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Full text of "Works of George Swinnock, M.A"

tibxmy ofthe theological Seminary 


The Rev. John M. Krebs 
Class of 1832 

BX 9315 .S9 v.l 

Swinnock, George, 1627-1673 




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VOL. I. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

«J5tncra( ^Ditor. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, D.D., Edinburgh. 



VOL. I. 






A short Memoir of Sivinnock is reserved for a subsequent 
Volume. — Ed. 





The Christian Man's Calling — Part I., . 1 

The Epistle Dedicatory, .... 3-10 

To the Reader, especially to the Parish of Great- 

Kirnbal in the County of Bucks, . . 11-22 


I. The preface and coherence of the text, . . 23-26 

II. The opening of the text and the doctrine, . . 27-30 

III. What godliness is, . . . . . 30-35 

IV. What it is for a man to make religion his business, or 

to exercise himself to godliness, . . . 36-46 

V. Religion is the great end of man's creation, . . 46-50 

VI. Religion is a work of the greatest weight. It is soul- 
work, it is God-work, it is eternity-work, . . 50-59 
VII. The necessity of making religion our business, both in 
regard of the opposition a Christian meets with, 
and the multiplicity of business which lieth upon 
him, ...... 59-66 

VIII. A complaint that this trade is so dead, and the world's 

trade so quick, ..... 66-72 

IX. The complaint continued, that this calling is so much 
neglected, when superstition and sin are embraced 
and diligently followed, .... 72-79 

X. An exhortation to make God our business in the whole 

course of our lives, .... 79-86 

XI. How a Christian may make religion his business in 

spiritual performances and religious actions, . 87-104 

A good wish about religious duties in general, 

wherein the former heads are epitomised, , 104, 105 



XII. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in 
prayer. And first, of prayer in general, and of the 
antecedents to it, . . . . 105-120 

XIII. Of the concomitants of prayer, . . . 120-133 

XIV. The subsequent duties after prayer, . . . 133-137 

A good wish about prayer, wherein all the fore- 
mentioned particulars are epitomised, . 137-140 
XV. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in 
hearing and reading the word, and of preparation 
for hearing, ..... 140-155 

XVI. Of the Christian's duty in hearing, . . . 156-162 

XVII. Of the Christian's duty after hearing, . . 162-170 

A good wish about the word, wherein the former 

heads are epitomised, . . . . 170,171 

XVIII. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness 
in receiving the Lord's supper ; and 1. Of the 
nature of that ordinance, and preparation for it, . 172-191 
XIX. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness at 

the table, ...... 192-211 

XX. What a Christian ought to do after a sacrament, . 212-218 
A good wish about the Lord's supper, wherein 

the former heads are epitomised, . . 218-222 

XXI. How to exercise ourselves to godliness on a Lord's-day, 222-249 
XXII. Brief directions for the sanctification of the Lord's- 
day from morning to night, . . . 249-255 
A good wish about the Lord's-day, wherein the 

former heads are epitomised, . . . 255-258 

A good wish to the Lord's-clay, . . . 258-260 

XXIII. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in 

natural actions. And first, in eating and drinking, 260-276 

XXIV. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in 

his apparel and sleep, .... 277-285 
A good wish about natural actions, wherein the 

former heads are epitomised, . . . 285-288 

XXV. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness, in 

his recreations and pleasures, . . . 288-300 

XXVI. How to exercise ourselves to godliness in our particu- 
lar callings, ..... 300-316 
A good wish about particular callings, wherein 

the former heads are epitomised, . . 316-319 

A good wish about the calling of a minister, 
wherein the several properties and duties of a 
conscientious minister are epitomised, . 319-329 



XXVII. How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in 

his family as the governor thereof, . . 329-356* 

A good wish about the government of a family, 

wherein the former heads are epitomised, . 356-362 

The Christian Man's Calling — Part II., . . . 363 

The Epistle Dedicatory, ..... 365-372 
The Preface and Epistle to the Reader, wherein the right 
Christian is characterised, out of the general heads in the 
three parts of the Christian man's calling, . . 373-390 

Exercise thyself unto godliness, . . 391-393 

I. How Christians may exercise themselves to godliness 

in the relations of parents, . . . 394-397 

Motives, ..... 397-428 

A good wish about the duty of a parent, wherein 

the former heads are epitomised, . . 428-437 

II. How Christians may make religion their business, and 
exercise themselves to godliness in the relation of 
children, ..... 437-458 

A good wish to the duties of a son or daughter in 

relation to their father and mother, . . 458-464 

III. How Christians may exercise themselves to godliness 

in the relation of husbands and wives ; and, first, 

Of the duties which concern them both in common. 

And a good wish from a pious pair, . . 464-481 

A good wish of a Christian couple, wherein are 

epitomised the mutual duties of husband and 

wife, ..... 481-487 

IV. How Christians may exercise themselves to godliness 

in the relation of husbands, with a good wish about 
the husband's duty, .... 487-497 

A good wish about a husband's duty, wherein 

the former particulars are epitomised, . 497-502 

V. How a Christian may exercise herself to godliness in 
the relation of a wife, with a good wish about the 
duty of a wife, ..... 503-522 
A good wish about the duties of a wife, wherein 

the former particulars are epitomised, . 522—528 


VOL. I. 


To the Worshipful, and his honoured Patron, Richard Hampden, 
of Hampden, in Buckinghamshire, Esq. ; and to the Honour- 
able Lady, L^etitia Hampden, his virtuous consort. 

Though philosophers difference man especially from brutes, by 
his chief natural quality, Reason, 1 yet some divines like rather to 
do it by his supernatural excellency, Religion : probably upon this 
twofold ground, partly because religion is the highest and truest 
reason, and therefore causeth the greatest essential distinction, 
-What can be more rational than the supreme truth to be believed, 
the chiefest good to be embraced, the first cause to be acknow- 
ledged, and those who were made by God, and live wholly upon 
him, to improve all for him, and to live wholly to him? The 
giving up our souls and bodies unto God is called our ' reasonable 
sacrifice/ Rom. xii. 2 ; those that are irreligious are termed ' unrea- 
sonable,' 2 Thes. iii. 2. Indeed, atheists are but beasts, shaped in 
the proportion and dressed in the habits of men. It is impossible 
for man to manifest more want of reason, than in wandering from 
God, the fountain of his being, and the wellspring of all his blessed- 
ness. Who ever, unless bereft of his wits and distracted, would 
murder his body, much less his precious soul, for ever ? As soon 
as ever the prodigal ' came to himself,' he came to his father. It 
was a clear sign he had lost his reason, when he left bread in his 
father's house for husks amongst swine. Men's hearts naturally 
are, like Nebuchadnezzar's, the hearts of beasts, grazing only in 
fleshly pastures, and savouring only sensual pleasures, till their 
reason returneth to them ; then they bless and honour the most 
high God, who liveth for ever, Dan. iv. 34 ; then they mind spir- 

1 Lact. cle Ira Dei. 


itual dainties, and relish celestial delights. The irreligious are 
fellow-cornmoners with beasts ; the religious, with angels. 

Partly because religion is the end and excellency of the rational 
creature, of which brutes arc wholly incapable. Brutes were made 
to serve God, men only to worship him. 'The Jewish Talmud 
propoundeth the question, Why God made man just on the evening 
before the Sabbath ? and giveth this answer, That he might imme- 
diately enter upOn the sanctification of the Sabbath, in the worship 
of the blessed God, the end for which he was made. Purity of 
religion was our primitive, and therefore must needs be our princi- 
pal perfection. All who have any knowledge of the great God, will 
easily grant that man was a curious piece, rare workmanship indeed, 
when he came immediately out of his Maker's hands ; it is impos- 
sible but that the child must be amiable and beautiful in a high 
degree, which was begotten by, and is the picture of, such a Father. 

A religious life (which consisteth in exalting God in our affec- 
tions, as our chiefest good, and in our actions, as our utmost end) 
is the life of God himself. How high, how noble, how excellent a 
life doth the blessed God live ! Eph. iv. 18. Others live like 
beasts, like devils ; true Christians only, like angels, like God ; above 
these carnal comforts and drossy delights : 'The way of life is above 
to the wise,' Prov. xv. 24. Atheists, like hedge-sparrows, settling 
here below, are easily taken in Satan's snares and destroyed. 
When saints, like eagles, soaring aloft, are free both from his shot 
and lime-twigs, they are not terrified with the world's affrightments, 
having armour of proof. Those that are at the top of some high 
tower, regard not the croaking of frogs, nor hissing of serpents 
below : like the moon at the full, being fixed in heaven, they can 
keep their course, though dogs bark at them here on earth; they 
are not entangled in the world's allurements. The world indeed, 
like a serpent 1 some write of, when she Cannot overtake the fleeing 
passengers, doth with her beautiful colours so amaze many, that 
they have no power to pass away till she hath stung them ; but 
they see her emptiness and vanity under all her painting and 
daubery. Besides, their eyes behold the glorious God in some 
measure, in his brightness and beauty, and are so dazzled there- 
with, that as those that look on the great luminary of the world, 
in its meridian splendour, they can see no glory in anything 
besides. These poor candles are slighted into disappearance, be- 
cause the sun himself hath arisen upon them. How quickly, how 
quietly did Abraham leave his kindred and country, when once the 

1 It is called axvrdXri by the Grecians. 


God of glory appeared to him, Acts vii. 2. Ah, what pitiful fare is 
the world's most luscious food to them that ever feasted with the 
holy Jesus ! 

The old Grecians, who had altogether fed on acorns before, 1 
when bread came in among them, made no reckoning of their 
mast, but reserved it only for their swine. The Lacedemonians 
despised their iron and leathern money when gold and silver was 
brought into their cities. 2 When a soul once cometh to ' know 
the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent,' what 
toys and trifles, what babies and butterflies, are the honours and 
riches and pleasures of this beggarly world to him !- nay, how doth 
he befool and bebeast himself for doating so much upon specious 
dreams, and gilded nothings ! Ps. lxxiii. 31. Now he is elevated 
to the top of the celestial orbs, even to heaven, and therefore the 
whole earth is but a small spot of ground, a little point in his eyes. 

The driving of tins high and heavenly trade is the sum and 
substance of this treasure, which I present to you both, as a testi- 
mony of my gratitude for the great engagements you have laid 
upon me. The stork amongst fowls, is said to leave one of her 
young in the place where she hatcheth them. The Egyptians 
amongst men, are famous in history for a thankful people, and are 
recorded to have made eunuchs of ungrateful persons, that the 
world might not be plagued with their posterity. The master of 
moral philosophy 3 upbraideth them sharply that steal favours by 
private acknowledgments. The truth is, a public confession of 
your kindness, as it is the least, since providence hath given me 
the opportunity, so it is, next my prayers, the greatest requital I 
am able to make you. If my pains have yielded any fruit in these 
parts, those that received it owe the acknowledgment, under God, 
to you. 

Though neither of you love to hear your own praise, nor did I 
ever love flattery, knowing by too much experience that pride will 
burn and continue, like the elementary fire, of itself, without any 
fuel, yet I esteem it my duty to publish some things to the world, 
for example to others. The place to which I am presented hath 
not half a maintenance, nor so much as a house belonging to the 
minister ; but the Lord hath given you such compassion to souls, 
that you have given me both a convenient dwelling and a consider- 
able maintenance, besides the tithes, above seventy pounds per 

1 Eust. in Horn. s Sen. de Benef. 

3 Quidam furtive gratias agunt, et in angulo, et in aurem ; non est ista verecundia 
Bed inficiandi genus. — Sen. de Benef., lib. ii. cap. 23. 


annum out of your own inheritance, that I enjoy, through the 
good hand of my God upon me, a competent encouragement and 
comfortable employment. When others refuse to draw out their 
purses to hungry bodies, the gracious God hath enabled you both 
to draw out your purse and hearts unto starving souls. Soul- 
charity is the highest and noblest charity, and such fruit as will 
much abound to your account at the day of Christ, Phil. iv. 17. 
Hereby, like wise merchants, you return your riches into the other 
world by bills of exchange. How much are you both indebted to 
free grace ! Usually the richest mines are covered with the most 
barren earth ; and men who receive much from God very quietly, 
like narrow-mouthed glasses, will part with nothing without much 
stir and reluctancy. God hath bestowed on you large hearts, as 
well as large inheritance. Many a vessel hath been sunk with the 
weight of its burden. Some mariners, out of love to their lading, 
have lost their lives ; but God hath made you masters of, — not, as 
many other, servants to, — a fair estate. 

It is also your honour that the ark, the worship of the blessed 
God, findeth entertainment in your house ; your whole family, 
though large, have set meals daily for their inward man, as well 
as for their outward : your children and servants are commanded 
by you to keep the way of the Lord, Gen. xviii. 19, and, as if your 
house were built of Irish oak, which will suffer no spider near it, 
no iniquity is allowed to dwell in your tabernacle. I have with 
much delight observed your care and conscience to have all your 
family present at morning and evening duties. Oh it is a blessed 
and beautiful sight to behold a little church in a great house ! 
Many great persons think the company of the glorious God too 
mean for them in their houses ; religion waiteth at their doors like 
a beggar, and cannot obtain the favour to be called in, when the 
vermin, as in the Egyptian palaces, of pride and drunkenness and 
swearing reside amongst them, and crawl in every room of their 
dwellings. The service of the living God, which is the greatest 
freedom, they count their bondage and fetters ; the society of the 
Lord Jesus is to them, as to the devils, a torment, Mat. viii. 
Alas ! alas ! whither is man fallen, that the company of his Maker 
should be esteemed his dishonour ! that the worship of God, which 
is the preferment of glorious angels, should be judged a disparage- 
ment ! Ah, how will their judgments be altered when they come 
to die, to throw their last casts for eternity ! then, as that Popish 
prelate 1 said of justification by faith, That it was good supper- 

1 Steph. Gardin. ; Foxe, Acts and Mon. 


doctrine, though not so good to breakfast on, they will confess 
that it is good to die in the Lord ; they will cry out, ' Oh let us 
die the death of the righteous, and let our latter end be like theirs!' 
how lightly soever now they think of living their lives. The 
Persian messenger, though a heathen, could not but observe the 
worth of piety in such an hour of extremity : when the Grecian 
forces hotly pursued us, saith he, 1 and we must needs venture 
over the great water Strymon, frozen then, but beginning to thaw, 
when a hundred to one we had all died for it, with mine eyes I 
saw many of those gallants, whom I had heard before so boldly 
maintain there was no God, every one upon their knees, with eyes 
and hands lifted up, begging hard for help and mercy, and en- 
treating that the ice might hold till they got over. Those gallants 
who now proscribe godliness their hearts and houses, as if it were 
only a humour taken up by some precise persons, who will needs 
be wiser than their neighbours, and, Galba-like, scorn at them who 
fear or think of death, when they themselves come to enter the list 
with the king of terrors, and perceive in earnest that this surly 
sergeant Death will not be denied, but away they must into the 
other world, and be saved or tormented in flames for ever, as they 
have walked after the spirit or after the flesh here ; without ques- 
tion they will change their note, sing another tune, and say, as 
dying Theophilus did of devout Arsenius, 2 Thou art blessed, 
Arsenius, who hadst always this hour before thine eyes. 

Blessed be God, ye walk not in the vicious ways of such volup- 
tuous wretches ; but to the joy of all that know and love you, sit 
like wise pilots in the hindermost part of the ship, dwell in the 
meditation of your deaths, and thence endeavour to steer the vessel 
of your conversations aright. Give me leave, honoured friends, 
out of the unfeigned respect which I bear to you both, which, if I 
know my own heart, is not so much for the favours received from 
you, though I shall ever acknowledge them, but for what of God 
and godliness I have seen in you, to beseech you, that ' as ye have 
received how ye ought to walk, and to please God, so ye would 
abound more and more,' 1 Thes. iv. 1. God hath done great 
things for you, and God expecteth great things from you : ' To 
whom much is given, of them much is required.' Where the 
husbandman bestoweth the greatest cost, there he looketh for the 
greatest crop. The rents which your tenants pay are somewhat 

1 ^■Eschylus in Traged. 

2 Beatus es. Abba Arscni, qui semper banc horaui antu oculos habuisti. — Bib. 


answerable to the farms which they enjoy. Ye have more obliga- 
tions to serve God than others, and more opportunities for his 
service ; and therefore, having fairer gales, should sail more swiftly 
than others towards the haven of happiness. Your trading must 
be suitable to the talents with which ye are entrusted. Perfection 
will be your reward, and proficiency is your work. Heavenly- 
mindedness and humility, which are the greatest glory of our 
English gentry, are excellent helps to growth in grace. Children 
that feed on ashes cannot thrive. Silly pismires, that continually 
busy themselves about their hoards and heaps of earth, never grow 
bigger. Indeed, great persons are liable to great temptations: flies 
will strive to fasten upon the sweetest conserves. The longest 
robes are aptest to contract most dirt. Satan, as some write of the 
Irish to take their enemies, diggeth trenches in the earth, as it 
were, and covereth the surface of it with the green turfs of carnal 
comforts and contentments ; which men treacling upon, and taking 
to be firm ground, fall into their ruin. But your sight of the 
glory to be revealed, by the prospective glass of faith, will help you 
to wink more on these withering vanities. Ah, what a muck-heap 
to that is all the wealth of this lower world ! Naturalists tell us 
that the loadstone will not draw in the presence of the diamond. 
Sure I am, the world, notwithstanding all its pomp and pride, 
glory and gallantry, hath but little influence upon Christians, when 
they behold their undefiled inheritance. Humility is also helpful 
to proficiency in holiness ; the lofty mountains are barren, when 
the low valleys abound in corn. As the spleen swelleth, the whole 
body consumeth ; as pride groweth, the new man decayeth. This 
high wind raiseth strange tempests in the soul : ' He giveth grace 
to the humble/ 1 Pet. v. 6. God layeth these richest mines in the 
lowest parts of the earth. Trees, even in time of drought, whose 
roots are deep in the ground, bear fruit, when corn and grass 
wither ; Christians, like the sun in the zenith, must shew least 
when at the highest ; and as branches fully laden, bend the more 
downward. Why should the mud-wall swell because the sun 
shineth on it ? We may say of every mercy and excellency we 
enjoy, as the prophet of his hatchet, 'Alas, master, for it is 
borrowed,' 2 Kings vi. 5. 

If ye please also to peruse the ensuing tractate, possibly it may 
be some small furtherance to you in your course of Christianity. 
The intent of it is to discover and direct how religion, the great 
end for which we are born, and the great errand upon which we 
are sent into the world, may be made our principal business ; and 


how our natural and civil actions, and all our seeming diversions, 
may be so managed, that they may, like an elegant parenthesis, 
not at all spoil, but rather adorn the sense of religion. I hope the 
worth of the matter handled, notwithstanding my weakness in the 
maimer of handling it, will make it acceptable to you. I could 
wish the face of the discourse were clean. I may safely say, it is 
far from being painted ; and pardon me if I suffer the stream now 
to run in two channels, such as it is I humbly tender, — 

Sir, to your favourable eye, 
whose happiness it is to inherit 
your ancestors' graces, as well as 
their riches. It was counted a 
great honour to the family of the 
Curios that there were three ex- 
cellent orators in it one after 
another ; and to the family of 
the Fabii, 1 that there were in it 
three presidents of the senate 
successively. . It is your glory to 
descend not only of a father who 
walked with God, and of a grand- 
father who, it is hoped, died in 
the faith, but also of a great- 
grandfather, who was famous for 
serving the will of God in his 
generation. The holy apostle 
speaketh to the glory of Timothy, 
concerning his ' unfeigned faith, 
which dwelt first in his grand- 
mother Lois, and his mother 
Eunice,' 2 Tim. i. 15. To the 
glory of free grace I mention it, 
holiness in your house did not 
run only in the masculine race ; 
your tender mother was like 
Dorcas, full of good works, and 
a dutiful daughter to the Father 
of mercies ; and your honoured 
grandmother, yet alive, is an old 
disciple of the holy Jesus. Oh 

Madam, 2 to your fair hands, 
who are a branch of a noble and 
honourable stock ; but your birth 
from above is your present great- 
est credit, and will be your future 
chiefest comfort. Alexander 
must derive his pedigree from 
the gods, or else he thinketh 
himself ignobly born. To be 
born of God, to have heavenly 
blood running in your veins, to 
be the spouse of the dearest 
Saviour, to have your name 
written in the Book of Life, will 
stand you in stead, and, as many 
figures, amount to millions in 
an hour of death, and dreadful 
day of judgment, when civil and 
natural privileges, though now 
favours, will stand for ciphers, 
and signify nothing. The Jews 
indeed tell us that women are 
of an inferior creation, and there- 
fore suffer them not to enter 
their synagogues, but appoint 
them galleries without ; but they 
speak more truly and wisely who 
call women the second edition of 
the epitome of the world. Souls 
have no sexes ; in Christ there 
is neither male nor female. Per- 
severe, honoured lady, in your 


2 Daughter to the Right Honourable the Lord Paget. 



how much are you bound to the 
Lord, that grace should thus run 
in a blood ! Boleslaus, king of 
Poland, when he was to speak 
or do anything of concernment, 
would take out a little picture of 
his father that he carried about 
him, and kissing it, would say, 
I wish I may speak or do no- 
thing at this time unworthy thy 

Sir, it is your privilege to reap 
the benefit of their precious 
prayers, and your piety, more 
and more to imitate their gra- 
cious patterns. How exactly 
should you walk, having such 
lights so near to direct you ! 
And how accurately should you 
write in every line of your life, 
having such fair copies before 
your eyes ! It is no small ad- 
vantage likewise, 

pious course, to confute those 
painted carcases, who spend all 
their time in priding and pleas- 
ing their brittle flesh, and ne- 
glect their immortal spirits, to 
publish to the world that great- 
ness and goodness are not incon- 
sistent. Oh it is a rare and 
lovely sight to behold honour and 
holiness matched and married, 
lodging and living together ! As 
a diamond well set in a gold ring 
is most sparkling, and as light 
in stars of the greatest magni- 
tude is most glorious and shin- 
ing ; so grace is often most amiable 
in persons that are most honour- 
able. The exceeding advantage 
your ladyship hath this way of 
doing God much service, is an 
awakening argument to endea- 
vours after much sanctity. It is 
a farther encouragement 

that you are joined to a loving yoke-fellow, who will draw equally 
with you in the road to Canaan. That you may both walk in the 
day of your lives, like Zachariah and Elizabeth, that peerless pair, 
as one calleth them, in all the commandments of the Lord, blame- 
less ; that when the night of death shall overtake you, you may 
expire like the Arabian phoenix, in a bed of sweet spices, the graces 
and comforts of the Spirit leaving a sweet savour behind you, that 
your children may be heirs to your spiritual riches, and see the 
eternal felicity of God's chosen ; and that your house may through- 
out all generations be known by this name, Jehovah Shammah, 
The Lord is there, is the desire, and shall be the prayer of, 

Your servant, for Jesus' sake, 

George Swinnock. 



He who doth but exercise his reason in considering the infinite 
cost which the glorious God hath bestowed in erecting the stately 
fabric of heaven and earth, and the curious workmanship which he 
hath discovered in the several creatures which are the inhabitants 
of the higher and lower house, (causing his almighty power, em- 
broidered wisdom, and unsearchable goodness to glister and sparkle 
far more gloriously in them than the stars in the clearest night, or 
the sun in his noonday brightness,) will easily grant me this asser- 
tion, That this great landlord of the world must needs deserve and 
expect a considerable rent of honour and service, somewhat suitable 
to the vast charge he hath been at. Who can be so brutish as to 
conceive that ' the only wise God ' should take so much pains, as 
with infinite counsel to contrive the goodly frame and comely struc- 
ture of his visible creation from all eternity, and by his omnipotent 
arm to give it a being, and not intend that his boundless excellen- 
cies and vast perfections, written in such a fair print, and large 
characters, should be admired and adored ? That man is the person 
designed to give him his due and deserved praise, is the next 
unquestionable concession, no other of God's visible works being 
capable of his worship. Indeed, man's sight is so bad that he can 
see little of that beauty which appeareth in the glass of the world ; 
but beasts are stark blind — they can see nothing at all. 

Why should God create man with a rational, spiritual soul, and 
thereby capacitate him for so noble a service as the pleasing and 
praising himself, if he had not intended him for this purpose ? 
Brutish principles would have been sufficient to have fitted him for 
brutish practices. If God had made him to eat, and drink, and 
sleep, and wallow in the mire of carnal contentments, the soul 01 a 


beast might have served his turn. It is impossible that such an 
intelligent workman should infuse into our flesh angelical spirits 
in vain, and not appoint us to some honourable work, answerable to 
the excellency of our natures and beings. Some of the wiser 
heathen have gathered from the tendency of man's countenance 
towards heaven, that he is more noble, and born to higher things, 
than, like a moving carcase, to be buried alive in the earth. Those 
who, to help the weak eyes of nature, have the spectacles of Scrip- 
ture, cannot but see more into man's excellency and his end. It is 
written in such broad letters in the word, that God formed man for 
this purpose, namely, to shew forth his praise, that he who runs 
may read it. But alas ! alas ! what is become of man ? Well 
may God call to him, ' Adam, where art thou ?' Man, where art 
thou ? He who, erewhile, like a star, keeping aloft in the firma- 
ment of heaven, did glitter and shine most brightly, to the amaze- 
ment of all his beholders, now declining from that pitch, and falling 
to the earth, as a comet, doth vanish and disappear. He who was 
the world's lord, is now its slave and vassal ; he who was the master 
of wisdom, is now sent to school to the very beasts, to learn of them 
understanding ; he who was unspeakably blessed in his love to delight 
in, and communion with the fountain of his being, is now miserably 
cursed in his contrariety to, and deviation from, the ocean of his 
happiness. Ah, this image of heaven is become the vizard of hell ! 
though this princely creature was made to be company for his 
Maker, to stand as an angel always in his presence, and attend his 
noble pleasure, yet look how, like a pitiful lackey, he runs sneak- 
ing after the drossy world and dreggy flesh as his lords. Though 
religion were first in God's intention, yet it is last in man's execu- 
tion. Things without reason honour God in their stations, they 
obey his will ; creatures without sense do him service, they keep 
within the bounds which he hath set them, and fulfil those ends for 
which he made them. ' Mine hand hath laid the foundation of 
the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens ; when I 
call to them, they stand up together,' Isa. xlviii. 13. Nay, these 
inanimate creatures are so compliant with his pleasure, that they 
will thwart their own nature to serve his honour. Fire will 
descend, (as on Sodom,) and water, though a fluid body, stand up 
like a solid wall, (as in the Eed Sea,) if he do but speak the word. 
But man, who is most indebted to his Creator, degenerateth most of 
all ; when his inferiors, (beasts,) and his superiors, (angels,) are 
loyal servants, he proves a rebellious subject. 

They who ever had any real sense of the worth of immortal 


souls, and any serious consideration of the weight of their unchange- 
able estates in the other world, cannot but be affected with the mad- 
ness of multitudes, who turn their backs upon the blessed God, 
their greatest and only friend, as if he were their greatest and only 
foe. They who have tasted God to be gracious, and know what 
fellowship with Jesus Christ meaneth, who have rejoiced in their 
present gracious privileges, and hope of their future glorious pos- 
session, cannot but wonder and pity at that folly which many are 
guilty of, in disesteeming the noble concernments of their precious 
souls, and distasting that honourable preferment, and comfortable 
employment, of walking with the blessed God. How greedily do 
men grasp the smoke of earthly vanities, which will wring tears 
from their eyes, and then vanish into nothing-! 

Who can sufficiently bemoan it, that man, who is capable of and 
created for so high an honour, and so heavenly an exercise, as to 
.serve his Maker here, and to enjoy him hereafter, should all his 
time, like a hog, be digging and rooting in the earth, and not 
once look up to heaven in earnest, till the knife is put to his throat, 
that he conieth to die and enter into the other world ? 

What a deal of pains doth the spider take in weaving her web 
to catch flies ! she runneth much, and often up and down, hither 
and thither ; she spendeth herself, wearing out and wasting her 
own bowels to make a curious cabinet, which, when she hath 
finished and hung aloft, in the twinkling of an eye, with the sweep 
of a besom, is throwm to the ground, and herself destroyed in it. 
Thus silly are many men ; how do they cark and care, toil and moil 
for this world, which they must leave for ever ! they waste their 
time and strength to increase their heaps, when on a sudden all 
perisheth, and themselves often with it. 

Reader, if thou art one of these moles, who live in the earth as 
their element, carking and caring chiefly how to exalt self and 
please the flesh, answer God these four questions, which from him 
I shall propound to thee. I shall allow thee to be thy own judge ; 
only I request thee, for the sake of thy precious soul, to ponder 
them with all seriousness ; possibly through the blessing of God 
they may make thee wise to salvation. 

Quest. 1. Art thou convinced that the true and living God made 
thee a rational creature, and hath served thee in all thy days with 
innumerable mercies, upon a nobler design, and for a higher end, 
than the gratifying thy flesh and sensitive appetite, and following 
thy particular calling, and minding sublunary vanities ? Friend, 
what say est thou ? Do not muzzle the mouth of conscience, but 


give it leave to speak its rnincl freely. Art not thou satisfied fully 
in this weighty truth, that the mighty possessor of heaven and 
earth created thee, and preserveth thee, to worship, honour, and en- 
joy himself ? If thou art convinced, as it is impossible but thou 
shouldst, unless thou art a beast in the shape of a man, why then 
doth thy life every day give thy conscience the lie ? Dost thou not 
live without God ? Is not religion thy burden and thy bondage ? 
Hath not the world the top and cream of thy heart, and time, and 
strength ? How often dost thou put God off with the world's 
scraps and leavings ? How little is God in all thy thoughts ! Is 
he not forbidden thy heart ? Nay, dost thou not daily proclaim 
open war against him by thy profaneness and atheism, as if he had 
not the least right ^to thee, nor thou the least dependence on him, 
and all this against the convictions of thine own conscience? 
Friend, dost thou know what thou dost ? Why, thou puttest thy 
finger into the very eye of nature. The eye of the body is a ten- 
der part, but how tender is the eye of thy soul ! yet thou art all 
this while endeavouring to put out the eye of thy very soul. Be- 
lieve it, sins against nature are of a crimson colour ; for thy conver- 
sation to contradict continually thy very conscience, will bring upon 
thee dreadful vengeance. 

Quest. 2. Answer me again, Is not the blessed God worthy of all 
thy service and honour ? Doth he not deserve all thy love, and fear, 
and trust — all thy time, and strength, and wealth, and infinitely 
more ? From whom came they but from him ; and to whom should 
they be given but to him ? Art thou not bound to him by millions of 
engagements ? Art thou not the work of his hands ? Dost thou 
not lie at his mercy every moment ? Canst thou live, or move, or 
breathe without him ? Can he not as easily sink thee with fury, 
as support thee with mercy, turn thee into hell, as warn thee of 
hell ? Oh think of that place, ' The God in whose hands is thy 
breath, thou hast not glorified/ Dan. v. 23. Alas! alas ! man, though 
thou makest no reckoning of pleasing God, but banishest him 
thy heart and house, as if his company were a burden, yet know 
that thy breath is in his hands continually ; if he do but shut 
his hand, thine eyes will be no longer open, but thy mouth 
quickly stopped with earth. Ah, how soon can he take away 
that airy difference between sleep and death ! He can wink thee 
into the other world, and look thee into the unquenchable lake : 
1 By the breath of God they perish, and by the breath of his nos- 
trils they are consumed/ Job iv. 8. If thou dependedst altogether 
upon another man for thy livelihood, thou wouldst think he de- 


served thy service, and that it? concerned thee to please him. Oh 
how highly doth it concern thee to worship and honour the 
almighty God, in whose hand is thy livelihood, life, and everlast- 
ing weal or woe ! Ah, didst thou hut know what perfections are 
in him, and how indispensably thy dependence is every minute 
upon him, thou wouldst wonder at thy folly and madness in slight- 
ing him, and make it thy principal business to glorify and enjoy 

Quest. 3. In the next place, tell me, Is not thy conscience con- 
vinced that God is in all respects the best master, his worship the 
best work, and his pay the best reward ? Hast thou not knocked 
many time at the creature's door, entered in, sat down, and fed on 
such fare as it had to set before thee, and, after all, gone away as 
empty and unsatisfied as thou earnest ? Hast thou not found by 
experience that the creature keepeth a poor, pitiful house? that 
they who run to it with heads full of hopes, return back with hearts 
full of heaviness ? and shall no learning teach thee ? Man, man, 
where is thy reason ? Hast thou no eyes to behold the rottenness 
of the world's "ware, because it is glazed over with gaudy dyeings ? 
Shall the sweet breath of this alluring panther still bewitch thee, 
notwithstanding all his deformity and ugliness, vanity and empti- 
ness, so as to get thee within his power and destroy thee ? Dost 
thou not see hundreds before thine eyes, of the world's chief favour- 
ites, whom she dandled on her knees, and was very fond of, hurried 
in haste into the other world, leaving all her gifts behind them, and 
not a button the better for all her fondness and fooleries ? Didst 
thou never observe how she leaveth her lovers in the lurch, and, 
like a false, deceitful friend, forsakes them wholly in the time 
of their greatest extremity ? ' Man walketh in a vain show ; he 
disquieteth himself in vain.' ' He returneth to his earth, and in 
that day his thoughts perish,' Ps. xxxix. 8, and cxlvi. As he that 
goeth to a fair, with a purse full of money, is devising and debating 
with himself how to lay it out— possibly thinking that such and 
such commodities will be most profitable, and bring him in the 
greatest gain— when on a sudden a cut-purse comes and easeth 
him both of his money and care how to dispose of it. Surely thou 
mightst have taken notice how some of thy neighbours or country- 
men, when they have been busy in their contrivances, and big with 
many plots and projects how to raise their estate and names and 
families, were arrested by death in a moment, returned to their 
earth, and in that day all their gay, their great thoughts perished 
and came to nothing. The heathen historian could not but observe 


how Alexander the Great, when he had to carry on his great designs, 
summoned a parliament before him of the whole world, he was 
himself summoned by death to appear in the other world. The 
Dutch, therefore, very wittily to express the world's vanity, picture 
at Amsterdam a man with a full-blown bladder on his shoulders, 
and another standing by pricking the bladder with a pin, with this 
motto, Quam subito, How soon is all blown down ! 

Reader, it is impossible, if thou usest thy rational faculty, but 
thou shouldst be convinced of the truth of these things : ' Why 
then dost thou spend thy strength for that which is not bread, and 
thy labour for that which will not satisfy?' Oh that I could invite 
and persuade thee to the most gainful trade ! ' Hearken unto me, 
and eat that which is good, and let thy soul delight itself in fatness.' 
If religion were thy business, God would not serve thee as the world 
doth its servants : God is such a master, that ten thousand worlds 
to him are as nothing, yea, ''less than nothing and vanity.' He is 
a master without exceptions, because he is an ocean of all (and 
nothing but) infinite perfections. His worship must needs be the 
best work, because it is itself a reward. Thou canst not deny 
but the work of saints and angels in heaven is the best work by a 
thousand degrees that creatures are capable of, or can possibly be 
exercised in ; truly their work and reward is the same, to worship 
and enjoy the blessed God. They who make religion their business 
have a taste beforehand of their future blessedness. Religion also 
bringeth in the greatest profit. The world payeth her servants in 
ciphers and counters, airy honours, a brutish pleasure, and fading 
riches, which are worth nothing ; but religion here in figures and 
pearls, which are worth thousands, the precious blood of Christ, 
the inestimable covenant of grace, and eternal immediate com- 
munion with the infinite God. Reader, if profit be the bait at 
which thou wilt bite, I will tell thee in a few words how much 
religion will be worth to thee : Truly, two worlds — not a farthing- 
less. ' Exercise thyself unto godliness:' godliness ' hath the pro- 
mise of this life, and that which is to come,' 1 Tim. iv. 7, 8. Ah, 
who would not work for thee, King of nations, when in doing of 
thy commands there is such great reward ! Friend, who would 
not cast his net into the waters of the sanctuary, when he may be 
confident of such an excellent draught ? 

Quest. 4. Once more: If none of these things move thee, I shall 
ask thee one question more, and then leave thee to thy choice — 
"What wilt thou do in a dying hour ? I say again, reader, if reli- 
gion be not thy business now, what wilt thou do when thou comest 


to die ? Now possibly thou bearest thyself up with the streams of 
carnal comforts ; but what will become of thee when all these 
waters shall be dried up, and nothing of them seen but the mud 
of those sins which thou hast been guilty of in the use, or rather 
abuse, of them ? Now thou canst do well enough, thou thinkest, 
without God and his worship ; but ah ! what wilt thou do when thou 
comest to look into the other world ? Alas ! then thy brightest sun 
of bodily delights will be clouded, thy freshest flowers will be 
withered, and thy greatest candles extinguished, and leave only a 
stink behind them. Believe it, death will search thee to the quick, 
and try to purpose what metal thou art made of. When thou 
comest to lie upon thy sick-bed, and thy wealth, and honours, and 
relations, and flesh, and heart shall fail thee, what will become of 
thee, if God be not the strength of thy heart and thy portion for 
ever ? What will he do to look death in the face, upon whom the 
jealous God shall frown ? We read in Epiphanius of a bird called 
Charadrius, that being brought into the room where one lieth sick, 
if he look on the sick person with a fixed eye he recovereth ; but 
if he turn away his eyes from him he dieth. Friend, what a miser- 
able condition will thy poor soul be in when all thy friends and 
riches shall leave thee, and the blessed God himself shall not 
vouchsafe thee a good look, but turn away his face from thee ? 
Surely thy disease will be unto death eternal. Thy friends may 
carry thy body to its grave for a time, but frightful devils will 
carry thy soul to hell, to remain there for ever and ever. Eeligion, 
indeed, is like the stone Chrysolapis, which will shine brightest in 
the dark of death. The truly religions may launch into the ocean 
of eternity, and sail to their everlasting harbour, as the Alexandrian 
ship came into the Roman haven, with top and top-gallant, with 
true comfort and undaunted courage : let death come when it will, 
he can bid it welcome. Death is never sudden to a saint ; no guest 
comes unawares to him who keepeth a constant table ; but as when 
the day dawns to us in Europe the shadows of the evening are 
stretched on Asia, so the day of their redemption will be a long 
night of destruction to thee. That jailer who koocketh off their 
fetters, and setteth them at that perfect liberty, will bind thee in 
chains of darkness, and haul thee to the dungeon of horror, whence 
thou shalt never come forth. 

reader, these are no jesting matters. I am confident, as lightly 
now as thou thinkest of a religious man — as if he were only some 
singular and affected person — it may be thou canst hardly look on 
him but with a squint eye, or speak of him but with a jeer ; yet 

VOL. i. b 


when thou coinest to die, thou wouldst give a thousand worlds, if 
thou hadst them to give, for the least drop of his holiness or the 
least crumb of his happiness. Ponder these four forementioned 
particulars, and thou canst not but think them weighty questions. 
Do not, oh do not dally or jest with them ; for be confident thou 
wilt find them one day to be edged tools. 

Possibly, reader, thou art one of them that hast heard these 
sermons preached, and belongest to that parish where providence 
hath cast me; and then as I have a special relation to thee, I must 
beg of thee, as upon my bended knees, for the Lord's sake, and as 
thou wouldst not have them brought in against thee at the dreadful 
day of judgment, that thou put the will of the Lord, discovered 
therein, immediately into practice. ' My heart's desire and prayer 
to God for thee is, that thou mightst be saved.' Oh that I knew 
what to do for thee which might be effectual for that end ! If thou 
wilt believe the blessed God, the way to the happiness in heaven is 
to exercise thyself to godliness on earth ; there is no going into life 
but through the strait gate. The devil putteth old men's spectacles 
on young and old men's eyes, which cause them to think that the 
way to heaven is broad and large ; when God himself hath told us 
that it is narrow, and few go in it. I have acquainted thee in this 
treatise what is the price — not natural, but pactional — of salvation; 
there must be striving, labouring, fighting, using violence, a work- 
ing it out with fear and trembling, and God is resolved he will not 
abate the least mite. Oh that I could therefore prevail with thee 
to set upon it in good earnest ! I do not plead with thee for 
myself, but for thine own profit, that thou mayest be happy for 
ever; and shall I lose my labour ? Neighbour, surely thou believest 
that these things are not toys and trifles, but matters of infinite 
concernment ; and wilt thou slight them ? Alas ! to be frying in 
hell, or living in heaven for ever, are of greater consequence than 
thy understanding can possibly conceive. The weight of these 
things hath so overburdened several persons' minds that it hath 
made them distracted and mad ; and canst thou trample them as 
dirt under thy feet, without any regard at all ? 

Because I would willingly be both faithful and helpful to thee, 
I shall earnestly, in the name of the blessed God, beseech thee, as 
thou wouldst leave these dying comforts with a lively courage, to 
mind and practise these two particulars, without which thou canst 
never make religion thy business. 

Make sure that thy heart be thoroughly changed. That building 
which reacheth up to heaven must have a strong and sure founda- 


tion. If the watch be not of the right make, it will never go true. 
He must ' live in the Spirit' who would ' walk in the Spirit.' 
Natural bodies follow the tendency of that body which is pre- 
dominant in them. Stones move downward, fire upward ; each 
would be at its centre ; that which stoppeth either, offereth violence 
to it. So it will be with thee ; thy life will be according to the 
tendency of thy heart. If that be carnal, and the flesh predomin- 
ant, such will thy life be ; if that be changed, and the Spirit be 
predominant in it, thy life will be spiritual also ; if the law of God 
be written in thy affections, then, and not till then, it will be legible 
in thy conversation. Oh, do not rest in civility, morality, perform- 
ances, privileges, or anything short of renewing grace. It is the 
heart by generation chiefly polluted, and it is the heart by regene- 
ration which must be purified, or thou perishest eternally. When 
an error is in the foundation of a house, it will not be mended by 
daubing or rough-cast, but must be pulled down and built up 
anew : ' If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature ; old 
things are passed away, and all things are become new,' 2 Cor. v. 17. 

Oh friend, consider that by the irrevocable decree and sentence 
of the living God, none shall be saved but those that are converted 
and renewed ; and for the sake of thy precious soul, give thyself no 
rest till this change be wrought. I assure thee it concerneth thee, 
for thine everlasting life or death dependeth upon it, John iii. 3 ; 
Mat. xviii. 3 ; Heb. xii. 14. 

Be much with God in religious duties. Secret praying, reading, 
and meditating, are great helps to piety. The bottom of a Chris- 
tian's building is underground, and out of the world's sight. The 
greatest part of that trade which a saint drives with God is unseen, 
and his returns are unknown to the world. Christ giveth his 
sweetest kisses and dearest embraces to his spouse when she is alone. 
Jacob met with the blessing when he had parted with his com- 
pany, and wrestled singly with the angel of the covenant. Bread 
eaten in secret, how sweet is it ! When God meeteth thy soul in a 
morning or evening prayer, communion with his Majesty will be 
sweet to thee indeed. 

• Take heed of omission of duties in the closet. The Amalekite 
had not eaten in three days, who was nigh death. It is observed 
that the places under the line are not so hot as some places at a 
further distance, because, though they have the beams of the sun 
falling perpendicularly to cause a more intense heat, yet the nights 
there being longer than in some other parts, the days are not so 
hot. When the nights are long, the days are very cold ; when 


there are long omissions of duties, godliness will cool. Ah, didst 
thou but know what many a saint hath gained by that hidden 
calling, I am confident thou wouldst mind it, whatever thou didst 
omit. Kemember how often and earnestly I have urged thee to 
this duty. It is thy privilege, that though thou canst not every 
day have the showers of public ordinances, yet mayest thou have 
the watering-pots of secret duties to make thy soul fruitful. Let 
no day pass without thy morning and evening sacrifices. Fasting 
is bad for some bodies ; I am. sure to fast from spiritual food is 
exceeding injurious to thy soul. 

He that runneth into enormities (as a drunkard, or swearer, or 
adulterer, &c.) he stabbeth his soul ; he that omitteth daily duties, 
he starveth his soul. Now, what great difference is there between 
the death of the soul by stabbing and by starving ? If thy soul die 
eternally, it will be little comfort to thee to plead that thou didst 
not drink, or swear, as others. Oh friend, let no day pass without 
secret duties ; if thou risest in a morning, and followest thy calling 
all day, and liest down at night, and never desirest God's company, 
or askest his blessing, I would know wherein thou dost God more 
service than the ox or ass? For shame, friend, do not thus play 
the beast any longer. 

I have in this treatise endeavoured to assist thee by discovering 
the nature and necessity of making religion thy business. I cannot 
but think that the reasons which I have laid down for this duty 
will move any man who is not resolved to make himself eternally 
miserable. It is no mean mercy that thou mayest adopt all thy 
natural and civil actions into the family of religion ; that though, 
like ciphers, they signify nothing of themselves, yet having the 
figure of godliness put before them, they may signify much, and 
stand for thousands. 

I shall, reader, only acquaint thee with some particulars which I 
treat of in the book, and then leave thee and it to the blessing of 
God. I am very large in directing thee about the immediate 
worship of the Lord, as knowing that is of greatest weight and 
worth. No preparation can be too great for, no devotion can be 
too gracious in, religious actions. Amongst many other rites and 
ceremonies of the Jews, it is related that before the doors of their 
synagogues they have an iron plate, against which they wipe and 
make clean their shoes before they enter, and that being entered, 
they sit solemnly for a season, not once opening their mouths, but 
considering with whom they have to do. 1 Truly, friend, it con- 
1 Ant. Mar°rarit de Ritibus Judseorum. 


cernetli thee to be full of reverence when thou appearest solemnly 
in God's presence. Think of it ; he is a jealous God, and will not 
be mocked ; they that dally with him undo themselves. Serious 
piety will abundantly profit thee, but careless service will highly 
provoke God. Spiders' cobwebs may better be suffered in a cottage 
than in a king's palace. 

In the next place, I proceed to natural actions, and then to 
recreations, about both which thy care must be that they exceed 
not their bounds, and that they taste and savour of religion. 
Mandrakes, if duly taken, is good physic ; but if immoderately, it 
casts into a deep sleep and congeals the spirits. It requireth much 
piety and prudence, not to abuse those things whilst thou art using 
them. Satan catcheth many a soul with these baits, and then 
throweth them into the fire. But if religion be thy business, that 
which is poison to others will be nourishing food to thee. 

After these I speak to particular callings, that they might be 
managed so as not to be hurtful, but helpful, to our general callings. 
I conclude the book with government of families, wherein thou 
must learn that thy house must be dedicated to God. Religion in 
thy house must of necessity be minded, or the whole family is 
cursed. The naturalists observe of the eagle, that building her 
nest on high, she is much maligned by a venomous serpent called 
parias, which, because it cannot reach to the nest, maketh to the 
windward, and breathes out its poison, that so the air being in- 
fected, the eagle's young may be destroyed ; but by way of preven- 
tion, the eagle, by a natural instinct, keepeth a kind of agate 
stone in her nest, which, being placed against the wind, preserveth 
her young. 1 Satan, the crooked serpent, is ever busy to poison the 
air in thine house, and thereby to destroy thyself, servants, and 
whole household. The only stone for prevention is to set up 
religion. Neighbour, I have many a time pressed this duty upon 
thee, and I do again in the name of the blessed God charge thee, 
as thou wilt answer it at the bar of Christ, that thou immediately 
set up the worship of God in thy family. Thou knowest how 
many sermons I preached from Joshua xxiv. 15 on this subject, all 
which ere long thou shalt give an account of ; how inexcusable 
wilt thou be if, after all those warnings, thy family be found in the 
number of them that call not on God ! Good Lord, how dreadful 
will it be for thee to sink into hell, with thy whole house on thy 
back ! 

And now, reader, whoever thou art, out of affection to thy pre- 

1 Plin. Hist., lib. iii. cap. 10. 


cious soul and eternal salvation, let me prevail with thee not to use 
religion as men do perfumes, refresh themselves with them whilst 
they have them, but they can well enough be without them, but 
to make it thy chief, and main, and principal business. What 
shall I say to thee ? Assure thyself religion will be thy best friend 
at last. Oh, if thou hadst but the same apprehensions of it now 
which thou wilt have on a dying bed and day of judgment, thou 
wouldst make it thine own business ; then religion will be religion 
indeed, and of infinitely more worth to thee than millions of worlds. 
All other things will then, like leaves in autumn, fall from thee ; 
but though all thy most loving friends will part with thee, religion 
will walk with thee in the valley of the shadow of death ; it will 
direct and refresh thee in the pleasant waters of life, and it will 
protect and comfort thee in those salt waters of sickness, and when 
thou passest the mare mortuum, the sea of death ; when the 
world in thy extremity will serve thee as the herd do a deer that is 
shot, push thee out of their company. When thy wife and chil- 
dren will, like Orphan to Naomi, kiss thee, and take their leave of 
thee, religion will, like Euth, stick close to thee ; where thou goest, 
it will go ; where thou lodgest, it will lodge ; death itself shall not 
part thee and it. 

As the noble Grecian answered Philip, when he asked him 
whether he was not afraid to die ? No, saith he, for the Athenians 
will give me a life that is immortal. Thou shouldst not need to 
fear death, for religion will give thee a life that is immortal. As 
the old grave counsellors told Rehoboam, ' Be thou a servant to 
this people this day, and they will be thy servant for ever ; ' so 
say I to thee, Be thou but a faithful servant to religion in this 
short clay of thy life, and religion will be thy servant to all eternity. 

If thou art resolved to give thyself up to the service of this noble 
mistress, possibly this treatise may do thee some little service, by 
acquainting thee with her will, and directing thee in her work. 

If, in the perusal of it, thou receive any profit, let God alone 
have the praise, and remember him in thy prayers who is 

Thine in the Lord, 

Geouge Swinnock. 



But refuse 'profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself unto 

godliness. Exercise thyself unto godliness. — 1 Tim. iv. 7. 


The preface and coherence of the text. 

The unclean spring of ungodliness dividetli itself, like the third 
African gulf, 1 into two main cursed channels, atheism and super- 
stition ; in one of which all the children of men swim by nature, 
and very many, as the silly fish, down the streams of Jordan, till 
they descend into the lake of Sodom, the dead sea of hell, and 
perish. Which of these two passages are most fatal and perilous, 
seems worth our inquiry. The waters in the former stream are 
deepest ; atheism denieth the very being of God, but to prevent 
sinking in these waters, nature herself hath provided some skin-deep 
bladders ; for though there be many atheists in practice, yet there 
be no atheists in principles. The being of a deity was so fairly 
written on the tables of man's heart at first, that though it be ex- 
ceedingly blotted and blurred by the fall, yet it is still legible. Those 
heathen, as Caligula and others, who endeavoured to extinguish 
that candle of the Lord, which shewed them a first cause, or being 
of beings, could never accomplish it. It is a part of that law which 
is written in all men's hearts, Eom. ii. 15. The orator 2 could say, 
That no nation was so barbarous as to deny the being of God. 
Tullus Hostilius, 3 third king of the Eomans, who derided his prede- 

1 Plin. Nat. Hist., lib. v. cap. 4. 3 Cicer. De Nat. Deorum. 

* Lactant. Inst. Epicurum ipsum quem nihil pudendum pudet, tamen Deum negare 
pudet. — Mornseus de verit Christ. Kelig. c. i. 


cessor Numa's sacrifices, saying, that religion did but effeminate 
men's minds, did himself, as Lactantius in Instit. observes, worship 
the god Fear. Idolatry is a clear proof that all men believe a deity, 
otherwise they would never worship, not only the sun, as the 
Masagetes ; but dead men, as the Grecians ; whom their governors 
would appoint, as the Romans ; cats, dogs, and horses, as the 
Egyptians ; and anything rather than nothing. Though there be, 
saith a learned author, nations without kings, without laws, without 
clothes, yet there are none without a god. When man fell, this 
truth stood. 

The waters in the latter stream are not so deep, but they seem 
more dangerous ; for nature is in some respect a friend to super- 
stition, though an enemy to atheism ; it would give God some 
worship, but it must be in its own way. Atheism denieth the being 
of a deity ; superstition undermineth the authority of God. The 
atheist would have no God, the superstitious would be his own 
God ; his will, not God's word, is the rule of his worship. In this 
gulf hath many a soul been swallowed up. The atheist turneth to 
the left hand, the superstitious to the right hand, but he must turn 
to neither that will keep his feet from evil, Prov. iv. ult. 

The text presenteth us with a caution against the poison of 
superstition, 1 and propoundeth to us the golden medium between 
the two extremes : ' Avoid or refuse old wives' fables, and exercise 
thyself unto godliness.' 

The scope of the apostle in this epistle is to furnish Timothy 
with necessary directions for, and to fortify him against the op- 
position he should meet with in the work of the ministry. 

In this chapter Paul doth prophetically forewarn Timothy of, 
and practically forearm him against, the apostasy of the latter 

In it, first, The malady is described; and, second, The remedy is 

First, The apostasy is described. 1. By the sure detection of it. 
' The Spirit speaketh expressly.' Had it been doubtful, it need not 
have been so dreadful ; but it is certain, and therefore calls for the 
more caution. 

2. By the season of it, ' In the latter times.' When the world 

1 Fabulosam doctrinam et prophanam vocat earn quae in ritibus et disciplina vitse 
aliquid excogitat prseter sacrse scripturas meutem. Huic opponit ev<re(3eiav, hoc est 
veram rationem colendi Deum. — Aret. in loc. Fugiendum est in disciplina morali 
/xvdiKov, fabulosum, hoc est quod speciem habet antiquitatis, sed cum vero Dei cultu 
non contrruit. — Idem, ibid. 


groweth old, it will doat and decline ; when it comes to the bottom, 
it will run dregs. Its last days, which should be best, will be its 
worst days. 

3. By the causes procuring it, ' Seducing spirits, and doctrine 
of devils ;' Satan and his emissaries will, like Samson's foxes, carry 
firebrands abroad to set the world in a hellish flame. 

Secondly, The remedy is prescribed, in reference to himself. 

Something he must forbear, ' Kefuse 1 profane and old wives' 
fables.' If thou wouldst not swim down with the tide of those 
apostatising times, take heed of steering thy course by profane, 
though ancient customs. Kefuse them with scorn, reject them 
with anger ; let thy spirit rise, and thy stomach turn at the very 
sight of such sins. One way to prevent apostasy is to refuse 
ungrounded antiquity. The will of the Father of spirits, not the 
ways of the fathers of our flesh, is to be the rule of our walking. 
It is well observed that God in no command but the second, which 
forbids his worship in any way not appointed by his word, 
threateneth to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, be- 
cause superstitious worshippers are of all men most strengthened 
by the traditions of their fathers. They will tell us, Shall we be 
wiser than our fathers ? Now, because they are resolved to sin with 
their fathers, God is resolved they shall suffer for their fathers. 
They that will follow their forefathers in sin, for aught I know 
must follow their forefathers to hell. If Timothy would not share 
in others' declensions, he must forbear others' traditions, ' Refuse 
profane and old wives' fables.' 

Something he must also follow after ; ' Exercise thyself unto godli- 
ness.' This is the special help which the skilful physician appoint- 
eth his beloved patient in those infectious times to preserve his soul 
in health. As a pestiferous air is very dangerous to the body, yet 
for a man to get, and make it his work to keep a sound constitution 
will be an excellent means to prevent infection. So an apostatising 
place or people is very dangerous to the soul ; spiritual diseases are 
more catching and killing than corporal ; but a spiritual habit of a 
real sanctity, with a constant care to continue and increase it, will 
be a sovereign means to preserve it in safety. Bodies without life 
quickly corrupt and become unsavoury, not so living creatures ; 
running waters are sweet and clean, when standing ponds putrify 
and abound in vermin. He that is ever trading and thriving in 
godliness, need not fear that he shall prove a bankrupt. Carts 
overthrow not going up hill. 

1 Uapairov. Rejice, (Piscat., Bern.) Excommunica, (alii.) 


Timothy is considerable in bis twofold capacity. 

1. As a minister of Christ, or in his particular calling; in this 
respect he must exercise himself to godliness. A pastor must not 
only some clays give precepts, but every day give a pattern to his 
people, 1 he must not only opOoirohelv, but also opOoTrojecv, not only 
divide the word rightly, but also order his conversation aright. He 
must, as Nazianzen said of Basil, thunder in his doctrine, and 
lighten in his life. Singular holiness is required of those that 
minister about holy things ; as painters, they must teach by their 
hands, by their lives, as well as by their lips. 

Ministers must exercise themselves to godliness — that is, do their 
duties with the greatest diligence. They are sometimes called ' the 
salt of the earth,' Mat. v. 13, 14, because they must waste them- 
selves to prevent corruption in others. Sometimes ' the light of 
the world ; ' they must consume themselves, to direct others in the 
way to heaven. Gregory observeth, 2 that the Spirit of God ap- 
peared in two shapes — in the shape of a dove, signifying innocency ; 
in the shape of fire, signifying activity. The zeal of God's house, not 
the rust of idleness, must eat the minister up ; he must be a burning 
shining light, if ever he would thaw the frozen hearts of his hearers. 3 
Our churches must not be turned into chapels of ease. Christ ne- 
glected his food, spent his strength, wrought so hard that he was 
thought to be beside himself. We are called fishers, labourers, 
soldiers, watchmen, all which are laborious callings. We are com- 
pared to clouds ; the clods of the earth lie still, but the clouds of 
heaven are ever in motion, and dissolve themselves to refresh others. 

But, alas ! how many fleece their flocks, but never feed them, as if 
their benefices were sinecures. The green sickness is the maid's, 
and laziness many ministers' disease. Who is instant in season 
and out of season ? 4 It was a notable speech of Boniface the 
martyr, to one that asked him whether it was lawful to give the 
sacramental wine in a wooden cup : Time was when we had 
wooden cups and golden priests, but now we have golden cups and 
wooden priests. 

1 Non tantum sana doctrina, sed etiam pia et religiosa vita, ministri verbi opus 
est. — Beza in loc. 

2 Greg, in 1 cap. Job. 

3 Quicquid dicit Lutherus, quicquid scribit, id in animas penetrat, et mirifieos 
relinquit aculeos in cordibus hominum. — Melch. Adam, in Vit. Luther. 

4 Sacerdotum nomina accepimus, non ad quietem sed ad laborem ; ut inveniamur 
in opere quod signamur in nomine. — Greg., lib. iv. cap. 8. 

Chap. II.] the christian man's calling. 27 


The opening of the text and the doctrine. 

2. Timothy is to be considered as a member of Christ, or in his 
general calling ; and so this exhortation belongs to every Christian. 
In it we may observe these three parts : 

1. The act, exercise. 

2. The subject of that act, thyself. 

3. The object about which it was to be conversant, unto godli- 

ness ; ' Exercise thyself unto godliness.' 

I shall briefly open the terms in the text, and then lay down the 
doctrinal truth. 

Exercise, ^vfxva^e.'] The word signifieth, strip thyself naked ; 
it is a metaphor from runners or wrestlers, who being to contend for 
the prize, and resolved to put forth all their strength and power, 
lay aside their clothes which may hinder them, and then bestir 
themselves to purpose ; l as if Paul had said, Timothy, let godli- 
ness be the object of all thy care and Cost. Follow thy general 
calling with the greatest industry ; pursue it diligently, do not 
loiter but labour about it ; lay aside what may hinder, lay hold of 
what may further, and mind it as the main and principal work 
which thou hast to do in this world. 

Thyself, aeavrov.] A Christian's first care must be about his 
own spiritual welfare. Keligion commands us to be mindful of 
and helpful to our neighbours and relations ; the sun rayeth out 
his refreshing beams, and the spring bubbleth up her purling 
streams for the good of others. Fire in the chimney warmeth the 
whole room, but it is burning hot on the hearth. Grace in a saint 
will make him useful to sinners, but chiefly, though not solely, to 
his own soul. Timothy, be not like a burning-glass, to put others 
into a flame, whilst thou thyself remainest unflred, but work hard 
to exalt holiness in thine own heart ; exercise thyself. 

Unto godliness, 7rpb<; evaefieiav.] Godliness is taken in Scripture 
either strictly or largely. 

(1.) Strictly, and then it includeth only the immediate worship 
of God, or obedience to the first table, and it is distinguished from 

1 Exercet semetipsum ad pietatem qui diligenter incumbit actionilms quibus Deus 
aervitur. — Est. in loc. 


righteousness, 1 Tit. ii. 11, 12; so ungodliness is distinct from un- 
righteousness, Rom. i. 18. 

(2.) Largely, and then it comprehendeth our duty to our neigh- 
bour, as well as to God, and obedience to the second as well as the 
first table ; so righteousness is religion, and in our dealings with 
men we may do our duty to God ; it is taken thus 1 Tim. vi. 6, and 
in the text. The good husbandman makes no balks in the field of 
God's precepts. Timothy must make it his trade to pay God and 
men their clue. He must not, like the pharisees, seem as tender 
of the first table as of the apple of his eye, and trample the second 
as dirt under his feet ; they prayed in God's house all day, to prey 
upon the widow's house at night ; nor as some (whom the world 
call honest men) who will not wrong their neighbours of the least 
mite, and yet wickedly rob God of many millions ; they steal from 
him both time and love, and trust and bestow them on earthly 
trifles. The bird that would fly well must use both wings ; the 
waterman, if he would have his boat move rightly, must ply both 
oars; the Christian, if he would make anything of his heavenly 
trade, must mind both tables. 

The truth that I shall draw from the text is this : 

That godliness ought to be minded as every one's main and prin- 
cipal business. ' Exercise thyself unto godliness/ 

Religion must be our chief occupation. The great trade that we 
follow in this world must be the trade of truth. 

It is observable that the more noble and singular a being is, the 
more it is employed in a suitable working. God, who is the 
highest in perfections, is not only the holiest, but the most constant 
and diligent in his operations. ' Hitherto my Father worketh, and 
I work,' John v. 17. His work indeed is without weariness, his 
labour without the least lassitude, (as they say of heaven, Coeli 
motus quies,) all God's working days are Sabbaths, days of rest ; 
but he is a pure act, and he is every moment infinitely active from 
and for himself. Angels are next to God in being, and so are next 
to him in working. They do God the most service, and they do 
him the best service ; they serve God without sin, and they serve 
him without ceasing ; ' He makes his angels spirits, and his minis- 
ters a flame of fire,' Heb. i. 7. Spirits are the most active creatures 
with life, fire is the most active creature without life, a flame is the 
most operative part of the fire : thus active are angels in working 
for God. Some by fire understand lightnings, by spirits winds. 

1 Verum et rectum Dei cultuni significat maxime sacris Scripturis. Hebrsea 
phrasi timor Domini vocatnr. Syrus intevp. justi tin m vocat. — Est in Joe. 

Chap. II.] the christian man's calling. 29 

As winds and lightnings presently pass through the earth, so angels 
presently fulfil God's holy will. 

Now as he hath given man a more excellent being than the rest 
of the visible world, so hath he called him to follow after and 
abound in the most excellent work. God hath appointed contem- 
plation or vision to be man's reward in heaven, to see God as he is, 
and to know him as he is known of him ; but service and action to 
be his work on earth, to exercise himself to godliness. 

Some read that, Job v. 7, thus, ' Man is born to work, as the 
sparks fly upward.' Indeed it is the decreed lot of all mankind to 
labour. Adam was called to industry in his state of innocency, 
Gen. ii. 15, and since man's fall his work, which was before his 
pleasure, is now his punishment ; if he eat not his bread in the 
sweat of his brow or his brains, he steals it. 1 He that, like a body- 
louse, lives upon others' sweat, is like Jeremiah's girdle, good for 
nothing. But the main work which God commandeth and com- 
mendeth to the children of men, is to glorify him upon earth, by 
exercising themselves to godliness. This is God's precept, and 
this hath been the saints' practice. This is God's prece|3t, ' Work 
out your salvation with fear and trembling,' Phil. ii. 12. In which 
words we have the Christian's end — eternal life, salvation ; and the 
means to attain it — diligent labour, work out your salvation ; he 
had need to labour hard that would attain heaven. Godliness 
must not be irdpepyov, his by-business, but to €p<yop, his main busi- 
ness. 2 The Jews have a proverb, (alluding to manna, which was 
to be gathered the sixth day for the seventh, because on the seventh 
none fell from heaven,) He that gathereth not food on the Sabbath 
eve, shall fast on the Sabbath day. Intimating thereby, that none 
shall reign in heaven but such as have wrought on earth. 

This hath been the saints' practice, ' Our conversation is in 
heaven,' Phil. iii. 18. Though our habitations be on earth, yet 
our 7ro\lrev/jia, our negotiation, is in heaven. As a merchant that 
lives in London drives a great trade in Turkey, or the remotest 
part of the Indies ; so Paul and the saints traded and trafficked 
afar off in the other world above, even when their abodes were 
here below. Godliness was their business, Christianity was minded 
and followed as their principal trade and calling. It is the calling 

1 Non est panis cujusquam proprius, nee sumini quidem regis nisi strenue laboret 
in vocatione sua. — Rol. in 1 Thes. iii. 6. 

2 Non dicit ipydfccrde, operamini sed KarepyafcaOe, accurate magnoque cum studio 
operamini, cum multa diligentia et solicitudine pergite vestram operari salutem. — A 
Lapid. in Phil. ii. 


of some to plough, and sow, and reap : the Christian makes and 
follows it as his calling, to ' plough up the fallow-ground of his 
heart ; to sow in righteousness, that he may reap in mercy,' Hosea 
x. 12. The trade of others is to buy and sell ; the godly man is 
the wise merchant, trading for goodly pearls, that sells all to buy 
the field where the pearl of great price is, Mat. xiii. 43. 

For the explication of this truth, that religion or godliness ought 
to be every one's principal business, I shall speak to these three 
things : 

First, What religion or godliness is. 

Secondly, What it is for a man to make religion his business, or 
to exercise himself to godliness. 

Thirdly, Why every Christian must mind godliness as his main 


What godliness is. 

For the first, What religion is. The derivation of the word will 
somewhat help to the explication of the thing ; the Latin word 
religio, from which our English word comes, some 1 derive a 
relegendo, because men, by serious reading, come to be religious ; 
grace sometimes findeth a passage through the sight into the soul. 
The eye (as in Austin and Junius) hath affected the heart. Zanchy 2 
derives it a religendo, or rather a re-eligendo, from choosing again, 
or a second time, because a religious person chooseth God for his 
chief est good and portion. His first choice was carnal, of the flesh 
and the creature ; but his second choice is spiritual, of God and 
Christ, and this choice is religion. Austin and Lactantius 3 (to 
whom I rather incline) derive it a religando, from binding or 
knitting, because it is the great bond to join and tie God and man 
together. As the parts of the body are knit to the head by the 
nerves and sinews, so man is knit to God by religion. Sin and 
irreligion separate God and man asunder ; ' Your iniquities have 
separated between you and your God/ Isa. lix. 2. Godliness and 
religion unite God and man together ; ' I will dwell in them, and 
walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people,' 
2 Cor. vi. 16. Atheism is a departing or going away from God, 

1 Cicer. lib. ii. De Natur. Deor. 2 Zanch., tom. iv., lib. i. De Eelig. cap. 13. 

* A ii!.'. torn. i. lib. De Vera Eelig-. ; Lact. lib. iv. Divin. Instit. cap. 28. 

Chap. III.] the christian man's calling. 31 

Eph. iv. 18 ; Heb. iii. 12. Religion is a coming or returning unto 
God, Heb. x. 22 ; Jer. iii. 1. The great misery of man by his fall 
is this, he is far from God ; and the great felicity of man by favour 
is this, he draweth nigh to God, Ps. lxxiii. 2. ult. ; James iv. 8. Ir- 
religion is a turning the back upon God, but religion is a seeking 
the face of God, and a following hard after him, Ps. ii. 3, xxvii. 8, 
and lxiii. 8. By ungodliness, men wander and deviate from God ; 
by godliness, men worship, and are devoted to God, Ps. cxix. 150 
and 38 verses. 

The Grecians call it Op^o-tcha, Beza thinks, 1 from Orpheus, a 
Thracian, who first taught the mysteries of religion among his 
countrymen. The word in the text is ivaefieia, w T hich in a word 
signifieth right or straight worship, 2 according to which I shall 
describe it thus : 

Godliness is a worshipping the true God in heart and life, 
according to his revealed will. 

In this description of godliness, I shall observe four parts. First, 
The act, it is a worship. Secondly, The object of this act, the true 
God. Thirdly, The extent of this worship, in heart and life. 
Fourthly, The rule, according to his revealed will. 

First, For the act, godliness is a worship. Worship compre- 
hends all that respect which man oweth and giveth to his Maker. 
It is that service and honour, that fealty and homage, which the 
creature oweth and tendereth to the fountain of his being and 
happiness. 3 It is the tribute which we pay to the King of kings, 
whereby we acknowledge his sovereignty over us, and our depend- 
ence on him. ' Give unto the Lord the honour due unto his name ; 
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,' Ps. xxix. 2. To wor- 
ship God is to give him the glory which is due to him. It is a 
setting the crown of glory on God's head. To render him due 
honour is true holiness ; to deny this, is atheism and irreligion. 
All that inward reverence and respect, and all that outward obe- 
dience and service to God, which the word enjoineth, is included in 
this one word worship. 

This worshipping God is either external or internal. 4 God is to 
be worshipped with the body. Joshua fell on his face and wor- 
shipped, Josh. v. 14. Moses bowed his head and worshipped, 
Exod. iv. 32. Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed, John 

1 Beza in Col. ii. 18. 2 Ab ev bene vel rede, et ae(3o/xai colo. 

3 Cultus religiosus est obsequium supremum illi soli debitum qui est principium et 
autor tain creationis quara beatificationis nostrse. — Daven. Determ. 

4 Cultus corporis et cultus conscientise. 


xvii. 1. David lifted Hip his hands to God, Ps. lxiii. 4. The 
bodies of saints shall be glorified with God hereafter, and the 
bodies of saints must glorify God here, Phil. iii. 21 ; Kom. xii. 1. 

Inward worship is sometimes set forth by loving God, James ii. 5 ; 
sometimes by trusting him, Ps. xvi. 1 ; sometimes by delighting in 
him, Ps. xxxvii. 3 ; sometimes by sorrow for offending him, Ps. Ii. 
3, because this worship of God (as one piece of gold containeth 
many pieces of silver) comprehendeth all of them. All the graces 
are but so many links of this golden chain. As all the members of 
the natural body are knit together, and walk always in company, 
so all the parts of the new man are joined together, and never go 
but as the Israelites out of Egypt, with their whole train. If there 
be one wheel missing in a watch, the end of the whole is spoiled. 
If once grace should be wanting in a saint, he would be unsainted. 
There is a concatenation of graces, as well as of moral virtues. 
Those that worship God give him their hottest love, their highest 
joy, their deepest sorrow, their strongest faith, and their greatest 
fear ; as Abraham gave Isaac, he gives God all. 

What Moses calls fearing God, Deut. vi. 13, our Saviour quoting, 
calls worshipping God, (Mat. iv. 9, 10,) by a synecdoche, because 
the former is both a part and a sign of the latter. As when the 
guard are watching at the court-gate, or on the stairs, and examining 
those that go in, it is a sign the king is within ; so when the fear 
of God stands at the door of the heart, to examine all that go in, 
lest the traitor sin should steal in slily, it is a sign that God is 
within, that he sits upon the throne of the soul, and is worshipped 

Secondly, The object, the true God. All religion without the 
knowledge of the true God is a mere notion, an airy, empty no- 
thing. 1 Divine worship is one of the chief est jewels of God's crown, 
which he will by no means part with. God alone is the object of 
the godly man's worship, Exod. xx. 2. His hope is in God, Ps. 
xxxix. 7 ; his dependence is on God, Ps. lxii. 8 ; his dread is of 
God, Ps. cxix. 122 ; his love is to God, Ps. x. 1 ; God is the only 
object of his prayers, Ps. v. 3, and xliv. 20; and of God alone 
are all his praises, Ps. ciii. 1 ; God alone is to be worshipped, be- 
cause he alone is worthy of worship, ' Thou art worthy, Lord, to 
receive glory, and honour, and power : for thou hast created all 
things/ Kev. iv. 11. 

To hold anything in opinion, or to have anything in affection 

1 Cave ne quicquam vel mente agnoscas vel corpore colas ut Deum, praeter me 
Jehovam Deum tunm. — Calv. in 1 Maud. 

Chap. III.] the christian man's calling. 33 

for God, which is not God, is idolatry. To worship either men, as 
the Samaritans did Antiochus Epiphanes, (styling him the mighty 
god ;) or the host of heaven, as the Ammonites ; or the devil as 
the Indians ; or the belly, as the glutton ; or riches, as the covet- 
ous ; or the cross, as the papist ; is unholiness. 

There is a civil worship due to men, Gen. xlviii. 11, but sacred 
worship is due only to God ; and he is a jealous God, who will not 
give his glory to strangers, nor his praise to images. 

The heathen worshipped several gods— the Assyrians worshipped 
Belus ; the Tyrians, Baal ; the Athenians, Diana ; the Samians, 
Juno; the Lemnians, Vulcan; the Moabites, Chemosh; the 
Syrians, Rimmon ; the Ekronites, Baalzebub ; the Babylonians, 
Bel ; those infidels, as one observeth well, had their Deos mortuos, 
idols; mortales, men; mortiferos, lusts : therefore it is considerable 
that when the apostle speaketh of the Gentiles, during the time of 
their unregeneracy, whilst they served false gods, he saith they 
lived < without God/ Eph. ii. 12. False gods are no gods ; < An idol 
is nothing,' 1 Cor. iv. 8. 

Thirdly, The extent, in heart and life. Godliness is the wor- 
shipping God in the inward motions of the heart, and the outward 
actions of the life ; where the spring of the affections is clear, and 
the stream of the conversation runs clear, there is true godliness. 
The Egyptians, of all fruits, would make choice of the peach to con- 
secrate to their goddess, and they gave this reason for it, because 
the fruit thereof resembleth a heart, and the leaf a tongue. As 
they gave heart and tongue to the false god, we must to the true 
God. Heart-godliness pleaseth God best, but life-godliness 
honours him most; the conjunction of both make a complete 
Christian. In a godly man's heart, though some sin be left, yet 
no sin is liked ; in his life, though sin may remain, yet no sin 
reigns. His heart is suitable to God's nature, and his life is 
answerable to God's law, and thence he is fitly denominated a godlv 

In heart, hypocrisy is a practical blasphemy ; < I know the blas- 
phemy of them that say they are Jews and are not.' God's eye 
taketh most notice of the jewel of spiritual devotion ; the eyes of 
men, of the cabinet of outward adoration. ' My son give me thy 
heart,' saith God, Prov. xxxiii. 26. The heart is the king in the 
little world, man ; which giveth laws both to the inward powers 
and outward parts, and reigneth and ruleth over them at pleasure 

The life of godliness lieth much more in the heart than in the 
life ; and the saints' character is from their inward carriage towards 

VOL;. I, _, 


God ; ' They worship God in the spirit,' Phil. iii. 3. A great French 
pear is called le bon Chretien, the good Christian, because they say 
it is never rotten at the core ; ' God is a spirit, and he will be wor- 
shipped in spirit and in truth/ John iv. 24. In truth, that is, 
scripturally ; opposite to the inventions of men's heads : in spirit, 
that is, sincerely ; opposite to the dissimulation of men's hearts. 
The deeper the belly of the lute is, the pleasanter the sound ; the 
deeper our worship comes from the heart, the more delightful it is 
in God's ears. 

And life-godliness, as it sets God on the throne of the conscience, 
so it walks with God in the conversation. Though the spiritual 
(as the natural) life begins at the heart, yet it doth not end there, 
but proceeds to the hands ; the same water appeareth in the bucket 
which is in the well. As when the heart is like a dunghill, full of 
filth, it sends forth a noisome and unsavoury stench in the life ; so 
when the heart is like a box of musk, it perfumes and scents the 
tongue, and eyes, and ears, and hands, and whatsoever is near it, 
with holiness. Worship is called the name of God, Ps. xxix., and 
worshipping, a praising him, 2 Chron. vii. 3. Because as a man by 
his name, so God by his worship is known in the world ; and those 
that worship him in their practices, do before the eyes of the world 
give him praise. 

Fourthly, The rule, according to his revealed will. Every part 
of divine worship must have a divine precept. As the first com- 
mand teacheth us what God is to be worshipped, so the second 
command teacheth in what way he will be worshipped. The 
tabernacle and all the instruments thereof, yea, the very snuffers 
and ash-pans, were to be made exactly according to the pattern in 
the mount, Exod. xxv. 40 ; Heb. viii. 5. Typifying that all the 
exercise of worship used by the church, whether in doctrine or dis- 
cipline, must be conformed to the written word, Gal. i. 8. Our 
religion must be not only rational but regular ; our worship must 
be both universal and canonical, koX oaoc ti2 kclvovi tovtw gtoi- 
Xrjaovcrip, Gal. vi. 16 ; 'As many as walk according to this canon, 
or rule, peace be unto them.' The saints' service must be word- 
service, \oryiK7] Xarpela, Rom. xii. 1 ; so the word is rendered by 
our translators, 1 Pet. ii. 2, Xojikov dSo\ov yaXa, ' the sincere milk 
of the word.' The institutions of Christ, not the inventions of men, 
are the rule of worship. Our work is not to make laws for ourselves 
or others, but to keep the laws which the great prophet of his 
church hath taught us ; that coin of worship which is current 
amongst us must be stamped by God himself. We are to be governed 

Chap. III.] the christian man's calling. 35 

as the point in the compass, not by the various winds, (the practices 
of former ages, or the fashions of the present generation, which are 
mutable and uncertain, 1 ) but by the constant heavens. Our devo- 
tion must be regulated exactly according to the standard of the 
word. It is idolatry to worship a false god, or the true God in a 
false manner. 

Men indeed are no sooner plucked out of the pit of atheism, but 
they presently climb the high places of superstition, delighting to 
go from one extreme to another. As a gay suit of apparel, so the 
service of God in a gaudy dress, is most taking with carnal eyes. 2 
I have read of a popish lady in Paris, that when she saw a glorious 
procession to one of their saints, cried out, Oh how fine is our reli- 
gion beyond that of the Huguenots! they have a mean and beggarly 
religion, but ours is full of bravery and solemnity. 3 But as heralds 
say of a coat of arms, if it be full of gays and devices, it speaks a 
mean descent ; so truly that manner of worship which is mingled 
with men's inventions speaks its descent to be mean — namely, from 
man. ' To the law and to the testimonies ; if they speak not 
according to this, it is because there is no light in them,' Isa. 
viii. 20. 

Such may serve God with more pomp than others, but I am 
confident they serve him to less profit than others. ' In vain do 
they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of 
men,' Mat. xv. 9 ; their worship is in God's account no worship. 
They who made temples, altars, and ceremonies of their own heads, 
thought that they had remembered God, but he tells them plainly 
that they had forgotten him, Hosea viii. 11-14. Men manifest 
abundance of arrogancy in undertaking to prescribe newer and 
neater ways of worship than God himself, as if they excelled his 
Majesty in wisdom ; but little do they think how exceedingly by 
such practices they provoke him to fury. Ezek. viii. 3-5 per tot ; 
Ezek. xliii. 8, ' In their setting of their thresholds by my thresholds, 
and their posts by my posts, they have even defiled my holy name 
by the abominations which they have committed ; wherefore I have 
consumed them in mine anger ;' so Ezek. vi. 9 ; 2 Chron. vii. 20. 

1 Traditioni hunianse nomen religionis applicant, ut religio appellator, cum sit 
sacrileo-ium ; quia quod contra autliorem est sacrilega mente inventum est. — Amb. in 
Col. ii. 

2 Nihil adeo offendit hominum mentes ut simplicitas divinorum operum. — Tertul. 

3 The second commandment binds to the true worship of the true God, which is 
only as himself commandeth, and by the means, rites, and services which he ordaineth. 
— Ainsw. Arrows against Idols, cap. i. 



What it is for a man to make religion his business, or to exercise 
himself io godliness. 

I proceed to the second particular promised, that is, To shew what 
it is for a man to exercise himself to godliness. It implieth these 
three things : 

First, To give it the precedency in all our actions. That which 
a man maketh his business, he will be sure to mind, whatsoever he 
omits. A good husband will serve his shop before his sports, and 
will sometimes offer a handsome and warrantable kind of disrespect 
to his friends, that his calling may have his company ; he will have 
some excuse or other to avoid diversions, and force his way to his 
trade through all opposition, and all because he makes it his busi- 
ness : he that makes religion his business, carrieth himself towards 
his general, as this man doth towards his particular, calling. In 
his whole life he walks with God, and is so mannerly and dutiful, 
as to give God the upper hand all the way. He knoweth that his 
God must be worshipped, that his family must be served, and that 
his calling must be followed, (for religion doth not nullify, only 
rectify his carriage towards his earthly vocation ;) but each in their 
order, — that which is first in regard of excellency is first in regard 
of his industry. He is not so unnatural as to serve his cattle before 
his children, nor so atheistical as to serve his body and the world 
before his soul and his Saviour. He is so sensible of his infinite 
engagements to the blessed God, that he allotteth some time every 
day for his religious duties ; and he will be sure to pay God home to 
the utmost of his ability, whosoever he compounds with, or pays short. 

As he sails along through the tempestuous sea of this world to- 
wards his eternal haven of rest, he hath many temporal affairs in 
his company, but he is specially careful that they keep their dis- 
tance, and strike sail through the whole voyage. If his worldly 
businesses offer, like Hagar, to jostle or quarrel for pre-eminence 
with their superior, religion, he will, if possible, chide them into 
subjection, and cause them to submit ; but rather cast them out 
than suffer them to usurp authority over their mistress. 

He that minds religion by the by, will, if other things intervene, 
put it back, and be glad of an excuse to waive that company, to 
which he hath no love ; nay, he doth in the whole course of his life 
prefer his swine, as the Gadarenes, before his soul ; set the servant 

Chap. IV.] the christian man's calling. 37 

on horseback and suffer the master to go on foot. His voice to 
religion is like the Jews' to the poor man in vile raiment, ' Stand 
thou there, or sit thou here under my footstool ; ' and his words to 
the world are like theirs to the man in goodly apparel, ' Come up 
hither, or sit thou here in a good place,' James ii. 2, 3. He doth, 
like Jacob, lay the right hand of his care and diligence upon the 
youngest son, the body, and the left hand upon the first-born, the 
soul. That which was Esau's curse is esteemed by him as a blessing, 
that the elder serves the younger : he is so unwise as to esteem 
lying vanities before real mercies ; often so unworthy as to forget 
God, whosoever he remembereth ; and so uncivil at best as to give 
God the world's leavings, and to let the almighty Creator dance 
attendance till he pleaseth to be at leisure. If he be in the midst 
of his devotion, he makes an end upon the smallest occasion; and 
is like the patriarch, who ran from the altar, when he was about his 
office, to see a foal new fallen from his beloved mare. 

But every saint, like Solomon, first builds a house for God, and 
then for himself. Whoever be displeased, or whatever be neglected, 
he will take care that God be worshipped. Abraham's steward, 
when sent to provide a wife for Isaac, though meat were set before 
him, refused to eat till he had done his errand, Gen. xxiv. 33. 
Godliness is the errand about which man is sent into the world ; 
now, as faithful servants, we must prefer our message before our 
meat, and serve our master before ourselves. 

He that makes godliness his business gives it the first of the day, 
and the first place all the day. He gives it the first of the day : 
Jesus Christ was at prayer ' a great while before day,' Mark i. 35. 
Abraham ' rose up early in the morning to offer sacrifice,' Gen. 
xxii. 1 ; so did Job, chap. i. 5. David crieth out, ' God, my 
God, early will I seek thee,' Ps. lxiii. 1. 'In the morning will I 
direct my prayer to thee, and look up,' Ps. v. 3. The Philistines 
in the morning early offered to their god Dagon. The Persian 
magi worshipped the rising sun with their early hymns. The 
saint in the morning waits upon heaven's Majesty. As soon as he 
awakes he is with God ; one of his first works, when he riseth, is to 
ask his heavenly Father's blessing. Like the lark, he is up early, 
singing sweetly the praise of his Maker ; and often, with the night- 
ingale, late up, at the same pleasant tune. 

He finds the morning a greater friend to the Graces than it can 
be to the Muses. Naturalists tell us that the most orient pearls are 
generated of the morning dew. Sure I am, he hath sweet com- 
munion with God in morning duties. 


Reader, let me tell thee, if religion be tliine occupation, thy busi- 
ness, God will hear from thee in the morning ; one of the first 
tilings after thou art up will be to fall down and worship him. 
Thy mind will be most free in the morning, and thine affections 
most lively, (as those strong waters are fullest of spirits which are 
first drawn ;) and surely thou canst not think but that God, who is 
the best and chiefest good, hath most right to them, and is most 
worthy of them. 

As a godly man gives religion the precedency of the day, so he 
gives it the precedency in the day. The Jews, some say, divide 
their day into prayer, labour, and repast, and they will not omit 
prayer either for their meat or labour. Grace (as well as nature) 
teacheth a godly man not to neglect either his family or body ; but 
it teacheth him also to prefer his soul and his God before them 
both. Seneca, though a heathen, could say, I am greater, and 
born to greater things, than to be a drudge to, and the slave of, my 
body. A Christian's character is, that he is not carnal, or for his 
body, but spiritual, or for his soul, Rom. viii. It was a great praise 
which Ambrose speaks of Valentinian, Never man was a better 
servant to his master, than Valentinian's body was to his soul. 

This is the godly man's duty, to make heaven his throne, and the 
earth his footstool. It is the exposition which one gives upon those 
words, 'Subdue the earth,' Gen. i. 28, that is, thy body, and all 
earthly things, to thy soul. Our earthly callings must give way to 
our heavenly ; we must say to them, as Christ to his disciples, ' Tarry 
you here, while I go and pray yonder/ And truly godliness must 
be first in our prayers — 'Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come,' 
before ' Give us this day our daily bread ; ' and first in all our prac- 
tices — 'Seek first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, 
and all other things shall be added to you,' Mat. vi. 33. 

Secondly, To make religion one's business, containeth to pursue 
it with industry in our conversations. A man that makes his 
calling his business is not lazy, but laborious about it ; what pains 
will he take ! what strength will he spend ! how will he toil and 
moil at it early and late ! The tradesman, the husbandman, eat 
not the bread of idleness, when they make their callings their busi- 
ness ; if they be good husbands, they are both provident to observe 
their seasons, and diligent to improve them for their advantage ; 
they do often even dip their food in their sweat, and make it 
thereby the more sweet. Their industry appears in working hard 
in their callings, and in improving all opportunities for the further- 
ance of their callings. 

Chap. IV.] the christian man's calling. 39 

1. Thus he that makes religion his business is industrious and 
laborious in the work of the Lord. The heart of his ground, the 
strength of his inward man, is spent about the good corn of religion, 
not about the weeds of earthly occasions. He makes haste to keep 
God's commandments, knowing that the lingering, lazy snail is 
reckoned among unclean creatures, Lev. xi. 30 ; and he is hot and 
lively in his devotion, knowing that a dull, drowsy ass (though fit 
enough to carry the image of Isis, yet) was no fit sacrifice for the 
pure and active God, 1 Exod. xiii. 13. He giveth God the top, the 
chief, the cream of all his affections, as seeing him infinitely worthy 
of all acceptation ; he is ' not slothful in business, but fervent in 
spirit/ when he is ' serving the Lord,' Eom. xii. 11. He believeth 
that to fear God with a secondary fear is atheism ; that to trust 
God with a secondary trust is treason ; that to honour God with a 
secondary honour is idolatry ; and to love God with a secondary 
love is adultery ; therefore he loveth (and he feareth and trusteth 
and honoureth) ' the Lord his God, with all his heart, and with all 
his soul, and with all his strength,' Mat. xxii. 36, 37. His love to 
God ' is a labour of love, as strong as death ; the coals thereof are 
coals of juniper,' which do not only burn long, (some say twelve 
months together,) but burn with the greatest heat. His measure 
of loving God is without measure. 

The Samseans in Epiphanius were neither Jews, Gentiles, nor 
Christians, yet preserved a fail" correspondency with all : a hypocrite 
is indifferent to any, never fervent in the true religion. 

It is reported of Eedwald, king of the east Saxons, the first 
prince of this nation that was baptized, that in the same church he 
had one altar for the Christian religion, another for the heathenish 
sacrifices. 2 The true believer doth otherwise ; he that makes reli- 
gion his work, gives God the whole of his heart, without halting 
and. without halving. 

Set him about any duty, and he is diligent in it. In prayer, he 
laboureth in prayer, Col. iv. 12 ; he crieth to God, 1 Sam. vii. 9 ; 
he crieth mightily, Jonah iii. 8 ; he poureth forth his soul, Lam. ii. 
19; he strives in supplication with God, 3 Eom. xv. 30; stirs up 
himself to lay hold on God, Isa. xxvii. 5 ; and even wrestleth with 
omnipotency, Gen. xxxii. 14. When the mill of his prayer is 
going, his fervent affections are the waters that drive it. There is 
fire taken from God's own altar, (not the ordinary hearth of nature.) 

1 Eo quod pigrum et tardum animal asinus est. — B 'el /arm. 

2 Cauib. Britan. 

3 Innuit ccrtamen ct quasi luctam cum Deo ipso. — Epis. Duv. in lot. 


and put to his incense, whereby it becomes fragrant and grateful 
to God himself. His fervent prayer is his key to God's treasury, 
and his endeavour is, that it rust not for want of use. When he 
goeth to the sacrament, he is all in a flame of affection to the 
author of that feast ; with desire he desires to eat of the passover. 
He longs exceedingly for the time, he loves the table ; but when 
he seeth the bread and wine, the waggons which the Lord Jesus 
hath sent for him, oh how his heart revives ! When he seeth the 
sacraments, the body and blood of Christ in the elements, who can 
tell how soon he scents ! how fast this true eagle flieth to the 
heavenly carcase. 

At hearing he is heedful ; he flieth to the salt-stone of the word 
with swiftness and care, as doves to their columbaries, Isa. lx. 8. 
As the new-born babe, he desires the sincere milk of the word; and 
when he is attending on it, he doth not dally nor trifle, but as the 
bee the flower, and the child the breast, suck with all his might 
for some spiritual milk, Isa. lxvi. 11 ; Deut. xxviii. 1 ; he hearkeneth 
diligently to the voice of the Lord his God; let him be in company, 
taking notice of some abominable carriage, he will rebuke cuttingly, 
Tit. i. 13. If he gives his bitter pill in sweet syrup, you may see 
his exceeding anger against sin, whilst you behold his love to the 
sinner ; he is, though a meek lamb when himself, yet a lion when 
God, is dishonoured ; his anger waxeth hot when men affront the 
Most High, Exod. xxxii. 19. If he be counselling his child or 
friend to mind God and godliness, how hard doth he woo to win 
the soul to Christ ! how many baits doth he lay to catch the poor 
creature ! you may perceive his bowels working by his very words : 
how fervent, how instant, how urgent, how earnest is he to persuade 
his relation or acquaintance to be happy ! He ' provokes them to 
love, and to good Works.' 

Set him about what religious exercise you will, and he is, accord- 
ing to the apostle's words, ' zealous ' (or fiery fervent) ' of good 
works ; ' like spring water, he hath a living principle, and thence 
is warm in winter, or, like Debris in Cyrene, 1 is seething hot. As 
Augustus said of the young Roman, Quicquid vult, valde vidt ; 
whatsoever he goeth about that concerns the glory of his Saviour, 
and the good of his soul, he doth it to purpose. As Paul saith of 
himself, ' I follow after, if that I may apprehend,' Phil. iii. 10. The 
word in the original is emphatical, Siwkco, I prosecute it with all 
my strength and power, that I may attain if it be possible. The 
word is either an allusion to persecutors, Mat. v. 10-12, for it 

1 Plin., lib. v. cap. 5. 


is used of them frequently ; so Piscator takes it. Or to hunters, 1 
according to Aretius ; take either, and the sense is the same, and 
very full. As persecutors are industrious and incessant in searching 
up and down for poor Christians, and hauling them to prison ; and 
as huntsmen are up betimes at their sport, follow it all day, and 
spare for no pains, even sweating and tiring themselves at this 
their pleasure ; so eager and earnest, so indefatigable and indus- 
trious was Paul, and so ought every one of us to be (the command 
is delivered to us, in the same word, Heb. xii. 14) about godliness. 

A man that minds godliness only by the by, looks sometimes to 
the matter, seldom to the manner, of his performances. Opus 
operatum, the work done is a full discharge for him, how slightly 
or slovenly however it be done. If he stumble sometimes upon a 
good word, yet it is not his walk ; and when he is in that way, he 
cares not how many steps he treads awry. It may be said of him 
as of Jehu, ' He takes no heed to walk in the way of the Lord God 
of Israel with his heart,' 2 Kings x. 31. He makes an idol of the 
blessed God, (he prays to him, and hears from him, as if he had 
eyes and saw not, as if he had ears and heard not, as if he had 
hands and wrought not,) and anything will serve an idol. How 
aptly and justly may God say to him after his duties, as Cassar to 
the citizen after dinner, (who, having invited the emperor to his 
table, made but slight preparation and slender provision for him,) 
I had thought that you and I had not been so familiar. 

But he that exerciseth himself to godliness hath a more awful 
and serious carriage towards God. The twelve tribes served God 
' instantly 2 day and night/ Acts xxvi. 7, fervently, vehemently, to 
the utmost of their power ; the word implieth both extension and 
intension; 3 the very heathen could say that the gods must be 
worshipped, r) oA&>? rj fjur] oA.<u?, either to our utmost withal, or not at 


2. The industry of a man about his calling, or whatsoever he 
makes his business, appeareth in his taking all advantages for the 
furtherance thereof. A tradesman that minds his employment, 
doth not only in his shop, but also abroad, and when he is from 
home, drive forward his trade. Indeed, when he is in his shop, 
his eyes are most about him to see what is wanting, that it may be 
supplied, to take care that all his customers may be satisfied, and 

1 Est more venatorum persequi feram. — Aret. 

2 'Ef eKTeveLq., omnibtis viribus, vehementer, prolixe, toto ammo. — A Lapide. 

3 'E/crej^s dicitur quod in longum protenditur. — Beza. 

4 Macro. Satur.Jib. ii. cap. 4. 


to order things so, that by his buying and selling his stock may 
be increased ; but if he walk from home, he doth not wholly leave 
his trade behind him. If he visit his friends or acquaintance, 
and there be any likelihood of doing any good, you may observe 
him questioning the price of such and such commodities, inquiring 
at what rates they are afforded in those parts ; and if they be cheap, 
possibly furnishing himself from thence ; if dear, it may be, put 
off a considerable quantity of his own. Because he makes it his 
business, his mind runs much upon it, that wherever he is, he will 
be speaking somewhat of it, if occasion be offered, whereby he 
comes now and then to meet with such bargains as tend much to 
his benefit ; so the Christian that makes religion his business, is 
industrious to improve all opportunities for the furtherance of his 
general calling. As his time (for he is God's servant) so his trade 
goeth forward every hour ; he is, David-like, as a sparrow upon the 
house-top, looking on this side and that side, to see where he may 
pick up some spiritual food. He doth not only in the church and 
in his closet, but also in all his converses with men, walk with his 
God. If God prosper him, as the ship mounts higher according 
to the increase of the tide, so his heart is lifted up the nearer to 
God, as God's hand is enlarged towards him. If God afflict him, 
as the nipping north wind purines the air, so the besom of affliction 
doth sweep the dust of sin out of his heart. As his pulse is ever 
beatino-, so his heavenly trade is ever going forward. His visits to 
his friends are out of conscience as well as out of courtesy ; and his 
endeavour is, either by some savoury Scripture expression, or some 
sober action, to advantage his company. He will watch for a fit 
season to do his own and others' souls service, and catch at it as 
oreedily, and improve it as diligently, as Benhadad's servants did 
Ahab's words. 

If he be eating or drinking, the salt of grace is ever one dish 
upon the table to season all his diet. He will raise his heart from 
the daily bread to the bread that came down from heaven. He 
eateth, is full, and blesseth the Lord. Before he begins he asketh 
God's leave, while he feeds he tasteth God's love, and when he hath 
done he giveth God thanks. 

If he be buying or selling, he is very willing that God should be 
a witness to all his bargains; for he prayeth to God as if men heard 
him, and he tradeth with men as if God saw him. His shop, as 
well as his chapel, is holy ground. 

If he be amongst his relations, he is both desirous and diligent 
to further religion. His endeavour is that those that are nigh 

Chap. IV.] the christian man's calling. 43 

him in the flesh may be nigh God in the spirit. He is careful that 
both by his precepts and pattern he may do somewhat for their 
profit. His house, as well as his heart, is consecrated to God. 

As Caesar's image was stamped on a penny, as well as on a 
greater piece, Mat. xxii. 20, so godliness, which is the image of 
the King of kings, is imprinted not only on his greater and weightier, 
but also upon his lesser and meaner practices. 

Godliness is not his physic, which he only now and then (as at 
spring and fall) makes use of, but his food, which he daily dealeth 
about ; besides his set times for his set meals of morning and 
evening devotion, he hath many a good bait by the by in the day- 
time. ' Evening, morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud,' 
Ps. lv. 17. ' Oh, how love I thy law; it is my meditation,' not some 
part, but ' all the day/ Whether the actions he be about be natural 
or civil, he makes them sacred ; whether the company he be in be 
good or bad, he will mind his holy calling ; whether he be riding 
or walking, whether it be at home or abroad ; whether he be buying 
or selling, eating or drinking, whatsoever he be doing, or whereso- 
ever he be going, still he hath an eye to further godliness, because 
he makes that his business. What the philosopher said of the 
soul in relation to the body — The soul is whole in the whole body, 
and whole in every part of it 1 — is true of godliness, in reference to 
the life of a Christian ; godliness is whole in his whole conversation, 
and whole in every part of it. As the constitution of man's body 
is known by his pulse; if it beat not at all, he is dead; if it beat and 
keep a constant stroke, it is a sign the body is sound. Godliness is 
the pulse of the soul ; if it beat not at all, the soul is void of spiri- 
tual life ; if it beat equally and constantly, it speaks the soul to be 
in an excellent plight. 

It was the practice of our Saviour, who left us a blessed pattern 
therein, to be always furthering godliness. When bread was men- 
tioned to him, upon it he dissuaded his disciples from the leaven of 
the pharisees, Mat. xvi. 5, 6. When water was denied him by the 
Samaritan woman, he forgets his thirst, and seeks to draw her to 
the well-spring of happiness, John iv. 10. When people came to 
him for bodily cures, how constantly doth he mind the safety of 
their souls : ' Thou art made whole, go sin no more,' or, ' Thy sins 
are forgiven thee.' He went about doing good ; in the day-time 
working miracles and preaching, in the night-time he often gave 
himself to meditation and prayer. 

He that minds religion by the by doth otherwise; he can, Pro- 
1 Anima est tota in toto et tota in qualibet parte. 


teus-like, turn himself into any shape which is in fashion. As 
the carbuncle, a beast among the blackamores, which is seen only 
by night, 1 having a stone in his forehead, which shineth incredibly 
and giveth him light whereby to feed ; but when he heareth the 
least noise, he presently lets fall over it a skin, which he hath as a 
natural covering, lest its splendour should betray him ; so the half 
Christian shines with the light of holiness by fits and starts ; every 
fright makes him hold in and hide it. The mark of Antichrist was 
in his followers' hands, which they can cover or discover at their 
pleasure ; but the mark of Christ's disciples was in their foreheads, 
visible at all times. 

Thirdly, To exercise ourselves to godliness, implieth to persevere 
in it with constancy to our dissolution. Men follow their trades, 
and open their shops, till death shut their eyes, and gives them a 
writ of ease ; men pursue their earthly works, till death sound a 
retreat, and command their appearance in the other world. Many 
a one hath breathed out his last in the midst of his labour : his 
life and his labour have ended together. ' Let every man abide in 
the calling whereto he is called,' saith the apostle, 1 Cor. vii. 24. 

They who make religion their business, are constant, immoveable, 
and do ' always abound in the work of the Lord.' Their day of 
life is their day of labour ; ' the sun ariseth, and man goeth to his 
labour until the evening,' Ps. civ. 23. Death only is their night 
of resting, when they die in the Lord ; then, and not till then, they 
' rest from their labours.' Saints are compared to palm-trees, be- 
cause they nourish soon ; to cedars, because they continue long ; 
they often set out with the first, but always hold on to the last. 2 
The philosopher being asked in his old age why he did not give 
over his studies, answered, When a man is to run a race of forty 
furlongs, he will not sit down at the thirty-ninth, and lose the 
prize. The pious soul is faithful unto death, and enjoyeth a crown 
of life. As Cffisar, he is always marching forward, and thinks 
nothing done whilst anything remains undone. 

Nil actum credens, si quid superesset agendum. — Lucan. 

As they are fervent in their work, so they are constant at their 
work. The church of Ephesus had letters testimonial from heaven ; 
' For my name's sake thou hast laboured, and hast not fainted,' 
Rev. ii. 3. 

Water in the baths is always warm ; as long as there is water, 
there is heat. Not so our ordinary water ; though this may be 

1 Purch. »Pilgr. , vol. i. p. 416. 

- True saints in youth always prove angels in age. — B. Hall Mrdif. rent. 1. 

Chap. IV.] the christian man's calling. 45 

warmed by the fire at present, yet if taken off it returns to its 
former coldness, nay, it is colder than before, because the spirits 
which kept it from the extremity of cold, are by the fire boiled out 
of it. The reason is plain ; the heat of the baths is from an inward 
principle, and therefore is permanent ; the heat of the latter is from 
an external cause, and therefore is inconstant. 

That warmth of piety which proceeds from an inward principle 
of a purified conscience, is accompanied with perseverance ; but 
that profession which floweth from an outward motive, where men, 
as chameleons, take their colour from that which stands next them, 
their religion from those they have their dependence upon, is of 
short duration. 

A man that minds religion by the by is like Nebuchadnezzar s 
image, he hath a head of gold, but feet of clay. His beginning 
may be like Nero's first five years, full of hope and encouragement, 
but afterwards, as a carcase, he is more filthy and unsavoury every 
day than other. His insincerity causeth his inconstancy. Trees 
unsound at the root, will quickly cease their putting forth # of 
fruit. Such men, if godliness enjoy a summer of prosperity, 
may like a serpent creep on the ground, and stretch themselves 
at length, to receive the warmth of the sun, but if winter come 
he wiS creep into some ditch or dunghill, lest he should take 


Travellers that go to sea merely to be sea-sick, or in sport, if 

there arise a black cloud or storm, their voyage is at an end, they 

hasten to the harbour; they came not to be weather-beaten, or to 

hazard themselves amongst the boisterous billows, but only for 

pleasure : but the merchant that is bound for a voyage, whose 

calling and business it is, is not daunted at every wave and wind, 

but drives through all with resolution. He that only pretends 

towards religion, if a storm meet him in the way to heaven, he 

leaves it, and takes shelter in the earth ; as a snail, he puts out 

his head to see what weather is abroad, (what countenance religion 

hath at court, whether great men do smile or frown upon the ways 

of God,) and if the heavens be lowering, he shrinks into his shell, 

esteeming that his only safety. But they that make godliness their 

business, do not steer their course by such cards— they follow their 

trade, though they meet with many trials ; as resolved travellers, 

whether the ways be fair or foul, whether the weather be clear 

or cloudy, they will go on towards their heavenly Canaan ; 

' They go from strength to strength, till they appear before God 

in Sion.' Ps. lxxxiv. 8. 


When men follow godliness by the by and in jest, they take it 
to farm, and accept leases of it for a time ; but if the times come to 
be such, that in their blind judgments it prove a hard penny- 
worth, they throw it up into their landlords' hands— Vadat Ohristus, 
as he said, cum suo evangelic-; but men that make religion their 
business, take it as their freehold, as their fee-simple, which they 
enjoy, and esteem it their privilege so to do, for the whole term of 
their lives ; ' I have chosen thy statutes as my heritage for ever : I 
have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always unto the end,' 
Ps. cxix. 11, 12. 

The godliness of an unsound professor is like the light of a 
candle, fed with gross and greasy matter, as profit and honour and 
pleasure, which continueth burning till that tallowy substance be 
wasted, but then goeth out and leaves a stench behind it ; the 
holiness of a true Christian is like the light of the sun, which hath 
its original in heaven, and is fed from above, and thereby ' shines 
brighter and brighter to perfect day/ Prov. iv. 18. 


Religion is the great end of man's creation. 

1 come in the third place to the reasons, Why godliness should 
be every man's main and principal business. 

First, Because it is God's chief end in sending man into, and 
continuing him in, this world. It is without question, that the 
work should be for that end to which it is appointed, and for 
which it is maintained by a sovereign and intelligent workman. 
Where the master hath authority to command, there his end and 
errand must be chiefly in the servant's eye. Zeno 1 well defines 
liberty to be i^ovala avT07rpayla<;, a power to act and practise at a 
man's own pleasure ; opposite to which, servitude must be a deter- 
mination to act at, and according to, the will of another. A servant 
is, as the orator saith well, nomen officii, a word that speaks one 
under command ; he is not one that moveth of himself, but the 
master's living instrument, 2 according to the philosopher, to be used 
at his pleasure. According to the title or power which one hath 
over another, such must the service be. Where the right is 
absolute, the obedience must not be conditional; God having 
therefore a perfect sovereignty over his creatures, and complete 

1 Laert. in Vit. Zen. " opyavov £^i>xov. — Arist Polit., cap. 9. 

Chap. V.] the christian man's calling. 47 

right to all their services, his end and aim, his will and word, 
must be principally minded by them. Paul gathers this fruit 
from that root : ' The God whose I am, and whom I serve,' 
Acts xxvii. 23. His subjection is founded on God's dominion 
over him. 

Now the great end to which man is designed by God, is the 
exercising himself to godliness. 1 God erected the stately fabric of 
the great world for man, but he wrought the curious piece of the 
little world [man] for himself. Of all his visible works he did set 
man apart for his own worship. Man, saith one, is the end of all 
in a semicircle, intimating that all things in the world were made 
for man, and man Avas made for God. It is but rational to sup- 
pose that if this world was made for us, we must be made for more 
than this world. It is an ingenious observation of Picus Mirandula, 
God created the earth for beasts to inhabit, the sea for fish, the air 
for fowls, the heavens for angels and stars, man therefore hath no 
place to dwell and abide in, but the Lord alone. 

The great God, according to his infinite wisdom, hath designed 
all his creatures to some particular ends, and hath imprinted in 
their natures an appetite and propensity towards that end, as the 
point and scope of their being. 2 Yea, the very inanimate and 
irrational creatures are serviceable to those ends and uses in their 
several places and stations. Birds build their nests exactly, bring- 
ing up their young tenderly. Beasts scramble and scuffle for their 
fodder, and at last become man's food. The sun, moon, and stars 
move regularly in their orbs, and by their light and influence 
advantage the whole world. The little commonwealth of bees 
work both industriously and wonderfully for the benefit of man- 
kind. Flowers refresh us with their scents ; trees with their shade 
and fruits ; fire moveth upward ; earth falleth downward, each by 
nature hastening to its centre ; thunder and winds, being exhala- 
tions drawn up from the earth by the heavenly bodies, are wholly 
at, though stubborn and violent creatures, the call and command 
of the mighty possessor of heaven and earth; and with them, as 
with besoms, he sweeps and purifieth the air ; fish sport up and 
down in rivers ; rivers run along, sometimes seen, sometimes secret, 

1 Hie finis humanEe formationis ut homo sit templum Dei, et Deus ara hominis. 
Justum est ut creatura laudet creatorem, ipse enim ad laudandum se creavit. — Aug. 

2 The ancient philosophers, and the old divines among the pagans, did portray 
their gods in wood and stone with musical instruments, not that they believed the 
gods to be fiddlers, or lovers of music, but to shew that nothing is more agreeable 
to the nature of God, than to do all in a sweet harmony and proportion. — 


never ceasing or tiring till they empty themselves into the ocean ; 
the mighty sea, like a pot of water, by its ebbing and flowing 
purge th itself, boileth and prepareth sustenance for living creatures. 1 
Through this womb of moisture, this great pond of the world, as 
Bishop Hall 2 termeth it, men travel in moveable houses, from 
country to country, transporting and exchanging commodities. 
Thus the almighty Creator doth, ryeco/xeTpeiv, as Plato saith, 
observe a curious comely order in all his work, and appoints them 
to some use according to their nature. Surely much more is man, 
the point in which all those lines meet, designed to some noble 
end, suitable to the excellency of his being ; and what can that be, 
but to worship the glorious and blessed God, and the exercising 
himself to godliness ? 

' The Lord made all things for himself,' Prov. xvi. 4. God made 
things without life and reason to serve him passively and subjec- 
tively, by administering occasion to man to admire and adore his 
Maker ; but man was made to worship him actively and affec- 
tionately, as sensible of, and affected with, that divine wisdom, 
power, and goodness which appear in them. 3 As all things are of 
him as the efficient cause, so all things must necessarily be for 
him as the final cause. But man in an especial manner is pre- 
destinated and created for this purpose: Isa. xliii. 1, 7, ' Thou art 
mine ; I have created him for my glory ; I have formed him, yea, 
I have made him/ There is both the author and the end of our 
creation : the author, ' I have created him ;' the end, ' for my glory.' 
As man is the most exact piece, on which he bestowed most pains, 
so from him he cannot but expect most praise. Lactantius ac- 
counteth religion the most proper and essential difference between 
men and beasts. 4 The praises which beasts give God are dumb, 
their sacrifices are dead ; but the sacrifices of men are living, and 
their praises lively. 

God did indeed set up the admirable house of the visible world 
(floating 5 it with the earth, watering it with the ocean, and ceiling 
it with the pearly heavens) for his own service and honour ; but 
the payment of this rent is expected from the hands of man, the 
inhabitant. He was made and put into this house upon this very 
account, that he might, as God's steward, gather his rents from 
other creatures, and pay in to the great landlord his due and 

1 Piscis a pasco. 2 In contempt. 

3 Plato finem hujus mundi bonitateui Dei esse amrmavit. 

4 Solus homo sapientia instructus est, ut religionem solus intelligat ; et hsec est 
hominis atque mutorum vel prsecipua vel sola distantia. — Lad. de Ira Dei. 

5 Qu. 'flooring'?— Ed. 

Chap. V.] the christian man's calling. 49 

deserved praise. Man is made as a glass, to represent the perfec- 
tions that are in God. A glass can receive the beams of the sun 
into it, and reflect them back again to the sun. The excellencies 
of God appear abundantly in his works ; man is made to be the 
glass where these beams of divine glory should be united and re- 
ceived, and also from him reflected back to God again. 

Oh, how absurd is it to conceive that God should work a body so 
' curiously in the lowest parts of the earth,' embroider it with 
nerves, veins, variety and proportion of parts, (miracles enough, 
saith one, between head and foot to fill a volume,) and then enliven 
it with a spark of his own fire, a ray of his own light, an angelical 
and heaven-born soul, and send this picture of his own perfections, 
this comely creature, into the world, merely to eat, and drink, and 
sleep, or to buy, and sell, and sow, and reap. Surely the only 
wise God had a higher end and nobler design in forming and 
fashioning man with so much care and cost. 

The upright figure of man's body, as the poetical heathen ! could 
observe, may mind him of looking upward to those blessed mansions 
above ; and that fifth muscle in his eye, 2 whereby he differeth also 
from other creatures, who have only four — one to turn downward, 
another to hold forwards, a third to turn the eye to the right hand, 
a fourth to turn the eye to the left ; but no unreasonable creature 
can turn the eye upward as man can — may admonish him of view- 
ing those superior glories, and exercising himself to godliness, it 
being given him for this purpose, saith the anatomist, that by the 
help thereof he might behold the heavens. Thus the blessed God, 
even by sensible demonstrations, speaks his mind and end in making 
man; but the nature of man's soul being a spiritual substance, doth 
more loudly proclaim God's pleasure, that he would have it con- 
versant about spiritual things. He made it a heavenly spark, that 
it might mount and ascend to heaven. 

