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Full text of "The Works of the late Reverend Robert Traill, A.M., minister of the gospel in London"

^Ry OF PRI/V^ 


BX-9 17 8 ^T ?-2^-ft4-1r7?^-gTt'?71 
Traill, Robert, 1642-1716 
The Works of the late 
Reverend Robert Traill, A.M. 


THE A^-«,^ ,^,, 


The late Reverend 


Minifter of the Gofpel ia London. 





Thirteen Sermons on the Throne of Grace, froia*^^ 
Heb. iv. 1 6. Firft printed in 1696. 

A Sermon on the following Queftion, By vihat means 

may Minijiers beji -win fouls ? from i Tim. iv. 16,- 

Firft printed in 1683. 

A Vindication of the Proteftant do<n:rine concerning 
Justification, and of its preachers and profeffbrs, 

from the unjuft charge of An ti no M i an i sm,- 

Firft printed in 1692. 


Printed and Sold by JOHN BR YCE, at his Shop^ 

oppofite GibfonVwyod, Salt-market. 

M D c c L X X V, 

An Account oP the Lifc and Cha- 

R A G T E R of the A U T il O R. 

MR ROBERT TRAILL was defcenfied of ?.n 
ancienx family, that had been in the poflelTion of 
the eftate of Blcbo in Fife, from the time of Waher Traill 
Archbifliop of St Andrew's*, who purchafcd, and^gave k 
to his nephew. His great-grandfather, Andrew, was a 
younger brother of the family of Blcbo j wlio, following 
the profeffion of a foldier, rofe to the rank of a Colonel ; 
and was for fometlme in the fervice of the city of Bruges, 
and other towns in Flanders, io the v/ar which that city, 
with the other confederate ftates and cities of ihe Low 
Countries, carried on in defence of their liberties and pri- 
vileges againft the King of Spain. When he left their fer- 
vice, his arrears amounted to 2700 /. Sterling •, for which 
fum the city of Bruges, and the other towns concerned, 
granted bond j making their goods liable for the faid debt, 
in whatever couniry or ilate they fhould be found. After 
this he ferved under the King of Navarre, afterwards Henry 
IV. of France, in the civil v/ars of that kingdom ; and had 
occafion to do that prince confiderable fervice in the taking 
of a town by {Iratagem. Upon his return to Britain, he 
was made a Gentleman of Prince Henry's privy chamber.. 

Our author's grandfather, James Traill, endeavoured to 
recover the fum due to his father by the cities of Tiancers-, 
and, upon a petition to King James, which \va;s referred 
to Sir Harry Martin, Judge of the Admiralty, "he obtain- 
ed warrant to arreft a fhip belonging to the city of Bruges 
at London ; which he 4id accordingly. But the Duke of 
Buckingham being gained by the adverfe party, the fhip 
was fet free. Nor could he ever afterwards obtain any part 
of the debt due to h's father. By which means, together 
with the expence of profecution, he was fo far reduced, as 

a 2 to 

* In the rsign of Robertlll. anr.Qii^$. See Bifhnp Spctifwode's 
hiilory of the church qI Scotlaod- 

iv The Author^ s Life and CharaSler, 

to be obliged to difpofe of a fmall eftate he had in the pa- 
riih of Deninno in Frfe. 

Robert Traill, the Son of James, and father of our au- 
thor, was Minifter firft of Ely in ^ife, and afterwards of 
the Gray.friers church in Edinburgh *, and was much dif- 
tlnguilhed for his fidelity and zeal in difcharging the duties 
of his function. He married Jean Annan, of the family 
of Auchterallan : by whom he had three fons and three 
daughters ; William, who was Minifter of Borthwick*, Ro- 
bert the author of thefe ferraons ; James, a Lieutenant af 
the garrifon in Stirling caftie ; Helen, married to Mr 
Thomas Paterfon a Minifler of Borthwick ; Agnes, mar- 
ried to Sir James Stewart of Goodtrees, Lord Advocate 
of Scotland ; and Margaret, married to James Scot of 
Brifto, Writer in Edinburgh. 

Our author, Robert, was born at Ely, in !1ie month of 
May 1642. After the ufual preparatory courfe of gram- 
matical education, he was fent to the unlverfity of Edin- 
burgh ; where he recommended himfelf to his feveral ma- 
ilers, by his capacity, and diligent application to his ftudies. 
Having determined to devote himfelf to the work of the 
ininiftry of the gofpel, he purfued the ftudy of divinity 
with great vigour for fome years ; and after undergoing, 
with approbation, the feveral pieces of trial requifite by 
the pradlice in Scotland, he was licenced to preach the gof- 
pel by a meeting of nonconformift mmifters, of the Pref- 
byterian perfuafion, Eplfcopacy being at that time eftablifh- 
cd by law. His father, being then banifhed, had taken re- 
fuge in Holland ; and his family, which he left behind in 
Scotland, was reduced to great ftraits : fo that our author 
had no fettled refidence. In 1666, he was obliged to lurk 
for fome time, together with his mother and elder brother ; 
becaufe fome copies of a book, intitled, Jn apologetic rela- 
iion^ he, which the privy council had ordered to be pub- 
licly burnt, were found in Mrs TrailFs houfe. At that 
time the Prefbyterians ia Scotland were treated with great 


The Author* s Life and CharaBer. v 

fevcrity; and the privy council, at the Inftigation of tlie 
bifliops, was continually harraffing them by their tyrannical 
edicts, injoining conformity to the eftablifned church, un- 
der civil pains and penalties, and inforcing their arbitrary 
and intolerating decrees, by the, terror of military quarter 
and execution. Thefe harfli acd'unjuftinable methods pro- 
voked many of that opprefled and unhappy people, natu- 
rally of a fervid temper, as the Scots in -general are, efpe- 
cially where religion is concerned, and inflanied their ipl- 
rits to that degree, that they took up arms in their defpalr, 
and advanced the length of Pentland hills, near Edinburgh ; 
where they were totally defeated, and difperfed, in an en- 
gagement with the King's forces. Our author was fufpec- 
ted of having been among thofe that were in arms ; and a 
proclamation was iiTued by the council for apprehending 
him; which obliged him to retire to Holland, to his frf- 
ther, where he arrived in the beginning of the year 1667. 
Here he was employed for fome time in affifting Ncthenus, 
ProfefTor of Divinity in the univerfity of Utrecht, in the 
publication of Rutherford's Examen Arminianiftni. In his 
preface to that book, Nethenus fpeaks of our author in 
the following terms. AttuUt mihi mamtfcriptum avtorist 
dodiuSy phiSf prudens^ et indiiftrius juvenis vir D Robertus 
TralHuiy patris cognominus ob Chrifii caufam veritaUfque con' 
fejfionem exulis^ h.iiid degener fJius ^ facrig theotogia et m'vnf' 
terii evangelici candidatuSy inihiy in procuranda <^ promovcnda 
hujus librt editioney adjut^r dc/ii/iatus ; qui et partes fu as di- 
ligentety Jidelitery et confifinfery adfnem ufqiis ohilty dignug 
proinde laude h amore omnium, orthodoxa: veriiaiisj <b ciarif- 
firtii Rhctorfortis p. m, amatorum ^ cultoruTH. 

It appears from our author's preface to his fermons on 
the throne of grace y that he was ordained a miniller of the 
gofpel in 1669 : but in what place he firil: exercifcd his mi- 
niftry, we have no account. He was many years paftor to 
a Proteftant difTenting congregation in London ; in which 
Nation he laboured with great dilige ace, zrnl, and fuccefs. 


tl The Author*: Life and Charader. 

Here it was that he publlfhed his vindication of the Protef- 
tant doBrine ofjufiificatioHi prompted thereto by his zeal 
for that dlftinguifhing do£lrine of the reformation ; and 
his fermons on the throne of grace y and the Lord^s prayer ^ at 
the earneft defire of many who heard them. 

Our author had feen feveral viclffitudes in the fate of 
the civil and religious liberties of Great Britain. He had 
feen the monarchy and hierarchy overthrown, and rifen a- 
gain with greater power and fplendor from their ruins : he 
had feen an overftrained prerogative give birth to liberty, 
and toleration take its rife from a perfecuting fpirit : he re- 
joiced in the profpe^t of the continuance of the bleflings of 
the revolution to Great Britain, by the fcttlement of the 
Proteftant fucceflion in the iliuftrious houfe of Hanover : 
he faw that fucceflion take place : And now letteji thou thy 
fervant depart in peace , for mine eyes have feen thy falvation* 
He died ia the month of M-ay 1716, aged feventy-four 




TIT HA T is in this book offered to your reading, vjas, fome 
'^' years fmce^ preached, in the ordinary courfe of my mi^ 
nijiry^ on a -week-day, with no more thought (that is, none 
at all) of printing it, than I had of piiblijhing this way any 
thing I have preached thefe f even and tzventy years, ivherein 
I have been exercifed in the minifiry of the word, fave one 
fingie ftrmon extorted from me ab^ut fourteen years ago *, 

The puhlifhing of fuch plain dtfcourfes, is fngly owing to the 
importunity of fome of the hearers, and to the ajfi/iance they 
gave me, by getting what Jfpake t r an f crib ed from two foort* 
hand writers •* without which I could not have publifhed it ; 
my own notes being only little f craps qf heads of do^rine^ and 
fcriptures confirming them. 

In the fame way I had brought to me what 1 fpoke from 
Heb. X. 23, 24. and have it lying by me ; which may alfojec 
the I'ight, if the Lord wid that I live f ,• and if this be accep- 
ted of fuch whofe tefiimony I only value: I mean fuch as are 
found in the faith, and exercifed in the life of faith, 

1 know no true religion but Chriflianity ; no true Chrifiid' 
nity but the doEirine of Chriji ; of his divine pcrf on, (the image 
of the invifible God, Col. i. 15.); of his divine office^ (the 
Mediator betwixt God and men, i Tim. ii. 5.) ; of his di- 
vine right eoifnefs, (he is the Lord our Righteoufnefs, Jer, 
xxiii. 6. ; which name is alfo called upon his church, Jen 
xxxiii, 16.) ',and of his divine Spirit, (which all that are 
bis receive, Rom. vili. 9.) I know no true miwflers of Chriji^ 
but fuch as make it their bufmefs, in their calling, to ccmmena 
Jejus Chrifl in his faving fulneji of grace and glory, t$ the 
faith and love of men ; no true Chriftian, but one united to 


* This fermon is inferted in this volunie, immediately after the 
fermons on the throne of grace. 

t Thcie lermons were publiOied after the su»hor*s death. Th? 
book is intitled, Ajhdfafi adherence /<? the prgfefjian of oar faith. 

vlii The P R E F A C E. 

Chrift by faiths and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the 
glorifying of the name of Jefiis Chriji, in the beauties of gofpel' 
holinefs. Minijiers and Chrijiians of this fpirit , have for many 
years been my brethren and companions^ and, I hope^ fhall 
ever bey whitherfocver the hand of God fhall lead me. 

Through the Lord's mercy to me, (as to many in London )^ 
1 have often heard -what is far more -worthy of the prefs, than 
any thing I can publifh, I have not been negligent in defirinct 

fuch able minijiers of the new tefiament, to lei their light flAne 
this way ; hut have little prevailed. It may be this mean ef- 

fay may provoke them more to that good work. 

Whatever you may think of my way of managing thisfub- 
/V5?, (and indeed there is nothing in that, either as defigned 
or expected by me^ or that in itfelf deferveth any great re* 
gardj ; yet the theme itfelf all muft judge, who have fpiritiial 
[enfeSy is of great importance, and always feafonable. It is 
concerning the throne of God's faving grace ^ reared up in Je- 
fits Chrifiy and revealed unto men in the gofpel ; with the ap- 
plication a'tlfhould make to that throtie, the great bleffings to 
be reaped by that application^ and mens great need of thofe 

This greatefl of fuhjeUs is meanly, but honejily, handled in 
the fame order in which it was preached, and mofily in the 
fame words. Some few pajjages out of hijtory are injertedp 
•which were not f poke n. 

May the Lord of the harvefl, who minijiered this feed to 
thefowefy make it bread to the eater, and accompany it with 
his blejfmg on fome that are called to inherit a blefjing ; and I 
have my end and defire ; the reader fhall have the benefit ; and 
the Lord the glory ; for of him, and through him, and to 
him, are all things ; to whom be glory forever. Amen. 


March 25. i6g6. 



fH I R f E E N 


O N T H E 


From Heb. iv* i6 u^Firft printed ia 1696. 

A Sermon od the following Queflion, By tvhaf 
means may minijlers hefl win tiouls f from I Tim. 
iv. 16. Firfl primed in 1683. 

And a Vindication of the Proteflant do£lriDe 
concerning Justification, and of its preach- 
ers and profeiTors, from the unjuft charge of An- 

TiNOMiANisM.- — ^Firft piinied ia 1692, 


By the late Reverend 

MiniAer of the Gofpcl in London. 


Printed by JOHN BRYCE, and Sold at his 
Shop, oppofite GibfonVwynd, Salt-market. 

M JD G C L X X V I. 




S E R M O N I. 

Hebrews iv. i6. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need ^ 

TH E main drift of the bleffed apoflle, the Holy 
Ghoft's penman, in this excellent epiftle, is to 
fet forth the pre-eminence of our Lord Jefiis 
Chrift, firfl-, in his divine perfon, far above all an- 
gels, who' are bid worfliip him, even when dwelling 
in man's nature. If the god-head of our Lord Jefus 
Chrifl: be hid from the readers of this epiftle, it 
mud be a fpecial power of xht god of this world on 
their unbelieving minds^ 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. Will blinded 
men forbear to call the Son God when the Father 
fpeaks fo ? chap. i. 8, Thy throne^ O God, is forever 
and ever. Then the apoflle fpeaks of his incarnati« 
on, chap, ii, n. &c. And therewith fpeaks of his 
priefthood, chapter iii. The apoftle compares Chrift 
with and prefers him above Mofes, chap. ii. ; then 
above Aaron as a pried, chap. \ii. ) and compares 

A hira 

2 Sermons concerning Serm, T, 

him with Melchizedec, an eminent type of Chrift-, 
By this epiflle we may know what Paul's reafonings 
\fith the Jews were. A£ls ix. 22. and xvii. 2, 3. and 
what is liie right way of dealing with the Jews at this 
day. Till Chrifl's divine perTon, and righteoufnefs, 
and priefthood, have more room in the religion of the 
Geutilcs, Chridianity is not like to leaven the Jews, 
This doftrine of Chrift^s priefthcod, and of the facri- 
Cce of himfelf he offered in that office, the apoftle 
doth often intermix, witji fuitable exhortations from 
it; as in the context, verfe 14. Seeing then that we 
have a great high priejl^ (all the old teftament high- 
pricfts were but types and lliadows of him, and were 
but little high-priefts), that is pajjed into the heavens^ 
(ro high-prieit but Chrifl went farther than the ho^ 
ly of iiolies, iox the peoples advantage), Jefus the 
Son of God, let us hoJd/a/i our frofejfion. The dignity 
of Chrifl in his advanced flate, as well as his grace 
in his humbled ftate, lays Cbriftians under a flrong 
engsgement to ckave to him with (ledfaft confidence. 
Yet ior as great as this perfon is, and for all that he 
is in heaven, and in unfpeakable dignity and glory 
there, you raufl: not think, that he in heaven, and 
we on earth, can have no communion : ver. 15. For 
we have not an high-priefl ivhich cannot be touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities ; (Thoiagh now he 
hath none of his own, yet can he feel thofe of his 
people, and his feeling engageth fpeedy relief. The 
leafon ihe apoftlc gives for this fympathy of Chrifl 
with his people, is from Chrifl's experience when on 
earth) ; but was in all points tempted like as we arg^ 
yet wit bout fin. The apoflle delivers the mind of the 
Holy Ghoft about Chrifl's fympathy negatively. We 
have net an highprlejl which cannot be touched with 
the feeling of cur infirmities : in which manner of ex- 
})refiion he reflects on the meanefs of the Levitical 
prieds, to whom is was impoiiible to know and feel 
■J\ the infirmiiies of the people, for whom yet they 
appeared before the God and he implies the affirma- 

Serm. I. the Throne of Grace, 3 

tive (trongly, We have an high-friejl which can Be (and 
is) touched with the feeling of our lYifirmiUes, How a 
finlefs man, as Cbrili ever was, can be touched with 
the feeling of the infirmities of finners, and many of 
thefe infirmities finfui ones ; how a gloriiied man, as 
Chrift now is, exalted to, and poiTeiled of the high- 
eft glory and blifs, can be, and is touched with the 
feeling of all the infinnities of all his people, is what 
the word plainly reveals to be believed ; but it is not 
to be fully known till we come to heaven. But he is 
the head, and all his people are his body^ his ?iiem' 
bers, of his Jlefi^ and of his bones ^ Eph. v. 30. A 
marvelious word! Can the flefti be torn, and the 
bones be broken, and the head not feel it ? Though 
he be glorified above what we can conceive, he is a 
living, fcnfible, and compaiiionate head ; and as near- 
ly and clofely united to ail his members now, as whea 
\\ity f aw with their eyes^ and heard with their ears^ 
and with their hands handled the word of life ^ i John 
i. I. There is nothing ails a poor believer in Chrift, 
there is no groan rifeth from his diftreiled heart, 
but it is immediately felt at the tender heart of the 
Lord Jefus, at the Father's right hand. We would 
groan and fmg with the fame breath, if we believed 
this firmly. 

In my text, there is a moft blefled exhortation, 
from this fame ground of Chrift's fympathy in hea- 
ven, unto a bold approaching to the throne of grace. 
The nativenefs and (trength of the inference, is obvi-" 
ous to the moft ordinary attention. The exhortation 
is unto the improving of the.greatefi privilege, an e- 
reded and revealed throne of grace ; and that in the 
pra(Siice oF the greateft duty, believing approaching 
unto this throne, or unto God fitting on this throne 
of grace. 

What I would take up in, and handle, in fpeaking 
to thefe words, (hall be the refolution of four weigiw 
ly qiieftion?, which (hould be in the hearts of all 
Worihippers of God. 

' A 2 1, The 

^ Sermons concerning Serm. I. 

1. The firfl great queftion is, Where may I find 
Godf This was job's queftion and wilh : Job xxiii. 
3. O that I knew where I might find htm/ that I might 
come even to his feat! And that i\i\%feat was a throne 
of grace co Job, is evident from ver. 6. This text 
tells you, God is on a throne of grace : a fit place for 
God to be fought in, and where only he can be found 
gracioufly by a fmner. 

2. The fecon-l queftion is, How fhould we come to 
God on this throne ? Let us come boldy^ faith the apo- 
ille. The original word fi^nifieth, comm^r freely ; with 
free, open^ bold /peaking^ pouring out all our hearts and 
minds to him. Let us come, without making ufe of 
faint or angel to mtroduce us to this throne. Any 
poor finner may come hirafelf alone to this court, and 
that boldly, without fear of being repulfed. 

3. The third qaeftion is the hardeft, What ground 
hath a finner for this boidnejs ? The ground the apo- 
file gives for it, is hinted in the word therefore, which 
relates to ver. 14, 15. becaufe of Jefus the Son of 
God, our great high-priefl in heaven, if we had not 
fuch an high-prieft, miniftermg in glory at the high 
ahar above, no finner could come boldly to the throne 
of grace on earth. So he argues, chap. x. 19, 20, 
21, 22. 

4. The laft queftion is. What fhall we get, and for 
what may we corns to this throne of grace f The apo- 
flle fpeaks fully to this in the text : Let us come, that 
we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of 
need. Thefe precious things, mercy and grace, are 
fcattered round this throne. Any poor needy crea- 
ture ihould come for a faving alms from this throne, 
and may have it for the coming. 

Head L The firft of thefe I would begin with- 
Where is God to be founds The apoftle tells us, on a 
throne of grace. The word is only here ; no where 
clfe in the fcriptures is the word to be found : but 
what is fignified by ir, is frequently in the old and new 

' 1 tefta- 

Serm. I. the Throne of Grace. 5 

teftament, as we (hall hear. But though the phrafe. 
The throne of grace ^ be only once named in this, Heb. 
iv. 16. ; yet the thing fignified is fo precious, and the 
exprelTion of it is fo favoury, fignificanr, and fuitable, 
that this form of fpeaking, The throne of grace ^ is be- 
come famous, known, and ufed among Chriflians, and 
will doubtlefs be till the end of time. As long as God 
hath a mind to give mercy and grace, as long as any 
of the children of men are fenfibly needy of grace 
and mercy, and afkers and receivers thereof from the 
Lord, (and that will be till the heavens be no more), 
this throne of grace will be piied and praifed, 

I would fiifl confider the proper meaning of this 
word, a throne of grace. It is obvious, that the apo- 
file, in this epiftle, doth every where (if I may ufe 
a much abufed word) chriflen the old teftament types, 
and gives them new tcltament names, and applies them, 
to the do£lrine of Chrift he is teaching the chriftian 
Jews he writes to. The old teftament church knevsr 
what a high-prieft was, what his inftitution, office, and 
performance were in the tabernacle in the vvildernefs, 
and in the temple of Solomon in Canaan : but both 
Aaron and his fuccelTors, and the tabernacle and tem- 
ple, were but types and ftiadows of Jefus Chrift in 
his perfon and office. There was the holieft of all, 
into which the high-prieft went alone,' and only once 
a-year ; in this was the ark of the covenant, and the 
mercy-feat, and cherubims covering it : whence thele 
commcn expreffions in the old teftament, of GocPs 
dwelling between the cherubims^ and of believers iruft- 
ing in the fbadow of his wings. Now, the holieft of 
all was their type of heaven ; and the ark, cherubims, 
and mercy-feat, were all but fhadows (as the apoftle 
calls them, Heb. x. i.) of our Lord Jefus (thrift, and 
of that peace with God, and accefs to God, that he 
hath wrought out for men. More particularly, that 
moft facred of all things in the Jewiih old teftament 
worfhip, that was called the mercy-feat^ the apoftle 
calls a throne of grace : thereby teaching us, that 


6 Sermons concerning Serm. I. 

whatever of divine grace was revealed and tendered 
to, or perceived and received by the faith of the old 
teftament believers, in their right ufe of thefe facred 
old indi'.utions of God to his church, the fame, with 
great advantage, believers under the new teftament 
have in Jefus Chrift, the body, andtype, and fub- 
ftance of them. 

We find three moft folemn things in the old tefta- 
ment, in which the mercy-feat (the type of the throne 
of grace in the new teftament) was applied unto. 
I. Themoft folemn approach was made unto God, \n. 
the high-prieft's going in once a-year to the holieft of 
all, where the mercy-feat was. This was made, not 
by the people in their own perfons ; nor by any or- 
dinary Levite, who were privileged with a greater 
nearnefs to God than the people, Numb. xvi. 9 ; nor 
by any of the inferior priefts of the houfe of Aaron, 
to which family the ofEce of priefthood was by divine 
appointment confined ; nor by the high-prieft him- 
felf, but only once a-year, at a determinate time, and 
with many appointed ceremonies of preparation and 
performance. Some tell us of a cuftom in their wor- 
ftiip, that mufic, by finging and inftruments, was ufed 
by the people, to exprefs their joy and praife, when 
the high-prieft returned fafe out from that facred and 
awful place, the holy of holies. 2. The moft folemn 
atonement for the fins of Ifrael was made at the mer- 
cy-feat. This was done in that yearly entrance of the 
high priefts into the holieft of all, Lev. xvi. 12, 13. 
efpecially verfe 14. And ke (Aarcn, the firft of that 
order of priefts) Jball take of the blood of the bullock^ 
and fprmkle it> with his finger upon the mercy-feat eaft- , 
ward : and before the niercy-feat fJmll he fprinkh of 
the blood with his finger feven times . Verfe go. On 
that day fhall the priejl make an atonement for you^ to 
cleanfe ycu^ that ye may be clean from all your jins be- 
fore the Lord, 3. The moft folemn anfwers were gi- 
ven by God to their high-prieft, Exod. xxv. i7,--2 2. 
where we have the inftiimioa of the mercy-feat, and 


Serm. L the Throne of Grace* 7 

the form of it : And there (faiili the Lord) 1 will 
meet with thee, and / will commune with thee ; and 
again, Exod. xxx. 6. What the old teftaraent Urim 
and Thummim was, and what their Shechinah was, 
neither Jew now nor Chriflian know, though they 
guefs ; only that they were fpecial nianifeftations of 
the grace, and favour, and mind of God, which ex- 
pired with, and fome of them, it is thought, before 
the end of that minidration. But all thefe three glo- 
ries, and dignities, and advantages of their mercy- 
feat, are all to be found in Chrift Jefus , who repre- 
fenrs his people before God, and prefents them to 
him ; who hath made the perfe^ atonement for all his 
Ifrael : and who declares to his church all the faving 
will of God, which he heard and received of his Fa- 

The .apoftle here in this epiftle, and in this text, 
w^ould have all believers in Chrift to know, that the 
new teftament throne of grace is the fame in fubftance 
with, and with great advantage above the old tefla- 
ment mercy-feat. See Heb. ix. 4,-8. 

The truth I would fpeak to is this : 

D o CT. That God in the go/pel ftts on a throne of 
grace, and from it calls and invites finners to come un- 
to hinu 

Let us come to the throne of grace ^ certainly means. 
Let us now come to God fitting on a throrie cf grace ; let 
us take both diredion and encouragement to come to 
God, becaufe he is on a throne of grace. 

In handling of this point of doctrine, I would fhew 
three things. 

1. What this throne of grace is, and how diftin- 
guiflied from other thrones of God fpoke of in the 

2. Why it is fo called, a throne, and a throne of 

3. What coming to this throne is, 

I. What 

8 Sermons concerning Serm. h 

I, What is this throne of grace ^ and how dijlinguijh^ 
ed from other thrones of Godfpoke of in the word f 

Thefe other 1 would firfl name, to prevent mif- 

I. We find a throne of glory much fpoke of: a 
throne of the effential, incomprehenfible glory of God. 
This no man can approach to» Of this the apoflle 
fpeaks, I Tim. vi. i6. He dwelleth in light that no 
man can approach to, whom no man hath feen, nor 
can fee. Marvellous is this light. We find the more 
light there be in or about a perfon or thing, the more 
eafily and clearly it is perceived : as the fun is fuch 
a glorious body, that though it be at a vaft diftance 
from the earth we dwell on, we yet can take it up 
with our eyes immediately. As foon as it flaines, we 
can fee it, becaufe of its light. It is its own light, 
and nothing elfe, that doth, or can difcover it. If 
the fun did withdraw its own light, all the eyes of 
men, and all the artificial fire and light men can make, 
would never help us to find it out. But fuch is the 
majefty of God, that he is chthedwith it, Pfalm xciii. 
I. Men are dazzled and confounded by a little ray 
of his glory : With God is terrible majefly^ Job xxxvii. 
2 2. This is not the throne we are called to come 
unto. They are but triflers in religion, that know 
not in their experience how overwhelming the views 
and thoughts of God's majefly and glory are, when 
he is not feen as on a throne of grace. / remembered 
God, and was troubled, faith one faint, Pfal. Ixxvii. g. 
/ am troubled at his prefence ; when I confider, I am 
afraid of him, faith another. Job xxiii. 15. No won- 
der Manoah faid unio his wife. We fhallfurely die^ 
becaufe we have feen God, Judg. xiii. 22. when a view 
of the heavenly glory of Jefus Chrift makes John, who 
was wont to lean on his bofom in his humbled date, 
10 fall down at his feet as dead. Rev. i. 17. 

2. There is a throne of God's government of the 
w^orld oft fpoke of, Pfal. ix. 4, 7. On this throne 
God fits, and rules all things at his pleafurc, and in 


Serm. I. the Throne of Grace. 9 

infinite wifdom. This throne is to be believin^^Iy 
regarded by us ; but it is not the throne of grace 
ihac fianers arc called to come uoto for grace ancj. 

3. There is a throne of God's juftice fpoken of. 
This is that throne David deprecates his being brought 
before, Pfal. cxliii. 2. Enter not into judgment with thy 

Jervant : for in thy fight Jhati no man living he jujVt^ 
fed. If a man be wronged and opprefTcd by mea 
ftronger than he, he may appeal to this throne of 
juftice, and expe<5t redrefs. Bu- if a man's bufmefs 
be with God, he lliculd be afraid of this throne of 
juftice. Men are oft proud and vain in their thoughts, 
and before others : but if the Lord call them before 
this high court of juftice, they wAW furcly be caft : Job 
ix. 2, 3. How fhould a man be jujl with Godf If he 
will contend with him^ he cannot anfwer him one of a 
tkoufand. When God fits on a throne of juftice, to 
judge men according to his law and their works, no- 
thing but condemnation can juftly be pronounced oa 
fmners. Whoever he be of finful Adam's feed that 
expe£leth faving favour from God's throne of juftice, 
will find himfelf wofully deceived. 

4. We find the throne of the laft judgment. Be- 
fore this all muft appear, 2 Cor. v. 10, Rev. xx. 12. 
This is not the throne of grace in the text. No grace 
nor mercy is fliown to any from this fhrone, but to 
them that have plied and fped at the throne of grace 
before. When our Lord comes ^ and fits on the throne 
of his glory ^ Match, xxv. 31. no finner that haih de- 
fpifed his grace now, will find any quarter then, Luke 
xix. 27. 

What then is this throne of grace ^. It is God la 
Chrift dealing with men according to "the grace of the 
gofpel. It is God in Chrift reconciling the world to him- 
felf^ not imputing to them their trefpaffes^ 2 Cor. v. i^. 
// is Chrifl ft forth by God to be a propitiation, Rom. 
iii. 25. This is the true mercy feat, or throne of grace ^ 
Qx propitiation^ 1 John ii. 2. and iv. 10, This is the 

Vol. I, B pew 

lo Sermons concerning Serm. I. 

new court or ibrone erected by God, and declared in 
the gofpcl, 10 which fmful man is invited to come. 

II. Why :t is called a throne, and a throne of 
grace ? 

Pailitig what is faid of the apoPiIe's alluding to the 
mercy-feat in the tabernacle and temple of old. 

I. It is called a throne^ becaufe of the glory and 
•raajcfty of God manifelted here. God*s coadefcend- 
hg to difplay and difpenfe his grace and mercy to fin- 
tiers, is no debafing of God, bur an advancing;- o^ his 
glory. When he gives grace, he a«5ls royally, and 
as a King, with majefly. Araunah's offering lo Da- 
vid, is faid to be /ih a king^ 2 Sam. xxjv. 23. lie 
Was no king, but a fubject ; but he had a hecy noble 
heart. The Lord on ttiis throne of grace, difpenfeth 
all a£i:s of grace with great majefty, and as a King ; 
but not as a King, Judge, and Ruler, but as a King^ 
Benefacftor, and Giver. This royalty of grace fliines, 
I. In the greatnefs of the gifts, grace, and mercy : 
vaflly above all that the ereatioa can give. 2. In 
the manner of giving ; ^ree, fcvereignly free. Grace 
and mercy is his own, and he doih with them as he 
will. When Mofes prays, Exod. xxxiii. 18. / befeech 
thee^ ft>ew me thy glory ^ we cannot conceive what was 
in his holy heavenly heart. He was now jufl come 
down from the mount the nrfl time ; he is going up 
again to fpend other forty days there, in fuch com- 
munion wkh God as never mere man enjoyed before 
or fmce out of heaven ; he had prevailed witii God 
for Ifrael, and hath a moll: gracious aofwer, ver. 17, 
And the Lord/aid unto Mcfes^ I will do this thing alfo 
that thou haflfpoken : for thou ha ft found grace in my 
Jtght, and I know thee by name. Wnat means Mofes 
then by this prayer P ver. 18. Whatever he meanr^ 
the Lord's anfwer is much to be obferved, ver. 19, 
And he faidy I will make all my goodnefs (or beauty) 
fafs before thee^ and I will proclaim ths name of the 
Lord before thes* (What is in this name that hath fo 


Serm. I. the Throne cf Grace. it 

much et pjory and goodnefs in it, as (hould fatisfj 
fuch a mighty hungerer for more of God, as Mofes 
v/as ?) / loiU be grachui to whom I will be grac'wu^^ 
and will Jhew mercy on whom I will Jhcw jner^y. God's 
glory iliines highly, in his being the fovereign dif- 
pofer of his own grace and mercy ; and happy is the 
believer that adores this glorious fovereign :y. Paul 
in Rom. ix. 15, — 25 makes a deep improvement of it, 
Jer. xvii. 12. A glorious high throne from the beginnings 
is the place of our fanctnar.y. See then that you, in 
all your pleadings tor grace and mercy, remember 
that you are before a high (lately throne. Approaches 
to God on the throne of grace, fhould be managed 
with the deeped reverence and humility. So did the 
publican, when became to it, Luke xviii. 13. Godbe 
niercful (propitious) to me a firmer^ (or me thefinner^ 
the great fingular finner. So ihe Greek runs, as Luke 
\ii. 37, 39.) The deeped, piofoundeft adoration of 
the glorious majedy of Godj is performed by a felf- 
•condemned finner^ pleading at this throne for the 
obtaining of the fovereign free grace of God. Lajlly^ 
It is called a throne^ becaufe grace reigns and is en- 
throned here : Roir. v. 2 i. Grace nigns through righ- 
teoufnefs unto eternal life^ by Je/us Chrijl our Lord* 
Bleired reign ! and bleiled are all that aie under the 
reign and dominion of the grace of God. Sin reigns 
through the unrighteoufnefs of the firft Adam unto 
eternal death, if men be let alone, and if grace do 
not break this reign of fm. ilnd grace reigns thro' 
the righieoufcefs of the fecond Adam unio eternal 
life. And nothing can dethrone grace ; it will pre- 
vail, and reach its end, eternal life, in all it falls u- 
pon. O that captives to Satan, and flaves to fm and 
the law, would long to be under the reign of this 
ilately power, the grace of God ! and that believers 
tberafelves would grve a more free and large fubjec- 
tion to it i 

2, It is called a throne of grace^ 

B 2 !/?, Be- 

It Sermons concerning Serm. I. 

ly?, Becaufe grace eit<^ed and reared It up : Pfal. 
Ixxxix. 2. Mercy Jh all he hutlt up for ever. Nothing 
but grace and mercy fraiied the throne of grace. I 
may allude to the Lord's (lately words to Job, Job 
xxxviii. 4, 5, 6. fpeaking of the firft: creation, (but 
this throne of grace was fixed before, as the King 
himfclf faith, Prov. viii. 2g. / was fet up from ever- 
la flings ffom the beginnings or ever the earth wasj^ 
Where wafl thou ijuh'^n 1 laid the foundations of the 
earth ^ — and. Who laid the corner f I one thereof^ No 
creature was on the council ; it is a divine contrivance. 
Bur, now it is revealed, our fairb, on the ground of 
ibis revelation, may and fhould go back, and take a 
refrefhinji^ view of this eternal contrivance. The Lord 
builds a houfe of mercy, that a company of finaers 
may dwell in, with him, for ever. What laid the 
corner-ftone of this throne, but grace? What brings 
in the inhabitants, preferves them, and perfe£i:s them, 
but grace I For whom is it pr-^nared, and by ^/v'bom 
fliali this houfe of mercy be pofT fTed, and with whom 
fhall it be filled, but wirh vejfels of mercy^ which he 
had afore prepared unto glory f Rom. ix. 23. 

2dly^ It is called a throne of grace^ becaufe grace 
hath here, and here only, a glorious difplay and dif- 
covery. Till men get a fight of God in Chriil, they 
cannot tell what the grace of God is Search heaven 
and earth, you can never get a view of God's grace, 
till ye come to this throne. You may fee God's in* 
finite powder, and wifdom, and goodnefs, written in 
great charadters, in the great volu:iie of creation and 
providence ; but till ye come to know God in Chrift 
on this throne, you can never fee that divine dainty, 
and faving blefling, the free grace of God ; grace, as 
an eveilafling fountain in the heart of God, pouring 
down, dreaming forth eternal falvation on ruined un- 
worthy finners. Men fhould make a vifit to the throne 
of grace, if they had no other errand but to get a 
fight of this precious thing, the grace of God. A 
right fight of it is faving. Believers fhould long to 


Serm. I. the Throne of Grace, 13 

be in heaven, if they had no other errand, than to ^ 
fee the fpring-head of that flood of grace that came f 
down from heaven, to drag them out of hell, and to ^ 
draw them up to heaven. 

9 J/)', It is called a throne of grace, becaufe all the 
a£ls and fentences paffed at this new court, are all ads 
of grace. All the bleiliugs given from this throne, 
are all of mere grace. Nothing is here but grace ; 
John i. 1 7. The law was given by Mofss, hut grace and 
truth came by Jefus ChrtjU , Was there no grace nor ^ 
truth under the law ? Yes, a great deal ; but it all / 
belonged to Jefus Chrid. There was grace under 
the law, but none bwt what related to Jefus Chrift. 
There was truth under the law, but only as Chrid was 
pointed at; otherwife ail v^ere but vain and beggarly 
rudiments, and empty dark (hadows. The Jews fee 
nothing of Chrift in the olJ teflamenr, and therefore 
find neither the faving mercy nor faving trurh of God 
in it. And it is much worle with men (Chriftians I 
cannot call them) that fee as little of Chrift in the 
new teftament. Take the chain of falvation, and all 
the links of it, as the apoflle names them, Rom, viii. 
29, 30. and all of them are of grace. We are cho- 
fen by grace ; we are given to Chrift by grace ; re- 
deemed by him by grace j by grace we are juftified 
through that redemption ; by the fame grace we are 
adopted ; by the fame grace vi'e are faved, by the 
'wajh'mg of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghojl ; 
and by grace we ftiall be gloriiied. And they thac 
will not claim thefe bleffings, and hold them by this 
tenor of free grace, I dare not fay that they fhall never 
have them ; (for this grace can overcome its greateft 
enemies) , but I may fay, that they have at prefent 
no part or portion in this matter ; and when they come 
to partake of grace, and to know the grace of God in 
iruth^ as Col. i. 6. they will be of another mind, and 
count it the beft tenor to hold all by, even by free 
grace : yea, after all the riches of grace poured forth 
on believers Iq this life, when they come to receive 



M Sermons concerning Serm. I, 

the crown of glory, they receive it as humbly, yea 
more than they did any former a(5l of grace from this 
ihrone. The over comer by the blood of the Lamby will 
receive the crown from his glorious Redeemer, as 
humbly, and with owning it as a gift of grace, as 
much as ever he did receive a pardon in that blood, 
when his head was on the block, and the ax of law 
and juftice lifted up to cut him off for his iniquity. 
There may be proud pleaders for (or rather prefum- 
€rs and expefters of) the crown of glory, but no 
proud receivers ok it. We mud look for the mercy cf 
our Urd Jefiis Chrlfl unto eternal life^ Jude, ver. 2 r. 
Pvlerit and worth are only for hell ; and they have no 
room in heaven, nor in the way 10 it. Juflice reigns 
in hell, and grace in heaven. So all will find that 
come to heaven ; and fo muft they all know and be- 
lieve that would be there. Sinners that are for merit, 
will find it fadly in hell. Mens merit makes hell, and 
Chrift's merit makes heaven, Rom.vi. 23. 

^thly^ It is called a throne of grace ^ becaufe the 
glory of grace is thelaftand higheil end of the build- 
ing of this throne, and of all the ads of grace difpcn- 
fed at it, and from it. That proud monarch fpoke 
vainly and wickedly, Dan. iv. 30. and was quickly by 
God puniflicd feverely for his fia. If we may be al- 
lowed to allude to fuch word?, we may fay of the 
throne of grace, Is it not that high throne that God 
hath built for the houfe of his kingdom^ by the ?night of 
his power ^ and for the honour of the majefly of his grace ? 
Are any chofen in Chrifl, and prsdeftinated to the adop- 
tion of children by him f It is to the praife rf the glory 
of his grace, Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. Do they belteve by grace ? 
It is to the praife of his glory ^ ver. 12. Are i\\ty feal- 
edy and at Jaft poiTciTed of heaven .^ That is to the 
praife of his glory ^ ver. 14. Are they quickened ^hdn 
dead in Jin, and advanced in and by Chriil Jefus .^ 
This is to the praife cf his grace, Eph. ii. 4, 7. All 
the bleifings in time and eternity that the heirs of 
grace enjoy, are all to the praife and glory of that 


SsRM. 1. the Throne of Grace, 15 

grace they fpring from. We read in the word pf - 
none of the counfels of God before the creation of 
all things, but of his purpofe of faving a company of 
poor finful men by Jefus Chrift ; and of no other de- 
fign in this purpofe, but to magnify his grace in fav- 
ing of them this way. So much of the figniiicacion ot 
this word, a throne of grace. 

111. What it is to come unto this throne of grace ? 

1 hough the profecuting of the exhortation in this 
text will open up the nature of this coming more ful- 
ly, yet i would ipeak fomewhat of it in this place. 
• 1. This coming implies a ftate of diftance from this 
throne in them that are called to come. This is called 
bdngfar of, Eph. ii. 13. And this ftate all men by 
nature are in. Pvlen are in God's eye and hand : He 
is not far from every one of us : for in him we live, ami 
move^ and have our beingy A^s xvii. 27, 28.; as the 
pfalmift fpeaks excellently in Pfalm cxx.xix. of the 
nearnefs of men to God, and of hisomniprefence and 
oranifcience. But his gracious prefence, as on a throns 
of grace, is far from all men by nature, and they far 
from it. This prefence is far from man's knowledge ; 
there is no knowing of it but by revelation ; far from 
mens attainment ; for no man can come^ unlefs he bs 
drawn of God^ John vi. 44. : far from iheir experi- 
ence, and far from their love ; for they are alienated 
from the life of God y Eph. iv, 18. And in his favour 
is life, Pfal. xxx. 5. and in nothing eJfe. 

2. It is alfo implied in this call to come, that there 
is a gracious provifion made and revealed by God for 
the removal and making up of his diftance, and gel- 
ling of a gracious nearnefs to God. This is in the 
conftitutiou and revelation of this throne of grace. 

3. That the improving of this pfovifion is mens 
duty, and (hould be 'their exercife, in order to pof- 
fefs and enjoy the privilege and advantage of this pro- 

What then is this coming to th« throne of grace? 

I. It 

1 5 Sermons concerning Serm. I. 

I. It is Id believing on Jefus Chrifl:, Jhis is the 
fif ft approach to the throne of grace. He is the pro- 
pitiation, and mercy-feat, and throne of grace, i John 
iv. lo. Believing on him, is coming to hiniy John vi. 
35. It is coming to the Father by him^ John xiv, 6. 
It is believing on God by him^ i Peter. 1. 2 1, It is be- 
lieving on hiniy and on him thatfent him^ John xii. ^4. 
Believing on Jefus Chrift, is an employing of Chrift 
in way of truft, as to all his fulnefs of grace, and our 
utter indigence thereof. Whatever a man do, what- 
ever exercifes of religion he be taken up in, he never 
comes to the throne of grace, till his heart and foul 
go forth towards Jefus Chrilt for righteoufnefs and 
life. The firft right ftep heavenward, is faving faith 
in Chrift. Nothing favingly good can precede it, and 
all faving good follows it : for faith unites the man to 
Chrift, and all the fruits of holinefs and righteoufnefs 
fpring from the virtue of the vine Chrift ; with whom 
the believer hath firft union by grace, and then com- 
munion of Chrift's grace, by which he lives, and 
works, and grows. 

2. Coming to this throne, is a£led in all afts of 
gofpel-worfhip, and in the ufe of all gofpel- ordinan- 
ces. They all belong to the throne of grace, are the 
inftitutions of this throcie, and appointed as means 
wherein we fhould approach to it ; and which, when 
bleifed by the appointer of them, do convey to us the 
bleftings of this throne. Of them there are feveral. 
I. Prayer. This is coming to the throne of grace, 
if rightly managed. Though asking is not expreiTcd 
in this verfe, yet it is ftrongly implied, both in the 
commanded comings and in the exprelTed obtaining of 
mercy ^ and finding of grace to help in time of need. All 
that make a fafhion of prayer, do not come to the 
throne of grace ; yet all that pray rightly, do come 
to it. And becaufe this approaching to the throne of 
grace by and in prayer, is plainly hinted in the text, 
and is fo commonly underftood by Chriftians, I would 
have my eye principally upoa it in handling this fcrip- 


Serm. I. the Throne of Grace, 17 

ture. 2. There is the word read, preached, and 
meditated on, 'that is another principal means in which 
men (hould approach to the throne of grace, la 
prayer we pour out our heart before this throne, ani 
exprefs our defires to him that fitteth on it. In the 
word the King on this throne delivers his will and 
mind to us ; and we (hould come to hear it, and re- 
c*^ive the law from his mouth. Cornelius expreffed aa 
excellent frame for this ordinance, Adls x. 3',. We 
are all here prefent before God) to hear al'. thin{>^s that 
are commanded thee of God. This word is the word cf 
his grace ^ A£ls xx. 32. It is the proclamation of his 
grace to men. 3. Praifmg of God, is a coming to the 
throne of grace. This is the facrifice we Ihould offer 
by our High Prieft, Heb. xiii« 15. Who minds this 
as they ought ? If we want, we ask ; and fo we fhould. 
But where is the Chriftian that can fay. Though I 
bad nothing to ask, I would yet go to the throne o£ 
grace, that I might praife him that fits on it ? 4. Re- 
ceiving of the Lord's fupper, is a coming to the throne 
of grace ; to feaft on the king of grace ; to feed oa 
that body broken for us, and liiat blood (hed for us, 
that is given to us in the word for food to our fouls, 
and is given to us by his command, in bread and wine 
at his table ; that in eating and driuking ot them, we 
may remember him, and Ihew foah his death till he 
come; glorying, and avowing, and boafting, that we 
have our falvation, and all our hopes of it, bulk and 
fixed on that man Jefus Chrift, that was reje<5i:ed by 
the builders in his time, and hath had little better en- 
tertainment fmce, becaufe they knew him not. 

Application, Is there a throne of grace ; 
and doth God fitting on it invite and call men to corns 
to him, or to him on it ? We are called to admire, 
adore, and praife the ^race thai fhines in this con- 
fliiUtion of God, and call to men. That perfon is fad- 
ly out in his praifes, and fuch are never right in their 
prayers), that -doth not deeply admire, and heartily 

Vol. I, C ' praife 

\^ Sermons concerning Serm. I. 

praife for ibis mercy of a throne of grace. We ac- 
count a man ill employed in prayer, that asks m^oy 
things of God, but forgers to ask the one thing need- 
ful : Is he any better employed in praife, who gives 
thanks for many mercies, bnt negle<Sis or forgets to 
praife for the greateft of all mercies, the ihrone of 
grace ? before which all prayer and praife mud come, 
if accepted, and for which higheil praifes ftiould be 
given. In order to the raifmg of more fenfe of this 
bigheft favour, that God now ueals with us on a 
throne of grace, confider, 

I. The deep condefcendence 'of grace that appears 
in this difpenfation. There is a glorious and ftately 
(looping *m it. The Lord had refolved in bis own 
heart from eternity, to have the company of many 
of Adam's offspring for ever with him in heaven. He 
feeth ibem fallen into a deep pit, out of whicb they 
can never get out by themfelves, God and man by 
fm at a vaft diftance. .Sinners cannot remove it, nor 
make fo much as one (lep towards God. Saved they 
cannot be, unlefs the diftanee be removed ; faved 
they muft be, becaufe of his unalterable purpofe. In 
this cafe, faith rhe Lord of mere grace, if men can- 
not afcend up to me, I will defeend down to them, 
and draw them up again to me. This condefceadence 
of grace we (houid admire and praife. When Da* 
vid had got a gracious raeifage and promife ^roin God, 
(and Chrill and the throne oi grace was in it , 2 Sam. 
vii. b>e lits down as a man amazed before the Lord, 
and molf fignificantly expreifsrh his admiration and 
praife. Who am I, Lord God: and what is my 
houfe ? and is this ths manner of man f and what can 
David fay more f And what can David fay better ? 
To be fwallowed up of wonder, is the beft and high- 
ti\ praifmg. Who can forbear wondering at grace, 
that confiders duly whofe grace it is, where it finds us, 
and whiiher it brings us ? When Paul fpeaks of it, 
(and it was his ufual theme), how fweetiy doth he 
difcoorfe of it ? Eph. ii. i. Where did thi$ grace find 


Serm. I. th€ Throne cf Grace, 19 

him and the Ephefianr. P wh:u was their c'\{t and qiia- 
liScation for grace ? They v/ere dead in ftn, walking 
after the courfe of this worlds according to the prince of 
the power of the air^ working pozi;erf idly in them as chil' 
dren of dijobedience ; they were Julfilling the deftres 
and lujis of the fidp^ and oj the mind ; they were by 
nature the children of wrath ^ even as others. Who 
caD be lower, viler, and bafer, except they that arc 
in bellitfelf? yet in this cafe and condition grace 
nnsde its fird vifit to them. All that this faving grace 
falis CD, are loft and undone Tinners, men at the very 
brink of hell. An ele£t child of God is word and 
inofl: finful the moment preceeding his converfion. Paul 
was at his worfl, A£ls ix. when grace fell upon him. 
If there be nothing but the power of grace that can 
fiibdue the corruption of nature ; if this corruption 
grow in its (Irengtb, till that fubduing power of grace 
be applied ; and if there be no middle ftate betwixt 
death and life, (and thefe have been reckoned gof- 
pel-truihs) ; how plain is it, that a finner is at his 
word v/hen faving grace *iirft comes upon him ? 2. 
Whither did this grace bring Paul, and trie Ephefians, 
and fo all Chrlflians ? Oat of the grave of lln, unto a 
new hfe, and up to heavenly places in Chrijl Jefus^ 
ver. 4, 5, 6. O what a mighty arm hath the grace 
of God"! It is nothing for grace to pull a man out of 
hell, and fet him down in heaven. When (hall this 
arm of Jehovah be revealed^. When will per!lhi4)g' 
fmners long for a faving pull of the grace of God I 
g. What is all this great work of grace for ? ver. 7. 
That in the ages to come he might fhew the etueeding 
riches of his grace ^ in his kindnefs towards us^ through 
Chrifl Jefus, As if the apottle had faid, " You an ! 
*' 1 cannot fufficiently, in our time and age, admire 
*' this kindnefs, grace, stnd riches of grace through 
" Chrift -Jefus, that we have received : but as long as 
" this world lafts, and as long as there are receivers 
•' of this fame grace in future ages, (and that will be 

C 2 " as 

2 Sermons concerning Sehm. L 

** as long as the world lads , for the world lads for 
*' the fake bF the throne of grace, and for what God 
*' hath to do on it, and to give from it), there will 
*' be praifers of this grace ; for every generation 
" of receivers of this grace, owe praifes for all the 
'' grace beflowed od all that have been before them. 
*' And when this world is at an end, there is a bet- 
*' ter world that fliall fucceed it, wherein better and 
'' higher praifes will be given for ever. There is no 
** other mufic, but the praifes of free grace, in hea- 
** ven ; and cone Ihall fing its praifes there, but the 
" happy receivers of it here." 

2. Confider the infinite wifdom of this contrivance 
of a throne of grace for fmners. The Lord wifely 
confulted poor man's cafe, his finfuloefs, his mi- 
fery, and his infirmiiy. No where eife can God and 
imners meet in peace, but at this throne of grace. 
Here is the manifold wifdom of Gody Ephefians iii. lo. 
Grace abounds in all ivijdom and prudencey Eph i. 8. 
Tet not according to the forry rules of the wifdom of 
this world, nor of the prinas (or great, leading men) 
of this worldy that come to nought : but the wifdom of 
God in a myjlery^ even the hidden wifdom {hid to them 
that are lof}^ 2 Cor. iv. 3.) which God ordained be- 
fore the world unto our glory : which none of the frin- 
ges of this world knew ; for had they known it^ they 
ivould not have c. ucifiedthe Lord of glory ^ i Cor. li. 6, 
7, 8. God and holy angels may meet in peace, when- 
ever he is pleafed to manifeft his glory to them ; 
though they be fenfibje of their meannefs as crea- 
tures, and deeply humble before his majefly. Bat 
where God and angels meet comfortably, God and 
iinners cannot meet comfortably. That light and ma- 
nifeflation of divine glory that makes a holy angel 
happy, would confound and deflroy a finfui man, Ifa. 
vi. 1,-5. The ferapbims adore humbly and praife ; 
Ifaiah a finoer finks ; he is terified with the fight, and 
with the fong. And yet this was a fight of Chrifl, 
!ohn xii, 41. 5 but his divine rcajefly and holinefs as 


Serm. I. the Throne of Grace, 21 

Cod was then reprefented to him, which terrified the 
prophet. But when fin is forgiven by an aft of grace, 
ver. 65 7. then, upon the Lord's faying, Whomjhall 
1 fend^ and who w'tll go for us f Ifaiih anfwered. 
Here am /, fend me^ ver. 8. Now I have tailed the 
grace of my Lord, 1 will run his errands 5 let hira 
fend me where and on what he pleafeth. 

3. Confider how coflly the erefting of this throne 
of grace was. It was a dear building. The throne 
of God's eiTential glory is ia his own fuper-excelleoc 
being, and falls under no a£ts of the divine will. 
When he had a mind ro rear up a throne of glory to 
his name, in creating a world, there was no more 
needful but his word of power, his almighty Ftat^ 
Let it be ; and all things fprung up cut' of nothiog, 
in marvellous order, and beauty, and goodnefs. But 
when a throne of grace is to be ereded for fmners, 
there is more to be done. Here God's own Son rauft 
be made man ; in that nature muft be charged with 
their fins; and muft difcharge that debt, by bearing 
the wrath of God, and curfe of the law, even unto 
death, Rora. iii. 25. the apoflle gives us a defcrip- 
tion of the throne of grace : God hath fet forth Chrifl 
to be a propitiation^ a mercy-fear, a throne oi grace. 
Bur his blood went for it : law and juftice exadled it, 
and Chrill paid it. On this comes, for^h the blelTed 
proclamation of grace, " Whoevenie be of lod man- 
** kind that will come to this throne of grace by faith, 
<« and will receive his juftrfication in and by this blood, 
" and will irufl to it only, {hail never come into con- 
«' demnation.^' This Paul preached, A6ls xiii. 38, 39, 
What is. this grace revealed for? Rom. iii. 26. To 
declare at this time God's righteoujnefs ; that he might 
be juft^ and the juflifier of him that believe th in Jefus. 
We all know that God isjuft, and the condemner of 
tranfgreifors of his holy jaw : but how the gofpel is 
fram.ed fo as that God's juflice may appear in juilify- 
ing of a believing linner^ is far deeper, and more 


2t Strmons concerning Serm. T. 

hardly known and believed. But take in but thefe 
three things, aud it will appear. 

ly?, God was jufl, and the punidier of the fins of 
the cleft laid on Jefas ChrilK God's fending of his 
Son, and laying of the fins of his people on him, was 
an aft of amazing grace and mercy. But the exafting 
the debt of fin of hirn, when the Father laid it on, and 
the Son took it on him, was ofjaRice, and flrift glo- 
rious jurtice. Never did juftice (htne fo in its glory 
and purity, as in bruifmg the Son of God for the fms 
that were laid on him. The fending of millions to 
lieil for their own fuis, (and all mufl: go thither that 
have them to anfwer for, (and all fuch have them all 
10 anfwer for, who offer to pay their debt with their 
own coin), and havb no intereil in Ghrid's undertak- 
ing), is a difplay of divine juftice, that men may grum- 
ble at, but cannot hinder. The praife of fpotlefs juf- 
lice will rife up to eternity by the torments of the 
damned. Bat he that is igaoraot of God's righte- 
oufoefs, can far lefs conceive the glory of juftice iti 
bruifing a fiolefs man, who was alfo in the form ofGod^ 
and counted it no robbery to be equal with Gody Phil, 
ii. 6. (though forne in our days think it blafphemy 
to fay fo), a perfon beloved of the Father above all 
creatiire-dioughc ; and that for the fms of others, 
and they alfo the beloved of the Father in his ctcr- 
wal purpofe. 

2c//)', God is juil: in not exafting the fame debt of 
fm twice ; both of his Sod, and of his people, in whofe 
fl:ead he paid it, 

3^//, God is juft in difcharging of his Son, from 
whom he hath received the full and covenanred fatif- 
faftioQ for fin ; and he is jufl: in difcbarein^ their for 
whom this faiisfaftion was given. He- is jult in ra-'fing 
Chrifl from the dead ; and he rofe for our juftijication, 
Rom. iv. 25, 2 6» We are jufJified freely by his grace ; 
but this free, free grace flows to us ttjrough the chan- 
nel of redemption by the blood of Chrifl. And both 
this grace and this blood is fet forth in the gofpel to 


Serm. I. the Throne of Grace. 23 

our faith ; and mud be applied unto by faitb, and ap- 
plied to us in believing. Whatever the thoughts of 
men be of thefe things, free grace and dear blood 
are the (lay of all the redeemed on earth, and the e- 
verlafting fong of all the glorified in heaven. 

4. and lajlly^ To raife your thoughts of the g4'eat- 
nefs of this favour, of having a throne of grace to 
come to, confider what rich provifions are made :..t 
this throne for fmners. This the text fpeaks of, and 
we {hall in order handle them. We lliall only now 
fay a few words. There is no court in all God^s do- 
minions, that a finner can come to, and find any me\*« 
cy or grace, bat only ar this throne of grace. If yoii 
talk of law, or juftice, or equity, thefe are all fright- 
ful courts to fenfible fKiners. They know their caufe 
and cafe is bad ; and that if they come to any bar but 
that of the throne of grace, they muPi be caft. But 
at this throne of grace, they that have nothing, may 
get all things ; they that deferve nothing, may get 
get every thing ; ihey that deferve wrath, may obtaia 
mercy ; they that are call and condemned at the courc 
of juftice, may be acquitted and freed from all fen- 
tences, and be adjudged to eternal life, by the grace 
of God in Chrift Jefus. All that is needful to falva- 
tion, is difpenfed at this throne. Yet all that is given, 
is old in the purpofe of grace from eternity, old in 
the everlafting covenant, old in the purchafe of Jefas 
Chrid ; only it is newly given according to the fin- 
ner's neceffity : 2 Tim. i. 9. Who hath faved us^ ar.d 
called us with an holy callings (this was done as yef- 
terday ; but how came we by this faving and this cal- 
ling P), not accordinr to our works ^ but according t^ 
his own purpofe and grace, (Paul ftill oppofeth works 
to grace, and grace to workc;, in the matters of judi- 
ficaiion and falvation ; and (0 doih his Lord and Maf- 
ter that taught him, and fo do all that know cither 
grace or works rightly), which was given us in Chrifi 
Jefus^ before the world began. Let this be dill kept 
in mind, that whatever yoacan need, there is a fuit- 


24 Sermons concerfihtg Serm. L 

able and abundant fupply to be had at this throne of 

I (liall conclude this exercife, with naming two 
forts of people that will be fpecially welcome to the 
throne of grace. 

1. They that come to the throne of grace foon and 
early ; I mean, young people, children that begin 
betimes to be courtiers and attendants at this throne : 
Prov, viii. 1 7. I love them that love me ; and thofe that 

fakme early ^ Jh all find me ^ faith the Kmgon this throne 
of grace. O that young people would try and ufe 
this throne of grace betimes ! They would find Chrift 
very gracious to them. He would difcover his beauty, 
and give them of his love, that would cool their thirffc 
after fmful pleafures. They might grow rich and 
itrong in grace, before they be old ; or if they die 
young, they (hould be tranfplanted to a better foil, 
and be nearer the Sun of Righteoufnefs, than they 
can be in this world. Never did a faint get fafe a- 
ihore in heaven bewail his arriving there to foon. 

2. They that come to the throne of grace to get, 
and not to give. Take heed to your fpirits in this 
matter. When you come to the throne of grace, come 
to receive out of Chriit's fulnefs, and come not to 
bring grace with you to add to Chrid's ftore. He 
loves to give, and glories in giving ; but he fcorns 
to receive grace from you ; and in truth you have 
none but what he gives. Bring your wants to him to 
fupply, but bring not your fuinefs to brag of. Spread 
your fins before this throne with fharae and forrow, 
and plead for a gracious pardon ; but take heed you 
bring not your forrow, tears, and repentance, nay, 
nor your faith itfelf, as a plea for that pardon. How 
abominable is it to Chr'flians ears, and how much 
more unto Chrift's, to hear a man plead thus for par- 
don : " Here is my repentance ; where is thy par- 
*' don ? Here is my faith ; where is thy judification ?" 
I know men abhor to fay fo. But take good heed, 
left any thought bordering on it enter imo thy heart. 


Serm. II. the Throne of Grace, 25 

Faith is the tongue that begs pardon ; faith is the 
band that receives it, it is the eye that feeth it ; but 
it is no price to buy it. Faiih ufeth the gofpel-plea 
for pardon ; but itfelf, neither in habit nor a£t, is 
the plea itfelf. That is only Chrift's blood. Chrift's 
blood goes for the renfiilTion of your fms, if ever they 
be forgiven : and is the only plea to he heard at the 
throne of grace. There are too many like the Pha- 
rifee, Luke xviii. 1 1. It would feem by Chrift'3 words, 
verfe T4. that both came for j unification. The Fha- 
rifee flood, and prayed thus with himfdf ; God, I thank 
thecy that I am not as other men arc^ — or as this pub" 
iican. Poor wretch I The publican was a far better 
man than he, as Chrilt teftifieth. He came to the 
throne of grace, like a man that would carry fome- 
thing away. It is a rule of this court, Lirke i. 53, 
He hath filled the hungry with good things^ but the 
rich he hath fent empty away^ According to this rale, 
the Lord dealt with the Pharifee and the publican ; 
and fo will he deal with you, as you are like the one 
or the other, in your approaches to, and pleadings 
at the throne of grace. 


He B. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help m 
time of need, 

T DID take up this exhortation, as containing an 
-■- anfwer to four confiderable queftions that ufually 
are in the hearts of them that draw near to God fe- 
rioufly. i. Where may we find him ^ Oa a throne of 
Vol, I, D grace. 

26 Sermons concerning Serm*1I. 

grace. Seek him no where elfe ; for no where elfe 
is he to be gracioully found. 2. How Jh ail we come 
to this throne f Boldly^ with confidence. 3. What is 
the ground of this boldnefs j' It had need be a great 
and folid ground on which a fmner may build bold- 
nefs in his approaching to God. This ground is hint- 
ed by the apoftle in the word therifore. Wherefore.*^ 
Becaufe of our great High PricJJ^ the Sen of Gcdy in 
heaven^ ver. 14, 15. Though there be nothing moie 
commonly faid and owned, than that all men are fm- 
ners, and that all the acceptance of a fmuer with God 
js through Jefus Chrifl: ; yet I can allure you, that 
when a perfon fees and knows what it is fo be a fm- 
ner, and knows what God is, it is a wonderful difE- 
culty to believe, that u is poflible thAt fuch a fmner 
and fuch- a God (hould ever meet in peace. Peoples 
dry notions and opinions of Jefus Chriil, if there be 
no more, will foon be blown away, with a deep fight 
of the fmfulnefs of fm^ and of the majefly of God 
provoked thereby. 4. The laft queition is, What 
Jhall we get by coming f and what fioidd we come for f 
The grearefl: bleflings ; mercy and grace, Thefe blef- 
fmgs are coraprehenfive of all things needful to make 
a fmner happy. 

To the firft of thefe I began to fpeak lafl: day. That 
God hath erected a throne of grace in the gcfpel^ to which 
men are invited to come. What this throne of grace is, 
is to fpeak to ; and that this throne of grace is to be dif- 
tinguifhed from all other thrones of God ipoken of in 
the word. The throne of his eit'ential glory is unap- 
proachable by all creatures. The ihroue of his juf- 
tice is dreadful to all fiuuers. We (hould pray againil 
our coming before this throne, Pfalm c\liii. 2. He 
mud be a proud ignorant fool that would offer to come 
and plead at its bar ; for here all a<5ls and fentcnces 
pafs according to drift law and juftice ; and the law is 
an everlalting condeniner of all fmners. There is 
alfo the throne of the Judge at the lad day. But this 
throne is not yet fet, though it will furely be \ and 


Serm. II. the Throne of Grace. 27 

we know not how foon, and (iionld prepare for our 
appearing before ir, 2 Cor. v. 9, 10. 

But this throne oF grace is the gracious nianifefla- 
tion of Cod in Chr'ift^ reccndling the world to himfelf^ 
2 Cor. V. 18, 19. This is the li^ht of the glory of God^s 
grace finning in the J ace of Jefus Chrift^ 2 Cor. iv. 6. 
And to coining to this throne of grace, and to God 
in Chrid, difpeiifmg his grace from it, we are here 
exhorted and encouraged. 

In purfuing of this exhortation, I would, 

1. Prove that all ftiould come. 

2. Show who will come. 

3 . And who (lia'I be fpecially ^"^Icome. 

I. That all ought to come to the throne of grace. 
All iinners that hear of it, (hould improve this great 
privilege, and feek the enjoyment of God's grace and 
mercy in Jefus Chritl. 

I. Bccaufe God is not oiherwife approachable by 
men in accepted worlhip. No man cometh unto the 
Father hut hy me^ faith Chrid, John xiv. 6. The light 
of nature teacheth all men in fome raeafare, that there 
is a God, and fomewhat of his eternal power and god- 
head^ Rom. i. 20. ; and that this God (hould be wor- 
fliipped. Therefore fome fort of worfhip is perfor- 
med by all fort of heathens, who are yet without 
God) and that becaufe zvithout Chrijl^ and therefore 
without hope in the worlds Epb. ii. [2. Never v/as 
there, nor will there be, nor can there be, any gra- 
cious approach unto God, nor any addrefs received 
favourably by God, but at this throne of grace. 
Therefore whatever may be faid of the zealous devo- 
tion, and of the moral principles and pra6^ices of the 
heathens, yet never any of them did, nor could offer 
up an acceptable prayer unto God, nor obtain a gra- 
cious anfwer from him ; not only becaufe they wor- 
iliipped an unknown God, Acls xvii. 23. Gal. iv. 8. 
but mainly becaufe they worfliipped not at this throne 
of grace ; for there can be no communion with God, 
there can be nothing gracioufly given by God to men, 

D z nothing 

2 8 Sermons cmcerntng Serm. II. 

nothing done by men that can be accepted of God, 
but at this throne of grace.- 

2. All ihould come to this throne, becaufe all men 
have need of the bit flings d ifpen fed at this throne of 
grace. Where there is an univerfal urgent neceffity, 
and only one place of fupply difcovered, men are cal- 
led to betake therafelves thither. The bleflings dif- 
penfed at the throne of grace, are equally needed by 
all. Every man, every woman, young or old, rich 
or poor, are equally needy, becaufe all are unfpeaka- 
bly needy of the mercy and grace of God. Some in- 
deed have a greater fight and fenie of their wants 
than others, (and that is mercy) ; but the real necef- 
fiiy is common to a,'i. Every unpardoned raa^r needs 
a pardon at this throne of grace; but few, if any, 
value a pardon t'll they get it, or value the grace of 
God rill they feel it. Do you feel your need of what 
is given and got at this throne ? Come then. The 
law thunders and roars agalnil you^ that you may fee 
your need of coming hither, for what the law cannot 
give, nor hinder you from receiving, nor rob you of 
when received. Do you think in your heart, that 
you are the mioft needy perfon in all the world ; that 
you need all tbe grace and mercy, or more, than ever 
any finner received P Then come the rather, covr.t the 
fooner. The needieft foul, the hungrieft fmner, the 
■perfon mod greedy of the grace of God, fhculd come 
firft to Chrifi's door, and beg loudefl:. Is there any 
cot needy ! Alas ! many think fo, but none is fo. 
Will you come for hunger and want ? A fenfible hun- 
ger, a fenfe and fight of need, an appetite after grace 
and mercy, is an alms that Chrift can give ; and many 
profeffors want it fadly. 

3. The command is univerfal, to all that hear it. 
As the apoflle faith, Rom. iii. 19. Thefe things faith 
the law to them that are under the law ; fo I may fay. 
This f^ith the gofpel to all under the found of ir. 
Come to the throne of grace. It is no indifferent thing. 
God commands ail men to come. Believing (that is^ 


Serm. II. the Throne of Grace^ 29 

coming) is commanded, 1 John iii. 23. Are you a- 
fraid to come ? Have not I commanded you K Jo(b. i. 9. 
as God fpake to the captain of Ifrael. Will men own 
God's authority in the law, and deny it in the gofpel ? 
Is he not the fame God in both ? He that commands 
you to have no other gods befides him, doth command 
you to believe on his Son Jefus, who is the true Gcdy 
and eternal life, i John v. 20. If coming to the 
throne of grace were not commanded, not coming to 
it were 'DO fin; and who dare fay for Not believinp- 
on Jefus Chrift is ihe great gofpel-fm, becaufe be- 
lieving on him is the great gcfpel-duty and work, 
John vi. 29. 

Object, But I am afraid he commands not me ; o- 
thers he may command, but not fuch a vile dead crea- 
ture as I am. 

Anf Are you worfe than fome he hath command- 
ed ? Jer. iii. i, 4, 5, Thcu haft flayed the harlot with 
many levers ; yet return again to me^ faith the Lord. 
Such a pradice in your land would greatly defile it, 
faith the Lord ; but fuch a6ls of grace become the 
throne of grace. Are you worfe than /(?^r> and /^//W, 
and miferable, and wretched^ and naked? Yet the king 
of this throne commands them to come to him, though 
be fweetly calls it ccunfel. Rev. iii. 17, 18. And in. 
it we may join his two names, Wonderful^ Counfellor^ 
Ifa. ix. 6. 

GbjeSi, 2. But Chrift. calls and invites them that 
are weary and heavy laden^ Matth. xi. 28. an'd the 
thirfly^ lia. Iv. i. and I am not fuch j and therefore 
he commands not me to com.e. 

Anf 1 . Do you expe£l any grace but at this throne 
of grace P Think you to work it out in yourfelves, 
and come to him for more ? or to get the beginning 
fome where elfe, and then come to Chrift for the 
reft ? This bewrays your pride, and ignorance of the 
entire corruption of your nature, and of your impo- 
tency to any good. This frame difcovers your ignor- 
ance of the nature of the grace of God, thai coafifts 

30 Servians concern} ng Serm. II, 

in its freedom ; as its glory is, in its being the origi- 
nal cau^e of all good done for us, and wrought in 
us, or by us. 

Avf, 2. Chrlll: never bid any man be or do any 
thing without him, and then come to him, and he 
would do more for him. Chrift calls men as he finds 
them, and then makes them what he would have 
them : He begifis the good vjork in them, and performs 
It, Phlf i,6: 

Anf, 3. Thefs and many fuch like calh and irYita- 
tions c^o not limit and retrain the univerfaliry of the 
gofpel-command, but do gracioufly apply it to fuch 
cafes wherein they that are, are apt to think that 
they are fpecially excepted. What is n.1ore common 
than fuch arguings of unbelief : I have a vaft load of 
fm lying on me ; I have fpent my time, and (Irength, 
and money, on fm and vanity; I have been wearied 
iu the greatnefs of my way of departing from the 
Lord, and therefore the Lord will not receive me ? 
Therefore fuch are named particularly by the Lord, 
and efpecially called. 

Therefore let no man, whatfoever he hath been, 
or is, think, that he is not commanded to come to 
this throne of grace. Take the command, lay it on 
your confcience, give obedience to it ; take the com- 
mand for your warrant, and never fear but you (liall 
be welcome. Can your foul f^iy. Lord, no man out 
of heli is more needy of thy faving grace than I, no 
fmner more unworthy of it than 1; yet, becaufe thoa 
commanded me to come, I come to beg, and to re- 
ceive? He will fweetly receive you : Htm that comcth 
to me, I will in no 'ivije caft out, John vi. 37. A text 
that hath been an anchor-hold to many a finking fm- 

'4, All fliould come to the throne of grace, becaufe 
of the univerfality, vail extent, and indefinitenefs of 
the promife of welcome to all that come. The com- 
jnand of God is a warrant and ground for our obedi- 
ence, and the promife is a ground for confidence. The 


Serm.it. tbs Throne of Grace, 51 

promife is God's great mean for working faith ; faiih 
is the impreflion God makes on the foul of a man by 
the promife. When God takes the promife of the 
gofpel, and applies it with the power of his grace u- 
pon the foul, it leaves an abiding mark andfignature; 
and that is faith. The promife comes as the promife 
of a faithful God, who cannot lye, of a great falvaci- 
on, to a great finner. When the fmner fees and feels 
the truth and goodnefs of this promife, he believes. 
This promife of God is to be preached to all that 
hear the gofpel ; or rather, this promife is the gof- 
pel ; the Lord will make it eiFeflual as he feeth good. 
The apoftle Peter encouraged fuch men to come to 
the throne of grace, who, if ever any in the world 
(hould have been kept back, it Ihould have been they; 
a crew of the bloody murderers of the Son of God, 
But the word preached by Peter takes hold of their 
fouls, and they cry out. What //mil we do f No won- 
der they faid fo, when the cry of Chrid's blood was 
in their confciences. The apoftle faith to them, Afts 
ii. 38, Repent^ and be baptized every one of you in the 
name of Jefus Chr'ifl^ for the reiiiiffion of ftns^ and ye 
fhall receive the gtft of the Holy GhoJ}, &c. Their fm 
was very great, peculiar to them only ; none before 
or after them were guilty of this. The cry of inno- 
cent blood is a dreadful cry. But this was more thaa 
all the murders ever committed in the world. It was 
the murdering the Son of God^ it was fiayicg /i^^ PriVif^ 
of life ; it was all that the devil and wicked world 
could do, to cut the throat of the gofpel, and of all 
the ele<fl of God : and this wicked acl was done a- 
gainfl Chrift, becaufe he taught that he was the Soa 
of God, and that he came from the Father to be tbt: 
Saviour of the world. Yet, faith the apoftle totheii!^ 
Repent, and be baptized in his name, for the reraif- 
fion of that fm ; you that have been dipped in bis 
blood, and fo dreadfully guilty by the Ibedding of ir, 
be baptized in his name, for the remiflion of that guik, 


32 Sermons concerning Serm. II, 

and of all others. This calling for repenting of their 
guilt of Chi id's blood, was plainly a requiring of faith 
m him ; not only that he was the Lord Chrifl: they 
had flain in their unbelief, but that pardon, in the 
virtue of that blood, might be had by them, on their 
betaking themfelves to him by faith. So did the fame 
apoftle preach to the council, A6is v. 28, 31. when 
he and his brethren were charged by the high prieft, 
hv filling Jerufalem with the dofirine of Chrifl ^ and 
intending to bring his blood upon them : Htm hath God 
exalted with his right hand^ to be a Prince and Saviour^ 
for to give repentance to IfraeU and forgivenefs of fins. 
He dire^ls them to look to Chrifl as the giver of re- 
pentance for, and of forgivenefs of all their fins ; not 
excluding, but, by ver. 30. plainly including the great- 
eft of all their fms, their flaying of Chrifl^ and 
banging him on a tree : and this they did with wic^ 
ked hands y A6ls ii. 23. and with hearts as wic- 
ked as their hands. Yet thus did Peter preach 
Chrid. So well did he remember his Lord's com- 
mand, Luke sxiv. 47. That repentance and re- 
mijfion of fins fhould be preached in his name, among all 
nations^ beginning at Jerufalem, His argument is. 
Ads ii. 39. For the promife is to you^ and to your chil- 
dren. Had they not flain the heir, and foundation of 
all the promifes ? Had they not done as much as men 
could do, to forfeit^.ll intcreft in the promife ? Yes ; 
but Peter ftill invites them to the throne of grace, by 
an intereft yet in the promife. The promife of grace 
and falvation by Jefus Chrift, is the rope and cord 
that God cafls out to fmking fmners ; it is equally in 
the ofFer of all in the gofpel. It is true, that the 
Lord means and defigns it to fome particular perfons ; 
but that defign is fecret. and utterly unknown to all, 
till the promife itfelf be apprehended by faith, or 
finally rejected by unbelief. See Jer. xxxviii. 7. — - 
14. Ebed-melech let down a rope to draw Jeremiah 
out of the dungeon by. The cords could never have 
pulled him up, unlefs the prophet bad put them un- 

Serm. it. the Throne of Grace. 3j 

der him, and unlefs his friend had drawn him up. 
He did fo, and veneures on this mean of efcape. He 
ventures on the lirength of the cord, and on the 
truftinefs of his friend. If either of them had failed 
him, he might have fallen down, and broke his neck ; 
or (tnck ftill in the mire, and ilarved in the pit. The 
cafe is fo here. The promife of faivation is a great 
fecurity ; but it is fo only to them that caft diemfelves 
on it, and truft to ir= Whoever will truft in God's 
promife in Chrift, will find, that it is able to bear ail 
their weight, if it were never fo great. Therefore 
lay this warm promife to thy cold heart, and, by the 
Lord's blcfling, life and warmth will come in. *Try 
the (trength of the promife, by cafting all thy bur- 
den on it ) and it will never fmk under thee^ nor thou 
perifh by its failing. Chriftians think, that the pro- 
mifes of God are a bleffed charter, (and fo indeed 
they are) ; but few mind the promifes as God's tend- 
ered and offered fecurity to men ; whereby, as means,, 
he works faith in his chofen ; and, bv the offer of 
them to all in the gofpel, leaves uubel'evers unexcuf- 
able. Sinners perifh under the gofpel, not becaufe 
there is no cord of faivation cait out to them; bur be- 
caufe they either love the pit they are in, or cannot 
truft God's faithful promife of faivation by Chnft for 
their delivery. 

So much of the firft thing, the proving that all 
ought to come to the throne of grace, or to God ia 
Chrift fitting on it. God is not otherwife approach- 
able ; univerfai need of this throne, and of the blef- 
fmgs given at it ; an univerfai call and command of 
God to come ; an univerfai promife to all that do 
come ; all prove that all men (hould come, 

H. But though it be the duty of all to come, yet 
but few do come. We would therefore fee who they 
be that will come to the throne of grace. Of fuch 
we have two words. 

I. Such as are given of the Father to the Son ; all 
they, and they only, will come to this throne of 

Vol. I, E grace. 

34 Sermons ccncerntng Sekm. II. 

grace: All that the Father give th me, Jhall come to me, 
faith Chriil, John vi. 37, I'e believe not ; becauje )e 
are not of my Jheepy John x. 26. The high fpring of 
all the elfe^lual calling and coming of men to Chriii: is 
this; They that are ordained to eternal life, believe , and 
Done but they. It would be very unfit, that the book 
of life (liould be opened to, and read by any preach- 
er of the gofpel. I think not that ever any apoftle 
bad it opened to them with refpe£l to others, fo that 
they fliould be able, when looking on the multitude 
they preached to, to fay, Thefe are appointed for 
eieroal life, and thefe paffed by. But they being 
happily in the dark as to this fecret purpofe of God, 
did offer falvation through Jefus Chrift to all that heard 
them. So Paul, AOs xiii. 38, 39. Be it knozvn unto 
yoUy men and brethren, that through this man is preach- 
ed unto you the forgtvenefs of fins ; and by him all that 
believe, are juflijied from all things, from which ye 
could not be jujlified by the law of Mofes, Having told 
them this good news, he, ver. 40. 41. warns them : 
Beware therefore, kj} that come upon you which is fpoken 
cf in the prophets. Behold, ye defpifers, and wonder, and 
perifh. After his repeated pains on them, it is faid, 
Ter. 48. As many as were ordained to eternal life, 
believed. It was a fevere application of this word, 
that a very worthy divine made of ir, that all the e- 
left of God in this place were gathered in, by Paul's 
miniftry in ir, at this time. 1 he grace of ele£l:ion is 
the fpring of faith, 2 Theff. ii. i:j. 1 Pet. i. 2. but 
this grace of ek^lion is not feen^ but in the gift and 
light of fairh. 

2. All fuch, and only they, will come to the 
throne of grace, that are drawn by the Father : Joha 
vi. 44, 45. No man can come to me^, except the Father 
which hathfent me, drazv him : and I will raife him, 
up at the laft day. It is written in the prophets, And 
they flmll be all taught of God, Every man therefore 
that hath heard, and hath learned of the Fatl^er, com* 
sth unto me, Obferve here the two unlverfals : No 


Serm. IL the Throne of Grace. 35 

man can ccme^ unkfs drawn ; Every man that Is drawn, 
doth come. * 

The fii ft decries the power of oature, the latter 
advanceih the power of God's grace. The utter im- 
potence of nature, and omnipotence of grace, in the 
bufinefs of man's falvation, are (lumbHog-blocks to 
all the ungodly, but are foundations in Chriftian doc- 
trine. The one lays man in the dull, the other ralfeth 
him on a new bottom of the grace of God. When 
God hath a mind to draw a CinncT to Chriit, and to 
make him a believer on him to falvation, he teacheth 
him fecretly and by a ftrong hand ; he whifpers into 
his heart the excellency of the Saviour, and greatnefs 
of his falvation ; fo that furely the periihing fmner 
comes to Chriit, and as furely is welcomed and faved 
by him. 

III. Bat who (hall be welcome ? Surely all that 
come, ihall be welcome ; as the word every where 
witnefleih : and all that ever tried i(, have found and 
leftify it by their experience. For as the Son refufed 
none that were given him of the Father in their eter- 
nal counfel, bat took every one of them as his charge 
to redeem them ; fo ail they, and only they, being 
drawn by the Father, and made willing to come to 
Chrift, are made welcome by him, John, vi. 37. He 
knows his fneep, v;hen wandering on the mountains, 
John X. 16. 27, 28. and accordingly receives them, 
when the Father drives home the lod fheep to their 
'great Shepherd, Chrift knows them before he opens 
the fold to ihem ; and becaufe he knows them, he 
lets them in, that they may find pafture, and feed oii 
him and his grace to eternal life. 

Bat there are fome that are fpecially welcome to 
Chrift, and fpeed well at this throne of grace. As, 

I, They that come when they can do nothing elfe; 
they th:it come to the throne of grace as their laft 
fhift : We know not what to do^ but our eyes are upon 
thec^ faid Jehoihaphat, 2 ChroQ. xx. 12. Sincereft 
beileviogj and flroDgeft believing, is a<fied, when a 

K 2 man 

36 Sermons concerning Serm. II. 

man hath no prop at all to lean upon, but God alone. 
Believing is c^\Ud feeing : We have fled for refuge^ to 
lay hold on the hope fet before us^ Heb. vi. 18. Mow 
who flees .'' Only tie that can ftand no longer, that is 
not able to deal with his adverfary and danger, that 
hath no hope of prevailing by his ftrength, and there- 
fore betakes himfelf to his heels. It is mens great 
fin to endeavour to feek that elfewherc, that only is 
to be found here, mercy and gnce. Bat it is the 
greateft fin of all, to count all loft, as long as this 
throne ftands, and the Lord calls men to come to it. 
Be deeply humbled, and covered with fhame ; yet 
come notwithftanding. Such is the corruption of our 
hearts, and the Lord feeth it well, that if finners 
could find grace and mercy any where elfe, they 
would never come to the throne of grace for it. Chrifl 
is the laft fhift of a diftrefTed (inner ; yer, bleffed be 
his name, he welcomes the comer. The woman, 
Mark v. 25, — 35. tries many means ere fhe comes 
to Chrift, yet fped well when fhe came at laft. 

2. They are welcome to the throne of grace that 
come ofteft, and alk the greateft things. It is other- 
wife in addrefTes to friends, or great men on earth. 
You may be welcome to them, if you come now and 
then, and if you a/k little things ; but if you come 
daily, and afk great things, and grow in your fuits, 
they will quickly be weary of you. But what faith the 
King on this throne of grace ? John xvi. 24. Hither- 
to have ye asked nothing in my name : ask^ and ye fh all 
receive^ that your joy may be Jull. Had not they afked 
f jrmerly great things ? that he would expound his 
Ivor d to thsm, Mattfa. xiii. 36. that he would teach 
them to prayt Luke xi. i . that he would increafe their 
faith, Luke xvii. 5. But all this was as nothing to 
Chrifl ; nothing in regard of the great things he had 
to give, and they ftood in need of. This is a great 
word of Chrift's, Ask^ and I will give^ and ye fhaJl 
receive ; ask flill more, and ye fhall receive more, 
even till your joy be full. The reafoQ why our fouls 


Serm. II. the Throne of Grace. 37 

are fo empty of joy, is, becaufe our mouths are emp- 
ty of prayer. Chrifl's love-qaarrels with his people, 
are three, i. That they do not aflv great things, and 
often. 2. That they do not receive what he is fo 
ready to give. Our narrow veiTels cannot take in 
large floods from the fountain of living water, 3. 
That they do not praife for what they receive. It is 
his due, our duty, and our great mercy. Both prayer 
and praife widens the heart for receiving more of 
Chrifl's fulnefs. 

