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




BX-9i-^i^».4^?4-a- ft4 1 7 75 v. 3 u. l 
Traill, Robert, 1642-1716 
The Works of the late 
Reverend Robert Traill, A.M. 





O F 
The late Reverend 


Mlnifter of the Gofpel in London. 



The Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of our 
Faith recommended in twenty-one Sermons on Heb. 
X, 20, 21, 22,23, 24. 


Printed and Sold by JOHN BR YCE, at his Shop, 
oppcfue Gibfon's-wynd, Salt-market. 

M D c c L X X V. 

T I-I E 


rH E fithje^s treated upon in thefe fermonSy have beeri a]- 
luays ejteemed by well-grounded ChrijlicinSf to have the 
greatejl influence both vpon cur duty and comfort. 

The promifes of God, are the jnatter of our faith, and 
ground of our hope. Faiih in thefe precious promifes y is that 
grace -which conveys tons our inter eji intheniy anddv2iVfs, forth 
the ftrength andfcjeetnefs of them. 

An honeft open profedion of that faith, not only in wcrds, 
or inflitiiied folemnities of public ivorfljipy tut in all holy con- 
verfation and godlinefsy is the diftinguiihing maik oj^ the 
churches of Chrift in the luorLL 

Jnd a fteady adherence to that prsfefjion in times of temp'^ 
tation and great bachflidingy is the believers unqueCrionabie 
duty, intereft, and honour. 

Thefe great poiiits of fpiritual and pra^ical religion, yoii 
have here opened and urgedy with that plainnefsy gravity ^ and 
good judgment i by which the late Reverend Mr Traill ha^ 
been well known in his former evangelical difcourfes. . If any 
thing here fiall feem lefs cor re Ely it will eafily be imputed to 
the ufual difadvantagcs of p oft humous produtlions. 

But furcly great candour and tendernefs will be thought due 
iofuch orphans y as are turned out into the world, de/iitut;: of 
thofe improvements, which they might have received from the 
care and cukivation of their worthy parents, if they had n:t 
been by death deprived of them. 

In compliance with feme of the author* s particular friends^ 
who were defrous to have thefe fet mens made public, we would 
recommend them to the perufal of aHfuch as are ''defirous to live 
more by fai.h upon the promifes cf God, and to bejufl and true 
to their holy profeffion. That the. God of all grace would make 
them effe^uai to thefe good purpofes, is the earncfi prayer op 

Their Servants for Jefus fake, 

Will. ToNGUEo 
John Nesbit. 
M4TT. Clark. 

A LETTER from ttie late Rev. Mr. JAMES 
H E R V E y, to a Relation of the Author of the 
following Treatife. 

S I R, 

1 Received your very valuable and no lefs acceptable pre- 
fent, fome weeks ago. I fhould have acknowledged the 
favour fooner ; but I chofe to ftay till I had tafted the diih 
you had let before nie. And indeed I find it to be favour/ 
meat, the true manna ; food for the foul. 

Your worthy relative was a .workman that need not be 
afhamed. He knew how, clearly to ftate and folidly to e- 
ilabllQi the faith of God's dc6\:, and the doctrine accord- 
ing to godlinefs. O ! that my heart, and the heart of 

every reader, may be opened by the eternal Spirit, to re- 
ceive the precious truths ! 

The letter at the end of the firft volume, is a judicious 
performance. It rightly divides the word of truth, and 
lays the line, with a maiierly hand between the prefumptu- 
ous Legalifi-, and the licentious Antinomian. 1 am par- 
ticularly pleafed with the honourable teftimony bore to thofe 
two excellent books, Dr Owen's treatife on juflification, and 
Mr Marfhali's gofpel-myflery of fan£}:ification : Books fit 
to be recommended by fo good a judge ! 

If the Lord pleafes to give Theron and Afpafio any ac- 
ceptance in Scotland, I fiiail be fincerely glad ; but if he 
vouchfafes to make them, not only welcome, but ufcful vi- 

litants, I fhall exceedingly rejoice. In cafe you fhould 

think them calculated to promote the honour and further 
the gofpel of JESUS CHRIST, I hope you will fa- 
vour them with your recommendation, and accompany 
them with your prayers j which will be a frefli inftancc of 
kindnefs to, 

S I R^ 

Tour obliged friend, 

July 8th, 1755. 5 and obcdieiit Servant , 






Recommended in fcveral SERMONS. 


Hebrev/s X. 23. 

Let us holdfafl the profeffton of our faith without wa-^ 
vering^ Sec, 

HAVING infideJ at fo great length upon 
the firfl exhortation of the apoftle, concern- 
ing drawing near to God, which is built u- 
pon the foundations of the Chriflian privileges, that 
the apollle named, and that we have fpoke of, from 
the 19th, 20th, and 2i{tverfes; thofe exhortations 
that remain are deduced from the fame foundation : 
wherefore I thought fit not to let them pafs. The 
former exhortation was unto a duty with refpefl to 
God, drawing near to him, which the apoftle requires 
to be performed in fuch a manner, that all Chriltians, 
and the beft of them, mufl: be learning to anfwer e- 
very day in their life, that they may come up more 
and more thereunto. 


2 The Jhdfaj} Adherence to Serm. y^ 

The other two exhoi cations are with refpefl: to our- 
felves antl orners. The firl^ is the 23d verfe, with 
rerpe<n: to our own protelilDn ; the other, in the 24th 
verfe, h with refped to our brethren and fellow- 

The firfl: of thefe exhortations, which is contained 
in this 23d verfe, plainly divides itfelf into the duty 
exhorted to, and the argument to enforce it. The 
duty is, Let us hold fajl the profeffion of our faith with- 
out UJavering, The argument to this duty is a ftrong 
and a proper one. He is faithful that hath promifed. 
Our faith iliould always be built on God's promife ; 
it is not the right faith if it be not fo ; and «ur faith 
on the proraife (houid anfwer the faithfulnefs of the 
proaiifer ; the ftrength of our believing the promife, 
ihould bear iomt proportion to the great faithfulnefs 
of rhe rniiker of it. Now, it is evident, that the a- 
pcftie's argument is both pertinent and ftrong : Let 
us bold f aft the trofejfion of our faith without zvaveringy 
for God the piomifcr does not waver in what he has 

I fnall begin with the firft of thefe at this time, the 
duty he cohorts to. And you may fee here, as I ob- 
served from the former exhortations, that the apoille, 
the penman of this blclTed portion of fcripture, puts 
:n hinifelf in this exhortation; Let us^ fays he, d(aw 
7\car^ ike. And let us hold f aft the prof ejjion of our faith 
without wavering. 

In this duty exhorted to, there are three things to 
be confidered, 

1. What that is which i?,. as it were, the fubje^^- 
m?4rter of this duty ; and that is, the profejfion of our 
faith ; fo we tranilate it. The words in the Greek, 
in the original, are certainly the confcffion of our hope. 
What reafou there hath been in the learned traniia- 
tors for akering ir, 1 do not know. However, it is 
no great matter ; for profelTion and confelTion, faith 
and hope, are clofely kait together; they are but 
ic^vercd words cxprciling the lame thing. Confeffioti 


Serm. I. the Profejion of our Fa'ilb, 3 

and profejficn are frequently named one for anoilierj 
zndi faith and hope are frequently named one for a- 
nother in the word of God. 

1. Thc/ecotid thing is the a^, that the apoftle craves 
about this profefTion, and we read it, Let us hold it 
faft. As if the apoftle had faid, Th? profciriOD of 
your fiiith is very precious, keep it well ; it will be 
attempted upon by your fpiritual enemies, and they 
will be endeavouring to pluck it from you ; hold it 
fad, keep it firm. 

3. There is the manner of this duty the apoflle 
craves about your proFeflioii : HoIdHfafty fays he, - 
without waverings without declining, without taroing 
it to the one hand or to the other, but holding h 
fleady and even. Thefe are the heads that 1 v/ouid 
difccurfe upon from this text. 

And to begin with the Jirji of thefe, that are m 
the duty itfelf exhorted to, the frofejfion of cur fanh^ 
the apoflle, you fee here, plainly fignifies,' that it was 
made already, it was that they had ; they bad pro- 
feiTion formerly. Now, fays the apofile, let us lycld 
faft this profejion of our faith. This is^ the fubjet?- 
matter of the exhortation, the prcfelTioa of faith. 
And to make the way yet plainer, unio what I would 
obferve and difcourfe from it, I would fpeak a Utile 
to the opening of thefe two. 

1. What is in this fait h^ that is the ?natter cf this 

2. What is in the profejfion of our faith, cr cf this 
hope y which is as the form of it. 

I. What is in this faith or hope. There is none 
can underftand what it is to hold fad faith and hope, 
till they know what faith and hope is. 

Fir ft. For faith and hope, for I would ftilit^lie 
them in both together, and fliew, as we go along, 
the very fmall difference that i^ betwixt them; we 
~ {ivAfaith/m the word of Qodi^ taken for the doclrine 
of faith, for the truth of Gcd. that is tobe received, 
taken up, apd embraced by fai?h : Do u-e mah Tuid 

4 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. I. 

ihe law through faith ? fays the apoftle. God forbid^ 
yea^ we ejlahlijh the law^ Rom. iii. 31. where the 
meaning plainly is. Do we make void the law by this 
<]o£^rine of faith ? No ; by no means, God forbid. 
Divine truth is neceilarily fuppofed to be the ground 
of all divine faith ; if there were not fuch a thing go- 
ing before, as Thus faith the Lord, no amen of faith 
could ever follow. 

Secondly y In the confidering of that faith that we 
make the profeffion of, we raufl conGder that God 
that it is to be believed on. Faith natively, faith ul- 
timately, terminates on God : That your faith and 
hope might be in God^ 1 Peter i. 21. where he joins 
them both together. There can be no believing where 
God is unknown, there is no believing in an unknown 
God. God cannot be known as the obje<^ of faith, 
but only as in Chrift Jefus. It is irapoffible that God 
can be grafped, may 1 fo fpeak, by the faith of a poor 
fmner, but only as this God reveals himfelf to us in 
Ghrift Jefus. There is no approaching to God by 
believing immediately : but by him we believe in God^ 
who raifed him from the dead^ and gave him glory ^ that 
your faith and hope might be in God, There is divine 
f'aithfulnefs for the ground of our faitb ; there is God 
himfelf in Chrift Jems for the objeiSi of our faith. 

Thirdly y In faith there is always an outgoing of the 
foul in defire and expeftation of fome good from him. 
This is believing, this is hoping. Now, this is infe- 
parable from the former. Where-ever divine truth 
is divinely believed to be true, and God in Chrift is 
embraced by the faith of a poor creature, this is un- 
avoidable ; immediately there fprings fome expedla- 
tion and hope of getting good from him, and that is 
believing. All the difference betwixt faith and hope 
is this, that faith goes firft unto God in Chrift, on the 
ground of the promife for good ; and hope goes forth 
to the fame God, upon the fame ground, in the ex-, 
pe^aiion of that good ;hat is believed. This is not 

Serm. I. the VrofeJJion cf our Faith. 5 

fo di(liri6t;iy owned by every believer ; for there are 
fome that have true faith in them, who, through the 
wealvDcfs of their faith, and manifold temptations, 
nip the expectations of faith from buddiDg. But this 
is a violence done thereto. Where-ever a poor fm- 
ner hath taken the warrant of God's promife, and has 
fealed it with the poor weak amen of his faith, that 
this is true, and he is faithful that hath fpoken it; 
how can he forbear lO add, And therefore t'aere will 
be a fulfilment, when the good word that is fpoken 
will be accompiiihed, when the good thing fpoken of 
will be given I The apoftie Paul fpeaking of his o^^n 
faith, gives it two fpccial words, Phil. i. 20. Accord- 
ing to my earnejl expsSiation and my hope^ (he made 
no doubr, but all things would do well wi^h him), 
that in nothing I fljall be afl:amed, but that ivith all 
boldnefs^ as always^ fo now alfo Chrift JImll be marni^ 
f.ed in my body^ whether it be by life or by death. The 
word there, earnejl expe^ation, is the fame word ia 
the original and our tranilation, with that which is 
ufed of the expectation of the whole creation towards 
the day of the glorious liberty of the fons of God. 
It is an exprelTion borrowed from an intent looking 
out as it were, and (Iretching forth of the neck, ia 
looking to fee a friend coaiing, that will be very wel- 
come when he comes. This is faith, div ne truth 
known, God in Chrift received, grafpod, laid hold of 
by faith ; expedations raifed thereupon, that the good 
will come unto us. Though many poor believers do 
not own their expe(n:ations, yet fuch exptCl^tions ire 
there, and do difcover themfelves fufficiencly. 

11. The fecond thing is. What is this pro/ejJI^n of 
faith f Certainly, profefTion and confelTion is a de- 
claring of this expedatioa I have been fpeaking cf ; 
it is a public declaring it one way or other. The a- 
poftle fpeaks of fuch kind of confeffion and profelTion, 
Heb. xi. 13. They confejjed that they were Jl rangers 
and pilgrims on the earth ; they made an open public 

B pro- 

6 'The Stcdfaft Adherence to Serm. I. 

profefliort cf it. Profellion of faiih is made two ways ; 
it is made either by word, or by deed. 

Firft^ Profellion is made with words. This the a^ 
podle does exprcfly limit to the tongue, Rom. x. 9, zo. 
Ifthsufialt conjefs ivitb thy fnouf b [ihc fame word 
with profellion here in ray text) the Lord Jefus^ and 
f<?alt believe in thine hearty that God hath raffed him 
from the dead^ thou /halt be faved. For zvith the heart 
?nan believeth unto righteoufnefs^ and with the mouth 
ccnfejffion is made unto falvation, Confefiioa or puo- 
feilion by word is made feveral ways. 

1. It is m>ade nnto God in prayer. AH our pray- 
ers, and a!! our callings on the nam,e of the Lord, are 
a confeffion : all that w^e fay ro him is a profelTion of 
eur fairh. O my foul ^ thou haft f aid unto the Lord ^ 
Jhou art my God. What great matter is that ? Yes, 
it was a great word, that David's foul could fay to the 
Lord, Thou art my God. There is a duty lying upon 
Cbriftians to profefs their faith ua^o the Lord, to a- 
vow it before him. Our Lord will have a poor man 
do fo. D?ft thcu believe on the Son of God f Why, 
was Chrifl ignorant whether he believed or no? No; 
he that was the Son of God knew whether the blind 
man had faith or no ; bur our Lord will have it out of 
his own mouth j he will have him profefs it, and avow 
it : as accordingly he did. Lord I believe. And he 
ivorfhipped hi?n, 

2, Profeffion i^- made by the tongue. In that fpe- 
cial cafe of confc;frion, when gofpel- truth is oppoicd, 
when i,t is made the (late of fuffering,, then it is that 
confeilion i3 fpecially culled for, it is with refpedl to 
this that our. Lord*y fevere word is, ?»iatth. x. 32, 33, 
Whofoever fball covfefi me hsfare men^ him wili I confefs 
alfo before my Father which is in hcljven. But whofo- 
ever /ball deny me before men, him zvill I alfo deny be- 
fore my Father vohich is in heaven. 

Secondly^ The profeilion of our faiih is made by 
deed. A man that cannot fpeak may make a profef- 
fioa of his faith. He canDot make ii by wordf^^, but 


Serm. L the Frofeffion of our Faith, 7 

he may make it otherwife ; I acknowledge not ^o eafy* 
lor che tongue is man's glory. 

1. The outward attending on the means of grace 
is a profcilion of faith. V\'^hoever they be that give 
but their bodily prefence unto prayer and preaching 
of the word of God, and other indituticns of Chrift'^ 
appointment, they pro'fefs their faith of the gofpel. 
A great many are liars in fo faying; for they profefs 
what they have nor, and God will judge them accor- 
dingly. There is more need to be afraid, than peo- 
ple commonly are aware of. It is the moit dangerous 
employment that an unbeliever can be taken up in, 
to make a iecure attendance on the means of faith, 
when the man knows in his own heart, that he nei- 
ther haih fait>), nor would have it. 

2. People may and fhould make a profeiiion of their 
faith in their converfations in xiiOT families. This is 
one part of Chriftian prcfeiTion, that every one thai: 
has a family, that he is mailer or die is midrefs of, 
are obliged to make profeiTion of their faiih there. 
The Chiiilian conduct of a family is a very honourable 
Way of profeffing faiih. / will behave myfclf ivifely^ 
fays David, in a perfect way : O when wiU thou come 
unto mefl will walk %mthin my hcufc with a perfecl 
hearty Pialm ci. 2. Several good words he fpeaks 
there of his purpofe of owning of God, and declaring 
his refpeti- to him, by his condu<fi: in his family. 

3. People make a profefhon of their faith by join- 
ing to and embodying themfelves' with the cliurcii of 
*Cart(l. If there were no more but twenty believers 
in a city, I am perfaaded that wiihin a little time i\\tiz 
twenty believers w^ould quickly fcrape up acquaintance 
one with another, and would unite tiiemfelves in the 
profeiiion of their faith. Shall we receive faith, this 
great gift, and the honour of fo near a relation to 
God and Chrift Jefus as faith brings us to, and (hall 
we not own it ? It is remarkable the apodle takes 
aciice of this, 2 Cor. ix. 13. Ihey glorify God^ fays 
he, for your prcfejled fub'iedion unto the /cfpd of Chrijh 

" " Y^i The 

8 • The Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. I. 

The word in the Greek is more emphatlcal ; it \s for 
the fuhjeci'ton cr (looping of y cur prof cjf ion to the gofpel 
of Chnft^ and your acknowledgment of it. Pray 
what great fubjciftion is there here? Is it fo low a 
ftooping for a man to make profeiTion of his faith, 
that it mud be called a (looping ? Is it any wonder 
that the apoflle called it ftooping to be fubjefi: to the 
gofpel, when he fays, Rom. x. 3. that the proud 
ielf-jurticiary will not fubmit to the righteoufnefs of 
God ? And it is*the fame word with fubjeflion in the 
other place. 

4. People make a profeiEon of their faith by an 
holy converfation. A walk as it becometh the gofpel, 
is a profeiTion of our faith, an outward confeffiou of 
ir. Ail manner of godly converfation^ and the ador- 
ning of the gofpel cf God our Saviour in all things, 
is what is required even of fervants, Ticus ii. 10. But, 
izy you, what, will the gofpel be adorned, is there 
an ornament added as it were to the gofpel, by the 
faithfulnefs and obedience of a poor mean fervant ? 
Yes, fays the Spirit of God, you are to adorn the 
do£lrine of Qo^ our Saviour in all things. We find 
it ioftnK^ed in feveral very like things. There is the 
giving of charity to the relief of the faints : That is, 
fays the apoflle, by the experiment of this mitiiflrationy 
they glorify God for your projefjed juhjetiion unto the 
gofpel of Chrif} : and yen prove your fubje^lion by 
your liberal diflribution fo your poor brethren. Nay, 
to bring the matter yet lower, and I cannot bring it 
much lower, and that is even in womens apparel : 
fays the apoflle, i Tim. ii. 9. Likewife lei women a- 
dorn themfekes^ not with hroidered hair^ or gold^ or 
fearls, or coflly array^ hut (whhh becometh women 
frofejfing godlinefs) with good works. Let the orna- 
ment of a Chriftian that feeks to adorn the gofpel be 
good works, rather than the vanities of this world, 
that are utterly unbecoming the gofpel ; that the gof- 
pel never taught, and that it frequently rebukes ; for 


Serm. I. the FrofeJJton of our Faith. 9 

thefe vanities always bring reproach upon it, and u- 
pon mens profeffion too. 

5. The laft profeffion of our faith is the laft thing 
we can do ; that is, dying in faith. After profeffion, 
and adorning our profeffion all manner of ways, as 
long as we live, in due time, when God calls us we 
are to m.ake profeffion of our faith in dying. There 
is a dying faith, as the apoftle fays of the old tefta- 
ment faints, Heb. xi. 13. Thefe all died in faith. They 
confeffijd thcmfelves, all their life long, to be ftrangers 
and pilgrims on the earth ; and in the fame faith that 
they profeffiid that they v/ere ftrangers and pilgrims 
on the earth, in the fame faith they died, and went 
to heaven. This is the noblefl of all; and if it be 
Dot only dying in faith, but dying for the faith, it i§ 
fo much the more amiable. The time of my departure 
is at hafidy fays the apoftle, 2 Tim. iv. 6, 7. / have 
fought a good fight ^ I have finifhed my courfe^ I have 
kept the faith. Well, had he no more to do with 
faith ? No, but one bit. Henceforth is laid up for 
me a crown of right eoufnefs^ See, 1 will die in the ex- 
peflation of the crown, 1 will have no more to do with 
faith. So Stephen, the firft confeffiDr, the firft pro- 
feffiDr of faith by his blood, A6ls vii. 59. And they 
floned K^tephen^ calling upon the Lord, and faying^ Lord 
Jefus^ receive my fpirit. " 1 have confeffisd thy name 
'* before thefe enemies, and they are driving this foul 
*« of mine out of my body ; now. Lord, receive i: ; 
*« I have believed on thee, I fuffer for thy fake, 1 
*' commit this expelled foul unto thy care and con- 
*' du£l; Lord J ejus y receive my fpir it P 

So much now for the explaining the matter of faith 
and profeffion. The truth that 1 would fpeak a little 
to, is this. 

D o c T. That whoever they be that have Chrijlian 
faith and hope in them^ Jhould make a Chriflian ccn- 
fejjion or profeffion of it^ 


ic The jlcdfafl Adherence to Serm. I. 

It is implied in my text, that a profeffion of their 
faith, or a confefTion of their hope, was made, and, 
the apoftl^ exhorts them' about the keeping of it. It 
is Dot, Let us therefore make profeflioD, we have 
done that ah'eady ; but, Let us hold it fad. When 
we fir 11 gave our name to the Lord, when we firft left 
ihc Jewiih religion, or Paganifh idolatry, and turned 
to the true and livinj^ God and his Son Chrift Jefus, 
we then made profeiTion ; now let us hold it fall:. 

lie lies to God and to the world, that makes profef- 
fion of faith, when he hath it not ; he diflembles with 
God and the w^orld, that has it, and does not profefs 
it. We fmd much fpoken of this profeffion in the 
word: Heb. iv. 14. Let us hold f aft cur prof ejjion ; a 
word much to the fame purpofe with this. This I 
thought to have coiifirmed in a few thing?, and fo 
have made fome application. I {hall only give a few 
at this time of the grounds upon which this truth 
ftands, That all that have Chriftian faith (hould make 
a Chriftian profeffion of it. 

Firf}^ The honour of Chrift calls for it, Chrid's. 
glory and honour. The truth of grace does mod im- 
mediately tend unto the falvation of a fmner; but the 
profeffion of grace tends mod immediately to the prsifc 
of Chrid Jefus. Now remember what fevere words 
I named already : Whofoever fhall be afhamed of me^ 
and of ?ny words ^ fays our Lord, in this adulterous and 
finfv.l generation^ of him alfofJyall the Son of man be 
cjhamed when he ccmeth in the glory of his Father^ 
"With the holy angels^ Mark viii. 38. The glory of 
our Lord Jefus Chrid is promoted by our profeffing 
of him. Do you think that Jefus Chrid, and his fav- 
iog triub, and his gracious work upon the heart, are 
matters to be adiamed of? Is it not a great fm when- 
ever this is committed ? 

Secondly^ The good of others calls for this. The 
truth of faith is prolirable to us ; the profeffion of 
faith is proiitable to others. Were it poffible that all 
the %Q'^\Y could kerp in all their grace, that none 


SERxNf. I. the FrofeJJion of our Faiths ir 

in the world could fee it but God and ihcmrelyes. 
Done in all the world would be a whit the better For 
it. It is the difplaying oF grace and oFthe faith that 
God has given, that is the great means of promoting 
the reputation of the gofpel, and convincing of the 
world : Therefore, fays our Lord, let your light fo 
Jhtne before men that they may fee your good works, and 
glorify your Father which is in heaven^ Matth, v., i6. 
In the very next chapter our Lord feverely iiiveigh^ 
againfl: the Pharifees', that managed their religious 
worfliip with a defign only to be feen of men : that 
was all they craved, and their hypocrify was difco- 
vered thereby. But our Lord himfelf craves this of 
his people, that their light (honld not only fo (bine as 
to dirc£l their own ways, but fo (iiine ihar others 
might fee it, and be provoked thereby to gioriry their 
Father which is jn heaven. The apollle Peter fpeaks 
of a cafe, I am afraid the mean h feldom- tried, and\ 
therefore it is no wonder that the eifecl is feldom 
found. The naean is a Ghridian'' converfation, the 
effect is converfion. It is the convcrfation of the wife 
for the gaining of the husband. Now, the apoflle 
craves this, and hints a prcmife. for it. You would 
think it ftrange, that the Chriftiah-and fober deporr- 
ment of a poor woman at home may accompliln chat 
work, that by the ordinary means of grace had been 
in vain attem^pted : That if fays the apoft'e, ahy obey 
not the word^ &c. that is, it is pofTible foraecimes that 
the Spirit and power of God may attend a gofpeMike 
converfation, and make it do that which the gofpel 
and minifterlal dlfpenfations have not done ; they may 
without the word be won ; not that there is any con- 
verfion without the word, but that there may be fuch 
mcafures of light and convi^ion, given by other means 
that God may bring in othcrwife. 

Thirdly, We find by this, that our Lord Jefus Cbrift 
has a great concern about our profcfTion. Chrift Je- 
fus himfelf was the great profeffor : He was fo great 
a profcffgrof faiih, ihat hi? wicked enernies reproach- 

12 :Lhe Jteajajt Jianerence to oerm. i. 

ed him for it when he was upon the crofs, Matth. 
xxvii. 42. He trujled on the Lord that he would delivijr 
him, Pfaim xxii. 8. The apoftle calls him the high 
friejl of our profejjion. He made a profefiion of his 
own, 1 Tim. vi. 13. I give thee charge in the fight of 
God, and before Jefus Chrifl, who before Pontius Pi- 
late witneffed a good confejfion. He told them he was 
a King, and that he came into the world to fet up 
his kingdom ; but they greatly miftook it. Chrifl 
might reign in this world, and all the kings of the 
world might fit where they are. Chrifl is trouble- 
fome to none, but them that trouble him, and he will 
be too hard for them. We find our Lord frequently 
upon this in exa£ling profefTion, and none needed it 
lefs than he. When people came to him for healing. 
What would you, fays he, that I fJoould do unto you? 
They tell him ; and then he adds, Believe ye that I 
am able f Now, any man might fay. If thou be able 
thou mayfl cure whether 1 believe or no ; but our 
Lord will have it out of their own mouths. He comes 
to one man after he had wrought a cure ; our Lord 
finds him out ; but the man had confelTed Chrifl ho- 
neftly, he was a found believer, and he was call out 
of the wicked church of the Jews, John ix. Chrifl 
found him when they had cafl him out, and fays 
to him, Dof} thou believe on the 8on of Godf Wha 
is he. Lord, that I might believe on him f fays he. 
And Jefus fa id unto him, Thou hajl both feen him, and 
it is he that talketh with thee, Lofd, I believe, fays 
he. And he wcrfhipped him. When Peter is to be 
reftored, our Lord will have it by a confefHon : he 
had given one great confelTion to Chrift, T^hou art the 
Chrifl, the Son of the living God, which our Lord 
praifes him greatly for ; but he had fallen foully when 
called to confefs Chrill in the high priefl's hall. There 
was no excufe for a man to deny that ever he had 
feen Chrifl Jefus, or been in his company. Poor 
wretched creature i if Chrifl had left him, if Chrifl 
had faid, 1 do not know Peter, as Peter faid he is 


Serm. I. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, I J 

not my mafter ; if Chrift had faid, he is none of ray 
difciples, what had become of him ? Now our Lord 
is refloring him again, John xxi. our Lord asiis tiiin 
one queftion, 6imony/on ofjonas^ ioveft thou me ; and, 
Loveft thou mef &c. What wonder is it, Uiat the 
man is grieved that he fhould come thrice upon him I 
Ayy hut^ fays our Lord, / will have thee fay ^ Lord^ 
thou knoweft all things^ thou kmweft that 1 Love thee* 
This is nothing but a profefiion of his faith and love, 
Laftly^ Faith irfelf will work a proFeffion in a man- 
ner, whether men will or no. it is impollible to keep 
the gre of faith without the fnioke of profefiion, and 
it is impoflible to fmother this lamp. \\ God hath 
kindled this heavenly fire of faith, and of the hope of 
the gofpel, in any of your hearts, it will break forth 
one way or other. They with whom you live will 
know it; your faith will break out fometimes in your 
tongue ; and it will appear, for as mcdeft, and fe- 
cret, and balhful as the perfon is, that there is forae- 
thing of heavenly fire working in him. This now is 
the conftant pra(ftice of all nations and all people ; 
and the Chrillian is, not to be exempted from this 
common neceiTuy ; every fort of people in the world 
make a profefiion of what their faith and hope is : 
All people^ fays the prophet, will walk every one in the 
name of his god^ though they be falfe gods, and we 
will walk in the name of the Lord cur God for ever and 
ever^ Micah iv. 5. Shall a worfiiipper of Baal be 
more bold and confident in profefiing of an idol god, 
than Jehovah's worftiippers ? We will walk in the 
name of the Lord our God ; we will go up and down, 
profefiing and declaring, in ail prudent and fit Ways, 
our refpefls to him. We have an obfervable word 
of Jephthah ; and truly he was fuch an odd fort of 
man, that unlefs it were for Hebrews xi. and one 
or two good words in Judges xi. we Ihould hard- 
ly own him a believer. One of the words is in verfe 
11. He uttered all his words before the Lord in Miz' 
feh : that looks fomething like. He was called ex- 

C tra- 

14 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. I. 

traordinarily to be the Uead of Ifrael for their reco- 
very out of a diftreiTed ftate, and before he attempts 
the Work, he acquaints God. The words that 1 fpeak 
of, and bring to this purpofe, are thefe, verfe 24. it 
is in his meflage to the Aramooites, Wilt not thou pof- 
fefs that which Chemojh thy god giveth thee to pojTefs ? 
80 whomfoever the Lord our God Jhall drive out from 
before us, them "will we pojfefs. Now, here was a 
great profefhon of the man's faith ; " You poor blinJ- 
** ed idolaters, that call upon your idols, and if you 
" have fuccefs in your way, will praife your idols, 
** and keep that which they give you to polTc/s : 
** Shall not we keep that which the Lord our God giv' 
" eth us to pcj/efs f' And, fays he, " Be it known to 
•* you we will." Try all the world over, 1 fay, where- 
ever there is a form of religion, true or falfe, a pro- 
feffion of it is always required. As far funk as the 
Antichriflian ftate is, yet when they admit infidels, 
and, according to their wickednefs, when they drive 
Proteftants to their communion, they crave fomethin^^ 
of profeilion of faith. But all thefe profeflions are 
rather profeflions of opinion. A great many, aik 
them what religion they are of, they can tell you ; 
ailc them the principles of religion, they can tell you 
them ; there is one queftion ftiil that a great many 
of our profeiTors are puzzled with ; " Pray, what is 
" your falch ?'' thefe truths are the truths of God, 
but what truth is there in your faith of them P The 
apoftle requires to be ready always to give an anfwsr 
to them that fhall ask a reafon of the hope that is in 
you. with meeknefs and fear » How many of onr pro- 
fefibrs, (and we have a great multitude more than the 
gofpcl is honouved by), how many of ihein are not 
able to give an account of the hope that is in them ? 
Unlefs Lhis religion be well founded in thy heart, it 
is none of thy religion ;, it is the religion only of thofe 
that believe. But unlefs the divine truths revealed in 
the Vvord, be ingrafted in thy heart by a true and 
lively faith in them acd on them, they are not thy re- 


Serm- I. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, i^ 

ligioD, they are only thy opinion. Take heed ; this 
matter of profeifioa, and profeilion of faith, is not fo 
flight aod eafy a matter, as people imagine. There 
is a very great danger in folks profefiiog to have 
faith, when they have it not. We think there was 
great feverity in dealing with thofe two poor people, 
Ananias and Sapphira, in A<f>s v. There was a cuf- 
lom then, and fpecial reafon for it, that feveral rich 
folks, in the profpeift of the expelled difficulties that 
were coming upon the church, fold their land ; two 
people, man and wife, agreed to fell their land, and 
keep part of the price in cafe of nccelluy for their 
own relief. , Here was but bare lying in this cafe. It 
is true, the apoflle aggravates it, as it was lying to 
the Holy Ghoft ; and it may be, there was fomething 
of a dtCign to try the apoilles. But this was an in- 
nocent thing to what it is for a poor creature to make 
a profeffion of faith, when he knows he has it nor. 
To make a profelTion of that he has nor, is to boafi of 
a vain gift. The Lord is flri£^ in obferving mens pro- 
feffion ; a little thing will go in God's fight for a pro- 
feffion : and accordingly he v/ill deal v/ith men that 
are not fincere therein ; but there is no true profef- 
fion but that which is found. A profeffion that is of 
truth, is not only, that a man profelles to believe 
truth, but that he does truly believe that which he 
profeffies : therefore in the creed, commonly called 
the apoitles creed, the firil word in it, and which is 
the greareil myftery in it, is, '• i believe in God, I 
" believe that there is a God ; and I believe in," &c, 
Ajf but the main thing in thy creed is the firft word, 
" I believe this." What convi<Stioii hath the Spirit 
of God made upon thy confcience of divine truth to 
enforce this belief ? For faving fai-h is nothing eUe 
but the mark which a divine irapreffioa of divine truth 
hath made upon a man's heart. 


1 6 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. II. 


Hebrews x. 23. 

Let us holdfajl the pofeffion of our faith without wa* 
vering^ &c. 

T SHALL now proceed to make fome practical 
J- improvement of what has been delivered in the 
former difcourfe. 


i'/T-y?, then, we fee what a Chriftian profefiion is ; 
it is a profeffion of faiih. This is the name given to 
it in my text, la Heb. iv. 14. it is only called our 
frojejfion ; fometimes without profeffion, it is called 
our faithy our confidence y verfe 35. Cajl not away 
therejorc your confidence^ &c. To a Chriftian profef- 
fion of faithj there are two things required : i. That 
it be true. 2. That it be vifible. i. That it be 
true ; rhnt is, that not only it be a profeiTion of di- 
vine truth, but that it be a profeffion of a true faith 
that men have in the truth. If people profefs error 
inftead of truth, they take God's name in vain; if 
they profefs they have faith when they have it not, they 
lie ogainft God and themfclvcs too. Profeffion muft 
be found and true ; a man muft profefs what he hath, 
and no more, 2. Chriftian profeffion mult be vifible. 
Profeffion is mainly for others, as faith in the reality 
of it is rnaialy lor ourfelves ; the apoflle rh-refore, 
when he is fpeaking of the great profeffion of the faith 
of the patriarchs, faiih, Heb. xi. 13, 14 They con- 
fejfed that they were fir angers and f: (grins on the earth. 
And they that fiay fiuch things^ declare plainly that they 
Jeek a country.^ &c. All who had known Abraham, 


Serm, 11. the Profefflon of our Faith, 17 

and Ifaac, and Jacob, who faw their way of living, 
who beheld their way of not mixing with the reft of 
the nations, who beheld their faith and hope; thefe 
might have feen plainly, thefe were men for another 
world than this. There can be no profellion unlefs 
it be vifible. This is fo general and well known a 
thing, that a vifible credible profeffion of Chrillianity 
is that only that deferves this name. 

Secondly^ We fee hence, what reafon and ground 
miniilers and churches have to call for and require a 
confefTion of mens faith and hope. The apoftle ipeaks 
of it here, as a thing that had paiTed all thefe belie- 
ving Hebrews. He reckons that all of them who had 
faith, had one way or other made a profellion of it. 
Minifters themfelves are or (liould be eminent profef- 
fors. Indeed their profeffion is very public ; every 
time they preach, they profefs. The apoftle takes 
Dotice of this, i Tim. vi, 12. Thou hajl profejjed a 
good profeffion before many wifnejfes ; and every time 
Timothy preached faith, and called others to the hope 
of eternal life, he did thereby witnefs to his own faith 
in fo doing. Churches are focieiies appointed by Je- 
fus Chrifl, wherein his name is to be held forth ia 
the world ; and there is high reafon, that all who de- 
fire to join with them in partaking of gofpel-privi- 
leges, fhould make to them a profeffion of their faith. 
Notwithftanding all the corruption that is this day ia 
the world, (for i chufe rather to call it the world than 
the church), yet there is fomething of this remaining 
in all that pretend to the name of a church ; only, 
that they account their profeffion is moft wofuliy mif- 
taken. There are a great many who reckon it pro- 
feffion enough, if people be born in a land where 
Chriftianity is the common and eftTibliffied profeffion. 
Thus it is in the Antichriiliaa kingdom generally. 
Some reckon, that their outward attendance on or- 
dinances, and outward attendance upon the eilabliih- 
ed religion, is enough to get men the name of profef- 
fors J it may do fo, but this is ftill (hort of a profeffion 


i8 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. II. 

oF faith. Sometimes there is ailent required to be 
cxprelTed unto points of truth or do£lrine that a par- 
ticular church efpoufes ; and if men pafs that ted, 
ihis is ihouglu to be a profeffion by a great many. 
lojhe mean time, the thing in ray text is (till omitted, 
and that is, the proFclTion of a man's faith. It is not 
oriy the profeffion of the truth of the point of doc- 
trine he affents to, but of his affent in it, that is ne- 
ceiKiry. i. It is greatly for the honour of Jefus Chrid, ' 
that men (houid knit themfelves vifibly under hisflan- 
dard and banner. Our Lord Jefus Chrift is no fuch 
mafter, that people ibould be afliamed to wear his 
jivery, and give themfelves to him, Again, it is great- 
ly for the advantage of people too. You know there 
are two great plagues the church of Chrift has been 
iliurrifled by, and it will never be quite free from 
them ; a multitude of hypocrites in a fair day, and a 
nrakitude of apoftatesin a foul day. When fammer- 
weather is, hypocrites increafe to a multitude ; when 
a florm comes, they are blown away as chaff by the 
wind. What is likely to be the only way that can 
present the abounding of thefe dreadful fcandals P If 
there were (Iriiflnefs in calling for the truth of peo- 
ples faith, for the making of them give a true pro- 
feffion of it, if they had it, truly they would be found 
to adhere to the Lord, far more clofely in a day of 
trial. It is thought to be an outw^ard glory to the 
gofpel and Jefus Chrid, to have a great multitude of / 
profeffors of his name; but the fcandal that their 
converiation gives, and the grievous offences that their 
apofracy makes, countervail it wofully. Pray what 
fort of advantage is it to a poor (inner, to be admiired 
and entertained iu the fellowihip of faints, who him- 
felf hath no faith at ail ? People are apt to think that 
the minifler or church are very (Irift or fevere, that 
will not admit them to the Lord's table. Sirs, there 
is a great deal of love in this. What have you to do 
there, if you have not faith ? It is but as it were 
tendering you poifon ; for io the fpQcial ordinances 


Serm. II. the Profejfion of cur Faith, 19 

of the gofpel are unto them that have not faith.. 

Thirdly^ You fee hence, what your duty is ; to 
make a profejfion of faith. Do not look upon ir as a 
matter indifferent, whether you profefs it or no. Sa^ 
you, If I have faith, that will fave me ; what inaicer 
is ir, whether the world know it or no r CoiBmonly 
they that have moil of it, make the leaft noife of it ; 
but it is a duty lying upon believers, to make profef- 
fion of their faith. 1 will give you a few things tor 
this. I. Let us fee the old te (lament precepts, that 
were typical of new leftament praflices. There !,> a 
notable one in Deut. xxvi. 3, 5, 6, 7. I will read it 
to you, becaufe it hath fomething worth fpecial re- 
gard ; vcr. g. And thou (halt go unto the priefl that 
fhall be in thofe days^ and fay unto him^ I profefs this 
day unto the Lord thy God^ that I am corns unto the 
country which the Lord fware unto our fathers for to 
give us. They would have all the couarry know that 
they are there, and that all the kingdoms round about 
them might know that they are there ; nay, but fays 
the Lord, I will injoin this upon you, that when yoa 
bring the firfl: fruits of the earth, you make this pro- 
feflion before God. And there is more of their pro- 
feffion, in ver. 5. And thou fh alt fpeak and fay before 
the Lord thy God. A Syrian ready to psrifh was my 
father^ and he went down into Lgypt^ and fojourmd 
with afeWf and became there a nation^ gf'^^t^ migky, 
and populous. Poor Jacob went down to Egypt fcr 
want of bread to eat, v/here God made him a great 
kingdom. Now, how eafy is the fpiritual applicarbsi 
of this ? A Chriilian is ro profefs before the Lord his 
God, that a Syrian ready to periih was his father, 
nay not only ready to periih, but that had penihei 
already, and was condemned by the righteous law of 
God, and yet the Lord had mercy, and gave hi* grace 
to him. 2. We Hnd the old tedair.ent proraifes of the 
new teflaraent practices. Several ot them fpeak forth> 
this profeffion very perempiorily : Ifaiah xliv. q, 5. 

20 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. II, 

/ will pur (fays the Lord) water upon htm that is 
thtrjlyy and floods upon the dry ground : I will pour my 
ffirtt upon thy feed y and my hlefping upon thine cff spring. 
And what (hall come on it ? One /ball fay^ 1 am the 
Lord*s : and another pall call himfelf by the name of 
Jacob ; and another /hall fubfcribe with his hand un- 
to the Lord^ and furname htmfdf by the name of ifracU 
How expHcit are thefe words. One jhall fay, I a^^ 
the Lord^s ! It is not, that they (hall only be the 
Lord's, biu they fiiall fay fo. There is fubfcribiDg 
with the hand, there is changing of the name : He 
Jhall fubf crib e with the hand unto the Lordy and fur- 
name himfelf by the name of Ifrael. What can this be ? 
Why, he will account himfelf of, he will enter by his 
own a£l and deed into the family of Ifrael Is it not, 
that he will compare himfelf with fo great a man as 
Jacob, fo mighty a prince and wrefUerwith God ; ne- 
Terthelefs, to all the privileges he defires to lay claim, 
and to have the fame God to be his God. There is 
only one word now that is commonly repeated, and 
as commonly ill underftood, as any words we know 
in the mouths of people ; it is the word in the creed 
as we call it. *' 1 believe in the holy catholic church, 
•* the communion of faints." " I believe in the holy 
*' catholic church/' is, I believe that Jefus Chrift hath 
a holy church fcattered up and down the earth. This 
** communion of faints" is of another confideration, 
as it were one of the privileges of this great church. 
If there were no faints upon earth to have commu- 
nion one with another, there would be no church on 
earth ; the church would expire. BlclTed be God, 
that can never be till the Judge come, when the com- 
munion of faiiits ceafeth, and endeth only. Now, 
here is a grievous fault among many people that make 
fome kind of profeflion, FirTi:, fome enter into a pro- 
feffion ; they flip into it they do not know how ; a 
great many years they have borne the name of pro- 
feffors. What faid you ? what did you ? Do you 


Serm. II. the Proft'J/ion of our Faiih. 21 

think the bare croudiog to aflerablies, where the 
word of God and prayer is ufed, will make any think 
with therafelves. This is a man thac makes profeffioU 
ot faith? He (hould do fo, and the very outward ap- 
pearance (hould never be but wuh this defign : but ic 
is not enough to convey the convi«Slion: for it is cer- 
tain, that is done many times by them that are quite 
void of faith. Some again make a profeffion of their 
faith once, and they think that is enough for as long ^ 
as they live ; whereas, all our life long, we ihculd 
be declaring the faith thit is lodged in our heart. 
The whole courfe of our conv<"rfation is but going oa 
in profeffion ; yet many make a profeffion, and con- 
tradidf it daily by their converfation. Now it is a prin- 
ciple that the world will never beat out of wife mens 
minJs, that alwavs deeds Will be regarded before 
words ; we will prove mens minds rather by vvbat they 
do, than by what they fay. If a man have a profef- 
fion of faich in his mouth, and have his converfarioii 
quite contrary, no man regaids what he fays. Why 
call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which £ 
fayf fays our Lord, Luke vi. 46. They profefs^ fays 
ihe apodle, that they know God ; but in zvotki they 
deny him, being abominable and di/ohedient, and unto 
every good work reprobate, Tiius i. 16. But fo much 
now (hall ferve for this, the fubje^^-matter of the a- 
poftle's exhortation, the profeffion of our faith. 

The fecond thing in the exhortation, is, the duty 
itfelf about this profeffion ihat he injoins ; thit is. 
Holding it /a/l without wavering : 1 take them both 
together. The thing that I ^ra to fpeak to is thii^, 

That Chrijlians fiould be fledfajl in their profajfion. 
Whatever faith or hope they ittake by word or deed, 
they ffiould be fledfafl in ir, they ffiould hold it fail : 
Let us hold fajl our prof ejfion^ fays the apodle, lieb. 
iv. 14. 

In fpeaking to this, I would (how, what is to be 
held faft j why it is j and how : what is the matter 

D of 

21 The J^edfajl Adherence to Serm. II. 

of the duty ; what the enforcements to It j and what 
the manner of it. 

I. What is it that is to be held fall, when we are 
commanded to hold faft the profcffion of our faicb. 

I. Hold fafl: the truths profelTed. Whatever truths 
of God we have known and made profeffion of, we 
mufl be careful to hold them fad. This the apcdle 
Paul injoins to Timothy, 2 epift. i. 12. Hold fafl the 
form of found words ^ 'which thou hafl heard of me, in 
faith and love which is in Chrifl Jefus. Deparri ng 
from the faith profefled is a grievous tranfgreflioa ; 
and the apoftle here, in this chapter, in thefe dread- 
ful words that have been fo frightful unto many a poor 
weak confcience, has his eye upon this crime that I 
am warning you againft : If we ftn wilfully after zve 
have received the knowledge of the truths there remains 
710 more facrifce for fin ; A word, I fay, that has been 
grievoully miftaken by many a poor exercifed crea- 
ture ; a fcripture the devil has made ufe of to difqniet 
many an hc^ieft heart. It- is nor, if we fm wilfully, 
if we fin againft light and knowledge, that there re- 
mains no more facrifice for fin ; that were one of the 
moft dreadful things that can be thought of. The 
apollle's meaning certainly is this, If we fin wilfully 
by abandoning the faith of Jefus Chrift, who is the 
only propitiation for our fins, we fhall find that there 
is no other (acrifice for fia : if we refifl the only tru'e 
One, the blood of the covenant, and the Spirit of 
grace working therewith, as he explaineth in the 
29th verfe, there is then no more (acrifice for fin, for 
the finner then throws away the only facrifice. there is 
Eone elfe to be had. Apofiacy from the Lord, and 
letting our profefiion flip, hath begun many a time at 
fome points of truth, which a great many Chrifiians, 
it may be, thought of no great importance. With 
what feverity does the apoftle thunder againft the 
Gaiatians tor their error in point of jufiification ; and 
that was this, that they would mix the works of the 


Sep.m. II. the 'Prof.'jjloxi of cur Fattb, 23 

law with the righteoufnefs of Chrid in the gofpel • 
chap. i. 6, 7. / marvel y (fays he) that ye ars fo foon 
removsdfrom him that called you into the grace ojChrij}^ 
unto another gofpel ; which 1$ not another ; hut there 
he feme that trouble you^ and would pervert the gofpel of 

2. In the holding fad our profefTion, v/e (hould 
hold fad the communion of faints. Whoever they 
be that leave the communion of faints for the conver- 
fadon of the wicked, that perfon doth certainly fore- 
go his profeilion. It is impoiSble, unlefs through a 
drong temptation, that a true Chridian can favour 
that delight to his heart in the converfation of the 
wicked, as in communion with the godly. There- 
upon we ficdj that the apodle, in the 25th verfe, does 
in a manner explain what he means by holding fad 
our profeilion : Not forfaking the affembling of our f elves 
together^ as the manner offome is^ &c. As if the a- 
podle had faid, ** If you forfake your Chridian af- 
** femblies, your meetings together, your edifying and 
*' helping one another, if you forfake thefe, fo far 
" you forfake your profeiTion." 

3. In holding fad the profefiion of our faith, this 
is required, that we hold fad the exerclfe of the grace 
of faith and hope. If this be not minded, you will 
quickly find thai all things elfe in a pro^eiTion do wi- 
ther and wade away. When yon are called to hold 
fad yoiif profeffion, yen are called to hold on in be- 
lieving, in the exerclfe oF ir. 

II. l^htfecond thing is, Wherefore is it diat Chrif- 
tians diould be fo careful to be dedfad in the profef- 
fion of their faith ? 

I. Becaufe there are a great many devices of Sa- 
tan and the world to drive people from it. Holding 
fad does imply that there are endeavours to take 
things from us. That which none will pluck away, 
none needs to hold. There is rcfidancc that is made 
D 2 from 

24 ^he fledfajl Adherence to Serm. II. 

from without, and great are tbofe that are made by 
Satan and the world, ly?, FroiiuSatan. The devil 
is a cruel, malicious, and envious enemy. We all have 
feme fort of notion of thefe woful wickedncflcs in the 
fp.ricual adverfaries. Bat there is one thing concern- 
ing the devil we do not duly confider ; the devil n the 
moft defperate fmner of all God's creatures. 1 mean 
Dot only deiperate in wickednefs, but deftiiute of all 
relief under it ; and therefore the profeffion of faith 
aau hope in a fmner, is the moft grievous thing that 
the devil can behold. He once had all believers his 
captives, and would fain bring them back agaiu into 
his bondage. There is nothing grates the devil more, 
thaa a^ fmner profeffing his hope in that glory he is 
fallen from. The devil is a defperate fmner, and he 
would fain drive all hnners into the fame (late wi.h 
himfelf, and if it v'f re not his cunning, that he knows 
the danger of awaking men. If the devil had his will, 
he would rather be glad ?hat all fmners were defpair- 
ing than flattering rhemfelves with vain hopes ; but 
becaufe their fecurity lenders their fta^e more defpe- 
rate in the iiTue, therefore the devil befriends them, 
and keeps all in peace. 2c//)', From the woild. You 
know what enmity the world has teftified againft the 
people of God ; and all this enmity arifes from pro- 
feflion. Let a man have never fo much fai^h, if this 
faith never difcovers iifelf, neither by word or d^z^d.^ 
the world would never have any fort of difturbance 
thereby, and would not be angry at men. It is the 
teftimony of the wntntiles that torment?, men that are 
upon the earth. What, thick you, is the reafon of 
all the perfecution that you read of in the word, and 
the bloody perfecution that hath been .in this land, and 
feveral other places ? The ♦rue reafoa is the profef- 
fion of faith of the people of God. If believers would 
part with their profeffion, the world would part with 
their quarrels. 

2. Chriftians (hould be very careful of their pro- 
feffion, to hold it faft \ for the honour of God and his 


Serm. II. the Frofejfwn of our Faith, 25 

Son Jefus Chrifl: is greatly concerned in it. It is all 
we can do for his glory. The higheft glory that is 
given to Chrift in this world, is by the lledfaft main- 
taining of the profeffion of our faith. The greateft 
affront that can be done, is by the people's abandon- 
ing the profeffion of that faith they once made. It is 
a horrible thing j a thing the Lord calls the heavens 
to be aftoniflied at: My people have forfaken me^ and 
have forfaken me upon feme alledged fault alfo : 
What iniquity have your fathers found in me^ that they 
are gone far from me? &c, Jer. ii. 5, 12. 

3. Lafiiy^ Chriftians fliould be careful to maintain 
their profeffion, to hold it fad ; for their peace and 
their falvation (tands mightily on it. It is reraarlcable 
how the apoftle divides believing and confelTion : Rom. 
X. 9j 10. With the heart man heiieveth unto righteouf- 
nefs^ and with the mouth rmjcffion is maae unto falva* 
tion. Pi ay obferve, if a ni\n believe with the heart, 
he is not only poffelTed of righteoufnefs, and ft^inds 
clothed with it before God ; but falvation is fecured 
to him, by virtue of thai righteoafnefs too. Yet yoa 
fee, that the apoflle circfally (nuns the dividing thefe 
two, faith and confeffion, rightecufnefs in the one^ 
falvation in .ihc other : ConfeJJion is made^ fays he, 
unto falvation* After we are once polTLiled of the 
righteoafnefs of Chrift by faith, we only want com- 
plete falvation, and we mufl go on confeffing his name 
till we be poiTeiTed of it. It is obfervable, that of all 
the hells upon earth that ever a true believer fell into, 
moft of them have been upon this account, when the 
violence of temptation hath prevailed upon the peo- 
ple of God, in a day of trial, to abandon their profef- 
fion. What fad inflances have we of fome of the 
mod eminent faints and fervants of God, that have 
been left of God in a day of trial, that have left their 
profef&on, and have been tortured in their fouls till 
they have returned to it again, though with the peril 
of their lives ? A (tout and free adhering to the pro- 
feffion of their faith, was commonly attended wiih joy 


2'6 The StedJaJ} Adherence to Serm. II, 

2nd peace in believing; and denying thereof, and 
complying with the courfe of ihe world, what fad 
fmart did it raife in their confciences ? 

in. The third and lafl: thing is. How this is to be 
done.,., J (hall not now iofift upon all things I thought 
^of, with refpefl to this, how a Chriftian is to hold 
fafl his profeffion. I ill a 11 only dire6l the exhortation 
thcfe three ways. 

X. Hold fall the profeilion of your faith before 
God. If yen ever have called God your God and 
Father, never eat in tliefe words again. How forry 
atid pitiful, but eoir.mon a matter is it, that a belie- 
ver will call God his God confidently in the morning, 
^nd may he in tl:e dark evening call him by another 
came ? ThoikJImlt call me. My God, andjkalt riot dt* 
fart from me : it is a promife the Lord makes; the 
Lord fulfil it to u>:. 

2. We mufl learn to hold fad the profefTion of our 
faith before the devil. Whenever Satan and we come 
together, he begins to alTault ; then be fure to keep 
rhe profeiTion of your faith ; hold it faft. Above all^ 
fays the apoflle Paul, take thejhield of faith, wbers- 
ivith ye /.ball be able to quench all the fiery darts of the 
'wicked, Epb. vi. i6. JSo alfo fays tht apoflle Peter, 
I epift. V. 9. Whom rejijl fledfajl in the faith, knowing 
that ike fame affliSticns are accomplifI:ed in ycur brf 
then that are in the ivorld. 

3. We (hculd be careful to bold fafl the j r: iiioa 
of our faith before the world. The world h;.: harp 
fight into the iniirmiiiesof the faints, but is :) - iind 
as to their virtues : They cannot fee thefc in- 
not fee the beauty of the inv^ard maa ; but ti;cy can 
fee the fpots in the converfatloa of the people of 
God, and they Vi^ill be careful to take notice of them, 
and to make more of them than they are/ The moire 
captious the world be, the more careful faints fhould 
be in their converfations : Be hlamelefs and harmlefs, 
fays the apoftle. the fons of Cody without rebuke, 771 


Serm.il the FrofeJJlon of our Faith. 2,71: 

the midjl of a crooked and ferverfe natloriy holdmg forth, 
the word of life y &c. Phi!, ii. 15, 16. 

1 would only, before leaving this head, name a fe'^v 
things that make this holding fad of our profcilloa 
very hard, and {hould make us the more diligent in 
the exercife of faith, that we may get ilrengrh from 
the author of our faith to maintain the profcilioa 
of it. 

ly?. It is very hard to keep the profelTion of our 
faith without wavering, when fin is in the confcience. 
The law of God enrers there, and a man fees his own 
iniquity. Peter perhaps had made no proFemon of 
his faith before ; but if he had, he renounced it v;hea 
he fpoke thofe ungodly words, Depart from me. Whad 
a Chriftian pray Chrift to leave hira ; is that fpoke 
hke a believer ? But the fenfe of fm was raifed la him, 
upon the appearance of divine power ia that great 
work of Chrifl. 

^dly'y It is very hard to keep tlie profeiiion of our 
faith without wavering, when we fee a rod in an angry 
God's hand, and feel the fmart of it upon our owa 
backs. To think the fame thing of God, to have the 
fame kind thoughts of Chrill, and lively hopes of 
heaven, in this cafe as formerly, is hard indeed. Job 
was a man that held faft the profeffion of his faith, 
without wavering, at a mighty rate, when he (^iid^ 
Though he flay me, yet will I truft in him ; but Izvilt 
maintain mine own ways before him. He alfo j7:^all be 
my falvation ; for an hypocrite jkall not come before 
hwiy Job xiii. 15, i6." As if he had faid, '' I ^d^i 
•' all hypocrites in the world to fay fo." Is there any 
but a believer, and a ftedfaft one, who is able to fay, 
A God Haying me ihall be my God. 

3<://y, It js hard to keep the profeiiion of cur faitl|,. 
w^ithout wavering, when there is a furnace of mens 
wrath for our profelTion, and when there are great 
hazards a man is expofed to for his profefTion. This. 
has tried many a man's profefTion. There are fignal 
inftances of this in the v\ and C\\x ciiuptcis oFDan-eL 

28 The ftedfajl Adherence to Serm. 11. 

The furious king and the fiery furnace was jufl: be- 
fore the three children ; " Now," fays Nebuchad- 
nezzar, <' will you fall down, and worfliip my golden 
** image, or no P Will you profefs flili your faith in 
« God V " Yes," fay they, " whether he deliver 
*' us, or no, we will not ferve thy gods, nor worfhip 
" the golden image which thou haft fet up." Da- 
niel would not forbear his praying in ufual times 
and places, and ufual circumftances, for all the dan- 
ger of death thereby. This was the confeflion of his 

/^thly^ It is hard to hold faft the profeffion of aur 
faith without wavering, in the fight and feeling of un- 
behef. When a poor creature finds unbelief in him, 
yet, noiwithftanding, to adhere to, and hold faft the 
profefiion of his faith, is no eafy matter. He was a 
young believer for time, but an old fkilful believer 
for ftedfaftnefs, that gave an anfwer to our Lord, 
Ijordy I believe^ help thou mine unbelief ; *' 1 own 
*« faith in the face of unbelief, in the feeling of it." 
Thereupon it is that that word turns, I fuppofe a good 
part of the meaning of it is this that 1 drive at, 2 Tim, 
ii. 12, 13, If we fuffcKy we fhall alfo reign with him ; 
if we deny him^ he will alfo deny us ; If we believe 
noty yet he abidetb faithful ; he cannot deny himfelf. 
Pray obferve. If we believe not, if we have not the 
faith, that ftrength of faith that the cafe calls for ; 
yet his faithfulnefs will take care of fecuring a graci- 
ous iffue : for the meaning cannot be. If you have 
no faith at all, but if your faith be weak, and be not 
in that high raeafure the cafe calls for, the Lord will 
lake care to fupport it ; and he has done fo many 
times to many of his people, and they have been only 
obliged to God's faithfulnefs in keeping his^ord. 

Laflly, 't is hard to hold faft the profefiion of our 
faith without wavering, in the fight of death and 
judgment. That is the great trial of a man's profef- 
fion of his faith : this is the great wind, and ftorm, 
and rain that beats upon the houfe, and tries how well 


Serm. II. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, 29 

it is built. It is an eafy matter to make a profefTioa 
ia a fair day, and keep to it ; but when this flprm 
comes, it is a great matter to hold it faft. How many 
fad inftanccs are there? Many, nay moft Chriftians 
unconcernedly fit down, and think fometimes that they 
have faith enough for their daily work ; but they do 
not know what provifion they have for this great trial, 
the very forefight of death and judgment. Death 
looks near, when it enters, as it were deeply into the 
meditation and thought of the heart of a poor fmner. 
Canft thou maintain the hope thou proftiTedft the o- 
ther day ? canft thou look on death and judgment as 
near at hand, and fay, " I retain the fame confidence 
« and hope of eternal life, that \ had when I thought: 
•' thefe things were afar offf*" The apoftle therefore 
did exprefs his faith extraordinarily, and profeiTed ic 
highly, when he fang, O deatB, where is thy fling f 
O grave ^ zvhere is thy vidory f The Jiing of death is 
fin y and the Jlrength of ftr^ is the lata : but thanks be 
fo Godf which giveth us the viBory^ through our Lord 
Jefus Chrifl^ i Cor. xv. SS^ 5^^ 5 7- ^^ reckons him.- 
felf, by faith, as fure of the victory, as if already pof- 
feffed of it. The believer can by a ftrong faith (mg 
the praife of victory, before the battle be half ended : 
for the apoftle Paul had not yet known what death and 
the grave were; he knew them only by faith, and 
knew who had overcome death, and knew that he had 
an intereft in him that had overcome both. 


JO The jledfajl Adherence io Serm. III. 


Hebrews x. 23. 

Let us hold fa ft the profejfion of our faith without wa- 
ver'mg^ for he is faithful that hath fromifed. 

T H A V E fpoke unto the exhortation to the duty 
A that is in the firrt part of the verfe, Let us holdfajl 
the prof ejjion of our faith without wavering. The a- 
poftle, ye fee, joins himfelf in the exhortation ; and, 
as it were, exhorts hirafelF, whilfl he exhorts them. 
That great apodle, who had fo much faith, who h id 
made fo noble a profclTion of it, joins himfelf with 
the reft of believers, Let us hold fafly Szc. Paul's 
faith was greater than that of the Hebrews ; his pro- 
feffion and confidence higher ; his (lock richer ; he 
joins himfelf equally with them : let us all mind this. 
Upon this 1 hare fpoken unto thefe two things. 

1. That which is the matter that this exhortation is 
converfant about, and that is the profefhon or faith, 
or the confelTion of our hope ; and of that 1 fpoke un- 
der this note, That whoever they be that have Chrijlian 
faith and hopc^ tkey Jjjould male a Chriflian profeffion 
or confefjlon of it. 

2. 'XhQ ft'cond thing in the worJs is the diuy he 
calls to, with refpea to this profeflioo ; and that i?, 
holding it faft wkhout wavering ; and of that I fpake 
lail day, that Chridians (hould be ftedfaft in their pro- 
feffion, 7iGt fnoved away from the hspe of the gofpcU 
Col. i. 23. This firll part of the verfe I ihall difmifs 
wifh two things, and proceed to this argument. 

Iheyfr/? is this. That it is a mighty hard thing to 
make a true profelTion of faiih. Secondly y It is a migh- 
ty hard thing to keep it when \x is made, 


Serm. III. the Frcfejfion of our Faith. 31 

Firjl^ It is a mighty hard thing to make a true pro- 
fefTion of faith. 1 do not mean it is hard f«';r folks to 
fay they believe, that is as eafily faid as another word 
is; but to make a true profelTion of fairh, is a mat- 
ter of great difficulty. No man can make a true pro- 
feflion of faith, but he that hath true faith. This is 
certain and evident in itfelf ; for if a man make pro- 
felTion of what he hath not really, it is but a \\ty and 
a lie of grofs fort. No man can make a true profef- 
fion of faith, but the man who hath not only true 
faith, but hath fome fort cf knowledge that he hath 
it ; for the profeflion of faith is fomething beildes the 
acting of faith. The acting of faiih is^ that it be 
wrought in the heart ; the profefTion of faith is, a 
confident owning of that a£l before God, and men, 
and devils. They are witneiTes of mens profeflion, 
but the Lord only is the witnefs of the trurh and fin- 
cerity of faith ; but when faith is come to profeflion, 
it is known to more than God. Now, that I may il- 
luftrate this- in a few things, That it is a hard thing 
to make a true profeflion of faith, I would fpeak a 
little to both the words, that in our tranilation, and 
that in the original. We call \i pro/ejjton cf faith ; 
the original is, the confeffion of our hope* 

Flrfl^ To take it for profelTion of faith : / believe^ 
the firfl word in the apoftlc's creed, applied to divine 
things, is in fome the greated lie in the world. Moit 
perfons are guilty of lying in faying, I believe ; for 
God and their own confciences may tell them, that 
though their tongues fpeak the words, their fouls arc 
(Irangers to the power and truth of this believing, 
1 will name fome few of the beads that people coni- 
monly profefs faith on ; and when they are ferioufly 
couiidered, it will be found that the faith. of them is 
very rare. 

1. To begin with that which the a po ft le calls the 
firft thing that a man muff believe, that God is, Heb. 
2<i. 6. He that cometh unto God. muft believe that he is. 
How uncharitably would people ihink ihemfelves to 

E- 2 te 

3 2 The fiedfajt Adherence to Serm. III. 

be dealt ukb, if they were charged with want of 
faith as to God's being ? How confident are people 
that they are fincere, at lead in this, " I believe that 
** there is a God ?" Pray confider what there is in 
this believing. He dwelkth in light that ho man can 
approach to ; whom no man hath feen^ nor can fee. 
Whenever his glory (hines in any manner before the 
eyes of a creature, ir is enough to confound him. Do 
men believe that there is a God, that live plainly as 
if there were none ? Do raen believe that there is a 
God, in whofe prefence they are continually, and in 
the mean lime have no awlul thoughts of him ? the 
true faith of the being of a God would make the world 
a mod miferable world, unlefs Chrift were known, 
and God in Chriii. There is nothing more terrible 
to a man, as a man, and as a Tinner, than any dif- 
plays of the glory of God, unlefs there be fome dif- 
covery of this glory, as ihining in grace towards men. 
There is more fpiritual fenfe, I believe^ than com- 
monly is conceived, in that old teftaraent word, IJhall 
die ^ for I have feen God. Jacob wondered at the 
matter, and called the name of the place Peniel : for ^ 
fays he, / have feen God face toface^ and my life is" 
preferved, Gca xxxii* 30. 

2. A future Rate, and the foul's immortality. How 
commonly do m^u pretend to believe that they know 
God in Chrifl, that they believe the truth of Chrift, 
and the mydery of God manifeft in the ileih ? He 
that can believe this well, may believe any thiug. 
Let people be firm in the fpiritual belief of it, they 
are fit 10 believe any thing; that God became man, 
Luke i. :^5. Gal. iv. 4. ; that this man is God over all, 
bleffed for ever ; that this man came in the fulnefs of 
time, and laid down his life a ranfora for many. 
There is nothing about Chrill Jefus, or about the 
whole myftery of the gofpel, but is incredible to a 
natural man, and to a natural reafon. When Paul 
/pake aboi3t one point, the refu.te^iion of the dead, 
^ king 

Serm. III. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 33 

king Agrippay fays he, zvhy jhould it he thought a 
thing incredible with you^ that God fhould raife the 
dead? Afts xxvi. 8. Here are matters far more in- 
credible ; That God (hould become man ; that this 
man (hould be ftillGod over all, blelTed for ever; that 
this man is made the great ark for the falvation of all 
the ele£l: of God. Do not run away eafily with an 
imaginauon, that it is a common and ordinary thing 
to beheve the truth of gofpel-doclrine. People will 
fay, it is very eafy to believe what is written in the 
bible ; it is a hard matter to believe, they may fay, 
their own falvation ; and that one is a great deal eafier 
than the other. If there be a firm affent begotren by 
the Spirit of God upon the heart, is to the foundation- 
truth of the gofpel, the particulr := application of that 
to thy foul for thy falvation ^^ I be found an eafy 
thing. Pray now, wherefore \l it faid fo often in the 
word, that faith is the gift of God ; that faith is the 
operation of God ; that JeTus Chrift is the author and 
finiflier of faith ? It certainly points forth this to you. 
That believing is a mighty hard taing ; that divine 
power is needful to beget it, and bring it foreward, 
and a(fl it, and maintain it. 

Again, take the matter as to our hope^ there i^ 
great difficulty to avow the hope of eternal life. Ic 
is a hope of the greatclt bleffing that can be conceiv- 
ed, it is a hope bottomed only upon the pure word ot 
God. When you examine your hearts, you find fo tie 
hopes of being faved ; and that, in the day of the 
Lord, you Ihail (land with peace and confidence be- 
fore your judge ; why {o ? wherefore do you hope 
for this ? Is it not becaufe God hath faid ir ? is it not 
becaufe the God that cannot lie hath fpoken it ? If 
you expe<fl to be faved upon any other ground, but 
becaufe God hath faid it, ye mufl change your minds 
ere ever you be faved ; for ye are off the rock, ye are 
off the fure foundation that all God's Ifrael mud refi: 
upon. This hope is a hard thing to have and to 
maintain, becaufe it is a hope chat is affaulted j there 


54 The JleafaJ} Adherence to Serm. III^ 

is CO natural probability for it, and a great many dif- 
iicu);ics lying in its way. What is there now that can 
berrieod the matter in the eye of fenfe and reafon ? 
There is a poor creature under all the fraihies of body 
and mind, that are either natural to us as men, or that 
grow and creep upon us by age, and that are in us 
becanfe of fin ; our hope is, that we ihall be perfeft 
in foul and body in the enjoyment of God. Now we 
are encumbered with imperfeflions every day, and 
Eoihing fo common and fenfible as diftance from him, 
ai)d there is no probability of coming nearer. It is 
a probable thing that a young child may live and 
grow to be a man or woman, it is probable that a 
youDg plant may grow to be a tree ; thefe are the 
common works of God in his providence, in guiding 
of this world ; but what is there of probability, by 
philcfophy, by reafon, or fenfe, unto a poor Chrif- 
tJan's attaining the poiTdrion of his hope ? There is 
Bone for it, but a great many, on the contrary, a- 
g^iafl it. There is the law, confcience, (in, Satan, 
and the world, all combating our hope every day. 
So that from this you may fee it is a mighty difficult 
liiatter lo make a true profeilion of faich ; a man 
iTiult have that faith or hope, before be can truly pro- 
fefs them ; thefe things are hard to come by, and 
hard to keep. 

Secondly^ It is as hard to hold fad the pmfefTion 
of faith, after we have made it. When a believer aih 
ir.ade a true profeilion of faith, and a true CGuUiTfon 
of his iiope, and made 1: often, it is very hard to hold 
n fall. The greatelt believers have failed here. I 
GO not fay failed quite, but they have (tumbled iliame- 
fuijy. Who was a greater believer and confeiTor of 
his hope than Abraham ? yet he (lumbled by unbe- 
lief grievoully, again and again ; Ifaac did fo, Jacob 
did fo. David, that great believer and conielTor of 
his faith, fays, AH men are liars : na^, it were well if 
Lis unbelief fpake no worfe ; it was, in t^tdiy God 
is a liar. Samuel, and Gad, and Nathan, and the 


Serm. III. the Trofejfion of our Faith. jj 

other prophets, fpake to him in the name of the 
Lord : And yet, fays he, I Jaid in my hafte^ All man 
are liars ; anc} fiid, I Jhall one day fall by the ha ids 
of Saul ; for all the promifes God had made, iiad 
for all the faith David had avowed. Bat above ail 
poor Peter, who is recommended above all men for 
his confeiTion, Matth. xv*i, how does he fa)i frorn \i ? 
Thou art Cbrijly fays he to our Lord, the Son of the 
living Gody ver. i6. Blejfed art thou Simon Bar-j^na ; 
for fie Ih and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but 
my Father which is in heaven. This great confeilor, 
what a ftrange confcfTion does he make to the maid ! 
Art thou one of his difciples f fays (lie. / htS-zv not 
the man^ fays he. It is impoffiblc, that a believer caa 
keep the profefTion of his faith (ledfaft, iinleU he keep 
the exercife of his friith condaot ; if faith decays in 
its exercife wiihio, the beauty and iledfadoefs of pro- 
feiTion will be marred abroad. 

1 come now to i\xcfecond thiog in the words, and 
that is, the apoftle's argument by which he eiiforceih 
this exhortation : For he is faithful that hath promfed^ 
fo we read it. Three things I would take notice of, 
in the confideration of the reading of the words as 
they lie here, before I take them up in themfeives ; 
three things I note in general. 

1. The apoftle names no perfon promifing, only 
fpeaks in general of one that promifes. 

2. He fpeaks of no fort of promife, but only, that 
there is a promife, 

3. This I note alfo, that the W'ord which we have 
rendered. He hath froinlfed^ in the origm-xl is in che 
prefent time. He ii faithful that is promifing. The 
promife here is not Ipoken of as an acl paft and goae, 
but of that which was prefent. 

I. We find here the apoftie does not fpeak of any 
perfon that promifes, but only fays, He is fiithful 
that hath promfed* Who then is the promifer ^. Yciii 
may be perfuadcd that it is a divine perfon ; ar^d it 
isBO great matter which of the Three wc confine it to ; 


36 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. III. 

for I know it is generally applied to Chrlft's pronoif- 
ing. But we find, 17?, That the promiles that are 
the ground of the Chriftian's faith, are the promifcs 
of the Father, as the Author, as the grand Contriver 
and original Fountain of the covenant. So the apoflle 
calls him, Titus i. 2. Li hope of eternal life which God 
that cannot lie^ from'tfed before the world began. 2 dly^ 
We find the ptoraifes afcribed unto Jefus Chrift, and 
iie is the promifer. So when he left his people and 
went out of this world, he left them with the open- 
ing of his heart to them in abundance of promifes. 
And in his laft prayer, that is as good as any promife 
in the word ; Chrift's prayer is as good as any pro- 
mife in the bible. The promifes are alfo given by the 
Holy Ghoft : He is called the Spirit of promife ; both 
becaufe he is promifed, and becaufe he is a promifer 
and performer too ; for promifing and performing are 
afcribed ftill to the fame perfon, Heb, x. 15. 

2. The apoflle doth not tell us what is promifed, 
but only fays, He is faithful that hath promifed. What 
then mufl we underfland to be the meaning of this 
dark exprefTion, when a promife is fpoken of, and no 
particular blefTing fpecified ? It is eafily gathered from 
the fcope : for the apoflle is bidding Chriftians hold 

fafl the prof ejjion of their faith ; the confeflion of their 
hope ; for, fays he, He is faithful that promifes ; he 
plainly implies, that what he means by the promife 
is as large and broad, as all the foundation of faith 
and hope that a Chriftian has, God's promifes and 
our faith are to be comraenfurate ; we are to make 
our faith as large and wide as the promife j it is to 
be (hapen as the promife. 

3. The third thing that I note in general is. That 
the apoflle's word in the original i?, He is faithful that 
is promiftngy that is, in the act of promifing ; fo it is 
in the original ; he is faithful that is now, and pre- 
fently promifing ; the fame word, as in Heb. xi. 1 1. 
The promifes of God are not, as people imagine, 


Serm. III. the Frcfefflon of our Faith. 37 

things that are over and pad, as foon as the word is 
out of his mouth ; but they arc continued, conflant, 
currect dreams that will carry on hi. people that are 
in them Oil}, till they be accoinplKlied fully. A pro- 
niifc never ends till there be performance ; a promife 
is in a£l: and motion fliil, till it be accompillhed. The 
like word the apoftle haih, i ThelT. v. 24. i TheiT. 
ii. 12. Faithful is be that calleth you^, who alfo will do 
it^ as we tranflate it : there had been as good reafoa 
to traniiaie it, Faithful is he that is now calling ycu : 
he called you at iird, by the efFe£lual working of his 
grace with the gofpel ; and that calling continues dill, 
and it will never leave you, till it bring you to hea- 
ven. Jud fo it is with the promife. There are five 
places to God's promife, and we mud have our eye 
.djdin<Sdy upon them. }fl, God's proraife is in God's 
heart ; and there it is, but a purpofe unknown and 
unfearchable to all creatures whatfcever. This is 
called a proir.ife ; for it js faid, He promifed before 
the world bega?!^ Titus i. 2. idly^ A promife is next 
conudered, as it is in the word. There it is recorded, 
it is entered, and will never be repealed, ^dly. The 
promife of God is in Chrid ; that is another place for 
the promife : All the promife s of God in him are yea^ 
and in him amen^ 2 Cor. i. 20. The covenant is confirm' 
med of God in Chrifl^ Gal. iii. 17* There is no change 
here ; a promife in God's heart wUl furely have ef- 
fe^ from the v;ord ; performance of a promife ia 
Chrid's hand can never mifcarry. A^thly^ A protnifc 
comes to be in the hand of a believer's faith ; and 
this is a fhakirg, trembling hand. As it is in God's 
.hands, Chrid's hands, or in the word, heaven and 
earth, and hell cannot fnake it ; but as it is in a be- 
liever's hand, the lead blad from either will Oiake it. 
A poor believer grafps the prom.ife of God frequent- 
ly very weakly: yet if he take ir, it is well, if he 
lay hold oti it any manner of way^ There would 
none of us ever come to heaven, if the promife of 
God did not keep us better by its grace aad power, 

F thaa 

38 The ftedfafl Adherence to Serm. IIL 

than we can keep it by our faith ; for this is the or- 
der of God, his promife is a mean that catches a be- 
liever, and a believer catches the promife by faith. 
Our hold of the promife many times fails, but the 
promife to us never fails. If the promife of Chrift's 
grace come and take hold of ypur hearts, it will hook 
you, and pull you, and keep you, and draw you cer- 
tainly to glory ; but our faith is off and on. Lajlly^ 
Believers fomctimes have the promife of God in their 
hand ; not only in the hand of faith, bur, if 1 may 
fo fpeak, in the hand of performance ; then they 
think it is well. If I may ufe the exprciTion, there 
was never a good man that had a more blelTed arm- 
ful and heartful than old Simeon ; he had all the pro- 
mifes of the old teflament, and all the blellings of the 
new teflament, and all grace on earth, and all the 
glory in heaven, at one time in his arras. When he 
took the child Jefus in his arms, JLord^ fays he, now 
lettefl thou thy fervant depart tn feace^ according to 
thy word ; for mine eyes have feen thy falvatioriy Luke 
ii. 29, 30, He had the covenant in his hand, he had 
all the blefllngs in poiTeiTion. He might have faid as 
Hannah, i Sam. i. 27. For this child I frayed : and 
the Lord hath given me my -petition which 1 asked of 
him. Something like this believers fometimes have ; 
the proftiife of God brings forth, and they have the 
birth in their arms ; but this is not that we muft live 

The apoflle fays here, that God is promifing : 
Faithful is he that is promijing, I would warn belie- 
vers of this common fault and failing, they look upon 
the promife of God as that which is paft and over : 
they are many times faying, 1 had once a promife of 
God, 1 do not know what is become of it now. What, 
is it out of God's heart ? out of the bible ? out of 
thy faith's hand i* The Lord is dill promifing the pro- 
mife of eternal life that thou didft lay hold upon in 
thy firft venturing thy foul upon Chrift Jefus. God 
is making that promife every day to you, and you 


Serm. III. the Frofejjion of our Faith. 39 

(hould be believing it every day. We live by faith, 
and God keeps us in life by promifing. His promife 
runs down through all dates and conditions, and fo 
fliould our faith do. So much now for the general 
things from the words. 

There are feveral doflrines from it, that I intend, 
if the Lord will, to fpeak from. 

1. The/ry? note that i raife from the words, i?, 
(underftand it well and wifely, it may be you will 
think it an odd obfcrvation) The Chriflian^s God is a 
promifing God. The apoftle defcribes him by this : 
" What is the God that I Paul depend upon I He 
" that promifes ; I will and can have nothing to do 
" with any God, but he that is promifing." 

2. God is faithful in ail his promifes, 

-^^ The faith of his people in a promifing Gody J/jould 
fome way anfwer the faith fulnefs of God in his fromifes, 

4. A bold avowing of our faith ^ is not bragging of 
curfelvesy but a magntfying the faithfulnefs of the fpeak - 
er. This is plainly the fcope of, Hold fa fl the profef 
fion of your faith without wavering ; for he is a faith- 
ful God you lean upon. 

. Of ihtfirjl of thefe a little at this time, The Chrif 
tian^s God is a promifing God ; a God made known to 
us by his promifes, who comes to us in the malk, and 
under the veil of promifes. Let us fee a little how 
this comes about, and how the world is changed to 
our great advantage, and his great praife. This pro- 
mifing God was from eternity bleffed in hlmfelf, and 
in the mutual communication of love and delight, and 
converfe betwixt the bleffed Three. He is alfo cal- 
led a purpofmg God, Eph. iii. 11. 2 Tim. i. 9. In 
the falnefs of time he makes a world. He makes hini- 
felf known in this world three ways. 1, He makes 
known himfeif to fome creatures by their creation. 
There are fome creatures that God made on purpofe 
that they might know him. He made the greatefl 

F 2 psrt 

y|o The StedfaJ} Adherence to Serm. III. 

part of creatures in a manner only that God might be 
known, by others, not by themfeives. The heavens 
and earth, and all the hod of them ; this world, and 
ail the creatures ihat are therein, fave one fort, are 
all incapable of knowing God; but God is made 
known by them. The only creatures we know that are 
Hiade capable of knowing God, are angels and men. 
The one fort, the glorious fpirir?, were made the firft 
day of the creation ; the other is man, half fpirit and 
half lie(h, that was made on the lad day of the crea- 
tion. Now, as foon as thefe rational creatures ftart 
out of nothing, by the commanding word of their 
Maker : as foon as ever they come into being, imme- 
diately the Lord's glory, as a Creator, is daring them 
m the face. Adam is no fooner a man, than he is 
a knower or Gcd, as his God Creator. 2. We find 
God making himfeif known to m.an (for it is about 
iman we will keep ourfelves confined) as a Lord Cont- 
manderj and as he has made this creature, he will 
diipofe of him as he fees good. He determines the 
place of his living; he determines his employment ; 
he lays him under law, and gives him a jafl and righ- 
teous command. He made himfelf known to man 
as a threarener too : In the day that thou eatejl there- 
cfj thou fialt jurely die. Ay, bur, fay yoUj was there 
DO promife in the firit: covenant P Truly the word does 
Dot fay there was any : but if people will needs have 
it thai there was a promife, ir is not worthy the name 
of a promife, in regard of what we have in the new 
tedament. That promife laboured under woful dif- 
advanrages, that we are now relieved fro'n, ly?, That 
promife was a promife of continuance in that happy 
itare he was made in, but no promife oF a better. 
There was no promife of eternal lire to the firft Adam, 
as I'ar as we find in the teriDS of ir. There was no 
more fpoken of, but a continuance in that date : and 
this is implied in the threatening. In the day thou 
tdtefl thereof^ thou Jh alt die ; which implies, Until 


Serm. III. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 41 

the day thon earefl: thereof thou fliak live. But we 
have a prornife in the new covenant of a far better 
(late than that we are in. idly^ If there was any pro- 
rnife, it was a conditional one, a promife upon the 
condition of perfeft obedience. There was no pro- 
mife but upon this condition. Do this^ and live. Life 
was prorDifed upon the condition o^ doing, but no pro- 
mife of grace to enable a man to do it. But now we 
are brought under a promife, blefT^d be he that pro- 
mi feth. Whatever is required to be done by the man 
that would have the blefling proraifed, grace to do 
that is promifed by the promifer. Hath he required 
faith ? He hath promifed faith, and he works faith.* 
Hath he required repentance ? He promifes, and 
gives it. Our Lord is a Prince and a Saviour, to give 
repentance and remiilion of fins to the houfe of Ifraei. 
Are we required to be holy in all manner of conver- 
lation ? Hath he not proraifed to fan£lify and make U5 
holy ? Hath he not prayed for this, that we may be 
fandified ^ I told you but juil now, Chriil's prayer is 
as good as a promife. The heft promifes we have ia 
the bible are the promifes made by the Father to the 
Son j and next to them, are thofe promifes that we 
draw out of the Son's prayer to the Father. So that, 
upon thefe accounts, whatever there was in the firll 
covenant, it is not to be called a promife. 3^/y, There 
was no mediator in the firiT: covenant ; and therefore 
it cannot be called a covenant of promife, like that 
We are now brought under. The mediator of a cove- 
n.^nt is to fee the terms kept on both parts., and 10 
fee the ground fecure and fafe, that the bargain may 
not go back on either fide. This is our LordV under- 
taking, and his work. Now you fee, that as foon as 
fm came in, grace comes in with a promife. God 
made himfelf known to Adam as his creator, command- 
er, and threatener of juft puniihment to hirn for his 
di (obedience. As foon as he difobeyed, fo foon is he 
convi61ed of guilt in his own confcience. As foon as 
ever he is arraigned before God, the womb of the 


42 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. III. 

mife is open; then the fluice of the promlfe was 
drawn up, and it hath been flowing to this day. It 
began with a promife. Adam and Eve were to know 
God DOW under no other name, but the God that faid, 
The feed of the -woman fhall hruife the ferfenCs head. 
So it went on through all the old teflament ; that flill 
went along by the promife. The Chrijlian's God^ I 
fay, is a promtfing God, 

I. God cannot be known but as z fromifmg God. 
There is no faving knowledge of him, but as he re- 
veals himfelf in the promife of life through Chrift Je- 
fus. 2. There is no worshipping of him but in this 
way. The apoftle joins them all together, Rom. x. 
13, — 17. How can they call on him of whom they 
have nor. heard ? How can they believe on him? They 
cannot pray, they cannot believe, they cannot know 
him, uulefs it comes by the word of God. Faith^ 
lays he, comet h by hearings and hearing by the word 
cfGcd; that is, the word of promife. Faith never 
comes by the word of command ; but it comes by the 
word of promife. God commands faith ; but God 
never works faith by the commanding of faith as any 
duty, but by the promife of faith as it is heard. The 
giving of faith, is the performance of the grand pro- 
mife of faith. 3. There is no believing on God, but 
as a promifmg God ; there is no loving God, but as 
a proraifmg God. If you fuffer your hearts to take a 
view of God out of a promife, you wander in a maze 
and wildernefs : he is a confuraing fire, except in a 
promife* The Lord hath framed us in that manner, 
that it is impoflible that God can be loved, but by a 
perfon that takes up this God as a promifmg God, 
All mankind have either to do with God as promif- 
ing, or threatening. The threatening God threatens 
the moft dread iully : the promifmg God promifes the 
greatefl good. It is impolTible that there can be true 
and (trong love fixed en that perfon from whom we 
do dread the greateft evil : therefore the Lord hath 
framed the matter fo in the difpenfing of his grace, 


Serm. III. the Frofejjion of our Faiths 4^ 

in the call of the gofpel, that he ftill tenders himfeif 
to his people, and at all times hath done fince fin carae 
into the world, under fome gracious difcovery of him- 
feif. / a7n the God of Abraham^ and the God of Ifaac, 
and the God of Jacobs faith the Lord to Mofes. Evea 
when the man is afraid to look upon God, faith the 
Lord, Do not be afraid, I am the God of Abraham, &C 
*« 1 am the God of thy fathers, I appeared to them, I 
" fpake my good mind to them, and they lived and 
** died in the promife ; and thou, Mofes, art one that 
" art concerned therein ;" Exod. iii. 3, 4. 
Two things I (hall conclude with at this time. 