A philosopher may get riches, saith Aristotle, 3 but that is not 
his main business ; a Christian may, nay, must follow his particular 
calling, but that is not his main business, that is not the errand for 
which he was sent into the world. God made particular callings 
for men, but he made men for their general callings. It was a dis- 
creet answer of Anaxagoras Clazamenius to one that asked him why 
he came into the world ; Ut caelum contempler, That I might con- 
template heaven. Heaven is my country, and for that is my chiefest 

1 ' Os homini sublime dedit, coelumque tueri. 

Jussit.' — Ovid. 

2 Coluinb. de re Anat., lib. i. cap. 9. 3 Arist. Folit., lib. i. cap. \tlt. 
VOL. I. D 


care. 1 May not a Christian upon better reason confess that to be 
the end of his creation, that he might seek heaven, and be service- 
able to the Lord of heaven, and say, as Jerome, I am a miserable 
sinner, and born only to repent. The Jewish Talmud propounds 
this question, Why God made man on the Sabbath eve ? and gives 
this answer : That he might presently enter upon the command of 
sanctifying the Sabbath, and begin his life with the worship of God, 
which was the chief reason and end why it was given him. 


Religion is a ivorh of the greatest loeight. It is soul-ivork, 
it is God-ivork, it is eternity-ivorh. 

Secondly, Godliness ought to be every man's main business, be- 
cause it is a work of the greatest concernment and weight. Things 
that are of most stress call for our greatest strength. Our utmost 
pains ought to be laid out upon that which is of highest price : man's 
diligence about any work must be answerable to the consequence 
of the work. The folly of man seldom appears more than in being 
very busy about nothing, in making a great cry where there is 
little wool ; like that empty fellow that shewed himself to Alex- 
ander — having spent much time, and taken much pains at it before- 
hand — and boasted that he could throw a pea through a little hole, 
expecting a great reward ; but the king gave him only a bushel of 
peas for a recompense suitable to his diligent negligence or his busy 
idleness. Things that are vain and empty are unworthy of our 
care and industry. The man that by hard labour and hazard of 
his life did climb up to the top of the steeple to set an egg on end, 
was deservedly the object of pity and laughter. We shall think 
him little better than mad that should make as great a fire for the 
roasting of an egg as for the roasting of an ox. 

On the other side, the wisdom of men never presenteth itself to 
our view in livelier colours than in giving those affairs which are of 
greatest concernment precedency of time and strength. Of brutes 
man may learn this lesson : When the cart is empty, or hath but 
little lading, the team goeth easily along, they play upon the road ; 
but when the burden is heavy, or the cart stuck, they pull, and 
draw, and put forth all their strength. 

Now godliness is, amongst all man's works, of the greatest weight. 

1 Ccelum milii patria, cujus cnra summa est. — Anaxarj., (Dior/en., Laert.) 

Chap. VI.] the christian man's calling. 51 

The truth is, lie hath no work of weight but this ; this is the one 
thing necessary, and in this one thing are man's all things. Our 
unchangeable weal or woe in the other world is wrapped up in our 
diligence or negligence about this ; our earthly businesses, be they 
about food or raiment, about honours or pleasures, or whatsoever, 
are but toys and trifles, but baubles and butterflies, to this. As 
candles before the sun, they must all disappear and give place to 

Moses, a pious and tender father, when leaving them, in Ins 
swan-like song, gives savoury advice to his children. We need not 
doubt but his spiritual motions were quickest when his natural 
motions were slowest ; that the stream of grace ran with full 
strength when it was to empty itself into the ocean of glory. Mark 
what special counsel he gives them who were committed to his 
special care : Deut. xxxii. 46, ' Set your hearts to all the words 
which I command you this day ; for it is not a vain thing ; because it 
is your life.' In which words we have, 1. A commandment; and, 
2. An argument. The commandment is, ' Set your hearts to all 
the words which I command you this day ; ' that is, ' Exercise your- 
selves to godliness.' He doth not say, lend them your ears, to 
listen to them slightly ; or let them have your tongues, to speak of 
them cursorily. No ; it is not, set your heads, but set your hearts, 
to all the words, &c. He doth not say, Let your works be accord- 
ing to these words, or let your feet ever make them your walk ; no, 
it is not set your hands, but set your hearts to the words that I 
speak unto you. Make it your business, and then your ears and 
tongues, your feet, your heads, your hands, and all will be employed 
about them to the purpose. But what special argument doth Moses 
urge for the enforcement of this great work ? Surely that which I 
am speaking of, the weight of it : ' Set your hearts to all the words 
which I command you this day ; for it is not a vain thing ; because 
it is your life/ ver. 47. Moses had experience that the hearts of 
the Israelites were exceeding knotty wood, and therefore he useth 
a heavy beetle to drive home the wedge : it is not a vain thing ; it 
is life. As if he had said, Were it a matter of small moment, ye 
might laze and loiter about it ; but it behoves you to bestir your- 
selves lustily to follow it, laboriously to set your hearts to it ; for it 
is as much worth as your lives ; that pearl of matchless price is 
engaged and at stake in your pursuit of godliness. Life, though 
but natural, is of so much value that men will sacrifice their honours 
and pleasures, their wealth and liberty, and all to it. 

The Egyptians parted with their costly jewels willingly to redeem 


their lives, as Calvin 1 observeth. The widow in the Gospel spared 
none of her wealth to obtain health, which is much inferior to 
life : ' Skin for skin, and all that a man hath, will he give for his 
life.' Throw but a brute into the water to drown it, how will it 
labour, and toil, and sweat, to preserve its life ! View a man on 
his death-bed, when a distemper is, like a strong enemy, fighting 
to force life out of the field, how doth nature then, with all the 
might and strength it hath, strive and struggle to keep its ground ! 
What panting and breathing, what sweating and working of all the 
parts do you behold ! And no wonder — the man laboureth for life. 
If there be such labour for a natural life, that is but umbra vitce, a 
shadow to this the substance, which is but the union of the body 
and soul, and lieth under a necessity of dissolution ; what labour 
doth a spiritual life deserve, that consisteth in the soul's union and 
communion with the blessed Saviour, and which neither men nor 
devils, neither death nor hell, shall ever deprive a believer of, but 
in spite of all it will grow and increase till it commence eternal 
life ? Well might Moses expect that such a heavy weight as this 
should make great impression, and sink deep into their affections : 
' For it is not a vain thing ; because it is your life.' 

We may say of this work of Christianity, compared with all 
other works, what David said of Goliath's sword, ' There is none 
like it : ' this is soul-work, this is God- work, this is eternity-work, 
and therefore of greatest weight, and requireth us all to make it 
our business ; such blows as these three are, one would think, might 
force fire out of a flint. 

This is soul-work : as soul-woe is the heaviest woe, and soul- 
wants are the greatest wants, so soul- work is the weightiest work ; 
the dangers of a soul are the deepest dangers, the loss of the soul 
is the dreadfullest loss, the neglect of the soul is the dolefullest 
neglect. The consequence of the action is frequently specified from 
the excellency of the person or subject concerned in it. The soul 
of man is a most excellent piece, both in regard of the spirituality 
and immortality of its substance, as also in regard of that divine 
image imprinted on it, those heavenly qualities with which it was 
at first endowed. Princes stamp not their image, except in cases of 
necessity, on brass, or tin, or leather, but on gold and silver, the 
chiefest and most excellent metals. Therefore, though those affairs 
which concern the body are but of ordinary respect, yet those that 
concern the soul are of unconceivable weight and regard. One 

1 Hinc clamor ille desperationis index ; omnes mortui sumus, hinc facilitas ilia in 
dando. — Calv. in Exod. xii. Tanquam si hoc pretio animas redemissent. — Jim. in Inc. 

Chap. VI.] the christian man's calling. 53 

soul is more worth than ten thousand bodies — than ten thousand 

The greatest thing, saith one, in this world is man, and the 
greatest thing in man is his soul. It is an abridgment of the in- 
visible world, as the body is of the visible. The body, though no 
mean work considered absolutely, yet of ordinary worth considered 
comparatively to the soul. It is a mud- wall enclosing a rich trea- 
sure, as a common mask to a beautiful face, as a coarse cabinet 
having in it a precious carcanet. 

The very heathen acknowledged that the soul was the man, 1 the 
body but its servant ; and therefore the Christian may well call it 
and care for it as his darling, as his only one, as the original is in 
that place, Ps. xxii. 20. Chrysostom observeth, 2 Omnia Deus 
dedit duplicia, God hath given man two eyes, two ears, two hands, 
two feet, that the failing of the one may be supplied by the help of 
the other ; Animam vero imam, but one soul — if that miscarry, 
there is no remedy. Nebuchadnezzar lost his reason, and that was 
restored; David lost his wives, children, and goods, and yet they 
were recovered ; nay, Lazarus lost his life, and was revived ; but for 
the loss of fhe soul no power can recover it, no price can redeem, 
no pearls, no, not the whole world, can recompense its loss. 

Well might Charles the Fifth, 3 when solicited by a great coun- 
sellor, Antonino de Leva, to cut off all the princes in Germany, that 
he might rule alone, forbear to put his advice into practice, and cry 
out, anima, anima, my soul, my soul ! — what then will be- 
come of my soul ? It was a royal answer which Maximilian, king 
of Bohemia, gave the pope, who persuaded him to turn good 
Catholic, promising him much advantage : I thank your holiness ; 
'but my soul's health is clearer to me than all the things in the 
world. (Hist. Cone. Trent.) 

The apostle calls the body a ' vile body,' Phil. iii. ult., in regard 
of its original production ; it was made not of heavenly materials, as 
sun or stars, nor of precious materials, as pearls, or jewels, but ex 
pulvere limoso et lutoso, of dust mingled with water ; and in regard 
of its ultimate resolution, it becomes first an ugly, ghastly carcase, 
and then moulders into earth ; but the Holy Ghost calls the soul 
' The breath of the Almighty,' Job xxxiii. 4. It was not, as the 
body, framed of dust, but immediately breathed by God himself ; it 
was not the fruit of some pre-existent matter, but the immediate 
effect of divine power. The soul is, in a spiritual as well as in a 

1 oik iarlv avOpwiros to opw/xevov. — Plat. s Homil. 22, ad Popul. Antioch 

3 Val. Kath. Car., lib. iii. 


natural sense, the life of the body, especially if you take vivcre for 
valere — to live for to be lusty, and to be in health'; for what the sun 
is to the greater, that the soul is to the lesser world. When the 
sun shineth comfortably, how cheerfully do all things look ! how 
well do they thrive and prosper ! the birds sing merrily, the beasts 
play wantonly, the trees and herbs put forth their buds and fruits; 
the whole creation enjoy eth a day of light and joy. But when the 
sun departeth, what a night of horror followeth ; how are all things 
wrapped up in the sable mantle of darkness ! nay, let but the heat 
of its beams abate, how do all faces gather paleness ! the creatures 
are buried, as it were, in the winding-sheet of winter's frost and 
snow : so when the soul shineth pleasantly on the body, refreshing 
it with its beams of holiness, with its rays of grace, the body can- 
not but enjoy a summer of health and strength. Such a soul in 
such a body is like a pure wax-candle in a crystal lantern, refresh- 
ing with its scent, directing by its light, and comforting with its 
heat ; but if the soul be weak, and full of spiritual wants, the body 
must needs wither. The soul is the ship in which the body 
sails ; if that be safe, the body is safe, if that sinks, the body sinks 
for ever. 

From all this it appeareth that soul- work is a weighty work, not 
to be dallied or trifled with, but to be made the business of every 
man. Godliness must therefore be followed with care and con- 
science, because of soul consecruence. It was our deprivation of 
godliness which was the soul's greatest loss, and therefore, for the 
regaining of it, ought to be our greatest labour. God sent his Son 
into the world for this very purpose, that he might by his bloody 
passion restore man to his primitive purity and perfection. Godli- 
ness is the soul's food, which nourisheth it ; who would feast his 
horse, — Corpus est jumentum animce, — and starve himself ? the 
soul's raiment, both for its defence and warmth, nay, the life of its 
life. The life of the soul, as Jacob's in Benjamin, is bound up in 
godliness. Take godliness away, and the soul goeth down into the 
grave of the other world with unspeakable sorrow. 

Godliness, as it is soul-work, so it is God- work ; as the excellency 
of the subject in which, so also the excellency of the object about 
which, it is conversant, speaks it to be weighty. The moralists tell 
us, that actions are specified not only from their ends and cir- 
cumstances, but likewise from their objects. 1 And the divines 
assure us, that the chiefest source of man's sin and sorrow is his 
causing the bent and stream of his inward man to run after wrong 

1 Actiones specificantur a fine, objecto, et circumstantiis.— Eustath. dc Mar. Philos.] 

Chap. VI.] the christian man's calling. 55 

objects. If objects then can vary the species, they may much more 
add to the degree, to the weight of an action. Where the object is 
great, no slip can be small. 

Evil words spoken, or blows given, to an ordinary man, bear but 
a common action at law ; but in case they relate to the king, they 
are treason. The higher the person is with whom we converse, the 
holier and more exact should our carriage be. If we walk with our 
equals, we toy and trifle by the way, and possibly, if occasion be, 
wander from them ; but if we wait upon a prince, especially about 
our own near concernments, we are serious and sedulous, watching 
his words, and working with the greatest diligence for the perform- 
ance of his pleasure. A lawyer will mind the countryman's cause 
when he is at leisure, when greater affairs will give him leave, and 
then, it may be, do it but coldly and carelessly. But if he have 
business committed to him by his sovereign, which concerns the 
prerogative, he will make other causes stay, crowd out of the press 
to salute this, attend it with all his parts and power, and ability 
and industry, and never take his leave of it till it be finished. I 
need not explain my meaning in this ; it is obvious to every eye that 
godliness is the worshipping the infinite and ever-blessed God. 
Surely his service is neither to be delayed nor dallied with, it is not 
to be slighted or slubbered over. ' Cursed is he that doth the work 
of the Lord negligently.' 

When we deal with our equals, with them that stand upon the 
same level with us, we may deal as men ; our affections may be like 
scales that are evenly poised, in regard of indifferency, but when 
we have to do with a God so great, that in comparison of him 
the vast ocean, the broad earth, and the highest heavens are all less 
than nothing, and so glorious that the great lights of the world, 
though every star were a sun, yet in respect of him are perfect 
darkness, we must be like angels, our affections should be all in a 
flame in regard of fervency and activity. The very Turks, though 
they build their own houses low and homely, yet they take much 
pains about their mosques, their temples— they build them high and 
stately. 1 David considered about a temple for God. ' The work is 
great, for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.' Now, 
saith he, ' I have prepared with all my might for the house of 
my God.' Upon this foundation, that it was God-work, David 
raiseth this building, to make it his business, to prepare for it with 
all his might, as if he had said, Had it been for man, the work had 
been mean, it had wanted exceedingly of that weight which now it 

i Turk. Hist., fol. 342. 


hath ; but the work is great, for the palace is not for man, but for 
God ; and because it is a work of such infinite weight, therefore I 
have prepared for it with all my might. I can think no pains great 
enough for so great a prince. 

It was provided in the old law, that the weights and measures of 
the sanctuary should be double to the weights and measures of the 
commonwealth. 1 The shekel of the sanctuary was half-a-crown of 
our money, and the shekel of the commonwealth but fifteenpence ; 
the cubit of the sanctuary a full yard, the common cubit but half a 
yard, compare 1 Kings vii. 15, with 2 Chron. iii. 15. The common 
talent was one hundred and eighty-seven pounds ten shillings ; the 
king's talent two hundred and eighty-one pounds five shillings ; the 
talent of the sanctuary was three hundred and seventy-five pounds, 
{Itincrarium Sac.) And what was the gospel of this, but to teacli 
us that in things that appertain to God, we must give double 
weight, double measure, double care, double diligence ; though men 
be slothful and sluggish in the service of men, yet they must be fiery 
and ' fervent in spirit' when they are ' serving the Lord,' Eom. xii. 
11. To give brass money to any is lamentable, but to cast it into 
the treasury is most abominable. God is a great God, and looks to 
be served like himself, and according to his excellent greatness: 
' Cursed be the deceiver which hath in his flock a male, and sacri- 
flceth to the Lord a corrupt thing ; for I am a great king, saith the 
Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen,' Mai. 
1. ult. 

There are some of the heathen that worship the sun for a god, 2 
and would offer to the sun somewhat suitable ; and therefore, because 
they wondered at the sun's swift motion, they would offer a horse 
with wings. Now a horse is a swift creature, and one of the 
strongest to continue in motion for a long time together ; then, 
having wings added to him, they conceived him a sacrifice some- 
what suitable to the sun. 3 Surely much more cause have Christians 
to take care that their sacrifices to the glorious and boundless 
Majesty, be some way suitable to his inconceivable and infinite 

Further, godliness is eternity- work, and therefore must needs be 
of infinite weight, and is worthy of all our pains and diligence. We 
esteem lands which we hold in fee-simple to us and our heirs for 
ever, at a far greater rate, and are more diligent to secure our titles 
to them, than those lands which we have only a lease of, or a life 

1 Godw., Jew. Antiq., lib. vi. cap. 9, 10. 2 Job., Pierrii Hieroglyph. 

3 ibawep tcLxI&tov T<f Tax vT &TW Bewv. — Pans. 

Chap. VI.] the christian man's calling. 57 

in. Men's estates are of more or less value, according to the term 
of years they have in them ; ministers are often much more exact 
in their printing than in their preaching. Such in whose ordinary 
preaching words like a spring run full and fast, and sense, or at 
least judgment, like a pond stands still, will, if they print, screw 
their parts to the highest pitch, and spare for no pains that, if 
possible, sense and sentences, reason and expressions, may keep 
equal pace. Even those whose sermons, when delivered in their 
auditories, smell, as Chalcus 1 said of Demosthenes' orations, of 
the lamp, are the fruits of much prayer and study ; yet when they 
are to publish them to the world, they will survey every sentence, 
weigh every word, bestow more care and labour on them — hence 
possibly our proverbial speech, when a thing is done exactly, This 
is done in print. But what is the ground of this ? I suppose one 
of the chiefest, because men print, in a sense, for eternity. Sermons 
preached, or men's words, pass away with many like wind — how soon 
are they buried in the grave of oblivion ! but sermons printed are 
men's works, live when they are dead, and become an image of 
eternity: ' This shall be written for the generation to come.' 

Godliness is a work that relates not only to a few lives, as lands 
do, or to a few generations, as men's books do, but to the boundless, 
bottomless ocean of eternity indeed, and therefore calleth for all our 
care and diligence. Drexelius 2 observeth well out of the father, 
Our works do not pass away as soon as they are done, as they may 
seem to do, but as seed sown in time, they rise up to all eternity. 
A little neglect now may prove an eternal loss ; whatsoever we 
think, speak, or do, once thought, spoke, or done, it is eternal, it 
abideth for ever. 

Eternal life is promised to the diligent, eternal death is the por- 
tion of the negligent. 3 The former shall be bathed in ' the rivers 
of God's eternal pleasures,' the latter shall suffer the ' vengeance of 
eternal fire.' To be tormented day and night for ever and ever, and 
to enjoy the ' exceeding and eternal weight of glory,' are certainly 
no jesting matters, but of more concernment than we can possibly 
conceive. Who would not labour hard to attain eternal life ! Who 
would not work night and clay to avoid eternal death, eternal woe ! 

Zeuxis the famous limner made painting his business, and was 
exceeding careful and curious in drawing all his lines ; he would 
let no piece of his go abroad into the world to be seen of men, 
till he had turned it over and over ; viewed it on this side and 

1 Plut. in Vit. Demost. 2 Drex., Eternit. Conclus., lib. 

:i Idem, Non Consid., cap. 1. 


that side again and again, and being asked the reason, answered, 
Because what I paint, I paint for eternity. So it is with every man 
and woman in the exercise of godliness, it is of eternal concern- 
ment ; we pray, we hear for eternity, we read, we sing, we watch, 
we fast, we live, we die for eternity ; oh, how exactly, how diligently, 
should all be done ! 

The Holy Ghost urgeth it as a reason why men's eyes and hearts 
should not be set upon riches, because they are not eternal. In 
one place Solomon tells us, that riches ' are not/ Prov. xxiii. 5. 
In another place, that they are ' not for ever/ Prov. xxvii. 4, be- 
cause things that are not for ever, are as if they were not at all. 
Eternal life is the true life, saith Augustine ; this is but the shadow 
or semblance of life. The affairs of time are but trifles to the 
affairs of eternity ; but our eyes and hearts must be set upon godli- 
ness, because it is for ever, it will do a soul good for ever ; our 
Saviour doth from this argument command us to make godliness 
our chief employment : ' Labour not for the meat that perisheth, 
but for that meat which endureth to everlasting life,' John vi. 27, 
where labour for temporal food is not prohibited, but labour for 
eternal food is preferred. 

It was the consideration of this that made the forty martyrs : 
suffer so venturously and valiantly under Licinius, a.d. 300. 
When Agricolaus, his deputy, and one of the devil's agents, set 
upon them several ways to draw them to deny Christ, and at last 
tempted them with an offer of wealth and preferment, they all 
cried out with one consent, co aiSlorr]*;, co aiBioTr)?, ^prjfxara St'Sco? 
to airofMevovra, Oh eternity, eternity, give us money that will last 
to eternity, and glory that will abide for ever ! They slighted that 
pitiful wealth which was current only in this beggarly world, and 
made religion their business because it brought them in durable 
riches. Things that are transient and temporal may, like hasty 
storms, salute only the surface of our hearts, and away ; but things 
that are permanent and eternal, must, like soft showers, sink deep 
into our affections, and command all our actions. Ah, did but 
man know what it is to be eternally in hell-fire, and what it is to 
live eternally in God's favour, he would do anything, were it never 
so hard, to arrive at heaven. 

The Komans built their temples round ; and the rule of Pytha- 
goras was, when men worshipped, they must turn themselves round. 
Those heathens had confused notions of eternity, and represented 
it by round things, because such had neither beginning nor end 

1 Basil. 40 Mart. 

Chap. VII.] the christian man's calling. 59 

If they, by the light of nature, saw a little of it, and thence would 
have their temples and worship suitable to it, then much more we, 
who have clearer apprehensions by the light of Scripture, must have 
our conversations answerable. 


The necessity of making religion our business, both in regard of the 
opposition a Christian meets ivith, and the multiplicity of busi- 
ness ivhich lieth upon him. 

Thirdly, Godliness must be made our principal business, our 
main work, because otherwise we shall lose our reward. We say, 
As good never a whit, as never the better. Piety without much 
pains will redound to little or no profit. How foolish is that 
builder who, in setting up a house, hath been at much cost, and 
yet loseth all, because he will be at no further charge. Many ' lose 
what they have wrought/ 2 John 8. Their works, because not 
their business, are not perfect, and so to small purpose. ' The 
slothful roasts not what he took in hunting/ Prov. xii. 27. He 
was at some labour to catch the beast, but was loath to be at any 
more in dressing it, and so all was lost ; laboriousness to godliness 
is as the soul to the body, which, being separated from it, godliness 
dieth and quickly becomes unsavoury. 

The reward of godliness is of infinite worth, the end of holiness 
(as of hope) is the salvation of the soul, the eternal and immediate 
enjoyment of God in heaven. Now, who can think to attain the 
place of such ravishing pleasures without much pains ? Iter per 
angusta ad augusta. 

Things that are most delicate cannot be had without the greatest 
difficulty ; they that will enjoy large diadems must run through 
many deaths and dangers, and use much diligence. Nature her- 
self will not bestow her precious treasure without much unwearied 
labour. Dust and dirt lie common in streets, but the gold and 
silver mines are buried in the bowels of the earth, and they must 
work hard and dig deep that will come at them. Ordinary stones 
may be had in every quarry, but pearls are secret in the bottom of 
the sea, and they must dive low, and hazard their lives, that will 
fetch up the oysters in which they breed, and enjoy them. 

When did we ever find nature so prodigal of her gifts, as to 
bestow skill and excellency in any art or science, without industry 


and diligence. Doth she not force her students to beat their 
brains, to waste their bodies, to break their sleep, to burn up their 
strength, before she will permit them to pry into her secrets, to 
pick the lock of her curious cabinet, and gain any considerable 
knowledge of her wealth and richness ? And can we think the 
God of nature will give men to know him, as they are known of 
him — will bestow on them the unspeakable gift, the pearl of price, 
the Holy of holies, such things as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither man's heart conceived, while they lie lazying on the bed of 
idleness ? 

Heaven is not unfitly compared to a hill ; among heathens to 
Olympus, among Christians to Mount Zion. They that will climb 
up to it must pant and blow and sweat for it. Elijah's transla- 
tion to the place of bliss was much more speedy and facile than 
ordinary. We see no panting heart, no trembling hands, no quiver- 
ing lips, no ghastly looks to be the forerunners of his passage into 
eternal life. Where the union is near and natural, there the 
separation is hard and painful, but behold here the marriage-knot 
betwixt body and soul is not untied. Those loving relations, like 
husband and wife, ride triumphantly together in a stately chariot 
to the heavenly court ; yet even in this rapture God would teach 
us that the virgin inheritance must be ravished : ' There appeared 
a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and Elijah went up by a whirl- 
wind into heaven,' 2 Kings ii. 11. Why a chariot of fire, but to 
note that heaven must be stormed and taken by force. Fire is the 
most active inanimate creature ; hereby is figured that laborious 
action is the way to the beatifical vision. The chariot is made of 
fire, the wheels upon which it runs are a whirlwind. Activeness 
and violence are the only way to the blessed inheritance. Who 
ever entered into heaven with ease ? They that will be knighted 
must kneel for it ; they that will wear the crown must win it. ' A 
man is not crowned except he strive lawfully,' that is, strenuously, 1 
1 Tim. ii. 25. He that will be saved must ' work out his salvation, 
and that with fear and trembling/ Phil. ii. 

Christ, who first bought the purchase, hath already set the price 
upon which, and no other, the sons of men may come to the pos- 
session. There is, indeed, a twofold price of a thing, a natural 
nrice, when so much is laid down as is commensurate or propor- 
tionable to the thing bought ; so the price of heaven was the blood 
of Christ, Heb. x. 19. 

1 Legitime certare est ad pugnain se preparare et aniruose adversarium aggredi. — 

Chap. VII. ] the christian man's calling. 61 

A pactional price, when so much is laid down, (though inferior 
to the commodity,) upon which the seller is contented that } 7 ou 
enjoy the thing desired ; so labour, knocking, working, is the price 
of heaven, Isa. lv. 3. This price is made of man's future felicity, 
and Christ is resolved not to abate the least farthing. ' Strive,' 1 
saith he, ' to enter in at the strait gate ; for many will seek to enter 
in, and shall not be able,' Luke xiii. 24. As if he had said, There 
will be many seekers, many that will both cheapen heaven by a 
profession, and bid somewhat by performances, but they shall miss 
the place for want of more pains ; ' they shall not be able.' If ye, 
therefore, have any love to your souls, be not only seekers but 
strivers ; do not only cheapen and offer a little, but come up to the 
price. Put forth all your strength, as wrestlers do that strive for 
masteries, as ever you would enjoy those eternal pleasures. Men 
were as good bid nothing, as not come up to the seller's price. 

' All run in a race, but one receiveth the prize ; so run that ye 
may obtain,' 2 1 Cor. ix. 24. They that intend for the crown do 
beforehand diet themselves, breathe their bodies, and when they run 
for the conquest, strive and stretch themselves to the utmost ; he 
that loitereth, is as sure to lose as if he sat still. 

The lazy world, because Christ sends chapmen up and down with 
his wares, to offer them to every house, to every heart, think to 
have them at their own ordinary rates : but they shall find that 
grace, which is many degrees short of glory, is not to be had by 
sloth and idleness ; there must be lifting up the heart, lending the 
ears, seeking, searching, begging, digging, attention of the outward, 
intention of the inward man, before men can ' understand the fear 
of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God,' Prov. ii. 3-5. Though 
it be easy to let the bucket into the well, yet it is hot work and 
hard labour to draw water out of the well of salvation. The 
laborious bee only is laden with honey. 3 

' The desire of the slothful killeth him, because his hands refuse 
to labour,' Prov. xxi. 5. He is full of wishing, but far from work- 
ing. As the cat, he would fain have the fish, but is unwilling to 
wet his feet ; his desires are destitute of suitable endeavours, and 
therefore rather harm him than help him. Like Ishbosheth, he 
lazieth on his bed till he is deprived of his life. He thinketh to 
be hurried in haste to heaven, to be carried as passengers in a ship, 

1 aywvi'geaOe. Conamini omnibus viribus ; extremas summasque vires velut 
agonizantes exerite, quasi pro vita si vincitis, pro morte si vincimini, luctaturi. — 
A Lap id. in, loc. 

2 Sic notat diligentiam et celeritatem. — Cor. A Lapid. 

3 si, si otiosi. Non est 6 terris mollis ad astra via. — Sen. 


asleep in their cabins to their haven, but is all the while in a 
deceitful dream. There is no going to those heavens where Christ 
is in his glory, as the sick man came to the house where Christ was 
in his estate of ignominy, let down in a bed. 

He that will be but almost a Christian, must be content to go but 
almost to heaven. 

Idleness is the burial of our persons, and negligence is the burial 
of our actions. Writing on the sand is easy, but soon worn out, it 
is marred with a small breath of wind ; but writing on marble, as 
it is more permanent, so it costeth more pains. An idle servant is 
in God's esteem an evil servant ; he doth not distinguish betwixt a 
slothful and an unfaithful man : his word tells us that he hath 
bonds for those hands that are folded in the bosom, when they 
should be working for a blessing ; that he hath fetters for those feet 
that stand still, and stick fast in the mire and mud of sinful 
pleasures, when they should be running the way of his precepts ; 
nay, that he hath utter darkness for them that will not walk and 
work while they enjoy the light, Mat. xxv. 26, 30. He that takes 
his ease in this world must travel in the next. 

Two things shew a necessity that godliness must be made our 
business, if ever we would make anything of it. 

First, Because of the opposition we meet with in the way of reli- 
gion. When the wind and tide are both with the mariner, he may 
hoist up his sail and sit still, but when both are against him, he 
must row hard, or never think to come to his haven. The way to 
heaven is like Jonathan's passage against the Philistines, betwixt 
two rocks, — the one Bozez, dirty ; the other Seneb, thorny ; the men 
of the world will be ever diligent, either with dirt to bespatter their 
credits, or with thorns to wound and pierce their consciences, that 
walk in this path ; he must therefore have a mind well resolved to 
take pains, and his feet well shod with patience, that will go this 
way to paradise. The way of this world is like the vale of Siddim, 
slimy and slippery, full of lime-pits and stumbling-blocks to maim 
or mischief us.- Saints are princes in all lands ; but as princes that 
pass through a country in disguise meet with many affronts, so do 

The flesh is like bird-lime, which, when the spirit would at any 
time mount up to heaven with the wings of faith and meditation, 
hampers and hinders it ; it is the holy soul's prison, wherein it is 
fettered and fastened, that it cannot, as it would, walk at liberty, and 
seek God's precepts. The devil, both a serpent for craft and a lion 
for cruelty, doth, out of his hatred to God, make it his constant 

Chap. VII.] the christian man's calling. 63 

business by his power and policy to hinder godliness. As the pan- 
ther, because he cannot come at the person, he tears the picture 
wherever he finds it: ' We wrestle not with flesh and blood, but 
with principalities and powers,' Eph. vi. 12. While Satan reignsth 
in a creature, all may be quiet and calm ; but if he be once cast out, 
he will rage and roar to purpose. While Israel serveth the Egyp- 
tians, carrying their crosses, bearing their burdens, doing their 
drudgery, all is well ; but when once they shake off Pharaoh's 
• yoke, turn their backs upon Egypt, and set out for Canaan, with 
what force and fury are they pursued to be brought back to their 
former bondage ! Christ was no sooner baptized than buffeted ; he 
went, as it were, out of the water of baptism into the fire of tempta- 
tion. And if the prince were all his time persecuted, his subjects 
must not expect to be wholly privileged. The cross is tied as a tag 
to the profession of Christianity, Mat. x. 30. One article in the 
indenture which all apprentices must seal to, that will call Christ 
master, is to bear the cross daily, Mat. xvi. The saints are as ves- 
sels floating on the waters of Meribah, where {omne quod flat aquilo 
est, as Tertullian saith of Pontus) no wind blows but what is sharp 
and keen. The Hebrews were no sooner ' enlightened ' to their 
conversion, but they 'endured a sharp fight of affliction;' their 
lightning was accompanied with a grievous storm, Heb. x. 32. 
Holiness is usually followed with much hatred and hardship. The 
enemies of man's salvation are impudent and incessant, ever raging, 
never resting. What the Carthaginian commander said of Mar- 
cellus, 1 may be truly spoken by us in regard of them, That we have 
to do with those who will never be quiet, either conquerors or con- 
quered ; but conquerors they will pursue their victory to the utmost, 
and conquered, labour to recover their loss. Satan especially is 
both wrathful and watchful to undermine souls. 2 He is fitly called 
Beelzebub, the master-fly, because as a fly he quickly returns to 
the bait from which he was but now beaten. Though emperors 
may turn Christians, saith Austin, yet the devils will not. 

Doth not this fully speak the necessity of making godliness our 
business ? Can such difficulties be conquered without much dili- 
gence ? Who can eat his way, like Hannibal, 3 through such Alps 
of opposition without hot water and hard work ? If, like Samson, 
we would break all these cords of opposition in sunder, we must 

1 Plut. in vit. Marcel. 

2 Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum, 
Tendimus ad ccelum. 

3 Opposuit natura Alpemque nivemque; 

Deduxit seo^ulos et rnontem rupit aceto. J,u\, sat. 10. 


awake out of sleep, and put forth all our strength. Saints are 
all called to be soldiers ; our whole life is a warfare, ' All the days 
of ray appointed time,' Job xiv. 14 ; an expositor reads it, ' All the 
days of my warfare I will wait till my change come.' The soldier's 
life is no lazy life ; 1 armies are wholly for action, especially when 
they deal with such subtle strong adversaries, that assault them day 
and night without ceasing. Who can conquer three such mighty 
monarchs as flesh, world, and devil are, or force his way through 
their temptations and suggestions, unless he fight in earnest, and 
make it his business ? That fire, if ever any, had need to be hot, 
that must melt and overcome such hard metal ; and that hand, if 
ever any, had need to work hard, that will remove and level such 
high mountains. If the silly hare, pursued by such a pack of 
hounds, offer once to stand still or lie down, she is sure to be torn 
in pieces and devoured. There is a time, saith the holy bishop, 2 
when kings go not forth to warfare ; our spiritual war admits no 
intermission, it knows no night, no winter ; abides no peace, no 
truce ; this calls us not into garrison, where we may have ease and 
respite, but into pitched fields continually; we see our enemies in 
the face always, and are always seen and assaulted ; ever resisting, 
ever defending, receiving, and returning blows ; if either we be ne- 
gligent or weary, we die. We can never have safety and peace 
but in victory; there must our resistance be courageous and con- 
stant, where both yielding is death, and all treaties of peace 

Secondly, There is a necessity of making it our main work, be- 
cause of the multiplicity of business that is incumbent on every 
Christian. That stream had need to run freely, and with full force, 
that must be divided into many channels. That estate had need 
to be large, that must be parted among many children. Who can 
count the variety of works that every Christian must be engaged in? 
how many dangers he must wade through? how many snares must he 
avoid ? how many taunts and mocks must he abide ? how many 
temptations must he conquer ? how many graces must he exercise ? 
how many lusts must he mortify ? how many duties must he per- 
form ? Every relation, every condition calls for answerable duty 
and diligence ; every ordinance must be improved by him, every 
providence must be sanctified to him. Mercies must, like a ladder, 
mount him nearer to heaven ; misery must, like the famine to the 
prodigal, force him to hasten to his father's house. His wife, his 
children, his servants, his neighbours, his friends, his enemies, his 

1 Ad agendum nati milites. — Cicer. 2 Hall, Holy Observ., 20. 

Chap. VII.] the christian man's calling. G5 

shop, his closets, his visits, his journeys, do all require suitable 
service ; and who can perform it that is not diligent and sedulous ? 

Consider him in reference to God's immediate worship ; he must 
pray, hear, read, meditate, watch, fast, sanctify sabbaths, sing 
psalms, receive the sacrament, and in all walk humbly, reverently, 
and uprightly with his G-od. Consider him in reference to poor 
men ; he must love mercy, and supply their necessities according to 
his ability, and not, like a muck-heap, good for nothing till carried 
forth ; whatever men he deals with, he must do justly, love his 
neighbour as himself, and as Cod gives him opportunity, provoke 
them to mind grace and sanctity ; as musk, perfume, if possible, all 
that he comes near. Consider him in reference to himself ; he must 
live soberly, vigilantly ; his heart is like a subtle, sturdy thief, ever 
seeking to break the jail, and therefore must have a strong guard ; 
his corrupt nature is like fire, and his whole man like thatch, and 
therefore he must keep a narrow watch ; his senses are the outworks, 
which Satan is ever assaulting, by them to gain the royal fort of 
the soul, that he must defend them with care and courage day and 
night. What is said of the husbandman, is true of every Christian. 
His work is never at an end ; the end of one work is but the begin- 
ning of another ; he must always be emplo3 T ed, either in dunging, 
dressing, ploughing, sowing, harrowing, weeding, or reaping his 
ground ; he hath no leisure to be idle and lazy, who hath so much 
work lying upon his hand. Seneca thought philosophy cut him out 
so much work, that he was necessitated to spend every day, and 
part of the nights, in making it up. 1 Christianity, a nobler mistress, 
as she gives better wages, so she commands greater work ; that her 
servants may say well with the emperor, Let no day pass without 
a line ; and with Solomon's housewife, not let their candle go out 
by night, Prov. xxx. 

The French Duke d'Alva could say, when he was asked by 
Henry the Fourth whether he had seen the eclipse of the sun, that he 
had so much business to do upon earth, that he had no time to look up 
to heaven. Sure I am, the Christian may say with more truth and 
conscience, That he hath so much business to do for heaven, that he 
hath no time to mind vain or earthly things. That servant who doth 
ponder the strictness of his master, consider the shortness of his 
time, conceive the largeness of his task, and believe the weightiness 
of his work, how it must be done, or he is undone for ever, will be 

1 Nullus mihi per otium exiit dies; partem etiam noctium studiis vendico ; non 
vaco somno sed succumbo, et oculoa vigilia fatigatos cadentesque in opere detineo. 
— Sen. Epist. 07. 

VOL. I. , E 


easily convinced that it very nearly concerns him, that it highly be- 
hoves him, to shake off sloth and sluggishness, to gird up the loins 
of his mind, to give it the precedency in all his actions, to pursue 
it with industry against all opposition, to persevere in it with con- 
stancy to his dissolution, and, in a word, to make it his main 
business, his principal work. 

A complaint that this trade is so dead, and the ivorlds trade so quick. 

The use which I shall make of this doctrine, shall be either by 
way of complaint or counsel. 

First, By way of lamentation. If godliness ought to be every 
one's principal business, How sadly should it be lamented that this 
calling is so exceedingly neglected ! What one man is there of 
many that doth follow this trade, and exercise himself to godliness ? 
Men generally cry out, trading is dead, their particular callings are 
gone ; they make no considerable returns, they stand in their shops 
all the day idle. But may not God rather complain, the holy 
"heavenly trade is decayed and dead ; general callings are left and 
lost ; why stand ye all the day idle, and refuse to work in my 
vineyard ? While the devil has whole droves to do his drudgery, 
the flesh vast flocks to flatter its fancies, and the world many 
millions to admire and adore its vanities, ' The ways of Zion 
mourn, they are unoccupied, none come to the solemn feasts, all 
her gates are desolated.' While the lawyer's closet is filled with 
clients for counsel about their estates, the physician's chamber 
with patients about their bodily health, and the tradesman's shop 
crowded with customers, Jesus Christ is left alone ; though he 
offereth wares which are of infinite worth, and stretcheth out his 
hand all the day long, yet no man regardeth. 

It is reported 1 of some Spaniards that live near the place where 
is store of fish, that they will rather go without them than take the 
pains to catch them. Heaven and happiness, Saviour and salvation, 
are near men, they are brought to their very doors ; and yet men will 
rather lose than labour for them, rather go sleeping to hell, than 
sweating to heaven. ' All seek their own, and none the things of 
Jesus Christ.' 

Offer a crust to a dog and he will catch at it, offer him a crown 
and he will contemn it ; offer these men the crusts of vanity, and 

1 Furchas' Pilgrim. 

Chap. VIII. ] the christian man's calling. G7 

how greedily are tliey embraced, while the crown of glory is most 
unworthily despised ; like beastly swine, they trample this pearl 
under their feet, and love to wallow in the mire. 

But possibly you may say that there are many that make religion 
their business, only they are so near me that (according to the rule 
of optics, which requires a due distance between the faculty and 
the object) I cannot behold them ; they abound in every country, 
parish, family ; all are Christians, and make the worship of God 
their main work. 

I must answer as he did when he saw the vast army of Antiochus, 
There are many men, but few soldiers; many mouths, but few 
hands : there are many nominal, but few real Christians ; many 
that flourish like fencers, beating only the air, but few that fight 
in earnest the good fight of faith. Godliness hath many compli- 
mental servants, that will give her the cap and the knee, a few 
good words and outward ceremonies ; but godliness hath few faith- 
ful friends, that make her the mistress of their affections, that give 
her the command of their hearts, and that wait upon her, and walk 
with her all the day long. Pretenders to her service are indeed 
like the sand of the sea, numerous ; but practitioners or faithful 
servants are like the pearl of the sea, rare and precious; many 
court her, but few marry her ; for indeed men generally deal with 
godliness as the Germans with the Italians, or the Dutch with the 
Spaniards, hold a fair outward correspondency, enough to serve for 
mutual trade and traffic, but enter not into a near familiarity; 
they have no great intimacy with godliness ; it is rather a stranger 
to them, whom now and then they bestow a visit on for fashion 
sake, than an indweller or constant inhabitant. 

Lepidus Major, a loose Soman, when his comrades were exer- 
cising themselves in the camp, would lay himself down to sleep in 
the shade, and cry out, Ulinam hoc esset laborare, Would this were 
all the duty I were to do. Such soldiers are many who pretend to 
fight under Christ's banner ; when they should be watching their 
souls, and warring with Satan and sin, they are sleeping and snor- 
ing, as if that were the way to work out their salvations. Reader, 
I must acquaint thee with the physician's rule, that Spontanea! 
lassitudines morbos loquuntur, Weariness without some apparent 
cause is a sign of a diseased body ; so thy laziness doth speak a 
very unsound soul. 

This complaint is urged with a threefold consideration. 

First, How eager is the worldling for wealth and earthly things ! 
Though they loiter about the meat which endureth to eternal life, 


yet they can labour for the meat that perisheth ; though they are 
so negligent about the kingdom of heaven, yet the kingdom of 
earth suffereth violence. What pains do the mariners take for 
treasure ! What perils doth the soldier undergo for plunder ! 
What labour and industry doth the husbandman use for profit ! 
he riseth early, sits up late, denieth himself, loseth his sleep, rides 
and runs to and fro, embraceth all opportunities, is eaten up almost 
with cares and fears, all for the earthly mammon ; whilst the 
heavenly mansions are like the unknown part of the world, which 
no man regardeth or looketh after ; they ' pant after the dust of 
the earth,' as greedily as hot creatures do after the air to cool their 
scorched entrails, Amos ii. 7. The serpent's curse is entailed on 
that poisonous brood ; the dust is their diet, they feed on ashes, 
Gen. iii. 14 ; Amos vii. They laugh at dangers, and trample upon 
difficulties, they force their way through darkness and the shadow 
of death, through stifling damps and overflowing floods, through 
rocks and mountains, in the pursuit of earthly treasures, Job xxviii. 
9-11. It is said of the Dutch, they are so industrious at naviga- 
tion, that, if it were possible to sail in ships to heaven, they would 
not come short of that haven. Ah, what pity is it that this jewel 
should hang in a swine's snout, which would so well become the 
Christian's finger ; that this diligence, this violence, should be ex- 
ercised about men's earthly and particular, which would so well 
suit their heavenly and general, calling. The ambitious person, 
like the panther, is so greedy of the poisonous aconite (hung up 
by the hunters purposely in vessels above their reach 1 ) of air and 
honour, that he never leaves leaping and straining thereat till he 
breaks and bursts himself in sunder. 

The covetous man, saith one, that hath more than enough, yet 
perplexeth himself with his own wants, look how like a fool he 
goeth, leading his horse in his hand, and carrying his saddle on 
his back, till he be pickled in his own sweat, and killed with cares, 
when his horse would with ease carry him and his saddle. The 
voluptuous man, like the drone, is busy about the glass of water 
baited with honey ; in it he labours and wearieth himself, even till 
he be drowned. 

How do men, like the Israelites in the Egyptian bondage, travel 
up and down, and even weary themselves to gather straw ! What 
pains do they take to hew unto themselves broken cisterns ! Their 
chief strife is, with the toads, who shall fall asleep with most earth 
in their paws, who shall leave this world with most wealth in their 

1 Plin. Nat. Hist., lib. viii. cap. 27. 

Chat. VIII. ] the christian man's calling. 69 

hands; their parts and gifts, their time and talents, are all im- 
proved to help forward their earthly trade ; they arc ' wiser in their 
generation than the children of light.' 

Oh how lamentable is it that the onions and garlic of Egypt are 
preferred before the milk and honey of Canaan ! l Luther tells us 
of a nobleman at Vienna, in the time of his abode there, which 
made a great supper, and in the midst of his mirth belched out 
this windy and blasphemous speech, If God will leave me this 
world to live and enjoy my pleasure therein but a thousand years, 
then let him take his heaven to himself. This man spake what 
most men think ; the bramble of their bodies reigneth, and fire 
ariseth out of it to consume the cedar of their souls. 

The heathen have admired and bemoaned man's industry about 
earth ; 2 they have wondered what made man, who is of an erect 
countenance looking up to heaven, thus to bow down and bury 
himself alive in the earth. Tertullian stood amazed at the folly of 
the Eomans, 3 who would undergo all manner of hazards and hard- 
ships to be consul, which he fitly calls one year's fleeting joy. The 
prophet tells such that they ' rejoice in a thing of nought,' Amos 
vii. Nay, the forementioned moralist tells us, that such worldlings, 
opcrose nihil agurit, take a great deal of pains to do nothing. That 
their whole life is but a laborious loitering, or at most a more pain- 
ful kind of playing ; their account will be nothing but ciphers ; 
like children, they run up and down, and labour hard to catch a 
gaudy butterfly, which, when caught, will foul their fingers and fly 
from them. mortal men, ' how long will ye love vanity, and 
follow after leasing?' Ps. iv. 

Is it not sad, that so noble a being as man's soul should be wholly 
taken up with such mean, sordid things ? That phrase in Ps. xxiv. 
5, ' That hath not lift up his soul unto vanity,' is read by Arius 
Montanus, ' He that hath not received his soul in vain.' Oh how 
many receive their souls in vain, making no more use of them 
than the swine, of whom the philosopher observes, Cujus animapro 
sale, their souls are only for salt to keep their bodies from stinking. 
Who would not grieve to think that so choice a piece should be 
employed about so vain a use ! 

Eeader, if one should be entrusted with the education of a great 
prince, (who was descended of the blood-royal, and heir to a large 
empire,) and should set him only to rake in dunghills, or cleanse 
ditches, thou wouldst exceedingly condemn such a governor. 

1 Jupiter asseruit terraru niihi, tu assere ccelum. 
2 Sen., lib. vi. nat. cap. 26. 3 Tertul. de corona militis. 


Wouldst thou not think, It is pity, indeed, that so noble a person 
should be busied about such low, unworthy projects? God hath 
entrusted thee with a precious soul, descended highly, even from 
God himself, claiming kindred with the glorious angels, and 
capable of inheriting that kingdom, to which the most glorious 
empires of the world are but muck-heaps. Art thou not one of 
them that employ this princely soul altogether about unsuitable 
and earthly practices, and causing it (as the lapwing, though it 
have a coronet on its head) to feed on excrements ? It was one 
cause of Jeremiah's sad lamentation, that ' the precious sons of 
Zion, comparable to fine gold,' should be esteemed as ( earthen 
pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter ;' that they which were 
' brought up in scarlet,' should ' embrace dunghills,' Lam. iv. 2, 5. 
Have not we more cause of sorrow that men's souls, the precious 
sons of God, should be put to no better use than earthen pitchers ; 
that they which should be brought up delicately in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord, should be busy about dross, and embrace 
dunghills ; that thy precious soul should thus lackey after earth 
and vanity, when it should, like an angel, be always standing and 
waiting in the presence of God ? 

Who can read the stories how Domitian the king spent his time 
in catching flies ; Solyman the Magnificent in making arrow-heads ; 
Achmat the last in making strings for bows ; Harcatius, the king 
of Persia, in catching moles ; Caligula, the emperor, in playing the 
poet ; Nero, the emperor, in fiddling ; and not admire at their folly, 
that such great princes should busy themselves in things so infin- 
itely below their places. But thy folly, reader, (if one of them I am 
writing of,) is far greater, in that thy practices are more below thy 
spiritual and heavenly principle. May I not say to thee, as Philip 
to Alexander, when he heard him singing, Art thou not ashamed, 
being a king's son, to sing so well ? Art thou not ashamed, being 
an immortal angelical substance, the offspring of God, and capable 
of his likeness and love, to be glued as a toad-stool to the earth, 
to spend thy time and strength, venture the perishing of thy mortal 
body, and immortal soul too, for that meat which perisheth ? It is 
storied of Pope Sixtus the Fifth that he sold his soul to the devil, for 
seven years' enjoyment of the popedom. What fool ever bought so 
dear ? what madman ever sold so cheap ? yet every worldly person 
doth implicitly the same with this pope. He selleth what is more 
worth than all the world for a little wind. Ah, how costly is that 
•treasure which makes him a beggar to all eternity ! 

O.Lord, what a foolish, silly thing is man, to prize and take pains 

Chap. VIII.] the christian man's calling. , 71 

for husks before bread, vanity before solidity, a shadow before the 
substance, the world's scraps before the costly feast, the dirty kennels 
before the crystal water of life, an apple before paradise, a mess ot 
pottage before the birthright, and the least fleeting and inconstant 
good before the greatest, truest, and eternal good. Their particular 
callings are but about earth — the lowest, meanest, and vilest of all 
the elements in these callings ; they deal but with men and brutes ; 
their gains here at best cannot be large, because their lives here 
cannot be long ; and yet how eagerly are they pursued ! how closely 
are they followed ! how constantly are they busied about them ! 
Their general callings are about their souls, their eternal salvations; 
in these they have to do with the blessed God, the lovely Saviour, in 
communion with whom is heaven upon earth ; their gains here are 
above their thoughts, and beyond their most enlarged desires, no less 
than infinite and eternal ! The profit of godliness is invaluable above 
price. ' It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed 
for the price thereof: It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, 
with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal 
cannot equal it, and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of 
fine gold. No mention shall be made of coral or of pearls, for the 
price of wisdom is above rubies. The topaz of Ethiopia shall not 
equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold,' Job xxviii. 15-20 ; 
yet how lingeringly is this calling entered upon, how lazily is it 
followed, and how quickly cast off. foolish man, who hath 
bewitched thee, that thou dost thus dislike and disobey the 
truth ? 

I cannot more fitly resemble man than to a silly hen, which, 
though much good corn lie before her, takes little notice of it, but 
still scrapes in the earth. The favour of God, the promises of the 
gospel, the covenant of grace, the blood of Christ, the embroidery 
of the Spirit, the life of faith, the hope of heaven, joy in the Holy 
Ghost, are laid before man ; yet he overlooks them all, and lives 
like a mole, digging and delving in the earth. 

Though men see before their eyes a period and end of all earthly 
perfections, that the beauty, bravery of all earthly things is but like 
a fair picture drawn on ice, quickly perishing ; that their riches and 
estates are but like snow, which children take much pains to rake 
and scrape together to make a ball of, which upon the sun's shining 
on, it presently melteth away ; though they see daily men that 
hoarded up silver, and wrought hard for wealth, hurried away into 
the other world, leaving all their heaps behind them ; yet they will 
take no warning, but, as the silly lark, still play with the feather in 


the glass till they are caught and destroyed by the fowler. Men wrong 
themselves, and misconstrue God, who, as if he had hidden those 
things because he would have them sought, and laid the other open 
for neglect, bend themselves only to the seeking of those earthly 
commodities, and do no more mind heaven than if there were none. 
If we would imagine a beast to have reason, how could he be more 
absurd in his choice ? 

What a beast is he to love his silver above his soul, and lose his 
God for a little corruptible gold. While he lives, like the king of 
Armenia, by Marc. Anton. ,! he is a close prisoner in golden fetters ; 
and when he dieth, this worldling may say to his darling, as Cor- 
nelius Agrippa to his familiar spirit near his end, Abi, perdita 
bestia, quce me perdidisti, Begone, thou wicked wretch, thou hast 
undone me. 

It was good counsel which was given John, the third king of 
Portugal, to meditate a quarter of an hour every day on that divine 
sentence, (and oh that, reader, I could persuade thee to it!) 'What 
will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? 
or what will a man give in exchange for his soul ? ' Mat. xvi. I 
have read of a philosopher, who, living near a blacksmith, and hear- 
ing him up every morning at his hammer and anvil, before he could 
get out of his bed to his book, professed himself much ashamed 
that such an ignoble trade as a smith's should be more diligently 
attended than his more serious and excellent studies. What sayest 
thou, reader ; dost thou not blush to think that worldlings are more 
busy and laborious about the low things, the rattles and trifles of 
this life, than thou art about the high affairs of God and thy soul, 
the noble and serious concernments of eternity ? 


The complaint continued, that this calling is so much neglected, 
when superstition and sin are embraced and diligently 

Secondly, How do men make superstition and idolatry their busi- 
ness ? Though they are careless about divine institutions, yet they 
are zealous for human traditions. How zealous were the pharisees 
for the inventions of their elders ! they called them Mashlamat- 
hath, completions or perfections, esteeming them both helpful to 

1 Plut. in vit. Anton. 

Chap. IX.] the christian man's calling. 73 

the observation of the law of God, and also to the perfection of 
it. Superstitious persons do naturally think that their postures, 
gestures, ceremonies, and additions, do render the worship of God 
more comely and more complete ; but truly such embrace a cloud 
instead of Juno, worship the shadow of Christ, whilst the prince 
himself goeth unsaluted. Men are exceeding prone to, and earnest 
for, such vain and false ways and worship, partly because it is pleasing 
to corrupt spirits, who naturally love a fair show in the flesh ; a 
pompous holiness suits best with a proud heart ; partly because 
these traditions were received from their ancestors ; and as Austin 
observed in his time, men were resolved, right or wrong, to be 
followers of their fathers. Suitable to which, Cicero said, I will 
never forsake that way of divine service which I have received from 
my forefathers, for any man s pleasure, or by any man's persuasion ; 
no, not though Christ himself died to redeem them from their ' vain 
conversations, received by tradition from their fathers,' 1 Pet. i. 18, 
19. Hence, though they are so backward where God commands, 
yet they are forward when men command. What an outcry doth 
Micah make for his idol ! What a privy search doth Laban make 
for his image ! Gideon must die for throwing down the altar of 
Baal. How earnest are many for priests, tapers, altars, sacrifices, 
days, meats, consecrations, the holy of holies, crossings and cringings ! 
In these their zeal is hot, boiling over to the scalding of themselves 
and others. Though this fervency is aptly compared to a ship 
without ballast, overtired with sails, which in a storm casts away 
all aboard her, they disesteem their estates and possessions in com- 
parison of idolatry and superstition. Such persons are not only 
liberal, but lavish. Jeroboam will be at great cost for his idols ; 
they must be not iron or brazen, no, not silver, but golden calves ; 
not gilded over, but massy, molten gold. ' They lavish gold out of 
the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith ; and 
he maketh it a god, and they fall down and worship it,' Isa. xlvi. 6. 
The Israelites will spare their jewels for their idols, Exod. xxxii. 3. 
Micah's mother, to make molten and graven images, will lay out 
eleven hundred shekels of silver, Judges xvii. 2, 3. The papists 
are so prodigal, — though it is the less wonder in them, because they 
hold such actions meritorious of salvation, (and what would not a 
man give or do to be saved ?) — that not only their churches, but even 
cloisters, are stuck and stuffed with costly, pearly presents to their 
supposed saints. The Indians in the isle of Ceylon, having a conse- 
crated ape's tooth got fivrn them, offered an incredible mass of 
treasure to recover it. How many zealots, that will hardly give a 


penny to the relief of a poor Christian, throw away pounds for 
the maintenance of superstition ! 

They slight their relations to further their idolatrous devotion. 
The superstitious Jews would sacrifice their children to Moloch, 2 
Kings xvii. 17. The Carthaginians at one time, 1 (after they had 
received an overthrow by Agathocles,) sacrificed two hundred of 
their prime nobility to appease their incensed deity. Good God ! 
whither is man fallen, to be more cruel than a beast to the children 
of his own body ! What slavery is it to serve Satan, and what 
liberty to serve thee ! 

Nay, they will sacrifice not only their estates and children, but 
their lives and all their outward comforts, to superstition. How did 
the worshippers of Baal cut and lance themselves ! Ahaz sacrificed 
to the gods of Damascus that smote him, 2 Chron. xxviii. 23 ; so 
fervent he was that he chose rather in the service of false gods to 
be scourged, than in the service of the true God to be saved. 2 

Among the Mohammedans are a sect called the dervises, 3 
whose sharp and strict penances exceed those of the papists ; they 
live on the tops of hills, solitary, for contemplation ; fast, till nature 
be almost decayed ; have no clothes but to cover their nakedness ; 
wear such massy fetters of iron upon their legs that they can scarce 
stir, and yet go as fast as they can with them many miles, to visit 
the sepulchres of their deluded saints. The Turks willingly lay 
down their lives in their wars to propagate their religion, which 
their prophet hath taught them must be done, non disputando, sed 
pugnando, not by disputing with, but by destroying others. The 
unhappy Jesuit, though his religion be a heap of formalities, as the 
Turks' a bundle of fooleries, is yet so zealous for it, that Campian 
could impudently, in a letter to Queen Elizabeth's council, affirm, 
that as long as there was one Jesuit left for Tyburn, they had vowed 
never to desist endeavours to set up their religion in this nation. 
Oh devout ungodliness, or ungodly devotion ! how few take such 
pains to go to heaven, as many do to go to hell ! 

Alas ! what sorrow doth this call for and command ! that men 
should be so hot and fiery in will-worship, in false worship, wasting 
their wealth, cutting and carving their bodies as if they were made 
only to be their slaves, and themselves to be the tyrants over them, 
laying out so much cost, and exercising so much cruelty, for that 
which is worse than nothing, for that which will not only not profit 

' Diodor. Sic. 

2 Verberari a dsemone mallebat quam a Deo coronai-i. — Mendoz. in 1 Sam. riii. 

3 Purch. Pilgrim., p. 1478. 

Chap. IX.] the christian man's calling. 75 

them, but extremely and eternally prejudice tbem ; and in the 
interim the easy yoke of Christ is scorned, the power of godliness 
slighted, which might be minded with much more mildness and 
mercy to their outward and inward man. 

It was a good meditation of a fore-quoted author, Those that 
travel in long pilgrimages to the Holy Land, what a number of 
weary paces they measure ! what a number of hard lodgings and 
known dangers they pass ! and at last, when they are come within 
view of their journey's end, what a large tribute they pay at the 
Pisan Castle to the Turks ! and when they are come thither, what 
see they but the bare sepulchre wherein their Saviour lay, and the 
earth that he trod upon, to the increase of a carnal devotion ! What 
labour should I willingly undertake in my journey to the true land 
of promise, the celestial Jerusalem, where I shall see and enjoy my 
Saviour himself ! What tribute of pain or death should I refuse 
to pay for my entrance, not into his sepulchre, but his palace of 
glory, and that not to look upon, but to possess it ? 

Thirdly, As many make the world their main work, and others 
superstition their principal occupation, so most make wickedness 
their chief, their constant trade and business. While sanctity is 
but coldly entertained, but complimented with, sin is laid in the 
bosom and heartily embraced ; the turnings and windings that are 
in the sinner's way are not easily to be observed ; the pains which 
he takes to bring forth and breed up those birds which will peck 
out his own eyes, can neither be fully described nor sufficiently 
lamented. In what haste and hurry is Absalom for a halter ! what 
work doth lust make in Amnon to waste his body, and send his 
soul to endless woe ! how fast doth Grehazi run after a leprosy, as 
if he might come too late ! how sick and violent is Ahab for 
Naboth's vineyard ! how fiercely doth Balaam ride, even without 
reins, after the wages of unrighteousness ! how eager and earnest 
were Pharaoh and his Egyptians to fight against God ! what a stir, 
what ado they make to overtake destruction, and to ' sink like lead 
in the midst of the mighty waters ! ' Joshua could stop the sun in 
his course, but not Achan in his covetous career. Paul, before his 
conversion, as one observes, followed the saints with such close per- 
secution, and was so mad upon it, that like a tired wolf, wearied in 
worrying the flock, he lay panting for breath, and yet still breathed 
out persecution ; in one journey he travelled one hundred and sixty 
miles — namely, from Jerusalem to Damascus — as an inquisitor 
for private heresy. At Musselburgh-field many of the Scots ran 
away so fast that they fell down dead ; truly so do men by sin run 


away apace from God, even to the tiring of themselves here, and 
tormenting themselves hereafter. They run as fast as if they feared 
that hell would be full before they came thither. 

' The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days,' Job xv. 20. 
A wicked man's whole course is spent in carking care, as the 
LXX read it. He hath many sharp throes, bitter pangs, before he 
can bring forth that hideous, horrible monster, sin. Some women 
are very long in labour, several days in pain ; but a wilful, wicked 
man travaileth with pain all his days ; he works himself weary in 
digging descents into hell, and labours harder at it than many do 
for heaven. I remember Buntingus, in his Itinerarium totius 
Sacrce Scripturce, when he comes to the travels of Antiochus Epi- 
phanius, that fierce enemy of God's people, first relates the tedious 
journeys, (in all eight thousand one hundred and fifty-three miles,) 
various hazards, desperate dangers and difficulties which this wicked 
wretch underwent to satisfy his malice, and gratify his revengeful 
spirit, and then concludes thus : We see that the wicked, with more 
sorrows, troubles, and vexations, gain eternal damnation, than the 
just, though they suffer grievous affliction, obtain everlasting sal- 
vation. For amongst all the patriarchs, good princes, and prophets, 
there is not found any that had so many long and tedious journeys 
as this Antiochus, who continually oppressed his mind and con- 
science with unprofitable vanities and wicked thoughts, and at 
length had a miserable and terrible end. 

Though God hath few diligent servants, yet the devil hath many 
drudging slaves, that work hard at grinding in his mill all their 
days. Their calling is a trade of corruption, which they follow with 
diligence and constancy. ' They plough iniquity, sow wickedness, 
and reap the same,' Job iv. 8. Alas ! what pains do they take to 
pollute themselves spiritually, and perish eternally ! They plough 
iniquity. Ploughing is no easy, lazy work. We say of such works 
as require much pains, a man were as good go to plough all day ; 
these sons of Belial, that will not stoop to the easy yoke of the 
Saviour, can submit their proud necks to the hard yoke of Satan, 
and follow his plough willingly. Sin is their diet, their meat and 
drink : ' They eat the bread of violence, and drink the wine of 
deceit,' Prov. iv. 17. Nay, it is their dainties, their delicates ; ' Let 
me not eat of their dainties/ Ps. cxli. 4. These apish monkeys, 
who now and then act the part of Christians without a jjrinciple of 
Christianity, feed on spiders, on poison. Further, it is not only 
their nourishment in the day, but their refreshment in the night : 
' They cannot sleep unless they cause some to fall,' Prov. iv. 16. 

Chap. IX.] the christian man's calling. 77 

Till their stomachs are gorged and glutted with the sweetmeats of 
sin, and thereby their heads filled with filthy fumes and vapours 
arising thence, they can take no rest. They love sin above sleep ; 
and let them but riot, they will lose their rest. The murderer 
riseth with the light to cut asunder the silver thread of his neigh- 
bour's life. The drunkard, that hellish good husband, can be all 
night drinking healths to others, whilst he leaves none to himself ; 
how often doth his brains crow before break of day ! The thief 
and adulterer love and long for darkness to cover and countenance 
their cursed deeds, Job xxiv. 14-16 ; Prov. vii. 9. Once more, as 
sin is their nourishment, their food and sleep, so it is their garment, 
their ornament. ' Pride compasseth them about as a chain, violence 
covereth them as a garment,' Ps. lxxiii. 6. A chain of pearl doth 
not better become their necks, nor the richest robes adorn their 
backs, than sin doth, in their judgments, become and suit their 
souls ; they glory in their shame. Plato saith of Protagoras, that 
he boasted, whereas he had lived sixty years, he had spent forty 
years in corrupting youth. They brag of that which they ought to 

They plot sin with their heads ; ' they conceive mischief,' Ps. vii. 
14. They affect sin with their hearts ; ' their hearts are after their 
covetousness/ Ezek. xxxiii. They act with their hands what their 
heads forge and their hearts favour; they ' do evil with both hands 
earnestly,' Micah vii. 3. They work so hard till they are weary ; 
' Thou hast wearied thyself in the multitude of thy counsels,' Isa. 
xlvii. 13. Pliny saith of the scorpion, that there is not one minute 
wherein he doth not put forth his sting ; these cannot cease from 
sin, 2 Pet. ii. ; they do even contend which of them shall exceed in 
sin, as unhappy boys strive who shall go farthest in the dirt. 

All the rubs which are laid in their way do rather increase their 
rage than hinder their riot. When God would stop the stream of 
their lusts by his prohibitions, laws, judgments, like waters dammed 
up, they swell the more, and like the possessed person, break all 
those cords in pieces. When Paul chides the Ephesians for their 
idolatry, they cry out for it with the greater vehemency. When 
Stephen had reproved the Jews for their cruelty, ' they were cut to 
the heart, and gnash upon him with their teeth,' Acts vii. 54, 57. 
When Ahaz was hampered in affliction, like a mad dog he bites at 
his chain, and ' sins yet more in his distress against the Lord.' 
When the sinner's tide of nature is thwarted and crossed by the 
winds of reproof, or some judgment, what a storm is presently 
raised ! how doth he, like the sea, presently discover and ' foam out 


his own shame.' Though God command, entreat, persuade, threaten, 
promise, yet all this physic doth often but move and stir, not 
remove nor purge away their ill-humours. Oh how deadly is that 
disease which no physic can cure ! and how tough is that wood 
which no wedge can cleave ! The bird will beware of the pitfall 
in which she hath been caught, and the beast of the snare in which 
he hath been taken ; but brutish man, more foolish than beasts, 
will not be parted from sin, though he hath been sharply punished 
for it. 

' The wicked are estranged from the womb ; they go astray as 
soon as they are born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the 
poison of a serpent : they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her 
ears ; which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming 
never so wisely,' Ps. lviii. 3-5. The serpent, when she begins to 
feel the charmer, clappeth one ear presently to the ground, and 
stoppeth the other ear with her tail, although by hearkening to the 
charmer, as some observe, she would be provoked to spit out her 
poison, and renew her age. So hot is man upon his harlot sin, that 
he is deaf to all that would counsel him to the contrary ; he stoppeth 
his ear, hardeneth his heart, stiffeneth his neck against the thunders 
of the law, the still voice of the gospel, the motions of the Spirit, 
and the convictions of his own conscience. When sin calls, they 
run through thick and thin for haste ; when the world commands, 
how readily do they hearken, how quickly do they hear, how faith- 
fully do they obey ! but when the blessed God crieth to them, 
chargeth them by his unquestionable authority, beseecheth them 
for their own unchangeable felicity, they, like statues of men rather 
than living creatures, stand still and stir not at all. Other things 
move swiftly to their centres; stones fall tumbling downward, sparks 
fly apace upward, coneys run with speed to their burrows, rivers 
with violence to the ocean, and yet silly man hangs off from his 
Maker — that neither entreaties, nor threatenings, nor the word, nor 
the works of God, nor hope of heaven, nor fear of hell, can quicken 
or hasten him to his happiness. Who would imagine that a reason- 
able soul should act so much against sense and reason ? Where is 
the saint that is not shamed by the very damned ? Sinners drive 
furiously, like Jehu, against their God, their sovereign ; but saints, 
like Egyptians, drive heavily, though they are marching in the 
road to the heavenly Canaan. Ah, who presseth towards the mark 
for the prize of high calling ? Who works so hard to be preferred 
to the beatifical vision, as wicked men do to be punished with eternal 
destruction ? They sweat at sowing in the devil's field, when all 

Chap. X.] the christian man's calling. 79 

they shall reap thereby will he damnation, and thou freezest in 
seeking God's favour, when the fruit thereof will be everlasting 

reader, consider and mourn, that the deceitful world (who will 
leave their lovers in the greatest danger) should have such hot and 
violent wooers ; that superstition should be so greedily caught at, 
though, like hemlock, it makes them run mad that eat it, and ends 
often in desperation ; nay, that the loathsome monster sin — whose 
father is the devil, whose service is perfect slavery, whose jointure 
is blackness of darkness for ever — should have so many and such 
eager, earnest suitors ; and yet godliness, whose birth is noble from 
heaven, whose person is lovely, the beautiful image of the blessed 
God, whose portion is large, no less than eternal life, should be by 
most wholly slighted, and at best but coldly courted. Surely this 
ought to be for a lamentation. Good God ! whither did man go 
when he departed away from thee ! 

The ancient men wept when they saw the foundation of the 
second temple laid, considering how far it came short of the glory 
and beauty of the first, Ezra iii. 12. What cause have we then to 
weep floods of tears when we ponder how short man is, nay, how 
contrary man is to his primitive purity and perfection ! Godliness 
was then his business, but is now his burden ; sin was then loathed 
as his bane, but is now loved as his daily bread. 


An exhortation to make God our business in the whole course of 

our lives. 

The second and principal use which I shall make of this doc- 
trine shall be by way of exhortation. Ought godliness to be every 
one's business ? then, reader, let me persuade thee in the fear of God 
to put this precept into practice — ' Exercise thyself to godliness/ 
Let it be the chief trade thou drivest, the principal calling thou 
followest, to worship the true God in heart and life, according to 
his revealed will. I hope thou art satisfied in the weight of the 
reasons already delivered ; what canst thou say why thou shouldst 
not presently set upon the work. Thou hast heard it is the great 
end of thy being and continuance in this world ; that it is an em- 
ployment of the greatest concernment — how it is soul-work, God- 
work, eternity-work ; that it must of necessity be made the main 


business, or otherwise all thy labour will be lost. Canst thou easily 
break this threefold cord. Let conscience judge between God and 
thee, whether such a work as this is doth not deserve all thy time 
and strength, thine utmost care and greatest diligence, and ten 
thousand times more than thou canst possibly give it. Thou hast 
also read how fiery and furious worldlings, formalists, sinners are 
for their Delilahs and minions. Oh, why art thou so slothful to ' go 
in and possess the good land' ? Judges xviii. 3. 

Themistocles seeing two cocks fight, 1 when he was going to a 
battle, pointed his soldiers to them, and said, ' Do you see yonder 
combatants, how valiantly they deal their blows, with what fury 
they fight ! and yet they fight not for their country, nor for their 
gods, nor for the honour of their ancestors, nor for glory, nor 
liberty, nor children ! What courage then, my brave countrymen, 
should this put into our hearts, on whose resolution all these depend, 
and by whose valour they subsist ! ' So I say to thee, reader ; dost 
thou see yonder worldling, how he rideth, runneth, toileth, moileth, 
sweateth, wasteth his strength, wrongeth his body, makes a very 
pack-horse of it, and will scarce allow it time to eat or sleep ? 
Dost thou see yonder superstitious person, how zealous he is for the 
inventions of men, laying his estate, limbs, liberty, and life at the 
feet of his own idol ? How like one upon a fiery steed full of 
mettle, he rides post out of God's way, and from God's word ! 
Nay, dost thou see yonder sinner, what time he spends, what 
miseries he endures, what wealth he wastes, how hard he labours to 
gratify his lust ? And yet these work not for the blood of Christ, 
nor for the love of the Father, nor for the graces of the Spirit, nor 
for freedom from the curse of the law, the slavery of Satan, the 
torments of hell, nor for their souls, nor for their God, nor for ful- 
ness of joy, and the pleasures that are at God's right hand for ever- 
more. What zeal and fervency should this put into our hearts, 
dear friends, and what diligence and industry into our hands, when 
we work and trade for all these ! and if we make them our busi- 
ness our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. 

Exercise thyself to godliness, not to superstition. As the ivy in 
time eats up the very heart of the oak it groweth about, so doth 
formality and superstition the very heart and life of religion. Let 
God's laws, not thy own or others' lusts, be the rule whereby thou 
governest thy heart and life. 

Superstition, saith an eminent divine, 2 is to true holiness, what 

i JElian lib. ii. Var. Hist. cap. 28. 

2 Gurnal, Christ, in coinp. arm., part 2 edit. 2, p. 224. 

Chap. X] the christian man's calling. 81 

the concubine is to the true wife — who is sure to draw the husband's 
love from her. This brat the devil hath long put out to nurse to 
the Romish church, which hath taken a great deal of pains to bring 
it up for him ; and no wonder, when she is so well paid for its main- 
tenance, it having brought her in so much worldly treasure and 

What some observe of horse-hairs, that, though lifeless, yet 
lying nine days under water, they turn to snakes, may pertinently 
be applied to superstitious ceremonies, which, though at first dead, 
or held at most but indifferent, yet in continuance of time have 
quickened, and clone much mischief. There is a simplicity in the 
word and worship of God, which I would entreat thee to look after. 
1 I fear lest your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which 
is in Christ,' 2 Cor. xi. 3, not as simplicity is opposed to wisdom, 
but as simplicity is opposed to mixtures ; compositions do but 
diminish and abate the virtue of simples. The more natural and 
simple the wine is, the more pure it is ; mixtures do but adulterate 
it. The more simple the worship of God is — I speak of gosjoel sim- 
plicity and order — the more pure it is ; human inventions and mix- 
tures may abase it, they cannot adorn it. God's altar under the 
law must be of earth ; ' If thou lift up a tool upon it, thou hast 
polluted it,' Exod. xx. 24, 25. Men are apt to think, that by lift- 
ing up tools on God's altar they polish it, but God himself saith 
they pollute it. 

When the church was in her infancy, she was dressed in the 
swaddling clothes of ceremonies ; but since she is grown up, God 
hath provided her other attire. To the Jews, the Sun of righteous- 
ness was behind, and therefore the shadow of those ceremonies was 
before. They were in force and power ; but to us Gentiles the Sun 
of righteousness is before, and therefore the shadow of ceremonies is 
behind. When Christ came, those shadows seemed to say, as the 
angels to Jacob, ' Let us go, for the daybreaketh/ Gen. xxxii. 26 ; 
at the death of Christ the veil of the temple was rent in twain from 
the top to the bottom, to acquaint us that the Jewish ceremonies 
must then vanish, Mat. xxvii. 51. 

Reader, I would not be mistaken ; I do not advise thee against 
that order and decency which is commanded in the worship of God, 
nor against active obedience to authority in things that are circum- 
stantial, or not directly nor consequentially forbidden in Scripture, 
but I would counsel thee to beware, lest, like the dog in the fable, 
whilst thou art snapping at any shadow, thou dost not lose the sub- 
stance ; and withal I must tell thee, that as when the shadows grow 

VOL. 1. f 


long, it is a sign the sun is declining, so when those shadows, those 
even indifferent things increase, usually the substance, the light of 
holiness, decreaseth. 

When corn runs out into straw and chaff, those that feed on it 
may well be thin and lean ; but when it runs into ear and kernel, 
thou mayest expect such as eat of it to be fat and well-favoured: 
when religion runs into formalities and ceremonies, her followers 
can never be thriving spiritually — they may starve, for all the gaudy 
flowers wherewith the several dishes on her table are decked and set 
forth ; it is the power of godliness alone, which, like wholesome and 
substantial food, will distribute nourishment and strength to the 
inner man. I expect nourishment from bread, not from straw or 
stones, because God hath annexed his blessing to the former, not to 
the latter. I look for spiritual strength from divine institutions, not 
from human inventions, because God's promise is made to word- 
worship, not to will-worship. One would think the sparks of that 
fire wherewith Aaron's sons were consumed should fly in the faces 
of men, and make them afraid to offer up to the Lord what he com- 
manded them not, Lev. x. 1,2. 

Exercise thyself to this worshipping the true God according to 
his revealed will ; do not dally and trifle at it, be not cold and care- 
less about it. Take heed of the worldling's political principles: 
' Fair and softly goeth far. Too much of one thing is good for no- 
thing. It is good to be religious, but not too conscientious. A little 
moderation would not do amiss.' These men would serve thee as 
ignorant mountebanks do their patients, that whilst they go about 
to cool the liver, lest it should set the blood in a flame, kill the 
stomach, and thereby necessarily destroy the body. They pretend 
some fear that thou mayest work too hard, even to thy hurt ; when 
thou canst never do enough, much less too much, for thy God and 
thine everlasting good. I must needs tell thee that there is an im- 
possibility of dividing thy service betwixt thy sins and thy Saviour, 
and of parting thy heart and work between the world and the word : 
' No man can serve two masters,' Mat. vi. 24. If like a meteor 
thou hangest between heaven and earth, haltest between Christ 
and the flesh, as a hunting dog between two hares, running some- 
time after this, sometime after that, thou wilt be sure at last to 
lose both. 

Those creatures under the law, which did both move in the 
waters, and hover up and down in the air, were unclean in God's 
account, Lev. xi. 10. There is a story of a bastard eagle, which 
hath one foot close like a goose, with which she swims in the waters 

Chap. X.] the christian man's calling. 83 

and dives for fish, and another foot open and armed with talons, 
with which she soareth in the air, and seizeth her prey ; hut she, 
participating of both natures, is weak in either, and at last becomes 
a prey to every ordinary vulture. The ambidexter in religion, who 
is both for the flesh and the spirit, for riches and righteousness, 
is all his time a servant of sin, and will at last become a prey to 

Wherefore I must entreat thee, reader, to make godliness thy sole 
design and delight, thy main occupation and recreation. If thou 
find not the golden veins upon the surface, or just under the skin 
of the earth, do not throw off thy trade, nor cast away thy tools, 
but delve and dig lower ; thou shalt certainly at length come to the 
rich treasure. The virtuous man in Greek is denominated from a 
word, airouSaco^, that signifieth industrious and diligent. Labour is 
the way to get and increase virtue, and the more virtuous thou art, 
the more laborious thou wilt be ; frequent use must keep thy spiritual 
arms from rust. 

It is a more worthy thing to abound in work, than to abound in 
wealth. Melanchthon spake nobly, Let others take riches, give me 
labour. 1 They who have been busy about much meaner studies, 
have yet pursued them with incredible pleasure and extraordinary 
pains. Endymion spent whole nights on rocks and mountains, in 
contemplating the motions of the stars. It is said of Chrysippus, 
that he was so intent on his book, that he had starved his body, had 
not his maid put meat into his mouth. Cicero 2 professed he would 
part with all he was worth, that he might but live and die among 
his books. Did they reckon human knowledge, that curious piece 
of vanity, at so high a rate, that they would trample on their pos- 
sessions, take any pains to procure it, to promote it ? What a price 
shouldst thou set upon godliness, upon divine knowledge, which is 
the very seed of eternal life ! John xvii. 3. Shouldst not thou 
undervalue thy estate and strength for it ? Shouldst not thou 
spend all thy time, employ all thy talents, and improve all thy 
opportunities for the furthering of it ? Oh that holy Paul might 
be thy pattern, ' Herein I exercise 3 myself, to keep a conscience 
void of offence towards God and men,' Acts xxiv. 16. Here is Paul's 
precious cabinet, and his care to preserve it ; his cabinet was his 

1 In operibus sit abundantia mea, divitiis per me licet abundet quisquis voluerit. — 

3 Cicer. Ep., lib. ix. 

3 'A<r/cw, me exerceo, luboro, totus sum in hac re, ut inculpate Deo serviam, nee 
homines offendam. 


conscience void of offence, a treasure of inestimable value ; in this 
cabinet were all the jewels of divine graces. His faith and love, 
his hope and humility, his patience and heavenly-mindedness, were 
glistering in it gloriously, like so many costly and sparkling 
diamonds ; but observe Paul's care of this cabinet, ' I exercise my- 
self to keep a conscience void of offence ;' Paul knew many subtle 
thieves were abroad, and therefore he must make it his business to 
keep his pearls, or otherwise they would be stolen from him. He 
knew if he were robbed he were ruined ; nay, if but a flaw were 
made in the jewel of his conscience, it would be of exceeding ill 
consequence to him, therefore he did ' exercise himself to keep a 
conscience void of offence.' 

Again, exercise thyself to godliness ; make it thy business in the 
whole course of thy life, nay, in every passage of thy conversation. 
As the blood runs through the whole body, and every vein of the 
body, so godliness must run through our whole conversation, and 
every particular action of it. Godliness must be like the sun, 
(though its situation be in heaven, and that the main place of its 
residence,) enlighten and warm the whole body of the air, and all 
the earth by its influence, shine on all thy natural, civil, and spiritual 
works, ' nothing must be hid from the heat thereof.' Header, observe 
the command, ' Be ye holy in all manner of conversation/ 1 Pet. 
i. 15. 

The Greek word avaarpo^], and the Latin word conversatio, for 
conversation, come of a verb that signifieth to turn ; to note, that 
which way soever a Christian turneth himself he must be holy ; he 
must be holy in his closet, alone, holy among company, holy at 
home, holy abroad, holy in his shop, holy among his sheep, holy in 
the church, holy in his chamber, holy at his table, holy in his 
travels, holy in prosperity, holy in adversity, holy in every relation 
and in every condition, ' in all manner of conversation.' As oil is 
laid over all colours to make them durable, so godliness must be 
laid on every part and practice of our conversation, and thereby 
they will be permanent to our comfort, and run parallel with the 
line of eternity. We lay gold, because excellent, on all sorts of 
metals ; godliness, which is more precious than fine gold, must be 
laid on our naturals, morals, intellectuals ; all of them must have 
their virtue and value from it. The truth is, they all, like ciphers, 
stand for nothing, unless this figure be joined with them, and put 
before them. 

Believers are commanded to be ' holy men,' Exod. xxii. ult. In 
the original it is men of 'holiness ; and ' ye shall be men of holiness 

Chap. X.] the christian man's calling. 85 

unto mo' — that is, all over holy. As Christ is called 'a man of 
sorrows,' because his whole man, body and soul, was steeped in 
tears, and his whole time, from the womb to the tomb, was spent 
in sorrows and sufferings, full of tribulations ; and as Antichrist is 
called a ' man of sin ' because he is, as Beza observes well, merum 
scelus — mere sin, nothing but sin, Isa. liii. 3 ; 2 Thes. ii. 3 ; so the 
children of God should be men of holiness, mere holiness, made up 
of holiness, nothing but holiness. Every part of them should be 
holy, and every deed done by them should be holy. Holiness in 
their hearts should, as the lungs in the body, be in continual mo- 
tion ; and holiness in their life must run through all their works, as 
the woof through the whole web. 

The Jews had their daily, weekly, monthly, yearly addresses unto 
God, to teach us that we must be always trading heavenward ; 
that there must be an unwearied commerce, an uninterrupted in- 
tercourse, betwixt God and our souls. Saints' lives are therefore 
compared to a walk, and called a ' walking with God,' or a ' walk- 
ing before God.' They must still walk as in company with him, 
and tread every step as under his eye, Gen. v. 22, and xvii. 1. The 
planets, because of their wandering nature, are sometimes nearer 
to, sometimes farther from the earth, yet always within the zodiac, 
the highway of the sun. So the Christian, though he be sometimes 
stooping to the earth in his particular calling, sometimes mounting 
up to heaven in the immediate worship of God, yet he must always 
be in the path of godliness — the highway of the Sun of righteous- 
ness : ' Be thou in the fear of the Lord all the clay long,' saith 
Solomon, Prov. xxiii. 17. Whether a Christian be eating or 
drinking, or buying or selling, or ploughing or sowing, or riding 
oi- walking, whatever he be doing, or wherever he be going, he 
must be always in the fear of the Lord. Godliness must be his 
guide, his measure, and his end ; as the salt, it must be sprinkled on 
every dish to make it savoury. Thy life, Christian, must be so 
led that it may be a continued serving of God. 

The precept is full, (though if a true Christian, thou wilt esteem it a 
privilege,) that whatsoever thou dost, thou art to ( do all to the glory 
of God,' 1 Cor. x. 31. God must be the ' Alpha and Omega, the 
beginning and end/ of all thy actions. Thy duty is to ' pass the 
whole time of thy sojourning here in fear,' 1 Pet. i. 17. Every mo- 
ment must be devoted to God ; and as all seasons, so all actions, 
must be sacred. There is a prophecy that in Jerusalem, ' In that 
day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness to the Lord, 
and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the 


altar ; yea, every pot in Judah and Jerusalem shall be holiness to 
the Lord of hosts,' Zech. xiv. 20, 21. Mark, the same inscription 
is to be upon the bells of horses, and on every pot, which was on 
the high priest's mitre, Holiness to the Lord, to teach us, that 
everything, though but of common use, should be sanctified to 
God's service — that every ordinary enterprise, saith Calvin, should 
be a sacrifice. 1 

In the prosecution of this exhortation, I shall — 

First, Speak to the nature of this duty, and manner ; how a 
Christian must exercise himself to godliness in the whole course of 
his life, and in every part thereof. 

Secondly, I shall lay down some means for the accomplishing this 

Thirdly, I shall annex some motives to encourage the reader in 
this holy trade and calling. 

First, As to the manner how a saint may, in every passage of his 
life, follow this trade. I shall divide my discourse into these several 

1. How a man may make godliness his business in religious 
actions, or the worship of God in general, as also in his carriage, in 
hearing or reading, in prayer, at the Lord's Supper, and on the 
Lord's day in particular. 

2. How a Christian may make religion his business in his natural 
actions, of eating, drinking, sleeping, and clothing. 

3. In his recreations. 

4. In his particular vocation or calling. 

5. In reference to his relations and family. 

6. In his dealings with all men. 

7. In all conditions, whether of prosperity or adversity. 

8. In all companies, whether good or bad. 

9. In solitariness, or when he is alone. 

10. On a week-day, from morning to night. 

11. In his visiting the sick. 

12. Upon a dying bed. 

1 Ut quicquid acrgrediantur homines sit sacrificium.— Calv. in loc. 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 87 


How a Christian may make religion Ms business in spiritual 
performances and religious actions. 

First, Make godliness thy business in religions duties. 

I shall put that first in order which is first in nature and excel- 
lency ; and truly, friend, thy special care must be here ; thy greatest 
diligence will be little enough when thou comest solemnly into 
God's presence. Cleanly men wash their hands and brush their 
clothes every day, but when they are to dine with a king they will 
wash and scour their hands ; they will brush their clothes over and 
over again, that their hands may be, if possible, clean from the 
least dirt, and their garments from the least dust. The true Chris- 
tian is, in all company, and in the whole course of his life, every 
day careful to keep his soul clean and his conscience clear — nay, to 
increase his godliness ; but when he draweth nigh to God, then he 
hath more special care and extraordinary caution. Though trades- 
men are, all the year long, doing somewhat at their callings, either 
casting up their accounts, or gathering in their debts, or amending 
something in their commodities which are amiss, and therefore 
have no time for idleness ; yet at some times of the year they are 
full of trading ; their shops are crowded with customers ; they are 
all the week either sending out or taking in wares. Now this time 
calls for their greatest diligence and watchfulness. 

The time of sacred duty is a Christian's market-day, wherein he 
is much employed, and therefore it calls for his greatest diligence. 
He that leaves his shop, or loiters in it at such a time, must expect 
that his shop will quickly leave him. The husbandman hath his 
seasons to plough and sow in, which if he be heedless and careless 
about, that either his seed be smutty or his servant slothful, he can 
look for but a mean and poor harvest. The hours of praying and 
reading, and hearing, are the saints' opportunities and seasons of 
grace. If he be not, then, careful and conscientious to ' plough up 
the fallow-ground of his heart,' and to ' sow to the Spirit,' his return 
will be very inconsiderable ; he will reap but a thin crop. But 
truly, friend, if thou hast no respect to thy soul's good, God hath 
to his own glory ; and though he stoop to thee in giving thee leave 
to seek his face and hear his voice, yet he will not be slighted by 
thee. He is a glorious and jealous Majesty, and esteemeth it a 
disparagement to him for any to wait upon him without their best 


attire. Though Uzzah be dead, yet he speaketh to thee to take 
heed how thou touchest the ark. 

A prince may be pleased, if his kitchen be but indifferent neat 
and handsome ; but he looks that in his parlour, where he gives 
entertainment to his friend, all things should be in print. Where 
God's special walk is amongst his candlesticks, and amidst his 
myrtle-trees, there godliness must be our special work. ' Holiness 
becometh thy house, Lord, for ever,' Ps. xciii. nit. Godliness 
doth always suit the back of a saint ; this gracious garment is a 
glorious ornament to him, whatever he is doing, or wherever he is 
going ; but the apparel doth become him best in his approaches to 
the Holy God. No hangings, no tapestry becomes God's house so 
well as holiness ; and no place is so proper as the house of God for 
this costly, comely furniture. 

God is more honoured or dishonoured in our religious actions, 
than in all the actions of our lives ; in them we do directly and 
immediately pretend his honour and service ; and therefore if we 
do not walk in them watchfully, and intend them seriously, the 
greater is our sin. For a trespass committed against holy things, 
the Jews were to bring a ram, to be valued by the shekel of 
the sanctuary ; for a trespass against their brethren a ram was re- 
quired, but no such valuation expressed ; whence Origen infers, 
Aliud est peccare in Sanctis, aliud extra sancta : It is one thing to 
sin in holy things, another thing to sin beside them. And he 
urgeth that place in Samuel, 1 Sam. ii. 25, ' If a man sin against 
another man, the judge shall judge him ; but if a man sin against 
the Lord, who shall entreat for him ? ' Lev. v. 15, and vi. 6. 
When men are some way off in a king's eye they will be comely in 
their carriage ; but when they come into his presence-chamber to 
speak with him they will be most careful. Because saints are 
always in God's sight, their constant deportment must be pious and 
seemly. ' I have kept thy precepts, for all my ways are before thee,' 
Ps. cxix. 168. But because the ordinances of God are the very 
face of God, and they who worship him therein do solemnly appear 
before him, therefore at such seasons they are bound to be most 
holy and serious, Exod. xxiii. 17 ; Ps. xlii. 2. The saying of the 
sage orator 1 hath some weight, Worship the gods at all times, 
especially in public — that is, in their sacrifices. God is very 
curious how men carry themselves in his courts, and commandeth 
thee, reader, to be eminently pious when thou appearest in his pre- 
sence. Do but observe under the law how choice he was about all 

1 Isocrat ad. Demos. 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 89 

1 lungs relating to his worship : the tabernacle must be made of the 
best wood, the purest gold, the finest linen, and every part and pin 
of it done exactly according to God's own precept ; the persons 
called to set it up must be rarely gifted, and singularly endowed 
for that very purpose. He that offereth sacrifice must be without 
blemish, ' For whatsoever man he be that hath any blemish, he 
shall not approach. A blind man, or a lame man, or he that hath 
anything superfluous, or a flat nose, or he that is broken-faced, or 
broken-handed, or crooked-backed, or a dwarf, or that hath any 
blemish in his eye, or the scurvy, or is scabbed. No man that 
hath any blemish of the sons of Aaron the priest shall come nigh 
to offer the offerings of the Lord, made by fire : he hath a blemish ; 
he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God,' Lev. xxi. 
17-20. So the sacrifice also must be perfect, without spot. If it 
were ' blind, or broken, or maimed, had a wen, the scurvy, or were 
scabbed,' Lev. xxii. 19, 22, 24, it must not be offered; it must be ' a 
male without blemish, of the best of the flocks ; ' nay, the best of 
these beasts, the fat, even all the fat, which covereth the inwards, 
Lev. iii. 3. And what is the substance of all these shadows, but 
this, that God will be served by holy men in the purest, holiest 
manner ; that we must be very exact, both as to our persons and 
performances, when we are in his presence ; that he expects the 
best of living sacrifices, the hearts and spirits of men ; nay, the 
best of the best, all the heart, and all the soul, and all the strength, 
Prov. xxiii. ; John iv. 24 ; Mat. xxii. 37. Oh how much is an 
ordinary, slight performance, below and unsuitable to so great and 
glorious a Prince ! Eeligion is as tender a thing as the apple of 
thine eye, by playing with the eye it may be put out, by dallying 
with duties thou mayest spoil all. 

If the Egyptians did reverence Mercurius Trismegistus so much, 
that they did forbear, out of respect to him, to jn-onounce his name 
rashly, what respect shouldst thou bear to ordinances, which are 
the name of God, Exod. xx. 24. How fearful shouldst thou be of 
taking the name of God in vain. 

The blind heathen were choice and devout in the service of dumb 
idols ; they served them in white, an emblem of purity ; they 
thought nothing too good for those false gods, for whom the worst 
was not bad enough. Solon, the Athenian lawgiver, enacted, that 
none should serve the gods obiter, or by the by, that their sacrifices 
should be all select and chosen, and that the sacrificers should 
purify themselves some days beforehand. Lycurgus had made a 
law, that no man should be at any great charge in a sacrifice, lest 


he should grow weary of divine service: yet when Phidias, the 
famous carver, advised the Athenians to make the statue of Minerva 
of marble rather than ivory — 1. Because it was more durable, this 
reason was approved ; 2. Because less chargeable : at the mention 
hereof, with much rage and wrath, they commanded him silence. 
They had a higher respect for those lies and falsehoods than many 
have for the true God. When they were going to offer sacrifice 
their priest cried, TU rffie, Who is here ? Those present answered, 
2IoXX.de teal djaOol, Many and good. 1 Were they so choice and 
wary in the service of their dunghill deities ; and wilt not thou, 
friend, be circumspect and conscientious in the service of the living 
God ? Did they think nothing costly enough for inanimate crea- 
tures, and wilt thou offer to the Lord thy God that which cost thee 
nothing ? Can thy box of precious ointment, though it be worth 
never so much, be bestowed better than on thy dearest Saviour ? 
And can thy care and caution, thy love and labour, be employed 
better than in his service ? Or dost thou think that the false gods 
were more affected with then- dishonour, or more to be feared in 
their displeasure, than the living, true God ? Dost thou not know 
that he ' will be sanctified in them that draw nigh to him ' ? Lev. 
x. 3. Great persons are impatient of contempts and affronts, espe- 
cially when they are offered to them in their own houses ; God will 
sooner overlook thy forgetfulness of him in thy trade or travels 
than in his tabernacle. When thou drawest nigh to him, there he 
will be sanctified, either in thee or upon thee. If thou refuse to 
give him glory in his service, believe it, he will get himself glory 
by thy suffering. His worship is his face, and look for his fury, if 
thou darest him to his face. 

The waters of the sanctuary are like the waters given to a sus- 
pected wife : if she were innocent, it witnessed her honesty, made 
her fruitful if barren, and did her good ; but if she were guilty, 
swelled her belly, rotted her bowels, and did her hurt. If thou 
make godliness thy business in the ordinances of God, thou mayest 
get much spiritual good, thou mayest meet Christ in them, receive 
grace through them, and thrive as the babe by the breasts in 
health and strength ; but if thou, like the horse in the mill, only 
goest thy round in religious duties, never minding the true end of 
them, nor thy carriage in them, thy prayer will be an abomination, 
the word ' a savour of death unto death,' and the very sacrament a 
seal of thy damnation. It doth therefore nearly concern thee to 
hearken to that counsel which I shall give thee from the word, to 

1 Eras. Frcef. in Adacr. 


prevent thy miscarriage in the duties of God's worship : for prepar- 
ation to duties, I shall speak when I come to treat of sanctifying 
the Lord's day. 

First, Be heedful and watchful over thyself when thou art about 
religious duties. Heedless service is fruitless service ; what mea- 
sure of care we give God in duties, the same measure of comfort we 
may expect from duties. Eccles. v. 1 , ' Keep thy feet when thou 
goest into the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to 
give the sacrifice of fools.' Thine heart, like Dinah, is apt to 
wander abroad, especially from the way and worship of God ; it 
behoves thee then to have a strict hand over it, if thou wouldst 
keep it at home : ' Observe, consider thy feet/ so the word 

The feet of the harlot abide not within her house, neither will 
thy affections easily within the house of God ; cloth not experience 
tell thee that they love to be gadding, and therefore require a 
strong and vigilant guard ? Parents set their children before them 
at church, and have their eyes much upon them, because otherwise 
they will be toying and playing ; truly so will thy heart, if thine 
eye be not on it. Alas, thy heart in duty is like one that looks 
through an optic glass on some small object, with a palsy hand, it 
is long before he can discern it, and as soon as he hath found it, 
so unsteady is his hand that he hath lost it again ; therefore it 
behoves thee to keep it diligently, and to watch it narrowly ; there 
is a bottomless depth of deceit in thine heart — how unwilling is it 
to a duty ! how much wandering in a duty ! how soon weary of a 
duty ! ' The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately 
wicked, who knoweth it ? ' Jer. xvii. 11. Take notice of the centre 
of the poison, the heart is deceitful ; a deceitful hand is nothing so 
dangerous as a deceitful heart ; when poison gets to the very seat of 
life, in what danger is a soul of death ! Here is also the measure 
of the pollution. The heart is deceitful above all things, the best 
part is unspeakably poisoned. The prophet's expression hath a 
threefold gradation. First, There is deceit in man's heart, it is a 
word used of ways, Isa. xl. 5, which are full of windings and 
turnings, and therefore are hard to be found ; so is man's heart 
full of nooks and corners, slights and craft, and so doth easily sup- 
plant us ; it hath not only weakness and proneness to be deceived 
by others, but also an activeness and aptness to deceive itself. 
Secondly, there is the degree of its deceit, and indeed it is beyond 
all degrees. ' The heart is deceitful above all things ; ' no creature 
so sly and subtle as man's heart, nothing in this world can equal 


it for tricks and wiles : nay, as this deceit of man's heart is so 
great that none can match it, so also is it so deep that none can 
find it, none can fathom it, ' Who can know it ? ' The largest, the 
longest line of man's understanding can never search to the bottom 
of this sea. Thirdly, Here is the danger of it, ' the heart of man 
is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' It is not 
deceitful in such a degree, so much through weakness as through 
wilfulness, it is desperately carried towards deadly courses. It 
devotes itself wholly to deceive and destroy. How many pretences 
will it have to make thee to omit holy performances ! if thou 
overcome them, how subtle will it be to make thee heedless and 
heartless in the service of God ! It will fill thee with cares and 
thoughts of the world, purposely to choke the good seed of the 
word ; if at any time thou wind it up to any seriousness in an 
ordinance, how quickly and how swiftly, like a clock or a jack, 
doth it run down. Surely, reader, the master that hath such a 
cozening servant, must look narrowly to him, if he would not be 
cheated by him. If thou dost not watch at the altar, the birds will 
devour the sacrifice. 

Those that were before the throne day and night were full of 
eyes, behind and before, and within, Eev. iv. 6 and 8. Extra- 
ordinary heed is necessary when we come into God's house. We 
had need to have our eyes about us, when we come to deal imme- 
diately with him, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. 
The Athenians in time of their sacrifice, had a monitor to bid 
them be serious, calling on them, Hoc agite, Mind the work ye are 
about. (Plut.) Cyprian observeth, that in the primitive times the 
deacon often cried out to the people, Sursum corda, Lift up your 
hearts : and the pastor stirred them up with Oremus, attendamus, 
Let us pray, let us attend ; commanding their greatest attention 
when they were about religious actions. 

Eutychus was drowsy while he was hearing, which had like to 
have cost him his life ; God will not be slighted when he is speaking 
to the children of men. Christ commandeth thee to ' take heed 
how thou nearest,' Luke viii. 18. The heart is needful in hearing 
more than the ears. We read of those that ' had ears and yet 
heard not,' 1 Isa. vi. 9, 10; Mat. xiii. 13. It is one thing to hear, 
and another thing to heed a sermon. ' Let him that hath an ear 
hear what the Spirit saith to the churches,' Eev. ii. When the 
word passeth through both ears, as waters through a leaking vessel, 
no wonder if it be unprofitable. Lest it should do so, ' let us give 

1 Audientes corporis scn.su, non cordis assensu. — Any. 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 93 

the more diligent heed,' saith the apostle, Heb. ii. 1. If men be 
told of the dreadful end of sin, and the great danger of their pre- 
cious souls, and they mind it not, will they ever strive to prevent 
it ? Our proficiency by the word depends not a little upon our 
earnest attention to the word, Luke xix. 48. It is said there, ' the 
people were attentive to hear him.' They hanged on Christ as if 
their ears and minds had been tied to his tongue, or as eagerly as 
the little bird on the dam's bill for corn. 

In prayer also be heedful, ' watch unto prayer/ Mark xiii. 33. 
Nehemiah, when building, did work and watch, watch and work, 
because of his enemies ; when thou art at prayer, temptations 
without will be waiting, corruptions within will be working ; and 
therefore it is requisite for thee to be watching. 

Those that perform their duties, as papists say their pater- 
nosters, and musicians play their lessons, with their fingers, when 
their minds are busied about other things, will make but harsh and 
displeasing music in God's ears. ' God,' saith the psalmist, 
' thou art terrible out of thy holy places,' Ps. lxviii. 35. The sanc- 
tuary or place of worship was divided into three parts, thence called 
' thy holy places ; ' now out of them God was comfortable to his 
watchful and diligent servants, but terrible to the slothful and 
negligent. He is terrible not only in the high places of the field, 
but also in the holy places of the faithful. 

How canst thou expect that God should heed thy prayers, when 
thou dost not heed them thyself ; wouldst thou give alms to a 
beggar that by his carriage and language should slight both thee 
and thy bounty ? If a condemned malefactor were suing to a 
prince for his life, and in the midst of his entreaties should see a 
moth or a fly, and leave his suit and follow after that, would this 
wretch deserve a pardon ? And is it not as unreasonable that 
God should grant thy requests, if thou wilfully follow those foolish 
objects which thy heart, or the devil offer to thee in the midst of 
thy prayers ; monstrous compositions, wherein is the face and voice 
of a man, the heart and feet of a beast, must needs be odious to 
God ; Oh bind thine heart to its good behaviour, when thou goest 
into God's house. Men put locks and fetters on wild horses, whom 
no enclosure can keep in. This watching the heart in duties will 
fasten and tie it, as with cords, to the altar. 

Secondly, Act grace in duties. The acting of grace in a duty is 
the grace of a duty. The Christian must attend on the means of 
grace, in a gracious manner ; the manner of performing duties is 
the most spiritual part of them, and therefore must most o£ all be 


minded. God made a breach on thcin who sought him, ' not after 
the due order,' 1 1 Chron. xv. 13. If the matter of thy performance 
be according to the word, and thou wilfully fail in the manner, 
thou wilt, instead of a blessing, meet with a blow. God had sacri- 
fices from the Jews of his own appointment for the matter, and yet 
they were unsavoury to him, Isa. i. 13-15. It is the manner 
which makes or mars every action, that is the form which specifi- 
cates all our devotion ; grace is God's own image, abundantly 
amiable in his eye, and that must be stamped on all our coin of 
duties, or they will never be current with heaven. Kings suffer no 
coin to go in their dominions, but what hath their own stamp. 
Tamerlane would not own a pot of gold which his soldier found 
and brought him, because it wanted his father's impression. Christ 
will own no performances unless they have his Father's picture, 
somewhat of his image on them. 

Indeed, the Christian hath no natural power for these spiritual 
performances, but God gives him his Spirit for this purpose, that 
he might be enabled to do sacred duties, with suitable graces ; ' we 
know not how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit helpeth our 
infirmities,' Rom. viii. 26. Man is impotent, but the Spirit is 
an able assistant, ' helpeth our infirmities,' avvavTi\a/j-/3dveTai. 
The word is either an allusion to a nurse, which helps her weak 
little child to go, so the Spirit affords his hand and helps us to go 
to God in duties ; or, as the composition of the word imports, it is an 
allusion to those who lift at a weighty piece of timber, too heavy 
for one alone, one man tugs and pulls hard, but he cannot wag it, 
till one stronger than he comes and helps him, then he bears it 
away cheerfully ; so the Christian, he pulls and hales at his own 
heavy heart in a duty, to perform the duty aright, and yet makes 
nothing of it till the Spirit comes and helps him, and then he goes 
along comfortably through the duty. As to preaching there is 
required external mission, so to every prayer and performance there 
are required internal motions ; therefore we find the ' Spirit of grace 
and supplication' joined together, Zech. xii. 10. Samson when 
his lock was cut off, became like another man ; the Christian, when 
the Spirit withdraweth, that grace be not acted, he performeth 
duties like a carnal man. It is the breath of the Spirit of God in a 
duty, which is so sweet and savoury to God ; gifts may do some- 
what as to the outward part of a duty, as a carver may make an 
image with the external lineaments of a man, but unless grace 

1 Non tantum considerandum est id quod agimus, sed etiarn quilms circumstantiis. 
- — Cajet. in Thorn. 1 a, quest. 9. 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 95 

and .spiritual life be in it, it is but the counterfeit, the resemblance 
of a true duty. 

The two special graces, which I shall speak of, to be acted in 
religious exercises, are fear and faith ; upon these two feet David 
walked into God's house. ' I will go into thine house, in the 
multitude of thy mercies/ there was his faith; 'and in thy fear 
will I worship towards thy holy temple/ Ps. v. 6, here is his fear. 
The Christian, like a net, must have both the lead of a holy fear, 
and the cork of a lively faith, if he would catch anything out of the 
waters of the sanctuary : if the cork of faith was without the lead 
of fear, the net would lie too high ; if the lead of fear were without 
the cork of faith, the net of the soul would fall too low, and so 
nothing would be caught ; but both together lay in the likest place 
for a good draught. 

1. Fear and awful apprehensions of God's infinite majesty is 
requisite in our religious actions : this must be the handmaid to 
wait upon the mistress of the soul in all its addresses to the King of 
heaven, ' Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling/ Ps. 
ii. 11. God alloweth an humble familiarity in the walks of obedi- 
ence, yet he will always have the children of men to know their 
distance. And though this habit of fear must be ever in -our 
hearts, as fire was constantly on the altar, yet he expects that it 
should be blown up and flame out at the time of offering sacrifice. 
Our greatest reverence is then most needful, when we approach the 
great God in his ordinances. 1 ' God is greatly to be feared in the 
assembly of his saints, and had in reverence of all them that are 
round about him/ Ps. lxxxix. 7. 

When God intended to give the law to Israel, the Jews must 
sanctify themselves three days beforehand, Exod. xix. 11, 12, 14- 
and when God came on the third day to deliver his pleasure to the 
people, with what pomp and terror was proclamation made ! He 
descends in his royal robes, with a noble retinue of saints and 
angels, and with the dreadful ensigns of his power, majesty, and 
jealousy. Deut. xxxiii. 2, ' The Lord came from Sinai, and rose 
from Seir, he sinned forth from mount Paran, and he came with 
ten thousand of saints : from his right hand went a fiery law for 
them.' Exod. xix. 16, 18, ' Then were there thunders and light- 
nings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the 
trumpet exceeding loud ; so that all the people that were in the 
camp trembled. And mount Sinai was altogether in a smoke, 

1 Quod non metuitur contemnitur, et quod contemnitur non colitur. — Lact. de ira 
Dti, lib. viii. 


because the Lord descended upon it in fire ; and the smoke thereof 
ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked 
greatly ; ' and why is all this ? Why doth the mighty possessor of 
heaven and earth appear at that time in such state and royalty and 
magnificence, with such a train of heavenly courtiers, with such 
thundering volleys of shot, with the mountain smoking under him, 
and trumpets sounding before him, but to assure us that he is not 
so contemptible, as to be slighted by any ; that he is not impotent, 
but able to revenge himself on all that affront him ; nay, to teach 
us that he will be feared and reverenced in all them that draw 
niffh to him ? Therefore he will make even Moses, whom he knew 
face to face, at such a time exceedingly to quake and fear, Heb. 
xii. 21. 

Civil or natural difference amongst us here below commandeth 
proportionable reverence, the subject must fear his sovereign, 1 
Pet. ii. 17. The servant must obey his master with fear and 
trembling, Eph. vi. 5, the wife must see that she reverence her 
husband, Eph. v. ult If there be such reverence due from one 
creature to another, when they were all made of the same coarse 
earthly mould, and must all be buried in the bowels of their 
common mother ; when there is no essential, but only an extrinsecal 
difference between them ; what reverence is due from poor dust and 
ashes to ' the God of the spirits of all flesh' ? the King of kings, and 
Lord of lords, between whom and his creatures there is an infinite 
distance ? l 

It behoveth us, said Bernard, to enter into the celestial court, at 
prayer time, where the King of heaven sits on his starry, stately 
throne, environed with an innumerable company of glorious angels 
and crowned saints, with great reverence and fear. Ah, with what 
humility should a poisonous, polluted toad, creep and crawl out of a 
ditch into the presence of so glorious and dreadful a Majesty ! 
The holy servants of God were anciently called Nephalim, from 
nephal to fall down, prostrates, or fallers, because in the worship 
of God they usually fell on the earth. 

The elders of Israel trembled at the coming of Samuel, 1 Sam. 
xvi. 9, and shall not we tremble when the great God cometh to us 
in his ordinances ? 

Every relation in which men stand to God calls for awfulness 
and dread of him. ' If I be a father, where is mine honour ? if I 

1 The worship of God is called, Xarpda, a partic. Xd et rp4fieiv, valde paver e ; 
■jrpotTKvviw quod est more canis ad pedes alicujus tanquam domini totum sese pro- 
sternere, subjectionis gratia. — Zanch. 

Chap, XL] the christian man's calling. 97 

be your master, where is my fear ?' Mai. i. 6, but especially in the 
saints' approaches to him; they must stand in awe of him. When 
God appeared to Jacob at Bethel, where he saw nothing but visions 
of love, he crieth out, ' This is none other but the house of God ; 
how dreadful is this place!' Gen. xxviii. 17. 

The great Turk, when he goeth into his temple, layeth aside 
all his state, and hath none to attend him but a professor of the 

Therefore, reader, be persuaded to ' fear that glorious and fearful 
name, the Lord thy God,' Deut. xxviii. 58. That name which is 
the greatest prop of thine affiance, commandeth thy fear and 

When thou nearest, in the fear of God give audience to his 
word, Acts xiii. 16. Poor peasants must be trembling when this 
prince is speaking. With meekness receive that word which will 
damn or save thy soul. Alas ! with what fear should a condemned 
prisoner attend to his king, when every word he speaks is life or 
death ! It becomes the greatest persons to be awful in God's pre- 
sence. Constantine the Great, when hearing a sermon, would start 
out of his chair of state, being ravished with the word, and stand 
up for a long time j 1 and being minded by his courtiers that such 
a posture was unbecoming his high place, he would not hearken to 
them. Eglon, though a fat unwieldy man, as soon as Ehud told 
him that he had a message from God to him, rose up to hear it, 
Judges iii. 20. Abraham, who had the honour and favour to be 
God's friend, yet when God spake to him, fell on his face, Gen. 
xvii. 3. Moses, though high in the heart of God, yet is humble 
when he hears from God ; he boweth his head towards the earth, 
and worships, Exod. xxxiv. 8. 