3. They are fpecially welcome to the throne of 
grace that come to flay, refolving never to leave it ; 
that not only come to it at a pinch and llrait, but 
come to abide there. Our Lord teacheth feveral pa- 
rables, to encourage and direfl us in plying the throne 
of grace, Luke xi. 5,— -13. and xviii. i,— -8. Jacob 
was a blefTed man, and knew well the manner of this 
court, when he wreflled with the angel. Gen. xxxii. 
24,-30. ; and that angel was the King of the throne 
of grace, Hofea xii. 3, 4, 5. After a long night's 
wreflling, with weeping and fupplications, faith the 
liOrd, Gen. xxxii. 26. Let me go^for the day breaketh. 
Jacob anfwers, / will not kt thee go^ except thou blefs 
me, I willy or / will not^ looks like ill manners in 
fpeaking to God. He faith not. How can I hold thee ? 
If thou haft a mind to go, it is impoffible that I can 
detain thee. Can a man hold God when he hath a 
mind to be gone ? But Jacob knew his party and per- 
ceived that he tried him, if he would part without a 
blelTing. " Nay faith Jacob, if thou aik my leave 
" and confent to part fo, I will never give it. Let 
" the day break, and the next night come, the great 
" Bleffer, and lame halting Jacob, (hall never part^ 
." with Jacob's confent, without ablefling." And he 
prevailed. He had got his father's blelTing, by the 
cunning of his mother, Gen. xxvii. ; had it again ra- 
tified by his father, Gen. xxviii. 3, 4. ; he had the 
Lord's bleffing. Gen. xxviii. 12,- — 16.; he got it re- 
newed again, on the Lord's calling him to return to 


3 8 Sermons concerning Serm.II, 

Canaan, Gen. kxxI. 3. : Yet he was in a new (Irait, 
and wanted a new bleiiing, and wreflled for it, and 
obtained it. Let all the feed of Jacob imitate his 
pra£lic^, and they fliall (hare in his blciTing, and be 
feci with the heritage of Jacob their father^ as the word 
is, ifa. Iviii. 14. 

hi prelliDg the exhortation in the text, I ih^il lay 
before you a few confideratioos. 

I. Confider the greatnefs of this privilege, that 
there is a throne of grace erefled for fmners, and re- 
vealed to them. This throne is only ereded for fm- 
ners ; it had never been but for fmners, A throne 
of grace fuppofeth, that there are guilty fmn ?r3 to 
(land before it, and to get good by it. The greatnefs 
of this privilege is apparent, in comparing the (late 
of fallen niaa with that of fallen angels ; and in com- 
paring their flate that have the gofpel, with theirs 
that are without it. 

ly?, Compare the (late of fJlen man with that of 
fallen angels. Whatfoever the proper meaning of 
that word is, Pfalm viii. 5. Thou hajl made him a lit- 
tle lower than the angels^ thefe two may be well con- 
ceived ; That man in his original make was lower in 
dignity than the angels ; and that man was made a 
little after the angels were made : and long after it 
could not be ; for the whole old creation was com- 
pleatly iiniihed in fix days. The angels that fell, are 
fo finful and miferable, that we cannot [peak any good 
of them ; yet, in their ft; (I make, they were a very 
glorious part of the creation. Notwichftanding, when 
ihey finned, there was no throne of grace provided 
ior them : God [pared not the angels that Jinned^ but 
caft them down to hell^ 2 Peter ii. 4 ; yet, for his e- 
led, h^ /pared not his own Son, Rom. viii. 52. The 
devils, (for fuch fm made them), immediately upon 
their fmning, were as much condemned as ever ihey 
ihall be : 1 fay not as much executed ; for it feems 
that their full torment is referved to the lad day, 
Jude, ver. 6. 2 Peter ii. 4. Art thou come to torment 


Serm. II. the Throne of Grace, jp 

us before the time f Matt. viii. 29. fay they to Clirilh 
No wonder the devil be fuch an enemy to the gofpel 
of man's falvation, and a hater of the throne of grace. 
The wonder is, that men (hou'.d be deceived by Satan, 
todefpife and flight this great privilege. Let Chrif- 
tians take a view of this affonilhing appearance of 
God's grace, that fallen angels are all palTed by, and 
fallen men taken up ; not indeed all of them, hut a 
great many, as one day will declare : Ileb. ii, 16. 
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels^ but he 
took on him the feed of Abraham, 

idly^ Confider the greatnefs of this privilege in the 
revelation of it. You have it, but the greatefl part 
of the world have it not. They that cannot reseive 
the truth of God revealed in the word about the fove- 
reignty of grace in eleftion, and the efficacy of dX^- 
tinguiihing grace in calling, mud fee the fame fove- 
reignty a£led in difpenfiTig or with-holding the means 
of grace as pleafeth him. And to be utterly ignorant 
that there is a throne of grace, renders people as mi- 
ferable as if there was no throne of grace at all. 
They that never hear of Chrift, mud perifli. it is an 
idle dream, that the efficacy of Chrid's death may 
be applied, and profitable to the faving of adult per- 
fons that never heard of him. There is no falvatioo 
for men but by Jefus Chrift j there is no knowing of 
ir, or partaking of it, but by the word of truths the 
gofpel of our falvatiorij Eph. i. 13. Chrift and his name 
go together: Afls iv. 12. Neither is their fahation 
in any other ; (no Saviour but he) : for there is no 0^ 
ther name under heaven given among men whereby ive 
muft be farced. No other way of getting good by him, 
but by hearing of his name, and believing on his name: 
How fh all they believe on him of whom they have not 
heard f Rom. x, 14. It is a wonderful mercy to hear 
of him ; but woe to them that hear, and do not be- 
lieve. None can believe without hearing, Horn. x. l^i 
bur, alas ! many hear, and believe not, Ifa. liii. f. 

2, Gonfidcv 

i|0 Sermons concerning Serm. !!• 

2. Confider the great advantages of this privilege, 
of having a throne of grace ere<fted for us, and re- 
vealed to us. All blefllngs may be had here, by com- 
ing for ihem. If there was fuch a throne in ihis world, 
for filver, and gold, and health, and outward mer- 
cies, what flrange crouding would there be to it ? The 
bleilings to be had here, are innumerable for mulii- 
tude ; allfpirituUl hlejfings in heavenly things in Chrifl 
Jefus, Eph. i. 3. ; bleilings invaluable for their worth, 
eternal in their duration, moft free in their tenure, 
and all given in love. Every aft of favour from the 
throne of grace, is more worth than all God's com- 
mon mercies. Lord^ lift up upon us the light of thy 
countenance^ Pfal. iv. 6, 7. that will put joy into the 
fouL Every thing given at the throne of grace, is a 
blefTing of grace. Its very name ftiould teach people 
how to come, and how to call what they get at it. 
If it be a throne of grace, we (hould come to it as 
empty, needy beggars j and when we receive any thing 
there, we (liould call and count it grace. Afk all 
faints on earth, and they will witnefs, that great and 
good things are to be had at the throne of grace. 
Try it yourfelves, and you will find it is not in vain 
to beg here. Nay, the damned in hell do bear fad 
witnefs, that great are the bleiTings that are to be had 
at the throne of grace, which they feel and know by 
their woful and eternal lofs of them. The glorified 
in heaven know what a rich throne of grace this is. 
Only finners on earth will not believe this, nor ufe this 
throne a3 they (hould. 

3, Confider that this court and throne is of (hort 
continuance. It will not be kept up always. There 
is a limitation of the time of its lading ; as Heb. iv. 7. 
He U?niteth a certain day, Ttie day of the continu- 
ance of the throne of grace, is bounded and limited 
with four days ; the day of a man's life ; the gofpel- 
day, the world's day, and the Spirit's day. 

i}?. The day of every man's life. This hath bounds 
fet to it by God, Job xiv. 5. The throcie of grace 


Serm.1L the Throne of Grace, 41 

continues unto men no longer than they live. When 
men die, they go not to the throne of grace, bat of 
.glory and judgment. If we have fped well at the 
throne of grace, we (hall be welcome to the throne 
of glory. The uncertamty and (hortnefs of life, with 
the certainty of the expiring of all treaties betwixt 
God and us about falvation at the end of life, (lioiild 
make people careful to fecure the main matter in God*s 

idly^ There is the gofpel-day. This is alfo fet and 
limited by the Lprd. He hath determi;ied how many 
cifers you ihall have of Ghriil ; and when they come 
to an end, there will not be one nore- And then 
the ihrorie of grace is (aken down as to you. Luke 
xix. 42. If thou hadji known^ even thou, at leafl in 
this thy day^ the things that belong to thy peace ! but 
now they are hid jrom thine e^es! iaith our Lord to 
Jerufalem. This was the ending determining day to 
Jerufalem as a city, and to it? inhabitants- as a body. 
Though many par icuiar perfons had another day of 
grace ; yet the flipping of that day h?.ngs on that poor 
people and their pofterity tottiis very day. 

3^/7, There is the world'> d iv. And then the day 
of grace will end as to all : \¥hen the bridegroom cainef 
they that were ready ^ entered with him to the marriage^ 
afid the door was (hut, Matth. xxv. 10. There was 
no more grace to be difpenfed to men ; and we know 
not when that day will come. Miferable is their cafe, 
who. fhall fee Chriil: coming in the clouds of heaven, 
before they have feen him by faith in the gofpel ; 
who hear the voice of the arch-angel, and the trump 
of God, before they have heard the quickning voice 
of the Son of God from the throne of grace ; who 
have negle61ed calling on him in time, and begin out 
of lime, Luke xiii. 25. When the mafler of the houfe 
is rifen up, and hath f hut to the door^ and ye begin to 
fland without, and to knock at the door, Jaymg, Lord^ 
Lord, open to us. Is it not jnit that they ih ;«i be 
kept at the Ihut door, that would not enter at an opea 

Vol, L F door 

42 Sermons ccncernmg Serm. II. 

door in Chrlft's time, and when he called ? When 
Chrift comes, and hath (hut the door, no man will 
be let in, knock as he will. Nor, while the throne 
of grace is patent, no man will be kept our, be what 
he will, that hath a mind to enter, aud knocks for 

4/^/;', There is the Spirit's day. Here is a great 
depth of God's fovereignty and wifdom, a great depth 
of his feverity, an unaccountable and awful judgment ; 
how the Spirit of God drives with men in the 
gofpel, how near he comes to them fometimes, how 
clofe he befiegeth them, that they feem to be on the 
point of yielding, and are not far from the kingdom 
of God ; and yet he draws back his hand, and leaves 
them. I believe, that many ungodly men, many re- 
probates, have been fometimes in their life nearer ro 
heaven, (if fuch may be faid to be near to heaven 
that never come there) than many an t\t6( perfoa 
was half an hour before his converfion ; Gen. vl. 3. 
My Spirit Jhall not always JJrive with man. What 
kind of driving this was, and what became of them 
flriven with, we have, i Peter iii. 19, 20. Nothing 
wall more bitterly aggravate the eternal mifery of the 
damned, than the remembrance of this, that they had 
a day, and in that day grace offered to them, and 
that they did reje6l the offer. Mens carnal hearts are 
ROW full of cavils aojainfl the unfearchable methods 
and ways of God towards the fons of men ; but the 
k(t day's judgment v/ill determine and declare, that 
in the perdition of the ungodly, there was, and is, 
mod pure and unfpotted jullice and righteoufnefs ; 
and, in the falvaiion of all the elecH:, pure, perfect, 
and predominant grace, that reigned in them, and 
over them, and through them, till it brought them to 

Wherefore, feeing the having of a throne of grace 
is a privilege of fo great importance, and of fo un- 
certain continuance, there (hould be the greater care 
loraake diligent and prefent improYemienc of it. Why 


Serm. II. the Throne of Grace* ^j 

fhould any man let thii throne of grace dand emp- 
ty ? Will men provoke the Lord to fay. In vain 
have 1 fet up a throne of grace for fmners that come , 
Dot at it ? 

Again, Confider the wrath that will follow on the 
negle<ft, and not improving of this great privilege. 
The fin is many ways committed, and the judgments 
of many forts that are infli^ed. But I leave this to 
the next occafion. 

Except you, in your perfonal exerclfe and experi- 
ence, do know what this throne of grace is, and what 
is got there ; you may be Chriflians hereafter, but 
as yet you are none ; unlefs you experience what this 
throne of grace is, by frequent repairing to it, and 
by frequent receiving good at it. That man or wo- 
man, whatever his or her name be in the world, or 
the church of Chrift, that never found any need for, 
or ufe of, or benefit by this throne of grace, is fure- 
ly a dead finner. People may fafely and furely judge 
of both the ftate and frame of their fouls, by their 
bufinefs at the throne of grace. Never got any foul 
life, but by an a<ft of grace and power from this 
throne. No foul can be kept in life, but by daily in- 
tercourfe wich it. It is as impoffible that thefe bodies 
of ours ihould be maintained in life and ftrength with- 
out meat, and drink, and air; as it is for the foul of 
a believer to profper without daily plying the throne 
of grace. 

Let therefore the exhortation in the text be com- 
plied wiih, Come to this throne. Say therefore, Lord, 
I am invited to come to the throne of thy grace, and 
none have more need of that grace than I, and there 
is enough of grace there for me ; and therefore 1 will 
come, and beg, and get, and abide, and blefs the 
giver, and become happy by receiving, 


44 Sermons concerning Serm. III. 


H E B. iv. 1(5. 

Let us therefore come boldly urdo the throne of grace^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and Jind grace to help in 
time of need- 

I HAVE fpoke of the firft thing that this text 
contains, J'hai God in Jefus Chrift, in the gofpel, 
3s on a throne of grace, invinng men to come to hire. 
What this throne of grace is ; why ail {hould come ; 
who they be that will come ; and who wiu be fpeci- 
ally welcome, yoa have heard. I was preiTing this 
exhortation of coming to this throne You fee the 
Apoftle, in delivering this, takes in hi.Tifelf wiih them 
he exhorts, Let us cotne. He had oft come before, 
and had been bcuntirully dealt with at this court. 
1 Tim. i. 14. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding 
abundant towards him. This made him commend 
this throne fo highly , and intreat other?, and ftir up 
himfelf, to frequent addrelTes to it, 1 did ufe three 
arguments to back this exhortation, and Ihall add a 

1. The firft was the greatnefs of the privilege, of 
having a throne of grace to come unto ; a privilege 
denied to fallen angels, and r^^e knowledge of it de- 
Died to the far greater part of mankind. 

2. This throne of grace is a privilege full of rich 
advantages. All believers know fomewLat of them. 
All their acceptance with God, all their accefs to God, 
all their communications from hire, and fellowihip 
with him, all their bleffings in time, and their hopes 
for eternity, are all owing to this, that God is on a 
tliroQe of grace, 

3, This 

Serm. III. the Throne of Grace. ^^ 

3. This prlviledge is of uncertain duration, and 
fliort. The Lord the king is for ever; but the throne 
of grace is not for ever. It is but a time-difpenfati- 
on ; and limited unto certain feafons. The gofpel- 
day is uncertain, our litetime is uncertain, the world's 
day is uncertain, to us, though all determined by God. 
But above ail, the Spirit's day is uncertain. How 
long he will flrive, when he will forbear, who can 
tell ? Some godly men have thought, that there are 
few (if any) that live under a powerful miniftry, but, 
at fome time of their life, the Spirit of God comes 
clofe to them ; fo that there is not only a witnefs giv- 
en for the Lord in the offers of the gcfpel, but there 
is a further addition to that witnefs, by fome fpecial 
appro'^iches of God's Spirit to their hearts. But what- 
ever there be in that obfervatioo, this is undoubted, 
that where the Holy Ghbfl makes the (Irongefi: alTaults 
on men, if he be refifted, and withdraws, the mofl 
prodigious hardnefs is left behind. Therefore extra- 
ordinary, bold, hardened fnmers, cruel p^^rfecutors, 
apoftates, and mockers of godliiiefs, are ufually fuch 
as fometimes were under fpecial convi6lion : not to 
fpeak of the fm againil the Holy Ghoft ; which confifls 
in ferae high rebellion againfl fpecial workings of the 
Spirit of God on mens confciences under the gofpei. 
This dreadful fm Satan per'plexeth many believers 
v/ith fears of it. But it is certain, that a diflurbing 
fear of this guilt is a proof of a perfon's innocency as 
to it. For whofoever have fallen into this abyfs of 
wickednefs, are fo far from fearing the fm, (though 
they may have a hopelefs fear of wrath, Heb. x. 27.) 
that they glory in it ; therefore they are faid to do 
defplte to the Sprit cf grace. Let all that find the Spi- 
rit driving with them, take good heed to themfelves, 
comply v;ith his motions, and fecure their ftace fpeedi- 
ly, by believing on the Lorci Jefus ; for the feafon 
of his ftriving is the moft critical part of our life, andg 
as it iflues, of greaieit confequence to falvaiion or 

i|, A 

46 Sermons concerning Serm. Ill, 

4. A fourth argument I would conclude this point 
with is, the greatnefs of the fin of not coming to the 
throne of grace, and the dreadful wrath it draws on. 
This fin is many ways committed, and many ways a- 
venged. A little of both. 

Firj7y It is committed, i. By mens defpiGng and 
contemning the throne of grace; making light of it, 
Matih. x^iii, 5. mgleclingfo grtatjahation^ Heb. ii. 3. 
There are many things from whence this contempt 
fprings. Either no fenfe of their need of what is to 
be had at the throne of grace ; or elfe a dream, that 
ihey may be fupplied eifewhere ; or grofs unbelief, 
that men think in their hearts, that all this account of 
the throne of grace is but a ciinningly-devifed fable ; 
or the nature of the bleiTmgSj fpirirual and eternal, 
wnfuitable to, and not taking with their- carnal beans, 
who mind earthly things. If the exhortation had run 
thus. Let us come, that we may get filver, and obtain 
gold, to render us rich in this world ; what leaping 
and driving would there be to obey it ? whilft grace 
and mercy, that men have no fenfe nor experience 
of, arc defpifed ; and therefore the throne of grace, 
where only they are to be had, is defpifed alfo, The 
Spirit of God in the fciipture is at much pains 1:0 
commend the worth and value of the bkiTings t :at 
Chrift came to purchafe, and hath to difpenfe, ar;d 
to prefer them above all prefent fenfible thiiigs; yet,- 
noiwithilanding all the bright light of the word darr- 
ing daily in mens eyes, the drofs and dung of this 
world is more precious in the eyes, and favoury to 
the heart of every ungodly man, ihau all ihe grace 
given on earth, and all the gibrjr to be gi veil in hea- 

2. This fm of not coming, is committed by delay 
Ing to come. The call of God is. Let us come ; ihe 
3niwer of many hearts is. Let us delay to come, Wherce 
chink you that thefe delays come ? We have it daily 
to bewail before God and you, that a multitude will 
come together to hear, and do {q day by*day j yet ail 


Serm. III. the Throne^ of Grace, 47 

that can be faid 10 them, from their childhood to 
thefr old age, never prevailed with many of them to 
fpend one hour in ferious treating at the throne of 
grace, with Gcd in Chrifl, for the eternal faivatiou 
of their fouls. It is undeniable, that ye are but a 
pack of grofs hypocrites, if you attend on the means 
of grace in the alTemblies of faints, and yet have no 
particular perfonal errand to the throne of grace for 
your own jfouls. The falvation of the foul is not car- 
ried on in a croud. The grace of God mud be parti- 
cularly applied to you, and you mud particularly ap- 
ply it to ycurfelvcs, and yourfeives to the throne of 
grace, if ever you be faved. The feiiowfhip of faints 
was never ordained for this end, to render perfonal 
applications to God neediefs; and it is grofsly abufed 
when it is fo perverted, it is impoiiible, that a per- 
fon can have any true fellowfiiip with faints in any or- 
dinance of God, unlefs he hath particular bufmefs at 
the throne of grace for himfeif. He hath indeed no 
true religion, whofe all of religion is in company and 
in public. Yet we fee how backward many profeiTors 
are to this perfonal treating with God ; how many 
(liifts and delays they make. To fuch I fay, Would 
it not be a terror to you, if either God, or man, or 
angels, or the devil, (hould tell you this day, that, frora 
this time to your dying day, you fnall never have lei- 
iure, nor heart, nor time, to fpend one quarter of aa 
hour in dealing with God for your eternal falvation ! 
Would not this be terrible to you ! But the fame 
dreadful thing is done daily by mens delays. The call of 
God is to-day, you fay to-morrow ; when to-morrow 
comes, then you fay next day ; when that comes, you 
put it flill farther off- This you may be fare of, that 
whatever is the true fpring and caufe of delays in this 
matter, will ftill remr'jn and gather {Irengih, unlefs 
the grace of God come in. Men deceive themfelves 
with vain pretences : but the true fpring of all delays 
in treating in earneft with God at the throne oF grace, 
is unbelief and unwillingnefs j and the uiore-they are 


48 Sermons tonceming Serm. Ill- 

indulged by delayin<^, the ftronger they grow. There- 
fore the Holy Ghojl faith ^ To-day if ye will hear his. 
voice, harden net your hearts^ Heb. iii. 7, 8. See how 
the Spirit of God iixeth an oppofition betwixt thefe 
two, prefent hearings and prefent hardening ; and a 
conjnn6lion betwixt thefe two, prefent not hearings 
and hardening. If there is prefent hearing, there is 
no prefent hardening ; if not, there is. The refufal 
given to the to-day's call of God, hardens the heart 
againft to-morrow's call. O, that men dreaded de- 
lays as mod perilous things, and the caufe of the e- 
verlailing ruin of multitudes under the golpel ! 

3. Another way wherein this fm of not coming to 
the throne oF God's grace is asfbed, is in refufing to 
come. All do not fo grofsly, but fome do. There 
are two forts of refufers ; the fecure, and the difcou- 
raged. There is a woful plague of fecure defpair ; a 
ftrange plague, but a certain one. Some people find 
things are bad with thera as to their fouls, fins many, 
corruptions flrong ; they have made fome eifays to get 
matters mended, and all in vain : whereon they con- 
clude, that it will never be better; and they fit down 
in fecurity, and give themfelves up to their pleafures : 
Ifa, xxii. 13. Let us eat and drink, for to-raorroiv we 
fhall die, A ftrange argument. Approach of death 
ufually mars the tafte of pleafure. The hand- writing 
on the wall, even when not known, marred Bellhaz- 
zar's cheer, Dan. v. This is a very miferable and 
finful cafe. It fprings from mens being ignorant of 
the true remedy, when they were fick of fin : and be- 
caufe all the phyfic and phyficians ihey ufed and tried 
did them no good, they conclude their ficknefs is un- 
to death. But let fuch know, that there. is hope tn If' 
rael concerning this thi?2g. Only come and fee, and 
try what may be done. Beware of defpair ; it is the 
devil's fin. But he hath teafon for it: for he is 
condemned ; and all doors of hope are eternally 
(hut upon him, or rather none was ever opened to 
him. But for a man that haih th^ riches cf God^^ long- 


Serm. III. the Throne of Grace, 49 

fuffering^ forbearance^ and patience^ (Rom. ii. 4.), 
daily laid upon hira ; that hath the door of grace fee 
open 10 him, and the Lord calling, intreating, pro- 
niifing acceptance ou his coming; for fuch a man to 
give over all hope, is a fin fome way worfe than the 
devil's ; a frame pleafing only to the devil, mod dif- 
honourable to God, and his Son Jefus Cbrifl, and to 
the Holy Gholt, (I do not call it the fin againft the 
Holy Ghoft) ; a reflexion on all the glorious appear- 
ances and manifeftations of the throne of grace, and 
mod furely damning if continued in. Away with ic 
fpeedily : conclude thy cafe is not defperate; and if 
you cannot (hake it off, come to the throne of grace, 
and complain of it. If ye can bur fee the throne, and 
him that fits upon it, defpair will vaniih as a night- 
owl on the bright ftiining of the Sun of Righteouf- 
nefs. Defpair cannot live in the prefence of :he glo- 
rious grace of Jefus Chrift. Come then and fee, and 
lay hold on the hope fet before you. The other re- 
fufers to come, are the difcouraged. They do not 
defpair that their cafe cannot be mended ; but they 
fee fo much, and fo many things out of order, that 
their hearts Fail them in applying to the only remedy. 
In the time of their carnal fecurity, and ignorance of 
God and of themfelve^ (that bred and kept up that 
fecurity), they could rufti into God's prefence with- 
out fear, and call and count all the bleffuigs of the 
covenant theirs, without any doubt, and yet without 
any ground. But when God began to deal with them, 
and to come clofe to them, and to fend in light and life 
into their confciences, then they fee their former mif- 
takes ; they fee their utter want and great need of 
thofe bleiTings they once dreamed they were rich ia 
the poffeffion of; they fee their utter unworthinefs of 
them ; and therefore find it hard to believe, that e- • 
ver the Lord will v/elcome them to the throne of his 
grace. Ufually beginners in Chriftianity have great- 
er light and fenfe as to their neceffity of faving grace 
and mercy, than about the Lord's willingnefs to give 
Vol. I. G them. 

50 Sermons concerning Serm.IH. 

them. And this is the feafon wherein Satan doth 
ufually come in (if permitred, and often he is) with 
Jais temptations and fiery darts, that ihey felt rothing 
of while they were in his kingdom and power of dark- 
iiefs. To fuch I would propofe three things. 

1/?, V/hat is the ground of thy difccuragement ? 
Hereto I know they will fay a great deal, and it may 
be more than is true. I grant lill can be faid to be 
true. But the fum of all is, I am a great fmner, and 
exceeding miferable. Be humbled as low as hell in 
the fenfe thereof, yet be not difcouraged. What is 
in thy cafe but what is common P Only thou feed and 
feeleft for thy felf, and fo did others. 

2^/y, What is the tendency of it ? Doth it tend to 
keep thee aloof from the throne of grace ? It is then 
of Satan. ^ 

^dly^ What can be the cure of it P You would not 
be always in this heardefs frame. How think yon to 
get it removed P by keeping dill from the throne of 
grace P Will, or can, any fpiriiual plagues be cured, 
bat by Chrift the Phyfician P or any fpiritual blelTing 
be got, but at his door P Can you expe<n: it without 
coming, and begging P David took the right courfe 
with his fainting heart, Pfal. xlil. 5, ; he challengeth 
his foul for its difqnietment ; he chargeth it to truil in 
God : and becaufe he had not prevailed with his foul, 
he brings it to God by faith, ver. 6. my God^ my 
foul is caf} dozon iviihin me. Do ye fo; and call upon 
him by that name, God that comfortetb thofe that are 
cajl dowriy 2 Cor. vii. 6. 

I fliall name no more of the ways this fm is affed 
than thefe three , defpifui^, delaying, and refufing. 
Several other expreihons there are of this fm in the 
Word; but if you be kept from thefe three, you are 
innocent from the great trdnfgrtffion, 

Secondly^ What is the wrath revealed from heaven 
for this great fin of not coming to the throne of grace ^ 

I. God teftiUes his difpieafure againft this fin, by 
taking away of his gofpei. Nothing is more juft w^ith 


Serh. III. the Throne of Grace, 51 

God, than that, when his grace is flighted, the means 
of grace (liould be removed, if the Lord argue {0 as 
to corre<^ion, Ifa. i. 5. Why JhoiM ye he Jlrkhn any 
more f ye zvill revolt more ^rid more ; much more may 
he argue thus. Why (hould I keep up a throne of 
grace, any longer ? you will but defpife it more and 
more. Chriit teacheih a fad parable, Matrh. xxi. 
33. &c, and makes a juft, but dreadful application 
cf it to the hearers, ver. 43. Therefore I fay unto^you^ 
The kingdom of God (znoihtv name of the throne of 
grace) /hall be taken from you^ and given to a nation 
bringing forth the Jriiits thereof. They were cut off 
for )heir unbelief Rom xi. 20. With what face caa 
an unbeliever beg of God the continuance of the 
means of grace, who hath no mind to enjoy the end 
and bleffing of thofe m^eans ? A general contempt of 
the grace of God enfeebleth the fpirits of minifters 
and Chriilians in (landing before the Lord, for the 
continuance of the gofpel with a people that ufe it 
DOC. This dreadful judgment hath been offeti threat- 
ened in the word, and infli£led, in the fevere provi- 
dence of God, on many once-famous churches and na- 
tions. As the Lord faith, But go ye now unlo my place 
which was in Shiloh^ where I fet my name at the fir J}^ 
and fee what I did to it, for the wickednejs of my people 
Ifrael^ Jer. vii. 12. ; fo I may fay. Go to Jerufalem, 
and the feven churches in Afia ; go to Greece and 
Africa, wheie many a famous church was planted, 
and learn to fear for yoiirfelves : not to fpeak of later 
defolations in oars and our fathers days. The Lord's 
removing of his gofpel, is a judgment that is very 
deep ; as the apoftle fpsaks of the fame fubjeft, Rom. 
xi. 33. We raay^ take notice of this judgment as 
brought on by prevailing errors in and about the 
foundation, Jefus Chrift ; or by gradual apoftafy^ 
and impurity of converfation, in profeffors; or by the 
ra^e of persecution, wearing cut the faints of the Mojl 
High, Dan. vii. 25. But yet w^e have good grounds 
from the word of God to believe and hope, that the 

G 2 gofpel 

5-2 Sermons concerning Serm. III. 

gofpel may be fecured to a generation ordinarily, if 
they be careful to get the blefTing thereof, and to 
walk worthy of it. If the grace of God itfelf be priz- 
ed, the means of grace will be continued. 

2. The Lord witneiTeth his difpleafure againfl: fligh- 
ters of his grace, by fearful outward judgments. So 
fared it with Jerufalem, according to our Lord's pre- 
diiflioa, Luke xix. 42, 43, 44. It hath been a remark 
of wife obfervers of the providence of God towards 
nations fince the reformation from Popery^ That in 
thofe places where the greateft light of the gofpel 
hath fhined, there the greateft judginents have been 
inili£led ; as in Germany, France, and am^ongfi: our- 
felves in Britain. 

3. The Lord vifits for this fin with fpiritual judg- 
ments, the nrcft wrathful difpenlations of God on this 
fide hell : as tiardnefs of heart, blindn-^fs of mind, 
fearednefs of confcience, vilenefs of afFfrd'tions ; judg- 
ments which they that are under, never feel nor com- 
plain of, nor will be convinced of, though they are 
fometimes vifible to others. If the Lord infiifl them 
on the heathen for their abufe of the dim light of na- 
ture, Rom. i. 21, 24, 26, 28. how much greater are 
fuch that are fent for the abufe of the light of the 
gofpel ? That dreadful commifTion given to the mod 
eminent prophet, Ifa. vi. 9, 10. is often applied and 
fulfilled in the New Teftament : Matth. xiii. 14. and 
John xii. 39, 40. Therefore they could not believe^ 
(their fin was, ver. 37. they believed net on him ; here 
is their plague, they could 7iot believe\ becaufe that 
Efaias fatd again^ He hath blinded their eyes^ and 
hardened their hearts ; that they JJjould not fee with their 
eyeSy nor under fl and with their hearts^ and be convert- 
edy and I Jhould heal them, Paul applies it to forae of 
his unbelieving hearers, with a ftrange preface, Well 

/pake the Holy Ghofl by Efaias ^ to our fat hers y faying^ 
A6i:s xxviii 25, 26. The intereft and influence of 
God in fuch fpiritual judgments, is a great depth. 
They are always juft, and always deep j aod dread-^ 

Serm, III- the Throne of Grace. 53 

ful are their effefts. They on whom they fall, feel 
nothing, fee nothing, fear nothing. So that truly 
we may fay, asPfalm Ixviii. ^55. O God, thou art ter- 
rible out of thy holy places. But fuch as have a heart 
to the grace of God, and would fain be bleiTed there- 
by, need not fear thofe judgments, and fliall never 
feel them. 

4. Laflly^ The wrath of God againft fuch as come 
not to the throne of grace, is engraven in the fingu- 
lar vengeance of eternal ruin. There is fomething 
fingular in their hell. The law fends all unpardoned 
fmners to a law-hell : the Lord fends defpifers of fav- 
ing grace to a fpecial hell, Heb. ii. 3. and x. 29, a 
much for er punifhment. No quarters in hell are tolera- 
ble : yet our Lord faith, Matth. xi. 22, 24. That it 
fball he more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon^ Sodom and 
Gomorrah^ than for the cities where he preached^ and 
wrought mighty works. We fliould be thankful for 
this fair warning. I am afraid that there are very 
few that do truely believe this. That the condition of 
a finner under the gofpel, that is of a blamelefs con- 
verfation, and makes a fair profcflion ; only he is an 
unbeliever in Jefus Chrifi:, and one that hath no bufi- 
nefs at the throne of grace, he hath no other fault 
but that, (and he needs no more to ruin him) ; that 
this man's cafe is worfe now, and will be worfe at the 
lafi: day, than that of the inhabitants of Sodom, on 
whom the Lord rained down hell from heaven. Ma- 
ny of our gay profeifors, and civil moral men, would 
think themfelves highly affronted and undervalued, to 
be put in the balances with fihhy Sodomites. If it 
were poiTible that thou had no fault but only unbelief, 
thy fm is greater, thy judgment will be more dread- 
ful, thy (late worfe for eternity, than that of the vil- 
eft of the nations to whom the throne of grace was 
never revealed ; John xv. 22. /// had not come^ and 
fpoken unto them^ they had not had fin : but now they 
have no cloke for their fin. And to the fame purpofe 
our Lord fpake to them, ver. a-^. They were fmners 


yi Sermons concerning Serm. III. 

before ; hut the contempt of that difpenfatioa of 
grace that ChriH: brought to theai, rendered them 
ilngiihir iranfgreiTors. So John iii. 17. God fent not 
his Son into the worJd to condemn the world ; but that 
ihe Ivor id through blm might he faved. Are then all 
fav:d, and none condemned P JSTo : Of the world that 
bear of God's Son, fonie believe on hini^ and they are 
not condetnned^ huz /aved ; and others bdieve ?2ot on 
him^ and therefore are condemned^ ver. 18. What is? 
tiie, coDdemnaiion ? Light is come info the worlds and 
nmhv£d da.rknefs rather than lights hecaufe their deeds 
are evil^ ver. 19. The law condemns theni, becaufe 
iheir deeds are evrl ; the defpifed gofpel condemns 
them, becaufe they refufe the only remedy. Law-fin 
h poifon to the foul, and kills as fuch. Unbelief is 
rejecting the only antidote, and kills as fuch. Look 
to one fcripture more: Luke xjx. 27. But thcfe mine 
enemies which would not that I Jhould reign over them^ 
bring hither^ and flay them before me. It is not ufual 
for kings and princes to have criminals executed in 
their prefence, but command it to be done by mean 
hands, in fome remoter place. But Chrift will have 
his enemies flain before him. To be flain in Chriil's 
prefence, is double deflruclion : 2 ThciT. i. 9. Who 
Jhatl be punijljed with tvetlajiing deflru^ion^ (ever a- 
dcllroying, never deflroyed ; the deftroyer punilheth 
eternally, and the deilroyed fuiTcr eternally) from the 
frefence of the Lord, The meaning is not only, that 
<s great part of this punilhment (lands in being depriv- 
ed for eternity of the gracious prefence of Jefus Chrift; 
as in Matth. xxv. 41. The firil and faddeil Vv'ord in 
tbelafl fentence is, Depart from ms. Jutl ; for fhey 
laid to him. Depart from us ; for we defire not the 
knowledge of thy ways^ Job xxi. 14, Let all trem- 
bling believers and lovers of Chrift perfuade them- 
feives, that they (hall never hear it pronounced a- 
gainft them. All that make it their bufmefs to come 
to Chrift, that make it rheir daily fqit. that he would 
come to them, (hall not hear, Depart from me ; bur, 


Serm, \U. the Throne of Grace, 55 

Come to me^ ye bJeJJed. Ye often came for a blefTing, 
and got many by coming : now come to receive the 
blelfing of the kingdom. But this word, from the pre- 
fence of the Lordy faith further, that this deRruSioa 
flows from Chrill's angry and glorious prefence ; and 
that it fhall alfo be in bis prefence ; as Rev. xiv. lo. 
It is in the prefnce of the holy angels ^ and in the pre- 
fence of the Lamb, they are tormented for ever. 

I'hiis having opened the firll: head in the text. 
That there is a throne of grace ere<fted and reveajcd, 
in the gofpel, to which men are invited to come ; I 
fl:iali only apply it in two queftions, ard the Lord ap- 
ply them to your confciences, and make them give a 
right and true anfwer. They arc two (hort plain ones, 
I. Have you come f 2, Will ye come f 

c%^?. I. Have you co??7e to the throne of grace '^ Do 
you know and are fure that you have come? asFecer 
faid, John vi. 68, 69, The apoRle fpeaks of fuch 
comers, Heb. xii. 24. But ye are come to Jsfus the Me- 
diator of the new covenant, and to the blood offprini» 
ling, that fpeaketh better things than that of AbeL 
You are all hearers of the throne of grace ; many are 
talkers of it, and fome difputers and contenders about 
this throne : bur are you comers to it ? is your heart 
on it, your bufmefs at it, and your daily exercife a- 
bout it P You are in the outward court ; doth that 
faiisfy you ? Alas ! many poor fouls die and perifh 
there. To help to fome convi£lion how it is with you 
as to this, I would ask, 

I. Have you come to the throne of grace ? Theo 
you have feen the King, He is a poor (orry coarrier, 
that goes to court every day, and never feeth the 
King's face; as Abfalom, 2 Sam. xiv. 24, 28. Alas! 
many live in Jerufalem all their days, aod never fee 
the King that dwells in Zion. When Paul was brought 
to the throne of grace, Chrill was revealed in him 
and to him. Gal. i. 15, 16. When men arc brought 
and come to the throne of grace, they receive ihc 
tight of the knowledge of the glor^ ofG9d^ m iire face 


^5 Sermons concerning Serm. III^ 

o/Je/us ChriJ}^ 2 Cor. iv. 6. There is 3i/eeing of him, 
joined with believing en hinh John vi. 40. AH that 
fee Jefus Chrift, muft ha?e eyes from him to fee him 
with j the Spirit of w'tfdom and revelation^ in the know- 
ledge of him^ that enlightens the eyes of mens under Jland- 
ings, Eph. i. 17, iB. His eye-falve can only make 
blind finners to fee, Rev. iii. 18. Are men in doubt 
whether they have feen Chrift or not ? Whence doth 
it proceed I Is Chrift fo mean, and dark, and ordi- 
nary an object, that men may fee him, and not know 
that they fee himv ? A man may doubt whether his 
eyes take up a dim cloudy ftar in a dark night : but 
the fun doth not ftiine, or the man is blind, iF he lift 
up his face, and doubt whether he fee the fun at 
noon- day. There is a manifeftarion of Chrift promif- 
ed, John xiv. 21, 23. which, when made by him, 
and perceived by his people, removeth all doubtings; 
fo that the foul muft fay, as Ifa. xxv. 9. This is our 
Gody this is the Lord. But this meafure is not ordi- 
nary, nor conftantly to be expelled. Is there any 
like unto Jefus Chrift ? Are any o^ his companions^ as 
they are called, Song i. 7. fo like to him, that a be- 
liever cannot difcern the difference ? Never did a maa 
fee Jefus Chrift by the eye of faith, but he is by that 
fight of him, perfuaded that there is none to be com- 
pared with him. No man is converted, and made a 
believer, but by a revelation of Jefus Chrift. A man 
may be awakened with a view of God's glory ; he 
may be alarmed by a fight of fm and hell y and may 
be roufed out of his ileep of fccurity, by the thun- 
ders of Sinai : but he is never converted, and made 
a Chriftian, but by a revelation of Jefus Chrift, as 
glorious in his robes of falvation. Whence then it is 
that all believers on him do not own his manifefting 
himfelf to them, and their feeing of him ? It is in 
part from the weaknefs of their fight, the greatnefs 
of the glory of him they fee, and their ftrong defire 
to fee him better. But for fuch as fiave fpeot their 
days about the throne of grace, and yet never faw 


Serm. III. the Throne of Grace. 57 

Jefus Chrili, and the glory of God in his face as a 
Saviour, fo as to difgr^ic;' ail things in comparifon 
with him, fo as to raife defires after more of him, and 
fo as to fill their hearts with love, wonder, and praife ; 
fuch have been at the court, but have not feen the 
King on his throne. 

2. Are you c^me to the throne of grace ? Whac 
made you come? what errand did you come upon? 
No man comes without an errand. We need not 
make and feek one ; we have enow at haad, if wo 
Would but ufe them. What wants felt you at home ? 
and what of his fulnefs was taking with you? Caa 
you fay, 1 have a naked fikhy foul, and I am afliam- 
ed to look OD it ; but how well would the robe of his 
righteoufnefs fit and adorn it ? I am empty of all good; 
and he is full of all gr:ice, on purpafe to fill periihing 
fouls, and I come for a (iiare thereof. The bleffing 
of many ready to perifli hath come upon him ; and I 
come for his rich falvation, and would le^ive my poor, 
but eternal bleifing on him. They that have no par- 
ticular prclTing bufmefs about their foul's falvation, 
may talk of the throne of grace, but do not indeed 
come to it. 

3; What got ye ? If you come indeed, you receive ; 
if you receive not, you come not. Say nor, you have 
received nothing, becaufe you have not got all you 
would have. It is necelTary, that fuch as come, get 
fomewhat ; but it is not fit that they fhould receive 
all that they want. A life of faith mud be lived, and 
dependence and begging flill kept on foot. But fome- 
what is ftill given and got, though the gift be not al- 
ways feeoj and owned. But tell me, Chrillians in- 
deed, have you not fometimes got that at the throne 
of grace, that ye would not take a world for ? Did 
you ever apply to this throne in earned, and found 
it in vain ? Have you not fometimes got a glance of 
Chrift through the lattefs, Song ii. 9. that hath made 
you forget your poverty, and remember your mifery 

Vol. I. H co 

jB Sermons ccncerning Serm. III. 

no more ? Know ye not what it is to have a fmile of 
his couritenance, and a token that you have found 
favour in his eyes ? Have you not got at this throne, 
a word of promifc, that hath fed and teafted thy 
faith ? Jer. xv. i6. Thy words were found, and I did 
eat them ; and thy word was unto me the joy and re- 
joking of mine heart ; for 1 am called by thy name^ O 
Lord God of hofls. Have you not fometimes got the 
door of faith opened, and the eye of faith iharpen- 
ed, ihat ye could fee within the vail, and behold the 
good land, and the blelTed Lord of it, and thy happy 
intereft in both ? Let not this throne be difparaged, 
both by the true emptincfs of hypocrites that are a- 
bout it, rather than at it, and by the peevifbnefs of 
real believers. There are no poor courtiers at this 
court ; they are all rich^ Rev. ii. 9. They are only 
fsor in fpirit ; but not fo poor as they think ; for a 
kingdom is theirs^ that is better than all kingdoms un- 
der heaven, Matth. v. 3. The world count belie- 
vers poor, becaufe they fee they often have not out- 
ward riches ; and they are blind, and cannot fee th^ir 
Jpiiitual riches in poiTeffion and reverfion. The be- 
liever thinks himfelf poor, becaufe he feeth not all 
he hath in poffeflion, i Cor iii. 2 f , 22, 23. ; and be- 
caufe he would fo fain have all he hach a right to, 
Phil, iiir 12, 13, 14. and the hope of; or becaufe 
his charters are hid, or his eyes are dim, that he can- 
not read them. 

^efl, 2, Will ye come f All is ready ; coin e to this 
throoe, Matth. xxii. 4. If ye have never con^.e, be- 
gin juft now ; if ye have come often, come oftener, 
and come better, come nearer aud ciofer [till, is 
there any thiog wanting in you ? Come ; for all fup- 
ply is here. Are you guilty? Come for pardon. 
Many drawn pardons are at this court, drawn up fweet- 
ly by free grace, fealed with the blood of Jefus. Come 
to this throne, and add your feal of faith to one for 
yourfelf ; and it (hall be a charter for glory to you, 
lying warm at your heart, as long as you live, and 


Serm. III. thi' Throne of Grace, 59 

will be your paiTport at deaib. But becaufe the fol- 
lowing words of the apodle iu this verfe contain ar- 
guments for coming, I fay the lefs now. 

So much for the iirft head of do«5trine in the text. 

Head II. The fecond head is, How we JJjould 
come to this throne of grace f Come boldly^ faith the 
Holy Gholi, by Paul's pen. 

The point I would fpeak to from it, is this ; 

D o c T. That there is a boldnefs in mens approach' 
ing to the throne ofgrace^ that is aliowed and command' 

For the apodle doth not only mention it as a pri- 
vilege allowed, but as a duty or frame injoined and 
commanded. So that he that comes not with this bold- 
nefs, not only fits down (liort of his allowance, but ' 
fms in difobeying a plain command. The privilege is 
fpoke of in Eph. iii, 12. In whom (our Lord Jefus 
Chrif^, as ver. 11,) we have boldnefs and accefs with 
confidence^ by the faith of him. In Heb. x. 19, 22, 
both the privilege is all'erted, and the improvement of 
it commanded, in drawing near with full ajfurance of 
faith ^ and that to the holied of all. 

Oil this point I would fiiew, 

1. V/hat this boldnefs is that is allowed in ap' 
proaching to the throne of grace. 

2. What are the grounds of this boldnefs. 

I. What is the boldnefs allowed in coming to the 
throne of grace ; 

There is a boldnefs that is not allowed, and that 
i would warn you of. 

' I. There is a boldnefs of ignorance and irreverence. 
When men come into God's prefence, and neither 
know him, nor themfelves, nor the matters they think 
they are come about ; fach are/c^i?//, that confider not 
they do evU^ nor remember that he is in heaven, and 

H 2 they 

6o Sermons concerning Serm. III. 

thfy upon earthy Eccl. v. i, 5. God is greatly to be 
feared in the ajfembly of the faints ; and to be had in 
reverence of ail that are about hiniy Pfalm Ixxxlx. 7. 
This boldnefs is iorbidden, Plalm ii. 1 1. 

2. There is a boidneis cf perempiorinefs, that is 
Eot allowed to any n an, not to a believer himCelf. 
People may, and do ofrcn forget themfelves; as we 
tife to fay, ""loo much familiarity breeds contempt: Con- 
defcenfions from fuperiors, oft make inferiors forget 
their place. The Lord deals fo gracioufly with his 
people, hears their prayer^readily, itoops low to 
ihem in hiso love and piry,^at unlefs ihey watch, 
and keep a guard on their fpiriis, they may foon fall 
into the fin of being too faucy and peremptory with 

The firft prayer in the bible, made by the greatell 
believer in the world, Abraham, is upon a moft con- 
defcending appearance of God to hi;n. The Son of 
God in human (liape becomes Abraham's gueft at 
meat, Gen. xviii. Some think, that Chrift refpecls 
this appearance in John viii. ^^. Tour father Abraham 
rejoiced to fee my day ; and hefaw it, andwas giad. He 
givrs him the lad promife oif a fon, with a determina- 
lioD oi the precife time of its accompliihment, ver. 10. 
He deals with him as ti friend, (and fo Abraham is 
called, 2 Chron. xx. 7, Ifa. xli. 8. and James ii, 2g. ; 
but ail believers are CaWcd friends by Chrift, John xv. 
14, 15.); and after a great commendation of Abra- 
ham, the Lord tells him his purpofe of wrath againft 
Sodom, ver. 17,-22. The angels are fent to exe- 
cute the vengeance, and Abraham (lands before the 
Lord to plead for mercy. With what boldnefs and 
reverence doth he plead ? The more the Lord (loops 
in condefcendiiig to his petitions, the more low doth 
Abraham he before him* He neither forgot the 
Lord's majefty, nor his own mcannefs; and expreifeth 
again arid again, a holy fear of offending by his re- 
newed fuits, ver. 27, 30, 31, 32. I would have you 
confider this iaflance of prayer, bccaufe it is the fir ft 

Serm. IIL the Throne of Grace, 6l 

r^^corded in the word, and becaufe it was excellently 
managed by the father of the faitlifal. So Gideon 
ffrays in Judges vi. 39. And Gideon /aid unto God, Let 
not thine anger be hot againfl me, and I will /peak but 
this once, 1 am afraid tliat many fincere Chriltians 
are guilty of this peremptorinefs. The Lord hath 
been fo condefcending to them, that they become tod^ 
peremptory about fome particulars. Beware of it i 
and fee how the Lord hath dealt with his people, and 
the bed of them, Pfalin cxix. 6, 7, 8. See Mofes'5 
lot in this matter. He had often fought oF God, and 
prevailed, Pfalra cvi. 23. Therefore the Lord /aid, that 
he would deftroy them, had not Mofes his chofen flood 
before him in the^ breach ; to turn away his wrath, lefl 
he Jhoidd deflroy them: A man to v; horn God fpake 
face to face, a man to w^hom God fpake fo amazmg 
words. Let me alone, that my wrath may wax hoi a- 
gainfl them, Exod. xxxii. 10. ; and Numb. xiv. 20. 
/ have pardoned according to thy word. Yet even this 
Mofes in a fmall matter, for life, to crofs Jordan, 
and to fee the promifed land, hath this anfwer, Ijeut. 
iii» 26. Let it fuffice thee, /peak no more unto me of this 
matter, Samuel is checked alfo in a fmall matter, 
that had prevailed for far greater, 1 Sam. xvi. i. 
How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, feeing I have re- 
jected him f A cafe may be fuch, that though Mo/es 
and Samuel flood be/ore the Lord, they flyould not pre- 
vail, Jer. XV. I. It is the only privilege of Jefus 
Chrift, to be always heard, John xi. 42. Yet, he in 
his agony, prayed fo as to teach us to beware of this 
fmful boldnefs, Matth. xxvi. 39. -//" it be poJ/tb\e, lei 
this cup pafs from me : never thelefs. not as I will, but 
as thou wilt. Believers muft remember, that in all 
cafes they mud deal humbly, and in fome cafes they 
mud take denials patiently. 

3. There is the boldnefs of prefumpticn. Pre- 
fumption is like faith in appearance, but in reality it 
is very unlike it. Prefumption works this way : the 
prefumer may have the ir.ercj in his eye, but he hath 

62 Sermons concerning Serm. Ill, 

no promife in his eye. Take heed to this. If there 
be (trong defires after a mercy, and that mercy not 
pleaded for as in the promife, there is a fpice of pre- 
lumption in that pleading. The reafon why believers 
afk (o great things of God, is, becaufe God hath pro- 
iTiifed fo great things toihem, 2 Sam. vii. 27. Hence 
it is that prefumption ai^s ordinarily in pleading with 
God, not for the main fpirirual bleilings, but for fome 
outward mercy, that their hearts may be too much 
fet upon. It is about fuch that believers (hould 
watch againft this prefumptuous boldoefs. But if the 
pleadiug at the throne of grace be about falvation and 
fpirimal bleffing?, the difference betwixt faith and , 
prefumption appears in this: Prefumption cau never 
plead with God, neither in deep diftrefs, nor in the 
view of fm; bat it is the excellent property of faith, 
that it can plead with God in both cafes : Pfal. Ixv. 3. 
Iniquities prevail a^^ainj} tne : as for our tranfgrejjions^ 
thou fljalt purge them away : Spoken like a believer; 
and Pfal. cxxx. 3, 4. Jfthou^ Lordy fhouldjl mark ini- 
quities^ O Lordy who Jhail fland ? (But can David 
Itand ? Ye^, and he Ifands on this ground) ; hut there 
is forgivenejs with- thee^ that thou mayjl be feared. 
There is jufl caufe to fufpedl-, that there is prefumpti- 
on in that man's heart, when his boldnefs is only kept 
up, when fin is out of fight, and difappears. A be- 
liever believes mod humbly, and often mod ftrongly, 
when his finfulnefs and unwonhinefs is h?.\!t feen : for 
true boldnefs of faith is not fupporied by any good 
or worth in us, but by what is in Chrift. The bold- 
nefs of faith cannot be entertained with re^arditw cf 


iniquity in the hearty Pfal. Ixvi, 18, i John iii. 20 ; 
yet it can, with the being and feeing of iniquity in 
boih heart and life, Rom, vii. 24, 25. i Tim. i. 15. 
Bur of this farther from the next head, of the bold- 
nefs of faith, I nov/ touch it only as it diiters from 
the prefamptuo'js boldnefs that is allowed to none. 
Again, faith can ftand under that diftrefs that break? 
tUe uack of prefumption J Job xiii. 15, 16. Ikough 


Serm. III. the Throne of Grace. 6^ 

he Jlay me^ yet ivill J trujlin him; but I will maintain 
mine ozvn ways before him. He alfo jhall be my fahation : 
for an hypocrite fiall net come before him. " He harh 
" taken away my children all at once, my eflate iu 
*' one day ; hath taken away my health, and made 
" me miferable, to a proverb in all ages : although 
•< he fliould proceed, and flay me with his own band, 
** my flayer is ray Saviour, my death (hall be my fal- 
*' vation.^' Great words, and hard to be fpoken in 
the day of heavy trial ! God flaying Job's falvation. 
God flays, Job trufls, and maintains his confidence 
under the ftroke. No hypocrite can do this ; and ma* 
ny believers do but bungle at the doing of it. There 
is an extremity a-coming on every man, that will try 
and difcover what metde there is in his faith ; pre^ 
pare for it. 

What then is the boldnefs allowed in coming to 
the throne of grace ? It muft not be an ignorant, 
peremptory, or prefumptuous boldnefs. What mull 
it then be ? 

Anf It is only the boldnefs of fait hy Eph. iii. I2* 
Heb. X. 19, The boldnefs of faith hath this in gene- 
ral in it, that it is grounded and bottomed on fome- 
what without a man, and on nothing in him. It is 
grounded on Jefus Chriff, as we fnall hear farther. 
It is a great miftake in Chriflians to think, that they 
cannot come to the throne of grace with boldnefs, be- 
caufeofihe many infirmities in their hearts, and in their 
addreiTes. Your complaint may be jud and true; but 
the inference is not good. Do you never, in your 
counting your infirmities, put in this great one amoogft 
them in your confefTions, the want of boldnefs of 
faith r for this boldnefs flands not in any thing in us, 
and done by us. We mud not come boldly, becaufe 
we can pray well, and plead hard ; we rauft cot think 
to be heard in heaven, neither becaufe of our much 
fpeaking, nor well fpeaking, Marth. vi. 7. as the 
Pharifees did. The boldnefs of faith hath a high* 

6^ Sermons concerning Serm. III. 

er, and more noble and firm foundation, even Jefus 

I flrail conclude this difcourfe with thefe three a£ls 
of this allowed and commanded boldnefs of faith. 

1. Believe firmly, that the throne of grace is e- 
re^ced for poor, empty, finful creatures, ju(t fuch as 
you be. As Paul faith of the law, i Tim. i, 9. // is 
7wt made for a righteous inan^ hut for the lawlefs and 
d'lfobedient ; fo may we fay of the throne of grace, It 
is not made, framed, and revealed for the holy and 
happy, but for miferable creatures that -want mercy, 
:ind finful helplefs creatures that want grace. By 
what is difpenfed here, we may know for whom, and 
for what fort of folks, it was defignedand erefled. 

2. Believe firmly, that coming to the throne of 
grace by you, is allowed and commanded by the 
Lord. Say confidently, While 1 am coming to the 
throne of grace for mercy and grace, I am in the work 
that the Lord would have me to be in. Take in all 
difcoveries you have m.ade unto you, or that you caa 
find out by fearching, of the weaknefs and infirmities 
that are in your way of addrefling to it ; own them 
humbly \ but maintain this ftedfaflly, that though 
you cannot do as you would, as others do, nor as yoa 
are bid, that yet you are doing what ye are bid. They 
are called, Luke xiv. 2 i. who are the poor, and the 
maimedy and the halt^ and the blind ! See a promife 
looking that way, Jer. xxxi. 8, 9, Now, may not the 
halt and maimed be confident, that they are coming, 
when called, although they cannot go io faft and 
flraight as others do ? Every believer walks in the 
fleps of the faith of Abraham, ^Aom/iw* 12, though not 
his pace. When you draw near to the throne of grace, 
aflure your hearts you are in your duty, though ma- 
ny do it better than you do, 

3. Believe firmly, that upon coming you ftiall fpeed. 
This is coming with the boldnefs of faiih. We fhould 
not come with a May be the Lord ivill be gracious. It 
is uue, thai in fome particulars, cot ablolutely pro- 
mi fed* 

Serm. III. the Throne of Grace. 6$ 

ipifed, nor fimply needful to falvation, this ?nay he is 
all we can have, or (liould feek. But in addrefling 
for favin^ mercy and grace, people (liould come ex- 
pe6l:iDg fuccefs. It had been a cold word, if it had 
been fai J, Let us come to the throne of grace y it may bs 
we fhall obtain mercy and find grace. No ; the apoftle 
fpeaks in another dialedl, Lst us come that we may ob- 
tain. Never doubt of obtaining, if von conie, 1 fay 
not; that the confidence of good entertainment at this 
throne is common to all comers to it ; but only that it 
is the duty of all that come for God's mercy and grace 
in Jefus Chriil, to perfuade their hearts that they 
(liail obtain and find it. Aad good grounds there aie 
for it, as we Ihai! hear. 

Hov/ is it with you Chriftians P You often come to 
this throne : What are th»^ 'houghts of your hearts 
as to the liTue of your addr^fTc-s? Ir may be you think 
it is well if you can reach fo far as this, " It may be 
*' the Lord will receive and welcome me, and ihere- 
" fore 1 will try " Though there is ofien faith lurk- 
ing under fuch doublings, and though a may be ihouid 
ftir up men to come ; yet this is far from the boldnefs 
of faith, which glorifies this throne, and him that 
fitteih on is and which is fo becoming and profitable 
to. all that approach it. See how an old teftament 
faint fpeaks, Job xxiii. 3. — 6. that I knew zvhere 
I might find him! that I might come even to his feat ! 
(that is, this throne). / would order my caufe before 
him, and fill my mouth with argurnents. But cannoc 
God eafily flop this man's mouth, and bring argu- 
ments againft Job, that he could not anfwer? Yes, 
furely he can ; but he will not ; Will he plead againji 
me zulth Fn great power f No, but he will put flrength 
in me. He that 1 plead with, will help me to plead, 
and prevail. Few Chriftians know how much glory 
is given to God by an enlarged heart, filled wiih be- 
lieving expedlations of good from him ; and how a 
heart thus enlarged by faith, is fitted and difpofed 
for receiving a large blefTing. We eafily concw-ive 

Vol. I. 1 how 

6^ Sermons concerning Serm. III. 

how fiiarp hunger and third, (trong defires, deep 
fenfe of need, and mighty pleadings and importunity, 
do prepare the way for great receivings; but we little 
think, how much force is in the bare-like argument 
of faith; Pfal. xvi. i. Preferveme^ O God: for in thee 
do 1 put my truft. Pfal. xxxiii. 22. Let thy mercy ^ O 
Lordy be upon uSy according as we hope in thee, Pfal, 
Ivii. Ip Be merciful unto me^ Gody be tnerciful unto 
me ; for my foul trufleth in thee. There is a mighty 
force in fuch pleadings of faith. " I know no help 
*' but in and with thee ; I expe<5i: it from thee, and 
*' therefore beg it off thee." Faiih in a believer ne- 
ver rofe fo high, but the Lord's gracious anfwer went 
higher, Eph. iii. 20. Look well to your faith, be- 
lievers ; raife it high, ufe it well, and plead by it, 
and plead upon it. Blefled Jefus will never caft that 
foul into hell, that cannot forbear to entertain in his 
heart an expe£^ation of eternal life from him, in the 
virtue of his precious blood, and on the warrant of 
his gracious promife. He that belteveth on him^ fhall 
never be confounded. Never was any j neiiher Ihali 
you, if you believe. It was a great word of faith, 
fpoke by a dying man, who had been converted in 
a fingular way, betwixt his condemnation and execu- 
tion, of whom Mr. Fleming; fpeaks in the Fulfilling of 
the fcriptures : his laft words were thefe, fpoke with 
a mighty (hout, " Never man perilhed with his face 
" towards fweet Chrift Jefus.^' 


Serm. IV. the Throne cf Grace, 67 


Heb. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help tn 
time of need, 

IT Is one of the names given to the godly in the 
word, that they are the generation of them that 
feek the Lordy that fed his face, Pfal. xxiv. 6. And 
they muft be bold and arrogant pretenders to this 
name, that are guilty of the utter negle^ of this duty. 
Since it is a duty of fo great importance, it is need- 
ful to know how to manage it aright. This verfc 
gives us a great directory, how to perform in a right 
manner this great duty. 1. It telis us whither to 
come : To a throne of grace. 2 How we ihould come s 
With boldnefs. AddreiTes to God may many ways raif- 
carry ; if not made to the. true God, God in Chrift; 
if not in-the right manner. We have here one thing 
about the right manner, C€mi7ig with boldnefs. 
On this I propofed two things to be handled. 

1. What is the nature of this allowed boldnefs? 

2. What grounds are for it ? 

L Oa the nature of this boldnefs, I began to fpeak 
lad day; and did mainly infift on the negative. 

Now it follows to fpeak of the pofitive. It is the 
boldnefs of faith that is allowed and commanded here, , 
Eph. iii. 12. Faith is a marvellous grace, both in its 
original, in its foundation, and in itsa£tings and exer- 
cife. it is the meaneft and loweit of all graces. Every 
grace brings fomewhat confiderable. Love brings a 
flaming be'art, repentance brings a bleeding heart, 
obedience brings a working hand, patience brings a 
broad back for the (miter ; but faich brings only aa 

1 2 empty 

68 Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

cnopty heart and hand, to be filled with borrowed 
and gifted bleffing^ And yet raitn is the higbeft and 
loftieft grace ; it cannot reit till it be in at the heart 
and love of God in Chrift. Fairh {i{- i may (o fpeak) 
can both be in heaven and hell at the fame time. The 
believer looking on himfelf as io iiimfelf, (the apof- 
tle's dillinclion, 2 Cor. iii. 5. ourjelves^ as of ourfelves)^ 
judgeth himfelf to the pit of hell, as his deferved lot; 
but Vv'hen he looks oa bimfelf as in (.Uirid, he firs high, 
Eph. ii. 5, 6. an J makes bold to enter into the holiejl 
of ally Heb. x, 19 How many contrary feniiments 
of himfelf doth a believer exprets ! only falved from 
being conrradidionr, by this di{lin<^'on, That the 
word reveals and laith improves. I know that^n me 
dzv ells no good things Rom= vii. 18, Howl no good 
thing in a man full of trie Holy Gliofi ! a man rich in 
the grace of Chrid 1 a man that had laboured more a- 
bundantly than all the twelve afo files ! i Cor. xv, 10, 
lea^ faith he, invAe^ that is ^ in my fie fly y dwells no 
good thing. A believer a? in himfelf, and a believer 
as iti Chriif, are in a manner two different, diftiofi-, 
contrary perfons, A believer as in Chrill, is a new 
creature; as in himfelf, and the remainders of corrup- 
tion in him, is an old man ftill, or rather, hath mnch 
of the old man in him. A Chriftian hat n two differ- 
ent cppofite Fs in him ; as the apoftle elegantly and 
deeply difcourfeth, Rom. vii. 19. — 25. This genius 
of faith is much to be heeded in its bold addreffes to 
the throne of grace. 

This boldnefs of faith in this court of grace acls 
in four. 

I, In a free accef- at all times, and in all cafes. It 
is a privilege allowed by the Lord to his people, and 
embraced and improved by their faith. There is no 
forbidden time, in which we m?.y not come. No 
fuch command as in that King's court, Eliher iv. 11. 
Here it i<; proclaimed, PfaL Ixii. 8. Ttuft in him at 
all tunes, Phil, i v. 6. Be careful fornothing: but in 
every things by prayer and fn^'plication^ ivith thankf- 


Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace, 69 

gtvingy tet your requejls be made known unto God, There 
cannot be a more large and comprehenfive account of 
the matter of allowed addreffes to the throne of grace, 
than this. The apoitle prefcribes prayer as a cure 
of perplexing care. He hints that every thing that 
is, or may be the matter of care, may lawfully be 
made the matter of holy prayer. Turn your care 
into prayer; and the care will evaporate and vanilh, 
and your cure will be felt. BlelTed be the Lord, that 
hath made this good in the experience of many, who 
have gone before him with hearts filled and opprefTed 
with many cares, and have returned light and free, 
and their countenance no more fad; as Hannah, i Sara, 
i. 18. 

2. The boldnefs of faith a^ls in free fpeaking of 
all the mind to God. This the Greek word in the 
text particularly points at. Let us come with bold- 
nefs, free fpeaking of all our mind ; pouring out the 
heart to him, Pfalm l^ii. 8. I poured cut my complaint 
before him : I flawed before him my trouble^ Pfal. cxlii. 
2. The tongue is not to be tried at this throne ; but 
all that is on the heart, is to be told to him. He 
knows it before we tell it, and better than we do ; 
but it is his will, that we fliould make all pur minds 
known to him. A believer, the better cafe his faith 
is in, he is the more open and free in dealing with 

It is recorded of a man, that we (hould hardly have 
counted a believer, had not the Holy Ghoft numbered 
him amongft them, in Heb. xi. 32. that he uttered ail 
his words (or matters) bejore the Lord in Mizpeh^ Judg. 
ji\. II. So Samuel did, i Sam. viii. 21. Jnd Samuel 
heard all the words of the people^ and he rehearfed them 
in the ears of the Lord, It is a great favour that the 
Lord allows us fo to do. This is not after the man- 
ner of men. It would be counted a troublefome im- 
pertinence, to vent all our thoughts, and cafes, and 
concerns, to a creature j but we may do fo to the 


7d Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

Lord. When David refrained his fpeech, and kept 
fiience, it went badly with him, Pfal. xxxii. 3. 

g. This boldnefs of faith adls, and fliould a<fl:, in 
familiarity with God. Believers fhould come to the 
throne of grace, not as jlrangers and foreigners^ hut 
as felloto-citizens with the faint s^ and of the houf hold 
ofGody Eph. ii. 19. Oar Lord, in his dire<fting us to 
pray, bids ns begin with, Our Father^ %vhich art in 
heaven. The Spirit of adoption helps to cry, Ahha^ 
Father y Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6. When faith fpeaks 
rightly this v;ord, and fixeth on it, all other defires 
will fweetly follow. Abba and Amen^ uttered in faith, 
are the might of prayer. Strangers know not what 
iamillariiy the Lord expreffeth to his people, nor how 
much familiarity he allows them to ufe with him. It 
was a great word of a great faint many years ago in 
this land, when dyiog in a bright, ihining of the Sim 
of Righteoufnefs on his foul, " Tell it to the people, 
*' preach it at my faneral, That God dealeth famili- 
*' arly with men.** 

4. This boldnefs of faith a£i:s In importunity at the 
throne of grace. This importunity is nothing but the 
Iliffnefs and tenacioufnefs of faith. Faith fometimes 
(and tnen it is bcft) will neither be beat back by de- 
lays from God, nor by inward challenges ; but when 
it hath got hold of God, it will keep its hold. Our 
Lord fpoke feveral parables to diredl and encourage 
to this importuniry : Luke xviii. 1, — 8. that of the 
unjufl judge and opprelled widow ; and Luke xi, 
5,--8. We mufl: uuderltand parables warily. No 
importunity did ever, or can ever prevail with God, 
to do that ior us, or give that to us, that he hath no 
mind to do or give. All he doth and gives, is in love. 
Yet he puts his people on importunity in asking, as 
if he were unwilling to give ; when indeed it is that 
they may be more fit to receive, and that he may give 
ihe more. Thus Chrid tiied the woman of Canaan, 
Matth. XV. 2 2j — 28. 


Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace. 7t 

So much for the firft thing, What is thfe boldoefs 
of faith allowed and commanded ia approaches to the 
throne of grace ? 

II. What grounds are there for this boldnefs ? 

There is need of great and folid ones to bear up 
this frame. And, bleifed be God, we have fuch. 

I. The gracious difcovery made to us of God ia 
Chrift. This is, as it were, the efTence of the throne 
of grace. The Father's name declared by th^ Son, 
John xvii, 25, 26. It is utterly impoiTible that there 
can be any lawful boldnefs in approaching unto God^ 
unlefs we know this name, and take up this difcovery 
of God. Many profeflbrs bufy their minds and heads 
with general notions and names of God ; as that he 
is gracious^ merciful^ long-fuffermg^ abundarit in good* 
nefs and truths forgiving iniquity. Ail good names of 
God. But is he not jujl^ and a hater of iniquity ; holy^ 
and of purer eyes than that he can behold it f But the 
main inquiry is little thought on. Where (hall we find 
the benefit of all the comfortable names of God, and 
cfcape the harm of his awful names ? It is all in this 
bleifed name, the God and Father of our Lord Jefus 
Chri/l^ Eph. iii. 14, If you approach to God out 
of Chrift, you run into a confuming fire. Here is 
the ground of the believer's boldnefs : The God he 
feeks, and before whom he comes, is revealed to us 
as Chrift's Father, and ours in him : John xx. (7. Go 
to my brethren^ and fay unto theniy I afcend unto my 
Father and your Father^ and to my God and your Godi 
BlelTed be the words, and the fpeaker of them ; and 
happy is the believer of them. Faith cannot ftand 
ftrong without the remembrance of them. They are 
my brethren^ for all their fainting, and forfaking of 
me : I count and call them fuch, though I be entered 
in part into my glory. Tell them whither I am go- 
teg, and where they are henceforth to feek me ; and 
how to call on and worihip the Father^ as mine and 
theirs^ and theirs becaufe mhis, 

2. Ano- 

72 Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

2. Another ground of boldnefs, is the mediation 
of Jefus Chrift. But this being the third thing in the 
text, I leave it to its proper place. 

3. The interceiTion of the Holy Ghofl: in his peo- 
ple, is a great ground of boldnefs. They have not 
only Chrift making interceffion for them at the right 
hand of God ; but they have the Spirit hi mf elf making 
intercejjion in the?n, and for them^ Rom. viii. 26, 27. 
A fpecial fcripture ; that I would remark five things 
from, relating to this purpofe. i . Who is the affif- 
ter of believers in prayer ? The Spirit itfelf ; as alfo 
he is called as to his witneffing, ver. 16. And the 
word points at the immediatenefs of his alliftance, 

2. What this aiTiftance is applied to .'' Our mfinmties ; 
infirmities in ourfelves, and in our prayers ; as the 
apoftle declares, We know not what we fhould fray for 
as we ought. The communion of the Holy Ghofl is 
only with believers, for he dwells in them only ; and 
his communion with them is only with his own new 
creation in them ; and becaufe this, as in them, la- 
bours with infirmities, his care is about them alfo. 

3. The way of his helping, is in the original hinted : 
He helpeth with us^ or over-againfl us^ as a powerful 
afiTiftant to the weak, in bearing a heavy burden ; as 
Col. i. 29. W hereunto I labour y Jlriving according to 
his working, which workcth in 7ne mightily, it is in 
vain to expe£l- the Spirit's alTiflance in work we ne- 
gleft, or againfl: infirmities we indulge and comply 
with. 4. What this alliitaoce is ? Making iyitercejfion 
for uSy ver. 26, 27. and that according to the will of 
God, How can a believer but prevail, who hath the 
blood of the High Priefl fpeaking in heaven, Heb. 
xii. 24. and the Spirit of Chrift crying in his heart 
on earth, Gal. iv. 6. ? The voice of the Spirit is the 
beft thing in our prayer ; it is that God hears and re- 
gards. 5. But, laflly. How doth this afiiihnce and 
interceffion work in us ? With groanings which cannot 
be uttered. What ! only with groanings f We would 
think il ihould be, \t^i he affifts with piercing cries 


Serm. IV, the Thrcne of Grace, 7j 

that might reach heaven, with (trong arguments that 
cannot but prevail, with mighty force and power that 
cannot be refilted. Is all this great preamble of 
the Spirit it/elf helping our infirmities^ and making in- 
tercejfionfcr us according to the will of Qod ; is all this 
come to a poor unutterable groaning ? How ftrange 
feems this to be ! Yet how fweet is it ! Some groan- 
ings are fo fmall, that they cannot be uttered ; for 
the believer hardly feels them : feme groans are fo 
great, that they cannot be exprelTcd ; as Job xxiii. 2, 
Even to-day is my complaint b titer : my jlroke is heavier 
than my groaning* Sometimes the Spirit of grace and 
fupplications is a Spirit of liberty and enlargement unio 
Chriftians in prayer ; fo as they can^ by his help pour 
out all their hearts to God, and plead ftrongly : fome- 
limes he is a Spirix of groaning, working only fenfe 
of want, and breathings after (upply. There is more 
of the Spirit in a fenfible groan, than in many formal 
words of prayer, i he 6iMrit is c^Wtd the Spirit of 
faith ^ 2 Cor. iv. 13.; and the Spirit of grace and f up- 
plication^ Zech. xii. 10. Joiu both thole names toge- 
ther : he is the Spirit of faith in prayer^ or the Spirit 
of prayer in faith ^ Rom. viii. 15. The Spirit of grace 
belongs to the throne of grace ; and his affiflance doth 
give boldnefs to believers. The more you feel of his 
help, pray the more boldly. 

4. The covenant of grace gives boldnefs to belie- 
vers in their coming to the throne of grace. The co- 
venant of grace, as well as the Spirit of grace, be- 
longs to the throne of grace. Dying David had that 
fight of this covenant, that gave confolation to hiin 
under fad reflexions : 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Although my 
houfe Ipe not fo with God ; yet he hath made with me 
an everlafting covenant ^ ordered in all things^ and jure : 
for this is all my faivation^ and all w.y dejire^ although 
he make it not to grow. Let us confider fome proper- 
ties of the promifes of this covenant, (for the covenant 
of grace is a covenant ofpromife, Horn, ix, .4. Eph. ii. 

Vol. I. K 12.). 

74 &er?rions concerning Serm, IV» 

1 2 .), ihr.t do give juft ground for the boldaefs of fai.h 
in coming to the throne of grace. 

ly?, The eiiceediDg greatiiefs of the promifes. They 
are exceeding great and precious projiiifes tkat are given 
to us, 2 Peter i. 4. When a believer looks within, 
he feeth great and manifold wants and ncceiTuies ; 
ihat he h?.th nothing, and wanis every thing. Some 
have though r, that they wanted more grace than ever 
any fmn'^r did ; yet never any wanted more than is in 
the promifes. There is furely more grace in the pro- 
niifes, than there is want in the creau>re. Creatnre- 
wants cannot exhauti God's fulnefs of grace; and all 
this fulnefs is in the promifes. There is more of grace 
in the proraifc, tlnn there can be of fm and mifery in 
ihe man that pleads ir. Take heed how you compare 
your necefTiiies with the fulnefs of the promifes. No- 
thing you can seed, but a fupply is promifed. Study 
your hearts and God's covenant, and you will quickly 
find it to be fo. We may afk any thing ; for God 
hath promiied every thing, Pfalm IxKxiv. i i. 

2dJy, The freenefs of the promifes gives boldnefs 
at the throne of grace. That they are promifes of a 
covenant of grace, proves they uuill: be free. A free 
promife is a bond given merely from the heart and 
proper, motion of the proniifer, without any motion 
or motive from the party to whom it is made, except 
it be thaj; of his mifery, that grace works on. If the 
promifes were not purely free to us, there could be 
no boldnefs in pleading of them. See how the Shu- 
namite pleads with the prophet Elifha, 2 Kings iv. 28. 
Did I dijire a fan of my lord f did I not Jay ^ Do not 
deceive me f As if (he had faid, " it was not at my de- 
" fjre, but of thine own motion, thou didfi promife 
" me a fon ; and 1 did not fully believe ir at firlf : but 
*' nov/ the fon promifed, is dead.'' So may the belie- 
ver plead : " Lord, i did not all of thee 7 promife 
'* of grace and glory. I was finfully contented in, and 
" with my natural loll: eflaie ; and thou didfl call me, 
"iind quicken r.)e with thy proirife : wiJt thou not 

" make 

Serm. IV, the Throne cf Grace, 75 

^' make out rhy proraife ?" The frecDcfs of the pro- 
mife is the firmen: foundation of boldnefs in pleading 
its perFormance. No other promifes, but free ones, 
are in the covenant of grace ; and no other pleading 
of them but as free, is allowed to them that come to 
the throne of grace. If thou be for merit and worth 
in thyfelf, go elfewhere; there is no place for (uch 
proud rich folks at this court. 

3<i/y, The furenefs of the promifes of the covenant 
of grace, is another ground of boldnefs at the throne 
of grace. They are the Jure mercies of Dav'td^ Ifaiah 
Iv. 3. Sure, bccaufe of grace : Rom. iv. 16. There- 
fore it (the promife, or the inheritance promifed) k 
of faiths that it iiiigbt he by grace ; to the end the fro- 
mife might be fur e to all the feed, A pronjife is made 
for faich; (would ever God or man promife, but to 
be beh'eved rj ; faith is given for, and a£ls on the pro- 
mife ; (believirg without a promife, is dreaming). A 
promife made by the God of all grace ^ i Perer. v. 10. 
to fmners void of all grace, to give all grace to them, 
muft be a promife of grace : the believer oF this pro- 
mife mufi:, and can have nothing in his eye, but the 
grace of the promHer. Now, faith Paul, it is this 
grace of the promife and promifer, that makes the 
bleiliag promii'ed/Mri? to all the feed. Again, the pro- 
mifes of God are fure, bccaufe rhey are his, Heb. vi* 
17, 18. ;. promifes Avjrn for putting an end to the 
flrifeof unbelief, Balaam was a bad man, and there- 
fore called a madpopbet^ 2 Peter ii. i5. ; yet, by the 
over-ruling Spirit of God upon him, fpoke truly and 
highly. Numb, xxiii. 19. God is not a man^ that he 
fhould lye ; neither the fon of mnn^ tbcit he fjjould re- 
pent : hath hefaid, and pail he not do it f or hath he 
fpoken^ andfkall he not make it g^codf AH God's pro- 
mifes are fure, becaufe they are his promifes that can- 
not lye. And they are yet farther confirmed of God 
iu Chrifi^ Gal, iii. 17. So that the believer, in his 
pleading of God's promifes, may lay down this con- 
ciaQoo J r want indeed great and many bielTiags ; bac 

K 2 I want 

7^ Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

I want ncthiDg, I aik nothing, but what he hath pro- 
inifed who cannot lye, and whar is confirmed in Jefus 
Chrift, the AineUy the true and faithful witnefs. Be- 
lievers fail greatly in their negleft to quicken and 
ftrengthen their faith, by taking up the promifes in 
their full extent, fulnefs, freenef>, and certainty. It 
is always found, that faith is weak, when the promi- 
fes are mean in our eyes : but if the promife appear, 
and Ihine in its glory, as God's faithful word ; then 
faith is aloft, and a£ls itrongly. Hence it is, that all 
ftrong believing gives glory to the promifes, Rom. 
iv. 2 0. and weak faith reflects on him, Pfal. Ixxvii. 
8, 9. Hath God forgotten to be gracious f doth his pro- 
viife fail for evermore ? Alas 1 it was the good man's 
infirmity to fay and think fo, ver. 10. Biu from his 
arguing I oblerve, that where faith is feeble, a man 
thinks the promife fails ; (as a giddy man thinks the 
rock i^e (lands on, (hakes and reels, when all the 
ihakiug is in his head or legs) ; and when he thinks 
the promife fails, he thinks the promifer is changed 
from what he was when he made it. And it borders 
on blafphemy, to rob God, by our Hnbelief, of his 
glorious attribute of unchangeablenefs. If you have 
a mind to believe, keep if ill the promife in your eye ; 
if you would believe (trongly, view the promife nar- 
rowly and fteadily. The promife is both the father 
and mother of faith ; it both begets faith, and feeds 
it. Your fird believing is from the power of the pro- 
mife ; and the continued and growing life of faith, is 
by fucking and drawing nouriihment from the breads 
of the promife. 

5. Another ground of the boldnefs of believers in 
their approaches to the throne of grace, is, their pri- 
vileges that they are pofre(red of. So the apollle ar-^ 
gues, Heb. x. 19, 20, 21. to drawing near with full 
ojfurance of faith ^ verfe 22. Some of thefe 1 (hall 
came, with this caution, That though all believers 
have them, yet all do not know they have them ; and 
therefore all do not ufe them as they ought, and would 


Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace, 77 

if they knew them to be theirs. But all (houUl there- 
fore labour to know them, that they may ufe them to 
the glory of the giver, and to the comfort and edifi- 
cation of the receivers. 

ly?, The firO: of thefe privileges, is ele^lion. And 
juftly it is called the firft : for nothing can be before 
It ; for itfelf is before time ; and all that they after- 
wards receive, flows from it. Ele<^ion is that eternal 
and adorable aft of free grace, wherein God the Fa- 
ther palled over his love to a fele^l company of man- 
kind, that were to come into the world ; appointing 
them to falvation ; appointing a Saviour for them, 
and all means fit to accompliih his defign of love on 
them, to thepraife of his grace, Eph. i. 4, 5, 6. This 
bleffing is revealed in believing. When God gives 
faith, he makes known his electing love ; and when 
we a£l faith, we may fee it. Faith is the faith of 
Cod^s eledy Tit. i. 1. This, when feen, is a great 
ground of boldnefs at the throne of grace : Luke 
xvfii. 7. Shall not God avenge his own ele6l^ that cry 
unto him day and nightf This our Lord prays upon in 
John xvii. 9, 10. I pray for them : I pray not for the 
world ; but for them which thou hafl given me^ for they 
are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine^ 
and I am glorified in them. As if our Lord had f\id, 
*' I am fure to be heard ; for I pray for them that 
** are partakers of thine everlafting loVe, They are 
" thine by ele£lion, and given to me ; they are mine, 
*' by receiving and redeeming of them." We are 
bid give diligence to make our calling and election fure^ 
2 Pet. i. 10. They are fure in themfelves, and fure 
to God ; but we (liould make them fure to ourfelves : 
and many Chriftians fmart fadly by neglefling this 

idly, The gift of Chrift for us, is a great privilege 
that gives boldnefs at the throne of grace. So the 
apoftle argues, Rom. viii. 32. He that f pared not his 
own Son^ but delivered him up for us all, (you may fee 
who this all are, ver. 28, ap, 30.) how fJ^all he not 


73 Sermons concerning Serm, IV. 

*wHh hbn alfo freely give us all things f As if he had 
laid, " Ic is a frriall thing to God to give us all other 
** thing:?, when he hath given his Son. We receive 
** now luauy bleflings, blclT-d be the giver ; we have 
** greater thinos in thv! promire than we yet receive, or 
*' can yet receive; but Qiall furely receive in his time : 
♦' yet all we get, and liiall to eternity receive, is far lefs 
** than the gift of C'hrift." Ivis like ourLordhad refpcifl: 
to this io that word to the woman of Samaria, John iv. 
1 o. If thou knewefl the gift of God, and who it is that 
faith to thee^ Give fue to drink ; thou wouldfl have asked 
of hiiV", and he ivould have given thee living water, IF 
(he had known Chrift as the well of falvaiion to Tinners, 
(he would have employed him, and (iiould have been 
accepted of him. But here many Chriftians ftick : 
they doubt not but Chrilt was given for his church 
and people, bur they know not how to apply this to 
themfelves. If I knew, fay many, that Chrift was 
given for me, 1 would then come boldly to the throne 
of grace, and afk any thing confidently. I anfwer. 
None can know that Chrifl was given for them, till 
ihey come unto him : and all' that come to him, may 
know that he was gjven for them, and fliould believe 
it. He was given byjhc will of the Father, and his 
own, for his elei^. Tiiis is a fecret hid with God. 
lie comes to m-n in the gofpel, oireriag hiTifclf, and 
all his purchaie and fulnefs, to all that hear it. He 
that hath his heart drawn forth to like this bargain, 
and accepts by faith of the Saviour, anJ of his great 
falvation, liath pcilMlion thereof immediately j and by 
that may come to know, that it was defigned for 
him in God's pnrpofe of love. So Paul, Gal i. 14, 
15, t6. he was one of the hollefi and mod religious 
Jews in their church ; and yet was at the ia ne time 
one of the mod wicked young men in ail ihe country ; 
a very h) pocrite, a proud felf-jufiiciary, and a bloody 
perfecutor of Chrilt and his church. Yet of this 
wicked creature it is here faid, that God ladfeparat- 
ed fjim pom his mother'^ s ivcmb ; and <^.cls ix. 15. He 


Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace, 7^ 

is a chofen vejjel unto me ; I will pour oiu of my grace 
upon him, and will do much for him, and by hirn. 
When did all this break out ? IV/jen be called me by 
bis grace f and revealed bis Son i?i me. Then he caa 
fay. Gal. ii. 20. He loved me^ and gave bimfdf for me ; 
and again, i Tim. i. 15. This is a jaithful faying^ 
and zvcrthy of all acceptation^ that Chnfl Jefus came 
into the world to fave f inner s. All fay fo ; but had he 
any mind of thee P and had thou \my (liai'c in bis corn- 
ing to fave fmners P Ycf, faith he, of whom I am the 
chief lie came to fave n.e the chief r.f (inner?.' 
Any fmner may come after me, and expe£l mercy at 
Chrifl's hand, when Panl hath fpcd ^o well, ver. t«5. 
He hath made me a pattern of his mercy, for the en- 
couragement of all finners that have a miud for a gooti 
turn from Jefus C^hriil. 