1. It is a marvellous condefcenfion in God, that he 
hath come to us as a promifmg God. He might have 
flood upon his ftate, and throne, and dignity; he 
might have kept upon the throne of his glories : but 
in wonderful grace he comes down, if I may fo fpeak, 
as an equal ; and he comes into covenant with us, and 
plights his troth. Is not this wonderful ? Solomoa 
wondered : Will God indeed dwell with men f No 
wonder if God will command men ; no wonder if God 
will threaten finners ; thefe things become God, and 
are like him, and are fuited to his nature : but will 
God promife to man ? Will he make a covenant wilk 
man f Job xli. 3,4. So Ezek. xvi. 6,- — 9. 

2. As it is a great condefcenfion in God to reveal 
himfeif to us as a promifing God, fo it is a great dmy 
upon his people to keep that name of God contihuallv 
in their eye. Pray what do you d'o in the word ? ia 
prayer ? What is the God you deal with ? Do yoa 
betake yourfelves to the word, to hear the word oF 
God as a commander ? Ay, but where is the itrengtli 
for obedience ? That is uncomfortable work then. 
Ay, but, faith the believer, God's promifing for ali 
that he hath done for his people before, and all that 
they have done in their a£iiug^ of iaidi towards him, 
encourages me. Would it not put another fort of 
edge upon our prayers, were we to eye God as a 
promifing God? What do we do in prayer: think 


44 ^ The ftedfafl Adherence to Serm. III. 

you, what is the bufincfs of prayer ? The main thing 
in prayer is to put God in mind of the promife. The 
great work of Chriftians is to turn proinifes into pray- 
er, and God will turn both into performance. Every 
believer, you know, is to afk according to God's will. 
The aiking according to God's will, is to aik in faith, 
James i. 5, 6. And not only to afic what God bids us 
afk, but to afk what God has commanded us to hope ; 
and we know what to hope for, by what God has 
promifed. If we ftretch our hope beyond the pro- 
rnife, we are out of the way : but his promifes are fo 
large, that a believer needs not to fear but he hath 
room enough for his faith to work in, nay to run in. 
The faith of a believer hath room enough to treat 
with God in. Labour for this. All the difquiets 
that are in the minds of believers, all the changes that 
are in their thoughts about the God they have to deal 
with, all proceed from this. In the day of his love, in 
the day of their peace, he hath been made known to 
them as a promifing God. Ay, but now there is a 
cloud comes upon their faith, and may be a veil upon 
his face; and he comes to them and appears as if he 
were a threatening or commanding God. No deal- 
ing with him in this cafe- Learn to mind God's true 
name, He is a fromifing God* The Lord teach you 


Serm. IV. tie Profejfton of our Faith. 45 


Hebrews x. 23. 
For he is faithful that promifed. 

YOU heard that thefe words contain the argu- 
ment by which the apodle prelTeih the preceed- 
ing exhortation to Chriftians, Let in hold f aft the pro- 
fejjion of our faith without wavering ; and the arga- 
ment is very proper, and very ftrong, Let in hold f aft 
the prof ejjion of our faith, for God holds fall his pio- 
mifes iufficiently. Yea, our faith is bulk i?poa his 
promifcs. It is time enough for ^aith to ^ap:.]er whea 
God fails, but never riil then. If God could iail,ihaa 
a believer's faith (liculd fail, and never till (beu. 
With regard to this argument of the apoftle's, Ididfirft 
take a general view of it, with refpe£l to foraething 
contained in the manner of fpeaking 1. He fpeaks 
of a promifer, and names no perfon, only he that 
promifes. He knew well enough, that Cbrifli^ns 
knew whom he meant ; that it was God's promif : ; 
faith looks to thai only. 2. The apoflle doth not tell 
what he promifes ; but only he hath promifed. And 
here now it is needful that we gather the extent of 
the promife, and the nature of the faith and hope that 
the apoflle is exhorting them to maintain the profef- 
fion of. God's promifes, and the believer's faith and 
hope are juftly and equally commenfurate ; all that 
we need to defire and hope for, God's promifes fe- 
cure. 3. I noted, that the word here in the original 
is, Faithful is he that promijes ; or, that is i\\^ pro- 
mifer ; or, that is as it were in the aft of promifing* 
The promifes of God are not part: things ; they may 
fcenr fo to us ; but they are always current, and -re- 

G font 

46' The ftedfa/i Adherence to Serm. IV. 

fcnt, and ailing, and working perpetually, till perfor- 
mance comes. 

From the words themfelves, I did propofe feveral 
truths to be handled. The firfl that 1 began upon, 
was this : That the Chrijharis God is a promifing God. 
The name that the apoftle here by the Spirit gives 
him, is. He that promifes, Befidcs what was fpoken 
lad day, I (hall now further fpeak upon this truth, in 
handling ihefe two things. 

1. I will (hew you what is a promifing God, and 
what is to be considered therciti. 

2. What need we have of a promifing God ; that 
there is no other God can fave us but a promifing 

Lajlly^ I (hall make application of the point. 

I. What is a promifing God f It is the true God 
fnanifefting his grace and mercy to us, and fecuring 
that by his faithful word, that is a promifing God ; 
he is the true God, and the Father of our Lord Jefus 

I. Confider, in this matter, the high and eternal 
rife of all promifes ; and that is the infinite, unac- 
countable love of God unto the chofen. The promife 
of God is but the birth of the purpofe of God. The 
purpofe of God fprings from nothing, the promife of 
God fprings from fomewhat. There had never been 
a word of good-will to the children of men fpoken by 
God, if there had not been thoughts of good-will 
framed in his heart from eternity. This we find fome- 
liraes called the promife : God that cannot Ue^promifed 
before the world began^ Titus i. 2, The meaning is, 
he purpofcd it before the world began, and as fooa 
as the world began he revealed it. This is carefully 
to be taken notice of. That all the promifes of God 
fpring from this purpofe of God, and are defigned by 
our Lord in their true application to anfwei the pur- 
pole ; that as the purpofe of his grace is a fare and 
limited one, determined, and diftin^ ; fo the promife 


SeRM, IV, the Trcfefflon of our Faith* 47 

is of the fame defigo. Who hath favsd us^ faith the 
apoflle, and called us with an holy callings not accor' 
ding to our works, but according to his oivn purpcfe and 
grace, which was given us in Chrijl Jefus before the 
world began, but is now made manififl by the appear- 
ing Qf our Saviour Jefus Chrift, 2 Tim. i. 9, 10. 

2. About this promifmg God and his promifes, we 
are to confider the channel wherein they run ; and 
this is all in and through Jefus Chrift. That man 
looks with a bad eye upon any of the promifes of 
God, that does not fee Chriilin them: and they do 
not fee Chrift rightly, unlefs they fee all the promi- 
fes in him. We fee the covenant in him, and him in 
the covenant ; all the proniifes of God are in him ; 
he was promifed himfelf, and all the bleffings that arc 
promifed, are purchafed by him, and left to his peo- 
ple as a legacy in bis laft will, confirmed by his own 

3. The promifes in this promifiug God, come to 
be confidered as they lie before us in the word. 
There \hey are indited by the Holy Gholl, and writ- 
ten by holy men of God, that were a£led by the Spi- 
rit of God ; and, if i may fo fpeak, there we have 

-them in black and white. 

4. We would confider the proraife as the father of 
believers, or the mother in a iigarativc phrafe. Eve- 
ry believer is ^ child of promife : Now we brethren, 
as Ifaac was, are the children of pumfe. Gal. iv. 2B» 
Not only are we heirs of the promife, for that relates 
to the eftate. Gal. iii. 29. Heb, vi. 17. and xi. 7, 9. ; 
but children of the promife, begotten again to a live- 
ly hope through the promife. When a poor crea- 
ture is converted, it is the promife of God that does 
it. The efficacy of the promife of God, in its begun 
performance, does change and renew the heart, Jam. 
i. 18. 1 Peter, i. 23. The apoflle, concerning his 
own converfion, fays, It pleafed God, who feparated 
me from my mother'' s %vomb, and called me by his grace, 

G 2 Gah 

48 ne JledfaJ} Adherence to Serm. IV^ 

Gal. i. 15. It was a kind of ft range feparation. The 
poor ycuGg man was left of God as eminently as any 
youth in ah Judea ; at his beft he was a fuperftitious 
blinded Jew, and at his word a bitter enemy to the 
Dame ofjefus Chrifi. Who would think now this 
mjD was (eparared from his mother's womb for God ? 
he feemed to be feparated from God, and feparated 
to the vengeance of God. For all tl i', grace feized 
his heart, and he is called in ^\xt time. Thefe things 
we are to conceive when we fpeak and think of a 
promifiDg God : the rile of them, in the purpofe of 
God's heart ; the channel of all the promifes, in and 
through the heart's blood of our Lord Jefus; record- 
ed to us in the word, and io God's good time applied 
to the heart, to call in the heirs of promife, and to 
bring them home to pofiifs their eft ate. 

IL The fecond thing i?, What need we have of a 
fromiftng God, This mufi: be a name peculiarly ap- 
plied unto the God we call upon and believe in. 
Since fm hath come into the world, there is an abfo- 
laie neccffity of our having to do with a promifing 
God, and of God's dealing wi^h u^ as a promifing 
God, otherwife there can be nothing but ruin on our 

I. Becaufe God cannot be favinglv known bat as a 
promiiiDg God. The promife of God is both a veil, 
and a giafs that we perceive God in. It is a veil u- 
pon his inconceivable, unapproachable glory : it is a 
glafs wherein we may perceive, and may get near to 
him. We cannot poffibly take up any comfortable, 
faving, right apprenenfionsof God, but as he is cloth- 
ed and veiled to us in a promife. His own glory is 
unapproachable ; his juftiee, his majefty, the(e great 
attributes of his, are all amazing and confounding to 
poor creatures. But wl n God comes near to us, 
and promifes great and gojd things to us, then we 
come to know him. It is remarkable bow Mofes 
dealt wiih God, and God dealt with Mofes, iixod. 
\ xxxiii. 

Serm. IV. the Profeffion of our Fait hi 49 

xxxiii. from ver. 13. to the end. The man is there 
praying for Ifrael under their great fin, and under 
God's great wrath for it : Shew me now thy way^ fays . 
he, that I may know thee^ that I may find grace in thy 
fight. At laft he arifes, Sheiu ?ne thy glory, ver. 18. 
Whether Mofes was led or left unto an unbecoming 
defire, to his defiring more than his prefent (late 
could permit, we cannot peremptorily fay. He was 
in a high degree of communion with God, as any 
mere roan in this world ever was. The Lord anfwer- 
ed him mofl gracioufly, and fitly to our purpofe. Mo- 
fes prays that he may behold God's glory. What ! 
had he not feen enough already ? He faw, with all 
the people, the glory of God in the giving of the law ; 
he raw a great deal more in his more near approaches 
to Go() ; he faw it yet more in his Haying with God 
forty days in the mount; he faw the pattern of the 
temple in ttie mount. Mofes yet, for all this, cries, 
I befeech thee fkew me thy glory ^ as if he had never 
before feen any thing ot the glory of the Lord. Says 
the Lord, / will make all viy goodnefs to fafs before 
thee, (my greatnefs would confound thee), and I will 
proclaim the name of the Lord before thee ; and will be 
gracious to whom I will be gracious, and willfhew mer-^ 
cy on whom I willfhew mercy. Accordingly the Lord 
proclaimed it, chap. xKxiv. 6, 7. Will you take in 
now this that I drive at from this quotation, that a 
clear perceiving by faith of the fovereign grace and 
goodnefs of God in hispromlfes of grace and compaf- 
fion to poor finners, is the moft beneficial and higheil 
difcovery of divine glory that finners can arrive ar, 
and that believers fhould defire in this world. When 
we pray that God would (hew us his glory, the Lord 
will underftand it thus, and anfwer it thus : / will 
caufe all my goodnefs to fafs before thee* The more 
we fee of his goodnefs, the more we fee of his glory. 
2. God cannot be wor(hipped acceptably, but as 
a promifing God. Says the apoftle, It is required 
that every man that comes to God to wor(hip, muft 


50 The /leaf a/l Adherence to Serm. IV. 

believe that God is^ and that he is a rewarder of them 
that diligently feek him^ Hebrews xi. 6. ; that he is a 
gracious God, not only great in his being, but good, 
and bo?3ntiful, and kind, and gracious to them that 
feck him. 

5. God cannot be trufled in, unlefs he be known 
as a promifing God. Trufl in God, faith in him, is 
a fpecial point of worihip ; it is not a duty of worfhip 
fo trndr as it is a grace that ftiould accompany every 
duty. Now, whence can faith in God arife unlefs 
God fpeak fome good to us ? Faith arifmg from any 
other fpring, is a dream and vain imagination of our 
own minds, net bottomed upon the fmgle, fole word' 
of God, They that know thy name will put their trufl 
in thee : for thoUy Lord^ hafl not forfaken them that 
feek theey Pfalra ix, 10. In Jacob's pleading. Gen. 
xxxii. 9, 13. fee how cxa£lly he (lands upon God's 
word. He not only calls God, the God of his father 
Abraham, and the God of his father Ifaac, that was 
s promifmg God ; but the God that faid unto me. 
Return unto thy country , and to thy kindred^ and I will 
deal well with thee^ verfe 9. And thoufaidfl^ I will 
fureh do thee good, verfe 12. See how Jacob's wreft- 
ling freed, how, if 1 may fo fpeak, the man behaved 
himfelF in his mighty wreflling with God, all wi:h ihe 
force of his word ; upon that word of his ; faith he 
to the Lord, " Lord, thou bidft me, 1 am in the way 
" thou bidft me go in j and thou faidfl^ I will furely 
" do thee good,^^ 

4. God cannot be loved but as a promifi';^ God. 
Love to God is promifed, and love to God ;?>iifes from 
the difcoveries o\ God's goodnef^ to us : and the 
clearer thefe difcoveries be, love ftill iccreafes. 

5. All the enjoyment we have of God in this life, 
is enjoying of Lim as a promifing God. Pray now 
which way is it that there is that mtercourfe and that 
familiarity, that mutual dealing between God and us, 
that is called by thofe blclfed names in the word ; 


Serm. IV. the ProfeJJlon of our Faith. 51 

fdlowjbip with him, enjoy msnt of Him ^ Jin ding o/'him? 
All ftanus in this ; we approach to God by the war- 
rant oF his promife, he draws near to us according to 
his promife, and in the fulfilment of it. The promife 
is as it were Jacobus ladder, by which God comes down 
to us, and we rife up to him again. The communioQ 
v/hich believers have on earth is with God as a pro- 
mifing God ; and the communion the glorified have 
with him above, is w^iih God as a performing God ; 
and, if 1 may fo fpeak, until God has perforaied all 
he has promifed, he mnfl never lofe the name of a 
promifing God to a believer. 

Lajlly^ In the great wifdom of God, this name of 
God is appointed to be the great name wherein he 
will be glorified. The greateli glory that is given to 
God, is given under the name of a promifiag God, 
What is the reafon that Abraham is efpeciall? fald to 
give glory to God ? He was jlrong in faith^ .V'^'^S 
glory to God^ Rom. iv. 20. Believing is but thinking, 
it is no more : but it is a rare thing, \i is a great 
thought ; and a great many things feem far bigger 
than believing. Doing feems to be a great deal great- 
er than believing. Abraham's offering his fon ifaac 
was a great a<^ ; ay, but the excellency oF it lay m 
the faith he did it by. The reafon why believing is 
fpecially faid to give glory to God, is, becaufe the 
Lord bath a fpecial mind and defign to have himfelf 
glorified in the foul, under the name of a promifing 
God : and all good things ftiall came to his people^ 
to make them happy by virtue of the promife. But 
the maker of the promife, and the keeper of the pro- 
mife, and the performer of the promife, mud: have 
all the glory. All that is in the promife is ours, but 
all the praife of making it is his ; it is made by grace, 
kept by grace, performed by grace ; all this glory 
is to be given to him. 


52 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. IV. 


The fr/I ufe is this. That the Chriftian's God is a 
promiling God. I therefore call you to inquire and 
determine before God and your confcienccs, whether 
you do know God under this name. Do you know 
God as a promifing God ? A great many Chriftians 
there are that know no fuch thing; they are called, 
but are not really fo. The acquaintance that mofl 
Chriftians have with God, (poor it is), is with him as 
a commanding God. But if this does not fettle and 
fix ordinarily in your thoughts, and in all your deal- 
ings with God, I have now to do with a promifing God, 
all you do is worth nothing. 

1. If you have not to do with a promifing God, 
you do not know God's mind. There is a great dif- 
ference, you know, betwixt knowing a man's face, 
and fhape of his body, his eftate, and garb, and houfe, 
&c. and knowing his heart and thoughts, and how 
he ftands affected towards us. All other fpecuiations 
about God are tolerable pieces of philofophy to them 
that have no better ; but the grand inquiry that fliould 
poffefs our hearts is, What does this God think of 
me ? What does he intend to do with me ? This can- 
not be known but by the promife. Unlefs 1 have 
fome good word from this God to (how his good-will 
towards me, what do I know more than the devils 
do ? for the devils know God better than any men in 
this world, faving that they know God's wrath is a- 
gainft them to eternity. But this name, a promifing 
Godj they know nothing of. A great mercy it is that 
ever God (hould be known as a promifing God to fin- 
ful men. God was never revealed as a promifing God 
to fallen angels, but he was fo to fallen man. 

2. Unlefs you know God as a promifing God, you 
cannot know God in Chrift ; and you do not know 
the true God, unlefs you do know God in Chrift j un- 

Serm. IV. the Profejjlon of ow Faith, 5^ 

lefs your deterraiaate knowledge of God, be of rh^t 
God thac fhines in his glory to ns in rlie face of J:fa5 
Clirift. We muft look upon no (tod out of this face ; 
for there is no eye that can perceive God, but as :.e 
(liines this way, i John v. 20. fays the apoftle, IVe 
know^ that the Son of God is coiiie^ and hath given us 
an under ft anding^ that we may knozv him that is true : 
and we are in him that is true, even in his Sen Jefus 
Chrijl, 'This is the true God and eternal life^ i John 
V. 20. 

3. If you donor know God as a pronnifing God, 
you know nothing of the marrow and fubfUnce of 
the bible. Take away Qodh promifes out of the 
bible, and there is nothing lef' in it, but bones, and 
f^ones, and poifon, and daii5 for poor man. If you 
do not fee God as proniifing, you do not know the 
marrow of tlie fcripture ; for the heart and niarrov/ 
of the will oF God lies there. 

Laftly, If you do not know God as a proTnifing 
God, you cannot deal vviih God about falvaiion. Pray 
now, which way is it that men deal with Gcd about 
their falvarion P 1 do acknowledge, that there are 
fome people that make a fadiionof dealing with God 
about their faiva^on, who do not underfland the w^iy 
of God's de?din^ with them about fa^vuion. Such 
kind of dealers fpend their time ro no purpofe. All 
right dealing wirU God about our falvation, is in an- 
fwering of God's dealing with us ia that matter. 
Now, all the Lord's way of dealing with us' about 
falvation is by his promifes ; he promifes eternal life, 
he fends this promife to us in the gofpel ; we mufl 
lay hold OQ or we cannot deal with God, as he deals 
with us, Pfal. xxvii. 8. Eph iv. 32. Rom. iv. 13. Hof. 
ii. 23. 

Seccndlyy I would add an exhortation or two unro 
Chriftians. Is the Chriftian's God a promifing God ? 
Keep always this name of God in your heart and eye. 
You will find no great caufe in this work ; it is a hard 

H wo:lc 

54 "The ftedfafl Adherence to Serm. IV. 

work to keep God as a promifing God (till in the eye, 
but it is very needful. 

I/?, Do not you iiud God began with you this way, 
and you began this way with God P You that arc true 
Chriftians, that have been born again, that have beea 
tranfplanted out of the old (lock iotothe new, do not 
you know fomething of this, thai as long as God was 
known to you only as a commanding God, and as a 
threatening God, there was nothing but death, and 
ruin, and damnation in your eye ? but when he was 
revealed as a promifing God, then light, and life, and 
hope, and liberty began to arife. Was there ever 
a diftrefied confcience in the world truly pacified with- 
out a promife I If it were without a promife from 
God, the devil was the do(flor, and the difeafc is worfe 
than ever it was. If ever thou halt been afraid of 
the wrath of God for thy fin, if thy mind has been 
quiet without a promife of God through Chrifl Jefus, 
you are but dreaming dill ; fuch a cure is worfe ilian 
the difeafe. The apoftle tells us bow it was v^ith him ; 
When the commandment came, fays he, fin revived^ 
and I disd^ Rom. vii. 8j 9. There was woful work 
when the commandment came. When God is only 
known to you as a commanding Qod^^ fms grow great- 
er, and appear exceeding fmful ; but when grace 
comes, when the promife comes, the matter is alter- 
ed, the prifoner is refcued. Before faith catne^ fays 
he, we were keft under the law. Gal. iii. 21. — 24. 
We were prifoners lill Chrift came, and the promife 
came, and faiih came ; for they are all three come 
together. Chriil: comes by the promifes, and the pro- 
mifes are received by faith, and the prifoner is made 
whole by faith. 

7diy^ You mufl mind this conlfantly, for ail belie- 
vers raufl live by faith.; and if fo be we are called to 
live by faith, furely we mufl: remember ihat God is 
a promifing God ; this is necellarily implic •. To live 
by faith, implies thefe four things, (i.) That a poor 
believer in himfelf is a poor em^^ty creature ; he 

hath , 

Serm. IV, the Profefion of our Faith, $$ 

hath nothing at home to live by in his houfe, Ifa. iii. 
7. And fjnce there is no bread within, he mnft live 
abroad. (2.) It implies, that the (lock that a belie- 
ver is to live upon, is elfewhere ; It is "without him, 
it is with God in Cbrill, Col. iii. g. (3.) ft implies, 
that there are ways, iffaes, venis, by which he may 
go out for it, or it may come into him; paiTages by 
which communication of this fulnefs in Chrift comes 
in to the a^iial poffeffion of the believer. There 
were no living by faith, unlefs the ilock that is ia 
Chrift had ways of venting itfelf, of being brought 
down unto the hand, unto the ufe and benefit of the 
poor believer ; and this is by the proinife. And 
therefore it follows, (4.) That the daily and conilant 
work of a believer, is to be pleading thefe promifes 
for his fupply. / live^ faith the apoAle, yet 7ict /, 
but Chrift liveth in me : and the life that I now live 
in theflejh^ I live by the faith of the Son cf God, who 
loved me^ and gave himfelf for me , Gal. ii. 20. Laftlyy 
Ke finds the good of it, Ffal. xxvii. 3. and xxviii. 7. 
Lafllyy Mind this freqaently, that God is a promif- 
ing God ; for as ycu mufl live by faith on a promif- 
ing God, fo you muft die and go before him under 
this name. The great appearance muft be ventured 
upon under this name. There are few folks, Sirs, 
that are fo happy, as to make their approaches to 
God by faith, with that dread, and reverence, and 
awe, that the iafl: approach requires ; we ihould then 
a£l firm faith freqaently ; we rnuft die in this', with 
this God .in our eye, as a promifiag God. We have 
a remackable inilaoce of this in thofe tw^o good Qjen, 
the father and the fon, good Jacob 147 years old, 
and good Jofeph no years old : Behold^ faith Jacob 
to Jofeph, / die^ but God ftjall be with you, Genefis 
xiviii. 2 I. aod xlix. 25. with Luke ii. 30, as if Jofeph 
had learned It of his father, he tells his brethren that 
furvived him, when he came to die. Gen. 1. 24. I die^ 
fays he, and God vjtll furely vi fit you, and bring ycu 
rji of this lands unto the land 'which he f ware to Abra- 
II 2 ham. 

S6 The ftedfajl Adherence to Serm. IV. 

ham^ Sec. As iT thefe two holy patriarchs had faid, 
'• Now we die, but our promifing God lives ftill, and 
" the promife iives, ai:d will have its accomplilhment 
" in due time." It is upon this, that David amongfl 
his lall. words fpake that great word, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. 
Altbo'jgh my houfe be not Jo with God ; yet he hath 
Wilde with vie an everlajting covenant^ ordered in all 
thtm^s' and jure, An. ill-ordered bouie, bift a well- 
ordereJ covenant ; many things amifs in the one, but 
nothing amifs in the other, faid the believer. So muft 
you die, breathing cur, 1. Your foul, Pfal. xxxi. 5. 
2. Leaving your body in the duft, Pfal. xvi. 9. 3. 
Your prefent cnjoymenii;, 2 Sam, xxiii. 5. 4. All your 
finful infirmities. 

The fecond exhortation is this, Make ufe of this 
name ot God as a promifing God, carefully and wife- 
ly. How you fhouid ufe this name ot God, 1 would 
iD(lru<5^ you in a few thing-. 

I. In ail your extremities mind this name only. 

z> In all your walk, or ordinary cafes, mind it 

I. In all your extremities mind this name of God 
only ; there is no other name then to be minded. 
There are two forts of extremities that Chriftians feel ; 
and it is their great wifdom, when in them, to ufe 
this name. ]/i. There are great extremities of con- 
fcience. idly^ Extremities of dillrefs and difpenfati- 
cns. In e;::remities of confcience, people mud be 
very careful to remember no name of God, but the 
name of the promifing God j all is terrifyit^i^ but only 
thi?, I hinted but juil now, that the promife.of the 
gofpel is the only piaiiier for a wounded confcience, 
and when God lays it on and bleffes it, it is niarvel- 
Jous what a fuJden cure it will do. Health and peace 
quickly will foliow this application, in extremities of 
didrefs, it is to be only minded, when people are 
borne down quite, : !;d know not what to do. Saith 
jehoihapliar, J f when iM cometb upon us^ we cry unto 
ibee in our ojfli^Vwn^ then thou wilt hear and helpy 

% thron, 

Serm. IV. the ProfeJJlon of our Faith, 57 

2 ChrOD. XX. 9. Good Hezekiah was a follower of 
him in this pra£lice, Ifa xxxviii. 14. O Lord^ fays he, 
/ am opprejfed, undertake for tne, 1 may allude to the 
meaning of the word ; undertaking there is under- 
taking as a furety ; I may compare it with the fame 
his great-grandfather David ufeth, Pfalm cxix, 122. 
Be furety for thy fervant, O what a prayer is that 1 
The good man is in deep diftrefsj as if he (hould fay, 
** My word fignifies nothing before God, nor men, 
*' nor devils ; it will not pacify God, nor qaiet con- 
" fcience, nor (lop the devil's mouth : Lord^ befure^ 
** ty fi^ thy fervant^ fpeak a good word for me, thou 
" art a promifing God." It is great boldnefs of faith 
for a believer to come to God to pafs his word for 
him, to be furety for him. 

2. In ordinary cafes, we muft mind this mainly. 
There are feveral other names of God by w^hich he 
is known to us in the word ; and in his dealings with 
us, we muit give them their due room ; but this mud 
be the main flill. As for inftance, God is known to 
us as a commanding Lord and God, that reveals his 
will about our work and duty, hath proclaimed his 
mind, and calls for our obedience. Your duty with 
refpe6l to this is, ly?, Take the commands of God 
out of the baud of a promifmg God : This is not a 
bare commanding God, but it is a promifmg God that 
does command me. And unlefs you look thus on God's 
law, you may quickly over-ftrefs yourfelves in your 
endeavours after obedience, and yet do nothing to 
any purpofe. See how oblervable this is in the giv- 
mg of the law. God^s glory was difplayed, Ifrael 
and Mofes trembling, Heb. xii. 15, &c. yet i am 
your God. I am the Lord thy God^ which brought 
thee out of the land of Egypt y cut of the houfe of bon- 
dage ; thou (halt do fo and fo. Obferve now the pre* 
face to the commandments, (fee Deut. xxvi. 16,--- 19.) 
It is not, Thou (halt do fo and fo, and then I will be 
thy God ; the Lord does not firil reveal himfelf to 
them as a commanding God, and promife that, upon 


58 The Sfe^faJ} Adherence to Serm. IV. 

rhcir obedience, he will become a promifing God ; 
but he reveah hirafelf as a promifiag God, and upon 
thai requires iheir obedience to him as a commanding 
G.';d : Becaufe I was thy God^ I brought thee out of 
the land of Egypt ; and after 1 have brought thee cut 
of the bod of Egypt, I tell thee my mind about thy 
duty. Oa that fome Chriftians (if I may fo fpeak)^ 
could find as much gofpel in the preaching of the gof- 
pel, as is plainly here in the preface of the law ; bur 
fome will aiake gofpel-promifes come in after obedi- 
ence 10 gofpei'precepts. There is no obedience that 
ever was performed by man rightly, nor gracioufly 
accepted by God, but that obedience that was per- 
formed to the commands of God, as a promifing God. 
Again, we are not only to take a command out of his 
hand, as a promifing God, but we are to turn the 
commands back again, for grace to perform them, 
Pfal, cxix. 6, 7, 8. As foon as ever God reveals his 
mind to us about our duty by a command, we are im- 
iTiediately to turn the command upon him in prayer : 
Lcrd^ perform thy word ; zurite them in my heart, that 
J -nay keep them^ for that is the promife; Pfal. cxliii. 
lo, A/Vhat a great word is that. Teach me to do thy 
wiil^ for thou art my God I It is not, to know or love 
thy Will, though that is needed and begged, Pfalm 
CMix, : it is not, Teach nie to do thy will, that thou 
mayft be my God ; but, Teach me to do thy ivill^ for 
thou art my God, Faith in God animates his prayer 
for grace, to yield obedience to it. God reveals him- 
felf fometimes to us as a threatening God. Th: '.aten- 
ings and promifes feem to be very crofs to one ano- 
ther. It is the promifrag God that does threaten, and 
the Lord knows very well how to m.ake his proniifes 
and his threatenings agree together, if we were wife 
to make them agree together in our faith. Jf his 
children forfake my law ^ 8zc. I will vi fit their tranf 
grefjicns with the rod^ and their iniquities ivith ftripes, 
JSeverthelefs\ my loving-kindnefs will I not utterly take 
from kim^ S'lc. Pfalm Ixxxix, 30,-34. It were well 


SeHm. IV. the Profeffion of our Faith. 59 

for us, if we were as able to believe the (landing of 
promifes, and the love io his heart, notwithilanding 
the threatenings and the flrokes of his baud ; if we 
could in fome meafure do that, as well as he can make 
all his ways towards us to be mercy and truth. All 
the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto fuch as 
keep his covenant, and his tejiimonles, Pfal. kxv. io. 
We cannot eafily fee it, but God can eafiiy do it. 
Sometimes God is manifefting himfelf to his people as 
a hiding God ; that is a fad difcovery, if it llioiild be 
properly fuch ; but it is a name of God oft knowp : 
Verily, faith the church, thou art a God that hidejl 
thyfelf^ O God of Ifrael the Saviour i Ifaiah xlv. 15. / 
will wait upon the Lord that hidsth his face from the 
houfe of Jacob ^ and I iviil look far him, I fa. viii. 17, 
Job akm, 3r*-'3» "11^^ fum of all this now i?, that 
this name of God, the fromiftng Gody is the leading 
name that (hould mainly be rnindtd by ChriQiADS in 
all his appearances. We take his commaads, threat- 
enings, rods, and corrections, we muft ufe them all, 
as remembering, that all thefe are from a promifing 
God. If the commands were alone without a promife, 
who could perform them ? If the threatenings were 
alone without a promife to fweeten them, and take 
away the poifon of them, who could endure them ? 
But all this is confident with his love, and therefore 
fliould not (hake the faith of a believen 


6o The fledfajl Adherence to Serm. V, 


Hebrews x. 23. 
He is faithful that promifej, 

YO U have heard again and again, that thefe 
words are the argument by which the apofUe 
prelTeth the exhortation ucro the duty, of Chriftians 
holding f a fl their prof ejfi on of faith without wavering. 
The argument is flrong in itfeif, and pertinent 10 the 
apoftie's fcope, and is an argument that has a great 
deal of good truth in it, with refpe61 to its contents. 
1 have (hewn what is in thefe words. He is faithful 
that promifes, I firfl: fpake laft day to this truth, That 
a ChrifliarHs God is a promifing God. The name the 
apoftle here gives him is, He that promt feth. He pro- 
iTiifeth like himfelf, hke a God. He is known by his 

The fecond thing that I am now to fpeak to is this. 
That this protnifing God is faithful in his promifes : 
He is faithful that pro?iiifes. This is a name of God 
frequently given to him in the word, both in the old 
and new tedaraent. The prophet hath a great word 
about it, Lam. iii. 23. Great is thy fait hfulnefs. His 
mercies are renewed towards us every morning. His 
compaj/ions fail not. In the new teffament it is fre- 
quently ufed alfo: i Cor. i. 9. God is faithful, by 
whom ye were called unto the fcllowflnp of his Son Je- 
fus Chrifl our Lord, i ThelL v, i^,. Faithful is he 
that calleth you, who alfo will do it. 2 ThefT, iii. 3. 
But the Lord is faithful, who jhall flahlifb you and keep 
you from evil. And I name thefe rather in the new 
teftament, becaufe in all thefe three places that I 
have named, the word in the Greek is the fame with 


SEiiivi. V. the Profejfion of our Faith i 6 1 

that in my text. This is a naTne of God thnt all be- 
lievers know, and all that would be believers mtiH 
ftudy. There is never a believer in the world but 
kcows that God is faithfal ; and if they knew it bet- 
ter, they would be better believers ; and no man caa 
be a believer, till he know that his God is faithtul. 
There is no truft given to him, till his truilioefs be 

I (liall therefore, in handling this name of the Lord 
our God, A faithful God that promifes^ give you, FirjJ, 
The meaning of it. Secondly ^ The grounds of ic : 
the meaning, that you may -underdand \\ ; and the 
grounds of it, taat you may believe it the better. 

I. The meaning of this word, this name of God, 
that he is faithful^ contains thefe things. 

1. He promifeth who purpofeth, neither rafhly 
nor haftily. All his promKes are fiom eternity. 

2. God fpeaks as he thinks. It is one of the g^^eat- 
eft and worlt pieces of diihonefty in promlfing, when 
people promife what ihey think never to do j that is 
lying. There is lying in promifing, when people 
do not intend to perform ; as well as in alTerting that 
to be true, when they know it to be falfe. The wife 
man takes notice that there are fuch kind of folks in 
the world, Prov. xxiii. 7. Bat when God promifes, 
he fpeaks as he thinks. 

3. God is faithful in this fenfe, that he remembers 
always what he fays. There are fome ra(h folks that 
promlfe a great deal more than tbey perform, becaufe 
they forget a great deal of what ihey pro.iiifed. Our 
Lord never forgets a word of his promife. When- 
ever he has made a promife to a believer, it is fixed 
perpetually in his heart. Forgetfulneis is not to be 
afcribed to God. 1 know believers fometiraes, in fits 
of unbelief, have charged God this way : lialh 
God forgotten to be gracious ? Will the protnife fail 
for evermore? So in the Hebrew, Pfalm ixxvii. 7, 
But that is the infirmity of the fpeaker. We find 
fometiraes alfo, the people of God putting God ia 

I mi ad 

6t The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. V. 

of his pronsifes ; yea the Lord calling them fo to do : 
Fut me in remembrance^ Ifa. xliii. 26. But this put- 
ting God in remembrance is required of us, and to 
be performed by us, not to help God's memory, bm 
to exercife our faith : Keep 7iot filence, till he ejlablijh 
and make Jtrufalem a fra'ife in the earthy Ifa. Ixii. 6. 
Remember^ iays the pfalmift, the word unto thy fervant^ 
upon which thou hajl caufed me to hope^ Pfal. cxix. 49. 
The Spirit of God tells us of the exadlnefs of God's 
remembrarce many times. His mercy towards bis 
people is exprelTed this way. This is one of his names. 
He remembers his mercy to them that fear him. He is 
raindful of his covenant^ Pfalm cxi. 5. Nay, as to his 
people, it is fpoken aifo^ Mai. iii. 16. that there was 
a book of remembrance written before the Lordj for them 
that feared the Lord^ and thought on his name, 1 ar- 
gue from that, that if fo be the Lord keeps fo exaft 
an account of the poor {lender thoughts that his poor 
people have of him, how much more will he' keep a 
good remembrance of all his own precious thoughts 
concerning them, and of all the good Wijrds he paffeth 
to tbem : Pfalm xl. 5. and cxxxix. 17. 

4, God is faithful in this fenfe, that he never 
changeth his mind. Poor frail men may fomeiimes 
promife with an honeft mind, and ihey may fee good 
reafon for the changing of it. Sometimes it is lav/ful 
to change in fome cafes, fometiraes not. There may 
be fin in giving a ralh promife, that may be greater 
than the breaking of it. The Lord never changes his 
mind. Balaam is called a falfe prophet by Peter ; 
but the meaning is, he w^as not a falfe prophet in his 
prophefying, but a falfe prophet that prophefied. 
The^ Spirit of God fpake by him, but never touched 
the gracelefs man's heart : God is not a man^ that he 
fhould liey neither the fan of ??ian that he fbould repent : 
hath he faidy andfhall he not do it f or hath he fpo- 
ken^ and f}) all he not make it good? Numb, xxili. 19« 
Job xxiii, 13. God never changeth his mind, never 
comes to be in another mind, than that wherein he 


Serm. V. the Profejfton of our Faith. 63 

made his promife unto his poor children. Whatever 
changes there be in his difpenfations, there is no 
change in hi^ mind. If his childroi forfake my law, 
&c. / will vifit their tranfgrejjlons with the rod, and 
their iniquity with flripes. Here is a great change in 
God's difpenfaiions ; inftead of heaping loving-kind- 
cefs upon them, he is vifitiag thena with rods and 
ftripes. 'Neverthelefsy my loving- kindnefs will I not ut- 
terly take from him, nor fuffer my faithfulnefs to fail. 
See. Once have I [worn by my holinefs, that I will not 
lie unto David, Pfaim Ixxxix. 30,-— 35. 

Laftly^ Qo^ is faithful in proraifing, becaufe he al- 
ways performs what he promifes; he always does as 
he fays, fpeaks as he thinks, remembers what he fays, 
never. changes his mind, and always performs his word. 
What the tefiimony was, that Jolliua exa(^ed of the 
confciences of the Ifraelites, when he poiTeiTed the 
land of Canaan, our true Jofhua, Jefus, Will exadl: and 
get of all the true Ifrael, when they come to the true 
Canaan: jofhua xxiii. 14. And ye know ^ fays he, in 
all y cur hearts, and in all your fouls ^ that not one thing 
hath failed of ail the good things which the Lord your 
God [pake concerning you ; all are come to pafs unto you, 
and not one thing hath failed thereof This is briefly 
the meaning of this great name of the Lord our God, 
a faithful God, faithful in his promifes. 

II. ^Hiz fecond ^hing is, to give you fome grounds 
for our faith concerning this ; for it is no fmall mat- 
ter to have a firm faith of God's faithfulnefs. All 
faith is botiofned upon the promifes, and all taith in 
the promifes is founded upon the faithfulnefs of the 
maker of them. Though the promife be never fo 
good, yet if the maker of the promife be not faith- 
ful, it is no fecurity to the man that gets it. 

1 am to ihew what grounds there are that we may 
ufe, and are given us in the word of God, for the 
clearing our uaderftanding, and fixing our faith on 
this name of God : That this tromifer is faithful, 

I 2 I. The 

^4 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm^ V, 

1. Thtjirjl I fiiall Dame is taken from the nature 
of Gcd. Faithiulnefs is infeparable from bis nature, 
as infepaiable as any oti er name that can be given 
hkn. Omniporency i of the narure of God ; a weak 
God is DO God, but an idol. Truth and faithfulncfs 
are in the nature of a god ; a talfe god is an idol. 
Therefore, v/hen the apoftle would aggravate unbe- 
lief, jrofpel unbelief, he aggravares it by this: He 
that believeth not God^ hath made Mm a liar^ becaufe 
he believeth not the record that God gave of his 6on^ 
I Jo! V. lO What is it to make God a liar ? It is 
i.TipciTiblc for a creature to do f o ; but they account 
him io, that is the meaning of it. When we do not 
take G^d's promifcj it is to make God a liar, it is to 
nia'<e God a devi! ; for the devil is a liar, and the 
father of li, John viii. 44. See what rank wicked- 
nefs t::ere is in unbelief, Jerem. xv. 18. Pfalm Ixxvii, 
7,-— fO 

2. We find this, the vnchangeabknefs of God is a- 
nother ground of his faithtnlneis : W:th whom is no 
variab/enejs, neither fhadow of turnings James i. 17. 
Changing is always a creature infirmity j it is impof- 
fible for a creature but to be changeable. Unchange- 
ablenefs is a divine property, and cannot be commu- 
nicated to any creature. Changing is twofold, i/?. 
From worfe to better, idly^ From better ro worfe. 
Neither of which can be in him. Whatever there is 
of fixednefs in the ftate of believers, it h not un- 
changeablenefs ; but it is a coTiiriucicared fecurity by 
the grace of God the giver of ir. All quedioning of 
the promifes of God always charges him with being 
ctiangeable. He is the farce that he was, whatever 
t^e unbelcver, or the unbelieving, doubtful believer 
•may think. He i? fo as to eftabliilied angels, and 

fain s in glory now, icd to eternity. 

3. The great rooir. ^ai grace hath in the promifes, 
is one good ground fc. oui ^'-iirb, as to the taithful- 
nefs of God in the maklig oi chcm. And this is two- 

Sekm. V. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 6; 

fold, ly?, Grace is the fpring of all the promifes. 
2^/x, The glory of grace is the defigo of all the mak- 
ing of promifes, and performance ot all the promifes : 
Therefore it is of faith ^ that tt might be by grace ; to 
the end the promife might be fure to all the jeedy Rom/ 
iv. i6. It is by promife; this promife is by grace, 
that ir may be fure to all the feed. If the promife 
were given upon any other account, and did flow from 
any other fpring but the grace of God, it might grow 
dry. If God promifed to us upon the account of any 
condition that might be wrought by us, the promife 
might not be fure ; but this fpringing from the good- 
will and grace of God himfclf, as long as that remains 
they mult (land. The defign of all the performance 
of promifes is the glory of grace. Our Lord fpeaks 
many good words to us in the fcripture, he makes 
thele warm foQieiimes upon the hearts of his people 
in their faith ; and at lad, when all thefe good words 
fliall come to good deeds, and (hall fhine forth in 
their glory, what a wonderful fight will that be, to 
fee every poor believer have in his face, his heart, his 
foul, and body, all the promifes of God fulfilled to him ! 
Then the queftion will be. Why harh God done all 
this ? why hath he refcued, and fcraped, as it were, 
a company of vile fmners out of the bottom of hell, to 
fil them with (o much glory, and that to eternity ; 
all to the praife of the glory of his grace, wherein we 
are accepted in the Beloved P Therefore are we a- 
dopted, therefore are we e!e<^ed, therefore ar:^ v/e 
juitified, therefore are we fanftified, and'^ffiereFore 
are we glorified, that it might be to the glory of his 
gracey Eph. i. 4, — 14. and ii. 7. 

5. The great room Jefus Chrift hath in the pro- 
miles in one ground of our faith, that God is faithful 
in them, and that they ihall be fulfilled. ChrilFs 
room, in the covenant is fo great, that in eficifl he is it, 
and he is called the covenanty Ifa. xlix. 8. and xlli, 6, 
' He is alfo called the promife^ when the Father fent 
him into the world : He hath raifed ut an horn offnl- 


66 ^ke Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. V, 

vatwn for us^ fays Zacharias, Luke i. 69. Chrift's 
jniereli: in the covenant and in the promife is great: 
they are faid by the apoflle to be ail in him yea^ and 
in him amen, unio the glory of Gd by us^ 2 Cor» i. 20. 
God's glcry wants flnners to work upon. If there 
were not loll Tinners in this world, promifes of grace 
coivd have none to work upon. If we were all per- 
fe611y holy, what hath the promife of forgivenefs to 
do in this world. Says the apoftle, They are all in 
hini yea J and in him amen^ unto the glory of God by us. 
We in our fins, iniirrnities, weakneftes, are the field 
wherein the glory of God's promifes is difplayed and 
advanced, and all this in Chrilt Jefus. Chrid's inte- 
red in the promife is threefold, ijl^ Chrifl hath 
bought ail the bleffings in the promife, and all the 
heirs of the promife ; he hath bought us for the pro- 
mife, and the bielTings for us. His interefl: then mud 
be very great. There is never a bleffing that a poor 
believer partakes of, but Chrift's blood went for it ; 
it went for your daily bread, and for more grace and 
glory. He is bleff:;d that believes, that his octward 
niercies and aflli(^ioa3, &c, are all by promife. What- 
ever we have is by promife and purpofe, Phil. i. 29. 
And never man received a promife, but he that Chriil 
boughi to be the heir of it. We are heirs of pro- 
mife, becaufe in Chrift Jefus, We are all the cbil- 
dren of God by faith in Cbrift Jefiis ; and if children^ 
then heirs ^ Rom. viii. 17. Ga!. iii. 29. zdly^ Our 
Lord Jefus Chrift hath this intereft in the piomiles, 
that his blood went for the confirm/mg cf the whole 
covenant. The whole book of the promifes, Chrifl's 
blood fealed it ail ; therefore it is called the bio: d of 
the everlafling covenant. The teftajmeut of the cove- 
nant is made fare by the blood of the teftacor ; no 
ni.'in iriuft add any thing to it. There is a curfe unto 
ihem that fivail add or pare any thing from the whole 
canon of fciipiure, Rev. xxii. i8, 19. How rn.uch 
liiore unfuHcrable ro add or pars from our Lord's tef- 

taraent I 

Serm. V. the Pro/e/fmi of our Faith, 6j 

tameht ? The cove?2ant was confirmed before of GcJ in 
Chrijij Gal. iii. 17. By his medjatioa at laft, as me- 
diator of the covenant, he confirmed it by his blood. 
^dly^ A third intereft that Chrift hath in the cove- 
nant is, that he is the furety of it. He is to fee the 
bargain kept on both fides, that God may not caft us 
off for our iniquities, and that we may not leave God 
by our unbehef. Chrid is engaged on both ; ?.n<t, 
if I may fo fpeak, he has a hard laPxC of it, to keep 
devouring juftice from confuming ftubble fully dry» 
It is a tafk only fit for him, and he only fit tor it; a 
tallc he chearifully undertook and perfectly fulfilled, 
and is now fulfilling. 

6. The high engagements of divine truth in the 
promifes, are great confirmations for our faith in God's 
faiihfulnefs. Proraifes are made by the Lord ^o de- 
liberately ; he goes fo high in them, that we nuiit 
believe he is faithful, and will perform them. See 
how the apoftle difcourfes to the Hebrews, chap, vi, 
when he is CKhorting believers ro be followers of thera 
who through faith and patience have inherited the pro* 
mifes : as if the apoftle had faid, *» Be not flothful^ 
" take pains, follow on ; all thofe that have tried this 
*^ courfe of faith and patience, have inherited the 
.iLpromifes. And fo will you ;'* why fo P becaufe 
when God made the promife to Abraham, becaufe he 
could fwear by no greater, he fwore by himfelf ; fay- 
ing, Surely^ blejjtng^ I will blefs thee, &c. There are 
feveral things of great confideration in that fcripture* 
ly?. That there is double fecurity, word, and oath« 
The lead hint of good-will from fo great a God, as 
our God is, (hould engage all the dependence of his 
children; nay, if it came but to only a may-be, God^s 
may-be is enough for our rcTerend waiting on him, 
God not only fpeaks, but he fWears, Now obferve, 
how the apoftle fpeaks, Becaufe he could fwear by n9 
greater^ he [ware by himfelf; as if the apoflle had 
faid, *' If it had been pofilble for God to have gone 
*' higher, he would have gone higher.'' How does 


68 The Jledfafl Adherence to Sehm. V, 

God fwear by himfelf I As I live ; he fwears by his 
Ufe ; he fwears by his being ; he fwears by his God- 
head, As true as I am God, / will blefs thte^ fays 
he to Abraham. What is all this to us now ? God 
teftifies a lingular refpe£J: unto an eminent man, upon 
a fingular teftimony of the man's refpect to him ; one 
of the moft eminent adls of faith, and of obedience 
that ever was performed by a mere man, to offer up 
freely to God his only fon now grown a man. Here 
was a noble a6l of obedience ; but the Lord teftifies 
a fpecial regard to this man, and gives him this oath. 
What is that to you and me P Now, fays the apo- 
ftle, this concerns you and me, that have /led for re- 
fuge^ to lay hold on the hope Jet before m ; he leads us 
to this, that every poor creature that has a mind for 
falvation through Jefus Chrift, fliould fay in himfelf, 
As fure as God faid and fwore to Abraham, fo fureJy 
hath God faid and fworn to me, that I (hall be bleffed 
with eternal falvation in flying for refuge to his own 
Son. So the apoftle applies it, That by two immuta- 
ble things^ in which it was impojftble for God to lie^ 
we might have a flrong confolation^ who have fled for 
refuge to lay hold on the hope fet before us, Obferve 
the vaft difference. Abraham yields a grand a6l of 
obedience, and lifts up his knife to cut the throat of 
his own fon at God's command : A poor finner what 
does he ? A fmner chafed by the torments of his own 
confcience, and the threatenings of the law ^ he runs 
to Chrift for falvation : he is a felf-feeker, if I may 
fo fpeak ; he is feeking the falvation of his own foul ; 
nay, fays the apoftle, He that does fo, (hall get that 
fame fecurity for his falvation that Abraham got. 
It is a great point, and only fit for Paul's divinity, to 
fpell fo great a matter out of that extraordinary tef- 
timony that God gave to Abraham. Though the fer- 
vice that God craved of Abraham be not craved of us, 
yet the privilege is allowed to every believer ; fo that 
if you fly to Chrift Jefus, there is not a poor belie- 

Serm. V. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, 6^ 

ver, that hath laid hold on the horns of God's altar, 
but that poor creature (hal! be as fure of God's eter- 
nal blfffing as great Abraham was, when he heard 
God fvvearing to him. This is what the apoftle teaches; 
the Lord help us to prafHfe it. 

7. There is divine forefight of all poiTiMe and fu- 
ture impediments of perlorraance, whicn is a great 
argument of God's faithfuinefs. That proves to us, 
that God is faithful in his promifes. An honeft man 
may make a promife upon his bed underftanding, hue 
the providence of God may render it quite impofTiblc: 
to perform it. Now, there is no fuch thing can be- 
fai the Lord our God. Here is a great argument for 
your faith in God^s faithfuinefs ; he forefaw all things 
ih^t {hall come, or can come to pafs, that look like 
impediments. All your hnniDg, all your fainting, all 
your unbelief, all your mormurings, all your turnings 
and temptings of the Lord, poor believer, they were 
all fore fee n by God, yet he made the promife, and 
therefore he will keep ir. I believe we are fuch poor 
believers, that if we had the forefight of all that comes 
in the way to hinder, we would never believe. A 
poor believer, if in the day that he gives the hand 
unto the Lord, in the day that he marries his foul 
unto Chrift Jefus, in the day that he engages to ex- 
pe£l life, and righteoufnefs, :^nd falvation in this holy 
One of Ifrael ; t fay, if this man, could for* fee all 
the fin, and all the mifcarriages and weaknciTes that 
will be found in him for but feven years to come, he 
would draw back his hand, and be afhamed to fay, 
/ believe. The reafon why I fay fo is ihi*, becaufe 
when a few of thefe come in our way, they fliake cur 
faith. The children of God have one advantage in- 
their weaknefs, that our future things are hid from 
us ; things that, (hall come to pafs we do not knx>w, 
but the Lord ffes them all, and in fight of them ail 
he makes the promife, and therefore, notwithltand- 
ing them all, he keeps the promife, Ifa. xlviii. 18, 19. 
and Pfah Ixix. 5. 

K 8. The 

•JO The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. V, 

8. The viighty power of God is that which we (hould 
ground our faith of his faithfulnefs upon. Omnipo- 
tency muft be engaged to fulfil the promifes, and om- 
nipotency mufi: be afled upon in believing the pro- 
mi fe : 2 Tim. i. 12. I knowwhom I have believed^ and 
I am perfuaded that he is able to keep that which I 
have committed unto him againfl that day* Abraham 
offered up his fon Ifaac, accounting that God was able 
to raife him from the dead. He had a promise, nat 
in Ifaac his feed Jhould be called ; God bid Abraham 
cut his throat, and burn (not bury) his body : fays 
Abraham, " That I will do," accounting that he was 
able to raife him up from the dead. How frequently do 
we find faith fixed this way upon divine power P Rom. 
xi. 23. As to the Jews, they (hall be grafted in ; why 
fo P God is able to graft them in : as to a weak be- 
liever, it is far more eafy, Rom, xiv. 4. lie Jhall be 
holden up : for God is able to make him fland. Sirs, 
your faith will devcr behave well, till you have a view 
of omnipotency. That faith is never foundly tried, 
till it is brought into that diftrefs that nothing but om- 
Dipotency can relieve out of; and that faith is not 
cleanly a^ted, that does not afl purely upon omnipo- 
tency. V/herefore do I believe the promife ? Bs- 
caufe he is the Lord of hods, for whom nothing is 
too hard, that promifes ; it is with this the Lord 
chides Sarah's unbelief. Is any thing too hard for the 
Lord? Gen. xviii. 4. Jer. xxxii. 17, 27. 

Laflly^ There is fomething in the very nature of the 
promifes that fpeaks forth the certainty of their ful- 
filmcnt. Ye may know by the nature of the promifes, 
that he is a faithful God that made them. One is the 
abfolutenefs of the main proirife. That I call an ab- 
folute promife, wherein the whole of the care and 
charge is God's. When God fays I willy they fhail ; 
/ will he your God, and ye /ball be my people ; and if I 
will be your God, no man (hall fay he fhall not be 
my God ; and if thou fay. We fliall be rhy people, 


Sekm. V. the Frofefion of our Faith. 1i 

none (iiaii fay, We (hall not be thy people* There 
is again the w if dom of the order of the promifes, ih-at 
There is feme begun perCormance of the promifes ; 
the performance of the promife of grace is in a good 
way to the performance of the promife of glory. 


1. Learn to magnify this name. God hath magal- 
fied it himfelf, and fo (liould we ; Pfal. ' sxviii. 2. 
1 Will praife thy name, for thy loving- kindnejSy and for 
thy truth : for thou hajl magnified thy word above all 
thy name. Magnifying of God's fauhfulnefs (lands 
principally in praifing for it. Praife him for all the 
promifes he hath made, and praife him for all the 
performance he hath given, and praife him for all the 
performance that (liall be given. 

2. As you rauft praife him for it, io you mufl count 
God faithful This is a great matter. May i fpeak 
it in more plain homely words: Every one oF^you 
mud count God honefl^ an honefl, faithful, true God ; 
that never deceived any that tfuded in him, that is 
never worfe than his word ; always a great deal bet- 
ter. It is remarked concerning Sarah, Heb.xi.. i i. 
\\\2LKfhe judged him faithful who had promifed,^ S.hp 
is one of the women that are named there iQ ibat 
fiiort catalogue of believers ; and it is well for her (he 
was named there, for indeed the account we have of 
her in Genefis is not fo much to her honoar ; when 
the promife is made in Genelis, it is faid, Sarah laugh- 
ed^ Gen. xviii. 12. and xvii. 17. 

When do ye think Sarah believed ? I really think 
(lie believed when ftie was reproved for her unbelief. 
What is her believing called ? Through faith alfo Sa- 
rah herfelf received Jhength to conceive feedy becaufe Jhe 
judged him faithful who had promifed. She accounted 
the promifcr faithful, that isfaiih; to account the 
promifes faithful, thac is believing. Is ii not a rea- 
fonable thing to crave this of you ? You muft ac- 

K z count 

72 The JiedfaJ} Adherence to Serm. V, 

count him faithful or unfaithful, there is no medi- 
um ; if you do not give him the pofitive teftimo-, 
ny of faithfulnefs, you reflect upon hira the blaf- 
phemy of unfairhfulnefs. Now this would bring me 
to the third thing, viz. That the faith of believers 
fhould in fome raeafure anfwer ihe faithfulnefs of . 
God, Sre rhat your believing anfwer the promife, as 
yonr believing is bottomed upon the promife. See 
^£ls xvi, 15, Lydia's charge co Paul. 

This accounting him faiih'ul craves two things ; 
I/?, That you niufl learn, in the nain matter of fal- 
v'ation, to take his word alone. We reckon always, 
that that perfon is je^alous O' another, that is not wil- 
ling to take his word. It is true, that, on earth, meriT, 
may pretend prudence for their didrufl ; but in deal- ' 
ing with God, it is an abomination, a prudence that 
comes from hell, James iii. 15. If we account him 
faithful that prcmifes, we (hould feek no more, and 
jQi-uld crave no more. Believers that have their mul- 
tiplied props from fenfe for their faiih, labour uoder 
the diiadvantage of a fecret charge of unfaithfulnefs 
in God. Will you offer to bring any creature 10 con- 
firm God's 'teftimony ? '^dly^ Account hi:n faithiul 
that exacts this of us, that as foon a^ ever we get 
the promife, we fhould rejoice in hope of per*^or- 
maace. God hath f-poken in his hoUnefs^ I will rejoice^ 
fays David ; " I have got God's woid, that is enough 
^* of joy to racj'* Pfal. Ix. 6. 


Serm. VI. the Frofejjion of our Faith. 73 


Hebrews x. 23* 
For he is faithful that fromifed. 

FROM the laft words of this verfe, which is the 
apoitle's argument to prefs Chriftians to holdjaft 
the profejjion of their faith without waverings 1 have 
fpoke already unto two notes that I obferved there- 
frc'Ti ; as, 1. It is a name here given to God, he that 
fromifes ; and from this 1 fhewed, that the Chrifti^ 
an's God is a promifing God, and he that knows not 
God by this name of a p/omifing God does not -know 
the true God ; no man can take up God aright, but 
in the veil of a promife ; no man can draw near to 
God aright, but in and by the encouragement of a 

2. The fecond note was thi^. That this pro?mfpjg 
God is faithful in his promifes^ this promifer is faith- 
ful. To this 1 fpoke laft day, and (li^U add but a 
little to it, and proceed to the third thing. 

I know that there are a great many profeiTors that 
bear the name of Chriftians, (God knows how litde 
they deferve it, to him they ftand or fall), who won- 
der, why there fliould be fo much in the word fpo- 
ken of faith ; and that fome mioifters, in their doc- 
trine ftiouid infift fo much upon believing : Why not, 
fay they, upon doing? Is not believing doing P The 
greatell doing that ever was done by a finner is be- 
lieving, and all the right doing of obedience flows 
from believing. Whoever they be that know what 
it is to be a Chriftian, know that their life is a life 
of fai-h ; they live by faith, even as we live our na- 
tural hte by breathing. U is as impoffible, that a 


7^ The StedfaJ} Adherence to Serm. VI. 

Chriflian can preferve his fpiritual life, without re- 
peated 2^H of believing, as it is for lis to preferve our 
natural life, \^iihout puaing forth and fucJcing in the 
air v/e breathe in. Therefore it is, that fuch as know 
what the life of fairh Is, that is, the Chriftian's life, 
never can think enough, they never can hear enough, 
becaiife tney can never do enough about believing. For 
this end, 1 have fpoke unto tnis great name of the Lord 
our God, That he is faithful in his promifes, I did lafl 
day, I. Shew you what the meaning of this is, what 
our thoughts of God's faithfulnefs do contain by the 
warrant of the word, and I gave you four particulars. 
Next, 1 ftiewed you the grounds, rather of your faith 
on God's faithfulnefs, than the grounds of his faith- 
fulnefs* The pfalmifi leads us to this, Pfal. cxxxviii. 
2. Thou haji magnified thy word above all thy narjie, 
God makes all his name fome way ferviceable for the 
advancement of the glory of his word, and his faith- 
fulnefs' in his word is a main part of the glory of it. 
Several of the names of God chat are ufeful for the 
flrengthcning of our faith, as to his faithfulnefs, 1 
mentioned laft day ; and (Iiall add two or three more, 
and go foreward. 

1. The firft is his hoUnefs, His holinefs is a great 
ground of faith as to his faithfulnefs : God hath ft o^ 
ken in his Jiolinefs, I will rejoice^ fays the pfal mi 11, 
P fa Ira !x. 6. Once have I fworn by my holinefs^ that I 
will not lie imto David, Pfalm Ixxxix. 35. Holinefs 
is a natne of God hateful to all finuers, and very aw- 
ful to believers. When the purity, the fpoileffnefs 
of bis holinefs is feen, what fad reile(Slions ufually does 
it occafion ? But thou art holy : But I am a wormy 
fays the pHdmifu jr*2^ no man ^ Pfalm xxii. 3. and 6. 
When God's holinefs was proclaimed before Ifaiah, 
Wo is mey fays hc^for I am undone^ chap. vi. 5. Can 
there be any enco^iragement for faith from God's ho- 
linefs P A great many Chriflians main fear arifcs from 
his holinefs. Now 1 am to fliow you, that the name 
of his holinefs is a great corifidcration for ftrer.gthen- 


Serm. VI. the Frofejton of our Faith, 75 

ing faith. Faithfolnefs, if 1 may (o call it, is a piece 
of holinefs ; faithfulnefs is a branch of holinefs, fo 
that as God cannot do any thing that is evil, fo he 
cannot break his word. Then he fvvears by his holi- 
nefs ; as if he would fay, '' Take me for no holy God, 
•' if ever I fall (liort of my word of proaiife." 

2. The fecond name of God is his unfdom. He 
makes promifes in wifdom ; he makes prcmifes about 
bleflings that he means to give, and knows, and hath 
appoin red when and how to perform. Wc, thar are 
poor creatures, that live in time, think a little time a 
long while, viz, from the beginning of the promife 
in Gen. iii. 15. uaro the end of time, and that is a 
great while after the end of the Revelation. You 
think it a long while betwixt God's {irft promife, and 
his lad performance; but it is nothing uith him, ia 
the point of promife. Saiih the apoiHe, One day is 
ivith the Lord as a t houf and years ^ and a thoufand years 
as one day, 2 Peter iii. 8. and L'a. liv. 8. There"are 
a great many ten thoufand days in a thoufand years; 
there is a great inequality betwixt thefe, but both a- 
like to God. We meafure time, as it were, by our 
own duration ; but he that tnhabiteth eternity does 
not fo. The wjfe God, Tfay, hath made all his pro- 
mifes in wifdom. In his eye, betwixt the making of 
them and the performance of them, there is no kind 
of diftance at all. 

3. Lafilyj The name of his love is a great encou* 
ragement to faith in his faithfulnefs. Love made the 
promifes, and love will fee to the fulfiilinoj oF them ; 
therefore the Pfalmift fays, I zvill pratfe thy name, for 
thy loving-kindnefs, and for thy truth, Pfal. cxxxviii. 2* 
The more love there be in making the proiriife, the 
more certainty there is of the fuifiimenr of ic. Sure- 
ly promifes of love, free love, rich and eternal love» 
are made in love, Jer. xxxi. 3. and will be fulfilled, 

III. The third thing now that I would fpeak upon, 
and that I obferved from thefe words, He is faithful 


7(5 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. VL 

that promifes^ is, That the believer* s faith Jhould an- 
fwer God's faithfulnefs. The ftedfaftnefs of our be- 
lieving Qiould anfwer the faithfulnefs of God in pro- 
mifing ; for this is the apoflle's argument, Let us hold 
faft the prof ejjton of our faiths or the confelTioa of our 
hope, without wavering / for he is faithful that prO' 
7nifed, Your hope is fixed upon his promifes : hold 
fad your faith therefore, for he will hold faft his 
word: Ke is faithful that promifes. Be you (led faft 
in believing ; the promife is a ftrong promife ; it is 
the promife of a ftrong God ; that faith that ihould 
be given to it, (hould be a ftrong faith. This is the 
glory of believing. Abraham gave glory to God. 
"What way ? He was ftrong in faith ; and he was 
fully perfuaded that the promife would hold good, 
for God was able to perform it, R.om. iv. 20, From 
this truth 1 would fpeak a little to tbefe two things. 

1, Why our faith muft anfwer God's faithfulnefs. 

2. How it can do it. 

F/Vy?, Why the believer's faith muft anfwer God's 

I. The fir ft reafon is, becaufe faith and God's 
faithfulnefs are relatives ; they are necelTarily related 
one to another. There were no ufe for divine faith- 
fulnefs declared, no promife in time had been made, 
unlefs for fome that ftiould believe, John xvii. 20.; 
there were no ufe in this world for faith, if there 
were not fome appearance of divine faithfulnefs for 
faith to a£l upon. God's faithfulnefs is revealed oa 
purpofe that it may be believed. Faith is given on 
purpofe, that divine faithfulnefs may be trufted in, 
and refted on, and applied. They relate one to ano- 
ther as neceffarily as the eye and light do, and thefe 
are mighty like. If God had created creatures with 
eyes, and colours, or any other vifible things, and no 
light to fee by, it might be faid, Wherefore gave he 
them eyes ? The cafe is juft fo here : All the break- 
ings forth of divine faithfulnefs are for faith's fake, 


Serm. VI. the Profejlon of our Faithi 77 

that it may work upon it ; and all the giving of faith 
is for faithfulnefs fake, that it may aft upon it. 

2. Divine faithfulnefs is the ground of faith, and 
the only ground of faith, therefore faith mud anfwer 
it. All the expeftations of good from God, all the 
warm applications made to God, are all bottomed upon, 
"Thus faith the Lord. If God's faithfulnefs be the 
ground of faitt), furely then faith (hould anfwer the 
ground. If fo be a perfon could believe as firmly, 
and build as ftrongly as the groand will bear him, he 
might do great things. 

3, God's faithfulnefs is the author of faiih ; It is 
not only the ground of faith, that lays us under an 
obligation to believe when he fpeaks, but the very 
author and worker of faith. I do not mean onlv than 
God grants and works faith in his faithfulnefs ; bur my 
meaning is more drift, that all faith is wrought in the 
foul by fome difcovery of divine faithfulnefs at fird, 
and in all the after-aftings of it. We fee that there 
are great multitudes that have the word of God alike, 
they have the fame bible, and the fame miniders, 
and the fame fermons ; fome believe, and fome 6.0 
not believe ; fome obtain grace to believe, and others 
not. Whence comes it ? Wherefore is it, that ever at 
any time a poor felf-condcmned finner truds Chrid 
Jefus with his falvation upon the warrant of tjie gof- 
pel-promife ? when is it he does fo ? Always then, 
and never till then, that he gets a difcovery of the 
faithfulnefs of God in the contrivance of the gofpel. 
When God damps his own faithfulnefs and truth u- 
pon the gofpel, then the man believes it, and truds 
it : nh is a faithful Jaying, and worthy of all accep- 
tation^ that Chrifl Jefus came into the -world to fave 

finners ; of whom I am chief , i Tim. i. 15. What is 
the reafon there is fo great difference amongd belie- 
vers at one time and another, that the fame promife 
of God at one time is ftrong under them like a pillar 
of brafs ; at another time it is weak, or they think 
it weak as a broken reed ? The true reafon is this : 

L At 

78 The Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. VI. 

At all tttnes ihey have the word of the promife ; but 
it is not at all times they fee the glory and faithfulnefs 
of the fpeaker. When the promife appears in the 
glory of the truth of the fpeaker, it is impoflible but 
it muft be believed. When God takes his own word 
in his own hand, and ftamps it down as the word of 
God upon the heart, then that mark is faith. Be- 
lieving is another fort of bufmefs than a great many 
pretended profeffors of it know, or take it to be. The 
faithfulnefs of God is the caufe of believing, i Theff. 
ii. 13. 

4. LaJIly^ Faith is God's appointed way for the per- 
formance of his promife. He will have glory by his 
people's believing, before he give them that fatif- 
faction that they expe£l, and defire in his performance. 
That rebuke our Lord gave to Martha, John xi. .^o. 
is of lading ufe in the church of Chrift, Said I not 
unto thee^ that if thou wouldfl believe^ thou jhouldfl fee 
the glory of God f " Did not 1 tell thee before, that 
" if thou wouldft but truft in me, and wait quietly 
" to fee the iiTue, thou (houldfl fee the glory of God, 
•' for all the appearance to the contrary V 

The fecond thing is. How aught our faith to anfwer 
God's faithfulnefs f Here fome things muft be pre- 
mifed for caution, that we do not carry the matter 
farther than the balance of the fan6tuary will admit. 

I. You muft not imagine, that any man's faith can 
anfwer God's faithfulnefs fully : that is impofiible. 
God's faithfulnefs is an infinite perfection in itfelf ; 
our faith is a finite grace, given to a poor (hallow 
creature. Our faith can anfwer his faithfulnefs no 
more, than our holinefs can anfwer his holinefs, tho' 
we are commanded to be holy, as he is holy. We are 
to take the pattern of our holinefs from his holinefs j 
and we are to ftudy conformity to his holinefs; but 
perfedl conformicy is impofiible ; and even finlefT- 
nefs, which is impofiible here, would not bring us to 
perfect conformity to God's holinefs. We muft not 


Serm. VL the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 7^ 

think to anfwer God's faichfulnefs with our faith in a 
perfe(^ equality. 

2. Neither doth a believer anfwer God's faithful- 
nefs with faiih as he ought. We do not pay all the 
faith that we owe to the truth of God. It is as im- 
pollible for a believer to perform the obedience of 
faith required in the gofpel perfe£lly, as it is for an 
unbeliever to perform obedience to the law perfeftly. 
Indeed an unbeliever can obey nothing. Even the 
obedience of faith, the obeying of the gofpel by be- 
lieving of it, needs gofpel-grace for the forgivenefs 
of th'e fin of believing, or the fm in believing. There 
is never a believer that believed at firft, but there was 
fin in that believing : there are none that do rely u- 
pon the word of God fo firmty, as that noble fare 
foundation ferveth. 

3. There is no believer believes fo firmly as he 
would : he does not anfwer God's faiihfulnefs by his 
faith fo well as he would. Whoever they be that 
think they believe as they defire to believe, I dare- 
fay they never believed, and never will learn to be- 
lieve as long as they are of that mind. That poor 
man fpoke as iF he underflood faith wei!, Mark ix. 2^. 
Lordf I believe ; help thou mine unbelief. Believers 
are called to anfwer God's faithfulnefs by their faiih ; 
but they muft not think ihac they (hail ever attain to 
fo much as ihty would : they muil: flill go on grow- 
ing in believing, as well as in any other grace. The 
right eoufnefs of God is revealed from faith to Jaith^ Rom. 
i. 17. We mud go on believing daily. 

4. Faith in all believers does not equally anfwer 
God's faiihfulnefs. True faich is built upon it, but 
every one's faith does not alike equally anfwer it. 
There are (omc Jlrong in fait h^ and fome weak in faith. 
Thefe are words in the fcripture. Abraham is called 

Jirong infaithy young believers are called weak infaithy 
Rom. xiv. I. Nay, the fame man is not 2X\viz (Irong 
in faiths or weak in faith ^ at all times; fometinacs 
ih^flrcng may grow weak^ and the weak may grow 

L 2 ftrong 

8o ' The Jledfaji Adherence to Serm. VI. 

Jlrong, though they have both true faith, and tha^ 
built upon God's faithfuloefs. 

Thcfe things I pretnife, for the preventing any 
miflake in the refolving this queftion, what way our 
faith is to anfwer God's faithfuinefs ? Our truft in 
believing, is to anfwer God's truftinefs in promifing. 

ly?, It is to anfwer it by a fudden taking of God's 
word of promife, and reding on it. There is no de- 
lay for this. Tiiere is no time, no moment of time 
wherein a man is allowed to tofs this queftion. Is God 
to be truded, or no ? This is an abomination, tocon- 
ceive that the Lord will ever fufFer a man to fpend one 
moment in making this queftion, Shall 1 take God's 
Word, or no ? Does he deferve to be trufted ? This 
is wickednefs to think of, or to put it to the queftion. 
Sudden receiving of God's word, is the glory we owe 
to the faithfuinefs of it. Our Lord found fault with 
the difciples, that they were fools, and flow in heart 
to believe : they would take time to confider, before 
they would believe. This is fin. The apoftle com- 
mends the Coloftians for their faith, for their hope 
Jaid up in heaven. When began it P Since the day 
ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truthy 
Col. i. 6. " That very day ye heard the word with 
** power, the grace of God came along with it." Our 
Lord takes notice of this in John i. 50, 51. So runs 
the promife, Pfal. xviii. 44. 

7dlyy By taking the leaft hint of God's word for 
our encouragement This is to gi've glory by our 
faith to his faithfuinefs. The leaft appearance of his 
faithful word fnould be enough to engage our hearts. 
The great faith our Lord commends fo highly, / have 
not found fo great faith^ no not tn Jfrael, is exemplifi- 
ed by this, Matth. viii. 8. Lord, fays the centurion, 
/ am not wsrihy that thou Jhouldft come under my roof : 
but /peak the word only, and my fervant Jhall he healed. 
As if the good man would fay, " Lord, I know that 
" thou dolt ufe to go to fome mens houfes, and vifit 


Serm. VI. the Frofejfion of our Faith, 8 1 

" the fick, and heal them ; but I am a poor man, 
" unworthy of this favour." But is he unwilling to 
receive Chrift's grace : No ; he was far from think- 
ing fo ; the poor man had a mind to Chrift's grace ; 
Lord, /peak the word only^ and my fervant Jhall he heal* 
ed. This faith is commended in the nobleman, John 
iv. 50. Go thy way^ faith our Lord, thy fon liveth^ 
And the man believed the word that Jefus had fpoken 
unto him, and he went his way. You may be fure he 
went believing all the way, till he came near home, 
till his fervants came and told him. Thy fon liveth ; 
then he believed over again, and believed better. 
There is a great failing in the faith of the people of 
God in this point, That they offer fometimes, in the 
vanity and pride of their hearts and unbelief, to tell 
God which way he (hould engage his faithfulnefs. 
The lead hint of Chrift's faithfulnefs (hould ferve, 
if you have a mind to glorify the faithfulnefs of God. 
3^/j/, Faith is to anfwer God's faithfulnefs in the 
full extent of it ; that is, in believing in length and 
breadth, according to the largenefs and widenefs of 
the proraife. Now, here is a great duty that we are 
very dark and ignorant about. When a believer be- 
lieves rightly, he is to believe every thing God fays. 
A great many things we believe, we do not know 
what they are; we are to believe them notwithftand- 
ing. When thou dofl believe eternal falvation thro^ 
Chrift Jefus, doft thou know what it is I Doft thou 
know what weight there is in the crown of glory ? 
what entertainment is with them that behold the face 
of God, and of the Lamb? what is done ? what is 
itdi on ? and what is enjoyed ? what is faid within the 
veil ? We know none of thefe things ; but we mud 
believe them notwithftanding. We are to believe the 
full extent of the promife ; that there (hall be a per- 
formance, though we do not know yet what it (liali 
be, l>low we are the fons of God, but it does not yet 
appear what wefhall be. But does that (hake their 
faith ? No, fays tie apoftle ; we know that when he 


Si The ftedfaft Adherence to Serm. VL 

f/jall appear^ we [ball be like him ; for we Jh all fee him 
as he is^ i John iii. 2. And with the apoftle's leave, 
tor as great a divine as he was, v;hat feeing him as he 
\^ and what being like him as he is in heaven, the 
good divine John did not know on earth, and tells 
us that he did not know ; only in thefe general words 
he tells Gs, in ChriiVs words, That hejhould be with 
him^ and behold him / and his faith goes forth accor- 

^thly^ Anfwering God's faithfulnefs by our faith, 
is to lay all our weight upon the proraife of God, and 
upon it only ; every thing that concerns us for our 
fools and eternal falvation, for our out7/ard concerns, 
for Zion, for the church and people of God ; it is 
to glorify divine faithfulnefs, to lay all thefe burthens 
upon the back of the proraifes, not doubting but it 
ihali bear them ; laying it upon the promife alone. 
It is a great matter for a believer to think God's faith- 
fulnefs fecurity alone, that there needs nothing to 
prop it and hold it up. We many times fmFully crave 
props of fenfe to fupport our faith ; but the matter 
indeed is to fupport the proraife ; therefore we would 
fain that God lliouid give fomething to fupport us ; 
all this like Naanian, 2 Kings v. is unbelief. We 
Diud lay all our weights and burthens upon the faith- 
fulnefs of God ; fo fays dying David, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. 
Although my houfe be not fo with God ; yet he hath 
made with me an everlajling covenant^ ordered in all 
things and fare : for this is all my falvation^ and all 
my deftre. As if David, in his laft words, had left 
this his legacy to all believers in after ages, that now 
when a dyiag man, *« 1 have," fays he, " feen a 
*' gr^at deal of fin and wickednefs in my family, in 
*• my heart and life, and in the land of Ifrael ; in the 
*' cafes of Uriah, Abfalora, Amnon, Tamar, Adoni- 
^' jah ; but I now die fatisfied with this only. He hath 
^' 7nade with me an everlajling covenant^ &c. Here is 

all my falvation^ and all my defireP 



Serm. VL the Profejfion of our Faith. 83 

^thly. The anfv;ering God's faith fulnefs by oar 
faith, is in the avowing our faith to God and men. 
God avows hispromife publicly, Ifa. xiv. 19. It is 
not enough that we believe, but we inuft not be a- 
(hamed to own it. How frequently do we find the 
faints owning it to God ? Pfal. Ivii. i, 2, 3. Be mer^ 
ciful unto me^ O God^ be merciful unto me, for my foul 
trufleth in thee* 1 will cry unto God mojl high ; unto 
God that performeth all things for me. He Jh all fend 
from heaven, andfave mejrom the reproach of him that 
would fivallow me up ; Selab. God fha II /end forth his 
mercy and his truth. Oh what a blelTed fong is this 1 
He prays for mercy, becaufe he truils in it : and he 
adds this, God fl^ all fend forth his mercy and his truth. 
If I may fo fpeak, thefe two mefiengers, mercy and 
truth, are enough to pluck a man out of the jaws of 
death and hell iifelf ; if God fend them, they corue; 
and if they come, they fave one, that is certain. I'h^ 
pfalmifl: complains moft grievoully of their reile^ing 
upon his God ; it was as a fword in his bones, while 
they reproached him for trufting in his God. Pfaloi 
xi. he is fo confident he will reproach them for xtj 
yer, i. In the Lord put I my trufi : how fay ye to my 
foul. Flee as a bird to your mountain f " Are ye not 
" afhamed," would David fay, " to look upon rae as 
^' a forlorn perfon, and tell me to flee to the mouo- 
** tains for help, when I have a refuge in my Gcd r" 

Laflly, God's faithfulnefs (liould be anfwered by 
our faith, in our conftant keeping upon this fonoda- 
tion. Faith and pradlice is required in order to the 
inheriting of the promife. Performance comes net 
immediately as the promife is made, nor as foon as 5t 
is believed, Af^s vii. 17. Pfaira xxxi. 15. Believing 
muft be drawn forth God's full time, till performance 
ripen the ground. Why we fhould believe God'g 
faithfulnefs is, becaufe God's faithfulnefs is acoiiltant 
thing itfelf. If the Lord's faithfulnefs did change, a 
believer's faith might change lawfully ; if there were 
any (baking in the word of God, it were no flvi for 

^ be- 

84 The fledf aft Adherence to Serm. VI 

a believer to doubt in that word. The aggravation 
of unbelief is, becaufe we change in our faith, when 
God is unchangeable in his faithfuisefs; 


If believers faith (hould anfwer God's faithfulnefs, 
I. Then, what can the unbeliever do that has no 
fairh ? God's faithfulnefs is before him ; the faith- 
fulnefs of God is feen in his threatenings and promi- 
fes : the faithfulnefs of God is feen in the law, and 
in the gofpel ; the unbeliever hath faith for neither. 
When God threatens the unbeliever with everlafting 
deftruftion for his fin in the law, every fecure Tinner 
fays, God is a liar. Fearleffnefs of wrath, when a 
man is under the lafti of God's threatening is a cer- 
tain proof that he believes not what he fpeaks. There 
is no word of threatening fliall come fhort of its ful- 
filment, no more than a word of promife. The un- 
believer hath no entertainment to give to the promife 
of the gofpel, becaufe h-e hath not faith ; what then 
muft the iffue of it be ? A man that hath no faith, is 
under thefe two things ; one at prefent, and the o- 
iher a-coming, if God prevent it not. Firft, Every 
man that is an unbeliever muft blafpheme God now, 
whatever he does when he goes to hell. There is no 
greater blafphemy againft God, than to fay he lies. 
A poor lying man, through the cuftom and faftiion of 
this world, looks upon it as one of the greateft pro- 
vocations that can be given in words, to fay in his face 
he lies. Every poor finner that hears the law and the 
gofpel, and neither trembles at threatenings, nor re- 
joices at promifes, fays every day to God he lies. He 
that receives not his teflimony has made God a liar, 
I John V. 10. And he that receives his tejlimony^ hath 
fet to his feal, that God is true, John iii. 33. People 
that have not faith, have great need to cry for faith, 
to beg that God would give it, 1 have nothing to en- 

Serm. VI. the Profefflon of our Faith, 85 

terta'iD God's faithfulnefs with, I have no hand to take 
a word from God, if I have not faith. 

2. How juflly, chargeable are believers themfelves, 
if their faith fliould not aofwer God's faithfulnefs? 
How guihy are tKoft believers in this matier ? Aa 
unbelieving believer is a monfter, nor for the raricy 
of it, but for the uglinefs of it ; for there is nothing 
more corainon araongfl: believer?, than to be a£liiig 
unbelief. There are few believers, but do act more 
unbelief than faith; they unbelieve, if 1 may fo fpeaic, 
ten times for their unbelieving once. Now, the great 
aggravation of this their fm is, that rot only God's 
faithfulnefs is engaged for their faith to a£l on, but 
God hath wrought faith in them : therefore the guile 
of bdievers is very great upon this account. Shall a 
man that is in this cafe be iliH aftino; unbelief? Too 
frequently they do fo, but I will name a ^t\v thing?, 
and conclude at this tJme. 

ly?. How many believers act their unbelief, and 
are convi£led from this j^oint, in their fearing 10 be- 
Jieye, when they are called to lay hold on the hops 
fet before them, and to lay the ftrefs of their eternal 
falvaiion upon the faithful promife of (^od ? They are 
are afraid they (hall fin to believe, I pray now is this 
a mannerly queflion, Shall 1 fin in truitmg God ? Is 
not this a fearful thing P Is there any danger of fin- 
ning in my taking God's word ? i am fore, the greatefl 
fm is in refufing it, and there can be none in taking 
of it. It is nothing but the power and firength of 
unbelief tliat makes fo much fear in believers. la 
putting forth the hand of faith, they fee m to put forth 
their hand to God, as he i^ a confuming fire, Heb. 
xii, 29. and not as he is in his Son reconciling us to 

7dly^ Not only are they very fearful to believe, 
but very weak in believing. A great many believers 
(if I may ufe. fuch a homely firailitude) walk upon the 
promife at God's call in the way to heaven, even as a 
child upon weak ice, which they aie afraid will crack 

M under 

^6 Hje Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. VI. 

under them, and leave them in the depth. What 
can there be but unbelief in the weak truft we have 
in the promife of God ? Art thou fure, that thou 
haft trufted thy foul upon the word of God ? Do not 
reply, there is no more betwixt thee and erernal ruin, 
but a bare word of God ; for can that word fail ? is 
it pofiible, that it can mifcarry ? Why then fiiould we 
Bot believe more firmly ? There is a filly pra^lice a- 
mongft us, I Ihall not fpeak ray mind about it, I on- 
ly fpeak of it now with refpe^l to my prefent purpofe ; 
A great many believers do even venture in their be- 
lieving upon the word of God, as too many idle peo- 
ple do upon their lotteries, they will try ; but they 
do not know whether they (hall get a blank or a be- 
nefit. Is this believing and giving glory to the faith- 
fulnefs of God ? 

3<i/y, There is doubting after believing* When a 
poor believer hath once caft his burden upon the word 
of God, a cloud comes on, and he begins to queftion,, 
whether he did well in trufting God or no ; this is 
the Englifh of it. Did I well to truft God ? We trufted 
that it had been he which Jhould have redeemed Ifrael^ 
Luke xxiv. 21. but was it well done, thus to repent 
of their truft ? 

^thly^ Believers are many times in danger, by u- 
Cng finful Ihifts to obtain the thing promifed, as in 
Gen. xvi. 2. David would not d,o fo, as you may fee, 
2 Sam. i. 

Laftlyy Believers are guilty of great unbelief, in 
pleading the caufe of their unbelief; they not only 
doubt, but they will argue for their doubting. Now, 
all objections of unbelief are argum.ents againft faith j 
they are all great reflections on God's faithfnlnef?, 
and are only to be anfwered by God's faithfulnefs : 
and we muft take this as an univerfai anfwer to them 
all, All the pleas that the carnal unbelieving heart of 
a Chriftian can frame for the fencing himfelf in unbe- 
lief, are all to be brokeu upon the rock of God's un- 

Serm. VL the Frofejfton of our Faith. 87 

chaageable faithfulnefs. I wiii name fome of their 

1. i do not know, if the promife be to me ; If I 
"Were fure that the promife were to me, I would be« 
lieve it better than 1 do. I anfwer, Is the law to 
thee ? is the command to thee ? Does the law of God 
threaten thee in the firft Adam I and is not the gofpel 
to thee alfo in the fecond ifVdara ? Is not the promife 
thine, if it be believed? What is the meaning of the 
preaching of the gofpel ? but only this. Preach the 
gofpel to every creature, and tell them, He that be- 
lieves, (hall be faved. Whoever they be that will 
venture their falvajion upon the man (lain at Jerufa- 
lem, and expe£l God's favour, and eternal life for his 
.fake tendered to them, believe it that will, if they 
lake it, it is theirs. 