When thou prayest, put up thy petitions to him with awful 
apprehensions of him. The vulg. Lat. read that Ps. lxxxiv. 11, 
abjectus in domo Dei mei, to be cast upon the earth, to lie prostrate 
in the house of God. The eastern Christians, when they called on 
God, threw themselves on the ground. Luther prayed with confi- 
dence as to a father ; but with reverence as to a God. Eemember 
when thou takest upon thee to speak unto the Lord, yet thou art 
but dust and ashes, Gen. xviii. 27. Thou art at best but a beggar, 
and a proud heart will not suit a beggar's purse. ' The poor must 
use entreaties/ Prov. xviii. 23. The twenty-four elders fell on their 
faces and worshipped, Rev. iv. 16. So did Jesus Christ himself in 
prayer, Mat. xxvi. 30. '0 come, let us worship and bow down : let 

1 Euseb: de vit. Constant., lib. iii. cap. 17. 
VOL. I. G 


us kneel before the Lord our maker,' Ps. xcv. 6. The elephant, 
that could not bow nor kneel, was no fit beast for a sacrifice. 

Go to the sacrament, that representation of Christ's suffering, as 
the disciples went from his sepulchre, ' with fear and great joy,' 
Mat. xxviii. 8. The Fathers call it mysterium tremendum; the 
nearer we draw to God in any ordinance, the greater must be our 
reverence. In a sermon we draw nigh to him, as pupils to their 
tutor ; in prayer, as children to their father ; but at a sacrament we 
talk with God face to face, we sup with him, and he with us. If 
angels veil their faces in his presence, much more cause have we to 
serve him with fear and trembling in every ordinance. In a word, 
' Let us have grace whereby we may serve him acceptably with 
reverence and godly fear ; for our God is a consuming fire,' Heb. xii. 
28, 29. Mark, the way to serve God acceptably is to serve him 
reverently. As the quaver addeth a grace to the music, and makes 
it more acceptable to us, so a holy trembling graceth our perform- 
ances, and makes them more acceptable to God. 

2. Perform religious duties with faith as well as fear ; fear will 
keep the heart awful, and faith will make it cheerful in the service 
of God : ' Let us draw nigh to God with full assurance of faith,' 
Heb. x. 22. In ordinances man draweth nigh to God, but if he 
would do it with acceptance he must do it with affiance, with faith : 
' By faith Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain,' Heb. 
xi. 4. Faith doth instrumentally justify both our persons and per- 
formances, because it looks up to, and lays hold on Christ, who 
justifieth both meritoriously. God is ' of purer eyes than to behold 
iniquity. Now there are many sins in our best services ; we must 
therefore carry all our sacrifices (as the Israelites did, Exod. xxviii. 
38) to our high priest, who will take away the iniquity of our 
holy things, and procure their acceptance with the Lord : ' He 
shall purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the 
Lord an offering in righteousness, then shall the offerings of Judah 
and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord,' Mai. iii. 2-4. It is a 
prophecy of Christ. He shall purge away the dross from our 
duties, and then they shall be pleasing to God. 

It was a sacred law among the Molossians, that whosoever came 
to the kin 0, with his son in his arms should be pardoned, whatsoever 
offence he were guilty of. The Athenian general, therefore, when 
banished his country, fled to Admetus, king of the Molossians, his 
deadly enemy, and prostrated himself before him with his son in 
his arms, and found favour. God and man are enemies ; there is no 
appearing before this dreadful King without his Son in our arms, 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 99 

and with him there is no fear of a repulse : ' In him we have bold- 
ness, and access with confidence by the faith of him,' Eph. iii. 12. 
As God and man are angry, Christ is medium reconciliationis — he 
makes them friends; as God and man are reconciled, Christ is 
medium communionis — he is the means of their fruition of each 
other. Therefore, reader, whatever thou dost, whether thou prayest, 
or nearest, or singest, or readest, ' do all in the name of Christ,' 
Col. iii. 17. Consider, thy admission into God's presence is by 
Christ : ' No man cometh to the Father but by the Son,' John xiv. 6 ; 
' Through him we have access unto the Father,' Eph. ii. 18. It is 
his blood which hath purchased thee this gracious privilege. He 
alone hath turned the seat of justice into a throne of grace. When 
thou approachest God, he would be a fire to consume thee, not a 
Father to embrace thee, were it not for his Son. Consider also, thy 
assistance in duties is from Christ : ' Without him thou canst do 
nothing,' John xv. 3. Oh how dull and dead is thy heart in the 
most solemn duty, unless this Lord of life quicken it. Though thou 
hast a real principle of spiritual life, yet unless Christ draw thee, 
give thee quickening and inciting grace, thou canst not run after 
him in a duty. 

Further, Thine acceptance in the ordinances of God is through 
Christ. Oh how unsavoury would thy best duties be, were it not 
for the odours of his most sweet sacrifice ! The golden censer and 
the incense under the law typified that all our performances must 
be perfumed, and presented by Christ, before they can be accepted 
with God. The smoke of the incense must ascend with the saints' 
prayers before they can be pleasing. The incense (which signified 
the merits of Christ) is the pillar of smoke in which the believer's 
performances mount up to heaven, Kev. viii. 3, 4. No wonder that 
David begged so hard, ' Let my prayers come before thee like 
incense.' The priests, when they went into the tabernacle to sacri- 
fice, were commanded to put off their own, and to put on the holy 
garments provided for them, Exod. xxviii. 43, intimating that none 
must approach God in the rags of their own, but in the robes of 
Christ's righteousness. The ark, which was a special type of 
Christ, (without of shittim-wood, speaking his humanity, within of 
wrought gold, typifying his deity,) did signify thus much to us ; it 
covered the two tables, so Christ the law ; there God gave his precious 
answers, and was propitious to his people ; so God accepteth the 
persons and prayers of men in Christ, Eph. i. 6. If the patriarchs 
were welcome to Pharaoh, it was for Joseph's sake ; and if the people 
of God are welcome at any time to him, it is for Jesus' sake. 


Faith in Christ is the eye which ravisheth the heart of God : 
' Thou hast stolen away mine heart with one of thine eyes,' Cant. 
iv. Of all the virgin graces none find such favour in his sight. 
This, this is the Esther on whose head he sets the crown ; when she 
appears before him, though it be contrary to the law of works, he 
constantly holds out the golden sceptre of grace : he is so delighted 
with her beauty, so ravished with her comeliness, that he granteth 
her request, be it to the half or whole of his kingdom. Therefore, 
reader, when thou goest to God, be sure to take Christ along with 
thee, as ever thou wouldst speed. Let thy prayers and petitions be 
in his name, with an eye to his promise, ' Whatsoever ye shall ask 
the Father in my name, I will do it,' John xiv. 13. Let thy praises 
and thanksgivings be in his name, according to his precept, ' Giving 
thanks always, and in all things, unto God and our Father, in the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ,' Eph. v. 20. To be short, ' As a 
holy priest offer up all thy spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by 
Jesus Christ.' 

Thirdly, If thou wouldst make religion thy business in holy 
duties, perform them to give God glory by them, and to receive 
grace through them. Ordinances must be used both as a testimony 
of our subjection to God, and as the way of communion with God. 
God is present in his ordinances. 1. In majesty and beauty, and 
in that respect our end in them must be to give him glory. 2. In 
communication and bounty, and in that respect our end in them 
must be to receive grace from him, Ps. xxvii. 4 ; Eev. ii. 3, 6 ; 
Exod. xx. 24. God's eye is very much on our ends in duties ; he 
takes notice when he is neglected, and self exalted : ' When ye 
fasted and mourned, even these seventy years, did ye at all fast 
unto me, even to me ? And when ye did eat, and when ye did 
drink, did ye not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?' 
Zech. vii. 6, 7. God seeth when self-credit or self- profit is the end 
of a performance, Mat. vi. 1, 2; Hosea vii. 14. He weigheth all 
our actions by our aims. Now, as duties are considerable in a 
twofold respect, so a Christian must have in them a twofold end. 

1. Duties are considerable, as services, in relation to the com- 
mand ; and so a Christian must mind them, that he may testify his 
obedience to God, and his dependence on him ; ' Thou hast com- 
manded me to keep thy precepts diligently ; that my ways were 
directed to keep thy commandments ! Ps. cxix. 5, 6. 

'Warn the unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, 
be patient towards all men ; rejoicing evermore; pray without ceas- 
ing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God concerning 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 101 

you,' 1 Tlics. v. 14-18. God required the Israelites to bring a 
sheaf in a ghomer, about a pottle, for all their increase of the fruits 
of the earth, Lev. xxiii. 10, whereby they acknowledged that they 
receive all from him. Though man be unable to satisfy God's 
justice by all his devotion, yet God will be owned and acknow- 
ledged in holy duties. Copy-holders, though they have the profits 
of their houses and lands to themselves, yet pay some small quit- 
rent, and at certain times do suit and service to the lord of their 
manor, acknowledging thereby that the fee-simple is his, and they 
enjoy them through his favour. ' The earth is the Lord's, and the 
fulness thereof.' He is the mighty possessor of heaven and earth ; 
and though he gives the earth by leases for lives, as it were, and 
copies to the children of men, yet the fee-simple and original right 
is still in himself, and he hath appointed seasons daily and weekly 
for duties, wherein Christians should acknowledge that they hold 
all of him, and enjoy all through his grace and good- will. 

The worshipping of God in his ordinances is the homage which, 
as creatures, we owe to our Maker, and as Christians we owe to our 
Kedeemer. God alloweth us the comfort of our mercies, but he 
reserveth to himself the credit of our mercies, and hath appointed 
the hours of prayer to be the set times for the payment of this 
small quit-rent (infinitely inferior to our engagements) to his sacred 

Truly, reader, this end must be minded in thine attendance on 
the means of grace — namely, to give God glory by acknowledging 
his sovereignty over thee . and bounty to thee, or else when thou 
bendest the bow of thine heart, and shootest thy spiritual arrows, 
thou wilt never hit the mark. 

2. Duties are considerable as means in relation to the promise ; 
and so they are channels cut out by Christ to convey grace into the 
hearts of men ; therefore thine end in this respect must be to derive 
grace from the God of all grace through the means of grace. The 
place of ordinances is called by some the door of heaven, because 
there Christ gives his alms, his dole. Others call it the celestial 
exchange between God and his people : God doth there exchange 
mercies for duties, and they exchange glory for grace. At the 
tabernacle, saith God, ' I will meet with the children of Israel, and 
it shall be sanctified by my glory; and I will dwell among the chil- 
dren of Israel, and will be their God,' Exod. xxix. 43, 45. When 
God comes to his house he never comes empty-handed. If Paul 
comes ' with the fulness of the blessings of the gospel of Christ,' 
with what clusters of blessings is the true Vine laden ! with what 


a train of graces and comforts is this great King attended ! ' I will 
meet with the children of Israel there.' When Jacob met Joseph, 
they kissed and wept, Gen. xlvi. 29 ; but when God meets the be- 
liever, they have a merrier meeting ; they kiss and rejoice. 

' And I will dwell among them.' Who can imagine the house 
which God keeps where he dwells — the dainties, the delicates which 
he provides for his friends and family ! Great princes have great 
provision in their courts, answerable to their quality; but what pro- 
vision doth the great God make ! surely answerable to his infinite 

The table in the tabernacle was furnished with so many loaves 
as there were tribes in Israel, signifying that God keeps a constant 
and plentiful table in his church for all believers. 1 

Ordinances are candles gratia 1 ., conduit-pipes whereby the water 
of life is derived from Christ in the hearts of Christians. As the 
light and beams of the sun is the vehiculum or chariot to convey 
the heat and influence of the sun to the world ; so the ordinances of 
God are the chariots whereby God conveyeth the heat of his grace, 
and the influences of his Spirit to men and women. Saints behold 
his face in the glass of ordinances, and are ' changed into his image 
from glory to glory,' 2 Cor. iii. 18. Those divine graces, which are 
for meat to satisfy, and for medicine to heal the soul, are found 
growing only upon the banks of the waters of the sanctuary; there- 
fore go to ordinances, as the viemalim, a bird in America, flieth to 
the fields for the dew which falls clown from heaven there, upon 
which it liveth. 2 

Socrates one day meeting Xenophon, the son of Corillus, 3 in a 
certain port town, stopped him with his staff, and asked him, Where 
was the place where several commodities were to be had ? He an- 
swered him readily, In such a place. Then saith Socrates, Where 
is the place that a man might be made good ? Xenophon answered, 
He could not tell. Then follow thou me, saith Socrates, and thou 
shalt learn : and from that time he became Socrates' scholar. The 
ordinances of God are the places for both ; there true riches and 
virtue may be had ; the temple is both the exchange for traffic, and 
a school for learning : the good Master teacheth his scholars there 
those lessons which make them wise to salvation. 

Reader, the ordinances are the food of the soul — milk for babes 
and meat for men — do thou feed on them to get spiritual health 
and strength ; it is a shame for a Christian to be like an ant, busy 

1 Moses unveiled, cap. 27, p. 10. 

2 Clark Mir., part ii. p. 213. 3 Dio^. in vit. Socr. 

Chap. XL] the christian man's calling. 103 

about a mole-hill, and never to grow greater. Go to those wells, 
thai the vessels of thy soul may be filled with living water. 

David longed (as a woman with child, so the word signifieth) 
to see the beauty of the Lord, and receive of his bounty in the 
sanctuary, Ps. Ixxxiv. 2, lxiii. 1, 2, and xxvii. Thou goest to the 
market to supply thy bodily necessities, and art ashamed to come 
home empty. Dost thou not come to the ordinances of God for 
the relief of thy soul indigencies, and art thou not grieved to come 
away poor and beggarly? Merchants take in some goods from one 
part, some from another part, and at last come home richly laden : 
do thou get some true riches at prayer, some from the word, and 
then how comfortably mayest thou conclude thy duties. 

Do not rest in the formal performance of duties, as the harlot 
that cried out, ' I have had my peace-offerings to-day/ Prov. vii. 14, 
and therefore all must be well ; but as the people, when Moses went 
to speak to God for them; they all looked after him to see what 
speed, what success, Exod. xxxiii. 8. After thine attendance on 
ordinances, long and look for the fruit of them. If a man present 
a petition to a king, he gives attendance to see whether it will be 
granted or no. It is a contempt both of God's majesty and mercy 
for thee to throw down thy prayers before him, and then to run 
away, not caring what becomes of it. When thou hast been speak- 
ing to God, hearken what God will speak to thee ; for ' he speaketh 
peace to his people and to his saints, that they return no more to 
folly.' Let down thy net into the waters, and expect to catch some- 
what which may feed thy soul ; if thou fish all night, and, as the 
disciples, catch nothing, look for the coming of Christ in the morn- 
ing, and that purposely to give thee a good draught of fish. 

Header, remember thine errand at ordinances is to get grace ; 
thou hast God's promise to them, and his power and faithfulness, 
both engaged for its performance ; and it is thy fault and folly if 
thou goest hungry from a full table, and empty from a free and 
large treasure. Be as wise for thy soul as others are for their bodies. 
The country tradesman wants commodities, he goeth to London, 
where is a merchant that hath variety and abundance ; when he 
comes there he doth not spend his time in seeing fashions and 
visiting friends, but in going to this and that warehouse, as his 
occasions require, to buy wares ; and you see sometimes what con- 
siderable quantities he sends home : go thou and do likewise. Thou 
complainest that thou wantest grace to go to Christ, who hath variety 
and sufficiency for thy supply ; but do not go to see men, or to be 
6een of men, but to see God, and to be transformed into his like- 


ness ; go to this and that duty as shops, (where Christ sits and 
sells,) and ' buy wine and milk without money and without price.' 
Little dost thou know, were this but thy business, how certainly, 
how liberally he would supply thee ! Why should the tradesman 
be a better husband for corruptible wares, than thou art for durable 
riches ? Alas, alas ! Christ is more willing to sell than thou canst 
be to buy — to give than thou art to ask. 

Balaam, as bad as he was, when he had prepared seven altars, 
and offered seven sacrifices, could expect to meet God, and canst 
thou, Christian, contentedly miss him ? Surely he is a pitiful 
beggar that can go to the gate of a bountiful peer, where is plenty 
of provision for the poor, and come away willingly without his 

A good wish about religious duties in general, ivlierein the former 
heads are epitomised. 

The immediate worship of the infinite God, being a work of the 
greatest work that I ever did, or can possibly undertake, yea, that 
men and angels are capable of, I wish, therefore, that I may never 
enter rashly upon it, but may ordinarily take some pains before- 
hand, to awe my heart by a serious apprehension of the unconceiv- 
able greatness, jealousy, and holiness of that God to whom I am 
approaching ; how he is resolved to be sanctified either actively or 
passively, in every one that draweth nigh to him ; and by a savoury 
consideration of the unspeakable consequence of the duty in which 
I am engaged, how it concerneth the unchangeable welfare of my 
never-dying soul in the other world. I wish that all the time of 
the duty, I may look as narrowly to my heart, as ever keeper did to 
that prisoner, for whose escape he was to die ; and bind it to the 
altar, as they of old their sacrifice, with the strongest cords of all 
watchfulness and circumspection imaginable. I wish that I may 
perform each part of the duty with suitable grace, and to this end, 
that all my graces may be upon the wing, ready upon the least call 
to mount up to heaven ; as several strings of a viol, wound up to 
their due height and pitch, each in their place, upon the least touch 
(as occasion shall be) to make music in the ears of the Lord my 
God. Oh, that while my beloved sitteth at his table, my spikenard 
may send forth a pleasant smell. In particular, I wish that I may 
be so sensible of the infinite distance which is betwixt the incom- 
prehensible Lord of heaven, and me a poor worm, who lie grovelling 
here on earth, that I may both in my carriage and language, affec- 

Chap. XII.] the christian man's calling 


lions and expressions, behave myself throughout the ordinance with 
all godly fear, humility, and reverence. I wish that I may be so 
truly affected with the sins and uuworthiness of my person and 
performances, and my Saviour's infinite meritoriousness, that I may 
carry all my sacrifices to the high priest of my profession, believing 
assuredly, that they being perfumed with the odours of his death, 
and presented by his hands, shall be offerings of a sweet-smelling 
savour to my God. Finally, I wish that all ends of pride, merit, 
and self, set aside, I may, therefore, attend on duties, that I may, 
by my poor peppercorn, acknowledge those millions of eternal 
obligations by which I am bound to my God ; and also, that by 
those buckets (oh that they might never come up empty to me !) 
I may draw water out of the well of salvation. Amen. 


How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in prayer. A nd 
first, of prayer in general, and of the antecedents to it. 

The infinite and glorious God, though he be so high that he 
' humbleth himself to behold things in heaven,' and so holy that 
' the heavens are unclean in his sight,' is yet so gracious that he 
condescendeth to, and converseth with, poor sinful dust and ashes. 
Amongst all those ways which he hath appointed the children of 
men to walk with him in, prayer is one of the fairest and pleasantest. 
In this duty, the children of God whisper him in the ear, open their 
minds, and unbosom themselves to him, as his intimate friends and 
favourites. He hath been pleased to command it, not only out of 
his dominion over them, and for his own glory—' He that offereth 
praise glorifieth me,'— but also out of his compassion to them, and 
for their good, that by prayers (as men far distant do by letters) 
there might be a constant and uninterrupted intercourse and corres- 
pondence betwixt heaven and earth. 

Men, by discoursing together, come to be acquainted at first, and 
continue their acquaintance by sending to, and hearing from, one 
another. Prayer, which is the speech of man with his maker, is a 
special means whereby he comes to be acquainted with God, as also 
to increase and continue this acquaintance. Prayer indeed bringeth 
heaven down to man, and prayer carrieth man up to heaven. It is 
the chief duty, wherein all the graces meet, They shine brightly 
like so many glorious stars in this firmament. 


Of all graces, faith obtaineth the crown, — ' Above all, take the 
shield of faith.' Other jewels are of great value, but this is the 
fairest sparkling diamond. Among all duties, prayer seems to 
challenge the garland of honour, ' Concerning the work of my hands 
command ye me/ This is the favourite in the heavenly court, to 
whom the King of kings can deny nothing. This duty is of such 
weight, that it is frequently put for God's whole worship : ' Seek ye 
the Lord, seek his strength ; seek his face evermore,' Ps. cv. 4. 
God's temple, which was the beauty of holiness, the habitation of 
the Most High, was baptized by God himself, with this name, 
' My house shall be called of all nations an house of prayer,' Isa. 
lvi. 7. God's people, which are higher than the kings of the earth, 
are known to be nobly born by this practice. ' This is the genera- 
tion of them that seek him, that seek thy face, Jacob,' Ps. xxiv. 
G. Nay, God himself is pleased to wear prayer's livery, and to be 
distinguished by the royal robes of his relation to this duty, ' 
thou that nearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come,' Ps. lxv. 
2. Pearls of a very high price are never set but in gold, the choicest 
metal. The worship and people of God are more worth than all 
this world ; but oh, how much is God worth ! yet all these glister 
gloriously in the ring of prayer. 

There is no duty in my observation which hath so many precepts 
for it, or promises to it, as prayer, and sure I am, there is no duty 
which giveth more honour to God, or receiveth more honour from 
God, than prayer. 

Prayer hath a twofold pre-eminence above all other duties what- 
soever, in regard of the universality of its influence, and opportunity 
for its performance. The universality of its influence. As every 
sacrifice was to be seasoned with salt, so every undertaking, and 
every affliction of the creature, must be sanctified with prayer. Nay, 
as it sheweth the excellency of gold, that it is laid upon silver itself, 
so it speaketh the excellency of prayer, that not only natural and 
civil, but even religious and spiritual actions, are overlaid with 
prayer. We pray not only before we eat or drink our bodily 
nourishment, but also before we feed on the bread of the word, and 
the bread in the sacrament ; prayer is requisite to make every pro- 
vidence and every ordinance blessed to us. Prayer is needful to 
make our particular callings successful ; prayer is the guard to 
secure the fort-royal of the heart ; prayer is the porter to keep the 
door of the lips ; prayer is the strong hilt which defendeth the 
hands ; prayer perfumes every relation ; prayer helps us to profit 
by every condition ; prayer is the chemist that turns all into gold ; 

Chap. XII. J the christian man's calling. 107 

prayer is the master-workman ; if that be out of the way, the whole 
trade stands still, or goeth backward. What the key is to the 
watch, that prayer is to religion; it winds it up and sets it a-going. 
It is before other duties in regard of opportunity for its performance. 
A Christian cannot always hear, or always read, or always com- 
municate, but he may pray continually. No place, no company can 
deprive him of this privilege. If he be on the top of a house with 
Peter, he may pray ; if he be in the bottom of the ocean with Jonah, 
he may pray ; if he be walking in the field with Isaac, he may pray 
when no eye seeth him ; if he be waiting at table with Nehemiah, 
he may pray when no ear heareth him ; if he be in the mountains 
with our Saviour, he may pray ; if he be in the prison with Paul, 
he may pray ; wherever he is, prayer will help him to find God 
out. Every saint is God's temple ; and he that carrieth his temple 
about him, saith Austin, may go to prayer when he pleaseth. In- 
deed to a Christian, every house is an house of prayer ; every closet 
a chamber of presence ; and every place he comes to an altar, 
whereon he may offer the sacrifice of prayer. 

Prayer is a humble lifting up the heart, or pouring out the soul 
to God in the name of Christ ; it is a crying, Abba, Father! As 
Scripture is God's letter, wherein he openeth his mind to man, so 
prayer is man's letter, wherein he openeth his mind to God. It is 
fitly resembled to Jacob's ladder, the bottom of which was on 
earth, but the top reached to heaven. A thought can fly speedily 
to the uttermost parts of the earth, so can prayer in a moment to 
the highest heavens. One of the fathers compareth it to a chain, 
one end of which is tied to man's tongue, the other end to God's 
ear. Another, Ascensus mentis ad Deum, A lifting up the mind 
to God. Paul calls it, a ' making known our requests to God,' 
Phil. iv. Jamblicus, a profane writer, calleth prayer, Berum 
divinarum ducem et lucem, et copidam qua homines cum Deo con- 
junguntur: The guide and light of divine truths, the band whereby 
God and man are joined together. Clavis instar qua Dei pene- 
tralia aperiuntur : Like a key that openeth God's secrets. Austin 
calls it, Dei sacrificium, diaboli flagellum, et Christiani sub- 
sidium: A sweet savour to God, a terror to the devil, and a shelter 
to a Christian. Bernard calls it, Vinculum invincibilis : The con- 
queror of him who is invincible. Luther saith, It is omnipotent. 
Archimedes made such an engine, that, saith he, could I but 
find where to fasten it, I would not doubt but to remove the whole 
earth with it. Such an engine is prayer. By prayer fire hath 
been quenched, waters divided, the mouths of lions stopped, iron 


gates opened, the bottles of heaven opened and stopped, the course 
of nature overturned, diseases removed, health restored, sin sub- 
dued, grace bestowed, kingdoms supported, church enemies scat- 
tered, the blind restored, the dead enlivened, devils dispossessed, 
and the blessed God himself conquered. The Jews have a proverb, 
Sine stationibus own staret mundus, alluding to their standing- 
posture in prayer ; the world would not stand without prayer. 

When a great fire in Constantinople had fastened on a great part 
of the city, took hold of the church, flamed in at several of the 
windows, the bishop ran into the church, fell down on his knees, 
and would not rise from prayer till the fire was vanquished. And 
as prayer hath hindered fire, so it hath brought down water ; the 
legions of Christians under Aurelius in a time of drought, entreated 
rain of God, and prevailed, for which they were called, the Light- 
ning Legion. 

Prayer is the midwife to bring all those mercies into the world 
to the believer, which are conceived in the womb of the promises. 
It is the Christian's messenger, which he sends to heaven for the 
supply of his necessities, and, like Jonathan's bow, it never re- 
turneth empty. Oftentimes, as the echo doubleth the voice, so 
doth the answer the prayer ; when the soul, like Gehazi, asketh 
but one talent, God, like Naaman, forceth two upon it. ' The Lord 
is rich unto all that call upon him/ Eom. x. 12. Prayer is the 
Thames, in which all sorts of commodities are brought up for the 
relief of the citizens of Zion. Some say of cornucopia, that it hath 
all things necessary for food in it. Prayer hath in it all things 
pertaining to this life and a better. 

It is said of the pope, he can never want money while he can 
hold a pen ; his writing of pardons and indulgences filleth his 
coffers ; it is more true of the Christian, he need never want if he 
will but pray. Prayer is a key to God's own coffers, wherein there 
are infinite and all sorts of comforts. I have no friend, said a good 
woman, but I have a prayer ; and so long as I have a praying 
heart, God will find a pitying heart and a helping hand. It is but 
Ask, and receive ; seek, and find ; knock, and it shall be opened, 
Mat. vii. 7, 8. The child presenteth his petition to his father, and 
at the foot of it there is fiat quickly written. 

Prayer is like the Spaniards' Plate-fleet, which returns home 
worth thousands and millions. A courtier will sometimes get more 
by a petition to his prince in a morning than some tradesmen do 
all their lives. A regenerate person being in favour at court 
gaineth more by a morning prayer than a wicked man, though he 

Chap. XII.] the christian man's calling. 109 

works hard, gets while he liveth. ' I never said to the seed of 
Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.' Some asked but the cure of their 
bodies, when God healed their bodies and souls too ; he hath 
forced many an unexpected favour upon an upright fervent prayer. 

Prayer is not only a storehouse of mercies, but a fort-royal to 
defend the soul against miseries ; as some write of the herb 
panaces, it is good for all diseases. When Satan entered the field 
against Paul, the apostle held up this shield of prayer to defend 
himself against his fiery darts. ' For this I besought the Lord 
thrice,' 2 Cor. xii. 7. Prayer hath stormed and surprised more 
cities, conquered and routed more armies, than old men's heads, or 
young men's hands, than all the policy and power on earth. 

Prayer is like the ring which Queen Elizabeth gave to the Earl 
of Essex, bidding him, if he were in any distress, send that ring to 
her, and she would help him. God commandeth his people, if 
they be in any perplexity, to send this ring to him : ' Call upon 
me in the day of trouble, I will hear thee, and thou shalt glorify 
me,' Ps. 1. 15. 

Oh, what a privilege dost thou enjoy, reader, in having freedom 
of access to the throne of grace ! The Persian kings took state 
upon them, and enacted, that none should come uncalled, upon 
pain of death ; but the gates of heaven, as the JEdiles at Rome, 
are always open ; thou hast liberty, night and day, of presenting 
thy petitions in the name of Christ to the King of the whole earth, 
and needest not fear (so thy prayers be according to Scripture 
directions) so much as a chiding for thy presumption. The poets 
say that Like, prayers, are Jupiter's daughters, and always about 
the throne. If it be esteemed such a favour to have an earthly 
prince's ear, what a favour art thou invested with that hast the ear 
of the ' blessed and only potentate ' ? Elisha offered his courteous 
host a great kindness, when he asked her, ' Wilt thou be spoken 
for to the king ?' 2 Kings iv. 13. Some purchase that liberty, as 
the chief captain his Roman freedom, with a great sum, but thou 
mayest speak to the King of kings thyself, and be welcome, and 
needest not be at the charge of having either saints or angels thy 
mediators, or any of those heavenly courtiers, to bring thee into 
the king's presence. The Son of God himself will do it for thee 
>j rat is. ' In him we have boldness,' Eph. iii. 12 ; irapp^aiav, 
liberty of speech, freedom to speak all thy mind, to lay open thy 
very inwards to God. If thou art in doubts about thy spiritual 
estate, and about thy title to the inheritance of the saints in light, 
thou mayest by prayer go to him who is ' marvellous in counsel,' and 


have his advice for nothing. If any disease appear in thy soul, 
which thou fearest may endanger its life, at least hinder its peace 
and health, thou mayest by prayer knock up the true physician at 
midnight, and prevail with him to hasten to thy help and cure. 
If thou art surrounded with many and bloody enemies, that thou 
knowest not what to do, nor where to go, thou mayest by prayer send 
post to heaven, and thou needest not fear but Christ will meet the 
messenger half-way, and come in timely to thy rescue. If thou 
art bound with the bond of iniquity, and, like Peter, watched 
narrowly night and day ; nay, though thou art encompassed round 
with the black guard of hell, lest thou shouldest make an escape, 
yet ' prayer without ceasing' would knock off thy chains, break 
open the prison doors, and, in spite of all the legions of devils that 
kept thee, set thee at liberty. If thou art, like the Psalmist, over- 
whelmed with sorrow, this sighing into God's ears by prayer will 
ease thy heart. When the glass of thy soul is so full of those 
strong spirits, fear and grief, that it threateneth to burst, thou 
mayest give it vent by prayer to God, and there will be no danger. 
Whilst thou art in this valley of tears, thou art encompassed with 
enemies, hast many and urgent necessities, doubts, and dangers ; 
but prayer, like Moses, will go before thee, engage him on thy side 
that will overcome them all, and guide thee all the way through 
the wilderness of this world to the very borders of Canaan, and 
never leave thee till thou comest to enter into the place of praise. 

But, reader, the more richly this vessel of prayer is laden, the 
more careful and skilful must the pilot be that steers it, lest it 
suffer shipwreck. Queens that have great heirs in their wombs 
must be tenderly used, lest they miscarry. If prayer be so bounti- 
ful a friend, as thou hast heard, thou oughtest to be the more fear- 
ful of abusing it. Princes who allow favourites their ears, yet 
expect that they should know their distance, and ask in such a 
manner as they appoint, and such things for the matter as will be 
consistent with their honour to give ; or else, instead of a grant, 
they may meet with a repulse and a sharp reproof. Haman, though 
he were so intimate with the king that he had his hand and seal at 
pleasure, found by woeful experience what it was to abuse the king's 
favour, by desiring the satisfaction of his own lust in that which 
was exceedingly to the king's loss. 

The incense under the ceremonial law was a type of prayer — ' Let 
my prayer come before thee like incense ;' but if it had not been 
made exactly, both for matter and manner, according to God's own 
prescription, who himself gave special direction about it, Exod. xxx. 

Chap. XII. ] the christian man's calling. Ill 

34-36 ; as sweet as the spices were, it had been loathsome and 
unsavoury to him ; the burning of incense had been but as the 
blessing of an idol, Isa. lxvi. 3. I shall therefore, for thy right 
management of this duty, which is of such weight and importance 
to thee, speak to these three particulars : — 

1. To the antecedents, or those things which must go before 

2. To the concomitants, or those things which must accompany 

3. To the consequents, or those things which must follow after 

1. To the antecedents of prayer. — Preparation is necessary before 
prayer. Zophar acquainteth Job how his prayers might come to be 
prevalent, ' If thou prepare .thine heart, and stretch out thine hand 
unto him,' Job xi. 13. The heart is the forge where these vessels 
for the sanctuary are formed and fashioned and made in secret ; the 
tongue is but the shop wherein they are exposed to public view ; 
therefore the heart must do its work well before the tongue can 
commend its ware ; the heart must ' indite a good matter ' before 
the tongue will be as ' the pen of a ready writer.' 

God commandeth us both to look to our hearts and mouths when 
we are in his house : ' Be not rash with thy mouth to utter any- 
thing before God, and keep thy feet when thou art in the house of 
God,' Eccles. v. 1, 2. The former is a bridle for our mouths and 
expressions, the latter is a guard for our hearts and affections. 

In reference to the antecedents — 1, Some things which will 
further the duty must be used ; 2, Some things which will hinder 
the duty must be refused. 

(1.) First, Those things which will further the duty are meditation 
and the stirring up of grace. Meditation will be helpful to the 
matter of prayer ; the quickening and stirring up of grace will be 
helpful to the manner of the duty. 

[1.] First, Meditation. — Meditation fits the soul for supplication ; 
meditation fills the soul with good liquor, and then prayer broaches 
it, and sets it a-running. David first mused, and then spake with 
his tongue, ' Lord, make me to know mine end/ Psa. xxxix. 3 4. 
Nay, to assure us that meditation was the mother which bred and 
brought forth prayer, he calls the child by its parents' name, ' Give 
ear to my words, Lord, consider my meditation,' Ps. v. 1. 
Meditation is like the charging of a piece, and prayer the discharg- 
ing of it. Isaac ' went into the field to meditate,' Gen. xxiv. 63. 
The Septuagint, the Geneva translation, and Tremellius, in his mar- 


ginal notes on it, read it to ' pray ; ' and the Hebrew word suach 
used there signifieth both to pray and meditate ; whereby we may 
learn that they are very near akin ; like twins, they lie in the same 
womb, in the same word. Meditation is the best beginning of 
prayer, and prayer is the best conclusion of meditation. When the 
Christian, like Daniel, hath first opened the windows of his soul by 
contemplation, then he may kneel down to prayer. 

Prayer is a building which reacheth up to heaven, meditation 
layeth in all the costly materials which are requisite for this build- 
ing. He that would make any riddance of his work must take care 
that all his materials be brought in beforehand ; if they be to fetch 
when he comes to work, he will make long and tedious church-work 

Something thou art to meditate on relating to thyself, something 
relating to God. 

Those things which relate to thyself are thy sins, wants, and 
mercies. There are three parts of prayer, though I know some 
reckon the first rather an adjunct — confession, petition, and thanks- 
giving. Now meditation gives each of these the work which they 
are to do ; like a faithful steward it gives every one their proper and 
peculiar portion. Meditation on our sins helpeth in confession, 
meditation on our wants helpeth in petition, meditation on our 
mercies helpeth in thanksgiving. A Christian ought to keep a 
catalogue, at least in the table-book of his heart, of these three 
particulars. David did so ; he registered his unrighteousness, or 
the wrong he had done to God, ' My sin is ever before me,' Ps. li. 
3. He thought much upon his wants and sufferings, he often 
crieth out, ' I am poor and needy,' Ps. cix. 21, and xxv. ' My 
sorrow is ever before me,' Ps. xxxviii. 17. And for God's mercies, he 
did not write them in the sand, but he treasured them up in his 
memory. ' Thy loving kindness is before mine eyes,' Ps. xxvi. 3. 
And though some of them were stale, ancient mercies, yet they 
were not sour to David's taste ; he did not throw them away as old 
almanacs out of date : ' I will remember the days of old, the years 
of ancient times,' Ps. lxxvii. Rather than God should not be paid 
his thanks for favours to his forefathers, David would take the 
debts from their score, and set them upon his own file. 

Confession of sin must be with shame and sorrow ; petition for 
mercy must be with faith and fervency ; thanksgiving must be with 
admiration of God, and delight in God. Now it is meditation of our 
sins, wants, and miseries, which provides fuel for the fire of these 
graces to work upon, by which they break out into a heavenly flame. 


Meditate on thy sins. Thy duty in prayer is to indict, arraign, 
and condemn and execute those malefactors and transgressors of 
the royal law, which can never he done till they are apprehended. 
If thou wilt kill those foxes that spoil the vine, those lusts which 
hinder thy regenerate part from thriving, thy care must be by 
meditation to hunt them out of their lurking holes and take them. 
Thy wounds, which stink and are so unsavoury to God, must by 
serious consideration be searched and felt before they can be healed. 
When thou art going to prayer, do as Jehu, when he went to sacri- 
fice to Baal, send out and fetch in all thy false worshippers, those 
enemies of the true God, that deny his supremacy, and bow the knee 
to the world or the flesh, and then by a humble penitential con- 
fession, and self-judging, cut them off. Who ever bewailed his 
sins, that did not know their sinfulness ? or who ever was ashamed, 
that did not see his own nakedness ? When the Jews came to 
know that they were the betrayers and murderers of the Lord Jesus, 
then they were pricked to the heart. Oh do that for thyself which 
God will do for many others ! set thy sins in order before thine eyes, 
thine original and thine actual, thine omissions and commissions, 
thy personal and relative, thy secret and public, thy sins about 
natural, civil, or spiritual actions, thy sins under mercies and 
against afflictions. Say to thy conscience, as Samuel to Jesse, ' Are 
all thy sons here ? ' are all thy sins here ? If any be wanting to 
thy knowledge, cause it to be sent for and brought, and sit not 
down to sacrifice before it come ; when this is done, put them all 
into their own colours, accent them with their several aggravations, 
consider what light, what love, what motions of God's Spirit, what 
convictions of thy own spirit, they were committed against. 

Above all, meditate on the infinite majesty, purity, and mercy of 
that God against whom thou hast sinned. Those three attributes 
duly weighed would, like Moses' strokes, fetch water out of a rock. 
Ah couldst thou, that hast heard of this God by the hearing of 
the ear, but see him with the seeing of the eye, thou wouldst quickly 
abhor thyself in dust and ashes ! How ugly, how loathsome would 
sin be, couldst thou behold the glory, holiness, and grace of that 
God whom thereby thou hast offended ! Ah, how great an evil 
must that be which is so opposite and offensive to the greatest 
good ! Think also on the blood of the dearest Jesus, which was 
let out by thy lusts ; and surely when thou beholdest those knives 
before thee which made those bloody mortal wounds in his blessed 
body, anger and grief will both strive within thee for the mastery. 

Meditate on thy wants. He that is ignorant what he ails, can- 

VOL. I. H 


not complain, at least so as to be relieved. The messenger who 
knoweth not the errand upon which he comes, must expect to be 
sent back as wise as he came. Do as the good housewife, when she 
is going to market, where provision is to be had, doth : first, she 
considereth with herself what her family needs, what food, what 
clothes, what her husband, what her children, what herself, and 
accordingly disposeth her money at market ; so when thou art going 
to God by prayer, who is able to supply all thy necessities, consider 
what thou wantest, what pardoning mercy, what purifying mercy ; 
what sin thou didst lately foil, and art afraid it will recover again, 
that thou mayest beg strength to pursue the victory ; what lust 
lately got the better of thee, that thou mayest entreat pardon of it, 
and power against it ; what grace thou art defective in, either in 
reference to thy calling or relations, or any condition, that thou 
mayest request God to bestow it on thee ; what new providence 
hath befallen thee, or new work is laid upon thee, that thou mayest 
beseech God to give thee suitable grace and power. 

This consideration of thy wants, with the weight of them, will 
make thee more urgent and instant with God for supply ; they that 
feel hunger, how hard will they beg for bread ! Poor prisoners 
that are ready to famish for want of food, how earnest are they for 
relief ! Bread, bread, for the Lord's sake ! Eemember the poor 
prisoners for the Lord's sake ! Consideration of thy soul-necessities, 
and of what infinite concernment the relief of them is to thee, will 
make thee feel thy wants, and then thou wilt be importunate with 
God for mercy. A man that considereth not his indigencies, is like 
a full stomach, that loathes the honeycomb. 

Consider thy mercies, meditate on the several particular passages 
of God's providence towards thee, from thy birth to this moment ; 
how many dangers thou hast been delivered from, how many 
journeys thou hast been preserved in, what seasonable succour God 
hath sometimes sent thee in dangers, what suitable support he hath 
afforded thee in distress, what counsel he hath given thee in doubts, 
what comforts he hath vouchsafed thee in sorrows and darkness. 
Make past mercies, by meditation, present with thee. How many 
years hast thou lived, and every moment of thy life hast breathed 
in mercy ? Do not forget former favours bestowed on thee or thine. 
The civet box, when the civet is gone, still retains its scent; the vessel, 
when the liquor is gone, hath still a savour of it. So when thy 
mercies are past and spent, thou shouldst still have the scent and 
savour of them in thy spirit. 

Meditate upon the number of thy present mercies, personal, 

Chap. XII.] the christian man's calling. 115 

domestical, national, temporal, spiritual. How many are the 
mercies which thou enjoy est in bed, at board, at home, abroad ! 
Thy house, thy barns, thy children, thy body, thy soul, are all full 
of blessings ; thou hast many positive, many private mercies. 
' Many, Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou 
hast done, and thy thoughts to us-ward : they cannot be reckoned 
up in order unto thee : if I would declare and speak them, they are 
more than can be numbered,' Ps. xl. 5. Think of them particu- 
larly. Meat swallowed down whole doth not yield such nourish- 
ment as when it is cut into small pieces. If jewels are bundled up 
together, their riches and worth are hid ; they must be viewed and 
considered one by one, then their value will appear. 

Meditate on the nature of them, how freely they are bestowed. 
When thou wast God's enemy he fed thee, and clothed thee, and 
maintained thee. As when a man turneth his back upon the sun, 
the sun even then refresheth him with his beams ; so when thou 
didst depart away from God, he even then followed thee with good- 
ness ; like the fountain, he giveth his pleasant streams to thee gratis. 
For, alas ! thou art less than the least of all God's mercies, worse 
than any loathsome toad or poisonous serpent. This will be an 
excellent foil to set off the mercies of God in their lively, lovely 
colours. That David, so great a king, should do so much for such 
a dead dog as Mephibosheth, did exceedingly affect his heart, 2 
Sam. vii. So do thou think with thyself, What am I, and what is 
my Father's house, that the Lord should do so much for me ? 

Meditate upon the fulness and greatness of thy mercies. What 
distinguishing mercies are -thy body-mercies ! they are more than 
God oweth thee, and more than he bestoweth upon others. Alas ! 
many want health, liberty, food, raiment, sleep, limbs, senses, rea- 
son, and possibly thou enjoyest them all. But oh ! of what con- 
cernment are thy soul-mercies, the image of God, the blood of 
Christ, eternal life, the gospel of thy salvation, sabbaths, sacraments, 
and seasons of grace. God hath not dealt so with every people, as 
with this nation ; nor with every person, as with thee. Thou art, 
as the psalmist phraseth it, laden with benefits, hast such a weight, 
such a burden of benefits upon thy back, that thou canst hardly 
stir or stand under them. Hast thou not blessings of the womb, 
blessings of the field, blessings of the throne, blessings of the foot- 
stool, blessings in thy going out, blessings in thy coming in, winch 
way canst thou look and not see blessings ? Where canst thou tread 
and not stand on blessings ? Thy whole life is in this respect a 
bundle of blessings. These thoughts before prayer may stir thee up 


to bless the giver. If thou shouldst bless men when they curse 
thee, much more shouldst thou bless God, when he blesseth thee. 

Meditate on the God to whom thou art to pray, consider his 
majesty and greatness ; Nehemiah calls him, ' The great and 
terrible God,' Neh. i. 5. He is so great, ' the heavens and heavens 
of heavens cannot contain him ;' that the earth, heavens, and ocean 
are in comparison of him as nothing ; yea, ' less than nothing, and 
vanity.' Think of his attributes and infinite excellencies. ' God is 
in heaven, and thou art on earth : therefore let thy words be few,' 
Eccles. v. 2. As God riseth in our thoughts, self falleth. That 
sun discovereth all our dust. Oh, how are we ashamed of our drops 
when we stand by this ocean ! This serious apprehension of thy 
distance will quicken thee to reverence. God's greatness, and man's 
vileness, are both arguments to make man humble and wary in the 
worship of God. Couldst thou behold God in heaven, in what 
majesty he there appeareth on his throne of glory, how his heavenly 
courtiers veil their faces in his presence, lay their crowns at his feet, 
and serve him, though joyfully, yet humbly and awfully, with what 
reverence and holy fear wouldst thou go to prayer ! 

Meditate on his mercy and goodness ; what promises he hath 
made to prayer, how bountiful he is to his suppliants. He cloth more 
than they can ask or think ; he gives liberally without upbraiding. 
It was said of Severus the emperor, that he was more troubled that 
men asked nothing, than that he gave much. God delighteth both 
to be sought and found. This is necessary to strengthen thy faith, 
' He that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a 
rewarder of them that diligently seek him,' Heb. xi. 6. He that 
would pray and obtain a blessing, must believe God's being, ' that 
he is;' and God's bounty, ' that he is a rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him.' Meditate on his rich bounty ; Abraham asked 
but one son, God gives him seed like the stars in the heavens for 
multitude ; the debtor desires but forbearance, and he freely for- 
gives the whole debt. The shekel of the sanctuary is double to the 
ordinary skekel. 

God delighteth to see men joyful in his house of prayer, Isa. lvi. 
7, to see their countenances commend his cheer ; now meditation of 
his royal bounty, how he giveth like a king, like a God, will help 
thee to this hearty cheerfulness. Believe before thou prayest, that 
thy hand of prayer shall not knock at heaven's gate in vain, that 
God will not send thee away sad. It is reported of the Emperor 
Flavius, that he should say, I am sorry that any man should present 
a petition to me as if he were offering meat to an elephant, with a. 


trembling hand. Consider not only his habitation, which art in 
heaven, but also his relation to thee, our Father ; 'Before thou 
callest he will answer, and when thou speakest he will say, Here am 
I,' Isa. Ixv. 24. Thus when thou hast by meditation cut the sacri- 
fice in pieces, put the wood in order, and laid all upon the altar, 
thou mayest by prayer put fire to them, and offer up a sacrifice to 
God ' of a sweet smelling savour.' 

[2.] Secondly, As meditation, so the stirring up of thy graces is 
needful to further this duty. Meditation will do much towards it, 
as thou hast heard, I shall therefore speak the less to it. Every 
person that hath grace doth not always pour out his prayers rightly. 
Graces must be exercised in our duties. Grace may lie as fire under 
ashes upon the hearth of thy heart, and be so far from flaming, that 
it may not so much as glow, and how then canst thou expect any 
warmth from it ? Thy duty is, therefore, to stir up the coals, and 
endeavour that the fire may blaze out. It is the language of Canaan, 
communication seasoned with grace, which only is savoury to God. 
Cato being asked why he was so diligent to learn the Greek lan- 
guage in his old age, answered, I hear the gods speak Greek, and I 
would willingly speak to them in their own language. All the 
words of God are gracious ; it is said of his Son, ' Grace is poured 
into thy lips,' Ps. xlv. 2. Those, therefore, that would not speak 
to God in an unknown language, a tongue which he under- 
standeth not, must accent all their expressions to him with grace. 
It is the smell of the spice of grace in the Israelite, not of garlic 
and onions in the Egyptian, which is so pleasant and fragrant to 
God; ' Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of 
smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of 
the merchant ?' Cant. iii. 6. Some take the words to be the voice 
of the angels, those friends of the bridegroom, admiring the church's 
gracious expressions, and continual ascensions of her soul, in her 
prayers to God ; others take them to be the words of Christ, being 
ravished with the odoriferous smell of those graces which his spouse 
acted in her sacrifices ; he stood amazed at the beauty of her per- 
son, and the sweetness of her breath, the graciousness of her peti- 
tions. What lovely lady, what woman is here ? (so the Hebrew,) 
What peerless paragon is this which sendeth up such spiritual sac- 
rifices, such sweet incense, kindled by the fire of God's own Spirit, 
laid upon a meritorious altar, ascending and fuming up, like the 
rollings and agglomerations of smoke, to the Lord himself, and 
more welcome and grateful than all the costly evaporations of myrrh 
and frankincense, and all powders of the merchants ? The angel 


which ascended to heaven in the flame of the altar, is said to do 
wondrously, Judges xiii. 19, 20. It was wonderful both to Christ 
and his friends to behold the acceptance of his spouse's gracious 
performance, how it ascended to heaven, elationibus fumi, like pil- 
lars of smoke, and came up for a memorial before God. The desire 
of nature in prayer, is like sparks which fly out of the tunnel of the 
chimney and then vanish ; but the desire of grace in prayer is like 
pillars of smoke, which mounteth up to the highest heavens. 

When Jacob's sons went down to Egypt to fetch corn, they car- 
ried some along with them to support them by the way ; when the 
Christian goeth to Christ by prayer for more spiritual food, he must 
carry some along with him to strengthen him in the duty. A little 
water poured into the pump will fetch up much ; a little grace acted 
in a duty may help thee to much more. As the ship is sometimes 
wind-bound that it cannot move towards its haven, so without the 
exercise of grace the soul is wind-bound, there is no stirring towards 
heaven. A graceless man in prayer, as was said of Alcibiades, may 
talk much, but speaketh little. 

(2.) Some things which will hinder the duty must be refused. 

All sin in general, sin regarded in the soul, makes prayers dis- 
regarded of God. ' If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not 
hear my prayer,' Ps. lxvi. 18. He that expecteth pardon must 
throw down his weapons of rebellion. The child that asketh for- 
giveness of his oaths, must not desire it of his father with curses in 
his mouth. When dust clogs the wheel of the watch or clock, they 
cannot strike true ; when sin hampereth and clogs the wheels of the 
affections, the mouth will never speak true or right in its petitions. 
' He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer 
shall be an abomination,' Pro v. xxviii. 9. It is high impudency for 
him that will not hear God, to look that God should hear him. 

When the sin of the petitioner is before God's eyes, his petitions 
cannot enter into God's ears ; the wide mouth of sin outcrieth the 
voice of his prayers. As the fish called the Kemora, though it be but 
little, will stop a great ship in its full career ; truly so the smallest 
sin, loved and liked, will hinder the course of prayer, though it 
be never so instant and vehement. ' The Lord's ear is not heavy 
that it cannot hear, but your iniquities separate between you and 
your God,' Isa. lix. 1, 2. Men by falls sometimes lose their speeches, 
men by sin lose their prayers. 

When the Ninevites prayed and turned from their evil ways, then 
God granted their requests, Jonah iii. The Israelites cried to God, 
but in vain ; he bid them go to the gods whom they had served, till 

Chap. XII. ] the christian man's calling. 119 

they put away the strange gods from among them, then ' his soul 
was grieved for the misery of Israel/ Judges x. 10-17. Reforma- 
tion is a good usher to go before supplication. When the Duke of 
Saxony prepared war against the Bishop of Magdenburg, the bishop, 
hearing of it, falls to praying and reforming, saying, At ego curabo 
ecclesiam meam, et Deus pugnabit pro me; I will take care to 
reform my church, and God will take care to fight for me. When 
the duke heard this, he disbanded hi* forces with this speech, I am 
too weak for him that can engage God on his side. 

Be sure, reader, to put away iniquity far from thee when thou 
art drawing near to the throne of grace, ' Then shalt thou make thy 
prayer unto God, and he shall hear,' Job xxii. 23, 27. Prayer is, 
as it were, a plaster to heal a man that is wounded. Now, as a 
plaster to one pierced with an arrow or bullet will do no good, till 
the dart or bullet be taken out of the body, so prayer will not be 
healing and prevalent till sin, in regard of love and delight, be taken 
out of the soul. 

As all sin in general must be laid by, so worldly thoughts and 
wrath in particular. Wrath ; anger, like leaven, soureth the sacrifice. 
' I will that men lift up holy hands without wrath,' 1 Tim. ii. 8. He 
that beggeth peace at God's hands, must not do it with war in his 
own heart. How canst thou think that God will forgive thee many 
millions, when thou wilt not forgive thy brother one mite ? God is 
peremptory that he will reserve for them his wrath, who will not 
remit their wrongs, Mat. vi. 15. Jerome confessed of himself that 
when he had been angry he durst not enter into the church, but 
totum animo et corpore contremuisse, he did tremble very much 
both in body and mind ; Christians must be singular, as in their 
principles, so in their practices. It is more comfortable to love a 
friend, but this a heathen may do ; it is more honourable to love an 
enemy, and this every Christian must do. 

There are two things in forgiving those that wrong us. First, 
An inward remission of the fault, so much as it concerneth us, 
or a removal of wrath and revengeful desires towards the person 
wronging us ; and this if we do not, we lose our prayers. A stormy, 
troubled sea casteth up mire and dirt ; so when there is a storm of 
passions in the soul, the heart foameth up its own shame in prayer, 
it bubbleth up a great deal of filth. Secondly, In forgiveness there 
is an outward profession of this inward remission, and this must be 
done when the party acknowledged his fault. If the offender say, I 
repent, the offended must say, I remit. Surely, did men but consider 
the infinite wrongs they do, and affronts which they offer to the 


glorious God every day, and yet how they expect to be pardoned, they 
would, when abused, say, as Francis the First, king of France, to one 
that begged pardon for a friend of his who had used ill speeches 
against his majesty, Let him for whom thou art a suitor learn to 
speak little, and I will learn to pardon much. The spouse of Christ 
is compared to a dove, which, some say, is sine felle, without gall. 
The very heathen, when they offered sacrifice, threw the gall of the 
beast away ; and, reader, wouldst thou offer to God the gall of 
malice, revenge, wrath, and bitterness with the sacrifice of thy 
prayers? Kemember, where the gall is broke, the flesh tasteth 
bitter ; and when the strings jar, the instrument will make but 
harsh music, Mat. v. 24. 

Worldy thoughts must also be laid by. Our Saviour, when he 
taught us to pray, by the preface to the petitions, telleth us where 
our affections in prayer should be : ' Our Father which art in 
heaven.' Our hearts in prayer must be in heaven ; the eyes of our 
minds must look up thither, as well as the eyes of our bodies. The 
Mohammedans in India, when they begin their devotion, stop their 
ears, and fix their eyes, that nothing may disturb their minds, or 
divert their thoughts. When the meat is fly-blown, it quickly 
corrupts ; when our petitions to God are blown upon by worldly 
thoughts, and mingled with mental discourses with men, they lose 
their sweetness. 

Some poor people, whose houses are troubled much with vermin, 
have sometimes a great part of their small provision eaten up of 
rats and mice ; truly sometimes a poor Christian loseth half a meal 
by these vermin of worldly thoughts, they devour sometimes half 
his prayer. Kesolve before thou prayest to watch thy heart nar- 
rowly, that these may not hinder thee in prayer. 


Of the concomitants of prayer. 

2. Secondly, I come now to the concomitants of prayer ; and 
herein I shall speak : 

(1.) To the matter of our petitions. 

(2.) To the person that prayeth. 

(3.) To the properties of our prayers. 

(1.) To the matter of our prayers : God's word and will must be 
the rule of our prayers, what we must ask of him, as well as of our 

Chap. XIII. ] the christian man's calling. 121 

practice, what we must do for him. Subjects must set bounds to 
their desires, and take heed that their petitions do not encroach 
upon the prerogative royal. Divine precepts, what God coni- 
mandeth us to act ; divine promises, what God engageth himself to 
do for us ; and divine prophecies, what God hath foretold shall 
come to pass, are to be the bounds of our prayers : he wandereth to 
his loss, that in his requests goeth beyond these limits. Balaam 
would needs ask leave of God, that he might be the devil's chaplain 
to curse Israel ; but mark the issue, he hath an ironical concession 
to go to his own destruction ; the sharp razor indeed of his tongue 
would not pierce the Israelites, who had armour of proof ; but the 
sword of the Israelites soon entered his body, and sent his soul to 
receive its wages of that master that set him a-work. The Israel- 
ites on a sudden are all in a hurry for a king : ' God gave them a 
king in his anger,' for their punishment, rather than for their pro- 
tection ; and how soon were they sick, like children, of that which 
they cried so loud for — the king and people, at least many of them, 
perished together. Oh how much better is a favourable denial, 
than an angry grant of such prayers ; but immodest desires never 
have profitable answers. 

And as some err in the matter of their petitions, so others in the 
matter of their thanksgiving. "We read of them that when like 
thieves they had robbed others, looked up to heaven and blessed 
God for a booty, that they had prospered in their calling : ' Thus 
saith the Lord God, feed the flock of the slaughter, whose pos- 
sessors slay them ; and they that sell them say, Blessed be the Lord, 
I am rich,' Zech. xi. 5, 6. That spurious brat the devil begot upon 
their cursed hearts, they lay at God's door as if he were its father. 

Take heed, reader, of exceeding the limits of prayer ; those 
beasts which will not be kept within their bounds, are soonest 
caught and killed. Israel had their wish, to their woeful cost, when 
they cried out, ' Would God we had died in the wilderness,' Hum. 
xiv. 2, 28, 29. ' Be not unwise, but understanding what the will of 
the Lord is,' Eph. v. 17. Indeed, the Christian may have any- 
thing of God, if he do but in his prayer secure God's honour ; but 
he that exalteth Ins own will, not minding God's, like a proud 
beggar, will be a chooser ; and therefore he shall be sent away 
either without an alms, or else with the serpents which he desired, 
instead of the fish which he denied. The Christian's charter is 
wide enough, he hath no cause to desire its enlargement: 'And 
this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything 
according to his will, he heareth us,' 1 John v. 14. 


(2.) The petitioner must be a justified and regenerate person, or 
the prayer will never be prevalent. He must be a favourite at 
court, that presenteth his supplication with confidence of success. 
Others must pray, and may speed through Christ ; but where there 
is no faith, there will be much fear about the event. The precept 
is to all, but the promise is only to the believer : ' The righteous 
cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their 
troubles. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his 
ears are open unto their cry,' Ps. xxxiv. 15, 17. Strangers may 
howl, and we take little notice what they ail — it is a venture whether 
we relieve them or no ; but if our children cry, being in great dis- 
tress, we hasten to their help. Our relation to God may well 
strengthen our hope, that our desires shall be heard. He that can 
cry Abba, Father, may be confident of the success of his suit, and 
that God will deal with him as a son. 

Faith in Christ is essential to prayer, as I shewed in religious 
duties in general, and therefore omit it here ; now an unbeliever 
goeth to God without the blessed Saviour, and therefore may well 
come away without an answer. The Israelites, in their prayers, 
were still to mind the temple, either to pray in it or towards it ; 
which temple was a type of Christ, the alone altar upon which 
our prayers must be offered, if ever they be accepted, 2 Chron. 
vii. 38 ; Dan. vi. 10. Kings will not gratify or pardon traitors 
whilst they continue in their treasonable designs. A sinner, even 
while he is wooing God for mercy, is warring against God ; when 
his voice is the voice of Jacob, his hands are the hands of Esau, and 
therefore with what face can he expect favour ? ' I will,' saith Paul, 
1 that men lift up holy hands,' 1 Tim. ii. 8, meaning in prayer. 
Where the hands are unholy and wicked, the heart is worse, and 
God cannot abide a stinking breath. Some write of Diacletes, that 
it hath many excellent virtues in it, but if it be put into the mouth 
of a man without life it loseth all. Prayer, as I shewed before, 
hath many rare and incomparable qualities, but being in the mouth 
of one that is dead in sins and trespasses, it loseth them all. When 
a vicious man propounded in the Roman senate a most excellent 
law, they rejected the motion, because it was made by a bad mouth. 
When the face is comely, the person beautiful through Christ, then 
only the voice will be pleasant, Cant. ii. 

When Godfrey of Bouillon was demanded, in the Holy War, by an 
ambassador from the king of the Saracens, How he became so strong 
to fight, and to do such exploits ? He answered, Quia manus semper 
habui puras, Because I kept my hands always as clean as I could 


from the filth of sin. A pure hand in prayer is ever prevalent, through 
Christ, to conquer the strongest enemies ; but it is a principle in 
nature, that God heareth not a sinner, John ix. 31. The prayers of 
a natural man are like Jehoshaphat's ships, which were made to go 
to Tarshish for gold, hut were broken by the way ; they come short 
of that merchandise which is better than silver, and that gain which 
is more precious than choice gold, for which they pretended to launch 
forth : but the prayers of a regenerate person are like Solomon's 
navy, which were sent forth to Ophir — went through with their 
voyage, and brought from thence four hundred and twenty talents 
of gold ; unsearchable are the riches which the vessel of his prayer 
returneth fraught with, 1 Kings xxii. 48, and ix. 28. 

(3.) The properties of our prayers ; they must be humble, hearty, 
fervent, and constant. 

[1.] Our prayers must be humble. Prayer is one of our nearest 
approaches to God on this side heaven ; in it we speak to God 
mouth to mouth, and therefore must be poured out with much 
humility. Rebecca, though she rode along on the road, mounted 
upon a camel, yet when she drew near to Isaac, she lighted off her 
stately beast, putteth on her veil, and presenteth herself to him in a 
humble posture. Humility ought to be a Christian's constant 
clothing, — ' Be ye clothed with humility,' — but it never fits him 
better than when by prayer he doth solemnly draw near to God. 
We are then most careful to put on our best raiment, when we go 
to speak with great persons. Subjects present their petitions to 
their sovereigns upon their knees : ' come, let us worship and 
bow clown : let us kneel before the Lord our maker/ Ps. xcv. 6. 
Princes must have silken words given them, as the mother of Artax- 
erxes told one : our words to the great God must be submissive. 

The special end of prayer is to exalt God and debase man ; he 
therefore that is proud in that performance, doth wholly thwart 
God's end in its institution, and may be confident that God will 
thwart him in his petitions. When we go to God in this duty for 
grace and mercy, we do not go to him as those that go to market 
to buy relief, but as those that go to a rich man's door to beg an 
alms. And surely, of all persons, beggars, who live wholly upon 
another's charity, have least reason to be proud. The proud beggar 
never got anything at God's door. 

It is observable, how the children of God, though they were 
never so rich in grace, were poor in spirit, and humble in language 
and carriage, when they approached the Lord of glory ; every one 
of them, notwithstanding the greatness of their spiritual stock, sued 


in forma pauperis : ' Behold, now I have taken upon me to speak 
unto the Lord, who am but dust and ashes,' saith Abraham, Gen. 
xviii. 27 ; 'I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies which 
thou hast shewed to thy servant/ saith Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 10 ; ' I 
am a worm, and no man,' saith David ; ' So foolish was I, and 
ignorant, even as a beast before thee,' saith Asaph ; ' I am more 
brutish than any man ; I have not the understanding of a man,' 
saith Agar ; ' my God, I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my 
face to thee ; for our iniquities are increased over our heads, and our 
trespass is grown up unto the heavens,' saith Ezra ; ' I am a man 
of unclean lips,' saith Isaiah. They all have learned the same 
lesson, as scholars in the same form ; they all speak the same lan- 
guage, as children of the same father. 

It is reported of Aristippus the cynic, that he used to fall on the 
ground before Dionysius when he presented a petition to him. Oh, 
what posture is low enough when we go to the infinite and incom- 
prehensible God in prayer ! He humbleth himself to open his eyes 
upon us ; well may we be humble when we open our mouths and 
hearts to him, Job xiv. 3. 

Reader, if thou wouldst have thy prayers heard, let them be 
humble. God loves to walk in the low valleys : ' Lord, thou hast 
heard the desires of the humble ; thou wilt prepare their heart, and 
wilt bow thine ear,' Ps. x. 17. Though God behold the proud 
afar off, and disdains so much as to open his eyes, or give them a 
look, yet he will be sure to draw near to the humble, and vouchsafe 
to open his ears, and his very heart to them, Ps. cxxxviii. 6 ; Isa. 
lxvi. 72. He that can have his face shine, and take no notice, is a 
fit person to go up into the mountain and converse with God. 

[2.] Thy prayers must be hearty ; thy tongue and heart must 
keep time and tune: ' Give ear to my prayer, that goeth not out of 
feigned lips,' Ps. xvii. 1. If in prayer thou art as Ephraim, ' a 
silly dove without an heart,' and givest God only the calves of thy 
lips, they will be as unacceptable as Jeroboam's calves at Dan and 
Bethel, which provoked the Lord to anger. The Jews have this 
sentence written in their synagogues, where they meet to pray, A 


What a deformed, loathsome spectacle is a body without a soul ! 
truly so is thy prayer without thy heart. God respecteth the heart 
in prayer above anything; men mind the expressions most, but 
God mindeth the affections most. ' Let us draw nigh to God with 
a true heart ; ' 'let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God 
in the heavens,' Heb. x. 22; Lam. iii. 41. God looketh not so 


much to the elegancy of thy prayers, how neat they are, nor to the 
geometry of thy prayers, how long they are, but to the sincerity of 
thy prayers, how hearty they are. Socrates made more account of 
poor iEschines, for giving himself to him, than of Alcibiades, and 
other rich scholars, who gave him large presents. 1 God esteemeth 
infinitely more of a heart-sprung (though broken) prayer, than of 
dissembling petitions, clothed with and dressed up in the neatest 
and most gaudy expressions. 

The heart is the metal of the bell, the tongue is but the clapper : 
when the metal of the bell is right and good, (as silver,) such will 
the sound be; if the metal of the bell be cracked or lead, the 
sound will soon discover it to a judicious ear. God can see the 
diseases and spots of the heart upon the tongue. Oh it is dangerous 
to do, as some princes with their neighbours, who set on foot a 
treaty of peace for their own ends, but resolve beforehand that it 
shall never be brought to any period. As Jacob said to his mother, 
' If I dissemble, my father will find me out, and I shall meet with 
a curse instead of a blessing : ' so say I to thee, If thou dissemblest 
in prayer, thy God will find thee out, and thou wilt meet with a 
curse, a blow, instead of a blessing. There is no going to God, as 
Jeroboam's wife thought to go to the prophet, in a disguise. 

Under the law, the inward parts were only to be offered to God 
in sacrifice, the skin belonged to the priests : whence Origen in- 
ferreth,2 That truth in the inward parts is that which is most 
pleasing in a sacrifice. Indeed others compass God about with 
lies, and therefore highly provoke him. ' They did flatter him 
with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongue, for 
their heart was not right with him,' Ps. lxxviii. 36, 37 ; Hosea xi. 
12. It is sinful for thee to tell a lie to thy fellow-creature, but 
how abominable is it to tell a lie to the almighty Creator ! Thy 
prayer without thy heart will be a sacrilege, not a sacrifice. 

When the heart is rector chori, chief leader of the choir, then 
the voice is pleasant indeed in God's ear. ' The Lord is nigh to 
all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth,' Ps. cxlv. 
18. When the wife giveth the husband her heart, and defileth not 
the marriage bed, he will, if wise, bear with many infirmities in 
her. When the heart in prayer is devoted to God, he is pleased 
out of his grace and goodness to pardon and pass by many imper- 
fections in the duty ; but if that bed be prostituted to any other, 

1 Senec, lib. i. de benef. cap. 8. 

2 Notandum Mud est quod quae offeruntur in holocaustam interiora sunt; quod 
exterius est, Domino non oflertur, ut pellis.— Horn. 5. 


lie gives a divorce to the sacrifice, and putteth it away, for he is a 
iealous God. Jacob's small present could not but be acceptable to 
Joseph, because it was ' the best of the land/ The heart of man 
is but little, yet it is the best of man, and therefore taken kindly 
by God. The main inquiry at prayer is concerning the heart : as 
Jonadab was asked by Jehu, so is the Christian by God, ' Is thy 
heart right, as mine is ? Then come up into my chariot.' Then 
come to the throne of grace, and welcome. 

[3.] Thirdly, Thy prayers must be fervent. Prayer is a duty 
which consisteth not in words or expressions, but in the working of 
the affection ; therefore it is called a crying to God : ' Out of the 
depth I have cried to thee,' Ps. cxxx. A rending the heart, Joel 
ii. 13, as if the heart were by prayer torn in pieces ; and a pour- 
ing out the soul, as if the body had been left without life, the soul 
being departed, and ascended to heaven in holy petitions. The 
true beggar is ever earnest for spiritual alms ; he will not let God 
go without a blessing, Gen. xxxii. Paulus iEmilius being to fight 
with the Macedonians, would never give over sacrificing to his god 
Hercules, till he had some sign of victory. The Christian is more 
urgent with the true God than the heathen is with his god of clouts. 
When Daniel prayed, with what force were his words uttered ! 
with what fire was his sacrifice offered ! ' Lord, hear ; Lord, 
forgive ; Lord, defer not for the Lord's sake.' That wine is best 
which is fullest of these heavenly spirits. Winter fruits are sour 
and unpleasant to men, and so are cold petitions to God, Dan. ix. 
13. Eeader, when thou art praying for pardon, how shouldst thou 
even pour out thy soul ! Alas ! when thou considerest, if God do 
not pardon, I perish eternally; if sin be imputed, I am damned. 
How should thy heart cry out, ' Have mercy upon me, God, 
according to thy loving-kindness ; after the multitude of thy tender 
mercies blot out mine iniquities.' Again, 'Wash me from mine 
iniquities, and cleanse me from my sin.' And again, ' Hide thy 
face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.' Once more, 
' Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, God, thou God of my salva- 
tion/ Ps. Ii. 1, 2, 11, 14. When thou art begging grace and 
purity, with what earnestness shouldst thou pray ! believing how 
destructive sin is to thy precious soul, and how offensive to the 
jealous, just, and almighty God, and in what absolute necessity thou 
standest in of holiness, without which thou canst never see God. 
As when the clock strikes, the wheels within move notably, we may 
hear them run round ; so when thy tongue is pleading with God for 
remission of sins, and repentance towards God for the Son of God, 

Chap. XIII.] the christian man's calling. 127 

the Spirit of God, and thine everlasting salvation, how should thine 
heart move ! what work should there be among thine affections, to 
enforce those weighty petitions ! This fervency is necessary to 
prepare thy soul for the mercy thou desirest. What men get lazily 
they spend lavishly ; but that food which a devout woman longeth 
for, she prizeth much, and eateth with most delight. When one 
whispered Demosthenes in the ear that he was beaten, and desired 
him to plead his cause, the orator would not believe him, till at last 
the man cried out; Now, saith he, I feel your cause. 

It is the intension of the spirit, which giveth efficacy to our peti- 
tions ; it is not the length of the arm, but the strength of it, which 
draweth the bow, so as to make the arrow fly fast and far. Fer- 
vency to prayer is as wings to the bird, by which it mounteth up 
to heaven : ' The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous prevaileth 
much,' James v. 16. When prayers are drivelled like rheum out 
of a man's mouth, they fall down at his feet. The mother will let 
the child alone, if it only whimper and whine a little in the cradle, 
but when it crieth outright, then she hasteth to take it up : ' This 
poor man cried,' — was not dull and drowsy, there is his fervency — 
' and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles,' 
Ps. xxxiv. 9. Here is his prevalency. There is no getting to the 
Indian mines by the cold northern seas, though because it is a 
shorter cut, some have attempted that way, but they lost their 
labour. Other duties are a serving God, prayer is a seeking God ; 
now they that seek him early shall find him, Prov. viii. 17. A low 
voice doth not cause a loud echo, neither doth a lazy prayer procure 
a liberal answer. Sleepy requests cause but dreams, mere fancied 
returns. When there is a cushion of ease under the knees, and 
a pillow of idleness under the elbows, there is little work to be 

When Daniel had been fervent all day at prayer, an angel is sent 
to him at night with an answer. Importunity prevaileth with an 
unjust judge ; much more with a righteous and gracious God. 
Though God be almighty, yet a fervent prayer, through his grace, 
hath held his hands : ' Let me alone/ Exod. xxxii. Who holdeth 
thee, Lord ? saith Austin. Moses' earnest cry was the cord, which. 
I may speak with reverence, fastened God's hands. 

Prayer is a sword to wound both sin and Satan, but fervency is 
the edge of it, doing the execution : 2 Cor. xii., ' For this I besought 
the Lord thrice.' When a man strikes his enemies with his full 
strength, then the wounds are made. 

The lack of this fervency is the loss of many prayers. The lazy 


petition tires before it comes half-way to heaven : indeed it is eaten 
up, as the cold honey of wasps and flies, of wandering thoughts ; 
when fervent prayers, like honey boiling over the fire, is free from 
such ill guests. An idle prayer, like a lazy beggar, wandereth and 
gaddeth up and down, and, as a rolling stone, gathereth no moss. 
The working of the affections in prayer, like David's harp, allayeth 
those devils which would disturb the Christian in this duty. When 
a man is intent upon the God to whom he prayeth, and eager after 
the mercies for which he prayeth, though the world whisper him 
in the ear, he cannot hear ; though Satan jog him by the elbow, he 
will not heed him. 

But here a caution will be seasonable : The fire of thy fervency 
must be from heaven, not such strange fire as Nadab and Abihu 
offered to the Lord ; I mean, it must not be the voice of nature — 
an earnest cry for the enjoyment of creatures — but the voice of the 
Spirit, an importunate desire for conformity to, and communion 
with, the Lord Jesus Christ. We read of those that howled upon 
their beds for corn and wine and oil, Hosea vii. 17. Many, like 
children, roar, are much out of quiet, disturb others with the noise 
they make ; but it is for clouts for a baby. ' Who will shew us 
any good ? ' The voice of a saint must be, as of a wise son at full 
age, for the inheritance : ' Lord, lift thou up the light of thy coun- 
tenance upon me.' 

The petitioner herein must be very careful : he that rides apace 
had need to be sure that he is in the right way, or else, the freer his 
horse is, the more he wandereth to his loss. The greater the fire is, 
the more watchful we must be that it be kept within the chimney ; 
the more earnest our affections are, the more we must mind what 
our petitions be : the promises of God must be the foundation of 
our prayers. What he promiseth to give I may pray to receive : 
' Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused 
me to hope,' Ps. cxix. 49. But it is dangerous for the building to 
jut out (upon the king's highway) beyond the foundation ; this 
may cause the house to fall or be taken down. Because ' godliness 
hath the promise of this life,' I am bound to pray, ' Give me this 
day my daily bread/ Temporal good things must be part of the 
matter of my prayer ; but because God promiseth these things 
conditionally — so far only as he seeth fit for his honour and my 
comfort — therefore I must pray for them conditionally. The apish 
child that crieth and squeaketh for the knife, to be its own carver, 
and will not be satisfied with its parents feeding it, deserveth the 
rod ; our prayers, both for the matter and the manner, must run 

Chap. XIII. ] the christian man's calling. 129 

parallel with God's promises. Prayer is a putting God's promises 
into suit ; but he that sueth a bond must mind the condition in it, 
or the verdict will be to his cost and damage. That which boils 
gently over a small fire may be of use to us, which, if it should boil 
hastily, and run over, it may raise ashes enough to spoil itself. 
The way to lose our requests for temporals is to be as hot and hasty 
for them as if they were our all, even our eternals. 

That incomparable pattern of prayers, the Lord's prayer — which 
is like a standard measure in a corporation town, for present use, 
and an example for others — hath five petitions for spirituals, and 
but one for temporals. 

God hath promised spiritual things absolutely, therefore thou 
mayest desire them absolutely : for pardon, and the image of God, 
and the blood of Christ, and fulness of joy in the other world, thou 
mayest be as earnest (so 1 humble and reverent) as thou wilt. And 
oh, what a mercy is it that God, though, like a wise father, he deny 
us leave to cry for the candle which would burn, and the thorns 
which would prick our fingers, yet he giveth us liberty, nay, com- 
mandeth us, to besiege and storm heaven, to follow him up and 
down, to cry clay and night, to give him no rest, to be instant, 
urgent, and fervent with him, that our persons may be justified, 
our natures sanctified, and our souls and bodies glorified eternally ! 

[4.] Fourthly, Thy prayers must be constant: thy duty is to 
give thyself to prayer, as a servant devoted to, and at the command 
of, his noble master. This fire, like that on the altar, must never 
go out day nor night : ' Night and day praying exceedingly,' 1 Thes. 
iii. 10. Paul speaks as if his practice had been nothing but prayer; 
he did that so much that he seemed to do nothing else. Prayer is 
a saint's breath, which he constantly draweth : Eph. vi. 18, ' Praying 
always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching 
thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.' 
Those that work in iron mills keep a continual fire ; though they 
suffer it sometimes to slack or abate, yet never to go out. A Chris- 
tian's prayer may have an intermission, but never a cessation. 

Our blessed Saviour, besides his set times for ordinary, did pray 
whole nights. David was a good husband, up early at it : ' Mine 
eyes prevent the dawning of the morning,' Ps. cxix. 147. At night 
he was late at this duty : ' At midnight will I rise to give thanks 
to thee,' Ps. cxix. 62. This surely was his meaning when he said 
he should dwell in the house of the Lord for ever ; he would be 
ever in the house of prayer. 

1 That is, ' provided yon are.' — En. 
VOL. T. I 

130 the christian man's calling. [Chap. XIII. 

Gregory writes of his aunt Trncilla, that her elbows were as hard 
as a horn, by often leaning upon a desk when she prayed. 

Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary, used to say that prayer 
was his meat and drink. 

There is no duty enjoined a Christian for his constant trade so 
much as prayer : ' Pray always,' ' pray continually,' ' pray without 
ceasing,' ' pray with perseverance/ ' pray evermore.' But why is 
all this ? would God have his people do nothing else but pray ? 
must they cast by their callings, cast off all care of their children, 
and shut themselves up into some cell or cloister, and there be 
always upon their knees at prayer, as the Euchites fancied ? No ; 
I shall therefore give a brief description of this praying without 

[1.] Thy soul must be ever in a praying frame. The soldier hath 
his weapons ready, though not always in fight with his enemy. Thy 
heart must be ever in tune, and ready upon the least touch to make 
heavenly music. The church's lips are compared to a honeycomb, 
Cant. iv. 11. The honeycomb doth not always drop, but it is always 
ready to drop. The believer's spirit is like fire upon the hearth ; 
though it do not blaze, yet it is ready upon any opportunity to be 
blown up into a flame. 

[2.] No considerable business must be undertaken without prayer. 
Thou art God's servant, and thy duty is to ask his leave in all thou 
dost : Eph. iv. 6, ' In all things let your requests be made known 
to God.' When thou risest up or liest down, when thou goest out 
or com est in, prayer must still be with thee. Prayer is the way to 
prevent evil. The world's poison may be expelled with this anti- 
dote, John xvii. 11. He that converseth with God by prayer dwelleth 
in heaven, and to such a one the earth is but a small point. Prayer 
is both a charm to enchant, and a scourge to torment Satan. It 
engageth Christ in the combat with the devil, and so assureth the 
soul of conquest. When the saint is fighting, and like to be foiled, 
either by the world, the flesh, or the wicked one, prayer is the 
letter which he sendeth post to heaven for fresh supplies of the 
Spirit, whereby he becometh ' more than a conqueror.' Prayer is 
the way to procure good : he that will not speak must not expect to 
speed. It sanctifieth our food, raiment, sleep, callings, and all our 
enjoyments to us. The Christian, like the chemist, extracteth all 
good things out of this one body of prayer. 

[3.] He that prayeth constantly hath set times every day for 
prayer. The morning and evening sacrifice were called the ' con- 
tinual sacrifice,' Num. xxviii. 4. The Christian hath his set meals 

Chap. XIII.] the christian man's calling. 131 

for his soul every day as well as for his body. With the marigold, 
he opens himself in the morning for the sweet dews of heaven's grace 
and blessing, and he doth at night, (though his occasions hinder him 
in the day,) like a lover, find some opportunity to converse with his 

He is most free and fresh in the morning ; the top of the milk is 
the cream, and he doth not think his best too good for God. His 
evening fare is sometime extraordinary, like the Jewish feasts, which 
were at supper. The spiced cup is best at the bottom. Prayer is 
the key of the morning, to open the door of mercy ; and prayer is 
the bolt at night, to shut him up in safety. The Jews prayed in 
the temple the third, sixth, and ninth hour of the day ; our privi- 
leges under the gospel are enlarged, and I know no reason why our 
prayers should be lessened. 

He that prayeth continually cloth upon all occasions in the day- 
time, whatever he be about, put up his supplication to God. He 
hath his ejaculations, his holy apostrophes, wherein he doth turn 
his speech, at least internal and inarticulate, from man to God. 
This liberty is a great privilege, and this practice turns to wonderful 
profit. When Jacob was blessing his sons, he takes breath with, 
' I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord,' Gen. xlix. 14. Nehemiah, 
when at the king's elbow, would not open his mouth to the king 
till he had opened his heart to God, Neh. ii. 6. 

When Noah was cursing Ham, he had a short ejaculation for a 
blessing on Japheth, ' God shall persuade Japheth to dwell in the 
tents of Sheni : ' which prayer hath been answered, and will be to 
the end of the world. We Gentiles fare the better for that prayer. 
Christ upon the cross darted up a short ejaculatory prayer for his 
murderers, ' Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,' 
and as an answer to it, we find some thousands of them presently 

Truly, reader, I would commend these ejaculations as an excel- 
lent receipt for all companies, and in all conditions. If thou art a 
stranger to it, thou dost not know the virtue of it. It is, as some 
write of the herb Panaces, a universal remedy for all diseases, a 
special, though cheap preservative both against the evil of sin and 
suffering. This is the best way to avoid dangers, to overcome 
difficulties, and to prosper us in our lawful designs, Gen. xxiv. 12. 

When thou receivest a sudden mercy, nearest unexpected good 
news, thou mayest presently rear an altar, and offer up a sacrifice 
of praise to God. If thou art protected through grace from any 
transgression, in which thou wast falling, or afflictions of which 


thou wast afraid, thou mayest suddenly despatch a messenger to 
heaven with thanks, who will be more welcome there than thou art 
aware of. So did a good servant, Gen. xxiv. 26 ; and a godly 
soldier and governor, Judges vii. 15. 'I will bless the Lord at all 
times,' saith David ; ' his praise shall be continually in my mouth.' 
When thou art in a sudden plunge, thou mayest dart up a thought 
to God for counsel or protection ; these short breathings would pre- 
pare thee for a long race. 

There are, indeed, some seasons for prayer, which must by no 
means be slighted ; when the Spirit of God stirreth in thee, and 
cometh for thee, then make haste to God. Courtiers watch for 
convenient seasons to present their petitions to their kings, and will 
be sure to lay hold of such seasons. If the king himself offer any 
discourse relating to their requests, then they will close and strike 
in : when the Spirit of God in a morning or evening, or in the day 
time, commandeth thee to go and cry to God for pardon and life, (I 
speak of regular motions ,( or no other come from the Spirit,) then 
is a fit time to present thy requests ; he sendeth for thee for that 
end ; take heed of delaying or denying. ' Thou saidst, Seek ye my 
face ; my heart said, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.' Suitors have their 
rnollissima tempora fandi, their special times of wooing. Esther 
waited once and again for a fit time to beg her life, and the lives 
of her people, of the king ; and when Ahasuerus put her upon it, 
gave her an opportunity, she then did it, and prevailed. 

Whatsoever actions thou enterest upon, whether civil, natural, or 
religious, let prayer be to thee, as the Baptist to Christ, the mes- 
senger to prepare the way before thee. Bonaventure, that seraphical 
doctor, being asked by Aquinas, How he got such divine know- 
ledge ? pointing to a crucifix in his study, said, Hie est liber mens, 
by praying to that crucifix. A Christian by praying to God, in the 
name of a crucified Christ, may get saving knowledge. Be confi- 
dent of this, those mercies will be most savoury which come flying 
to thee upon the wings of prayer. Those favours are suspicious 
which steal in at a window, and come not in at the door of 
prayer. How sweet was that water to Samson, which streamed 
to him in the channel of prayer, Judges xv. 19, he called the 
name of it En-hakkore, ' the well of him that prayed.' Jacob 
saw God smiling in Esau's smooth countenance, because prayer 
was the sun which scattered and cleared that sky. When thou 
canst say of the mercy which God giveth thee, as Hannah of 
Samuel, ' For this child I prayed,' saith she ; he is the travail of 
my soul, as well as of my body ; he is the fruit of my heart, as 

Chap. XIV.] the christian man's calling. 133 

well as of my womb : when thou must say, For this blessing I 
prayed ; many a time did I weep and make supplication, and lo I 
have prevailed. Such a mercy will be a double mercy ; a Samuel 
indeed, ' asked of God,' and dedicated to God. 

As Jesus Christ was more welcome to Mary his mother, when she 
and his father had sought him sorrowing; so those blessings, especially 
spiritual, will be received with most joy, which were sought with most 
sorrow : what thou winnest with prayer, thou wilt rear with praise. 

But it may be, reader, thou art one that art so far from constant 
praying, that the garment of the atheist will fit thy back very well : 
' They call not upon God,' Ps. xiv. 4 ; if so, bethink thyself, for thou 
livest like a beast, as Nebuchadnezzar did, though thou hast the 
shape of a man : ' They are become brutish, and have not sought 
the Lord,' Jer. x. 21. Brutes are like mutes : oh, it is a dreadful 
condition to be possessed with a dumb devil ! When men once 
grow speechless, it is a sign death is hard by. If that bloody 
butcher can but muzzle thy mouth, and with cords hinder thy 
crying, expect the stroke of the axe ; or possibly that livery which 
Eliphaz made for Job, though it was much below him, yet will 
become thee, ' Thou restrainest prayer before God,' Job xv. 4. The 
pulse of thy soul falters ; thou layest by thy prayers, as some do 
their best clothes, till they go to church again, or for some holiday. 
Oh, this is a sad sign, that prayer, which should be thy element, is thy 
torment ! Friends that love one another, long to converse together, 
and take all opportunities of sending to, and hearing from, each 
other ; hadst thou any love to the blessed God, it would be so with 
thee. But as painfulness in speaking often argueth unsound in- 
wards, so thy inconstancy in praying giveth thee cause of suspecting 
thy spiritual unsoundness and insincerity. 


The subsequent duties after prayer. 

3. Thirdly, I shall speak to the consequents, or those duties which 
must follow after prayer; and they are principally two, watching 
and working. 

(1.) Watching for an answer. Pious prayers are precious com- 
modities ; and who, unless a madman or a fool, will throw away 
what is of value and worth ? When thou hast shot thine arrow, 
observe where it lights, and how near it flew to the mark. Wise 
men, when they have delivered their petitions to their prince, watch 


and wait sometimes a year together, all the while longing and 
looking for an answer. Thy requests to God are of infinite con- 
cernment — thy heaven, thy eternal happiness is involved in them ; 
with what holy impatience then shouldst thou desire an answer ! 
' In the morning I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up,' 
Ps. v. 3. The words discover David's posture in prayer, and his 
practice after prayer: his posture in prayer, 'I will direct my prayer 
unto thee.' The word is an allusion to an archer, or to a general, 
as some observe on it. 1 

[1.] To an archer ; and then the meaning is, I will be up be- 
times, and take as good aim as I can possibly at the mark, and so 
draw my bow, and direct my arrow, that I may hit it. 

[2.] To a general ; and then it importeth thus much : I will rise 
early, and set my requests to God, as soldiers in battalia, in rank and 
file, in good array. I will so marshal them, that they be not routed 
by being out of order. I will see that they stand in their places 
and keep their ground ; and what then ? His practice after prayer, 
' and will look up.' I will observe what became of the arrow I shot. 
Or, the word being an allusion to a watchman, as the former word 
to a commander-in-chief of an army, speaketh thus : When I have 
marshalled my prayers in good array, and sent them forth to fight 
against my spiritual enemies, and to wrestle with God himself for 
his grace and love, I will get up to my watch-tower to see what 
execution they do upon my adversaries ; what power they have with 
q 0{ \ — whether they get or lose ground — whether they prevail and 
win the day. It was the custom in those days, when forces were 
sent forth to fight, for the general to command one to watch in 
some high place, if he could spy any coming from the armies with 
news ; so when David's soldiers were engaged with Absalom's, the 
watchmen went up to the roof over the gate, and spied Ahimaaz and 
Cushi coming with tidings. 'Thus holy David stood, as it were, sen- 
tinel, and watched as a spy, longing every moment to hear and see 
the event, issue, and success of his prayers. 

Men that work for a dead horse, as we say, when their business 
is done, look no further, because they had their pay beforehand ; but 
those whose reward is behind, labour in expectation of it, and, after 
they have wrought, look for it. An unbeliever's hopes are in this 
present world, and therefore, if he procure but some earthly profit, 
it is no wonder if he look no more after his prayers ; he had his pay 
beforehand. But a believer, whose reward — not of debt, but of 
( , Tace — is ever behind and to come while he is upon earth, when he 

1 Disponam tibi. — Calvin. 

Chap. XIV.] the christian man's calling. 135 

hath prayed, in obedience to God's precept, cannot but expect the 
performance of God's promise. 

He that ventureth nothing in a ship save a small parcel of pins, 
or a few quires of paper, or something which is little better than no- 
thing, takes little thought what becomes of the vessel ; if it sink or 
swim, it is all one to him, he loseth not a moment's sleep for it. 
But the merchant who ventureth all he is worth in a vessel, and 
sendeth it out very richly laden, though it be a long journey, yet he 
is impatient to hear of it ; many an anxious thought hath he about it. 
Many a time he putteth the supposition to himself, What if this 
ship should miscarry ? what will become of me, my wife, and chil- 
dren ? He can hardly eat or drink with comfort, or sleep with 
quietness, till he hears it is safe. A wicked man that is worth no- 
thing ventureth nothing in his prayers, and therefore, whether they 
miscarry or no, it matters not much with him. When he prayed 
for pardon and grace he counted them little worth; he prized his 
stock and his riches at a far higher rate, and so must needs be very 
indifferent whether the vessel wherein things of such small worth, 
in his esteem, were hazarded, come home safe or no. But a godly 
man hazardeth all he is worth for this and the other world in his 
prayers. He knoweth that all his happiness is involved in the 
pardon of his sins, in the righteousness of his Saviour, in the love 
of his God, and the renovation of his nature, all which he be°-o-eth 
with strong cries and groans. He esteemeth these things as the 
very life of his life, and the very soul of his soul ; and oh, thinks he, 
how richly laden is this vessel which I have sent forth ! My pre- 
cious soul, my dearest Jesus, my interest in the covenant of grace, 
my eternal fruition of the ever-blessed God, are all aboard her. If 
she should miscarry, good Lord, what would become of me ? 1 am 
lost, I am damned, I am undone eternally. Was ever ship better 
fraught ? Her burden is of inestimable value. My joy, my peace, 
my love, my delight, my hope, my heaven, my all, are in her. Oh, 
what should I do if the arch-pirate Satan should seize her ? or if 
she should split upon the rock of my presumption ? or sink in the 
quicksands of my infidelity ? Alas, alas ! whither should I go ? 
where should I appear ? Such a soul never failed of a rich return 
of his venture. 

Eeader, when thou hast prayed, wait and expect an answer. 
Though thy prayers were mingled with many imperfections, if they 
were the travail of thy soul — upright, I mean — do not give them 
over for lost. 

AVhen Moses' mother could keep him no longer, she made an 


ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with pitch, and put him in, and hid 
it in the flags by the river's brink ; and his sister stood afar off, to 
see what would become of him. And Pharaoh's daughter came to 
wash herself, spied the ark, sent and fetched it ; the babe wept, and 
she had compassion on it ; sent for the mother, gave it her to nurse, 
paid for its nursing, and the child became the great deliverer of 
Israel. Truly so when the fruit of thy heart, thy tears, and sighs, 
and groans, and prayers, are ready, in the eye of sense, to be given 
over for dead, they lie floating upon the water ; let thy faith and 
hope be near at hand, to see what will become of them. The king's 
son may take pity on the weeping babe, pay the charge of its nurs- 
ing up, bringing it into favour at the heavenly court, and make it 
serviceable for the conducting thy soul through the wilderness of 
this world towards the true and celestial Canaan. 

Though the messenger thou sendest to heaven tarry long, yet 
wait and expect his return. Those that send to the Indies for the 
golden wedges wait many months, though they long every moment 
for their arrival. 

If, after thy expectation, thou findest little fruit of thy petitions, 
do not therefore lay aside that calling : ' Continue in prayer, and 
watch in the same,' Col. iv. 2. Anglers, though they have fished 
many hours and caught nothing, do not therefore break their cane 
and line, but draw out their hook, and look upon their bait, which, 
it may be, was fallen off, or not well hung on, and mend it, and then 
throw it in again. So when thou hast been earnest in prayer, and 
yet received no answer, reflect upon thy prayers ; consider whether 
something were not amiss, either in thy preparation for the duty, 
or in the matter or manner of thy petitions. It is possible thou 
mightest desire stones instead of bread, or fuel for thy lusts, or didst 
forget to deliver thy petitions to the only master of requests, the 
Lord Jesus, that he might present it to the Father. If any of these 
were the fault, no wonder if they failed. Whatever it be, be diligent 
to find it out ; amend it, and fall to thy work again w T ith confidence, 
that thou shalt not work at the labour in vain. The archer, if he 
shoot once, and again, and miss the mark, considereth what the 
reason was, whether he did not shoot too high, or too low, or too 
much on the right hand, or too much on the left hand, takes the 
same arrow again, only reformeth his former error, and winneth the 

(2.) Secondly, Working is necessary after prayer, as well as 
watching. Begging and digging must go together. Thy duty 
is to pray, as knowing assuredly that thou canst do nothing of 

Chap. XIV.J the christian man's calling. 137 

thyself, and yet to work as if thou wert to do all by thine own 
power. He that doth not endeavour, in a lawful use of those 
means which God affordeth him, to attain the mercies he necdeth 
and asketh, doth tempt, not trust God, and may expect a rod 
sooner than relief. A good use may be made of that story : A 
carter, having overthrown his cart, sat in the way crying, Help, 
Hercules, help ! (Hercules was counted by the heathen a god for his 
strength,) Hercules, help ! At length one appeared to him in 
Hercules' shape, with a good cudgel in his hand, and beat him 
handsomely, saying, Ah, thou silly, lazy fellow, dost thou call to me 
for help, and sit still thyself? Arise, and set to thy shoulder. Do 
thy part, and I will do the rest. 

If thou prayest for thy daily bread, be thou diligent in thy call- 
ing, or else expect a crop out of the ocean. If thou prayest against 
some particular sins, avoid the occasions of those sins. If it be 
against drunkenness, avoid evil company. If it be against pride, 
avoid and discourage such as will flatter thee, for otherwise thou 
dost as he that runneth into the fire, and prayeth to God that it 
may not burn him. Such a man mocketh God, but himself most. 
If thou prayest for holiness and grace, hear, read, meditate, watch, 
use the means, and expect a good issue from God. 

Observe David, his prayer was, ' Set a watch, Lord, before 
my mouth ; keep the door of my lips,' Ps. cxli. 3. But now, be- 
cause he hath committed the main charge of this unruly prisoner, 
his tongue, to God, desiring him to lock the double doors of his 
lips and teeth fast upon it, and to have a main guard always 
watching before the doors, lest it should break through and attempt 
an escape, doth he therefore sleep himself, thinking the prisoner 
was safe enough ? No, he himself would be upon the guard. ' I 
said, I will take heed to my ways, that 1 sin not with my tongue ; 
I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me,' 
Ps. xxxix. 1, 2. David, as he desired God to put a good bit into 
the mouth of this wanton beast, so he would himself keep a strict 
hand, and rein him in. 

A good wish about prayer, wherein all the forementioned parti- 
culars are epitomised. 

Prayer is one of my nearest and solemnest approaches to the 
most high God, and one of my choicest privileges on this side the 
place of praise, wherein I may go to my God at all times and 


acquaint him what I ail — where it is well, where it is ill, with my 
poor soul. I wish in general that I may never suffer this key to 
God's own treasury to rust for want of use, nor to be ineffectual to 
the opening of the divine bounty by my unskilfulness in turning it, 
that neither by my unfitness for the duty, miscarriage at the duty, 
nor misbehaviour after the duty, I may demean myself unworthy 
of so great a favour, so high an honour, and so good a Master. In 
particular, I wish that I may (at least morning and evening) before 
I enter upon this ordinance, whether in my closet or family, make 
a privy search for those Barabbases which have moved sedition in 
my soul, and murdered my dearest Saviour, and that I may have 
such a sight of them all, in their horrid nature and bloody colour, 
that I may arraign them at the tribunal of God, with confusion of 
face and contrition of heart, and may with all possible ardency 
plead for their execution. I wish that my necessities may ever be 
in my memory ; that, as the sick child, I may point readily to the 
place of my pain, whenever I go to make my moan to my heavenly 
Father ; and that, affected with the weight and importance of 
them, I praying feelingly, may pray the more fervently. 

I wish that the many and weighty mercies which I, unworthy 
wretch, enjoy, may be written so firmly in my mind, and presented 
to me before prayer, in the various and lively colours of their free- 
ness, fulness, and seasonableness ; that I may never steal the custom 
of thanks from my God, which is all he desires, for those rich and 
fall vessels which he sendeth me in every day; but may pay him 
this impost of praise and glory with all uprightness and alacrity. 

I wish that my graces may never be, like Jonah, asleep, when I 
am to call upon my God ; but as the heavenly host, they may 
be moving in their several places, and fighting in their courses 
against my spiritual enemies. Oh that, like holy Bradford, I might 
never leave confession without sorrow for sin ; petition, without 
some sense of the worth of mercies ; nor thanksgiving, without 
some solace and joy in God, the author and fountain of all my 
happiness. I wish that I may draw nigh to God with a pure con- 
science ; and before I go to desire the lovely portion of his friends, 
give a bill of divorce to all my lusts, and, at least, banish from the 
bed of my heart those enemies of his which would not have him to 
reign over me. I wish that I may never desire mercy at his hands 
with the least degree of malice in my heart, but may love, as 
saints, because they are Christ's seed, so sinners, and them that 
hate me, for Christ's sake ; and, as a special medicine against that 
poison, whatsoever friend I should forget in my prayers, I wish I 

Chap. XIV.] the christian man's calling. 130 

may resolve beforehand to remember in particular my enemies, 
to beg of God that he would pardon, sanctity, and save them. 
I wish that my affections may not, as Haul's person, be hid among 
the stuff of worldly affairs, when I should be busy about the con- 
cernment of an eternal crown ; but that I may leave those servants 
always at the door behind, while I go in to speak to the King of 
nations, and may, all the time of the duty, serve and seek the Lord 
my God without distraction. I wish that I may be specially care- 
ful to look up to the Master of requests, the Lord Jesus Christ : 
first, for the justification of my person, and then for the accepta- 
tion of my prayer ; and that I may be so enabled, with the hand of 
faith, to put on the glorious robes of his perfect righteousness, that 
neither the nakedness of my person nor performance may appear 
to my shame. I wish that all the flowers which I present to my 
God, in the posy of prayer, may be gathered out of his own garden, 
the Scriptures ; I mean, that I may never exceed those bounds 
which he hath set me for the matter of my prayer, but may use 
much caution that all those spices, which I make my incense of, 
may be of his own prescription : and oh that, to this end, his Holy 
Spirit, who knoweth his mind fully, might draw up all my petitions 
for me ! I wish that my prayers may be ever presented upon the 
bended knees of my soul, and also, in regard of my body, in the 
lowest and most submissive posture ; ah, how humble should dust 
and ashes be, when he takes upon him to speak to the most high 
God ! I wish above all that I may never mock the most jealous 
God in this duty, by speaking parrot-like what I neither mind nor 
mean ; but whatsoever dish be wanting on the table to which I 
invite my God, my heart, which I know he loveth above all, may be 
there, and that my prayer may be the travail of my soul, and not 
the labour of my lips. I wish that I may so feel my spiritual 
wants, that my bowels may so pinch me, that, as the hungry and 
almost starved beggar, I may cry aloud for the bread of life ; yet 
not so much in regard of the extension of my voice, as the intension 
of my spirit. When I am petitioning for pardon and grace, I wish 
I might beg as earnestly, and beseech God as importunately, as if it 
were in the power of my prayer to change his mind and procure 
the blessing ; but when I am asking temporals, I would not, as the 
dry earth, cry and cleave and gape for wine and corn and oil, but 
willingly be at my Father's allowance, and desire no more than what 
his infinite wisdom seeth needful to bear my charges, till I come to 
my blessed and everlasting home. I wish that I might observe 
that standing law, according to which heaven's bounty is dispensed, 


in all things to make my requests known to God, and never ex- 
pect, though the mercies of God be never so ripe, that any of them 
should fall down upon me in mercy, unless I shake the tree by 
prayer. I wish that every mercy may come flying to me upon the 
wings of prayer, and may fly back to God upon the wings of praise ; 
that prayer may be the mother to breed and bring forth all my 
blessings, that not one child of them but may be named Samuel, 
asked of God ; that when I first open my eyes in the morning, I 
may then, in some ejaculatory prayer, open my heart to my God, 
that at night prayer may make my bed soft, and lay my pillow easy, 
that in the day-time prayer may perfume my clothes, sweeten my 
food, oil the wheels of my particular vocation, keep me company 
upon all occasions, and gild over all my natural, civil, aud religious 
actions. I wish that, after I have poured out my prayer in the 
name of Christ, according to the will of God, having sowed my 
seed, I may expect a crop, looking earnestly for the springing of it 
up, and believing assuredly that I shall reap in time if I faint not ; 
yea, that though the promise may stick long in the birth, yet it 
will at last bring forth, when God will give me large interest for 
my forbearance. Finally, I wish that, though before sorrowful, 
having opened my mind to God about any suffering, my counte- 
nance, like Hannah's, may be no more sad ; that I may never busy 
myself about God's work, the success and event of things, nor like 
an idle, lazy beggar, be careless about my own work, but may in 
my place, and to my power, be industrious in the use of all those 
lawful means which his providence affords me for the enjoyment 
of my desires, that as I did lift up my heart in praying, so I 
may lift up my hands in working to God, who dwelleth in the 


How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in hearing and 
reading the word, and of 'preparation for hearing. 

The blessed God, as he appointeth the children of men their ends — 
namely, to serve him here, and to enjoy him hereafter — so he doth 
also afford them directions about the way how they may attain and 
accomplish those ends. He is our master, and cutteth out that 
work for us, which he expecteth we should make up. He bestoweth 
on all the starlight of nature, which, though it be but small and 

Chap. XV.] the christian man's calling. 141 

dull, by reason of our first fall, yet it ruleth and commandeth the 
night of the pagan world, and is sufficient to leave them inexcusable 
for not working and walking by it. When heathen shall be thrown 
into the jail of hell, and bound with chains of everlasting dark- 
ness, their own consciences will hinder them from the least thought 
of commencing a suit against God for false imprisonment, because 
they are judged not by the law moral, written in tables of stone, 
but by the law natural, written in the tables of their hearts. 

But out of his infinite favour he is pleased to give some — in those 
places where he intendeth to gather a people to himself, for his 
eternal praise — beside the twinkling starlight of nature, the clear 
and perfect sunlight of Scripture, to ' guide their feet in the ways 
of peace.' Which word is one of the most signal mercies that ever 
he bestowed upon the sons of men, the whole world without it being 
but a barren and rude wilderness. 

The word of God is a spring of living water, a deep mine of 
costly treasure, a table furnished with all sorts of food, a garden 
wherein is variety of pleasant fruits, the church's charter, contain- 
ing all her privileges and her deeds, manifesting her title to the 
purchased possession. It hath pious precepts for the Christian's 
reformation, and precious promises for his consolation. If the saint 
be afflicted, it can hold his head above water, and keep him from 
sinking when the billows go over his soul ; there are cordials in it 
rich enough to revive the most fainting spirit. If the saint be 
assaulted, the word is armour of proof, whereby he may defend him- 
self manfully, and wound his foes mortally. If the soul be unholy, 
this word can sanctify it ; ' Ye are clean through the word which I 
have spoken to you,' John xv. 3. This water can wash out all the 
spots and stains. If the soul be an heir of hell, this word can save 
it : ' From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, wdiich are 
able to make thee wise to salvation,' 2 Tim. iii. 15 ; other writing's 
may make a man wise to admiration, but this only can make him 
wise to salvation. 

This word, which is of such unspeakable worth, God hath de- 
posited as a special treasure into the hands of the children of men, 
that they might ' obey his will, and know the just one.' And, 
reader, it is thy duty to search and study this book. When kings 
send out their proclamations, either concerning acts of grace, or 
some law which their subjects ought to obey, they expect that all 
should take notice of them, and give them the reading and hearing. 
What an affront dost thou offer to the King of the whole world, if 
thou turnest thy back upon his word ! I must tell thee it is no less 


than crimen loesce majestatis ; ' He that heareth you, heareth me ; 
and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth 
me, despiseth him that sent me,' Luke x. 16. Thou mayest think, 
possibly, that by neglecting to hear, thou dost only contemn the 
preacher ; but believe me, it is a contempt of thy Maker — ministers 
are God's ambassadors. Now to deny an ambassador audience, is 
one of the greatest disrespects which can possibly be offered him, 
nay, it is an affront to his prince, on whose errand he cometh, and 
whose person he representeth ; and what is the conclusion usually 
of such bad premises, but a bloody war ? Consider what thou dost, 
when thou ' refusest him that speaketh from heaven ;' for if thou 
shuttest the windows of thine eyes from reading, and the door of 
thine ears from hearing, God may clap such a padlock of a judiciary 
curse upon them both, that thou shalt never open thine eyes nor 
ears, till thou comest, as the rich glutton, to see Abraham afar off, 
and Lazarus in his bosom, and to hear and bear thy part in those 
dreadful screechings and howlings which are in hell. 

It is a mercy that the tree of knowledge, the word of God, is not 
forbidden, but commanded fruit ; nay, that it groweth in the very 
path to the tree of life. Oh, why shouldst thou then, like the 
pharisees, ' reject the counsel of God against thy own soul' ? If 
thou art a child of Adam, I am sure thou hast thy death's wound ; 
now by neglecting the word, thou, like a frantic patient, throwest 
away that plaster which only can cure thee. for hearing the word, I shall request 
thee from God to mind these ensuing particulars : 

(1.) Empty thine heart of evil frames and prejudice. Evil 
frames. The dish must not be sluttish into which we put these 
spiritual dainties. If the stomach be clogged with filth and phlegm, 
it cannot digest and concoct our food. The light of the sun, as 
pleasant and delightful as it is to sound, is yet offensive and painful 
to sore eyes. This part of preparation is enjoined us by the Spirit 
of God : ' Wherefore lay apart all filthiness, and all superfluity of 
naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which 
is able to save your souls,' James i. 21. If the body be feverish, 
the sweetest syrup will taste bitter. If any ill humour or lust be 
predominant in thee, like the full and foul stomach, thou wilt loathe 
even the honeycomb. The table-book of thine heart must be wiped 
clean before any new thing (as the law of God) can be written in 
it. Briers and thorns must be stubbed up before the ground be 
capable of the grain. 

As evil humours, because of the doctrine taught, so prejudice 

VOL. T. K 


against the person teaching must be removed. Prejudice against 
the preacher is the greatest prejudice to the hearer. A condemned 
person will esteem a beggar when he brings a pardon. ' How 
beautiful are' — not the lips only and hands, but the meanest parts — 
' the feet of them that bring the glad tidings of peace/ I confess 
it is a mercy to be related to a pastor who hath both parts and piety, 
gifts and grace ; and if thou art to choose a dwelling, I would wish 
thee to bear with many outward inconveniences, to sit down under 
such a ministry. But suppose thy teacher, at least in thy thoughts, 
is a man of mean parts, wilt thou thence conclude his pains will 
yield thee little profit ? Truly, shouldst thou gratify Satan so far, 
it would be the speediest way to find a truth in what thou dost 
fancy. Friend, friend ! doth the efficacy of the ordinance depend on 
the parts of man, or on the power of God ? May not a costly 
treasure be brought to thee in an earthen vessel ? Consider, thou 
mayest light thy candle as well, it may be better, with a brimstone 
match, as at a great fire. Christ taught his apostles by a little child, 
Mat. xviii. 2. A small damsel was instrumental for Naaman's re- 
covery both of his spiritual and corporal leprosy. And who art 
thou, that none must instruct thee, but such a one as, like Saul, is 
higher than others by head and shoulders in gifts and abilities ? 
I wish it be not from the pride of thy spirit that none is worthy 
enough to teach thee thy grammar lesson, but some head of the 
university. A picking stomach, I am sure, argueth a diseased body, 
and then a squeamish heart and itching ear cannot argue a sound 
soul. The industrious bee sucks honey from the thyme, a harsh 
and dry herb. The meat is as good in a pewter as in a silver 

It may be thou goest to table only for the sauce, to church for 
the style and elegancy of the language ; if so, I dare be bold to tell 
thee, that ' thine heart is not right in the sight of God.' Dost thou 
not know that it is the naked sword which doth the execution, that 
a crucified Christ is the great conqueror, not a pompous, gaudy 
Messiah, which the Jews dreamed of? Paul is commanded to preach, 
' not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made 
of none effect,' 1 Cor. i. 17, so also ver. 27, 28. 

Truly, if thou lustest after the quails of some new dish, it is a 
sign that thou loathest manna, the bread of heaven ; and what a 
condition is thy poor soul in then ! They that have the green- 
sickness care not for solid food, but hanker after trash. They have 
souls sadly sick that neglect the good word of God, and long after 
the fancies and wit of men. 

Chap. XV.] the christian man's calling. 147 

God doth, ' by the foolishness of preaching, save them that be- 
lieve,' that he alone might have the glory of their salvation ; ' that 
the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,' 2 Cor. iv. 7. 
When men nibble at the bait of human eloquence, and are caught, 
the skill of the angler is applauded ; but when men bite at the naked 
hook, the simplicity of the gospel, all will grant this to be a miracle, 
and say, ' This is the finger of God.' 

Dost thou not see, that as Daniel and his companions thrived 
better and looked fairer with feeding upon pulse, than the other 
captives who fed on the king's dainty provision, so those Christians 
in every parish, look abroad where you will, thrive more in holi- 
ness, and are fairer in God's eye, who feed on plain, naked Scrip- 
ture, than those whom no dishes will please but such as are 
curiously cooked for a king's palate ? T Thou wilt not believe but 
that thy face may be seen in a glass where the sides are not gilded ; 
thou wilt choose a horse, not by its trappings and fine furniture, 
but by its usefulness and serviceableness. Why shouldst thou be 
so childish as to be in love with no garments but what are daubed 
with silver lace, when other plain raiment will warm thy body as 
well ? 

