort, namely, which consist in persecutions) are his in the 

y 2 Kings viii. 13. 
VOL. X. N 


first place, ours only by participation ; Col. i. 24. ' We^ fill 
lip the measure of the afflictions of Christ.' Two things 
evidently manifest this compassionateness in Christ. 

[1.] * His interceding with his Father for their relief;' 
Zech. i. 12. Christ intercedeth on our behalf not only in re- 
spect of our sins, but also our sufferings ; and when the 
work of our afflictions is accomplished, we shall have the 
relief'' he intercedes for. The Father always hears him. And 
we have not a deliverance from trouble, a recovering of health, 
ease of pain, freedom from any evil that ever laid hold upon 
us, but it is given us, on the intercession of Jesus Christ, 
Believers are unacquainted with their own condition, if they 
look upon their mercies as dispensed in a way of common 
providence. And this may indeed be a cause why we es- 
teem them no more, are no more thankful for them, nor 
fruitful in the enjoyment of them ; we see not how, by what 
means, nor on what account they are dispensed to us. The 
generation of the people of God in the world are at this day 
alive, undevoured, merely on the account of the intercession 
of the Lord Jesus. His compassionateness hath been the 
fountain of their deliverances. Hence oftentimes he rebukes 
their sufferings and afflictions, that they shall not act to the 
utmost upon them, when they are under them. He is with 
them when they pass through fire and water. Isa. xliii. 2, 3. 

[2.] In that he doth and will, in the winding up of the 
matter, so sorely revenge the quarrel of their sufferings 
upon their enemies. He avenges his elect that cry unto him, 
yea, he doth it speedily. The controversy of Sion leads on 
the day of his vengeance ; Isa. xxxiv. 4. He looks upon them 
sometimes in distress, and considers what is the state of the 
world in reference to them ; Zach. i. 11. 'We have walked 
to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth 
still, and is at rest ;' say his messengers to him, whom he 
sent to consider the world and its condition, during the af- 
fliction of his people. This commonly is the condition of 
the world in such a season; they are at rest and quiet, their 
hearts are abundantly satiated ;^ they drink wine in bowls, 
and send gifts one to another. Then Christ looks to see 

' * Twv maQrifxci.rcev Christi duo sunt genera : 'srpore^iifji.ara, quse passus est in corpora 
9U0, eti)crTig>ijtiaTa., qu8s in Sanctis. Zanc. in. loc. 

» Heb. vii. 25. " Amos vi. 3— 6. Rev, xi. 10. 


who will come in for their succour ; Isa. lix. 16, 17. and find- 
ing none engaging himself for their relief, by the destruc- 
tion of their adversaries, himself undertakes it. Now this 
vengeance he accomplishes two ways. 

1st. Temporally upon persons, kingdoms, nations, and 
countries, a type whereof you have, Isa. Ixiii. 1 — 6. As he 
did it upon the old Roman world ; Rev. vi. 16. and this also 
he doth two ways. 

(1st.) By calling out here and there an eminent opposer, 
and making him an example to all the world ; so he dealt 
with Pharaoh, for this cause have I raised thee up ; Exod. ix. 
16. So he doth to this day, he lays his hand upon eminent 
adversaries ; fills one with fury, another with folly, blasts a 
third, and makes another wither, or destroys them utterly 
and terribly. As a provoked lion, he lies not down without 
his prey. 

(2dly.) In general, in the vials of his wrath which he 
will in these latter days pour out upon the antichristian 
world, and all that partake with them in their thoughts of 
vengeance and persecution. He will miserably destroy them, 
and make such work with them in the issue, that whosoever 
hears, both his ears shall tingle. 

2dly. In eternal vengeance will he plead with the ad- 
versaries of his beloved ; Matt. xxv. 41 — 44. 2 Thess. i. 6. 
Jude 15. It is hence evident, that Christ abounds in pity 
and compassion towards his beloved. Instances might be 
multiplied, but these things are obvious and occur to the 
thoughts of all. 

In answer to this, I place in the saints, chastity unto 
Christ in every state and condition. That this might be the 
state of the church of Corinth, the apostle made it his en- 
deavour ; 2 Cor. xi. 2, 3. 'I have espoused you to one hus- 
band, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 
And I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve 
through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted 
from the simplicity that is in Christ.' And so is it said of 
the followers of the Lamb, on mount Sion, Rev. xiv. 4. 
'These are they that are not defiled with women, for they are 
virgins :' what defilement that was they were free from, shall 
be afterward declared. 

Now there are three things wherein this chastity consists. 
N 2 


(1.) The not taking any thing into their affections and 
esteem for those ends and purposes for which they have re- 
ceived Jesus Christ. Here the Galatians failed in their con- 
jugal affection to Christ; they preserved not themselves 
chaste to him; they had received Christ for life, and justi- 
fication, and him only ; but being after awhile overcome with"^ 
charms, or bewitched, they took into the same place with 
him the righteousness of the law. How Paul deals with 
them hereupon is known ; how sorely, how pathetically doth 
he admonish them, how severely reproved them, how clearly 
convince them of their madness and folly ! This then is the 
first chaste affection believers bear in their heart to Christ ; 
having received him for their righteousness and salvation 
before God, for the fountain, spring, and well-head of all 
their supplies, they will not now receive any other thing 
into his room, and in his stead. As to instance in one par- 
ticular. We receive him for our** acceptance with God ; all 
that here can stand in competition with him for our affec- 
tions, must be our own endeavours for a ^righteousness to 
commend us to God. Now this must be either before we 
receive him, or after ; for all duties and endeavours, of what 
sort soever, for the pleasing of God before our receiving of 
Christ, you know what was the apostles frame ; Phil. iii. 8 
— 10. all endeavours, all advantages, all privileges, he rejects 
with indignation as loss, with abomination as dung ; and 
winds up all his aims and desires in Christ alone and his righ- 
teousness for those ends and purposes. But the works we 
do after we have received Christ, are of another considera- 
tion. Indeed they are acceptable to God ; it pleaseth him 
that we should walk in them ; but as to that end for which 
we receive Christ, of no other account than the former ; Eph. 
ii. 8 — 10. Even the works we do after believing, those which 
we are created unto in Christ Jesus, those that God hath 
ordained that believers should walk in them, as to justifica- 
tion and acceptance with God, here called salvation, are ex- 
cluded. It will one day appear that Christ abhors the jan- 
glings of men, about the place of their own works and obe- 
dience, in the business of their acceptation with God. Nor 
will the saints find any peace in adulterous thoughts of that 
kind. The chastity we owe unto him, requires another frame. 

<= Gal. iii. 1. J Cor. i. 30. «Rom. x.4. 


The necessity, usefulness, and excellency of gospel obedience 
shall be afterward declared. It is marvellous to see how 
hard it is to keep some professors to any faithfulness with 
Christ in this thing; how many disputes have been manag- 
ed,*" how many distinctions invented, how many shifts and 
evasions studied, to keep up something in some place or 
other, to some purpose or other, that they may dally withal. 
Those that love him indeed, are otherwise minded. 

Herein then of all things, do the saints endeavour to 
keep their affections chaste and loyal to Jesus Christ. He is 
made unto them of God 'righteousness,' and they will own 
nothing else to that purpose ; yea, sometimes they know 
not whether they have any interest in him or no ; he ab- 
sents and withdraws himself, they still continue solitary in 
a state of widowhood, refusing to be comforted, though many 
things offer themselves to that purpose, because he is not. 
When Christ is at any time absent from the soul, when it 
cannot see that it hath any interest in him, many lovers 
offer themselves to it, many woo its affections to get it to 
rest on this or that thing for relief and succour ; but though 
it go mourning never so long, it will have nothing but Christ 
to lean upon. Whenever the soul is in the wilderness, in 
the saddest condition, there it will stay until Christ come 
for to take it up ; until it can come forth leaning upon him; 
Cant. viii. 5. The many instances of this that the book of 
Canticles affords us, we have in part spoken of before. 

This doth he who hath communion with Christ; he 
watcheth diligently over his own heart, that nothing creep 
into its affections to give it any peace or establishment be- 
fore God, but Christ only. Whenever that question is to 
be answered, 'Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and 
appear before the high God V he doth not gather up, this 
or that I will do, or here and there I will watch and amend 
my ways ; but instantly he cries, ' In the Lord Jesus, have I^ 
righteousness ;' all my desire is to be ' found in him, not hav- 
ing on my own righteousness.' 

(2.) In cherishing that Spirit, that holy Comforter which 
Christ sends to us, to abide with us in his room and stead; 
he tells us that he sends him to that purpose, John xvi. 7. 

'Pcrlicelioc piecibus, pretio, ut lirereamin parte aliqua tanUeni, &c. 
e Isa. xlv. 24. Phil. iii. 9. Hab. ii. l. <1. 


he gives him to us, ' Vicariam navare operam/ saith Tertul- 
lian, to abide with us for ever, for all those ends and pur- 
poses which he hath to fulfil towards us, and upon us ; he 
gives him to dwell in us, to keep us, and preserve us blame- 
less for himself; his name is in him, and with him; and it 
is upon his account that whatever is done to any of Christ's, 
is done to him, because it is done to them in whom he is 
and dwells by his Spirit. Now herein do the saints pre- 
serve their conjugal affections entire to Christ, that they la- 
bour by all means not to grieve his Holy Spirit, which he 
hath sent in his stead to abide with them. This the apo- 
stle puts them in mind of, Eph. iv. 30. * Grieve not the 
Holy Spirit.' 

There be two main ends for which Christ sends his Spirit 
to believers. 

[1.] For their sanctification. 

[2.] For their consolation ; to which two all the particular 
acts of purging, teaching, anointing, and the rest that are 
ascribed to him may be referred. So there be two ways 
whereby we may grieve him. 

1st. In respect of sanctification. 

2dly. In respect of consolation. 

1st. In respect of sanctification; he is the Spirit of ho- 
liness; holy in himself, and the author of holiness in us, he 
works it in us ; Tit. iii. 5. and he persuades us to it, by those 
motions of his which are not to be*" quenched. Now this in 
the first place grieves the Spirit, when he is carrying on in 
us, and for us, a work so infinitely for our advantage, and 
without which we cannot see God, that we should run cross 
to him in ways of unholiness, pollution, and defilement. So 
the connexion of the words in the place before-mentioned 
manifests; Eph. iv. 28 — 31. and thence doth Paul bottom 
his powerful and most effectual jjersuasion unto holiness, 
even from the abode and indwelling of this Holy Spirit with 
us ; 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17. Indeed, what can grieve a loving and 
tender friend more than to oppose him and slight him, when 
he is most intent about our good ; and that a good of the 
greatest consequence to us ? In this then believers make it 
their business to keep their hearts loyal and their affections 
chaste to Jesus Christ. They labour instantly not to grieve 

h 2 Thess. V. 19. 


the Holy Spirit by loose and foolish, by careless and negli- 
gent walking, which he hath sent to dwell and abide with 
them. Therefore, shall no anger, wrath, malice, envy, dwell 
in their hearts, because they are contrary to the holy meek 
Spirit of Christ which he hath given to dwell with them. 
They attend to his motions, make use of his assistance, im- 
prove his gifts, and nothing lies more upon their spirits 
than that they may walk worthy of the presence of this holy 
substitute of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

2dly. As to consolation; this is the second great end 
for which Christ gives and sends his Spirit to us, who from 
thence by the way of eminency is called the Comforter ; to 
this end he seals us, anoints us, establishes us, and give us 
peace and joy; of all which I shall afterward speak at 
large. Now there be two ways, whereby he may be grieved 
as to this end of his mission, and our chastity to Jesus Christ 
thereby violated. 

(1st.) By placing our comforts and joys in other things, 
and not being filled with joy in the Holy Ghost. When we 
make creatures or creature comforts, any thing whatever, 
but what we receive by the Spirit of Christ, to be our joy 
and our delight, we are false with Christ. So was it with 
Deraas,' who loved the present world. When the ways of 
the Spirit of God are grievous and burdensome to us, when 
we say when will the sabbath be past that we may exact all 
our labours? when our delight and refreshment lies in earthly 
things, we are unsuitable to Christ. May not his Spirit say, 
Why do I still abide with these poor souls? I provide them 
joys unspeakable and glorious, but they refuse them for pe- 
rishing things ; I provide them spiritual, eternal, abiding 
consolations, and it is all rejected for a thing of nought. 
This Christ cannot bear ; wherefore believers are exceed- 
ing careful in this, not to place their joy and consolation in 
any thing but what is administered by the Spirit. Their 
daily work is to get their hearts crucified to the world and 
the things of it, and the world to their hearts, that they 
may not have living affections to dying things ; they would 
fain look on the world, as a crucified dead thing, that hath 
neither form nor beauty ; and if at any times they have been 
entangled with creatures and inferior contentment, and have 

• 2 Tim. iv. 10. 


lost their better joys, they cry out to Christ, O restore to 
us the joys of thy Spirit ! 

2dly. He is grieved when through darkness and unbe- 
lief we will not, do not receive those consolations which he 
tenders to us, and which he is abundantly willing that we 
should receive; but of this I shall have occasion to speak 
afterward in handling our communion with the Holy Ghost. 

(3.) In his institutions, or matter and manner of his wor- 
ship, Christ marrying his church to himself, taking it to that 
relation, still expresseth the main of their chaste and choice 
affections to him, to lie in their keeping his institutions and 
his worship according to his appointment. The breach of 
this he calls 'adultery' every where, and 'whoredom ;' he is a 
jealous God, and he gives himself that title only in respect 
of his institutions. And the whole apostacy of the Chris- 
tian church unto false worship is called ^ ' fornication,' and 
the church that leads the others to false worship, the 'mother 
of harlots.' On this account, those believers who really at- 
tend to communion with Jesus Christ, do labour to keep 
their hearts chaste to him in his ordinances, institutions, 
and worship, and that two ways. 

[1.] They will receive nothing, practice nothing, own 
nothing in his worship, but what is of his appointment. 
They know that from the foundation of the world he never 
did allow, nor ever will, that in any thing the will of the 
creatures should be the measure of his honour, or the prin- 
ciple of his worship, either as to matter or manner. It was 
a witty and true sense that one gave of the second com- 
mandment; ' Non imago, nonsimulachrum prohibetur; sed 
non facies tibi :' it is a making to ourselves, an inventing, a 
finding out ways of worship or means of honouring God, 
not by him appointed, that is so severely forbidden. Be- 
lievers know what entertainment all will worship finds with 
God: 'Who hath required these things at your hands?' 
and, 'In vain do you worship me, teaching for doctrines the 
traditions of men,' is the best it meets with. I shall take 
leave to say what is upon my heart, and what (the Lord as- 
sisting) I shall willingly endeavour to make good against 
all the world ; namely, that that principle, that the church 
hath power to institute and appoint any thing or ceremony 

•* Rev. xvii. 5. 


belonging to the worship of God, either as to matter or to 
manner, beyond the orderly observance of such circumstances 
as necessarily attend such ordinances as Christ himself hath 
instituted, lies at the bottom of all the horrible superstition 
and idolatry, of all the confusion, blood, persecution, and 
wars, that have for so long a season spread themselves over 
the face of the Christian world ; and that it is the design of 
a great part of the revelation, to make a discovery of this 
truth. And I doubt not but that the great controversy 
which God hath had with this nation for so many years, and 
which he hath pursued with so much anger and indignation, 
was upon this account ; that, contrary to that glorious light 
of the gospel which shone among us, the wills and fancies 
of men, under the name of order, decency, and the authority 
of the church (a chimera that none knew what it was, nor 
wherein the power of it did consist, nor in whom reside), 
were imposed on men; in the ways and worship of God. 
Neither was all that pretence of glory, beauty, comeliness, 
and conformity, that then was pleaded, any thing more or 
less, than what God doth so describe in the church of Israel, 
Ezek. xvi. 25, and forwards. Hence was the Spirit of God 
in prayer derided, hence was the powerful preaching of the 
gospel despised, hence was the sabbath decried, hence was 
holiness stigmatized and persecuted ; to what end ? that 
Jesus Christ might be deposed from the sole privilege and 
power of law-making in his church ; that the true husband 
might be thrust aside, and adulterers of his spouse em- 
braced ; that taskmasters might be appointed in and over 
his house, which he never gave to his church ; Eph. iv. 12. 
that a ceremonious, pompous, outward shew worship, drawn 
from pagan, judaical, and antichristian observations might 
be introduced ; of all which there is not one word, tittle, or 
iota, in the whole book of God ; this then, they who hold 
communion with Christ are careful of, they will admit of 
nothing, practice nothing in the worship of God, private or 
public, but what they have his warrant for ; unless it comes 
in his name, with * Thus saith the Lord Jesus,' they will not 
hear an angel from heaven. They know the apostles them- 
selves were to teach the saints only what Christ commanded 
them; Matt, xxviii. 20. You know how many in this very 
nation, in the days not long since passed, yea, how many 


thousands left their native soil, and went into a vast and 
howling wilderness in the utmost parts of the world, to keep 
their souls undefiled and chaste to their dear Lord Jesus, as 
to this of his worship and institutions. 

[2.] They readily embrace, receive, and practise every 
thing that the Lord Christ hath appointed. They inquire 
diligently into his mind and will, that they may know it. 
They go to him for directions, and beg of him to lead them 
in the way they have not known. The 119th Psalm may be 
a pattern for this. How doth the good holy soul breathe after 
instruction in the ways and ordinances, the statutes and 
judgments of God? This, I say, they are tender in; what- 
ever is of Christ, they willingly submit unto, accept of, and 
give up themselves to the constant practice hereof. What- 
ever comes on any other account they refuse. 

(4.) Christ manifests and evidences his love to his saints 
in away of bounty, in that rich plentiful provision he makes 
for them. It hath ' pleased the Father that in him all fulness 
should dwell ;' Col. i. 19. and that for this end, * that of his 
fulness we might all receive grace for grace;' Johni. 16. 1 
shall not insist upon the particulars of that provision which 
Christ makes for his saints, with all those influences of the 
Spirit of life and grace, that daily they receive from him, 
that bread that he gives them to the full, the refreshment 
they have from him ; I shall only observe this, that the 
Scripture affirms him to do all things for them in an abun- 
dant manner, or to do it richly in a way of bounty. What- 
ever he gives us, his grace to assist us, his presence to com- 
fort us, he doth it abundantly. You have the general as- 
sertion of it, Rom. V. 20. ' Where sin abounded, grace did 
abound much more.' If grace abound much more in com- 
parison of sin, it is abundant grace indeed, as will easily be 
granted by any that shall consider how sin hath abounded 
and doth in every soul. Hence he is said to be able, and 
we are bid to expect that he should do for us exceeding 
'abundantly above what we can ask or think;' Eph. iii. 20. 
Is it pardoning mercy we receive of him ? why he doth abun- 
dantly pardon ; Isa. Iv. 7. he will multiply or add to pardon, 
he will add pardon to pardon, that grace and mercy shall 
abound above all our sins and iniquities. Is it the Spirit he 
gives us ? he sheds him upon us richly or abundantly ; Tit. 


iii. 6. not only bidding us drink of the waters of life freely, 
but also bestowing hira in such a plentiful measure that 
rivers of water shall flow from them that receive him; John 
vii. 38, 39. that they shall never thirst any more who have 
drank of him. Is it grace that we receive of him? he gives 
that also in a way of bounty ; we receive abundance of 
grace; Rom. v. 17. he abounds towards us in all wisdom 
and prudence; Eph. i. 18. Henceisthatinvitation,Cant.v. 1. 
If in any things then we are straitened, it is in ourselves, 
Christ deals bountifully with us. Indeed, the great sin of be- 
lievers is, that they make not use of Christ's bounty as they 
ought to do ; that we do not every day take of him mercy 
in abundance. The oil never ceaseth, till the vessels cease ; 
supplies from Christ fail not but only when our faith fails in 
receiving them. 

4. Then our return to Christ is in a way of duty ; unto 
this two things are required. 

(1.) That we follow after and practise holiness in the 
power of it, as it is obedience unto Jesus Christ; under this 
formality, as obedience to him. All gospel-obedience is 
called, 'whatsoever Christ commands us;' Matt, xxviii. 20. 
and, saith he, John xv. 14. * ye are my friends if you do what 
I command you ;' and it is required of us that we live to him 
who died for us ; 2 Cor. v. 15. * live to him in all holy obe- 
dience, live to him as our Lord and King,' Not that I sup- 
pose there are peculiar precepts and a peculiar law of Jesus 
Christ, in the observance whereof we are justified, as the 
Socinians fancy ; for surely the gospel requires of us no 
more, * but to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and 
all our souls,' which the law also required ; but that the Lord 
Jesus having brought us into a condition of acceptance with 
God, wherein our obedience is well-pleasing to him, and we 
being to honour him as we honour the Father, that we have 
a respect and peculiar regard to him in all our obedience ; 
so Tit. ii. 14. ' he hath purchased us unto himself;' and thus 
believers do in their obedience, they eye Jesus Christ. 

[1.] As the author of their faith and obedience, for whose 
sake it is given to them to believe ; Phil. i. 29. and who by 
his Spirit works that obedience in them. So the apostle, 
Heb. xii. 1, 2. in the course of our obedience we still look 


to Jesus ' the author of our faith ;* faith is here both the grace 
of faith, and the fruit of it in obedience. 

[2.] As he, in, for, and by whom we have acceptance with 
God in our obedience. They know all their duties are weak, 
imperfect, not able to abide the presence of God ; and there- 
fore they look to Christ as he who bears the iniquity of their 
holy things, who adds incense to their prayers, gathers out 
all the weeds of their duties, and makes them acceptable to 

[3.] As one that hath renewed the commands of God 
unto them with mighty obligations unto obedience. So the 
apostle, 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. * the love of Christ constrains us ;' 
of which afterward. 

[4.] They consider him as God equal with his Father, to 
whom all honour and obedience is due ; so Rev. v. 14. But 
these things I have not long since opened^ in another trea- 
tise dealing about the worship of Christ as mediator. This 
then the saints do in all their obedience ; they have a spe- 
cial regard to their dear Lord Jesus. He is on all these ac- 
counts and innumerable others continually in their thoughts ; 
his love to them, his life for them, his death for them, all 
his kindness and mercy constrains them to live to him. 

(2.) By labouring to abound in fruits of holiness ; as he 
deals with us in a way of bounty, and deals out unto us 
abundantly, so he requires that we abound in all grateful, 
obediential returns to him ; so we are exhorted ' to be 
always abounding in the work of the Lord ;' 1 Cor. xv. 58. 
This is that I intend ; the saints are not satisfied with that 
measure that at any time they have attained, but are still 
pressing that they may be more dutiful, more fruitful to 

And this is a little glimpse, of some of that communion 
which we enjoy with Christ. It is but a little from him, who 
hath the least experience of it, of all the saints of God, 
who yet hath found that in it, which is better than ten thou- 
sand worlds ; who desires to spend the residue of the few 
and evil days of his pilgrimage, in pursuit hereof, in the con- 
templation of the excellencies, desirableness, love, and 
grace of our dear Lord Jesus, and in making returns of obe- 

• Vindicia Evangel, cliap. 13. 


dience according to his will ; to whose soul in the midst of 
the perplexities of this wretched world, and cursed rebellions 
of his own heart, this is the great relief, that ' he that shall 
come, will come, and will not tarry; the spirit and the bride 
say. Come; and let him that readeth say, Come ; even so come 
Lord Jesus.' 


Of communion with Christ in purcliased grace : purchased grace considered 
in respect of its rise and fountain. The first rise of it, in the obedience 
of Christ. Obedience properly ascribed to Christ. Ttvo ways considered: 
what it teas, and wherein it did consist. Of his obedience to the law in 
general. Of the laiv of the Mediator. His habitual righteousness how 
necessary, as also his obedience to the law of the Mediator. Of his actual 
obedience or active righteousness. All Christ's obedience performed as he 
was Mediator. His active obedience for us. This proved at large ; Gal. 
iv, 4, 5. Rom. v. 19. Phil. iii. 19. Zacli. iii. 3—5. One objection re- 
moved. Considerations of Christ's active righteousness closed. Of the 
death of Christ, and its influence into our acceptation with God; a price ; 
redemption, what it is. A sacrifice ; atonement made thereby ; a pu- 
nishment ; satisfaction thereby. The intercession of Christ ; with its 
influence into our acceptation with God. 

Our process is now to communion with Christ, in purchased 
grace ; as it was before proposed. * That we may know him, 
and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his 
suffering, and be made conformable to his death ;' Phil, 
iii. 10. 

By purchased grace I understand all that righteousness 
and grace which Christ hath procured, or wrought out for 
us, or doth by any means make us partakers of, or bestows 
on us for our benefit, by any thing that he hath done, or suf- 
fered, or by any thing he continueth to do as mediator. 

First, What this purchased grace is, and wherein it doth 

Secondly, How we hold communion with Christ therein : 
are the things that now come under consideration. 

The first may be considered two ways. 

1. In respect of the rise and fountain of it. 

2. Of its nature, or wherein it consisteth. 


1. It hath a threefold rise, spring, or causality in Christ. 
(1.) The obedience of his life. 

(2.) The suffering of his death. 

(3,) His continued intercession. All the actions of Christ 
as Mediator, leading to the communication of grace unto us, 
may be either referred to these heads, or to some things that 
are subservient to them, or consequents of them. 

2. For the nature of this grace wherein we have commu- 
nion with Christ flowing from these heads and fountains, it 
may be referred to these three. 

(1.) Grace of justification or acceptation with God, 
which makes a relative change in us, as a state and con- 

(2.) Grace of sanctification or holiness before God, 
which makes a real change in us, as to principle and ope- 

(3.) Grace of privilege, which is mixed, as we shall 
shew, if I go forth to the handling thereof. 

Now, that we have communion with Christ in this pur- 
chased grace, is evident on this single consideration ; that 
there is almost nothing that Christ hath done, which is a 
spring of that grace whereof we speak, but we are said to do 
it with him. We are crucified with him ; Gal. ii. 20. we 
are dead with him ; 2 Tim. ii. 11, Col. iii. 3. and buried with 
him; Rom. vi. 4. Col. ii. 12. we are quickened together with 
him; Col, ii. 13. risen with him ; Col. iii. 1. 'He hath quick- 
ened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, 
and made us sit together in heavenly places;' Eph. ii. 5, 6. 
In the actings of Christ, there is, by virtue of the compact 
between him as mediator and the Father, such an assured 
foundation laid of the communication of the fruits of those 
actings, unto those in whose stead he performed them, that 
they are said, in the participation of those fruits, to have 
done the same things with him. The life and power of 
which truth, we may have occasion hereafter to inquire into. 

(1.) The first fountain and spring of this grace wherein 
we have our communion with Christ, is first to be considered ; 
and that is the obedience of his life concerning which it must 
be declared, 

[1.] What it is that is intended thereby; and wherein it 


[2.] What influence it hath into the grace whereof we 

To the handhng of this, I shall only premise this observa- 
tion ; namely, that in the order of procurement, the life of 
Christ (as was necessary) precedeth his death, and there- 
fore we shall handle it in the first place ; but in the order of 
application, the benefits of his death are bestowed on us, 
antecedently in the nature of the things themselves, unto 
those of his life ; as will appear, and that necessarily from 
the state and condition wherein we are. 

[1.] By the obedience of the life of Christ, I intend the 
universal conformity of the Lord Jesus Christ, as he was, or 
is in his being Mediator, to the whole will of God ; and his 
complete actual fulfilling of the whole of every law of God, 
or doing of all that God in them required. He might have 
been perfectly holy by obedience to the law of creation, the 
moral law, as the angels were ; neither could any more as a 
man walking with God be required of him. But he sub- 
mitted himself also to every law or ordinance that was in- 
troduced upon the occasion of sin, which on his own account 
he could not be subject to, it becoming him to fulfil =^all 
righteousness ; Matt. iii. 15. as he spake in reference to a 
newly instituted ceremony. 

That obedience is properly ascribed unto Jesus Christ, 
as mediator, the Scripture is witness, both as to name and 
thino-. Heb. v. 8. ' Though he were a Son, yet learned he 
obedience, &c.' yea, he was obedient in his sufferings, and it 
was that which gave life to his death; Phil. ii. 8. He was 
obedient to d«ath ; for therein, ' he did make his soul an of- 
fering for sin ;' Isa. liii. 10. or * his soul made an offering for 
sin' as it is interpreted, ver. 12. He poured out his soul to 
death, or his soul poured out itself unto death. And he not 
only sanctified himself to be an offering, John xvii. 9. but 
he also * offered up himself,' Heb. ix. 14. an ' offering of a 
sweet savour to God ;'Eph. v. 2. Hence, as to the whole of 
his work, he is called the * Father's servant ;' Isa. xlii. 1. and 

2 Vox haec Smaionvri, latissime sumitur, ita ut significet non modo to vofxifA,ov, sed 
et quicquid ullam sequi atque boni habet rationera ; nam lex Mosis de hoc baptismo 
nihil praescripserat. Grot. 

Per ^maioa-vvn Christus hie non designat justitiara legalem, sed ut ita loqui liceat 
personalem ; ro-ar^iiirov persouse, etTo na&wov muneri. Walaj. 

T>i 0v(rti xa&apoc xeti ayiof. Cleill. 


ver. 19. And he professes of himself that he 'came into the 
world, to do the will of God, the will of him that sent him ;' 
for which he manifests 'his great readiness;' Heb. x. 7. all 
which evince his obedience. But I suppose I need not in- 
sist on the proof of this, that Christ in the work of media- 
tion, and as mediator, was obedient and did what he did, 
willingly and cheerfidly in obedience to God. 

Now this obedience of Christ may be considered two 

1st. As to the habitual root and fountain of it. 

2dly. As to the actual parts or duties of it. 

1st. The habitual righteousness of Christ as mediator in 
his human nature, was the absolute, complete, exact con- 
formity of the soul of Christ, to the will, mind, or law of God ; 
or his perfect habitually inherent righteousness. This he 
had necessarily from the grace of union, from whence it is, 
that that which was born of the virgin was a ' holy thing;' 
Luke i. 35. It was, I say, necessary consequentially that it 
should be so ; though the effecting of it were by the free 
operations of the Spirit ; Luke ii. 52. He had an all-fulness 
of grace on all accounts. This the apostle describes, Heb. 
vii. 26. ' Such a High-priest became us, holy, harmless, un- 
defiled, separate from sinners.' Every way separate and 
distant from sin and sinners he was to be. Whence he is 
called the ' Lamb of God without spot or blemish ;' 1 Pet. 
i. 19. This habitual holiness of Christ was inconceivably 
above that of the angels. He who ' ''chargeth his angels with 
folly; Job iv. 18. who putteth no trust in his saints, and in 
whose sight the heavens' (or their inhabitants) * are not 
clean ;' chap. xv. 15. always embraceth him in his bosom, 
and is always well pleased with him; Matt. iii. 17. And 
the reason of this is, because every other creature though 
never so holy, hath the Spirit of God by measure ; but he 
was not * given to Christ by measure ;' John iii. 34. and that 
because it pleased him, that in him 'all fulness should 
dwell ;' Col. i. 19. This habitual grace of Christ, though 
not absolutely infinite, yet in respect of any other creature, 
it is as the water of the sea, to the water of a pond or pool. 

•> De angelis loquitur, qui si cum Deo conferantur, aut si eos secum Deus conferat, 
non habens rationem eorum quae in illis posuit, et dotium ac donorum quae in ilios 
contulit, et quibus eos exornavit et illustravit, inveniat eos stolidos. Sane quicquid 
habent angeli a Deo habent. Mercer, in loc. 


All other creatures are depressed from perfection by this, 
that they subsist in a created, dependent lieing, and so have 
the fountain of what is communicated to them, without them. 
But the human nature of Christ subsists in the person of the 
Son of God, and so hath the bottom and fountain of its ho- 
liness, in the strictest unity with itself. 

2dly. The actual obedience of Christ (as was said) was 
his willing-, cheerful, obediential performance of every thing, 
duty, or command, that God, by virtue of any law, whereto 
we were subject and obnoxious, did require ; and moreover 
to the peculiar law of the Mediator. Hereof then are two 

(1st.) That whatever was required of us by virtue of any 
law, that he did and fulfilled. Whatever was required of us 
by the law of nature in our state of innocency, whatever 
kind of duty was added by morally positive, or ceremonial 
institutions, whatever is required of us in way of obedience 
to righteous, judicial laws, he did it all. Hence he is said 
to be 'made under the law;' Gal. iv. 4. subject or obnoxious 
to it, to all the precepts or commands of it. So Matt. iii. 15. 
he said, it became him to " fulfil all righteousness,' Trao-ar dc- 
KaiocTvvrfv, all manner of righteousness whatever; that is, 
every thing that God required, as is evident from the appli- 
cation of that general axiom to the baptism of John. I shall 
not need for this to go to particular instances, in the duties 
of the law of nature, to God and his parents; of morally 
positive in the sabbath, and other acts of worship; of the 
ceremonial law, in circumcision, and observation of all the 
rites of the judaical church; of the judicial, in paying tri- 
bute to governors; it will suffice, I presume, that on the one 
hand he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth, 
and on the other, that he fulfilled all righteousness, and 
thereupon the Father was always well pleased with him : 
this was that which he owned of himself, that he came to 
do the will of God, and he did it. 

(2dly.) There was a peculiar law of the Mediator, which 
respected himself merely, and contained all those acts and 
duties of his, which are not for our imitation. So that obe- 

* Fuit legis servituti siilijoctiis, ut eani implendo tios ab ea reilimerct, et ab cjiw 
yervitute. Bez. 

VOL. X. O 


dience which he shewed in dying, was peculiarly to this ''law ; 
John X. 18. I have power to lay down my life. ' This com- 
mandment have I received of my Father.' As mediator, he 
received this peculiar command of his Father, that he should 
lay down his life and take it again, and he was obedient 
thereunto. Hence we say, he, who is mediator, did some 
things merely as a man subject to the law of God in general, 
so he prayed for his persecutors, those that put him to death ; 
Luke xxiii. 24. some things as mediator ; so he prayed for 
his elect only; John xvii. 9. There were not worse in the 
world really and evidently, than many of them that crucified 
him ; yet as a man, subject to the law, he forgave them and 
prayed for them. When he prayed as mediator, his Father 
always heard him and answered him, John xi. 41. and in 
the other prayers, he was accepted as one exactly perform- 
ing his duty. 

This, then, is the obedience of Christ, which was the 
first thing proposed to be considered. The next is, 

[2.] That it hath an influence into the grace of which we 
speak, wherein we hold communion with him, namely, our 
free acceptation with God ; what that influence is, must also 
follow in its order. 

1st. For his habitual righteousness, I shall only propose 
it under these two considerations. 

(1st.) That upon this supposition, that it was needful 
that we should have a mediator that was God and man in 
one person, as it could not otherwise be, it must needs be 
that he must be so holy. For although there be but one 
primary necessary effect of the hypostatical union, which is 
the subsistence of. the human nature in the person of the 
Son of God, yet that he that was so united to him, should 
be a holy thing, completely holy, was necessary also ; of 
which before. 

(2dly.) That the relation which this righteousness of 
Christ hath to the grace we receive from him, is only this, 
that thereby, he was 'Uavog, fit to do all that he had to do 
for us. This is the intendment of the apostle, Heb. vii. 26. 

^ Propriiim objectum obedientiae est praeceptum, taciturn vel expressum, id est, 
voluntas superioris quocunque raodo innotescat. Thorn. 2. 2. q. 2. 5. Deut. xviii. 
18. Actsiii, 22. Johu xii. 49. xiv. 31. vi. 38. v. 30. 


such a one became us : it was needful he should be such a 
one, that he might do what he had to do. And the reasons 
hereof are two. 

[1st.] Had he not been completely furnished with habi- 
tual grace, he could never have actually fulfilled the righte- 
ousness, which was required at his hands. It was therein 
that he was able to do all that he did. So himself lays 
down the presence of the Spirit with him as the bottom and 
foundation of his going forth to his work; Isa. Ixi. 1. 

[2dly.] He could not have been a complete and perfect 
sacrifice, nor have answered all the types and figures of him, 
that were ^complete and without blemish ; but now Christ 
having this habitual righteousness, if he had never yielded 
any continued obedience to the law actively, but had suf- 
fered as soon after his incarnation, as Adam sinned after his 
creation, he had been a fit sacrifice and offering, and there- 
fore, doubtless, his following obedience hath another use, 
besides to fit him for an oblation, for which he was most fit 
without it. 

2dly. For Christ's obedience to the law of mediation, 
wherein it is not coincident with his passive obedience as 
they speak (for I know that expression is improper), it was 
that which was requisite for the discharging of his office, 
and is not imputed unto us, as though we had done it, though 
the aTrortXto-juara and fruits of it are; but is of the nature of 
his intercession, whereby he provides the good things we 
stand in need of, at least subserviently to his oblation and 
intercession; of which more afterward. 

3dly. About his actual fulfilling of the law, or doing all 
things that of us are required, there is some doubt and ques- 
tion ; and about it there are three several opinions. 

(1st.) That this active obedience of Christ, hathjio far- 
ther influence into our justification and acceptation with 
God, but as it was preparatory to his blood-shedding and 
oblation, which is the sole cause of our justification, the 

e Praecipitur, Levit. xxii. 20. ne offeratur pecus in quo sit. DV3 nunn, id est 
corporis vitiuni : a DID efficiturj(AaJ;Uo; 'culpa:' uncle Christus (Wc'itur af/.M[xo;, • incul- 
patu3:'opponitur autem DID ri DiCO, hoc est ' integrum.' ibid. ver. 19. etsic Exod. 
xii. 5. prcecipiturde agno pascliali.ut fit D'DU, id est ' integer,' oinnis scilicet vitii ex- 
pers. Idem praBcipitur de agnis jugis sacrificii ; Numb, xxviii. 3. quo ipsa nimirura 
sanctitas Christi tanquam victimae prajfiguralse sunt. Piscat. in 1 Pet. i, 19. 


whole righteousness which is imputed to us arising from 

(2dly.)That it may be considered two ways ; 

[1st.] As it is purely obedience, and so it hath no other 
state, but that before-mentioned. 

[2dly.] As it was accomplished with suffering, and joined 
with it, as it was partof his humiliation, so it is imputed to us, 
or is part of that, upon the account whereof, we are justified. 

(3dly.) That this obedience of Christ being done for us, 
is reckoned graciously of God, unto us, and upon the ac- 
count thereof are we accepted as righteous before him. My 
intendment is not to handle this difference in the way of a 
controversy, but to give such an understanding of the v/hole 
as may speedily be reduced to the practice of godliness and 
consolation; and this 1 shall do in the ensuing observations. 

[1st.] That the obedience that Christ yielded to the law 
in general, is not only to the peculiar law of the Mediator, 
though he yielded it as mediator, he was incarnate as media- 
tor; Heb. ii. 14. Gal. iv. 4. And all he afterward did, 
it was as our Mediator : for that cause * came he into the 
world,' and did and suffered, whatever he did or suffered, in 
this world. So that of this expression, as mediator, there is 
a twofold sense : for it may be taken strictly, as relating 
solely to the law of the Mediator, and so Christ may be said 
to do as mediatoi', only what he did in obedience to that 
law ; but in the sense now insisted on, whatever Christ did 
as a man subject to any law, he did it as mediator, because he 
did it as part of the duty incumbent on him, who undertook 
so to be. 

[2dly.] That whatever Christ did as mediator, he did it 
for them whose Mediator he was, or in whose stead, and for 
whose good he executed the office of a mediator before 
God ; this the Holy Ghost witnesseth, Rom. viii. 3. ' What 
the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, 
God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and 
for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness 
of the law might be fulfilled in us ;' because that we could 
not in that condition of weakness, whereinto we are cast by 
sin, come to God and be freed from condemnation by the 
law ; God sent Christ, as a mediator to do and suffer what- 
ever the law required at our hands, for that end and purpose. 


that we might not be condemned, but accepted of God. !t 
was all to this end, that the righteousness of the law might 
be fulfilled in us ; that is, which the law required of us, con- 
sisting in duties of obedience; this Christ performed for us. 
This expression of the apostle, * God sending his own Son, 
in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemning sin 
in the flesh ;' if you will add to it, that of Gal. iv. 4. that he 
was so sent forth, as that he was virb vofxov yevo/jievog, ' made 
under the law,' that is, obnoxious to it, to yield all the obe- 
dience that it doth require, comprises the whole of what 
Christ did or suffered, and all this the Holy Ghost tells us, 
was for us ; ver. 4. 

[3dly.] That the end of this active obedience of Christ, 
cannot be assigned to be, that he might be fitted for his 
death and oblation. For he answered all types, and was 
every way iKavog fit to be made an offering for sin, by his 
union and habitual grace ; so that if the obedience Christ 
performed, be not reckoned to us and done upon our ac- 
count, there is no just cause to be assigned, why he should 
live here in the world so long as he did, in perfect obedience 
to all the laws of God. Had he died before, there had been 
perfect innocence, and perfect holiness, by his habitual 
grace, and infinite virtue and worth from the dignity of his 
person ; and surely he yielded not that long course of all 
manner of obedience, but for some great and special purpose 
in reference to our salvation. 

[4thly.] That, had not the obedience of Christ been for us 
(in what sense we shall see instantly), it might in his life 
have been required of him to yield obedience to the law of 
nature, the alone law which he could be liable to as a man ; 
for an innocent man in a covenant of works, as he was, needs 
no other law ; nor did God ever give any other law to any 
such person (the law of creation is all that an innocent crea- 
ture is liable to, with what symbols of that law God is 
pleased to add). And yet to this law also was his subjection 
voluntary ; and that not only consequentially, because he 
was born upon his own choice, not by any natural' course, 
but also because as mediator, God and man, he was not by 
the institution of that law obliged unto it, being as it were, 
exempted, and lifted above that law by the hypostatical 
union ; yet when I say his subjection hereunto was volun- 


tary, I do not intend that it was merely arbitrary and at 
choice, whether he would yield obedience*^ unto it or no; 
but on supposition of his undertaking to be a mediator, it 
was necessary it should be so ; but that he voluntarily and 
willingly submitted unto, and so became really subject to the 
commands of it. But now, moreover, Jesus Christ yielded 
perfect obedience to all those laws, which came upon us by 
the occasion of sin, as the ceremonial law ; yea, those very 
institutions that signified the washing away of sin, and re- 
pentance from sin, as the baptism of John ; which he had no 
need of himself. This therefore must needs be for us. 

[5thly.] That the obedience of Christ cannot be reckoned 
amongst his sufferings, but is clearly distinct from it, as to 
all formalities. Doing is one thing, suffering another ; they 
are in diverse predicaments, and cannot be coincident. 

See then briefly what we have obtained by those consi- 
derations ; and then I shall intimate what is the stream 
issuing from this first spring or fountain of purchased grace, 
with what influence it hath thereinto. 

1. By the obedience of the life of Christ, you see what 
is intended; his willing submission unto, and perfect com- 
plete fulfilling of every law of God, that any of the saints 
of God were obliged unto. It is true, every act almost of 
Christ's obedience, from the blood of his circumcision, to 
the blood of his cross, was attended with suffering ; so that 
his whole life might in that regard, be called a death ; but 
yet, looking upon his willingness and obedience in it, it is 
distinguished from his sufferings peculiarly so called, and 
termed his s active righteousness. This is then, I say, as was 
shewed, that complete absolutely perfect accomplishment 
of the whole law of God by Christ, our Mediator ; whereby 
he not only * did no sin, neither was there guile found in his 
mouth/ but also most perfectly fulfilled all righteousness, as 
he aflfirmed it became him to do. 

2. That this obedience was performed by Christ, not for 
Jiiraself, but for us, and in our stead. It is true, it must 
needs be, that whilst he had his conversation in the flesh he 

' Obedientia importat necessitate m respectu ejus quod prjecipitur, et voluntatem 
respectu iniplelionis piajcepti. Tliom. 3. q. 47. 2. 2. 

2 In vita passivam habuit actionern ; in morfe passlonem activam snstinuit ; dum 
jalutem opeiatur in medio tejiae. Bern. Ser. 4. 


must be most perfectly and absolutely holy ; but yet the 
prime intendment of his accomplishing of holiness, which 
consists in the complete obedience of his whole life to any 
law of God, that was no less for us, than his suffering death ; 
that this is so, the apostle tells us. Gal. iv. 4, 5. 'God sent 
forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to re- 
deem them that were under the law;' this Scripture formerly 
named, must be a little farther insisted on. He was both 
made of a woman, and made under the law, that is, obedient 
to it for us. The end here both of the incarnation and obe- 
dience of Christ to the law (for that must needs be under- 
stood here by the phrase viro vo/ulov yevofxevoc, that is, dis- 
posed of in such a condition, as that he must yield sub- 
jection and obedience to the law), was all to redeem us. In 
those two expressions 'made of a woman, made under the 
law,' the apostle doth not knit his incarnation and death to- 
gether, with an exclusion of the obedience of his life. And 
he was so made under the law, as those were under the law 
whom he was to redeem. Now we were under the law, not 
only as obnoxious to its penalties, but as bound to all the 
duties of it. That this is our being * under the law,' the apo- 
stle informs us. Gal. iv. 21. 'Tell me, ye that desire to be 
under the law.' It was not the penalty of the law they de- 
sired to be under, but to be under it, in respect of obe- 
dience. Take away then the end, and you destroy the 
means ; if Christ were not incarnate, nor made under the 
law for himself, he did not yield obedience for himself; it 
was all for us, for our good : let us now look forward and 
see what influence this hath into our acceptation. 

3. Then, I say, this perfect, complete obedience of Christ 
to the law is reckoned unto us. As there is a truth in that, 
' the day thou eatest thou shalt die,' death is the reward of 
sin, and so we cannot be freed from death, but by the death 
of Christ; Heb. ii. 13, 14. so also is that no less true, 
' do this and live,' that life is not to be obtained, unless all 
be done that the law requires. That is still true, 'if thou 
wilt enter into life, keep the commandments ;' Matt. xix. 17. 
they must then be kept by us, or our surety. Neither is it 
of any value which by some is objected, that if Christ yielded 
perfect obedience to the law for us, then are we no more 
bound to yield obedience ; for by his undergoing death, the 


penalty of the law, we are freed from it. I answer, How did 
Christ undergo death ? Merely as it was penal. How then 
are we delivered from death ? Merely as it is penal. Yet we 
must die still, yea, as the last conflict with the effects of sin, 
as a passage to our Father, we must die. Well then, Christ 
yielded perfect obedience to the law, but how did he do it? 
Purely as it stood in that conditional, ' do this and live;' he 
did it in the strength of the grace he had received ; he did 
it as a means of life, to procure life by it, as the tenor of a 
covenant. Are we then freed from this obedience? Yes, 
but how far? From doing it in our own strength, from doing- 
it for this end, that we may obtain life everlasting. It is 
vain that some say confidently, that we must yet work for 
life ; it is all one as to say, we are yet under the old cove- 
nant, ' hoc fac et vives :' we are not freed from obedience, 
as a Vt'ay of walking with God, but we are, as a way of 
working to come to him ; of Vv'hich at large afterward. 

Rom. V. 18, 19. * By the righteousness of one, the free 
gift came upon all men unto justification of life : by the obe- 
dience of one many shall be made righteous,' saith the Holy 
Ghost. By his obedience to the law, are we made righteous^ 
it is reckoned to us for righteousness. That the passive obe- 
dience of Christ is here only intended, is false. 

(1.) It is opposed to the disobedience of Adam, which 
was active. The ^iKaiojjiia, is opposed TrapairTwfiaTi, the 
righteousness to the fault. The fault was an active trans- 
gression of the law, and the obedience opposed to it must 
be an active accomplishment of it. Besides, obedience 
placed singly in its own nature denotes an action, or actions 
conformable to the law ; and therein came Christ, not to 
destroy but to fulfil tlie law; Matt. v. 17. that was the de- 
sign of his coming; and so for us, he came to fulfil the law 
for us, Isa. ix. 6. and born to us ; Luke ii. 11. This also 
was in that will of the Father, which out of his infinite love 
he came to accomplish. It cannot clearly be evinced 
that there is any such thing in propriety of speech, as pas- 
sive obedience ; obeying is doing, to which passion or suf- 
fering cannot belong ; I -know it is commonly called so, when 
men obey until they suffer; but properly it is not so. 

So also, Phil. iii. 9. ' And be found in him, not having my 
my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which 


is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness wJiich is of 
God by faith.' The righteousness we receive is opposed to 
our own obedience to the law ; opposed to it, not as some- 
thing in another kind, but as sonaething in the same kind, 
excluding that from such an end which the other obtains- 
Now this is the obedience of Christ to the law, himself 
thereby being ' made to us righteousness ;' I Cor. i. 30. 

Rom. V. 10. the issue of the death of Christ is placed 
upon reconciliation, that is, a slaying of the enmity and re- 
storing ns into that condition of peace and friendship, 
wherein Adam was before his fall. But is there no more to 
be done ? Notwithstanding that there was no wrath due to 
Adam, yet he was to obey if he would enjoy eternal life. 
Something there is moreover to be done in respect of us, if 
after the slaying of the enmity and reconciliation made, we 
shall enjoy life; 'being reconciled by his death;' we are 
saved by that perfect obedience which in his life he yielded 
to the law of God. There is distinct mention made of re- 
conciliation, through a non-imputation of sin ; as Psal. 
xxxii. 1. Luke i. 77. Rom. iii. 25. 2 Cor. v. 19. and justifi- 
cation through an imputation of righteousness ; Jerem. 
xxiii. 6. Rom. iv. 5. 1 Cor. i. 30. although these things are 
so far from being separated, that they are reciprocally af- 
firmed of one another; which, as it doth not evince an iden- 
tity, so it doth an eminent conjunction ; and this last we 
have by the life of Christ. 

This is fully expressed in that typical representation of 
our justification before the Lord, Zech. iii. 3 — 5. two things 
are there expressed to belong to our free acceptation before 
God. 1. The taking away of the guilt of our sin, our filthy 
robes; this is done by the death of Christ. Remission of 
sin is the proper fruit thereof, but there is more also re- 
quired, even a collation of righteousness, and thereby a 
right to life eternal ; this is here called 'fine change of rai- 
ment ;' so the Holy Ghost expresses itagain, Isa. Ixi. 10. 
where he calls it plainly the ' garment of salvation/ and the 
' robe of righteousness ;' now this is only made ours by the 
obedience of Christ, as the other by his death. 

Obj. But if this be so, then are we as righteous as Christ 
himself, being righteous with his righteousness. 

Ans. But first, here is a great difference, if it were no more 


than that this righteousness was inherent in Christ, and pro- 
perly his own, it is only reckoned or imputed to us, or freely 
bestowed on us ; and we are made righteous with that which 
is not ours. But secondly, the truth is, that Christ was not 
righteous with that righteousness for himself, but for us ; 
so that here can be no comparison ; only this we may 
say, we are righteous with his righteousness which he 
wrought for us, and that completely. 

And this now is the rise of the purchased grace whereof 
we speak, the obedience of Christ; and this is the influence 
of it into our acceptation with God. Whereas the guilt of 
sin, and our obnoxiousness to punishment on that account, 
is removed and taken away, as shall farther be declared by 
the death of Christ; and whereas besides the taking away 
of sin, we have need of a complete righteousness upon the 
account whereof we may be accepted with God, this obe- 
dience of Christ, through the free grace of God, is imputed 
unto us for that end and purpose. 

This is all I shall for the present insist on to this pur- 
pose ; that the passive righteousness of Christ only, is im- 
puted to us, in the non-imputation of sin, and that on the 
condition of our faith and new obedience, so exalting them 
into the room of the righteousness of Christ, is a thing 
which in communion with the Lord Jesus, I have as yet no 
acquaintance withal ; what may be said in the way of argu- 
ment on the one side or other, must be elsewhere consi- 

(2.) The second spring of our communion with Christ 
in purchased grace, is his death and oblation. He lived 
for us, he died for us ; he was ours in all he did, in all he 

I shall be the more brief in handling of this, because on 
another design I have ' elsewhere at large treated of all the 
concernments of it. 

Now the death of Christ, as it is a spring of that pur- 
chased grace wherein we have communion with him, is 
in the Scripture proposed under a threefold consideration. 

^ Tanta-ne me tenuit vivendi, nate,voIuptas, 
Ut pro me hostili paterer succedere dextife, 
Quern genui ? tuane base genitor per viilnera server, 
Morle Uia vivens t — Virgil JEne'id. x. 846. 
* Vindic. Evan. cap. 20—22. 


[l.J Of a Price. 

[2.] Of a Sacrifice. 

[3.] Of a Penalty. 

In the first regard, its proper effect is redemption; in the 
second, reconciliation or atonement ; in the third, satisfac- 
tion ; which are the great ingredients of that purchased 
grace whereby, in the first place, we have communionwith 

[1.] It is a price. ' We are bought with a price ;' 1 Cor. 
vi. 20. ' being not redeemed with silver and gold, and cor- 
ruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ; 
1 Pet. i. 17, 18. which therein answers those things in other 
contracts ;"' ' he came to lay down his life a ransom for 
many;' Matt. xx. 28. a price of redemption ; 1 Tim. ii. 6. 
The proper Use and energy of this expression in the Scrip- 
ture, I have elsewhere declared. 

Now the proper effect and issue of the death of Christ 
as a price or ransom, is, as I said, redemption. Now re- 
demption is the deliverance of any one from bondage or 
captivity, and the miseries attending that condition, by the 
intervention or interposition of a price or ransom, paid by 
the redeemer, to him by whose authority the captive was de- 

1st. In general it is a deliverance. Hence Christ is 
called the 'deliverer;' Rom. xi. 26. giving himself to 'de- 
liver us;' Gal. i. 4. he is Jesus who ' delivers us from the 
wrath to come;' 1 Fhess. i. 10. 

2dly. It is the delivery of one from bondage or captivity. 
We are without him, all prisoners and captives, 'bound in 
prison;' Isa. Ixi. 1. 'sitting in darkness, in the prison 
house ;' Isa. xlii. 7. xlix. 9. prisoners in the pit wherein 
there is no water ;' Zech. ix. 1 1 . ' the captives of the mighty 
and the prey of the terrible ;' Isa. xlix. 25. under a capti- 
vity that must be led captive; Psal. Ixviii. 18. this puts us 
in bondage; Heb. ii. 14. 

3dly. The person committing thus to prison and into 
bondage, is God himself. To him we 'owe our debts;' 
Matt. vi. 12. xviii. 27 — 29. against him are our offences ; 
Psal. Ii. 5. he is the judge and lawgiver; James iv. 12. to 

^ Nil qiiidrm eniifur nisi interveniente prclio ; sed hoc tamenaddilum niagnam 
frnphasin habel. — Bez. 


sill is to rebel against him ; he shuts up men under dis- 
obedience ; Rom. xi. 32. and he shall cast both body 
and soul of the impenitent into hell-fire ; Matt. x. 28. To 
his wrath are men obnoxious,' John iii. 36. and lie under 
it by the sentence of the law, wliich is their prison. 

4thly. The miseries that attend this condition are innu- 
merable. Bondage to Satan, sin, and the world, comprises 
the sum of them, from all which we are delivered by the 
death of Christ as a price or ransom. ' God hath delivered 
us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into 
the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we have redemption 
through his blood;' Col. i. 13, 14. and he * redeems us from 
all iniquity ;' Tit. ii. 14. * from our vain conversation ;' 1 Pet. 
i. 18, 19. even from the guilt and power of our sin, pur- 
chasing us to himself * a peculiar people zealous of good 
works ;' Tit. ii. 14. so dying for the * redemption of trans- 
gressors ;' Heb. ix. 15. redeeming us also from the world 5 
Gal. iv. 5. 

5thly. And all this is by the payment of the price men- 
tioned into the hand of God, by whose supreme authority 
we were detained captives, under the sentence of the law. 
The debt is due to the great householder. Matt, xviii. 23, 

24. and the penalty, his curse and wrath, from which by it 
we are delivered ; Rev. ii. 5. 

This the Holy Ghost frequently insists on ; Rom. iii. 24, 

25. 'Being justified freely by his grace, through the re- 
demption that is in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth 
to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare 
his righteousness for the remission of sins ;' so also, 1 Cor. 
vi. 20. 1 Pet. i. 18. Matt. xx. 28. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Eph. i. 7. 
Col. i. 13. Gal. iii. 13. And this is the first consideration of 
the death of Christ, as it hath an influence into the pro- 
curement of that grace wherein we hold communion with 

[2.] It was a sacrifice also. He had a body prepared 
him, Heb. x. 5. wherein he was to accomplish what by the 
typical oblations and burnt-offerings of the law was pre- 
figured. And that body he offered ; Heb. x. 10. that is, liis 
whole human nature, for ' his soul also was made an ofTer- 
ino- for sin ; Isa. liii. 10. on which account he is said to 
offer himself ; Eph. v. 2. Heb. i. 3. ix. 24. He gave him- 


self a sacrifice to God of a sweet- smelling savour ;• and 
this he did willingly, as became him who was to be a sacri- 
fice. The law of this obedience being written in his heart; 
Psal. xl. 9. that is, he had a readiness, willingness, desire 
for its performance. 

Now the end of sacrifices, such as his was, bloody and 
for sin, Rom. iv. 3. Heb. ii. 17. was atonement and recon- 
ciliation. This is every where ascribed to them, that they 
were to make atonement, that is in a way suitable to their 
nature. And this is the tendency of the death of Christ, as 
a sacrifice, atonement, and reconciliation with God. Sin 
had broken friendship between God and us; Isa. Ixiii. 10. 
whence his wrath was on us, John iii. 36. and we are by 
nature obnoxious to it; Eph. ii. 3. This is taken away by 
the death of Christ, as it was a sacrifice ; Dan. ix. 24. 'when 
we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of 
his Son;' Rom. v. 10. and thereby do we 'receive the 
atonement;' ver. 11. for God was in Christ 'reconciling 
the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins and 
their iniquities ; 2 Cor. v. 19 — 21. so also Eph. ii. 12 — 16. 
and in sundry other places. And this is the second consi- 
deration of the death of Christ, which I do but name, having 
at large insisted on these things elsewhere. 

[3.] It was also a punishment; a punishment in our 
stead. ' He was wounded for our sins, and bruised for our 
iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was on him ; Isa. 
liii. 5. God made all our iniquities (that is the punishment 
of them) 'to meet upon him;' ver. 6. 'he bare the sins of 
many ;' ver. 12. 'his own self bare our sins in his body on 
the tree ;' 1 Pet. ii. 24, 25. and therein he ' who knew no 
sin, was made sin for us ; 2 Cor. v. 21. What it is in the Scrip- 
ture to bear sin, see Deut. xix. 5. xx. 17. Numb. xiv. 33, 
Eph. xviii. 20. The nature, kind, matter, and manner of 
this punishment I have, as I said before, elsewhere dis- 

Now bearing of punishment tends directly to the giving 

' Obscivatuni est a sacrificantibus, ut si hostia quaj ad aras duccretur, fuisset ve- 
bementer reluctata, ostendissctque sc invilam altaribus adinoveri, ainoveretiir, quia 
invito Deo earn ofierri putabant ; qu?e vero stetisset oblata, banc volenti nuinini 
dari existimabant. Macrob, Saturnal. lib. ,S. — Hoc quoque notandiim, vitulos ad 
aras humeris hominum ailatos non fere litare ; sicut ncc claudicante, nee allena hos- 
tia placari deos ; neque trahente se ab aris. — Plin. lib. 8. cap. 45. 


satisfaction to him who was offended, and on that account 
inflicted the punishment. Justice can desire no more than a 
proportional punishment due to the offence. And this on 
his own voluntary taking of our persons, undertaking to be 
our Mediator, was inflicted on our dear Lord Jesus. His 
substituting himself in our room, being allowed of by the 
righteous judge, satisfaction to him doth thence properly 

And this is the threefold consideration of the death of 
Christ, as it is a principal spring and fountain of that grace 
wherein we have communion with him ; for, as will appear 
in our process, the single and most eminent part of purchased 
grace, is nothing but the natural exurgency of the threefold 
effects of the death of Christ, intimated to flovv^ from it, on 
the account of the threefold consideration insisted on. This 
then is the second rise of purchased grace, which we are to 
eye ; if we will hold communion with Christ in it, his death 
and blood-shedding, under this threefold notion of a price, 
an offering, and punishment. But, 

(3.) This is not all ; the Lord Christ goes farther yet ; he 
doth not leave us so, but follows on the work to the utmost. 
"" He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification.' 
He rose again to carry on the complete work of purchased 
grace ; that is, by his intercession ; which is the third rise of 
it. In respect of this he is said to be * able to save to the ut- 
termost them that come to God by him, seeing he liveth ever 
to make intercession for them;' Heb. vii. 27. 

Now the intercession of Christ, in respect of its influence 
into purchased grace, is considered two ways. 

[1.] As a continuance and carrying on of his oblation, 
for the making out of all the fruits and effects thereof unto 
us. This is called his ' appearing in the presence of God for 
us;' Heb. ix. 24. that is, as the high-priest having offered 
the great offering for expiation of sin, carried in the blood 
thereof into the most holy place, where was the representa- 
tion of the presence of God, so to perfect the atonement he 
made for himself and the people ; so the Lord Christ having 
offered himself as a sweet smelling sacrifice to God, being 
sprinkled with his own blood, appears in the presence of 
God, as it were to mind him of the engagement made to him, 

" Rom. iv. S5, 


or the redemption of sinners by his blood, and the making 
out the good things to them which were procured thereby ; 
and so this appearance of his hath an influence into pur- 
chased grace, inasmuch as thereby he puts his claim for it 
in our behalf. 

[2.] He procureth the Holy Spirit for us, effectually to 
collate and bestow all this purchased grace upon us. That 
he would do this, and doth it for us, we have his engage- 
ment ; John xiv. 16. This is purchased grace, in respect 
of its fountain and spring, of which I shall not speak farther 
at present, seeing I must handle it at large, in the matter of 
the communion we have with the Holy Ghost. 


The nature of purchased grace ; referred to three heads. 1 . Of our ac- 
ceptation with God. Two parts of it > Of the grace of sanctijication. The 
several parts of it. 

The fountain of that purchased grace, wherein the saints 
have communion with Christ being discovered, in the next 
place the nature of this grace itself may be considered. As 
was said, it may be referred unto three heads. 

1. Grace of acceptation witli God. 

2. Grace of sanctification from God. 

3. Grace of privileges with and before God. 

1. Of acceptation with God. Out of Christ, we are in a 
state of alienation from God, accepted neither in our per- 
sons, nor our services. Sin makes a separation between God 
and us : that state, with all its consequences, and attendan- 
cies, is not my business to unfold. The first issue of pur- 
chased grace, is to restore us into a state of acceptation ; and 
thisis done two ways. 

(1.) By a removal of that for which we are refused, the 
cause of the enmity. 

(2.) By a bestowing of that for which we are accepted. 

Not only all causes of quarrel were to be taken away, that 
so we should not be under displeasure ; but also that was to 
be given unto us, that makes us the objects of God's delight 

» John iii. S6. Eph. iii. 2. 


and pleasure, on the account of the want whereof we are 
distanced from God. 

(1.) It gives a removal of that for which we are refused. 
This is sin in the guilt, and all the attendancies thereof. 
The first issue of purchased grace tends to the taking away 
of sin in its guilt, that it shall not bind over the soul to the 
wages of it, whicli is death. 

How this is accomplished and brought about by Christ, 
was evidenced in the close of the foregoing-chapter. It is the 
fruit and effect of his death for us. Guilt of sin was the only 
cause of our separation and distance from God, as hath been 
said. This made us obnoxious to wrath, punishment, and 
the whole displeasure of God ; on the account hereof, were 
we imprisoned under the curse of the law, and given up to 
the power of Satan. This is the state of our unacceptation. 
By his death, Christ, bearing the curse, undergoing the pu- 
nishment that was due to us, paying the ransom that was due 
for us, delivers us from this condition. And thus far, the 
death of Christ is the sole cause of our acceptation with 
God ; that all cause of quarrel and rejection of us is there- 
by taken away, and to that end are his sufferings reckoned 
to us ; for, being ' made sin for us,' 2 Cot. v. 21. he is made 
* righteousness unto us ;' 1 Cor. i, 30. 