2. K fecond obje^ion is, I am a vile, filthy, guilty 
creature, how dare 1 believe ? Satan and unbelief 
will multiply things here, and make a hideous ap- 
pearance to a poor creature ; as indeed, if the devil 
get leave to draw a performs owii picture, and to fet 
it before his eyes, or to write the hiHory of his life, 
this will be a very dreadful thing ; fome have feen ir, 
and felt the terror of it. But what is this to the faith- 
fulnefs of God ? Is God unfaithful in his promife, b^- 
caufe I am a great fmner P No fuch thing ; nay, Lff 
God be triiSy and every man a liar. Is this an argu- 
ment, Becaufe 1 am very fick, therefore Jefus Chrift 
the Phyfician will take no care of me ; 1 dare not 
employ him^ becaufe I am very fick ; AfTure your- 
felves of this, Where-ever fm is a man's difeafe, there 
Jefus Chrid has been already the Phyfician, and will 
certainly cure it. I do not fay, where fin is a man's 
delight, where iin is a man^s truce, but where-ever 
fm is a poor creature's ficknefs, and when they are 
groaning towards Chrid, the Phyfician, our Lord je- 
fus, hath begun to cure them, and will perfe<5l it in- 

M 2 3. Ano- 

88 ne Stedfajl Adherence to Serm. VI. 

3. Another objection that unbelieving believers 
make, is, 1 am a backfliding creature, 1 have been 
iBJghty unfaithful to God. What then ? It may be 
God will deal with you, as he did wi'h the bacldliders 
of old. See how he calls them, Return^ ye back/lid- 
ing- children^ I %uiil heal your back/lidings ; Behold^ we 
come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God, Jer, iii. 
22. The name the Lord gives them is, backfliding 
children ; the protrjife he makes them is, he tvill heal 
their backflidings. Both thefe are entertained by an 
silent of faiih, Behold, ive come unto thee ; for thou 
att the Lord our God, that only can ft heal us. Some- 
times they will plead, God is very angry, and hides 
himlelf. Wtiat then? He is not unfaithful for all 
that, the promife ftands fure. Verily thou art a God 
that hidefl thyfelf, O God of Ifrael the Saviour, \{d\A^ 
xlv. 15. fee alfo Pfalm cxix. 75. I can affure you, 
Chriftians, that that faith is very weak, and that be- 
liever will lead but a poor forry life, that hath not 
learned to believe in the dark, as well as in the light 
cf his countenance. We muft not believe by day-light 
only, w^e mud learn to believe in the dark. The 
greateft part of the way to heaven lies in the dark ; 
if we have not this light of faith, we are but in a bad 
cafe. Some may fay, they fee no appearance of per- 
formance ; ihey have tried the promife of God, and 
it is as unlikely as it was at firil: ; the complete falva- 
lion of their foul is far off ; the growth of their cor- 
ruptions appears daily; their confcience? fometimes 
making as dreadful an alarm as in the days of their 
former darknef?. This is a very common and ordina- 
ry exercife, and the cure cf it is very eafy ; the reme- 
dy is near at hand. We are not to judge of the cer- 
tainty of the fulfilment of the word of promife, by the 
appearances that are in providences towards us, but 
we are to build all upon the faithfulnefs of the fpeak- 
cr. Though clouds and darknefs be round about him^ 
righteoufnefs and judgment are the habitation of his 
throne^ Plal. xcvii. 2, The word ftands firmly, what- 


Seum. VII. the Frofejfton of our Faith. 89 

ever darknefs there be in his works ; wait a while* 
and but a little while, (Heb. x. 37.), give him time, 
and give him truft, and none that believe in him fhall 
ever be afharaed. 


' Hebrews x. 23. 
— 'He is faithful that fromifed, 

THE apoftle tells us in Rom. x. 17, th?it faith 
Cometh by hearings and hearing by the zvord of 
God* Faith both comes by hearing, and grows by 
hearing. There is no part of divine truth that is 
more profitable for the growing in faith, than the 
do6lrine of faith ; it is therefore a great pity, and a 
great mifcarriage, that when people hear much of 
faith, they do not pra(9:ife much. Every thing that 
is fpoken of faith, is fpoken of it, that, ye fliould be 
always doing \ that as the ear takes in the report of 
the doctrine of faith, the heart may be exercifed in 
the acting of it. With refpedl: unto this, i have fe» 
Veral times fpoke already, upon this latter part of this 
verfe, which is the apoflle's argument, by which he 
enforceth the exhortation he gave in the preceeding 
part ; and from this argument I have obferved three 

I. That the Chriftian's God is a promifmg God, 
He is called here by the apoftle. He that promifes ; 
and the apoftle knew well God's names, and which 
it is that is fitteft: to be ufed on every occafion. 

?. That this promifmg God is faithful in all hh pro« 
mifes, which he hath promifed from the beginning 


$Q The Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. Vil, 

of the world to this da)'. There have been feme in 
all agc!3, and a great many in feme ages, that have 
trufted God upon hispromifesj but'tbere hath not 
been one that could ever juflly charge God with fail- 

g. The third thing that I fpoke to was. That the 
Chriilrau's faith Ihould anfwer God's faithfulnefs ; 
that a.^ our faith is fixed on God's proraifes, faith 
flionld fome way be as firm as the promifes. A Chrif- 
tian is called faithful, becaufe he is a believer ; God 
is called faithful, becaufe he is d^fulfiller ; he keeps 
his word by doing it, believers are faithful in trujling 
it. Upon this note I (hewed, i. Why the Chriftian's 
faith (houid anfwer God's faithfulnefs. 2. How ic 
may and ought fo to do. Some ways it cannot, fonae 
ways it mu ft. 

1 concluded with a double reflection ; one upon the 
iinful miferable ftate of unbelievers. They have no- 
thing to anfwer God's faithfulnefs ; they muft perifh, 
becaufe they have not faith ; they dilhonour God 
highly, becaufe of their unbelief. The true ftate of 
the matter is this : Our firft father and mother, Adara 
and Eve, it 1 may fo fpeak, by their fin leapt over- 
board, they caft therafelves under the wrath and curfc 
of God. in this ftate all we their pofterity are born ; 
the Lord, in great mercy through Chrift Jefus, cafts 
forth the rope of his promife ; now, what is an un- 
believer, but like a poor drowning man ? there is a 
f ope cad out that may fave him, the poor man has 
no hands to catch at it, therefore mufi perifn ; and 
to perilh in the view of a promife, is a fad cafe ; but 
to the believer, the Lord will llretch out his hand to 
help him. 

2. I made a little reflection upon the unbelief of 
believers. Believers themfelves are wofully guilty 
fometimes in this matter, and their faith is far from 
anfwering the faithfulnefs of God. Compare his 
faithfulnefs with their faith, and you v/ould think they 
do cot relate to one another at all. Strong ground, 


Serm. VII. the Frofejjim of our Faith, ^i 

firong foundation, but forry building upon it ! I nam- 
ed four of their common failing*?, which I iball have 
occafion to infifl: more upon on the other head, Sonae- 
times they fear to believe, as if there were any fin Iq 
trufting God ; when diftruft is the greateft fm ; they 
believe fearfully and weakly, as if the ground would 
not bear ihera : they believe and doubt, and recall 
their believing : they plead fometimes the caufe of 
their unbelief in many of their ungodly objeOions a- 
gainft faith. 

That which I would now do in the profecuting 
this point, and with refpe£l to all the three, fhall be 
to give you, Firft, Some doftrinal inferences from 
this point ; then^ if the Lord will, we may come 
to make fome pra6lical exhortations unto duiy there- 

As to thefe inferences, I (hall fpeak to a few of 
them at this time. 

I. Hence we fee, what the {lri£l and true nature 
of faith is. The doftrine .is, That believers faith 
Jhould anfwer God's fait hfmnefi\ We hence infer the 
ffri£l and true nature of faving faith j which is cer- 
tainly this : It is a trufling of God's word for his own 
faithfulnefs in fpeaking it, a trufling God's promife 
for the faithfulnefs of the fpeaker ; that is [lri£fly the 
nature of faith. It is a pity, but a piry that you will 
have occafion to exercife as long as you live in the 
world, that faith is fo mightily miftaken by To many 
people. People can talk of faith, can difpute of 
faith, and in the mean time they are in a cloud, in a 
maze about the thing itfelf, and know not what be- 
lieving is. 

ly?, Believing is not doing, but truding. It is op- 
pofed to doing and working, Rom. iv. 5. But to him 
that ivarketh not, but believeth on him that jujlifieth 
the ungodly y his faith is counted for right eciifnefs^ Joha 
VI. 26,-— 29. The juj} lives by faith ; but the law is 
not of faith : the law requires doing. Gal. iii. 16, if, 
12. Faith is God^s commandraenr, tha: is certain* 


92 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. VII^ 

The firfi: precept in the decalogue is for faith, Thou 
Jhalt have no other Gods hut me ; the pofuive pan of 
it is. Thou (hah take me by faith to be the Lord thy 
God. Faith is never put forth as obedience ; the 
ftri^l nature of faith is trufting the fpeaker. The a- 
poftle fpeaks in Heb. vi. i8. of faiih under a blciTed 
fimiiitude, as /lying for refuge to lay hold on the hope 
fet before us. Now pray confider what the (late of the 
man that fled for refuge was. There was no other ap- 
pointment of God left for him, but only the next city 
of refuge. The man that had (hed innocent blood 
cafually, for that was the cafe under the law, there 
was nothing elfe required in order to his fafety, but 
running with fpeed to the next city of refuge, The 
man mud not go to the temple, or altar, and pray^ 
or offer facrifice there for his life, he mufl not go 
home to his houfe, and mind his bufinefs and affairs ; 
there was only one thing required of him, if he would 
be fafe from the avenger of blood ; to the city of re- 
fuge he mud fly. A man mufl not go to fave his life 
by doing fome great a£l: of valour for his country, a- 
gainft the enemies of it. Flying was the only ftiift, 
if I may fo fpeak, that God fixed, and he mufl make 
ufe of. Believing is commanded, but it is always ac- 
ted in truft. 

2 J/)', Faith is not a notional afTent to a divine truth, 
but it is an afTent with the heart to the good will of 
God. Pray take heed to this ; true faith gives an 
afTent unio all that God fays, unto all that God re- 
Teals ; but if you came to the ftii^ nature of faving 
faith, it is only a trufting of a promifing God, it is 
only a hearty affiance in God, in, and under,, and by 
virtue of his promifes. To believe, is not only to fay, 
God has^faid this, and therefore it is true ; but i;.is 
to believe that what God fay?, he fays to me. What 
good-will hath God declared in the word concerning 
me? A believing of that is this faith that w^e are 
fpeaking of. Thus I fay, you are to take up the ftri6t 


Serm. VIL the Frofeffion of our Faith. 93 

nature of faith; the proper nature of it is trufling 
God's promifes, for God's faithfulnefs that fpea!<s it. 
And thus we have thefe advantages by this drift no- 
tion of faith, and thefe confirmations of its being 

(i.) Thus it is dlftinguidied from all falfe faith. 
There is a great deal of faith in this world that is lit- 
tle worth, there is a great deal more in the next 
world that is lefs worth. In this world a great many 
of the ungodly have a kind of faith, fuch as it is ; 
they know divine truth, they give an alTcnt to it ; 
this alTent may be fo ftrong foaiccimes, that it mny 
Work fom.e alieration in their converfations, they may 
efcape the corruptions of the world thro' the kno^v'- 
ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrifl, when, in 
the mean time, they have no faith for all that; they 
are dogs and fwine fliTl, as the apoflle calls them, 
2 Peter ii. 20, 21, 22. The great difference that is 
betwixt all the unfound faith of hypocrites, and the 
true faith of a believer, is to be determined from the 
proper nature of believing. There is no unbeliever 
that ever takes God's word for his fecurity, barely as 
it is God's word ; there is never an unbeliever that 
trufls God's promife, becaufe God makes it ; the pro- 
mife is never feen by fuch a one as it is in the hand 
of the faithful promifer ; and therefore the man ne- 
ver believes with the heart, and therefore never be- 
lieves truly. Again, there is a great deal of faith in 
the other world. The devil hath faith, all the dam- 
ned in hell have faith, but a woful faith it is ; God 
fave us from ever knowing what it means. The devil 
knows the mind of God in the word better than any 
minifter this day in the world ; he knows God and 
he knows ChriU wofully : What have I to do iviih 
thecy Jefus, thou tion cf the mofl bgh God? Mark v. 
7. The devil knows tne gofpel : Afts xvi. 17. 'Ihefe 
men are the fervants of the moft high God, which fJoew 
unto us the way of fa he at ion. What better can be faid 
of the gofpel than thib', to call ii the way of falvatlon ; 

N ' and 

p4 ^/^^ ft^^f^fi Adherence to Serm. VH. 

and to call the fervants that preach u, the fervants of 
the moft high God^ that have it for their employment,. 
to /hew men the way of Jahation f All the damned in 
hell are great believers, but woful ones. They know 
certainly that there is a God, for they feel his dif- 
pleafure ; they know certainly he is a juft God, foe 
they lie under the lafiies of his juftice for ever ; they 
believe firmly the day of judgment, for they tremble 
in the fears and approaches of it : but there is no 
found faith there ; why ? Becaufe there is no pro- 
mife there. If there was a promife let down to them 
that are in hell, faith might be there \ if the fame 
God would give the promife and work faith, it might 
be a<5led there ; but there is no promife there, and 
therefore there is no faith there, there is no delive- 
rance from that prifou, Luke xii. 59. 

(2.) This is a fit defcription of the ftri^i: nature of 
faith, becaufe it anfwers the firft expreiiion of faiih, 
that is in all the word of God» 1 do not fay, that 
Abraham was the firfl: believer ; but this you may 
fiud, that he is the firfl: man that is fpoken of as a be- 
liever, li is true, in the next chapter of thrs epiftle, 
there are fome believers named before him ; Abel 
was a believer, Enoch and Noah were believers ; but 
the firfl: fai^h fpoken of in the word expreily is Abra» 
ham's ; and you know how much ufe is tnade of A- 
braham's faith^ and pra-flice, and example in the new 
teftament, Gen. xv. 4, 5, 6. The word of the Lord 
came to Abraham, and faid to him. Look now toward 
heaven^ and tell the flars, if thou be able to number 
them. And be f aid unto kim^ So f hall thy feed be. And 
he believed in the Lord y and he counted it to him for 
rightecufnefs , What was this believing in the Lord, 
but the believing wuh the heart, the truth of what 
God fpoke ? And ye know, by Paul's help, what a 
great deal of gofpel there was in this word, Sofhall 
thy feed be, 

(3.) It anfwers the frequent name that i^ given to 
the revelation of God's will, that is, the way of our 

/ falva' 

Serm, VII. the Profejwn of our Faith. 95 

falvation. It is called the gofpel, that is good tidings ; 
and what arc good tidings, unlefs they be believed ? 
It is called 2l promife ; and what fignifies a'promifa 
unlefs traded ? It is called a covenant ; and what fig- 
nifies a covenant, unlefs fubfcribed unto, unlefs a maa 
enter into it ? The entering into it is by believing hiia 
that promifes. 

(4.) This is a right notion of faith, becaufe it an- 
fwers all faith, all forts of faith whatfoever. It an- 
fvt^ers the faith of the llrongeft, and the faith of the 
weakeft ; it anfwers Abraham's faith, and it anfwers 
them of little faith. What is the reafoii of this dif- 
iin6lion, that there are fome ftrong in the faith, but 
becaufe they put a (Irong truft in God's (IroQg faith- 
falaefsP What is the reafoa fome are called weak ia 
the faith, but becaufe they give a weak, wavering, 
ftag£.e;ing truft to the faithfulnefs of God? It an- 
fwr's all forts of faith ; faith for jull fication ; faith 
tor fandfification ; faith for oiir comfortable fupport 
in our pilgriarage ; faith for our Tafe landing at hea- 
ven. All ihefe confilf in our trufting God's promife, 
for his fake who gave the promife : as I (hall fnew 
more at large, wh'en I come to lay before you your 
duty of believing. Only this (hall ferve for the firfl 
inference, that we may hence fee, what the ftri(St. na- 
ture of believing is ; it is truiling God upon his pro- 
mife, it is taking God upon his word. 

2. We fee hence what the reafonablenefs of be- 
lieving is ; o: llrong believing ; why ? Becaufe it is 
trufting Go-l's faitiifalnefs. What can be more rea- 
fonable than this? i know that fenfe and carnal rea- 
fon are the greaieft enemies of true believing-, but 
there isnoihrng unreafcnable in believing; nay, pure 
fi^iriiual reafon is highly for it. Can there be any 
thing more reafonable than this, to truft one that can- 
not lie ? to take an immutable foundation to build our 
confidence upon ? So the apoftle Paul exprelTes it,whea, 
pleading his caufe before Agrippa, and Feftus, and 
Bernice, Ta great many great folks were there) : and 
N 2 Ads 

^6 The Jledfajl Adherence to SeRm. Vll. 

A6I3 xxvi. 8. He has this exprelTioa to king Agrip- 
pa. Why fkruld it ke thought a thing Incredible with yo^y 
that Godjhoidd raifi the dead f The apoltle's fcope 
there, is not to dilcourfe that head of divinity about 
the refurrtclion of the dead, that was not his princi- 
pal defign ; but here lay the grand matter, that Paul 
laboured to pinch their confciences by, that our Lord 
and Mafter Jefus ChriH", that died for our fins, was 
xifea again for our juilitication ; the unbelieving world 
that faw him before he died, and faw him die, did 
not fte him after he was rifen again ; now, fays Paul, 
why Jhculd itfeem a thing incredible ^ &c. ? The words 
before, and thofe following, (hew they had a promife 
for if, and that all the people of tfrael had hope ia 
the promife that God had made ; thereupon, in ver. 
27. he drives the matter molt clofely upon the confci- 
ecce of that great man, Ktng Agrippa^ believefl thou 
the prophets f I know that thou be It eve ft ; as if Paul 
would fay, " Thou afTcnteft to this, that the pro- 
*' phets fpake the mind of God by infpiraiion : dort: 
** thou believe that 1 preach noihing elfe but what 
*' the prophets foretold, and what 1 know is fcl- 
« filled ; that God hath railed his Son Chrift Jefus ?" 
Almojl, faith Agrippa, thou perfuadeft me to beaChrif 
tian. The higheft reafon for the believing any thing 
is. Thus faith the Lord ; the moft certain reafon that 
a future thing ihall be, is, that the Lord hath fai(J it 
fhail be. Therefore now we (hould tread down car- 
nal reafon, and yield to this main grand reafon. Thus 
faith ihe Lord ; God hath fpoken, and it rauft be 
true, becaufe be faith it ; and I will truit it, becaufe 
it is true. Confider an inftance of Abraham's faith 
with refpe£l of iiTue from Sarah, Rom. iv. 18, 19, 
Who again]} hope believed in hope^ that he might be* 
come the father of many nations. — He confider ed not his 
own body 'now dead, when he was about an hundred 
, years oldy neither yet the deadnefs of Sarah'' s womb. 
He fiaggersd not at the promife of God through unbe- 
lief ; 

Serm. VII. the Profejfion of our Fait hi 97 

lief ; but was flrong in faith ^ giving ghry to Godm 
Pray obferve, Abraham in this cafe muft believe a- 
gainft ftnfe, againfl reafon, and againft all experi- 
ence ; though it is likely that, before the flood, wo- 
men were fruitful, when they were a great deal older 
than Sarah was ; but a little while after the flooid, 
men and womens lives and vigour were coatra^led to 
much the fame bounds as at this day. Abraham con- 
fidered not that Sarah was ninety years old ; " Nay," 
would the man fay, " if (he were ninefcore, or nine 
" hundred years old, God hath faid it, and I believe 
" it." Now, the grand matter was not barely and 
fimply, that Abraham fhould be a father of a fon, 
that he fhould be a father of many nations ; but in 
this great promife of iffue from God Chrill: was com- 
prehended, who was to be the eternal falvation of 
the whole church of God. He was to fpring from' 
Sarah's womb, and Abraham had the promife of it, 
and againft all fenfe, reafon, and experience, he will 
believe it. Now obferve what ufe the apoftle makes 
of it: It was not written for hi t fake alone, that it 
was imputed to him ; but for us alfo, to whom it fhall 
be imputed^ if we believe on hhn that raifed up Jefus 
our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our of» 
fences, and was raifed again for our juflification^ ver« 
23, 24, 25. Pray obferve, what 1 drive at is this, 
That the apoftle brings in every believer on Jefus 
Chrift for falvation, in the fame lift of enjoying the 
blefting with great Abraham, that believed fo ftrangs 
a thing about Sarah. And the truth is, that the iui« 
vation of a fmner, dead in fins and trefpaiTec, by 
Chrift Jefus, is a greater wonder and miracle, thaa 
Sarah's dead womb bringing forth a living child % 
that, in a manner, was a work of wonder, wrought 
by the God of nature according to his word ; and this 
is a work of wonderful grace againft the courfe of 
finful nature, for the overthrowing of it. 

3. Hence we fee why faith is faid to give glory to 
God : the reafon is, becaufe faith anfwers God's 


93 The Jledfaj} Adhermce to Serm. VIL 

fnithriilncrs. Great faith is faid ro give glory to God ; 
one of the fpeciai commendaiions of Abraham's faich 
j.s, He was jlrong infaith^ giving glory to God, Rom. 
iv. 20. God magnifies his name of faithfulnefs above 
all his naiDes ; the believer magnifies his faithfulnefs 
by his believing, therefore he gives glory to God. 
There are three honourable fervices that fome men 
gcc put into iheir hands, and which are denied to an- 
gels. There is preaching of Chrifl, fnifering for 
Chfift, and believing in him : thefe are three honour- 
able pieces of fervicej that only poor mortal men are^ 
fntroRcd with. The apoflle reckons he had got a 
great grace, when he h^sd got that of preaching Chrift 
and thit too the unfearchable riches of Chrifl. When 
an angel was fentto Cornelius, he was not fent to preach 
ihe gofpei to him, but to reil him where a gofpel- 
preacher was, A6ts x. Suffering for Chrifl: is a great 
honour ; angjels are not capable of it, it does not 
Ibiid wir.h thfir blelTed (late. The apoflle feems to 
call this a higher matter, than the honour of be- 
lieving, Phil. i. 29. For unto you it is given in the be' 
half of Chrijl, not only to believe on him^ but alfo tofuf- 
jer for his fake. Let us pafs thefe, and co'nfider, 
wherein there is an honouring of God by believing; 
for it is a point very rarely believed. Who is there^v 
of believers that think, that by bare believing they 
give God more g^ory^ than any other way they can 

ly?, Faith gives glory to God, becaufe it bring? 
Dothing to him, but poverty, want, and emptineis. 
All graces bring fomething to' God, but faith brings 
nothing. Love brings a flaming, burning heart to 
God; repentance brings a bleeding, broken heart to 
God ; obedience brings a working hand to God ; pa- 
tience brings, as it were, a broad back to God, let 
hi'U lay on what he will ; poor faith brings juft no- 
thing, but the poor man's bare hand and empty di(h. 
The poorer man CGines to God, the more glory to 
God. h is remaikabie, that in thofe caies wherein 


Serm. VIT. the Frofejfion of our Faith. ' f^ 

we bring foniething to God, we are very apt Jo car- 
ry away fomething of the glory that belongs tp Uim : 
faiih brings nothing at all to God ; it brings uo more 
than broken bones, and fores to the great Puyficiau. 
As a condemned prifoner, it brings his ch;iins and fee- 
lers to the great Redeemer, but norhing to c:^Xk' 
mend him to God, nor carries away any thing kom 

2t//y, Faith glorifies God ; for it feeks ail in hi^B, 
and from him ; as it brings noLhiqg to him, fo it ex- 
pe(fts every thing from him, whatever its wants be* 
The ^language ot faith is, " All my wants be iipcii 
" ihee, O Lord ;" there is no other way of bearia^- 
them ; it expedls all from him, and from the iingi<2 
warrant of his word. 

3^/y, Faith always glorifies God, for it vcatarcs 
its all upon his word. The believer is rtill iii thii 
frame, in the exercife of faith : ^* Now here I have 
" God's faithful promife ; and if it Ihouli fail (iqc, I 
" (hould certainly fink for ever. My foul, body, re- 
*' putaiion, privileges of the gofpel, all my corjeeras 
*' vvhatfoever, are all laid .upon the faith fu hi c fs ©f 
*^ God ; they are all put in that bottom of the &ip - 
*' if i raifcarry, i am gone for ever." "Who is there 
of believers that believes this, that a bare adveiiior- 
ing of thy eternal falvation upon the Son of GoJ, ^f 
virtue of the promlfe of God, brings more glory ny 
God, than all things elfe can do ? 

Lajli'y, Faith glorifies God, becaufe all other afrs 
of glorifying God are only fo as faith is in them, an<l 
as they fpring from faith. When the spoftle is com-- 
mending the great ejiploits of believers, Keb- xi. t.^* 
faith, they all all chtained a good report tbroi^gh faitl.K- 
If their works had been done w-ithout faith, therein" 
never a good word to be faid of them, whatever thef 
did. All our duties, obedience, fuiFerings, the gre:u 
things that are done for God, only tend, to the glorf 
of God, as they are fpirited and enlivened by fairh. 
Take away faith from your prayer^^ and God gets no 

^ glory. 

100 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. VII. 

glory, and you no comfort, by your praying, James 
J. 5, 6, 7. Let faith be feparaied from the word, and 
God gets no glory by your hearing. Whatever you 
do, there is no glorifying God, unlefs in the doing 
of the thing you do believe : Whatsoever is not of faith 
is fiHi Rom. xiv. 23. Heb. xi. 6. 

4. Hence we fee how faith is faid to fave the foul, 
becaufe it anfwers God's faithfulnefs. Such is ap- 
proaching to the faving God, and it<? nearefl abode 
with him. It is running to, and abiding with him* 
It is going in the nearefl way to heaven : Heb. x. 39. 
We are not of them^ fays the apoflle, who draw hack 
unto perdition^ hut of them that helieve^ to the faving of 
the foul. The poor jailor afks a queftion, What Jh all 
I do to he faved ? Believe on the Lord Jefu? Chrijl^ 
and thoufhalt he favedy fays Paul. Pray now, what is 
the meaning of this ? " There is a man Jefus Chrid, 
** whofe fervant I am ;" would Paul fiy, " and thou 
*' haft perfecuted me for his fake, and for preaching 
** of him ; now believe on him, venture thy foul on 
*« him, take his word for thy falvation, his righteouf- 
" nefs for thy cloathing, his Spirit for thy fanftifica- 
** tion, and thou (halt certainly be faved as well as I, 
*« or any others." I need not infift upon the frequent 
connections that are in the gofpel, betwixt believing 
and falvation ; this only is that which I drive at, to 
(hew you, how faith comes to be faving to the foul ; 
it is an echoing to God's faithfulnefs. Take the matter 
in thefe four plain principles, to begin at the top. i/?. 
My eternal falvation ftands in the enjoyment of God, 
2C^/y, This God comes down to me in Chrift Jefus, 
for otherwife he is not to be known, not to be enjoy- 
ed. 3 J/jy, This Chrift Jefus comes to me in the pro- 
inife of the gofpel, otherwife he is not to be known, 
he is not to be received. A^thly^ This promife, in the 
day of God's power, is joined with my faith, and my 
faith with it. It came to me, and I received it. See 
for this. Gal. iii. 23, 25. Hence the believer rifes 
up again and fay^, God has wrought faith in me : 


Serm. VII. the Profeffion of our Faith. loi 

Therefore (i.) The proip.ife is mir.e. (2.) Chriii in- 
feparable from the promlfe is mine, and then God 
infeparabie from Chrifi is mine, and I mn(l be faved 
for ever. So that vvhere-ever the behevcr begins, at 
the top, at God, or at the bottom, at the dependance 
of his loul on God, the realon backward or forward 
holds perpetually : now, there is no parting of any 
of theie ; God never revealed himfeif a .faithful God 
to any, but in Chriii ; Chrift never revealed himfelf 
as a Saviour to any, but in the proraife ; the promifs 
does no good to any, but a behever. It is true, God 
in his great "wifdom maizes ufe of the prorinife, as the 
means of faith, as weii as the ground of faith. Ihe 
reafon why faith faves the foul, is not becaufe of any 
iTiighty thing in faith, for faith is a poor weak thing; 
but it is fixed to the faithfulnefs of God, and the 
faithfulnefs of God through Chriii is in it, and God 
is in it. You ir.ay take faithfulnefs from God the Fa- 
ther, as fooo as take falvation from a believer in' 
Chrift Jefus. Hence comes it, I fay, that faith is 
faving. The rope of falvation is in the promife ; the 
poor believer hath but a trembling hand in catching 
hold of it ; but, if I may To fpeak, the higher end 
of the hope is in heaven, at the right hand of God, 
and it catches hold of the believer; unlefs it break, 
faved he mufl be ; break it cannot, and therefore fav- 
ed he mufl be. See Phil, iii* 12. 

5. I might add. Hence :7e may fee foraething of 
the eafmefs of believing. I do not fay, it is an eafy 
thing for a man to believe; this is a deceiving flat- 
tery of wicked, ungodly men. I intend, if the Lord 
will, to prove the contrary, that there is great diffi- 
culty in the working of faith. All my meaning is, 
that it is an eafy thing to a(Sl faith, where God harh 
wrought it already. In this cafe, it is but the foul's 
echo to the faithfulnels of God, it is only the foul's 
faying amen when God promifes. I hear the word 
of him that cannot lie, amen, fo be it ; that if 1 may 
compare this ordinary inflaace with an extraordinary 

O ca , 

I ©2 The ftedfaft Adherence to Serm. VII. 

one, Luke i. 38. The augel of the Lord that brought 
the virgin Mary the tidings of the conceptions of our 
bleffed Saviour, he fent her the news ; (lie daggers 
at it at firft, through unbeHef, at lail:, by the power 
of God, faith is begotten in her : Behold the hand- 
maid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word ; 
that, i[ I may To fpeak, was the very confeut oi taith, 
that (he miraculous conception of the Son of God be- 
gan with. So may it be with us, if the Lord will put 
that life, and power, and ftamp on the promife of 
the gofpel, that here is life, and falvation, and righ* 
teoufnefs, and all good, both of grace and glory, ten- 
dered to faith through Chrifl: Jefus. Truft him, truft 
God's word, and it (hall be done. Behold the hand" 
maid of the Lord^ be it unto me according to thy word. 
Though there be nothing more incredible, though 
there is nothing that is n^ore impolTible, than that 
fuch a vile creature as I am (hould be (aved ; yet God 
hath faid it, God hath bid me believe it, and believe 
it 1 mud, or call the fpeaker a liar. Believing is 
hard only to the unbeliever; but let the Spirit of 
faith (as the apoftle calls it) be ftirring, and a belie- 
ver cannot forbear to believe. Let the word of God 
be heard as the word of God, and this is by the 
preaching it as his word, i TheC i. 5. and the af- 
ftnt of true faith will be given to if, i ThelT. ii. 13 • 
And thus will its fruits be both unknown to the unbe- 
liever, and to the non-fee.ling believer. 

Laflly^ Hence we fee why-fo much is fpoken of 
faith in our Saviour, John iii. 36. He that believeth 
on the Son, hath everlajling life : and he that believ- 
eth not the Son, /hall not fee life ; but the wrath of 
God abideth on hhn. 


Serm. VIII. the ProfeJJion cf our Faith. loj 


Hebrews x. 23. 
For he is faithful that promifed. 

TH E faithfulnefs of God is one of his great and 
glorious names. Whenever he makes it appear 
before the eyes of a poor fmoer, when he proclaims 
this name, then they believe, but never till then, k 
is a fad thing to confider, that when there is fo much 
of faith fpoken of in the word, there fliouid be fo 
little of it in the exercife of Chriftians. The new 
teflament name that is given to the godly, is that of 
believers. A man is not called a believer, becaufe 
he hath faith, or becaufe he once a61ed faith ; as long 
as he lives, he (hould be ftili believing. 

1. We find the gofpel is called the ivord of faith. 
The apoftle fpeaks of it exprefly in diftinftion from 
the law, Rom. x. 8. The word of faith which ive preachy 
Gal. iii. 2. it is called the hearing of faith ; that is, 
the doftrine of faith. The gofpel is called the word 
cf faith, as it is the onlv ground of faiih. All the 
hope that is railed in the heart of man, as to good in 
time, or as to eternity, is all founded on the bare 
word of God. We can believe nothing but his word ; 
and we believe it, becaufe it is his word. Again, 
it is called the word of faith, becaufe it is the mean^ 
of faith, and begets faith. What think you is faith ? 
hut only the imprelBon, the (lamp that the word of 
the gofpel, when brought home with power, leaves 
upon the foul. It is the heart's echo to the voice of 
falvation by Chrift in the gofpel ; and when the Lord 
proclaims ir, as he can, and always does to the cbo- 
fcD, this echo will Itill follow. Again, it is the word 

O 2 of 

I04 , The Stedjajl Adherence to Serm. VllI 

of fa'ub, becaufe it is the food of faith, that which 
\Ve are to defire, that we may grow thereby^ i Peter 
ii. 2. The v\'hole gofpel is ilie word of faith ; peo- 
ple get no good by the gofpel unlefs they get faith ; 
they caniiot profit by the gofpel but by faith, and by 
the increafe of that faith. 

2. We hnd Chrift gets a name from faith, Heb. 
xii. 2. He IS. ike author andfinijher of our faith When 
we think of the niany names and offices of our Lord, 
fome of which have a great deal of vifible glory in 
them, how (liall we conceive of this, thai our Lord Jefus 
ihould be denominated the author and finilher of our 
faith ! that Chrift (hould get a name, as it were, in 
the word, from the begetting, and cheriftiing, and 
preferving, and perfeding of faith in a poor crea- 
ture ! 

3. We find the Holy Ghofl called the Spirit of faith ^ 
2 Cor. iv. 13. We have the fame Spirit of fait h^ ac^ 
cording as it is written^ I believed^ and therefore have 
Ijpoken ; ive alfo believe^ and therefore fpeak. We 
find farther in the word a work of faith fpoken of, a 
work of God's working, 2 Theff. i. 11. 'The work of 
faith with power. We find alfo a good fight of faith 
fpoken of. 

Now, from all thefe things you may plainly fee, 
that people do not know what pertains to the gofpel ; 
they knov/ not Jefcs Chriil, they know not the pro- 
mife ; they know not the Holy Spirit ; they know 
nothing of a work of God upon their hearts, unlefs 
they know fo'.nething of a work of faith. Alas ! 
many poor creatures are wcfuily deceived about their 
fouls. Some have had experience of this, and they 
think it a great experience, that whereas they were 
ungodly, and carnal, and fecure, and walked ioofely ; 
flrong convi£tions of fm came upon them, and fome 
reformation from fm followed after ; they immedi- 
ately think they are good Chrittians, (many fuch good 
Chriftians are in hell), but in ihe meaa time have no 


Serm. VIII. the Frofejfion of our Faith, 105 

fenfe of this Spirit of faith. What have you found 
of the Spirit of God as a Spirit of faith, carrying on 
a work of faith in your fouls, and drawing forth your 
hearts that are naturally unbeUeving, unto a trufting 
in God through our Lord Jefus Chrift ? 

We find farther, a dior of faith fpoken of, A<5l3 

xiv. 27. And hozv be had opened the door of faith 

unto the Gentiles, See Heb. iv. i, 2, 3, 1 1. A poor 
unbeliever is a prifoner under the law, a prifoner un- 
der the chain of God's curfe, and he can do nothing 
but flay there ; for remove he cannot, until the de- 
vil come to drag him out to hell. In this miferable 
liate, the Lord opens a door of faith, that the poor 
prifoner may get our, and get into the open air, and 
come to partake of the glorious liberty of the fons of 
God: Gal. iii. 23. But before faith came^ we were 
kept under the law^ and f hut up unto the faith which 
fhould afterwards be revealed ; that is, we were pri- 
foners till that faith came, then we had our liberty. 

We find like wife the footfleps of faith fpoken of. 
There are no true Chriftians, but muft know fomc- 

thing of this : And the father of circumcifton to them 

who are not of the circumcifion only^ but alfo walk in 
the fleps of that faith of our father Abraham^ which 
he had being yet uncircumcifed^ Rom. iv. 12. He had 
the bleffing of the covenant before he had the feal of 
it. Now, Abraham's footftepswere (troug ones, fteady 
ones, and, if 1 may fo fpeak, they were wide iieps 
that he took in the way of faith. It is a hard mat* 
ter for you and me to follow hiin ; ay, but though 
we cannot walk fo faft, nor fo (trongly as he did, 
yet we muft walk in the footileps of the fame faith* 
When our faith and his are compared, our fteps and 
his compared, it is a fhame to think what a great 
diiFerence there is betwixt them ; but this way we 
muft walk in ; a child may follow the footfteps of a 
ftrong man. 

Laflly, There is an end 6f faith fpoken of : Receiv- 
ing the end of your faith y even the falvation of your fouls ^ 

\ Peter 

io6 the jledfajl Adherence to Serm. VIII. 

I Peter i. 9. The end of faith is that which fajth 
aims m, thar which faith attains, atid that witti which 
faith hiun no more to ^o^ when it hath got it ; for 
there is r.o proper believing in heaven ; and there is 
no true believer, but he believes till then. There 
is alfo, (f.) The rnyllery of faiih, i Tim. iii. 9. (2.) 
The law of faith, Roii). iii. 27. (3.) The work of 
faith, 1 Tim. i. 11. (4.) Houfehold of faith, Gf^al. 
vi, 10. (5.) Fight of iai;h, 1 Tirt vi. 12. 

So much DOW is faid concerning faith in the word, 
and of irs great inflaence on all things that pertain to 
this life, and that to come, that fare no true Chrif- 
lian can polTibly be unconcerned about this affair. 

In Ipeakin^ to this word, as I have done feveral 
ti?nes. Faithful is hs that promifes^ I have fpoken, i. 
To the promifiog God, as the name of our God. 2. 
Unto ibe fai-hfuhiefs of this proir.ifing God. 3. That 
the faith of believers fhould anfwer the faithfulnefs 
of God, that as all our faith is built upon his promi- 
fes, fo our faith fliould be built firm, becaufe the 
promife is fiim. I did propofe, in the application of 
thefe t' uths, fon[ie do-flrinal inferences to be drawn 
therefrom, then an exhortation unto believing infer- 
red from all. 

OF the do£^rina! inferences I named four laft day, 
and enrcrcd a \\u\z upon the fifth, which 1 v/ould now 
fpeak farther to. 

I. Hence we may fee the true nature of faith, that 
it is an anfwerinp^ God's faithfulnefs. I fhewed then, 
2. The rearonabieaefs of believing, that though cor- 
rupt reafon be a great enemy to f.^ith, yet there is 
no'hirg more reafonable, that a reafonable creature 
can do, ih^m trufl the infallible God. 3. I fhewed 
you, that hence you may fee how faith glorifies God. 
4. How it is that it conduces fo much to the faving of 
the foul : it is called therefore frequently by Chrifti* 
2.\i% favir.g faith ; we are faved by faith, kept by the 
power of God through faith unto falvation ; and be- 
lieve to the faving oi the foul. 

5. The 

Serm. VIII. the frofejjton of our Faith, loj 

5. The jfi/th thing was to fpeak a little of the eafi- 
cel's of faith. If fo be, that true faiih be an anf Ber- 
ing of God's faithfulnefs, and trulling of God's word, 
it items then to be a very eafy aff. I told you, that 
it is not eafy to come by it, neither is it eafy ro a<^ it, 
but it is eafy in the acfing. To prevent niiftakes a- 
bout this on either hand, I would give you but thefe 
few things, i/?, Believing is bard and utterly ini- 
pofllble to every unrenewed, ungodly man : No man 
can come to me^ except the Father zvhich hath fint me^ 
draw hjii^ fays our Lord, John vi, 44. This word 
did break the necks of a great many of Chrifi's hear- 
ers : and in verfe 6^, it is repeated, Therefore /aid I 
unto you^ fays he, when they began to murmur, that 
no man can come unto me, except it were given unto 
him of my Father » A little now of this. Believing^ 
as hath been faid, is but a trulling God's faithfalnefs 
in a promife of faivation by Chrift ; it feems 10 be 
marvellous, that this fliould be impofiibie to a natu- 
ral man ; naturally men think it very eafy, all the 
ungodly think they can believe v/hen they will. Bur 
how grofsly are they miftaken about it ! I would 
therefore Ihew a litde whence it comes that it is im- 
pofiible for a natural man to believe. That he can- 
not believe, is frequently fpoken of in the fcripture, 
John V. 44. How can ye believe f John xii. 39. There- 
fore they could not believe ; the fame truth is held forth, 
in both places, they could not believe. 

(i.) AH natural men are unconcerned about thofe 
great things which trufting in God is concerned abouto 
Truftingjn God, that is, true faith, is trufliiig in him 
through Chrift Jefus, for the great concernment of 
our eternal faivation, which is the pardoning of our 
guilty fouls, and wafhing of them from all their de- 
filements, with the fubduing of all their corruptions. 
Now, do you not fee plainly, that rt is impoffible^. 
that a man (houid truft God for thofe things, when 
he has no heart-concern about them ? The fjiatters 
that faith is employed about, and which trufilns: in 


lo8 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. VIII. 

God hath in its eye, are altogether remote from the 
thought and mind of a natural man ; therefore they 
do but lie againft God and themfelves, that fay they 
truft God with their eternal falvation upon his word, 
when their confciences tell them that their eternal 
falvation was never fo weighty with them, as the con- 
cerns of this poor frail life ; and that they never were 
in fo much earneft in faying. What (hall I do to he 
faved ; as they are daily in faying, What Jh all I eat f 
and what Jh all I drink f and wherewithal Jhall 1 be 
clothed f 

(2.) The natural man is ignorant of God, and truft- 
ing in God is impofiible to all that do not know him. 
There is no trufting of an unknown God. Poor Pa- 
gans may worftiip an unknown God, but it is unac- 
ceptable worfhip, A61:s xvii. 23. Formal hypocriies 
perform feveral duties of worfhip to God, though un- 
known ; they may obey a commanding God, though 
unknown ; all thefe are but fmful pra(SI:ices : but 
trulling in an unknown God is impoffible ; They that 
know thy name^ will put their trufl in thec^ fays the 
pfalmift, Pfal. ix. 10. The reverfe of it is very plain ; 
They that know not thy name, will not put their truft 
in thee. When Paul gives an account of his faith, 
/ know^ fays he, whom I have believed^ 2 Tim. i. 12. 

(3.) All natural men are poffelTed with that which 
is inconfiftent with believing in God, vi'ith believing 
his word, or the truths contained in it. Hence is that 
great word of our Lord, John v. 44. fhw can ye be- 
lieve^ fays he, which receive honour one of another^ and 
feek not the honour that cometh from God only f Pray 
obferve, that there is a greater depth of fpirituality 
in thefe words of our Lord, than ordinary readers do 
perceive. It hath but a very bare and harfti found, 
for to make it to be this. How can you believe that 
feek honour apd applaufe from men ? The meaning 
principally of it is this, How can you believe as long 
as this is in your frame, that the honour that comes 


Serm. VIIT, the Prcfejlon of our Faith, 109 

from God to you, and the honour given to God by 
faich, is not more dear to you than any thing elfe? 
A natural man can never give God the honour due to 
the nanne of his truth, and he cannot fet all his reft 
and confidence upon that honour and reputation that 
the free grace of God in the gofpel brings to hirn. 
How can ye believe^ then, fays Chrid, &c. ? Nay, a 
natural man hath not only unbelief in him, but the 
nature cf the natural man is unbelief. The apo(i!e 
cautions all of thi^, Hcb. iii 12. Take hsed^ brethren^ 
lejl there be in any of you an evil heart cf unbeliefs 
The apoflle fpeaks of unbelief now, not only as a 
heart-fill, but as if the heart of the unbeliever were 
made up of unbelief, as if there were nothing in it 
but unbelief. In fuch there is no ciifpo.'iiion to truH 
God upon his word ; all the trud qf the heart is Iodis- 
ed on creatures, it is lodged upon things of noughts 
This is tie firfl thing, though i fay believioi^ is eafy, 
you mufl not think that it is eafy to a natural man, 
for to him it is impofiible. 

idly^ Neither is believing eafy to a believer; o- 
therwife what need is there of the fght of faith ^ as I 
named but jufl; now ? The fight of faich, and the war- 
fare of faith, do not only (land in faith's fighting a- 
gainft ail the .impediments that are in its way, but in 
fai;h's fighting againd the unbelief that is lodged in 
the fame heart with it. The believer is not perfeflly 
renewed ; there are remnants of the heart of unbe- 
lief in him ; and from thefe remnants it comes, that 
be neither can believe when he would, nor can he at 
any time believe as he wcnKi I believe^ fays the good 
man, Lord, help my unbelief He fpeaks like a maa 
that knew this point well : " I believe, and 1 have 
*' unbelief for all that ; 1 will not deny my faith, be- 
" caufe of my unbelief; I will not conceal my unbe- 
" lief, bccaufe of my faith ; I will acknowledge the 
*^ one to thy praife, and the other ro my own (liame ; 
" Lord J help my unbeliefs Mark ix. 24." The thing 
tbeo that I mean, when I fay faith is ^^^"^^ i^:, that 

F it 

Ito The ftedfajl Adherens to Serm. VIII. 

it is eafy in ihe a61ing ; there is no great difficulty in 
ihe a(5iiDg of it, when once received. This I would 
(hew you in two particulars. 

(i.) Faith is fweetly drawn forth. (2.) It fweetiy 
a6ls when it is drawn forth. 

(i.) Faith is fweetly drawn forth. The hand that 
works faith, deals gently with the foul. It is a draw- 
ing with loving-kindnefsy Jer. xxxi, g. ; it is a caufing 
of a man to approach to God, Pfalm Ixv. 4. ; it is a 
drawing with fuch an arm of love and poster, as there 
is no pain in it, but a great deal of pleafure ; there 
is a heavenly pleafure in feeling, as it were, the hand 
of God drawing the foul fweetly and kindly to him- 
felf ; it is a gentle motion. Now, here is the myf- 
tery of the wifdom of the grace of God ; A natural 
Efeart is averfe from faith : but when the Lord comes 
to work faith, he offers no violence unto the nature of 
the man ; the way whereby he overcomes unbelief, 
h by an overpowering, gracious influence of his Spi- 
rit, whereby people are made willing. This day of 
power makes a man willing, as the promife is, which, 
bkffedbe God, hath been often fulfilled, Pfal. ex. 3. 
Thy people /hall be willing in the day of thy power, 

(2.) it is kindly a^led too : as the Lord works it 
kindly, fo does the believer aft it kindly. What is 
there in believing, that fbould not be very kindly and 
fweetly done ? There is no other relief found for the 
diftrefled foul, but only in God through Chrift Jefus. 
This relief is found to be a very amiable and taking 
one. Is there any pain, think you ; is there any trou- 
ble ; is there any regret feizing upon the fpirit of a 
poor creature, when he gives hi? confent to a blefl'ed 
bargain ? When the condemned prifonc* takes his 
pardon, what pain is there ? is it not an eafy thing 
to accept of a pardon ? the captive is willing to have 
his chains loofed, and loofed by him that can take 
them off fweetly. Sirs, the thing that I drive at is 
only this, and in it I do appeal unto all the confcien- 
ces of them that hear me, that ever knew what be- 


Serm. VIIL the Profefflen of our Faith. Ill 

lieving is. That when God proclaims his natiie, and 
ihines in his glory in the promire, and draws the heart 
fweetly towards himfelf, was there ever any thing you 
did in all your life more fweetly done than to truft 
God ? It is one of the nioft cheerful ads that ever the 
foul put forth. 

6. The fixth inference is about the fenfiblenefs of 
faith If fo be that faith anfvvers God's faithfulnefs, 
why, then, furely it feems faith may be a fenfible 
thing ; my meaning is, that a man may know it when 
he does it. 1 know there are a great many believers 
who are very doubtful of their faith, and I believe 
tbey will be doubtful as long as they live, if they- go 
that way ro work that commonly they do. They want 
a clearer difcovery oi the caufes and grounds of their 
faith, they want a clearer difcovery of the fruits of 
their faith, and truly boih the one and the other ^re 
pretty hard to be obtained. May 1 now offer an ad- 
vice that may be iliorter than this, and that is, Look 
to faith itfelf The Spirit of God calls faith an evi- 
dencey Heb. xi, i. ; and \% it fo myflical, fo involved, 
fo intricate a thing, that people mud go fo far about, 
as it were, to find it out ? Pray go to faiih itfelf: It 
is the evidence of things not feen^ fays the apoftle. 
Faith brings light to dark things, but dark things will 
not bring light to it. 1 know the Spirit of God can 
Ihine upon faith, and the grounds of faith, and cao 
make the fruits of faith appear to the comfort of his 
people ; but in the ordinary practice of believers, if 
they would m-^nd the a^^ing oF their faith more, 
they would come better to underftand, whether they 
have it or nor. It is a great word the apoflle hath, 
I John V. lo. He that believe th on the Son of God^ 
fays he, hath the witnefs in himfelf The words in 
the original had been better tranilated, if it had been. 
He that hdievesy hath the leflimony in himfelf ; for 
witnefs fometirnes fignilies the perfon, and fo people 
commonly miftake it ; bat the words are. He that 
believes^ hath the teflimony in himfelf ; his faith re- 

P % ceives 

1 1 2 The fledfajl Adherence to S e r m. VIII. 

ceives the teitimoDy of God about the truth of the 
golpel, fo that the man relies npou his 'faith, appre- 
hends and haS if. Now, to bring this matter unto 
convi(^ion, that faith is a fet)fible thing, I v^ould only 
a/kvouthefe two things, Do you know what you think? 
and do you know what you do ? Surely, if people 
can know neither of thefe, they can pretend to know 
nothing. Bur if you do know what you think, and 
v/hat you do, I mud infer this, that you mud know 
when you believe, if you do believe." ly?, What do 
you think ? What think you of God, and of his 
faithful promife P Do you in your heart account him 
faithful I and do you account the promifes fure in 
your heart and thought? So faith is defcribed in the 
words, Har ah judged him faithful who had promifed^ 
Heb. xi. ri. So that, in a manner, if Sarah had 
been to examine herfclf, Whether have I faith in 
God ? the matter was to be determined thu?, What 
dod thou think of God ? He hath palTed his word to 
thee, doft thou judge him faithful ? David thought 
him fo, 2 Sam., xxiii. 5. Pfal. 1. 10. Paul thought 
him fo, 2 Tim. i. 12. Cannot a man tell whether he 
judges God faithful in his great promifes of falvation 
through Chrid Jefus ? zJ/y, Cannot you tell what 
you do ? In .all other things people know what they 
do. A poor child can tell you plainly, as foon as it 
is able to fpeak, whom it trods for its daily bread and 
raiment. It is carelcfs and thoaghilefs about the 
things of this life ; and the ground the child can give, 
is this ; My parents take care of me. Shall a child, 
as fbon as come to the ufe of reafon, argue fo plainly 
as this ? and ftiall not a child cf God be able to do 
fo too ? Cannot you tell where you have lodged your 
great falvation ? wheic you have lodged your dar- 
ling ? It is marvellous if people cannot do this ; but 
1 know and diall fpeak farther of it. There are a 
great many Chridians dare not deny, that there is in 
them the direct a61: cf faith, who yet, for the want 
of other things they would fain have, complain that 


Serm. VIII, the Profejjicn of our Faith, 113 

they have not the comfort of the truth of their faith. 
7. Hence we may fee the grsatnefs of the fm of 
unbelief, fo much fpoken of in the word. Faith an- 
fwers God's faithfulnefs ; unbelief will not (tir, but 
refleifts on God's faithfulnefs : He that believeth not 
Cod) hys the apoflle, 1 John v. 10. hath made hint 
a liar ; made God a liar ! A hard word. If it had 
been, He that believes nor, is afraid that God is a 
liar, that is bad enough ; and. He that believes nor, 
calls God a liar, that is yet worfe ; but this is a dread- 
ful word. He that believes not, hath made God a 
liar. It is impoffible he can make him fo, it is impof- 
fible for God to lie ; but the poor man does all he 
can to make him fo, and (liall be reckoned as if he 
had done the greatelt wrong and hart to God ima- 
ginable. Unbelief is aggravated by iwo things up 
and down the world, ly?, That it is the boldeil and 
mod: provoking afFront that a (inful creature can give 
to God, not to believe his word. To call God weak, 
is blafphemy ; to call him fooliih is blafphemy; to 
deny him his eternal power and Godhead, all thefe 
are blafphemy : but to deny his truth, is fomething 
above thefe. See how it is among poor filly men. 
There is many a man will think it no great affront to 
be called poor ; another will think it no great aiTront 
to be called weak and foolifh, a man of fmall parts 
to be called (hallow ; but to call a man that hath any 
thing of a principle of honefty in him, a liar, this is 
not well to be endured. A man that hath a great 
many other infirmities, yet may be one that makes 
confcience of what he fays, Rom. iii. 4. Now, (hall 
the pride of man rife fo readily againli refle(flions of 
lying call upon him by his fellow-creatures, and yet 
(hall he caft this unfufferable aitront upon the God or 
truth? The grand tranfgreffion is to disbelieve God ; 
and all that do not believe, do fo. 2j/y, Unbelief 
hath this in it, that it is the mod certain, the molt 
fure, and dreadful way of ruin to men ; it brings de- 
ftruclioQ upon men with a fpecial vengeance. If ye 

114 '^he fredfaj} Adherence to Serm. VIII 

believe not that I am he, fays our Lord, ye Jhall die 
in your fins, John viii. 24. If I had 7iot corne^ and 
fpoken uniQ them, they had not had Jin : but now they 
have no cloak for their fin^ Joha xv. 22. See aifo 
verfe 24. 

NoWj of this inference, that is fo native, concern- 
ing the greatnefs of the nn of unbeiief, there are two 
things mip^htily to be regarded, (i.) As great as this 
fiii is, and as fare'y damoing as it is, yet it never dif- 
turbs the confcience of a natural ungodly man. He 
niay be dih-irbed in his mind for fm, he may be dif- 
turbed in hxi confcience ix)r his own lying, but is ne- 
ver diiiurbed in his confcieQce for calling God a liar ; 
be may be diiiurbed in his confcience for his difobey- 
ing Goii's law, but never thinks it a fin to disbelieve 
God's promife ; (baking ciF of God's authority and 
yoke of obedieoce, he may have forae challenges for, 
but in defpiiing God's grace and the offers of it in the 
gofpei, he is never difquieted ; therefore fomeiimes 
you raay marvel, whence this comes. A great many 
people, may be, have a hell-ftorm raifed in their con- 
iciences, but wait a little while, and you will find, ia 
many cafes, it comes to nothing ; they are only fea- 
fick, it is the efFe£l only of feme fliarp affliftion, or 
fome temptation, or fome alarm upon confcience : 
when they come to (hore, and the weather grows fair, 
and the wind down, they are as quiet, and fecure, 
and harder than ever they were. The reafon is, be- 
c;iufe they never v^ere convinced of the fin of unbe- 
lief ; they never felt any thing in their exercife about 
this, that they have been great finners before God ; 
becanfe this grace offered to them in Chrifl Jefus was 
pot made precious to them. More hopeful a great 
deal is the lUie of that perfon who is bewailing the 
heart of unbelief, than of thofe that are bewailing a 
covetous, worldly, proud, and filthy heart ; though 
thefe deferve their own bemoanings in their ov;n places. 
(2.) As great as this fin is, and as much as there is of 
it ia the godly, jet it is a fin that very rarely difquiets 


Serm. VIII. the Trofejton of our Fa'iihi 1 15 

even godly mens confciences. This is fad, that Chrif- 
tians are feldom troubled about their unbelief. Ouf 
Lord fpeaks concerning ir, John xvi. 9. thst he will 
fend the Comforter to convince the world of fin, be* 
caufe^ fays he, they believe not on me, Mofes may 
convince men of fin, of murther, of adultery, of Swear- 
ing falfely, of profaning the holy day of God ; Mo- 
fes may convince them of a great many tranfgreffioa* 
againft the law ; but the Spirit of God only can con- 
vince a believer of the Tin of unbelief. Jodge you 
now how rare this is, in all the profeffion?, in all the 
humbling of believers, when they are alone. I pofe 
your confciences about it ; what Chriilian is there to 
be found ? Not one among a thoufand have their 
hearts broken, their confciences difquieting them,^ as 
broken bones within them, becaufe of their unbelief, 
iheir jealoufies of Chrifl's love, their doubnng of the 
faithlulnefs of the promifes : nay, of the fame pro* 
mifes that they have'believed formerly, and have gi- 
ven glory to God by believing, they take back agaia 
the glory by unbelieving. The mod fpiritual attain- 
ment of a Chriftian in the world, the moft fpiiitual^ 
evangelical mourning and repentance that can be ac- 
ted by a Chriftian, is a mourning over his unbelief j 
that the word of the Lord is not more precious to him ; 
that he cannot truft God's word barely v/ithour props ; 
that he doubts of it fo often, when darknefs comes on ; 
that he lets go his hold of this great rock, the faith- 
ful ncfs of God. 

3. and lajlly^ The laft inference is. That here we 
may fee the wonderful wiidom of God, in twiding 
his glory with the eternal concern's of the ciuldren of 
men, and that both in the faving of the ele^^, and m 
the perdition of the unhappy remnant ; for xh^ ele6^ 
are fometimes called the remnant^ and the reprobates 
are fometimes alfo called by the faT^enaiBe. The rem- 
nant are blinded^ fays Paul, Rom xi. In the fame 
place within two or three ve^fe^^ the elec^ arc called 


Il6 The Jlcdfajl Adherence to . Serm. VIII. 

the remnant according to the ekdion of grace ^ and the 
reprobates are called the rejl that were blinded. The 
Lord, I fay, hach herein linked his glory marvellouf- 
]y with the eternal concernments of men. Thus, as 
to the falvation of the ele(^, God gives Chrift for 
ihem, according to ttie eternal purpofe of his heart : 
he gives the proraife to them ; he gives them faith, 
to lay hold on the promife ; and he glorifies himfelf, 
and faves them in the performance of the promife : 
all thefe things are framed fo together, that the glo- 
ry of God (hall be greatly advanced in faving of poor 
man. There is glory in eledling love, there is glory 
in redeeming grace, there is glory in God's faiihful- 
nefs in his word, this is glorified by the believing of 
the perifliing fmner ; and in and upon this believing, 
the performance of the promife, the applying of the 
redemption, the accomplifhment of the purpofe of 
his grace, is at lad reached. On the other hand, a 
great many under the gofpel peri(h. Chrift was ne- 
vet given for thera, but he is offered unio them. The 
promifes were never meant for them, but they are 
offered to them. No man perifties, becaufe Chrift 
died not for him ; no m.an raiffes of the performance 
of the promife, becaufe the promife was not made to 
him ; but heperiflies becaufe of his unbelief, becaufe 
the teftimony of God was not looked upon as fufficient 
ground to venture his foul upon, therefore he pe- 
riflies. And thus the Lord gets the glory of his juf- 
tice and faitbfulnefs upon thofe wretches, that have 
denied to truft him. The apoftle joins both, 2 Theff. 
i. 8, 9, 10. Our Lord is to take vengeance on them 
that know not Gody and that obey tiot the gofpel of our 
Lord J ef us Chrifl ; and this, when he fh all come ^ fays 
he, to be glorified in his faints^ and to be admired in 
all them that believe^ (becaufe our teftimony among you 
was beiie'vedjy in that day, " You that have believ- 
*' ed the teftimony of God in the gofpel," fays the 
apoftle, *^ our Lord will be admired in you, and glo- 

" rified 

Serm. VIIL Jhs ProfeJJion cf our Faith. 117 

*' rifled in that day." So tnuch (hall fcrve ^o^ the 
dodrinal inferences from this truth. 

There is only one pra£lical exhortation, but it is a 
large one, that I would deduce from it, and name it 
nov/ ; that is, Since believers iliould anfwer the faith- 
ful nefs of God, I exhort yoii, in the Lord's name, to 
come with your faith and anfwer this faithfuluefs ; 
believe as he hath promifed. 

I fiiall not enter upon the particulars of it now, on- 
ly conclude in general with thefe thrive. 

1. If you would anfwer the faith lulnefs of God by 
your faith, you muft believe much, for God hath 
promifed a great deal ; ou-r faith, 1 fay, mud be a 
great one, ii mud be a hirge one, we nuiii believe a 
great many things, for God hath promifed greatly ; 
the covenant, if I may fo fpeak, is a large charter, 
and our faith muft feal every word in it ; we muft put 
the amen of our faith unto every true and faiibfai 
faying of God, Rev. xix. 9. and xxi. 5. and xxii. 6. 

2. If you would anfwer the faithfulnefsof God by 
your faith, you muft believe greatly ; not only much, 
but ftrongly. The promifes are ftrong in ihemfelves, 
fo (hould your faith be. 

3. You muft believe long. If your faith anfwers 
God's faithiulnefs as it ought, you muft believe al- 
ways, as long as promifes are promifes ; and promi- 
fes are promifes ftiii, till they be performed j and 
therefore faith (hould be faiih ftill, and a^ed ftill, 
till the performance come. Te have need of -patter ce^ 
fays the apoftle, that after ye have dene ^t he will cf 
God, ye might receive the prcmi/e, Heb. x. 36. God's 
promifes are for a great while to come, as David^s 
\|^ord is concerning the Lord's kindnefs to him, Thou 
hajlfpoken aljo of thy fervanf s houfe, for a great zvhite^ 
to come^ 2 Sam. vii. 9. So that the anfwering oF 
God's faithfuluefs by our faith, (liouiu bear propor- 
tion unto the greatnefs, largenefs, free aefs and length 
of the promife. We Ihonld look to the promife, and 
fay, Here is a great blefTing, \vhea is it 16 be P H'^re 

1 18 The Stedjajl Adherence to Serm. IX, 

is a promife leads into eternity, I will believe til 
then, fays the believer ; till I launch into eternity ; 
for there the grand expe<5lation of the main fulfil- 
ments is to be. 


Hebrews x, 23. 
For be is faithful that froinxfed. 

YOU have all great need to itudy your bibles 
well. According to their diligence in ufing of 
the word of God, is the thriving of mens fouls. There 
are thefe four things, that (hould itill be minded in 
our ufing the bible. 

1. To look on it all as the word of God. When 
this is impreffed on the foul by faith upon opeoiDg 
the book, All this is the word of God, this is fcrip- 
ture infpired by the Holy Ghoft, what a great favour 
does it leave upon the heart I 

2. In ufing your bibles, be fure to pick out the 
promifes thereof. This is the main thing in the word, 
the tefti monies of God's good-will to the children of 
men. People's fpirits are difcerned by this, w^hat it 
is in that word they chiefly mind. Some folks read 
the bible as they read another hiftory, and the hif- 
torical part they like very well ; fome like the wife 
precepts of the word for the condu6l of their lives, 
of which the fcripture is full. But if fo be you be 
Ctiriftians indeed, the main thing you will fpy out in 
the word, is, Where does God's good-will appear ? 


Serm. IX. the Frofejpon of our Faith » 119 

What has God faid for me ? What good word has 
God pafled that 1 may truft to, and be faved by ? 

3* When we have picked out the promifes, we 
mud then lay them to the heart ; they never do good 
till they meet with the heart. What gracious changes 
hath God wrought, when he hath laid a warm pro- 
mife to a cold heart ! The fire of heaven kindles it im- 
mediately. We cannot put life into the promife, that 
is God's gift ; we cannot put life into our own hearts, 
that is God's gift too ; but we ihould flrive to bring 
the heart and God*s promife as near as may be. Ihy 
word have I hid in mine hearty fays David, Pfalm 
cxix. 1 1. God's people do as it were eat tbe word, 
Jer. XV. 16. 

4. Laftiy^ In ufmg your bibles, be fure to pray o« 
Ter the promifes. 1 affure you, where-ever faith hath 
got but a bit of the bread of life in the promife, it 
will immediately lift itfelf upwards in defires, and ia 
breathings towards the Lord for performance. For 
thouy Lord of hofls^ God of Ifrael^ haft revealed to 
thy fervant, faying, I will build thee an houfe^ there* 
fore hath thy fervant found in his heart to pray this 
prayer unto thee, David was a great believer, and he 
argues like one, 2 Sam. vii. 27* David needed thofe 
bleffiugs that God promifed, and in the fenfe of hi^ 
need ot them, he (liould and did pray for them : but 
when God gives him a promife, he prays then better 
for performance : and it is more of the nature of faith 
to pray upon a promife, than to pray for the fupply 
of a want. The defires of fupplies of wants are 
fomewhat of the voice of nature, but breathings for 
the performance of promifes are the very breathings 
of faiih itfelf. 

Now, this text that I have fpoken from to you To 
often, is indeed but a (hort one, but it is in a man* 
iier the key of the Bible, Faithful is he that promife d. 
I have fpoke at large unto the obfervations from thefc 
words, befides what was taken notice of in the words 
with refpe6> to their fcope ; as, 

(^2 /. That 

I20 The fled fa fl Adherence to Serm. IX. 

1. That the Chridian's God is a promiung God ; 
he is made known by promifing ; and he is never 
rightly kuowo, but when known as a promifing God. 

2. That this promifing God is faithful in all his 

g. That rhe faith of believers (hould anfwer the 
faithfulnefs of God ; their faith (hou'd come up iii' 
fome meafure of correfpondency with the faithfulnefs 
of the promifer. Of this lad 1 have fpoke feveral 
times in opening up the doftrine, and began to apply 
it fird in dovTtrinsl inferences. 

My work now is to enter upon the exhortation un- 
to this anfwering oF divine faithfulnefs by your faith, 
and I vi^ould extend it to thefe three, 

1. Anfwer divine faithfulnefs in the promife of fa!- 
vation by Chriil in the gofpei. This is the beginning 
of faiih, Heb. iii. 14. 

2. Anfwer divine faithfulnefs in all the proraifes 
oF grace and glory made to believers. This is the 
courie and race of faith, Heb. xii. i. i Corinth, ix. 
2 4j 26. 

3. Anfwer the faithfulnefs of God in the grand 
promife of eternal life, to be poffefled upon our de- 
parture cut of ihis body. This is the beginning, this 
is the life, and this is the end of believing, i Peter 

i. 9. 

For the fifft of thefe, the exhortation is this, (and 
it is an exhortation to every one of you, whether 
you be believers or unbelievers), Anfwer the faith- 
fuhiefs of God in the promife of falvation by Chrifl 
in the gofpei, anfwer it by faith. This is that which 
is the (cope of all the gofpei, this is the defign of 
God in writing to us the gofpei. But thefe are writ- 
ten^ faith the apoille, that ye might believe that Jefus 
is the Chrifl y the Son of God^ and that believing ye 
viight havs life through his name^ J.>hn xx. 30. This 
is what our Lord charges his apoftles with : G^, faith 
he, and preach the gofpei to every creature ; zed as the 
apofiie laith, which was preached ie every creature 


Serm. IX. the FrofeJJion of our Faith. 121 

which is under heaven^ Col. i. 23.: that is. Every 
man and woman that lives in this world, preach the 
gofpel to them ; what gofpel ? Tell them thae there 
is life and falvation for them in Jefus Chrifl ; if they 
will believe it, well and good ; if not, ihey Jhati be 
damned, Mark xvi. 15, 16. Upon this now, becaufe 
it is a matter of great concernment unto people to be 
well informed about it, to be well roufed up unto the 
prai^ice of it, I would ihew, 

1. The nature of this promife that is to be be- 

2. The nature of that faith which is to anfwer the 
faithfuinefs of God in the promife. 

jF/r/?5 For the nature of the promife of fahation 
by Chrift in the gofpel^ which is the fum and fob- 
ftance of ail the right preaching of the gofpel, there 
are three miflakes very ufual araoDgfl: people about 

1. This promife is no declaring the eternal pnrpofe 
of eled^ioa. Though I know that the promife flows 
from the purpofe, and is a proof that there is an e- 
leftion, yet the promife is no declaring of the parti- 
cular purpofe of eleflion to any particular perfon. 
You are not commanded to believe the gofpel becaufe 
you are ele<^ed, but you are commanded to believe 
the gofpel that you may know your elecTtlon, and that 
of God. No man is cad into hell becaufe not elec- 
ted, (though all that are not fo, ftiall be feat thi- 
ther) ; but men under the gofpel are damned, be- 
caufe they are unbelievers, and receive not the tefti- 
mony of God. 

2. Neither is this promife a declaration of the de* 
fign of the redemption of Chrifl:. A promife of the 
gofpel does not declare nor determine whom Chrilt 
died for; it is not the nature of this promife, nor the 
defign of it to do that. Chrift hath laid down his 
life for his fiieep ; the promife is made to all, tho* 
none but his (heep will receive it : Te believe 7wt^ fays 
our Lord, becaufe ye are not of my Jheef^ John x. 26. 

3, Neither 

12 2 The Jledfafl Adhtnrm to S e rm • IX. 

3. Ncicher is the promife of the gofpel, the declar- 
ing of the effe^tupJ working of the Spirit upon the 
heart. It is the means that God works by, but it 
is not that which does dechire the work. It is a bad 
argument for one to fay, I know I am elected, and 
redeemed by Chrift, and fan^lified and changed by 
ihe Holy Gboft, becaufe 1 have the promife of falva- 
tion by Cbrift in the gofpel. Indeed, if you can fay, 
I have received the promife by faith, you fpeak ac- 
cording to the word ; then ail the former are evident, 
the faving operation of the Spirit appears, thy inte- 
reft in Chrift s redemption appears ; thy name is writ- 
ten in the bock of life, and thou may ft read it. 

What then is the promife, if it be not a declaring 
of any of thefe ? The promife or the gofpel is a de- 
claration of God's good-wili to fave men by Chrift 
Jeius, and to this declaration he requires their faith. 
This good-will of God is tendered to men by promife, 
for wife ends. 

I. By this means God brings in all the ele£l ; by 
the means of the declaring his good-will in a promife. 
1^/?, The promife is the means of their faith, and 
therefore is a ground of their faith. When the Lord, 
in the day of his power, makes ufe of the word, and 
fends it borne upon the heart, it begets faith ; and as 
foon as faith is begotten, it a£ls upon the fame word 
of promife from whence it fprang. Now, here is the 
great wiidom of God. His p!.> pofes are all kept hid 
wiih himfelf ; he hath determined from eternity, in 
bis own thoughts and decrees, the eternal ftate of all 
men, anri his counfel will Rand ; he hath his people 
whom he haih a mind to fave, lying fcattered up and 
down the world. There is no mark upon them that 
is vifible to any creature ; they are in the fame mafs, 
cf the fame Tump, in the fame (late, children of wrath 
even as others, as ripe for hell as any man. The 
Lord, to accoraplilh the purpofe of his grace, fends 
the gofpel to then;. The promife is no more to them 
in the difpenfation of it, than it is to any body elfe* 

I know 

Serm. IX. the FrofeJJion of our Fait J?. 125 

I know the promife in God's purpofe is otherwife de- 
figned for ihera than for others ; but this promife is 
cafl abroad as an equal ground of fecurity lor all that 
will lay hold of it ; and the poor ele«51: man, when he 
ventures upon the promife of God, hath nothing be- 
fore his eye but only the promife : *' It is a true and 
^^ faithful faying^ worthy of all acceptation^ and there- 
*^ fore worthy of mine ; 1 will give it due attention, 
" and lay hold of ir." 

2. By this means God (tops the mouths of the con- 
demned remnant of gofpel-defpifers. Pray obfervc 
the word that is in the parable, Matth. xxii. 10, 11. 
Though parables, you know, are not to be fo (lri£l- 
ly urged, yet there are fometbings that are to be ap- 
plied, and that is what ferves the fcope of them : 
When the King came to view his guefts, be fpiedone 
without a wedding-garment ; and he faith unto him. 
Friend^ how camefl thou in hither^ not having a wed- 
ding-garment f And he was fpeechlefs. Pray obferve ; 
we find in the fame feaft the invitation is given to all 
forts, the invitation is to good and bad ; fo the word 
is ; and it is made efFe^ual upon the lame, and blind, 
and halt, and mod miferable that could be found by 
the hedges and highway-fide, as Luke hath ir, chap, 
xiv. 16. where the fame parable is. Now, wh^t can 
be the meaning of this. Friend, how camefl then in 
hit her y not having a wedding-garment f Vvhy, if the 
poor man had not a wedding-garment, whence thould 
he get it? Should he not have fought it? All that 
makes us amiable and acceptable before God, is of 
the gift of bis grace on us. That which is the perdi- 
tion of the ungodly unbelievers of the gefpel, is, be- 
caofe ihey do not receive the teftimony of God ; they' 
dare not, they are not able, they are not wiiiiag, to 
truft their eternal falvation upon God*s bare wordo 
So much cow for the nature of this promife. Th« 
promife is ChrilVs, and thai which he cafts forth in 
the difpenfaiion of the gofpel, and gathers in men 
thereby. Where the power of the promife reaches 


124 ^^ fl^dfajl Adherence lo Serm. IX 

the heart, it draws in the chofen ; where only a com- 
mon power reaches carnal men, they are only drawn 
into a profelTion, and are cajl away as loft, as our 
Lord fpeaks oF the kingdom of heaven under the fimi- 
litude of a net to catch fifh, Matth. xiii. 47, 48. 

ThQ /ec$nd thing to be fpoke to is, What is that 
faith that is to anfwer the faiihfulnefs of God in the 
promife, the general promife of falvation in the gof- 
pel ? 

I. It is to believe the gofpel-report firmly concer- 
ning Jefus Chrift, and God's great falvation in him 
and by him ; that there is life enough in Chrifl for 
men, 1 John v. 11. It is to believe the report con- 
cerning Chrift, according to the prophet Ifaiah, chap. 
liii. J. Which words our Lord applies unto the gof- 
pel, mere plainly to himfelf, John xii. 40. where he 
applies the words of the fame Ifaiah unto the unbelie- 
vers that were in his own days. Some folks may pof- 
fibly think there is no great difficulty in this matter ; 
but it is bccaufe they are ignorant, and have never 
been tried. How hard a matter is h to believe the 
myftery of the gofpel, that the Father hath fent the 
Son to be the Saviour of the world ; that he came m 
the appointed time, that he did all his work, and ob- 
tained eternal redemption for us ; that he bought all 
his (heep by the price of his blood, and by that blood 
entered into covenant to make interceffion for us ? 
and that becaufe he is there, he is able tofave them 
to the uttermoft^ that come unto God by him? as ia 
Heb. vii. 25. Pray obferve this, when a great many 
Chriftians doubtings are thoroughly fifted and canvaf- 
fed, it will be found that the ihaking of their faith^ 
as to their intereft in Chrift, proceeds much from the 
weaknefs of their faith as to the gofpel-report con- 
cerning him. I If people did firmly believe all that is 
faid in the old and new teftament, concerning that 
righteoufnefs and falvation wrought out by the Son 
of God, they would find it an eaCer matter to apply 

. it 

Serm. IX. the Profeffion of our Faith. I25 

it to themfelves, and fay. Surely, (i ) 1 have no righ- 
leoufnefs of my own. (2.) Nor can any creature 
procure it for me. (3.) Enough is in Chrift. (4.) 
All is offered to me in the gofpeL (5.) My foul likes 
the offer. (6.) I willingly accept him for my only Sa- 
viour. Surely y jhall one fay ^ in the Lord have I righ- 
teoufnefs andflrcngth^ Ifa. xlv, 24. 

2. It is to believe firmly the truth and the. flnce- 
rity of God in the offer of this Saviour, and of all 
his falvation as offered to men. Pray obferve here 
we {hall come to that which does pinch the coofciences 
of many Chriftians. Ye are required by the Lord, 
and in his name, by them that preach the gofpel, to 
believe the truth and fmcerity of the offer of Chrift 
and all his falvation ro thee in particular. You are 
to think thus within yourfelves, Verily this Saviour, 
and all his great falvation is offered to me. Pray 
what conceptions have you of the gofpel, if you do 
not admit this ? For you to run away with an imagi- 
nation, that Chrift is offered unto the church, that 
he is offered unto his people, is wrong. I tell you, 
in the gofpel he is offered to you in particular j and 
there are none that believe in him, until they take it 
up fo. Says the poor jailor. What fhall I do to be 
faved f Believe thou on the Lord Jtfus^ fays Paul to 

him, and thou /halt be faved, I am preaching Chrift, 
and I have got bonds for my reward ; but if thou 
wouldft be faved, remember that I in prifon offer 
this Saviour to thee : Believe thou on the Lord Jefus 
and thou /halt be faved. Unlefs people do come this 
length of faith, firmly to believe, that God fairly and 
honeftiy, and with an upright meaning, makes free 
offer and tender of Chrilt and of all his falvation to 
them ; they never will be believers, they never will 
believe the fcriptures aright. 

3. You are to believe that there is no impediment 
nor hinderance, neither on God's part nor thine, to 
binder thee from partaking of Chriii, if thou be wil- 
ling. This is a part of that faith that anfvvers the 

R faiih- 

126 The jledfafl Adherence to S E R m . IX. 

faithfulnefs of God in the promife of the gofpel, and 
which a poor creature (hould believe firmly ; that 
there is no impediment on God's part, nor on ray part 
to hinder ray partaking of Chrift, according to God's 
offer, if J; accept of him. The impediment on our 
part is fm, the impediments on God's part are the 
law aad juftice. The Lord hath declared thefe (liall 
cot ftand. The law and ^uilice (lands in no man's 
way to hinder him from partaking of Chrift, if he 
will accept thereof. Neither (hall fin hinder him, for 
the offer is made to all men as fmners, whatfoever 
they have been, and whatfoever they are ; but none 
will accept it but enlightened fmners. 

4. You are required to venture your falvation on 
Jefus Chrifl, according to the warrant of this offer, 
and according to the truth of this promife. As you 
believe the do<n;rine of Chrift, and believe the offer 
of God, and the fincerity, and freedom, and large- 
cefs of the offer, you are to accept thereof, and to 
venture your all upon it. This is believing. God 
has given his promife of life in Chrift Jefus, as the 
foundation of afl our hope of falvation ; we Ihould an 
fwer his faithfulnefs by building all oar hopes upon 
that bottom. Lay hold therefore on this cord of fal- 
vation, and ye cannot mifcarry. No man can receive 
Chrift out of a promife, do man can receive a pro- 
mife of falvation out of Chrift : no man can do both, 
no man can do any one of them wirhout faith ; for 
believing is receiving ; and none who believe on him 
can periili, but fliaii have eternal Itfe^ John iii. 14, 
— 20. 

5. Laftly^ You are to believe firmly, that if you be 
wiliins:, the Lord is willing, and you (hall be welcome ; 
nay, you are now welcome at this prefeut on believ- 
ing. 1 fay you are to believe firmly, that when your 
hearts are drawn forth to accept of him, the Lord 
will accept of you, and to be confident of it too. Now, 
I dial) offer for the clearing of thi?, as far as feme or- 
dinary traaladions amongft men may help, fomc in- 


Serm. IX. the ProfeJJlon of our Faith. I27 

ftances which the Spirit of God makes ufe of in the 
word to illuflrate this aflair, this firft believing the 
promife of Jefus Chrift, or a poor fmner's firft be- 
lieving. I know ail fimilitudes that are ufed in the 
word, or can be contrived by us, are but like para- 
bles, they do not quadrate fully ; but 1 (hall ufe them 
no farther, than as fiiall ferve the fcope and drift of 
this do£irine. * 

The frjl is a common tranfa£lion of mankind, that 
of marriage. You all know how this matter is carri- 
ed on. The tranfa£lion with God in Chrift Jefus for 
our eternal falvation, is frequently exprefTed by this 
fimilitude ; I will betroth thee unto me for ever ; yea^ 
I will betroth thee unto me in righteoufnefs^ and injudg- 
menty and in loving-kindnefs^ and in mercieSy—and thou 
fhalt know the Lordy Hofea ii. 19, 20, / have e* 
fpoufed youy fays the apoftle, to one husband^ that I 
may frefent you as a chafle virgin to Chrijl^ 2 Cor, 
xi. 2. The exprcfTions are manifold up and down the 
word, both in the old and new teftament, about this 
fimilitude. Now, to bring it to my purpofe, you know 
when a marriage is made up, efpecially of them that 
are vaftly unequal, as it is here, the man declares his 
love, courts the party, affirms, that if ftie will give 
her confentto be his, he is heartily willing to be hers. 
The promife upon the man's fide makes no marriage ; 
but the promife duly declared by the man, and duly 
accepted by the woman, makes one. The promife 
of the gofpel comes this way 16 you, finners \ it is 
the faithful promife of God in Chrift Jefus, that if 
you will accept of him through Chrift for your God 
and portion, he will be yours ; give but your confent, 
and the match is made. But if the party that is court- 
ed fay or think, (i.) That either the bargain is not 
good; or, (2.) That the man that promifes is not 
true; or, (3.) If her affedlions are let on another ; 
or, (4.) If (he be married to another, Rom. vii. 6 ; 
or, (5.) If (he hate him, Prov. viii. 36.; in thefs 
R 2 cafes 

128 The Jledf aft Adherence to Serm. IX. 

cafes (he will wiih-hold her confent. In like manner 
aiTure yourfelves, that all gofpei-hearers who do not 
give their hearty confent to be the Lord's, will be 
chargeable with fome of thefe ; for either they think, 
that the bargain is not good, or that he that promifes 
is not true, or their aifeclions are fet on other objedls, 
or they^ hate the ways of the Lord. 

2<i/y,' There is a tranfa^llon fpoken of in the word 
under the notion of adoption. It is now out of ufe in 
the world, but it was ciiftomary of old, when a man 
did adopt another's child, and brought in that child 
to pofTefs the inheritance, to bear his name, and to 
be his heir. There were ufual formalities, as good 
reafon there (liould be, where fuch matters are ; the 
confent of the child was required ; Are you willing 
to be fuch a man^s ? to be under his conducl ? to be 
his heir? to be poffeiTed of his eftate ? The very 
declaring of the confent is that which makes up the 

The third inftance (hall be that of the King's par- 
don given to a company of rebels. So the gofpel is 
God's zdi of grace unto a company of franers ; it is 
proclaimed as publicly as may be ; and the more fin- 
Ders that hear it, the better, if they would believe. 
Now, fuppofe there be fuch a thing as proclamation 
of free pardon to a company of rebels, it is unavoid- 
able, that their not accepting of it mufl be, either, 
I. Becaufe they think their caufe is juft, and them- 
felves not to be rebels ; or, 2. That they have ftrength 
enough to fight it out ; and if they come in, they 
{hall be hanged ; if fo, they will rather die in their 
arms, they will /land upon their fword^ as the word of 
the prophet is, rather than accept of it. But if they 
have any hopes of pardon upon their fubmifTion, and 
believe the perfon who promifes pardon on fuch terms, 
will itacd to his word ; they will accept of it, and em- 
brace it. The cafe is juff fo here : Proclamation of 
God's free grace and pardon through Chrifl Jefus, is 
tendered to the children of men ; it is necefTarily re- 

Serm. IX. the FrofeJJion of our Faith. 129 

quired to the accepting it, that you have a trufl in 
the good-will oi the proclaimer, as well as confidence, 
that the mercy is great that is tendered. 

We {hall confider this contra^, ^thly^ as in the 
cafe o^ furety and debtor, for fo it is reprefented to 
us in the word. Our Lord Jefus Chriil is the great 
Surety ; we are great debtors, not able to pay ; 
Chriil offers to pay our debts ; there is no more re- 
quired, when the law and juftice condemn us to hell- 
prifon, bur, Lord, take bail of my own Son for me. 
But if men will pay part of the debt, and work out 
the reft, they defpife the gofpel ; as too many do. 

There is 2. fifth firailitude common amongft us, and 
that is of buyer zxidi feller^ all managed by faith, la 
buying and feiiing, you know how frequently this is 
ufed amongft men. (i.) We will fuppofe we know 
this, that the man that fells, is willing to part with 
his goods at the price named, otherwife he is a deceit- 
ful man that offers things, to fell, and will not part 
with them. (2.) We all know this, that if I come 
up to the price demanded, and pay it down, the goods 
are mine. Bring this matter to our purpofe : The 
great goods are Chrift and falvation, the price is no- 
thing, the poor fmner is the buyer ; now, this little 
price ; this no price, this no money, is fo great a 
matter, that proud poor man is very unwilling to lay 
it down. Ho, every one that thirfteth, come ye to the 
waters^ and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and 
eat, buy wine and milk without money, and without 
price, Ifa. Iv. i. I counfel thee to buy of me, 8cc, Rev. 
iii. 18. Then if they be buyers, they had fometbing 
to buy with ; no, they had nothing ; for our Lord 
tells them in the verfe juft before, that they were 
wretched, and miferable, and poor, and blind, and nak» 
ed. Now, what can fuch folks have to buy with ? 
Gofpel-buying is nothing elfe but honeft begging. But 
notwithftanding the gofpel be fo freely offered, many 
fay to God, as Abraham faid to the king of Sodom, 

I will 

1 3© The ft edf a fl Adherence to Serm. IX» 

/ luill not take any thing that is thine ^ lefl thou Jhouldjl 
fu)\ I have made Abraham rich. Gen. xiv. 23. 