Keader, if the fault be not thine own, thou mayest gain much, 
nay, I must say most, good by plain preaching. Those that dwell 
by the sea-side gather up those precious commodities, bequeathed 
to the sea at the death or wreck of the ship, when the sea is lowest, 
wdiich they cannot do when the waters are highest. I do not here 
plead for vain repetitions and tedious circumlocutions, nor for them 
that dress their meat so slovenly that their guests loathe it. I 
know it is below the majesty of a king, when he is delivering his 
mind by his ambassador, to play the orator ; but it is not below 
him to speak sense and reason. Wise men love a neat, compact 
discourse, but it must be more full of matter than words, con- 
vincing the judgment, and working upon the affections. Plain, 
solid sermons, are most acceptable to pious and serious souls. 
There is a vast difference between washing the face of a discourse 
clean, and painting it ; the former is lawful and commendable, the 
latter sinful and abominable. Ministers must mind the capacities 
of their auditories, and not put that meat into their mouths which 
their teeth cannot chew, nor their stomachs concoct. Their sermons 
of quiddities, hceccieties, and school niceties may, in the opinion of 
giddy men, tend to their own praise, but never to their hearers' 

1 Optimi concionatores ad vulgus sunt, dixit Lutherus, qui pueriliter, trivialiter, 
populariter et simpliciss'me doccnt. — Melch. Adam, in Vita. 


profit. Such men, when their children ask bread, give them stones, 
which may choke them, but will not cherish them. It is a pity he 
should ever teach school that will not speak to his scholars so as 
they may understand him. 

But the worst supposition is, thy teacher may be untaught him- 
self ; his life may give the lie to his lips. As to this prejudice — 1. 
Eemember that an accusation must not be received against an 
elder, except under two or three witnesses ; thy charity, Chris- 
tian ! and the dignity of his calling, must both move thee to be slow 
to believe. As it is sinful to raise up an evil report, (Constantine 
the emperor said, that if he saw a bishop committing uncleanness, 
he would rather cover that foul fact with his imperial robe, than 
suffer it to be divulged to the dishonour of the gospel,) so it is sin- 
ful to take up an evil report, whoever laid it down ready for thee. 
2. But, secondly, if thy pastor, like a wooden vessel, giveth that wine 
to thee which he never tasteth nor savoureth himself, be not there- 
fore wholly discouraged. If it be true that thy minister is false to 
God and his own soul, that he only wears Christ's livery that he 
might the more unsuspected do the devil's work, I confess it is 
matter of great lamentation ; the good Lord take care either for 
their conversion or ejection ; for certainly they, being listed under 
Christ's colours, and false to their captain, do his adversary the 
devil double service. The sins of teachers are the teachers of sins ; 
they who forget their sermons will remember their sins, to patronise 
their own. But if the providence of God should bind thee to such 
a pastor, which is no small unhappiness, consider that God fed 
Elijah by a raven, and surely he can feed thee by an unclean 
creature. He increaseth sometimes his enemies' gifts, that they 
might be instrumental to increase his people's graces. It is un- 
questionable in my judgment, though some I know doubt it, that a 
sinner may convert a soul; and myreason is this, because the operation 
of the word doth not depend upon the piety of the preacher, but upon 
the free grace and power of the Lord. Yet I must also confess 
that I believe that God doth not so often vouchsafe to his enemies 
as to his friends that honour and happiness. But as bad as he is, 
God may use him to do thee good. As the best ministers' sermons 
are not to be received for their good lives' sake, so the worst 
ministers' preaching is not to be rejected because of their evil 
practices. A blind man may hold a candle to give light to others, 
whilst he himself remains in the dark ; the Sun of righteousness 
may convey the light of holiness into the house of thine heart 
through this sluttish window ; thou mayest derive water from the 

Chap. XV.] the christian man's calling. 149 

fountain of life through a leaden pipe ; a deaf bell may be useful 
to call a Christian to church ; and he that never heard so as to live, 
may call a soul to Christ ; wholesome sugar may be in a poisoned 

The Egyptian jewels were helpful to the tabernacle. David 
made the spoils of the Gentiles serviceable to the temple, and 
surely the Son of David can make the parts and gifts of an Egyp- 
tian, an enemy to God, serviceable to thy soul. The pharisees in 
the days of Christ were many of them vicious persons, yet they, 
sitting in Moses' chair, Christ doth not deny them audience, but 
commandeth his disciples to distinguish between their words and 
their works ; he doth not forbid them to hear their doctrine, but 
enjoins them to forbear their doings, Mat. xxiii. 2, 3. 
(2.) The second thing requisite to preparation is this : 
Before thou goest to hear, labour to affect thine heart with the 
necessity, excellency, and efficacy of the word. There was half an 
hour's silence in heaven before the seventh trumpet sounded ; thy 
duty is to weigh the nature and end of the word, before thou goest 
to hear that trumpet sounded by one of the angels. of the churches. 
Consider its necessity. Mary minded ' the one thing necessary ; ' in- 
deed she gave the word her heart, but the way to it was this, she 
gave it her ear ; she ' sat at Christ's feet and heard his word.' The 
custom even in those days was for the teacher to preach either out 
of a desk or pulpit, or some place above the people ; hence their 
hearers sitting below them are said to sit at their feet. Urge thy 
soul with this : The word which I am going to hear, in regard of the 
ordination of God, is absolutely necessary to my spiritual and 
eternal good. I am dead, and it is the word that must enliven me ; 
I am blind, and it is the word that must enlighten me. It is abso- 
lutely necessary that I know my sins and misery ; now the word 
must do this, and is therefore called a glass, James i. It is abso- 
lutely necessary that I know my Saviour, and the way of my recovery ; 
now the word must do this, and is therefore called faith and life, 
John vi., Eom. iii. It is necessary to open mine eyes to see Christ, 
to open my heart to receive Christ, and that heaven hereafter may 
open to my poor soul. My soul is sinful, and it is the word that must 
sanctify it ; my soul is sick, it is the word that must heal it ; my 
soul is hungry, and it is the word must feed it, or I shall starve ; 
my soul is thirsty, and it is the word that must satisfy it, or I shall 
die for thirst. Whatsoever conditions of misery I am in, it is the 
word that must give suitable exhortations to support me ; whatso- 
ever relations of life I stand in, it is the word that must give suit- 


able exhortations to direct me ; whatsoever service I am called to, 
whether of doing or suffering, it is the word which must relieve me 
with suitable supply. Oh, what concernment is this word to my 
well-being in this and the other world ! I must be sanctified, or 
I can never be saved ; I must turn to God, or burn in hell ; and 
the word must do this for me, or it will never be done. Good 
Lord, how should I hear ! Men are careless about things which 
are indifferent, but they are careful about things that are absolutely 
necessary ; necessity makes men strive oftentimes beyond their 
strength. None work so hard as they that have necessity for their 

Consider its excellency ; it is the word of God. Though thou 

dalliest when men are speaking, yet surely it becomes thee to be 

serious when the great God is speaking. It is of divine inspiration : 

'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.' The Ephesians 

cried up their idol Diana, because it was the image which fell down 

from Jupiter : ' Great is Diana of the Ephesians.' Oh, how shouldest 

thou prize and prepare for the word, when it came down from the 

great God ! Men were but the organs through which the almighty 

God spoke ; Non vox hominum sonaf. It is the voice of God, and 

not of man. It is of divine operation. ' I am not ashamed of the 

gospel of Christ, wdiich is the power of God to salvation,' Rom. i. 

16. What wonders hath the great God wrought by his word ! 

He hath given eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, ears to the deaf, 

life to the dead, by his word. What legions of devils and lusts 

hath he unkennelled and cast out with his word ! Some write of 

the weasel that it doth aure concipcre et ore jiarere, conceive in 

the ear, &c. He hath caused many a soul to hear and live by his 

word ; he hath awakened many a soul that was asleep in sin by the 

voice of the Scriptures, and caused them to arise and work out their 

own salvations ; thousands of poor creatures, who were sinking into 

the bottomless hell, have, by God's hand stretched out in his word, 

been delivered from going clown to the pit, and lifted up to heaven. 

It is a word of divine institution and of divine benediction. Rev. 

i. 3. It is the word in which the Father speaketh : John vi. 45, 

' Every one that hath heard and learned of the Father cometh to 

me.' It is the word of Christ, Heb. xii. 25 ; Col. iii. 16. In it the 

Spirit speaketh to the churches, Rev. ii. 11. The pearl hid in it, 

(the Scriptures are 'they that testify of Christ,' John v. 39,) the price 

paid for it, (both Testaments are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, 

Heb. ix. 27,) do fully speak the excellency of it. 

Now, reader, think with thyself thus : I am going to hear that 

Chap. XV. J the christian man's calling. 151 

word Avliich bath God for its author, Jesus Christ for its matter, 
and eternal life for its end. Shall I, like a beastly swine, trample 
these invaluable jewels under my feet ? Shall that which is infin- 
itely more precious than fine gold be esteemed by me as dirt ? It 
is the picture of God's own excellencies ; how chary should I be of 
the picture for the person's sake ! Ah, how tender should I be of 
that glass which hath wine in it more worth than heaven and earth! 
Would it not be a thousand pities that I should suffer the flies of 
my wandering thoughts to corrupt and spoil this box of precious 
ointments ? 

Consider the efficacy of it. The revealed word is like the essen- 
tial word ; ' for the fall, as well as for the rise, of many in Israel.' 
As there is nothing so evil but a serious holy person may get good 
out of it — like some creatures we read of, he may digest and fetch 
nourishment out of serpents ; — so there is nothing so good but a 
careless, graceless heart may pervert to his hurt ; like the spider, he 
may suck poison out of the sweetest rose. The word will work one 
way or other ; if it work not for thy salvation, it will work for thy 
damnation ; if it be not ' a savour of life to life,' it will be ' a savour 
of death to death.' ' As the rain cometh down and watereth the 
earth, and returneth not thither again ; so shall my word be that 
goeth forth out of my mouth : it shall not return unto me void/ Isa. 
lv. 10, 11. The word is compared to fire: fire doth either purify 
the metal or consume it ; the word will either convert thee or con- 
found thee. The sea sinks some vessels, and lands others safely ; 
the Scripture will either further thee towards heaven or towards 
hell. ' The ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in 
them ; but the transgressors shall fall therein,' Hosea xiv. 9. 

Mark, reader, what an engine is here to screw thee up to the 
greatest attention to the word which is possible. It is like strong 
physic to a person exceeding sick, which either mends them or ends 
thern. Think thus with thyself : I am going to hear that word 
which will not be in vain, but will either kill or cure me: this sword 
of the Spirit is sharp and keen ; if it doth not defend me, it will 
destroy me. Oh, it is bad jesting with such edge-tools ! How sad 
will it be for me to find death about the lips of Christ, to fall into 
hell with a stumble at the gospel of the kingdom of heaven ! How 
exceedingly am I concerned to set my heart to all the words which 
I shall hear this day ! for ' it is not a vain thing, but it is for my 
life,' Deut. xxxii. 46', 47. 

Urge thy soul in earnest with these particulars. As Elisha, 
stretching himself upon the young dead child, at last got life and 


quickening into it ; so thou, forcing and stretching, as it were, these 
things upon thy heart, rnayest quicken it, how dull and dead soever 

it is. 

(3.) Thirdly, If thou wouldst prepare thyself for the word, entreat 
God to bless it to thee. The operations of the Spirit must accom- 
pany the administration of the word, or it will be ineffectual. ' It 
is the Spirit that quickeneth,' John vi. 63. The fire burnetii natu- 
rally, and the water cooleth naturally ; but if the fire of the word 
ever burn up thy corruptions, or the water of the word refresh thee 
with real consolations, it must not be by its own nature, but by a 
divine power. If thine eye be opened by that eyesalve of Scripture, 
to see Christ in his native beauty, or thyself in thy natural defor- 
mity, God must anoint thine eyes therewith. Therefore David beg- 
geth this favour at God's hand, ' Open mine eyes, that I may see 
wonderful things out of thy law,' Ps. cxix. 18. As good sight as 
David had, he could not read in God's law without God's light. If 
the door of thine heart be opened by this key to give admission to 
the King of glory, God's hand must turn the key. ' The Lord 
opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended to the words of Paul,' 
Acts xvi. Paul might have preached his heart out before Lydia's 
heart would have opened to let the word in, if God had not under- 
taken the work. 

If the sword of the word pierce thy soul, hack and hew and slay 
thy most beloved sins, those enemies within thee, which would not 
have Christ to reign over thee, the arm of the Lord must wield it. 
' The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through 
God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, 
and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of 
God,' 2 Cor. x. 4. Surely that voice of thunder must come from 
heaven, which can pluck up the strong trees of thy natural unbelief 
and senselessness, and pull down the high towers of pride and self. 
If the word, which is called a seal, Eom. vi. 17, ever imprint thy 
Saviour's image on thee to thy regeneration, God must add weight 
to the seal, or it will make no stamp. ' He hath of his own will 
begotten you by the word of truth/ James i. 21. He that made the 
watch can make it strike right, and he that made the word can 
make it strike home, even ' to the dividing asunder of soul and 
spirit, and of the joints and marrow,' Heb. iv. 12. If the word, 
which is called life, John vi. 63, quicken thee to thine eternal sal- 
vation, God must breathe on thy dry bones and bid thee live. ' I 
am not ashamed of the gospel of "Christ, which is the power of God 
to salvation,' Bom. i. 16. 

Chap. XV.] the christian man's calling. 153 

It was the angel's troubling the waters, which made the pool of 
Bethesda medicinal to the diseased people ; and it is not the water 
of the word which can heal thy soul-sicknesses, unless the angel of 
the covenant work in it, and with it. 

Elijah's mantle could not divide the waters of Jordan, but the 
Lord God of Elijah did it ; the preacher may shew thee thy lesson, 
but God only can help thee to learn it. 

Reader, before thou nearest, remember it is God's prerogative to 
open thine ear : ' Mine ear hast thou bored,' Ps. xl. 6. There is a 
thick film in thine ears naturally, which hindereth thine hearino- • 
thine ears are stopped that sermons can have no passage. Now God 
alone can with his syringer dissolve the wax congealed there, and 
break through the skin, whereby thou mayest come to hear and live. 
Remember that the seeing eye, and the hearing ear, the Lord hath 
made them both, Prov. xx. 12. Therefore entreat him to open thine 
eyes, that thou mayest see his comely face in the glass of the word ; 
and to open thine ears, that thou mayest hear his lovely voice in 
the word ; and to open thine heart, that thou mayest receive grace 
from him through the word. Say as David, ' Shew me thy way, 
Lord ; teach me thy paths.' ' Make me to understand the way of 
thy precepts, so shall I talk of thy wondrous works,' Ps. xxv. 4 ; Ps. 
cxix. 27. And be not discouraged, either at the mysteriousness of 
the word, or at thine own dulness ; for he that made the lock can 
help thee to a key that will fit all its wards. 

But be sure thou forget not to commend thy minister to God. 
As thy duty is to beg a ' door of entrance ' for thyself, so a ' door 
of utterance ' for thy pastor. ' Withal praying for us, that God 
would open to us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of 
Christ,' Col. iv. 3 ; Eph. vi. 19. Thy profit by him will be not a 
little furthered by thy prayer for him. He that loves his child, 
will often remember the nurse that feeds it ; he that loves his 
precious soul, will often mind the preacher that prepareth and 
bringeth its spiritual portion. I have known some to praise their 
cooks highly, when they would prevail with them to dress a dish 
curiously for their palates. I am sure thy way is to pray for thy 
pastor fervently, if thou wouldest have him provide such food as 
may be for thy soul's pleasure and profit. Starve the mother, and 
you starve the child in her womb. If the heavens do not favour 
the hills with showers, they cannot fatten the valleys with their 
chalky streams. If the pipes be broke which convey water to our 
houses from the river, we can expect no supply. 

(4.) Let thine end, in going to hear, be to please God, and profit 


thy soul. Propound a good, end in hearing, if thou wouldst have a 
good end of hearing. Some go to church for nothing; like the 
Ephesians, the greatest part knew not wherefore they were met to- 
gether, Acts xix. They have as much as they come for ; they 
come for nothing, and they often go away with nothing. Others 
go to carp and catch at the preacher, as the Herodians went to 
Christ to entangle him in his talk, Mat. xxii. 15. These go not to 
hear God's word, but to do the devil's work, and he will pay them 
their wages. These fly to the carcase, not to defend it, but to 
devour it. A third sort go to hear wit and parts, neat expressions, 
and an affecting, graceful pronunciation ; like the Jews, to hear 
Ezekiel, ' Lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that 
hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument,' Ezek. 
xxxiii. 32. These go to hear man, not to hear God. They hear 
out of curiosity, not out of conscience ; they desire to have their 
ears tickled, not their hearts touched ; they hear and do not, ver. 
33. Such go to church just as they who go to a noise of musicians, 
only for the pleasant sound — for nothing but to hear. 

Reader, take heed of these and other sinful ends, lest God answer 
thee according to the idols of thine heart. Children go to fairs for 
babies and rattles, but men go for some serviceable commodities, 
for the supply of their own and their relations' necessities. Though 
foolish men go to church to quarrel with the person teaching, or to 
admire at some fine cadences or allusions in the doctrine taught, 
do thou go to the word for the relief of thy spiritual wants. ' As 
a new-born babe, desire the sincere milk of the word, that thou 
mayest grow thereby,' 1 Pet. ii. 2. Here is a good end of a good 
action, not to gaze upon the people or pastor, but to grow by his 
preaching. Some men go to gardens to gather gillyflowers or 
roses, merely to smell them or look on them, and in a short 
time throw them away ; when a good housewife goeth to her garden 
for a better end ; she gathereth them to make a precious conserve 
or syrup of them, which she keeps constantly by her to comfort her 
in a time of sickness. Though too many go to a sermon merely 
to look on the gaudiness of its dress, or to scent the wit and fancy 
of the preacher, which sight and scent are quickly gone ; do thou 
gather those flowers which grow in Eden, the garden of the Lord, 
that thou mayest by faith make such a cordial of them as may 
be ever ready at hand to revive thy spirit in each fainting fit, 
whether of death, or any civil or spiritual danger, whilst thou 

Lastly, If thou wouldest prepare thyself to hear or read the word 

Chap. XV.] the christian man's calling. 155 

rightly, leave thy worldly thoughts behind thee. It is written of 
Bernard, that when he came to the church-door he would say, 
Stay there, all my earthly thoughts ! Say to the cares of this life, 
when thou art about reading or hearing, as Abraham to his servant, 
' Abide you here, and I will go yonder and worship/ Gen. xxii. 5. 
If thou shouldest suffer those weeds, they would hinder the spring- 
ing up of the good seed, the word. They are like thieves, never 
dogging thee at this duty but to do thee a mischief, either to steal 
thy comforts, or to wound thy conscience. 

Christ sharply reproveth the Jews for turning his Father's house, 
which should be called a house of prayer, into a den of thieves ; 
but how did they do this ? By buying, and selling, and changing 
money in the temple. If thou, reader, shouldst in thine heart be 
buying in thy provision, or selling out thy commodities, or hanker- 
ing after thine hoards and heaps of corn, or wares, or money, when 
thou art in God's house, thou turnest the house of prayer into a 
den of thieves ; therefore thy best way is to keep them out, and if 
they come in afterwards, (as Christ did,) to whip them out. 

When men hear with their harvest-ears, (meditating and musing 
on their flocks, or shops, or fields,) no wonder if the word be inef- 
fectual to them. If the wits of men be a wool-gathering, the word 
of God will be ' like water spilt on the ground, which cannot be 
gathered up again.' Some garden seeds are mingled with ashes 
when they are sown, and thereby they spring up the better ; but 
this seed must not be mixed with dust and ashes ; if it be, it will 
not spring up at all. 

It is reported of one of England's lord treasurers, (some say 
Cecil, others say Burleigh,) that though by reason of his office he 
was crowded with business all day, yet when he was going to rest 
at night, he would throw off his gown and say, Lie there, Lord 
Treasurer ! What he did going to bed, we must do when we go 
to this heavenly banquet ; though the concernments of our families 
and callings throng us at other times, yet when we go to hear or 
read the incomparable word, we must lay them by with, Lie here, 
all my thoughts of this lower beggarly world ! Thus I have de- 
spatched the first particular. Preparation for the word. 



Of the Christian's duty in hearing. 

Secondly, I come now to the second, which is, Thy carriage at 
the word, in reference to Avhich I shall commend to thee these 
three things : 

1. When thou art hearing or reading, set thyself seriously as in 
the presence of God. God setteth before thee in his word, and 
offereth to thee life or death, blessing or cursing, his infinite favour 
or fury, heaven or hell ; and, friend, are these things to be jested 
with? Imitate Cornelius in his carriage, when he was to hear 
Peter, ' We are all here present before God, to hear all things that 
are commanded thee of God,' Acts x. 33. The piety of this cen- 
turion appeareth in the ground and motive of his hearing ; he came 
not to hear men, but God : ' to hear all things which are com- 
manded thee of God/ 2. In the gracious manner of his hearing ; 
he doth not say, We are all here present before thee, but, ' We are 
all here present before God.' 

When the heart is awed with the apprehension of a divine 
presence, the iron gates of the ears will fly open of their own 
accord, and give the word a free passage. The creature dares not 
but hearken diligently to the speech of that God, on whose breath 
depends his life and death, when he seeth him immediately before 
his eyes. I can speak it by experience, saith Erasmus, that there 
is little good to be got by the tScripture, if a man read or hear it 
cursorily and carelessly ; but if a man do it out of conscience, and 
as in God's presence, he shall find such an efficacy in it, as is not 
to be found in any other book. This setting thyself seriously, as 
in God's presence, is like the master's eye to his servant, which will 
make him ply his work whether he would or not ; or rather like 
the fire to the smith's bar of iron, which doth so mollify it, that 
he striking whilst it is hot, may beat it into what form and mould 
he pleaseth. 

This temper of soul in the Thessalonians was so great a favour 
that Paul thought he could never praise the author of it suffi- 
ciently : ' For this cause thank we God without ceasing, that when 
ye heard the word of God, ye heard it not as the word of man, 
but, as it is indeed, the word of God,' 1 Thes. ii. 13. The apostle 
knew his children could not but thrive when they received their 
meat in such a manner as the word of God. It is the speech of 

Chap. XVI.] the christian man's calling. 157 

Senaclseus concerning Diariua the martyr, Methonght when I heard 
him speak, I heard the Holy Ghost himself preaching to me. 

Truly the want of this is one main cause why the word of God 
doth so little good. The devil is very diligent at duties ; he is 
every Lord's day the first at church. The children of God never 
gather together but Satan is amongst them. His great design is 
to render this engine of the word fruitless, whereby the strongholds 
of his kingdom have been battered and broken down. Therefore, 
as a jailer will sometimes let his prisoners have their hands and 
feet at liberty, so long as the doors of the prison are barred and 
bolted, that they cannot run away ; so he will let thee have thy 
hand at liberty for some acts of charity, and thy feet at liberty to 
walk in some paths of civility, so long as he can but have the doors 
of thine ear and heart locked fast, that thou canst not get from him. 
He knoweth Christ waiteth at the outward door of the ear, that he 
might thereby come to the inward door of thy heart, and deliver 
thee a poor captive out of his hands ; for this cause, if it be pos- 
sible, he will keep the street-door shut, he will hinder thee from 
hearing as in God's presence, he w'ill find thee other work to do 
than to hear. It may be he will get thee to play and toy, as he 
doth many great ones ; or if not, to be talking to thy pew-fellows, 
or to be reading, (possibly somewhat sinful, at least somewhat un- 
seasonable,) or to have thy heart in thine own house, whilst thy 
body is in God's house ; or as a child, though thou art at thy book, 
he will make thee look off, if but a butterfly come by ; he will set 
thee about some business or other, unless thou art serious as in 
God's sight, that thou shalt never have so much leisure as to hear 
even when thou art in the church. 

It is reported of Henry the Third, king of France, that in a 
solemn procession at Paris, he could not be without his jester, who, 
walking between the king and the cardinal, made mirth to them 
both ; in the meantime there was brave devotion. Alas ! they that 
hear in jest, will find hell to be hot in earnest ! Were not men 
Indians and infidels in English habits, did they but believe the 
invaluable worth of their souls, the consequence and weight of 
their unchangeable estates, what a searching, trying time the hour 
of death will be, and what dreadful, terrible things will be seen at 
the day of judgment ! Good Lord, how would they hear ! The 
minister need not call to them to attend to the word of God ; they 
would of themselves give it their ears, and minds, and hearts, and 
think all too little for it. 

2. Apply the word to thy own soul : the word is a salve of 


sovereign virtue. Some talk of the weapon salve, that it heals at a 
distance, hut the word will not ; it must be applied to the sore, or 
it will never cure. The word is seed ; preaching is the sowing of 
this seed ; application of it to thy heart is the harrowing of this 
seed into the earth. If the seed be thrown on the ground, and 
not harrowed in, we can expect no harvest. 

A good hearer is said to eat the word : 'Thy words were found 
by me, and I did eat them,' Jer. xv. 16 ; ' Eat of my bread, and 
drink of the wine which I have mingled,' Prov. ix. 5. It is not 
the bread in the cupboard of the Bible, or on the table of a sermon, 
which will nourish thy soul, unless it be by application of it to 
thyself, eaten and taken down into thy stomach ; the glass of wine 
in thine hand will not make thy heart glad ; the precious promises 
in thine ears will not rejoice thee ; they must by application be 
drunk down, then they will refresh and comfort thy conscience. 

Faith is both the mouth to receive in, and the stomach to digest, 
this spiritual food. It is worthy thy observation, how frequently 
the Holy Ghost attributeth the famous effects and heroic acts of 
the word to this commander-in-chief, under whose courageous and 
wise conduct it warreth. The word flghteth boldly, and worketh 
miraculously under faith's banner : ' The gospel of Christ is the 
power of God to salvation to them that believe,' Rom. i. 1G. ' It 
pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that be- 
lieve,' 1 Cor. i. 21 ; so also 2 Tim. iii. 15. Application is the life 
both of preaching and hearing. 

If the threatenings and curses of the law are preached, faith is to 
them as the powder to the bullet, causing them to make grievous 
havoc, and to do great execution upon the lusts of a man. Faith 
turneth those stones, as I may speak, into bread, and helpeth the 
Christian, like Samson, to fetch meat out of the eater. 

If the precepts and commands of the law are preached, faith is 
the eye to see the equity in them, and the excellency of them, and 
faith is the hand to put them into practice. 

If the promises and comforts of the gospel are preached, faith is 
to them as induction to a minister ; it gives him actual possession 
of them, it makes them his own. Faith in the threatenings causeth 
humiliation; faith in the precepts causeth subjection; and faith in 
the promises worketh consolation. 

If at any time thou goest from hearing dead and undone, thou 
mayest say to faith, as Martha to Christ, ' If thou hadst been here, 
my soul had not died.' The unbeliever, like a man in a swoon, 
shuts his mouth against those life-recallino; cordials which are before 

Chap. XVI.] the christian man's calling. 159 

him in the gospel. Other sins wound the soul, but unbelief, like 
Joab, strikes under the fifth rib, and kills outright. 

Unbelief spoileth all. An unbeliever is dead, he cannot hear 
Christ in his word; he is blind, he cannot see God in the gospel. 
Like Hagar, though a fountain be before him, he beholdeth it not. 
Unbelief makes the word, like rain upon rocks, wholly useless and 
fruitless. What is said of the essential Word, is true of the revealed 
word. It ' can do no mighty works, because of their unbelief.' 
Unbelief is a bulwark whereby sin secureth itself against all the 
darts and shot which the word dischargeth at it. What was the 
reason that the word was not helpful to the Jews? Heb. iv. 2, 
' The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith 
in them that heard it.' Unbelief was the crack in the glass, through 
which this inestimable water of life did leak out, and so was lost. 

Nay, what made the word hurtful to them ? This leaven of 
unbelief soured all, 1 Pet. ii. 8. That rock on which faith builds 
a house which reacheth up to heaven, unbelief stumbleth at, and 
tumbleth the soul into hell. 

3. Let the word come with authority and power to thy conscience. 
This is one of the chiefest ingredients that goeth to the composi- 
tion of a' preacher, that he speak as Paul did, ' in demonstration of 
the Spirit, and of power,' 1 Cor. ii. 4. By this force wherewith he 
spake, and execution which he did, that incomparable pattern of 
preachers, ' the captain of our salvation,' was distinguished from 
the pharisees ; who, in discharge of this holy ordinance, only made 
false fire : ' He taught as one having authority, and not as the 
scribes.' ' And the people were astonished at his doctrine,' Mat. 
vii. 28, 29. He is the best soldier who in this warfare makes 
bloodiest work amongst our spiritual enemies. This is jireaching 
to purpose. 

This is also the best disposition requisite in a religious hearer ; 
' For our gospel came not to you in word only, but in pow r er,' 2 
Thes. i. 15. When the word of God cometh like a mighty rushing 
wind, rooting up the tall trees of thy sins, bringing down high 
thoughts, overturning all before it ; when as fire it burnetii within 
thee, consuming thy lusts, and turning thee into its own likeness, 
making thee holy, spiritual, and heavenly ; oh this is excellent 
hearing, this is hearing to purpose ! 

The word is preached to many, and not to their profit. They 
hear the minister as chickens hear the hen ; the hen calls to the 
chickens to come to her ; they lie scraping in the dust still many 
times and will not hear her, till the kite come and devoureth them. 


So God endeavoureth in his word, by his ministers, to cluck sinners 
to himself ; ' Wisdom crieth, understanding putteth forth her 
voice ; ' but they lie scratching and digging in the earth, and will 
not hear him, till at last the devil comes and destroyeth them ; but 
when the word cometh with power the soul heareth it, as Peter 
heard the cock ; he goeth out and weepeth bitterly, when he hears 
of the boundless mercy which he hath deserted, and the matchless 
misery which he hath deserved, and the infinite love which he 
hath abused, and the righteous law which he hath transgressed ; he 
is cut to the heart ; he goeth out, and weeps bitterly. 

The word is compared to rain, Deut. xxxii. 2. Now the rain 
falls upon flints and doth no good, makes no impression. Ministers 
drop it on many to as little purpose as Bede did when he preached 
to a heap of stones. They spend their strength in vain, and labour 
in vain ; nay, like many highways and low grounds, they are the 
worse for these showers. But this rain falls on others to much 
advantage: 'My doctrine shall drop as the rain, and my speech shall 
distil as the clew ; as the small rain upon the tender grass, and as 
the showers on the herbs,' Deut. xxxii. 2. The fine soft shower 
of the word soaks into their affections, softeneth their hearts, and 
makes them fruitful in holiness. 

The naturalists observe of the salamander, that though she live 
in the fire constantly, yet she is never the hotter. How Avoeful is 
the condition of thousands, who live all their days under the word 
of God, in which is kindled the heavenly fire of God's infinite love 
in Christ to poor sinners, and the hell-fire of the hideous horrid 
nature of sin, yet they are never the hotter ! neither warmed with 
the former, nor scorched with the latter ; nay, though these fires 
are sometimes by the workmen who divide the word aright, heated, 
as I may say, seven times hotter than ordinary, by discovering the 
freeness without, yea, against desert ; fulness, (a known, unknown 
love,) and fastness, (whom he loveth, he loveth to the end,) of this 
divine affection, and by declaring the ugliness and loathsomeness 
of corruption, in its contrariety to a righteous law and a gracious 
Lord, and in its opposition to the soul's happiness and perfection, 
that the very ministers who take them up to put them into this 
fire, are themselves, with the extremity of its heat, turned into a 
live coal, or all in a flame of love to the blessed God, and hatred 
against his and their enemy, sin ; yet these hearers, like the three 
children, are not touched with all this fire, their garments are not 
so much as singed, nor the least smell of the fire on them. 
woeful wonder ! 

Chap. XVI.] the christian man's calling. 161 

What little comfort can poor ministers take in their lives, when 
they converse with such dead carcases; though the}- cut them with 
the law's curse, pierce them to the quick, one would think, with 
the terrible day of judgment and the unquenchable fire, yet they 
ail nothing, feel nothing, and complain not at all. 

Reader, when thou art hearing, let thy care be, that thy soul 
may be changed into the similitude of the Scripture, that the word 
may come with power. When the threatenings are shot off, do 
thou fall down before them with fear : ' My flesh trembleth for fear 
of thee, and I am afraid of thy righteous judgments.' When God 
thundered, Josiah's heart trembled. When thou viewest the pre- 
cepts and patterns in the word, labour to resemble them. It is said 
of the Earl Elzearus, one much given to passion, that he was cured 
by reading and hearing of Christ's patience. 

When the glad tidings of peace are preached, let thine heart 
leap with hope. Oh, let the nearer approach of the sun call forth 
and ripen thy fruits of righteousness ! When the law comes like a 
corrosive, eating out thy festered flesh and corruption ; when the 
gospel is like a lenitive, both refreshing and refining thee, then 
they come with power ; when the threatenings, like wine, search the 
wound, and the promises, like oil, heal it, then it cometh with 
authority and majesty. If search be made by a reproof for thy 
beloved sin, do not, like Rachel, hide it, neither do thou fret when 
thy sore is touched, but hold thine arm forth to that knife which 
should prick thy vein, and let out thy bad blood. Be not angry 
when a prophet smites thee in the name of the Lord ; believe it, 
he that hates thy sins most, loveth thee best. If thou favour thy 
lusts so much as to keep them safe from the sword of the Spirit, it 
will prove, like Joram's respect to Jehu, thine own destruction. 
Their hearts surely were very rugged which cried out, ' Prophesy 
unto us smooth things.' Those feet are very sore or gouty which 
cannot go but in downy, mossy walks, where the ground yields to 
them. Let a reproof be welcome for his sake that sendeth it. 
Thy Father knoweth that a bitter potion sometimes, though not 
pleasant, yet is profitable to thee. 

As the working of physic kindly and well commendeth both the 
physician and body of the patient, so the powerful operation of the 
Scriptures, whether of the purging potions of judgments denounced, 
or cordial juleps of mercies discovered, do highly applaud both the 
skill of thy Saviour and state of thy soul. It is written of Philetus, 
a disciple of Hermogenes the conjurer, that, going to dispute with 
St James the elder, the apostle preached Christ to him so power- 

VOL. I. L 


fully, that he returned to his master, and told him, Magus abieram, 
Christiamts rcclco ; I went forth a conjurer, but am come back a 
Christian. Oh, how happy it will be for thee, if whatever thine 
end were in going to church, yet when thou returnest, thou canst 
upon good ground say, I went forth proud, but am come home 
humble ! I went to church a bond-slave of Satan, but am returned 
a free-man of Christ. I went out earthly, carnal, a malicious and 
obstinate sinner ; but, for ever blessed be the most high God, I am 
come back a heavenly, spiritual, and gracious saint. 


Of the Christians duty after hearing. 

Thirdly, I proceed now to the third thing, which is, Thy beha- 
viour after hearing or reading ; and I must tell thee that it con- 
cerneth thee now to be very watchful, for many birds wait to peck 
up the corn as soon as the husbandman hath sowed it. Our Saviour 
telleth us, ' He that received seed among thorns is he that heareth 
the word ; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of 
riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful,' Mat. xiii. 32. 
As highwaymen watch the honest countryman as he cometh from 
the fair, where he hath sold his cattle and filled his purse, and then 
set upon him, and rob him, so do the cares of the world dog the 
honest Christian as he cometh from the word, where he got some 
spiritual treasure, and then fall upon him to plunder him. 

Besides, Satan is so subtle that he will be sure to haunt the soul 
after reading or hearing the word : ' When any one heareth the 
word, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which 
was sown in his heart,' Mat. xiii. 19. The season, then, is worthy 
our observation. When the Christian hath made a good meal, then 
the devil trieth all his wiles and tricks to make him vomit it up 
again. Servants, when they carry full cups of wine in the midst of 
unlucky boys, must be wary and watchful, or they will spill it. 
Some people take physic, and, though it doth them some good at 
present, yet all is quickly marred by their neglect of those rules 
which should be observed afterwards. The word, possibly, when 
thou heardest it, made some work among thy affections. The beauty 
of Christ's person was displayed before thine eyes, and thy heart 
began to fall in love with thy Saviour. The extremity of his pas- 
sion was described to thee, and thine heart began to loathe the cause 

Chap. XVII.] the christian man's calling. 1G3 

thereof, thy sins. Well, now then thy conscience is a little warmed 
and awakened, and the pores of thy soul opened, shouldest thou go 
into the cold presently, all would come to nothing. If water be 
taken from the fire when it is a little warm, it cooleth quickly. He 
that would have it boil must rather increase the fire. 

There are two things which God requireth of thee, after hearing 
and reading the word — namely, prayer and practice. 

1. Prayer. Petition for a blessing upon the word, and thanks- 
giving for the blessing of the word. 

Petition for a blessing upon the word. After the seed is sown, 
the influence of heaven must cause it to spring up and ripen, or 
otherwise there will be no harvest. ' Paul may plant, and Apollos 
water, but God must give the increase,' 1 Cor. iii. 6. The minister 
preacheth, thou hear est, but it is the Lord who teacheth to profit. 
Thou mayest, like Mary, have Christ before thee in a sermon, and 
yet not know him till he discover himself to thee. The eunuch 
could read of Christ in the prophet, but could not reach Christ till 
God came to his chariot. There is a twofold light requisite to a 
bodily vision — light in the eye, and light in the air. The former 
cannot, as we experience in the night, do it without the latter. 
There is also a twofold light necessary to spiritual sight : beside 
the light of understanding which is in a man, there must be illumi- 
nation from the Spirit of God, or there will be no beholding the 
Lord in the glass of the word. 

When the disciples had heard Christ's doctrine, they were not 
able to understand or profit by his preaching, and therefore they 
cry to him, ' Lord, open to us this parable.' When thou hast read 
or heard the word, go to God, and say, ' Teach me, Lord, the way 
of thy statutes ; give me understanding and I shall keep thy law, 
yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in 
the path of thy commandments. Incline my heart unto thy testi- 
monies, and not unto covetousness,' Ps. cxix. 33-37. Entreat God 
to write his law on the fleshly tables of thine heart. Bernard 
observes, bodily bread in the cupboard may be eaten of mice, or 
moulder and waste ; but when it is taken clown into the body, it is 
free from such danger : if God enable thee to take thy soul-food 
down into thine heart, it is safe from all hazards. 

Thanksgiving. Consider what a distinguishing mercy, what a 
precious treasure the word of God is ; how without it thou hadst 
for ever been both unholy and unhappy ; how by it thou mayest 
eternally be both gracious and glorious ; and without question thou 
wilt find cause to bless the giver for such a rare and profitable 


gift. Tlie apostle ranketh, this favour amongst the blessings of the 
highest form : ' What advantage hath the Jew ? or what profit is 
there of circumcision ? Much every way ; chiefly, that unto them 
were committed the oracles of God/ And the psalmist, mentioning 
this differencing mercy, concludeth it with, ' Praise ye the Lord/ 
Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20. 

The light of the sun, moon, and stars is of such concernment to 
men, that without them the beauty of the old creation would be 
buried in darkness ; and therefore the children of God have given 
the Most High the credit of those greater and lesser candles, 
Ps. cxxxvi. 7-9 ; nay, they have seen eternal love by those lumin- 
aries. The light of God's law and word is of infinitely more 
worth ; for by it the glory and beauty of the new creation, and that 
curious piece of man's redemption, is seen and known. What 
honour then doth God deserve for this favour ! 

Ptolemy, king of Egypt, was at great cost and charge to have 
the law of the Jews translated by the Seventy into Greek. 1 
Thou hast the Old and New Testament both at a cheap and easy 
rate : thou mayest read thy Father's will in thy mother-tongue ; 
thou hast in it a suitable medicine for every malady, seasonable 
succour in all thy miseries, the costliest cordials and choicest com- 
forts, ' without money and without price.' And surely all this 
deserveth thanks and praise ! 

Didst thou but know the misery of those places and persons who 
want the word, surely thy heart could not but be affected with thy 
mercy in the enjoyment of the word. It is sometimes described by 
famine: ' I will send a famine, not of bread and water, but of hearing 
the word of the Lord,' Amos iv. How dreadful are the concomi- 
tants and consequents of famine ! what shrivelled cheeks, hollow 
eyes, pale visages, fainting hearts, and trembling limbs, have men 
in a famine ! they seem rather like walking ghosts, and moving 
carcases, than living creatures. ' The tongue of the sucking child 
cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst ; the young children ask 
bread, and no man breaketh it unto them. Their visage is blacker 
than a coal ; they are not known in the streets : their skin cleaveth 
to their bones ; it is withered, it is become like a stick. The hands 
of the pitiful women have sodden their own children : they were 
their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people,' Lam. 
iv. 4, 8, 10. These, friend, are the woeful fruits of a bodily famine ; 
but a soul-famine is the sorer famine. How many starve for want 
of the bread of life ! Thou sittest, it may be, at a full table, but 

1 Easel). Hist., lib. v. cap. 8. 

Chap. XVII.] the christian man's calling. 1G5 

couldst thou conceive what millions famish for lack of this spiritual 
food, thou wouldst pray to God earnestly to pity such places, and 
praise him heartily for providing so plentifully for thee. Their 
misery is sometimes set forth by ' darkness and the shadow of 
death ; ' darkness is dreadful, though but external ; it was one of 
the greatest plagues which befell the Egyptians. When Job would 
curse his day with a witness, what is his wish ? ' Let darkness 
and the shadow of death stain it ; let a cloud dwell upon it ; let the 
blackness of the day terrify it,' Job iii. 5. It was sad when Paul 
and his companions saw neither sun nor stars in many days ; but 
oh, how sad is it, when men see not the Sun of righteousness shining 
in the heavens of the gospel all their days ! Such may enjoy the 
light of God's providence, but they enjoy not the light of his 
countenance. How can they work, that want the light of the word 
to direct them ? or how can they walk ? Surely they that walk in 
the dark stumble — ' the dark corners of the earth are full of the 
habitations of cruelty' — and fall even into hell. ' Where no vision 
is, the people perish.' reader, what infinite cause hast thou to 
bless the Lord, that thou art not in their condition ! If thou hast 
any compassion for the poor, dark, dead souls, be instant with the 
Lord ; pray, ' send out thy light and thy truth, that thy ways 
may be known upon earth, and thy saving health unto all genera- 
tions.' If thou hast any affection to thy own soul, praise God for 
his law. ' Blessed be the Lord who hath shewn us light.' Procopius 
reporteth, that nigh to the pole, where the night endureth for many 
months together, the inhabitants in the end of their long night get 
up to the top of the mountains, striving who shall have the first 
sight of the sun ; and as soon as they see it, they embrace and hug- 
each other, crying out, Ecce, sol apparet ! Behold, lo, the sun, 
the sun appeareth ! This poor island had a long night of darkness, 
when the people in it served dumb idols and devils ; blessed for 
ever be the unsearchable goodness of God, the sun of the gospel 
hath appeared amongst us. Nay, as it is said of Ehodes, it may be 
said of England; the sun always shines on it. ' What shall we 
render to the Lord for this benefit ? ' 

On the town-house of Geneva is written, upon a marble table in 
letters of gold, Post tencbras, lux — After darkness, light. In remem- 
brance of, and thankfulness for, their deliverance from the pride, 
power, tyranny, and abominations of the pope, anno 1535. I doubt 
not but we in these parts of the world have as much cause to set up 
a monument of praise and thanks to the blessed God, for bestowing 
upon us the light of his glorious gospel, and freeing us from the 


power of that inau of pride, who exaltetli himself above all that is 
called God. 

Eeader, is it not a privilege for thee to sit by the fire of the word, 
when many poor souls are freezing in the cold ? for thee to walk in 
the light of the word, when many sit in darkness and the shadow 
of death ? for thee to be clothed out of the rich wardrobe of the 
word, when many have their nakedness appearing to their eternal 
shame ? Nay, what an advantage hast thou, that when thousands 
and millions have none to give them bread, but starve and famish, 
thou hast a table fairly spread, and fully furnished with all sorts 
of food, both for necessity and delight ! Yea, and if sickness 
hinder thee from coming down to dine or sup with thy brethren and 
sisters, upon that day of exceedings, the Lord's-day, thy God is so 
tender of thee, that he sendeth thee somewhat up to thy chamber 
(alloweth thee his Bible and blessing at home) for thy nourishment 
and comfort : ' that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, 
and his wonderful works to the children of men.' 

2. Practice. When the preacher hath done in the pulpit, the 
hearer must begin in his practice. He heareth a sermon best who 
practiseth it most. What one saith of Ps. cxix., I may say of the 
whole Scriptures, They are verba vivenda, non legenda, words to be 
lived, more than to be read or heard. A Christian's life should be a 
legible comment on God's law. The strokes in music must answer 
to the notes and rules set down in the lesson. 

It is observable that the blood was to be sprinkled on Aaron's 
right ear, right thumb, and great toe of his right foot, Exod. xxix. 
20. The first did note his right hearing the word, the second and 
third his working according to it, and walking in it. The doing, 
not the hearing or reading Christian, goeth away with the blessing : 
' And he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of 
God, and keep it,' Luke xi. 28. The occasion of the expression is 
considerable ; one of Christ's hearers having tasted, was so taken 
with the lusciousness of his doctrine, that she could not before all 
the company forbear commending the tree for the fruit's sake : 
' Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast 
sucked ;' ' Yea rather,' saith Christ, ' blessed are they that hear 
the word of God, and keep it.' In which words he doth not deny 
her assertion, but her inference, or the foundation of it. Mary, 
though happy, yet was not so happy in bearing the essential, as in 
keeping the written, word of God. She was rather blessed in having 
Christ formed in her, than in having him formed of her. It was 
her greater honour and happiness to be a member of Christ, than 

Chap. XVII.] the christian man's calling. 1G7 

to be the mother of Christ. The porter is not so rich by carrying 
a bag of gold, as the merchant that owneth it. The Christian only 
that keepeth the word of Christ is truly related to Christ the Word, 
Mat. xii. 50. 

It is reported of the nobles of Polonia, that when the Gospel is 
read, they lay their hands upon their swords, and begin to draw 
them, intimating thereby that they will defend it with the hazard 
of their lives. Saints must be ready to die for the gospel ; but a 
Christian may defend it as truly by a holy life as by a bloody 
death. A scandalous conversation is an offence to religion, and 
openeth the mouths of its enemies ; but as fire is a good defence to 
a man in a wilderness, against the fury of ravenous beasts, so the 
heat of grace flaming, and the light of holiness shining in the lives 
of professors, defendeth the word against its opposers. A sermon 
practised is a sermon in print, and by it the hearer teacheth all the 
week long. 

The Romans were commended for ' obeying from the heart, the 
form of doctrine delivered to them,' Rom. vi. 17. In the original 
it is eU 6v 7rapr)86dr)T€, ' whereunto they were delivered/ A good 
hearer, as I said before, is one that eats the word. Now, as meat 
eaten becomes one with the body, and takes the same form with it, 
the body and meat are so much the same that they are one, and 
you cannot know them asunder ; so the word is well heard when 
it becomes one with the Christian, when they are both of the same 
form ; the hearer is delivered up into the likeness and form of the 
Scripture ; the word of God may be read in every leaf, in every line, 
of the volume of his life. 

Our blessed Saviour, describing good hearers, tells us they are 
such as bring forth fruit, ' some thirty, some sixty, some an hun- 
dred fold/ Mat. xiii. 23. And elsewhere he compares the obedient 
hearer to the man who built his house upon a rock, which stood 
firm and immoveable in the midst of all winds, waves, and weather ; 
and the man that heareth and doth not practise, to him who built 
upon the sands, which house quickly fell, when the winds blew and 
the waves beat, Mat. vii., latter eud. His meaning and intention, 
reader, was to quicken thee and me to mind subjection to the word, 
without which we must perish. Suppose thou art never so great a 
hearer, yet if not a doer, thou deceivest thine own soul. Alas ! what 
will become of the frequent hearer, when the non-, or negligent, doer 
shall be thrown to hell! 

I have read a story of two men who, walking together, found a 
voung tree laden with fruit; they both gathered and satisfied them- 


selves at present ; one of them took all the remaining fruit, and 
carried it away with him ; the other took the tree, and planted it 
in his own ground, where it prospered, and brought forth fruit 
every year ; so that though the former had more at present, yet 
this had some when he had none. They who hear the word, and 
have large memories, and nothing else, may carry away most of the 
word at present ; yet he that, possibly, can remember little, who 
carrieth away the tree, plants the word in his heart, and obeys it 
in his life, shall have fruit when the other hath none. The prac- 
tical memory is the greatest mercy. 

It is reported of a good man, that coining from a lecture, and 
being demanded whether all were done, he should fetch a deep 
sigh, and say, All is said, but all is not done. 

Header, when thou hast heard the word, consider, though the 
sermon be at an end, yet there must not be an end of the sermon. 
Practice, which is the heart of hearing, is still behind. Observe 
the properties of those persons to whom, and their posterity, God 
will be propitious : ' The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting, 
and his righteousness to children's children ; to such as keep his 
covenants, and remember his commandments to do them,' Ps. ciii. 
17, 18. They are described by their act; they lay the word up, 
they ' remember his commandments ;' and by their end, to lay the 
word out in their lives, ' to do them.' A good husband having 
received a bag of money, locketh it up safe, that none may rob him 
of it, and as occasion is, fetcheth it down and layeth it out, some 
for food, some for clothes, some for rent, some for servants' wages, 
some for this, some for that, as his necessities require ; so, friend, 
do thou lay up the precious treasure of the word safe in the cabinet 
of thine heart, and bring it out as thy occasions call for it in thy 
life. Art thou in adversity ? fetch out the promises for thy com- 
fort ; broach that strong liquor which was purposely tunned up for 
thee against a groaning hour : ' This is my comfort in mine afflic- 
tion, for thy word hath quickened me,' Ps. cxix. 15. Art thou in 
prosperity ? bring forth the precepts for thy carriage ; look to that 
card and compass by which thou mayest sail evenly and trim, not- 
withstanding those high winds and swelling waters: ' Thy word is 
a light to my feet, and a lamp to my paths,' Ps. cxix. 4. Wouldst 
thou resist and conquer Satan's temptations? the word is a shield, 
which, as they say of Vulcan's armour, is full proof against all 
thrusts and darts : ' By the words of thy mouth I have kept myself 
from the paths of the destroyer,' Ps. xvii. 4. Nay, fetch but this 
sword of the Spirit out of God's armoury, and the devil will run 

Chap. XVII.] the christian man's calling. 1G9 

like a coward ; he is more afraid of it than leviathan his namesake 
is afraid of the sword-fish, which some write he dreadeth more 
than all the fish in the ocean. Thy Saviour gave Satan such a 
wound with the sword of the word, that he feeleth it to this day. 
If thou wouldst overcome the world's insinuations, do but feed on 
the word, and thou wilt scorn the scraps of the world. As the 
Greeks in their sailing to fetch the golden fleece, when the sirens 
endeavoured to enchant them with their songs, found help against 
those assaults by hearkening to Orpheus's pipe ; so when that harlot 
the world striveth to bewitch thee with her pleasant voice and 
poisonous breath, thereby to hinder thy pursuit of the golden crown 
of righteousness, do but hearken to those spiritual songs, that ravish- 
ing music, those high and noble delights which are in the gospel, 
and thou wilt find assured help. That thy corruptions within thee 
may be subdued, let still the word of God be consulted ; thou mayest 
find in it such a bit and curb as will bridle thy youthful, most head- 
strong lusts : ' By what means may a young man cleanse his way ? 
by taking heed thereto according to thy word,' Ps. cxix. 9. If thine 
evil humours be never so many and filthy, yet the word, like the 
Catliolicon drug, is instead of all purges. That thy relative duties 
may be performed, the holy Scriptures must be fetched out and 
minded. Whether thou art a husband, or wife, or parent, or child, 
or master, or servant, to defray the charge of all those duties, thou 
mayest take enough out of the word of God. It is a well-drawn 
picture, that looks on all that look on it, and it guides thee by its 
eye how to order and govern thy feet, on what ground soever thou 
standest, whether on the higher ground of a superior, the plain, 
even ground of an equal, or the lower ground of an inferior. He 
that layeth up the word for these purposes, and bringeth it out in 
these practices, is the right profitable hearer ; for he ' remembereth 
the commandments of God to do them.' 

Some hear and jeer ; they go to a sermon as to a stage-play, to 
laugh and be merry. Others hear and fret and fume, as those that 
live under the torrid zone curse the very sun. Others hear and 
forget what would do them most good ; their memories are true to 
the flesh, but treacherous to the spirit ; they are like vessels made 
of ivy, which, some say, if wine and water be poured into them, 
will leak out the wine and keep in the water. Others hear and 
admire ; but, reader, if thou wouldst not have the word to witness 
against thee, when thou shalt be judged by it, for thine everlasting 
life or death, do thou hear and amend. Charles the Great did set 
his crown upon the Bible, intimating thereby that his crown, his 


carriage as a king, should be according to the commands of the 
word. Oh, do thou hide this word in thine heart, that thou raayest 
hold it forth to thy companions by the hand of a holy conversation. 
Walk according to this rule. 

A good tvish about the zvord, wJierein the former heads are 

The holy Scriptures being of such authority, as the handwriting 
and heart of God himself, and so singular a mercy to me, that by 
the guidance of this star I am directed, as the wise men, to Jesus 
Christ, I wish in general that I may set a high price upon every 
part thereof, that every piece may be current with me, for his sake 
whose image and superscription it beareth. Oh that my carriage 
before, at, and after hearing, may witness to God and my con- 
science, that I esteem the law of his lips above thousands of gold 
and silver ! In particular I wish that, as the Jews, when they went 
to hear the law, sanctified themselves, and washed their clothes ; 
so, before I go to read or hear the word, I may sanctify my soul, and 
wash my heart from all superfluity of naughtiness, and with meek- 
ness receive that ingrafted word which is able to save my soul. I 
wish that, like Jehoshaphat, I may prefer one Micaiah before four 
hundred false prophets ; yet that I may ever make a difference 
betwixt an evil minister's preaching and practice, and even when 
the minister is full of grace, may so distinguish between the trea- 
sure and the vessel, as not to value the message for the messenger's 
sake, but to bid the workman welcome for the word's sake. I wish 
that I may be so sensible of my own inability to profit by this holy 
ordinance, and of the speaker's impotency to preach home to my 
conscience, that I may cry mightily to my God, that he would open 
my heart to receive the word with all affection, and so direct the 
arrows which the preacher taketh out of the quiver of Scripture, 
that they may hit and pierce my dearest corruptions. I desire that 
the consideration of the word's excellency may cause me to prize it 
highly ; of its necessity may make me to improve it diligently ; and 
of its efficacy may move me to go to hear, as a prisoner going 
to a bar, to be tried for my everlasting life or death. I wish that 
the weight of the word may sink so deep into my heart, that I may 
never hear sermons to pick flowers of oratory, or to please my fancy, 
but to receive virtue from Christ, for the drying up of my issue of 
sin, and that I might cleanse my ways, by taking heed thereto 

Chat. XVII.] the chbistian man's calling. 171 

according to God's word ; that the noise of the world may never 
hinder me from hearing the voice of my God. I wish that, when I 
come into the place of worship, I may set myself solemnly, as before 
the judge of quick and dead, and as in the presence of the Lord, 
with fear and awe, give audience to his word. If I were hearken- 
ing to an earthly prince I would be serious. Oh, with what rever- 
ence should I hear from the blessed and only potentate ! Because 
without amplication the word will be unprofitable, I wish that I 
may never draw a curtain before my own picture, but overlooking 
others, may see my own face in the glass of the law. Oh, that by 
faith I may so take clown the book of the word, as to be caught and 
taken by it ! My prayer is, that the gospel may come to me, not 
in word only, but in power also ; that I may go to it as clean paper 
for any inscription, as soft wax for any impression, which my God 
shall be pleased to make upon me. Oh that I might behold the 
Lord so effectually in that glass as to be changed into his image, 
from glory to glory ! In special I wish that my sins may be placed 
by me in the front of this spiritual battle, as Uriah, purposely to 
be slain ; and that those smooth stones which are taken out of the 
silver streams of the sanctuary may be thrown by so skilful and 
powerful a hand, that they may sink deep into the foreheads of 
those uncircumcised ones, to their death and destruction. I wish 
that after the seed is sown, I may beg that the showers of heaven's 
blessings may accompany it, that it may spring up in the fruits of 
righteousness, to the glory of my God, and good of my precious 
soul. And because the gospel is a dish which is not set on every 
table, though free grace bestoweth it on me, I wish that I may 
never rise from this spiritual food, before I have given thanks to 
the master of the feast. I desire, finally, that as I looked like a 
saint in hearing, I may live like a saint after I have heard ; that 
those blossoms of good purposes, which sprouted forth while the 
minister was preaching, may ripen into practice ; that whatsoever 
characters others are known by, to be Christians, I may be known 
by tliis ear-mark to be one of Christ's sheep, even by hearing his 
voice, so as to follow him wheresoever he goeth. Though others, 
like petty chapmen, deal only in some particular commodities, and 
those such as will serve their own turns, I desire that I may deal 
with the word by wholesale, and esteem all God's precepts concern- 
ing all things to be right. Oh that I might order my whole con- 
versation aright, and at the last see the salvation of my God ! 



How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in receiving the 
Lord's supper ; and, 1. Of the nature of that ordinance, and 
preparation for it. 

When God had caused his everlasting decree to fall in labour, 
and had delivered it by giving the world a being, and upon infinite 
consultation had formed man to be his viceroy over all the works 
of his hands, he embarked him, with all abilities needful for such 
a voyage, in the bottom of the covenant of works. Adam set forth 
fully furnished with skill; and richly fraught with all the fortunes, 
hopes, and happiness of mankind ; but he had searce launched out 
of sight, before Satan, who knew very well the worth of the prize, 
envying man the haven of bliss to which he was sailing, and envy- 
ing God, who was the owner, the honour of such a venture, raised 
a storm, whereby the vessel, through the unfaithfulness of Adam, 
the pilot, ran upon a rock and miscarried. Oh what a joyful 
spectacle was that to Satan ! What a doleful sight to Adam, to 
behold himself, and all his posterity, sinking into the boundless, 
bottomless ocean of destruction and misery, through his falseness 
and treachery ! when, lo, on a sudden the glorious God, out of the 
superabundant riches of his mercy, resolving that the devil should 
never rob him of the honour of that manifold wisdom, unsearch- 
able goodness, and almighty power, which had been manifested in 
the work of creation, did provide and cast out the covenant of 
grace, a plank sufficient for his poor shipwrecked creature to swim 
safe to shore on. 

As all the rivers meet in the sea, and all the lines in the centre, 
so do all the comforts of mankind meet in this covenant. The 
whole Scripture is ' sincere milk/ but this covenant is the cream of 
it : all our mercies are contained in it, all our hopes are sustained 
by it, and our heaven is at last attained through it. 

The blessed God doth not only enter into a covenant of mercy, 
but out of compassion to our infirmities, hath been pleased to con- 
firm it by his hand and seal : by his hand in his word, by his seals, 
by the privy-seal of his Spirit, and by the broad seals of the sacra- 
ments, that by these ' immutable things, in which it is impossible 
for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for 
refuge, to lay hold upon the hope set before us,' Heb vi. 18. 

Chap. XVIII.]* the christian man's calling. 173 

The Lord's supper is a sign and seal of the righteousness of 
faith, or the covenant of grace, Bom. iv. 11. 

"When the blessed Saviour was taking a doleful farewell of an 
ungrateful world, as a lively resemblance of his sufferings for his, 
and as an undeniable evidence of his love to his, he instituted this 
supper : 1. As a lively resemblance of his passion for his people. 
A crucified Christ is the sum of the law, and the substance of the 
gospel ; the knowledge of him is no less worth than eternal life. 
Now as he was crucified by the Jews and soldiers actually, and by 
unbelieving Gentiles, who live amongst us, interpretatively, so he is 
crucified in the gospel declaratively, and in the sacrament repre- 
sentatively. ' This cup,' saith Christ, ' is the New Testament in 
my blood,' 1 Cor. xi. 25. The Old Testament was sprinkled with 
the blood of beasts, but the New Testament with the blood of 
Christ, Heb. ix. 15, 19. This precious blood, which was the costly 
price of man's redemption, which is the only path to eternal salva- 
tion, which was promised to Adam, believed by the patriarchs, 
shadowed in the sacrifices, foretold by the prophets, and witnessed 
in the Scriptures, is drunk, received, signified, and sealed in the 

Christ instituted this ordinance also to be a standing evidence of 
his affection to his. ' The same night that he was betrayed he 
took bread.' The dearest Jesus kept his best wine till the last. 
He knew his disciples would be full of sorrow for his departure ; lie 
therefore provided his strongest cordial against their saddest fainting 
fits. After the passover he took bread and instituted the sacra- 
ment. After supper, then comes the banquet, the sweetmeats. At 
the Lord's table Christ kisseth his spouse with the sweetest kisses 
of his lips, and ravisheth her heart with his warmest love. In 
other ordinances he wooeth her ; in this he marrieth her. In 
other ordinances she hath from him the salutes of a loving friend ; 
but in this the embraces of a husband ; other duties are pleasant 
and wholesome food, but this is the costly, delightful feast. In 
this Christ bringeth his beloved ' into his banqueting house,' a 
storehouse of all sweet delights, of variety of delicacies, ' and his 
banner over her is love,' Cant. ii. 4. 

' A certain man made a great supper,' Luke xiv. 16. I may 
truly say so of the sacrament. This is a great supper in regard of 
its author : the great God is master of the feast. He gave his own 
Son for the life of the world. 2. In regard of the matter of it, 
which is the flesh of Jesus Christ ; men set bread and wine on the 
table, but Christ setteth his own body and blood there. In this 


ordinance, we eat not only, Partem Domini, sed partem Dominum, 
the bread of the Lord, but the bread which is the Lord. ' The 
gods/ say they, ' are come down in the likeness of man ;' behold, 
here God the Son cometh down in the likeness of bread and wine ; 
he himself is eaten and drunk by faith. Is not this a rare banquet? 
3. In regard of the great price of it. Banquets are costly; but oh, 
what did this feast cost ! Beasts are slain before they can be food 
for our bodies ; but, lo, here the Lord of life was put to death, that 
he might be food for our starving souls. Cleopatra dissolved a 
pearl worth fifty thousand pounds in vinegar, and drank it up at a 
draught ; but as costly as her liquor was, it was much worse than 
puddle water in comparison of the precious blood of Christ, which 
the believer drinketh at this great supper. 4. In regard of its 
great effects : it sealeth pardon, peace, and salvation to the saint ; 
it conveyeth the image and love of God, nay, God himself into the 
soul ; through the golden pipe of this ordinance is conveyed the 
golden oil of divine influence. There is manna indeed in this pot. 
Well may it be called a great supper. The elements are of small 
value, but the sacrament is of infinite worth. A conveyance of 
land fairly written in parchment, with wax fastened to it, is of 
little price, but when it is signed, sealed, and delivered to the use 
of a person, it may be worth much, it may convey thousands : a 
little bread, and a spoonful or two of wine, are in themselves of 
very small value ; but when received according to Christ's institu- 
tion, and accompanied with his benediction, they will be of un- 
speakable value ; they will convey thousands and millions to the 

The Lord's supper is indeed like an elixir, which is small in 
quantity, but great in value and efficacy, having in it the spirits 
and substance of many excellent things ; in prayer all the graces 
are exercised, and so also at the supper ; but not only all the 
graces, but most of the other ordinances of God are invited to this 
feast. The word, prayer, singing, do all meet at the table, and 
contribute their help to carry the Christian up to heaven. I pre- 
mise these things, reader, purposely to make thee more wary. The 
corrupting of the best is worst of all. Poison in wine is much 
worse than in water ; kings expect that their children should be 
respected, though their officers be refused. ' Surely,' saith God, 
' they will reverence my Son,' Mat. xxi. 37. The very work about 
which he comes will make him welcome. Though they refuse my 
servants, yet ' they will reverence my Son.' The casuists say, Sac- 
ramentum et articulus mortis cequiparantur : A man must be 

Chat. XVIII.-] the christian man's calling. 175 

looked upon at the sacramental board as if he were on a dying bed ; 
friend, thou shouldst be as serious when thou art going to the 
Lord's supper, as if thou wert going into the other world. 

He that cometh carelessly, gets nothing from Christ ; it is one 
thing to take the supper of the Lord, and another thing to taste 
the supper of the Lord. ' Not one of them which were bidden 
shall taste of my supper,' Luke xiv. 24. Many crowd near a king's 
person on some days, when he sheweth himself in public, who 
never enjoy his gracious presence. Hundreds receive the elements, 
but few receive the sacrament. 

If a beast did but touch the mount, when God solemnly ap- 
peared on it, it was to die. What, then, will become of thee if 
thou shouldst touch the table of the Lord with a brutish heart ? 
If any did eat of the passover in his uncleanness, he was to be cut 
off from Israel, Exod. xii., which some interpret of a violent death 
by the hand of the magistrate ; others, of a cutting off from the 
privileges of God's people on earth, and their possession in heaven. 
Surely it is as dangerous to eat the supper in thy pollution as the 

It is evil to dally with the jealous God in any duty ; but worst 
of all in this, where the great affection of the Father in giving his 
Son, and the grievous passions of Christ, (to satisfy God's justice 
for sin,) the most serious things which man's heart can conceive, 
are represented. Melanchthon telleth a story of a tragedy which 
was acted of the death of Christ ; but it proved a tragedy indeed at 
last, for he that acted Christ's part on the cross, being wounded to 
death, by one that should have thrust his sword through a bladder 
of blood, fell down, and with his fall killed one acting a woman's 
part, and lamenting under the cross. His brother, who was first 
slain, slew the murderer, for which himself was hanged by order of 
justice. Cyprian speaketh of an ancient woman, who had denied 
the faith, and yet ventured to this heavenly feast ; but it proved 
her bane, for as soon as she had received the elements, she fell 
down dead. Oh it is sad jesting with the sufferings and ordinances 
of Christ ! Friend, let others' woe be thy warning. Take ex- 
ample by others, lest God make thee an example to others. 

I shall lay down two motives to quicken thee to a serious pre- 
paration for this ordinance : 

1. Consider Christ's diligent inspection. The Lord Jesus will 
take special notice what respect thou hast for his body and blood. 
' And when the king came in to see his guests, he saw there a man 
which had not on a wedding-garment,' Mat. xxii. 11-13. Jesus 


Christ observeth all his wedding guests, whether they come with 
the wedding-garment or no. Though there was but one, yet he 
could not lie hid, and escape in the crowd; the king quickly spied 

The King of saints taketh exact notice in what manner thou 
comest to his supper; whether thou examinest thy regeneration, 
and provest thyself to be one of the family, before thou offerest to 
eat of their food ; whether thou carriest the gold of thy graces to 
the touchstone of the Scripture, and triest their truth, before thou 
tenderest them to him for current coin. He observeth with what 
sense of thy misery thou runnest for refuge to the spring of mercy ; 
he knoweth whether, when thou art going to this heavenly feast, 
thou hast the mouth of faith ; with what resolution against sin for 
time to come thou goest for pardon of sins past. He seeth whether 
thou goest to this gospel ordinance in a gospel order ; if not, both 
thy preparation for the sacrament, and thy carriage at it, and 
after it, are eye-services to Jesus Christ ; how holy, therefore, 
shouldst thou be in them ! Wouldst thou trample upon the 
picture of thy dear friend, or of thy lawful sovereign, before their 
faces ? wilt thou tread under foot the infinitely precious blood of 
the Son of God, as if it were the blood of a malefactor, or of a 
dog, and that while he himself standeth by, and looketh on ? 
Canst thou, friend, find in thine heart to offer such an abominable 
affront to thy best friend, and that before his face ? Truly, if 
thou art not faithful in thy preparation for it, thou dost all this. 
Think with thyself, I am now to sit down at the table of the Lord, 
amongst his own children ; I know beforehand that the King will 
come in to see his guests, even that King who is too just to be 
bribed, too great to "be slighted, too wise to be deceived, and too 
good to be forfeited. my soul, what solemn provision wilt thou 
make for so sacred a presence ? If in any time of thy life thou 
wouldst be extraordinarily serious, this is the season. Oh let thy 
preparation be such for this glorious supper that the Master of 
the feast may see that thou art tender of his honour, watchful of 
his eye, and fearful of his anger ! 

2. Consider the dreadful condition of those that receive the 
Lord's supper unworthily. Their sin ; they are ' guilty of the body 
and blood of the Lord : ' their suffering ; ' they eat and drink their 
own damnation,' 1 Cor. xi. 27, 29. 

(1.) Their sin: they are ' guilty of the body and blood of the 
Lord.' The unworthy receiver is a Christ-murderer. He that 
tears the letters, or defaceth the picture, or clippeth the coin of a 

Chap. XVIII.] the christian man's calling. 177 

prince, offereth the indignity to his person. The Romans, when 
they would dishonour a person, would disfigure the statue which 
was erected to his praise. The same wickedness of heart which 
carrieth a man out to profane the sacrament, would carry him out 
to kill the Saviour. 

When one shoots at another to slay him, though he miss, he is 
a murderer ; the error of the hand doth not wipe out the malice 
of the heart. Joseph's brethren were guilty concerning their 
brother, though they did not lay violent hands upon him, Gen. 
xlii. 21. When Julian shot darts up to heaven, his cruelty and 
rage were as bad as if he had hit Christ's body. Besides, men 
may be guilty of murder, by approving it after it is committed, 
Mat. xxiii. 35. What doth the unworthy receiver less than justify 
Judas and the Jews in all their treacherous and barbarous carriage 
towards Jesus Christ ? 

Consider, therefore, what thou dost, when thou goest unpre- 
paredly to the Lord's table ; thou art guilty of the body and 
blood of the Lord. Simple murder is a crying sin : ' The voice of 
thy brother's blood crieth to me from the earth,' Gen. iv. 10. It 
is one of those sins which will give God no rest till he take ven- 
geance on the actor and author of it, and is therefore called a 
crying sin. The light of nature taught the barbarians that ven- 
geance would not suffer a murderer to live, Acts xxviii. 4. The 
Scripture acquainteth us that ' no satisfaction shall be taken for the 
life of a murderer, for blood defileth the land,' Num. xxxv. 31, 
36. But the murder of a superior is a far greater sin. Cicero 
telleth us, He that killeth his father committeth many sins in one ; 
he killeth him that begot him and brought him up ; he sinneth 
against many obligations. To kill a king is high treason : ' Who 
can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guilt- 
less ?' 1 Sam. xxvi. 9. But what is it to murder the Son of God ? 
No tongue can tell, no pen can write the horrid, heinous nature 
of Christ-murder. He is thy everlasting Father. It made a dumb 
child speak to see another stabbing his father, and wilt thou im- 
brue thine own hands in thy Father's blood ? Jesus Christ is thy 
king, and wilt thou stretch forth thy hands against thy Head, thy 
Sovereign? 'Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?' Nay, 
Jesus Christ is thy Redeemer, and wilt thou put him to death 
who is the author of thy life ? He gave thee thy being, and 
wouldst thou deprive him of his being ? He is the only physician 
that can cure thee, and wilt thou kill him ? Once more, Jesus 
Christ is God, and wilt thou lift up thy hand (I would say a 

VOL. I. M 


thought) against the blessed God ? God deserveth infinitely more 
love than thou canst possibly give, and shall thine heart be so full 
of hatred as to let fly against the God 'of heaven ? Oh, say with 
David, when Abishai persuaded him to slay Saul, ' The Lord for- 
bid that I should stretch forth my hand against the Lord's 
anointed !' When Satan, or thy own heart, would persuade thee to 
be slight in the examination of thyself, and formal in thy humilia- 
tion for sin, that thou mightest be guilty of the body and blood of 
the Lord, let conscience cry out. God forbid that I should stretch 
out my hand against Jesus Christ, the Lord's anointed ; and truly, 
friend, if after such warning as God gives thee in this head, thou 
shouldst dare to receive unworthily, thou wouldst find it hereafter 
to thine unspeakable hurt, as Reuben told his brethren when they 
were in distress, ' Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against 
the child ? and ye would not hear, therefore behold his blood is 
required,' Gen. xlii. 22. So, if thou now darest to approach the 
Lord's table in thy sinful, unregenerate estate, in thy filth and pol- 
lution, when thou comest to lie under some smart rod, or on thy 
dying bed, or at least in the other world, conscience will fly in thy 
face, Did I not speak unto thee, saying, Do not sin against the 
holy child Jesus, and thou wouldst not hear ? therefore behold his 
blood is required at thy hands ! friend, friend ! what wilt thou 
do in such an hour ? If on him who slew Cain vengeance should 
be taken sevenfold, what vengeance shall be taken on him who 
slayeth Jesus Christ ? How dreadful will thy perdition be if the 
only Saviour be thine accuser, and that blood which alone can pro- 
cure thy pardon shall cry for thine eternal punishment ! 

Oh think of it seriously, hast thou never had hard thoughts of 
the Jews for their cruelty to the Son of God ? and wilt thou do 
worse thyself ? The Jews crucified him but once, but thou, by 
continuing an unworthy receiver, crucifiest him often. The Jews 
did it ignorantly ; ' Had they known, they would not have crucified 
the Lord of glory,' 1 Cor. ii. 8 ; but thou knowest him to be the 
Son of God, the Saviour of the world. They crucified him in his 
estate of humiliation, but thou in his estate of exaltation ; they 
had not thee for a warning when they put him to death, but thou 
hast them for a warning to thee ; they crucified him when he was 
to rise again the third day, but thou so crucifiest him that he 
might never rise more, were it in thy power. Oh take heed what 
thou dost, and be not worse than a Jew ! 

(2.) Thy suffering ; ' He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, 
tateth and drinketh damnation to himself,' 1 Cor. xi. 29. Some I 

Chap. XVIII. ] the christian man's calling. 170 

know are offended at the translation of the Greek word /cpifia, 
damnation, but I see little reason for it ; for damnation is the end 
of every sin, though it be not the end of every sinner. Paul 
speaketh of believers indeed ; but as it may be truly said of one 
that drinketh poison, such a man drank his bane, though by the 
help of a physician such an antidote may be given as may prevent 
the patient's death ; so it may be truly spoken of a believer who re- 
ceiveth unworthily, he eateth and drinketh his own damnation, 
though, through the grace and help of Jesus Christ, no thank to 
himself, he is recovered out of that sin, and saved. Beza and the 
Geneva translation take it in this sense. So the word is taken 
John iii. 17, 18 ; Rom. iii. 8, and in several other places. 

Now what an argument is here to dissuade thee from goino- 
rashly or unpreparedly to the table of the Lord. That which is a 
Avorthy receiver's meat will be thy poison ; the same red sea of 
Christ's blood, which is salvation to others — they pass safely 
through it into the land of promise — will be damnation to thee. 
King John, as our English chroniclers write, was poisoned by a 
cup of wine. 1 The Emperor Henry VII. was poisoned by the 
bread in the sacrament, through the treachery and treason of a 
monk. The Israelites ' did all eat the same spiritual meat, and 
did all drink- the same spiritual drink ; but with many of them 
God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilder- 
ness,' 1 Cor. x. 3-5. Those that eat and drink in Christ's presence 
were punished with everlasting perdition, Mat. vii. 23. And do 
not please thyself because thou feelest no such poisonous operation 
at present in unworthy receiving, that therefore thou needest not 
fear it. They that eat Italian figs carry their death about them 
though they fall not down dead suddenly. 

Therefore, reader, take some time and pains to commune with 
thy own heart before thou goest to the sacrament. Charge it 
upon its allegiance to God to hear thee patiently, and to carry 
itself suitably. If I receive this supper with a holy preparation 
it will be a seal of, and a help to, my eternal salvation ; it will be 
an earnest of matchless love, and an entrance into an endless 
happy life. But if I eat and drink unworthily, there is death in 
the pot, death in the cup ; I eat and drink my own damnation. Oh 
how doleful is that one word damnation ! What a dreadful sound 
doth it make in mine ears ! What fearful sighs cloth it cause in 
my soul ! Damnation is no trifling business ; God threateneth it 
in earnest, the damned feel it in earnest, and shall I jest with it ? 

1 Speed ; Simps., Eccles. Hist. 


Surely I were Letter eat the bread of affliction, and drink the 
water of adversity, than eat this bread and drink this cup of the 
Lord unworthily. Canst thou be so bloody as to stab thyself and 
thy Redeemer to the heart with one blow ? my soul, bestir 
thyself, awake out of sleep, and do not dally about the concern- 
ments of eternal life and death ; let thy care and conscience be 
such, in fitting thyself for this sacred ordinance, that thy Saviour 
may see thou hast a high respect for his precious blood, and a 
tender regard to thine own everlasting good. 

For thy help about this ordinance I shall speak, 

1. To thy duty before the sacrament. 

2. To thy duty at the sacrament. 

3. To thy duty after the sacrament. 

First, To thy duty before the sacrament ; and herein my counsel 
is, that thou wouldst prepare thyself solemnly for this ordinance. 
The Jews had their preparation for their passover, John xix. 24. 
' It was the preparation of the passover.' Nay, they took their 
lamb the tenth day of the month, and did not kill it till the four- 
teenth, Exod. xii. 3 ; and, as some of their writers observe, they 
tied it all the while to their bedposts, that in the interim they 
might prepare themselves for it. Our Lord Jesus, when he was 
to eat the passover, and institute the supper, would have so 
much as the house in which he would do it prepared beforehand, 
Mark xiv. 15. The ancient fathers and primitive Christians used 
to sit up whole nights at prayer before the Lord's supper, which 
they called their vigilice* 

Reader, thy care must be to trim thy lamp, and make sure of 
oil in the vessel, now thou art going to meet the bridegroom. 
Samuel spake to the inhabitants of Bethlehem, ' Sanctify your- 
selves, and come to the sacrifice ; ' so say I to thee, Sanctify thy 
soul, and then come to the sacrament, 1 Sam. xvi. 9. Joseph pre- 
pared himself, by shaving himself, and changing his raiment, 
before he went unto Pharaoh ; and wilt not thou prepare thyself 
by putting thy soul into the holiest posture thou canst, when thou 
art to go in unto the king of heaven and earth ? He that would 
make a good meal, even when he is to feast at another's cost, 
must prepare his stomach beforehand by moderate fasting or 
exercise. God expecteth that the hands be pure, but especially 
that the heart be prepared. ' The good Lord,' saith Hezekiah, 
' pardon every one that prepareth his heart, though it be not 
cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary,' 2 Chron. 
xxx. 18, 19. The king speaketh of those who came to the pass- 

Chap. XVIII.] the christian man's calling. 181 

over with some ceremonial pollution, yet had moral purity ; and 
his words are to this purpose : Lord, though several of my people 
have failed in regard of external purification, let it please thee to 
pardon them, if they have minded internal preparation. Friend, 
there is no hope of remission without this heart preparation ; the 
devil himself would not come into a house till it was ' ready, 
swept, and garnished,' Mat. xii. And dost thou think that Jesus 
Christ will come into thy heart while it lieth nastily and sluttishly, 
before the filth of sin be swept out, and it be garnished with the 
graces of his Spirit ? Surely that room had need be richly hung 
with the embroidery of the Spirit, in winch the glorious and 
blessed potentate will sup and lodge. Where thy expectation is 
great from a person, there thy preparation must be great for him. 
Dost thou not look, like Herod, to see some miracle done by Jesus, 
some extraordinary thing for thy soul ? Therefore I say to thee, 
as Joshua spake to the Israelites, ' Sanctify yourselves, for to- 
morrow the Lord will do wonders amongst you,' Joshua iii. 5. Oh 
sanctify thyself, and to-morrow — on the sacrament day — the Lord 
will do wonders for thee ; he will feast thee at his own table, he 
will feed thee with his own flesh, he will give thee that love which 
is better than wine, he will embrace thee in his arms, and kiss thee 
with the kisses of his mouth ; he will delight thine eyes with the 
sight of his beautiful person, ravish thine ears with the sound of 
his precious promises, and rejoice thine heart with the assurance of 
his gracious pardon. Oh do but sanctify thyself, and to-morrow the 
Lord will do wonders for thee ! This preparation consisteth in a 
serious examination of thyself, and a sincere humiliation for thy 

Thy serious examination of thyself must be, first, Of the good 
in thee ; secondly, Of the evil clone by thee. 

' Let a man examine himself, and so ' (and no otherwise) ' let 
him eat of this bread, and drink of this cup,' 1 Cor. xi. 28. Ex- 
amine himself, SoKL/xa^irco : some take it to be a metaphor of a 
goldsmith, as he trieth gold in the fire whether it be pure or no ; 
so thy duty is to try thy graces by the fire of the word, whether 
they be true or not. So the word is used, 1 Peter i. 7. Others 
take it as an allusion to ministers, who are tried whether they are 
fit for their office or no, 1 Tim. iii. 10 ; so thou oughtest to try 
thyself, whether thou art fit for this ordinance or no. This ex- 
amination must be, 

First, Of the good in thee. Thy duty is to examine thyself in 
general, concerning thy regeneration or spiritual life. The sacra- 


ment is children's bread, and it must not be given to dogs ; dogs 
must be without doors, not within, snatching the meat from the 
table. Men must prove their right to the purchase before they 
take possession. He must have an interest in the covenant of 
grace who will finger the seal of the covenant. It is high treason 
to annex the king's broad seal to forged writings. 

' Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor : thy 
belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies/ Cant. vii. 2. 
The words are Christ's praise of his spouse, for her fruitfulness in 
bringing children forth, and her faithfulness in bringing them up. 
By the navel expositors agree that baptism is understood, by which, 
as children by the navel, the members of the church are nourished, 
even then when they are so feeble that they cannot feed themselves, 
but their whole sustenance is conveyed to them by others. By the 
belly is meant the Lord's supper ; now observe the provision how 
the table is furnished, and the persons which are to sit at it. For 
the provision ; ' Thy belly is like an heap of wheat.' Ainsworth on 
the words observeth, that in those times they brought their corn 
in and stacked it up in heaps ; so that as the belly distributeth to 
every part of the body its proportion of nourishment, and as a 
heap of wheat satisfieth the hunger of, and affordeth strength to a 
whole family, so doth the church by this sacrament bestow on all 
her children, through Christ, that food which is needful for health 
and strength. The persons which are to eat of this wheat ' set 
about with lilies;' they must be saints, and are compared to lilies, 
first, For their innocency, they are lily-white ; secondly, For their 
glory and nobility, Mat. vi. 29. Pliny telleth us that lilies are next 
to the rose for nobility ; 1 Christ is ' the rose of Sharon,' the ' plant 
of most renown ; ' but his church is next to him. Thirdly, For 
the savour, Cant. iv. 12. The graces of believers are like sweet 
perfumes, and scented as far as heaven. The Lord's supper is 
a sacrament, not of regeneration, but of sustentation. When the 
prodigal came to himself, then the fatted calf was killed for him, 
Luke xv. Men must have natural life, before they can eat natural 
meat ; and men must have spiritual life, before they can eat 
spiritual meat. It was an ancient abuse of the sacrament, cast 
out by the Carthaginian council, to give it to dead men. The 
invitation is not to enemies but friends : ' Eat, friends ; drink 
abundantly, beloved,' Cant. v. 1. The water of life is only for 
the thirsty, and the bread of life only for the hungry. The shew- 
bread under the law was to be eaten only by the priests, Lev. 

1 Plin., lib. xxii. cap. 5. 

Chap. XVIII.] the christian man's calling. 183 

xxiv. 9 ; so the bread of the sacrament is to be eaten only by such 
as are spiritual priests unto God, as saints are, Rev. i. 5. 

Reader, examine thyself therefore whether thou art born again 
or no. Look into the word of God, and compare thyself with the 
characters which are there given of new born creatures. They are 
sometimes described by their hearts : ' God is good to Israel, to 
such as are of a clean heart,' Ps. lxxiii. 1. Their hearts are clean, 
not with a legal cleanness, which denieth the being of sin in them — 
in that sense ' none can say, I have made my heart clean/ (this 
spotless robe is reserved for the saints' wearing in the other world ;) 
but with an evangelical cleanness, which denieth the dominion of 
sin over them, (this cleanly garment is the saint's ordinary attire in 
this world.) AVe call river water clean water, though there be 
some kind of illness and impurity in it, because it will not, like 
pond water, mingle with it, and suffer the filth to rest there, but 
worketh it out, and sendeth it forth in its scum and froth. Now, 
how is it with thee, friend? Doth sin rest quietly in thee? or is 
it resisted by thee ? Dost thou love sin or loathe sin ? Dost thou 
count it thy pleasure or thy poison ? When the body is dead, 
vermin crawl in it without opposition. When the soul is dead, 
lusts abound in it and reign without any considerable disturbance. 
An unclean heart is quickly overcome by sin. As when a chimney 
is foul, it is apt to be fired by every spark that flieth up ; whereas, 
when it is clean, though many fly up, it remaineth safe. So when 
the heart is unclean, Satan can no sooner throw in his fiery darts, 
but presently it is in a flame ; whereas a clean heart is like wet 
tinder, not so soon burning when he strikes fire. Godly men, as 
they have clean hearts, so they have ' clean hands,' Job xvii. 9. 
The hand is the instrument of action ; by clean hands the Spirit 
of God meaneth clean and holy actings. 

Saints are described by their lives. They ' walk after the Spirit ; ' 
they 'order their conversations aright.' Per brachium fit judi- 
cium de corde, was Galen's rule. Physicians feel the pulse of the 
arm, that they may know the state of the vitals. Now, how beats 
the pulse of thy conversation ? according to that, judge of the 
soundness or sickness of thy constitution. Dost thou walk, in re- 
ference to thyself, soberly, in reference to others, righteously, in 
reference to God, religiously? Rom. viii. 1, 5 ; Titus ii. 12. 

Thy duty is to examine thyself in particular also of those graces 
which are specially requisite in a communicant, of thy knowledge 
to discern the Lord's body. There is a competency of knowledge 
needful if thou wouldst receive acceptably. Dost thou know the 


threefold estate of man ? — his innocency, apostasy, and recovery ; 
what a pure piece he was, how holy, when he came out of God's 
hands; what a miserable polluted creature he hath made him- 
self by disobeying God, and hearkening to the tempter ; what a 
glorious remedy God hath provided to restore man to his primitive 
purity. Dost thou know God as he discovereth himself in his 
works, but especially as he is represented in the glass of his word ? 
Dost thou know Jesus Christ, his two natures, his three offices, 
how he executeth them, both in his estate of humiliation and 
exaltation ? Dost thou know the nature and end of the Lord's 
supper ? 

An ignorant person can no more discern Christ's body than a 
person stark blind can discern the bread. God hath expressly for- 
bidden lame and blind sacrifices, Mai. i. 8. The hypocrite's sacri- 
fice is lame, for he halteth in God's way. The ignorant person's 
sacrifice is blind, for he can give no account of his own work. 
When the leprosy was in the head, the priest was to pronounce the 
party ' utterly unclean,' and exclude him the camp, Lev. xiii. 44. 
Do not say, though thou art ignorant, yet thy heart is good, when 
God himself saith, ' Without knowledge the mind is not good.' 

Fish stink first in the head, and then the whole body putrifieth. 

Examine thy faith. This grace is thy spiritual taste, without 
which thou canst relish nothing on the table. This is the bucket, 
and if it be wanting, I may say to thee, as the woman to Christ, 
' The well is deep, and thou hast nothing to draw with.' This is 
the hand to receive Christ, John i. 12. This is as the arms 
whereby we embrace Christ ; they ' embraced the promises ' by 
faith, Heb. xi. 13. As loving friends that have been a great while 
asunder, when they meet together, hug and embrace each other in 
their arms ; so the Christian who longeth to see Jesus Christ in the 
promises, when at a sacrament he meeteth him, huggeth and em- 
braceth him in the arms of faith. 

Examine not so much the strength as the truth of thy faith. 
The wings of a dove may help her to mount up towards heaven, as 
well as the wings of an eagle. Try whether thy faith be unfeigned, 
1 Tim. i. 5. What price dost thou set upon Christ ? ' To them 
that believe, Christ is precious,' 1 Pet. ii. 7. An unbeliever, like 
the Indians, seeth no worth in this golden mine, but preferreth a 
piece of glass, or a few painted beads, mean, earthly things, before 
it ; but a believer, like the Spaniard, knoweth the value of it, and 
will venture through all storms and tempests that he may enjoy it. 
Dost thou prize the precepts of Christ, the promises of Christ, the 

Chap. XVIIL] the christian man's calling. 185 

people of Christ, the person of Christ, (is that altogether lovely in 
thine eyes?) and the passion of Christ? Is thy greatest glory in 
Christ's shameful cross ? Dost thou esteem it above the highest 
emperor's most glorious crown ? One of England's kings bestowed 
as much on a crucifix as the revenues of his crown were worth in a 
year. ' God forbid,' saith Paul, ' that I should glory, save in the 
cross of Christ,' Gal. vi. 14-. 

Doth thy faith purify thine heart ? ' Having their hearts purified 
by faith, Acts xv. 9. The hand of faith, which openeth the door to 
let Christ into the heart, sweepeth the heart clean. Faith looks to 
be like Christ in glory, and faith labours to resemble Christ in 
grace. An unbeliever, like a sluttish woman, though he keep the 
room of his life a little clean, which others daily observe, yet he 
cares not how dirtily those rooms of his inward man lie, which are 
out of their sight ; unbelieving and defiled are joined together, Tit. 
i. 15. 

Examine thy love. The primitive Christians kissed each other 
at the supper, which they called Oscidum pacis, A kiss of peace. 
They had their ' feasts of charity,' Jude 12. ' The bread which 
we eat, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?' As the 
bread is made of many grains, and the cup of wine of many grapes 
united, so is the body of Christ of many members, united under one 
head. Eating together was ever a sign of love and friendship. 
Joseph hereby shewed his love to his brethren. The sons of 
Brutus, and the Vitellii, when they conspired with Tarquin's am- 
bassadors against the consul, drank the blood of a man together, to 
confirm their amity. 1 Even beasts have been brought to agree by 
feeding at the same rack. 

Now, reader, what love-fire hast thou for this love-feast ? 

Dost thou love the brethren as brethren, because they are related 
to God, and because they have the image of God ? Or dost thou 
love them only for the natural qualities in them, and their courtesy 
to thee ? This fire I must tell thee is kitchen fire, which must be 
fed with such coarse fuel ; the former only is the fire which is taken 
from God's altar. Dost thou love Christ in a cottage as well as in 
a court ? Dost thou love a poor as well as a rich Christian? Dost 
thou love grace in rags as much as grace in robes ? Is it their 
honour or their holiness which thou dost admire ? 

As thy duty is to examine thyself concerning thy graces, so also 
concerning thy corruptions. Before a sacrament there should be a 
thorough search for all thy sins. The Jews, before their passover, 

1 Plutarch in Vita Publica. 


searched all over their houses for leaven ; nay, they searched every 
corner and mouse-hole with a wax candle, as some write. There 
is a threefold leaven : First, A leaven of hypocrisy ; ' Beware of 
the leaven of the pharisees, which is hypocrisy,' Luke xii. 1. 
Secondly, A leaven of heresy ; ' A little leaven leaveneth the whole 
lump/ Gal. v. 9. Thirdly, A leaven of enormity or scandal ; ' Purge 
out the old leaven,' 1 Cor. v. 7. Thy care must be to make a dili- 
gent inquiry for all this leaven. The iniquities of wicked men 
will find them out, but good men will find out their iniquities : 
' I know mine iniquities,' saith David, Ps. li. When evil humours 
lie hid in the body, they hinder the strength it might get by 
food ; when sins lie undiscovered in the soul, they will hinder its 
digesting spiritual meat and drink. 

At a sessions there are some indictments read, and it may be 
some execution done ; but at an assize there* are many malefactors 
arraigned and many executed, the jail is then cleared of those 
vermin. A Christian should keep a petty sessions in his heart 
every day, — do what he can for the conviction and condemnation of 
his sins ; — but before a sacrament he must keep an assize ; there 
must be a general jail-delivery ; all his sins must be sought after, 
indicted, and executed ; the room of his heart must be cleared of 
those vipers. Particularly examine thyself of thy sins since the 
last sacrament ; how forgetful thou hast been of the oath of the 
Lord which thou didst then enter into. Be not slight or formal 
in searching after thy sins, like some officers that willingly over- 
look the thieves they search for ; but be as diligent to find them out 
as thou wouldst be to find out the murderers of thy father or best 

But be sure thou compare thy heart and life with the law of 
God. Oh how . many spots will that glass discover ! When the 
woman hath swept her house and gathered the dust up altogether, 
she thinks there is none left ; but when the sun doth but shine in 
through some broken pane of glass, she seeth the whole house 
swarm with innumerable motes of dust floating to and fro in the 
air. The light of God's law will make innumerable sins visible to 
thee, which without it will lie hid. 

2. There is requisite, as a serious examination of thyself, so also 
sincere humiliation for thy sins. The cleanly dame is careful 
always to keep her pewter and brass clean; but against a good 
time she is very curious to have her vessels not only clean, but 
bright, and for this end she will not only wash them, but take 
much pains in scouring them. Christian, now is the good time 

Chap. XVIII.] the christian man's calling. 187 

before which thou shouldst scour the vessel of thy heart, that no 
dirt if possible may stick to it. This true humiliation consisteth 
partly in mourning for sin, partly in turning from sin. 

1. In mourning for sin. The pharisees would not eat their 
common bread ' with unwashed hands/ lest they should transgress 
the traditions of their elders. Friend, it thou shouldst eat this 
sacred bread with an unwashed heart, thou wilt horribly trans- 
gress the commandment of thy God. The Jews did eat the passover 
with bitter herbs, and truly we Gentiles must eat a broken body 
with broken bones. The more bitter sin is to thee before, the 
more sweet thy Saviour will be to thee at, the sacrament ; ' Blessed 
are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,' Mat. v. 3. A 
wet seed-time will bring a sunshiny and plentiful harvest. One 
of the fathers observeth that David, the greatest mourner in Israel, 
was the sweetest singer in Israel. Beans thrive best if steeped in 
water before they be sown, and truly so will thy soul if steeped in 
godly sorrow before thou goest to the sacrament. ' Give strong 
drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that are 
of heavy hearts,' Prov. xxxi. 6. When thy heart is heavy under 
the sense of thine unholiness, and thou art ready to perish under the 
weight of thy wickedness, then Jesus Christ will give thee that 
wine, that blood which will refresh and make thine heart glad. 

Those trees shoot highest in summer that shoot lowest into the 
earth in winter. No Christian usually riseth so high in consola- 
tion as he that is cast down lowest in evangelical humiliation. 
There are two in the New Testament famous for their contrition, 
and they are famous for God's respect and affection to them. Mary 
was a great mourner ; we seldom have a view of her in Scripture 
without dew on her face and tears in her eyes, Luke vii. 38, 39, 
and xxiii. 27, 28 ; John xix. 25, and xx. 11, 15. But she had the 
special honour and favour of seeing the best sight which ever mortal 
eyes beheld before all others, even the blessed Redeemer in the first 
step of his exaltation : ' Now when Jesus was risen early, the first 
day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom 
he had cast seven devils,' Mark xvi. 9. Mary had sinned greatly 
and sorrowed greatly, and was upon it greatly respected by God. 
Peter wept bitterly. A look from love broke his heart in pieces ; 
but Christ took special care to bind up this broken heart, to pour 
oil into his wounded conscience ; and therefore when a messenger is 
despatched from heaven to acquaint the world with the joyful news 
of the Saviour's resurrection, no name is particularly mentioned 
in his commission but Peter's. God gives him an express com- 


mand, that whosoever should remain ignorant of those happy tid- 
ings, he should be sure that Peter have notice of it. ' Go your 
way,' saith the angel, ' tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth 
before you into Galilee ; there ye shall see him.' When a king hath 
some extraordinary good news, and sendeth a courtier to acquaint 
his intimate friends with it, but chargeth him, Tell them all of it, 
but be sure such an earl have notice of it : whoever you forget, 
remember him ; — all will conclude this is the favourite. Peter 
thought that, because he had forsworn Christ, therefore Christ 
might justly forget him ; but Christ took such care, that if but one 
in the world, besides those two women at the sepulchre, had notice 
of his resurrection, penitent Peter should be the man. Oh the 
rhetoric, the power of an unfeigned tear ! Repentance hath more 
prevalency with the blessed God than all the robes, riches, crowns 
and diadems of the greatest potentates in the world. 

reader, if thou wouldst have heavenly music at the feast, mind 
this holy mourning ! When Joseph's brethren were sensible of 
their sin in selling him, then, and not till then, he made them a feast. 
Jesus Christ made the best wine that ever was of water. The bee, 
naturalists tell us, gathers the best honey of the bitterest herb ; 
God hath solid joy for the broken bones, the contrite spirit. Cast 
up the accounts betwixt God and thy soul, see how infinitely thou 
art indebted to his Majesty. Abhor thyself with Job, bemoan 
thyself with Ephraim, and judge thyself, as Paul enjoineth his 
Corinthians in relation to this ordinance, as ever thou wouldst have 
God at the sacrament to seal thee a general acquittance. 

Sacrament days are sealing days ; God doth then seal his love, 
and stamp his image more fairly on the soul ; now, if thy heart be 
melted into godly sorrow, and made thereby like soft wax, thou 
wilt be fit for this seal and stamp. The hart in grazing kills and 
eats a serpent, which so inflames her that she can have no rest till 
she drink of the water-brooks. Eepentance will make thee feel 
the scorching nature of that serpent sin, and thereby long for 
and relish the water of life. 

2. There must be a turning from sin. Thou canst never com- 
municate with true comfort if thou dost not communicate with a 
clear conscience. The Mohammedans, before they enter into their 
temples, wash their feet, and when they are entering in, put off their 
shoes. 1 As thy duty is to wash thy soul in godly sorrow, so also 
to put off thy sinful affections, before thou enterest into God's 
house to partake of this ordinance. If God takes it ill when men 

1 Purch. Pilgrim., vol. ii. p. 1477. 

Chap. XVIII.] the christian man's calling. 18 ( j 

' take his name into their mouths/ who ' hate to be reformed,' how 
ill will he take it if such take the body and blood of his Son into 
their mouths ? Christ's body was not to see corruption, neither 
will it mingle with corruption. He lay in a new womb, in a new 
tomb, and he will lie in a new heart. When sin is cast out, then 
Jesus Christ will enter into thy soul. ' Draw nigh to God, and he 
will draw nigh to you.' But mark how they must prepare them- 
selves who would approach the Lord : ' Cleanse your hearts, ye 
sinners, and purify your hands, ye double-minded,' James iv. 8, 9. 
The Jews before the passover cleansed all their vessels, which 
they feared might have leaven sticking to them, burned all the 
leaven they could find, and cursed all in their houses, whether 
found or not found ; as their antiquaries inform us. Truly, when 
thou goest to the supper it concerneth thee to cleanse thy soul of 
the leaven of sin, by a high indignation at it, and hearty resolu- 
tion against it. ' Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may 
be a new lump. For Christ our passover is sacrificed for us : there- 
fore let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the 
leaven of malice and wickedness ; but with the unleavened bread of 
sincerity and truth,' 1 Cor. v. 7, 8. Header, it would be a tramp- 
ling under foot the blood of Christ, and counting it as an unholy 
thing, if thou shouldst go to the table of the Lord with love to any 
lust. For the Lord's sake, and for thy soul's sake, take heed of 
paddling in the blood of Christ, as if it were channel water. Alas ! 
thou dost little less if thou partakest of the sacrament without 
anger and indignation against every sin. True repentance im- 
plieth an aversion from sin : ' If they shall humble themselves, and 
turn from their evil ways,' 2 Chron. vii. 14. The burnt child will 
dread the fire. The man that hath smarted for suretyship will by 
no means be persuaded to come again into bonds ; urge him to it 
never so much, he will tell you he hath paid dear for it, and there- 
fore you must excuse him ; he is resolved, nay, hath vowed against 
it, and though he be never so much entreated, is still inexorable. 
The Christian who hath truly repented is so sensible of the weight 
of sin and wrath of God, that he is resolved never more to meddle 
with those burning coals ; alas ! they are too heavy for him. David, 
that had repented of his sin, would not drink of that water which 
had but been the occasion of hazarding men's lives, though before 
he could drink the blood of Uriah. Penitent Peter, though before 
he was so full of self-confidence that he preferred himself before 
the other apostles, — ' Though all deny thee, yet will not I,' — yet 
afterwards, though occasion were offered him of commending him- 


self, forbears it : ' Peter, lovest thou me more than these ? Lord, 
thou knowest I love thee.' He saith not, more than these. reader, 
it was Esau's expression, ' The days of mourning for my father are 
coming, and then I will slay my brother Jacob : ' so say thou, The 
days of mourning for the death of my dear Saviour and everlasting 
Father are come, and now 1 will slay my most beloved lusts ; now 
will I be revenged of them for their endeavour to rob me of my 
spiritual birthright, to wrong me of my eternal blessing. 

This repentance exercised before the sacrament would prepare 
thy stomach for the feast, it would cleanse it, and cause it to 
savour the dainties there ; it would make thee hungry, and hunger 
is the best sauce. Artaxerxes, flying for his life, fed on barley 
bread and a few dried figs, and said it was the best meal that ever 
he made. 

When thou hast thus prepared thy stomach for this heavenly 
banquet, take heed of relying upon thy pains and preparation, 
either for a right performance of the duty, or for thine acceptance 
in the ordinance. Many a poor creature, I am persuaded, goeth 
with much humiliation for sin, and cometh away without any con- 
solation, because they made a saviour of their sorrow. Praise thy 
physician if he have made thee sensible of thy sickness, but do not 
provoke him by making thy pain to be the plaster for thy cure. 
Alas ! thy preparation itself needeth much pardon ; if God should 
deal strictly with thee, thy prayers should be found dung, thy sighs 
unsavoury breath, thy very tears puddle water. Reflect on them 
thyself, and compare them with the law of God, and thou wilt 
find cause to pray over thy prayers, to weep over thy tears, to 
be ashamed of thy shame, and to abhor thyself for thy self- 

Do not think with thyself, I have examined my heart faithfully, 
and find that I do not come short of the grace of God ; I have 
acknowledged mine iniquities, and been sorrowful for my sins, and 
therefore I cannot miscarry at this sacrament. Such a trusting of 
thyself would be a tempting of thy Saviour, and would certainly 
hinder the success of the sacrament : it would be to thee as the 
cutting off Samson's locks was to him : Judges xvi. 20, ' He thought 
to have gone forth as at other times, and shake himself. And he 
wist not that the Lord was departed from him.' Thou mayest 
think, after such self-confidence, to go to the Lord's supper as at 
other times ; but, alas ! what wilt thou do ? for the Lord will depart 
from thee, and then what sport will Satan and sin, those uncircum- 
cised ones, make with thee ? 


Reader, let me persuade thee, when thou hast been diligent in 
the trial of thy spiritual estate, and hast with many tears bewailed 
the pollution of thy nature and transgressions of thy life, to cast 
thyself wholly upon Jesus Christ for assistance in the duty. As 
Jehoshaphat, when he had fifty thousand men ready armed for the 
battle, cried out. ' Lord our God, we have no might against this 
great company, neither know Ave what to do, but our eyes are unto 
thee/ 2 Chron. xx. 6. So after thou hast made the greatest pre- 
paration possible, as believing the weight and worth of the supper, 
the purity and majesty of the master of the feast, do thou look up 
to Christ, and say, Lord, I have no ability, no might, for this great 
supper, for a right performance of this great ordinance, neither 
know I what to do, but mine eyes are unto thee. When Asa had 
an army of two hundred and fourscore thousand men of valour to 
fight with the Ethiopians, he prayeth and trusteth to God as if he 
had not one man : ' Lord, it is nothing for thee to help, whether 
with many, or with them that have no power : help us, Lord 
our God ; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this 
great multitude,' 2 Chron. xiv. 11. So do thou say, Lord, I have 
no power for this holy supper ; help me, Lord my God, for I rest 
on thee, and in thy name I go to this great and weighty ordinance. 
Truly couldst thou, after all the provision thou hast made, disclaim 
it wholly in regard of dependence, and cast thyself on Christ for 
assistance ; I durst be the prophet to foretel a good day. The 
gaudy flower, which standeth upon its own stalk, doth quickly 
wither; when the plain ivy, that depends upon the house, and leans 
on it, is fresh and green all the year. He that trusteth to his 
own legs in this duty is as sure to fall as if he were down already. 
The weak child walketh safest, that all the way holdeth by and 
hangeth upon its parent. 

If thou wert now going to receive, be advised to write after 
David's copy ; he looked up to God both for assistance and accept- 
ance : ' I will go in the strength of the Lord : I will make mention 
of thy righteousness, yea, of thine only,' Ps. lxxi. 16. Let thy 
practice be suitable to his when thou goest out of thy house ; and 
let thy prayer be the same as the spouse's when thou art entering 
into God's house. Oh then look up to heaven, and cry mightily, 
' Awake, thou north wind ; and come, south : blow upon my 
garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved 
come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits,' Cant. iv. 1 6. 



How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness at 
the table. 

I come to the second particular about the Lord's supper, and 
that is thy behaviour at the table, or in the time of receiving ; in 
reference to which I would advise thee: 1. To mind the suitable 
subjects which are to be considered at it ; 2. To observe the special 
graces which are to be exercised in it. There are three principal 
subjects of meditation, when thou approachest the table, in order 
to the three graces which must then be acted. The subjects of 
meditation are Christ's passion, his affection, and thy own cor- 
ruptions. The three graces are faith, love, and godly sorrow. 
Christ's death is sure footing for faith. Paul never desired better, 
1 Cor. ii. 2 ; it is not only an ' elect and precious,' but ' a tried stone, 
and a sure foundation, on which, whosoever believeth, shall never be 
confounded,' Isa. xxviii. 16. Faith picks excellent food from this 
heavenly carcase. The love of Christ displayed in his death causeth 
and calleth forth the love of a Christian. Faith bringeth the soul, 
that is like a dead coal, near to the live coals of God's burning love 
in giving his only Son, and Christ's burning love in giving himself ; 
and by these it is turned into fire, all in a flame of love : as the 
echo answereth the voice, it returneth the love it receiveth. Our 
own sins meditated on stir up the third grace, which is godly sor- 
row ; though, indeed, this liquor will run from any of the three 
vessels if they be but pierced. When Christ hung upon the cross 
under the weight of God's wrath, water came out of his sides as well 
as blood. Who can think of his sufferings without sorrow ? and of 
his blood without tears ? His love in its heat may well thaw the 
most frozen spirit ; but sin, the cause of his sufferings, will, like a 
knife, cut and prick to the heart indeed. But, 

First, I begin with the subjects of meditation, and among them, 
in the first place, with the passion of Christ. 

First, Meditate now on the sufferings of thy Saviour. The 
wounds of Christ, out of which came precious balsam to heal all 
thy sinful sores, ought never to be forgotten ; but the remembrance 
of them is never so seasonable as at a sacrament. One end of the 
institution of this ordinance was the commemoration of Christ's 
death : ' As oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye shew 
forth the Lord's death till he come,' 1 Cor. xi. 26, 27. The sacra- 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 193 

ment is a lively crucifix, wherein 'Jesus Christ is evidently set 
forth crucified before thine eyes.' When thou seest the bread and 
wine consecrated and set apart, consider how God the Father did 
from eternity set apart his only Son for his bloody passion, and 
thy blessed redemption. Consider he was a lamb slain before the 
foundation of the world. AVhen thou seest the bread and wine upon 
the table, consider that, as the corn was ground in the mill to make 
that bread, and the grapes squeezed to make that wine, so thy 
Saviour was beaten in the mill and wine-press of his Father's wrath 
before he could be meat indeed and drink indeed to nourish thee 
unto life everlasting. When thou seest the bread broken in pieces, 
think how the body of Christ was broken for thine iniquities. ' It 
pleased the Lord to bruise him,' (as spice is beaten small in a 
mortar with a pestle— so the word signifieth,) Isa. liii. 10. Well 
might he cry out, ' I am feeble and sore broken ; I have roared 
by reason of the disquietness of my heart/ Ps. xxxviii. 8. When 
thou seest the wine poured out, meditate on his precious blood, 
which was ' shed for many, for the remission of sins.' Oh, consider 
his wounds and his words, ' I am poured out like water, and all my 
bones are out of joint ; my heart is like wax, it is melted in the 
midst of my bowels/ Ps. xxii. 14. Consider the doleful tragedy 
which he acted from first to last ; meditate on his incarnation. 
For the Son of God to become the Son of man ; for him that lived 
from all eternity to be born in time ; for him that thundereth in 
the clouds to cry in the cradle ; for him that created all things to 
become a creature,— is a greater suffering than if all the men and 
angels in this and the other w r orld were crowded into an atom, 
or turned into nothing. This was the first and greatest step of his 
humiliation. Consider the manner of his birth : he was born, not 
of some great princes, but of mean and indigent parents ; not in a 
royal palace, but in a place where beggars and beasts are enter- 
tained — a stable ; he was no sooner born but sought after to be 
butchered. He fled for his life in his very swaddling-clouts, and 
was an early martyr indeed. When he grew up, though he was of 
ability to have swayed the sceptre of all the empires in the world, 
to have instructed the greatest potentates and counsellors in the 
mysteries of wisdom and knowledge; though to him Adam and 
Solomon, yea, and angels themselves, were fools, yet he lived pri- 
vately with his supposed father many years, and suffered his deity 
to be hid, as light in a dark lantern, near thirty years, save that 
once it darted a little out, when at twelve years of age he disputed 
and confuted the great Rabbis of the Jews, Luke ii. 46. 

VOL. I. N 


When he entered upon his public ministry, he is no sooner 
ascended the stage, but all the devils in hell appear against him, 
and he is forced to fight hand to hand with them for forty clays 
together ; and when they left him they did not take their leave, 
but ' departed only for a season,' Luke iv. 13. His whole life was 
a living death. How poor was he, when he was fain to work a 
miracle to pay his tax ! ' The foxes had holes, and the birds of the 
air had nests ; but the Son of man had not where to lay his head,' 
though he were ' heir of all things,' Mat. viii. 20. What did he 
suffer in his name when the worst words in the mouths of the Jews 
were thought not bad enough for him ! He is called the carpenter's 
son, a glutton, a drunkard, a blasphemer, a friend of publicans and 
sinners, a Samaritan, a devil ; nay, the prince of devils. What 
hunger and thirst and weariness did he undergo ! He that feeds 
others with his own flesh had many a hungry belly. He that 
save others that water, of which whosoever drinketh shall thirst no 
more, had his own veins sucking and paining him for thirst. He 
that is himself the only ark for the weary clove to fly to for rest, 
did himself take many a wearisome step, and travel many a tire- 
some journey. Well might the prophet call him ' a man of 
sorrows, and acquainted with griefs,' though he had suffered no 
more than what is already written ; but all this was but the begin- 
ning of his sorrows. The dregs of the cup were at the bottom. 
Doubtless many an aching heart had he, as a woman with child, 
beforehand, when he thought of the bitter pangs, sharp throes, and 
hard labour which he was to suffer at the close of his life. 
friend, remember this Son of David and all his troubles. But to 
come to his end, which is specially represented in this ordinance, 
I will take him in the garden, where he felt more than I can write 
or think. Consider his body there ; it was all over in a gore blood. 
Ah, what suffered he, when he did sweat clods of blood ! To sweat 
blood is against nature, much more in a cold season, most of all 
when he was full of fear and terror ; then the blood retreats to the 
heart to guard it, and to be guarded by it. 

But behold, reader, thy Saviour for thy sake, and under the 
weight of thy sins, did sweat blood in a cold night, when he was 
exceedingly afraid. Ah ! who would not love such a Saviour, and 
who would not loathe sin ? But the sufferings of his body were 
nothing to the sufferings of his soul ; these were the soul of his 
sufferings. Observe his expression, ' My soul is exceeding sorrow- 
ful:' ' My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death.' Unto death, 
not only extensively, seventeen or eighteen hours, till death ended 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 195 

his life ; but chiefly inU nsiix ly, such sorrow as the pangs of death 
bring — surely far greater. Again, ' Father, if it be possible, let this 
cup pass from rne.' Wise and valiant men do not complain of 
nothing. Ah, how bitter was that cup which valour and resolu- 
tion itself seemed unwilling to drink ! The two most tormenting 
passions, which are fear and grief, did now seize upon him in the 
highest degree : ' He began to be sorrowful and very heavy,' saith 
Matthew, chap. xxvi. 37. ' He began to be sore amazed and very 
heavy/ saith Mark, chap. xiv. 33. 