But yet farther. This will not complete our acceptation 
with God. The old quarrel may be laid aside, and yet, no 
new friendship begun ; v»'e may be not sinners, and yet not 
be so far righteous, as to have a right to the kingdom of 
heaven. Adam had no right to life, because he was innocent ; 
he must moreover do this, and then he shall live. He must 
not only have a negative righteousness, he was not guilty of 
any thing ; but also a positive righteousness, he must do all 

(2.) This then is required in the second place to our 
complete acceptation, that we have not only the not impu- 
tation of sin, but also a reckoning of righteousness ; now 
this we have, in the obedience of the life of Christ. This also 
was discovered in the last chapter. The obedience of (he 
life of Christ was for us, is imputed to us, and is our righte- 
ousness before God ; by his obedience are we ' made righ- 
teous;' Rom. V. 18. On what score the obedience of faith 
takes place, shall be afterward declared. 


These two things, then, complete our grace of accepta- 
tion ; sin being removed, and righteousness bestowed, we 
have peace with God ; are continually accepted before him. 
There is not any thing to charge us withal ; that which was, 
is taken out of the way by Christ, and nailed to his cross ; 
made fast there; yea, publicly and legally concealed, that it 
can never be admitted again as an evidence. What court 
among men would admit of an evidence that hath been pub- 
licly cancelled, and nailed up for all to see it? So hath Christ 
dealt with that which was against us ; and not only so, but 
also he puts that upon us, for which we are received into fa- 
vour. He makes us comely through his beauty ; gives us 
white raiment to stand before the Lord. This is the first part 
of purchased grace wherein the saints have communion with 
Jesus Christ. In remission of sin, and imputation of righ- 
teousness, doth it consist ; from the death of Christ, as a 
price, sacrifice, and a punishment ; from the life of Christ 
spent in obedience to the law doth it arise. The great pro- 
duct it is of the Father's righteousness, wisdom, love and 
grace ; the great and astonishable fruit of the love, and con- 
descension of the Son ; the great discovery of the Holy 
Ghost, in the revelation of the mystery of the gospel. 

2. The second is grace of sanctification. He makes us 
not only accepted, but also acceptable. He doth not only 
purchase love for his saints, but also makes them lovely. 
He came not by blood only, but by water and blood. He 
doth not only justify his saints from the guilt of sin, but also 
sanctify and wash them from the filth of sin; the first is, 
from his life and death as a sacrifice of propitiation, this 
from his death as a purchase, and his life as an example. So 
the apostle, Heb. ix. 14. as also, Eph. v. 26 ,27. Two things 
are eminent in this issue of purchased grace. 

(I.) The removal of defilement. 

(2.) The bestowing of cleanness, in actual grace. 

(1.) For the first, it is also threefold. 

[1.] The habitual cleansing of our nature. We are na- 
turally unclean, defiled ; habitually so. For ' who can bring 
a clean thing from that which is unclean ;' Job xiv. 4. 
* That which is born of the flesh is flesh ;' John iii. 6. It is 
in the pollution of our blood that we are born, Ezek. xvi. 
wholly defiled and polluted. The grace of sanctification 

VOL. X. P 


purchased by the blood of Christ removes this defilement of 
our nature ; 1 Cor.xvi. 11. ' Such were some of you, butye 
are washed, ye are sanctified.' So also Tit. iii. 3 — 5. ' He 
hath saved us by the washing of regeneration and the renew- 
ing of the Holy Ghost.' How far this original, habitual pol- 
lution is removed, need not be disputed. It is certain the 
soul is made fair and beautiful in the sight of God. Though 
the sin that doth defile remains, yet its habitual defilement 
is taken away. But the handling of this lies not in my aim. 

[2.] Taking away the pollutions of all our actual trans- 
gressions. There is a defilement attending every actual sin. 
Our own clothes make us to be abhorred ; Job. ix. 31. A 
spot, a stain, rust, wrinkle, filth, blood, attends every sin. 
Now, 1 John i. 7. 'the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us 
from all sin.' Besides the defilement of our natures which 
he purgeth. Tit. i. 15. he takes awa^^ the defilement of our 
persons by actual follies ; by one ' offering be perfected for 
ever them that are sanctified 5' by himself he purged our 
sins, before he sat down at the right hand of majesty on 
high ; Heb. i. 3. 

[3.] In our best duties we have defilement ; Isa. Ixiv. 6. 
Self, unbelief, form, drop themselves into, all that we do. 
We may be ashamed of our choicest performances ; God 
hath promised that the saints' good works shall follow them ; 
truly were they to be measured by the rule as they come 
from us, and weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, it 
might be well for us that they might be buried for ever; but 
the Lord Christ, first as our high-priest, bears the iniquity, 
the guilt, and p. .vocation, which in severe justice doth at- 
tend them ; Exod. xxviii. 37, 38. and not only so, but he 
washes away all their filth and defilements. He is as a refiner's 
fire, to purge both the sons of Levi and their offerings ; 
adding moreover sweet incense to them that they may be ac- 
cepted. Whatever is of the Spirit, of himself, of grace, that 
remains ; whatever is of self, flesh, unbelief, that is hay and 
stubble, that he consumes, wastes, takes away. So that the 
saints' good works shall meet them one day with a changed 
countenance, that they shall scarce know them ; tliat which 
seemed to them to be black, deformed, defiled, shall appear 
beautiful and glorious ; they shall not be afraid of them, 
but rejoice to see and follow them. 


And this cleansing of our natures, persons, and duties, 
hath its whole foundation in the death of Christ. Hence 
our washing and purifying, our cleansing and purging, is as- 
cribed to his blood and the sprinkling thereof. Meritori- 
ously this work is done by the shedding of the blood of 
Christ; efficiently by its sprinkling. The sprinkling of 
the blood of Christ proceedeth from the communication 
of the Holy Ghost; which he promiseth to us, as pur- 
chased by him for us. He is the pure water, wherewith we 
are sprinkled from all our sins. That spiritof judgment and 
burning that takes away the filth and blood of the daugh-r 
ters of Sion. And this is the first thing in the grace of sanc- 
tification ; of which more afterward. 

(2.) By bestowing cleanness as to actual grace. The 
blood of Christ in this purchased grace doth not only take 
away defilement, but also it gives purity ; and that also in a 
threefold gradation. 

[1.] It gives the Spirit of holiness to dwell in us ; he is 
made unto us sanctification ; 1 Cor. i. 30. by procuring for 
us the Spirit of sanctification ; our renewing is of the Holy 
Ghost who is shed on us through Christ alone; Tit. iii. 6. 
this the apostle mainly insists on; Rom. viii. to wit, that 
the prime and principal guilt of sanctification that we re- 
ceive from Christ, is the indwelling of the Spirit, and our 
following after the guidance hereof. But what concerns the 
Spirit in any kind, must be referred to that, which I have to 
offer concerning our communion with him. 

[2.] He gives us habitual grace ; a principle of grace 
opposed to the principle of lust that is in us by nature. 
This is the grace that dwells in us; makes its abode with us ; 
which, according to the distinct faculties of our souls where- 
in it is, or the distinct objects about which it is exercised, 
receiveth various appellations, being indeed all but one new 
principle of life. In the understanding it is light, in the 
will obedience, in the affections love, in all faith. So also 
it is differenced in respect of its operations; when it carries 
out the soul to rest on Christ, it is faith ; when to delight 
in him, it is love ; but still one and the same habit of grace. 
And this is the second thing. 

[3.] Actual influence for the performance of every spiri-r 
tual duty whatever. After the saints have both the former, 

p 2 


yet Christ tells them that without him ' they can do no- 
thing ;' John XV. 5. They are still in dependance upon him 
for new influences of grace, or supplies of the Spirit; they 
cannot live and spend upon the old stock ; for every new 
act they must have new grace ; he must work in us to * will 
and to do of his good pleasure ;' Phil. ii. 13. And in these 
three thus briefly named consists that purchased grace in 
the point of sanctification, as to_the collating of purity 
and cleanness, wherein we have communion with Christ. 

3. This purchased grace consists in privileges to stand 
before God, and these are of two sorts ; primary and 
consequential. Primary is adoption ; the Spirit of adoption : 
consequential, are all the favours of the gospel, which the 
saints alone have right unto. But of this I shall speak 
when I come to the last branch of communion with the 
Holy Ghost. 

These are the things wherein we have communion with 
Christ, as to purchased grace in this life. Drive them up to 
perfection, and you have that which we call everlasting glory ; 
perfect acceptance, perfect holiness, perfect adoption, or in- 
heritance of sons, that is glory. 

Our process now, in the next place, is to what I mainly in- 
tend, even the manner how we hold communion with Christ 
in these things ; and that in the order laid down, as, 

1. How we hold communion with him, in the obedience 
of his life and merit of his death, as to acceptance with God 
the Father. 

2. How we hold communion with Christ in his blood, as 
to the Spirit of sanctification, the habits, and acts of grace. 

3. How we hold communion with him as to the privi- 
leges we enjoy. Of which in the ensuing chapters. 



How the saints hold communion with Christ as to their acceptation with God. 
What is required on the part of Christ, hereunto ; in his intention ; in 
the declaration thereof. The sum of our acceptation with God, wherein it 
consists. What is required on the part of believers to this communion; and 
how they hold it with Christ. Some objections proposed to consideration: 
why the elect are not accepted immediately on the undertaking, and the 
death of Christ : in what sense they are so. Christ a common or public 
person. How he came to be so. The way of our acceptation with God 
on that account. The second objection. The necessity of our obedience 
stated; Eph. ii. 8. — 10. The grounds, causes and ends of it manifested. 
Its proper place in the new covenant. How the saints in particular hold 
communion with Christ in this purchased grace. They approve of this 
righteousness ; the grounds thereof. Reject their own ; the grounds 
thereof. The commutation of sin and righteousness between Christ and 
believers ; some objections answered. 

Communion with Christ, in purchased grace, as unto ac- 
ceptation with God, from the obedience of his life, and effi- 
cacy of his death, is the first thing we inquire into. The dis" 
covery of what on the part of Christ, and what on our part 
is required thereunto (for our mutual actings, even his and 
ours are necessary, that we may have fellowship and commu- 
nion together herein), is that which herein I intend. 

(1.) On the part of Christ, there is no more required but 
these two things. 

[1.] That what he did, he did not for himself, but for us. 

[2.] What he suffered, he suffered not for himself, but for 
us. That is, that his intention from eternity, and when he 
was in tlie world, was, that all that he did and suffered, was 
and should be for us, and our advantage as to our acceptance 
with God ; that he still continueth making use of what he 
so did and suffered, for that end and purpose, and that only. 
Now this is most evident. 

[1.] What he did, he did for us, and not for himself, 
' He was made under the law, that we might receive the 
adoption of sons ;' Gal. iv. 4, 5. He was made under the 
law, that is, in that condition that he was obnoxious to the 
will and commands of it ; and why was this ? To what end ? 



For himself? No, but to redeem us, is the aim of all that he 
did, of all his obedience ; and that he did. This very inten- 
tion in what he did, he acquaints us with, John xvii. 19. 'for 
their sakes I sanctify myself, that they may be sanctified 
through the truth.' *I sanctify myself,' dedicate and set 
myself apart to all that work I have to do. I came not to 
do my own will, I came to save that which was lost, to mi- 
nister, not to be ministered unto, and to give my life a ran- 
som, it was the testimony he bare to all he did in the world. 
This intendment of his is especially to be eyed ; from eter- 
nity he had thoughts of what he would do for us, and de- 
lighted himself therein. And when he was in the world, in 
all he went about, he had still this thought, this is for them, 
and this is for them, my beloved. When he went to be baptized, 
says John, ' I have need to come to thee, and comest thou to 
me?' Matt. iii. 14, 15. as if he had said, thou hast no need 
at all of it. But, says Christ, ' Suffer us now for so it be- 
cometh us to fulfil all righteousness,' I do it for them who 
have none at all, and stand obliged unto all. 

[2.] In what he suffered. This is more clear; Dan ix. 21. 
* Messias shall be cutoff,' and not for himself; and the apo- 
stle lays down this as a main difference between him, and 
the high-priest of the Jews, that when they made their solemn 
offerings, they offered first for themselves and then for the 
people ; but Jesus Christ offereth only for others : he had 
no sin and could make no sacrifice for his own sin, which he 
had not, but only for others. He tasted death for all ; Heb. 
ii. 9. 'gave his life a ransom for many;' Matt. xx. 10. The 
iniquity of us all was 'made to meet on him;' Isa. liii. 6. 'he 
bare our sins, in his own body on the tree ;' 1 Pet. ii. 24. loved 
his church and gave himself for it; Eph. v. 26. Gal. ii. 20. 
Rom. iv. 25. Rev. i. 5, 6. Tit. ii. 14. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Isa. liii. 12. 
John xvii. 19. But this is exceeding clear and confessed, 
that Christ in his suffering and oblation, had his intention 
only upon the good of his elect, and their acceptation with 
God ; suffering for us, 'the just for the unjust, that he might 
bring us to God.' 

To complete this communion on the part of Christ, it is 

(1.) That there be added to what he hath done, the gos- 


pel tenders of that complete righteousness and acceptation 
with God, which ariseth from his perfect obedience and suf- 
ferings. Now they are twofold. 

[1.] Declaratory, in the conditional promises of the gos- 
pel. John vii. 37. Matt. xi. 28. ' He that believeth shall be 
saved ;' * Come to me and you shall have life ;' ' As the ser- 
pent was Ufted up, &c.' ' Christ is the end of the law for 
righteousness to them that believe ;' Rom. x. 4. and innu- 
merable others. Now declaratory tenders are very precious ; 
there is much kindness in them, and if they be rejected, 
they will be the ' savour of death unto death ;' but the Lord 
Christ knows that the outward letter, though never so effec- 
tually held out, will not enable any of his for that reception 
of his righteousness, which is necessary to interest them 
therein ; wherefore, 

[2.] In this tender of acceptation with God, on the account 
of what he hath done and suffered, a law is established, that 
whosoever receives it, shall be so accepted. But Christ knows 
the condition and state of his in this world. This will not 
do; if he do not effectually invest them with it, all is lost. 

(2.) He sends them his Holy Spirit to quicken them ; 
John vi. 63. to cause them that are 'dead to hear his voice;' 
John V. 25. and to work in them, whatever is required of them, 
to make them partakers of his righteousness, and accepted 
with God. Thus doth Christ deal with his; he lives and 
dies with an intention to work out, and complete righte- 
ousness for them ; their enjoying of it, to a perfect accepta- 
tion before God, is all that in the one and other he aimed at. 
Then he tenders it unto them, declares the usefulness and 
preciousness of it to their souls, stirring them up to a desire 
and valuation of it ; and lastly, effectually bestows it upon 
them, reckons it unto them as theirs ; that they should 
by it, for it, with it, be perfectly accepted with his Fa- 

Thus for our acceptation with God, two things are re- 

1st. That satisfaction be made for our disobedience, for 
whatever we had done which might damage the justice and 
honour of God, and that God be atoned towards us, which 
could no otherwise be, but by undergoing the penalty of the 
law. This I have shewed abundantly is done by the death 


of Christ ; God ' made him to be sin for us ;' 2 Cor. v. 21. a 
'curse;' Gal. iii. 13. On this account we have our absolu- 
tion, our acquitment from the guilt of sin, the sentence of 
the law, the wrath of God ; Rom. viii. 33. 38. We are jus- 
tified, acquitted, freed from condemnation, because it was 
Christ that died ; ' he bare our sins in his body on the tree ;' 
1 Pet. ii. 24. 

2dly. That the righteousness of the law be fulfilled, and 
the obedience performed that is required at our hands ; and 
this is done by the life of Christ; Rom. v. 18, 19. So that 
answerably hereunto, according to our state and condition, 
of our acceptation with God, there are two parts. 

(1st.) Our absolution from the guilt of sin ; that our dis- 
obedience be not charged upon us. This we have by the 
death of Christ, our sins being imputed to him, shall not be 
imputed to us ; 2 Cor. v. 21. Rom. iv. 25. Isa. v. 12. 

(2dly.) Imputation of righteousness, that we may be ac- 
counted perfectly righteous before God; and this we have 
by the life of Christ. His righteousness in yielding obedi- 
ence to the law, is imputed to us. And thus is our accepta- 
tion with God completed. Being discharged from the guilt 
of our disobedience by the death of Christ, and having the 
righteousness of the life of Christ imputed to us, we have 
friendship and peace with God. And this is that which 1 
call our grace of acceptation with God, wherein we have 
communion with Jesus Christ. 

That which remains for me to do, is, to shew how be- 
lievers hold distinct communion with Christ, in this grace 
of acceptation, and how thereby they keep alive a sense of 
it, the comfort and life of it being to be renewed every day. 
Without this, life is a hell ; no peace, no joy can we be 
made partakers of, but what hath its rise from hence. Look 
what grounded persuasion we have of our acceptation with 
God, that he is at peace with us, thereunto is the revenue 
of our peace, comfort, joy, yea, and holiness itself propor- 

But yet, before I come in particular to handle our prac- 
tical communion with the Lord Jesus, in this thing, I must 
remove two considerable objections ; the one of them lying 
against the first part of our acceptation with God, the other 
against the latter. 

Ob. 1. For our absolution, by and upon the death of 


Christ, it may be said, that if the elect have their absolu- 
tion, reconciliation, and freedom, by the death, blood, and 
cross of Christ; whence is it then, that they are not all ac- 
tually absolved, at the death of Christ, or at least so soon as 
they are born, but that many of them live a long while under 
the wrath of God in this world, as being unbelievers, under 
the sentence and condemning power of the law/ Why are 
they not immediately freed, upon the payment of the price, 
and making reconciliation for them ? 

Ob. 2. If the obedience of the life of Christ be imputed 
unto us, and that is our righteousness before God, then what 
need we yield any obedience ourselves? Is not all our pray- 
ing, labouring, watching, fasting, giving alms; are not all 
fruits of holiness, in purity of heart, and usefulness of con- 
versation all in vain, and to no purpose ? And who then 
will or need take care to be holy, humble, righteous, meek, 
temperate, patient, good, peaceable, or to abound in good 
works in the world ? 

I shall, God assisting, briefly remove these two objec- 
tions, and then proceed to carry on the design in hand, about 
our communion with Christ. 

(1.) Jesus Christ, in his undertaking of the work of our 
reconciliation with God, for which cause he came into the 
world, and the accomplishment of it by his death, was con- 
stituted and considered as a common public person, in the 
stead of them for whose reconciliation to God he suffered. 
Hence he is the ' Mediator between God and man ;' 1 Tim. 
ii. 5. that is, one who undertook to God for us, as the next 
words manifest, ver. 6. and gave himself a ransom for all. 
And the 'surety of the new covenant,' Heb. vii. 22. under- 
taking for, and on the behalf of them, with whom that cove- 
nant was made ; hence he is said to be given for a covenant 
to the people ; Isa. xlii. 6. and a leader, xlix. 8. He was the 
second Adam ; 1 Cor. xv. 45. 47. to all ends and purposes of 
righteousness to his spiritual seed ; as the first ' Adam was of 
sin to his natural seed; Rom. v. 15 — 19. 

(2.) His being thus a common person, arose chiefly from 
these things. 

[1.] In general, from the covenant entered into by him- 
self with his Father to this purpose. The terms of this co- 

f John iii. 36. 


venant are at large insisted on, Isa. liii. summed up, Psal. 
xl. 7, 8. Heb. x. 8 — 10. Hence the Father became to be his 
God which is a covenant expression; Psal. Ixxxix. 26. Heb. 
i. 5. Psal. xxii. 1. Psal. xl. 8. Psal. xlv. 7. Rev. iii. 12. Mich. 
V. 4. So was he by his Father, on this account, designed to 
this work ; Isa. xlii. 1. vi. 1. xlix. 9. Mai. iii. 1. Zech.xiii. 7 
John iii. 16. 1 Tim. i. 15. Thus the 'counsel of peace be- 
came to be between them both ;' Zech. vi. 13. that is, the 
Father, and Son. And the Son rejoices from eternity in the 
thought of this undertaking ; Prov. viii. 21 — 30. The com- 
mand given him to this purpose, the promises made to him 
thereon, the assistance aftorded to him, I have elsewhere 

[2.] In the sovereign grant, appointment, and design of 
the Father, p-ivino- and delivering; the elect to Jesus Christ 
in this covenant, to be redeemed and reconciled to himself. 
John xvii. 6. 'Thine they were, and thou gavest them to me.' 
They were God's by eternal designation and election, and he 
gave them to Christ to be redeemed ; hence, before their 
calling or believing, he calls them his sheep; John x. 15. 16. 
laying down his life for them as such ; and hence are we said 
to be chosen in Christ ; Eph. i. 4. or designed to obtain all 
the fruits of the love of God by Christ, and committed into 
his hand, for that end and purpose. 

[3.] In his undertaking to suffer what was due to them, 
and to do what was to be done by them, that they might be 
delivered, reconciled, and accepted, with God. And he un- 
dertakes to give in to the Father, without loss or miscar- 
riage, what he had so received of the Father as above; John 
xvii. 2. 12. vi. 37. 39. As Jacob did the cattle he received 
of Laban ; Gen. xxxi. 39, 40. Of both these I have treated 
somewhat at large elsewhere, in handling the covenant be- 
tween the Father and the Son, so that I shall not need to 
take it up here again. 

[4.] They being given unto him, he undertaking for them, 
to do and suffer what was on their part required, he received, 
on their behalf and for them, all the promises of ail the mer- 
cies, grace, good things, and privileges, which they were to 
receive, upon the account of his undertaking for them. On 
this account, eternal life is said to be promised of God be- 
fore the world began; Tit. i. 2. That is to the Son of God 



for us, on his undertaking on our behalf. And grace also 
is said to be oiven unto us before the world was ; 2 Tim. i. 
9. that is, in Christ our appointed head, mediator, and 

[5.] Christ being thus a common person, a mediator, 
surety, and representative, of his church, upon his undertak- 
ing, as to efficacy and merit, and upon his actual perform- 
ance as to solemn declaration, was as such acquitted, ab- 
solved, justified, and freed, from all and every thing, that on 
the behalf of the elect, as due to them, was charged upon 
him, or could so be ; I say as to all the efficacy and merit of 
his undertakings, he was immediately absolved upon his 
faithfulness, in his first engagement; and thereby all the 
saints of the Old Testament were saved by his blood no less 
than we. As to solemn declaration, he was so absolved, 
when the 'pains of death being loosed, he was declared to 
be the Son of God with power,' Rom. i. 4. by the resur- 
rection from the dead ; God saying to him, ' Thou art my 
Son, this day have I begotten thee ;' Psal. xv. 33. And this 
his absolution doth Christ express his confidence of; Isa. 1, 
5 — 9. And he was justified ; 1 Tim. iii. 16. That which I 
intend by this absolution of Christ as a public person, is 
this; God having made him under the law for them who 
were so ; Gal. iv. 4. in their stead, obnoxious to the punish- 
ment due to sin, made him sin ; 2 Cor. v. 21. and so gave 
justice, and law, and all the consequents of the curse there- 
of, power against him, Isa. liii. 6. upon his undergoing of 
that which was required of him ; ver. 12. God looses the 
pains and power of death, accepts him, and is well pleased 
with him, as to the performance and discharge of his work; 
John xvii. 3 — 6. pronounceth him free from the obligation 
that was on him; Acts xiii. and gave him a promise of all 
good things he aimed at, and which his soul desired. Here- 
on are all the promises of God made to Christ, and their ac- 
complishment; all the encouragements given him, to ask and 
make demand of the things originally engaged for to him ; 
Psal. ii. 8. which he did accordingly ; John xvii. founded, 
and built. And here lies the certain, stable foundation of 
our absolution, and acceptation' with God. Christ in our 
stead, acting for us as our surety, being acquitted, absolved, 
solemnly declared to have answered the whole debt that 


was incumbent on him to pay, and made satisfaction for all 
the injury we had done, a general pardon is sealed for us 
all, to be sued out particularly in the way to be appointed. 

[6.] Christ as a public person being thus absolved, it 
became righteous with God, a righteous thing, from the co- 
venantj compact, and convention, that was between him and 
the Mediator, that those in whose stead he was, should ob- 
tain, and have bestowed on them, all the fruits of his death, 
in reconciliation with God; Rom. v. 8 — 11. That as Christ 
received the general acquittance for them all, so that they 
should every one of them enjoy it respectively. This is 
every where manifested in those expressions, which express 
a commutation designed by God in this matter ; as 2 Cor. 
V. 21. Gal. iii. 13. 1 Pet. ii. 21. 24. of which afterward. 

[7.] Being thus acquitted in the covenant of the Medi- 
ator (whence they are said to be circumcised with him, to 
die with him, to be buried with him, to rise with him, to sit 
with him in heavenly places, namely, in the covenant of the 
Mediator), and it being righteous, that they should be ac- 
quitted personally in the covenant of grace, it was determined 
by Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that the way of their ac- 
tual personal deliverance from the sentence and curse of the 
law, should be in and by such a way and dispensation, as 
might lead to the 'praise of the glorious grace of God ;' Eph. 
i. 5 — 7. The appointment of God is, that we shall have the 
adoption of children. The means of it is by Jesus Christ; 
the peculiar way of bringing it about, is by the redemption 
that is in his blood ; the end is the praise of his glorious grace. 
And thence it is, 

[8.] That until the full time of their actual deliverance, de- 
termined and appointed to them in their several generations, 
be accomplished, they are personally under the curse of the 
law, and on that account are legally obnoxious to the wrath 
of God, from which they shall certainly be delivered ; I say, 
they are thus personally obnoxious to the law and the curse 
thereof, but not at all with its primitive intention of execu- 
tion upon them, but as it is a, means appointed to help for- 
ward their acquaintance with Christ, and acceptance with 
God, on his account ; when this is accomplished, that whole 
obligation ceases ; being continued on them in a design of 


love ; their last condition being such, as that they cannot 
without it be brought to a participation of Christ, to the 
praise of the glorious grace of God. 

[9. J The end of the dispensation of grace being to glo- 
rify the whole Trinity, the order fixed on, a;; ! appointed, 
wherein this is to be done, is, by ascending to the Father's 
love, through the works of the Spirit, and blood of the Son. 
The emanation of divine love to us begins with the Father, 
is carried on by the Son, and then communicated by the 
Spirit ; the Father designing, the Son purchasing, the Spirit 
effectually working, which is their order. Our participa- 
tion is first by the work of the Spirit, to an actual interest 
in the blood of the Son, whence we have acceptation with 
the Father. 

This then is the order, whereby we are brought to ac- 
ceptation with the Father, for the glory of God through 

1st. That the Spirit may be glorified, he is given unto us, 
to quicken us, convert us, work faith in us; Rom. viii. 11. 
3ph. i. 19,20. according to all the promises of the cove- 
nant; Isa. iv. 4, 5. Ezek. xix. 11. xxxvi. 26. 

2dly. This being wrought in us, for the glory of the Son, 
we are actually interested according to the tenor of the co- 
venant, at the same instant of time, in the blood of Christ, 
as to the benefits which he hath procured for us thereby. 
Yea, this very work of the Spirit itself is a fruit, and part of 
the purchase of Christ ; but we speak of our sense of this 
thing, whereunto the communication of the Spirit is antece- 
dent. And, 

3dly. To the glory of the Father, we are accepted with 
him, justified, freed from guilt, pardoned, and have peace 
with God; Rom. v. 1. Thus 'through Christ we have ac- 
cess by one Spirit unto the Father; 2 Eph. ii. 18. And thus 
are both Father and Son, and the Holy Spirit, glorified in 
our justification and acceptation with God ; the Father in 
his free love, the Son in his full purchase, and the Holy Spirit 
in his effectual working. 

[10.] All this, in all the parts of it, is no less fully pro- 
cured for us, nor less freely bestowed on us, for Christ's sake, 
on his account, as part of his purchase and merits ; than if 
all of us, immediately upon his death, had been translated 


into heaven ; only this way of our deliverance and freedom 
is fixed on, that the w^hole Trinity may be glorified thereby. 
And this may suffice in answer to the first objection. Though 
our reconciliation with God be fully and completely procured 
by the death of Christ, and all the ways and means whereby 
it is accomplished, yet we are brought unto an actual enjoy- 
ment thereof, by the way, and in the order mentioned, for the 
praise of the glorious grace of God. 

2. The second objection is, 'That if the righteousness and 
obedience of Christ to the law be imputed unto us, then 
what need we yield obedience ourselves?' To this also I 
shall return answer as briefly as I can, in the ensuing obser- 

(1.) The placing of our gospel obedience, on the right 
foot of account, that it may neither be exalted into a state, 
condition, use, nor end, not given it of God, nor any reason, 
cause, motive, end, necessity of it on the other hand, taken 
away, weakened, or impaired, is a matter of great import- 
ance. Some make our obedience, the works of faith, our 
works, the matter or cause of our justification ; some the 
condition of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ; 
some the qualification of the person justified, on the one 
hand ; some exclude all the necessity of them, and turn the 
grace of God into lasciviousness on the other. To debate 
these differences, is not my present business ; only I say, 
on this and other accounts, the right stating of our obedi- 
ence, is of great importance as to our walking with God. 

(2.) We do by no means, assign the same place, con- 
dition, state, and use, to the obedience of Christ imputed 
to us, and our obedience performed to God. If we did, they 
were really inconsistent. And therefore, those who affirm 
that our obedience is the condition or cause of our justifi- 
cation, do all of them deny the imputation of the obedience 
of Christ unto us. The righteousness of Christ is imputed 
to us, as that on the account whereof we are accepted, and 
esteemed righteous before God, and are really so, though 
not inherently. We are as truly righteous with the obedi- 
ence of Christ, imputed to us, as Adam was or could have 
been, by a complete righteousness of his own performance. 
So Rom. V. 18. by his obedience we are made righteous; 
made so truly, and so accepted, as by the disobedience of 


Adam we are truly made trespassers and so accounted. And 
this is that which the apostle desires to be found in, in op- 
position to his own righteousness ; Phil. iii. 9. But our own 
obedience is not the righteousness whereupon we are ac- 
cepted and justified before God ; although it be acceptable 
to God, that we should abound therein. And this distinc- 
tion the apostle doth evidently deliver and confirm, so as 
nothing can be more clearly revealed ; Eph. ii. 8 — 10. ' For 
by grace we are saved through faith, and this not of our- 
selves : it is the gift of God : not of works, lest any man 
should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in 
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath prepared 
tliat we should walk in them.' We are saved, or justified 
(for that it is whereof the apostle treats) by grace through 
faith, which receives Jesus Christ and his obedience ; 'not of 
works lest any man should boast.' But what works are they 
that the apostle intends ? The works of belitvers, as in the 
very beginning of the next words is manifest ; ' for we are ;' 
we believers, with our obedience and our works, of whom I 
speak ; yea, but what need then of works ? need still there 
is, ' we are the workmanship,' &c. 

Two things the apostle intimates in these words. 
[1.] A reason why we cannot be saved by works ; namely, 
because we do them not in, or by our own strength, which 
is necessary we should do if we will be saved, by them, or 
justified by them; but this is not so, saith the apostle, for 
we are the workmanship of God, &c. all our works are 
wrought in us, by full and effectual undeserved grace. 

[2.] An assertion of the necessity of good works, not- 
withstanding that we are not saved by them, and that is, 
that God has ordained that we shall walk in them ; which is a 
suflicient ground of our obedience, whatever be the use of it. 
If you will say then. What are the true and proper gospel 
grounds, reasons, uses, and motives of our obedience ; 
whence the necessity thereof may be demonstrated, and our 
souls be stirred up, to abound and be fruitful therein ? I say, 
they are so many and lie so deep in the mystery of the gos- 
pel, and dispensation of grace, spread themselves so through- 
out the whole revelation of the will of God unto us, that to 
handle them fully and distinctly, and to give them their due 
weight, is a thing that I cannot engage in, lest I should be 


turned aside from what I principally intend. I shall only 
give you some brief heads of what might at large be in- 
sisted on. 

1st. Our universal obedience, and good works, are in- 
dispensably necessary from the sovereign appointment and 
will of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

(1st.) In general ; * This is the will of God, even our sanc- 
tification,' or holiness; 1 Thess. iv. 3. this is that which God 
wills, which he requires of us, that we be holy, that we be 
obedient, that we do his will as the angels do in heaven ; 
the equity, necessity, profit, and advantage, of this ground 
of our obedience, might at large be insisted on. And were 
there no more, this might suffice alone. If it be the will of 
God, it is our duty. 

(1st.) The Father hath ordained or appointed it ; it is the 
will of the Father; Eph. ii. 10. the Father is spoken of per- 
sonally ; Christ being mentioned as mediator. 

(2dly.) The Son hath ordained and appointed it as me- 
diator, John XV. 16. *I have ordained you that you should 
bring forth fruit, of obedience, and that it should remain.' 

(3dly.) The Holy Ghost appoints and ordains believers 
to works of obedience and holiness, and to work holiness 
in others. So in particular. Acts xiii. 2. he appoints and 
designs men to the great work of obedience in preaching 
the gospel, and in sinning, men sin against him. 

2dly. Our holiness, our obedience, work of righteous- 
ness, is one eminent and especial end of the peculiar dispen- 
sation of Father, Son, and Spirit, in the business of exalting 
the glory of God in our salvation ; of the electing love of 
the Father ; the purchasing love of the Son ; and the ope- 
rative love of the Spirit. 

(1st.) It is a peculiar end of the electing love of the Fa- 
ther ; Eph. i. 4. ' He hath chosen us that we should be holy 
and unblameable.' So Isa. iv. 3, 4. his aim and design in 
choosing of us was, that we should be holy, and unblameable 
before him in love. This he is to accomplish and will bring 
about in them that are his. * He chooses us to salvation, 
through the sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the 
truth ;' 2 Thess. ii. 12. This the Father designed as the first 
and immediate end of electing love ; and proposes the con- 


sideration of that love, as a motive to holiness ; 1 John 
iv. 8—10. 

(2dly.) It is so also of the exceeding love of the Son, 
whereof the testimonies are innumerable. I shall give but 
one or two ; Tit. ii. 14. ' who gave himself for us, that he 
might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a 
peculiar people zealous of good works.' This was his aim, 
his design in giving himself for us ; as Eph. v. 26, 27. 
' Christ loved his church and gave himself for it ; that he 
might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by 
the word ; that he might present it to himself a glorious 
church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but 
that it should be holy and without blemish ;' 2 Cor. v. 15. 
Rom. vi. 5. 

(3dly.) It is the very work of the love of the Holy Ghost; 
his whole work upon us, in us, for us, consist in preparing 
of us for obedience, enabling of us thereunto, and bringing 
forth the fruits of it in us ; and this he doth in opposition 
to a righteousness of our own, either before it, or to be made 
up by it; Tit. iii. 5. I need not insist on this ; the fruits of 
the Spirit in us are known ; Gal. v. 22. 

And thus have we a twofold bottom of the necessity of 
our obedience and personal holiness ; God hath appointed 
it ; he requires it. And it is an eminent immediate end of 
the distinct dispensation of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
in the work of our salvation. If God's sovereignty over us 
is to be owned ; if his love towards us be to be regarded; if 
the whole work of the ever blessed Trinity, for us, in us, be 
of any moment, our obedience is necessary. 

(3.) It is necessary in respect of the end thereof; and 
that whether you consider God, ourselves, or the world. 

[1.] The end of our obedience in respect of God, is, his 
glory and honour ; Mai. i. 6. This is God's honour, all that 
we give him. It is true, he will take his honour from the 
stoutest and proudest rebel in the world ; but all we give 
him, is in our obedience. The glorifying of God by our 
obedience, is all that we are or can be. Particularly, 

1st. It is the glory of the Father. Matt. v. 16. ' Let your 
light so shine before men, that they may see your good 
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' By our 
walking in the light of faith, doth glory arise to the Father. 

VOL. X. Q 


The fruits of his love, of his grace, of his kindness, are seen 
upon us ; and God is glorified in our behalf. And, 

2dly. The Son is glorified thereby. It is the will of 
God, that as all men honour the Father, so should they ho- 
nour the Son ; John v. 23. and how is this done ? by believ- 
ing in him; John xiv. 1. obeying of him. Hence, John 
xvii. 10. he says, he is glorified in believers ; and prays for 
an increase of grace and union for them, that he may yet be 
more glorified, and all might know that as mediator he was 
sent of God. 

3dly. The Spirit is glorified also by it. He is grieved by 
our disobedience ; Eph. iv. 30. and therefore, his glory is in 
our bringing forth fruit. He dwells in us as in his temple, 
which is not to be defiled ; holiness becometh his habita- 
tion for ever. 

Now if this that hath been said be not sufficient to evince 
a necessity of our obedience, we must suppose ourselves to 
speak with a sort of men, who regard neither the sovereignty 
nor love, nor glory of God, Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. 
Let men say what they please, though our obedience should 
be all lost, and never regarded, which is impossible (for 
God is not unjust to forget our labour of love), yet here is a 
sufficient bottom, ground, and reason of yielding more obe- 
dience unto God, than ever we shall do, whilst we live in 
this world. 1 speak also only of gospel grounds of obedi- 
ence, and not of those that are natural and legal, which are 
indispensable to all mankind. 

[2.] The end in respect of ourselves immediately, is three- 
fold. 1st. Honour. 2dly. Peace. 3dly. Usefulness. 

1st. Honour. It is by holiness that we are made like 
unto God, and his image is renewed again in us. This was 
our honour at our creation ; this exalted us above all our 
fellow creatures here below ; we were made in the image of 
God. This we lost by sin, and became like the beasts that 
perish. To this honour of conformity to God, of bearing his 
image, are we exalted again by holiness alone. ' Be ye holy,' 
says God, * because I am holy ;' 1 Pet. i. 16. and, ' be ye 
perfect,' that is, in doing good, ' as your heavenly Father is 
perfect,' Matt. v. 48. in a likeness and conformity to him : and 
herein is the image of God renewed ; Eph. iv. 23, 24. there- 
in we put on the • new man which after God is created in 


righteousness, and holiness of truth.' This was that, which 
originally was attended with power and dominion ; is still 
all that is beautiful or comely in the world. How it makes 
men honourable and precious in the sight of God, of angels, 
of men, how alone it is that which is not despised, which is 
of price before the Lord ; what contempt and scorn he hath 
of them in whom it is not, in what abomination he hath 
them and all their ways, might easily be evin<:ed. 

2dly. Peace. By it we have communion with God, where- 
in peace alone is to be enjoyed. The * wicked are like a 
troubled sea, that cannot rest,' and there is ' no peace to 
them saith my God ;' Isa. xlviii. 21. There is no peace, rest, 
or quietness, in a distance, separation, or alienation from 
God. He is the rest of our souls. In the light of his coun- 
tenance is life and peace. Now, * if we walk in the light, as 
he is light, we have fellowship one with another,' 1 John i. 
7. * and verily our fellowship is with the Father, and with 
the Son Jesus Christ ;' ver. 3. He that walks in the light 
of new obedience, he hath communion with God, and in his 
presence is fulness of joy for ever ; without it here is nothing 
but darkness, and wandering, and confusion. 

3dly. Usefulness. A man without holiness is good for no- 
thing. * Ephraim,' says the prophet, ' is an empty vine, that 
brings forth fruit to itself.' And what is such a vine good 
for ? Nothing, saith another prophet, a man cannot make a 
pin of it, so much as to hang a vessel on. A barren tree is 
good for nothing, but to be cut down for the fire. Notwith- 
standing the seeming usefulness of men, who serve the pro- 
vidence of God in their generations, I could easily manifest 
that the world and the church might want them, and that in- 
deed in themselves they are good for nothing ^ only the holy 
man is commune banum. 

[3.] The end of it in respect of others, in the world is 

1st. It serves to the conviction, and stopping the mouths of 
some of the enemies of God, both here and hereafter. (1st.) 
- Here; IPet. iii. 16. 'Keeping a good conscience; that, where- 
in they speak against you as evil doers, they may be ashamed, 
beholding your good conversation in Christ.' By our keep- 
ing of a good conscience, men will be made ashamed of their 



false accusations ; that whereas their malice and hatred of 
the ways of God, hath provoked them to speak all manner of 
evil of the profession of them ; by the holiness and righte- 
ousness of the saints, they are convinced and made ashamed, 
as a thief is when he is taken, and be driven to acknowledge 
that God is amongst them, and that they are wicked them- 
selves ; John xvii. 23. (2dly.) Hereafter; It is said that the 
saints shall j udge the world : it is on this as well as upon other 
considerations. Their good works, their righteousness, their 
holiness, shallbe brought forth, and manifested to all the 
world, and the righteousness of God's judgments against 
wicked men, be thence evinced. See, says Christ, these are 
they that I own, whom you so despised and abhorred ; and 
see, their works follov;ing' them, this and that they have 
done, when you wallowed in your abominations; Matt. xxv. 
42, 43, 

2dly. The conversion of others. 1 Pet. ii. 12. ' Having 
your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that wherein 
they spake against you as evil doers, beholding your good 
works, they may glorify God in the day of visitation ;' Matt, 
ver. 17. Even revilers, persecutors, evil speakers, have been 
overcome by the constant holy walking of professors, and 
when their day of visitation hath come, have glorified God 
on that account; 1 Pet. iii. 1, 2. 

3dly. The benefit of all ; partly in keeping off judgments 
from the residue of men, as ten good men would have pre- 
served Sodom;* partly by their real communication of good 
to them, with whom they have to do in their generation. Ho- 
liness makes a man a good man, useful to all, and others 
eat of the fruits of one Spirit, that he brings forth conti- 

4thly. It is necessary in respect of the state and condi- 
tion of justified persons; and that whether you consider 
their relative state of acceptation, or their state of sanctifi- 

(1st.) They are accepted and received into friendship 
with a holy God ; a God of purer eyes than to behold ini- 
quity ; who hates every unclean thing. And is it not neces- 
sary that they should be holy, who are admitted into his 

=* Gen. xviii. 32. v. 33. 


presence, walk in his sight, yea, lay in his bosom ? Should 
they not with all diligence cleanse themselves from all pollu- 
tion of' flesh and spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of 
the Lord ? 

2dly. In respect of sanctification. We have in us a new 
creature ; 2 Cor. v. 17. this new creature is fed, cherished, 
nourished, kept alive by the fruits of holiness. To what end 
hath God given us new hearts, and new natures? Is it that 
we should kill them, stifle the creature that is found in us, 
in the womb? that we should give him to the old man to be 
devoured ? 

5thly. It is necessary in respect of the proper place of 
holiness in the new covenant, and that is twofold. 

(1st.) Of the means unto the end. God hath appointed 
that holiness shall be the means,*^ the way, to that eternal 
life, which as in itself and originally is his gift, by Jesus 
Christ ; so, with regard to his constitution of our obedience, 
as the means of attaining it, is a reward; and God in be- 
stowing of it a rewarder. Though it be neither the cause, 
matter, nor condition of our justification, yet it is the way 
appointed of God, for us to walk in, for the obtaining of sal- 
vation. And therefore, he that hath hope of eternal life, 
purifies himself, as he is pure ; and none shall ever come to 
that end, who walketh not in that way; for without holiness 
it is impossible to see God. 

(2dly.) It is a testimony and pledge of adoption; a sign 
and evidence of grace, that is, of acceptation with God. 
And, 3dly. The whole expression of our thankfulness. Now, 
there is not one of all these causes and reasons of the neces- 
sity, the indispensible necessity, of our obedience, good 
works, and personal righteousness, but would require am.ore 
large discourse to unfold and explain, than I have allotted to 
the proposal of them all ; and innumerable others there are 
of the same import, that I cannot name. He that upon these 
accounts doth not think universal holiness and obedience to 
be of indispensible necessity, unless also it be exalted into 
the room of the obedience and righteousness of Christ, let 
him be filthy still. 

b 2 Cor. vii. 1. 
'• Rom. vi. '23. Heb. xi. 6. Gcii. xv. 1. Psal. xix. 11. Iviii. 11. Matt. v. 12. x. 41. 
Rom. iv. 4. Col. ii. 18. iii. 24. Heb. x. 35. xi. 26. 2 Pet.ii. 31. 


These objections being removed, and having at the en- 
trance of this chapter, declared what is done on the part of 
Christ, as to our fellowship with him in this purchased grace, 
as to our acceptation with God ; it remains. 

(2.) That I now shew, what also is required and per- 
formed on our part, for the completing thereof. This then 
consists in the ensuing particulars. 

[I.] The saints cordially approve of this righteousness, 
as that alone which is absolutely complete, and able to 
make them acceptable before God. And this supposeth five 

1st. Their clear and full conviction of the necessity of a 
righteousness, wherewith to appear before God, This is al- 
ways in their thoughts ; this in their whole lives they take 
for granted. Many men spend their days in obstinacy and 
hardness, adding drunkenness unto thirst,, never once in- 
quiring what their condition shall be, when they enter into 
eterrTity. Others trifle away their time and their souls,, 
sowing the wind of empty hopes, and preparing to reap a 
whirlwind of wrath. But this lies at the bottom of all the 
saints' communion with Christ. A deep, fixed, resolved per- 
suasion of an absolute and indispensible necessity of a righ- 
teousness, wherewith to appear before God. The holiness of 
God's nature, the righteousness of his government,, the seve- 
rity of his law, the terror of his wrath, are always before 
them. They have been all convinced of sin, and have looked 
on themselves as ready to sink under the vengeance due i& 
it. They have all cried, ' Men and brethren, what shall we 
do to be saved ?' * Wherewith shall we appear before God ?' 
And have all concluded, that it is in vain to flatter them- 
selves with hopes of escaping as they are by nature; if God 
be holy, and righteous, and of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity, they must have a righteousness to stand before 
him : and they know what will be the cry one day, of those 
who now bear up themselves, as if they were otherwise 
minded ; Isa. liii. 15. Mich. vii. 6, 7. 

2dly. They weigh their own righteousness in the balance, 
and find it wanting. And this two ways. 

(1st.) In general, and upon the whole of the matter, at 
their first setting themselves before God. When men are 
convinced of the necessity of a righteousness, they catch at 


every thing that presents itself to them for relief. Like men 
ready to sink in deep waters, catch at that which is next, to 
save them from drowning, which sometimes proves a rotten 
stick, that sinks with them. So did the Jews, Rom. ix. 31,32. 
they caught hold of the law, and it would not relieve them ; 
and how they perished with it, the apostle declares, chap. 
X, 14, The law put them upon setting up a righteousness 
of their own; this kept them doing, and in hope, but kept 
them from submitting to the righteousness of God, Here 
many perish, and never get one step nearer God all their 
days. This the saints renounce ; they have no confidence 
in the flesh; they know that all they can do, all that the 
law can do, which is weak through the flesh, will not avail 
them. See what judgment Paul makes of all a man's own 
righteousness ; Phil. iii. 8. 10. This they bear in their 
minds daily, this they fill their thoughts withal, that upon 
the account of what they have done, can do, ever shall do, 
they cannot be accepted with God, or justified thereby. This 
keeps their souls humble, full of a sense of their own vileness 
all their days. 

(2dly.) In particular ; they daily weigh all their parti- 
cular actions in the balance, and find them wanting, as to 
any such completeness, as upon their own account to be ac- 
cepted with God. Oh ! says a saint, if I had nothing to 
commend me unto God, but this prayer, this duty, this con- 
quest of a temptation, wherein I myself see so many failings, 
so much imperfection, could I appear with any boldness 
before him? Shall I then piece up a garment of righteous- 
ness out of my best duties? ah ! it is all as a defiled cloth 
Isa. Ixiv. 6. These thoughts accompany them in all their 
duties, in their best and most choice performances. Lord 
what am I in my best oetate ? How little suitableness unto 
thy holiness is in my best duties? O spare me! in reference 
to the* best thing that ever I did in my life. When a man 
who lives upon convictions, hath got some enlargements in 
duties, some conquest over a sin or temptation, he hugs 
himself, like Micah when he had got a Levite to be his 
priest; now surely it shall be well with him, now God will 
bless him, his heart is now at ease ; he hath peace in what 
he hath done. But he who has communion with Christ, 

Neh. xiii. 12. 


"when he is highest in duties of sanctification and holiness, 
is clearest in the apprehension of his ovvn,unprofitableness, 
and rejects every thought that might arise in his heart, of 
setting his peace in them, or upon them. He says to his 
soul. Do these things seem something to thee ? Alas ! thou 
■hast to do with an infinitely righteous God, who looks 
through and through all that vanity, which thou art but little 
acquainted withal ; and should he deal with thee, according 
to thy best works, thou must perish. 

3dly. They approve of, value and rejoice in this righte- 
ousness, for their acceptation, which the Lord Jesus hath 
wrought out, and provided for them ; this being discovered 
to them, they approve of it with all their hearts, and rest in 
it ; Isa. xlv. 24. ' Surely shall one' say, in the Lord have I 
righteousness and strength.' This is their voice and lan- 
guage, when once the righteousness of God in Christ is 
.made" known unto them ; here is righteousness indeed, here 
have I rest for my soul. Like the merchant-man in the 
gospel. Matt. xiii. 45, 46. that finds the pearl of price ; I had 
been searcliing up and down, I looked this and that way for 
help, but it was far away ; I spent my strength for that 
which was not bread; here is that, indeed, which makes me 
rich for ever. When first the righteousness of Christ, for 
acceptation with God, is revealed to a poor labouring soul, 
that hath sought for rest and hath found none, he is surprised 
and amazed, and is notable to contain itself: and such a one 
always in his heart approves this righteousness on a fivefold 

(1st) As full of infinite wisdom. Unto them that believe, 
saith the apostle, Christ crucified, is 'the wisdom of God ;' 
1 Cor. i. 24. They see infinite wisdom in this way of their 
acceptation with God. In what darkness, says such a one, 
in what straits, in what entanglements, was my poor soul? 
How little able was I to look through the clouds and per- 
plexities wherewith I was encompassed ? I looked inwards, 
and there was nothing but sin, horror, fear, tremblings ; I 
looked upwards, and saw nothing but wrath, curses, and 
vengeance. I knew that God was a holy and righteous God, 
and that no unclean thing should abide before him ; I knew 
that I was a poor, vile, unclean, and sinful creature, and how 
to bring these two together in peace, I knew not. But in the 


righteousness of Christ, doth a world of wisdom open itself, 
dispelling all diflBculties and darkness, and manifesting a 
reconciliation of all this. ' O the depth of the riches of the 
wisdom and knowledge of God !' Horn. xi. 33. Col. ii. 3. but 
of this before. 

(2dly.) As full of grace. He knows that sin had shut up 
the whole way of grace towards him, and whereas God aims 
at nothing so much as the manifestation of his grace, he 
was utterly cut short of it. Now to have a complete righte- 
ousness provided, and yet abundance of grace manifested, 
exceedingly delights the soul ; to have God's dealing with 
his person, all grace, and dealing with his righteousness, all 
justice, takes up his thoughts. God every where assures us, 
that this righteousness is of grace. It is 'by grace, and no 
more of works ;' Rom. xi. 6. as the apostle at large sets it 
out, Eph. ii. 7 — 9. It is from riches of grace and kind- 
ness, that the provision of this righteousness is made ; it is 
of mere grace that it is bestowed on us, it is not at all of 
works : thouo;h it be in itself a rig-hteousness of works, vet 
to us, it is of mere grace. So Tit. iii. 4 — 7. ' But after that 
the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man ap- 
peared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, 
but 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 : 
that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs 
according to the hope of eternal life.' The rise of all this 
dispensation is kindness and love, that is, grace ; ver. 4. The 
way of communication, negatively, fs not by works of righte- 
ousness that we have done ; positively, by the communi- 
cation of the Holy Ghost ; ver. 5. the means of whose pro- 
curement, is Jesus Christ ; ver, 6. and the work itself is 
by grace; ver. 7. Here is use made of every word almost, 
whereby the exceeding rich grace, kindness, mercy, and 
goodness of God maybe expressed, all concurring in this 
work. As, 1. KjOrjarorrjCj his goodness, benignity, readiness 
to communicate of himself, and his good things, that may be 
profitable to us. 2. <^iXav9p(07ria, mercy, love, and propen- 
sity of mind to help, assist, relieve them of whom he speaks, 
towards whom he is so affected ; and eXwg, mercy, forgive- 
ness, compassion, tenderness, to them that suffer ; and x«P'C> 


free pardoning bounty, undeserved love : and all this is 
said to be tow ^eov acoTrjpoQ ; he exercises all these properties 
and attributes of his nature towards us, that he may save us ; 
and in the bestowing of it, giving us the Holy Ghost, it is 
said, l^ex^tev, he poured him out, as water out of a vessel, 
without stop and hesitation, and that not in a small mea- 
sure, but irXovaidyg, richly and in abundance ; whence, as to 
the work itself, it is emphatically said, diKUKv^ivrtg tjj Ikuvov 
■\apiTi; justified by the grace of him, who is such a one. 
And this do the saints of God in their communion with 
Christ, exceedingly rejoice in before him, that the way of 
their acceptation before God, is a way of grace, kindness, and 
mercy, that they might not boast in themselves, but in the 
Lord, and his goodness ; crying, how great is thy goodness! 
how great is thy bounty ! 

3dly. They approve of it, and rejoice in it, as a way of 
great peace and security to themselves and their own souls. 
They remember what was their state and condition, whilst 
they went about to set up a righteousness of their own, and 
were not subject to the righteousness of Christ; how miser- 
ably they were tossed up and down, with continual fluctu- 
ating thoughts ; sometimes they had hope, and sometimes 
were full of fear ; sometimes they thought themselves in 
some good condition, and anon were at the very brink of 
hell ; their consciences being racked and torn, with sin and 
fear ; but now, ' being justified by faith, they have peace 
with God;' Kom. v. 1. All is quiet and serene; not only 
that storm is over, but they are in the haven where they 
would be. They have abiding peace with God. Hence is 
that description of Christ, to a poor soul ; Isa. xxxii. 2. 
* And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and 
a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, 
as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.' Wind, and 
tempest, and drought, and weariness, nothing now troubles 
the soul that is in Christ ; he hath a hiding place and a 
covert, and rivers of water, and the shadow of a great rock, 
for his security. This is the great mystery of faith in this 
business of our acceptation with God by Christ ; that 
whereas the soul of a believer finds enough in him, and 
upon him, to rend the very caul of the heart, to fill him 
with fears, terror, disquietments all his days, yet through 


Christ, he is at perfect peace with God ; Isa. xxvi. 3. Psal. 
iv. 6 — 8. Hence do the souls of believers exceedingly mag- 
nify Jesus Christ, that they can behold the face of God 
with boldness, confidence, peace, joy, assurance, that they 
can call him Father, bear themselves on his love, walk up 
and down in quietness and without fear ; how glorious is the 
Son of God, in this grace ! They remernber the wormwood 
and gall that they have eaten ; the vinegar and tears they 
have drank ; the trembling of their souls like an aspen leaf 
that is shaken with the wind ; whenever they thought of God, 
what contrivances have they had to hide, and fly, and escape ; 
to be brought now to settlement and security, must needs 
greatly affect them. 

4thly. They cordially approve of this righteousness be- 
cause it is a way and means of exceeding exaltation and 
honour of the Lord Jesus, whom their souls do love. Being 
once brought to an acquaintance with Jesus Christ, their 
hearts desire nothing more than that he may be honoured 
and glorified to the utmost, and in all things have the pre- 
eminence. Now what can more tend to the advancing and 
honouring of him in our hearts, than to know that he is made 
of God unto us, 'wisdom and righteousness ;' 1 Cor. i. 30. 
Not that he is this or that part of our acceptation with God ; 
but he is all, he is the whole. They know that in the ac- 
count of his working out their acceptation with God, he is, 

(1st.) Honoured of God his Father; 2 Phil. ii. 7—10. 
*He made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the 
form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And 
being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and be- 
came obedient unto death, even the death of the cross ; 
wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him 
a name, which is above every name; that at the name of 
Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things 
in earth, and things under the earth : and that every tongue 
should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of 
God the Father.' Whether that word 'wherefore,' denotes a 
connexion of causality, or only a consequence, this is evi- 
dent, that on the account of his suffering, and as the end of 
it, he was*^ honoured and exalted of God, to an unspeakable 

"1 Psal. ex. 1. 6. ii. 8,9. Zecli.ix. 10. Psal. ixxii. 8. Rom. xiv. 11, Isa. xlv. 23. 
Phil. ii. 10. 


pre-eminence, dignity, and authority ; according as God had 
promised him, on the same account ; Isa. Hii. 11, 12. Acts 
ii. 36. V. 30, 31. And therefore it is said, that when * he had 
by himself purged our sins, he sat down at the right hand 
of the Majesty on high; Heb. i. 3. 

(2dly.) He is on this account honoured of all the angels 
in heaven, even because of this great work of bi'inging sin- 
ners unto God ; for they do not only bow down and desire 
to look into the mystery of the cross, 1 Pet. i. 12. but wor- 
ship and praise him always on this account ; Rev. v. 11 — 14. 
* I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, 
and living creatures, and the elders: and the number of them 
was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of 
thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb 
that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, 
and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And 
every creature which is in heaven and earth, and under the 
earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, 
heard I saying, Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto 
him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever 
and ever. And the living creatures said, Amen. Andthefour- 
and-twenty elders fell down and worshipped him thatliveth 
for ever and ever.' The reason given of this glorious and 
wonderful doxology, this attribution of honour and glory, 
to Jesus Christ, by the whole host of heaven, is, because he 
was the Lamb that was slain ; that is, because of the work of 
our redemption, and our bringing unto God. And it is not 
a little refreshment and rejoicing to the souls of the saints, 
to know, that all the angels of God, the whole host of hea- 
ven, which never sinned, do yet continually rejoice, and as- 
cribe praise and honour to the Lord Jesus, for his bringing 
them to peace and favour with God. 

(3dly.) He is honoured by his saints all the world over ; 
and indeed, if th ey do not, who should. If they honour him 
not as they honour the Father, they were of all men the most 
unworthy : but see what they do. Rev. i. 5, 6. ' Unto him 
that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 
and hath made us kings and priests to God and his Father, 
to him be gloryfor everand ever, Amen. Chap. v. 8 — 10. 'The 
four living creatures and four-and-twenty elders, fell down 
before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and 


golden vials full of oclours,which are the prayers of the saints. 
And they sung a new song, saying. Thou art worthy to take 
the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, 
and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood, out of every 
kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made 
lis unto God kings and priests : and we shall reign on the 
earth.' The great solemn worship of the Christian church, 
consists in this assignation of honour and glory to the Lord 
Jesus; therefore do they love him, honour him, delight in 
him; as Paul, Phil. iii. 8. and so the spouse, Cant. v. 9 — 11. 
and this is on this account. 

5thly. They cordially approve of this righteousness, this 
way of acceptation, as that which brings glory to God as 
such. When they were labouring under the guilt of sin, 
that which did most of all perplex their souls v/as, that their 
safety was inconsistent with the glory and honour of the 
great God; ''with his justice, faithfulness, and truth; all 
which were engaged for the destruction of sin ; and how to 
come off from ruin, without the loss of their honour he saw 
not. But now by the revelation of this righteousness from 
faith to faith, they plainly see, that all the properties of 
God are exceedingly glorified, in the pardon, justification, 
and acceptance of poor sinners, as before was manifested. 

And this is the first way whereby the saints hold daily 
communion with the Lord Jesus, in this purchased grace of 
acceptation with God. They consider, approve of, and re- 
joice in, the way, means, and thing itself. 

[2.] They make an actual commutation with the Lord 
Jesus, as to their sins and his righteousness ; of this there 
are also sundry parts. 

1st. They continually keep alive upon their hearts a 
sense of the guilt and evil of sin ; even then when they are 
under some comfortable persuasions of their personal ac- 
ceptance with God. Sense of pardon takes away the hor- 
ror and fear, but not a due sense of the guilt of sin. It is 
the daily exercise of the saints of God, to consider the great 
provocation that is in sin, their sins ; the sin of their nature 
and lives ; to render themselves vile in their own hearts and 
thoughts on that account ; to compare it with the terror of 
the Lord ; and to judge themselves continually. This they 

e Rom. i. 17. X. 3, 4. 


do in general; 'My sin is ever before me,' says David, they set 
sin before them not to terrify and affright their souls with 
it, but that a due sense of the evil of it,-may be kept ali-ve 
upon their hearts. 

2dly. They gather up in their thoughts the sins for which 
they have not made a particular reckoning with God in 
Christ ; or if they have begun so to do, yet they have not 
made clear work of it, nor come to a clear and comfortable 
issue. There is nothing more dreadful than for a man to be 
able to digest his convictions, to have sin look him in the 
face, and speak perhaps some words of terror to him, and to 
be able by any charms of diversions or delays, to put it off, 
without coming to a full trial as to state and condition in re- 
ference thereunto. This the saints do ; they gather up 
their sins, lay them in the balance of the law, see and con- 
sider their weight and desert ; and then, 

[3.] They make this commutation I speak of with Jesus 
Christ. That is, 

1st. They seriously consider, and by faith conquer all 
objections to the contrary, that Jesus Christ, by the will and 
appointment of the Father, hath really undergone the pu- 
nishment that was due to those sins,, tbat lie now under his 
eye and consideration; Isa. liii. 6. 2 Cor. v. 21. he hath as 
certainly and really answered the justice of God for them, 
as if he himself, the sinner, should at that instance be cast 
into hell, could do. 

2dly. They hearken to the voice of Christ calling them 
to him with their burden ; ' Come unto me ye that are weary 
and heavy laden:' come with your burdens; come thou 
(poor soul) with thy guilt of sin. Why, what to do? Why, 
this is mine, saith Christ, this agreement I made with my 
Father, that I should come, and take thy sins, and bear them 
away ; they were my lot. Give me thy burden, give me all 
thy sins ; thou knowest not what to do with them, I know 
how to dispose of them well enough, so that God shall be 
glorified and thy soul delivered. Hereupon, 

3dly. They lay down their sins at the cross of Christ, 
upon his shoulders ; this is faith's great and bold venture 
upon the grace, faithfulness, and truth of God ; to stand by 
the cross and say. Ah ! he is bruised for my sins, and ' wound- 
ed for my transgressions, and the chastisement of my peace 


is upon him.' He is thus made sin for me. Here I give up 
my sins to him that is able to bear them, to undergo them. 
He requires it of my hands, that I should be content that he 
should undertake for them, and that 1 heartily consent unto. 
This is every day's work, I know not how any peace can be 
maintained with God, without it. If it be the work of souls 
to receive Christ, as made sin for us, we must receive him, 
as one that takes our sins upon him. Not as though he died 
anymore, or suffered any more; but as the faith of the saints 
of old, made that present and done before their eyes, not yet 
come to pass; Heb. xi. 1. so faith now, makes that present, 
which was accomplished and past many generations ago. 
This it is to know Christ crucified. 

4thly. Having thus by faith given up their sins to Christ, 
and seen God laying them all on him, they draw nigh, and 
take from him that rio-hteousness which he hath wroug-ht 
out for them, so fulfilling the whole of that of the apostle ; 
2 Cor. V. 21. *He was made sin for us, that we might become 
the righteousness of God in him.' They consider him ten- 
dering himself and his righteousness, to be their righteous- 
ness before God ; they take it, and accept of it, and com- 
plete this blessed bartering and exchange of faith. Anger, 
curse, wrath, death, sin as to its guilt, he took it all, and 
takes it all away ; with him we leave whatever of this nature 
belongs to us, and from him we receive, love, life, righteous- 
ness and peace. 