Beggir.g is di Jixth fimilitude by which this matter 
is exprellcd ; begging and receiving. God offers, 
we beg ; God gives, we rake ; and all begging of 
God is in faith. We have fome kind of faith, thac 
God bath thefe good things to give, and is willing to 
give, elie wherefore do we ask them P When he 
gives them, we receive tliem. Have you received 
Chrift Jefus the Lord ? As ye have received him^ fo 
walk ye i?2 him, fays the apottle, Col. ii. 6. From ail 
thefe now you fee, that the tranfa£tions amongft men, 
in all forts of affairs almoft, do difcover the relation 
that is entered into^- and that covenants are made a- 
niongft men by mutual truft ; that we trufl: him that 
promifes, and accept the bargain becaufe we do fo : 
So mud there be here. Only there are two great dif- 
ferences in this great bargain of the gofpel, which 
3re beyond all that we can gather out of any fimili- 
tude. (i.) That the confenting truft of the receiver, 
is the work of the offerer ; this truft, this faith, this 
receiving that we have fpoken of, is God's work. He 
thar propofes a good bargain to another, hath no 
power over him to perfuade hiai, infallibly to give 
his confent; but the Lord hath this power. (2,) The 
nature of God's proffer, and his promife, are the 
mcaDS by which he works the principle of acceptance. 
When the finner is rebellious, (as all men by nature 
are, till grace tame them), the Lord can deliver the 
promile of promife of falvation by Chrift Jefus in that 
beauty and glory, and with that power and ftrength, 
that no man can refift it : Thy -people Jhall he willing 
in the day of thy power ^ Pfal. ex. 3. If the Lord put 
forth this power, this willingnefs, this truft, that i am 
calling for, will infallibly be produced. 

So much now for the explaining of thefe things, 
what the promife of falvation by Chrift in the gofpel 
is, that we fliouid glorify God*s faithfulnefs in, and 
v;hat that faith is that wefhould meet this promife with. 


Serm, IX. the TrofeJJion of our Fahh. iji 


1. Hence you may fee the raarvellon? way of far- 
ing us by Chrift Jefus. What wonderful grace and 
wifdom (liioes here ! All this falvation was prepared 
in God's counfel before the foundation of t!ie world 
was laid, we had nothing to do with it ; all this fal- 
vation was wrought out in God's time, by the life, 
and death, and fuiFerings of our Lord Jefus ; that 
which he had no hand in^ and in which all our falva- 
tion (lands J for all that, all this grace and mercy, and 
falvation comes ftreaming unto us in a bare promife 
of God ; the Lord proclaims it ; this is the call of 
the gofpel, He that dares truft Chrift with his foul, 
upon the warrant of the gofpel, (hall be faved for 
ever. The Lord tries people this way. We have no 
more to do but take pen in hand, and fay, Amen, 

Lord ; it is a good bargain, and a true w^ord, and 

1 will truft my foul on it. This is believing. 

2. See, Sirs, what you have been doing under the 
gofpel all your days. 1 know that this affembly, as 
moft weekly affemblies are, is made up of a fort of 
people that fpend a great part of their time in hear- 
ing. For God's fake tell me, what you have beea 
doing all this while. Have you put the main matter 
of your falvation out of the devil's reach ? Have yoa 
made confcience of this, of givitjg glory to God's faith- 
fulnefs in the grand promife of falvation by Chrift? 
Have you learned to know Chrift P Have yoa learned 
to talk of him ? Have you learned to underftand the 
gofpel ? to trlk, to reafon, to difcourfe of it ? But 
is this all ? Have you never been exercifed about this, 
about putting your own feal to the gofpel ? He thai 
hath received this tejlmony^ hath Jet to hh feal that 
God is true, God will be true, whether we fet our 
feal to it or no ; but God's truth will not be to our in- 
tereft and advantage, unlefs we fet to our feal. Take 
heedj there are few folks, whofe confcience falls un* 


152 The fledfafl Adherence to Serm. IX, 

der conviction of duty in this matter ; that they are 
bound before God to believe on Chrift Jefus for eter- 
nal life. People will not believe, that they (hould be- 
lieve \ and can there be any hope that ever they will 
believe, who are of this mind ? How hard is it to 
perfuade people that they (hould believe ; that'upon 
the preaching of the word, and the proclamation of 
God^s falvation by Chrift Jefus, they muft venture u- 
pon it ! Say fome, " I know not whether the pro- 
*' mife be to me." Is it not to you as much as ever 
it was to any ? Is it not to you as much a§ ever it hath 
been to any fmner, the hour before he was convert- 
ed ? The promife will never be more to you, till it 
be believed, than it is now. Repent^ fays the apoftle 
to the murtherers of Chrift, yi?r the promife is unto you, 
A£ls ii. 38, 39. Ye killed the promifer juft now, yet 
for all that you ftiall be faved, if you repent ; one 
of the ftrangeft repentance that ever was required in 
this world ! The very exa^ling repentance from them 
was exprefly exa£^ing of faith ; for it was impoflible 
for any man to repent of killing Chrift, but he that 
believed he was the Son of God ; therefore, fays the 
apoftle, the promife is unto you, and to your children. 
Say you, " Natural men are without the promife, 
** and fir angers from the covenants of promife ^^^ Eph. ii. 
12. And what theii I If they be, what will you in- 
fer from that ? I am a poor natural creature, a ftran- 
ger from that covenant of promife. But I pray, how 
fliall this ftrangenefs be removed ? Juft as if a poor 
man, ftanding without like to ftarve with hunger and 
cold, fhould fay, Alas! I fhall die in this place, with- 
out the houfe. Why, the door is open, in God^s 
name enter. We enter by faith ; the promife is 
God's door caft open, that poor men may enter in. 
Pray now confider that place, which I will fpeak a 
little to, as well as from the preceeding and follow- 
ing words : Heb. iv. i. Let us therefore fear^ left a 
promife being left us of entering into his reft^ any pf 
you fhould feem to come fhort of it. The thing that the 


Serm. IX. the Frofejjion of our Faith, I33 

apoftle deduceth his exhortation from, is a moft aw- 
ful in fiance ; the inflance of the people of Ifrael in 
the wildernefs. Take notice; of the paiTage, and of 
tlie Spirit of God's ufmg it. God had fa'id to Mofes, 
that, at the appointed time, he would brinir the chil- 
dren of Ifrael out of Egypt. He appeared with them, 
and for them, in ten great wonders and miracles, 
that they might know his calling to be of God, and 
his meffage from God. The people believe at Jait ; 
ihey believe that God had a good mind towards them, 
and w^ould bring them into the land of Canaan, ac^ 
cording to his promife ; but wlien they are a little 
way got through the Red-fea, difficulties meet them, 
unbelief arifes, and they hardened their heariSj aod^ 
tempted God ; from whence we may obferve, Hoiv 
hng^ fays the Lord, refiffe ye to keep my commandments 
and my laws f That which they were bound to be- 
lieve, was this. That God meant well and honeftly 
with them in the promife of bringing them to the 
land of Canaan ; and becaufe they did not believe ir, 
God fware, that not one of them from twenty years 
old (hould enter into it. Upon this inftance the apo- 
flle makes his exhortation : Let u? therefore fear ^ lejl 
a promife being left us of entering into his reft^ any of 
you jhould feem to come fhort of it, Alas ! the reft we 
are called to, is a far greater reft 'than the reft of 
Canaan, the promife is a promife more fure. Ay, 
but fays the apoftle. Let us fear ^ lejl a promife being 
left us cf entering into his re fly any of you fhould feein 
to come fjort of it^ left we iliould/2// after the fame ex- 
ample of unbelief ^ as he has it in ver. 1 1. The cafe 
then, as to us, is this, The Lord harh proclaimed 10 
us in the gofpel, his good-wnll-in liigh and great pro- 
mifes, to fave us by Jefus Chrift. He proclaims ir 
thus, that whofoever will truft him, and take his pro- 
mife, (liall certainly come to heaven. There are fomeri 
of the children of men, whom God harh a mind to 
bring to heaven, and a great many others have the 
promife in their hand, as well as they, bur have not 

S fahh 

1^4 5rZ>^ fl^dfafc Adherence to Serm. IX. 

faith ID tlieir bears ; they let the promife flip, and the 
promife lets them flip; and, if I may fo fpeak, to 
hell they fall ; but there is no fault in the proniife, 
it is becaufe they do not buiid upou it. 

Some may fay, *« I am not qualified for the pro- 
" mife, 1 am not fo good as 1 fliould be. Anfwer^ 
Are you qualified for hell or no ? No man (haUbe in 
heaven but he that fees himfelf fully qualified for 
hell, as a faggot that is bound up for eternal burn- 
ings, unlefs mercy pluck the brand out of the fire. 
Inftead of thefe objections, I will tell you better, i. 
What think you? Is Chrifl: a fit Saviour for you ? 
,Chrifl: is exaClly ftiapen, as fit for a finner as poflibly 
he can be. God, in making and framing his Son for 
a Saviour, confulted to make him as fit to be a Savi- 
our for finners, as divine wifdom could make him. 2, 
Ask this queflion, whether there be no promife in 
the new covenant that looks towards you P Are there 
no dreams in this great well of falvation ? Yes, fure- 
ly, the covenant flrearas out towards thee. Pray now 
can you find nothing in the promife of the new cove- 
Bant that fuits you exaflly ? / will pour clean water 
vpon you :. who needs this more than the filthy ^ 
From all their iniquities will I cleanfc tbe7n, I wilt 
take away the heart of jlone^ &c. If you have a heart 
of f\one, your cure is in the covenant. My meaning 
is, that you, feeling the heart of (lone, may piead this 
promife. I know nobody that hath a hard heart can 
plead this promife ; they that have a truly hard heart, 
think nothing ails them, 3. The third queflion you 
fiiould ask yourfelves is this. Whether there is any 
truft in your heart worldng towards God I Shall ail 
the promifes of the gafpel be proclaimed to men eve« 
ry day, and no thoughts of trufting in him arife I 
That he is a faithful fpeaker, is plain ; therefore his 
mellage (hould be received. The myilery of faving 
particular peifons by the application of divine grace, 
is greater than any can fathom, with refpe61 to them- 
felves, but more or lefs they can fearch it with refpefl 


Serm. IX. the ProfeJJton of our Faith. 135 

to others. All the faith that ever was wrought in the 
hearts of believers, to raake unbelievers believers, 
and make believers better believers, was ever-more 
wrought by the appearance of divine faithfulnefs ia 
the promife. The better you know the promife, the 
better believers you will be ; therefore make confci- 
cnce of this. Think that your e,ternal flate depends 
upon this, how the gofpel hath been received by 
faith. Secure fmners find no diiFiculty in believing, 
but poor awakened fmners find ic the greated difficul- 
ty in the world. A natural man finds no difficulty ia 
believing, becaufe he is not concerned about falva- 
lion ; a poor awakened finner finds it a hard matter 
to believe, becaufe he is deeply concerned about fal- 
vation. Nothing can fave- us but only the bare pro- 
mife. This promife can fave no man till it hath laid 
hold on him, and till it hath put forth its power upon 
him. It ufually appears but a weak and {lender thing 
for a man to trufl his all upon. Hov/ (lightly do un- 
believers think of the promife of God ? There is not 
an ungodly man ia the world, but he reckons a rich 
man's promife to provide for him in this world, is a 
great deal better than all the promifes in the bible. 
But this is a lign the poor creature hath no true faith 
in a faithful God, whatever falfe truit he may have 
in man, who is not only a liar^ Rom. iii. 4. but a lie^ 
Pfalm Ixii. 9. 


1^6 The StedfaJ} Adherence U Serm. X. 


Hebrews x. 23, 
For he is faithful that promifed. 

T I TTLE do msny people know, that daily hear 
•^ the gofpel, what the gofpel is, and what hear- 
ing of it Ihould be. The gofpel is a divine procla- 
Hiation of -God's gi^od-will towards perifhing finners, 
delivered to us in many words in the fcriptures. The 
^nm of it is in this offer, Thar whofoever they be, and 
whatever they have been, they are content to take 
Chriil for their guide, and his fulnefs and grace for * 
their flock, and God^s faithful promife for their fe- 
curity, as fure as God lives they fliall be faved for 
ever. This is the gofpel which is preached in many 
forms of words, but the fubflance is the fame. How 
many are they that do not know what they are doing 
when they hear? It is a proclamation that is either 
received to God's highed praife by faith, or is rejec- 
ted to his greatefl diil:onour, and to mens mofl cer- 
tain ruin. It is the Lord's great wifdom that the gof- 
pel fhouid be preached,- and that it fliould be preach- 
ed by men, by fmful men that are believers them-. 
Selves J and they (hould recommend the lame way of 
^^Ivation to the falih of ctheriJ, that they have takea 
^0 themreives. 

Upon thefe words you know that I have fpoken 
feveral times concerning the promifmg God, his faich- 
fulnefs in his promifes, and the duty of his people to 
-nfwer his faithfulnefs by their faith. The lad day 
^ propofed tl)e application of this whole matter in 
three exhortationfj and fpake unto the firft lafl day ; 
I /hall now add a link mors and proceed. 

I. The 

Serm. X. the FrofeJJion of our Faith. 1^7 

f . The firft exhortation was to this duty. That you 
Jhould ali anfwerthe faithfulncfs of God in the great 
promife of falvation by Jefus Chrift in the golpel ; 
for in a manner this is the promife that faich firil meets 
with, and firft fixes on ;. faith is begotten by it, and 
faith receives the new life in it, and by it. 

2. The fecond exhortation is. That believers mufl 
anfwer the faithfuhiefs of this promifing God, ia the 
expecting of all good by the way 

3. That believers Ihould anfwer the faithfulnefs 
of God, ia a firm expectation of the inheritaDcs at 

Of the firft of tfiefe I fpoke fome time iaft day, and 
fhewed you, i. What the nature of this promife of 
falvation is, that our faith firftftionld take hold of. 

2. Wherein the anfwering of faith to the faithful- 
nefs of God does confift. ly?, In believing the truth 
of the gofpel-record and report, that there is life in 
Chrift for men. 2dly^ It is a believing of the truth 
and fincerity of God in the offer of it. o^dly, A be- 
lieving that there is now no impediment on God's parr, 
or on ours, that ftiall hinder the partaking of the blef- 
fmg promifed, if we will be wiliiog to truft. The Iaft 
is, by venturing our eternal falvation upon it ; that 
is believing, taking up, taking in the truth of the 
gofpel-promife of falvation by Chrift, that the heart 
is refolved here to fettle, and here to adventure its 
all. Lard^ to whom jh all we go? fays Peter; thou 
haj} the words of eternal life : we will lodge our eter- 
nal life on thee, and upon thy word ; no where elfe 
can v/e find them, and they are fufFiciently with thee 
for our truft ; for we believe and are fur e^ that thou 
art that Chrijl the Son of the living God^ John vi. 69. 
The only thing I would do, before I leave this firft 
exhortation, fhall be a little more fully to bring this 
matter near to your confcience, fearching and trying 
of you, whether you have given this faithfulnefs of 
God a meeting ; the queftion is a queftion of the 
greatcft importance, all things elfe, that you may be 


i^S The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. X" 

concerned about, and there are a great tnany other 
things that people may lawfully be concerned about 
tinder the gofpel, all things elfe 1 fay, are either 
trifles in themfelves in regard to this, or very unrea- 
fonably ftarted till this grand queflion be determin- 
ed. Have I entertained God's o&r and promife of e- 
ternal life by Chrift Jefus with true faith or no P The 
importance is obvions, foi our eternal falvation (lands 
iipoa it ; the qneftion is not only important, bat it 
feems eahly refolved, it feems to be a great deal 
harder one Way to conceive how a believer (hould be 
ignorant of his believing, than how it (hould be that he 
ihould know it : though I do acknowledge that many 
believers are ignorant that they are believers ; the a- 
podie's word puts it out of qucftion, i John v. 13. 
Ihefe things have I written unto you that believe on the 
name of the Son of God ; that ye may knozv that ye 
have eternal Ufe^ and that ye may believe on the name of 
the ^on cfGody that is, that ye may believe better, that 
ye may know ye believed, and that ye may know 
what ye have in and by believing ; The apoftle feems 
to fpeak of it as a matter of wonder that people (hould 
BO- know it. Examine your felves ^ whether ye be in the 
faith; prove your ozunfehes ; know ye not your own 
fehes^ how that Jefus Chrift is in you, except ye be 
reprobates ** Only now a few things concerning this 
maiter, that will make it on a little enquiry appear 
at lead to be ealiiy refolved. 

I. The greatnefs of the matter intruded in this 
believing; the more confiderable the matter of truft 
is, the better people ufually know where they traft 
it, and \vhen they truft it ; if a man truft his wife 
and children, his edate, his houfe, and all his bnfi- 
nefs, he knows very w^ell when he trufts that which 
is fo dear to him ; but alas, a great many never knew 
they had foul?, the precioufnefs of their immortal 
fouls was never felt by them ; thefe folks can never 
tiuil, or know whom they truft. 

2. The 

Serm^ X. the FrofeJJion of our Fahh» 139^ 

2. The party truded is one, one only ; when our 
trufl is fcattered as it were, people may forget where 
one part of it is lodged, and where another parr ; 
but where it is all unitedly centered in one hand, 
why (hould people not know where it is ? I knoiv^ 
fays the apoftle, whom I have believedy 2 Tim. i. 12, 
O how bleffedly thefe two words anfwer one another. 
Faithful is he that promfedy and / knozv^ &c. There 
is God's name, and there is the fakh of tlie Chriftiaa 
concerning this God : it is he whom 1 have trudedy 
he that promifes, is he whom 1 have believed ; 
whereas u double-minded man is unjlable in ail his 
ivaysy James i 8, 

3. The warrant of this trufl: is fingle, it k upheld 
by the word of promife, and that alone, that (epa» 
rate from all things elfe ; all our hopes are Fauadcd 
barely upon the word o^ God, and the more we 
ftrive (as you have heard already) to add fupports 
to the word, for the imaginary ilrengthening of our 
faith, the more we weaken our faith, and the more 
we diftionour the word. If God's word of pro- 
mife cannot bear thee up, though all the (boul- 
ders of all the angels m heaven (hould prop thee up,. 
thou wouldft fink under them. 

4. The influence and power that is neeufu! for the 
drawing forth this trult, makes it remarkable alfo; 
when God caufes us to hope^ as David fpeaks, Pfalm. 
cxix. 49. this makes the matter yet more remark- 
able ; if faith and trull in God were a plant that 
could grow up in our hearts daily, it might ipring 
up unobferved, as a great many other tijings do; 
there are a great many feeds of knowledge and un- 
derdanding, that do naiuraliy grow up in children, as 
they grow in years, from the (tock of natural parts 
that God gave them in their firfl frame j but faith is 
none of thefe things, this truftingis never without a 
caufing, a caufing to approach to him ; k is never 
without a drawing : Therefore believers are more 
fenfible q^ the power that works fikh, than of that 


140 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. X. 

faith working in themfelves, they are more fenfible 
of the pains God hath been at to draw forth faith, 
than of the living a^ls of faith in themfelves. 

5. The light of faith Is to be taken notice of ; as 
in Gen. xxv. 22, 23. 

6. Laflly^ The grand expectation of faiih is of that 
nature, that we cannot tell how it can be acled, tho' 
it may be known after it hath been a^ed. What do 
we take Chrid's word for, and fet our feal to it, but 
for everlafting falvation, for a glory to be revealed 
at the appearing of Jefus Chrirt, beyond what our 
ear hath heard, or tongue can tell, or heart can con- 
ceive ? And noiv^ Lordy what wait I for ? My hope is 
in thee^ Pfalm xxxix. 7. We are not of thenl who draw 
back into perdition^ but of them that believe, to the 

faving of the fcul, Heb. x. 39. We are looking for 
the mercy of our Lord Jefus Chrifly unto eternal life^ 
Jnde 21. Now may not one know thefe things, think 
ye ? Nay, there is a fpecial weaknefs in faith, a fpe- 
cial cunning of our adverfary the Devil, that makes 
this believing not more frequently known by believ- 
ers, that we do not know that we truft, when we 
trud ; the matter is fo confiderable, the a£ls fo for- 
mally and deliberately put forth, that a man may be- 
lieve/ and yet not be fenfible of it; but by the fruits 
and effeflsof believing, v/hich are the ordinary ways 
by which we come to know it, Therefore now unto 
fuch of you, as can with fome confidence avow it be- 
fore God, that the gofpel promife of falvation by 
Chrifl: Jefus hath been fo warm upon your hearts, 
that you have built ycnr everlafting hopes upon it, 
only three words, and I proceed. 

17?, Blefs the Lord, the great promifer, for the 
work of faith, and that on his promifes ; praife is 
due upon both accounts, his grace made the promif- 
es, and his grace works upon the heart, which is al- 
ways needful to embrace the promife ; and the heart 
that partakes of the bleiTmg, (hould entertain a due 
fenfe of its great debt to God, and pay it in praife ; 



S E R M . X. the Profejjlon of our Faith. 1 4 1 

that is all the payment we can*glve, though praifiDg 
is rather owoing a debt than paying ir. 

2dly, You that have built your (alvation and eter- 
nal hopes upon the promifc of the gofpe!, relt your- 
felves on him ; whatever your Hate and condition ia 
the v/orld be, yon are bleiled by God, and (hou!d 
own it J Bleffed is Jhe that believed, for there Jhall be 
a performance, Luke i. 45. How many bklTcdnefs 
are afcribed unto believing andtrufling in God? 
Bkffed ar", all they that put their trujl m kiuu PTalm 
ii. 12. Here nov/ is a fault that is very ircqucnt 
with the godly, they are ready to be fenfiblc of mer- 
cy, and to blefs God for mercy, they are feDfible of 
promifes, they blefs God for making of thera, and 
when God makes a performance of a promife, they 
blefs him for that too ; this is the thing 1 find fault 
with, that few Chriftians are heartily thankful to 
God for trufting, for believing ; a poor child of God 
can look upon the promife, and fay, Here is a full pro- 
tnife but no performance, no appearance in ihe world 
for performance, yet God be thanked, lean trudir, and 
believe his faithful word, and wait till his time comes. 

Lajlly, You that have built your falvation and e- 
ternal hopes upon the promife of the gofpel, never 
recal that truft but reaft it every day ; the righteouf- 
Defs of God is revealed from faith to faith, and be- 
lievers (hould go on believing the promiie of falvarioa 
that we believed at firft believing ; we are to believe 
flill more and more, growing in faith ; for faith is a 
grace to be grown in as well as knowledge, and re- 
pentance, and holinefs ; how many believers are 
there that are fenfible of the one, and iufenfible of 
the other ? They are eafily convinced that rhey can 
never be holy enough, but they are not eafily con- 
vinced, that they cannot believe flrongly enough, 
that there is fomething (fill lacking in their faiih, tliat 
they fliould labour to build up and to advance in 
more and more ; if I may fo Ipeak, faith is fomething 
like a believer, believing is like a believer, a believ- 

T cr 

I4« T^he fledfajl Adherence to Serm. X. 

cr is never perfe^ till he is dead, and faith is never 
perfe£^ till it is done : 1 mean, there is always forae 
failing in our believing till believing is ended, and 
feeing comes in its room. As ye have therefore receive 
ed Chrift J ejus the Lord^ fo walk ye in him : Rooted 
and built up in hivi^ and eftabli/bed in the faiths as ye 
have been taught^ abounding therein with thank/giving^ 
Col. ii. 6, 7. Wherein obferve the variety of cKprel- 
fions concerning faith, i. There is Receiving. 2. 
Walking. 3. Rooting. 4. Bui /ding, 5. Stabttjbing* 
6. Abounding, To which is added, 7. TJjankf giving. 

This leads me to the fecond exhortation, and ihat 
}s, that we Jhould anfwer the fait hfulnefs of God by be* 
iieving^ that all promi/ed good things J^all be given unto 
you, by the way. This is a needful anfwering the 
faithfuinefs of God, to believe all good by the way, 
and to believe nothiag but good ; this is believing, 
to expeel all good by the way from God, and nothing 
but good ; fo his promife runs, and Oh ! That our 
faith could faden upon it, and kindle with that graci- 
ous promife a flame of love. If fire from heaven would 
nil the altar and kindle the facrifice, to wit, our faith, 
what a blefled meeting would it be i* And I will make 
an iverlafting covenant with them^ that I will not turn 
away from them, to do them good ; but I will put my 
fear in their hearts^ that theyfJmll not depart from me, 
Jer. xxxii. 40. Pray obferve, we are not oniy to ex- 
pe£t all good from God, but are to expe«5t from God 
that all good fliall be with us ; we are not only to be- 
lieve he will do us always good, but we are to be- 
lieve, we (hall believe, we are to believe cur faith 
(liall never fail, for that is a part of the pronnife. / 
wt II put my fear in their hearts, that they/hall net de- 
part from me. God's faithfu!nefs is equally engaged 
in keeping his people from departing from him, as 
it is engaged in his net departing from them j he that 
fays, / wilt not turn away from them to do them good^ 
has aho faid, theyfhall not depart from me. Now what 
follows, ver. 41. lea^ i will rejoice over them to do 


Serm. X. the Prof effion of our Faith, 143 

them good^ and I ivill plant them ia this land, (that is 
a pan of the Old Teftament type from the body of 
the new covenant) affitredly^ with my whole hearty 
and -with my whole fouU Were ever fuch words fpok- 
en by God, with my whole hearty and with my foul f 
Now who can underftand what is in this ? God's 
whole heart, God's whole foul is in this proraifing, 
and (hould not the believer^s whole heart and whole 
foul, be in the believing of it ? VNThy this is but rea- 
fonable, that we (liould give God a meeting, this 
way has he promifed to do me good, with his wliole 
heart and his whole foul, and (hall not I truft him 
with my whole heart and my whole foul I Pfal. cxix.58, 
Proy. iii. 6. this is foon faid, but it is notfo foon done, 
1 fliall therefore upon this exhortation fpeak a lit- 
tle to thefe two particulars. 

1. The grounds of this faith that 1 am calling for. 

2. The cafes wherein this is efpecially to be a£led. 
1. As to the grounds of this faith that 1 am calling 

for, the anrwering God's faithfulnefs in the promife, 
in expe(f^ing good from him ; the grounds are two. 

\ft^ From the (late of the believer, ^dly^ From 
the nature, and order, and condition of the covenant. 

i^, From the (late of the believer, what fort of a 
man is a believer? He is one that is brought within 
the chariot failed with love^ for the daughters of Je- 
rufalem^ Cant. iii. 10. Every one that is brought to 
heaven, is carried in that chariot, love all ever, bot- 
tom and top and all the fides of it ; every believer is 
a prifcner of love, he is guarded by love, till he 
come to heaven ; every believer is an heir of promife, 
the promifes are his, he may count them in his ellate; 
all the charter we have, is the promife. God is our 
father, Chrift is our redeemer, the Holy Ghoft is 
our fan<5iifier, heaven is our inheritance, promifes 
are our charter : Such a man as this, that is an heir 
of promife, furely (hould expert the fulfilling of 
the promife?, the cftate his father hath given him, 
and may exped to be dealt with accordingly. 

T 2 idly^ 

144 '^^^^ fl^^^j^fl Adherence to Serm, X, 

2<i/y, The nature of the covenant calls for the ao- 
fwerinr of our faith unto God's faithfulnefs, as to 
all good by the way. 

1. All good and nothing but good is in the cove- 
nant ; all blefnngs are in it, and every thing that is 
iq it, is a bitlling, becaufe it is in h ; if the rod be in 
the covenant, as it is, it is good, becaufe it is 
there ; and it will be found to be good when we 
meet ir. / knozu^ O Lordy that thy judgvients are 
righty and that thou in fait hfuhiefs ha ft afflided me^ 
thou haft kept thy promife to me, Pfaim cxix. 75, 
and ver. 6>^. Thou haft dealt welt with thyfervant^ 
O Lordf according unto thy zvord. 

2, There is this in the covenant, that trufl: is God's 
appointed way for the getting the performance ; the 
Lord hath given many great promiles to us in the co- 
venant, and he expe^ls to be trufled when he pro- 
mife?, if we would have the accompli fliment of what 
we want. Befid(^s all the great promifes of the new 
covenant, obferve thofe mentioned in Ezek. xxxvi. 

25. 57. Then w'ul I fprinkle-clean water upon you ^ 

and ye Jh all be clean from all your Jilt hinefs^ and from 
all your idcls will I cleanfe you^ See. After all which 
h added, Thus faith the Lord Gcd^ I will yet for this 
be enquired cf by the hoafe of Ifrael, to do it for them. 
It was for llraei's fake that the promife was made, 
yet he will have Ifraers faith and prayers called upon 
and brought forth, in order to the accomplifhmeut of 
thein. As the brazen ferpent healed thofe that be- 
held it, Namb. xxi. 9. and as Jordan healed Naaman, 
after he had dipped himfelf feyen times ^ 2 Kings v. 
54. or as E'iiha's Itaf! would not raife up the dead fon, 
7 Kings iv. gi. So, unlefs we addrefs ourfelves to 
God by prayer for the performance of his promife?, 
which cannot be done without truffiug in him, we 
cannot exjie^r to receive any real advantages by the 
promiies: But if w^e do make our fupplicaiions un- 
to hini, re (hail undoubtedly partake of the proraif- 
ed rev/2rd?. 

3, There 

Serm. X. the Profejfton of our Faith. 145 

(3.) There is this in the covenant, that the promi- 
fer and fulfilier is the fame. God does not intrufl: the 
fulfilling of his proraifes to any body elfe ; we are not 
to take God's promife as a bill, and call upon another 
man to pay it : no, we are to bring then all to hioi- 
felf, he is the fulfilier. What a blelTed faying is that 
of good Hezekiah, Ifa. xxxviii. 15. Whatf^aU'Ifayf 
He hath both fpoken unto me^ and himjelf hath done itf 
I got the word from him, and I got the deed from him ; 
the words were the words of his mouth, and the deeds 
were the work of his hands .* He hath both fpoken un- 
to me, and himftlf hath done it. Here is a remark- 
able emphafis, :i fpiritual eying that this godly man 
had of the eminent hand in fulfilling his gracious word 
to him, 

Lajlly^ The great Mediator of this covenant 0- 
liges us to faith mightily. I defy a believer to take 
a look on Ghrift Jefus by faith, but in and by that 
look he will find ground for better believing. Look 
on him which way you will, fo it will be found. I 
will name a few things concerning this, how our faith 
fliouid be flrengthened in the expe<5ling of all good 
things, according to God's covenant, becaufe of Chriil's 
interefts in it. 

[r.] The promifes are in the hand of Jefus Chrifl: ; 
this covenant is eftabliflied in the hand of a Mediator, 
he gets the promifes. You think this" ftrange ; the 
promife of the forgivenefs of your fins, of the fanc- 
tifying of your nature, of the bringing you fafe to 
the kingdom of glory, are firil Chrift's promifes ; they 
are made to him for us, and he is fir(t intruded with 
them ; but the covenant is confirmed before of God 
in Chrid. The promife is made unto the fame Chrifi: 
pecfonal and ChriH: myftical, the head of the body, 
as the apoflie faith of it. Gal. iii. 18, 19. 

[2.] Our Lord is not only the receiver of the pro- 
mifes, but he hath already fulfilled the grand condi- 
tion of the covenant, the proper ftri6l cohdition of the 
covenant, whereupon, without any more, an immediate 


146 The Jledfajl Adherence t9 Serm. X, 

accefsto all the bleffings is given to every believer upon 
his pleading. When thou Jh alt make his foul an offer - 
i?:g for ftn^ that is the condition, hejhatlfee his feed ^ 
"^he /hall prolong his day s^ and the pUafure of the Lord 
fl} all fro [per in his hand. He Jhallfee of the travail 
of his foul y dnd fhall he fatisfiedy Ifa. liii. 10, 11, So 
that now when you are to believe the proraifes, you 
are to exercife your faith thus : " This promife hatli 
*' a great biefiing, that I (land greatly in need of ; 
•^ our Lord Jefus Chrift hath fulfilled the grand con- 
*' dition of the promife, and all the bleffiogs that arc 
•• :n the promife, are now made over to me in the 
« lafl will and teftament of our Lord Jefus Chrift> 
*' confirmed by his blood ; that as fure as Chrifl was 
•* dead and is alive, fo furely is the new teftament and 
*' all the bleiTings of it confirmed and fealed already." 
Our charters for heaven are fealed by our Lord's 
blood, we have no feai to put to them, but the fcal 
of our poor faith. 

[3.] Our Lord is rainiftering in the fan^luary a- 
bove. If Chrift were not interceding in heaven, a 
poor Chriftian would have a comfortlefs work in be- 
lieving on earth : but our poor believing and his grand 
interceiTion, when they chime, if I may fo fpeak, make 
wonderful mufic above. He fends his Spirit to work 
in us thofe defires after covenant-bleiTmgs, that he is 
pleading for in the virtue of his blood, in the higheft 
fan61uary. Let your faith then argue thus : " Jefus 
<' Chrifl is at the Father's right hand : I am a poor 
*' pleader at the footftool, but there is a ftrong pleader 
*^ at the King's elbow, if I may fo fpeak, in the high* 
'' eft court, and it is his bufinefs to mind my affairs.'* 
How (Wrongly would believers plead, how believingly 
Would they fend up their broken dcfires to heaven, if 
they did duly know, that all their petitions muft be 
fent up to God through Chrifr, and be perfumed 
with another kind of incenfe than they can give! So 
much for this, on what ground believers fiiould ex- 
pe(rt all good from God by the way. 

2. What 


Serm.X, the Profejton of our Faith. 147 

2. What are the cafes wherein this believing and 
glorifying God's faiihfulnefs is to be a<^ed ? The an- . , 
fwer is, In every thing. 1 (hall only name a few par- it j 
ticulars, which as they are the great trying of faith, I r 
wherein believing is moft difficult, fo they are tri- \ 
umphs of faith, and believing is raoft noble, when in 
ihefe cafes, 

17?, In cafe of great afBif^Ion from the hand of 
God. That is a cafe wherein believers are called ta 
expe^ good from God, when things to fenfe and rea* 
fon, and to common obfervation, Jeem to go againft 
us ; we fay fuch an one is in affli<flion. They arc 
called evil things fometimes by faints themfeives : 
Shall we receive good at the hand of God^ andjhall we 
not receive evil ^ fays patient Job, chap. ii. 10. But 
believers fhould learn to name things as God names 
them, and as the covenant names them ; we are to 
learn to name God's works by his word, and not ta 
name his words by his works. Aflli(flions are very 
common, and they are very many ; the heads of thenn 
are many, the various forts of them are innumerable : 
I will only name a few things concerning them, that 
are commonly raoft trying . to faith, and name them 
to prefs believing the more carncftly, 

(i.) There is the furprifmg unexpe^ednefs of af- 
fli(ftion, when it comes from a quarter that people did 
cot expefl it to come from. The apofile warns Chrif- 
tians as to this : Beloved^ think it not /I range ccncern-' 
ing the fiery trials "which is totry you^ as though fume 
Jlrange thing happened unto ycu, i Peter iv, 12. It is 
very obfervable, that there is hardly a perlon that is 
foundly afflifled, that is fmanly afflified, but he ap- 
prehends there is fomething fpeciai in h s cafe, which 
never was in any before. A man that hath a true 
fight of his f:ns, thinks they are the g'cateit chat ever 
were ; a man that rightly fees his own mercies, [hinks 
thofe the moft fpecial mercies that ever were j a man 
that narrowly looks upon his own afflifljons, feme:- 
times thinks them fo too. Sarprifmg, unexpecfecl, 


148 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. X. 

unacGOUDtable afHi<rtlons5 are commonly very trying ; 
and ufually this is in them, that the man thinks them 
greater than have befallen others. The infinite wif- 
dom of God can fhape and frame aElifrlons ; thofe 
which feem to be common, yet by fome form, by 
fome reafon, by fome circumftances of them, he (hall 
make them as fmgular, as if they had never been 
felt by any ; this is a part of the vvifdom of God. 
Our Lord fpeaks of a man's taking up his crofs. What, 
does not God give a common crofs to a great many ? 
No ; every one hath his own, and the Lord makes 
it, and (hapes it, and fits that crofs, which is fitted 
to be laid upon the back of his poor child.^ 

(2,) There is an oppreffing affliction that is a great 
trial, that feems to threaten all things, and to cut 
down the very root of all. A poor creature expe<5^s 
that the tree will be cut down from the very root of 
it, and that it will be quite plucked up. Lopping olt 
the branches is not fo formidable : / am otprtjjedy 
fays Hezekiah, Lord^ undertake for me. Sometimes a 
dark and dumb affliftion is a very great trial of faith, 
and a great many of the children of God meet with 
fuch. Says the poor creature, I have had fuch an 
afflidtion a long while upon me, and I have many times 
laid my ear to it, to hear what it fays, and there is 
no voice, if I may fo fpeak. If you cannot hear the 
rod's voice, pray hear God's voice in the word. Some- 
times the rod cries aloud, and fpeaks God's mind in 
the word ; fometimes we mud bring the word to the 
rod, and fee if we can put the rod upon the rack, and 
make it fpeak what God means thereby. Now, in 
all thefe cafes, in any fort of affll(ftion, let it be fur- 
prifing and flrange, let it be oppreiTive, let it be dark. 
Jet it be dumb and fpeak nothing, believers muft be- 
lieve ftill. 

[i.] Believe that whatever changes there are in 
God's way to you, there is none in his heart. The 
Lord hath changed his couatenaQce, the Lord hath 



Serm. X. the Prcftjfion of cur Faith, i^ip 

changed his countenance, the Lord hath changed his 
hand, only his heart remains unchangeable, {\\\\ that 
is to be firmly believed : As many as I love^ I rdnike 
and chajlen. People commonly think as foon as Chrift 
begins to rebuke and'chaflen, he begins to ceafe to 
Jove; but our Lord faysjalT: the contrary, Ilcv. iii. 
19. Sec aifb Prov. xxvii. 6. Pial. cxix. 75. 

[2.] Believe this firmly, that God's wifdom is ne- 
ver puzzled or nonpluiled, though you be. The Lord 
knows his matters, and he wiii not give you an ac- 
count of them; but we are to believe he knows w';ac 
he dcs, and he has a wife end before him. Chrif- 
lians do commonly imagine they are io wife, th^it if 
there were any pciTible good, that could be the fruit 
of fuch a difpenfation, they could perceive it, bur, 
after all their (1 ad ying, they cannot find what good 
this can turn to. If it he rnaroeHous in the eyes cf the 
rejiinant of this people in thofe days^ faith the Lord, 
fhoiild it afo he marvellous in mine eyes ? Zcch. viii. 6. 
A fevere rebuke given to an unbelieving people. 
^efl. Do you think God's eyes arc no better than 
yours I 

[3.3 In all the trials of your faith by affli£lion, be- 
lieve this, that God's eye is on you, when you can- 
not fee him : Behold^ fays Job, I go fcrxvard, but he 
is not there ; and backward^ but I cannot perceive 
him : On the left hand where he doth zvork, hut I can- 
not behold him : He hideth himfeif on the right hand^ 
that I cannot fee him^ Job xxiii. 8, 9. I take it, fays 
he, when t am tried, 1 (hall come forth as gold. 

Lajlly^ \n all your afflictions believe a fafe ifTue, 
that you (hall get well our of all : Many are the afflic- 
tions of the righteous ; but the Lord delivereth him out 
of them all^ Pfalm xxxiv. 19. Thefe are they which 
come out of great tribulation^ fays the angel to John, 
llev. vii. 14. There is no affliction can enter heaven, 
but L believe the beft talking of affl £lion that ever 
Was, is in heaven. All the glorified m heaven under- 
iland better all God's way with them. They were 

U many 

150 The Stedfajl Adherence to Serm. X, 

many of them plagued every morning, and chailened 
every moment ; their fouls were filled with bitternefs 
and forrow all their life long ; yet there is never a 
one there, but fees that every thing was well done, 
there was nothing that they could have been without ; 
their guide guided them well, and there is nothing 
amifs, nothing crooked in all God's way. It is v;ith 
refpcift to this, that the apodle calls to believers, to 
rejoice^ though in the midfl of manifold temptations ; 
why foP knowing that the trial of y cur faith (hali 
turn to praife, i Peter i. 6, 7. Te are in heavinefs^ 
through manifold temptations^ that is, as to the things 
of fenfe ; but, fays the apoftle, ye rejoice with joy un- 
fpeakahle^ as Chriflians ; and wherefore rejoice in the 
midft of heavinefs P Becaufe your faith, though much 
exercifed now, will make a glorious appearance at the 
lad day. One of the greateft praifes that can be gi- 
ven to the Lord by his people, is, that their faith 
glorified his faithfulnefs, whiKt ou earth, in the midft 
of their greateft diftrefs. 

^dly^ People fliould a£l: their faith on God's faith- 
fulnefs in cafe of dcfertion, w^hen our Lord hides 
bimfelf. Our Lord Jefus went before us as a pattern 
in this, My God, my God, why hafl thou forfaken me ** 
To put a my to a forfaking God, is brave believing. 
Our Lord's cafe, I know, is altogether fingular, but 
many believers have had forne meafure of his Spirit 
in ufing that word in their own cafe. When a man 
walks in darknefs^ and has no lights what (hall he do 
then ? Let him truf} in the name of the Lord, and flay 
upon his God, Ifa. 1. 10. If a man forbear irufting ia 
. the Lord, till darknefs be fcattered, and light coaie, 
and jf he fays it is time enough for me to believe, 
when (Tod lights the candle; no, fays the Spirit of- 
God, When he walks in darknefs^ and hath no lights 
let him then truft m the name of the Lord, 

T^diy, In the cafe of temptation, (I name thefe 
things which are fo common, that, in truth, believers 
lives are fpent about them), temptation from Satan. 


Serm. X. the Trofejfion of our Faith. 1 51 

Sirs, if Chrifiiaiis were wife, they would learn, if I 
may fo fpeak, of the devil ; the more the Lord loves 
us, the more the devil hates us ; and the more the 
devil hates us, the more we (liould love the Lord. 
As fcon as a Chriflian gets faiih, the devil falls upon 
him ; and when the devil falls upon him, he fliould 
believe the more. The time was, faith a believer, 
when he let me alone ; what makes this great change, 
that he is turned to a roaring lion P It is becaufe I 
left his camp, and turned to another mailer. Faith 
is efpecially to be afted in temptation, and vi6i:ory 
over temptation is by faith. When our Lord faid to 
Peter, ^imcny Simon, behold Satan bdth deftred to have 
you, that he may fijt you as wheat ; our Lord adds, 
But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not ; 
and if rhy faith do not fail, the devil will get the word 
of the bargain, Luke xxii. 32. The apoftle puts a 
fpeciai mark upon this piece of the Chriftian armour : 
Above ail, fays he, taking the fhield of faith, where- 
with ye fhall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the 
ivicked, Eph. vi. 16. That above ail does not only 
point forth the eminent ufe of faith, in the warfare 
of faith, but it feems to fet forth the excellency of a 
Chridian's armour in this matter. When Satan and 
a poor Chriitian engage together, the devil would 
fiift have the (hicld of faith laid down, and then he 
would be too hard for any of die children of Qod, 
for commonly one temptation comes not alone. Now 
thou art put upon examining and trying whether thou 
haft any faith. Oueftion all, doubt all, fays the de- 
vil, and let us argue upon the point. But if you en- 
ter with the devil upon ihefe terms, he will cerialniy 
be too hard for you ; lay down the conclufion of faith 
firmly, and tell the devil, I have intruded my foul 
with Chriil Jefus, what haft thou to f^iy to that P will 
be fail me or no P If thou fpeakeft any evil of my 
Lord, thou fpeakcfl: like the devil, and I do not re- 
gard thee ; but if thou fpeak evil of me, I will be- 
litve ihce, and can fpeak of ic myfelf, and tell it to 
U 2 iry 

152 The ftedfojl Adherence to Serm. X. 

my Lord, Pfal. xlii. 5, 6. The queftion tlut we are 
to propofe in the warfare of faith with the devil, i?. 
Is God true or no I If he be true in his promifes, I 
will believe them, aiid believe none that coiitradiifl: 
xhem, and in all my adverlities will I take the jhieid 
x)f faith. SeeEph. vi. 18. and Pfalm xci. 4. 

4A6/)', In the cafe of manifold delays and difap- 
pointments, as to the performance of pleaded promi- 
fes ; in this cafe, 1 fay, you are ftill to believe. If 
though yoii have taken the promife, though you have 
believed it, though you have prayed upon it, though 
you have been looking out' and waiting for; the fulfil- 
ment of it, (till delays come in the way, believe (iill. 
The Lord in bis wifdom has referved times and fea- 
fons tor our mercies, and for his fulfilling his word, 
all- to himfelf. He hath told his people what he will 
do for thera, but he baih not teid thera when. Tho' 
he made a great promife to Abraham, yet he did not 
tell him when he would perform' it ; that great be- 
liever mufl wait twenty-five years from the promife, 
till the performance came, yet no doubt he believed 
the promife every day. 

5//?/)', In cafes of challenges of confcience for ^m. 
Believers mud learn to exerclfe their faith upon this 
faithlulnefs of God, in the view and in the face of 
chaliengeS'of confcience for fin, Iniquities prevail a- 
ganijl 7ne, fays the pfalm-tl, Pfalm Ixv. 3. What 
could a man fay after this ? What .could you expe^l 
ihould be the next word P MuR it not be, And there- 
fore wrath (hall come upon me? No fuch thing : As 
for our tranfgrejjions^ thou Jh alt purge them away. If 
thou. Lord, jhouldft mark iniquities^ O Lord, who fhall 
flandf But there is fcrgivenefs with thee, that th.u 
mayfl he feared, Pfalm cxxx. x, 4. Oar confciences 
are fot^etimes diilurbed with challenges for old fins 
long firce committed, which, according to a fimilitude 
that a holy fiint of God gives us in his letters, like 
the ghofl of a dead friend ^ continually haunt us. An 


Serm. X. the FrofeJJton of our Faith, I^j 

old fabdued, pardoned fin, may fright one terribly ; 
we have great need, if I may fo fpeak, of ftroog 
faith, to converfe without fear with this ghoft, the 
ghoit of an old tranfgrefiion. A fm that is twenty 
years old may appear as formidable as the devil him- 
felf ; but if we do not learn to believe and raaintaia 
confidence of faith, notwithilanding challenges forfiD, 
who can believe ar all ? 

Lajlly^ In cafe of God's calling us unto any fpeci- 
al piece of fervice, fome fpecial piece of hard, lin- 
gular work, that we were never called to before ; in 
this cafe faith is to be exercifed, for help in time of 
need (hall be given us ; if the fervice be required of 
you, the aiTiilance for it (hall be given to you ; real- 
ly the faith of Chriftians is tried greatly wiih the 
change of work that God purs in their hands, they 
think they have fome tolerable meafure of faith for 
their daily and ufual work ; but if God call them to 
that they never a£led before, to fome new fingular 
piece of work, then believing is fpecially called for 
CO help out in this lime of need ; as we are to crave 
help in all times of need, fo we are to crave fpeci^ 
al help in times of fpecial need ; I named thefe fiy, 
as being thofe in v/hich the life of Chriftians is main- 
ly fpent, takeaway the ChrifiiaQ's afiiidlions and de« 
fertions, his temptations, challenges of confcience, 
delays in promifes, and fpecial turns of God's hand 
towards him, and pray what is left in a Chriftian's 
life, that is fo diflicult ? And fince our life is fpent a- 
bout thefe things, we mud live by faith, we are to 
exercife faith in and about all thefe things, that our 
life is mainly fpent in ; how bleffed a thing is it for a 
believer to go on towards heaven, and in every flep 
of the way to be able to fay. Though God hath 
changed my way towards me many times, though he 
hath brought me into many by-paths, yet blelTed be 
his name, there was never a path I was in, but I be- 
lieved in him, and if it were an evil one, I hoped to 
be delivered out of it, but if a good one, 1 believed 


154 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. XI. 

it would advance me towards heaven, 1 believed and 
praifed ; and io every one 1 believed it would turn to 
ray faivation. I knew they would bring me nearer 
to God, that they would at lad bring me to heaven, 
where i hope eternally to blefs him for them. 


Hebrews x. 23. 
For he is faithful that fromifed* 

FROM thefe words I ha^ c fpoke unto three doc- 
trines, and they having been again and again 
repeated unto you, you may eafily remember them ; 
1. That the ChrtJIiaK^s God is a pro mi ft ng God, 2. That 
this promififig God is faithful in all his pro?nifes. And g. 
that the faith of believers fhould arfwer the faithjul- 
nefs cf God in the promifes, 1 referred the main ap- 
plicaiion of the whole ''o<^rine unto this lafl: head, in 
laying the duty before you, that this truth does ex- 
a^, and crave of you. I named three things, where- 
in our faith fhould anfwer the faithfulnefs of God, 
^nd have already fpoke unto two of them. 

The firft was. That our faith ihould anfwer the 
faithfulnefs of God, in the grand general promife of 
faivation by Chrift Jefus : this is that faith that the 
word calls fo much for, it calls for it from unbeliev- 
ers, and this call is God's appointed means for work- 
ing the faith that it calls for ; faith comes by hearing, 
and hearing by the word of God ; the word of God tells 
us what we (liould believe, and the word of God, in 
the name of God, commands us to believe what God 
fays : this 1 did infift fometime upon. I know there 


Serm. XL the Profejfion of our Faith. 155 

are fomc who think it neediefs to prefs people to 
believe, and to put forth faith ; at firlt a great many 
poor creatures think it an eafy thing to belicYe, 
whereas it is a hard matter to awaken the confciesce ; 
but when the confcience is awakened, they think it 
an eafy matter to believe, but they" only think fa, 
tliat never knew what an awakened confcience was; 
Jet a poor fmner fee nothing before him but hell, 
and nothing within him but what deferves hell, it is 
only the wonderfull power of God, that can make 
this fmner truft Chrift upon a bare word for his eter- 
nal falvation ; believing and trufling the ioul on Chrift 
Jefus is found a mighty difficulty by all them, vatli 
are concerned about their falvation ; fome think this 
anfwering of God's promife in the gofpel improper 
to be laid before fmnersat firft ; thefe people imagine, 
that there is fomething that finners ihould be Called 
to before believing, but as long as thefe two princi- 
ples of truth remain, and remain they will, as long 
as the world lads, this is always a vain obje£lion. 
Firfl^ That no man can do any good, nor f<et any 
good, but in and from. Chrift Jefus. Secondly ^ That 
no man can do any good with Chrift, nor get any 
good from him, but in the way of believing ; and 
if fo, will our Lord give his help to them that will 
not ,^ive truft to him ? 

Thefecond thing 1 was laft day exhorting you to, 
was this, To anfwer the faithfulnefs of God in belie- 
ving for all covenant-bleffings by the way. This h 
properly the life of faith, and a great work this is to 
believe, as large as the whole covenant: to believe as 
firmly, as the promifes are firm ; to believe as iongai 
until the promifes turn to performances, how much of 
divine power is needful for this work ! Juftly does the 
apoftie call the work of faith a zoork of fa'iih z&ith 
power^ 2 Theft*, i. 1 1. j in which not only power is 
put forth by the creature that a<Sts it, but there is 
power put forth by God to draw it forth, and to keep 
it up. Of this. I fpoke laft dav. 


156 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. X, 

The third exhortation that remains to be handled, 
and that I (hall infift on, if the Lord will, a lirtle more, 
is, That believers fliould anfwer the faiihfulnefs of 
God in the proraife of eternal life, by believing the 
prize and hope of our callings as the apoftle calls it. 
The Spirit of God calls this eternal life, the promife^ 
as if all were contained in it ; 1 John ii. 25. And this 
is the promt fe that he hath promijed us^ even eternal 
life. Faith in this cafe that I am to fpeak of, is faith 
which entereth into that within theveily as the apo- 
ftle faith of hope^ Heb. vi. 19. 1 am now to dirc6l 
this exhortation unto them that have fome confidence 
and good confcience towards God ; that have in fome 
meafure regarded the former and performed ir, and 
that defire more and more to be in it^; fuch as have 
intruded their fouls by faith in Chrift's hand, upon 
the warrant of the promife of the gofpel ; fuch as are 
exercifed in living by faith upon the promifes of the 
new covenant ; it is upon them that I lay this burden, 
and a fweet one it is ; that you (hould believe eter- 
nal life. The apoftle John, chap. v. 13. fpeaks fome- 
thing to the fame purpofe : Ihe/e things have I writ- 
ten unto you (fays he) that believe on the name of the 
Son of God ; that ye may know that ye have eternal life^ 
and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God, 
The apoftle's meaning certainly was not, to perfuade 
them to believe that they were in heaven, for he and 
they both knew the contrary fufFiciemly ; but he calls 
them to believe that they had eternal life, that they 
had already a hold of it by faith ; that they had it 
in the root by Chrift's dwelling in their hearts by 
faith ; that they had it in the foundation of it, by 
their believing the record that God gave of his Son ; 
as is plain from the context. 

In profecuting of this exhortation, there are three 
things that 1 (hall have fome refpe<^ unto, and handle, 

1. What is to be believed, or bow it is that a Chrif- 
lian in the way of duty muft anfwer the faithfulnefs of 
God, in the promife of eternal life. 

2. What 

Serm, XT, the Prcfejlcn of our Fakh, 157 

2. What are the diiEcuhies that lie in a Chriflian's 
way, which make this believing io rare and fo hard. 

3. What the grounds of this faith are, hat belie- 
vers fliould improve, and in the improving of them 
triumph over all the dilHcuiiies that are- in the way. 

i'/V//, What it is believers are ro believe, when 
ihey are called to believe eternal life. I take it, as 
you may perceive, flri61iy, as conrradiilinguidied 
from all the covenani-blellings that believer^ have a 
right to in this life, and have a begun poiTeirioR of, 
that they fliould live by that faith, of, which 1 fpake 
in the formeir part. Bjt I (liall now refpefl: only ths 
pize of our high callingy ths mark that God has fee 
before us to run towards, to chear ourfelves wirh the 
faith of it before we come at it. And furely rhe 
fpeaking and hearing of heaven iliould be a plcafing 
fubje(fl unto all them that have anv hope to be in. it ; 
the fpeaking of it is fometimes bleiT^d by the Lord to 
make them mind it, that nevep thought of it before. 
The fum of it is in ihefe lour particulars, 

I. In the way of duiy, in anfwcring the faithfn!- 
nefs of God,, believers fliould believe this, that a^ 
foon as the foul departs from the body, it is immedi- 
ately received by Chrifl:. A believer is to honour 
God's faithfulnefs in believing this, that as foon as the 
foul and body are parted by death, the foul is imme- 
diately wiih the Lord. This the Spirit of God, by 
Paul's pen, teaches us, in two places, very fuliy, 2 Cor. 

V. r, "^'J^^^ P^^'^* '• 23. In rhe former the apoflle 

exprefiy alierts this do^lrine : For we know^ fay^- he, 
that if our earthly houfe of this tabernacle zvere dijfohed^ 
we have a building of Gody an houje not made with 
handsy eternal in the heavens ; knowing that whilfl we 
are at home in the body^ we are abfent from the Lord^ 
— We are confident^ ^ fiy-> ^^^-^^ zuiliing, rather to be 
■ abfent from the body ^ and to be prefent with the Lord, 
By how many words does the apoflle exprefiy teach 
us that the (fate of abfence from the body to a belie- 
ver, is immediately attended with a flace of prefence 

X with 

158 The ftedfajl Adherence to Serm. XI. 

with the Lord! And in Phil. i. 23. he fays, For I 
am in a flra'it betwixt twOy having a dejire to depart^ 
and to be with ChriJI, Detartin^^ and being with 
Cbrijl, are joined together, as ibkparable. As foon 
as Paul is gone out of ihis world, he is with Chrilh 
Our Lord gave a very great promife to the believing 
thief, for he v^'as then a great believer, though once 
as great a thief, Luke xxiii. 42. To-day, fays hz^Jbalt 
thou be luith me in paradife* " Thou art dying, thou 
*' art dravi^ing near to thy end, as i am, buc this day 
** thou and I {hall be together in a better date." 

2, Believers mud believe, and glorify God's faith- 
fulnefs in^ believing, that the bodies they leave Ihall 
be raifed up again glorious bodies, at the appearing 
of Chrift. This is as plain as any thing can be ex- 
prefTed to be in the word, that the body the believer 
leaves, as it were, in the duit, which dearh hath do- 
minion over, which rortennefs and corruption triumph 
over, the fame body fhaii live again, and be raifed 
by his mighty power : Knowing that he which raifed 
up the Lord Jefus, fJmll raife up us alfo by Jefus^ and 
Jhall prefent us zvith you^ 2 Cor. iv. 14. For if we be- 
lieve that Jefiis diedy and rcfe again, evenfo them alfa 
which fleep in Jefus, will God bring zvith him, i TheiT. 
iv. 14. See alfo i Cor. xv. 58. This faith Job ac- 
ted, and it is one of the finguiar exprelTions of a new 
teiiam^ent faith in the old tcAament times : For 1 knozif 
(fays he, chap, xix. 25, 20.) that my Redcejuer liveth^ 
and that he f hail ft and at the latter day upon the earth. 
And though after my skin, worms defray this bcdy^ yet 
in my fief? (hall Ifee God. A great part of the mean- 
ing of wliich is ; Job had, by this loaihforae difsafe 
that was fent upon him, in a manner dtzxh. beginning 
to prey upon him ; now, fiivs the good man, though 
worms (hould go on, and after they have deftroyed 
my fkin, they (hould dellroy my flelh alfo, yet in my 
fitfh Jhall I fee God ; zvhom I fhall fee for my f elf, and 
mine eyes [hall beholdy and not another, though my reins 
be confwned within me^ verfe 27. The faith of the 


Serm. XL the ProfeJJion of our Failh, 159 

refurre£lion of the dead, thoui^h plainly revealed ici 
the word, is not a matter fo eafily attained, there 
needs a great deal of faith to believe it firmly. How 
quietly, how patiently, how cheerfully would believ- 
ers look upon death feizing them, and coming in up- 
on them, either gradually by age and the infirmities 
of ir, or more violendy and fpeedily by ficknefs and 
difeafes ; how quietly would they look upon the tum- 
bling down of this earthly tabernacle, if they believ- 
ed this firmly ? For our converJat'iGn is in heaven^ from 
whence alfo we lock for the Saviour, the Lord Jefus 
Chrift : what will he do when he comes? Here 13 
one thing, fays the.apoille, he will do, he will change 
cur vile body, that it may be faJJnoned like unto his 
glorious body, according to the working whereby he is 
able -even tsfubdue all things unto himfelf, Phil. iii. 20, 
21. The faith of the refurreiSlion of the dead can 
never flaad, but upon the prop of divine omnipoten- 
cy. It is founded upon this, That he has faid it that 
can do every thing. Thereupon whea our Lord 
checks the Sadducees for their infidelity, he faith, 
Te do err, not knoiving the fcriptures, nor the power of 
G(5(i, JViatth. xxii, 29. if you underftood the fcrip- 
tures fpiritualiy, you would not have aflced fuch a 
qticflioc m dcrifion of the: refurre<flion ; it you knew 
the power of God, you would firirJy believe that God 
can perform it. Our Lord tries Martha with this, 
John xi. 25, 26. / am the refurredion, and th^ life : 
be that btlieveth in me, though he were dead, yet Jh all 
he live ; and whofoever liveth and believeth in me,jhall 
never die. Btlievefl thou this f Our Lord, in the 
queflioniog of ir, hints the difHculty that was in it, 
and fome backwardnefs unto this believing that he 
perceived in the good woman. See alfo Luke x.s. 

3. That the departed foul and the raifed^body fnall 
be eternally united together. This is a part of that 
faith that we owe to the faithfulnefs of God in the 
pr^mife of eternal life, that not only the body {hail 

X 2 be 

l6o The jledfaj} Adherence to Serm. XI. 

be raifed, but that our fpirit Tnall again, by the migh- 
ty power of God, take .poirciTion of theie fame bo- 
dies. It is the f^me body the apoftle (fill fpeaks of, 
wlien he faith, It is /own in difionour, it is ra'ifsd in 
glory; it is fown in iveaknefs^ it is raifed in power ; 
it is foivn a natural bod}\ it is raifed a fpiritual body^ 
Sec. i Cor. XV. 4^, 44, &c, 

4. That this united foul and body (hall be unfpeak- 
ably bleiltd in the highefi: heavens with that that ig 
called the reward of eternal life. This, I fay, is the 
iUm of what we are called to believe, and is the duty 
Of every believer to believe, in anfwering ».he faith- 
fulnefs of God in the prornife that .he hath promifed ; 
that when he fees good we Ihall live here no longer, 
he will immediately receive our departing fouls ; Lord 
Je/us, receive my fpirit ; that when his appointed time 
conits, when the morning comes, he will alfo in pow- 
er and mercy vifit our rottennefs and dud in the grave, 
and raife up a glorious tabernacle, and unite the foul 
therewi:h, and blefs both body and foul, the whole 
m^n, in the enjoyment of himfelf. Thefe are the 
common plain truths that are in this prornife of eter- 
nal life ; but this 1 would not leave thus ; therefore 
we will take a little farther notice of this great blef- 
fing, according to what we gather of it from the 
word ; for whoever they be that are called to the e.s:- 
ercife of faith, they had need diftinflly to know what 
it is they are to believe for, as well as what is the 
ground to believe upon. We find this great prize of 
our calling fpoken of to us in the word three ways, 
and I would handle it a little in all thefe three re- 

\J}, It is fpoken of Negatively^ by removing all 
the known evils from that ilace, ihat we know to be 
evils in this ftate ; this is a way I fay, whereby the 
Lord helps our weak (hallow apprehenfions about the 
prize of eternal life, that it is a ftate feparare from, 
and akogeiher above all the miferies, calamities, and e- 


S£S.M.'XI. the ProfeJJlon of our Faith. i6i 

vils that are allli£ling and diflurbing in the prefenc 
date. So we find in Rev. xxi. 4. And Godfliall wips 
away all tears from their eyes ^ and there Jhall be no 
more deaths neither forroiv^ nor crying^ neither Jhall 
there be any more pain : for the former things are paf 
fed away. Sorrow and caufe of forrow are To infe- 
parable from the (late we live in, that in a manner 
we do not know how to live without them, nor to 
think of our hfe, as feparate from them ; we all know 
how natural it is for people to frame apprehenfions 
ok a happy {late, by removing of miferies from their 
thoughts and defires : Now take all the heaps of mi- 
feries you know, and concerning thefe you may fay, 
none of tl^efe things are there, there is no fin, there 
is no forrow, there is no fickncfs, there is no diflurb- 
ance without nor within, there is nothing at all of 
thofe things, that we are now daily exercifed with 
and bewail before God and men ; now this negative 
notion of it leads no further than we can diiUndly 
know. We know what an evil thefe things are, but 
we do not know what a great happinefs it is to be 
quite rid of them all, we know what a trouble paia 
is, and what a bleillng eafe is, what a trouble there 
is in ficknefs, vvhat a comfort in health, what trouble 
there is in croiT^s, loffss, diiturbances, in this world, 
we know a little of the mifery of them, and the hap- 
pinefs of being rid of them, but we cannot conceive 
a right notion of that frate, wherein all things that 
are evil (hall be quite removed ; therefore you may 
find ail along the believer's faith goes beyond his 
knowJedge in the believing of eternal life. We believe 
what we cannot fully know, i Cor. ii. 9. But as it is 
ivritteUy eye hath not feen, nor ear heard^ neither hane 
entered into the heart of man^ the things which God 
hath prepared for them that love him. It is but a fmall 
portion thereof, that we come to attain the know- 
ledge of. 

idly^ This prize of our calling is known compara-^ 
tively, by comparing it with other things. We know 


1 62 The flcdfajl Adherence to Serm, XL 

ir a little oe^ativeiy, by removing a^li the evil from it 
we know. We know it comparatively, v/hea we pre- 
fer it to all the good we know : now there arc three 
things vyhich bear the name of good, and fome oi: 
tbetn iindefervedly, that it is to be coraparcd wirh, 
and greatly preferred above. 

(i ) The firil is tlie portion of the men of this 
world. This eternal life that we believe is a great deal 
bigger, higher and better than that. Lord^ deliver me^ 
fays the Pralmift, from the men of the world, which 
have their portion in this life. As for me, fays he, I 
€xpe<^ better things than this world can alTord, Pfalm 
xvi!. 14, 15. The portion of the men of this world 
is fiich a prize, that the greatcd part of the world 
run after it all their life long. What pain, what care, 
\vbat thoughts are fpent about thefe things? And 
when they have got them, what have they got ^ 
How poor and empty are they ? The believer's por- 
tion even in this life is a great deal better than that 
of the wicked. Better is that little the righteous man 
hath, than many revenues of the wicked ; how much 
more muft the prize of the high calling be ? We 
Would not, as it were, difgrace our prize fo much as 
IQ compare it with the portion of the men of the 
world ; and yet what a believer hath in time is beyond 
what they have. 

(2.) We compare this with the fpiritual allowance 
of believers in this life. There is a gracious allowance 
of fpiritual blellings given to believers in this life. We 
are to compare this with what remains, and to prefer 
our expeflations to our pofT-iTions ; there is foraething 
of the earned: of the inheritance given now, Eph. i. 
14, 15. There is fomething of communion v;i!h 
Chrifl, now that fills the heart with joy uvfpeakabky 
and full ^f glory, i Pet. i. 8. And what is that now 
ro what remains?- There have been believers that 
have had heaven upon earth in this world, but when 
they came to enjoy heaven in heaven, they doubt- 
Lefs found a vail difference. At that day, fays our 


Serm. XI. the Piofejfion of our Faith, 1^3 

Lord, ye fl) all know ^ that 1 am in my Father, and you 
in 7ne, and I in you. You (hall know it in a better 
manner, than now you can imagine ; all the enjoy- 
ments that God affords unto his people here, are all 
helps whereby believers may come to know and guefs 
better what heaven, is ; they fliould not fay it is good 
to be here becaufe of thefe, but he is good that gives 
that good here, and there are better things prepared 
that we (hould defire more fervently; all fpiritaal en- 
joyments that are given in time are for the (harpea- 
ing the believers appetite, and raifing their fpirits in 
defire of heaven the more fervently. 

(3.) We are to compare the prize of our calling, 
with the defire and longing of believers; oar defires 
are larger than our pcffeirions. There is never a be- 
liever but knows this in experience, that he cao de- 
fire a great deal more than he can hold. The reward 
of eternal life goes beyond our defires. The Lord^ 
works in us, and does for us exceeding 'abundantly a- 
bove all that we ask or thinks Eph. iii. 20. What ufe 
fnouid a man make of this name of God ? Think as 
as much as you can, and aflc as much as you caUj and 
in the faith of that alldng, and in the faiih joined to 
that thinking, expedl fome bleffing that is beyond 
both, beyond both our afiving, and our thinking : 
This is a fecond confideration, whereby we come to 
know what the prize of the high calling of God is, 
that we are called to believe, by comparing it either 
with the poor portion of the men of this world, or the 
fpiritual allowance of believers, or the extended de* 
fire of Chriflians. 

idly. The word of God fpeaks pofttively oif it, and 
we are to learn fomething of it this way ; but as poii- 
tive as the fpirit of God is in [peaking of it, we aite 
ftill very (hort of being able to apprehend ir, there 
is a great deal more fpoken of heaven in the word, 
than any faint out of heaven can ever underftandj 
may 1 fo fpeak, we iliall underfland the Bible a great 
deal belter when we come to heaven, efpeciaUy that 


1(^4 Jhe Jlcdfajl Adherence to Serm. XL 

part of it that fpeaks of heaven ; the blefling of eter- 
nal life, the greatnefs, the fweetnefs, the vaftnefs of 
it, is bed known by enjoying of it. Of the pofitive ac- 
count that we have in the word, concerning the flaie 
of behevers in eternal life, I would give you fome 
hints from the word of God, in thefe fix or fevea 

(i.) There is a glorious appearing and, manifefta- 
tion of Jefus Chrift fpokea of; from him grace be- 
gins, by him grace is carried on, with him glory be- 
gins, and continues for ever ; it is called the hlejjed 
hope^ and the glorious appearing of the ^reat God, ar:d 
cur Saviour Jefus Chrtfl^ Tit. ii, 13. The appear- 
ance, 1 fay, of Jefus Chrifl in his highefl glory. AP 
the appearances that Chrift hath made have been fome 
way under a vail, and under fome eclipfe, therefore 
is it that he is fo defpifed. In the iiifl appearance 
that Chrift made in the flefli, what a thick vail of in- 
firmity was upon it ? The JVord was made flefh^ fays 
the Holy Ghoft, arid dwelt among us (and we beheld 
his glory ^ the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) 
full of grace and truth, John i. 14. Every one could 
Dot do fo, he was made flefti, this is called an ap- 
pearance of Chrift, he hath brought life and ijnmor- 
tality to light by this appearance of his, 2 Tim. i. i. 
Chrift makes an appearance unto his chofen firft in 
calling them, afterwards in vifiting of them; when he 
fi.rft comes to call a poor creature, this appearance 
of Jefus Chrift is under a vail, ftill it is Chrift in the 
word, Chrift un^er the vail of ordinances, Chrift in 
the means ; many times he is not known, when he 
does appear. Many poor fmners Chrift hath appear- 
ed to in his working upon them, and he hath carried 
on his work a good while before they knew who it 
was that worked upon them ; his appearing after- 
wards to his people in love-vifits, is more fenfible, 
but far fliort of this ; / will mamfeft myfelf to hnn^ 
John xiv. 21, 23. There are fome appearances and 
manifeftations of Chrift unto the fouls of his people, 


Serm. XT, the ProfejJJon of our Faith. 165 

not wherein they fee any thing with their bodily eye?, 
or hear any voice with their bodily ear- , but in and 
under the form of prayer, the means ol his appoint- 
ment, there is a gracious difplay of all the glory that 
paffes like a beam upon their foul?, that they can 
fay, this is the Lord, this is Chrift, this is he I have 
waited for ; the (late of eternal life is incomparably 
beyond all this; there is a glorious appearance of 
Chrifl : The word fpeaks of ii fo, as if Chiid had ne- 
ver appeared before ; Col. iii. 4. When Ckiifl who 
is our life /hall appear^ the^ Jhall ye alfo appear with 
hiJii in glory y i John iii. 2. We know, that when he 
Jh all appear, we JJjall he like him, for ive Jhad fee him 
as he is, 

(2.) The word fpeaks of this bleffed (late, that is 
the hope of our calling, under the notion of a full 
vifion of hirn, or of feeing him ; he not only apr^ ;rs 
in his. glory, but that glory is feen by his people; 
thence fprings their happinefs. Our Lord Chriit 
knew beft what heaven was; it is beff learning what 
it is by fpeaking of it. See how he prays, Johii xvii, 
24, Father, I will that they alfo^ who?n thou ha/l 
given ine, be with me where I am ; that they may be- 
hold my glory which thou ha fl given me, Obferve 
Chrifl: there plainly fliews us, what is his great defiga 
in defiring to have all liis people with him,' and what 
way it is he intends to make them bleiTed, by behold- 
ing the glory the father hath given him. Now when 
we are living in this body, and are compaiTed about 
with frailty without, and fii) within, any fmgular ap- 
pearance of his glory is dillurbing and dreadful to us; 
may I fpeak fuch a word, and you ucderiland it right- 
ly, there is never a believer fo comfortable, but Je- 
fus Chrift could render that perfon a very m^ferable 
creature, by a difplay of his glory ; faints m;^vy defire 
more now than they are able to take in. / befcech thee 
fijew me thy glory, fauh Mofes, but the Lord anfwers 
him, Thou can/} not fee my face ^ for there fh all no man 
fere me, and live, Exod. xxxiii, ip, 20. Obferve liie 

• Y vifioQ 

1 66 The StedfaJ} Adherence U Serm. XI 

■vifion that the Prophet Ifaiah had, was a fight ot 
Chrift, and was a fight of his glory too, Ifa. vi. i, 5. 
commented upon by the Holy Ghoft, John xii. 41. 
Tbe/e things^ faid Efaias, when he Jaw his glory ^ and 
/pake of him. Now furely you would think, that when 
there is a difcovery made of the glory of Chrifl unto 
fuch a man as Ifaiah, fo long before, that there 
fliould be a very great contentment therewith ; why 
Abraham faw Chrift's day afar off and was glad, A- 
braham's heart was cheared by believing Chrid'sday, 
and feeing his glory afar oil. But when this glory 
(hone, if I may fo fpeak, in thofe beams that mortal 
eyes were not able to receive, Ifaiah faith, Wo is me^ 

for I am undoney -for mine eyes have feen the King^ 

the Lord of hofls. Here is a fight not fit for a fiuncr 
to bear, the frailty 1 fay of our flefh with the cemain- 
ing corruption that is in our natures, makes that the 
full vifions of the glory of Chriil are very unfit for 
us, and we for them ; but this is the ftate promifed 
unto us in the gofpel, When he fhail appear^ wejhall 
he like him ^ for we fh all fee him as he isy i John iii. 
2. What have we never feen Chrifl as he is, be- 
fore I No, ye only fee him in the glafs of the gof- 
pel ; ye only fee him under that vail, and in that iha- 
dow that fs fitted for our prefent ftate ; hence it comes 
to pafs, that it is faid concerning believers in this 
day, 'That Chrijl jhall be glorified in his faint s^ and 
admired in all them that believe, 2 Thefi". i. 10, 

(3 ) In this ftate there is full conformity to a feen 
Chrift ; Chrtft in his glory is fully feen by the glorl- 
iied eye, and perfc<^ conformity to him refulteth 
therefrom. For according to the meafures of clear- 
nefs with which we fee Chrift by faith, are the mea- 
fures of our conformity to him now, 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
Bat ive all with open face ^ beholding as in a glafs the 
glory of the Lord^ are changed into the fame tviage^ 
from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 
Pray obierve, the gradual progrefs of fiin<51:ificaiion 
in a renewed man j it is carried on by the vifions of 


Serm. XI. the Profefion of our Faiths 167 

Chrift by faith now ; the more clearly the eye of 
faith takes up Chrift, the more ftroQg and abiding 
imprelTions of iikenefs are upon the foul. But what 
perfect conformity to him is, we cannot yet conceive, 
if I may oiFer fuch a fimilitude, we are fuch dung- 
hills, fo dark, that when the Sun of righteoufnefs 
ftiines upon us, there is but a little beam left, jud 
enough to teftify that the fun haih (hone upon us ; 
but the ftate of glory will render a believer both in 
foul and body like a cryflal wall, that will refle£l the 
image of the Sun of righteoufnefs mod purely and 
refplendentiy. The ftate of happinefs and eternal 
life confifts in being like Chrift : We [hall he like him^ 
for ive Jball fee him as he is ; the conformity is car- 
ried on by that feeing : I fkall he fatisfied when I a- 
-wake^ with thy Iikenefs^ Pfalm xvii. 15. 

(4 ) There is a ftate of conftant fcrving him fpo- 
ken of, a ftate of unwearied delightful ferving of Je- 
fus Chrift. Heaven would not be heaven to a hea- 
venly mind, if there were no fervice to Chrift in 
it. It is ftrange to fee how the apoftle values fervice 
to Chrift on earth fo highly, thit he lays it in the 
balance with the enjoyment of Chrift in heaven, and 
be cannot tell well which to chufe : I a?n in a flrait 
betwixt HvOy (fiiys he), having a dejire to depart, and 
to be with Cbrijl ; which is far better : Never thelefs^ 
to abide in the ^efi, is more needful for you. It is na- 
tural, I fay, to a f<iirit to love fervice. It is promi- 
it6^ ihnt hey f hall fee his face ^ and his name fh ail be 
in their foreheads. '-'His fervants /hall ferve him. Rev. 
xxi. 3, 4. See alfo chap iv. 10. Little we can do 
for Chrift and his glory while we are here, and we 
fhould be deeply humbled that we can do fo little. 
Chriftians, lay firm hold upon eternal life by ftroiig 
faith. You (hall bring more glory to Chrift the firll: 
half-hour in heaven, than ever you did, if you lived 
fourfcore years, in believing, and praying, and wref- 
tling here on earth.' There is pure iiQlefs ferving 

y 2 that 

1 68 The Jledfaft Adherence to Serm. XL 

that is tendered with delight, and received accord- 

(5-) There is inexpreiTible fatisfa£lion and content- 
ment in this blelTed llaie. h is properly called hap- 
pinefs. Whatever there be of goodnefs, the relifh 
of ihat goodnefs (lands in the lonl's contentment : 
John xvi. 2 2. And ye now thtrefore have for row ^ (ays 
our Lord, when about to depart, to his difciples : hut 
/, fays he, will Jee you again, and your heart /hall re* 
joice^ and your joy no ?7ian taketh from you. Tour heart 
Jhall rejoice, A heart full of joy is not to be expected 
by believers till this great day come ; but then the 
heart (hall be fo full of joy, that there Ihall be fio 
room for any thing elfe. \ know there are fome fud- 
den floods of joy that the Lord gives even here, and 
fuch as there feems to be no room left for any thing 
elfe ; but though this joy fill the whole heart, yet 
flay a little while, and the flood will dry, the flood 
will grow fmaller and fmaller, and the old darknefs 
will enter again. This joy will be taken away one 
way, or other j but in the (late above, our joy (liali 
have no end. 

Laftly^ To complete all, there is eternity in this 
blcffednefs. Ever and .?i>^/- are the main things in 
heaven and hell. Take eternity out of heaven, it 
would turn heaven into an hell : take eternity out of 
hell, and it would turn hell into a heaven. Eternity 
is the joy of heaven, and the torment of hell. Poor 
Peter was little time in heaven, as he thought : Lord^ 
fays he, it is good fo be here. But all that are got up 
yonder may fay rightly, It is good to be here^ and 
good to be eternally here^ to be ever with the Lord. 
The greater any bleilednefs be, it is greatly inhanced 
by its lading; the greater any mifery be, it is greatly 
aggravated by its continuance. Where the greateft 
good comes to be enjoyed with the longeft duration, 
even eternity, what inexpreiTible joy is there ! But 
where the greateft rnifery is to be ioflii^led unto eter- 
nity, what vad heighteaiog is it of the mifery ! So 


Serm. XI. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, i6^ 

much now fliall ferve for the firft thing, what it is 
that we are to believe, when we are called to glori- 
fy God's faithfulnefs in believing the prize of our 
calling, that after we have given glory to God by be- 
lieving for all the good things by the way, we may 
glorify him, by believing the good home he hath 
prepared for us. 


I a/k you in the firfl place. Do you believe that 
there is fuch a hope of this calling ? Chriftianity is a 
defpifed thing. Chriftians are a defpifed people, be- 
caufe the prize is unknown to the defpifers. Do you 
believe firmly, I fay, that there is fuch a (late, and 
that all that are departed in the Lord are bleffed, be- 
caufe they are entered upon the enjoyment of it ; and 
that all that believe on him, fliall certainly enjoy it in 
hi^ good time ? 1 would reckon, that that man were 
.fairly fetting out for heaven, who firmly believes that 
there is one, and hath his heart filled with a fenfe of 
it, as a great invaluable bleiung above all that time 
can talk of, 

2. Mud not an intereft in this prize of our calling 
be well worthy ihe having, and the knowledge of it 
well worthy the feeking ? Are heaven and hell fo 
fmall things, and thefe different dates fo like one a- 
nother, that people fliould be unconcerned which of 
them be their lot ? Indeed the greateft part of people 
live, as if they had laid down this conclufion, I care 
not whether I come to heaven or hell. 

3. Should not Jefus Chrift our Lord be very pre- 
cious to us ? Whenever we think of the prize of our 
calling, we mud always remember Chrift, and our 
debt to him ; he bought this prize by his blood ; 
heaven is a fruit of the prize of Chrifl's blood, hea- 
ven is a palace built upon the foundation of the blood 
of the Son of God ; he hath bought it by his blood, 
and he offers it freely to us by his grace : Whoever 

I7<^ The Jledfajl Adhereme to Serm. Xll. 

accepts his offer, he takes them and leads them kindly 
by i\\z hand ; he brings many fons untoghry^ Heb. ii. 
lo. and at laft, when he hath brought them through 
all, he himfelf puts the crown on with his own hands : 
Locking, fciys the apoftle, for the mercy of our Lord 
Jefui Chrif}, unto eterfiai Ife. Ye have got a deal of 
mercy from him before, but the grand gift of mercy 
will be, when the believer (hall kneel at Chrill's feed 
and receive the crown of glory at his hands. It is im- 
polTible that a man can have right thoughts of heaven 
that has not right thoughts of Jefus Chrift ; and it is 
impoilible that a man can have right thoughts of Je- 
fus Chrift, but his heart will be filled with heaven. 


Hebrews x. 23. 
For he is faithful that promifed. 

THOUGH you have heard thefe words but 
once) if you be true Chriftiaos, you would ne- 
ver forget them ; how much more Ihould they be 
well reinembered when they have been fo often re- 
peated, and fo long fpoken to. That which remains 
Dow is a part of the application of the truths propof- 
cd from thefe words. I did propofe three exhorta- 
tions in the cooclufion of the application of this doc- 

' ^'i. That youfhould anfwerthe faithfulnefs of God, 
by believing the promife of falvation by Chrift Jefus. 
This is the firft aft of faith that God craves of all them 
to whom the gofpel is preached. Where-ever the a- 
poftles came with the glad tidings of falvation by 


Serm. XII, the FrofeJJton of our Faith, 171 

Chrift Jefus, their application was to all. Believe ; 
believe chis do^riue with the heart, and ye (hall be 

2. I was calling believers uqto the anfwenng of 
God's faithfuloefs, by truftiog him for all coyenaot- 
bleffiDgs by the way. And, 

3. By anfwering God's faiihfulnefs by faith, as to 
the end, eternal life, the great hope of our calliog ; 
the hope of eternal lifey as the apoUle Paul calls ir, 
which Gcd that cannot lie, pro?nifed before the world, 
legan^ Titus i. 1, 2. in the handling this exhonad- 
on, there were three heads I propofed to fpeak to. 

//>/?, What is to be believed, when a believer ?s 
called to believe eternal life promi fed to him in thjg 
gofpel ; and this I fpent the lad time in difcourriQff 
to. Believers are called to. believe, that as foon a^ 
the foul is diilodged from the body, ii: is prefect witli 
ihe Lord. They are to believe, that the fame body 
that is laid in the grave and rots there, Ihall be raifed 
again in glory, at the appearance of Jefus Chrid. 
They are to believe that this departed foul, and this 
body raifed again fhall be eternally united, never to 
part morp. Lafily\ That in this ftate of perfeft'on^ 
we Qiall be eternally blefled in the enjoyment of God 
in Chrift Jefus above. Of the particulars of whi?h I 
difcourfed the laft day. 

^ht fecond \hdX nov/ remains to be fpoke to, is^ a^* 
bout the diiHcuky of believing this. Shall I prove 
that it is difficult ? Is there pot proof enough, that 
this fai[h is fo very rare f Ic may be, you may Uiin^ 
it an unreafonable formife and. jeaJoufy, but jet eve-^ 
ly one's confciecce anfwer for themfelves. It may be 
(i d.o not know that it is) that, in all this alTembly^ 
there is not one perfon that can tell when they fpeof 
a calm fweet hour in. the hope of the glpry o^ God, 
when they had a fatisfyiog rejoicing in the hope o^ 
this great prize of cur calling. If this be rare^ fure- 
ly the faith ofit is rare ; for it. is impoffible thsiC the 

:■■■■■■■■■' '-.fauii 

172 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XIE 

faith of the glory to come can be ftcong in the heaft, 
but joy will fpring up thereProm : By whom alfo we 
have accefs by faith into this grace wherein we ft and y 
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God, Romans v. 2, 
Chriftians know this well enough, that when they 
have tried their faith upon a great many promifes of 
the word, fometimes upon the promife of God, hear- 
ing prayer, that their faith does pretty well there; 
fometimes upon the promifes of pardon of fin through 
the blood of Jefus Chrifl:, and their faith anfwers : 
but bring them clofe to believing the prize and crown 
of glory, there frequently their faith fails them, they 
cannot draw it forth fo confidently as they would. 
That it is difficult and rare, I take for granted, and 
ftiall not fpend time to prove that which almoft every 
exercifed confcience in the company has a witnefs 
within to the truth of. My work then (hall be to 
ftiew you, whence it comes that believing of eternal 
life is fo very hard to be got, and is fo rarely found 
with Chriflians. 

I. Becaufe this great thing, eternal life, is greatly 
unknown to us. It doth not yet appear what wefhall 
be^ fays the apoftle, i John iii. i.-— Neither have en- 
tered into the heart of man, the things whicLGod hath 
prepared for them that love him, 1 Cor. ii. 9. Now, it is 
true the apoftle fays, that it is 7nade manifefl by the ap- 
pearing of our Saviour Jefus Chrift, who hath aboUfhed 
death, and hath brought life and immortality to light, . 
thro* the gofpel, 2 Tim. i. lo. Yet tho' it be made ma- 
nifeft, we are rather told that it is, than what it is. This 
gl.ory to come is yet zuithin the veil, as the apoftle 
faith of it, Heb. vi. 19. where Chrift is, whither the 
forerunner is for us entered. There is an exprefs allu- 
fion to the typical high prieft, who, when he had oft"er- 
ed the blood of atonement upon the altar, carried that 
blood within the veil to the mercy-feat ; then he was 
quite out of the fight of the people, for he muft go 
in alone, and none elfe could look after him. Now, 


Serm. XII. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, 173 

how eafy is it to conceive his, that the darker the 
thing believed be 10 us, the harder believi.g is? 
Mercies that we cannot well tell how to conceive of, 
is it any wonder, we cannot te!i 'low to beheve iheni 
firiTily ? For believing has aii expectation of a blef- 
fing, as well as it has in it a trufting in the truth of 
the promifer. Heaven (o every believer is more 
ftraoge, than Canaan was ro Abrahanti, who-'by faith, 
v^hen he was called of God, went into that place, and 
he went out^ not knowing whither he went ; he was 
called to go to a land which he never faw before ; 
only the difference is great in this, that ihough it 
was a better fpot of the earth, than that where he 
was born or dwelt, yet it was a fpot of the fame 
earth, but heaven is a quite different country, Yitb, 
xi. 8 

2. The vaft greatnefs and goodnefs of this prize, 
makes fonie difficulty to the faith o' ihe people of 
God. ' It is fo great, fo good, iha? they find it hard 
to believe the expreffions tliereof in the word, which 
are great and many. The hearts of believers are 
many times fo taken with them, and thar defervedly, 
when ihey have expatiated in their thoughts about 
the greatnefs of the hope of their calling, ihat they 
are ready fomeiimes to fay, And will God give fuch 
a blefling to me ? You know what is faid of the dif- 
ciples, and it is one of the oddefl accoujirs that can 
be given of unbelief, that while they beheld hirp, 
they belie'ved not for joy^ Luke xxiv. 4r. T'hey loved 
Chrlfl fo well, they forrowed for his death fo deep- 
ly, and were fo overjoyed at the fight of him riien 
again, that they could not tell how to believe their 
own eyes, as we ufually fay ; the news was, as they 
thought, too good to be true. People are fometinaes 
flacker to believe that which they would very f?.ia 
have come to pafs. Thus Jacobs heart fainted, when 
he was told that his fon Jofeph was yet alive, and 
more than that, was governor over all the land of E- 
gypty Geo. xlv. 26. 