Reader, follow him further ; one disciple selleth him at the price 
of a slave ; another disciple forsweareth him ; all of them forsake 
him, and fly; the greedy wolves lay hold on this innocent lamb ; 
the bloody Jews apprehend him, bind his hands like a thief, and 
hale him away to the high priest ; then they hire persons to belie 
truth itself : but when their testimony was insufficient, upon his 
own most holy confession, a sentence of condemnation is passed upon 
him. Consider now how the servants smite his blessed cheeks 
with their fists, and spit on that beautiful face with their mouths, 
which angels counted their honour to behold ; the masters flout him 
with their scornful carriage, and mock him with their petulant 
language : he must be the sink into which they fling all their filth. 
Afterwards they carry him to Pilate ; he sendeth him to Herod ; 
Herod, with some scorns and scoffs, sendeth him back. Thus is he, 
like a foot-ball, spurned up and down between those inhuman 
wretches : Pilate tears his flesh with wounds and nails, and pre- 
senteth him to the people with a crown of thorns on his head, to 
move pity ; the people, thirsting after his blood, can by no words 
be persuaded, by no means be prevailed with, to let this innocent 
dove escape. Though he he put in competition with a murderer, 
yet the murderer is preferred before him ; and as the worst of the 
two, he is at last condemned as a seditious person, and a traitor 
against Cassar's crown and dignity, to be crucified without the gate, 
lest the city should be polluted with his blood. Now, reader, come 
along, like the beloved disciple, and behold thy Saviour bearing 
his own cross, and going to the place of execution to die the death 
of a slave, for no freeman was ever crucified ; therefore Julian, in 
derision, called him The staked God. He is no sooner come to the 
dismal place of dead men's skulls, but they tear off his clothes, and 
some think skin and all, glued to his back with their bloody scourg- 
ings. Now they stretch his body, as cloth with tenters, and rack 
it so that his bones start out of his skin—' I may tell all my 
bones ' Ps. xxii. 1 7, — in nailing his two hands to the two horns, 


and his feet, those parts so full of nerves and sinews, and so the 
most sensible of any parts of the body, to the stump of the cross, 
('They digged my hands and my feet,') and hang him up be- 
tween two thieves, as the most notorious malefactor of the three ; 
' He was numbered among the transgressors.' His bloody, watch- 
ing, fasting, scorched, racked body, is oppressed with exquisite 
pain, and his anguish so vehement that he orieth out, ' I thirst ; ' to 
quench which they give him vinegar and gall, and spice it with a 
scoff to make it relish the better ; ' Let us see whether Elias will 
come and save him.' But oh, who can imagine what he suffered 
in his soul, when he hung under the weight of men's revenge, 
devils' rage, the law's curse, and the Lord's wrath ! Men 'revile 
him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the 
temple and buildest it in three days, save thyself : he saved others, 
himself he cannot save : ' ' To him that was afflicted, pity should 
have been shewn ; but they added affliction to the afflicted, and 
forsook the fear of the Almighty.' All the devils in hell were now 
putting forth their utmost power and policy, for ' this was their 
hour, and the power of darkness,' to increase his sufferings, that, if 
possible, they might provoke him to sin, thereby to have separated 
his human nature from his divine, that it might have perished 
eternally, and all mankind with it ; but the sting of his death is 
yet behind. The head of that arrow which pierced his heart in- 
deed was the frown of his Father. That his kinsmen, the Jews, 
whom he came to sanctify and redeem, for he was ' the glory of his 
people Israel,' should deliver him up to be crucified, was not a 
small aggravation of his misery : that his apostles, that had been 
eye-witnesses of his miracles, and ear-witnesses of his oracles, (to 
whom he had spoken so pathetically, ' Will ye also forsake me ? ' 
and who had told him so resolutely, ' We will go with thee into 
prison, and to death,' Luke xxii. 23 ; Mat. xxvi. 35,) should now in 
his greatest extremity turn their backs upon him, added some more 
gall to his bitter cup : that his mother should stand by the cross 
weeping, and have her soul pierced through with the sword of his 
sufferings, was far from being an allay to his sorrows ; but that 
his Father, of whom he had often boasted, ' It is my Father that 
honoureth me ;' 'My Father loveth me ;' ' I and my Father are one,' 
should now in his low estate, in his day of adversity, in his critical 
hour, not only not help him, and leave him alone, as a harmless 
dove amongst so many ravenous vultures, to contest with all the 
fury of earth and hell ; but also pour out the vials of his own 
wrath upon him, and (though the union was not dissolved, yet) 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 197 

suffer the beams, the influences to he restrained, that he might 
fully bear the curse of the law, and feel the weight of sin ; this was 
the hottest fire in which the paschal lamb was roasted ; this caused 
that heart-breaking, soul-cutting, heaven-piercing expression, ' My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' Oh how, how justly 
might he have cried out with Job, ' Have pity upon me, my friend, 
have pity upon me, for the hand ' — not only of my enemies and my 
friends, of multitudes of men, and of legions of devils, but the 
hand — ' of God hath touched me/ How truly might the husband 
have taken up his spouse's lamentation : ' Is it nothing to you, all 
ye that pass by ! Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto 
my sorrow which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath 
afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.' Ah, who can write or 
read such a tragedy with dry eyes ? 

Friend* when thou art at the sacrament, think of these suffer- 
ings, and believe it, they will make work among thy sins. When 
thou takest the cup of wine, do not forget the cup of wormwood 
which thy Saviour drank for thy sake ; ' he drank of the brook in 
the way ;' he drank the cup of his Father's wrath, infinitely embit- 
tered with the curse of the law, that thou mightest drink the cup of 
blessing. At the table obey his own command, ' Do this in remem- 
brance of me.' 

Secondly, Meditate on the affection of Christ. ' We will remem- 
ber thy love more than wine,' saith the spouse. When thou seest 
the wine, think of that love which is better than wine. Believe it, 
if ever there were a love-feast, this is it. Men testify their love in 
bestowing food on their hungry friends ; but ah, what love was that 
which gave his blessed body and precious blood to feed his starving 
enemies ! He that considereth what Christ suffered, and for whom, 
may well think he was little else but a lump of love. His compas- 
sion is infinitely visible in his passion ! What love was that which 
moved him to lay down his life for thee ! Friend, if ever thou 
hadst hard thoughts of Christ, take a view of him in the former 
subject of meditation, and consider whether his heart be not set 
upon sinners, when he shed his heart-blood for their souls. The 
redness of the fire discovers its heat. Oh, how did the redness of 
this Kose of Sharon, the blood which issued from his head, and 
back, and hands, and feet, and heart, and whole body, speak his 
burning, his fiery love ! Well might the apostle John join and 
pair those turtle doves : ' Who hath loved us and washed us in his 
blood,' Kev. i. 5. In every drop of his blood there is an ocean ot 
love. Well might the apostle Paul produce this as an undeniable 


testimony of (he truth of his love, ' Who loved me, and gave him- 
self for me,' Gal. ii. 20. His bleeding passion was such a full 
demonstration of his dearest affection, as the whole world never saw 
the like before, nor ever shall again. In it his love was dissected 
and ripped up — you may tell all its bones. Judas gave him to the 
Jews, out of love to money ; the Jews gave him to Pilate to be 
condemned, out of love to envy ; Pilate gives him to the soldiers to 
be crucified, out of love to self-interest ; but Christ gave himself, 
out of pure love to save souls. The great and glorious God doth 
things that are singularly eminent for the manifestation of his 
attributes. When he would evidence his power, he produceth 
with a word the whole creation out of the barren womb of nothing. 
He did but will it, and the whole world presently started into 
being. By this he often proves his deity, Isa. xlv. 12, and xliii. 
11. As shadows represent the figure of those bodies from whence 
they are derived, so do the creatures manifest the power of their 

When he would manifest his justice, he layeth the dark vault of 
hell, and layeth in, and storeth it with fire, and brimstone, and 
chains, and blackness of darkness, and gnawing worms, and pure 
wrath, and devils, and all the instruments of eternal death, Kom- 
ix. 22. When he would make known his wisdom, he findeth out 
a fit mediator, and thereby reconcileth those attributes which before 
were at odds, his justice and his mercy. When man was fallen, 
justice pleaded for his deserved damnation, according to the 
threatenings of the law ; mercy pleadeth for his gracious salvation, 
he being deluded by the devil. Now, it would have non-plussed 
the heads of all the men and angels in the world, had they been 
united in a consultation, to have found out a way to satisfy both the 
demands of justice and the entreaties of mercy ; but God did it — he 
causeth ' mercy and justice to meet together, pity and righteousness 
to kiss each other,' therefore the mediator is called ' the wisdom of 
God,' 1 Cor. i. 14 ; and the finding out this way is called ' the 
manifold wisdom of God,' or the ' embroidered wisdom of God,' 
Eph. iii. 10. It is an allusion to a curious piece of needlework, 
wherein there are various expressions of art. So in this way 
of man's recovery, there are various and curious expressions of 
divine wisdom. But when God would proclaim his love, that 
attribute which, like oil, swimmeth at the top of them all, which is 
most in favour, which he delighteth so exceedingly in, what will he 
do ? Why, he layeth down his life : ' Greater love than this hath 
no man, than that a man lay down his life for his friends,' John 


xv. 13. Jacob shewed his love to Rachel, by enduring the heat of 
the day and the cold of the night for her. But Jesus shewed his 
love to his beautiful spouse by undergoing the cursed, painful, and 
shameful death of the cross for her. Oh, what love was that ! It 
is storied of the pelican, that when her young ones are stung with 
some poisonous serpent, she beats her breast with her beak, till the 
warm blood gusheth out, which they suck, and recover. We were 
all stung mortally by the old serpent, the devil, but behold the love 
of this heavenly pelican, he lets out his heart blood to recover us. 
In his birth and life he manifested his love ; the midst of that 
chariot in which he drew his spouse before, was ' paved with love ;' 
but his death wrote his love in the greatest print, in the largest 
character, though all in red letters; for his whole body was the 
book, his precious blood was the ink, the nails were the pens, the 
contents of it from the beginning to the end are love, love. There 
is nothing else to be read but love, love. ' In this was manifest the 
love of God/ saith the apostle, 1 John iv. 9. His love before was 
glorious, yet hid as the sun under a cloud ; but at his death it did 
shine forth in its meridian splendour, in its noonday brightness, 
with such hot beams and refreshing rays, that every one must needs 
take notice of it. The Jews say of Esdras, that if the lamp of love 
•were quite extinct it might be lighted again at his brain. How 
true is this of Christ ! If love were quite lost amongst all the 
creatures, all might be found in Jesus Christ. His name is love, 
his nature is love, all his expressions were love, all his actions were 
love : he bought love, he preached love, his lips dropped love, he 
practised love, he lived in love, he was sick of love ; nay, he died 
for love ; it was love that took upon him our nature ; it was love 
that walked in our flesh ; it was love that went up and down doing 
good ; it was love that took our infirmities ; it was love that gave 
sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, ears to the deaf, life to the 
dead ; it was love that was hungry, and thirsty, and weary ; it was 
love that was in a bloody agony ; it was love that was sorrowful 
unto his own death, and my life ; it was love that was betrayed, 
apprehended, derided, scourged, condemned, and crucified; it was 
love that had his head pierced with thorns, his back with cords, his 
hands and feet with nails, and his side with a spear ; it was love 
that cried out, ' Weep not for me, weejo for yourselves : ' ' Father, 
forgive them, they know not what they do.' Love left a glorious 
crown, and love climbed a shameful cross. dearest Saviour, 
whither did thy love carry thee ! 

Reader, I could lose myself in this pleasant maze of Christ's love. 


Methinks thy heart should be ravished with the sense of this love. 
The truth is, it is a bottomless love ; none can sound it. The 
apostle might well call it, A known unknown love, Eph. iii. 19. 
It is well thou canst find it ; but I am sure thou canst not fathom 
it. One disciple may shew his love to another, by giving a cup of 
cold water ; but the Master shewed his love to his disciples by 
broaching his heart to give them a cup of warm blood. The sacra- 
ments, as Calvin observeth, did flow out of the sides of Christ. 
When the soldier pierced his side, there came out water (for bap- 
tism) and blood (for the supper). 

Reader, when thou beholdest the broken bread, and rememberest 
the bruised body of Christ, do not forget his love, which is the best 
sauce to thy meat. I must tell thee, though there be never so many 
dishes at the table, this love is the banquet. Consider his willing- 
ness to be wounded for thee, because his heart was so deeply wounded 
with love to thee. Thou hast heard of such indignities and inju- 
ries offered to him, as the sun himself was ashamed to behold, and 
hid himself from them ; yet Christ was ready for them, and willing 
to them. The Lamb of Grod did not struggle when he was led to 
the slaughter, but did bear his own cross : he was his own priest, 
as well as his own sacrifice and altar. His death was violent in 
regard of others, but voluntary in regard of himself. He cried to 
his Father, ' Lo, I come to do thy will, God,' Heb. x. 4. When 
his sinless nature had a reluctancy against it, though when he was 
in a bloody sweat, he soon corrects it with, ' Not my will, but thy 
will be done.' He went to the place which Judas knew, John xviii. 2. 
He struck them that came to apprehend him down, to shew that he 
could, if he had pleased, have struck them dead. Rather than they 
shall want proof for his condemnation, he will confess himself guilty of 
the charge. He might, if he had listed, have commissionated twelve 
legions of angels for his lifeguard, but he forebore it : ' He ' laid 
down his life ;' he ' gave himself;' he ' gave up the ghost ;' he had 
' a baptism to be baptized with, and he longed to have it accom- 
plished.' But, friend, what thinkest thou was the lump of sugar 
which did so sweeten this cup, notwithstanding all its bitter ingre- 
dients, to make it go down so glib and pleasant? truly nothing but 
love. Love to Dinah made Shechem willing to be circumcised ; love 
to Christians made Christ willing to bleed, and be buffeted, and 
crucified. The mother can toil and moil all day with her child, 
and count it a pleasure, when another had rather go to plough all 
day ; but what is the reason ? nothing but her love. Jesus Christ 
delighted in the work of man's redemption — £ I delight to do thy 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 201 

will, God' — which would have broke the backs of the very angels ; 
and why ? because of his love. 

It is observed, the myrrh which is let out by the incision of 
the tree is precious ; but that which floweth of its own accord is 
most choice and precious. Christ's veins were indeed opened by 
others' incision, when Pilate scourged his back, and the nails his 
hands and feet ; but one drop of this blood is more worth than 
millions of worlds ; for even at these times he bled voluntarily, as 
well as in the garden, when the myrrh of his blood dropped of its 
own accord. Oh, of what infinite value is his blood ! oh, how much 
did he love his, when the very oil which consecrated him to those 
unknown sorrows was the oil of gladness to him ! Kemember this 
love more than wine. 

Thirdly, Meditate on thy corruptions. As his love was the inward 
moving cause, so thy sins were the outward procuring cause, of his 
sufferings : ' He was wounded for thy transgressions, he was bruised 
for thine iniquities ; the chastisement of thy peace was upon him,' 
Isa. liii. 5. When thou art at the sacrament, which fitly representeth 
Christ's sufferings, consider with thyself, What was that which 
brought the blessed Saviour into such a bleeding condition ? It 
was my sin ; I was the Judas which betrayed him, the Jew which 
apprehended him, the Pilate that condemned him, and the Gentile 
which crucified him. My sins were the thorns which pierced his 
head, the nails which pierced his hands, and the spear which pierced 
his heart. It was I that put to death the Lord of life : he died for 
my sins ; he was ' made sin for me, who knew no sin ; ' his blood is 
my balm, his Golgotha is my Gilead. Oh, what a subject is here 
for meditation ! He suffered in my stead, he bore my sins in his 
body on the tree, he took that loathsome purging physic for the 
diseases of my soul. When he was in the garden in his bloody 
agony, grovelling on the ground, there was no Judas, no Pilate, no 
Jew, no Gentile there, to cause that unnatural sweat, or to make 
his soul sorrowful unto death ; but my pride, my unbelief, my hypo- 
crisy, my atheism, my blasphemy, my unthankfulness, my carnal- 
mindeclness, they were there, and caused his inward bleeding sorrows, 
and outward bloody sufferings. Ah, what a heavy weight was my 
sin to cause such a bloody sweat in a frosty night ! My dissimu- 
lation was the traitorous kiss, my ambition the thorny crown ; my 
drinking iniquities like water made him drink gall and vinegar ; 
my want of tears caused him to bleed ; my forsaking my Maker 
made him to be forsaken of his Father. Because the members of 
my body were instruments of iniquity, therefore the members of 


his body were objects of such cruelty ; because my soul was so un- 
holy, therefore his soul was so exceeding heavy. my soul, what 
hast thou done ? 

We do not say the executioner kills a man for theft or murder; 
but his theft or murder, they hang him ; so in this case, it was not 
so much the Jews or soldiers — for they were the executioners — that 
put Christ to death, as our thefts and murders, and breaches of 
God's law, which were imputed and laid to his charge. 

There is a story of a king of France named Lladoveyus, that 
when he was converted to Christianity, one day hearing Kemigius 
the bishop reading the Gospel of our Saviour's passion, he presently 
fell into this passionate expression : Oh that I had been but there 
with my Frenchmen, I would have cut all their throats ! little con- 
sidering that his and others' iniquities were Christ's greatest and 
most cruel enemies. Reader, when thou art at the table, think of 
those sins which caused such sufferings. Consider the deepness of 
that stain which the blood only of God could wash out. Ah, what 
a sickness is sin, when nothing less than the blood of the Son of 
God can heal it! 

Secondly, As at the table some subjects must be considered, so 
some graces must be exercised. A sacrament is a special season, a 
spring-time for those trees of God's own planting to bud, blossom, 
and put forth their fruit. Now, reader, if ever, rouse up thy spirit, 
and stir up the gifts of God which are in thee. Call aloud to thy 
graces, which may possibly be sleeping, as David : Ps. lvii. 8, 
' Awake, my glory ; awake, psaltery and harp : I myself will awake 
early.' Awake, my graces ! Can ye not watch with my dearest 
Saviour one hour ? Awake, my faith, love, and repentance ; I my- 
self will awake presently. It is not the hawk which sitteth hood- 
winked on the fist, but the seeing, flying hawk, which doth the 
service. The clock which standeth still is of no use ; it is the going, 
moving clock which attains its end. Grace acted will now do thee 
eminent service, and help thee to attain the end of the sacrament. 

First, Act faith. Dormit fides et dormit Christus, saith Austin, If 
faith sleepeth, Christ sleepeth. Call forth first that commander-in- 
chief; and then the private soldiers, the other graces, will all follow. 
Faith must be the eye whereby thou seest Christ : Zech. xii. 10, 
' They shall see him whom they have pierced, and mourn.' Faith 
is the mouth by which thou feedest on Christ, John vi. 53. Faith 
is the feet by which thou goest to Christ, John vi. 35. Faith may 
say to thee, as Christ did, 'Without me thou canst do nothing;' 
without me thou canst do nothing for thy own welfare, nothing for 

Chap. XIX.] the cheistian man's calling. 203 

God's honour at this ordinance. It is said of the Indian gymnoso- 
phists, that they will lie all day upon their backs gazing on the 
beauty of the natural sun. Friend, at this ordinance, it' at any time 
of thy life, view the beauty of this true Sun. As Pilate, when he 
had scourged him in such a bloody, barbarous manner, brings him 
forth to the Jews with, Behold the nam ; so when thou considerest 
the bread and wine, behold the man ; behold the broken, bruised 
Saviour. A man without faith, like the unbelieving lord, seeth the 
plenty, but doth not eat of it. 

There is a threefold act of faith to be put forth at a sacrament. 
First, Faith must look out for Christ ; secondly, Faith must look up 
to Christ for grace ; thirdly, Faith must take Christ down, or receive 
him and grace. 

1. Faith must look out for Christ. Consider that Jesus Christ is 
the very soul of the sacrament ; without him it is but the carcase of 
an ordinance. Christ and the Scripture bring comfort ; Christ and 
prayer cause spiritual profit ; Acceded Christies ad element inn, et 
Jiel sacrame?dum. Christ and the elements make a sacrament ; 
Christ and the sacrament make a rare feast. Therefore be sure 
thou look out for Christ. Eest not in the bread and wine, but look 
farther. When thou sittest at the table, let the speech of thine 
heart be, ' Saw ye him whom my soul loveth ?' Turn to God and 
say, as they to Philip, ' Sir, I would fain see Jesus ;' Lord, I would 
fain see Jesus Christ. Let neither word, nor prayer, nor elements, 
nor all things content thee without Christ, As Isaac told his 
father, ' Father, behold here is the wood and the fire, but where is 
the lamb for a burnt offering ? ' so do thou look up to thy 
heavenly Father : Father, behold here is the preacher and here is 
the Scripture, and here is the bread and here is the wine, but where 
is the body and blood of my Saviour ? Lord, where is the lamb 
for a sacrifice ? Father, Father, where is the Lamb of God that 
takes away the sins of the world ? If the angels that are present 
at the sacrament should speak to thee, give them occasion for the 
same language which they gave the woman at the sepulchre, ' We 
know whom thou seekest, thou seekest Jesus which was crucified : 
come, see the place where the Lord lay.' Come see the promise, see 
the elements in which the Lord lieth, Mat, xxviii. 5, G. 

If the Spirit of God, seeing thee so eager and earnest for a sight 
of Christ, should put by the hangings behind which the Lord Jesus 
hid himself purposely to be sought, and present him to thee with 
his glorious retinue of graces and comforts, with the precious 
fruits of his grievous passion, and bespeak thee thus, Cheer up, poor 


Christian, behold the Lamb of God ; behold King Jesus with the 
crown of thorns wherewith his foes crowned him in the day that 
he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs ; behold king 
Solomon with the crown wherewith his father crowned him in the 
day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart ; 

friend, what would such a sight be worth to thee ! I am confi- 
dent thou wouldst value it above all the silver in the world. Well, 
be of good comfort ; do but look for him and he will look after 
thee. Say to him, as the spouse, ' Make haste, my beloved ; be thou 
like the hart and roe upon the mountains of spices;' 'Make no 
tarrying, my God ;' and doubt not but he will answer thee almost 
as he doth his spouse, in a sense of mercy, not of judgment, ' Behold 

1 come quickly, and my reward is with me,' to give to thee accord- 
ing to thy faith. 

Reader, act Mary's part, and thou shalt meet with Mary's por- 
tion. When Mary went to the sepulchre, John xx. 13, she looketh 
into it, seeth the linen but not the Lord, and presently falleth a 
weeping. Oh, saith she, ' they have taken away my Lord ! ' ' They 
have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid 
him.' Jesus Christ could now no longer absent himself ; he heard 
the voice of her weeping, and gave her a gracious meeting : 
' Mary,' saith Christ ; ' Rabboni,' saith Mary. Now her heart 
cleaves to him, and her hands clasp about him ; and she hears 
that golden message, ' Go to my brethren, and tell them I go 
to my Father and your Father.' So when thou comest to the 
table, and seest the linen and not the Lord Jesus, be not satisfied ; 
Oh, dart up thy complaints to heaven, Lord, I came not to see the 
linen, I came not for the bread and wine, I came to see Jesus 
Christ. Lord ! what shall I do ? They have taken away my 
Lord, and I know not where to find him. Ah, Lord, what is the 
word to me without Christ, but as a conduit without water ! and 
what is the element to me without Christ, but as a cup without 
wine ! Oh, what wilt thou give me if I go from thy table Christ- 
less ! Thou mightest be confident that Jesus Christ would hear 
such sighs, and would hasten away to bless and kiss thee. 

2. Faith must look up to Christ for grace. Look up to Christ 
as a treasury of grace for the supply of all thy necessities, and put 
thy hand of faith into this treasury, and thou shalt take out unsearch- 
able riches. Austin puts the question, how a Christian may put 
out a long arm to reach Christ in heaven ? and answers, Crede, et 
tenuisti, Believe, and thou hast taken hold of him. Christ is a full 
breast ■ faith is the mouth which draweth and sucketh the breast, 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 205 

and getteth spiritual nourishment out of it. The blessed Saviour 
is a precious and dee}) mine, but faith is the instrument whereby 
we dig the gold out of it. As the Spanish ambassador said of his 
master's treasury, in comparison of that treasury of St Mark in 
Venice, In this, among other things, my master's treasury differeth 
from yours, in that my master's treasury (alluding to his Indian 
mines) hath no bottom, as I see yours to have. For thy comfort, 
know that the riches in Christ are inexhaustible, and his bags are 
bottomless. He can 'supply all thy needs/ Phil. iv. 13. 

When thou art at this ordinance, look on Christ as a fountain 
running over with the water of life, and the sacrament as a channel 
cut out by Christ himself to convey living water to thy soul. Thou 
art diseased ; go in this ordinance to Christ as a physician to heal 
thee. Thou art an indigent beggar ; go to Christ's door, I mean 
the sacrament, with an expectation of a large dole. Do not sit 
down in despondency, as the patriarchs in a scarcity of food ; but 
since thou hast heard there is corn in Egypt, bread enough in thy 
Father's house, sufficiency of grace in Jesus Christ, go make haste 
to this Son of Joseph, who is Lord of the country, and hath the 
command of all the storehouses in the land, and will load thee 
with more than thou canst desire. Are thy wants many ? He 
hath infinite wealth. Hast thou no money to buy, no merits to 
ofTer ? Why, he selleth ' without money, and without price.' They 
that bring money have it returned back in their sacks, for he takes none. 
' Whosoever will, may drink of the water of life freely,' Eev. xxii. 17. 

The sacrament is as a conduit which receiveth water from the 
river ; therefore when thou hast brought the vessel of thy soul to 
the conduit, thy work must be by faith to turn the cock, and then 
it will run freely, and fill thy vessel. Be sure that thou mind the 
promise, ' This is my body ;' ' This cup is the New Testament in 
my blood.' Thy faith will be celestial fire to extract the quint- 
essence and spirits of the promise. 

3. Faith must receive Christ, and apply him to thy soul. When 
thou puttest forth the hand of thy body to take the bread and 
wine, do thou put forth the hand of faith to receive the body and 
blood of Christ. This is one principal act of faith, like Joseph of 
Arimathea, to take Jesus down from his cross and lay him in the 
new tomb of thine heart. Like Thomas, put thy finger of faith 
into his side, and cry out, 'My Lord, and my God.' Be not dis- 
couraged, penitent soul. Are thy sins many ? — His mercy is 
free. Are thy sins weighty ? — His merits are full. Thou comest 
for bread, and will thy Saviour give thee a stone ? He took notice 


of thy serious preparation for this ordinance, and will he frustrate 
thine expectation at it? Did he ever send hungry soul empty 
away ? The law of man provides for the poor in purse, and will 
not the gospel of Christ provide for the poor in spirit ? Is not his 
commission to bind up the broken-hearted, and can he be unfaith- 
ful ? Why shouldst thou mistrust truth itself ? Let me say to 
thee, as the disciples to the blind man, ' Be of good cheer, he 
calleth for thee.' See how he casteth his eyes upon thee with a 
look of love, as once upon Peter. Observe, he stretcheth out his 
arms wide to embrace thee ; he boweth down his head to kiss thee. 
He crieth to thee, as to Zaccheus, ' I must abide at thy house,' 
in thy heart to-day. Oh make haste to receive him, and make him 
a feast by opening the doors of thy soul, that the King of glory 
may enter in. Say to Christ, Lord, though I am unworthy that 
thou shouldst come under my roof, yet thou art so gracious as to 
knock at the door of my heart, and to promise, if I open, that thou 
wilt come in and sup with me ; and then call to him, as Laban to 
Abraham's steward, ' Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, why 
standest thou without ? I have prepared lodging for thee,' Gen. 

Truly, reader, shouldst thou, having mourned unfeignedly for 
thy sins, now by unbelief hang off from thy Saviour, thou wouldst 
much dishonour him, and disadvantage thyself. Christ's greater 
things are for them that believe : ' If thou wilt now believe, thou 
shalt see the glory of God.' I am very confident, if thou hadst 
been by the cross (broken heart) when thy Saviour suffered, and 
shouldst have kneeled down before him, and said, Dearest Saviour, 
Why art thou now wrestling with the wrath of heaven, and rage 
of hell ? He would have answered, To satisfy (poor soul) for thy 
sins. Again, Why dost thou die such a cursed death ? He would 
have said, To take the curse of the law from thy back, that so thou 
mightest inherit the blessing. Once more, let not my Lord be 
angry, and I will speak this once ; blessed Redeemer, why didst 
thou cry out I thirst, and drink gall and vinegar ? Thou mightest 
have heard such a reply, To assure thee, thirsty sinner, that I am 
sensible of thy thirst, being scorched with that fury which is due 
to thy sins, and that thou mightest drink of that love which is 
better than wine. But stay, weary, thirsty soul but a while, and 
by and by thou shalt see this side opened, and blood issuing out to 
quench thy thirst. Oh put the mouth of faith to that wound, and 
what thou shalt suck thence shall do thee good for ever. Reader, 
I have read that the soldier who pierced Christ's side was blind, 

Chap. XIX] the christian man's calling. 207 

and that the blood flying out upon him recovered his sight. Sure 
I am that this blood, sprinkled on thy conscience, will purge it 
from dead works, to serve the living God. Oh, therefore, bathe 
thy soul in this blood ; when thou art at the sacrament, say to 
God, as the eunuch to Philip, ' Here is water, what hindereth 
but I may be baptized?' Lord, here is blood, here is a fountain, 
what hindereth but I may wash in it ? True, Lord, my per- 
son is unrighteous, but thy blood is justifying blood. My heart 
is polluted, but, Christ, thy blood is sanctifying blood. My 
lusts are 'many and strong, but thy blood is mortifying blood. 
My soul is lost, but, sweetest Saviour, thy blood is saving blood. 
This justifying, sanctifying, saving blood, I drink, I apply for these 
ends. Oh, let this blood be upon me and my children for ever. 

Away despair, my gracious Lord dotli hear ; 

Though wind and wave assault my keel, 

He doth preserve it, he doth steer, 

Even when the hoat seems most to reel. 

Storms are the triumph of his art, 
Well may he close his eyes, hut not his heart. 

Hast thou not heard what my Lord Jesus did ? 

Then let me tell thee a strange story ; 

The God of power, as he did ride 

In his majestic robes of glory, 

Eesolved to light, and so one day, 
He did descend, undressing all the way : 

The stars his tire of light, and rings obtained, 

The clouds his bow, the fire his spear, 

The sky his azure mantle gained ; 

And when they asked what he would wear, 

He smiled and said, as he did go, 
He had new clothes a-making here below. 

When he was come, as travellers are wont, 

He did repair unto an inn ; 

Both then and after, many a brunt 

He did endure to cancel sin, 

And having given the rest before, 
Here he gave up his life to pay our score. 

But as he was returning, there came one, 

Who ran upon him with a spear ; 

He who came hither all alone, 

Bringing no man, nor arms, nor fear, 

Eeceived the blow upon his side, 
And straight he turned, and to his brethren cried, 

If ye have anything to send or write, 
(I have no bag, but here is room,) 
Unto my Father's hands and sight 
(Believe me) it shall safely come ; 


That I shall mind what you impart, 
Look, you may lay it very near my heart. 

Or if hereafter any of my friends 

Will use me in this kind, the door 

Shall still be open ; what he sends 

I will present, and somewhat more, 

Not to his hurt ; sighs will convey 
Anything to me. Heart-despair, away ! — {Herbert — The Bag.) 

2. The second grace to be called forth is love ; and truly if thou 
hast acted thy faith in his passion for, and affection to thy soul, I 
shall not in the least doubt but thy love to him will play its part. 
The creatures, some tell us, follow the panther, being drawn after 
her by her sweet odours. When Jesus Christ, out of infinite love, 
offered up himself a sacrifice for thy sins, surely the sweet savour 
thereof may draw thy heart after him. ' Because of the savour of 
thy good ointments, therefore the virgins love thee,' Cant. i. 4. 
There is nothing in Christ but what may well command thy love : 
' He is the fairest of ten thousand: he is altogether lovely.' But 
his bloody sufferings for thee, and his blessed love to thee, one 
would think, are such loadstones, that if thou wert as cold and 
hard as steel, would draw thy soul both to desire him, and to de- 
light in him. Meditate a little more on his love to thee. Publi- 
cans and sinners love their friends who love them ; and wilt thou 
be worse than publicans and sinners ? Consider seriously ; Jesus 
Christ loved thee when thou wast in a loathsome estate, Ezek. xvi. ; 
when thou wast wallowing in thy blood, when no eye pitied thee, 
then was his time of love ; ' He passed by thee, and said unto thee, 
Live: yea, when thou wast in thy blood, he said unto thee, Live.' 
And wilt thou not love him ? 

Ponder the heat of his love ; possibly the greatness of that fire 
may warm thy heart, and thou mayest reflect some heat back 
again ; for indeed love is a diamond, which must be written upon 
with its own dust. He loveth thee as a servant ; surely this is a 
favour ; for he hath thousands of glorious angels, who count it 
their honour and happiness to serve him. To be made one of his 
hired servants, was the great privilege desired by the prodigal. 
' Ye call me Lord and Master, and ye say well, for so I am,' John 
xiii. 13. But though this may be somewhat, it is not enough for 
him. He loveth thee as a friend : ' Ye are my friends,' John xv. 
15. ' I have not called you servants, but friends.' Friends love 
entirely — witness Jonathan and David : ' Jonathan loved David as 
his own soul.' Friendship is one soul in two bodies, saith the 
philosopher : this is much ; but his love to thee is more than so, 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 209 

he loveth thee as his brother : ' He is not ashamed to call them 
brethren : ' ' I will declare thy name nnto my brethren,' Heh. ii. 11. 
Some brethren are knit very close in the bond of love. In Queen 
Elizabeth's reign, in a fight between the Earl of Kildare and Earl 
of Ter Owen, two of the Earl of Kildare's brethren were slain, 1 
which he took so heavily, that he died shortly. Some write, that 
there is no such love in the world as between foster-brethren in 
Ireland: this love is great, but his love is greater. He loveth 
thee as his child ; the stream of love descendeth most swiftly from 
parents to their children: 'He shall see his seed,' Isa. liii. 10. 
How tender is the mother of her child : ' Can the mother forget 
her child that sucketh her breast ? ' The mother's bowels will 
yearn towards her child ; the mother's breasts will put her to pain, 
if not drawn, and thereby mind her of her child. But though the 
mother may prove a monster, and, like the ostrich, leave her young 
to be destroyed, ' yet will I not forget thee, saith the Lord. Thou 
art engraven upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are ever 
before me,' Isa. xlix. 13-15. 'Children, have you any meat?' 
If not, lo, here is my body. Thou mayest say of Christ's love to 
thee, as David of Jonathan's, ' Thy love to me is wonderful, it far 
surpasses the love of women ; ' for he loveth thee as his spouse. 
Men do, or at least should, love their wives above all relations : 
' For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to 
his wife.' But who can conceive Christ's love to his spouse? 
' Thou art all fair, my love ; thou hast ravished my heart, my 
sister, my spouse : How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse,' 
Cant. iv. 8-10. The nearest affinity is spouse, and the nearest 
consanguinity is sister ; to shew that his affection is like that of 
the nearest relations. If this be not enough, reader, he loveth 
thee as himself, nay, above himself ; he did, as it were, hate him- 
self out of love to thee. He denied himself, displeased himself, 
and gave himself to be buffeted, scourged, condemned, racked, 
crucified, and to be a sacrifice for thy sins. Well, is it possible for 
thee to read of this infinite love without love ? When wood hath 
been laid a-sunning, it takes fire presently : hast not thou been so 
fitted by the warm hot beams of this sun, that now upon the very 
thoughts of Christ, thou art all in a flame ? Truly it would be as 
great a miracle for thee to be in such a furnace of love, and not 
fired with love to him, as for the three worthies in Daniel to be in 
the midst of the fiery furnace and not burnt. Christ loved thee 
so unspeakably, as thou hast read, as a servant, as a friend, as a 

1 Camb. Brit. 
VOL. I. O 


brother, as a child, as a wife, as himself ; nay, above himself : and 
all this when thou wast a sinner, without strength, yea, his enemy, 
(which threefold gradation the Holy Ghost taketh special notice 
of, Eom. v. 6, 8, 10 ;) and wilt thou ever give him cause to com- 
plain of thee, as Paul of his Corinthians, ' The more I love, the 
less I am beloved ' ? Love him dearly, love him entirely, love him 
above all, love him more than all. Say with the spouse, ' Stay 
me with flagons, comfort me with apples, for I am sick of love ; ' 
and with holy Bradford, sprinkle thy trencher, thy food with 
tears, that thou canst love so loving and so lovely a Saviour no 

3. When thou art at the table, exercise repentance. What 
sorrow for and anger against thy sins should the sight of a crucified 
Saviour cause ! Some tell us, that if the murderer be brought near 
and touch the body slain by him, it bleeds afresh. Oh, when thou, 
who art indeed the murderer of the Son of God, doth touch and 
taste his body and blood, shouldst not thou fall a-bleeding, a- weeping 
afresh ? Behold his broken, bleeding body with an eye of faith, and 
thine eye cannot but affect thine heart with grief. I am confident 
thou canst not see it with dry eyes. Was his soul exceeding sor- 
rowful, heavy even unto death for thy sake; and is not thine, friend, 
for thy sins ? Did he drop so much blood, and canst thou drop 
never a tear ? The very rocks were rent at his sufferings, and is 
thy heart harder than those stones ? Is it possible for the head to 
be .so pained and pierced, and the members not be affected with it ? 
Surely deep calleth unto deep — deep sufferings in Christ for deep 
sorrow in thee, Christian. If his body were broken to let his 
blood out, thy soul may well be broken to let it in. ' They shall see 
him whom they have pierced, and mourn for him as one that 
mourneth for his only son,' Zech. xii. 10. 

His love may make — as David's kindness — even a Saul to lift up 
his voice and weep. It is so great and so hot a fire, that one would 
think it would distil water out of thee, wert thou never so dry an 
herb. When Christ sat at supper in the pharisee's house, Mary 
washed his feet with her tears. When Christ and thy soul are 
supping together, thou mayest well weep in remembrance of thy 
unkindness and wickedness. 

But the chiefest reason why I mention repentance now to be 
exercised, is not so much for thy contrition or sorrow for sin — 
though when the sweet sauce is a little sharp with vinegar the 
meat will relish the better for it — as for thine indignation and 
anger against sin. When thou considerest that thy dearest Saviour 

Chap. XIX.] the christian man's calling. 211 

in a cold night lay grovelling on the ground, all over in a bloody 
sweat ; that thy best friend in the world was so inhumanly used, 
so barbarously butchered, thou shouldst cry out, as David, in a holy 
passion, ' As the Lord liveth, the (man, the) sin that hath done this 
thing shall surely be put to death/ When Antonius, after Caesar 
was murdered in the senate-house, brought forth his coat all bloody, 
cut, and mangled, and laying it open to the view of the people, said, 
Look, here is your emperor's coat ; and as the bloody-minded con- 
spirators have dealt by it, so have they dealt with Caesar's body. 
Upon this they were in an uproar, and cried out to slay the mur- 
derers, and took brands, and ran to the houses of the conspirators, 
and burned them down to the ground, and, as they apprehended the 
murderers, put them to death. Header, thou seest at the sacrament 
the wounds and blood of thy blessed Kedeemer, the dreadful, pain- 
ful death which thy Sovereign underwent. Oh, what canst thou 
do less than vow to be revenged on his murderers, thy corruptions, 
and in a holy anger endeavour their speedy execution. If thou 
wouldst have a full sight of sin's filth and sinfulness, go to mount 
Calvary, and behold thy Saviour hanging upon the cross, and, good 
Lord, what thoughts wilt thou have of thy lusts ! Physicians in 
unseemly convulsions advise their patients to look into a glass, that 
beholding their deformity, they may strive the more against it. 
The world never had such a glass as the sufferings of Jesus Christ 
for the discovery of sin's loathsome, ugly features, and its horrid, 
hideous, hellish face. Now, how should this light provoke thee to 
loathe and hate sin ! Oh, what child w 7 ould not abhor those weapons 
which murdered his dearest father ! 

It was the glory of Alexander, that, as soon as ever he had oppor- 
tunity, he slew the murderers of his father upon his father's tomb. 
Truly, reader, a sacrament day is a special opportunity, and thou 
wilt shew but little love to thine ' everlasting Father ' if thou dost 
not now put his murderers to death, upon those monuments of his 
passion. Now thou art at the table, think of thy unthankfulness, 
ambition, hypocrisy, covetousness, irreligion, and infidelity, and 
the rest, how these ' crucified the Lord of glory,' and resolve through 
the strength of Christ that these Hamans shall all be hanged, that 
these sins shall be condemned and crucified. 



What a Christian ought to do after a sacrament. 

I shall speak to thy duty after the supper, which consisteth 
mainly in these two things, thankfulness and faithfulness. 

1. Thankfulness. After such a banquet as this, thou mayest well 
give thanks. The Jews at their passover did sing the hundred 
and thirteenth Psalm, with the five following psalms, which they 
called the great Hallelujah. A Christian should in everything and 
at all times give thanks, but at a sacrament the great Hallelujah 
must be sung ; then God must have great thanks, then we must 
with our ' souls bless the Lord, and with all within us praise his 
holy name.' reader, call upon thyself, as Barak and Deborah 
did, ' Awake, awake, Deborah ; awake, awake, Barak ; utter a 
song, and lead captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam,' Judges v. 
' Awake, my love ; awake, my joy ; utter a song.' ' A feast is 
made for laughter, and wine rejoiceth the heart of man.' Friend, 
is not this a rare feast ? where is thy cheerful face ? Is not here 
good wine, a cup of nectar indeed, the blood of the Son of God ? 
What mirth, what music hast thou to this banquet of wines ? 
Anciently it was the beginning and ending of letters, — Gaudete in 
domino, rejoice in the Lord. It will be an excellent conclusion of 
this ordinance to rejoice in the Lord. let thy ' soul magnify the 
Lord, and thy spirit rejoice in God thy Saviour/ Luke i. 46, 47. 

The cup in the sacrament is called the Eucharistical cup, or ' the 
cup of blessing j ' let it be so to thee. Let thy heart and mouth 
say, ' Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath visited and 
redeemed his people,' Luke ii. 

Canst thou think of that infinite love which God manifested to 
thy soul without David's return, ' What shall I render to the Lord 
for all his benefits ?' His heart was so set upon thy salvation, his 
love was so great to thy soul, that he delighted in the very death of 
his Son because it tended to thy good. ' It pleased the Lord to 
bruise him,' Isa. liii. 10. Valde delectatus est, Junius reads it, 
' He was exceedingly delighted ' in it. Surely the mind of God 
was infinitely set upon the recovery of lost sinners, in that — whereas 
other parents, whose love to their children in comparison of his to 
Christ is but as a drop to the ocean, follow their children to their 
graves with many tears, especially when they die violent deaths — 
he delighted exceedingly in the barbarous death of his only Son, in 

Chap. XX.] the christian man's calling. 213 

the bleeding of the head, because it tended to the health and 
eternal welfare of the members. Friend, 'what manner of love 
hath the Father loved thee with ?' He gave his own Son to be 
apprehended, that thou mightest escape ; his own Son to be con- 
demned, that thou mightest be acquitted ; his own Son to be 
whipped and wounded, that thou mightest be cured and healed ; 
yea, his own Son to die a shameful cursed death, that thou mightest 
live a glorious blessed life for ever. ' Glory to God in the highest, 
peace on earth, and good will to men.' Alas, how unworthy art 
thou of this inestimable mercy ! Thou art by nature a child of 
wrath as well as others, and hadst been now wallowing in sin with 
the worst in the world, if free grace had not renewed thee ; nay, 
thou hadst been roaring in hell at this hour if free grace had not 
reprieved thee. Thy conscience will tell thee that thou dost not 
deserve the bread which springeth out of the earth, and yet thou 
art fed with the bread which came down from heaven, with angels' 
food. infinite love ! Mayest not thou well say with Mephibosheth 
to David, ' What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon 
such a dead dog as I am ? For all my father's house were as dead 
men before my lord, yet didst thou set thy servant among them 
that did eat at thine own table.' Lord, I was a lost, dead, damned 
sinner before thee, liable to the unquenchable fire, and yet thou 
hast been pleased to set me among them that eat at thine own 
table, and feed on thine own Son. Oh, what is thy servant, that 
thou shouldst take notice of such a dead dog as I am ? 

Look abroad in the world, and thou mayest see others refused 
when thou art chosen, others passed by when thou art called, others 
polluted when thou art sanctified, others put off with common 
gifts when thou hast special grace, others fed with the scraps of 
ordinary bounty, when thou hast the finest of the flour, even the 
fruits of saving mercy. As Elkanah gave to Peninnah, and to all 
her sons and daughters, portions, ' But to Hannah he gave a worthy 
portion, because he loved her ;' so God giveth others outward por- 
tions, some of the good things of this life ; but to thee, Christian, 
he giveth a Benjamin's mess, — his image, his Spirit, his Son, him- 
self, — a worthy portion, a goodly heritage, because he loveth thee. 

Others have a little meat, and drink, and wages, but thou hast 
the inheritance ; others, like Jehoshaphat's younger sons, have some 
cities, some small matters given them ; but thou, like the first- 
born, hast the kingdom, the crown of glory ; others feed on bare 
elements, thou hast the sacrament ; others stand without doors, 
and thou art admitted into the presence chamber ; others must fry 


eternally in hell flames, and thou must enjoy fulness of joy for 
evermore. give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, for his 
mercy endureth for ever ; to him that chose thee before the founda- 
tion of the world, for his mercy endureth for ever ; to him that 
called thee by the word of his grace, for his mercy endureth for 
ever ; to him that gave his only Son to die for thy sins, for his 
mercy endureth for ever ; to him that entered into a covenant of 
grace with thee, for his mercy endureth for ever ; to him that hath 
provided for thee an exceeding and eternal weight of glory, for his 
mercy endureth for ever. ' give thanks unto the Lord, for he is 
good, for his mercy endureth for ever.' 

Eemember the poor on that day. God's bounty to thee in 
spirituals may well provoke thy mercy to others in carnals. The 
Jews at their passover released a prisoner, in remembrance of their 
deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Surely at the Lord's supper, 
when thy heart is warmed with God's compassion to thee, thy hand 
should be enlarged in contribution to the poor, in remembrance of 
thy redemption out of slavery to sin and Satan. The primitive 
Christians had their collections for the poor, and the Lord's supper, 
both on a day, on the first day of the week, because the saints, 
like the wall being then heated by the sun, should reflect that 
heat on the passengers, on others, Acts xx. 7 ; 2 Cor. xvi. 1. Thy 
cup runneth over, let others drink with thee ; thy charity may 
make thy coffer lighter, but it will make thy crown heavier. It was 
a notable expression of one, who having given much away, was 
like to want, and asked what she would do : I repent not of my 
charity, for what I have lost in one world I have gained in another. 

2. Faithfulness. The sacrament is a strong engagement to 
sanctity, Sacramentum est juramentum. At the Lord's supper 
thou takest a new oath of allegiance to the King of saints, whereby 
every wilful iniquity after it becomes perjury. The Greek word for 
an oath cometh from a word which signifieth a hedge, 1 to shew 
that an oath should keep men in, and prevent their wandering out 
of the field of God's word. It is the character of a harlot, ' she 
forgetteth the covenant of her God,' Prov. ii. 17. I know that the 
devil will come to sit with thee after supper. Flies love to settle 
on the sweetest perfumes. When Israel had ' drunk of the rock 
which followed them, which rock was Christ,' then Amalek 
sought them. When Jesus Christ had received the sacrament of 
baptism, then the devil pursued him with his fierce assaults. 
When thou hast been at the table, expect the tempter. That subtle 

1 opKos ab tpxos septum, a hedge. 

Chap. XX.] the christian man's calling. 215 

thief will hear of the new treasure of grace which is brought into 
thy house, thy heart, and will use all his policy and power to rob 
thee of it. Thy care must be by stronger bolts and locks than 
ordinary, by greater diligence and watchfulness than before, to se- 
cure it. 

Surely, reader, if thou didst but find the Saviour in the sacra- 
ment, thou canst not but tear sin after the sacrament. Thou hast 
seen what sin cost Christ. Didst thou not at the table see the Lord 
Jesus hanging on the cross ? Didst thou not thus bespeak thy 
soul : — Look, my soul, who hangeth there ! Alas ! it is thy 
dearest Eedeemer. See his bloody head, bloody hands, bloody 
back, belly, his body all over bloody ; but, oh, his bleeding soul ! 
Dost thou not hear his lamentation ? ' My God, my God, why hast 
thou forsaken me ? ' What thinkest thou is the cause of all this ? 
Ah, it is thy sins which is the source of all these sorrows. And 
canst thou join with them, or love those lusts that hate the Lord ? 
Canst thou wound him whom God hath wounded, and crucify 
the Lord Jesus afresh ? Hath not thy Saviour suffered enough 
already ? Oh, here is a medicine instar omnium, instead of all, to kill 
those diseases of thy soul. It is said of the soldiers of Pompey, that 
though he could not keep them in the camp by any persuasion, yet 
when Pompey threw himself upon the ground and told them, If ye 
will go, ye shall trample upon your general, — then (saith Plutarch, 
in the life of Pompey) they were overcome. Truly, if nothing 
will dissuade thee from sin, yet this consideration, that it is a 
trampling upon " thy blessed Saviour, should prevail with thee. 
Though thou shouldst be marching never so furiously, yet (as Joab's 
soldiers, when they saw the dead body of Amasa, stayed their march, 
and stood still) when thou seest the mangled, wounded, pierced, 
crucified body of thy Saviour, thou shouldst stop and proceed no 

How many arguments mayest thou find in this ordinance to be 
close in thy obedience ! The greatness of Christ's love calleth for 
graciousness in thy life. ' The love of Christ constraineth/ 2 Cor. 
v. 14. Other motives may persuade, but this compelleth. If de- 
liverance from the yoke of Pharaoh were such a bond to obedience, 
what is deliverance from sin, and wrath, and hell ? Mayest not 
thou, reader, say with the Jews, after such a deliverance as this, 
' Should I again break thy commandments, wouldst thou not be 
angry with me till thou hast consumed me ? ' Ezra ix. 14. They that 
receive such courtesies (if any men in the world) sell their liberty, 
and ought to be Christ's servants, Luke i. 14. Friend, hath God 


wiped off the old score ? and wilt thou run again in debt ? Did 
Christ speak peace to thee at the table ? and wilt thou turn again 
to folly ? reader, when thou art tempted to sin, say with 
the spouse, ' I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them ? 
I have washed my soul, how shall I pollute it with sin? I 
have given myself wholly to God before angels and men, and 
' how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against my God, 
against my Saviour, against my covenant ? There is a beast, some 
write, which, if she be feeding, and doth but turu her head about, 
forgetteth what she was doing. Oh, do not thou, after thou hast 
fed on the bread of life, forget what thou wast doing ; but as at the 
sacrament thou hast remembered Christ's death, so do it after by 
dying to sin all the days of thy life. Oh, do not use this ordinance, 
as papists do the pope's indulgences, to purchase a new licence to 
sin. Judas went from the supper to betray his Master. Absalom, 
as arrant a dissembler as he was, pretended to hate such ingratitude. 
' Is this thy kindness to thy friend ? ' saith he to Hushai ; ' why hast 
thou left him ? ' When thou art, by any sinister carriage, departing 
from Christ, give conscience leave to ask thee, Is this thy kindness 
to thy friend ? Ah, why dost thou leave him, and serve him thus ? 
Thy sins will be more sinful, because God is more merciful to thee 
than to others. ' The children of Israel have (only, the Seventy 
read) done evil from their youth up,' Jer. xxxii. 30. As if there 
had been no sinners in the world but they : their privileges being 
greater than others', their provocations were more grievous. The 
unkindness of a friend hath much of an enemy in it. David was 
not much troubled at Shimei's railing ; but Absalom's rebellion 
pierced his very soul. ' My son that came out of my bowels hath 
lifted up his hands against me.' Wilt thou give thy Saviour cause 
to complain, ' He that did eat bread with me hath lifted up his heel 
against me ' ? Ps. xli. 9. He that did eat at my table, nay, eat of 
my flesh and drink of my blood, he hath lift up his heart, and his 
hand, and his heel against me. It was an aggravation of Saul's 
fall ; he fell ' as though he had not been anointed,' 2 Sam. i. And 
it will be a sad aggravation of thy fall, if thou shouldest sin as if 
thou hadst not been at a sacrament. 

It is reported of an elephant, that being fallen down, and by 
reason of the inflexibleness of his legs, unable to rise, a forester 
came by and helped him up, with which kindness the elephant was 
so taken, that he followed the man up and down, did him much 
service, and never left him till his dying day. Eeader, the moral 
is plain : thou wast fallen, and never able to rise of thyself. The 

Chap. XX.] the christian man's calling. 217 

Lord Jesus Christ forsook his Father in heaven, and his mother on 
earth, suffered unconceivable sorrows, to help thee up. What love 
shouldst thou have to him ? What service shouldst thou do for 
him ? Thou canst not do less, since he hath ' redeemed thee out 
of the hands of thine enemies/ than ' serve him in holiness and 
righteousness all thy days.' As the hop in its growing follows the 
course of the sun from east to west, and will rather break than do 
otherwise, so shouldst thou, in all thy actions, follow the course of 
the Sun of Kighteousness, and rather die than deny him. 

When Moses came from the mount, where he had been convers- 
ing with God, his face shined. Exod. xxxiv. 30. When thou goest 
from the table where thou hast had sweet communion with thy God, 
the face of thy conversation must shine so with holiness that others 
may take notice of it. 

It is said of the high priest and elders, that observing the lan- 
guage and carriage of Peter and John, ' they marvelled ; and they 
took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus,' Acts iv. 
13. So thy words should be so gracious, and thy works so exemplary 
after a sacrament, that all those with whom thou hast to do, may 
marvel and take knowledge that thou hast been with Jesus ; that 
at the table thou didst sup with Christ, and Christ with thee. 

I shall only answer a doubt or two from a troubled conscience, 
and conclude this ordinance. 

Obj. 1. But possibly thou wilt say, (0 penitent soul !) I have been 
at the sacrament and found little joy, what shall I do ? 

Ans. Though thou diclst not find any ravishing comfort at the 
table, yet it may be thou mightest receive more grace from Christ. 
When thou didst not spring upward in joy, thou mightest root thy- 
self more downward in humility. Here is no loss : heaven is the 
proper place for comfort, earth for grace. I expect my reward in 
another world. If I can but do my work well here, I shall be 
satisfied. A serious Christian may well be contented with solid 
peace without ecstasies. Therefore be not discouraged. 

Obj. 2. But I find no peace, no calmness of spirit. I fear my 
heart was so dead and dull, that I did neither act grace in the 
ordinance, nor receive grace through the ordinance, for I saw never 
a smile in God's face all the while. 

Ans. Diclst thou not go in thine own strength ? if so, no wonder 
that thou art disheartened. Jacob told his wives, ' I perceive that 
your father's countenance is not towards me as at other times ;' but 
what was the matter ? This Jacob, say Laban's sons, ' hath taken 
away all that was our father's, he hath got his riches.' The glory 


of God, as I may say, is his wealth, his treasure, ' the riches of 
his glory,' Rom. ix. 23. Now if thou didst rob God of any part of 
his treasure, by thy self-confidence, it is no marvel that thy Father's 
countenance was not so pleasant towards thee as at other times. 
In brief, I would wish thee to reflect both upon thy preparation 
for, and carriage at the ordinance, and if tliou findest thyself faulty, 
confess and bewail it ; hereby thou may est yet attain the efficacy 
of the ordinance. When physic is taken down and doth not work, 
physicians often give their patients something to quicken it, and it 
proves exceeding instrumental for the diseased person's good ; a 
sincere lamentation of thy negligence before, or carelessness at the 
table, supposing that thy heart be right with God, will much help 
forward the operation of the sacrament. If thou findest that thou 
wast faithful in the discharge of thy duty, then by no means 
despond, but wait. Food doth not nourish as soon as it is taken 
into the body, there must be time allowed for concoction. The 
strongest meats are longest in digesting, but they give the most and 
the best nourishment. Faith and prayer will at last, like skilful 
midwives, deliver the promises safely of those blessings which did 
stick for a time in the birth. ' It is good that thy soul should both 
hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of God.' There is light 
sown for thee, thou child of light, who walkest in darkness ; and 
be confident it will spring up. 

A good wish about the Lords supper, wherein the former heads 
are epitomised. 

The Lord's supper being one of the greatest mysteries of the 
Christian religion, a lively representation of my dearest Saviour's 
bleeding passion and blessed affection, and a real taste of that 
eternal banquet which I shall hereafter eat of in my Father's house 
at his own table, I wish in general that I may never distaste the 
person of my best friend by abusing his picture ; that I may not 
go to the Lord's table as swine to their trough, in my sin and 
pollution, but may receive those holy elements into a clean heart. 
Oh that my lamp might be flaming, and my vessel filled with oil, 
whenever I go to meet the bridegroom ! I wish, in particular, that 
my soul may be so thoroughly affected with Christ's special presence 
at this sacred ordinance, that I may both prepare for it, and pro- 
ceed at it with all possible seriousness and diligence. Oh let me 
never be so unworthy and impudent as to defile that holy feast 
before the author's face. 

Chap. XX.] the christian man's calling. 219 

I wish that my heart may have an infinite respect for the blood 
of my Saviour, the stream in which all my comforts, both for this 
and a better world, come swimming to me, which hath landed 
thousands safely at the haven of eternal happiness, one drop of 
which I am sure is more worth than heaven and earth ; that as all 
murder is abominable, being against the light of nature, so Christ- 
murder may be most of all abhorred by me, as being directly 
against the clearest light of Scripture, and the choicest love which 
ever was discovered to the children of men. Good Lord, whatever 
I jest with, let me never sport or dally with the death of thy Son ! 
Let me not give him cause to complain of me, as once of Judas, 
' He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish is the same that 
betrayeth me ! ' Let me never buy a sacrament, as the Jews the 
potter's field, with the price of blood. ' Deliver me from blood- 
guiltiness, God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue shall 
sing aloud of thy loving-kindness.' 

I wish that true self-love may be so prevalent with me, that since 
I believe the profanation of the most precious things will be most 
pernicious to my soul, as the whitest ivory is turned by the fire 
into the deepest black, and the sweetest wine becometh the sharpest 
vinegar, I may tremble and fear before I receive, lest I should 
poison myself with that potion which is intended for my health, 
and cut the throat of my precious soul with that knife, wherewith 
I may cut bread, feed on it, and live for ever. 

I wish that I may prepare my heart to meet the God of Israel at 
this holy ordinance ; and to this end, that I may be impartial in 
the search and examination of my soul, whether I come short of 
the grace of God or no. Physicians judge sometimes of the in- 
ward parts by the tongue. The Roman Emperor Tiberius, when 
one pretended to the crown of a kingdom, discovered him to be a 
counterfeit by feeling his hands, and finding that they were not 
soft, as of a person tenderly bred, but hard as the hands of a 
mechanic. I desire that both by my tongue and hand, by my 
words and works, I may know the state and condition of my heart. 
In special, my prayer is, that I may never fail to try my faith, 
which is to the soul what the natural heat is to the body, by virtue 
of which the nutritive faculty turneth the food into nourishment, 
but may make sure of an interest in the vine before I drink of the 
fruit thereof. 

I wish that before I go for a discharge,. I may look into the book 
of my conscience, cast up my accounts, and consider how infinitely 
I am indebted to my God, that I may consider whence I am fallen 


and repent, and like Tamar, though I am ravished and denied by 
force, may yet rend my garments, my heart I mean, with godly 
sorrow and self-abhorrency. Oh that my soul might be so searched 
to the bottom that none of my wounds may fester, but all may be 
discovered and cured. I pray that I may not dare to turn the 
table of the Lord into the table of devils, by receiving the sacra- 
ment in the love of any known sin, but may go to it with a hearty 
detestation of every false way, and a holy resolution against every 
known wickedness. I wish that after all my pains in preparing 
myself, I may look up to Christ alone for assistance, as knowing 
that I am not sufficient of myself so much as to think anything, 
but my sufficiency is of God ; blessed Saviour, be thou surety for 
thy servant, and bound for my good behaviour at the last and loving 

I wish that when I come to the table I may, like the beloved 
disciple, behold the wounds of my Saviour, and see that water and 
blood which did flow out of his side ; that as in the Gospel I read 
a narrative, so in this ordinance I may have a prospective of his 
sufferings : how he emptied himself to fill me, and to raise my 
reputation with his Father, laid down his own ; how he humbled 
himself, though he had the favour of a Son, to the form of a ser- 
vant, and though he were the Lord of life and glory, to the most 
ignominious death, even the death of the cross. 

I wish that in his special passion I may ever take notice of his 
affection, and esteem the laying down his life, as the hyperbole of 
his love, the highest note that love could possibly reach. Ah ! how 
near did this high priest carry my name to his heart, when he 
willingly underwent the rage of hell to purchase for me a passage 
to heaven ! ' I will remember thy love more than wine.' I desire 
that when I see Christ crucified before mine eyes, in the breaking 
of the bread, and pouring out of the wine, I may not forget the 
cause, my corruptions, but may so think of them and my Saviour's 
kindness, in dying to make satisfaction for them, that as fire ex- 
pelleth fire, so I may be enabled by the fire of love to expel and 
cast out the fire of lust. 

I wish that however my body be attired, my soul may by faith 
put on the Lord Jesus Christ at this heavenly feast ; that I may not 
only look up to him, as the cripple to Peter and John, expecting 
an alms, but may receive him by believing, and so banquet on his 
blessed body, and bathe my soul in his precious blood, that my 
spirit may rejoice in God my Saviour, whilst I am assured that 
though the pain were his, yet the profit is mine ; though the 

Chap. XX. J the christian man's calling. 221 

wounds were his, yet the balm issuing thence is mine ; though the 
thorns were his, yet the crown is mine ; and though the price were 
his, yet the purchase is mine. Oh let him be mine in possession 
and claim, and then he will be mine in fruition and comfort, ' Lord, 
I believe ; help mine unbelief ! ' I wish, since love is the greatest 
thing my Saviour can give me, for God is love, and the greatest 
thing which I can give my Saviour, that his love to me may be 
reflected back to him again, that my chiefest love may be as a 
fountain sealed up to all others, and broached only for him who is 
altogether lovely, that I may hate father, mother, wife, child, house, 
and land, out of love to him ; that many waters of affliction may 
not quench this love, but rather like snuffers make this lamp to 
burn the brighter. Beasts love them who feed them. Wicked 
men love their friends and benefactors ; my very clothes warming 
me are warmed by me again, and shall not I love him who hath 
loved me, and washed me in his own blood ! Oh that I could 
groundedly cry out with Ignatius, my love was crucified, and meet 
this Lord of heaven, as Elijah went up to heaven in a chariot of 
fire, in a flame of love ; I desire that I may follow Christ at this 
ordinance, as the women did to his cross, weeping, considering that 
my sins were the cause of his bitter and bloody suffering ; and oh 
that, as Saul eyed David, I might eye them all from that day for- 
ward, to slay and destroy them. 

When my soul has been thus feasted with marrow and fatness, 
Lord, let my mouth praise thee with joyful lips. Ah, what am I, 
and what is my father's house, that when others eat the bread of 
violence, and drink the wine of deceit, I should eat the flesh and 
drink the blood of thine own Son ? ' What is man, that thou art 
so mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou dost thus visit 
him ?' I wish that I may shew my thankfulness to my God and 
dearest Saviour for these benefits — the worth of which men and 
angels can never conceive— by the love of my heart, the praises 
of my lips, and the exemplariness of my life. At the sacrament 
Christ gave his body and blood to me, and I gave my body and 
soul a living sacrifice to him, and that before God, angels, and men; 
the sacrament was Beersheba, ' the well of an oath.' Shall I pollute 
that heart which was solemnly devoted to God, and profane that 
covenant which I have seriously contracted with the most High ? 
Should I, like Samson, break those bands asunder, and fetch that 
sacrifice away from the altar, which was tied with such strong cords 
of oaths and covenants ? must I not expect to bring the fire along 
with it ? Oh let me never start aside from my vow like a deceitful 


bow ! Lord, I have sworn, and will perform, that I will keep, 
through thy strength, thy righteous judgments. Lastly, I desire 
that I may not only differ from them who, like the Habassines, 1 
will not spit on a sacrament day, but will spew the next day ; deny 
sin at present, but afterwards defy 2 it; that I may not only be 
faithful to my oath of allegiance, but also fruitful in obedience ; 
that as Elijah walked in the strength of one meal forty days, I may 
walk in the strength of that banquet, serving my Saviour and my 
soul all my days. In a word, I wish that I may ever after walk 
worthy of my birth, having royal, heavenly blood running in my 
veins ; worthy of my breeding, being brought up in the nurture 
of the Lord, fed at his own table with the bread of heaven, clothed 
with the robes of his Son's righteousness ; and that my present 
deportment may be answerable to my future preferment. Oh that 
I might in all companies, conditions, and seasons, walk worthy of 
him who hath called me to his kingdom and glory ! Amen. 

How to exercise ourselves to godliness on a Lord's-day. 

Because the Lord's-day is the special time for religious duties, I 
shall therefore, reader, give thee here some particular directions for 
thy sanctification of it, and edification by it. 

As of all actions, none call for more care than holy duties ; so of 
all seasons for those actions, none commandeth so much caution 
and conscience as the Lord's-day. 

The first command teacheth us the object of worship; the second, 
the matter of worship; the third, the manner of worship; the fourth, 
the time of worship. 

That God is to be worshipped, that some time must be "set apart 
for that work, is moral natural, and written on the tables of all 
our hearts ; but that one day of seven must be consecrated to this 
end, is moral positive, and written on the tables of stone. 

All nations have had their seasons for sacrifice ; even the heathen, 
who worshipped dumb idols, had their festivals and holidays. It is 
reported of Alexander Severus, emperor of Rome, that he would on 
a Sabbath-day lay aside his worldly affairs, and go into the capitol 
to worship his gods. Among those that acknowledged the true God, 

1 In Prester John's country. s Qu. 'deify'? — Ed. 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 223 

the Turks have their stata tempora — set times of devotion — nay, 
they have their Friday-Sabbath. 

But to keep the Lord's-day upon a conscientious ground, and in 
a religious manner, is peculiar to the true Christian. In the primi- 
tive times, the observation of this day was esteemed the principal 
sign of a saint. Indeed, our sanctification of it is by God himself 
counted a sign that he hath sanctified us, Exod. xxxi. 13. 

It is observable that God hath fenced this command with more 
hedges than ordinary, to prevent our excursions : 

1. It is marked with a memento above other commands, ' Remem- 
ber the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy,' partly because of our forget- 
fulness, and partly because of its concernments. 

2. It is delivered both negatively and affirmatively, which no 
other command is, to shew how strongly it binds. 

3. It- hath more reasons to enforce it than any other precept, — 
its equity, god's bounty, his own pattern, and the day's benedic- 

4. It is put in the close of the first, and beginning of the second 
table, to note that the observation of both tables depends much 
upon the sanctification of this day. 1 

It is considerable also, that it is more repeated than other of the 
commands, Exod. xx. 8, xxxi. 14-16, xxxv. 2; Levit. xvi. 31, 
xxiii. 3, 32. 

God would have Israel know, in those forequoted places, that 
their busiest times, earing and harvest, and the very building of 
the tabernacle, must give way to this precept. 2 

On the Lord's-day we go into God's sanctuary, and his pleasure 
is, that we reverence his sanctuary, Levit. xix. 30. The Jews in- 
deed made a great stir about their outward reverencing the temple. 3 
They tell us they were not to go in with a staff, nor shoes, nor to 
spit in it, nor, when they went away, to turn their backs upon it, 
but go sidling, Ezek. viii. 16; but certainly God's meaning is prin- 
cipally that we do, with inward reverence and seriousness, worship 
him in his sanctuary. 

Reader, I desire thee to take notice, that the more holy any action 
is, the more heedful thou oughtest to be about it ; upon which ac- 
count the duties of this day require extraordinary diligence ; for 
they have a double dye of holiness upon them ; they are double- 
gilt. Thy task on that day, or the exercises thereof, are of divine 

1 Est caput religionis et totum Dei cultum continet. — Wittet in Exod. xxxv. 1. 

2 Omni tempore sabbato debere cessare. — Aug. in Exod., Qurest. 160. 
Willet in loc. 

224 the christian man's calling. [Chap. XXI. 

institution, and so is the time, the day. Thou hast God's hand and 
seal to the duties ; he commands thee to pray, hear, sing, meditate, 
receive the sacrament ; and thou hast also God's hand and seal to 
the day, Acts xx. 7 ; 1 Cor. xvi. 1,2; Kev. x. It is considerable, 
that in the fourth command God doth not say, ' Remember the 
seventh day, to keep it holy ' ; but, ' Remember the Sabbath-day, to 
keep it holy.' This Zanchy takes great notice of. Further, the 
seventh, or a seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God ; so, then, 
the morality of that command is one day of seven. The Jews' 
seventh day was buried in Christ's grave, though its shadow walked 
a little while after. Take heed how thou observest this day ; God's 
eye is very much upon thy behaviour in his house ; * therefore in 
the tabernacle, the place of public worship, it was commanded, 
Exod. xxv. 37, ' Thou shalt make seven lamps, and they shall light 
the lamps that they may give light ; ' to teach us that nothing there 
escapes his sight, for in his house there is always light. His eye 
beholds all thy commission of evil, and all thine omission of good 
there. In his sanctuary thou canst not sin in secret ; there are 
seven lamps to discover thy miscarriages in the Lord's house, and 
therefore it behoves thee to be very pious in that place. After- 
wards, when the temple was built, and became heir to the taber- 
nacle, as that succeeded this in the celebration of God's worship ; 
so also, in God's observation of all the works done there : ' Mine 
eye,' saith God, ' shall be there perpetually,' 1 Kings ix. 3. There 
is a threefold eye of God present in the assemblies of his people. 

1. There is the eye of observation and inspection : God seeth 
what uprightness and seriousness there is in thy prayers and per- 
formances ; God eyeth and takes notice what integrity and fervency 
thou hast in thy services and sacrifices : ' Mine eyes are upon all 
their ways,' Jer. xvi. 17. Whether thou art praying, or reading, 
or hearing, or singing, his eye is upon thee ; and whether thou 
performest thy duties slothfully and sluggishly, or dutifully and 
diligently, he observeth thee : ' His eyes behold, and his eyelids 
try the children of men.' 

2. There is the eye of favour and benediction. God's eye can 
convey a blessing as well as his hand : ' I will set mine eyes upon 
them for good,' Amos ix. 4. And God's eye can speak his good 
will, as well as his heart : ' Mine eye and my heart shall be 
there ; ' that is, in my house, 2 Chron. vii. 16. The affection of the 
breast is seen at the brows. ' Mine eye shall be upon the faithful of 
the land,' Ps. ci. 6. God's eye is in his house, to approve and bless 

1 Xe putes te in domo Dei male posse conversari et oecultari. — Oleaster. 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 225 

thee, if thou sanctify him in ordinances. Friend, keep the Lord's- 
day with care and conscience, perform thy duties with suitable 
graces, and God's eye will be upon thee, thou shalt see his love in 
his pleasant and gracious looks. Jesus Christ beholds and approves 
the gracious performances of his people ; he seems to say to them, 
as Paul to the Colossians, ' Though I am absent from you in 
the flesh, yet am I present with you in the spirit, joying and be- 
holding your order,' Col. ii. 5. 

3. There is the eye of fury and indignation. God's looks will 
speak his anger, as well as his blows : his fury is visible by his 
frowns. ' Mine eyes shall be upon them for evil.' ' God's sight can 
wound as deeply as his sword. Job speaks of him, ' He sharpeneth 
his eyes upon me/ Job xvi. 9. Wild beasts, when they fight, whet 
their eyes as well as their teeth. An enemy enraged looks on his 
antagonist as if he would look through him. He sharpeneth his 
eyes upon me, as if he would stab me to the heart with a glance of 
his eye ; so an expositor glosseth on it : if thou wait on God 
irreverently, worship him carelessly, and profanest his day, either 
by corporal labour or spiritual idleness, thou mayest not expect his 
eye of favour, but of fury : ' If ye will not hearken unto me, to 
hallow the Sabbath, then will I kindle a fire which shall devour the 
palaces of Jerusalem, and none shall quench it,' Jer. xvii. ult., 
Ezek. xxii. 26-31. God's severity hath been remarkable on the 
profaners of his Sabbath. The first blow given the German 
churches was on the Lord's-day, which they carelessly observed ; on 
that day Prague was lost. When men disturb God's rest, God 
doth usually deprive them of rest. The day of the Lord is like to 
be a dreadful day to them that despise the Lord's-day. 

Truly God is as jealous in his courts under the gospel as he was 
under the law. Christ, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, walks in 
the midst of the golden candlesticks throughout the world. He 
observes how holy duties are performed, and how his holy day is 
sanctified ; ' Where two or three are gathered together in his 
name, he is in the midst of them/ Mat. xviii. 20. He is in the 
midst of us, to behold our inward and outward carriage in his 
courts ; he observeth in praying, what confessions are "made of sin, 
with what confusion of face, and contrition of heart, what petitions 
are put up for grace and pardon, with what integrity of spirit, and 
fervency of affection. He observeth in hearing, whether men hear 
with attention suitable to that word which is able to save their 
souls, whether men receive the truth in the love of it, whether they 
resolve on subjection, and to give themselves up to that form of 

VOL. i. p 


doctrine which is given down to them, or whether men hear sermons, 
as children turn over books, merely for the gays that are in them. 
' He goeth down into the garden of nuts, to see the fruits of the 
valley,' Cant. vi. 11. He seeth the rotten bough of hypocrisy, the 
leaves of profession, without the fruits of an answerable conversa- 
tion, he seeth all thine unripe, sour, indigested duties. 

Reader, if I were to counsel thee how to spend a market-day, so 
that thou mightest gain much wealth and treasure, I doubt not but 
thou wouldst hearken to me ; I am now to advise thee how to 
spend the Lord's-day, the market-day for thy soul, so that thou 
mayest get the true treasure, durable riches and righteousness ; I 
pray thee to hear and obey the directions which I have to deliver 
to thee from the Lord for that end. 

First, Make preparation for the day. There is scarce any work 
which admits of any considerable perfection but requires some pre- 
vious preparation. In works of nature, the ground must be dunged, 
dressed, ploughed, harrowed, and all to prepare it for the seed. In 
works of art the musician tuneth his violin, screwing up some of 
his strings higher, letting some down lower, as occasion is, and all 
to prepare it for his lesson, and indeed without this he would make 
but sad music. Truly, friend, thus it is with us in matters of 
higher moment ; hearts, like soil, must be prepared for the seed of 
the word — how many a sermon hath been lost because this was 
wanting ! — and the violins of our souls must be tuned to praise 
God, or otherwise they will sound but harshly in his ears. 

The priests were to wash in the laver when they went into the taber- 
nacle, and when they came near to the altar to minister, upon pain 
of death, Exocl. xxx. 19, 20. Signifying that to holy performances 
there is required holy preparation ; suitable to which is David's 
speech, ' I will wash my hands in innocency, so will I compass thine 
altar,' Ps. xxvi. 

When the temple was to be built, the stones were hewn, and the 
timber squared and fitted, before they were brought to the place 
where the temple stood ; there was neither axe, nor hammer, nor 
any use of them in the temple : and what doth this speak, but that 
the Christian must be polished and prepared to be a spiritual 
temple, an habitation for the God of Jacob, and also fitted for his 
worship, which was then in the temple ? 

There is no duty but requires some previous disposition. A 
little breakfast quickens the appetite to a good dinner ; duty fits 
the heart for duty ; consider prayer. The Christian must be poor 
in spirit, that would prevail in prayer for spiritual riches. The 

Chap. XXI.] tiie christian man's calling. 227 

vessel must be empty before it can be filled. ' Lord, thou wilt 
prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear,' Ps. x. 17. 
For hearing ; the weeds must be plucked up before the grain be 
thrown into the ground. ' Wherefore laying aside all malice and 
all guile and hypocrisies, as new-born babes, desire the sincere milk 
of the word,' 1 Pet. ii. 1, 2. In singing, the lungs must be good, 
the inwards clean before the voice will be sweet and clear. ' 
God, my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise,' 
Ps lvii. 7. So for the Lord's-day, the Israelites had their prepara- 
tion. It was ' the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,' 
Mark xv. 42. 

The preparation for the Lord's-day consisteth partly in care so 
to order worldly businesses, that they may not encroach on the 
Sabbath ; some expositors observe that the word remember, in the 
Fourth Command, enjoineth a provident foresight and diligent 
despatch of earthly affairs on the day before, that nothing may 
remain to disquiet us in, or disturb God's day of rest. There is an 
observable place, 'If thou keep thy foot from my Sabbath,' Isa, lviii. 
13, that is, from treading on my holy ground with the dirty feet of 
earthly affairs or affections. The Jews' preparation began at three 
of the clock in the afternoon, which the Hebrews called the Sabbath 
eve: the ancient fathers called ccena pura, from the heathen (say 
some) whose religion taught them in their sacrifices to certain of 
their gods, to prepare themselves by a strict kind of holiness, at 
which time they had a supper, consisting of meats holy in their 

The Jews were so careful in their preparation, that, saith mine 
author, 1 to further it, the best and wealthiest of them, even those 
that had many servants, and Avere masters of families, would chop 
herbs, sweep the house, cleave wood, kindle the fire, and do such 
like things. The mariner that intendeth a voyage, putteth his ship 
off from land ; so truly, friend, if thou wouldst launch heavenward 
upon a Lord's-day, there is a necessity that the vessel of thy heart 
be put off from the earth. When our blessed Saviour was teach- 
ing the people, he was disturbed by one that told him, ' Behold thy 
mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with 
thee,' Mat. xii. 47. So when thou art hearing or praying, or about 
any religious ordinance, what an hindrance, what a disturbance 
will it be for thy heart to suggest to thee ; man, thy calling, thy 
companions, or such and such things which lie upon the spoil 
through thy negligence in the week-days, they all stand without 

1 Buxtorf Syngog., Jud. c, 10, ex Talmud. 


desiring to speak with thee. If thou woulclst avoid distraction, 
prevent the occasions. As Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ' Set thine 
house in order against thy death's day ; ' so I say to thee, set thy 
house in order, and thy heart in order, against the Lord's-day. 

The main preparation of the heart for a Sabbath, lieth in remov- 
ing the filth of sin, and in quickening and awakening grace. Sin 
must be removed. 1 If the stomach be foul, it must be purged be- 
fore it be fed, or the meat will nourish and strengthen, not nature, 
but the ill humours : ' If a man purge himself from these,' it is 
true of evil affections, as well as evil persons, ' he shall be a vessel 
unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared 
unto every good work,' 2 Tim. ii. 21. 

' Superfluity of naughtiness' must be laid aside, before we can 
receive the word with meekness, James i. 21. When the vessel is 
unclean, it sours quickly the sweetest liquors poured into it ; when 
the heart is unclean, it loseth the good it might receive by the 
truths of God. 

As sin must be cast out, so grace must be called up ; grace is like 
fire, apt to be deadish and dull, thy duty is beforehand therefore to 
blow it up. Most people upon a Sabbath adorn their bodies with 
their best clothes ; but, alas ! who almost attireth his soul as he 
ought on this day, when he is going to meet the blessed Kedeemer ! 

Eeader, suppose thou wert a person of great quality and estate, 
and the king should send thee word that he would dine with thee 
to-morrow, what preparation wouldst thou make for his entertain- 
ment ? Would not thy first work be to cleanse thy house, by caus- 
ing the dust to be swept out, the floors to be washed, nay, rubbed, 
everything to be neat and cleanly ? Wouldst thou not put up thy 
choicest hangings, lay on thy richest carpets, bring out thy best 
plate, adorn thy room with thy costliest furniture, endeavour that 
all things should be in point, somewhat suitable to the dignity of 
so great a prince ? I tell thee, that the great King of all the world 
doth give thee notice in his word, that on such a day, being the 
Sabbath, he intends to sup with thee. Now, friend, what prepara- 
tion wilt thou make to testify thy respect to this blessed and only 
potentate ? Canst thou beforehand do less than sweep out the dust 
of sin, and wash the room of thine heart clean, adorn it with the 
best furniture, the graces, the embroidery of the Holy Ghost ? Truly 
unless this be done, Christ will not think himself welcome ; nay, all 

1 Accedenti ad divina mysteria Deique contemplationem deponenda sunt calcea- 
menta, i.e., passiones, affectiones, simul et rationes humante et terrense. — Cor. a 
Lapid., in Exod. iii. 

Chap. XXI.] the christian man's calling. 229 

thy pretended entertainment of him, will be not only infinitely un- 
worthy of, but also provoking to, so jealous and glorious a prince. 

Believe it, thy profit by a Sabbath depends not a little upon thy 
preparation for the Sabbath ; till the matter be prepared, how can 
it receive the form ? Job xi. 12, 13. Thou hast enjoyed many 
Lord's days, and it may be got little soul-saving good ; thou goest 
to the house of God, where a table, in the preaching of the gospel, 
is set before thee, spread with all the dainties of pardon, love, grace, 
peace, and eternal life, at which others sit and feed ; their souls 
are filled with marrow and fatness, and their mouths praise the Lord 
with joyful lips; but thou hast no stomach, canst eat little, and 
savour nothing ; I dare be the physician to tell thee the cause and 
cure of this. The cause is, thy stomach is foul, thy heart is unclean ; 
and therefore as a man that hath a cold, or some disease predominant, 
cannot relish his meat, but complains sometimes of the meat, some- 
times of the cook, when the fault is in himself, so thou canst taste 
no goodness in the best meat ; neither prayer nor Scripture, neither 
sermon nor Sabbath are savoury to thee, yet it may be thou blamest 
the preacher, he doth not dress the meat to thy mind, when the 
fault is in the foulness of thy affections. Thy cure must be, to 
purge out this old leaven, to take some pains beforehand in cleans- 
ing thy heart. When the stomach is clean, as after purging or 
fasting, how sweet is a piece of bread ! So if thou wouldst but in 
secret search thy soul, vomit up thy filth, by a penitent confession, 
cleanse thine heart by sincere contrition, and wouldst then frequent 
the public ordinances, thou wouldst find prayer sweet, preaching 
sweet, the sacrament sweet, every service sweet. Oh, how wouldst 
thou love - the habitation of God's house, and the place where his 
honour dwelleth ! ' 

' Prepare to meet thy God/ Christian ! betake thyself to thy 
chamber on the Saturday night, confess and bewail thine unthank- 
fulness for, and unfruitfulness under, the ordinances of God ; shame 
and condemn thyself for thy sins, entreat God to prepare thy heart 
for, and assist it in, thy religious performances ; spend some time in 
consideration of the infinite majesty, holiness, jealousy, and good- 
ness of that God, with whom thou art to have to do in sacred 
duties ; ponder the weight and importance of his holy ordinances, 
how they concern thy salvation or damnation, thine everlasting life 
or death, how certainly they will either further thine unchangeable 
welfare, or increase thine endless woe ; meditate on the shortness 
of the time thou hast to enjoy Sabbaths in ; how near thy life may 
be to an end, how speedily and how easily God may take down 


tliine earthly tabernacle, how there is no working, no labouring, no 
striving in the other world, to which thon art hastening ; and con- 
tinue musing and blowing till the fire burnetii ; thou canst not think 
the good thou mayest gain by such forethoughts, how pleasant and 
profitable a Lord's-day would be to thee after such a preparation. 
The oven of thine heart thus baked in, as it were, overnight, would 
be easily heated the next morning ; the fire so well raked up when 
thou wentest to bed, would be the sooner kindled when thou shouldst 
rise. If thou wouldst thus leave thine heart with God on the 
Saturday night, thou shouldst find it with him in the Lord's-day 

Secondly, Possess thy soul in the morning with the greatness of 
thy privilege, in the enjoyment of a Sabbath, and such seasons of 
grace. Look upon thy work that day as thy reward, thy duty on 
that day as thy greatest dignity. Oh, what a favour, what an hon- 
our what happiness doth God vouchsafe to thee, in affording thee 
such a golden season ! David, though a king, the head of the best 
people in the world, esteemed it an honour to be the lowest officer 
in God's house, to be 'a ' doorkeeper' there, to sit at the threshold, 
as it is in the Hebrew, Ps. lxxxiv. 10. If the Queen of Sheba could 
say, when she saw the wealth, and heard the wisdom of Solomon, 
' Happy are these thy men, happy are these thy servants, which 
stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. And 
blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which delighted in thee, to set 
thee on the throne of Israel : because the Lord loved Israel for ever, 
therefore made he thee king,' 1 Kings x. 8, 9. Mayest not thou, 
when thou beholdest the beautiful face of thy Saviour, in the glass 
of ordinances, and nearest the sweet delightful voice of Jesus Christ, 
a Greater than Solomon ; when thou seest the delicate and plentiful 
provision, the feast of fat things, of wine on the lees well refined, 
which he makes for his people, upon better ground say, Blessed are 
thy servants that hear thee daily, ' watching at thy gates, waiting at 
the posts of thy doors,' Prov. viii. 34. ' Blessed are they that dwell 
in thy house, they will be still praising thee.' And blessed be the 
Lord God of Israel, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the 
throne of Israel, because he loved Israel for ever, therefore hath he 
made thee King. 

The ordinances of God are called an appearing before God, the 
fruition of them is a seeing his face. Capernaum, because of them, 
was said to be lifted up to heaven. Who can tell what honour it is to 
appear in the presence of this king, or what happiness it is to see his 
comely countenance ! Those that enjoy this are lifted up to heaven 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 231 

Israel was an unparalleled people, because of this incompar- 
able privilege : ' For what nation is there so great, which hath 
God so nigh unto them?' Dent. iv. 7. In the ordinances of God, 
the Christian hath sweet communion, with ravishing delight in, 
and inflamed affection to, the blessed God ; in them he tastes 
God to be gracious, hath the first-fruits of his glorious and eternal 

Well might the French Protestants call their place of public 
meeting paradise. Well might David cry out, Ps. lxxxiv. 1, 2, and 
xxvii. 4, ' How amiable are thy tabernacles, Lord of hosts ! ' At 
the tabernacle God did meet David. Who can tell what joyful 
greeting there was at that holy meeting, what sweet kisses, what 
loving embraces God gave his soul ? 

As the ordinances are heaven in a glass, so the Lord's day is 
heaven in a map. This is to be valued at a high rate, because 
therein we enjoy all the means of communion with God, in the 
highest degree and measure, without interruption. The Hebrews 
call the week days profane days, but this is a holy, pious day. The 
Greeks call them working days, but this is a day of sweet rest. 
Other days are common and ordinary handmaids, but this is fitly 
termed by the Jews the queen of days. Many daughters have done 
wisely, but thou hast excelled them all. Many days, as lecture 
days, fast days, thanksgiving days, have done virtuously, have done 
valiantly ; but thou, queen of days, hast excelled them all. 
They, like Saul, have slain their thousands of spiritual enemies, but 
thou hast slain, as David, thy ten thousands. They, like the 
people, must worship afar off, but thou, like Moses, mayest draw 
near, go up into the mount. There is none like thee, whom God 
knoweth face to face. Well may other days say to thee, as the 
people to David, Thou art worth ten thousand of us. Well might 
the good soul run to meet thee in the morning, and salute thee with 
Veni, sponsa mea, Come, my sweet spouse, thee I have loved, for 
thee I have longed, and thou art my dearest delight. 

Take heed of counting the Sabbath thy burden, and thine attend- 
ance upon that day on the ordinances of God thy bondage. It 
argued spirits full of froth and filth to cry out, ' When will the new 
moon be gone, that we may sell our corn ; and the Sabbath, that 
we may set forth wheat ?' Amos viii. 5. Count religious duties not 
thy fetters, but thy greatest freedom. 

Think what the phoenix is amongst birds, the lion among beasts, 
fire among the elements, that is the Lord's-day among the days. 
Ordinary days, like wax in a shop, have their use, are worth some- 


what ; but this, like wax to some deeds, or which hath the king's 
seal to it, is worth thousands. What is said of that day of the 
Lord, may in a gracious sense be spoken of the Lord's-day, ' There 
is none like it, before it, neither shall be after it.' Upon this day 
Christ carrieth the soul into his wine-cellar, and his banner over it 
is love ; upon other days he feeds his members, upon this day he 
feasts them ; they have their ordinary every day, but upon this day 
exceedings — upon this day he brings forth his living water, his best 
wine ; on this day he gives the sweetest bread, the finest flour, the 
true meat, his own body. On this day he met the two disciples, 
and made their hearts warm, and even burn within them by the fire 
of his words ; on this day, saints that slept arose out of their beds, 
their graves, Mat. xxvii. ; on this day the Holy Ghost descended on 
the apostles ; on this day the Lord brought forth the light of the 
world in creation ; on this clay Christ brought forth the light of his 
new heavens and new earth by his resurrection ; on this day St 
John had his glorious revelation, containing the church's state to 
the world's dissolution ; on this day he visited his dear apostles 
with grace and peace, saying to them, ' Peace be unto you, behold 
my hands and my feet.' On this day he burst asunder the bands 
of death, he broke in pieces the gates of hell, he led captivity cap- 
tive, trampled upon principalities and powers, and triumphed over 
grave, sin, the curse of the law, and Satan. Upon this day he still 
rides triumphantly in the chariot of his ordinances, conquering and 
to conquer, casting down high thoughts, and subduing sinners to 
himself. It may be said of the Sabbath, as of Zion, ' This and that 
man was born in her, and the highest himself shall establish her. 
The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man 
was born there. Selah,' Ps. lxxxvii. 5, 6. Oh blessed day, how many 
thousand souls have known thee the day of their new births ! How 
willing have the people been in the day of God's power, in the 
beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning, thou hast the 
dews of thy youth. Blessed art thou among days, from henceforth 
all generations shall call thee blessed. Blessed be the Father who 
made thee, blessed be the Son who bought thee, blessed be the 
Spirit who sanctifieth thee, and blessed are all they that prize and 
improve thee. Header, thou hast not a drop of true holiness, if 
thou dost not bless God (as is reported of the Jews) at the coming 
in and going out of this holy and blessed day. 

Thirdly, Consider there is a present price put into thy hands, to 
get and increase grace, and therefore improve it. The wisdom of a 
Christian consisteth in observing his seasons ; the high God sends 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 233 

man to school to the silly ant, to learn this art and piece of good 
husbandry, ' Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be 
wise, which having no guide, overseer, nor ruler, provideth her 
food in the summer, and gathereth her meat in the harvest/ Prov. 
vi. 6-8. The ants are a feeble folk, but famous for their forecast, 
and deserve, saith one, to be fed with the finest of the wheat, for 
the pattern they give to man. They labour not only all day, but 
even by moonlight they gather huge heaps together, lay it out a- 
drying in a warm day, lest it should putrefy, and bite off the ends 
of the grain lest it should grow ; but observe the season of this care 
and diligence, ' She provideth her food in the summer, and gathereth 
her meat in the harvest.' Then that time is the ant's opportunity, 
if she do it not then she cannot do it at all ; therefore she makes 
use of that season. Oh that, friend, thou wert but as wise for the 
bread which came down from heaven, as this poor pismire is for 
the bread which springs out of the earth ! Christians are called 
doves. The turtle dove is called in the Hebrew Tor, of the original 
Tur, (and thence comes our Latin Turtur,) which signifieth to 
observe or search, for so this bird observeth her time of going and 
coming, Jer. viii. 7, for she departeth before winter into some warm 
climate. The Lord's-day is the summer, thine harvest time, labour 
now for Christ and grace, or thou art lost for ever. The farmer 
that loiters at other times will work hard and sweat in harvest. If 
he do not reap then he knows he can never pay his rent, and feed 
his family, but is ruined. Reader, if thou dost not on a Lord's-day 
gather in grace, how wilt thou do to lay out grace in the week-days? 
nay, how wilt thou do to spend grace upon a dying bed, when thou 
art to step into the other world ? ' He that gathereth in summer is 
a wise son, but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth 
shame,' Prov. x. 5. The Jews might gather no manna on the 
Sabbath, but Gentiles must then especially get the bread of life. 
The waterman must observe when wind and tide are for his turn, 
and then bestir himself, or otherwise he must come short of his 
haven. It concerns thee to mind Sabbaths ; then the gales of the 
Spirit blow fair for thy voyage, then the waters of ordinances run 
right for the port to which thou art bound ; therefore do not then 
laze and loiter, but labour for thy God, thy soul, and thine everlast- 
ing life : ' Therefore shall every one that is godly, seek thee in a 
time when thou mayest be found,' Ps. xxxii. 6. 

The musician must play his lesson whilst the instrument is in 
tune, because the weather may alter. The good husband, for his 
soul, must buy of Christ gold to enrich him, and raiment to clothe 


him, while the fair lasts, for it will quickly be over. Esau came 
too late and lost thereby the blessing ; many come too late and lose 
their souls by it. ' To everything there is a season,' saith God, 
Eccles. iii. 1. The Lord's-day is thy season when grace and mercy 
are tendered to thee ; ' how wilt thou escape if thou neglectest (or 
carest not for, as the word afxeXtjaavre^ signifieth) so great salva- 
tion', Heb. ii. 3. Open unto Christ when he knocketh at the door of 
thy heart with the finger of his Spirit. Do not bid him come to- 
morrow, lest that morrow never come. 

It is good, we say, to make hay while the sun shines, for the 
heavens may be cloudy. It is good to embrace a present oppor- 
tunity, for time is bald behind ; thou canst not assure thyself of a 
second Sabbath. Seasons of grace are not like tides, that a man 
may miss one and take another. What Christ said of himself is 
true of Sabbaths : ' The poor ye have always with you, but me ye 
have not always.' Time thou hast always with thee while thou 
livest, but the Sabbath thou hast not always. Nay, within a shorter 
time than thou imaginest, God may deprive thee both of time and 
opportunity, both of week-days and Lord's-days ; and if thou art 
now sleeping and snoring, when thou shouldst be waking and work- 
ing, what a cut will it be to thy heart to reflect upon the Sabbaths 
which thou hast had and lost, enjoyed and misspent ! Jerusalem, in 
the days of her affliction and of her misery, remembered all her 
pleasant things that she had in the days of old, Lam. i. 9. So, 
reader, if thou shouldst neglect to improve Sabbaths now in the 
day of thy misery, or rather in the everlasting night of thine afflic- 
tion in hell, thou wilt remember thy Sabbath seasons of grace, and 
all thy pleasant things which thou hadst in the clays of old. Good 
Lord, what a rueful, woful remembrance will it be to call to mind 
the means, the mercies, the helps which were afforded thee to have 
avoided hell and attained heaven ; and yet thou, like a fool, or rather 
a madman, didst dally about them, and delay till the market was 
done ! Now is the time for thee to accept of grace, because now is 
the only time that grace will accept of thee. ' Oh that thou wouldst 
know in this thy day, the things which concern thy peace, before 
they be hid from thine eyes.' 

Fourthly, Esteem the public ordinances the chief work of the 
day, and let thy secret and private duties be so managed that thy 
soul may be prepared for them, and profited by them. Duties in 
thy closet and family are of use and have their blessing ; but to 
put God off with these, and neglect the public worship, is to rob 
God of a greater Fum, to pay him a lesser. The sacrifice of the 

Chap. XXI. J the christian man's calling. 235 

Jews on that day was double ; they offered sacrifice in the taber- 
nacle, besides their lambs for the daily sacrifice. It is worth your 
observation, that the Sabbath and public service arc by God him- 
self joined together, and therefore let no man put them asunder: 
' Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary, I am 
the Lord,' Lev. xix. 30. They that despise God's sanctuary, can- 
not observe God's Sabbath. 

Everything is beautiful in its season. Private duties are beau- 
tiful, and in season every day; but public ordinances are never so 
lovely and beautiful, because never so much in their prime and 
season, as on a Lord's-day. 

In public worship God receiveth the highest praises : ' I will 
praise thee in the great congregation,' Ps. xxix. 9. ' In his temple 
doth every one speak of his glory. I had gone with the multitude 
to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a mul- 
titude that kept holy day Ps. xlii. 4. The gracious God is pleased 
to esteem it his glory to have many beggars thronging at the beau- 
tiful gate of his temple for spiritual and corporal alms. What an 
honour is it to our great landlord, that multitudes of tenants flock 
together to his house, to pay heir rent of thanks and worship for 
their all which they hold of him ! l How loud and lovely is the 
noise of many golden trumpets ! Good Lord, what an echo do they 
make in heaven's ears! When many skilful musicians play in 
concert, with well-tuned and prepared instruments, the music can- 
not but be ravishing to God himself. Methinks it is a notable 
resemblance of the sweet melody which is made by the celestial 
choir above : Ps. l$viii. 26, ' Bless ye God in the congrega- 
tion, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel : for he loveth 
the gates of Zion, above all the dwellings of Jacob,' Ps. Ixxxvii. 2. 

As in public God receiveth the highest praises, so there he be- 
stoweth the richest mercies: 'Blessed is the man whom thou 
choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in 
thy courts : we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, 
even of thy holy temple,' Ps. Ixv. 4. Here is David's position and 
its proof. His position is, that the templer, or inhabitant in God's 
house, is an happy man : ' Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, 
and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy house.' 
The proof of it is from the quality and quantity of the provision, 
which God makes for them that are of his household. For the 

1 Deus pluris facit preces in Ecclesia quam domi factas, non ob locum, sed ob con- 
sblerationem multitudinis fidelium Deum comrnuni consensu invocantium. — Riv. in 
Cath. Orth. . 


quality of it, it is not only good, but goodness ; which word signifieth 
not only the good will which God beareth to, but all the good 
things which God bestoweth upon, his people : pardon, peace, love, 
grace, every good thing, all good things are in the womb of that 
one word goodness. God's provision for his people is beyond all 
their knowledge or apprehension. 

There be four ordinary ways by which men come to the know- 
ledge of good things : either by hearing them immediately them- 
selves, or by hearsay from others, or by the sight of the eyes, or by 
discourse of reason : ' But from the beginning of the world, men 
have not seen, nor heard, nor perceived by the ear, nor hath it 
entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God hath provided 
for them that love him,' 1 Cor. ii. 9 ; Isa. lxiv. 4. The love dis- 
covered there is an unknown love ; the joy bestowed there is un- 
speakable joy. All the costliest dainties prepared for heaven's 
table, the fulness of joy and pleasures for ever at God's right hand, 
are expressed by this one word goodness, Ps. xxxi. 19. So that the 
quality of the provision is beyond all exception, it is Goodness. 
For its quantity, it is to satisfaction : ' We shall be satisfied with 
the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.' The saint 
shall have enough of this luscious fare to content him — indeed the 
Christian's full meal is reserved for him, till he comes to eat bread 
in the kingdom of heaven ; but here he hath enough to stay his 
stomach. He is very well satisfied that his allowance in this world 
is sufficient. God calls him in the other world to greater work, 
and so will give him a greater allowance for suitable strength, but 
God doth not in this world under-keep him. He feeds proportion- 
able to their employments, nay to their satisfaction and content- 
ment, all that are in his inferior family — his children have till they 

But, reader, where is the place of this good, this great provision ? 
Is it not in God's house, in his holy temple, in the public worship ? 
Great princes bestow their largesses, and shew their bounty, glory, 
and magnificence, before much people. If thou wouldst know where 
believers have seen their best sights, where they have heard their 
most ravishing sounds, where they have made their most delightful 
meals, it was in the house of God : •' They have seen thy goings, 
God, in the sanctuary/ Ps. lxviii. 24. ' They have heard the joy- 
ful sound of thy word : they have been abundantly satisfied with 
the fatness of thy house.' 

Do but consider David's tears and grief for want of, and his fer- 
vent prayers for the fruition of, public ordinances, even then when 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 237 

he had opportunities for private performances ; and surely thou 
wilt esteem the ministry of the word no mean mercy. See his 
sorrow when he was driven from God's sanctuary : ' When I 
remember these things, my soul is poured out : for I had gone with 
the multitude, I went with them to the house of God,' Ps. xlii. 
3, 4. My soul is poured out ; that is, I am overwhelmed with grief, 
and even ready to die, when I compare my present condition with 
my former happiness, in the fruition of religious assemblies. There 
is an elegancy in the phrase poured out ; the word is applied to 
water, or any liquid thing, and in Scripture signifieth abundance, 
Joel ii. 28. My life is ready to be poured out as water upon the 
ground, which cannot be gathered up again, when I remember my 
former mercies, and consider my present misery. How bitterly and 
passionately doth he plead with Saul ! ' If the Lord hath stirred 
thee up against me, let him accept an offering ; but if they be the 
children of men, cursed be they before the Lord ; for they have 
driven me out this day from the inheritance of the Lord,' 1 Sam. 
xxvi. 19. How pathetically doth he bemoan it to his own soul ! 
' Woe is me, for I dwell in Meschech, and my habitations are in the 
tents of Kedar.' The loss of his father, mother, wives, children, 
lands, liberty, nay, of his very life, would not have gone so near his 
heart, as the loss'of public ordinances. As his sorrow was great for 
the want, so was his suit most earnest for the enjoyment of them. 
How many a prayer doth he put up for the liberty of the tabernacle ! 
Ps. xliii. 3, 4, and xxvii. 4. It is the one thing, the principal spe- 
cial request which he begs of God : ' One thing have I desired of 
the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of 
the Lord all the days of my life ;' and verse 8, how hard doth he 
pray for this privilege : ' Thou saiclst, Seek ye my face ; my heart 
said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.' To seek the face of God 
in a general sense, is taken for the substance of religion, or to seek 
d, Ps. xxiv. 6 ; but by the face of God in a strict sense, is meant 
the ark of God, and place of his residence. Now David at this 
time being deprived of this inestimable benefit, in the ardency of 
his zeal presseth God, with all the arguments he could devise, to 
tore him to that happiness ; among the rest he urged God with 
his own words — thou hast commanded me to worship thee in thy 
tabernacle, to appear before thee, that is my desire and delight, my 
heart would seek and see thy face there. Thus he presseth God 
for performance on his side, that he might be enabled to obey God's 
Where God denieth public ordinances, there he himself will be 

238 the christian man's calling. [Chap. XXI. 

a little sanctuary to his chosen, Ezek. xi. 16. But where he affords 
them, he expects that they should be attended. Christ himself 
went often into the synagogues. 

' Peter and John went up into the temple at the hour of prayer,' 
Acts iii. 1. ' On the Sabbath, we went out of the city by a river's 
side, where prayer was wont to be made,' Acts xiii. 23. ' And Paul 
reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath,' Acts xviii. 4. Those that 
by their practices contemn public worship, have neither Christ nor 
his apostles for their pattern. 

One of the Jewish rabbis hath a saying, He that dwells in a city 
where there is a synagogue, and cometh not to prayers, merito dici- 
tur vicinus malus, is deservedly styled a bad neighbour. Reader, if 
thou forsakest the assemblies of the saints, how useful soever thou 
mayest be to others' bodies, yet thou art a bad neighbour in neglect- 
ing soul-service. 

The Lord Jesus Christ, as he was faithful as a Son in his own 
house, took special care to provide and prepare such public servants 
as might give every one their meat in due season. The ministers 
of the word are his public officers, appointed by himself, to have the 
oversight of his saints. They are both fathers to beget, and tutors 
to bring up his sons and daughters. They are his stewards to dis- 
pense publicly the mysteries of the gospel of peace. But little do 
they think, who set light by public ordinances, what a price Christ 
paid, that he might enable and qualify them for his church's profit 
The gifts he bestoweth on pastors are not the least sign of his good 
will to his people. Wherefore, he saith, ' When he ascended up on 
high, he gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles ; and 
some, prophets ; and some, evangelists ; and some, pastors ; and. 
some, teachers ; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the 
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ : till we all come in 
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto 
a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness , 
Christ,' Eph. iv. 8-13. As kings, on the day of their coronation, 
usually appear in all their majesty and magnificence, and do s< 
famous act, (as of a general pardon or the like,) which may speak 
their love and respect to their subjects, so Jesus Christ, when lie 
rode triumphantly in the chariot of his ascension into hea^ 
glorious city, to sit and reign there at the right hand of the Ma 
on High, gave abilities to ministers, endowed them with answe 
gifts and graces, that they might dispense the ordinances of 
powerfully and profitably, as a special fruit of his passion for, i i 
singular testimony of his affection to, his church. 

Chat. XXL] the christian man's calling. 230 

I would wish thee, therefore, to be present at, and to continue to 
the end of public ordinances. David would be a door-keeper in the 
house of God ; because a door-keeper is first in and last out. 
Friend, if thou wert feasting some noble person, thou wouldst not 
rise from table, unless necessity forced thee, before all were taken 
away, and thanks returned. I must tell thee, that when thou art 
feeding with the blessed Potentate, it is much below good manners 
to turn thy back upon him, without his leave and blessing. 

Fifthly, If thou wouldst make religion thy business on a Lord's- 
day, tune thine heart to spiritual joy and delight therein. Holy 
alacrity and joy is not only a crown and credit to, but also a special 
part of, Christianity. ' The kingdom of God consisteth not in meat 
and drink, but in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy 
Ghost,' Rom. xiv. 17. God's ways are not so bad but that the tra- 
vellers in them may be cheerful. His work is good wages, and 
therefore it is no wonder that his servants are so joyful. 

Because believers have evoi cause of comfort, therefore they are 
commanded always to rejoice, Phil. iii. Whether their sins or suf- 
ferings come into their hearts, they must not sorrow as they that 
have no hope. In their saddest conditions, they have the Spirit of 
consolation. There is seed of joy sown within them when it is 
buried under the clods, and appears not above ground. But there 
are special times when God calls for this grain to spring up. They 
have some red letters, some holy days in the calendar of their lives, 
wherein this joy, as wine at a wedding, is most seasonable ; but 
among all those days it never relisheth so well, it never tasteth so 
pleasantly, as on a Lord's-day. Joy suits no person so much as a 
saint, and it becomes no season so well as a Sabbath. Joy in God 
on other days is like the birds chirping in winter, which is pleasing ; 
but joy on a Lords-day is like their warbling tunes, and pretty notes 
in spring, when all other things look with a suitable delightful 
aspect. ' This is the day which the Lord hath made, (he that made 
all days, so especially this day, but what follows ?) we will rejoice 
and be glad therein,' Ps. cxviii. 24. In which words we have the 
church's solace, or joy, and the season, or day of it. Her solace 
was great: ' We will rejoice and be glad.' Those expressions are 
not needless repetitions, but shew the exuberancy or high degree 
of their joy. The season of it: 'This is the day the Lord hath 
made.' Compare this place with Mat. xxi. 22, 23,and Acts iv. 11, 
and you will find that the precedent verses are a prophetical pre- 
diction of Christ's resurrection, and so this verse foretells the church's 
joy upon that memorable and glorious day. And, indeed, if ' a 


feast be made for laughter,' Eccles. x. 19, then that day wherein 
Christ feasteth his saints with the choicest mercies may well com- 
mand his greatest spiritual mirth. A thanksgiving-day hath a 
double precedency of a fast-day. On a fast-day we eye God's anger ; 
on a thanksgiving-day we look to God's favour. In the former we 
specially mind our own corruptions ; in the latter, God's compas- 
sions ; — therefore, a fast-day calls for sorrow, a thanksgiving-day for 
joy. But the Lord's day is the highest thanksgiving-day, and de- 
serveth, much more than the Jewish Purim, to be a day of feasting 
and gladness, and a good day. 

On this day we enjoy the communion of saints, and shall we not 
delight in those excellent ones ? Ps. xvi. 3. On this day we have 
fellowship with the blessed Saviour, and shall we not sit under his 
shadow with great delight ? Cant. i. On this day we are par- 
takers of the ordinances of God, and shall we not be joyful in the 
house of prayer ? Isa. lvi. 7. On this day we have special converse 
with the God of ordinances, and who would not draw water with 
joy out of the well of salvation ? Isa. xii. 3. Surely whilst we are 
in the midst of so much musk we must needs be perfumed. Who 
can walk where the sun shines so hot and not be warmed ? 

It is God's precept, as well as thy privilege, to make God's day 
thy delight. ' If thou call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the 
Lord,' Isa. lviii. 13. Delights, Trernel. reads it, thy delicate things, 
according to the Septuagint. Whether thou art meditating on 
God's works, or attending on God's word, which are the two princi- 
pal duties of the day, they both call for delight and joy. 

If on this day of rest thou considerest the work of creation and 
God's rest, it behoveth thee to follow David's pattern, ' Thou, Lord, 
hast made me glad through thy works ; I will triumph in the works 
of thy hands,' Ps. xcii. 4. 

If thou considerest the work of redemption, and Christ's rest, 
surely out of the carcase of the lion of the tribe of Judah thou 
may est get such honey as may delight thy soul, and force thee to 
sing, ' My soul doth magnify the Lord, my spirit rejoiceth in God 
my Saviour,' Luke i. 46, 47. The babe in the womb leaped for joy 
of him before he was born. The heavenly host sung at his birth, 
and wilt not thou at his second birth, his resurrection from the 
dead? let primitive Christians' salutations be thy consolation, 
' The Lord is risen.' 

If thou meditatest on glorification and thine own rest, canst thou 
do less than rejoice in hope of glory ? What prisoner, shackled with 
Satan's temptations, and fettered with his own corruptions, in the 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 241 

dark jail of this world, can think of the time when his irons shall 
be knocked off, and he enjoy the pleasant light and glorious liberty 
of the sons of God, and not be transported with joy ? What heir 
in his minority, banished from his kindred and country, can think 
without comfort of his full age, when he shall have the full fruition 
both of his estate and friends ? Doubtless, friend, the Sabbaths of 
the holy are the suburbs of heaven. In heaven there is no buying, 
no selling, no ploughing, no sowing, nothing but worshipping God, 
communion with him, fruition of him, and delight in him. There 
remains a rest for the people of God. There they rest from their 
labours. If thou on a Lords-day turnest thy back upon the world, 
and goest up into the mount, conversing with, and rejoicing in the 
blessed God, what dost thou less than begin thine eternal Sabbath 
here ? Such a Lord's-day can be no less than heaven in a looking- 
glass, representing truly, though darkly, thy future eternal happi- 
ness. There is no perfume so sweet to a pilgrim as his own 

When thou art attending on the word, truly that aqua vita?, that 
hot water may well revive thy spirit. ' Thy testimonies are my de- 
light/ saith David. ' I have rejoiced more in thy testimonies than in 
all manner of riches,' Ps. cxix. 24, 77. The word of God is some- 
times called a treasure, and what beggar would not rejoice in a 
treasure ? Sometimes fire ; and truly, reader, thine heart is frozen 
to purpose if this fire do not heat it. Solomon tells us, ' As cold 
water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country,' Pro v. 
xxv. 25. The word of God contains the best news that ever was 
heard, ' Peace on earth, good will towards men ;' and the glad tidings 
of the gospel come from heaven, a far country. What canst thou 
say then, why they should not be as welcome and refreshing to thee 
as cold water to a thirsty soul ? 

Variety of things that are excellent is not a little ground of 
complacency in them ; variety of choice voices please the ear ; 
variety of curious colours delight the eyes ; variety of dainties are 
acceptable to the taste. Nero promised rewards to them that in- 
vented new pleasures. God hath for that purpose dished out his 
worship into several and various duties, that it might be more 
pleasant to us. Sometimes we speak to God ; sometimes we hear 
from God ; sometimes we are praying for supply of our necessities ; 
sometimes we are praising him for his infinite excellencies ; some- 
times our mouths are open to sing ; sometimes our ears are open 
to hear the sermon ; sometimes our eyes are open to see the sacra- 
ment. The same meat is dressed several ways to make it the 

vol. i. Q 


more welcome, and so the more strengthening to us. Hippocrates 
observes, that that food which nature receives with delight, though 
not so good in itself, affords better nourishment than that which 
is more wholesome, against which nature hath a reluctancy. 
Reader, thy delight and pleasure in the sacred ordinances of the 
Lord's-day will help to make them more profitable to thee. Some 
colours which do delight, do also strengthen the sight. 