Ob. But it may be said. Surely this course of procedure 
can never be acceptable to Jesus Christ. What! Shall we 
daily come to him, with our filth, our guilt, our sins ? May he 
not, will he not, bid us keep them to ourselves ? they are our 
own ; shall we be always giving sins, and taking righteous- 

Ans. There is not any thing that Jesus Christ is more 
delighted with, than that his saints should always hold 
communion with him, as to this business of giving and re- 
ceiving. For, 

(1st.) This exceedingly honours him, and gives him the 
glory that is his due ; many indeed cry Lord, Lord, and make 
mention of him, but honour him not at all. How so ? They 
take his work out of his hands, and ascribe it unto other 
things ; their repentance, their duties, shall bear their ini- 


quities. They do not say so, but they do so. The commu- 
.tatioii they make, if they make any, it is with themselves. 
All tlitir bartering abovit sin, is in and with their own souls. 
The work that Christ came to do in the world, was to 'bear 
our iniquities/ and lay down his life a ransom for our sins. 
The cup he had to drink of, was tilled with our sins, as to 
the punishment due to them. What greater dishonour then 
can be done to the Lord Jesus, than to ascribe this work to 
any thing else; to think to get rid of our sins any other way, 
or means. Herein then, I say, is Christ honoured indeed, 
when we go to him with our sins, by faith, and say unto 
him. Lord, this is thy work ; this is that for which thou 
camest into the world ; this is that, thou hast undertaken 
to do ; thou callest for my burden, which is too heavy for 
me to bear ; take it, blessed Redeemer ; thou tenderest thy 
righteousness, that is my portion. Then is Christ honoured, 
then is the glory of mediation ascribed to him, when we walk 
with him in this communion. 

(2dly.) This exceedingly endears the souls of the saints 
to him ,and constrains them to put a due valuation upon him, 
his love, his righteousness, and grace. When they find, and 
have the daily use of it, then they do it. Who would not 
love him? I have been with the Lord Jesus, may the poor 
soul say ; I have left my sins, my burden with him, and 
he hath given me his righteousness, wherewith I am going 
with boldness to God. I was dead, and am alive, for he died 
for me ; I was cursed, and am blessed, for he was made a 
curse for me ; I was troubled, but have peace, for the chas- 
tisement of my peace was upon him ; I knew not what to do, 
nor whither to cause my sorrow to go ; by him have I re- 
ceived joy unspeakable and glorious. If I do not love him, 
delight in him, obey him, live to him, die for him, I am worse 
than the devils in hell. Now the great aim of Christ in the 
world, is, to have a high place and esteem in the hearts of 
his people ; to have there (as he hath in himself), the pre- 
eminence in all things ; not to be jostled up and down among 
other thino-s : to be all, and in all. And thus are the saints 
of God prepared to esteem him, upon the engaging them- 
selves to this communion with him. 

Ob. Yea, but you will say. If this be so, what need we to 
repent, or amend our ways ; it is but going to Christ by faith. 


making this exchange with him, and so we may sin that 
grace may abound ? 

Ans. I judge no man's person ; but this I must needs say, 
that I do not understand, how a man that makes this objec- 
tion in cold blood, not under a temptation or accidental 
darkness, can have any true or real acquaintance with Jesus 
Christ; however, this I am certain of, that this communion 
in itself, produces quite other effects, than those supposed. 

(1.) For repentance. It is, I suppose, a gospel repentance 
that is intended. For a legal bondage, repentance full of 
dread, amazement, terror, self-love, astonishment at the pre- 
sence of God, I confess this communion takes it away, pre- 
vents it, casts it out, with its bondage and fear ; but for gos- 
pel repentance, whose nature consists in godly sorrow for 
sin, with its relinquishment, proceeding from faith, love, and 
abhorrency of sin, on account of Father, Son, and Spirit, 
both law, and love, that this should be hindered by this 
communion, is not possible. I told you that the foundation 
of this communion is laid in a deep, serious, daily conside- 
ration af sin, its guilt, vileness, and abomination, and our 
own vileness on that account ; that a sense hereof is to be 
kept alive in and upon the heart of every one, that will enjoy 
this communion with Christ; without it Christ is of no va- 
lue nor esteem to him. Now is it possible that a man should 
daily fill his heart with the thoughts of the vileness of sin, 
on all considerations whatever, of law, love, grace, gospel, 
life, and death, and be filled with self-abhorrency on this ac- 
count, and yet be a stranger to godly sorrow ? Here is the 
tnistake, the foundation of this communion is laid in that, 
which they suppose it overthrows. 

(2.) But what shall we say for obedience ? If Christ be so 
glorified and honoured by taking our sins, the more we bring 
to him the more will he be glorified. A man could not sup- 
pose that this objection would be made, but that the Holy 
Ghost, who knows what is in man, and his heart, hath made 
it for them, and in their name; Rom. vi. 1—3. The very 
same doctrine that I have insisted on, being delivered, chap. 
v^ 13 — 20. the same objection is made to it; and for those 
who think it may have any weight, I refer them to the an- 
swer given in that chapter by the apostle, as also to what 

VOL. X. R 


was said before to the necessity of our obedience, notwith- 
standing the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. 

But you will say. How should we address ourselves to the 
performance of this duty ? What path are we to walk in ? 

Faith exercises itself in it, especially three ways. 

[1.] In meditation. The heart goes over in its own 
thoughts the part above insisted on, sometimes severally, 
sometimes jointly, sometimes fixing primarily on one thing, 
sometimes on another, and sometimes going over the whole. 
At one time perhaps, the soul is most upon consideration of 
its own sinfulness, and filling itself with shame and self- 
abhorrency on that account ; sometimes it is filled with the 
thoughts of the righteousness of Christ, and with joy un- 
speakable, and glorious on that account. Especially on great 
occasions, when grieved and burdened by negligence or erup- 
tion of corruption, then the soul goes over the whole work, 
and so drives things to an issue with God, and takes up the 
peace that Christ hath wrought out for him. 

[2. J In considering and inquiring into the promises of the 
gospel, which hold out all these things; the excellency, ful- 
ness, and suitableness, of the righteousness of Christ, the 
rejection of all false righteousness, and the commutation 
made in the love of God, which was formerly insisted on. 

[3.] In prayer. Herein do their souls go through this work 
day by day ; and this communion have all the saints with 
the Lord Jesus, as to their acceptation with God, which was 
the first thing proposed to consideration. 


Of communion with Christ in holiness. The several acts ascribed unto the 
Lord Christ herein. 1. His intercession. 2. Sending of the Spirit. 
3. Sestotvs habitual grace. What that is, and wherein it consists. This 
purchased by Christ ; bestowed by him. Of actual grace. How the saints 
hold communion with Christ in these things, manifested in sundry parti- 

Our communion with the Lord Jesus, as to that grace of 
sanctification and purification, whereof we have made men- 


tion in the several distinctions and degrees thereof for- 
merly, is nextly to be considered. And herein the former 
method must be observed ; and we must shew, 

1. What are the peculiar actings of the Lord Christ as to 
this communion. And, 

2. What is the duty of the saints -herein : the sum is, how 
we hold communion with Christ in holiness, as well as in 
righteousness, and that very briefly, 

1. There are several acts ascribed unto the Lord Jesus 
in reference to this particular. As, 

(1.) His interceding with the Father, by virtue of his ob- 
lation in the behalf of his, that he would bestow the Holy 
Spirit on them. Here I choose to enter, because, of the ob- 
lation of Christ itself, I have spoken before ; otherwise, 
every thing is to be run up to that head, that source and 
spring. There lies the foundation of all spiritual mercies 
whatever, as afterward also shall be manifested. Now the 
Spirit, as unto us, a Spirit of grace, holiness, and consolation, 
is of the purchase of Christ. It is upon the matter, the 
great promise of the new covenant, Ezek. xi. 19. ' I will put 
a new spirit within you ;' so also, chap, xxxvi. 27. Jer. 
xxxii. 39, 40. and in sundry other places, whereof afterward. 
Christ is the Mediator and ' surety of this new covenant;' 
Heb. vii. 22. 'Jesus was made surety of a better testament,' 
or rather covenant. A testament needs no surety. He is 
the undertaker on the part of God and man also ; of man 
to give satisfaction, of God to bestow the whole grace of 
the promise ; as chap. ix. 15. ' For this cause he is the Me- 
diator of the new testament, that by means of death, for 
the redemption of transgressions that were under the first 
testament, they which are called, might receive the promise 
of eternal inheritance.' He both satisfied for sin, and pro- 
cured the promise. He procures all the love and kindness, 
which are the fruits of the covenant; being himself the ori- 
ginal promise thereof; Gen. iii. 16. the whole being so 'or- 
dered in all things, and made sure,' 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. that the 
residue of its effects, should all be derived from him, depend 
upon him, and be procured by him, ' that he in all things 
might have the pre-eminence,' Col. i. 19. according to the 
compact and agreement made with him; Isa. liii. 12. They 
are all the purchase of his blood, and therefore the Spirit 

K 2 


also, as promised in that covenant; 1 Cor. i. 20. Now the 
whole fruit and purchase of his death, is made out from the 
Father upon his intercession. This, John xiv. 16 — 18. he 
promiseth his disciples, that he will pursue the work which 
he hath in hand in their behalf, and intercede with the Fa- 
ther for the Spirit, as a fruit of his purchase. Therefore, he 
tells them, that he will not pray the Father for his love unto 
them, because the eternal love of the Father, is not the fruit, 
but the fountain of his purchase ; but the Spirit, that is a 
fruit, that, saith he, * I will pray the Father for,' &c. And 
what Christ asketh the Father as mediator, to bestow on us, 
that is part of his purchase,* being promised unto him upon 
his undertaking to do the will of God. And this is the first 
thing that is to be considered in the Lord Jesus, as to the 
communication of the Spirit of sanctification and purification 
(the first thing to be considered in this our communion with 
him); he intercedes with his Father, that he may be bestowed 
on us, as a fruit of his death and bloodshed in our behalf. 
This is the relation of the Spirit of holiness as bestowed on 
us, unto the mediation of Christ. He is the great ''founda- 
tion of the covenant of grace; being himself everlastingly 
destinated, and freely given to make a purchase of all the 
good things thereof. Receiving according to promise the 
Holy Ghost, Acts ii. 33. he sheds him abroad on his own. 
This faith considers, fixes on, dwells upon. For, 

(2.) His prayer being granted, * as the "^Father always 
hears him,' he actually sends his Spirit into the hearts of his 
saints, there to dwell in his stead, and to do all things for 
them, and in them, which he himself hath to do. This, se- 
condly, is the Lord Christ by faith to be eyed in, and that 
not only in respect of the first enduing of our hearts with his 
Holy Spirit, but also of the continual supplies of it, drawing 
forth, and exciting more effectual "^operations and actings of 
that indwelling Spirit. Hence, though John xiv. 16. he 
says, * the Father will give them the Comforter,' because the 
original and sovereign dispensation is in his hand, and it is 
by him made out upon the intercession of Christ ; yet, not 
being bestowed immediately on us, but (as it were) given 

» Psal. ii.8. Isa. liii. 12. Psal. xl. 8—12. 

•> Gen. iii. 15, Isa. xlii. 6. xlix. 8. Dan. ix. 24. « .Tohn xi. 42. 

•^ Vicariam uavare operam. Tertull. Prov. i. 23. 


into the hand of Christ for us, he affirms, that (as to actual 
collation or bestowing), he sends himself; chap. xv. 26. * I 
will send the Comforter to you, from the Father.' He re- 
ceives him from his Father, and actually sends him unto his 
saints. So, chap. xvi. 7. ' I will send him ;' and, ver. 14, 15. 
he manifests how he will send him ; he will furnish him with 
that which is his, to bestow upon them ; he * shall take of 
mine' (of that which is properly and peculiarly so, mine, as 
mediator, the fruit of my life and death unto holiness) ' and 
give it unto you ;' but of these things more afterward. This, 
then, is the second thing that the Lord Christ doth, and 
which is to be eyed in him; he sends his Holy Spirit into our 
hearts, which is the^efficient cause of all holiness and sanc- 
tification, quickening, enlightening, purify the souls of his 
saints. How our union with him, with all the benefit thereon 
depending, floweth from this his communication of the Spirit 
unto us, to abide with us, and to dwell in us, I have at large 
^elsewhere declared ; where also this whole matter is more 
fully opened. And this is to be considered in him by faith, 
in reference to the Spirit itself. 

(3.) There is that, which we call habitual grace, that is, 
the fruits of the Spirit, the spirit which is born of the 
Spirit; John iii. 6. That which is born of, or produced by, 
the Holy Ghost, in the heart or soul of a man when he is 
regenerate, that which makes him so, is spirit; in opposi- 
tion to 6 the flesh, or that enmity which is in us by nature 
against God. It is faith, love, joy, hope, and the rest of the 
graces of the gospel, in their root or common principle. 
Concerning which these two things are to be observed. 

[1.] That though many particular graces are mentioned, 
yet there are not different habits or qualities in us ; not se- 
veral or distinct principles to answer them ; but only the 
same "^ habit or spiritual principle, putting forth itself in 
various operations or ways of working, according to the 
variety of the objects which it goeth forth unto, is their 
common principle. So that it is called and distinguished 
as above, rather in respect of actual exercise, with relation 
to its objects, than habitual inherence, it being one root 
which hath these many branches. 

« Titus iii. 56. ' Saint's Perseverance, ciiap. 8. 

K Gal. V. 17. h 2 Cor. v. 17. 


[2.] This is that which I intend by this habit of grace. 
A 'new, gracious, spiritual 4ife, or principle, 'created, and 
"bestowed on the soul, whereby it is "changed in all its fa- 
culties and affections, fitted and enabled to go forth, in the 
way of obedience unto every divine object that is proposed 
unto it, according to the mind of God. For instance; the 
mind can discern of "spiritual things in a spiritual manner, 
and therein it is light, illumination. The whole soul closeth 
with Christ, as held forth in the promises of the gospel for 
righteousness and salvation, that is faith, which being the 
main and principal work of it, it often gives denomination 
unto the whole. So when it rests in God, in Christ, with 
delight, desire, and complacency, it is called love, being 
indeed the principle suiting all the faculties of our souls for 
spiritual and living operations, according to their natural 
use. Now it differs, 

1st. From the Spirit dwelling in the saints; for it is a 
created quality. The Spirit dwells in us as a free agent in 
a holy habitation. This grace as a quality, remains in us, 
as in its own proper subject, that hath not any subsistence but 
therein, and is capable of being intended or restrained under 
great variety of degrees. 

2dly. From actual grace which is transient, this making 
its residence in the soul. ""Actual grace is an elapse of 
divine influence and assistance, working in and by the soul, 
any spiritual act or duty whatsoever, without any pre-ex- 
istence unto that act or continuance after it, ' God working 
in us, both to will and to do.* But this habitual grace is 
always resident in us, causing the soul to be a meet prin- 
ciple for all those holy and spiritual operations, which by 
actual grace are to be performed. And 

3dly. It is capable of augmentation and diminution, as 
was said. In some it is more large and more effectual than 
in others; yea, in some persons, more at one time than 

' Cor. V. 17. Ezek. xi. 19. xviii. 31. xxxvi. 26. Gal. vi. 15. Eph. ii. 15. v. 24. 
Col. iii. 10. 1 Pet. ii. 2. John iii. 6. 
k Col. iii. 3, 4. Eph.ii. 1. 5. Rora. viii. 11. John v. 21. vi. 63. 
1 Psal.li. 10. Eph. ii. 10. iv. 24. Col. iii. 10. 2 Cor. v. 17. 

m 2 Cor. iii. 6. iv. 6. Acts v. 31. Luke i. 79. John iv. 14. iii. 27. 1 Cor. ii. 1^ 
Eph. iv. 7. Phil. i. 29. 

n Acts xxvi. 18. Eph. v. 8. 2 Cor. v. 17. John v. 24. 
" 1 Cor. ii. 12. Eph. i. 18. 2 Cor. iii. 18. iv. 6. 
P 2 Cor. iii. 5. Psal. cxix. 36. Phil. ii. 13. 


another. Hence are those ^dyings, decays, ruins, recoveries, 
complaints, and rejoicings, whereof so frequent mention is 
made in the Scripture. 

These things being premised, as to the nature of it, let 
us now consider what we are to eye in the Lord Jesus, in 
reference thereunto, to make an entrance into our communion 
with him therein, as things by him, or on his part performed. 

(1st.) As I said of the Spirit, so (in the first place) I say 
of this, it is of the purchase of Christ, and is so to be looked 
on. ' It is given unto us, for 'his sake to believe on him ;' 
Phil. i. 29. The Lord, on the behalf of Christ, for his sake, 
because it is purchased and procured by him for us, be- 
stows faith, and (by same rule) all grace upon us, * We are 
blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in him ;' 
Eph. i, 3. ' inhim/^ that is, in and through his mediation for 
us. His oblation and intercession lie at the bottom of this 
dispensation. Were not grace by them procured, it would 
never by any one soul be enjoyed. All grace is from this 
fountain. In our receiving it from Christ, we must still con- 
sider what it 'cost him ; want of this, weakens faith in its 
proper workings. His whole intercession is founded on his 
oblation; 1 John ii. 1, 2. What he purchased by his death, 
that (nor more, nor less as hath been often said) he inter- 
cedeth may be bestowed. And he prays that all his saints 
may have this grace whereof we speak; John xvii. 17. Did 
we continually consider all grace as the fruit of the purchase 
of Christ, it would be an exceeding endearment on our 
spirits; nor can we without this consideration, according 
to the tenor of the gospel, ask or expect any grace. It is 
no prejudice to the free grace of the Father, to look on any 
thing as the purchase of the Son ; it was from that grace 
that he made that purchase ; and in the receiving of grace 
from God, we have not communion with Christ, who is yet 
the treasury and storehouse of it, unless we look upon it 
as his purchase. He hath obtained that we should be " sanc- 
tified throughout, have life in us, be humble, holy, believing, 
dividing the spoil with the mighty, by destroying the works 
of the devil in us. 

q Cant. V. 2. Rev. i. 5. iii. 2, 3. iv. 17—19. Hos. xiv. 4. Psal. li. &c. 
•^ 'Twfp pi^jicTTou ' 1 John ii. 1, 2. ' Rom. viii. 32. 

u Eph. V. 25—27. Tit. ii. 14. Rom. vi. 4. 


2dly. The Lord Christ doth actually communicate this 
grace unto his saints, and bestows it on them. * Of his 
fulness we have all received, and grace for grace ;' John 
i. 16. For, 

[1st.] The Father actually invests him with all the grace, 
whereof by compact and agreement, he hath made a purchase 
(as he received the promise of the Spirit), which is all that 
is of use for the bringing his many sons to glory. ' It 
pleased the Father, that in him all fulness should dwell;' 
Col. i. 17. that he should be invested with a fulness of that 
grace, which is needful for his people. This himself calls 
the 'power of giving eternal life to his elect;' John xvii. 2. 
which power is not only his ability to do it, but also his 
right to do it. Hence this delivering of all things unto him 
by his Father, he lays as the bottom of his inviting sinners 
unto him for refreshment. ' All things are delivered unto 
me of my Father ;' Matt. xi. 37. * Come unto me all that 
labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ;' ver. 28. 
This being the covenant of the Father with him, and his 
promise unto him, that upon the making ' his soul an offer- 
ing for sin, he should see his seed, and the pleasure of the 
Lord should prosper in his hand ;' Isa, liii. 10. and in the 
verses following, the ' pouring out of his soul unto death, 
and bearing the sins of many,' is laid at the bottom and pro- 
curing cause of these things. 1. Of justification ; 'by his 
knowledge he shall justify many.' 2. Of sanctification ; 
* in destroying the works of the devil;' ver. 11, 12. Thus 
comes our merciful High Priest to be the great possessor of 
all grace, that he may give out to us according to his own 
pleasure, quickening whom he will. He hath it in him really 
as our head, in that he received not that Spirit by measure, 
John iii. 34. which is the bond of union between him and 
us; 1 Cor. vi. 17. whereby holding him the head, we are 
filled with his fulness; Eph. i. 22, 23. Col. ii. 19. He 
hath it as a common person intrusted with it in our behalf; 
Rom. V. 14 — 17. ' The last Adam is made unto us a quick- 
ening spirit;' 1 Cor. xv. 45. He is also a treasury of this 
grace in a moral and law sense ; not only as it * pleased the 
Father, that all fulness should dwell in him ;' Col. i. 19. but 
also because in his mediation, as hath been declaied, is 
founded the whole dispensation of grace. 


[2dly.] Being thus actually vested with this power and 
privilege and fulness, he designs the Spirit to take of this 
fulness, and to give it unto us. * He shall take of mine and 
shew it unto you ;' John xvi. 15. The Spirit takes of that 
fulness that is in Christ, and in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
bestows it actually on them, for whose sanctification he is 
sent. Concerning the manner and almighty efficacy of the 
Spirit of grace, whereby this is done (I mean, this actual 
collation of grace upon his peculiar ones), more will be 
spoken afterward. 

[3dly.] For actual grace,or t hat influence or power, 
whereby the saints are enabled to perform particular duties 
according to the mind of God, there is not any need of 
farther enlargement about it. What concerns our commu- 
nion with the Lord Christ therein, holds proportion with 
what was spoken before. 

There remaineth only one thhig more to be observed con- 
cerning those things, whereof mention hath been made, and 
I proceed to the way whereby we carry on communion with 
the Lord Jesus in all these ; and that is, that these things 
may be considered two ways. 

Is^ Li respect of their first collation or bestowing on 
the soul. 

2dly. In respect of their continuance and increase, as 
unto the degrees of them. 

In the first sense, as to the real communicating of the 
Spirit of grace unto the soul, so raising it from death unto 
life, the saints have no kind of communion with Christ 
therein, but only what consists in a passive reception of that 
life-giving, quickening Spirit and power. They are but as 
the dead bones in the prophet, the wind blows on them, and 
they live ; as Lazarus in the grave, Christ calls and they 
come forth; the call being accompanied with life and 
power. This then is not that whereof particularly I speak ; 
but it is the second, in respect of farther efficacy of the 
Spirit and increase of grace, both habitual and actual, 
whereby we become more holy, and to be more powerful in 
walking with God, have more fruit in obedience, and success 
against temptations. And in this, 

2. They 'hold communion with the Lord Christ. And 
wherein, and how they do it, shall now be declared. 


They continually eye the Lord Jesus as the great Joseph^ 
that hath the disposal of all the granaries of the kingdom of 
heaven committed unto hira ; as one in whom it hath pleased 
the Father ' to gather all things unto a head ;' Eph. i. 20. 
that from him all things might be dispensed unto them. All 
treasures, all fulness, the Spirit not by measure, are in him. 
And this fulness in this Joseph in reference to their con- 
dition, they eye in these three particulars. 

(1.) In the preparation unto the dispensation mentioned, 
in the expiating, purging, purifying efficacy of his blood ; it 
was a sacrifice not only of atonement as offered, but also of 
purification, as poured out. This the apostle eminently 
sets forth, Heb. ix. 13, 14. 'For if the blood of bulls, and of 
goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, 
sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more 
shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, 
offered himself without spot to God, purge your con- 
sciences from dead works to serve the living God ?' This 
blood of his, is that which answers all typical institutions, 
for carnal purification, and therefore hath a spiritually pu- 
rifying, cleansing, sanctifying virtue in itself, as offered and 
poured out. Hence it is called * a fountain for sin and for 
uncleanuess;' Zech. xiii. 1. that is, for their washing and 
taking away. A fountain opened, ready prepared, virtuous, 
efficacious in itself, before any be put into il, • because 
poured out, instituted, appointed to that purpose. The 
saints see that in themselves they are still exceedingly de- 
filed, and indeed to have a sight of the defilements of sin, is 
a more spiritual discovery, than to have only a sense of the 
guilt of sin. This follows every conviction, and is commen- 
surate unto it ; that usually only such as reveal the purity 
and holiness of God, and all his ways. Hereupon, they 
cry with shame within themselves, Unclean, unclean. Unclean 
in their natures, unclean in their persons, unclean in their 
conversations ; all rolled in the "blood of their defilements ; 
their hearts by nature a very sink, and their lives a dung- 
hill. They know also, that no unclean thing shall enter 
into the kingdom of God, or have place in the new Jeru- 
salem ; that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. 
They cannot endure to look on themselves, and how shall 

» Ezek. xvi. 4. 6.&c. Jolm iii. 3. 5. nZv noivoZv. Rev. xxi. 27. Heb. i. 13. 


they dare to appear in his presence? What remedies shall 
they now use? 'Though they wash themselves with nitre, 
and take them much soap, yet their iniquity will continue 
marked ;' Jer. ii. 22. Wherewith then shall they come before 
the Lord ? For the removal of this, I say, they look in the 
first place to the purifying virtue of the blood of Christ, 
which is able to ' cleanse them from all their sins ;' I John 
i. 7. Being the spring from whence floweth all the purifying 
virtue, which in the issue, will take away all their spots and 
stains, ' make them holy and without blemish, and (in the 
end) present them glorious unto himself;' Eph. v. 26, 27. 
This they dwell upon with thoughts of faith ; they roll it in 
their minds and spirits.' Here faith obtains new life, new 
vigour, when a sense of vileness hath even overwhelmed it. 
Here is a fountain opened ; draw nigh and see its beauty, 
purity, efficacy. Here is a foundation laid of that work, 
whose accomplishment we long for. One moment's com- 
munion with Christ by faith herein, is more effectual to the 
purging of the soul, to the increasing of grace, than the ut- 
most self endeavours of a thousand ages. 

(2.) They eye the blood of Christ, as the blood of 
sprinkling. Coming to Jesus the Mediator of the new co- 
venant, they come to the ^ ' blood of sprinkling ;' Heb. xii. 
24. The eyeing of the blood of Christ as shed, will not of 
itself take away pollution. There is not only aijuareKxwCTia, 
a 'shedding'of blood,' without which, there is no remission ; 
Heb. ix.22. but there is also oliJLaTog pavnafxbg, a 'sprinkling 
of blood,' without which there is no actual purification. 
This the apostle largely describes ; Heb. ix. 9. ' When 
Moses,' saith he, ' had spoken every precept to the people 
according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of 
goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled 
both the book and all the people, saying. This is the blood 
of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. More- 
over, he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all 
the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the 
law purged with blood. It was therefore necessary that the 
patterns of the things in the heavens, should be purified with 
these, but the heavenly things themselves, with better 
sacrifices than these ;' ver. 19 — 23. He had formerly cora- 


pared the blood of Christ, to the blood of sacrifices as of- 
fered in respect of the impetration and the purchase it made ; 
now he doth it unto that blood as sprinkled, in respect of 
its application unto purification and holiness. And he tells 
us how this sprinkling was performed ; it was by dipping 
hyssop in the blood of the sacrifice, and so dashing it out 
upon the things and persons to be purified. As the insti- 
tution also with the paschal lamb ; Exod. xii. 12. Hence 
David, in a sense of the pollution of sin, prays, that he may 
be 'purged with hyssop ;' Psal. li. 7. For that this peculiarly 
respected the uncleanness and defilement of sin, is evi- 
dent, because there is no mention made in the institution of 
any sacrifice (after that of the lamb before-mentioned), of 
sprinkling blood with hyssop, but only in those which re- 
spected purification of uncleanness. As in the case of le- 
prosy, Levit. xiv. 6. and all other defilements. Num. xix. 18. 
which latter indeed, is not of blood but of the water of se- 
paration, this also being eminently typical of the blood of 
Christ, which is the fountain for separation for uncleanness ; 
Zech. xiii. 1. Now this branch of hyssop wherein the blood 
of purification was prepared for the sprinkling of the un- 
clean, is (unto us), the free promises of Christ. The cleans- 
ing virtue of the blood of Christ lies in the promises, as 
the blood of sacrifices in the hyssop, ready to pass out unto 
them that draw nigh thereunto. Therefore the apostle ar- 
gueth from receiving of the promise, unto universal holiness 
and purity'; * Having therefore these promises, dearly [be- 
loved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh 
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord;' 
2 Cor. vii. 1. This then the saints do; they eye the blood 
of Christ as it is in the promise, ready to issue out upon the 
soul for the purification thereof; and thence is purging and 
cleansing virtue to be communicated unto them, and by the 
blood of Christ are they to be purged from all their sins ; 
Johni. 7. Thus far, as it were, this purifying blood, thus pre- 
pared and made ready is at some distance to the soul. 
Though it be shed to this purpose, that it might purge, 
cleanse, and sanctify, though it be taken up with the bunch 
of hyssop in the promises, yet the soul may not partake of 
it. Wherefore, 

(3.) They look upon him, as in his own Spirit he is the 


only dispenser of the Spirit, and of all grace of sanctifi- 
cation and holiness. They consider that upon his inter- 
cession it is granted to him, that he shall make effectual all 
the fruits of his purchase to the sanctification, the purifying 
and making glorious in holiness of his whole people. They 
know that this is actually to be accomplished by the Spirit, 
according to the innumerable promises given to that pur- 
pose. He is to sprinkle that blood upon their souls, he is 
to create the holiness in them that they long after, he is to 
be himself in them a well of water springing up to ever- 
lasting life. In this state they look to Jesus ; here faith 
fixes itself, in expectation of his giving out the Spirit for all 
these ends and purposes; mixing the, promises with faith, 
and so becoming actual partaker of all this grace. This is 
their way, this their communion with Christ; this is the 
life of faith as to grace and holiness. Blessed is the soul 
that is exercised therein ; * He shall be as a tree planted by 
the waters, that spreadeth forth her roots by the river, and 
shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, 
and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall 
cease from yielding fruit ;' Jer. xvii. 18. Convinced persons 
who know not Christ, nor the fellowship of his sufferings, 
would spin a holiness out of their own bowels; they would 
work it out in their own strength. They begin it with * 
trying endeavours, and follow it with vows, duties, reso- 
lutions, engagements, sweating at it all the day long. Thus 
they continue for a season ; their ^hypocrisy for the most 
part ending in apostacy. The saints of God do in the very 
entrance of their walking with him, reckon upon it, that 
they have a threefold want. 

[1.] Of the Spirit of holiness, to dwell in them. 
[2.] Of a habit of holiness, to be infused into them. 
[3.] Of actual assistance, to work all their works for them ; 
and that if these should continue to be wanting, they can 
never with all their might, power, and endeavours, perform 
any one act of holiness before the Lord. They know that 
of themselves they have no sufficiency ; that* without Christ, 
they can do nothing, therefore they look to him, who is in- 
trusted with a fulness of all these in their behalf, and there- 
upon by faith derive from him an increase of that, whereof 

» Rom. X. 14. "John XV. 5. 


they stand in need. Thus, I say, have the saints communion 
with Christ, as to their sanctification and holiness. From him 
do they receive the Spirit to dwell in them ; from him the 
new principle of life, which is the root of all their obedience, 
from him have they actual assistance for every duty they 
are called unto. In waiting for, expectation and receiving 
of these blessings on the accounts before-mentioned, do they 
spend their lives and time with him. In vain is help looked 
for from other mountains; in vain do men spend their 
strength in following after righteousness, if this be wanting. 
Fix thy soul here ; thou shalt not tarry until thou be asham- 
ed. This is the way, the only way, to obtain full, effectual 
manifestations of the Spirit's dwelling in us ; to have our 
hearts purified, our consciences purged, our sins mortified, 
our graces increased, our souls made humble, holy, zealous, 
believing, like to him ; to have our lives fruitful, our deaths 
comfortable^ let us herein abide, eyeing Christ by faith, 
to attain that measure of conformity to him, which is allotted 
unto us in this world, that when we shall see him as he is, 
we may be like unto him. 


Of communion with Christ in privileges : of adoption ; the nature of it ; 
the consequences of it ; peculiar privileges attending it ; liberty, title, 
boldness, affliction, communioii with Christ hereby . 

The third thing wherein we have communion with Christ, is 
grace of privilege before God ; I mean as the third head of 
purchased grace. The privileges we enjoy by Christ, are 
great and innumerable ; to insist on them in particular, 
were work for a man's whole life, not a design to be wrapped 
up in a few sheets. I shall take a view of them only in the 
head, the spring and fountain whence they all arise and flow. 
This is our adoption ; ' Beloved, now we are the sons of 
God ;' 1 John iii. 2. This is our great and fountain privilege- 
Whence is it that we are so ? It is from the love of the Fa- 
ther, ver. 1. 'Behold, what love the Father hath given unto 
us, that we should be called the sons of God.' But by 
whom immediately do we receive this honour? As many as 


•believe on Christ, he gives them this power to become the 
sons of God; John i. 12. Himself was appointed to be the 
first-born among many brethren ; Rom. viii. 29. and his tak- 
ing us to be brethren, Heb. ii. 11. makes us become the 
children of God. Now that God is our Father, by being 
the Father of Christ, and we his children, by being the bre- 
thren of Christ, being the head and sum of all the honour, 
privilege, right, and title we have, let us a little consider the 
nature of that act, whereby we are invested with this state 
and title ; namely, our adoption. 

Now adoption is the authoritative translation of a believer 
by Jesus Christ, from the family of the world and Satan, 
into the family of God, with his investiture in all the privi- 
leges and advantages of that family. 

To the complete adoption of any person, these five things 
are required. 

1. That he be actually, and of his own right, of another 
family than that whereunto he is adopted. He must be 
the son of one family or other, in his own right, as all per- 
sons are. 

2. That there be a family unto which of himself he hath 
no right, whereinto he is to be grafted. If a man comes into 
a family upon a personal right, though originally at never 
so great a distance, that man is not adopted. If a man of a 
most remote consanguinity, do come into the inheritance of 
any family by the death of the nearer heirs, though his right 
before were little better than nothing, yet he is a born son 
of that family, he is not adopted. He is not to have the plea 
of the most remote possibility of succession. 

3. That there be an authoritative, legal translation of him, 
by some that have power thereunto, from one family into 
another. It was not by the law of old, in the power of par- 
ticular persons, to adopt when, and whom they would. It 
was to be done by the authority of the sovereign power. 

4. That the adopted person be freed from all the obliga- 
tions that be Upon him unto the family from whence he is 
translated ; otherwise he can be no way useful or service- 
able unto the family whereinto he is ingrafted. He cannot 
serve two masters, much less two fathers. 

5. That by virtue of his adoption, he be invested in all 
the rights, privileges, advantages, and title, to the whole in- 


heritance of the family into which he is adopted, in as full 
and ample manner, as if he had been born a son therein. 

Now all these things and circumstances do concur, and 
are found in the adoption of believers. 

1. They are by their own original right of another fa- 
mily, than that whereinto they are adopted. They are by 
nature the children of wrath, Eph. ii. 3. sons of wrath; of 
that family whose inheritance is wrath, called Hhe power of 
darkness;' Col. i. 13. for from thence doth God 'translate 
them into the kingdom of his dear Son.' This is the family 
of the world and of Satan, of which by nature believers are. 
Whatever is to be inherited in that family, as wrath, curse, 
death, hell, they have a right thereunto. Neither can they 
of themselves, or by themselves, get free of this family ; a 
strong man armed, keeps them in subjection. Their natural 
estate is a family condition, attended with all circumstances 
of a family ; family duties and services ; rights and titles ; 
relations and observances. They are of the black family of 
sin and Satan. 

2. There is another family whereinto they are to be trans- 
lated, and whereunto of themselves they have neither right 
nor title. This is that family in heaven and earth, which is 
called after the name of Christ ; Eph. iii. 15. The great fa- 
mily of God: God hath a* house and family for his chil- 
dren, of whom some he maintains on the riches of his grace, 
and some he entertains with the fulness of his glory. This is 
that house, whereof the Lord Christ is the great dispenser, it 
having pleased the Father ' to gather together in one all things 
in him, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even 
in him ;' Eph. i. 10. Herein live all the sons and daughters 
of God, spending largely on the riches of his grace. Unto 
this family of themselves they have no right, nor title ; they 
are wholly alienated from it, Eph. ii. 12. and can lay no 
claim to any thing in it. God driving fallen Adam out of 
the garden, and shutting up all ways of return with a flam- 
ing sword ready to cut him off, if he should attempt it ; 
abundantly declares that he, and all in him, had lost all right 
of approaching unto God, in any family relation. Corrupted, 
cursed nature is not vested with the least right to any thing 
of God ; therefore they have an authoritative translation from 

» Heb. T. 6. 


one of these families to another. It is not done ill a private, 
underhand vvay,butin the way of authority ; John i. 12. 'to 
as many as received him, he gave power to become the sons 
of God ;' power, or authority. This investing them with the 
power, excellency, and right of the sons of God, is a foren- 
sical act, and hath alegal proceding in it. It is called the 
'making us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light;' 
Col. i. 12. A judicial exalting us into membership in that 
family, where God is the Father, Christ the" elder brother, all 
saints and angels, brethren, and fellow-children, and the in- 
heritance a crown immortal and incorruptible, that fades not 

Now this authoritative translation of believers from one 
family into another, consisteth of these two parts. 

(1.) An effectual proclamation and declaration of such a 
person's immunity from all obligations to the former family, 
to which by nature he was related; and this declaration hath 
a threefold object. 

[1.] Angels; it is declared unto them, they are the sons 
of God. They are the "^ sons of God, and so of the family 
whereunto the adopted person is to be admitted, and there- 
fore it concerns them to know, who are invested with the 
rights of that family, that they may discharge their duty 
towards them ; unto them then it is declared, that believers 
are freed from the family of sin and hell, to become fellow- 
sons, and servants with them: and this is done two ways. 

1st. Generally, by the doctrine of the gospel ; Eph. iii. 10. 
'Unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places is 
made kr.own by the church, the manifold wisdom of God.* 

By the church is this wisdom made known to the an- 
gels, either as the doctrine of the gospel is delivered unto 
it, or as it is gathered thereby. And what is this wisdom 
of God, that is thus made known to principalities and 
powers ? It is that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and 
of the same body with us ; ver. 6. The mystery of adopting 
sinners of the Gentiles, taking them from their slavery in the 
family of the world, that they might have aright of heirship, 
becoming sons in the family of God, is this wisdom thus 
made known. And how was it primitively made known ? 

b Rom. viii. 29. Heb. ii. 12. 
e John i. 16. xxxviii. 7. Heb, xii. 22 — 24. Rev. xxii. 9. 

VOL. X. $ 


* It was revealed by the Spirit unto the prophets and apo- 
stles ;' ver. 5. 

2dly. In particular, by immediate revelation. When any 
particular soul is freed from the family of this world, it is 
revealed to the angels. 'There is joy in the presence of 
the angels of God (that is, among the angels, and by them) 
over one sinner that repenteth ; Luke xv. 10. Now the 
angels cannot of themselves absolutely know the true re- 
pentance of a sinner in itself. It is a work wrought in that 
cabinet, which none hath a key unto but Jesus Christ ; by 
him it is revealed to the angels, when the peculiar care and 
charge of such a one is committed to them. These things 
have their transaction before the angels ; Luke xii. 8, 9. 
Christ owns the names of his brethren before the angels ; 
Rev. ii. 5. when he gives them admittance into the family 
where they are, Heb. xii. 22. he declares to them that they 
are sons, that they may discharge their duty towards them ; 
Heb. i. 14. 

[2.] It is denounced in a judicial way unto Satan, the 
great master of the family whereunto they were in subjection. 
When the Lord Christ delivers a soul from under the power 
of that strong armed one, he binds him ; ties him from the 
exercise of that power and dominion which before he had 
over him. And by this means doth he know that such a 
one is delivered from his family ; and all his future attempts 
upon him, are encroachings upon the possession and inhe- 
ritance of the Lord Christ. 

[3.] Unto the conscience of the person adopted. The 
Spirit of Christ testifies to the heart and conscience of a be- 
liever, that he is freed from all engagements unto the family 
of Satan, and is become the Son of God, Rom. viii. 14, 15. 
and enables him to cry, * Abba Father;' Gal. iv. 6. Of the 
particulars of this testification of the Spirit and of its ab- 
solving the soul from its old alliance, I shall speak afterward. 
And herein consists the first thing mentioned. 

3. There is an authoritative engrafting of a believer ac- 
tually into the family of God, and investing him with the 
whole right of sonship. Now this, as unto us, hath sundry 

(1.) The giving a believer a new name in a white stone. 
Rev. i. 17. they that are adopted are to take new names ; 


they change their names they had to their old families, to 
take the names of the families whereinto they are translated. 
This new name is, ' a child of God ;' that is, the new name 
given in adoption; and no man knoweth what is in that 
name, but only he that doth receive it. And this new name 
is given and written in a white stone ; that is the Tessera of 
our admission into the house of God. It is a stone of judi- 
cial acquitment. Our adoption by the Spirit is bottomed 
on our absolution in the blood of Jesus ; and therefore is the 
new name, in the white stone ; privilege grounded on dis- 
charge. The white stone quits the claim of the old family ; 
the new name gives entrance to the other. 

(2.) An enrolling of his name in the catalogue of the 
household of God, admitting him thereby into fellowship 
therein. This is called the 'writing of the house of Israel,' 
Ezek. xiii, 9. that is, the roll wherein all the names of the 
Israel, the family of God ard written. God hath a catalogue 
of his household ; Christ knows his sheep by name. When 
God writeth up the people, he counts that this man was 
born in Sion; Psal. Ixxxvii. 6. This is an extract of the 
Lamb's book of life. 

(3.) Testifying to his conscience, his acceptation with 
God, enabling him to behave himself as a child; Rom. 
viii. 15. Gal. iv. 5, 6. 

4. The two last things required to adoption are, that the 
adopted person be freed from all obligations to the family 
from whence he is translated, and invested with the rights 
and privileges of that whereunto he is translated. Now, be- 
cause these two comprise the whole issue of adoption, where- 
in the saints have communion with Christ, I shall handle 
them together, referring the concernments of them unto 
these four heads. 

(1.) Liberty. (2.) Title, or right. (3.) Boldness. (4.) 
Correction. These are the four things in reference to the 
family of the adopted person, that he doth receive by his 
adoption, wherein he holds communion with the Lord 

(1.) Liberty. The Spirit of the Lord, that was upon the 
Lord Jesus, did anoint him to proclaim liberty to the cap- 
tive ; Isa. Ixvii. 1. and ' where the Spirit of God is (that 

s 2 


is, the Spirit of Christ, given to us by him because we are 
sons), there is liberty;' 2 Cor. iii. 17. All spiritual liberty 
is from the Spirit of adoption ; whatever else is pretended^ 
is licentiousness. So the apostle argues. Gal. iv, 6, 7. * he 
hath sent forth his Spirit into their hearts, crying, Abba, Fa- 
ther. Wherefore ye are no more servants,' no more in bond- 
age, but have the liberty of sons. And this liberty respects, 
[1.] In the first place, the family from whence the 
adopted person is translated ; it is his setting free from all 
the obligations of that family. 

Now in this is sense, the liberty which the saints have by 
adoption, is either from that which is real, or that which is 

1st. That which is real respects a twofold issue of law 
and sin. The moral unchangeable law of God, and sin, 
being in conjunction, meeting with reference to any persons, 
bath, and hath had a twofold issue. 

(1st.) An economical institution of a new law of ordi- 
nances, keeping in bondage those to whom it was given ; 
Col. ii. 14. 

(2dly.) A natural (if I may so call it), pressing of those 
persons with its power and efficacy against sin, whereof 
there are these parts. 

[1st.] Its rigour and terror in commanding. 
[2dly.] Its impossibility for accomplishment, and so in- 
sufficiency for its primitively appointed end. 

[3dly.] The issues of its transgression, which are referred 
unto two heads. \st. Curse. 2dlr/. Death. I shall speak 
very briefly of these, because they are commonly handled, 
and granted by all. 

2dly. That which is pretended, is the power of any 
whatever over the conscience, when once made free by 

(1st.) Believers are freed from the instituted law of ordi- 
nances, which, upon the testimony of the apostles, was a 
yoke which neither we nor our fathers (in the faith) could 
bear; Acts xv. 10. wherefore Christ blotted out this hand- 
writing of ordinances that was against them, which was con- 
trary to them, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his 
cross; Col. ii. 14. and thereupon the apostle, after a long 


dispute concerning the liberty that we have from that law, 
concludes with this instruction ; Gal. v. 1. ' Stand fast in the 
liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.' 

(2dly.) In reference to the moral law. 

[1st.] The first thing we have liberty from, is its rigour, 
and terror in commanding; Heb. xii. 18 — 22. * We are not 
come to the mount that mig-ht be touched, and that burned 
with fire, to the whirlwind, darkness, and tempest, to the 
sound of the trumpet, and the voice of words, which they 
that heard besought that they might hear it no more ; but 
we are come to Mount Sion/ Sec. As to that administration 
of the law wherein it was given out with dread, and terror, 
and so exacted its obedience with rigour, we are freed from 
it, we are not called to that estate. 

[2dly.] Its impossibility of accomplishment, and so in- 
sufficiency for its primitive end by reason of sin. Or we 
are freed from the law as the instrument of righteousness, 
since by the impossibility of its fulfilling as to us, it is be- 
come insufficient for any such purpose; Rom. viii. 2, 3. Gal. 
iii. 21 — 23. There being an impossibility of obtaining life 
by the law, we are exempted from it as to any such end, and 
that by the righteousness of Christ; Rom. viii. 3. 

[3dly.] From the issue of its transgression. 

\st. Curse. There is a solemn curse enwrapping the 
whole wrath of God, annexed to the law, with reference to 
the transgression thereof; and from this are we wholly at 
liberty ; Gal. iii. 13. ' By being made a curse, he hath de- 
livered us from the curse.' 

2<//j/. Death ; Heb. ii. 14, 15. and therewith from Satan ; 
Heb. ii. 15. Col. i. 13. and sin; Rom. vi. 14. 1 Pet. i. 18. 
with the world; Gal. i. 14. with all the attendancies, advan- 
tages, and claim of them all ; Gal. iv. 3 — 5. Col. ii. 20. 
without which we could not live one day. 

That which is pretended and claimed by some, wherein 
indeed and in truth we were never in bondage, but are hereby 
eminently set free, is the power of binding conscience by 
any laws and constitutions not from God ; Col. ii. 20 — 22. 

[2.] There is a liberty in the family of God, as well as a 
liberty from the family of Satan ; sons are free ; their obe* 
dience is a free obedience, they have the Spirit of the Lord, 
and where he is, there is liberty ; 2 Cor. iii. 1 8. as a Spirit of 


adoption he is opposed to the spirit of bondage ; Rom. viii. 
15. Now this liberty of our Father's family, which we have 
as sons and children, being adopted by Christ through the 
Spirit, is, a spiritual largeness of heart, whereby the children 
of God do freely, willingly, genuinely, without fear, terror, 
bondage, and constraint, go forth unto all holy obedience in 

I say this is our liberty in our Father's family ; what we 
have liberty from, hath been already declared. 

There are Gibeonites outwardly attending the family of 
God, that do the service of his house, as the drudgery of 
their lives ; the principle they yield obedience upon, is a 
spirit of bondage unto fear; Rom. viii. 15. the rule they do 
it by, is the law in its dread and rigour, exacting it of them 
to the utmost, without mercy and mitigation ; the end they 
do it for, is to fly from the wrath to come, to pacify con- 
science, and seek righteousness as it were by the works of 
the law. Thus servilely, painfully, fruitlessly, they seek to 
serve their own conviction all their days. 

The saints by adoption have a largeness of heart in all 
holy obedience ; saith David, ' I will walk at liberty, for I 
seek thy precepts ;' Psal. cxix. 4, 5. Isa. Ixi. 1. Luke iv. 
18. Rom. viii. 2.21. Gal. iv. 2. v. 1. 13. James i. 25. John 
viii. 32, 33. 36. Rom. vi. 18. 1 Pet. ii. 16. Now this ampli- 
tude, or son-like freedom of the Spirit in obedience, consists 
in sundry things. 

1st. In the principles of all spiritual service, which are 
life and love. The one respecting the matter of their obe- 
dience, giving them power, the other respecting the manner 
of their obedience, giving them joy and sweetness in it. 

(1st.) It is from life, that gives them power as to the 
matter of obedience; Rom. viii. 3. 'The law of the Spirit of 
life in Christ Jesus, sets them free from the law of sin and 
death.* It frees them, it carries them out to all obedience 
freely; so that ' they walk after the Spirit;' ver. 1. that 
being the principle of their workings ; Gal. ii. 20. 'Christ 
lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, is by 
the faith of the Son of God ;' the life which I now live in 
the flesh, that is the obedience which I yield unto God ; 
whilst I am in the flesh, it is from a principle of life, Christ 
living in me. There is then power for all living unto God, 


from Christ in them, the Spirit of life from Christ carrying 
them out thereto. The fruits of a dead root, are but dead 
excrescencies ; living acts are from a principle of life. 

Hence you may see the diflerence between the liberty 
that slaves assume, and the liberty which is due to children. 

[1st.] Slaves take liberty from duty; children have 
liberty in duty ; there is not a greater mistake in the world, 
than that the liberty of sons in the house of God, consists 
in this, they can perform duties, or take the freedom to 
omit them ; they can serve in the family of God ; that is, 
they think they may if they will, and they can choose whe- 
ther they will or no. This is a liberty stolen by slaves, not 
a liberty given by the Spirit unto sons. 

The liberty of sons is in the inward spiritual freedom of 
their hearts, naturally and kindly going out in all the v/ays 
and worship of God. When they find themselves straitened 
and shut up in them, they wrestle with God for enlarge- 
ment, and are never contented with the doing of a duty, 
unless it be done as in Christ, with free, genuine, and en- 
larged hearts. The liberty that servants have, is from duty ; 
the liberty given to sons, is in duty. 

[2dly.] The liberty of slaves or servants is from mistaken, 
deceiving conclusions ; the liberty of sons is from the 
power of the indwelling Spirit of grace : or, the liberty of 
servants is from outward dead conclusions; the liberty of 
sons from an inward, living principle. 

(2dly.) Love, as to the manner of their obedience, gives 
them delight and joy ; John xiv. 15. 'If ye love me,' says 
Christ, 'keep my commandments.' Love is the bottom of 
all their duties ; hence our Saviour resolves all obedience 
into the love of God and our neighbour ; and Paul, upon the 
same ground tells us, 'that love is the fulfilling of the law ;' 
1 Cor. xiii. 10. Where love is in any duty it is complete in 
Christ. How often doth David, even with admiration ex- 
press this principle of his walking with God. ' O,' saith 
he, 'how I love thy commandments!' This gives saints 
delight, that the commandments of Christ are not grievous 
to them. Jacob's hard service was not grievous to him, 
because of his love to Rachel. No duty of a saint is grie- 
vous to him, because of his love to Christ. They do from 
hence all things with delight and complacency. Hence do 


they long for advantages of walking with God, pant after 
more ability, and this is a great share of their son-like free- 
dom in obedience. It gives them joy in it; 1 John iv. 18. 
' There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear.' 
When their soul is acted to obedience by love, it expels that 
fear which is the issue of bondage upon the Spirit. Now 
when there is a concurrence of these two, life and love, there 
is freedom, liberty, largeness of heart, exceedingly distanced 
from that strait, and bondaged frame, which many walk 
in all their days, that know not the adoption of sons. 

2dly. The object of their obedi-ence is represented to 
them as desirable, when to othera, as it is terrible. In all 
their approaches to God, they eye him as a Father; they 
call him Father ; Gal. iv. 6. not in the form of words, but in 
the spirit of sons. God in Christ is continually before 
them, not only as one deserving all the honours and obe- 
dience which he requires, but also as one exceedingly to be 
delighted in, as being all-sufficient to satisfy and satiate all 
the desires of the soul ; when others napkin their talents, as 
having to deal with an austere master, they draw out their 
strength to the uttermost, as drawing nigh to a gracious re- 
warder. They go from the principle of life and love, to the 
bosom of a living and loving Father ; they do but return 
the strength they do receive unto the fountain, unto the 

3dly. Their motive unto obedience is love ; 2 Cor. v. 15. 
from an apprehension of love they are effectually carried out 
by love, to give up themselves unto him who is love. What 
a freedom is this, what a largeness of spirit is in them, who 
walk according to this rule! Darkness, fear, bondage, 
conviction, hopes of righteousness, accompany others in 
their way^. The sons by the Spirit of adoption have light, 
love, with complacency in all their walkings with God ; the 
world is a universal stranger unto the frame of children in 
their Father's house. 

4thly. The manner of their obedience is willingness. 
'They yield themselves unto God, as those that are alive 
from the dead ;' Rom. vi. 13. they yield themselves, give up 
themselves willingly, cheerfully, freely ; ' with my whole 
heart,' saith David; Rom. xii. 1. 'they present themselves a 
living sacrifice,' and a willing sacrifice. 


6thly. The rule of their walking with God is the law of 
liberty, as divested of all its terrifying, threatening, killing, 
condemning, cursing power, and rendered in the blood of 
Jesus, sweet, tender, useful, directing, helpful as a rule of 
walking in the life they have received, not the way of work- 
ing for the life they have not. I might give more instances. 
These may,suffice to manifest that liberty of obedience in 
the family of God which his sons and daughters have, that 
the poor convinced Gibeonites are not acquainted withal. 

[2.] The second thing which the children of God have 
by adoption, is title. They have title and right to all the 
privileges and advantages of the family whereinto they are 
translated. This is the pre-eminence of the true sons of any- 
family. The ground on which Sarah pleaded the ejection 
of Ishmael was, that he was the son of the bondwoman, Gen. 
xxi. 10. and so no genuine child of the family, and therefore 
could have no right of heirship with Isaac. The apostle's 
arguing is, 'we are no more servants, but sons; and if 
sons, then heirs ;' Rom. viii. 14. 16. then have we right 
and title, and being not born hereunto (for by nature we are 
the children of wrath), we have this right by our adoption. 

Now the saints hereby have a double right and title. 

1st. Proper and direct in respect of spirituals. 

2dly. Consequential in respect of temporals. 

1st. The first also, or the title as adopted sons unto spi- 
rituals is in respect of the object of it, twofold. 

(1st.) Unto a present place, name, and room in the 
house of God, and all the privileges and administrations 

(2dly.) To a future fulness of the great inheritance of glory, 
of a kingdom purchased for that whole family, whereof 
they are by Jesus Christ. 

(1st.) They have a title unto and an interest in the whole 
administration of the family of God here. 

The supreme administration of the house of God in the 
hand of the Lord Christ, as to the institution of ordinances 
and dispensation of the Spirit, to enliven and make effectual 
those ordinances for the end of their institution, is the prime 
notion of this administration. And hereof they are the prime 
objects; all this is for them, and exercised towards them ; 


God hath given Jesus Christ to be the 'head over all things 
unto the church which is his body ;' Eph. i. 22, 23. he hath 
made him the head over all these spiritual things, committed 
the authoritative administration of them all unto him to the 
use and behoof of the church, that is, the family of God. It 
is for the benefit and advantage of the many sons whom he 
will bring unto glory, that he doth all these things; Heb. 
ii. 17. see Eph. iv. 8 — 12. The aim of the Lord Jesus in es- 
tablishing gospel administrations, and administrators, is for 
the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, &,c. 
All is for them, all is for the family ; in that is the faithful- 
ness of Christ exercised, he is faithful in all the house of 
God; Heb. iii. 2. Hence the apostle tells the Corinthians, 
1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. of all these gospel administrations and or- 
dinances, they are all theirs, and all for them. What benefit 
soever redoundeth to the world by the things of the gospel 
(as much doth every way), it is engaged for it to the chil- 
dren of this family. This then is the aim and intendment of 
the Lord Christ in the institution of all gospel ordinances 
and administrations, that they may be of use for the house 
and family of God, and all his children and servants therein. 

It is true, the word is preached to all the world, to gather 
in the children of God's purpose, that are scattered up and 
down in the world, and to leave the rest inexcusable ; but 
the prime end and aim of the Lord Christ thereby, is to ga- 
ther in those heirs of salvation unto the enjoyment of that 
feast of fat things which he hath prepared for them in his house. 

Again, they and they only have right and title to gospel 
administrations, and the privileges of the family of God, as 
they are held out in his church according to his mind. The 
church is the * house of God ;' 1 Tim. iii. 15. Heb. iii. 6. 
herein he keeps and maintains his whole family, ordering 
them according to his mind and will. Now, who shall have 
any right in the house of God, but only his children ? We 
will not allow a right to any but our own children in our 
houses ; will God, think you, allow any right in his house, 
but to his children? Is it meet to 'take children's bread and 
to cast it unto dogs?' We shall see that none but children 
have any right or title to the privileges and advantages of 
the house of God, if we consider, 


[Ist.] The nature of that house ; it is made up of such 
persons, as it is impossible that any but adopted children 
should have right unto a place in it ; it is composed of liv- 
ing stones; I Pet. ii. 25. a * chosen generation, a royal peo- 
ple, a holy nation, a peculiar people,' ver. 9. ' saints and 
faithful in Christ Jesus,' Eph. i. 1. 'saints, and faithful 
brethren,' Col, i. 2. a people that are all righteous; Isa. Ix. 
61. and the whole fabric of it glorious; Isa. liv. 11 — 14. 
The way of the house is a way of holiness which the unclean 
shall not pass through ; chap. xxxv. 8. yea, expressly, they 
are the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty, and 
they only; 2 Cor. vi. 17. 18. all others are excluded; Rev. 
xxi. 27. It is true that oftentimes at unawares other persons 
creep into the great house of God; and so there becomes 
in it not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood 
and clay, &c. 2 Tim. ii. 20. but they only creep in as Jude 
speaks, ver. 4. they have no right nor title to it. 

[2dly.] The privileges of the house are such, as they will 
not suit nor profit any other. To what purpose is it to give 
food to a dead man? Will he grow strong by it? Will he 
increase upon it ? The things of the family and house of 
God, are food for living souls. Now children only are alive, 
all others are dead in trespasses and sins. What will out- 
ward signs avail, if life and power be away? Look upon what 
particular you please of the saints enjoyments in the family 
of God, you shall find them all suited unto believers ; and 
being bestowed on the world would be a pearl in the snout 
of a swine. 

It is then only the sons of the family that have this right; 
they have fellowship with one another, and that fellowship 
with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ ; they set forth 
the Lord's death till he come ; they are intrusted with all 
the ordinances of the house, and the administration of them. 
And who shall deny them the enjoyment of this right, or 
keep them from what Christ hath purchased for them? And 
the Lord will in the end give them hearts every where to 
make use of this title accordingly ; and not to wander on the 
mountains, forgetting their resting-place. 

(2dly.) They have a title to the future fulness of the in- 
heritance that is purchased for this whole family by Jesus 
Christ. So the apostle argues, Rom. viii. 17. 'If children. 


then heirs/ &c. All God's children are first-born, Heb. 
xii. 23. and therefore are heirs ; hence the whole weight of 
glory that is prepared for them, is called the inheritance ; 
Col. i. 12. ' the inheritance of the saints in light.' If you be 
Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according 
to the promise;' Gal. iii. 29. Heirs of the promise; that is, 
of all things promised unto Abraham, in and with Christ. 

There are three thing^s that in this regard the children of 
God are said to be heirs unto. 

[1st.] The promise, as in that place of Gal. iii. 29. and 
Hebi vi. 11. God shews to 'the heirs of the promise the 
immutability of his council ;' as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
are said to be * heirs of the same promise ;' Heb. xi. 9. God 
had from the foundation of the world, made a most excellent 
promise in Christ, containing a deliverance from all evil, 
and an engagement for the bestowing all good things upon 
them ; it contains a deliverance from all the evil which the 
guilt of sin, and dominion of Satan had brought upon them, 
with an investiture of them in all spiritual blessings in hea- 
venly things in Christ Jesus. Hence Heb. ix. 15. the Holy 
Ghost calls it a ' promise of the eternal inheritance.' This in 
the first place are the adopted children of God heirs unto. 
Look whatever is in the promise which God made at the be- 
ginning to fallen man, and hath since solemnly renewed, and 
confirmed by his oath; they are heirs of it, and are ac- 
cepted in their claim for their inheritance in the courts of 

[2dly.] They are heirs of righteousness; Heb.xi. 7. Noah 
was an heir of the righteousness which is by faith ; which 
Peter calls a being ' heir of the grace of life;' 1 Pet. iii. 9. 
and James puts both these together ; James ii. 6. ' heirs of 
the kingdom which God hath promised ;' that is, of the 
kingdom of grace, and the righteousness thereof, and in this 
respect it is that the apostle tells us, Eph. i. 11. that 'we 
have obtained an inheritance ;' which he also places with 
the 'righteousness of faith;' Acts xxvi. 13. Now by this 
righteousness, grace, and inheritance, is not only intended 
that righteousness which we are here actually made par- 
takers of, but also the end, and accomplishment of that righ- 
teousness in glory ; which is also assured in the next place, 

[3dly.] They are ' heirs of salvation,' Heb. i. 14. and 


' heirs according to the hope of eternal life ;' Tit. iii. 7. 
which Peter calls an * inheritance incorruptible/ 1 Pet. 
i. 4. and Paul the ' reward of the inheritance ;' Col. iii. 24. 
that is, the issue of the inheritance of light, and holiness 
which they already enjoy. Thus then distinguish the full 
salvation by Christ, into the foundation of it, the promises, 
and means of it. Righteousness and holiness, the end of 
it eternal glory ; the sons of God have a right and title to all, 
in that they are made heirs with Christ. 

And this is that which is the main of the saints' title and 
right, which they have by adoption ; which in sum is, that 
the ' Lord is their portion' and inheritance, and they are the 
inheritance of the Lord ; and a large portion it is that they 
have, the lines are fallen to them in a goodly place. 

2dly. Besides this principal, the adopted sons of God 
have a second consequential right ; a right unto the things 
of this world ; that is, unto all the portions of it, which God 
is pleased to intrust them here withal. Christ is the heir of 
all things; Heb. i. 3. all right and title to the things of the 
creation was lost, and forfeited by sin. The Lord by his 
sovereignty, had made an original grant of all things here 
below for man's use ; he had appointed the residue of the 
works of his hands in their several stations, to be service- 
able unto his behoof. Sin reversed this whole grant and 
institution; all things were set at liberty from this subjec- 
tion unto him; yet that liberty being a taking them off from 
the end to which they were originally appointed, is a part 
of their vanity and curse. It is evil to any thing to be laid 
aside as to the end, to which it was primitively appointed; 
by this means the whole ci'eation is turned loose from any 
subordinate ruler ; and man, having lost the whole title 
whereby he held his dominion over, and possession of, the 
creatures, hath not the least colour of interest in any of 
them, nor can lay any claim unto them ; but now the Lord 
intending to take a portion to himself, out of the lump of 
fallen mankind, whom he appointed heirs of salvation, he 
doth not immediately destroy the works of creation, but re- 
serve them for their use in their pilgrimage. To this end 
he invests the whole right and title of them in the second 
Adam, which the first had lost ; he appoints him, ' heir of 
all things.' And thereupon his adopted ones, being 'fellow 


heirs with Christ/ become also to have a right and title unto 
the things of this creation. 

To clear up this right what it is, I must give some few 

(1st.) The right they have, is not as the right that Christ 
hath ; that is sovereign and supreme, to do what he will 
with his own ; but theirs subordinate, and such, as that they 
must be accountable for the use of those things whereunto 
they have a right and title. The right of Christ, is the right 
of the Lord of the house, the right of the saints is the right 
of servants. 

(2dly.) That the whole number of the children of God 
have a right unto the whole earth, which is the Lord's and 
the fulness thereof, in these two regards. 

[1st.] He who is the sovereign Lord of it, doth preserve 
it merely for their use, and upon their account; all others 
whatever being maleejidei possessores invading a portion of the 
Lord's territories, without grant or leave from him. 

[2dly.] In that Christ hath promised to give them the 
kingdom and dominion of it, in such a way and manner, as 
in his providence he shall dispose ; that is, that the govern- 
ment of the earth shall be exercised to their advantao-e. 

(3dly.) This right is a spiritual right, which doth not give 
a civil interest, but only sanctifies the right and interest 
bestowed. God hath providentially disposed of the civil 
bounds of the inheritance of men, Acts xvii. 26. suffering 
the men of the world to enjoy a portion here, and that often- 
times very full and plenteous, and that for his children's 
sake, that those beasts of the forest, which are made to be 
destroyed, may not break loose upon the whole possession. 

(4thly.) No one particular adopted person, hath any right 
by virtue thereof, to any portion of earthly things, where- 
unto he hath not right and title upon a civil interest given 
him by the providence of God. But, 

(5thly.) This they have by their adoption ; that 

[1st.] Look what portion soever God is pleased to give 
them, they have a right unto it, as it is reinvested in Christ, 
and not as it lies wholly under the curse and vanity that is 
come upon the creation by sin, and therefore can never be 
called unto an account for usurping that which they have no 


right unto, as shall all the sons of men, who violently grasp 
those things which God hath set at liberty from under their 
dominion because of sin. 