3^/y, The privilege of ailaal recGnciliaiion, and 
of being brought into a (late of grace, is a ground 
of boldnefs in coming to the throne of grace, Rom. 
V. 9, 10. ; where the apoflle having (iiewn God's love 
in giving Chrift to the death for us, ver. 8. he adds 
the bleilings that flow from this gift ; jujltfication by 
his bloody and therefore much more falvation from wrath 
through bim^ ver. 9. ; and reconciliation to God by his 
deaths and therefore much more falvation by his life^ 
ver. 10. The improvement he m^k^s thereof, is io 
ver, 1 1. And not only foy but zve alfojoy in God, (the 
original is, we glory or boafl in God^) tbroiigh our 
Lord Jefus Chriji, by whom we have now received the 
atonement- A dare of grace, is a (late of boldnefs. 
Al! that are in it (liouid, and all that know they are 
in it will ufe boldnefs of faith at this throne of grace, 
Horn. V. I, — 6. 

6. The experiences of believers are a great ground 
ol boldnefs. Experience works hcte^ Horn. v. 4. The 
experience of others, as well as our own, is of great 
ufe herein. Sometimes vie find David improving 
the experience of others for the ftrengthening bis 
own faith J fometimes he offers his own experience 


2o Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

for the comfort or others, Pfal. Ixvi. \ 6. Come and 
hear^ all ye that fear God, and 1 will declare what he 
hath do7ie for my foul. Becaufe David was in diftreis 
of confcience, and got peace and pardon, Pfal. xxxii. 
I. 6. For this fiall every one that is godly pray unto 
thee, in a time when thou mayefl he found. Pfal. cxi^, 
74, They that fear thee^ will be glad when they fee 
me ; becaufe I have hoped in thy word. There is no 
Chrifliaa that hath not experience. As he hath a 
foul that needs much to be done for it, fo the Lord 
doth much for all he faves.- And becaufe the Lord 
dealeth varioully v/ith his people, therefore there is 
much difference in their experiences. Yet becaufe 
all believers are members of the fame bod 7, and re- 
ceive all from the fame head, Jefus Chrift, there is 
fome fl^ill and capacity in every Chriftian to under- 
fland, and to be profited by the experience of any 
Chriftian. Hence it is, that communicating of expe- 
riences is a Chriftian duty, and a good part of the " 
communion of faints. But there is much Chriftiaa 
prudence requifite in the difcharge of it. Let no man 
boaft of a falfe gift, and pretend to that he hath no 
fenfe of; nor talk vainly and proudly of what God 
hath done for him. All true experiences are a£^sof 
grace from God felt on the foul. And grace is hum- 
bling ; I Cor. iv, 7. For who maketh thee to dijter 
from another f and what haft then that thou didfl not 
receive ? Now, if thou did/} receive it, why dojl thou 
glory, as if thou hadfl not received it f Three quef- 
tioDS confounding the pride of men and Chriftians. 

Of thefe experiences that fhould give boldnefs in 
coming to the throne of grace, 1 (hail name three. 

I/?, The experience of the firfl vifit of grace, is a 
good ground of confidence in afking any bleffing of 
God. Can you remember when you were dead ia 
fin, and had no thought of grace, nor of thy need 
and want of it, but wad well content with thy loft 
ftate ; and that, in this ftate, grace came from this 
throne, and did bcfet thy heart, and overcome it ? 



Serm.IV. the Throne of Grace, 8 1 

May you not argue, If the Lord fought me out, and 
found me in my departing from him, and flopped me, 
and turned rny heart towards himfelf; may not 1 
come DOW confidently, and aOc mercy and grace ? It 
is a matter of great ufe to believers, to keep up a fa- 
voury remembrance of the gracious change that pre- 
venting grace wrought upon them. Paul could never 
forget Chrid's firfl vifit to Kim, but fpeaks oF ir be- 
fore kings, and rulers, and people, A(St< xxii. 26. 
He remembers time and place, and every circura- 
ftance. I fay not that Ghrill's fird vif>t i- fo fenfibls 
to all, or (it may be) to any, as it V7a> to Paul. But 
ChriiPs work of grace may be known by itfelf. eVea » 
Vvhen fome circumftances of time, and place, and out- 
ward means, are not known. 

2 ^7y, The experience of the Spirit of prayer, and 
of anfwers of prayer, is a great ground of boldnefs 
of faith. Ijoia thefe two together, for the Lord 
ufually doth fo : Pfah cxvi. i, 2. / Icve the Lord^ 
becaufe be hath heard my •voice and my jupplications. 
Becauje he hath inclined his ear unto me^ I will call u^ 
pon him as long as I live. Have ye not known, that 
fomeiimes you have b'^en y^ troubled, that you could 
not /peak f as Pfal. Ixxvii. 4.; that )^our hearts have 
been fo bound up, and (traicned, that you could hj 
nothing, and do nothing, before the Lord ; but fit as 
dumb and opprelTed, all dark above, all dead within, 
and all doors (hut upon you ; you durft not neglect 
prayer, and you could not perform it? and have you 
cot quickly found the two-leaved gates caft open to 
you, your hearts enlarged, and your mouth wide o- 
pen in aJking ? The remembrances of fuch experi- 
ences ihould ftrengthen the confidence of your faith. 
Have you not known what the anfwer of prayer is ? 
that he hath prepared your hearty and hath caitfed his 
ear to hear f as Pfal x. 17. Come the more boldly at 
all other times. They are triilers in prayer, that 
know nothing of God by the name of he.irer of prayer ^ 
. Pfal. Ixv. 2, * They thatfow in tears Jhall reap in joy. 

Vol, I, L Who- 

§2 Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

Whoever hath gone forth weepings bearing (and fowing) 
his precious feed^ hath doubtlefs come again rejoicings 
bringing his Jh eaves with hiniy Pfal. cxxvi. 5, 6. j and 
fliocld therefore fow in hope. 

^dlyy The experience of communion and fellowfliip 
with God, is a great ground of boldnefs in coming 
to the throne of grace for more. Such as have moll of 
this blcfTiQg, defire mofl: earnedly more of ir, and may 
defire it the more confidently, i John i, i, 2, 3, 4. 
Surely we have this fellov/Qiip wirh the Father, i.nd 
with his Son Chrift Jefus ; and we would fain have 
you (hare with us therein, that your joy may be full. 
This communion with God is a myftery, undoubted 
to him that tafleth it, and furpafliag all the delights 
of fenfe or reafon; incredible and unintelligible to all 
that have it not. Aftranger intermeddles not with this 
joy, Prov» xiv. 10. It lies more deep, than that any 
eye of lle(h can fee it. It is of that nature, that only 
tailing can declare its tranfcendant fweetnefs : Pfal. 
xxxiv. &. O tajle and fee that the Lord is good. Saints 
feel much of it, they talk much oF ir, the word is full 
of fuitable and favoury exprellions of it ; yet all are 
riddles and dark parables to them that experience it 
not. You that know what it is, though you cannot 
exprefs it, yet you can relifli and underftand fome 
found words about it. Yet know w^hat it is to be 
brought near to him, and to have the clouds and vails, 
that are either on your hearts, or on his Face, fcatter- 
ed, and the light of his countenance lifted up upon you, 
Pfal. iv. 6, 7. You have been foraetimes fo in the 
mount, as to thick, O, how good it is to be here ! 
You have known what the warm and healing beams 
of the Sun of Highteoufnefs upon you arc, Mai. iv. 2. 
You have tafted tnat in his company, that hath made 
tlie puddle oF the world's wells oF comfort lothfome 
and unfavoury ; yea, as hath made you grone in this 
tabernacle, and long to be in at that compleat and 
uninterrupted communion abc^^e, whereof ail your 
tsafte on earthy is but a fmall earned and firft-fruits. 


Serm. IV. .the Throne of Grace, 8g 

And may not, fhould not fuch come boldly to the 
throne of grace ? 

Application. Is there an allowed boldnefs 
in coming to the throne of grace P Then let us ufe 
this boldnefs. Alas 1 many come doubtingly and dif- 
couragedly. Their unbelief is fo ftrong, and their 
faith fo weak, that they not only come without this 
boldnefs, but think that they ought not to come with 
it, but with a frame contrary to it, They think, 
that it is true humility, to come with a fear, that is 
inconfident wUh this boldnefs. It is indeed required, 
that men (liould come before the Lord with awful 
fear and reverence, and that they (hould judge them- 
felves unworthy and undeferving, both of the privi- 
lege of coming, and of the leait of the bleflings they 
come for. Yet the boldnefs of faith is not prejudiced 
thereby. I dull therefore anfwer fome of the com- 
mon pleas of unbelief, as to this privilege, and it? 

OhjeEl. I. Is from confcience of fin and guilt, 
grounded fpecially on thefe two fcriptures, Pfal. Ixvi, 
18. and I John iii- 20. This plea feems to be ftrong, 
and to juflify or excufe doubtings in Chriftians ; and 
doth ufually mar the due fenfe of this duty, of comJng 
boldly to the throne of grace. To remove it there- 
fore, confider, that fm affedls the heart and confcience 
two ways. i. It defiles the confcience. 2. It dif- 
turbs it. 

I. Sin defiles the confcience: Tit. i. 15. Unto the 
pure all things are pure : but unto them that are de- 
filed^ and unbelieving^ is nothing pure ; but even their 
mind and confcience is defied^ 

But we mud fee when and how the confcience is 
defiled by fin. Confcience is God's tribunal in every 
man. It is an active and awful power in men, judg- 
ing of themfeives, as to their ftate and anions, as 
they think God judgeth of them. So that there are 
two main caufes tried, and to be decided, at this court 

L 2 of 

84 Senjions CQJicerning Serm. IV. 

of confcience. i. Afu I at peace with God^ and he 
luitb me ? And this is only truly refolved, when con- 
fcience pronounceih as God declares in his word. 
And thar declaraiion is, That every man by nature, 
and as in the firit Adam, is an enemy to God, and 
God to him; and that every one that is in Jefus Chrfft 
by fairh, is a child and friend of God, and God is at 
peace with him. The anfwer then is different, if ac- 
cord log to truth. Sjme naay, but will not conclude 
their ^i^.it of eomify, by their not believing on Jefus 
Chrifl; fome may, bur dare dot conclude that they 
are ar peace with God, ihough they cannot deny their 
faith in Jefus Cbriii, 2. A fecond canfe is about 
particijlar actions : and the queftion then is, // thisj 
pr tbat^ or the other aclioJiy pleafmg or difpleafing to 
God? And this is to be determined by the light of 
coaici^nce, acting according to God's holy law. For 
Gojj V: the only Lord of confcience, and his will the 
crJy rule and law of confcieuce. Confcience therefore 
^niiy be three ways defiled. 

jy?, By the unpardoned guilt of a natural (tare, as 
it is in ali unbelievers. Nothing cm purge the con^ 
fiience^ but the blood of Chr'ift^ Heb. ix. 14. An un- 
believer doth not apply to it, nor apply it to hi.nfelf, 
aad God applies it to none but by faith. Therefore 
all fuch unbelievers have all the lothfo-ne filth of rheir 
natural flate lying on their confcience^, defiling it. 
^Ihe anfifjer of a good confcience toivard- God, 1?^ by the 
refurredion of Jefus. Chrift, i Pet. iii. 21. All unbe- 
lievers coafcjences can fpeak po^iin^ towards God^ 
by any thing ChriR hath done or fuffered ; for they 
ilcnow him nor, and are not la him. They would give 
?n anfwcr, or make their plen, from their good 
;/orks and honeft mean'ngs. But all fuch anfwers* 
' :r,A pleas are rejecled by Go^^ rn his Judging of a 
jona'i's flate. For all God's judgments of mens (late 
- ' ctd on thefe two, in Chrifl, or out of Chrift. 
^s it is with them with refpeft to one or other of 
. :.: - fWOj io do men ftand or fall before God's 


Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace, &5 

judgment, whatever the judgment of their confci' 
ences be. 

2dly^ Confcience is defiled by finfiil alliens known 
to be fiich. Now, if thefe be loved, and delighted 
in, they do juftly mar confidence ; neither can any 
man in this cafe draw near to God, but with the 
mouth, and hypocritically, Ifa. xxix. 13^, This is a 
frame not to be found in a believer. He may be guil- 
ty of known fin, but it is not delighted in. To this 
David's words refer, Pfal. Ixvi. 18. If I regard ini- 
quity in my hearty the Lord will not hear me. It is nor. 
If there be iniquity in my heart ; for who can fay ^ I have 
made my heart clean^ 1 am pure from my fin f Prov. xx. 
9. It is not, If I fee iniquity in my heart ; for where 
there is lead: fin. it is beif feen. Paul faw enou2fh, 
Rom. vii. 23, 24, 25. and groned under it ; and yet" 
blefifeth God through Jefus Chrift for the hope of vic- 
tory. But it is only. If I regard iniquity in my heart, 
(if I look kindly on it), God will not hear me. And in- 
deed the man in this cafe c-nnot pray. It is as im- 
pofilble thataperfon approving and loving fin, can 
make a real approach to God, as it is for a man to 
depart from, and approach to one, at the fame time, 
and with the fame motion. 

^dly. The confcience is defiled by doubtful prac- 
tice. Of this the apofi:le fpeaks, i Cor. viii. 7. And 
their confcience being weak^ is defiled. To this belong 
alfo the words in Bom. xiv. 5. Let every man be fully 
perfuaded in his own ??iind ; and ver. 22, 23. What^ 
foever is not of faith,, is fin. In deliberate actions, 
efpecially of worfiiip 10 God, to aft without a clear war- 
rant from the word of God, defileth the confcience. 

2. Sin difturbs the confcience. And confcience is 
'difturbed by fin, two ways, ly?. When the evil and 
filth of fin is feen, a man lothes himfelf therefore. 
No defilement on the confcience difturbs it, till it be 
feen. Men Hke fwine wallow in the puddle, and fee 
no filth therein, tillGod open the eyes of their con-* 
Iciei^ces, 2dl^^ When the danger of fia is feen, a&d 


S6 Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

the wrath it deferves is perceived, then perplexing 
fear?, and fenlible Ibrrow, works in the foul. Now, 
what is the courfe fuch a poor creature fhould take ? 
The ^in is committed, the guile is cor^traclied, the coa-. 
fcience is defiled, the defilement is feen, diflurbance 
and trouble is felt in the confcience ; what (liould fuch 
a lick foul do ? Wili any fay to him, Wafh thyfelf 
v/here thou canfl, and call away the burden of thy fm 
the bed way thou canll, and then come to the throne 
of grace ? This would be a ftrange gofpel indeed. 
We know no other courfe a man Ihould take in this 
cafe, but coming to the throne of grace, to have the 
confcience fprinkled with the blood of Chrid, the only 
cordial for a didnrhed confcience, and the only pur- 
ger of a defiled confcience* Therefore Peter was quite 
out in his prayer ; he prayed backward, when he faid. 
Depart from me^ for I am a finfui man^ Lord^ Luke 
V. 8. Were ever woife words uttered at the knees of 
Jefus ChriU ? He had faid bet er, if he had prayed, 
*^ Lord, come near to me, and abide with me, and 
*« let me ever abide with thee ; for I a:n a finful niuU. 
*' Where can a finfuI man be better, than wiih the 
*« Siviour of fuiners ?" But Perer'i prayer is the na- 
tural prayer of every man that feeth his finfulnefs, 
and is ignorant of )cfu3 ChriiL The publican under- 
liood prayer, and plied it better, Lukexviii. i^^. when 
he faid, God be merciful to me a /inner. " 1 feel ray 
«' finfulnefs, I fee my mercy. Lord, let them meet ; 
*< and thy mercy ihali be glorified, and 1 faved." 
Whoever therefore are didreiTcd with the guih of fin 
in their confcicnccs, or with the power of it in their 
hearts and lives, inud feek all their relief at this throne 
of grace. It is only the power of thai grace revealed 
and difpenfcd at this throne of grace, that is too hard 
ior fin, and all it? powers. And for any man to think 
to fubdue fin, except by the power of this grace ; or 
to think that he Ihall have this powerful grace, wlih- 
out coming for it to the throne of grace, is to dream 
%o his own defiruj^lion, 


Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace. 87 

Object. 2. I am in ihe dark about my interefl ia 
God and Chrift, and therefore 1 cannot come boldly 
to this throne. If 1 did knov/ that God was at peace 
with me, and I reconciled to him, and juftified, then 
1 might come boldly. 

Anf, I. Whofe fault is ir, that thy interefl in Chrifl 
is not put out of quedioD? Were Chriftians more in 
felf-examination,more clofe in walking with God ; and 
if they had more near communion wiih God, and were 
more in a£ling of faith, this (hameful darknefs and 
doubting would quickly vanidi. It is a thing to be . 
heavily bewailed, that many Chriflians have lived ' 
twenty or forty years, fmce Chriit called them by his 
grace, yet doubting is their life ; they doubted when 1 
they began, they go on doubting, and many die doubt- ' 
ing, when the blame isjuftly to be laid on thernfelves„ 
There is an afTurance of faith, that is a duty, as well ( 
as a bleffing, Heb. x. 22. And were it more mind- 
ed as a duty, it would be more often attained as a 
mercy. That afTurance of faiih I prefs you to have,' 
ftands in firm and (Irong believing. The faithful 
promife of Chrill in the gofpel, is the foundation of 
it. And the ground will bear all the weight we can 
lay on it. This afTurance is not only a bleffing that 
comes down from heaven, but it may, by his bleffing 
of means, fpring up out of the foul ; I mean, it may 
fpring out of the lively vigorous affings of faith. The 
great believers we read in the word, the conlidence 
of their faith rofe up to that height and ftrength that 
we admire, from a clear perfuafion of the truth of 
the promifes, and of the faithfulnefs of the maker of 
them. So it is faid of Abraham, Rom. iv. 20, 21* 
He fiaggerednot at the 'promife of God through unbelief ; 

hut wai firong in faith ^ ^^"^^'^^ ^^^9' ^' ^^^ ' ^^^ ^^* 
ing fully ferfuaded^ that what he had promlfed, he wa^ 
able alfo to perform. And left any fliould think, that 
becaufe the man was fingular, and the cafe (ingular, 
therefore ordinary believers may only wonder at ir, 


S8 Sermons concerning Serm. IV, 

and not attempt to imitate it ; ^he apodle adds, ver. 
2:5, 24. Now it zbas net writ fen (in Gen. xv. 6.) for 
his fake alone; but for us afo, &c. A% if the apo- 
ftle had faid, " You fee what ground Abraham had 
** for his faith ; how (Irongly he built upon it, and 
" how pleafing that was to God. You have the fame 
*' ground ; build ye alfo upon it by faith, and that 
" faith in you will be as pleafing to God." Abraham 
. bad God's promife to build upon. In this promife 
there was its outward part and external. And this 
was an offspring of his body by Sarah, and the land 
of Canaan for an inheritance. The fpiritual and main 
thing in the promife, was Jefus Chrift the Saviour, 
and the blelnug oF eternal falvadon in him. This was 
Abraham's gofpel : Gal, iii. 8, 9. And the fori ptures 
forejeeing (that is, the author of the fcriptures fore- 
feeing) that God would juJI if y the heathen thro' faith ^ 
preached the go/pel before unto Ah rah am y faying^ In thee 
fhall all nations be blefjed. So then they which be of 
faith^ are bleffed with faithful Abraham. His gof- 
pel and promife was of Chrift to come, and of falva- 
tion by him. Ours is the promife of falvation in 
Chrifl: come already, delivered for our offences.^ and 
raifed again for our juflification^ Rom. iv. 25. ; that is, 
..imprifoned for our debt, and fet at liberty for our 
, difcharge. Now, confider how Abraham improved 
this promife. He had nothing eife in his eye, he 
would confider nothing, but the promife, and the 
faithful and mighty proraifer. So mu(t we, When 
we give place to confidering of ourfelves, our fmful- 
nefs and unworihinefs ; when we confider the great- 
nefs of the bleiTings in the promife, hov/ far they 
are beyond cur deferving, how many things there 
be that do make it incredible to reafon that we 
foould ever receive, or that Gcd fhould ever give fueh 
great things to us, faith mull: be at a ftand. It is as 
incredible to an awakened confcience, that (Sod Ihould 
juftify a finner, as it was to reafon, that Abraham 
ihould have a foa by Saraht Our only way is, to con- 

Serm. IV. the Throne of Grace, 89 

fider the promife. God hath faid it, and he will per- 
form it, and 1 will believe it. If all the angels in hea- 
ven, or faithful men on earth, had faid, that God 
will fave me from fin and wrath by Jefus Chrifl: ; that 
fuch a vile creature as 1 am in myfelf, ihall be accep- 
ted in that beloved, I durft not believe it. But when 
God himfelf hath faid fo, why fhould I doubt it ? 
God's promife in the gofpel deferves our higheft truft 
and confidence ; and fuch as view it in all its grace, 
truth, and power, will pay it that due. 

AnJ. 2. Suppofe thy want of clearnefs as 'o thy in- 
terelt in Chrift, and that ic is thine owti fauir ; may 
you not come boldly to the throne of grace for fatif- 
faftion therein ? If you know not who is your Father^ 
may you not come to him to know it ? There are ma- 
ny worfe prayers made than this. That the Lord would 
make manifeit his own work in you, Lord^ help my 
unbelief, was a believer's prayer. Complaining of 
doublings and darknets, and praying tor light and 
clearnefs, hath often difpelled the clouds, and brought 
the foul under a bright fun-(hine. 

AnJ. 3. Dire6f trutling on God, when faints have 
been in darknefs as to their intereft in him, ^s requir- 
ed and commanded in the word, Ifa. L to. Who is a* 
mong you that feareth the Lord^ that obeyeth the voice 
of his fervanti that walketh in darknefs and hath na 
light ? Let him trufl in the name of the Lord, and flay 
upon his God. What had the viroman of Canaan, Mar. 
XV. 22, — 28. but diredf trufting ? Chrifl: was filent to 
her firft crying upon him ; when the difciples crave 
an anfwer for her, Chrift tells her and them, that he 
was not fent for fuch as (he \ when (lie comes and wor- 
{liips him, faying, Lord^ help me^ he anfwers her hum- 
ble believing prayer with reproach. Yet all {hakes 
her not ; but by faith (he relies upon Chrift, and 
makes an argument from this very reproach. And 
bleiTed was the iflTue. 

Objed. 3. What (hould a man do that never came 
to the throne of grace before ? I can uaderftand how 

Vqjl. I. M a be- 

9^ Sermons copcerning Serm. IV. 

a believer may, and (hould come boldly. It is no 
wonder that a poor beggar go boldly to that door, 
that he hath been often at, and was never fent empty 
from. But can, or may a poor fmner come boldly, 
the firfl time he comes P 

Anf. I. It is granted, that ufually firft approaches 
to the throne of grace are feeble and weak, and not 
with that confidence of faith that believers do grow 
unto by experience, and exercife of faith. 

Anf, 2. Yet a man may come boldly at the firft lime. 
There is good ground for it. i. Confider the tejit. 
Let us come boldly .^ that ive /Jtay obtain mercy, and find 
grace. Who can, or (hould put in for ihefe bleilings; 
more than he that never yet got any ? Do receivers 
come to receive daily more grace and mercy ; and may 
not one utterly deflitute and needy, beg fomewhat of 
his mercy and grace ? 2. Confider the ground of this 
boldnefs lies fair and equal to all that will ufe it in 
coming. To name only now the promife of God : 
This is laid before all men io the gofpel. Have you 
a hand of faiih to lay hold on it I That makes it 
yours. God's promife is as fure and true before we 
believe it, as after. Believing adds nothing to the fure- 
nefs of the promife. Our believing is like a drown- 
ing man's catching and laying hold on a rope thrown 
out to him ; his laying hold on it makes not the rope 
Wronger, yet it makes the rope his defence. The 
promife is equally true before beiieviug and after be- 
lieving; but it is no man's known property, till it be 
believed. The cords of falvation are cait out in the 
gofpel to multitudes ; yet moll: perilh, becauls they 
do not lay bold on them. No man can fink into uell, 
that holds the promife of falvation by the arm of faith. 
3. Confider how the Lord dire(fts, Jer. iii, 19. But I 
fa'id^ How Jh ail I put thee among the children^ and give 
thee a pie af ant land^ a good'y heritage of the hojt of 
nations f Ihat is dreadful indeed, when God maktrs 
fuch a quedion. Who can anfwcr the Lord's quelli- 
onsj but himfeU I And I /aid, Thoufhalt call me. My 


Serm. IV. the Throne cf Grace, pr 

Father^ and Jh alt not turn azvay frQtn me, A mod 
blelTed anfwer ro a dread Fnl qaeftion. Ver. -4. Wilt 
thou not from this time cry unto me^ My Father^ thou 
art the guide of my youth f An intereft in God by Chrift 
is offered and promifed to all in the goi'pel •, plead it 
by faith, and it is yours. 

3. We find inftances in the word, (and the iike the 
Lord can make again), of great confidence in fome at 
their firfl coming to the throne of grace: As the blind 
man, Mark x. 46,— -52. Fie only heard of Chrid's 
palling by : he (laid not for Chiid's calling him, but 
began to cry out, Jefus^ thou Son of David^ have mer- 
cy on me. When many charged him to hold his peace^ 
he cried the more a great deal^ Thou Son of Davidy have 
niercy on fue, " Chrift was never in ray way before, 
" and he (hall not pafs now without fliewing mercy 
*' <on me, if crying may prevail." And that his cry- 
ing was in faith, Chrift wirneffeth, ver. 52. In all ap- 
pearance, the wotnan of Canaan was never at the 
throne'of grace before, Matth. xv. 22,-— 28. at lead, 
never at Chrift's feet before : yet (lie managed her 
firft addrefs with that confideDce^ that (he not only 
got her defire, but that high commendation with it^ 
O woman^ great is thy faith. So the centurion, Mat, 
viii. 5, — 10. But above all inftances, is that of the 
believing thief on the crofs, Luke xxiii. 40,— -43. 
Never had the throne of grace fo little to encourage 
au addrefs to h, as when the King of grace was dying 
on the crofs. Never had a fmner lefs enceorageraent 
to come to the throne of grace, t^an when the Savi- 
our was nailed ro one tree, and the fmner to another. 
Marvellous faith! a dying fmner, dying for his fiil^', 
employs a dying Saviour for hlvnv.i'% Lord, remem- 
her me 'when thou comejf irJo thy kingdo?n.. How little- 
did Chrift nailed to, and dying on the crofs, lookdike 
a King ? How (trong was the man's faith to believe, 
that Chrift, through death, was going to his king- 
doraP and that Chrift's gracious thought of htm would 
fave him? And J ef us f aid ^nto him. Verily I fay unto 

p2 Sermons concerning Serm. V, 

thee. To-day Jhalt thou be with me in faradife. As if 
our Lord liad fa-d, " This is thy lirft and thy laft ad- 
** drefs to mc, verily it (hall be heard.'' Believers 
do not think how pleafing to ihe Lord, large and high 
thoughts of the lufEciency, fuinefs, and freedom of 
the grace that is in Jclus Chrifl, are. Believers (hould 
devife liberal tkingSy and by liberal things they /hall 
Jiandy Ifa. xxxii. 8. Let a believer afk, and think on. 
the warrant of the promife, as much as he can ; the 
Lord is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that 
•we ask or think, according to the power that worketh 
in us. Unto him be glory in the church by Chrifi Jefus^ 
throughout all ages, ivorld wit bout end. Amen* Eph. 
iii, zoy 2 1, 


H E B. iv. 1 6. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need, 

IT is God's great and wonderful mercy, that ever 
there was a throne of grace ere^led and revealed, 
and that he makes fuch a pioclamation as this in his 
■«s.'ord, Lei all men come boldly to it. I have fpoke unto 
two things iu the text, i. Of the throne of grace, 
to which we are invited to come. 2. Of the boldnefs 
allowed in coming to it. 

Head IIL The third thing follows to be fpoke 
to, the ground of this boldnefs, implied in this there- 
fore. And we muft look back to ver. 14, 15. for the 


Serm. V. the Throne of Grace, 95 

finding the force of this therefore. The words are. 
Seeing then that we have a great High Priefl^ that is 
pajjed into the heavens^ J^f^^ ^he Son of God, let us 
hold fa ft our profejfion. For we have not an High Friefl 
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmi- 
ties ; hut was in ail points tempted like >is we are, yet 
without fin* Let us therefore come boldly^ See, 

The doftrine I am to handle from, this inference of 
the apoflle is to this. 

D o c T. That the main ground of all the holdnefs aU 
lowed in coming to the throne of grace^ is in our Lord 

The intereft, and room, and place, that Chrifl: hath 
in this throne of grace, is the ground of all allowed 
boldnefs in coming to it. When people are fecure, 
nothing is more commonly pra(^ifed by them, thaa 
fearlefs rufhing into God's prefence. Any carnal 
carelefs fmner can, when he will, bow the knee, and 
make that he calls a prayer to God. Bat when con- 
fcience is awakened, and light darts in to make thein 
know fomewhat of God, and of themfelve?, it is 
then found a matter of wonderful myftery and difficul- 
ty, to perceive any thing that can juftly and fufficient- 
ly fupport the confidence of a felf-condemned fmner, 
in his approaches to God for mercy, lience it is fo 
often feen, that this is the common way of all the un- 
godly, and of fuch as are ignorant of God in Chrifl:. 
While they are fecure, and blind, and hardened. J'^^j 
feel nothing, and fear nothing: but when death and 
judgment approach, and ftare them near in the face ; 
and when they begin to think in earneft, that they 
muft ftand before God, and receive their eternal 
doom, being ignorant of a Mediator, and quite e- 
ftranged from any believing imploying of him, they 
£nk in difcouragement and defpair. And, alas ! how 
many miferable finaers are there, that are never a» 


94 Sermons voncerning Serm. V, 

wakened oat of the fleep of fecurity, untill they are 
plunged in the very pit of defpair P 

The refolution therefore of this qaeftion, How a 
finner may draw cear to the throne of grace with con- 
fidence, fo as he may be welcomed by him that fitteth 
OQ it, and m^ty receive good things thence i* is only in 
this, that this boldnefs is ail in and by Jefus Chrift* 
My work therefore at this time (r^nd it is indeed the 
main work of mioifters at all times) is, to declare and 
fhew you, how our Lord Jefus Chrijl is the ground and 
foundation of true' confidence in coming to God, And 
herein I would lead you to fuch things that concern 
the Lord Jefus as are commonly know^n, ufually talk- 
ed of, but rarely duly pondered and improved^ 

t. Let us confider the perfon of this Mediator by 
whom we may have accefs with boldnefs^ Eph. iii. 12* 
A wonderful perfon I the Son of God made man ; a 
marvellous man ; by whom all men may be accepted 
with God, when there is not a man in the world that 
can be accepted of God in his own name : yet ail that 
come in Chrilt's name are accepted. Oar Lord Je- 
fus Chrid is God's own Son, the Sort ot God tlber- 
nacling in the fleih ; God manifefl in theflsfh ; the 
brightnejs of the Father'* s giory^ and tlje e^cprefs image 
of bis per Jon ^ Heb. i. 3, "[here is tine God^ and one 
Mediator between God and men^ - and the man Chrift Je^ 
fus ; who gave himftlf a ranfomfoK ally to be tefttfied 
in due time^ i Tim. ii. 6, 7. In due time it will bs 
fee*;, what this rai-fom was paid for, and for whom : 
for every one of the ranfomed (liall get their liberty 
and inheritance in God's time and way. People com- 
ir.only profefs the faith of this rrudi, That our M-^di- 
ator is God r.nd man. Bin Jiow little is it improved 
by faith ? We do not confider him^- hov/ great a pefr- 
iow he is, and how fit for us, Heb. iii. i. 2. 8u/:h 
as have any ferious thoughts of God, and of them- 
f elves, (and they are in a forlo'-n ftate that have -lioite), 
&ad a neceffity of a Mediator, when they confi '^-r rhe 


Serm. V. the Throne of Grace, ^f 

flri(flnefs of his juflice, and the power of his wrath, 
the perfect purity and holinefs of his nature, compar- 
ed with the finfulnefs and vilenefs of their own na- 
ture, hearts, and lives. But there is another deeper 
thought of God, that will difcover as great neceflity 
of a Mediator ; and that is of his greatnefs. With 
God is terrible majefly ; with God is uafearchable glo- 
ry. How can there be a bold and acceptable ap- 
proach to him of whom we cannot frame a right 
fuiiable thought?' How is it avoidable, but that all 
our worfliip mult be to an unknown God? for 7io man 
hath feen God at any time, John i. i8. Here comes 
in the Mediator Jefus Chril!: ; who is not only a fcreeri 
betwixt juftice and us, but is a glafs wherein we may 
behold the glory of God. This glory is only to be 
beheld in the face or per/on of Jefus Chrifl^ i Cor. iv. 
6, All other views of God's glory are either con- 
founding, or but vain unprofitable notions. All the 
fpecularioQs of the Pagans, that polKhed the dim light 
of nature ; and all the curious ftudies of fome called 
Chriftians, about the nature, being, properties, and 
attributes of God, are nothing but pretty pieces of 
philofophy. Tbcr.e i$ nothing of found theology in 
thofe thoughts, unlefs they be all dinted, limited, 
dire£i:ed to, and determined by that difcovery that 
God makes of himfelf to us in and by his Son Jefus 
Chrift. The mediation then of Jefas Chrifl-, is not 
Dot only an argumen?: which, and on which we may 
plead with God ; but it is the mean by which only we 
mull: approach to God, and the light wherein we fee, 
and know favingly the God we worftiip. He knew 
the way bed:, who is the way to the Father^ and faid, 
1l\o man cometh to the Father but by me ; and did anf- 
wer Philip's weighty and very natural defire, ^hew 
us the Father^ anditfufficeth^ thus, Have I been fo long 
time with you, and yet haft thou not known me, Fhiliff 
He that hath feen me, hathfcen tbe Father : and hott/ 
fayeft thou. Shew us the Father? John xiv. 6, 7, 8, 9, 
They all worlhip j^n idol, or wander in a perfed maze 


^S Sermons concerning Serm. V, 

and labyrinih, that feek God outof Jefus Chrifl. No 
where elfe is he to be fought or found, but as a con- 
fuming lire. God of old put his name at Jerufalem ; 
to it they mufi: come with their foleran facrifices; when 
afar off, they muft look to it, as Dan. vi. lo. When 
they are bid remember the Lord afar ojff^ it is added, 
end let Jerufalem come into your mind^ Jer. li. 50. Now, 
Jerufalem, temple, altar, holy of holies, mercy fear, 
priefts, facrifices, &c. were all but lliadows of Jefus 
Chrift. Under the new teflament, when Chrift is 
come, the name of God is in him, and all the wor- 
ftiip and approaches are to be made to God dwelling 
in this true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not 
maiij Heb. viii. 2. 

2, Let us confider our Lord's office of High Pried. 
So the apoiiie calls him our great High priejly and we 
have him^ ver. 14. This is a great ground of bold-> 
Defs in dealing with God, that we have Chrift for a 
High Pried. He was of God's own chufmg and call- 
ing. He is not of our chufmg, but he is for our ufmg. 
Should that man be called a Chriftian, who hath no 
ufe for this great High Pried ? High priejis were tak^ 
en from among men, and ordained for men in things per » 
taining to God, Heb. v. i. Confider the honour of 
this office to Chrid, and its ufefulnefs to his people. 
He glorified not himfelf to be made an High Friefl ; hut 
he that f aid to him, ver. 5. Chrid's offices of King 
and Prophet carry vifible plain glory in them. But 
to be made an High Pried, efpecially when he is to 
be both pried, alrar, and facrifice, feems to have no 
glory, but abafement. But if we look to the infide 
of this office, it excels in glory. What inconceivable 
glory is it to Chrid, to be the reconciler of all things, 
to take up fo honourably the grand quarrel betwixt 
angry heaven and finful earth, ko purge ourftns by the 
facrifice of himfelf, and then ft down at the right hand 
of the Majefiy on high? Heb. i, 3.; to oder a facri- 
fice, in the virtue whereof an innumerable company, 
out of all nations, tongues, and languages, are re- 

Serm. V, the Throne of Grace. 97 

deemed, and juftified, and glorified; for which he 
ihall be eternally praifed in heaven, by all the happy 
inhabitants of that bleffed place I Rev. v. 9. As for 
the ufefolnefs of this office to his people, 1 fhall on- 
ly name two things, i. In this office he manageth 
all our bufinefs with God ; fuch as we could never 
have done ourfelves; and rcuft be eternally un- 
done, if it were not done for us : to fatisfy juiHce, 
fulfil the law, and bring us in a fure title to the inhe- 
ritance of heaven. 2. By him wp offer all our fpiri- 
lual fer vices, and have them pre(ented by him for 
acceptance, Heb. xiii, 15. We mud do all in his 
name^ Col. iii. 17. 

3. Let us confider what our Lord did when he was 
on earth, and thence we have great ground for con- 
fidence in coming to the throne of grace. This the 
apoftle hath in his eye, ver. 15. and chap. v. ver. 7, 
Two things I would take fome notice of on this point. 
I. He had the fame things for iubfcaiipe as errands 
to the throne of grace that we have. 2 ., That he did 
ply the throne of grace as we fhouid. Only permit- 
ling this, that there is but a hkenefs in what he did, 
to what we (hould do at the throne of grace ; and that 
likenefs confident with manifold differences, as we 
fliall regard. 

ly?. Our Lord Jefus Chriit had the fame things, 
and the chief of them, that are to us errands to the 
throne of grace. I fhall inftance in fome of thenij 
and anfwer an obje£fion. 

(1.) Our Lord had affliclion for an errand, and 
more of it than any of his people. He was affli6fed ; 
yea, fmitten of God and ajjli^led^ Ifa. liii. 4. He was 
opprejfed and afflicted^ ver. 7. If a?iy man be ajfltcied^ 
let htm pray ^ James v. 13. When Chrift was afflic- 
ted, he prays, 

(2.) Our Lord was deferted. Bleff d be his name 

for it. We (hould rejoice, that he had not a life 

without clouds. The biitereft and faddefl: defertion 

that ever a believer was und^r, is nothing to what 

Vol. L N Chrid 

c/S Ser?7ions concerning Serjvi. V. 

Chrld met with, when he cried our, My Gody my God^ 
ivhy hafl thou forfaken r,ie f" None are fo much to be 
pitied as a faint under defertion. When afiliv^iion is 
heavy and preiTing, iFal) be clear above, though there 
be clouds round abou% yet if the Lord iniile from 
heaven, a Chriflian's cafe is not much to be pitied. 
Eut if all be dark abour, and the darkeft oF all clouds 
on the amiable face of God, this is the extremity oar 
Lord was in. Yet he prayed, and in his agony pray- 
ed yet more fervently, Deferted believers, take 
comfort in a deferted Saviour. His defertion was 
penal, yours but medicinal. Though it be bitter 
phyfic, it is of the great Phyfician's prefcription ; and 
he can and will blefs it, and make you blefs hiii:, both 
for the phyfic and the cure. 

(3.) Chrid had temptation as an errand to his Fa- 
ther : In all points tempted like as ive are^ yet without 
firiy ver. 15, O that Chridians would learn to behave 
thcmfelvcs under tem.piation, in fome meafure, as 
Chrift did 1 Temptation to Chrifl was a far other thing 
than it is to us. Temptation is bad to us, becaufe of 
the danger of it : therefore he bids us. Watch and 
frajy that we enter not into temptation^ Matth. xxvi. 
42, when he was in the depth of his agony. But 
temptation to Chrift was a mere affliction. There 
were never but two finlefs men in the world, the firil 
and fecond Adam. Satan carae to both. When he 
4fctme to. the firft Adam, he found nothing of his own 
in him \ bat he quickly got fomewhat put in him, aad 
left it with him^ and in him and all his pofterity. 
When he came to the fecond Adam, he found no- 
thing in him, and could put nothing in him by temp- 
tation, John xiv. 30. I'he holier a faint be, and the 
more grofs the fm be he is tempted to, and the more 
haired he have of the fin, the greater is his trouble 
in and by the temptation. What afBic^lion then mud 
k have been to Chrift to be io tempted as he was I 
Matth. iv. 

(4.) Our Lord had the charge and burden of iiii 


Serm. V. the Throne of Grace, 9^ 

on his foul, not upon his confdeDce : The Lord laid 
m him the iniquity of us al^ Ifa. liii. 6. And was noc 
that a mighty ioad I Seiife of fm is the greatest dif- 
couragement to believers. But never was there a 
man out of hell, or in it, that had fach a load of fm on 
him as Chriit had. lYn own felf bare our fins in his own 
body on the tree^ i Per. ii. 2 -. Law and jairice charge 
«d Chrift fevcrely ; and exaci^ed more of him, tha;i 
ever they did of any other perfon. None but Chrijl 
zuas 7nade fin^ i Cor. v. 2 !• Men are finners by na- 
ture, and increaf^ their fin fulnefs by their life; and 
an inexhaulhble fountain of fm is in their heart, Eccl. 
ix. 3. Bat none of them is, or can be made fm. He 
only that knew no fin ^ was made fin» And becaufe he 
was made fm for us, he was alfo made a cur fe for us^ 
Gah iii. 13. The lawcurfeih the finner, but cannot 
make a fmner a curfe for orhers : it c;n, and doth 
make him accurfed, and a curfe for himfelf. Here is 
lieaven's art : all the righteoufnefs we are made, flows 
from ChrijVs being made fin for us ; all the blelTings we 
get, fpring out oxChrift's being made a curfe for us, 
BeHevers, learn where to feek and find true righteouf- 
nefs^ and the true blciTing. hi vain are they fought 
any where but in Chrift, and in his being thus TW^isf^ 
Jm^ and a lurfifor us. The Lord Jehovah charged 
Chriil with the debt of his people's fins, and he could 
cot deny the debt. Though he contra6led none of 
i(, yet he undertook as Airety to anfwer for it, ^nc^jb 
difcharge and pay it. Therefore the law and jafap 
exacted it of hitn, abated'him nothing. Becaufe trie 
law will have Mood aud life for (in, Chriit 0itei|, and 
gives his. Our Lord Jefus had no challenges in, nor 
burden upon his confcience ; yet he had a heavy bur- 
den upon his foul : therefore he had a troubled foul^ 
John xii. 27 though a quiet confcience. For trouble 
of confcience properly flows from the fight and fenfe 
of committed fui ; but ChriiVs trouble of foul was 
fio:in the fenfe of wrath, for the charged and imput- 
ed fius of others. 

N 2 ' Ohjea, 

100 Sern:o7:s ccncernhi^ Serm V. 

^ * 

ObjcH, Bur, may a poor believer fav, Chrifl 
knew cot what a body of fm and death wa«?, he knew 
not what a bad heart is ; and ihefe 1 feel, and am dif* 
courag»d by. 

Jn/zv. Chrifl: did not know thefe things indeed by 
feeling and experience, as you do ; but he knew 
them better than you do, or can. i. Chrifl: knew 
ihem by the wrath due to them. He that paid the 
debt, knew befl: the debt that was conrra6i:edj though 
he himfelf did not conrra^^ it. He knew how dear 
the expiation was for the (in of your heart and na- 
ture. 2 Chrifl knew it by temptation. Temptati- 
on brought fin as near to Chrifl:, as it was poffible it 
could be brought to a finlefs man. "Some faints 
know fome fins only this way. There are feve- 
ral afts of wickednefs that the Lord refl:rains his peo- 
ple from, bifore their converfion fometimes, and uf- 
ually after it. Thofe fins they know not by the com- 
mitting of them, nor it may be by any fpecial inclina- 
tion to them ; yet they may know them to be dread- 
ful evils, by an external temptation to them, and by 
the fight of their fin and mifery that wallow in them. 

idly. As our Lord Jefus Chrifl had many errands 
to the throne of grace, fo he did ply that throne. 
Our Saviour was a praying Saviour. He fpent whole 
nights in prayer to God his Father. As he was^ fo 
^ould we be in the worlds i John iv. 17. Are we af- 
P61?^, and Ihould we pray ? So afi:li(^ed Jefus prays. 
:Vorr fool troubled, and do we pray P So Chrifl did, 
Joha :: > 27, Are we deferred, and pray P So did 
our Lor.j. But here is a depth too cl^ep for us to 
wade in ; how our elder brother, how God's own 
Son in "!t;:io's nature, did plead at the throne of grace. 
This throne he plied, was not the fame we come to. 
To us he fits on the throne himfelf, and therefore it 
is a throne of grace to us. We approach to God in 
Chrifl:, and in Chrifl:'s name. Chrifl came in his ow^n 
name, and needed no mediator. We find became to 
his Father frequently, earneflly, and confidently. 


Serm. V. the Throne of Grace, loi 

The church of Chrift owe him eternal praife for that 
prayer, John xvii. which is only properly. ChriiVs 
prayer. That in Match, vi. 9.— -13. is a pattern of 
our prayer taught us by Chriil r but this is the pray- 
er made by Chrid ; and therefore truly the Lord's 
prayer. Of ChriiPs praying the apoflle fpeaks, Heb. 
V. 7. Who tn the days of his flefh, when be had of- 
fered up prayers and fupplicationsy with flrong crying 
and tears, unto him that was able to fave him from 
death, and was heard^ in that he feared. This is a 
great word. When a poor believer is hanging over 
bell, and a fpirit of prayer working in him, how migh- 
tily doth he cry to be faved from that death .^ ^' O 
" let me not fall in : if ever thou had ft mercy on a 
*' finking foul, fave me." But never did a diftrefTed 
believer cry fo mightily to be faved from hell, as 
Chrift did to be faved from death. But that, death 
Chrift prayed againft, was another fort of death than 
we know, or can fully apprehend. Chrift prayed 
with great fervency, arrd with great confidence. We 
rarely have them joined ia our prayers. If we have 
confidence of a good iftue, we are apt to grow cold 
in aflcing. Chrift knew the bleffed iffue of all his 
diftrefs, and believed it confidently, Ifa. L 7, 8, 9. 
yet prayed earneftly. He was heard, and knew it : 
John xi. 41, 42. Father^ I thank thee, that thou hafl 
heardme. And I know that thou he are ft me akv ays , Chrif- 
lians take encouragement and direction to pray, »k 
how to pray, by Chrift's practice v/hen he v/as on earBp^ 
4. Let us confider Chrift's death for encouraging 
us to conhdeace in coming to the throne of grace. 
This is the main ground of boldnefs in coming : Heb. 
X. 19. Having boldnefs to enter into the holiefl^by the 
blood of Jefus, There is precious blood muft be (bed, 
or we cannot enter ; we muft fee it by faith, or w^e 
dare not venture. We muft come to the blood of fprink^ 
ling, Heb. xh. 24. We dare not ftep one ftep into 
God's awful prefence, unlefs we fee the way marked, 
coufccrated, and fprinkled with the Mediator's blcod. 


I02 Sermons concerning Serm. V, 

I low ih?i'l the unhoiiefl of Tinners venture to come ia- 
to ihe holiell of all, God's prefeoce ? Yes, faith ihe 
, Holy Ghoil:, fuch may, by the blcod of Jefus, Let 
lis therefore confider what this blood of Chrift doih, 
and fpeaks, in order to our boldnefs in approaching 
10 the throne of grace. 

ly/, This blcod fatiblies juftice, and anfwers all the 
claiiT's and charges of the law againil: us. What mars 
boldnefs, like fears of a {landing controverfy betwixt 
heaven and us ! God is holy, we are vile fmners ; 
God's law is ftrifl, we bsve fmfully broke it, and de- 
ferve hell mod jnfily. No anfwer can be given, but 
by this blood. What would the law have, but Chriit 
gave i* Would the law have a finlefs man to anfwer 
it, a-s it was fxrft given to finlefs Adam ? Lo^ I comcy 
faith our Lord Jefus, without all fm ; a man againft 
whom, for himfelf, the law hath no charge or chal- 
lenge. W^ould the law have perfecl fmlefs obedience ? 
Chrifl: did perform it. Mud the law have life and 
blood for every breach of it i"* Chrifl never broke the 
law ; but the burden of millions of breakers and 
breaches of it lay on him, and his blood was (bed for 
them : and thereby he fulfilled the law, put azvay fin 
by the fa orifice of himfelf Heb, ix, 26. ; frir'/hed the 
traffgreffion, made an end of fin y made reconciliation for 
iniqiittyt brought in everhfhng righteoufnefs^ fealed up 
the vifton and prophecy ^ and anointed themofi holy^ Dan. 
1^24. You c:in never have boldnefs at the throne 
^JPgrace, unlefs by faith you apply this blood. Chrifh 
is ft forth to be a proptiiation^ through faith in his 
bloodf Iloni. i:i. 25. The propitiatiou i;^ ia his blood ; 
faith in it makes it our propitiation. 

2r//y, This blood, as it is fatisfying blood, fo it is 
purchafiQg blood. It is both an aiooemcnt and fatif- 
fa(^tion, and it is a price. It is redeeming blood for 
perfons, and piirchafing blood for bleiTings. All the 
bkfliDgs we come to the throne of grace for, are all 
bought by this blood. 80 that we may fay, that tho' 
v>'c have iiothing, and defer ve nothing j yet when we 


Serm. V. the Throne of Grace. l^oj 

aik all things, we alk nothing but what is well aad 
truly paid for by our Lord jefus. 

3^/y, All the blefiings purchafipd and bcught by 
Chrilt's blood, are bequeathed to us, and left by hiin 
that (lied it. Chrifl's blood is a tcdamentary bequeath- 
ing blood: and believers, in their coming to the throne 
of grace, may come as fuers for the execuiioa and 
fulnlraent of the lalt will and teftaraent of our Lord 
Jrfus. For Chrift by his death ^turned the gorpcl 
and new covei?ant into a tefiamenr, Heb. ix. 15, iS^ 
17. His death confirms his tellament. His laft w'-il 
is, that all the bleffings his blood purchaied, might 
be (ecured and laid up for, and in due ti;ne given forih 
to them they were purchafed for, and bequeathed to. 
The whofe legacy of grace and glory, and all the le- 
gatees, are and were well known to the teilator and 
executor, (though not to us particularly) ; and the 
teftament will be pun£lually fuhilled. 

So much for the ainftance to faitii that Chrift's death 
affords. Learn to feed on it. He. that cannot make 
a foul-meal, and take a foul fill of afluia Saviour, is 
a forry Chriltian. A true Chridian is a poor fiarving 
finner, digging in Chrift's grave for eternal life. There 
it only is, and there he furely finds it. 

5. We find further in our Lord Jefus, (and indeed 
every thing in and of him helps forward our confidence 
in coming to God), that this great perfon, the Soa 
of God in our nature, this great ofiicer that lived |j|^ 
holily, and died fo virtuoufly, that he alfo rofe again 
from the dead. The rclurrectloa of our Lord is alfo 
a raighuy ground of boldnef? : i Peter i. 3. Blejfed 
be the God and the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrijl^ 
which, according to his abundajit mercy^ hath begotten 
us again unto a lively hope, by the refurreclion of Je- 
fus Chrifl from the dead. If Chrid had lain (till in his 
grave, our hope had lain there too ; but bccaufe he 
rofe, our hope alfo rifeth with him. So 1 Pet. iii. 2 r, 
where the apoftle hath an elegant fimilitude. ^He 
compares Chrill to the ark of Noah. All that,s|^re 


104 Sermons concerning Serm. IV. 

in this ark, were faved, and they only ; the deluge 
drowned all the world befides. They that were faved 
in the ark, were faved from drowning in the water, 
and were faved by water. The like figure whereunto^ 
baptifm^ now favetb us, (Will bare water-bapiifm 
fave ? No : Not the putting away the filth of the fie fh^ 
but the anfver of a good confcience towards God), by 
the refurredicnof Jefus Chrifi, As if the apoftle had 
faid, " He that by faith hath fucked in the virtue of 
*' ChriR's refurredlion, and can by that faith plead it 
*' before God, is a faved man. If all the world pe- 
*' ri(h in the deluge of God's wrath, this man is in 
*' the ark, and nothing (hall hurt him." But, alas \ 
Chrift's refurre6lion is looked upon by many profef- 
fors as a part of gofpei hiftory and truth, that it is a 
fliame for any to be ignorant or doubt of; and there- 
fore they profefs the faith of it. But they confider 
not, that a great part of the food of our fouls, and 
of our faith, doth lie in this point of truth. This I 
would ftiew in three things. 

ly?, Chrid's refurredion was a demonflration of 
the divine dignity of his perfon : Rom. i. 4. He was 
declared to be the Son of God with power, according to 
thefpiritofhoHnefs, by the refurredion from the dead. 
The glorious rays of his Godhead did appear in his 
word and works ; and fome had eyes to behold his 
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, 
full of grace and truths even when he dwelt among 
men, John i. 14. But his glory was under an eclipfe 
till his refurreclion. How (lately and how fweetly 
doth he himfelf exprefs it! Rev. i. 17, 18. J am the 
firft and the laft, (high names of a divine eternal per- 
fon): Iamhetbatliveth,andwasdead; and beheld, 
I am alive for evermore^ Amen. They that faw him 
dead, could hardly believe he (hould ever live again ; 
and they that faw him aiive, had need of faith to be- 
lieve he had ever been dead. He aiTerts both, and 
we ihould believe both. Since death entered into the 
world by fin, never was there a man more truly, real- 

Serm. V. the Throne of Grace. 105 

ly, and fuUy dead, than the man Chrift was, v;ho died 
for our tins : and there is no man on earth more truly 
aliv^s than the man Chrifl is no\^ a living man in hea- 
ven. He in his rifmg gave proof oF his divine power. 
He was crucified through weuknefs^ yet he liveth by the 
fowcr ofGod^ 2 Cor. xiii. 4. There was never fuch 
an appearance ofweakneis in the man Jefus, as whea 
he expired, and lay cold dead in his grave. Never 
did fm reign fo unto death, nor the law's power more 
appear, than in flaying the fecond Adam. As great, 
and greater, was the appearance or his divine powder 
in his riling again ; John x. 17. Tberefcre doth my Fa- 
ther love me^ becauje I lay down my life that I may take 
jt again. Chiifl died that he might rife again, lie 
went amongfl the dead that he might rife from the 
dead: ver. 18. No man taketh it frgm me^ bull lay 
it down of myfelf : I have power to lay it down., and 
I have power to take it agaih. This comtnandment have 
I received of my Father, Chrift was bid both d\c and 
rife again. Blefled be ttie commander, and blcffed' 
be the obeyer ; for our everlajling life is in this com- 
mandment^ John xii. 50. Never any but Chrift had 
this power of his own life. We muft yield our life 
when God calls for it, and till then we m.ulf keep it ; 
and when that call comes, we muft obey. We die, 
becaufe we can live no longer, and becaufe our times 
are in God's hand. And when it (lia'll pleafe the Lord 
to raife up our bodies at the refurre^fion, we receive 
our life again ; but have no pow'er to take it up again, 
till the powerful word of Chrift com.e, Arife from 
your graves ; and that word gives us our life again. 
None but ChrKt had power of his qwn life, both to 
lay it down, and to take it again. We dare, we can, 
we (hould do neither ; but only obey, and fubmit to 
the fovereign will of our high landlord, at whofeplea- 
fure v;e are tenants in thefe clay cottages. ' 

2^/y, Chriil's refurre^lion was a demonftratlon of 

the acceptance of the facrifice of bimfelf; that the 

blood he ihcd, and facrifice he offered, was favoury. 

Vol, I. O and 

io6 Sertncm CGncermng Serm. V. 

and acceptable with God ; that the debt was fuliy 
paid, and the payment accepted, when the farety 
was difcharged of his prifon. Therefore we fioi it 
fo often Wiitten, that God ra'ifcd him from the dtad, 
A6ts ii. 24, 21. even when it is faid, that it was not 
foJfibU h^ficuldhs hd den of death > Death and the 
grave 2.xt, ftrong and cruel ^ Song viii. 6. They have 
taken, or will take all mankind prifoners, and are a- 
/ ble to keep them : only they took one prifoacr, Je- 
(/ fus Chrifl, whovvas too hard, too (Irong, for them. 
Death had dorainion over hira but for a little while, 
and by his own confenr, Rom. vi. 9. ; but it hath no 
more dominion over him. But he hath dominion over 
it: I have the keyi'gf bed and of (jleath^ Rev. i. 18. 
Courage, believers in, and heart-lovers of Jsfns Chriit ! 
Death and hell are indeed dreadful jails ; but as long 
as Chrifl keeps the keys, (and that will be till he cajl 
them both into the lake cf fire^ Rev. xx. 14), no be- 
liever fiiall ever be locked up in them. If hell were 
fearched never fo narrowlv, aracni^d all the condern- 
Ded prifoners there, no man or woinan could be fouad 
in it, whofe heau there was ever one fpark of true 
u faith in, or love to the Lord Jefu^;, Heb. xiii. 20. God 
^ brought again from the dead^ the great Shepherd of the 
fheep^ through the blood of the ever la fling covenant. 
Chrifl alio is ohen faid to ri/^ by his own pozver, Chriil: 
put forth his divine power in his refurredion : the 
Father declared his full fatisfa^fion with his undertak- 
ing of the work, and payment of the price of rt^demp- 
lion, by difcharging of him in, and by his refurrec- 
tion. The angels v«^ork was only to roll away the 
itone ; but by his own divine power, his blclTed foul 
did take pciT^irion of his dead body ; and he did rife 
up immediately, a truly living man. And this he did 
by his Father^ leave and will ; and the angels ferved 
only as fcrjeants and ctTicers, Co unlock the prifon- 
doors of the grave : for ChrKI: could eafily have re- 
moved the Hone by his own povver, as he did greater 
ihings in his refurrc^ion. No wonder the apoftle Paul 


Serm. V. the Throne cf Grace, 107 

made it o?ie cF hi^ great aims in ChrifHanity, to know 
the power of Chriffs rffurreflioriy Phil. iii. 10. It is 
not to know the hifioi y of his refurre^lion, nor i^ it 
to know the myltery of his refnrre'flion ; but it is to 
know the power of it. I'he Tame power that Chnll 
raifed hinifelf from the dead by, is put forth (and no 
lefs is needful) for the raifmg of a dead Tinner. The 
fame power that raifed the Saviour, dsadforfiriy is 
needful for raifmnj a fioner dead in fin : Horn. vi. 4. 
Therefore ive are buried zvith him by baptifm into death ; 
that like as Chrift was raifed from the dead by the glo-^ 
ry of the Father ^ even fo we fhould alfi walk in newnefi 
€f lijey Eph. i. 19. There is an exceeding greatnefs of 
his power to us- ward who believe^ according to the work- 
ing of his mighty power ^ which he wrought in Qhrifl^ 
when he raifed him from the dead^ See. How loth are 
men to admit this, that the faving quickening of a fm- 
ner requires the fame divine power that quickened the 
dead Saviour ? All faving converfions are the fruits 
of Chritl's refurreclion, and of almighty power. 

^dly, Chrift's refurre<51ion is the pledge and earned 
of our refurreiStion, and of e'ernal life. How great 
things doth Paul buiid upon it ! i Cor. xv. He proves 
our refurreftioa from Ghrift's refurrection. He ar- 
gues for Chrift's refurre^^ion, by enumerating of ab- 
furdities that mud follow on the contrary : as, ver. 14. 
Jf Chrifl be not rifen^ then is our preaching vain^ and 
your faith is alfo vain. V'^w is- ^^^ (the apoftles) 
are found fa If e wit?;effcs of God. Ver. 17. Te are yet 
in your fins, Ver. ?8 Then they alfo which are fallen 
afleep in Chrifl^ are peri fhed. Ver. 19. Vie are of all 
vien mofl miferabie. But no%v is Chrift rifen from the 
dead, and become the fir f} fruits of them that flept, 
Ver. 20. For ftnce by man came deaths by ?nan came 
alfo the refurredion 'of the dead. The firj} Adam was 
?nade a living foul, ver. 45. But when he became a 
finner, he became a killing head to all his poflerity, 
Horn. V. 12. Thefecond Adam is a qukkening Spirit^ 

O 2 ^^ 

io8 Senncns concerning Serm. V. 

7iXi^\ gives eternal life to all his feed. And he took 
polTefTion of this eternal life in his human nature, and 
in our Head, at his refarrection. He' conquers and 
fubdues that death the firll Adam ' brought in, and 
reigns over it by his grace, Rom. v. 21. Chriftians, 
w'aulJ you afpire after the refurr/f^lion of the dead, as 
Paul did P Phil, iii. 11. direct all your aims, build all 
your hopes on Chrift's^ refurredion : Becaufe 1 live^ 
ye ftmll live aifo^ John xiv. 19. This living head will 
in a little time have no dead members , with hia dead 
body fiall they arife, Ifa. xxvi. .9. 

6. ChriiPs afcenfion into heaven, is a ground of 
boldaels in coming to the throne of grace. So in the 
context, verfe 14. He is paffed into'the heavens. This 
is great ground of faith, that Chrift is in heaven, and 
for us hath entered within the vaii, Heb. vi. 20. How 
dare a fmfui man adventure into God's prefence ? Bc- 
caufe there is a fmlefs man there, that went thither 
on purpofe to mind our bufmefs, who are on earth, 
No man ever went thus into heaven, and on this er- 
rand, but our High Pried, John iii. ig. All others 
go thither to get for themfeives : Chrifl afcended to 
get, and to give, Pfalm Ixviii. 18 Eph. iv. 8. How 
* kindly did our Lord deal with his difciples about this, 
cud how hardly were they perfnaded to fubmit to his 
going away ? He told them whither he wa^ going, 
and for what ; he told them of his returning again, 
and receiving them to himfelf, never to part more, 
John xiv, 2, 3, 4. and "^tx for row filled their hearts^ 
John xvi. 6, He again faich, ver. 7, Neverthelefsy it 
is expedient for ycu that I go away- If you will not be 
content, becaufe it is necclTary and fit for me, / tell 
you the truths it is expedient far you 'that I go away. 
How hard was it to beheve this r What was, to all 
reafon, more expedienr, yea necelTary, than that fuch 
weak fcholars Pnould have their bleiled Mader's com- 
pany ? It was fo far from feeming expedient to them, 
that they thought tbey would be ruined thereby : and 
were very near itj^Luke xxlv. 21. Ahhough the 


Serm. V, the Throne of Grace. 109 

matter be not fo obvious to our conceptions and lik- 
ing ; yet really it is a greater mercy and advantage to 
us, that we have our glorified Mediator at the Fa- 
ther's right hand, than if we had him prefent with us 
upon the earth. Ic is more expedient for us, that he 
is where he is, than it would be to have him where 
we are. Poor diftreiTed believers, they cry for mini- 
flers and Chriflians topray with them, and for them : 
O but if they had one hour of Chrifl's bodily prefence 
with them, and had him to pray for them, as he did 
for fome when he was on earth, what heavenly con- 
folatioQ would it be to them ? Take in by faith the 
comfort of his being in heaven, and his being as know- 
ing and mindful of you, and as able to help, and that 
as fpeedily, as he was on earth, or could be, if he 
were now on earth with you. 

7. Lajlly, Our Lord's intercefllon In heaven, Is a 
great and ftrong ground of confidence in coming to 
the throne of grace. This is in the context. This 
is the laft ground of Paul's triumph of faith : Rom. viii. 
33, 34. Who /hall lay any thing to the charge of GoTs 
elect? It is God that juftifieth : Who is he that con- 
dcmneth f It is Ch^ift that died^ yea^ rather that is 
rifen again^ who is even at the right hand of God, who 
alfo maketh intercejfion for us. His faith begins at' 
Chrift's death, and rifeih our of his grave with him, 
afcends up with him at the right hand of God, and 
concerns itfelf in his inrerceffion there. Not unlike 
this rifmg and climbing of faith, is his account of the 
rifing of grace on the veiT-i^ls o^ grace, Epb. ii. 4, 5* 
They are dead in fins when grace find-^ them tiril. 
The firft thing grace doth to them, is, 10 quicken them 
luith Chrift^ then arifing them up together ^ ihcnfetting 
them in heavenly places in Chrifi Jcfus, All our life 
fprings cut of Chrifl's grave : John xii. 24* Verily^ 
verily I fay unto you^ Except a corn of wheat fall into 
the ground and die^ it abideth alone : but if it die^ it 
hringeth forth much fruit. This heavenly grain, Je- 
|us Chrift, Riuifc be fowa in the eanh and die ; and 


I lo Sermons concerning Serm. V. 

from the virtue of that death, all the life of grace and 
glory fjrows up in ail his branches. He is indeed the 
tree r.f lifcy that now groweth in the midj} of the para- 
difi of Cody llev. ii. 7. And he is the glory of the 
place, and the eternal food of all the happy inhabitants 
thf^reof. But he was once dead in his grave; and grew 
cut of that grave, up to all that glory and dignity that 
we (hall one day be bleiTed with the beholding of, 
John xvii. 24. In this his glory in heaven, he inter- 
ceeds for us. InterceiTion is a fort of praying, i Tim. 
ii. I, Supplications, prayers, intercejjions, and giving 
of thanks, are commanded to be made far all men. We 
have one fad intercclTion, Horn. xi. 2. Elias made in- 
tcrcejfion to God againfl Ifrael. He was a fevere Pro- 
phet, and had fevere fervice put in his hand. But 
our great Prophet and High Priefi makes no intercef- 
fion againft his Ifrael, but all for them. 

This intcrcelTion of Chritl:, which is fo great a 
ground of bolducfs to us at the throne of grace, (lands 
in thefe. 

ifl, in his appeariog in hcaveuj in our nature, and 
in our name, before God ; Heb. ix. 24. For Chrift 
is not entered into the holy places made with hands, 
ivhich are the figures of the trve, (and thofe were the 
places the high pricfls of old entered into), but into 
heaven itfelf, tiozv to appear in the prefence of God for 
lis. He is there, not only for himfelf, to reap the 
glorious fruit of Lis hard work on earth ; but for his 
people, as their head and reprcfentatlve. All the 
church, the body, is now in heaven itfelf, bfecaufe 
its head is there, Eph. ii. 5, 6. Cbridians, you are 
now lying among the pots, and defiled with the fmoak 
ar.d foot of this fmful world ; you are fometimes plun- 
ged in the ditch^ till your own cloaths abhor you, as 
Job fpeaks, chap. ix. 31.; you cry out, Wo is me, 
that I fcjQum in Me/ech, that I dwell in the tents of 
Kcdar, Ffal. cxx. 5. Let faith fay, "But where is 
" my Lord and head ? Is he not in heaven ? in that 
^^ a'lory that 1 am not able now to bear a view of? 

" And 

Serm. V. the Throne of Grace, ii^ 

" And he is appearing there, as my uearefl and dear- 
" eft friend. 1 am aihamed to look on my (elf, -^wdi 
*' my lothforae deformity ; 1 am afraid that io foul 
" and fpotted a face as mine (hould be feen in bea- 
*' ven. But Chrift is. there, and my Chrid is there; 
•* and there he is to appear for me, who mutl: dread 
*' my perfonal appearance there, if it were not for 
" this appearance of my head for me.*' 

2^/y, Chrilt's interceflion (lands in this, That he, 
in our nature, and in our name, prefenis continually 
the favour of his facriiice ; Heb, ix. 12. He wmt inr 
to the holy place ^ not xv'ith the blood of goats and calves^ 
hut by his own bloody having obtained etirnai redemp- 
tion for us. Aaron, and his fuccefiors in the office of 
high pried, were appointed to offer the great facrifice 
of yearly atonement at the ahar, and WMth the blood 
thereof to enter into the holy of holies, and to fprin- 
kle the mercy-feat (their throne of grace) wirh that 
blood. Lev, xvi. 14. Our Lord Jefus, the antitype, 
cfTered the facrifice of himfelf in his death ; and, ia 
and with the virtue of that facrifice, he entered hea- 
ven, to fprinkle the highefl altar therewith, h is 
but a fond PopiQi fancy to think, that there do re- 
main vifible marks and fignatures of his humbled (fate, 
on the glorified body of our Lord J-fus. That is in- 
deed to know Chrif} after thefle/h^ in a bad fenfe, 2 
Cor. v. 16. But his entering with his o-ivn bloody is 
fpiritually to be underdocd ; that Chrifi's appearance 
in heaven, is to bring up a memorial continually be- 
fore Gcd, of the virtue and favour of that facrifice he 
clTered without the gates of Jerufalem : Eph. v. 2. 
Chrijl hath loved us^ and hath given himfelf for us^ an 
offering and a facrifice to God for a fweetfrneliing favour. 
This lavour never fpends or wears out. The blood of 
Jefus, in the virtue of it, in the merit of ir, and in 
the power of it, is as frefb thii day, as in the day it 
was (bed on the crofs. He is dill the new (lain way 
to the hoUefl of all, Heb. x. 20. as fr^fh and fragrant 
as ever. If men by their unbelief account it old or 


112 Sermons concerning Sesm. V. 

flale, and to have lofl: its favour and virtue to tbem- 
felves ; and if they will feck for fomewhat elie to 
procure them acceptance in heaven ; let them try, 
and perifh ; for npne can help them that rejeft Chrifl. 
But cur Lord prefents nothing for the falvation of 
his body, the church, but his own blood ; and no- 
thing- elfe is accepted in heaven for this end, but that 
precious blood. And all they to whofe confcience 
this blood is applied, and who come into it, and feel 
its virtue and power, will abhor all vain and danger- 
ous mixtures of any thing with this fovereign balfam. 
It is always favoury in heaven ; and it is always fav- 
oury to all them that are in the right way lo heaven. 
Our Lord, in his interceilion, fills heaven with the 
almighty and eternal favour of his blood ; and heaven 
is filled with the praifes of it, and of the ihedder of 
it. Rev. V. 9, — i2. If its favour do not fill the parts 
of the earth where it is preached, it is becaufe men 
have loft (or rather never had) the fpiritual fenfe that 
only can take in thi^ favour, and not becaufe this blood 
is impaired in its virtue. But this is the fin and mi- 
fery of this condemned v/orld, that what is moft fa- 
•voury in heaven, is leaft favoured on earth ; and what 
is moft fought after, prized, and doted on in earth, is 
Tanity and abomination in heaven, Luke xvi. 15. 

3^/jV, In Chrift's intercefiion, there is his know- 
ledge of, and fympathy with the ailments and diftref- 
fes of his people. This the apoftle takes notice of in 
ver. 15. His knowledge of their diftreffes, we can 
more eafily account for, than for his fympathy. His 
omnifcience as God, we believe. Peter fweetly own- 
ed it, Johnxxi. 15, 16, 17. O that Chrift would 
with power afk the fame queftion at all of you, and 
that you could give the fame anfwer ! Chrifl's queftion 
is, Lovejl thou me more than thefc f " Not long fince 
*' thou faidft fo, what fayeft thou now ?" Peter's an- 
fwer is, Tea, Lord, thou knoweft that I love thee. And 
on the repeating of the queftion, Peter gives the fame 
anfwer, ver. 16. When Chrift a third time a&ed the 


Serm. V. the Throne of Grace. 1 13 

fame que (lion, Peter was grieved, ver. 17. and an- 
fwers, Thou knoweft all things^ thou know eft that I love 
thee. As if he had faid, " 1 dare not compare my 
*' love to thee, with that of others to thee ; thou haft 
*' reafon to queflion my love to thee, becanfe of my 
*' late woful denial of thee ; Liu yet 1 dare call thee 
<« to witnefs, who knowelf all thing?, that I do love 

• *' thee. Though all my brethren love thee better 
•' than I do, or can ; though I be more unworthy than 
*' any, 10 be loved by thee ; yet I am fare 1 love 
" thee. If the love of Chrift were as a hot fire with- 
in, and \i% coals were Ciffting out a vehement flame ^ as 
Song viii. 6. believers would more often call Chrifl 
by that fweet name, fweet to us to fpe?ik, and fweet 
to him to hear, O thou whom my joul loveth^ Song i. 7. 
Miferable fouls are they who love, not Chrift ; and 
dull unobfervant people are they that know not whar, 
or whom their fouls love. Is the love of Chrift a 
mere notion ? Is it not a mod feafible, holy, and fpi- 
rjtual pafTion, or rather a heavenly grace 1 Can men , 
love Chrift, and not feel it?, Should they feel it, and 
not avow it ? Is there any thing we flioiiid be aHiamed 
of in the love of Chrifl, but the (liameiul fmallnefs of 
it ? that our higheft and hotted love is fo unfuitable a 
return to his incompareable lovelinefs, and his wonder- 
ful love to us, and the dear demondrations of it ? All 
ye that love our Lord Jefus in fincerity, look on him, 
and love him more ; love him with all your fouls, and 
blufh with fliame that you love him no better. Blow 
the coals of love by faith, and let the flame mount up 
to heaven, and afcend ye in the flame of the altar ^ as 
Manoah's angel did, Judg. xiii. 20. You that doubt 
of your love to Chrifl, go to him, fall down before 
him ; anfwer Peter's queflion, according to the true 
fenfe of your fouls, and it will be. Lord thou knowejl 

' that I Jove thee. Love Chrifl, and ye will qnickly 

feel ye love him. A fight of Chrid will beget iove^ 

and love will quickly fpeak for itfelf, 2 Cor. v. i^ 15. 

Vol I. F -But 

3 14 berrnons concerning Sekm, V, 

But for Chri(l*s fympathy with his people, this is 
harder to conceive, than his knowledge of their dil- 
trelTes. It is a fympathy different from what he had 
in the days of his own infirmicy. It is as tender, but 
not difturbing ; as real, but not ailli<5ling. It is incon- 
liflent wiih his gloiified Rate, to have any trouble. 
His fympathy iifelf is to be believed ; the manner 
how it a£ls, is unfearchable : Heb. ii. 17. In all 
things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren ; 
that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priefl, in 
things pertaining to God. Heb. iv. 15. He is touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities ; and was in all points 
tempted like as tve are^ yet without fin. About this 
deep point of ChriR's fympathy vsre may foberly con- 
ceive, I. Our Lord's remembrance of his own infir- 
roities, temptations, and affliftions, ia the days of his 
flefh. This is plain and certain. 2. His hire .and 
diftin^f particular knowledge and remembrance of his 
people, and of all that concerns them, within and 
without. 3. His interelt in them^ and care of them, 
and concern for them, as his members. 4. His pow- 
er and wifdom as their head, to fend down vital in- 
fluences upon them, as their cafe requires, Eph. iv. 
16. Col. ii. 19. 

^thly, Laftly, Chrift's interceffion ftands in prefent- 
ing his people, and their defires and wants, to the 
Father, for acceptance, and anfwers of peace. Both 
our perfons and our prayers muft be prefented by this 
great Htgh Prief}^ fet over the houfe of God ^ Heb. x. 
2i. or no welcome, no acceptance. An IfraelitCj 
though he brought, might not offer the facrifice on 
the altar ; only the prieft ; and the high pried only 
muft offer the great facriiice for all Hrael in the day of 
atonement. Chriftians muft bring themfelves, Rom, 
aiir I. and all their fpiritual facrifices ; but Chrift 
nrnft prefcnt them, and we only by him, Heb. xili. 
15. What a mighty encouragement is there in this 
for ,^^ith ^ Our High Prieft makes another thing of 
©ur facrifices thaa we can. Believers often know not 


Serm. V. the Throne tf Grace. ti5 

rightly their owa cafe ; Chrifl knows it exa<5i:]y. Many 
ot our prayers are mere miflakes. Wc complain, when 
we [liould praife ; we alk whit would do as hurt, and 
are unwiliing to receive what would do us much 
good. Our Lord Jefus puts all to rights. He can 
fay over our prayers rightly, he can make good fenfe 
of them, can purge them of their fauhs, can fpy out 
any thing of his own Spirit in them, and lailiy, adds 
his own incenfe to them, Rev. viii. 3. And thus are 
they accepted. We may bed underfland Chrifl's 
heart and work in interceinon, by John xvii. where- 
in we find three. 

(i.) Chrift conceals all the faults and weaknefs of 
his people. Not a v/ord of thefe in all that prayer, 
and they were guilty of a great many. (2.) He tells 
all their good, and makes much of it; ver. 6, 7, 8. 
/ have given unto them the %vonis which thou gaveft 
me : and they have received them^ and have known fure^ 
ly that I came out from thee^ and they have believed 
that thou didfl fend me. He knew, and reproved thena 
for the weaknefs and daggering of their faith ; he 
foretold an approaching trial, and their fainting in it^ 
Jon xvi, 31, 32. : yet he knew they were true believ- 
ers ; and he makes much of it in his prayer; as again^ 
ver. 14. 25. (3.) Ghrifl: declares fully their neceili- 
ty, and begs fupply for them. No Chriftian needs 
any more than a full anfwer of this prayer of Chrift ; 
and it was put up for all his body, and will be aa- 
fwered as to z'^^v] member of it. Whenever you are 
upon your knees at the footilool, remember who is 
at the throne above, and what his bufinefs is there. 
Footftool-fupplicarions of believers would be all quite 
loft, if it w^ere not for the Saviour's intercelTion at 
the throne, Heb. viii. i. Our High Prieft is fet on 
the right hand of the throne of the Majefly in the hea^ 
vens. And he ever liveth to ?nake intercejfion for us^ 
Heb. vii. 25. This is the end of his living in heaven, 
<o make intercelTion for us. Take heed, and mind 
Chrift much in your prayers f and nevjr fear his for- 

II 6- ■ Sennons concerning Serm. V, 

getting you. Shall Chrlil live for ever to make in- 
terceilion for you f* and will you live all your days 
without making ufe of hiai as an intercefTor ? Alas ! 
that Chrid in heaven gets fo little employment from 
believers on earth ! He feeks your employment, he 
loves ir, and loves them bed that give him molt of it: 
He undertakes for every thing put in his hand, and 
in due time will give you a good account of all you in- 
trull him wiih, and make you fay, Hs hath done all 
things iveVy Mark vii 37. 

'Application. Is all the ground of confi- 
dence at the throne of grace, laid in Jcfus Chriil our 
High Piieft ? Build then your confidence on this fafe 
and fure ground. Not only may you lawfully make 
ufe of ChriiVs mediation, but you mud do it. It is 
not only a privilege the Lord allows you to make ufe 
of, but it is his command, and your duty to ufe it. 
You are commanded to come to the throne of grace, 
and commanded alfo to come in Chrid's name, and 
to come boldly m this name. The negle^ of either 
of thefe is fm. Not to comQ to the throne of grace 
when he calls, is a great fin. To come to it (or ra- 
ther to pretend to conie) in any other name but 
Chrift's, is a great fin too. And to come in this 
name difiidently, is 10 refieft unworthily on Jcfus 
Chrid, and the power and virtue of his mighty n.iaie : 
John xiv. \3, 14. Whaffoever ye fiall ask In my name^ 
that will I do^ that the Father may be glorified in the 
Son, Ifyefiall ask any thhig in my name, 1 will do 
it. Can a man defire a larger promife than this? 
Can one defire a dronger plea than Chrid's name, 
and a better hand than his to have our anfwers from ? 
Be ye ailierc, and afkers in my name, 1 will be the doer. 
The Father's glory in the Son, and the Son's glory, 
is concerned in giving good anf'^xrs to all prayers 
put up in Chrid's name. You cannot honour and 
pleafe 'Chrid more, than in ufing his name confidently. 
^^|l bills with Chrid's name at them' will be accepted 

Serm. V. the Throne of Grace, 117 

at the throne of grace, and will furely be anfweredl 
But coming to the throne of grace in Chrift's name, 
is another thing than commonly people take it to be.' 
Some think it enough, that they conclude their pray- 
ers with the words Chrift taughr, Matth. vi. 9. but 
never for that ufe is it oft formally and fuperflitioufly 
put to. Some think, that it is only to lay in their 
prayers, for Chrift^s fake. To afk in his namp, is a 
higher bufmefs, than to be reached by unbelievers, 
and men void of the Spirit of God. If no man can fay 
that Jefus ii the Lord^ but by the Holy Ghofi^ i Cor. 
xii. 3. J if praying be required to be in the Holy Ghojly 
Jude. ver, 20. ; li praying always with all prayer and 
fupplication^ fhould be in the ^pirit^ Ephef. vi. 18.; 
hovj fhall men call on him in whom they have not believ- 
ed? Rom. x» 14. Bat can you take the fearcher of 
hearts to witnefs, that yoa build all your hopes of ac- 
ceptance at the throne of grace, in this name and 
mediation of Jefus ? that you durfl no more ru(h in- 
to God's awful prefence, without the protection of 
this great name, than you durfl leap into a devouring 
fiarae r Can ye fay, *' 1 have no name to come 
" to God in, but Chrift's. My own name is abomi- 
'' nable to myfelf, and defervedly hateful in hea- 
*' ven. No oiher name is g ven under heaven, buc 
*' that of Jefus Chrift, in which a fmner may fafely 
" approach to God. Since the Father is v/eii pleafed 
** In this name, and the Son commands me to ufe it, 
" and the Holy Ghoft hath broke this nam^ to me, 
*' and made it as an ointment poured forth ^ Song i. 3. 
«' and fmce its favour hath reached my foul, 1 will try 
** to lift it up as tacenfe to perfume the altar and 
** throne above. Since all that ever came in this name 
" were made welcome, I will come alfo ; having no 
" plea but Chrift's name, no covering but his borrow- 
*' ed and gifted robe of righteoufnefs. I need no* 
*' thing, I will alk nothing, but what his blood hath 
" bought, (and ail that I will aik) ; I will expedt an- 
^^ fv/ers of peace, and acceptance, only ia that bleftcd 

\' Beloved 3 

ii8 Sermons concerning Serm. VI. 

« Beloved ; beloved of the Father, both as his Son 
" and our Saviour ; and beloved of all that ever faw 
<« but a little of his faring grace and glory .^" 

Let fuch go and profper. The Lord is with you, 
the Lord is before you. He will welcome the Medi- 
ator in his bringing you to bim^ i Peter iii. 18* and 
welcome you with falvation, who come in his name 
for it. The prodigal's welcome, Luke xv. is but a 
ftiadow of what ye fliaJl meet with. Chrift welcomes 
dearly all that come to him; and the Father Welcomes 
the be'iever that cometh in Chrid's name, and is 
brought in Chrift's hand, to this throne. 


H E B. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throns of grace ^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need, 

FROM this text, I have already fpoken to three 
of the things I did take up in ir. 

1. Unto the throne of grace iifelF, that is ert6led 
for, and revealed to finners in the gofpel ; that new 
court of grace, which the Lord invites the fallen feed 
of Adam to come unio. 

2. 1 have fpoke to that boldnefs thst is allowed and 
commanded in coming to ir. We are not only allowed 
to come, but we raufl: come, or perifh, and bring 
the guilt of our own fouls blood upon our heads, by 
refuficg, A6ls xviii. 6. We not only may come and 

* try, but we may and mud come boldly and confidently 
€5-pe(fl:ing to fpced in their coraing. 

3. I have 

Sekm. VI. the Throne of Grace, 119 

3. I have fpoke 10 the great ground of this confi- 
dence, couched in the word therefore^ in the text, and 
relating to ver. 14, 15. Were it not for Chrifl's place, 
and bulinefs, and heart in heaven, no man on earth 
could have boldnefs at the throne of grace. 

Head IV. The fourth and laft thing in the verfe, 
is, the end we /hould come for ^ and the great bkjjings 
we may receive by coming ; expreffed in two words, 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need. God's mercy and grace are the raoft 
comprifing, comprehenfive bleffings ; and thefe ex- 
pkcflions of them contain all that is needful for one 
happinefs. Nothing can be added to them; no blef» 
fing but is in them ; no blcffing is without them, k 
is the common apoflolic prayer, (and fuch prayers 
made by the penmen of the holy fcripture, under the 
immediate guidance of the Holy Ghofl, are equivalent 
to divine proraifes, yea are fuch), Grcice be to ycu ; 
fcmetimes, Grace^ mercy ^ and peace be to you. So 
that thefe words, as they ftand in the text, do equally 
anfwer thefe two inquiries. 

1, What good things f hall we get at the throne of 
grace? The Spirit of God anfwers. You may, and 
ihuil obtain mercy ^ and find gJ ace to help in time of need f 
And are not thefe well worth coming for ? are they 
any where elfe to be had ? And here they may furely 
be found. How ihould this endear the throne of grace 
to us, and engage to coming to it ? 

2 . Wherefore fhould we come f with what dejtgn f 
what end fhould be in our eye ? Come, faith the Spirit, 
by the apoflle's pen, that ye may obtain the one, and 
find the other. Come, that you may get both. De- 
fign this getting in your coming. 

I would fir ft fpeak of our coming that we may obtain 
mercy ; and on it difcourfe of thefe three things. 