Z 3. The 

174 ^^^A#^/ Adherence to Serm. XII 

5. The awfulnefs of the paflage to eternal life, 
makes the faith of it yet harder. If all believers 
were dealt with as Elijah was, that after they have 
accompli (hed their courfe of lervice and fulFering u- 
pon the earth, they (liouid be fen^ for, as it were in 
a chariot of fire, to be carried up to heaven ; it would 
be an ej^ if 1 may fo fpeak, fuirablc to their ex- 
pectation^ But now for a poor believer, that hath 
been fed all his life long with the promifes of eternal 
life in the gofpel, and has been cheering his heart 
thereby, that this man (hould lie down in the duff, 
Ihould walk through the vale and fliadow of death, 
fhould leave his body a prey to worms and rottennefs 
in the grave, this feemeth very hard. Will not eve- 
ry one fay, Is this the way to eternal life ? This is a 
ftrange way to heaven, that lies through death and 
the grave, and through the loweft and mod abje<^ 
ftate that a man can be in. Yet thus our Lord went 
into his glory, only bating the corruption of the 
grave, which he could not fuffer; but thro' death, and 
fafferings, and groanings, and pain, he yielded up 
the ghoft, was buried, and lay under the power of 
death, until the time appointed of the Father for his 
refurreftion out of if. There is no Chriilian, but 
finds this to be true which I fpeak, that the dark black 
palTage of death makes the difficulty great in believ- 
ing eternal life. How far remote is it from all our 
reafon, and from all our defires, that the lad ftep in 
cur journey to heaven, (hould be through fo thick 
and deep a mire as death itfelf is ? 

4. The myflery of the tiile and right that a belie- 
ver hath in eternal life, makes the believing of it the 
harder (till. His title and right to it lies in another, 
and not in bimfelf ; it lies in the righteoufnef^j, and 
worth, and purchafe, and merit of the Son of God ; 
fo that the faith of eternal life cannot be kept clear 
in the heart of a believer, unlefs Cbrifl, who is the 
hope of glory, be kept clear in our eye by faith, 

5. There 

Serm. XII. the Profejfion of our Faith. ijS 

5. There are many mifgivings of heart that belie" 
vers cannot well avoid ; and if they cannot avoid thenr:* 
they muft meet them ; and when they meet them* 
they muft wrellle with them, and overcome them. 
The poor Ifraelites are not to be excafed, but are 
much to be pitied ; they were brought out of the land 
of Egypt with a high hand, God granted them a great 
deliverance through the lled-fea, they fung joyfully 
upon the other fide in the view of the great difcom- 
fiture of all their enemies, and like enough they ex- 
pelled nothing, but very quickly they (liould come to 
the border of the good land. Bat when God led 
them about and tried them, they fmned ; when they 
finned, he punifhed them ; under their punifliment 
they repine and rebel, they vex him, and a great deal 
of forrowcame thereupon. Believers are in great dan- 
ger of fomething like this ; many fainiings and mifgiv- 
ings of heart feize upon believers as tothe hopeof their 
calling, (i.) Confcience of utter unworthinefs. (2.) 
Sen/e of great unmeetnefa for it. i. Confcience of 
utter unworrhinefs of this great prize, and every 
Chriftian hath this. No man will ever get to heaven 
that thinks he deferves it ; for it is certain, whoever 
thinks he deferves heaven, may conclude from the 
word of God, there is a bar and bolt drawn upon 
heaven's gates againft that proud finner ; for it is the 
gift of God through Jefus Chrift our Lord. But this 
is not ufually fo hard ; this temptation does not fo 
frequently diftrefs believers, as the other ; they know 
the reward of eternal life is a reward of grace ; they 
know that it was dearly bought, freely promifed, 
and h graciouily given unto the feed of Chrift : but 
here comes in tht /ecc?7d. A fenfe of great unmeet- 
nefs for it, fays the poor Chriftian ; I know I am un- 
w^onhy of it. And fo was Paul, the iaft hour of 
Paul's life, he was unworthy of heaven. But, fay 
you, here is the great difcouragement, I am unmeet 
for it. But confider, that God works meeinefs in his 
people for heaven : Givirjg thanks unto the Father^ 

Z 2 which 

Ij6 The fledjafl Adherence to Serm. XII. 

which hath made us jneet to be partakers of the inheri- 
tame of the Jaints in light y Col. i. 12, Though 
1 knowiha! the word there in the original might 
be very well otherwife rendered, who hath graced 
us and privileged us with his favour, as it may al- 
fo be rendered in 2 Corinth, iii. 6. But now this on- 
ly i would have to be confidered about meetnefs ; 
it is certain that none are polTeiTed oF heaven, bat 
they thi' are meet for it ; it is as certain that all be- 
lievers when rhey come to lay their claim to eternal 
life, are^ali alike unmeet in their own apprehenfions. 
There is a jTcat difference between forae and others, 
as to -heir meetnefs for heaven : an ordinary Chrif- 
tian muft not pretend to be as meet for heaven as 
Paul was ; but there is not a Chriftian but (lands u- 
pon the fame level with Paul, as to his pretenfions and 
claim to eternal life. What would Paul be at ? He 
would ht found in him, not having his own rightcouf- 
nefs ; and fo would every believer be. God works 
meetnefs for heaven in rhem, that he makes pofTef- 
fors of it in a deep myfterious way. The fenfe of 
this meetnefs is, that that is never to obftrufi: pure 
and mere faith. Suppcfe, and it is a cafe that 1 wifti 
it were not a ba'e fuppofuion, but were more fre- 
quent and with a good foundation j fuppofe, I fay, 
that the grace of God feize a poor young creature, 
call him early, prevent him from wallowing in the 
puddle and nr.ire of the world's wickednefs ; fuppofe 
Itill the fame grace fancTtify him, and this fan^lified 
creature fliouid grov^ up more and more unto the Ma- 
ture of a grown ^hiillian for many years in the houfe 
of God : now you will fay,Mhis man is meet for hea- 
ven ; he is fo, God hath made him fo. Pray now 
let this man be examined about his meetnefs, and let 
his laft plea as it were be heard, when he is knocking 
at heaven's gate for entry at lad. It is only upon the 
account of the common foundation that every belie- 
ver's faith is fixed upon ; God will fave none but thofe 
he fan(^ifies j but eternal life follows more immedi- 

Serm. XII. the ProfeJJton of our Faith, 177 

ately upon juftification ; our title to eternal life comes 
from the fame righteoufnefs that the forgivenefs of 
our fins flows from. 

6. There is a fpecial zdimiy of Satan in tempting 
believers, that makes this work yet the harder. The 
devil's great work in this world is to increafe bad 
works, and to hinder good works; to keep them that 
are bad, bad (till, and make them worfe ; and to hin- 
der them that are bad from being good, and the good 
from growing better, and the bed from being perfe<n:. 
Believers are the fpecial mark of the devil*s malice ; 
and there are two times wherein, be fure, if the de- 
vil may have his will, and he hath a great deal lent 
bim by our Lord ; there are two times wherein a poor 
child of God may be fure to meet with the devil, if 
the devil be not bound by more than an ordinary re- 
flraint. The iirfl: time is, when the poor ele(^ child 
of God is ftepping out of nature into grace ; the 
other is, when he is ftepping out of grace up to 
glory^ If the devil can pofiibly have his will, and it 
is rarely denied him, he will (hoot his fiery darts in 
ihefe cafes. When a poor finner is leaving Satan's 
camp, and going over into Chrift's kingdom, when 
he is juft upon delivery from the power of darknefs, 
and of being tranilated into the kingdom of his dear 
Son, then the devil bends his bow, and lets fly thick 
and apace. A great many poor creatures that never 
knew there was a devil in hell, or out of helj, till 
this time, as long as they were in nature and quiet, 
the devil was quiet too ; but when Chrift came to pull 
them, and draw them, and bring them home to him- 
felf, they then found they had been under the keep- 
ing of an enemy, that was loath to part with them. 
The lafl: cafe is much the fame : When a poor crea- 
ture is going over to Chrift, the devil is lofmg his 
right ; when going to heaven, the devil is lofmg all 
opportunity againft: him. There are few of the peo- 
ple of God that, in walking through the vale of the 
fiiadow of death, do not feel this ferpent bruifmg 



;178 The ftedfafl Adherence U Sekm. XII. 

their heel ; but if they once be well landed, the fmart 
wili quickly be gone. 

Lajlly^ There is fome wife deep contrivance of 
God in this matter. The Lord hath ordered the mat- 
ter of our falvarion fo, that believing (hall be hard, 
and the lad believing (till hardeil ; fo he hath order- 
ed our right to eternal life : all is lying in another, 
norhjDg in us; we have a right in and by Ghrift, our 
charter of eternal life lies in God's w6rd. In the 
condudlicg of the people of God, the Lord guides 
li^em fo, that pure believing is never put out of its 
cilice ; whatever he give, whatever path he leads 
them in, this remains continually ufefui and needful 
to them, that they mud flill go out of themfelves, 
and exerciie dependence upon another, upon the 
Lord alone. The whole contrivance of the way of 
our falvation, I mean the way of God's working with 
lis about falvaiion, is framed for this end, that belie- 
ving (hall be perpetually ufed ; the contrivance of 
the u'ay of falvation for us, is made on purpofe for 
the glory of God's grace through Chrifl: Jefus ; it is 
contrived for this purpofe, that all the way we (hould 
believe ; whatever we receive, we muft truft (till, 
for the great hope of our calling. So much for this 
fccond thing, What the difficuhies are of believing 
eternal life. 

The third thing is. How thefe are to be overcome ; 
where is ihe vidlory that believers mud have over all 
thefe difficulties ? And this is the vi6iory that over- 
Cometh the worlds even our faith ^ i John v. 4. The 
victory lies in this word, Faitbjul is he that -promifed. 
Let the difliculties that lie in the way of believing be 
uever (0 great, we mud hold up this as a (hield againd 
'them all, Faithful i^ he that promifed ; and in order 
ro guide you in the right way of uling it, I would of- 
fer you four or five things. 

I. Mufe, think often, both on the promife, and 
on the promifer. They whofe minds and thoughts 
are nor much taken up about the faithful God, and 


Serm. XII. the Profcjfwn of our Faith, 179 

Jhe faithful promife of God, bow can it be expe^ied 
that they ihould believe well? Entertain, I fay, a 
frequent favoury remembrance both of the pi*oiT>irc 
and proraifcr. Oar Lord charges his difci[)les with 
this, And now 1 Jfave told you before it come to psfs^ 
that when it is come to pafs^ ye might bcliet^^ John 
xiv. 29. and xvi. 4. Remember it then, that yoa 
may believe more. Can you imagine it poffibie, that 
fiiith (hould flourifn in the heart, when the proajife 
and promifer is out of- the eye, and out of the mind ? 
That is utterly impcfllble. 

2. Pray to the promifer upon the prornife. He 
that prays much, believes well ; and no man that ne- 
gle<^s prayer, can a£l faith. We pray upon the pro- 
mi fe to the promifer : Remember the word unto thy 

fervanty fays David, upon which thou haft caufed me to 
hope^ Pfalm cxix. 49. The promifes are given for our 
faith, and our faith is to be a£led in praying upon 
them ; and when we pray upon the proiniies, we 
pray to him that made them, and he that made thena 
can certainly perform them. 

3. Build upon the promifes^ lay "your weigl^t oa 
them. The apoflle Jude requires us to build up our^\ 

fehes'tn our mojl holy faith. Faith is on the promifes; 
and our building ourfelves upon our moft holy faith, 
is building on the promifes by faith. The proiiiifeof 
God can bear every thing, any thing, and we muil 
lay upon it; we muft lay every thing whatfosver u- 
pon the promife of God, all our defire, all our cares, 
all our weights, all our burthens, but efpecialiy of 
eternal life, which, as you know, we cannot bear 
ourfelves; let the promife of God bear them ; and 
in this matter of our eternal falvation, we know we 
cannot bear it of ourfelves. This burthen we mulir 
lay upon the promife, fnice it raulf be borne, or we 
are undone utterly. If this great affair of our eternal 
falvaii6n be not laid upon a foh'd unfinking fonndati- 
OD^ we are gone for ever ; there is no foundation, 


i8o The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. XII. 

but the foundation of God, that ftandeth fuce, iFat 
of his faithful word. 

4. You muft learn to reafon and argue upon the 
promifes. A belTed way of exercifmg faith is to be 
reafoning by faith. There are faith's reafonings that 
have a great deal of excellency in them, a great deal 
of ufe. If 1 may fo fpeak, it is a fort of pity that 
fuch good words (hould ever come out of fo wicked 
a mouth as Balaam's ; the man fpoke words of faith, 
that he knew nothing of; Numb, xxiii, 19. God is 
not a man that he Jhould I'le^ neither the fan of man 
that he Jhould repent : hath he fa'id^ and Jh all he not 
do it f or hath hefpokeUy and /hall he not make it good? 
With a better heart ufe thefe bleffed words. The 
Spirit of God overawed the man's tongue to fpeak 
them, and the Spirit of God guided Mofes's pen to 
write them ; therefore, though they are fpoken by 
a falfe prophet, it is a part of precious fcripture, it 
is of the arguings of faith : Hath God f aid ^ and/hall 
he not do it f There is never a man nor all the devils 
in hell (hall be able to fay. Here is a word oi God 
which he did not make good. See alfo, i Sara. xv. 
29. I would only help you to a few of thefe reafon- 
ings of faith, that you may think of and ufe at any 
time, as God inclines your hearts, 

ifi, God knew what he promifed, when he pro- 
mifed. Though God promifed me eternal life, I do 
Dot know what is in this eternal life, but God knows 
full well. We are puzzled, we are darkened in the 
ftudying the do^rine of grace, and the great prize 
of our calling ; but God knows it well ; he promi- 
mifes no bkfTing unknown to himfelf though it be 
unknown to us. 

2dly^ He knew to whom he gave the promife, he 
knew what they were, he knew what they would be, 
he knew what they would prove. When 'God deli- 
vered to me, faith a poor believer, the promife of eter- 
nal life in the gofpel, he knew what 1 was, in the day 
I laid hold of it, John xiv. 18. xvi. 31. xiii. 36, 38. 


Serm. Xli. the PiDfefon of our Faith. ig| 

idly^ This i$ arguing of faith, when the prormif^ 
and promifer hath engaged our truft aad cocfidenGe 
io any cafe, we may argnc upon that ;. he harh net 
only promiied, but he haih begotten expectations lit 
our hearts eonceniing the thing he hath fpoken gU 
and will he fail in the word upon which he has caufed 
us to hope? Haft thou added the power with thd 
word, io as to make roe hope \h it, and wiit thoil 
cot perform it ? Pfalm cxix. 49. 2 Sana, vih 20. 27. 

^thiy. Has Dot God begun to perfoTfa his promt- 
fes to us ; and diould we not argue by faith, th?t 
we fliould truft in them more and more ? The pro- 
mife of eternal hfe is begun to all believers ; He hath 
quickened us together with Chr'tfi^ and hath ra:fed ui 
up together in regeneration, and made us fit ingethef 
in heavenly places in him as our head ; and will not' 
reft come on then ? Being cor.fident^. fays i he apGillcji 
of this 'very things that he which hath heguh a good 
work in you^ zvili perform it until the day of Jefus 
Chrijl, Phii. i. 6. i Theff. v. 23, 24. ^ . . 

Lafllyy This is an arguing of faith^ God's defigfl 
in making, keeping, and performing this promife,- i^ 
the fame wish the believer's defign in receiring sitid 
refting on the promife ; the fame thing that God de= 
^igntdi in the making, and keeping, and fulfiUing hi^ 
t?t'ord ; the fame thing the believer dcfigns in his tak- 
ing, and truPdng, and waiting for the performance of 
the word. What is God's great defign ? God's great 
defign is to glorify'//-?^ exceeding riches cf his kifidhefs 
towards us in J^fus Ghrijl^ as the apollle^ rells ti?^ 
Eph. ih 7. What does the believer defign 1 He de^ 
figns the fame thing. God promifes us crernsl life' W 
the praiie of the giory of his grace in Ghrid , JefiJs J 
what more would the believer have ? In the day thaf. 
he lays hold on the promife by faith, he meaiis 1^0- 
thing eife but this ; he feeks nothing elfe, bat thst- 
he m.ay have eternal life, ro the praife of God^s grac(> 
in Chrift Jefus. Hath God dofrgned, in making thtl 
proaiife, to glorify Lis faithfulncfs P I, in believi^i^^:? 

A a ^f^ 

1 8 2 The Jledfajl Adherence to S e R m. XIl. 

the promlfe, defign the fame thing. Now, when- 
ever God and a poor believer jump in the fame de- 
fign, it is impoiTible that it ihould raiicarry. Indeed, 
if God derigned one thing, and we another, God 
would reach his end, and we fliould lament our folly ; 
but if we intend the fame thing in all our faith in the 
promifes, that God intends in making them, a dif- 
appointment is impoilible. See Phil. iii. 12. i Peter 
y. !0. 

The laft thing is. That you rauft take this truth of 
God, Faithful is he that promifes ^ and keep it in the 
hand of your faith in life and in death ; hold it fall 
continually, keep it ftill as your anchor. Wh?n the 
body is decayed, when Satan is tempting, when the 
heart is mifgiving, when pale death fettles upon your 
eye-lids, when an awful judgment is ftaring you in 
the face, nothing but thi^, Faithful is he that premi- 
fesy will fupport us. Weak is the believer, but 
faithful is the promifer. So much for thefe three 
exhortations that 1 promifed and have now fpoke to 
from thefe words. 

There is one more, and that I would conclude with. 
I have been exhorting you to glorify God's faithful- 
Def?, by venturing on the promife of falvation by 
Chrift in the gofpel ; to glorify God's faithfulnefs, 
by believing all covenant-bkffings by the way ; and 
to glorify God's faithfulnefs, by believing eternal life 
in the end. Only one word more, and that is the 
greatefl: of all. Glorify God's faithfulnefs by believ- 
ing the promifes about Sion and Chrift's kingdom, 
though its fiate be ever fo low. It was a good faying 
of a believer, in dark and difmal time?, " Now it is 
•' time to believe.*' The great believer had a kind of 
joy in dark hours, becaufe there was fuch a fair field 
for faith to a<51 on God's faithfulnefs. I believe many 
of you do not know much of the (late of the work of 
Chrift abroad in the world, and a great many arc lit- 
tle careful to know \{ thar iliould ; but, by all the 
little hints that we have any manner of way, it is ex- 

Serm. XII, the FrofeJJton of our Faith, 183 

ceeding low at this day : let us believe notwithfland- 
ing it \hd.\\ be well ; this great faithful promifer hath 
pro-oifed great things about Chrid's kingdom, and we 
raufl: believe greatly about theui ; the itrongeft faith 
(hould be put forth here. 

1. The promifes that we are to believe on for 
ChrilVs kingdom, are Chrift's promifes. My mean- 
ing.i^, not only that they are by Chrift, for all are 
fo : but they are made to him ; fo, in fome (znic^ all 
are too ; but they are made to him primarily, they 
are made to him for his body's fake, the church. 
Shall we not believe firm-y the promifes of the Fa- 
ther to the Son I Of the increafe of his government a:id 
peace there [ball be no end^ upon the throne of David^ 
and upon his kin-^dom^ to order it^ and to ejlablifh it 
with judgment and with jujlicey from henceforth even 
for ever : the zeal of the Lord of hofls will perform 

this^ Ifaiah ix. 7. Let the faith of believers believe 
it then. 

2. Thefe great promifes we are to believe about 
Chriii's kingdcrn, are moft free to the church, but 
they are moft dear to Chrid Jefus, and he hath al- 
ready paid the price for them ; he hath bought the 
kingdom already, and all that glory that is given him ; 
that name which is above every name^ that at the name 
of Jefus every knee fhould bow^ of things in heaven^ and 
things in earthy and things under the earth ; and that 
every tongue Jhould confefs^ thcjt Jefus ChriJ} is Lord^ 
to the glcry of God the father^ Phi!. ii,.io, i i. 

3. Tnt^t, promifes are greatly fulfilled already, and 
we Ihould believe them the more firmly upon that ac- 
count. Oar LoFd himfelf, the great heir of the pro- 
mifes is, as well as we can wiili him, and better ihun 
we can think, exaked at the Father's right hand a- 
bove all his enemies, if there were a hoft of all 
Chrift's enemies together, it may be, they would be 
as bold as ever ; but if ail the devils in hell, aild v^ll 
wicked men on earth were conjoined again-l hl-ii, 

A a 2 * y:t 

j[ 3 4 ^^^ fl^(^f^ft Adherencs to S £ r m . XII. 

yet a fight of his gjpry would chafe them to hell, 
5ph. iii. 2 0, 

4. Believe ihefe protr.ifes, for they are the largeft 
^nd moft comprehertfive of all. The promifes of 
Chrift's kingdom, are the Hock of all the faiih of God's 
fchiiclren Id 2!] ages. Pray whence comes thy coover- 
fioii, juflification, cailing, or beiag brought ho^ne to 
God I* It came cut of the womb of the promifes of 
ihc Father made to his Son : He Jball fee his feed ^ he 
Jhall prokng his day?, and the pie a fur e of the Lord jb all 
frcfper in h:s hand. By his knowledge flj all my righte- 
cus fervant f'flify many, for he fhall bear their iniqui^ 
tie.'^ Aii the faving grace that we receive, comes 
from tbefe promifes that are made to Chrift ; and 
what we deiire now, is but the fulfilling of them. 
What is there that we defirs in all this world but this, 
that a great many ungodly people may be converted, 
and tha: all the godly may be eminent in grace, and 
at lafi ripe for glory ? All thefe are contained in 
Chrift's promife?, thefe promifes wherein the faith- 
fulnefs of God is engaged i he hath pronii fed this to 
David, that he wiil eftablifl^ his feed for ever, and 
hui-duf his throne to all generations^ Pfalm Ixxxix. 4, 
You have ground fure enough for your faith, and you 
cantioc be more happy than to have faith enough for 
^]o':lx work. The Lord furnifn you with it. 


Serm. XIII. the Frofejfwn of our Faith. 185 


Hebrews x. 24, 

And let us confider one another to provoke unto love^ 
and to good works* 

HAVING fpoke fo long upon the preceding 
verfes, 1 thought fir, before i left this fcripture, 
not to pafs this that follows. The apoftle, from thefe 
grounds that you have heard at great length, from 
the 19th, 2och, and 21ft verfes, drav/s three exhor- 
tations. The firit is with refpefl: to our duty, in the 
22d verfe, Thar we (liould* draw near to him. The 
fecond exhonation is to a duty that refpe^ls our felve?, 
and our proreffion of faith, in the 23d verfe, which 
1 have flood long upon. The third exhortation is 
in the wordsTead, and that is to a duty that refpefleta 
others. This is indeed the right method, that con- 
fcience be made of what we are to God^ and care 
be taken of what concerneth ourfelves, before v;e' 
be in a cafe to difcharge any Chriftiaq duty tcvards 

This fcripture I mean to fpeak but a little to, and 
was fomething doubl^ljn fpeaking to it at all, not 
from any doubt cf its pertioency, but from a mighty 
doubt of its fruit; for the duty called to in this verfe 
is fo negle£ted, that it is not readily to be hoped peo- 
ple will much nriad -ir, when they hear of it, till at 
lead they begin to know faith the fpring of it : bur 
when 1 confidered that thefe two things, love and 
good works, are fo very fcarce, and that Chriftiaa 
fellowfhip is fo worn out of ufe aniongd them that are 
called Chriftians, I thought fomething ftiould be faid 
cf them, though I were never fo afraid that little good 


1 86 The JJedfaJl Adherence to Serm. XIII. 

would be done by it ; and therefore for once I will 
fpfak a little to it. 

In this verfe thtrrefore lying before us, there is an 
exhortation to a duty that is very remarkably expref- 
itd by the apoltle. There is, t. The matter of toe 
dury in general, to conftder one another. " Let us," 
would the apoitie fay, ** that are bretiiren, ao j that 
** know the wwy to the hoheit of ^.li, who have fome 
*' faith, 3 fprinkied confcieuce, and aclean converfa- 
*^ tien, aod have madeprofeffion oF .our faith, let us 
*' corjtder one another,*' The original imports a nar- 
row JooKing one. to another. . : . : ,- a y r: 

2. There is the end tij-it this duty is injoined ffer ; 
and that is, to provoke us unto love, and to good works ^ 
fo we read ii j but the word in tiie origin il is far 
more fig: uficau' than our tranfld-ion carrieih it: Con- 
fider one another in order to a paroxyfm^ or high 
hor fi[ of iove and good works, to flir up mightily 

I wouk' at this time fpeak a little to both of thefc. 

1. To the matter of the duty, Conftdering one ano-' 
ther ; then, 2. The end of it, provoking unto love^ and 
to good works, 

Firjly The dpty, Conjidering one another. This iin-, 
P^^eth, ; 

i. That there is a plurality of Chrifuaos. If (q, 
be there were but one Chriflian in one place, he would 
have nothing to do with fuch a place of fcripiure ; he 
i?on!y to walk wifely to them thai are without, where 
the providence of God calls him ; but this confideriag 
one another is no work for him. - ; 

2. li implies, that they are knojcvt! one to another. 
When the a[)o(lle bids us confider oni^acother, it ne- 
ceflu:ily implies, thai we may knotv^ne anocher ; and 
truly Chriftians are eafily known one to another. I 
do not mean them that go with the herd, that call 
themfelves Chrili ms ou! of conipliiuent, or fafliion, 
or are Chrifiiai.s by rtafon the place where they were 
born profeiTech Chriftianity ; if this be all, it is no 


Sernt. XIII. the PrnfeffJon of our Faith » 187 

eafy matter to know them : but fuch as have the pow- 
er of the grace of God at work on their heart ; and 
even here it is not fo hard a matter for one Chiiftiaa 
to know another. 

3. Here is implied, and follows in the text, their 
meeting together ; this is a part of their profeflion. 
Not for fa king the affemhling of yourfelvef together^ as 
the 'manner of fome is. This confidenng^ x\\2it implies 
thefe things is ipoken with relpe<5i: to our Lord the 
head, with refpe6l to ourfelves, and with refpe(5l to 
our brethren. The fame apoftie bids us conftder the 
Apcjile and High Fricft of our projeffion Cbrijl Jefus, 
chap. iii. i. That is a bleffed conlideration with re- 
fpedl: to patience in fufferiog : Conftder him that en- 
dured fuch contradidicn of finners agalnfl himfeif^ left 
ye be wearied and faint in your minds^ Heb. xii. 3. 
As if the apoftie would fay, " If you would ufe to 
*' ponder how Chrift was ufed in the world, and how 
*^ many foul tongues were employed againfc him, ye 
" would think little of all the contradictions you meet 
" with." For one fmner to contradi(^ another finner, 
is no great matter ; for a finner to contradict a faint, 
no great matter neither : but for wicked finners to 
contradiiH: the Saviour, is the wonder. We are bid 
to confider ourfelves, that if any fee another overtaken 
in a faulty zue might re/lore fuch an one in the fpirit 
of meeknefsy confidering ourfelves^ left we be afo tempted. 

Now particularly what this confidering of others is, 
will you hear of it, and mind it a little more, what 
that Chriftian duty of confidering Chriflians aright is. 
You know, that confidering is a ferious employmeDt 
of the mind ; this employment is about other folks, 
and this employment rauil be about every thing in 
them and about them that we can difcern. Thefe \ 
would reduce to three heads, their good, their bad, 
and what is indifferent, neither good nor bad in it- 
Mi^ but as it is guided. 

I/?; I,n confidering oF other Chriflrans, ye fliould 
confider their good, I will not fay, that always it is 


l88 . The Stedjajl Adherence to Serm. XIII, 

the wifeft work for a man, in coriiidering himfeir, 
to begin with confidering his good ; but 1 dare fay^ 
K is the wifelt work in confidering others, to do 
io. Our Lord, in the feven letters he wrote to the 
feven churches of Afia, begins always with their good, 
.if there were any good in theTi, and conimends them, 
before he takes notice of, and reproves for their faults* 
A Chriftian is very ill confidered, if ail his good and 
the bell things in him is forgot. Amongft thofe good 
things that are to be confidered in order to provoke unt6 
love, and to good works. 

(f.) We ihou'd con(l<ier the grace of God that is 
in them, when it becomes vifible, and viilble it will 
be, if of the right kind. Barnabas faw the grace of 
God among them at Antioch, A61s xi. 23. Theapo- 
{lles faw the grace of God that was given to Paul, 
Gah ii. 8, 9. Sirs, communion of faints is one of the 
articles of our creed, as we call it; and there is io 
much fpoken of it in the word, and it is fo great a 
bleffing, that it is a thing impoffible, that grace in 
faints fiiould not be kuowable by faints, if no maa 
could know the grace of God in any other but hiin- 
felf, that man indeed might have communion with 
God, but he could have no communion with 'he faints. 
The main thing that we are to regard and to confider 
in Chriliians, is the truth of the grace of God in them, 
their (hining in the image of their heavenly Father, 
and their partaking of the Spirit of Jofus. Where- 
ever thefe chara<fiers and fignatures are, a fpiritual 
eye can diicern them. 

(2.) We (hould confider the Ration they have in 
the body of Jefus Chrili:, and that alfo is difcera- 
able ; i mean, what ftate, what place, what room, 
the Lord hath called them to, or placed them in, nor 
with refpect to their office in the church ; that is a 
thing of another confideration, but with refpe£l to 
honourable fervice ; the Lord gives his grace in vari- 
ous meafures to his people, and infome it is a inatter 
very remarkable, that quickly after the Lord hath 


Serm. XIII. the Profejfion of our Faith. 289 

begun to coairaunicate of his grace to them, he in- 
tends to prove ihemin a higher Iphere than ordinary ; 
we muit conlider^ what marks the Lord hath put u< 
pon them, that we know to be Chridians of a mor(* 
than ordinary ilature, and ufcfalnefs, and, fervice \\\ 
the body of Chrift, of which the apoflle fpeaks fo 
much, I Cor, xii. ahnoft througboar. 

^d^y^ We are to coofidcr Chriftians in their bad 
things • can there be any provoking unto love and 
good works, iti feeing of their bad things ? Yes, a 
great deal j amongd the bad things la Chriftians, £ 

(n) Their fins and their infirmities ; thefe ate td 
be tenderly regarded, and looked upon, iheif weak- 
nefs, their (InmbliDg ; the apoftle calls much for a 
fpirit of meeknefs towards foch, a great deal of ten^* 
dernefs muft be ufed, happy are they that ein repre^ 
fent and exprefs the tender heart of jefus Chrift to-* 
wards Tinners in a Chriilian-lrke tendernefs^ towards 
finning and ftiimbiing believers ; fee what tendernef^ 
ihe apoflle requires as to this^ i Cor. vii^ There Is a 
poor weak Chriftian, it may be ftumbled, when he 
(aw people making ufeof what was ordinarily botjgh^ 
in the market, it may be a great deal of the liieat 
that was fold there, had firll been (hown before their 
idols and prefented in their temples, and the poor 
Weak Chriflisn fcrupled this, and thought it a Ud. 
thing for a Chrillian to make ufe of his liberty tbi5 
Way, fays the apdfile, ^Through thy knowledge Jh all ths 
^jueak hrtjther perijh^ for whojn Chrift died? ver. i i, 
tor my part fays he, 1 will eat no fief h while the world 
ftandeth^ lejl I make my brother to ojfend, 

(2.) We fhouid confider folks temptations and af^ 
iliflions, we Ihould look on them fo as to provoke tints 
lovey and to good works ; the more tempted and afHic- 
ted they are, the more need have they of pity froni 
the Lord their head, andof compaffion from ail their 
brethren. The apodle Paul exprelFed this tendernef:^ 
of fpirit, and oh for fome mcafiirs of it among ns I 
B b a G.^i^ 

Ipo The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XIII. 

2 Cor. xi. 29. Befides all his own fulFerings, of which 
he names a greac many, as perils by fea and land, 
and from his own couniry-men, as well as heathens, 
nay, all forts of dillrelTes, bcfides all thefe things, he 
had the care of all the churches devolved upon him, 
what fort of care was this think you ? Was this like 
the Pope's care that he pretends to have over tiae face 
of the earth, where-ever the name of a Chriftian is ? 
This was not thought of by the apoftle, the care of 
all the churches was only a care of tendernefs and 
fympatby, like the care of a mother to her children, 
when any of them are fick, Who is weak^ fays he, and I 
am not weak ? Who is of^ ended ^ and I hum not f What a 
brave fpirit is here ! Did not a diftrefs come upon a- 
ny Chrillian, the apoflie knew of, but his heart felt 
the fmart of it ? 

g^i/y. There are fome things that we are to confi- 
der in Chriftians, that are in themfelves neither good 
nor bad, but are of an indifferent nature, yet are to 
be confidered, and are of great ufe to f revoke to love, 
and to gord works, 

(i.) There is a confideration to be had of a Chrif- 
tian's education, of the place of his converfation, and 
of the means and helps that he hath or wants ; there 
is a great matter in this. I do not fay, that always 
fuch Chriftians are of the bed compleyjcn, as to their 
inner man, that are born again under the greateft ad- 
vantages of the gofpel mean?, only this is that 1 drive 
at, that the truth of the grace of God may be plant- 
ed in the heart of a poor creature, where the means 
of grace have been but finall, and his help and ad« 
vanages but few ; now a great deal of tendernefs is 
to be exercifed towards fuch a one ; the apollie takes 
frequent notice of it, as to himfelf, though indeed 
the grace of God to him was extraordinary ; A6ts 
xxii. 1 do not mean, that the apoftle thinks to exte- 
nuate his fm before God by the mentioning it, but ra- 
ther he mentions it to inhance the grace of God that 
took hold of him ; that it was a fufficient ground for 


Serm. XIII. the ProfeJJton of our Faith. 191 

abating the feverity oFcenfure from other Chrlftians, 
when they refle<^ed upon his former converfation. 

(2.) We Ihoiild in things indifferent confider their 
natural temper ; tempers of mind vary as much as 
features of the face, we commonly obferve it with 
great wonder, that there is not to be feen in a whole 
kingdom two faces fo exaflly alike, but that we dif- 
cern fome difference, and there is a great difference 
in the natural tempers of folks minds; where the 
grace of God is grafted upon a good natural temper ; 
it does fet it oiF, I acknowledge very beautifully ; a- 
bundance of grace fown in them, that have an equal 
temper of mind, makes a Chriflian appear very ami- 
able ; but the grace of God does not ordinarily fall 
there, the Lord commonly fows his grace in the worft 
foil, the heart of every man by nature is bad enough, 
but there are fome worfe than ordinary, and God 
plants his grace frequently thcx-e ; now when the 
grace of God comes, it is appointed to change our 
natural ftate, as v/e are fmners, and to make us be- 
lievers, ofiinners to make us faints- but it was never 
appointed to change our natural temper, he that is 
born, as it were, with a hafty, hot, warm temper, 
the grace of God may guide that, and put it into a 
right channel, but rarely, if ever, does remove it; 
now it is CO be obferved, that a great many of the of- 
fences, that Chriilians take one at another, are upon 
the account oFthe breakings out of their natural tem- 
pers, but we (hould give allowance to thefe things; 
it is very likely, that our Lord in calling hi^difciples 
had regard unio this, and names them accordingly ^ 
Peter feems to be a forward, zealous, bold man, 
James and John feem to have been warm hot men, 
they are called fons of thunder, would our Lord fay, 
I will graft my grace upon thefe men ? Alid I will 
make ufe of their natural temper for the fetting forth 
fome piece of work, that fuch and fuch are fitteit for ? 
We fee then the wonderful wifdom of God, in guid- 
iflg the corruptions of his people; and Ihould we 

B b 2 wonder 

19? The fledfafl Adherence io Serm. XilL 

wonder at this, that the fame wifdorn fliould guide 
?he n?.tural infirmities of his people, and make them 
feryiceable fo much the more in their time P We mnft 
ponfider I fay, one another's natural temper, and give 
foT,e grains of allowance thereto. 

{3.) Among the things indiiTereor, I reckon peo- 
ples outward eftate in the world : Not many wife 
after the flefh, not many noble, not many rich, and 
not many mighty are called, but now and then fome 
be, and it is very obfervabie, that through v;aat of a 
que confideration of this, a Chriftian that is very high 
and rich, and wife in this world, and a poor low 
weak Chriftian as to his condition and natural parts, 
pre ufually very bad company, they are very apt not 
duly to coniider one another, with refped 10 this ; 
the poor are apt to envy them that are above them, 
and they that are high to defpife them that are below 
them, the word of God warns again if both. 

(4.) People's age and (landing in Chrift's houfe, is 
10 be coufidered by us ; when we confider one ano- 
ther, we are not, we mull not expe£> thofe experi- 
ences and attainments in a novice, and one chat is 
newly come to the faiih, thai we may look for, and 
expe^ in them that are of long (landing in the houfe 
cf the Lord, the apoiiic takes notice of this, and he 
checks them that had ihis ftandinpr. For when for 
^he time^ fays he, y ought tc be teachers^ yc have need 
that one teach you a-^ain^ ivhich he the fi^fl principles 
cf the oracles of God ; and are become fuch as have 
■(leed of milk ^ and not of firong meat. See how the fpirit 
of God by Paul directs T'imothy to his carriage, i 
l.lpift. v^ I. Rebuke not an elder^ fays he, but entreat 
Dim as a father, and the younger men as brethren. The 
flder women as fncthers, the younger as fiflers^ zvith 
fJl purity » How didin^lly does the apoftle direct his 
^ifconrfe unto fathers, and young men and children. 

Lafliy^ Chiiflians different light about fmaller mat- 
ters (hduld be confjdered, in order to provoking unto 
l^ye^ arid good works ; if people lay afide the duty of 


Serm. XIII, the Profeffion of our Faith. 193 

love, till they be all of one mind in all things, they 
may leave love till they come to heaven, and truly 
they look unlike them, that ever will be-in heaven, 
that are llrangers to love v^hen ihey be on earth ; 
how tenderly does the apoftle apply himfelf unto this ; 
Horn. xiv. li— -5. Rom. xv. i. — 4 ! Him that is weak 
in the faith y fays' he, receive you, but not to doubtful 
difputations : What were thofe doubtful difputations ? 
Tnefe were not whether we are juftified by Chrili, 
or by good works, or by both together, they were 
about fmall little things, they were about food, fome 
would eat nothing but herbs, and had no liberty to 
eat ilefli, there were others that were llrong, and 
they could eat freely any thing, but fays the apoltle. 
Let not him that eatethy defpife him that eateth not. 
That is his weaknels, and let not him which eateth 
pot, judge him that eateth, for the man walks ac- 
cordmg to his light, and indeed according to truth j 
one oblerves a day and another nor, his non-obferv- 
ing is an a<ft of worfliip to the Lord, how excellently 
does the apoftle comment upon thefe things ! The 
meaning was this, In the beginning of Chriftianity, 
there was fome of the Chrillians, that had been 
Jews, and were not yet altogether fo far reformed 
irom what they had prpfeffed before, but that they 
ftill retained, and were fond of their old cereoionies 
and cufioms, wherefore the apoftle exhorts them to 
bear with love and tenderoefs with all fuch perfous. 
The apofile therefore in fome places did tolerate their 
weaknefs, yet notwithflanding when thefe {ivl^W things 
are brought in upon an high account, how does he 
thunder againd them ! He fpeaks fo tenderly to the 
Romans, to doubtful believers, yet to fome that 
would obferve days, and abftain from meats, he is as 
fevere, Te obferve days^ and months y and times^ and 
yearsy Sec. Ye are men that are parting from Chriftj 
fays he, why fo ? Becaufe they did place a piece of 
their worfliip therein, and thought they would ren- 
der thera acceptable to God, and therefore brought 


194 ^-^^^ fl^^f^fl Adherence to Serm. XIII. 

in thefe Jewifh rites and ceremonies into the matter 
of juilification before God. The Lord hath not giv- 
en all his people the fame light, we are to be fuHy 
petfnaded in oar o^*'n minds abont our own light, Let 
e^^ery man be fully perfuaded in .his own mind, Rom. 
xiv, 5. But that is bin an ill fort of bein^ perfuaded 
•in our owii mind, that b'-ings this perfuafion alfo, that 
ihey who are not of our mind, are not right before 
God ; fo nnich for the iirit thing, the matter of the 
daiv, coolid^ring one another. 

The fecond rhmg. 10 be fpoke to, is what the end of 
this is, To provoke unto love and good works, 

I, The firli fiin-^ I nore in this end is. You find 
love and good works joined icjgether. Good works, or 
hoUnefs will never thrive amongft Chridians, where 
lovr is under a decay, Where e7wyin^ and flrife is^ 
favs the apoftle James, there is confiifiop^ and every 
evilwofk^ chap. iii. 16. not only there & anevil work^ 
bar flic? .: is every evil work. The edifying and build- 
in.Pf up o the church by their mutual communion, as 
wel as by cominuaications from the head, Eph. iv. 16. 
is cxpi'!{ly 'stermined to be in this, edifying ofitjelf 
in love. From whom the whole body fitly joined together^ 
a' owta6led by that which every joint Jiipplieth^ ac- 
co\ I ng to the cffeBual zv or king in the meafure of every 
frt; makettj increafd of the body^ unto the edifying of 
ft feif in love ; as if the apoflie had exprefly pointed 
forth, th if he general fpirit of love is as it were the 
cement, and nutriment of the whole body o^ Jefus 
Chrift; grace from the head, and fpiritual love of 
tht members one to another, is as the fpring to their 

2- We find that the increafe of love and holinefs, 
is t'tie )'oper and right end of Chriftian communfon. 
For this end churches are appointed by Jefus Chrid 
that they m.iy be focieties for buiiding up a company 
that he calls out of rhe world in love to God and to 
one ano her in aolmefs, till he tranfplant them to the 
church above. 

3. The 

Serm. XIIL the Prcfefflon of our Faith- 195 

3. The making this the end, fpeaks forth this, rhat 
the beft of Chriltians (land in need of being mightily 
{lirred up unto love, and to good works, or why ftood 
the Hebrews in need of being fo flirred up ? We 
have the fame word in the original, in 2 Cor. ix* 2.. 
Tour zeal hath provoked very many. The grace of 
God, and the Spirit of holinefs is ingrafted in the 
hearts of every Chriitian ; but notwithftanding, e- 
very one (houid make confcience to water this, 10 ftir 
it up, to blow upon this little fire, and to increafe it. 


The firft word (hall be a word of reproof or JameQ- 
ration. How fadly is it to be bewailed, that lo?e and 
good works are fo rare, and the means for theai fo 
negle£led ? that there is fo little confidering one abo- 
ther, to provoke unto love^ and to good works f if it 
were not for the came of churches that is amongftos, 
one would hardly underftand, that there is fueh 2 cofir- 
pany of Chriflians amongd us ; that confidering oae 
another to provoke unto love^ and to good works ^ ilie 
Lord knows how few mind. How many are there 
of our Chriilians, that are not a bit the better for 
their fellow Chrillians, fmce the day God gave grace 
to them ? Is there no Chriftian of your acquainraEcc^ 
that you can labour to do good to P I never expe^ 
that perfon is fit to get good from others, that is not 
ready to do good to others. The fpirir of bumi- 
lity, that makes us ready to receive good froia o- 
thers, will work a fpirit of love in readinefs to do 
good to others. Now, that this matter is negle^ied, 
is not all we have to complain of; but the contrary 
thereto is that which I would bewail and reprove, and 
the Lord makes reproof light where it is m^oft jutlly 

I. There are a great many people, that confider 
one another's infirmities to blaze them abroad; ia- 
liead of coDfidcring one another to provoke unto love^ 


1-96 fhefledfajl Adherence td Serm. XIIL 

and to good ivcrksy they confider their infirinities to 
take notice of them, and to Blow a trumpet upon 
their failings. 1 have often feen, and you may ob- 
ferve it, and may have found, that very often fnch 
profeflbrs as have been given much to the ohferving 
of the infirmities of faints, and then publifaing of 
them, have been left of God to be apoftates from the 
truth of the gofpel themfelves. It is a greater tranC- 
greffion than you are aware of, to obferve the infir- 
mities of faints, on purpofe as it were to crow over 
the profefTion, becaufe of the faults of them that 
make it. Let us always be tender of the name of Je- 
fus Chrift. If men that are not Chriflians are yet 
called fo, and fall, let them get their juft (hame; the 
way of the Lord is not a whit the worfe becaufe a 
tranfgreiTor falls therein ; the fault is not in the way, 
but in the walker. Who is wife^ and he Jhall under- 
/land thefe things f prudent ^ and he Jhall know them f 
for the ways of the Lord are rights and the juft fhall 
walk in them: but the tranfgreffors fhall fall therein^ 
Hofea xiv. 9. 

2. Some confider one another's iofirraities to imi- 
tate them, and to excufe themfelves in the like prac-* 
tice. This is juft contrary to what is in my text. In- 
dead of confidering one another to -provoke unto love^ 
and to good works ^ they confider others in their fail- 
ings and infirmities, they take notice of a great many 
infirmities in the people of God \ they think with 
themfelves. Why may not I do fo too I Such a mi- 
nifter or Chriftian has done fo and {o ; why may not 
I ? This is a raoft dangerous praftice, for people to 
take notice of the infirmities and failings of faints, to 
imitate them, and never take notice of their virtues to 
imitate them: therefore the apoftle warns them in 
this manner, Whofe faith follow^ fays he, confidering 
the end of their converfation ; regard their do(flrinej 
regard their pradice, imitate their faith. The wifeft 
obferving of one another, is to fpy out one another's 


Sehm. XIII. the Frofejfion of our Faith, 197 

good, and labour to imitate it immediately. Where- 
ever yoa fee faith, and repentance, and be]icvinj[T, 
and holy walking wiih God, fet about the iir.i taring 
that. May I fpeak of the loweft, of the meaueft, vjd 
of the mod foolifh pra<^ice amon»i1: us, a praftice 
that, I am afraid, is a great deal too common in rhig 
place? inftead of confidering one another to pro joke 
unto love^ and to good work^^ many confider one ano- 
ther to provoke ro vanity and luperflaity. h>!lead 
of taking notice of the virtues of believers, it may be 
people take notice of their \vay of living, of their garb ; 
it is well if a great many be not hardened thereby ; 
If one wear fuch a garb, why may not I ? The righ- 
teous judgment of Goci will ever follow, wh^re oiis 
Chriftian makes not con< ence to obferve an j imitate 
the virtues of another, they (hall be left of C.o^^ to 
obferve and imitate the corruptions of one another. 
Let me therefore prefs it with thefe few., that yoa 
would mind well the plain words of the text, to con- 
fider one another^ &c. all the Chriftians ye know, con- 
fider in fuch a manner, as that you may flir them up 
to love and holinefs. 

ly?. Is not this commanded by God ? There is none 
that can read the new teftament, and not find this 
commanded frequently, as Col. iii. 16, 17. 1 Cor. i. 
5, 6, 7. and a great many other places. 

2^/y, Hath not this been pra£lifed by the faints of 
God in all ages ? There was never a generation of 
believers that lived in any time of the world, but if 
they could converfe together, they would. There 
were a company of them long fince in the o'd te'U- 
ment, ih2ii feared the Lord, and ihomht on his name^ 
that talked often one to another. There were a con- 
pany when Chrift was born, and yet it was as dark a 
day as ever came upon the church, there was a com- 
pany for all that, Luke ii. qo. that were- w^/f/Vi; for 
the confolation of Ifrael ; and Anna, th- old prophe- 
tefs, knew them, and went to fpeak to ai! of ihem : 
like enough, Ihe knew where to find them that wai^- 

C c ed 

jpS Jbe SUdJaJI Adherence to Serm. XIII. 

cd for rederapiion in Jernfalem. This is a duty now 
to be praifiifed, and there was never more need of it. 
What our Lord faid as a prophecy, hath been plen- 
tifully fnliilled in our day : Becaufe iniquity (ball a- 
bound, the love of many /hall wax cold^ Matth. xxiv 
12, 15. It is a duty the Lord hath always put a fpe- 
cial renfiark upon, and hath taken great notice of, 
and for which a book of remembrance was written^ 
Malachi iii. 16. For thofe that had fighed and cried, 
becaufe of all the abominations done in Jerufaleir), 
thefe are men marked, fe* apart for fpecial mercy. 
1 ftiall leave this matter with three or four notes. 

(i.) Never did the grace of God reach a poor 
creature's heart, but with it there came an inllinft 
after converfe with them of its own nature. When- 
ever one is made a new creature, they begin to look 
upon them that are new creatures in another matter, 
and a warmer way, than they did before. 

(2.) Where-ever the power of godiinefs is fpread- 
ing, Chriflian communion always is. Never did the 
power of godlinefs flourifh where this was neglec- 
ted. Therefore I look upon it as one of the fad 
figns that the power of Chriftianity and the efficacy 
of the gofpel is greatly withdrawn from vis, becaufe 
Chriflian fellowftiip is fo greatly negle<Sled. I fhall 
Dot tell you whence it comes particularly, and how 
it may be mended ; much may be done to the. mend- 
ing of it. The Lord incline their hearts in wbofe 
hand it lies. 

(3.) Where love and holinefs is nor, the fmgle 
end of Chriltian fellowihip, the fellowihip of Chrif- 
tians, is a moft dangerous fnare. The compjunion of 
Chriftians one widi another js the molt dangeious 
company one can be in, if fo be that this be not the 
grand dcfign, to promote love and holinefs. There 
have been fuch meetings amongft us, among them 
that are called Chridians, and it may be are truly fo ; 
many people of different peifuafions have met toge- 

Serm. XIII. the Profejfion of our Faith. 199 

ther for difputation ; a mod vaia fmful practice, that 
always flows from corruption, and always iflues in 
deitruflion ; fo far from good works, that it never 
was found to fail to provoke to hatred and ill works. 
It were far better that Chridians ftiould foberiy re- 
tain their particular fentiments. 

Lajlly^ Where Chriftians are a plague to one ano- 
ther, it is a fad fign that God hath a mind to plague 
them all together. Where people neglect to do good 
to one another, where Chrillians are hinderances one 
to another in the righteous ways of God, it portends 
that God will plague them all together. That is a 
fad threatening, Ezek. xxii. i8. ^on of man ^ the houfe 
oflfrael is to me become drofs ; what fiiall 1 do to them ? 
fays the Lord, as they gather filver^ and brafs^ and 
lead^ and tin into the niidjl of the furnace ^ to blow the 
fire upon ity to melt it ; fo will I gather you in mine 
anger y and in my jury ^ and 1 will lea.ve you there, and 
melt yoVy good and bad in the fame furnace, the ^A- 
ver and brafs, and tin, and iron. It is a fatal fignifi- 
cation, when the inftitutions of Chrift's appointment 
are not only forgot, but when they are perverted to 
contrary ends, than he hath appointed them for; it 
is a fad fignificatioa what the iilae may be. 


200 The Jledfaft Adherence to Seilm. XIV. 


HebREYv'S X. 20. 

By a new and living way which he hath confecrated 
for usy thrcugh ihs veity that is to fay ^ his flefly, 

THE fum of Chriftianity is to know Chrift, and 
10 ufe liira ; to know hmni for ufe, is to ufe him 
as known ; his name founds daily in the ears of mul- 
tifudes, whofe hearts never did once make ufe of him 
in the thing, if 1 may fo fpeak, that our Lord only is 
ufetul for ihem in, and that is, his great calling to 
falvation. The apollle in the context is upon both 
thefe; he is both upon the doftrine of Chrift, and 
the improvement of it ; in the do(fi:rine oi Chrift, he 
does difcover and reveal this great ufefulnefs for us 
in the matters of falvation, that the entry to the holi- 
eft of ail is through his blood, that the way to the 
holiefl of all is through his fiefh, that he oimfelf is the 
great High Prielt fet over the houfe of God ; thefe 
are in the 19th, 20th, and 2 id verfes. From the 
20th verfe, I take notice of three things to be fpo- 
ken to. 

FirJIy Where lies the way to heaven ? How may 
a man find itf When is it one may be fure he is in 
it ? Says the apoil'e, It is through the veil oi the ilefti 
of Chrift. They that know not Chrift, whatever they 
may pretend to, as to the knowledge of God or hea-- 
ven, know nothing of either ; and this I was fpeaking 
to lafl: day, Thiit the way to heaven lies through the 
veil of the flcih of Chrift. Our Lord, in his help- 
fiilrjefs to us in our getting to heaven, is many ways 
fpoken of in the word. Sometimes this great ufeful- 
r.efs iL' expf cfted of his perfin, he is the peace ; forae- 
:ifL^cs u is expreffed concerning his office^ he is the 

Saviour ; 

Serm. XIV. the Profeffion of our Faith. 201 

Saviour ; fometimes it is fpoken of his ///<?, and fome- 
ticnes of his death ; fomeiiines of \\\^/leJh, and fome- 
times of his blood. But whatever the words be that 
are ufed in the fcripture, concerning our Lord in his 
calling as a Saviour, v^e are to take none of them a- 
part, but to take all together ; for Chrift is not di- 
vided. His flefh that is here fpoken of, is his hu- 
man nature offered in facrifice unto God, for the fms 
and fouls of his ele<ft ; and through this we raufc pafs, 
if we have a mind to heaven. It was an old cultom, 
it is likely its original was from an inftitution, but it 
is very vifible that it was feveral times pra6lifed of old 
before the Leviticai law, and that it was a ceremony 
in making of covenants, that fome living creature 
(hould be divided into two, and that the covenant- 
ing perfons paffed through the parts thereof ; which 
had a great fecret imprecation in the oath, that fo 
God might do to them as was done to the bead, if 
they did falfify their engagements ; and this the Lord 
by the prophet charges feverely upon the people of 
Ifrael, for breaking his covenant: Jer.xxxiv. 18. When 
they divided the calf in twain, and pajjed between the 
farts thereof. Our divided and our ilain Lord Jefus is 
the great covenant- mean betwixt the Lord and us; and 
ail that feek their peace with God and entrance to 
the heavenly kingdom, muft pafs, if 1 may fo fpeak, 
through the parts of this divided and flain Son of God. 
Chrift's flefli is called the vail, becaufe it hides his 
glory, it is a vail, becaufe the paffage to heaven lies 
through it, though the vail of the temple covered 
thTeholreft of all from the eyes of all the people, yet 
through it a paffage was for the High Priefl: at the 
appointed time. There are three things fimply need- 
ful, not only needful to our falvacion, but grand pie- 
ces of falvation. The faving knowledge of God ; ac- 
ceptable worfhipping of God ; and enjoyment of hi JU, In 
the faving knowledge of God, all graces are exercif- 
ed, in acceptable worfhip all duties are performed, in 
the enjoyment of God all bleffi rigs and mercies are 


292 The fledfafi Adherence to Se.rm. XTV. 

receive(3. Thefe three have all a mutual influence 
one upon 'another, the more there is of laving know- 
ledge, th^ more there is jf acceptable worfhip, and 
the more there is of both thefe, the more of communi- 
on with God, And thus it is both on earth and in 
heaven, only there is a wonderful difference in de- 
gree, for all thefe are low here, but are perfect a- 
bove ; our knowledge is dark, our worQiip is faulty, 
cur enjoyment fcanty, final!, and qoickiy paiTes a- 
way, our vellei is narrow, and cannot receive much, 
and leaking, and cannot hold much, what it is they 
know above, and what worfliip they perform, and 
what enjoymeot of God they receive, is above our 
knowledge; of their knowiledge too the apoftle fpeaks 
ijngulariy. Far now we fee through a glafs darkly ; hut 
then face to face^ now 1 know in part ; but than (hall I 
know^ even as alfo I a??i known, i Cor. xiii. 12. The 
words that the apoftle^hath there, are very hard to 
be uoderftootJ, but we might know fomething of 
ihem by the former part of them, we know what it 
is to know in part^ we know a little what it is to fee 
through a glafs darkly, but what face to face knoW" 
\t^gt of God is, and what to know even as alfo we 
are known, v/e do not know ; what is more common 
in the fenfe and thoughts of believers than this, even 
in their nearefl approaches to God even in their clear- 
eit views of him, It is bur a little that i know of him,i 
but he knows me perfedly. Will ever that day be,- 
that Paul dial! know Chrill as well as Ghrift knew 
Paul ? 1 (hall know even alfo as I am. known, as clear,' 
as fatisfyiugly, as far beyond what our prefent know*- 
\t^^t is, as any thing c?-n be> We /hall he like him, 
fays. the apoille jobu,; F^r ive Jhall fee him as he is^ 
1 John iii. ::. Beloved.^ fnys he^ .now are -we the fons 
of Qcd, and it doth not y ft appear what we f hall be. Ay,' 
but will ir ever appear ? Yes, fayshe, it will appear, 
when he (hall appear, then we lliall be like him, for 
W£ /hall fee him as he is, the knowledge we have of 
God and of Chrift Jefus now, is through the glafs o^ 


Serm. XIV. the Frofejfion of our Faith, 205 

the gofpel, 2 Cor. iii. 18. And the more that God 
fhincs upon that glafs, and the more chat he enlight- 
ens the eyes of our nnnds in beholding it, the more 
we perceive it ; bin now what a v/onderful knowledge 
of Chrift muft that be, that is gathered and learned 
out of his face, when we (lull fee him as be is! 
Chrift is a great deal better than the Bible, the Bi- 
ble is a creature, the Bible is a created manifeftaiioa 
of the will of God, all cur knowledge now of God 
and Chrift muft be bounded with that, muft be de- 
termined by that, muft be fought from it ; but the 
apoftle tells us, there is another fort of knowledge 
of Chrift, to be hereafter, when we fliall fee hira 
as he is ; how they worftiip we do not know, we 
know what worlhipping in a temple is, but we do not 
know what worlhipping is without it, where the Lord 
God almighty^ and the Lamb, are the temple thereof^ 
Rev. xxi. 22. I only take notice of thefe things, be- 
caufe I was faying that thefe Were the main parts of 
faivation, and that we coine only to them through 
Chrift Jefus ; we cannot worftiip God acceptably but 
in Chrift, we cannot enjoy God, but in Chrift; ne- 
ver was there a gracious communicarion of God's 
love given unto men, but through Jefus. The ap- 
plication of this truth, that the way to heaven lies' 
through the vail of Ch rift's flelh, 1 fliall forbear un- 
til I have gone through the words of the text, upon 
rhe fecoud thing, which is the properties of this way^ 
the way is ihrough his ftefti, but what fott of a way 
is : ? The apoftle gives us here three properties of ity 
and I will take one of them to fpeak to at this time. 

It is called a new way, it is called a living way,, 
cind it is called a confecrated way for us ; v/e would 
have no need of Chrift's flefti, or of its being made 
avail ; unlcfs, that it had been the purpofe of his 
grace to fave a multitude of poor loftfmnersin away 
confecrated for us. 

Of the firft of thefe, it is a new way ; the mean-' 
ing of this, is what I would difcourfe a little to. 


2 04 ^^^^ fl^<^f^fl Adherence to Serm. XIV* 

F/Vy?, To avoid miftakes, I ihall remove thofe 
things, that this word may lead people to, and tell 
you what is not the meaning of the newnefs of this 
way, then pofitively what it is. 

1. This is not a new way, as if it were of a new 
invention, of late contrivance and device of God, but 
is as old as eternity, and there can be nothing before 
nor after, in eternity; our Lord is the way to hea- 
ven, he is the Lamb flam from the foundation of the 
-worldy and that in a ufual fcripture fenfe, as much as 
to fay, fro?n eternity^ Rev. xiii. 8. I was fet up from 
everlafling^ from the beginnings or ever the earth ivasy 
Prov. viii. 24. His way is from everlafting, Mic. v. 
2. The way of faving men by Chrift Jefus is not a 
way of late invention, It is according to the eternal 
purpofey which he purpofed in Chrifl Jefus our Lord^ 
Eph. iii. 1 1. 2 Tim. i. 9. 

2. Neither is it a new way, as if it were newly re- 
vealed, as if it were of late revelation, for this way 
of faving men by the fon of God, is as old as fm is, 
and was revealed immediately upon finning, in that 
way that we fhall further hear of. Adam knew this 
way, Abel knew this way, and Enoch and Abraham 
faw Chrift's day, and Chrift was before him : Before 
Abraham was, 1 am^ fays our Lord, John. viii. 58, 

3. Neither is it of late as to the ufe of it, for the 
benefit has been received by multitudes ; all along by 
Abraham and Ifaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets 
that are in the kingdom of God ; there is but one 
way to heaven, though this feems flrange to us. A- 
data died fome thoufand years before Chrift came in- 
to the world, before this vail was adlually made ; fo 
did Abraham, fo did the Old Teftament churchy ac- 
cording to the order of their generations, fome a 
longer, and fome a fhorter while before : But they 
had the way for fubftance revealed to them, there 
was a revelation of God's good will towards them in 
fuch ways as he thought good, whereby his par- 
doning grace aud acceptance through a mediator, was 


Serm. XIV. the FrofeJJion of our Faith^ 205 

pointed out to them ; they had the f^ime hope thai we 
have, and the fame faith that we have, only w'*'i this 
difference, their faith was to look forward. . 'jd oiir 
faith is to look backward, their fairh was in the Mef- 
fiah to come, and our faith is in the MelTiah which 
is come ; their faith was in the vail of thac fleih that 
was to be reared up, and our fairh is in the veil of 
his fleili that has been reared up, and is no v gone 
up to heaven ; the fame faith we have, faiiii the a- 
pon:le, the fame Jpirit of faith ^ 2 Cor. iv. 13, We 
find there is a great difference between D.tvid and 
Paul, as tD their expreffions of godlinefs, and as to 
the clearnefs of their knowledge, 1, bur, fays the a- 
poftle, we have the fame fpirit of faith wi:h David, 
David faid I beheved, and therefore have I fpoken ; 
fays the apodle Pad, The fame fpirit of faith is ia 
us. Thefe are the things that are to be removed, 
when Chrifl as to heaven is come to be a new way ; 
not that it is newly devifed, nor newly revealed, nor 
newly ufed. It is called pofitively a new way, 
. I. Becaufe it comes after another, as the apoflle 
teaches us to argue, Heb. viii. 13. In that^ he faith, 
A new CQvenanty he hath made the fir (I old. So may 
we fay, when Chrift is faid to be a new way, there 
hath been then fome way before, that is now made 
void, and made void by it, as this was ; there was a 
way by the firft covenant, wherein unlefs man mir^ht 
have been fayed and happy, this was a way God y\t* 
ver intended to bring one man to heaven by, do not 
imagine, that God did ever defign that which he ne- 
ver affe^led. When the Lord made the liril: covenant 
with Adam, he forefaw the event, if I may fo fpeak, 
the firft covenant was but a fcaffold reared no a little 
while, that the glory of the new might be difplayed ; 
the firft covenant was (r.) A covenant W'ithoi>t a medi- 
ator, God and man treated im mediately together ; fm- 
lefs creatures made in fo great perfedion, as God 
made them, were in cafe, if 1 may fo fpeak, of treat- 

D d ins 

2 5 The Jledfajl Adherence to S e r m . XI V. 

ing with God. (2.) This covenant was made upon 
conditioD, that is to fay, ilie bieiliDgs of that cove- 
nant were fufpended until the duty of that covenant 
was fulfilled. (3.) There were peremptory ihreat- 
nings that did make all void, whenever it was in- 
curred, In the day thou eatejl thereof^ thcu fihilt die. 
Sin broke this quite to pieces, this covenant of works, 
this covenant without a mediator, this covenant upon 
conditions, this coven:int that might be broken by fia 
is altogether removed, and no man can ever get good 
by it ; the bridge is quite broke down, but fuch is the 
folly of this blind world, that multitudes will labour to 
buildup this bridge again, whereas the day of our Lord, 
ot a (torra will quickly difcover how rotten it is. 

2. It is called nev/, becaufe of its great light in 
the revelation of it under the gofpel, becaufe it is new- 
ly revealed in greater light than it was before. There 
is a pregnant place to this purpofe, Heb. ix, 8. The 
apoftie is fpeaking upon the fame thing that I am, 
The Holy Ghojl this fignify'ing^ that the zvay into the 
holiejl of all ivas not yet made nianifcft^ zvbile as the 
Jirj} tabernacle was yet /landing. Pray obferve it, it 
is a great fcripture, the Holy Ghoit by thefe things 
taught the church of the Jcw.>? ; the holieft of all was 
a type of heaven, there was an entrance inio this ty- 
pical heaven for the High Pried, ia the name of all 
Ifrael, the Holy Ghoit fignified to them, that there 
was a greater light to come in the way to heaven, but 
that the firft tabernacle mull: be removed before that 
light come. How much does the apoftle fpeak, 2 
Cor. iii. 6. to the end, of the difference betwixc the 
Old Teftament and New Teflament difpenfauon, ht 
deprefTcs the one, and raifeih and exalreih the other 
greatly, both in the power and glory of the one be- 
yond the other ; let us now confider this matter a 
little mere narrowly, becaufe it is of confiderable ufe 
for directing our paih, in order to m.ake us thankful 
for the bleiung of our lot in the New Teftarapnt day ; 
you heard there was a revelation of Chrifl, and the 


Serm, XIV. the Profeffton of our Faith, 207 

way to heaven, there were promifes, there was wor- 
fliip, there was fairh, and there was falvatioa under 
the Old Teftament, but how vaflly preferable is oar 
ftare beyond theirs ? (i.) As to the do<ftrine of Chrid, 
fee how the matter was difcovered to Adam and Eve, 
He was to be the feed of the woman, that is all we 
£nd they knew, that was to break the head of the 
ferpen: ; there was to be 2 child born into the world, 
that (hciild defeat ail that the devil had done in de- 
flroying mankind in the firft brood. Oar Lord Je- 
fus was to Abraham the feed of the woman, in whom 
all the nations c^. the earth (hould be bleifed ; to Ja- 
cob he was Shiloh, Gen. xlix xo, 11, Binding his 
fole into the vine, &c. and in A61s vii. 37. he is a 
Prophet raifed up like unto Mofes, as Mofes foretold 
in Deut xviii. If we go further, he was to David the 
fon of David. If we go on to the Prophets, Ifaiah 
fpeaks greatly of him, chap, ix, 6. He was to be a 
child given to us, a Son lorn to us, his name was to be 
called Wonderful^ &c. chap, liii He was to be a man 
afflided of God, he was to beflain, &c. And Mic. v. 
2. But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be lit- 
tle among the thoufands of Judah^ yet out of thee [hall he 
come forth ante riic^ that is to be ruler in Jfrael. Thefe are 
feveral of the bnghtell davVaings of the light and the 
knowledge of Chriil in the Old Teilament, but pray 
what are all thefe to one word that John Baprifl fpeaks. 
Behold the Lamb of God ^ which t a kith away theftns of 
the worlds John i. 29. And therefore he is greater than 
all the Propherp, that i^,- all the Old Tefiament Pro-- 
phets, untiil the teitimony of the apoftlep, That which 
was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we 
have feen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, 
and our hands have handled of the word of If e, i John 
i. I. Thereupon it was that our Lord faid, Bhjjed 
are your eyes, for they fee ; and your ears, for they 
hear. For verily J fay unto you, that many prophets 
and righteous men have de fired to fee thefe things which 
ye fee, and have notfeen them ; and to hear thofe things 

D d 2 which 

2o8 The fledfajl Adherence to Serm. XIV. 

which ye hear^ and have not heard them ; Mattb. siii. 
16, 17. Certainly there was, if I may fo fpeak, a 
greater tempiaiion unto the Old Teftaraent faints, 
to defire to fcv- Chrift in the fieih, than there is to 
New Teftament faints, to long impatiently for his 
Tecond coming. Surely the (Irong faith of Abraham, 
that faw Chrifl's day near two thoufsnd years before 
he came, had great defu-es to have feen him in per- 
fon, and the Lord was pleafed to gratify him in 
fome meafure, for even the Son of God in all ap- 
pearance; did take on him the form of a man, in 
appearance, not really, not the nature of a man, 
but the form of a pian, and did converfe with the 
propheis otol-d. The happiell man that we find in 
the Old Teflament, as to this point, was old Simeon, 
He was both an Old Teftament faint and a New, he 
had If revealed unto him, that he Ihould not fee 
death before he had feen the Lord's Chrid. I only 
touch on iht»"« things, to j(hew that the do^lrine of 
Chrift is a great deal more clearly revealed to us, 
than te them ; therefore the way may be called new. 
Next, as to their worihip, they had in the wildernefs 
a curions tabernacle, in Canaan, a ilately temple, and 
there was a multitude oi glorious ornaments in the 
cuifide aiid in the infide, there were courts, there 
were wailiings, there was incenfe, there was blood, 
fprinkliog with blood; and whatfignified thefe things? 
Since "we have got the true tabernacle lubicb the Lord 
pitched^ and not man^ Heb. viii. 2. We worihip to- 
wards the true tabernacle, that their tabernacle was 
but a type of. How weak a type and refsinblance . 
was that of a great houfe of ihreefcore cubits long, 
twenty cubits broad, and thirty cubits high, i Kings 
vi, 2, 6y. what fort of refemblance was this to a man 
like to this? But it was fo, and all that they had. 
Our Lord is the miniiler of the true tabernacle, which 
the Lord pitched, aud not man ; all their wafhings 
and facrifjces were but ihadows of that, of which we 
have got the fubftance ; thefe were all \hz jhadows of 


Serm. XIV. the Profejfion of our Faith, 209 

things to cojne^ but the body is of Chrijly Col. ii. 17. 
So 1 may fay as to their proraiTes ; they had promi- 
fes, but there was fomething of a veil even upoa the 
promifes of the old teftament ; a great many fpiritual 
promifes were veiled under temporal bleffings. The 
apoftle faith concerning them, Thefe all died in faith ^ 
not having received the promifes ^ but having feen them 
afar off^ Heb. xi. 13. That is the fecood, the way 
is called new, becaufe it is of a new, lightfome, glo- 
rious revelation, under the gofpel. The apoftle Paul 
faith. Be it known unto you^ men and brethren^ that 
through this man is preached unto you the forgivenefs of 
fins^ Sec. A61s xiii. 38, 39. 

What great difference is there between Paul's 
preaching, and the bringing of a beaft upon the al- 
tar? and'the fmner laying his hand upon his head, 
and the prieft cutting his throat ? What a poor thing 
, was this, in regard of the plain gofpel-revelation of 
Jefus Chrifl's facrifice P 

3. It is faid to be a new way^ becaufe it is newly 
and lately made : and the word in the original has 
fomething in it, that favoars this fenfe. Some read 
it a new /Iain way. It is a way that comes by blood, 
that blood is newly (hed ; there is no abatement of 
the virtue of Chrift's death, his blood is as warm, cries 
as loud this day, as the day it was (lied : yet notwith- 
ftanding, it had fomething in it to work upon people 
the more readily, becaufe it was newly done at this 
if,ime. Now, when we come to a matter of fixteen hun- 
dred years, we are apj to think that the virtue is in a 
great meafure impaired ; but this is our fm and folly. 

4. It is a new way, becaufe it is always new and 
never gives place to another. It is never called old, 
for that which is old is ready to decay and vanitli a- 
way ; it is called new, becaufe there is never to be 
another way to heaven. People had need take heed 
how they improve this. If we Jin wilfully after that 
we have received the knowledge of the truths there re- 
maineth no more facrifce for fins ^ HeU x. a6. A fcrip- 

'' " ture 

2IO The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm, XIV. 

tiir^ rh r, by the cunning of. Satan, and by the dark- 
Rcfs of the minds of many good people, has raifeJ a 
iioxm in many good people's confciences without 
ground. The n:e:ining is this, God will never pro- 
vide another way to ihe end of the world, but this 
one way. * 

Lajliyy It is a new way, becanfe it \% well prepar- 
ed, as new ways ufe to be. In the order that God 
gives about the city of refuge, Deut. xix. 3, 4. Thou 
Jhait prepare thee a way, fays the Lord ; thou {halt 
niake a new way on purpofe, a way that a man may 
eaiily find, a way that may be diftingailhed from all 
other ways, that may dire6l itfelf to the paiTenger ; 
whenever ^ man fiiould (land in need of the city of 
refuge, that he may find the way ready before him. 
Chrill as (lain as the nev^ way to heaven, that is, well 
prepared, all impediments being removed out of the 
way, and all furtherances being in it ; every thing 
th?f may hinder is removed, juftice, the law, confci- 
fcierce condemning, and fin working ; of all thefe 
we fiiid plenty fpoken of in the word of God. The 
Lord puts away fin by the facrifice of himfelf, he 
fpr'Dkle^ confcieoce, and gives full aiTiirances of faith ; 
bu-: fome of thefe I have fpoken to already. Only 
now a little of the pofiiive furtherances that are in 
this way, or tlie properties of it, as it is a new pre- 
pared way. 

ly?, Chrift Jefus is a fafc and fare way, fo that a 
Iran needs fear nothing, if he be in Chrift : Who 
Jhallfeparate us from the luve of Chrlft? fays the apo- 
ftle, ilom. viii. 35. I know that they that are in 
Chrilt will fear often, but that is their weaknefs. It 
is a refiedion on our Lord Jefus, as to this fure way 
to heaven, to have trembling travellers w^alking in it; 
people (hould walk confidently, the way is fure and 
fafe. There are many enemies in it, that is certain ; 
but they are not properly in the way, but are in our 
way as we travel in it ; (0 that believers cannot walk 
quietly to heaven for them, but they walk fafely for 


Serm. XIV. the Profefion of cur Faiib. 2il 

all that. The devil has been biify for above thefe 
five thoufand years upon the road to heaven, yei: he 
never flew one believer to this day. If a man be in 
Chriil, the ark, he is certainly fafe : he may be 
frightened, he may be difturbed, he mny apprehend 
danger, but he (hall feci none. 

2tV/)', This way is a well-provided way. If a maa 
have a great way to go, if there be danger of his be- 
ing flarved by the way, he is in a poor cafe ; but 
there is no danger of being flarved, if we walk in 
Chrift. Here, if I may fo fpeak, we may live upon 
the way ; here is a cordial to the foul, food lo the 
foul. Remember our Lord's body was givea for us, 
his blood was fhed for us ; the eating his ileih and 
drinking his blood, is food to the traveller in this way. 

:^d//)'. It is a very pleafant way. All they that know 
it find it to be pleafing both to God, and to his peo- 
ple. May we conceive. Sirs, how pleafing it is to the 
God and Father of our Lord Jcfus Chrift, to fee mul- 
titudes of poor fianers coming home to heaven in the 
arms and heart of his own Son ? to fee the fi:rayed 
(Iieep come home upon the good Shepherd's ihoul- 
ders ? to hear him fay, Behold, Here am I, and the 
children thou hafl given me? It is pleafant alfo to all 
believers ; there is no believer that ufaally hath great 
trouble, but either v/hen his intereft in Chrift is hid^ 
or when his enjoyment of Chrift is fmall. When we 
know we are in him, and when we do feel the blsf- 
fednefs of being in him, it is not ordinary aft];6lioti 
that will work much upon the foul of a believer. 
With what contempt does the apoftie fpeak of all af- 
fliclions ? 7 ^now^ fays he, and am perfuaded^ that 
they are not able to fe par ate ?ne from the love of God 
which is in Chrijl Jefus, He was walking in the way^ 
and encompaiTed wiui the love of God in Chrift Je- 
fus ; therefore he gives a defiance to things prefenr, 
and things to conie, as not being able to hinder hiia 
from reaching to hii; journey's end. 


212 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XIV. 

4fA/y, Chrift is the way to heaven, and he is pre- 
pared as a near way. It is not far betwixt Chrifl: and 
heaven ; for as foon as e-ver a believer fets foot in 
Chrifl as the way, he is immediately poflelTed of be- 
gun eternal life. We are to lay hold of eternal life ; 
that eternal life is in his Son, and he that hath the 
Son, hath life, faith the apoflle, i John v. ii, 12. 
Alas, poor people commonly mifreckon moft wofully, 
that we are fo far from heaven as from death and the 
grave ; for though heaven's full enjoyment lies be- 
yond both, and fuch as be young may poiTibly be a 
good many years from heaven ; yet if fo be that you 
be truly in Chrift, Chrift is now in heaven, and hea- 
ven is in him : we receive eternal life by receiving 
him ; we do not receive the full enjoyment of it, but 
we receive a right to it, and earneft of it. It is a 
near way, for a man may fee heaven when he is in 
the way. There is a promife in the prophet Ifaiah 
that has its veil on it : Thine eyes Jh all fee the king in 
his beauty i and they fh all behold the land that is very 
far off^ chap, xxxiii. 17. All that I allude to is, that 
as foon as a believer by faith takes up Chrift Jefus as 
his Lord and Saviour, immediately he fees the land 
that is far off; for there is no man can have a be- 
lieving look of Chrift Jefus, but he ifiuft fee hea- 
ven and falvation in his face. . We have accefs, fays 
the apoftle, by faith into this grace, wherein we fland, 
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God^ Rom, v» 2 . 


Serm. XV, the Profejjton of our Faith. 2 1^ 


Hebrews x. 20. 

By a new and living way which he hath confecraied 
for tiSy through the veil^ that is to fay ^ his fisjh. 

THERE are two things, that if ibey were more 
upon our hearts and minds, would make borh 
the fpeakiog and hearing of this fobjcft fwf^cc and 
favoury. If our hearts were fet on heaven, it would 
be delightful to hear of the way to it; and if our 
hearts were filled with love to Chrift Jefus, his n^oft 
lovely appearing would be very defirable ; and itie 
mcft ufeful and fweeteft fight that believers can have 
of Jefus Chrift, till they come before his throne, is to 
fee him, as by his death and blood making his way 
to heaven for them. Chrifl crucified and Chrift glo- 
rified is all tnat we are to ftudy ; the one we are to 
ftudy as long as we are on earrh, and the other we 
(hall be admitted to fludy when we get well to hea- 
ven. It is upon this theme 1 have been fpeaking a- 
gain a^id again, and, if the Lord wnll, ihail do it yet 
farther, That Jefus Chrift as (lain is the way to hea- 
ven ; or. That the flefli of the fla'n Son of God is me 
veil through which we muft pafs to heaven, 'i his 
point 1 have opened in feveral things ; and before I 
come to the large application of k that 1 defiga, I 
thought fie firft to fpeak of the commendations of t.iis 
way, that are in the text, and lali day fpake to the 
firft of them. That it is called a new way^ new not 
for its being newly contrived, for the contrivance of 
this way is as old as eternnv ; it was an eternal pur- 
pofe, that God purpofed in himfelf, about brii ging 
the ele^ number of Adam's faliea feed 10 glory by 

E e his 

214 The fledfajl Adherence to Serm. XV, 

his Son Chrift Jefus. It is not new in the revelation 
of it ; for it was revealed as foon as fin came into the 
world, and fin is as old as the world, within a week 
or little more. 1 mean fin is as old as any creature is ; 
it may be that fin was on the fixth day, or at lead on 
the feventh, it was very quickly. As foon as fin came 
in, the revelation of this way comes in alfo. It is not 
new for the ufe and benefit of it ; it is not this day, nor 
yefterday, nor from the death of Chrift, that belie- 
vers get entrance to heaven, but from the beginning,. 
from Abel the righteous, unto Zcchariah that was 
flain betwixt the altar and the temple ; and in all the 
old teilament times, the accefs to heaven was the 
fame as it is now. Why then is it called a new ivay f 
It is neither newly contrived, nor lately revealed, nor 
lately felt in the profit of it. It is nezu^ becaufe there 
was another before it ; there was a way to heaven 
before it ; but never man got to heaven that way 
and never man (hall, God never meant that ever man 
fliould perfeft obedience unto himfelf by the terms of 
the firfl covenant ; though life was promifed by it, 
yet the lead difobedience was threatened with death. 
It is new, becaufe it is fo clearly and newly revealed 
in the gofpel ; therefore the gofpel, in the declara- 
tion that we have of it, is called the new tefiament. 
It is new, becaufe it was but lately that this way was 
actually declared, and made known by the death of 
the Son of God. It is new, becaufe it is conftantly 
frefl}, and is never to give place to a fuccefifor ; as 
long as the world laRs, God will never contrive ano- 
ther way to briog men unto eternal life, but this thro' 
his Son Ihall remain for ever. If men fin wilfully in 
the contempt of this, fays the apofile, there is no- 
more facrifice for fin ; God will never provide another 
facrifice for them that contemn tbisn It is new, be- 
caufe it is well prepared, and made fit with all the 
encouragements that may be to the traveller. Of 
ihefe things I have fpoken already. 

Sekm. XV. the Trofejpon of our Faiths 215 

It remains, that 1 fpeak of the fecond property of 
this way, it is a living way. Chrifl (lain as the way 
to heaven is a living way. Now, this is a more mar- 
vellous property than the former. Here is, in the 
preceeding verfe, a man whofe blood was (lied and 
ail of it, and by blood (hedding he was ilain ; in this 
verfe, here is a man whofe life was taken away and 
his flefli rent, fo the word implies in the original, his 
body and foul were plucked afunder by violence. 
That our Lord Jefus as llaiu is the way to heaven, 
and a living way, is what we would inc[uire into the 
fenfe of, and fee what we are taught thereby. 

I. Chrifl as fl>iin is a living way to heaven, becaufe 
there was great life in his death, mighty power, migh- 
ty effe6fs, it did great things. The apoftle Paul was 
a great divine, you know ; O what a bleiTing were 
it to the world, if there were but one man in it that 
knew Jefus Chrifl but half as well as Paul did ! Now, 
what was this great man's fludy all his life, but to 
know him ? That 1 may know him^ and the power of 
his refurreflicn^y and the fellow/hip of his fuffe rings ^ be- 
ing made conforraahle unto his deaths Phillip, iii. 10. 
Obferve, every body knew as well as Paul, that Chrifl 
had died and was buried, that Chrid had fiifFered and 
had rifen again ; but> fays the apoRle, I do not (lady 
that, that I know fulUciently ; there is fometbiag elfe 
about it, there is power and virtue in that death, and 
fuiFeriug, and refarreclion, that every day I am flu- 
dying more and more. See now h^w the apoflle does 
mofl excelleniiy aud elegantly vary the word. The 
general word is, ^That I m:iy know him, that i-^, 
Chrifl : the particulirs are various ; that I may know 
his refurreBicn^ and the power of it ^ that is one pbrafe ; 
that I may know his fifferings in their power ^ is ano- 
ther J and the thiid is, That I may know his death in 
being confortnable to it. The feilowfliip of his fuffer- 
ings, conformity to his death, and the power of his 
refurreftion, are but various words expremng the 
fame great fruit, that the apoflle aimed at in his know- 

E e 2 ledge 

2l5 The Sted/aji Adherence to Serm. XV, 

ledge of Jefus Chrift. When I am dead to fm as he 
wa? ; wheu 1 am like him in fuffering and weanednefs 
from cms world; when I know his refurrectiou, in 
being raifed up to newnefs of life, as he was raifed 
up, by the glory of the Father, to a new refarre6li- 
'on. There (vas never a death in this world, that had 
life and power in it, but Chrid's ; God be thanked, 
death is the way to life, and we pafs through death 
into life ; but there is no life in the death of martyrs, 
when ilain for Chrift's fake, as Abel the righteous 
was ; when they are dead, their blood cries for ven- 
gc'^uce j but in the very death of our Lord there 
Wc:e great and mighty elfefls, there were great a61s 
ot life. \ will name them for our ffudy and ufe in 
our fpirituai knowledge, for in this exerdie of our 
faitii ihouid be our daily employment. 

ly?, There was life in Chriit's death, for by it he 
reconciled us to God. There is a great word to this 
purpofe ; And having made peace^ fays the apoftle, 
through the blood of his crojs^ by him to reconcile all 
things unto himfelf^ Col. i. 20. The greateft quarrel 
that ever was in the world, or ever will be, is that 
betwixt God and fmners, taking up of which is the 
greateit difficulty ; the quarrel isjad on God's fide, 
for he is offended ; the quarrel is unjuft on man's fide, 
for the fault is his; the parties are mightily unequal 
matched, the almighty God and a frail worm. But 
our Lord by death made up this quarrel, and there 
was no way of making it up but only this, Now, we 
commoL'y know this, and fay it, that we are recon- 
ciled to God by the death of his Son ; but this mat- 
ter (hculd be didinflly known, and narrowly thought 
upon ; we (hculd have our faith exercifed fo about 
it, as that we may be able to improve it a little. I 
would therefore fliew you now, how Cbriil, by his 
death, reconciled us to God. He did this, 

(4.) In that he fatisfied divine judice by his death. 
Theie can be no peace .betwi-xt Gpd and men, as long 
as God's juftice is dexuanding vengeance j as long as 


Serm. XV. the Profejfion of our Faith, 217 

the juftice of God has any thing to crave, there is 
no man can (land before him. Now, there are only 
two ways of fatisfying divine juftice, and there will 
never be a third. If all the devils in hell or men on 
earth (liould ftudy to devife one,, it will be irapoffible 
to find it. Divine juftice is either fatisfied by falling 
upon the finner himfelf, or the furety for hini : when 
juftice falls upon the (inner, and exa£ls payment of 
bim, the poor wretch muft be perpetually paying, 
becaufe he can never pay to purpofe : a great reafon 
why hell's torments are eternal, is, becaufe juftice can 
never get enough of them. But the ratisfa<flion that 
juftice got of our Lord Jefus, was full raeafure heap- 
ed up and running over; he offered himfelf a facri- 
fice to God for a fweet fmeliicg favour ; juftice was 
pacified and fatisfied, and love got a vent towards 

(2.) The law muft be fulfilled before there can be 
•any reconciliation with God. The Jaw of God is not 
to be fliifted off or put by ; God's holy law is a per- 
petual bar in the way of all men to heaven, unlefs 
Chrift remove it and take it out of the way. God's 
law demands a perft<^ obedience or death. Our Lord 
Jefus comes in and gives both, on the behalf of thofe 
that he redeemed ; he was made under the law, and 
came under the curfe, that we "might receive the blef- 
fing, and that the curfe might be diverted from u?. 