[2dly.] By this their right, they are led unto a sancti- 
fied use of what thereby they do enjoy; inasmuch as the 
things themselves are to them pledges of the Father's love, 
washed in the blood of Christ, and endearments upon their 
spirits to live to his praise, who gives them all things richly 
to enjoy. 

And this is a second thing we have by our adoption ; 
and hence I dare say of unbelievers, they have no true 
right unto any thing of what kind soever, that they do 

They have no true, unquestionable right, I say, even unto 
the temporal things they do possess; it is true they have a 
civil right in respect of others, but they have not a sancti- 
fied right in respect of their own souls. They have a right 
and title that will hold plea in the courts of men, but not a 
right that will hold in the court of God, and in their own 
conscience. It will one day be sad with them when they 
shall come to give an account of their enjoyments. They 
shall not only be reckoned withal for the abuse of that they 
have possessed, that they have not used and laid it out for 
the glory of him whose it is ; but also, that they have ever 
laid their hands upon the creatures of God, and kept them 
from them for whose sakes alone they are preserved from 
destruction. When the God of glory shall come home to 
any of them, either in their consciences here, or in the 
judgment that is for to come, and speak with the terror of 
a revengeful judge : I have suffered you to enjoy corn, wine, 
and oil, a great portion of my creatures ; you have rolled 
yourselves in wealth and prosperity ; when the right heirs of 
these things lived poor, and low, and mean, at the next 
doors ; give in now an answer what and how you have used 
these things. What have you laid out for the service and ad- 
vancement of the gospel ? What have you given unto them 
for whom nothing was provided ? What contribution have 
you made for the poor saints ? Have you had a ready band, 
and willing mind, to lay down all for my sake ? When they 
shall be compelled to answer as the truth is, Lord, we had 
indeed a large portion in the world, but we took it to be our 


own, and thought we might have done what we would with 
our own ; we have eat the fat, and drank the sweet, and left 
the rest of our substance for our babes ; we have spent 
somewhat upon our lustS, somewhat upon our friends, but 
the truth is, we cannot say that we made friends of this un- 
righteous mammon, that we used it to the advancement of 
the gospel, or for ministering unto thy poor saints, and now 
behold we must die, &c. So also, when the Lord shall pro- 
ceed farther and question not only the use of these things, 
but also their title to them, and tell them * the earth is mine 
and the fulness thereof;' I did indeed make an original grant 
of these things to man, but that is lost by sin ; I have re- 
stored it only for my saints. Why have you laid then your 
fingers of prey upon that which was not yours ? Why have 
you compelled my creatures to serve you and your lusts, 
which I had set at loose from under your dominion? Give 
me my flax, my wine, and wool, I will set you naked as in the 
day of your birth, and revenge upon you your rapine, and 
unjust possession of that which was not yours. I say at such 
a time, what will men do ? 

[3.] Boldness with God by Christ is another privilege 
of our adoption ; but hereof I have spoken at large before, 
in treating of the excellency of Christ in respect of our ap- 
proach to God by him ; so that I shall not reassume the 
consideration of it. 

[4.] Affliction also, as proceeding from love, as leading 
to spiritual advantages, as conforming unto Christ, as 
sweetened with his presence, is the privilege of children ; 
Heb. xii. 3 — 6. but on these particulars I must not insist. 

This, I say, is the head and source of all the privileges 
which Christ hath purchased for us, wherein also we have 
fellowship with him : fellowship in name; we are (as he is) 
sons of God ; fellowship in title and right ; we are heirs, co- 
heirs with Christ; fellowship in likeness and conformity ; 
we are predestinated to be like the first-born of the family; 
fellowship in honour ; he is not ashamed to call us brethren; 
fellowship in sufferings ; he learned obedience by what he 
suffered ; and every son is to be scourged that is received ; 
fellowship in his kingdom ; we shall reign with him. Of all 
which I must speak peculiarly in another place, and so shall 
not here draw out the discourse concerning them any farther. 




Of communion with the Holy Ghost. 

The foundation of our communion ivitli the Holy Ghost, John xvi. 1 — 7. 
opened at large. UapuKXrjTo^, a comforter ; ivho he is. The Holy Ghost, his 
own will in his coining to us ; sent also by Christ. The Spirit sent as a 
sanctijier, and as a comforter. The adjuncts of his mission considered. 
The foundation of his mission ; John xv. 26. His procession from the 
Father, twofold; as to personality, or to office. Things considerable 
in his procession as to office. The manner of his collation. He is given 
freely ; sent authoritatively. The sin against the Holy Ghost, whence urt' 
pardonable. How we ask the Spirit of the Father. To grieve the Spirit, 
what. Poured out. How the Holy Ghost is received ; by faith. Faith's 
actings in receiving the Holy Ghost. His abode with us, how declared. 
How we may lose our comfort, whilst the Comforter abides with us. 

The foundation of all our communion with the Holy Ghost, 
consisting in his mission, or sending to be our Comforter by 
Jesus Christ ; the whole matter of that economy or dispen- 
sation is firstly to be proposed and considered, that so we 
may have a right understanding of the truth inquired after. 
Now the main promise hereof, and the chief considerations 
of it, with the good received, and evil prevented thereby, 
being given and declared in the beginning of the sixteenth 
chapter of John, I shall take a view of the state of it, as there 

Our blessed Saviour being to leave the world, having ac- 
quainted his disciples, among other things, what entertain- 
ment in general they were like to find in it, and meet withal, 
gives the reason why he now gave them the doleful tidings 
of it, considering how sad and dispirited they were upon the 
mention of his departure from them; ver. 1. ' These things 
have I said unto you, that you should not be offended.' I have, 
saith he, given you an acquaintance with these things (that 
is, the things which will come upon you, which you are to 
suffer) beforehand, lest you who (poor souls) have enter- 
tained expectations of another state of affairs, should Im 

VOL. X. T 


surprised, so as to be offended at me, and my doctrine, and 
fall away from me. You are now forewarned, and know what 
you have to look for. Yea, saith he, ver. 2. having acquainted 
you in general, that you shall be persecuted, I tell you 
plainly, that there shall be a combination of all men against 
you, and all sorts of men will put forth their power for your 
ruin. * They shall cast you out of the synagogue, and the 
time shall come, that whosoever kills you, will think that 
he doth God good service.' The ecclesiastical power shall 
excommunicate you, they shall put you out of their syna- 
gogues ; and that you may not expect relief from the power 
of the magistrate against their perversity, they will kill you; 
and that you may know that they will do it to the purpose, 
without check or control, they will think that in killing you, 
they do God good service, which will cause them to act ri- 
gorously, and to the utmost. 

But this is a shaking trial, might they reply : is our con- 
dition such, that men in killing us, will think to approve 
their consciences to God? Yea, they will, saith our Sa- 
viour ; but yet, that you be not mistaken, nor trouble your 
consciences about their confidences, know that their blind 
and desperate ignorance is the cause of their fury and per- 
suasion ; ver. 3. * These things will they do unto you, be- 
cause they have not known the Father, nor me.' 

This then was to be the state with the disciples ; but 
why did our Saviour tell it them at this season, to add fear 
and perplexities to their grief and sorrow ? what advantage 
should they obtain thereby ? Saith their blessed Master, 
ver. 4. there are weighty reasons why I should tell you these 
things ; chiefly, that as you may be provided for them, so 
when they do befal you, you may be supported with the con- 
sideration of my Deity and omniscience, who told you all 
these things before they came to pass ; ver. 4. * But these 
things have 1 told you, that when the time shall come, you 
may remember I told you of them.' But ifthey be so necessary, 
whence is it that thou hast not acquainted us with it all this 
while ? why not in the beginning, at our first calling? Even, 
saith our Saviour, because there was no need of any such 
thing ; for, whilst I was with you, you had protection and 
direction at hand. ' And these things I said not at the be- 
ginning, because I was present with you :' but now the state 


of things is altered ; * I must leave you ;' ver. 5. And for 
your parts, so are you astonished with sorrow, that you do 
not ask me ' whither I go,' the consideration whereof would 
certainly relieve you, seeing I go to take possession of ray 
glory, and to carry on the work of your salvation ; but your 
hearts are filled with sorrow and fears, and you do not so 
much as inquire after relief; ver. 5, 6. whereupon he adjoins 
that wonderful assertion, ver. 7. ' Nevertheless I tell you 
the truth ; it is expedient for you that I go away ; for if I go 
not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I de- 
part, 1 will send him unto you.' 

This verse then, being the peculiar foundation of what 
shall afterward be declared, must particularly be considered 
as to the words of it, and their interpretation ; and that both 
with respect to the preface of them, and the asseveration in 
them, with the reason annexed thereunto. 

1. The preface to them. 

(1.) The first word aXXa is an adversative, not excepting 
to any thing of what himself had spoken before, but to their 
apprehension ; I know you have.sad thoughts of these things, 
but yet, nevertheless, 

(2.) 'Eyw T7JV aMOnav Xiyu) vfxlv. * I tell you the truth.' 
The words are exceeding emphatical, and denote some great 
thing to be ushered in by them. First, lyu)^ V tell it you, this 
that shall now be spoken ; I who love you, who take care of 
you, who am now about to lay down my life for you ; they are 
my dying words, that you may believe me ; I who am truth 
itself, I tell you. And, 

'E7W TTiv a\i]^Hav Xiyo). ' I tell you the truth :' you have 
in your sad misgiving hearts, many misapprehensions of 
things ; you think, if I would abide with you, all these evils 
might be prevented ; but, alas ! you know not what is good 
for you, nor what is expedient ; * I tell you the truth ;' this 
is truth itself, and quiet your hearts in it. There is need of 
a great deal of evidence of truth, to comfort their souls that 
are dejected and disconsolate under an apprehension of the 
absence of Christ from them, be the apprehension true or 

And this is the first part of the words of our Saviour, the 
preface to what he was to deliver to them, by way of aweighty 

T 2 


convincing asseveration, to disentangle thereby the thoughts 
of his disciples from prejudice, and to prepare thern for the 
receiving of that great truth which he was to deliver. 

2. The assertion itself follows ; (TV[X(f>ipH vfjxv, 'iva tyio 
airiX^w. ' it is expedient for you, that I go away.' 

There are two things in the words; Christ's departure, and 
the usefulness of it to his disciples. 

(1.) For his departure, it is known what is intended by it. 
The withdrawing his bodily presence from the earth after his 
resurrection, the 'heavens being to receive him, until the time 
of the restitution of all things ;' Acts iii. 21. For in respect 
of his Deity, and the exercise of love and care towards them, 
he promised to be with them to the end of the world ; Matt, 
xxviii. 20. Of this saith he (TVfxcpipsi vfxiv, it conduceth to your 
good; it is profitable for you, it is for your advantage, it will 
answer the end that you aim at; that is the sense of the word, 
which we have translated ' expedient :' it is for your profit 
and advantage. This then is that which our Saviour asserts ; 
and that with the earnestness before-mentioned, desiring to 
convince his sorrowful foliov>'ers of the truth of it ; namely, 
that his departure, which they so much feared, and were trou- 
bled to think of, would turn to their profit and advantage. 

(2.) Now although it might be expected that they should 
acquiesce in this asseveration of truth itself, yet because they 
were generally concerned in the ground of the truth of it, he 
acquaints them with that also ; and that we may confess it 
to be a great matter, that gives certainty and evidence to 
that proposition, he expresses it negatively and positively ; 
* if 1 go not away he will not come, but if I depart I will send 
him.' Concerning the going away of Christ, I have spoken 
before: of the Comforter, his coming and sending, I shall now 
treat, as being the thing aimed at. 

'O rcapaKKriTOQ, the word being of sundry significations, 
many translations have thought fit not to restrain it, but do 
retain the original word ' paracletus ;' so the Syriac also ; and 
as some think, it was a word before in use among the Jews ; 
whence the Chaldee paraphrast makes use of it. Job. xvi.20. 
and amongst them it signifies one that so taught others, as 
to delight them also in his teaching ; that is, to be their com- 
forter. In Scripture it hath two eminent significations ; an 


' advocate' and a ' comforter ;' in the first sense our Saviour is 
called TrapaKXjjroc, 1 John ii. 2. whether it be better rendered 
here an advocate or a comforter, may be doubted. 

Look into the foregoing occasion of the words which is 
the disciples' sorrow and trouble, and it seems to require the 
comforter ; sorrow hath filled your hearts, but I will send 
you the Comforter ; look into the next words following, 
which contain his peculiar work for which he is now pro- 
mised to be sent, and they require he should be an advocate 
to plead the cause of Christ against the world, ver. 8. I 
shall choose rather to interpret the promise by the occa- 
sion of it, which was the sorrow of his disciples, and to re- 
tain the name of the Comforter. 

Who this Comforter is, our blessed Saviour had before de- 
clared ; chap. XV, 26. he is Trvavfxa rrig aXr]^dag, the 'Spirit of 
truth,' that is, the Holy Ghost, who revealeth all truth to the 
sons of men. Now of this Comforter two things are afiirmed : 

[1.] That he shall come. [2.] That Christ shall send him. 

[1.] That he shall come; the affirmative of his coming, 
on the performance of that condition of it, of Christ going 
away, is included in the negation of his coming, without its 
accomplishment ; ' If I go not away, he will not come ;' if 
I do go, tXivatrai ' he will come,' so that there is not only the 
mission of Christ, but the will of the Spirit, in his coming; 
•he will come,' his own will is in his work. 

[2.] niiJi\p(jt) avTov, 'I will send him.' The mystery of his 
sending the Spirit, our Saviour instructs his disciples in by 
degrees ; chap. xiv. 16. he saith, ' 1 will pray the Father, he 
shall send you another Comforter.' In the progress of his 
discourse he gets one step more upon their faith ; ver. 26. 
' But the Comforter,which is the Holy Ghost,whom the Father 
will send in my name :' but chap. xv. 26. he saith, ' I will 
send him from the Father ;' and here, absolutely, ' I will send 
him.' The business of sending the Holy Ghost by Christ, 
which argues his personal procession also from him, the 
Son, was a deep mystery which at once they could not bear ; 
and therefore he thus instructs them in it by degrees. 

This is the sum ; the presence of the Holy Ghost with 
believers as a comforter, sent by Christ for those ends and 
purposes for which he is promised, is better and more pro- 
fitable for believers than any corporeal presence of Christ 


can be, now he hath fulfilled the one sacrifice for sin, which 
he was to offer. 

Now the Holy Spirit is promised under a twofold consi- 
deration. 1st. As a Spirit of sanctification to the elect, to 
convert them and make them believers. 2dly. As a Spirit 
of consolation to believers, to give them the privileges of the 
death and purchase of Christ : it is in the latter sense only 
wherein he is here spoken of. Now as to his presence with 
us in this regard, and the end and purposes for which he is 
sent, for what is aimed at, observe, 

(1st.) The rise and fountain of it; (2dly.) The manner 
of his being given ; (3dly.) Our manner of receiving him ; 
(4thly.) His abiding with us ; (5thly.) His acting in us ; 
(6thly.) What are the effects of his working in us. And then 
how we hold communion with him, will from all these appear. 

What the Scripture speaketh to these particulars, shall 
briefly be considered. 

(1st.) For the fountain of his coming it is mentioned, 
John XV. 26. Trapa tov rrarpog EKTropfutrat, * He proceedeth from 
the Father;' tliis is the fountain of this dispensation ; he pro- 
ceedeth from the Father: now there is a twofold tKiropevrng 
or ' procession' of the Spirit. 

[1st.] ^vcriKT) or viroaraTiKri, in respect of substance and 

[2dly.] ''OiKOvofxiKri or ' dispensatory,' in respect of the 
work of grace. Of the first, in which respect he is the Spi- 
rit of the Father and the Son, proceeding from both eter- 
nally, so receiving his substance and personality, I speak 
not: it is a business of another nature than that I have now 
in hand. Therein indeed lies the first and most remote 
foundation of all our distinct communion with him and 
our worship of him. But because abiding in the naked con- 
sideration hereof, we can make no other progress, than the 
bare acquiescence of faith in the mystery revealed, with the 
performance of that which is due to the person, solely on 
the account of his participation of the essence, I shall not at 
present dwell upon it. 

His £K7rop£U(Tte or ' proceeding,' mentioned in the place 
insisted on is his economical or dispensatory proceeding 
for the carrying on of the work of grace ; it is spoken of 
him in reference to his being sent by Christ after his ascen- 


sion ; I will send him which proceedeth, namely, then when 
I send him. As God is said to arise out of his place, Isa. 
XX vi. 21. not in regard of any mutation in him, but of the 
new work which he would effect ; so it follows, the Lord 
comes out of his place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth. 
And it is in reference to a peculiar work that he is said to 
proceed, namely, to testify of Christ; which cannot be as- 
signed to him in respect of his eternal procession, but of his 
actual dispensation : as it is said of Christ, * He came forth 
from God.' The single mention of the Father in this place, 
and not of the Son, belongs to the gradation before-men- 
tioned, whereby our Saviour discovers this mystery to his 
disciples. He speaks as much concerning himself; John 
xvi. 7. And this relation, * ad extra' as they call it, of the 
Spirit unto the Father and the Son in respect of operation, 
proves his relation ' ad intra,' in respect of personal proces- 
sion whereof I spake before. 

Three things are considerable in the foundation of this 
dispensation, in reference to our communion with the Holy 

1st. That the will of the Spirit is in the work ; iKTroptverai 
' he comes forth himself?' frequent mention is made (as we 
shall see afterward) of his being sent, his being given and 
poured out ; that it might not be thus apprehended, either 
that this Spirit were altogether an inferior, created spirit, 
a mere servant, as some have blasphemed, nor yet merely 
and principally, as to his personality, the virtue of God as 
some have fancied, he hath iStoijuara vTroorartKa personal pro- 
perties applied to him in this work arguing his personality 
and liberty ; iKiropeverai. He of himself, and of his own ac- 
cord, proceedeth. 

2dli/. The condescension of the Holy Ghost in this order 
of working this dispensation, to proceed from the Father 
and the Son, as to this work ; to take upon him this work of 
a Comforter, as the Son did the work of a Redeemer, of which 

3dlj/. The fountain of the whole is discovered to be the 
Father, that we may know his works in the pursuit of elect- 
ing love which every where is ascribed to the Father. This is 
the order here intimated. First, There is the wpo^emg of the 
Father ; or the purpose of his love the fountain of all ; then 


the epurrriaig, the ' asking' of the Son, John xiv. 15, which takes 
in his merit and purchase ; whereunto follows tKTropivmg, or 
willing 'proceeding' of the Holy Ghost. And this gives tes- 
timony also to the foundation of this whole discourse, 
namely, our peculiar communion with the Father in love, the 
Son in grace, and the Holy Ghost in consolation. This is 
the door and entrance of that fellowship of the Holy Ghost, 
whereunto we are called. His gracious and blessed will, his 
infinite and ineffable condescension, being eyed by faith, as 
the foundation of all those effects which he works in us, and 
privileges whereof by him we are made partakers, our souls 
are peculiarly conversant with him, and their desires, affec- 
tions, and thankfulness, terminated in him ; of which more 
afterward. This is the first thing considerable is our com- 
munion with the Holy Ghost. 

(2dly.) The manner of his collation, or bestowing ; or the 
manner of his communication unto us from this fountain, is 
herein also considerable, and it is variously expressed to 
denote three things. 

[1st.] The freeness of it: thus he is said to be given; 
John xiv. 16. he shall give you another Comforter; I need 
not multiply places to this purpose. The most frequent 
adjunct of the communication of the Spirit is this, that he 
is given, and received as of gift ; he will give his Holy Spi- 
rit to them that ask him. That which is of gift is free, the 
Spirit cf grace is given of grace; and not only the Spirit of 
sanctification, or the Spirit to sanctify and convert us, is a 
gift of free grace, but in the sense whereof we speak in re- 
spect of consolation, he is of gift also; he is promised to be 
given unto believers.^ Hence the Spirit is said to be re- 
ceived by the gospel, not by the law ; Gal, iii. 2. that is of 
mere grace, and not of our own procuring. And all his 
workings are called ^apiaixara, ' free donations.' He is freely 
bestowed and freely works ; and the different measures 
wherein he is received, for those ends and purposes of con- 
solation which we shall consider, by believers, which are 
great, various, and inexpressible, arise from hence that we 
have him by donation, or free gift. And this is the tenor 
whereby we hold and enjoy him ; a tenor of free donation. 

a Neheni. ix. 20. John xiv. 16. vii. 39. xx. 22. Acts ii. 28. v. 32. viii. 15. x.47. 
XV. 8. xix. 2. Rom. v. 5. 1 Cor. ii. 11. vi. 19. xii. 7. 1 Thes. iv. 8. 1 John iv. 14. 


So is he to be eyed, so to be asked, so to be received. And 
this also faith takes in, and closeth withal, in our commu- 
nion with the Comforter. The conjunction and accord of 
his will, with the gift of Father and Son ; the one respect- 
ing the distinct operation of the Deity in the person of the 
Holy Ghost; the other the economy of the whole I'rinity, 
in the work of our salvation by Jesus Christ. Here tlie soul 
rejoiceth itself in the Comforter ; that he is willing to come 
to him, that he is willing to be given him. And seeing all - 
is will and gift, grace is magnified on this account. 

[2dly.] The authority of it; thence he is said to be sent; 
chap. xiv. 26. the Father will send him in my name : and 
chap. XV. 26. I will send him unto you frpm the Father, and 
him 'will I send to you;' chap. xvi. 17. This mission of the 
Holy Ghost by the Father and the Son, as it answers the 
order of the persons' subsistence in the blessed Trinity, and 
his procession from them both, so the order voluntarily en- 
gaged in by them, for the accomplishment (as was said) of 
the work of our salvation. There is in it, in a most special 
manner the condescension of the Holy Ghost in his love to 
us, to the authoritative delegation of Father, and Son, in 
this business ; which argues not a disparity, dissimilitude, 
or inequality of essence, but of office, in this work ; it is the 
office of the Holy Ghost to 'be an advocate for us, and a com- 
forter to us ; in which respect, not absolutely, he is thus 
sent authoritatively by Father and Son. It is a known maxim, 
that * inaequalitas officii non tollit sequalitatem naturae:' this 
subjection (if I may so call it), or inequality in respect of 
office, doth no ways prejudice the equality of nature which 
he hath with Father and Son, no more than the mission of 
the Son by the Father doth his. And on this authoritative 
mission of the Spirit, doth the right apprehensions of many 
mysteries in the gospel, and the ordering of our hearts in 
communion with him depend. 

1st. Hence is the sin against the Holy Ghost (what it is 
I do not now dispute) unpardonable ; and hath that adjunct of 
rebellion put upon it, that no other sin hath : namely, be- 
cause he comes not, he acts not in his own name only, though 
in his own also, but in the name and authority of the Father 
and Son, from, and by whom he is sent; and therefore to sin 
against him, is to sin against all the authority of God, all the 


love of the Trinity, and the utmost condescension of each 
person to the work of our salvation. It is, I say, from the au- 
thoritative mission of the Spirit, that the sin against him is 
peculiarly unpardonable ; it is a sin against the recapitula- 
tion of the love of the Father, Son, and Spirit, And from 
this consideration, were that our present business, might 
the true nature of the sin against the Holy Ghost be inves- 
tigated. Certainly it must consist in the contempt of some 
operation of his, as acting in the name and authority of the 
whole Trinity, and that in their ineffable condescension to 
the work of grace. But this is of another consideration. 

Idly. On this account, we are to pray the Father and 
the Son, to give the Spirit to us; Luke xi. 13. 'your hea- 
venly Father will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him;' 
now the Holy Ghost being God, is no less to be invocated, 
prayed to, and called on, than the Father and Son, as else- 
where I have proved ; how then do we ask the Father for 
him, as we do in all our supplications, seeing that we also 
pray that he himself would come to us, visit us, and abide 
with us ? In our prayers that are directed to himself, we 
consider him as essentially God over all blessed for ever- 
more ; we pray for him from the Father and Son, as under 
this mission and delegation from them. And indeed God 
having most plentifully revealed himself in the order of this 
dispensation to us, we are (as Christians generally do) in our 
communion to abound in answerable addresses; that is, not 
only to the person of the Holy Ghost himself, but properly 
to the Father and Son, for him, which refers to this dispen- 

Zdly. Hence is that great weight in particular laid upon 
our not grieving the Spirit ; Eph. iv. 30. because he comes 
to us in the name, with the love, and upon the condescension 
of the whole blessed Trinity. To do that which might grieve 
him so sent, on such an account, for that end and purpose 
which shall afterward be mentioned, is a great aggravation 
of sin. He expects cheerful entertainment with us, and may 
do so justly upon his own account ; and the account of the 
work which he comes about : but when this also is added ; 
that he is sent of the Father, and the Son, commissioned 
with their love and grace, to communicate them to their souls, 
this is that which is, or ought to be of unspeakable esteem 


with believers. And this is that second thing expressed in 
the manner of his communication, he is sent by authority. 

He is said to be poured out or shed on us; Tit. iii. 6. 
ov l^ix^ev l(j>' rifiag irXovaitvc, that Holy Ghost which he hath 
richly poured out upon us, or shed on us abundantly. And 
this was the chief expression of his communication under 
the Old Testament, the mystery of the Father and the Son, 
and the matter of commission and delegation being then not 
so clearly discovered; Isa. xxxii. 15. 'until the Spirit be 
poured on us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful 
field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest ;' that is, 
till the Gentiles be called, and the Jews rejected : and chap, 
xliii. 3. 'I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my bless- 
ing upon thy offspring.' That eminent place of Zech. xii. 
10. is always in our thoughts. Now this expression, as is 
known, is taken from the allusion of the Spirit unto water; 
and that in relation to all the uses of water, both natural 
and typical : a particular relation of them, I cannot now in- 
sist on; perhaps efficacy and plenty are chiefly intended. 

Now this threefold expression of giving, sending, and 
pouring out of the Spirit, gives us the three great proper- 
ties of the covenant of grace. 

(Is^.) That it is free, he is given. 

{2dly.) That it is orderly, ordered in all things and sure; 
from the love of the Father, by the procurement of the Son ; 
and thence is that variety of expression, of the Father's send- 
ing him, and the Son's sending him from the Father ; be 
being the gift of the Father's love, and purchase of the blood 
of the Son. 

(3dli/.) The efficacy of it, as was last observed. And 
this is the second thing considerable. 

(3dly.) The third, which is our receiving him, I shall 
speak more briefly of. That which I first proposed, of the 
Spirit considered as a Spirit of sanctification, and a Spirit 
of consolation, is here to be minded. Our receiving of him, 
. as a Spirit of sanctification, is a mere passive reception, as a 
vessel receives water. He comes as the wind on Ezekiel's 
dead bones, and makes them live. He comes into dead 
hearts, and quickens them, by an act of his Almighty power : 
but now as he is the Spirit of consolation, it is otherwise ; in 
this sense our Saviour tells us that the' world cannot receive 


him;' John xiv. 17. 'the world receiveth him not, because 
it seeth him not, nor knows him : but ye know him, for 
he dwelleth with you, and abideth in you.' That it is the 
Spirit of consolation, or the Spirit for consolation that here 
is promised, is evident from the close of the verse, where he 
is said then to be in them, when he is promised to them. 
He was in them as a Spirit of quickening and sanctification, 
when promised to them as a Spirit of comfort and consola- 
tion, to abide with them for that purpose. Now the power, 
that is here denied to be in the world, with the reason of it, 
that they cannot receive the Spirit, because they know him 
not, is ascribed to believers ; they can receive him, because 
they know him. So that there is an active power to be put 
forth in his reception for consolation, though not in his re- 
ception for regeneration and sanctification. And this is the 
power of faith, so Gal. iii. 2. they received the Spirit by the 
hearing of the faith ; the preaching of the gospel begetting 
faith in them, enabled them to receive the Spirit. Hence 
believing is put as the qualification of all our receiving the 
Holy Ghost; Johnvii. 39. 'this hespakeof the Spirit, which 
they that believe on him should receive :' it is believers 
that thus receive the Spirit ; and they receive him by faith. 
Now there are three special acts of faith, whereby it goes 
forth in the receiving of the Spirit, I shall but name them. 

[1st.] It considers the Spirit in the economy before de- 
scribed, as promised. It is faith alone, that makes profit of 
the benefit of the promises; Heb. iv. 2. now he is cedled the 
Spirit of that promise ; Eph. ii. 13. the Spirit that in the 
covenant is promised, and we receive the promise of the 
Spirit through faith; Gal. iii. 14. so that the receiving of 
the Spirit through faith, is the receiving of him as promised : 
faith eyes the promise of God, and of Jesus Christ, of send- 
ing the Spirit for all those ends, that he is desired ; thus it 
depends, waits, mixing the promise with itself, until it re- 
ceive him. 

[2dly.] By prayer ; he is given as a Spirit of supplication,, 
that we may ask him as a Spirit of consolation ; Luke xi. 
13. and indeed this asking of the Spirit of God, in the name 
of Christ, either directly or immediately, or under the name 
of some fruit and effect of him, is the chiefest work of faith 
in this world. 

THE irOT.Y GHOST. 285 

[3dly,] It cherisheth him, by attending to his motions, 
improving his actings according to his mind and will : which 
is all I shall say to this third thing, or our receiving of the 
Spirit, which is sent of Jesus Christ ; we do it by faith, 
looking on him as purchased by Jesus Christ, and promised 
of the Father, we seek him at the hands of God, and do re- 
ceive him. 

(4thly.) The next considerable thing, is his abode with 
us ; now this is two ways expressed in the Scripture. 

1st. In general, as to the thing itself, it is said he shall 
abide with us. 

2dli/. In particular, as to the manner of its abiding, it is 
by inhabitation or indwelling. Of the inhabitation of the 
Spirit, I have spoken fully ^ elsewhere, nor shall I now insist 
on it : only whereas the Spirit, as hath been observed, is 
considered as a Spirit of sanctification, or a Spirit of conso- 
lation : he is said to dwell in us chiefly, or perhaps solely, as 
he is a Spirit of sanctification ; which is evident from the 
work he doeth,as indwelling ; he quickeneth and sanctifieth; 
Rom. viii. 11. and the manner of his indwelling, as in a tem- 
ple, which he makes holy thereby; 2 Cor. vi. and hiv per- 
manency in his so doing, which, as is evident, relates to 
sanctification only; but yet the general notion of it in abid- 
ing, is ascribed to him as a Comforter ; John xiv. 16. he shall 
'abide with you for ever.' Now all the diflSculty of this pro- 
mise lies in this, that whereas the Spirit of sanctification 
dwells in us always, and it is therefore impossible that we 
should lose utterly our holiness; whence is it, that if the 
Comforter abide with us for ever, we may yet utterly lose 
our comfort? A little to clear this in our passage. 

{ist.) He is promised to abide with the disciples for ever,in 
opposition to the abode of Christ. Christ in the flesh, had 
been with them for a little while, and now was leaving them, 
and going to his Father. He had been the comforter imme- 
diately himself for a season, but is now upon his departing; 
wherefore promising them another comforter, they might fear 
that he would even but visit them for a little season also, 
and then their condition would be worse than ever. Nay, but 

^ Persev. of the Saints, chap. viii. 


saith our Saviour, fear it not ; this is the last dispensation : 
there is to be no alteration, when I am gone, the Comforter is 
to do all the remaining work : there is not another to be looked 
for, and I promise you him ; nor shall he depart from you, 
but always abide with you. 

(2dly.) The Comforter may always abide with us, though 
not always comfort us ; he who is the comforter may abide, 
though he do not always that work : for other ends and pur- 
poses he is always with us, as to sanctify and make us holy. 
So was the case with David, Psal. li. 11, 12. * take not thy 
Holy Spirit from me;' the Holy Spirit of sanctification was 
still with David, but, saith he, * restore unto me the joy of thy 
salvation ;' that is, the Spirit of consolation ; that was lost, 
when the promise was made good in the abode of the other. 

(3dly.) The Comforter may abide as a comforter, when he 
doth not actually comfort the soul. In truth as to the es- 
sence of holiness, he cannot dwell in us but withal he must 
make us holy, for the temple of God is holy ; but as to his 
comforting, his actings therein, are all of his sovereign will, 
so that he may abide, and yet not actually comfort us. 

('Jhly.) The Spirit often works for it, and tenders conso- 
lation to us, when we do not receive it ; the well is nigh, 
and we see it not : we refuse to be comforted : I told you 
that the Spirit as a sanctifier comes with power to conquer 
an unbelieving heart ; the Spirit as a comforter comes with 
sweetness, to be received in a believing heart. He speaks 
and we believe not that it is his voice ; he tenders the things 
of consolation and we receive them not : ' my sore ran' (saith 
David), ' and my soul refused to be comforted.' 

{bthly.) I deny that ever the Holy Spirit doth absolutely 
and universally leave a believing soul without consolation ; 
a man may be darkened, clouded, refuse comfort, actually 
find none, feel none, but radically he hath a foundation of 
consolation, which in due time will be drawn forth ; and, 
therefore, when God promises that he will heal sinners, and 
restore comfort to them, as Isa. Ivii. 17. it is not that they 
were without any, but that they had not so much as they 
needed, that that promise is made. To insist on the several 
ways whereby men refuse comfort, and come short of the 
strong consolation, which God is willing that we should re- 


c€ive, is not my purpose at present. Thus then the Spirit 
being sent, and given, abideth with the souls of believers; 
leaves them not, though he variously manifest himself in his 
operations : of which in the next place. 


Of the actings of the Holy Ghost in us being bestowed on us. He worketh 
effectually, distributeth, giveth. 

Having thus declared, from whence, and how the Holy 
Ghost is given unto us as a Spirit of consolation ; I come in 
the next place, 

(5thly.) To declare what are his actings in us, and to- 
wards us, being so bestowed on us, and receiving by us. 
Now here are two general heads to be considered ; 

[1st.] The manner and kind of his actings in us, which 
are variously expressed : and, 

[2dly.] The particular products of his actings in our 
souls, wherein we have communion with him. The first is 
variously expressed : I shall pass through them briefly. 

\st. He is said Ivegyuv ' to work effectually,' 1 Cor. xii. 11. 
all these worketh or effecteth ' that one and the self-same Spi- 
rit : it is spoken there indeed in respect of his distribution 
of gifts ; but the way is the same for the communication of 
graces, and privileges : he doth it by working, which as it 
convinces his personality, especially as considered with the 
words following, * dividing to every man according to his will/ 
(for to work according to will is the inseparable property of 
a person, and is spoken expressly of God, Eph. i. 11.) so in 
relation, to ver. 6. foregoing, it makes no less evident his 
Deity. What he is here said to do as the Spirit bestowed 
on us, and given unto us; there is he said as God himself to 
do. 'There are diversity of operations but it is one God 
that worketh all in all ;' which here in other words is ; ' all 
these worketh the self-same Spirit dividing to every man as 
he will.' What we have then from him, we have by the way of 
his energetical working. It is not by proposing this or that 
argument to us, persuading us by these or those moral mo- 


tives or inducements alone, leaving us to make use of them 
as we can. But he works eft'ectually himself, what he com- 
municates of grace, or consolation to us. 

2dlt/. In the same verse as to the manner of his opera- 
tion, he is said ^laipovv, he divideth or distributeth to every- 
one as he will. This of distribution adds to that of opera- 
tion, choice, judgment, and freedom. He that distributes 
variously doth it with choice and judgment, and freedom of 
will; such are the proceedings of the Spirit in his dispensa- 
tions ; to one he giveth one thing eminently, to another an- 
other ; to one in one degree, to another in another. Thus 
are the saints' in his sovereignty kept in a constant depend- 
ance on him. He distributes as he will ; who should not be 
content with his portion ? what claim can any lay to that 
which he distributeth as he will ? which is farther manifested, 

3c?/y. By his being said to give, when and what he be- 
stows ; they ' speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave 
them utterance ;' Acts ii. 4. he gave them to them, that is 
freely ; whatever he bestows upon us, is of his gift. And 
hence it is to be observed, that in the economy of our salva- 
tion, the acting of no one person doth prejudice the freedom 
and liberty of any other ; so the love of the Father in send- 
ing the Son is free, and his sending doth no ways prejudice 
the liberty and love of the Son, but that he lays down his life 
freely also. So the satisfaction and purchase made by the 
Son doth no way prejudice the freedom of the Father's grace 
in pardoning and accepting us thereupon : so the Father's 
and Son's sending of the Spirit doth not derogate from his 
freedom in his workings, but he gives freely what he gives. 
And the reason of this is, because the will of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost is essentially the same ; so that in the 
actingof one there is the counsel of all and each freely therein. 

Thus in general is the manner and kind of his working 
in us and towards us, being bestowed upon us, described. 
Power, choice, freedom, are evidently denoted in the ex- 
pressions insisted on. It is not any peculiar work of his 
towards us, that is hereby declared, but the manner how he 
doth produce the effects, that shall be insisted on. 

That which remains in the last place for the explanation 
of the things proposed to be explained as the foundation of 
the communion which we have with the Holy Ghost, is 


-[2dly.] The effects that being thus sent, and thus working- 
he doth produce ; which I shall do, not casting them into any 
artificial method, but taking them up as I find them lying 
scattered up and down in the Scripture, only descending from 
those which are more general, to those which are more par- 
ticular, neither aiming nor desiring to gather all the severals, 
but insisting on those which do most obviously occur. 

Only as formerly, so now you must observe, that I 
speak of the Spirit, principally, if not only, as a comforter, 
and not as a sanctifier; and therefore, the great work of the 
Spirit towards us all our days, in the constant and continual 
supplies of new light, power, vigour, as to our receivings of 
orace from him, belono-ino- to that head of sauctification, 
must be omitted. 

Nor shall I insist on those things which the comforter 
doth in believers effect towards others, in his testifying of 
them, and convincing of the world, which are promised, 
John XV. 26. xvi. 8, 9. wherein he is properly their advocate; 
but only on those, which, as a comforter he works in, and to- 
wards them on whom he is bestowed. 


Of the things wherein tee have communion with the Holy Ghost. He brings 
to rememhrance the things spohen by Christ ; John xiv. 26. The manner 
how he doth it. The Spirit glorifies Christ in the hearts of believers ; 
John xvi. 14. sheds abroad the love of God in them. The witness of the 
Spirit, what it is ; Rom. viii. 16. The sealing of the Spirit; Eph. i. 13. 
The Spirit lioiv an earnest, on the part of God, on the part of the saints. 
Difference between the earnest of the Spirit, and tasting of the powers of 
the world to come. Unction by the Spirit ; Isa. xi. 2, 3. The various 
teachings of the Holy Ghost. How the Spirit of adoption; aiid of sup- 

The things which in the foregoing chapters, I called effects 
of the Holy Ghost in us, or towards us, are the subject 
matter of our communion with him; or the things wherein 
we hold peculiar fellowship with him, as our comforter. 
These are now proposed to consideration. 

1. The first and most general is that of John xiv. 26. 

VOL. X. u 


' He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your 
remembrance, that I have spoken to you.' There are two 
parts of this promise. (1.) Of teaching. (2.) Of bringing to 
remembrance. Of his teaching I shall speak afterward, 
when I come to treat of his anointing us. 

His bringing the things to remembrance that Christ spake, 
is the first general promise of him as a comforter ; virofjivriaEi 
vfiag iravra, * he shall make you mind all these things.' Now 
this also may be considered two ways : 

[1.] Merely in respect of the things spoken themselves. 
So our Saviour here promiseth his apostles, that the Holy 
Ghost should bring to their minds by an immediate efficacy, 
the things that he had spoken, that by his inspiration they 
might be enabled to write and preach them for the good and 
benefit of his church. So Peter tells us, 2 Epist. i. 21. ' Holy 
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;' 
that is, in writing the Scripture, viro irv^vfiaTog ayiov (jti^po- 
/Ltevoi* borne up by him, carried beyond themselves, to speak 
his words, and what he indited to them. The apostles forgot 
much of what Christ had said to them, or might do so ; and 
what they did retain in a natural way of remembrance, was 
not a sufficient foundation to them to write what they so 
remembered, for a rule of faith to the church. For the 
word of prophecy, is not l^iag liriXixreujg, from any man's 
proper impulse ; it comes not from any private conception, 
understanding, or remembrance. Wherefore, Christ promises 
that the Holy Ghost shall do this work, that they might in- 
fallibly give out what he had delivered to them. Hence that 
expression in Luke i. 3. irapriKoXov^moTt avw^sv, is better 
rendered, ' having obtained perfect knowledge of things from 
above ;' noting the rise and spring of his so understanding 
things, as to be able infallibly to give them out in a rule of 
faith to the church, than the beginning of the things them- 
selves spoken of; which the word itself will not easily 
allow of. 

[2.] In respect of the comfort of what he had spoken, 
which seems to be a great part of the intendment of this 
promise. He had been speaking to them things suited for 
their consolation; giving them precious promises of the 
supplies they should have from him in this life ; of the love 
of the Father, of the glory he was providing for them ; the 


sense and comfort whereof is unspeakable, and the joy arising 
from them, full of glory. But, saith he, I know how unable 
you are to make use of these things for your own consola- 
tion ; the Spirit, therefore, shall recover them upon your 
minds, in their full strength and vigour, for that end for 
which I speak them. And this is one cause why it was ex- 
pedient for believers that Christ's bodily absence should be 
supplied by the presence of the Spirit. Whilst he was with 
them, how little efficacy on their hearts had any of the hea- 
venly promises he gave them ? When the Spirit came, how 
full of joy did he make all things to them ? That which was 
his peculiar work, which belonged to him by virtue of his 
office, that he also might be glorified, was reserved for him. 
And this is his work to the end of the world, to bring the 
promises of Christ to our minds and hearts, to give us the 
comfort of them, the joy and sweetness of them, much be- 
yond that which the disciples found in them, when Christ in 
person spake them to them; their gracious influence being 
then restrained, that, as was said, the dispensation of the 
Spirit might be glorified. So are the next words to this pro- 
mise ; ver. 27. * My peace I leave with you, peace I give 
unto you.' The Comforter being sent to bring what Christ 
said to remembrance, the consequent of it is peace, and 
freedom from trouble of heart ; whatever peace, relief, com- 
fort, joy, supportment, we have at any time received from 
any work, promise, or thing done by Christ, it all belongs 
to this dispensation of the Comforter. In vain should we 
apply our natural abilities to remember, call to mind, con- 
sider, the promises of Christ ; without success would it be ; 
it is so daily : but when the Comforter doth undertake the 
work, it is done to the purpose. How we have peculiar 
communion with him herein, in faith and obedience, in the 
consolation received, in and by the promises of him brought 
to mind, shall be afterward declared. This in general is 
obtained ; our Saviour Jesus Christ, leaving the efficacy 
even of those promises which in person he gave to his 
apostles in their great distress, as to their consolation, unto 
the Holy Ghost, we may see the immediate spring of all the 
spiritual comfort we have in this world, and the fellowship 
which we have with the Holy Ghost therein. 

Only here, as in all the particulars following, the manner of 



the Spirit's working this thing is, always to be borne in mind, 
and the interest of his power, will, and goodness in his 
working. He doth this, 1st. Powerfully, or effectually. 2dly. 
Voluntarily. 3dly. Freely. 

1st. Powerfully; and therefore comfort from the words 
and promises of Christ, sometimes break in through all op- 
position into the saddest and darkest condition imaginable ; 
it comes and makes men sing in a dungeon, rejoice in flames, 
glory in tribulation, it will into prisons, rocks, through temp- 
tations, and the greatest distresses imaginable. Whence is 
this ? rd Trv£vf.ia Ivepyti, the Spirit works effectually, his 
power is in it ; he will work, and none shall let him. If he 
will bring to our remembrance the promises of Christ for 
our consolation, neither Satan nor man, sin nor world, nor 
death, shall interrupt our comfort. This the Saints who have 
communion with the Holy Ghost, know to their advantage ; 
sometimes the heavens are black over them, and the earth 
trembles under them ; public, personal, calamities and dis- 
tresses appear so full of horror and darkness, that they are 
ready to faint with the apprehensions of them. Hence is 
their greatrelief, and the retrievement of their spirits j their 
consolation nor trouble depend not on any outward condi- 
tion nor inward frame of their own hearts ; but on the 
powerful and effectual workings of the Holy Ghost; which 
by faith they give themselves up unto. 

2dly. Voluntarily, distributing to every one as he will ; 
and therefore is this work done in so great variety, both as 
to the same persons and divers. For the same person, full 
of joy sometimes in a great distress, full of consolation; 
every promise brings sweetness, when his pressures are 
great and heavy : another time in the least trial, seeks for 
comfort, searches the promise, and it is far away. The 
reason is, rrvtvfia ^laipu ko^wc jSovXtTai the Spirit distributes 
as he will. And so with divers persons ; to some, each 
promise is full of life and comfort; others taste little all 
their days, all upon the same account. And this faith espe- 
cially regards in the whole business of consolation ; it de- 
pends on the sovereign will of the Holy Ghost, and so is 
not tied unto any rules, or course of procedure. Therefore 
doth it exercise itself in waiting upon him, for the season- 
able accomplishment of the good pleasure of his will. 


3dly. Freely. Much of the variety of the dispensation of 
consolation by promises, depends on this freedom of the 
Spirit's operation. Hence it is, that comfort is given unex- 
pectedly, when the heart hath all the reasons in the world to 
look for distress and sorrow ; thus sometimes it is the first 
means of recovering- a backsliding soul, who might justly 
expect to be utterly cast off. - And these considerations are 
to be carried on in all the other effects and fruits of the 
Comforter ; of which afterward. And in this first general 
effect or work of the Holy Ghost towards us, havewe com- 
munion and fellowship with him. The life and soul of all 
our comforts lie treasured up in the promises of Christ. 
They are the breasts of all our consolation. Who knows 
not how powerless they are in the bare letter, even when 
improved to the uttermost by our considerations of them, 
and meditation on them ; as also how unexpectedly they 
sometimes break upon the soul, with a conquering, endear- 
ing life and vigour. Here faith deals peculiarly with 
the Holy Ghost. It considers the promises themselves; 
looks up to him, waits for him, considers his appearances 
in the word depended on, owns him in his work and effi- 
cacy. No sooner doth the soul begin to feel the life of a 
promise, warming his heart, relieving, cherishing, supporting, 
delivering from fear, entanglements, or troubles, but it may, 
it ought to know, that the Holy Ghost is there ; which will 
add to his joy, and lead him into fellowship with him. 

2. The next general work seems to be that of John xvi. 
14. ' The Comforter shall glorify me, for he shall receive of 
mine, and shall shew it unto you.' The work of the Spirit 
is to glorify Christ : whence by the way, we may see how 
far that spirit is from being the Comforter, who sets up him- 
self in the room of Christ; such a spirit as saith, he is all 
himself: for as for him that suffered at Jerusalem, it is no 
matter that we trouble ourselves about him ; this spirit is 
now all. This is not the Comforter. His work is to glorify 
Christ, him that sends him. And this is an evident sign of a 
false spirit ; whatever its pretence be, if it glorify not that 
Christ, who was now speaking to his apostles; and such are 
many that are gone abroad into the world. But what shall 
this Spirit do, that Christ may be glorified? ' He shall,' saith 
he, ' take of mine,' Ik tov ifiov X/ji/ziToc what these things 


are, is declared in the next verse; * all things that the Father 
hath are mine,' therefore * I said, he shall take of mine.' It 
is not of the essence, and essential properties of the Father 
and Son, that our Saviour speaks ; but of the grace which is 
communicated to us by them. This Christ calls my things, 
being the fruit of this purchase and mediation : on which ac- 
count he saith, all his Father's things are his ; that is, the 
things that the Father, in his eternal love, hath provided to 
be dispensed in the blood of his Son, all the fruits of elec- 
tion : these, said he, the Comforter shall receive; that is, 
they shall be committed unto him, to dispose for your good 
and advantage, to the end before proposed. So it follows, 
avayyeXtX, ' he shall shew,' or declare,and make them known to 
him. Thus then is he a Comforter. He reveals to the souls of 
sinners, the good things of the covenant of grace, which the 
Father hath provided, and the Son purchased. He shews 
to us mercy, grace, forgiveness, righteousness, acceptation 
with God ; letteth us know that these are the things of 
Christ, which he hath procured for us, shews them to us for 
our comfort and establishment. These things, I say, he ef- 
fectually declares to the souls of believers ; and makes them 
know them for their own good ; know them as originally the 
things of the Father, prepared from eternity in his love and 
good-will ; as purchased for them by Christ, and laid up in 
store in the covenant of grace, for their use. Then is Christ 
magnified and glorified in their hearts ; then they know what 
a Saviour and Redeemer he is. A soul doth never glorify or 
honour Christ upon a discovery, or sense of the eternal re- 
demption he hath purchased for him, but it is in him a peculiar 
effect of the Holy Ghost as our comforter. * No man can 
say, that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost ;' 1 Cor. 
xii. 3. 

3. * He sheds abroad the love of God in our hearts ;' 
Rom. V. 5. That it is the love of God to us, not our love to 
God, which is here intended, the context is so clear, as no- 
thing can be added thereunto : now the love of God is either 
of ordination or of acceptation. The love of his purpose to 
do us good, or the love of acceptation and approbation with 
him, both these are called the love of God frequently in 
Scripture, as I have declared. Now how can these be shed 
abroad in our hearts? Not in themselves, but in a sense of 


them ; in a spiritual apprehension of them ; iKK^x^rai, ' is shed 
abroad,* the same word that is used concerning the Comforter 
being given us. Tit. ii, 6. God sheds him abundantly, or 
pours him on us, so he sheds abroad, or pours out the 
love of God in our hearts. Not to insist on the expression, 
which is metaphorical ; the business is, that the Comforter 
gives a sweet and plentiful evidence and persuasion of the 
love of God to us, such as the soul is taken, delighted, satiated 
withal. .This is his work, and he doth it effectually. To give 
a poor sinful soul a comfortable persuasion, affecting it 
throughout, in all its faculties and affections, that God in 
Jesus Christ loves him, delights in him, is well pleased with 
him, hath thoughts of tenderness and kindness towards him; 
to give, I say, a soul an overflowing sense hereof, is an in- 
expressible mercy. 

This we have in a peculiar manner by the Holy Ghost; it 
is his peculiar work : as all his works are works of love and 
kindness, so this of communicating a sense of the love of 
the Father, mixes itself with all the particulars of his actings. 
And as we have herein peculiar communion with himself; 
so by him we have communion with the Father; even in his 
love, which is thus shed abroad in our hearts : so not only 
do we rejoice in, and glorify the Holy Ghost which doth this 
work, but in him also whose Jove it is. Thus is it also in 
respect of the Son ; in his taking of his, and shewing of it 
unto us, as was declared. What we have of heaven in this 
world, lies herein : and the manner of our fellowship with 
the Holy Ghost on this account, falls in with what was 
spoken before. 

4. Another effect we have of his, Rom. viii. 16. * The 
Spirit itself bears witness with our spirits, that we are the 
children of God.' You know whose children we are by na- 
ture ; children of Satan, and of the curse, or of wrath. By 
the Spirit we are put into another capacity, and are adopted 
to be the children of God, inasmuch as by receiving the Spi- 
rit of our Father, we become the children of our Father. 
Thence is he called, ver. 15. the ' Spirit of adoption.' Now 
sometimes the soul, because it hath somewhat remaining in 
it, of the principle that it had in its old condition, is put to 
question, whether it be a child of God or no, and thereupon, 


as in a thing of the greatest importance, puts in its claim, 
with all the evidences that it hath, to make good its title. 
The Spirit comes and bears witness in this case. An allusion 
it is to judicial proceedings in point of titles and evidences. 
The judge being set, the person concerned lays his claim, 
produceth his evidences and pleads them; his adversaries 
endeavouring all that in them lies, to invalidate them, and 
disannul his plea, and to cast him in his claim. In the midst 
of the trial, a person of known and approved integrity comes 
into the court, and gives testimony fully and directly on the 
behalf of the claimer, which stops the mouths of all his ad- 
versaries, and fills the man that pleaded with joy and satis- 
faction. So is it in this case. The soul by the power of its 
own conscience, is brought before the law of God ; there a 
man puts in his plea, that he is a child of God, that he be- 
longs to God's family, and for this end produceth all his 
evidences, every thing whereby faith gives him an interests 
in God. Satan in the mean time opposeth with all his might; 
sin and law assist him ; many flaws are found in his evi- 
dences; the truth of them all is questioned, and the soul 
hangs in suspense as to the issue. In the midst of the plea 
and contest, the Comforter comes ; and by a word of promise, 
or otherwise, overpowers the heart with a comfortable per- 
suasion (and bears down all objections), that his plea is good^ 
and that he is a child of God. And therefore, it is said of 
him, (TVjUjitapTupet r<^ TrvEu/iart i7juwv. When our spirits are 
pleading their right and title, he comes in and bears witness 
on our side : at the same time, enabling us to put forth acts 
of filial obedience ; kind and child-like, which is called ' cry- 
ing Abba Father ;' Gal. iv. 6. Remember still the manner 
of the Spirit's working before-mentioned ; that he doth it ef- 
fectually, voluntarily, and freely. Hence sometimes the dis- 
pute hangs long ; the cause is pleading many years. The law 
seems sometimes to prevail ; sin and Satan to rejoice; and 
the poor soul is filled with dread about its inheritance ; per- 
haps its own witness, from its faith, sanctification, former 
experience, keeps up the plea with some life and comfort ; 
but the work is not done, the conquest is not fully obtained; 
until the Spirit who worketh freely and effectually, when 
and how he will, comes in with his testimony also ; cloth- 


ing his power with a word of promise, he makes all parties 
concerned to attend unto him, and puts an end to the con^ 

Herein he gives us holy communion with himself. The 
soul knows his voice when he speaks : ' nee hominem sonat.' 
There is somethino- too g-reat in it, to be the effect of a 
created power. When the Lord Jesus Christ, at one word 
stilled the raoina" of the sea and wind, all that were with him, 
knew there was divine power at hand ; Matt. iv. 39. And 
when the Holy Ghost by one word stills the tumults and 
storms that are raised in the soul, giving it an immediate 
calm and security, it knows his divine power, and rejoices 
in his presence. 

5. He seals us. ' We are sealed by the Holy Spirit of 
promise,' Eph. i. 13. and ' grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby 
you are sealed to the day of redemption ;' chap. iv. 30. I 
am not very clear in the certain peculiar intendment of 
this metaphor; what I am persuaded of the mind of God in 
it, I shall briefly impart. In a seal two things are consi- 

(1.) The nature of it. 

(2.) The use of it. 

(1.) The nature of sealing, consists in the imparting of the 
image or character of the seal to the thing sealed. This is 
to seal a thing ; to stamp the character of the seal on it. In 
this sense the effectual communication of the image of God 
unto us, should be our sealing. The Spirit on believers 
really communicating the image of God in righteousness 
and true holiness unto the soul, sealeth us. To have this 
stamp of the Holy Ghost, so as to be an evidence unto the 
soul that it is accepted with God, is to be sealed by the Spi- 
rit ; taking the metaphor from the nature of sealing. "* And 
in this sense is our Saviour said to be sealed of God, John 
vi. 27. even from that impression of the power, wisdom, and 
majesty of God that he had upon him in the discharge of his 

(2.) The end of sealing is twofold. 

[1.] To confirm or ratify any grant or convenience made 
in writing. In such cases men set their seals to make good 
aad confirm their grants, and when this is done they are irre- 

* Rev. V. 4. 


vocable. Or to confirm the testimony that is given by any 
one of the truth of any thing. Such was the manner among 
the Jews : when any one had given true witness unto any 
thing or matter, and it was received by the judges, they in- 
stantly set their seals to it, to confirm it in judgment. Hence 
it is said, that he who receives the testimony of Christ, sets 
to his seal that God is true; John iii. 33. The promise is 
the great grant and conveyance of life and salvation in Christ 
to the souls of believers. That we may have full assurance 
of the truth and irrevocableness of the promise, God gives us 
the Spirit to satisfy our hearts of it ; and thence is he said 
to seal us, by assuring our hearts of those promises, and 
their stability. But though many expositors go this way, I 
do not see how this can consist with the very meaning of the 
word. It is not said that the promise is sealed, but that we 
are sealed, and when we seal a deed or grant to any one, we 
do not say the man is sealed, but the deed or grant. 

[2.] To appropriate, distinguish, or keep safe ; this is the 
end of sealing ; men set their seals on that, which they ap- 
propriate, and desire to keep safe for themselves : so evi- 
dently in this sense, are the servants of God said to be sealed. 
Rev. vii. 4. that is, marked with God's mark, as his peculiar 
ones, for this sealing answers to the setting of a mark, Ezek. 
ix. Then are believers sealed when they are marked for God, 
to be heirs of the purchased inheritance, and to be preserved 
to the day of redemption. Now if this be the sealing in- 
tended, it denotes not an act of sense in the heart but of se- 
curity to the person. The Father gives the elect into the 
hands of Christ to be redeemed ; havilng redeemed them in 
due time, they are called by the Spirit, and marked for God, 
and so give up themselves to the hands of the Father. 

If you ask now, which of these senses is chiefly intended 
in this expression of our being sealed by the Holy Ghost ; I 
answer the first, not excluding the other ; w^e are sealed to 
the day of redemption, when from the stamp, image, and 
character of the Spirit upon our souls, we have a fresh sense 
of the love of God given to us, with a comfortable persuasion 
of our acceptation with him. But of this whole matter I 
have treated at large'' elsewhere. 

'' Persev. of Saints, chap. 8. 


Thus then the Holy Ghost communicates unto us his 
own hkeness, which is also the image of the Father and the 
Son. * We are changed into this image by the Lord the 
Spirit ;' 2 Cor. iii. 18. And herein he brings us into fellow- 
ship with himself. Our likeness to him, gives us boldness 
with him. His work we look for, his fruits we pray for ; 
and when any effect of grace, any discovery of the image of 
Christ implanted in us, gives us a persuasion of our being 
separated and set apart for God, we have a communion with 
him therein. 

6. He is an earnest unto us ; 2 Cor. i. 22. ' He hath given 
the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts ;' chap. v. 5. * Who also 
hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit ;' as also, Eph. 
i. 13, 14. ' Ye are sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, 
which is the earnest of our inheritance.' In the two former 
places we are said to have the earnest of the Spirit, in the 
latter, the Spirit is said to be our earnest ; of the Spirit, then, 
in the first place is, as we say, ' genitivus materise ;' denoting 
not the cause but the thing itself; not the author of the ear- 
nest, but the matter of it. The Spirit is our earnest, as in 
the last place is expressed. The consideration of what is 
meant by the Spirit, here, and what is meant by an earnest, 
will give some insight into this privilege, which we receive 
by the Comforter. 

(1.) What grace, what gift of the Spirit is intended by 
this earnest, some have made inquiry, I suppose to no pur- 
pose. It is the Spirit himself, personally considered, that is 
said to be this earnest ; 2 Cor. i. 22. It is God hath given 
the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts : an expression di- 
rectly answering that of Gal. iv. 6. ' God hath sent forth the 
Spirit of his Son, into our hearts :' that is, the person of the 
Spirit, for nothing else can be called the Spirit of his Son : 
and in Eph. i. 14. he hath given the Spirit (oc for 6) which 
is that earnest. The Spirit himself of promise is this earnest. 
In giving us this Spirit he gives us this earnest. 

(2.) An earnest it is, apjoa/3a)v, neither the Greek, nor the 
Latin have any word to express directly what is here intended. 
The Latins have made words for it, from that expressed here 
in the Greek : ' arrha' and ' arrabo.' The Greek word is but 
the Hebrew 'herabon,' which as some conceive came amongst 
them by the Tyrian merchants, being a word of trade. It is 


by some rendered in Latin, ' pignus,' a ' pledge :' but this 
cannot be here intended. A pledge is that property which 
any one gives, or leaves in the custody of another, to assure 
him that he will give him, or pay him, some other thing ; in 
the nature of that which we call a pawn. Now the thing 
that is here intended, is a part of that which is to come, and 
but a part of it according to the trade use of the word, whence 
the metaphor is taken ; it is excellently rendered in our lan- 
guage, an earnest. An earnest is part of the price of any 
thing, or part of any grant, given beforehand to assure the 
person, to whom it is given, that at the appointed season he 
shall receive the whole that is promised him. 

That a thing be an earnest, it is required, 

[1.] That it be part of the whole, of the same kind and 
nature with it. As we do give so much money in earnest to 
pay so much more. 

[2.] That it be a confirmation of a promise and appoint- 
ment 5 first the whole is promised, then the earnest is given, 
for the good and true performance of that promise. 

Thus the Spirit is this earnest. God gives us the promise 
of eternal life. To confirm this to us, he giveth us his Spi- 
rit, which is as the first part of the promise, to secure us of 
the whole. Hence he is said to be the earnest of the inheri- 
tance that is promised and purchased. 

And it may be considered how it may be said to be an 
earnest on the part of God, who gives him, and on the part 
of believers who receive him. 

1st. He is an earnest on the part of God, in that God 
gives him as a choice part of the inheritance itself; and of 
the same kind with the whole, as an earnest ought to be. 
The full inheritance promised, is the fulness of the Spirit in 
the enjoyment of God. When that Spirit which is given us 
in this world shall have perfectly taken away all sin and 
sorrow, and shall have made us able to enjoy the glory of 
God in his presence, that is the full inheritance promised. 
So that the Spirit given us for the fitting of us for enjoyment 
of God in some measure, whilst we are here, is the earnest 
of the whole. 

God doth it to this purpose, to assure us and secure us 
of the inheritance ; having given us so many "^securities with- 

<: Heb. vi. 17 ,18. 


•out US, his word, promises, covenant, oath, the revelation 
and discovery of his faithfuhiess and immutability in them 
all : he is pleased also graciously to give us one within us, 
Isa. lix. 21. that we may have all the security, we are ca- 
pable of. What can more be done ? He hath given us of the 
Holy Spirit ; in him the first-fruits of glory, the utmost pledge 
of his love, the earnest of all. 

2dly. On the part of believers, he is an earnest, in that 
he gives them an acquaintance with, 

(1st.) Thelove of God; their acceptation with him makes 
known to them their favour in his sight ; that he is their 
Father, and will deal with them as with children ; and con- 
sequently, that the inheritance shall be theirs. He sends his 
Spirit into our hearts' crying, Abba, Father;' Gal. iv. 6. and 
what is the inference of believers from hence, ver. 7. ' Then 
we are not servants, but sons, and if sons, then heirs of God :' 
the same apostle again, Rom. viii. 17. ' If childi'en, then heirs 
of God and joint heirs with Christ.' On that persuasion of 
the Spirit, that we are children, the inference is, 'then heirs, 
heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.' We have then a 
right to an inheritance, and an eviction of it. This is the use 
then we have of it ; even the Spirit persuading us of our son- 
ship, and acceptation with God our Father. And what is 
this inheritance of glory ? If we suffer with him, we shall be 
glorified together. And that the Spirit is given for this end 
is attested, 1 John iii. 24. ' Hereby we know, that he abideth 
in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.' The apostle 
is speaking of our union with God, which he expresseth in 
the words foregoing. ' He that keepeth his commandments, 
dwelleth in him, and he in him.' Of that union elsewhere. 
Now this we know from hence, even by the Spirit which he 
hath given us. The Spirit acquaints us with it j not that 
we have such an acquaintance, but that the argument is good 
and conclusive in itself. We have of the Spirit, therefore he 
dwells in us, and we in him, because indeed his dwelling in 
us, is by that Spirit, and our interest in him is from thence ; 
a sense of this he giveth as he pleaseth. 

(2dly.) The Spirit being given as an earnest, acquaints be- 
lievers with their inheritance ; 1 Cor. ii. 9. 10. As an earnest 
being part of the whole, gives knowledge of it, so doth the 
Spirit, as in sundry particulars might be demonstrated. 


So is he in all respects completely an earnest : given of 
God, received by us, as the beginning of our inheritance, and 
the assurance of it. So much as we have of the Spirit, so 
much we have of heaven, in perfect enjoyment, and so much 
evidence of its future fulness. Under this apprehension of 
him in the dispensation of grace, do believers receive him, 
and rejoice in him: every gracious self-evidencing act of his 
in their hearts, they rejoice in, as a drop from heaven, and 
long for the ocean of it. Not to drive every effect of grace 
to this issue, is to neglect the work of the Holy Ghost in us 
and towards us. 