I. Of the mercy that is to be got at the throne of 
grace t 

2. Of 

12 Sermons c oncer 7ilng, Serm. VI 

2. Of the import of the phrafe, obtaining of mercy. 

3. Of the dury required of coming with this defigo, 
that zve may obtain this mercy. 

I. 1 fiiali difcourfe of tbe mercy that is to le obtain- 
ed at the throne of grace. You fee ic is only mercy 
that is named, without any mention made, whofe mer- 
cy it is, or of what fort it is. But when miferable 
finners are invited to come to God's throne of grace 
for mercy, it may be eafily known whofe it is, and 
what it is. It is God's mercy in Jefus Giirilt, v/ho is 
the mercy-feat, or throne of grace. It is not angel- 
mercy, or creature-mercy ; but God's mercy. And 
who can tell what a great and vafl thing his mercy is I 
Mercy, in the proper notion of it, is a kind, reliev- 
ing corapalTion to the miferable. The object of mer- 
cy, is a miferable creature. Divine goodnefs ftiines 
in giving being to nothing, and in creating all things ; 
wifdom, in ordering them, and guiding them 10 his 
glory; juflice, in difpofmg of them according to his 
will, the elTential rule of righteoufnefs. But mercy 
hath DO fit obje(^, till raifery appear for mercy to aft 
on. The ftiewer of mercy is a compaffionate perfon ; 
its nature and end is, to relieve the miferable. Mer- 
cy with God is another fort of mercy than what is re- 
quired of, and can be praflifed by creatures. We 
may, and fhould have compailiou on the miferable, 
whom we are not able nor allowed to relieve. The 
judge that condemns the criminal, (hould do it with 
mercy and compailion ; but he breaks the law, if he 
fufFer his mercy to delay or divert a righteous fentence 
and execution. But the Lord's mercy is not only ten- 
dernefs and compafTion in his own heart, (fo we bor- 
row words, by the pattern of found words in the fcrip- 
ture, to fpeak of God after the manner of men), but 
it is always relieving to the perfon on whom it is be- 
ilowed. Let the mifery be never fo great, and o-f 
what kind foever it be ; whoeyer they be that are the 
objeds of his mercy, they aie cerruinly relieved ihere- 


Serm. VI. the Throne of Grace, 121 

by. There is no redemption out of the pit, though 
their mifery that are there is the greateft. Why ? 
Becaufe there is no mercy for them. If it were pof- 
fible that God's mercy in Chrifl. could enter into hell 
itfelf, (as it falls on many very near to it), that mercy 
would bring them out. But the door of mercy is quite 
fhut upon them ; and the Lord hath refolved and de- 
clared, that Lis mercy fliall never vifit them. 

That we may the better underftand what this mer- 
cy of God is, the getting whereof we fliould make 
our great errand to the throne of grace, it will be 
needful to confider that mifery in men that renders 
them needy of this mercy. 

And this I would confider, as it a(^ually lies on 
them, and is incumbent \ or as it is coming on them, 
and imminent. 

I. The mifery that all natural men lie under. It 
is true, they do not fee it, nor feel it ; but this makes 
not their mifery the lefs, but the greater. For infen- 
fiblenefs of mifery, efpecially where it is removable, 
and when this infenfiblenefs is a hindrance of ufmg 
the right means of rem.oving it, is a great plague, and 
an aggravation of the mifery. I ftiall give you a few 
fcripture-accounts of this mifery. 

i/?, The mifery of a natural man, and of all natu- 
ral men, is, that they are utterly defliiute of all true 
good : In me^ that is^ in my flejh^ dwelUth no good 
things Rom. vii. 18. Muft it not be fo much more 
with thera that ^xtflefh^ and in the flejh^ and have 
nothing in them hmfle/h f The firft notion we have 
of mifery is this, that it (lands in a deprivation of good. 
And the greater that deprivation be, and the more 
good things a man is deprived and deftitute of, the 
more miferable we count the perfon to be. He is a 
miferable man that is blind ; becaufe the light of the 
world is fo pleafant and ufeful, and the eye fimply 
needful to behold and ufe it. It is a great addition to 
this man's mifery, if he be dumb alfo ; becaufe the 
tongue is a man's £iory, and the organ of expreffiog 

Vet, I, C^ our 

122 Sermons concerning Serm. VI, 

our thoughts, and of commuoion wiih our own kind. 
The mifery is yet farther heightened, if a man be ai fo 
deaf; for the ear is the door of knowledge, both of 
things natural and divine. If you go to the inward 
fenfes or powers ; if a man be deprived of thofe, his 
mifery is yetgreater ; as it isa greater mifery to bevoid 
of onderftanding and memory, to be an idiot, (an in- 
nocent, as we call them^\ than it is to be deprived of 
any of the bodily fenfes. Now, if one wanted all the 
fenfes of the body, and powers of the foul (if fuch a 
creature ihould be-called aman), would we not acccuQt 
this a moft miferable creature ? Blit if ^here be yet 
fomewhai better than all chefc, furely then he that is 
altogether void of that, mufl be more miferalile fiill. 
That there is fomewhat better than aH thefe good gifts 
of body and mind, and that every man by nature is 
without it, is mofi: manifeft in the word. To be with" 
Gut Gcd^ without CbriJJy luithout hope^ Eph. ii. 12. is 
more, and worfe, than to be without any, or all out- 
ward good ihings. This deftitute (late is expreiTed by 
our Lord, Rev. iii. 17. Becaufe thou fayejl^ I am r'lch^ 
and increafed with goods ^ and have need of nothing ; 
and knoweft not that thou art ivretchsd, and miferable^ 
and poor ^ and blind^ and naked. What a great dif- 
ference is there betwixt Chrift's, and their opinion 
of their (late .'^ And muft not Cbrifl's be right and 
true, and theirs falfe if it contradifl his P Were they 
any thing the lefs miferable ; were they not rather 
much more fo, that they fo misjudged ? Our Lord 
aggravates both their fin and mifery from their igno- 
rance, Becaufe thou knoweft not. Spiritual bleiiings 
are of that nature, that all are miferable indeed that 
are without them.; but no man is fenfibly miferable, 
till he feeth that he is without them. It is the know- 
ledge of this want that brings in the fenfe of mifery ; 
as every unpardoned fmner is a miferable man; but he 
never counts himfelf miferable, till he fcfl the weight 
of fin, and fee the want of pardon. 


Serm. VL the Throne of Grace, 123 

, 2^/jV, Every natural raan is needy of God's mercy, 
becaufe he is a condemned man. A condemned man, 
is a dead man in law. As there is no condemnation to 
them that are in ChriJJ Jcfus^ Piom. vlii. j.; fo there 
is nothing but condemQailoii to all that are not in him : 
John iii. 18; 36. He that hdieveth not^ is condemned 
already ; and the wrath of God abideth on him. You 
may have feen and heard, how malefactors will cry 
for mercy from the judge, when he cannot,' ought not 
to pity them, fo as to fpare them ; when they are bid 
hold up their hand at the bar to receive their doom, 
how earnedly on their knees, with tears, they wiil 
cry, Mercy'y my lord, mercy for God^s fake. Every na- 
tural man is condemned. But how few of their coq- 
fciences can witnefs for them, that they ever fought 
God's mercy fo as convi£l criminals an earthly judge's 
mercy ? The mercy they htg is fmall, ia regard of 
what fmners Hand in need of from God. An earthly 
judge may reprieve or pardon to-day, and the par- 
doned man may die to-morrow. But if the great Judge 
condemn you, and you are not pardoned, you are fen- 
tenced to a never-dying mifery. Prifoners beg mercy 
of a man, who, may be, is bound up by law, and 
confcience of his oath, to (hew none, but to execute 
jultice. Here the cafe is juil contrary. The Lord 
bids men beg his mercy, and condemns them only that 
defpife it. We have his command, and promif^, and 
m iny a£ls of pardon, for our encouragement. What 
pleading for pardon would there be at earth'y bars, if 
ihey had the judge's command to alk, fiis promife to 
grant it, and his hand and feal to that promife P Such 
is our cafe ; yet few beg it in good earneft. Be a- 
fhamed, and convinced of your fin, when you fee mea 
begging a frail, (hort life of a judge ; and fay, <* A- 
*' las ! 1 never begged the mercy of eternal life fo ear- 
** neflly at. the throne of grace, as thefe wretches do a 
'' frail, fhort, uncertain life." 

3^/y, The natural raan hath all the creation againft 
him, and therefore is needy of God's mercy. The 

(^2' whole 

124 Sermons concerning Serm. VI, 

whole creation grones under him ; he is a burden to 
'God's earth, a plague to the creation, Rom. viii. 20, 
21, 22. What a noife do men make, and what pains 
do they take, to heap up daft ? If God profper their 
endeavours, they think he bleffeth them, and count 
themfelves happy in their enjoyment. But what is 
2.11 this for to a natural unrenewed man ? All thefe 
creature-comforts will be but as fo many witneiTes 
againft them in the day of the Lord, James v. i,— •>4. 
Men feek the creatures to fatisfy their carnal defires, 
and fupply their outward wants ; but they do not re- 
member, that uniefs the fpecial faving mercy of God 
come along with them, the creatures are abufed, and 
in their way, witnefs and grone to God againft them. 
They grone to be put in God's room in mens hearts, 
and to be made fewel for mens lufts. They all wait 
but for God's call to execute vengeance on his ene- 
mies. Is not fuch a man needy of God's mercy, that 
bath the whole creation of God at war with him ? 

4//??/y, But there is worfe than all thefe : The man 
himfelf, and all he is, hath, and doth, is under the 
curfe of God, Gal. iii. 10. What is the curfe ? It is 
the malediiftion of God on a man : it is God's devot- 
ing him to ruin. He is curfed in his body, curfed in 
Lis foul, curfed in his family, curfed in his trade and 
cftate, curfed in his crofTcs, curfed in his mercies, 
curfed in his life, and curfed in his death j curfed in 
time, and curfed to eternity. Ah, how long and 
broad is this curfe ! Zech. v. 2, 3, 4. O what need 
is there of God^s mercy ! for it is this mercy only 
that can take away the curfe. There is no evil we 
are in danger of from an angry God, but muft be re- 
moved or prevented by the oppofite good from a re- 
conciled God. If God's anger be our plague, nothing 
can remove it but his love. If his curfe be oar bur- 
den, only his blefTing can take it away. The whole 
creation cannot make up the lofs of God's favour. 
And this they know well, that ever faw the face of 
an angry God. 


Serm. VI. the Throne of Grace, 125 

So much of the neceflity of God's mercy, from 
the pre'fent mifery of natural men. 

2. I might proceed to fpeak of that which is com- 
ing on them, without the interveening of this mercy 
of God. We do not reckon a man raiferable only, 
on the account of what he feels, but alfo on that of 
his juft fears. And generally the fmart of mifery is 
railed from fear, rather, and more than from feeling. 
If any thing renders a man's prefent ftate miferable, 
the apprehenfion of the duration or increafe of what 
he feels, adds greatly to his mifery. Many things 
would be little complained of as great evils, were a 
man fure that in a moment they (liall be removed. 
But in a finner's cafe, for as bad as it is at prefent, it 
will furely be worfe with him (hordy, if mercy pre- 
vent not. There is certainty of its coming, and an e- 
ternal duration of it when it comes. It is called the 
wrath to come^ i Theff. i. 10. Nothing like it ever 
came on them. Prefent wrath, though dreadful, is 
but a trifle to that that is to come, it is wrath to 
come ; for it will furely come. As furely as God 
lives, as furely as God is true in his word of threaten- 
ing, this wrath will come on the world of the ungodly. 
There is no putting of this evil day far away, but in 
"vain thoughts ; no diverting or keeping it back a mo- 
ment. All the united force of the rebellious part of 
the creation will not be able to flem or flop this fearful 
tide of wrath. It is wrath to come ; for it is flill com- 
ing and approaching. As many days and years as an 
ungodly fmner counts in his life, as many days and 
years journeys hath God's wrath made towards him, 
Tnink on this, old fmners ; God's wrath and you are 
near to meet, except mercy interpofe. You think 
that you run from it, but it runs after you. It will 
come upon yoUy and furfue you^ and overtake you, as 
Deut. xxviii, 45. It is wrath to come ; becaufe it is 
always a-coming, and never pad. The tide of God^s 
wrath on the damned is an eternal flood; .there will 
\vill never be an ebbing. Look down to hell, and 


126 Sermons concerning Serm. VL 

fee bow they fare there. Alas ! men will not believe, 
and fear, and fly ; and therefore mud feel. How ma- 
ny daily hear of this wrath to come^ and yet never have 
any fear of it, till they be irrecoverably plunged in- 
to it ? who never awaken out of the fleep of fecurity, 
till they are awakened by the flallies of hell-fire P 
who will never believe God's wrath, till they feel it ? 
No true beiiever goes to hell ; all unbelievers are fent 
thither . but as foon as they come there, they become 
woful believers, becaufe eternal feelers of this wrath 
to come. 

Mens danger of this dreadful ftatc, fliould make 
them cry mightily for God's mercy, as it renders them 
unfpeakably needy of it. But your own ferious 
thoughts about it, would do you more' good than 
niany words can. 

11. The fecond thing propofed, is, What is theohtain- 
ingof mercy f A frequent manner of fpeech in fcrip- 
ture : i Tim. i. 13. Who %vas before a bla/phsmer^ 
and a perjecutor^ and injurious : but I obtained mercy, 
1 Per. ii. 10. TVhich in time pajl were not a people ^ 
but are now the people of God : which had not obtain* 
ed mercy ^ but ?ww have obtained mercy. 

This phrafe of obtaining mercy fpeaks forth, 

1. That the mercy is God's gift. Our obtaining, 
i? the fruit of his giving. / obtained mercy ^ faith 
Paul, and may every believer fay. How {0 ? He 
gave it; hcfieived^ he de?no?2/lrated h, as i Tim. i. 16. 
it is the Lord's fliewing it, tendering, and giving of it, 
that is the only fpring of our obtaining it. We do 
not- buy it, we do not work it out, we are no way 
meet for it but by mifery. God's mercy fprings not 
out of the earth, but comes down from heaven. It 
is the gift of God: and as fuch mud: ail feek it that 
would obtain it ; and as fuch will all eternally own it, 
that do obtain it. 

2. This phrafe fpeakn forth a particular applicarioa 
cf mercy to the receiver by the giver of it. / obtain- 

Serm. VI. the Throne of Grace, it) 

ed mercy ^ faith Paul. " General mercy would not do 
" my bufinefs, another man's mercy would not Tave 
" me ; 1 mud have it of my own, for myfelf j aud fo I 
** get it. Mercy came to me, made me a vifit, and 
" applied itfelf to me in particular." So mud: it be 
vi:h you. You will never be faved, you ihall oeyer 
fee God's face in glory, unlefs his mercy deal witl^ 
you, and apply iifeif as particularly to you, as if there 
were no other perfon in the world to be favx^d by 
mercy befides thyfelf. There is indeed a blciTed mul- 
tiiude of the veflels of mercy, and the Captain of our 
fahatlon brings many fons to glory , Heb. il lo. B^t 
yet there is a perfonai particular application of iav'mg 
mercy to every favcd fmner. And for this applicatioa 
of mercy, we fhould come to the throce of grace. 
Ihough there be infinite mercy at his throne, and 
though many receive of this mercy j yet you muil 
have of this mercy for yourfelves or you cannot be 
faved, Your foul is your own, and no. man's elfe; 
your danger, fm, and raifery, h your own, and no 
man's elfe ; and the mercy that faveS you, mud be 
as mu^ch your own, and not anorher body's mercy. 
That deep difcourfe 'of the apoftle looks this way, 
Rom. xi. 30, 31, 32. For as ye in times fajl have not 
believed God ^ yet have now obtained mercy through their 
nnbelief: even fo have thefe alfo now not believed y that 
through your mercy they alfo may obtain mercy. For 
God hath concluded them all in unbelief that he might 
have mercy upon all. It is a great myitery of jndgweat 
and mercy the apoflle is fpeaking of; the reje<fling 
of the Jews, and calling in of the Gentiles. Mercy 
took occafon, from the jufl calling off of the Jews, 
to vifit the Gentiles ; and will in due time bedow it- 
felf again upon the Jews. But both of them rauft 
have mercy of their own. Mercy to the Jews will not 
fave the Gentiles ; mercy to the Gentiles will not fave 
the Jews. Both mud have their own mercy. The 
fountain is the fame, the drfams are the fame ; buc 
the veffels arc not the fame, and every ved'elof sner- 

128 Sermons CGncemmg Serm. VI. 

cy mud have its own raeafure of its own particular 
mercy. So muft it be with you, if you be faved by 
mercy. It mud be your own, and no man's elfe. 

3. Obtaining of mercy ^ fpeaks forth the receivers 
ponejfling of it. Obtained mercy, is not only beflow- 
ed and applied mercy, but it is polIeiTed mercy. Such 
things as cannot be poiTefTed and kept, are worth 
little pains in feeking. But God*s mercy is well 
worth the feeking ; becaufe it may be both had by 
feeking, and kept when obtained, and is unfpeak - 
ably beneficial when enjoyed: Pfal. ciii. 17. The 
mercy of the Lord is from everlafling to everlafling upon 
them that fear him. As if the Pfalmift had faid, 
" Man is but a flower ; his life is a wind and vapour 
** that quickly and furely palTeth away. But it is not 
" fo with God's mercy ; it eternally abides on all it 
" falls upon/*' O that men would think on this ! As 
God lives, and is true in his word, God's everlaftiog 
mercy, or God's everkfting wrath, will eternally lie 
upon every one of you. And what an amazing dif- 
ference is there betwixt thefe two ! And yet how 
many behave, as if indifferent which of thefe two 
fliall be upon them ? God's favlng mercy is fuch a 
jewel, that though the Lord gives it but to few, yet 
he will never take it away from any he hath given it 
to, PfaLlxxxix. 28. — 33. Believers, God may take 
any thing from you, bat his mercy ; and you may 
fpare any thing, but his mercy. If God come to take 
away your children, give them ; if he come to take 
away your eflate, let him have it ; if he come to take 
away your health and lives, yield them ; drive nor 
with him ; blefs a giving, and blefs a taking God. 
If he crave thy right eye, or right hand, and what 
is deareft to you, give, yield all to him* But fay, 
" Let me only keep thy mercy \ I cannot part with 
** that, it is the only thing I cannot fpare." The bleffed 
Canaanite's driving with Chrid was about his mercy; 
" Be filent, difown, reproach me, I care not ; but thy 
" mercy I mud have." It were a cruelty that only 


Serm. VL the Throne of Grace, 129 

unbelief can charge God finfully with, to take away 
fo precious a gift as faving mercy is. Let but this 
mercy Joliow vu^ as Pfal xxiii. 6. and it is no greac 
matter where I go. If I be in the loweft hell, mercy 
will bring nie out : Pfa!. Ixxxvi. 13. For great is thy 
mercy toward me : and thou haft daiivered my foul from 
the lowefl hell. There is no linr.e-hell that a vf ffel ot* 
mercy can be in, but mercy will bring him out again ; 
and this mercy will fecure him from the eternal hell. 
This mercy is God's mercy; therefore fovereignly 
free, therefore almighty, therefore eiernai. You fin, 
believers, when you fear his takiug away his meicy. 
He gave it at firft, that you miglu be erernally pof- 
fclTed of ir. Mercy gave mercy, and mercy will keep 
mercy, and mercy will Hay with you, and keep yoa 
for ever. 

III. The third thing to be fpoke to, is, the end and 
deftgn of coming to the throne of grace ; and that is, that 
we may obtam mercy. Not only that this mercy is to 
be got at the throne of grace, ahd ihere only ; nor 
that this throne of grace is ere«rted on purpofs to dif- 
penfe this mercy ; nor is it only that we liiould come 
10 the throne- of grace, to alk and beg this mercy; 
but that we (hould come to obtain it. This is the du- 
ty exhorted to in the text. And in the fetting abouc 
this duty, two things are required. 

I. Come as fenfible of your need of mercy. No 
man can come truly without this fenfe. He that hath 
CO fenfe of mifery, compliments God in afking mercy, 
and takes this faving name of God in vain. It is dread- 
ful to provoke God to wraih in our way of aiking his 
mercy : and all fuch contratSt this guilt, and expofe 
themfelves to his wrath, that have no heare-fenfe of 
their need of this mercy. It is an anii^zing ftupidity 
that the power of fm hath brought on men, that, ia 
a world of fmners finking into everiafting mifery, fo 
few are really fenfible of their need of faving mercy. 

Vol. I, K And 

130 Sermons concerns ng Serm. VL 

And no man is fenllble, till God by his grace make 
him fo. 

2. Come in fail h of his mercy. You cannot come 
at all without this fairh. Faith is coming to GoJ^ Heb. 
xi. 6. Unbelief is departing from the living God, Heb. 
iii. 12. No man can come, but he that is fenfible of 
mifery ; for coming is the a£l of a man drawn and 
moved by the cords of a man. No man can come but 
in faiih; for there is no other coming for a Chriilian. 
Thefe three things (liould be in this faith. 

iff, A believing that there is abundance of mercy 
with the Lord ; which if (hewed and put forth to you, 
and on you, would favc you abundandy. So argues 
the prodigal, Luke xv. 17, 18. And when be cajne to 
himfeif^ he faidy Ho-w many hired fervanis of my fa- 
ther'' s have bread enough, and tofpare, and I perij'hfor 
hunger! I voill arife^ andgo to my father, and fay, Szc, 
Pfal. CXKX. 7. Let Ifrael hope in the Lord : for tvith 
the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous re- 
demption. The higheit working of unbelief is, when 
men judge their mifery greater than his mercy ; the 
great work of faith is, to get thefe two to meet fair- 
ly : and mercy will furcly prevail. His tender mercy 
is over all his tvorks ; much more is his abundant mer- 
cy above a fmner's mifery. Cain's words ihould be 
left for himfelf, and iifed by none elfe, Gen. iv. 13. 
AndCainf aid unto the Lord, My punijhment is greater 
than I can bear ; or, My iniquity is greater than that 
it may be forgiven : words founding like the language 
of hell, and not to be fpoken by any that would efcape 
ir. 1 know many f»:cure people liud no difficulty in 
that they count believing of this, that there is mercy 
enough with the Lord, But yet the matter is far o- 
iherwife. It is mighty difficult to believe the abund- 
ance oF his mercy, when men are in great preiTures of 
mifery. The bed of faints have fometimes (tumbled 
here. When Mofes is pleading with the Lord for 
mercy to Ifrael, Numb. xiv. 17, 19. And now, 1 be- 
feechthecy let the power of my Lord be grcat^ according 


Serm. VI. the Throne of Grace. 131 

^s thou haj} fpoken. And pardon^ I befeech thee, the 
iniquity of this people^ actor diyig unto the greatnefs of 
thy mercy . As if Mpfes had faid, " Lord thou hall 
*' pioclai:r.ed thy name, and 1 heard it, and believed 
" it J but 1 did not think, that their wickednefs would 
** have been fo great, as now 1 find it to be/' Was 
Kot Mofes a great believer I yet he (lumbled in this 
poi-ai of the power of God*s mercy, Numb. xi. 18.— 
23. Ifrael murmureth for ilelli, God promifeth a 
whole month's diet of it What faith Mofes, ver. 2 i, 
11. \ How doth the Lord anfwer him ? ver. 23. And 
the Lord faid unto Mofes ^ Is the - Lcrd^s hand waxed 
fhortf thou fh alt fee now y whether my word f hall come 
to pafs u?ito thee^ or not. This great man's unbelief 
was greatly aggravated, in that he faw the Lord bring 
that people out of Egypt, with figns and wonders, and 
with a mighty hand ; he faw them daily fed, clothed, 
and led, and protected wiih miracles of divine power 
and mercy : yet oae new difficulty (hakes his faith. 
When Paul gives us his lad account of his faith, (for 
that epiitle was his lad waiting), he iodgeth his faith 
on divine power ; 2 Tim. i. 12. / know whom I have 
believed^ and I am pcrfuadcd that he is able to keep that 
which I have committed unto him again/} that day, *' If 
*' 1 be perfuaded that he is able, i (hall not doubt of 
*' his being willing 10 keep that charge Mt 1 have 
" committed to him.*' Let the eye of faith take up 
clearly the power of mercy ; and the faith of its ap- 
plication to ihy benefit, v»'ill be the more eafy. But 
he is a rare believer, whofe view of the power of 
mercy is not darkened by a clear light and deep fenfe 
of his own great mifery, at lead at fometiibes. 

sJ/y, To come for mercy in faith, is to believe the 
fitnels and fuitablenefs of God's mercy to cur mifery. 
Here many ftarable wofully. Their quefiion is, '" Am 
" 1 fit for mercy ?" when it fliouid rather be, *' Is his 
*' mercy fit for me ^.** And this queftion every fenfible 
foul can anfwer ; the other none in heaven f^- -"^^^^ 
can anfwer* If any man think him^*-^^ ^^^ ^^'^ mercy, 

1^2 Sermons ccncerning Serm. VI 

of all men, that man is moft iinfiL for it, and far the 11 
from receiving of it. But every fenfibie foul will fay, 
*' Though 1 be unfir for, and unworthy of mercy; yet 
*' mercy is very fir for me. Is there p::trdoning mer- 
•' cy with God ? who is ir ^o fit for as a guilty vile fm- 
** ner ? Is there favinj^ mercy with him ? who is it (o 
** fir for, as for a loli man, as I am ?" Come ro the 
throne of gracf for mercy, in faith of this, *< Mercy 
•* is fie for me exactly, though I be utterly unworthy 
*' of ir." They that thmk they are fit for mercy, will 
never get ii, nor indeed can aik ir. But they that 
think they are needy of it, and that it is fit for them, 
will !)oih ai]< it and ge*- it. 

^dly^ To come to the throne of grace in faith for mer- 
cy, is, to believe that there is all good-will in him that 
fits on this throne to give and (hew mercy. It is implied 
in the text, Let us come to obtain mercy. But what, if 
when we come, he will not (hew mercy ? That is aa 
tmgcdly fuppofition, mifchievous to ourielves, and re- 
fieding upon God. He hath mercy in abundance to 
give ; he delights in giving, he never refufed mercy 
to any that came for it, he hath promifed he never 
will: and why fhould men harbour fiich a fufpicion, 
that we may come and not obtain? Benhadad could 
adventure on a report, that the kings of ifrael were 
merciful kings ; and yet Ahab was one of the word of 
ihem, I Kings xK. 31. And iliall nor finners come u- 
pon a more fure report of the mercii-ulaefs of the King 
on this throR? o^ grace ? It is on this truth of the 
Lord's goodwill to ftiew mercy that our faith fo readi- 
ly hahs. M'-jny think they ought not to believe this 
good-will to Ihew mercy. 1 would have you confider 
fome indances of Chrift's dealing with finners. John 
iv. 10. J^fus anjwt)ed and /aid unto ker^ If thcu 
knewefl the gift of God, and who it Is that faith to thee, 
(jive me to drink ; thou would fl haze asked of him^ and 
^■^ "tvould have given thee living water. Where we 
'■"' -^A. i^ To whom thefe words were fpoken 

by o°urtord ; to a Ssm^ \ a vile creature, as to 

Serm. VI. the Throne of Grace. 133 

the former courfe of her life; a bliod, ignorant, fot- 
ti(h fihner, that was guilty of refufing Chrift a cup of 
water, the greateft fin ftie ever committed in her life. 
2. What our Lord faith 10 her: If thou knewejlme, 
thou wouldejl have asked ; if thou hadjl asked, I would 
have given thee living water. And before he had done, 
he made her know him ; made her aflc, and gave her 
of his living water. But that I mainly obferve from 
the word of Chrift, u a truth, which few will believe 
when they hear it, even few believers themfelves will 
believe it as they ought. That Chrift is more ready 
to give begging fmners eternal life, than they can be 
to give Chrift himfelf a cup of cold water. Our Lord 
faith ir, but men will not believe it. Another of 
Chrift's words is in Luke xi. 13. If ye then, being evil^ 
know how to give good gifts unto your children ; how 
much more zvill your heavenly Father give the Holy Spi- 
rit to them that ask him f Chrift makes the compa- 
rifon favourably, ver. li, 12. of a child's asking ne- 
ceffaries ; will a parent refufe that defire, and give 
what is hurtful ? But confider our Lord's defign in 
this faying. It is plainly to encourage to feeking. 
And the argument he ufeth, is from the greater ]o^Q 
and readinefe in Gcd to give the beft things, than 
earthly parents, have to give their children the ne- 
ceftaries of this life. The preference is not here gi- 
ven to God's greater riches and fulnefs, than that of 
parents, who may have their children beg of them 
what they have not to give, as in Lam. iv. 4. ; but it 
is a preference given to God's greater wiilingnefs to 
give. Now, who believes this, and makes the juft 
application to his own cafe ? and fays confideutly, 
" The Lord is much more willing to give me faving 
" mercy, if I ask it, than I am to give a bit of bread 
'^ to maintain the life of the neareft and deareft rela- 
" tion I have in the world ?" 

Application. I Ihall only add a few words 
of application, 

-I. There 

134 t^crmcns concerning Serm. VI, 

1. There is no principle of natural religion engra- 
Teu more deeply on the hearts of men, than there is 
iiiifery in men, and mercy in God ; and that God's 
aiercy only can relieve men under this mifery. This 
runs through the whole world in all ages ; and will 
continue as long as fenfe of mifery is in men, and any 
notions of God arc preferved in the minds of men. 
x\nd thefe feniiments are not to be defaced. Attempts 
of atheifts are damnable to themfeWes, but vain efforts 
againfl the Rock of ages. 

2. Notwithftanding of this, God's true mercy in 
Jefus Chrift is the greatefl riddle, olience, and {Inin- 
bliag-blcck, to all natural men. God's mercy they 
like well enough, and would have applied to their 
own relief under mifery ; but God's only and true 
mercy in Chrift, they cannot away with. That there 
is no mercy with God for fmnerSj but what flows thro' 
the blood of Jefus Chrift ; that God's love fiiauld ap- 
pear in fending his own Son, under the charge of 
mens lin, and under the fmart and feeling of their 
raiferies ; that as God fliew^s mercy only this way, fo 
men that would have it, mud only, feek it this way; 
the world never did, never can, never v/i!i under- 
iland, nor rehfli it, nor betake therofelves to it^ They 
would have mercy lo come to them another way ; and 
fo feck it, and lock for it in vain, and periili by the 
mifs of it. 

3. There is no addrefs made to God, more honour- 
able to God, more acceptable to him, and more be- 
coming a miferable fmner, than an addrels to Go:! for 
his mercy. It is his glory to be the Sovereign Lord 
of mercy ; it is his honour to be attended with the 
addrefics of miferable men ; it is his delight to dif- 
penfe mercy to the addrciTors. What is more be- 
coming God, than to (hew mercy ? and what can be 
more fit, than that a miferable fmner Ihould beg his 
mercy ? 

4. There h no provocation more common, than 
jinful ways of begging God's mercy. I Ihall briefly 


Serm. VI. the Throne of Grace, 135 

indance in a few. Many profane carelefs creatures 
h?ve this word frequently in their moiuh?, God hemsr- 
ciful to me ; who yet have no more h\X^z^ either of 
God or of themfelves, of his mercy or of their rnifery, 
than the ground they go on. This is a grofs taking 
of God's name in vain. Undue addrelTes to God for 
mercy, are great provocations. Some beg only out- 
ward mercies. , Such people would like this text well, 
if it had been, *' Let us come that we may obtain 
" gold, and filver, and health, and long life." If 
prayer was ordained by God for (uch mercie?, the 
throne of grace 'would be crcaded with fupplicants. 
But you will never ply prayer rightly, till you under- 
hand that there is fomeihing to be got at this throne 
of grace, that is better in itfelf, more needful for ymi^ 
and that will do you more good, than all that th^ 
v^orld hath to give. Some beg mercy only when they 
are under God's affli£ling hand : Pfalm Ixxviii. 54, 
When he flew fbem, then they fought him. Some beg 
God's mercy limitedly ; they only beg oue vnercy, atid 
defire no more. His mercy is of a large extent, and 
We (liould beg it all. We may beg a particular mer- 
cy, according to our prefent felt neceiTuies ; yet we 
muft not make an exception againit any a£l of mercy. 
We muft tiot beg the mercy of pardon, with a lieart- 
quarrel agaiuft the mercy of fan<Prificatioii. The Lord 
be merciful to thy fervant in this things 2 Kings v. i§. 
was a faulty prsyer, if there was any (incerity in Naa- 
raan. Tho' we may ask any particular mercy, yet we 
may lay open our hearts to the whole flood of mercy : 
Pfalm cxix. 132. Look thou upon me^ and he merciful 
unto me^ as thou tifejl to do unto thofe that love thy 
name. So Pfalm cvi. 4, 5. Laftly, Some beg mercy 
for themfelves, and for their idols in the fame addrefs.. 
One part of their prayer is for mercy to themfelves,, 
and another part of it is for mercy to their idols. Is 
not that a woful, ill-made prayer P and yet how 
frequently is it done I Idols are fuch things as have a 
greater, nearer room in the heart, thaa God hath. 


136 Sermons concerning Serm. VI, 

Whatever is loved, feared, trufted, and delighted in, 
more than God, that is an idol, be it the beftor bafcil: 
thing we cap name, or think on. Thefe idols are of 
two forts ; lawful, and unlawful. Not that it is law- 
ful to have an idol ; but many make idols of lawful 
things : fuch things I mean, that in their proper place 
may be fought, and lawfully ufed ; but are wofully 
abafed, when put in God's room. Thefe are the 
mofl: dangerous, becaufe lead perceived idols. Chrif- 
tian, it is lawful to love thy relations, to pray for wife 
and children, to beg God's blelTing on thy lawful di- 
ligence in thy calling : but watch well, that none of 
thefe lawful things come in between thy heart and 
God. If they do, thou wilt fall into this fnare, of 
begg'uig God's mercy to thyfelF and idols in the fame 
prayer. Unlawful idols, or idols in unlawful things, 
are, fms, lulls, and heart-plagues. Woe to him that 
begs God's mercy to them. We fhould daily beg 
God's mercy againil them. The more mercy (that is, 
forbearance) God (heweth to fuch idols, the more 
wrath, and the lefs mercy, he fheweth to the maa 
hirafelf. God's mercy cannot be fliewn both to a maa 
and his idols. The pureft mercy is then (hewn to a 
man, when the Lord dealeth feverely with his idols. 
Kill my finful idols ^ andfave me, is a fit prayer at the 
throne of grace j and he is a happy man that gets it 
an f we red. 

5. Sinful addreiTes for God's mercy, are great pro- 
vocations of his wrath. His mercy is fo facred a name 
of God, that he will hold no man guiltiefs that laketh 
it in vain. In this matter the beft contracfl much guilt. 
All have many fms in their holy things, and in their 
approaches to the holiefl of all, the throne of grace, 
and do (land in need of atonement. And we ihould 
all come to the throne of grace, for mercy to pardon 
the fms that are in our feeking of mercy. But where 
then fhall the ungodly and fmner appear? He perifli- 
cth for want of mercy. He fhould come for it; and 


Serm. VII. the Throne of Grace, 1^7 

he cannot come for mercy, while he is what he is, but 
he provokes the Lord to more wrath againfi: him. 
This is one of the ii:extrlcable (Iralrs that every un- 
believer is in, that noiliing but foverelgn grace and 
mercy can bring one out of. Look to hira for this 
deliverance, and he will Ihew you mercy. 


He B. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need. 

THE lad thmg in this verfe is, What is to be had 
at the throne of grace y and what we fhould come 
for ? And that is, mercy and grace ; and we need no 
more. And we (liould come that we may obtain arid 
find them : and we fhould, in our coming, defign no 

Of the firfl: I began to fpeak lad day, and did open 
ihefe three things. 

1. What is this mercy we fliould come for? It is 
God's faving mercy in Chrifl, fuitable unto, and for 
relieving of that mifery that every natural man is pe- 
rilhing under. Mercy in God, and mifery in man, 
are relatives ; and happy is that perfon that hath them 
well married and matched together. 

2. What is in this phrafe, obtaining of mercy? I 
told you, that it implied three things, i. That mer- 
cy is God's free gift. We only come by ir, becaufe 
he gives it. 2. That there is a perfonal particular 
application of this mercy to ihe obtainer of it. 3. That 

Vol. L S it 

1^8 Sernwis concerning ^ Serm. "VIL 

it is given as a pofTeirion ; net as a gifc ihat may be 
recalled and retaken ; but it is given for an evcrlail- 
jng poffcilion. Whoever is made partaker of God's 
fpecial faving mercy, it lliall never be taken from hiai, 
it (liall never walie, nor fpend, nor wear out ; but 
(hall ftaywith him, follow him, and grow up with him 
to eternity. The burden of that heaven like fong, 
Pfalm cxxxvi. is fix and twenty times repeated, For 
his 7nercy endureth for ^ver. How fweetly will it be 
fung from all the manfions in heaven, ?.nd by all the 
bleSed dwellers in them! oive thanks to our God; 
for he is good^ for his mercy endiireth for ever. Can 
you iearn this Jong / as the word is, R.ev. xiv. 3. Only 
the redeemed of the Lord c^nfiyfo ; but all they flioulJ 
fay fo, Pfalm cvii. i, 2, His mercy is moil fweet ; 
a crumb of it will fave a fhrving foul, as Matth. xv. 
27. A large meafure of it on eanh, is a heaven. 
But the eternity of this mercy, is the mercy of ibis 
mercy. Time-mercies, in regard of this, are no mer- 

3» I fpoke of the defign and end wc flionld have 
before us in coming to the throne of grace : Come 
that we may obtain mercy. 

That which I would do at this exercife, is to apply^ 
this truth. And the Lord apply both AxjdiiXnz and 
application. And, 

jp/V/?, 1 would pur this queftion to your confcien- 
ces, and let them fpeak as in God's light, J^^^^^^^r 
have ye obtained mercy ^ or not f Can you fay v^'ith Paul, 
But 1 obtained inercy f You mufl have it as well as he, 
and may know it as really &s he did ; though ye re- 
ceive not fo much, nor know it fo clearly, as (o great 
a believer as Paul did. See to get your confciences 
well refolved in this main cafe, that you may be able 
to give a peremptory anfwer. The importance of 
this queflion is very obvious. Can a man retire wlch- 
in, and look up to God, and confider this, '' 1 am a 
*' miferable fmner in rayfelf, as all are ; nothing but 
*^ God's fpecial oiercy can relieve me j" and not think 


Serm. VII. the Throne of Grace, 139 

it a matter of vaft confcquence ro know whether he 
hath obiained ihls^ mercy or nor Woe to them that 
Dever aiT:ed the qncllion ; and they are but ia a ibrry 
cafe that cannot anfwer it. 

1 would propofe a few things to Inforce the duty of 
trying yourfetves in this matter. 

1. It is mercy you have been feeking. If ever you 
made any falhion of prayer, furely it was raercy you 
fought. Mod of you, if not all, pray at l:,-a{l fome- 
times. Now, whenever you pray, unlefs you be wo- 
fully forniai and flu^})id5 your confciences mud tell you, 
it is mercy you feek. Have you long and often beg- 
ged God's mercy ? and will ye never inquire whether 
or not you have got it ? None aik in earned, but 
they will try how they fpeed. There is no furerand 
plainer argument of trifling in prayer, than when mea 
are carelcfs what they get by prayer. We would be 
called of the gemraticn cf them that feek God* s face: 
and (hall we not inquire if we have found hiin ? Our 
Lord bids us ask, that we may receive ; and fhall we 
ask, and not think of receiving? nor try \i we have 
received P 

2. A great many round you have obiained mercy; 
therefore it becomes you to enquire, whether you have 
obtained it. if the mercy oi" God were fo very rarely 
difpenfed, that none, if any, in an age, did partake of 
it, this neglc£f would be a iirde more excufable. But 
•when mercy falls round about thee; when one on thy 
right hand obtains mercy, and anoth » on thy left 
hand obtains mercy ; when this mercy falls on {o^\Z 
of the family ihou lived in, on fome of the congrega- 
tion thou beared in ; when this mercy falls on one 
that hath the fame natural parents that thou had : will 
none of thefe tilings make you ask, Have I alfo ob' 
tained mercy? We find our Lord aggravating the mi- 
fery of the damned, by their feeing of the blclT^dnefs 
of the faved, Luke xiii. 28. There fhall be iveepwg 
and gnajhtng of^teeth, when ye fhall fee Abraham^ and 
ifaaCi and Jacob ^ and ail the prophds^ in the kingdom 

S 2 of 

I^o Sermons concerning Serm. VIT, 

of God, and you your/elves thrujl out. A raofl: dread- 
ful paiTage I Chrift is telling men that were to be ex- 
cluded from heaven, what they would think, fay, and 
do, in that difmal cafe. Prevent this mifery in time, 
by inquiring whether you have obtained mercy : and 
do fo the rather, that ye may fee others partaking of 
this mercy* Wiien you fee the faving mercy of God 
fought and obtained by others, it Ihould provoke you 
greatly ; not to envy them their fhare, but to defire 
a Ihare of your own ; for there is enough, and to 
fparc. And the Lcrd doth (liew mercy to fome on 
purpofe, that he may encourage others to come, and 
ask, and obtam. So Paul tells wherefore he got his 
mercy : i Tim. i. 16. Howbeit^ for this taufe I obtain- 
ed mercy ^ that in mefirfi fot the chief) Jefus Chrifl 
might jhexu forth all long-fuff'ering^ for a pattern to them 
ivhich fhould hereafter believe on him to life everlafting^ 
There were other ends Chrift had in fhewing mercy 
to Paul. The Lord (hewed him mercy, that be might 
be faved eternally ; he (liewed him mercy, that he 
might be an able minifler of the nezu teflament, 2 Cor. 
iii. 6. and a fUccefsfal apoiUe, i Cor. xv. 10.; and 
the church of- Chrift hath good caufe now, for many 
ages, to blefs our Lord Jefus for that rich mercy which 
that chofen veiTel obtained, and was filled with. But 
the apoftle, in that place, takes notice of another de- 
fign of Chrift's in his mercy to him ; and that was, to 
fet up Paul as a pattern and copy of the freedom, 
riches, and power of faving mercy. And Chrift can, 
vhen he will, write another copy, like Paul ; and 
fomewhat like it he doih in all that he calls favingly, 
Eph. ii. 4. Take in this argument, " Many obtaia 
** mercy ; and why not 1 ? None defcrve ir ; yet ma- 
** ny have ir. None deferve it lefs, and need it more 
*' than 1 ; why then not I ?" If you fee the Lord 
fhewing mercy to others, and you care not for mercy 
to yourfelvesj how can you expe£t it, or think you 
have got it ^ 

3. In- 

Sekm. VIL the Throne of Grace. i^\ 

3. Inquire whether you have received God's fav- 
iDg mercy ; bccaufe this mercy is brought fo near you, 
that it mult either be received or refuted. There is 
no midfl:. No man doth neither, no man doth both. 
Ail that have the offer of God's faving mercy in the 
gofpel, do and muft neceffarily either receive or re- 
je6t it. This (liould make people inquire the more 
narrowly, whether they have obtained mercy. If ye 
have not obtained it, ye have refufed it: Adls xiii. 
46. It was necejfary that the word of God fI:ould Jirfl 
have beenfpoken to you : but feeing ye put it from you^ 
and judge yourf elves unworthy of everlafling life, lo, we 
turn to the Gentiles, This lad is a Orange phrafe. I 
am perfiiaded in the Lord, that no man (hall ever get 
everlafling life, that thinks himfelf worthy of it. It is 
always tajbe fought by us, always given by the Lord, 
and always taken by the receivers of it, as an alms of 
grace for Chrift's fake. Nothing furely was farther 
from Paul's mind, than to have thefe foolifli Jews to 
count themfelves deferving of eternal life \ or that, 
on the account either of their privileges or works, 
they did or could deferve falvation at the hand of 
God. But all the apoltle meant, was this. " Ever- 
*' lafting life is brought near to you in this word of 
** the gofpel : you put the word from you ; thereby 
*' you declare, you are unwilling to receive everlafl- 
" ing life, and God counts you unworthy of the of- 
" fer of it ; and we will carry u to others ;'* as he tells 
other unbelieving Jews at Rome, Aifls xxviii. 28. Be 
it known to you ^ that the falvation of God is fent unto 
the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 

Now, for refolving of this queftion. Whether yoa 
have obtained fpecial faving mercy, or not? this feeras 
eafily determinable. There is fo great a dliFerence 
betwixt that ftate of fm and mifery that mercy finds 
men in when it firft vifits them, and that flate that 
mercy brings them to, that we are apt to think the 
change may be eafily known. See EphJi. i.- — 18. 
Yet there are fo many things that obf\ru6l, both them 


j^t Sermons concernhtg Serm. Vil, 

that have obtained mercy, from owning ir, and them 
ihai have not obtained it, from acknowledging their 
want of it, (of which 1 (hall not now fpeak), that 
fcarching is needful. And for your help in that work, 
I offer ihefe few phin marks. 

K A high value of fpecial faving mercy above com- 
mon mercy, is a good fign of one that hath obtained 
faving mercy. Tliere is a fpecial mercy of God, and 
there is a common mercy. Special mercy is faving ; 
it comes from the heart and love of God, Eph. ii. 4. 
and is treafured up for, and laid out only upon his 
chofen. It is the favour he bears to his people ^ Pfal. 
cvi. 4. Common m'ercies are thrown about with a 
large and indifferent hand : He maketb his ^un to rife 
on the evil and on the good^ and fendeth rain^n the jufi 
and m the unjufl^ Matih. v. 45. Now, \hefe two 
forts of mercies are as far different, as xieaven and 
earth. The excellency of the one is far beyond that 
of the other, though we be unworthy of either. I am 
lefs than the leafl of all thy ?Hercies, faid a great faint. 
Gen. xxxii. 10 ; and fo (houid all fay. But few do 
perceive this great difference; and many give the pre- 
ference to common outward mercy. Who but a Chrif- 
tiandoih count it a greater mercy tohaveiheconfcience 
fprinkled with the blood of Jefus, than to have a large 
and profpf rous eilate in the world ? that the light of 
God's couDtenance, and an hour fpenc in his courts, 
(when the King's prefence is in them), is better than 
all the enjoyments of this world ? Mofes was a man 
that obtained lingular mercy from the Lord. It ap- 
peared in this, that he efleemed the reproach of Chrijl 
greater riches than the treafures in ^gypt^ Htb. xi. 26. 
He had excellent balances and true weights. He put 
in the one fcale, Egypt's honours, trealures, and plea- 
fures, (and how weighty are fuch things in the worlJ- 
ling's balances !) ; and in the other, the reproach of 
Cbrij}^ and afflidion vnth the people of God. His judg- 
ment on this weighing, is. That this reproach, be- 
eaufc of Cbriirs concern in it j and this afiliflion, be- 


Serm. VII. the Throne of Grace, 14 

caufe it is of and with. God's people, is belter 'tlian 
the other things. The true tcfl of mens fpiritsis jult- 
\y taken from their fettled inward apprehenfion bl the 
worth and value of fpiritual faving n?ercy, abpys all 
outward mercy. Pfal. iv. 6, 7. There be many that 
fay^ Who will Jhew us any good ^ Mo ft men are for a-, 
ny good, they know not well what, and from any 
):and that can (how it, and give it. But David knew 
what good he wobid have, and who could (how ir, 
Lordi lift thcu up the light of thy countenance upon us^ 
Why is be lo earned for this; bleffing ? Thou hafl put 
gladnefs in my hearty (carnal men feek gladnefs, and 
make it, and take it to therafelves, as well as ihey can ; 
but gladnefs of God's putting in their hearty they 
know not), 7nore than in the time that their com and 
their wine increafed. David do:h not here compare, 
though he dorh difcover, the hoiinefs of his heart, 
with the earthlincfs of that of others j he compares na£^ 
the tendernefs of his converfatio'n with theirs : but he 
compares the joy God gave him by the light of tits. ^ 
countenance, not with the joy he had, but with thai: 
the ungodly have, in their fen fual fatisfaclions. Try 
yonrfelves by this. Where is your edeem lodged ? 
What fort of things are they that reliOi with your fpi- 
rits ? Common outward merciescarry away the hearts 
of the moil part of men, and this ihev/s that few men 
have obtained fpecial mercy. 

2. He that hath obtained fpecial mercy, hath a love 
to it, and to the giver of it, and to the way God gives 
ir, and in which he receives it. He that is a lover of 
God's mercy in Chrifl, is an obtainer of it. A natu-. 
rai man may have a liking of God's mercy in general: 
but mercy as from God through Jefus Chriil,. mercy 
(hown on the account of a full iatisfadlion made to 
juftice in and by his blood, mercy given freely to glo- 
rious ends and pu'^pofes, every natural man feeth no 
glory, no goodnefs, no beauty, in it. But every ob- 
tainer of it doth admire every thing in it. *^ tt is 


1^4 Sermons concerning Serm. VII. 

** rich mercy, faith he ; it flows from ablelTed foun- 
•* tain, Uzt love : runs in a blelTed channel, the re- 
" dempiion of Jefus ; comes to me in a well-ordered 
" covenant ; and was (hown me for his praife in my 
" faivauon from fin and mifery." 

3. An obtainer of mercy, is a daily beggar for more 
mercy. Whenever God's fpecial mercy is tafted, hun- 
ger and third after more is raifed. No fooner did 
Paul obtain mercy, but behold^ he prays ^ A£ls.ix. i [♦ 
There is more of mercy yet to be had. Mercy quick-, 
ens the foul's defires, and enlargeth them. The gre"at- 
efl receivers are the greatefl: beggars : i Pet. ii. 2, g. 
Deftre the fincere milk of the wordy that ye may grow 
thereby ; if Jo be ye have tafled that the Lord is gr a* 
cious. This mark is plain, and will never fail. They 
that drive not a trade of prayer for fpecial mercy, 
have not yet obtained it. 

4, An obtainer of mercy from the Lord, is a (hewer 
of mercy to others. He is a merciful man to others,^ 
Matih. v. 7.: Col. iii. 12, 13. Fut on therefore {as 
the elect of Gody holy and beloved) bowels of mercies y 
kindnefsy Sec. ; forbearing one another ^ and forgiving 
one another ; even as Chrifl forgave you : and Eph. iv. 
3 2 . Fcrgivif2g one another, even as Gody for Chrift^s 

fakey hath forgiven you. How unbecoming is it, that 
fuch (hould have bowels of brafs, on whom God's 
boWels of mercy have been poured out ? This is a 
mark that will never fail, but in a high fit of tempta- 
tion. All that have obtained God's mercy, will be 
difpofed to fliew their mercy. Forgiving one another^ 
is an eafy thing ; it cofls noihing but to think a kind 
thought : yet how hard is this to many, through the 
power of corruption P There are fome a6fs of mercy, 
as bounty and charity, that poor Chriftians have no 
ability for. But the principle a£t of mercy is in every 
Chriftian's power ; and that is mercy to mens fouls. 
We cannot give them that mercy we have obtained ; 
but we can, and fliould wifli the like to them. Never 
did a man obtain mercy from the Lord for himfelf, 


Serm.VII. the Throne of Gracs, 145 

but he wiftieth that others fliculd partake of it alfo. 
The wora^n t)f Samaria, John If. (of whofe conver- 
fion we have the largeft accouut of any convert in the 
Bible), as foon as ilie obtained mercy, (die forgot what 
fhe came to the well for, (he had got fomewhat better 
ihan the water of Jacob's well ; (he met with Jacob's 
God, and had got Jacob's bleinng'^, ilie goes. 10 the 
city, and turns a fort of a preacher to them: Come^ 
fee a man that told 7ne all things that ever I did:' is not 
this the Cbrijl f ver. 29. She obtained mercy, and 
would have all the city come, and get mercy alfo. 
And a great many came, and obtained mercy. Chrift 
caught that woman by his grace, and made her as a baic 
to catch many more. No believer can deny his fenfe 
of fuch a frame as this. There are fome perfons thoa 
dod: love, and (liouldft love : thou prayed for them. 
What doft thou mainly aik ior wife, children, bro- 
thers, filters, and all or any thou lovefl heartily ? Is 
it not, O that they might jhare in God's faying mer- 
cy ? If thou afk it for others as the greateft mercy, 
thou thyfelf art an obtainer of mercy. Paul obtained 
mercy. He loved his countrymen the Jews dearl^^ 
cind on good grounds, Rom. ix. i.— -5. What praya 
he for them ? Rom. x. i. My heart'^s deftre andfrayer 
to God for Ifrael is^ that they might be faved. AH 
right prayer (hould be the heart's defire. Salvaiioa 
is the bed thing we can pray for to ourfelves, or to 
them we love. And no man can heartily pray for 
falvation to others, who hath not got it himfelf. 

Secondly, I would now direct fome words to them 
that have obtained mercy, and know it. BlelTed be 
the Lord, that there are not a few in the World, not 
a few in this city, and, I hope, not a few in this meet- 
ing, that have obtained mercy of the Lord, and know 
it alfo ; who can remember when their roifery was 
great ; and when the mercy ofthe Lord made a vide 
to them ; and what great things it brought to them, 
and wrought in them. 

Vol. 1. T i, Let 


1/^6 Sermons concerntng- Serm.TIL 

u Let fach be very fhankful for fpecial faving 
mercy. Praife is a great debt, as well as a great blef- 
fing. Let none take this as an ordinary duiy ; but 
let all Chriflians know, ihat tlie main point of the life 
and practice of Chriftianity lies in the performance of 
ir, I Pet. ii. 9. Praife ihculd rife according to the 
worth of what we praife for. Greaieft favours calf 
for highefl praifes; and fpecial mercy from the Lord 
is the higheil favour. It is a good ciillon], and a du- 
ty alfo, that people, when ihey receive th^iir daily 
bread from God, do give him thanks for it, as well 
as beg his bleliing on it. Pray then, bow do yoa 
think the Lord will take unthankfo-nefs for his fpecial 
mercy ? How many hath the Lord to give in this 
charge againft ? " I never gave thee a night's reft> 
'' but thou gave mc thanks for it in the morning ; but 
" I have by ray mercy raifed thee up. to newnefs of 
*' life, and I was never thanked for it. I never fed 
*' thy body, but thou blell'ed me for my bounty; bat 
" I have given thee nry Son for the bread of thy foul, 
" but no praife for this gift. When thou waft near 
*' ^eath, I did in mercy teflore thee, and was praifed 
** for it ; but fpecial mercy hatli delivered thy foul 
" from eteri'al deft ruction, but when did ft thou praifs 
** for that ?'■' Have a care this charge be not given 
againft you. Live to his praife, and let praife be the 
main worl': of your lifie. 

a. Vv'^a'.ic te^ndtrrly under God's fpecial mercy. The 
ore fi'CciHi the niercy be, the more carefully it (hould 
b improved. CvDd*3 faving n-\trcj is a load, a bur- 
den ; noi i;iJ'^i'd hard to be borpe, but it is hard to 
bear ir aright: a bardeo that will i^ot break the back, 
bni: V ill w;;:^^a iieavy on th>;; ftiouldrrs of the bearers ; 
:^x)d. iwzh as -.;ro uii-Vr it> sre in no fmall dairger of 
flnTiibiiijg: L'ii. xxxriii* 1 5. What /hall I fay? he 
hath bofhf^LTt un^a tiu^ and hhnfclf hath done it : I 
Jhall go jojtjj all ?:-y years m the bittcrnefs of my foul, 
And rl];u there \7.»i ipeci^l mercy in his eye, fee ver. 
i7. 'Ji'.^rf^M in h ve tg liiy faul ddivered it from the 


Serm. VII. the Throne of Grltce, 147 

pit of corruption ; for thou hafl cafl all my fins behind 
thy back. Here is a right fenfe of mercy, and a good 
refolutioQ about the guiding of it : *' 1 will walk foft- 
" ly all the years (fifteen oi them) that God hath ad- 
** ded to my life." But when performance was there ? 
2 Chron. XKxii. 25. But Hezekiah rendered not again 
according to the benefit done unto him : for hii heart 
was lifted up, 

3. Obtainers of mercy fiiould aik grace to guide 
mercy ; and alk it the more earnelily and confidently, 
becaufe they have obtained mercy. Be not difcou- 
raged in aiking more mercy, becaufe you have made 
fo poor improvements of what you have receivedc 
Every mercy lays us under an obligation for more fer- 
vice ; and grace to enable for thatfervice mufl be giv- 
€n, and therefore fhould be aiked. We need mercy, 
God gives it; V/hen w^ get it, we (liou Id guide it 
well ; and in order to that, we muft beg more ; new 
mercy to enable us to guide the old. No mercy from 
the Lord but it may be ill guided, but the iaft, eter-' 
nal I'ife^ Jude ver. 2 i. A Chriftian is not out of all d^- 
^er of abufing any mercy of the Lord, tiii he recede ^ 
perfeOing mercy in heaven. 

Thirdly, To them that have not obtained mercy, or 
at lesift do not know that they have, only four things 
I would fay to fuch. Afic mercy, receive laercy, 
plead mercy, hope in his mercy. 

I. Aik mercy. The Lord hath two defigns in of- 
fering and difpenfmg his mercy to men : to be hon- 
oured by the prayers of them that want it ; and to be 
glorified by the praifes of them that get it. This du- 
ty of aiking mercy, is frequently commanded by the 
Lord, commonly pra6lifed by his people, and never 
in vain, i. Afk mercy like itfelf. Aik fome way ac- 
cording to your need, and its worth. If our begging 
bore any tolerable propordon to the great bkfiing of 
God's faving mercy, what mighty praying would there 
be ? Let not mercy be fought as a fmall thing. It is 
^he oae thing needful, and it is the one thing we 

T 2 iliouM 

148 Sermons concerning Serm* VII. 

fhould feek of the Lord. God's mercy, faving mer- 
cy, free mercy, mercy great, vaPJy above all our 
mifery ; O how would it be afked, if alked like itfelf ! 
2. Aik mercy at the right door. There is Dot a 
crumb of faving mercy that comes to any periftiing 
fmner, but by Jefus Chrift. There is do corn in E- 
gypr, bur what comes through this Jofeph's. hand. He 
is a mad beggar of mercy that forgets Chrift. 3. Afl< 
mercy in God's time. He that commands us to ajk, 
and tells us at what door to beg, and promifeth to 
give, tells us alfo when we (hould alk. Men have 
their times ; as in great diflrefs, when dying, and at 
judgmenr. Beware of purring off afking, till God's 
time of giving be paft. It is an awful word of Chriff, 
Luke xiii, 25. When once the rfiafler of the houfe is rif- 
en up, and h^th Jhut to the door, and ye begin to (land 
without, and to knock at the door, faying, &c. There 
are two fad beginnings here. Beginning to /land with' 
out when the door is fhut ; fuch will eternally (land 
withpnt. Beginning to knock at the door ; fuch as be- 
gin ro kaock at God's (hut door, will never get in. 
There is no good anfwer to be given by God to fuch 
for eternity. Is not ihat a very unhappy beginning ? 
So our Lord tells us in the parable of the ten virgins, 
Matth. XXV. 10. The fooliili came when the door was 
fhut. They were foolilh that they came no fooner ; 
and miferable that they came too late. 1 believe the 
damned will fee more of the bleflednefs of the faved, 
than the faved will fee of the mifery of the damned. 
Chrift exprefsly aggravates the mifery of the dam- 
ned, by what they Ihall fee of the blifs of the faved, 
Luke xiii. 28. But all we fee-in the v/ord that the 
faved ihall fee or hear of the mifery of the damned, 
is their refurre<ftion 10 damnation, John v. 29. (which 
is a moft miferable one ; better were it for them to 
have their bodies lie eternally in the grave, than to 
be raifed for damnation), their fentence of condem- 
Dation, and their vain pleas and pleadings for mer- 
cy. But O that icen would come in sit God's time. 

Serm. VII. the Throne of Grace. 149 

and cry for mercy, as they will do out of time! 
How much better would it be for them ! God's time 
*is noWy to-day y the frefent time: 2 Cor. vi. 2. Now is 
the accepted time^ now is the day cf fa hat ion. If men 
refufe God's mercy in his time, he will deny his mer- 
cy when fought in their lime, and oat of his. Ifa. 
XXX. 18. He waits to be gracious^ and willing to be 
exalted inhabing viercy. Nocwithfianding all the mer- 
cy with the Lord, all the mercy that is offered in the 
promife, the Lord never promi fed a finner his mercy 
lo-morrow. If you will beg his mercy to day, yoa 
may have it, and it (liall endure for ever. But God 
nevcl* gave an allowance and liberty to any man, to 
fpend one day or hour in confuking whether he (liould 
beg God's mercy or not. David had indeed a fad 
choice of judgments laid before him, 2 Sara. xxiv. 13. 
and is bid by the Prophet, Advife now, and fee what 
anfwer I fhall return to him that fent me. But for a 
perifliing finner, that hath an offer of God's mercy in 
Jefus Chrift, there is no delay allowed, but only he 
is bid ask it prefently, 

2. Receive God's mercy. Receiving is eafier than 
asking. Asking requires fome pains ; receiving is bu^ 
a confent of the heart to take w^bat is offered. Ask^ 
iDg fuppofeth a great and needful bleffing, that he 
that wants it would fain have ; and therefore he begs 
jr.- Receiving implies, that this great bleffing is in 
his offer fully and freely ; and therefore he muft ac- 
cept it. Here is the (late of things betwixt God and 
men in the gofpel. The Lord brings his mercy near 
to them, offers it to them, bids them take and receive 
it; but many will not. God offers quarter to rebefs 
in arm<; againil him ; but they ffand upon their fword, 
and will not take quarter. Minifters work is, to in- 
treat and befeech in Chrift's (lead, 2 Cor. v. 20. God 
only can perfuade and prevail with men, Mercy comes 
prepared and ready for men. It is prepared in the 
purchafe of Chrift j it is prepared in the well-order- 
cd covenant j and as prepared and readyj it is ten- 

ISO Senncns concerning Serm. VII. 

dered freely to finners : All things are ready^ come to 
the marriage^ Mati'i. xxii. 4. All things are ready. 
Ood himfelf is ready to give mercy. Chrid is ready ; 
he is /lain for us : let us come and keep the feaj}^ 1 Cor. 
V. 7, 8. The Holy Spirit is ready iofeal you to the 
day of redemption^ if you will accept of God's mercy 
in the Redeemer. Heaven is ready, the way is plain, 
and all hindrances of law and jaltlce removed, Heb. 
X. 19, 20. The city of refuge is ready ; and its gates 
are open continually, to receive and give entrance to 
ail that flee for fafety, Heb, vi. 18. Alas! all things 
are ready ; bu: men are not willing. There is not 
a moment's time needed to ripen God's mercy for men. 
No periftiing fianer, that feeth his need of God's mer- 
cy, and is willing to receive it, needs ftay a moment, 
lill mercy be ready for him, or he more ready for it : 
Piom. X. 6, 7, 8. The rtghteoufnefs which is of faith ^ 
fpeaketh on this wife^ (How very few have ears to hear 
fuch a fpeaker, and fuch a fpeech ?), Say not in thine 
hearty Who fhall afcend into heaven f (that is to bring 
Chrifl down from above) : Or who J/jall defend into 
the deep f f that is to bring up Chrifi ag^ain from th^ 
dead) (Chrill: is come down already from heaven, 
and is gone back again to heaven). But what faith 
it f The word is nigh th:e^ even in thy mouthy and in 
thy heart : that is the word of faith which we preach. 
Mercy and falvatlon for lofl Tinners is prepared by 
Chrill's coming down, and going up again ; and he 
hath lodged the power and virtue of his undertaking in 
the gofpel. Suck at that well with faith, and thy fcul 
{hall be faved : there thou wik find Chrifl, and all 
his fulnefs. There was never fuch a treaty made io 
ihe world. We can fetch no {Irailiiude fully like this 
amongft men. Thus the Lord pleads with meti in the 
gofpel. *' You are already undone with fm and mi- 
*-' fery lying on you, and you are every hour finking 
** into greater ; let but my mercy in my Son enter in, 
" and it will cure all that is pad and prefent, and pre- 
^'* Feat all the mifery that is coming oji you." And 


Serm. VII. the Throne of Grace, 151 

will not miferable fiDners receive God's mercy i* Are 
you afraid of faving mercy ? will it hurt you ? wby 
do ye not give it entrance ? It is one of the greateft 
deitionftrations what monfters fin hath made men, 
that they are unwilling to be faved by free mercy in 
Jefus Chriff. Open a door for God^s mercy, by a 
tree receiving of it ; or elfe you will find the door of 
his mercy (hut againft you, when you need it moft. 
Your giving way to his mercy, is your receiving of it» 
Say with the heart, " Let God's mercy enter in upon 
** me, and fave me its own way." A yielding, and 
giving, and putting of a loft foul into the hand of 
Chrift, is the nature of faving faith in him. Will ye 
not truft in his mercy ? Is it not able to hst you I # 
Your want of a fenfe of your need of his mercy, -. 
is a giving the lye to all the thrcatenings and curfe of 
the law ; your doubting of the ability of his mercy to 
fave you, is to gwt the lye. to all the faithfulnefs and 
truth of God declared and fworn in the gofpel. 

3. Plead mercy. When you beg it, ufe no other 
plea for mercy, but inercy. When you beg niercy^ 
you mufl: beg mercy only for mercy's fake. That that 
moves God to iliew mercy, miift be our argument in 
pleading for mercy. Wherefore doth God (hew mer- 
cy? Becaufe he will flie^ mercy, and delights in ity 
Micah vii. 18. And therefore ihould we plead i|» 
Mercy in his heart, is the only fpring of mercy froih 
his hand, David, who knew God's mercy well, had 
rafted of it often, and needed it greatly, when fallen 
into a foul pit, thus pleads for mercy ; PfaL li. i. Have 
7nercy upon me, Gsd^ according to thy loving kindnefs z 
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot 
out my tranfgrejjtons. Have a care of making any 0- 
iher plea for mercy from the Lord, but that of mercy 
with him. And ftick to this plea, and it will prevaiL 
If the Lord for trying of your faith, or Satan for 
Ihakiog-it, ftiould fiy. How dare fuch a vile Tinner as 
thou art, beg fo great a gift as faving mercy, from 
fo holy a God i the poor pleader hath a ready an- 

fwer I 

152 Sermons concerning Serm. VII. 

fwer : " I want mercy as much as my foul is worth. 
« In vain do I feek it of any creature ; nothing but 
" his mercy can fave ni«. I beg mercy only for mer- 
« cy's fake : I -bring omhing but a ftarving foul, and 
*« an empty hand. I beg his mercy as an alms, which 
** will eternally enrich the receiver, and not impo- 
*« veriih the giver* What can fuch as 1 beg of fuch 
" a God as he is, but mercy ? His name is Mercy^ ray 
*' name is Mifery, I would have my mifery relieved 
*« by his mercy, and his m.ercy glorified in my relief." 

4. Hope in his mercy ; Pfal. cxlvii. i k The Lord 
taketh pleafdre in them that fear him, in thofe that 
hope in his mercy, Pfal. cxxx. 7. Let Tfrael hope in the 
Lord I for with the Lord there is mercy. It is from 
the devil, for whom there is no mercy, that any of 
the mofl miferable out of hell are tempted to think 
there is no mercy with God for them. He envies men 
God's mercy. He doth not only tempt to fm, but 
alfo to fecurity in it, till the day of mercy be pafL 
If God awaken a finner to fee his need of mercy in 
lime, Satan tempts him to think that it is out of time. 
In fuch temptations he a<fl:s mod like himfelf, a re- 
probate damned fpirit ; and in managing of them he 
hath great advantages, from his own craft and malice, 
and mens juft deferving of wrath. Look on all fuch 
thoughts as from that adverfary, and treat them ac- 
cordingly. When you beg mercy, look for it : ex- 
pert to obtain it, when you would lay hold on it. The 
Lord will never keep back his faving mercy from a 
fmner that would have it as his life. When you plead 
for mercy, for mercy's fake, hope, to prevail ;. and 
that will help you to plead better. 

So much for this exhortation. Will ye ^o home 
and do fo ^ Will you (ludy more your mifery, and the 
greatnefs of his mercy ; and aik and plead for it more 
carneftly ^. There is never better fruit of preaching, 
than when the hearers are fent away hungering and 
thirfting after the Lord's mercy, 


Se R Mi VIII. the Throne of Grace, 15^ 


He B. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need, 

T HAVE fpoke to tl^e finl: of the blefTines to be 
-^ got at the throne of grace which we fhould come 
for, obtaining of mercy. The frcoiid is, '1 be finding 
cf grace to help in time of need, This expreirion5y?-*jc/- 
ing of grace f is probably bov rowed from the old tef- 
tameflt, wherein the bellowing of favour is ufually fo 
exprelTsd. We fiad it in mens pleadings v/ich one 
another. So Jacob to EfiU, Gea. xxxii. 5. and xxxiii. 
8. Thefi are to find grace in the firht of my lord. And 
he pleads upon it, ver. 10. If I have found grace in 
thy fght^ then receive my prefent at ?ny hand : .for there- 
fore I have feen thy face ^ as though Ihadfeen the face 
cf God ; and thou waft pleafed with jne, Jacob had 
leen God's face that morning, and had found grace 
in his fight, and he remembers it when he finds grace 
in the fight of his angry brother. So we find the 
phrafe ufed in deafmg with God, by Mofes, Exodus 
xxxiii. 12, 13. Tet thou haflfaid^ I know thee by name, 
and thou haft found grace in my fight. Now thereforey 
I pray thee^ if I have found grace in thy ftoht^ fhew me 
now thy way^ that I may know thee, that I may find 
grace in thy fight. 

The firiii: thing I would remark here, is, the con- 
DC^lion betwixt thefe two bleffings and er -ands, qb^ 
taining of mercy ^ and finding of grace, Mercy and 
grace are joined together by God, and are not to be 
put afunder by maa. Many would feparaie them. 
^ Vol. /. U They 

i^^ Sermons concerning Serm. VllI, 

They woald be content to obtain mercy ; but they care 
BOt fo much for his grace. But fuch are only profane 
ignorant perfons, that know neither God nor them- 
felve?, nor his mercy, nor his grace. The Lord will 
not give mercy without grace, nor grace without mer- 
cy. All that receive either, receive both ; and all 
that would have either, rauH: ask both ; and none cm 
ask either aright, but he that asks both. 

This grace we are called to come to the throne of 
grace for the finding of, is fpecified from it^ great 
advantage and ofefninef?. It is grace to help in time 
of need. The words in the original ^v^, grace for fea- 
fonable opportune help. It is the nature ol this grace, 
that it is helpful. Its helpfulnefs mainly appears in 
a time of need. A time of need will come : this grace 
is to ht. asked before that time come ; it is to be wait- 
ed upon till ibe time of heed come, and ufed when ii 

The truth to be fpoke to, is this plain one : 

D o c T. That all that hear of God^s offer of grace^ 
fhould corns to God to ask ity to get ity to find it. 

Men fhould come to God's throne of grace, for 
grace for therafelves. They (hould come to God in 
Chrift j:efus, for the grace of God in and- by Chrifl: 
Jefus. This is a truth fo bright in its own evidence, 
that there is no need to confirm it. What hath been 
faidof coming to obtain mercy, is equally binding un- 
to coming to find grace. 

Two things, then, I would fpeak unto at this time. 

1. What is this grace we are called to come to the 
throne of grace for. 

2. What finding of grace is ; what fpecialty is 
there in this expreffion r* It is certain, never did a man 
find grace, before grace found him. Grace is always 
the firil finder : but the fenfe of it, and our know- 
ledge of our having found it, follows after. 

I. What 

Serm. VIII. the Throne of Grace. 155 

I. What is this grace we ore to come to the throne 
cf grace for finding of? We have need to knov/ ibis 
di(tin6lly. The reafon why many are fo confufed, 
and dark, and barren in their prayers, is, becaufe 
they knpw not- what is to be got by prayer. If wc 
had a clear knowledge of the full extent of this grace 
ihac is to be difpenfed at this throne of grace, weihould 
quickly know what to ask, and Had matter for asking 

This grace cfGody that we are mvited to come to 
the throne of grace for finding of, comes under three 
different confiderations. i. As it is in the fountain 
from whence it flows. 2. As it is in the channel ia 
which it runs. 3. As it is in the ¥eirels that do re- 
cciv ^ it. 

I. Grace considered as in the fountain from whence 

it flow?, is grace in God The fcripttares take notice 

of the fpecial intereft that each of the three bieffed 

perfons of the godhead have in the difpenfing of grace. 

We find the Father called the God of ail grace ^ i Pet. 

V. !o. ; and d:iere Chrift is alfo named, and the Holy 

Ghoft implied. The Father^ the God of all grace, is 

the caller ; he<:a]1eth us to his eternal glory by Chrifl: 

Jefus ; we are fitted for the pofieifion of it by the 

grace of the Holy Ghoff. Our Lord Jefus Chrift is oft 

fpoke of as the fountain of grace, John i. 14. Full (f 

grace and truth ; and that we might know that this 

fountain-fulnefs in him is for communication, ver, 16^ 

And out of his fulnefs have all we received^ and grace 

for grace. The Holy Ghoft is called the Spirit ofgrace^ 

Heb. X. 29. ; cf grace andJupplication^Xcch, xii. 10.; 

vf faith, 2 Cor. iv. 13. When we come to the throne 

of grace, for grace in this confideraiioQ, we come for 

the manifedation and communication of grace from 

the fountain, according to his will and our need, for 

the carrying on of our falvation to the praife of his 

grace. It is to be obferved in that apoftolic wiih, 

which by a good cuftom is made the concluding blef- 

iiag in Chrlfti^n affegoblies, 2 Cpr, xiii. 14. The grace 

U 2 f 

15'S Sermons concerning Serm. VIII, 

cf the Lord J ejus Cbr'ift^ and the love ofGod^ and the 
com?nun:cn of the Holy Ghoj?, be with you all. Amen, 
that there is grace in the Father's love, and grace in 
the commuDicn cf the Holy Qhoil, as well as there 
is love and coiiimunion in the grace of our Lord Je- 
fus. For grace is in ali divine favou;, and in all 
its fruits, Ireely beftowcd on the undeferving fons of 

2. Grace may be confidered as it is in the channel 
in which it runs, in the way and means of its convey- 
ance, ufually called the means of grace. And this is 
the gofpel. It is true, that this form of fpeech, 7nea?2s 
cf grace^ is not a fcriptural phrafe, though it be ufual 
v;ith us. But by it we noean nothing, but fuch means 
•as are hallowed by divine in{litutioD,and backed with 
a gracious promife of beftowing grace on the right 
ufers thereof. The main of which means, is the gof» 
pel itfelf, called by Paul, in A^h xx. 24. the gojpel of 
the grace of God, and ver. 32. the word of his grace. 
And in Tit. ii. 1 1. the gofpel is called (imply, the grace 
of God. If you take away the do(ftrine of free grace, 
you take away the gofpel. It is but an empty (Iiadow, 
a falfe name, to call that do^v'mt go fptl, that is not the 
ivord cf his grace. The grace of God in the means is 
univerfally offered to all that hear the gofpel ; but the 
bleilingitfelt isfovereignly difpenfed,like grace There 
is ground fufHclent in the promife for faith in waiting on 
the Lord in the ufe of his appoiucments : but yet the 
Lord never ufed any outward mean that was always 
effe^lual to all them that had ir. The greatelt of any 
outward means that ever men were under, was the 
perfonai m.iiiiRry of Chrid ; yet all his hearers did 
not believe, yea, but a few did, John vi. 26, &c. 
What a heavenly difcouife doth Chrill deliver 1 but 
what was the effe<^ of it ? ver. 66 Erom that time 
many of his difcifles iveni hack, and walked no more 
with him. The Lord hath wifely ordered it thus, that 
the ip,eans (the chanuel his grace runs ip) are at fome 


Serm. VIII. the Throne of Grace, J57 

times, and to fome perfons, filled with his grace ; and 
at other limes are but empty pipes, that the means 
themfelves aiay not be doted on, and that the fountaia 
may ftill be depended on. When, then, we come to 
the throne of grace, for grace as in the means, we 
come begging, that the Lord, who hath appointed 
the means, and keeps the blefling of them in his own 
"hand, would fill the means with his grace, and fill our 
fouls with the communication of that grace, in our 
ufe of thefe means. 

3« Grace is confidered as it is in the veilels that re- 
ceive ir, in men that partake of it. And here it will 
be needful to diltinguilh. The grace of God as receiv- 
ed, comes under a very notable diftin^tion, of common 
grace^ zndi faving grace ^ or fpeciaU Somewhat hath 
been hinted of the fame diftinction, betwixt common 
and fpecialfaving mercy. But of this diftin^ion, as to 
grace received, i would fpeak more fully. 

Firfl^ Common grace nio z-^W^d.^ not becaufe it is 
ordinary and ufual, (for in bad times it is rare enough), 
but becaufe it is not faving. It is mod likely, that ia 
fuch happy times (which v;e cannot now boalt of, bun 
only hope for) when faving grace is bellowed on ma- 
ny, common grace is difpenfed more frequently alfo. 
1 hat there is fuch a thing as common grace, is as cer- 
tain, as it is that there is fuch a creature (if I may io 
call him) as a hypocrite in the church, or in the world. 
For an hypocrite is nothing elfe but an unrenewed 
fmner, painted over widi more or iefs common grace. 
And to men that fee the outfide of others only, he 
may appear like a true Chriftian. 

I would give fome particular indances of this com^ 
mon grace. 

I . There is a common enlightening grace, a com- 
mon illumination, Heb. vi. 4. and x. 26. The apof- 
tie fuppofeth, that there is an enlightening^ and a re- 
ceiving a knowledge of the truths that may be where a 
fatal apoftafy may follow. The Lord may give the 
light of his word J and, in and by that light, m-\^' 

da It 

15^ Sermons concerning Serm. VIII, 

dart io forae clear beams of gofpel-truth on fuch that 
are led no farther. It is far from being true, that all 
knowing heads have found hearts. Tbeie may be, 
and often is, much clear light in the mind about points 
of faving truth, when there is no fenfe, no favour, 
no faith in the heart. Atfts xxvi. we find Paul fpeak- 
jng in the rcofl noble affembly that it is like he ever 
fpoke in ; a King and a C)neen, and a Roman Governor 
greater than both. In this auguft afTembly, Paul, 
though a prifoner in bonds, remembers his being an 
apoftle, and preacheth Chrift, and takes Chrift's 
grace in converting him, for his text : ver. 24. When 
he is thus /peaking^ Feflus /aid with a loud voice ^ Paul^ ' 
thou art beftde thyfelf : much learning doth make thee 
mad. At the fame time, ver. 28. Agrippa /aid 
unto Paul, AbnoJ} thou perfuadefl me to he a Chrijlian. 
This was a great deal better than Feflus's word, yet 
a poor word in it feU. It fpoke fome glancing of inef- 
fectual light on his mind. An almoft Chriftian, and 
no more, is but a finner almoft faved, and no more j 
or one that is no Ghrillian, and never faved at all. 

2, There is coramon awakening grace. The Lord 
fometimes alarms the confciences of the ungodly, and 
may raife a great fcnfe of fin in fach as are never 
forgiven; and fears of heJ, yea, a foretafte of hell, 
in fome that never efcape it. / have finned, faith 
Pharoh ; / have finned^ faith Saul : / have ftnned 
(faiih Judas), in betraying imioccnt blood. Alas, poor 
wretch 1 it had been better to have confeiTed his fm 
againft his mafter, to his niafter, than to his murder- 
ers. Felix trembled when Paul preached. It was 
grace ia God to come fo near to hira, and great power 
was put forth. What elfe could make fuch a great 
prince as Felix was, to tremble at the words of a 
poor prifoner (landing before him in his chains ? A- 
wakening grace is but common grace. The ]a^v 
♦ivounds maay a confcience that the gofpel doth not 
bscil J becaufc not applied tOo No wound can the 


Serm. VIII, the Throne of Grace. i^^ 

law make, which the gofpel cannot heal. Boaft not 
of your wounds by the law, unlefs you can teil bow 
you were healed. There is no cure for a confcieuce 
wounded by fin and by the law, tut the bbod of Te- 
lus (hed for fin. Did ye come to it ? Heb. xii, 24. 
Did he apply it to you ? Were you cured of your 
wounds before ye went to him, and before he came 
to you i Woful is ihat cure, and worfe than the 
wound. Many poor creatures are wounded by the 
law, and to the law they go for healing. But God 
never appointed the law to heal a wounded confci- 
ence; and it never did. nor can, nor will, to the end 
of the world, nor to eternity. It is Chrift's name, 
and property, and glory, to be the only phyfician of 
fouls; and all mull die of the difeafe of fin, that are 
not his happy patients. 

3.^ There is common reftraining grace ; an aft of 
t,ods grace and wifdora, which he often puts forth in 
his ruling of this wicked world. How quickly would 
Uus earth become a hell, were it not for this reftrain- 
ing grace ? If all unrenewed men were oermitted by 
God, to commit all the fin Satan tempts to, and their 
natures incline them to, there would be no livin? ia 
this world for the godly. This reftraining grace we 
find a Heathen had : Gen. xx. 6. / with-heU thee 
fromftming agalnjl me, faith the Lord to Abimelech. 
And, which IS more, we find a great faint praying foe 
K, i-fal. XIX. 13. Keep back thy fervant alfo from pre- 
Jumptuous fins, let them not have dominion over me: 
that is, " Lay a powerful reftraiot on me by thy grace, 
« that when I am tempted, my way may be hedged 
' up, and I may be kept from complying with the 
" temptation." But yet bare reftraining grace is noE 
defired by a Chriftian in good cafe, without fanflify- 
ing grace. He defires not only the reftraining of the 
outward aas of fin, but the removing of inward in- 
clinations to fin ; he begs the renewing and changing 
of the heart. So David, when he had fallen foully, 
by the ftrengifa of inward corruption, and God's leav- 

t6o Sermons concerning Serm. Vllt 

ing of him to liimfelf ; when recovered by grace, and 
renewed unto repentance, prays like a wife believer, 
Pfal. li. lo. Create in me a clean hearty O God ; and 
renew a right f pi r it ivithin me^ 

4. There is common aiTifting grace. Many a bad 
man hath had good aiTiftance from God in a good 
\S'ork. The Spirit of God hath clothed many, and en- 
abled them to great and good works, which God gets 
fervice by, and the world good by, though the doers 
thereof be not accepted : Matth. vii. 22. Many Jh all 
fay to me in that day^ Lord^ Lord^ have we not prophe^ 
fied in thy 7iame f and in thy name have cafl out devils ? 
and in thy name done tnany wonderful works f AU great 
things, and all done in Chrill's name, and done by 
his afliftance. In their cajling out devils^ and in work* 
ing of miracles^ there was an exerting of omciporency, 
with and by their faith; which is the greateft divine 
afTiftance we can imagine. And no doubt they were 
affifted by Chrift's Spirit in their prophefying in his 
name. Now, fuch things they thus did. Chriif, ia 
his reply, denies not their doing of them, finds no 
fault with the works in themfelves ; but all his quarrel 
is with the workers : / never knezv you, you are work" 
€rs of iniquity, 

5. To common grace belongs fome comfort and joy 
reaching the heart in hearing the word. Our Lord 
exprefsly explains the flony ground this way, Matrh. 
xiii. 20. He that received the feed in flony places^ the 
fame is he that heareth the word, and anon zvith j^y 
receiveth it. 

6. Laftly, There is reforming grace, that "belongs 
to common grace. The power of the word may come 
fo on natural mens confciences, that they may reform 
many things ; as Mark vi. 20. Herod, when he heard 
John Baptifl^ did many things^ and heard him gladly, 
80 2 Pet. ii. 20. 

If any fay, What ! fhould we come to the throne 
of grace for common grace ? 1 anfwer, Not for it a- 
lone, but for it, aad beticr. It is a mercy to have 


Serm. VIII. the Throne of Grace, i6i 

common grace ; it is grace that is undeferved : but it 
is a woful fnare to him that refts in it. If the Lord 
reftrain your corruptions ; if he enlighten your minds, 
and awaken your confciences ; if he afiid you with 
gifts for good works ; if he help you to mend any 
thing that is amifs in your converfation ; blefs him for 
all: but reft not on any of thefe things. It is a high- 
er and better grace that is favtng, and that you muft 
feek after. 

Second ly^ Saving grace^ as diftin6l from, and be- 
yond all that is commonj refpe6^R three things, 

\. It refpedls and works a change in a man's ftate^ 
which common-grace never performs. Saving grace 
changeth a perfon's ftate. By this grace an enemy is 
reconciled to God, a guilty fmner is juflified freely 
through the redemption that is in Chrifl Jefus, a flran- 
ger receives fonihip by Chriit. Common grace never 
alters the ftate ot a man's perfon, but it leaves him 
where it found him. It never doth, nor can take hira 
out of the old ftock of fallen Adam; he ftill lies ia 
that pit ; and is never by it tranflated into Chrift, and 
ingraffed in him, as a new head. But faving grace, 
when it comes, doth all, Eph. ii. 4. — 18. 