Sixthly, If thou wouldst make godliness thy business on a Lord's- 
day, let no duty satisfy without communion with God in it. Ordi- 
nances are the galleries and gardens (and for that end appointed) 
wherein God and thy soul may walk together. For this cause they 
are called a glass, because therein the Christian beholds the glory 
of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18. As Zaccheus climbed up the sycamore- 
tree to see Jesus, and when he once had a sight of him, he came 
down joyfully ; so go thou up into the trees of duties for this purpose, 
that thou mayest see God in Christ, and unless this be granted thee, 
come down sorrowfully. When men go to meet a friend at a cer- 
tain place, and they miss him, how discontentedly they do go away! 

Alas ! what are the ordinances without God, but as a table with- 
out meat, from which a living soul must needs depart thirsty and 
hun°Ty ? David loved the habitation of God's house, but it was 
because it was the place where God's honour dwelt, Ps. xxvii. David 
longed for the courts of God, more than for his crown, relations, or 
possessions, or any outward comforts ; but it was because God af- 
forded there his gracious presence. God's glorious presence is in 
his church triumphant, but he is graciously present in his church 
militant. ' My soul longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the 
Lord ; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God,' Ps. 
lxxxiv. 2. His desire was as eager and earnest as of a longing 
woman with child, who is ready to faint away and die if she be not 
satisfied. Sometimes he compares his desire to thirst, of which 
creatures are more impatient than hunger, Ps. Ixiii. 1. ; sometimes 
to the thirst of an hart after the water-brooks, which creature 
being naturally hot and dry in a very great degree, is exceedingly 
thirsty; but the object of his desire, of his thirst, was God: 'My 
soul thirsteth for God, for the living God : Oh, when shall I come 
and appear before him?' Ps. xlii. 1, 2. ' To see thy beauty and 
glory, as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.' It was communion 
with God in his life and love, in his graces and comforts, which the 
psalmist so much longed for. The sweet smile of God's face, the 
honey dews of his Spirit, were David's paradise of pleasure, his 
heaven upon earth. 

CuAr. XXL] the christian man's calling. 243 

They that come to duty merely for duty, know not what it 
means to meet with God, and therefore though they neither see his 
face nor hear his voice, yet are contented : like those that were 
born in some dark dungeon, and never yet saw the sun, they are 
well enough satisfied without it ; but those who have seen it, and 
know that that light is pleasant, if they look up to the heaven of 
ordinances, and see not the Sun of Righteousness, it is no longer day 
with them. The true disciples met together the first day of the 
week, and enjoying Jesus among them, rejoiced indeed ; but they 
are only glad in duties, when they had seen the Lord, John xx. 20. 
' They were glad when they had seen the Lord.' 

Reader, when thou goest to the ordinances of God, go to meet 
God in the ordinances. As Moses, go up into the mount of duties 
to converse with thy Maker. Go to view the beauty of his face 
when thou inquirest into his holy temple. When thou goest to 
prayer, let it be in hope to get thy heart nearer to heaven. 

When thou goest to hear, mind communion with him that speaks 
from heaven, and then only rejoice in the word, when, as the star to 
the wise men, it leads thee to the place where Christ is. It is God 
in the word which causeth efficacy, it is God in prayer who 
causeth prevalency, it is God in the sacrament who causeth alac- 
rity, it is God in a Sabbath who causeth complacency. 

When thou goest to the waters of the sanctuary, say as Elisha at 
the waters of Jordan, ' Where is the Lord God of Elijah ? ' Where 
is the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ? Why is thy 
chariot, Sun of Righteousness, so long a coming? Why tarry? 
AVhat clogs the wheels of thy chariot ? ' Oh, when wilt thou come 
unto me ? ' Ps. ci. 2. When thou comest from the ordinances, 
and hast not met God in them, though thou hast showed never so 
great parts or gifts, or outward devotion, say as Absalom, ' All this 
avails me nothing, so long as I may not see the king's face,' 1 Sam. 
xxviii. 15. Saul himself was sad and sorrowful, when 'he inquired 
of the Lord, and the Lord answered him not.' And canst thou, 
saint, be joyful, when thy beloved hath withdrawn himself ? 

Look upon performances as boats to ferry thy soul over, and give 
it a passage to God, and take heed of going contentedly from God 
without God : let thy prayer be, ' Oh send out thy light and thy 
truth, let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill, to thy 
tabernacle : then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my ex- 
ceeding joy,' Ps. xliii. 3, 4. 

Seventhly, Sanctify the whole day to God's service ; be early up 
in the morning, and as late as thy body will permit at night. The 


Israelites, when they were to batter down the strongholds of Jericho, 
' rose up early in the morning,' Josh. vi. 15. Upon the Lord's-day 
thy work must be to batter down the strongholds of sin ; rise early, 
lose no time, do not lose the least moment, if it be possible, of this 
sacred day. The very filings of gold are of worth ; the smallest 
part of this holy day is of great price. The word shamur, to keep 
the Sabbath, Lev. xix. 30, signifieth to keep with care and dili- 
gence, as a great treasure, of which a man would lose none. When 
men beat ginger, they will (if good husbands) be careful that little 
fly out of the mortar ; but if they beat pearl, they are extra- 
ordinary watchful that not the least of that be lost, because a little 
of that is of great value. Reader, if thou art a good husband for 
thy soul, I doubt not but thou esteemest thy time in the week-days 
at so high a rate, that thou darest not squander it away in doing no- 
thing, or in that which is worse than nothing ; but oh, what worth, 
what price wilt thou set upon an opportunity upon a Lord's-day ! 
How diligent wilt thou be to improve the least piece of that day ! God 
giveth thee six whole days for thine own works ; do not deny to him 
one whole day in seven. Let thy conscience be judge. Is it not 
unrighteousness to buy by one measure, which is greater, and sell 
by another measure, which is lesser? When the day is conse- 
crated to God as the goods of Ananias, it is dangerous to keepb.ick 
any part of it for our own use. 

Do thou all the day long live and walk as it were in the other 
world ; make it a Sabbath, a day of rest — >(1.) From sin and 
wickedness : this is thy duty every day, but especially on this day : 
every sin on a Sabbath is double, the season is a great aggrava- 
tion of the sin. The wicked indeed ' are like the raging sea, 
which cannot rest, but every day bubble up mire and dirt,' Isa. lvii. 
20. (2.) From the world and the works of thy calling : ' Ye shall 
keep the Sabbath therefore ; for it is holy unto you : every one that 
defileth it shall surely be put to death ; for whosoever doeth any 
work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people/ Exod. 
xxxi. 14. The Jews were to rest from works of least importance, 
as gathering sticks — he that fetched in sticks, was sent out of the 
world with stones, — and of greatest concernment, as building the 
tabernacle ; and though the Christian now hath more liberty, yet 
he hath no leave at all to pollute the day by wickedness, or to pro- 
fane the day by any earthly work, which might have been done be- 
fore the day, or may be done as well after it. 

May I not say to thee of this day, as Elisha to Gehazi : ' Is this 
a time to receive money, and garments, and sheep, and oxen, and 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 245 

men-servants, and maid-servants ? ' 2 Kings v. 2G. Is the Sabbath 
a time for civil affairs ? The Sabbath-day is therefore called ' a day of 
restraint,' Deut. xvi. 8, because then men are forbidden all work, saith 
Junius. As none were ever losers by laying aside their own works 
to attend God's worship, he took care of Israel's safety whilst they 
were in his service, that none of their neighbours, though bitter 
enemies, should so much as desire their cities, Exod. xxxiv. 24. 
So none, I am confident, were ever gainers by inching in some 
part of their callings unnecessarily at the end of God's day, and, by 
setting God aside, to serve themselves ; the very time will be a 
canker to consume their estates. And as they that take crocus 
into their stomachs, bring up not only ill humours, but that also 
which would prove good nourishment ; so some have had experi- 
ence, that their profanation of God's day to increase their estates, 
hath forced them to vomit up the whole. God hath given thee days 
enough for thy calling, space enough to mind it in, thou needest 
not trespass upon his holy day, upon his holy ground. It was 
no small aggravation of Adam's sin, that though he had choice of 
fruits, he would eat only of the forbidden fruit ; so it will much in- 
crease thy sin, if when thou hast choice of time for thy trade, thou 
shouldest meddle with it on a Sabbath. 

Eeader, as thy duty is to rest the whole day from wickedness and 
worldly work, 1 so also to employ the whole clay in God's worship, be 
either praying, or reading, or hearing, or singing, or meditating, or 
discoursing with others about the works or word of God. Be always 
taken up either with public, private, or secret duties. In the ninety- 
second Psalm, that psalm for the Sabbath, ver. 1 and 3, we are 
exhorted to ' shew forth God's loving-kindness in the morning, and 
his faithfulness at evening,' 2 Now we know that in Scripture sense 
the morning and the evening are the whole day ; the whole day is 
God's by ordination, and why should it not be his by observation. 
God hath dedicated this day wholly to his own worship ; now every 
devoted thing is most holy to the Lord, Lev. xxvii. 28. 

The pope and church of Eome have half-holidays, as St Blacy's 
day, which is holy in the forenoon only ; but God and the church 
of Christ have no half-holidays. Observe how exact God is in 
expressing a whole natural day : ' From evening to evening you 
shall keep the Sabbath,' Lev. xxiii. 32. Their days were reckoned 

1 Debet totus dies festivus h, Christiano expendi in operibus bonis. — Grostete in 

8 Hoc sensu loquitur propheta, Si a primo mane incipimus laudare Deum, continu- 
andas esse ejus laudes ad ultimara noctis partem. — Calv. in he. 


from evening to evening, from the creation ; but ours, because 
Christ rose in the morning, from morning to morning. 

If thou hast any sincere delight in God, and esteem of the true 
riches, I cannot but think that thou wilt be covetous of the smallest 
part of God's day, and wish, as R. Jose, 1 that thy portion 
may be to begin the Sabbath with those of Tiberias, because they 
began it sooner than others ; and to end it with those of Tsepphore, 
because they continued it longer than others. If thy soul ever 
met God on a Sabbath, thou wilt surely be ready to say with 
Joshua, ' Thou sun, stand still in Gibeon ; and thou, moon, in the 
valley of Aijalon,' Josh. x. 12. Oh that the day were longer, that 
I might have more time to fight the Lord's battles against my 
spiritual enemies ! 

Eighthly, If thou wouldst make religion thy business on a Lord's- 
day, meditate therein on the word and works of God. Consider his 
works, this is part of the work of the day. David, in that psalm 
for the Sabbath, gives thee a pattern : ' Lord, how great are thy 
works ! and thy thoughts are very deep,' Ps. xcii. 5. It is a dis- 
honour to a workman to make excellent pieces, and to manifest 
abundance of skill, and art, and ingenuity, and then not to have 
them taken notice of. God hath done his mighty works to be 
remembered and wondered at. It is said of Pythagoras that he 
lived sequestered from men in a cave for a whole year together, 
that he might meditate on the abstruse points of philosophy. I 
wish thee to an easier and pleasanter task, to sequester thyself some 
time every Lord's-day, to ponder the infinite perfections which 
appear in the operations of his hand. God will be both admired 
and magnified by his people on earth as well as in heaven, which 
none can do but those that seriously consider his works. Men 
have been much wondered at for some peculiar rare works, though 
in them a Christian should look further, even to God, the author of 
their skill and wisdom. The very Greeks acknowledged somewhat 
like this, that all arts come from God, in making Minerva the 
daughter of Jupiter, and to have had her generation in his divine 
brain ; but alas, the choicest pieces of men to the smallest works 
of God are but as children's houses of dirt to the stateliest courts 
of Christendom. Archites was much extolled for causing a dove of 
wood to hang in the air, being equally poised with its own weight ; 
but what is this to the work of God in hanging the earth upon 
nothing ? Job xxvi. 7. The earth is the heaviest and lowest 
element. A little piece of earth held up and let fall will never 

1 Jewish Antiq. lib. iii. cap. 3. Ex. Buxtorf. Comment, mas. 

Chap. XXL] the christian man's calling. 247 

cease moving till it come to rest upon some solid body ; and yet 
behold, the great mass of earth, with innumerable bodies upon it, 
hangs fast in the midst of the open air, having no visible pillar nor 
foundation to rest upon. Well might God reckon it to Job among 
his wondrous works, Job xxxviii. 4-6, 'Upon what be the sockets 
of it fastened ?' Aristotle himself could not but admire it. Archi- 
medes was famous for contriving the motions of the sun, moon, 
and stars in his horology ; but alas, what is this to the glorious 
heavens themselves, which God stretched out like a curtain, and to 
the noble host of great and glittering bodies, keeping their rank 
and file, and being not only incredibly swift, but also regularly 
and orderly in their motions ? ' The heavens declare the glory of 
God, and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.' There is so 
much of God appearing in the heavens, that many have taken 
them for God, and given them divine worship. Naturalists tell us 
that the head of Nilus cannot be found, but many sweet springs 
issuing from it are discovered. Though thy finite capacity can 
never reach fully the fountain and head, God's infinite being and 
excellencies, yet thou mayest find many refreshing streams which 
flow from it. A little river will lead thee to the ocean ! Oh, how 
much of the goodness, power, and wisdom of God appeareth in the 
work of creation ! The rabbis say that in every apex of the law 
there is a mountain of sense ; sure I am that in the smallest 
creatures there is abundance of the Creator. How doth the wisdom 
of God shine forth in the exquisite workmanship, variety, order, 
subordination, and serviceableness of the creatures one to another, 
that David might well cry out, ' Lord, how marvellous are thy 
works ! in wisdom hast thou made them all.' 

Pontanus, 1 chancellor of Saxony, propoundeth to be viewed and 
weighed the most beautiful archwork of heaven resting upon no 
post but God's power, and yet standing fast for ever. The clouds 
as thin as the liquor contained in them ; behold, saith he, how they 
hang and move, though weighty in their burden ; they salute us 
only, or threaten us rather, and pass we know not whither. How 
doth his goodness appear in furnishing the world so richly for the 
supply of his creatures ! ' The earth is full of thy goodness.' Luther, 
in his Colloquia Mens. , tells us that God is at more charge every 
day to maintain sparrows than all the yearly revenues of the king 
of France are worth; but especially towards man, in making him 
so excellent a creature, and in making so many excellent creatures 
for him. 

1 Scultet. Anal. 


His power is also evident both in creating such great and noble 
creatures of nothing — he used not the least tool or instrument in 
making the heavens and earth — and in having them all at his 
beck and bidding, at his call and command ; the greatest do him 
homage, and the smallest do him service. The sun, as strong and 
swift as he is — moving, as some write, every hour 16,000 miles — 
yet he flies back like a coward if God speak but the word, Josh. x. 
12 ; Job ix. 5-10. He armeth flies and lice, and what execution 
did they do upon the Egyptians ! 

Cambden 1 tells us the arms of the Shagburies in Warwickshire, 
being stars, are found engraven in the very stones within their 
manor of Shagbury. Whether that be true or no, I know not ; 
but sure I am that the arms of the infinite God, his eternal power, 
manifold wisdom, and matchless goodness, are so plainly written 
on his works in the world, in that first volume of creation, that he 
that runs may read them. Solomon tells us, God hath set the 
world in men's hearts — namely, that the skilfulness of the work- 
man may be admired in the exactness of his works, Eccles. iii. 11. 

I might draw thee further, and show thee (but that I would not 
be so large) how these glorious perfections of God are printed in a 
larger letter, in a fairer character, in the second volume, the work 
of redemption. This is the object of angels' admiration, and ought 
to be of thy meditation. 

Truly thy duty is to read God in the first book, the book of the 
creatures ; and more especially in the second, in Jesus Christ, upon 
his own day. 

Thy meditation of God's works, as it will give honour to God, 
so it will not a little further thy spiritual good. When David 
considered the work of creation, he falls presently upon exalting 
God, and debasing himself: Ps. viii. 1-4, ' When I consider the 
heavens, the work of thy hands, the moon and the stars which thou 
hast made, Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the 
earth, and thy glory above the heavens.' There he sets God up 
high, but then he casts himself down low : ' What is man that 
thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou dost thus 
visit him ? ' 

When thine heart is like wax hardened, bring it by meditation 
to the warm beams of this sun, and they will soften it. 

So when David considered the work of redemption, how doth 
he magnify God and vilify himself : ' What am I ? and what is 
my father's house, that thou hast brought me up hitherto ? and 

1 Camb. Biitan. 

Chap. XXII. J the christian man's calling. 241) 

yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, God ; for thou hast 
also spoken of thy servant's house for a great while to come,' 1 
Chron. xvi. 16, 17. friend, as rubbing the limbs with hot oils 
is a great means to recover them when they are benumbed, so when 
thy heart is dull and dead, on a Lord's-day, if thou wouldst but 
ply it with the meditation of the infinite love and goodness of God 
in sending his Son to die for thy soul, it would be a sovereign 
means to quicken and revive it. 

Consider also the word of God which thou hast heard on that 
day ; do thou, like Mary, ponder it in thine heart. Meditation to 
the word is what tire is to water ; though water be naturally so 
cold, yet put fire under it, and it will make it hot and boiling ; so, 
though thine heart be cold in regard of affection to the word, put 
but this fire under it, and it will boil with love to it. ' Oh, how 
love I thy law ! ' There is his heat of affection, (the expression is 
both by way of interrogation and acclamation, shewing the fer- 
vency and intention of his love,) but what was the fire which caused 
it ? 'It is my meditation all the day,' Ps. cxix. 

The reason why some men profit so little by the word is, want 
of meditation. If a man eat his food, and as soon as it is in his 
stomach vomit it up again, it is no wonder if he get little strength 
by it, or if he pine and consume away. Truly, if sermons enter in 
at one ear and out at the other, making no stay with thee, I shall 
not marvel if they work no change in thee. 


Brief directions for the sanctifi cation of the Lord's-day from 
morning to night. 

Reader, besides those general directions which I have largely 
insisted on, I shall annex here some short directions how thou 
mayest spend a Lord's-day, from the beginning to the end of it, as 
may be most for the honour of God and the furthering thine own 
everlasting good. 

1. Be sure thou takest some pains with thy heart the afternoon 
(or evening at least) before, to prepare thy soul for the en suing 
Sabbath. As our whole life should be a preparation for death, 
yet the nearer we draw to the night of our dissolution, the more 
gloriously (as the setting sun) we should shine with holiness ; so in 
the whole week we should be preparing for the Lord's-day ; but 


the more the day doth approach, the more our preparation must 
increase. The bigger the vessel is, the more water may be carried 
from the fountain. According to the measure of the sacks which 
the patriarchs carried to Joseph, so were they filled with corn by 
Joseph ; preparation doth not only fit the heart for grace, but also 
widen the heart that it may receive much of the Spirit of God. 
Some servants when they are to bake in the morning put their 
wood in the oven overnight, and thereby it burnetii both the sooner 
and the better. Men make much the more riddance of their work, 
who, being to travel a great journey, load their carts, or put up 
their things, and lay them ready overnight. If thou art a Chris- 
tian, thy experience will tell thee that after thou hast on a Satur- 
day called thyself to account for thy carriage on the foregoing 
week, bewailed thy miscarriages before the Lord ; in particular, 
thy playing the truant on former Lord's-days, when thou shouldst 
have been learning those lessons which Christ hath set thee in his 
law, and hast been earnest with God for pardon of thy sins, and a 
sanctified improvement of the approaching Sabbath, — I say, thy 
experience cannot but teach thee that thy profit after such pre- 
paration will make thee abundant amends for thy pains ; and that 
thou hast the best visits, the sweetest kisses, when thy lips, thy 
heart, are thus made clean beforehand. 

2. If the weakness of thy body do not hinder, rise earlier on the 
Lord's-day than ordinary. When the Israelites were encompassing 
Jericho, on the seventh day, they rose early in the morning ; and, 
according to many expositors, it was on the Sabbath-day the walls 
of Jericho fell clown, Joshua vi. 15. One main work which thou 
hast to do on a Lord's-day is to batter down the strongholds of sin, 
to conquer those Canaanites which would keep thee out of the 
promised land ; do thou rise early for this end. He that riseth 
and setteth out early goeth a considerable part of his way before 
others awake. It is sordid to lie lazying and to turn upon thy bed 
as a door on the hinges (and never the farther off) upon any day, 
but most sad and sinful on a Lord's-day. 

3. When thou first awakest turn up thy heart to God in praise 
for his protection the night past, for the light of another day, 
especially of his own day ; and in prayer for the light of his coun- 
tenance, and for assistance in every duty, and his direction through- 
out the day. As thou art rising, if no other more profitable sub- 
ject offer itself to thy thoughts, meditate how the night is spent, 
the day is at hand ; it concerneth thee therefore to put off the 
works of darkness, and to put on the armour of Light. When thou 

Chap. XXII. J the christian man's calling. 251 

thinkest on the nakedness of thy body, how unseemly it would be 
for thee to walk up and down without raiment, do not forget the 
nakedness of thy soul by sin, and how uncomely thou art in the 
sight of God, without the robes of Christ's righteousness, and the 
graces of the Holy Ghost. 

4. When thou art dressed, let nothing hinder thee from thy 
secret devotion. When thou art in thy closet, consider of the price 
which God hath put into thy hand, the value and worth of a Lord's- 
day, the weight and concernment of the duties therein, and the 
account thou art ere long to give for every Sabbath and season of 
grace. These thoughts, as heavy weights on a clock, would make 
thee move more swiftly in the work of the day. After some time 
spent in meditation, in some short yet reverent and hearty peti- 
tions, entreat God's help in the present and subsequent duties of 
the clay ; after which read some portion of the Scripture, and pour 
out thy soul in prayer. Get thy heart effectually possessed with 
this truth, that God must work his own work in thee and for thee, 
or it will never be done ; that, as the Spirit moved on the waters 
at first, and then the living creatures were formed, so the Spirit 
must move upon the waters of ordinances before they can produce 
or increase spiritual life. Hereby thou wilt be stirred up to more 
fervent supplication for, and more importunate expectation of, help 
from heaven. In thy prayers remember all the assemblies of the 
saints that they may see God's beauty, power, and glory, as they 
have sometimes beheld them in his sanctuary. Entreat God to 
clothe his ordinances with his own strength, that they may be 
mighty through him for the bringing in and building up many 
souls. In special, when thou art at prayer, think of the preachers 
of the gospel ; conceive that thou nearest every one of them speak- 
ing to thee, as Paul to his Komans, ' I beseech thee, for the Lord 
Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive 
together with me in your prayers to God for me,' Rom. xv. 30. 
Their work is of infinite weight ; it is God-work, soul-work, temple- 
work. Not one of them but may say, with Nehemiah, on a Lord's- 
day, upon much greater reason, ' Oh, I am doing a great work,' 
Neh. vi. 3. Their opposition is great. The devil will do what 
may be to hinder them ; the world hates them ; their own hearts 
will disturb them ; their strength is small ; their graces are weak. 
Alas, what can they do ? Oh, therefore, pray for them. 

5. After thy secret duties thou mayest, if nature require, refresh 
thy body with convenient food. Thy God alloweth thee to cherish, 
thoyorh not to overcharge thy outward man. I shall speak to thy 


carriage about eating and drinking in the twenty-third chapter, and 
therefore omit it here. 1 

6. In the next place, it will be fit that thou call thy family to- 
gether, and enter upon family duties. Namely, to read the word 
of God, to call upon the name of God, and to sing to the praise of 

7. Let as many of thy family as can conveniently be spared 
accompany thee to public ordinances. 2 Remember the command, 
' Thou, thy son, thy daughter, thy man-servant and maid-servant, 
and all within thy gate/ Do not pamper their bodies, and starve 
the souls of thy household. It is recorded of Dr Chaterton, master 
of Emmanuel College, that he never caused any of his servants to 
stay at home on a Lord's-day, barely to dress meat ; be able to say 
with Cornelius, who feared the Lord with all his house, ' We are 
all here present before God.' 

8. As thou art going to the place of public ordinances, consider 
with thyself, that thou art going to converse, not with men, but 
with God ; even with that God who searcheth the heart, who will not 
be mocked, and who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, that 
thou mayest hereby be quickened unto uprightness and serious- 
ness, and to dart up some ejaculatory prayer to God for aid and 

9. In every part of public worship, carry thyself with reverence, 
humility, love, faith, and sincerity. Hear, sing, pray, receive the 
sacrament, as one that doth all in God's sight, as one thatjs working 
for his immortal soul, and as one that within a few days shall enter 
the gates of death, and never have a season more for such sacred 
duties. Depart not from the church till all be done. In a court 
of civil judicature, thou wilt stay till the court riseth ; if thou 
wouldst have God's blessing with thee, do not leave it behind thee. 
As thou comest from the church, meditate on what thou hast heard, 
chew that meat which the minister hath put into thy mouth, thereby 
thou mayest get much spiritual nourishment. 

10. When thou art come home, usually let nothing hinder from 
prayer, either in thy family or closet, wherein I would advise thee 
to turn the heads of the sermon and chapters read into petitions, as 
also to beg pardon of thy wanderings in the worship of God, and 
beseech him who with his own hand wrote the law in two tables, 
that he would write the word read and preached in the tables of 
thine heart. 

11. At dinner take heed of excess, whereby thy body will be 

1 Fide Family Duties, in chap. 27. 2 Vide more of this, in chap. 27. 

Chap. XXII.] the christian man's calling. 253 

unfitted to serve thy soul ; yet do not pinch or punish thy body, 
because the day is a day of joy and delight ; I would wish thee to 
watch thy heart and tongue all the day long, but especially at 
meals, that thou mayest not think thine own thoughts, nor speak 
thine own words. If thyself or others start any unseasonable or 
earthry discourse at table, give conscience leave to speak to thee, as 
Judas to the apostles, ' What needeth this waste ? ' what needeth this 
waste of precious time, of so rich a treasure as every part of this 
day is ? Let the first dish at table be God's — I mean when a bless- 
ing is desired, let presently some savoury discourse be offered ; 
hereby sin may be prevented. The Jews had two notable defeats 
on the Sabbath-day, because they would not defend themselves ; the 
first defeat was by Antiochus, the second by Pompey the Great. 1 
Reader, if thou wouldst not have Satan to foil thee on a Lord's-day, 
keep a strict watch over thy thoughts, words, and works. After 
dinner, as time will give leave, either sing or pray with thy family, 
or repeat what thou hast heard, or busy thyself in godly confer- 
ence, chiefly about what was read or preached that morning. 

12. Neglect not afternoon ordinances. Some persons are like 
some physicians, forenoon men ; they must be sought to in the 
morning only, if you would find them about religious duties. 
Friend, if thy soul ever met thy Saviour in public duties, thou 
canst not but love and prize them at a high rate. In the close of 
the day sometimes God sendeth in the chief blessing of the day. A 
Sabbath tide hath brought in many a good draught of fish. Be 
present at, and serious in, public ordinances. As an error in the 
first concoction can never be mended in the second, so an error or 
carelessness in public, cannot be mended by carefulness in private. 

13. When thou returnest from public ordinances, take some time 
to meditate on the word or works of God ; thou mayest read over 
the eighth particular in the twenty-first chapter to help thee therein. 

14. Do not lessen thy secret or private duties on that day, let 
them rather be increased than diminished. The offering under the 
gospel was prophesied to be greater than under the law. Under 
the law one lamb was to be offered ; under the gospel six lambs, 
Num. xxviii. ; Ezek. xlvi. 

15. Call thy children and servants to account what they have 
learned that day, and explain what they understand not ; hereby 
thou wilt benefit both thyself and others. Chemnitius 2 observeth 
that our blessed Saviour in the 4th of Mark, and 14th of Luke, 

1 Josepbus, lib. xii. cap. 8, and lib. xiv. cap. 8. 

2 Examen. de Dieb. Pest. 


after he had instructed the people as a public preacher on the Sab- 
bath-day, did examine and teach his apostles as a private master 
of a family. 

16. At evening, sing, pray, and if thou canst, repeat the heads at 
least of both the sermons. Plutarch reporteth of a river which 
runneth sweet in the morning, and bitter at night. Let it not be 
said of thee, that thy morning was like Nebuchadnezzar's image, of 
gold, and thy evening like the feet of it, of clay. 

17. Before thou goest to rest, examine thyself what thou hast 
got or lost that day. Reflect upon the carriage of thy heart in the 
several duties, as also what welcome thou hadst at the throne of 
grace ; what covered dishes were brought thee by the Spirit from 
God's own table ; that accordingly thou mayest beg pardon or re- 
turn praise. If thou hast been melted with God's affection, obtained 
any strength against thy corruptions, or received any degree of grace, 
take heed of ascribing the glory to thyself. In Justinian's law it 
was decreed, that no workmen should set up his name within the 
body of that building which he made out of another man's cost. If 
thou didst pray, or hear, or sing, or read, or meditate with any life 
or delight, seriousness or sincerity, in any measure agreeable to his 
word and will, all was from God ; there was not a stone used by 
thee towards this spiritual building, but it was taken out of his 
quarry. As he is the author, so let him have the honour. 

18. Be watchful over thyself at the latter end of the day, with all 
imaginable circumspection, that the last part of the day may be 
the best part of the day. Some soldiers prevail in the day, but 
lose all again at night, because they are slothful when their quarters 
are beaten up by their enemies. Some lose again at night what 
they got in the day ; like Hannibal, they know how to obtain a 
victory, but not to improve a victory. Usually the evenings are 
cold, though the days are hot. 

19. As orators at the close of their speech, use all their art and 
skill to move the affections of their auditors, so at the close of the 
Lord's-day, put forth all thy grace and spiritual strength, to prevail 
with God for a blessing. Say of the Sabbath, as Jacob to the angel, 
I will not let thee go without a blessing. 

20. Labour to keep the influence of the Lord's-day ordinances 
warm upon thy spirit all the week after ; let not thy devotion pass 
away with the day. Some children, when they put on new shoes 
on a Sabbath, are very careful to keep them clean, are unwilling to 
set their feet to the ground for fear of dirt, but in the week-days 
will run up to the ankles in water or mire. Oh, let not children's 

Chap. XXII. ] the christian man's calling. 255 

play be thy earnest, but endeavour that thy practices in secret and 
private, in thy calling, and in all companies on the week-days, may 
be answerable to the great privileges which thou didst enjoy, and 
the grace which thou didst receive, on the Lord's- day. 

A good wish about the Lord's-day, wherein the former heads are 

The first day of the week being of divine institution, and bap- 
tized by God himself with that honourable name of the Lord's-day, 
partly in regard of its author, ' This is the day which the Lord hath 
made;' partly in regard of the blessed Eedeemer, who rose that 
clay, and triumphed over the grave, the devil, the curse of the law, 
and hell ; it being a day sanctified for the glory of my Saviour, of 
which I may say as of Jacob, ' The Lord hath chosen it to himself 
for his peculiar treasure,' Ps. exxxv. 4, and a day set apart for the 
spiritual and eternal good of my precious soul, wherein I may enjoy 
communion with my God in all his ordinances, without interruption, 
I wish, in general, that as the Spirit may be in me in the week-days, 
so that I may be in the Spirit on the Lord's-day, filled therewith, 
and enabled thereby to have my conversation all the day long in 
heaven. Oh that my care in fitting my soul for it, my holy car- 
riage at it, and my suitable conversation after it, may testify that I 
had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell 
in the tents of wickedness ; and that I esteem one day in his courts 
better than a thousand elsewhere. I wish, in particular, that I may 
prepare for it as for a wedding-day, wherein Christ and my soul 
are to be espoused together ; and to that end, before it cometh, may 
be careful so to order my earthly affairs, that they may not 
encroach upon this hoty ground ; and so open the door of my heart, 
and adorn it w T ith spiritual excellencies, that the King of glory may 
enter in, and think himself a welcome guest in my soul. Oh that 
I might never give my God cause to complain of me, as once of the 
Jews, ' Your Sabbaths and solemn feasts I cannot away with, for 
your hands are defiled.' As Nehemiah shut the gates of the city, 
that no burdens might be carried in on the Sabbath-day, so let me 
secure the gate of my heart, that no worldly things may disturb me 
in Sabbath duties. Oh let me not, like Martha, be careful and 
troubled about many things, but on this day especially sit at 
Christ's feet, mind the one thing necessary, and choose the good 
part which shall never be taken from me. I wish that I may long 


more for it than ever a bridegroom did for his bride ; that when it 
is come in, I may bid it heartily welcome, and that as my Saviour 
rose early that morning to justify me, so I may rise early on this 
day to glorify him. 

I desire that this holy day may be a high day in my account, 
both because the Lord of the Sabbath hath separated it to sacred uses, 
and because it is the day of his resurrection, whence so much good 
cometh to my soul. By his passion he laid down the price of my 
redemption ; but by his rising again — the judge of quick and dead 
sending his officer, an angel, to roll away the stone, open the prison 
door, and let him out — he manifesteth to the world that the debt is 
discharged, and the law fully satisfied. Oh, of what value should 
this day be to me ! My Kedeemer's humiliation indeed was like 
Joseph's imprisonment, but his delivery out of the grave, like 
Joseph's enlargement and preferment, whereby he came into a 
capacity to advance and enrich all his relations. 

I pray that I may look on this day as a special season to sow to 
the Spirit in, and improve it accordingly. I believe that my God 
will not hold him guiltless that takes his name, or spends his day, 
in vain. Oh let me not, like a foolish child, play by that candle 
which is set up for me to work by, lest I go to the bed of my grave 
in the dark of sin and sorrow. I wish that I may not neglect 
either secret or family duties on this sacred day ; but yet that I may 
so perform them that they may be helps, not hindrances to public 
ordinances ; that since God loveth the gates of Zion above all the 
dwellings of Jacob, I may set a high price upon, and have an 
ardent love to, the habitation of God's house, and the place where 
his honour dwelleth : that as a true child of my heavenly Father, I 
may love most, and like best, that milk which is warm from the 
breasts of public ordinances. I wish that I may call the Lord's-day 
my delight, it being a day wherein I enter into the suburbs of the 
holy city, and begin that work of praising, pleasing, and enjoying 
my God, which I hope to be employed in to eternity : that it may 
be my meat and drink to do the will of my God. Oh that I might 
so savour the things of the Spirit, and so taste the Lord to be 
gracious, that love may be the loadstone to draw me to my closet, 
family, and to church; and season every service I am called to 
upon the Sabbath,. Because every part of this day is of great price, 
more worth than a whole world, I desire that not the least moment 
of it may be squandered away, but (as the disciples after the miracle 
of loaves) I may gather up with care and conscience the smallest 
fragments, that nothing be lost. My God giveth me good measure, 

Chap. XXII. ] the christian man's calling. 257 

heaped up, pressed down, shaken together, and running over; why 
should I be niggardly to him, (to myself, indeed, for it is my profit, 
not his,) when he is so liberal, so bountiful to me ? I wish in regard 
the blessed God is not only the master, but also the marrow of his 
day, that no Lord's-day may satisfy me without the Lord of the 
day. Alas ! what is the best time, without the rock of eternity ? 
what is the best day without the Ancient of days ? what are the 
ordinances of God without the God of ordinances ? what are Sab- 
baths, sermons, sacraments, and seasons of grace, without the dearest 
Saviour, but as broken cisterns, glorious dreams, or gilded nothings ? 
I have read of a good soul, who answered his friend, Speak to me 
while you will, no words can satisfy, except you mention Christ ; 
write to me what you will, it will not satisfy, except in your letters 
I may read Christ. Oh that in no sermon I might be contented 
till I hear Christ, and that in no chapter I might be pleased till I 
can read Christ. That as the needle touched with the loadstone 
never resteth till it turn to the north, so my heart may be restless 
in holy duties till it turneth to, and hath fellowship with, the Lord 
of heaven. The Lord's-day is an excellent resemblance of my future 
blessedness, wherein I shall enjoy my Saviour fully, and my God 
shall be all in all to me. Lord, let never this day pass without 
some taste of those celestial pleasures. Meditation on the works 
and word of my God, being a duty most in its prime and season on 
a Sabbath-day, I beg that what time I spare from public, private, 
or secret performances, I may employ to this purpose, that I may 
behold my God to be infinite in wisdom, power, and goodness in 
his footsteps of creation, and stand amazed at that rare workman- 
ship, those curious contrivances of his (which angels look into with 
admiration) that appear in his masterpiece, that work of redemp- 
tion ; and for his word, let my heart be able to say with David, ' 
how love I thy law ! it is my meditation all the day.' 

I wish that I may watch over my thoughts, words, and actions, 
all the day long ; in special, that as when the holy things belonging 
to the sanctuary were to be removed, they were covered all over, 
lest any dust should soil them ; so I may cover my heart with such 
circumspection that no dust of sin may cleave to it. Oh that I 
might be so wise and watchful, that there may not be the least 
minute of the day wherein I may not either do, or receive some 
good. Lord, let no Sabbath pass without some saving good to my 
precious soul. 

I desire, finally, that I may not lose the heat of the day in the 
cool of the evening. I mean that what good I gain from my God 

vol. i. rc 


through his ordinances in the day, may not be lost by my negli- 
gence at night ; but that as a wise commander, I may then double 
my guard, and expect with much importunity, some evening dews 
of comfort and grace. Oh that I might so keep the Sabbath of my 
God choose the things that please him, and take hold of his cove- 
nant, that I might so turn away my foot from the Sabbath, from 
doino - my pleasure on his holy day, and call the Sabbath my delight, 
the holy of the Lord, that I may have, with the eunuch, within the 
house of my God, a name better than of sons and daughters, even 
an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Amen. Isa. lvi. 4, 5, 
lviii. 13. 

A good ivish to the LorcVs-day. 
Hail thou that art highly favoured of God, thou map of heaven, 
thou golden spot of the week, thou market-day of souls, thou day- 
break of eternal brightness, thou queen of days, the Lord is with thee, 
blessed art thou among days, Luke i. 28. I may say to thee what the 
angel said to Daniel, Oh day greatly beloved ! Dan. ix. 23. Thou art 
fairer than all the children of time, grace is poured into thy lips; God, 
even thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy 
fellows, Ps. xlv. Of the Jewish Sabbaths and other festivals, in com- 
parison of thee it may be spoken, They perish, but thou remainest, and 
they all wax old as a garment ; and as a vesture hast thou folded them 
up, and they are changed, but thou shalt (maugre the malice of men 
and devils) continue the same, and thy years shall not fail, Heb. i. 11, 
12. As the temple succeeded and exceeded the tabernacle, this was 
fleeting, that was fixed, so dost thou all former Sabbaths, they were 
but morning stars to usher in thee, the sun, and then to disappear. 
Other festivals in all their royalty are not arrayed like unto thee. 
All the graces triumph in thee, all the ordinances conspire to en- 
rich thee ; the Father ruleth thee, the Son rose upon thee, the Spirit 
hath overshadowed thee. Thus is it done to the day which the 
king of heaven delighteth to honour. Thou hast not only a com- 
mon blessing with other days by the law of nature, but a special 
blessing above all other days, from the love of thy maker. Let 
thousands mark thee for their new birthday ; be thou a day, as it was 
said of that night to the Jews, much to be remembered, much to be 
observed to the Lord, for bringing many out of worse than Egyptian 
bondage, Exod. xii. 42 ; be thou to them a day of light and gladness, 
of joy and honour, and a good day, Esther viii. 16. On thee light was 
created, the Holy Ghost descended, life hath been restored, Satan 

Chap. XXII.] the christian man's calling. 259 

subdued, sin mortified, souls sanctified, the grave, death, and hell con- 
quered. Oh how do men and women flutter up and down on the week- 
days, as the dove on the waters, and can find no rest for their souls, 
till they come to thee their ark, till thou put forth thy hand and 
take them in ! Oh how do they sit under thy shadow with great de- 
light, and find thy fruits sweet to their taste ! Oh the mountings 
of mind, the ravishing happiness of heart, the solace of soul which 
on thee they enjoy in the blessed Saviour ! They are sorry when 
the days shorten for thy sake, they wish for thee before thou comest, 
they welcome thee when thou art come, and they enjoy so much of 
heaven in thee, that thence they love and look, and long the more 
for their eternal Sabbath. ' Go forth, thou fairest among women, 
and be thou fruitful in bringing forth children to thy maker and hus- 
band. Be thou the mother of thousands and of millions, and let thy 
seed possess the gate of them that hate them,' Gen. xxiv. 60. Do thou, 
like Rachel and Leah, build up the house of Israel ; do thou worthily 
in Ephratah, and be thou famous in Bethlehem. Gird thy sword 
upon thy thigh, thou mighty and gracious day, and in thy majesty 
ride prosperously ; because of meekness, righteousness, and truth, let 
thy right hand teach thee terrible things ; let thine arrows be sharp 
in the hearts of spiritual enemies, whereby the people may fall under 
thee. The Lord hath chosen thee, he hath desired thee for his 
habitation, Ps. cxxxii. Thou art his rest for ever ; in thee he will 
dwell, for he hath desired it. Let him abundantly bless thy pro- 
vision, and satisfy thy poor with bread ; let him clothe thy priests 
with salvation, and let thy saints shout aloud, for joy ; let thine 
enemies be clothed with shame, but upon thy head let the crown 
flourish. Let nations bow down to thee ; let kingdoms fall down 
before thee. Let all the kingdoms of the earth become the king- 
doms of thy Lord and of thy Christ ; be thou honoured as long as 
the sun and moon shall endure, even throughout all generations. 
Thou art like Joseph, a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a 
wall, whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely 
grieved thee, and shot at thee, endeavouring to weaken thy morality, 
and hated thee, but thy bow abode in strength by the hands of the 
mighty God of Jacob, from thence is the shepherd, the stone of 
Israel ; even by the Lord of Sabbaths who shall help thee, and by 
the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, 
blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts and of 
the womb ; the blessings of this day have prevailed above the bless- 
ings of all other days ; let them be continued and increased on the 
heads of this holy and honourable day, and on the head of that day 


which is separate from its brethren. Let them be ashamed and 
confounded that seek after thy hurt, let them be turned back and 
put to confusion that desire thy ruin ; let all those that seek thee 
rejoice and be glad in thee ; let them that love thy sanctification 
say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, who delighteth in the 
prosperity of his saints, and therefore hath set apart his Sabbath for 
their soul-good. Thou, like Jacob, hast got away the blessing from 
the other days, yea, thy God hath blessed thee, and thou shalt be 
blessed : ' Blessed are they that bless thee, and cursed are they that 
curse thee.' In a word, the Lord be gracious to thee, and delight 
in thee, and cause the light of his countenance to shine upon thee ; 
let all thine ordinances be clothed with power, and be effectual for 
the conversion and salvation of millions of souls ; let thy name be 
great from the rising of the sun to the going clown of the same. 
Finally, farewell sweet day, thou cream of time, thou epitome of 
eternity — thou heaven in a glass, thou first-fruits of a blessed and 
everlasting harvest : Did I say farewell ? A welfare I wish to 
thee ; but oh let me never lose thee, or take my leave of thee, till 
I come to enjoy thee in a higher form, to see the Sun of righteous- 
ness, — who early on thy morning rose and made a day indeed while 
the natural sun was behind, — face to face, and to know thy maker 
and master as I am known of him, when I shall be a pillar in the 
temple of my God, and shall go out no more, but serve him day 
and night, to whom, for the inestimable dignity and privilege of his 
own day, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen, amen. 


How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in natural 
actions. And first, in eating and drinking. 

As thy duty is to make religion thy business in religious, so also 
in natural actions. A good scrivener is not only careful how he 
makes his first and great letters, his flourishes, but also the smallest 
letters, nay, his very stops and commas. A scribe instructed for 
the kingdom of heaven, is heedful not only that the weightiest actions 
of God's immediate worship, but also that the meaner passages of 
his life, be conformable to God's law. A wise builder will make 
his kitchen as well as his parlour according to rule. A holy person 
turns his natural actions into spiritual, and whilst he is serving his 
body he is serving his God. It is said of a Scotch divine, that he 

Chap. XXIII. ] the christian man's calling. 261 

did cat, drink, and sleep eternal life. Luther tells, that though he 
did not always pray and meditate, but did sometimes eat, and some- 
times drink, and sometimes sleep, yet all should further his account; 
the latter as truly, though not so abundantly, as the former. 1 And 
indeed it is our privilege that natural actions may be adopted into 
the family of religion, and we may worship God as really at our 
tables as in his temple. 

Saints must not, like brute beasts, content themselves with a 
natural use of the creatures, but use them as chariots to mount them 
nearer, and cords to bind them closer to God. Piety or holiness to 
the Lord must be written upon their pots, Zech. xiv. 20. ' Whether 
ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God,' 
1 Cor. x. 31. Philo observeth that the ancient Jews made their 
feasts after sacrifice in the temple, that the place might mind them 
of their duty to be pious at them. 2 It is a memorable expression, 
' And Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with 
Moses' father-in-law before God,' Exod. xviii. 12. In which words 
we have the greatness of their courtesy, and the graciousness of 
their carriage. For their courtesy, though Jethro were a stranger, 
and no Israelite, yet the elders honoured him with their company. 
And Aaron and all the elders came to eat bread with Moses' 
father-in-law. But mark the graciousness of their carriage, they 
came to eat bread with him before God ; that is, In gloriam et 
honorem Dei, to the honour and glory of God, saith Calvin. They 
received their sustenance, as in God's sight, and caused their pro- 
vision to tend to God's praise. 

God takes it ill when we sit down to table and leave him out, 
Zech. vii. 6, ' When ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did ye 
not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves ? ' He sends us in 
all our food, we live at his cost ; and therefore our eating may well 
be to his credit who is the master of the feast. 

The Jews, according to some, had officers at every feast whom 
they called prcefecti morum ; their work was the inspection of the 
guests, that none should disorder themselves. I must tell thee, 
God's eye is upon thee every meal, he takes notice whether thy 
behaviour is as becometh a saint. 

And truly, friend, it behoves thee to use religion as a bridle in 
thy mouth, to hold thee in when thou art eating or drinking. 
Thy throat is a slippery place, and sin may easily slip down ; it is 

i Non semper oro, non semper meditor, sed vestio, dormio, edo, bibo ; hjec omnia si 
in fidefiunt, tanquam recte facta, divino judicio approbantur.— Luth. in Gen. xxxiii. 
2 Sancti mandueant et bibunt in conspectu Dei. — Origen, in lor. 


no hard matter to sin whilst the thing thou art about is not sinful. 
How many feed without fear, and thereby fatten themselves to the 
slaughter ! Jude 12. We read of some whose tables are snares, in 
which they have been caught by Satan, Ps. lxix. 22. Job feared 
his sons had sinned in their eating and drinking, Job i. 5. There 
are more guests every meal than thou invitest to thy table. The 
devil lieth in ambush behind the lawful enjoyment, and will cer- 
tainly surprise thee before thou art aware, if thou art not watchful. 
The fatal wound he gave Adam at first was in the throat ; by 
getting him to eat, he brought him and us all to die. If Adam, 
strengthened with his perfect original purity, was yet caught with 
this hook, sure I am it concerns thee to beware of the bait ; have 
a care lest the quinsy in thy throat kill thee. Satan is a subtle 
angler, thou art a poor silly fish ; be careful lest he take thee by 
the teeth and send thee to the fire. 

God hath given thee a rule, as for his table, when thou art eating 
of that body which is meat indeed, and drinking of that blood 
which is drink indeed, so for thy table, when thou art feeding on 
ordinary creatures. He sends in thy provision, and he gives thee 
direction according to which, and no other, thou mayest use it. A 
tenant who holds lands of his lord may not use them otherwise 
than according to the conditions on which his lord let them to 
him ; if he do, the premises are forfeited. Now the great God, who 
is Lord of the whole earth, giveth his creatures to thee condition- 
ally, that thou make use of them according to his will revealed 
in his word ; if thou usest them otherwise thou makest a forfeiture, 
and mayest expect every moment that he should take possession. 

For thy direction, I shall here set down the conditions upon 
which God giveth thee thy food, that thou use it sacredly, soberly, 
and seasonably. 

First, Thy duty is to eat and drink sacredly. Piety must be 
mingled with all thy provision, or else it will be poison. Grace 
must spice every cup, and be sauce for every dish, or nothing will 
relish well. Water taken from the fountain quickly corrupts, and be- 
comes unsavoury, but in the fountain it is sweet indeed. Godliness 
will cause thee to enjoy the creatures in God, the fountain of them, 
and thereby they will be pleasant to thee. 

The daily bread which the Israelites did eat 1 was made of the 
same corn with the shew-bread which was always before the Lord ; 
to teach us that we should be holy as in God's sight when we are 
eating our ordinary bread, Exod. xxv. 30. Therefore saints are 

1 B. Babinsrton, in loc. 

Chap. XXIIL] the christian man's calling. 263 

said to eat to the Lord, Kom. xiv. 6. As they eat by him, so they 
eat to him. 

Thy piety at meals consisteth in begging a blessing before thou 
eatest, in holy expressions and affections when thou art eating, and 
in thanksgiving after thou hast eaten. 

1. In begging a blessing upon thy food. The creatures on thy 
table are God's creatures ; and I must tell thee that thou art more 
bold than welcome if thou makest use of his goods without asking 
his leave ; he expecteth, though not to be satisfied for his mercies, 
yet to be acknowledged and sanctified in his mercies. ' Every 
creature of God is sanctified by the word of God and prayer/ 1 
Tim. iv. 5. By the word : all the creatures were polluted to us by 
the first Adam, but they are purified to us by the second Adam, 
Ps. viii. The word of promise to Christ, the heir of all things, is 
our warrant, and speaks our permission. And prayer : the word 
gives us leave to use them, and prayer brings down a blessing 
upon them. The word sheweth our right to them through Christ, 
and prayer acknowledgeth God's right (Gen. ix. 3) to them and 

God's blessing only is the staff of bread, Exod. xxiii. 25. ' Man 
liveth not by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out 
of the mouth of God,' Mat. iv. 4. Bread doth not nourish by its 
own power, but by God's word of promise ; he can easily withhold 
his blessing, and then bread will strengthen no more than chips of 
boards. ' And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten 
women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver 
your bread again by weight ; and ye shall eat and not be satisfied,' 
Lev. xxvi. 26. 

Even heathen princes began their solemn feasts with sacrifices. 
The Israelites would not eat before Samuel came, because he used 
to bless the sacrifice, 1 Sam. ix. 13. Our blessed Saviour, though 
he were Lord of all, yet would not feed before he had looked up to 
heaven and blessed the fish, Mark vi. 41. Paul, though amongst 
many infidels, yet, before meat, would desire a blessing in presence 
of them all, Acts xxvii. 35. He is worse than an ox or ass, who 
will not acknowledge his owner, Isa. i. 5. 

Reader, God can give thee sour sauce to thy sweet meat if thou 
dost banish him thy table ; he can make thy meat lie so hard and 
heavy at thy stomach, either by sickness, Job xxxiii. 20, or sorrow, 
Ps. cvii. 17, that thou shalt never digest it whilst thou livest. 
When thou art at thy merriest meeting he can send such a mourn- 
ful, terrible message, as to Belshazzar carousing in his cups, that 


shall make thine ears to tingle, and every joint thou hast to 
tremble. He can make thy feast to end, either as Adonijah's, in a 
fright, or as Absalom's sheep-shearing, in a funeral. When thine 
heart is merry with wine he can summon thee, as Amnon, into the 
other world. Thy wisest way therefore is to beseech his company, 
whomsoever thou wantest. 

The fruits of trees under the law were the three first years un- 
clean, the fourth year offered to God, and after that free for the 
owners. All thy comforts are by reason of sin unclean and cursed 
to thee ; if thou wouldst have them clean and blessed, they must 
be sanctified by the word of God and prayer. The elephant is said 
to turn up towards heaven the first sprig that he feedeth on. 
friend, wilt thou be worse than a beast ? For shame, be not so 
swinish as to feed on the acorns, and never look up to the tree that 
bears them. 

2. In holy expressions and affections when thou art eating. 
Whilst thy body is filling, thy soul must not be forgotten. Though 
it be not unlawful at meals to talk of other matters, yet it is pity 
saints should ever meet to eat earthly bread, and not have some 
discourse of their eternal heavenly banquet. How often did our 
Saviour at such a meeting raise the hearts of his company to better 
meat ! Luke v. 31. As their outward man was feeding, he feasted 
the inward man. When the publican was at much cost to make 
him a great feast, he entertains him and the rest too with better 
cheer : ' The whole need not a physician, but the sick ; I came not 
to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' When one of the 
chief of the pharisees invited him to his table, observe how he 
teacheth the guests humility, and the master of the feast charity, 
Luke xiv. 7, 8, 12, 13. His lips dropped honey to sweeten and make 
all their dishes savoury. One of the fathers writeth, that the primi- 
tive Christians were so holy in their talk at their table, that one would 
have thought they had been at a sermon, not at a supper. * Plato 
gives rules for the writing down the table-talk of men, thereby to 
make them more serious. Luther's Colloquia Mensalia, printed in 
a large folio, do abundantly prove that he was not idle when he 
was eating, but that his table was his pulpit, where he read many 
profitable lectures. There is scarce a meeting of ungodly men to 
eat but the devil hath his dish among them. The drunkards have 
a song of David to sugar their liquor, Ps. xxxv. 1 6 ; the gluttons 
have some taunts to fling at saints as sauce to their meat. At 
Herod's birthday banquet one dish served in was the Baptist's head. 

i Non tain coenam coenant quam disciplinam. — Tertul. Apologet, cap. 39. 

Chap. XXIII. ] the christian man's calling. 265 

Should not, friend, God have his dish at thy table ? When thou 
art eating bread, let thy meditation and expression be like his who 
sat at table with Jesus Christ. ' Blessed is he that shall eat bread 
in the kingdom of God,' Luke xiv. 15. 

Consider God's bounty and mercy in feeding thee and clothing 
thee, when many hungry bellies and naked backs are abroad in 
the world. How many would be glad of thy scraps ! When thou 
hast asked God leave for his creatures, thou mayest taste his love 
in the creatures. Mayest thou not gather and conclude, if the 
streams are so refreshing and satisfying, what refreshment and 
satisfaction is there in the well of living waters ? If bread be so 
savoury to a hungry body ; how sweet, how savoury is the bread 
which came down from heaven to a hungry soul ! ' Lord, give me 
evermore that bread.' 

Do as the Jews : ' They did eat, and delighted themselves in thy 
great goodness,' Neh. ix. 21. When thou art feeding thy body, 
delight thy soul in God's great goodness. Thus, like Mary, when 
Christ was at meat, thou mayest break thy box of precious oint- 
ment, and perfume the whole room with its fragrant smell. 

3. In returning thanks when thou hast eaten. Thy duty is to 
begin thy meals with prayer, and to end them with praise. Thou 
canst not give God his due price for mercies, but thou mayest give 
him his due praise. Though thou art never able to buy them of 
him, yet thou art able to bless him for them. If thou clidst dine at 
thy neighbour's table, thou wouldst think thyself very unmannerly 
to turn thy back upon him without any acknowledgment of, and 
thankfulness for, his courtesy. Every meal thou makest is at God's 
cost ; for shame, be so civil as to thank him for his kindness. Saints 
are compared to doves, Isa. Ix. 8, especially for their eyes. ' Thou 
hast doves' eyes,' Cant. v. Now doves, after every grain they peck, 
look upward, as it were giving thanks. When God opens his hand, 
thou mayest well open thy lips. When thou hast eaten and art 
full, thou shalt bless the Lord thy God, Deut. viii. 10 ; Joel ii. 26. 

Do not, like the fed hawk, forget thy master, or, like them that go 
to the well, as soon as they have filled their buckets at it, turn their 
backs upon it. Why shouldst thou forget God, when he remein- 
bereth thee ? ' When thou shalt have eaten and be full, then beware 
lest thou forget God.' Deut. vi. 11, 12. Let not thy fulness breed 
forgetfulness. You think him a surly beggar who, if he receive but 
a small piece of bread, shall fling away from your doors, and give 
you no thanks. 

The primitive Christians did break bread from house to house. 


and did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, prais- 
ing God. Some understand it of sacramental, others of corporal 
bread, Acts ii. 46, 47. The Lord Jesus was known by his actions 
or expressions in. giving of thanks, Luke xxiv. 31. Nay, the heathen 
would acknowledge their dunghill deities in those outward mercies : 
Dan. v. 4, ' They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of 
silver, and of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.' Wilt not thou 
do as much for the true God as they for their false gods ? Oh let 
him have all thy praise, who sendeth in all thy provision. God 
takes it very ill when we do not own and honour him as the author 
of our meat and drink. Because Israel was so prided with her 
pronouns possessives — my bread and my water, my wool and my 
flax, mine oil and my drink — God turns them all into privatives : 
' For she did not know that I gave her corn and wine and oil, there- 
fore will I return and take away my corn in the time thereof, and 
my wine in the season thereof, and recover my wool and my flax,' 
Hosea ii. 5, 8, 9. Trumpeters love not to sound in those places 
where they are not answered with a considerable echo : God de- 
lights not to bestow mercies on those persons who will not return 
him suitable praise. Those that return things borrowed without 
thanks, must expect, the next time they need, to be denied. 

I have read a story in the writings of an eminently pious min- 
ister, who was an eye and ear-witness of the truth of it, of a young 
man who, lying upon his sick-bed, was always calling for meat, but 
as soon as he saw it was brought to him, at the sight of it he shook 
and trembled dreadfully in every part of his body, and so continued 
till his food was carried away ; and thus being not able to eat, he 
pined away, and before his death acknowledged God's justice, in 
that in his health he had received his meat ordinarily without giving 
God thanks. The despisers of God's beneficence have been patterns 
of his vengeance. He hath remembered them in fury who have for- 
gotten his favours. 

Some write of the Jews, 1 that in the beginning of their feasts the 
master of the house took a cup of wine in his hand, and began its 
consecration after this manner : Blessed be thou, Lord our God, 
the King of the world, which createst the fruit of the vine. This 
they called Bircath hajain, the blessing of the cup. Possibly to this 
David alludeth in Ps. cxvi. 13, 14, ' What shall I render to the Lord 
for all his benefits ? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon 
the name of the Lord.' After the cup the master of the house took 
the bread and consecrated it thus : Blessed be thou, Lord our 
1 Ex P. Fagi. in Deut. vi)i. 

Chap. XXIII. ] the christian man's calling. 267 

God, the King of the world, which bringeth forth bread out of the 
earth. This they called Bircath halcchem. At the end of the feast, 
the master called to his friends, Let us bless him who hath fed us 
with his own, and of whose goodness we live ; and concluded with 
a large thanksgiving, wherein he blessed God, first, for their pre- 
sent food ; secondly, for their deliverance from Egyptian bondage ; 
thirdly, for the covenant of circumcision ; fourthly, for the law 
given by the ministry of Moses: and then he prayed that God 
would have mercy on his people Israel ; secondly, on his own city, 
Jerusalem ; thirdly, on Sion, the tabernacle of his glory ; fourthly, 
on the kingdom of the house of David his anointed ; fifthly, that 
he would send ^Elias the prophet ; sixthly, that he would make 
them worthy of the days of the Messiah, and of the life of the 
world to come. After this prayer the guests, with soft and low 
voices, said unto themselves, Fear ye the Lord, all ye his holy ones, 
because there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions 
want and suffer hunger; but they that seek the Lord shall want no 
good thing. 

Alas, alas ! how few Gentiles spend half that time in devotion 
at their tables which the pious among the Jews did ! Many go 
from their food, as the cow from her fodder, taking no notice of the 
author of it ; and like the idolatrous Israelites, ' they sit down to eat 
and drink, and rise up to play,' Exod. xxxii. 6. They sit down to 
eat and drink, and to rise up to play the beast, to play the atheist. 

Remember every creature of God is good if it be received with 
thanksgiving, 1 Tim. iv. 4 ; but this thanksgiving must not be only 
in thy words, but also in thy works : thy unblamable conversation, 
and thy charitable contribution must speak thy thankfulness. When 
the master hath fed the servant, he expects that he should go about 
his business, and do the work appointed him. That strength which 
thou receivest from God must be improved for God. It is good to 
bless God with thy lips, but best of all to bless him with thy hands, 
and in thy life. God will judge of thy thankfulness by thy conver- 
sation. Think thus with thyself: This is the God that feedeth 
me, that satisfieth me with good things : how sweet, how comfort- 
able are his mercies ! What sweet refreshment have I had from 
the creatures, when some better than myself want food ! Others 
have it, but their lives abhor bread, and their souls dainty meat, 
Job xxxiii. 20. Why should I not love, fear, and trust, and serve 
this God ? I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. 
Oh be ashamed to live at God's cost, and to do Satan's work. Be 
not like the young mulets which, when they liave sucked their fill, 


turn up their heels and kick at their dam. Further, thy duty is to 
manifest thy thankfulness by supplying the wants of the needy. 
Job would not eat his morsels alone, but the fatherless had a share 
with him, Job xxxi. 16, 17. The forementioned author observes, 
that the heathen were not forgetful, when they were feeding, of 
their absent friends. God's hand is open to thee : why should thy 
heart and hands be shut against the hungry bellies and naked 
backs ? Thy goods extend not to God's person, therefore they must 
to God's poor, Ps. xvi. 2. Have a monitor within thee, to call upon 
thee when at meals, Remember the poor, remember the poor, re- 
member poor Christ, and hungry Christ, and naked Christ : by this 
test he will try thee for thine eternal estate ; and upon the neglect 
of this he will sentence thee to the eternal fire, Mat. xxv. 41. 

If thou art a rich person, do thou frequently mind this duty. 
Great housekeepers must be good housekeepers. All must contri- 
bute, according to their abilities, to the poor's necessities ; but 
where God gives much, he requires much ; he expecteth a har- 
vest suitable to the seed he soweth. It is credibly reported 1 of Mr 
Sutton, founder of Sutton's Hospital, that he used often to repair 
into a private garden, where he poured forth his prayers unto God, 
and amongst other passages was overheard frequently to use this 
expression, Lord, thou hast given me a liberal and large estate ; 
give me also a heart to make a good use of it. I am confident, 
a heart to use wealth aright, is a greater mercy than the greatest 
heap of wealth ; I had rather have a little, with a heart to im- 
prove it for God, than much, than millions without such a heart. 
Make thee friends of the unrighteous mammon, that when that 
fails thee, thou mayest be received into the celestial habitation. 
When Dionysius, 2 the Syracusian tyrant, saw what heaps of gold 
and silver his son hoarded up in his closet, he asked him what 
he meant, to let it lie there, and not to make friends with it, to get 
the kingdom after his death : son, saith he, thou hast not a spirit 
capable of a kingdom. The rust of many a rich man's wealth will 
eat his heart with pain and torment in the other world, and the 
apostle calls upon such to weep and howl for the miseries that are 
coming upon them, James -v. 1-4. God findeth fault with them 
that could fare on the finest bread and fattest flesh themselves, 
and yet forget the afflictions of others, Amos vi. 5. 

How many riotous rich men are there, that though they cannot 
eat and drink all with sobriety, will rather spoil it by gluttony and 
drunkenness, than let the poor have part with them ! like children, 

1 Fuller's Church Hist, of Brit. 2 Justin, lib. xxi. 

Chap. XXIII. ] the christian man's calling. 269 

who will rather crumble away their food, than impart any to their 
fellows. Oh, how justly was the rich man denied a drop in the 
other world, when he denied a crum in this world. 1 How many 
covetous muck-worms, like hogs, are nourished only to be de- 
stroyed ! they are good for nothing whilst they are alive. The 
hog is neither good to draw as the ox, nor to bear as the horse, 
nor to clothe us as the sheep, nor to give milk as the cow, nor to 
keep the house as the dog, but good only to be killed. Such are 
these scraping wretches, good for nothing till they come to the 
knife. Like barren trees, they do but cumber the ground, and 
serve for no use till they are cut down for the unquenchable fire. 
And truly, their hearts will never bewail him dead, whose bowels 
did not bless him alive. His life did not deserve a prayer, nor his 
death a tear, who laid out that to serve his pride, which God laid 
in to serve the poor. 

Eeader, if God have dealt thee a considerable portion of outward 
good things, consider that thou art but God's factor ; he is the mer- 
chant. The factor knoweth that the goods transported to him are 
his master's goods, and he must dispose them according to direc- 
tions from his master. All thine estate is God's ; thou art but his 
servant, his factor ; he gives thee order in his word to dispose it 
thus and thus, to such poor members of Christ, so much to one, 
and so much to another, and he will shortly reckon with thee how 
thou obeyest his directions; and if thou forbearest charity now, 
thou wilt then be counted and found as real a thief, before the 
whole world, as ever servant was that put hundreds into his own 
purse which his master appointed him to pay to other persons. 
' Withhold not thy goods from the owners thereof/ Prov. iii. 27, 
from them to whom it is due, either by the law of justice, or by 
the law of love, Eom. xiii. 8. And truly charity is the best way 
to plenty ; he gets most that gives most ; he that soweth liberally, 
shall reap liberally. 

I have sometimes considered with myself, and wondered why 
Nabal should be so exceeding churlish to David as not to spare of 
his superfluities to supply David's necessities, when David had 
been so exceeding civil to him as to preserve his flocks in safety 
from the rage of hungry soldiers. But when I marked well the 
story, I quickly found the cause of Nabal's covetous carriage. He 
looked upon himself as master of his estate, and not as God's ser- 
vant to improve it for his profit and praise. ' Shall I take my 
bread, and my water, and my flesh, and give it to men whom I 

1 Willet. Hexap. in Lev. 


know not whence they be ? ' 1 Sam. xxv. 11. Had he but had so 
much grace as to have called it God's bread, and God's water, he 
would have disposed it according to God's word, and not have 
denied a poor persecuted saint ; but because he counted it his own 
proper wealth, therefore it must be disposed according to his own 
pernicious will. 

Reader, look upon thyself, in regard of thine estate, only as a 
servant in trust, which thou must shortly give an account of, and 
then ' To do good, and to distribute thou wilt not forget, as know- 
ing that with such sacrifices God is well pleased/ Heb. iii. 16. 

Secondly, Thy duty is to eat and drink soberly. ' The grace of 
God which bringeth salvation, hath appeared to us, teaching us to 
live soberly in this present evil world,' Titus ii. 12. This sobriety 
respecteth both the quantity and the quality of thy diet. 

First, Thy duty is to be temperate as to the quantity of thy diet. 
Eeason is content with a little, religion with less. Although no 
certain proportion of food can be prescribed to men, for those 
showers which drown the clay valleys, do hardly quench the thirst 
of the saudy hills ; neither the bodies of men, nor their stomachs 
are all of a size ; yet this is a certain rule, for a man to eat or 
drink so much as to oppress nature, and to unfit himself for prayer, 
is a degree of intemperance. God gave man food to further, not 
to hinder him in his general and particular calling ; and surely 
they sin who feed till, like fatted horses, they are unfit for service. 
Tertullian, 1 speaking of the carriage of the primitive Christians at 
their meals, tells us, They do not sit down before they have 
prayed ; they eat as much as may satisfy hunger, they drink so 
much as is sufficient for temperate men, are filled as they that re- 
member they must pray afterwards. 

Christians may cheer nature, but they must not clog it. It is a 
great privilege in the charter granted us by the King of kings, 
that we should have dominion over the creatures ; but it will be a 
sordid bondage if we suffer them to have dominion over us ; instead 
of being our servants, to become our masters, Ps. viii. 5-7. God, 
in the very framing of man, intended him for temperance, by giving 
a little mouth, with a narrow throat, and a lesser belly than other 
creatures. And in man's charter, which speaks his leave to slay 
the beasts in God's forest, observe in what tenure it runs : ' Every 
living thing that moveth shall be meat for you, (there is the gene- 

* Non prius discumbitur quam oratio ad deum praegustetur ; editur quantum 
esurientes cupiunt ; bibitur quantum pudicis est utile, ita saturantur utqui memime- 
rint etiam per noctem sibi adorandum Deum esse. — Tertull. Apologet. 

Chap. XXIIL] the christian man's calling. 271 

ral concession,) even as the green herb have I given you all things,' 
(here is the special limitation ;) that is, saith an expositor, 1 to use 
them soberly and moderately, not to gluttony and excess. 

It is an abominable shame to a saint to be a slave to the beast 
in him, his sensitive appetite. ' He that striveth for the mastery, is 
temperate in all things.' Beasts seldom surfeit at their food, never 
sin. Epicurus, who esteemed man's happiness to consist in plea- 
sures, was yet very temperate, as Cicero and others observe. 
Socrates was wont to say, that evil men live that they may eat 
and drink, but good men eat and drink that they may live. 

Some of the heathen did very much hate excess, either in eating 
or drinking. The old Gauls were very sparing in their diet, and 
fined them that outgrew their girdles. Drunkenness, by Solon's 
law, was punished with death. The Spartans brought their chil- 
dren to loathe drunkenness, by causing them to behold the beastly 
behaviour of their servants when they were drunk. 
: But how many nominal Christians, in regard of temperance, 
come short of heathens ! "Woe to the drunkards of Ephraim, of 
England, (God hath a cup of red wine, of pure wrath, and these 
must drink the dregs thereof,) how doth this iniquity abound ! 
Men drink healths so long till they drink away their health and 
their heaven too. Some mariners observe that as the waters grow 
shallower (the sea losing) about the coasts of Holland and Zealand, 
the waters grow deeper (the sea gaining) about the English coasts. 
Whether drunkenness ebb in Holland or no, I know not ; I am 
sure it floweth in England. We may complain, as Diogenes 
Laertius of his countrymen, that when they went to sacrifice to 
health, they did then most riotously abuse health. 

There was a street in Eome called Sobrius Vicus, the Sober 
Street, because there was never an ale-house there. But how few 
towns have we which may be called sober towns, because there are 
no drunkards there ! 

Beader, if thou art one guilty of this sin, for the Lord's sake be- 
think thyself speedily ; dost thou know what thou dost ? 

Thou wrongest thy body. Vermin abound, as rats and mice, 
where there is much corn ; and diseases abound in bodies given to 
excess. Too much wood puts out the fire. Meat kills more than 
the musket ; the glutton digs his grave with his teeth, and the 
drunkard drowns himself in his cup. Stratonicus spake fitly of the 
Khodians, they build their houses as if they were immortal, but feed 
as if they intended to live but a little while. 

1 Willet. Hex. in Gen. 


Spare diet is the best cordial of nature. Moderate fasting is the 
best physic. He that riseth with an appetite, secures his digestion. 
It was said of Queen Elizabeth, 1 that she ever rose with an appetite, 
and that Edward the Sixth was wont to call her his sweet sister 
Temperance, and she lived seventy years. Galen lived one hundred 
and forty years, and almost all the time without any sickness, and 
this natural reason is given, that he did never eat his fill. 

It wrongs thy estate. The drunkard and glutton shall come to 
poverty, Prov. xxiii. 21. Their throats are open sepulchres to 
bury their estates in. Diogenes, when he heard of a drunkard's 
house to be sold, cried out, I thought he would ere long vomit up 
his house. 

It wrongs thy soul. After rioting and drunkenness, followeth 
chambering and wantonness, Kom. xiii. 12, and woe and sorrow, 
and wounds without cause ; look not upon the wine, at last it biteth 
like a serpent ; thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine 
heart shall utter perverse things, Prov. xxiii. 20. Excess turns 
men into swine, and then they are for legions of devils. Intemper- 
ance calls off the guard, thy watchfulness, and then the enemies 
may enter thick and threefold. They that are not sober, cannot 
be vigilant, 1 Pet. v. 8. 

How unfit is a man in his intemperance for any duty. Ambrose 
observes, 2 As Moses received the tables fasting, so he broke them 
when the people had been feasting, judging them at that time very 
unfit to hear the law. 

It may be thou art not a drunkard, but yet usest to exceed in 
eating. Austin avoided the sin of drunkenness, sed crapula non- 
nunquam surrepit servo tuo ; he sometimes transgressed in eating : 
but Lord, saith he, thou hast taught me to use my meat as my 

Let the rational faculty command thy sensitive ffconsider how 
contrary to reason it is for a man, like a dolphin, to have his mouth 
in his maw ; and like the ass-fish, to have his heart in his belly; 3 
and how contrary to religion it is, to have the kitchen for thy 
church, a table for thine altar, and the belly for thy God, Luke 
xxi. 34. ' Take heed lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting 
and drunkenness, and so that day come upon you unawares.' God 

1 Camb. Brit. Elis. 

3 Tabulas legis quas accepit abstinentia, conteri fecit ebrietas. — Ami., cap. 6, De 
Ebri. Aug. Confess., lib. x. 

3 Epicharmus calls the ass-fish inTpaTreKoKtaTpov, such a one as varieth from the 
ordinary course of nature. 

Chap. XX III.] the christian man's calling. 273 

alloweth us sometimes a liberal use, as in days of thanksgiving, and 
at marriages, but never a lustful abuse of his creatures. 

Secondly, Thy duty is to be temperate as to the quality of thy 
diet. Though here no certain quality of food can be set down, God 
allowing something to the conditions, and much more to the weakly 
and sickly constitutions of men ; yet in general this must be ob- 
served, that we make not provision for the flesh, Rom. xiii. 12. 
We may preserve the flesh, but we must not provide for the flesh. 
Our enemy is strong enough already, we need not put more weapons 
into his hands. To live after the flesh is the sign of a sinner, Eom. 
viii. 13. It is intemperance for a person in health to study and 
strive how he may gratify his palate. The Spirit of God calls it a 
sowing to the flesh, Gal. vi. 7. The husbandman plots, contrives, 
and labours, how he may sow his seed to his best advantage. A 
fleshmonger will be meditating in the morning before he riseth, 
with what art his dinner may be so sauced and dressed, that if pos- 
sible he may excel a beast in carnal delights ; he is sowing early, 
that he may reap liberally. The Christian may take his food, but 
his food must not take him. It is sinful to be given to our appetites. 
It is not unlawful to eat dainties, but it is unlawful to set the mind 
upon them. We may receive them into our stomachs, but not into 
our hearts. ' When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider dili- 
gently what is before thee : and put a knife to thy throat, if thou 
be a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties : they 
are deceitful meat,' Prov, xxiii. 1-3. In which words we may take 
notice : — 1. Of a supposition, if thou be a man given to appetite ; 
for a man to be given to wine, it notes his extraordinary love to 
and liking of that liquor. For a man to be given to women, it 
speaks his excessive care and endeavour to enjoy that brutish and 
ungodly pleasure. For a man to be given to prayer, Ps. cix. 4, it 
speaks prayer to be his trade, his employment, the work which he 
chiefly minds and pursueth. For a man to be given to God, Rom. 
xii. 1, it notes the soul to be wholly at God's service, to go when 
God bids him go, to come when God bids him come ; so for a man 
to be given to his appetite, it implieth that all his projects are to 
please his palate, he is a caterer for the flesh, wholly subject to that 
sense, altogether at the devotion of his appetite ; our appetites are 
given to us, but we must not be given to our appetites ; as Helio- 
gabalus, who was served in at one meal with seven thousand fish, 
and five thousand fowls. And 2. Here is an imposition, ' Be not 
desirous of his dainties;' this is a dissuasion from the former irre- 
gular affection. We may eat and digest dainties, but we may not 

VOL. 1. s 


crave and desire dainties. God made man not for fleshly dainties, 
but for spiritual delights. It is a beastly principle and practice to 
be at the command of provender, as Apiciusthe Eoman, who wrote 
ten books of directions how to set forth a feast with all sorts of 
dainties, and it is said the expenses of his kitchen amounted to two 
millions of gold. 3. Here is a position, ' For they are deceitful 
meat.' The desire of dainties is a deadly desire. There is murder 
under the meat ; ordinary, nay manna, extraordinary fare, would 
not satisfy the sweet-tooth Israelites ; thy lusted for quails, but 
God gave them their desire, they had flesh and death together. 
Some read the former verse thus, Thouputtest a knife to thy throat, 
if thou be a man given to appetite. To pamper the body, is the 
way to destroy soul and body too. Dainties entice to excess. He 
that erreth in the quality of his food, will quickly exceed in the 
quantity. They that plot night and day to please the flesh, declare 
publicly that they have nothing of the Spirit ; ' sensual, not hav- 
ing the Spirit,' Jude 19. The flesh and the Spirit are like two 
buckets in a well, as the one mounts up the other falls down. 
There is a flat opposition between sowing to the flesh, and sowing 
to the Spirit, Gal. vi. 7. Nay, the apostle is express in the mention 
of this kind of intemperate men, ' They serve not the Lord Jesus 
Christ, but their own bellies,' Eom. xv. All the servants of Christ 
are sovereigns over the flesh. Ordinances are ineffectual to persons 
that are sensual. Bain falls off, as it falls on, upon an oiled post. 
When the waters of the sanctuary flowed, the miry places, that is 
sensual hearts, could not be healed, Ezek. xlvii. 11. Behemoth 
lieth in the fens, that is, saith an expositor, the devil in fleshly men, 
Job xl. 21. Epicures, saith one, whilst he favoureth his fleshly 
palate, doth neglect the heavenly palace. 

There is a distinction of diet to be considered, in regard of bodies, 
in regard of estates, and also in regard of times ; all which piety 
and prudence must direct the Christian about. But sure I am it is 
a duty to ' keep under the body, 1 and to bring it into subjection,' 1 
Cor. ix. 27. They that acquaint us with the Jewish customs, tell 
us that their ordinary meals were neither many in a day, nor costly ; 
they were called Arucotli, which signifieth such ordinary fare as 
travellers have in their journey. 

The feast which Moses made for his father-in-law and the elders 
of Israel is called bread, Exod. xviii. 11. So also the entertain- 
ment of Christ at the house of one of the chief of the pharisees, 
Luke xiv. 1,2; and the daily fare of the disciples, Acts ii. 46, 47. 

1 vTruTriefa, I club it down, beat it black and blue. 


Elijah could be content with a raven for his cook. Daniel fed and 
thrived upon pulse : he looked fairer by it than those that did eat 
of the king's fare. Brown bread and the gospel are good cheer, 
said the martyr. John the Baptist could live upon locusts and wild 
honey. The apostles had some ears of corn for a Sabbath-day's 
dinner. Though God is pleased out of mercy to afford us better 
provision, yet our work must be to mind moderation. Oh, how 
great a curse is it for thee, like Ham, to be a servant of servants, a 
servant to thy belly, which should be a servant to thee ! Thy soul 
in such a body is but a bright candle in a greasy lanthorn. How 
much was that speech below a rational creature which Philoxenus 
uttered, I wish that I had the throat of a crane, that the pleasure of 
my taste might last the longer ! The spider is little else save belly, 
but she is full of poison. 

Besides, it will be a poor account which such men can give for 
their expenses this way at the great day. God giveth us our wealth 
for necessaries, conveniences, and moderate delight : not for pro- 
digality and luxury. Heliogabalus made whole meals of the tongues 
of singing-birds and peacocks, and brains of costly creatures. He 
used to say, that meat is not savoury whose sauce is not costly. 
Many men have sold all their lands for their kitchen. 

What a pattern doth the heir of all things give us of providence : 
John vi. 1 2, ' Gather up the fragments that remain . that nothing be lost.' 

Some indeed are debtors to their bellies ; they pinch and pine 
them with penury, not allowing them what nature requires, whose 
gold is their god. They are worse than cannibals, eating their 
owm flesh. He that is ' cruel to his flesh, troubleth his own house,' 
Prov. xi. 7. But the bellies of most are debtors to them, receiving 
much more than is fit or due, as if they had been born to bow dowm 
to and worship their bellies. 

If Esau had the title of ' profane ' for selling his birthright for a 
mess of pottage when he was hungry, Heb. xii., how profane then 
are they that sell their estates, and reason, and health, and souls, 
and Saviour, and salvation, and all for a moment's brutish pleasure, 
intemperate eating or drinking. 

Our Lord Jesus commandeth his disciples not to be curious about 
their diet, ' Whatsoever is set before you eat,' Luke ix. If it be 
wholesome, though it be not toothsome, accept it. The Turks will 
drink no wine, because Mohammed, their false prophet, forbids it. 
Eeader, be thou temperate, both in regard of the quantity and 
quality of thy food, because the blessed Jesus, the true prophet of 
his church, commandeth it. 


Thirdly, Thy duty is to eat and drink seasonably. We read of 
eating in due season, Eccles. x. 17. As there is a season for spiritual 
actions, when they are most profitable, so there is a season for natural 
actions, when they are most proper. It is a foul fault not to ob- 
serve fit hours for our food. Our diet is unseasonable when we begin 
the day with it. There is a woe to the nation ' whose princes eat in 
the morning/ Eccles. x. 17 ; and a woe to the persons that ' rise up 
early in the morning to follow strong drink/ Isa. v. 11. It is a 
bad sign when men leap out of their beds into their butteries, and, 
like children, call for their breakfasts as soon as they are up. The 
servant must wait on his master till he hath fed. After him is 
manners. The body must wait on the soul till that hath broke its 
fast, and had some spiritual refreshment with the blessed God. The 
body's place is after, not before the soul. The first of the day 
must ordinarily be given to the Ancient of days. God hopeth to 
hear from men before either their butlers or cooks hear from them. 
He expecteth that we should serve him before we serve ourselves, 
though indeed our serving of him is the only serving of ourselves. 
Mollerus observe th 1 that David thence pleaded for early protection, 
because he was early at his petitions. He was early in the morn- 
ing at his prayer, and therefore he hoped that God would not 
come late at night with his answer, 

Food is unseasonable when one meal treads upon the heels of 
another, like Job's messengers. The Holy Ghost speaks of some 
that are early up at it, and continue at it till night, Isa. v. Some 
make but one meal, as it were, all day. If either meat or drink be 
offered them, they can no more refuse it, though they were full 
before, than a dog his bones. Like children and chickens, they are 
always feeding. Too much oil puts out the lamp. 

Men eat and drink unseasonably when they turn the night into 
day ; and when God and nature call them to rest, they ordinarily, 
like the Koman glutton, spend that time in £>anipering their bodies. 
I have read of one that boasted he had not in so many years seen 
the sun. 

The Dutch will sit at a wedding-feast from eight at night to four 
in the morning, rising in the interim two or three times to ease 
nature, and then to their dainties and sweetmeats again. They are 
industrious on the water, and gluttonous on the land. Header, I 
hope though they are prodigal, yet grace hath taught thee to be 
more provident of thy time. 

1 Moller. in Ps. v. 3. 

Chap. XX1V.J the christian man's calling. 277 


How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness ill his apparel 

and sleep. 

Apparel and sleep being of less concernment than some other 
subjects, I shall speak but little to them ; yet because in these things 
we must walk by the rule of God's word, I shall not wholly omit 
them. And first, For apparel. The saint's outward, as well as 
his inward clothing must be sacred. Spiritual priests do all wear, 
in a sense, holy garments. Sin may cleave to our clothes : the 
leprosy was not only in the Israelites' houses, but also in their 
habits, Lev. xiii. Some persons carry the plague up and down in 
their raiment ; their garments are spotted with the flesh, with 
pride, and wantonness, and prodigality. A Christian may manifest 
grace in his garments ; he may clothe his soul in covering the naked- 
ness of his body ; his garments may smell of myrrh, aloes, and 
cassia, Ps. xlv. As under the law the clothes of God's people were 
washed and purified ceremonially, Exod. xix., Num. xi. ; so our 
apparel under the gospel, if we observe God's counsel about it, may 
be clean and pure spiritually. For thine help herein, reader, I shall 
speak briefly — 

1 . To the ends of apparel, which must be minded. 

2. To the sins about apparel, which must be avoided. 

3. To the virtues in apparel, which must be manifested. 
First, To the ends of apparel, which are four: — 

1. To cover our nakedness. Innocency at first was man's comely 
robe, in comparison of which the richest clothes are but nasty rags. 
Ah, how lovely did he look in that heaven-spun attire ! In his 
primitive splendour, the most gaudy and costly apparel would have 
been but as a cloud over the face of the sun, or a coarse curtain 
over a beautiful picture. But sin caused shame, and shame called 
for clothes to cover it : Gen. iii. 7, ' They knew that they were 
naked, and they sewed fig-leaves together and made themselves 

2. To defend our bodies from cold. Clothes are a great shelter 
against the sharpness of the air and weather. Some men's coats 
are pistol-proof: all men's clothes should be weather-proof. God 
knew that Adam's fig-leaves were as far from keeping his body 
warm, as from hiding his soul-wickedness, and therefore made him 
a coat of skins, Gen. iii. 21. This end of apparel is mentioned, 


Prov. xxxi. 21 : ' She is not afraid of the snow for her household, 
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.' 

3. To adorn us. Clothes render men more comely. A' decent 
habit is handsome, naked ghosts are frightful. ' Those members of 
the body which we think to be less honourable, upon these we 
bestow more abundant honour ; and our uncomely parts have more 
abundant comeliness,' 1 Cor. xii. 23. x 

4. To distinguish sexes and persons. One end of apparel is to 
difference sexes. The law of nature and the custom of all nations 
do teach a distinction between the habits of men and women. God 
himself in Scripture doth expressly command it. ' The woman 
shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a 
man put on a woman's apparel : for all that do so are an abomina- 
tion unto the Lord thy God,' Deut. xxii. 5. Those that have worn 
the apparel of women, as Caligula, Clodius, and others, have been 
noted for the worst of men. 

Another end of apparel is to distinguish persons. The nobility 
among the Romans were anciently distinguished from the meaner 
sort by their ornaments about their shoes. As God hath made a 
difference among men, some are high, some are low, some are rich, 
some are poor, so doth he also allow a difference in their apparel ; 
' Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled are in kings' houses,' 
Luke vii. 25. Robes and rich attire become judges and justices. 
They are honourable additions to their office, and cause reverential 
apprehensions of their persons. The habits of men should be suit- 
able to their conditions and honours, Dan. v. 29 ; Esther viii. 15 ; 
Gen. xlv. 42. As it is sinful for men to go above their abilities, so 
it is sordid for men to go much below their estates and places ; such 
draw contempt on their persons. Charles the Fifth, emperor of 
Germany, being to make a royal entrance into Milan, 2 there was 
great preparation made for his entertainment, the houses and streets 
were beautified and adorned, the citizens dressed in their richest 
attire, and a golden canopy prepared to be carried over his head, 
and a great expectation to see a glorious emperor ; but when he 
came into the city in a plain cloak, and with an old hat on his head, 
the people would not believe their eyes, but still asked which was 
he, and laughed at themselves for being so much deceived. 

Secondly, The vices about our apparel, which must be avoided. 
1. Pride. Pride is a moth which is soon bred in fine garments, but 
a Christian will consider that the meanest apparel is nature's gar- 
ment, and the best but sin's garnish. The pedigree of our raiment 
1 Vide Diodati, in Joe, v. 21. - Lips. Exem. 

Chap. XXIV.] the christian man's calling. 279 

must be remembered, to allay our pride. Our richest clothes are 
characters of reproach ; and as Adam's livery, they are an implicit 
confession of our sin and shame. The dim-sighted person is not 
proud of his spectacles, nor he who hath lost one eye, of the plaster 
which covereth it. When the thief looketh on his fetters, he 
thinkcth of his felony, which was the cause of them. When we 
behold our habits, we may well be humble, reflecting upon our 
apostasy, the cause of them. Before the fall Adam and Eve were 
both naked, and were not ashamed, Gen. ii. 25. A murderer hath 
as much reason to be proud of his halter as a man of his habit. 

Beside, the matter of our clothes is considerable. We are be- 
holden to the beasts for them ; what are they but the skin, hair, or 
wool of beasts ? and the finest but the spittle of the silk-worm ? 
Alas ! what a pin is this to pierce the bladder of pride, and abate 
its swelling ! One would think if this weed should grow, it must 
be like the misletoe, out of the rocks ; for here is not the least earth 
to breed or feed it, not the least cause for it. 

This pride consisteth inwardly in men's valuing themselves the 
higher for their habit, which indeed is childish. They discover 
their want of wit whose spirits rise with their garments, as the boat 
with the waters. The dogs that kept Vulcan's temple fawned 
upon a good suit ; but if a man came in ragged apparel, they would 
tear him in pieces. They are brutish who judge either themselves 
or others to have real worth from the bravery of what they wear. 
Pride is manifested outwardly by men's readiness to follow new 
fashions. It is no commendation to Englishmen that they are 
Frenchmen's apes. A la mode de France is most in the gallants' 
mouths. But they who borrow, saith one, fashions of Egyptians 
may meet with their botches and boils. They who affected the 
Babylonian finery had with it the Babylonian fetters, Ezek. xxiii. 
15. ' I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all 
such as are clothed with strange apparel/ Zeph. i. 8. God speaketh 
of them, who in their clothes imitated the Egyptians, or the Baby- 
lonians. Though they were never so high, (princes' and kings' 
children,) yet being vain in their habit, they were sure to feel the 
weight of God's hand. ' I will punish them.' Idolaters are no fit 
measure for God's people to make their clothes by. The prophet 
Isaiah draweth up an inventory of the ladies' wardrobe in Jerusa- 
lem, and pronounceth both a sharp objurgation and severe commina- 
tion against them for their twinkling with their eyes, and tinkling 
with their feet, for their lofty gait and stately garb, Isa. iii. 18-24. 
We may read there what strange fury God hath for strange 


fashions. The daughters of London, saith one, do in pride of 
countenance and carriage far exceed the daughters of Zion. Alas, 
how many men are dressed like poppets in a play, and women like 
Bartholomew babies. Some that are professors, by their antic 
habits (which are the covers of their shame) become a shame to 
their profession. 1 

2. Prodigality in our apparel must be avoided. A man must cut 
his suit according to his cloth. I mean, his apparel must not be 
above his rank and estate. Some men famish their bellies to make 
their backs fine ; others turn their rents into ruffs, their riches 
into robes, their lands into laces, and hang, as Seneca 2 saith, two 
or three lordships in their ears; that when they have their best 
clothes on, we may say of them, They are in midst of all their 

Even those whose honour may allow richer garments than the 
vulgar, ought to distinguish between prodigality and what is suit- 
able to their places. Alcisthenes had a costly cloak, sold by Diony- 
sius to the Carthaginians for a hundred and twenty talents. Helio- 
gabalus had rich apparel, yet never wore it twice ; his shoes were 
embellished with diamonds, his seats were strewed with musks and. 
amber, his bed was covered with silver and gold, and beset with 
pearl. But Augustus Ca3sar was much on the other hand, and 
wore no other garments than what his wife, his sister, or his daugh- 
ter made him : and being asked the reason, answered, that rich or 
gay clothing was either the ensign of pride or nurse of luxury. 3 So 
Alexander Severus, emperor of Kome, did always clothe himself in 
ordinary apparel, saying, that the empire did consist in virtue, not 
in bravery. 4 

The ancestor of us all was clad in leather, Gen. iii. 21, and so 
were the Lord's worthies, ' of whom the world was not worthy/ Heb. 
xi. 37. Though now every servant forsooth must be clad in silk, 
and for gallantry outvie their lady. It is recorded, as a piece of 
high presumption, of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, that when 
King John had put his courtiers into a new livery, he put his ser- 
vants into the same ; 5 but in our days presumption and prodigality 
exceed, for peasants can be more gaudy than their prince. The 
peacock hath more gay feathers than the eagle, the king of birds. 

1 Oh, what enemy of thine hath taught thee so much vanity ? said Mr John Fox to 
his son, returning from his travel, and attired in a loose outlandish fashion. — Hist. 
of Modem Divin. Willet Hexa. in Levit. : Prodigus est animi vitio retinenda pro- 

3 Prodigi singulis auribus bina aut terna pendent patrimenia. — Seneca. 

3 Sueton. 4 Lips. Exem., p. 184. 6 Speed. 

Chap. XXIV.] the christian man's calling. 281 

A wise man that dwelleth in a hired house, having no certain 
time of abode in it, will so far take care of it, that it may be a 
shelter to him against the weather, and possibly that it be neat and 
handsome ; but he will not be at the cost of curious ornaments or 
rich pictures, because he knoweth not how soon he may have 
warning to be gone. Our bodies are the houses of clay in which 
our souls dwell ; we know not how soon death may seal a lease of 
ejectment, and turn our souls out of doors. It is prudence to fence 
our bodies so well with garments, that they may be defended against 
the cold, yea, to be clothed somewhat suitable to our conditions 
but it is extreme folly to be prodigal in garnishing our earthly 
tabernacles, when, it may be, this night our souls shall be required 
of us. Confident I am that tailors' long bills, and their poor neigh- 
bours' short coats, who have scarce enough to cover their naked- 
ness, will be little for many rich men's credit at the day of Christ. 
Header, if thou art a wealthy man, remember this note whilst 
thou livest, That one plain coat bestowed on the back of the 
poor, will become thee better at this day, and yield thee more 
comfort at the last day, than twenty silver laced ones on thy own 

There is another thing to be avoided about apparel, and that is 
curiosity and wasteful expense of time. 1 Excessive outward neat- 
ness is often accompanied with excessive inward nastiness. Seneca 
speaketh of some that spend all their morning, inter pectinem et 
speculum, between the comb and the glass, and are more troubled 
at a tangle in their hair than at a disorder in the commonwealth. 
How many in our days spend the whole forenoon in decking their 
dying bodies, and leave no time to dress their immortal souls ! 
they spend that precious time between the comb and the glass 
which should be spent between prayer and Scripture. 2 These 
painted carcases will tell us that if they can but dress themselves 
by dinner time, it is as much as they desire. Alas, poor souls ! 
what will they do when they come to enter into their eternal estates, 
when time shall be no more ? A dying bed — if their consciences be 
but awakened — will teach them to value time at a higher rate, and 
make them know that a commodity of such worth is not to be 

3. I shall speak to the virtues in apparel which must be mani- 

1. Modesty. One end of apparel is to cover our shame and 

1 Vestium curiositas, morum et mentium deformitatis indicium est. — Bern. 

2 Cultus magna cura, virtutis magna incuria. — Cato. 


nakedness ; those, therefore, that discover their naked necks and 
breasts, cross this end, and glory in their shame. Such women 
proclaim their wantonness. Lascivious habits are unhandsome and 
unholy : ' That women adorn themselves with modest apparel, 
with shamefacedness and sobriety ; not with broidered hair, or 
gold, or pearls, or costly array,' 1 Tim. ii. 9. Modesty is a woman's 
special beauty, and a needful virtue in them that are the weaker 
vessels. As some tempt men to folly by their tongues, so others 
by their attire. This the very heathen were so sensible of, that 
Zaleucus, the lawgiver of Locris, enacted, That no woman should 
be attended with above one maid in the street, except she were 
drunk ; that she should not wear embroidered nor indecent apparel, 
but when she intended to play the whore. 

2. Gravity. Ancient men, those that are in seats of justice, and 
professors, must not take up every new-fangled fashion. Clothes 
of light colours on their backs will not be comely. Joseph, a child, 
might be handsome enough in a parti-coloured coat, but not so a 
man. When a grave Roman petitioned the emperor for a favour, 
and was denied, and had afterwards coloured his hair, shaved him- 
self, and in light clothes requested the same courtesy, he was wit- 
tily answered by Caasar, who understood the fraud : I denied your 
father yesterday, and should I grant it you to-day, he might take 
it ill. 

Christians must be much guided by the credit of religion. 
' AVhatsoever things are of good report ' is both a general and a 
special rule for a saint to walk by in all such things. 

There may be excellent use of that place, Rom xii. 2, ' Be not 
conformed to this world, fir) ova^fiari^eaOe. Beza translates it, 
Fashion not yourselves. I love not affected singularity, but I like 
a Christian gravity, both in countenance, carriage, and attire. 

3. There is another thing which a Christian must have a respect 
to in his apparel, and that is his calling and ability. It is dis- 
honourable both to a man's person and profession, when God hath 
ranked him among the rich, for him to rank himself among the 
poor and ragged. Of Lewis the Eleventh, King of France, it is 
written in his chamber of accounts, ' Two shillings for fustian to 
new-sleeve his Majesty's old doublet, and three-halfpence for liquor 
to grease his boots.' Agesilaus, king of Sparta, was slighted by 
the Persians for his over-plain habit. Covetous men often please 
themselves that they are not guilty either of pride or prodigality in 
their apparel, when it may be often said to them, what Socrates 
told the ragged Grecian, A man may see your pride through the 

Chap. XXIV.] the christian man's calling. 283 

holes of your coat. As the prodigal erreth in excess, so the niggard 
erreth in defect. 

One of the Jewish Rabbis used to say, that men should apparel 
themselves below their estates, that they may thrive the sooner ; 
that they should clothe their wives above their estates, that they 
might live the more peaceably; but their children according to 
their estates, that they might marry them the better. 

Of Sleep. — I shall now speak to sleep, which is the last natural 
action I have mentioned. In reference to which, three things 
are principally to be minded — 

1. The quantity of it. 

2. The season. 

3. The end of it. 

1. The quantity of it. Thy sleep, reader, must be moderate ; 
but how much, or how little, thy own prudence, or piety together, 
must judge. No certain time can be prefixed, though some general 
rules may be propounded. Seven hours sleep is, by physicians, 
judged sufficient for any ordinary person in health. Youth requires 
more sleep than age, weak men than strong men. Thy discretion 
will much help thee, if thou observest thy constitution. Choleric 
and melancholic bodies need longer sleep than the phlegmatic or 
sanguine, that the acrimony of choler may be tempered, and the 
concoction furthered. To the phlegmatic much sleep doth increase 
their cold and moist humours, and will in time make their bodies 
altogether sickly ; the sanguine are apt to wax gross and corpulent, 
and unfit for action, all which is helped forward by much sleep. 
Take heed of immoderate sleep. There is no part of our lives so 
totally lost as that which is spent in sleep. Sleep cometh like a 
publican, saith Plutarch, and stealeth away a third part of our 
time. Therefore the wise heathen have been watchful against this 
enemy. Aristotle used to sleep with a bullet in his hand, over a 
brazen pan, that when it fell out of his hand he might be awakened 
with the noise. Pythagoras used with a thread to tie the hair of 
his head to a beam over him, that so when he did but nod, he 
might be awakened thereby. Christians have more cause for 
bodily, as well as spiritual watchfulness. 

David was so far from sleeping at prayer that he would break 
his sleep for prayer : Ps. cxix. 62, 147, ' I prevented the dawning 
of the morning, and cried ; I hoped in thy word/ 

Many are the discommodities of immoderate sleep. It wasteth 
time, a most precious talent, which is committed to us by God, 
and must be accounted for at the great day. A man asleep can 


hardly be said to live. Sleep is a kind of death. It injureth 
the soul, hindering it of time, robbing it of the body's service, 
and by blunting its tools, dulling its faculties, that they be- 
come unfit for those ends to which they were designed, Prov. 
xxvi. 13-17. 

It wrongeth the body, by weakening the natural heat, and filling 
the head with vapours, by abating the memory, lessening the 
understanding, and by making the body heavy, lumpish, and, in a 
word, a sink of diseases. 

It is an enemy to a man's estate. Solomon dissuades from slug- 
gishness, from this argument, ' So shall thy poverty come as one 
that travaileth, and thy want as an armed man,' Prov. vi. 11. 
Wealth will not come without working. They are deceived who 
think to have the pleasure of slothfulness and the plenty of labo- 
riousness ; ' The diligent hand maketh rich, but slothfulness will 
clothe a man with rags,' Prov. x. 4, and xxiii. 21. 

2. The season of sleep. In general, the day is, by the command 
of God and order of nature, the time for watching, and the night 
for sleeping. The sun approaching draweth forth the spirits from 
the centre to the circurnferent parts, and openeth the pores of the 
body, both which do provoke to working and waking ; but when 
the sun departeth, the spirits return to the inmost parts of the 
body, which inviteth to sleep ; and besides, the natural moisture 
and silence of the night are, according to physicians, very conducible 
to sleep. Wherefore, to sleep in the day and watch in the night, 
is (unless necessity compelleth it) sinful, and a perverting the course 
of nature. ' They that sleep, sleep in the night,' 1 Thes. v. 6, 7, 
which may be understood literally of a natural, as well as mystically 
of a spiritual sleep. That Koman Emperor that turned the day 
into night, and the night into day, was abhorred as a monster in 
nature ; such persons are great hinderers of their own health, and 
thereby of their outward happiness ; for sleep draweth the natural 
heat inward, and the heat of the day draweth it outward, whereby 
there ariseth a fight with nature, to the ruin of the body. Sleep 
after dinner in young persons causeth heaviness of the head, 
dullness of wit, defluxions of humours, lethargies, and other 
cold diseases of the brain, and also palsies, by relaxing the 
sinews. Besides, it is not to be forgotten that Ishbosheth lost 
his life, and David his chastity, by lazying on their beds in the 
day time. 

The most convenient season, I suppose, for sleep — I confess I 
speak in another's art — is some considerable time after a moderate 

Chap. XXIV.] the christian man's calling. 285 

supper. When thou hast commended thy soul to God, and put off 
thy cares with thy clothes, then thou mayest commit thy body to 
thy bed : ' He giveth his beloved sleep,' Ps. cxxvii. 2. Ahasuerus, 
who commanded one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, could 
not command one hour's sleep, Esther i. 

3. The ends of sleep must be minded ; sleep is given us by 
God, not for the solution or weakening, but for remission and refresh- 
ing of nature, which would be not only wearied, but quite tired out 
by continual labour. The effects of moderate sleep will speak its 
ends. Sleep will, if taken seasonably, and not in excess, help diges- 
tion, recreate thy mind, repair the spirits, comfort the whole body ; 
it concocteth not only the meats, but also the humours. By the 
retreating of the heat into the inner parts, the vital faculty is much 
strengthened, because the heart is abundantly supplied with blood 
for the breeding of spirits. 

The ends of sleep will somewhat direct us about the measure. 
Sleep may be followed till the concoctions in the stomach and liver 
are finished, which will be discovered upon our awaking ordinarily 
by a sensible lightness of the body, especially of the head, and the 
passage down of the meat from the stomach. 

Thus I have despatched natural actions, and discovered how a 
Christian in eating and drinking, clothing and sleeping, may serve 
Jesus Christ. 

A good wish about natural actions, wherein the former heads are 

My corrupt heart being prone to turn things lawful into fuel for 
lust, like the spider to suck poison out of the sweetest flowers, and 
to make what my God giveth me for a comfort, to prove, through 
the subtlety of the serpent, as Eve to Adam, a cross and a curse, 
I wish, in general, that whilst I use my meat, and drink, and sleep, 
and apparel, I may never abuse them, but that I may so ensure my 
right to them through Christ, the heir of all things, to taste the 
love of my God in them, and make such a holy and sanctified im- 
provement of them, that I may have a spiritual title to natural good 
things ; may hold all in capite, and the things of this life may be 
whetstones to quicken my holiness, and loadstones to draw my affec- 
tions nearer to heaven. In particular, because the snare in eating 
and drinking is unseen, and so the less suspicious, but the more 
dangerous, I wish that I may never feed without fear, but eat all 


my bread before the Lord ; that I may not, as ' the horse and mule, 
which hath no understanding,' drink of the streams, and never look 
up to the spring, but may acknowledge my God to be the author 
of every favour, and be so sensible of the weakness of the creature 
to strengthen me without the influence of the Creator, that I may 
constantly look up to heaven for a blessing on that food which 
springeth out of the earth. 

I desire that my heart may so relish the goodness of my God in 
the bounty of his hand, that whilst I am filling my body, I may by 
some savoury serious discourse, feed my own and others' souls, that 
by the blessings of the footstool, as by a ladder, I may mount up 
to the blessings of the throne. Lord, when thou rememberest me, 
an unworthy wretch above many others, let me. not be so sordidly 
ungrateful as to forget thy majesty ; but as the rivers lead me to 
the sea, so let common blessings direct me to thyself, the father and 
fountain of all my mercies. ' Open thou my lips, that my mouth 
may shew forth thy praise.' Oh let not my thanks be only verbal, 
but cordial and real ; let thy mercy be returned to thyself again in 
suitable duty, and thy beneficence by answerable obedience. If I 
receive courtesies from men, I esteem myself bound to requite them 
to my power. Ah, why should not I then, since I receive millions 
of mercies from my God, improve all to his praise ! I desire that I 
may not, as the Israelites, bestow that corn and oil on Baal, or 
make provision for any sin with those favours which my God be- 
stoweth on me ; but that all those cords of love may draw me 
nearer, and bind me closer to himself. I live at thy cost, enable 
me to live to thy credit. ' Let thy loving-kindness be ever before 
me, that I may walk in thy truth.' 

I wish that I may not only take my food piously, as from God's 
hand, but also use it temperately, as in God's eye. Excess hath 
been abhorred by mere heathens. Beasts know when they have 
drunk enough, and by no beating will be forced to more ; and shall 
I, who, beside my reason, have the help of religion, perish in the 
water, like the swine possessed with devils ? Oh let my sensitive 
faculty be such a servant to my rational, and both so serviceable to 
my God, that I may use my food as my physic, receive it sparingly, 
and for health's sake to become thereby more instrumental for the 
glory of my Saviour. I do not live to eat, but eat to live ; why 
then should I use my food as if, like the locust, I were all belly, 
or as some beasts made only to be filled and fatted for the slaughter? 
I wish that I may observe the seasons for feeding my body, as well 
as those golden opportunities for my soul ; that I may not prefer 

Chap. XXIV.] the christian man's calling. 287 

the beast before the angel within me, but may usually every morn- 
ing serve my God before myself, and refresh my inward before my 
outward man. In a word, I beg that all my pots may be so spiced 
with piety, and all my meat so sauced with religion, that ' whether I 
eat, or drink, or whatever I do, I may do all to the glory of my 
God;' that so when I shall eat and drink no more in this infirm 
estate, I may ' drink of the rivers of his own pleasures/ and ' eat of 
that tree of life which groweth in the midst of paradise.' 

I wish, in general, that my clothes, as well as my closet, may be 
perf nmed with godliness, that ' the smell of my garments,' as Isaac 
said of Jacob's raiment, ' may be as the smell of a field which the 
Lord hath blessed.' I desire, in particular, that I may so observe 
the ends for which apparel is appointed, that I may wholly forbear 
those vices about them which my God forbiddeth, and truly exer- 
cise those virtues on them which my God commandeth. 

I wish that since garments are given me to cover my nakedness, 
I may never discover the lust of my spirit in any lewd or loose attire 
on my flesh, nor ever be proud of those rags, be they never so gaudy 
or costly, which call aloud to me to be humble, as being the signs 
of my first and most dreadful sin and shame. I desire that I may 
not be of the number of them that waste their wealth about that 
which is at the mercy of the moth, yet that I may not through 
covetousness offer myself by my clothes to just contempt, but may 
so walk between the two extremes, as one who wears the livery of 
religion, that my God may never be dishonoured, nor the gospel 
disgraced by any spots in my garments. Oh that my soul may so 
put on the garments of my elder brother, and the graces of the 
Holy Spirit, that thereby I may be known, as David's daughters, 
by their raiment of divers colours, to belong to the heavenly court, 
and thereby be prepared to walk with my God in the white of 
glory. I wish that I may observe the ends of sleep, how my God 
alloweth it for the strengthening, not the weakening of nature, that 
I may not by excess herein turn my friend into an enemy, and 
whilst I seem to indulge my flesh, wrong both flesh and spirit too. 
Oh that prudence and piety might both so guide me, that I may 
ever be watchful against this encroaching adversary, and not, like a 
dormouse, live as if I were born to sleep ! Finally, I wish that I 
may be so sensible of the worth of those narrow streams of time, 
because of their tendency to the boundless ocean of eternity, that, 
like holy Hooper, I may be spare of sleep, sparer of diet, and sparest 
of time, that I may redeem it as much as may be conveniently from 
those natural actions which are necessary ; and that when eating, 


drinking, and clothing, and sleeping, and days, and weeks, and 
years, and ages shall be no more, I may eat of my Saviour's hidden 
manna, drink of the new wine in my Father's kingdom, be arrayed 
with the white linen of the saints, and inherit that rest which 
remaineth for the people of my God, for ever and for ever. Amen. 


How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness, in his recreations 

and 2)leasures. 

Thy duty is to exercise thyself to godliness in thy recreations ; 
the Christian in his walking, as well as in his working, must be 
furthering his eternal weal. Our gardens or places of delights, as 
well as our houses, must be consecrated ground ; David's cymbal, 
viol, and timbrel were all useful in and serviceable to the taber- 
nacle; with them he praised God, Ps. cl. Saints' outward pleasures 
must be some way or other subservient to their inward purity. It 
was a witty observation of Bernard 1 on the signification of Isaac, 
which is laughter or joy, Sacrifice your Isaac, and your Isaac 
shall live. It is the ram, the rankness and stoutness of your heart 
which shall die. Reader, sacrifice thy recreations, thy joys, thy 
delights to God, and they shall all live ; it is rankness of them 
which God desireth should be put to death. That these pleasures 
are not simply unlawful, is plain ; ' Eat thy bread,' saith God, ' with 
joy, drink thy wine with a merry heart ; live joyfully with the wife 
of thy youth/ Eccles. ix. 7-9. Epicurism is not at all commanded, 
but moderate delight in creatures is allowed and commended, ' He 
gives all things richly to enjoy.' To enjoy, not to behold, nor to 
hoard up ; he condemneth those rich cormorants that starve at a 
full table, and like asses laden with good victuals, feed on thistles, 
Eccles. vi. 2, 3, ii. 24, and iii. 12. The merciful God is pleased, 
out of his bounty, not only to allow his creatures what is for neces- 
sity, but also what is for delight. Christian, it is more than God 
requireth of thee to be always pondering and poring on such sub- 
jects as make thy heart sad, whereby thou thyself art disadvantaged, 
banishing that cheerfulness from thee, which is an ornament to 
Christianity ; and others discouraged, supposing that all who walk 
in heaven's way, must needs be, as thou art, mopish and melancholy. 
Piety doth regulate, but not extirpate our pleasures. It is a prun- 

1 Bern, de bonis diflerendis. 

Chap. XXV.] the christian man's calling. 289 

ing-knifc to cut off the luxuriancy of them, not a weeding-hook, to 
pluck them up by the roots. If thy body be, as one of the fathers 
calls it, jumentum onima>, the soul's beast, then it must be allowed 
some rest and refreshment, or else it will carry thee but heavily 
along in thy journey. 

It is reported of a primitive Christian, that as he was on a time 
playing with a bird, two or three youths going by saw him, and 
one of them spake to the other, See how this old man plays like a 
child with a bird ! Which the good old man overhearing, called him 
to him and asked him, what he did with the bow in his hand, and 
how he used it. Whereupon the young man bent his bow, shewed 
him what he did with it, and unbent it again. Why do you unbend 
it ? saith the old man. Because, saith the youth, if my bow should 
always stand ready bent, it would prove a slug and be unservice- 
able. Such is the condition of man, saith the old Christian ; if his 
mind were always bent and intent about the best things, the wings 
of devotion would soon flag, and the arrows of contemplation fly but 
slowly towards heaven. 

The most, I know, need a curb in this particular of recreation 
rather than a whip , yet some there are that whilst they strive to 
' keep under their bodies,' ride over them, and make them much 
more unserviceable than they would be. Whilst they go about to 
punish their bodies for their former wantonness and excess, in the 
end they punish Cod and their souls too. The temper of the soul, 
philosophers tell us, followeth the temperament of the body ; * a dull 
knife cannot cut well. A pen worn out will not make good letters ; 
he that would do his work well, must see that his tools be right for 
his turn, otherwise he will but bungle at the best. 