There remains only that a difference be in a few words 
assigned between believers receiving the Spirit, as an earnest 
of the whole inheritance; and hypocrites, ' tasting of the pow- 
ers of the world to come ;' Heb. v. 6. A taste of the powers 
of the world to come, seems to be the same with the earnest 
of the inheritance. But, 

[1st.] That by* the powers of the world to come' in that 
place, is intended the joys of heaven, there is indeed no 
ground to imagine : they are no where so called ; nor doth 
it suitably express the glory that shall be revealed, which we 
shall be made partakers of. It is doubtless the powerful 
ministry of the ordinances and dispensations of the times of 
the gospel (there called to the Hebrews according to their 
own idiom), the powers or great effectual things of the world 
to come, that is intended. But, 

[2dly.] Suppose that by ' the powers of the world to come,' 
the glory of heaven is intended ; there is a wide difference 
between taking a vanishing taste of it ourselves, and receiv- 
ing an abiding earnest from God : to take a taste of the 
things of heaven, and to have them assured of God, as from 
his love, differ greatly. A hypocrite may have his thoughts 
raised to a great deal of joy and contentment in the consi- 
deration of the good things of the kingdom of God for a sea- 
son, considering the things in themselves, but the Spirit, as 
he is an earnest, gives us a pledge of them as provided for us 
in the love of God and purchase of his Son Jesus Christ. 
This by the way. 

7. The Spirit anoints believers. 'We are anointed by 
the Spirit;' 2 Cor. i. 21. We have ' an unction from the 
Holy One, and we know all things ;' IJohn ii. 20. 27. lean- 


not intend to run this expression up into its rise and origi- 
nal ; also, I have done it elsewhere. The use of unctions 
in the judaical church, the meaning and intendment of the 
types attended therewith ; the offices that men were con- 
secrated unto thereby, are at the bottom of this expression ; 
nearer the unction of Jesus Christ, from whence he is called 
Messiah, and the Christ, the whole performance of his office 
of mediatorship, being called also his anointing, Dan. ix. 
as to his furnishment for it, concurs hereunto. Christ is 
said to be 'anointed with the oil of gladness above his fel- 
lows;' Heb. i. 9-. which is the same with that of John iii. 
34. 'God giveth him not the Spirit by measure.' We, who 
have the Spirit by measure, are anointed with the ' oil of 
gladness ;' Christ hath the fulness of the Spirit, whence our 
measure is communicated ; so he is anointed above us ; ' that 
in all things he may have the pre-eminence.' HowChristwas 
anointed with the Spirit to his threefold office of king, priest, 
and prophet ; how by virtue of an unction with the same 
Spirit dwelling in him and us, we become to be interested in 
these offices of his, and are made also kings, priests, and 
prophets to God, is known, and would be matter of a long 
discourse to handle, and my design is only to communicate 
the things treated of. 

I shall only, therefore, fix on one place, where the com- 
munications of the Spirit in this unction of Christ are enu- 
merated, of which, in our measure from him, and with him, 
by this unction, we are made partakers ; and that is, Isa. xi. 
2, 3. ' The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit 
of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and 
might, the Spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord/ 
&c. Many of the endowments of Christ, from the Spirit 
wherewith he was abundantly anointed, are here recounted. 
Principally those of wisdom, counsel, and understanding, are 
insisted on ; on the account whereof, all the treasures of 
wisdom and knowledge are said to be in him ;' Col. ii. 3. and 
though this be but some part of the furniture of Jesus Christ, 
for the discharge of his office, yet it is such, as where our 
anointing to the same purpose is mentioned, it is said pecu- 
liarly on effecting of such qualifications as these ; so 1 John 
ii. 20. 27. the work of the anointing is to teach us, the 
Spirit therein, is a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of 


counsel, knowledge, and quick understanding in the fear 
of the Lord. So was the great promise of the Comforter, 
that he should teach us ; John xiv.26. that he should guide 
us into all truth; chap. xvi. 13, This of teaching us the 
mind and will of God, in the manner wherein we are taught 
it by the Spirit, our Comforter, is an eminent part of our 
unction by him, which only I shall instance in. Give me 
leave to say there is a threefold teaching by the Spirit. 
. (1.) A teaching by the Spirit of conviction and illumina- 
tion ; so the Spirit teacheth the world, tliat is, many in it, 
by the preaching of the word, as he is promised to do ; 
John xvi. 8. 

(2.) A teaching by the Spirit of sanctification, opening 
blind eyes, giving a new understanding, shining into our 
hearts, to give us a knowledge of the glory of God, in the 
face of Jesus Christ, enabling us to receive spiritual things 
in a spiritual light, 1 Cor. ii. 8. giving a saving knowledge 
of the mystery of the gospel ; and this in several degrees is 
common to believers. 

(3.) A teaching by the Spirit of consolation, making 
sweet, useful, and joyful to the soul, the discoveries that are 
made of the mind and will of God in the light of the Spirit 
of sanctification. Here the oil of the Spirit, is called the 
'oil ofgladnesSj'that which brings joy and gladness with it; 
and the name of Christ thereby discovered, is a ' sweet oint- 
ment poured forth,' that causeth souls to run after him with 
joy and delight; Cant. i. 2. We see it by daily experience, that 
very many have little taste and sweetness and relish in their 
souls of those truths, which yet they savingly know and be- 
lieve ; but when we are taught by this unction, oh how sweet 
is every thing we know of God ! As we may see in the place 
of John, where mention is made of the teaching of this unc- 
tion, it respects peculiarly the Spirit teaching of us the love 
of God in Christ, the shining of his countenance, which, as 
David speaks, puts gladness into our hearts ; Psal. iv. 6, 7. 

We have this then by the Spirit, he teacheth us of the 
love of God in Christ, he makes every gospel truth as wine 
well refined to our souls, and the good things of it, to be a 
feast of fat things ; gives us joy and gladness of heart with 
all that we know of God, which is the great preservative of 
the soul to keep it close to truth. The apostle speaks of our 


teaching by this unction, as the means whereby we are pre- 
served from seduction. Indeed, to know any truth in the 
power, sweetness, joy, and gladness of it, is that great se- 
curity of the soul's constancy in the preservation and retain- 
ing of it. They will readily change truth for error, who find 
no more sweetness in the one than in the other. I must crave 
the reader's pardon, for ray brief passing over these great 
things of the gospel ; my present design is rather to enume- 
rate, than to unfold them. This one work of the Holy Ghost, 
might it be pursued, would require a fuller discourse than I 
can allot unto the whole matter in hand. All the privileges 
we enjoy, all the dignity and honour we are invested withal, 
our whole dedication unto God, our nobility and royalty, our 
interest in all church advantages, and approaches to God in 
worship, our separation from the world, the name whereby 
we are called, the liberty we enjoy, all flow from this head, 
are all branches of this effect of the Holy Ghost. I have 
mentioned only our teaching by this unction ; a teaching 
that brings joy and gladness with it, by giving the heart a 
sense of truth wherein we are instructed. When we find 
any of the good truths of the gospel come home to our souls, 
with life, vigour, and power; giving us gladness of heart, 
transforming us into the image and likeness of it, the Holy 
Ghost is then at his work ; is pouring out of his oil. 

8. We have adoption also by the Spirit ; hence he is called 
the * Spirit of adoption ;' that is, either he who is given to 
adopted ones, to secure them of it, to beget in their hearts 
a sense and persuasion of the Father's adopting love ; or else 
to give them the privilege itself, as is intimated, John i. 12. 
Neither is that opposite hereunto which we have. Gal. iv. 
6. for God may send the Spirit of supplication into our hearts, 
because we are sons, and yet adopted by his Spirit. But of 
of this elsewhere. 

9. He is also called the ' Spirit of supplication ;' under 
which notion he is promised, Zech. xii. 10. and how he 
effects that in us, is declared, Rom. viii. 26, 27. Gal. 
iv. 6. and we are thence said to 'pray in the Holy Ghost.' 
Our prayers may be considered two ways. 

(1.) First as a spiritual duty required of us by God; and 
so they are wrought in us by the Spirit of sanctification, which 
helps us to perform all our duties, by exalting all the facul- 

VOL. X. X 


ties of the soul for the spiritual discharge of their respective 
offices in them. 

(2.) As a means of retaining communion with God, 
whereby we sweetly ease our hearts in the bosom of the 
Father, and receive in refreshing tastes of his love. The 
soul is never more raised with the love of God, than when 
by the Spirit taken into intimate communion with him, in 
the discharge of this duty ; and therein it belongs to the 
Spirit of consolation, to the Spirit promised as a com- 
forter. And this is the next thing to be considered in our 
communion with the Holy Ghost; namely, what are the pe- 
culiar effects which he worketh in us, and towards us, being 
so bestowed on us, as was declared, and working in the way 
and manner insisted on. Now these are, his bringing the 
promises of Christ to remembrance, glorifying him in our 
hearts, shedding abroad the love of God in us, witnessing 
with us, as to our spiritual estate and condition, sealing us 
to the day of redemption ; being the earnest of our inherit- 
ance, anointing us with privileges as to their consolation, 
confirming our adoption, and being present with us in our 
supplications. Here is the wisdom of faith ; to find out, 
and meet with the Comforter in all these things ; not to lose 
their sweetness, by lying in the dark to their author, nor 
coming short of the returns which are required of us. 


The general consequences in the hearts of believers, of the effects of the 
Holy Ghost hef ore-mentioned. Consolation ; its adjuncts, peace, joy ; how 
it is wrought immediately, mediately. 

Having proceeded thus far in discovering the way of our 
communion with the Holy Ghost, and insisted on the most 
noble and known effects that he produceth, it remains that 
it be declared, what general consequences of these effects 
there are brought forth in the hearts of believers ; and so we 
shall at least have made mention of the main heads of his 
dispensation and work in the economy of grace. Now these 


(as with the former) I shall do little more than name ; it 
being not at all in my design to handle the natures of them, 
but only to shew what respects they bear to the business in 

I. Consolation is the first of these. 'The disciples 
walked in the fear of the Lord, and in the consolation of the 
Holy Ghost;' Acts ix. 31. ev rrj irapaKXijcrtiTOV ayiov irvevfxa- 
Tog, He is 6 irapaKX^Tog, and he gives TrapaKXrjaiv, from his 
work towards us, and in us, we have comfort and consolation. 
This is the first general consequent of his dispensation 
and work. Whenever there is mention made of comfort and 
consolation in the Scripture given to the saints (as there 
is most frequently), it is the proper consequent of the work 
of the Holy Ghost towards them. Comfort or consolation in 
general, is the setting and composing of the soul in rest and 
contentedness in the midst of, or from troubles, by the consi- 
deration or presence of some good wherein it is interested, 
outweighing the evil, trouble, or perplexity that it hath to 
wrestle withal. Where mention is made of comfort and 
consolation, properly so called, there is relation to trouble 
or perplexity; so the apostle, 1 Cor. i. 5, 6. 'As the suf- 
ferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also 
aboundeth by Christ.' Suffering and consolation are op- 
posed, the latter being a relief against the former; so are 
all the promises of comfort, and all the expressions of it in 
the Old and New Testament, still proposed as reliefs against 

And, as I said, consolation ariseth from the presence or 
consideration of a greater good, that outbalances the evil 
or perplexity, wherewith we are to contend. Now in the 
effects or acts of the Holy Ghost before-mentioned, lie all 
the springs of our consolation. There is no comfort but 
from them ; and there is no trouble, that we may not have 
comfort in and against, by them. That a man may have con- 
solation in any condition, nothing is required but the pre- 
sence of a good, rendering the evil, wherewith he is pressed, 
inconsiderable to him. Suppose a man under the greatest 
calamity that can possibly befall a child of God, or a con- 
fluence of all those evils numbered by Paul, Rom. viii. 38, 
&,c. let this man have the Holy Ghost, performing the 
works mentioned before towards him, and in despite of aU 

X 2 


his evil, his consolations will abound. Suppose him to have 
a sense of the love of God all the while shed abroad in his 
heart, a clear witness within that he is a child of God, ac- 
cepted with him, that he is sealed and marked of God for 
his own, that he is an heir of all the promises of God, and 
the like, it is impossible that man should not triumph in all 
his tribulations. 

. From this rise of all our consolation, are those descrip- 
tions which we have of it in the Scripture, from its pro- 
perties and adjuncts. As 

(1.) It is abiding. Thence it is called 'everlasting con- 
solation ;' 2 Thess. ii. 16. ' God our Father, which hath loved 
us, and given us everlasting consolation/ that is, comfort that 
vanisheth not ; and that because it riseth from everlasting 
things. There may be some perishing comfort given for a 
little season, by perishing things ; but abiding consolation, 
which we have by the Holy Ghost, is from things everlasting. 
Everlasting love, eternal redemption, an everlasting inherit- 

(2.) Strong. Heb. vi. 18. 'That the heirs of the promise 
should receive strong consolation.' As strong opposition 
lies sometimes against us, and trouble, whose bands are 
strong, so is our consolation strong ; it abounds, and is un- 
conquerable ; io-^vpa 7rapaK\r](ng : it is such, as will make its 
way through all opposition, it confirms, corroborates, and 
strengthens the heart under any evil, it fortifies the soul, and 
makes it able cheerfully to undergo any thing that it is called 
unto, and that because it is from him who is strong. 

(3.) It is precious. Hence the apostle makes it the 
great motive unto obedience, which he exhorts the Philip- 
pians unto, chap. ii. 1. ' If there be any consolation in Christ.' 
If you set any esteem and valuation upon this precious 
mercy of consolation in Christ, by those comforts, let it be 
so with you. 

And this is the first general consequent in the hearts of 
believers, of those great effects of the Holy Ghost before- 
mentioned. Now this is so large and comprehensive, com- 
prising so many of our concernments in our walking with 
God, that the Holy Ghost receives his denomination, as to 
the whole work he hath to perform for us from hence ; he 
is the Comforter ; as Jesus Christ, from the work of redemp- 


tion and salvation, is the Redeemer and Saviour of his 
church. Now as we have no consolation but from the Holy 
Ghost, so all his effects towards us, have certainly this con- 
sequent, more or les'*, in us. Yea, I dare say, whatever we 
have in the kinds of the things before-mentioned that brings 
not consolation with it, in the root at least, if not in the 
ripe fruit, is not of the Holy Ghost. The way whereby 
comfort issues out from those works of his, belongs to par- 
ticular cases. The fellowship we have with him, consists 
in no small portion of it, in the consolation we receive from 
him. This gives us a valuation of his love, teacheth whither 
to make applications in our distress ; whom to pray for, to 
pray to, whom to wait upon, in perplexities. 

2. Peace ariseth hence also ; Rom. xv. 13. 'The God of 
hope fill you with all peace in believing, that you may 
abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.' The 
power of the Holy Ghost, is not only extended to hope, but 
to our peace also in believing. So is it in the connexion of 
those promises, John xiv. 26, 27. ' I will give you the Com- 
forter :' and what then? what follows that grant? ' Peace,' 
saith he, * I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.' Nor 
doth Christ otherwise leave his peace, or give his peace 
unto them, but by bestowing the Comforter on them. The 
peace of Christ consists in the soul's sense of its acceptation 
with God in friendship. So is Christ said to be ' our peace,' 
Eph. ii. 14. by slaying the enmity between God and us, and 
in taking away the handwriting, that was against us ; Rom. 
V. 1. ' Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.' 
A comfortable persuasion of our acceptation with God in 
Christ, is the bottom of this peace, it enwraps deliverance 
from eternal wrath, hatred, curse, condemnation ; all sweetly 
affectino; the soul and conscience. 

And this is a branch from the same root with that fore- 
going ; a consequent of the effects of the Holy Ghost be- 
fore-mentioned. Suppose a man chosen in the eternal love 
of the Father, redeemed by the blood of the Son; and jus- 
lificd freely by the grace of God, so that he hath a right to 
all the promises of the gospel ; yet this person can by no 
reasonings nor arguings of his own heart, by no consider- 
ations of the promises themselves, nor of the love of God, 
or grace of Christ in them, be brought to any establishment 


in peace, until it be produced in him, as a fruit and conse- 
quent of the work of the Holy Ghost in him, and towards 
him. Peace is the fruit of the Spirit 5 Gal. v. 22. The sa- 
vour of the Spirit is life and peace ; Rom. viii, 6. All we 
have is from him, and by him. 

3. Joy also is of this number. The Spirit, as was shewed, 
is called * the oil of gladness,' Heb. i. 10. his anointing brings 
gladness with it, Isa. Ixi. 3. ' the oil of joy for mourning.' 
' The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the 
Holy Ghost;' Rom. xiv. 17. 1 Thess.i. 6. Received the gos- 
pel, 'with joy in the Holy Ghost.' 'With joy,' as Petertells 
believers, * unspeakable, and full of glory ;' 1 Pet. i. 8. To 
give joy to the hearts'of believers, is eminently the work of 
the Comforter^and this he doth by the particulars before in- 
stanced in ; that ' rej oicing in hope of the glory of God,' men- 
tioned Rom. V. 2. which carries the soul through any tribu- 
lation even with glorifying, hath its rise in the Spirit's 
' shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts ;' ver. 5. 
Now there are two ways, whereby the Spirit worketh this 
joy in the hearts of believers. 

(1.) He doth it immediately by himself; without the 
consideration of any other acts, or works of his, or the inter- 
position of any reasonings, or deductions, and conclusions. 
As in sanctification, he is a well of water springing up in the 
soul, immediately exerting his efficacy and refreshment ; 
so in consolation, he immediately works the soul and minds 
of men to a joyful rejoicing and spiritual frame, filling 
them with exultation and gladness ; not that this arises from 
our reflex consideration of the love of God ; but rather gives 
occasion thereunto : when he so sheds abroad the love of 
God in our hearts, and so filling them with gladness by a 
immediate act and operation (as he caused John baptist to 
leap for joy in the womb, upon the approach of the mother 
of Jesus). Then doth the soul even from hence, raise itself 
to a consideration of the love of God, whence joy and re- 
joicing doth also flow. Of this joy there is no account to 
be given, but that the Spirit worketh it, when, and how he 
will ; he secretly infuseth and distils it into the soul, pre- 
vailing against all fears and sorrows, filling it with glad- 
ness, exultations, and sometimes with unspeakable raptures 
of mind. 


(2.) Mediately, by his other works towards us. He gives 
51 sense of the love of God, with our adoption and accep- 
tation with him ; and on the consideration thereof, enables 
us to receive it. Let what hath been spoken of his ope- 
rations towards us be considered, what assurance he gives us 
of the love of God, what life, power, and security, what 
pledge of our eternal welfare, audit will be easily perceived, 
that he lays a sufficient foundation of this joy and gladness. 
Not that we are able upon any rational consideration, de- 
duction, or conclusion, that we can make from the things 
mentioned, to affect our hearts with the joy and gladness 
intended ; it is left no less the proper work of the Spirit to 
do it from hence and by th* intervenience of these consi- 
derations, than to do it immediately without them. This 
process ofproducingjoy in the heart we have, Psal.xxiii.5, 6, 
* Thou anointest my head with oil.' Hence is the conclusion, 
as in the way of exultation, ' surely goodness and mercy 
shall follow me.' Of this effect of the Comforter, see fsa. 
XXXV. throughout. 

4. Hope also is an effect of those workings of the Holy 
Ghost in us, and towards us; Rom. xv. 13. These, I say, 
are the general consequents of the effects of the Holy Ghost 
upon the hearts of believers ; which, if we might consider 
them in their offspring with all the branches that shoot out 
from them, in exultation, assurance, boldness, confidence, 
expectation, glorying, and the like, it would appear how 
far our whole communion with God is influenced by them. 
But I only name the heads of things, and hasten to what 
remains; it is the general and particular way of our com- 
munion with the Holy Ghost, that should nextly ensue, but 
that some other considerations necessarily do here interpose 



Sonu observations and inferences from discourses foregoing concerning the 
Spirit. The contempt of the whole administration of the Spirit by some. 
The vain pretence of the Spirit by others. The false spirit discovered. 

This process being made, 1 should now shew immediately 
how we hold the communion proposed with the Holy Ghost, 
in the things laid down, and manifested to contain his pe- 
culiar work towards us. But there are some miscarriages 
in the world in reference unto this dispensation of the Holy 
Ghost, both on the one hand and the other, in contempt of 
his true work, and pretence of that which is not, that I can- 
not but remark in my passage j which to do shall be the bu- 
siness of this chapter. 

1. Take a view then of the state and condition of them 
who, professing to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, do yet 
contemn and despise his Spirit as to all its operations, gifts, 
graces, and dispensations, to his churches and saints.' Whilst 
Christ was in the world with his disciples, he made them no 
greater promise, neither in respect of their own good, nor of 
carrying on the work which he had committed to them, than 
this of giving them the Holy Ghost. Him he instructeth 
them to pray for of the Father, as that which is needful for 
them, as bread for children ; Luke xi. 13. Him he promiseth 
them, as a well of water springing up in them, for their re- 
freshment, strengthening, and consolation, unto everlasting 
life ; John vii. 37 — 39. as also to carry on, and accom- 
plish the whole work of the ministry to them committed ; 
John xvi. 8 — 10. with all those eminent works and privi- 
leges before-mentioned. And upon his ascension, this is laid 
as the bottom of that glorious communication of gifts and 
graces in his plentiful effusion mentioned, Eph. iv. 8. 11, 12. 
namely, that he had received of the Father the promise of 
the Holy Ghost, Acts ii. 33. and that in such an eminent 
manner, as thereby to make the greatest and most glorious 
difference between the administration of the new covenant 
and old. Especially doth the whole work of the ministry 
relate to the Holy Ghost, though that be not my present 


business to evince. He calls men to that work, and they are 
separated unto him ; Acts xiii. 2. he furnisheth them with 
gifts and abilities for that employment ; 1 Cor. xii. 7 — 10. 
So that the whole religion we profess without this adminis- 
tration of the Spirit, is nothing ; nor is there any fruit with- 
out it of the resurrection of Christ from the dead. 

This being the state of things, that in our worship of and 
obedience to God, in our own consolation, sanctification, 
and ministerial employment, the Spirit being the principle, 
the life, soul, the all of thewdiole; yet so desperate hath 
been the malice of Satan, and wickedness of men, that their 
great endeavour hath been, to shut him quite out of all gos- 
pel administrations. 

First, his gifts and graces were not only decried, but al- 
most excluded from the public worship of the church, by the 
imposition of an operous form of service, to be read by the 
minister ; which to do, is neither a peculiar gift of the Holy 
Ghost to any, nor of the ministry at all. It is marvellous to 
consider what pleas and pretences were invented, and used 
by learned men, from its antiquity, its composure and appro- 
bation by martyrs, the beauty of uniformity in the worship 
of God established, and pressed thereby, &c. for the defence 
and maintenance of it. But the main argument they insisted 
on, and the chief field wherein they expatiated, and laid out 
all their eloquence, was, the vain babbling repetitions and 
folly of men praying by the Spirit. When once this was 
fallen upon, all (at least as they supposed) was carried away 
before them, and their adversaries rendered sufficiently ridi- 
culous ; so great is the cunning of Satan, and so unsearch- 
able are the follies of the hearts of men. The sum of all 
these reasonings amount to no more but this ; Though the 
Lord Jesus Christ hath promised the Holy Ghost to be with 
his church to the end of the world, to fit and furnish men 
with gifts and abilities, for the carrying on of that worship 
which he requires and accepteth at our hands, yet the work 
is not done to the purpose ; the gifts he bestows, are not 
sufficient to that end, neither as to invocation, nor doctrine, 
and therefore we will not only help men by our directions, 
but exclude them from their exercise. This, I say, was the 
sum of all, as I could undeniably evidence, were that my 
present business. What innumerable evils ensue on this 


principle, in a formal setting apart of men to the ministry, 
who had never once 'tasted of the powers of the world to 
come,' nor received any gifts from the Holy Ghost to that 
purpose ; of crying up, and growing in, an outside'pompous 
worship, wholly foreign to the power and simplicity of the 
gospel ; of silencing, destroying, banishing men, whose mi- 
nistry was accompanied with the evidence and demon- 
stration of the Spirit, I shall not need to declare. This is 
that I aim at, to point out the public contempt of the Holy 
Ghost, his gifts and graces, with their administration in the 
church of God, that hath been found even where the gospel 
hath been professed. 

Again, it is a thing of most sad consideration, once to call 
to mind, the improvement of that principle of contempt of the 
Spirit in private men, and their ways. The name of the 
Spirit was grown a term of reproach. To plead for, or pre- 
tend to, pray by the Spirit, was enough to render a man the 
object of scorn and reproach from all sorts of men, from the 
pulpit to the stage. What! you are full of the Spirit, you 
will pray by the Spirit, you have the gift, let us hear your 
nonsense ; and yet perhaps these men would think them- 
selves wronged, not to be accounted Christians. Christians, 
yea, have not some pretending themselves to be leaders of 
the flock; yea, mounted a story or two above their brethren, 
and claiming a rule and government over them, made it their 
business to scoff at, and reproach the gifts of the Spirit of 
God ? And if this were the frame of their Spirit, what might 
be expected from others of professed profaneness ? It is not 
imaginable to what height of blasphemy, the process in this 
kind amounted. The Lord grant there be nothing of this 
cursed leaven still remaining amongst us. Some bleatings 
of ill importance are sometimes heard. Is this the fellow- 
ship of the Holy Ghost that believers are called unto? Is 
this the due entertainment of him whom our Saviour pro- 
mised to send for the supply of his bodily absence, so as we 
might be no losers thereby ? Is it not enough that men should 
be contented with such a stupid blindness, as being called 
Christians, to look no farther for this comfort and consolation, 
than moral considerations common to heathens, would lead 
them ; when one infinitely holy and blessed person of the Tri- 
nity, hath taken this office upon him to be our Comforter, but 


they must oppose and despise him also ? Nothing more dis- 
covers how few there are in theworld, that have interest in that 
blessed name whereby we are all called. But this is no place 
to pursue this discourse. The aim of this discourse is to 
evince the folly and madness of men in general, who profess 
to own the gospel of Christ, and yet condemn and despise 
his Spirit, in whomsoever he is manifested. Let us be zea- 
lous of the gifts of the Spirit, not envious at them. 

From what hath been discoursed we may also try the 
spirits that are gone abroad in the world ; and which have 
been exercising themselves at several seasons, ever since the 
ascension of Christ. The iniquity of the generation that is 
past and passing away, lay in open cursed opposition to the 
Holy Ghost. God hath been above them wherein they be- 
haved themselves presumptuously. Satan, whose design as 
he is God of this world, is to be uppermost, not to dwell 
wholly in any form cast down by the providence of God, hath 
now transformed himself into an angel of light, and he will 
pretend the Spirit also, and only. But there are seducing 
spirits; 1 Tim. iv. 1. and we have a command not to be- 
lieve every spirit, but * try the spirits;' 1 John iv. 1. and 
the reason added, is, because ' many false spirits are gone 
abroad in the world ;' that is, men pretending to the revela- 
tion of new doctrines by the Spirit, whose deceits in the 
first church Paul intimateth, 2 Thess. ii. 2. calling on men 
not to be shaken in mind by spirit. The truth is, the spirits 
of these days are so gross, that a man of a very easy discern- 
ing, may find them out ; and yet their delusion so strong, 
that not a few are deceived. This is one thing that lies evi- 
dent to every eye ; that according to his wonted course, 
Satan with his delusions is nm into an extreme to his for- 
mer actings. 

Not long since, his great design, as I manifested, was to 
cry up ordinances without the Spirit, casting all the reproach 
that he could upon him ; now to cry up a spirit without and 
against ordinances, casting all reproach, and contempt pos- 
sible upon them. Then he would have a ministry without 
the Spirit ; now a spirit without a ministry. Then the read- 
ing of the word might suffice without either preaching, or 
praying by the Spirit ; now the Spirit is enough without read- 
ing or studying the word at all. Then he allowed a literal 


embracing of what Christ had done in the flesh ; now he talks 
of Christ in the Spirit only, and denies him to be come in 
the flesh, the proper character of the false spirit, we are 
warned of, 1 John i. 3. Now because it is most certain that 
the Spirit which we are to hear and embrace, is the Spi- 
rit promised by Christ, which is so clear, that him the Mon- 
tanist's paraclete, yea, and Mahomet pretended himself to 
be, and those of our days affirm also pretend the same ; let 
us briefly try them by some of the effects mentioned, which 
Christ hath promised to give the Holy Ghost for. 

The first general effect, as was observed, was this ; that 
he * should bring to remembrance the things that Christ 
spake for our guidance and consolation.' This was to be 
the work of the Holy Ghost towards the apostles, who were 
to be the penmen of the Scriptures : this is to be his work 
towards believers to the end of the world. Now the things 
that Christ hath spoken and did, are written that we might 
believe, ' and believing have life through his name ;' John xx. 
30. they are written in the Scripture. This then is the work 
of the Spirit, which Christ hath promised, he shall bring to 
our remembrances and give us understanding of the words 
of Christ in the Scripture for our guidance and consolation. 
Is this now the work of the Spirit, which is abroad in the 
world, and perverteth many? Nothing less. His business 
is to decry the things that Christ hath spoken which are 
written in the word ; to pretend new revelations of his own ; 
to lead men from the written word, wherein the whole work 
of God, and all the promises of Christ are recorded. 

Again, the work of the Spirit promised by Christ, is to 
glorify him. 'He shall glorify me, for he shall take of mine 
and shew it unto you ;' John xvi. 14. Him who was to suffer 
at Jerusalem, who then spake to his disciples ; it was to make 
him glorious, honourable, and of high esteem in the hearts 
of believers, and that by shewing his things, his love, kind- 
ness, grace, and purchase unto them. This is the work of 
the Spirit. The v.'ork of the Spirit, that is gone abroad, is to 
o-lorify itself; to decry, and render contemptible Christ that 
suffered for us under the name of a Christ without us ; which 
it slights and despiseth, and that professedly. Its own glory, 
its own honour, is all that it aims at; wholly inverting the 
order of the divine dispensations. The fountain of all be- 


ing and lying in the Father's love, the Son came to glorify 
the Father. He still says, ' I seek not my own glory, but 
the glory of him that sent me.' The Son having carried on 
the work of redemption, was novv^ to be glorified with the 
Father. So he prays that it might be, John xvii. 1. 'The 
hour is come, glorify the Son, and that with the glory which 
he had before the world,' when his joint counsel was in the 
carrying on the Father's love. Wherefore the Holy Ghost 
is sent, and his work is to glorify the Son; but nov*', as I 
said, we have a spirit come forth, whose whole business is 
to glorify himself; whereby we may easily know whence 
he is. 

Furthermore, the Holy Ghost sheds abroad the love of 
God in our hearts, as was declared, and thence fills them 
with joy, peace, and hope ; quieting and refreshing the hearts 
of them in whom he dwells, giving them liberty and rest, 
confidence, and the boldness of Children. This spirit 
whereof men now boast is a spirit of bondage, whose utmost 
work is to make men quake and tremble, casting them into 
an unsonlike frame of spirit, driving them up and down with 
horror and bondage, and drinking up their very natural 
spirits, and making their whole man wither away. There is 
scarce any one thing that more evidently manifesteth the 
spirit whereby some are now acted, not to be the Comforter 
promised by Christ than this ; That he is a spirit of bondage 
and slavery in them in whom he is, and a spirit of cruelty 
and reproach towards others, in a direct opposition to the 
Holy Ghost in believers, and all the ends and purposes, for 
which, as a Spirit of adoption and consolation, he is bestowed 
on them. 

To give one instance more ; the Holy Ghost bestowed 
on believers, is a Spirit of prayer and supplication, as was 
manifested. The Spirit wherewith we have to do, pretends 
the carrying men above such low and contemptible means 
of communjon with God. In a word, it were a very easy and 
facile task to pass through all of the eminent effects of the 
Holy Ghost, in and towards believers ; and to manifest, that 
the pretending spirit of our days comes in a direct opposi- 
tion, and contradiction to every one of them. Thus hath 
Satan passed from one extreme to another; from a bitter 
wretched opposition to the Spirit of Christ, unto a cursed 


pretending to the Spirit, still to the same end and pur- 

1 might give sundry other instances of the contempt or 
abuse of the dispensation of the Spirit. Those mentioned 
are the extremes whereunto all other are, or may be reduced; 
and I will not farther divert from that which lies directly in 
my aim. 


Of particalar communion with the Holy Ghost. Of preparation thereunto. 
Valuation of the benefits we receive hy him. What it is he comforts ns in, 
\ and against ; wherewith ; how. 

The way being thus made plain for us, I come to shew how 
we hold particular communion with the Holy Ghost, as he is 
promised of Christ to be our Comforter, and as working out 
our consolation by the means formerly insisted on. Now, 
the first thing I shall do herein, is the proposal of that, 
which may be some preparation to the duty under consi- 
deration ; and this by leading the souls of believers, to a due 
valuation of this work of his, towards us, whence he is called 
our Comforter. 

To raise up our hearts to this frame, and fit us for the 
duty intended, let us consider these three things. 

First, What it is he comforts us against. 

Secondly, Wherewith he comforts us. 

Thirdly, The principle of all his actings, and operations 
in us for our consolation. 

First, There are but three things in the whole course of 
our pilgrimage, that the consolations of the Holy Ghost are 
useful and necessary in. 

1. In our afflictions. Affliction is part of the provision 
that God hath made in his house for his children ; Heb. xii. 
5, 6. The great variety of its causes, means, uses, and effects, 
is generally known. There is a measure of them appointed 
for every one. To be wholly without them is a temptation, 
and so in some measure an affliction. That which I am to 
speak unto is, that in all our afflictions, we need the conso- 


lations of the Holy Ghost. It is the nature of man to relieve 
himself, when he is entangled, by all ways and means. Ac- 
cording as men's natural spirits are, so do they manage them- 
selves under pressures. 'The spirit of a man will bear his 
infirmity ;' at least will struggle with it. 

There are two great evils, one of which does generally 
seize on men under their afflictions, and keep them from a 
due management of them. Theapostle mentioneth them both; 
Heb. xii. 5. Mj) dXijwpei iraiddag Kvpiov, jurjSs IkXvov, vrr' avrov 
iXsjXonivog, ' Despise not the chastisement'of the Lord, nei- 
ther faint when thou art reproved.' One of these extremes 
do men usually fall into ; either they despise the Lord's cor- 
rection, or sink under it. 

(1.) Men despise it. They account that which befalls them 
to be a light or common thing ; they take no notice of God 
in it ; they can shift with it well enough ; they look on in- 
struments, second causes, provide for their own defence and 
vindication, with little regard to God, or his hand in their 
affliction. And the ground of this is, because they take in 
succours in their trouble, that God will not mix his grace 
withal ; they fix on other remedies than what he hath ap- 
pointed, and utterly lose all the benefits and advantage of 
their affliction. And so shall every man do that relieves 
himself from any thing, but the consolations of the Holy 

(2.) Men faint and sink under their trials and afflictions, 
which the apostle farther reproves, ver. 12. The first de- 
spise the assistance of the Holy Ghost through pride of 
heart; the latter refuse it through dejectedness of spirit, and 
sink under the weight of their troubles. And who almost is 
there, that oftends not on one of these hands ? Had we not 
learned to count light of the chastisements of the Lord, and 
to take little notice of his dealings with us ; we should find 
the season of our afflictions to comprise no small portion 
of our pilgrimage. 

Now there is no due management of our souls under any 
affliction, so that God may have the glory of it, and our- 
selves any spiritual benefit or improvement thereby, but by 
the consolations of the Holy Ghost. All that our Saviour 
promiseth his disciples, when he tells them of the great trials 
and tribulations they were to undergo, is, ' I will send you 


the Spirit,' the Comforter, he &liall give you peace in me, 
when in the world you shall have trouble. He shall guide, 
and direct, and keep you in all your trials. And so the 
apostle tells us it came to pass, 2 Cor. i. 4—6. yea, and 
this under the greatest afflictions will carry the soul to the 
highest joy, peace, rest, and contentment. So the same 
apostle, Rom. v. 3. 'We glory in tribulations.' It is a great 
expression. He had said before, that we ' gloried in the 
hope of the glory of God ;' ver. 2. Yea, but what if mani- 
fold afflictions and tribulations befall us ? Why, even in them 
also we glory, saith he, ' We glory in our tribulations.' But 
whence is it, that our spirits are so borne up, to a due ma- 
nagement of afflictions, as to glory in them in the Lord? He 
tells us, ver. 5. it is from the ' shedding abroad of the love 
of God in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.' And thence are 
believers said to receive * the word in much affliction, with 
joy of the Holy Ghost,' 1 Thess. i. 6. and to take * joyfully 
the spoiling of their goods.' This is that I aim at ; there 
is no management, nor improvement of any affliction, but 
merely and solely, by the consolations of the Holy Ghost. 
Is it then of any esteem or value unto you, that you lose 
not all your trials, temptations, and afflictions, learn to value 
that whereby alone they are rendered useful ? 

2. Sin is the second burden of our lives, and much the 
greatest. Unto this, is this consolation peculiarly suited : 
so Heb. vi. 17, 18. an allusion is taken from the manslayer 
under the law, who, having killed a man unawares, and 
brought the guilt of his blood upon himself, fled with speed 
for his deliverance to the city of refuge. Our great and only 
refuge from the guilt of sin, is the Lord Jesus Christ; in our 
flying to him, doth the Spirit administer consolation to us. 
A sense of sin fills the heart with troubles and disquietness; 
it is the Holy Ghost which gives us peace in Christ. That 
gives an apprehension of wrath, the Holy Ghost sheds abroad 
the love of God in our hearts. From thence doth Satan 
and the law accuse us, as objects of God's hatred ; the Spirit 
bears witness with our spirits, that we are the children of 
God. There is not any one engine or instrument, that sin 
useth, or sets up against our peace, but one effect or other 
of the Holy Ghost towards us, is suited and fitted to the 
casting; of it down. 


3. In the whole course of our obedience are his consola- 
tions necessary also ; that we may go through with it cheer- 
fully, willingly, patiently, to the end. This will afterward 
be more fully discovered as to particulars, when I come to 
give directions for our communion with this blessed Com- 
forter. In a word, in all the concernment of this life, and in 
our whole expectation of another, we stand in need of the 
consolations of the Holy Ghost. 

Without them, we shall either despise afflictions, or faint 
under them, and God be neglected, as to his intendments in 

Without them, sin will either harden us to a contempt of 
it, or cast us down to a neglect of the remedies graciously 
provided against it. 

Without them, duties will either puff us up with pride, 
or leave us without that sweetness which is in new obedi- 

Without them, prosperity will make us carnal, sensual, 
and to take up our contentment in these things, and utterly 
weaken us for the trials of adversity. 

Without them, the comforts of our relations will sepa- 
rate us from God, and the loss of them make our hearts as 

Without them, the calamity of the church will overwhelm 
us, and the prosperity of the church will not concern us. 

Without them, we shall have wisdom for no work, peace 
in no condition, strength for no duty, success in no trial, joy 
in no state, no comfort in life, no light in death. 

Now our afflictions, our sins, and our obedience, with 
the attendances of them respectively, are the great concern- 
ments of our lives ; what we are, in reference unto God, is 
comprised in them, and the due management of them, with 
their contraries, which come under the same rule ; through 
all these, doth there run a line of consolation from the Holy 
Ghost, that gives us a joyful issue throughout. How sad is 
the condition of poor souls destitute of these consolations ! 
What poor shifts are they forced to betake themselves unto ! 
What giants have they to encounter in their own strength ! 
and whether they are conquered, or seem to conquer, they 
have nothing but the misery of their trials. 

The second thing considerable, to teach us to put a due 

VOL. X. Y 


valuation on the consolations of the Holy Ghost, is^ the 
matter of them, or that wherewith he comforts us. Now 
this may be referred to the two heads that I have formerly 
treated of : the love of the Father, and the grace of the Son- 
All the consolations of the Holy Ghost consist in his ac- 
quainting us with, and communicating unto us, the love of 
the Father, and the grace of the Son : nor is there any thing 
in the one or the other, but he makes it a matter of conso- 
lation to us; so that indeed we have our communion with 
the Father in his love, and the Son in his grace, by the ope- 
ration of the Holy Ghost. 

1. He communicates to us, and acquaints us with the 
love of the Father. Having informed his disciples with that 
ground and foundation of their consolation, which by the 
Comforter they should receive, our blessed Saviour, John 
xvi. 27. shuts up all in this, 'The Father himself loveth you:' 
this is that which the Comforter is given to acquaint us with- 
al ; even that God is the Father, and that he loves us. In 
particular, that the Father, the first person in Trinity, con- 
sidered so distinctly, loves us. On this account is he said 
so often to come forth from the Father, because he comes 
in pursuit of his love, and to acquaint the hearts of believers 
therewith, that they may be comforted and established. By 
persuading us of the eternal and unchangeable love of the 
Father, he fills us with consolation. And indeed all the 
effects of the Holy Ghost before-mentioned have their ten- 
dency this way. Of this love, and its transcendent excel- 
lency, you heard at large before. Whatever is desirable in 
it, is thus communicated to us by the Holy Ghost. A sense 
of this is able, not only to relieve us, but to make us in every 
condition to rejoice with joy unspeakable and glorious. It 
is not with an increase of corn, and wine, and oil, but with 
the shining of the countenance of God upon us, that he 
comforts our souls ; Psal. iv. 6. The world hateth me (may 
such a soul as hatli the Spirit say), but my Father loves me. 
Men despise me, as a hypocrite, but my Father loves me, 
as a child. I am poor in this world, but I have a rich inhe- 
ritance in the love of my Father. I am straitened in all 
things, but there is bread enough in my Father's house. I 
mourn in secret, under the power of my lusts, and sin, where 
no eyes see me ; but the Father sees me, and is full of com- 


passion. With a sense of his kindness, which is better than 
iife, I rejoice in tribulation, glory in affliction, triumph as a 
conqueror ; though I am killed all the day long, all my sor- 
rows have a bottom that may be fathomed ; my trials bounds 
that may be compassed : but the breadth, and depth, and 
height of the love of the Father, who can express? I mioht 
render glorious this way of the Spirit's comforting us with 
the love of the Father, by comparing it with all other causes 
and means of joy and consolation whatever; and so dis- 
cover their emptiness, its fulness, their nothingness, its be- 
ing all ; as also by revealing the properties of it before re- 

2. Again, He doth it by communicating to us, and ac- 
quainting us with the grace of Christ : all the fruits of his 
purchase, all the desirableness of his person, as we are in- 
terested in him. The grace of Christ, as I formerly dis- 
coursed of at large, is referred to two heads ; the grace of 
his person, and of his office and work. By both these 
doth the Holy Ghost administer consolation to us ; John 
xiv. 15. He glorifies Christ, by revealing his excellencies, and 
desirableness to believers, as the ' chiefest often thousand, al- 
together lovely.' And then he shews them of the things of 
Christ ; his love, grace, all the fruits of his death, suffering, 
resurrection, and intercession, and with these supports their 
hearts and souls. And here, whatever is of refreshment in 
the pardon of sin, deliverance from the curse, and wrath to 
come, in justification, and adoption, with the innumerable 
privileges attending them in the hope of glory given unto 
us, comes in on this head of account. 

Thirdly, The principle and fountain of all his actino-s 
for our consolation, comes next under consideration to the 
same end, and this leads us a little nearer to the communion 
intended to be directed in. Now this is his own great love 
and infinite condescension. He willingly proceedeth, or 
comes forth from the Father to be our comforter. He knew 
what we were, and what we could do, and what would be our 
dealings with him. He knew we would grieve him, provoke 
him, quench his motions, defile his dwelling-place; and yet 
he would come to be our comforter. Want of a due consi- 
deration of this great love of the Holy Ghost, weakens all 
the principles of our obedience. Did this dwell and abide 

Y 2 


upon our hearts, what a dear valuation must we needs put 
upon all his operations and actings towards us? Nothing 
indeed is valuable, but what comes from love and good-will. 
This is the way the Scripture takes to raise up our hearts to 
a right and due estimation of our redemption by Jesus Christ. 
It tells us that he did it freely ; that of his own will he hath 
laid down his life, that he did it out of love.* ' Herein is ma- 
nifested the love of God, that he laid down his life for us ;' 
' he loved us, and gave himself for us;' he loved us, and washed 
us with his own blood. Hereunto it adds our state and con- 
dition, considered as he undertook for us ; sinners, enemies, 
dead, alienated, then he loved us, and died for us, and washed 
us with his blood. May we not hence also have a valuation 
of the dispensation of the Spirit for our consolation ? He 
proceeds to that end from the Father ; he distributes as he 
will, works as he pleaseth. And what are we towards whom 
he carrieth on this work ? Froward, perverse, unthankful, 
grieving, vexing, provoking him. Yet in his love and ten- 
derness, doth he continue to do us good. Let us by faith 
consider this love of the Holy Ghost. It is the head and 
source of all the communion we have with him in this life. 
This is, as I said, spoken only to prepare our hearts to the 
communion proposed : and what a little portion is it of what 
might be spoken ? How might all these considerations be 
aggravated? What a numberless number might be added? 
It suffices that from what is spoken it appears, that the work 
in hand is amongst the greatest duties and most excellent 
privileges of the gospel. 


The general ways of the saints' acting in communion with the Holy Ghost. 

As in the account given of the actings of the Holy Ghost in 
us, we manifested first the general adjuncts of his actings, 
or the manner thereof; so now in the description of the re- 
turns of our souls to him, I shall, in the first place, propose 
the general actings of faith, in reference to this work of the 

a 1 John iv. C, Gal. ii. <20. Rev, i. 7, 


Holy Ghost, and then descend unto particulars. Now there 
are three general ways of the soul's deportment in this com- 
munion, expressed all negatively in the Scripture, but all 
including positive duties. Now these are. 

First, Not to grieve him. 

Secondly, Not to quench his motions. 

Thirdly, Not to resist him. 

There are three things considerable in the Holy Ghost : 

1; His person, as dwelling in us. 

2. His actings by grace, or his motions. 

3. His working in ordinances of the word, and the sa- 
craments ; all for the same end and purpose. 

To these three, are the three cautions before suited. 

(1.) Not to grieve him, in respect of his person dwelling 
in us. 

(2.) Not to quench him, in respect of the actings and 
motions of his grace. 

(3.) Not to resist him, in respect of the ordinances of 
Christ and his gifts, for their administration. Now, because 
the whole general duty of believers, in their communion with 
the Holy Ghost, is comprised in these three things, I shall 
handle them severally. 

(1.) The first caution concerns his person immediately, 
as dwelling in us. It is given, Eph. iv. 30. * Grieve not the 
Holy Spirit of God.' There is a complaint, Isa. Ixiii. 10. 
of them who vexed, or grieved the Spirit of God. And from 
thence doth this caution seem to be taken. That it is the 
person of the Holy Ghost which is here intended, is evi- 

[1.] From the phrase, or manner of expression, with a 
double article to irvevfxa to ajiov, ' that Holy Spirit :' and 

[2.] From the work assigned to him in the following 
words, of* sealing to the day of redemption ;' which, as hath 
been manifested, is the work of the Holy Ghost. Now 
whereas this may be understood of the Spirit in others, or in 
ourselves, it is evident, that the apostle intends it in the 
latter sense, by his addition of that signal and eminent pri- 
vilege which we ourselves enjoy by him, he seals us to the 
day of redemption. 

Let us see then the tendency of this expression, as com- 


prising the first general rule of our communion with the Holy 
Ghost ; ' Grieve not the Spirit.' 

The terra of 'grieving/ or affecting with sorrow, maybe 
considered either actively, in respect of the persons grieving ; 
or passively, in respect of the persons grieved. In the latter 
sense the expression is metaphorical; the Spirit cannot be 
grieved, or affected with sorrow, which infers alteration, dis- 
appointment, weakness, all incompatible with his infinite 
perfections ; yet men may actively do that which is fit and 
able to grieve any one that stands affected towards them, a& 
doth the Holy Ghost. If he be not grieved, it is no thanks 
to us, but to his own unchangeable nature. So that there are 
two things denoted in this expression. 

1st. That the Holy Ghost is affected towards us, as one 
that is loving, careful, tender, concerned in our good and 
well-doing, and therefore upon our miscarriages is said to be 
grieved. As a good friend of a kind and loving nature is 
apt to be so on the miscarriage of him whom he doth affect. 
And this is that we are principally to regard in this caution 
as the ground and foundation of it ; the love, kindness, and 
tenderness of the Holy Ghost unto us. ' Grieve him not.' 

2dly. That we may do those things that are proper to 
grieve him, though he be not passively grieved ; our sin 
being no less therein, than if he were grieved as we are. 
Now, how this is done, how the Spirit is grieved, the apostle 
declareth in the contexture of that discourse; ver. 21 — 24. 
He presseth to a progress in sanctification, and all the fruits 
of regeneration ; ver. 25 — 29. He dehorts from sundry par- 
ticular evils that were contrary thereto, and then gives the 
general enforcement of the one and the other ; and * grieve 
not the Holy Spirit of God ;' that is, by coming short of that 
universal sanctification, which our planting into Christ doth 
require. The positive duty included in this caution, of not 
grieving the Holy Spirit, is this ; that we pursue universal 
holiness with regard unto, and upon the account of, the love, 
kindness, and tenderness, of the Holy Ghost. This is the 
foundation of our communion we have in general. When 
the soul considers the love, kindness, and tenderness of the 
Holy Ghost unto him ; when he considers all the fruits and 
acts of his love and good-will towards him, and on that ac- 
count, and under that consideration, because he is so con- 


cerned in our ways and walkings, to abstain from evils and 
to walk in all duties of holiness, this is to have communion 
with him. This consideration that the Holy Ghost, who is 
our Comforter, is delighted with our obedience, grieved at our 
evils and follies, being made a continual motive to, and rea- 
son of, our close walking with God in all holiness, is, I say, 
the first general way of our communion with him. 

Here let us fix a little. We lose both the power and 
pleasure of our obedience, for want of this consideration. 
We see on what account the Holy Ghost undertakes to be 
our comforter, by what ways and means he performs that 
office towards us ; what an unworthy thing it is to grieve 
him, who comes to us on purpose to give us consolation. 
Let the soul in the whole course of its obedience exercise 
itself by faith to thoughts hereof, and lay due weight upon 
it. The Holy Ghost in his infinite love and kindness towards 
rae, hath condescended to be my comforter ; he doth it wil- 
lingly, freely, powerfully ; what have I received from him ? 
in the multitude of my perplexities how hath he refreshed 
my soul ? Can I live one day without his consolations ? 
And shall I be regardless of him in that wherein he is con- 
cerned ? Shall I grieve him by negligence, sin, and folly? 
Shall not his love constrain me to walk before him to all 
well pleasing? So have we in general fellowship with him. 

(2.) The second is that of the 1 Thess. v. 19. ' Quench 
not the Spirit.' There are various thoughts about the sense 
of these words. The Spirit in others, that is, their spi- 
ritual gifts, say some. But then it falls in with what fol- 
lows ; ver. 20. ' despise not prophesying.' The light that 
God hath set up in our hearts, say others. But where is 
that called absolutely to Trvtujua, ' the Spirit?' It is the Holy 
Ghost himself that is here intended. Not immediately, in 
respect of his person, in which regard he is said to be 
grieved, which is a personal affection ; but in respect of his 
motions, actings, and operations. The Holy Ghost was 
typified by the fire that was always kept alive on the altar. 
He is also called a ' Spirit of burning.' The reasons of that 
allusion are manifold, not now to be insisted on. Now the 
opposition that is made to fire in its actings, is by quench- 
ing. Hence the opposition made to the actings of the Holy 
Ghost are called * quenching of the Spirit,' as some kind of 


wet wood will do, when it is cast into the fire. Thence are 
we said, in pursuance of the same metaphor, avaZ,u)TTvpuv, 
to * stir up with new fire' the gifts that are in us. The Holy 
Ghost is striving with us, acting in us, moving variously for 
our growth in grace, and bringing forth fruit meet for the 
principle he hath endued us withal. Take heed, saith the 
apostle, lest by the power of your lusts and temptations, 
you attend not to his workings, but hinder him in his good- 
will towards you ; that is, what in you lieth. 

This then is the second general rule for our communion 
with the Holy Ghost. It respects his gracious operations 
in us, and by us. There are several and various ways 
whereby the Holy Ghost is said to act, exert, and put forth 
his power in us , partly by moving upon and stirring up 
the grace v/e have received ; partly by new supplies of 
grace from Jesus Christ, falling in with occasions for their 
exercise, raising good motions immediately, or occasionally 
within us, all tending to our furtherance in obedience, and 
walking with God. All these are we carefully to observe 
and take notice of. Consider the fountain, whence they 
come, and the end which they lead us unto ; hence have we 
communion with the Holy Ghost, when we can consider him 
by faith as the immediate author of all supplies, assistances, 
and the whole relief we have by grace, of all good actings, 
risings, motions in our hearts, of all strivings and contend- 
ings against sin. When we consider, I say, all these his 
actings and workings in their tendency to our consolation, 
and on that account are careful and watchful to improve 
them all to the end aimed at, as coming from him, who is 
so loving, and kind, and tender to us, we have communion 
with him. 

This is that which is intended. Every gracious acting 
of the blessed Spirit in and towards our souls, is constantly 
by faith to be considered as coming from him in a pecu- 
liar manner ; his mind, his good-will, is to be observed 
therein. Hence care and diligence for the improvement of 
every motion of his will arise, thence reverence of his pre- 
sence with us, with due spiritual regard to his holiness doth 
ensue, and our souls are wonted to intercourse with him. 

(3.) The third caution concerns him, and his work, in the 
dispensation of that great ordinance of the word. Stephen 


tells the Jews, Actsvii. 51. that 'they resisted the Holy 
Ghost.' How did they do it? Why as their fathers did it- 
'As your fathers did, so do ye.' How did their fathers re- 
sist the Holy Ghost? ver. 52. ' They persecuted the pro- 
phets and slew them ;' their opposition to the prophets in 
preaching the gospel, or their shewing of the coming of the 
Just One, was their resisting of the Holy Ghost. Now the 
Holy Ghost is said to be resisted in the contempt of the 
preaching of the word, because the gift of preaching of it 
is from him. ^'The manifestation of the Spirit is given to 
profit.' Hence, when our Saviour promiseth the Spirit to his 
disci jDles, to be present with them for the conviction of the 
world, he tells them he will give them a mouth and wis- 
dom, which their adversaries shall not be able to gainsay, 
nor resist; Luke xx. 16. concerning which in the accom- 
plishment of it in Stephen, it is said that they 'were not 
able to resist the Spirit by which he spake ;' Acts vi, 10. 
The Holy Ghost then setting up a ministry in the church, 
separating men thereto, furnishing them with gifts and abi- 
lities for the dispensation of the word ; the not obeying of 
that word, opposing of it, not falling down before it, is called 
resisting of the Holy Ghost. This, in the examples of the 
wickedness of others, are we cautioned against. And this 
inwraps the third general rule of our communion with the 
Holy Ghost ; in the dispensation of the word of the gospel, 
the authority, wisdom, and goodness of the Holy Ghost, in 
furnishing men with gifts for that end and purpose, and his 
presence with them, as to the virtue thereof, is to be eyed ; 
and subjection given unto it on that account. On this rea- 
son, I say, on this ground, is obedience to be yielded to the 
word, in the ministerial dispensation thereof; because the 
Holy Ghost, and he alone, doth furnish with gifts to that end 
and purpose. When this consideration causeth us to fall 
low before the word, then have we communion with the 
Holy Ghost in that ordinance. But this is commonly spoken 

>» 1 Cor. xii. 7. 



Particular directions for communion with the Holy Ghost. 

Before I name particular directions for our communion 
with the Holy Ghost, I must premise some cautions, as far 
as the directions to be given concerning his worship. 

First, The Divine Nature is the reason and cause of all 
worship ; so that it is impossible to worship any one person, 
and not worship the whole Trinity. It is, and that not 
without ground, denied by the schoolmen, that the formal 
reason and object of divine worship, is in the persons pre- 
cisely considered ; that is under the formally constitutive 
reason of their personality, which is their relation to each 
other. But this belongs to the divine nature and essence, 
and to their distinct persons as they are identified with the 
essence itself. Hence is that way of praying to the Trinity, 
by the repetition of the same petition to the several persons 
(as in the Litany) groundless, if not impious. It supposeth 
that one person is worshipped and not another, when each 
person is worshipped as God, and each person is so. As 
though we first should desire one thing of the Father, and 
be heard and granted by him, then ask the same thing of the 
Son, and so of the Holy Ghost ; and so act as te the same 
thing three distinct acts of worship, and expect to be heard 
and have the same thing granted three times distinctly, 
when all the works of the Trinity ad extra, are indivisible. 

The proper and peculiar object of divine worship and 
invocation, is the essence of God in its infinite excellency, 
dio-nity, majesty, and its causality as the first sovereign cause 
of all things. Now this is common to all the three persons, 
and is proper to each of them ; not formally, as a person, 
but as God blessed for ever. All adoration respects that 
which is common to all : so that in each act of adoration 
and worship, all are adored and worshipped. The creatures 
worship their Creator; and a man, him in whose image he 
was created, viz. him from whom ' descendeth every good 
and perfect gift ;' all this describing God, as God. Hence, 

Secondly, When we begin our prayers to God the Fa- 
ther, and end them in the name of Jesus Christ ; yet the 


Son is no less invocated and worshipped in the beginning 
than the Father, though he be peculiarly mentioned as me- 
diator in the close; not as Son to himself, but as mediator 
to the whole Trinity, or God in Trinity. But in the invo- 
cation of God the Father, we invocate every person, because 
we invocate the Father as God, every person being so. 

Thirdly, In that heavenly directory which we have, Eph. 
ii. 18. this whole business is declared: our access in our 
worship is said to be * to the Father ;' and this through Christ, 
or his mediation by the Spirit, or his assistance. Here is a 
distinction of the persons, as to their operations ; but not at 
all as to their being the object of our worship. For the Son 
and the Holy Ghost are no less worshipped in our access to 
God, than the Father himself. Only the grace of the Fa- 
ther,, which we obtain by the mediation of the Son, and the 
assistance of the Spirit, is that which we draw nigh to God 
for. So that when by the distinct dispensation of the Tri- 
nity, and every person, we are led to worship, that is, to act 
faith on, or invocate any person, we do herein worship the 
whole Trinity, and every person, by what name soever, of 
Father, Son, or Holy Ghost, we invocate him. So that this 
is to be observed in this whole matter ; that when any work 
of the Holy Ghost (or any other person), which is appro- 
priated to him (we never exclude the concurrence of other 
persons), draws us to the worship of him ; yet he is not wor- 
shipped exclusively, but the whole Godhead is worshipped. 
Fourthly, These cautions being premised, I say, that we 
are distinctly to worship the Holy Ghost. As it is in the 
case of faith, in respect of the Father and the Son, John 
xiv. 1. * Believe in God, believe also in me.' This extends 
itself no less to the Holy Ghost. Christ called the disciples 
for the acting of faith on him, he being upon the accom- 
plishment of the great work of his mediation ; and the Holy 
Ghost, now carrying on the work of his delegation, requireth 
the same. And to the same purpose are their distinct opera- 
tions mentioned. 'My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.' 
Now as the formal reason of the worship of the Son, is not 
his mediation, but his being God, his mediation being a 
powerful motive thereto ; so the formal reason of our wor- 
shipping the Holy Ghost, is not his being our comforter, but 


liis being God, yet his being our comforter is a powerful 
motive thereunto. 

This is the sum of the first direction. The grace, actings, 
love, effects of the Holy Ghost, as he is our comforter, 
ought to stir us up, and provoke us to love, worship, believe 
in, and invocate him : though all this being directed to him 
as God, is no less directed, on that account, to the other 
persons than to him ; only by the fruits of his love towards 
us, are we stirred up unto it. 

These things being presupposed, let the saints learn to 
act faith distinctly on the Holy Ghost, as the immediate ef- 
ficient cause of all the good things mentioned. Faith, I say, 
to believe in him ; and faith in all things to believe him, and 
to yield obedience to him. Faith, not imagination. The 
distinction of the persons in the Trinity is not to be fancied, 
but believed. So then, the Scripture so fully, frequently, 
clearly, distinctly ascribing the things we have been speaking 
of, to the immediate efficiency of the Holy Ghost, faith 
closeth with him, in the truth revealed, and peculiarly regards 
him, worships him, serves him, waits for him, prayeth to 
him, praiseth him ; all these things, I say, the saints do in 
faith. The person of the Holy Ghost, revealing itself in these 
operations and effects, is the peculiar object of our worship. 
Therefore, when he ought to be peculiarly honoured, and is 
not, he is peculiarly sinned against ; Acts v. 2. Ananias is 
said to lie the Holy Ghost ; not to God ; which being taken 
essentially, would denote the whole Trinity ; but peculiarly 
to the Holy Ghost. Him he was to have honoured peculiarly, 
in that especial gift of his, which he made profession of : not 
doing it, he sinned peculiarly against him. But this must 
be a little farther branched into particulars. 

1. Let us thenlay weight on every effect of the Holy Ghost, 
in any of the particulars before-mentioned, on this account, 
that they are acts of his love and power towards us. This 
faith will do that takes notice of his kindness in all things. 
Frequently he performs, in sundry particulars, the office of 
a comforter towards us, and we are not thoroughly com- 
forted; we take no notice at all of what he doth. Then is 
he grieved. Of those who do receive and own the conso- 
lation he tenders and administers, how few are there that 


consider him as the Comforter, and rejoice in him as they 
ought? Upon every work of consolation that the believer 
receives, this ought his faith to resolve upon. This is from 
the Holy Ghost. He is the Comforter, the God of all con- 
solation. I know there is no joy, peace, hope, nor comfort, 
but what he works, gives, and bestows ; and that he might 
give me this consolation, he hath willingly condescended to 
this office of a comforter, his love was in it, and on that ac- 
count doth he continue it. Also he is sent by the Father 
and Son for that end.and purpose. By this means come 1 to 
be partaker of my joy, itis in the Holy Ghost; of consolation, 
he is the Comforter. What price now shall I set upon his 
love ? How shall I value the mercy that I have received ? 

This, I say, is applicable to every particular effect of the 
Holy Ghost towards us ; and herein have we communion and 
fellowship with him, as was in part discovered in our hand- 
ling the particulars. Doth he shed abroad the love of God 
in our hearts? Doth he witness unto our adoption? The soul 
considers his presence, ponders his love, his condescension, 
goodness, and kindness, is filled with reverence of him, and 
cares not to grieve him, and labours to preserve his temple, 
his habitation pure and holy. 

2. Again, our communion with him causeth in us return- 
ing praise, and thanks, and honour, and glory, and blessing 
to him, on the account of the mercies and privileges which 
we receive from him, which are many. Herein consists our 
next direction. So do we with the Son of God on the ac- 
count of our redemption. ' To him that loved us, and washed 
us with his own blood, to him be praise and glory ;' Rev. i. 
6. iv. 14. And are not the like praises and blessings due to 
him, by whom the work of redemption is made effectual to 
us? who with no less infinite love undertook our consola- 
tion, than the Son our redemption? When we feel our hearts 
warmed with joy, supported in peace, established in our obe- 
dience, let us ascribe to him the praise that is due to him ; 
bless his name, and rejoice in him. 

And this glorifying of the Holy Ghost in thanksgivings, 
on a spiritual sense of his consolations, is no small part of 
our communion with him. Considering his free engagement 
in this work, his coming forth from the Father to this purpose, 
his mission by the Sqm, and condescension therein, his love 


and kindness, the soul of a believer is poured out in thank- 
ful praises to him, and is sweetly affected with the duty. 
There is no duty that leaves a more heavenly savour in the 
soul than this doth. 

Also in our prayers to him for the carrying on the work 
of our consolation, which he hath undertaken, lies our com- 
munion with him. John prays for grace and peace from the 
seven spirits that are before the throne ; or the Holy Ghost, 
whose operations are perfect and complete. This part of his 
worship is expressly mentioned frequently in Scripture, and 
all others do necessarily attend it. Let the saints consider 
what need they stand in of these effects of the Holy Ghost 
before-mentioned, with many such others, as might be in- 
sisted on ; weigh all the privileges which we are marie par- 
takers of; remember that he distributes them as he will, 
that he hath the sovereign disposal of them, and they will be 
prepared for this duty. 