2. Saving grace refpe£ts man's finful nature, and 

changeth it. And this grace thus working, is called 

regenerating^ fandifying^ and renewing of men. Chrift 

calls it, being born again^ Jo^^n iii. 3. If any man be 

in Chrift^ (through this grace), he is a new creature^ 

2 Cor. V. 17. This the apoftle calls. Tit. iii. 5. Ac- 

cording to his mercy he faved us^ by the wajhing of re- 

generation^ and renewing of the Holy Gho(l, Natural 

men are apter to look to their converfation, than to 

their nature. They may fee many things amifs in ^ 

their way, who are loth to look into their heart. And 

if light Ihine in, to difcover inward heart-faults, they 

are ftill backward to own that all is naughty a-.id 'that 

there is no good in their hearts. It the light purfue 

ihem yet clofer, and make them fee that all is ftark 

naught within, they are ftill more backward to own 

Vol. I, X the 

i62 Sermons concerning Serm. Vlll, 

the true fpring of their difeafe, and the true remedy 
for it ; that all this dominion of fin over them, flow's 
from the natural (late of their perfons, as (landing 
flill in and under the firft fniful Adam ; and can never 
be akered and mended, but by grace putting them 
into Chrifl, as the root of their new life. 

g. Saving grace refpe^ls and works on the new na- 
ture. Special grace not only changerh a man's If ate, 
Dor his old corrupt nature only : bat it works on this 
aew nature wrought by grace. The fpecial operation 
of the grace ol God, in and from the fountain, is u- 
pon his own new creation in the hearts of his children. 
We carinot conceive it fully ; our minds are not able to 
take in thefe depths of God. We hear from, and 
read in the word, of the intimate correfpondence the 
Lord entertains with them in whom he dwells. Chr'ijl 
dwells in the heart by faith ^ Eph. ili. 17. Kts Spirit 
dwells in bis people, Rom. viii. 9, 10, 11. But what 
is it in their hearts that he dwells in ? He dwells in his 
own workmanlhip in their hearts, in his own new cre- 
ation, in his own garden that he hath planted in them. 
There his prefence is, and there his eye is, on that 
his hand is; this is that he waters, and carefully looks 
after. When a believer comes to the throne of 
grace, for this grace, he comes to beg that the new 
creation in him may be vifited, refreflied, and ftreng- 
thened, and brought to perfection. They that have 
no planting of Chnit in them, want this errand to the 
throne of grace, that believers daily come upon. 
So much for the fii ft; thing, Wha: this grace is ? 

II. What is the finding of this grace ? Why the a- 
poftle ufeth this phrafe, different from' the former, 
about mercy ? That was obtaining of mercy ^ this is 
finding of grace. Mercy and grace are near akin ; and 
io\s obtaining zndifind'tng. Befides the Hebrew phrafe, 
remarked already, thefe things I would note in it. 

I. 1 conceive, that this phrafe q{ finding gr ace ^ doth 
imply the duty of feeking it ; according tg our Lord's 


Serm. Vn^ the Throne of Grace. l5g 

own direction, Matth. vii. 7. Ask^ and It will he giv^ 
en you : feek^ and ye flmll find : knocks and it Jhall be 
opened unto you. Where, and in ver. S. our Lord 
gives three commands to one duty of prayer, under 
three feveral names; and fix promifes for encourage- 
ment, under three different names alfo, redoubled. 

2. This form of fpeaking, points forth the giving 
and bellowing of grace. His grace and favour is 
what is given to, beftowed on, and enjoyed by them 
that comes to the throne of grace. When the old 
World was exceeding bad, allflark naught, and buc 
one good man in it, (you mufl needs think that it was 
a bad world then), and that was Noah, Gen. vi. 8. 
But Noah found grace tn the eyes of the Lord. This 
word we (houid regard the more, that it is the firft 
place where the grace ofGodh mentioned in fcripture. 
Thee have I feen righteous before me in this generation^ 
faith the Lord to him, Gen. vii. i. And how this 
man came by his righteoufnefs, fee in Heb xi 7. By 
faithy Noah being warned of God of things not feen as 
yet.^ moved with fear, prepared an ark for the faving 
of his houfe ; by the which he condemned the world^ 
and became heir of the righteoufnefs which is by faith* 
Who but the Spirit of God by Paul (who I think was 
the penman of this epiille) "would have found the righ- 
teoufnefs by faith in Noah's building of the ark ? 
Manyp nay, motl: of men, called Chnjlians, cannot 
fee this righteoufnefs that is by faith, in {he gofpei 
itfelf. There was a brave inheritance and eftate in 
this righteoufnefs of faith, fecured and revealed in 
the firlt gofpei. Gen. iii. 15. Of this eftate Abel 
and Enoch v/ere polFeffed ; and Noah became (that is, 
declared himfelf) an heir of it, by his faith, and the 
fruits of it. The whole world had the warning; 
Noah from God, the world by Noah. Ail were e- 
qually concerned in the danger. Noah preached it 
to them ; and God's Spirit was with him, (Iriving with 
them a hundred and twenty years. But not one man 
found grace, but he alone. A prodigious depth of 

X 2 juJg:\}cnt 

1^4 Sermons concernhig Serm. VIH 

judgment and mercy ! fuch a man as N:>ali preached 
fo long CO the zvor Id of the ungodly ^ as 2 Pet. ii. 5. and 
nor one fingle man or woman believed. He only 
found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Jcr. xxxi. 2, Thus 
faith the Lord., The people that were left of the fword^ 
founder ace in the wilder nefs : even Ifrael^ when I went 
to caufe him to reft, it is a grear bleflicg to find grace 
any where ; but to find grace in the wildernefs, to 
find grace where and when the fword oF God*s anger 
and jufHce is deftroving muititudes, is heightened 
grace. Grace tails ftiil on remnants. Jurtice and 
Wrath feizeth oo he bulk and whole piece : Rom. xi. 
5. A remnant actor d':ng to the eledion of grace, ver. 
7. The election obtained ity (taat is, grace) ; and the 
refl were blinded and hardened. The m.ore be left, 
and the fewer be favingly taken, the greater is the 
grace flievved to thofe few, and the more happy are 
they iliac find it. 

3. In this phrafe o^ finding grace^ there may this 
be conceived, if you will underttand it righdy, the 
cafualiy of the getting of grace. There is no fuch 
thing as cafualty 10 God : he always knows when, and 
where, and on whom, to beftow his grace. But the 
beftowing of his grace is a mere cafualty to all men ; 
both to them that receive it, and to others that look 
on. My meaning is, grace comes unlocked for, un- 
deferved, undefired, unexpe61ed, in its firft vifu efpe* 
cially. So that all receivers of it may fay as Hagar, 
the only good word we have of that bond-woman. 
Gen. xvi. 13. And fhe called the name of the Lord thai 
fpake to her. Thou GcdfeeJ} ms ; (fiappy are they that 
can name God from his grace aiid mercy to them. 
David calls him, the God rf my mercy ^ Pf^l, lix. 10. 
1 7O 5 fi^/^^ M^dy Have I alfo here looked after him that 
fceth me f " The Lord hath had his eye on me for 
-' good, when I was not thinking on him.'' Grace 
always comes at firfl by furprife. How m.any are 
there that attend diligently on all the means of grace, 
a3d never find grace? wbea fome that come but 


Serm. VIII. the Throne of Grace. i6$ 

by accident, (as we think), grace finds them, and 
they find it. This is the treafure hid in the field o£ 
the gofpel : bleffed is he that finds it. Matt. xiii. 44. 
Many dig in this field, and never find the treafure in it* 
Men ihould ufe means, Prov. viii. 33, 34.; minifters 
j(hould defign wifely to catch louls, and labour pain- 
fully in it : but the Lord, in his application of his 
grace, pafl'eth by many that we would faineft haVe 
faved, and lights on others we never thought on. And 
let him do with his own grace as feemeth him good. 
Little thought little Zaccheus of falvation, when he 
climbed the tree to fee Jefus pafs by, Luke xix. If 
Chrilt had not called him down, the poor rich publi- 
can was as like as any in the company to have let 
Chrifl pafs on in his journey. When Saul was going 
his wicked journey, Adlsix. who would have thought, 
that grace would have fallen on him as it did ! All 
partakers of grace, that can remember its firfl; vifit, 
can witnefs, that their finding of grace was a mere 
cafualty to them. They thought not of it, they fought 
it not ; yet it found them, and was found by them : 
Ifa. Ixv. I. I am fought of them that asked not for me ; 
I am found of them that fought me not. Seeking is 
our duty, and finding is our mercy ; but both right 
feeking, and gracious finding, are fingly owing to his 
grace. The apoftle, after a deep difcourfe of the fo- 
vereignty of God in difpenfing his grace, faiih, Rom. 
ix. 30, 31. What f hall we fay then f That the Gentiles 
which followed not after righteoufnefs^ have attained to 
right eoufnefs^ even the righteoufnefs which is of faith ; 
hut Ifrael which followed after the law of righteoufnefs^ 
hath not attained to the law of righteoufnefs. The 
caufe of Ifrael's mifling righteoufnefs, he gives verfe 
32. Becaufe they fought it^ not by faith ^ hut as it were 
by the works of the law ; for they did not build and be- 
lieve on Chrift as a foundation, hmflumbled at him 
^%2. (lumbling'flone. A mod dreadful way of ruin, for 
men to break their necks on the Saviour. But the 
apoftle gives no caufe why the Geniiles attained the 


i66 Sermons concerning Serm. VIII. 

righreoufnefs of faith ; but his difcourfe hints it plainly. 
Grace fen t the gofpel to them, and grace bieffed it to 
them, in working faith in them ; by the which they laid 
hold on the righteoufnefs offered to them ; and fo they 
were poffelled of it, and faved by that poffeflion. 

Apflication. Should we come to the throne 
of grace for grace ? Then, i. I infer ^ That every 
man fliould pray. Have you found grace already ^ 
Come for more ; for more grace is needed by you, and 
raore is to be had from the giver. It is a bleffed name 
of God, much to be called upon by us, James iv. 6, 
He giveth mere grace. It is much that he giveth any 
grace at all ; but more, that he dill gives more. If 
he gives more and more grace, you fliould come more 
and more for this more grace, if you have never re- 
ceived grace, you muft come to this throne of grace, 
where only it is to be found. This text hath a ftrong 
argument in it, as well as a great encouragement- 
Are men invited to the throne of grace that they may 
find grace? Then furely gracelefs folks fhould mainly 
come, and have mofi: need to come. You will fay, 
that the prayer of the wicked is; an abomination to the 
Lord, True ; what then ? Therefore, fay you, I 
fhould not pray. A bad inference. But fay you. 
Were it not better that a man fhould mend and grow 
better, and then come, and not till then? This is a 
perverfe method, that Satan befools nrniitirudes with. 
1 pray you, how long may a man be a-mending him- 
felf, ere be be one bit better, till the grace of God 
come and mend him ? A fmner never doth know truly 
his badnefs, till he fee it incurable by all his own do- 
ings, and that it is only curable by fovereign grace. 
Men fee a little of the fruits of fm in their walk ; and 
them, or fome of them, they think they may remove ; 
and io indeed they may. But the fountain remains 
(till, and will fend forth its flreams one way or othero 
Till a man fee his heart and nature, he feeth but the 
outfide of fin ia himfelf. It is the fight of fin in our 


Serm. VIII. the Throne of Grace, 167 

nature, of fin as our nature, that is truly humbliog. 
Then a man feeih himfelf quite lofl, and for ever un- 
done, without any poffible ground of hope, unlefs al- 
mighty free grace undertake for him. 

In anfwer to this objection, in ail its ftrength, 1 faj 
four things. 

1. Coming to the throne of grace for grace, is re- 
quired by God. He commands it as a piece of honour 
to him, that all (hould implore his grace. No fmful 
or miferabie circumliances can be in the condition of 
any out of hell, that can diilolve mens obligations to 
this duty. The power of fm and guilt on an ungodly 
man, di fables him quite from the right perform dnce 
of any command of God ; but doth not loofe the obli- 
gation of God's law upon his confcience. You are 
bound to pray ; you cannot pray. This is your ftrait ; 
own ir. Grace can only extricate you out of it, 

2. Secure negle6t of prayer, is a great deal worfc 
than a faulty managing of it. Let fuch folks fay then, 
I will pray, and try to pray : and though I (houid 
mar twenty prayers, 1 will pray {till ; for it is better 
to try as we can, than to negle<^ it quite. What know 
you but grace may come in, and help you, when iiak- 
ing under the weight of prayer? 

3. Is not that a good prayer, and fit for your cafe, 
Luke xi. 1. Lordy teach us to fray? " Lord teach 
*^ us to come the right way to the throne of grace ?" 
If you can fay no more, fay that, and }-ou can f.iy no- 
thing better. An humble groning to Chrift, to be 
taught by him to pray, hath more of true prayer la it, 
that many fine words, which men call prayer^ and com- 
mend as brave praying. 

4. Is it not a throne of grace you are called to 
come to, that ye may find grace P You want grace, and 
cannot come, fay ye ; You want grace, and therefore 
come, fay I. You are not to bring grace of your own 
working, but to find it of his giving at this throne. 
Would you have grace P Come, and get it. Men pe- 
riili under the gofpei only for their rcfufing of the 


1 6 8 Sermons concerning S E r m. VIIL 

grace of God. And juflly are they counted refufers 
of grace, that will not come where it is to be founds 
and molt righteous is their condemnation. 

Inference 2. Should we come to the throne of grace- 
that we may find grace ? Then prayerlefs people are 
gracelefs people. Grace is only to be had at this 
throne ; therefore fuch as have no bufmefs at the 
throne of grace, are gracelefs people. A prayerlefs 
perfon is a gracelefs perfon ; a prayerlefs family is a 
gracelefs family ; and London would be a gracelefs 
city, and England a gracelefs kingdom, if there wer^ 
DO feekers of God in them. But bleiTed be God, 
there are a great many. The Lord make them an bun- 
dred times more^ and that our eyes may fee it^ as Joab 
faid to David about numbering of Ifrael, 2 Samuel 
xxiv. 3. Jer. x. 25. Pour out thy fury upon the hea- 
then that know thee not^ and upon the families that call 
not on thy na?ne. Heathens that know not God^ 2LV\di fa- 
milies that call not on his name^ are the fame fort of 
folks, and the fame wrath of God hangs over them. 
Wrath overtakes all that have not found grace at this 

Inference 3. It follows alfo, that the mod diligent 
pliers of the throne of grace, are the greateft receivers 
of grace ; and the greateft receivers of grace, are the 
greateft comers to, and ufers of the throne of grace. 
Would ye try the meafures of grace received ? Try 
it by your diligence in praying. Some would fain 
know how it is with their fouls. Here is a (hort, plain, 
and fare mark to judge it by. How goes the work 
of praying ? It is a better mark, than your iucreafc in 
light and knowledge of the letter of gofpel-truth ; bet- 
ter than to try yourfelves by your public duties, and 
attendance upon all outward ordinances. It is impol- 
fible, that a man can be diligent, painful, and ferious 
in plying of the throne of grace, but there will be 
grace found, more or lefs, of one fort or other. E- 
"very one muft fay with the Pfalmift, Pfal. Ixxiii. 28. 
But it is good for ^e to draw near to God ; and the 


Serm. VIII. the Throne of Grace. i6^ 

oftner the better. He hath not /aid to us, that we 
JJjould f^ek his face in va'in^ Ifa, xlv. 19. And none 
of the feekers of his face dare fay, that they do feek 
him in vain, unlefs in a fie of temptation, when they 
iye againft their right. It is alfo as impoffible that 
the work of grace can profper, when this high -way, 
is unoccupied, as Deborah fing«, Judges v. 6. That 
Chriflian that lets grafs grow on the road betwixt him 
and heaven, rottenuefs is entering into his bones, a con- 
fumption is coming on upon his foul, a.^d the holyfiefh 
ii faffed from him^ as Jer. xi. 15. The favour and re- 
h(h the foul finds in approaching ^o the throne of grace 
is the fureft teft of foul-profpcring. In this I appeal 
to the confciences of all that ever knew communion 
with Gcd. Is it not belt y^iih you every way, when 
you are mod with him I Do not your burdens grow 
light, when you caii them on the Lord ? Is not your 
path plain, when his candle fliineth upon you ? and 
doth it not fhine, when you are much in his company ? 
Difficulties evanidi, and hard v/ork grows eafy, when 
the Lord is with you, and you with him. See how 
the apoflle joins things together, Jude, ver. 20, 2 r. 
But ye^ beloved^ building up your [elves on your mojl holy 
faith ^ praying in the Holy Ghojly keep yourfelves in the 
love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jefus 
Chrifl unto eternal life. Your faith, your love, your 
hope, are all to be a6^ed in prayer ; and are cherifti- 
ed by prayer, and ftrengthened by the anfwer of 
prayer. Would you have plenty of the grace of 
God ? Here is a plain and fare way taught you by 
the apodle ; and he joins himfelf with them he ex- 
horts. Let us come to the throne of grace y that we may 
find grace. 


170 Sermons co?:cerntng Serm. IX. 


He B. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of graccy 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need* 

THE gracious call and invitation contained in this 
text, hath been often fpoke to : an invitacion 
frequently delivered In the preaching of the gofpel, 
and as frequenily flighted by molt of the hearers of 
the gofpel. It is fuch an invitation, as if it were de- 
livered in the laft day to the miferable company on 
Chriil's left hand, we may think what complying with 
h would there be. If there were a throne of grace 
fet up then for but one hour, where mercy and grace 
might be had in that time of need, think ye not that 
there would be coming and crouding, crying and ror- 
ing for mercy and grace ? But that day will attord no 
fuch privilege. Now you have it ; and the Lord 
knows, and next to him your confciences know, how 
this is" entertained. What this throne of grace is; 
what coming to it is ; what boldnefs in coming is al- 
lowed ; what ground there is for this boldnefs, have 
been Tpoke to. The laft thing in this verfe, what 
blelTiDg? may be had by coming, hath been fpoke to 
alfo ; of the mercy to be obtained, and of the grace 
to be found. Of this lafl: 1 have handled two things. 
I. What is the grace that is to be found ? 2. What 
the phrafe o^ finding grace imports ? 

There are two things more that remain in the text; 
I. The helpfulnefs of this grJice, We are called to 
come to find grace to help, 2, The feafonablemfs of 
this help of grace. It is g^acc to help in time cf need. 


Serm. IX. the Thrcne of Grace, 171 

So our tranflation carries it, and pretty well. Th« 
original runs in fewer wordf?, grace unto feafonaSle 
help, or help in due feafon, . Of thefe tWo 1 would 
fpeak at this time. 

I. I would fpeak of the helpfulnefs of grace, God's 
grace is a naoft helpful blefliug. 

1. It is promifed by him that gives it, as help. Ifa. 
xli, 10. Fear thou not^ Jor I am with thee : be not dif' 
mayed^ for I am thy God ; 1 will fire ngthen thee^ yea^ 
I will help thee^ yea^ I will uphold thee with the right 
hand of my righteoufnefs, Alas! who hath faith e- 
nough to draw at this deep well of falvation ? Every 
word hath rich food for faith. Whenever God would 
engage the heart of a poor creature to a dependence 
on him, he doth it, by promifing to be that to them, 
and to do that for them, that none befide^ himfelf can 
be or do« No man can truly a<5l faiih on God, for 
that he thinks a creature can do for him. You neveit 
believe foundly, but when you look to, and wait on 
God, for that that is impofnble utterly to the whole 
creation to give to you, or to do for you. 

2. Again, we find the faints beg God's help. When- 
ever they come to God in earned, they corae to this 4 
Ij)rd^ help ; for gU ether help is vain. There is no 
more common prayer in the old and new teilament, 
and to this day, than prayer for the Lord's helping 
grace. All our prayers, in their greatell variety, cen- 
ter in this. Help us by thy grace. The great believer, 
Matth. XV. 25-. caine and worfhipped him^ faying^ Lord^ 
help me. A ihort prayer, but mighty, and full of faith. 
A weaker man in faith than this woman, Mark ix. 22. 
Have compaffion on us^ and help us, praying for liim- 
felf and his fon ; ver. 24. he prays for himfelf alone, 
Lo'rd^ help my unbelief. There is no believer on earth 
who may not daily pray this prayer. 

3. All the people of God find the helpfulnefs' cf 
his grace. All that feek it, find it ; and all that 
Bnd it, find the helpfulnefs of his grace. 

Y z Firfl, 

172 Sermons concerning Serm. IX. 

jF/Vy?, I would in a few things fhew the helpfulrxefs 
of grace. 

(. The grace of God helps always to pnrpofe, and 
effectually. This grace helped Paul lo labour more a- 
bundantly than all the apojlles^ 2 Cor. xv. i o. 1 fay 
rjct, that this is dlways feufible ^o the receiver ; but 
only that grace given is always rc-tlly eifeclual for the 
end for which ir is given. It is not given in vain. 

2. The grace of God helps univerrally. There is 
no cafe wherein i*- is not helpful. As without Chr'tft 
we can do nothings J^^'^ xv. 5. ; fo, thro^ himjlrength- 
fling, we may do all things^ or any things Phil. iv. 13. 
A Chriftian can imagine, can forelee no condition, no 
trial, no difficulty, wherein the Lord's grace cannot 
help him. So the text runs, that we 7nay find grace 
to help in time of need. Let the time be what it will, 
and the need what it will, grace can help in it. It 
were a fad weaknefs of faith for any Chriilian to fay, 
/ am in that condition^ that the grace of God cannot 
help me in. His grace is omnipotent. 

g. Grace helps fweetly. I mean, that it doth not 
help as an external help, but as an internal. As for 
a familiar fimilitude : A weak atid weary, or Imie per- 
fon, may be helped by the (Irength of ar.other, or 
by being carried ; but this is but external help. This 
weak or lame perfon is helped far better, when his 
infirmity is removed, and new ilrength given to him, 
lo that he can pleafantly walk an(3 run : Pfal. cxxxviii. 
g. In the day tvhen I cried y thou anfweredfl me ; and 
(Irengthencdji me with ftrengtb in my jcuL Ir is true, 
the grace of Qod. wherein our ftrengtb confuls, is 
without us, and in him ;. bur it is inwardly applied to 
us, when ftrengtb i^ found and felt. Therefore is 
it that believers not only find, by the difpenfings of 
his helping grace, an effedlu^l firength for their work 
and duty ; but a great deal of fweetncfs and eafinefs in 
the exerting of that gracious help. So Pfal. cxix. I will 
run the way of thy command?nents^ when thou fhalt en- 
large my heart. When he draws ^ we run^ Son^ i. 4. 


Serm. IX. the Throne of Grace, 173 

When fuch helping influences of grace come on be- 
lievers, holy obedience becomes in a manner as fweet, 
eafy, and natural to them, as it is to a man that hath 
bodily ttrength, to ufe it in fpeaking, Walking, or 
working: Ifa. xl. 31. They that tvait upon the Lord^ 
JJmll renew (or change) their ft rength : they Jh all mount 
up wit^ wings as eagles^ they /ball run and not be wea- 
ry, and they fhall walk and not faint, PfaL ciii. 5. 
Thy youth is renewed like the eagles ^ is one of the notes 
in the Pfalmift's fweet fong. No faint is ignorant of 
this in his own experience. Who knov/s not, that ar. 
fome times their work is heavy, and is a burden too 
heavy for them ; at other times it is as light as a fea- 
ther ; and as pleafant and eafy to them, as for a bird 
that hath wings to fly I 

4. Laftly, The grace of God helps very myfteri- 
ouily. Sometimes its help is very fecret ; and at o- 
ther times it is very plain 10 be difcovered. Irs help 
is foraetimes fo fecret, that the faints cannot know or 
difcern it at prefent, but they are made to know it 
afterwards: PfaL Ixxiii. 2. But as for me, my feet 
were ahno ft gone : my ft^ps had well-nigh flipt. ver. 22. 
So foolifh was /, and Ignorant : I was as a beaft be- 
fore thee. This is the account be gives of the power 
of the temptation he was under, and of the bad frame 
it had brought upon him. ver. 23. Neverthelefs, I 
am continually with thee : thou haft hblden me by my 
right hand. He did noc know this, till he was brought 
out of the darknefs of the temptation : but then he 
did difcern, that there had been a fecret fupport given 
him, otherwife he had fallen utterly. 

Secondly, V/hat encouragement have we to come to 
the throne of grace for this helping grace I 

I. The propofal and revelation made to us of this 
grace as helpful, is an encouragement to come for it. 
Hath the Lord revealed his grace, as only helpful to 
his people ; and ihould they not come for that help ? 
Your faith is not very ftrong and a£live, unlefs you 
qap catch at the gra(;e of God, without a plaiii parti- 

174 Sermofis concerning S E R M . IX. 

ciilar promife. I fay not, but there are promifes ma- 
ny and great of this helping grace, and that faith muft 
build upon them, and doth : but 1 only mean, that 
the bare revelation of the treafures of grace that are 
Mt'ith the Lord, ftiould, when an interefl: in the pro- 
mifes is dark, encourage a poor foul to com^ for a 
fhare of this grace of God : ETal. cxxx. 4. But there 
is forgivenefi with thee. He faith not. There is for^ 
givenefs for me ; but. There Is forgiveyiefs with thee. 
So ver. 7. Let Ifrael hope in the Lord : for with the 
Lord there is mercy ^ and with him is plenteous redernp- 
t'lon. Wherefore is this forgivenefs^ this ?nercy^ this 
rede?nption, with the Lord ; and why is it reve;>ded ; 
but that the guilty Ihould come for t'hh forgivenefs^ the 
niiferable for this mercy ^ the many-ways captives for 
thh plenteous redemption f The Lord's fulnefs of grace 
is an argument for our faith, as well as his goodnefs 
and fairhtulaefs in making and performing promifes 
of grace. 

2. But we have promifes alfo for our encourage- 
ment. Promifes* imply God's fulncfs' of grace ; but 
do cxprefs his good will to difpenfe ir, and do bind 
and engage his truth to fulfil them, to all that take 
God at his word, and trufi: him on his wo:*d. It is a 
pity, that ever the exceeding great and precious profnif- 
es^ and precious faithy 2 Pet. i. 1. 4. ihould be part- 
ed. Mark. X. 49. And Jefus jlood ftilly and command- 
ed him to he called : and they call the blind man^ /^y^^^g 
unto hi?ny Be of good comfort^ rife ; he calleth thee. 
They had no promife ; but they underftood Chrilt's 
calling of the blind man, was an a(51 of mercy, and on 
a defign of (liewing more mercy. Bat we have many 
promiies oF grace. 

3. We have all the experience of the communica- 
lion of his grace, according to his promifes, for our 
encouragement iu coming for grace. Every fuppli- 
cant for grace (hould encourage his heart, by all the 
Lord's difpenfings of his grace. How many of thefe 
^re revealed in the word 1 and many like them daily 


Serm.IX. the Throne of Grace. 175 

are to be feen in the church of Chrifl. IF you have 
fuch experiences of your own, build upon them, praife 
for them, and beg more. If you have none of your 
own, behold the iliowers of grace, that have fallea 
upon many as bad as yourfelves, and which have 
changed them into that fame bleiTed (late that you de- 
fire to be in. 

Application, i. Is the grace of God thujj 
helpful ? and ftiould we come to the throne of grace 
for the help of grace? Then we fee, that weak Chrif- 
tians fliould pray moH. Such as can do lead for them- 
felves, have moft need of grace to help them, and 
ftiould feek it mod. Is any man unt'er a clear con- 
vi^^ion, by the light of the wordj and his own fenli- 
ble experience, that he is extremely weak, and utter- 
ly unable for any good word or work ? This man, of 
all men, fhould pray mod. Manage your fenfe of weak- 
nefs, as a call to aik much of ihishelping grace of God. 

2. Surely, then, coming to the throne of grace for 
grace to help, m.uft be hopeful work. If at any time 
Satan, or in ungodly world, (hould tempt you, or 
your own heart fail you, in fears of the unprofitabie- 
nefs of feeking God, have this as a ready anfwer : 
'* *i am fit for nothing, his grace can help me in every 
" thing. Whither (hould i go but to a throne of 
" grace ? what can I beg there but his grace ?'' Say 
with David, Pfal. hii. 2, 3. / ii^ill cry unto God mojl 
high ; unto God that performeth ail things j or me. He 
Jh all fend jroni heaven, and five me. God fh all fend 
forth his mercy and his truth. And will not thefe fave 
any man ? 

Exhortation. I would give you a few directions ia 
the prafiice of this duty of coming to the throne of 
grace for helping grace. 

1. Come to feek this helping grace. 

2. When you feek it, expe<^ it. 

3. When you expe<5l it, receive it. 

4. When you receive ir, guide it* 


176 8er?nons concerning Serm. IX 


Exhort, r. Come to the throne of grace to feek 
helping grace. Seeking (as is already remarked) is 
not expreffed in the text ; yet it is plainly implied, 
boih in the duty of comings and in the bleffings of ob- 
taming 2in6 finding. You mud feek grace to help you. 
Grace will not help to fin, but helps againfl it; yet, 
blefled be God, grace can, and will help fmners, o- 
therwife we were in a forlorn ilate indeed. Grace 
will not help to lazlnefs, (that were an hinderance, 
and no help); but grace will help lazy people, and 
help them out of it. To engage your diligence in 
feeking helping grace, I would (hew you what help 
grace gives. 

1. Grace helps to fave you. If people come to the 
throne of grace, if men pray, and have not falvatioa 
in their eye, they come not aright, they pray not. 
We are/aved by grace, Eph. ii. 5. Nothing iDut grace 
can fave a fmner : and if it were not the grace of God, 
and therefore omnipotent, it could not fave. Is noc 
it a great help, to be helped to falvation P Is not that 
a great lift, to be delivered from the power of darknefs, 
and to be tranjlated into the kingdom ofGod^s dear Son ? 
Col. i. 13. Who would not prize and defire a faving 
lift of God's grace ? All that have found it, value n ; 
and they that never found it, (hould (but will not) 
beg it earneftly. The grace of God brings falvation ^ 
Tit. ii. 1 1. It brings it near to men in the gofpel. 
This is all that it doth to many. But to fome this 
grace brings falvation, and gives it ; plants it in their 
hearts, and waters it, and makes it grow with the in- 
creafes of God, till it b^ ripe, full-grown falvation. 
would you be helped to heaven ? Imploy and implore 
the grace of God. It only can do it. And mufl: not 
they perifh, and do they not periih juftly, that will 
not accept of faving grace, nor beg it, when they 
muft perifh without it ? 

2. Grace helps to grace. All the grace that fs giv- 
en to u?, is but a drop from the great fountain of 
grace that we make our application to, The firfl; grace 


Serm. IX. the Throne of Grace, jjy 

that is io us, is a gift and flream of that graee that 
IS with him. That gracious change that is wrought 
on a finner, by which, of a gracelefs, he is made a 
gracious pcrfon, how do you think this is brought a- 
bout ? There is a mydery in it that a mafter in Ifrael 
did not know, John iii. 9, 20. No fimilitude from the 
old creation can fully declare it ; yet fome of ihem are 
ufed in the word, and give them fome light. This 
work of grace on the ungodly whom this grace falls 
on, is like a fun-b- a n darted from the body of the Sua 
of righteoufnefs, upon a fmner dead in fins, that doth 
immediately quicken him, and enliven him. It is both 
light and life, it is ail originally in thrift, and out of 
his fulnefs given to ali that partake of it : John i. 4, 
In hi?n was life, and the life was the light of men. John 
viii. 1 2 . I am the light of the world ; ^he that followeth 
me, fhallnot wak in darknefs, hut Jh all have the itght 
ofUfe^ faith our Lord Jefus. Chrift is luch a fun that 
all on whom his gracious beams light, are faved. He 
quickens all he (hines upon, M-q periQi under the 
gofpel indeed ; but it is becaufe the light of it fhincs 
only about them, and without them, 2 Cor. iv. 4. 6, 
but not into their hearts. All the grace whereby a- 
cy, and all the redeemed of the Lord, are converted, 
beautified, and faved, is from the higheft fpring, 
grace in Chrift : i Tim. i. 14. And the grace of our 
Lord was exceeding abundant, with faith and love which 
is in Chrijl Jefus. How came Paul by all the faith 
and love his bleffed foul was filled with ? All came 
from the grace of the Lord Jefus. And every par- 
taker of true grace will own the fame original. 

3. This helping grace which we fhould ai1<, not 
only helps to falvation and grace, but alfo helps grace 
jtfelf. The grace received, muft be refreChed and 
watered, and made to grow by influences from the 
fame fountain from whence it firft flowed, or elfe it 
will wither quickly. Therefore we have the grace 
of God in the fountain to betake ourf-lves unto, for 
the helping of his grace in us. For though 2:race as 

Vol. I, Z ^ in 

17S Sermons concerning Serm. IX. 

in Clirifi: needs no help ; yet his grace given to, and 
dweiiing in us, needs a great deal. The father oF 
the lunatic, Mark ix. 22, 24. came to the throne of 
grace but forrily. What a marvellous change was 
wrought in him, and that fuddenly ? In his firit ad- 
drefs he a£led unbelief grofsly ; in the next he a6l5 
iaith, profeiTeth faith, and prays Chriil's help againit 
his unbelief. Many did call out devils in Cariirs 
name ; but none could help other folks unbelief, nor 
their own. His begging help againfl: his unbelief, 
was the fame prayer with that of the apodles, Luke 
xvii. 5. Lord increafe our faith. And it gave more 
honour to Chriit in his office of a Saviour, and did 
iignify more, both of true faith in Chrift, and of an 
honed heart in the man, than if he had addreil'ed with 
the highcH: confidence to the Lord, to caft the devil 
out of his fon. The youth is lying wallowing and 
foming, and torn by the evil fpirir, in the fight of his 
tender father : yet no fooner doth the light of faith 
ihine in his heart, but he Teeth a devil of unbelief 
there alfo j and he firft begs that Chriil would cait 
out that, and help his faith. For helping of unbeliefs 
and helping of faith ^ is the fame thing, lie that feeks 
the helping of his unbelief, feeks the removing of it ; 
and he that feeks the helping of his faith, feeks the 
increafe and ftrengthening of ir. And both are done 
hy the fame hand, by the fame aft of grace, and at 
the fame time, whenever and where-ever they are 
done. And as it is with faith, io is i: vitb all the 
graces of the Spirit in believers ; they do need help 
of his grace : and it muft be fought at the turone of 
grace. Can you (^, / repent f add, lj)rd^ halp my 
impenitence* I love f fay, Lord^ helpits coldnefy and 
blow it up to aflame. Where the true grace of God 
is, there is llili faioe fenfe of its weakncfs, and incli- 
nation after an io-crcafe therein ; and fome depend- 
ence a6led on the Lord, who began the good ivork^ f»r 
fer forming it to the day of Jefm Chrijlj Phil. i. 6. 
4, The grace of God helps our infirmities^ Ronu 


Serm. IX. the Throne of Grace. 179 

viii. 26. If it ATere not written, we Oiould tbink it 
hard 10 ufe the exprefiion. If the Spirit of God plant 
grace in the heart, is not that fair? if he water his 
own plants, is not that fair ? Nay, bnt, faith the a- 
poQle, he Mfs our 'infinities alfo. Might not the 
Holy Spirit difdain to have any dealing with the in- 
firmuies of his people ? Yes ; bin he will nor. If be 
take no care of our infirmities, we may, and muft be 
loft thereby, A criminal pardoned by an aft of grace, 
may die of a difeafe, if not cured ; may ftarve of hun- 
ger and cold, if not provided with neceffaries ; may 
be flain by his enemies, if not protefted. Senfe of 
infirmities (hould make us beg helping grace. 

5. Grace helps in all the work and duty we are 
called to. Without affifling grace, the Jeaft piece of 
work cannot be rightly -done, and by its help any 
vork may be done : 2 Cor. ix. 8. God is able to make 
all grace abound tozvards you : that ye always having 
alljufficiency in all things, may abound to every good 
-work. ThcTQ IS grace, all grace, 2tn^ it abounding m 
God toivard his people. From this given to them, 
there is fuffichncy and allfufficiencyy and that always 
and in ail things ; and tiience flows good xvork^ every 
goodwork^ and abounding to every good work. Like to 
this is his prayer, Heb. xiii. 20, 21. The God of peace 
make you perfea in every good work to do his will, work- 
ing in you that which ts welUpleafing in his fight thro" 
Jefus Chrifl. We need grace's help in every good 
work. No work is truly good, but what grace nelps 
us to. Grace and works agree fweetly in this order. 
Grace begins, and works "follow. Grace works or 
the man, and makes him a worker : grace pafleth on 
the perfon and his works, and makes them accepted ; 
arid the accepted worker gives grace all theglory, both 
of- his works, and of his own and their acceptance. 
Whence bis help comes, thither his praifes go. 

6. Laftly, Grace helps in extremities. But of this 
in the lafl thing in the text. 

Z 2 This 

l8o Sermons concerning Serm. IX, 

This then is the firft exhortation, Come to the 
throne of grace, feeking helping ^race. Enlarge 
and heighten the feme of your need aud weaknefs as 
much as you will, the fupply to be h id at the throne 
of grace is fufficient ; Phil^ iv. 19. My God flmll /up- 
fly all your need^ according to his ricnes '« g^ory^ by 
Chrijl Jefus. And in I-^aal's llyle, glory and grace 
change names frequent!), Eph. i. 6. 12. 14. and iii, 
16. 2 Cor. iii. 18 

Exhort. 2* You mufl: not only feek grace to help ; 
but when you feek it, you mufl expc£l it. The text 
runs plainly th'»s way. The apoftle implies ^7/i/;;^ ; 
but tx^^xzKzih findings and coming that we m^y find. 
Therefore we ihould come witK expe^lation of finding. 
The tpirit and life of prayer in faith, lieth more in 
expectation than in alking. Unwife Chriitians let out 
the life-blood and vital fpirits of prayer, when they 
let their expe^aiions langulfh. Here is a common, 
but unregarded error, in Chiidians exercife. When 
they fet their face to pray, they make feme confci- 
ence of fearching out their wants ; they labour to 
improve that fight to the raifmg of fervent defires of 
a fupply of them : if they yet go higher, to take in 
a fenfe of the fuinefs and freenefs of that grace where 
their help is ; yet how rarely are they careful to raife 
up expe6fations of that helping grace ? Few can fa\^, 
as Pfal. Iv. 16. As for me^ I will call upon God : and 
the Lordjhallfave me. ver. 17. Eiysning and mornings 
and at noon, will J pray, and cry aloud : and 'he J hall 
hear my 'voice. Few can charge their Iculs as he did, 
Pfal. Ixii. 5. Myfouly wait thou only upon God : for 
my expedation is from him. See iiow the prophet's 
faiih rofe, Micah vii. 7. I will look unto the Lord ; I will 
wait for the God of my fahation : my God will hear me. 
Looking is a needy a(fl of faith, waiting is an expec- 
ting adiy and ajfurance is the higheft. if you look to 
the Lord, you may quickly know he is the God of 
your falvation ; if you know him as the God of your 
falvaiioD^ and your Godj you will aik earnefily, wait 


Serm. IX. the Throne of Grace, 18 1 

patiently, and by the fame faith prophefy a gracious 
anfvver. What do you take praying in faith to be, 
James i. 6. P It is not only to pray, believing that we 
call upon the true God, in the name of Chrifl, and 
for things agreeable to his will : it is not only that 
we beiievs that he is able to give what we afk ; but 
that he will give what is good. But becaufe his grace 
to help, is not only good, and always good, bur no- 
thing is good without it, Chriftians Ihould beg grace 
with confident expe^ations. What means Chrift's 
frequent anfwer to men : Matth. viii. 13. ^/ thou hafl 
believed^ Jo be it done unto theef and Matth. ix. 29. 
According to your faith ^ be it unto you ? Is it not to tell 
us, that he meafures out his bounty to men, accord- 
ing to their believing expectations from him I John 
xi. 40. Jefus faith unto Martha^ Said I not unto thee^ 
that if thou wouldejl believe ^ thoufljouidefi fee the glo- 
ry of God f Our way is, if we could fee the glory of 
God, then we would believe. Chrili's way is jufl 
contrary : we mud firft believe, and then we fliall fee 
the glory of God. We fay, If the Lord would glo- 
rify himlelf in performing his proraifes, and in hearing 
our prayers, then we would believe flrougly. But 
this is inverting of Chrifl's order. Martha was a belie- 
ver in Chrifi-, and expreffeth faith feveral ways in this 
chapter. It appears in the joint meffage they fent to 
Chrifi, ver. 3. Lord, behold, he whom thou lovefl, is 
ftck, Ver. 5. Now Jefus loved Martha, and her fifler^ 
and Lazarus, A bleiled family, and few like it j all 
loved of Chrift, and doubtlefs lovers of Chrift. But 
they built more on his love to them, than on their love 
to him, like humble and wife believers: verfe 21. 
Martha faid unto Jefus, Lord, if thou hadfi been here, 
my brother had not died. Her filter Mary faid the 
fame, ver. 32. It is likely, that none ever died in 
Chrifl's prefence, when he was on earth \ he cured 
all that employed him. But I know, that even now 
whatfoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee^ 
Tcr. 22. Here was fome faith, When Chrifi pro- 

uiifctb, ^ 

X02 Sermons concerning Serm. IX 

mifelh, vcr. 23. \h<it her brother fiould rife again^ (lie 
a<5^s faith as to the doftrine oF the rerarre(^ion, verfe 
24. / i/z^j-z^ that hejhall rife again in the refurreBion at 
the laft day. When Chrift goes on in preaching him- 
felf, ver. 25, 26. and asks her of her faith; (he an- 
fwered bravely. Tea, Lord : I believe that thou art 
the Chrift the Son of God, which fhoidd come into the 
-jjorld^ ver. 27. A confeflion like Peter's, Matth.xvi. 
16. What then was wanting in this good woman? 
Why cloth our Lord put fuch an if thou wouldefl be- 
lieve^ to one that did believe fo much and fo well ? 
Bccaufe noiwithftanding her faith in Chrill's perfon, 
as the Chrid, the Son of God, the Saviour of the 
world ; notwithdanding her faith of his power ; yet, 
in this infiance of raifing Lazarus, fhe expe<fied no- 
thing. When Chriil, verfe 39. bids take away the 
flone, (he faid, Lord^ by this time he ftinketh : for he 
hath been dead four days. She that believed Lazarus 
Ihould rife at the laft day, could not believe that he 
fliould rife after death had hel(f him but four days. 
Such is the very nature of unbelief, or of weak faith 
in true believers ; they can, or rather think they do, 
believe greater and harder things, when not much 
tried about them, better and more eafily, than fraal- 
ler and eafier things that their faith is called to a pre- 
ient exercife about. Let all Chriftians, in all their 
cpproaches to the throne of grace, behold this as writ- 
ten on the open gates to this throne, and hear it pro- 
claimed by him that fitteth on ir. Said I not unto thee^ 
that if thou wouldefl believe^ thou fljouldejl fee the glory 
cfGodf Some believers are apt to think, that a trem- 
bling fearing frame is fitter for them ; and that raif- 
ing of expectation of good from God, will prevent or 
hinder humiliry, and lying low before the Lord. But 
they are quite miftaken that think faith and humility 
are inconfiftent. They not only agree well together, 
but they cannot be parted : Hab. ii. 4. Behold, his 
fcul li'hich is If fed up^ is not upright in him : but fhe 

Serm. IX. the Throne of Grace, 183 

jujl JJ:all live by his faith. To bottom expectations of 
grace from God, on the account of any gootl, real 
or apprehentied, in us, or done by us, is not only de- 
ltru6tive of humility, but of faith alfo. A boaft^r is 
an abominable creature at the throne of grace; bat 
a pleader for, and expe6>ant of grace, for grace's 
fake, is an humble believer, and a ri^ht couriier aU 
this throne. oi/V.. . 

Exhort, g.'^YbU mufl not only feek grace Vvhen you 
come to the throne of grace, and expe£l it when yoa 
feck it, but you nunl: be careful to receive grace! 
when it is given. Make room for it* What is faid 
by the Lord in the prophet, Mai. iii. 10. iho' fpoke" 
in another cafe, is applicable to this : 1 will open yoit 
the windows of heaven^ and pcur yen out a bleffmgy that 
there fhall not be room enough to receive it. Felt want 
and (Irong faiib, make much room for the grace of 
God. Open thy 'mouth wide, and 1 will f II ity Pfakn 
lxxx\ {o. It mud be a wide-mouthed foul that takes 
ill, and a well- filled foul that receives a fiYi of God. 
liow mighty is that prayer, Eph. iii. 17, 18, 19.? 
We have all need not only to get it by heart, but to 
get it into our hearts, and to fend it up to heaven 
daily from our hearts. Paql makes a fpecial preface 
to that prayer, ver. 14, 15. In it he prays for //»<? 
flrengthning of the inner man^ by the Spirit^ ver. i6. 
nat ChrijI might dwell in their hearts by faith ^ ver. 
17. That being roofed in love^ they might meafure ths^ 
dimenftons of CbrifTs love, and know it that paffeth 
knowledge^ ver. 18, 19. Can any man go higher ia 
prayer ? Yes, one ftep higher ; That ye might be 
filled with all the fulnefs of God, Now, who hath 
room ia his foul for the anfwer of fuch a prayer as 
this is .^ If we had not thefe mighty words in this way, 
we (houid be tempted to think that it were rather a 
prophecy of what is to be enjoyed within the vail, 
than a prayer of faith to be put up by travellers in the 
way to heaven, and for bleflings to be enjoyed ia the 
houfc of their pilgriaagc, But a prayer it is, ami 


184 Sermons concerning Serm. IXc 

fome good performance is given within time ; though 
the main meafure of the anfwer of this (as of all the 
moft fpiritual prayers of faints in this life) is referved 
for the day oF the Lord. It is a greater matter, both 
of duty and difnculty, than moft Chriilians think, to 
have the everlading doors of our fouls lifted up, and 
caft open, that the King of glory may enter with his 
fuper-abounding grace. Many believers take much 
pains, and make many prayers, for that grace of God, 
which yet they receive not, when it comes, and craves 
room and admittance. Grace comes always in and 
with Jefus Chriit. Whatever therefore hinders his 
welcome, excludes his grace from entering. Grace 
comes in and by the promife. If the promife be not 
received by faith, how can the grace promifed be re- 
ceived ? Grace comes always as grace, free and unde- 
I'erved. How can a proud perfon receive it ? And 
there is pride often working in the diTcouragements of 
Chriftians. They find they want much of the helping 
grace of God : they ask it, they fee it in the pro- 
mifes, and in ChriiVs hand : but they think, Should 
fuch as I lay hold on fuch a precious gift as his grace ? 
Why not ? It is grace, grace offered of grace, given 
of grace. Do you need it ? Why do you not receive 
it, and make room for it ? Some receive not that grace 
that is tendered to them ; becaufe it is not the parti- 
cular grace they fought, and expe<!led, or becaufe it 
comes not to them in that way they looked for it in. 
Others receive not, nor welcome the grace rhey beg ; 
becaufe they think they cannot receive it. They look 
on receiving as a great and difficult bufmefs, far above 
their ability. But is refufing of it hard alfo ? Alas 1 
that is eafy, becaufe natural to our hearts. Is not 
the feed of receiving in all fincere ailiing and expelling 
of grace from God ? Receiving of his grace, is no 
more but a heart-willingnefs that his grace may enter 
in, and a6l like itfelf upon us. And this receiving 
aft of faith doth greatly glorify God. Some think it 
very ftrange, and hardly credible, that any believer 


Serm. IX. ths Throne of Grace. 185 

can aflc earneftly that grace, which when tendered he 
is not willincr to receive. See how it was with foiTie 
eminent faints: Job. ix. i(5. If I had cailedy and ha 
had anfwcred me ; yet would not I believe that he had 
hearkened unto my voice. Why fo P For be hreaketh me 
with a tempeft^ ver. 1 7. Bin may not fatherly love 
and corr^flion be together on a believer P Rev. ill. 19. 
Yet the fenfe of the Tmart of corre6lirn, is a (Irong 
temptation to queftion the love of the correflor. Da- 
vid, or Afiiph, Pfal. Ixxvii. 1,2,3. / cried unto God 
ivith my vo'icc^ even unto God with my voice^ and he 
gave ear unto me. Who would think that this maa 
refufed to be comforted P Did he not pray for con- 
folation P Yet he faith. My joui refufed to be comforted. 
I remembered God, and was troubled : I complained, 
and viy Jfirit was overwhelmed. There is a peevifh- 
nefs of unbelief that Chriitians fliould watch againfl. 

Exhort, 4. You mud take care to guide this help- 
ing grace of God, when you have received it. Guid- 
ing of grace, is an art and myftery that Chridians 
fhould ftudy didigently. The rule of \\\vi art is this?. 
Guide the grace of God received by you, for thofe 
ends for which it is given by him. Now, what ends 
hath the Lord in giving of his grace P They are only- 
two. 1. For the praife and glory of the giver, 2. For 
the benefit of the receivers. Guide his grace for thofe 
ends, and you guide and ufe it well. Chriftians have 
little of his grace, and complain forrowfully ; not be- 
caufe he gives, and they receive little ; but becaufe 
they guide and manage this richcd trJent poorly. Dare 
any believer forbear to fay. If I had kept all I had 
got, and guided well all he hath given, I had been 
far richer in grace than now I am P Mifguiding of 
grace received is the greateft fin, becaufe an abufe of 
the greateft bleiTmg. Watch againft it, if ycu love 
his glory, and your own weal. 

II. I come now to the fourth and lad thing in the 

verfe about this, grace of God ; and that is, the feafon- 

Vol. L A a ablenefs 

2 96 ^ Sermons ccncerntng Serm. IX. 

ahknefs of its help. It helps always, but efpecially in 
tijjie of need. On this 1 Ihall now only note fome few 
things in general. 

Obf. I. Whatever believers prefent cafe be, a time 
of need may come ; and they (hould forefee it. Tbo' 
they know not particular circnmdarxes, yet they 
fhould lay their account with it. The Lord gives 
faithful warnings in the word ; faith (hould take them. 
We fee the times of need that many others come in ; 
and we (hould take warning by their experience. E- 
very Chriftian hath found times of fpecial need for- 
merly ; the like may come again. 

Obf, 2. Chriflians (hould pray before the time of 
need come, for that grace that may help them when 
it comes. The prophet fpeaks of hearing for the time 
to come, Ifa. xlii. 23.; the apoftle, i Tim. vi. 19. of 
laying up in flore a good fmndation for the ti?ne to come^ 
So here, men muft pray for the time to come. Is 
any man offli^fedf let him pray ^ James v. 13, ; and.be- 
caufe any man may be afflifted, he (hould pray be- 

1. Becaufe we know not but we may be furprifed 
by a time of need ; our Lord's argument, Mark xiii, 
33. Take ye heedy watch and pray ; for ye know not 
when the time is. The Lord rarely gives particular 
warning of the time when fpecial need is coming. 
It ordinarily comes by furprife to us. Death may, 
but ficknefs, lodes, and affliftion, ufually come on 
fuddenly ; and furprifing trials are fore and fearching 

2. We (liould pray before a lime of need come ; 
for often when that time comes, we are thereby dif- 
abled for prayer. The diflrefs may be fuch, that 
even a believer can do nothing. The night may come^ 
when no man can worky John is, 4. Pray much before 
it come. 

3. Becaufe many prayers have their anfwer delay- 
ed till a time of need comes. Chri(\ians think, that 
every day and hour of their life is a time (>f need, (and 

Serm. X. the Throne df Grace. l8; 

fo it is in fome fenfe); bur there are (omt fpecial fea- 
fons of great need, of which the Lord is the only dif- 
pofer ; and he fits fuch times with difpenfiags of that 
grace that his people have many a day begged be- 
fore. There may be worfe reafoning than this. " It 
" may be there are fome bicffings of grace, that 1 have 
" oft fought, and have not yet got, that* are referved 
" for me by the Lord, againft a time when 1 Ihall need 
" them more than now I do." 

Thus you fee, in the fcope of the apoflle in thefe 
words, that there is llrong arguing for conflant feek- 
ing of God's grace. You are either at prefent in a 
time of fpecial need; or if it be not prefent, it may 
come. Whatever cafe a believer is in, his obligation 
is in a manner equal to this great duty, of coming to 
the throne of grace ^ for grace to help him^ as his mat- 
ters do require. 


H E B. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ^ 
that we may obtain tnerc'y^ andjind grace to help in 
time of need. 

YOU have heard that the gracious exhortation: 
in the text, to coming to the throne of grace, 
is diref^ed with refpe^l to the getting of two great 
bleffings, or of one under two names, God's mercy 
and grace. Concerning this grace I have fpoken to 
three things, i. What this grace is. 2. What the 
finding of this grace is. 3. What is the helpfulnefs 
of this grace fo found, 1 alfo entered upon the 

A a 2 fourth 

l88 Sermons concerning Serm. X. 

fourth and lafl: thiog, the feafonablenefs of this help- 
iog grace. 

The truth I am to fpeak to, is this. 

DocT. The grace of God is fpectally helpful in 
times of Jpecial need. 

My work then is to fhew, 

1. What are thofe times of need. 

2. What the helpfulnefs of grace in them is. 

Only I would ufher in this difcourfe, with a gene- 
ral coDfideracion of the conftant need that all itand in 
of God's mercy and grace. And that I ^vould branch 
into four. We need God's mercy and grace, as crea- 
tures, as men, as (ianers, and as Chriliiansj and that 

I. As creatures. The native notion of a creature 
is, that it is a contingent, neceffiroDs being : For his 
fleafure they are ^ and were created^ Rev. iv. ii. The 
Lord did not make all or any creature becaufe he 
needed them; but he made them that they might 
need him. He did not build this glorious fabric of 
heaven and earth, as a houfe to dwell in, or to contain 
hiniy I Kings viii. 27.; but he made this world as a 
ftage, on which to difplay his glorious wjfdom and 
power : and he made forae of its inhabitants, angels 
in the upper room?, and men in the lower, to be fpec- 
tators and praifers of his glory. It is not proper to 
fay, that creatures needed their being before the Cre- 
ator gave it : For when there was nothing bur God, 
there could be no need. Need and want is eifential 
to a creature, and fprings up with their being. As 
foon as the creation received its being by the word of 
his power ^ it needs upholding by the fame power : 
Heb. i. 3. our Lord Jefus upholds all things by the word 
cf his power. The whole creation would fall back im- 
XT^ediately iato its mother Nothings if ihe fame power 


Serm. X. the Throne of Grace, 189 

that pjave it a being did uot every moment preferve 
it. Would you have a joyful view of heaven and 
earth ? Look on all as in our Lord's hand. Why 
do the heavens keep their courfe P Why doth the fun 
(hine fo glorioufly, move fo regularly, and influence 
the earth fo virtuouily with his lii^ht and heat ? It is 
becaufe Chrift upholds all things by the word of his 
power. He is before all things^ and by him cill things 
confifl ; all things were created by hini^ and for him^ 
Col. i. 16. 17. Many are without Chrift in the worlds 
Eph. ii. 12. Many fee daily the works of creation 
and providence, and never think on Chrift as the head 
of all. But it is no wonder, that men that have no eyes 
to fee Chrift in the new creation of grace, cannot fee 
him in the old creation of nature. We, as creatures, 
are needy of God's helping grace and favour : for in 
him we live^ and rnove^ and have our beings A6ls xvii. 
2 8. In his hand our breath isy and his all our ways 
are, Dan. v. 23. 

2. Our need of God's grace appears yet more, as 
we are fuch creatures, men. We are, through the 
bounty of God, the moft confiderable part of this 
lower creation. Of man fome underftaiid that e- 
legant phrafe, Prov. viii. 26. The highefl part of the 
du ft of the world. But there is no earthly creature 
ii^tdiy of God's grace but man, even in his natural 
frame, abftra^l from his fmful flate. The great For- 
mer of all things hath given to all a being, and to 
many of his creatures no more. To fome of hi3 crea- 
tures he hath given life, a nobler fort of being. But 
to all living creatures, but man, he gives no more,' 
and they need no more ; they have not, they need 
not eternal life. When the breath of the other liv- 
ing creatures goes downward, as the word is Eccl. iii, 
2 I. there is an end of them. But man is created in 
that ftate, that he mufl be for ever, and therefore 
be eternally happy or miferable. This flate he is 
made in, makes him vaftly needy of God's grace and 

3. We 

290 Sermons concerning Serm. X, 

5. We grow yet more needy as finners. Sinners 
are creatures, with this great blcmifh, of guijr, fin, 
and corruption. A fmner is needy of a Mediator to 
deal tor him with God ; for he cannot deal with God 
for himfelf. A fmner is needy of the righteoufnefs 
of another to recommend him to God's acceptance ; 
for he hath none of his own, The righteoufnefs of 
a fmner is a plain contradiction. And unlefs the pow- 
er of fm had blinded men in the right knowledge of 
God, and of themfelves, and unlefs it had puffed up 
their hearts in this darknefs, there had never been a- 
ny pretence made by fallen men to felf- righteoufnefs. 
But now nothing is more common, more groundlefs, 
and yet more rooted in mens hearts, than that a fmr 
ner can, and may, if he will, bring or do fomewhat 
that may have feme intercft in, and influence on his 
acceptance with God. A fmner is needy of a right to 
eternal life : and this mull be brought by another ; 
for he can never purchafe it for himfelf. He is needy 
of fafety from the wrath to come, which is fo wofully 
well deferved by him ; and the man can do nothing 
of himfelf, but what deferves it more and further, 

4. We are needy of the help of grace as Chrifti- 
ans, as new creatures. A Chriftiun is a creature by 
nature, a human creature, a fmful creature ; but 
made a new creature by grace. Yet there are feme 
fprings of conftant need of grace, in this new crea- 
ture, the Chriftian. 

iy2, The neceffary and confln:: ^ependance of the 
new creature on jts founrain ujd author, makes a 
Chriftian to be a very needy creature. The depen- 
dance of the beams on the fun is not more neceffary, 
than the dependance of a Chrillian on Chrift : With' 
cut me {ox feparate from me^ ye can do 7:othing^ John 
XV. 5, The Chriflian's life is by a continual efflux 
from Chriil: ; and is to be fought and maintained by a 
conftant dependance on him, as light from the fun. 
Never was there, nor can there be a room fo full of 
light fropa the fun-beams, but if either the fun with- 

Serm. X. the Throne of Grace. ipi 

draw his light, or if you exclude its light, by clofiog 
doors and windows, it immediately becomes dark, and 
that neceffarily. It is fo with all Chriftians. If it 
were not that the new covenant hath allured us, that 
there (hail be no final and total feparating of the 
fountain from the ftream, there would foon be aa 
expiring of all that good that is in the bed of faints. 

2dly^ A Chriftian is always a needy creature; bc- 
caufe he hath much v/ork to do, and mod neceiiary 
work, and all above his ftrength. He that hath moft 
work, and lead ftrength, is mod needy of help : PbiU 
ii. 12, 13. Work out your own falvation with fear and 
trenibling. For it is God which worketh in you^ both to 
will and to do of his good pleajure. If the exhortation or 
command had been without the argument, it had beea 
difcouraging. What can a man do about his own fal- 
vation ? It is God that begun a good work in fhem^ and 
will perform it till the day of Jefus Chrijl, ?nil. i. 6. 
Put hand to your work j for help is near. As the ex- 
hortation, Work out your own fa Ivation with fear and 
tremblings hath the height of duty in it ; fo the arg^. 
ment, For it is God that worketh in you^ both to ivill 
and to do of his good fleafure^ doth deeply debafe 
man's fufficiency, and highly advance both the fover- 
eignty and efficacy of his ailiding grace. And happy 
is that Chridian, who can lay the weight of the com- 
mand on his confcience, and can at the fame time 
improve the encouragement for believing obeying. 
Whoever is void of fenfe of his need of God's afiid- 
ing grace, looks not rightly on the great work lying 
before him, and feeth not the great weaknefs that is 
in him : 2 Cor. iii. 5. Klot that we are fufpaent of 
ourfelvet^ to think any thing as ofourfelves : but ourfuffi^ 
ciency is of God, 

idly^ in this great work above his drength, the 
Chridian meets with mugh oppofition, both from with- 
in, and from without : not always in the fame mea- 
fure; but fome alway>;. Special meafures of oppoli- 
tion, make times of fpecial needj of which I dial! 


192 Senncns concerning Serm. X. 

fpeak. But there is fomewhat of oppofuion that is 
conilant : Gal. v. 1 7. For the flefh lufteth again ft the 
Jpirit^ and thefp'trit againj} the fie jh : and theje are con- 
trary the one to the other ; fo that ye cannot do the things 
that ye would, TMx^fieJh and xXmfpirit is in all Chnf- 
tians. If a man were 'dWfiefh^ he were no Chriiiian ; 
if he were 2\\ff'irit^ he would be perfe^l, as the fainjs 
glorified be. IhhfiefJj and fp'trit luji and Jl rive one 
againft the other: and fo they muft do ; for they are 
contrary the one to the other. The effe6i: of this lufling 
and contrariety is, that the Chriflian cannot do the 
things that he would. He cannot do all \\\t flejh lufls 
to, becaufe of the fpirit^s oppofuion ; he cannot Ao 
all the /pirit lufts afier, becaufe of the oppofition of 
thefief/j. Of this combat the apollle fpeaks largely 
from his own experience, Rom. vii. And the more 
oppofition a ChrKtian meets with, (and 1 have named 
but one head of it), the more needy he is of helping 

^tb/yy The Chriftian's (late of abfence from the 
Lord, renders him a needy creature. He is made for 
the Lord ; framed fo, that, as a Chriftian, nothing 
Ihort of being for ever and immediately with the Lord 
reigns in his heart as his prize and mark : 2 Cor v. 2. 
4. In this we groan earuejlly^ defiring to be clothed u- 
pon with our houfe which is from heaven. We that are 
in this tabernacle do grone^ being burdened : not for that 
we would be unclothed^ hut clothed upon, that mortality 
might be /wallowed up of life, Wha't ails a believer 
togrone fo oft and fo deeply ? It is to be in heaven 
with the Lord. And the more heavenly and holy a 
Chriitian be, the more frequent and carneft are thefe 
gronings. He hath the mod healthy foul, who is 
Sck of love : whofe heart is frck with defires of being 
prefent with the Lord, The believer that js moft af- 
fured of heaven, grones dc;e.peiL Uubelievers run 
on in fin, and fing to hell ; while hell grones for them : 
and fad will the meeting be. We find Paul groning 
for himfelf, only for two things j the body of fin and 


Serm. X. the Throne of Grace, ip^ 

death its dwelling in hlm^ Rom. vii. 24 and his dwdl- 
ing in the body^ We do not, nor can we know the 
vaft difference that is betwixt the happy Hate of the 
faints in heaven, and the beft (late of believers oa 
eanh. We do but guefs in the dark ; and our gueffes 
are but negative; that they are removed iro'i) a!i the 
evils we find here ; no nn, no clouds, no death, no 
crying, nor any thing to complain of. But thefc ne- 
gatives taken in by faiih and experience, with the 
ioretafte and firft fruits of that good land, make be- 
lievers grone to be poffeffed of it, although they go, 
as Abraham did, Heb. xi. 8. not knowing whither. 
Heaven will be a bleffed furprife \6 all the''pcir.ffors 
of It, They Vv'ill find it a far better flate than their 
higheft thoughts and larged defires could point forth. 

But, befides thefe fprinas of conflant need, there 
are fpecial feafons of Chnftians need of God's grace. 
And they are eafily known by this general rule. That 
time that comes on a believer, wherein he is in great 
and fpecial danger, from which only prefent fupplies 
of grace can preferve him, that is a fealon of fpecial 
need of grace. And in the profpe^^ of, or in fucli 
feafons, Chriftians ftiould ply the throne of grace. 

Of fuch times of need, 1 would fpeak to fix of 
them, I. The time of temptation. 2. Of a fpiritu- 
ai decay, 3* ^^ high enjoyments and attainments.. 
4 Of affliflion. 5. Of fpecial duty and fervice. 6. 
Of dying. Thefe are all feafons and times of fpecial 
need of God's grace. And how fuch render Chrifli- 
ans needy of grace, and how helpful his grace is in 
fuch times, is all I mind to fay on this (cripcure. 

I. The firft time of need, is the time of temptation : 
An hour cf temptation. Rev. iii. i o. A time of tempta- 
tion^ Luke viii. 13. A day oj temptation, Pfal. xcv. 8. 
But becaufe temptation is of large fignification, and 
of fundry for(s, and from various quarters, I fliall 
confine myfelf to that fort that is from Satan. And 
on this head would confine myfelf to thefe three, i. 

Vol. I. B b What 

ip^ Sermons concerning Serm. X. 

What temptation i?. 2. What need of grace to the 
tempted. 3. How grace helps ia time of temptaiioo. 
1. What'is temptation f As we aie concerned in ir, 
three things are in a temptation. An outward obje«Sl, 
the occafion ; inward corruption, that is as fewel for 
the temptation ; and Satan's motion to fin, and his 
working on thefe two, to hatch fin. He is bat twice 
called the tempter; firfl, when he came to Cbrid, 
Matih. iv. 3. J and again, when he comes to Chriili- 
ans, I Their, iii. 5. Thefe three are not necelTdxily 
in all temptations. In his tempting the iiril and fe- 
cond Adam, there was only an outward object, and a 
motion of Satan But in all men befides, thefe three 
are in all temptations. And the Spirit of God in the 
word gives the name oi^ temptation to all of them : i 
Tim. vi. 9. T/:ey that wiltberichy fall into temptati- 
on. Few either of the poor or of the rich believe this. 
James i. 14, 1-5. Every man is tempted, when he is 
drawn away of his own hijly and enticed. Then when 
lujl hath concaved, it bringelh forth fin : and fin, when 
it is fmi/hedy bringeth forth death. Hence the diffi- 
culty is great in difcovering Satan's hand in tempting; 
becaufe there is inward corruption in men, that a^ls 
and works of itfelf, as well as it is fit to be a£^ed u- 
pon by Satan. If temptation from Satan came to a 
finlefs man, the tempter might be eafily known : but 
when it comes to a fmner, who hath an a£live princi- 
ple of corruption in him, that prompts him to the 
fame fui that the tempter tempts unto, it becomes very 
hard to a man to fay, *• This motion is of the devil;" 
and, " This is of my own corrupt heart.'* And here 
feldom doth the devil get hir. due. Some blame the 
devil more than he deferves, and excufe themfelves 
more than they (liould ; and fome excufe the devil, 
and blame themfelves more than they ought. What 
ihall we do here ? How (hall we know when tempta- 
tion rifeth from corruption within, or from the devil 
without ? There is no very great need to know it ex- 
a^ly ; as in forae cafes it is very hard to kno'jy it. 


Serm. X, the Throne of Grace, 195 

Temptation is {o natural to us, that \^ the devil be 
the firft mover, it feizeth {o qnickly on our corrupt 
heart, that u^e may juilly take the blame 10 ourfelvcs. 
The workings of the Spirit of God on the new crea- 
ture, and of the fpirit of Satan on the old man, are 
great myderies. It is far ^vifer work to fet about re- 
filling of our fpiritual enemies, than to perplex our- 
felves with queftions about their order. Therefore, 

2 . What need is there of ths grace of God to help the 
tempted f This is plain. Every one that is iu this cafe, 
knows his great need of grace. Yer, to make them 
that are not in it pity them that are, and to dire£l 
them that are in it to entertain a deeper fenfe of their 
need of God's grace, 1 w'ould fhewhov; needy a per- 
fon under temptation is oi' the helping grace of God. 
This appears in thefe. 

ly?. Our Lord Jefus Chrifl commands us to pray a- 
gainft temptation. He doth not fo command us to 
pray agaiafl aftliiStion. Iti that pattern of prayer, 
Maith. vi. o.— -i^. (the words whereof are better 
known, than the deep fenfe and meaning of the words 
is uoderftood), there are but two petitions for fpiri- 
tual bleffings for ourfelves. One is, for the pardoa 
of fm, that relates to the (late of our perfons : the 0- 
ther is, for fanftificaiion and prefervation ; and that 
is exprelTed thus, Lead us not into temptation. Sanc- 
tification is prayed for, in prayinc> againft temptation 9 
and much of fanctilicaticn is zS.zd in making fuch a 
prayer. Bat may not a man enter into temptation, 
and come v.'ell out or it again P Yes. Bat, in that 
cafe, more thanks is due to the Lord's grace and mer- 
cy, than to his own good condu<^. Chrift- would have 
you to be afraid of temptaiion, and to pray againll 
it: Matth. xxvi. 41. Watch and pray, that ye enter 
not into temptation. Whatever temptation a man rulh- 
eth confidently upon, he ufually fails by. In temp- 
tation, no L^liever is fafe, but the felf-diffiJent and 
tearful ; and fear of temptation a<Si:s in praying againft 
k. Peter failed in his fearlelTaefs. His going to the 
B b a high 

1^6 Sermons concerning Serm. X. 

high priefl's hall after the warning his Mafler gave 
him, was rulhing on a temptation ; and fo came on ir. 
It mull therefore be a cafe wherein one is very needy 
of grace to help, that Chrift bids us pray againft. 

idlyy We find the whole armour of God is provid- 
ed and prepared on purpofe for the cafe of temptati- 
en, Eph. vii. lo. 13. The apodle is founding the 
alarm of war to all Chriftians. He fhews them where 
their ftrength lies, ver. 10, Be ft rang in the Lord^ and 
in the power of his might. He (liews them their wea- 
pon? of war, ver. 10.. — 19. and tells them how to 
ufe them. Their armour is that of God. No ar- 
mour but that that is from heaven, is proof againft the 
batteries and afTauhs of hell. How dorh tlie devil 
laugh at, defpife, and pierce through that foul, whofe 
armour is forged and fraraed on earth .'' This armour 
of God the Chriftian mud put on, and take to h'lmfelf. 
It is not enough thit he know it, and have it lying by 
him. It is no armour to him, till be put dn by him. 
And why fuch armour, and fo put an? ver. 12. Be-^ 
caufe of fuch dreadful enemies as we have to deal 
with ; For we wreftle not againft fie Jh and bloody (ene- 
mies formidable and dangerous fufficiently againft 
them that have no more but fle(h and blood to op- 
pofe them with), but againft frincipa'ities, again/I 
powers^ againft the rulers of the darknefs of thi^ world, 
againft fpiritual wtckednefs in high places. What but 
the whole armour of God can fecure a poor believer 
from all the armies of hell ? 

3^/y, Our blefTed Lord Jefus himfelf was tempted^ 
that he might fuccour them that are tempted, Heb. ii. 
18. There are feveral ftates and conditions that be- 
lievers are in that Chrift himfelf was never in. We 
are oft fick and weak in body ; Chrift was always in 
found and perfe<ft health ot body ; for ficknefs is a 
eonfeqnent of inherent fin, and corruption of narure ; 
and of that Chrift? had none. M:iny particular diftref- 
fes we meet with, and wreftle with, that Chrift knew 
pot by his own experience, gut this fad cafe of temp- 


Serm. X. the Throne of Grace. 197 

ration he knew and felt. Bur, ye may fay, if Chrifl 
had never been tempted, had he not been able to 
fuccour them that are tempted ? Yes, no doubt ; 
for no bounds can be fet to his divine power as 
God. What then doth his experience of temptati- 
on fignify to the fuccour of the tempted believer ? 
It is the ground of his fympathy with them ; and fym- 
pathy draws forth his helping grace. It is a ground- 
for the faith of the tempted to aiSl upon. How fweet 
is this thought to a Chriftian thus exercifed : " 1 am 
" indeed a tempted believer ; but I have a Saviour 
'* that was tempted hirafeif, and remembers it (till, 
" and pities them, and will help them that are in that 
*« cafe, that was once fo grievous to him.felf ?" 

/\thly^ A tempted perfon is needy of God's help- 
ing grace, becaufe fin came in at firfl by temptation. 
Temptation was the door that fm came in by, and en- 
tered into the world of mankind. How fm came ia 
upon the angels that fell, is deeper than that we caa 
know it. And it is no great matter for us to be igno- 
rant of it. We know they are now the woril:, and 
raofl wicked, and moft miferable of all the creatures ; 
and that originally they were of the moft eminent or- 
der ; as one well faid, " The Lord wifely would not 
" declare the nature of that difeafe he was refolved 
*' never to cure." And fo we muft leave it in the dark. 
But as to fin's coming into the world of mankind, we 
have more light. The Lord created the root of man- 
kind upright and perfe^l, firft the man, then the wo- 
man. In their created (late, there was no fin in either 
of them. But temptation was fo applied by Satan, 
that it quickly begot fm. This argument the apoftle 
ufeth, 2 Cor. xi 3. / fear, lejl by any means y as the 
ferpent beguiled Eve through his fubtdty^ fo your minds 
fhould be corrupted from the fimpUcity that is in Chriji^ 
If Satan did prevail to bring in fin by temptation u- 
pon the finlefs and perfect ; what may he not do on 
fmners, in whom he hath fo much intereft, and over 


198 Sermons concerning Serh. X. 

whom he hath fo great advantage, by foraewhat of his 
own in them ? 

^thly^ There is great need of the grace of God in 
^ time of temptation, becaufe of the frequent fad ef- 
fefls of temptation, unlefs prefent help of grace be 
given. Rarely doih a temptation and our hearts meet 
but ibme fire of fm is kindled. I would name a few 
of thofe effe(^s of lemptanon. 

(i.) Temptation doth often difcover hid and unfeen 
evil, and brings it to light. It brings forth that which 
the perfon, before the temptation, never thought was 
in him. So it is with the ungodly, and the godly 
themfelves. When Hazael was told by the prophet 
Eiiflia, what raifchief he would do to Ifrael, he faid, 
2 King? viii. 13. But what, is thy fervant a dog^ that 
hefiould do this great thing f But (faith Elifha) the 
Lord hath fiewed me, that thou /halt be king over Sy^ 
ria, " Then thou wilt have power, and will to do 
" it " Wjtiat wickednefs will not that man do, w"hom 
Satan tempts, and whom God leaves ? David fell 
dreadfully by temptation. And fo did Hezekiah, 2 
Chron. xxxii. 3 r, Howbeit, in the buftnefs of the ambaf- 
fader s of the princes of Babylon, whofent unto him to 
inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God 
left him to try him, that he might know all that was 
in his heart. When the veiTel is broached by a con- 
venient temptaiion, that liquor will come out that was 
never thought to be within. When Hercd feared J ohn^ 
and obferved, ov preferved him ; when, on his /v^rf'?^ 
hi7n, be did many things, and heard him gladly ; who 
would have thougl}t he would have beheaded him? 
Mark vi, 20, 21. But a convenient day came ; a day 
when Herod lay fair for temptation ; and a day that 
Satan, and Herodias and her daughter, his fervants, 
laid the temptation before him : then the poor wretch 
-^as foon overcome. Bat indeed it was more (Irange, 
fhat fuch a king as Herod (hould hear fuch a prophet 
;as John Baptift preach, than that he fliould murder 
iiim. At leailj it is, and hath been far more ufual 


Serm. X. the Throne of Grace. T99 

to bad kings, to flay prophets, than to hear them 
gladly. Peter was fo ccnfident in his courage, that 
in a manner, (though againft both grace and goofl 
manners), he gives the lye to his Mailer, Mat. xx?i, 
3 1, — ^5. Then /aid Jefus tnito thejn^ All ye Jhall he 
offended becauje of me this night. Ver. 33. Peter an* 
Jwered and /aid unto hiniy Though all men jhould be of- 
fended becaufe of thee^ yet will I never be offended. As 
if he had faid, " Lord, at lead except me out of this 
<* all thou fpeakefl of." Becaufe he would not take 
the general warning, Chrift gives him a panicnlkr 
one, ver. 34. Jefus faid unto him. Verily I fay unto 
thee^ that this night before the cock crow^ thou fhalt 
deny me thrice. Will not Peter believe Chrift fpeak- 
ing fo peremptorily and plainly ? No : ver. 35. Peter 
faid unto him^ Though I fhould die with theey (or for 
thy fake y as John xiii. 37), yet ivill I not deny thee, 
hikewife alfofaid all the difciples. So loth and back- 
ward are even godly men to own that to be in them, 
that they do not fee and feel at prefent working ia 
them. Thefe words Peter and the reft fpoke, (bating 
that awful fear that ftiould have feized on them, from 
fuch a warning as Chrift gave them), were words of 
duty ; and were doubtlefs the hcneft expreffions of 
their prefent thoughts. Yet when the temptation 
came, Chrift's warning took place, and their refolu- 
tions vaniftied like fmoak* They all for f 00k hiniy and 
fled. Peter followed afterward, and denied him (liame- 
fully, The voice of a damfel overthrew this man^ 
that had courage to draw his fword in his Maftcr^s 
defence againft armed men, John xviii. 10, He de- 
nied he knew his dear Mafter ; when, if he had own- 
ed him, and himfelf as his fervant, there was no 
danger. John was there, and at the crofs too, with- 
out any harm. 

(2.) Temptation often brings on a great and fud- 
den damp aod eclipfe on the work of God's grace ia 
the heart. It is as the fmoak of hell in the foni, 
that darkens the room j fo that a believer cannot fee 


2 0O Sermons co7icernlng Serm. X^ 

what of God Is in him. It is, as Chrift calls it, Luke 
xxii. 3 I. a fift'ing a man as wheat. Wheat, and chaff, 
and dufl", are then mingled together. No believer in 
ihis cafe can give fuch a clear and diftin^l account, 
nor have fo plain a difcovery of God's work in him, 
as before and after the temptation. Chriftians give 
the devil the advantage he feeks, when they judge 
of themfelves and their flate in the fit of a temptati- 
on. A<S1: grace diligently when in temptation, and try 
your ftate as carefully as you can when you are out of 

(3.) Temptation increafeth greatly and fuddenly 
feen and known corruption. If temptation come on 
a latent hid corruption, it may bring it forth : but if 
it come on a known corruption, though it was not fo 
powerful before, temptation will make it rage. The 
temptation came on Judas. For as hateful as his name 
is juftly to all Chriftians ; yet, before he fell, no man 
fufpe^ed him ; only Chrift knew him. When Chrift 
gave the warning, John xiii. 21. that one of the twelve 
Jhoidd betray him ; all the eleven faid, Is it If And 
at laft the traitor faid fo j and was anfwered, Matth, 
xxvi. 2 1, — 25. The luft the devil afted on, was his 
covetoufnefs. He was a thief, a lover of money ; and 
the devil put him at laft upon a bargain that was his 
ruin. For a fervant to betray his mafter, and fuch a 
mafter ; for a fmner to fell the Saviour of all fmners 
that are faved, for fo inconfiderable a fum, after fo 
fair a warning of his fm and ruin by it, was a proof 
of the mighty power of temptation over a man. The 
apoftle Peter chargeth Ananias thus, Afls v. 5. Why 
hath Satan filled thine heart to lye to the Holy Ghoj] f 
The filling of his heart was Satan's work, as Peter 
faith : Why then doth he aik the man an account 
of, or charge him with Satan's a£lion ? Becaufe the 
devil can fill no man's heart with a finful purpofe, till 
the man give way to, and comply with the devil's 

3. What 

Serm. X. the Throne of Grace, 201 

3, What is that help that grace gives to the temp- 
ted? We have heard how tempcation renders a man 
needy of grace ; now let ns confider how this i>race 
can, and doih help in this cafe. Paul, In his temp- 
raiion, 2 Cor. xii. 7, 8,9. betakes himfelf to the right 
courfe ; to prayer to the Lord : and thrice he bejought 
the Lordy that it inight depart from him. He is an- 
fwered, My grace is Jiifficient for thee. We wcuM be 
apt to think, that. Paul's great (lock of grace, and ma- 
nifold experience, and his late extraordinary enjoy- 
ment, might have been fufScienc to have fapporteJ 
Paul in his condidi-. No ; they could not. Our Lord 
faith nor, '' Thy grace is liifEcient for thee, v/hich I 
" have abundantly bellowed on thee ;" but, My grace 
is fufficient for thee. So the apodle exhorts another, 
2 Tim. ii. i. Be ftrofig in the grace that is in Chrijl 
Jefus ; and Eph. vi. 10. There are many enemies of 
the grace of God^ becaufe few are partakers of it. 
Such as have not felt the power of it on their own 
hearts, will always pick quarrels with the pure doc- 
trine of grace. Some cannot receive this plain gofpel- 
truth, That a man nmit be confiicuted righteous in 
the fight of Qfodiy only through the righteoufnefs of 
another perfon, even Jefus Chrifi:, imputed to the fm- 
ner of free, grace. And fome that own this truth, 
flumble again on this other truth. That the fandlifica- 
tion of a juftified beli^ever flows from the conflant fap- 
plies of grace from Chrifi their head and root. They 
think, that there are habits of grace implanted in the 
new creature, (and this is not to be denied) ; and if 
they guide well what they have received in the grace 
of regeneration, they may live well, and grow on to 
perfedion. But it is not duly minded in mens fpiriiual 
exercife, that no flock of grace was ever given to any 
believer, to take him oflthe fenfeofhis need of daily 
dependence on the orioinal grace in Chrill Jefus. But 
the greatefl receivers always ail their dependence moft 
humbly, and fee their need of it moft clearly, and 
find the benefit of tbst dependence moil con.fortablr/ 

Vol. L C c Obferve 

2 02 Sermons concerning Serm. X, 

Obferve alfo our Lord's argument for the encourage" 
ment of Paul : For my ftrength is made perfed in weak- . 
nefs. What is Qhv\i\.h grace in the acfwer, is Chriii's 
JJrengthin this argument; what \% fufficiency in ihe 
one, is making ferfecl in the other. As if Chrid h:: J 
faid to Paul, " 1 fee the devil is too hard for thy 
" weaknefs ; but thy weaknefs fupported by my 
** flrength, (hall be too hard for Saian." Now, fee 
how Paul improves this anfwer, Mo J} gladly therefore 
•will I rather glory in my infirmities j that the power of 
Cbrift may teft upon me. No wonder he ghried in 
Chriji^ and in Chrift's grace beftowed on hirr) ; for 
that any Chriftian can do : but this glorying in irfr^ 
mitiesy is an exercife of grace only found with fuch 
fathers in Chrift as Paul w^as. Who is not humbled, 
and afraid of his infirmities I Here is a be'ievcr that 
glories in theno. But why P and how ? That the power 
of Chrift may red upon me* Infirmities as inflnnities, 
having nobbing in them to excite gJorying : but iniir- 
mities as opportunities for difplaying of the glory of 
Chriirs grace in helping under them, are to be gloria 
ed in. Chrift a^ls on them, and the fenfible believer 
employs him therein. Our weaknefs is the field his 
jflrength is glorified in. Whoever doth not own his 
infirmities, forfeits the aififtance of the grace of Chrifl, 
The grace that helps in temptation, is Chrifl*s grace : 
the employing of him for it, and drawing it from him, 
is by faith, and (liould be the Chriftian^s work. 

How doth this grace help the tempted believer ? 

ly?. In difcovcring of Satan's wiles and devices, 
Eph. vi. II. He hzihfery darts, verfe i6. and he 
hath zuiles alfo. His raofl dangerous temptations are 
bis mofl cunning ones. This ferpent hath his fuhtilty^ 
2 Cor. xi. g. The lefs they be perceived, the more 
dangerous temptation is: and the more clearly they 
are feen, the more eafily they are overcome. The 
apoftle owns this in 2 Cor. ii. ii. Lef Satan fhould 
get an advantage of us : for we are not ignorant of his 
devices, Satan gets grcaiett advantage ofthcoi that 


Serm. X. the Throne of Grace, 20} 

are (and becaufe they are) wnorant of his devices. 
The cafe the apoftle fpeaks of, is that of the inceiiu- 
ous Corinthian. He had finned greatly ; the church 
had not refented it as they ought. Paul, in his fird 
epiftle, chap. v. chargeth them for their want of zeal, 
comraanJs them to cad out that fcandalous member. 
The Lord bleffeth that letter and his advice, both to 
that church and to the offending perfon. Now, here 
lay Satan's device : he thdc had puffed them up with 
pride and fecurity in their former carriage toward 
that offender when impenitent, feeks alfo to flir them 
up to an uncharitable feveriiy towards him, when re- 
newed again unto repentance. And of this kind arc 
many of his wiles. He drives men ro extremes on each 
band. Thus many profeffors are like the devil's foot- 
balls, kicked about from one extreme to another, and 
feldom are kept in the right midfl. The devil keeps 
men alleep in fia as long as he can. If they awake 
againfl: his will, he runs them on defpair ; if faith be 
wrought in them, he labours to make them turn the 
grace of God into wantonnefs. The inftances of hi; 
devices are inuumerablec The multitude and danger 
of his wiles mafl be great, if we coifider, f. His crea- 
ted (late : a fpirit more knowing than man. A fm- 
iefs angel is a higher creature than finlefs Adam was. 
2. By his fall he hath lofi happinefs and purity ; but 
retains his knowledge, which his corruption hath tur- 
ned into craft, malice, and wiles. 3. His long expe- 
rience in cheating of men. 4. That in men rhat his 
wiles are propofed to It is to the hearty deceitful 
above all things^ and defperattly wicked^ Jer. xvii. 9. 
It is to the old many which is corrupt according to the 
deceitful I ufls^ Eph. iv. 22. Such a devil dealing with 
fuch a deceitful heart, muft have many dangerous 
wiles. Chrift*s jgrace only can enable a man to difcern 
them ; and it lliouM be much prayed for. Many 
have been fldlful in the theory and knowledge of the 
doflrine of Satan's wiles, that have been notwithftand- 
bgj prevsiiled upon by them. A man muft know his 
C c 2 owa 

2 04 Sermons ccncerning Serm. X. 

own heart well, and obferve its motions narrowly, and 
be much at the throne of grace, that would know Sa- 
tan's particular wiies on hiinfel^^ 

7.d yy Grace helps the tempied, in helping to hate 
the (m they are le■Tip^t'd to. Many believers, though 
they cannotteil well whence the vvindconnes that drives 
them, whether from their owa heart, or the devil ; yet 
they know whlihcr it drives them ; to fin that they are 
averfe from. Tempted Jofeph fpake like a man that 
had prefect affiflance of grace, when he fald. Gen, 
xxxix. 9. Hquu can I do this great wicksdnefs^ and fin 
oga'mjl God? As far, and as long, as the iin tempted 
to, ftands black and ugly in the eye of the tempted 
perfon ; fo far, and fo long, is the temptation ineffec- 
tual. Temptation prevails, when the fm tempted to 
lakes with the heart and will ; James i. 14. A man is 
tempted^ {i. e. fuccefs fully), when he is drawn away 
cf his own iuj}, and enti.'.d. Sin was without him, 
but near to him by the temptation ; now it is within 
him, and it is his fm. The tempration to numbering 
of the people, took with David ; but his command a- 
bout it was abominable to Joab^ a man far (hort of 
David's grace, if he had any, i Chron. xxi. 6. 