I am confident that it is thy duty to keep thy body in the best 
plight and health, vigour, and liveliness that thou canst, for thy soul's 
sake. I must confess I intend in this head those recreations which 
exercise the body or mind, so as to fit them to follow the better our 
general or particular callings. 

A holy man could indeed w T ish that his body needed no such 
diversion, but when he findeth that after long sitting, or much 
labour, his body is clogged and tired, he is forced to give way to 
reason. For vain and sinful recreations, reader, I must in the name 
of God forbid them ; I am not about to teach thee how to honour God 
by doing Satan's work. They that study the devil's books, will hardly 
learn Christ's lesson. There be some that ' take pleasure in un- 
righteousness,' Rom. i. 32. Holy things are too good to be sported 

1 Temperies animi sequitur temperamentum corporis. 
VOL. I. T 


with, and vicious things are too bad ; things of an indifferent nature 
are fit to he the subjects of our recreations. Those sports which are 
of evil report amongst saints, or which thou hast experienced to be 
bellows to blow up the fire of thy passion, or fuel to thy covetous- 
ness, must be avoided. Avoid all occasions and appearances of evil ; 
sports sinful in the act, like the play between Abner's and Joab's 
soldiers, will be bitterness in the end. 

When Thespis, 1 a poet at Athens, made a play which delighted 
all the citizens, grave Solon himself went to see it ; but when the 
play was ended, wherein Thespis acted a part, Solon called him to 
him, and asked him, if he were not ashamed to lie so openly in the 
face of the whole city ? Thespis answered him, that it was no 
matter, so long as it was but in sport. But Solon, beating his staff 
on the ground, replied, If we allow lying in sport, we shall shortly 
find it in earnest in our bargains and dealings. Certainly heathens 
will another day condemn our mongrel Christians ; the sober sort 
of them seemed to hate and abhor that harlot vice, though present- 
ing herself upon a stage with her painted face, and most gaudy 
dress, which many among us love and like, and even doat upon her ; 
but such must know that sins in jest will bring at last sufferings in 
earnest. Men laugh, and jest, and mock at sin ; ' It is a sport to a 
fool to do mischief/ Prov. x. 23, but surely they will find hell a 
serious thing, for ' God will not be mocked.' They pretend now that 
they have time to spare, and if they should not spend it at a play- 
house — I had almost said a whorehouse — they should spend it worse. 
Alas, do they not know that God gave them time to provide in for 
their eternal felicity, and not to squander it away in such foolish 
vanities ? If time be a drug that hangs on their hands to their 
trouble, God may take it off before they are willing or aware, and 
send them to their everlasting home. Those were worthily condemned 
that ' took the timbrel and harp, and rejoiced at the sound of the 
organ ;' and therefore said unto God, ' Depart from us,' Job xxi. 14. 

But, reader, thou mayest be merry and not mad, enjoy thy plea- 
sures without such poison ; thou mayest have thy recreation, and 
never be beholden either to sin or Satan for them ; God alloweth 
thee choice enough of trees in his garden, though thou dost wholly 
forbear the forbidden fruit ; nay, thou mayest, like a skilful mariner, 
make use of this side-wind of recreation, to help thee towards the 
haven of rest. 

The author of the Belgic Commonwealth tells us, that printing 
was first invented by one Lawrence Jans, when he walked abroad 

1 Pint, in Vit, Sol. 

Chap. XXV.] the christian man's calling. 291 

for his recreation. It is said of Socrates, that he profited his com- 
panions by his recreations, no less than if he had been reading 
lectures. I have read of one, 1 that by hearing music, tuned his 
heart to think of, and admire the melody and music in heaven. 
Truly I see no reason but a Christian may cause his recreation to 
do that, which naturalists deny to odours, even both to refresh and 
nourish him. 2 Only be sure thy recreation be innocent, neither dis- 
honourable to God, nor disadvantageous to thy neighbour. Think 
of that rule, ' All things are lawful for me, but all things are not 
expedient.' Some recreations are lawful, which are not expedient, 
either in regard of thy age, calling, or the company thou art with. 
He that will do all he may, will quickly be brought to do what he 
ought not. It is much easier and safer for the fowl to pass by the 
snare when she is out, than to go out when she is once in. 

We say, It is not evil to marry, but it is good to be wary : so 
say I, It is not bad to use recreations, but it is good to be watchful, 
that we do not abuse them ; which that thou mayest not do, I 
desire thee to enclose this common, which many wander in to their 
woe, with these three cautions : 

First, Mind moderation at them ; remember thy recreation is not 
to be thy occupation. God made leviathan to sport in the waters, 
but God made not man to play upon the land. Our time here is 
our pilgrimage, and therefore not to be spent in pleasures. The 
candle of our lives is set up, not to play, but to work by. Spinster 
is a title given to our greatest women in our law language. A 
man that builds a house, will not make it very full of windows, for 
then it would be weak ; neither will he make it without any, for 
then it would be dark. Recreations to our natural, are like win- 
dows to our artificial houses ; some are convenient, many weaken 
the building, and strengthen the thief, who hath the more advan- 
tage thereby to steal. 

Fish that leap into the air for their recreation, return quickly to 
their own element again. Beasts that play up and down in the 
fields, in a short time return to their food. Recreation is like some 
pleasant house which we may call at, as we pass on toward our 
heavenly country, but must not stay, much less dwell there. Sir 
Francis Bacon said of parliaments, in reference to the English body 
politic, that they are good purging physic, (to be made use of now 
and then,) but bad diet-drink, (to be taken constantly.) The same 
may be said of recreations; if used in measure, they are helpful ; if 
immoderately, they are hurtful. They are good sauce, but bad 

1 Mr Esty. 3 Odores non nutriunt. 

292 the christian man's calling. [Chap. XXV. 

meat. Plato reproved a young man for playing at dice ; l the 
young man answered him, For how small a matter do you reprove 
me ! Ay ! but, saith Plato, the custom is no small matter. 

Those that put their hands to their mouths, when they drank 
water, were elected by God to fight his battles ; those that bowed 
down to the ground upon their knees, were rejected, Judges vii. 
5-7. Those that swoop their handful of pleasant waters, are fitter 
for God's work, than they that swill their bellyful. God taxeth 
them sharply, who make carnal delights the end of their lives : 
' Ye have lived in pleasure on earth, and been wanton.' God 
alloweth us pleasures in our lives, but God doth not allow us to 
live in pleasures, James v. 5. When our lives are nothing else but 
a diversion from one pleasure to another, we may fear our deaths 
will be the beginning of our pains. Nimrod, Ishmael, Esau, all 
vicious persons, are noted to be given up to such pastimes. 

The people of Tombutum in Africa are said to spend their whole 
time in singing and dancing. Some persons, especially gentlemen, 
spend their whole time in hawking, or hunting, or gaming ; of 
whom I may speak, as Pliny to his son, 2 when he saw him spend 
his time in talking, and walking, and neglect his studies ; they 
might put those hours to better use ; or as the Holy Ghost saith 
of the voluptuous widow, They are ' dead while they live,' 1 Tim. 
v. 6. 

Great men think, with Galba, 3 that no man shall be called to 
account for his idleness ; but they will one day hear of ' wicked 
and slothful servants,' and find a truth in the German proverb, 
that gentlemen are venison in heaven ; they seldom come thither. 

Header, take heed of the hook that is hid under this bait of 
pleasures ; thou mayest nibble at it safely, but if once thou goest 
with open mouth to swallow it down, thou art caught, and in dan- 
ger to be undone. The fly that cometh to a glass of sweet syrup, 
and only tasteth it, may get away securely ; but if once he bathe 
his body and wallow in it, he is limed and loseth his life. Some 
drugs are given to procure sleep, which, if taken moderately, may 
give the patient rest, and do him good ; but if in any great quantity, 
may cause him to sleep his long sleep, and send him to the place 
4 where the weary are at rest.' Weigh thy pleasures warily in the 
balance of the sanctuary, lest thou shouldst eat of that luscious diet, 
more than thou canst possibly digest. In a word, follow the advice 
of reverend Bede, 4 For pleasure, saith he, we must deal with it as 

1 Diogen. Laert. 2 Lib. iii. cap. 5. 

3 Nemo rationem otii reddere cogetur. — Suet, in Gal. 4 In vita. 

Chap. XXV. J the christian man's calling. 293 

we do with honey, only touch it with the tip of the finger, not with 
the whole hand, for fear of surfeit. Though a little honey be sweet 
and comfortable, yet much causeth gripings, and breedeth cholcr. 
Fragrant flowers, if used moderately, refresh the brain ; but if too 
much, cause the headache. ' Light is sweet, and it is a pleasant 
thing to behold the sun ; ' yet a man by staring too long, too much, 
may dazzle, nay, blind his eyes. Do as Jonathan did, ' He put 
forth the end of the rod which was in his hand, and dipped it in an 
honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes were 
enlightened/ 1 Sam. xiv. 27. His eyes were enlightened ; a little 
will satisfy, much will surfeit. Though swine lie night and day in 
such mud, do thou as the sheep, which sometimes fall into the 
mire, but hasten out of it to the pleasant meadows. Though the 
necessity of thy body calleth thee to thy recreations for a season, 
yet let the necessities of thy soul and family call thee off from them 
in due time. Let thy recreations be like a porter, whom thou 
mayest use for half an hour or an hour, as thy occasions are, and 
dismiss ; and not like a household servant, to dwell with thee con- 
stant. The Lacedemonians were so sparing, that they are said to 
be even covetous of their time. 

Secondly, Look that thine end in them be right. The end here 
will speak much to the specification of the act ; thy recreation must 
be as sauce to thy meat ; we eat sauce to sharpen our appetites to 
our food, and to make us relish it the better ; so we must use recrea- 
tions to whet our stomach to our callings, and to make them the 
more savoury to us. As music to the Jews did stir up their minds, 
and prepare their hearts for holy performances ; so lawful recrea- 
tions may be used by us Gentiles, to fit us for the service of God in 
our general and particular vocations. The saint, by the comforts 
of his life, may delight more in God, the life of all his comforts ; 
he may follow these streams so long, till he comes to the fountain 
of living waters. He may conclude with himself, if recreations 
by the creature be so sweet, how sweet is communion with the 
Creator ! 

The musician doth not leave his strings constantly wound up, 
but sometimes lets them down, and his end is, that when he goeth 
again to use his viol, it may make the better music. The wise 
husbandman will not always cross-crop his ground, but lets it some- 
times lie fallow ; and his end is, that sowing upon a tilt, he may 
have the greater crop. So the Christian may allow his mind 
moderate release, he may afford the ground of his outward man 
some rest ; but his end must be, that when it comes again to be 


sowed, to be employed, it may be the more serviceable to God and 
his soul ; and truly so by going back a little, he may have this ad- 
vantage to leap the farther. 

Oh, how sordid a thing is it for men to use sports merely to pass 
away their time ! hence they foolishly call them pastimes. Eeader, 
art thou in haste to have some part of the thread of thy life cut off, 
as if it were too long ? Wilt thou never consider that time is a 
silver stream, running along into the ocean of eternity, and that 
eternity dependeth on the spending of this moment of time ? Dost 
thou not believe that thy jovial companions, now in hell, would 
give a whole world, if they had it, for one hour ; and that when 
thou thyself comest to die, and to look into the other world, thou 
wilt say, with the Roman general Sertorius, in answer to his soldiers, 
who told him it was dishonourable to the Romans to pay tribute 
to the barbarous people inhabiting the Pyrenean mountain, 1 time 
is a precious commodity, to be taken up at any rate. Good God, 
how much wilt thou think a week, a day, nay, an hour worth ! 

For thy soul's sake weigh thy time as it stands in relation to 
thine everlasting condition, and then I am confident thou wilt aim 
at another end in thy recreations. Though children go to school, 
and work in hope of play, yet men play to fit themselves for work. 
Though wicked men have such sordid sinful ends in their delights, 
do thou mind more noble and worthy designs: therefore oil the 
wheels, that thou inayest move the more cheerfully, and run the 
more swiftly ' in the way of God's commandments.' 

Thirdly, Have an eye to the season of them. Scholars have their 
play-hours, yet if they be found playing when they should be at 
their books, they must expect to be beaten. The master that doth 
not grudge his servant time to visit his friends, and rejoice with 
his familiars ; yet if he should do it when his work lieth upon the 
spoil, he could not but take it very ill. God alloweth us liberty for 
moderate delights, but it is only when our general and particular 
callings will give us leave. Cardinal Angclot is chronicled for a 
sordid person for stealing away the oats which his man had given 
his mare : how sordid are those parents who steal their children's 
food to pursue their own pleasures ! He that neglecteth his par- 
ticular calling to follow his sports, is like him that starveth his son 
to feed his swine ; and he that omits his prayers and religious duties 
to mind his pleasures, is like him that is condemned to be hanged, 
and hath only three days allowed him to procure his pardon in, yet 
he spends all that time in hawking or hunting. 

1 Plut. 

Chap. XXY.J tiie christian man's calling. 295 

Recreations are like some fruits, not always in season ; though at 
some times they are very wholesome, yet at other times they are 
very hurtful. The wise man tells us, : There is a time to weep, and 
a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance/ Eccles. iii. 
2, 5. There is a time to weep : sorrow is not always seasonable. 
Delilah disparaged her discretion by weeping on the day of her 
wedding. There is a time to laugh : delights are sometimes out of 
fashion. He forfeits his credit that sports at a funeral : music never 
suited with mourning. 

[In general, recreations are then unseasonable when God and 
men's families are neglected that they may be minded ; when, to 
give them water, we are forced to make the mill of our general and 
particular callings to stand still. Oh what a fool is that voluptuous 
youngster, who hiving no more horses than what is sufficient for his 
ploughing, will yet take one to hunt upon, and thereby cause the rest 
to be idle, and his business to be undone ! But how mad is that per- 
son who, Esau-like, is hunting, and thereby misseth the blessing ! 

In particular, our recreations are unseasonable on a Lord's-day, 
and in times of public calamities. 

1. Recreations are unseasonable on a Lord's-day ; carnal plea- 
sures must then vanish, and spiritual pleasures must take place. 
Our joy must be pure and heavenly on that day. It is a holy day, 
and therefore calls for holy delights. God inviteth the saint on 
that day to his own table, provideth for him costly, curious food, 
and expecteth that he should come, and not bring along with him 
the world's coarse fare. Observe the precept in the evangelical 
prophet : ' If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing 
thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the 
holy of the Lord, honourable, and shall honour him, not finding 
thine own pleasures, then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord,' 
Isa. lviii. 13, 14. Take notice, from doing thy pleasure on my holy 
day, our pleasures are such as flow from creatures. Now, the wine 
which makes glad the heart of a saint on a Sabbath must be drawn 
from another pipe. That which runs from the world is too flat, 
low, and full of dregs, to be served in to the great King. 

When Aristotle was asked what he thought of music, he an- 
swered, Jovem nee canere, nee citharam pidsare, That Jupiter cared 
not either for singing or fiddling ; he was for higher and more 
refined exercises. The infinite God doth always overlook our puddle- 
water, more especially on his own day, when he alloweth us to drink 
of his own richest wines : ' They shall be abundantly satisfied with 
the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt make them drink of the river 


of thy pleasure,' Ps. xxxvi. 8. Mark, 1, The excellency of the pro- 
vision, fatness of thy house, the river of thy pleasures. The fattest 
is esteemed the fairest, and the most excellent food ; therefore the 
saint was enjoined to offer the fat in sacrifice under the law. As 
God expects the best from us, so he gives the best to us : this made 
David, when he had feasted so curiously, to sing so cheerfully. 
Fatness here is the top, the cream of all spiritual delicacies. ' My 
soul is filled as with marrow and fatness ; and my mouth shall 
praise thee with joyful lips,' Ps. lxiii. 5. But though God keeps so 
noble a house to satisfy his people's hunger, what special care doth 
he take to quench their thirst ! ' Thou shalt make them drink of 
the rivers of thy pleasures.' Oh, he drinks to them, and they pledge 
him in his own cup ! Hath the child then any cause, when his 
Father keeps so rare and costly a table, to leave such dainties, and 
go a-begging up and down the country for scraps and fragments ? 
Oh, how much do these disgrace their Parent's provision and their 
own discretion ! But mark, reader, 2, The plenty as well as the 
excellency of this provision. Here is fatness in the abstract ; a 
' river of pleasure,' and so much as that they who enjoy it shall be 
' satisfied,' and ' abundantly satisfied.' A river is overflowing and 
ever flowing ; it communicates its water, and yet is never empty. 
It is fed with springs and fountains, and therefore it is no wonder 
if it always be full. They that are at such a well need not com- 
plain of want — but here is not only rivers and fatness, for some 
have much, and yet cannot feed — but of God's people it is said, 
' they shall be abundantly satisfied : ' in the original it is inebriated, 
they shall have not only a sufficiency, but a redundancy of spiritual 
delights ; the vessels of their souls shall be filled to the brim out of 
that river ' whose streams make glad the city of God.' Surely, 
then, they that may have bread in such abundance, enough and to 
spare, in their Father's house, made of the kidneys of the wheat, 
of the finest flour, need not hanker after the world's homely fare. 
Our heavenly Father doth not keep so starveling a house, that the 
world's scraps should go down with us. 

Besides, how abominable is it to disturb God's rest with our 
sports ! Some work hard on the week-day, and play on the Lord's- 
day. No melody so delightful to them as temple music, no draughts 
so sweet as in temple vessels, Amos vi. 5 ; Dan. v. 2. No time so 
fit for their foolish triumphs as God's time. The heathen Philis- 
tines, when they offered a great sacrifice to their god Dagon, call 
for Samson to make them sport. These uncircumcised persons 
mingle their sacrifices to the true and living God with sports and 

Chap. XXV.] the christian man's calling. 297 

carnal, nay, sinful pleasures. Week-days, like ordinary virgins, 
are excused, and the Lord's-day, the queen of days, must he 

Reader, if thou art guilty of this sin, know that to steal time 
from thy family or master on a week-day is theft ; but to steal time 
from thy Maker and Redeemer on this day is sacrilege. Hast thou 
no metal to disfigure and embezzle but that which hath the King's 
stamp on it ? Hast thou no time to sleep in thy cabin or play on 
the deck but just when the wind blows fair for the vessel of thy 
soul to launch forward towards heaven ? I must tell thee that God 
calls thee on this day to be wholly taken up in working out thy 
salvation, and not at all in minding thy recreations. It were better, 
as Austin saith — though that were very bad — to plough all day 
than to play all day. 1 But as Cyrus dealt with the Lydians, when 
he had conquered them in the battle, he allowed them liberty for 
all sports and pastimes, and thereby subdued them in such a man- 
ner that they became his servants for ever ; 2 so Satan dealeth 
with the children of men : when they are his already in part, by 
Sabbath-day pastimes he makes them his sure and settled servants 
altogether, and so they become his for ever. 

2. Secondly, Recreations are unseasonable in times of public 
calamities. The son is very undutiful who laughs under the rod, 
and that daughter very unnatural who is sporting when her mother 
is dying : ' A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished ;' it is 
sharpened to make a sore slaughter ; it is furbished that it may 
glitter ; ' Should we then make mirth ?' Ezek. xxi. 9, 10. Should 
we then make mirth ? as if he had said, Such seasons call for sigh- 
ing, not for singing : for mourning, not for mirth. 

The Jews tell us, the very beasts abstained from copulation in 
time of the deluge. Naturalists tell us of the bees, that when 
one is sick, the rest in the hive are all sad. 3 Experience tells us, 
that the very birds, who in summer sing division prettily, with 
divers tunes and variation of their pleasant voices, in winter for- 
bear their notes, and seem to sympathise with the season ; and 
shall not we humble our hearts when God's hand is lifted up ? 
How much is he displeased when his chastenings are despised ! 
Amos vi. 5-7. ' In that day did the Lord God call to weeping 
and mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth : 
and behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep. 
And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely 

1 Melius toto die ararem, quam toto die saltarem. — Aug. in tit. Ps. xcii. 

2 Justin, lib. i. 3 Plin. lib. xi. cap. 17. 


this iniquity shall not be purged away till ye die, saith the Lord of 
hosts,' Isa. xxii. 12, 13. In that day: When the Persians invaded 
God's people, then they minded their pleasures ; the unseasonable- 
ness of their laughter provoked God to anger. Solace in the day of 
Jacob's troubles, is like winter fruits, harsh and sour, Jer. ix. 1. 
The church may speak to such as they did to the philosopher, 
who in a great tempest at sea was asking many trifling questions,' 
Are we perishing, and dost thou trifle ? 

Our duty is to sympathise with our fellow-members in their suffer- 
ings : ' Weep with them that weep,' Rom. xii. 15. Now if we give 
ourselves then to take our ease, we shall hardly feel our brethren's 
cords through our soft beds. 

Alexander, though in extreme thirst (when his army was ready 
to famish for want of water) refused the cup of water presented to 
him, 2 with this excuse, I cannot drink alone, and here is not enough 
for every one of my soldiers to wet their lips. Surely Christianity 
layeth a stronger obligation upon us, when the church is like her 
husband, carrying her cross, to cut herself short in regard of 
worldly comforts. 

Eeader, is thy mother sick, and art not thou sorrowful ? Is thy 
God, thy Father, pierced and dishonoured by sin, and canst thou 
take thy pleasure ? Are thy brethren and sisters in great affliction, 
and hast thou no fellow-feeling affections ? When David asked 
Uriah why he went not to his house after his journey, he answered 
him, ' The ark, and Israel, and Judah abide in tents ; and my lord 
Joab, and the servants of my lord are in the open field ; shall I 
then go into mine house, and eat and drink, and lie with my wife ? 
as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing,' 2 Sam. 
xi. 10, 11. Truly, if thy flesh should tempt thee to carnal mirth in 
a day of Zion's tribulations, do thou repel it as he did. The beauti- 
ful spouse of Jesus Christ, the blessed members of his body, are in 
great affliction ; they water their couches with tears, and they 
mingle their drink with weeping ; and shall I mind my play and 
sports and earthly delights ? Through the Lord's help I will not 
do it. No, by the rivers of Babylon let me sit down and weep 
when I remember Zion. Alas ! how foolish is that man who can 
laugh and jest, and be merry in his private cabin, as if he were 
safe and secure, when the ship of the church in which he saileth is 
in a boisterous and dangerous storm. 

Thus I have despatched the third particular, wherein a Christian 
must exercise himself to godliness, namely, recreations. 

1 Aul. Gell. 2 Qu. Curt. 

Chap. XX V.J the christian man's calling. 299 

A good wish about recreations. 
Recreations being the intermission of my labour, and spending of 
some time in delightful exercise, for the refreshing of my body and 
mind, which, by working much, are apt to tire and grow weary, 
I wish, in general, that I may never abuse this favour which 
my Master affordeth me (as some drunken servants) to make me 
unfit for his work, but may be so conscientious in observing those 
cautions about it, which his law prescribeth, that my vigour and 
strength being thereby repaired, I may after it follow his business 
with the more alacrity and ability. In particular, I wish that my 
teeth may never water after forbidden fruit, that I may not be so 
prodigal as to lay my precious inestimable soul at stake by any sin- 
ful pleasure. My God hath told me how I may be merry and not 
have the devil for my playfellow. Oh let me never defile my spirit 
whilst I am delighting the flesh, but let my sport, for the kind of it, 
be like Caesar's wife, without the least suspicion of fault. I desire 
that my carriage at it may be wholly free from passion and covetous- 
ness ; and to this end, that I may never venture what I esteem at 
any value. My mind hereby would be disturbed, not refreshed, 
and so the end of recreation altogether frustrated. I wish that such 
delights may be used as my medicine— only now and then, when 
nature requireth them — not as my meat, constantly every clay. Let 
my God of all consolation lie, as a wife, in the bed of my heart, in 
my bosom, be the delight of my eyes, whom I would by no means have 
out of my sight ; but let those low pleasures, as my servants, always 
remain in an outward room, and go or come as occasion shall re- 
quire and religion direct. I wish that I may never mind recrea- 
tions for those foolish sinful ends of passing away the time or pleas- 
ing the flesh ; but, as Elijah called for a minstrel, that his mind 
being thereby calmed and cheered, he might be the more fitted to 
prophesy, so I may refresh my body for this very end, that it may 
be the more serviceable to my soul, and both of them thereby to my 
dearest Saviour. I wish that my earthly delights may not be un- 
savoury, because, as fish at some times of the year, they are unsea- 
sonable ; that when my general or particular occupation require my 
presence, I may not be absent at recreations. Why should I, like 
the rich fool, be talking of taking my bodily ease, when my soul is 
in danger of endless pain, or, like profane Esau, be following my 
carnal pleasures, to the loss of my spiritual privilege ? Finally, I 
desire that I may not (as Nero, when Rome was on fire) be singing, 
when the people of God are sighing, but moderate or deny my 
mirth when the members of Christ are mourning. Oh let me 


' prefer Jerusalem before my chief joy.' In a word, I wish that I 
may not disparage my God, by meddling with drossy comforts, 
when he calleth me to golden cordials ; that I may not disobey his 
law by minding my pleasure on his holy day, but may delight my- 
self, on that clay of the Lord, in the Lord of that day. Oh let me 
gather from recreations, with the holy father : If ordinary glass 
be at such a price, how precious is a true diamond ! If the world's 
trash drain such joy, what joy will flow from the true treasure ! 

Lord, let my chiefest and constant recreations be to walk with 
my beloved in the garden of thy word, to refresh my spiritual scent 
and sight with the fair and fragrant flowers of thy promises and 
precepts, to do the work which thou hast given me to do, and to 
enjoy fellowship with thyself in ordinances, till I come to that 
place where bodies are above such dreggy delights, and souls 
above all mediate communion, and thou thyself art all in all. 


How to exercise ourselves to godliness in our particular callings. 

As religion must be our business in our spiritual and natural, so 
also in our civil actions and particular callings. The heavenly 
bodies have an influence, not only on men and women, but also on 
trees and plants. The holiness of a saint must be operative, not 
only in his more noble exercises, the ordinances of God, but like- 
wise in his earthly and inferior employments. Thy duty is, reader, 
to mind thy general in thy particular calling, and to drive a trade 
in heaven, whilst thou art following thy trade on earth. When 
thou art called to the Lord, thou art not called from thy labour ; 
nay, as thou art a servant of Christ, thou art bound to be service- 
able to thy country, in some mental or manual calling ; but thy 
diligence therein must proceed from conscience, not from covetous- 
ness — from subjection to Cod's word, not from affection to thy 

As thy particular calling is the zodiac through which thou daily 
passest, so godliness must be the ecliptic line to go through the 
midst of it. Godliness must be the key to open the shop ; godli- 
ness must be the whip to drive the cart ; godliness must be the 
cock to call thee up to thy work ; godliness must be the clock to 
call thee off from thy work ; godliness must be the principle, the 

Chap. XXVI. ] the christian man's calling. 301 

rule, and the end of thy work. Holiness to the Lord was written 
upon the bridles of the horses, Zech. xiv. 20. 

Truly, reader, thy care had need to be great about thy calling, 
lest it cause thy ruin. More die by meat than by poison. By 
lawful things many perish. Worldly things will court thee that 
they may kill thee. They that dig deep into the bowels of the 
earth have not seldom been stifled with the damps that arise thence. 
These things are so subject to defile and destroy us, that God made 
a law that they should not be used before they were purified, Num. 
xxxi. 22, 23. Some were destroyed by those houses which were 
made to defend them. Like Saul, they fall on those swords which 
should have been for their safety. Particular callings were de- 
signed for our good ; but how often do they prove our grief ! Are 
there not those who, like Korah and his companj 7 , are swallowed up 
alive of earth, and consumed ? Pliny observes, that in Phoselis 
the hill Chimera burnetii night and day. 1 The fire, saith he, is 
kept burning by water, but quenched by earth. The earth of par- 
ticular vocations hath sometime put out that fire of devotion, which 
the water of affliction could not do. 

It behoves thee to take heed how thou handiest these thorns, if 
thou wouldst not prick thy fingers and pierce thy conscience. I 
shall for that end give thee some directions out of the word. 

First, Be diligent in thy calling. It is observable that the 
apostle adviseth the Komans, ' Be not slothful in business, serving 
the Lord,' Horn. xii. 11. All the children of Adam are en- 
joined to mind their particular callings, by virtue of that com- 
mand or threatening to their father, ' In the sweat of thy brows 
thou shaft eat thy bread,' Gen. iii. As in the body politic, so in 
the body natural, there must be order, to which three things are 
requisite. 1. That every part be in its proper place, each star in 
its own orb. 2. That the parts have each to other a due proportion. 
3. That every member do its duty, and be some way or other help- 
ful to the body. Idle persons are like wens in the face, which 
receive of the body's nourishment, but serve only to disfigure it. 
Those that are no workers, in God's account, are disorderly walkers, 
1 Thes. v. 14. Augustus built an Apragopolis, a city void of busi- 
ness ; but God made not the world to be a nursery of idleness. The 
Ethiopians, as the historian observeth, would acquaint their youth 
that they were born to labour, by accustoming them betimes to 
fling great stones. Amongst the Turks, every man must follow 
some trade, the grand Signor himself not excepted. The censor es 

1 Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 106. 


morum among the Komans were to observe who were diligent, who 
were negligent in their vocations, and accordingly to commend or 
condemn them. The Grecians, according to Solon's law, were 
great discouragers of them that, like vermin, lived only to eat what 
others earn. The Council of the Areopagites inquired how every 
man lived, and punished such as they found idle. The devils 
themselves are diligent about their deeds of darkness. Creatures 
void of life are serviceable in their places and stations : angels, nay, 
God himself is always working. An idle person cannot find either 
in heaven or hell a pattern. Our lives are therefore called, ' the 
lives of our hands/ because they are to be maintained by God's 
blessing on our labours. 

The patriarchs, those persons of renown, were eminent for taking 
pains, they did not eat the bread of idleness. How frequently and 
how ardently doth the word call upon us to be working in our par- 
ticular callings ! What precepts doth the Scripture give for it, 
' That you do your own business, and work with your own hands, 
as we commanded you,' 1 Thes. iv. 11. What promises doth God 
make to it : ' He that tilleth his land, shall be satisfied with bread,' 
Prov. xii. 11, 24. 'The soul of the diligent shall be made fat,' 
Prov. xiii. 4. That arm which is most used groweth stronger and 
bigger than the other : the more the vine spreadeth itself against 
the wall, the more it receiveth of the sun's warmth and influence. 

Pliny 1 reporteth of one Oressianus, who from a little piece of 
ground got much wealth, and more than his neighbours could from 
a greater quantity, whereupon he was accused of witchcraft ; but to 
defend himself he brought forth his servants and instruments of 
labour on the day of trial, and said, Venejicia mea, Quirites, hcec sunt: 
These, Komans, are all my witchcrafts ; I say not to my servants, 
Go and do this ; but, Come let us do this and that, and so the work 
goeth on. The keys that men keep in their pockets and use every 
day wax brighter and brighter ; but if they be laid aside, and hung 
by the walls, they soon grow rusty. Students who are given to a 
sedentary life often waste in their strength, when others whose time 
is spent in bodily labour increase in strength ; ' In all labour,' saith 
the wise man, ' there is profit/ 

There is a threefold care mentioned in the word of God. There 
is a care of the head, a care of the hand, and a care of the heart. 
The care of the head is the care of providence, this is commendable, 
Prov. xxxi. 16. The care of the hand is the care of diligence, 
this is profitable, Prov. xxi. 5. The care of the heart is the care 

1 Lib. xviii. cnp. G. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 303 

of diffidence, this is abominable, Phil. iv. G. Upon which words 
Zanchy observe th well : God doth not say, firjBev irpi'meTe, but 
fn]8ev fiepifxvare, not do nothing, but be careful for nothing. The 
two first are commanded, but the last is forbidden. Eeader, thou 
mayest as well expect riches to rain down from heaven in silver 
showers, as to provide for thy family and children without industry 
in thy calling. Solomon telleth us, ' the blessing of the Lord 
maketli rich/ and ( the diligent hand maketh rich,' Prov. xii. 24, 
and x. 4, 22. 

As the nether millstone is heavy, slow, and of small riddance, 
yet the upper millstone, though of greater agility and quicker de- 
spatch, cloth not grind without the nether, but both together make 
good meal ; so the diligent hand of itself can do little, nay, nothing 
without the blessing of God ; yet the blessing of God, though of 
infinite efficacy, will seldom do anything without the diligent hand, 
but both together make a person rich. 

Besides, negligence about men's vocations is one great cause of 
corruption. The proud person is Satan's throne, and the idle man 
his pillow ; he sitteth in the former, and sleepeth quietly on the 
latter. When men have nothing to do, the devil always sets them 
a- work : ' As a bird that wandereth from his nest, so is a man that 
wandereth from his place,' Prov. xxvii. 8. By place, the Holy 
Ghost understandeth particular callings. Now God had taken 
care that none should molest a bird in her nest, there she was safe, 
Deut. xxii. 6, 7 ; but when she begins to wander, then she is in 
danger, either to be shot by the fowler, or caught in the snare, or 
made a prey to other ravenous birds. So a man that is diligent in 
his calling, whilst he is employed therein, is in God's precincts, and 
so under God's protection ; but when he wandereth abroad from 
his calling, going out of his bounds to sit and talk, he is a waif and 
a stray, and so falleth to the lord of the manor, ' the god of this 

Reader, thou mayest expect to be preserved whilst thou art 
a-working, but not when thou art wandering. Tertullian speaks of 
a Christian woman, who, going to a play, was possessed by the 
devil, and when he was asked by those that came to cast him out, 
how he durst possess one that was a Christian, he answered, I found 
her in my own place. Friend, they who, like Dinah, gad abroad, 
are often defiled before they come home. Those soldiers who leave 
their places in a march, and straggle to pilfer, are many times 
snapped and slain by their enemies, when they who keep their 
places are safe and secure. Oh mind thy calling in its place and 


season, and know this for thy comfort, that whilst thou art about 
thy lawful work, observing Scripture rules in it, thou art under 
God's wing. 

Secondly, Deal righteously in thy calling. Take heed of unjust 
gain. Believe this truth, ' A clear and clean conscience is infinitely 
better than a full purse. A little with the fear of the Lord is better 
than the possessions of many wicked men,' Ps. xxxvii. 15. A little 
wholesome food is better than a thousand poisoned dishes. All the 
wealth which is got in God's way is pleasant ; but all the wealth 
which is got unjustly by wickedness is poison. ' The blessing of 
the Lord maketh rich, and bringeth no sorrow of heart with it,' 
Prov. x. 22. Defrauding thy neighbour and cheating thy customers 
maketh rich, and bringeth the sorrow of hell with it. He that re- 
solveth to be unrighteous, it is commonly said, may soon be rich. 
When the spring of conscience is screwed up to the highest pin, 
that it is ready to break, and godliness is locked up fast into an out- 
house, and not suffered so much as to peep into the shop or ware- 
house, to take notice of what is done there, such a tradesman ma} T 
gain silver, but alas ! he loseth his precious Saviour, and his never- 
dying soul. Oh, what a dreadful gain is it to get earth with the 
loss of heaven ! He that will be rich in haste, shall be poor enough 
in hell. ' Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the 
kingdom of heaven ? Be not deceived, God will not be mocked,' 
1 Cor. vi. 9. Do not think, reader, though thou canst cheat thy 
chapmen, that thou canst cozen God. No ; he will not be mocked. 
He seeth thy false weights and false measures which thou ordinarily 
usest, though thou hast others to bring forth, for a colour, if occa- 
sion be ; and he will deal justly with thee for thy injustice, by 
sending thee to that place where there is ' judgment without mercy.' 
I have read of an old rich covetous wretch, that, lying upon his 
death-bed, he asked his son whether he would not do anything 
that his father should desire him. His son answered, yea. Then, 
saith the father, hold your finger in the flame of that candle an 
hour. Sir, saith the son, I cannot possibly endure that. No, saith 
the father ; I must burn for ever in hell, for raking up an estate 
unjustly for you, and yet you will not burn a finger one hour for 
me ! reader, if thou art guilty of this sin, think of it betimes. 
Thy ill-gotten wealth will breed those worms which will gnaw thee 
eternally ! Besides, thou mayest think to raise thy house by such 
heaps ; but God himself saith it is .the way to ruin it. ' He that 
is greedy of gain troubleth his own house,' Prov. xv. 27. Whilst 
he thinks to feather his nest, he doth indeed fire it. It is an ob- 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 305 

servation of the house of Desmond, in Ireland, that Maurice, the 
first earl of that family, raised it by injustice ; and by injustice 
Gerald, the last earl, ruined it. The crafty fox in the fable hugged 
himself that he had cozened the crow of his breakfast ; but when 
he found himself poisoned therewith, he wished it out of his belly. 
Unjust gain, like the Italian buttered sponge, may go down glib, 
but it swelleth in the body, and never conieth away till it hath ruined 
the party. Such men spin a fair thread to strangle themselves 
with. ' The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed 
to and fro of them that seek death,' Prov. xxi. 6. Cornelius a 
Lapide hath a pretty fable, wherein he compareth men unjust in 
their dealings to spiders, the righteous to bees. The spider up- 
braided the bee for going up and down for honey. Thou stayest at 
home, saith the bee, but in thy working losest thy life. How often 
is that Latin proverb l fulfilled ! The burden of salt returneth to 
the place whence it came. The occasion of which was the falling 
of salt by the wreck of a ship into the sea : the place whence it 
came. God often sendeth some to squeeze those muck-worms when 
they have sucked themselves full. Deceitful dealing, as a huge 
heap of ice by the sun, by the scorching fire of God's wrath dis- 
solveth into nothing. ' As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth 
them not ; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave 
them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool/ Jer. 
xvii. 11. 

Thirdly, Be careful that thy particular calling encroach not upon 
thy general. Many lose religion in a crowd of earthly business. 
The interposition of the earth, as to the moon, eclipseth the light 
of their holiness. It is reported of the inhabitants of Oenoe, a dry 
island near Athens, that they bestowed much labour to draw in a 
river to water it, and make it fruitful ; but when the passages were 
opened, the water came in so plentifully that it overflowed the island 
and drowned all the people. Many ' that will be rich,' by their 
extraordinary labours to make their flocks and fields fruitful, ' fall 
into temptations and snares, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, 
which drown them in destruction and perdition,' 1 Tim. vi. 9. A 
candle that burns well above ground, when put under ground doth 
many times burn blue, and go out. The light of holiness which 
hath shined eminently in some professors, when they have had little 
to do with the world, hath been abated in a great degree when they 
have had great dealings. They, in regard of much business, have 
been like those in a mill, who cannot hear what is spoken by reason 

1 Salis onus unde venerat illuc abiit. — Erasm. Adag. 
VOL. I. U 


of the clacking and noise which is made there. Christ calleth, and 
the Spirit of God crieth to them, hut their ears are stopped with 
earth that they hear not. 

As we say of fire and water, they are good servants, hut bad 
masters. Keep them within their bounds, and they are exceedingly 
useful; but when they go beyond their bounds, how hurtful are 
they ! What mischief hath fire done in England ! What sad 
work hath water made in Holland ! The same is true of our par- 
ticular callings : they are faithful servants, but they are dreadful 
masters. Keep them within their limits, and they are helpful to 
ourselves, our relations, and our neighbours ; but suffer them once 
to transgress their bounds, and they will make miserable work. 
They will rob God, wrong the soul, nay, often ruin it eternally. 
When those that were born slaves and servants come once to be 
kings and commanders, they are ever the worst tyrants. 

Now, if thou wouldst not have thy particular calling to encroach 
upon thy general, take heed that it steal not away thy heart, nor 
thy time. 

1. Take heed that thy particular calling steal not away thy heart 
from thy general calling. If the mistress keep her distance, and 
maintain her authority over her maidens, she may find them obe- 
dient and serviceable ; but if she grow fond of them, and familiar 
with them, they will grow saucy and encroach upon her. Reader, 
keep thy inward distance, and maintain that authority which God 
hath given thee over the things of this life, and then all will be 
well ; but if once thou doatest on them, and delightest in them, 
expect to have them thine hindrances in all holy exercises. The 
world may have thy hands, but it must not have thy heart. Thy 
actions may be about thy particular calling, but thy affections must 
be above it. ' Set your affections on things above, and not on things 
below,' Col. iii. 2. Thy occupation is, as the first Adam, of the 
earth, earthly ; but thy conversation must be like the second Adam, 
the Lord from heaven, heavenly. A Christian should follow the 
things of this world with such a slightness and indifferency of spirit 
as wicked men do the things of a better world. The holy angels 
behold our earthly affairs but as strangers to them. It is happy 
for him that can carry himself towards his own estate as if it were 
another man's. A heathen could say, I do not give, but only lend 
myself to my business. l Surely, then, a saint should go through 
the world as one in a deep study ; his mind being the whilst intent 
upon a better object. Brutish horse-flies fasten on dunghills ; 

1 Helms imn me trade- sed commodo. — Senec. De Brnef. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. £07 

swallows make their nests of earth. They who have no heaven 
hereafter may give their hearts to the earth ; but, Christian, if thou 
lovest thy soul, ' though riches increase, set not thine heart upon 
them,' Ps. lxii. 10. ' Love not the world, nor the things of the 
world.' This is a certain truth, The hotter thy love is to the world, 
the colder it is to the Lord. When the sap of worldliness is in a man, 
he will never flame well heavenward. The ship may sail in the 
water, and be safe ; but when the water getteth into the ship, it 
sinketh it. Thou mayest work about thy earthly affairs, and all 
may be well ; but if thine affairs once work themselves into thee, 
then thou art in danger. Thy God alloweth thee to warm thyself at 
the sun of creature comforts, but not to turn Persian and worship it. 

The rivers lightly salute the earth as they pass along, and make 
no stay, but pass forward to the ocean. Thy affection should but 
slightly touch the earth, weeping for worldly crosses as if thou 
weepedst not, and rejoicing for worldly comforts as if thou rejoicedst 
not, and so pass on to the ocean of thy happiness. It is said, Ger- 
manicus reigned in the Romans' hearts, Tiberius only in the pro- 
vinces. Thy general must reign in the city, in thy heart, thy par- 
ticular calling only in the suburbs of thy hands. Keader, if the 
world ever get into the throne of thine inward man, farewell all 
religion. I have read of a custom among the Germans, to know 
whether their children be bastards or not, to throw them infiuvimn 
Bhenum, into the river Rhine. If they floated above, then they 
acknowledged them to be their own ; but if the waters carried them 
away, then they esteemed them as bastards. Truly, reader, if thou 
canst float above the waters of thy worldly employments, thou art 
a child of God ; but if that carry thee away by lying near thy affec- 
tions, look to thyself and fear thy condition. It is not the great- 
ness of man's estate or employment, so much as the nearness of it 
to his heart, which will hinder holiness. A small hat held near our 
eyes will hinder our sight of the sun, which a great mountain afar 
off will not do. A little near the affections will hinder our sight 
of Christ, when thousands far from the heart may, as employed, 
further it. Besides, the closer we lay the flowers of our earthly 
mercies to our breasts, the sooner they wither. A nosegay in the 
hand will continue fresh and sweet, as is generally observed, much 
longer than when it is stuck in the bosom. 

2. That thy particular calling may not encroach upon thy gene- 
ral, be careful that it steal not away thy time. Thy piety, reader, 
and thy prudence is so to order thine affairs relating to heaven and 
earth, to God and thy family, that they may not interfere or cross 


each otlier. A wise forecast will much help thee in this particular. 
As to the winding a skein of silk, he that begins at the right end 
will make quick riddance of it ; so to the despatching of worldly 
employments, that they may not prove heavenly impediments, he 
that hath discretion to forecast them well, may do very much. How- 
ever, thy duty is to give the affairs of thy soul, and thy God, prece- 
dency. I know the devil and thy corrupt heart will often jostle 
and quarrel with thy closet and family duties, by suggesting to 
thee that they must of necessity be omitted, because otherwise such 
and such concernments of thy calling, upon which the welfare of 
thyself, wife, and children doth depend, will be neglected. As 
when Moses spake of the Israelites sacrificing to God, then Pharaoh 
spoke of work to put them off ; so when thou art thinking of enter- 
ing upon the performance of duties, whether in secret or private, 
thy back friend, the evil one, will send thee a message, either by 
thy wife, or friend, or thine unregenerate part, that some other 
affairs of weight call for thy company elsewhere, and therefore a 
dispensation must be granted thee at present, as to thy solemn de- 
votion. Friend, if thou lovest Jesus Christ, take heed of hearken- 
ing to such temptations ; let the flesh but once obtain such a con- 
quest over thee, and thou shalt hear of it again, it will pursue its 
victory to purpose. Sin is a subtle sophister, it will bring argu- 
ments and reasons for all it doth, as is plain in Saul's sparing Agag, 
and the best of the flock. The beasts were to be sacrificed to God ; 
and in Jeroboam's calves they were set up to save the Jews those 
tiresome journeys to Jerusalem ; but ' take heed that thy heart be 
not hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.' Kemember, piety is 
the best path to outward prosperity. 

Aristotle, though a blind heathen, could see and say, 1 Make re- 
ligion thy first and chief care, that thou mayest prosper. The 
Mohammedans are so sensible of this, that what occasion soever they 
have, they will pray five times a day ; because the Jews suffered 
God's house to lie waste, therefore God blew upon their heaps and 
wasted their wealth. 

He that stealeth away time from his general for his particular 
calling, like a thief in the candle, wasteth all ; our work on earth is 
done best when our work in heaven is done first. Religious duties, 
in reference to our worldly occasions, is like sharpening the tools, 
which helpeth our work forward with more speed and ease. Mass 
and meat hinder no man's thrift, was a truth visible in the dark 
night of popery. He that neglecteth the service of his God for the 

1 Tlpwra irtpl deiuv, &c. — Arist. Polit. lib. vii. cap. 8. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 309 

following his trade, may put what he getteth into his eye, as our 
proverb is, and never see the worse ; nay, like the gold of Toulouse, 
or the vineyard of Naboth to Ahab, the profit will be the perdition 
and ruin of the possessor. They who want time to do God's work, 
must want an eternity to receive God's reward. If men are so 
busy as not to attend their souls, God will be so busy as not to 
bestow salvation. I know farms, and oxen, and wives do hinder 
many from holiness ; and I know also that they will hinder many 
from heaven, Luke xiv. 24, Mat. xxii. 5. That German prince 
who would not part with his silver to pay his soldiers, lost thereby 
his empire and treasure too. He that will not spare time from his 
present business for his future blessedness is like to lose both. 

How much time dost thou squander away in long meals, in vain 
sports, in idle discourse, in superfluous sleep! and yet hast thou the 
face to tell God that thou hast no time in a whole day to seek his 
favour, and to mind thine eternal felicity ? The truth is thou dost 
not so much want time as waste time. 

Do not think that it will be a sufficient excuse at the last day to 
tell God that thy devotion was neglected, because thy earthly occa- 
sions abounded and pressed upon thee. If thy servant should tell 
thee, when he hath neglected thy business of concernment, that he 
could not help it, because he had business of his own to look after, 
a friend called him to the ale-house, wouldst thou think that a 
sufficient plea ? Believe it, thy defence is far worse when thou 
omittest the service of God for thy particular calling. 

The philosopher 1 could say, that he would rather neglect his 
means than his mind, and his farm than his soul. The very Turks, 
though they work their slaves hard, will yet allow them time every 
day for food and rest. Wilt thou, reader, deal worse with thy pre- 
cious soul, than the Turks do with their galley-slaves ? For shame 
man, be not so cruel to thy best part. 

A good Christian, if business crowd in upon him so much that 
he cannot wait on them, and worship God daily in his closet and 
family as he ought, will rather, like a wise mariner, when the ship 
is overburdened, cast some overboard, than endanger the loss of 
all and himself too. Times of earing and harvest were very busy 
times with the Israelites, yet then God would not allow them to 
make bold with him, Exod. xxxii. 21. 

He that is a faithful and wise steward will give every one their 
portion, their meat in due season ; as he will give his body and his 
family their portion every day, so he will give his God and his soul 

1 Aristippus apud Plat, de tranqu. auinise. 


their portion every day; surely he is not faithful who attendeth the 
lacquey all day and neglecteth his lord ; much worse is he who f eedetli 
his flesh and starveth his spirit. Reader, take notice that there is a 
time for all things : as there are ploughing times, so there are pray- 
ing times every day ; as there is daily time for thy shop, so also for 
thy closet. When the Jewish daily sacrifice was intermitted, as in 
the days of Antiochus, it was ' the abomination of desolation/ 

I am the larger in this particular, as observing that professors 
are exceedingly faulty in suffering the canker of their particular 
callings to devour and eat up the gold and silver of their general 
callings. Sometimes they will wholly omit family duties, because 
the world will not permit them to be at leisure ; but too too often 
when they perform them, they turn them off with a short cut, in a 
huddling manner, as a physician his poor patients, though their 
business with him concern their lives, when rich men stand without, 
expecting to be called in, because the world stayeth at their doors 
to speak with them. Friend, as a special help against this soul- 
hindrance, let me persuade thee to be early in the morning at thy 
religious duties. Some men must be spoke to betimes in the morn- 
ing, or not at all ; their public affairs take up the whole day, and 
would if it were twice as long. The devil hath a thousand devices 
to make him an atheist all day, who neglecteth morning duties. 
Be not so hasty about thy calling in the morning, as to forget to 
take God along with thee. Remember this one note, If the world 
gets the start of religion in the morning, religion seldom overtaketh 
it all day. Something warm in the morning, before men go to 
work, is very wholesome. A warm prayer, warm communion with 
the blessed God, in meditating or reading, will help thee to work 
with more comfort and courage, and may prevent infections from 
ill fumes and vapours in the daytime. Job had a large family, 
much cattle ; he had besides his domestical, much civil business, for 
he was a magistrate ; yet Job ' rose up early in the morning to offer 
up sacrifice, and thus did Job continually,' chap. i. 5. In the day- 
time also, or at evening, let nothing put by the concernments of 
thy God, and thine everlasting estate ; what company soever thou 
art in, say, as a devout soul I have read of, when his hour of prayer 
was come, You must excuse me, I must be gone ; a friend, meaning 
his God, stayeth to speak with me. 

Cato 1 repented of three things, one of which was, that he had 
spent a whole day idly. Truly, friend, if thou neglectest thy 
general calling, how busy soever thou hast been all day long about 

1 Plut. in Vit. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 311 

thy particular, I must tell thee, though an hour cannot be bought 
with the revenues of the whole earth, thou hast spent a whole day 
idly ; and thou hast much cause to sigh out with the Eoman em- 
peror at night, when he had neither done nor received any good all 
day, Hodie diem perdidi, To-day I have lost a day. 

Fourthly, If thou wouldst exercise thyself to godliness in thy 
particular calling, look up to God for a blessing upon thy labours 
therein. Creatures may be the object of thy diligence, but God 
alone the object of thy confidence ; thy supplication must be to 
God, and thy expectation from God. Thou canst as soon by thine 
own power add a cubit to thy stature as a penny to thy purse : 
' Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth 
thee power to get wealth/ Deut. viii. 18. All thy endeavours 
without God's blessing are but, as Cresar said of Seneca's works, 
arena sine calce, sand without lime, they will not hang together. 
If God bless them, they prosper ; if he blast them, they perish. 
The devil himself was so far orthodox, Job i. 10, ' Thou hast 
blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in 
the land.' Alas, the whole course of nature turneth only as it is 
moved by the hand of God. It is not in the frame of nature as in 
frames of art. When a watch is made, it may go though the 
workman be many miles off, or though he be dead ; but there is 
not the least wheel in the frame of nature which doth not depend 
upon God for its motion every moment. As the vapours exhaled 
by the sun depend so much upon it that if that withdraw its 
influence they fall to the earth, so do the creatures depend on God ; 
if he withdraw his influence from them, they presently come to 

Take notice, reader, to instance but in one calling, how the 
genealogy of corn and wine, by a concatenation of causes, is resolved 
into Jehovah : ' I will hear the heavens, and the heavens shall hear 
the earth ; and the earth shall hear the corn, and wine, and oil ; 
and they shall hear Jezreel,' Hosea ii. 21, 22 ; God hath the key of 
food under his own girdle, Ps. cxlv. 16. Hence some call the 
earth God's great purse, which he openeth for man's profit, and 
shutteth for man's punishment. The Jewish rabbis call the earth 
alma parens, a kind mother, and the rain her husband, because 
the showers do fecundate and make that great mother of plenty 
fruitful. But as likely a mother as the earth is to bring forth, she 
is barren unless God open her womb. 1. The ploughing and 
sowing of the ground is from God ; the hands of men cannot do it 
without his protection and providence, and the heads of men would 


not have thought of it without his direction and assistance, Isa. 
xxviii. 24 to the end. 2. When the ground is ploughed and sowed 
it must be watered, or the grain will quite die ; this also is from 
God alone. The monarch of Mexico was wont to take an oath at 
his coronation that it should be what weather he pleased ; but, 
' Can any of the vanities of the heathen cause rain ? ' Jer. xiv. 22. 
God alone can unstop those bottles of heaven, they are all above 
man's reach ; the most spongy clouds distil not one drop, no more 
than a rock, till God give the word of command. He decreeth rain, 
Job xxviii. 26 ; he prepareth rain, Ps. cxxxv. 7 ; and he poureth 
down the former and latter rain, Deut. xxviii. 12, Joel ii. 21, Job 
v. 10. He also covereth the body of the earth with the white 
mantle of snow, whereby the corn is warmed and the ground 
mellowed, Ps. clxvii. 16. 3. The stars — those purses of gold, as 
one calleth them, out of which God throweth down riches, which 
good men gather and bad men scramble for — are all at God's beck 
and bidding, Ps. xix. 4, 5, Mat. v. 45, Job xxxviii. 32. 4. The 
fruitfulness of the earth after it is ploughed, sowed, watered with 
the clouds, and warmed with the influence of the sun and stars, is 
wholly from God : • Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and 
thy paths drop fatness,' Ps. lxv. 11, Heb. vi. 7. This some of the 
heathen acknowledged by the light of nature ; 1 and therefore when 
they went to plough in the morning they did lay one hand upon 
the plough, to speak their own part to be painfulness, and hold the 
other hand up to Ceres, the goddess of corn, to testify their expecta- 
tion of plenty to be from their supposed deity. How easily can 
God blast all the corn in the field, or blow upon it in the barn ! if 
he do but will it, it is done. The whole creation, indeed, is but a 
glass without a bottom, which cannot stand of itself, but as God is 
pleased to hold it up. The philosophers tell us, the sun and man 
beget a man, the sun and the earth bring forth corn, and speak of 
the sun in everything as a principle efficient. But the divines tell 
us more truly, God and the heavens, God and the earth, cause har- 
vest. God, by the creatures, doth all things ; God is the only 
principal efficient ; the sun itself, and all other creatures, are but 
lifeless instruments, moved and acted by God according to his pur- 
pose and pleasure : ' Except the Lord build the house, they labour 
in vain that build it. It is in vain for you to rise up early, to sit 
up late, and to eat the bread of sorrows,' Ps. cxxvii. 1, 2. Apricot- 
trees that depend on their own strength, leaning on nothing, a? 
experience teacheth us, bring forth little or no fruit, when they thai 

1 Weem's Cercm. Law. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 313 

lean on the wall abound in clusters. The way to thrive in thy 
trade is not to trust to thy own head or hands, but to trust in the 
Lord for a blessing on thy endeavours. 

Fifthly, If thou dost prosper in thy calling, let God alone have 
the praise. Do not sacrifice to thy own net, Hab. i. 10, as the 
Jews, as though by thy skill and wisdom thou hadst met with 
such a draught, but consider the providence of God hath brought 
in all thy profit : ' Beware when thy herds and thine flock multiply 
and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, lest thine heart be lifted 
up, and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of my 
hands hath gotten me this wealth,' Deut. viii. 14-18. Man is apt 
to make himself his idol, and to attribute all to his own pains and 
prudence. Men boast, saith Luther, 1 Hoc ego feci, and hoc ego feci, 
and shew themselves to be mere feces. They brag, this I have 
done, and this I have done, and thereby appear to be nothing but 
dregs. God took it ill that Tyrus should say, ' By my traffic and 
my wisdom I have increased my wealth ; ' and telleth her that she 
had ' set her heart as the heart of God/ Ezek. xxviii. 3-5. 

The Israelites were commanded to bring their first ripe fruits to 
God, whereby they acknowledged him the owner and author of all 
their increase, Exod. xxiii. 16, 19 ; Lev. xxiii. 10. 

The very heathen were somewhat sensible of this. The Meta- 
pontines, 2 after a plentiful harvest, which had much enriched them, 
dedicated a harvest cut in gold to Apollo, their god : ' Praise the 
Lord, Jerusalem ; praise thy God, Zion : for he maketh peace 
in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat,' Ps. 
cxlvii. 12-14. When God sendeth thee in profit, thy duty is to 
give him praise. Do not bury God's mercies, as the barren earth the 
seed, that when once it is thrown into the ground we hear no more 
of it. God expecteth, as the trees by their leaves in autumn pay 
their tribute of thanks to the earth, the mother of their fruitful- 
ness, so that we should honour him when he heapeth favours 
on us. 

Some men are like fishermen's weels, wide to receive in mercies ; 
but there is no passage out for the returning of praises. Those 
places where the rivers are shallowest make the greatest sound ; 
those where they are deepest are most silent. Men while they are 
poor, sound with prayers, make a great noise for mercies ; but 
when God blesseth them with wealth, they are silent in regard of 
thanks ; they are lifted up with pride, but look not up to God with 

1 Luther in Ps. cxxvii. 2 Strabo Geosr. 


It is reported 1 of Willigis, a wlieeler's son, that being made 
archbishop of Mentz, and one of the prince electors in Germany, he 
did constantly acknowledge God's great providence in his great pre- 
ferment ; and therefore gave in his coat of arms three wheels, with 
this motto, written in his bedchamber in great letters, Willigis, 
Willigis, recole wide veneris — Willigis, Willigis, remember from 
whence thou comest ! Thus holy Jacob in his prosperity remem- 
bered both his former poverty and his present plenty, to its 
author's praise, ' God of my father Abraham, I am not worthy 
of the least of all thy mercies, and all thy truth which thou hast 
shewed unto thy servant: for with my staff I passed over this 
Jordan, and now I am become two bands,' Gen. xxxii. 9, 10. So 
do thou, reader, when God blesseth the work of thy hands, ponder 
his goodness, that thou mayest give him his praise, and think of 
thy own un worthiness ; thereby thou mayest be preserved from 
pride. It is reported of that noble captain Iphicrates, that being 
enriched, he should cry out, From how small, to how great an estate 
am I raised ! 

Sixthly, Labour for contentedness, and a holy composedness in 
all conditions : ' Let your conversation be without covetousness, and 
be content with such things as ye have, for he hath said, I will 
never leave thee nor forsake thee,' Heb. xiii. Thy duty is, to have 
the scales of thy mind equally poised in all providences ; not rising 
in prosperity through lightness, nor sinking in adversity under the 
heaviness of the load. As the tree bendeth this way and that way 
with the wind, but still keepeth its place ; so thou mayest yield 
according to the gales of providence, but still retain and keep thy 
standing, thy piety. If thine estate decrease, let not thine heart 
despair ; if the world flow in, let not thine heart flow out. Oh, it 
was an excellent lesson which Paul had learned, ' I know in what 
state soever I am to be content. I know how to be abased, and I 
know how to abound ; I know how to be full and how to be empty/ 
Phil. iv. 11. Paul was not like a musical instrument, out of tune 
with every change of weather ; but like a cypress-tree, which no 
storms, naturalists tell us, can alter ; and like the hill Olympus, 
above all winds and weather. 

Some men are like the leaves of a tree, which every wind sets 
a-shaking and trembling ; or like a bone out of joint, which a man 
cannot stir without pain : if the world do but frown upon them, you 
may see it in their faces, they are quite dejected with sorrow. Oh, 
how heavy presently are their hearts, as if they had lost their heaven ! 

1 Cielius Lect. Antiq., lib. xiii. cap. 1. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 315 

It is to be feared that bough is rotten, which breaketh if but a little 
weight be hung upon it. A godly man should be like a rock, im- 
moveable, though high winds and boisterous waves of providence 
blow and beat upon him ; and like a die, however he be thrown, 
always to fall upon a square. The traveller need not murmur, 
though his inn afford him but mean fare, and a hard bed, when 
he knoweth that he must be gone next morning. The ox is not 
happier, which hath two or three mountains to graze on, than the 
bee which feedeth upon that dew which falleth daily from the store- 
house of heaven. If thou hast secured thine everlasting estate, the 
boundless God is thy portion, and surely then thou mayest be like a 
spring full, under the most scorching providence. 

It was a worthy speech of Mr Bradford, the martyr, to one who 
asked him whether he should petition the queen for his life. If the 
queen will take away my life, I will thank her ; if she will give me 
my life, I will thank her ; if she will banish me, I will thank her ; 
if she will burn me, I will thank her ; let her deal with me how she 
pleaseth, I will thank her. So, reader, thy heart will be in an excel- 
lent frame indeed, if thou canst thank God when he enricheth thee, 
and thank him when he impoverisheth thee ; if thou canst thank 
him when he smiles on thee with the light of his countenance, and 
thank him also if he frowns by some sad providence ; if thou canst 
thank him when he is at addition, and thank him when he is at 
subtraction ; thank him giving to thee, and thank him taking from 
thee. Oh, here is a heart worth gold indeed. Truly the want of 
this calmness and composedness of mind is a great impediment to 
Christians. Alas, when their spirits are like some men's flesh, no 
sooner raised with a pin, but they rankle and fester; no sooner 
touched with a light affliction, but they faint and are dejected ; how 
unfit are they for religious actions ! as men in extremity of pain, 
they rather chatter than pour out a prayer. Either men must use 
the world as if they used it not, or they will serve the Lord as if 
they served him not. He who knoweth that nothing can befall him 
whilst he is diligent in his calling, but what is the fruit of bottom- 
less love, and the result of infinite wisdom, may certainly be steady 
in the greatest storm. Thrice happy is that soul, who hath so 
much care of doing his work, and such an eye to the recompence of 
reward, that the allurements and affrightments of the world, though 
they may assault the outworks, can never surprise the royal fort of 
his heart. 

The only way, reader, to find thine own will, is, to lose it in God's 
will ; those that grumble at his doings, and quarrel at his dealings, 


do but like a bull in the net, and the silly bird among the lime- 
twigs, by struggling entangle themselves the more. Unsubmissive^ 
ness to God's will is the fountain of all man's woe ; the quiet re- 
signation of our persons and portions to God's pleasure is the only 
sleeping pill which can give rest to the soul. Christian, let me ask 
thee this question, Didst thou give up thyself to Christ for temporal, 
or for eternal comforts ? Didst thou enter upon religion to save 
thine estate, or thy soul ? Oh, why then shouldst thou be so sad, 
when thine eternal happiness is so safe ? For shame, live like a 
child of God, an heir of heaven ; and let the world know, that thy 
hopes and happiness are in a better world ; that though thou art 
denied those acorns which thy father giveth to his hogs, yet thou 
hast the children's bread, and expectest thine inheritance when thou 
comest to age. 

Thus I have despatched the fourth particular, how a Christian 
may exercise himself to godliness in his particular calling. 

A good wish about particular callings, luherein the former heads 

are epitomised. 
My particular calling being a peculiar and distinct station, wherein 
I am bound to be serviceable to my country and family, and wherein 
also I have this privilege, that I may further my general calling, if 
I mind it out of conscience to the Lord, and in obedience to his 
word, I wish, in general, that 1 may never cross the wise providence 
of my God, in the government of the world, by neglecting it, or 
thinking lightly of it ; but since I am listed under the captain of 
my salvation, may serve him faithfully, not only in general as a 
soldier, but also in that place or office to which he hath chosen and 
called me. I wish, in particular, that what my hand findeth to do, 
I may do it with all my might. That I may be of the number of 
them that spend themselves with labour, and not of them who waste 
with rust and laziness ; my diligence herein is some help against 
the temptations of the devil. The sluggard's heart is like his field, 
overgrown with weeds. Lord, let me rather wear out by work, 
than consume, like a garment laid by with moths, for want of use. 
Yet I wish that I may not by my industry make more haste to be 
rich than good speed — I mean, that I may never increase my riches 
by dealing unrighteously in my calling, knowing that unjust gain 
is a morsel which the strongest stomach in the world cannot pos- 
sibly digest, but may esteem a penny got by the blessing of God 


upon my honest labour, at a far greater price than thousands of 
pounds by rapine and robbery, and may weigh all my wares in the 
scales of loving my neighbour as myself, by the standard of that 
royal law, ' Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, 
do you even so unto them ; for this is the law and the prophets.' 
Oh that I might not upon any pretence whatsoever, either by taking 
advantage of the buyer's ignorance, or by putting unserviceable 
wares into his hands, or by false weights and measures, or by de- 
frauding my neighbour any other way, ' Consult shame to my house, 
and sin against my own soul,' Hab. ii. 10. But when I am in my 
shop or warehouse, or instructing my servant how to sell, I may 
hear the sound of that dreadful threatening against unrighteous 
dealers in mine ears, ' He hath swallowed down riches, he shall 
vomit them up again : God shall cast them out of his belly,' Job 
xx. 15. ' He shall suck the poison of asps ; the viper's tongue shall 
slay him ; the increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall 
flow away in the day of his wrath.' I desire that I may watch my 
calling, as they who make powder do their fire, with my greatest 
care, to keep it within its own bounds, that I may so give to the 
world the things of the world, as to give to my God the things of 
God. To this end I wish that I may not, like Demas, embrace 
this present world, but how deep soever I wade in earthly affairs, 
may be sure to keep my head, I would say my heart, above water, 
lest I sink and perish in them eternally. Lord, though 1 possess 
outward things, yet let outward things never possess me. I am 
married to thy sacred Majesty ; though I converse w T ith my calling 
as a friend, yet let the bed of my heart never be defiled therewith, 
but reserved only for thy blessed self to lodge in. My prayer is, 
that my earthly traffic may never be suffered to play the thief, and 
to steal away that precious treasure of time, which at least morning 
and evening my heavenly trade requireth in my closet and family : 
but though like the eagle I stoop to the earth for my prey, my out- 
ward provision, I may not dwell there, but mount up again to 
heaven. Oh that I might be deaf to all the vain excuses which 
the world will plead for the total omission or shortening of religious 
exercises, and even when a real necessity, not through any negli- 
gence of mine, appeareth by some sudden providence, I am denied 
time to draw the long sword of solemn devotion, I may be then so 
affected with my duty and danger, as to draw the short dagger of 
ejaculatory petitions, to defend myself against my spiritual enemies. 
My God never intended that my trade should be my trouble, or my 
calling like the clouds to impede my sight of the true Sun ; there- 


fore if so much business lie upon my hands, that if that be attended 
my soul must be neglected, let me rather, as a wise traveller, ease 
myself of some part of my burden, than permit it to hinder me in 
my journey to heaven. 

I desire that I may be so sensible that good things here below 
come from the most high God, and the success of my labours de- 
pendeth more on his providence than my diligence, that I may 
never in a morning open my shop, or lift up a tool, as my trade 
is, before I have opened my heart, and lifted up my soul to my 
God for his blessing upon my endeavours. All creatures in the 
hands of my God are as dead tools in the hands of a living work- 
man, by whose force and influence alone they act. Lord, let me 
never look upon second causes as more than the order in which, 
and the means with which, thou art pleased to work. I wish that 
if God shall by my calling increase my wealth, I may not sacrifice 
to my own nets, nor burn incense to my own drags, but may be so 
spiritual as to acknowledge my God the author of temporals, and 
receive them so thankfully from his hand of bounty, that I may 
improve them faithfully, as may be most for his glory. The earth 
is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; he is the owner of all I 
enjoy, I am but his steward, and must shortly give account of my 
stewardship. Oh let me make me friends of the unrighteous mam- 
mon, that I may be trusted with the true riches ; let my whole 
estate be employed according to thy word, for the furtherance of 
my own everlasting weal. 

Finally, I wish that I may sail trim and even in all waters ; 
that when it is full tide in regard of outward comforts, I may not 
swell with pride ; nor when it is low water, grumble through 
peevishness. Murmuring is the music of hell, holy contentedness 
is the foretaste of heaven. Why should I rejoice my worst enemy, 
and dishonour my best friend, by being fretful at that which the 
only wise God seeth to be fit and needful ? The lean ox is fitter 
for service than the fatted one. The true Israelite may well be 
satisfied in his journey to Canaan with his homer a day, with his 
statute-measure, and his Father's allowance. What though my 
Father deny me that entertainment at present, which he giveth to 
strangers ; yet I have his love now, and the inheritance hereafter 
shall be mine. ' My God will give grace and glory, and no good 
thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.' Lord, let 
me never discredit thy housekeeping, by my grumbling carriage 
or frowning countenance ; but so, by the prospective-glass of faith, 
behold those things which are invisible, that I may in all things 

Chap. XXVI. ] the christian man's calling. 319 

give thanks ; like some birds, sing even in winter, and as clothes 
dyed in grain, retain my colour in all weathers ; that ' when the fig- 
tree doth not blossom, nor the vine yield her fruit; when the 
labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields yield no meat ; then 
I may rejoice in the Lord, and be glad in the God of my salvation.' 
In a word, I wish that I may, like the wise merchant, sell all I 
have to buy the pearl of great price ; the gold tried in the fire, that 
I may be rich ; the white raiment, that I may be clothed ; and 
drive such a constant trade with my God in the other world, bear- 
ing from thence, and sending thither daily, that when the king of 
terrors shall give me a writ of ease from my particular calling, I 
may die in the Lord, rest from my labours, and have my works 
following me through free grace, into an exceeding and eternal 
weight of glory. Amen. 

A good wisli about the calling of a minister ; wherein the several 
properties and duties of a conscientious pastor are epitomised. 

The ministry of the word being a calling above all others of 
greatest weight, as set up by the ever-blessed God, for the payment 
of himself the deserved praise of his curious, eternal, and infinitely 
wise purpose ; and for the payment of the Lord Jesus Christ, the 
precious fruits of his bloody passion, by the turning of sinners from 
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God ; in which 
he is pleased to commit to men, duly qualified and rightly called, 
the word of reconciliation, and commandeth them in his name, as 
his ambassadors, to offer terms of peace, and to persuade and be- 
seech rebellious sinners, with all earnestness and faithfulness, as 
they would not have the blood of their people's souls required at 
their hands, to accept of and submit to those articles of grace and 
pardon, — I wish, in general, that since my God hath counted me 
faithful, put me into the ministry, and intrusted me with that 
which so nearly relateth to his own glory, and which so highly con- 
cerneth the eternal felicity of precious souls, that I may take heed 
to myself, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath 
made me overseer, to feed the church of God, which he hath pur- 
chased with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. In particular, I wish 
that I may know experimentally what regeneration meaneth, before 
I travail with others, till Christ be formed in them ; that I may 
dissuade from compliance with sin, and persuade to a hearty accept- 
ance of the Saviour, not by hearsay or at second-hand, but upon 


my own knowledge of the bitterness of the former, and the good- 
ness and sweetness of the latter. Let me not, like some cooks, 
dress that meat for others which I eat not of myself. Let not my 
sermons be, as Minerva, the children of my brain, but the travail of 
my soul, that I may serve my God with my spirit in the gospel of 
his Son ; and as a true vessel of the sanctuary, have within me a 
savour of that water of life which I pour out to others. It is dole- 
ful to fall into hell from under the pulpit ; but ah, how dreadful 
is it to drop thither out of it ! Doth not my heart tremble to think 
that it is possible for me, like the unbelieving spies, to coast the 
heavenly Canaan, to commend it to others, and yet never to pos- 
sess it myself ? that whilst I preach to others, I myself may be 
a castaway ? Lord, let me so exalt thee in my heart, as my chiefest 
good ; in my life, as mine utmost end ; and preach so effectually 
to my own soul and to others', that I may both save myself and 
them that hear me. 

I wish that the spring of my motions, and principle of all my 
work, may be love to my Master, and not expectation of any temporal 
reward. That I may never be so sordidly sinful as to sell the in- 
comparable Saviour for a little corruptible silver ; to turn my 
Father's house into a house of merchandise ; and to cry up my God, 
as the Ephesians their goddess, because by that craft they had their 
wealth ; but that unfeigned affection to the bleeding head, and 
tender compassion to his blessed members, may be all the oil to feed 
that lamp wherewith I enlighten others in the way to life. Oh that 
that pathetical affectionate expression of my dearest Kedeemer might 
sound often in mine ears, and pierce my very soul, ' If thou lovest 
me, feed my lambs ; if thou lovest me, feed my sheep.' 

I desire that my- ends in the ministry may be purely to exalt the 
glorious name of my God, in the conversion and edification of his 
precious and chosen ones. That I may not use preaching, as a thief 
a picklock, to open men's coffers, but as a key- to open their hearts, 
that the truth of God, and the God of truth, may enter in. Why 
should I profane so pious an ordinance by so poisonous an end, and 
serve myself like the eagle, by having my eye to the prey whilst I 
soar aloft, and pretend to the world that I serve my Saviour ? Let 
me not like Balaam, divine for money, nor through covetousness, 
with feigued words, make merchandise of inestimable souls, which 
Christ thought worth his precious blood. Oh that I might seek 
not my people's goods, but good ; not my own profit, but the profit 
of many, that they might be saved. Lord, let this design lie at the 
bottom of my heart in every act of my office, that I may, as Abra- 

Chap. XXVI. ] the christian man's calling. 321 

ham's steward, provide a wife for my master's son ; and enable me 
through thine help, so to set forth the beauty of his person, the 
excellency of all his precepts, and the vastness of his portion, that 
I may woo to purpose, and prevail to present my people as a chaste 
virgin unto Christ. 

I wish, that because the work I am occupied about is great, in 
regard it is not for man, but for the Lord, that I may, as Bezaleel 
and Aholiab for the service of the sanctuary, be singularly gifted 
and endowed by my God, for the building of his spiritual temple ; 
that, as a wise builder, I may lay the foundation of sound doctrine, 
raise it up strong pillars of convincing reasons, and cover it with 
useful and powerful application. I would not, like some young 
shopkeepers, for want of stock, set out pictures of wares' instead of 
parcels ; but be so thoroughly furnished unto every good work, that 
I may, upon all occasions, bring out of my treasury things both new 
and old. Lord, let a double portion of thy Spirit be poured on me, 
and let thy blessing so prosper my studies, that I may be an ' able 
minister of the new testament ; not of the letter, but of the spirit : 
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the 
word of truth,' 2 Cor. iii. 6. 

I wish, that since I am a steward of the mysteries of Christ, and 
that it is required of a steward that he be found faithful, that I may 
upon no pretence be false to the souls of my people ; that I may 
not daub with untempered mortar, or sow pillows under men's 
elbows for any gain or advantage, but may be a Barnabas, a son 
of consolation to the penitent ; a Boanerges, a son of thunder to 
the presumptuous, that, knowing the terror of the Lord, I may per- 
suade men, and give to every one their particular and proper portion 
in due season. Oh let me not be curious to provide meat tooth- 
some for polluted palates, to the feeding of their distempers — like 
Ahab's four hundred trencher-chaplains, who sold their lord's life 
at the cheap rate of a lie — but as Micaiah, be careful to distribute 
food that is wholesome and suitable to their several spiritual consti- 
tutions. Though my patients may be angry at present, when I 
search their festered wounds to the bottom, and thereby put them 
to pain, yet, when upon my faithful dealing they recover, they will 
give me hearty thanks. It was the saying of Mauritius the emperor, 
when he heard that Phocas was a coward, If he be a coward, he is 
a murderer. If I be fearful to tell men of their sins, I murder their 
souls. Lord, when I am visiting my parishioners in private, or 
preaching to them in public, cause me to hear thy voice behind me : 
'When I say unto the wicked, that he shall surely die; and thou 

VOL. I. X 


givest him no warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his 
wicked way, that he may live ; the same wicked man shall die in 
his iniquities ; but his blood will I require at thine hand/ Ezek. 
iii. 18. 

I desire that I may not be obnoxious to the censure of a wicked 
and slothful servant ; not of wicked, by hiding my sins in the cloak 
of excuses ; nor of slothful, by hiding my talent in the napkin of 
idleness ; but may mind the work of the ministry, and make it 
appear that both in my preparation for, and execution of my office, 
I labour in the word and doctrine. My time and parts are not 
mine own, but, under God, my people's, and to be improved for their 
profit. If men die for robbing single persons, what shall befall me, 
should I be such a thief as to rob the poor, the rich, and indeed the 
whole parish's stock ? My prayer is, that I may not offer to the 
Lord my God that which cost me nothing ; that my meat, which I 
set before the family committed to my charge, may not be, like 
Ephraim, half-baked, raw or crude, and so unmeet for their stomachs 
to concoct, because of my negligence in preparing it ; that I may 
' give attendance to reading ; meditate on those things ; give myself 
wholly to them ; that my profiting may appear to all men,' 1 Tim. 
iv. 13, 15. They that spend upon the main stock where it is but 
small, will quickly prove bankrupts. My layings-out are consider- 
able, my comings-in had need to be answerable. Surely, if any in 
the world should feed high, should study, read, and pray hard, those 
should do it who carry so many in their wombs, or give so many 
suck. I wish that I may be industrious as well in rearing the 
temple as in providing materials, that I may cheerfully ' spend, and 
be spent in the service of Christ.' My Saviour was taken to be fifty 
when he was little above thirty, by reason of his excessive industry ; 
his very countenance was aged. my soul, follow thou this 
blessed pattern. Do not play, ' but work the work of him that sent 
thee in the Lord.' Improve all opportunities to the utmost, be 
instant in season and out of season, serve thy God with all thy 
strength ; like fuel, consume thyself in burning to warm the spirit 
of the saint, and to thaw the frozen heart of the sinner. Thy work 
is of infinite consequence, thy time is exceeding short, thy reward 
is glorious and eternal. ' Up, and be doing,' and, like the silkworm, 
wear out thine own bowels to hide others' nakedness ; waste tlryself 
to prevent thine own and others' endless woe. Be thou a fruitful 
mother to conceive and bring forth new creatures, though thou 
conceivest with sorrow, and bringest forth with much pain, and 
thy labours at last should cost thee thy life. 

Chap. XXVI.] the christian man's calling. 323 

I desire that I may be tenderly affected to all the souls in my 
charge, as knowing their worth, and believing of what concernment 
their unchangeable estates are in the other world. Lord, what 
melting bowels should I have towards them, when I consider that 
every one of them miist die within a few days, and either live in 
heaven, or fry in hell to all eternity ! My Saviour was a faithful 
and merciful high priest. He had compassion on the multitude 
when they had nothing to eat, and would not send them away empty, 
lest they should faint in the wilderness. Oh that I had but that 
pity for the souls which he had to the bodies of men ! Nature will 
help me to pity a body without a soul ; why should not grace teach 
me to pity a soul without a God ? Lord, when I behold wounded, 
bleeding, dying souls, let mine eyes affect my heart with sorrow, 
that both mine eyes and heart may be up to thee, with the greatest 
importunity for a blessing upon my most diligent endeavours for 
their recovery. Make me so tender and affectionate a mother, that 
I may patiently bear with the f rowardness, and willingly go through 
with the burden of instructing my children. Though others nurse 
children for the love of wages, let me nurse mine for the wages of 
love. Let all my actions towards them flow from sincere affection 
to them ; and not only my counsel and comforts, but even my rod 
of reproof, like Jonathan's, be dipped in this honey. When I am 
rebuking them cuttingly, and frighting them from sin with the 
fear of the unquenchable fire, let all my bitter pills be given in this 
sweet syrup of love, that they may know and acknowledge my greatest 
anger against their sins to proceed from a tender respect and love 
to their immortal souls. 

I wish that, being a sworn soldier of the Lord of hosts, whatso- 
ever trials and tribulations I meet with in my holy warfare, what- 
soever clangers and death shall look me in the face, I may never 
fly from my colours, or forsake my captain, but ' endure hardship 
as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.' When I first listed myself in 
his muster-roll, I understood the grievous hardships and various 
hazards which all his army, but especially his officers, must en- 
counter with ; that to preach the gospel is, as Luther saith, to 
draw the hatred of the whole world upon a man ; yea, that earth 
and hell would both conspire and plant their strongest batteries 
against the bulwarks of the church, (under God,) the ministers of 
the word ; notwithstanding all which I entered my name as a 
volunteer, and promised to live and die in his quarrel ; and shall I 
now, because the enemies appear numerous, and the bullets fly 
thick, like Peter, deny my righteous cause, and disown my glorious 


captain ? Lord, let me die with thee rather than deny thee ; 
enable me through thy strength to be ready not only to be bound, 
but to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. My only safety con- 
sisteth in keeping close to my Saviour ; should I, through coward- 
liness, run away, I must expect martial law. ' If any man draw back, 
thy soul will have no pleasure in him.' If I, like Jonah, should 
run from thy presence, as unwilling to deliver an unwelcome mes- 
sage, I must expect a storm to follow after me, and either the 
waves to swallow me up, or the whale to swallow me down ; I 
should but go out of thy blessing into the warm sun. If the ser- 
vice of my God be not in all respects the best, why did I choose 
and like it ? If it be, why should I refuse and leave it ? My 
cause is good, I fight against sin and Satan, the desperate and 
bloody enemies of my soul ; my crown is better ; after a temporal 
conflict, followeth an eternal crown of glory. ' my soul, be 
thou faithful unto death, and thou shalt have a crown of life.' 
But my captain is best of all ; he looketh upon me, goeth before 
me, fighteth for me ; and as he leadeth me on to this trial, so he 
will not, like the devil and the world, who leave their servants and 
lovers in the lurch, but bring me off with triumph, either safe on 
earth, or safe to heaven. Lord, whatsoever dirt of calumny shall 
be thrown in my face, whatsoever dart of cruelty shall be stuck in 
my body, for keeping the word of thy patience in an hour of 
temptation, yet let none of these things move me, neither let me 
count my life dear unto me, so that I may finish my course with 
joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to 
testify the grace of God, Acts xx. 22. 

As to the preaching of the gospel, which is the principal work of 
the minister, as being the main engine in the hand of God, where- 
with he undermineth and overturneth the strongholds of sin and 
the kingdom of darkness, I wish that I may prepare for this work 
diligently, ever handle this weapon warily, deliver the message of 
my God soberly, as may be most for his glory and my people's 
good, not with the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the 
demonstration of the Spirit and of power. To this end I desire 
that all my sermons may be, like Monica's son, children of many 
prayers and tears, and thereby the more unlikely to perish. Luther 
saith, He that prayeth hard, studieth hard. Lord, let all my ser- 
mons, as dew, be heaven-born, that they may drop down upon my 
people like rain upon the mown grass. Let prayer be the key to 
open the mysteries of Christ to me, and let prayer be the turning 
of the key, to lock them up safe within me. Let prayer open and 

Chap. XXVI] the christian man's calling. 325 

shut all my books, form and Write, begin and conclude every ser- 
mon. Ah, how should he pray both for his preaching, and before 
he preacheth, who, by every sermon, preacheth his beloved neigh- 
bours into eternal burnings, or eternal pleasures ! 

I wish also, for the furtherance of the former ends, that I may 
preach over every sermon to my own heart before I preach them 
to my hearers ; that I, preaching feelingly, may preach the more 
effectually ; and the milk of the word coming warm out of the 
mother's breasts, may be, as more natural, so more pleasing and 
nourishing to the children. Why should I, like a lawyer, plead the 
cause of my God, for my fees, and not at all have my own person 
concerned in it ? Oh let me rather, as a physician, drink of those 
potions myself, which I prescribe and administer to my patients. 

I desire that I may never dare to play the huckster with the 
word of God, to sophisticate or adulterate it by my additions to it, 
but that I may receive from the Lord what I deliver to men, and 
feed all my charge with the sincere milk of the word, that they 
may grow thereby. If it be treason to counterfeit the king's coin, 
what high treason is it for me to imprint the King of king's 
stamp on my brass money ! Oh that, as I am an ambassador, I 
might keep close to my instructions ; and as a builder, may lay 
every stone in his temple by the line and rule of his word ; and as 
a physician, may never try experiments upon the souls of my 
people, but hold fast to the form of wholesome words, and ever 
prescribe those tried and approved receipts, which the great physi- 
cian hath left me under his own hand. Because my work is to 
touch and pierce my hearers' hearts, and not to tickle and please 
their ears, I wish that I may preach a crucified Saviour in a 
crucified style ; that I may not blow up my sermons, as butchers 
some joints of meat, to make them show fairer, with a windy 
pomp of words ; but by using all plainness, and stooping to the 
lowest capacity, may ' become all things to all men, that I may 
save some/ I am a barbarian to my people, whilst I preach to 
them in an unknown language ; I starve their souls, whilst I give 
them such meat as they can never digest. Let me not read 
authors, as the butterfly goeth to flowers, only to gild her wings ; 
but as the bee, to gather honey, and bring it home to the hive for 
the supply of her young. Lord, let me never be guilty, by paint- 
ing the windows, of hindering the light of thy glorious gospel 
from shining powerfully into the hearts of men and women. 

My prayer is, that I may not strengthen the hands of sinners, 
nor sadden the hearts of the godly, but be able to distinguish 


between the vile and the precious, and accordingly give them 
their several portions : that I may give milk to babes, and strong 
meat to stronger men ; order my prescriptions suitable to their 
particular constitutions ; use the needle of the law to make way 
for the thread of the gospel ; and lead my sheep, as Jacob drove 
his flock, as they were able to bear it, and as Christ taught his, 
as they were best able to hear him. Oh that I might not only 
preach prudently, but also powerfully ; that my sermons may be 
delivered, not as prologues to a play, as matter of sport or pastime, 
but as the message of a herald, with all imaginable seriousness 
and fervency, as containing conditions of life and death. The word 
is a hammer, but it will never break the stony heart if lightly 
laid on ; what is preached coldly, is heard carelessly. Lord, let 
me not, like the moon, give some light without any heat, but cause 
me to lift up my voice like a trumpet ; to give, as fire, heat as 
well as light ; to be eaten up with the zeal of thine house ; to be- 
seech poor souls to be happy, with as much fervency as if I were 
begging for my life ; and to preach so successfully that I may raise 
up much spiritual seed to my elder brother. 

I wish that all my parishioners, without exception, may have 
so deep a share in my affection, upon a religious account, that 
without ceasing I may make mention of them always in my 
prayers ; that my heart's desire and prayer to God, both in secret, 
private, and public, for poor and rich, may be, that they may be 
saved. Oh let me daily offer sacrifice for them, confess their 
iniquities, bewail their misery, and cry mightily to God for mercy. 
Lord, let me prevail with thy Majesty to speak to their hearts, and 
I shall prevail with them to hearken to thee ; yea, I shall stand 
before thee at the last day with courage, and say, ' Behold, here am 
I, and the children which thou hast given me.' 

Because the small keels of children are quickly overturned, when 
they meet with the high winds of temptations, as they* sail along in 
the sea of this world, if they be not ballasted with the principles of 
the oracles of God ; I pray that I may be a diligent instructor of 
babes, and a faithful teacher of the simple. That I may season, 
through God's help, those new vessels with the precious water of life, 
that they may retain their savour to their old age ; that the younger 
amongst my people may, from their childhood, know the holy Scrip- 
lures, be wise to salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 

I wish, that in the administration of the sacraments, I may have 
an impartial regard to the fitness and mcetness of the subjects, lest 
I set those precious seals of the covenant of grace to blanks, whereby 

Chap. XXVI. ] the christian man's calling. 327 

they should signify nothing-, especially that about the Lord's supper, 

as I would not be partaker of other men's sin, nor be an instrument 
of furthering their eternal suffering, I may be tender, and walk 
altogether by the rule of Scripture. Oh let me never pollute that 
sacred ordinance, by giving it to profane persons ; nor be so prodi- 
gal of my dearest Saviour's blood and body, as to give those holy 
things to dogs, and to cast those pearls before swine, who will 
trample them under their feet. Ah, it is much better that such 
scandalous sinners should be angry with me on earth, for my whole- 
some severity, than curse me for ever in hell for my foolish pity and 
soul-damning flattery. 

I wish that, like a faithful shepherd, I may often visit my flock, 
and warn every one night and day with tears ; and not as a careless 
non-resident, expose them to the rage and cruelty of the devouring 
wolf, by my absence from them, or by my negligence when present 
among them ; lest another day, when it is too late, they cry to me, 
and complain of me. Sir, if thou hadst been here our souls had not 
died. The priest under the law visited the suspected or leprous 
houses, inquired how it was with them ; and as he found it so gave 
sentence. Oh that I might, under the gospel, visit diseased hearts, 
and diligently inquire how things stand betwixt the great God and 
their poor souls, and give them suitable, savoury, and profitable 
advice. Though I, therefore, desire a great auditory, because 
among many fish there is the greater probability that the baits of 
the gospel will take and catch some, yet therefore I should desire a 
small parish, because thereby I am in the greater capacity to deal 
with every one in it in particular about the concernments of their 
everlasting peace. Lord, let thy strict command frequently come 
into my mind, ' I charge thee, before God, and the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead at his appearing, and 
his kingdom: preach the word, be instant in season and out of 
season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine,' 
2 Tim. iv. 1, 2. 

I wish that I maybe as the Baptist, both a burning light in my 
sermons, and a shining light in my conversation, lest my works give 
the lie to my words ; whilst I, as Mercury, direct others in the 
right way, but walk not in it myself. The priests under the law 
had their Urim and Thummim, signifying purity of doctrine and 
sanctity of life ; a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, 
typifying that preaching and practice must go together. Oh that 
I might preach as powerfully by my life as by my lips ; and, like a 
faithful nurse, avoid the scandals of distempers, and even forbear 


those meats which I love, though lawful in themselves, when not 
expedient, not only for my own sake, but also for their sakes to 
whom I give suck. Nazianzen saith of him that was the ' voice of 
one crying in the wilderness,' that he was all voice, a voice in his 
habit, a voice in his diet, a voice in his conversation. Lord, enable 
me in all things so to shew myself a pattern of good works to my 
people, Tit. ii. 7, to be such an example to believers in word, in 
conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity, 1 Tim. iv. 12, 
that I may be able to say to my flock, as Paul to his Philippians, 
' Brethren, be followers together of me,'— and to his Corinthians, 
'Be followers of me as I am of Christ/ 1 Cor. xi. 1 — 'and mark 
them which walk so as ye have me for an ensample,' Phil. iii. 17. 

I wish, that though my labours should prove unfruitful, when I 
in the discharge of my trust am faithful, that I may not be dis- 
couraged, knowing that I shall be a ' sweet savour to my God, as 
well in them that perish as in them that are saved/ And ' though. 
Israel be not gathered by me, but I spend my strength in vain, yet 
surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.' 
Yet, oh that I might not be sent about that dreadful message, to 
make the hearts of any people fat, to make their ears heavy, and 
to shut their eyes ; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear 
with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and convert, 
and be healed, Isa. vi. 10 ; but that I may turn many sinners from 
the errors of their ways, save many souls from death, and hide a 
multitude of sins. 

I wish that as Joab, when he took the city of Kabbah with 
David's soldiers, was willing to have the crown set on the king's 
head ; so when my God hath enabled me by his Spirit to cast down 
imaginations and high things that exalted themselves against the 
knowledge of him, and to bring into captivity many sinners to the 
obedience of Christ, that I may set the crown of glory upon the 
head of God alone, and not suffer the least part of his honour to 
stick to my fingers. I am but the instrument, he is the principal 
efficient ; I am but the pipe, he is the spring whence the water of 
life floweth ; I do but lay on the plaster, he made the precious salve 
of the word, and bestoweth also healing virtue on it. Oh that I 
might never be so ungrateful, when he is pleased to honour me, as 
to dishonour him by thinking of myself above what is meet, but 
that all my services may be as so many scaffolds, erected purposely 
for the raising of his name, and the setting up of his praise. 

Finally, I wish that I may take heed to myself, to my doctrine, 
to my life, be watchful in all things, endure affliction, make full 

Chap. XXV II.] the christian man's calling. 329 

proof of rny ministry, do the work of a faithful pastor, lest, as they 
who prophesied in Christ's name, and in his name cast out devils, 

1 be cast to devils as a worker of iniquity, and find that gate of life 
which I opened to others shut against my own soul, 1 Tim. iv. 16 ; 

2 Tim. 4, 5 ; and Mat. vii. 21, 23. Oh let me not, as porters in 
great houses, lodge without myself whilst I let others into heaven ; 
let it please thee, God of all grace, to fill me with the fruits of 
thy Spirit, that I may feed thy people with knowledge and under- 
standing ; ' take the oversight of them, not by constraint, but 
willingly : not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind ; not as being 
a lord over God's heritage, but as being an example to the flock. 
That so when the chief shepherd shall appear, (on the great day in 
which the sheep shall be separated from the goats,) I may receive 
a crown of glory which fadeth not away,' 1 Pet. v. 2-4. Amen. 


How a Christian may exercise himself to godliness in his family as 
the governor thereof 

It is thy duty to exercise thyself to godliness in thy family and 
relations. A Christian must not, like the Israelites' pillar in the 
wilderness, be light on one side and dark on the other, be diligent 
in one relation and negligent in another ; but as a candle in a 
crystal lantern, be lightsome quite round it, be holy in every rela- 
tion in which he standeth. 

Reader, I shall consider thee as governor or governess of a family, 
and herein direct thee what thou shouldst do for the faithful dis- 
charge of thy trust in that relation. 

Houses under the law were to be dedicated to God at their first 
setting up, Deut. xx. 5 ; which was done, saith Ainsworth on the 
place, with singing and praising God, as well as feasting. David's 
psalm, Ps. xxx. vide title, at the dedication of his house, is worthy 
our imitation. Hezekiah, 1 upon the law touching the sanctifying 
a house to God, Lev. xxvii. 14, 15, giveth this exposition, That to 
dedicate or sanctify an house to God, is for the governor to be 
careful for the instruction of his family, and the religious con- 
versation of his household : that his house maybe God's house, and 
his children God's children, and his servants God's servants. 

A family is a natural and simple society of certain persons, hav- 

1 Qu., ' Hesychius ' ?— Ed. 


ing mutual relation one to another, under the private government 
of one head or chief. Aristotle calleth families the first society in 
nature, and the ground of all the rest. Before the flood, the whole 
form of civil and ecclesiastical government was confined within the 
precincts of private families. A family is the epitome of a kingdom 
and a commonwealth in a little volume. The way to make godly 
parishes, and godly countries, and godly kingdoms, is to make 
godly families. When sin as a plague spreadeth abroad, it begin- 
neth in families : one atheistical family defileth and destroyeth 
many ; it sencleth a son into one house, a daughter into another, a 
servant into a third, and every of them, like infectious persons, 
poison those with whom they converse : like a nest of foxes, they de- 
stroy and devour all the country over. As one house on fire often 
burnetii down many; so one profane family injureth many : one godly 
family, on the contrary, cloth good to many. As one stock of bees 
sendeth forth swarms and honey into many parts of the country ; so 
one religious family, sending religious children and servants abroad, 
(they come in time to have families of their own,) may bring much 
honour to God, and be helpful to the eternal welfare of many souls. 

A godless family, like a gun or cannon, killeth at a distance, as 
their swearing children and drunken servants come to spread abroad. 
A gracious family, like the weapon-salve, healeth at a distance, as 
the pious relations in it come to be dispersed in other places. 
Solomon was a religious housekeeper ; and it is observable, his ser- 
vants were so seasoned by him with godliness that their children, 
five hundred years after, were recorded by the Spirit of God to be the 
most eminent in their time for religion, Ezra ii. 58. Solomon being 
a godly governor of his family, did good after he was dead at so 
great a distance. Theodosius being asked how a private person might 
be a public good, answered, By ordering all things well at home. The 
way to make our orchards good is to look well to our nurseries. 

It concerneth thee, therefore, reader, nearly, to exalt godliness in 
thy house as well as in thy heart ; nay, I will be bold to tell thee, 
if there be in thee the truth of religion, thou wilt propagate it 
amongst thy relations. Thou wilt not be like the whirlpool, to 
suck all into thyself, but be diffusive for the good of others. A 
good Christian is like a needle touched with the loadstone, which 
being drawn itself, will draw others along with it. When Christ 
had drawn Philip, he presently draweth Nathanael, John i. 43, 45. 
The bird hath no sooner found a heap of corn but she chirpeth and 
calleth her fellows, and will be sure to carry some home to her 
nest. A saint should endeavour the conversion of his neighbours, 

Chap. XXVII.] the chbistian man's calling. 331 

that they may eat of the bread of life with him; but he should 
have a special regard to his own family, that all in it may feed on 
Christ by faith, and live. Nature hath taught the beavers to help 
one another in swimming; and the cranes flying over the mountain 
Taurus, when the foremost is weary in beating the air, that the 
next should succeed, and so in order every one to labour for the 
safety of them all. Christians are taught from other creatures to 
be helpful one to another ; but the master of the family, like the 
sun, must outshine all in respect of public influence. 

Plutarch saith of the neighbour villages about Rome in Nnma's 
time, that sucking in the air of that city they breathed righteous- 
ness. The family ought to be a wholesome air for others to breathe 
in. It is reported of Andronicus 1 the elder, that he was master of 
such a family as was the shop of virtue, and therefore it was called 
Tf;<? 7>}<? 7/A.io?, The sun of the earth. Tremellius, 2 who for a time 
sojourned in Bishop Cranmer's family, telleth us that it was SchoJa 
vel pakestra pietatis et literarum, The school or nursery of piety 
and learning. The houses of the primitive Christians were little 
churches in regard of the worship and service of God : ' To the 
church that is in thine house,' Philern. 2; Rom. xvi. 5; 1 Cor. xvi. 9; 
Col. iv. 15. Though many a man's house is so far from being God's 
church and temple, that it is the devil's sty and kennel, that God 
may say to the master of the family, as in Rev. ii. 13, 'I know 
where thou dwellest, even where Satan's throne is.' Nay, though 
they are civil abroad, then they will have some rags to cover their 
nakedness and naughtiness, they are sordid at home, and discover 
there all their nastiness. David, on the contrary, whatever steps he 
might take awry, and whatsoever slips he might meet with in his 
public walking, would be sure to look to his feet in his private dwell- 
ing : ' I will walk in the midst of my house with a perfect heart until 
thou come unto me,' Ps. ci. 2. David was no hypocrite ; he did not 
put on his best clothes when he went out, and put them off when 
he came in ; but purity was his livery, as abroad, so at home. 

Imitate that pious governor, who, though he had the burden of 
all the Israelites' civil and military affairs lying upon his shoulders, 
yet could say, ' I and my house will serve the Lord.' 

Reader, I shall offer two thoughts to quicken thee to this neces- 
sary duty, and then give thee directions for the management of it. 

1. Consider that religion in a family is the way to procure God's 
blessing on thy family. The holy family alone is the happy family. 
The Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom fur the ark's sake, 2 Sam. 
i Niceph. 2 Enar. in Hos. Prael. 


vi. 11. If the ark be in the house, that is, religion, God is there ; 
for the ark was a type of God's presence ; and canst thou need any 
comforts when thou hast God's company ? 

The philosopher could say, Though he had few goods in his 
house, yet he had the gods in his house. Though thou hast a poor 
dwelling, yet if godliness be there, thou shalt have God's blessing. 
' His presence will make the habitation of thy righteousness pros- 
perous,' Job viii. 6. Thou mayest say of thy house, as Jacob of Bethel, 
' The Lord is in this place ; this is none other but the house of God.' 
Basil speaketh, that in some countries they draw other pigeons to 
their dove -houses by anointing one of their pigeon's wings with 
sweet ointment. If thy house be anointed with the oil of godliness, 
it will allure the blessed God to it ; and then what evil needest thou 
fear, or what good canst thou want ? It is observed of the Palla- 
dium in Troy, that whilst that remained amongst them their city 
was safe. The only way to have a destroying angel pass by thy 
house is to have the door-posts sprinkled with the blood of Jesus 
Christ. ' Through wisdom is a house bnilded, and by understand- 
ing it is established; and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled 
with all pleasant and precious riches/ Prov. xxiv. 3, 4. Here is true 
wealth, and the right way to enjoy it. 1. The true wealth : thy 
chambers shall be filled with all pleasant and precious riches. 
Kighteousness is the best way to riches. 2. The way to this : by 
wisdom a house is builded, and it is established by understanding. 
By wisdom and understanding godliness is understood ; and unto 
man he said, ' Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom ; and to 
depart from evil is understanding,' Job xxviii. 28. This wisdom is 
the best foundation for any house to stand upon. When religion 
layeth the foundation, raiseth the walls, and covereth the roof, such 
a house is built upon a rock, and will stand against all the winds 
and waves, wrath and rage of men and devils. Some families had 
lasted longer, saith Luther, if they had been holier. 

Keligion will bring a blessing on thy estate, Job i. 10. ' Blessed 
is he that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his com- 
mandments ; for thou shalt eat the labour of thy hands ; happy 
shalt thou be ; and it shall be well with thee,' Ps. cxxviii. 1,2. It 
will bring a blessing on thy children ; God will be a God to thee, 
and to thy seed after thee, Gen. xvii. 7 ; Prov. xx. 7. The branches 
will fare the better for the sap of grace which is in the root. It 
will bring a blessing on thy name, Prov. x. 7. Holiness will make 
thy house truly honourable ; it will bring a blessing on all thine 
affairs.- In a word, that day in which religion is set up in thy 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 333 

house, I may say to thee, as Christ to Zaccheus, ' This day salva- 
tion is come to thy house.' 

2. Consider, a family without religion is a cursed family. That 
house which is not Bethel, a house of God, hut Bethaven, a 
house of vanity, is Bethany, a house of sorrow and misery. 
' The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked/ Prov. iii. 33. 
Whatsoever cordials or comforts, dishes or dainties are there, the 
curse of God, like the wild gourd which the sons of the prophets 
put into their pottage, will spoil and poison all. As a little leaven, 
a little of this curse of God will sour the whole lump of thy family 
blessings. ' I have seen the foolish taking root, but suddenly I 
cursed his habitation,' Job v. 3. The words are not a malediction 
from Eliphaz's private spirit, but a prediction from God's Spirit, as 
if he had said — I was neither malicious against his person, nor envi- 
ous at his prosperous condition, but by the help of the Holy 
Ghost I foresaw his destruction ; that though his house was built 
high, yet his unholiness would lay it low. Thou may est possibly 
presume, that though thou livest without God, yet thou art beyond 
the reach of his rod ; thou canst moat thy house round against the 
fire of divine fury, but thy confidence shall be rooted out of thy 
tabernacle, and brimstone shall be scattered on thy habitation. 
God will unkennel all such foxes, and drag them to their deserved 
destruction. AVhen Dioclesian the persecutor retired from the em- 
pire to a private life, after he had feathered his nest, fire rained down 
from heaven and consumed his house. 1 When Nicephorus Phocas 
had built a mighty wall about his palace for his defence, he heard 
a voice in the night saying, Though thou buildest thy walls as high 
as heaven, sin is within, and that will pluck it down. The leprous 
house must be pulled down. God will have every brick, stone, tile, 
and piece of timber down. ' Where is the house of the prince ? and 
where is the dwelling-place of the wicked ? ' Job xxi. 28. 

Atheism in thy house will bring a curse upon thy calling, Job v. 
2, 3. The works of thy hands will fare the worse for the wicked- 
ness of thy heart. On thy children — it is ill to be related to a 
traitor — diseases, and so destruction, may be hereditary. Children 
may inherit both their parents' riches and ruin, Job v. 4, 5 ; Isa. xiv. 
20. His seed are far from safety — they are crushed. When a wicked 
man pulls down his house upon his head, many in it perish with 
him ; as when Samson pulled the house down upon the Philistines. 

The curse of God will be a moth in thy wardrobe, murrain 
among thy cattle, mildew in thy field, the plague to thy body, 
1 Euseb. lib. v. De Vit. Constant. 


wrath to thy soul, will indeed make thy house a very hell upon 
earth. The highest family in the world without godliness, though 
never so rich and ruffling, is but like Golgotha, a place full of 
frightful skulls, and like a churchyard full of carcases, gilded, rot- 
ten, and golden damnation. 

I shall now lay clown some directions how thou mayest exercise 
thyself to godliness as the governor of a family. 

First, Be careful whom thou admittest into thy family. Art 
thou unmarried, and to choose a husband or wife ? Do thy occa- 
sions call for a man-servant or maid-servant ? Be careful where 
thou fixest ; for, believe it, not only thy grace will appear in a good 
choice, but also godliness will be much hindered or furthered by 
thy choice. ' One sinner destroyeth much good,' Eccles. ix. 18. 
One man may pull down that house, which many, with much care, 
cost, and pains, did set up. We read that wicked men have been 
the better for taking godly men into their families, as Laban and 
Potiphar ; but we never read that godly men w r ere ever the better 
for having wicked persons in their families ; nay, how much have 
they been the worse, and by such been brought to great wicked- 
ness ! As black corn, they smut and sully the good corn ; as rusty 
armour, they injure that which is bright by being near it. The 
Lacedemonians were so sensible of this, that they would not suffer 
a stranger to abide among them above three days, lest by his evil 
example he should corrupt others. And wilt thou, friend, take them 
into thy house to dwell with thee, that will bring the plague along 
with them, and thereby probably destroy the bodies and souls 
of others ? Canst thou think it safe, for a little worldly ad- 
vantage, to be nigh them who are under God's fury, and next door 
to eternal fire ? Shall thy house be as Noah's ark, abounding in 
creatures clean and unclean, when God commandeth thee to worship 
him uprightly, with thy whole family? I hope, Christian, better 
things of thee. It was written over Plato's door, ov yeco/uueTpr)?, fzij 
ti? elaiTco, There is no man may come hither who is not a geome- 
ter. Let it be written over thy door, None may expect to dwell 
here who will not make religion his business. 

Magnus, a Roman orator, complaineth of St Jerome, that he 
brought many uncircumcised Greeks into the temple, and defiled 
candorem ecclesice sordibus etfmicorum, 1 the unstained chastity 
of the church, with the impure sentences of heathen authors. 
Take heed that thou dost not defile the church of God, for such 
thy house should be, with heathen themselves in Christian habits. 
1 Jerom. Epist., torn. ii. 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian ivian's calling. 335 

If thou wantest a wife, consider before thou choosest : take heed 
whom thou takest into thy bed, into thy bosom, lest thou nieetest 
with a yoke-fellow that will draw as strongly towards hell as thou dost 
towards heaven. It is rendered as the reason why one of the kings 
of Israel was so wicked, because he had to wife the daughter of 
Ahab. There is little work to be done when the second horse in 
the team is always drawing back. The devil can make use of Eve 
to draw thee to undo thyself and posterity. He can make use of 
the rib, saith the father — alluding to that part of man out of which 
the woman was taken — to break thy head. The heathen tell us that 
every man when he marrieth, bringeth a good or an evil spirit into 
his house, and thereby makes his house either a heaven or a hell. 

Be sure that wickedness do not woo for thee : do not send the 
unclean spirits, either of lust, or covetousness, or pride, to make the 
match. When men do as those sons of God, who saw the daugh- 
ters of men that they were fair, and took them wives of them, Gen. 
vi. 1, hand over head, it is no wonder that they are married and 
marred together. Consider, a wife or a husband is the greatest 
outward comfort or cross in this world ; and let prayer be the mes- 
senger thou employest about it. ' A good wife is from the Lord,' 
Prov. xix. 14. It is God's special gift, and therefore do thou go to 
him for it. Peter Martyr saith, that Adam, in that deep sleep in 
which God formed Eve out of him, was then praying for a meet help. 
And Isaac went forth to pray, when he had sent forth for a wife. 
He had need to have good counsel who is to take one to be his con- 
stant companion. When Joshua entered into a league with the 
Gibeonites, and never asked counsel of God, how sad were the 
effects of it ! If thou enterest into a league with a man or a maid, 
for I know not what sex thou art of, and dost not ask counsel of 
God, expect a sad consequence of such rashness. Why shouldst 
thou, as our proverb is, for a little land take a fool by the hand — 
sell the comfort of thy life for a little perishing wealth, and make 
thy whole time on earth bitter, out of a love to a little fading 
treasure ? 

It was the advice of the late Earl of Salisbury, in his book of 
precepts to his son, that he should be exceeding careful whom he 
matched with, because, as in a project of war, when an army is foiled 
by the enemy, they seldom recover ; so to err once in the choice of a 
wife, is usually to be undone for ever ; and the more cause there is 
of special care, because he that seeketh out for a wife goeth to a 
lottery, where he shall meet with a hundred blanks for one prize. 

But I am persuading thee to circumspection in this particular 


not upon a politic, but a conscientious principle, as thou wouldst 
exalt religion in thy habitation. Next to thyself, thy wife will be 
the best friend or worst foe that godliness can have in thy family. 
Nay, possibly, and probably too, if thy wife should be wicked, 
though thou art at present like a sound apple, thou rnayest quickly 
be specked, by lying near one that is all over rotten : the nearer the 
relation, the easier and speedier is the infection. He that could 
overcome a lion to his glory, was himself overcome by a woman to 
his sin and shame. The most perfect man, Adam, the strongest 
man, Samson ; the wisest man, Solomon, were all betrayed by their 
wives into the hands of their spiritual enemies. The meekest man, 
Moses, hearkened so much to his wife, that it was like to have cost 
him his life. Some expositors give this reason why Satan spared 
Job's wife, when he slew his children, not to comfort him — surely 
the devil did not love Job so well — but to cross him, by provoking 
him to curse God : the devil knew that none was so fit to present 
that poisonous potion with success to Job, as his wife ; that if he 
ever took it, her fair hands must give it, and her sugared words 
sweeten it. Solomon saith, ' Woe be to him that is alone;' surely 
it is also true, Woe be to him who is not alone, but hath a wicked 
wife like a snake in his bosom. 

Reader, dost thou want a servant ? Choose for God, not for 
thyself. Let not thy main query be, whether he can do thy work, 
but whether he will submit to God's word ; though the former 
must not be neglected, yet the latter must be preferred. It may 
be for advantage sake thou receivest a drunken or swearing person 
into thy house ; but dost thou consider that he will be an Achan, a 
troubler of thy family ? Canst thou think to do God's work with 
the devil's tools ? Put off thy disguise of Christianity if thou 
esteemest thy particular calling above thy general. Besides, dost 
thou know what thou hast done ? Thou hast taken into thy house 
an usher to instruct thy children in the black art of hell ; believe 
it, thy children will catch sins as soon as vermin from those that 
are of Satan's ragged regiment. Thy sons and daughters are like 
Polypus in iElian, that turneth to the colour of that rock or weed 
in the sea which lieth nearest. Once more, thou wilt be frustrated 
in the end of thy entertaining such a servant, for they will never 
be faithful to their master who are unfaithful to their Maker. 
Constantius, the father of famous Constantine, gave out that all 
such as would not deny the faith should be deprived of their 
honour and offices ; whereupon several forsook the faith, others 
stuck close to the truth. Whereupon the emperor, when he had 

Chap. XXVII. ] the christian man's calling. 337 

discovered those halting' hypocritical persons, turned them all out 
of their places, saying, that they who were false to God would never 
be faithful to man. I do a little question his policy in the premises, 
but his piety in the conclusion is out of question ; for they who will 
rob God of his glory, will, if opportunity serve, rob men of their 
goods and good name too. It is recorded to the credit of Queen 
Elizabeth that she would suffer no lady to approach her presence 
of whose dishonesty she had the least suspicion. Friend, mark and 
follow the man after God's own heart : ' Mine eyes shall be upon 
the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me : he that 
walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh 
deceit shall not dwell within my house, he that telleth lies shall not 
tarry in my sight/ Ps. ci. 6, 7. 