How and in what sense it is to be performed, hath been 
already declared : what is the formal reason of this worship, 
and ultimate object of it, I have also manifested. In the 
duty itself is put forth no small part of the life, efficacy, and 
vigour of faith; and we come short of that enlargedness of 
spirit in dealing with God, and are straitened from walking 
in the breadth of his ways, which we are called unto, if we 
learn not ourselves to meet him with his worship in every 
way he is pleased to communicate himself unto us. In these 
things he does so, in the person of the Holy Ghost. In that 
person do we meet him, his love, grace, and authority, by 
our prayers and supplications. 

4. Again, consider him as he condescends to this dele- 
gation of the Father and the Son, to be our comforter, and 
ask him daily of the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. 
This is the daily work of believers. They look upon, and by 
faith consider the Holy Ghost, as promised to be sent. In 
this promise they know lies all their grace, peace, mercy, 
joy, and hope. For by hira so promised, and him alone, are 
these things communicated to them. If therefore our life 
to God, or the joy of that life be considerable, in this we are 
to abound ; to ask him of the Father, as children do of their 
parents, daily bread. And as in this asking and receiving 
of the Holy Ghost, we have communion with the Father, iu 


his love, whence he is sent, and with the Son in his grace, 
whereby he is obtained for us, so with himself, on the ac- 
count of his voluntary condescension to this dispensation. 
Every request for the Holy Ghost implies our closing with 
all these ; Oh the riches of the grace of God ! 

5. Humbling ourselves for our miscarriages in reference 
to him, is another part of our communion with him. That 
we have grieved him, as to his person, quenched him, as to 
the motion of his grace, or resisted him in his ordinances, is 
to be mourned for, as hath been declared. Let our souls be 
humbled before him on this account. This one considerable 
ingredient of godly sorrow, and the thoughts of it, are as 
suitable to the affecting of our hearts with humiliation, and 
indignation against sin, as any other whatever. I might pro- 
ceed in the like considerations; as also make application of 
them to the particular effects of the Holy Ghost enumerated ; 
but my design is only to point out the heads of things, and 
to leave them to the improvement of others. 

I shall shut up this whole discourse with some conside- 
rations of the sad estate and condition of men not interested 
in this promise of the Spirit, nor made partakers of his con- 

1. They have no true consolation or comfort be their es- 
tate and condition what it will. Are they under affliction or 
in trouble ? They must bear their own burden ; and how 
much too weak they are for it, if God be pleased to lay on his 
hand with more weight than ordinary, is easily known. Men 
may have stoutness of spirit, and put on great resolutions 
to wrestle with their troubles. But when this is merely from 
the natural spirit of a man, 

(1.) For the most part it is but an outside. It is done 
with respect to others, that they may not appear low-spirited, 
or dejected. Their hearts are eaten up and devoured with 
troubles and anxiety of mind. Their thoughts are perplexed, 
and they are still striving, but never come to a conquest. 
Every new trouble, every little alteration in their trials, puts 
them to new vexation. It is an ungrounded resolution that 
bears them up, and they are easily shaken. 

(2.) What is the best of their resolves and enduring ? it 
is but a contending with God, who hath entangled them ; 
the struggling of a flea under a mountain. Yea, though on 

336 or COMMUNION with 

outward considerations and principles, they endeavour after 
patience and tolerance ; yet all is but a contending with 
God ; a striving to be quiet under that which God hath sent 
on purpose to disturb them : God doth not afflict men with- 
out the Spirit, to exercise their patience; but to disturb 
their peace and security. All their arming themselves with 
patience and resolution, is but to keep the hold that God 
will cast them out of; or else make them the nearer to ruin. 
This is the best of their consolation in the time of their 

(3.) If they do promise themselves any thing of the care 
of God towards them, and relieve themselves thereby, as they 
often do on one account or another, especially when they 
are driven from other holds, all their relief is but like the 
dreaming of an hungry man, who supposeth that he eateth 
and drinketh, and is refreshed ; but when he awaketh, he is 
empty, and disappointed. So are they as to all their relief 
that they promise to receive from God, and the support 
which they seem to have from him. When they are awaked 
at the latter day and see all things clearly, they will find that 
God was their enemy, laughing at their calamity, and mock- 
ing when their fear was on them. 

So is it with them in trouble. Is it any better with them 
in their prosperity ? This indeed is often great, and is mar- 
vellously described in Scripture, as to their lives and often- 
times quiet peaceable ends. But have they any true conso- 
lation all their days ? They eat, drink, sleep, and make 
merry, and perhaps heap up to themselves : but how little 
do these things make them to differ from the beasts that 
perish? Solomon's advantage to have the use, and know the 
utmost of these things much beyond any of the sons of men 
of our generation, is commonly taken notice of. The ac- 
count also that he gives of them is known. They are *all 
vanity and vexation of spirit.' This is their consolation ; a 
crackling of thorns under the pot, a sudden flash and blaze, 
that begins but to perish. So that both adversity and pros- 
perity slayeth them, and whether they are laughing or cry- 
ing, they are still dying. 

2. They have no peace. No peace with God, nor in their 
own souls. I know that many of them upon false bottoms, 
grounds, and expectations, do make a shift to keep things 


in some quietness ; neither is it my business at present to 
discover the falseness and unsoundness of it ; but this is 
their state; true and solid peace being an effect of the Holy 
Ghost in the hearts of believers (as hath been declared), they 
who are not made partakers of him, have no such peace. 
They may cry. Peace, peace, indeed, when sudden destruction 
is at hand. The principles of their peace (as may be easily 
evinced) are darkness, or ignorance, treachery of conscience, 
self-righteousness, and vain hope. To these heads may all 
the principles of their peace be reduced ; and what will these 
avail them in the day when the Lord shall deal with them ? 

3. I might say the same concerning their joy and hope; 
they are false and perishing. Let them then consider this, 
who have satisfied themselves with a persuasion of their in- 
terest in the good things of the gospel, and yet have despised 
the Spirit of Christ. I know there are many that may pre- 
tend to him, and yet are strangers from his grace. But if 
they perish who in profession use him kindly, and honour 
him; if he dwell not in them with power, where shall they 
appear who oppose and affront him? The Scripture tells us 
that unless the Spirit of Christ be in us, we are dead, we are 
reprobates, we are none of Christ's without him, you can 
have none of these glorious effects of his towards believers 
before-mentioned ; and you are so far from inquiring whe- 
ther he be in you or no, as that you are ready to deride them 
in whom he is. Are there none who profess the gospel, who 
have never once seriously inquired, whether they are made 
partakers of the Holy Ghost, or no? You that almost account 
it a ridiculous thing to be put upon any such question ; who 
look on all men as vain pretenders that talk of the Spirit ; 
the Lord awake such men to a sight of their condition, be- 
fore it be too late. If the Spirit dwell not in you, if he be 
not your Comforter, neither is God your Father, nor the Son 
your Advocate, nor have you any portion in the gospel. O 
that God would awake some poor soul to the consideration 
of this thing; before the neglect and contempt of the Holy 
Ghost come to that despising of him, from which there is no 
recovery! That the Lord would spread before them all the 
folly of their hearts, that they may be ashamed and con- 
founded, and do no more presumptuously. 

VOL. X. z 










z 2 







It is now near twenty years, since I wrote and published a 
discourse concerning communion with God. Of what us€ 
and advantage it hath been to any, as to their furtherance in 
the design aimed at therein, is left unto them to judge, by 
whom it hath been perused with any candid diligence. And 
I do know that multitudes of persons fearing God, and de- 
siring to walk before him in sincerity, and ready, if occasion 
require, to give testimony unto the benefit which they have 
received thereby ; as I can also at any time produce the tes- 
timonies of learned and holy persons, it may be as any I 
know living, both in England and out of it, who owning the 
truth contained in it, have highly avowed its usefulness, and 
are ready yet so to do. With all other persons, so far as 
ever I heard, it passed at the rate of a tolerable acceptation 
with discourses of the same kind and nature. And however 
any thing or passage in it might not possibly suit the ap- 
prehensions of some ; yet, being wholly practical, designed 
for popular edification, without any direct engagement into 
things controversial, I looked for no opposition unto it or 
exception against it ; but that it would at least be suffered 
to pass at that rate of allowance, which is universally granted 
unto that sort of writings both of ancient and modern au- 
thors. Accordingly it so fell out and continued for many 
years, until some persons began to judge it their interest, 
and to make it their business, to cavil at my writings, and to 
load my person with reproaches. With what little success 
as to their avowed designs, they have laboured therein; how* 
openly their endeavours are sunk into contempt with all sort* 


of persons pretending unto the least sobriety or modesty ; I 
suppose they are not themselves altogether insensible. 
Among the things which this sort of men sought to make 
an advantage of against me, I found that two or three of 
them began to reflect on that discourse, though it appeared 
they had not satisfied themselves what as yet to fix upon, 
their nibbling cavils being exceedingly ridiculous. 

But yet from those intimations of some men's good-will 
towards it, sufficient to provoke the industry of such as either 
needed their assistance, or valued their favour, I was in ex- 
pectation that one or other would possess that province, 
and attempt the whole discourse or some parts of it. Nor 
was I dissatisfied in my apprehensions of that design. For 
being earnestly solicited to suffer it to be reprinted, I was 
very willing to see what either could or would be objected 
against it before it received another impression. For where- 
as it was written now near twenty years ago, when there was 
the deepest peace in the minds of all men about the things 
treated of therein, and when I had no apprehension of any 
dissent from the principal design, scope, and parts of it by 
any called Christians in the world, the Socinians only ex- 
cepted (whom I had therein no regard unto), I thought it 
highly probable, that some things might have been so ex- 
pressed as to render a review and amendment to them more 
than ordinarily necessary. And I reckoned it not improba- 
ble, but that from one malevolent adversary I might receive a 
more instructive information of such escapes of diligence, 
than I could do in so long a time from all the more impar- 
tial readers of it ; for as unto the substance of the doctrine 
declared in it, I v/as sufficiently secure not only of its truth, 
but that it would immoveably endure the rudest assaults of 
such oppositions as I did expect. I was therefore very well 
satisfied when I heard of the publishing of this treatise of 
Mr. Sherlock's, which, as I was informed, and since have 
found true, was principally intended against myself and that 
discourse, that is, that book, because I was the author of it, 
which will at last prove to be its only guilt and crime. For 
I thought I should be at once now satisfied, both what it was 
which was so long contriving against it whereof I could give 
no conjecture, as also be directed unto any such mistakes as 
might have befallen me in matter or manner of expression, 
which I would or might rectify before the book received 


another edition. But upon a view and perusal of this dis- 
course, I found myself under a double surprisal ; for first, 
in reference to my own, I could not find any thing, any doc- 
trine, any expressions, any words reflected on, which the 
exceptions of this man do give me the least occasion to 
alter, or to desire that they had been otherwise either ex- 
pressed or delivered ; not any thing which now after near 
twenty years, which I do not still equally approve of, and 
which I am not yet ready to justify. The other part of my 
surprisal was somewhat particular, though in truth it ought 
to have been none at all ; and this was with respect unto 
those doctrinal principles which he manageth his oppositions 
upon. A surprisal they were unto me, because wild, un 
couth, extravagant, and contrary to the common faith of 
Christians ; being all of them traduced, and some of them 
transcribed from the writings of the Socinians ; yet ought 
not to have been so, because I was assured that an opposi- 
tion unto that discourse could be managed on no other. But 
however, the doctrine maintained by this man, and those op- 
posed or scorned by him, are not ray special concernment ; 
for what is it to me what the rector of, &,c. preacheth or 
publisheth, beyond my common interest in the truths of the 
gospel, with other men as great strangers unto him as my- 
self, who to my knowledge never saw him, nor heard of his 
name till infamed by his book ? Only I shall take leave to 
say, that the doctrine here published and licensed so to be, 
is either the doctrine of the present church of England, or 
it is not ; if it be so, I shall be forced to declare that I nei- 
ther have, nor will have any communion therein, and that 
as for other reasons, so in particular, because I will not re- 
nounce or depart from that which I know to be the true an- 
cient and catholic doctrine of this church ; if it be not so, 
as I am assured with respect unto many bishops and other 
learned men that it is not, it is certainly the concernment 
of them who preside therein, to take care that such kind of 
discourses be not countenanced with the stamp of their pub- 
lic authority, lest they and the church be represented unto a 
great disadvantage with many. 

It was some months after the publishing of this discourse, 
before I entertained any thoughts of taking the least notice 
of it ; yea, I was resolved to the contrary, and declared those 


resolutions as I had occasion ; neither was it until very 
lately, that my second thoughts came to a compliance with 
the desires of some others, to consider my own peculiar con- 
cernment therein. And this is all which I now design, for 
the examination of the opinions which this author hath 
vented under the countenance of public licence, whatever 
they may think, I know to be more the concernment of other 
men than mine. Nor yet do I enter into the consideration 
of what is written by this author, with the least respect unto 
myself or my own reputation, which I have the satisfaction 
to conceive not to be prejudiced by such pitiful attempts; 
nor have I the least desire to preserve it in the minds of such 
persons as wherein it can suffer on this occasion. But the 
vindication of some sacred truths petulantly traduced by 
this author seems to be cast on me in an especial manner ; 
because he hath opposed them, and endeavoured to expose 
them to scorn as declared in my book ; whence others, more 
meet for this work might think themselves discharged from 
taking notice of them. Setting aside this consideration, I 
can freely give this sort of men leave to go on with their re- 
vilings and scoffings until they are weary or ashamed, which, 
as far as I can discern upon consideration of their ability 
for such a work, and their confidence therein, is not like to 
be in haste ; at least they can change their course, and when 
they are out of breath in pursuit of one sort of calumnies, 
betake themselves unto another. Witness the late malicious, 
and yet withal ridiculous reports that they have divulged 
concerning me even with respect unto civil affairs, and their 
industry therein ; for although they were such as had not 
any thing of the least probability or likelihood to give them 
countenance, yet were they so impetuously divulged, and so 
readily entertained by many, as made me think there was 
more than the common artifices of calumny employed in their 
raising and improvement, especially considering what per- 
sons I can justly charge those reports upon. But in this 
course they may proceed whilst they please and think con- 
venient ; I find myself no more concerned in what they write 
or say of this nature than if it were no more, but, 

— Ittsi Outs jtaxw ovr a.'pcovl <p()Jrl lOiKai;.'^ 
oSxs TS, Kci) ixiye. ^^a^fS, ©»«'? vu TiJ« It^Bio. Jm'h.'' 

• Od. {. 187. " Od. X. 401. 


It is the doctrine traduced only that I am concerned 
about, and that as it hath been the doctrine of the church of 

It may be, it will be said (for there is no security against 
confidence and immodesty backed with secular advantages), 
that the doctrinal principles asserted in this book are agree- 
able with the doctrine of the church in former times, and 
therefore those opposed in it, such as are condemned there- 
by. Hereabout I shall make no long contest with them who 
once discover that their minds are by any means imboldened 
to undertake the defence of such shameless untruths. Nor 
shall I multiply testimonies to prove the contrary, which 
others are more concerned to do, if they intend not to betray 
the religion of that church, with whose preservation and de- 
fence they are intrusted. Only because there are ancient 
divines of this church, who I am persuaded will be allowed 
with the most to have known as well the doctrine of it, and 
as firmly to have adhered thereunto, as this author, who have 
particularly spoken unto most of the things which he hath 
opposed, or rather reproached, I shall transcribe the words of 
one of them, whereby he, and those who employ him, may be 
minded with whom they have to do in those things. For as 
to the writers of the ancient church, there is herein no regard 
had unto them. He whom I shall name is Mr. Hooker, and 
that in his famous book of Ecclesiastical Policy, who in the 
fifth book thereof, and fifty-sixth paragraph, thus discourseth: 

* We have hitherto spoken of the person and of the pre- 
sence of Christ. Participation is that mutual inward hold 
which Christ hath of us, and we of him, in such sort that 
each possesseth other by way of special interest, property, 
and inherent copulation.' And after the interposition of 
some things concerning the mutual in-being and love of 
the Father and the Son, he thus proceedeth. 'We are 
by nature the sons of Adam. When God created Adam, he 
created us ; and as many as are descended from Adam, have 
in themselves the root out of which they spring. The sons 
of God we neither are all, nor any one of us, otherwise than 
only by grace and favour. The sons of God have God's 
own natural Son as a second Adam from heaven, whose race 
and progeny they are by spiritual and heavenly birth. God 


therefore loving eternally his Son, he must needs eternally 
in him have loved and preferred before all others, them which 
are spiritually since descended and sprung out of him. 
These were in God as in their Saviour, and not as in their 
Creator only. It was the purpose of his saving goodness, his 
saving power, and his saving wisdom, which inclined itself 
towards them. They which thus were in God eternally by their 
intended admission to life, have, by vocation or adoption, God 
actually now in them, as the artificer is in that work which his 
hand doth presently frame. Life, as all other gifts and be- 
nefits, groweth originally from the Father, and cometh not to 
us but by the Son, nor by the Son to any of us in particular, 
but through the Spirit. For this cause the apostle wisheth 
to the church of Corinth, ' the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost.' 
Which three Saint Peter comprehendeth in one, the partici- 
pation of the divine nature. We are, therefore, in God 
through Christ eternally, according to that intent and pur- 
pose whereby we are chosen to be made his in this present 
world, before the world itself was made : we are in God 
through the knowledge v^hich is had of us, and the love 
which is borne towards us from everlasting;. But in God we ac- 
tually are no longer than only from the time of our actual 
adoption into the body of his true church, into the fellowship 
of his children. For his church he knoweth and loveth ; so 
that they which are in the church, are thereby known to be 
in him. Our being in Christ by eternal foreknowledge savetli 
us not without our actual and real adoption into the fellow- 
ship of his saints in this present world. For in him we ac- 
tually are by our actual incorporation into that society which 
hath him for their head ; and doth make together with him 
one body (he and they in that respect having one name); 
for which cause, by virtue of this mystical conjunction, we 
are of him, and in him, even as though our very flesh and bones 
should be made continuate with his. We are in Christ, be- 
cause he knoweth and loveth us, even as parts of himself. No 
man is actually in him but they in whom he actually is. For 
he which hath not the Son of God, hath not life. * I am the 
vine, and ye are the branches: he which abideth in me, and 
1 in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit;' but the branch 


severed from the vine withereth. We are, therefore, adopted 
sons of God to eternal life by participation of the only be- 
gotten Son of God, whose life is the well-spring and cause 
of ours. It is too cold an interpretation whereby some men 
expound our being in Christ to import'nothing else, but only, 
that the self-same nature which maketh us to be men, is in 
him, and maketh him man as we are. For what man in the 
world is there, which hath not so far forth communion with 
Jesus Christ? It is not this can sustain the weight of such 
sentences as speak of the mystery of our coherence with 
Jesus Christ. The church is in Christ, as Eve was in 
Adam. Yea, by grace we are every [one] of us in Christ, and 
in his church, as by nature we were in those our first parents. 
God made Eve of the rib of Adam ; and his church he formed 
out of the very flesh, the very wounded and bleeding side of 
the Son of man. His body crucified and his blood shed for the 
life of the world, are the true elements of that heavenly 
beino;, v»'hich make thus such as himself is of whom we come. 
For which cause the words of Adam may be fitly the words 
of Christ concerning his church, * flesh of ray flesh, and bone 
of my bones;' a true native extract out of mine own body. 
So that in him, even according to his manhood, we, according 
to our heavenly being, are as branches in that root out of 
which they grow. To all things he is life, and to men light, 
as the Son of God ; to the church, both life and light eternal, 
by being made the Son of man for us, and by being in us a 
Saviour, whether we respect him as God or as man. Adam 
is in us as an original cause of our nature, and of that cor- 
ruption of nature which causeth death ; Christ as the cause 
original of restoration to life. The person of Adam is not 
in us, but his nature, and the corruption of his nature derived 
into all men by propagation ; Christ having Adam's nature, 
as we have, but incorrupt, deriveth not nature but incorrup- 
tion, and that immediately from his own person, into all that 
belong unto him. As, therefore, we are really partakers of 
the body of sin and death received from Adam, so except 
we be truly partakers of Christ, and as really possessed of 
his' Spirit, all we speak of eternal life is but a dream. That 
which quickeneth us is the Spirit of the second Adam, and 
his flesh that wherewith he quickeneth. That which in him 
made our nature uncorrupt, was the imion of his Deity with 


our nature. And in that respect the sentence of death and 
condemnation, which only taketh hold upon sinful flesh, 
could no way possibly extend unto him. This caused his 
voluntary death for others to prevail with God, and to have 
the force of an expiatory sacrifice. The blood of Christ, as 
the apostle witnesseth, doth therefore take away sin, be- 
cause, ' through the eternal Spirit he offered himself unto 
God without spot.' That which sanctified our nature in 
Christ, that which made it a sacrifice available to take away 
sin, is the same which quickeneth it, raised it out of the 
grave after death, and exalted it unto glory. Seeing, there- 
fore, that Christ is in us as a quickening Spirit, the first de- 
gree of communion with Christ must needs consist in the 
participation of his Spirit, which Cyprian in that respect 
termeth, * germanissimam societatem,' the highest and 
truest society that can be between man and him, which is 
both God and man in one. These things Saint Cyril duly 
considering, reproveth their speeches which taught that only 
the Deity of Christ is the vine whereupon we by faith do de- 
pend as branches, and that neither his flesh nor our body are 
comprised in this resemblance. For doth any man doubt, but 
that even from the flesh of Christ our very bodies do receive 
that life which shall make them glorious at the latter day ; 
and for which they are already accounted parts of his blessed 
body ? Our corruptible bodies could never live the life they 
shall live, were it not that here they are joined with his 
body which is incorruptible, and that his is in ours as a cause 
of immortality, a cause by removing through the death and 
merit of his own flesh that which hindered the life of ours. 
Christ is, therefore, both as God and as man, that true vine 
whereof we both spiritually and corporally are branches. 
The mixture of his bodily substance with ours is a thing 
which the ancient fathers disclaim. Yet the mixture of his 
flesh with ours they speak of, to signify what olir very bodies, 
through mystical conjunction, receive from that vital ef- 
ficacy which we know to be in his ; and from bodily mixtures 
they borrow divers similitudes, rather to declare the truth, 
than the manner of coherence between his sacred [body], and 
the sanctified bodies of saints. Thus much no Christian 
man will deny, that when Christ sanctified his own flesh, 
giving as God, and taking as man the Holy Ghost, he did 


not this for himself only, but for our sakes, that the grace of 
sanctification and life, which was first received in hirn, might 
pass from him to his whole race, as malediction came from 
Adam unto all mankind. Howbeit, because the work of his 
Spirit to those effects is in us prevented by sin and death 
possessing us before; it is of necessity, that as well our pre- 
sent sanctification unto newness of life, as the future resto- 
ration of our bodies, should presuppose a participation of the 
grace, efficacy, merit, or virtue of his body and blood \ 
without which foundation first laid, there is no place for 
those other operations of the Spirit of Christ to ensue. So 
that Christ imparteth plainly himself by degrees. It pleaseth 
him in mercy, to account himself incomplete and maimed 
without us. But most assured we are, that we all receive 
of his fulness, because he is in us as a movino; and working 
cause ; from which many blessed effects are really found to 
ensue, and that in sundry both kinds and degrees, all 
tending to eternal happiness. It must be confessed, that 
of Christ working as a Creator and a Governor of the world, 
by providence all are partakers ; not all partakers of that 
grace whereby he inhabiteth whom he saveth. Again, as he 
dwelleth not by grace in all, so neither doth he equally 
work in ail them in whom he dwelleth. 'Whence is it,' saith 
Saint Augustine, * that some be holier than others are, but 
because God doth dwell in some more plentifully than in 
others?' And because the divine substance of Christ is 
equally in all, his human substance equally distant from all - 
it appeareth that the participation of Christ, wherein there 
are many degrees and differences, must needs consist in such 
effects, as being derived from both natures of Christ really 
into us, are made our own ; and we, by having them in us, are 
truly said to havehimfromwhom they come ; Christ also more 
or less, to inhabit and impart himself, as the graces are fewer 
or more, greater or smaller, which really flow into us from 
Christ. Christ is whole with the whole church, and whole 
with every part of the church, as touching his person, which 
can no way divide itself, or be possessed by degrees and por- 
tions. But the participation of Christ importeth, besides 
the presence of Christ's person, and besides the mystical 
copulation thereof with the parts and members of his whole 
church, a true actual influence of grace whereby the life 


which we live according to godliness is his ; and from him 
we receive those perfections wherein our eternal happiness 
consisteth. Thus we participate Christ, partly by imputation; 
as when those things which he did and suffered for us are 
imputed unto us for righteousness : partly by habitual and 
real infusion, as when grace is inwardly bestowed while we 
are on earth, and afterward more fully, both our souls and 
bodies made like unto his in glory. The first thing of his 
so infused into our hearts in this life is the Spirit of Christ; 
whereupon, because the rest of what kind soever do all both 
necessarily depend and infallibly also ensue ; therefore the 
apostles term it, sometimes the seed of God, sometimes the 
pledge of our heavenly inheritance, sometimes the hansel or 
earnest of that which is to come. From whence it is, that they 
which belong to the mystical body of our Saviour Christ, and 
be in number as the stars in heaven, divided successively, by 
reason of their mortal condition, into many generations, are 
notwithstanding coupled every one to Christ their head, and 
all unto every particular person amongst themselves, inas- 
much as the same Spirit which anointed the blessed soul of 
our Saviour Christ, doth so formalize, unite, and actuate his 
whole race, as if both he and they were so many limbs com- 
pacted into one body, by being quickened all with one and 
the same soul. That wherein we are partakers of Jesus 
Christ by imputation, agreeth equally unto all that have it. 
For it consisteth in such acts and deeds of his, as could not 
have longer continuance than while they were in doing, nor 
at that very time belong unto any other, but to him from whom 
they come ; and therefore, how men, either then, or before, or 
since, should be made partakers of them, there can be no way 
imagined, but only by imputation. Again, a deed must 
either not be imputed to any, but rest altogether in him 
whose it is ; or if at all it be imputed, they which have it by 
imputation must have it such as it is, whole. So that de- 
grees being neither in the personal presence of Christ, nor 
in the participation of those effects which are ours by im- 
putation only ; it resteth that we wholly apply them to the 
participation of Christ's infused grace ; although, even in 
this kind also, the first beginning of life, the seed of God, 
the first-fruits of Christ's Spirit, be without latitude. For 
we have hereby only the being of the sons of God, in which 


number how far soever one may seem to excel another, yet 
touching this that all are sons, they are all equals, some hap- 
pily better sons than the rest are, but none any more a son 
than another. Thus therefore we see how the Father is in 
the Son, and the Son in the Father ; how both are in all things, 
and all things in them ; what communion Christ hath with 
his church, how his church and every member thereof is in 
hira by original derivation, and he personally in them, by 
way of mystical association, wrought through the gift of the 
Holy Ghost, which they that are his receive from him, and 
together with the same what benefit soever the vital force 
of his body and blood may yield ; yea, by steps and degrees, 
they receive the complete measure of all such divine grace 
as doth sanctify and save throughout, till the day of their 
final exaltation to a state of fellowship in glory with him, 
whose partakers they now are in those things that tend to 

This one testimony ought to be enough unto this sort of 
men, whilst they are at any consistency with their own re- 
putation; for it is evident that there is nothing concerning 
personal election, effectual vocation, justification by the im- 
putation of the righteousness of Christ, participation of 
him, union of believers unto and with his person, derivation 
of grace from him, &-c. which are so reproached by our pre- 
sent author, but they are asserted by this great champion 
of the church of England, who undoubtedly knew the doc- 
trine which it owned and in his days approved, and that in 
such words and expressions as remote from the sentiments, 
or at least as unsavoury to the palates of these men, as any 
they except against in others. 

And what themselves so severely charge on us in point 
of discipline, that nothing be spoken about it until all is 
answered that is written by Mr. Hooker in its defence, may, 
I hope, not immodestly be so far returned, as to desire them 
that in point of doctrine they will grant us truce, until they 
have moved out of the way what is written to the same pur- 
pose by Mr. Hooker. Why do not they speak to him to 
leave fooling, and to speak sense as they do to others ? But 
let these things be as they are ; I have no especial concern- 
ment in them, nor shall take any farther notice of them, but 
only as tliey influence the exceptions which this author 


makes unto some passages in that book of mine. And in 
what I shall do herein, I shall take as little notice as may 
be of those scurrilous and reproachful expressions which 
either his inclination or his circumstances induced him to 
make use of. If he be pleased with such a course of pro- 
cedure, I can only assure him that as to my concernment, 
I am not displeased, and so he is left unto his full liberty 
for the future. 

The first thing he quarrels about is my asserting the ne- 
cessity of acquaintance with the person of Christ, which 
expression he frequently makes use of afterward in a way of 
reproach. The use of the word* acquaintance' in this matter 
is warranted by our translation of the Scripture, and that 
properly, where it is required of us to acquaint ourselves 
with God. And that I intended nothing thereby but the 
knowledge of Jesus Christ, is evident beyond any pretence 
to the contrary to be suggested by the most subtle or in- 
ventive malice. The crime therefore wherewith I am here 
charged, is my assertion that it is necessary that Christians 
should know Jesus Christ, which I have afterward increased, 
by affirming also that they ought to love him j for by 
Jesus Christ all the world of Christians intend the person 
of Christ, and the most of them, all of them, the Socinians 
only excepted, by his person * the Word made flesh,' or the 
Son of God incarnate, the Mediator between God and man. 
For because the name Christ is sometimes used metonomi- 
cally, to conclude thence that Jesus Christ is not Jesus Christ, 
or that it is not the person of Christ that is firstly and pro- 
perly intended by that name in the gospel, is a lewd and im- 
pious imagination ; and we may as well make Christ to be 
only a light within us, as to be the doctrine of the gospel 
without us. This knowledge of Jesus Christ, I aver to be 
the only fountain of all saving knowledge, which is farther 
reflected on by this author ; and he adds (no doubt out of 
respect unto me), ' that he will not envy the glory of this 
discovery unto its author,' and therefore honestly confesseth 
' that he met with it in my book. But what doth he intend ? 
Whither will prejudice and corrupt designs carry and trans- 
port the minds of men ? Is it possible that he should be 
ignorant that it is the duty of all Christians to know Jesus 
Christ, to be acquainted with the person of Christ, and that 


this is the fountain of all saving knowledge, until he met 
with it in my book about communion with God, which 1 
dare say he looked not into, but only to find what he might 
except against ? It is the Holy Ghost himself that is the 
author of this discovery, and it is the great fundamental 
principle of the gospel. Wherefore surely this cannot be 
the man's intention, and therefore we must look a little 
farther to see what it is that he aimeth at. After then the 
repetition of some words of mine, he adds, as his sense upon 
them, p. 39. * So that it seems the gospel of Christ makes 
a very -imperfect and obscure discovery gf the nature, attri- 
butes, and the will of God, and the methods of our recovery. 
We may thoroughly understand whatever is revealed in the 
gospel, and yet not have a clear and saving knovv'ledge of 
these things, until we get a more intimate acquaintance 
with the person of Christ.' And again, p. 40. * I shall shew 
you what additions these men make to the gospel of Christ 
by an acquaintance with his person ; and I confess I am 
very much beholden to this author, for acknowledging 
whence they fetch all their orthodox and gospel-mysteries, 
for I had almost pored my eyes out with seeking for them 
in the gospel, but could never find them ; but I learn now 
that indeed they are not to be found there unless we be first 
acquainted with the person of Christ.' So far as I can ga- 
ther up the sense of these loose expressions, it is, that I 
assert a knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ, which is 
not revealed in the gospel, which is not taught us in the 
writings of Moses, the prophets, or apostles, but must be 
had some other way. He tells me afterward, p. 41. that I 
put in a word fallaciously, which expresseth the contrary, 
as though I intended another knowledge of Christ than what 
is declared in the gospel. Now he either thought that this 
was not my design or intention, but would make use of a 
pretence of it for his advantage unto an end aimed at, which 
what it was I knovv'well enough, or he thought, indeed, that 
I did assert and maintain such a knowledge of the person 
of Christ as was not received by Scripture revelation. If it 
was the first, we have an instance of that new morality which 
these new doctrines are accompanied withal ; if the latter, 
he discovers how meet a person he is to treat of things of 
this nature. Wherefore, to prevent such scandalous mis- 
VOL. X. 2 a 


carriages or futilous imaginations for the future, I here tell 
him that if he can find in that book, or any other of my 
writings, any expression, or word, or syllable, intimating any 
knowledge of Christ, or any acquaintance with the person 
of Christ, but what is revealed and declared, in the gospel, 
in the writings of Moses, the prophets, and apostles, and as 
it is so revealed and declared, and learned from thence, I 
will publicly burn that book with my own hands to give him 
and all the world satisfaction. Nay, I say more ; if an angel 
from heaven pretend to give any other knowledge of the 
person of Christ b^ut what is revealed in the gospel, let him 
he accursed. And here 1 leave this author to consider with 
himself, what was the true occasion why he should first thus 
represent himself unto the world in print by the avowing of 
so unworthy and notorious a calumny. 

Whereas, therefore, by an acquaintance with the person of 
Christ, it is undeniably evident, that I intended nothing but 
that knowledge of Christ which it is the duty of every Christian 
to labour after, no other but what is revealed, declared, and 
delivered in the Scripture, as almost every page of my book 
doth manifest where I treat of these things ; I do here again, 
with the good leave of this author assert, that this knowledge 
of Christ is very necessary unto Christians, and the foun- 
tain of all saving knowledge whatever. And as he may, if 
he please, review the honesty and truth of that passage, 
p. 38. ' So that our acquaintance with Christ's person in 
this man's divinity signifies such a knowledge of what 
Christ is, hath done and suffered for us, from whence we 
may learn those greater, deeper, and more saving mysteries 
of the gospel, which Christ hath not expressly revealed to 
us ;' so I will not so far suspect the Christianity of them 
with whom we have to do, as to think it necessary to confirm 
by texts of Scripture either of these assertions, which, who- 
ever denies, is an open apostate from the gospel. 

Having laid this foundation in an equal mixture of that 
truth and sobriety wherewith sundry late writings of this 
nature, and to the same purpose have been stuffed, he pro- 
ceeds to declare what desperate consequences ensue upon 
the necessity of that knowledge of Jesus Christ which I 
have asserted, addressing himself thereunto, p. 40. 

Many instances of such dealings will make me apt to 


think that some men, whatever they pretend to the con- 
trary, have but little knowledge of Jesus Christ indeed. But 
whatever this man thinks of him, an account must one day 
be given before and unto him of such false calumnies as 
his lines are stuffed withal. Those who will believe him, 
that he hath almost pored out his eyes in reading the gos- 
pel with a design to find out mysteries that are not in it, are 
left by me to their liberty ; only I cannot but say that his 
way of expressing the study of the Scripture is such as be- 
cometh a man of his wisdom, gravity, and principles. He 
will, I hope, one day be better acquainted with what belongs 
unto the due investigation of sacred truth in the Scripture, 
than to suppose it represented by such childish expressions. 
What he hath learned from me I know not, but that I 
have any where taught that there are mysteries of religion 
that are not to be found in the gospel, unless we are first 
acquainted with the person of Christ, is a frontless and im- 
pudent falsehood. I own no other, never taught other know- 
ledge of Christ, or acquaintance with his person, but what 
is revealed and declared in the gospel ; and therefore, no 
mysteries of religion can be thence known and received 
before we are acquainted with the gospel itself. Yet I will 
mind this author of that whereof if he be ignorant, he is 
unfit to be a teacher of others, and which if he deny, he is 
unworthy the name of a Christian ; namely, that by the 
knowledge of the person of Christ, the great mystery of God 
manifest in the flesh, as revealed and declared in the gospel, 
we are led into a clear and full understanding of many other 
mysteries of grace and truth which are all centred in his 
person, and without which we can have no true nor sound 
understanding of them. I shall speak it yet again, that this 
author if it be possible may understand it ; or however, that 
he and his co-partners in design may know that I neither 
am nor ever will be ashamed of it ; that without the know- 
ledge of the person of Christ which is our acquaintance 
with him, as we are commanded to acquaint ourselves with 
God, as he is the eternal Son of God incarnate, the mediator 
between God and man, with the mystery of the love, grace, 
and truth of God therein, as revealed and declared in the 
Scripture ; there is no true, useful, saving knowledge of any 
other mysteries or truths of the gospel to be attained. This 

2 A 2 


being the substance of what is asserted in my discourse, I 
challenge this man, or any to whose pleasure and favour his 
endeavours in this kind are sacrificed, to assert and main- 
tain the contrary, if so be they are indeed armed with such 
a confidence as to impugn the foundations of Christianity- 

But to evince his intention, he transcribeth the ensuing 
passages out of my discourse, p. 41. 'The sura of all true 
wisdom and knowledge may be reduced to these three heads : 
1. The knowledge of God, his nature, and properties. 2. The 
knowledge of ourselves, with reference to the will of God 
concerning us. 3. Skill to walk in communion with God. In 
these three is summed up all true wisdom and knowledge, 
and not any of them is to any purpose to be obtained or is 
manifested but only in and by the Lord Christ.' 

This whole passage I am far from disliking upon this re- 
presentation of it, or any expression in it. Those who are 
not pleased with this distribution of spiritual wisdom, may 
make use of any such of their own wherewith they are better 
satisfied. This of mine was sufficient unto my purpose.. 
Hereon this censure is passed by him : * Where hy is fal- 
laciously added to include the revelations Christ hath made, 
whereas his first undertaking was to shew how impossible it 
is to understand these things savingly and clearly, notwith- 
standing ail those revelations God hath made of himself and 
his will by Moses and the prophets, and by Christ himself 
without an acquaintance with his person.' The fallacy pre- 
tended is merely of his own coining ; my words are plain and 
suited unto my own purpose, and to declare my mind in 
what I intend ; which he openly corrupting, or not at all un- 
derstanding, frames an end never thought of by me, and then 
feigns fallacious means of attaining it. The knowledge I 
mean is to be learned by Christ, neither is any thing to 
be learned in him but what is learned by him. I do 
say indeed now, whatever I have said before, that it is 
impossible to understand any sacred truth, savingly and 
clearly, without the knowledge of the person of Christ, and 
shall say so still, let this man and his companions say what 
they will to the contrary ; but that in my so saying I ex- 
clude the consideration of the revelations which Christ hath 
made, or that God hath made of himself by Moses and the 
prophets, and Christ himself, the principal whereof concern 



his person, and whence alone we come to know him, is an as- 
sertion becoming the modesty and ingenuity of his author. But 
hereon he proceeds and says, that as to the first head he will 
take notice of those peculiar discoveries of the nature of God 
of which the world was ignorant before, and of which reve- 
lation is wholly silent, but are now clearly and savingly 
learned from an acquaintance with Christ's person. But 
what in the meantime is become of modesty, truth, and ho- 
nesty ? Do men reckon that there is no account to be given 
of such falsifications ? Is there any one word or tittle in my 
discourse, of any such knowledge of the nature or proper- 
ties of God as whereof revelation is wholly silent ? What 
doth this man intend ? Doth he either not at all understand 
what I say, or doth he not care what he says himself? What 
have I done to him ? Wherein have I injured him? How have 
I provoked him that he should sacrifice his conscience and 
reputation unto such a revenge? Must he yet hear it again? 
I never thought, I never owned, I never wrote, that there 
was any acquaintance to be obtained with any property of 
the nature of God by the knowledge of the person of Christ 
but what is taught and revealed in the gospel ; from whence 
alone all knowledge of Christ, his person, and his doctrine, 
is to be learned. And yet I will say again, if we learn not 
thence to know the Lord Christ, that is, his person, we shall 
never know any thing of God, ourselves, or our duty, clearly 
and savingly (I use the words again, notwithstanding the re- 
flections on them, as more proper in this matter than any 
used by our author in his eloquent discourse), and as we 
ought to do. From hence he proceeds unto weak and con- 
fused discourses about the knowledge of God and his pro- 
perties without any knowledge of Christ ; for he not only 
tells us 'what reason we had to believe such and such things 
of God, if Christ had never appeared in the world' (take care, 
I pray, that we be thought as little beholden to him as may 
be), * but that God's readiness to pardon, and the like are 
plainly revealed in the Scripture, without any farther ac- 
quaintance with the person of Christ.' p. 43. What this 
farther acquaintance with the person of Christ should mean, 
I do not well understand : it may be any more acquaintance 
with respect unto some that is necessary. It may be with- 
out any more ado as to an acquaintance with him. And if 


this be his intention, as it must be if there be sense in his 
words, that God's readiness to pardon sinners is revealed in 
the Scripture without respect unto the person of Jesus Christ, 
it is a piece of dull Socinianism, which, because I have suffi- 
ciently confuted elsewhere, I shall not here farther discover 
the folly of. For a knowledge of God's essential properties 
by the light of nature, it was never denied by me, yea, I have 
written and contended for it in another way that can be im- 
peached by such trifling declamations. But yet with his good 
leave, I do yet believe that there is no saving knowledge of, 
or acquaintance with God, or his properties to be attained, but 
in and through Jesus Christ as revealed unto us in the gospel. 
And this I can confirm with testimonies of the Scripture, fa- 
thers, schoolmen, and divines of all sorts, with reasons and 
arguments, such as I know this author cannot answer. And 
whatever great apprehensions he may have of his skill and 
abilities to know God and his properties by the light of na- 
ture, now he neither knows nor is able to distinguish, what he 
learns from thence, and what he hath imbibed in his education 
from an emanation of divine revelation ; yet, I believe there 
were as wise men as himself amongst those ancient philoso- 
phers concerning whom and their inquiries into the nature of 
God, our apostle pronounces those censures, Rom.i. 1 Cor. i. 
But on this goodly foundation he proceeds unto a parti- 
cular inference, p. 44. saying, * And is not this a confi- 
dent man to tell us that the love of God to sinners, and his 
pardoning mercy could never have entered into the heart of 
man, but by Christ ; when the experience of the whole world 
confutes him ? For whatever becomes of his new theories, both 
Jews and heathens who understood nothing at all of what 
Christ was to do in order to our recovery, did believe God to 
be gracious and merciful to sinners, and had reason to do so; 
because God himself had assured the Jews that he was a gra- 
cious and merciful God, pardoning iniquity, transgressions, 
and sins. And those natural notions heathens had of God, 
and all those discoveries God had made of himself in the 
works of creation and providence, did assure them that God 
is very good, and it is not possible to understand what good- 
ness is, without pardoning grace.' 

I beg his excuse ; truth and good company will give a 
modest man a little confidence sometimes. And against his 


experience of the whole world falsely pretended, I can oppose 
the testimonies of the Scripture, and all the ancient writers of 
the church, very few excepted. We can know of God only 
what he hath one way or other revealed of himself, and no- 
thing else ; and I say again, that God hath not revealed his 
love unto sinners, and his pardoning mercy, any other way 
but in and by Jesus Christ. For what he adds as to the know- 
ledge which the Jews had of these things by God's revelation 
in the Scripture ; when he can prove that all those revelations 
or any of them had not respect unto the promised seed the 
Son of God, to be exhibited in the flesh to destroy the works 
of the devil, he will speak somewhat unto his purpose. In 
the meantime, this insertion of the consideration of them 
who enjoyed that revelation of Christ, which God was pleased 
to build his church upon under the Old Testament is weak 
and impertinent. Their apprehensions, I acknowledge, con- 
cerning the person of Christ, and the speciality of the work of 
his mediation, were dark and obscure ; but so also propor- 
tionably was their knowledge of all other sacred truths, which 
yet with all diligence they inquired into. That which I in- 
tended is expressed by the apostle ;' 1 Cor. ii. 9. ' It is 
written. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered 
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared 
for them that love him ; but God hath revealed them unto us 
by his Spirit.' What a confident man was this apostle, as to 
affirm that the things of the grace and mercy of God did 
never enter into the heart of man to conceive, nor would so 
have done, had they not been revealed by the Spirit of God 
in the gospel through Jesus Christ. 

But this is only a transient charge; there ensues that which 
is much more severe, p. 45. as for instance ; he tells us, 
' that in Christ' (that is, in his death and sufferings for our sins) 
* God hath manifested the naturalness of this righteousness' 
(i. e. Vindictive justice in punishing sin), * that it was impos- 
sible that it should be diverted from sinners without the in- 
terposing of a propitiation ; that is, that God is so just and 
righteous, that he cannot pardon sin without satisfaction to 
his justice. Now this indeed is such a notion of justice as is 
perfectly new, which neither Scripture nor nature acquaints 
us with ; for all mankind have accounted it an act of good- 
ness without the least suspicion of injustice in it, to remit 


injuries and offences without exacting any punishment ; that 
he is so far from being just, that he is cruel and savage who 
will remit no offence till he hath satisfied his revenge.' The 
reader who is in any measure or degree acquainted with these 
things, knows full well what is intended by that which I have 
asserted. It is no more but this; that such is the essential 
holiness and righteousness of the nature of God, that consi- 
dering him as the supreme Governor and Ruler of all man- 
kind, it was inconsistent with the holiness and rectitude of 
his rule, and the glory of his government, to pass by sin ab- 
solutely, or to pardon it without satisfaction, propitiation, or 
atonement. This, I said, was made evident in the death and 
sufferings of Christ, wherein God made all our iniquities to 
meet upon him, and spared him not, that we might obtain 
mercy and grace. This is here now called out by our au- 
thor as a very dangerous or foolish passage in my discourse, 
which he thought he might highly advantage his reputation 
by reflecting upon. But as the orator said to his adversary, 
' Equidem vehementer laetor euni esse me, in quem tu cum 
cuperes, nullam contumeliam jacere potueris, quae non ad 
maximam partem civium convenerit ;' so it is here fallen 
out. If this man knows not that this is the judgment of the 
generality of the most learned divines of Europe, upon the 
matter of all who have engaged with any success against the 
Socinians,one or two only excepted, I can pity him, but not 
relieve him in his unhappiness, unless he will be pleased to- 
take more pains in reading good books, than as yet he ap- 
peareth to have done. But for the thing itself, and his reflec- 
tions upon it, I shall observe yet some few things, and so pas& 
on. As first, the opposition that he makes unto my position is 
nothing but a crude assertion of one of the meanest and most 
absurd sophisms which the Socinians use in this cause ; 
namely, that every one may remit injuries and offences as 
he pleaseth without exacting any punishment. Which as 
it is true in most cases of injuries and offences against pri- 
vate persons, wherein no others are concerned but them- 
selves, nor are they obliged by any law of the community to 
pursue their own right : so with respect unto public rulers 
of the community, and unto such injuries and offences as are 
done against supreme rule, tending directly unto the disso- 
lution of the society centring in it, to suppose that sucE 


rulers are not obliged to inflict those punishments which jus- 
tice and the preservation of the community doth require, is 
a fond and ridiculous imagination; destructive if pursued 
unto all human society, and rendering government a useless 
thing in the world. Therefore what this author (who seems 
to understand very little of these things) adds, ' that govern- 
ors may spare or punish as they see reason for it;' if the rule 
of that reason and judgment be not that justice, which re- 
spects the good and benefit of the society or community, 
they do amiss and sin in sparing and punishing, which I 
suppose he will not ascribe unto the government of God. 
But I have fully debated these things in sundry writings 
against the Socinians, so that I will not again enlarge upon 
them without a more important occasion. It is not impro- 
bable but he knows where to find those discourses, and he 
may when he please exercise his skill upon them. Again, I 
cannot but remark upon the consequences that he chargeth 
this position withal, and yet I cannot do it without begging 
pardon for repeating such horrid and desperate blasphemies ; 
p. 46. 'The account,' saith he, ' of this is very plain, be- 
cause the justice of God hath glutted itself with revenge on 
sin in the death of Christ, and so henceforward we may be 
sure he will be very kind, as a revengeful man is when his 
passion is over; p. 47. the sum of which is, that God is all 
love and patience when he hath taken his fill of reveno-e, 
as others use to say that the devil is very good when he i& 
pleased ; p. 59. the justice and vengeance of God, having 
their actings assigned them to the full, being glutted and 
satiated with the blood of Christ, God may,' Sec. I desire 
the reader to remember, that the supposition whereon al! 
these inferences are built, is only that of the necessity of the 
satisfaction of Christ with respect unto the holiness and 
righteousness of God as the author of the law, and the su- 
preme Governor of mankind. And is this language becom- 
ing a son of the church of England ? Might it not be more 
justly expected from a Jew or a Mahometan, from Servetus 
or Socinus, from whoin it is borrowed, than from a son of 
this church, in a book published by licence and authority ? 
But it is to no purpose to complain ; those who are pleased 
with these things let them be so. But what if after all, these 
impious, blasphemous consequences do follow as much upon 


this author's opinion as upon mine, and that with a greater 
shew of probability ? And what if forgetting himself within 
a few leaves, he says the very same thing that I do, and casts 
himself under his own severest condemnation ? For the first, 
I presume he owns the satisfaction of Christ, and I will sup- 
pose it until he directly denies it ; therefore also he owns and 
grants that God would not pardon any sin, but upon a sup- 
position of a previous satisfaction made by Jesus Christ. 
Here then lies all the difference between us ; that I say God 
could not with respect unto his holiness and justice as the 
author of the law and governor of the world, pardon sin ab- 
solutely without satisfaction : he says, that although he 
might have done so without the least diminution of his 
glory, yet he would not, but would have his Son by his 
death and suffering to make satisfaction for sin. I leave it 
now not only to every learned and impartial reader, but to 
every man in his wits who understands common sense, whe- 
the blasphemous consequences which I will not again defile 
ink and paper with the expression of, do not seem to follow 
more directly upon his opinion than mine ; for whereas I 
say not, that God requireth any thing unto the exercise of 
grace and mercy, but what he grants that he doth so also. 
Only I say he doth it because requisite unto his justice ; he 
because he chose it by a free act of his will and wisdom, 
when he might have done otherwise, without the least dis- 
advantage unto his righteousness or rule, or the least im- 
peachment to the glory of his holiness, the odious blasphe- 
mies mentioned, do apparently seem to make a nearer ap- 
proach unto his assertion than unto mine. 1 cannot proceed 
unto a farther declaration of it,because I abhor the rehearsal 
of such horrid profaneness. The truth is, they follow not 
in the least (if there be any thing in them but odious sata- 
nical exprobrations of the truth of the satisfaction of Christ) 
on either opinion ; though I say this author knows not well 
how to discharge himself of them. But what if he be all 
this while only roving in his discourse about the things that 
he hath no due comprehension of, merely out of a transport- 
ing desire to gratify himself and others, in traducing and 
making exceptions against my writings ? What if when he 
comes a little to himself and expresseth the notions that 
have been instilled into him, he saith expressly as much as 


I do, or have done in any place of my writings ? It is plain 
he does so, p. 49. in these words ; * as for sin, the gospel as- 
sures us that God is an irreconcilable enemy to all wicked- 
ness, it being so contrary to his own most holy nature, that 
if he have any love for himself, and any esteem for his own 
perfections and works, he must hate sin which is so unlike 
himself, and which destroys the beauty and perfection of his 
workmanship. For this end he sent his Son into the world 
to destroy the works of the devil,' Sic. Here is the sub- 
stance of what at any time in this subject I have pleaded for ; 
'God is an irreconcilable enemy to all wickedness/ that it 
* is contrary to his holy nature, so that he must hate it, and 
therefore sends his Son,' &c. If sin be contrary to God's 
holy nature, if he must hate it unless he will not love him- 
self, nor value his own perfections, and therefore sent his 
Son to make satisfaction, we are absolutely agreed in this 
matter, and our author hath lost * operam et oleum' in his 
attempt. But for the matter itself, if he be able to come 
unto any consistency in his thoughts, or to know what is his 
own mind therein ; I do hereby acquaint him, that I have writ- 
ten one entire discourse on that subject, and have lately rein- 
forced the same argument in ray exercitations on the Epistle 
totheHebrews, whereinmyjudgment in this pointis declared 
and maintained. Let him attempt an answerif he please unto 
them, or do it if he can. What h^ farther discourseth on this 
subject, p. 46, 47. consisteth only in odious representations 
and vile reflections on the principal doctrines of the gospel, 
not to be mentioned without offence and horror. But as to 
me, he proceeds to except after his scoffing manner against 
another passage, p. 47, 48. ' But however sinners have great 
reasons to rejoice in it, when they consider the nature and 
end of God's patience and forbearance towards them, viz. 
That it is God's taking a course in his infinite wisdom and 
goodness that we should not be destroyed notwithstanding 
our sins ; that as before the least sin could not escape with- 
out punishment, justice being so natural to God, that he 
cannot forgive without punishing ; so the justice of God 
being now satisfied by the death of Christ, the greatest sins 
can do us no hurt, but we shall escape with a ' notwithstand- 
ing our sins' This it seems we learn from an acquaintance 
with Christ's person, though his gospel instructs us other- 


wise, that without holiness no man shall see God.' But he 
is here again at a loss, and understands not what he is about. 
That whereof he was discoursing, is the necessity of the sa- 
tisfaction of Christ, and that must be it which he maketh his 
inference from ; but the passage he insists on, he lays 
down as expressive of the end of God's patience and for- 
bearance towards sinners, which here is of no place nor 
consideration. But so it falls out that he is seldom at any 
agreement with himself in any parts of his discourse ; the 
reason whereof I do somewhat more than guess at. How- 
ever, for the passage which he cites out of my discourse, I 
like it so well, as that I shall not trouble myself to inquire 
whether it be there or no, or on what occasion it is intro- 
duced. The words are, * that God hath in his justice, wis- 
dom, and goodness, taken a course that we should not be de- 
stroyed, notwithstanding our sins' (that is to save sinners), 
* for he that believeth although he be a sinner shall be saved ; 
and he that believeth not shall be damned,' as one hath as- 
sured us, whom I desire to believe and trust unto. If this 
be not so, what will become of this man and myself, with 
all our writings? for I know that we are both sinners; and 
if God will not save us, or deliver us from destruction, not- 
withstanding our sins, that is, pardon them through the 
bloodshedding of Jesus Christ, wherein we have redemption 
even the forgiveness of sins, it hath been better for us that 
we had never been born. And I do yet again say, that God 
doth not, that he will not, pardon the least sin without re- 
spect unto the satisfaction of Christ, according as the apo- 
stle declares, 2 Cor. v. 18 — 21. and the expression which 
must be set on the other side, on the supposition thereof 
the greatest sin can do us no harm, is this man's addition, 
which his usual respect unto truth hath produced. But 
withal, I never said, I never wrote, that the only supposition 
of the satisfaction of Christ is sufficient of itself to free us 
from destruction by sin. 

There is moreover required on our part, faith and repent- 
ance, without which we can have no advantage by it, or 
interest in it. But he seems to understand by that expres- 
sion, notwithstanding our sins, though we should live and 
die in our sins without faith, repentance, or new odedience. 
For he supposeth it sufficient to manifest the folly of this 


assertion, to mention that declaration of the mind of Christ 
in the gospel, that ' without holiness no man shall see God.' 
I wonder whether he thinks that those who believe the sa- 
tisfaction of Christ, and the necessity thereof, wherein God 
* made him to be sin who knew no sin, that we might be made 
the righteousness of God in him,' do believe that the personal 
holiness of men is indispensably necessary unto the pleasing 
and enjoyment of God ; if he suppose that the satisfaction 
of Christ and the necessity of our personal holiness are 
really inconsistent, he must be treated in another manner ; 
if he suppose that although they are consistent, yet those 
whom he opposeth do so trust to the satisfaction of Christ, 
as to judge, that faith, repentance, and holiness, are not in- 
dispensably necessary to salvation, he manifests how well 
skilled he is in their principles and practices. I have always 
looked on it as a piece of the highest disingenuity among 
the Quakers, that when any one pleads for the satisfaction 
of Christ or the imputation of his righteousness, they will 
clamorously cry out and hear nothing to the contrary ; 'yea, 
you are for the saving of polluted, defiled sinners ; let men 
live in their sins and be all foul within, it is no matter, so 
long as they have a righteousness and a Christ without them.' 
I have, I say, always looked upon it as a most disingenuous 
procedure in them, seeing no one is catechised amongst us, 
who knoweth not that we press a necessity of sanctification 
and holiness, equal with that of justification and righteous- 
ness. And yet this very course is here steered by this au- 
thor, contrary to the constant declaration of the judgments 
of them with whom he hath to do, contrary to the common 
evidence of their writings, preaching, praying, disputino- 
unto another purpose, and that without relieving or counte- 
nancinghimselfbyanyone word orexpression used or uttered 
by them, he chargeth [them], as though they made holiness 
a very indifferent thing, and such as it doth not much con- 
cern any man whether he have an interest in or no ; and I 
know not whether is more marvellous unto me, that some 
men can so far concoct all principles of conscience and 
modesty, as to publish such slanderous untruths, or that 
others can take contentment and satisfaction therein, who 
cannot but understand their disingenuity and falsehood. 
His proceed in the same page is to except against that 


revelation of the wisdom of God, which I affirm to have 
been made in the person and sufferings of Christ, which 
I thought I might have asserted without offence. But this 
man will have it, that * there is no wisdom therein, if justice 
be so natural to God that nothing could satisfy him but the 
death of his own Son.' That any thing else could satisfy 
divine justice but the sufferings and death of the Son of 
God, so far as I know, he is the first that found out or dis- 
covered, if he hath yet found it out. Some have imagined 
that God will pardon sin, and doth so, without any satis- 
faction at all ; and some have thought that other ways of 
the reparation of lost mankind were possible, without this 
satisfaction of divine justice, which yet God in his wisdom 
determined on ; but that satisfaction could be any other- 
wise made to divine justice, but by the death of the Son of 
God incarnate, none have used to say who know what they 
say in these things. * But wisdom,' he saith, 'consists in 
the choice of the best and fittest means to attain an end, 
when there were more ways than one of doing it ; but it re- 
quires no great wisdom to choose when there is but one 
possible way.' Yea, this it is to measure God, things infinite 
and divine, by ourselves. Doth this man think that God's 
ends, as ours, have an existence in themselves out of him, 
antecedent imto any acts of his divine wisdom? Doth he 
imagine that he balanceth probable means for the attaining 
of an end, choosing some and rejecting others ? Doth he 
surmise that the acts of divine wisdom with respect unto 
the end and means are so really distinct, as the one to have 
a priority in time before the others ? Alas, that men should 
have the confidence to publish such slight and crude imagi- 
nations ! Again ; the Scripture, which so often expresseth 
the incarnation of the Son of God, and the whole work of 
his mediation thereon, as the effect of the infinite wisdom of 
God, as that wherein the stores, riches, and treasures of it 
are laid forth, doth nowhere so speak of it in comparison 
with other means not so suited unto the same end, but ab- 
solutely and as it is in its own nature ; unless it be when it 
is compared with those typical institutions which being ap- 
pointed to resemble it, some did rest in. And lastly, where- 
as there was but this one way for the redemption of man- 
kind and the restoration of the honour of God's justice and 


holiness, as he is the supreme lawgiver and governor of the 
universe ; and whereas this one way was not in the least 
previous unto any created understanding, angelical or human, 
nor could the least of its concerns have ever entered into the 
hearts of any, nor it may be shall they ever know, or be able 
to find it out unto perfection, but it will be left the object 
of their admiration unto eternity; if this author can see no 
wisdom or no great wisdom in the finding out and appoint- 
ing of this way, who can help it ? I wish he would more di- 
ligently attend unto their teachings who are able to instruct 
him better, and from whom, as having no prejudice against 
them, he may be willing to learn. 

But this is the least part of what this worthy censurer of 
theological discourses rebukes and corrects. For, whereas 
I had said that we ' might learn our disability to answer the 
mind and will of God in all or any part of the obedience he 
requireth,' that is, without Christ, or out of him ; he adds, 
* that is, that it is impossible for us to do any thing that is 
good, but we must be acted like machines by an external 
force, by the irresistible power of the grace and Spirit of 
God. This I am sure is a new discovery, we learn no such 
thing from the gospel, and I do not see how he proves it 
from an acquaintance with Christ.' But if he intends what 
he speaks, * we can do no good, but must be acted like ma- 
chines by an external force/ and chargeth this on me, it is a 
false accusation proceeding from malice or ignorance, or a 
mixture of both. If he intend that we can of ourselves do 
any thing that is spiritually good and acceptable before 
God, without the efficacious work of the Spirit and grace of 
God in us, which I only deny, he is a Pelagian, and stands 
anathematized by many councils of the ancient church. And 
for what is my judgment about the impotency that is in us 
by nature unto any spiritual good, the necessity of the ef- 
fectual operation of the Spirit of God in and to our conversion, 
with his aids and assistances of actual grace in our whole 
course of obedience, which is no other but that of the ancient 
church, the most learned fathers, and the church of England 
itself in former days, I have now sufficiently declared and 
confirmed it in another discourse, whither this author is re- 
mitted either to learn to speak honestly of what he opposeth, 
or to understand it better, or to answer it if he can. 


He adds, * But still there is a more glorious discovery 
than this behind, and that is, the glorious end whereunto 
sin is appointed and ordained (I suppose he means by God), 
is discovered in Christ, viz. for the demonstration of God's 
vindictive justice, in measuring out to it a meet recompense 
of reward ; and for the praise of God's glorious grace in the 
pardon and forgiveness of it ; that is, that it could not be 
known how just and severe God is, but by punishing sin, 
nor how good and gracious God is, but by pardoning of it; 
and therefore, lest his justice and mercy should never be 
known to the world, he appoints and ordains sin to this 
end ; that is, decrees that men shall sin that he may make 
some of them thevessels of his wrath and the examples of his 
fierce vengeance and displeasure, and others the vessels of 
his mercy, to the praise and glory of his free grace in Qhrist. 
This indeed is such a discovery, as nature and revelation 
could not make;' p. 51. which in the next page he calls 
God's * truckling and bartering with sin and the devil for 
his glory.' 

Although there is nothing in the words here reported as 
mine, which is not capable of a fair defence, seeing it is ex- 
pressly affirmed thai ' God set forth his Son to be a propi- 
tiation to declare his righteousness,' yet I know not how it 
came to pass that I had a mind to turn unto the passage 
itself in my discourse, which I had not done before on any 
occasion, as not supposing that he would falsify my words, 
with whom it was so easy to pervert my meaning at any 
time, and to reproach what he could not confute. But that 
I may give a specimen of this man's honesty and ingenuity, 
1 shall transcribe the passage which he excepts against, be- 
cause I confess it gave me[some surprisal upon its first perusal. 
My words are these; ' There is a glorious end whereunto sin is 
appointed and ordained, discovered in Christ, that others 
are unacquainted withal. Sin in its own nature tends merely 
to the dishonour of God, the debasement of his majesty, and 
the ruin of the creature in whom it is. Hell itself is but the 
filling of wretched creatures with the fruit of their own de- 
vices. The comminations and threats of God in the law do 
manifest one other end of it, even the demonstration of the 
vindictive justice of God in measuring out unto it a meet 
recompense of reward ; but here the law stays, and with it 


all other light, and discovers no other use or end of it at all. 
In the Lord Jesus Christ there is the manifestation of 
another and more glorious end, to wit, the praise of God's 
glorious grace in the pardon and forgiveness of it ; God 
having taken order in Christ, that that thing which tended 
merely to his dishonour, should be managed to his infinite 
glory, and that which of all things he desireth to exalt, even 
that he may be known and believed to be a God pardoning 
iniquity, transgression, and sin.' Such was my ignorance, 
that I did not think that any Christian, unless he were a 
professed Socinian, would ever have made exceptions against 
any thing in this discourse, the whole of it being openly pro- 
claimed in the gospel, and confirmed in the particulars by 
sundry texts of Scripture, quoted in the margin of my book, 
which this man took no notice of. For the advantaae he 
would make from the expression about the end whereunto 
sin is appointed and ordained, it is childish and ridiculous ; 
for every one who is not wilfully blind, must see, that by 
' ordained,' I intended not any ordination as to the futurition 
of sin, but to the disposal of sin to its proper end being 
committed, or to ordain it unto its end upon a supposition 
of its being, which quite spoils this author's ensuing ha- 
rangue. But my judgment in this matter is better expressed 
by another than 1 am able to do it myself, and therefore in 
his words I shall represent it. It is Augustine : saith he, 
* saluberrime confitemur quod rectissime credimus, Deura 
Dominumque rerum omnium qui creavit omnia bona valde, 
et mala ex bonis exortura esse prsescivit, et scivit magis ad 
suam omnipotentissimam bonitatem pertinere, etiam de 
malis benefacere, quam mala esse non sinere ; sic ordinasse 
angelorum et hominum vitam, ut in ea prius ostenderet quid 
posset eorum liberum arbitrium, deinde quid posset suas 
gratise beneficium justitiasque judicium.' 