3(^A', Grace caif help the tempted to reftfJ and ftandy 
Eph. vi. 13. -No man is overcome of Sat\in till he flee 
and yield. Refilling is overcoming cf.him: Jam. iv, 7. 
B.ejijl the devil and he will flee from you. i Pet. v. 9. 
V\f horn rsfifl fie df aft in the faith Eph. vi. 16. Above 
ali\ taking the Jhield of fait hy zv'^ereivith ye fhall be 
able to quench all the jiery dart^ of the devil. They are 
daris^ ibey are the deviVs darts ^ they zx^ fiery dart^^ 
there is an all o^ them ; yet by faith you may be able 
to quench them all. Why is io much laid of faith ? Be- 
caufe, as Chrift's flrength is the believer's flrength, fo 
faith is that only in a believer that acls on this flrength, 
draws it in, and a6ts in it. Separate faith from its oh- 
je£l, Chrid, either in judificaricn or in fan<fliticatioD, 
and it beccires an i^Tagination, a vanity, a nothing. 


Serm. X. the Throne of Grace, 205* 

Now, confiJer how cunningly Satan deals with be- 
lievers, and how fioiply they are gulled by him in 
temptation. He perfHades and often prevails with 
them, to lay afide the Jhield of faith ^ when they flioald 
mainly ufe it. How foolilh were that man that 
would yield his arms to an implacable enemy ? 
Chrift knew Peter's danger, and provides j^racioufly 
for it : 1 have prayed for thee ^ that thy faith fall not ^ 
Luke xxii. 52. 

^thly^ The helping grace of God aiTids tempted 
believers, in prevArnting an ut^er foil by Satan, and 
in recovering. them from a begun foil. So did Chrid 
for Peter; and Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. The devil 
never gets all his will on a believer : nor are any 
wounds he gives to a faint, mortal in the iffae ; what- 
ever they be in tiieir own nature, in believers fears, 
or in the devil's ^t^igw. All the glory is das to the 
grace that is in Chriit Jefus. 

Sthly^ Laftly^ Grace can rebuke the t^npter, and 
call him off. This Jofhua the high pried needed 
and got : Zech= ii. 2. And the Lord f aid unto Satan^ 
(who ^z% ftandlng at Jofhua'' s right hand to refift himy 
when he is Jlandtng before the angel of the Lordj ver. 
I .) The Lord rebuke thee O Satan ; e%en the Lord that 
hath chofen Jerufalern^ rebuke thee ; is not this a brand 
plucked out of the fire ^ This mercy was the fird thing 
in Paul's prayer, 2 Cor. xii. 8. For this thing 1 fought 
the Lord thrice^ ' that it might depart from me. This 
mefftcger of Satan was of Chrift's fending and giving : 
There was giuen to me a thorn in the fiejh^ a meffenger 
of Satan to hufet me^ ver 7. " Lord fave us from 
" fuch gifts," will Chridians be apt to fay. There 
is no reafon to pray for them. If the Lord fee them , 
needful, he will fend them. But it is comfortable, 
that all the devil's aifaults are of Chrid's ordering. 
He mud have Chrid's leave to tempt, Luke xxii. 31.;* 
and our Lord, when he pleafeih, can, and will call 
him off. When Chrid was templed, Matth, iv. he 
refills all bis temptations, by the v/ord, as his pco- 


2o6 Sermcns concerning Serm. XL 

pic {hould : at lafl he put forth his divine power, ver, 
lo. GfJ thee hence^ Satan^ &c. Then the dev'd leav- 
eth V>?, ver. ii. This we cannot do, but Chrifl 
can do it for us. It is a blefled promife, Piom. xvi. 
2 0. The God of peace /hall bruife Satan under your 
feet fhortly. The grace of our Lord Jefus Chrijl be 
^ith you. Amen. Poor tempted Chriftiaus think, that 
they are not only in Satan's fieve, and in his hands, 
but that they are often under his feet. But lift up 
your heads by faith on this promife. Compleat vic- 
tory is coming ; and the faith of it (liould not only en- 
courage you to refifl-, but this faith is a prefent vic- 
tory,* Faith is victory^ \ John v. 4. The believer 
(not only (hali be, but) is aa overcomer. 


Heb. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace j 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need* 

THE Lord haih been pleafed fo to order and 
determine the (late and condition of his chil- 
dren, while they are in this life, that they fliall be 
confbntly needy. This difpenfation we (hould fub- 
mit unto with all quitenefs of mind, not quarrelling 
with the wifdom. and mercy of our God therein. Yea, 
more thr.n fubmiflion is called for. There is a further 
duty required though it be hard to perform it, to take 
pleafare and to rejoice in this needy (late, that the 
power of Chrirt: may re(t upon us. For as the Lord 
bath laid us, or lefr us, under manifold jnecciEcies ; 

^ fo 

Serm. XL the Throne of Grace, 207 

fo hath he laid up, and is ready to lay out, of his 
grace for helping us under them. And furely fadi 
wants as lay us open for ihofe fupplies of his grace, 
will be found to have a great deal of mercy in them, 
in the ilTae. The exhortation in the text implies, 
that grace can help in every time of need. There 
are fome times of need, contrived by the Lord oa 
purpofe, that the helpfulnefs of his grace might the 
more fhine and appeir. I was fpeaking laft day 
from this truth, That there are feme fpecial necejfttous 
times^ in' which believers are fpeciaUy needy of ChriJVs 
grace^ and in which his grace is fpecially helpful, 

1 hs.e fpoke to the firft of thefe times of need : A 
ti?ne cf te?nptation. Though all bd Severs be not al* 
ways tempted; yet there is no faint on earth who is 
out of the devil's giin-lhot. No faint on earth hath 
reafon to expert, that (if I may fo fpeak) God (hould 
ferve the devil with a Noli profequi. God gives not, 
in this life, an igter difcharge to the devil, frona 
meddling w* lb, or molefting of any faint. Till wc 
ccrae to htaven, this adverfary maft be expe(^ed and 
prepared for- This world is his dominion ; he is the 
wicked god of ir, 2 Cor. iv. 4. And all the wicked ia 
it, a- i ..is people, fubje^fts, and children: and all the 
remaining corruption in the faints, is of the devil. 

II. The fecond time of fpecial need of God's 
grace, is the time of fpiritual decay ; a decay in the new 
creature, a decay in the work of God in the heart. 
Thi> pnir:^th under many names in the word, and well 
known in the fenfe and experience of believers. Some 
times it is called darknefs^ Ifa. L 10. It is the miiery 
of a natural (late, that they that are in it, are dark* 
nefs. It is the blefTednefs of a renewed ftate, that 
the partakers of it are light in the Lord, Their duty 
is, to walk as children of light, Eph. v. 8. Though 
they that are made light in the Lord, are never fulFer- 
ed to become darknefs again j yet they may walk in 
darknefs, and have no light ; and the days of that 
darknefs may be niany^ as the wife man faith, Eccl. 

2o8 Sermons concerning Serm. XL 

xi. 8. We all know what natural darknefs is. All 
the natural light of the world is from, the fun ; and 
therefore natural light and darknefs, day and night, 
have their viciiTitudes and revolutions, according to 
the fhining or not fhining of the fun. All the fpi- 
ritual light believers have, is from the light of God's 
countenance. As the Sun of Right eoufnefs arifeth on 
them, Mai. iv. 2. or withdraws from them, fois their 
fpiritual day or night; fo do they walk in darknefs, 
or in the light of the Lord. Sometimes this decay is 
called deaths and deadnefs ; a (late of inability and in- 
adiiviiy, for working and doing what they are called 
to. Hence fo many prayers for quickening^ efpecially 
in Pfal. cxix. Natural death we know not ; but fick- 
cefs, weaknefs, and fainting, we do know. Spiritu- 
al death is known and felt by none that are under its 
total power j but a weaknefs in fpiritual life, faints 
do know. 

Of this decay 1 would fpeak, in handling three 
things. 1. Whence it comes. 2. How needy fuch 
are of God's grace, g. How grace doth help in it. 

I . Whence comes this decay on Chriftians ^ Is a 
ftate too common to be queflioned, and too plain to 
need to be proved, that true Chriftians are, and may 
be in it. I would name fome of its fprings and caufes. 

ly?, It flows from the infant, infirm (late of the 
new creature, in its firll forming. It is a new horn 
hahe^ 1 Pet. ii. 2. When the firii man was made, he 
was as perfeft and ftrong a man the firft hour he was 
made, as ever he was in all his life. He came out of his 
Maker's hands a perfe<5i: man. But the nev/ creature 
is born a weak thing, and is to grow up to thejlature of 
a perfect man in Chrifi^ Eph. iv. ; and will never come 
to its full growth, till it come to heaven. None on 
earth knows what a perfe^ Chridian is. There are 
degrees of perfe£lion on earth, in refpect whereof 
fome are lefs, fome more perfect. But the mod per- 
fedl labour greatly under imperfection, Phil. iii. 12, 
13, 14, and prefs raoft after perfecTion. I will not 


Serm. XL the Throne cf Grace, 209 

fpeak of the wife defign of God, in framing the new 
creaiiire thus. Only the glory of its prefervation, 
and of its perfection, is not due to the new nature ia 
believers ; bur to the original of ir, God the Father ; 
to the blclTed root thereof, Jcfus Chrift his Son ; to 
the inhabitation of the Spirit; and to the great fcca-» 
rity of the new covenant. 

idly^ The new creature is not only in an infanr, 
weak (late, but it is planted in a bad and unfit foil for 
it. It is planted out of its element. Heaven is ihc 
proper element and country whence the new creature 
came, whence it is maintained, and whtiher ic naiive- 
ly tends. But it is planted here in the heart oF a finner. 
Now, the heart of a man, though mended by grace 
in part, is a very unfit and unfuirable foil for fuch a 
foreign heavenly plant, as the new creation is. And 
hence it is, that the grace of God in us is endangered 
by the place of its refidence. 

3^/y, There is alfo much corruption remaining ia 
the heart of a believer, as noifome weeds growing 
near this precious planting of the Lord. The Lord 
never defigned to root all corruption out of the hearts 
of his people in this life, by the nrft planting of hi^ 
grace in them ; but only to give that grace that (hall 
break the dominion of fin, and that (hall maintain a 
war with indv^elling fin, and at lafl: (hall prevail com- 
pleady. So that it is plain, that on the account of 
ihofe three, if there were no more, Chriflians are ve- 
ry liable to fpiritual decays. And it is fadly confirmed 
from frequent experience. It may be in fpme, the 
work of grace was in beft cafe when it v;as firft be- 
gun ; and that, from the day of their converfion, to 
the day of their being glorified, they never had much 
of any remarkable growth. But this is their fin, and 
their ihame. 

2. Hence you may fee, how needy fuch per foris are 
of the help cf the grace of God^ An inward decay in 
the work of his grace in us, makes os very needy of 
help from the fountain pf grace in him. 

Vol, I. i) d Tor 

no Sermons concerning Serm. XT* 

For this decay gives great advantages to our fpiri- 
tual enemies to attack us, and lays us under great dif- 
advantages ia refiiting them. I am apt to think, (I 
cannot no'.v give the reafons of it), that the devil 
knows the frames of our hearts, (rhough he does not 
knoiv the heart immediately ; that is God's property, 
A^ts i. 24.), and the condiiion of the work of God iri 
us, a great deal better than we ourfelves ordinarily 
do. Great is the intimacy he had with our fpiritJ?, 
efpecially with the remaining corruption in them. 
Great is his craft, acquired by obfervation, pra£i:ice, 
and experience, as well as by his malicious fagacity. 
And when he feeth a believer in a bad cafe, if he 
have permifiion, he will improve that defired oppor- 
tunity, to make their bad cafe worfe. Pfal. Ixxi. 11, 
12. David prays for halty help from God, on this 
argument, his enemies faying, God hath forfaken him * 
perfecute and take him, for there is none to deliver hini^ 
Caleb and Joihua encourage ifracl to go in and pof- 
fefs the land. Numb. xiv. 9. by this, Their defence 
is departed from them^ and the Lord is with us : fear 
them not. It is from this bad cafe that believers are 
in, that Satan hath fo eafy and fpeedy vi£lory over 
ihem at fome times, m.ore than at other times. When 
it is well with the new creation within, Chridianscan 
keep the devil at a bay and fland : when it is other- 
wife, he prevails immediately ; we are di farmed, and 
his darts pierce and enter. There is fome ground to 
fufpe61, that David's heart was not in (o good a frame 
as ufuaily, fome time before his foul fall, 2 Sam. xi. 
As to Peter, it is plain, his v:iiu feli-confiJence gave 
Satan an opportunity to fift him, as he did. 

3. How doth the grace of God hdp in a decayed 
fiate ? 

ij}^ Grace helps in preferving life at the root. 

There is fome witnefs for God kept up. Ifleep^ but 

my heart awaketh^ faith the bride. Song v. 2. It is 

well all was not aficep. The fpirit is willingy but the 

Jhjh is weak, faith meek Jefus, ia his agony in the 


SsRM. XF. tije Throne of Grace ^ sir 

garden, to the three diflenipered difciples, Matth. 
xxvi. 4i. Thefe fame three ileep in the mount of 
transfiguration, Luke ix. 32. and in the garden of a- 
gony. Paul found this witnefs preferved in his cap- 
tivity to the law in his members, Rom. vii. 23, 

idiy^ Grace helps under a decayed (late, by mak- 
ing a fecret growth downward : A growth that the 
believer cannot feel in himfelf, and that others can- 
not quickly perceive; yet it is a real growth, and 
will in God's due time appear. We commonly value 
moQ that growth in grace that hath fair bloffoms and 
fruit, appearing to our comfort, and to the Lord's 
praife before others. And it is indeed defirable, and 
to be (ladled, Matth. v. 16. John xv. 8. But there 
is a growth that may be carried on in the root only, 
in the rooting grace of a Chriftian : as in clearer dif- 
coveries of indwelling fm in the heart, and in more 
felf-djllidence and felT-diflrud. Paul had this fruit, 
2 Cor. i. 8, 9. It is a fad thing, that many Chrifti- 
ans are fo fond of themfclves, of the good that is in 
them, that the Lord feeth that nothing is fo fit to 
cure them of this;, as leaving them to them.fdves. 
And when this leaving of them to themfelves hatli 
brought them to a difcovery of themfelves, and that 
difcovery hath wrought a dillruft of themfelves, and 
that diflrud hath taught them faith in God ; then 
the Lord haih reached bis (t\\^ on them, and will 
change his v/ay.with them. 

3^/)', Grace can revive the decayed (late of a be- 
liever : Pfal. xxiii. 5. He rejhreth my fouL He renew- 
eth their jlrengih^ I fa. xl. 31. ihy youth is renewed 
like the eagles^ Pfal. clih 5. This is impoflihle in na- 
ture, ana as to our bodies ; but as to our fouls, and 
the work of God in them, it is what is promifedjand 
often done. Old people may, and do often, in their 
folly and vanity, counterfeit youth j but all their arts 
cannot make themfelves one hour younger. But the 
Lord can renew the youth of the new creature, and 
make it better with him than ever it was. David 
D d a prays 

2 12 Sermons concerning Serm. XI. 

prays fcr it, Pfal. li. lo. Create in me a clean heart, 
O Gcd ; and renew a right fpir it within me, Peter 
got a new converfion, Luke xxii. 32. They both 
had been converted and renewed before ; but they 
feil under a fad decay, and needed this redoring grace, 
and got ir. 

So much of the fecond time of need. I proceed to 
a third not fo common. 

III. A time of [fecial enjoyments^ is a time of fpecial 
reed of God's helping grace. You may think ic 
ilrange, but it is true, that they that receive moll: of 
the Lord's gracious bounty, (land in moil need of 
grace 10 guide it well. Concerning this feafon, I 
would fpealc in five particulars. 

1 . Moft Chridians know what thofe enjoyments are 
by experience, although in various meafures. it is 
very fufpicious, that that perfon is an hypocrite, that 
is always in the fame frame, let him pretend it to be 
never fo good. The true Chriftian's Iky is never long 
clear, and without clouds. Change of weather and 
ways, is ufually found by travellers to heaven. It is 
to be fufpe<^ed, that he is not right who hath na 
ibar,geSy Pfal. Iv. 19. Thefe fpecial enjoyments are 
of fever al forts. 

ly?. There is fome fpecial nearnefs to God enjoyed 
by Chriftians at fome times. We are not at all to be 
ofrended at, but raiher confirrried by the reproaches 
of the ungodly, that are utter itrangers to fuch enjoy- 
nients, and cannot endure cor underdand the fcrip- 
lure-names of fucu bleilings that they then^.felv?.s are 
unacquainted with. What is more freqaent in the 
word, than this nearnefs to God P What is better 
known in the experience of faints than this nearnefs ? 
lie makes gracious approaches to mens fpirits, and 
csufeth ihem to approach to him, Pfal. Ixv. 4. They 
find ic good for them, Pfal. Ixxiii. 28. The fird gra- 
cious change wrought on a foul, is by bringing a dif- 
tant fnner near to God: Eph. ii. 13. But now in 
Chrijl Jefusj ye who fom^timcs 'were far of^ arc made 


Serm. XI. the Throne cf Grace, 213 

nigh by the blood of Chrjjl. " Whenever the vir- 
*« tue of that blood came upon you by the Spirit 
" of Chriil, God came near to you, and you were 
*' brought near to God.'* But befules this nearnefs 
that is begun in the firft application of grace, and 
changeth their ftate ; there is more nearnefs given 
by the Lord, and enjoyed by his people, for the 
cheering of their hearts, and bettering of their frame, 
lixercifed Chriftians are able to give a diftincSi: account 
of their having of this nearnefs at fome times, and of 
their want of ic ac other times. How much of boih 
are in the pfalms of David ? And fuch as can under- 
(land the nearnefs to, and didance from God, io fre- 
quently mentioned there, as only the pfalmift's fenfe 
of God's favourable or crofs providence towards bim 
in outward things, are to be pitied for their ungodly 
ignorance, and defpifed for their expounding the 
words of a roan afier God's heart, according to the 
carnal fentiments of their own, 

2^/y, There are eiFufions of the Spirit fpoke of In 
the word, and found by Chriftians, which are fpecial 
enjoyments. Sometimes they are found in the per- 
formance of fpi ritual duties of worlhip ; fometimes in 
the exercife of grace. Grace ftiould be a^ffed la all 
duties of worfhip ; but it may be, and (hould be a£led 
out of any formal duty. You ftiould never pray, but 
there ftiould be a^ing of faith and love on Chrifi. 
But, God be thanked, you may a£»: faith and love 
when ye do not pray, when you are about no fettled 
fpiritual duty of worihip. There is a being in the fear 
of the Lord all the day long, Prov. xxiii. 17. A wali- 
ing up and down in the name of the Lord, Zech. x. 12. 
A doing of every thing in the name of the Lord Je/us^ 
Col. iii. 17. Every believer hath the Spiric of Ciirid i 
If any man have not the Spirit of ChriJ}^ he is none of 
hisy Rom. viii. 9. But there are fome fmgular pour-^ 
ings out of this Spirit promifed and beftowed, and 
w^ell known by believers ; and they are precious en- 
joyments. This Sprit the world cannot receive ; be- 


414 Sermons concerning Serm. XI. 

cauje it feeth him 'not^ neither knoweth him ; hut ye 
know him^ for he dwelleth with you^ and /hall be in you^ 
as Chrift faith, John xiv. 17. 

3^/y, There is communion and fellowftiip with God 
much fpoke of in the word, well known by believers, 
I John i. 3. But I (liall name no more of thefe en- 

2. As all Chriftiansknow what thefe fpecial enjoy- 
ments are, fo all of them do greatly defire them. 
This is fo fure, that many do over-defire them. This 
defire arifeth, 

I/?, From the genius and in(lin(5l of the new na- 
ture. What is more natural to the new creature, than 
kindly breathing after heaven ? When a poor foul 
hath got of the water of life from Chrift, it becomes 
in him a well of water fpringing up into everlafting life^ 
John iv, 14. Immediately the foul faith, *' What 
fhall I do to be faved ? when fhall I be faved ?" Now, 
if defires of heaven be the native breathing of the 
new creature ; furely breathing after much of hea- 
ven upon earth mud be fo too ; for the bighefl en- 
joyments of God on earth, are far fliort of what is re- 
served for heaven. 

2(^/y, Experience of firft love, and of the firfl- gra- 
cious welcome he gave to tne believer, when he firft 
fled to the city of refuge, makes them defire more of 
thofe enjoyments. 

3. Thefe fpecial enjoyments are very profifable, as 
well as pleafmg. They are given for profit, and do 
ufually profit. 

ly?. They are fupporting under tribulation : Jn the 
multitude of ?ny thoughts within me, (and doubtlefs x^'-f^y 
were fad ones), thy comforts delight my foul^ Pf im 
xciv. 19. Ufually much affldion^ andy^?)' of the Hofy 
Ghofl, are together, i ThefT. i 6. The promifes are 
fitted for diftrefs, and the performance of them gi- 
ven to Chriilians under it. Some diltrcffes are fo great 
that nothing can bear up under ihe>Ti, hut a fpeciaj 
jappearance of divine grace j and in that cafe tucli 


Serm. XL the Throne of Grace, 215 

blellings may be more importunately begged. 

2dlyi Special enjoyments do fit and ftrengthen for 
work and fervicer There is a joy of the Lord that is 
the believer's y?r^«g/^, Neh. viii. 10. Elijah's double 
meal was to ftrengthen him for a forty days journey 
in the wildernefs ; and the extraordinary manifefta- 
lion he had of God, was to fit him for his tranflaiion, 
I Kings xix. Many faints have found this fo often in 
their experience, that they do with fear receive fingu- 
lar enjoyments of God, becaufe they have fo oft found 
them followed with fome fpecial trial and difficulty. 

4. Although moft Chriflianshave fomewhatof thefe 
fpecial enjoym-ents, and all defire them, and they be 
profitable in ihemfelves ; yet fpecial fpiritual enjoy- 
ments are dangerous, and render a man very needy of 
the helping grace of God. 

iy?5 Becaufe they do ufually expofe to fpecial temp- 
raiions. Satan is a conftant enemy to ^1 Chriftians^ 
Bur there are two times efpecially that he would faineft 
afLult the believer ; when he is at his word, and when 
he is at his beft. Let believers be never fo low, if 
Satan get his will, he would bring them lower. No 
man is as low as the devil would have him, but he that 
is in hell ; but thither he cannot bring a believer. If 
a Ghriftian be never fo high, if the devil be let loofe 
upon him, he will quickly bring him down. Do noc 
think, that the devil will fear to engage a believer, 
even when in his befi ftate. He that had the bold- 
nefs to fall on fmlefs Adam in paradife, will think it 
an eafy matter to deal with any fmful man in this wil- 
dernefs. He that had the impudence to tempt our 
almighty finlefs Saviour, will he have either modelly 
or fear in templing a feeble believer P You whom the 
Lord makes at any time to ride on your high places, 
blefs him, and yet fear your adverfary. 

idly^ There are fome fpecial conuptions that are 
apt to grow under fpecial enjoyments, as weeds by 
warm funlhine. If there were any fur'* e.-jo/mentcf 
God to be found in this life as wouid reruove eorrup- 


z i6 Sernwns concerning Serm. XI 

lion altogether out of the heart, there would be no 
fear of abufiog it : but now, when the grcatell en- 
joyments that can be had in this life, are given to 
them that have a body of death dwelling in them, 
there are fome workings of that remaining corruption 
that are very ready to appear in this cafe. As, 

(i.) Pride of heart ; fpiritual pride. All pride is 
a fpiritual fm; but pride that rifeth on fpiritual blef- 
fings receiveci, is fpecially fpiritual pride. Pride on 
the account of beauty of body, or firength, or riches, 
is a carnal foolifh pride. If it rife on tlie account of 
gifts and endowments of the mind, it grows yet a 
worfe pride. But if the gifts of God be yet of a m.ore 
high and noble kind, as his fpecial love, and the pre- 
cious fruits of that love, in begun conformity to Chrill, 
and comnaunion with him ; if pride rife on fuch grounds 
it is yet the worft of all forts of pride. For the more 
precious the gifts of God be, and the more eminently 
they be of free diftinguiftiing grace, and the more 
plainly the defign of God in giving thofe gifts be. to 
glorify the grace of the giver, and to fave the receiv- 
er, to the praife of that grace ; pride of heart on the 
account of fuch gifts, is yet the woril of all pride. 
Now, that fuch a corruption may grow under fpecial 
enjoyments of God, is part all doubt. 2 Cor. xii. 
Paul fpeaks of his being lifted up unto heaven, like 
a man that had not fully recovered himfelf : / knew 
a man in Chrifl above fourteen years ago, C whether out 
of the body, or in the body, I know not : God knowsthj, 
ver. 2. it was a long while fmce ; but in the time of 
the enjoyment, and fourteen years after it, he could 
not tell whether he was in or out of the body. He 
never fpeaks plainly of it, till he came to fpeak of his 
infirmities, ver. 7 LeJ} I Jhould be exalted above mea^ 
fare through the abundance of the revelations, there was 
given to me a thorn in the flePto, a mefjenger of Satan to 
buffet me, lejl I fjjould be e^taited above meafure. AV here 
we may perceive plainly, that whatever was in that 
extraordinary enjoyment Paul had in that vifiou from 


Serm. XI. the Throne of Grace. 21 y 

heaven, or in that vifit' to heaven,, that wa3 allowed 
him ; when he came back, he foancl the fame heart 
he had jr'ormerly felr, and the fame body of death he 
fo often had groaned under before. Although we 
know not what Paul enjoyed in that time, nor what 
the nat'-iie of that exercife by Satan was that he was 
put to : yet the Lord's defign, and Paul's danger, is 
plain. It is indeed a marvellous palTage. Such an 
extraordinary perfon as Paul was, the chief of the a- 
poftles, and mod eminent faint in all the new tefla- 
ment, after fuch a great revelation, muft be exercifed 
with hell, to prevent harm by his being in heaven, 
before he was fully ready and fit for heaven. 

(2^) Contenrednefs with a prefent good condition, 
and dulnefs of defu'es after a better {late» is a common 
corruption that isapttorifeupunderfpecialeDJoyment?. 
If the difciples be on the mount of transfiguration, 
and Chrift be glorified in their fight, and glorified 
faints from heaven in his company ; then /V is good to 
be here^ fay they; not minding that which was more 
needful for them and all the church. And if they 
heard (as is moft likely) the difcourfe of Mofes and 
Elias concerning the deceafe of our Lord which he 
jhould accompUJh at Jeriifalem^ Luke ix. 30, 31. they 
were the more faulty. It is very hard to be truly de- 
firous of heaven, when we have much of heaven oa 
earth ; yet it may be attained, and grace can help to 
it. Of which in the faft place. 

5. The grace of God, as it is needed, fo it is lafeful 
and helpful to believers under fpecial enjoyments. 

ly?, Grace can humble the foul under them, and 
by rhemr Though Saran make them temptations to 
pride, the Lord can fancftify them to be means of hum- 
bling. Great cojnforts do not natively tend to hum- 
ble us ; but ail difcoveries of the glory of God are 
humbling. Ifaiah found it fo, ifa. vi, 5. Wo is me^ 
for I am undone ; for mine eyes have feen the Kmg^ the 
Lord of hofts. The vifioa was great and glorious ; it 
was a fight of God in Chrid ; as John xii. 41* 'Ihefe 

Vol. i. K e ihir^^s^ 

2i8 Sermons concerning Serm. XI. 

things faid Efaias^ when he faw his glory ^ and ffnke of 
him. We would be apt to think the prophec thou id 
rather haye faid, " Happy am I, -that 1 have feeo now 
" what I never faw before, vyhat few, if any, befides 
" me, have feen." But fuch was the imprefTion the 
Spirit of God made on the heart of this man, that this 
extraordinary manifedation of God afFe£fs him with 
more deep fclf-abafement than ever he had before. 
Happy is the m.an that li-es (till the more low in him- 
felf, and before God, the more highly the Lord ex- 
alts him. Job found this fruit of a clearer difcovery 
of God, chap. xlii. 5, 6. Jacob (in Gen. xxxii. 30) 
called the name of the place Feniel : for 1 have feen 
God face to face ^ and my life is preferved. This place 
where he wreftled all night with the Lord, where 
the Lord bleffed him in the morning ; this place he 
calls Peniel^ to be the name of it to him and his feed ; 
that whenever they faw the place, or heard of it, they 
might remember, that there the great God and a poor 
inan met in great familiarity, and the man was not 
con fumed. Jacob wonders, that his life was preferv- 
ed in fuch a meeting. Near approaches of God to 
his children, are fometiraes too hard for them to bear. 
This made one eminent faint cry out under fuch a 
high enjoyment, *' O Lord, deftroy m.e not with thy 
" glory ;" and another, " Hold thy hand, O Lord ; 
" thy fervant is a clay veflfel, and can bear no more." 
And both thefe were perfonsnot oppreiled by his 
wrath, but overcharged with his love and glory. 

2^/y, Grace can help to record and remember fpe- 
cial enioyrents. There are ferae fpiritual eDjoymenis 
of God, that are like lightning, that dart from the 
one end of heaven to ihe other, that make a dark 
night to become like the morning. They come quick- 
ly, and they are quickly gone ; they are of fpecdy 
accefs, and of as fudden a rteefs. But though they be 
but (liort in their continuance, their fruit may remain. 
And one way for making their fruit continue, is, to 
lemember and record them. / t;ill remember the years ^ 


Srrm. XL the Throne of Grace. 2I9 

, the works ^ the ivonders of the Lordy Pfalm kxvn. io> 
11,12. / will 77ieditafey I luill talk of them^ faith the 
faint. Thus David prays for Ifrael, 1 Chron. xxix. 
18. Keep this for ever :n the imagination cfthe thoughts 
of the heart of thy people, Whac was this he prayed 
for Ifraei's remembering of, and for the Lord's keep- 
ing in their minds ? It was, that they might remember 
wiih what joy they made their willing offerings for 
the fervice of God. We have a gracious proraife of 
Chrid, John xiv. 26. The Holy Ghofl flmll teach you 
all thingSy and bring; all things to your remembrance^ 
whatfoever 1 have faid unto you. And this promife 
v/e ftiould plead, for bringing to our remembrance 
the things Chrift hath dooe for us, as well as what 
he hath faid to us. And no man can imagine (hue 
they that feel it) bow one of thefe remembrances will 
fortify the foul in a day ofdCbtfs. Spiritual things 
are fo unlike to carnal things, that all comparifoos be- 
twixt them mnd needs halt greatly. ' That a poor, 
hungry, ftar^ing man, Ihould, in a dungeon, or dc- 
folate wildernefs, be refreihed, and made (trong, by 
the bare remembrance of a feaft he had feven years 
ago ; this is impoffible in nature. But in fpiritual 
things it is otherwife. The favoury remembrance of 
a ipiritual enjoyment long fince pail;, can bring back 
the talte, and power, and virtue of it, to the foul 
that wants it. BeJieve^rs are ufually upon their reco- 
very from a fad difcon folate (late, when they are ex- 
ercifed in remembering with favour their former en- 
joyments. Thus faith retarning Ifraei, Hofea ii. 7. 
/ will go and return to my firjl husband :' for then tt 
was better with we than now. 

-^dly. Grace can help to improve enjoyments, to 
defires of, and endeav :urs after perfe<^ion. We mull 
not fay, when it is well with us, It is good to be here ; 
but rather. It is good to be there^ where it will be a 
great deal better, Phil. iii. 13, 14. This one thing I do, 
(it rauit be a great thing doubtlefs that is Paul's one 
thing)^ forgetting thofe things which are behind^ ond 

E e 2 reach' 


2 20 Sermons concerning Serm.XI. 

reaching forth unto thofe things which are before^ Iprefs 
toward the mark^ S:c, There i? z forgetting that is 
our dut7 ; and a rejnembering that is our duty alfo. To 
reniember^ fo as to fupport our faith, and feed our 
praifing of the Lord, that is duty; but 10 forget ai- 
tainmeuts, fo as to prefs after the mark, that is ano- 
ther duty. Alas ! we are bad, both at right remem- 
berings and right forgetting. You and 1 think, that if 
We had but a little of what Paul liad in one day ; if 
we had but a Jitde of what be had that night he lay in 
the ifocks, when ht prayed^ and fang praifes unfoGod^ 
A£ls xvi. 25, we could never have forgotten it as long 
ss we had a day to live. But Paul could forget all 
in his ardent defires of perfe<ftion. And fo mult you ; 
and this grace can teach you, 

Thefe fpecial enjoyments of God are but rarely 
felt. Dote not on them, tieither defpife them. Mock 
cot fuch as know them in their experience though ye 
do not. If you be found believers, ye may live in 
your fouls, and live to bis praife, without enjoying 
any thing very extraordinary. But if the Lord grant 
fiogular communications of himfelf, know that it is a 
feafon of fpecial need of grace to guide them well. 
They would return more frequently, and would rife 
and fpring higher, and lad longer, if they were bet- 
ter improved. The greater the bleffing be, the more 
provoking is the abufe of it ; the greater thebleiTiagbe, 
the greater is the difficulty of guiding it well : and the 
more difficulty be in our work, the more is our need 
of the grace of God ; and the more frequent and fer-* 
vent (hould our applications be to the throne of grace 
for that needful, helpful grace. 


Serm. XII. the Throne of Grace. 221 


He b. iv. 1(5. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to help in 
time of need, 

HAVING fpoke of the need of God's grace, and 
of irs helpfulnefs in general ; I came to con- 
defcend on fome feafons wherein the grace of God is 
fpecially needful and helpful. Of them I named fix ; 
three of which I have fpoke to, and the other three 
remain to be handled. 

1. The tirfl feafon named, was the time of tempt a^ 
tion. There was never a believer fo little beloved of 
Chrift, as to be given up as a prey to Satan ; and ne- 
ver lay a believer fo near Chrift's heart, but the de- 
vil may get him into his fieve. Therefore let us ne- 
ver flatter ourfelves in a (late of fecurity from difiur- 
bmce by the devil. Bleffed be God, we are broaghc 
into a (late of fafety from ruin by him. 

2. A feafon of fpiritual decay : foul-ficknefs, a weak- 
nefs in the new creature. There are fome people 
that never knew by experience what bodily ficknefs 
means, but have enjoyed perfect health ail their life'. 
But I am apt to think, that few, if any Cbrlihans 
find it fo as to the new creation in them, 

3. A feafon of fpecial enjoyments. Though thefe 
two feem to be very far from, and contrary to one 
another ; yet they agree in this, that in both grace 
is needful and helpful. The unaccountable wifdom 
and fovereignty of the Lord our God, (hines in his 
conduct of his people. Some of them have extraor- 
dinary receivings j others know little what they mean. 


2 2 2, Sermons concerning Serm. XII. 

There are fome Chriftians, whore way to heaven lies 
all along in the deprhs aikl in the ^./'cs, when others 
ride on their high places. Now, theie finguiar mani- 
feftations from God, though defirable and ^n'ofiiable, 
yet are not wiihout fpecial dangers. To prevent, 
which, the Lord provides an 1 rainifters fpecial phyfic 
to them ; and it is ilrong and unpleafant, but the 
phyfician can blefsif; as Paul's experience wiir^effethj 
2 Cor. sii. He had been in heaven he knew not 
Low; he had hejid he could not tell what ^-ylien he 
came back. Bur he well knew what he mer with ca 
Lis return, and ho v needful aild nfeful was for 
him. Left he Qiould be exalted above meaiare with 
what he had feen and heard in paradife, hell is fent 
to humble him. May we not infer this, How unfit 
are believers, while in trie body, and a body of death 
is in them, to be in heaven, when any fjxxia.l enjoy- 
ment of heaven inuft hr^e fo dieadfui a remedy admi- 
ciftered to prevent hurt ? 

IV, A founh feafon of fpecial need of grace, is the 
time of affliclion Afll^l^ons are of many forts and 
kinds. 1 am apt to f> Heve, that though there be 
fome likenefs in the afflictions of many, yet every af- 
flicted man baih a particular affliclion of his own. As 
it is with people's taces, fo it is with their croiTes. 
For as many thoufand faces as are amongft mankind, 
though all are fomewhat like, yet e^'ery o?jc hath 
fome di^in£tion> The world is full of croilf^s ; yet 
every affli61:ed perfoa hath his own crofs. Our Lord 
hints at it, Matth. xvi, 23. Let a iiian take up his 
erojs. The Lord appom:s a proper crofs tor evo y 
one : though people are ready to think and fay, that 
their crofs is unfir for them, and tbat they would bear 
another crofs better. In croifcs we mud neiiher chufe 
nor refufe. Divides cafe was fmgular, 2 Sim. xxiv. 
The Lord chuferh For us, and we niuft not, cannot 
refufe: Job xxxiv. 3;;. Should it he according to thy 
mind? he will recompenfe it, whether thou refuje^ cr 
whether thou ciAtf.-, and nut 1 : therefore f peak what 


S E R M . XIT. the . Throne of Grace, 2 1 g 

thou knowef}. There is a general difliiK^ion of alHic- 
tions. Some are jrom God's hand, i'orfin^ or trial, or 
prevention : and fome dvtjrom mart's hand^ for ChrijTs 
Jake, and 0.\t gojfe'^s. In a)l of them grace is help- 
ful and a^edful. But I would fpeak only fomeihing 
in geDeral, that every one may apply 10 themfelves 
according to their experiences and exercife ; and that 
on thefe two heads, i . The needfulnefs of grace to ths 
affli£lcd. 2. The heipfulnefs of grace to the affli£led, 
whatever their 3fFh(5lion be. 

I. I would fpeak of the need of the grace of God to 
the afpjcled. Some fenfe of this is engraven on the 
hearts of men by the light of nature. The Heathen 
mariners in the itorm exprefs this, Jonah i. 5, 6. What 
meanefl thou, fleeper f* Arije, call upon thy God, if 
fo be tnat God will think upon us, that we ferifh not, 
A fad cafe 1 A Heathen (hipmafter challenging a god- 
ly prophet for his negleft of feeking God ! He calls 
him by a ihameiul, but well-deferved name, fleeper. 
The ftorm came on for Jonah's fake, as he told them, 
ver. 12.; yet he is the fecurell perfon in the fliip. 
He only knew God, yet he is laft in calling on him. 
Ao honeft Pagan may outdo a difterapered prophet, 
in fome things, at fome times. This fenfe was ex- 
preiled gready by the king, nobles, and inhabitants 
of Nineveh, Jonah iii. 5.— 10. And chey again go 
far beyond Jonah. They believed God on Jonah's 
preaching, repented, prayed, 2Si^fafled, and the Lord 
repented of the evil. But Jonah was grieved at all, 
chap. iv. ij 2. If it were not for his excellent prayer, 
chap. ii. and that he was a piophei ol the Lord, and 
the penman of the Holy Ghoft, to record his own fm 
and liiame, for the benefit of the church; we (hould 
be tempted to queition this man's grace, of whole 
fearful fins we have fo large an account. He Veoels 
againfl the Lord's cal^ to preach to Nineveh. When 
he flees, the Lord overtakes him by a itorm, takes 
him by the lot; he is caft inio the f -1, fchooled ia 
the whale's belly three days and three nights ; a mira- 

224 Ssrmons concerning Serm. XII. 

culous chadifement, and a miraculous prefervation* 
He now obeys the repeated call. But when his la- 
bour had a gracious effe£l, he isdifpleafed exceeding- 
Ij, and prays mod fmful^y, Jonah's inftance fhould 
teach minifters and Chriflians to pray more, Lord^ lead 
tis net into temptation. As nature's light teacherh af- 
fli^ed people their need of the Lord's grace and mer- 
cy, the word declares it aiore plainly, James v. 13. 
Pfal. 1. 15. Hof. V. 15. This need of the helping 
girace of God in afill£i:!on, I would inftrmfl in thefe. 

ly?, AfHic^icD-fins are readily fallen into without 
the help of the grace of God. Such fins, I mean, 
that afI]i£lion cloth eafily and naturally tempt unro ; as 
frecang, impatience, murmuring, and quarrelling with 
the hand of God. It is fadly and frcqaently feen, 
that aflli^lioa bath not only brought along with it dif- 
covery of fm, but alfo the aj^ings and 7/orkings of 
more corruption, than either the perfon himfelf, or 
any elfe, thought was in the man. It was a fad cha- 
ra^ler of a very bad man, 2 Chron. xxviii. 22. And 
in the time of his dijlrefs did he trefpafs yet more again/} 
the Lord: this is that King Ahaz, This is a man 
noted for a never-do-well. A brother in the fame 
office, and in the fame iniqalty, faid, Behold this e* 
vil is of the Lord ; what jhould I wait for the Lord a- 
ny longer f 2 Kings vi. 33. 

^dly^ AlB;ftion-duties are only pra£i:icable by the 
help of the grace of God. Every crofs hath its work, 
as well as its trial. There is that required and called 
for in afRiflion, that craves a fpecial affiftance of the 
grace of God for the doing of it. It is remarkable, 
that the great duty of the afflicted is exprelTed by two 
negatives, Heb. xii. 5. from Prov. iii, 1 1. My fon 
defpife thou not the chajlening of the Lordy nor faint 
when thou art rebuked of him. What then is the pofi- 
tive duty ? It is that which is neither of thefe two. 
If the afIli(^ion be light, we are apt to defpife it ; n id 
if it be heavy, we are as apt to faint under it. B it, 
faith the Holy Ghoft, fee that ye do neither. If it 


Serm. XII. the Throne of Grace. 225 

be never io light, do not defpife ic ; if It be never fo 
heavy, faint not under it. And there is no fmall 
need of grace to preferve us frona thofe extreme?, 
and to keep ns in the right midft. 

3<^/)', The confolations of an aflh*(^ed date are very 
neediui, and grace only can fuinKh us with ihem. 
Be ye affured of it, that never did a Chriflf ai bear 
up patiently .under God's heavy -and, but by the 
flrong fecret working of fome confolatioa. it is true, 
we value and feek moft that confolation that comes ia 
as a great flood of fenfe, and that doth fvvallow up 
• the bitternefs of affliaion. This the Lord can, and 
fcmetimes doth give to his people. But there is a" 
fecret, fiient fpring of confolaiion, that is as profit- 
able, and more common in the Lord's way with his 
children. Of this the apoiile fpeaks in 2 Cor. i. 3, 
4, 5. Everlaftlng confolation, and good hope throuah 
grace^ are his blellings, 2 TheiT. ii. 16, 17. 

2 . Wherein doth the helpfulnefs of grace confift^ in 
an afflicted Jiate f 

i/r, God's grace helps with light to know God's 
mind in r.ifiiaion. It is dreadful to be flruck in ths 
dark, ^^ hen a man neither feeth the path he walks in, 
cor the hand that fmiteth hin., nor the weapon he is 
fmote with. The great bleffing that grace can help 
us to, is, to know what the rod means, what its voice 
is, who hath appointed it, and what of God's name 
k written on the rod, Micah vl. 9. Job was very 
carnefl for this light, Job x. 2. / zvill fay unto God^ 
Do net condemn me ; Jheiv rae wherefore thou contendefl 
ivith me, Eilhu advlfeth him well. Job xxxiv. 31, 32. 
S,urely it is meet to befald unto God^ I have born chaf 
iiftment^ I viUl not offend any more. That which 
J fee not, teach thou irie ; if I have done iniquity, I will 
do no more. Many a poor believ:^r has been put to 
this, that if he had all the world, he would have 
parted with it, to have known God's mind in his af- 
fliclions. Sometimes by the light of the furnace, wc 
come to knov; our hearts and corruptiocii j and ibere- 

VoL.I. F f by 

2i6 Sertiions concerning Serm. XIL 

by what God fmites for, and caiis to. The Lord 
can, by the teachings oF his word and Spirit, and by 
the wi(domof his providential dirpenfauons, engrave 
rhac particular meaning that is in his heart, on the 
rod that is in his hand, that men may know it. And 
liappy is that perfon that is fo dealt with. But it is 
indeed harder,, to be fmcerely willing to know and ad- 
mit of God's mind in affl;(^ion, than it is to find it out. 
But his grace can help to borh, and the throne of 
grace (bould be ranch plie 1 for both. 

idly^ Grace can give in flrength and fupport un- 
der afflidlion : 2 Cor. rv. 16. For which caufe we 
faint not ; hut though our outward man perijb^ yet the 
inward man is renewed day by day. It is a wonder- 
ful thing, to fee how much pain, ficknefs, and tor- 
ment, a poor frail body is able to bear. We think 
how clofe and flicking a thing is life, that is not 
fqT-ieezed out by fuch a llrefs. Yet the frailty of the 
flefh, in bearing the diilrefs of the flefli, is a fmall^ 
thing, in regard of the frailty of the heart in bearing 
of God's rebukes; Prov. xviii. 14. 'Ihefpirit of man 
will fuflain his infirmity ; hut a wounded fpirit who 
can bear f Yet many have borne it ; but furely by 
divine fupport* It is the common fenfe of diftrelTc 1 
Chriilians, that they have been put to bear fuch bur- 
dens, that ihey thought at firfi: would furely have 
crufaed them. The reafon of their wonder is, be- 
caufe the weight of the burden upon them was fenfi- 
ble ; but the everlafling arms underneath them and their 
burden, were not feen, Deut. xx?viii. 27. 

3^/y, Grace helps in afEi^^ion, by enabling the af- 
fll£ted to believe, tnat there is love in the afHicler. He 
faith it. Rev. iii. 19. As many as I love ^ 1 rebuke and 
chajlen ; and he can make us believe it. Nothing 
but his mighty grace can do it. Nothing is liker an- 
ger than afllifiion, efpecially when {tycxQ, Nothing 
is more difficult 10 believe, than that which, to all 
Gur fenfe and reafon, is ruining to us, fhould be in 
IpYC in him that doth it. Who can believe this without 


ScRM. XIT. the Throne cf Grace, 225 

the help of grace? and how great mufl: that help be, 
that enableth a man to believe To unlikely a thing ? 

^\thly^ Grace helps in affii(ftion, by teaching to pro- 
fir thereby: Heb. xii. i r. AW 71q thafteningfor the 
frefenty feemeth to be joyous ^ hut grievous ; neverihelefs^ 
afterwards it yieldeth the -peaceable fruit of rightcouf 
nefsy U7itothem which are exercifed thereby. The fruit 
of fanc^ified i^ffli^tion is a great inydery, as all fpiritu- 
al fiuit is. Y(m cannot tell how you profit by t1ie 
word. I ani afraid, that there is but little profiting 
at all ; but they that do profit, cannot tell how they 
profit. They may fee the feed fown, they may find 
it fown in their hearts, they may perceive its fruit in 
their worfiiip and walk ; but how the grace of God 
works wi[h the word in making them profit, is too 
deep for theonoft difcerning Chriftians. It is fome 
way more myfterious, how the Lord works out profit 
by ri{Hi£lions. It is indeed often found, bleflfed be his 
name. Many can fay with David, Pfal. cxix. 67. Be- 
fore I was afflicted, I went a/I ray : but now have I kept 
thy word. ver. 74, It is good for me that I have 
been afflicted ; that 1 might learn thy ftatutes. But 
none €an tell how the grace of God makes the bitter 
{ztd of afih<5>icn bring forth the peaceable fruit of 
righteonfnef?. And where is that faint, who, when 
the Lord is writing bitter things a^ainfl him, and 
muliiplying his wounds, cm fay in faith, " Now, at 
*« this tifpe, and in ihi^ m2nner, the Lord is fowing 
*^ that {tzd in me, that fnail fpring up in fruits of 
** rigbteoiifneA, to his praife, and my certain pro- 
*' fit; and the day will come, wherein I (hall blefs his 
** name from my heart, for all theforrows I now feel 
*' and mourn under ?" 

1 ihail fay no more of this head of affii(^ion ; but 
orly would give you this w^arning. Afili^lions are 
ve' y common, and much complained of. Some pro- 
fellors fpend all the little religion they have upon 
their afflictions. Take heed to your hearts under af- 
fii<5lions. It is to be bewailed, that many Chriftians, 
F f 2 / ' their 

2 2 8 Sermojis concerning S E R M. XIT. 

their afiliifllons come on them they know not whence, 
they lie on them they know not wherefore, and they 
go off they know not how; that, if I may allude to 
fuch facred words, and apply the phrafe to fuch a 
fmful fraTTiC, afflictions co^ne on many, and they feel 
the fmart of them, but know not whence they come^ nor 
*ix;hither they go. They come on them when they are 
fent, and go off when they are called ; but they nei- 
ther knew what God meant by them, nor did by them. 
ITo Chriiiian can ever make a fpiritual and hearty 
fong of praife for affl:i5tions, unlefs there be fome 
feufe or hope of profit thereby. If the profit be feen, 
the wifdom and love of God in afflicling, will be hear- 
tily ackro.viedged. 

V. The fifth time of fpecial need of the grace of 
God, is a time cf fpecial duty and fervic^ to God called 
for. All the courfe of our life is to beconllant fcr* 
vice. *VV"e ought to live to his praife. We are made 
as creatures, and as new creatures, for this end, Ifa, 
xliii. 24. I Per, ii. 9, But there are fome feafons ia 
M'hich fpecial work is called for, and then there is 
great need of grace to help in that hour. It is a 
mighty word of the preacher^ Eccl. viii. 6. Becanfe to 
£vcry pur pofe there is tinie^ and judgment ; therefore the 
vvjery of man rs great upon him. And it is only the 
wife inan'^s heart that difcerueih time and judgment^ 
Ter. 5. I would name four of tbofe times. 

1. The lime that men are called to believe on Jefus 
Chriil, and to fecure their eternal falvation by a full 
clofmg with him. This is a now^ a day^ an accep- 
ted time^ a day of fahation, 2 Cor. vi. 2. All that 
hear the gofpel, are bound by the call of God in ir, 
aiid warranted by the promife of it, to receive by faitii 
Je:'us Chriil:, and eternal life, every time they hear 
the gofpel. But fometiraes this duty is fpecially cal- 
led tor; which, if negle£led, may be of fatal confer 
quence to men. Hence that "exhortation, Ifa. Iv. 6. 
i>eek ye the Lord while he 7iiay he foundy call ye upon 
hmi 'wkik hi is near, Whca Chrift is knocking at 


Serm. XII. the Throne of Grace. 229 

the door of the heart, then it is fpecial duty to open 
to hira, Rev. iii. 20, This was the day Jerufalem bad, 
nnd negle^led ; and that that Chrid mourned over 
them for, Luke .xix. 41,^42. Unfpeakable is meriS 
need of the prevailing help of grace, when their hearts 
and confciences are warmed with the calls of grace in 
the gofpeh In fuch feafons, the everlafting bargain 
is either fixed by the power of grace Working fai:h 
in the heart ; or people are left to themfelves, and 
are farther from heaven than ever. 

2. Some fpecial call to men to give their teflimony 
to Chrift and his gofpel by fuffering. The Lord comes 
and craves mens teftimony to his truth, and chargeth 
them thus. ** If thou haft any love to me and my 
*' honour, I demand thy witnefs, venture thy all, VAkz 
** up thy crofs." Many Chriftians have negledted 
fuch trying feafons, which in vain and forrowfuUy they 
have widicd for again. There is much of God's grace 
needful to difcern thefe feafons, and wifely to improve 

3. There is another remarkable feafon of mens 
nesJ of God's grace to help them in ; and that is, the 
feafon of the Lord's calling them to a duty-trial ; a 
duty called to by way of trial. The Lord gives the 
,cali to try men ; and very great are the confcquences 
of obeying or difobeying of fuch a call. Mdny in- 
ftances are of this in the word. One is in Numb. xiv. 
The palTage is plain and awful. When Ifrael had 
been above a year in the wildernefs, twelve fpies are 
fent to view the land : they all bring back an evil re- 
port, fave Joihua and Caleb : the people murmur ; 
God threatens them with judgments : they feem to 
be fenfible of their fm ; ic is like by the plague that 
flew the ten faife fpies, ver. 37. and by what Mofeg, 
fpake to them. They acknowledge their fm ; and re-* 
folve to go up next morning, ver. 40. Mofes tells 
them, they now finned again, and that the Lord was 
not among them, ver. 41, 42. What fevere dealing is 
this ? The Lord was among them yefterday, not this 



230 Sermons concerning Serm. XII, 

Kiorning : they were bid go up yeflerday, tbey are 
forbid next morning Becaufe they did not what the 
Lord bid then^i do in his time, he will nrr p orf.cl them 
when they do the fame thing in their time Tous 
Saul was tried tw:ce, i Sam. xiii. Samuel bid bim^ 
tarry for him feven days at Gilgal : Saul i^rr'^t ■ fix 
days, and part of the feventh, and rhen ofFeied fa- 
crifice ; nos as I think, that he did invade thepnefl's 
office himfelf, but commanded feme prieft to do ir. 
Profane princes never want profane cb? plains. What 
a fevere fentence doth Samuti pronounce againft hmj, 
ver. 13, 14. P Again, the fyme man is tried with ano- 
ther duiy^ I Sam. xv. abi fails therein, and is punifh- 
ed therefore. This fort of trying men by duty, is like 
that in 2 Kings xiii. i45--'.o. which Eliflia did put 
/ Joafti unto. How :r\2uy of the peopl'; of God, thr'/ 
■ the want of the pre fent help of gracr- in fome duty- 
trials, have ftepped into fuch path?, and have hUzn 
into fuch pits and fnares, as they have never got well 
and clearly out of, as long as ihey lived ? 

4. It is a feafon of great need of grace to help us 
in, when the Lord, by bis providence puts feveral 
things in a perfon's choice, and leaves them to chufe. 
The fulled of this kind was that offer made to David 
about judgments, 2 Sam. xxiv. i?., 13. A hard choice ; 
but David did chufe wifely. His fon Solomon had 
another offer ; but it was of'bleirinn;s, and not of jiidg- 
nients, 2 Chron. i. 7. Aik what I jhall^he thee. And 
he chofe wifely : and by his choice proved, that he 
had already received a good meafure of wifdom. Mo- 
fes had a 'great oiFer, ai:!d things of vail difference 
v^ere in his choice ; and he chole like a man taught 
of God, Heb. xi. 24, 25, 26. Mofes, in his lad fer- 
mon to Ifrae), Deur. xxx. i5r— ^9? 20. puts them 
on chufing : / call heaven and earth to record this day 
again/} you^ that I have fet before you life and death, 
blejfin^ and cu? [ing : therefote chufe life, that both than 
and thy feed may live : that thou mayefl love the Lord 
thy Gody and that thou mayefl obey his voice, and that 


Serm. XII. the Throne of Grace, 231 

thou mayefl cleave unto him ; for he is thy life, and the 
length of thy days. So did his fucceflbr Jo(hua, whea 
he had fettled ifrael in the promifed land, a little be- 
fore his death: Jofhua xxiv. 15. Chufe you this day 
whom you w'tllferve. Elijah axdi io with apoftate Ifrael, 
^i Kings xviii. 21. Somewhat like this is laid before 
men in the daily miniilry of the v.ord. The curfe of 
the law, or the blefllug of the gofpel,is in mens offer ; 
and men get as they chufe. If men refufe the blef- 
fmg, the curfe belongs to them ; if they receive the 
blelTing, they are delivered from the cuife. But the 
chufing vrmean, is that the Lord puts men often to, 
in the feveral turns of his prov'dence towards them : 
Pfalm XXV. 12. V/bat man is he that feareth the Lord? 
himfhall he teach in the way that hejball chufe. Ma- 
ny gracious promifes are in the word, of God's guid- 
ing of his people ; many prayers put up by faints in 
the word tor this gracious guidmg ; and many praifes 
rendeied to the Lord tor their bleffcd experiences of 
his guiding. Who can walk fafely through this wil- 
dercefs, witnout the pilar of cloud by day, and the fiU 
lar of fire by night? How many of mens forrows may 
be laid on their being left of God, in cbufing for them- 
felves ? and how many of our mercies are owing to 
the Lord's gracious guiding of us in doifbtful cafes ? 
But it is a very hard thing to afk £lire(^ion from God, 
Three faults are common in this pr, 6llce. i. Pre- 
engagement of heart. As it is a great fin after vows 
to make enquiry, Frov. xx, 25. ; fo is it to afk direc- 
tion from God, when men are refolved on the way 
they will take. An eminent inftauce of this finful 
frame, we have in Jcr. xlii. and xliii. They fought 
counfel of God by the prophet in a great ftrait ; they 
promifed to fallow it whatever it Wis : GoJ g^ves his 
mind \ they reje£l it, becaufe it fiiited nm their incli- 
nations. It is no eafy thin? to all: dfre^-'ion of (^00, 
wiih an undetermined frame. 2. Piioe of under- 
hand iug. M Ki think they are wife e-vjjgh to chufe 
their own way. Therefore that coiamand fliould be 


232 Sermons concerning Serm. XII- 

niuch minded, Prov. iii. 5, 6, 7. Trujl in the Lord with 
all thine heart ; and lean not unto thine own under* 
Jlanding, In all thy ways acknowledge him^ and he 
(b-all dire6l thy paths. Be not wife in thine own eyes^ 
And that other word, Prov. xx. 24. Man^s goings arc 
of the Lord ; how can a man then under (land his own 
way f Prov xvi. 9. A jnan^s heart devi/eth his way, 
but the Lord dire6leth his feps, 3. Halie. M.tn wait 
not for God^s counfel^ Pfalm cvi. 13. ; and therefore 
go without it, and ilumble in dark [>aths. He that 
believeth, maketh not hafh^ Ifa. xxvlii. 16. A little 
more patient waiting on the Lord^ as Pialm xl. i. hath 
often brought in determining light in doubtful cafes. 
So much for the fifth feafon of need of grace. 
VI. The laft time of need of gr^zt is, the time of 
dying. It is indeed the I'diV; for he that is helped by 
grace in that tim^, v/ill need no more help of grace 
to eternity. This time of dying, is what we (liould 
all think ou ; and if you think aiigbt on it^ it will not 
be unwelcome to hear of it. 

On this I Would ihew, i. The need of grace. And 
2, The help of grace in this lad and greateft time of 

I, I would fpeak of the need of grace to help in this 
fcafm. Though all mtn have fome conviflioa of it ; 
yet, to (trengthen that convi<^ion, I would fpeak to a 
few things about it, 

\fl^ This lime of need is unavoidable. It is a time 
that muft come. Other times of need may come, and 
may not come. We may be tempted, we may be af- 
flicted, we may be tried, we may be cad down, and 
we may be lifted up again : but die we mud. // is 
appointed unto men once to die^ Heb. ix. 27. As fure 
as wx live,^ we muft die. We live oUr appointed 
rime, and we die at our appointed time, Job xiv. 5, 
14. and all our times are in his hand^ Pfalm xxxi. 15. 
Eccl. iii. 2, There is a time to he born^ and a time to die^ 
ver. II, He hath made every thing beauCful in his time. 
That man mult have better ey^s than thofe of flefli, 


Sehm. XII. the Throne of Grace. 233* 

that can fee any beauty in death. If there had been 
but two or three of mankind, that had lived from 
Noah to this day, and had been privileged with an 
exemption from this general appointment, every fool 
on earth would have dreamed, that, it may be, he 
ihall partake of the fame privilege alfo. Bat when all 
that ever breathed from Adam to this <lay, are dead, 
(fave the prefent generation, whom a fev/ more years 
will fweep away, as it hath done their predeceffors) ; 
what folly is there in m.ens thoughtlefTnefs of this un- 
avoidable fate P But if you fay, All /hall not die, but 
be changed, as I Cor. xv. 51. i TheiT. iv. 17.; con- 
(ider, that this change is to them, as death is to us; 
and it may be will be as terrible to the faints alive 
then, as death now is. As believers now dread not 
death, and to be. dead, fo much as they fear to die ; 
the {late of the dead in Chrift is not terrible, but the 
paffdge to it is : fo they that are changed at Chrirt's 
coming, may have the fame fentiments, till the change 
be wrought on them. It is (iliougb none knows the 
particular mapner of it) a puiting ofFof m.ortaiity and 
corruption, and a putting on the robes of immortality 
and incorruption. The fame is done as to every faint 
at death and therefurreclion. Both are done to eve- 
ry believer in an inftant, who are found alive at Chrifl's 
fecond coming. Elijah's tranilation, 2 Kings ii. and 
Enoch's, Heb. xi. 5. were emblems of the change on 
believers at Chrift's fecond appearance ; as the raifmg 
of Lazarus, and others, both in the old teftamenc 
and new, were of the general refurredion : and ia 
fpecial manner they fpoke of, Matth. xxvii. 52, 53, 
And the graves were opened ; and many bodies of faints 
which flepty arofe, and came out of the graves after 
his refurredion^ and went into the holy city, and ap' 
feared unto many. But whatever the change on faints 
at Chrifl's coming be to them, and if it may be thought 
a more eafy trial than natural death is ; it is certain 
that the change that (hall then pafs on the ungodly, 
will be far more dreadful than bare dying is now. This 
Vol. I. G g is 

£34 Sertnens concerning SeR'M.XII. 

is then ihe only exception from the general appoint- 
ment on all men once to die. How amazing then is the 
flupidity of men, that fo few ferioi^ily think on it, and 
prepare for it f* that fo many men and women, that are 
under the fentcnce of death ; that have the feeds of 
death in them ; that live in a world wherein all things 
that have life, are dying before their eyes: that live 
on creatures that lofe their lives to fupport theirs ; 
that have fo many warnings of death's fure and fpeedy 
approach, are yer, after all, furprifed by it when it 
comes, as if they had never heard of it ? This (lupl- 
dity is both a fad fign and efie^l of the plague cf unbe- 
lief. Judgment and eternity, that follow at death^s 
heels, are matters of pure faith. But death is obvi- 
ous to fen fe, reafon, and univerfal experience. Yet 
men only think they may die, and do not entertain 
the perfuafion with aiTurance into their hearts, and 
ferious daily thoughts, that they mufc die. 

2^/y, Dying is not only unavoidable, but it is a new 
trial. None can tell what dying is. Many know what 
it is to be fick, to be in great pain, to faint and fall 
huo a fwooD, which is a little image of dfeath ; as alfo 
the heathen poet called fleep, death"*! elder brother : 
but none knows what dying is. It was a very fenfible 
word a dying Chriflian in this city fpoke to myfelf, 
when vifiiing him a few hours before his death, ** No 
" man can tell another what dying is. 1 feel I am 
*' dying ^ but I cannot tell you w hat it is." Death 
is a path that you never trod before ; you never walk- 
ed in it hitherto ; you may have thought yourfelves 
to have gone a good way in the valley cfthejhadaw 
of death, but you never walked through it. Paul 
died daily ^ i Cor. xv. 31.; he was in deaths often^ 
1 Cor. XI. 23. : yet he was a living man then, when 
he faid fo; and he died but onee. All new trials require 
new fupplies of grace ; and the trial of death is quite 
Dew. When we are tempted one day, we may know 
what temptation is thereby, and be thereby fitted for 


Serm. XII. the Throne of Grace, 255 

the next ; but no pad experience tan teach us fully 
what dyinfi; is. 

3<2'/>', Dying is not only a neceflary, and new trial ; 
but it is fuch a trial, in which a man's all is concerned 
for eternity. Immediately on death followsyW^/;z^/?/, 
Heb. ix. 27. Death is the dark trance betwixt time 
and eternity. While we live, we are in time ; when 
we are a-dying, we are leaving time, and paiTiug in- 
to eternity ; when we are dead, we are quite and for 
€ver out of time, and are in eternity for ever. If a 
man mifcarry in this paiTage, if a man ftumble in the 
dark valley of death, if he fall here, he falls for ever. 
I would not have people to imagine, that the flrefs of 
their falvation depends on their frame when a«dying ; 
for fome Chriflians, when near to death, have neither 
the ufe and exercife of fenfe or reafon, much lefs of 
grace. But furely, when the cafe of mens bodies per- 
mits a(Ss of a man, or of a Chriftian, there is great 
need of grace to enable us to die well. 

^thly^ Dying is a great trial of faith. Though we 
know not fully what dying is ; yet we may know fo 
much of it, as to be convinced, that it is much har- 
der to die in faith than to live by faith : and yet liv- 
ing by faith is the hardeft thing we have to do in this 
world. To truft in an unfeen God ; to believe his 
unchangeable love, when we feel his anger, to truft 
his bare word, when ws fee no appearance of perfor- 
mance, but many to the contrary, arc no eafy thiogs 
to th^ bed. Our freqaent experience of the difficul- 
ty, and of our many fuliugs in this daily exercife, of 
living by faith, iTiriy juilly make us fenfibleof our need 
ot great help of grace, when we (liall be called to the 
new and more hard work of dying by faith. To in'- 
force this a little, confider, 

(1.) Ufually when death draws near to men, and 
they draw near to it, the eye of the mind is clearer, 
and the confcience more tender and (harp-fighted, in 
the review of their life and actions. Many never faw 
their lives well, till they are jad at the end of thera.' 

G g 2 And 

236 Sermons concerning Serm. XII 

And many believers walk fo, as a fpiritual review of 
their ways breeds no fmall dorm in their confciences, 
and trial and fliaking to their faiib. Though death 
be a dark valley, yet great light of convictions and 
challenges fprings up in it. Woe to them that never 
know, till they are a-dying, what an awakened con- 
fcience is. Ways that are pleafing to men, when the 
evil day is put far away, look frightfully on them when 
that day approacheth, and is very nigh. 

(2.) A dying time, is a time wherein the devil is 
very bufy. He fetcheth then his laft (troke on faints, 
and on fumers. He doth his utmoli to fecure the dam- 
nation of fmners, that he may not lofe them at laft. 
The devil's death-hold of a dying fmner is a ftrong 
one. He alfo doth his utmoU agaiafl believers, if not 
to mar their falvaiion, yet to hinder their confolation. 
The devil's parting-blow hath been dreadful to many a 
faint. It is a weighty word, Heb. ii. [4. where he 
is faid to ba've the power of death. It is true, there 
it Is faid alfo, that Chrift ovenarne hun^ and through 
death Deaih is properly and ftriflly in the devjl s 
dominions. Sin and death are properly the deviPs, 
though the Lord hath the wife ordering of both. He 
permits fin, and inflifls death ; and death lies near the 
devil's great prifon, hell. Through li.e valley of 
death there are two pafTages ; one leading to hell, 
and another to heaven. Mofl fall into the pit ; others 
are brought through fafe and found, by the fkill and 
mercy of their bleffed guide, Chrifl. It fares here 
with believers as with Ifrael, and with unbelievers as 
with the Egyptians, Heb. xi. 29. By faith they pafjed 
through the redfea^ as by dry land ; ivhich the Egyp- 
tians affaytng to do, were drowned. 

(3.) Judgment and eternity, when near, and feen 
at hand, are awful things : and a near view of them- 
will try faith greatly. This view blow^s away the pre- 
fumption and hope of the hypocrite; Job xxvii. 8. 
What is the hope of the hypocrite^ though he hath gain- 
(di when Cod taketh away his foul f Job xi. 20, Eheir 


Serm. Xll. the Throne of Grace » 227 

hope is as the giving up the ghofl. His hope lived as long 
as he lived; and when he dies, it dies alfo. Woe to 
them that have a dying hope, a hope that cannot out- 
jive death. Chriltians are begotten to a living or I'lve^ 
ly hopey I Pet. i. 3. He hath hope in his deaths Prov. 
xiv. 32. The man's body dies, but the Chriftian's 
hope and faith lives. He lies down in the grave in 
hopey Pfal. xvi. 9. He dies in that faith he lived by, 
Heb. xi. 13. ' 

2. What is the heJpfulnefs of grace^ in this time of 
great needy a time of dying, I am fpeaking to living men, 
but to fuch as mud die, and know not how foon. I 
{hall only infid on one thing at this time. The grace 
of God helps believers, by (Irengihening of their 
faith. That is the help thev rnainly need in that hour. 
And this help ftands in thefe, 

ijl, When a dying believer is helped by i^race to 
fee death in Chrift's hand. There is a vaft difference 
betwixt death in the devil's hand, who hath the pow- 
er of it ; and death in Chrifi's hand, who is mafter 
both of death and the devil : betwixt a man's feeing 
d^ach approaching, and the devil behind it, and with 
it ; and a man's feeing death coming on him, and 
Chrift with it. Paul's triumph rofe on this ground : 
I Cor. XV. SS^ S^y SI' death, where is thy fting f 
O grave y (or hell J, where is thy vidory f The /Hn^ of 
death is fin ; and the Jlrength of fin is the law "^But 
thanks he to God^ which giveth us the vic-tory, through 
our Lord Jefus Chrijl. That by which death (lings 
men, is fm unpardoned, and God's holy law binding 
fm and wrath on their perfons. Victory over both 
fm and the law, comes by Jefus Chrift/ When this 
vi61or, and vi^lory in Chrifi:, is feen by a believer, 
death is defied and defpifed, as a ftinglefs overcome 
thing. Much and ftrong f^aith is needful to enable a 
man xo play on the hole of this ofp, Chrift reveals 
himfelf to John, almoft dead with fear. Rev. i. 17, 
i8. Fear not ; I have the keys of hell and of death. 
•' Behold them in my band, and behold rae as the 

*• lord 

238 Sermons concerning S e r m . XIL 

^ lord of them." Should a believer in Jefus fear a- 
ny thing that Chrift hath the power of? The bitter- 
nefs of death is pall to all believers, by Chrift's death, 
and vJftory over it. And if their faith was ftrong, 
their fears would be fmall. 

zdly^ To have faith enabled to look through death, 
and beyond death. If a man's eyes be fixed on death 
only, and fee no farther, it is death to look on death : 
but when the believer's eye oF faith is fo quickened, 
that he can look through the trance of death, and fee 
within the vail, where Chrid ii?, that is a bleifed help 
of grace. Chrifliaas faith and hope enters within the 
vaily Heb. vi. 19. And a view within the vail is 
fpeciaily defirable and ufeful, when the Chriftian is 
walking in the valley of the Jhadow of death ^ Pfal. 
xxiii. 4. 

^dlyy Faith is helped, when the dying believer is 
enaoied to call his anchor on God in Chrift confident- 
ly in this iaft ftorm. This laft afl of faith is a great 
one. The more fenfible a man is that he is on the 
point of eternal ruin^ the nearer he is to drop into 
hell without divine help; the more fenfibly he a^ls 
faith. Then the clingings and grafpings of faith on 
Chrift, are fenfible and ftrcng. When a believer 
looks on himfelf, and on his way, and feeth nothing 
in them pleafing or ftaying to his foul ; he looks into 
the dark pnffage before him, and it is frightful to 
heart and flelh ; he looks on judgment a?id eternity 
asjuftathand, and his thoughts are fwallowed up 
with their greatnefs. In this cafe to flay his foul, 
and fay with dying David, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. Although 
my houfc ho not fo with God, (Though my heart, my 
ways he not fo with God as they ought to have been) ; 
yet he hath made with me an everlafling covenant^ or- 
dered in all things and fur e : and this is all my j aha- 
tion^ and all my defire, requires fingular help of the 
grace of God. To fliut their eyes, and give the hand 
to Chrifl, and to qaiet the mind, by trufting our 
guide in this Iaft ftep, is a mighty blefling. 

I would 

5erm. XII. the Throne of Grace, j^p 

I would conclude this difcourfe with tliefe four. 

1. It is a great myftery of faith, and a great trial 
of (aich, that the way to eternal life fliould lie through 
the midft of this dark valley of death. Our Lord je- 

' fus Chrift brought eternal life for us, by the price of 
his blood ; he went through death to take poiTcffion 
of his kingdom and glory : and yet his people mufl 
go through death to take poiTtilion of the gift of eter- 
nal life. If there were any allowed room or place 
for prayer in this affair, how many, and how earned 
prayers would we make to be delivered from going 
in this way to glory P But after a life of trial?, temp- 
tations, and manifold tribulations, this lad is flili be- 
fore us ; and we mud pafs through, and fet our feet 
in the cold waters of this Jordan, ere we enter the 
heavenly Canaan. After all the lively hopes of hea- 
ven, and fweet foretaftes of it, we have had j after 
our faith hath rifen us to a full aiTurance^ yet through 
death mud ail the heirs of glory pafs. 

2. There is no wifdom like that of preparing for 
this awful hour : Job xiv. 14. If a man die^ Jhall he 
live again f All the days of my appointed time will I 
ivait^ till my change come, " I will think on it, I will 
" look for ic, I will prepare for it." Men are wife 
or foolifli, according to their faithful diligence, or 
unbelieving negligence, in this preparing for death. 
Many have bewailed their negledi: ; never did any re- 
pent their diligence, in this work. 

3. There is no right and fure way of preparing for 
death, but by feekiiig faviag acquaintance with Jefus, 
If you fet about the dudy of holinefs without Chrid» 
you miftake your way, and will never reach your end. 
But labour to be intimately acquainted with Jefus 
Chrid, and the communicationsof his grace will make 
you holy. Death deals with men, and billets them 
into their eternal quarters, in heaven or hell, as mea 
are in Chrid, or outof Chrid. Their works, accord- 
ing to which they are judged, are but the fruits and 
effects of their diderent Hates. Tfcefe two different 


238 Sermons concerning Serm. XIT- 

ftates of men in this life, in Chrift, or not in Chrirt:, 
are the fouodarion of the two different dates in the 
next life, in heaven, or in hell ; though all in ChrilT: 
are holy, and all outof Chrift are unholy. 

4. There is no life truly comfortable, but that 
which hath a comfortable profpe£t of death and judg- 
ment. Never envy the condition of them who feem 
10 be the only chearful men in the world, whom one 
quarter of an hour's ferious thought of death and 
judgment, is enough to make them like BeKhazzar at 
his great feaff, Dan. v. 6. whofe countenance was 
changed^ and his thoughts troubled him^ fo that the 
joints of his loins were loojed-, and his knees fmote one 
again/? another. Amazement feized on foul and bo- 
dy. How can a man be faid to live comfortably, that 
dare not think of death, for fear of niarring his com- 
fort ? Miferable is that confolation, that cannot bear^ 
a ferious thought of an approaching unavoidable ihing. 
This is the wifdom and mercy of the Lord to his peo- 
ple, that their true confolation doth not only ftand 
and abide in the view of death and judgment, but it 
arifeth from that view that is fo terrible to all natural 
men. This is the bleiTednefs of believers, that this 
grace allows them a right to, and can give them a 
poffefTion of. And therefore we Ihould come to the 
throne of grace for it. Then you are happy Chrif- 
tians, when ferious thoughts of death breed ferious 



Serm. XIII, ths Throne of Grace. 


He b. iv. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace ^ 
that we may obtain mercy ^ and find grace to hel^ in 
time of need. 

YOU have heard of the helpfulnefs of the grace 
of God in lime of need, both in general, and 
with particular indances of fome fpecial times of need. 
The laft whereof is the time of dying. This I leit ac 
[aft day, and would fpeak a little more to it; and thea 
conclude all in a few words. 

Death is a theme of great importance, and of t^ry 
obvious influence. If people would let it enter into 
their ferious thoughts, and would take a ferious and 
fleady view of it, ibey would quickly find more in ic 
and about it, than ever they did, or could hear, by 
all that is told them. Next to the faving illuminatioa 
of the Holy Ghoft, with and by the word, there is 
no better fchool for men to learn, weigh, and duly 
to uaderfland the things of God in, than a frequent 
and near view of death. What an tdgt w^ould this 
put upon our praying, hearing, worfhip, and walk- 
ing ? Every thing that is done by men as dying per- 
fons, is ufually v.ell done. 1 (hall only add this. That 
there are fome fons of dying that are very deilrable, 
in which the grace of God is v^rry ufeful and needful. 

I. Patient dying. Dying is not properly a duty, 
but a fufFering. Ic is not our a£l ; but there is a m.ani- 
foid exercife of grace called for in dying. Never did 
any man aft in dying but Jcfus Chrirt : be could A? v 
dozvn his Ufe^ atidtake it again ^ John x. 17, 18. V/e 
cannot lay down our lives ; they are not our own, 

VoL.L K h We 

242 Sermons^ concerning Serm. XIIT. 

We are bid keep ihem as \^'r,g as we lawfully can f 
and when the great command come?. Return^ we are 
to yield obedience to it. It is a great hlefling, to 
have patience For dying, and parience in dying: Keb. 
X. 36. Te have need •/ patience ; that 'after ye have 
done the will of Gody ye 7nay receive the proimfe. And 
we often need patience moft, when juft upon the re- 
ceiving of the promife. We fhould run with patience 
the race that is Jet before us Heb. xii. 1. And mod 
of patience is nfually mod needful in the lad flage of 
this race. Patience fhould have her perfeSl ivcrk^ 
Jam. i. 4. And the perfe<n: and perfeifting work of 
patience, is the lafl: a^ ofh. We ail know, that uf- 
ually death comes on by fuch fteps as are grievous to 
the flefib. There are pains, ficknefs, and langaifh- 
ings, that are no fnrall trials of patience ; but ihefe 
are in a mianner but trials of the patience of the 
fiefh. There are pther rhings about dying that pati- 
ence Is tried by ; as time and place, and many circum- 
flances, that it is no fmall or eafy thing to be quietly 
fubmitted to. Jacob, the heir of the promife, goes 
down to Egypt, to Jofeph, for bread, after he is (tar- 
ved out of the land of promife ; and mult die in E- 
gypt, and leave his family there, where tbey w^ere to 
be long and heavily opprciTed, as the Lord told his 
grandfather Abraham, Gen. xv. 13. Mofes mud die 
on the other {vAt of Jordan. David muft not fee a 
flone laid in the temple. Jofiah mull die in battle, 
and that by not hearkening to the words of Isfecho from 
the mouth of Gody 2 Chron. xxxv. 22. But what of 
fuch fad circumfhiuces of dying ? Did not our Lord 
himfelf die under a dark clooicl on his dear Father's 
face, and on his own blcffsd foul P My Gody my God, 
why haft thou forfaken me f were fad words from the 
i ad foul of our dying bleiTed Lord. His difciples for- 
fook him, the fun fcrfook iiim, earth and hell bandied 
againii him; yet all was nothing to his Father's for- 
laking him. ,How bitter was this to our Lord! And 
yet how fweet is it to the faith of believers 1 if you 


Serm. XIIL the Throne of Grace. 243 

be called to die under cloud, re;iiember, The Lord, 
ihe heir, the purchafer of heaven, went to heaven 
in the greated (iorm thai ever blew from carih, and 
hell, and heaven, on any man's face, at death. Men 
are aftiained to exprefs any quarrel againft dying ; but 
there are many things aboiit it that makes us needy of 
much grace to help \o quiet fubmiiting untoit, both ia 
fubftance, and aU circumdances attending it. 

2. Safe dying. This is very needful^ and it is 
grace's doing. Many die patiently, as men think, 
that die- not fafely. There are no bands irrthe death 
oj the i^/^/^^o/ fohietimcs, Pfal. Ix/:iii. 4, Some go out 
of this life to hell more calmly, than fome of the 
heirs of glory pafs to their bief!?d home. Safe dying, 
is to die without any hurt to the foul ; that when the 
cage of the body is broken by death, the foul, the 
bird, may take wing, and fly (traightund fafe to hea- 
ven. Death is the believers, 1 Cor. iii. 22. as well 
as life. But what have we to do v,iih death, or death 
with us ? It is a black boat, that we muft fail out of 
time to heaven in : -and Chriil (leers the boat, and 
lands all believers fafely on heaven's ihore. Ihis h 
all we have to do with death. And when all the paf- 
fengers are brought over, ChrKt v/ill burn this ugly 
boat: Rev. xx. 14, 15. And death and hell (or the 
grave J were caft into the lake of fire : this is the fecond 
deatn. Jnd whofoever.iaas mt found written in the 
book of life ^ was cafi into the lake of fire > And then 
in the new Jerufalem, there jhali be no mere deaths 
neither forrow^ 7ior cryircT^ neither Jhall. there be any 
more pain : for the former things are pofjed away^ 
Rev. xxi. 4. \¥ho would not venture to pals out of 
this bad world," to that bleffed land, under Ciirift's 
conduft, though failing through the gulf of death be 
unpleafant in itielf to us ^. Men for gain will fail from 
one end of the earth to the other, through heat and 
cold, and ftormy feas and winds, and manifold perils, 
ia the probable hope of -advantage. But believers 
may be afTured, that they fcali arrive at their port, 
H h 2 ISlever 


2 44 Serjnons concerning Serm. XIII. 

Kever did a believer in Jefus Chrifl: die or drown ia 
h;s voyage ro heaven. 'I'hey will be all found lafe 
2Dd found wich the Lainb on Mount Zion. Chrid 
Jofeth UGne of them ; nay, nothing of them, John vi. 
59. Not a bone or a believer is to be feen in the 
field of battle. They are all mor? than conqutrorsy 
through him that loved them^ Horn. viii. 37. 

3. it is very defirable to have an honourable dying. 
It is a part of tl^e vanity or this world, that many dote 
upon an Lo::ourable burial. SoTie refpe^l: indeed 
ihoald be paid to the dead bodies of believers ; but 
honourable dying is a great deal more confidcrable, 
ihnn that men call an honourable burial. Our Lord 
told Peter of his dying, John xxi. 19. This /pake Jt* 

Jus, /pjufying by zuhat death Fefer Jhuld glorify God, 
That is honourable dying that brings glory to God. 
Paul is ronfidenr of this as to himfelf: Phil. i. 20: 
AccQrding to my earncjl expectation^ and my hcpe^ that 
in nothing I /ball be a/hamed^ but that with all bold- 
Tie/s^ as ahvays^ /o now al/o, Chri/l /hall be magnified 
in my bcdy^ whether it be by li/e or by death. The mofl 
hcncurable dying, is dying ifbr the Lord. This ho- 
nour is not given to all his faints. Ail faints die in 
the Lord^ and ble/fed are they, Rev, xiv. 13. Our de- 
fu'e Ibculd be, to be enabled by his grace to bear our 
dying teflimony to Chrift and his gofpel. There 
have been ftrong convielions given to the confciences 
of finner?, wonderful fupports to the hearts of furviv- 
ing faints, by the honourable dying of fonne believ' 
ers. Their example, their words-, their very looks 
and behaviour, in the fhadow of death, have been 
of great ufe to the?n that have feen and beard them, 

4. It is aifo de(irable to have the mercy of corrifort- 
able dying ; to have an entrance miniftered to us abiin-^ 
dantly^ into the ever la/ling kingdom 0/ our Lord and Sa^ 
viour Jefus Chri/l ^ 1 Pet. i. 1 1. The Lord's dealings with 
his people in this matter, are a great depth. Some 
that have given moil: fhining evidences of the truth and 
firergtb cf the grace of God in them, vvhg have fpent 


Serm. XIII. the Throne of Grace, 245 

their days eminently to the Lord's praife, and to the 
edifying of his body the church, have gone to heaven 
under a cloud : others, that were hardly knovva or 
regarded in Chrift's flock, have gone off the (tage 
triumphantly. No obferver can efcape the notice of 
fuch indances. Therefore we mud not f^iy, that con- 
folation in dying is a certain fign of eminency in grace, 
or of tendernefs in walking. It is not very unufaal, 
to fee the greateil dorm overtake even a ftrong belie- 
ver, jud as he is putting into the harbour. How- 
ever, this difpenfaiion of the Lord's grace in granting 
a comfortable exit, is what we diould beg earnedly, 
and pray for heartily. I believe there are few Chrif- 
tians fo cad down with fears, and clouds, and dark- 
nefs, but if they could be affared, that all (liall be 
difpeiled at death, (and it is fometimes fo) ; and that 
they diouId have a clear evening, and drong confola- 
tion, in their lad hours, they would bear their pre- 
fent forrows better. Though confifortable dying be 
cot fimply neceffary to the falvation of a beUever ; 
yet it is a bleding more valuable than many others that 
are more in oar prayers. Grace can help to it ; and 
a precious help it is, and we diould mind ic much in 
our addrefl'es to the throne of grace. 

So much of thefe times of need, and of the help 
of grace in them. 

There are a few exhortations from this whole doc- 
trine of the helpfulnefs of grace in a time of need, 
that 1 would conclude this text with. 