(3.) Sin muft be taken out of the way. Juftice was 
not only to be fatisfied, and the law honourably ful- 
filled, but firi muft be taken away, in order to our 
falvation and to our reconciliation with God. About 
this great work of our Lord, and that he did it by 
his death, the word fpeaks great things : But now 
once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put 
away fin by the facrifce of himfelf Hebrews is. 26. 
He hath done it for ever ; fm is fufficiently put away. 
But how is fm put away ? Sin by Chrift's death is 
not put out. of the world, but remains ftill in the 


3i8 The fledfafl Adherence to Serm. XV. 

worlsi, and is greatly aggravated by Chrifl's death, 
Jf 1 had not come and done among ft them the works that 
never man dtd, they had not had fin. Small fin gets 
^reat advantage this way, upon gofpel defpifers ; 
Chrid did not come then to put Hn our of the world, 
iicitb<!r did his death put fin altogether out of his peo- 
ple ; where his death and the virtue of it is applied, fia 
is fubdued, but is not expelled. The Cauaanites were 
worded, but were not quite put out of their coafts. 
Much lefs is fm by Chrifl's death put away as to its 
vile nature, but remains ftill where-ever it is, a vile 
loathfome thing to God ; neither did Chrift put a- 
way the defervings of fin. What then did he? Chrift 
put away tie condemning power of (in, that it (hall no 
m re be an impediment to the peace and reconcilia- 
tion of believers, therefore fays the apoftle. There is 
therefore now no condemnation to them^ which are in 
Cbrijl JtfvLS^ .Rom. viii. i. The fecond word of 
Chrift's d;:aih about fm is, that Re condemned fin ^ he 
condemned fin in hts flefh ; fm is a word that is too 
well underltood even by thofe that are unacquainted 
with both the Hebrew and Greek, all fm requires a 
facrifice for its expiation. He condemned fin in theflefb; 
there is nothing niore reafonable in all the world, rh-m 
for a poor creature to fear that fm (hould condemn 
him, thai he ihould be ccndemned for fm, there is 
Dothiog more known in the fcriptures than that Chrift 
died for our fms, then it would feem that fm condem- 
ued Chrift, how then did he condemn it P Let us con- 
iider now for this where the ftrengih of fm lies. The 
apoftle tells us. The ftrengih cf fin is the law^ i Cor. 
XV. 56. That which makes fm able to bind a man 0- 
ver to eternal vengeance, is the ftrength and power 
of God's law, and God's law is as ftrong as God him- 
felf, for almighty power is engaged to fee the law 
fuifilled. Now when Chrift engages with fm's ftrength, 
and hath overcome that, may it not well be under- 
flood, that he did condemn fm ? All fm's power to 
condemn, is from the law, our Lord hath taken that 


Serm. XV* the Profejfiofi of our Faiths 21^ 

out of the way, he hath fawsfied it fully. The law de- 
mands blood for tranfgreirioD, it is granted, it is given, 
and blood of a high fort, even the blood of the Son 
of God ; fo much for this firft i,hing, Chri/} as jlrJn is 
a living way^ for there was life in his deaths as ap- 
pears in his reconciliDg us to God by his death. But 
never (hall a man, to the end of the world, if it ibouid 
laft as long as it hath already (and blefled be God, it 
ihall never laft long) get God's peace and favour, but 
that man whofe peace with God was bought by this 

2. There was great power and life in Chrift's 
death, in his oveicoming the power of hell, he did 
it by his death. A great many words there are ia the 
fjcripture about this, hell never did a^: more like hell, 
than in flaying the Son of God, hell was never fo 
rampant as it was at that time, Luke xxii. 555. fays. 
our Lord, This is your hour^ and the power of dark- 
nefs^ your fad hour of temptation, the deviPs great 
power is exercifed now, Chrift is taken, and ro be 
condemned ; it is ftrange, if the devil Were ignorant 
of the confequeqces of this thing, he that entered in- 
to Peter, and got hold of his toDgue to perinade 
Chrift not to go to Jerufalem, where he was to die* 
Our Lord perceives the devil's hand in it, and calls 
Peter 6atan for his pains ; is it not marvellous now, 
that this wicked one (hould have entered into the 
heart of Judas to betray him, and (hould have ftirred 
up the chief priefts and people to cry, Crucify him? 
Like enough the devil thought he had done a great- 
er exploit than in throwing down the iirll: Adara, 
and what fays our Lord concerning ir ? Now is the 
judgment of this world: Now f hall the frincs of this 
W9rld be caflout^ John xii. 31, Our Lord propbeC- 
ed of his own death in thcfe words, Ap.d /, if I be 
lifted up from the earthy will draw all men unt-o me, 
John xii. 32. And in another place he tells us, The 
prince of this world is judged, John xvi. 11. This 
Kow we would confider, what way this power of our 


220 The ftedfajl Adherence to Serm/XIII. 

Lord's death appeared in the conquering of Satan, 
and in order to this, we would Ihew where Satan's 
armour lies, if I may allude to that word, for that 
word is fpoken of the fame wicked perfon, the devil, 
Luke xi. 22. When a Jlronger than he Jh all come upon 
him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his ar- 
mour wherein he tnijled, and divtdeth his f foils. Pray 
what is the devil's armour think you ? Where lies 
his ftrength P His flrengch lies in fin, which is his- 
feed and oiF-fpring ; his ffrength lies in the law, where-' 
of he is the hangman and executioner ; his ftrength^ 
lies in the juftice of God, wherein fometimes he is 
the inftrument, therefore becaufe of this, the apof- 
tle fays expreily, Heb. ii. 4. that our Lord took part* 
of flefh and blood, that through death he might de» 
jlroy him that hath the power of deaths that is the de- 
vil. How came the devil to have the power of death P 
According to his interelt in fin, according to his in- 
lereft in the executing of God's vengeance, he has the 
power of death, but our Lord through death over- 
came him. Col. ii. 15. And having fpoiled principal 
lities and powers, he made a fheiv of them openly, tri- 
umphing over them in it. Though death and hell u- 
nited their powers againft him, he proved too (trong 
for them, and by dying overcame them. Hereby 
alfo he rent the vail betwixt Jew and Gentile, and 
becaufe the Spirit of God does exprefly and particu- 
larly mention it, therefore we may ; it was a greater 
matter at firft than now, through time, it is with 
Chriftians ; we do not fufficiently ponder this great 
bleffing : For he is our peace, who hath made both one^ 
and hath broken down the middle wall of partition be- 
tween us : Having abolifhed in his flcfJ) the enmity, e- 
ven the law of commandment contained in ordinances, 
for to make in himfeif, of twain, one new man, fo mak^ 
ing peace. And that he might reconcile both unto God 
in one body by the crofs, having flain the enmity there- 
by^ Eph. ii. 14, 15, 16. When Chrifl: died, the vail 


Serm. XV. the Frofeffton of our Faith » ill 

of the temple was rent from top to bottom, Matih- 
xxvii. 51. Here now our Lord Jefus hi^ fieQi, was 
the vail that we miift go to heaven by ; \vhf.n Chrill 
the true vail was rent and died, immediately the ly- 
pical vail was rent alfo, as if God had faid, Now let 
all men know, upon the death of my Son, that all 
the partitions betwixt Jew and Gentile are removed, 
but this was a great myftery for a good while in the 
church, and Paul reckons upon his knowhtdge in this 
myftery of Chrift, Eph. iii. ^, 5, Whereby when ye 
read ye may under ft and my knowledge in the myftery of 
Chrifty which in other ages was not made known unto 
the fons of men ^ as it is now revealed unto his r.oly a- 
po files and prophets^ by the Spirit ; that the Gentiles 
Jhould be fellow- heirs ^ and of the fame body ^ and par- 
takers of his promife in Chrijl by the gofpel. So much 
for the firft thing, Chrift as llain, is called a liviug 
way, for there were great works of life even in bis 

2. He is the living way, becaufe all the life of rcaa 
is lodged in him, whatfoever excent life is drawn to, 
^vhatever fenfe we put upon this word life, as to all 
bleffifigs for this and the other world, they are all 
contained together in Chrift Jefus, fo contained ia 
him as to be found np where elfe, he is that living 
bread that came down from heaven^ that gave his flejh 
for the life of the worlds John vi. 51. The brazen 
ferpent was a type of this, as the life of the flung 
Ifraelites flood in that ordinarxe of God, fo the life 
of poor finners ftands in this grand ordinance of God, 
his llain fon. The fir Jl man Adam^ fays .the apoftle, 
was made a living foul^ the lafl Adam was made a 
quickningfpirity i Cor. xv. 45. Surely all the natu- 
ral life, that is in the world, of fenfe, and reafon, 
and underdanding is derived from the firft Adam, be 
bath made of one blood all nations upon the face of 
the earth ; Adam appears to have been a very fruit- 
ful root, the world now for almoll fix thoufand years, 
has been filled with his ofi*-fpring, for of two there 
F f fprang 

22 2 The fledfajl Adherent o to SeRm. XV. 

Iprung si! mankiud that are upon the face of the earth ; 
but, there is no quicknioghere, for all this. The fecond 
Adam, fays the apod'e, was a quickning fpirit to 
this mighty oiT-fpring of the firft Adam. 

3. Chrift is a living \7ay, becaufe all that are in 
him, as foon -^s they are in him, live ; that is one of 
the meanings of this word, there is no dead man can 
be in this way. Do not alk the queflion for it is a ve- 
ry idle one, Whether is a man quickened before he 
is in Chriil, or whether he is in Chrill before he is 
quickned ? Neither the one or other, but both toge- 
ther, his life comes by being in Chilli, how can men 
conceive of quickning now I Quickning is a work of 
God; can it be faid, that he quickens before we have 
life, or that we have Hfe before he quickens? We 
can eafily perceive, that we ad life by his quickning, 
but the Lord quickens not a moment before we are a- 
livLe ; how did the Lord raife Lazarus ? There went 
life giving power along with the word, by which life 
was received, and the voice was heard, as our Lord 
calls it ; the dead /hall hear the Son of Gcd^ and Rve^ 
they mud live before they hear, for hearing is Rn 
2cl of life, and they receive life by the powerful word 
of Chrid. 

4. He is a living way, becaufe he lives for ever to 
be the way; there is conrinual virtue in Chrift's 
death, which perpetually iilhes forth, in order to the 
falvation of all his people; you would think it (Irsnge, 
if one would alk, What is heaven P What is eternal 
life ? Why it is Jefus Chrii*^, that is eternal life, it 

• is one of Chriil^s names. And we kmWy that the Son 
of God is comcy and halh given u^ an und erf landings 
that ive raay know him that is true ; and we are in 
/jim, that is true, even in his Son Jefus Chrift, ^his 
is the tnie God, and eternal life ; 1 John v. 20. This 
way lives for ever, to prefer ve a^l his people, he 
\\\t% for ever to -make inter cejfion for theniy Heb. vii. 25. 
Nay, if 1 may fo fpeak,- even in heaven, this way is 
not forgotten, 1 mean in the fongs of the glorified, 


Serm. XV. the Profejfion of our Faith, 223 

the fong of the Lamb is perpetual. They fang the 
foQg of Mofes and of the Lamb, what is in ike foDg 
of the Lamb think, ye ? Worthy is the Lamb that was 
Jlalriy to receive power ^ and riches^ and w'tfdom^ and 
ftrength^ and honour ^ and glory y and hlejfing^ Rev. v, 
12. Cbrift's blood in heaven, in the virtue and life 
of it, raifes the notes of perpetual praifes raofl: high- 
ly. 1 know the book of the Revelation is a myfteri- 
ous one, and every word of it is to be narrowly can- 

vailed, And in the midjt of the elders^ ftood a Lamb 

as it had beenjlain^ {o that though there be no ap- 
pearance, nor will be, of any infirmity that attend- 
ed the low ellate of the Son of God, when he dwelt 
in mortal ileih, yet there will be a perpetual remem- 
brance of the deareil afts of his love, and richeil afls 
of his grace towards us, ia loving us, and giving hini- 
felf for us. 

5. It is a living way, for no man can die in this 
way; that way may be called a living v/ay indeed, if 
there were fuch a one that led to a good place that 
no traveller in it could die, and would be a great 
temptation for people to undertake It There are fome 
places in the world where riches and honours are, that 
people run towards, and run through a great many 
dangers for ; but they may die in that way, but ne- 
ver a man dies in this way, they ilcep in Jefus, but 
die not. I a?n the refitrre^tiGn and the life ^ fays he, 
he that believe th in me^ though he were dead^ yet (1) all he 
iive^ And whofoever liveth and believeth in me^ /hall never 
die : Believcft thou this f John xi, 25, 26. O how fweec 
a queftion is that P Believeft thou this, that a believer in 
Chrift can never die r* Wherefore now fince our Lord 
died, death hath got a more fweet name, it is called 
fleeping, and fleeping in the Lord, thus it is faid of 
Stephen, that he was (loned, calling upon God, and 
faying, Lord Jefus receive my fpiritr—And when he 
had faid this, he fell aflcep. Ads vii. It is called /i'^/?- 
ing in Jefus, i ThelL iv. 14, 15. Do not you fee, 
fay you, that believers die like other men ^. Yes, but 

F f 2 thea 

2 24 ^he fledfafl Adherence to Serm. XV. 

then they die in Chrift Jefus, they only fall afleep in 
the way, aiivl rhe Lord, the way, will awake in a lit- 
tle while, and raife them up again, and bring them 
their new apparel, their houfe from heaven, 2 Cor. 
V. I, 2, 3. 

Laftlyy It is a living way, becatife the traveller 
mull live upon this way ; here is a marvellous living 
way, the traveller muit live upon this way, he lives 
as foon as he is in it, and he lives as long as he is in 
it, for he cannot die in ir, and he lives upon it, while 
he is in ir ; my meaning is, that all the fare that be- 
lievers muft cheriiii their new life with, is Chrift him- 
felf y therefore our Lord fpeaks of it fo frequently. 
Verily, verily^ ^ fay ^^^^^ J^^^j except ye eat the flejh of 
the Son of mcin.^ and drink his hlcod^ ye have no life in 
you. For myflefb is meat indeed^ and my blood is drink 
indeed^ John vi. 53, 54, 55. BlefTed are they that 
can eat and drink plentifully of ir, when the faint and 
weary .traveller walks in Chrid as the way to heaven, 
snd has uny thing that overtakes him, any faintnefs, 
any diilemper that feizes upon him, nothing is he to 
do, but only to fall upon Chrid by faith, and to live 
upon him, and to eat and drink this bleifed way. This 
was Paul's life, "The life which I ?20w live in the flefh^ 
I live by the faith of the Son of God ^ who loved me^ and 
gave himf elf for nie^ Gal. ii. 24, as if the apoftle had faid. 
The ftay of mj life, the comfort of my life, the fecurity 
and coDtinuacce of my life depends upon this, when- 
ever 1 can get but a look, whenever lean gti but hold 
of this love of Chrifr, that loved me^ and gave himfelf 
for me^ life, and ftrengtb, and vigour return upon 
me : 80 much for this fecond property of the way, 
that it is a living way ; there was life in his death ; all 
our life is lodged in ir, alToon as we are in him, we live. 
Whenever a poor fiuner is drawn to Chrift as the way 
to heaven, he comes and lives, and lives and comes, 
and comes by life, and lives by coming. Turn it 
which way you will, the truth lies equally fure on all 
hands. This way is living, becaufe Chrift as the way 


Serm. XV. the Frofejjion of cur Faith. 225' 

lives for ever ; becaufe no man that walks in ir, can 
die ; and becaufe a believer can live upon this way, 
as long as he is in this world. Never bid better fare 
to a child of God, than more of Chrift, more of the 
fap and vn"tue of a crucified Saviour, If there were 
more of thit among us, our fouls would be more fac 
and flourifhing. 

A word or two only, at this time of application, 
before I proceed to the third property. 

1. Is Chriil: a living way to heaven? Is a flam 
Chrifl: for us, the living way in which we muft walk 
to heaven ? Then furely it fliould be very pleafant to 
the people of God to go to heaven. What is there 
to make it irkfome to a believer ? What is going to 
heaven ? It is nothing but walking in Chrift towards 
Chrift, to be ever with Chrifl ; that is going to hea- 
ven ; our way is walking in him, our way is walking 
towards him, our hope is to be ever with him. I knov/ 
that there are a great many impediments and hinder- 
ances in the way, and yet thefe Chrifl has difarmed 
and removed by his death ; they may make an ap- 
pearance that may be frightful to fuch weak people as 
we be ; weak believers take the fhadow for an arra^ 
ed m.an, and are afraid many times unreafonably ; 
but how pleafant will it be, I fay, for a believer to 
find himfelf guarded from all attempts againft him in 
his way to heaven? As ye have received Chrifl Jefus 
the Lord^ fo walk ye in him ; rooted and built up in 
hifUy Col. ii. 6, 7. Fix your root in him, and draw 
ybur fruit from him, 

2. Is Chrifl a living way to heaven ^ Then what a 
forry pitiful cafe are they in, that walk in the ways 
of death, that defpife this way of life ? It is very 
common, and it does not ceafe to be the more fad, 
becaufe it is common, but is fo much the more grie^ 
vous, that perfons love death rather than life. I'he 
matter now is balanced thus : every finner is by na- 
ture dead in fin j if he continues in that flate, he dies 


226 The fledfafl Adherence to Serm. XV, 

10 hi> fin, and crying in his fia, he dies for ever, for 
his iio : this nvJtrable cafe now is to be balanced 
with what our Lord proffers, that he will give the 
light of life, that he offers to lead men to heaven j 
that if they will but fet foot in him, fet their hearts 
OQ hioi, lodge their faith on him^ and put all their 
trufc in him, he will guide them fafe thither. You 
ihould reckon it a mercy, that you have finners to 
preach to you ;. if it were not, that we have the ex- 
perieoce of that rebellion of the natural heart in our- 
felves, minifters would be mighty impatient in deal- 
ing with ungodly perfons. What ails men, that ihey 
refufe Cbrift Jefus I What maduefs poileffes the hearts 
of mcD, that they will rather go to hell, with the de- 
vil, than to heaven with Chrifl jefus P Do not they 
well defer ve to be in heli for ever, that make fuch 
an abaminable choice ? Yet every natural man does 
io, every natural man prefers the way of death to 
the way of life, and prefers Satan's driving to hell, 
unto Chrifl*s gracious and bleffed leading to heaven. 


Serm. XVI, Lbe TrofeJJlon of our FaHk «2f" 


Hebrews x. 20. 

By a new and Ihmg way which be hath conftcraUd 
for uSf through the veil^ that is to fay y bis ficjh, 

I HAVE fpoke, upon the 20th verfe, of the way 
that is made to heaven, as the apoftle doesdeljghi- 
fully and wifely by the Spirit of God teach k ; the 
various afpec^i as k were that Chrift hath on oar fal- 
vation, which v/e miift have in our faith on hiin fop 
falvaiion, I told you from th^is verfe, that f he way ity 
heaven lies through the veil of the flelh oF a iSain Sa- 
viour, and this is the oniy way. 1 propofed tij? han^ 
die the properties of this way, before 1 canie to the 
large application that fo great a thep.ie calls for* I 
have fpoke of -the firft of them, Thit it is a new way, " 
a new ilain way. Lafl: day I fpake of this property 
of the way, That it is a living way. Jefus Cbrift as^. 
the way to heaven is a very great myrtery ; take but 
the words now as they are in our text. This fe.DfeoF 
them is infeparabl'e from them ; and can there be any 
thing more myfterious than they dO' exprefby that a- 
flain Chrift is a living way for dead finners to walk m 
unto eternal life ? Who undcrilands this ? who be- 
lieves this? I fpake of the fignification of this pro- 
perty at fome length lad day, how that Chrid asiiiirts^ 
is a living way ro heaven, i. In that there was life 
in his death. He wascruciiied through weakoef^, as 
to outward appearance of his low (late ; yet the great 
things that were done by that powerful death, are un» 
fpeakably mighty and many. He bath reconciled u« 
to God, he overcame Satan, he overcame death la 
dying ; death was Kcver conquered uniil it got one" 

22 8 The Jledfajl Adherence td Serm. XVI, 

man in its hands, that was our Lord Jefus ; and from 
that day to this, it is able to mafter none that believes 
on him, but muft make an entrance for them to the 
heavenly kingdom. Death cannot (top a believer in 
Chrift from going on to heaven, but rather it is 'made 
now one of the laft dark gates that we muft pafs 
through. 2. He is a living way, in that all the life 
of poor man, all faving fpiritual and eternal life, is 
lodged in the Son of God : This is the record that 
God hath given of his Son^ that he hath given us eter- 
nal life^ and this life is in his Son^ i John v. 1 1. 
There is nobody makes a queftion of that, that calls 
themfelves by that common name of Chriftians, that 
all life is from Chrift ; and there are but fev;, but 
know that all life is in him, and that men get life by 
being in him ; that they have it when they have him. • 
3. He is a living way, in that, as foon as a man is in 
Chrifl, he is made alive. When that power of divine 
grace draws a poor wandering fmner, and puts him 
in the way of Chrift, he is made alive immediately to 
God. 4. He is a living way, becaufe he lives for e- 
ver. The virtue and favour of his facrifice is as frefli 
in heaven, as in the day wherein it v/as offered. 5. 
He is a living way, becaufe all that are in him fli^ll 
live for ever; never can a man die in Chrift. 1 know 
that we fomeiiraes ufe the word dying fo frequently 
that this phrafe is common amongft Chriftians, living 
in the Lord^ and dying in the Lord ; but the new tef- 
tament phrafe is fitter ; believers in Chrift only /leef) 
in the Lord : They that fteep in Jefus ^ will God bring 
ivith him. Laflly^ He is a living way, becaufe the 
Walker in Chrift lives upon the way, the way is food 
to him. The fame facrifice of atonement before God 
is made a feaft for the believer. As under the law 
and before the law, in peace-offerings, by which co- 
venants of peace were confirmed, there was fome 
part thereof that was to be made a feaft of ; fo this 
flefta and blood of our Lord that is rent for us for a 
propitiation, is made a feaft unto faith : Except ye eat 


Serm. XVI. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 229 

the fiejh of the Son of man, and drink his hlocdy ye have 
no life in you ^ Joha. vi. 53. 

The third property oF this way remains now to b^ 
fpoke to ; that ir is 2 confecrared way : By a nevj 
and living ivay which he hath coufecrated for uf, I he 
words as they run. in the original have confecrated be- 
fore the other two propcrtie?, and ir^ay be equally 
fairly rendered, which he hath conf crated for us^ to 
be a new and living way ,• and that confecrating re- 
lates i3or only to the fubilance of Chrlfi's being the 
way, bin 10 his being a new and a living way. 

There are three things that I would difcourfe o 
you from thefe words. 

1. Of Chrifi^s confecration. 

2. His own intereft in it, his hand in it ; fo it \i 
told us in the text, By a new and living way which 
he hath confecrated for us, 

3. For whom it is that this Way, this confecrated 
way is; it is confecrated for fome body; it is confe- 
crated for us, for cur fakes, for our benefit, for our 

fir/If Of Chrifl's confecration. This word confe^ 
crate as it is in the Englilh, is not in all the new tef- 
tament, that 1 know of, but in this epiftle ; and it 
is twice in this epitile, though not the fame Greek 
word in both places. See Heb. vii. 28. Confecrate 
in the old teflament is very frequent ; and you know 
that the apoflle, as hath been frequently obferved to 
you, in this epiftle, and parilculiirly in that part of 
the epidle, has wifely accommodated himfclf to thofe 
he wrote to, who undcrflood thefe words a great 
deal better than we do, for they knew well whence 
they were borrowed: they were borrowed from the 
temple, and tabernacle, and old teftamcnt worililp, 
where confecrating was ufed about every thing. Con- 
fecrating is dedicaiing and devoting a perfan or thing 
to a fpecial or holy fervice ; fo we find confecra.in 5 
or dedicating of things and places. There was the book 
of the ro'.enant, and there was the tabernacle, £n 1 

G f^ all 

ijo The Jledfafi Adherence to Serm. XVI. 

all the utenfils thereof, all of them dedicated with 
blood ; and this ceremony in their confecration was 
ufed, that, by being fprinkled with blood, they were 
dedicated to the holy ufe and fervice God appomted 
them for. So was it alfo as to perfons : we find it 
efpecially concerning Aaron, the high pried, who 
was the fifft type, and concerning his fons that were 
under him ; they were feparated and fet apart by 
divine appointment for a fpecial ufe, none eife were 
appointed for it ; the fenfe then of this word is. That 
Chrift's confecration is that, that he is devoted and 
appointed and dedicated to, for a fpecial ufe, and 
that is, to be the way to heaven, that by him men 
may come to God ; John Baptift underftood this when 
he preached Chrift, Behold the Lamb of God ^ fays he, 
which iaketh away the fin of the worlds John i. 29, 
Here comes the true facrifice, who bears the iniquity 
of his people. The apofile in Heb. ix. 22. makes a 
deep and excellent ufe of this confecration : Almojl 
all things are by the law 'purged with blood ; purging 
there is partly in the fame fenfe with our confecraiing. 
It was therefore necejfary that the patterns of things in 
the heavens fhould be purified with thefe ; but the hea- 
venly things themfelves with better facrifice s than thefe. 
What were the patterns of the things in the heavens I 
The holieft of all was the grand one ; the high pried 
was a pattern of our Lord Jefus Chrift; the temple 
was a pattern of the heavenly things ; yet thefe were 
bat fliadows of them ; the things themfelves mull: be 
purified with better facrifices than thefe, even with 
the blood of the Son of God. AVe find therefore the 
truth of confecrating, and devoting, and dedicating 
our Lord Jefus to be the way to heaven ; it is fre- 
quently in the word, and ufed upon many accounts. 
We will therefore take notice, that it is the Father 
hath dedicated him to be the way ; for this is of great 
ufe in the exercife of our faith, to know our Lord 
Jefus under this name, That he is the confecrated 
way to heaven. ^ 

I. He 

Serm. XVI. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 231 

f. He is confecrated by the oath oF God ; as in 
Pfal. ex. 4. The Lord hath /worn y and will not repent ^ 
Thou art a priejl for ever after the order of Melchifedec, 
And this the apoflle difcourfes of at great length in 
chap. vii. of this epiftle, and noakes one of the grand 
differences betwixt his priefthood, and all that wen: 
before, to confilt in this. That they were made with- 
out an oath ; hinting there was a time when they 
fhould ceafe : but when he made our Lord Jefus a 
Prieft, it was by an oath ; which was a demonllra- 
tion, that he was to continue for ever in that employ- 
ment. Therefore in the conclufion of that chapter, 
he fays, For the law maketh men high priefisy which 
have infirmity ; hut the word of the oathy which was 
fince the lawy maketh the Son who is confecrated for 
evermore. Take in this matter now by a true faith, 
and it may be that fome time or other you will find 
food for your faith from it. That by the oath and ap- 
pointment of Jehovah, the God and Father of our 
Lord Jefus Chrifl, Chrift the Son is fworn and ap- 
pointed to be the only way to bring finners to glory. 

2. Our Lord Jefus is dedicated and cotifecrated to 
be the way to heaven, by preparing him a body to 
fuffer in. The covenant betwixt the Father and Son 
had all the bleffings therein fecured, by the mutual 
faithfulnefs betwixt Father and Son ; but the way by 
which thefe were to be brought about, was the facri- 
fice of the Son in man's nature ; therefore his confe- 
cration is carried on by his getting a human body : 
verfe 5. of this chapter, Sacrifice and offering thou 
wouldj} noty but a body thou hafl prepared for me. Did 
not God will and command facrifices ? Yes, but never 
out of his Son Chrift Jefus ; thefe were all but Iha- 
dows and types of the great one, and there was no 
fuch thing required of our Lord Jefus, neither did he 
offer any fuch thing ; but, A body^ fays he, hafl thou 
prepared me, 

3. By the commiffion and charge that our Lord 
had for the ffliing about this great work of redemp- 

G g 2 tion. 

232 The Jlcdfafl Adherence to Serm.- XVI 

tion. He not only had a body to fafrer in, but was 
commanded by ihe Father to lay down his life for his 
people. 1 his our Lord freqnently takes notice of : 
This commandment have I recehed of my Father^ John 
X. I 7, I 3. 

4, He is dedicated by the holy anointing. One of 
the grand ceremonies of coufecrating a perfon under 
the old teftamentj was by anointing. Aaron was to 
be anointed, and his fons ; when they came in to 
be prieils of God appointment, they were God's a- 
LointeJ,. And all this is typical oF the true anointing 
of cur Lord Jefus, The anointing of Chriil is the 
tulnefs of the Holy GhcH, and hi"; pouring upon him : 
Iherefore God. thy God hath anointed thee with ths 
oil of gladnefs ah we thy fellcws^ Pfal. xlv. 7. 

Lajlly^ ]iY giving him ail power over all perfon3 
and things, in order to the accompliiliment of his 
Work. All judgment is comrnirted to him: As thou 
ha fl given him power over all fie fl?^ that he pould give 
eternal life to as many ai then haft given him^ Joha 
V. 21. Matth. xxviii. 18. John xvii. 2. 

^ccondly^ How is it that Chrift hath a hand in his 
own confecranon } The word is, He hath confecrated 
hi mf elf to he the nezv and living vjay, 

1. Chrifi devotes and coniecrates himfi^lf to be the 
way to heaven, in a cheerful and willing compliance 
with all the will of his-Father about him. In order 
to his beirg the way, the Lord God his Father open- 
ed his ears, and he was not rebellious ; it was his de^ 
light to do his will; and in compliance with the di- 
vine will a great matter of his confecration ilood ; by 
the which will we are fan^tiiied ; the Father's will 
willing him to con^.e, the Son's will willing him to come 


2. By his dying. Our Lord Jefus died willingly 
in another manner than any of us either can or fliould. 
He laid down that life that he could keep, if he would ; 
he laid it down as an a(St of great obedience unto the 


Serm. XVI. the Profefion of our Faith. 2jj 

will of his Father ; he died cheerfully, and died wil- 
lingly. See what he fays of it before-hand ; And 
for their fakes 1 fanBify myfef^ that they alfo might be 
'fanfiified through the truths John xvii. 19. What is 
that fan«ftifying of himfelf ? A facrificing of himfclf, 
devoting of himfelf to be a facrifice for the faving of 
his flieep. They could never come to that fan<f^ifica- 
tion, by gofpel-devotednefs to God, unlefs our Lord 
Jefus had devoted himfelf to deaih. 

Laftiy^ He confecrates and devotes himfelf by the 
confequent practice and exercife of his office. Every 
poor finner upon whom our Lord Jefus puts forth his 
ikili in faving him, is a difplay of his authority to fave, 
is a further declaration of the power and might that 
he was clothed with in bringing men to glory. There- 
fore, fays the apoftle, it became him^ for whom are 
all things^ and by whom are all things^ in bringing 
many fons unto glory ^ to make^the captain of their fal- 
vaticn perfed through fufferingSy Hebrews ii. To. He 
was made perfe^l through fufFerings to the end that 
he might bring many fons to glory ; and the more 
he brings, this perfetflion is the more evident ia 

The third thing in the words to be explained is. 
For whom is this confecrating of Chiifl P The apo- 
ftle fays, he has confecrated this way for Mi, for a 
particular fort of people, for feme of the childrea 
of men. Chrift did not confecrate and make himfelf 
a way to heaven, and fend the gofpel into the worlds, 
that men according as they incline, and according to 
the direction of their free-wiii might come in and get 
life and falvation by him. Our Lord Jefus went a- 
bout his woik more knowingly, more fixedly ihaa 
that ; he knew what would come of it. It is doncj 
I fay, for particular per-fons. Confider, with refped 
to this, 

I. That all the f?rings of falvation are towards 
particular perfons, 

s. That 

234 "^^^ Stedfajl Adherence to Serm. XVI. 

2. That the covenant, the charter of falvation is 
with, and for, and to particular perfons. 

5. The polTeffion of it, is by, and for particular 

1. The great fprings of falvation are all for parti- 
cular perfons ; the three grand fprings of falvation, 
are the election of the Father, the redemption of the 
Son, and the fani^ification of the Holy Ghoft ; now 
all thefe are determined towards diftin6l and particu- 
lar perfons. ly?. The ele^ion of grace isfupon perfons, 
there is no election of qualifications, the eleflion is of 
perfons ; where-ever it is fpoken in the word, it is 
fpoken of perfons. He has chofen us in him before the 
foundation of the world. Give diligence to make your 
calling and ele6lionfure, God hath not appointed us to 
wraths but to obtain falvation by our Lord Jefus Chrifl^ 
The eleflion is all of^perfons. 

2^/y, The grace of redemption by our Lord, with 
his redeeming love, is of perfbns. Re laid down his life 
for his fheep^ and, / know you are none of my fheep, 
fays our Lord. That was a not Chrift could fpealc, but 
none of his fervants muft ever offer to fpeak after him, 
never was there an apoftle could fay fo in an affem- 
bly of people concerning one particular perfon, I know 
they are none of ChrifV s fheep^ that is only for the great 
fiiepherd to fay. The chief fhepherd can only tell his 
deep exadlly. 

3^/y, The fan(flification of the fpirit, which is the 
great fpring of falvation, as it is begun in us, is of 
perfons; there is a devoiingof the whole church, the 
body of Chrift. But as it is a work on particular per- 
fons, this work muft pafs upon parncular men, the 
fprings muft work in every man that is called to this 
faivation. For we ourfelves were fometimes foolifh^ dif' 
ohedienty deceived^ ferving divers lufls and pleafures, 
living in malice and envy^ hateful and hating one anO' 
ther. So that we find, I fay, that the fprings of fal- 
^vation are all about particular perfons, the fprings run 
in one ^iftindl: channel towards particular perfons, 


Serm. XVI. the Profeffton of our Faith. 235 

and always anfwer the fame ; every one that is elec- 
ted by the grace of the Father, is redeemed by the 
blood of his Son ; every one that is ele<n:ed and re- 
deemed, is fan£lified by the inhabitation of the Holy 
Ghoft. They are not equally vifible, but equally cer- 

2. The charter of falvation is to particular perfoai. 
Every one muft have God's covenant made with hira- 
felf; none are faved by'a general covenant 01 God 
with a people ; a church covenant under the gofpel 
fignifies nothing at all, in matters of falvation. It may 
be of good ufe in church order. Every one in parti- 
cular mud have falvation come to him, through the 
channel of a particular covenant, betwixt God and 
himo: He has made with vie^ fays David, an ever la fl- 
ing covenant. If it had been only with Ifrael in gener- 
al, it had been a cold bufinefs for a dying man's. com- 
fort, but he has made with me^ as particularly with 
me, as if there were not another man in all the world, 
that God covenanted with, 

3. The poffeffion of falvation is by particular per- 
fons ; people are not faved in crouds and corporati- 
ons. There are bodies of Chriftian churches, as they 
are called, that are to attend to the means of grace 
and mutual edification, according to the Lord's ap- 
pointment ; but when we come to partake of begun, 
or of compleat falvation, every one mufl have it for 
himfelf, no other body's falvation can ferve him. This 
is the fubftance of the meaning of this word, that or.r 
Lord as flain is confecrated, and hath confecrared 
himfeif to be the way to heaven for his people. 

1 would make fome little ufe of this at this time, 
and referve the more general application of this flain 
Chrift, as the way to heaven, unto another opportu- 
nity. Two things I (hall infer from hence, and fpeak 
to at this time. 

I. Is Chrift a confecrated way to heaven, and hath 
he confecrated himfelf for his people ? Then behold 
how he loved them. If the Jews faid fo of Chrift' s 


2j(5 The JJedfaJl Adherence to Serm. XVL 

weeping at Lazarus's grave, what muft we fay of 
Chrift's confecrating hirafelf to the death for us, that 
he might make a way to heaven for us ? Jefus wept^ 
John xi. 35. The Jews faid. Behold how he loved 
him. We find moll frequently in the word, when either 
this great devoting of Chrift to death is fpoken of in 
general as to churches ; or applied in particular to 
particular perfons, it is flill afcribed to iove as its 
fpring. Husbands^ fays the apoflle, love your ivives, 
as Chrijl has alfo loved the churchy and gave h'imfeif for 
it^ Eph. V. 25. He loved me^ and gave hirafelf for me^ 
fays the apoflle, Gal. ii. 20. Great mud that love 
be, when the love gift is fo great. It mud be a (irorg 
love that gave fo great a gift. Who loved us, and 
ivaflKd us from our fins in his own bloody Rev. i. 5, 6. 
The love of Chrift conjtraineth us^ becaufe we thus 
judge ^ that if one died for ally then were all dead ^ &:c. 
2 Cor. v. 14. This 1 would fpeak a little to in a few 
particulars, this confecrating himfelf to be anew and 
living way to heaven. 

i/?. Our Lord Jefus did confult the oecefTity 
of his people out of meer pure love. He was u- 
pon the Father's counfel from eternity about the 
way of faving man ; he has the wifdom of God, and 
liath an intered in the contriving of it ; the eternal 
purpofe was purpofed in Chriil Jefus t)ur Lord. The 
contrivance was, What way may poor fallen fiuners 
be brought well and fafe to glory ? They are fallen 
by fin, conquered by Satan, proclaimed rebels by 
God, tainted and condemned by God's holy law, are 
beggered and impoveriflied, and cannot pay a far* 
thing to divine juftice : The law mud not ji)e broken. ^ 
judice muft not be affronted, God's power cannot be 
refided. How then can man be faved .'' Ic is impodible 
but only this way. Here is the mydery of our Chridi- 
anity, it is impodible that a man can be brought up to 
God, until God come down to man, and become man 
for him ; and that God-man is made the great mean to 
bring all his people up again to God. The facrifice of 


Serm, XVL the Profejfion of our Faith. 237 

the man and ihe power of God, and the merit of that 
facrifice of that God-man is made an everlafling cha- 
riot, that will carry all that believe on him cerr, inly 
fafe to glory; he confulted, 1 fay, our neceiTitv in 
great love. He confulted not his own conveniency at 
all, Even Chr'ifl phafed not h'nnfeJf^ &c. O vvu.v. an 
argument is here ! The apoftle brings the fweeteft 
arguments fometimes to prefs the eafieil ordinary du- 
ties. Let us 7iQt pleajs ourfehes^ but every one another^ 
for edification^ that is vt'holefome advice, hm '.i <■ ar- 
gument is beyond it, even Chrljl f leafed not hivfelf, 

idly^ Our Lord's love in being thus a coafccraued 
way appears in this, that he draws all his redeemed 
to himfelf. Chrifl Being the way to heaven is no man's 
way till he be in it. No man is brought to heaven by 
Chrid, till he be in him ; therefore our Lord knovv-- 
ing this, draws them to himfelf. And /, if I he lift- 
edup^ ivi II draw all men to me^ ihat is, all that I have 
laid down my life for. 

3^/y, This love appears not only in drawing them, 
but in preferving them to the heavenly kingdom. We 
do not fall out with ourfelves fo much as we ought, 
but we were in a bad cafe if Chrid (liould fall out 
with us, as often as we do with ourfeives. IF the Lord 
Jefus had had the fame thoughts of us, that we ought 
to have of ourfelves, where had we been P But he 
pities and fpares in his great love, and by his might 
keeps his poor people in the way, and give? them 
the crown in the end. Rev. ii. 7. To him that over- 
Cometh will I give fo eat of the tree of life ^ ivhich is in 
the midft of the faradife of God. 

Sirs, Chriil's love is a bleffed thing. If a poor be- 
liever can but fee it through a glafs darkly, and per- 
ceive fomething of the ftream of it, he is joyful. But 
ChriR's love as a Saviour will never appear in its glo- 
ry, till the crown of glory comes out of his own 
hand. When a believer, W I may fo fpeak, kneels be- 
fore the throne of God and of the Lamb, and receives 
the crown of eternal life, our Lord may well fay then, 
H h Hereby 

238 Tbe fiedfaj} Adherence to Serm. XVI. 

.Hereby thou may eft know how I have loved thee, Cbrifl: 
confecrated himfelf to be the way to heaven, and a 
great demonftration of his love we fliould gather our 
of it. See ^lev. iii. 9, 

2, Did Chrifi: confecrate himfelf to be the way to 
heaven ? Then furely men may boldly nfe him as the 
way; he is devoted for this end. There are two 
grand abufes of confecrated things. When they ei- 
ther are not ufed for that end they were confecrated 
for^ or when ihey are abyfed to another end, 

Is our Lord confecrated to be the way to heaven ? 
Men rauft boldly by faith make ufe of him. See our 
Lord's own argument, John vi. 27. Labour. not for 
the meat which p^r'i/heth, but for that meat which en- 
dureth unto ever la fling ///>, which the Son of Jiianft.mU 
give unto you : For him hath God the Father fealcd. 
He hath confecrated him, fet him a-part to be the 
bread of life, and giver thereof. This now i would 
only branch out in two particulars, 

ifly Chriil as the way to heaven maketh us bold 
in entering by him; he is confecrated for this end. 
There is a boldnefs of fahh, that in the day of God's 
power is practicable. Ac firft believing fome have 
found it. 1 will not fay very many. The very firlt 
adventure of a finncr, that has been defpairlng of all 
relief before, may truft with great confidence upon 
Jefus Chi id, as the confecrated way to heaven. But 
fay you, I do not know that he has been confecrated 
for me: I know he is confecrated to be the only way 
to heaven ; but is he confecrated for me r I anfwer, 
(i.) No man ever did, and no man can, and you ne- 
ver will be able to know that Chrifl is confecrated 
for you, till you be in him. This is the great wif- 

^dom of God. God's great book of life, 1 fay, is not 
to be read by any eyes, but the eyes of a believer* 
and when he reads the book, he can only read bis 
own name in it. But indeed Paul, by an apofiolic 
fpirit and difcerning charity, might fpeak as he did, 
Whofe names arc written in the book of life. The book 


Serm. XVI. the Profeffion of our Faith. 23^ 

of eleftion and the book of Chrift's (lieep, can be read 
by no eyes but the eyes of a believer ; and this is e- 
nough, we need no more. It would be enctf-igh to con- 
f^Jnd all things in the church of Chrift, if fo be that 
the fecret books of God's purpofes were Tifible nnio 
and legible by believers. If I may fo fpeak, there 
would be no living in the world, if men knew who were 
eieiTted, and who not. The very do<n:rina thereof you 
fee how many tumults it raifes ; how much more would 
it be, if they faw the thing ? Take heed, remember that 
Chrift is confecrated to be the way to heaven ; he is 
confecrated to be fo for a particular number of men ; 
no man can know himfelf to be of that number, but 
a believer, and every believer may. Whenever a 
poor creature can allure his heart before God, that 
he, in the fenfe and plain con virion of liis defer ving 
hel), and of his being utterly unable to do any thing 
to bring him to heaven, takes Chrift as God's ap- 
pointed way, and ventures his all upon the fiaia Sou 
of God, this man is a believer, and the wa/ was con- 
fecrated for him ; as foon as he is in ir, he may know 
it. Make biit your calling fure, and you make your 
eleflion fure th^rebf. (2.) Whatever darknefs there 
be about this, whether the way was confecrated for 
you, you have encouragement to venture upon the 
way by ail the fcripture. It is not thedoclrine of the 
purpofe of God on the death of Chriif, that h the 
ground of our faith ; it is the dG£lrine about the fuf- 
ficiency of Chrift's death ; it is the do<5lrine of the gof- 
pel, wherein the tender of the Saviour and great falva- 
lion is brought to every man's door fo clofely, that the 
iilhe muft be either an acceptance unto falvation, or 
a refofal with the great aggravation of condemnation ; 
and fo will the judgment of the lad day proceed. 

idlyy In ufmg Chrift as the way to heaven, we 
mull not only, becaufe he is confecrated ior this end^ 
venture on him boldly, but we mud walk in bins con- 
fidently, (i.) Without fear of enemies; I do noc 
fay without apprebeDfion ; there is an apprehenfi on 
H h 2 of 

240 ^h^ fl^^^f^fl Adherence to Serm. XVL 

of enemies, that is an a<fl of wifdom, and faith, in 
Older to prepare for the encounter. Take ye the 
whole armtur of God ; we have need of it, for there 
are great enemies; not flc^fii and blood only, tAit 
greater enennies we have to fight with. Remember 
this, that you cannot get to heaven in that road that 
the devil does nor haunt ; there is no path lies to hea- 
ven that the devil cannot meet a walker in it. We 
mull not expe6i: to get to heaven vviihout meeting 
hiai by the way; but let us remember this, I am u- 
poc coofecratcd ground ; if I be in Chrift, Satan can- 
not prevail agaiufl me. And the more confidence we 
have of our fecurity in Jefos Chrift , the more courage 
and ilrength we have agaiaft Satan. 

(2.) Fear not raifcarryiog at lad, if ye be in Chrifl, 
It is a piiiful cafe that a great many believers are in ; 
there are believers, God help them, that are fo 
weak, they believe all their days, and they unbelieye 
all their days ; they walk on in Chrifl, and fear they 
ihali never come to the end. What, art thou in 
Chrifl;, and yet feared thy miffing heaven ? Whither 
can Chrid the way lead a believer, but home to him- 
felf? Father^ 1 will that they alfo ivhcjn thou hafl 
given ?rie^ be with me where I am^ that they may be- 
hold my glory zvhich thou haft given me : For thou lov- 
edjl we before the foundation of the worlds John xvii, 
24. 1 will not lofe a bit of them, 1 will not \o{t the 
man, notwith (lauding his temptation?, corruptions, 
and weakncfs in grace. I will make the poor crea- 
ture get good of all. It will be feen when our Lord 
has perfe<fled his work, that he has loll noihing of all 
that was given him. 

Laflly^ Walk confidently in Chrifl, and do not 
fear wandering. Believers have the promife of the 
Spirit to lead them into all truth. If they be in Chrid, 
Chrid will keep them. 1 do not fay, but many be- 
lievers may be left to great midakes and errors about 
feveral things of fmalier moment. But every belie- 
ver that is in Chrifl, as to greater matters, is kept in 


Serm. XVII. the Frofejfion of our Faith. 24 1 

the truth as it is in Jefus. O that this were duly 
minded ! How wifely does the apoftle fpeak of this 
point, Eph. iv. 14, 15, 16. compared with ver. 19, 
20. and onward to Col. ii. ? The thing that I obferve 
from both thefe places is, the inftru^lion the Holy 
Ghofl: gives us of the fpring of error in the church. 
The apoftle cautions us, that we be not overtaken 
with the cunning craftinefs of them that lie in wait to 
deceive. How (hail we know them ? would the poor 
man fay. Know them ? Always by this, they do not 
hold the head, fays he : Not holding the head^ from 
which all the body by Joints and bands having nourijh" 
ment minijlred^ and knit together^ increafeth with the 
increafe of God^ Colof. ii. 19. As long as a belie- 
ver is in Chrift as the way, he can never mifcarry, 
never wander totally ; he may miftake in fomething 
in his way, but he is in the right way in the great 
matters of falvation, and fcall be fafely landed at 


Hebrews x. 20. 

By a new and living way zvhich he hath confecrated 
for us J through the veil, that is to fay ^ his f^jh, 

THIS is the fecond encouragement, that the apo- 
ftle, by the diredlion of the Spirit of God, gives 
in encouraging Chriftians to approach to God. They 
are ail drawn from Chrift Je'fds ; and all our encou- 
ragements for faith are in Chrift alone ; nothing that 
is in him, but is encouraging to faith ; and nothing 
that can encourage faith is out of him, or any where 


24? 'The fledfajl Adherence to Serm. XVII. 

^elfe to be had. The firft is, That there is an en- 
trance allowed to us by the blood of Jefus Chrift, 
verfe 19. The fccond is, That there is a way pre- 
pared, wild confecrated for us through the veil ; that 
is Chrifl too. And the third crcouragement is, That 
we have an High Pried himfelf, fet over the houfe 

Upon this fecond encouragement from the 20th 
verfe, 1 have been feveral days fpeaking upon this 
truth. That the way to heaven is through the veil 
of tlie 11 lin Son of God, it is through the veil of his 
flefh ; and upon it, at feveral times, I have (liewn 
what is meant by Chrifl's flefh ; it is his human na- 
ture offered in facrifice to God for the falvaiioti of 
his people, with all its fpirit, and power, and virtue. 
Next, I fliewed, why this flcfli is called the veil. It 
hid and covered the glory of his Godhead, and yet 
makes a paffagc unto us by faith to approach to God ; 
f^r an immediate approach to God, now that fm hath 
entered into the world, is impoilible ; therefore all 
our approaches mufi: be by a mediator, and this Me- 
diator did mediate mainly by his blood and facrifice. 
What fort of a way this is, has been fpoke to, both 
in general, and ;iccording to the three properties of 
it in the text ; That it is a new v/ay, a living way, 
and a way of Chrifl's own confecrating for us ; and 
upon each of thefe feme little application has been 
niade fuirable to the doctrine that has been difcourfed 
to. 1 dcfign now, as i prouiifed, to make fome more 
Jarge application of this great truth. That our Lord 
J el as as ilain is the way to heaven ; though 1 know 
ihe apollle makes the grand application in the 2 2d 
verfe, for he points forth the ufe we ftiould make 
thereof, to draw t:ear to God, 

I will notwithflandipg, as the Lord fliall help, fpeak 
foujcthing of applicauon previous unto that ; and it 
^hail be only in two particulars. 

/v>/?, If Chrift be tlije way to heaven, we may 
plainly fee how fatally and wofuliy the ereateft part 

^ of 

Sekm. XVIT. the Frofejftcn of our Faith. 243- 

of the world are miftaken about the way ; and if mif- 
taken about the way, they mufl: mifs of the en J. If one 
do not take the right way to heaven, he can cever 
come at it. This is an inference that is very plain^ 
and very fad. There are two falfe fcrts of rdrgrons 
iti the world, I mean that almoft all the reft are re- 
ducible to two. Tiiere is natural religion ; and there 
is the Antichrilliao one, which is but a grand corrup- 
tion of Chrifiianity, and changing of it foine way into 
the old Pagans natural reiigion, and many grofs things 
ihereip. 1 would fpeak but briefly itnto both of rhens, 
and reduce what I mean mainly to warn you of, as 
inferences from thence. 

I . There is natural religion. I call it by that name, 
becaufe fbmeihing of it is every where, and it is on- 
ly what remains in that fallen (late that miin is come 
into. We will fee now what this is made up of, what 
are thofe principles that are fo deeply engraven ia the 
hearts of men, that they do fill all the inhabitants of 
the earth with fome form of religion. Where-^ver 
travellers have come, and obfervations have beea 
made, among the mod favage people, there is fome- 
ihing left of fome notions of religion ; forms of Ir^ 
though very forry ones they be, it is acknowledged. 
You had need confider this, for this kind of religion 
is in every one of your he an 5 ; but unlefs the grace 
of God, and the light of the gofpel expel it, and 
plant fomething better in its room, you are lo(l for 
ever. Natural religion has in it ihefe particulars. 

1/?, Some notion of the being of a God, that there 
is a God, and that this God is to be woriliippcd, and 
ferved, and obeyed. All the world o\^n fomething 
of this. The invifible things of him from the creation df 
the world are cUarly feen^ being under flocd by the things 
that are made, even his eterrtal power and Godhead / 
fo that they are without e^xcufe, Rorn. i. jo. There is^ 
nothing more inviQble than the Ck)dhead ; ersrnal 
power is alfo invifible : but, (iiys the apod'e, the 
very Heathens have thefe things imde vifible by the 


344 ^^^^ fl^^f^fl Adherence to Serm. XVII. 

mighty works of God ; and therr natural reafon can 
inftruft them fo far, that the rearing up of this glo- 
rious canopy of the heavens, the frame of the earth, 
the making of thefe great feas, and the making of fo 
many beautiful creatures upon the earth, mud be the 
work of forae great, powerful, wife agent. Aiheifm 
is againft nature, and is no where found, but where 
the principles of natural religion are extinguidied by 
the power of the devil, and the juftice of God by 
mens abufe of revealed religion. When men come 
to itruggle with the right way of the knowledge of 
God revealed in the v/ord, and (liut their eyes againft 
that, God fuffers them to be blinded, as to thofe 
things that the very Heathens have more light in. I 
beheve that there are more Atheids in England, than 
among all the Pagan nations through the whole earth. 
A place where the gofpel-light doth diine, and men 
rebel againft it, is the only plac- where fuch mon- 
flers are bred. 

2 J/y, In natural religion, there is always fome dif- 
tinftion made about good and evil, fome light about 
good and evil, and fome confcience there is exercifed 
about thefe. Confcience is as natural to us, as un- 
derftanding, and will, and memory are. It is as natu- 
ral to us to have a confcience, as it is to be men and 
women, or to have reafon ; for confcience is nothing 
elfe but the exercife of reafon about the greated con- 
cernments; it is only a man's judging himfelf, accord- 
ing as he ftands before a greater and fuprerae judge. 
Therefore the apodle fpeaks thus of the Heathen : 
Thefe having not the law, are a law unto themj'elvcs : 
which Jhewy fays he, the work of the law written i?2 
their hearts, Rom. ii. 14, 15. Pray obferve, one of 
the grand promifes of the new covenant, is God's 
writing his law in our heart. Here the apodle fpeaks 
of the law of nature, as written in the heart of a Hea- 
then, their confcience in the mean while, fays he, ac- 
cuftng, or elfe excitftng one another^ according to the 
light that they receive. 

Serm. XVII. the Profejton of our Faith, 7^^ 

^dly^ There is amongfl all natural men, and a na- 
tural religion, fome notion of forgivenefs, and par- . 
doning mercy and goodnefs in God. Arliidftall their 
darknefs about God, yet they do know, that it is a 
great excellency, and all excellencies they will afcribe 
to God, to be good and graciou?, and ready to for- 
give. As there is a confcieoce of fin amongfl all men, 
fo they do give this praife to God, that he is a God 
that can forgive ; thereupon they.addrafs to hira, in 
their feveral ways, for it. All the Heathen have 
fome fenfe of judgment co come ; and from thefe 
principles all the fabrics of natural religion are reared 
up in the world. Now, where this natural religion 
comes to be poliflied by the light of the word, it will 
look a great deal better, and a great many are de- 
ceived by it. 

What then are the grand wants and dcfe£>s that 
are in a natural religion, which mud certainly leave 
a man that has no more, in a condemned itate ? 

(r.) With all their light, and ail the knowledge 
they have of God, they do not know the true God ; 
they do not know the God and Faiher of our Lord 
Jefus Chrid, they do not know God in Chrid. All 
gods not feen in Chrift are the idols of the nations. 
It is a deep word that the apoftle has, For after thai 
in the wljdom of Gody the world by "xnfdom knew not 
God^ it pie a fed God by the foclijhnefs of preaching to 
Jave them that believe^ i Cor. i. 21. Ail their wifdo^n 
could not bring them to know God, becaufe they did 
not know God in Chrift. 

(2.) All natural men, whatever thoughts they may 
have of God's goodnefs in faving and forgiving, yec 
know nothing of God's way of doing it ; and if they 
do not know of God's way of doing it, how can they 
come by it ? They do not know God's forgiving thro' 
a faiisfa^lion, they do not know of God's fiiving men 
by a mediator ; and a great many that hear of thefe 
things every day, feem to know it as little as they ; 
'I mean, though they fubfcribs to the notion, the 

1 i powcj. 

24^ The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XVII. 

power of the truth is as little upon their hearts as u- 
poD the Heathens. Therefore all this natural religi- 
on, that iiils the nations of the earth, is nothing but 
a dark and dim light, a falfe fire that leads men into 
the pit, ard never did lead a man to heaven ; for no 
man can be made wife to falvaiion, but by the revela- 
tion of the. word of God ; and no man can favingly 
know the word of God, but by the revelation of the 
Spirit of God. 

2. The fecocd great religion that fills the world 
is Popery, as we commonly call it, Aniichrift's reli- 
gion. They call it the way to heaven ; but the word 
of God calls it the myflery of iriiquity, and the head 
of it, the Jon of perdition^ 2 TheiT. ii. 3. and mo.n of 
fin. The fpirit of Popery lies in this, in inventing, 
devifing, and impofmg of faUe ways to heaven. Ail 
their feveral religions, as they call them, are but {o 
many ways to lead people from Jefus Chrid. There 
is a way to heaven that they propofe by the merit of 
good Vv'orks, fometimes by our own, and foinetimes 
by thofe of others : there is ^ way to heaven by the 
interceflion of faints or angels, thereupon they pray 
to them, and expe^l relief from them; there is a 
way to h'eaven in that pardon that they (land much 
upon, and that is by the abfolution of a finfnl pried 
like themfelves. Really it is amazing to behold the 
judgment of God, that fo many of the wife, and pru- 
dent, and great, of the kings, and princes, and learn- 
ed of the earth, have been fo long bewitched with 
thefe forceries. They have another way to falvation 
which is yet worfe, and more dangerous becaufe it 
comes nearer the true one ; and that is, their carnal 
reprefenting the true way to heaven, that is, Chrift 
crucified. Here lies a great part of the myftery of 
Antichriiiianifm. If fo be that this were laid quite 
afide, that Chrifl is the way to heaven, Chriftianity 
were firmly and in plain terms laid afide ; therefore 
they are left to be fo grofs in their life to ierve their 
dcfigD. In the mean lime, Antichrifi: dees fo paint 


Serm.JX.VII. the Profefton of our Faith. 247 

forth and reprefent Jefus Chrill: to poor people, ihat 
quite enervates and fpoils aii the virtue of this great 
contrivance of God. There is reprereniing him by 
an image and picture ; they worfhip the pldlare of a 
roan extended upon thecrofs, and this is called by them 
their faviour ; but the Spirit of God calls it a devil ; 
for every image or every creature that becomes the 
worliiip of man in the (lead and room of God, is cal- 
led worfliipping of devils, worfnipping of (locks, and 
(tones, and devils. Another grols abufe of Chrilti- 
anicy is this, that is reckoned one of their great ways 
to heaven ; and that is, they turn the memorial of 
the .death of our Lord, that is to be perpetaally kept 
up in the church, into a propitiatory facrifice for the 
fins of the quick and dead \ befides the other abomi- 
nable things that are therein, is that of tranfubitan- 
liation. But that which ferves my purpofe is mainly 
the facrifice of it. The defign of our Lord jefus in 
appointing his lad fupper was, that bread might be 
eaten, and wine drunk amongfl believers in the 
churches of Chriil, in the remembrance of ChriU's 
deaths ^J^^ ^^ come again ; a plain naked teaching 
thing, and has its own fignitication in the inditntion 
of it. Inftead of this, they have the bread turned, 
as they fancy, into the ileih and body of a man, and 
this body eaten ; and this they reckon the way to e- 
ternal life, when the abnfe of it is a fin, enough to 
damn men. But now, fay you, what does all this 
ferve for ? We are neither Pagans nor Papifts. But 
not.withflanding there U not one of you, but are in 
fome danger this way ; for, from a mixture of natu* 
lural andantichridian religion, there fprings up a great 
many forts of people among us. 

I. There is the fuperftitious formalid. Thefe are 
in all forts of religion. They imagine, that becaufe 
they are in the true church, therefore they (hall be 
faved. The true church is not the way to heaven, 
but Chrift is the way to heaven | and all that are in 
I i 2 Chriil 

248 The Stedfajl Adherence to Serm, XVIl. 

Cbrift will betake themfelves to that church that is 
true. They commonly lay a great (Irefs upon their 
outward performances and duries, and many times on 
the fmalleft. 

2. There is the moralid. Would any believe ir, 
tinlefs they read it in books and in fome mens preach- 
ing, that in fuch a land as England is and has been, 
there (hould be in it either man or woman, or child 
of feven years oF age, that ihould drink in this, dread- 
ful noHon, that if i do juftly, and do as 1 would be 
done by, 1 fhiil furely be faved P But thou (halt fure- 
]y be damned, if thou dofl no more. Is not this a 
wonder, that after all thiit light that has fiione from 
the word of Gcd about the way of falvation by the 
ilain Son of God, that civility that is to be found a- 
wongfl: Heathens is all a great many have for their 
title to e:erna! life ! 

3. There is the felf-righteous legalifi: ; a man that 
goes beyond the former : he will noc (lint himfelf ia 
the matter of his falvation, and lodge it in the form 
of his profelTion, but will bring it farther to the ex- 
erclfe of his confcience, and the employment of his 
heart ibout good work?, about driving to pleafe God; 
he is about eftablilhing his own righieoufnef?, and 
he will find our a way 10 heaven for himfelf. Much 
isfaid againil this in theword of God, and muchfliould 
be daily faid againif it by the minifiers of the word. 
There are fome men fo i r.patient in hearing any fpeak 
a;T:aiD(l feif-rio'hteouffieA, as thoup-h it were not a 
fin, and no-body were in danger to be ruined by it ; 
when it is the fin that is the lail firong hold of Satan, 
and that keeps many men in, that the word of God 
hath ferretted out of others What can be the grand 
reafon of this, that men fliould fall into (o many fa- 
tal raiftakes about the way to heaven ? I do not fpeak 
of them that want the light of the word, nor of Po- 
pery ; but that there (liould be fo many of thefe re- 
maining mi flakes where the light of the word is, is 
ftrange. The reafon is only this, the great darknefs 


Serm.XVII. the PrqfeJJion of our Faith. 249 

that men naturally labour under as to the way to hea- 
ven ; this darknefs leads men to miftake it, and to 
take up other ways, becaufe they do not know the 
true way. Every body thinks that it is very hard to 
get to heaven, and it will cofl: a great deal of time 
and pains, and ftruggling before they get thither; 
but here is the mifcbief of it ; people do not know it 
is hard to know the way to heaven, they are not con- 
vinced of this, that unlefs a beam of light (liine in u- 
poQ thy heart, thou mayfl: hear of the way to hea- 
ven all thy life long, and not know it. There is the 
Spirit of wifdom and revelation in the knowledge of 
Chrift, that every one had need to pray fdr. 1 might 
inftance a great many of the ordinary fimple miftakes 
of people. Some do imagine, that any way that is 
contrary to the way to hell, is the way to heaven ; 
a great miftake. Every fin is the way to hell, will 
you fay, every duty is the way to heaven. Any fin 
may ruin a man, but nothing can fave him but Chrifi: 
Jefus. Intemperance, drunkennefs, &c. is the way 
to hell ; but is there any fo unreafonable as there- 
fore to think, that fobernefs is the way to heaven ? It 
is a duty, it is that which God commands of them that 
are in the way ; and fome imagine, that what every 
one that is in the way to heaven does, is the way. 
But the way to heaven ftill is through Chrid himfelf ; 
for though all this walking is to be in the way, yet 
walking is not the way ; we are to walk in holinefs, 
but this is but our walking in the way of €hrifl: ; 
none can walk in him, but they are fanflified ; and 
the more they are fan(ftified, the more they partake of 
him. That which is reckoned a very abominable he- 
refy araongfl: the Socinians, is indeed that which is 
very natural amongft many that would be reckoned 
good Chiiftians, that our Lord Jefus Chrift came to 
ihew the way to heaven ; but they do not believe, he 
came to be the way to heaven ; they think he came 
to tell us the way to heaven, and to make a way for 

tSo fhe fiedfajl Adherence to Serm. XVIL 

us ; but they canoot underftaad, that he came to be 
the way to heaven, that we cannot get to heaven un- 
fefs we be it) him. So much for the firft. That the 
way tu heaven is through the vail of the flefh, of 
the flaii5 Son of God. There are many in the world 
that are mod wofully and fatally raiftakcn, and we 
may make ufe of our Lord's words and arguments 
in this point : there are few that find this way. 
Broad is the way that leadelh to deftrudion^ and many 
there be which go in thereat-, why fo ? Becaufe Jlraight 
is the gale, nrid narrow is the way which leadeth unto 
life, ^ and few there he that find it, Matth. vii. 15, 14, 

The fecond word that I would give in application 
of this truth. That Chrift as flain is the way to hea- 
ven, (hail be in exhorting of you to take this way. 
Labour to be acq -j aimed with a crucified Saviour. 
The apotUe Paul was a better preacher than any one 
in England : He determined to know nothing but 
Chrift, and him crucified, and he knew his work, he 
knew wherein profitable preaching lay. You muft 
labour, I fay, to be in him ; fee that you be in the 
way. This 1 would exhort unto, and inforce upon 
yoa in a few things, if the Lord give them force, for 
it is in his hand only. 

I. ConGder and be ferious in this matter, whether 
you have a micd to be in heaven or no. Sirs, mini- 
iiers are deceived v/ofully here ; we exped when we 
come to preach to people, and ftudy for them, and 
pray for them, we expe<9: the company has a mind to 
go to heaven ; but the matter is other wife. A great 
part of our work is to perfuade people to have a mind 
to be ia heaven ; but if you have a mind to be in hea- 
ven, have you ever been at tuat queftion ; What 
Jh all I do to be faved? Would you pretend to be 
Chriftians, or, for God's fake, would you have any to 
chink you Chriftians, that have not come this length, 
Ph what lliall we do to be faved P Do you think that, 
any man will ever come to heaven, that never thought 


S E R M . X Vlt. the Vrofejfion of our Faith. 251 

of it before he came thicher ? How God deals with 
infants, we do not kno7/, but for perfons that live 
under the means of grace, the falvation of folks that 
are mindlefs of falvation is impolTible. God never de- 
figned it, and will never perform it. This is thcfifft 
confideration. Enter into your own hearts, and think 
wiih yourfelves, what an anfwer ye can give to fo 
plain a queflion as this is. Is hell the mod unho'.y and 
unhappy place of all P Is heaven the holieil: and hap- 
pieft place of all I Is it lovely above all other lovely 
things to you ? Then here is the way to it ; Labour 
to get into Chrift Jefus. 

2. Confider, that if you have a mind to be in hea- 
ven, you mufl: be in that way wherein you may be 
faie againft all that can affault you. Have you a mind 
in earneft to be at heaven, to be furely there ? You 
mud be in that way wherein you may be fafe againft 
all affaults from enemies ; you mud be found there 
where you (hall be furely fafe. This made the a- 
poftle Paul fo defirous to h^ found in h'tm^ I Fear no- 
thing, if I be found in him, Phil. iii. 9. ; found ia 
him, the're lies the bufmefs. I (hall but run through^ 
and name a few of thofe difficulties that you will have 
to encounter withal, and that you can be no way fe- 
cured againft, but by being in Chrift as the way. 

ly?, You have the world to oppofe you ; 7v?A the 
World is too hard for any man that is out of Chrift, 
The world has been too hard for a great m^ny that 
thought themfelves ttrong enough for ir; its cun- 
ning, its wiles, its violence, its temptations have o- 
vercome a great many. There is 110 overcoming the 
world, but through hrm that has overcome it for us,- 
John xvi. 33. We have the devil to oppofe us, at^d 
we muft be in that way, wherein we can be fafe a- 
gainft him. If you be in Chrid, the gates of heli 
Ihall not prevail againft you : Greater is be that is irr 
ycu-^ t hart he that is in the zvorldy i John iv. 4, You- 
bad need to be in that way, wherein you can give aa 
aiafwer to your confciitnoes* How needful is it ta 


252 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. XVII. 

have fomeihing that can flop the mouth of the moft: 
craving clamorous confcience, that can anfwer it fa- 
tisfyingly. So that it (hall fpeak no more ! What can 
that be, The anfwer of a good confcience towards God^ 
by the refurreElion of Jefus ChriJ}^ i Pet. iii. 21. Peo- 
ple will imagine now that the grand fecurity is the 
anfwer of a good confcience towards God^ as to our 
converfation, heart and way ; that indeed has its own 
ufe and an inferior ufe ; but when men come to 
reckon with confcience, truly there is nothing but 
the fprinkling of the blood of Jefus upon it, that 
can make it good. But here is more, 1 will not fay 
worfe, but more dreadful than all this; God's holy 
nature, God's holy law, God's fpotlefs juftice, they 
will appear againft you in the way to heaven ; un- 
lefs you be in Chrifl: the way, there is no {landing 
before thefe. When a man is in Chrift he has a rea- 
dy anfwer, I do not fear God's holy nature, for he 
hath provided a Saviour ; I do not fear the law, 
Chrift, in whom I am, has fulfilled it ; I do not fear 
the juftice of God, for Chrift has fatisfied that to the 
full. When death, judgment, and awful eternity 
flares a man in the face, he had need be fure that he 
is in Chrift. Death, that is the great terror to all na- 
tural men, to a believer it is looked upon as overcome 
by Chrift. This is the great comfort of a believer, I 
know I muft die ; but Chrift has died, and has over- 
come him that had the power of death. And why 
fliould a believer be afraid of judgment, who is in 
the way, walking towards him who is the Judge ? 
We mujl all appear before the judginent feat of ChriJ}^ ' 
2 Cor. v. 10. If any man be in Chrifl^ he is a nezv 
creature. Do you think that a man that is in Chrift, 
has reafon to be afraid to ftand before the judgment- 
feat of Chrift ? No ; a believer reckons thus with hira- 
felf. He that fpared not his own Son, the Son that 
fpared not his own blood, will he not give a favour- 
able fentence in that day ^. And for eternity, that 
cndlefs awful thing, that we can never fathom in our 


S E K M. X V II. the Profefion of our Faith. 2 5 3 

thoughts, the believer looks upon it a? a very Amiable 
thing ; This eternity that confounds other folks, to 
the believer is the great joy of his feeart; for there, 
and through all the ages of ir, will he be with the 
Lord, prailing him, enjoying his company, and parrak- 
ing of his fellowfliip. This i^ the fecond confideration. 
You Ihculd be fure, I fay, to be in Chrift the only way 
to heaven, where you may be (afe agaioil all ycti can 
encounter vvith. Whenever people come to have an 
awful profpe^l of thefe things, of God's holy nature, 
law and juflice ; of death, judgment, and eternity ; 
when their confciences are truly awakened, ail the 
fig-leaf coverings that men ufed to cover their naked- 
nefs wiihj are all blown olT. It is only mens trifling 
thoughts of heaven, and of thefe awful things that 
make Chrift fo much defpifed. 

3. Confider this, what a great fin it is, how extra-* 
ordinarily damnab:e and damning, to negle^l Chrift 
as the v/ay to heaven ; a fm, as our Lord /eems to call 
it the only fin : If 1 had ?iot come^ fays hJ, and fpoken ' 
unto them^ they had not had ftn : But r.cw thsy havi 
no cloke for their fin. They had been an innocent 
kind of people, if Chriit bad never come amongll 
them: John xv. 22. 24. This h the co7:deiimathn^ 
that light is CGjne into the worlds and men love darknefi 
rather than hghtj becaUfe their deeds were cvUi Chrili 
came into the v;orkl, lightening them in the way xa 
beaveUj and they will not make ufe of hiiti. There 
are three mod facrcd things ; and whofoever rtumbles 
at any one of them, is broken in piece?, if they flam- 
ble finally at one or at all. The firil is, The r-ich graca 
of God the Father, in providing the v/ay to heaven 
by his Son. The (tcond is, The blood of the Son of 
God, that made the way to heaven. The third is^ 
The gracious drivings of the fpirrt of grace in ihs 
gofpel, to bring men to walk in this way. Whoever 
ihe'y be that live and die under the gofpelj and do 
not make ufe of Chriif as the only way to h^nvenj 
l.hey are chargeable with all thefe i they frustrate th^ 

254 ^^^ fli^^f^fl Adherence to Serm. XVII. 

grace of God ; they trample upon the blood ofJZlhrin: ; 
and do violence and defpiie to the fpirit of grace ; 
which are the higheft exprelTions of wickednefs that 
are in all the Bible, though 1 know the higheft degree 
of ihera is applied to the grand unpardonable fin. 

Lajlly, Confider, that all excufes are taken oiF. No- 
thing can jullify a man in refufing to betake himfelf 
to Chrift as the wlay. The Lord has provided and 
framed the gofpel, by which he deals with men-fo, 
that they mud be rendered inexcufable, that do not 
embrace ir, and venture on Chrift offered therein. 
For confider, the light of nature makes men inexcuf- 
able, the light of God's law flops mens mouth*, and 
all the world are guilty before him. The light of 
the gofpel is alfo framed fo, that it much more ftops 
all mens mouths, and provides an anfwer for every 
thing. And indeed men are very fruitful in thefe ob- 
je£i:ions : " I am a fmgular fmner, therefore 1 dare 
*' not venture to come into Chrift as the way to hea- 
" ven." What fort of an objection is this ? Art thou 
a fmgular fmner ? Why, Jefus Chrift is a fingular Sa- 
viour ; let that ftand againft that ; and his bufmefs 
was with fmners ; he came into the world to fave fir- 
Ders ; and all fmners that are in the world, and hear 
of him, ihould come to hira for falvation, then there 
is a happy meeting, " I am a vile fmful creature." 
What then \ We are called to come to a fountain 
that is opened for fin, and for uocleaniiefs, if I may 
fo fpeak : Come in filthy, and go out clean. Come 
now and let us reafon together^ faith the Lordj though 
your fim he as fcarlet^ they Jh all he as white as fnow^ 
though they he red like crimfon^ they /hall he as wool^ 
Ifa. i. 1 8. What reafon has God to argue thus with 
poor finners ? That he fhould reafon thus wiih un- 
reafonabie fmners ? That he (liould freely offer his 
pardoning mercy to thofe, that are altogether unde- 
fcrviug of it ? As if God ftiould fay, I know all that 
you can fpeak muft only be from your fins ; I know 
them better than you doj come hearken tome, take 


Serm. XVII. the FrofeJJion of our Faith, 255' 

my counfel, your fios fliall be no hindrance, tbev (hall 
be removed quickly. But fay you now, what ihall a 
poor creature do that would be in Chrift as the way 
to heaven ? He is fenfible that he mud be in him, how 
iliall he do to get into him P 

F/Vy?, Be willing to be taken by him. All that 
are faved are begun to be faved when ChrlH: begins 
to lay hold of them. The firfl a£l that is upon a fm- 
ner, is of Chrid's putting forth : That I may appre- 
hend that^ fays the apoftle, for which alfo I am appre- 
bended cfCbrifl Jefus, 1 was a poor wandering crea- 
ture, as if the apoftle had faid, one lime and for a 
long time ; but at lad, Chrid laid hold of me. He 
remembered time, and place, and day, as long as he 
lived. Belie'ving is fometimes denoted by the name 
of comings fo it be by him. Would yau be ac- 
quainted with Chrid Jefus, and be in him as the 
way? Refolve to fay thus much, Though 1 can- 
not climb to Chrid Jefus, and though I cannot find 
him ; yet by God's grace, I will not run away fur- 
ther from him, I will day and long for his laying hold 
upon me. The mifery of people is this, they are 
condantly driving agaiod Chrid's faving of them. 
Whenever a poor finner is broke as to this refolved 
refidiog of the grace of God, grace does overpower 
him immediately. Be therefore willing to be taken 
by him. 

idly, It is a hard matter to look on Chrid Jefus and 
be faved ? A man may look on one that he cannot 
come to. Look upon him as the way. If people do 
but get a view of Jefus Chrid as the way to heaven, 
their hearts will follow their eyes immediately ; but 
this eye to fee him is of his own giving ; and he has 
an eye-falve to give to make us fee, as he promifes, 
Rev. iii. 18. 

-^dly, Love Chrid as the way to heaven, and you ruall 

be in him: nay, you are in him, when you love him. 

It is impodible, that a man that loves Chrid Jcfiis, 

fhould ever go to hell ) it is impodible, that ever a m:>.n 

K k 2 can 

55^^ Ths fledjajl Adherence to .Serm, XVII, 

can 'ove Chrld Jefu?, but one that is beloved of bim. 
But ROW the love of Jefas Chrifl, thoDgh it be the 
nioft ferfible of all graces, it is very hard to own it, 
bccaufe believers would fain love him more and bet- 
ter ; they cannot tell bow to own they love hira at all. 

1 wciild aik yen but one o.uedion, Can you read, and 
feal, and fubfcribe ycur name, and put your amen to 
two verfes in the Bible ? 1 dare warrant you your e- 
ternal falvation, if you can do fo. The firft is a dread- 
iul word. If any ?nan love r^ci the Lord Jefus Chfifl^ 
kt him be an anathema^ Maranatba, Amen, fays 
ihe poor believer ; if God curfe him, it is no wondero 
What, not love the Lord Jefu?; ? The other is, Rev. 
V. 12. Worthy is ihe Lamb that was /lain ^ to receive 
pciver^ end riches^ and wifdom^ andjlrength^ and ho- 
7iour^ and glory ^ and bleffing. Amen, fays the believ- 
er. That heart I fay, that is taken up with the love 
of Chrift Jefus as the way to heaven, that is bent to 
his praife, is one that is in him. 

4. If you can trull Chtiil Jefus as the w^ay to hea- 
ven, you are in him. Do you know what trufling is ? 
You know w^bat it is in matters of m.oney and trade ; 
it is juft the fame thing in mauers of your falvarion. 
Do you know in whom you have laid your great (Irefs, 
of bringing you to heaven ? Say to yourfelves, 1 do 
not know a better hand in heaven or earth to lodge 
3my immortal foul in, than in Chrifl Jefus the Son of 
God. We come to him by faith, and we go on in him 
by trufling : 1 know whom I have believed^ and I am 
ferfuaded^ that he is able to keep that^ which I have 
co?nmHted unto him again/} that day. 1 know my 
friend, would the apoitle fay, and 1 am fure he will 
give a good account of all 1 haye truded him with, 

2 Tim. i. 12. 


Serm/XVIII. the Profefmi of our Fatth. 257 


Hebrews x. 21, 22. 

A}2d having an high priejl over the houfe of God : let 
us draw near ivith a true hearty in full affurance of 
faith^ having our hearts fprinklcd from an evil con- 
fcience^ and our bodies wafhed with pure water ^ 

APPROACHING to God is a very awful and 
dangerous thing. Many are undone thereby, 
as truly, as readily, as the poor curious priers into 
the ark were. There is nothing more comri>on in 
people's practice, efpecially amongd u?,' than forms 
of approaching to God ; little fear upon mens hearts 
in the work, and little profit by it. There is need 6f 
great encouragement unto a ferious and fenfible per- 
fon to fupport his heart 'n drawing near to God. The 
prophet brings in men in diftrefs faying, Wherewith 
fhall I come before the Lordy and bow myfelf before the 
high God? Micah vi. 6. Where ihe majeily of God 
is feen, and our own vilenefs feen alfo, it mud be a 
great thing that can encourage fuch a creature as a 
finner is, to approach to fuch a God as our God is. 
All the encouragements for approaching to God are 
in Chrid Jefus, and from him ; every thing that is in 
him is encouraging, and every thing that is revealed 
of him is encouraging, and there is no encouragement 
elfewhere to be had. Our apoftle is here taking ie- 
veral views of Jefus Chrid, with an eye to this fcope, 
to encourage us tp draw nigh to God. We have 
fpoke to two of them already. 

I. As his blood makes the entrance to the holiefl, 
2. As his flain body is the veil we mufl pafs through. 


238 The pdfaft Adherence to Serm. XVIII. 

We now come to the third encouragement, which 
is taken from Jefu? Chrift, with refpe6t to his grand 
ofTice of being a Priefl: : Having an high p^iejiy fays 
the apoflle, over the houfe of God, He doth not name 
who this high priell is, neither needed he, for he had 
fpcken fo much of him before, that none that read 
this could doubt that this high pried, though unnam- 
ed, is Jefus Chrift our Lord. 

1q thefe words are three things, I would take no- 
tice of, and fpeak to in order. 

1. Ihe name of the office of our Lord; he is an 
High Prie/ly and exprelTed in a fingular manner. An 
high pried we read it ; but the word in the original is 
not an high prieft, but a great priejl* Ic is not the 
ufual Greek word that the apoftle ufes in this epidle 
frequently, when he fpeaks of Chrift the High Pried 
after the order of Melchifedec, chap. vi. 20. and fe- 
veral times in chap, vii, viii, and ix. It is a Ipecial 
phrafe here : he is a great Pried ; there is fome- 
thing very fmgular in it, fomething above all that we 
can conceive. 

2. Where his charge lies. Says the apodle. He is 
an High Priejl over the houfe of God, The houfe of 
God, in the new tedament phrafe, has two proper 
figniiications. (i.) The things that pertain to God, 
as the apodle expreffes it, Heb. ii. 17. That he might 
be a merciful and faithful high priefl^ in things per- 
iaining to God* Every high priejl taken from among 
men, fays he, is ordained for men^ in things pertaining 
to God, chap, v. i; (2.) God's houfe in the new tef- 
tament, and in this epidle, is God's church and peo- 
ple, that is, believers. So the apodle explains it, 
chap. iii. 6. — Whofe houfe are we, if we holdfafl the 
confidence, and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. 
He is a Son and Lord over his own houfe ; whofe 
houfe are we, fays he. So the church is called the 
houfe of God, I Tim. iii. 15. Hereabout then lies the 
charge of our Lord as Pried ; it is in things pertain- 
ing to God, for his people : this is a matter that is 


Serm, XVIII. the Profejfton of our Faith. 259 

to be frequently and ferioufly minded, for it is of 
great ufe for the direfling the exercife of our faitb* 
Ye all know that our Lord Jefus, in his great work 
of Mediator and Redeemer, is clothed with three of- 
fices, Prophet, Prieft, and King ; and in two of them 
he deals with us from God, and in one of them he 
deals with God for us. i^s a Prophet he reveals 
God's mind from God to us ; as a King he puts forth 
God's divine authority upon us, and over us, and all 
things elfe ; but as a Pried our Lord's bufmefs is 
only with God for us. In all the exercife of our faiih, 
the faith of a poor creature that flies to Chrift for 
righteoufnefs and eternal falvation, minds him main- 
ly, in that office wherein Chrift deals with God for 

3. The third ilimg that we have in the words, is 
the intereft that the church hath in this High Pried : 
Having an High Frieft^ fays the apodle : the word 
having is not in the original, but it is neceflarily fup- 
plied, to make our language run intelligible ; and it 
relates to the former havi?ig^ verfe 19. Having there- 
fore boldnefs / and here again. Having there] ore an 
High Frie/l, He is not an high prieft to be provided, 
not to be got, nor to be fought, but he is already : 
every one has him not ; but,, (ays the apodle, we have 
him already ; he fays he is in his office, he has done 
the greateft part of it, and is ready to compleat it 
quite. So much for the 'heads of what I would dif- 
courfe upon from this verfe. 

Ihtjirjl (hall be to difcourfe to you fomethiog of 
the priefthood of Chrift : then afterwards of the fm- 
gularity of it, and charge of it, and of the intereft 
the church hath in it. 

The truth that 1 am to fpeak to is this. That out* 
I^ord Jefus Chrift, as the Saviour of the body, is a 
true and proper Prieft. So the apoftle calls him, and 
fo the apoftle proves him to be at more length, and 
with more words in this epiftle, than is any where elfe 
in all the bible. Though this office of his be touched 


26o the Jledfaji Adherence to Serm. XVIII. 

upon both by the prophets and by our Lord himfelf, 
and by the other apoftles in other epKUes, yet this 
epiftle is principally written to fhew forth the priefl- 
hood of our Lord Jefus. Concerning this 1 would 
give you a few things to be coofidered. 

I. We mull: confider Chrift's inftalment, when and 
how it was that he was inftalled the great Priefl over 
the houfe of God- He did not take this honour ro 
hiiiafelf, but was called of God as was Aaron : He 
glorifed not hlnifelf to be made an High Friefl^ hut he 
that Jaid to hhuy Thou art my Son^ this day have I 
begotten thee^ Heb. v. 4, 5. Chriit*s inftalment into 
the office is by oath : and this oath was a declaration, 
not only of the authority that was derived upon him, 
but of his continuance in it, and that he (hould have 
none to fucceed hitn therein ; Thofe priejls^ fays the 
apoflle, chap. vii. 21. were ?nade without an oath^ but 
this with an oath : therefore is he furety of a better 
teftament. The words of the oath confecrated and 
made the Son Prieft, who is fo for evermore. The 
great charge as Prieft over the houfe of God was de- 
rived upon the Son of God in the eternal counfels of 
the Trinity, that in time, as foon as fin entered into 
the world, he (liould enter upon his office. 

2. We are to confider the types of it ; and when 
the truth is come, the (liadows may be the better 
known ; we may underftand better by the antitype, 
what the types did fignify. The greateft part of God's 
worftiip of old, until Chrift came, did confift in a great 
many (hadows of Chrift's coming; they are called 
Jhadows of good things to come^ but the body is of Chrift ; 
they are the ihadows, but not the very image of the 
things, chap. x. i. Of prieflhoods we find three in 
the word ; they do ail fhadow forth the priefthood of 
our Lord Jefus. 

The firlt was the patriarchal priefthood, the prieft- 
hood of the fathers ; tor the firft word you read in 
all the bible of worlhip to God i$ expreffed hyfacri- 


Serm. XVIII. the Prof ejion of our Faith. 261 

fee ; the firft word of God's good-will towards men, 
is in the promife of Cbrifl, Gen. iii. 15. The firft 
exprelTion of worfhip to God is in offering facrifice, 
by Cain and Abel ; and it is not unlike but Adam 
was the priefl:. Adam, and Noah, and AbrahaKi, 
thefe fathers that were acquainted with God, were 
all priefts by office, neither of the one order, nor of 
the other; yet notwithftanding they were priefts, and 
did perform facrifice : and all thefe facrifices were 
Ihadows of the grand one that was to be offered by 
our Lord Jefus. 