Thia our author would have to be God's bartering with 
sin and the devil for his glory ; the bold impiety of which 
expression among many others, for whose necessary ex- 
pression I crave pardon, manifests with what frame of spirit, 
with what reverence of God himself and all holy thinos, 
this discourse is managed. 

But it seems, I add, ' that the demonstration of God's 
VOL. X. 2 b 


justice in measuring out uijto sin a meet recompense of 
reward is discovered in Christ, as this author says.' Let him 
read again, ' the comminations and threatenings of God in the 
law/ &c. If this man were acquainted with Christ, he could 
not but learn somewhat more of truth and modesty unless he 
be wilfully stupid. But what is the crime of this para- 
graph ? That which it teacheth is, that sin in its own nature 
hath no end, but the dishonour of God, and the eternal ruin 
of the sinner ; that by the sentence and curse of the law 
God hath manifested that he will glorify his justice in the 
punishing of it, as also that in and through Jesus Christ he 
will glorify grace and mercy in its pardon on the terms of 
the gospel. What would he be at ? If he have a mind to 
quarrel with the Bible, and to conflict the fundamental prin- 
ciples of Christianity, to what purpose doth he cavil at my 
obscure discourses, when the proper object of his displea- 
sure lies plainly before him. 

Let us proceed yet a little farther with our author, al- 
though I confess myself to be already utterly wearied with 
the perusal of such vain and frivolous imaginations. Yet 
thus he goes on, p. 53. * Thus much for the knowledge 
of ourselves with respect to sin, which is hid only in the Lord 
Christ. But then we learn what our righteousness is, where- 
with we must appear before God, from an acquaintance with 
Christ. We have already learned how unable we are to make 
atonement for our sins, without which they can never be for- 
given, and how unable we are to do any thing that is good ; 
and yet nothing can deliver us from the justice and wrath of 
God, but a full satisfaction for our sins ; and nothing can give 
us a title to a reward but a perfect and unsinning righteous- 
ness. What should we do in this case ? How shall we escape 
hell, or get to heaven, when we can neither expiate for our 
past sins or do any good for the time to come ? Why, here 
we are relieved again by an acquaintance with Christ. His 
death expiates former iniquities, and removes the whole guilt 
of sin. But this is not enough, that we are not guilty, we 
must also be actually righteous, not only all sin is to be an- 
swered for, but all righteousness is to be fulfilled. Now this 
righteousness we find only in Christ, we are reconciled to 
God by his death, and saved by his life. That actual obedi- 


ence he yielded to the whole law of God is that righteousness 
whereby we are saved ; we are innocent by virtue of his sa- 
crifice and expiation, and righteous with his righteousness.' 
What is here interposed, that we cannot do any good for 
the time to come, must be interpreted of ourselves, without 
the aid or assistance of the grace of God. And the things 
here reported by this author, are so expressed and repre- 
sented, to expose them to reproach and scorn, to have them 
esteemed not only false but ridiculous. But whether he be 
in his wits or no, or what he intends so to traduce and scoff 
at the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, I profess I know 
not. What is it he would deny ? What is it he would assert? 
Are we able to make an atonement for our sins ? Can we be 
forgiven without an atonement? Can we of ourselves do any 
good without the aid and assistance of grace ? Can any thing 
we do be a full satisfaction for our sins, or deliver us from 
the wrath of God, that is, the punishment due to our sins ? 
Doth not the death of Christ expiate former iniquities, and 
remove the whole guilt of sin ? Is the contrary to these things 
the doctrine of the church of England ? Is this the religion 
which is authorized to be preached, and are these the opi- 
nions that are licenced to be published unto all the world ? 
But as I observed before, these things are other men's con- 
cernment more than mine, and with them I leave them. But 
I have said, as he quotes the place, ' that we are reconciled 
to God by the death of Christ, and saved by his life, that 
actual obedience which he yielded to the whole law of God.' 
As the former part of these words are expressly the apostle's, 
liom. V. 10. and so produced by me ; so the next words I 
add, are these of the same apostle, ' if so be we are found 
in him, not having on our own righteousness which is of the 
law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith;' which 
he may do well to consider, and answer when he can. 

Once more and I shall be beholden to this author for a 
little respite of severity, whilst he diverts to the magisterial 
reproof of some other persons. Thus then he proceeds, 
p. 55. * The third part of our wisdom is to walk with God, 
and to that is I'equired agreement, acquaintance, a way, 
strength, boldness, and aiming at the same end; and all these, 
with the wisdom of them, are hid in Jesus Christ.' So far 
are my words, to which he adds ; 'The sum of which in short 

2 B 2 


is this ; that Christ having expiated our sins, and fulfilled all 
righteousness for us, though we have no personal righteous- 
ness of our own, but are as contrary unto God as darkness 
is to light, and death to life, and a universal pollution and 
defilement, to a universal and glorious holiness, and hatred 
to love, yet the righteousness of Christ is a sufficient, nay, 
the only foundation cf our agreement, and upon that of our 
walking with God ; though St. John tells us, ' If we say we 
have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and 
do not the truth ; but if we walk in the light, as God is in 
the light, then have we fellowship one with another, and then 
the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sins ;' 
1 John i. 6, 7. ' And our only acquaintance with God, and 
knowledge of him is hid in Christ, which his word and works 
could not discover, as you heard above. And he is the only 
way wherein we must walk with God, and we receive all our 
strength from him, and he makes us bold and confident too, 
having removed the guilt of sin, that now we may look jus- 
tice in the face, and whet our knife at the counter-door, all 
our debts being discharged by Christ, as these bold acquaint- 
ances and familiars of Christ use to speak. And in Christ 
we design the same end that God doth, which is the ad- 
vancement of his own glory, that is, I suppose by trusting 
unto the expiation and righteousness of Christ for salvation, 
without doing any thing ourselves, we take care that God 
shall not be wronged of the glory of his free grace, by a com- 
petion of any merits and deserts of our own.' 

What the author affirms to be the sum of my discourse, 
in that place which indeed he doth not transcribe, is as to 
his affirmation of it as contrary to God as darkness is to 
light, or death to life, or falsehood to the truth, that is, it is 
flagitiously false. That there is any agreement with God, 
or walking with God for any men who have no personal 
righteousness of their own, but are contrary to God, &c. I 
never thought, I never wrote, nor any thing that should give 
the least countenance unto a suspicion to that purpose. The 
necessity of an habitual and actual personal inherent righ- 
teousness, of sanctification and holiness, of gospel-obedience, 
of fruitfulness in good works, unto all who intend to walk 
with God or come to the enjoyment of him, I have asserted 
and proved with other manner of arguments than this author 


IS acquainted withal. The remainder of his discourse in this 
place is composed of immorality and profaneness. To the 
first I must refer his charge, that ' our only acquaintance 
with God and knowledge of him, is hid in Christ, which his 
word could not discover ;' as he again expresseth it, p. 
98, 99. ' But that the reverend doctor confessed the plain 
truth, that their religion is ~,vholly owing to an acquaintance 
with the person of Christ, and could never have been clearly 
and savingly learned from his gospel, had they not first 
grown acquainted with his person;' which is plainly false. I 
own no knowledge of God, nor of Christ, biit what is re- 
vealed in the word, as was before declared. And unto the 
other head belongs the most of what ensues ; for what is 
the intendment of those reproaches which are cast on my 
supposed assertions ? Christ is the only way wherein or 
whereby we must walk with God. Yes, so he says, ' I am 
the way,' there is no coming to God but by me ; he having 
consecrated for us in himself 'a new and living way' of draw- 
ing nigh to God. We receive all our strength from him, yes, 
for he says, 'without me ye can do nothing.' He makes us 
bold and confident also, having removed the guilt of sin; so 
the apostle tells us, Heb. x. 19—22. What then ? What 
follows upon these plain, positive, aivine assertions of the 
Scripture ? Why then ' we may look justice in the face, and 
whet our knife at the counter-door.' Goodly son of the 
church of England. Not that I impute these profane scoff- 
ings unto the church itself, which I shall never do until it 
be discovered that the rulers of it do give approbation to 
such abominations ; but I would mind the man of his rela- 
tion to that church which, to my knowledge, teacheth better 
learning and manners. 

From p. 57. to the end of his second section, p. 75. he 
giveth us a scheme of religion, which in his scoffing language, 
he says, ' men learn from an acquaintance with the person of 
Christ,' and affirms, ' that there needs no more to expose it to 
scorn with considering men than his proposal of it ;' which 
therein he owns to be his design. I know not any peculiar 
concernment of mine therein, until he comes towards the 
close of it, which I shall particularly consider. But the sub- 
stance of the religion which he thus avowedly attempts to 
■ expose to scorn, is the doctrine of God's eternal election ; 


of his infinite wisdom in sending his Son to declare his 
righteousness for the forgiveness of sins, or in satisfying his 
justice, that sin might be pardoned to the praise of the 
glory of his grace ; of the imputation of the righteousness 
of Christ unto them that do believe ; of a sense of sin, hu- 
miliation for it, looking unto Christ for life and salvation as 
the Israelites looked up to the brazen-serpent in the wilder- 
ness ; of going to Christ by faith for healing our natures and 
cleansing our sins, with some other doctrines of the same 
importance. These are the principles, which according to 
his ability he sarcastically traduceth and endeavoureth to 
reflect scorn upon, by the false representation of some of 
them, and debasing others, with an intermixture of vile and 
profane expressions. It is not impossible but that some or 
other may judge it their duty to rebuke this horrible (and 
yet were it not for the ignorance and profaneness of some 
men's minds, every way contemptible) petulancy. For my 
part I have other things to do, and shall only add, that I 
know no other Christian state in the world wherein such 
discourses would be allowed to pass under the signature of 
public authority ; only I wish the author more modesty and 
sobriety than to attempt, or suppose he shall succeed, in 
exposing to scorn the avowed doctrine in general of the 
church wherein he lives, and which hath in the parts of it 
been asserted and defended by the greatest and most learned 
prelates thereof, in the foregoing ages, such as Jewel, Whit- 
gift, Abbot, Morton, Usher, Hall, Davenant, Prideaux, &c. 
with the most learned persons of its communion, as Rey- 
nolds, Whittaker, Hooker, Sutcliff, &.c. and others innume- 
rable ; testified uiito in the name of this church by the di 
vines, sent by public authority to the synod of Dort, taught 
by the principal practical divines of this nation, and main- 
tained by the most learned of the dignified clergy at this 
day. He is no doubt at liberty to dissent from the doctrine 
of the church and of all the learned men thereof ; but for 
a young man to suppose, that with a few loose idle words, 
he shall expose to acorn that doctrine which the persons 
mentioned and others innumerable, have not only explained, 
confirmed, and defended, with pains indefatigable, all kind 
of learning and skill, ecclesiastical, philosophical, and theo- 
logical, in books and vohunes which the Christian world. 


as yet knoweth, peruseth and prizeth, but also lived long in 
fervent prayers to God for the revelation of his mind and 
truth unto them, and in the holy practice of odedience 
suited unto the doctrines they professed, is somewhat remote 
from that Christian humility which he ought not only to 
exercise in himself, but to give an example of unto others. 
But if this be the fruit of despising the knowledge of the 
person of Christ, of the necessity of his satisfaction, of the 
imputation of his righteousness, of union unto his person as 
our head, of a sense of the displeasure of God due to sin, of 
the spirit of bondage and adoption, of the corruption of 
nature, and our disability to do any thing that is spiritually 
good without the effectual aids of grace ; if these, I say, and 
the like issues of appearing pride and elation of mind, be the 
fruit and consequent of rejecting these principles of the 
doctrine of the gospel, it manifests that there is, and will 
be, a proportion between the errors of men's minds, and the 
depravation of their affections. It were a most easy task to 
go over all the particulars mentioned by him, and to mani- 
fest how foully he hath prevaricated in their representation, 
how he hath cast contempt on some duties of religion in- 
dispensibly necessary unto salvation, and brought in the 
very words of the Scripture, and that in the true proper sense 
and intendment of them, according to the judgment of all 
Christians, ancient and modern, as that of looking to Christ, 
as the Israelites looked to the brazen-serpent in the wilder- 
ness, to bear a share and part in his scorn and contempt ; 
as also to defend and vindicate not his odious disingenuous 
expressions, but what he invidiously designeth to expose, 
beyond his ability to gainsay, or with any pretence of sober 
learning to reply unto. But I give it up into the hands of 
those who are more concerned in the chastisement of such 
imaginations ; only I cannot but tell this author what I 
have learned by long observation, namely, that those who in 
opposing others make it their design to, [give,] and place their 
confidence in, false representations and invidious expressions 
of their judgments and opinions, waving a true stating of 
the things in difference, and weighing of the arguments 
wherewith they are confirmed, whatever pretence they may 
make of confidence and contempt of them with whom they 
have to do ; yet this way of writing proceeds from a secret 


sense of their disability to maintain their own opinions, of 
to reply to the reasonings of their adversaries in a fair and 
lawful disputation ; or from such depraved affections as are 
sufficient to deter any sober person from the least commu- 
nication in those principles which are so pleaded for. And 
the same I must say of that kind of writing which in some 
late authors fills up almost every page in their books, which 
beyond a design to load the persons of men with reproaches 
and calumnies, consist only in the collecting of passages 
here and there, up and down, out of the writings of others, 
which as cut off from the body of their discourses and de- 
sign of the places which they belong unto, may with a little 
artifice either of addition or detraction, with some false 
glosses, whereof we shall have an immediate instance, be 
represented weak or untrue, or improper, or some way or 
other obnoxious to censure. When diligence, modesty, love 
of truth, sobriety, true use of learning, shall again visit the 
world in a more plentiful manner, though differences should 
continue amongst us ; yet men will be enabled to manage 
them honestly, without contracting so much guilt on them- 
selves, or giving such fearful offence and scandal unto 
others. But I return. 

That wherein I am particularly concerned is the close 
wherewith he winds up this candid, ingenious discourse, 
p. 74. He quotes my words, 'That the soul consents to take 
Christ on his own terms to save him in his own way ; and 
saith. Lord I would have had thee and salvation in my way, 
that it might have been partly of mine endeavours, and as 
it were by the works of the law (that is, by obeying the laws 
of the gospel), but I am now willing to receive thee, and to 
be saved in thy way, merely by grace (that is, without doing 
any thing, without obeying thee). The most contented 
spouse, certainly that ever was in the world, to submit to 
such hard conditions as to be saved for nothing. But what 
a pretty compliment doth the soul make to Christ after all 
this, when she adds ; And though I would have walked ac- 
cording to my own mind, yet now I wholly give up myself 
to be ruled by the Spirit.' 

If the reader will be at the pains to look on the discourse 
whence these passages are taken, I shall desire no more of 
his favour but that he profess himself to be a Christian, and 


then let him freely pronounce whether he find any thing in 
it obnoxious to censure. Or I desire that any man who hath 
not forfeited all reason and ingenuity unto faction and party, 
if he differ from me, truly to state wherein, and oppose what 
I have said, with an answer unto the testimonies wherewith 
it is confirmed, referred unto in the margin of my discourse. 
But the way of this author's proceeding, if there be no plea 
to be made for it from his ignorance and unacquaintedness 
not only with the person of Christ, but with most of the 
other things he undertakes to write about, is altogether in- 
excusable. The way whereby I have expressed the consent 
of the soul in the receiving of Jesus Christ to be justified, 
sanctified, saved by him, I still avow, as suited unto the 
mind of the Holy Ghost, and the experience of them that 
really believe. And whereas I added, that before believing 
the soul did seek for salvation by the works of the law, as 
it is natural unto all, and as the Holy Ghost affirms of 
some whose words alone I used, and expressly quoted 
that place from whence I took them, namely, Rom.ix. 31, 32. 
this man adds as an exposition of that expression, * that is, 
by obeying of the laws of the gospel.' But he knew that 
these were the words of the apostle, or he did not ; if he 
did not, nor would take notice of them so to be, although di- 
rected to the place from whence they are taken, it is evident 
how meet he is to debate matters of this nature and con- 
cernment, and how far he is yet from being in danger to 
pore out his eyes in reading the Scripture, as he pretends. 
If he did know them to be his words, why doth he put such 
a sense upon them as in his own apprehension is derogatory 
to gospel-obedience ? Whatever he thought of beforehand, 
it is likely he will now say, that it is my sense, and not the 
apostle's which he intends. But how will he prove that I in- 
tended any other sense than that of the apostle ? How should 
this appear ? Let him, if he can, produce any word in my 
whole discourse intimating any other sense. Nay, it is evi- 
dent that I had no other intention but only to refer unto 
that place of the apostle and the proper sense of it, wliich is 
to express the mind and actings of those, who being igno- 
rant of the righteousness of God, go about to establish their 
own righteousness, as he farther explains himself, Rom. x. 
3, 4. Tliat I could not intend obedience unto the laws of 


the gospel is so evident, that nothing but abominable preju- 
dice or ignorance could hinder any man from discerning it. 
For that faith which I expressed by the soul's consent to 
take Christ as a saviour and a ruler, is the very first act of 
obedience unto the gospel ; so that therein or thereon to ex- 
clude obedience unto the gospel, is to deny what I assert, 
which, under the favour of this author, I understand myself 
better thin to do. And as to all other acts of obedience 
unto the laws of the gospel, following and proceeding from 
sincere believing, it is openly evident that I could not un- 
derstand them, when I spake only of what was antecedent 
unto them. And if this man knows not what transactions 
are in the minds of many before they do come unto the ac- 
ceptance of Christ on his own terms, or believe in him ac- 
cording to the tenor of the gospel, there is reason to pity the 
people that are committed unto his care and instruction, 
what regard soever ought to be had unto himself. And his 
pitiful trifling in the exposition he adds of this passage, ' to 
be saved without doing any thing, without obeying thee, 
and the law,' do but increase the guilt of his prevarications; 
for the words immediately added in my discourse are, ' and 
alt4iough I have walked according unto mine own mind, yet 
now I wholly give up myself to be ruled by thy Spirit;' which 
unto the understanding of all men who understand any thing 
in these matters, signify no less than an engagement unto 
the universal relinquishment of sin, and entire obedience 
unto Jesus Christ in all things. But this, saith he, ' is a 
pretty compliment that the soul makes to Christ after all.' 
But why is this to be esteemed only a pretty compliment? 
It is spoken at the same time, and as it were with the same 
breath, there being in the discourse no period between this 
passage and that before. And why must it be esteemed 
quite of another nature, so that herein the soul should only 
compliment, and be real in what is before expressed ? What 
if one should say it was real only in this latter expression and 
engagement, that the former was only a pretty compliment? 
May it not with respect unto my sense and intention (from 
any thing in my words or that can be gathered from them or 
any circumstances of the place) be spoken with as much re- 
gard unto truth and honesty ? What religion these men are 
of I know not ; if it be such as teacheth them these prac- 


tices, and countenanceth them in them, I openly declare that 
I am not of it, nor would be so for all that this world can 
afford. I shall have done, when I have desired him to take 
notice, that I not only believe and maintain the necessity of 
obedience unto all the laws, precepts, commands, and insti- 
tutions of the gospel, of universal holiness, the mortification 
of all sin, fruitfulness in good works, in all that intend or 
design salvation by Jesus Christ ; but also have proved and 
confirmed my persuasion and assertions by better and more 
cogent arguments than any, which by his writings he seems 
as yet to be acquainted withal. And unless he can prove 
that I have spoken or written any thing to the contrary, or 
he can disprove the arguments whereby I have confirmed it, 
I do here declare him a person altogether unfit to be dealt 
withal about things of this nature, his ignorance or malice 
being invincible ; nor shall I on any provocation ever here- 
after take notice of him until he hath mended his manners. 

His third section, p. 76. consists of three parts. First, 
'That some' (wherein it is apparent, that 1 am chiefly, if not 
only) intended, ' do found a religion upon a pretended ac- 
quaintance with Christ's person without and besides the 
gospel ;' whereunto he opposeth his running title of, * no ac- 
quaintance with Christ but by revelation.' Secondly, A sup- 
position of a scheme of religion drawn from the knowledge 
of Christ's person, whereunto he opposeth another which he 
judgeth better. Thirdly, An essay to draw up the whole plot 
and design ofChristianity, with the method of the recovery of 
sinners unto God. In the first of these, I suppose that I am, if 
not solely, yet principally intended ; especially considering 
what he affirms, pp. 98, 99. namely, that ' I plainly confess 
our religion is wholly owing unto acquaintance with the per- 
son of Christ, and could never have been clearly and saving- 
ly Jearned from the gospel, had we not first grown acquainted 
with his person.' Now herein there is an especial instance 
of that truth and honesty wherewith my writings are enter- 
tained by this sort of men. It is true, I have 'asserted that 
it is necessary for Christians to know Jesus Christ, to be 
acquainted with his person, that is (as I have fully and 
largely declared it in the discourse excepted against), the 
glory of his divine nature, the purity of his human, the infi- 
nite condescension of his person in the assumption of our 


nature, his love and grace, &,c. as is at large there declared 5 
and now I add, that he by whom this is denied, is no Chris- 
tian. Secondly, I have taught that by this knowledge of the 
person of Christ, or an understanding of the great mystery 
of godliness, God manifested in the flesh, which we ought 
to pray for and labour after, we come more fully and clearly 
to understand sundry other important mysteries of heavenly 
truth, which without the knowledge of Christ we cannot at- 
tain unto. And how impertinent this man's exceptions are 
against this assertion we have seen already. But thirdly. 
That this knowledge of Christ, or acquaintance with him, is 
to be attained before we come to know the gospel, or by any 
other means than the gospel, or is any other but the decla- 
ration that is made thereof in and by the gospel, was never 
thought, spoken, or written by me, and is here falsely sup- 
posed by this author, as elsewhere falsely charged on me. 
And I again challenge him to produce any one letter or 
tittle out of any of my writings to give countenance unto this 
frontless calumny. And therefore, although I do not like his 
expression, p. 77. ' Whoever would understand the religion 
of our Saviour, must learn it from his doctrine, and not from 
his person,' for many reasons I could give ; yet I believe no 
less than he, that the efficacy of Christ's mediation depend- 
ing oil God's appointment, can be known only by revelation, 
and t::;.t no man can draw any one conclusion from the per- 
son of Christ, which the gospel hath not expressly taught; 
because we can know no more of its excellency, worth, and 
works, than what is there revealed ; whereby he may see how 
miserably ill-will, malice, or ignorance have betrayed him 
into the futilous pains of writing this section upon a con- 
trary supposition falsely imputed unto me. And as for his 
drawing schemes of religion I must tell him, and let him dis- 
prove it if he be able, I own no religion, no article of faith, 
but what are taught expressly in the Scripture, mostly con- 
firmed by the ancient general councils of the primitive 
church, and the writings of the most learned fathers' against 
all sorts of heretics, especially the Gnostics, Photinians, and 
Pelagians, consonant to the articles of the church of Eng- 
land, and the doctrine of all the reformed churches of Eu- 
rope. And if in the exposition of any place of Scripture I 
dissent from any, that for the substance of it own the reli- 


gion I do, I do it not without cogent reasons from the Scrip- 
ture itself; and where, in any opinions which learned men 
have, and it may be always had different apprehensions about, 
which hath not beeii thought to prejudice the unity of faith 
amongst them, I hope I do endeavour to manage that dissent 
with that modesty and sobriety which becometh me. And as 
for the schemes, plots, or designs of religion or Christianity 
given us by this author, and owned by him, it being taken pre- 
tendedly from the person of Christ, when it is hoped that he 
may have a better to give us from the gospel, seeing lie hath 
told us we must learn our religion from his doctrine and not 
from his person; besides that it is liable unto innumerable ex- 
ceptions in particular which may easily be given in against 
it, by such as have nothing else to do, whereas it makes no 
mention of the effectual grace of Christ and the gospel for 
the conversion and sanctification of sinners, and the necessity 
thereof unto all acts of holy obedience, it is merely Pelagian, 
and stands anathematized by sundry councils of the ancient 
church. I shall not therefore concern myself farther in any 
passages of this section, most of them wherein it reflects on 
others standing in competition for truth and ingenuity with 
the foundation and design of the whole ; only I shall say 
that the passage of pp. 88, 89. ' This made the divine goodness 
so restlessly zealous and concerned for the recovery of man- 
kind ; various ways he attempted in former ages, but with 
little success, as I observed before, but at last God sent his 
Son our Lord Jesus Christ into the world,' without a very 
cautious explanation and charitable construction, is false, 
scandalous, and blasphemous. For allow this author, who 
contends so severely for propriety of expressions against 
allusions and metaphors, to say that the divine goodness 
was restlessly zealous and concerned (for indeed such is our 
weakness that whether we will or no, we must sometimes 
learn and teach divine things, in such words as are suited to 
convey an apprehension of them unto our minds, though in 
their application unto the divine nature, they are incapable 
of being understood in the propriety of their signification, 
though this be as untowardly expressed as any thing I have 
of late met withal), yet what colour can be put upon, what 
excuse can be made for this doctrine, ' That God in former 
ages by various ways attempted the recovery of mankind but 


with little success/ I know not. Various attempts in God 
for any end without success, do not lead the mind into right 
notions of his infinite wisdom and omnipotency. And that 
God by anyway at anytime attempted the recovery of man- 
kind, distinctly and separately from the sending of his Son, 
is lewdly false. 

In the greatest part of his fourth section, entitled, 'How 
men pervert the Scripture to make it comply with their fancy,' 
I am not much concerned, save that the foundation of the 
whole, and that which animates his discourse from first to 
last, is laid in an impudent calumny, namely, that ' I declare 
that our religion is wholly owing to an acquaintance with 
the person of Christ, and could never have been clearly and 
savingly learned from his gospel, had we not first grown ac- 
quainted with his person.' This shameless falsehood is that 
alone whence he takes occasion and confidence to reproach 
myself and others, to condemn the doctrine of all the re- 
formed churches, and openly to traduce arid vilify the Scrip- 
ture itself. I shall only briefly touch on some of the im- 
potent dictates of this great corrector of divinity and reli- 
gion. His discourse of accommodating Scripture expressions 
to men's own dreams, pp. 99 — 101 . being such as any man may 
use concerning any other men on the like occasion, if they 
have a mind unto it, and intend to have no more regard to 
their consciences than some others seem to have, may be 
passed by; p. 102. he falls upon the ways of expounding 
Scripture among those whom he sets himself against, and 
positively affirms, * that there are two ways of it in great 
vogue among them. First, By the sound and clink of the 
words and phrases which, as he says, is all some men un- 
derstand by keeping a form of sound words. Secondly, When 
this will not do, they reason about the sense of them from 
their own preconceived notions and opinions, and prove that 
this must be the meaning of Scripture, because otherwise it 
is not reconcileable to their dreams, which is called ex- 
pounding Scripture by the analogy of faith.' 

Thus far he ; and yet we shall have the same man not 
long hence pleading for the necessity of holiness. But I 
wish for my part he would take notice, that I despise that 
holiness and the principles of it, which will allow men to 
coin, invent, and publish such notorious untruths against 


any sort of men whatever. And whereas by what immedi- 
diately follows, I seem to be principally intended in this 
charge, as I know the untruth of it, so I have published some 
expositions on some parts of the Scripture to the judgment 
of the Christian world, to which I appeal from the censures 
of this man and his companions, as also for those which if 
I live and God will I shall yet publish ; and do declare that 
for reasons very satisfactory to my mind, 1 will not come to 
him nor them, to learn how to expound the Scripture. 

But he will justify his charge by particular instances, 
telling us, p. 102. 'Thus when men are possessed with a 
fancy of an acquaintance with Christ's person, then to know 
Christ can signify nothing else but to know his person and 
all his personal excellencies, and beauties, fullness, and pre- 
ciousness, &c. And when Christ is said to be made wisdom 
to us, this is a plain proof that we must learn all our spi- 
ritual wisdom from an acquaintance with his person, though 
some duller men can understand no more by it than the wis- 
dom of those revelations Christ hath made of God's will to 
the world.' I would beg of this man that if he hath any re- 
gard unto the honour of Christian religion or care of his 
own soul, he would be tender in this matter, and not reflect 
with his usual disdain upon the knowledge of the person of 
Christ. I must tell him again, what all Christians believe, 
Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God incar- 
nate. The person of Christ is Christ himself, and nothing 
else ; his personal excellencies are the properties of his 
person, as his two natures are united therein, and as he was 
thereby made meet to be the Mediator between God and 
man. To know Christ, in the language of the Scripture, the 
whole church of God ancient and present, in common sense 
and understanding, is to know the person of Christ as re- 
vealed and declared in the gospel with respect unto the 
ends for which he is proposed and made known therein. 
And this knowledge of him, as it is accompanied with and 
cannot be without the knowledge of his mind and will de- 
clared in his precepts, promises, and institutions, is effectual 
to work and produce in the souls of them who so know him, 
that faith in him, and obedience unto him, which he doth re- 
quire. And what would this man have? He who is other- 
wise minded hath renounced his Christianity, if ever he had 


any^ and if he be thus persuaded, to what purpose is it to 
be set up and combat the mormos and chimeras of his own 
imagination ? Well then I do maintain that to know Christ 
according to the gospel, is to know the person of Christ, 
for Christ and his person are the same. Would he now have 
me to prove this by testimonies or arguments or the consent 
of the ancient church ? I must beg his excuse at present, 
and so for the future, unless I have occasion to deal with 
Gnosticks, Familists, or Quakers. And as for the latter 
clause, wherein Christ is said to be made wisdom unto us, 
he says, * some duller men can understand no more by it 
than the wisdom of those revelations Christ hath made of 
God's will to the world/ who are dull men indeed, and so let 
them pass. 

His ensuing discourses in pp. 103 — 105. contain the bold- 
est reflections on, and openest derisions of, the expressions 
and way of teaching spiritual things warranted in and by 
the Scripture, that to my knowledge I ever read in a book 
licenced to be printed by public authority. As in particular 
the expressions of faith in Christ by 'coming unto him' and 
' receiving of him,' which are the words of the Holy Ghost, 
and used by him in his wisdom to instruct us in the nature 
of this duty, are amongst others the subjects of his scorn. 
The first part of it, though I remember not to have given 
any occasion to be particularly concerned in it, I shall 
briefly consider, p. 103. ' Thus when men have first learned 
from an acquaintance with Christ, to place all their hopes 
of salvation in a personal union with Christ, from whom 
they receive the free communications of pardon and grace, 
righteousness and salvation, what more plain proof can any 
man who is resolved to believe this, desire of it, than 1 John 
V. 12. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not 
the Son hath not life. And what can having the Son sig- 
nify but having an interest in him, being made one with him, 
though some will be so perverse as to imderstand it of be- 
lieving, and having his gospel. But the phrase of having 
the Son confutes that dull and moral interpretation, especi- 
ally when we remehiber it is called, being in Christ, and 
abiding in him, which must signify a very near union be- 
tween Christ's person and us.' 

I suppose that expression of ' personal union' sprung out 


of design, and not out of ignorance ; for if I mistake not, 
he doth somewhere in his book take notice that it is dis- 
claimed, and only a union of believers with or unto the per- 
son of Christ asserted ; or if it be his mistake, all comes to 
the same issue. Personal or hypostatical union is that of 
different natures in the same person, giving them the same 
singular subsistence. This none pretend unto with Jesus 
Christ; but it is the union of believers unto the person of 
Christ, which is spiritual and mystical, whereby they are in 
him and he in them, and so are one with him, their head, as 
members of his mystical body, which is pleaded for herein, 
with the free communications of grace, righteousness, and sal- 
vation, in the several and distinct ways whereby we are capa- 
ble to receive them from him, or be made partakers of them, 
we place all hopes of salvation. And we do judge more- 
over that he who is otherwise minded must betake himself 
unto another gospel, for he completely renounceth that in 
our Bibles. Is this our crime, that which we are thus 
charged with, and traduced for? Is the contrary hereunto 
the doctrine that the present church of England approveth 
and instructs her children in ? Or doth any man think that 
we will be scared from our faith and hope, by such weak 
and frivolous attempts against them? Yea, but it may be, 
it is not so much the thing itself, as the miserable proof 
which we produce from the Scripture in the confirmation of 
it, for we do it from that of the apostle, 1 John v. 12. If he 
think that we prove these things only by this testimony, he 
is mistaken at his wonted rate. Our faith herein is built 
upon innumerable express testimonies of the Scripture, in- 
deed the whole revelation of the will of God and the way of 
salvation by Jesus Christ in the gospel. Those who prove 
it also from this text, have sufficient ground and reason for 
what they plead. And notwithstanding the pleasant scoff- 
ing humour of this author, we yet say, that it is perverse folly 
for any one to say, that the having of the Son or Christ, ex- 
pressed in the text, doth intend either the having an inte- 
rest in him and union with him, or the obeying of his gospel, 
exclusively to the other, these being inseparable and in- 
cluded in the same expression. And as to what he adds 
about being in Christ and abiding in him, which are the 
greatest privileges of believers, and that as expressed in 

VOL. X. 2 c 


words taught by the Holy Ghost, it is of the same strain of 
profaneness with much of what ensues, which I shall not 
farther inquire into. 

I find not myself concerned in his ensuing talk, but only 
in one reflection on the words of the Scripture, and the repe- 
tition of his old putid and shameless calumny, p. 108. 
until we come to p. 126. where he arraigns an occasional 
discourse of mine about the necessity of holiness and good 
works, wherein he hath only filched out of the whole what 
he thought he could wrest unto his end, and scoffingly de- 
scant upon. I shall therefore for once transcribe the whole 
passage as it lies in my book, and refer it to the judgment 
of the reader, p. 206. 

The second objection is, ' that if the righteousness and 
obedience of Christ to the law, be imputed unto us, then 
what need we yield obedience ourselves?' To this also 
I shall return answer as briefly as I can, in the ensuing ob- 
servations. Then, 

1. The placing of our gospel-obedience on the right foot 
of account, that it may neither be exalted into a state, con- 
dition, use, nor end, not given it of God; nor any reason, 
cause, motive, end, necessity of it on the other hand, taken 
away, weakened, or impaired, is a matter of great importance. 
Some make our obedience, the works of faith, our works, the 
matter or cause of our justification; some the condition of 
the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, some the qua- 
lification of the person justified, on the one hand ; some 
exclude all the necessity of them, and turn the grace of 
God into lasciviousness, on the other. To debate these 
differences, is not my present business ; only I say, on this 
and other accounts, the right stating of our obedience is of 
great importance as to our walking with God. 

2. We do by no means assign the same place, condition, 
state, and use, to the obedience of Christ imputed to us, and 
our obedience performed to God ; if we did, they were 
really inconsistent. And therefore, those who affirm that 
our obedience is the condition or cause of our justification, 
do all of them deny the imputation of the obedience of 
Christ unto us. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to 
us, as that on the account whereof we are accepted, and es- 
teemed righteous before God, and are really so, though not 


inherently. We are as truly righteous with the obedience 
of Christ imputed to us, as Adam was or could have been, 
by a complete righteousness of his own performance. So 
Rom. V. 18. 'By his obedience we are made righteous;' 
made so truly, and so accepted, as by the disobedience of 
Adam we are truly made trespassers and so accounted. And 
this is that which the apostle desires to be found in, in oppo- 
sition to his own righteousness; Phil. iii. 9. But our own 
obedience is not the righteousness whereupon we are ac- 
cepted and justified before God, although it be acceptable to 
God, that we should abound therein. And this distinction 
the apostle doth evidently deliver and confirm, so as nothing 
can be more clearly revealed ; Eph. ii. 8 — 10. 'For by grace 
we are saved, through faith ; and this not of ourselves ; it 
is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should 
boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus 
unto good works, which God hath prepared that we should 
walk in them.' We are saved, or justified (for that is 
whereof the apostle treats), by grace through faith, which 
receives Jesus Christ and his obedience, not of works lest 
any manshould boast; but what works are they which the 
apostle intends ? The works of believers, as in the very be- 
ginning of the next words, is manifest ; 'for we are ;' we be- 
lievers, with our obedience and our works of whom I speak. 
Yea, but what need then of works ? Need still there is, ' We 
are his workmanship,' &c. Two things the apostle intimates 
in these words. 

First, A reason why we cannot be saved by works ; 
namely, because we do them not in or by our own strength, 
which is necessary we should do if we will be saved by them, 
or justified by them ; but this is not so, saith the apostle, 
for ' we are the workmanship of God,' 8cc. all our works are 
wrought in us, by full and effectual undeserved grace. 

Secondly, An assertion of the necessity of good works, 
notwithstanding that we are not saved by them, and that is, 
that God has ordained that we shall walk in them ; which 
is a sufficient ground of our obedience whatever be the use 
of it. 

If you will say then. What are the true and proper gos- 
pel-grounds, reasons, uses, and motives of our obedience, 
whence the necessity thereof may be demonstrated, and our 



souls be stirred up, to abound and be fruitful therein ? I say, 
they are so many and lie so deep in the mystery of the 
gospel, and dispensation of grace, spread themselves so 
throughout the whole revelation of the will of God unto us, 
that to handle them fully and distinctly, and to give them 
their due weight, is a thing that I cannot engage in, lest I 
should be turned aside from what I principally intend. I 
shall only give you some brief heads of w^hat might at large 
be insisted on. 

1. Our universal obedience and good works are indis- 
pensibly necessary from the sovereign appointment and will 
of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

(1.) In general. 'This is the will of God even our sanc- 
tification' or holiness ; I Thess. iv. 3. This is that which God 
wills, which he requires of us, that we be holy, that we be 
obedient, that we do his will as the angels in heaven. The 
equity, necessity, profit, and advantage of this ground of our 
obedience, might at large be insisted on. And were there 
no more this might suffice alone. If it be the will of God it 
is our duty. 

(1.) The Father had ordained or appointed it. * It is the 
will of the Father;' Eph. ii. 10. The Father is spoken of 
personally; Christ being mentioned as mediator. 

(2.) The Son hath ordained and appointed it as mediator ; 
John XV. 16. 'I have ordained you that you should bring 
forth fruit' (of obedience),' and that it should remain.' And, 

(3.) The Holy Ghost appoints and ordains believers to 
works of obedience and holiness, and to work holiness in 
others : so in particular. Acts xiii. 2. He appoints and de- 
signs men to the great work of obedience in preaching the 
gospel, and in sinning, men sin against him. 

2. Our holiness, our obedience, work of righteousness, 
is one eminent and especial end of the peculiar dispensation 
of Father, Son, and Spirit, in the business of exalting the 
glory of God in our salvation ; of the electing love of the 
Father, the purchasing love of the Son, and the operative 
love of the Spirit. 

(1.) It is a peculiar end of the electing love of the Father; 
Eph. i. 4. ' He hath chosen us that we should be holy and 
unblameable.' So Isa. iv. 3, 4. His aim and design in 
choosing of us was, ' that we should be holy and unblameable 


before him in love.' This he is to accomplish, and will 
bring about in them that are his. ' He chooses us to sal- 
vation, through the sanctification of the Spirit, and belief 
of the truth ;' 2 Thess. ii. 12. This the Father designed as 
the first and immediate end of electing love; and proposes 
the consideration of that love as a motive to holiness ; 
John iv. 8—10. 

(2.) It is so also of the exceeding love of the Son, whereof 
the testimonies are innumerable. I shall give but one or 
two. Tit. ii. 14. ' Who gave himself for us, that he might 
sanctify and redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to him- 
self a peculiar people, zealous of good works.* This was his 
aim, his design, in giving himself for us ; asEph. v. 25 — 27. 
'Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he 
might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the 
word ; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, 
not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it 
should be holy and without blemish ;' 2 Cor. v. 15. Rom. vi. 5. 

(3.) It is the very work of the love of the Holy Ghost ; 
his whole work upon us, in us, for us, consists in preparing 
of us for obedience, enabling of us thereunto, and bringing 
forth the fruits of it in us ; and this he dothin opposition to 
a righteousness of our own, either before it, or to be made 
up by it; Tit. iii. 4. I need not insist on this ; the fruits of 
the Spirit in us are known ; Gal. v. 22. 

And thus have we a twofold bottom of the necessity of 
our obedience, and personal holiness. God hath appointed 
it, he requires it. And it is an eminent immediate end of 
the distinct dispensation of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
in the work of our salvation. If God's sovereignty over us 
is to be owned ; if his love towards us be to be regarded ; if 
the whole work of the ever-blessed Trinity for us, in us, be 
of any moment, our obedience is necessary. 

3. It is necessary in respect of the end thereof; and that 
whether you consider God, ourselves, or the world. 

(1.) The end of our obedience in respect of God, is his 
glory and honour; Mai. i. 6. This is God's honour, all that 
we give him. It is true he will take his honour from the 
stoutest and proudest rebel in the world ; but all we give him, 
is in our obedience. The glorifying of God by our obedience, 
is all that we are or can be. Particularly, 


[1.] It is the glory of the Father, Matt. v. 16. * Let your 
light so shine before ineii;, that they may see your good 
works, and glorify your Father which is heaven.' By our 
walking in the light of faith, doth glory arise to the Father. 
The fruits of his love, of his grace, of his kindness, are seen 
upon us, and God is glorified in our behalf. And, 

[2.] The Son is glorified thereby. It is the will of God, 
that as all men honour the Father, so should they honour 
the Son; John v. 23. And how is this done? By believing in 
him; John xiv. 1. obeying of him. Hence, John xvii. 10. 
he says he is glorified in believers; and prays for an in- 
crease of grace and union for them, that he may yet be more 
glorified, and all might know that as mediator he was sent 
of God. 

[3.] The Spirit is glorified also by it : he is grieved by 
our disobedience; Eph. iv. 30. and therefore his glory is 
in our bringing forth fruit. He dwells in us as in his tem- 
ple, which is not to be defiled. Holiness becometh his ha- 
bitation for ever. 

Now if this that hath been said, be not sufficient to evince 
a necessity of our obedience, we must suppose ourselves to 
speak with a sort of men, who regard neither the sovereignty 
nor love, nor glory of God, Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. Let 
men say what they please, though our obedience should be 
all lost, and never regarded, which is impossible (for God 
is not unjust to forget our labour of love), yet here is a suffi- 
cient bottom, ground, and reason, of yielding more obedience 
unto God than ever we shall do, whilst we live in this world. 
I speak also only of gospel-grounds of obedience, and not 
of those that are natural and legal, which are indispensible 
to all mankind. 

(2.) The end in respect of ourselves immediately, is three- 
fold. [L] Honour. [2.] Peace. [3.] Usefulness. 

[1.] Honour. It is by holiness that we are made like 
unto God, and his image is renewed again in us. This was 
our honour at our creation ; this exalted us above all our 
fellow-creatures here below ; we were made in the image of 
God. This we lost by sin, and became like the beasts that 
perish. To this honour of conformity to God, of bearing 
his image, are we exalted again by holiness alone. 'Be ye 
holy,' says God, 'because I am holy;' 1 Pet. i. 16. * And be 


ye perfect/ that is, in doing good, ' as your heavenly Father 
is perfect ;' Matt. v. 48. in a likeness and conformity to 
him. And herein is the image of God renewed ; Eph. iv. 
23, 24. * Therein we put on the new man, which after God is 
created in righteousness and holiness of truth.' This was 
that which originally was attended with power and do- 
minion; is still all that is beautiful or comely in the world. 
How it makes men honourable and precious in the sight of 
God, of angels, of men ; how alone it is that which is not 
despised, which is of price before the Lord; what contempt 
and scorn he hath of them in whom it is not, in what abo- 
mination he hath them and all their ways, might easily be 

[2.] Peace. By it we have communion with God, 
wherein peace alone is to be enjoyed. * The wicked are like 
a troubled sea that cannot rest, and there is no peace to 
them, saith my God ;' Isa. xlviii. 21. There is no peace, 
rest, or quietness, in a distance, separation, or alienation 
from God ; he is the rest of our souls ; in the light of his 
countenance is life and peace. Now if we walk in the light 
as he is light, 'we have fellowship one with another ;' 1 John 
i. 7. and ' verily our fellowship is with the Father, and with 
his Son Jesus Christ ;' ver. 3. He that walks in the light of 
new obedience, he hath communion with God, and in his 
presenee is fulness of joy for ever : without is there nothing 
but darkness, and wandering, and confusion. 

[3.] Usefulness. A man without holiness is good for 
nothing ; ' Ephraim,' says the prophet, * is an empty vine, 
that brings forth fruit to itself.' And what is such a vine 
good for? Nothing, saith another prophet, a man cannot 
make a pin of it, so much as to hang a vessel on. A barren 
tree is good for nothing, but to be cut down for the fire. 
Notwithstanding the seeming usefulness of men, who serve 
the providence of God in their generations, I could easily 
manifest that the world and the church might want them, 
and that indeed in themselves they are good for nothing ; 
only the holy man is commune bonum. 

(3.) The end of it in respect of others in the world is 

[1.] It serves to the conviction, and stopping the mouths 
of some of the enemies of God, both here and hereafter. 


1st. Here. 1 Pet. iii. 16. Keeping a good conscience, that 
wherein they speak against you as evil doers they may be 
ashamed, beholding your good conversation in Christ.' By 
our keeping of a good conscience, men will be made ashamed 
of their false accusations ; that whereas their malice and 
hatred of the ways of God, hath provoked them to speak 
all manner of evil of the profession of them ; by the holi- 
liness and righteousness of the saints, they are convinced 
and made ashamed, as a thief is when he is taken, and driven 
to acknowledge that God is amongst them, and that they 
are wicked themselves ; Job xvii. 23. 

2dly. Hereafter. It is said that the saints shall judge the 
world. It is on this as well as upon other considerations ; 
their good works, their righteousness, their holiness, shall be 
brought forth, and manifested to all the world, and the righte- 
ousness of God's judgments against wicked men, be thence 
evinced. See, says Christ, these are they that I own, whom 
you so despised and abhorred ; and see their works following 
them, this and that they have done, when you wallowed in 
your abominations; Matt. xxv. 42, 43. 

[2.] The conversion of others. 1 Pet. ii. 12. ' Having 
your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas 
they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good 
works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visi- 
tation.' Matt. V. 17. Even revilers, persecutors, evil speak- 
ers, have been overcome by the constant holy walking of 
professors, and when their day of visitation hath come, have 
glorified God on that account; 1 Pet. iii. 1, 2. 

[3.] The benefit of all ; partly, in keeping of judgments 
from the residue of men, ""as ten good men would have pre- 
served Sodom ; partly, by their real communication of good 
to them, with whom they have to do in their generation. 
Holiness makes a man a good man, useful to all; and others 
eat of the fruits of the Spirit, that he brings forth con- 

4. It is necessary in respect of the state and condition 
of justified persons; and that whether you consider their 
relative state of acceptation, or their state of sanctification. 

(1.) They are accepted and received into friendship with 
a holy God ; a God of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; 

» Gen. xviii. 32,33. 


who hates every unclean thing. And is it not necessary, 
that they should be holy who are admitted into his presence, 
walk in his sight, yea, lie in his bosom? Should they not 
with all diligence * cleanse themselves from all pollution of 
flesh and Spirit, and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord?' 

(2.) In respect of sanctification ; we have in us a new 
creature; 2 Cor. v. 17. This new creature is fed, cherished, 
nourished, kept alive by the fruits of holiness. To what end 
hath God given us new hearts and new creatures ? Is it 
that we should kill them, stifle the creature that is found in 
us, in the womb? That we should give him to the old man 
to be devoured ? 

5. It is necessary in respect of the proper place of ho- 
liness in the new covenant, and that is twofold. 

(1.) Of the means unto the end; God hath appointed 
that ''holiness shall be the means, the way, to that eternal 
life, which as in itself and originally is his gift, by Jesus 
Christ, so with regard to his constitution of our obedience, 
as the means of attaining it, is a reward ; and God in be- 
stowing of it a rewarder. Though it be neither the cause, 
matter, nor condition of our justification, yet it is the way 
appointed of God, for us to walk in, for the obtaining of 
salvation f and therefore, he that hath hope of eternal life, 
purifies himself, as he is pure ; and none shall ever come 
to that end, who walketh not in the way ; for without holi- 
ness it is impossible to see God. 

(2.) It is a testimony and pledge of adoption; a sign and 
evidence of grace, that is, of acceptation with God. And, 

(3.) The whole expression of our thankfulness. Now 
there is not one of all these causes and reasons of the ne- 
cessity, the indispensible necessity of our obedience, good 
works, and personal righteousness, but would require a more 
large discourse to unfold and explain, than I have allotted 
to the proposal of them all ; and innumerable others there 
are of the same import, that I cannot name. He that upon 
these accounts doth not think universal holiness and obe- 
dience to be of indispensible necessity, unless also it be ex- 

•> Rom. vi. 23. Heb. xi. 6. Gen. xv. 1. Psal. xix. 11. Iviii. 11. Malt. v. 12. 
X. 11. Rom. iv. d. Col. ii. 18. iii. 24.. Heb. x. 35. xi. 26. 
<• 2 Pet. ii. 15. 


alted into the room of the obedience and righteousness of 
Christ, let him be filthy still.' 

I confess this whole discourse proceedeth on the suppo- 
sition of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ unto 
us, for our justification. And herein I have as good com- 
pany as the prelacy and whole church of England can afford; 
sundry from among them have written large discourses in 
its confirmation, and the rest having till of late approved of 
it in others. I wish this man, or any of his companions in 
design, would undertake the answering of Bishop Downham 
on this subject. No man ever carried this matter higher 
than Luther, nor did he in all his writings more positively 
and plainly contend for it, than in his comment on the Epis- 
tle to the Galatians ; yet was that book translated into 
English by the approbation of the then bishop of London, 
who also prefixed himself a commendatory epistle unto it. 
The judgment of Hooker we have heard before. But what 
need I mention in particular any of the rest of those great 
and learned names who have made famous the profession of 
the church of England by their writings throughout the 
world ? Had this man in their days treated this doctrine 
with his present scoffing petulancy, he had scarce been rec- 
tor of St. George, Botolph Lane, much less filled with such 
hopes and expectations of future advancements, as it is not 
impossible that he is now possessed with, upon his memo- 
rable achievements. But on this supposition I do, first, ap- 
peal to the judgment of the church of England itself, as to 
the truth of the doctrine delivered in my discourse, and the 
principles which this man proceedeth on in his exceptions 
against it. 2. Though it be but a part of a popular dis- 
course and never intended for scholastic accuracy, yet as 
to the assertions contained in it, I challenge this author to 
take and allow the ordinary usual sense of the words with 
the open design of them, and to answer them when he can. 
And 3. In the meantime I appeal unto every indiflferent 
reader whether the mere perusal of this whole passage, do 
not cast this man's futilous cavils out of all consideration ; 
so that I shall only content myself with very few remarks 
upon them. 

1. Upon my asserting the necessity of good works, he 


adds, * a very suspicious word, which methinks these men 
should be afraid to name.' And why so ? We do acknow- 
ledge that we do not seek for righteousness by the works of 
the law ; we design not our personal justification by them ; 
nor to merit life or salvation, but betake ourselves unto what 
even Bellarmine himself came to at last as the safest retreat, 
namely, the merits and righteousness of Christ ; but for 
attendance iinto them, performance of them, and fruitfulness 
in" them, we are not afraid nor ashamed at any time to enter 
into judgment with them by whom we are traduced. And 
as I have nothing to say unto this author who is known unto 
me only by that portraiture and character which he hath 
given of himself in this book, which I could have wished for 
his own sake had been drawn with a mixture of more lines 
of truth and modesty ; so I know there are not a few, who 
in the course of a vain worldly conversation, whilst there is 
scarce a back or belly of a disciple of Christ that blesseth 
God upon the account of their bounty or charity (the foot- 
steps of levity, vanity, scurrility, and profaneness, being 
moreover left upon all the paths of their haunt), are wont to 
declaim about holiness, good works, and justification by 
them, which is a ready way to instruct men to atheism, or 
the scorn of every thing that is professed in religion. But 
yet, 2. He shews how impotent and impertinent our argu- 
ments are for the proof of the necessity of holiness. And 
as to the first of them from the commands of God, he saith, 
' that if after all these commands, God hath left it indifferent 
whether we obey him or no, I hope such commands cannot 
make obedience necessary.' Wonderful divinity ! A man 
must needs be well acquainted with God and himself who 
can suppose that any of his commands shall leave it indif- 
ferent, whether we will obey them or no. Yea, ' but will he 
damn men if they do not obey his commands for holiness?' 
Yes, yes, no doubt he will do so. Yea, ' but we may be not- 
withstanding this command justified and saved without this 
holiness.' False and impertinent; we are neither justified 
nor saved without them, though we are not j ustified by them, 
nor saved for them. 

Unto my enforcement of the necessity of holiness 
from the ends of God in election and redemption, he re- 
plies, p. 127. ' The Father hath elected us to be holy, and 


the Son redeemed us to be holy ; but will the Father 
elect and the Son redeem none but those who are holy, 
and reject and reprobate all others? Doth this election 
and redemption suppose holiness in us, or is it with- 
out any regard to it? For if we be elected and redeemed 
without any regard unto our own being holy, our election 
and redemption is secure whether we be holy or not.' Won- 
derful divinity again ! Election and redemption suppose ho- 
liness in us. We are elected and redeemed with regard unto 
our own holiness ; that is antecedently unto our election and 
redemption : for holiness being the effect and fruit of them, 
is that which he opposeth: Not many pages after this, he 
falls into a great admiration of the catechism of the church 
of England, which none blamed that I know of, as to what 
is contained in it. But it were to be wished that he had 
been well instructed in some others, that he might not have 
divulged and obtruded on the world such crude and palpable 
mistakes. For this respect, of redemption at least, unto an 
antecedent holiness in us, that is antecedent unto it, is such 
a piece of foppery in religion as a man would wonder how 
any one could be guilty of, who hath almost pored out his 
eyes in reading the Scripture. All the remaining cavils of 
this chapter are but the effects of the like fulsome ignorance ; 
for out of some passages scraped together from several 
parts of my discourse (and those not only cut off from their 
proper scope and end which is not mentioned by him at all, 
but also m.angled in their representation), he would frame 
the appearance of a contradiction between what I say on the 
one hand, that there is no peace with God to be obtained by 
and for sinners but by the atonement that is made for them 
in the blood of Jesus Christ, with the remission of sin and 
justification by faith which ensue thereon ; which I hope I 
shall not live to hear denied by the church of England, and 
the necessity of holiness and fruitfulness in obedience, to 
maintain in our own souls a sense of that peace with God 
which we have being justified by faith. And he who under- 
stands not the consistency of those things hath little reason 
to despise good catechisms, whatever thoughts he hath had 
of his own sufficiency. 

The whole design of what remains of this section, is to 
insinuate that there can be no necessity of holiness or obe- 


dience unto God unless we are justified and saved thereby, 
wiiich I knew not before to have been, nor indeed do yet 
know it to be, the doctrine of the church of England. But 
be it whose it will, I am sure it is not that of the Scripture, 
and I have so disproved it in other discourses which this 
man may now see if he please, as that I shall not here again 
reassume the same argument ; and although I am weary of 
consulting this woful mixture of disingenuity and ignorance, 
yet I shall remark somewhat on one or two passages more, 
and leave him if he please unto a due apprehension that 
what remains is unanswerable scoffing. 

The first is that of p. 131. * But however holiness is ne- 
cessary with respect to sanctification, we have in us a new 
creature ; 2 Cor. v. 17. this new creature is fed, cherished, 
nourished, and kept alive, by the fruits of holiness. To what 
end hath God given us new hearts and new natures? Is it 
that we should kill them, stifle the creature that is formed 
in us, in the womb ? that we should give him to the old 
man to be devoured ? The phrase of this is admirable, and 
the reasoning unanswerable ; for if men be new creatures 
they will certainly live nevf lives, arid this makes holiness 
absolutely necessary by the same reason that every thing 
necessarily is what it is ; but still we inquire after a neces- 
sary obligation to the practice of holiness, and that we can- 
not yet discover.' 

The reader will see easily how this is picked out of the 
whole discourse, as that which he imagined would yield 
some advantage to reflect upon ; for let him pretend what 
he please to the contrary, he hath laid this end too open to 
be denied, and I am no way solicitous what will be his suc- 
cess therein. Had he aimed at the discovery of truth he 
ought to have examined the whole of the discourse, and not 
thus have rent one piece of it from the other.' As to the 
phrase of speech which I use, it is I acknowledge metapho- 
rical, but yet being used only in a popular way of instruc- 
tion, is sufficiently warranted from the Scripture, which ad- 
ministers occasion and gives countenance unto every ex- 
pression in it, the whole being full well understood by those 
who are exercised in the life of God. And for the reason- 
ing of it, it is such as I know this man cannot answer; for 
the new creature, however he may fancy, is not a new con- 


versation, noi* a living holily, but it is the principle and spi- 
ritual ability produced in believers by the power and grace 
of the Holy Ghost, enabling them to v^alk in newness of life 
and holiness of conversation. And this principle being be- 
stowed on us, wrought in us, for that very end, it is neces- 
sary for us, unless we will neglect and despise the grace 
which we have received, that we walk in holiness, and abound 
in the fruits of righteousness, whereunto it leads and tends. 
Let him answer this if he can, and when he hath done so, 
answer the apostle in like manner, or scoff not only at me 
but at him also. 

The last passage I shall remark upon in this section is what 
he gives us as the sum of the whole, p. 135. 'The sum of 
all is, that to know Christ is not to be thus acquainted with 
his person, but to understand his gospel in its full latitude 
and extent ; it is not the person but the gospel of Christ 
which is the way, the truth, and the life, which directs us in 
the way to life and happiness. And again, this acquaint- 
ance with Christ's person, which these men pretend to is 
only a work of fancy, and teaches men the arts of hypo- 
crisy,' &c. 

I do not know that ever I met with any thing thus crudely 
asserted among the Quakers in contempt of the person of 
Christ ; for whereas he says of himself expressly, ' I am the 
way, the truth, and the life,' to say he is not so (for Jesus 
Christ is his person and nothing else), carries in it a bold 
contradiction, both parts of which cannot be true. When 
the subject of a proposition is owned, there may be great 
controversy about the sense of the predicate ; as when Christ 
says he is the vine : there may be so also about the subject 
of a proposition, when the expression is of a third thing, 
and dubious ; as where Christ says 'this is my body :' but 
when the person speaking is the subject, and speaks of him- 
self, to deny what he says, is to give him the lie. ' I am the 
way, and the truth, and the life,' saith Christ; he is not 
saith our author, but the gospel is so. If he had allowed our 
Lord Jesus Christ to have spoken the truth, but only to have 
added, though he was so, yet he was so no otherwise but by 
the gospel, there had been somewhat of modesty in the ex- 
pression ; but this saying that the person of Christ is not, 
the gospel is so, is intolerable. It is so however, that this 


young man without consulting, or despising the exposition 
of all divines ancient or modern, and the common sense of 
all Christians should dare to obtrude his crude and indigested 
conceptions, upon so great a word of Christ himself, coun- 
tenanced only by the corrupt and false glosses of some ob- 
scure Socinians, which some or other may possibly in due 
time mind him of; I have other work to do. 

But according to his exposition of this heavenly oracle, 
what shall any one imagine to be the sense of the context, 
where ' I' and ' me' spoken of Christ do so often occur. Sup- 
pose that the words of that whole verse, ' 1 am the way, the 
truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by me,' 
have this sense ; not Christ himself is the way^ truth, and 
the life, but the gospel ; no man cometh to the Father but 
by me, that is, not by me, but by the gospel ; must not all 
the expressions of the same nature in the context have the 
same exposition? as namely, ver. 1. *Ye believe in God be- 
lieve also in me ;' that is, not in me but in the gospel : ' I 
go to prepare a place for you ;' that is, not I do so but the 
gospel : ver. 3. * I will come again and receive you to my- 
self;' that is, not I but the gospel will do so. And so of all 
other things which Christ in that place seems to speak of 
himself. If this be his way of interpreting Scripture, I won- 
der not that he blames others for their defect and miscar- 
riages therein. 

When I first considered these two last sections, I did 
not suspect but that he had at least truly represented my 
words which he thought meet to reflect upon and scoff at ; 
as knowing how easy it was for any one whose conscience 
would give him a dispensation for such an undertaking, to 
pick out sayings and expressions from the most innocent 
discourse, and odiously to propose them as cut off from their 
proper coherence ; and under a concealment of the end 
and the principal sense designed in them. Wherefore I 
did not so much as read over the discourse excepted 
against, only once or twice observing my words as quoted 
by him not directly to comply with what I knew to be 
ray sense and intention 1 turned unto the particular places 
to discover his prevarication. But having gone through 
this ungrateful task, I took the pains to read over the 
whole digression in my book which his exceptions are 


levelled against ; and upon ray review of it, my admira- 
tion of his dealing was not a little increased ; I cannot there- 
fore, but desire of the most partial adherers unto this cen- 
surer of other men's labours, judgments, and expressions, 
but once to read over that discourse, and if they own them- 
selves to be Christians, I shall submit the whole of it, with 
the consideration of his reflections upon it, unto their judg- 
ments. If they refuse so to do, 1 let them know I despise 
their censures, and do look on the satisfaction they take in 
this man's scoffing reflections, as the laughter of fools, or 
the crackling of thorns under a pot. For those who will be 
at so much pains to undeceive themselves, they will find 
that that expression of the person of Christ is but once or 
twice used in all that long discourse, and that occasionally, 
which by the outcries here made against it, any one would 
suppose to have filled up almost all the pages of it. He will 
find also that I have owned and declared the revelation that 
God hath made of himself, the properties of his nature, and 
his will in his works of creation and providence in its full 
extent and efficacy ; and that by the knowledge of God in 
Christ which I so much insist upon, I openly, plainly, and 
declaredly, intend nothing but the declaration that God 
hath made of himself in Jesus Christ by the gospel, whereof 
the knowledge of his person, the great mystery of godliness, 
God manifested in the flesh, with what he did and suffered, 
as the Mediator between God and man, is the chiefest in- 
stance ; in which knowledge consisteth all our wisdom of 
living unto God. Hereon I have no more to add, but that 
he by whom these things are denied or derided, doth openly 
renounce his Christianity. And that I do not lay this unto 
the charge of this doughty writer, is because I am satisfied 
that he hath not done it out of any such design, but partly 
out of ignorance of the things which he undertakes to write 
about, and partly to satisfy the malevolence of himself and 
some others against my person, which sort of depraved affec- 
tions where men give up themselves unto their prevalency, 
will blind the eyes, and pervert the judgments of persons as 
wise as he. 