The general exhortation is this, Learn not only to 
fubmit as to what is determined, and that you canno? 
alter; but to be heartily content with this wife dif* 
penfation of God about your need and his grace, as 
a contrivance becoming his wifdom, and levelled at 
your good. As, 

I. That our necefllties are fo many, fo great, and 
fo unavoidable ; and yet there is a fudicient fupply 
provided fgr them, The new creature is the mod 


2 4<5 Sermons concerning Serm. XIIL 

needy creature of all God's creation. The Lord hath 
framed the new creature in a (ingular way, and for a 
fingular ufe and end. All oihei creatures have their 
being from God, and have that being continued by 
God in the common courfe of his wife and poweiful 
pravidence. But tne new creature is cot only of and 
from God, but it is wrought, and haih its being in 
Chriii Jefus, and irs life is continued by a continual 
gracious eftlux frotn hira ; for ivithciit hhn the ndW 
creaiure can do nothings John xv. 5. Let not fuch a 
thought ariie in your heart, (or if it ?rife, give ir no 
entertainment), Why hath God made this new crea- 
ture fo needy a creature as it is ? Surely he might 
have done oiherwiiei He made the firll Adam in ano- 
ther (fate. Ik was m.ade perfedl in foul and body 
immediately. His ifate was perfect ; he needed liitle, 
and ail at hand. But the new creature is framed v/eak 
and necf-iTuous. The difference is as great betwixt 
the firll Adam, and a Chriflian at his regeneration, 
as betwixt perfe^l: Adam, and a young babe newly 
born, or a child conceived in the womb. Yet the Lord 
hath made provifion of grace fufEcient for all thefe 
neceffities. And he loves the glory of his grace fo, 
and takes fo great delight in givii^g of hisgrace, that he 
not only lets the heirs of this grace fall into the corn- 
iron pit of fm and miiery with others, and fometimcs^ 
deeper than many of them that are left, thai his grace 
may be gioriiied, in loving them out oj the fit of corrup- 
tion^ as Htzekiah's word is, Ifa. xxxviii. 17. ; (for dll 
that are converted, are plucked out of their natural 
damnable (late, by^ mighty aci: of the love of God, 
Eph. ii. 4.) : but when he hath pulled them out, he 
fets them down in hib kingdom of grace, in io indigent 
and weak a condition, that they may glorify him by 
begging and believing, and he may g'orify himielf in 
giving of his grace to them. Who ihould find iault 
with this wile way ? 

2. Be fatisfied, that this grace which is your fup- 
ply, is all in Chrift Jcfus, and not in your own hand. 


Serm. XIII. the Throne of Grace, 247 

Since Adam fell, and mined himfelf and all his pofte- 
rity, by having his and their ftock in his own hand, 
and (inoini^ it away ; the Lord ia mercy hath refolved 
never to intrull a mere man again with his own (lock ; 
but hath Iodgf:d all the grace his people are faved 
and fupplied by, in Chrilt's hand. And there it is 
fafe. Adam was created perfedl:, and had a fufficient 
ftock to have enriched himfelf and all his offspring; 
bat he was left to his free will, and fo came on it. 
This is an eternal difgrace to a man's free will. What 
mull the free will of a fmner be able to do, when the 
free will of perfeft fmlefs man opened the door to fm, 
and death, and ruin, upon the whole world of man- 
kind ? It is therefore graciouily and wifely provided, 
that free will (hall have no hand in the falvatlon of 
finners, (and indeed free will to good, is but a vaia 
name, ufurped by willing and wilful Haves to fm) ; 
and that in its ftead, the free grace of God in Jefus 
Chrifl ihall be, and do all in all. But we are fo proud, 
th4t we would fain have fomewhat in our own hand; 
and are fo ufed to fenfe, and un/kilful in believing, 
that we can hardly reckon that our own, that is not 
in our poirefiion, and at our difpofmg. But, in this 
order, the Lord confulrs the interefi: of his glory, and 
the fecurity of cur falvatlon, and daily fupplies, by 
lodging our all in Chrifl's hand ; who is able to keep 
it fafely for us, and ready and willing to give forth of 
it 10 us, according to our real neceffuy. 

g. Be fatisfied with this, that the ip<:cial times of 
our need are not ufually known to us before they 
come. There is none of the people of God, nor of 
ihe children of men, that ufually know tv/enty- four 
hours before, what temptations and trials they may 
meet with. We know we may be tempted ; bnt we 
know not when, nor how, and in vihai part, the ad* 
verfary may affaulr us, or with what weapons. We 
know v/e may be aiili6ted : but we know not with what 
rod, nor when. We know we muft die ; but we 
know not how, nor when. There is a fuoliih and 


248 Sermcns concerning Serm. XIIL 

fmful curiofity in our nature, that raifeth defires to 
know future things concerning ourfelves. It were 
well, if men were duly defirous ro know from the 
word, what their eternal Oaie fhali be. But in other 
things that may befal us in time, it is dangerous ca- 
riofity to be inquifuive. People imagine, that it would 
be of great advantage to them to foreknow future e- 
venis, as to themfelves. But I am fure it would be 
a great difadvantage, and what you would quickly re- 
pent of< If the Lord fliould reveal to any of you, and 
fet in a clear light before the eyes of your micid, all 
the particular providences, trials, and afflictions, and 
temptations, you are to meet with in feveu years time 
to come ; what a dread weuld it be to you ! You 
would foon beg that it might be forgot again. It is 
a great deal better for us, thai future things th;>t be- 
long to God, are fecret and kept from us; and chat 
we are led on believing, and come to the waters in 
our way to heaven, one after another, and get ihro* 
them, by the gracious conducH: of our bleffed guide, 
Chrift. He will give no Chriflian a particular and 
exaft map of ail his way, and llages, and entertain- 
ment, in this wildernefs-journey to heaven, though 
our Lord hath fixed them all in bis decree. Shoald 
it not be enough for us, that he will lead us well and 
fafeiy ; that no water ihall drown us ; that he will 
never leave us, but be with us where-ever he leads 
us, and will bring us fafe home at lalt to his Father's 
houfe ? 

4. Be fatisfied with this part of his wife order, that 
this fupply of his grace to help in time of need, mufl 
be come for. Not only that we may come for it, 
which is a great privilege ; but that we muit come for 
it, if we would have it. Is there any fo unreafona- 
ble, as to find fault with this order ? Is it not fair 
and eafy, Ailc and have ? Would any have grace to 
help them, unfought ? If you would have it, you 
are aiking it. Is it not fit then to come for it, and tell 


Serm. iXlII. the Throne of Grace, 249 

, Chrifl you would have it ? If you would not have ir, 
you are praying againlt ir. And wicked are thofe 
prayers, that are in averfion from the grace of Chrill I 
Every believer will fiad his heart reconciled to thh 
order. They know, that there is a blelTing in com- 
ing, as well as a blcfling to be got by coming And 
mod Chridians, I am apt to think, continue their ap- 
proaches to the throne of grace, as much, if not more, 
from the delight they find in coming, as from the pro- 
fit they find by coming ; though thefe two are not in- 
confidenr. He that delights ?iot himfelf in the Lord^ 
iviil not always call upon God^ Job xxvii. 10. iSo much 
for this general exhortation. 

Exhort. 2. In the next place, I would fpeak fome- 
what to them that are not acquainted wirh the graci 
of Gody nor with the throne of grace. Graceltfs peo- 
ple \s fo bad a name, that few will own it, tliough 
many deferve j.t. 'inch fill up much room in mol> af- 
femblies, and 'fpmetimes may (lep up into the pulpit, 
in the name of mmillers of that grace of God they 
never knew but in a book. But God calls all by 
their right names, and or^ly can make men anfwer to 
thofe names. Let thefe four things enter into fucla 
folks thoughts. 

1. Unavoidably a time of need will come, that the 
grace of God can only he'p in. None but a great, 
atheift can make any <ioubt of this. Doft thou be- 
lieve there is a God ? that thou art a mortal man, 
whom a few days more will turn cut of this world ^ 

'Deft (hou believe that thou haft an immortal foul, that 
muft be for ever ? (and how much a beaft is that man, 
and worfe than a bead, that doubts of any of thefe P) 
If thou believe thefe plain principles, canft th ni doubc 
but a time of need, will come, wherein notning can 
ftand thee in any dead, but only this God's mercy and 
grace ? 

2. This prefent time you have, is the only time gi- 
ven you for preparing fcr the ;ime of need that mud 
come. How little is that precious golden talent, time,- 

Vol. I. 1 i laid 

250 Sermons concenitng Serm. XIII^ 

laid out for that the Lord gives it for ? Can mea 
think that God gives them lime, to fpend it in the 
ways they fpend it ? That mud be ill-fpent time, that 
is fpent fo, as men know they muft either repent of, 
or perifh by. We are bid redeem the time, Eph. v. 16. 
But moft men throw it away, or fell it to fiii and 
Satan, as if they had no ufe for it. The bed 
ufe of time, is to fpend it in preparing for eterni- 
ty : JII the days of my appointed time will I wait, till 
my change come^ Job xiv. 14. Thefc are well-fpent 
days. But how few of the hours of your days are 
thus fpeni ? 

3. There can be no greater folly, than to negleiH: 
this prefent only feafon of preparing for an unavoid- 
able time of extremity. Our Lord, in the parable, 
calls the five negligent virgins, /c?^///^, Matth. xxv. 2. 
If a roan throw away his eftate in folly and vanity, 
the world will brand him with the name of a fool, 
and juflly. If a man throws away his health and life, 
there is folly in that too. But for a man to throw 
away his foul, and all his hopes of well-being for 
eternity, is the ranked of all folly : yet is the world 
fo full of fuch fools, that very few give it its true name. 
He mnfl: be greatly plagued with blindneis and ftupi- 
dity, that is not convinced, that that is the greateft fol- 
ly that flints a man eternally out of heaven, and locks 
him up in hell. 

4. There can be no reflection and remorfe more fad 
and bitter than that that arifeth on the review and 
fenfe of this folly, when it is remedilefs. We read 
of the worm that dieth not^ Mark ix. 44, 46, 48. This 
is commonly underftood of confcience. Confcience 
ftings two ways; and one way more dreadfully thaa 
the other. Confcience flings for fin, as it is an offence 
againft God, a breach of his holy law, and as it ex- 
pofeth the finner to God's dreadful anger. But con- 
fcience flings more dreadfully, for negle^ing the re- 
medy for fin provided in Chrift, and revealed to men 


Serm. Xlll. the Throne of Grace. 251 

in the gofpel. Therefore our Lord lay^ the condem- 
nation of the world that perilhedi under the gofpel, 
on this, John iii. 9. It is not laid on the evil of their 
deeds : but on this, that their love to iheir deeds made 
them hate the light that difcovered them, and the 
grace that ordy can pardon and heal them. Men pe- 
rifli not under the gofpel, bec^.ufe they are finaers a- 
gainft God's law, (though the ieafl fm deferves hell : 
and they that have not the light of the gofpel, are 
juftly judged by the law) ; but becaufe they believe 
not in Jefus Chrijl^ John iii. 18. And believers in 
Chrifl: are not faved becaufe they are holy, (though 
all that believe are holy) ; but becaufe they are in • 
Chrifl: by faith ; that the glory of falvation may be 
Chrifl's entirely, and the blame of mens perdition un- 
der the gofpel may be their own entirely. 

Let men therefore prevent this dreadful ruin, by 
giving an ear to him that calleih them, Chrift offers 
yoa laivation from a throne of grace : come and take 
it. Come and put forth your hand, and take and eat 
of the tree of life, and live for ever. You mull: all 
fliordy (land before Cbrift's throne, when it will be 
no more a throne of grace : 2 Cor. v. lo. We mujl all 
appear before the judgment-feat of Chrifl. That will 
be a time of great need ; and none can (land with 
peace before that throne, bin they that have been ac- 
quainted with this throne of grace in my text. CbrlH: 
on the throne of grace, and Chrift on the judgment- 
feat, is the fame Chriit. Chrift in the gofpel, and 
Chriil in the clouds, is the fame Chrift. Yet we muft 
diftinguifh. Curift on the throne x^f grace is no judge ; 
and Chrift on the judgment- feat hath no grace to 
difpenfe. Now is his time of difpenfing grace ; then 
will be the day of his puniihing the defpifers of grace, 
and of giving the crown of glory to the receivers of 
his grace. 

In the laft place, I would give a few dire<flions unto 
real Chriftians, in order to your providing of grace 
to help in time of need. 

ill \. Lay 

252 Sermons concerning Serm. XTIT. 

1. Lnr the fourdation fure. A time of need will try 
ir, I Cor. iii. 11. Other foundation can 770 man lay y than 
that is laidy which is Jefus Chrtft, The Farher hatli 
laid CVriii for a foundaTion ; Ifa. xxTiii. 16, Therefore 
thus faith the Lord God^ Behold^ 1 lay in Zicn for a 
foiindiitio^^ a ft one ^ a tried Jlone, a precious corner ficne, 

a fare Jonndation : he that believeth, fjjall not make 
hajle. Applied to Chrift, i Peter ii. 6. The faith- 
i'u! miDi^^ers of the gofpel lay Chrifl for a foundation : 

1 Cot. iii. io. According to the grace of God zuhich is 
given unto me, as a Wtje mafjer builder I have laid the 
foundation. Bur bow can a poor fmner lay Chrift for 
a foundation to himfelf f Turn but the words, and the.^ 
queuion is anfwered : Thy laying of Chnft for a foun-' 
dation, is thy laying thyfelfupon Chrifl as a foundation; 
snd it is neither more nor lefs, nor any thing elie. 
Caft yourfelves, and all yourcoDcrrns about faivation, 
on Chrift alone. Let him bear all. He only ctin, 
and calls for this from you. One of the iirft quefti- 
ohs that aijifeth in the mind of a Chriftian in a time 
of need, is this: Is the foundation right laid ? '^m^V 
founded on Chrift ? The florra will try the foundatiobr 
It were great wifdoin to fecnre that before the ftorm 

2. Clear up your evidences againft a time of need. 
The evidences of a Chriftian are not his charters 
for heaven, (the covenant of grace contains them) ; 
but they are a-^ light, by which a Chriftian reads 
his charters. Evidences are of great ufe in a time 
of need. They (land in God's vx^ork in us. Our 
fairh (lands on God's word of pron^ife to us, and oa 
Chrift's work for us ; the evidences 'of believers ftand 
in God'^ gracious working in, and on, and by them. 
Thefe four words I would give about your evidences. 
1. When you cannot perceive them, fearch for them : 

2 Cor. xiii. 5. Eoc amine yourfelves , whether ye be in 
the faith ; prove your ownfclves ; know ye not your own* 

Jelves^ how that Jefus Chrifl is in you^ except ye be re- 

Serm. XIII. the Throne of Grace, 253 

probates^ or dlfapprovedf The exhortation is fo de- 
livered, as to perluade us, that very narrow and ex- 
acH: fearching is called for in this work. May not thnt 
Chrillian's heart condemn him, who is daily complain- 
ing of his ignorance of his ftate, when he knows that 
ferious felf-examination is negle^fted by him? 2. If 
upon fearching you cannot yet find, 1)eg the help of 
the Spirit of God to difcover his own work in you : i 
Cor. ii. 12. Noiu ive have deceived, not the fpirtt of 
the world, but the Spirit ivhich rs of God ; that we 
may know the things that are freely given to us of God » 
The iiiumination of the Holy Ghoft is not only fimply 
needful, to give us a faving knowledge of the myftery 
of the gofpel ; but is fb alfo to give us a right know- 
ledge of the niyftery of his grace in us, Eph. i. 17, 
18, 19. where the aportle prays for the Spirit, for 
both thefe ends. David prays for the Lord's help 
in his examining of himfelf, Pfal. cxxxix. 23, 24. A 
heart laid open to God*s fearch, a heart willing to have 
all in it viewed and difcovered by the Lord, is an up- 
right fincere heart. Whoever is willing to know his 
worft, is not ffark naught: yethethat feeth but the lead 
half of his badnefs, will judge himfelf to be very bad. 
3. if you cannot yet find your evidences, make them 
prefendy. Many Chriftians need this advice. They 
formerly had evidences of their intereO in Chrift ; 
had a clear fight of the truth and fruits of their faith, 
and love, and repentance : this refrefliing fight is 
gone, and they mourn as without the fun^ as Job 
fpeaks, chap. xxx. 28. Let fuch take this courfe. 
Kdi afrefh that grace, when you are doubtful whe- 
ther yoii ever a^led it before. See you at prefent no 
clear evidences of your former believing? A61 faith 
prefently. There are few things more evident, than 
ftrong= believing is in the very a6fing of it. And if 
the a6ling of faith on Jefus Cnrifl, 2^% [peaking in righ^ 
teoufnefsy and mighty to fave^ ifa. Ixiii. i. be evident 
to thee, thou haft the beft evidence for eternal life 
that is io all the Bible. Molt of the promifes run 


$54 Sermons concerning Serm, XIII. 

this way. Whoever beiieveth on the Son of Gocly hath 
everhfltng life^ John iii. 15, 16, 17. It is the graci- 
ous and wife coniiiiution of the Lord, that no giace 
can be ordinarily evident to a raan in whom it is, fo, 
^s in snd by the exercife and acliog of it. 4. When 
you find evidences of God's work in you, blefs the 
•worker and difcoverer of them, and believe more 
and more. Say with David, Pfal. Ixxi. 14. / will 
hope continually ^ and will yet fraife thee more and more. 
It is juft with God, and mercifull too, that darknefs 
Ihould come upon that man's evidences, who fits down 
upon them, and bklTeth himfelf in them, more than 
Le doth God for them; and pleafeth himfelf in a hfe 
of fenfe, with negle<Sl:ing the \\^^ of faith, 

g. Make good ufe ot your former experiences of 
the mercy and grace of God, helping you in former 
/ times of need. The Lord's kindnefs is not (hown to 
/ vjs for the prefent time only, bat for the time to come. 
' It is not given to us, to play or pleafe ourfelves with 
at prefeor, but for good and needful ufes ;^for{l:reng- 
thening of cur fairb, exciting of praife, and dire^t- 
, iDg and encouraging us 10 come to the fame door we 
were formerly relieved at. It is a part of the work of 
faith, to look back on forraerly-beftowed mercy and 
grace, as well as to look forward to the greater and 
betier things to come. Ic is a great fui, but very 
common, that a believer who hath many years expe- 
rience of the mercy of God, if there be a flop put to 
the llream of mercy, he is often as much (haken in 
his faith, as if he had ntver tailed that the Lord is 

4. In preparing for a time of need, be careful to 
keep your conrciences clean. There is no w^orfe 
/ c:>mpany in an evil day, than an evil confcience. It 
' ia worfe company than the devil's. His company is 
that of a tempter and accufer \ but an evil confcience 
ss a judge condemning, and an executioner torment- 
ing a man. Therefore herein exercife your/elves^ to 
have a confcience void of offence toward Gody and to- 


Serm. XIII. the Throne of Grace. 25:5 

ward men^ A^s xxiv. 16. It is ufualiy feen, that 
titnes of great trials do dart in fome light ioto mens 
confciences, and do make men look into their hearts 
and ways more narrowly, and fpy fmall faults that 
they could not fee at oxher times ; for they are days 
of darknefs in one fenfe, and days of light m another. 
Study therefore 10 keep thy confcience clean and 
pure, by holy and tender walking, and by daily be- 
lieving; for it is the blood of Chrifl chat only can />«r^<? 
the confcience from dead works ioferve the living God, 
Heb. ix. 14. And let me affure you of this, (and if 
you will not believe it, 1 dare fay you will feel it, 
and feel it the more then, if you believe it not now), 
that fuch as make all their care about their confciences 
to (land in Watchfulnefs about their hearts and ways, 
and are utterly eflranged from believing applications 
to the blood of Jefus, when an evil day and an evil 
confcience meet together, (and meet they will), that 
they will be in a fad and dreadful confufion And no 
better will their condition be, who upon a falfe pre- 
tence (and in this cafe it is always falfe) of trolling ia 
Chrift, have no care either of their confcience or con- 
verfation. The myjlery of the faith is to be held (znd 
kept) in a pure confcience, i Tim. iii. 9. We Ihould 
ho!d faith and a good confcience, \ Tim. i. 19. They 
cannot be got , ncr kept, bur together. Whoever 
fuffers (hip wreck of the one, lofcth the other. Chrift 
is the SaT/iour of ftnners ; but he is no minifter of fn^ 
Gal. ii. 17. He came into the world to fave finnersy \ 
Tim. i. 15. : not to fave faints ; for there are none in 
it, but of his making ; arid his making finners to be 
faints, is a notable part of his faving, 2 Tim. i. 9, 
The inheritance is for them that obtain forgivenefs of 
fins^ and who are fanclified by faith in him, A^ls xxvi, 
18. None are faved but the fan<flified ; and none 
are fan^lified but by faith in Chrift Jefus, There 
may be in an unbeliever a pi«51ure and Ihadow of ho- 
linefs ; but it is an abomination in the (ight of God ; 
whatever the man that hath it, or they that fee it, 


2^6 Sermons concerning SERiM. XIII, 

may think of it. A holy unbeliever, or an unholy 
believer, never was fiuce the world began, nor will 
be while it lafts. 

5. Multiply your addreffes to the throne of grace, 
belore the time of need come. Happy were that 
Chriftian that could cry as earnedly for that grace 
that can help him, before the time of need come, as 
he will fee it needful to have it, when that rime doth 
come. But it is the weaknefs of our minds as men, 
and of our grace as Chriftians, that we cannot take 
up fo clear a profpeft of things to come ; and that 
they are not fo big in our eyes at a diftance, as when 
prefent. Yet by f^iith we forefee times of need ; and 
ihould pray much for grace to help us when that time 
comes. Suppofe you ihould, for twenty years toge- 
ther, beg that grace and mercy that you Qiouid not 
have occafion for till thofe years were expired j would 
there be any hurt in it ? 

6. In any fpecial profpeft of an approaching time 
. of need, make fpecial addrefTes to the throne of 

grace, for grace to help in that time. There are 
two things in thefe addrefles I recommend to you. i. 
Let them be perfonal, particular, and fecret ; our 
Lord's direction, Maith. vi. 6. Many Chriflians find 
it an eafier thing to keep a day of prayer with others, 
than to fpend an hour in prayer in fecret by them- 
felves. It were far eafier to know a man's frame and 
flare, by his fecret dealings wiih God, (if we were 
acquainted with them), than by all his profellions 
and duties befides. 2. Let ihefe addreffcs be fome- 
times folemn and long. There are feme mercies not 
to be got (2is fome fort of devils are not to be caft out) 
hut by fafling and prayer^ Matth. xvii. 21. Secret, 
perfonal fads, I am afraid, are very rare amongH: 
Chriftians in our days. Chrift commands and dire(51s 
us about them, Matth. vi. 16, 17, 18. as well as a- 
bout fecret prayer, Matth. vi. 6, 7. Minifters (laould 
not load Chriftians with work above the ftrength of 
their bodies, or minds, or grace. But furely it is but 


Serm. Xlir. the Throne of Grace ^ 257 

reafonable fervice required of you, that you (hould 
make addrelTes to the throne of grace, in fonie fuit- 
ablenefs to your need of that grace that is difpenfed 
from it. 

There are four things, which if they were the 
fruit of my fpeaking and of your hearing fo often 
from this text, v/e Ihould both have caufe to blefs 
the Lord, who teachcth bis people to profit, Ifa. xlviii. i 7. 

1. If you learn to pray better, and to ply prayer 
more. VidisW gave himfelf to prayer^ Pfa'. cix. 4. The 
apoftles, thofe extraordinary officers of the primirive 
churchy gave then fiehes continually to prayer^ and fa 
the mmijiry of the word^ AiSts vi. 4. There are times 
in which private Chriilians Jhould give thetnfehes to 
fajling and prayer^ I Cor. vii. 5* If you besoug to 

God, he v/ill make you pray ; and te*ich you with 
briers and thorns, if you will not yield to more gentle 
methods. How fad is the reflection that rife'h in the 
heart, under fome heavy trial, " This iy brought oix 
** me for my indulged diftance and eftrangement fro-.a 

2. If you learn to mind Chrift more, and make 
more ufc of him in your praying. He is the King 
ca this throne of grace. As much as Chrift is out of 
your minds in praying, fo much are you out in pray- 
ing, and your praying out of that it ought to be- 
That which we beg, isout of Chrifl's flore. In whofe 
name do we beg it, bur in his P for whofe fake, buc 
for his? Out of whofe hand do we receive what we 
alls: and get, but out of his? It is marvellous, that 
people ihould pretend to prayer, and think they pray» 
who yet forget Jefus Chrift, who is ail in all in all 
right prayer. 

3. If you learn to mind and plead more Ood's free 
grace in Jefus Chrift, in your praying. Free grace 
is the fenfjble humble man's plea, lie is a proud 
ignorant perfon, that feeks or ufes any other plea at 
God's throne of grace. Free grace is the only thing 
that faith can firft lay hold on. It is a plea that any 

Vol, I. K k man 

258. Sermons concerning Serm. XIII. 

man may ufe ; it is the condant and powerful plea 
of a wife believer. It anfwers every cafe, and fuits 
every prayer ; and the lowed cafe, and the higheft 
prayer, bed. 

^. If you learn never to leave oiT improving of Chrifl:, 
and pleading for grace at this throne of grace, till 
ye have no more need of grace. And that will never 
be as long as you live. U any man fall into fuch a 
dream, that he has got beyond the need of grace, 
and fo of praying, he is one that never rightly knew 
himfelf, nor grace, nor Chrift, nor praying. The 
believer knows he (lands in need of Cbrift and grace ; 
and therefore prays as long as he liveth, as David re- 
folved, Pfal. cxvi. 2. And when he comes to die, 
and hath prayed his laft prayer, with Stephen, A6ls 
vii. 59. Lord Jefiis^ receive my fphit^ and gets it an- 
fwered ; praying, believing, and the throne of grace 
itfelf, as to him, is at an end; and everlafting praifes 
before the throne of glory, of God, and of the Lamb, 
begin, never to have an end, 

" Even fo come y Lord Jefus^ come quickly. Finifh 
" thy work ; fullil all thy promifes ; anfwer fully all 
" the prayers of all thy people. Put an end to (In, 
" and time, and trouble, and temptation: and hafted 
" the marriage-day, that thy people ?nay be glad and 
" rejoice^ and give honour to thee^ Kev. xix, 7. Let 
*' the bride be made ready, and let the Bndegroom 
" appear ia his wedding-garments of glory. Ohow 
" ble(red will the meeting and the marriage be ! He 
" married his bride when on earth, in garments dyed 
** in his own precious blood ; and the bride receives 
** him as glorious, even in his bloody raiment. This 
** moft precious blood was (bed in love to his bride, 
" and for her falvation ; and therefore he is amiable 
" to her in that drefs. Believers in Chrill are con- 
" traced to a (lain husbaiid ; but fliall be married to 
^^ him in a far other raanifeftation of himfelf. How 
" great is the dificrcuce betwixt our deareft Lord 


Serm. XIII. the Throne of Grace, 259 

•* Jefus, under his crofs, and under his crown ? And 
** yer, under his crofs, he is infinitely amiable to a 
** believer's heart and eye. If it were not that the 
" light of that glorious day of his appearance will 
** prevent all roiflakes, the nations of them which are 
^^ faved (as they are called, for their muhitude out of 
" all nations, Rev. xxi. 24.) might doubt, (but doubt 
*« th / cannot ; but' wonder they will, both at him 
" and at themfelves, 2 TheiF. i. 10.), and fay, Is this 
*« that bleiTed Saviour I believed on fo feebly ? whom 
*' I trufted with my foul and its falvation, with fo 
" much fainting, and with fo many fears? Is this he 
** whom I loved fo little, and fo coldly? Is this he 
*' whom (all the time I lived on earth, after he had 
** revealed himfelf to me), I depended and lived on 
*' by faith, and that wiih fo many daggerings through 
*' unbelief, becaufe I knew not io well, as now I do, 
*' whom I then believed ? 

" And untill this blefled day come, (and come it 
*' will ; for it is promifed and fworn by him who can- 
" not lye. It is not far oft ; for it is above fixteen hun- 
** dred years fmce he teftified, Surely I come quickly^ 
" Rev. xxii. 20. It is his lafl: promife to his bride), 
*' let his raofl: excellent name he poured out as ointment^ 
*« and let the favour of his knowledge be made mani- 
^ ** feft in every place. Let his faving bleifed death 
*' be remembered, gloried in, and fed upon, by ali 
*' believers : (the greatell: token of his love to us, the 
** only price of our redemption, i Pet. i. i^. and the 
•* only food of our fouls). Let his jadifying riqhte- 
** oufnefs be only mentioned before God on earth by 
*' believing finners, as it will be only mentioned by 
*' glorified praifmg faints In heaven. Let the throne 
*' of grace, reared up by the Father in his Son, and 
*' con fe crated by the blood of thjs Son, God manifejl 
*' in thefleJJjy be revealed to the darkened world, and 
«* fet up among the blinded nations: and let grace 
** from thence be difpenfed to many thoufand of pe- 
" rifliing fmners. Let the glory of God's free, moft 
K k 2 free^ 

2^0 Sermons concerning^ &c. Serm. XIIL 

'* free, every wajr free grace in Jefus Chrifl:, ftiine fo 
** in the nations, as it may (and when that glory 
*' (hines, it will) darken, confound, and put to fhame, 
*< ail the Antichriitian darknefs, (and dreams of falfe 
" chrifts of mens making, and of works, hire, and 
" merit, under all their names and pretences), and 
*' make it all hateful in fmners eyes, as it is hurtful to 
*' their fouls, and as it is hateful in God's fight. Let 
*' the praifes of my Lord and my God, as recovered 
*' Thomas calls him, John xx. 28. fill heaven and 
" earth ; and fill the hearts, and fiil the mouths, and 
«' fhine in the lives of all believers on his name ; and 
" let his praife fill all the gofpel-worfhip in all the 
*^ churches, till the day of the glorious appearing of the 
*' great God^ and our Saviour Jefus ChriJI^ Tit. ii. 13, 
** And unto thefe wifties let every believer on, and 
'' fincere lover of Jefus Chrifl, fay (and every one 
*« that is fuch, will fay) Amen, So let it be^ fo will it 
« ber 



Preached in October 1682, 

Firft publifhcd in the Continuation of Morning- exercife 

Quest. By what means may minifters bed wia 

fouls ? 

I Tim. iv. 16, 

Take heed unto thyjelf^ and unto thy docirine : continue 
in them : for in doing this, thou Jh alt both fave thy- 
felfy and them that hear thee. 


THE words are a fubflantial part of the good 
counfel and direction the apoitie giveth unto 
Tinioihy, and in him unto all the minillers of the 

In them are two things. 

1. A threefold duty laid on gofpel-miniders, Take 
heed unto thyfelf^ and unto thy docirine ; continue in 

2. A double advantage confequent upon the dif- 
charge of this duty : For in doing this, thoujhalt both 
fave thyfelf and them that hear thee, 

I. Minifters duty is in thiee things here. 
ifly Take heed unto thyfelf. Thou art fet in a 
high office, in a dangerous place ; take good and nar- 
row heed, look well to thyfelf, thy heart and way. 

2dly, Take heed unto thy dodrine. Though thou 
be ever fo well gifted, aud approved both of God 


262 By what means may 

and nien ; though thon be an extraordinary officer, 
(as Tin^otby was) ; yet take heed unto thy do£lrine. 
Ihefe two we pafs at prefect ; becaufe we (liall re- 
fume them at greater length, when we take their help 
to the refolving of this queftion. 

^diy. Continue in them. This hath relation, it ap- 
pears, unto ver. 12, and 15, as well as unto the pre- 
ceeding part of this verfe. I (haii difmifs this part of 
the verfe with thefe. 

(1.) Coniinue in thy work. Thou who art a rai- 
niRer, it is a v/ork for thy Ufetime ; and not to be 
taken up and laid down again, according as it may bed 
fuic a man's carnal incHnations, and outward conveni- 
encies. The apoPcIes that laboured with their hands, 
have, by that e.^ample, fet the confcience of a mini- 
ller at liberty, to provide for the necefTuies of this 
life by other employmeots, when he cannot live of 
the gofpel ; yet certainly no man that is called of 
God to this work, can with a fafe conscience abandon 
it wholly. Paail, for example rather than neceffity, 
both preached, and wrought in a handy-crafr. As 
preaching doth not make working unlawful, fo nei- 
ther fhould any other bufmefs of a minifler make 
preaching to ceafe. 

(2.) Coniinue in endeavours after greater fitnefs for 
thy work. No attainments in fitnefs and qualifications 
for this work, can free a man of the obligation that 
lies on him to increafe and grow therein more and 
more. It is not enough that a man (tudy and be pain- 
ful ere he enter into the mialftry, but he mufl la- 
bour fiill to be more fit for his great v»?ork. 

(3.) Continue in thy vigour, and painfulnefs, and 
diligence. YouQg ir.iniders. that are found apd fin- 
cere before God, are ufually warm and diligent in 
the firfl: years of their rainifiry ;' and many do de- 
cline afterwards, and become more cold and rcmifs. 
This exhortation is a check ihereunto: Continue in 

2. The 

mimflers heft win fouls? 2 6g 

2. The fecond thing in the word, is, the double 
advantage propofed to encourage minilkrs to this hard 

ly?, Thou JJ;alt favc thyfelf. Thy own falvaticn 
fiiall be promoted and fecured thereby. 

How becoming is it for a minifter to imvA hie owa 
falvarion ! and to mind it fo heartily, as to be animat- 
ed from the hopes of it unto the greater diligence ia 
his miniflry ! 

Bur how doth faithfulnefs in the miniflry of the 
gofpel further the minifler's falvation P 

(i.) Faithfulnefs in a man's generation-work, is of 
great ufe Und advantage to falvation. Well done good 
and faithful fervanty from the Lord's own mouth, is 
a great fecurity ; and diligence and faithfulnefs in im- 
proving the talents we are intruded with, through 
grace, procure that tedimony. 

(2.) Thou (halt fave thyfelf from the guilr of other 
mens fins and ruin, if thou be faichfal in the miniflry : 
Ezek. xxxiii. 9. Thou haft delivered {oT^favedJ thy 
foul, faith the Lord to the Prophet in the cafe of un- 
fuccefsful faithfulnefs. So Paul, A^s xviii. 6. I am 
cleaiiy your blood he upon your own heads : and Aef s xx, 
26, 27. / take you to record this dayy that I am pure 
from the blood of all men : fcr I have not Jhunned to de^ 
dare unto you all the ccunfel of God. Every minifter 
pledgeth his foul to God, that he fhall be a faithful 
fervant; and he that is fuch, may freely take up his 
flake, whatever his fuccefs on others be. 

(^.) Faithfulnefs and painfulnefs in the miniflry of 
the gofpel, promotes a man's own falvation, in fo far 
as the work of Chriflianity is woven in with the righc 
difcharge of the orUce of the miniflry. Many mini- 
fters can fay, that if they had not been minifters, they 
had in all appearance loft their fouls. The fubjea of 
the minifler's work, is the fame with that of a Chrif- , 
tian's ; and above all men ihould he be careful of his 
heart and intentions, that all be pure and fpiritual. 
No man in any work he is called to, is under io ftria 

a ne- 

26'4 I^y what means may 

a necefiity of dependence on the influence and aflift- 
ance of the Holy Ghod, both for gifts and grace. 
And are not all thefe great helps unto our own falva- 
tion P 

2diyy The fecond advantage is. Thou [halt fave them 
that hear thee. There is little hope of that man's be- 
ing ufeful to fave others, that minds not his own fal- 
vation ; and therefore the apoflle puts them in this 
order, thyfelf^ and then, them that hear thee. 

This defcription of the people, them that hear thee^ 
faith. That the principle work of a minifter is preach- 
ing ; and the principle benefit people have by thera, 
is to hear the Lord's word from them ; though there 
be 2i feeing (i. e, of their holy converfation) that is 
a'!fo ufeful, Phil iv. 9. But the apoflle knew no fuch 
minifters as were only to be feen in worldly pomp and 
grandeur, and feldom or never heard preaching. 

Thcu /halt fave them. The great end of both preach- 
ing and hearing, is falvation ; and if falvation were 
more defigned by preachers and hearers, it would be 
more frequently the effei^ of the a6lion. 

Thou Jb alt fave them. Thou (halt, by the Lord's 
bleiiing on that miniftry, be fuccefs^ul in converting 
finners, and in building up of faints in holinefs and 
faith unto falvation. Not that minifters are of them- 
felves able by all their endeavours to carry on this 
great end; they are only God's tools and inftruments, 
1 Cor. iii. 6, 7. Concerning this, 

(i.) We find, that the Lord hath appointed this 
great ordinance of the gofpel-miniftry fer this end, 
the faving of men, Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13. It is thro* 
their word that ?nen believe^ John xvii. 20. And di- 
vine appointment of the means, declares both it to be 
ufeful, and the end to be hopeful. 

(2.) He hath alfo given many promifes of his pre- 
fence, blefling, and fuccefs, to follow and attend them 
whom he fends on this great errand. ChrKl's firit 
calling of the apofUes had this promife in it, I 'i^ill 
make you fijhen of men; which not only declared what 


minijiers bejl win fouls f 265 

that employment was he called them ui3to, but it af- 
fured them of fuccefs in it. At his leaving of them 
Matth. xxviii. 20, he proiiiifed to be with them unto 
the end of the zvorid. And this promife is as good to 
us as it was to lb em. 

(3.) Ks hath alfl) revealed much of his mind about 
minilters duty, iu order to this end of favicg men. 
This aifo m^kes the end more hopeful. 

(4.) We find, that the Lord doth quahfy and fie 
them whom he makes fuccefsfuh He makes men ahU 
minifers of the new teftatnent, the word of life, 2 Cor. 
iii. 5, 6. And (till, according to the fuccefs the Lord 
hath a mind to blefs a man with, gifts, and qiid!il7ca- 
tions, and affiftance, are proponionably given. The 
apoflles, that had ihe grcaicft harvefi: to gather in, 
were made the (trongeft labourers : and, though in 
a far inferior degree, the fame method is obfervcd by 
the Lord in dealing with and by ordinary rninifters., 
It is true, that always the moft able and learned mi- 
nillers are not moft fuccefsfui ; yet, generally, the 
mod: ikilful labourers are moil blefled. Neither are 
the moft learned and able men for parts mofl fit and 
fkilful in dealing with fouls at all times. 

Now, having opened the words, we ihail return 
to the queflion to be refolved, 

By what means may minifers bef win fouls f 

. In fpeaking to which,.! (hall, 

1. Shew what this text faith unto this purpofe. 
And then, 

2. Give fomc further account thereof from other 
fcriptures'. And, 

3. Apply it both to minifters and people. 

L What this textfpeaks about this matter. It looks 
two ways upon this queflion. 1. It gives a direct 
anfwer unto it : and points forth duty. 2. it gives 
aa encouraging promife of the good effcft and fruit 

Vol. I. L I of 

266 By what means rhay 

of ihe difcharge of ibe duty. I {hall carry od both 

J. Take heed unto thy/elf. Would ft thou be a fared 
and fuecefsful rninifter? Take heed unto thyfetf. Such 
warriings imply always a cafe of diiHculty and dacger 
wherein he is that gets them. 

Take heed unto thyfelF in thefe things. 

ly?, Take heed that thou be a found and ilncere 
believer. The importance of (ir.cere godlluefs in a irii« 
nifter, is written in the deep wounds that the church 
of Chriil: hath received by the hands of ungodly m- 
nillers. It hath been made a queftion, Whether an 
ungodly man can be a minifter ? but it is none, that 
fuch men are in a raoil defperate condition : Matih. 
vii. 2 2, 23. Depart p cm me ; not becaufe you ran uu- 
fent, or preached error inflead of truth, or preached 
poorly and meanly, (all great fins in themfelves); but 
becaufe ^5w work iniquity ; the ufual expreiiion of en- 
tire ungodiinefs. \Vhat ufe the Lord may make of 
the gifts (for great gifts he gives to the worft of men) 
of ungodly men, even in the miDiilry of the gofpel, 
is one of his deep paths.- But no man can reafonably 
imagine, that a walker in the way to hell can be a fit 
and uieful guide to them thst mind to gQ to heaven. 
If a man would have peace in his eonfcience, and 
fuccefs in his work of the miniflry, let him take good 
heed to this, that he be a found Ghriftian. There is 
a fpecial difficuhy for a minifter to know his grace. 
Gifts and grace have deceived many with their iike- 
neis ; although the dlfFf^rence be great, both in ufeif, 
and o an enlightened eye. 

idiyy Take heed to tbyfelf, that thou be a called 
and fent miniller. This is of great importance as to 
fuccefs. He that can fay^ " Lore, thou, haft fent 
*' me;*' may boldly add, ♦» Lord, go with me, and 
" blefs me." It is good when a man is ferious inthis 
inquiry. It is to be feared that many run^ and never 
aiked this queftion ; fo is it feen in their fpeed a:nd 
fuccefs. Jer. xxiii. 22. IfeiTt themn^y therefore they 


minijlers be ft ivin fGuhf 267 

Jhall not profit this people at ally is a (landing rule to 
ibis day. 

Tliefe things, if found, may ferve to faiisfy a mi- 
nifter's confciecce, that Jefus Chi id hath fcnt him. 

(i.) If the heart be filled with a fingle dt fire after 
the great end of the miniflry, the glory of God in the 
falvation of men. Every work that God calls a man 
to, he makes the end of it amiable. This defire fome- 
limes attends mens firfl: convcrfioa. Paul was called 
to be a faint and an apodle at once, Afts ix. ; and 
fo have many been called to be faints and miniffers 
together. If it be not io^ yet this is found with him 
that Chrift calls, that when he is molt fpiritual and 
ferious, when his heart is moft under the im;5iefIions 
of holinefs, and he is neareft to God in communion 
with him ; then are fuch defires after the ferving of 
Jefus Chrift i» the miniftry moft power fiiJ. And the 
fmcerity of his defire is alfo to be examined; and when 
it is found, it adds grestly to a man^s peace : when 
his heart bears him witnefs, that it is neidier richer, 
nor honour, nor eafe, nor the ?.pplaufe of men, that 
be fecks after, but fingly Chrhi's honour in the far- 
ing of men. 

(2.) It helps to clear a man's call, that there hath 
been a confcienticus diligence in all the means of at- 
taining fitnefs for this great work. Tnat Xoit to the 
end that doth not dire6^ and decernnine unto the ufe of 
the appointed means, may jmilly be fufpe£led as ir- 
regular, and not flowing from the Holy Ghoft. Even 
extraordinary oiScers feem cot to have been above the 
ufe of ordinary means, 2 Tim. iv. 13. old dying Paul 
fends for his books and papers. 

(3.) A competent fiLoefs for the work of the mini- 
dry, is another proof of a man's call to it. The Lord 
calls no man to a work for which he doth not qualify. 
Though a fincere humble man (as all minlfters ibould 
be) may and (hould think little of any meafure he 
hiuh, whether compared with the greater raeafures 
of others, or confidcred with regard unto the weight 

L i 2 2!2(? 

i268 By IV bat means may 

and worA of tlie work ; yet there muft be fome con- 
£vlence as lo his comperency, for clearing a man's 
call, 2 Cor. iii. 5, 6, What this competency is, is 
Dot eafy at ail times to deter^rine. Singular necef- 
■fities of the church may extend or intend this matter 
of competent fitnefs. Bin in general there mufl be, 
I. A competent knowleifge of gofpel-myfteries. 2. A 
competent ability of utterance to the edifying of o- 
thers. This is apfnefs to leach^ required of the apo- 
itle in i Tim. iii. 2. ; and Titus i. 0. that a minilter 
be ahle^ 'by found dcdrine^ to exhort and to convince 

(4.) The favour of a man's miniftry on the hearts 
and cit.fciences of others, both miniilers and people, 
helps much to clear a man's call. So that indeed or- 
dinarily a man can never be fo well confirmed in the 
faif.h of his being called of God^ until he make fome 
cffay in this work. Deacons muft firft be proved, 
1 Tim. iii 10. ; much more miniflers. A {mgXo. tef- 
timony given by miniflers and Chrift, that the word 
djfpenfed by the man is favoury, and hath eife(fl: on 
the confcience, is a great confirmation ; efpecially if 
found converfioD of fome follow his labours. That 
is indeed a feal of his miniftry, 2 Cor. iii. 3. and i 
Cor. ix. 2. 

g^^/y. Take heed unto thyfelf, that thou be a lively 
thriving Chiiflian. See that all thy religion run not 
in the chaonei of thy employment. It is found by 
experience, that as it fares with a minifter in the 
frame ot his heart, and thriving of the work of God 
in his foul, fo doth it fare with his minlRry both in 
its vigour and effects, A carnal frame, a dead heart, 
and a loofe walk, makes cold and unprofitable preach- 
ing. Ar.d how common is it for miinifters to neglect 
their own vineyard .'' When we read the word, we 
read it as miniflers, to know what we fnould teach, 
rather than what we fhould learn as Chriilians. TJn- 
lefs there be great heed taken, it will be found, that 


Tiiim/Iers bejl nmn foub f 2 69 

our miniftry, and labour therein, may eat out the 
life of our Chriflianiry. Not that there is any dif- 
cord beiwixt them ; but rather a friendly harmony, 
when each hath its place and refpeft. The honclt be- 
liever meditates, that he may excite his grace ; and 
minifters too often meditate only to increafe their gifrs. 
When we preach, the fincere hearer drinks in the 
word ; and it may be we feldom mix faith with it, to 
grow thereby. O how hard is it to be a rainifter 
and a Chriftian in fome of thefe a6ls ! We are ftiil 
converfant about the things of God ; it is our ftudy 
all the week long. This is our great advantage. But 
take heed to thyfelf, left ordinary meddling with di- 
vine things bring on an ordinary and indifferent im- 
prefTion of them ; and then their fruit to thee, and thy 
beneiit by them, is almoft gone, and hardly recover- 

/{fhly^ Take heed unto thyfelf in reference to all 
the trials and temptations thou raayeft meet with. 
Be on your gaurd, watch in all things^ 2 Tim. iv. 5; 
No men are iliot at more by catan than miniders, and 
he triumphs not more over the foils bf any than theirs. 
And Chrift is liberal in his warnings of dangers, and 
in his promifes of help in them. 

2. The fecond word in the text to this purpofe of 
directing minifters how to be ufeful to others, is. Take 
heed unto thy doBrine. Arc thou a minifter ? Thou 
• mud be a preacher. Au unpreaching minifter is a 
fort of contradiction. Yea', every fort of preaching 
is not enough ; thou mud take heed unto chy docl::ins 
what it is. 

Here is a warrant for (ludying what we are to teach^ 
and what we have taught people. But the great mat-- 
tcr is to take heed, or dudy aright. Students com- 
monly need litde diredion about ordinary dudy. Euc 
concerning the doctrine, I (hail entreat to take heed 
unto it in thefe things. 

1//, Take heed unto thy do<^rine, that it be a di- 
me truth: Lst a man /peak as the oracles of God, i 


^ 7f ^J what means may 

Pet. ir. 11. And therefore it is needful that mini- 
fters be well ^.cquainted with the holy fcriptures. A 
bad token of the temper of that man that reliflbes any 
book more than the word of God. The world is full 
of books written on pretence and defign to explain the 
fcriptures; and inens ftuaies are full of them. There 
is alfo a biefling in them, aod good ufe to be made of 
them ; but alfo a bad ufe is made of them. Many 
niiniilers have found, that they have preached better, 
and to more profic to the people, wheu they got their 
fermon by meditation on the word, and prayer, than 
by turning over many authors. From this negledl of 
the word alfo come a great n^.any dc61riaes, that are 
learned by man, and borrowed from phiiofophy ; 
)vhich though they may have forne truth in them, yet 
fince it is divine truth that a iiiinider (hculd bring 
forth to the people, he ihould not red on fuch low 

idlyy Take heed unto thy doclrine, that it be plain, 
^nd fuited to the capacity of the hearers. Learned 
preaching (as it is calltvl) is a vanity, pleafmg prin- 
cipally to fuch as neicher defign cor defire edification. 
True godly learning confifts in preaching plainly ; and 
therein is no Imall difScuky. Two things would help 
to plain preaching, i. Clearnefs of kno\T I edge. The 
alkdged depth of our doclrine often proceeds from 
cur own darknefs. i^ Humility and ielf-deniak We 

\i mud not feek ourfelves, nor the applaufe of men ; 

■ but God's glory, and nriens falvaiion. It is found, 
that the holieft minillers preach moft plainly, and the 
piaineft preachers are moil fuccef^fui. 

3^/>', Take heed onto thy do£trin?, that it be grave, 
;ind foiid, and weighty ; found fpsech thai cannot he 
condemned. Tit. ii. 8. Deep and weighty imprclT.oi'is 
of the things of God upon a m;in's own heart, would 
greatly advance this. A rainifhr's fpirit is known la 
Che gravity or lightaefs of his dod^ruie. 

II. Bat 

mintJJers heft zuin fouls f jfyt 

II. But now wc come to the fecond thing; propof- 
ed, to ^^7ve fome anfwer to this queftion from cthef 
things in the word. 

And I (hail, r. Shew fome things that mnft be laid 
to heart about the end, the laving of fouls ; atid thetj, 
i. Shall give fome advice about the means. 

I. About the end, the winning of fouls. This is 
to bring them to God. It is not to win them to u?, 
or to engage them into a party, or to the efpoufal' 
of fome opinions and pra£lices, fuppofing ihenl to be 
never fo right, and confonant to the 'Aord of God. 
But the winning of them is, to bring them out of 
nature into a (late of grace, that they may be fitted 
for, and in due time admitted into everlaflidg glory. 

Concerning which great end, thefe few things 
fhould be laid deeply to heart by all that would feVve 
the Lord in being inftrumental in reaching \i, 

ly?. The exceeding height and excellency of thi^ 
end is to be laid to heart. It is a Wonder of conde- 
fcendence, that the liOrd will make ufeof men in p'rd« 
moling it. To be workers together with God in fo 
great a bufinefs, is no fmall honour. The great va- 
lue of mens fouls, the greatnefs of the mifery they 
are delivered from, and of the happinefs they are 
advanced to, with the manifold glory of God fhining 
in all, makes the work of faving men g;re3t and ex- 
cellent. Preaching the gofpel, and fuiTering for it, 
are fervices that angels are not imployed in. Meaa 
and low thoughts of the great end of the miniflry, ^t 
they are difTonant from truth, are alfo great hind- 
rances of due endeavours after the attaining the endo 

^dly^ The great difHcuhy of faving foals muil b^ 
laid to heart. The difficulty is undoubted. To at- 
tempt it, is ro offer violence to mens corrupt natures; 
a^d a forming of hell itfelf, whofe captives all iln- ' 
cers are. Uniefs this difficulty be hid to heart, mi- 
uiflers will be confident of their own ftreilgth, aild fo 
mifcarry, and be unfruitful. Whoever profpers ini 

Vy inning 

272 By what means may . 

winning fouls, is firfl: convinced that it is the arm of 
Jehovah only can do the vi^ork. 

T^dly^ The duty of winning fouls mufl be laid to 
heart by rainifters. That it is their principle work, 
and they are under many commdnds to endeavour it. 
It is a fault to look on fruit only as a reward of en- 
deavours; fo it is indeed, and a gracious one ; but it 
fhould be {o minded, as the end v/e would drive for. 
Col. i. 28, 29. ; which, when attained, is {till to his 
praife : yet raoft commonly when it is mifiing, it is 
to our reproach and danger, when it is (as, alas ! it 
is often) through our default. 

2^thly, The great advantage there is to the labourer 
by his fuccefs, is to be pondered. Great is the gain 
by one foul. He that winneih fouls ^ is happy as well 
as wife. Pro v. xi. 30. Dan* xii. 3, Won fouls are a 
minifter's ^rczf;2, and ^icr)/, 2i\idi joy. Phil iv. i. i 
Their, ii. 20. How far is this account above all 0- 
thers that a man can give of his miniftry ? Thefe things 
fixed upon the heart, would enliven us in all endea- 
vours to attain this excellent end. 

2. For advice about the means, I (hall add thefe 
few, befides what hath been faid. 

ly?. Let minifters, if they would win fouls, pro- 
cure and retain amongft the people a perfuafion of 
their being fent of God ; that they are ChrijTs mi- 
niflers^ I Cor. iv. i. It is not confident afferting of it, 
nor juftifying the lawfulnefs of our ecclefiaflical cal- 
ling, though there^ be fome ufe of thefe things at 
foir.e times : but it is ability, painfulnefs, faithful- 
rxfs, humility, and felf-denial, and, in a word, con- 
formity to our Lord Jefus in his miniftry, that wiil 
conftrain people to fay, and think, that we are fent 
of Gcd. Nicodemus comes with this imprefTion 
of Chriil, John iii. 2. A teacher come from God. It 
is certain, ihar thefe thoughts in people further the 
reception of the gofpel ; Gal. iv. 14. Te received me 
as ^n angel of God^ even as Cbrijl Jefus, 

rmmjlers hejl win fouls f r 7^ 

^dty^ Let miniflers, if they would wla fouls, pur- 
chafe and maintain the people's love to their perfons. 
And this is bed done, by loving of them, and deal- 
ing lovingly and patiently with them. There (hould 
be no ftriving with them, efpecially about worldly 
things: yea, meeknefs to them that oppofe themfehes^ 
2 Tira. ii. 24, 25, 26. It is of great advantage to 
have their love. How carefully doih Paul fue for ic 
in feveral epiftles ; and condefcend to intreat and 
make apologies, when indeed he had not wronged 
them, but they only did imagine he had wronged 
them! 2 Cor. xi. 

3£f/y, It would further the winning of fouls, to 
deal particularly and perfonally with them ; not al- 
ways nor altctgether in public, Col i. 28. Acfts xx. 20, 
21. Great fruit hath conftantly followed the confci- 
eniious difcharge of this duty. The fetting of it up, 
in Geneva, did produce incredible fruits of piety, as 
Calvin reports: when the miniflers, and fomc of the 
elders, went from houfe to houfe, and dealt particu- 
larly with the people's confcicnces And we are not 
without many inftances of the fruit of this mean ia 
our own time, and in thefe nations. Bleffed be the 
Lord for the labourers, and their fuccefs. 

^thly, Minifters mud; pray much, if they would be 
fuccefsful. The apoftles fpent their time this way, 
A6ls vi. 3. Yea, our Lord Jefus preached all day, 
Knd continued all night alone in prayer to GdS. Mi- 
nifters iliould be much in prayer. They ufe to rec- 
kon how many hours they fpend in reading and fta- 
dy ; it were far better both with ourfelves and the 
church of God, if more time were fpent in prayer. 
Luther's fpending three hours daily in fecret prayer, 
Bradford's ftudying on his knees, and other inftances 
of men in our time, are talked of rather than imitat- 
ed. Minifters fiiould pray much for themfelves ; for 
they have corruptions like other men, and have temp- 
tations that none but minifters are aftaulted wi:h. 
They (hould pray for their meiTage. How fweet and 
Vol. L M m cafy 

2 74 ^y '^^^^ means may 

cafy is it for a minifter, (and likely it Is to be the 
more prontable to the people), to bring forth that 
fcripture as food to the fouls of his people, that he 
hath got opened to his own heart by the power of 
the Holy Ghcft, in the exercife of faith and love ia 
prayer ! A minifter (hould pray for a blelling on the 
word ; and he firculd bemuch in feeking God parti- 
cularly for the people. It may be this may be the 
reafon v/hy fome miniders of meaner gifts and parts 
are more fuccefsful, than fome that are far above 
them in abilities ; not becaufe they preach better, fo 
ranch as becaufe tbey pray more. Many good fer- 
mons are loft for lack of much prayer in ftudy. 

But becaufe the miniftry of the word is the main in- 
ftrument for winning fouls, 1 fhail therefore add 
fomewhat more particularly concerning this, and that 
both as to the matter and manner of preaching. 

I, For the fubj eel- matter of gofpel-preachinsr, it 
is determined by the apoftle exprefsly to be Chrijl 
crucified^ i Cor. ii. 2. Two things minifters have to 
do about him in preaching him to them that are with- 
out. I. To fet him forth to people, Gal. iii. !•; to 
paint him in his love, excellency, and ability to fave. 
2. To offer him unto them freely, fully, without a- 
ny limitation as to finner?, or their fmful ftate. And 
then Chrifl's laws or will to be publiihed to them that 
receive him, and are his, for the rule of their walk; 
and his promifes, for the meafure and foundation of 
all their hopes and expectations ; and his grace and 
fulnefs, for their fuppiy in every cafe, till they be 
brought to heaven. This was the fimplicity of the 
gofpel that remained but a little while in the Chrifti- 
an church : for ceremonies among the Jews, and fm- 
ful mixtures of vain philofophy amonft the Gentiles, 
Col. ii. did by degrees fo corrupt the gofpel, that 
the myftery of iniquity ripened in the producflion of 
Aniichrift. It was a fad obfervaiion of the fourth 
century, that it became a matter of learning and in- 
genuity to be a Chriftian, The rocaQing was. That 


mimfters' hefl win fouls ? 2 75 

too much weight was laid on notions, and matters of 
opinion ; and lefs regard had unto the (oundnefs of 
the heart, and holinefs of the life. In the beginning 
cf the reformation from popery, the worthies whom 
God raifed up in feveral cotntries, diu excellently ia 
retrieving the fimplicity of the gofpel from the popifti 
mixtures. But that good work took a ftand quickly, 
and is on the declining greatly. How little of Jefusf 
Chrift is there in fome pulpits! It is feen as to faccefs, 
that \^hatever the law doth in alarming fmners, it is 
ftill the gofpel-voice that is the key that opens the 
heart to Jefus Chrift. Would roinifters win fouls? 
Let them have more of Jefus Chrift in their dealing 
with men, and lefs of other things that never profic 
them that are exercifed therein. 

2. As for the manner of fuccefsful preaehing, I 
ihall give it in a negative sod pofitive, from thefe two 
places: 1 Cor. i. 17. and \u 1 — ^-4. 

FirJI^ What this negative difowns, is our inquiry. 
The words are full : For Chrijlfent me 7Wt to baptize^ 
hut to preach the gofpel : not with wi/uo?n cf words^ 
left the crcfs of Chrift ftjould be made of none eftecl. 
Again, 1 came not to you with excellency of fpeecb^ 
or of wifdom^ declaring unto you the ieftimony of God. 
Again, And.my fpeeth^ and my preaching was not wtih 
enticing words of wan! s wifdom. Thefe are the Vv'ords 
of the^Holy Ghoft concerning a way of preaching that 
\f> unprofitable : a way that feems- was in ufe and re- 
fpfft with the Corinthians ; and honeft Paul v/as def- 
pifed by them, for his fimple and plain W4y, dilxer- 
ent from theirs. 1 fliail only inftance in rhiugs that 
this fcriptural negative doth check and reprove in the 
way of preaching. 

I. The eftablirning and advancing of divine truth 
upon the foundation of human reafon ; as if there 
were fome weaknefs and infnfSciency in thofc methods 
and arguments of working on mens confciences, that 
the Holy Ghoft prefcribes. The great fouiidatioa of 
ail a uiiniftsr hath to fay, is, Thui faith the Lord ; 

576 ^y what means may 

and a grave declaration of the teftiraony of God in this 
matter, is mmiiters duty, i Cor ii. i. and will have 
more au>rhority on mens confciences, than many hu- 
man reafons* There is a raiional preaching, (as it is 
called), wherein men do not faiisfy" themfelvcs to 
make ufe of reafoa as a tool and inftrutnent, (and 
then its ufe is excellent), but vi^ill eftabliih it as a judge 
and di£lator in all divine matters and truth ; and fo in 
effc^l turn all their preaching into little better things 
than the le61ures of the philofophers of old ; fave that 
the poor Pagans were more fmcere in their morals, 
and ferious in delivering their opinions. 

Let a minifter therefore flill think with hImfelF, 
that a plain fcripture-teftimony is his main argument; 
and accordingly let him ufe it. When he teacheth 
philofophy, and when he teacheth men the will of 
God about falvaiion, he is in diliinci: provinces, and 
bis management of his work therein (hould be very 

' 2. it is to preach with eisicellency offpeech^ and words 
of man* s w'ljdom^ when men think to reach the gof- 
pei-end on' fianers by force of even fpiritaal reafon 
and perfuafion. This corrupt thought rifeth in fome, 
from an imagination that moral fuafion is all that is 
needful for converting a Tinner : aod in fome this 
thought rifes on a better account ; the light of the 
glory of God in the gofpel fhines fo brightly in upon 
iheir own hearts, that they fall into this conceit, that 
no man can (land before thai light which they can 
hold forth : Meianfthon's miftake at firft, till CKperi- 
cnce made him wifer. Haft thou a clear knowledge 
of gofpel-myfteries, and the word of exhortation is 
with thee alfo, fo that thou art qualified to urge, be- 
feech and plead warmly with fmners on Chriit's be- 
half ? Take heed of this fnare, left thou think, that 
thy wifdotn and gifts can promote and carry on the 
gofpel-defign on men. 

3. This alfo is checked in the apoftle's wordi, the 
fening forth the beauty of the gofpel by human 


mintjlers heft win fouls f 277 

art. The truth of the gofpel ihines beft in its bare 
propofal ; and its beauty, in its fimple and naked dif- 
covery. We may obferve from the church-hiftory, 
that ftill as foundnefs of doctrine, and the power of 
godlinefs, decayed in the church, the vanity of aa 
affe^led way of fpeaking and of v/riting of divine 
things came in. Quotations from the fathers, Latin, 
and languages, are pitiful ornaments unto preaching, 
if a man defign converfion and foul-edification. And 
yet more defpicable are all playing on v/ords, jinglings, 
and cadencies, (which things are in all the rules of 
true eloquence juftly exploded) ; and yet fome men 
reckon much on them. But would any man think his 
friend in earned with him, that would accoft him in 
any affair with fuch fort of language and gefture I 

Secondly^ The pofitive is, in demonftration of the 
Spirit f and of power ^ 1 Cor. ii. 5. 

1. Paul preached fo as gave a demonftration that 
the Holy Ghoft was in him, fan6^ifying him. This 
is a plain and blefled thing. Happy is the minifter 
that manageth his work fo, that if the hearers get 
not a demonftration of great parts and learning, yet 
they have a demonftration of the fanftifying Spirit of 
God in the minifter. 

2. Paul preached fo as gave a demonftration that 
the Spirit of God was with him, affifting and helping 
him in his work ; even when he was amongft them in 
7nuch weaknefsy fear^ and tremblings ver. 3. Happy 
is the minifter that can preach this way. He muft be 
a depender upon aftiftance from the Holy Ghoft. 

3. Paul preached fo as a demonftration of the pow- 
er of the Holy Ghoft was given 10 the hearts of the 
hearers. The Spirit of God fo wrought on them by 
his, power in and by Paul's preaching ^. This is the 
principle thing to be aimed at, and it is the proper 
fource of all profitable preaching. 


* 1 Cor. iy. 2. Csinmcndtng vitrfelv€i t9 rjsrj> Thanhs CQ^/cincs 
mtke fight of God, 

2 73 By what means may 

To condude t You that are miniflers, fuiFer a word 
of exhortation. 

Men, brethren, and fathers, you are called to an 
high and holy calling. Your work is full of danger, 
full of duty, and full of mercy. You are called to 
the winning of fouls ; an employment near a-kin unto 
our Lord^s work, the faving of fouls : and the nearer 
your rpirits be iu conforrnity to his holy temper and 
frame, the fitter you are for, and the more fruitful 
you fhall be in your work. None of you are ignorant 
of the begun departure of our glory, and the daily 
advance of its departure, and the fad appearances of 
the Lord's being about to leave us utterly. Should 
not thefe figns of the times roufe up minillers unto 
greater ferioufnefs ? What can be the reafon of this 
fad obfervation. That when formerly ^ few lights 
raifed up in the nation, did fhine fo as to fcatter and 
difpel the darknefs of popery in a little tiaie ; yet now 
when there are more, and more learned men amongft 
us, the darknefs comes on apace ^ Is it not hecaufe 
they were men filed with the Holy Ghoj}^ and with 
power ; and many of us are only lilled with ijght and 
knowledge, and inefHcacious notions of God's trufh ? 
Doth not always the fpirit of the miniflers propagate 
itfelf amongft the people ? A lively miniilry, and live- 
ly ChrifHans. Taerefore be ferious at heart ; be- 
lieve, and fo fpeak ; feel, and fo fpe:ik ; and as you 
teach, fo do ; and then people will feel what you fay, 
and obey the word of God. 

And, ladiy, for people : It is not unfit that you 
fhould hear of miGiitcfs work, and dory, and diilicu!- 
ties. You fee that all is of your concernment. All 
things are for your fakes ^ as the apoille faith in ano- 
f.her cafe. 

Then only I intreat yon, i. Pity us. We are not 
:aDgeL>, but raen of like palTions with ycurfelves. Be , 
iulier of charity than of ceofure. We have all that 
you h^ve to do about the faving of our own fouls ; 
XiXid a great work beHdes abouc the faving <:)i ycurs. 


mimjlers hefl win fouls? 279 

We have all your difficulties as Chridians ; and foine 
that you are not acquainted with, that are only mi- 
nifters temptations and trials. 

2. Help us in our work. If you can do any thing, 
help us in the work of winning fouls. What can we 
diO^ fay you ? O ! a great deal. Be but won 10 Chrift, 
and we are made. Make hade to heaven, that you 
aod we may meet joyfully before the throne of God 
and the Lamb. 

3. Pray for us. How often and how earneftly doth 
Paul beg the prayers of the churches ! And if he did 
fo, much more (hould we beg them, and you grant 
them ; for our neceffities and weakneiTes are greater 
than his: 2 ThefT. iii. i, 2. Finally^ brethren^ pray 

for us, that the word of the Lord may have free courfe^ 
and be glorified^ even as it is with you : and that we 
may be delivered from unreafonabh and wicked men: 
for all men have not faith* 




O F T H E 




And of its Preachers and Professors, 

From the unjuft charge of 

In a Lett E'R from the Author, /<? a Minister 
in the Country. 

YOUR earned defire of information about forac 
difference amongft Nonconforraifts in London, 
whereof you bear fo much by flying reports, and pro- 
fefs you know fo little of rhe truth thereof, is the 
caufe of this writing. 

You know, that not many months ago there was a 
fair-like appearance of unity betwixt the two mofl 
confiderable parties on that fide ; and their differences 
having been rather in pra£lice than principle, about 
church-order and communion, feeraed eaiily recon- 
cileable, where a fpirit of love, and of a found mind, 
was at work. But how ftiort v/as the calm ? For 
quickly arofe a greater ftorm from another quarter ; 
and a quarrel began upon higher points, even on no 
lefs than the doftrine of the grace of God in Jefus 


The doflnne cf JuJIification, &c. 281 

Chrlft, and the jufiification of a finner by faith aJore. 
Some think, that the reprinting of Dr Crifp's book 
gave the firft rife to ir. Bat we mu(t look farfher 
back for its true fpring. It is v/ell knov;n, but little 
con fide red, what a great progrefs Annin'tamfm had 
made in this nation before the beginning of the civil 
war. And furely it hath loft little fince it ended. 
"What can be the reafon why the very parliaments ia 
the reign of James I. and Charles I. were fo alarmed 
with Arminianifmy as may be read in hiflory, and is 
remembered by old men ; and that now for a long 
time there hath been no talk, no fear of it ; as if Ar- 
niiniarjfm were dead and buried, and ro man knows 
where irs grave is ?. Is nor the true reafon to be found 
in its univcrfal prevailing in the nation ? 

But that whict^ concerneih our cafe, is, that the 
middle way betwixt the Anninians and the Orthodox^ 
bad been efpoufed, and (Irenuouily defended and 
promoted., by feme Nonconformifts, of gre^t note for 
piety and parts ; and ufualiy fach men that are for 
middle ways in points of doftrine, have a greater 
kindnefs for that extreme they go half-way to, than 
for that which they go half-way from. And the no- 
tions thereof were imbibed by a great many (ludents, 
who laboured (through the iniquity of the times) un- 
der the great difadvantage of the want of grave and 
found divines, to direcl and afiift their (Indies at uni- 
verfities; and therefore contented theiDfelves with 
(ludying fuch Engliih authors as had gone in a path 
untrod, boih by our predeceflbrs, and by the protef- 
tant univerfities abroad. 

Thefe notions have been preached, and wrote a- 
gaiaft, by feveral divines amongfl: themfelves ; and 
the different opinions have been, till of late, managed 
with fome moderation ; to which our being all borne 
down by perfecution, did fomewhat contribute. 

It is a fad, but true obfervation. That no conten- 
tion? are more eafily kindled, more fiercely purfued, 
and more hardly compofed, than thofe of divines j 

Vol, I. N a fome- 

282 The doBrine cf Jujlijication vindicated 

fometimes from their zeal for truth ; and fometimes 
from worfe principles, that may aifl in them, as well 
as in other men. 

The fubjecft of the controverfy is, about the juQi- 
fjing grace of God in Jefus Chrift. Owned it is by 
both ; and both fear it be abufed : either by turning 
it into wantonnefs ; hence the noife o^ Antinomianifm : 
or by corrupting it with the mixture of works ; hence 
the fears, on the other fide, of Armmianifnu Both 
parties difown the name caft upon thera. The one 
will not be called Ar?ninians : and the other hare both 
came and thing of Antinomianifm truly fo called. Both 
fometimes fay the fame thing, and profefs their ailenc 
to the do^lrinal articles of the church of England, to 
the ConfcfTion of Faith and Catechifms compofed at 
Weftminfter, and to the Harmony ^f the Confeflions 
of all the reformed churches, in tnefe do^rines of 
grace. And, if both be candid in this profelTion, it 
is very ftrange that there fhould be any controverfy 
among them. 

Let us therefore, firft, take a view of the parties, 
and then of their principles. As to the party fufpec- 
ted of Anthiom'ianifm and Lthertinifm^ in this city ; it 
is plain, that the churches wherein they are concern- 
ed, are more ftricl: and exa£i: in trying of thera that 
offer themfelves unto their communion, as to their 
faith at]d holinefs, before their admitting them ; in 
the engagements laid on them to a gofpei-walking at 
their admiflion, and in their infpe(5tion over them af- 
terwards. As to their converfations, they are gene- 
rally of the more regular and exa^l frame; and the 
fruits of holinefs in their liver, to the praife of God, 
and honour of the gofpel, cannot with modefly be de- 
nied. Is it not unaccountable, to charge a people 
with licentioufnefs, when the chargers cannot deny, 
and fome cannot well bear the fl:ri«51nefs of their walk I 
It is commonly faid, that it is only their principles, 
and the tendency of them to loofe walking, that they 
b]arae» Bur, waving that at prefent, it feems cot 


from the charge of Antinomiamfnu 28 j 

fair to charge a people with licentious do^rine??, when 
the profeiTors thereof are approved of for their god- 
lioefs ; and when they do fmcerely profefs, that iheir 
godlincfs begun v/ith, and is promoted by the. faith of 
their principles. Let it not be mlflakeo, if 1 here 
make a comparifon betwixt Fapifls and Frof eft ants. 
The latter did always profefs the docf^iine of juilifica- 
lion by faiih alone. This was blafpheniy in the Pa- 
pifts ears, ^rhey flill did, and do cry out againft: ir, 
as a licentious do(nrine, and deRruOive of good works. 
Many fafncient anfwers have been given unto this 
iinjufl: charge. But to rny purpofe : The wonder 
was, that the Papifts v/ere not convinced by the fplen- 
did holinefs of the old believers, and by the vifible 
truth of their holy pra'51ice ; and their profeffing, that 
as long as they lived in the blindnefs and darknefs of 
popery, they were profane ; and that as foon as God 
levealed the gcfpel tp them, and had wrought in them 
the faith thereof, they were faccflified, and led other 
lives. So wirneiled the noble lord Cobham, who fuf- 
fered in K. Henry V.'s time, above an hundred years 
before Luther, fiis words at his examination before 
the archbiQiop of Canterbury, and his clergy, were 
thefe. " As for that vertuous man, Wickliff, (for 
" wiih his doclrine he was charged), whofe judgment 
" ye fo highly difdain ; I fhall fay of my part, both 
** before God and man, thiar before I knew that de- 
** fpifed doflrine of his, 1 never abftained from fin ; 
**= but fmce I learned therein to fear my Lord God, it 
•' haih otherv/ife, I tniil, been with me. So riiuch 
*' grace could I never find in all your glorious inflruc- 
** tions." Fox^s hook of Martyr 5 ^ vol, \,p. (^^o. col. 2. 
edit* 1664. And fince 1 am on that excellecr book, 
I intreat you to read Mr Patrick Hamilton's llfle trea- 
tife, to which Frith doth preface, and Fox doth add 
fome explication, 'uol. 2- p. 181, — 192.;, where ye 
will find the old plain Proteftant truth about law and 
gofpel, delivered without any fchool-terras. To this, 
add, in your reading, in rhe fame re/. 2. f. 497,-509. 
N Q 2 Haejf.es 

2 ^4 ^^^ doElrhie cf Jufl'ificathn vindicated 

lierejies^and errors faljly charged on TindaVs writings ; 
vv'hei'e we wtil fee the old faiih of the faints in its 
fi'nplicity ; and the old craft and cunning of the An- 
tichrillian party, in flandermg the truth, 1 mud, for 
jny paw, confefs, that thele plain declarations of gof- 
pei' truth have a qu'te other favour with me, than the 
dry infipid accounts thereof given by pretenders to 
licraan wifdorn. 

Bat paiTing thefe things, let us look *) principles, 
and that with refpe^l to their native and regular in- 
fiuence on fanclification. x^nd I am willing, that that 
ihould determine the matter, next to the confonancy 
of the principles themfelves to the word of God. it 
can be no do£lrine of God, that is not according to 
godlinefs. Some think, that if good works, and ho- 
jinefs, and repentance, be allowed no room in jafti- 
fiCatioD, that there is no room left for them in the 
world, and in the praflice of believers. So hard feem^ 
it to be to fome, ro keep in their eye the certain fixea 
bounds betwixt juilification and fiin£iification. There 
is no difference betwixt a juftified and a fandificd 
man : for he is always the fame perfoa that partakes 
cf th'efe privileges. But jufliiication and fan^iification 
differ greatly, in many refpeds: as is commonly known. 
But to come a little clofer : 

The party here fufpe<5led o^ Jntiriomiam/m,docon' 
fidently protefl, before God, angels, and men. That 
they efpoufe no new dodrine about ih.e grace of God, 
2nd juflification, and the other coincident points, but 
what the reformers at home and abroad did teach, and 
all the Proteftant churches do own. And that in fum 
is : " That a law-condemned fmner is freely juftified 
" by God's grace, through the redemption that is in 
** Jefus Chrill ;• that he is juftified only for the righ- 
*« teoufnefs of Chrift imputed to him by God of his 
" free grace, and received by faith alone as an initru- 
" meat; which faith is the gift of the fame grace" 
For gu-arding againfl licentioufnefs, they conftantly 


■ ^ from the charge of Antlnomiantfnu 285 

teach, out of God's word, " That without holinefs 
*^ no man can fee God: That all that beli:ve truly 
'* on Jefus Chrift, as they are jufllficd by the fpruik- 
*' ling of his blood, fo are they fan(ftiried by the ef- 
*' fufion of his Spirit : that all that boafl: of their faith 
" in Chrift, and yet live after their own lulls, and the 
*' courfe of this worlc^i have no true faith at all ; but 
** do, in their profeflion, and contradi^ling praclice, 
^* blafpheme the name of God, and the dodlrine of 
^' his grace; and continuing fo, (hall perilh with a 
•* double de(lru<^ion, beyond that of the openly pro- 
" fane, that make no proFeffion." And when they 
find any fnch in their communion, which is exceed- 
ing rarely, they cafi; them out as dead branches. 
They teach, " That as the daily ftndy of fanfl-iiicati- 
*' on is a neceiTary exercife to all that are inChrift; 
" fo the rule of their dire^ion therein, is the holy 
" fpodefs law of God in ChriR's hand : That the 
*^ Holy Ghod is the beginner and advancer of this 
<^ work, and faith in Jefus Chrid the great mean 
*' thereof: That no man can be holy till he be ia 
** Chrin:, and united to him by faith ; and that no 
*• man is truly in Chrift, but he is thereby fan£lified. 
" They preach the law, to condemn all flefh out of 
" Chrift, and to (hew thereby to people the neceility 
*' of betaking themfelves to him for (alvation." See 
the favoury words of bleiTsd Tmdal, called the apof- 
tk of England^ in his letter- to John Frith, written 
Jan. 1533; Book cf Martyrs, -vol. 2./?. 308. " Ex- 
•' pound the law truly, and open the vail of Mofes, 
** to condenin all fledi, and prove all men fmners, and 
*^ all deeds under the law, before mercy have taken 
*« awa;^ the condemnation thereof, to be lin, and dam- 
" nable ; and then, as a faithful minifter, fet abroach 
" the mercy of our Lord Jefus, and let the wounded 
" confciences drink of the water of him. And thea 
*' fhall your preaching be with power, and not as the 
" hypocrites. And the Spirit of God (hall work with 
^* you j and all confciences ihali bear record uDto you, 

*♦ and 

285 The donrine of Jufl if cation vindicated 

" and feel that it is fo. And all do£l:riDe that cafleth 
** a raid on ihcfe two, to (hadow and hide them, I 
** mean the law of God, and mercy of Chriftj that re- 
" fjil you with all your power." And fo do we. 

What is there in all this to be offended with.'* Is not 
ihis enough to vindicate cur doclrice from acy tend- 
ency to licentioufnefs ? 1 am afraid, that there are 
fome things wherein we differ tr,ore than they think 
fit yet to exprefs. And 1 ffsall gnefs at them. 

1. The firft is about the imputed righteoufnefs of 
Chrift. This righteoufnefs of Clirid, in his a<^ive 
and paffive obedience, hath been afferted by Proief- 
tant divines, to be not only the procuring and merito- 
rious caufe of our iudification ; for this the Papifls 
own ; but the manor; as the imputation of it is the 
form of cur juflification : though I think, that our 
Jogical terms are not fo adapted for fuch divine m)^- 
f(:eries. But whatever propriety or impropriety be in 
fuch fchool-termiS, the common Proteflant do61rine 
hath been. That a convinced fmner feeking juflifica- 
tion, ir.uft have nothing in his eye but this righteouf- 
nefs of Chriil, as God propofeth nothing elfe to him; 
and that God in juilifying a fmner, accepts him in this 
righteoufnefs only, when he imputes it to him. 

Now. about the imputed righteoufnefs of Chrifl", 
fome fay, *' That it belongs only to the perfon of 
*' Chrift : he was under the law, and bound to keep 
*' it for himfelf ; that he might be a fir Mediator, with- 
" out fpot or blemifh : That it is a qualification in the 
*^ Mediator, rather than a bencftt acquired by him, to 
** be communvcated to his people."' For they will not 
allow " this perfonal righteoufnefs of Chrift to be im- 
*' puted to us any otherwifethan in the merit of ir, as 
** purchafmg for us a more eafy law of grace ; in the 
*« obfervation whereof they place all our juftifying rigii- 
^^ teoufnefs :" underilanding hereby " our own per- 
^* fonal inherent holinef^, and nothing elfe." They 
hold, " That Chrift died to merit this of the Fathet, 
** y/V. that v\e might be jufiificd upon cafier terms 

" under 

from the charge of Antinomianifm. 287 

" under the gofpel, than thofe of thelaw of iunocen- 

" cy. Inilead of juftification by perfe6l obedience, 
*' we are now ro bejuilified by our own evangelical 
'* righteoufnefs, made up of faith, repentance, and 
" fincere obedience." And if we hold not with them 
in this, they tell the world, we are eneiiiies to evan- 
gelical hclinefs, flighting the pradlice of all good 
works, and allowing our hearers to live as they liih 
Thus they flander the preachers of free grace, be- 
caufe we do nor place juflification in our own inher- 
ent holinefs j but in Chrill's perfed righteonfnefi?, 
imputed to us upon our believing in hina. Which 
faith, we teach, purifies the heart, and always in- 
clines to holinefs of life. Neither do we hold any 
faith to be true and faving, that doth not fhew itielf 
by good works ; withoin which no man is, or can be 
juflified, either in his own confcience, or before men* 
But it doth not hence follow, that v/e cannot be juf- 
tified in the fight ot God by faith only , as the apof- 
tle Paul alT^ns the latter, and the apoflle James the 
former, in a good agreement, 

2. There appears to be fome cliiFerence, or mifun- 
derftanding of one another, about the true notioa 
and nature of j unifying faith. Divines commonly dif- 
tinguifh betwixt the direct ad of faith ^ and the reflex 
act. The dire6l ad is properly juftifying and faving 
faith ; by which a loft finner comes to Chrift, and re- 
lies upon him for falvation. The reflex ad is the 
looking back of the foul upon a former a<fl of faith, 
A rational creature can refle<5l upon his own adls, 
whether they be ads of reafon, faith, or unbelief. 

A dired ad of faving faith, is that by which a lofl 
finner goes out oi himfelf to Chrid for help, relying 
upon him only for falvation. A reflex ad arifeth 
from the fenfe that faith gives of its own inward a6l» 
upon a ferious review. The truth and fmcerity of 
which is further cleared up to the confcience, by the 
genuine fruits of an unfeigned fairb, appearing to all 
men in our good lives, and holy convei fatloa* Bue 


£88 The doBrine of Jujlification vindicated 

for a? plain as thefe things be, yet we find we are fre- 
quently miftaken by others : and we wonder at the 
miftake ; for we dare not afcribe to feme learned and 
good men, the principles of ignorance, or wilfulnefs, 
from whence miltakes in plain cafes ufually proceed. 
When we do prefs finners to come to Chrift by a di- 
rect aft of faith, confiding in an humble reliance u- 
pon him for mercy and pardon j they will underft and 
us, whether we will or nor, of a reflex a6l: of faith, 
by which a man knows and believes, that his fins are 
pardoned, and that Chriit is his : when they might 
eafily know, that we mean no fuch thing. Mr. Wal- 
ter Marfhaii, in his excellent book, lately publilhed, 
hath largely opened this, and the true controverfy of 
this day, though it be eight or nine years fince he 

. 3. We feem to differ about the intered, and room, 
and place, that faith hath in juflification. That we 
are juilified by faith in Jefus Chrift, is fo plainly a 
New Teftament truth, that no man pretending never 
fo barely to the Chriftian name, denies it. The Pa- 
pifis own it ; and the Socinians, and Arminians, and 
all own it. But how different are their fenfes of it ? 
And indeed you cannot more fpeedily and certainly 
judge of the fpirit of a man, than by his real inward 
fenfe of this phrafe, (if you could reach it), A [inner 
is jujlified by faith in Jefus Chrifi. Some fay. That 
faith in Jefus Chrift jufufies as it is a work, by the ^» 
credere ; as if it came in the room of perfe6i obedience, 
required by the law. Some, That faith juftifies, as 
it is informed and animated by charity. So the Pa- 
pifls who plainly confound juftincation and fan<Stifi- 
catioD. Some fay, that faith juftifies, as it is a ful- 
filling of the condirion of the new covenant, // thou 
believefl thou fhalt he fived. Nay, they wnil not 
hold there ; but they will have this faith to juftify, 
as it hath a principle and fitnefs in it to difpofe to 
fincere obedience. The plain old Protellant doctrine 
is. That the place of faith in jullilication is only that 


from the charge of Antinomianifm, aSp 

of a band or inftrument, receiving the righteoufnefs 
of Chrift, for which only we are juftified. So that 
though great fcholars do often confound themfelves 
and others, in their difputacions about faith's juftify- 
ing a finner; every poor plain believer hath the mar- 
row of this rayftery feeding his lieart ; and he caa 
readily tell you, Tha't to be juilified by faith, is to be 
juftified by Chrift's righteoufnefs, apprehended by 

4. We feera to mifunderftand one another about 
the two Adams, and efpecially the latter. See Rom. 
V. 12. to the end. In that excellent fcripture a com- 
parifon is Inflituted, which if we did duly underhand, 
and agree in, we (houid not readily differ in the main 
things of the gofpel. The apofile there tells us, 
that the iirft Adam flood in the room of all his natu- 
ral pofterity. He had their ftock in his hand. While 
he ftccd, they ftood in him ; when he fell, they fell 
with him. By his fall he derived fin and death to ail 
them that fpring from him by natural generation. 
This is the fad fide. But he tcl!s us, in oppofition 
thereto, and in comparing therewith, that Cbrift, the 
fecond man, is the new head of the redeemed world. 
He (lands in their room : his obedience is theirs ; and 
be communicates to his fpiritual offspring, the juft 
contrary to what the firft finful Adam doth to his na- 
tural offspring ; righteoufnefs inftead of guile and fin, 
life inftead of death, juftification inftead of condem- 
•Dation, and eternal life inftead of hell deferved. So 
that 1 think the 3d, 4th, and 5th chapters of the e- 
piftle to the Romans, for the myftery of juftification ; 
and the 6th, 7th, and 8ch, for the myftery of fanc- 
tification, deferve our deep ftudy. But what fay o- 
thers about Chrift's being the fiscond Adam I We 
find them unwilling to fpeak of it ; and when they 
do, it is quite alien from the fcope of the apoftle in 
that chapter. Thus to us they feem to fay, ." That 
" God as a re6lor, ruler, governor, hath refolved to 
" fave men by Jefus Chrift : That the ruie.of this 

Vol. I. O •' govern- 

zgo The doBrlne of Jujlijication vindicated 

'« government is the gofpel, as a new l?.w of grace : 
•* That Jefus Chrifi: is fct at the bead of this re£loral 
•' government : That in that fhte he fits in glory, 
*^ ready and able, out of his purchafe and merits, to 
«* give juftification and eternal life to all that can bring 
*' good evidence of iheir having coirplied with the 
** terms and conditions of the law of grace." Thus 
they antedate the latl day, and hold forth Chrift as 
a Judge, rather than a Saviour. Luther was wont to 
warn people of this di[lin<51ion, frequently in his com- 
ment on the epiflle to the Galatians. And no other 
headQiip to Chrift do we find forae willing to admit, 
but what belongs to his kingly office. As for his 
furetifhip, and being the fecond Adam, and a public 
perfon, fome treat it with contempt. 1 have heard, 
that Dr Thomas Goodwin was in his youth an Armi- 
nian, or at lead inclining that way ; but was by the 
Lord*s grace brought off, by Dr bibbs's clearing up 
to him this fame point, of Chrid's being the head 
and reprefentative of all his people. Now though 
we maintain Iledfaftly this lieadthip of Jefus Chriif, 
yet we fay nor, that there is an a<n:ual partaking of 
his fulnefs of grace, till we be in him by faith ; tho^ 
ihis/^//Z> is a}fo^/i;^/2 us on ChrijTs behalf^ Phil. i. 
29. and we believe through grace f KEii xviii. 27. And 
■we know no grace, we can call nothing grace, we 
care for no grace, but what comes from this head, 
the Saviour of the body. But fo much {Ivall ferve to 
point forth the main things of difference and miilakes. 
Is it not a little provoking, that fome are fo capti- 
ous, that no miniiler can preach in the hearing of fome, 
" of the freedom of God's grace ; of the imputation 
*' of ChrKt's righteoufnefs; of foie and fmgle believ- 
*' ing on him for righieoufnefs, and eternal life; of 
** the impoiTibility of a natural man's doingany good 
*« work, before he be in Chrilt ; of the impofTibility 
*' of the mixing of man's righteoufnefs and works, 
** with Chrifl's righteoufnefs, in the bufmefs of jufti- 
*' iicaiion 5 and feveral other points," but he is im- 

from the charge of AnfinoT^tamfnu 2 g r 

jnediately called, or furpe<^ed to be an Anflnomiaiif 
If we fay, iliJit faith in JcTus Chrifl is neither work, 
fior condition, nor qualidcaiion, in juRifiration ; but 
is a mere inftrument, receiving (as an empty hand re- 
ceiveth the freely-given alms) the righteoufnefs of 
Chrifl: ; and that, in its very aft, it is a renouncing of 
all things but the gift of grace ; the fire is kindled. 
So that it is come to that, as Mr Chriftopher Fowler 
faid, " That he that will not be Antkbrijlian^ muft 
*' be called an Antiriomtan.'''* Is there a minider in 
London, who did not preach, fome twenty, fome 
thirty years ago, according to their (landing, that 
fame doftrine now by fome called Antinomian f Let 
not Dr Crifp's book be locked upon as the (hndard of 
our doftrine. There are many good things in it ; 
and alfo many CKpreilions in it that we generally dif- 
like. It is true, that Mr Burgefs and Mr Ruther- 
ford wrote againfl: Aniinoraianifm, and againfl fome 
that were both Antinpmians a^nd ArminiaDS» And it 
is DO lefs true, that they wrote againR the Armiaians^ 
and did hate the new fchetne of divinity, fomnch now 
contended for, and to which we owe all Qur prefent 
contentions, i am perfuaded, that if thefe godly and 
found divines were on the prefent ftage, they would 
be as ready to draw their pens againft two books. late^ 
ly printed againft Dr Crifp, as ever they were to writs 
againfl the Doctor's book. Ti nth is to be defended 
by truth ; but error is often, and unhappily, oppof- 
^ ed by error under truth's name. 