The fecond is the priedhood of Aaron, There is 
.a great deal written of it in the word ; the book of 
Leviticus is in a manner all of this prieilhood ; faey 
were diflingui(hed into many forts ; there was a high 
pried ever all, that had feme of the holy things to 
manage, which none elfe (hould meddle v;ith ; there 
was the common priefl, that ordinary facrifices were 
to be flain by, ar.d offered up according to the law. 
This was a (hadow of Chriil's coming, of his be- 
ing a facrifice, as the apoflle at length in his epiftie 

The third fort of priefts is that of Melchifedec, 
that this aportie in chap. vii. is very exa£l in the ex- 
amining of. There are but two places in the old tef- 
tament that fpeak of him, yet what great matter does 
the apoftie draw from thefe two fcriptures ! He leaves 
nothing that concerns the man without a myflery. 
He is Melchifedec^ he gathers a myllery out of bis 
name; he is king of right eoufnefs^ he gathers a myf- 
tery out of the kingdom, that he was king of; he 
was king of Salem^ that is, kiyig of peace, fays he ; fo 
Chrift was : he gathers a grand myflery out of the 
fcripture-filence concerning him ; the fcripture nei- 
ther tells when he was born, nor who were his pa- 
rents, nor when he died ; in thi^, faith he, he was 
made like unto the Son of God, without father, with- 
out mother, having neither beginning of days nor end 
of life J he gathers a grand mylkry out of his bleffing 

L I Abra- 

i6i 7he Jledfajl Adherence to SERM.XVlil. 

Abraham, and cut of his receiying the tiihes of the 
fpoils of Abrahatn ; and from thence proves, that he 
was a great prieft indeed, when he was greater than A- 
braham hiinfelf, when he received the tithes of Le- 
vi, that was then in Abraham's loins ; and here he 
fhews that Melchifedec was high beyond that of 
Aaron. Yet all this was but a type of Jefus Cbrifl ; 
and there is no doubt to be made but this Melchife- 
dec was a man, and was born, and did die, and was 
buried like other men 5 but becaufe the fcripture 
fpeaks of him no otherwife, than by way of ri]enx:e 
in thefe things, therefore the apoftle gathers wifely 
from the fcripture-filence, thofe things that were ty- 
pical of our Lord Jefus Chrift. 

3. We are to confider the parts of the pr;eilly of- 
'fice, wherein it did confift, Thefe we (hall bring to 
our purpofe, ar:d to our Lord's prrefthood. The parts 
of the prledly office were efpecially two ; oblation 
and intercefliOD, offering a facrifice, and the making 
intercefTion in and by the vinue of that facrifice. 
Every high friefl taken from among men^ fays the apo^ 
Ale, that he may offer gifts and facrificeSy is or daisied 
for men in things pertaining to God^ that he may offer 
both gifts and fa orifice 5 for fviSy Chap. v. i. E'very 
high prieft is ordained to of-er gifts and facrifices ; 
wherefore it is of neeejjity that this man have fomewhat 
alfo to offer. See how ihe apoftle argues. Is Cbrift 
called a High Pried P Then he mail have fomethiog 
to offer ; the offering that the prielf s of Aaron of- 
fered, he could not offer, for he was fprung, of the 
tribe of Judah, of which the Holy Gholt fpeaks no- 
thing of prieilhood ; nay, if he were on earth, he 
mufl not be a priell, not a pried of the order of 

ly?. Then of ChrilVs oblation, the facrifice he of- 
fered was hirafelf ; the facrifice of his own body, of 
bis own foul : He made his foul an offering for fin ; 
he poured out his foul unto deaths are the old tefta- 
meot expreffions of that facrifice, Ifaiah liii. 11, 12. 


Serm. XVIII. the Profeffion of our Faiths 263 

Here now is the mofl common word in all Chrifliani-^ 
ty ; Chrift died for us, and lue very fo'ol of Chrif- 
lianity lies in the believing improvement of it. The 
meaning of the word is, Chrift died for us, Chrilt 
Jefus was offered in facrifice to God for us ; he did 
Dot die only in love for us, and he did not die only 
to give an example for us, and he did not die only 
for our good ; but he died in our flead^ he died as a 
facrifice dies. The way in which the beaft that was 
to be facrificed died, was this ; there was a transier- 
ring 01 the guilt of the mafter of it- upon his head; 
that guilt deferved death by the law, and this death 
was inEiifled upon the poor innocent creature ; this 
was a fhadow of that ^reat facrifice that the Son of 

God was to offer. Neither by thg blood ef goats and 

cahes^ but by his own bloody he entered in once into the 
holy flace^ having obtained eiernal redemption for us, 
^hap. ix. iij 12. Here we would confider, ia order 
to the fixing and feeding our faith on this. 

(i.) The vaft dignity and precioufaefs of this fa- 
criiice, the perfoo who did affume this nature, that 
it was which raifed its value and dignity inaiiireiy ; 
the comparifon is very mean betwixt a man and a beali. 
The poor idolaters that fell into that dreadful blipd- 
nefs and wickednef;!, as to offer irnto God the fruit of 
their bodie^r, for the fm -of their fouls; they did fail 
.into that abbri.inab'e wickednefs upon this fame prin- 
ciple ; 'they ih-cugiic always the more excellent thd 
facriiice 'Wa?, the more pleafing it would be to God ; 
if the Lord req'.jir-ed the blood of a beaft for maii'^ 
fin, would he not be much .more pleafed with the 
blood of a child ? Sha/i 1 giv€ my frflborn for viy 
trurfjr.effiGnsf Will not he accept of the fruit of my 
• bociy fortheilju of my foul I It is marvellous to think 
liow'ftdcngthisfpirit of idolatry has been in the. world. 
oTChat ■a'itrong'deHre fcii-h there been of, p^.aoe with 
{God ! What:a ftrong fenfe of fm hath been in thefs 
blinded idolaters, that rujo iato ihefe ways of atone- 
ment 1 The. Lord condemns them utceriy, bec^vfe 
M m 2 ihey 

264 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm* XVUI. 

they were all invented, he' never commanded them. 
Now, vthe facrifice is always, if commanded, the mor<; 
excellent becaufe of its native dignity. If God com- 
imnded the life of man for a facrifice, it had been 
much more than that of a beaft ; but here the life of 
one that is more than a man is coiinmandcd, it is gi- 
ven, therefore it is of infinite dignity. You do not 
imagine, it may be, fome of you, what you may feel 
before you die, even of the great difficulty of hav- 
ing faith firmly fixed, that the death of our Lord u- 
pon the crofs, without the gates of Jerufalem,'fliould 
be a fufficient atonement to God, for all the provo- 
cations that he hath received : yet in truth ye believe 
nothing, unlefs you believe that, you believe nothing 
that v/ill fland you in (lead in a great ftorm. The 
man that was facrificed was in human nature ; but 
the divine perfon that aiTumed it, made it of infi- 
nite dignity; therefore it is called, the blood of God; 
the -precious blood of Chrijly as of a lamb without ble- 
mijh and xvii hout fpot . 

idly, This facrifice that Chrifl: made an oblation 
of, was commanded, and required ; and covenanted, 
upon the terms of our falvaiion ; the conditions of 
it were adjufled from eternity ; the decree of elet^ioa 
adjuiled ir, the covenant of redemption adjufted it, 
•that when Chrid ihould make his f^ul an offering for 
fin, he jhould fee his feed ^ he fljou Id prolong his days ^ 
and the pleafure of the Lord fhould profper in his hand» 
Thereupon we find, that the apoflle brings Chrill, as 
coming into the world with this. Sacrifice and ofering 
thou u'Ciddj} not, a body hafl thou prepared me : as 
if the apodle would dire^Sl us to this, that Chrift's 
thoughts were according to that appointment : " Fa- 
*< ther, I know, I am not coming into the world to be 
•* a priefl after the order of Aaron, to offer bullocks 
«' and goats on the altar at Jerusalem : but I am to 
'* offer that body which thou haft prepared me upon 
** the altar of my Godhead, for the fatisfying thy juf- 
<* lice, and faving thy cls6t." Thcfe thoughts were 
i;i his heart. l^h^ 

Serm. XVIII. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, 265 

3d//y, The power that our Lord had to do it. Ne- 
ver had any man, no meer man, power over his own 
life; We have neither phyfical nor moral power ; 
we can neither lay it down lawfully, when we will, 
nor can we keep it as long as we will ; but in the 
keeping, and having, and lofing it, we are under the 
law, under his appointment, and under the conduift 
of his word. Our Lord Jefus was the only man that 
had power over his own life ; / have power to lay 
St down ^ and I have power to take it again^ John x. i3. 

Lajlly^ The lad virtue and grand efFe^l of this fa- 
crifice is, that that (hould be in our eyes when we 
tliink of our Lord's prieflhood, he offered a facriiice, 
he gave himfelf a facrlfice to God of a fweet fraell- 
ing favour ; the greateft things that ever were done 
in this world, were done by our Lord upon the crofs: 
The law fulfilled, juftice fatisfied, heaven appeafed, 
God reconciled, the world of the ele£l redeemed, e- 
ternal redemption brought in, favaiion in God's co- 
venant for us ratified and made unalterable by this 
blood. This was a great facrifice, and great effects 
it had. 

Thtfecond part of the prleflly office is interceiTion, 
IntercefTion is uoi«hing elfe but the application of the 
virtue of th<tt facrifice, according to the appointment 
of God. The intercefTion of the high-priefl: under 
the law was explained and exprefTed to us, by his en- 
tering with the blood of the lin-ofTering into the ho- 
lieft of all, and anointing the corners of the mercy- 
feat therewith, for an atonement for all the children 
of ifrael, that they might be cleanfed from all their 
tranfgrefiions. Now, this was a (hadow, I fay, of 
the interceilion of our great high-prieft, Chrid Jefus. 
I fliall fpeak a little of this intercefTion, and confider 
it in three feafons. 

I. Before he came into the world. 2, While in 
the world. 3, After he went cut of it; for, in all 
^hefe feafons, our Lord was a prieft, and managed 

I. Be. 

«^6 The pdfajl Adherence ts Serm. XVIII. 

' i- Before be carrie iQto (he world. Pray obferve, 
^ td'liched a little uf)ota Chrift's being inftalied in 
the tiSce of high-prien- ; there could be do exercife 
of this cffic^, till there were fitiners ; what ufe eouid 
ji prieii be of, till there were fiiiners, and fome ele6l 
fianers ni the world ? We hope in God, the firfl pair 
that lived in it were of that Dumber, I mean our firfl 
t)2irents. Pray obferve this, all the falvatidn, and 
pardon of fin, and entrance to heaven, that was giv- 
cri ro the fathers before Chrift came, was all given 
zb the view, and in the virtue of the death of our 
Lord, who was to die once for fin. Abel, Enoch, 
Koah, and all the faints of old, had their peace with 
God, thofe ii^rge meafures of the love and favour of 
God ;md (alvation in the end difpenfed to them, thro* 
'the virtue of the facrifice of Chrift not yet offered. 
'T'^t Fattier trufled his Son firmly, that in the fulnefs 
cf i'^^^ he would pay the debt. The difcharge is 
given before the paynicnt, the difcharge is given lo 
the criTiTiia'. before the payment is made by the furt- 
tj. The believers before Chrifl came, looked to hiin 
as come ; and according to that fmall light that they 
bad in that time, fo was iheir faith. Now, if falva- 
"tioa., and all fpiritiial bleffings were given to believers 
before Chrid's coming, before he v;as in the Helh, 
we m:iy well conceive, that the interceilion which wss 
a pan of his office, and which he was to difcharge in 
feeaven, was not unminded by him. 

2. When he was in the world, when he was la the 
jleth. We fiud he was greatly given to prayer. We 
find him' fuending feveral nights alone in prayer \o 
Ciod: Were it lawful to wrlh, atid may be it is not ; 
lii^t far'ely, if it had been lawful to tviili it, 'and i-f-'it 
Irad been at rained^, and if grace had been given to 
guide it, the mod happy opportunity that ever was 
in the world, had ' been iloliave heard ^tir Lord Jefus 
prr.yhig'a whole mghf to the Fath^ir. The fcrii>tyte 
doe^ not tell ns whiit h^ prayed for; but we are -fee 
of this, that he prayed for his flieep : I -pray n^t'for 


SeRM. XVIII. the Trojejfim of our Faith. i6f 

the wQrld^ but for them which thou hajl gvcen me^ for 
they are thiney John xvii. 9. Somewhat our Lori tsf- 
ed to utter, and to pour forth his heart to his firher 
^bout. Many prayers he put up for hirnfdf; pbrift 
made no facrifice for himfelf, but he put \\\} ny^xvf 
prayers for himfelf : Who in the day ofhis/Isfh^ rvhen 
he had offered up prayers and fupplications^ '^{th firo^g 
Crying andtea^Sy untQ him that was able to five hbiifrf^f^ 
deathy and he was heard in that he feared^ Heb. r. 7. 

3. The third feafon is, Chriit'sinterceilioo ia hea- 
yen, when he went out of the world mio . his ^e^a^ced 
ftate ; and that is the word mod commoniy vl^^^ in 
the fcripture about his intcrceiTion. His inccfXd'SQa 
is frequently both in the Old aiid Nevv Teftaqacat 
fubjoioed to his facnfice : He hath poured out hh foul 
unto death : And he was numbered with the hmifgref' 
Jhrs^ and he bare the fins oj manyj and made irJc reef- 
ftonfor the tranfgrejjorsy Ifa. liii. 1 2. It is Chri/i that 
diedy yea rather ^ that is rifsn again ^ ivho is c-cen at 
the right hand of Gody who alfo maketh inter cejjim far 
usy Horn viii. 34. He ever liveth t& make inter cefflon^ 
Heb. iii. 25. Of this interceffion of our Lord, ajs^ 
managed in his exalted (late, we find feveralexpref- 
fions in the fcripture, and I ch'jfe rathsr, an4 will 
advife you accordingly to confiae your thpaghts ta 
/cripcure phrafe, about thefe things, wbereia we 
may over do, and ov^r think, and think aTnifs. 

ly?, His interceflion Hands ia his entering into hea- 
ven in our name, and in our r.oorn. See hoiv the 
apodle exprelTes it, Heb. ix. 12. 24. Tae m,:;.:l ^\^-- 
riou;j, the moll powerful entrance, the, ftare,%lv Oaing. 
that we can imagine next to his return agiin, was 
when a (lain, oaickened, afcended Lord lefus :u rran^s 
nature entered into the heavenly places; not ib^^j>'^- 
ies made with hands ^ hut into heaven itfelf fays the 
apoftle. As long as he is there'we are there, -ior all 
his peoples cafes. \;7iil be miiided effetoally. 

idlyy It is ealled appearing before God for i^?, not 

only entering ij> our nanae, but ftaying there on our 

■■' behalf 

2 68 The Jledfa/i Adherence to Serm. XVIIL 

behalf, for our good^ To this purpofe feems the 
word of our Lord to point : The fpirit Jhall convince 
the world cf right eoufne/s ; why fo ? Becaufe^ I go to my 
Father^ and ye fee me no more. This is a dark exprefTion, 
I go to my Father^ and ye fee me no more. The meaning 
of it is plainly this, that the certainty of our juflificati- 
on by the virtue of the righteoufnefs of Jefus Chrift 
ftands in this, that the perfon whofc blood wrought 
cut this righteoufnefs is gone into heaven, and is not 
returned again. Pray obferve, the high-prieft un- 
der the law, was to go in, and accomplifli righteouf- 
nefs for the atoning of God's anger againfl: Ifrael, in 
the feventh month once, and he was to come out a- 
gain, the poor man was not ftay there : But our 
grand high-prieft is to ftay for ever in heaven, until 
all the virtue of his death is fully applied to them 
that it was appointed for : when all that is done, then 
he comes out of his throne, in the clouds to gather 
all his people. 

3^/y, His intercefTion is exprelTed to us by his 
knowledge and fympathy, with the ails, wants, and 
infirmities of his people. So the apoflle argues, See- 
ing then that we have a great high-priejl^ that is paf 
Jed into the heavens^ J^f^^ ^he Son of God^ let us hold 
fajl our prof ejfton, Heb. iv. 14. Bur, might the poor 
believer fay, our dear Lord is pafTed into heaven, 
and we are here in this miferable world ; how (hall 
there be converfe betwixt him and us f We have not, 
fays he, an high-priefl which cannot be touched with 
the feeling of our infirmities ; but was in all points temp- 
ted like as we are^ yet without fin^ ver. 1 5. Pray ob- 
ferve, that of the apoflle's argument, the main thing is 
implied, the other things are but the out-fide of it. 
The thing that is the out-fide, is, Chrift was once 
tempted as we are ; the apoftle's argument from 
thence is. Therefore we have an high-prieft, that can 
be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but 
the force and the fcope of it is, for our confolation, 
ibat he is touched w^ith them ) what his glorified ftate 


Serm. XVIII. the Profefion of our Faith. 269 

does admit of, is what we cannot conceive of, but 
what our neceffities crave, our faiih is allowed to ex- 
pert. Our Lord will not cry and weep at Liz.iius's 
grave now ; he will not grieve in himfelf, becaule oi 
the hardnefs and unbelief of their heart?, as he did 
when on earth ; he does not besr our iiiiirTiitie- nor 
feel them with that aiHifling feu fe and forr-jv^ ?; ^ iic 
had in the days of his ilefh ; but every ibin^/ihat .uls 
a poor believer, is as well felt and as really knowa 
by our Lord Jefus, as if Chrift and the man were ia 
one place-and room together. 

Laflly^ His intercefiion Hands in bleflinf^, aiid willi- 
ing well. Thefe wlflies and x\{vj> blefuxng riTe up- 
ward to the Father, and come downwards to iisj he 
wifhes as it were, he wifhes and wills that all the 
bleffings purchafed by his death may be beftowed on 
all them for whom his blood was (lied. See how he 
expreiTes it in his iniercefTion on earth, how ho prays. 
Father^ I willy that they alfowhom thou haft given me'^he 
with me where I am^ John xvii. ^'4. is that a word for a 
man in prayer to hy^Lord I will f You fee how in feme 
cafes cur Lord with the deepeft humility addreiles 
the Father, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven 
and earth, Matth. xi. 25. But here now, when he is 
giving us a copy of his intercefiion, and is fore-a«^ing 
bis intercelTion in heaven, he puts on the authority 
that in his glorified (late he is fully clothed with : / 
willy thai they alfo whom thou haft given vie, may he 
with me where I am ; that they tnay behold my glory 
which thou haft given me, Chrifrs blelTiag of his peC" 
pie Is the virtue of his interceffion ; when his wifhes 
as it were, and his will is delivered 10 his Fail.:, 
then the bkiTing wifhed for comes down upoL us. 
The laft thing our Lord did on earth (liould beden- 
10 us, to think how Chrift and his people parted ; he 
lifted up his hands andbkfTed them, that they might 
remember him as long as they" lived. Chriii ca^ne 
into the world to blefs his people, and died to obtain 
a blefling; and when he went to heaven, he left his 
Mm bkiTiDg 

2 70 The fledfajl Adherence to Sehm. XVIIt. 

bleffing upon them ; and it was the laCt thing he did 
upon earth. 


Is Chrifl: a proper priefl:, a true pried ? i. Be ve- 
ry thankliil to God for this provifion, that we have 
an high-prieft. 2. Be careful to nniake ufeof him. 

1. Be highly thankful to God for Chrifl, as a high- 
prieft. The provifion made is abfolutely needful, no 
dealing with God but by him. .It is provifion that is 
made in mere grace and mercy ; nothing is in us to 
move God to it but mere nierey. It is provifion that 
is made very coftly. To be a high-prieft coft our 
Lord a great deal : he made him/elf of no reputaticn^ 
and took on him the form of a fervant^ and became obe- 
dient unto deaths even the death of the crofs, Phil. ii. 7, 
8. It is however fuch a provifion, as brought a great 
deal of honour to Chrift : He glorified not himfelf^ to 
he made an high-prieft^ but his Father glorified hina ; 
this is a very ft range word, Heb. v. 5. This high- 
prieft was to be made a facrifice : was there any great 
glory in being made a facrifice ? To be made fin, to be 
made a curfe, to be made fliame, to be made as it 
were the channel of the wrath and difpleafure of 
God, for all the fins of the people of God ; where is 
the honour of all this ? But look through this ; there 
is grand honour, he is to be the reconciler of all 
things to God, the great umpire of heaven and earthy 
the great purchafer of eternal falvarion for all the e- 
lecl. The condefcenfion and iownefs that our Lord 
ftooped to in undertaking this office, had great 
dignity in it; and fo it appears in ihe iiTue, and will 
appear more when all is done. 

2. Be careful to ufe Chrift as an high-prieft. Wo 
to them that do not know Chrift ; but a great deal 
more wo to them that know any thing ot him, and 
do not make ufe of him. Every believer hath need 
of every thing that Chrift has to give. Chrift's ful- 


Serm. XVIII. the Profejfion of our Faith. 2yi 

nefs was never To laid open before the eyes of a be- 
liever, but the more he fees Cbrifl hath, the more 
the man is convinced of his need of every thing he 
fees. In this.ufing of Chriit as an high-pried, only 
take notice of thefe two particulars. 

iy?5 Never deal with God without him in any 
thing. It is only the pride, and ignorance, and folly 
of the children of men, that they dare venture into 
God's prefence without Chrifl Jefus. An underftand- 
ing believer cannot do fo. He dares not come into 
God's prefence, but in the hand of this great hli^h- 
prieft, and with him upon his heart. Do not offer, 
1 fay, in any concern, to deal with God without this 
high-priefl. Judge ye what would have been done 
in the ftate of the church of the Jews, if any man had 
brought his facrifice to the altar, and laid his own 
hands upon it, and faid, This facrifice is mine, and 
1 will be prieft myfslf. That foul had been cut off 
from amongfi: his people. This was but typical of 
the fevere charge we lie nnder. In all things that 
pertain to God, wemuil: (lill bring Chrilt along with 
us. I will name foTie of thofe things, that we muil 
not deal with God in without him, and that we muil 
deal with God by him, and with him. 

(i.) When we draw nigh to God for the accep- 
tance of our perfons, and obtaining p.?ace with God ; 
this mufl be by our great high-prieft, for it is in 
the beloved only that we are accepted. Eph. i. 6. It 
is in his Son only that he is well pleafed. If ever you 
think to bring that to God that may make him love 
you, or that will render you lovely in his fight with- 
out Chriii Jefus, you will find yourfelves dreadfully 
miftaken, when it comes to the iffue. 

(2.) In all the offerings of fervice to him let theia 
be all by the hand of this high-pried. If you pray, 
pray in his name, and not in your own ; if you offer 
the facrifice of praife, do it by him : By him let us 
offer the facrifice of thankfgiving. Whatever you do, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jefus. This great 
M m 2 high- 

2 72 The ftedfajl Adherence to Serm. XVIIL 

high-piiefl: mafl receive all oar fervicesand facrifices, 
and he only nitirt pre Tent them, if" ever they be ac- 
cepted, Hcb. xiii. 15. 

(3.) In all your expe£lations of good from God. 
Let ail rhefe expe£latioDs be through Chrift, if there 
be any looking and working of heart, as there will 
be if you be believers, in begging fomeihing, and 
looking /or ioajewnar. There is no Chriftiao that is 
exerci fed in begging much, but that poor creature 
wil! find fome expeifraiion and hope rifing, that there 
flia?i be W" .nfwer of peace, there will come fome 
good, 10 : buffing will be returned. Now, take 
heed of thi^^ in all theie expectations, let thcanfwer 
of them all be ihfough Chrift. 

In fum. The eyes of a believer are to be fixed in 
Chrilt, in all his dealings with God, (if I may divide 
tiiem {q.^ and this dividing, is but uniting, the eyes 
of faiih that are fixed on Chrill). The one eye is to be 
fet on his oblation, and the other on his inierceffion 5 
7.v^<^ when your eyes are fixed, ferve God as painfully, 
and expert as highly as you pleafe ; afk as largely, 
and expeft as confidently according to his word. Then 
your eyes are fmgly upon this bigh-priefl fet over the 
houfe of God when your hearts bear you witnefs, and 
you are' perfuaded in yourfelves, that there is no- 
thing in you, nothing done by you, that can ever 
turn to a good account in God's fight, uniefs this 
great high-prie(l put incenfe thereto, and obtain ac- 
ceptance from God for you. 


Serm. XIX. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 273 


Hebrews x. 21, 
Having an High Friejl over the houfe of God* 

TH E apoflle prefTing the great duty of drawing 
near to God, prelles it from mighty arguments. 
The flrength and muhitude of the arguments are fo 
many implied proofs of the backwardnefs of our hearts 
unto this great work, and of their great indifpofition 
for it. His arguments, as you have heard, are all ta- 
ken from Jefus Chrift, concerning whom the apoftle 
fpeaks and holds forth the ir.yfteries of the gofpel, 
under the veil of the expreiTions of the law ; that, by 
the blood of cur Lord, accefs with boldnefs is made 
unto the hoi i eft ; that through the veil of his flefh, 
that is, him as (lain, we have a new and living way 
confecrated for us. 

The third encouragement is, That this Jefus is a 
great Pried over the houfe of God. There was no 
approaching to God's worfhip under the law but by 
the priefts ; the altar was not to be approached to, 
nor facrifice to be offered by any hand but that of 
the priefts ; the holieft of all was not to be approach- 
ed but only by the high prieft. This the apoftle 
here alludes to : We have, faith he, an High Prieft 
over the houfe of God. All the Jewifti priefts, all 
of the order of Aaron are removed, and the ufe of 
the temple is removed alfo, and all the fervice and 
ceremonies that belonged to it, are removed alfo : 
but the fubftance that they all fignified we have ; we 
have Chrift as an High Prieft over the houfe of God. 
From this argument for our encouragement, that the 


2 74^ "^^^^ P<^f(^fl Adherence to Serm. XIX. 

spcllle here gives us, 1 did take up three things to 
be fpoke to in order. 

i. The office of our Lord Jefus, .that though he 
be nor Darned, yet he is named immediately before 
and quickly after, and all the apoflle's difcourfe was 
of hiiii : therefore there -was no hazard of any man's 
Kiiliaking ; when the apoftie named the High Priefl, 
every Chriflian would underhand whom he meant, 

2. We have the extent of his charge in his office; 
it is over the houfe of God* 

3. We have the church's intereft in him : Having 
an High PrieJI, It, is true, that word in the original 
is warning, which is to be drawn from the preceding 
verfe ; but it is neceiTarily implied ; this is certain ia 
the fenfe of it, we have an High Pried. 

Of the firft of thefe, Chrifi's office, I fpake lafc 
day," That our Lord Jefus Chrift, in the great work 
of iaving of men, was and is a true and proper Priefc. 
1 fpake both of his inftalment in his office, of the 
types and fhadows of his office, and the parts of his 
office in the oblation that he made, and in the in- 
terccffion that he doth daily make, for cur Lord is 
about part of his prieftly office now. Thefe things I 
did fpeak to, and entered a little upon the applica- 
tion thereof. 

Now it remains to take a little further notice of a 
word 1 obferved to you before, becaufe it is fingular, 
1 would not pafs it, but fpeak foraething to it apart. 
The note is this, That our Lord Jefus Chrift is a great 
High Pried. I told you that this word that w^e read 
here in our iranllation an High FrieJ}^ is not the or- 
dinary Greek word by which the high pried is ex- 
preiTed ; but it is a fmgular word very different from 
what we find in other places of fcripture, a great 
friejl, Tliere is fomething Gngular to be obferved 
in every iota, in *the fmalled particle of the word of 
God. This then is that that 1 would fpeak 11;, what 
is pointed forth to us about Chrid's priedhood, when 
fie is called a great Priejl, 

I. He 

Serm, XIX. the Prof ejfjon of our Faith. 275 

1. He is a great Prieft, becaufe he is a great per- 
fon. He is God's own Son, God's own equal. Tho* 
he be man, and converfed among men, the per Ton is 
more than man, be is God. If we therefore confi- 
der this, that this Prieft, Chrid Jefus, is God, he 
muft be a great one. The greatcft prieds that ev-er 
were in the world were men. Melchifedec was cer- 
tainly a man, though we know Nothing of his pedi- 
gree; the Holy Ghofl: conceals it, and makes good 
ufe of that concealment, he being the grand type of 
the prieflhood of Jefus Chri(t. 

2. Our Lord Jefus is a great Pried, for, by the 
virtue of his priefthood, he makes all whom he un- 
dertakes for priefts; For he hath made us kiyigs and 
priejis unto God and his Fathei\, Rev. i, 6r Ht' hath 
made us kings and prieJIs unto God^ Rev. v. 10. 7e 
are anholy priefthoody 1 Peter ii. 5, 9. Tbefe things 
I pafs, as not conceiving them to be of fo tolich im- 
portance at prefent. 

3. Then and mainly Chrift is a great Pried, I>e- 
•aufe of his greatnefs in his office, or the greatnefs 
of the office he was clothed with. A proper priefl 
as under the law, was a fort of mediator betwixt God 
and men ; and this mediatioi" was mod eminently and 
folemnly afted and performed in the great day of a- 
tenement, when the high pried entered int6 the ho- 
lied of all in the name of all Ifrael, and wnrh their 
names upon his bread ; never a one of them iiDoa 
pain of death mtid follow him ; he brought back the 
anfwer of peace from God to them. Our \)(ytd. is a 
greater High Pried; ifraeFs fate depended on his 
welcome in the holied of all, upon the account of a 
far greater office than this. Let us conHder, for the 
fhewing of the greatnefs cf the office of Chrid as 
High Pried, 

\fl\ The greatnefs of the parties he deals betwixt % 
he deals betwixt God and creatures ; that is great, 
but there is a great deal more ; he deals betwixt an 
angry God and provoking finners. That is Chrid's 


276 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XIX, 

work, 1 fay, that he is a Mediator betwixt God ^^ 
men, the man Chrid Jefus ; a work that nevei^ any 
was fit for, and never any called to, but he alone. 
They were but little inferior fhadows that were aded 
by fome of the faints of old. We find indeed in the 
old teftament, (and there is no reafon to queftion, 
but fome may be ^gain in the new, in our days), that 
fome have flood, by, faith and prayer, betwixt the 
dead and the living, and ftayed the plague ; that when 
God hath been angry, and his anger hath begun to 
burn, fome of his fervants have flood in the breach 
before him to turn his anger away, Pfalm cvi. 23. 
That is recorded to the praife of Mofes, Therefore he 
/aid that he would dejlroy theniy had not Mofes his cho- 
fen flood before him in the breach^ to turn away his 
wrathy lefl he fhould deftroy them. If I may fo fpeak, 
there was but temporal anger, and a temporal judg- 
ment threatened, and a temporal mediator, and a 
temporal mercy obtained ; but the mercy is far o- 
otherwife here, Chrift undertakes as Priefl betwixt 
thefe two great parties, an offended God and a fm- 
ful people. 

idly^ His greatnefs in his office appears in the great 
work he doth in it ; and that is, to reconcile both, to 
make up the peace : We are reconciled to God by the 
death of his Son^ Rom. v. 10. Therefore being juf- 
tified by his blood, we are reconciled to God by the 
blood of hiscrofs, Colof. i. 20. What a marvellous 
way was this, the taking up this controverfy, that 
this great High Prieft's undertaking in this manner 
fliould bring about, which otherw^ife was utterly im- 
pofTible ! 

^dly^ His greatnefs in his office appears in the great- 
nefs of the facrifice that he offered ; he offered him- 
felf ; but who knows the value and worth of th?.ifelff 
He gave himfelf a ranfom for ^//, i Tim. ii. 6. Imme- 
diately after that he had faid, that there is one Gody 
and one Mediator betwixt God and men^ the man Chrifl 
Jefus. Sirs, the people that lived when Chrift was 


SeiIm. XIX. the Profeffion of our Fait hi 277 

in the world, and faw him, and heard him preach 
that faw him eat and drink, the greateft pan oF them 
thought with themfelves they faw no more but a man ; 
they could not fee through the veil of his ilcdi, to fee 
who dwelt in that temple ; yet there were a few that 
did fee : The Word was made fl^Jb^ and we beheld hh 
glory ; the glory as of the*only begotten of the Father^ 
full of grace and truths J^^^ J- M- ^^^^ faciiiice that 
Chrifl: off:red was hirnreif; thereupon the apoflle 
prefers him greatly unto all the priefts of old ; for it 
was but the blood of balls, or calve?, or goats, of 
creatures meaner and lower than themfelves, than 
they offered in facrifice to God ; but our Lord Jefus 
Chrifl becomes a greater Pried by a greater offering. 
Nothing but the human nature of Chriil could be the 
facrifice ; there was more than the man Chrift that 
was the prieft : He offered hhnfdf up to God through 
the eternal Spirit without f pot ^ Heb. ix. 14, 1 would 
be loath to draw people's imaginations unto the know- 
ing of Chrin. after the flefli; but whofoever he be 
that believeth not that Jefus is come in the fledi, is a 
man not born of God. We muft know Chrift's iledi, 
we mud know the facrifice, and what made it to be fi) 
great. If Chrifl had been only a man, his blood had 
been no more than the blood of another man, only 
becaufe it was a fmlefs man that made it better ; as 
we may fay of the facrifices that were ofFered to ths 
praife and fervice of God, by the blood and fuflerings 
of many witneiTes of Jefus, they are called facrifices 
in the v;ord ; but there is nothing of prieilhood here, 
they are not facrifices of atonement or propitiation, 
they are but facrifices of praife and tediinony. The 
great view that we have, and thar our faith diould 
^ttd on about the lacrifice of our Lord, is this, That 
there was a piece of man's nature, by the extraordi- 
nary operation of the Holy Ghod, framed in the womb 
of the virgin, and which was aiTtimed by the Son of 
God, and made the temple wherein God dwelt ; there 
dwelled the fulnefs of the Godhead bodily ; it. is this 

N n temple 

2 78 The JJedfaJl Adherence to Serm. XIX 

temple of his body that was the great facrifice, to 
which all the worfhip, and ♦ruft, and adoration of his 
people was rightly directed. For it is certain, that 
if our Lord Jefus Chrifl: were in his human nature on 
earth, he in that nature is to be immediately, and 
formally, and dire6lly adored and worftiipped j they 
are never reproved that didjo. When he Was in his 
low eftate, the poor woman fell down and worlhip- 
ped him, crying, Lord^ help me, Matt xv. 25. Chrifl 
liever found fault with that ; but when any poor be- 
lievers, in the height of their zeal or refpe£t either to 
apoftles or angels, did (oy they were checked imme- 
diately : Sland tip^ faid Peter to the centurion, I my" 
felf alfc am a 7Jian, A61s x. 26. See thou do it mt, fays 
the angel, 1 am thy fellow -Jerv ant, and of thy brethren. 
Rev. xix. 10. and xxii. 9. 

Laftly, Chrift's greatnefs in his office appears in the 
great g^ory that accrues to hira in it, and by it. 

(i.) He in and by this office is made the head of 
the new creation ; Chrift is made the head of the new 
wor'd. As God equal with the Father, and as rhe 
eternal Word of God, he made all things, and with- 
out him was nothing mide that was made ; by him 
were created all things, both angels, and principali- 
ties, and powers, all things were created by him and 
for hira. Col. i, 15, 16. But now, if 1 may fo fpeak, 
there hath entered one thing idro the world, that hath 
marred all the creauou ; that is fin. Our Lo|;d came 
to repair this with advantage. For be perfuaded of 
it, that unlefs the Lord had contrived to have brought 
more glory to his name by fm's entrance into the 
World, than its entrance could bring dilhonour to him, 
it had never entered ; for he does all things for him- 
felf ; and the very permitting of fin was an a£l of in- 
finite wifdom in God willing his own glory ; and by 
Jefus Chriil, as the great High Pried, is this end 
reached ; he is made the head of the whole creation ; 
all things are reconciled, all things are fee to rights 


Serm. XIX. the Profefion of our Faith. 279 

in him, all things are to be gathered together unto 
an head in him as the head. 

(2.) There is this glory to our Lord as Priefl, that 
makes him a great one, that the everlafling faivarioa 
of all the elcdt and redeemed is purchafed by him. 
"What an unfpeakable honour is this ? He is the pro- 
per caufe of the falvatioa of all that are faved ; he 
becomes the captain, head, and author of our falva- 
tion ; He is the author of eternal fahatiGn^ Heb. v. 9. 
He hath obtained eternal redemption for us^ Heb. ix. 12. 
This I would confider a little.more particularly, name- 
ly, the glory that comes to our great High Prieft, by 
his being the author of eternal faivation. 

[i.j We find that all faith in approaches to God 
is to be made through him ; all afts of trud Godward 
are to be made through him ; No man cowcth to the 
Father but bsj him. He faves them that come unto God 
by him^ Heb. vii. 25 By him we believe in Gcd^ that 
raifed him from the dead-, and gave him glory y 1 Peter 
i. 2 I. Ihis is propei divme honour to be a mean of 
peace with God ; and that perfon that is ihtTmean of 
approaching to God, ?nd that is the object of our 
faiih, is always divine. \¥e can approach to God 
by no creature, it is an honour too big for them ; but 
we may approach to God by Chriit Jefus, for ^the 
Father hath confecrated him in this ftation ; He fiif- 
fered the ju ft for the ur.juft^ that he might bring us to 
God J I Peter' iii- 18. 

[2.] All the gracious communicaeion? that are be- 
tvyixt God and men, is all through this great High 
Pried. This is his glory., this makes him a. great one. 
All the gracious communications and feliowdiip, ei- 
ther of God's giving to us, or our returning again to 
hiiiJ, are all through this great High Prieft ; the 
communications, and bkiTing.'^j and privileges to us, 
and the return of praife to God again, are all thro' 

I.] The communications that are from God to u5, 
do all come from Chrid. if you receive them, you 

N n 2 know 

2 8o The Jlcdfaji Adherence to Serm, XIX. 

know which way they come, for they tafle of the 

[i. Our j unification. This is by the redemption 
that is in Chrift Jefus, Rom. iii. 24. Whenever a 
finner ilands accepted before God, that fiate of ac- 
ceptance is owing to this great High Pried ; if God 
look gracioudy upon him, if we may (land with con- 
fidence in his pret^eoce, it is all ihrough Jefus Chrift. 

[2. Our fan^iification is by the Spirit of Jefus* 
Whenever fan<51ification is begun, Chrift is formed 
within ; whenever fan61ificanon goes on, conforrairy 
to Chrift is advanced, and we are going towards per- 
fe£lion. Whar is perfeifl: holinefs, but only confor- 
mity to the image of his Son ? And to this the Lord 
hath predeftinated all his chofec, Rom. viii. 29, 

r^ CaradoDiion is throuoh this s^reat Prielt alfo : 
Ih bath redee^v.ed them that were under the law^ that 
they might receive the adoption 0/ fons. Gal. iv. 5. 

[4 Our perfeverance is only owing to Chrift's 
grace and pow'er. He is able to make us ftand, and 
he will make us ftand. See what the apoftle fays 
concerning the poor w'eak towering Chriftian, that is 
weak in the faith, Rom. xiv. 4, Our fupports and 
encouragements under all our temptations and difficul- 
ties are owing to Chrift ; and eternal glory at laft is 
owing to him alfo ; he purchafed it for u><, he hath 
pofteifed it in our room, and ^receives us to himfelf 
at laft ; that where he isy there we may be alfo^ as his 
own words are. So, 

2.1 Is it as to all returns of fervice unto God a- 
gain. Thefe are all to the honour of our great High 
Prieft ; that as God difpenfes all his good-wiii and 
favour through Chrift, we are to return all fervice 
and worftiip to God in him. This 1 would explain to 
you in thefe things. 

[i. That all the adoration, and worftiip, and obe- 
dience, and fervice, call you them by what name 
you will, that is now given by Chriftians, is given at 


Serm. XIX, the Profeffion of our Faith: 28 E 

the command of our Lord Jefus. We muft take this 
great High Prieft's will as the rule of our worfbip. 
So the Lord hath commanded^ is enough for a Chrlf- 
tian's confcience ; and where the Lord hath not com- 
manded, no tender confcience will aft. Let men talk 
what they will, let the authority of men, either of 
churchmen or ftatefmen, work as they will, if they 
be in matters of the worlhip of God, our great High 
Priell muft command it, or we dare not do it. It 
had been a great deal better for the intereft of Chrifl's 
church in the earth, if the great High Pried had 
been better confulted. Confider^ fays the apoille, the 
High Prieji and Apojlle of our -profejjion. How many 
names hath the Lord Jefus Chrift in the word ? He 
is called the Apoflle and the High Prieft of our pro- 
fefTion ; he is the Lord our righteoufnefs. Vf e mud 
profefs nothing but what he injoias, believe nothing 
but what he reveals, do nothing but what -he com- 

f 2. Not only mud all worfhip, and fervice, and 0- 
bedience, be done as obedience to him, but it mud 
be all done in his name ; that is more, not only at 
his command, but in his name. If we pray, it is in 
the nam.e of our Lord Jefus Chrid, John xiv. 13. If 
we offer up fpiriiual facrifices unro God, it is" by Chrid 
our great High Pried, that we are to offer them, 
Heb. XV. 15. To offer worQiip to God in the name 
of Chrid, is another fort of bufmefs than people com- 
monly imagine ; it is to fet about the performance 
with an eye to the great undertaking of this great 
High Pried. 

I 3. It tends to his glory not a little, that the eter- 
nal praifes of the faints in heaven will all depend, and 
border, and red upon this great Pried our Lord Je- 
fus ; that when the heirs of glory are come to the 
poffeffion of the inheritance that is purchafed for them, 
the praife of this grace will be eternally fung by them. 
That fong in Rev. v. 9, 1 1. is a fong of praife to this 


282 The Jlecffajl Adherence to Serm XIX. 

great Pricft, Worthy is the Lamb that was /lain ^ to 
receive power, and riches^ and wifdorti, and Jlrength^ 
and, hon'cur^ and glory, and hlejftng. 'Thou hajl redeem- 
id us to God by thy bloody fays he. Muft not then 
Cbrift be a great Prieft, when all the fal vation that 
is (iifpenfed on earth is all owing to him, and all the 
praife that v/iil be given in heaven will be all paid 
to hiin ? Thereupon the apoftle hath that word, 2 
Theff. i. 10. When he flmll come^ (fpeaking of our 
Lord's fecond coming), to be glorified in his faints. 
The greatnefs of Chriit's priefthood will never appear 
io fully, as when the whole virtue of his facrifice (hall 
be feen, when all the heirs that his blood has bought 
(hall appear together, and all the glory and the pof- 
feffors thereof. 


Our Lord Jefus is a great Pried, i. Then let him 
he great in your eye. He is great in himfelf, great 
in his cfHce, great in his Father's eye ; let him be 
alfo great in yours. Low, and common, and mean 
thoughts of Chrift are very ordinary, and very finful. 
If people would take the apodie's exhortation, Heb. 
iii. I. Confide r the High Fnef of our profejfwn ; if peo- 
ple would take a more near and clofe view of Jefus 
Chrift in his office of a Pried, what a beautiful fight 
would they fee ? Chrill always rifes in mens efteem, 
according as he is bright or dark in their eyes. Every 
man efteems Chrift highly, that knows him clearly. 
It is impoiuble, but the beams of the faving difco- 
very of Chrifl: muft imprint upon the foal unfpeakable 
apprehenfions of his greatnefs and value. See how 
the apoille fpeaks of him ; that very word is enough 
to make one have high thoughts of Chrift, if they 
were heard by faith ; Heb. i. 2, 3. God- — hath in 
thefe Lift days fpoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath 
appointed heir of all things y by whom alfo he made the 
worlds. Who being the brightnefs of his glory ^ arid the 


Serm. XIX. the Profcfjfton of our Faith. 282 

es'prefs image of his ferfon^ and upholding all things^ by 
the wordofidisfower, Muft not this be a great per- 
fon now, that is the very brightnefs of the Faiher's 
glory ? that is, another perfon, but the fame God ? 
and exa£lly like him ? What docs ih s great one now ? 
He upholds all things by the word of his power ; 
he made all things of nothing in the beginning, and, 
by the fame word of power, keeps all things from 
droppmg again into nothing. What more ftatelv caa 
be faid in the word of the divine dignity of his per- 
fon ? Now, in the next word, he comes to fpeak of 
his office, when he had by himfelf purged our fins ^ 
How marvellous was it that fo great a perfon (hould 
come down for fo mean and fordid an employment as 
to purge our fms ? A prince removing dung from his 
own (table is a mean thing in regard of this : he did 
not commit this great work to another, but he did it 
himfelf ; he purged our fins by himfelf, that is, him- 
felf offered in facrifice for fms. 

2. Have a care that you make ufe of Jefus Chrld 
as a great Pried, 

ly?. Bind this matter upon your confciences, that 
the greatefl: fm, or the greatefl: duty, that is commit- 
cd or performed by men, lies here. The greateft 
fm is not improving Chrift, the greatefl: duty is ufmg 
him in that ftaiion the Father hath fet him in. 8ee 
fays the apoftle, that ye refufe not him that fpeaketh^ 
Heb. xii. 25. Pray, obferve what the conneiTrioa is, 
Te are come^ faith he, ver. 24. unto Jefus the Ahdia- 
tor of the nezu covenant^ and to the blood of fprinkltng^ 
thatfpeaketh better things than that of Abel. See then 
that ye refufe not him that fpeaketh. If Chrift come 
to fpeak to you as a Prieft, if Chrid come to you by 
his blood ; take heed, that you refufe not him that 
fpeaketh : there is no efcaping, if you turn away from 
him that fpeaketh from heaven* 

2dly^ As you would be careful to make ufe oFChrld 
as a Pried to you, fo you (hould learn to (lo it confi- 
dently. Wc Ihall have further cccafion to fpeak of 


284 The JledfaJ} Adherence to S£rm. XIX. 

the coDfidcDce of faith which is allowed, in the next 
verfe ; yet I would not pafs it now, when it is fo 
needful to fpeak of .this great duty, this great grace 
of making: u^e of and improving of this great Prieft. 
It (hould be done with confidence. 

I. With confidence as to the greatnefs of his of- 
fice, and the fufficiency of his facrifice. Lay that 
down and fettle upon it, whenever you come to a£i 
faiih on Chrifl: for the pardon of your fins, and bring- 
ing you into the favour of God, Remember, you 
come before God in the name of a High Prieft, whofe 
facrifice is great. There are many great obje£lions 
that hinder confidence ; I will name a few of them, 
and I will tell you where their anfwer only lies. You 
may try and iearch for other anfwers, and the an- 
fwers may pleafe fometimes for a little while. 

The firfl: obje^lion is this, " Shall I draw near to 
*« God ? I have to do with a great God." So you 
have ; in all your dealings with God about falvation, 
you have to do with a great God ; his majefty when 
it is difcovered, unlefs Chrift be difcovered alfo, is 
one of the grandeft (bakings of faith : Wo is me^ faith 
Ifaiah, / have feen the holy One of Ifrael. 

The fecond objection is, " 1 am a great fioner." 

The third is, " That the law h a great and awful 
*' law, that I am to anfwer to." 

All this is true. What (hall a man do with this ?, 
Will God grow lefs, will the law be unbinded, or thy 
fin removed ? No ; they (land all as they are, an in- 
finitely great God, a vile guilty fian.er, a righteous 
holy law, that cannot be defeated. 

The only anfwer is here. If I have a great God to 
deal with, and if I am a great finner, and if a great law 
to reckon with ; I have a great High Prieft, and 1 can 
fet this alone againft all thefe : he is a High Prieft 
whofe facrifice is of a fweet-fmelling favour before 
the great God ; the virtue of it cleanfeth fin, and the 
virtue of it fulfils the law. The apoftle therefore, 
when he is giving the grand foundation of a Chrlftian's 


Serm. XIX. the ProfeJJlon of our Faith. 285 

faith, lodges ir all upon this great High Pried : Who 
/ball lay any thing to the charge of GocTs eled f It is 
God that juJliJiL'th. But how can God juftify ? It is 
Chrifl that diedy fays he, yea rather, that is rifen a* 
gain, who is even at the right hand of God, who afo 
inaketh intercefpon for us. His dying is the oblatioa 
of this great High Priefl-, his rifing again is the ap- 
plication thereof, Piom. viii. 33, 34. 

(2.) In your making ufe of Chrifl: as High Pried 
betwixt God and you, you mufl: do it not only wiih 
confidence of the worth and virtue of the facrifice, 
but with confidence as to your right to make ufe of 
it. Here is a common deceit that Satan hinders the 
peace of many a poor Chrifiian by ; the greater our 
fhame ; his cunning is not fo great as our folly is great. 
The common thought of men is this, there is no doubt 
but that Chrrif is a great Pried, and that his fjicrilice 
is a great facrifice, happy are they fhat have the vir- 
tue of it ; but what right have 1 to make ufe of it. 
The meaning of this queilion. What right have i ? 
is com.monly this. May 1 adventure upon^ it without 
fm ? This is undeniable that thou mayfl ; for there 
are thefe three things I would lay before you, 

[i.] God commands thee, whoever thou art, to 
deal with him about falvatioo. Pray lay this down 
for a coDciufion ; it is the certain revealed mind and 
will of God, that every man and woman, how great 
fmners foever they be, (liould deal with him about 
their falvation. God never allows men to run to hell, 
neither in fecurity, nor in defpair ; but he proclaims 
his difpleafure a^ainli thofe that do cither way. If 
men run to hell deeping or roaring, and depart from 
God with a tormenting confcience, they are both con- 
demned Juflly. This then is a principle, that is fome 
way befriended by the light of nature, the only true 
God commands me in his Vvord to deal with him about 
falvation ; and fmce his patience has kept me out of 
fe'ell, he allows me to lay hold of his grace, for the 
preventing of that dreadful ruin. 

O o [2,] 

286 TJje Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XIX, 

[2.] God forbids thee to deal with him about fa!- 
varion ia any other name, but in Chrifl's name. That 
is as plain as the other. As God would have men 
mind their faivation, and glorify biin in feeki'ng for 
it from him ; fo he forbids them exprefly, to come 
about falvation in any name bnt Chriit's : There is no 
Jahution in any other : for there is none other name un- 
der heaven given among men zvhtrthy we muft bejaved^ 
A£ls iv. 12. There are two things that are prerry 
plain : God commands us \o deal with him about fal- 
vation, and not to go to hell quietly and tamely ; and 
he forbids us to deal with him about falvation in any 
name but Chrifl's. 

[9/. He has revealed and fet forth Chriil Jefus un- 
to men in the gofpel to be thus made ufe of: Rom. 
iii. 25. Whom God hath fet forth to be a propitiation ^ 
through faith in his blood, As really as the brazen 
ferpent was ere^ed upon the pole, that the flung If- 
raelites might look and Jive ; (o truly is Chrift Jefus ' 
held forth in the gofpel, that every man that has a 
TTiiijd to f<^vation may look to him and get ir. All 
men that live where the gofpel is preached have alike 
right to believe on Chriil Jefus ; no man has a right 
in Cbrift, lill he is a believer. There are fecrct'pur- 
pofcs and thoughts in God's heart where to apply his 
grace; but in the pubhc difpeofafions of ir, all men 
are^like afar off, and all have alilie equal right to be- 
lieve. There is not a poor creature i:)pon the face of 
the earth, that lives where the gofpel is preached, 
but he has as much right to believe on ChriO for the 
falvation of his foul, as Saul had when he went ta_ 
Dcmafcus. Indeed an atflual rigb.t follows fairh. 
Doe^ God command you to treat abour falvation with 
hiivt ? cioih he forbid thee to treat in any other, but 
in ChriiFs name ? harh he revealed Chrill Jefus in 
the gofpei, for this end to be made ufe of? How 
can the defil prevail with aay creature ever to fall 
into this dreadful imagination, 1 am afraid Gcd will 


Serm, XIX. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 287 

be angry, if I Pnould veoture the burthen of ray lofl 
foul upon Chrift Jefus ? Be ye perfuaded of it, that' 
murther and adnirery, and the greatefr abominaiion?, 
are not more difpicafing by yirtue of that command 
of the law, than a bare not iipproving of the Son of 
God for falvation, h by virtue of the gofpel. This 
is the coDdemration, this is that which fends multi- 
tudes of poor finners to hell, if I may fb fpeak ; it 
fends more to hell in London, than all the profane- 
nefs in the niidfl of us ; and until the power of the 
gofpel be fent more into the hearts of the people ; 
thefe open forts of profaneoefs will never be dellroy- 
cd. This confidence is fo far from pride, that it is a 
great acl of humility ; and it is only the pride of 
mens hearts that hinders this confidence ; they are 
unwilling to call themfelves upon this plea alone, to 
intruft the whole burthen of their falvation upon this 
great Pried alone ; that is the v/ay to make all mif- 

idlyy Make ufe of this great High Pried entirely 
in all things, in all things wherein you need him^ in all 
things wherein he may be ufeful to you. We mnd: 
ufe our High Priell about our good things, aa well 
as about our bad. A great many poor creamrcs are 
fo ignorant, i hope fome may be Chriilians that are 
fo ignorant, but this may be, and it is certain with 
many of them, that whenever they come to tre:u wiih 
God about their fm, then they know they mnfl treat 
with him by Chriii Jefus j but waen they treat with 
God about their fervices, and when they prefent their 
grace, and faith, and repentance, and love, ajid wor- 
ihip, they do not fee {o much need of the High Pried:, 
if you make right ufe of Chrifl as the High PrieU: 
over the houfeof God, remember this, that you muit 
ufe him as really, as humbly, as entirely, in prefent- 
ing your good vrorks to God for acceptance, as in 
pleading for pardon for your bad ones. 

^ihlyy Make ufe of Chrid as a High Prieil: con- 
ilanily. There may be fuch a wcaknefs amongd 

O o 2 fome 

i88 The fledfnjl Adherence to Serm. XIX. 

forre believers, that they think, that when they be' 
gah urll upon godliaefs, they flood in need daily o 
ilie High Priefli they are weak and feeble : but af" 
ler they have got a great deal of experience, they 
hope that that experience and the means oF grace may 
do pretty well with them. And that is the reafon, 
why fo many do fo very ill. No Chriftian can ever 
oiuiivg the neccfary of employing Chriil: as High Prlefl: 
in all the (leps of his life ; and in the lad (Icp thro' 
death we muil fliil lea^n upon this High Prieft ; we 
go by our High Priefl within the veil leaning, and 
going through the veil of his flefti. And truly I am 
afraid, the Lord prevent it in you mercifully and gra- 
ciouiiy, there are many worfe things to be afraid of; 
I am airaid of fame Chriitians, that their bed a<^s of 
faith on Chriil Jefus are at their lad, that their be- 
lieving through the courfe of their pilgrimage is a lit- 
tle mingled and mixed with fomething of themfelves; 
aud 'vhen they come to the awful and dreadful (lep, 
and look death and judgment in the face, then they 
throw all away to the moles and bats ; then their re- 
nouncing their own righteoufnefs, is no gre^t buiinefs 
to a believer. 

Lajtly^ Ufe him delightfully, ufe him with plea- 
fare. Sirs, the condraint of confcience is good where 
there cau be no better : but I would lead you to a 
better conflraint, and that is the conflraint of love: 
The kve of Chrijj conjlrains me, fays the apoftle, to 
live to him. There is no man ever will be in heaven, 
but he that loves heaven, and no man walks in the 
way to heaven, but he that loves that way. There 
is a perverfe love of heaven, and a midaken love of 
the way to it ; and if people could examine their 
hearts, and iiod the matter thus with them, I may 
fay in a word, there is a determination about your 
ftate, A Chriftian loves heaven becaufe Chrid is 
there, and there he is feen and enjoyed ; and a Chrif- 
tlaa loves the way to heaven, becaufe it all lies thro' 
Cbnd : / live by the faith of the Son of Gody who 


Serm, XIX. the ProfeJJion of our Faith, 2S9 

loved me ^ and gave himfelffor me. The virtue of the 
facrifice, giving himfelf for me, is the very Itrengch 
of my life ; whenever 1 would be recovered, and re- 
frefhed, and (Irengthened, I take a meal by faith of 
this love, and of his giving himfelf for me, and do it 
delightfully. 1 know that there is fomething of the 
Dew nature, that does prompt every believer to fome 
fpiritual pleafure in all a£lings of faith ; but fome- 
times this is not fo very remarkable. Says the apoftle, 
Te fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope fet before you. 
Great dangers conftrain people in a manner to rake 
the firft way of efcape ; but the believer comes to fee 
what a glorious refuge Chrid is, that not only is he 
a fure defence, but a glorious habitation ; he bleffes 
the danger that drove him, as well as the grace that 
welcomes him ; he in a manner blefles the difeafe, 
that hath Tent him to fo fweet a phyfician. A great 
many make ufe of Chrift as a Prieft, when they can- 
not help themfelves otherwife. Let it be your thought. 
If there were a poiTibility of doing my matters with 
God about falvation, otherwife than by Jefus Chrid, 
I would renounce them all, and cake Jefus Chrifl-, 
But this is the only way ; it (hould be as our meat and 
drink. Believing on the Son of God, will never be 
ftrongly done till delightfully done. When the weary 
traveller cafts himfelf with delight, as well as with 
confidence, upon the (tone laid in Zion, he then feels 
the benefit of reft. 


25:)0 The jleJ/af. Adherence t9 Sekm. XX. 

S E R M O N XX. 

Hebrews x. 21. 
And having an High Fricjl over the houfe of God, 


H I S verfe contains the third encouragement 
which the apoftle draws frooi Jelus Chrift to 
flir up believers to approach to God in the right aian- 
ner 1 did jTopofe three things to be fpoke to; I 
bive fpoke ro the firft of them. The firft thing in 
this encouragv^ment is taken from Chrift's office ; he 
is a Pried, and a great one. Accordingly I fpake to 
ihefe two : i. That our Lord Jefus Chrift as a Sa- 
viour is a true and proper Pried betwixt God and 
men. 2. That he is a great one ; as it is his office 
to be a Pried, he is a great oce in that office. From 
tbefe 1 have jpoke. 

The iecond thing in the verfe, is that which fol- 
lows now to be difcourfed of; and that is our Lord's 
charge in this office. AVe are told by the Spirit of 
God in the words, that be is a Friejl over the houfe of 
God, in it, towards it, and over ir. On this troth, 
1 hat Chrift is a great Prieft over the houfe of God, 
1 would fpend this time in fpeakiog, and would do it 
in this order. 

1. Shew you, what is the houfe of God that Chrift's 
charge is in and over. 

2. What fort of charge and authority he hath in it 
and oveftr. Then apply it. 

ivr/?. What is the houfe of God that Chrift's charge 
lies about and over ? We all know, that there was 
of old a typical houfe, and it had a typical prieft, 
which was the chief officer over it. Of this there 
was a chapge in the wildcrcefs, and a good many 


Serm. XX. the FrofeJJlon of our Faith. 291 

years after they carae to Canaan , the tabernade was 
removed in all their journeyings in the wildemers, 
and was removed according to God's ordinance and 
appointment feveral times ; in the laud ot protnife it 
was fometimes in Kirjath-jearim ; the ark was ^ v,rhUc 
in captivity ; it was at lait brought to the ciiy or D4- 
vid, then fettled by Solomon in the temple, whch 
the Lord calls his houfe, 2 Sara. vii..6, 7. This hon'Cc 
of God, the temple., was a type of Cariil's body. Sa 
our Lord ufes it of his natural body, if i may fo call 
it: Dcftroy this temple^ (zyz our Lord, and. I ivill 
ratfe it agt/in in three days ; hut he jpake of the temple 
of his body, John ii. i(), 20,21. All the glory Ukdt 
was in the temple, was but fo many ihadows of the 
great glory of that tabernacle wherein God was to 
dwellj whera the fulnefs of the Godhead was t--) dwell 
in the man Chrift. This temple was typical alfo of 
Chi^ft's myftical body, the church : therefore we find 
the church often called by this name, the temple of the 
living God : Te are the temple of the living God. Oar 
bodies are fo, the whole n:an is fo ; : Tim. iii. 15. 
That thou mayjl know, h-iiv thou oughtefl to behavs 
thyfelf in the houfe of God^ which is the church of the 
living God. That we have now no more to do wiih 
this typical temple, .it pleafed iht Lord, in the depth, 
of his providence, a little while after our Lord Jefus 
came in the flejli, and after he had gone to heaven, 
and had fulfilled all riglueoufoefs, and had difpatched 
all his work ; it pleafed God, I fay, to lay this iCKU- 
pie defolate by the hands of ilrangers, and \i remains 
a ruin to this day ; and fo perhaps it Vv^ill ro the litt 
day. There is now no houfe can be called the houfe 
of God, as the temple at Jerufalem w:is. Typical 
temples and typical priefts aie all expired with the 
ceafing of the levitical fervice ; and it is but an aptng 
of this, that Aniiclirifl, and they that would work af- 
ter rhe fame fpirit, labour to rear up in the church 
of Chrift. What then is the true houfe of God ? The 
apoltlc had certainly no laoughts to draw the miadsof 


2^2 The pdfafl Adherence to Serm. XX. 

thefe "Hebrews unto the doting upon the outward 
>vorldly temple, that he knew was (hortly to be re- 
moved and dedroyed. By the houfe of God, that 
Chrift's charge is about and over, we are to under- 
ftand two things, i. All the matters ; and, 2. All. the 
people of God. 

I. All the matters of God. All ihofe things where- 
in God deals with us, and we with him, our Lord is 
concerned about them all : He is a merciful and faith- 
ful High Friefi in things pertaining to God^ Heb. ii. 
17. Every high prieft is chofen from amongft men 
for things pertaining to God, Heb. v. i. Let us look 
a little to this. 

ly?, In all God's dealing with us, he deals with. us 
ahogether by this High Pried. The Lord hath re- 
folved, and he keeps his purpofe, that he never will 
treat gracioufly with men, bu't only in, and through, 
and by Chrift Jefus. (i.) In all the revealings of his 
mind to us, they are in and by Chrift Jefus. If ever 
God manifeft his will, if he fpeak forth all his mind 
unto the children of men, it is by his Son, as the apo- 
ftle tells us, Heb. i. 2. (2,) In all his ruling, and ma- 
naging, and guiding of his church and people, it is 
all done by Chrift Jefus. (3.)^" ^^^ ^^'^ communi- 
cations of his love, and grace, and mercy to the chil- 
dren of men, they are all given through Chrift Je- 
fus. Never did any man obtain a faving blefling im- 
mediately out of God's hand, it is all given by Chrift 

2dlyy In all our dealings with God, we rauft do fo 
too. If God deal with us only by Chrift Jefus, we 
muft deal with him, and thereby acknowledge thrs 
power that our Lord hath over the houfe of God. 
As for inftance, (i.) If ever we fet about the know- 
ing of God, or thinking on him, or ftudying of him, 
we muft do it all by Chrift Jefus. There is nothing 
fo hard to bring your hearts to ; I know it well by 
my own : and every one that knows his own heart, 


Serm. XX. the PrGfeJJion cf our Faith. 29J 

will iind it fo ; there is Dothing fo hard as for a per- 

fon to confine all his meditations and tbonohts of God 
unto tliofe difcoveries that are made of God \^ rhe 
face of Chrift Jefas. There are fome natorq^ no ions 
wc have of God, and by the light of the word ; thefe 
are poliflied in a great many pi*ople ; thereupon you 
will find that the religion of a great many folks (a 
great part of it) who bear their heads high in Chrif- 
tianity before men, lies v;hoily and altogether, if I 
may fo call them, in a company of philofopbical 
thoughts of the majefly, and power, and attrihntes 
of God, and never a thought of God in Chrifr, 
Whenever a man thinks o: God out of Chr'.fl:^ he en- 
ters immxd lately into a maze and labyrinth, and he 
will be confounded and wander unavoidably : Tk^ 
light of the knowledge of the ghry of God p/mes to us in 
the face of Chnfl J ejus ^ 2 Cor. iv. 6. Jf thou haft 

feen ?ne, faith our Lord, thou haft fe en the Father afo :. 
believeft thou this f John xiv. 9. (2.) In all our 
treatings with God for reconciliation, they mud all 
be managed in Chrift J^fus. This is one of the mat- 
ters, that God is fpecially concerned In thisofEce. It 
is a great refledion on Chrift as a High Prieft over 
the houfe of God, when a finner offers to make his 
peace, or feek his peace from God, without Chrifl-. 
No man can come to the Father but by "^iti ; he is 
the only introducer of poor men inro Goo's favc ir 
and friendfhip. (3.) In all the exercife of grace and 
performance of worlhip and duts^, thefe are roarers 
of God, thefe are things wdierein we have to da 
with God, and in all thefe we muft de.il with (^c^ 
through Chrift Jefas. Whatever oar facrifices be, 
they muft all be olFered up in and by the hand of this 
great High Prieft. Never was there a man in ifcis 
world, that had fo good a gift to give to God, as that 
he durft give it out of his own hand. No, we muft: 
put it in Chrift's hand ; and till it come cut of his 
own hand, it can never be accepted of God; We are 

- built up affiritual hoiife^ to offer up [pi ritual fact '^jicesy 

V p ^t- 

294 ^^^^ fl^dfaji Adherence to Sehm. XX. 

acceptable to God by Jefus ChriJ}^ i Peter ii. 4, 5. So 
alfo as to all our expectations from God, all the hopes 
that we have of good things from God, are all to be 
in Chrift Jefus ; the apoiUe therefore does well call 
him Jefus Chrifi^ who is our hope^ i Tim. i. i. That 
is the firft thing that is to be'underftood by thehoufe 
of God ; all the matters of God, ail things that per- 
tain to God, every thing v^'herein God deals with men, 
ind wherein men deal with God, he deals with us by 
this Mediator and High Prieft, and we muft deal with 
him fo too. He knows we cannot bear his immediate 
dealings with ns, and we (hould know that we are 
not able to deal with him ; therefore the Mediator 
is betwixt God and men, that all the affairs of God 
and men may be well and fi'ly managed. 

2. By the houfe of God, is underftood, in the 
word, the people, the church of God, a company of 
people that our Lord hath chofen and gathered unto 
himfelf in every age. Sometimes they have been 
fewer, and fometimes they have been more ; but it 
iB a plantation that halh been of i<^ long ftanding, and 
there hath been fo many in every age, that doubtlefs 
when they come all together, there will be a great 
and goodly company ; they are the houfe of God : In 
whom you alfo are budded togefher^ fays he, for an ha- 
bitation of God through the Spirity Eph. ii. 22. So 
much for this thing, What this houfe of God is, that 
Chrift's charge is over ; all matters of God, and all 
the people of God. 

Thefecofid thing to be fpoke to i.^ what is this au- 
thority that Chrift has over this houfe of God ? I will 
name a few of the general properties of it, and give 
you a few of the inltances thereof, that may give fome 
underflanding of the nature of it. 

i. This authority that our Lord hath is divine, 
though delegated, though commiiTioned. All com- 
mifiion from God is not divine, is not fo divine as 
Chrill's authority is. The apoftles had their autho- 
rity from Jefus Chrift, yet thdr auihority was but 


Serm. XX. the FrofeJJion of our Faith, 295 

that of men ; whatever power they are clothed with; 
it was ftill in the name oF another, in the name oF 
God. Bat our Lord Jefus comes in his own name, 
and in the name of his Father ; his power, though 
delegated, is divine, becaufe the perfon is fo ; fo 
that all the refpeft that we owe to divine authority iu 
its moft glorious exertings and exc'rclfes, is due to 
the Son oF God. He hath committed all power to 
him, that ail mm jhould honcur the Son, as they ho- 
nour the Father, He that honoureth not the Son, ho- 
7}oureth not the Father which hath fent him, Joha 
V. 23. 

2. This authority of our Lord's is unlverfii] and ab- 
folute ; it is over all things, it is over all things' with 
reference to his church and people. The immediate 
exercife oF his charge as Prieft is about the houfe of 
God, but every thmg befides, as it may ferve that. 

So fays the apoille, And hath put all things under 

his feet ^ and gave him to he the head ever ail things 
to the church,^ Eph. i. 21, 22. He hath put all things 
under his feet ; therefore it is evident, that there is^ 
Dothing that is not put under him, as the apoPile ex- 
a£liy reafons upoj Pfal. viii. in Heb. ii. 8. In that hs 
Jaith all things are fut under him, it is evident, that 
there is nothing left that is not put under him ; where 
we have the Spirit of God, \i\ the new tedamenr, 
giving a full meaning of the Spirit in the old. This 
au'hjriy that Chrift hath over the houfe of God, is 
altogciher inco^nmanicabie ; there is none but he 
that is God's fellow and equal, th^t is worthy of this 
honour, nor able to manage this great truft ; there 
is none capable of this trufl: but Chrifl Jefus ; no men, 
no angels have a (hare in it. None of the apollles 
ever had a fiiare in an authority over the houfe ot God: 
they had but the power of fervants and minifters iu 
the houfe ; they were not lords in it ; as the fame 
apodle in Heb. iii. does mod elegantly compare Mo- 
fes and Chrift: Mofes was faithful in all his houfe ; 
but bow ? as a Jervant, faith he : hut Chrifl a^ a 

P p 2 *^on 

7^6 The Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. XX. 

8on over his own kovfe ; wkoje houfe are we^ verfe 6. 
This now is the gercial nature of this great authori- 
ty that our Lord Jefus, as High Pried, hath over the 
honfe of God ; it is divine, it is abfoluie in all things, 
it it; cominunicable to none, it palTes not from him to 
any body. The firft typical priedhood v^'as put into 
Aaron's har^ds ; when be died, it was left to his (on, 
and fo from one to another's fon ; fays the apoftle, 
Tkey could not contiitue in their office by rerjon of death : 
but this mariy hecaufe he continueth ever^ hath an un- 
changeable friefrhoGd^ Heb. vii. 24. It were well 
tbeii. ' fo :.>e, thai the name of a prieft had been 
bunt! J In the ruins of the temple ar Jerufalem : for 
tha-. ? ame and the office did alone belong 10 that con- 
* fliturion, and is quite foreign to the miniftry of the 
gofr)ei : i)u: Actichrift hath brought it in, as he 
makes himfelf the grand high-priefl, and ordinary 
rainrftiTs as underlings unro him : and he hath framed 
a fciCfifice for them, which is the very abomination 
of abominable Popery ; he has a prieftj and altar, 
and facrifice, for they will be perpeiually together ; 
where there is no altar, nor facrifice, wherefore 
fliould there be a priefl ? If our Lord hath offered 
the grand facrifice, and be the everlaRing Prieft, and 
about his work in heaven, and hat^^ ended z\\ his work 
on earth, there is no work for any man under that 
name, and in that office upon earth. 

Now, the other thing that I promi fed to fpeak to 
about the power of our Lord, is to (liew you fome 
particular iuftances of it, that we may not reft only 
in generals about Chrilt's power over the houfe of 

I Chrifl's power over the houfe of God is feen in 
this, that he callerh and bringeth into the houfe of 
God whom he will ; he calls ilraogers, he hath the 
key of the houfe cf David, and he opens when he 
will, and (luirs when ^c will, Rev. iii. 7. T>c any of 
you partake of the grace of God f are you brought 


Serm. XX. the FrofeJJlon of our Faith, 297 

^n truly to this fpiritual houfe of God ? All the thanks 
is owing to this great High Prieft. Our Lord 
puts forth his power and faves whom he will : he 
brings men to God ; he follows after (Iraogers ; he 
knows them well. There is not an elecl perfon in the 
purpofe of God, and there is not a redeemed perfon 
in the defign of Chrift's dying, but our Lord knows 
them, and will purfue them, and follow them, and 
overtake them and bring them in ; Other fheep^ fays 
he, / have^ which are not of this fold ; them alfo I 
vmft brings and they f hall hear my voice ^ John x. 16. 

2. Chrift's power over the houfe of God fs feen 
in this, that he difpenfes and difpofes the treafure 
of the houfe as he fees good. All the riches of this 
great houfe of God are ^iven forth by our Lord Je- 
fus, as he thinks good : Unto every one of us, faith the 
apoftle, is given grace^ according to the meafure of the 
gift of Chiijl^ Eph. iv. 7. No wonder that our Lord 
has great power in difpenfmg his grace, for it is all 
his own ; all that is given out of his houfe is the pur- 
chafe of his blood, and whet he bath dearly bought, 
that he might be the Lord thereof: Of his fulnefs 
have all we received, and grace for grace. 

3. Chrift's power over the houfe of God is feea 
in this, that he welcomes all his people to the raanfi- 
ODs in his Father's houfe, which he has prepared for 
them. After he hath brought them into the lower 
houfe here, and hath enriched them as he fees good, 
he at laft brings them into his prefence above, and 
they enter by him as the gate. John xiv. 2, 3. our 
Lord fpeaks of his going to prepare a place for them, 
and of his receiving them to himfelf. The crown of 
eternal life is given particularly by Chrift Jefus to eve- 
ry faved one, as certainly as every bit of faving grace 
is Chrift's hte. gift. Now, the crown of eternal glo- 
ry is his free gift : Loaking for the mercy of our Lord 
Jefus Chrifl unto eternal life, faith the apoille, Jude, 
verfe 21. They are vain lookers for the mercy of 
our Lord Jefus Chrift unto eternal lifcj that are re* 

2^3 The ftedfajl Adherence to Serm* XX. 

jet^ers of the mercy of our Lord Jefus in fitting us 
for eternal life now. But a poor believer that hath 
paiiaked of eternal life in its feed, and hath receiv- 
ed a grt'jt d. al of Chrifi's mercy, this man may eafily 
expci^l:, and confidently look for the greateft at lalt ; 
he that hath lived upon Chrift's grace and mercy 
all his days may expc£l the laft gift when he (lands 
in need of it, and when our Lord's time is to give 

Lafily^ The hft indance of Chrid's great power 
over the houfc of God is in his coming again, and 
fetching the whole family together. Now heaven is 
filled with the fpiiits of jufl men made perfect, as 
Chilli calls them. We do not know how heaven is 
filled now ; fometimes we fee believers expiring, and 
they breathe cue their breath, and leave a carcafe 
lying upon the bed ; we can tee no further ; how 
the immortal foul maketh its paffageinro the heavens, 
and is received there, paiTeth our underftandings. 
But there is one filling of heaven that is a- coming, 
which every one of you will be witneffes of, God grant 
you may be joyfal witneffes thereof; that is, when 
pur Lord Oiall come again, and gather the dud of his 
people, and raife up glorious temples out of their 
vile bodies, and iliall carry up foul and body to hea- 
ven. This is a proof, Lfay, of the lad great iaftancc 
iof Chri{t*s power over the hou(e of God, that as he 
didi afcend himfelf, and entered heaven with Ivis own 
blood, having obtained eternal redemption ; fo the 
day is coming, and may be nearer than you appre- 
hend, when he (liall come again and gather all his 
people, and judge then:!, and fave them, and carry 
them up 10 heaven, and prefent them to the Father. 
The one is as fure as the other. And as it is ap' 
pointed unto men once to die^ but after this the judg- 
ment : fo Cbrift ivas once offered to hear the fins of 
many ; and unto them that look for himfhall he appear 
the fecond timey without ftn unto fahation. As if the 
iapoitic had (aid. As furc as Chriil died without the 


Serm. XX. the ProfelJton of our Faith. 299 

gates of Jerafalem, and there were thoufand;> thea 
aiive that knew it and faw it, as fure as that was, he 
will nnakc another appearance without (in ro faiva- 
tion, to all them that look for him. This is the lafl: 
aci: of our Lord's conducl in his great guidance of the 
houfe of God, that he then pais down all power, 
and authority,- and rule, and lays ':S\dit his orv^n medi- 
atory difpenfaiion of the kingdom, that Gcd may be 
all in all, as the apoftle fpeaks of it, i Cor. xy* 26. 


Is Chrift a great Pried over the houfe of God? 
Then I would, i. Ej^hort you 10 have great and high 
thoughts of Chrift Jefas. Pay a great deal of honour 
to him. Never think fo highly of Chrift as to be a- 
fraid to employ him ; but, in all your employiogs of 
him, have a great fenfe of his grandeur and power. 
With what reverence, and adoration, and fabmifiion 
(hould we employ him, when we exercife faith on him! 
Believing on Jefus Chrift, and exercifing faith on him, 
trufting him with the concerns of our eternrJ falva- 
tion, is one of the moil: bold and familiar, and alfo 
one of the mod reverent and awful thiags that a poor 
creature can do. 

2. Learn to pay your due refpe^l unto, the true 
houfe of God, becaufe of its mader's fake. Every 
thing that concerns the houfe of God (hoiilJ be re- 
garded reverently by us, becaufe it is Chrili's charge, 

ly?, All the orders, and all the ordinances of the 
houfe of God are to be reverently regarded, becaufe 
they are under Chrifl's char,G:e ; he is the Lord and 
Mafter of them all. All gofpel-ordi nances are Chrift^s 
appointments, and they are to be ufed as fuch ; and 
we are to fubmit <o them, and ufe them reverently 
as fuch. What our Lord faid of his fapper, may be 
faid of every appointment, Do thlsy faith our Lord, 
171 remembrance of tne ; hear the word In reTtsembrance 
®f Chrid that appelated it ; pray in lemembraace of 


joo The Jledfaji Adherence to Serm. XX. 

him that commands men every where to follow his 
example, and to lift up holy hands without wrath and 
doubting. All the ordinances and order of his boufe 
are to be reverently regarded, becanfe of the Mafter 
thereof. The word is the word of Chrift : Let the 
word of Chriji dwell in you richly^ Col. iii. i6, This 
would make your Bibles dearer to you, and ma*ke you 
ufe them fpiritually, if every time you open your 
books, you thought, This is Chrift's will, and this is 
a. letter to me fent by Jefus Chrift from heaven ; and 
he by his Spirit can fpeak them tome, and t by faith 
may vent that back in prayer, that may make us true 
comfort and converfe with him, as if he were upon 
the earth. 

2 J/y, There is in Chrift's houfe the dwellers, the 
inhabitants ; his people are of the houfe, they dwell 
there. That charge our Lord gave, and the Lord 
grant its power may reach our hearts : Take heed, 
fays he, that ye deffife not one of thefe tittle ones that 
believe on me, Matth. xviii. 6, lo. They are little, 
they are weak as to a great many things ; wherefore 
they may be defpifed. There is a deep providence 
of God in this, that there is not a perfect finlefs Chrif- 
tian on the earth. I do not believe the world would 
like them the better, if they were fo ; I do believe, 
if there were a perfe6l holy perfon upon earth, that 
perfectly holy perfon would be more perfe611y hated 
by all the ungodly than any. But whatever the infir- 
mities andf weakneftes of the children of God are, 
which things commonly make them to be defpifed, 
our Lord w^arns againft it. Now, if I may fo fpeak, 
our Lord's argument is not fo great, though it be a 
good one, as that which this text does afford. Our 
Lord's argument is only drawn from a fmaller thing : 
Take heed, that ye defpife not one of thefe little ones that 
believe on me ; for as mean as they be, their angels 
behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. You 
would think it a great thing to have the company of an 


S£RM. XX. the Profeffion of our Faith. 301 

angel, you would be loath to defpife an angel ; but 
you can defpife a weak filly believer, fays our Lord ; 
that weak one that believes in iBe is under the guard 
of thefe angels, yea of him who is the iVIafter ol an- 
gel?, of our Lord Jefus, who is the head of all prin- 
cip?.lities and powers ; take heed therefore you de- 
fpife not fuch a believer. 

gi/y. There are the concerns of the houfe of God, 
that you iliould be concerned about greatly. It is a 
(liame to think, how we are ouiftripped by old tcfta- 
ment faints in this point. What great things are fpo- 
ken of the zeal of the people of God of old 1 The 
zeal of thine houfe hath eaten me up^ faith David, ty-i 
pically of Chrift. And Pfal. cxxii. 7, 8. For my bre- 
thren and companions fakes ^ T will now fay ^ Peace Is 
within thee ; peace be within thy walls j and prof per ity 
within thy palaces. How much more may. we fay, 
ior our Lord's fake, who is the Mader of his houfe, 
we wifli well to the church of Chrift. There is a great 
want of public-fpiritednefs, and it is a great fign that 
God hath no great mind to do any great public work 
for his glory, and for his people, in that he hath re- 
ftrained the fpirit of due cor-cernment about the houfe 
and intereft of Chrift. All men feek their own things, 
but no man the things of Jefus Chrill, If a particu- 
lar church, and a particular city or land havt the 
gofpel in any tolerable quietnefs araongO: them, and - 
all is well with them, very unconcerned are they, about 
the great difhonour that Chrift fuftains in the world. 
For Chrifi-'s fake we fliould be concerned about all 
the affairs of his houfe, about the profperity ard ad- 
vcrfity of it ; rejoice when it is well with Zion, and 
mourn when it is otherwiie. 

3. You that have a mind to be in the houfe of God, 
to be brought into his favour now, and into his pre- 
fence hereafter ; you mu(t\^mind Chrift Jefus, make 
ufe of him, for he is fet over the houfe of God ; 
you muft enter by him, or you can never come into 
this houfe. If .you enter not by him that is the door, 

302 The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XX. 

ye are but thieves and robbers, and will be punilhed 
for your trefpafs, rather than coramendably enter- 
tained. Now, how (hameful is the pra61ice oi a great 
many in this particular ? There are many that do 
think they are in God's houfe already, as far as God's 
houfe is to be entered into by men on earth, and they 
hope they fliall be in God's houfe above for ever ; 
whereas in the mean time they have no acquaintance 
with JefusChrift, and no employment for him. See 
now how men miitake. There are fome that think 
they are born in God's houfe, and therefore they 
(hall be well, becaufe they are born of godly parents. 
There is no man born in God's houfe, no man born 
in God's inward houfe ; a great many are born in the 
outer courts. There is no man born to good purpofe, 
uulefs he be born again. There is no man born in 
God's houfe, though I acknowledge, that there is an 
exter^ial fcederal right which the children of believers 
may have* 

Some think they are in God's houfe by education ; 
they have light and knowledge, and have been in- 
ftru^ed in the ways and things of God from their 
youth and childhood : and by the fruits of thefe, 
they begin to imagine that furely they are in God's 
houfe. There are fome that go yet farther, and they 
think they are entered into the houfe of God by their 
profeilioa, by their profelled fubjeition to the gofpei* 
of Chrift; and 1 acknowledge, that where this is fin- 
cerely done, it goes a great way : but that is not a 
man's entering into this fpiriiual houfe, but a man's 
declaring that he is in it already, and that he defires 
to be trained up in it, Unlefs you have a particular 
exercife in the employing ChriH to introduce you into 
God's prefence : unlefs you have parriciUar experi- 
ence, that Chrifl bath taken you by the hand, and 
hath brought you in, you have litile to fay for your 
being Chrift's. "Our Lord.Jefus Chrifl: is the only 
man that can introduce a man into God^s prefence ; 
and how fweetly can he do it ? When we fpeak, 


Serm, XXI. the Frcfejfton of our Faith. 30J 

we Qiuft confider that we frame our words with reve' 
rence. Oar Lord Jefus, in prer^nting a fioner to the 
Father, fays ia a manner, " Father, here is a poor 
" one that thou haft given me, and that 1 have re- 
" deemed ; he has been wandering from me, and I 
*' have purfued, and overtaken, and found, and 
" brought him home, and now I prefent him unto 
" thee ; Father, welcome this loft fheep." O, when 
our Lord as ic were takes a finner in his own hand, 
and prefents him to his Father as a returning flieep, 
as the apoftle faith, 21?^^ were fcmetimes gone aftray^ 
hut are now returned to the Shepherd and Bijhop of 
your fouls ^ I Peter ii. 25. how fweet, how great, and 
how fure is the welcome ! 


Hebreavs X. 21. 
And having an High Friejl over the houfe of God, 

YOU have heard again and again, that the fcope 
q{ the apoitie, and of the Spirit of God that 
guided him in this context, is to encourage believers 
in approaching 10 God, by feveral great difcoveries 
of Jeius Chrift, and of the great provifion made ia 
him for them. 

1. That the entrance to the holieft is made by his 

2. That the way that leads unto the holieft of all, 
is through the veil of his flefli. 

3. That he is a High Prieft to introduce us, and 
JO t>nng us unto God, From this third argument of 

(\jl 2 ca- 

504 7he Jledfafl Adherence to Serm. XXL 

eocouragement that is contained in this verfe, I pro- 
pofed three things to be Tpoke to. 

1. What that office' is that the apoQle here holds 
forth Chrifl: to be in ; he is a High Prieft, a great 
one ; the word here is only in the original a great 
p'lej}^ our traollators have rendered it an high p^iej} ; 
the lime apoflle in chap. iv. 14. calls him a great 
Hfgh fried, 

2. 1 have fpoke fomething of Chrifl's charge, 
whereabout it lies. It is, faith the apoflle, over, or 
npon, or in the houfe of God. What this houfe of 
God, and what Chrid's power and authority in it, 
and over it is, I fpake to you lafl: day. The houfe of 
God, is all the matters of God, and all the people of 
God, and all things wherein God deals with us. He 
deals with us by Chrift ; and in all matters wherein 
we deal with God, we muft deal with him by Chrifl. 
The high priefl under the law, was a kind of media- 
tor betwixt God and men. The immediate approaches 
unto Ifrael's God, were not to be made by the peo- 
ple immediately, but by the high priefl ; and the an- 
swers of peace were to be rerurned by him, when he 
came forth from the holiefl of all. 

This I Ihall difmifs with a word or two more of ap- 
plication ; and that i?, Since believers are the houfe 
of God, they that are fuch ihould mind tlieir duty, 
A great duty lies on them by this name, that they are 
of <he houfe of God. 

I will name a few things that are plainly contained 
in it, and may be (Irongly urged from it. I fpeak 
now to them that are true believers, that are ChriR's 
fpecial charge. 