In the first section of his fourth chapter lam not parti- 
cularly concerned, and whilst he only vents his own con- 
ceits, be they never so idle or atheological, I shall never 


trouble myself either with their examination or confutation. 
So many as he can persuade to be of his mind, that we have 
no union with Christ but by virtue of union with the church, 
the contrary whereof is absolutely true ; that Christ is so a 
head of rule and government unto the church, as that he is 
not a head of influence and supplies of spiritual life, con- 
trary to the faith of the Catholic church in all ages ; that 
these assertions of his have any countenance from antiquity, 
or the least from the passages quoted out of Chrysostom by 
himself; that his glosses upon many texts of Scripture, 
which have an admirable coincidence with those of two 
other persons v/hom I shall name when occasion requires it, 
are sufficient to affix upon them the sense which he pleads 
for, with many other things of an equal falsehood andimper- 
tinency wherewith this section is stuffed, shall, without any 
farther trouble from me, be left to follow their own inclina- 
tions. But yet, notwithstanding all the great pains he hath 
taken to instruct us in the nature of the union between 
Christ and believers ; I shall take leave to prefer that o-iven 
by Mr. Hooker before it, not only as more true and ao-ree- 
able unto the Scripture, but also as better expressing the 
doctrine of the church of England in this matter. And if 
these things please the present rulers of the church, wherein 
upon the matter Christ is shufflejd off, and the whole of our 
spiritual union is resolved into the doctrine of the gospel, 
and the rule of the church by bishops and pastors, let it im- 
ply what contradiction it will, as it doth the highest, seeing 
it is by the doctrine of the gospel that we are taught our 
union with Christ, and his rule of the church by his laws 
and Spirit, I have only the advantage to know somewhat 
more than I did formerly, though not much to my satis- 

But he that shall consider what reflections are cast in 
this discourse, on the necessity of satisfaction to be made 
unto divine justice, and from whom they are borrowed ; the 
miserable weak attempt that is made therein, to <educe all 
Christ's mediatory actings unto his kingly office, and in 
particular his intercession ; the faint mention that is made 
of the satisfaction of Christ, clogged with the addition of 
ignorance of the philosophy of it, as it is called, well enough 
complying with them who grant that the Lord Christ did 
VOL. X. 2d 


what God was satisfied withal, with sundry other things of 
the like nature ; will not be to seek whence these things 
come, nor whither they are going, nor to whom our author 
is beholden for most of his rare notions, which it is an easy 
thing at any time to acquaint him withal. 

The second section of this chapter is filled principally 
with exceptions against my discourse, about the personal 
excellencies of Christ as mediator, if I may not rather say, 
with the reflections on the glory of Christ himself. For my 
own discourse upon it I acknowledge to be weak, and not 
only inconceivably beneath the dignity and merit of the 
subject, but also far short of what is taught and delivered 
by many ancient writers of the chxirch unto that purpose ; 
and for his exceptions, they are such a composition of igno- 
rance and spite, as is hardly to be paralleled. His entrance 
upon his work is, p. 200. as followeth: 'Secondly, Let us 
inquire what they mean by the person of Christ, to which 
believers must be united. And here they have outdone all 
the metaphysical subtleties of Suarez, and have found out a 
person for Christ distinct from his Godhead and manhood; 
for there can be no other sense made of what Dr. Owen tells 
us, that by the graces of his person he doth not mean the 
glorious excellencies of his Deity considered in itself, ab- 
stracting from the office which for us as God and man he 
undertook, nor the outward appearance of his human nature 
when he conversed here on earth, nor yet as now exalted in 
glory, but the graces of the person of Christ, as he is vested 
with the office of mediation ; his spiritual eminency, come- 
liness, beauty, as appointed and anointed by the Father 
unto that great work of bringing home all his elect into his 
bosom. Now unless the person of Christ as mediator, be 
distinct from his person as God-man, all this is idle talk ; for 
what personal graces are there in Christ as mediator, which 
do not belong to him either as God or man ? There are some 
things indeed which our Saviour did and suffered, which 
he was not obliged to, either as God or man, but as media- 
tor ; but surely he will not call the peculiar duties and ac- 
tions of an office personal graces.' 

I have now learned not to trust unto the honesty and 
ingenuity of our author, as to his quotations out of my book, 
which I find that he hath here mang^led and altered as in 


Other places, and shall therefore transcribe the whole pas- 
sage in my own words, p. 51. 'It is Christ as mediator of 
whom we speak ; and therefore by the grace of his person I 
understand not, first. The glorious excellencies of his Deity 
considered in itself, abstracting from the office which for us 
as God and man he undertook : nor secondly. The outward 
appearance of his human nature, neither when he conversed 
here on earth bearing our infirmities, whereof by reason of 
the charge that was laid upon him, the prophet gives quite 
another character, Isa. Hi- 14. concerning which some of 
the ancients are very poetical in their expressions ; nor yet 
as now exalted in glory, a vain imagination whereof, makes 
many bear a false, a corrupted respect unto Christ, even 
upon carnal apprehensions of the mighty exaltation of the 
human nature, which is but to know Christ after the flesh, 
a mischief much improved by the abomination of foolish 
imager}?-. But this is that which 1 intend ; the graces of 
the person of Christ as he is vested with the office of me- 
diation, his spiritual eminency, comeliness, and beauty, &c. 
Now in this respect the Scripture describes him as exceed- 
ing excellent, comely, and desirable, far above comparison 
with the choicest, chiefest, created good, or any endowment 
imaginable ;' which I prove at large from Psal. xlv. 2. Isa» 
iv. 2. Cant. v. 9. adding an explanation of the whole. 

In the digression, some passages whereof he carps at in 
this section, my design was to declare, as was said, some- 
what of the glory of the person of Christ ; to this end I con- 
sidered both the glory of his divine and the many excellencies 
of his human nature. But that which I principally insisted 
on was the excellency of his person as God and man in one, 
whereby he was meet and able to be the mediator between 
God and man, and to effect all the great and blessed ends of 
his mediation. That our Lord Jesus Christ was God, and that 
there were on that account in his person the essential excel- 
lencies and properties of the divine nature, I suppose he will 
not deny; nor will he do so, that he was truly man, and that 
his human nature was endowed with many glorious graces and 
excellencies which are peculiar thereunto. That there is a 
distinct consideration of his person as both these natures are 
united therein, is that which he seems to have a mind to ex- 
cept against. And is it meet that any one who hath ought 

2 i> 2 


else to do, should spend any moments of that time which he 
knows how better to improve, in the pursuit of a man's im~ 
pertinencies, who is so bewilded in his own ignorance and 
confidence, that he knov/s neither where he is, nor what he 
says. Did not the Son of God by assuming our human na- 
ture, continuing what he was, become what he was not ? Was 
not the person of Christ by the communication of the pro- 
perties of each nature in it and to it, a principle of such 
operations as he could not have wrought either as God or 
man, separately considered ? How else did God ' redeem his 
church with his own blood V Or how is that true which he 
says, John iii. 13. * And no man hath ascended up to heaven, 
but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man 
which is in heaven?' Was not the union of the two natures 
in the same person (which was a property neither of the di- 
vine nor human nature, but a distinct ineffable effect of divine 
condescension, wisdom, and grace, which the ancients unani- 
mously call the grace of union whose subject is the person 
of Christ) that whereby he was fit, meet, and able for all the 
works of his mediation? Doth not the Scripture moreover 
propose unto our faith and consolation the glory, power, and 
grace, of the person of Christ, as he is 'God over all blessed for 
ever ;' and his love, sympathy, care, and compassion as man 
yet all acting themselves in the one and selfsame person of 
the Son of God ? Let him read the first chapter of the Epistle 
to the Hebrews and see what account he can give thereof. 
And are not these such principles of Christian religion as no 
man ought to be ignorant of, or can deny without the guilt 
of the heresies condemned in the first general councils? And 
they are no other principles which my whole discourse ex- 
cepted against, doth proceed upon. But, saith our author, 
'unless the person of Christ as mediator be distinct from his 
person as God-man, all this is idle talk.' Very good! and 
why so ? Why, ' what personal graces are there in Christ as 
mediator which do not belong unto him either as God or 
man?' But is he not ashamed of this ignorance? Is it not 
a personal grace and excellency that he is God and man in 
one person which belongs not to him either as God or man ? 
And are there not personal operations innumerable de- 
pending hereon, which could not have been wrought by him 
either as God or man, as raising himself from the dead by 


his own power and redeeming the church with his blood? Are 
not most of the descriptions that are given us of Christ in 
the Scripture, most of the operations which are assigned unto 
him, such as neither belong unto, nor proceed from, the 
divine or human nature, separately considered, but from the 
person of Christ as both these natures are united in it? 
That which seems to have led him into the maze, wherein 
he is bewildered in his ensuing discourse, is, that con- 
sidering there are but two natures in Christ, the divine and 
the human, and nature is the principle of all operations, he 
supposed that nothing could be said of Christ, nothing as- 
cribed to his person, but what was directly formally predi- 
cated of one of his natures, distinctly considered. But he 
might have easily inquired of himself, that seeing all the 
properties and acts of the divine nature are absolutely di- 
vine, and all those of the human nature absolutely human, 
whence it came to pass that all the operations and works of 
Christ as mediator are theandrkal. Although there be no- 
thing in the person of Christ but his divine and human na- 
ture, yet the person of Christ is neither his divine nature nor 
his human ; for the human nature is and ever was of itself 
avuTTOCTraroc, and the divine, to the complete constitution of 
the person of the Mediator in and unto its own hypostasis, as- 
sumed the human, so that although every energy or operation 
be ApatrrtK/j t^c (pixTtijog Kivr}aig, and so the distinct natures are 
distinct principles of Christ's operations, yet his person is the 
principal or only agent, which being God-man, all the actions 
thereof by virtue of the communication of properties of both 
natures therein are theandrical ; and the excellency of this 
person of Christ, wherein he was every way fitted for the work 
of mediation, I call sometimes his personal grace, and will not 
go to him to learn to speak and express myself in these things. 
And it is most false which he affirms, p. 203. ' That 1 distin- 
guish the graces of Christ's person as mediator, from the 
graces of his person as God and man.' Neither could any 
man have run into such an imagination, who had compe- 
tently understood the things which he speaks about ; and 
the bare proposal of these things is enough to defeat the de- 
sign of all his ensuing cavils and exceptions. 

And as to what he closeth withal, that ' Surely I will not 
call the peculiar duties and actions of an office personal 


graces;' I suppose that he knoweth not well what he intends 
thereby. Whatever he hath fancied about Christ being the 
name of an office, Jesus Christ of whom we speak is a per- 
son and not an office ; and there are no such things in re- 
rum natiira as the actions of an office. And if by them he 
intends the actions of a person in the discharge of an office, 
whatever he calls them, I will call the habits in Christ from 
whence all his actions in the performance of his office do 
proceed, personal graces, and that whether he will or no. So 
he is a 'merciful, faithful, and compassionate high-priest;' 
Heb, ii. 17. iv. 15. v. 2. And all his actions in the discharge 
of his office of priesthood being principled and regulated by 
those qualifications, I do call them his personal graces, and 
do hope that for the future I may obtain his leave so to do. 
The like may be said of his other offices. 

The discourse which he thus raves against is didactical, 
and accommodated unto a popular way of instruction, and it 
hath been hitherto the common ingenuity of all learned men 
to give an allowance unto such discourses, so as not to exact 
from them an accuracy and propriety in expressions, such as 
is required in those that are scholastical or polemical. It is 
that which by common consent is allowed to the tractates of 
the ancients of that nature, especially where nothing is 
taught but what for the substance of it is consonant unto 
the truth. But this man attempts not only a severity in 
nibbling at all expressions which he fancieth liable untahis 
censures, but with a disingenuous artifice waving the tenor 
and process of the discourse, which I presume he found not 
himself able to oppose, he takes out sometimes here, some- 
times there, up and down, backward and forward, at his plea- 
sure what he will, to put if it be possible an ill sense upon 
the whole. And if he have not hereby given a sufficient dis- 
covery of his good will towards the doing of somewhat to 
my disadvantage, he hath failed in his whole endeavour ; for 
there is no expression which he hath fixed on as the subject 
of his reflections, which is truly mine ; but that as it is used 
by me, and with respect unto its end, I will defend it against 
him and all his co-partners, whilst the Scripture may be al- 
lowed to be the rule and measure of our conceptions and ex- 
pressions about sacred things. And although at present I 
am utterly wearied with the consideration of such sad triflings. 


I shall accept from him the kindness of an obligation to so 
much patience as is necessary unto the perusal of the en- 
suing leaves wherein I am concerned. 

First, p. 202. he would pick something if he knew what 
out of my quotations of Cant. v. 9. to express or illustrate 
the excellency of Christ, which first he calls an excellent 
proof by way of scorn. But as it is far from being the only 
proof produced in the confirmation of the same truth, and is 
applied rather to illustrate what was spoken, than to prove 
it; yet by his favour, I shall make bold to continue my ap- 
prehensions of the occasional exposition of the words which 
I have given in that place, until he is pleased to acquaint 
me with a better, which I suppose will be long enough. For 
what he adds, ' But however white and ruddy belong to his 
divine and human i].ature,and that without regard to his me- 
diatory oflSce, for he had been white in the glory of his Deity, 
and ruddy with the red earth of his humanity, whether he 
had been considered as mediator or not ;' it comes from the 
same spring of skill and benevolence with those afore. For 
what wise talk is it of Christ's being God and man, with- 
out the consideration of his being mediator, as though he 
were ever, or ever should have been, God and man, but with 
respect unto his mediation. His scoff at the red earth of 
Christ's humanity represented as my words, is grounded 
upon a palpable falsification ; for my words are, * he was also 
ruddy in the beauty of his humanity. Man was called Adam 
from the red earth whereof he was made. The word here 
used, points him out as the second Adam, partaker of flesh 
and blood, because the children also partook of the same.' 
And if he be displeased with these expressions, let him take 
his own time to be pleased again, it is that wherein I am not 
concerned. But my fault which so highly deserved his cor- 
rection is, that I apply that to the person of Christ which 
belongs unto his natures. But what if 1 say no such thing, 
or had no such design in that place? For although 1 do 
maintain a distinct consideration of the excellency of 
Christ's person, as comprising both his natures united, though 
eveiy real thing in his person belongs formally and radically 
unto one of the natures (those other excellencies being the 
exurgency of their union), whereby his person was fitted and 
suited unto his mediatory operations, which in neither na- 


ture singly considered he could have performed, and shall 
continue to maintain it against whosoever dares directly to 
oppose it; yet in this place I intended it not, which this 
man knew well enough, the very next words unto what he 
pretends to prove it, being 'The beauty and comeliness of 
the Lord Jesus Christ in the union of both these in one per- 
son shall afterward be declared.' And so we have an equality 
in judgment and ingenuity throughout this censure. 

Hence he leaps to p. 64. of my book, thence backwards 
to p. 53. and then up and down I know not how nor whither. 
He begins with p. 64. 'And in his first digression concern- 
ing the excellency of Christ Jesus, to invite us to communion 
with him in a conjugal relation, he tells us that Christ is ex- 
ceeding excellent and desirable in his Deity, and the glory 
thereof; he is desirable and worthy our acceptation as con- 
sidered in his humanity, in his freedom from sin, fulness of 
grace, &c. Now though this looks very like a contradiction, 
that by the graces of his person he meant neither the excel- 
lencies of his divine nor human nature, yet he hath a salvo 
which will deliver him both from contradiction and from 
sense, that he doth not consider these excellencies of his 
Deity or humanity as abstracted from his office of mediator, 
though he might if he pleased ; for he considers those ex- 
cellencies which are not peculiar to the office of mediation, 
but which would have belonged unto him as God and man, 
whether he had been mediator or not : but what becomes of 
his distinction of the graces of Christ's person as mediator, 
from the graces of his person as God and man, when there 
are no personal graces in Christ but what belong to his Deity 
or his humanity?' 

1 am sufficiently satisfied that he neither knows where 
he is, nor what he doth, or hath no due comprehension of 
the things he treats about- That which he opposeth, if he 
intend to oppose any thing by me asserted, is, that whereas 
Christ is God, the essential properties of his divine nature 
are to be considered as the formal motive unto, and object, 
of faith, love, and obedience; and whereas he is man also, 
his excellencies in the glorious endowment of his human 
nature, with his alliance unto us therein, and his furniture 
of grace for the discharge of his office, are proposed unto 
our faith and love in the Scripture. And of these things we 


ought to take a distinct consideration ; our faith concerning 
them being not only taught in the Scripture, but fully con- 
firmed in the confessions and determinations of the primitive 
church. But the person of Christ wherein these two na- 
tures are united, is of another distinct consideration, and 
such things are spoken thereof as cannot under any single 
enunciation be ascribed unto either nature, though nothing 
be so but what formally belongs unto one of them, or is the 
necessary consequent and exurgency of their union. See 
Isa. ix. 6. 2 Tim. iii. 16. John i. 14. It is of the 'glory of 
the Word of God made flesh,' that I discourse. But this 
man talks of what would have belonged to Christ as God- 
man, whether he had been mediator or not, as though the 
Son of God either was, or was ever designed to be, or can 
be considered as God-man, and not as mediator. And 
thence he would relieve himself by the calumny of assign- 
ing a distinction unto me between the graces of Christ's 
person as mediator, and the graces of his person as God 
and man, that is one person, which is a mere figment of his 
own misunderstanding. Upon the whole he comes to that 
accurate thesis of his own, that there are no personal graces 
in Christ but what belong to his Deity or humanity ; personal 
graces belonging unto the humanity or human nature of 
Christ, that nature being avuTroraKro, or such as hath no per- 
sonal subsistence of its own, is a notion that those may 
thank him for who have a mind to do it. And he may do 
well to consider what his thoughts are of the grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, mentioned Phil. ii. 7 — 11. 

But he will now discover the design of all these things, 
and afterward make it good by quotations out of my book. 
The first he doth p. 203. and onwards. ' But whatever be- 
comes of the sense of the distinction, there is a very deep 
fetch in it, the observing of which will discover the whole 
mystery of the person of Christ, and our union to him. For 
these men consider that Christ saves us as he is our Me- 
diator, and not merely considered as God or man ; and they 
imagine that we receive grace and salvation from Christ's 
person, just as we do water out of a conduit, or a gift and 
largess from a prince, that it flows to us from our union to 
his person, and therefore they dress up the person of the 
Mediator with all those personal excellencies and graces 


which may make him a fit Saviour, that those who are thus 
united to his person, of which more in the next section, 
need not fear missing of salvation. Hence they ransack all 
the boundless perfections of the Deity, and whatever they 
can find or fancy speaks any comfort to sinners, this is pre- 
sently a personal grace of the Mediator. They consider all 
the glorious effects of his mediation, and whatever great 
things are spoken of his gospel, or religion, or intercession 
for us, these serve as personal graces : so that all our hopes 
may be built not on the gospel covenant, but on the person 
of Christ; so that the dispute now lies between the person 
of Christ and his gospel, which must be the foundation of 
our hope, which is the way to life and happiness.' 

First, We do consider and believe that Christ saves us 
as a mediator, that is, as God and man in one person, ex- 
ercising the office of a mediator, and not merely as God or 
man. This we believe with all the Catholic church of Christ, 
and can with boldness say, he that doth not so, let him be 
anathema, maranatha. Secondly, We do not imagine, but 
believe from the Scripture, and with the whole church of 
God, that we receive grace and salvation from the person of 
Christ, in those distinct ways wherein they are capable of 
being received ; and let him be anathema who believes 
otherwise. Only, whether his putting of grace. and salvation 
into the same way of reception, belong unto his accuracy in 
expressing his own sentiments, or his ingenuity in the repre- 
sentation of other mien's words, I leave undetermined. The 
similitudes he useth to express our faith in these things, 
shew his good will towards scoffing and profaneness. We 
say, there is real communication of grace from the person 
of Christ as the head of the church unto all the members of 
his mystical body by his Spirit, whereby they are quickened, 
sanctified, and enabled unto all holy obedience; and if it be 
denied by him, he stands anathematized by sundry councils 
of the ancient church. We say not, that we receive it as 
water out of a conduit, which is of a limited, determined 
capacity, whereas we say the person of Christ, by reason of 
his Deity, is an immense, eternal, living spring or fountain of 
ail grace. And when God calls himself a 'fountain of living 
water,' and the Lord Christ calls his Spirit communicated 
to believers * living water,' under which appellations he was 


frequently promised in the Old Testament, as also the grace 
and mercy of the gospel, the * waters of life,' inviting us to 
receive them, and to drink of them, this author may be ad- 
vised to take heed of profane scoffing at these things. Whe- 
ther any have said that w^e receive grace and salvation from 
Christ as a gift or largess from a prince I know not ; if they 
have, the sole defect therein is that the allusion doth no 
way sufficiently set forth the freedom and bounty of Christ 
in the communication of them unto sinners, and wherein 
else it offends, let him soberly declare if he can. This is the 
charge upon us in point of faith and judgment, which in one 
word amounts to no more but this, that we are Christians, 
and so by the grace of God we intend to continue, let this man 
deride us whilst he pleaseth. Thirdly, His next charge con- 
cerns our practice in the pursuit of these dreadful principles, 
which by their repetition he hath exposed to scorn. 'And 
therefore they dress up,' &c. What doth this poor man in- 
tend? What is the design of all this profaneness? The de- 
claration of the natures and person of Christ, of his grace 
and work, the ascribing unto him what is directly and ex- 
pressly in terms ascribed unto him in the Scripture, or re- 
lating as we are able, the description it gives of him, is here 
called, * dressing up the person of the Mediator with all those 
personal graces that may make him a fit Saviour.' 

The preparation of the person of Christ to be a fit and 
meet Saviour for sinners, which he profanely compares to 

the dressing up of is the greatest, most glorious, 

and admirable effect that ever infinite wisdom, goodness, 
power, and love wrought and produced, or will do so unto 
eternity. And those on whom he reflects, design nothing, 
do nothing in this matter, but only endeavour according to 
the measure of the gift of Christ which they have received, 
to declare and explain what is revealed and taught in the 
Scripture thereof; and those who exceed the bounds of 
Scripture revelation herein (if any do so), we do abhor. And 
as for those who are united unto Christ, although we say not 
that they need not fear missing of salvation, seeing they are 
to be brought unto it not only through the exercise of all 
graces, whereof fear is one, but also through such trials and 
temptations as will always give them a fear of heed and di- 
ligence, and sometimes such a fear of the event of things, as 


shall combat their faith, and shalse its firmest resolves, yet we 
fear not to say, that those who are really united unto Jesus 
Christ, shall be assuredly saved , which I have proved elsewhere 
beyond the fear of any opposition from this author or others 
like minded. Fourthly, He adds hence, 'They ransack,' &c. 
But what is the meaning of these expressions ? Doth not the 
Scripture declare, that Christ is God as well as man? Doth 
it not build all our faith, obedience, and salvation, on that 
consideration ? Are not the properties of the divine nature 
everywhere in the Scripture declared and proposed unto us, 
for the ingenerating and establishing faith in us, and to be 
the object of, and exercise of all grace and obedience ? And 
is it now become a crime, that any should seek to declare 
and instruct others in these things from the Scripture, and 
to the same end for which they are therein revealed ? Is this 
with any evidence of sobriety to be traduced as a ' ransacking 
the boundless perfections of the divine nature, to dress up 
the person of the Mediator?' Is he a Christian, or doth he 
deserve that name, who contemns or despiseth the consi- 
deration of the properties of the divine nature in the person 
of Christ? (See Isa. vi. 1 — 3. John xii. 41. Isa. ix. 6. John 
i. 14. Phil, ii. 6, 8cc.) or shall think that the grace or excel- 
lencies of his person do not principally consist in them, as 
the human nature is united thereunto? Fifthly, ' They con- 
sider all the glorious effects of his mediation.' All the ef- 
fects of Christ's mediation, all the things that are spoken of 
the gospel, &c. do all of them declare the excellency of the 
person of Christ, as effects declare their cause, and may and 
ought to be considered unto that end as occasion doth re- 
quire ; and no otherwise are they considered by those 
whom he doth oppose. Sixthly, But the end of these strange 
principles and practices he tells us is, ' that all our hopes 
may be built, not on the gospel-covenant, but on the person 
of Christ.' But I say again, What is it that this man intends ? 
What is become of a common regard to God and man ? 
Who do so build their hopes on Christ as to reject or despise 
the gospel-covenant, as he calls it? though I am afraid should 
he come to explain himself, he will be at a loss about the 
true nature of the gospel-covenant, as I find him to be about 
the person and grace of Christ. He telleth us indeed, that 
* not the person of Christ, but the gospel is the way.' Did we 


ever say, ' not the covenant of grace but the person of Christ 
is all we regard?' But whence comes this causeless fear and 
jealousy ; or rather this evil surmise, that if any endeavour 
to exalt the person of Christ, immediately the covenant of 
the gospel (that is in truth the covenant which is declared 
in the gospel), must be discarded ? Is there an inconsistency 
between Christ and the covenant? I never met with any 
who was so fearful and jealous lest too much should be as- 
cribed in the matter of our salvation to Jesus Christ ; and 
when there is no more so, but what the Scripture doth ex- 
pressly and in words assign unto him and affirm of him, in- 
stantly we have an outcry that the gospel and, the covenant 
are rejected, and that a dispute lies between the person of 
Christ and his gospel. But let him not trouble himself, for 
as he cannot, and as he knows he cannot produce any one 
word or one syllable out of any writings of mine, that should 
derogate any thing from the excellency, nature, necessity, or 
use of the new covenant ; so, though it may be he do not, and 
doth therefore fancy and dream of disputes between Christ 
and the gospel, we do know how to respect both the person 
of Christ and the covenant, both Jesus Christ and the gos- 
pel, in their proper places. And in particular we do know, 
that as it is the person of Christ who is the author of the 
gospel, and who as mediator in his work of mediation gives 
life and efficacy and establishment unto the covenant of 
grace; so both the gospel and that covenant do declare the 
glory, and design the exaltation of Jesus Christ himself. 
Speaking therefore comparatively, all our hopes are built on 
Jesus Christ, who alone filleth all things ; yet also we have 
our hopes in God through the covenant declared in the gos- 
pel, as the way designing the rule of our obedience, securing 
our acceptance and reward. And to deal as gently as I can 
warrant myself to do with this writer, the dispute he men- 
tions between the person of Christ and the gospel, which 
shall be the foundation of our hope, is only in his own fond 
imagination, distempered by disingenuity and malevolence. 
For if I should charge what the appearance of his expressions 
will well bear, what he says seems to be out of a design in- 
fluenced by ignorance or heresy, to exclude Jesus Christ 
God and man from being the principal foundation of the 
church, and which all its hopes are built upon. This being 


the sum of his charge, I hope he will fully prove it in the 
quotations from my discourse, which he now sets himself to 
produce ; assuring him that if he do not, but come short 
therein, setting aside his odious and foppish profane de- 
ductions, I do aver them all in plain terms, that he may, on 
his next occa-sion of writing, save his labour in searci/mg 
after what he may oppose. Thus therefore he proceeds, p. 205. 

'To make this appear^ I shall consider that account which 
Dr. Owen gives us of the personal graces and excellencies 
of Christ, which in general consist in three things ; first. 
His fitness to save, from the grace of union, and the proper 
and necessary effects thereof. Secondly, His fulness to save, 
from the grace of communion, or the free consequences of 
the grace of union. And thirdly, His excellency to endear, 
from his complete suitableness to all the wants of the souls 
of men. First, That he is fit to be a Saviour, from the grace 
of union. And if you will understand what this strange grace 
of union is, it is the uniting the nature of God and man in 
one person, which makes him fit to be a Saviour to the ut- 
termost ; he lays his hand upon God, by partaking of his 
nature ; and he lays his hand on us, by partaking of our 
nature ; and so becomes a days-man or umpire between both. 
Now though this be a great truth, that the union of the di- 
vine and human nature in Christ did excellently qualify him- 
for the office of a mediator, yet this is the unhappiest man 
in expressing and proving it, that 1 have met with; for what 
an untoward representation is this of Christ's mediation, 
that he came to make peace, by laying his hands on God 
and men, as if he came to part a fray or scuffle ; and he 
might as well have named Gen. i. 1. or Matt. i. 1. or any 
other place of Scripture for the proof of it, as those he 

To what end it is that he cites these passages out of my 
discourse, is somewhat difficult to divine. Himself con- 
fesseth that what is asserted (at least in one of them), is a 
great truth, only ' 1 am the unhappiest man in expressing and 
proving it that ever he met with.' It is evident enough to 
me, that he hath not met with many who have treated of 
this subject, or hath little understood those he hath met 
withal ; so that there may be yet some behind as unhappy 
as myself. And seeing he hath so good a leisure from other 


occasions, as to spend his time in telling the world how un- 
happy I am in my proving and expressing of what himself 
acknowledgeth to be true, he may be pleased to take notice, 
that I am now sensible of ray own unhappiness also, in 
having fallen under a diversion from better employments by 
such sad and woful impertinencies. But being at once 
charged with both these misadventures, untowardness in ex- 
pression, and weakness in the proof of a plain truth, I shall 
willingly admit of information to mend my way of writing 
for the future. And the first reflection he casts on my ex- 
pressions, is my calling the union of the tv^o natures in 
Christ in the same person, the grace of union, for so he 
says, 'If you would understand what this strange grace of 
union is.' But I crave his pardon in not complying with 
his directions, for my companies' sake. No man who hath 
once consulted the writings of the ancients on this subject, 
can be a stranger unto xct/otc evwo-ewcj and ' gratia unionils,' they 
so continually occur in the writings of all sorts of divines, 
both ancient and modern. Yea, but there is yet worse be- 
hind ; ' for what an outward representation is this of Christ's 
mediation, that he came to make peace by laying his hands 
on God and men, as if he came to part a fray or scufHe.' My 
words are, the uniting of the natures of God and man in one 
person, made him fit to be a Saviour to the uttermost; he 
laid his hand upon God by partaking of his nature, Zech. 
xiii. 7. and he lays his hand upon us by partaking of our 
nature, Heb. ii. 14. 16. and so becomes a days-man or 
umpire between both. See what it is to be adventurous. 
I doubt not but that he thought that I had invented that 
expression, or at least that I was the first whoever applied 
it unto this interposition of Christ between God and man ; 
but as I took the words, and so my warrantry for the ex- 
pression from the Scripture, Job ix. 33. so it hath com- 
monly been applied by divines in the same manner, parti- 
cularly by Bishop Usher (in his Immanuel, p. 8, 9. as I re- 
member), whose unhappiness in expressing himself in di- 
vinity, this man needs not much to bewail. But let my ex- 
pressions be what they will, I shall not escape the unhap- 
piness and weakness of my proofs, for ' I might,' he says, ' as 
well have quoted Gen. i. 1. and Matt. i. 1. for the proof of 
the unity of the divine and human nature in the person of 


Christ, and liis fitness thence to be a Saviour, as those 
I named,' viz. Zech. xiii. 7. Heb. ii. 14. 16. Say you so? 
Why then I do here undertake to maintain the personal 
union, and the fitness of Christ from thence to he a Saviour, 
from these two texts, against this man and all his fraternity 
in design. And at present I cannot but wonder at his con- 
fidence, seeing I am sure he cannot be ignorant that one of 
these places at least, namely, that of Heb. ii. 16. is as much, 
as frequently, as vehemently pleaded by all sorts of divines, 
ancient and modern, to prove the assumption of our human 
nature into personal subsistence with the Son of God, that so 
he might be 'Ikuvoq, fit and able to save us, as any one testi- 
mony in the whole Scripture. And the same truth is as 
evidently contained and expressed in the former, seeing no 
man could be the fellow of the Lord of hosts, but he that 
was partaker of the same nature with him; and no one could 
have the sword of God upon him to smite him, which was 
needful unto our salvation, but he that was partaker of our 
nature, or man also. And the mere recital of these testi- 
monies was sufficient unto my purpose in that place, where 
I designed only to declare, and not dispute the truth. If he 
yet think that I carmot prove what I assert from these tes- 
timonies, let him consult my * Vindiciee Evangelicse,' where 
according as that work required, I have directly pleaded 
these Scriptures to the same purpose, insisting at large on 
the vindication of one of them, and let him answer what I 
have there pleaded, if he be able. And I shall allow him to 
make his advantage unto that purpose, if he please, of what- 
ever evasions the Socinians have found out to escape the force 
of that testimony. For there is none of them of any note, 
but have attempted by various artifices to shield their opinion 
in denying the assumption of our human nature into per- 
sonal union with the Son of God, and therewithal his pre- 
existence unto his nativity of the blessed Virgin, from the 
divine evidence given against it in that place of Heb. ii. 16. 
which yet (if this author may be believed) doth make no 
more against them than Gen. i. 1. Wherefore, this severe 
censure, together with the modesty of the expression, 
wherein Christ making peace between God and man, is com- 
pared to the parting of a fray or scuffle, may pass at the 
same rate and value with those which are gone before. 


His ensuing pages are taken up for the most part with 
the transcription of passages out of my discourse, raked to- 
gether from several places at his pleasure. I shall, not im- 
pose the needless labour on the reader of a third perusal of 
them ; nor shall I take the pains to restore the several pas- 
sages to their proper place and coherence, which he hath 
rent them from, to try his skill and strength upon them se- 
parately and apart ; for I see not that they stand in need 
of using the least of their own circumstantial evidence in 
their vindication. I shall therefore onl}?^ take notice of his 
exceptions against them. And, p. 207. whereas I had said 
on some occasion, that in such a supposition we could have 
supplies of grace only in a moral way, it falls under his de- 
rision in his parenthesis (and that is a very pitiful way 
indeed). But I must yet tell him, by the way, that if he 
allow of no supplies of grace but in a moral way, he is a 
Pelagian, and as such, stands condemned by the Catholic 
church. And when his occasions will permit it, I desire he 
would answer what is written by myself in another discourse, 
in the refutation of this sole moral operation of grace, and 
the assertion of another way of the communication of it unto 
us. Leave fooling, and * the unhappiest man in expressing 
himself that ever I met with,' will not do it ; he must betake 
himself to another course, if he intend to engage into the 
handling of things of this nature. He adds, whereas I had 
said, * the grace of the promises (of the person of Christ you 
mean) :' I know well enough what I mean, but the truth is, 
I know not well what he means ; nor whether it be out of 
ignorance, that he doth indeed fancy an opposition between 
Christ and the promises, that what is ascribed unto the one, 
must needs be derogated from the other, when the promise 
is but the means and instrument of conveying the grace of 
Christ unto us, or whether it proceeds from a real dislike, 
that the person of Christ, that is, Jesus Christ himself 
should be esteemed of any use or consideration in religion, 
that he talks at this rate. But from whence ever it pro- 
ceeds, this cavilling humour is unworthy of any man of in- 
genuity or learning. By his following parenthesis (' a world 
of sin is something'), I suppose I have somewhere used that 
expression, whence it is reflected on ; but he quotes not the 
place, and I cannot find it. I shall therefore only at present 

VOL. X. 2 E 


tell him, as (if I remember aright) I have done already, thai 
I will not come to him nor any of his companions, to learn 
to express myself in these things; and moreover, that I de- 
spise their censures. The discourses he is carping at in 
particular in this place, are neither doctrinal nor argumen- 
tative, but consist in the application of truths before proved 
unto the minds and affections of men. And, as I said, I will 
not come to him nor his fraternity, to learn how to manage 
such a subject, much less a logical and argumentative 
way of reasoning ; nor have any inducement thereunto from 
any thing that as yet I have seen in their writings. It also 
troubles him, p. 208. That whereas I know how unsuited the 
best and most accurate of our expressions are unto the true 
nature and being of divine things, as they are in themselves, 
and what need we have to make use of allusions, and some- 
times less proper expressions, to convey a sense of them unto 
the minds and affections of men, I had once or twice used that 
in other good authors, treating of things of the same nature, he 
knew I could take protection against his severity under the 
example of the apostle using words to the same purpose, 
upon an alike occasion, Heb. vii. But at length he intends 
to be serious, and from those words of mine, 'Here is mercy 
enough for the greatest, the oldest, the stubbornest trans- 
gressor ;' he adds, ' Enough in all reason this : what a com- 
fort is it to sinners to have such a God for their Saviour, 
whose grace is boundless and bottomless, and exceeds the 
largest dimensions of their sins, though there be a world of 
sin in them. But what now if the divine nature itself have 
not such an endless, boundless, bottomless grace and com- 
passion as the doctor now talks of? For at other times, 
when it serves his turn better, we can hear nothing from him 
but the naturalness of God's vindictive justice. Though 
God be rich in mercy, he never told us that his mercy was 
so boundless and bottomless ; he had given a great many 
demonstrations of the severity of his anger against sinners, 
who could not be much worse than the greatest, the oldest, 
and the stubbornest transgressors.' 

Let the reader take notice, that I propose no grace in 
Christ unto or for such sinners, but only that which may 
invite all sorts of them, though under the most discouraging 


qualifications, to come unto him for grace and mercy by 
faith and rejoentance. And on supposition that this was my 
sense, as he cannot deny it to be, I add only in answer, that 
this his profane scoffing at it, is that which reflects on Christ 
and his gospel, and God himself, and his word, which must 
be accounted for. See Isa.lv. 7. Secondly, For the opposition 
which he childishly frames between God's vindictive justice, 
and his mercy and grace, it is answered already. Thirdly, 
It is false, that God hath not told us, that his grace is bound- 
less and bottomless in the sense wherein I use those words, 
sufficient to pardon the greatest, the oldest, the stubbornest 
of sinners ; namely, that turn unto him by faith and repent- 
ance ; and he who knows not how this consists with seve- 
rity and anger against impenitent sinners, is yet to learn his 
catechism. But yet he adds farther, pp. 208, 209. * Sup- 
posing the divine nature were such a bottomless fountain of 
grace, how comes this to be a personal grace of the Media- 
tor? for a mediator as mediator, ought not to be considered 
as the fountain, but as the minister of grace ; God the Fa- 
ther certainly ought to come in for a share at least, in being 
the fountain of grace, though the doctor is pleased to take 
no notice of him. But how excellent is the grace of Christ's 
person, above the grace of the gospel, for that is abounded 
and limited thing, a straight gate and narrow way, that 
leadeth unto life. There is no such boundless mercy as all 
the sins in the world cannot equal its dimensions, as will 
save the greatest, the oldest, and the stubbornest transgres- 

I beg the reader to believe, that I am now so utterly 
weary with the repetition of these impertinences, that I 
can hardly prevail with myself to fill my pen once more with 
ink about them ; and I see no reason now to go on, but 
only that I have begun ; and on all accounts 1 shall be as 
brief as possible. I say then, first, I did not consider this 
boundless grace in Christ as mediator, but considered it as 
in him who is mediator, and so the divine nature with all its 
properties are greatly to be considered in him, if the gospel 
be true. But Secondly, It is untrue, that Christ as mediator 
is only the minister of grace, and not the fountain of it ; for he 
is Mediator, as God and man in one person. Thirdly, To 
suppose an exemption of the person of the Father from being 

2 E 2 


the fountain of grace absolutely, in the order of the divine sub- 
sistence of the persons in the Trinity, and of their operations 
suited thereunto, upon the ascription of it unto the Son, is a 
fond imagination, which could befall no man who understands 
any thing of things of this nature. It doth as well follow, 
that if the Son created the world, the Father did not; if the 
Son uphold all things by the word of his power, the Father 
doth not 5 that is, that the Son is not in the Father, nor the 
Father in the Son. The acts indeed of Christ's mediation 
respect the ministration of grace, being the procuring and 
communicating causes thereof; but the person of Christ the 
Mediator is the fountain of grace. So they thought who be- 
held his glory, ' the glory as of the only begotten of the Fa- 
ther full of grace and truth.' But the especial relation of 
grace unto the Father as sending the Son, unto the Son as 
sent by him and incarnate, and unto the Holy Spirit as pro- 
ceeding from and sent by them both, I have elsewhere fully 
declared, and shall not in this place (which indeed will scarce 
give admittance unto any thing of so serious a nature) again 
insist thereon. Fourthly, The opposition which he would 
again set between Christ and the gospel, is impious in itself, 
and if he thinks to charge it on me, openly false. I challenge 
him and all his accomplices, to produce any one word out of 
any writing of mine, that from a plea or pretence of grace in 
Christ, should give countenance unto any in the neglect of 
the least precept given, or duty required in the gospel. And 
notwithstanding all that I have said or taught, concerning 
the boundless, bottomless grace and mercy of Christ to- 
wards believing, humble, penitent sinners, I do believe the 
way of gospel obedience indispensably required to be walked 
in by all that will come to the enjoyment of God, to be so 
narrow, that no revilers, nor false accusers, nor scoffers, nor 
despisers of gospel mysteries, continuing so to be, can walk 
therein. But that there is not grace and mercy declared and 
tendered in the gospel also, unto all sorts of sinners, under 
any qualifications whatever, who upon its invitatvon will 
come to God through Jesus Christ, by faith and repentance, 
is an impious imagination. 

A discourse much of the same nature follows, concern- 
ing the love of Christ, after he hath treated his person and 
grace at his pleasure. And this he takes occasion for, from 


some passages in my book (as formerly) scraped together 
from several places, so as he thought fit and convenient unto 
his purpose ; p. 209. ' Thus the love of Christ is an eternal 
love, because his divine nature is eternal ; and it is an un- 
changeable love because his divine nature is unchangeable ; 
and his love is fruitful, for it being the love of God, it must 
be effectual and fruitful in producing all the things which 
he willeth unto his beloved. He loves life, grace, holiness 
into us, loves us into covenant, loves us into heaven. This 
is an excellent love indeed, which doth all for us, and leaves 
nothing for us to do. We owe this discovery to an acquaint- 
ance with Chri&t's person, or rather with his divine nature, 
for the gospel' is very silent in this matter. All that the 
gospel tells us is, that Christ loveth sinners so as to die for 
them; that he loves good men who believe and obey his gos- 
pel, so as to save them; that he continues to love them while 
they continue to be good, but hates them when they return 
to their old vices; and therefore, I say, there is great reason 
for sinners to fetch their comforts not from the gospel, but 
from the person of Christ, which as far excels the gospel, as 
the gospel excels the law.' 

I do suppose the expressions mentioned are for the sub- 
stance of them in my book, and shall therefore only inquire 
what it is in them which he excepteth against, and for which 
I am reproached, as one that hath an acquaintance with 
Christ's person, which is now grown so common and trite an 
expression, that were it not condited unto some men's pa- 
lates by its profaneness, it would argue a great barrenness in 
this author's invention, that can vary no more in the topic 
of reviling. It had been well if his licencer had accommodated 
him with some part of his talent herein. But what is it that is 
excepted against ? Is it, that the love of Christ as he is God 
is eternal? or is it that it is unchangeable? or is it that it 
is fruitful or effective of good things unto the persons be- 
loved? The philosopher tells us, that to love for any one is, 
BovXea^ai tlvi a oiirai ayaSa, kol to Kara SvvafxivTrpaKTiKov uvai 
rovTwv. It is this efficacy of the love of Christ which must 
bear all the present charge. The meaning of my words 
therefore is, that the love of Christ is unto us the cause of 
life, grace, holiness, and the reward of heaven. And because/ 
it is in the nature of love to be effective, according unto the 


ability of the person loving, of the good which it wills unto 
the object beloved, I expressed it as I thought meet, by loving 
these things to us. And I am so far on this occasion, and [not- 
withstanding] the severe reflection on me for an acquaintance 
with Christ, from altering my thoughts, that I say still with 
confidence, he who is otherwise minded, is no Christian. And if 
this man knows not how the love of Christ is the cause of grace 
and glory, how it is effective of them, and that in a perfect 
consistency with all other causes and means of them, and 
the necessity of our obedience, he may do well to abstain a 
little from writing, until he is better informed. But, saith 
he, 'this is an excellent love indeed, which doth all for us, 
and leaves us nothing to do.' But who told him so? Whoever 
said so ? Doth he think that if our life, grace, holiness, glory, 
be from the Jove of Christ originally, causally, by virtue of his 
divine gracious operations in us, and towards us, that there is 
no duty incumbent on them who would be made partakers of 
them, or use, or improve them unto their proper ends? Shall 
we then to please him say, that we have neither life, nor 
grace, nor holiness, nor glory, from the love of Christ, but 
whereas most of them are our own duties, we have them 
wholly from ourselves ? Let them do so who have a mind to 
renounce Chtist and his gospel; I shall come into no part- 
nership with them. For what he adds, 'all that the gospel 
teaches us,' &c. he should have done well to have said, as 
far as he knows, which is a limitation with a witness. If 
this be all the gospel which the man knows and preaches, I 
pity them whom he hath taken under his instruction. Doth 
Christ in his love do nothing unto the quickening and con- 
version of men? Nothing to the purification and sanctifica- 
tion of believers? Nothing as to their consolation and esta- 
blishment ? Nothing as to the administration of strength 
against temptations? Nothing as to supplies of grace in the 
increase of faith, love, and obedience, &c. This ignorance 
or profaneness is greatly to be bewailed, as his ensuing scoff 
repeated now usque ad nauseam, about an opposition be- 
tween Christ and his gospel, is to be despised. And if the 
Lord Christ hath no other love but what this man will allow, 
the state of the church in this world depends on a very 
slender thread. But attempts of this nature will fall short 
enough of prevailing with sober Christians to forego their 


faith and persuasion, that it is from the love of Christ, that 
believers are preserved in that condition wherein he doth and 
will approve of them. Yea, to suppose that this is all the 
grace of the gospel, that whilst men are good Christ loves 
them, and when they are bad he hates them, both which are 
true, and farther that he doth by his grace neither make 
them good, nor preserve them that are so made, is to re- 
nounce all that is properly so called. 

He yet proceeds, first to evert this love which I asserted, 
and then to declare his own apprehensions concerning the 
love of Christ. The first in the ensuing words, p. 210. 'But 
methinks this is a very odd way of arguing from the divine 
nature ; for if the love of Christ as God be so infinite, eter- 
nal, unchangeable, fruitful, I would willingly understand 
how sin, death, and misery came into the world. For if this 
love be so eternal, and unchangeable, because the divine 
nature is so, then it was always so ; for God always was 
what he is, and that which is eternal could never be other 
than it is now ; and why could not this eternal, and un- 
changeable, and fruitful love, as well preserve us from fall- 
ing into sin, and misery, and death, as love, life, and holi- 
ness, into us ? For it is a little odd, first to love us into sin 
and death, that then he may love us into life and holiness ; 
which indeed could not be, if this love of God were always 
so unchangeable and fruitful as this author persuades us it is 
now ; for if this love had always loved life and holiness into 
us, I cannot conceive how it should happen, that we should 
sin and die.' 

It is well if he know what it is that he aims at in these 
words ; I am sure what he says doth not in the least im- 
peach the truth which he designs to oppose. The name and 
nature of God are every where in the Scripture proposed 
unto us, as the object of and encouragemeut unto our faith, 
and his love in particular is therein represented unchangea- 
ble, because he himself is so ; but it doth not hence follow, 
that God loveth any one naturally or necessarily. His love 
is a free act of his will, and therefore, though it be like him- 
self, such as becomes his nature, yet it is not necessarily 
determined on any object, nor limited as unto the nature 
degrees, and effects of it. He loves whom he pleaseth, and 


as unto what end he pleaseth. Jacob he loved, and Esau he 
hated; and those effects which from his love, or out of it, 
he will communicate unto them, are various, according to 
the counsel of his will. Some he loves only as to temporal 
and common mercies, some as to spiritual grace and glory, 
for he hath mercy on wliora he will have mercy. Wherefore, 
it is no way contrary unto, and inconsistent with, the eter- 
nity, the immutability, and fruitfulness of the love of God, 
that he suffered sin to enter into the world, or that he doth 
dispense more grace in Jesus Christ under the New Testa- 
ment than he did under the Old. God is always the same 
that he was ; love in God is always of the same nature 
that it was; but the objects, acts, and effects of this love, 
with the measures and degrees of them, are the issues of 
the counsel or free purposes of his will. Want of the un- 
derstanding hereof, makes this man imagine, that if God's 
love in Christ wherewith he loveth us, be eternal and fruit- 
ful, then must God necessarily, always, in or out of Christ, 
under the old or new covenant, love all persons, elect or not 
elect, with the same love as to the effects and fruits of it, 
which is a wondrous profound apprehension. The reader, 
therefore, if he please may take notice, that the love which 
I intend, and whereunto I ascribe those properties, is the 
especial love of God in Christ unto the elect : concerning 
this himself says, that he loves them with an everlasting 
love, and therefore, * draws them with loving-kindness ;' Jer. 
xxxi. 3. which love I shall be bold to say, is eternal and 
fruitful. And hence, as he changeth not, whereon the sons 
of Jacob are not consumed ; Mai. iii. 6. there being with 
him neither 'variableness nor shadow of turning;' James 
i. 17. so accordingly he hath in this matter, by his promise 
and oath, declared the immutability of his counsel ; Heb. 
vi. 17, 18. which seems to intimate that his love is un- 
changeable. And whereas this eternal love is in Christ 
Jesus as the way and means of making it certain in all its 
effects, and with respect unto its whole design, it is fruitful 
in all grace and glory; Eph. i. 3 — 5, And if he cannot un- 
derstand how, notwithstanding all this, sin so entered into 
the world under the law of creation and the first covenant, 
as to defeat in us all the benefits thereof, at present I can- 


not help him ; for as I am sure enough he would scorn to learn 
any thing of me, so I am not at leisure to put it to the trial. 
His own account of the love of God succeeds, p. 211. 
* Not that I deny that the love of God is eternal, unchange- 
able, fruitful ; that is, that God was always good, and always 
continues good, and manifesteth his love and goodness 
in such ways as are suitable to his nature, which is the 
fruitfulness of it. But then the unchangeableness of 
God's love, doth not consist in being always determined 
to the same object, but that he always loves for the 
same reason ; that is, that he always loves true virtue and 
goodness wherever he sees it, and never ceases to love any 
person till he ceases to be good ; and then the immutabi- 
lity of his love is the reason why he loves no longer. For 
should he love a wicked man, the reason and nature of his 
love would change; and the fruitfulness of God's love with 
respect to the methods of his grace and providence, doth 
not consist in procuring what he loves by an omnipotent 
and irresistible power, for then sin and death could never 
have entered into the world, but he governs and doth good 
to his creatures in such ways as are most suitable to their 
natures. He governs reasonable creatures by principles of 
reason, as he doth the material world by the necessary laws 
of matter, and brute creatures by the instincts and propen- 
sities of nature.' 

This may pass for a system of his divinity, which how 
he will reconcile unto the doctrine of the church of England 
in her articles, she and he may do well to consider. But 
whatever he means by the love of God always determined 
unto the same object, it were an easy thing to prove beyond 
the reach of his contradiction, that persons are the objects of 
God's eternal love, as well as things and qualifications are of 
his approbation, or that he loves some persons with an ever- 
lasting and unchangeable love, so as to preserve them from 
all ruining evils, and so as they may be always meet objects 
of his approving love unto his glory. And whereas these 
things have been debated and disputed on all hands with 
much learning and diligence, our author is a very happy 
man, if with a few such loose expressions as these repeated, 
he thinks to determine all the controversies about election 
and effectual grace, with perseverance on the Pelagian side. 


The hypothesis here maintained, that because God always, 
and unchangeably approves of what is good in any, or of the 
obedience of his creatures, and disapproves or hates sin, 
condemning it in his law, that therefore he may love the 
same person one day and hate him another, notwithstanding 
his pretences that he is constant unto the reason of his love, 
will inevitably fall into one of these conclusions ; either, that 
God indeed never loveth any man be he who he will, or, that 
he is changeable in his love upon outward external reasons 
as we are ; and let him choose which he will own. In the 
mean time, such a love of God towards believers as shall al- 
ways effectually preserve them meet objects of his love and 
approbation, is not to be baffled by such trifling impertinencies. 
His next reflection is on the manner of God's operations in the 
communication of grace and holiness, which he says, is not 
by omnipotent and irresistible power, confirming his asser- 
tion by that consideration, that then sin and death could 
never have entered into the world, which is resolved into 
another sweet supposition, that God must needs act the 
same power of grace towards all men, at all times, under each 
covenant, whether he will or no. But this it is to be a hap- 
py disputant, all things succeed well with such persons 
which they undertake. And as to the manner of the opera- 
tion of grace, how far grace itself may be said to be omnipo- 
tent, and in its operations irresistible, I have fully declared 
there where he may oppose and refute it if he have any mind 
thereunto. His present attempt against it in those words, 
'that God governs reasonable creatures by principles of rea- 
son,' is so weak in this case and impertinent, that it deserves 
no consideration ; for all the operations of divine grace 
are suited unto the rational constitution of our beings ; 
neither was ever man so wild as to fancy any of them such 
as are inconsistent with, or do offer force unto, the faculties of 
our souls in their operations. Yea, that which elevates, aids 
and assists our rational faculties in their operations on and 
towards their proper objects, which is the work of effica- 
cious grace, is the principal preservative of their power and 
liberty, and can be no way to their prejudice. And we do 
moreover acknowledge, that those proposals which are made 
in the gospel unto our reason, are eminently suited to excite 
and prevail with it unto its proper use and exercise, in com- 


pliance with them. Hence, although the habit of faith or 
power of believing, be wrought in us by the Holy Ghost,, 
yet the word of the gospel is the cause and means of all its 
acts, and the whole obedience which it produceth. But if by 
' governing reasonable creatures by the principle of reason,' 
he intends that God deals no otherwise by his grace with 
the souls of men, but only by proposing objective arguments 
and motives unto a compliance with his will, without inter- 
nal aids and assistances of grace, it is a gross piece of Pe- 
lagianism, destructive of the gospel, sufficiently confuted 
elsewhere ; and he may explain himself as he pleaseth. 

His proceed is to transcribe some other passages taken 
out of my book, here and there, in whose repetition he in- 
serts some impertinent exceptions ; but the design of the 
whole is to ' state a controversy' as he calls it between us and 
them, or those whom he calleth ' they' and 'we,' whoever they 
be. And this upon the occasion of my mentioning the ful- 
ness of grace, life, and righteousness that is in Christ, he 
doth in these words, p. 215. 'They say, that these are the 
personal graces of Christ as mediator, which are inherent in 
him, and must be derived from his person; we say, they sig- 
nify the perfection and excellency of his religion, as being 
the most perfect and complete declaration of the will of God, 
and the most powerful method of the divine wisdom, for the 
reforming of the world, as it prescribes the only righteous- 
ness which is acceptable to God, and directs us in the only 
way to life and immortality.' 

I shall not absolutely accept of the terms of this contro- 
versy as to the state of it on our part proposed by him, and 
yet I shall not much vary from them. We say, therefore, that 
' Jesus Christ being full of all grace, excellencies, and perfec- 
tions, he communicates them unto us, in that degree as is 
necessary for us, and in proportion unto his abundant cha- 
rity and goodness towards us ; and we Christians as his 
body, or fellow members of his human nature, receive grace 
and mercy flowing from him to us.' This state of the con- 
troversy on our side I suppose he will not refuse, nor the 
terms of it; but will own them to be ours, though he will 
not it may be allow some of them to be proper or conve- 
nient. And that he may know who his ' they' are, who are at 
this end of the difference, he may be pleased to take notice, 


that these words are the v/hole and entire paraphrase of 
Dr. Hammond on John i. 16. the first testimony he under- 
takes to answer. And when this author hath replied to 
Mr. Hooker, Dr. Jackson, and him, and such other pillars of 
the church of England as concur with them, it will be time 
enough for me to consider how I shall defend myself against 
him. Or if he will take the controversy on our part in terms 
more directly expressive of my mind, it is the person of 
Christ is the fountain of all grace to the church, as he \\e\l 
observes my judgment to be, and that from him all grace 
and mercy is derived unto us ; and then I do maintain, that 
the ' they' whom he opposeth, are not only the church of 
England, but the whole Catholic church in all ages. Who 
the ' we' are on the other hand, who reject this assertion, and 
believe that all the testimonies concerning the fulness of 
grace in Christ, and the communication thereof unto us, do 
only declare the excellency of his religion, is not easy to 
be conjectured ; for unless it be the people of Racow, I 
know not who are his associates. And let him but name 
three divines of any reputation in the church of England 
since the reformation, who have given the least countenance 
unto his assertions, negative or positive, and I will acknow- 
ledge that he hath better associates in his profession, than 
as yet I believe he hath. But that Jesus Christ himself, 
God and man in one person, the Mediator between God and 
man, is not a fountain of grace and mercy to his church, that 
there is no real internal grace communicated by him, or de- 
rived from him unto his mystical body, that the fulness 
which is in him, or said to be in him, of grace and truth, of 
unsearchable riches of grace, &c. is nothing but the doc- 
trine which he taught, as the most complete and perfect de- 
claration of the will of God, are opinions that cannot be di- 
vulged under pretence of authority, without the most per- 
nicious scandal to the present church of England. And if 
this be the man's religion, that this is all the fulness we re- 
ceive from Christ, 'a perfect revelation of the divine will 
concerning the salvation of mankind, which contains so 
many excellent promises that it may well be called grace, 
and prescribes such a plain and simple religion, so agreeable 
to the natural notions of good and evil, that it may well be 
called truth ; and complying with its doctrine, or yielding 


obedience unto its precepts, and believing the promises 
which it gives, in our own strength, without any real aid, 
assistance, or communication of internal saving grace from 
the person of Jesus Christ, is our righteousness before God, 
whereon and for which we are justified, I know as well as 
he whence it came, and perhaps better than he whither it 
will go. 

The remaining discourse of this chapter consisteth of 
two parts; first. An attempt to disprove any communication 
of real internal grace from the Lord Christ unto believers for 
their sanctification. Secondly, An endeavour to refute the 
imputation of his righteousness unto us for our justification. 
In the first he contends, that all the fulness of grace and 
truth said to be in Christ, consists either in the doctrine of 
the gospel, or in the largeness of his church; in the latter, 
that faith in Christ is nothing but believing the gospel, and 
the authority of Christ who revealed it, and by yielding obe- 
dience whereunto, we are justified before God on the ac- 
count of an internal inherent righteousness in ourselves. 
Now these are no small undertakings ; the first of them 
being expressly contrary to the sense of the Catholic church 
in all ages ; for the Pelagians and the Socinians are by com- 
mon agreement excluded from an interest therein ; and the 
latter of them, contrary to the plain confessions of all the 
reformed churches, with the constant doctrine of this church 
of England, and therefore we may justly expect that they 
should be managed with much strength of argument, and 
evident demonstration. But the unhappiness of it is, I will 
not say his, but ours, that these are not things which our 
author as yet hath accustomed himself unto ; and I cannot 
but say, that to my knowledge I never read a more weak, 
loose, and impertinent discourse, upon so weighty subjects, 
in my whole life before : he must have little to do, who can 
afford to spend his time in a particular examination of it, 
unless it be in the exposition of those places which are al- 
most verbatim transcribed out of Schlichtingius. Besides, for 
the first truth which he opposeth, I have confirmed it in a 
discourse which I suppose may be made public before this 
come to view, beyond what 1 expect any sober reply. unto 
from him. Some texts of Scripture that mention a fulness 
in Christ, he chooseth out to manifest (to speak a word by 


the way), that indeed they do not intend any such fuhiess 
in Christ himself. And the first is John i. 16. the exposi- 
tion whereof which he gives, is that of Schlichtingius, who 
yet extends the import of the words beyond what he will 
allow. The enforcement which he gives unto his exposition, 
by comparing the 14th and 17th verses with the 16th, is both 
weak and contradictory of itself; for the words of the 14th 
verse are, * The Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us, 
and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten 
of the Father, full of grace and truth.' It is evident beyond 
contradiction, that the expression ' full of grace and truth' is 
exegetical of his glory, as the only-begotten of the Father, 
which was the glory of bis person, and not the doctrine of 
the gospel. And for the opposition that is made between 
the law given by Moses, and the grace and truth which came 
by Jesus Christ, I shall yet rather adhere to the sense of the 
ancient church, and the most eminent doctors of it, which if 
he knows not it to be concerning the effectual communica- 
tion of real, renewing, sanctifying grace by Jesus Christ, 
there are enow who can inform him, rather than that woful 
gloss upon them; 'his doctrine is called grace, because ac- 
companied with such excellent promises, and may well be 
called truth, because so agreeable to the natural notions of 
good and evil;' which is the confession of the Pelagian un- 
belief; but these things are not my present concernment. 
For the latter part of his discourse, in his opposition unto 
the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, as he doth not 
go about once to state or declare the sense wherein it is 
pleaded for, nor produceth any one of the arguments where- 
with it is confirmed, and omitteth the mention of most of 
the particular testimonies which declare and establish it ; 
so as unto those few which he takes notice of, he expressly 
founds his answers unto them in that woful subterfuge, that 
if they are capable of another interpretation, or having ano- 
ther sense given unto them, then nothing can be concluded 
from them to that purpose, by which the Socinians seek to 
shelter themselves from all the testimonies that are given to 
his Deity and satisfaction. But I have no concernment, as 
I said, either in his opinions or his way of reasoning, and do 
know that those vv-ho have so, need not desire a better cause, 
nor an easier adversary to deal withal. 


In his third section, p. 279, he enters upon his exceptions 
>into the union of believers unto Jesus Christ, and with great 
modesty at the entrance of his discourse, tells us, first, 
'how these men' with whom he hath to do, 'have fitted the 
person of Christ unto all the w^ants and necessities of the 
sinner,' which yet if he denies God himself to have done,he 
is openly injurious unto his wisdom and grace. The very 
first promise that was given concerning him, was, that he 
should save sinners from all their wants, evils, and miseries, 
that might, did, or could befall them by the entrance of sin. 
But thus it falls out, when men will be talking of what they 
do not understand. Again, he adds, how he hath 'ex- 
plained the Scripture metaphors whereby the union be- 
tween Christ and Christians is represented, but that these 
men instead of explaining of those metaphors, turn all reli- 
gion into an allegory.' But what if one should now tell him, 
that his explanation of these metaphors, is the most absurd 
and irrational, and argues the most fulsome ignorance of the 
mystery of the gospel that can be imagined, and that on the 
other side those whom he traduceth, do explain them unto 
the understanding and experience of all that believe, and 
that in a way suited and directed unto by the Holy Ghost 
himself, to farther their faith, obedience, and consolation ; 
as far as I perceive, he would be at no small loss how to re- 
lieve himself under this censure. The first thing he begins 
withal, and wherein in the first place I fall under his displea- 
sure, is about the conjugal relation between Christ and be- 
lievers, which he treats of p. 280. ' As for example,' saith 
he, ' Christ is called a husband, the church his spouse ; and 
now all the invitations of the gospel, are Christ's wooing and 
making love to his spouse ; and what other men call believ- 
ing the gospel of Christ, whereby we devote ourselves to his 
service, these men call that consent and contract which 
makes up the marriage betwixt Christ and believers. Christ 
takes us for his spouse, and we take Christ for our hus- 
band, and that with all the solemnities of marriage, except 
the ring, which is left out as an antichristian ceremony; 
Christ saying thus. This is that we will consent unto, that I 
will be for thee, and thou shalt be for me and not for ano- 
ther. Christ gives himself to the soul with all his excellen- 
cies, righteousness, preciousness, graces, and eminencies, to 


be its saviour, head, and husband, to dwell with it in this 
holy relation ; and the soul likes Christ for his excellencies, 
graces, suitableness, far above all other beloveds whatsoever, 
and accepts of Christ by the will, for its husband, lord, and 
saviour. And thus the marriage is completed, and this is 
the day of Christ's espousals, and of the gladness of his 
heart ; and now follow all mutual conjugal affections, which 
on Christ's part consist in delight, valuation, pity, compas- 
sion, bounty ; on the saints' part, in delight, valuation, chas- 
tity, duty. But 1 have already corrected this fooling with 
Scripture metaphors and phrases.' 

It might perhaps not unbecome this author to be a little 
more sparing of his correction, unless his authority were 
more than it is, and his skill also in the management of it ; 
for at present, those whom he attempts upon, are altogether 
insensible of any effects of his severity. But whereas he 
seems much at a loss how to evidence his own wisdom, any 
other way than by calling them fools with whom he hath to 
do, it is sufficient to plead his excuse. But what is it, that 
he is here so displeased at, as unfit for a man of his wisdom 
to bear withal, and therefore calls it fooling ? Is it that there 
is a conjugal relation between Christ and the church? That 
he is the bridegroom and husband of the church, and that 
the church is his bride and spouse ? That he becomes so 
unto it by a voluntarily gracious act of his love, and that the 
church enters into that relation with him by their accept- 
ance of him in that relation, and voluntarily giving up them- 
selves unto him in faith, love, and obedience suited there- 
unto? Is it that he loveth his church and cherisheth it as 
a husband ? Or that the church gives up itself in chaste 
and holy obedience unto him as her spouse? Or is it my 
way and manner of expressing these things wherewith he is 
so provoked? If it be the latter, I desire he would for his 
own satisfaction take notice, that I contemn his censures, 
and appeal to the judgment of those who have more under- 
standing and experience in these things, than for ought I 
can discern by his writings, he hath yet attained unto. If 
it be the former, they are all of them so proved and con- 
firmed from the Scripture in that very discourse which he 
excepteth against, as that he is