But what ihall we do in this cafe ? What fhall we 
do for peace with our brethren ? Shall we lie Itiii 
under their undeferved reproaches ; and, for keeping 
the peace, filently fuiFer others to beat us nnjadly ? 
If it were our own perfonal concern, we (hould bear 
it : if it were only their charging us with ignorance, 
weaknefs, and being unlludied divines, (as they have 
ufed liberally to call all that have not learned, and 
dare not believe their new divinity), we might eafily 
pafs it by, or put it up. But whea we fee the puce 

O 2 gofpel 

292 ^he doBr'vie of jujlif cation vindicated 

gofpel of Chrift corrupted ; and aa Arrainiaa gofpel 
new vampi, and obtruded on people, to the certain 
peril of the fouls of fuch as believe it ; and our mini- 
flry refle6fed upon, which ftiould be dearer to us than 
our lives; can we be filent P x^s we have a charge 
from the Lord, to deliver to our people what we 
have received from him; fo, as he calls and enables, 
we are not to give place by fubjedi-on^ not for an hour^ 
to fuch as creep in, not only tofpy out, but todeltroy, 
not fo much the gofpel-Ubcrty^ as the goipel-falvatiou 
we have in Chriit Jefus, and to bring us back under 
the yoke of legal bondage. And indeed the cafe in that 
epiflle to the Galatians and ours hr.s a great affinity. 

Is it defired, that we fliould forbear to make a free 
OiTer of God's grace in Chrill to the word of fmners ? 
This cannot be granted by us : for this is the gofpel 
faithful faying, and worthy of all acceptation, (and 
therefore worthy of all our .preaching of ii), that Je- 
fus Chrifl came into the world to fave firmer 5 ^ and the 
chief of them^ I Tim. i. 1$, This was the apofblic 
pr;.6lice, according to their Lord's command, Mark 
xvi. 15, 16. Luke xxiv, 47. Tney began at Jerufa- 
jem, where the Lord of life was wickedly flain by 
them ; and yet life in and through his blood was of- 
fered to, and accepted and obtained by many of them. 
Every believer's experience witneiTeth to this, that 
every one that believes on Jefus Chrift, a6i:s that faith 
as the chief of fmners. Every man that feeth him- 
felf rightly, thinks fo of himfeif, and therein thinks 
Eot amifs. God only knoweih who i^ truly the great- 
efl iinner, and every humbled fmner will think that 
he is the man. 

Shall we tell men, that unlefs they be holy, they 
muft not believe on Jefus Chrifl .'' that they mud not 
venture on Chrifl for falvation, till they be qualified 
and fit to be received and welcomed by him ? This 
were to forbear preaching the gofpel at all, or to 
forbid all men to believe on Chrifl. For never was 
any fmner qualified for Chrift. He is well qualified 


from the charge cf Antinmianifnu 293 

for us, 1 Cor. i. 30.; but a fmner out of Chri!! hath 
DO qualification for Chrift but fm and m'jfery. Whence 
fhould we have any better, but in and from Chrlft ?• 
Nay, fuppofe an impoffibility, that a man v/ere qua- 
lified for Chrift; i boldly aifert, that fuch a maa 
would not, nor could ever believe on Chrift. For 
faith is a loft, helplefs condemned fmoer's: calling 
himfelf on Chrifl for falvaiion ; and the qualified nian 
is no fuch perfon. 

Shall we warn people, that they (hould not believe 
on Chrifl too foon ? It is impofiible that they ihould 
do it loo foon. Can a man obey t'le great g.^/^^/- 
com?nand too foon, I John iii. 23.? or do the great 
work 0/ God too foon, John vi. 28, 29. ? A man may 
too foon think that he is in Chrifl ; and that is when 
it is not fo indeed : and this we frequently teach. But 
Uiis is but an idle dream, and not faith. A man may 
too foon fancy that he hath faith ; but, I hope, he 
cannot 2i£i faith too foon. If any fliould fay, a maa 
may be holy too foon ; how would that (dying be re- 
Hefted upon ? And yet it is 'certain, that though no 
man can be too foon 'holy, (becaule he cannot too 
foon believe on Chrifl, which 15 the only fpring of 
true holinefs) ; yet he may, and many dOt let about 
•the ftiidy of that he counts holinefs too foon ; that is, 
before the tree be changed^ M..ni\\, x\\, 33, 34, 3.5.; 
before he have the new hearty Ezdi. xxxvi. 26, 27. ; 
and the Spirii of God dwelling In him^ which is only 
got by faith in Chrifl, Gal. iii. 14. ; and therefore 
all this man's (ludying of holinef?, is not only vain 
labour, but afting of fin. And if this fludy, and 
thefe endeavours, be man:iged, as commonly they are, 
to obtain juflification before God, they are the more 
wicked works liiil. iSvA becaufe this point is needful 
to be known, I would give you fome telfimonies for 
it. Doftrine of the church of England, in her thirty- 
nine articles, art, 13. '' Works done vcefore the grace 
*« of Chrifl, and the infpiration of his Spirit, are nor 
;m pleafant to God ; forafmuch as they fpring jiot. 01 

*^ Talih 

294 ^^^ dodrine of Jujlijicatkn vindicated 

** faith in Jcfus Chrift : neither do they make men 
*' meet to receive grace, or (as the fchool-authors fay) 
*' deferve grace of congraity. Yea, rather, for that 
** they are not done as God bath willed and command- 
*' ed them to be done, we doubt not bat they have 
*^ the natnre of fin.'* 80 ConfeJJlon of Faith ^ chap. 16. 
art. 7. Cahnn. hiflit, lib. 3. cap, \^, fed. 6. " They 
*' (faith he, fpeaking of the popifh fchoolraen) have 
** found out I know not what moral good works, 
*' whereby men are made acceptable to God before 
*^ they are ingrafted into Chrift. As if the fcripture 
*' lyed, when it faid, Thr/ are all In death who have 
<=« not the Son^ i John v. 12. If they be in death, 
<« how can they beget matter of life ? As if ic were 
♦« of no force, Whaffoevsr is not of faith ^ is fm ; as if 
" evil trees coidd h.'in-^ forth good fruit ^"^ Read the 
reft of that fe£\ion. On the contrary, the council- of 
Trent, fef]. 6. canon» 7. fay boldly, " Whofoever 
*' fcll fay. That all works done before jaftification, 
<' hovvfoever they be done, are truly fin, cind deferve 
" the hatred of God ; let him be anathema." And 
to give you one more bellowing of the bealt, wounded 
by the light of the gofpel, fee the fame council^ fefj 6, 
canon 11. Si qui 5 dixerit, Grafiam qua ju/Iijfcatnur^ 
effe tantum favor em Dei ; atmthemafit. This is fear- 
ful blafphemy, faith Dr Downham, bifhop of Lon- 
dond'.n'ry, in his orthodox book of jaitifxation, lib. 3. 
cap. I.; where he faith, " That the Hebrew words 
^ which in the old teilament fignify the grace of Gody 
« do always dgm^y favour , and never ^^r^<:^ inherent. 
.*' And above lif^y teftimonies may be brought from 
«< the new teilament, to prove that by GocPs grace 
«< \{\%favour'\^ ftill meant." But what was good church- 
of-England do£i:nne at and after the reformation, can^ 
not now go down with fome Arminianizing Noncon- 

If then norbing will fatisfy our qoarrelling bre- 
thren, but either fdence as to the main points of the 
gofpel, which we believe, and live by the faith oU 


from the charge of Antinomlanifm. 2^5 

and look to be favcd in ; which we have for many 
years preached, with fome feals of the Holy Ghoft in 
converting finners unto God, and in building them up 
in holinefs and comtort, by the faith and power oF 
them ; which alfo we vowed to the Lord to preach 
to all that will hear us, as long as we live, in the day 
when we gave up ourfelves to ferve God with our fpi- 
rit in the gofpel of his Son : if either this fiience, or 
the fwallowing down of Arminian fchemes of the gof- 
pel, contrary to the New Tertament, and unknowa 
to the reformed churches, in their greatelt purity, hz 
the only terms of peace with our brethren ; we mull 
then maintain our peace with God, and our own con- 
fciences, in the defence of plain gofpel-truth, and our 
harmony with the reformed churches ; and in the coip^ 
-fort of thefe bear their enmity. And though it be 
ufual with them to vilify and contemn fuch asdiiier 
from them, for their fewnefs, weaknefs, and want 
of learning ; yet they might know, that the moll 
learned and godly in the Chrillian world, have main- 
tained and defended tue fame dofirine we (land for, 
for fome ages. The grace of God Vv^ili never want, 
for it can, and will furniih, defenders of it. England 
hath been bleffed with a Bradwardine, an archbiihop 
of Canterbury, againft the Pelagians ; a Twiffe and 
Ames, againft the Arminians. And though they that 
contend with us, would feparate their caufe altoge^ 
ther from that of thefe two pefts of the church of 
Chrift, i mean Pelagius and Arminius ; yet judicious 
obfervers cannot but already perceive a coincidency; 
and do fear more, when either the force of argument 
{hall drive them out of their lurking-holes, or whea 
ihey (liall think fit to dlfcover their fecret fentiment?, 
which yet we but guefs at. Then, as we (hall know 
better what they would be at ; fb it is very like, that 
they will then find enemies in many whom they have 
feduced by their craft, and do yet feem to be in their 
camp ; and will meet with oppofers, both at home 
and abroad, that thev think not of. 


2^6 Th9 doSlrine of Jujlification vindicated 

Our doctrine of the iuftification of a finner by the 
free grace of" God in Jelus Chrifl, however it be mif- 
reprefented and refleded upon, is yet undeniably re- 
commended by four things. 

1. It is a do6l4ine favoury and precious unto all fe- 
ricus- godly perfons. Dr Ames's obfervation holds 
good as to all the Arininian divinity, that it is cojitra 
commumm fcnfum Jidelium / ^' againfl: the common 
" fenfe of believers." And though this be an argu- 
ment of little weight with them that value more the 
judgment of the icribes, and the wife, and difputers 
of this world, i Cor. i. tS, ip, 20, 21. than of all 
the godly ; yet the Spirit of God by John gives us 
this fame arguraenr, i John iv. 5, 6. They are of the 
ivorld : therefore /peak they of the worlds and the world 
heareth them. We are of God : he that knoweth God^ 
heareth us : he that is not of God, heareth not us. 
Hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the fpirit of 
error. How evident is it, that feveral who, by edu- 
cation, or an unfound miniilry, having had their na- 
tural enmity againfl the grace of God ftrecgthened, 
when the Lord by his Spirit hath broke in upon their 
hearts, and hath raifcd a ferious fouUexercife about 
their falvation ; their turnmg to God in Chrifl, and 
their turning from Arminiacifm, have begun toge- 
ther ? And fome of the greateft champions for the 
grace of God have been perfons thus dealt with ; as 
we might inftance. And as it is thus with men at 
their converfion ; fo is it found afterward, that flill 
as it is well with them in their inner man, fo doth the 
doctrine of grace ftill appear more precious and fa- 
voury. On the other parr, all the ungodly and un- 
renewed have a diflike and difrelilh of this dc^frine ; 
and are all for the doctrine of doing, and love to hear 
it ; and, in their forry exercife, are flill for doing 
their own bufmefs in falvation ; though they be no- 
thing, but fin, and deflroy ihemfclves. 

2. It is that do^lrine only by which a convinced 
finner can be dealt with efi'*: equally. When a man is 


from the charge cf Antinomianlfm. 297 

awakened, and brought to that, that a^I muft be 
brought to, or to worfe. What Jh all I do to befavedf 
ASis xvi. 30, 31. we have the apoftolic anfwer to ir. 
Believe on the Lord J ejus Chrij}^ and thou fJ: alt befav- 
edy and thy honfe. This anfwer is fo old, that with 
many it feems out of date. But it is liil!, and will 
ever be frefli, and new, and favoury, and the only 
refohuion of this grand cafe of confcience, as long as 
confcience and the world lads. No wit or art of maa 
will ever find a crack or flaw in it, or devife another 
or a better anfwer ; nor can any but this alone heal 
rightly the wound of an awakened confcience. Let 
us fet this man to feek refolution in this cafe of Tome 
maflers in our Ifrael. According to iheir principle?, 
they mufl fay to him, " Repent, and mourn for your 
** known fms, and leave them and lothe them ; and 
'* God will have mercy on you.'' '' Alas! faith the 
" poor man, my heart is hard, and 1 cannot repent 
*' aright ; yea I find my heart more hard and vile 
*' than when 1 was fecure in fin." If you fpeak to 
this man of qualifications for Chrift, he knows nothing 
of them ; if of fincere obedience, his anfwer is na- 
tive and ready, " Obedience is the work of a living 
"^ man, and fmcerity is only in a renewed foul." Sin- 
cere obedience is therefore as impofTible to a dead un- 
renewed fmner, as perfect obedience is. Why (hould 
not the right anfwer be given. Believe on the Lord J e- 
fus Chrifly and you JImll be favedf Tell him what 
Chrifl: is, what he hath done and fuffered to obtain 
eternal redemption for finners, and that according to 
the will of God and his Father. Give him a plain 
downright narrative of the gofpel-falvation wrought 
out by the Son of God ; tell hian the hiftory and my- 
Itery of the gofpei plainly. It m.ay be the Holy Ghoft 
will work faith thereby, as he did in thofe firft-fruits 
of the Gentiles, A6ls x. 44. Ifheaflc, What war- 
rant he hath to believe on Jcfus Chrifl: ? tell him, that 
he hath utter indifpenfible oecefiiiy for it ; for with- 
out believing on him, he mud peritti eternally ; that 
VoL.L P p he 

3 9 8 The dodrine of Jii/Iijjcation vindica ted 

he hath God's gracious offer of Chrlft and all his re- 
demption J with a promife, that upon accepting the 
offer by faith, Chrill and falvation with him is his : 
that he hath God's exprefs commandment^ i John iii. 
25. to believe on ChriJPs name; and that he (liould 
make confcience of obeying it, as well as any commaiul 
in the moral law. Tell hira of Chrifi's ability and 
good-will to fave ; that no man was ever rejc^ed by 
him, that cait hirafelf upon him ; that defperate cafes 
are the glorious triumphs of his arc of f^iving. Tell 
him, that there is no raidff between faith and unbe- 
lief; that there is no excufe for neglecting the one, 
and continuing in the ether ; that believing on the 
Lord Jefus for falvation, is more pleafmg to God, than 
all obedience to his law ; and that unbelief is the molt 
provoking to God, and the mofl darnaing to man, of 
all fms, Againft the greatnefs of bis (ins, the curfe 
of the law, and the feverity of God as Judge, there 
is no relief to be held forth to him, but the free and 
boundlefs grace of God in the merit of Chrifl's fatif- 
fa<^ion by the facrifice of himfelf. If he (hould fay. 
What is it to believe on Jefus Chrift ? As to this, I 
find no fuch queftion in the word : but that all did 
fome way underdand the notion of it j the Jews that 
di<i not believe on him, John vi. 28, 29, 50.; the chief 
pritds and Pharifees, John vii. 48. ; the blind man, 
Jc-iin ix. ^5. When Chrift aiked him, Believejl thou 
on the Son of Godf he anfwered, Who is he^ Lord^ 
that I may believe on him f Immediately, when Chrift 
had told him, ver. 37. he faith not, What is it to be- 
lieve on him f but, Lordy 1 believe ; and worjhipped 
him : and fo both profeiTed and a£led faith in him. 
So the father of the lunatic, Mark ix. 2^, 24. j the 
eunuch, Ac'ls viii. 37. They all, both Cbrift's ene- 
mies and his difciples, knew that faith in him was a 
believing, that the man Jefus of Nazareth was the Son 
of God, the Melliah, and Saviour of the world, fo 
as to receive, and look for falvation in his name, A<^s 
iY» 12. This was the common report, publi(bed by 


Jrom the charge of Antinomianifm. 2 99 

Chrifl:, and his apoftles and difciplcs; and known by 
dl that heard it. If he yet all:. What he is to be- 
lieve P you tell him, that he is cot called to believe, 
that he is in Chrift, and that his fms are pardoned, 
and he is a judified man ; but that he is to believe God's 
record concerning Chrid, 1 John v. 10, 11, 12. ; and 
this record is^ that God giveth (that is, offereih) to us 
eternal life in his Son Jefm Chrijl ; and that all that 
with the heart believe this report, and reft their fouls 
on thefc glad tidings, fliall be faved, Rom. x. 9, 10, r r. 
And. thus he is to believe^ that he may be jufJified^ 
Gal. ii. 16. If he ftill fay, That this believing is 
hard ; this is a good doubt, but eafily refolved. It 
befpeaks a man deeply humbled. Any body may fee 
his own impotence to obey the law of God fully ; but 
few find the difficulty of believing. For his refoluti- 
on, alTc him, What it is he finds makes believing dif- 
ficult to him ? Is it unwillingnefs to bejudified and 
faved ? Is it unwillingnefs to be fo faved by Jefus 
Chrift, to the praife of God's grace in him, and to 
the voiding of all boafting in himfelf i* This he will 
furely deny. Is it a diftrufl of the truth of the gof- 
pel-record ? This he dares not own. Is it a doubt of 
Chrifl's ability, or good-will to fave ? This is to con- 
tradift the teflimony of God in the gofpel. Is it be- 
caufe he doubts of an intereft in Chrifl and his re- 
demption ? You tell him, that believing on Chrid 
makes up the interefl in him. If he fay. That he 
cannot believe on Jefus Chrift, becaufe of the diffi- 
culty of the adling this faith ; and that a divine power 
is needful to draw it forth, which he fuids not ; you 
tell him, that believing in Jefus Chrift is no work, 
but a refting on Jefus Chrifl ; and that this pretence 
is as unreafonable, as that if a man v/earied with a 
journey, and who is not able to go one ftep further, 
► ihould argue, " I am fo tired, that I am not able to 
*' lie down ;" when indeed he can neither ftand nor 
go. The poor wearied finner can never believe on 
jefus Chrift, till he finds he can do nothing for bim- 
F p 2 felf J 

500 The do&rhe of Jujlificalion vindicated 

felf ; and in his firft believing doth alwa)'s apply him- 
felf to Chrift for falvation, as a man hopelefs and 
belplefs in himfeir. And by fuch reafonings with him 
from (he gofpel, the Lord will (as he hath often done) 
convey faith, and joy and peace by believing, 

g. This doOrine of free juftification by faith alone, 
hath this advantage. That it fuits all mens fpirits and 
frame in their ferious approaches to God in worfhip. 
Men may think and talk boldly of inherent righteouf- 
nefs, and of its worth and value ; of good works, and 
frames, and difpofnions : but when men prefentthem- 
felves before the Lord, and have any difcoveries of 
his glory, all things in themfelves will difappear, and 
be looked upon as nothing. Zophar, though the hot- 
ted fpeaker of job's friends, did yet fpeak rightly to 
him, Job xi. 4, 5. For thou haft faid^ My dcdrine is 
fure^ and 1 am clean in thine eyes. But^ that God 
ivould fpeak ! And fo Job found it, when God dif- 
played bis glory to him, and that only in the works 
of creation and providence, chap, xxxviii, xxxix. He 
then changed his note, Job xl. 4, 5. and xlii. 2,-6. 
So wasii with ifaiah, chap. vi. 5. till pardoning grace 
was imparted to him. No man can ftand before this 
holy Lord God, with aay peace and comfort, unlefs 
he have God himfelf to ftay upon. His grace and 
rnercy in Jefus Chriil, can only preferve a man from 
being con fumed ; and the faith of iu from being con^ 
founded. Hence v;e fee the difference betwixt 
mens frame in their difputes and doflrine about thefe 
points, and their own fenfe and pleadings with God 
in prayer. 

4. This do<Slrine of juflification by faith without any 
mixtures of man, (however, and by what names and 
titles foever they be di-gnified or diftinguifhed), hath 
this undoubted advantage. That it is that which all not 
judicially hardened and blinded, do, or would, or 
muft betake themfelves unto, when dying. How 
loih would men be to plead that caufe on a death- 

from the charge of Ant'iKomianifm. ^ c r 

bed, which they fo floutly Rdnd up for wich tongue 
and pen, when at eafe, and that evil day far away P 
They feem to be jealous, left God's grace and Chrift's 
righreoufnefs have too much room, and mens works 
too little, in the bufmefs of jufljficaiion. Bat war> 
there ever a fenfible dying pcrfoo exercifed with this 
jealoufy as to hirafelf ? Even bloody Stephen Gardi- 
ner, when a-dying, could anfwer Dr Day, Bidiop of 
Chichefter> who offered comfort to him by this doc- 
trine, " What, my Lord, will you open that gap 
" now ? Then farewel altogether. To me, and fuch 
<« other in my cafe, you may fpeak it; but open this 
<« window to the people, then farewel altogether." 
Book ofmartyrSy vol. 3./). 450, In which word?, he 
bewrayed a conviction of the fitnefs of thedoftrine to 
dying perfons, and his knowledge that it tended to 
th= deftroying the kingdom of Antichrift. As Fox, 
in the fame Book of martyrs^ vol. 2» p. 46. gives this as 
the reafon of Luther's fuccefs againd Popery, above 
all former attempts of preceeding witneffes. " But 
« (faith he) Luther gave ihe ftroke, and plucked 
" down the foundation, and all by opening one vein, 
*« long hid before, wherein lieth the touchitone of 
" all truth and doctrine, as the only principal origin 
" of our falvation; which i?, our free juftiiicat ion by 
« faith only, in Chrift the Son of God." Confider 
how it is with the raofl holy and eminent faints when 
dying. Did ye ever fee or hear any boafling of their 
works and performances ? They may, and do own, 
to the praife of his grace, what they have been made 
to be, what they have been helped to do or fuffer 
for Chrifl's fake. But when they draw near to the 
awful tribunal, what elfe is in their eye and hearty 
but only free grace, ranfoming blood, and a well-order- 
ed covenant in Chrift the Surety ^ They cannot bear 
to hear any make mention to them of their holinefs, 
their own grace and attainments. In a word, the 
doctrine of conditions, qualification?^, and re^oral go- 
vernment, and the diftribuuon of rewards and pu« 


gC2 The doBnne (rf Jvjlification vindicated 

niuimer;ft, nccording to the new law of grace, will 
mike bric an nneafy bed to a dying man's confcience ; 
and v;il! leave hiiTi in a very bad condition at prefent, 
and m dread of worfe, when he is feeling, in his laft 
agoniec, that the iva^^es of fin is death, if he cannot 
bv (aiih add, But the gijt of God is eternal life ^ thro* 
Jefu5 Chrijl cur Ldrd, Rom. vi. 23. He is a wife and 
happy man that anchors his foul en that rock, at 
which he can ride out the (torm of \death. Why 
Oiouid raen contend for that ia their life, that they 
know ihiey itiufi: renounce at their death i* or neglect 
that imX\' now, tha^ Ihey muft betake themfclves un- 
fdrhcni Why fliould a man build a houfe, which he 
muft leave in a ftorm> or be buried in \i.% ruins? Ma- 
.Dy'aTchite^s have attempted to make a fare houfe of 
their own righteoufnefs : but it is without a founda- 
tlow';? a?ki innft fall, or be thrown down forrowfuliy 
by the foolifh builder ; which is the better way. It is 
a great teft of the truth of the do^rine about the way 
of falvaiion, when it is generally approved of by fen- 
fible dying men. And what the univerfal fenfe of all 
fuch in this czit is, as to the righteoufnefs of Chrill, 
snd their own is obvious to any man. He was an in- 
•>-enuous B.ilaamite, who being himfelf a Papill, faid 
to a Proteflanr, *« Our religion is bed ro live in, and 
" your's bed to die in.'* 

But notwithilanding of thcfe great advantages (and 
they are but a few of raan-y) that this dofirine is at- 
tended with, there are not a few difadvantages it la- 
bours under ; which though they are rather to iis 
conimci)dation thsn reproach, yet they do hinder its 
welcome and reception. As, 

I. This doclrine is a fpiritual inyRery, and lieth 
rot level to a natural underflanding, 1 Cor. ii. 10. 14. 
Vv''orl(ing for life, a man naturally underdands: but 
believing for life, he underQands not. To mend the 
old man, he knovv's ; but to put on the new man by 
faith, is a riddle to him. The (tudy of hoiiiiefs, ap.d 
CO endeavour to fquare his life according to God's law, 


from the charge of Antinornianifm. jjj 

be knows a little of, though he can never do it ;• but 
to draw fanaification from Chrift by faith, aad to 
walk holiiy, in and through the force of the Spirit of 
Chrift in the heart by faith, is mere canting to hi:r. 
A new life he underdands a lirrle ; but iiothin,^ of a 
new birth and regeneration. He never f.iw hmifelf 
flark dead. Nay, not only it is unknown to the n:i- 
rural man, but he is by his natural ilate an enemy to 
it. He neither doth, nor can know it, nor approve 
ofir, I Cor. iL 14. Wifdwi (that is, Chrift's way 
of faving men revealed in the gofpel) u juflifted of 
all her children^ and of them only, Matth. xi. 19, 
Luke vii. 29, 30. 35. This enmity in men to the wif- 
dom of God, is the caufe not only of this contempt of 
its miniflry, but is a temptation to many miniliers to 
patch up and frame a gofpci that is more fuii-d tO', 
and taking with, and more eafily underilood by fuch 
men, than the true gofpel of Chriil is. This Paul 
complains of in others, and vindicates himfelf fronf^ 
I Cor. i. 17. and ii. 2. He warns others againii if^ 
Col. ii. 8. 2 Cor. xi. 3. 4. Gal. i. 6, 7, 8, 9. And 
it is certain, that doing for life is more fuitcd to cor- 
rupt nature, than believing is. 

2. Our oppofers in this doflrine have the many for 
them, and againit us; as they of old boafted, John 
vii. 48. This they have no ground to glory in, tho* 
they do ; nor we to be alhamed of the truth, hecaufc 
we cannot vie numbers with them. With our oppof- 
ers are all thefe forts, (and they make a great num- 
ber) j though I do not fay or think, that all our op- 
pofers are to be ranked in any of thefe liils ; for fome 
both godly and learned may miftakc u?, and the truth, 
in this matter-, i. They have all the ignorant peo- 
ple, that know nothing of either law or gofpel. They 
ferve God, (ihey fay, but moil falfely); and hope 
that God will be merciful to them, and fave them To 
all fuch, both the clear explication of God's law, an<J 
the mylteries of the gofpel, are (Irange things. Yec 
iancere obedience tfcey love to hear of; for all 06 


5 04 ^he dodrine of Jujlijication vindicated 

them think there is forae fmcerity in their hearts, .lud 
that they can do fomewhat. But oF faith in ' arilL 
they have no knowledge ; except by faith y.iti under- 
{land a dream of being faved by Jefus Chriil, though 
they know nothing of him, or of his way c! favi^g 
men, nor of the way of being faved by him. 2, . Ail 
fornialifts are on their fide ; people that place tht:ir 
religion in trifles, becaufe they are ftraneers to the 
fubliance thereof. 3. Ail proud fecure fmners iire 
agalnft us, that go ahouty with the Jews, to ejlahli/h 
their own righteoufnefs^ Rom. x. 3. The fecure are 
whole, and fee no need of the phyfician ; the proud 
have phyfic at home, and defpife that that came down 
from heaven. 4. Ail the zealous devout people in a 
natural religion, are utter enemies to the gofpel. By 
a natural religion, I mean that that is the produ(^ of 
the remnants of God's image in fallen man, a little im- 
proved by the light of God's word. All fuch cannot 
endure to hear, that God's law muft be perfedly ful- 
filled in every title of it, or no man can be faved by 
doing ; that they mud all perilh for ever, that have 
not the righteoufnefs of a man that never finned, who 
is alfo God over all blefled for ever, to (heher and 
cover them from a holy God's anger, and 10 render 
them accepted of him ; that this righteoufnefs is put 
on by the grace of God, and a man mud betake him- 
felf to it, and receive it as a naked blulhing fioner ; 
that no man can do any thing that is good, till gof- 
pel-grace renew him, and make him firlt a gcod man. 
This they will never receive, but do flill think that 
a man may grow good by doing good. 

3. Natural reafon is very fertile in its objections 
and cavils againfl the do6lrine cf the grace of God ; 
and efpecially when this corrupt reafon is polifhed by 
learning and (trong natural parts. When there are 
many 10 broach fuch dc£trine, and many fo difpofed 10 
receive it, is it any wonder that the gofpel-truth 
raakes liiile progrefs in the world ? Nay, were it not 
for the divine power that.fappons it, and the promif- 


from the charge of Antimnitan'ifm, 305 

esbfits preferVaridn, its enemies are fo irany and 
(IrtDri^, and true friends fo few and feeble, \7e might 
fear its perifhing from the earth. But we koov/ it is 
impcffibie. And if the Lord have a defgn of mercy 
to thefe nations, and hath a vein of his eleclioo to dig 
up amongft us, we make no doubt, but the gbry of 
Chrin", as a crucified Saviour, fnall yet be difplayed 
in the Itiidfl of us, to the joy of all that love his fal- 
vaiion, and to the fliame of others, Ifa. Ixvi. 5. 

4. 1 might add the great declention of fome of the 
reformed churches from the purity and fimpliciiy of 
that doi^rine they were firft planted in. The new 
iVIeihodifls about the grace of God, had too greac 
an iccreafe in the French churches. And, which was 
very ftrange, this dcclenfion advanced amongd them, 
at the fame time when Janfenifm was fpreadicg a- 
mongft many of the church of Rome : fo that a maa 
jtiight have feen Papifts growing better in their 
doctrine, and Froteflants growing worfe. Sse Mr 
Qj2iW% Idea 0} Janfmifm^ with Dr O-ven's preface. 
What there is of this amongft us in England, i leave 
the reader to Mr Jenkyn's Ccleufma^ and to the Naked 
truth, part 4. And if there be any warping toward 
Arminian dodlrine by forae on our fide, in order to 
ingratiate themfelves with that church that hath the 
fecular advantages to dlfpenfe, and to make way for 
fomc accomniodaticn w.th them, I had rather wait 
in fear till a further difcovery of it, than offer td 
guefs at. 

5. Laftly, It is no fmall difr^dvantage this do6^rinc 
Kes under from the fpirit of this day we live in. A 
light, frothy, trifling temper, prevails generally; doc* 
irines of the greateit weight are talked of and treat- 
ed about, with a vain unconcerned frame of fpirit ; 
as if men contended rather about opinions and fchoo!- 
points, than about the oracles of God, and matters of 
faith. But, if mens hearts were feen by themfelves ; 
if fm were felt ; if mens confciences were enlivened ; 
if God^s holy law were known ia lis exaOnefs an.i 

Vol. I, ' Q^q fe verity, 

2c6 ^he dodrine of JujTjfaation vindicated 

feverity, and the glory and raajefty of the lawgiver 
Ihining before mens eyes *, if men were living as leav 
ing time, and lanching forth into eternity ; the gof- 
pel-falvation by Jefus Chrid would be more regarded, 

Obj(:ci. I. Is there not a great decay amongil pro- 
feiTcis in real pra^ical godlinefs ? Are we like the 
old Proteilants, or the old Puritans? I anfwer, That 
the decay and degeneracy is great, and heavily to be 
bewailed. But what is the caufe ? and what will be 
its cure ? Is it becaufe the doflrine of morality, and 
virtue, and good works, is not enough preached ? 
This cannot be : for there hath been for many years 
a public miniftry in the nation, that make thefe their 
conftant themes. Yet the land is become as Sodom 
for all lewdnefs ; and the tree of profanenefs is fo 
grown, that the fword of the magiftrate hath not yet 
been able to lop oiTany of its branches. Is it becaufe 
men have too much faith ia.Chriil ? or too little ? or 
none at all ? Would not faith in Chrifl increafe holi- 
nefs ? did it not always fo P and ^vill It not (till do it ? 
Was not the hohnefs.of the firPt Pioteftints eminent 
and fliining? And yet they generally put aiTurance 
in the deftnition of their faiih. We cannot fay, that 
gofpel-holinefs hath profpered much by the corre«!^i- 
on or mitigation of tiiat harfli-like definition. The 
certain fpring of this prevailing wickedncfs in the 
land, is people's ignorance and unbelief of the gof- 
pel of Chrift ; and that grows by many prophets thac 
ipeak lyes to them in the name of the Lord. 

Objeci, 2, But do not fome abufe the grace of the 
gofpel, and turn it into wantonnefs ? Anfwer, Yes \ 
^ome do, ever did, and full will do fo. Bat it is on- 
ly the iii-underftood and not believed doclrine of 
grace that they abufe. The grace itfelf no man caa 
abufe; for its power prevents its abufe. Let us lee 
how Paul, that bleiTed herald of this grace, (as hz 
was an eminent inftance of it), deaieth with this ob- 
ie£lion, Rom. vi. i. &c. What doth he to prevent 
'chis abufe I h it by extenuating whuc be hid faid> 


from the charge of Antinomlanjfm, 307 

chap. V. 20. \);\2X grace abounds much more^ where fin 
had abounded f Is it by mincing grace frtialier, that 
men may not choke npon ir, or rurfeit by ii I Is it by 
mixing fomething of the law with it, to make it more 
wholfome ? No : but only by plain afTening the pow- 
er and influence of this grace, where-ever it really is ; 
as at length in that chapter. This grace is all trea- 
fured up in Chrifl Jefus, ofFere^l to all men in the gof- 
pel, poured forth by our Lord in the working of 
faith, and drunk in by the eletfl in the exercife of 
faith ; and becomes in them a living fpring, which 
will, and mu(t break out and fpring up in all holy 
converfation. He exhorts them to drink in more and 
more of this grace by faith. And as for fuch as pre- 
tend to grace, and live ungodly, the Spirit of God 
declares, they are void of grace, wh'ch is always 
fruitful in good works, 2 Pet. ii. and Jude's epiflle. 
The apoflie orders the churches to caft fuch our, i 
Cor. V. 2 Tim. iii. 5. ; and ro declare to them, as Pe- 
ter did to a profeiTor, Aft" viii, 20, 21. that they have 
no part nor -portion in this matter^ for their heart is not 
right in the fight of God ; though the doftrine be 
right, that they hypocrirically proiefs. 

But if our brethren will not forbear their charge of 
Antinomianifm, we intreat them that they will give it 
in joftly. As, i. Oo them that fay, that the fanfti- 
on of the holy law of God is repealed ; fo that no man 
is now under it, either to be condemned for breaking 
ir, or to be faved by keeping it ; which to us is rar»k 
Antinomianifm and Arminianifm borh ; yea that it 
doth not now require perfect holinefs. But indeed 
what can it require P for it is bo law, if its fanflion 
be repealed. 2. On them let the charge lie, that are 
ungodly under the name of Chriftianity. And both 
they and we know where to find fuch true Antinomians 
in great abundance, who yet are never called by diac 
name. And is it not fomewhat ftrange, that merr 
who have fo much zeal againH: an Antinomian princi- 
ple, have io much kindnefs for true AntinoiJO-'ans in 
Q^q 2 piafticer 

.508 TJje dc Brine of Jb(fliJication vindkaied 

pra<9:'ce ? 5. Let hitn be called by this ugly name, 
that judgetli not the holy law and word of God writ- 
ten in ihe old and new teftament to be a perfedt rnlq 
<)f life to all believers, and faith not that all fuch 
ihould lludy conformity thereunto, Rom. xii. 2. 4. 
I'hat enccuragerh himfell- in fiii, and hardeneth him- 
ielf in impenitence, by the do^lriae of the gofpel. 
1^0 man that knows and believes the gofpel, can da 
fo. What fome hypocrites may do, is nothing to us, 
who difovya all fuch perfons and pra<5lices ; andov/a 
DO principle that can really encourage the one, or in^ 
flocEce the other. 5. That thinketh holinefs is not 
Beceil'iry to all that wou'd be faved. We maintain, 
not only that it is necelTciry to, but that it is a great 
part of falvarioQ. 6. Whoever thinks, that when a 
believer comes ihort in obeying God's law, he fins noc ; 
and that he ought not to mourn becanfe of it as pro- 
v^okin? to God, and hurtful to the new creation in 
Jbim ; and that he needs not renew the exercife of 
faith and repentance for repeated wailiiog and pardon- 
ing. Laftly, That fay, that a fmner is a^fually jafli- 
fied before he be uciied to Chrifl by faith. It is 
ftrange, that fuch that are charged with this, of all 
men do mod prefs en finners to believe on Jefus Chriit, 
and urge the damnation threateaed in the i^ofpel upon 
all unbelievers. That there is a decreed juitificatioa 
from eternity, particular and fixed as to all the ele^V, 
and a virtual perfe<fl: j unification of all the redeemed, 
in and hy the death and refurrc£lion cf Jefu^ Chriil, 
Ifa, liii. 1 1. Rom. iv. 25. lieb. ix. 26. 28. and x. 14. 
is not yet called in quellion by any amongll us; and 
KJore J5 not craved, but that a finner, for his a.51ual 
J43fi;f]carJcn, muft lay held on and plead this redemp- 
tion in Chrift's blood by faith. - 

But, on the other hand, we g^ory in any name of 
reprcach (as the honourable reproach of Chrill) that 
is cad upon us for afferting the abfclute boundlefs 
freedom of the grace of God, which excludes all merit, 
acd every thing like it j the abfolutenefs ct the cove- 

from the charge of Antinomianifm, 309 

nant of grace, (for the covenant of redemption was 
plainly and (Iriftly a condicioaal one, and the nobleft 
of all condinons was in it. The Son of God's taking on 
him man's nature, and ofFeiing it in facrifice, was the 
ftric^ condition of all the glory and reward promifed 
to Chrift and his feed, Ifa. Hii. 10, ii.)» wherein all 
things are freely promifed, and that faith that is re- 
quired for fealinga man'sintereftia the covenant is pro- 
mifed in it, and wrought by the grace of it, Eph. ii. 8. 
That faith at firfl is wrought by, and afis upon a full 
and abfolute offer of Chrift, and of all his falnefs; an 
cijer that hath no condition in it, but that native one 
to all offers, acceptance; and in the very adl: of thi*? 
acceptance, the accepter doth exprefly difclaim all 
things in himfelf, but fmfulnefs and mifery. That 
f^iih in Jefus Chrift doth juftify (although by the way 
it is to be noted, that it is never written in the word, 
that faith juftifieih a^ively, but always paffively : that 
a man is juftified by faith, and that God juftifieth men 
by, and through faith ; yet admitting the phrafe) 
cniy as a mere inftrument receiving that imputed righ- 
tcoufnefs of Chrift, for which v/e are juftified ; and 
that this faith, in the office of juilification, is neither 
condition nor qualilicatioo, nor our gofpei righteouf- 
nefs, but in iis very a<fl a renouncing of all fuch pre- 

We proclaim the market of grace to be free, Ifa. 
Iv. I, 2, 3. If is Chritl's laft offer and lowed. Rev, 
:s-xii. 17. If there be any price or money fpoke of, 
it is no price ^ no Tiioney. And where fuch are the terms 
and conditions, if we be forced to call thera fo, we 
iDuft fay, that they look iiker a renouncing, than a 
boafl-ing of any qualifications or conditions. Surely 
the terms of the gofpel-bargain are, God's free giving, 
and our free taking and receiving. 

We are not aftiamed of teaching the ineff; ^^u^lnefs 
of the law, and all the works of it, to give life ; ei- 
ther thatof juftification, or of regeneration and fanc-^ 
lification, or of eternal life ; That the law of God 


3 1 o The do5lnne of Juflificatlon vindicated 

can only damn all finners ; that it only rebukes, and 
thereby irritates and increafes fin ; and can never fub- 
due it, till gofpel-erace come with power upon the 
heart ; and then when the law is written in the heart, 
it is copied out in the life. 

That we call men to believe on the Lord Jefus 
Chrift, in that cafe the firfl: Adam brouprht them to, 
and left them in "; in that cafe that the law finds and 
leaves them in, guilty, filthy, condemned : out of 
which cafe they can only be delivered by Chrill, and 
by believing on him. 

That we tell finners, that Jefus Chrift will furely 
welcome all that come to him; and as he will not caft 
them out for their finfulnefs, in their nature and by- 
paft: life, fo neither for their mifery, in the want 
of fuch qualifications and graces that he only can 

That we do hold forth the propitiation in Chrift's 
blood, as the only thing to be in the eye of a man 
that would believe on Chrift unto juftification of life ; 
and that by this faith alone a finner is juftified, and 
God is juftified in doing fo. 

That Godjujlifieth the ungodly y Rom. iv. 5. neither 
by making him godly before he juftify him, nor leav- 
ing him ungodly after he hath juftified him ; but that 
the fame grace that juftifies him, doih immediately 
fancfify him. 

If for fuch dx)£lrine we be called Antinomians, we 
are bold to fay, that there is fome ignorance of,, or 
prejudice at the known Proteftant doclrine, in the 
hearts of the reproachers. 

That there are forae things we complain of. As, 

I. That they load their brethren fo grievoully with 
unjuft calumnies, either direclly, or by confequence : 
as when they preach up holinefs, and the neceflity of 
it, as if it were their proper doclrine, and difowned 
by us ; when they cannot but know in their confci- 
ences, that there is no difference between them and 
u?, about the Daiure and ncccffity of holinefs, but 


from the charge of Antimmianifm. 3 1 1 

only about its fpring and place in falvation. We 
derive it from Jcfus Chrift, and faith in him ; and 
know aiTuredly, that it can fpring from nothing elfe- 
We place it betwixt juftification and glory, and that 
is its fcripture-place ; and no where elfe can it be 
found or itand, let men try it as much and as long as 
ihey will. 

2. That they feem very zealous againft Antinomi- 
anifm, and forget the other extreme of Arminianifm ; 
which is far more common, as dangerous, and far 
more natural to all men. For though there have been, 
and may be this day, fome true Aniinomians, either 
through ignorance, or v/eaknefs, reeling to that ex- 
treme, or by the heat of contention with, and hatred 
of Arminianifm, (as it is certain, fome very good and 
learned men have inclined to Arminianifm, through 
their hatred of Antinomianifm, and have declared fo 
much) : and fome may, and do corrupt the do^rine 
of the gofpel, through the unreaewednefs of their 
hearts : yet how deftru£cive foever this abufe may be 
to the fouls of the feduced, fuch an appearance of 
Antinomianifm is but as a meteor or comet, that will 
foon blaze out, and its folly will be quickly hiffed oiT 
the ftage. But the principles of Arminianifm are the 
natural diiflates of a carnal mind, which is enmity both 
to the law of God, and to the gofpel of Chrift ; and, 
next to the dead fea of Popery, (into which al fo this 
itream runs), have, fmce Pelagius to this day, been 
the greatefl: plague of the church of Chrift^ and it i3 
like will be till his fecond coming. 

3. We do alfo jultly complain, that, in their op- 
pofing of true Antinomian errors, and particularly the 
alledged tenets of Dr Crifp, they hint, that there is 
a party of minifters and prolelTors that defend them ; 
whereas we can defy rhem to name one rainifter in 
London at lead, that doth fo. 

4. That expreffions capable of a good fenfe, are 
flrei)uoully perverted, contrary to the fcope of the 
writer or fpeaker. But this and fuch like are the u- 


3 \ 1 The dodrine of JujViJication vindicated 

fual methods of unfair contender?^. Were the like me- 
thods taken on the other fide, how man/, Pop^i^i, Ar- 
mtnian, yea and Socinian exprefiions, wx^m be pub- 
liftiedP IF any gofpcl-truth be preached or publiCied, 
that reflej^is on the idol of felf-righteoufnefs, and juf- 
tificaiion thereby, it is Toon quarrelled wicb. Bur re- 
proaches cad: on the free gr-jce of God, and the im- 
puted righteoufricfs of Chrifl, are with them, if not 
tipproved, yet but venial, well-meant n^viftakes. Let 
tnens ftated principles be known, and their expreflions 
explained accordingly, or miftakes and contentions will 
be endlefs. 

5. We do alfo complain, that love to peac: hath 
made many grave and found divines forbear u) utter 
(heir minds freely in public on thefe points : whereby 
the adverfe party is emboldened; and fiich minillers 
as dare not purchafe peace by fileiicc; when fo great 
truths are undermined, are expofed as a mark. Bat 
we do not quellion but thefe worthy brethren, when 
they Ihall fee the points of controverfy accurately dat- 
ed (as they may fhortly), will openly appear on truth's 
fide, a> we know their hearts are for it. 

6. Lajlly^ We complain, that the fcheme of the 
gofpei contended for by oppofers, is clouded, vailed, 
and darkened by fchool* terms ; new, uncouth, and 
unfcriptural phrafes ; whereby, as they think to guard 
themfehes agaiatt oppofinon, fo they do increafe the 
jealoufies of their breihren, and keep their princi- 
ples from the knowledge ol ordinary people, who are 
as nfiUcli concerned in thofe points as any fcholar or 

This controverfy looks like a very bad omen. We 
thought we might have healed our old breaches, in 
fmaller things ; and, behold, a ne%v one is threatened 
in the greatefl matters. We did hope, that the good 
old Proteftant do<5lrine had been rooted and rivetted 
in the hearts of all the minifters on our fide ; but no'-v 
wc find the contrary, aad that the four leaven of Ar- 


frcm the charge of Antinomian'ifm, 3 1 j 

minianifm works ftrongly. Their advocates do not 
yet own the name ; but the younger fort arc more 
bold and free : and with them no books or authors 
are in eftecm and ufe, but fuch as are for the new ra- 
tional method of divinity. (Rational is a fitter com- 
mendation of a philofopher, than of a divine : and 
yet it is fomev/hat better applied to a divine, than 
to divinity; for true divinity hath a higher and no- 
bler oiiginal than man's reafon, even divine revela- 
tion ; and it ean never be rightly learned by thera 
that have no higher principle in them than reafon, e- 
ven the teaching of the Holy Ghoft). But for Lu- 
ther, Calvin, Zanchy, Twiffe, Ames, Perkins, and 
divines of their fpirit and (lamp, they arc generally 
negle£led and delpifed. 

We were in hope, that after the Lord had {o fig- 
nally appeared for his truth and people, in preferving 
both, under the rage of that Antichriiliaa fpirit of 
perfecutioUjand apoftafy to grofs Popery, that wrought 
fo mightily under the two lafl reigns, and when he 
had given us the long-defired mercy of a legal efta- 
blifliment of our gofpel-liberty in this, that all hearts 
and hduds ihould have been unaniraouily employed in 
the advancing of the work of Chrift. But we find, 
that as we have for a long time lod, in a great mea- 
fure, the power, we are now in no fmall danger of 
iofmg alfo the purity of the gofpel. And without 
them what fignifies liberty ! 

It is undoubted, that the devil defigns the obftruc- 
ung of the courfe of the gofpel ; and in this he hath 
often had the fervice of the tongues and pens of good 
men, as well as of bad. Yet we are not without hope, 
that the Lord, in his wifdom and mercy, will defeat 
him ; and that thefe contentions may yet have good 
fruit, and a good iifue. 

For furthering of this good end, let me requeft a 
few things of my brethren, 

1, Let us not receive reports fuddenly of one ano- 
ther. In limes of contention, many falfe reports are 

Vol. L H r raifed. 

3J4 ^^ doflrine of Jujlificalicn vindicated 

raifed, and raihly believed. This is both the fruit 
and the fewel of contention. ^For al) the noifeof An- 
tinomianifrn, I muft declare, that 1 do not know (and 
I. have both opportunity and iDclination to inquire) 
any one Antinomian ininifler or Chriftian in London, 
who is really fuch'as their rcproachers paint them out, 
or fuch as Luther and Calvin wrote againft. 

2. Let us make Chrlll crucified our great ftndy, ss 
Chriflians; and the preaching of him our main work, 
as ffiinidcrs. i Cor. ii. 2. Paul deterniined to kndw 
nothiog t}S^» But many manage the miriiftry, as i£ 
they bad taken up a contrary determination, even to 
know any thing, fave Jefus Chrifi^ and him crucijied. 
We are amazed to fee fo tnany adiamed of the crofi 
of Chrift, and to behave as if t^hey accounted the tid- 
ings of falvation by the (lain Son of God, an old an- 
tiquated (lory, and unfit to be daily preached. And 
what comes in the room thereof, is not unknown, nor 
is it worth the mentioning. For all things that ccrae 
in Chrift's room, and juftle him our, either of hearts 
or pulpits, are alike abominable to a Chriitian. How 
many ferroons may a man hear, and read when print- 
ed, yea, and books written, about ihe way to heaven, 
wherein is hardly the name of jefus Chrid I And if 
he be named, it is the name of Chrid as a Judge and 
Lawgiver, rather than that of a Saviour. And as 
little roona hath Chrid in many mens prayers ; except 
it be in the conclufion. When we cannot avoid the 
obferving of thofe fad things, let it be a iharp fpur to 
us, to preach Chrid more,, ta pray more in his name, 
and to live more to his praife* Let us. not be deceiv-. 
ed with that pretence, That Chrid may be preached, 
when he is not named. The preaching of the gofpti 
is the naming of Chrid, and fo called, Ronv« xv, 20, 
And Paul was to bear ChrijVs name before the Gentiles, 
and kings y and the children of Jfraely A<^s ix. 15. 

3 . Let us dudy hard, and pray much, to know the 
truiU, and to cleave unto it. It is an old obferva* 
tioi), Ante Pehgiumfecurius loquebantur Patres : *' Be- 

'« fore 

from tb-e charge cf Antlnomianifm,' 3 15 

*' fbri? Pelagius even the fathers fpoke more care- 
** l.efsly ;" hveaning well, and feannp; no m'Ttakes in 
their hearers. Now i:: it not fo ; ihc more careful 
iliould we be in our do<Slrinc. Let us fearcb our own 
confciences, and fee how we oarfelyesare juftified be- 
fore God. So Paul argued, Gal. ii. 15, 16. And 
let us bring forth that dc6lrine to our people, that we 
find in our bibles, and have felt the power of iipoii 
our own hearts. 

4. Let us not run into extremes, upon the right or 
ieft hand, through the heat of contention ; but care- 
fully keep the good old way of the Proteftant doc- 
trine, wherein fo many thoufands of faints and mar- 
tyrs of Jefus have lived holily, and died happily, who 
ccver heard of our new fcbemes and notions, 

And, for this end, let us take and cleave to the ted 
of the AiTembly's ConfefTion of Faith and Catechifm^.. 
More we own not cuifelvcs, more we crave not of 
our brethren ; and becaufe we deal fairly and openly, 
I (hall fet it down verbatim, Ccnf, chap. 11. OfjuJIi- 
ficattcn. Art. i. " Thofe whom God eiTc^ftnally cal- 
*' leth, he alfo freely jariifieth : not by infufing righ- . 
** teoufnefs into them, bm by pardoning their fins, 
" and by accounting and accepting their perfoiis as 
** righteous; not for any thing wTought in them, or 
*' done by them, but for Chrift's fake alone ; not by 
** imputing faiih itfelf, ^he a^ of believing, or any 
** other evangelical obedience, to them, as their righ- 
*' teoufnefs ; but by impuiiiig the obedience and fatif- 
*< fa^lion of Chrift unro thetrj, they receiving, and red- 
** ingon him and hisrighteoufnefs by faith ; which faith 
*« they have, not of themfelves, it is the gift of God" 

Art. 2. '^ Faith, thus receiving and refting on Chiift 
*' and his righ teoufnefs, is the alone inflrument of 
** judiiication. Yet it is not alone in the perfon jufti- 
*' fied, but is ever accompanied with all other faving 
" graces ; and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.'* 

Art> 3. " Chrid, by his obedience and death, did 

«* fully difcharge the debt of all thofe that are thus 

E r 2 ''juf- 


316 fbe doftrine of Jujlificathn vtndkated 

juftified, and did make a proper, real, and full fa- 
*« tisfa^^ion to his Father s juftice in their behalf. Yet, 
** in as much as he was given by the Father for them, 
•' and his obedience and fatisFa<flion accepted in their 
" flead, and both freely, not for any thing in them, 
** their juflification is only of free grace ; that both 
" the exa£l juitice, and rich grace of God, might be 
*' glorified in the jaiftificaiion of fmners." 

Art. 4. " God did, from all eternity, decree to juf- 
*' lify all the eie£i: ; and Chrift did, in the fulnefs of 
•'lime, die for their fins, and rife again for their juf- 
** tincation: nevertbelefs they are not juftified, until 
** the Holy Spirit doib, in due time, a£lually apply 
«' Chrift unto them." 

Art, 5, " God doih continue to forgive the fins of 
*' thofe that are juftified. And although they can ne- 
•* verfall from the ftate of juftification ; yet they may, 
•' by their fin?, fall under God's fatherly difpleafure ; 
•* and not have the light of his countenance reftored 
« unto them, until they humble themfelves, confefs 
'* their fins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and 
" repentance." 

Art, 6. ** The juftification of believers under the old 
** teftament was, in all thefe refpe(^s, one and the fame 
*♦ with the juftification of believers under the new tef- 
•* lament." This is the whole chapter exaflly. 

Larger Catechifm. ^ " How doth faith juftify a 
** finner in the fight of God ? Anfw. Faith juftifies a 
*' finner in the fight of God, not becaufe of thofe o- 
*' ther graces which do always accompany it ; or of 
*' good works, that are the fruits of it ; nor as if the 
** grace of faith, or any a£f thereof, were imputed to 
•' him for his juftification ; but only as it is an inftru- 
*' ment, by which he receiveth and applieth Chrift 
** and his righteoufnefs." 

Let thefe weighty words be but heartily afl*ented to, 
in their plain and native fenfe, and we are one in this 
great point of juftification. But can any confidering 
man think, that the new fcherae of a real change, re- 


from the charge of Antinomianifm, 3 1 7 

pentance, and fmcere obedience, as neceffary to be 
found in a perfon that may lawfully come to Chrift 
for juftification ; of faith's juflifying as it is the fpring 
of fincerc obedience; of a man's being juftified by, 
and upon his coming up to the terms of the new law 
of grace, (a new word, but of an old and ill mean- 
ing) : can any man think, that this fcherae, and the 
found words of the Reverend Affembly, do agree ? 
Surely, if fuch a fcheme had been offered to thac 
grave, learned, and orthodox fynod, it would have 
had a more fevere cenfure pafTed upon it, than I am 
willing to name. 

Do not we find, in our particular dealings with 
fouls, the fame principles I am now oppofing ? 

When we deal with the carnal, fecure, carelefs 
finners, (and they are a vaft multitude), and afk them 
a reafon of that hope of heaven they pretend to, is 
not this their common anfwer : " I live inoffenfively ; 
" I keep God's law as well as I can ; and wherein I 
*« fail, I repent, and beg God's mercy for Chriil's 
" fake. My heart is fmcere, though my knowledge 
*' and attainments be fiiort of others? if we go on 
" to inquire further, What acquaintance they have 
" with Jefus Chrifi? what applications their fouls have 
*' made to him r what workings of faith on him ? 
*• what ufe they have made of his righteoufnefs for 
" juftification, and his Spirit for fan^lificaiion ? what 
^' they know of living by faith in Jefus Chrifl ?" we 
are barbarians to them. And in this fad ftate many 
thoufands in England, live, and die, aod perilh eter- 
nally. Yet fo thick is the darknefs of the age, that 
many of them live here, and go heoce, with the re- 
putation of good Chriftians : and fome of them may 
have their funeral fermon and praifes preached by an 
ignorant flattering minifl:er; though it may be the 
poor creatures never did, in the whole courfe of their 
life, nor at their death, employ Jefus Chrifl fo much^ 
for an entry to heaven, purchafed by his blood, and 
only acceffible by faith in him, as a poor Turk doth 

5 iB The doctrine of J ujl if cat ton vindicated 

Mahomefj for a room in bis beaftly paradife. HoW 
common and fearful a thing is this in this land and city ! 

When we come to deal with a poor awakened (in- 
ner, who feeth his loft ftate, and that he is condemned 
by the 1 iw of God ; we find the farae principles work- 
ing in him i for they are nataral, and therefore uni- 
lerfal in all men, and hardly rooted out of any. We 
fi;id hirn fick and wounded ; we tell him where his 
help lies, in jefns Chriil ; what his proper work is, 
to apply to him by faith. What is his anfwer ? *' A- 
" las 1 faith the tnan, I have been, and I foraa vile 
" a fmner, my heart is fo bad, and fo full of plagues 
*' and corruption?, thati cannot think of believing on 
** Cbrid. But if I had but repentance, and fome ho- 
*' iioefs in heart and life, and fuch and fuch gracious 
" qualifications, I would then believe:" when indeed 
this his anfwer is as full of nonfenfe, ignorance, and 
pride, as words can contain or exprefs. They imply, 
1. ^* If I were pretty well recovered, I would employ 
" the Phyfician, Chrifl. 2. That there is feme hope 
" to work out thefe good things by myfelf, without 
" Cbrift. g. And when I come to Chi ill with a price 
*^« in my hand, I (hall be w^elcome. 4. 1 hat l can 
** come to Chrifl: when I will ''. So ignorant are peo- 
ple naturally of faith in Jefus Chrift ; and no words 
or warnings repeated, nor plaineft infcru^lions, can 
beat into mens heads and hearts, that the firfl: coming 
to Chrift by faith or believing on him, is not a be- 
lieving we iliall be faved by him ; but a believing on 
him, that we may be faved by him. And it is lefs to 
be wondered at, that ignorant people do not, when 
fo many learned men will not underftand it. 

When we deal with a proud, felf-righteous hypo- 
crite, we find the fame prmciples of enmity againft 
the grace of the gofpel. A profane perfon is not fo 
enraged at the rebukes of fin from the law, as thefe 
Pharifees are at the difcovery of their ruin by un- 
belief* They cannot endure to have their idol of felf- 
^ighteoufcefs touched J neither by the fplrituality of 


from the charge of Antinomianifm, ^ 1 9 

God's law, that condemns all men, and all their work?, 
while out of Chrift ; nor by the gofpel, which re- 
veals another righteoufaefs than their own, by which 
they muft be faved : but they will have God's ack 
of the covenant to fiand as a captive in the temple of 
their Dagon of felf-righrcoufQefs, untill the vei)gc- 
ance of God's defpifed covenant overthrow both tbe 
temple, and idol, and worfhippers. 

There is net a minider that dealeth feriouily with 
the fouls of men, but he finds an Arminian fchenie* 
of juftification in every unrenewed heart. And is it 
not fadly to be bewailed, that divines fliould plead 
that fame caufe, that we daily find the devil pleading 
in the hearts of all natural men ? and that inftead of 
ca fling dowrii 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. they {hoc Id be niakiDg 
defences for fuch flrcng boIJs^ as muft either be le- 
velled with the duft, or the rebel that holds them oat, 
muft eternally perifh ? 

It is no bad way of iludying the gofpel, and of at- 
taining more light into it, that may be nfed in deal- 
ing particularly with the confciecces of all forts of 
men, as we have occafion. More may beJearneJ 
this way, than out of many large books. And if mi- 
niflers would deal more with their own coafciences, 
and the confciences of others, in and about thefe 
points, that are mod; properly cafes of confcience, we 
(hould find an increafe of gofpel-light, and a grow- 
ing fitnefs to preach aright ; as Paul did, 2 Cor. iv» 
3 . By inanifeflatton of the truth^ commending ourfehei 
to every marHs confcience in the fight of God. 

Let us keep up, in our hearts and doflrine, a re- 
verend regard of the holy law of God, and fuffer not 
a reflecting, difparaging word or thought of it. The 
great falvation is contrived with a regard to it ; and 
the fatisfa£lion given to the law by the obedience and 
death of Chrift our furety, hath made it glorious and 
honourable, more than all the holinefs of faints oa 
earth, or of the glorified in heaven, and than all the 
torments of the damned in hell \ though they do al- 

320 The doclrine of Jufllfication vindicated 

fo magnify the law, and make it honourable. But 
if men will teach, that the law, and obedience unto 
it, whether perfect or fmcere, is the righteoufnefs 
we rauft be found in, in our pleading for juftifi- 
cation ; they neither under Jland what they fay, ncr 
whereof they ajfirm, i Tim. i. 7. They become debtors 
to ity and Chrijl profits them nothings Gal. ii. 21. and 
V. 2. 5. And we know what will become of that 
man, that hath his debts to the law to pay, and hath 
CO intereft in the furety's payment. Yet many fuch 
offer their own (ilver, which, whatever coin of maa 
be upon it, is reprobate, and reje£led both by law 
and gofpel. 

Let us carefully keep the bounds clear betwixt the 
]aw*and gofpel ; which " whofoever doth, is aright 
" perfect divine," faith blefTed Luther, in his com- 
mentary on the epiftle to the Galatians : a book that 
hath more plain found gofpel, than many volumes of 
fome other divines. Let us keep the law as far from 
the bufmefs of juftification, as we would keep con- 
demnation, its contrary. For the law and condemna- 
tion are infeparable, but by the intervention of Jefus 
Chriit our furety. Gal. iii. 10.-— 14. But in the prac- 
tice of holinefs, the fulfilled law given by Jefus Chrift 
to believers as a rule, is of great and good ufe to 
them ; as hath been declared. 

Laflly, Be exa£l in your communion and church- 
adminiflrations. If any walk oiherwife than it becom- 
eth the gofpel, if any abufe the doclrine of grace to 
licentioufnels ; draw the rod of difcipline againft them 
the more feverely, that ye know fo many wait for 
your halting, and are ready to fpeak evil of the ways 
and truths of God. 

The wifdom of God fometimes orders the different 
opinions of men about his truth, for the clearing and 
confirming of it ; while each fide watch the extremes 
that others may be in hazard of running into. And 
if controverfy be fairly and meekly managed tnis way, 
we may differ, and plead our opiuions, and both 


from the charge of Antinom'ianifm, 3 2 i 

love and edify them we oppofe, and may be loved 
and edified by them in their oppofition. 

I know no fear poiT^lTeth our fide, but that of Ar- 
miiiianifra. Let us be fairly fecurcd from that ; and 
as we ever hated true Antinomianifm, fo we are rea- 
dy to oppofe it wich all our might. But having fuch 
grounds of jealoufy as I have named, (and it is well 
known that I have not named all), men will allow us 
to fear, that this noife of Antinomianifm is raifed, 
and any advantage they have by the rafhnefs and im- 
prudence of fome ignorant men, is improved to a 
fevere height, by fome, on purpofe to ilieiter Ar- 
miuianifm in its growth, and to advance it further 
amongfl: us; which we pray and hope the Loud will 


Rob. Traill* 


THIS paper prefented to thee, was in its firft 
defign intended as a private letter to a par- 
ticular brother, as the tide bears. How it comes to 
be publifhed, I fhall not trouble the world with an 
account of. I think, that Dr O^ven's excellent book 
o^ juftijication^ and Mr Marfliall's book of the myftery 
of fandif cation by faith in Jefus ChriJ}^ are fuch vin- 
dications and confirmations of the Proteilant do£lrine, 
againft which 1 fear no effe£lual oppofition.. Dr Ow- 
en's name is fo favoury and famous, his foundnefs in 
the faith, and ability in learning for its defence, fa 
juftly reputed, that no fobcr m.an will attempt him. 
Mr Marftiall was a holy retired perfon ; and is only 
known to the mod of us by his book, publifhed late- 
ly. The book is a deep, practical, well-jointed drf- 
courfe ; and requires a more than ordinary attention 
in the reading of ix with profit. And if it be fingly 
ufed, I look upon it as one of the raoft ufeful books 
Vol. L S f i^e 

32 2 The doclrine of Jujiijication vindicated 

the world hath feen for many years. Its excellency 
is, that it leads the ferious reader dirc£lly to Jefiis 
Chrift, and curs the finevvs and overturns the*founda- 
tion of the new divinity, by the fame argument of 
gcfpel-holinefs by which naany attempt to overtara 
the old. And as it haih already the feal oF high ap- 
probation by many judicious minifters and Ciiriilians 
that have read it ; fo I fear not but it will iland firm 
as a rock againit ail oppofinon, and will prove good 
feed, and food, and light, and life, to many hereafter. 

All my defjgn in publifhing this, is, plainly and 
briefly, to give fome information to ordinary plain 
people, who eiiher want time or judgement to perufe 
large and learned tractates, about this point of juififi- 
Cdtion, wherein every one is equally concerned. 

The theme of j unification haih fuifered greatly by 
this, that matjy have employed their heads and pens, 
who never had their hearts and confciences exercifed 
about it. And they muft be frigid and dreaming fpe- 
cuiations that all fuch are taken up with, whofe con- 
fciences are nor enlivened with tbeir perfonal concern 
in it* 

Thefe things are undoubted: i; That as it is a 
point of highelf concern to every man, i'o it is to the 
whole dccflrine of Chriltianity. Ail the great funda- 
mentals of Chriftian truth, center in this of juftifxca- 
tion. The Trinity of perfons in the God-head \ the 
incarnation of the only begotten of the Father ; the 
fatisfa<fiion paid to the law and juftice of God, for 
the fms of the world, by his obedience, and facrifice 
of himfelf in that fle(h he alTumed ; and the divine 
authority of the fcriptures, which reveal all this; are 
all (traight lines of truth, that center in this dodfrine 
©f the julVification of a finner by the imputation and 
application of that fatisfaflion. No juflification with- 
out a righteoufnefs ; no righteoufoefs can be, but 
what anfwersJully and perfe<^ly the holy law of God ; 
DO fuch righreoulnefs can be performed, but by a di- 
mne periou \ oo benetit can accrue to a finner by it, 


froju the charge of Anttnommnifm, 32 j 

unlefs it be fome way his, and applied to him ; no 
application can be made of tbis, but by faith in Jcfus 
Chrift. And as the coDncftion with, and dependence 
of this truth upon the other great myderies of divine 
iruth, is evident in the phiin propofal of it ; fo the 
fame hath fadly been manifeft in this, that the forfak- 
ing of the do£trine of juftification by faith in Chri{l*s 
righieoufnefg, hath been the firft (tep of apoftafy ia 
many, who have not flopped till they revolted fron^i 
Chriftianity itfelf. Hence fo many Arminians, and 
their chief leaders too, turned Socinians. From de- 
nying juflification by Chrift*s righteoufnefs, they pro- 
ceeded to the denying of his (atisfatStion ; from the 
denial of his proper fatisfaflion, they went on to the 
denying of the divinity of his pei fon. And that man's 
charity is excefTive. that will allow to fuch biafphem- 
crs of the Son of Godj the name of ChrijQians. Let 
not then the zeal of any for fo fnndamemal a point of 
truth, as that isof the jurtification of a fincer by faith 
in Chrift, be charged with folly. Ir is good to be al- 
ways zealoufly aife^^ed m a good thing : and this is 
the bed of things. 

2. It is undoubted that there is a mydery in this 
matter of juflification. As it is God's adi, it is an 
a£l of free grace and deep wifdom. Herein juflice 
and mercy kifs one another in faving the Tinner. Here 
appears God- man, with the righteoufnefs of God, 
and this applied and imputed to fiuful men. Here 
man's fin and aiifery, are ihe field in which the rich- 
es of God's grace in Chriil are difplayed. Here the 
finner is made righteous by the righteoufnefs of an- 
other, and obtains juflification through this righte- 
oufnefs, though he pays and gives nothing for it. Goci 
declares him righteous, or juflifies him freely; and 
yet he is well paid for it by the redemption that is 
in Chrift Jef'us, Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26. It is an a(51 of 
jaiUce and mercy both, when God juflifies a believer 
on Jefus Chriff. And raufl there not then be a great 
myftery !m it ? is not every beliaycr daily admiria^ 
^ f 2 ths 

324 ^^^ do8rin€ of Jujlijicatlon vindicated 

the depth of this wa)^ of God ; This myftery is, uf- 
ually, rather darkened, than illuftrated, by logical 
terras ufed in the handling of it. The only defence 
that gocd and learned men have for the ufe of them, 
i?, (and it hath gre,at weight), that the craft of ad- 
verlaries doth conftrain them to ufe fuch terms, to 
find them out, or hedge them in. It is certain, that 
this myftery is as plainly revealed in the word, as the 
Holy Ghofi thought fit to do in teaching the heirs of 
this grace ; and it were well if men did contain ihem- 
felves within thefe bounds. 

3. it is certain, that this dc<flriDe of juftification 
propofed in the v^'ord, hath been very differently un- 
deriiood and expreffed by men, that profefs that 
God's word i§ the only rule of their thoughts and 
words about the things of the Spirit of God. It hath 
been, and will dill be a {lone of ftumbling ; as our 
Lord Jefus Chriil: himfelf was, and is, Rom. ix. 32. 
33. I Pet. ii. 7, 8. 

, 4. That whatever variety and differences there be 
in mens notions and opinions (and there is a great deal) 
about juilification, they are all certainly reducible to 
two ; one of which is every man's opinion. And they 
are, That the juftification of a fmner before God, is 
either on the account of a righteoufnefs in and of 
ourfelves ; or on the account of a righteoufnefs in an- 
other, even Jefus Chrift, who is Jehovah our righte- 
oufne/s. Law and gofpel, faith and works, Chrift's 
righteoufnefs and our own, grace and debt, do equal- 
ly divide all in this matter. Crafty men may endea- 
vour to blend and mix thefe things together in j unifi- 
cation ; but it is a vain attempt. It is not only moft 
\exprefly rejected in the gofpel, which peremptorily 
determines the contrariety, inconlidency, and incom- 
patibility betwixt thefe two; but the nature of the 
things in themfclves, and the fenfe and confcience of 
every ferious perfon, do witnefs to the fame, that 
our own righteoufnefs, and Chrid's righteoufnefs, do 
comprehend all the pleas of men to juTtificaiion, (one 


from the charge of Antimmiamfm. 325 

or other of them every man in the world {lands u- 
pon); and that they are inconfiftent with, and deftrnc- 
live one of another, in juflification. If a man traits 
to his own righteoufnefs, he rejects Chrift's ; if he 
trufls to Chrift's righteoufnefs, he reje(5ls his own. 
If he will not rejefl his own righteoufnefs, as too 
good to be renounced ; if he will not venture on 
Chrift's righteoufnefs, as not fnfficient alone to bear 
him out, and bring him fafe off at God's bar, he is in 
both a convi6led unbeliever. And if he endeavour to 
patch up a righteoufnefs before God, made up of both, 
he isftill under the law, and a defpifer of gofpel-grace. 
Gal. ii. 2 I. That righteoufnefs that juftifies a fmner, 
confifts in aliqtto indivifibili : and this every man finds 
when the cafe is his own, and he ferious about it, 

5. Thefe different fentiments about juftification, 
have been at all times managed with a fpecial acrimo- 
ny. They that are for the righteoufnefs of God by 
faith in Jefus Chrift, look upon it as the only foun- 
dation of all their hopes for eternity, and therefore 
cannot but be zealous for it. And the contrary fide 
are as hot for their own righteoufnefs, the moft ad- 
mired and adored Diana of proud mankind, as if ic 
were an image fallen down from Jupiter ; when it is 
indeed the idol that was caft out of heaven with the 
devil, and which he hath ever fmce been fo diligent 
to fet up before finful men to be worftiipped, that he 
might bring them into the fame condemnation with 
himfelf : for by true fm, and falfe righteoufnefs, he 
hath deceived the whole worlds Rev. xii. 9. 

6. As the Holy Ghoft fpeaking in the fcriptures, is 
the fupreme and infallible judge and determiner of all 
truth; fo where he doth particularly, aud on purpofe, 
deliver any truth, there we are fpecially to attend and 
learn. And tho', in moft points of truth, he ufually 
teacheth us by a bare authoritative narration ; yet in 
fome points, which his infinite wifdom forcfaw fpecial 
oppofition to, he doth not only declare, but debate and 
determine the truth. And the inftanc^s are two cfpc* 


32<5 7he dodrine of Juftification vindicated 

daily. One is about the divinity of Chrifl's perfon, 
and dignity of his priefthood ; reafoned, argued, and 
determined, in the epiftle to the Hebrews. The o- 
ther is about juflificatioa by faith ; exa^lly handled in 
the epillles to the Romans, and to the Galatians. la 
the foriiier of thefe two, the do6>rine of free juftifi- 
cation is taught us mcft formally and accurately. And 
tho' we find no charge againft that church, in Paul's 
time, or in his epiftie for their departing from the 
truth in this point ; yet the wifdom of the Holy Ghoft 
IS remarkable io this, that this do£i:rine (liould be {o 
j)lainly afTertedj and (Irongly proved, in an epiftle to 
that church, the pretended fuccellbrs whereof have a- 
poftatizecj from that faith, and proved the main affer- 
tprs of that damnable error, of juftification by works. 
That to the Galaiiaas is plainly written, to cure a be- 
gun, and obviate a full apoftafy, from the purity of 
the gofpel, in the point of juRification by faith, with- 
out the works of the law. And from thefe two e- 
piftles, if we be wife, we muft learn the truth of this 
doctrine, and expound all other fcriptures, in a har- 
ifiony \?;ith what is there fo fetly determined, as inforo 

7. Laflly^ It is not to be denied, or concealed, that 
on each fide, fome have run into extremes, which the 
generality do not own, but are ufually loaded with. 
The Papifts run high for juftification by works; yet 
even fome oFthem, in the council of Trent, difcourfed 
very favourably of juftification by faith. The Armi- 
nians have qualified a litiie the groffnefs of the PopiGi 
dc6irine in this article ; and fome fince have eft'ayed 
to qualify that of the Arminians, and to plead the fame 
caufe more finely. Again, fome have run into the 
other extreme, as appeared in Germany a little after 
the reformation : and fome fuch there hath been al- 
ways, and in all places, where the gofpel hath (Iiin- 
<ed ; and thefe were called Ant'hiomians^ But how 
unjuftly this hateful name is char;ged upoa the ortho- 
dox preachers aad fwcerc bclisvers of the Proteftant 


from the charge of Ant immianifm, ^^7 

do(flrine of juftification by faith only, who keep the 
gofpel-midft betwixt thefe two rocks, is the de'fign of 
this paper to difcover. What we plead for, is in fum. 
That Jefus Chriil: our Saviour is the fountain opejied in 
the houfe of Daridy for fin and for uncleannejs^ where- 
in only men can be walhed, in juftification and fan^ii- 
fication ; and that there is no other fountain of man's 
devifiDg, nor of God's declaring, for walhing a finner 
firft, fo as to make hirn fit and meet to come to this, 
to wa(h, and to be clean. 

As for inherent holinefs, is it not fafficlently fecur- 
cd by the Spirit of Chrift received by faith, the cer- 
tain fpring and caufe of it ; by the word of God, the 
plain and perfect rule of it ; by the declared necef- 
fity of it to all them that look to be faved, and to 
juftify the fiacerity of a man's faiih ; unlefs we bring 
it in to juftification, and thereby make our own pitiful 
holinefs fit on the throne of judgment, with the pre" 
qous blood of the Lamb of God ? 

Though I expe£l that a more able hand will under- 
take an examination of the new divinity ; yet, to fill 
up a litde room, 1 would fpcak foraewhat to their 
Achillean argument, that is fo much boafted of, an^ 
fo frequently infifted on by them, as their ftiield and 
fpear. Their argument is this : That Chrift's righ- 
teoufnefs is our legal righteoufnefs ; but our own is 
our evangelical righteoufnefs : that is. When a finner 
is charged with fin againft the holy law of God, he 
may oppofe Chrift's righteoufnefs as his legal defence; 
but againft the charge of the gofpel, efpecially for un- 
belief, he muft produce his faith, as Lis defence or 
righteou^efs, againft that charge. 

With, a great deference to fuch worthy divines as 
have looked on this as an argument of weight, I (hall^ 
in a few words', eiTay to manifeft, that this is either a 
faying the fame in other odd words, that is commonly 
taught by us ; or a fophifm ; or a departing from the 
Proteftant do^rine about juUiiication. 

I. This 

328 The docirine of Jujlification vindicated 

I. This argument concerns not at all the judifica- 
tion of a finner before God. For this end, no more 
is needful, than to confider, what this charge is, a- 
gainfl whom it is given, and by whom. The charge 
is faid to be given in by God ; and a charge of unbe- 
lief, or difobeying the gofpel. But again ft whonn ? 
Is it againft a believer or unbeliever? and thefe two 
divide all mankind. If it be againft a believer, it is 
a falfe charge, and can never be given in by the God 
of truth. For the believer is juftified already by faith, 
and as to this charge he is innocent. And innocence 
is defence enough to a man falfely charged, before 
a righteous judge. Is this charge given in againft an 
unbeliever ? We allow it is a righteous charge. Ay, 
but fay they, " will Chrift's righteoufnefs juftify a 
" man from this charge of gofpel-unbelief ?" The 
anfwer is plain. No, it will not ; nor yet from any 
other charge whatfoever, either from law or gofpel ; 
for he harh nothing to do with Chrift's righteoufnefs 
while an unbeliever. What then doth this arguing re- 
frovef.hhy that no man's faith in Chrift's righte- 
oufnefs can be juftified in its fmcerity before men, 
aud in a man's own confcience, but in and by the 
fruits of a true lively faith P In this they have no op- 
pofers that I know of. Or is it, that a man may have 
Chrift's righteoufnefs for his legal righteoufnefs, and 
yet be a rebel to the gofpel, and a ftranger to true 
holinefs ? Who ever affirmed it ? Or is it, that this 
gofpel-hoiinefs is that that a man muft not only have, 
(for that we grant), but alfo may venture to ftand in, 
and to be found in before God, and to venture into 
judgment with God upon, in his claim. to eternal life ? 
Then we muft oppofe them that think fo, as we know 
their own confciences will when ia any lively exercife. 
Thefe plain principles of gofpcl-truth, while they re- 
main, (and remain they will on their own foundation, 
when we are all in our graves, and our foolifti con- 
tentions are buried), do overthrow this pretended 
charge, i. Thai Chrift's righteoufnefs is the only 


from the charge of Antinomianlfin, • 329 

pka and anfwer of a finner arraigned at God's bar for 
life and death, i. This righreoufnefs is imputed to 
no man but a believer, g. When it is imputed by 
grace, ^nd applied by faith, it irainediarely and eter- 
nally becomes the man's righteoufnefs, before God, 
angels, men, and devils, Rom. viii. 33, 35, 38, 39.* 
It is a rightecnrnefs that is never lolt, never taken a- 
>vay, never inefFedual ; anfivereth all charges, and 
is attended with all graces. 

2. 1 would alk, What is that righreoufnefs tliat 
juftifies a man from the fm of unbelief f We have 
reje£lcd the imaginary charge ; let us now con.fider 
the real fin. Unbelief is the greaieft fin againfl both 
law and gofpel ; more remotely againfl the lavv, which 
binds all men to believe God fpeaking, fay what be 
will ; more direftly againft the gofpel, which tells us 
what we Ihould believe, and commands \i% to believe. 
Let us put this cafe, (and it is piiy the cafe is fo rare, 
when the fm is fo common), that a poor foul is trou- 
bled about the greatnefs of the fm of unbelief, in cal- 
ling God a lyar^ i John v. lo. in diftrufting his faiih- 
ful promife, in doubting Chrid's ability and good- 
will to fave, in (landing aloof fo long from Jefus 
Chrift ; as many of the ele6l are long in a ftate of un- 
belief t'll called ; and the beft of believers have un- 
belief in fome meafure in them, Mark ix. 24. Abra- 
ham's faith daggered fometimes. Gen. xii. and xy. 
What fhall we fay to a confcience thus troubled ? 
Will any man dare 10 tell him, that Chrift's righte- 
oufnefs is his legal righteoufnefs againft ibe chargi^ 
of fins againfl the law; but for gofpel charges, he 
muft anfvver them in his own name ? I know our hot- 
ted oppofers would abhor fuch an anfwer ; and would 
freely tell fuch a man, that the blood of Jefus Chrijl 
ckanfeth from all fin ; and that his juflification from 
his unbelief mull be only in that righteoufnefs which 
he fo fmfuily had rejei^ed while in unbelief, and now 
lays hold on by faith. 

:^, But fome extend this argument yet more dange- 
'VoL. I, T 5 rcuily 

3 3 o The dodr ine of JtifUficathn vindicated 

loufly : for they fay, That not only men mud have 
their faith for their righteoufnefs againd the charge 
of unbelief^ but repentance againll: the charge of im- 
penitence, fmceriiy agaiiifl that of hypocrify, bolinefs 
sgainft that of unholinefs, and perfeverence as their 
^ofpel-righreoufnefs, againft the charge of apoflacy. 
If they iiieari only, that thefe things are jufHncations 
and fruits of true faith, and of the fincerity of the grace 
of God in us ; we do agree to the meaning : but high- 
ly difiike the expreflions, as uufcriptural and dange- 
rous, tending to the difhonouring of the righteouf- 
refs of Chrid, and to run men on the rocks {of pride 
aod felf-righteoufnefs, that natural corruption drives 
all men upon. But if they mean, that, either jointly 
or feparately, they are our righteoufnefs before God ; 
or that, either feparate from, or mixed with Chrid's 
righteoufnefs, they may be mad 2 our claim and plea 
for falvation ; I mud fay, that it is dangerous doc- 
trine : and its native tendency is, to turn Chrid's 
imputed righteoufnefs out of the church to dedroy all 
the fclid peace of believers, and to exclude gofpel- 
judification out of this world, and referve it to ano- 
ther, and that with a horrible uncertainty of any par- 
ticular man's partaking of it. Bat thefe bleiTed truths 
of God, and bltdings of believers, dand on firmer 
foundations than heaven or earth, and will continue 
fixed agaiod all the attempts of the gates of hell. 
ElciT'd be the Hock, Chrjd, on which all is built ; 
blelTjd be the new covenant, ordered in all things and 
Jure ; and hlejjed is he that believeth ; for there Jhall 
be a performance of thofe things which are told hm from 
the Lord, Luke i. 45. Amen. 


Sept. ift, 1692. 

TheEiiD of the First Volume. 


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