I, You that are the houfe of God by faith in Chrifl 
Jefus, know humbly and remember frequently your 
great debt unto our Lord Jefus. I do not believe 
that ever there w^as a believer on earth, that had that 
fenfe that the greatnefs of the matter calls for, that 
fcofe of thankfulnefs for the marvellous change that 
grace makes when it plucks us out of nature, and 


SERM. XXL * the Frofejfion of our Faith, 305 

brings us into Chrift, that the cafe requires. To be 
trqnjlated jrom the power of darknefs into the kingdom 
of God's dear Son^ as the apoftie's phrafe is, Col. i. 
12, 13. is a juft ground of great ihankfgiving. Every 
one by nature is not only in the houfe of the devil, 
that is bad enough ; but every one by nature is the 
devil's houfe j that is a great deal Worfe : it is a great 
deal worfe to have him dwelling in us, than to have 
us dwelling with him : Te walked according to the 
courfe of this worlds according to the prince of the power 
of the airy the f pint that now worketh in the children 
of difobedlencey Eph. ii. 2- Is it not wonderful grace, 
that our Lord Jefus Chrift will make that heart to be 
the temple of the Holy Ghofl:, that was, till he en- 
tered, the habitation of the devil, and under the 
power of fm, and dominion of 'Satan! For fm and 
Satan the father of fin, are perpetually infeparable. 
If a man be fin's captive, he is the devil's, and ta- 
ken captive by him at his will, as the apodle's phrafe 
is. Therefore you that have this change wrought 
in you, that are made the houfe of God, and are 
brought under the charge of our Lord Jefus, (liould 
humbly and heartily own his great goodnefs in this 

2. You fhould know where your (landing is, what 
foundation you (land upon. AH grace comes from 
Chriil Jefus ; and the end of his giving of grace is, 
that^he may be m,ore improved and ufed by his peo' 
pie ; .for all the faving graces of the Spirit of God, 
are but like fo many various tools and inftruments, by 
which the new creature a6ls towards its original. 
Now, here is a woful courfe of a great many ; when 
Chrift beftows his grace, grace many a time is put 
in his own room ; when he makes his grace to dwell 
in us, we are apt to forget that our ftanding is ia 
himfelf alone, that created and infufed, and difpenfed 
the grace that is lodged in us. As we are made vef- 
fels of grace, we are as feeble as ever ; no difpenfa- 
tion of grace was ever given in this- world for that 

end ; 

5o5 The fliifajl Adherence to Serm. XXI. 

end ; ami if it be nfed for that end, it is grofsly a- 
biifed. Jliat a believer (liould live the lefs depen- 
dent upon Jefiis Chrlfl, is a fnare that you have great 
Deed all ol you to take good heed of, and beware 
of. Remember that you do not live, and that you 
do not (land by the grace that is in you, but only by 
the grace that is in him. Our (Irength ftands in the 
fountain ; Be ft rang in the grace that is in Chrijl Je» 
fus. A believer thinks himfelf exceeding weak, when 
he can fee nothing oF Chrifl's grace in hinifelf ; but 
that is a great millake ; that man is exceeding weak 
indeedy that can fee no gcace in Chrift Jefus; ; that 
man is fallen wofully. HovV excellently does the a- 
poftie fpeak of if, 2 Coiinth. xii. 9, 19, Moft gladly 
therefore vjill I glory in my infirmities^ that the fo-iver 
of Chrijl may reft upon mei For when I am weak^ then 
om I flrong. It is befl with me when I am nothing. 
What a mighty word is that, Though I be nothings 
verfe 1 1. 

3. You that nre made the boufe of God, the charge 
of this great High Prieft, mind the perfection of yoar 
(late, pref' towards that. Though believers are the 
houfe of God now, and he dwells in ihem, yet rherc 
is another houfe and another fort of dwelliog, that 
they do expert and /hould long for. Ail difpenfaticns 
o^ grace uixto the children of God, are not only given 
. in order to prepare them for glory, but in ordt. to 
,€nabie them to prefs further to the obtaining of he 
glory of God. Wherefore receive ye one another^ i^s 
Chrifl alfo received us^ to the glory of Gsd, Rom. xv. %- 
As foon as Chrift's call has reached the heart o" a 
poor fmner, immediately he ihould bethinking wi -uij. 
himfelf. What is it that I am called to .'' I am calicd 
to heaven, I am called to march towards heaven, and 
I have Chriil, and the Spirit, and promife, and all 
^fifpcnfations of grace as feals and earnefls of that 
great profefTion. There are fome things, Sirs, that 
are needful to make a lovely Chriilian, and I am a- 
fraid, that we may go far, and fearch long before we 


Serm. XXI. the Frofeffion of our Faith. 307 

find any of them ; but we hope fome fuch there are. 
A lovely Chriftian is a man whofe root is deep ia 
'Chrifl:, rooted and built up in him, Col. ii. 7. People, 
will not perceive it, until many fad experiences make 
them to feel it ; there are many things amlfs with 
many Chridians, and they are full of complaints; 
they do not fully ponder this, that the root is not 
deep enough, they have not taken deep root in ChriTc 
Jefus. Again, a lovely Chiiftian is one whofe fiuit 
abounds ; That your fruit may abound through him. 
Abide in me, and I in you, fays onr Lord, fo fball you 
bear much fruit* Herein is my Father ^Jorified, that 
ycu bear much fruit, fo f}?ali ye be my difciples, J) ha 
XV. 8. And feveral places in the fame chaprer. Fhe 
third property of a lovely Chiiilian is, that his feuF 
is green, his prqfeifioa fair, and clean, and nor wi- 
thered. It is faid of the i;appy man in the firft pfalun, 
Flis leaf fadeth not ; he is well planted, and he brings 
forth much fruit in feafon. Alas! fruit is- in a great 
meafure gone, and the beauty of the leaves of onr, 
profellion is in a great meafure withdrawn alfo. Wo^^ 
few can fpeak David's v/ords, Pialm lii. S. But I am 
like a green olive-tree in the houfe of God, The love- 
linefsof our profeflion tends to our Lord's praife, and 
our fruitfulnefs therein not only to his praife, but to 
our advantage. The lad thing in a beautifal Chrif- 
tian is, that I may alhide to the word of the prophet 
Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, that his branches reach to 
heaven. My meaning is thi^, that there (hou!d be^ 
breathings and pantings after per*^c61ion, and there* 
(liouid be fpringings up towards eternal life. £.s';i- 
mine yourfclves now about this point. I dare hv^ 
that the greateft part of Chrillians, found honei*: 
Chrillians, have more mind to beg grace of God, thar 
ihey may glorify him here, than they ht\ of any great 
delires of enjoying a perfcil (late hereafter, it is a 
fhame, Sirs, to think, how m.any Chrillians are pluck- 
ed to heaven againil their will ; my meaning is, he- 
fote they would be there. They would be there at* 

iaft ', 

3o8 • The Jledfajl Adherence to Serm. XX!, 

laft ; but the ftiame is, that we (hould be fo unwil- 
ling to be there, whenever he calls. A believer, an 
heir of heaven, to be forry to leave this earth, is a 
mofl: fhameful thing ; but the churches of Chrift are 
full of fuch fhameful things. It was wont to be o- 
therwife, and God can make it otherwife again. We 
groan within ourfehes^ being burthenedy fays the apo- 
itle. Why, what burthened the man ? Did his af- 
fliflions burthen him ? No ; he gloried in them. 
Was it his temptations burthened him P No ; he re- 
joiced in them too. His burthen was, that he was 
out of them, 2 Cor. v. 2, 3. 

Lajlly^ You that are the houfe of God and belie- 
vers, concern yourfelves in the profperity of the 
great houfe of God. Every believer is a temple of 
God, and the whole church \s the great one. Is 
Chrifl: fet over the houfe of God as a great Prieft ; is 
his charge lying there ? and (Iiould not the care of 
our hearts go where Chrift's charge is ? 

ly?. Walk honourably, you that are the houfe of 
God : do not difgrace and dlfparage the temple of 
God : Know ye not^ that ye are the temple of Gcd, and 
that the Spirit of God dweileth in you f If any man 
defile the temple of Gody him fhall God deflroy. The 
true fpring of true tendernefs and holinefs in all man- 
ner of converfation, is the faith of thofe privileges* 
that by the grace of God we are poffelTed of. 

idly^ You that are the houfe of God and believers, 
labour to bring in many to the fame houfe with you. 
The leavening power of godiinefs is greatfy gone : 
time hath been when it was otherwife, when the ene- 
mies took notice of it, that Cbriftianity was in a man- 
ner catcning where-ever it came ; that fome Chrif- 
tians, by their converfations and by their example, 
by their exhortations, and fpeakings, and teachings of 
others, have been of great ufe to bring in many (Iran- 
gers to the houfe. O that that were more minded ! 

Lafily-i Let us all pray more for the profperity and 
incrcafiflg of the houfe of God, There is room e- 


Serm. XXT. the Prcfeffton of our Faith. 509 

iiough Id this hoiife for Jew and Gentile. The gre^n 
High Pried is able to take care of them all, and he 
will take care of all that are given him ; they (hall be 
fpoke for, and brought in, in his time. So much 
now for this fecond thing. 

The third thing in the verfe, and which 1 would 
difpatch alfo at this time, is the iniereii: that the 
church hath in the High Prieft: Having an Hi^h 
Priefl- over the houfe of God. Ch^rifl; is the High Prie:^, 
the houfe of God is his charge, all his people have 
him ; that is what the apoflle (peaks. It is nor, fee- 
ing there is an high prieft, though that is fomeihing ; 
but it is an argument of far greater force, having 
him. But though the word having be not in the ori- 
ginal here, it is neceiTarily underitood from the io.h 
verfe, and is exprelTed, chap- iv. 14. Thar whvii I 
am [o fpeak to then is this, That che church of be- 
lievers has ar true and certain intereil in and poiTciTica 
of Jefus Chrift, as their High Prieft. 1 (hall oiily 
fpeak unto this, and th;'n make application, What 
that intereft is that believers have in Jefus Chrift as 
a High Prieft, how far we may carry this word hav' 

1. We have this High Prieft taken from amongft 
men. He is a man as we are ; he is one of our na- 
ture, though not of our condition; Every hhh priejl, 
fays the apoftle, is taken from among fi men in things 
pertaining to Gody Heb. v. 1. So Jefus Chrift mult 
be taken from among men. 

2. We have this High Prieft, 3s the Spirit of God 
calls it, with us : He Jhall be called EinmanuJy God 
with tiSy Matth. i. 23. taken, from Ifa. vii. 14.; witU 
us not only in the union of nature, but with us in a- 
Dother union, as he is our Lord, and head, as he is 
the head, and furety, and undertaker for his people, 

3. We have him made, and framed, and (hapen 
for us. What did Jefus Chrift do in the world, acd 
what had he to do to be a High Prieft, but on'jy for 
his people ? //; all thincrs it behoved him to be like unta 

3 1 o The ftedfafi Adherence h S e r m . XXI. 

his brethren ; that he might be a merciful and faith- 
ful High Friefly in things pertaining to Godj to inake 
reconciliation for the fins of the people^ Heb. ii. 17. 
There is a greater word in Heb. vii. 26. For fuch an 
High Priefl became us. Pray what doth become us 't 
Nothing doth become a finner, as a finner, but hell •, 
that he defer ves, and that he is ripe for : bur, fays 
the apoflle, fuch an High Friejl became us, who is ho- 
ly^harmlefs^ undefiled^ fepar ate from ftnners^ and made 
higher than the heavens ; fuch a High Pried became 
us. In the framing of our Lord Jefus as a High 
Prieft, and as a Mediator, the infinite wifdom of God 
confuhed what was fit, and meet, and needful for 
poor men. Thereupon fays the apoftle, He is made 
unto us of God y wifdom^ and right eoufnefs^ andfandi- 
fication^ and redemption^ i Cor. i. 30. So that if we 
mud conceive, as indeed we muft fome way, of the 
works of God, according to the weak thought that 
we are capable of beftowing upon them, the Father, 
in framing his Son Chrift, confidered what man need- 
ed ; and whatever was needful and wanting in them, 
as all good was, that Chrrfl was made to be. If they 
are fools, he is made wifdom \ \^ they are guilty fm- 
Ders, he is made righteoufnefs ; if they are denied 
creatures, he is made fan^lification ; if they be cap- 
tives and flaves, he is made redemption. 

4. We have him not only made thus, but fent, fear 
with the highed authority, coming in his Faiher's 
name ; as he fays himfelf, 1 am ccme unto you in my 
Father^ s name ; he is confecrated by the word of the 
oath for evermore, Heb. vii. 21, 2B. This man is 
made a Pried by an oath, by him that faid unto him^ 
The Lord fwarey a fid will not repent^ Thou art a Friefl 
for ever after the order of Melchifedec. 

5. We have this Pried with the greated part of 
his work done already, and the red he is daily doing. 
The comfortable do£trine of Chrid's priedly office 
was not fo clearly known, until he had done the great- 
ed part of it. It is marvellous to think what dread- 

Serm. XXI. the Frcfefton of our Faith. 3 1 r 

fill darknefs was In the minds of believers before he 
died. Peter very readily faiih, Thou art Chrifly the 
Son of the living God^ Matth. xvi. 16. And the Lord 
owns biro a blefied man for fo faying, and tells him, 
that the Father had revealed this to him ; that it was 
true faith he had, and that it was of a divine origi- 
nal ; fo that it was an infallible evidence, that the 
man was a believer t but as foon as Chrift comes im- 
mediately after to preach to them th^ doflrine of his 
faiferings, that he was to be a facrifice, and was to 
go up to Jerufalera, and there was to be delivered 
into the hands of fmful men, and to be flaia. Be it far 
from the^^ fays Peter. Accordingly you know how 
fharply he was reproved by our Lord. But we need 
not aggravate the wickednefs of that worJ of the good 
man ; for their darknefs was fuch that they common- 
ly flumbled in thefe things grievoufly. What ! fpeak 
againft Chrid's ciferlug the grand facrifice, by the 
virtue whereof Peter himfelf was to get eternal life i 
But fo it was with him. But now we have this ad- 
vantage, that the main, the hardeft part of it is paft : 
We have a great High Friefty faith the apofile, the 
Son of Gody that is pajfed into the heavens. There 
were fome that fliw him upon the crofs, that beheld 
our Lord in his agony, that faw him paying that price 
to divine jnftice, by the flcrihce of himfelf. We fee 
JefuSy faith the apofile, who was a little lower than 
the angels J for the fufering of death ^ croivned with 
glory and honour^ that he by the graCe of GodjJjould 
tafle death for every man^ Heb. ii. 9. As for his in- 
terceihon, he is daily about it. 

Laflly^ Every true believer hath Jefu? Chrift given 
to him, and he is pGiTeiTed of him, with all the virtues 
and bencfiis of his great oifice, the virtues of his fa- 
crifice, and the benefits of his daily intercefHon ; the 
virtue of that one offering, and the benefit of his in- 
terceeding before God, this is the proper and com- 
plete meaning of this word, We have an High Priefl ; 

R r 2 we 

312 Tne Jledfajfl Adherence to Serm. XXI. 

we have an intereft in him, we have all the benefit 
of this great oilice the Father hath fet him in. 

Thus I have gone through thefe arguments of the 
apoftie's. Wnac "Toilows in the following verfes, is 
the proper ufe the apoftle makes of this dodlrine ; yet 
as 1 have, upon every one of the particular arguments 
and branches of them, made fome little ufe thereof; 
fo would I of this. 

The only thir:^ I would fpeak to you about from 
this trarh is. That fiuce believers have Chrifl: the 
High Friefl:, 1 would exhort you to try and fee care- 
fully wherher you nave him or no. That is a plain 
queOion, Have you Chriil or no f Chrifl: fuvcs none 
but them that have him : Chriil faves no man at a 
diitance ; he enters ioro us, and we into him ; and, 
if I may fo fpeak, we go to heaven together. The 
qucAionis this now^, and it is a very plain one, and 
an important one ; and it h a pity that, the queftion is 
Bor more frequently put, and feriocily confiiered, and 
tiiat there are fo few can truly anfwer it. Whether 
you have Chrift or no ? I believe if there were one 
to (land at the door as you go out, and allv every one 
this qoellion, wiiether you have Chrift or no, ihsrs 
would be confounded anfwers. You can tell what 
you have, and what you want of worldly things ; can- 
not you tell, whether you have Chriil: or no ? The 
importance of this inquiry (hould prompt you highly 
to the refolution of it. 

I. It is certain, that Jefus Chrift is come into the 
World, and did all h's work he came for, and that 
he is gone to heaven, and is about that work he has 
there, and will quickly finifli it, and return again : 
Behold^ I come quickly. 

The inference 1 draw from it, as to this queftion, 
is. If Chrift be certainly an High Prieft of good things 
to come, it is mighty important for people to know, 
whether they have a fpecial intoreft in him; for 
Chrift's coming doe.- not make ir abfoluiri; neceftary, 
that all that are in the world after his coming fliould 


Serm. XXI. the FrofeJJion of our Faith. 313 

be in heaven ; but multitudes perifli, notwithfland- 
ing the light is come into the world, and many pe- 
riSi thereby, through the corruption of their hearts, 
refufmg this tender of the grace of God. 

2. ii is certain, that you have heard of Jefus Chrifi: 
as a great High Prieft, and this is a great blefliag 
that many want, and periih for the want of it. Now, 
to hear daily of Jefus ChriH:, and not to have him, 
is a grievous thing. The Lord has ways unknown to 
us tojuftify himfeif, when he dial I judge the Hea- 
then world : but the greateft judgment will be upon 
them that daily have heard of Chriil, and never la- 
bour to gti him. 

3. There is more than that, it is fure that you have 
had the ciFer of him. The gofpel is properly made 
up of two things, a declaring of what Chrid is by 
the Father's appointment, and the tendering of him. 
As the Father hath made him unto fmners according 
to their need ; fo in preaching of the gofpel, is the 
offering of Chrifi to all men. In all the preaching of 
the word that you hear, you never hear a word with 
one exception ; you never hear our Lord command- 
ing his fervants to preach the gofpel with any excep- 
tion ; but preach the gofpel, and whoever believes 
and is baptized, (hall be faved. The tender of Chrifl: 
as a High Priefl: is a great matter. Now, to have 
Chrifl: offered, and not to have him, is worfe than 
not to hear of him, and not to have him. This gof- 
pel-offer of Jefus Chrifl: is of that nature, that every 
thing in it, look on it which -way you will, makes the 
fm of refufmg him very dreadful ; efpecially if we 
confider, who it is that makes the offer, God the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft ; all three are witnef- 
fes to it ; and if we confider what that offer is, how 
great, how taking. Chrifl Jefus deals wonderfully 
with them he has a mind to fave ; Chrift courts his 
bride, if I may fo fpeak, always in his blood ; and 
to a believer, Chrift is never more beautiful, than 
when his garments are ftaincd or adorned with his 


314 The ftedfajl Adherence to S e R m. XXT. 

own blood for our redemption. Chrift: is made a 
feaft to us in his death : Therefsre let us keep thatfeaj}, 
(dp the apoftle ; why. What feaft P CbriJI our pa/- 
/over is jacrijiced for us^ i Cor. v. 7, 8. That per- 
fon is in a very poor cafe, (lark dead in fin, and may 
be dead, and in hell within a litde while, unlefs God 
prevent it by his grace, to whom Jefus Chrifi was 
never beautiful in his bloody garments, in his work- 
ing out -eternal falvation for us. The offer is an of- 
fer alfo that is mod fit and fuitable for us. What 
can be more fit for them that cannot deal with God, 
and cannot bear God's dealing with them, than to 
have an High Priefl that can undertake for both, that 
can fpeak from God to us, fo that we Ihall not be 
confounded, and carry our mind to God, fo as we 
(liall not be rcje£led ? If God (hould deal with us out 
of a mediator, we fiiould be confounded with his glo- 
ry ; and fliculd we deal with God out of a mediator, 
he would abhor us, and all our attempts, and all our 

La/IIy^ It is certain, you all make profeflion to have 
Ghrirt. Pray take heed to this, that when you have 
the offer or the gofpel, and the offer of Chrift in it, 
that you get the thing offered, that you have the thing 
you profefs to have. Pray, what is the profeffion of 
a Chriftian f \¥hat is it to be a profeffor of Chrif- 
tianity P Is it to make parties in the church of Chrift ? 
"We know a great many things a man may profef?, 
but take the matter of Chriftianiiy fimply. What is it 
that man profeffes ? He profeffeth he hath Chrift. 
A Chriftian without Chrift is a monfter of hypocrify,' 
a piece of contradiction. Men muft either make fure, 
that they have Chrift, or, I affure you, it were good 
manners for them to renounce the name of Chriftiani- 
ty. Why iliould 1 be called a Chriftian, and have 
not Jefus Chrift ? The advantage of this reafonable 
Dame is from the poffeffing the perfon. A Chriftian 
is a man that hath, and is poffeffed of, and by Chrift. 
How may one know, that he hath Chrift as an High 

Prieft P 

Serm. XXI. the ProfeJJion of our Faith. 31^ 

Prieft ? I win name a few things coocerning this, aod 
they (hall not be very hard nor very high. 

I/?, Do you love 10 have hioi ? Do you look npoa 
the poffefTion of Jefus Chrift, as that part which 
would make you completely happy P Paul proved his 
fiucerity this way : That I may win Chrift^ fays he. 
Why, had he not win him long fmce, and got him 
long fince ? Yes ; bu* the man is for winning him 
flil!, Phil. iii. 8, 9. Abraham's word has more gof- 
pel in it, than a great many csrnal profeiFors under- 
fland. Gen, xv. 2. When the Lord comforts him af- 
ter the (laughter of the kings, Fear net, Abraham^ 
I am thy Jhield^ and thy exceeding great reward. Lord^ 
fays Abraham, what wilt thou gire ?ne, feeing. I go 
childlefs f Pray obferve, our Lord could give him 
fafety from his enemies wiihoat children. Here lay 
the (Irefs of the matter, the gofpel bad been preach- 
ed to Abraham before ; as ihe apodle Paul cells q5. 
Gal. iii. 8. and the gofpel that was preached to Abra- 
ham was this, In thy feed flmli all the nations of the 
earth he bleffed, Chrid was preached to Abraham, 
as one that was to fpring oat of his loins. Now, 
Lord^ what wilt thou give me^ f^^^g I g^ childlefs f 
It is like Abraham did not well kno'.v, how many ge- 
nerations the Meffiah was to come after him ; it may 
be he expelled his coming fooner than it was ; like e- 
Dough he knew it would be a good while: but here 
lay the grand trial of the man's faiih ; God hath pro^ 
mifed, that in my htdi all the families of the eartb 
(hall be bleffed ; the univerfal blemng upon poor maa 
after (in came into the world, is to come into the 
world by a certain one, that is to be born of my pof- 
terity : this is that which Abraham had in his eye : 
Now, Lordj fays he, what wilt thou give me, feeing 
I go childlefs f In a manner the force lay here ; Lordy 
what wilt thou give me, feeing I go Chriillefs ; where 
is the bleffmg of all the families of the earth ? Sirs, 
rf you can turn this now into the fpiritual fenfe of it, 
and your hearts can deal fo with God, if the Lord 


3 1 6 The Jledfajl Adherence to S E R m. XXI, 

fliould give you riches, and long life, and poflerity, 
and all ihe comforts of this life, Lord, what wilt thou 
give me, nay, what canft thou give m?, that can be 
a bleffing to me, if I do not receive Jefus Chrift P 

idly^ You may know, whether you have Chri-ft or 
no by this ; what is it that you are aiming at and 
catching at in the gofpel ? I would fain know, what 
people come to hear for, what is the inward thought 
of your heart to this, and the other places ? Is it, O 
that I may get hold of Jefus Chrift ? If I may but lay 
hold of the fkirt of this Jew, this great High Piiefl 
over the houfe of God, it is enough P Our work ia 
hearing the gofpel, is to fee if we can get hold of 
Chrift Jefus ; he comes near to us in the word, and 
fometimes comes fo near, that a poor creature is ena- 
bled to get hold of him. Many ways do poor belie- 
vers lay hold on Chrift ; he is only laid hold on by 
faith, but faith a<5ls and works many ways ; faith works 
many times ftrong defires ; pantings and breathings 
after him, fo frequently exprefled by our Lord, by 
hungering and th'irjling after htm ; but the proper 
meaning of this, is accepting Chrift in the gofpel. 
Try yourfelves by it. Can you iruft Chrift Jefus this 
great High Prieft with all your affairs ? If you can 
truft him, you have him, for he is poffefted by truft- 
ing. When the matter of your eternal falvarion is 
great in your eye, when you know the precioufnefs 
of your immortal fouls, when you fee the multitude 
of thofe fms you have to anfwer for, and fear the 
ftrength of corruption that is raging in you, and fee 
the power of temptation that furrounds you ; now, 
in ail this, can you, with the heart, truft this great 
High Prieft that is fet over the houfe of God, to caft 
yourfelf alone upon him, and to feek no relief elfe- 
where, knowing that you need no more than w.hat 
he is willing to give P Trufting in Chrift Jefus is a ve- 
ry deliberate aft, and a very determinate aci:. That 
man that trufts in Chrift jefus, can truft in nothing 


Serm, XXI, the Prcfejfion of our Faiths 517 

elfe in that a£t wherewith he truih hira. People 
that are trifling, whofc heaVts are fccure and carna), 
cab eifily join thefc two toj^ether as they imagiac ; 
they can truft in CTirill) and in theiiifelves too. Biic 
it is impoilibie ; trufl mull be always determined u- 
pon one Tingle foot of account ; it muft be undivided* 
Certainly every man may know this eafily, upon what 
account it is'that he lodges that fafety of foul. I know 
in ivhom I have believed^ and I am perfuaded he is abk 
to keep that which I have committed to hi?n. 

^diy^ You may know if you have Chrift by thh^ 
Hath he done any thing in you ? We have not only 
a great High Pried for us, but this great High Prieil: 
docs many things in us, and by that we know vve 
have him. Whenever Chrift comes to take poffeiTioa 
of the heart, he does fomething in the heart that will 
eafiiy make a difference betwi^^t Chrift the new pof* 
fefTor, and the devil that was the old one. You will 
find that the favour of his faci ifice hath been power- 
ful upon your hearts ; you will find the benefit of ais 
intercefTion has been many times perceived by you. 
Every child of God finds frequently experience of the 
thing. They many times pray and pray poorly, and 
are heard gracioufly ; they wonder, they are furprif- 
td with mercies they did not look for ; they admire 
whence they flow. Alas, the poor creature does not 
know that there is a g^^jt friend in heaven that re- 
members them, and thefe are the fruits of his re- 

L-fz/Iiy, You may know if you have Chrid thus ^ if 
you have daily- work for him, you have him ; for if 
you underflapd i: righclv, it is a certain truth, rh,).t 
the employing of Cbriil is the poficiTing of him,, ^die 
employing of him is the enjoying of hira. It is ini- 
poiTible, that any can employ Chriit in any pan or 
his ci^cQy that has not Chrift in that office really be- 
ftowed upon them. If therefore you have Chr'R, 
this will unavoidably be; you have an 'evidence, a^ac 
.Yc«5 have him by this, that you hiive daily work for 

S f this 

3i8 Thejledfajl Adherence to^ &c. Se^m. XXI. 

this great High Prleft, you need the fprinkling of his 
blood for your daiiy tranfgreCions, and need the ef- 
ficacy of his grace for your daily wants. Never bid a 
Wor'fe figa for a man that has not Chrift, than that 
he has no fenfe of the want of him. He that has no 
work for Chrift, is yet without God and Chrift in the 
world ; and a poor believer that groans in a fenfe of 
his need of Chrift, is oftentimes difcouraged, when 
it fliould be an argument of encouragement. Belie- 
vers, if they be lively and growing, will find the uni- 
verfal fenfe of all of them is ; In truth I find I have 
far more need of Chrift than I had twenty, thirty 
years ago. As his fulnefs is difcovered, and our emp- 
tinefs difcovered to us, our employing him does in- 
creafe, as well as our enjoyment of him. 




F R O M 

The late Reverend 


Minifter at Edinburgh, 
T o H I s 




Both Written by him in the time of his Baniftiment, 


An A D V I CE about fome DUTIES. 
Fuhlijbed at the Requejl of fome Friends. 


Printed and Sold by JOHN BRYCE, at his Shop, 

oppofite Gibfon's-wynd, Salt-mab^KET. 

M D C C L X X ¥• 

To the READER, 


BY this you nwy eafil/ form a chara6ler of this good 
man : he was a faichFul fervant to his Mafter, and 
adhered to his Mailer's cauly and intereft vjith undaunted 
courfige; as may appear by) he many imprifonments and 
trials he endured, and at lai^ a long and troublefomc ba- 
niihment (a full account of which you have in Mr Wod- 
ro\v*s firft volume of the hifiory of the fuiferings of the 
church of Scotland, pig. 73, 146.) from all his near and 
dear relations, and efpecialiy from his wife and children : 
but you fee, his love to theii made him not in the leall dc^ 
cline the fufiering of this punifhment (by pleading the re- 
moval cf this cruel fentence ;) but he fubmitted himi'clf and 
family to God's providence ; and although he was abfent 
f jom them, yet he had a great concern for them ; you may 
fee His concern for them wss greater than for hunielf, as 
appears in the following letters. He never forgets them, 
but has a weighty concern for the Talv^tion of /.heir fouls ; 
it v/as the falvation of their fouls he had moft at heart, and 
DOtlo much their welfare in this world. It is a very good 
example for every Chrlftian parent to copy after; and if 
parents were at more pains with their children, and more at 
the throne of God*s grace for them when young, they would 
reap more the advantage of their pains when they are old. 
You have, at the end of the letters, a very good and fea- 
ibnable advice about fome -duties, written by his eldeft for. 
Mr William, who was niinUter at Borthwick, attherequeft 
of a lady, for her own ufe; fo, it is hoped, the publiihing 
of it will do njo harm, but good, It is begged of the rea- 
der, that the little efcapes of wording or pointing may be 
pafled over, feeing it is a fault very common to all poi^hu- 
mous works, fuch as thefe. That this may influence pa- 
rents to be more concerned about their own fouls, and the 
fouls of their children ; and that children may be ftirred up 
by this to follow much of their parents counfdls, is the car- 
neft deiire of thy foul's weil-wifiier. Faycv/el. 


L E T T E R 


The late Reverend 


T O U I S 

W IF E- 

Aly dear and beloved Wife, 
np H E ftonii has fcattered our poor family and 
X has driven me here to this (traoge land ; and 
new ftorms arifmg do keep you that you cannot come 
to me here, and you know what hinders me from 
coming to you : but blefied be our Lord and our 
God, that we know that we may meet often before 
the throne in prayer and fupplications one for ano- 
ther ; and it is a mercy that we have yet jeave to com- 
mune one with anothei^in letters. I do often remem- 
ber you, neither do I eat my folitary raorfels without 
minding you, and thinks on the days when you and 
the children were about our table : but alas ! the days 
of our liberty and peace were not improven by me as 
they ought and (hould have been ; and now all that 
I can do in that land of ray exile, next unto prayer 
for you, is to write you at this diftance. The Lord, 
whofe gift a good wife is, did choofe you for me, and 
has made you a mother of fix children unto nae, and 
has preferved you to me a help and yoke-fellow unto 
this my old age, yea, has made you comfortable to 
me in my fufFerings to which he has cailed me. It 
has been no fmall refreftiing to my fpirit to think that 
you do chearfully, and I hope comfortably, bear the 
part of thefe crofTes which the Lord has laid upoii 


32 2 A Letter from Mr Robert Traill 

me. I am fully perfuaded, that if we can take any 
\ok that we have met with in the Lord's way, and 
for hi« honourable caufe, joy.villy ^,^d wir.hou^ mar- 
muring, it (hall turn to our good, aijd it fhall well and 
abundantly be repaid by him, who give? the hu/idred 
fold even in this life, though with perf'^cution. Fret 
Dot agaioft unjuft men, who have driven me fo Far 
away irorn you ; but pray for ihem, that the Lord 
may give them repentance lo thf^ acknowledging of his 
troth ?.nd of their own backflidiugs from it. Ye know 
that they have done worfe to others than to me ; 
princes hav? been hanged by their han'^s, and rhey 
have ihed the precious blood of f?»itb{Lil wiiaefles : 
and 1 am furc you would rather have me in the ba- 
nlfliment far fi om you, than to have had me at home 
with you as a Bi(hop, or Dean, or time-ferv'ng Mioi- 
f!er. The longer you live, ye fhall tde more clearly 
fee the Lord's hand to be wife and good in all that 
has befallen us : I hope his thoughts toward u? are 
peace, and not evil, to give us an unexpected end. 
O pray for yourfelf and for me, that he who has gi- 
ven us, upon the behalt of Chrift, not only to believe 
in him, but alfo to fufFer for his name, would alfo 
give us grace that we may fuffer chearfully, and would 
alfo carry us through cleanly and faithfully : he who 
hat)} called, yes, he who ha^b called us, alfo will do it. 
He fends no man a warfare on his own charges, and 
he fits and furnlflies for fufFering work, and bids us 
commit all the fleps of our way unto the Captain of 
our faivation, even to Jefus, who is the author anJ fi- 
niflier of our faiib, who for the joy that was fet before 
hirn^ etidured the cro/s^ ^^fp^f^^^ ^^^ fhame^ and is fet 
down on the right hand of the throne of God^ Hebrews 
Kii. 2. 

My dear wife, I intreat you to make your intereft 
fure in him. You fee that this world is a changing, 
evil world, and they \hz\ are troubled about the many 
things in ir, have mucb careful trouble and much toil 
in fceking them 5 and when they have gotten their 


to his Wife, 323 

portion qF them ; they are no? fatisfied, neither taflc 
of any true joy in the enjoying of them ; and when they 
come to lole them, as (ure they muit at lait, O what 
k dJfappointment do they meet with ! and then they 
are as a dreaming hungry man that drearaeth that he 
eateth, but when he awaketh his foul is empty, Ifa. 
xxix. 8. butchufe you the good portion that fliall not 
be taken from you, Luke x. 40, 41, 42. the world 
can neither give it nor take it away : it is the one 
thing needful j there is no more but to chufe it, and 
then it is yours, and is fure unto you ; for your chuf- 
ing of it is a fure and fweet evidence that the Lord 
has chofen it for you from all eternity, and therefore 
has made you to embrace his choice; for we have 
not chofen him firfl:, but he has chofen us ; becaufe 
he has loved us with an everlafting love, therefore 
with loving kindnefs will he draw us : but we mud 
take heed that the chufrng of that good porrion, evea 
Chrifl:, and grace, and glory, be ferious, deliberate^ 
and fixed ; and therefore we would do well often to 
renew it in the Lord's prefence in our moH ferious 
hours, and to have our fouls oft faying to him, Thoti 
art my God and my fortiori^ and therefore will. I trujl 
in thee^ Pfal. xvi. 2. Lam. iii. 24. There is nothing 
worth our pains but this ; for in having this, we have 
that which will fatisfy the defires of the luimorral 
foul, and which fliall through all eternity be the 
matter of our eternal fong and joy ; and having th!s, 
we fliall have all other things that the Lord thinks 
needful for us, while we are upon our way heaven- 
ward. My dear heart, make earned of religion : the 
moft part that are named Chriftians never make feri- 
ous of Chriftianity ; to know him and the power of Lis 
refurredion, the fellowfhip of his fufferings, being made 
conformable to his death ^ Philip, iii. 8, 9, jo. This 
is a blefled and fublime ftudy : the greatefl: divines 
cannot go above it, and yet the weakeft bi^liever is 
allowed to enter upon it in Chriil's fchocl with the 
learnedcft 5 for it rauft be he that mud be our teacher ; 


§24 ^ Lei ter from Mr Robert Traill 

yea, it is h*'^ that has made it one article of the Well 
ordered covenant, that we (liall be all taught of God, 
and (liall all know him froni the lead to the greatefl: ; 
and it is therefore the poorefl and weakeft feekers of 
him who are long at their A, B, C, and profcfs lit- 
tle ; he cafts none out that come to him, and enter 
themfelves under his teaching, neither did he ever 
put any away becaufe of ignorance or diilnefs of lear- 
ning, and in conceiving the great mylleries of the 
kingdom ; if he take us in hand, we (Iiall learn and 
profit ; and if we offer ourfelves to be taught by him, 
he will take us in hand as w-e are, and will make us 
better. 'You and I have a fair opportunity now to 
grow in acquaintance with Chrift, for he has allured 
us to the wildernefs to fpeak comfortably to our 
hearts ; he has made us pafs under his rod, that he 
may bring us within the bond of the covenant ; he has 
abridged us as to our former enjoyments in the things 
of this world, that we may learn better than ever we 
did before to be crucified to the world, and to have 
the world crucified to us ; that ^ve may underfland ex- * 
perimentaily what that leiToa means which the apo* 
iile leaches us, i Corinth, vii. 30, g i. and that which 
Habakkuk won to, Hab. iii, 17, 18. Take courage, 
my dear heart : if our way be rough in our journeys 
and feemeih harder than it was, it is nearer to the 
end ; there are not many (leps to our journey's end ; 
the Lord, cur blefied and ftrong guide, lead us fafely 
through the laft itep of it, through the dark valley 
of the fiiadow of death ! If he be with us in that hour 
he (hall enlighten our darknefs, and we fiiall have a 
fong in thai night of the fetting of the fun of this frail 
life, in hope of a fair morning and of an everlaQing 
day. You and I could tell, if our memories could 
mind, and if our hearts were in a better fram.e to fet 
them a-working to mention, the loving-kindnefs of the 
Lord, and much of his goodnefs and patience, where- 
by he has been folbwing us all our life-time to this 


to his Wife. 325 

day : we cannot but fay, he has been doing us good 
and not^evii all our days, though we have reputed 
him variable and very unkindly: he would take it 
very ill at our hand, if Vve fhould now come to ceil 
his love and kindnefs in quellion, afier we have had 
fo many years experience of it ; let us rather labour 
to believe, that he who has -vqt)' tenderly and abun- 
dantly cared for us from the womb to this day^ will 
not now leave us or forf^ike us when old age haih o- 
vertaken ns : he who raade us a family as a flock, 
and kept houfe for us, and with'usjfor fo many years. 
Will not now caft off the care of usj when unjud men 
h^ve fcartered U9j and yet he knows that they found 
nothing againd us but in the rfiarcers of our God, and 
yet men would needs fcatcer iis, becaufe we would 
not yield to forfake our good Shepherd, who had 
'laid down his life for u«, (and follow idol-(hepherds, 
who feek pk-afure and not the well of the liock.) 
wbofe eye is upon us where-ever we be driven in :hl3 
cloudy and dark day^ and wbofe hand will gather us 
again from all places where we have been fcartered, 
nnd will exa^fly reckon with ihofe idol-fhcpherds who 
fe^d rhemfelves and not the fiock^ and will bring a 
wo and curfe upon them, Ezek. xxxiv. througbour. 
But if we were lookirg more to the Lord's juft hand 
in all this that hath befallen us, we would not be dif- 
cburaged : for albeit we may hold up our faces be- 
fore men, and maintain our righteoufoefs againf! tbeiit 
that have fpcken evil againtl us, becaufe we would 
Dot run on wii> them in the fearful backfliding^ ai^d 
becaufe we would not fay a confederacy to all tbofe to 
*who?n they /aid a confederacy^ nchher would fear their 
fear, nor have any parr with them who have robbed 
^Chriil cf many of his royal prerogative!?, to adora 
poor dying, fmful clay with them ; (but alasj both 
ihieves and refetters mud anfwer fadly for this high- 
eft facriiege, in the day when cur Lord fiiall come 
to reckon for all the wrongs that have been done a- 
gaiaft Zion^ aad againft l-^er King !) yet could we not 

T E aafvvef 

326 A LeUer from Mr Robert Traill 

anfw^r for one of a thoufand, if the Lord (hould en- 
ter into judgmeot with us ; for his hand isTioly and 
juft, even in that wherein mens hand is cruel and un- 
juft ; and that which is hard perfecution againft us, 
as it is from man, is a fatherly and juft chaiHfement 
upon us as it is from God : and therefore our beft 
courfe would be, to turn away our eyes from unjuft 
perfecuting men towards the juft correfling hand of 
God, and to fay as it is Lam. iii. 39, 40. Did not our 
mifimproviug of many days and years of profperity 
juftly deferve and require fome years of trouble ? If 
he had not feen that we were in danger of fetding u- 
pon our lees, he would not have thus poured us from 
veiTel to veffei ; had he not feen our drofs (licking (o 
faft to us, we (hould not have met with fuch a hot 
furnace ; but bleffed be he who in faithfulnefs afflicts ; 
who will not with-hold the rod, when fparing of it 
Would argue hatred to the child ; who will not fail to 
fdt up his fire in Zion, and his furnace in Jerufalera, 
when he fees that the fons of love have fuch need of 
purifying, and that unlefs the fire confume our drofs, 
we are in danger ourfelves of being confumed, Jer. 
ix. 9. The Lord brings it to that, that we may fee, 
that as he has afflicted us in meafure, and has not ftir- 
red up all his wrath againft us, but in the day of his 
eaft wind has ftaid and reftrained his rough wind ; fo 
we may in due time fee, that by this the iniquity of 
Jacob (hall be purged, and that this is all the fruit to 
lake away fin, Ifa. xxvii. 8, 9. 

And now, fearing left I trouble you with fo long 
a letter, 1 (hall, in a few words, Ihew you what I 

I. I recommend to you, to acquaint yourfelf with 
the Lord, as he has revealed himfelf to you in his 
word. Job xxii. 21, 22. and feek his face in earneft 
and fervent prayer ; for a right feeking and patient 
waiting will do you much good, Luke xviii. i,-— 9. 
Lee the word of God dwell richly in you, and often 
look into that glafs which will both give you a fight of 


to his Wife. 327 

yonr own heart and ways, that you tnay lotbe your- 
felf : in them you fee a fweet fight of Chritt's kind 
heart towards humbled and mourntul fianers, that you 
may love him, and feek to tafte and fee that he is 
good : and bleffed are they that truft in him. 

2. When now you arc deprived ot that large al- 
lowance of public ordinances which formerly you en* 
joyed, be much in fecret duties ; he can make this 
morfel, eaten in fecret both fweet and ikengthening 
unto you : next unto your bible, fome good godly 
books, as worthy Mr Rntherfoord's letterjJ, a book 
which has done much good unto fome fouls, and will 
do good to more, and that good litde book of Mr 
William Guthrie's. 

3. Have a care of the children, now, efpecially, 
I am fo far removed from you and them ; fee what 
good you can do for their fouls, in often praying for 
them, and admonlQiing them in the Lord, as you fee 
their cafe doth reqaire. You have fome of them 
more ordinarily with you than the reft; let their time 
together be well improven, Havedfc care of Marga- 
ret your youngeft daughter, whom the Lord keep 
with you now in your old age: warn her to feek the 
Lord early in the morning of her age ; for thofe who 
feek him early (hali find him: charge her to efchew the 
vanities aod follies oi a prefent evil world, and to walk 
and carry herfeif as becomes the daughter of a pooc 
baniih^d minidcr. I have fome good hopes thit the 
Lord who faved her from death here in Holland, and 
brought her fafe home with you to the land where 
{he was born, will glorify himlelf in his mercy and 
free grace toward her ; the Lord grant that it may 
be fo : 1 hope you and fhe both will join your Amea 
to this. You have your fecond fon with you : he may 
be helpful to you and to the fmall remnant of that 
fcattercd family, that you have with you ; and when 
his eldeft brother (hall return, he likewife will be help- 
ful to you in family duties. I blefs the Lord for them 
both^. that he has begun to make himfelf known to 

T t 2 their 

32B A lifter from Mr Robert Traill 

their foul?, and to incline their hearts to feek hitn, 
and to cleave unip him in this backfliding time : rhe 
Lord eEcreafe his grace in them, and keep thetu fted- 
fafl in nearer commnnioawiih hia'ifelf". 

4. Be not troubled with perplexing thoughts about 
the world : the meek in the earth are waxing nearer 
lb an end ; and you fee no way, in human appear- 
ance, how their place (hall be filled up again. Be- 
lieve, that he that provides well for his owfi that 
trufl and wait on him, will make, that the barrel of 
meal fliall not wafte, nor the oil in i\\z criife fail, un- 
til the day that ilie Lord ferd the rain upon that poor 
Jand, I Kings xvii. 14. Has he tipt protriifed thait 
tbofe who walk uprrghrly. before hini, and whofe con- 
fidence is in him, ihail dzuell en high: the places of 
defence fhall be the muni lion of rocks ^ their bread fh all 
he given them, their ivater Jhall he fare f yea, your 
eyes fliall yet ice the King in his beauty, and ye (hall 
yet again behold the land tha: for the prefenr feems 
to be very far oif. That fcriptarc, Philip, iy. 6, 7? 
cught to be ofteif'aiid feriouily meditated upon. 

Laflly^ I would entreat yoUs dear wife, to be ranch 
in chalking out, and trying your evidences for hea-. 
ven, and often praying/ that the Lord would write 
them clearly and diftin^ly on your heart, and would 
help you to read them, and to rejoice in them, or ra- 
ther in him, who has made the purchafe for you, and 
freely given you the evidence of it : he knows that it 
vxuld be no fmail coirifort in this my old age ; and I 
^m perfuaded yet to hope to fee you and the Lord's 
Jerufalem in that l?.nd in peace, before I fee death. 
But this would much fweeten the delay, and rhi^ 
though it were till death, to have the lively hope that 
ye and 1 fhall enjoy the Jerufalem that is above, 
"where righieoufnefs and peace dwell, and where no 
ftorm can come to fcatter us again. Pray, pray for ' 
this to you and me, yea, and for all the children the 
Lord has given us. Sure 1 am there is roon) enough 


to his Wife. 329 

for us all there. O let us run to him who has gone 
thither to prepare maafions for all whotu the Father 
has given to him m the eternal decree of election, and 
for whom he has laid down his life as a price for our 
redemption ! And we cannot better know that (even 
we, poor fmfal wretched) we are of the blelTed num- 
ber, than by our coming to him to feek and find fal- 
vation in him, who has paiTed his word, yea, his oath 
dn it, that he will cad none out that come to him ; 
and he is a King of his word, and will not fail ta 
perform what he has proraifed. Let us grip to thefe 
immutable things, his word and his oath, in which 
it is impoffible for him to lie, that we may have (Irong 
confoiation, when we flee for refuge to the hope fee 
before us. Now, I leave this on you ; lay hold upon 
him who has tenderly cared for me all my lifetime, 
and has been in a fpecial manner kind to me in this 
place of cay exile, giving me now and then fweet feafts 
in this wiideraefs, for which I defire you may blefs 
him : and caft all your cares upon him, for hie will 
care for you : he is my God, and w^ill be the God of 
my relations after me ; and when I come to fall afleep, 
and to be taken oiFthe ftage, I hope there fhajl be a 
family ferving the Lord in their generation better than 
ever I did in mine ; himfelf grant that it may be (o ! 
The abundant grace of our Lord, and the fweet con- 
foiation of his bleffed Spirit, be wirh you, my deajf 
heart, and with the fix children, and with the eldeft 
daughter's children and husband. This is the fre- 
quent and fervent prayer of your loving husband, 







[Rotterdam, March 1665 ] 

Dear Children^ whom the Lord my God has gracioujly 
given me^ 

Grace ^ mercVy ard peace be to you ^ from Cod our Father , and 
from the Lord Jejus Chriji. 

IH /VVC often, in tbi? time of my exile, had many 
earncii: wiilies for vour eternal faivation, and fome 
weak prayers to ^he hearer oF prayer, for all of you, 
that ye may be <aveJ from the wrath to come, and 
may, in the day of the Lord Jefus Chrift, be owned 
of him, fet on his right hynd, and taken in to dwell 
wirh him ror ever ; that ye be of the bkffcd number 
of thefe ot whom he will oe admired, and m whom he 
fh'I! be i^lor'tied, in that day ^ when he Jh all come m 
flaming fir e , to take vengeance on all them that know not 
Gody and obey not the gojpel of our Lord Jefus Chrifly 
2 ! heff i. 7, 8, 9, 10. and tiiat poor, wretched, un- 
profitable 1 mav have to fay in that day. Behold me, 
and the children thou hafl given fne^ which were for a 
whiie foi figas and wonJers in the world, and now are 
for fi^ns and wonders of thy rich mercy, and free un- 
deferved giace. The Lord hath often put it into my 
heart, to write unio you ail in one letter, that 1 may 
flir you up to the ferious and frequent thoughts of that 
which is your greateft concernment, even your eternal 
falvarion j that ye may make that your main ta/k, to 
work out your faivation in fear and trembling ; and, for 
that end, to give all diligence to make your calling and 
elcftt.njure : fa f ye do thele things^ ye f jail never fall ; 
but an entrance Jhall be adminift red to you abundantly, 


A Letter from Mr Robert Traill, &c. 331 

into the everlajling kingaom of our Lord and Saviour 
Jefus Cbrifly 2 Peter i. 10, 1 1. Tbere are thc^^e 
things mainly that have made me thus to '^rif" unto 
you. ly?, Becaufe this is a duty lyes upon Cmi^liiiQ 
parents. The Lord did ihew unto Abraham, the fa- 
ther of the faithful, that he expedled this at hish rr.l, 
in reference to his relations, Gen.xvii. 19, For I k^'^w 
that he will command his children a)id his hoifhold af- 
ter him^ and they fhall keep the way of the Lord^ &c. 
And the Spirit of God in th^ new te{tam<^:nt, does much 
prefs this duty. 2dly^ Becaufe my obligations to 
Chrift, and to his free grace, aie fo manv, and fo great, 
that, had I never fo many children, I wouid think my- 
felf bound, to the utmoft of my power, to confecrate 
them all to him ; and to prefs upon them, by all that 
love could fugged unto me, that they would ferve the 
Lord God of their father. <dly^ Becaufe among the 
many other challenges 1 have now in my folitary hours, 
in this houfe of my pilgrimage, for negle^ of duties 
in my days of pe^ce, this is one, that 1 did not improve 
my time aright, when the candle of the Lord didfhim 
upon my tabernacle^ and ye were as olive plants about 
ray table. Alas ! I did not prefs upon you, as 1 ought 
and might, the ferious thoughts of eternity, and of 
your fouls fahation j and tiicrefore I am the more o- 
bliged now to do it, at this diftance ; and who knows 
but it may fink deeper into your hearts, that it conies 
thus by a letter from an aged, baniftied father ? I re- 
mem.ber that 1 was often moved, in prayer with that 
family over which the Lord had fet me, to pray for 
preparation againft a time of fcattering, though I did 
Dot then think that it (bould have been fuch, and fo 
far off, before death ; but now it is come, and that 
which death will make is following : the Lord give us 
the fanflified ufe of the one, and ferious preparation 
for the other, ^thly., Becaufe i am under the bond of 
a promife and vow ro the Mod Higii God, taken on, 
before him, and unto him, at your baprifm, that I 
Ihould eadeavour to train you up tor himlelf, that ye 


334 A Letter from Mr Robert Traill 

might learn to know, fear, and ferve him. I rerrjem- 
ber, I prefented every one of you to that iacramentj, 
except one who was prefenred, in ray abfence, by a 
faithful and worthy minifter, who is now at his reft, 
and who doubtlcfs did pray fo'^ the blcfiing and fruit 
of that ordinance unto tlie child he did prefent ; andf 
1 hope, his prayer was heard ; and that the Lord, who 
has chofen for her a good husband, and made her the 
mother of children, (haii own her as one of the daugh- 
ters of Zion, who Ihali be found in the regifter of thefe 
of whom it is written, They were born there, by the 
new and better birth. Yea, the Lord has been graci- 
ouily pleafed to let me live fo long with you, till 1 have 
entered all of you (except the youngeft, who, I hope, 
fiiall not want his part of the covenant bleiTing) unto 
that other facrament of the Lord's fupper, that fo you 
might therein, by your own proper a(5land dccd^ make 
an open and avowed refignation of yourfelves to the 
Lord, as your God^ and your father'* s God^ and declare 
before the world, that in him alone ye have faivatioHj 
and that ye will live and die to him ; and fo might 
perform what was promifed for you by your parents 
in that fii'ft facrament, when you could not refiipulate 
by yourfelves, but behoved to do it by another, till ye 
(hould come to the years of knowledge, that ye might 
then give your own adlual and formal confent ; which^, 
I hope, ye have done, as often as ye have been parta- 
kers of that other facrament. S^^h) Becaufe the Lord 
has made me, again and again, in this my Patmos, to 
cry unto him, more than ever before, for grace and 
glory to myfelf, and to my {^fA ; and to lay out before 
him that fweet and large promife, Deut. xxx. 6. And 
the Lord thy GGdw'illcircumcife thine hearty and the heart 
of thyfeedy to love the Lord thy God with all thine hearty 
and with alt thyfoul^ that thou mayjl live ; yea, now 
and then to a£l faith and to pray upon i:, and to win 
unto fome hopes that it fliall be made goo^d for all of 
you. Sure I am, there is room enough for all of you 
in heaven, were ye more than ye are : there is mercy 


fo his Children,, o?^ 

and grace ecoDgh ia Jefus Chrifl, to bring you thii 
ther ; and nothing can keep you out, but unwillingnefi 
to enter in by him, who is the ioa)\ the truths and the 
i'ljCi and who makes it one of his greateft complaints 
againft perilbing fianerS, th?.t they vjill not come unto 
hiniy that they may have life. And the 6th and lalt 
thing, that hath moved me to fcribble thefe liiies, is. 
That the few and evil days of my piifrrimage are faft 
tvearing to an end, the (liadows of 'the evening are 
flretched out, and my fun is near the fetting, neTther 
know Ij if I (hall fee you any more in a prefent world ; 
and (herefore, while the Lord lets me yet dwell in this 
frail tabernacle, I would dtfire to midd you of dlefe 
Ihings which concern your eternal peace ; and that ye 
tnay remember thefe things^ when t ftiall be no moret 
wiihin time, ehher to fpeak or write to you. Now ajj 
that I drill recommend to you, I fhall fuiti up into \\it^t 
ic^ heads : Fir/I, ahd chiePiy, There are fome things 
I would prefs upon yoa» in reference to your feeking 
the Lord, and ferving him in your generations, ih^t 
ye may befaved tn the day of the Lord, Secondly, Some 
things in reference to yoor netiiral relations. Thirdly^ 
Some things in reference to the times wherein the 
Lo;d has ca ft your Jo: to KiV^. 

^ I. For the///?, Mdke it ^6^xc daily tafk, to feek thd 
Lord and his face, and to ^zx^^^. him with aii your heart, 
as your God, and your father's God : add O that you 
and I could exak him ; and that he would prepare for 
himielf an habitation in my heart, aqd in the heart of 
every ode of you ! Read (he fcripture^ frequently and 
ferio'jflv^ ; meditare upon them', and pray upon them; 
i. For grace to obey the precepts there fet down, for 
To^- 2 For hearts to tremble at the threatnings that 
found there, that ye nilay efcape the dint of them, and 
iiiay, by your flying into Chriii, be kept from tlie fear- 
ful execution of ihem, which Will certainly pafs upo;i 
sll the children of difobedience. 3. Pray for faith ic- 
believe all the great and precious promifes that ar- 
breathed out there, that ye may by thefe be made par! a ^ 

U u 

334 ^ Letter from Mr Robert Traill 

kers of the divine Nature^ having efcaped the corruption 
that is in the world through lufl, 2 Pet. i. 4. and that 
having thefe froinifes^ ye may by them (both as motives 
to perfuade, and as mei\ns to help and enable you) pu- 
rify yourf elves from allfilthinefs^ both of theflejh andjpi- 
rit^ perjeding holinefs in the fear of God ^ 2 Cor. vii. i. 
and that ye may be heirs of thefe exceeding great and pre* 
cious promifes^ through Jefus Chrijl^ in whom they are 
all yea and amen, 4. Fray for wifdom to look aright 
upon and confider the examples of the faints recorded 
in fcriptnre, both in their failings and falls ; that ye 
may be brought to ply your courfe circumfpe£lly, and 
with fear, efchewing thefe \ for they are fet up as bea- 
cons, to warn thefe that fail through the fame fea, to 
beware of the rocks on which they did (Irike, and fu.^- 
fered lofs, though they were faved from drowning by 
the fkiil and care of their bleifed Pilot, who brought 
them in at lad, as (hip-broken paffengers, to their iafe 
and quiet haven : and alfo in their virtues, and holy 
walking before the Lord, in their generations ; that ye 
may in thefe he followers of them^ who through faith and 
fatience inherit the promifeSy Heb. vi. 12. and that^ be- 
ing compaffed about withfo great a cloud of witnefjes^ye 
may lay afide every weighty and the fin that doth fo 
eafily befet yoUy and may run with patience the race that 
is fet before you^ Heb. xli. i. And as I do recommend 
unto you frequent and fervent prayer, fo I would have 
you not to forget, or negleiH: praifmg, I mean, finging 
of pfalms, even in your fecret worfliip ; but remember 
tojlng with thefpirit, and with the under/landing alfo : 
this is one main part of our immediate woifhip, and 
fhall continue through all eternity, vvhen all mediate 
worfhip ihall ceafe. Ye may perform this fwcet part 
of worfliip, even in fecret, wiihout letting your voice 
be he Hj d by others, who pollibly may be in places or 
rooms near you. And then when you have been at 
the throne, and have prefented yourlelves and your 
fupplicaiions unto him who fits thereon, then look up, 
aud exped your anfwer from the hearer of prayer, and 


to his Children. 335 

through his merits and mediation, who has a cer.fer^ 
and much incenfe is given to him^ that he may offer it with 
(or, as it may be read, that he may give or add to it) 
the prayers of all faints, Rev. viii. g, Buf, while ye 
wait for an anfwer, and look up, do not fet a time to 
him ; /7r fare he will make the vifion to /peak, and the 
promife, on which ye pray, to be fulfilled in the due 
and bed time ; and therefore wait for ir, even when 
ye think it larrieth long ; for ye have his word for it, 
that it flmll come, and fh all not tarry ^ Hab. ii. i, 2, 3, 4. 
And tho' ye cannot be aUvays on your knees in pray- 
er, neither is this required of you ; yet know, there 
it a way to entertain communion and fellowlliip with 
God all the day long, and to give him the conftant fer- 
vice of the afF.'a:ioTis of your hearts^ and to be fend- 
ing and darting up frequent ejaculations unto him, iii 
whatever company you be, whatever ye be looking oa 
and fpeaking of. V/e know how it was with honed 
Nehemiah, chap. ii. 4. Then the king [aid unto me. For 
what dofl thou make reqnejl f So I prayed to the God of 
heaven. This were 10 fet the Lord always before your 
eyes ; this were to walk with God, and to be in the 
fear of the Lord oil the day long ; and fo, when death 
ihould come, ye ihould but change your place, and 
Dot your beft company. 

II. That which 1 would recommend to you, in refe- 
rence to your natural relations, is, r. la reference to 
your mother : I charge you be. kind to her, now whea 
ihe is come to her old age ; and be helpful and com- 
fortable unto her, as the Lord (hall enable. Probably 
file will live longer with you than I (hall ; and I pray 
the Lord that it may be fo. She hath been a kind and 
dutiful wife unto me, and comfortable to me in the 
time of my fufFerings ; and the Lord will blefs her, 
even for that. She has been a very tender and du- 
tiful mother to all of you : ia her womb were you con- 
ceived, and in pains did fhe bring you forth into the 
world, and nourifhed you on her breads ; and fince 
that time to thi?, her care towards you has been very 

U u 2 lender 

p 36 J Letter frotn Mr Robert Traill 

lender and grea: ; and the Lord both craves and tx" 
pefts a kind reqoiral. 2, In reference to yourrelves, 
as brethren and fillers brought up in one fatiiily, tho' 
novv fcatiered. O love one aDotber in the Lord, and 
fall not out by the way ; but be helpful one to another, 
cfpecially as to your fouls concern. Pray one for a- 
nother, and, as occafion offers, one with anoiher : ?,nd 
ye, who are elder, have a care to ,be(low a word of 
admonition upon the younger \ efpecially forget not 
your younger brother ; ye who are his elder brethren, 
give him v/arning to beware of the evils of the liire 
wherein bis lot is cad, and of the fmful city he lives in; 
bur, above all, to beware of the evils of his own heart. 
Kecomraend unto hi m that fcripture, (which 1 hope ye 
recoiDmend to yourfelves), Pfaim cxix. 9. Wherewith 
Jhall a young rnan cleanfe his way f but by taking heed 
thereto according to thy word, Ecch xii. i. B^eynember 
thy Creator in the days of thy youth. He bears the name 
pt his grandfather, who was no fcholar^and yet a man 
well acquainted with God, and much exercifed in the 
fcriptures, and in prayer, and on Chrifl's fide, in the 
conrroverfies of Zion, under ;he former Prelates : he 
would never countenance any of them, albeit he had 
natural relations to fome of them : he did towards bis 
end give tcfrimony againll the ufurpation uied by thefe 
men upon the congregation where he lived, and where-: 
of he was an elder : and fo after, and through inanir 
fold temptations and affl(f}ions, be entered into the 
kingdom of God, and died in the affured hope of the 
blencd days of reformation, which we Qiould fee, and 
which we did fee. But alas! our unthankfalncfs for 
thefe days, and our many provocations againlt the 
Lord, have brought a fad change. The Lord grant, 
that, as that young man bears his name,^ fo he may 
learn to live and walk in the good old way wherein he 
vyuiked, that he may find reft to his foul. 

HI, There are fome things I would recommend to 
you, 'U reference to the prefent times into which your 
jo: is Caft to live. And, i. Beg of the Lord wifdom 


to his Children. ^^7 

to difcern the times, and to know what Ifrael ought 
to do, 2. Keep yourfelves from the evils oF the times; 
for they are evil days, wherein even the ele^l are in 
danger of being deceived : Have no felhwjhip zvllh 
the unfruitful works of darknefs^ but to reprove them 
rather^ Eph. v. 1 1. And beware lefl ye alfo be led a- 
way with the errors of the wicked^ andfo fall from your 
ozvn fledfaflnefs : hut grow in grace,, and in the know- 
ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrifl, 2 Pet. iii. 
17, 18. Pray to be kept from the way of thofe who 
are turned afide from the good old way, wherein fome 
time they walked ; and wherein they promifed to 
' themfelves, and avowed and profefied before others, 
that they fhould find reft to their fouls : yea, and fome 
preached this before many witneiTes ; but now they 
feck their reft in other paths, which the Lord has 
curfed, and which he will yet again curfe. Be not 
fliarer^ with thefe men in their fms, that ye may not 
be partakers of their judgments ; for their judgment 
fleepeth not, but is as taft haftening as they are ripen- 
ing for it, and that is faft enough. 3. Labour to be 
marked among the mourners in Jerufalem, who figh 
and cry for all the abominations that dre done in the midfl 
thereof^ Ezek. ix. 4. O beware of being reckoned in 
the number of thofe who eat and drink, and are not 
grieved for the afflictiom of Jofeph ; ox of thofe who 
uiake merry ia their fenfual delights, in a day and time 
when the Lord is calling to mourning and weepings 
and fafling ; againft whom a wo is denounced, and 
whofe iniquities (hall not be purged away till they die, 
Amos VI. I. Wo to them that are at eafe in Zion. And 
Ifa. xxii. 12, 13, 14* And in that day did the Lord God 
of hofls call to weeping and to mournings and to baldnefs^ 
and to girding with fackcloth : and behold^joy and glad- 
nefsy flaying of oxen^ and killing fheep^ eating fleft), and 
drinking wine ; let us eat and drink^for to ?norroio we 
fhall die. And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord 
of hofls ^ fur ely this iniquity fhall not be purged from you ^ 
till ye die^ faith the Lord God of hofls, Moura for the 


3g8 A Letter from Mr Robert Traill 

biaod oF the bi<{l>d inanyrs, th-it has been fhed in 
tnar f^rear, but iintul city ; and ^lefs the Lord, who 
gave to thofe faitnful and valiant witnefies to offer their 
blood fo willingly, For fealing tbefe iure truths, that 
are now oppofed by a gainfbying generation ; and for 
ailerting the royal prerogacive of Zion's King, who 
will take no laws of dyii!^ king^^ whofe breath fooa 
goes out, and in that h.>ur all their thoughts penili 
with thern Let the two precious heads that are fee 
on the Netherbow, hut (hall be; feen in the great day, 
with crowns upon iheii ; yea, their adverfaries mutt 
fee them amongft thefe whom the king will honour ; 
Jet, I fay, the he.id'^^ of thefe faithful witneffes (wboy 
being dead^ yet /'peak J mind you, and. llir you up 'o 
cry. as tht- foul- u * t the ahar do. How iong,0 LorJ, 
holy and true, doff thou not avenge the blood of thy fer- 
vants on them th':t dwell on the earth ? R'^.v. vi. lo 4. 
I would recoil^ meuu unto you, my two eld eft fons, who 
were entrif^g upon }our rnals for th" preaching of the 
gofpel, wheo thc,tlo?*n[i arofe which razed presby- 
teries, (bur their foundation cannot be razed, /(?r // is 
built upon the rock of ages ^ againfl which the gates of 
hell /hall not prevail ;) iec Lot tins (torm (hake you, or 
make you quit y^iur purpofe. You were minting to 
fit youilelve^ for putting your hand to that plough, 
when the Lord fliould give you a call ; and therefore 
look not back, bur purfue your purpofe ; and, by the 
Lord'e grace, and his itrength, b': diligent in the ufe 
of ail means, whereby ye may ne fitted for that high 
and hoiy callmg ; and polfiMy the Lord of the vine- 
yard fh»:ll call you, among other?, to woik in his vine- 
yard in that poor ianr', when he ih;il! have driven out 
thefe wild boars, which have laid it walte for a while. 
The Lord know?, that as ir would be a great part of 
my joy, to iee a'l my children walking in the truth ; 
fo would ir be fome tunhcr degree of 'tjv joy, to fee 
you two honouied of the Lord, \o be preache^^ of the 
truth. I mean, faithfu*, and not time-lerving preach- 
ers, entring by tne door, and not ciimbing up lorne o- 


fo his Children: 339 

ther way. Tl:u. x^ord can do u, and, if he fee it fit 
for his own glory, he will do it ; 'lud on thei'e terms 
alienarly do 1, and ftiould ye (ttk it. 

Lafilyy 1 would recommend to all of you, both fons 
and daughters, and that, w this backflidm^^ rime, zvhen 
fo many are turning back from Chrtft^ and walking no 
more with hif?i, ye would itrenpihen your refolutioa 
not to leave him ; for to whom Jhould ye go^ in turning 
away from him^ feeing he only has the words of eternal 
life f Jjbh vi, 66, 6j, 68. Fro/n that time many oj /.'/> 
difciples went back, and walked no ?nore with him* Then 
faid Jefus unto the twelve^ Will ye alfo y^o away ? then 
faid Simon Peter unto bim^ Lo^dy to whomfhail we gof 
for thou hajl the zvords of eternal life, 3 ay ye noty A 
confederacy to all thofe to whom this apofiate generation 
fay^ A confederacy ; neither fear ye their fear^ nor be 
afraid : butfan^lify the Lord Godofhofis in your hearts^ 
and let hi?n be your fear and your dready Ifa. viii. 12, ig. 
The Lord himfelf f peaks in this to your hearts and 
mine, with a ftrong hand, in(tru6lingus. Now, I con- 
ceive, that this would much conduce to help you to 
fledfaitnefs in a backiliding time, ofcen to make a£lual 
refignation of yourfelves to tne Lord, I mean, on your. 
knees in prayer, humble and hearty prayer ; to give 
up yourfelves,, fou's and bodies to him, who is your 
Lord, Creator and R.edeemer, who has bought you by 
a dear price, that ye (hculd be his, and that ye fhould 
live to him^ and not to yourfelves. This aduai reUgaing 
yourfelves to hiai, and explicite and formal covenant- 
ing with him, would pleafe him well, would give the 
devil and your own corruptions a great dadi, and would 
make you underftand fome fcriptures more clearU'^and 
more comfortably ; as Pfal. xvi. a. O my fouL thou hafl- 
faid unto the Lor d^ Thou art my Lord: my oood'iels tX'- 
tendeth not to thee. Pfal xxvii, 8. When thou faidfi^ 
Seek ye my face ; my heart [aid unto thee^ Thy face^ 
Lord, will I feek, Jer. xxx. 21, 22. Aw^ their nobles 
(kali he of themf elves, and their governor (h all pro-.ced 
from the midfl of them^ and I will caufe him to draw ry-ir, 


34^ A Letter from Mr Robert Trailt 

and he Jhall approach unto me : For who is this that en- 
gaged his heart to approach unto me^ faith the Lord f 
and ye /hall be my people^ and I will be your Gody Zech. 
xiii. 9. They Jhall call on my narne, and I will hea^ them : 
J will fay y It is my people ; and they Jhall Jay, Thd 
Lord is my God, Bat of this worthy and (tedfafl: Mr 
William Guthrie has written well ; which liitle great 
book I recommend to all of you. And now, my dear 
children, whofe everlafting falvatlon my fool prays for, 
and defires to believe, and whofe holy and Chriftlan 
converfation, in the way thither, 1 earnellly beg, me- 
ditate often on that fcripture, Titus ii. it, 12, 13, 14. 
t'or the grace of God^ that hringeth Jahation, hath ap- 
feared to all men / teaching us^ that, denying ungodlr- 
nefs and worldly lufls^ we JJpould live fob erly^ righteouj- 
ly and godly in this prejent world ; looking for that blej'^ 
fed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God, and 
our Saviour Jefus Chrijl : who gave hinfelf Jor us^ that 
he mivht redeem us from all iniquity^ and purify unto 
himfelf a peculiar people^ zealous of good works » And 
pray for grace to obey that great and excellent gofpel 
leffoD, that ye may affure your hearts bcjore him, and 
that it may be well with you in the great day of the Lord. 
And {ball 1 mention to you what v»rorthy Mr Bohoil 
faid on his death-bed to his children ?■ (I hope, the 
rcentioning of it fhall do you no harm, but good) / 
charge yoUy faid he, my children^ not to meet me in the 
great day, in a ChrijVefs, gracelefs condition ! 1 hope,* 
every one of you wiil endeavour, and make it your 
main (ludy and care, to be found in Cbrift in that day, 
not having your own righteoufnefs^ but that which is 
through faith in him. '1 he Lord himfelf grant that it 
may be fo ; and the Lord God, my God^ and 7ny father' s 
Gody who has fed me ^ and provided for me all my life 
long until this day^ and the great Angel of the covenant ^ 
which r-jdeemedmefrom all evil, blefs the lads, and laffes 
aljo. And fo I recommend you to him, as your God 
aii-fufficient., and to the word of his grace which is able 
to build you up^ and to give you an inheritance among all 


to his Children, 341 

them that are fLindijied through faith that U in him. 
And now the very. God of peace fandify you wholly :■ 
and I pray God, that your whole fpirit,Joul and hodyy 
be pr^feried hlamekfs unto the coming of the Ijjrd Jefuf 
Chrifi, Faithful is he who calleih you^ who a If will 
do it. Children, pray for me, your aged father, who 
defires to live and die in the hope, that we (hall, with 
joy, meet before the throne ; and that ye talce thefe 
lines, as Tome weak help to carry you thiiher. They 
are frox, 

Tour loving and affcclionate father^ 


P. S, I would defire, that ye would choofe fome conve- 
iaient day, when all of you may meet together, and have 
this read amongO: you, with eariieft prayer to God for his 
ble/Iing upon it, and for mercy and grace to him who wrote 
It, and is now at fuch a diftance from you ; and then let e« 
Very one of you have a copy of it, to keep befide you, as 
the belt love-token I can fend you. Grace, grace, rich and 
free grjice he the portion of every one of you ; and then arc ye 
rich enough. Let me have an anfwer from you, fubfcribed 
by all your hands, that I may know how you accept of this 
counfel, and what your purpofe is of hearkening unto it, 
and following it in the Lord's ftrength ; and I fliall careful- 
ly keep it by me, and fhall prefent it before the Lord, h'f 
prayer to him, who muft work in you both to will and to 
do of his good pleafure, that he may give you to work out 
your falvation in fear and tren^bling. 

A necefTary and excellent 


I. As to worfhip* 

I, pREQUENCY in elTays of worfliip and duty 

-»- feems to b* more ufefui and edifying, than 

the lengthening out of thefe duties, or fpending much 

time at once in any of them, except upon extraordi- 

X X na?y 

2 4* -^w excellent advice 

nary cafes and occafions ; and frequency in thefe da- 
ties comes alfo neareft the fcripiure rule, and fcrip- 
ture precept, Pfalm Iv, 17. Evening and mornings and 
at noon, will I prai/e, and cry aloud, Pfalm cxix. 164. 
where the Pfalmift is found to pray feven times a day ; 
and it is to be fuppofed,that Chriftians who are much 
alone, and whofe time and affairs permit, do ufually 
pray much oftener than feven times a day. When 
you get an hour or two for^fecret duties, it is better to 
pray three or four limes during that fpace, than to 
fpend it all in one addrefs, without intcrmiffion, or 
intermixing of other duties with it. 

2. In fecret, let reading, efpecially of the fcrip- 
tures, and meditation, be intermixed with your effays 
of prayer. 

3. In fecret, make ufe of your voice fo high^ and to 
low, as you find, by experience, doih mod conduce 
to the help and furtherance of ferioufnefs, fervency, 
livelinefs, attention, and fixednefs of heart and mind, 
in oppofition to vain, wandring thoughts and imper- 

4. Secrecy, and preventing your being overheard, 
and the ihew and appearance of oflenration. 

5. Reverence the fovereign, unfearchable, holy, and 
wife providence of God, in granting you liberty to 
pray, foraetimes for one thing, fometimcs for another, 
and fomeiimes, it may be for a long time, not grant- 
ing you liberty to pray for that fame thing that you 
would faineft be at. For we cannot, when we pleafe, 
command liberty in prayer ; nor have we any power 
over ourfelves, to feek fpiritually and fervently, even 
that which we would fain have, Rom. vii. And this 
may let us fee a vafl: difference between natural, fpi- 
riiual and gracious dellres after the fame thing. 

6. Stumble not, nor entertain harlh thoughts of God, 
if you get liberty in prayer for a thing, with faith, 
fervency and fubmiflion, and yet be denied that thing, 
which you were helped more than ordinary to feek ; 
for ihele prayers are heard and accepted, though the 


about fome duties, 343 

be not granted* So it was with Chrifl himfelf, Heb, 
ii. 9. Matth. xxvi. 39. O my father, if it be pojjible, let 
this cup pafs from me : nevertheiefsy not as 1 willy but 
as thou wilt, 

7. When ye cannot get liberty to pray for your- 
felves, nor for others, nor for the public and general 
concerns of the gofpcl and people of God, nor for any 
thing, then try confeflion of fin, and renewing of re- 
pentance : try thank fgiving and praifes for what you 
have got of late and of old, and for the many good 
things you prcfently poiTefs, and for what fpiritual 
bleilings you enjoy beyond many about you, and for 
what liberty you have had at anytime formerly. Praife 
and thankfgiving fometimes prove a mean of enlarge- 
ment, and loofmg of bonds. Alfo obferve, improve, 
and take hold of providential calls, and feafons of fe- 
cret prayer, befides your ordinary times for it, fuch as 
thofe : immediately after prayer with others, either in 
public or in private, then go to your clofet, if oppor- 
tunity be given : alio when you are in any commotion, 
or diflurbance of pefilon, through fudden anger, fear, 
grief, or joy, uoexpccfled or furprifiog accidents, crof- 
fes, &c. then effay 10 compofe your heart, by venting 
it to God, and breathing out to him in prayer ; like- 
wife, after the commiffiori or firfl difcovery of fome 
frcfh fin and guilt ; again, immediately before you en- 
ter upon any bofinefs cf weight or moment : likewife, 
all y*}ur duries of worfhip are to be begun and clofed 
with fecrer prayer. Again, when ye get any -liberty, 
or loofmg of heart, blefs and praife him for it, both 
before you leave the duty, and alfo when you make 
your next addrefs to him, for what you got when you 
were lait before him. Again, though you gel neither 
fenfible accefs, norclefirable returns of prayer, yet you 
ought to be encouraged in the faith of that great truth, 
Ihat he hath not bidden the feed of Jacob j*A his face 
in vain, Ifa. xlv. 19. And if it is ill with you, as it is, 
you may be fnre it would be much worfc with you, if 
duties of worfliip were (lighted. 

X X 2 II. As 

344 ^^^ excellent advice 

II. As to your cafe and frame. 

I. T A B O U II to get out of your fouPi. rroublei 
^-^ not To much be can (e it is terrible to you, a» 
becaufe it is fKiful, and oppofire to faith, and almofi: 
all other duties, John xiv. i. Let not your hearts be 
irouhkd ; ye believe in Qod^ believe afo in me. Yet it 
JDufl be granted, that it is the ufual fpdt of the children 
of God ; and that is a more kindly and hopeful token, 
lo-have a little too much of thi?, than to have nothing 
of it at all, Pfalm Ixxiii. 14. All the day long have I 
been plagued^ and chaftened every mornings Pfal-n Iv. _J. 
Labour for much eflabliihrnent of the heart by grace, 
and for an eqnal conflant frame of fpirit, that you may 
not be foon cad down, nor rafhly frighted with e?ery 
me :pe<51ed thing, and often put out of frame, and 
iiive fo many ups and dov^^ns, like the legs of the lame. 
Pfcv. xxvi. 7. The lej^s of the lame are not equal. Heb, 
xiii. 9. It is a good thing thai the heart be eftahlifhed 
by grace ; and many other places. Labour much for 
the ornament of a meek and quiel fpirit^ which is in the 
fight of God of great price^ i Peter iii. 34. and alfo 
very favoury to our neighbours. And alfo, guard a- 
gainft all paffion, either fperjking or doing any thing 
in your hafie ; and efj)eclally againil the hidden vent- 
ing of your pailion : if at apy iime you be overtaken 
with it, do but think a whiie upon the thing that 
Texes you, before you it^>\ yonr mind about ii : and 
T^'hen at length you muA fpeak, yer, even then, fpeak 
lefs than you think ; fpeak not all the v^orfl o^' 1% for 
that would but infiame the heart more than it was be- 
fore. Prov. xxix. I I. A fcoluttereth all his mind, but 
^ ivfe man ktepeth it in til afterwards^ Prov. xvi. 23, 
"-Jbe heart of the wife teacheth his mouth, and addeth 
ka^hin^ to his lips. Learn to put a favourable and 
/ hopeful CO??. I ru 6] ion upon the providences of God to- 
wards you, and tven upon thofe that are dark, fad, 
rTid difmal-like : and do not carry like one that is jea- 
\om of his kiadnef^ ; and dp qoi think, that, iu every 


about fome duties. 345 

crofs difpcnfation, he is feeking advantage of you, 
and, as it were, laying a fnare for you ; but rather. 
if a difpenfation be liable to leDtation and diffeieDC 
conllruflions, whereof nine are bad, and but one of 
ihem good, let the praying believer rejedl and leave 
the nine bad interpretations, and put only the good 
and favourable fenfe upon that fad difpenfa:ion : for 
it well becomes him, and it is his duty and wifdom 
io to do ; and, with the fcripture warrant, Mark vii, 
and lafl, He hath done all things well, Rom. viii. 28. 
And we know that all things work together for good, to 
them that love God. Pfaliii xxv. 10* All the paths of 
the Lord are mercy and truths &c. and in many other 
places. Again, in the trial of your cafe, and fince- 
rity of your faith, love, and of the refl: of the graces \ 
1 fay, in the cxannination of them before God, mind 
ihe differences mentioned between the marks of llrong 
faith, and the marks of true faith, though weak. 

2. Often and ferioully put your heart in his hand, 
and pray, that he would not fcfFer you to provoke 
hira, nor deceive yourfelf, in your trial, and juclg- 
ing of your cafe, Pfalm cxxix. 23. Search nie^ God^ 
(ind know my heart. And Pfalm xsvl. i. Judge nie^ 
O Lord^ for I have zvalked in mine integrity, 

3. When the trial proves dark and diiEcult, and ye 
know not what to think of your cafe, being fo con- 
lufed ; then put off intricate queftions about your fia- 
cerity in former times, and fet about the dire<fi: a6ts of 
faith, which (land in the outgoings of the foul to- 
wards Jefus Chrifl-, and chufing and cleaving to him, 
as a fui), fufBcient and only Saviour of poor lofl fin- 
ners ; which fuppofes an heart-humbling and exer- 
cifmg fenfe and feeling of your finfulnefs and mifery. 

4. Beg that promifed fpirit, i Cor. ii. 12. Now 
have we received, not the fpirit of the word^ but the 
iSp'trit which is of God, that we might know the things 
that are freely given us of God. Lay your account 
with many ups and downs in the cafe ; for they are 

, ufeful, needful, profitable, and kindly to faints, in theic 


34^ -^^ excellent advice 

voyage to the land oi" reft : and we cannot well bear 
conftant fair weather, but muft fometimes have ftorms 
and crols winds, and fometimes gales of favourable 
and fair winds ; and ail is made through prayer^ and 
fupply of the Spirit of Chnjl Jefus^ Philip, i. i^. to 
contribute for the furtherance of their voyage hea- 
ven-ward, and giving them more and frelh difcove- 
ries of ttie working of fan6tifying^ and faving grace in 
the hearts of his people, and foulrefrefhing exer- 
cifes, that are fuitdble tor a militant chriflian la this 

111. As to practices of duty, 

I . /^ F T E N mind what :s your daily crofs, Heb. 
^^ xii. 2. that you nray take it up, and follow 
Cbrif>, bearing it, and from time to time taking a 
frefh lift of it. 

2. Defiring and endeavouring to do all in faith, de- 
pending' upon God in Ch'-ifl, {leaning upon him while 
ye walk through the wilderne/s of this worlds Cant, 
viii. 5 ) for furniture and through-bearing in all the 
cafes you can bt in. 

3. For acceptance of you and your efTays of duty, 
of fuccefs of duty, and growth therein, of holinefs, 
and nearnefs to God thereby 

4. Of a reward and bleiTing, that it fhall not be io 
vain, Ifa. xlv jp. 1 fatd not unto the feed of Jacobs 
Seek ye me in vain, i Tim. iv. 8. Godlinefs is profita- 
ble unto all things^ having the promijes of the life to come^ 
and that which is now, Alfo, you muft be prefTing 
forward daily, 10 know more of the power, life, and 
fpirit of every duty, and flill to be going on from 
flrength to ilrength; unto which progrefs, the wife ob- 
lervation of our fhort comings doth daily heJp. 

5. Keep your eye much upon your predomioantf, 
and upon ihtfm that doth mofl eafily befet and over^ 
throw you ; for thefe may be the Capiain of your foul's 
enemies. More particularly, cuquire whether any of 


about fome duties, 34; 

thefe preTail over you, viz. doubting, misbelleF, and 
calling almoft all truths to queftion. 2dly, God-pro- 
voking and felf-difquieting jealoufy of his love to you, 
noiwithftanding of his multiplied evidences of the care 
of your foul. 3^/y, Tormenting diffidence, impatient 
hafte, rafli cenfuring of others, and iiafty venting of 
your thoughts when you are vexed : it is better to vent 
your heart to God in prayer, which is the breathing 
of the foul ; and then, as you fee fit, to vent yourfeif 
to your fellow-creatures. /\thly^ Mind the proper 
feafon for every duty ; and learn daily more ot taat 
great duty of redeeming time, Eph. v. 16. Redeeming 
the timey becaufe the days are evil, ^thly^ Whatever 
you think Chrift would have done, in fuch a particu- 
lar cafe, when he was upon earth, do you the fame. 
This may be a direction in very dark and doubtful 
cafes, and it is commanded in the imitating of Cbrift, 
I Peter i. 15. But as he which hath called you is holy^ 
fo he ye holy in all manner of converfation. i John iv. 17. 
Becaufe as he is, fo are we tn this vjDorld^ i Cor. xii, 
1 1. But all thefe worketh that one and the fame fpirit, 
dividing to every man fever ally ^ as he will. Mind that 
general rule. Matt. vii. 12. Therefore all things what ^ 
foever ye would that men fhould do to you^ do ye evenfo 
to them^ &c. with its due limitations. 

6, Learn to keep in mind your latter end ; and be 
dying daily, by conftant effays of that precept, i Tim. 
vi. 19. Laying up in fore for themfelves a good founda- 
tion again fi the time to come^ that they may lay hold on- 
eternal life ; by diligence in the great duty of Chrif- 
tianity, by labouring to grow daily in grace, and by 
adventuring on nothing but wh:n is duty, both lawful 
and feafonable, and as you think you would adven- 
ture upon, if you had but a day to live. Improve 
your fenfe of fliort-coming, not for difcouraging vou 
from or in duties, but for ftirring you up to more di- 
ligence and watchfulnefs. 

IV, As 

148 -^^ fx.ceUent advhe^ Sec, 

IV, As to your converfe with others, 

I. 'W IN D what was formerly hinted, of fpeak- 
^y^ ing within bounds ; which feems to be the 
fcripiure rule, Pro?, xvii. 27. He that hath knowledge^ 
fparcth his words^ Sec. and many other places, 

2. Study to be both doing good, and getting good 
in every company ; let all be for edification, other- 
wife you will be getting hurt, or at lead lofin^^your 
time, and falling behind in your great work. 

3. Let your vifits be mod to the godly. Prov. xiii. 
20. He that walketh with wife men^Jball be made wife^ 
Bcc, Yet not only to thofe ; Prov. xviii. 24. A'man 
that hath friends^ muft Jhew himfelf friendly^ &c« 
I Cor. V, 10. Tet not altogether with the fornicators 
cf this worldy Sec. 

4. When you give any vifit, make it (liort, except 
tlie company be very good, and their difcourfe edify- 

5. When you receive a yifir, rather lead the dif- 
courfe, by propofmg forae pertinent purpofe, than lofe 
the time by idle, vain, and unprofitable converfe ; and 
the more ferious and fpiritual your difcourfe be, you 
will be the fooner quit of their company, if they be 
carnal, and they will the feldomer return to trouble 
you : yet be not behind the worft of them in coramoa 
civility and neighbouring kind offices, 

6. Let the difcourfe be led, by talking of remark- 
able providences or queftions fuiiable to the company 
you converfe with. There are many innocent wiles 
of (hortning unprofitable company ; in the ufe where- 
of prudence is needful, and wifdom is profitable to di- 
re^ ; fo there is need of watchfulnefs and refolution, 
10 make them effectual with little obfervation. 

At Borthwicky December nth, 1708. 
F I N I S. 

Pf-'ncetpn Theological Seminary Libra 

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