As thou wouldst have God's company in thy family, do not enter- 
tain his enemies into thy family. ' What communion hath God 
with Belial ? ' As thou wouldst make religion thy business, avoid 
those quench-coals, those hinderers of holiness. Bid the workers 
of iniquity depart, if thou wouldst keep the commandments of thy 
God, Ps. cxix. 115. 

Secondly, Mind holy performances in thy family. Every master 
of a family is a priest, and his whole family should be a royal 
priesthood, offering at least morning and evening sacrifice to God, 
acceptable through Jesus Christ. The Jews had sacrifice in their 
families, as well as in the tabernacle, Exod. xii. 2. ' Let me go, I 
pray thee, for our family hath a sacrifice in the city,' saith David 
to Jonathan, 1 Sam. vi. 20. 

It was prophesied that in the days of the gospel the Spirit should 
be poured down upon men, and they should see Christ, and mourn 
' every family apart,' Zech. ii. 10. It was the advice of Jerome to 
a pious matron, So take care of thine house, as alway to allow 
liberty and time to thy soul. 1 The governor hath the cure of the 
souls as well as of the bodies in his family ; and if he mind their 
outward man and neglecteth their inward, he is but a brute in 
human shape, for beasts feed the bodies of their young. 

As the school fitteth young men for the university, so holy per- 
formances in private prepare servants and children for, and help 
them to profit by, the ordinances of God in public. A foundation 
well laid by the master of a family is a great help to the minister 
when he goeth to rear and raise the building. Confident I am 
our work would not have half that difficulty which now it hath, if 

1 Ita habeto solicitudinem domus, ut aliquam tamen vacationcm animas tribuas. — 
ffier. ad Celant. 

VOL. I. Y 


masters of families would but do their duties. He that findeth his 
timber ready hewn to his hand hath a great advantage in setting 
up a house of him that must fell, bark, season, and hew it himself. 
It is no wonder that an apprentice is so backward to his work and 
so bungling at it, when he is wholly unacquainted with it and a 
stranger to it. If children and servants were accustomed to reli- 
gious exercises at home, sermons would not be so tedious nor Sab- 
baths so tiresome to them as they are. 

The ordinary duties in families are prayer, reading the word, 
with instructing children and servants out of it, and singing. 

1. Prayer must be in families. It is said of Bishop Usher 1 that 
he had family prayer four times a day, at six in the morning and 
eio-ht at night, and before dinner and supper in his chapel. 
' David returned to bless his house,' 2 Sam. vi. 21 — that is, say 
expositors, to bless God with his family, and to beg God's blessing 
on his family. Esther prayed and fasted with her maidens, Esth. 
iv. 16. The Holy Ghost enjoineth husband and wife ' to dwell 
together as fellow-heirs of the grace of life, that their prayers be 
not hindered,' 1 Pet. iii. 7. Our blessed Saviour is to be our 
pattern. Now he prayed with his family of disciples : ' And it 
came to pass as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him,' 
Luke ix. 18. He was alone, not secretly, to exclude all society ; 
but privately, to include only his own family. Our houses are 
Gods houses, and in God's house there must every day be morn- 
ing and evening sacrifice. 'I will that men pray every where ; ' 
surely then in private as well as in secret and in public, 1 Tim. ii. 
8. Families need direction in the day and protection in the night, 
and truly either of them is worth a prayer. Thy family sins must 
be pardoned, thy family wants must be supplied, and if they do 
not deserve a prayer they deserve nothing. Horses kneel before 
they lie down at night, and when they rise up in the morning ; and 
shall thy house be worse than a stable of beasts ? 

They that will not beg family supplies and bless God for family 
mercies, may well be branded for ungodly and ungrateful wretches. 
Prayer and praise are like the double motion of the lungs ; what 
we suck in by petition we breathe out in thanksgiving, and without 
this, religion cannot live in a family. What dangers are thy family 
liable to every day ! and without prayer thou hast no guide, no 
guard. Origen, going once to comfort a martyr, was himself 
apprehended, and constrained either to have his body abused by a 
blackamoor, or to offer to the idol, which latter he did ; but bewail- 

1 Dr Bernard in his Life and Death. 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 339 

ing it. saitli, I went out that morning without prayer, which I know 
was the cause of that evil. 

It is said of the Egyptians that there was a great cry at mid- 
night, for in every house there was one dead. Reader, are there 
not dead souls in thy family, children and servants dead in sins 
and trespasses ? and shall there be no cry, no complaining to God 
there ? I must tell thee thy house is worse than a pest-house, for 
thou hast infected and dangerously diseased souls in it, and not so 
much as ' Lord have mercy upon us' written on thy door. Heathens 
and families without prayer are fitly joined together, Jer. x. 25. 
The truth is, such persons are English in their language, but 
Indian in their atheistical carriage ; they feed and clothe their 
bodies like Englishmen, but they starve and go naked in their 
souls like Indians. Only herein they differ, that they cannot be 
prayerless in their houses at so cheap a rate, but must expect a 
hotter hell, because they sin against a clearer light. Many families 
are the picture of hell : one may hear twenty oaths for one prayer ; 
the master will often curse, but seldom or never bless his family ; 
he loveth cursing, so it will come to him ; and as he delighted not 
in blessing, so it will be far from him. 

Do not say thou canst not pray. Had the Father of spirits ever 
any dumb children ? Every beggar at thy door who is pinched 
with hunger, will tell thee that sense of misery will teach thee to 
be earnest for mercy. If thou wert condemned to be hanged, thou 
Avouldst not want words to plead for a pardon. Surely eternal 
death, to which thou art liable, is far more lamentable ; and if ever 
God make thee sensible of it, which must be done, or thou art lost 
for ever, thou wilt quickly follow him with prayers and tears for 
grace and life. 

Thy affections in prayer, if right, will abundantly make up thy 
want of expressions. A sanctified heart is better than a silver 
tongue. Though thou hast not the gift of prayer, yet if thou canst 
act grace in prayer, all will be well. 

Pray much in secret, and thou wilt quickly learn to pray 
well in private. Use at any trade will make men prompt and 

Rather use a form out of a book than omit the duty. They who 
cannot dress their meat themselves, must be beholden to their 
neighbours to do it for them. Set upon it presently ; it is thy 
honour, thy privilege ; and use crutches till thou art able to go 
alone ; only do not content thyself with them, (alas, who ever was 
proud of stilts !) but labour to gain knowledge in spiritual things, 


by reading, secret praying, and conference, that thou mayest throw 
them away. 

2. The word of God must be read in thy family, and thy house- 
hold instructed there. As by prayer thy duty is to acquaint God 
with thy family wants, so by reading some portion of Scripture 
daily, thy duty is to acquaint thy family with God's will. A house 
without light is in a dreadful lamentable condition ; thy house- 
hold, without the word, sit in darkness, and thereby in the shadow 
of death. The commandment is a lamp, and the law is light, 
Prov. vi. 23. Alas, how can thy servants or children do their 
heavenly Master's and Father s work, when they are wholly igno- 
rant of his will ? The weeds of sin grow of themselves ; but the 
ground must be ploughed, and sown, and harrowed, and watered, 
before good corn will spring up. 

God expecteth that thou shouldst be both a priest to offer up 
sacrifice for, and a prophet to instruct and teach thy family. A 
good housekeeper is like that nobleman, who had for his impress 
two bundles of ripe millet, with this motto, Servare et servari 
meum est; for the nature of millet is, say some, to guard itself from 
corruption, and that which lieth nearest to it. The word of God, 
and holy instructions to a family, are as salt, which is helpful 
against putrefaction: Mat. v., 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' 
Masters must be sure to have salt in themselves, and for their 
families. It is said that the Hammanients in Cyrene made their 
houses of salt, hewn out of their hills in manner of stone. Jerome 
counselled Leta, Let thy children daily give thee some account of 
some choice flowers gathered out of the Bible. Teach thy children 
to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. It is too 
late to season flesh when it crawleth with worms ; do it therefore 
betimes. Bishop Eider read and expounded Psalm ci., which 
treateth of the good government of families, often to his household, 
and hired them with money to learn it. 

Abraham had letters testimonial from heaven of his sincerity, 
and the favour to be trusted with arcana imperii, God's secrets, 
because of his faithfulness in this particular : ' And the Lord said, 
Shall I hide from Abraham the things which I do ? For I know 
him that he will command his children and his household after 
him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord,' Gen. xviii. 17, 19. Oh, 
how few Abrahams are there in England! Many teach their families 
the works of the devil, but few teach them the way of the Lord ; 
many lop their trees, prune their plants, break their horses, train 
their hawks, yea, teach their dogs, yet never instruct their children. 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 341 

Friend, consider the worth of thy children and servants' souls, 
and the weight of their everlasting estates, and how in the dark of 
ignorance they must unavoidably stumble into hell ; and for the 
Lord's sake be persuaded, to instruct them in the knowledge of the 
true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, John xvii. 3. 
Naturalists tell us that bees carry small gravel in their feet to poise 
their bodies as they fly through stormy winds. If thou wouldst 
not have thy little ones blown away with the winds of temptation, 
do thou labour to poise them with the principles of the oracles 
of God. Ah, what pity is it that men, like silly doves without 
hearts, should sit in their dove-cots, see their nests destroyed, and 
their young ones killed before their eyes, by the old manslayer the 
devil, and never stir or offer once to rescue or revenge them ! 
Good Lord, what unnaturalness is in many parents and masters ! 
Cardan speaks of one that had a receipt for the certain dissolving 
the stone in the bladder, and I question not, saith he, but he is 
damned for not discovering it before his death. Thou knowest the 
word, under God, must cure the persons in thy family of the stone 
in the heart ; and wilt thou neglect to acquaint them with it, but 
suffer them to die eternally? reader, be not guilty of such 
horrid and barbarous cruelty. Do as that holy bishop of Armagh, 
who one day in every week did catechise his family. It is reported 
of Louis IX. of France, that he was found instructing a poor 
kitchen boy, and being asked the reason, answered piously, I know 
the meanest in my family hath a soul as precious as my own, and 
bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. Our Saviour taught his 
disciples often in private as their governor, and according to their 
capacities, Mark iv. 33 ; Mat. xvi. 17, 18. It is an honour to the 
highest prince to teach his household God's precepts. Oh let thy 
words in thy family, as the waters of Nilus, often overflow to 
make others fruitful. The papists confess that all the ground 
which we have got of them is by catechising and instructing our 

3. Singing of psalms must be used in thy family. The Lord 
Jesus and his family did practise this duty : Mat. xxvi. 30, ' And 
when they sang a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.' 
David in that psalm, at the dedication of his house, speaketh that 
his glory should sing praise to God, and not be silent, Ps. xxx. 
title, ver. 4 and 12. Our tongues are called our glory, not only 
because by our speech we excel beasts, but cbiefly because there- 
with we should glorify. God. It is observable that most of those 
places which prophesy the Gentiles' conversion, do mention their 


worshipping the true God by singing, Ps. cviii. 3, c, and lxiv. 4 ; 
Isa. liv. 1, and Hi. 8. The Holy Ghost when he cornmandeth that 
the word should keep house with us, doth also enjoin us to ' teach 
and admonish one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual 
songs/ (which are the titles of David's psalms, and the known divi- 
sion of them, expressly answering to the Hebrew words, Shurim, 
Telhillim, and Mizinurim, by which his psalms are distinguished 
and entitled, as the learned observe,) ' singing and making melody 
with grace in our hearts to the Lord,' Col. iii. 16 ; Eph. v. 19 ; 
James v. 13. Basil 1 speaks high in the praise of praising God by 
this holy exercise. Chrysostom speaketh of some in his time who 
always concluded their suppers with singing a psalm, and, saith 
he, they lived like angels. 

This ordinance will much quicken holy affections, and help a 
Christian to serve God with more cheerfulness. When the 
Israelites were singing the 136th psalm at the bringing in the 
ark, the glory of the Lord filled the house, 2 Chron. xx. 22. The 
sweet singer in Israel was the man after God's own heart. 

Only, reader, be careful to sing David's psalms with David's 
spirit, and not like a nightingale to sing by rote : ' I will sing with 
my spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.' Making 
melody with grace in the heart, is the best tune to set all David's 
psalms with. 

Thirdly, Set a good pattern to thy family. The fore-horse in 
the team had need to go right, because all the rest follow in the 
same road. If the commander be treacherous, how soon may he 
betray his soldiers, who follow him at the heels, into the enemy's 
hands ! 

A governor of a family must, like Moses, be mighty both in 
word and deed. Patterns are very prevalent both to good and evil. 
Precepts teach, but examples draw. ' Why compel lest thou the 
Gentiles to live as do the Jews ?' Gal. ii. 14. Peter did not com- 
pel them by his preaching, but by his pattern. His example was 
so powerful, that even Barnabas, as well as others, was drawn away 
therewith. It is observable that Jeroboam seldom appeareth in 
the heaven of Scripture, but in the form of a blazing star, with a 
tail after him, 'Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin ;' 
by his precepts he commanded them to sin, but by his pattern he 
compelled them to sin. As examples are attractive to evil, so also to 
good. ' That if any believe not, they may be won without the word 
by conversation of the wife,' 1 Pet. iii. 1,2.. If godliness be written 

1 Bawl, dc virt. et laud., Ts. torn. 1. 

Chap. XXVII. ] the christian man's calling. 343 

in the book of thy life, in a fair character, in a large lovely letter, 
it may invite thy children and servants to read and like it, who 
otherwise possibly would not have taken the least notice of it. 

He that ruleth others, must not be unruly himself. If a ruler 
hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked, Pro v. xxix. 12. If a 
governor of a family, a father or mother, be a drunkard, a swearer, 
or an atheist, their children will quickly imitate them ; they will as 
certainly inherit their lusts, as their lands. As some parents make 
their children rich by their lordships, so they make them riotous by 
their evil lives. Observe, Abraham, a good man, denieth his wife ; 
Isaac is his heir not only in his wealth, but also in that weakness ; 
Isaac denieth his wife likewise, Gen. xx. 2, with Gen. xxvi. 7. 
Jacob's wives got little good by the pattern and practice of Laban 
their father, Gen. xxxi. 19, and xxxv. 1, 2. 

The parents of the children destroyed by the two she-bears, were 
wont to jeer Elisha in their ordinary talk. What ! Elisha the bald- 
pate must be taken up to heaven, forsooth, as well as Elias ! The 
children hearing it spoken by them, learned it of them, though they 
paid dear for their learning, for it cost them their lives, and, for 
aught I know, their souls, 2 Kings ii. 24. reader ! doth not 
thine heart ache to read this, and hast thou not abundant cause to 
be heedful, lest by thy pattern thou shouldst draw thy children to 
sin and to hell ? The idolatrous Israelites drew their children to 
join with them in the worship of the false gods, Ezek. xviii. 2. 

Plutarch 1 observeth of Cato that he was very wary not to speak 
an uncomely word in the presence of his children. This heathen 
will condemn many Christians, who will curse and swear, and drink 
and roar, and that in presence of their children. Reader, avoid sin, 
both for thine own and others' sake. As a stone thrown into the 
water makes but one circle at first, but that one begettetli many ; so 
though the sin in thee at first be but one, yet it may cause many 
both in thy children and servants. The sin of a master or mistress 
is like an infectious air, which others breathing in are infected by 
it. Thy servants will as readily put on thy lusts as thy livery, and 
thy children will be proud of such a patronage, such a cloak for their 
villany. A dark eye benights the whole body. Weigh all thy 
words and all thy works, considering how many followers thou hast ; 
he that sinneth once, sinneth twice if he sin before others. 

Be serious and diligent about the concernments of God and thy 
soul, that others may take example by thee. The biggest stars are 
brightest, and give light to those that are of a lesser magnitude. 

1 Plut. in Vit. Cat. 

344 the christian man's calling. [Chap. XXVII, 

Thou who art the greatest shouldst be the most gracious in the 
family ; if the sun shine not on the mountains, it must needs be set 
in the valleys. If thy children and servants behold thee careful of 
thy language, and conscientious in thy carriage, when they see thee 
humble, fervent, constant, and serious in holy duties, they may learn 
by thee and write after thee ; such a pattern may tend exceedingly 
to thy spiritual profit. 

It is observed of Caasar by Cicero, that he would never say to his 
soldiers Ite, sed Venite, Go ye, but Come ye, marching before them 
himself, and giving them a pattern. Do thou, reader, go before thy 
family in sobriety and sanctity, as their faithful captain, and they 
may sooner than thou expectest follow after thee. 

Naturalists tell us of the mulberry-tree, that there is nothing in 
it but what is medicinal in some sort or other ; the fruit, the root, 
the bark, the leaf, all are useful. Truly, so it ought to be with thee. 
All thy expressions, all thy actions, should be instructions to thy in- 
feriors. Thy behaviour in private, in public towards God, towards 
thy wife, towards thy children, towards thy servants, towards thy 
neighbours, should all be lectures to teach others religion and 
righteousness ; that you may be able to say to your children, as 
Seneca to his sister, Though I can leave you no great portion, yet I 
leave you a good pattern. 

Besides, one work required of thee, as I shall shew thee before 
the conclusion of this chapter, is to admonish and reprove others in 
thy family for their faults ; which with what face canst thou do, or 
with what hope of success, unless thou art free thyself ? It was a 
shame to Plutarch that his servant should say, My master writeth 
falsely ; he saith it is unbeseeming a philosopher to be angry, et ipse 
mihi irascitur, and he himself is angry with me. If thou reprovest 
thy child for not praying, and thy servant for drunkenness, and art 
guilty thyself, though thou acquaintest them never so much with 
the wrath of God, which will certainly seize upon atheists and 
drunkards, they will never believe thee ; for they know thou dost 
not believe thyself. Thy words would seem to draw the nail of sin 
out, but thy works are such a heavy hammer, that they drive it in 
to the very head. When the rude soldiers saw the Eoman senators 
sit gravely, and discourse soberly, they took them for gods, and 
were awful of them ; but when they perceived one of them to grow 
waspish, they took them for men, and spoiled them. Herod feared 
John's reproof, knowing that he was a just man, Mark vi. 20. 
Where there is piety in the person, there is majesty and authority 
in the reprehension ; ' Let the righteous smite me,' Ps. cxli. 5. Th 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 345 

snuffers of the sanctuary were of pure gold. He that would reprove 
others' dimness, and make them shine brightly with the light of 
holiness, had need to be irreprovable himself. 

Reader, walk unspottedly, otherwise when thou threatenest thy 
children or servants with the judgments of God against sin, thou 
dost, like David, pass a sentence of death and condemnation against 
thy own soul. 

Fourthly, Be careful and diligent that thy whole family may 
sanctify the Lord's-day. When the Israelites were to sacrifice to God 
in the wilderness, they went with their little ones, and all their 
households, Exod. xii. When Elkanah went up to sacrifice to the 
Lord, all his house went with him, 1 Sam. i. 21. Thy duty is, 
according to these examples, to see that all thy family, unless neces- 
sity should hinder, serve the Lord in public. Do not suffer any of 
thine to be playing idly in the churchyard, when they should be 
praying earnestly in the church ; nor to be talking vainly of the 
world, when they should be hearkening reverently to the word. Oh, 
what pity is it that they should be sucking poison, when they should 
be sucking milk out of the breasts of consolation ! The fourth 
commandment doth fully speak thy duty, not only to be careful 
that they forbear thy work, but also that they mind God's worship. 
Thou knowest not but that thy child or servant, by missing one 
season, may miss of salvation. Possibly they are wrought hard in 
the week-days, and have very little time for their souls, so that their 
only time of improving their spiritual stock, by trading towards 
heaven, is on a Sabbath-day. Or it may be they are careless of 
their main work, of providing for the other world, all the week, 
that if thou shouldst neglect them on the Lord's-day, they will be 
left under a necessity of perishing : surely they who have but one 
good meal in seven days, and are robbed of that, are unconceivably 
wronged. When David came to his brethren to the camp, Eliab 
said to him, ' How comest thou down hither ? Where is the flock ? 
and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness ? 
I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart,' 1 Sam. xvii. 28. 
Give not God cause to greet thee thus at church, How earnest thou 
hither ? Where is thy flock, thy family ? With whom hast thou 
left those few sheep, thy children, and thy servants ? I know thy 
pride, they are not good enough to come along with thee, to be 
minded by thee : or, I know thy covetousness, thou hast employed 
them about thy earthly business ; or, 1 know thy carelessness and 
soul-cruelty, thou carest not what becometh of them, whether they 
be saved or damned for ever. I tell thee, friend, some gentlemen by 


going abroad alone without their servants, have lost their silver ; 
and for aught I know, by thy going to church without thy com- 
pany, thou may est lose the blessing and efficacy of the ordinances. 
How canst thou expect that God should have any care of thy soul, 
when thou tramplest the precious souls of others under thy feet, 
which he hath given thee special charge of ? 

reader, think of it. Are not thy children and servants strangers 
to God, and alienated from his life, through the ignorance that is in 
them ? And is not the ministry of the word appointed to turn men 
from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God ? How 
shall they be converted if the ordinances of God be neglected ? 
Though a person be dangerously diseased, if he observe his purging 
days, according to the advice of his able physician, there may be 
hopes of recovery ; but if he neglect the means, if he perish, it will 
be no marvel. If thy children and servants are holy, canst thou 
expect the fire of grace should continue or increase, whilst thou 
takest away the fuel ? Dost thou think that spiritual life can be 
maintained without spiritual meat ? 

In private also be watchful over thy family, that all under thy 
charge be present at holy duties, as singing, praying, repetition of 
sermons, and the like. Thou art careful that in the week-days 
they do work diligently ; and why shouldst thou not be as careful 
that they do God's work on his day ? Is thy work of greater con- 
cernment than God's ? or dost thou love thyself, the poor withering 
world I mean, above the blessed God ? 

Examine those who waited on the word of God in public, what 
good they have got, what lessons they have learned, from the great 
Master of assemblies. Our Saviour, after sermon, asked those of 
his family, ' Have ye understood all these sayings?' Mat. xiii. 5. 
Hereby thou wilt make them more attentive to public ordinances, 
and better their memories ; as also, by this means, thou mayest 
quicken thy own affections. 

Suffer none of thy house to spend any part of the day either in 
idleness, pastimes, or worldly business. Thou art accountable to 
God, as well for sins of permission as for sins of commission, and it 
will another day be imputed to thy charge, if the day be profaned 
by thy carelessness. If thou wouldst not suffer for others, do not 
suffer others in sin. 

Fifthly, Let discipline be set up in thy family. When Jacob 
would dedicate his house to God. he commandeth all his family to 
change their garments, and put away their strange gods. Their 
change of garments did signify that change of heart and life which 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 347 

he desired should be his household livery, Gen. xxxv. 1,2. As the 
governor of a family must he a priest to pray, and a prophet to teach, 
so also a king to rule ; to be a terror to evil-doers, and an encourage- 
ment to them that do well in his family : ' Let not wickedness dwell 
in thy tabernacle,' Job xi. 14. Zophar meaneth not a natural or 
personal, (though so the word is sometimes taken, as 2 Cor. v. 1,) 
but a domestical and civil tabernacle. Though sin may come into 
thy house by children or servants' commission, yet it must not 
dwell there, but be cast out by severe reprehension. Wickedness 
is a bold guest, it will come uncalled, but it must be more bold 
than welcome ; it must not dwell in thy tabernacle. It is said of 
Cato he would bear with faults anywhere rather than at home. 
Bishop Jewel at night called his servants to an account how they 
had spent the day, and, after prayer, admonished them accord- 

Thy duty is to ' warn the unruly,' 1 Thes. v. 13, to acquaint them 
of sin, how near and dear soever to thee, with the dishonour they 
bring thereby to God, the disgrace to the gospel, and the disad- 
vantage and destruction to their own souls. If the fault be the 
first, or of infirmity, or not so great a sin as to waste the conscience, 
and poison thy family by its pattern, let the medicine thou appliest 
for its cure be mild ; earthen glasses must be tenderly washed, when 
iron vessels must be scoured with wisps. ' Of some have compas- 
sion, making a difference,' Jude 22. Who would, that is wise, 
give the same physic to an infant, which would purge a lusty grown 
person ? ' For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instru- 
ment, neither is a cart-wheel turned about with the cummin : but 
the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod,' 
Isa. xxviii. 27, 28. 

If the crime be crimson and scandalous, or repeated, or justified, 
rebuke sharply ; hard knots must have strong and sharp wedges : 
' Others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,' Jude 23. 
In such a case weak physic will only stir, not remove the disease, 
and thereby leave the patient in a worse condition than it found 
him. Nettles touched gently sting the more ; a prick with a rapier 
is more dangerous sometimes than a wound with a sword, because 
the latter wideneth the orifice, and thereby maketh the place more 
open to the plaster which should heal it. It is much better for 
them to be preserved in brine and pickle, than to rot in flesh- 
pleasing and fondness. Kindness, and bearing with such in thy 
family, is like the kiss of Judas to Christ, a betraying them ; and 
like Joab's salutation to Abner, destroying and killing them. 

348 the ci-ieistian man's calling. [Chap. XXVII. 

Be sure, therefore, not to bear witli any under thy charge in sin : 
' Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but 
rather reprove them.' He is a drone, unserviceable to his house, his 
hive, who hath lost this sting of reproof. Pious Asa would not 
suffer sin in his own mother, ' Asa removed his mother Maachah 
from being queen, because she made an idol in a grove ; and Asa 
cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron,' 
2 Chron. xv. 16. Patient Job would not suffer sin in his own wife, 
' Thou speakest like a foolish woman,' chap. ii. 6. Plain-hearted 
Jacob would not suffer sin in his own children, ' Ye have troubled 
me, to make me stink among the inhabitants of the land.' 'Cursed 
be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel,' 
Gen. xxxiv. 30, and xlix. 7. David would not abide sin in a servant, 
Ps. ci. 7, nor Edward the Sixth in his own sister. 

Let thy reproofs against sin be mingled with, and so managed 
that they may manifest, love to their souls. When the nail is dipt 
in grease it entereth without renting the board ; when reprehension 
is dipt in, and tipt with love, it will probably enter the heart, with- 
out cutting it in pieces with rage and revenge. Prudence may do 
much towards the advancement of the offender's profit in this par- 

Though thy words should be soft, yet thine arguments should 
be hard against the sin committed. To this end let thy reproofs 
be as near as may be in Scripture phrases, that the offender may 
see it is not so much man as God, who rcbuketh him for his fault. 
The word is a hammer ; if well laid on, it will drive the nail of 
reproof to the head. If the oil of reprehension be gently and pru- 
dently bathed in by the hot fire of the word, it may abate very 
great swellings. But be sure to perform this duty. The magistrate 
who spareth a man-slayer is guilty of his second murder. 1 Plato 
seeing a child commit a fault, went and corrected his father. The 
master of a family who alloweth any in sin, is partaker of their sin. 
We perpetrate those sins which we may and do not prevent ; we 
shall answer one day for sins of communion as well as for sins of 
commission. Oh, how miserable will thy condition be, when the 
provocations in thy family, which thou knowest of, and winkest at, 
shall all be charged upon thee ! Naturalists tell us that if a ser- 
pent eat a serpent, it becomes a dragon ; if thou to thy own sins 
add the sins of thy children and servants, what a monster in sin 
wilt thou be ! Are not thy own sins heavy enough ? Dost thou 
want more load upon thy precious soul to sink thee deeper into 

1 Spencer, 1S2, 576. 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 3-19 

hell? 'Is not thy iniquity (already) great, and thy wickedness 

infinite?' as Eliphaz said to Job, Job xxii. 5. Great for the 
nature of thy sins, and infinite for their number ; and wilt thou, 
like one that is pressing to death, cry and call for more weight ? 

Maintain thy power and authority in thy family ; a wise grave car- 
riage will sharpen the weapon of reproof, and make it pierce the deeper. 
Foolish familiarity blunteth the edge of it. He that would throw 
a stone forcibly to do execution, must stand at some distance. 

Encourage small beginnings of good in any in thy family ; shine 
with a lightsome countenance, cast a warm influence upon the 
blossoms of holiness ; hereby thou mayest do much towards their 
ripening. David's eye of favour was upon the faithful, Ps. ci. 6. 
A governor of a family must, like a gardener, pluck up weeds, but 
cherish and tender the good flowers and plants. 

Sixthly, Take care that all in thy family be well employed ; not 
to permit idleness in thy house is one way to prevent ungodliness. 
There is employment suitable to every person in thy dwelling ; 
servants should be diligent in the discharge of their duties. Job's 
servants were about their work when the Sabeans and Chaldeans 
fell upon them, and sent them into the other world, Job i. 14, 17. 
Jacob served his master Laban with all his might, Gen. xxxi. 6. 
Apelles painted a servant with hind's feet, to shew that he should 
be nimble in despatching any errand ; with broad shoulders, signi- 
fying that he should contentedly bear hard usage ; and with his 
hands full of tools, because he should be always at work. Children 
also, if at home, must be employed in their places ; if young, in 
learning ; if elder, in some calling. Solon, 1 the Athenian law- 
giver, enacted that the son should not relieve his father in his 
old age who had brought him up idle, and without a trade. The 
patriarchs, though principal men in their generation, brought up 
all their children to some calling ; their tender daughters were not 
exempted from household business. Eebekah, the mother ot 
prophets and princes, was not ashamed of her pitcher, and drawing 
water therewith for her father's cattle. 

Those dainty dames who plead her pattern for their ear-rings 
and bracelets, will hardly plead it for a pitcher and painfulness. 
Augustus Caesar brought up his daughters in carding and spinning. 
Gentlemen, though they are not bound to bring up their children 
to low or mean callings, yet are bound to keep them out of the 
snare of idleness, and to take care that they be in some lawful 
business serviceable to themselves and others. The wife, as well 

1 Plut. in Vit. 


as servants and children, ought to be industrious in her station. 
Spinster is a term given to the greatest women in our law. It is 
said of the good housewife, ' She seeketh wool and flax, and work- 
eth willingly with her hands. She looketh well to the ways of her 
household, and eateth not the bread of idleness,' Pro v. xxxi. 13, 27. 
A woman's work consisteth in sewing, and doing somewhat herself, 
and overseeing others, as appeareth in the fore-quoted place, be- 
sides the charge of her children. Hereby a wise woman is said 
to build her house, Pro v. xiv. 1. As a carpenter layeth the plat- 
form of a house in his head, and so studieth that none of his stuff 
be cut to waste, so a good housewife doth so overlook the affairs 
of her family, and so contrive and order things by a prudent 
provident forecast, that there may be no waste, but all things dis- 
posed for the best. Hence it is that, though the husband is called 
the guide of the wife, yet the wife is called the guide of the house, 
Prov. ii. 17, 1 Tim. v. 14 ; and for this end, they are commanded 
to be keepers at home, Titus ii. 5. They that gad much abroad, 
do their families at home but little good ; such are according to 
the signification of the second wife of Lamech, Zillahs, the shadows 
of wives. The Grecians had a custom, when the new-married 
bride was brought home to her husband's house, to burn the axle- 
tree of the chariot or cart in which she was brought, before the 
door, to teach her that she must abide at home. But the main 
work lieth upon the governor of the family. ' Be thou diligent to 
know the state of thy flock, and look well to thy herds,' Prov. 
xxvii. 23. He that is far from his work, is not far from want. 
The Jews have a proverb : The master's foot makes his ground 
fat ; which speaks thus much, that if the master be not forward 
with his own hands, all things will go backward in his house. 1 
Eh io-Tt, 8ov\os, 6 hearroT^ oltclas, The master is the greatest ser- 
vant in the house. It is said of Albanus, bishop of Scotland, that 
he was never idle, nor ever suffered any in his family to be so. 2 

Reader, this particular of overseeing, that all under thy roof mind 
their proper work, will be some help to godliness, and a great stop 
to wickedness. Iphicrates 3 would never let his soldiers be idle in 
their garrisons, but would set them to lop trees, or dig, or carry 
burdens, saying, that if they had nothing to do they would mutiny, 
or commit some villainy. The bird that sitteth still is a fit mark 
for the murderer of souls, when the flying bird is safe. As corrupt 
blood is the cause of all natural, so is idleness of all spiritual dis- 

1 Jo. Maiitii, Lot. Com. 

2 Spotswood's History of the Church of Scotland. 3 rolym. Stratag, lib. iii. 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 351 

eases. When persons in a family neglect their task, then is their 
hour of temptation. Idleness is often the cause of drunkenness ; 
they leave their work-house who run to the ale-house, Amos vi. 2. 
Uncleanness is the daughter of idleness ; lust will easily creep in 
upon those who are lazy, as did appear sadly in Sodom, Ezek. xvi. 
49 : Otia si tollas, pericre Cupidinis circus. Hence fellow-servants 
commit uncleanness together. Idleness is the mother of unright- 
eousness : they who neglect their tasks turn thieves ; they must not 
starve, they say, and will not work, therefore they must steal, 2 
Thes. iii. 12. When servants are idle, many times they rob their 
masters. Tale-hearing also is one of the fruits that groweth upon 
this tree. When servants are idle, they run tattling from house to 
house, making difference amongst neighbours, 1 Tim. v. 13, Prov. xi. 
23. Carping Momus was never found working. Truly, friend, thou 
canst not think the wrong thou doest thy family if thou suffer them, 
like millstones, to consume themselves thus for want of work. St 
Greenham, 1 as Bishop Hall calleth him, when a woman, tempted 
much by the devil, came to him for advice, gave her this direction, 
Never be idle, but be always well employed ; for in my own expe- 
rience I have found it, when the devil came to tempt me, I told 
him that I was not at leisure to hearken to his temptations, but was 
busy in my calling, and thereby resisted his assaults. 

Seventhly, Maintain peace and love in thy family. Contentions 
will hinder religion ; strife, like fire, is wholly opposite to the water 
of grace. As in times of warring the laws of men are silent in a 
state, inter arma silent leges, so in jarring families, the laws of God 
can be little heard. God was not in the tempestuous rough wind, 
nor in the fire, but in the still low voice, 1 Kings xix. 12. ' Live 
in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you, 2 Cor. 
xiii. 11. If thy house be in a flame it is time for thy best friends 
to be gone. Thy house should be a lesser heaven, in it thy God 
must be worshipped and glorified ; but in heaven there are no 
storms ; tempests ascend no higher than the middle region. Where 
God is served with perfect purity, there is perfect j^eace. As in 
the ringing of bells, where every one keepeth its place, and time, 
and order, they make a harmonious sound, and delight the 
daughters of music ; but when they jar and strike against each 
other, their noise is harsh and distasteful. The holy performances 
of families that live in love, are heaven's music ; but brawlings in 
houses make prayers ungrateful, and have too much resemblance 
of the bellowings in hell. When the wind of contentions is high, 

1 Mr Greenham in his works. 


the smoke of thy incense cannot ascend, it will be beaten down 
again. In stormy weather, one but a little way distant sometimes 
cannot hear his neighbour calling ; storms of passions will hinder 
God's hearing thy petitions. 

It is said that inCimmeria there is no light : and truly it is more 
sad that in some families there is no love. The husband is against 
the wife, and the wife against the husband ; master and servants, 
parents and children, are ever quarrelling. Seven devils could agree 
in one heart, nay, a legion, which is seven thousand six hundred 
and twenty-two, if Varro may be believed, in another ; and yet seven 
persons cannot agree in one house. The language in it is usually 
like Billingsgate, and the carriage often like Bedlam ; but the hand 
of the devil is in all this, who knoweth his best time to fish is when 
the waters are troubled. When there is a tempest raised in the 
spirits of men, we may quickly know that Satan was the conjurer 
to raise the high winds. He knoweth one way to take a house is 
by firing it. 

Truly, Satan hath a mighty advantage against an idle and a 
brawling family : as the dog, he devoureth the sheep in pieces which 
he could not do whole. When Cyrus came near Babylon with his 
great army, and finding the river, by reason of its depth, unpassable ; 
he divided it into many channels, whereby the main river sank so 
on a sudden, that his army went over and took the city. Thus, by 
division doth Satan conquer and surprise families. 

There is mention made of a dispute betwixt Mars and Pallas, * 
which of them should have the honour to give the name to the city 
of Athens. At length it was resolved that he should give the name 
who could find out that which could most conduce to the benefit 
of the city. Hereupon Mars presented them with a stately horse, 
signifying wars and divisions ; but Pallas came in with an olive 
branch, the emblem of peace. Upon which the city chose Pallas 
to be their guardian, as knowing that unity is the way to pros- 

Godliness in a family ebbeth and floweth much, according to the 
wranglings or love in a family. As the Lapis Tyrrhenus Pliny 2 
speaketh of, which, being entire, swimmeth ; but broken, every part 
of it sinketh to the bottom. Truly, thy family may float above 
water while it is whole and undivided, but if it be in pieces, it will 
quickly sink. 

But I must especially commend this duty to the governors of 
families, husbands and wives. Children are seldom so impudent, 

1 Jo. Bodin. Method. Hist., cap. vi. 2 Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. ii. 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 353 

and servants may either be made quiet within, or be turned out of 
doors ; but if the chief strings jar, all the melody is marred. Observe 
how the Holy Ghost giveth this particular precept in order to the 
promotion of piety in a family. The wife must be of a ' meek and 
quiet spirit,' and the husband must ' give honour to the wife, as unto 
the weaker vessel, as heirs together of the grace of life, that prayers 
be not hindered,' 1 Pet. iii. 4, 7. We may consider the injunction, 
and the reason of it. The injunction is first to wives ; they must be 
of meek and quiet spirits ; quiet, not quarrelsome ; meek, not mur- 
muring through peevishness, or mad with passion. ' A contentious 
wife is a continual dropping,' saith Solomon, Pro v. xix. 13. The 
man would stay at home, but her tongue, like rain dropping through 
the roof upon his head wherever he sitteth down, drives him out of 
his house. Where is godliness in the meantime ? The wise man 
saith again, ' It is better to dwell in the wilderness, (amongst veno- 
mous creatures,) than with such a wife,' Prov. xxi. 13. When she 
should be praying, she is, like a mad dog, barking or biting. Such 
a wife, saith Lycophron, is but a cold armful. This made Sylla 
say, I had been blessed if I had continued a bachelor. Upon this 
ground, I suppose, Julian the apostate (whose mouth was often 
black with blasphemies) said, that Moses, instead of meet help, 
might have written meet hinderer. But certainly whatsoever some 
men's perverseness may drivel and utter, or some women's peevishness 
occasion, a woman, if of a godly and quiet spirit, is the greatest 
comfort on earth, and a great help she may be to her husband in 
his journey to heaven. The injunction is, secondly, to the husband. 
He must ' honour his wife as the weaker vessel, as his fellow-heir 
of the grace of life.' He must honour her, not be bitter to her. 
He must give her his greatest love, not deny her a good look. Some 
husbands are so currish and crabbed, they are always raging and 
fretting at their wives, nay, like those that are distracted, they 
sometimes beat and tear their wives themselves, ' for they two are 
one flesh.' How far are such from obedience to God's law ! Let 
the husband ' honour the wife as the weaker vessel ' — that is, use 
her tenderly. China dishes and Venice glasses must be tenderly 
handled, because they are weak vessels. The husband must, with 
the mantle of love, cover many infirmities. A heathen could tell 
Sarah, that ' Abraham was a covering of the eyes to her,' Gen. xx. 
16. The eye is the tenderest part of the body. God hath provided 
a special cover to fence it. When God would speak his infinite 
respect to, and care of, his people, he saith, ' They are as dear to him 
as the apple of his eye.' Truly, husbands ought to be as tender of 
vol. i. z 


their wives as of the apple of their eyes. But, reader, see the 
reason of this injunction of love to husbands and wives, 'that your 
prayers be not hindered.' As if he had said, Wind up those weights 
of meekness and love, or religion will stand still. Take away those 
needful props, and piety will fall to the ground. friend, as thou 
hast any love to the honour of God, honour thy wife as the weaker 
vessel, if God hath called thee to that relation. If thou art a wife, 
be of a meek and quiet spirit. If there be not concord in affections, 
there will be sad discord in petitions. When there is war in a 
kingdom, how are Sabbaths profaned, ordinances despised, prayer 
and Scripture neglected ! Men are hurried away in haste to this 
and that place, and leave duties behind them. So, in a family, 
which is a kingdom in a little volume, divisions will put religion 
behind, and force it to stand back. Kubenius Celer would needs 
have it engraven on his tomb, that he had lived with his wife 
Ennea forty-three years and eight months, and yet they never fell 

It is happy where the husband and wife are like the two branches 
in the prophet Ezekiel's hand, so closed together in one bark that 
both made but one piece ; or, like Pylades and Orestes, of whom it 
is said, they both lived but one life ; and where the whole family, 
like the multitude of believers, ' is of one accord, of one heart, and 
of one soul in the Lord,' Acts iv. 32, with the increase of God. 

I have now despatched what I intended to offer thee, for the 
advancement of godliness in thy family. If thou art a stranger to 
this honourable, comfortable work of worshipping God in and with 
thy family, oh that I could prevail with thee to put the counsel of 
God speedily into practice ! I must assure thee from the living and 
almighty God, that thou art accountable to the judge of quick and 
dead, for all the souls in thy family. God hath the chief propriety 
in every person in thy dwelling. As the flock which Jacob looked 
after was Laban's, Gen. xxxix. 43, so the family which thou hast 
the oversight of is God's. ' Thy sons and thy daughters which thou 
hast born to me,' Ezek. xvi. 20. God may say to thee more truly 
than Laban did to Jacob, ' These sons are my sons, and these daugh- 
ters are my daughters, and these servants are my servants, and all 
that thou seest is mine.' Indeed, God doth in effect say to thee, 
what Pharaoh's daughter did to Moses' mother, ' Take this child, 
and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages,' Exod. ii. 9. 
Take this son, this daughter, and nurse them for me in my nurture 
and admonition. Take this man-servant, this maid-servant, and 
bring them up*for me, in my fear and service, and I will give thee 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 355 

an eternal reward. Friend, thou wouldst be faithful in bringing up 
children or servants for thy brother or sovereign ; and wilt thou be 
unfaithful in bringing up sons and servants to thy God and Saviour ? 
Is it fit that God's servants should do the devil's work ? Let con- 
science judge. Did God give thee them to be brought up in drink- 
ing, or swearing, or lying, or atheism, or like so many heathen 
or beasts, without any knowledge of his word and will ? Did he 
honour and intrust thee with their education, to have thee poison 
their souls by thy irreligious pattern, and starve their souls by not 
giving them spiritual food ? Is this thy love to thy Maker and 
Kedeemer ? 

Besides, I must tell thee, as Jacob was answerable to Laban for 
the whole flock, if any were torn by beasts, or stolen by day or 
night, he bore the loss of all, Gen. xxxi. 39, ' Of his hands it was 
required ; ' so art thou answerable to God for every one in thy 
family. If any one be devoured and torn in pieces by the roaring 
lion the devil, through thy negligence, God will require his soul at 
thy hands. 

reader, consider, death will shortly break up thine house, 
when thy children and servants must go to everlasting fire, if they 
die without grace, and the knowledge and fear of God. If thou art 
now careless about the eternal good of thy children and servants, 
that they perish for ever, through thy falseness and unfaithfulness, 
how dreadful will thy account be ! What wilt thou do, when the 
blood of their souls shall be required of thee ? If Christ sentence 
men to hell for not visiting sick and imprisoned bodies, for not 
feeding hungry bodies, what sentence will he pass on thee for not 
visiting those souls committed to thy charge, which were impri- 
soned by the devil, and sick unto death, and for not giving them 
the bread of life, but suffering them to starve and die ? 

If on him that brought a temporal death on Cain vengeance 
should be taken sevenfold, what vengeance shall be taken on thee, 
who tumblest others into eternal death ! Believe it, reader, these 
are no jesting things. If, therefore, thou hast any bowels towards 
the children of thine own body, if thou hast any compassion to- 
wards thy poor servants, whom Christ thought worth his own 
blood ; if thou hast any love to thy dearest Saviour, or thine own 
everlasting salvation ; if thou wouldst leave this withering world 
with comfort, and look into the other world with courage, exercise 
thyself to godliness in thy family, obey the particulars for that end 
commanded thee by the infinite God, do thine utmost that all of 
thy family may be of the family of faith, and all of thine household 


may belong to the household of God, that so when the king of ter- 
rors shall give a discharge from all relations, thou mayest with thy 
family he translated from living together in one house to dwell for 
ever in one heaven. 

Eeacler, thou mayest perceive in the close of the tenth chapter 
that much more is promised than I have in this treatise performed, 
the payment of which, though I do at present defer, yet through 
the strength of Christ I shall not deny. If thou hast any interest 
at the throne of grace, I do earnestly desire thy prayers that this 
part may find acceptance with the saints, and he instrumental for 
the advantage of many souls, and that in the other part I may 
receive much assistance from the blessed Saviour ; thereby I shall 
be the more enabled to be serviceable to thine and others' salva- 

A good wish about the government of a family, wherein the former 
heads are epitomised. 

The government of my family being a special talent and trust 
committed to me by the blessed God, and being a business of ex- 
ceeding concernment, both in regard of its influence upon the whole 
kingdom, which is raised or ruined by the good or wicked manage- 
ment of families, and in reference to the everlasting estates of the 
precious souls in it, wherewith I am charged, I wish, in general, 
that I may never, like a rotten post, endanger the whole building 
of church and state in any degree by my unfaithfulness in my 
place, nor be so unmerciful and unnatural as to see that bloody 
butcher Satan drive my children and servants, like silly sheep, to 
the shambles of hell, and never stir or strive to rescue them out of 
his hands. But that my resolution and practice may be according 
to Joshua's religious pattern, that whatsoever gods others serve, 
whether the world or the flesh, yet I and my house may serve the 
Lord. Oh that I might so walk in the midst of my house with a 
perfect heart, that grace, like Mary's box of ointment, may perfume 
the whole house with its savour, and that in every corner of it, as it 
was said of holy Hooper's, there may be some scent of godliness. 

In particular, I wish that I may keep my house so cleanly swept 
from the filth of sin, and so curiously furnished with the ornaments 
of the Spirit, that it may invite the noblest guest, the ever-glorious 
God, to take up his abode in it. My God hath told me that the 
house of the righteous shall stand, Prov. xii. 7, though sin rotteth 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 357 

the timber, and maketh the houses of the wicked to fall ; that in 
the house of the righteous is much treasure, Pro v. xv. 6, even when 
there is but a little silver ; that he blesseth the habitation of the 
righteous, Prov. iii. 33. Surely his blessing can make my bed easy, 
my sleep sweet, my food savoury, my clothes warm, my dwelling 
pleasant, my children hopeful, my wife a meet help, my ground full 
of plenty, and all I set my hands to to prosper. my soul, what 
an argument is this to move thee to exalt holiness in thy house ! 
Thy God will bless it, nay, that God whom the heaven of heavens 
cannot contain, will come and dwell in it. Without question, his 
coming will, as to Zaccheus, bring salvation to thy house ; the 
company of this king will turn thy cottage into a court, and his 
presence will change thy dwelling, were it a prison, into a palace. 
Oh let nothing be in thy house which may be distasteful to so 
great and so good a friend. Let no sin dwell in thy tabernacle, 
but let ' Holiness to the Lord' be written 'on every person, room, and 
vessel in it, that whatsoever name other houses are known by, the 
name of thy house may be from henceforth and for ever, Jehovah- 
Shammah, the Lord is there. 

I wish that I may so give credit to the word of truth, which 
saith, that ' the curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked,' that 
the flying roll of curses (the length whereof is twenty cubits, and 
the breadth ten cubits) shall enter into the house of the thief and 
into the house of him that sweareth falsely, and shall consume it 
with the timber thereof, and the stones thereof, Zech. v. 2-4, and 
that he will pour out his wrath upon the heathen which know him 
not, and upon the families that call not on his name ; that I may 
tremble for fear that atheism should reign in my house, and so it 
should be ranked amongst the irreligious, and marked for ven- 
geance. Alas, what a dreadful noise do those murdering pieces 
make in mine ears ! The curse of God will canker all my com- 
forts, and blast all my blessings, and that both speedily and irre- 
sistibly. But, my soul, meditate a little upon the latter text, 
which is a prediction as well as a petition. What a bitter potion 
doth thy God give thee to purge atheism out of thy family ! Con- 
sider its nature, it is wrath. Pour out thy wrath. God's anger is 
terrible, like fire, burning and overturning all before it ; if but a 
spark of it light upon his own people, how pitifully do they roar 
out ! Ps. xc. 7, and lxxxv. 4. ' We are consumed by thine anger.' 
' Cause thine anger towards us to cease.' ' Lord, rebuke me not 
in thine anger : ' ' there is no soundness in my flesh because of thine 
anger.' Truly, no wonder that they thus bewail it ; for who 


knoweth the power of his anger ? But his wrath is anger in the 
greatest degree, anger boiled up to the height. Oh, how scalding 
is this boiling lead ! If the wrath of a king be the messenger of 
death, what is the wrath of an almighty God ? This wrath can 
stuff the bed with thorns, and appoint wearisome nights unto thee ; 
it can sauce thy dishes with poison, infect thy raiment with plague 
sores, fill thy body with torturing distempers, thy soul with horrors 
and terrors ; it can waste all thy wealth in a moment, and turn thy 
wife, children, and all thy comforts into amazing crosses and terri- 
fying curses. Hell itself is nothing else but this wrath to come ; 
one spoonful, one drop of it will turn an ocean of the sweetest wine 
into gall and wormwood. Wouldst thou be an atheist in thy 
family for all the world, to live one hour under this scorching 
wrath ? Alas, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of thy 
God, for thy God is a consuming fire. Observe further its measure, 
' Pour out thy wrath.' When thy God poureth out his Spirit he 
giveth it an extraordinary degree. The persons upon whom it was 
poured, are said to be full of the Holy Ghost. If thy family be 
irreligious, thou mayest expect this scalding wrath, not by drops, 
but by showers to come pouring down upon it. my soul ; let 
this thought soak and sink so deep into thee, that thou mayest 
dread the omission of duties in thy family as much as the unquench- 
able fire. Let his favour make thee cheerful in his service, and let 
his anger make thee fearful of the least sin in thy house. 

To this end I wish that I may use much circumspection whom I 
admit into my dwelling ; that as those who are to plant an orchard 
get the best grafts they can ; so that mine house may be an Eden, 
the garden of the Lord, a Paradise on earth, I may (as my occa- 
sions require) look out for the choicest flowers, the best and 
fruitfullest trees, the holiest Christians in the country. Oh let me 
never make my house a pest-house, by taking in irreligious and 
infectious persons, and such as will bring the plague along with 
them. One scabbed sheep may wrong the whole flock, one putrid 
grape corrupt a cluster. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 
Lord, in the choice of inhabitants for my house, let my eye be not 
only upon my own welfare, and their fitness for my work, but chiefly 
on thy glory, and their willingness to work the work of him that 
sent them into the world, John ix. 4. Let me hate the congrega- 
tion of evil-doers, Ps. xvi. 4, 5, and cxix. Let me not sit with vain 
persons. Let mine eyes be upon the faithful in the land. Let 
them that fear thee turn unto me, and such as keep thy righteous 
judgments. Let me dwell with them here on earth with whom I 

Chap. XXVII. ] the christian man's calling. 359 

shall dwell hereafter in the house not made with hands, but eternal 
in the heavens. 

I wish that there may be a church in my house, and all the per- 
sons in it, both morning and evening at least, employed in those 
holy performances which my God requireth. My house should be 
a resemblance of heaven above. In his greatest and most glorious 
house, my God is served without ceasing and without sinning. Oh 
that, though in his lower and lesser house natural and civil actions 
cause intermission of, and the body of death causeth imperfections 
in, holy duties, yet he might be worshipped both constantly and 
perfectly in a gospel and evangelical sense. I have read that 
amongst the worst of Turks, the Moors, it is a just exception against 
any witness by their law that he hath not prayed four times in every 
natural day. I wish that none in my family may be worse than 
Turks, but that both all apart may secretly, and all together may 
privately offer up the morning and evening sacrifice of prayer and 
praise to the Lord my God. Daniel would pray three times a day 
though he were cast to the lions for it ; and shall my family neglect 
prayer when the omission of it will make them a prey to roaring- 
lions ? It is the honour and happiness of my house to exalt the 
worship of my God in it. His service is the greatest freedom, his 
work is a reward to itself ; why should we be our own enemies in 
banishing our best friends out of our family ? The mercies of my 
God are renewed upon me and mine every morning ; his care and 
love is continued to us all the day long ; the dews and showers of 
his compassion fall down upon us every evening ; shall we be for- 
getful of him who is every moment so mindful of us ? Oh let my 
family never be so void of grace and manners as not to bid our 
God good-morrow and good-night upon any pretence whatsoever. 

I wish that the word of Christ may dwell richly in my heart and 
house, that my whole family may have their set meals every day 
of this spiritual food. How can I expect that children or servants, 
who know not the God of their fathers, should serve him with per- 
fect hearts ? I Chron. xxviii. 9. Alas ! how often are their ignorant 
hearts (like dark cellars abounding in vermin) full of sin ! Oh 
that I might so talk of the word of God in my house, when I lie down 
and when I rise up, that it may be written upon the posts of my 
house and on my gates, (Deut. vi. 7, 8,) that I may so often water 
the young plants in it, that their first acquaintance may be acquaint- 
ance with God, and from their childhood they may know the holy 
Scriptures and be wise to salvation, through faith which is in Christ 
Jesus. Thomrh others' care be to instruct their servants only in 


their own work, let my care be to instruct mine in God's will 
and word. Though others labour to leave their children rich, let 
my endeavour be to leave mine religious. Lord, enable me so to 
teach them thy trade in their youth, that they may not depart from 
it when they are old, (Prov. xxii. 6,) that their young years well 
led may be like the sweetness of a rose, whose smell remaineth in 
the dried leaves. 

I wish that all the voices in my house may tuneably sing God's 
praises ; yet that they may not, like trumpets and pipes, make a 
sound, being filled only with wind, but have hearts fixed and pre- 
pared when they sing and give praise. Oh that all the viols in my 
house may be so in tune, and their stroke so true, that singing with 
o-race in our hearts we may make melody to the Lord. Drunkards 
have their songs in derision of them that are good ; atheists have 
their sonnets in dishonour of the blessed God ; why should not the 
voice of joy and rejoicing be in the tabernacle of the righteous ? 
Ps. cxviii. 15. Though my house is a tabernacle, and all the inha- 
bitants in it travellers, yet our work is pleasant. Oh let us go 
merrily on, and make God's statutes our songs in this house of our 

Because my pattern of evil will do more hurt to my family than 
my precepts can do good, (servants and children being apt to be 
led more by the eye than the ear,) I wish that I may take heed to 
myself, weigh and watch over all my words and works, not only for 
my own, but also for the sake of them that are committed to my 
charge. Distillations from the head often consume and destroy the 
vitals ; my family is like a flock of sheep, if the first leap through 
into a ditch or river, the rest are ready to follow. Oh that I might 
therefore be wary in all my ways, and be so serious in spiritual, so 
sober in natural actions, so righteous towards men, so religious 
towards my God, so faithful in every relation, and so holy and 
heavenly in every condition, that I may have cause to say to my 
children and servants, as Gideon to his soldiers, ' Look on me, and 
do likewise,' Judges vii. 17. 

I wish that my house may not only spend some part of every 
week-day, but also the whole Sabbath-day, in the service of my 
God, It is a special privilege granted me by the Lord for my 
family's profit, wherein I may be singularly helpful to my own and 
my household's everlasting happiness. Oh that not the least part 
of it may be lost, or profaned by any within my gate, either by 
worldly labour, pastimes, or idleness, but that I may be so mindful 
of my charge as to take care that my children and servants do for- 

Chap. XXVII.] the christian man's calling. 3G1 

bear what my God forbiddeth, and spend that sacred day altogether 
in sacred duties. To which purpose I desire that all my household, 
In 'tli males and females, (if of capacity,) may appear before the 
Lord in public, and in his temple give him praise ; and that in 
private I may whet the word on them (as the mower doth his 
scythe) by going over it again and again, according to the precept, 
Deut. vi. 6, 7. Lord, let my house on thy day be like thy house, 
employed wholly in thy worship ; and let thy gracious presence so 
assist us in every ordinance, that the glory of the Lord may fill the 

I wish that I may manifest my love to the souls in my family 
by manifesting my anger against their sins. My God hath told 
me, ' Thou shalt not hate thy brother ; thou shalt in any wise re- 
buke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him,' Lev. xix. 17. 
If it be my duty not to bear with the corruptions of neighbours, 
much less of my servants and children. Should I suffer them in 
unholiness, I should bring them up for hell. Those deepest purple 
sins many times are those which are dyed in the wool of youth. 
Oh the sad aches which many have when they are old, by falls 
which they received when they were young ! Let me never, like 
Eli, honour my sons (or servants) above my God, lest my God 
judge my house for ever for the iniquities which I know, because 
my children (or servants) make themselves vile, and I restrain them 
not. Lord, let me never be so fond and foolish as to kill any in 
my family with soul-damning kindness ; but let my house be as 
thine ark, wherein there may be not only the golden pot of manna, 
seasonable and profitable instructions, but also Aaron's rod, suitable 
and proper reprehension and correction. 

I wish that I may never expose my family to the suggestions of 
Satan, by allowing any in laziness, but may be busy myself in my 
particular vocation, and see that others be diligent in their distinct 
stations. The lazy drone is quickly caught in the honeyed glass 
and killed, when the busy bee avoideth that snare and danger. Oh 
that I and mine might always be so employed in the work of our 
God, that we may have no leisure to hearken to the wicked one. 
Adam's storehouse was his workhouse ; Paradise was his place of 
labour. Lord, since thou hast intrusted every one in my house with 
one talent or other wherewith he must trade, cause me and mine to 
labour and work in this, and to look after rest in the other world. 

I wish, for the furthering of holiness and purity in my house, 
that I may be careful to keep it in peace. Our bodies will thrive 
as much in fevers as our souls in the flames of strife. Satan, by 


the granados of contention, will hope in time to take the garrison. 
' Where strife is, there is confusion, and every evil work,' James 
iii. 16. Oh that love (which is the new commandment, the old 
commandment, and indeed all the commandments) might be the 
livery of all in my family, that there might be no contention there, 
but who should be most holy, and go before each other in the path 
which leadeth to eternal pleasures. Because marriage is a fellow- 
ship of the nearest union and dearest communion in this world, and 
because the fruits of religion will thrive much the better, if cher- 
ished by the sweet breath and warm gale of love in this relation ; 
Lord, let my wife be to me as the loving hind and pleasant roe ; let 
me be ravished always with her love ; let there be no provocation 
but to love and to good works ; let our only strife be, who shall be 
most serviceable to thy Majesty in furthering one another's eternal 
felicity. Enable us to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the 
law of Christ, and to dwell together as fellow-heirs of the grace of 
life, that our prayers be not hindered. 

In a word, I wish that I may, like Cornelius, fear the Lord with 
all my house ; so govern it, according to God's law, that all in it 
may be under the influence of his love, and heirs of everlasting life. 
Lord, be thou pleased so to assist and prosper me in the manage- 
ment of this great and weighty trust, that my house may be thy 
house, my servants thy servants, my children thy children, and my 
wife belong to the spouse of thy dear Son, that so when death shall 
give a bill of divorce, and break up our family, we may change our 
place, but not our company ; be all preferred from thy lower house 
of prayer to thine upper house of praise, where is neither marrying 
nor giving in marriage, but all are as angels, ever pleasing, wor- 
shipping, and enjoying thy blessed self, (of whom the whole family 
in heaven and earth is named ;) to whom be glory, hearty and uni- 
versal obedience, for ever and ever. Amen. 




To the Worshipful George Bates, Esq. Doctor of Physic, one of 
the College, and Physician in Ordinary to his Excellent 
Majesty Charles the Second. 

Worthy Sir, that physic is honourable to the professors, and 
profitable to the natural body, and so to the body politic, of which 
they are members, is acknowledged by every one that is sance 
mentis, and doth not need hellebore. The heathen did not with- 
out reason highly commend Hippocrates amongst the Grecians, 
and Cornelius Celsus amongst the Latins, for being the first that 
ventured and waded into the depth of that mystery, and by writing 
transmitted it to posterity ; they valued their pharmacia at so high 
a rate, that Apollo and iEsculapius, esteemed by some the first 
founders of physic, were adored as gods for the excellency of 
their invention. 1 The poet doth heroically trumpet the physicians' 
praise : 

larpbs yap avrjp iroWwv aird£tos aWwv. — Homer. Iliad. A. 
Omnibus est aliis medicus prcestantior unus. 
1 Of men physicians are the best, 
And do by far exceed the rest.' 

The word of God, which addeth real worth to whatsoever it 
extolleth, mentioneth physicians, (Gen. 1. 2,) by way of honour, be- 
fore the giving of the law, cloth not only implicitly allow, (Exod. 
xxi. 19, 20,) but expressly command, if the old English translation 
may be credited, the use of physic. He giveth medicine to heal 
their sickness, Ps. cxlvii. 3 ; nay, the blessed God is jaleased to 
style himself Jehovah-Kophi, the Lord the Physician, Exod. xv. 26 ; 
and the holy Jesus hath his name, though chiefly in a spiritual 
sense, from his healing nature and property. 2 

1 Cicero de natura Deorum, lib. iii. p. 248. 

2 Irjcrovs ab ldop.ai, Sano. Alii asseruut vocem esse pure Hebraeani, Jchoshua ve 
Jeshua, et Grsecum tantum in pronunciatione. 


Health is the prince, the firstborn, as life is the king, of outward 
blessings. The widow in the Gospel disesteerned her substance in 
comparison of this jewel. The physician, therefore, which is manas 
Dei, as Hierophilus calls him — the hand of God to bring this pearl 
to us when we have lost it — may well be welcome and precious. 
Indeed, were it the divine pleasure to give all men a constant frame 
of health during their pilgrimage, as Hector Boetius saith of the 
isles of the Orcades, that the people live there a hundred and twenty 
years ordinarily in perfect health. 1 And Paulus Jovius reports of 
our country, that in old time the Britons lived long without physic : 
this were a wonderful favour ; for he liveth miserably that lives 
upon medicines, and Avho, to uphold nature, is in a continual use of 
art. 2 This made Ambrose cry out, Qui se medicis dederit, seipsum 
sibi negat; 3 and Plato complain, that it is a great sign of a corrupt 
commonwealth where physicians and lawyers abound ; 4 but, accord- 
ing to Cicero, Mortalium nemo est quern non attingat dolor mor- 
busque. It is not more natural for man to beget a son than for 
his body to breed sickness. 

' NoOcrot 5' dvOpiCTToiinv e<p riixipa ?)5' iwl vvktI 


2t'Y?7 ewl (pufrjv eiJetAero /x7)tUt(i Zeus.' — Hesiod. 

Some tell us, that in every two years there is such store of ill 
humours engendered in one body, that a vessel of one hundred 
ounces will scarce hold them. Hippocrates himself saith, Ultimus 
sanitatis gradus est morbo proximus. Sure I am with the moralist, 
Ipsi ceu Deo nullo est opus, 5 He is commander of heaven who 
needeth no help. And Melanchthon doth not without cause bewail 
his ignorance, and indict him for cruelty, as felo de se, who con- 
temned the means (physic) and the ministers (physicians) of health: 
Barbara immanitate et inscitia deploranda contemnunt praicepta 
sanitatis, mortem et morbos ultra accersuntfi It is taxed as a piece 
of great folly in the Romans, who, when physicians came from 
Greece to Rome, banished them by the counsel of Cato, as sent 
by the subtle Greeks to torture the Romans.? 

God and nature — that nihil agunt frustra — have appointed herbs 
not only for meat, but also for medicine, the virtue and value of 
which, would never be found, nor the herbs made serviceable to 
their right ends, if some did not employ their time and talents in 

1 Nee clomus et fundus, non seris acervus et auri, 
Mgvoto do-mini deduxit corpore febres. — Horat. 
2 Misere vivit qui medice vivit. 3 Amb. Ser. 22, in Ps. cxix. 4 Cic. 3 Tusc. 
5 Senec. 6 Melanct. De Anima. 7 Mornffius De Verit. Relig., c. 8. 


the search. The work, it is confessed, is full of difficulty ; but that 
addeth — as to the ignominy of those empirics who have but one 
panacea for all people and all diseases, so — to the glory of the in- 
genious workman. The nature of simples is said by some to alter 
according to the difference of the places in which they grow, or the 
constitutions of the persons to whom they are given. They tell us 
that opium in Turkey doth scarce offend any ; but with us, in a 
small quantity, it stupifieth ; that cicuta is a strong poison in 
Greece, but with us hath not such violent effects. Experience 
acquainteth us, that what helpeth one hurteth another in the same 
distemper ; nay, that the same patient may receive damage or ad- 
vantage by his physic as the fit season of taking it is observed or 
neglected. 1 How miserable, then, are those places which are de- 
livered up to the mercy — I should say cruelty and execution — of 
mountebanks, who undertake to cure all maladies with one remedy, 
(as their aurum potabile — or usually something worse, for this they 
often take — seldom give,) or at least the same sore in all constitu- 
tions with one salve. Surely the impudence and ignorance of 
these quacks was that which moved Agrippa to such a heat when 
he uttered, Multo plus periculi a medicamento quam a morbo ; and 
it may be said of such a one, with the poet, none knows 

' Quot Themison segros autumno occiderit uno.' — Juvenal. 

The medicines they prescribe are usually as ineffectual as that 
of the Frenchman who gave these verses in writing to his patients 
for the cure of all diseases : — 

' Si vis curari de morbo nescio quali, 
Accipias herbam, sed qualem nescio, nee quam ; 
Ponas nescio quo, curabere nescio quando.' 2 

They are thus Englished : — 

' Your pain, I know not what, do not foreslow 
To cure with herbs ; but what, I do not know, 
Place them well bruised, I know not where, and then 
You shall be perfect whole, I know not when.' 

But what a felicity is it to meet with persons both of much 
science and conscience in this profession, who understand and 
consider the cause of diseases, the nature of the ingredients, the 
constitutions of the patients, the difference of climates, and the 
proper seasons of administering physic, and accordingly prescribe 

1 In libellis qui vulgo versantur apud literatos, incautiores multa legunt, a quibus 
decipiuntur; eximia illis, sed portentosum hauriunt venenum. — Pcnotlus Prcef. de 
Mar. Med. 

2 Becan. Sum. Theol., part i. cap. 1G. 


and apply it with faithfulness ! Such, honoured sir, through divine 
providence, hath been my happiness since I obtained the favour of 
your acquaintance. I should be sordidly ungrateful if I were not 
mindful how willing you have been upon all occasions — sometimes 
at midnight — to give your advice gratis to me or mine. But I 
must especially acknowledge, to the glory of the blessed God, with 
thankfulness to you — which I voluntarily promised to do publicly 
some years since, though I had not a convenient opportunity until 
now — your indefatigable diligence, and little less than miraculous 
success, about my dear consumptionate wife. The great philoso- 
pher saith, He that loseth a good wife hath lost half the happiness 
of his life. I must confess, to the honour of free grace, that she 
whom I have found a meet help was nigh unto death — a dead 
woman long ago in the judgment of all her friends — but God had 
mercy on her, and not on her only, but on me, 1 and her many 
small children also, and was pleased to make you the means of 
very much good to her : to him, therefore, as the author and prin- 
cipal efficient I do publicly give the praise. For, 

' Dejicit et relevat, premit et solatia prsestat, 
Enecat et possit vivificare Deus.' 

God only can command health. Physic is only the order in 
which he is pleased to work. Paracelsus, who boasted that he 
could make others immortal, died himself before he had attained 
seventy years, the age of a man. To the divine majesty therefore, 
the lepers under the law, after they were cleansed, were to offer 
their gifts, and all sorts after sickness, the ransom of their lives, 2 
Exod. xxxi. And I do heartily acknowledge my great engage- 
ments to you as his minister and instrument, who were as careful 
of her, not for your fee, 3 for you never would take a penny, 
scorning to cure a consumption in the body by one in the purse, as 
if you would cure by friendship as much as by physic, exactly 
answering the moralist's 4 description of a tender and ingenious 

1 Sanus sum, gratias ago Creatori, Langueo, et in hoc laudo domini voluutatem. — ■ 
Hier. ad Paulum. 

2 The same word depaweveiv, which signifieth to heal, signifieth to worship, because 
after healing men should worship. 

3 Yet the physician is worthy of a liberal fee. The Abderites, when they wrote to 
Hippocrates for the cure of Democritus, whom they thought distracted because he 
always laughed at the ridiculousness of men's lives, sent him word : Quicquid auri 
apud nos est, libenter persolvemus, etiamsi tota urbs nostra aurum effet. — Abderan- 
Ejrist. Hippoc. Vis morborum pretia medentibus, Fori tabes pccuniam advocatis 
fcrt. — Tacit. Annul, lib. 1. 11. 

4 Senec de Benef., lib. vi. cap. 16. 


physician. Quare medico plus debeof Quia ex medico in amicum 
transit, et me non arte quam vendit, obliged, sedbenigna et familiar i 
voliintate. Ille plus impendit, quam medico necesse est. Pro me, 
non pro fama art is, extimuit. Nonfuit contentus remedia mon- 
sfrare, sed admovit. Interea solicitus assedit, ad suspecta tempora 
occurrit. Nullum ministerium oner i Mi, nullum fastidio fuit. Ge- 
mitus meos non securus excepit. In turba midtorum invocantium, 
ego Mi potissima cur a fui. Huic ego non tanquam medico, sed 
tanquam amico obligatus sum. And through divine help as success- 
ful as if you had been appropriated, according to the custom of the 
Egyptians, to the study of that single distemper, and predestinated, 
according to Paracelsus' s opinion, to its cure ; wherefore, with that 
master of moral philosophy, Nee medico in majus gratia re/erri 
potest, nee nautce si naufragiwi sustulit. 1 I cannot be thankful 
enough to my physician, especially such a one whose worth the 
whole nation is acquainted with. 

The truth is, that if I had been so unjustly ungrateful, as to have 
studied to conceal the great debt I owe you, there are so many wit- 
nesses of it, that I had but consulted my own shame. But as a 
public confession of my engagements, in grati animi fxprj/xocrvvov, I 
present you with this treatise, the matter of which calls for your 
perusal, though the author craves your pardon. The work of 
Christianity in every relation and condition, the subject of it, is 
clearly consistent with, and necessary to, your calling. The divine 
and physician do both convenire in uno tertio ; they are both for 
curing : the divine heals corpus per animam ; the physician, 
animam per corpus. Every divine is a spiritual physician, and 
every physician ought to be a spiritual divine, though not by pro- 
fession, yet in practice. Marcilius Ficinus was simul et semel 
medicus et sacerdos. Luke, 6 tarpon 6 6470/7777-7-09, the beloved 
physician, was a divine evangelist, of whom Jerome excellently, Be 
medico corporum /actus erat medicus animarum, cujus libri quoties 
legunlur in ecclesiis, toties divina pliarmaca Jwminibus offeruntur? 
Theology is the mistress, all other sciences and arts but handmaids ; 
and then they know their places, and serve for the right purpose, 
when they are, as the spoils which David took from the Gentiles, 
consecrated to the temple. 

All ornaments to a person void of religion are but like flowers to 
a dead corpse, notwithstanding which it hath neither life nor loveli- 
ness. The oracle of Apollo judged Socrates the wisest man of his 
time ; and his scholar, Xenophon, gives him this encomium, Talis 

1 Idem de Benef., lib. iii. cap. 3.5. i Jerome in Epist. ad Philem. 

VOL. I. 2 A 


fuit Socrates quern omnium optimum et felicissimum statuam;^ yet 
his other scholar Plato acknowledged him a great drinker ; and his 
master Aristotle saith he was Scurra Atticus. Democritus, who 
was esteemed a famous philosopher, an expert physician, an excel- 
lent mathematician, a profound politician, omnifariam doctus, of 
whom Hippocrates writes, Nihil in toto opijicio natural de quo non 
scripsit. And Aristotle himself, who is styled Regida natural, natural 
miraculum, ipsa eruditio, sol scientiarum, mare, sophia, Antistes 
literarum et sapiential, are both by Lactantius clearly proved to 
be illiterate fools and speaking asses ; Nihil, inquit, inter hos et 
bestias nisi quod loqicuntur. 2 Learning without grace converts the 
blessings of God into the provision of lusts ; as the pearl which 
beautifieth a man is the disease of the filth that breeds it, so those 
parts which render a Christian more comely, are mortal many times 
to others, being instruments of sin, and full to their corruptions. 
Like Belshazzar, they devote those golden vessels to the use of their 
idols, which should be serviceable to the sanctuary. 

He that for parts and learning is nature's pride, and the very 
utmost she hath to shew, without religion, is but a learned dunce. 
Quia Christi non habet condimentum, vanus est ejus labor, et peri- 
tura cedijicatio, saith Jerome. 3 Neque enim praistantissima natural 
et industrial dona, aid alicujus morbi acutioris cruciatus lenire, aid 
inquinatai et rugientis conscieniiai ictus et laniatus repellere, aut 
fugientem revocare animam, aut Gehennce jiammas quasi injecta 
guttula minuere, aut denique horribilis irce Dei excutiendo susti- 
nendo vel oneri vel minimas vires subministrare possunt, according 
to learned Reynolds. 4 No, it is godliness alone which, as the 
diamond to the ring, addeth real value to all natural and acquired 
accomplishments, and which is the only ark for a soul to be 
sheltered in, when a deluge overfloweth. 

He is the best scholar that knoweth the plague of his own heart, 
and hath got it healed with the blood of Christ. There is no 
grammarian like him that hath learned how to decline sin in every 
case ; no logician like liim who can find out Satan's subtleties, and 
evade his paralogisms ; no arithmetician like him who hath learned 
to number his days, and to apply his heart to wisdom ; and no 
musician like him who doth by a holy life, to the tune of truth in 
the inward parts, sing forth the praises of his God ; he is best 
skilled in astronomy that hath his conversation in heaven, and 

1 Xenopli. de Diet. Socrat., lib. iv. 

; Lactant., lib. iii. ; De Sapientia, cap. 17, 20 ; lib. xxvi. cap. 8. 

3 Jerome in Ez?k. xiii. 4 Animalis Homo, p. SO. 


walketh daily in the view of those celestial beauties and glories. 
None is skilled in economics but he who walketh in the midst of 
his house with a perfect heart. He is an excellent rhetorician that, 
like Jacob, can plead so as to overcome and prevail with God him- 
self. He is the famous physician that makes it his chief study to 
procure his vitiated nature healed by the renewing work of the 
Holy Spirit. And he is the only politician who is wise to salva- 
tion. These things will appear to be truths when we all appear in 
the other world. Great parts without piety will bring at that day 
but the greater punishment. Field-officers that boast before the 
battle with their scarfs on their sides, and their plumes in their hats, 
at the head of their divisions, are glad when the army is routed, and 
all are taken, to throw away their gaudy feathers and gorgeous 
armour, and would willingly pass then for common soldiers. Oh, 
how glad would unsanctified scholars be, who are now cried 
up for sublime wits, for the quintessence of learning, for living 
libraries, and divine eagles, for Magistri Sententiarum, Doctores 
Angelici, SerapJuci, if they could pass at the great day for the 
greatest naturals, and most ignorant innocents that ever were in 
the world ! 

Honoured Sir, I write these things, partly to shew that this 
tractate, though not physical, may properly enough be presented to 
a physician, when religion is so absolutely requisite in all ; and 
partly to quicken all scholars to diligent endeavours after true piety, 
for a right management of their parts. 

Though corruption cankers the greatest blessings, and makes 
them tributary to Satan, yet religion will reduce them to their 
obedience, and make them pay their homage and allegiance to the 
king of saints. This is in part discovered in the ensuing discourse, 
in that part which concerneth a saint's carriage in a prosperous 
condition. Indeed, extremes are dangerous, a middle estate is 
safest ; as a middle temper of the sea, between a still calm and a 
violent tempest, is most helpful to convey the mariner to his haven. 
But the embroidered providences of God are like a curious piece of 
arras made up of several pieces, some whereof are crewell or thread, 
others silver and gold ; some are cast down with loads of misery, 
others are loaden with extraordinary mercies ; now both these con- 
ditions are great temptations, especially the latter. 

The highest towers are soonest destroyed with lightning, and 
those boughs which are fullest laden are apt to break with their 
own weight. Excessive heat, as excessive cold, quickly degenerates 
into poison ; but grace is a strong corrective that will not only pre- 


serve it from being mortal, but also make it medicinal and useful to 
the health of the soul. 

The good Lord grant that the vessel of your precious soul, when 
furnished with the largest sails of prosperity, may move the more 
swiftly ; and in the greatest storm of adversity, be so ballasted with 
grace as to sail safely to your port of bliss ; that in your short 
day you may be always purging out by faith and repentance your 
spiritual diseases, and visited with the divine saving health ; that 
at the evening of your mortal sickness, the great physician may 
administer a cordial to you of his own living water, and that at the 
night of death, when your sun shall set, the Sun of righteousness 
may arise upon you with healing under his wings, and make your 
soul, as his body in the gospel, every whit whole. 

Medicus medicorum tibi, una cum cliarissimd conjuge, liberisquc 
suavissimis, animis in liac vita saluberrimis benedicat, et pro summa 
tua in evangelii ministrum pietate, salutem in futura sempiternam 
retribuat. Ita precatur et, dum in vivis fuerit, precabitur. 

Reverential tuce in Christo obstrictissimus, 

E MusEeo meo in Magna Kimbell, 11th Nov. 1663. 





Reader, knowledge is the excellency of a man, whereby he is 
usually differenced from a brute. The knowledge of Christ is 
the excellency of the Christian, whereby he is differenced from a 
heathen ; a practical knowledge is the excellency of the true Chris- 
tian, whereby he is known from the false one ; knowledge without 
practice is like a glass eye, all for show, and nothing for use ; right 
knowledge, like Rachel's mandrakes, is helpful to make the saint 
fruitful ; it hath not only eyes to see God's will, but also feet to 
walk in his way ; it is life eternal so to know the only true God, 
and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. The spring of this know- 
ledge may be in the head, and its rise in the understanding ; but 
it slideth down into the heart, breaketh out into the life, and so 
floweth along in the channel of grace and holiness, till at last it 
lose itself in the ocean of glory. Constancy in this holy course is 
the crown and character of the sincere Christian. An infirm soul, 
like a feverish body, hath an unequal pulse ; he is, as his fits are, 
now and then pious, when his worldly pleasures will give him 
leave, and his earthly profits allow him leisure ; but the sound 
soul, like the natural sun, is always running this spiritual race. 
Others, like the merops or woodpecker, may have gay feathers, 
make a great profession, but, as that bird, iv rfj 777 veorrevet, they 
build their nests, lay up their treasures on earth ; but the upright 
soul hath his hopes and happiness in the other world, and therefore 
is always trading and sending thither : ' I have inclined my heart 


to keep thy statutes always unto the end/ Ps. cxix. 112. Observe, 
first, The truth of his holiness, I have inclined, not my ears, nor 
my tongue, but my heart ; secondly, The test of it, to keep, not 
my own inventions, nor others' traditions, but thy statutes ; thirdly, 
The term of it, not for a fit or a start, but alway, without intermis- 
sion, unto the end, without backsliding. The time of my subjection 
to Grod's statutes is till I enter upon my eternity, and time, with 
me, shall be no more, unto the end. 1. His obedience is real, not 
verbal, to keep thy statutes ; action is the life of religion ; the 
gracious person can as soon cease to be, as cease to do ; his voice 
is like Elijah to Obadiah, As the Lord liveth, I will shew myself. 
Hypocrites, as they say of the nightingale and cuckoo, are vox et 
prceterea nihil, nothing but voice and talk ; their whole work con- 
sisteth in words, as if they were lawyers, to get their living by 
much speaking ; but though those work only with their tongues, 
the Christian speaketh powerfully with his hands ; his works praise 
him in the gate. 2. His obedience is cordial as well as real — I 
have inclined my heart. The wheels of his actions are regular in 
their motion, but his heart is the spring of the watch, which sets 
them a-going. His heart is the text, upon which his conversation 
is a living exposition. His comment may fail and fall short, but 
the text is ever sound and true. 3. His obedience is constant as 
well as cordial, always, unto the end. Always, in every place, pas- 
sage, and providence, every calling, company, and condition, in 
every action, ordinance, and relation ; wherever I go, and whatso- 
ever I do, my heart is always inclined to keep thy statutes. Unto 
the end ; as long as I live, till death put an end both to my labour 
and my life. The tradesman in his particular calling, who in- 
tendeth to make anything of it, spencleth most of his time at it ; 
he is either buying in, or selling out his wares, or casting up his 
books, or fetching in his debts, some way or other furthering his 
calling. It is not the picture of wares on the stall, or the master's 
standing with his hands in his pocket, that will preserve his family, 
or prevent poverty from entering his shop like an armed man. 
The Christian in his general calling, if he will get anything by it, 
will have no leisure to be idle or loiter, but must be both diligent 
and constant at it. The great profession which some make, if 
religion be not their business, will never prevent their eternal per- 
dition. How many vessels have suffered shipwreck for all their 
glorious names of triumph, safeguard, and good speed ! The 
weapons of many soldiers, who pretend that they are listed under 
the Captain of our salvation, will, like rusty rotten muskets, recoil 


and fly in their faces when they come, in an hour of death or day 
of judgment, to use them. 

Nature hath made the roots of many trees bitter, whose fruits 
are very sweet, signifying to us that pleasures are not to be expected 
without pains. The heathen poet could see and say as much. 

'Ap70? yap ovSels Qedv 'ix<*>v dva ard/xa 

~BLov dvvaiT av avWiyetv avev vdvov. — Eurip. JRhes. 

The Israelites could not enjoy the land flowing with milk and 
honey, till they had fought with, and conquered the Canaanites, 
and forced their way through grievous obstacles and oppositions. 
The saint must pass by the augel with a drawn sword in his hand 
before he can enter into paradise. His work is much and manifold, 
his enemies are many and mighty ; and it will cost him hot water 
before he can display his colours upon the walls of the new Jeru- 
salem, and receive his crown. If he should, like the wasp, intend 
chiefly his pastime and pleasure, and filling himself with the purest 
honey, he would quickly grow foggy, and be easily slain by his foes. 
He doth therefore like the bee, of whom some write that she never 
loseth a day from work abroad if the air will give leave ; and "when 
the weather is tempestuous she cleanseth her hive, carrieth out the 
filth, and keepeth watch and ward at her gates for fear of her 
enemies, and hereby she gets something to live upon when others 
starve. * 

The nature and necessity of this religious industry I have largely 
discussed in the first part of the Christian Man's Calling ; the gene- 
ral heads of which treatise, as also of this second, and the third 
and last (which part, God continuing health and help, thou mayest 
see within a few months) I shall epitomise in this ensuing charac- 
ter of the true Christian. 

The right Christian is one whose conversation is in heaven, 
though his habitation be on earth ; he dwelleth here below, but he 
liveth above ; religion is his mistress, to whom he hath surrendered 
the keys of his heart, and to whom in his life he is not a compli- 
mental, but a real servant. The world may be in the suburbs, but 
God reigneth in the city. He useth the creatures, yet enjoyeth 
none but Jesus Christ. Heaven is the centre to which all the 
lines of his life tend, and in which they meet and end. Holiness is 
his highway, in which he daily walketh, and he thinks that day 
lost in which he makes not some progress towards his journey's end, 
eternal life. He travelleth in company with many civil and natural 
affairs, but he is specially watchful that they keep their distance 


all the way. He is one that makes, not his own nor any other's, 
but God's will the rule of his worship. He is careful to pay his 
God his due to the utmost of his power, though to do it he is forced 
.sometimes to compound with his family or particular calling, and 
to pay them short, yet he dares not pay his piety to God in counter- 
feit pieces, or in any coin hut such as hath a divine stamp, the 
King of heaven's image and superscription on it. 

He giveth religion the right hand of fellowship in his daily con- 
versation, causing his servants' bodily and worldly business to wait 
till his Master, the blessed God, be served. He doth not mind 
godliness by the by, or when he hath nothing else to do, but pre- 
fer it in his practices, as well as his principles, before all other 
things whatsoever. He hath more manners than to let the Lord of 
glory wait his leisure ; and more wisdom, when he is going to 
speak to the King of kings about matters of life and death, than to 
let the trifles of this world stay him by the way. He mindeth his 
business when he is about it, and dareth not do his holy work by 
halves ; whether he pray, or hear, or read, or meditate, or whatso- 
ever sacred performance he sets upon, he serveth his God with all 
his heart and with all his might. He so considereth the weight 
and consequence of his religious duties, the worthiness and holiness 
of God with whom he hath to do, that he belie veth no labour to be 
great enough, no carriage to be gracious enough, for the manner of 
his worship ; no love to be hot enough, no honour to be high 
enough for the object of his worship ; nay, and his very all to be too 
too little for him. He is not only diligent in, but also constant at, 
this heavenly calling ; when he is walking with men, he walketh 
with God ; all the while he liveth in the flesh, he liveth after the 
spirit ; religion is his daily and hourly companion ; at his table, it is 
his sauce, which makes his meat savoury ; in his shop, it is his scales, 
which makes his wares weighty ; in his chamber, it is the hand 
that makes his bed easy ; all his colours are laid in this oil of 
grace. His whole life, though it may have now and then a comma 
and a parenthesis in it, is but one continued and entire speech 
of prayer and praise to his Lord. He laboureth whilst he liveth, 
and neither desireth nor expecteth rest till the night of death bring 
him a writ of ease. 

He is one that is persuaded religion to be the end of his creation, 
and of all the mercies that he enjoyeth. and so his God's end is ever 
in his eye, and he minds the message about which his God sent him 
into the world, whatsoever he omits. He is more rational than to 
conceive his heaven-born soul to be given him that he might live a 


brute, to eat and drink, and sport and sleep ; and more religious 
than to prefer his meat before his message, or himself before his 
Master. He often admonisheth himself (with Bernard in his studi- 
ous cell), Soul, soul, remember for what end thou earnest hither ; 
and is a fellow-commoner with angels in obeying the precepts, and 
feeding on those pleasures which flow from the fountain of his being 
and happiness. He cannot think of the day wherein his Master 
will call him to an account, how he hath done the work about which 
he is set, and discharged the errand about which he is sent, without 
fear, and therefore dares not be false or unfaithful. He sets out in 
earnest for the un defiled inheritance, as knowing that it cannot be 
attained without violence. He believeth that the gate of life is 
strait, and none can enter in except they strive ; that he must 
conquer if he will be crowned, and win the weight of glory if he 
will wear it. Therefore he overlooks all discouragements, over- 
leaps all impediments, puts forth all his strength, and works in this, 
that he may rest in the other world. He judgeth the matters of his 
God, of his soul, and of eternity, to be infinitely more ponderous and 
weighty, more excellent and worthy, than the affairs of his family 
and of his body, which last but for a few days, and thence he is pro- 
voked and persuaded to give them the precedency in all his actions, 
to pursue them with industry against all opposition, and to perse- 
vere in them with constancy to his dissolution. 

He is one that doth not only use diligence himself, but also be- 
moans the negligence of others ; his soul weeps for others' wicked- 
ness in their eager pursuit of lying vanities, and careless neglect of 
real and saving mercies. When he beholdeth worldlings toying 
with mean trifles, and playing like children — only this difference, 
with greater baubles — take such pains to dig into the mines of the 
earth for gold, and then to find nothing but their own graves ; 
when he beholdeth the greatest and wisest of the world, like Augus- 
tus, to play with nuts, or Alexander Severus with dogs, or Lucian's 
Jupiter, to spend their time in painting the wings of butterflies 
— to be so busy about nothing — he cloth not, like Democritus, 
laugh at the ridiculousness of their lives, but with Heraclitus, 
mourn for their madness and misery. When he observeth 
amongst professors so much science, and so little conscience ; so 
many Christians without Christ ; so much talking of God's word, 
and so little walking in God's way ; so many who, like trees, seem 
to aspire to heaven, and yet are rooted in the earth, contending 
vehemently, like fishes for a few crumbs that are thrown into the 
waters; like some resty jades, when good provender is before them, 


to pick at straws that lie under their feet ; to ride, and run, and 
watch, and work for a thing of nought, for a few poor scraps that 
conies from the creature's table, when the flesh of Christ, which is 
meat indeed, and the blood of Christ, which is drink indeed, and all 
the dainties of the gospel are before them and offered to them, — he 
cloth both wonder at and bewail their folly and frenzy. 

He is one whose pious pulse is ever beating, and whose religious 
soul is ever breathing after his God and Saviour. His holiness, 
like the fire on the altar, comes down from heaven : and though it 
may sometimes abate, sometimes increase in its heat, yet it never 
goeth out day nor night. He is holy, as his God is holy, in all 
manner of conversation. Though his godliness, like a simple of a 
predominant quality, give a tincture to all the mixtures of his 
natural and civil actions, yet it gives the greatest relish and 
savour to his spiritual compositions, which belong to the sanctu- 
ary. He is always circumspect in his carriage, because he is ever 
in the view of God's eye ; but he is most pious when he comes 
solemnly into God's presence, knowing that great princes are more 
curious of their near attendants than of those that are at a further 
distance. He considereth that holiness becometh God's house, 
that dead duties are no way suitable to a living God, that the 
ordinances of his God are edged tools, and not in the least to be 
jested with, that his soul and eternal estate are at stake in every 
performance, and therefore, as David, he danceth before the ark 
with all his might ; he prayeth, he heareth, he singeth, he com- 
municateth, he doth all with heat and heartiness, with love and liveli- 
ness, as for his life, as for his soul, as for his everlasting salvation. 
The vessel of his soul moveth steadily, and saileth swiftly on the 
waters of the sanctuary, being ballasted with a holy fear, and fur- 
nished with the sails of a living faith. He goeth to duty, not for 
duty, but to give glory to his God iii them, and to receive grace from 
his God through them, that he might by them be made partaker of 
the divine nature. He prayeth with reverence, as to a God, and 
with confidence, as to a father, and gets Iris whole living by this 
trade of begging. He believeth his prayer to be answered when 
his petition is denied, and never goeth from the beautiful gate of 
God's temple without some alms. As in the presence of the Lord, 
he gives audience to his word, and is known to be one of Christ's 
sheep by his ear-mark, of hearing his voice and following him. He 
layeth up the jewel of the word in the cabinet of his heart, and 
layeth it out as occasion serveth in his conversation. He goeth to 
the sacramental board as to his dying bed, and thinks no prepara- 


tion great enough for the reception of the Lord of glory. His first 
question at the table, is, with the church, ' Saw ye him whom my 
soul lovetli ? ' and with the Greek to Philip, Sir, I would fain see 
Jesus : and if Christ he absent, whoever or whatever be present, 
the cup, though it be gold, hath no worth, no wine in it, for he 
goeth from the table more hungry and unsatisfied than he came to 
it. He goeth to ordinances, as Zaccheus to his sycamore tree, to 
have a sight of his Saviour, and as Moses to the mount, commune 
with his God, and then only he is at ease, when he can accom- 
plish his end. He counts that prayer the best prayer wherein he 
enjoyeth most of his Saviour ; that sermon the best sermon that 
giveth the deepest wounds to his sins, and those elements the only 
sacrament that are a taste and seal of this eternal salvation. 

He is one that of all seasons hath the highest respect for the 
Lord's day, as having experimentally found that to be the day of 
his greatest spiritual feasts. He needeth no priest, as the Jews had 
to sound a trumpet the day before, and give notice of the ensuing 
Sabbath, for he longs for it more than lovers for the day of their 
wedding, and the whole week to him is but a preparation for the 
heavenly works of that honourable day. He emptieth his heart over- 
night of those ill humours which may be contracted by the world's 
coarse fare, that he may have the better appetite to those dainties 
which shall be set before him on that day. In it he cheerfully 
meditates on God's works, and carefully attendeth on God's word. 
He worketh the work of him that sent him into the world all the 
day long, and wisheth the day longer for the duty's sake. He 
esteemeth every part of this golden season precious, and doth gather 
up the fragments of it, that nothing be lost. At the night of this 
market-day for his soul, he calls himself to a reckoning what he 
hath got, how much he hath gained, and counts it an ill day 
if he be not more informed in his judgment, or reformed in his 
affections, and more conformed in his conversation to his Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

He is one that frameth his kitchen, his natural actions, as well 
as his chapel, his spiritual, according to the rule and square of 
religion. ' He doth not feed without fear, but eat his bread before 
the Lord, as knowing that it doth not nourish by its own power, 
but by divine providence, and that it is the means of preserving his 
life, not the end of his living. He feedeth his flesh, but doth not 
pamper it, as fearing that God, who alloweth him sufficient for his 
need, but not provision for his lust. He keeps a strict hand on 
this unruly horse, his appetite, lest, if the reins lay on its own 


shoulders, it should run on and wander to his ruin ; yet, because 
his body is his soul's beast, on which it dependeth very much in its 
motions, he rules over it with reason, not with rashness ; useth it as 
a servant, not as a slave, and alloweth it convenient refreshment 
and rest. But his recreation, is not his occupation, only his sauce, 
which he useth sparingly, to make his meat, his work, relish the 
better, and go down the pleasanter. 

He is one that mindeth his general calling in his particular, and 
tradeth with his temporal stock for the true riches. His care is to 
make the maid to know her place and wait on religion ; and his 
fear lest at any time she should usurp authority over her mistress. 
If the world smile on him, he dares not trust it, but endeavours, 
when its possessions flow in upon him, that his affections may not 
flow out upon it. When he aboundeth in goods, he aboundeth in 
thankfulness to the giver, and desireth more to improve his wealth 
aright, than to increase it. If the world frown upon him, and he 
decrease in the means of the earth, he laboureth to decrease in 
earthly-mindedness, and rejoiceth at the taking away of the fuel, 
when he findeth thereby the fire to go out. Howsoever the wise 
God throw him, he falls like a die upon a square, having learned 
in all conditions to be contented, how to abound and how to be 

He is one that is holy at home as well as abroad, and walketh in 
the midst of his house with a perfect heart. His house is a little 
church, consecrated to the dearest Redeemer, wherein his God is 
praised and worshipped, and a true though small resemblance of 
the highest heavens. ' Holiness to the Lord ' is written on all the 
vessels, rooms, and, in his desire and endeavour, on all the inhabi- 
tants in it. It is the grief of his soul to have a cursed Ham, or 
scoffing Ishmael, or profane Esau in his family ; and oh, how his 
heart aches for fear any should drop out of his house into hell ! 
He is a priest to pray for them, a prophet to instruct them, and a 
king to govern them according to the word of God. He is specially 
watchful to set them a good pattern, knowing that he, like the 
admiral in a navy, carrieth the light for all the rest, and they are 
prone to imitate his practices, whether right or wrong. 

He manifesteth religion in every relation, and filleth them up 
with suitable conversation. He is not like the earth, light in one 
part, and always dark at the same time in others, but as the 
heavens, at all times, and in all parts light. As he is a parent, he 
doth not, like iEsop's ape, hug his child to death with fondness, 
nor bring up his children to bring down his family, but bringeth 


them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He desireth 
more to see them gracious than to see them great, and takes more 
thoughts for their immortal spirits than for their fading flesh. He 
provides for their bodies, and gives them such education as may 
make them serviceable to men ; but he prefers their souls, and is 
mainly solicitous about that breeding which may make them ser- 
viceable to the blessed God. As he is a son, he labours to approve 
himself the most dutiful child in the country. He honoureth his 
parents, both inwardly and outwardly, in his language and carriage, 
and submitteth to them in all things in the Lord. He yieldeth 
obedience to his earthly out of conscience to his heavenly Father, 
and payeth his duty both to God and man in the same action. If 
he be rebuked for his faults, he is not only patient to submit, but 
also pious to reform, and kisseth the rod for teaching him his lesson. 
Though his parents be wicked and careless of his weal, yet he is 
tender of their welfare. He dareth not discover their nakedness, 
nor disobey their lawful precepts, because they themselves are pro- 
fane, but he serveth them with the more care to win them to 
Christ ; and is so affectionate towards them that he doth not only 
to his power supply (if need be) their poverty, but would lay down 
his natural life to prevent their eternal death. If he be a husband, 
in his behaviour towards his wife he imitateth his head in his car- 
riage towards his body : he nourisheth and cherisheth her as the 
Lord the church. She is in his eye the fairest of women, and in 
his judgment the fittest for him of any in the world. He chose 
her more for her weight in grace than in gold, and he valueth her 
not according to her estate in the earth, but in the covenant. 
Whatsoever she be, either for person, or portion, or parts, or parent- 
age, he esteemeth and affecteth her more for her piety, and because 
of God's ordinance, than for any or all of them. If she err, he 
seeketh to draw her home with the cords of love ; if she continue 
in the faith, he seeketh to confirm her with the bands of kindness. 
Love is his whetstone to provoke her to obey him ; and love is his 
loadstone to allure her to obey God. His love is one ingredient in 
all compositions ; and his love is her cordial in her sick and sad 
conditions. He loveth her outward man above all his means, and 
affordeth it what her necessity and conveniency require, and what 
his estate will allow ; but he is exceeding tender of her inward man, 
praying with her, and for her, instructing her, and using all helps 
that Christ may be her husband, and heaven her jointure. If she 
be a wife, she is subject to her husband, as the church is to Christ. 
She doth not question his place nor quarrel with his power, but in 


obedience to God's ordinance honour his person, and obey his law- 
ful pleasure. Though he command what is below her, or painful 
to her, if not sinful, she doth not complain of, but comply with his 
commands. Her clothing is the satin of sanctity, the purple of 
purity, the white linen of innocency, and the ornament of a meek 
and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. Her 
meat and drink is to do the will (under God and in subordination 
to him) of her husband. If he be satisfied, and her God not dis- 
obeyed, whoever be displeased, she is contented. She reverenceth 
him as her head, and loveth him as her heart ; and as she is one with 
him in name and condition, so she endeavours, as much as may be, 
to be one with him in nature and disposition. She is faithful to 
his eternal, as well as his temporal estate, and more careful to have 
him rich towards God than rich in this world. She is mindful of 
her household, as well as her husband, and is a meet help to him, 
not only in his personal, but also in his domestical concernments. 
■ The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall 
have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the 
days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly 
with her hands. She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her 
food from far. She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to 
her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a 
fieki and buyeth it ; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a 
vineyard ; she girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth 
her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good, her candle 
goeth not out by night; she layeth'her hands to the spindle, and 
her hands hold the distaff ; she stretcheth out her hands to the 
poor, yea, she stretcheth out her hands to the needy. She openeth 
her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness ; 
she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the 
bread of idleness. Many daughters have done virtuously, but she 
excelleth them all.' 

If he be a master, he carrieth himself towards his servants as one 
that hath a Master in heaven. He knoweth that his servants are 
made of the same mould, and may be heirs of the same happiness 
with himself ; that though there be a civil, yet there is no natural 
or spiritual distinction, and he treateth them answerably in all his 
actions. He commandeth them, as Abraham his household, to 
keep the way of the Lord ; is more careful that they mind God's 
worship than his own work, and is more sorrowful when God is 
disobeyed than when his own affairs are neglected ; he useth his 
servants, but dareth not abuse them by overworking or under- 


keeping them ; he giveth to them what is just and equal, both in 
their work and reward ; but he is more diligent to teach them, and 
more desirous they should learn, the trade of Christianity, than his 
own calling. 

If he be a servant he liveth like the Lord's freeman, walking at 
liberty and seeking God's precepts. He denieth sinful subjection 
to any, but he yieldeth civil subjection to all whom his God hath 
set over him. Though his master be froward and crabbed, he 
serveth him with fear and conscience, as persuaded that his respect 
and obedience is due not to man's nature, but to God's order and 
ordinance. If his master be holy, he does not slight him because 
a brother, but counts him worthy of double honour. He honours 
him for his relation as his master, and for his religion as his Chris- 
tian master. He is diligent in his duty whether his master be 
present or absent, knowing that the eye of his God is ever on him, 
and as having the fear of his God ever in him. Whether his 
master be good or bad, courteous or churlish, he is faithful in his 
calling, doth his work as to the Lord, hoping that of the Lord he 
shall receive his reward. He serveth his Maker in serving his 
master, and doth all in singleness of heart as unto Christ, looking 
at last for the inheritance of a son. 

He is one that is holy in every condition, as well as in every 
relation, and walketh in all weathers in the way of God's com- 
mandments. In prosperity he giveth God praise, in adversity he 
is patient, in both pious. He suiteth his carriage not according to 
his company, but according to his condition ; he seeth by experi- 
ence that as fat bodies are most liable to diseases, and the best 
meat to be blown with flies, so prosperous men are most prone to 
profaneness ; therefore though his mountain be never so strong, he 
is not secure ; but the more wealth he hath, the more watchful he 
is lest it should be a provocation to wickedness ; his heart is not 
the more lifted up for the greatness of his heaps, but in a high 
wind he keepeth a low sail, because that is most safe. His sub- 
stance is not the object of his confidence, for he seeth it is a sandy 
foundation ; he trusteth not in uncertain riches, but in the living 
God, who giveth him all things richly to enjoy. He is sensible of 
others' sufferings, notwithstanding his own safety ; and though his 
own drink be wine, yet it is purl-royal in which he tasteth his 
brethren's wormwood. He valueth himself not by the confluence 
of creatures, but by the unsearchable riches that are in Christ, for 
he believeth no other wealth will be current in the other world. 
He beholdeth many to be high whose lives speak them to be now 


under God's hatred, and in the road to hell ; and therefore he 
rateth himself not by his houses, or lands, or temporal possessions, 
but by his right to the Father s house, the inheritance of the saints in 
light, and his eternal portion. He giveth God the praise of all his 
plenty, believing that not his own diligence, so much as God's 
gracious providence, is the original of his prosperity. He is there- 
fore chiefly glad of power, and riches, and outward mercies, because 
he may get his God the more glory and honour, and hath oppor- 
tunity thereby of being the richer in good works. He doth, like 
the industrious bee, work hard in this summer of prosperity, and 
lay in provision, that he may have some honey of comfort to feed 
upon in a winter of scarcity and misery. He is not afraid of the 
snow when it cometh, being prepared for it with double clothing. 
In the hard weather of adversity he keepeth his spiritual health, 
nay, he increaseth it, and is made thereby partaker of God's holi- 
ness. He dares not murmur at instruments, much less quarrel at 
the efficient ; but he seeth God's hand at the bottom of the warrant 
for his correction, and that keeps the king's peace in his breast. 
He knoweth that though second causes may intend evil, yet the 
first cause, whose will must stand, intendeth his good ; and so he 
patiently submitteth to his punishment, because it tendeth to his 
profit. He justifieth God when he condemneth him ; and though 
God kill him, yet he will love him and trust in him. He rejoiceth 
in the tree of his comforts, the God of all consolation, when the 
fruit is fallen off ; and though the fig-tree doth not blossom, nor 
the vine yield her fruit, yet he rejoiceth in the Lord, and is glad in 
the rock of his salvation. When he is scourged he feels the 
strokes, yet not to fret at the rod, but to find out the root whence 
it grew — his sin, that he may amend what he hath done amiss. 
Indeed, as soon as the disease sheweth itself, he inquires into the 
cause ; as soon as the messenger appeareth, he asketh his errand, 
and despatcheth that as suddenly as he may, to hasten his depar- 

He is not only religious in his duties to God, but also righteous 
in his dealings with men. Though he be married to religion, yet 
in this she is not like his wife, she is not a keeper at home ; but 
wherever he goeth she beareth him company. He is not like a 
hypocrite, tender of the first table and careless of the second ; nor 
like a heathen, who will not wrong his neighbour of the least 
mite, but robbeth God of millions ; but he exerciseth himself to 
keep a conscience void of offence towards God and towards all men. 
He trafficketh for grace when he is trading about his goods, and 


laboureth that therein he may do good both to himself and others- 
Every place he is called to is a temple, all his works are worship, 
and every man he deals with is a monitor to remember him to offer 
sacrifice to his God. 

When he is alone he is at leisure to be serious with his own 
soul, and to inquire into its case and condition. In his greatest 
company he is alone to himself, and in his greatest secrecy in com- 
pany with his God. The truth is, he is never alone, for the Father 
is always with him ; and he thinks what a holy man (Dr Sibbes) was 
wont to say, My God and I are good company. Yet lie often 
sequestereth himself from the crowd, that he may enjoy the sweetest 
kisses from Jesus Christ. He can tell how to be solitary as well as 
how to be sociable, and hath many a time found the golden and 
silver mines in solitary places where were no inhabitants. He hath 
had many a good turn in his garden or private chamber, when he 
hath walked unseen, and Christ hath been his fellow-traveller. 
No bread hath been more sweet than that which he hath eaten in 
secret, when Christ hath been his fellow-commoner. 

He is for company as well as for privacy, but he is for good 
fellowship ; he delights only in them that are true Christians. He 
chooseth rather to travel alone than with thieves, wicked men, that 
will conspire to rob him of his precious grace, at least of his pre- 
cious time. He is a companion of all that fear God and keep his 
statutes ; he chooseth to converse with saints, though he useth some- 
times, as his occasions and relations call him, to converse with 
sinners. He doth not, like the cameleon, turn himself into the 
colour of his company ; nor, like liquid things, take his form from 
that place in which he is ; but as a solid body, keeps his figure 
wherever he be ; nay, he endeavoureth, as those that carry strong 
scents about them, to perfume all persons and places in which 
he cometh. If he be among the good he watcheth their words, 
their works, that he may receive some good from them, and do 
some good to them. He hopes that his heart, as cold as it is 
will get some heat by being so near such glowing coals ; and he 
provoketh them, to his power, and in his place, to love and to 
good works. The communion of saints is a great comfort to him 
in his pilgrimage, and an article both of his creed and his practice. 
If he be among the bad, his work is to make them better ; and he 
is watchful that they do not make him worse. Though he cannot 
avoid the company of sinners, yet he is careful to avoid the con- 
tagion of their sins. He knoweth that it is hard for sheep to be 
in the midst of such thorns and to lose no part of their fleece ; 
vol. i. 2 b 


therefore when he seeth he can do no good, he hasteneth away, lest 
he should receive some evil. 

Godliness is his business, not only amongst all persons, but also 
in all seasons. He doth not put on religion, as some their best 
clothes, on some high or some holiday only, but it is his ordinary 
and his constant attire. Every week-day is with him a Lord's-day, 
for he liveth in the fear of the Lord all the day long. When he 
openeth his eyes in the morning, he lifteth them up to his Maker, 
both with praise for the last night's protection, and in prayer for 
the ensuing day's providence. He sets out for the other world 
before he undertakes his worldly works, and expecteth no blessing 
on them till he have first begged it. He dares not venture abroad 
fasting, for fear of infection from those many ill fumes and vapours 
which he is sure to encounter. He spendeth the greatest part of 
the day in his particular vocation, but so that in it he is limited 
and directed by religion. He buyeth as one that possesseth not, 
selleth as one that hath a soul to save, useth the world as not 
abusing it, because the fashion of this world passeth away. His 
prudence guideth him, and his piety swayeth him so to follow his 
shop as not to neglect his closet, and so to take care of the bodies, 
as one that must give an account of all the souls, in his family. 
He is tender of his time all the day long, to redeem it from need- 
less talk and vain companj 7 , and very unwilling to cut such a pre- 
cious commodity to waste. He watcheth his heart through the 
whole day, knowing how treacherous an inmate it is, and that he 
walketh constantly amongst enemies, which are neither few nor 
asleep. He usually calleth his soul to a reckoning at night how it 
hath behaved itself in the day, and so makes his factor faithful, by 
accounting with him frequently. As God is the Alpha, the begin- 
ning, so he is the Omega, the ending of the day ; for he doth not 
commit his body to his bed before he hath asked his Father's bless- 
ing, and commended his soul into the hands of his Eedeemer. 
When he hath washed off the dirt that his soul hath contracted 
by touching and meddling with worldly things, in the blood of his 
Saviour, and bewailed them before the Lord, then he can lie down 
with comfort, and God giveth his beloved sleep. 

He is one that visiteth the sick rather out of conscience than out 
of courtesy, and more to inquire of their spiritual than of their 
bodily welfare. If ever men be serious and come to themselves, it 
is when in their own thoughts they are dying and going from all 
others ; therefore he will by no means neglect such a price, but 
improve it to the utmost for their eternal peace. He will for the 


time become a physician, and so wisely considereth the spiritual 
state of his patient, and accordingly ordereth his prescription. If 
the patient be a scandalous person, one whose disease seemeth to be 
desperate, he giveth the stronger physic. He dares not be so un- 
faithful as scarce to touch his festered wounds for fear of putting 
him to pain, but endeavoureth to search them to the bottom. He 
sets before the soul the heinous evil and horrid end of sin, the un- 
speakable madness and unconceivable misery of sinners, and the 
certainty of all this under the hand of God himself. He useth the 
law's hammer to break the heart if possible, thereby to prevent hell. 
He dares not give the least cordial till he hath found his former 
physic to have had some considerable operation. If the person be 
one of a moral civil life, yet one whom he fears in a natural estate, 
he commends civility, but discovers its defects, and prefers sanctity 
in all his discourse. The substance of his speech is concerning the 
nature and necessity of regeneration, as the only means appointed 
by the God that cannot lie for the obtaining of salvation. He 
speaks so affectionately, with so much love to his dying friends, that 
you may perceive the working of his heart in the motion of his lips. 
He labours for life to save poor souls from eternal death. Oh how 
eager and earnest is he to persuade his sick friends to be holy and 
happy ! If he meet with a patient that is pious, yet perplexed with 
doubts and fears, he hath his cordial juleps, the gospel promises, to 
preserve such a soul from fainting. He looks for some savoury 
expression from this dying Christian, that may stick upon him 
whilst he hath a being. When he heareth a dying sinner cry out 
of the world's falseness to him in this his extremity, though he had 
been a faithful drudge to it all his time, he layeth up that saying 
in his heart, and hopes he shall love the world the less whilst he 
liveth. When he heareth the dying saint commend the faithfulness 
of his God in owning him, now all the world leaves him ; when he 
heareth him tell how fast a friend, how choice a good, how vast a 
portion the blessed God is, how sweet his ways are, and bless the 
time that he spent in praying and reading, and examining his own 
heart ; he thinks, there is somewhat for me ; and when he goeth 
home, he beggeth that he may set the greater price upon his God, 
and take the more pains in holy duties till he comes to that hour. 

When it comes to his own turn to go up to mount Nebo and die 
there, he expires, like the Arabian phoenix, in a bed of sweet spices, 
the exercise of the graces of the Holy Spirit. He considereth his 
infinite obligations to his dearest Saviour, and that he hath but 
a very short time now to work in, (for he is going to receive his 


reward,) and therefore he will endeavour, like his Redeemer, how 
much service soever he hath done his God in his life, to do, if it be 
possible, the most by his death. Both his house and his heart were 
set in order beforehand, and now he hath nothing to do save to die. 
But oh how sweetly, if not hindered by his disease, doth this dying 
swan sing ! He raiseth up himself with Jacob to bless his children-, 
(if he have any,) and commandeth them with David to know the 
God of their fathers, and to serve him with perfect hearts and will- 
ing minds. He commits his fatherless children to God, and bids 
his widow to trust in him. He wisheth all his friends and acquaint- 
ance to mind the one thing necessary, and to choose the good part 
which shall never be taken from them. ' My friends,' saith he, ' if 
ye will believe a dying man, one that dares not look God in the face 
with an untruth in his mouth, one that speaks not by notion or 
hearsay, but by experience, seek first the kingdom of God and the 
righteousness thereof ; give all diligence to make your calling and 
election sure ; honour God in your health, if ye would have God to 
own you in your sickness. I have served him so many years ; I 
have found him a good master ; his ways the most pleasant delight- 
ful ways, and surely his end, which I am now going to possess, will 
be perfect peace. Alas ! all other things are vanity and vexation 
of spirit. Relations are va